Calexit?

The secession movement in California seems to be gathering momentum. It might be funny, all these granola types (nuts and flakes) on the Left Coast having a whiny tantrum over the election of President Trump. But, some Californians seem to be serious about this.

I’ve read many arguments against secession. For me, they come down to what has become “received opinion.” As in, all the right people agree, so it must be true that secession is illegal, against the Constitution. The least convincing is the oft-repeated mantra that the Civil War decided this question once and forever.

All the Civil War truly decided was that the Confederate States were defeated in war. That they had seceded and failed to prevail on the battlefield did not change the legal argument.

As fun as it would be to contemplate, California should not secede Bad for the remaining United States; worse for what would quickly become an impoverished socialist state.

Lastly, our Declaration of Independence states “That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States…” Did this only apply to the original 13 colonies? Or, by logical extension, to all the other 37 states added since the Revolution? And, bigger question, are the words in the Declaration binding? If these are not, what other words may be considered as non-binding?

Hard questions, hard times.

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Democracy uber alles

As I write this, the Electors who comprise the Electoral College are casting the only votes that will actually be counted to choose the next president.  If history is any judge, there is a certain outcome:  Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States come next January 20th.

Their votes will, despite all the sturm und drang exhibited by Democrat crybabies, demonstrate that Trump won in the state-by-state popular vote, for a total of 306 electoral votes.  Hillary Clinton won 232.  What is needed for election by the Electors?  A simple majority of the total, or 270.  That’s all.  That’s the way it’s been since our founding.  It’s worked out fairly well, so far.

But wait, say the losers:  Trump lost the popular vote (add as many exclamation marks as you can stand here).  By almost three million votes.  She should be president (sob, sob, pass the tissues and the therapy dogs).

Well, don’t you worry, little snowflakes.  Help may be on the way.  In the form of something called the National Popular Vote.  Sounds fair, to use a favorite liberal misdirection.   The premise is simple.  From the NPV website:

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

So, what’s the catch?  Just this:  all voters who voted for the candidate who loses the national popular vote would be disenfranchised.  This year, all those voters in all those pesky fly-over states, even though they voted by large majorities for Trump would see their votes nullified.

The nation over the states may sound great.  Until it’s your vote that’s been negated.  Aside from hurt feelings, what is trampled in the dirt is the entire notion, enshrined in our Constitution,  that the United States is a federal republic comprised of individual, sovereign states.   Our way of voting for president is laid out, clear as a bell, for all to read and know, in Article II of the Constitution.

The National Popular Vote initiative, regardless of how many “progressives” yell and holler, will ultimately fail.  Why?  Because the first time it is used, it would be challenged in court as violating the voting rights of all those whose vote was changed by their states’ Electors.  There would be quite a few million of them.  And they will be very unhappy campers.

In theory, such a challenge could survive by the “faithless” Electors claiming that each state that signed up for this undemocratic method had used “due process” of law to deprive its citizens of their votes.

Great theory.  In practice?  Hell hath no fury like a few million disenfranchised citizens, majorities in their respective states.  So, those who insist that we have a pure democracy, good luck with the project.

Better yet, you’ve no need to wait  Why not move to a socialist paradise like Cuba or Venezuela.  They hold elections where El Lider Maximo gets at least 90 percent of the votes.  Ahh, pure democracy in action.

 

Thought Crime

Dylann Roof has been convicted of 33 hate crimes.  From the Washington Post:

After nearly a week of painful testimony that vividly re-created the massacre at this city’s famed Mother Emanuel church, it took jurors about two hours Thursday to convict Dylann Roof in his federal hate crimes trial.

Oh, and yes, Roof’s hate crimes were first degree, cold-blooded murder.  But the Federal Department of Justice just had to get it’s paws on a certified white racist who took his racism to the extreme.  33 hate crimes.  Wow.

Look, make no mistake.  Dylann Roof is a monster, a murderer, and should be put down like the mad dog he is.  But not for what he might have thought about his victims.

My problem with “hate crime” is that the term is merely another way of saying “thought crime.”

In today’s world, there are many instances of what Orwell labeled “thoughtcrime,” considered (per Google) “an instance of unorthodox or controversial thinking, considered as a criminal offense or as socially unacceptable.” The obvious problem is, once we embark on punishing “hate crimes” differently than crimes, at what point do we stop?  Slippery slope, seems to me.

Yes, many of us imperfect humans harbor hateful thoughts about members of certain groups. But do we not have the right to think what we may?

If thoughts become actions, and those actions are crimes, yes, by all means, bring the offenders to justice. Dylann Roof’s crimes have for certain earned him the death penalty. Should he be tortured first before he is killed if he is also convicted of a “hate crime?” Can’t kill him twice, you know.

Let the punishment for the crime not be harsher for one who has bad thoughts about his victim. To have different scales of justice for those who harbor hateful thoughts would seem to violate both our freedom of speech and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

 

Stand by for polygamy

The Supreme Court has just ruled that so-called “gay marriage” is an actual marriage. The decision, by the now-standard 5-4 split, may be found here. The core of the decision is this:

The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage
between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage
between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully
licensed and performed out-of-State.

The basis for this meddling is the ever-troublesome Fourteenth Amendment. Enacted in large measure to punish the South for its rebellion, and in part to ensure that newly freed slaves were not disenfranchised, it’s been the basis for, among other things, birthright citizenship and legalized abortion.

The former results in people entering our nation illegally, having a child while they are here illegally, and then claiming they should be considered to be legal immigrants simply because they now have a close relative who is (technically) a citizen.

The latter has resulted in the killing of many millions of otherwise viable children in utero.

Let’s just say that this Amendment was a bad one from the start, and ought to have been repealed many years ago (say after the last surviving Confederate soldier died, since the driving purpose of the Amendment was to punish those pesky Rebels).

I’ve no idea how many gay people will now go out and get “married.” Estimates of what percentage of the population is gay vary, and to judge from the barrage of pro-gay sludge on television most people might think that, in the words of the Nirvana song, “everyone is gay,” but reality is that it’s not that many. The WaPo reported last year:

 The National Health Interview Survey, which is the government’s premier tool for annually assessing Americans’ health and behaviors, found that 1.6 percent of adults self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent consider themselves bisexual.

All things considered, those who might actually get “married” will be a small number relative to our married population. So, I say, they want to get “married,” fine. Just don’t force me to believe that any Bible-believing Christian would perform the ceremony in good conscience.

But here’s something to think about: if marriage between two males or two females is acceptable, why not a “marriage” among three or more adults? Hey Mormons and Muslims: bring on your polygamy. There are no rules here!

The Fourteenth Amendment, after all, requires that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws.” At least it doesn’t require us to honor a marriage between a guy and his pet goat. Yet.

“unelected group of people”

The president is up in arms because the Supreme Court might find that all or parts of his signature “accomplishment” of ObamaCare is unconstitutional. As reported by Fox News:

The president, adopting what he described as the language of conservatives who fret about judicial activism, questioned how an “unelected group of people” could overturn a law approved by Congress.

“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” Obama said.

This is the guy who is described as a “constitutional law professor?”

Civics 101: Article III of the Constitution states

The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States… (emphasis added)

In simple English, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court includes any law enacted by Congress and signed by the president.

Checks and balances, sir. That ObamaCare was passed by a “strong majority” is not relevant. Congress has done some unconstitutional things in the past. And that’s the only issue: is the bill as passed and signed into law constitutional?

But it’s fun to talk about this bastard bill’s pedigree. Besides being a strictly partisan bill, the health care monstrosity was rammed through using bribes (e.g. the Cornhusker Kickback) and was passed in the dark. If memory serves, it still barely passed the House by seven votes. All Democrats. No Republicans. Not exactly a “strong majority,” I’d say.

Further, it’s not likely that many if any members actually read it. Who can forget Nancy with the smiling face grinning out “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it…”

What Obama is doing is reprehensible. He’s putting his political future ahead of the Constitution, attempting to turn the people against the Supreme Court. There’s a reason justices are appointed for life, and are not subject to the whims of political furor. As a reminder to all who may have flunked constitutional law if taught by professor Obama, the Judiciary is a co-equal branch of government. Not subservient to the Executive or Legislative Branches.

Sorry, Obama, you were elected our president, a temp job at best. Not our king. The Supreme Court exists exactly as a counterweight to anyone who appears to think as you do.

Constitutional right?

I was discussing the health care nastiness with a foreign-born and raised man, and he brought home the essential question: do Americans have a constitutional right to health care?

This man is a doctor, smart, and at the top of his profession. But he is has a European take on rights. Which is to say he expects government to tell citizens how to live their lives. And that is what the Democrats are trying to do with health care.

There are obvious inequities and problems with our health care system. But it is the mindset of Obama and his lefty minions in Congress that is the central problem. They look at health care as just another piece of the social welfare puzzle, with government experts as the answer to every question.

This is a fundamentally unamerican view. We are citizens of a free republic, and our Constitution grants explicit rights to government. Rights not enumerated therein are not given to government; they are reserved to the people. There is nothing in the Constitution that even remotely allows government to dictate that I pay for your health care. Or you pay for mine.

Which is exactly what government-run health care is about: taxing us to pay for others.

There is a moral case to be made for universal health care. That case just doesn’t happen to be consistent with our Constitution.

D.C. still is not a state

“I don’t think members are in the least bit affected in their votes on the question of its constitutionality. People vote their politics in the House and in the Senate.”

— E.H. Norton, nonvoting representative from the District of Columbia on the subject of a voting representative in the House for DC.

This is the quality of the woman that D.C. would send to Congress as its voting representative: someone who would take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Someone who would be lying when repeating that oath, if she actually believed what she is quoted as having said (via an Outlook piece in the WaPo).

But the real issue is not the quality of those whom D.C., or any jurisdiction, would send to Washington to represent its interests.

No, friends. The issue is simple: Washington, D.C. is not a state. Repeat, slowly, moving your lips if need be: Washington. D. C. Is. Not. A. State. Oh, but we want so very much to have a voting representative; surely that must make it ok? Only if one ignores Section 2, Clause 1 of that pesky Constitution:

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Now, the whiners will claim, there’s another part of the Constitution that allows Congress to do pretty much as it pleases with the District of Columbia. Yes, to a point. The Constitution’s District Clause, in Article I, Section 8, declares the District of Columbia to be subject directly to the federal legislature:

The Congress shall have power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States ….

So, the Constitution-ignorant such as Holmes may say, can’t Congress simply exercise its power and grant us a voting representative? How about a couple of senators while they’re at it? Maybe three?

No. Congress may think itself above all things, including the Constitution. It is not. Anyone who thinks so must ask themselves: if Congress can, in essence, overturn part of the Constitution (Section 2, Clause 1), why stop there? How about the Bill of Rights? Don’t really need those; only liberals should be given the right to political speech. How about Amendment XIII abolishing slavery? Why shouldn’t slavery be made legal again in the District of Columbia?

You get the picture: the Constitution is not something subject to the political whims of the Congress. It has its own amendment mechanics, blessedly slow and difficult, that require a large majority of the states to agree. That’s democracy in action, friends. Not the bleatings of political hacks such as Norton who want to trample on our highest law in order to gain partisan advantage.

And, shame on any Republicans who support her in their misbegotten “fairness” that would provide a politically offsetting addition for Utah. They’re no better than she is in their trashing of the Constitution.