Understanding the purpose of Confederate memorials

Robert E Lee Monument Avenue

By Hal Jespersen at en.wikipedia – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9064150

by Colonel Richard H. “Dick” Black (USA Ret.)

Member, Virginia House of Delegates, 1998-2006 | GOP Nominee, 2011–Elected to Virginia Senate, 2011

Originally published in the Washington Times

The Virginia General Assembly wisely enacted Va. Code Section 15.2-1812 to protect war memorials from destruction for political reasons.

It provides: “If such [war memorials] are erected, it shall be unlawful to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected.”

Localities erected monuments to those who fought in the War Between the States several decades after the war, while millions of those veterans were still living. The Confederate soldier monument, at the Old Courthouse in Leesburg, was erected in 1908, roughly 43 years after the war ended. Most Confederate veterans would have been in their 60s by then, and many had befriended old adversaries.

In Northern Virginia, John Mosby, the famed “Gray Ghost,” had bedeviled the Union armies with hit-and-run cavalry tactics that earned him a prominent place in Civil War history. After the war, he befriended his old nemesis, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Their friendship began in 1866, when Grant issued him a handwritten safe-conduct pass. Later, Mosby became President Grant’s Republican campaign manager for Virginia, and he was fondly remembered in Grant’s memoirs. In such ways did our nation gradually bind the terrible wounds of our most tragic war. Continue reading

There Is No Debate: It Is Illegal & Unconstitutional No Matter What They Re-Name it!

Bradlee Dean | Sons of Liberty

 “The typical American voter is so stupid, his dog teaches him tricks.” –Jonathan Gruber architect of Romney-Obama-Care 

The hot topic again this week coming from today’s conservatives is an attempt to get you caught up into a debate about what is illegal.  The GOP is attempting to appease the American voter with a change of name again to implement the illegal and unconstitutional “Obamacare” (Mark 8:15).

Look at this word play here America.  First, it was the “RomneyCare.” Then, it became the “Affordable Care Act.”  Now it is the “American Health Care Act.” No matter what it is called, or who the president is who pushes for it and signs it, it is illegal (Psalm 94:20).

Rather than getting caught up into the debate that they want you to get caught up into, the question that should be presented to them who call themselves representatives is, “Where are you deriving your authority from to implement these unconstitutional acts?” It is a question that they simply cannot answer.

In other words, “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they do not have to worry about giving you the right answers.”

Considering that which you have been led to believe concerning Romney-Obama-care and that it is such a good deal (Premiums are skyrocketing) for Americans, why does it not apply to the Congress that approved these unlawful measures?

Exploiting the stupidity of the American voter is fun and easy: kinda like squeezing a lemon.” –Jonathan Gruber architect of Romney-Obama-care

Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.” -Jonathan Gruber architect of Romney-Obama–care

When we’re done with employer-based health insurance, it will have s much life in it as Jimmy Hoffa.” -Jonathan Gruber architect of Romney-Obama-care

P.T. Barnum said a sucker is born every minute, but his estimate was laughably low. -Jonathan Gruber architect of Romney-Obama-care

WorldNet Daily reported on how Obamacare threatens to shred the Constitution.

Here are the top six legal arguments cited in “Impeachable Offenses” challenging the legality of Obamacare.

  1. Taxation without representation

The law appears to violate Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution, which stipulates: “No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”

The section is clarified in the 16th Amendment: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

The Supreme Court ruled the law’s individual mandate requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance is a tax. However, according to experts cited in “Impeachable Offenses,” the mandate does not fit the description of any of the three types of valid constitutional taxes – income, excise or direct.

Write Klein and Elliott: “Because the penalty is not assessed on income, it is not a valid income tax. Because the penalty is not assessed uniformly or proportionately, and is triggered by economic inactivity, it is not a valid excise tax. Finally, because ObamaCare fails to apportion the tax among the states by population, it is not a valid direct tax.”

Despite Obama’s public statements that the individual mandate was not a tax, the Supreme Court ruled June 28, 2012, in a 5 to 4 vote, with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the majority, that the requirement that the majority of Americans obtain health insurance or pay a penalty was constitutional, authorized by Congress’s power to levy taxes.

“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

In a second 5 to 4 vote, again with Justice Roberts joining the majority, the court rejected the administration’s most vigorous argument in support of the law, that Congress held the power to regulate interstate commerce.

The Commerce Clause, the court ruled, did not apply.

However, Klein and Elliott document the White House has been changing the law without involving Congress since the Supreme Court ruling and that multiple sections of the implementation of Obamacare are unconstitutional.

  1. Illegally bypassing Congress? Bribing states?

“Impeachable Offenses” cites Jonathan H. Adler of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Michael F. Cannon of the Cato Institute.

The duo found: “The law encourages states to create health-insurance exchanges, but it permits Washington to create them if states decline. … ObamaCare authorizes premium assistance in state-run exchanges (Section 1311) but not federal ones (Section 1321).

“In other words, states that refuse to create an exchange can block much of ObamaCare’s spending and practically force Congress to reopen the law for revisions.”

The Obama administration, however, was furiously at work in an attempt to avoid a legislative debacle. The administration proposed an IRS rule to “offer premium assistance in all exchanges ‘whether established under section 1311 or 1321,’” Adler and Cannon said.

The Treasury Department, they continued, was “confident” that the IRS had the authority to offer premium assistance where Congress had not authorized it and that this overreach was “consistent with the intent of the law and [its] ability to interpret and implement it.”

“Such confidence is misplaced,” Adler and Cannon asserted. “The text of the law is perfectly clear. And without congressional authorization, the IRS lacks the power to dispense tax credits or spend money.”

In May 2012, the IRS released its final regulations that would “provide guidance to individuals who enroll in qualified health plans through Affordable Insurance Exchanges and claim the premium tax credit, and to Exchanges that make qualified health plans available to individuals and employers.”

Free-market advocate Phil Kerpen, cited in “Impeachable Offenses,” called the regulations an “outrageous edict that attempts to up-end the ability of states to opt out of [Obama’s] health care law’s new entitlement.”

Kerpen called the Obama administration out for what he said was an obvious attempt to “bribe states to participate by manipulating language in the law that is meant to authorize start-up grants to instead fund years of operating expenses.”

Indeed, a July 2012 announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services offered states six full years of funding.

Was the maneuver constitutional? Article I, Section 1 states: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

Congress does not vest the power to write and rewrite laws in HHS and IRS; nor can unelected bureaucrats impose taxes on states that legitimately opted out of a federal program, Kerpen continued.

“Impeachable Offenses” further cites Adler and Cannon on how the IRS went ahead in May 2012 and finalized “a rule that will issue tax credits – and therefore will trigger cost-sharing subsidies and employer-mandate penalties – through federal Exchanges.”

They contended that the rule is not only illegal, but it also lacks any statutory authority.

  1. ‘State’s rights violated’

The 10th Amendment to the Constitution reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The Tenth Amendment Center, which was among the plaintiffs that took Obamacare to the Supreme Court, clarifies that the amendment was “written to emphasize the limited nature of the powers delegated to the federal government.”

“In delegating just specific powers to the federal government, the states and the people, with some small exceptions, were free to continue exercising their sovereign powers.”

As of February 2013, only 17 states and the District of Columbia planned to run their own exchanges, while another seven opted for state-federal exchanges. The 26 states that have chosen to opt out entirely challenged the law in the Supreme Court

In January 2010, Ken Klukowski explained that the 10th Amendment does not apply here in the way many people have thought – although it does apply in a more serious manner, “Impeachable Offenses” relates. Klukowski co-authored with former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell the 2010 book “The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency.”

Citing two cases from the 1990s, Klukowski wrote that the Supreme Court “shocked the legal world” by striking the cases down for violating the 10th Amendment.

The first case was in 1992, New York v. United States, in which “the Court struck down a federal law requiring states to pass state laws for the disposal of radioactive waste, and to issue regulations for implementing those laws.”

In the second case, Printz v. United States in 1997, the court “struck down a provision of the Brady Act – a federal gun-control law – that required state and local law enforcement to run background checks on handgun purchasers.”

From these two cases, Klukowski explained, “emerged the anti-commandeering principle, holding that the 10th Amendment forbids the federal government from commandeering – or ordering – any branch of state government to do anything. The states are sovereign and answer only to their voters, not to Washington, D.C.”

The commandeering principle is the real problem for Obamacare, write Klein and Elliott, since the law requires each state to set up an insurance exchange.

“It then requires the states to pass regulations for implementing those laws. And it further requires the states to dedicate staff and spend state money to administer those programs,” said Klukowski.

In his opinion, Obamacare is a “straight-out repeat of those 1992 and 1997 cases.”

“The main difference is that Obamacare violates the anti-commandeering principle in a far more severe and egregious way than those previous laws ever did,” Klukowski concluded.

  1. Originated in Senate?

“Impeachable Offenses” cites Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution, which states: “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.”

The Sacramento, Calif.-based Pacific Legal Foundation filed a challenge to Obamacare that contends it is unconstitutional, because the bill originated in the Senate, not the House.

The foundation claims that under the Origination Clause of the Constitution “all bills raising revenue must begin in the House.”

The tip to follow this course of action came from the Supreme Court itself. In his June 28, 2012, ruling, Chief Justice Roberts took pains in the majority opinion to define Obamacare as a federal tax, not a mandate.

The Justice Department claimed that the bill did not originate as a spending bill and therefore does not violate the Origination Clause.

The bill, which began life as House Resolution 3590, then called the Service Members Home Ownership Act, was stripped of its contents after it passed in the House in a process known as “gut and amend.” The legislation was replaced entirely with the thousands of pages of what eventually became Obamacare and given a new name.

The Obama government’s position is that while using the resolution as a “‘shell bill’ may be inelegant … it’s not unconstitutional.”

The foundation’s response, as documented in “Impeachable Offenses,” was that “it is undisputed that H.R. 3590 was not originally a bill for raising revenue. … Unlike in the prior cases [cited by the Justice Department], the Senate’s gut-and-amend procedure made H.R. 3590 for the first time into a bill for raising revenue. The precedents the government cites are therefore inapplicable.”

While the Justice Department contended that raising revenue was incidental to Obamacare’s “central purpose” – to improve the nation’s health care system – the foundation’s attorney, Timothy Sandefur, disagreed.

“What kinds of taxes are not for raising revenue?” he asked.

  1. Creating commerce

The Commerce Clause, as stated in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, grants Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce, not intrastate commerce, Klein and Elliott note.

Since the 1930s, Supreme Court decisions have interpreted the Commerce Clause broadly,” writes Ilya Somin, an associate professor of law at George Mason University School of Law and co-editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review.

“But every previous case expanding the commerce power involved some sort of ‘economic activity,’ such as operating a business or consuming a product. Failure to purchase health insurance is neither commerce nor an interstate activity. Indeed, it is the absence of commerce,” Somin added.

Georgetown University Law Center professor Randy Barnett, a former student of Harvard Law School professors Charles Fried and Laurence Tribe, “both of whom argued for the constitutionality of the [economic] mandate,” writes Klein and Elliott, has been referred to as “the ‘mastermind’ of the legal challenge” against ObamaCare.

Barnett opined in a March 2011 debate with his former teachers: “Though Congress can compel people to be drafted into the military or sit on a jury, those activities relate to, as the Supreme Court put it, the ‘supreme and noble duty’ of citizenship . . . There is no supreme and noble duty of citizens to enter into contracts with private companies.”

Barnett added that “the mandate would result in a ‘fundamental alteration in the status of American citizens.’”

Even the Congressional Budget Office weighed in, stating in January 2010: “A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”

  1. Illegal penalty?

Obamacare affixes a financial penalty on Americans who fail to purchase health insurance in order to regulate behavior – regulatory powers not granted in the Constitution, documents “Impeachable Offenses.”

Scott P. Richert commented after the Supreme Court ruling: “Congress has been given the green light to do something that even the most imaginative interpretation of the Commerce Clause would not allow: to compel the supposedly free citizens of the United States to purchase anything that Congress deems in those citizens’ best interest – or to compel them to purchase one thing rather than another.”

Richert, who is executive editor of Chronicles, the monthly magazine published by the conservative think tank the Rockford Institute, continued: “All Congress has to do is to pass legislation levying a tax on those who, say, fail to purchase smoke detectors for their homes, or who insist on purchasing a car that runs on gasoline over one that runs on electricity.”



US Capitol

By UpstateNYer – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10123402

Thursday, the House of Representatives approved a pair of immigration enforcement bills—Kate’s Law by a vote of 256-167 (with 24 Democrats crossing the aisle) and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act by a vote of 228-195. The bills, introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) and backed by the White House, seek to enhance public safety by punishing sanctuary cities and criminal aliens who re-enter the U.S. after deportation.

Kate’s Law is a narrow, straightforward bill that increases current maximum sentences for illegal reentry into the United States. However, unlike previous iterations of the bill, it does not create mandatory minimum sentences for illegal reentry, allowing judges to determine the severity of the sentence. The bill’s namesake is Kate Steinle, who was brutally murdered in San Francisco by an illegal alien with seven convictions and five deportations under his belt. Continue reading

Virginia at a Crossroads: The Common Man or Elites? – Onions or Blueberries?

Corey Stewart 2017by Craig Johnson:

The theme of this gubernatorial election should be:  “Tough times require tough men.”

Less than a year ago, we witnessed “the common man election”, as Donald J. Trump convinced voters that he was the “onion-toter” candidate who not only had the spiritual  testosterone to match the perilous times we live in, but also the willingness to unleash it on the Democrats without apology.

While Trump brought blunt toughness; the Bush, Kasich, and Rubio types brought money, endorsements, governmental experience, resumes, and glibness — or so they thought.  What the common man saw was a guy toting a set of onions against a bunch of establishmentarians who were toting a set of blueberries. While the intelligentsia will fume at such metaphors, the “everyman,” and more importantly, the “every woman” will get it.  Among Trump’s sixteen opponents, the only exception to the overly cautious “Low-Fat Republican” persona was Ted Cruz.  But, while Cruz did much better than the blueberry tart gang, even Cruz was deemed by the common man voters to be too nice and too policy-oriented to be sent off to an alley fight with the Clintons, the Democrats, and the Media. That was a year ago.

Just seven months ago we saw the “onion-toting” Trump dismantle the Clinton/Democrat/Media machine, without apology and without reservation.  Trump also declared to the establishment of both parties his intention to “drain the political swamp”.  How many of the “blueberry tart gang” would have been able to do the same?

Virginia Republicans will face a similar question at the primary polls on Tuesday.  Are the times sufficiently tough for us to nominate a tough man like Corey Stewart?  Or, will we listen to the well connected swamp monsters once again as they repeat the same old line, “If we nominate ­­­________, then we’ll scare the moderates and the snowflakes into voting against us.”  Whether it’s Ken Cuccinelli, Ollie North, Ted Cruz, Newt Gingrich, or Donald Trump, the line breaks under scrutiny because the Democrat base is always going to vote Democrat, and the moderates are mostly Democrats who want to give the appearance of intellectual superiority.  What happens is that the bland “Low-Fat Republicans” that we usually nominate do not inspire the occasional voter – most of whom live their personal lives in a conservative manner — to come out to vote for us.  And if we happen to force an open Christian, a staunch Conservative, or just an onion-toter, onto the Establishment, then the well connected, “Low-fat Republicans”, who hate the idea of limited government; try to shoot him or her down.

But, on the national scene, in spite of the best efforts of Ed Gillespie’s Low-Fat Friends, we got Trump anyway.  An onion-toting bull, who promises to break some china, drain the swap, and produce true change.  Does Virginia want that type of change?  Only Corey Stewart has been sounding the alarm against the dismal road that Virginia is on, and he represents the type of change that can redirect us off of that road and back to sanity – especially as concerns immigration, refugees, and security. Or do we think France and Britain are unique in their susceptibility to Islamic terror? Is Corey Stewart a perfect vessel? Was Donald J. Trump a perfect vessel? He was laughed at, hated, and scorned. He won anyway.

Will World Trends Come to Virginia

We see horrific executions of Christians in the Middle East; and bombings, stabbings, rapes and vehicular homicide on a mass scale in Europe.  We can read in the Quran (Sura 4–100), if we want to take our heads out of the sand, how Muslims are told in their holy book to migrate to non-Muslim lands in order to take over.  Islamic, Mid-East carnage has come to Europe and is only a matter of time before it comes here, which will make the MS-13 gang carnage look like child’s play.  We’ve already had our Fort Hood, Fort Dix, Orlando, San Bernardino, etc., etc.

What will it take to get the Baby Boomer, Grand Olde Republicans, to see that the tougher attitudes of the younger Generation X candidates is the right prescription for the dark times we are entering? What will it take for Generation X to stick together, gird up our loins, and snatch the reins of power from the Boomers.  I appeal to our elders who are in the 75 year plus Silent Generation, and the 90 year plus

G I Generation to begin to discuss this issue, no matter who wins on Tuesday.

Does Virginia want to settle for a candidate whose low spiritual testosterone will cause him to lose the fight to the Democrats in November?  Or, does Virginia want a Trump-style defender of the American creed, who represents that our rights and freedom are gifts from God – not man?  After all, isn’t  that  the main point of our Republic, and worth defending 100% of the time?  Democrats, socialists, atheists, communists, and fundamentalist Muslims want us to submit — either to the will of government, or the will of their Allah.  And, you can bet the rent money that both Northam and Perriello will be on their side and in full attack mode, regardless of who Republicans nominate. The conciliatory, nice guy Republican gets no break over the full strength Republican. So why not put away the tofu, and have yourself a steak?

November promises to be a knife fight in an alley.  Not a place for gentlemen, or for boy scouts.  So who do we send into the alley to do battle for us and our children?

Mild mannered Ed Gillespie, with his lobbyist, big money baggage (Enron, Tyson, etc., etc.).

Decent and pragmatic Senator Frank Wagner, who  is also mild mannered, and  speculated to be running to absorb a portion of the anti-Gillespie vote;  (the Eric Cantor loss taught the Establishment to never again run one on one against an insurgent).

Or since the Democrats will accuse all three of our men of hatred towards women, minorities, children, clean air, and clean water – why not send Corey Stewart to fight the barrage of lies and attacks sure to come our way?

Generational Choice

Virginia’s last six governors in a row have been Boomers.  Three from each party.  The Boomers who run the Grand Olde Party fought off the Generation X candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, last time in favor of super corrupt, Democrat Boomer, Terry McAuliffe.  Democrats will probably pick 43 year-old, Tom Perriello over the older Ralph Northam.  The Grand Old Republicans have already stated how much they oppose the 48 year-old Gen Xer, Corey Stewart, a known “knife fighter” who has won five elections in a row in the very type of demographic environment the Republican Party has claimed for years, that we need to be able to attract in order to win.

The blueberry-toting “Low-Fat Republicans” seem to think that the way to win them is to become Democrat-lite, a strategy that has never worked.  Like him or not, Corey Stewart’s strategy has always been to articulate and defend the core values of the Christian, Conservative, Constitutional, Capitalistic, Coalition.  So far, it has worked five times in a very large, very urban, very blue county.

The menu in November will be chosen on Tuesday’s  Primary election  by you, Virginia:  a Corey Stewart steak, topped with grilled onions, or one of Ed Gillespie’s world famous light and fluffy blue berry tarts.

I pray we choose with our heads, not with our hearts.

Bon Appetit! 

Craig Johnson is a news and political analyst, commentator and radio talk-show host of The REALLY, Real, Deal with Brother Craig the Hatchet Man, on Virginia’s 820AM WNTW (www.820theanswer.com).  He is also president of The First Amendment, Inc., and has appeared on many national and regional network news shows and various talk programs.  Follow Craig on Twitter @tweetbrocraig.com.  For media requests and speaker engagements contact kimberly@agencyforthearts.com.



Virginia Free Citizen Weekly Immigration Update: GOP Ignores Trump and the American Citizens

US Capitol

By UpstateNYer – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10123402

From the Federation for American Immigration Reform

  • Déjà Vu: National Interest Ignored in Government Funding Bill
  • Trump’s First 100 Days: Taking Action, Seeing Results
  • Obama Administration Leaves ICE Deportation Operations in Disarray
  • Senator Cruz Introduces Legislation to Fund Border Wall
  • Louisiana Steps Closer to Prohibiting Sanctuary Policies
  • North Carolina Legislature Advances Immigration Enforcement Legislation


Déjà Vu: National Interest Ignored in Government Funding Bill

By: Robert Law

In the early morning hours of May 1, Congressional leaders released the text of the bill to fund the government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017. Yet again, the $1.1 trillion omnibus bill—drafted behind closed doors—betrays the national interest and ignores many of President Trump’s immigration campaign promises. Continue reading