UTOPIA OR THE CONSTITUTION
“Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.” — Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1
In 1516 Sir Thomas Moore (better known to Catholics as Saint Thomas Moore – 1470-1535) published his famous book “Utopia”. More opposed the Protestant Reformation, in particular the theology of Martin Luther and William Tyndale. He also wrote Utopia about the political system of an imaginary ideal island nation. More opposed the King's separation from the Catholic Church, refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as Supreme Head of the Church of England and the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. After refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, he was convicted of treason and beheaded.
Pope Pius XI canonized Moore in 1935 as a martyr. Pope John Paul II in 2000 declared him the "heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians." Since 1980, the Church of England has remembered Moore liturgically as a Reformation martyr. The Soviet Union honored him for the Communistic attitude toward property rights expressed in Utopia – yes Moore’s political philosophies were coincident with Karl Mark’s Communist Manifesto.
Utopia is a book describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean where the people lived in a Utopian society. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt to create an ideal society, and fictional societies portrayed in literature. Moore described Utopia as being a place where masterminds made all of the decisions and where the old and infirm were urged to commit suicide as their lives no longer had a value to the community and were a drain on the community’s resources. The masterminds also allowed a limited number of children in order to control the population so they could maintain the quality of life on the island. Moore was probably the first figure to promote the idea of eugenics – a policy that would make a more perfect society. We all know where this philosophy took us. (See my blog on this subject by clicking here)
Around 125 years ago John Dewey's and Frank Goodnow's philosophies of social reform began to influence educators. John Hopkins University became the center of their social reform movement. They believed that lack of the proper education, poverty, and health care could be improved by government intervention. One of their disciples was Woodrow Wilson who earned a PhD in political science at Johns Hopkins University, and served as a professor and scholar at various institutions before being chosen as President of Princeton University, a position he held from 1902 to 1910. Wilson believed in socialism and can be considered the father of the administrative state. He and his fellow progressives believed that the people of this nation would be better served by masterminds and administrators rather the than precepts of our Founders and the Constitution. In fact he believed that the Constitution was outdated in the modern world of industrial growth, dense urbanization, and massive immigration. And the Declaration of Independence was no long valid in our lives.
In August 22, 1887 essay on Socialism and Democracy where he rejects natural rights Wilson stated:
“State socialism’ is willing to act through state authority as it is at present organized. It proposes that all idea of a limitation of public authority by individual rights be put out of view, and that the State consider itself bound to stop only at what is unwise or futile in its universal superintendence alike of individual and of public interests. The thesis of the state socialist is, that no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the State may not cross at will; that omnipotence of legislation is the first postulate of all just political theory.
Applied in a democratic state, such doctrine sounds radical, but not revolutionary. It is only a acceptance of the extremest logical conclusions deducible from democratic principles long ago received as respectable. For it is very clear that in fundamental theory socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the same. They both rest at bottom upon the absolute right of the community to determine its own destiny and that of its members. Men as communities are supreme over men as individuals. Limits of wisdom and convenience to the public control there may be: limits of principle there are, upon strict analysis, none.”
Wilson is also considered as the Father of the 16th Amendment, a Constitutional Amendment that affects all Americans on April 15th.
For a time, some of the "progressive" reforms made sense to check monopolies and other forms of unethical behavior within the private enterprise system. However, in the last sixty years, an ever-growing effort has evolved, bringing the nation closer again to governance by a crushing central government mandating a collectivist egalitarian model of wealth redistribution not unlike that which failed for the early Pilgrims.
James Madison stated in Federalist Paper No.47:
“No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty than that on which the objection is founded. The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny”
Madison was talking about the power of the legislative, executive, and judiciary. This is the reason he advocated a “Compound Republic” where these powers would have checks and balances.
Madison further stated in Federalist Paper No.62 regarding the legislative process:
“The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessings of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known and less fixed?”
It was the intent of our Founders that each of the three branches would govern with the consent of the other. What Madison and our Founders feared was the development of a fourth branch of government; the Administrative Branch.
Today we live in Wilson’s administrative state. This administrative state has grown and grown throughout the ensuing years. We have volumes of rules and regulations that not only control our lives buy violate almost every one of the conditions expressed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
Now we are entering another round of attacks on the Second Amendment. The masterminds of the Administrative State (which I call “Statists”) believe that Moore’s Utopia is possible if they are given enough money and enough power. They see no use in responsible, law abiding citizens possessing firearms, including AR-15. They call them military assault rifles with no hesitation in order to gin up their base of like minded Utopians. They believe that all we be peace and harmony if all private ownership of firearms is done away with. This certainly was not the wish of our Founders. They believed firearm ownership was necessary to prevent a tyrannical government from taking power away from the people. They also believed that every citizen had a right to self-defense.
Restricting access to guns is a bad idea, as firearms put the good guys on equal footing with the bad ones. Nost people behave like sheep because they deny the existence of evil and as a result can’t protect themselves. The police and military serve as sheep dogs to protect the sheep from the wolves, but they cannot always be there when you need them. A few weeks ago I had a conversation with Riverside County Deputy Sheriff and he informed me that the quickest they could respond to a 9-11 call from my house would be between 7 and 15 minutes depending on the time of day and traffic conditions.
Your self-defense and the defense of your family is your responsibility. Just think what might have happened in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub had 7 or 8 patrons had been legally armed and trained in the se of that firearm. I would venture to say that once Omar Mateen fired his first shots he would had 7-8 bullets in him. As he was not wearing body armor those bullets would have been fatal.
After a tense 15-hour standoff, Democrat hostage takers relinquished control of the Senate late the other night. Their demand: Gun control, and lots of it. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), at the forefront of pushing for gun control ever since Sandy Hook in 2012, led the filibuster. He succeeded in extracting a small concession from Republicans: They will allow votes on two measures — so-called “universal background checks” and banning anyone on the terror watch list from owning a firearm. Neither, of course, would have stopped Omar Mateen, but that’s not the point. And neither bill is likely to pass the Republican Senate.
A couple of points about the two proposals. First, there are already essentially universal background checks, but the question boils down to the information included in a check. Who defines what prevents someone from legally buying a firearm? And how accurate is the input to the system? Second, there isn’t just one terror watch list, and the lists that exist are based on secret evidence not up for judicial review. So people like the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes wrongly end up on a list with little recourse for getting off. Denying basic constitutional rights without due process is not a solution — unless you’re a statist hell bent on undermining the Second and Fourth Amendments.
Finally, it’s not a gun problem. If ‘gun control’ were the solution, then there would be no terrorism in Western Europe — and (thus far), the European attacks have had far more casualties. Furthermore, the Orlando attack took place in a ‘gun free’ zone — apparently, the bloodthirsty assailant didn’t pay attention to the sign.
Mateen was the subject of two extensive FBI investigations based on his Islamist connections and his assertions of allegiance to radical Islam. The first investigation began in May of 2013 and lasted 10 months, and the second was launched three months after the conclusion of the first, and lasted four months.
On further review, according to FBI Director James Comey, Mateen had made “statements that were inflammatory and contradictory.” Comey said, “First, he claimed family connections to al Qaeda. He also said that he was a member of Hezbollah, which is a Shia terrorist organization and a bitter enemy of the Islamic State, or ISIL. He said that he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so he could martyr himself. When this was reported to us, the FBI’s Miami office opened a preliminary investigation.”
Some of his co-workers expressed concern that if they reported him, they would be viewed as insensitive to Islam and might, themselves, become subject to discrimination charges. After all didn’t Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch make the comment? “The Justice Department is prepared to take “aggressive action” against people employing anti-Muslim rhetoric that “edges towards violence.” Of course her comments expressed a totally illegal action, but masterminds aren’t deterred by law – they make their own law.
To be clear, the fact that Mateen was not arrested prior to this incident isn’t so much about an FBI failure as it is about Barack Obama’s blinding Islamophobia. This is clearly reflected in his administration’s policies, which set the bar so high for prosecuting Islamists that the FBI took no further action.
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said this week, “We’ve got three examples now of folks on the radar — Major Nidal Hasan, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and now Omar Mateen — who were on our radar, who were looked at, are then dismissed.”
Notably, this hypersensitivity toward Muslims is similar to that harbored by Bill Clinton. In 1999, his administration denied a request by an FBI agent to open a case file on Saudi nationals who were taking flight lessons. The agent was informed by a flight training supervisor that he thought it curious the Saudis were learning to fly heavy commercial aircraft, but showed no interest in mastering takeoffs or landings. Twenty months later, it would become tragically apparent why.
As for the assertion that because Mateen was not directly involved with a terrorist network, he is a “lone wolf” or “self-radicalized,” that is grossly misleading. Each of the thousands of Islamist terrorist acts worldwide is unified by their allegiance to Islam.
In essence Mateen had more red flags than a Chinese May Day parade. The justice department is more interested in enforcing transgender bathrooms and pro-life groups than in identifying possible radical Islamic terrorists.
But as we all know or should know, according to the masterminds that the real problem is guns. In Illinois, as State like California that has the toughest gun laws in the nation, that in Chicago over this past Memorial Day weekend 67 people were killed by guns. Most of, if not all, these guns were illegally obtained and were in the hands of Black and Hispanic gang-bangers. Not only were other gang-bangers shot but innocent people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are areas of almost every large urban area in the United States where the gang-bangers with illegal guns rule.
It is so bad in Detroit, (once the most prosperous city in the United States) that the chief of police urged responsible, law-abiding citizens to arm themselves as the police (the sheepdogs) did not have enough resources to protect them from the wolves.
Similarly Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. released a statement asking residents to purchase and learn to use firearms so they can defend themselves, since cutbacks and layoffs have greatly diminished his department’s ability to respond to 911 calls in a timely manner, My own county Sheriff Stan Sniff feels the same way.
In conclusion as a responsible, law abiding citizen of the United States you have a Constitutional right to arm yourself. Whether you carry you firearm concealed or just use it for home defense is your choice but you should do one or the other. If you are attacked you will not get a chance for a do over. If you are ever fearful of a firearm then get some reliable pepper gel and a strong tactical flashlight as they may help and have no legal or civil consequences. Don’t become a victim just because the masterminds of the administrative state think utopia is possible.