We The People…

I’ve been very busy today, and I have a sinus headache, so I don’t feel like typing. That’s okay though, because you probably don’t feel like reading. So sit back, relax, and listen.

 

Now, pass it on!

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Time For A Quiz

I was going to try and take the night off tonight to catch up on some much needed rest. I’ve been working on a project, the house is a mess, I need to get a load of firewood (which involves a lot of lifting and stacking), my sister will be arriving in town tomorrow afternoon, and I’ve had these headaches off and on for two weeks. Instead, what do I do?

I spent hours watching the Winter Olympics. Curling (my favorite), women’s downhill skiing, speed skating, the half-pipe, all of it. Then what did I do? I sat here and watched more curling online, worked a bit on my project, and took the Pew Research Quiz.

I did pretty darned good.

Now that I have reassured myself that I know what the heck is going on, I can relax and go to sleep. That is, if curling isn’t being broadcast at this very moment.

So, how did you do on the quiz?

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Conventions, Cons, Control, & Comparisons

Mute SwanToday was an incredibly busy day. I tried to catch up on a project, clean my office, find some notes, and make sure I have everything I need to cook a delicious Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.

In spite of my long to-do list, I accomplished a lot today and tomorrow looks to be another awesome day.

The photo to the left (which you can click to see my other images at Flickr) was taken in Carrollton, Georgia this past weekend. This Mute Swan made a great photo subject because it just stood there the whole time while I was about 20 feet away.

Thought #1

President George W. Bush decided not to sign an international convention banning land mines. In an effort to prove he is no George Bush, President Barack Obama has instead decided not to sign an international convention banning land mines.

The Obama administration has decided not to sign an international convention banning land mines.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Tuesday that the administration recently completed a review and decided not to change the Bush-era policy.

“We decided that our land mine policy remains in effect,” he said.

More than 150 countries have agreed to the Mine Ban Treaty’s provisions to end the production, use, stockpiling and trade in mines. Besides the United States, holdouts include: China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Russia.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, huh? Just look at those other awesome countries doing the same thing!

Thought #2

Doesn’t it seem a tad bit hypocritical when a convicted felon calls a hard-working respected governor “dangerous”?

During a Saturday broadcast, lifestyle television diva Martha Stewart panned former lawmaker Sarah Palin, calling her a “dangerous person” who Stewart “wouldn’t watch… if you paid me.”

I bet Martha would change her tune if you offered her a good stock tip instead of cash compensation.

Thought #3

In addition to health care reform and illegal immigration, it appears there may just be another battle on the horizon.

According to the American Land Rights Association, the Obama Administration and Congress are attempting to pass the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2009 (S787) that would amend the 1972 Clean Water Act and replace the words “navigable waters” with “waters of the United States.”

It’s time to research the Clean Water Act of 1972, because the phrase “waters of the United States” includes a whole lot more water than the previous statement “navigable waters”.

This section of the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2009 appears to strip water rights away from states, which is a clear violation of the Tenth Amendment which says,

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.

I’m no legal scholar, but upon first glance it appears that this new bill may violate the Constitution, which seems to be a constant theme with this administration and the powers that be in Congress.

Thought #4

Gen. Stanley McChrystal has requested 40,000 additional troops for the war in Afghanistan. Gen. McChrystal graduated from West Point in 1976 and has served his country proudly ever since. He has a long and distinguished career in military matters and has extensive experience managing troops and making decisions to get the job done.

President Barack Hussein Obama has decided to send just 34,000 troops to Afghanistan, or at least he thinks that may be his final answer. President Obama attended grade schools in Jakarta, Indonesia and high school in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1983, he graduated from Columbia University in New York with a B.A. in political science. He served as a “community organizer” and he worked as a constitutional law professor for 12 years at the University of Chicago Law School. Since becoming President he has a long and distinguished record of delaying his decisions related to military matters, ignoring his commander(s) in the field, and he has accomplished little if anything when it comes to getting the job done.

Imagine, for a moment, how different our nation would be today if their roles were reversed.

Christmas is the time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell government what they want and their kids pay for it.
Richard Lamm

We The People…

While analyzing H.R. 3200 I mentioned the clear violation of States rights as guaranteed by the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. How ironic is it that I completed my analysis of the President’s speech on health care to the Joint Session of Congress just in time for Constitution Day?

At first, I thought of writing a “traditional” Constitution Day type post where I might point out the fact that on September 17, 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the final time and signed the Constitution of the United States of America. I thought of pointing out the fact that I scored 100% in the sample naturalization test, and the Founding Father I am most like is James Madison, from Virginia, but as you know, I’m not like anybody else. The U.S. Constitution is the cornerstone of our nation’s laws and it’s important to read it, learn it, and respect it, everyday, not just on September 17th each year.

One of the biggest dangers to our Constitution is the constant stripping away of our rights by those who do so “for the common good”. Whether it’s in the name of protecting our country from terrorism, providing health care for all, or defining the rights of a child, no act, no comprehensive bill, and no U.N. Convention should be allowed to erode our rights as citizens of this great nation.

Some of our liberties slipped away with the signing of the Patriot Act and its subsequent amendments and addendums. The government wants to infringe on States rights, and more of our liberties with H.R. 3200, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, if adopted by the United States, will supersede American law and severely restrict the rights of parents in the United States.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, has some far reaching implications. Let’s review some of the more interesting (and frightening) sections of the CRC.

Article 2 states that all states parties shall “take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or family members.

This article will protect the child from punishment. Please take a moment and read it again, carefully. This article would terminate a parents right to discipline their children for any reason, regardless of the parent’s opinions or beliefs.

Article 5 says, “States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.”

Article 5 seems to contradict Article 2 by “respecting the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents”, but then we learn that this idea only applies with the “evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance”. As long as you, as a parent, are working to help your child evolve in the appropriate direction your rights will be respected.

Article 7 states that “the child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents“.

Children will have the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents. What about those children who are adopted? Yes, it’s a clear violation of the child’s rights if they are denied the right (from birth) to know and be cared for by their parents.

Things really start to get interesting with Article 13, which says,

1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.

2. The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; or

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals.

This article gives a child the right to completely disregard the authority of his or her parents when interacting with any form of information, art, or media. This right is guaranteed even if the parents deem the material unacceptable.

Article 14 protects the child’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and places strict limitations on the rights and duties of parents forcing them to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with their evolving capabilities. For example, an Episcopalian parent may be required to provide direction to their Satan worshipping child in a manner consistent with the evolving capabilities of the child’s thoughts and conscience. It’s one thing to retain a freedom of religion, it’s quite another to force a parent to help their child pursue that freedom.

Article 15 recognizes the rights of the child to “freedom of association” and “freedom of peaceful assembly“.

In other words, that demure daughter of yours will have the right to associate with anyone she wants whether you like it or not. Yes, that includes the bagboy at the supermarket with 32 piercings and the skull tattoo.

Article 16 states,

No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation

Your child will have the right to privacy and shall not be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference from anyone, including family. This means you will no longer have the right to inspect your sons room for drugs, take the pornography from under his mattress, or have the right to parental notification before that demure daughter of yours obtains an abortion because she was spending so much time with the bagboy mentioned above.

Article 19 establishes the monitoring of families to guarantee that a child’s rights have not been violated.

1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.

These are just a few of the 54 articles defined in the CRC. The CRC was adopted and opened for signature and ratification on November 20, 1989. It became enforceable on September 2, 1990. The United States has not signed nor adopted the convention, yet a federal judge in New York has already ruled that the treaty is in fact binding on the United States under the doctrine of customary international law.

Many of the articles of the CRC consist of common sense ideas and definitions, but many of them only serve to erode the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit. Parental rights is one of the fundamental rights that was left out of our U.S. Constitution and something needs to be done to prevent international treaties, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, from superseding the rights of parents in choosing what’s best for their children.

So what can we do about it? Parentalrights.org has information on the proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution called the Parental Rights Amendment.

The Parental Rights Amendment (H.J.RES.42) states,

Section 1. The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.

Section 2. Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.

Section 3. No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.

The purpose of the amendment is to guarantee parental rights and specifically prohibit international law from superseding those rights. The laws of all 50 states which pertain to children and parents would be superseded by the CRC because of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution which states,

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Unless an amendment is made to the U.S. Constitution which prevents states from being bound by international treaties, every state law regarding the rights of the child or the parent will be null and void. Virtually all law pertaining to children and their parents falls under state law. I’m still not sure I fully support the Parental Rights Amendment as it is written, but I would support any amendment to the Constitution which stated,

“No treaty made under the Authority of the United States will supersede the rights of citizens or the laws of any State.”

That’s about as simple as it can get and would be sure to pass by an overwhelming margin. Time is of the essence because America is finally at the point of adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. President Barack Obama supports the treaty, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a leading advocate of this treaty for over twenty years, and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has made it clear that it’s the intention of Congress to ratify the treaty during this term of Congress.

Are you going to step up and say something, or will you sit idly by as our rights are slowly eroded? Remember, our country was founded by “we the people” and it will grow stronger by our action or fail miserably because of our inaction.

Many people feel that nothing can be done to change the direction of our country. Those people are wrong. On September 17th, 1787, fifty-six men gathered to chart a new course for our young country. All it took was stepping up and putting forth the effort to get things done.

My Pledge

I’ve been suffering from serious “information overload” for several days now.

While my intention has been to research the two additional bills I added to my Featured Pages section, I haven’t had time to even look at them. This past week I was working on a couple big projects, helping the wife plan a birthday party for the now 10 year old, and following up on questions I’ve had about the current administration.

I have a lot I want to write about, but it’s all getting stuck somewhere between the frontal lobe and the pointer finger, so you’ll have to excuse me for one more night. I do, however, want to talk about a video I saw this evening.

I heard about this new “Pledge” video so I decided to sit down and watch it. To say I was shocked is a complete understatement. Forget the “big brother” tone at the beginning or the creepy “Together we will be the change that we seek” mantra at the end, it’s the content of the video that floored me.

Take a look, then I will explain.

They pledged to help children dream big, and to represent their country with pride, dignity, and honesty. They pledged to turn their lights off, to sell their obnoxious cars, and to drive slower to save more gas.

Yet none of them pledged allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

They pledged to buy hybrids, to save the environment, and to consume less and cultivate more. They pledged to smile more, to laugh more, and to love more. They pledged to fight, to become aware, and to educate.

Yet none of them mentioned a word about the Republic for which it stands.

They pledged to not give up, to defend issues they care about, and to be of service to their neighbors. They pledged to commit to their own change before they ask anyone else to change and they pledged to actually “be the change”.

Yet no one thought to mention God or liberty.

They pledged to sell a culture of intelligence instead of ignorance, and one even pledged only to flush his toilet after a “deuce” but never after a single. They pledged to end 21st century slavery, but then turned around in the same breath and pledged to be servants of Barack Obama.

Where’s the justice in that?

They end their pledge by asking “What’s your pledge? Do you have a pledge?” Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do have a pledge.

Unlike their pledge, I do not pledge to “be the change”. I love my country and I love it’s founding principles. I respect the Constitution and believe it’s the cornerstone of our society. I do not pledge my allegiance to any one man, one cause, or one idea. I pledge allegiance to my country.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

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Make Mine Freedom

After reading through 1,018 pages of utter nonsense that could end up ruining our ountry, I’m taking an evening off from posting to relax, re-group, and prepare for the upcoming battle on Capitol Hill.

While I take the night to relax, you should watch this cartoon title, “Make MIne Freedom” from 1948, which is actually very fitting, especially with what we’re facing today.