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The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.

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Kevlar @kevlar

@twocents

The Blaze.com video was excellent. It was a video of Glenn Beck on the Nevada thing. I have tapered off from watching Glenn Beck over the past couple years for two reasons. One is that he is usually right and he goes into parts of a subject that when you realize he is probably right it will scare the hell out of you.

The other reason is that sometimes he will go to great length to explain his point (perhaps this is where I learned). This is usually a good thing and it is essential if there is some misunderstanding of the issue. However, I usually agree and understand the point when he makes it with the clarity he normally uses so when he takes the next fifteen minutes to explain the point it is easy for me to turn the channel. Case in point, this video is over fourteen minutes long and he makes his point, using appropriate clarity, in the first five and a half minutes. Then he uses the remaining nine minutes (roughly) to explain his point. Like me, I think he does this because he assumes some of his audience will probably not be as informed as him.

I strongly encourage everyone here to watch that video, at least the first five and a half minutes (the rest at your discretion). I believe Beck starts to make the case where Bundy is absolutely right in his cause (although not right in his methods).

http://www.video.theblaze.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=32078049&topic_id=24584158

But first some comments on the original post:

I agree that there is a disconnect between supporters of Clive Bundy and what he is actually fighting for. I fear that if you ask most of his supporters (beyond his very close supporters who really do know), what it is they are supporting by supporting Bundy, they will either not have a clue or they will not be able to speak of anything that will point to the one and ONLY way Bundy can win. Most people don’t have a clue why Bundy is right because most people are not even remotely aware of their rights.

The Constitution is the “supreme law of the land.” That is made very clear in Article VI of the Constitution, which goes on to say “and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof… shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby.”

What that clause in Article VI means, and I don’t think many Americans properly understand this and certainly our politicians don’t understand or intentionally ignore, is that as it says the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and that those laws made in accordance with the supreme law are also themselves part of that supreme law. This also means that a law NOT made in accordance with the supreme law is not a law.

This isn’t talking about “how a bill becomes a law” in that one house introduces a bill, passes it, and then the other house chews on it for a while and sends their objections back to the initiating House where it is again debated and eventually both Houses agree and it is sent to the president for signature. No, you can pass a law through that process that forces all toilet paper to be made out of razor blades and we certainly do not want that, meaning that just because it went through that process doesn’t mean it is a good law.

When the Constitution talks about a law that is “made in pursuance thereof” it means any and all laws that are made that have their authority inside the Constitution itself. In other words the law CANNOT conflict at all with the Constitution. If the law does conflict with the Constitution then it is NOT a law (see Obamacare for a very recent example).

To be sure, the founders knew that the constitution as written in-the-day might someday be “out-dated” in one clause or another. To remedy this they included a procedure to “change” or “amend” (amend being the preferred word) the constitution to keep it applicable with modern times. To wit, the American people have taken advantage of this twenty seven times.

The founders also specifically DID NOT WANT the judicial system, to include the judges on the United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, to be able to change or alter in any manner the Constitution of the United States.

The Supreme Court Judges are NOT elected, they are appointed. Furthermore, once appointed they enjoy lifetime tenure on the bench. THIS MEANS THE SUPREME COURT IS NOT ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE. They are accountable ONLY to the constitution and nothing more (yet unfortunately they are not always true to even that). This is why ALL laws by necessity must be debated in congress (both houses) because the legislators ARE elected by the people and as such they ARE ACCOUNTABLE to the people. This is commonly known as representation.

Let me take this point one more step and then get back to Bundy. Because the judges on the Supreme Court are NOT accountable to the people they CANNOT alter the meaning of an unconstitutional law in an effort to make it constitutional (no matter how sincere the effort might be). If the court strikes down a law as unconstitutional, and only a minor one word change is necessary in order to “save” the law, the Supreme Court does NOT have the authority to do so and it MUST be returned to congress who is accountable to the people, for re-write. Yes, even for a one word change such as changing the word “PENALTY” to the word “TAX”.

Long story short, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and all laws made in pursuance thereof are also supreme laws of the land – and all laws NOT made in pursuance thereof ARE NOT LAWS (also known as unconstitutional laws). This is the basis for Clive Bundy’s case.

Incidentally, for those who might be considering “how dare the founders consider their document, the Constitution, to be SUPREME” (as in above all) please consider for a moment that they DO NOT do this. What do I mean? First of all they declared that the Constitution is the supreme law of the LAND (or country, or nation if you prefer) but they DID NOT declare it to be the supreme law of man. Those who don’t believe won’t care but those who believe in God will care about this.

What really drives this point home is the Declaration of Independence, which came before the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence is the “why” of our country – explaining why we became a nation, and the Constitution is the “how” of our country – explaining how we as a nation are to be constructed and how, if a person chooses to be a member or citizen, that person will act and be treated by said nation. It should be noted that everyone is free to leave as they wish if this is too harsh by their standards.

The Declaration of Independence again states the “why” of the existence of this nation. In simple terms that reason is clearly stated in the very beginning and it is re-stated here for your reading pleasure. Every true American should know these words by heart, or at least know their meaning. The founders recognized God as being the Supreme Power and Supreme law of man and as such they placed everything they did as being subordinate to that. Sadly, today this system has been so abused by politicians and citizens who did not care what their politicians were doing, that for many it seems that this peaceful subordination of government to the people who are in turn subordinate to their creator, no longer exists. To the true patriot and constitutionalist it still does.

The founders also saw that not everyone in this world held the same belief in those God-given rights and would actively seek to take from the individual those rights that were given him by God. Point being that the ONLY purpose, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, for the existence of this country is to have those freedoms and the ONLY reason for the existence of the federal government of this country is to secure and protect those God-given rights from men who want to take them from us. For clarity, here are the words from the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

That phrase makes it clear beyond doubt that our founders were NOT placing the Constitution, or even this country, above God. In fact they were acknowledging the fact that this country is created in order that its citizens could enjoy those rights given to us by God.

The Declaration of Independence goes on to say: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” This means that the entire reason, the ONLY reason for the United States (or federal) government to exist is to defend those God-given rights. This also means that there is no other reason for the existence of the federal government.

It should be noted that this single responsibility by no means infers that it is unimportant or to be taken lightly. To the contrary, the protection of our rights and freedoms is the single most important thing that we as a country have power over; and that power then creates a huge responsibility, a responsibility so huge in fact that it warrants a government with that single purpose.

So how does this provide a solid defense for Clive Bundy? I am not sure it at all provides a defense for his actions in defying the federal government. But what it does do is it gives him a solid defense once he gets into court.

The defense is both clear and short, thankfully because this post is getting lengthy. The constitution specifically spells out the powers of the federal government. These are the enumerated powers and by definition, if the power is not given to the federal government by the constitution then it is DENEID to the federal government. In other words and with very few and minor exceptions, if the federal government is not specifically empowered to do something then it is specifically PROHIBITED from doing it.

The Tenth Amendment makes this very clear when it states: “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.” Again, this is what DENIES to the federal government all those powers that are not specifically given to the federal government.

One of the enumerated powers is as follows: “The congress shall have the 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, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings…”

Other than the enumerated power that states that congress has the power “To establish post offices and post roads…” no other enumerated power discusses a physical asset but instead discusses something intangible, such as the power to “coin” money, or “Provide” for the Punishment, or “constitute” tribunals, or “define” and punish, and the list goes on but they are intangible in that the granting of a power to make rules or laws is not a tangible thing. The closest the constitution gets to giving a tangible asset to the government is the post office, which is arguably an asset, and the jurisdiction of the above-mentioned land (land being an asset).

How does this apply to Clive Bundy? Unless the land in question (that land upon which his cows are grazing) is Washington D.C., or some type of military installation or ground upon which a federal building sits such as a federal courthouse or even a local office of the FBI, that land CANNOT be owned by the federal government. Ownership of that land by the federal government is a direct violation of the Constitution of the United States.

The federal government (specifically congress) does have authority over territories of the United States and this is being used to counter the claim of Clive Bundy. The federal government declares that the land came from Mexico in a treaty that was executed BEFORE Nevada became a state and as such that land belongs to the federal government. Bundy will (hopefully) argue that indeed when that was a territory that the federal government did own the land. Hopefully he will further argue that due to the extremely narrow definition of the type of land the federal government can own (and the land in question does not meet that narrow criteria), the federal government was required by the Constitution of the United States (recall this is the supreme law of the land) to then give that land (as in title and jurisdiction) to the State of Nevada.

It is my contention that Bundy has a very solid case here. Sadly I must admit that he is going to fight a very fierce battle from the government though. It isn’t only that the government has all the money in the world to fight this (they have a printing press so they can make more) but they will argue that they have “precedent” for the claimed federal ownership. In fact they do have “precedent” but if that “precedent” is wrong then it would be wrong for the federal government to support an unconstitutional position with an unconstitutional “precedent.”

Clive Bundy has taken on a monumental task and it could and will likely cost him his ranch. He has the Constitution behind him and ALL judges are bound by sworn oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution. Many judges are crooked though and this is bad. However, even if all judges stick solidly with the constitution and ultimately rule that Bundy is in the right, the costs of attorney fees will probably bankrupt him and cost him his ranch.

Clive Bundy should win this, but even if he received free (and competent) legal representation that would keep him from bankruptcy, he will probably lose because if he wins he will have stopped the future unconstitutional growth of the federal government and will at the same time started a movement to reduce the current size of government. Many of those in government today will fight him with all their power because a reduction in the size of government (especially of the size we are talking here) will mean the loss of many government employees and politicians.

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Two Cents @twocents

@Kevlar I am glad you enjoyed the video from Mr. Glenn Beck. I am a regular viewer of his program and I have to agree with your assessment that he goes into great detail to explain the points he makes in his monologues. I feel that this kind of reporting is very important for today’s society. Especially for young people who in my opinion are not educated about history and the complexity of modern issues. I think most news and media simply reports the news and doesn’t give people the full picture, so if they dont know the full picture and historical context its very easy to persuade them to think one way or the other. It doesnt give them the ability to think critically. Mr. Beck puts things in context so we can think critically.

Regarding your comments about the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. I appreciate you taking the time to explain all of that because as you can see I didn’t make that point in my initial argument. I have been trying to understand Mr Bundy’s constitutional argument that the land is not rightfully Federal land and its been hard to find a well thought out argument such as yours.

I also wanted to comment about your description of how the founding fathers did not claim that the constitution was the supreme law of the land, they claimed that God is. You used this line from the Declaration of Independence to make your point ““We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” You also said that those who do not believe in God might not agree or care.

I have something to say to those who do not believe in God: You dont need to believe in God in order to agree that there are certain rights such as Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are rights that all human beings should enjoy. Whether its God, some higher power, the forces of the Universe, or just simply your moral compass, I think we should all agree that those rights are essential for a free society. I’m assuming unless you are some sort of fascist or murderer you would agree we should all enjoy.

Some of the founding fathers were in fact atheists, and they didn’t seem to mind putting God in many places in our founding documents, so stop being so sensetive to the term God and just accept that the content of what they were saying is what matters and not whether the word God was used to make the point. I am not religious what so ever and I could care less that it says God because I agree with the statement overall. End rant.

Regarding the end of your comments about the constitutionality of and Cliven Bundy’s specific case I find it very interesting. I think people should be more educated about the specific uses of land the federal government is authorized by the constitution. I think today, most people think the federal government can use the land for whatever they want.

What is your opinion of the right of the federal government to auction off federally owned lands to private groups?

Also, what is your opinion on this executive order from President George W. Bush that states the government can seize land for Public utilities uses. http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2006/06/20060623-10.html

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Kevlar @kevlar

@twocents

Two Cents:

I think you misread what I wrote about “supreme law.” Actually the founders did in fact mean that the Constitution and all laws made subsequent to it were the “supreme laws of the land.” In fact that is why they said it with clarity and it is also why I quoted them from Article VI.

Ironically Glenn Beck goes that extra mile to explain things and you, Two Cents, are a perfect and timely example of why he and I do that, specifically because if you don’t beat it into the ground somebody will misinterpret what you said. This is not a personal attack, it is just to illustrate that you did a superb job of illustrating both mine and Beck’s point of the need for detailed explanations.

Again, I think Beck is worth listening to. I don’t usually listen to him because I more often than not tend to agree with him at the beginning and since I usually understand the point when he makes it, I am not always interested in sitting there for 20 minutes while he explains what I already know. His method though is valid and I use it all the time as you might have noticed from the length of my posts. Try listening to Wilkow; he is very good. He is also a close friend and colleague of Beck.

What I went out of my way to explain but apparently I didn’t go quite far enough out of my way was the difference between the supreme law of the “land” and the supreme law of “man.” I intentionally went out of my way to explain this because although there is only a difference of seven letters there is one very big difference in meaning. I went on to say and maybe I should have also stated that this was my opinion, that the difference would probably not matter to a non-believer (in God) and you very eloquently put that example into words for me, thanks for the help.

However, to someone who believes in God, or as you put it “some higher power” the notion by some that man, in this case the founders, might believe what they wrote to be above God would be blasphemous to say the least. By their intentional selection of the word “land” instead of the word “man” (in reference to the “supreme law”) they were acknowledging that they were subordinating everything they did to God. They went out of their way to be clear about that and I went out of my way to be clear about it as well. If you want to take offense to that clarity I suggest you dig up the founding fathers and take out your frustrations on them instead of me for just repeating their steps.

When I said: “Those who don’t believe won’t care but those who believe in God will care about this” I was not referring to the idea that non-believers don’t care about their freedoms, I was referring to the subordination of the laws of the “land” to the laws of “man.” Man, because of authority given him by God has authority over the “land” which can arguably be extended to the concept of “nation” but only God has authority over “man” and as such I was trying to point out that the founders, using every bit of clarity known to man, made this point. Subsequently I made the same point and did so with clarity. How you missed it I don’t know but the fact that you missed it means that probably others missed it as well this and provides an opportunity for even more clarity. I guess Glenn Beck is right to beat that dead horse (explain his points to the point of extreme detail).

Personally I do believe in God and I support the founder’s use of clarity in this matter. However that is only my opinion and we are a very long way from debating opinion here. We have many facts to understand before we can even get to opinion. Once we all understand the facts and rules, and only when we understand, we can get to the business of properly debating politics and political ideas.

A multi-party system (predominantly Republicans and Democrats) is what has always made this country strong because we can take the best from both parties. However, if one or both parties is/are off the reservation, meaning not playing within the rules as defined by our founding documents, there is no rational method to even discuss ideas and opinions.

Case in point: Clive Bundy refuses to pay the federal government for grazing the land even though he fully knows that he should pay for that service. If he knows he owes money, why is he refusing to pay? Because the federal government is subverting our constitution. You might remember that the ONLY purpose for the constitution is to force the federal government, by sworn oath, to defend our freedom.

The federal government is NOT playing within the rules of government land ownership. They haven’t for years and now a free American is now demanding that they do. Until they do, Bundy’s opinion that he should pay to graze (pay the state not the feds) will continue to fall on deaf ears. As long as that difference remains and Bundy believes in his freedom, the federal government will stand-by with snipers ready to take out their fellow Americans because the only way to ultimately enforce a law, whether that law be constitutional or not, is with a gun.

Generally if the law is constitutional the gun will not be needed to enforce the law because free Americans support the constitution by choice and if they have done wrong they will hold themselves accountable. This means that if they know they are wrong they will pay the fine and stop doing the wrong deed.

However, if that law is unconstitutional the case can be made that following an unlawful law is treasonous (or nearly there-so). Ironically in the military if a commander gives you a direct order and that commander does not have the authority to give that order (meaning he gave you an unlawful order) and you then follow that unlawful order; you can be court-martialed and imprisoned for committing a federal crime.

If the law is lawful (in accordance with the constitution) it must be followed. A true patriot then has a decision to make and that decision is similar to the decision our soldiers make every day which is that they believe so deeply in our freedom they are willing to die defending it. Clive Bundy appears to be willing to die defending our freedom and he doesn’t even wear a military uniform (his uniform is that of patriotism).

True patriots find the idea of disobeying the constitution offensive to the idea of freedom. Those who don’t understand freedom and don’t know their rights will tend to side with the federal government on this and sadly vote to cede even more power (and their freedom) to a corrupt federal government.

This is a states-rights issue and the American people enjoy more freedom when their government is closer to them. This means that ALL governmental interests that can be made at the state or even local level and specifically do not need to be made at the federal level SHOULD always be made accordingly. In fact, nearly the ONLY (there are a few more) thing that cannot be done adequately by the states and MUST be done by the federal government is national defense and protecting (at that level) our freedom.

This is the sole purpose of the federal government and to bring this full circle the federal government reasonably needs to own land upon which military installations set so that the federal government can faithfully provide that defense of our freedom. Riddle me this – how does the federal government owning grassland in Nevada (or elsewhere) help them defend our freedom from aggressors who wish to take our freedom from us? Answer: it doesn’t and since it doesn’t contribute to the defense of our freedom, it then falls to the states to control/administer (or even to the people). Re-read the Tenth Amendment for clarity on this.

I made the following quote in my last post: “The Constitution is the “supreme law of the land.” That is made very clear in Article VI of the Constitution, which goes on to say “and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof… shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby.”

Two Cents, you have taught me one thing here and that is no matter how clear the constitution is when it says “the Constitution is the supreme law of the land…” (no ambiguity there) the silly notion that just because the document does in fact say that and there is little if any room for ambiguity, the mere notion that there is little room for ambiguity was most definitely an “opinion” of mine because incredibly you found room to interpret that to mean something else.

I have a college education and although that education is not specifically in reading comprehension, I generally do OK at reading comprehension. Obviously I am not good enough at explaining though because somehow you have found a new use for the word “land” that I have never before considered. Most people who do believe in God will generally agree, in some form or another that God is the supreme ruler of man and that God gave man the power to rule over the land. I hope this is the appropriate place for me to use your words “END RANT!”

Just for clarity, I don’t get offended easily but when fired upon I tend to fire back and the astute tactician will always fire back with bigger guns or more rounds than were fired at him.

Your statement: “I think today, most people think the federal government can use the land for whatever they want” is a brilliant observation of how people take their freedoms and rights for granted. People do believe this way and it is wrong. If they don’t know it is wrong then they do not know their rights and they will lose them and sadly they won’t even know they lost them.

Can the federal government “auction off” federally owned lands to private groups? I don’t know but I can’t see this happening. First of all if the federal government sells its land in Washington DC then where will the federal government go? They are constitutionally authorized ten square miles of land but the states where they want to take that land would have to agree to “give” it to them. I don’t see this ever becoming an issue – EVER. The federal government has their ten square miles of land for the seat of the United States government and I really don’t see them moving that seat to Oklahoma or Wyoming.

I suppose the federal government could close a military base and then they could dispose of the land but at that point, since the land no longer fits the criteria of a military installation or location of a federal building, would that land not then revert automatically to state ownership since the federal government could no longer legally own it?

Respectfully I think your question about the “right of the federal government to auction off federally owned lands to private groups” could be worded better. To take the constitution literally and with the context of the time of writing, as it is intended to be taken (therefore the amendment process was included), if the federal government can own only D.C., military installations (including dockyards and such) and land upon which federal buildings set, how can the federal government auction, for example Fort Hood which is the largest Army post in the country, to a private group? For the record – it can’t.

Certainly the federal government can close Fort Hood and then dispose of the land but the minute they closed the Fort, ownership of that land would revert back to the state of Texas because it is illegal (unconstitutional) for the federal government to own land outside of those specific constitutional provisions. So the bottom line and this is certainly my opinion although it is based on rational thought, is that “NO” the federal government cannot auction off federally owned lands to private groups. That said, does it happen? I suppose it does but is it legal? No it isn’t. It isn’t legal but the ownership of the land in the first place is where the law was broken (not the auction itself). You can’t auction something you don’t own, might be a clearer way to look at this.

I think I could better answer your question on the Executive Order if I better understood the motivation for the question – sorry!

As for my opinion on the government seizing land for Public utilities, I am not sure I completely understand the motive or meaning behind your question but I will try to answer it as I understand it.

In the Fifth Amendment the Constitution states “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” This establishes that the government can indeed take your land and it spells out the criteria under which that may happen – “public use” and “just compensation.”

If the “public utility” is “public” as your choice of words infers then one could assume that the running of power lines, whether buried or on power poles, is to the benefit of the public. If that recipient of that power line is a single residence it could be argued that it is not a “public” use but if the recipient of that power line (huge transmission line) is every user of electricity in the city of Denver then perhaps it could be argued a “public” use.

Executive Orders cannot “create” law or even alter law (only congress through due process can do that) and not being an attorney I can only offer my opinion on this Executive Order. It seems to me that this EO creates no further law (nor alters an existing law) but likely clarifies a law previously in existence that Eminent Domain cannot be used ever for the benefit of the private individual but instead must be a “public” benefit.

How many times have we seen private land being taken by the government so that an apartment complex can be built on that land? The “wrong” part of that application is that the apartment building is owned by a private person or entity (business) and NOT the public at large. I think this was an attempt to stop that.

However, if your motive for asking the question was who then owns the land taken (assuming it was taken correctly) by Eminent Domain then the answer, at least in my opinion would be as follows: It is clear in the constitution what kind of land the federal government can and cannot own. Basically the federal government can own the land upon which Washington DC is built, the land upon which federal buildings set should they be outside the ten square miles of Washington DC, and the land upon which military installations (and dockyards) set. This, in a nutshell is the only type of land the federal government can own.

So then how does the Executive Order you cited apply here? If the private land being taken by the law of Eminent Domain is for the construction of a military installation then the new owner would be the federal government because the federal government is authorized to own that type of land.

On the other hand if the private land being taken under Eminent Domain laws is for the installation of a power line or major water-main serving the city of Denver, then the new ownership of that land, since it did not meet the federal criteria of a federal building or military installation (paraphrasing here) would be the STATE because the Tenth Amendment gives to the States (or the people) all powers not specifically given to the federal government.

The constitution spells out under what criteria the federal government can own land and this does not meet that criteria so it falls to the Tenth Amendment which gives it to the states by virtue of the fact that if not specifically given to the federal government by the constitution then it is specifically denied to the federal government.

I am not an attorney and I am not sure I even understood what you meant with your question but the application of the text is simple (especially if you consider the “enumerated” powers AND the Tenth Amendment).

As for Clive Bundy, I honestly believe he is right in his position. That doesn’t necessarily mean I condone his actions though. I am a firm believer in standing up for your rights but he is biting off a very significant chunk, likely more than he can chew. It is likely that he will not prevail and will possibly die trying.

I firmly believe he has the United States Constitution on his side but the opposing side is that of big government and short of all Americans knowing their rights and standing up for them, I am afraid Bundy will lose. Abusive government (abusive to the constitution) has let us down over the years and it started years ago. Our part in that let-down is that we freely allowed it to happen. However, because we the people do not have the desire (I mean this in general terms) to know and understand our rights and freedoms, it will be us, the American voter, who will let Clive Bundy down (and ourselves and our children and grand children).

Big government is the flame that allows government to get even bigger. The bigger the government is the more power those in government control. The more power you can control the more additional power you can then steel from the American people (taking power away from the American people results in the loss of their freedom) and the more powerful you as government become. This is a vicious self-serving circle and unfortunately will end in dictatorship (as most governments eventually do). The cause of this is that the American people do not cherish their freedom and will miss it only when it is too late.

Who exactly is at fault for this? All of us are. Certainly those who say that they don’t vote because “my vote doesn’t count” are among the first I would blame. Second I would blame those who did vote but were ignorant of the issues when they voted and relied on the candidate to “tell” or “inform” them as to why they would be the best president or whatever the position. These people are gullible and they are too lazy to take an interest in their own lives. Lastly I would blame people like myself who are informed and desire to become even more informed, because we have failed over the years to explain this in enough detail that the first two groups can make those rational decisions.

In light of that last paragraph I will say this: Having a place such as this website to engage in rational debate on politics is the first step in saving our country. Two Cents, I am proud that you are participating in these debates because it tells me that you want to learn. Nobody, including myself, has a monopoly on knowledge and the difference between right and wrong. I make mistakes just like everyone else and I learn from rational debate with others. Thanks to all who participate!

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Julia Wotten @juliaw

Cliven Bundy is a complete racist. Did you guys see this?

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Julia Wotten @juliaw

@kevlar @twocents you guys aren’t still defending this guy are you?

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Policy MAKES me SIGH @policysigh

@juliaw @kevlar @twocents I think Cliven Bundy’s “racist” remarks were not favorable or easy to swallow. Although I do think they were taken out of context. And i do think the way he chose to deliver his message wasnt the best. However, lets open the discussion for whether government housing, government subsidies, and low education for these individuals from the government has helped them at all. I personally believe that people, whether they are black or white, if they are stuck in government housing and government subsidies they are not free. They do not have freedom. They are slaves the government.

Also, because the video @Juliaw posted is edited by left wing media, heres the full video so you can judge the unedited version. There is some pretty hilarious commentary in the beginning but just listen in.

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TKList @tklist

The federal government should sell the majority of the public land under it’s control. This is the point Cliven Bundy has and he is correct on that.

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Two Cents @twocents

@tklist yes I completely agree. Its unfortunate so many followers of this issue do not seem to understand the importance of the actual debate sparked by Mr Bundy. The government should no longer own the land, especially because they are not protecting it for the reasons they claim to be protecting it for.

@policysigh @juliaw @kevlar @twocents

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Peter T. Burke @peter-t-burke

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Nevada became a State of the US in 1864 and any land that was not privately owned at that time became “Federal Land” due to the legal philosophy of eminent domain. The Federal government didn’t “take” the land – nobody either private or public claimed ownership so ownership defaulted to the Federal government.

Clark County (Las Vegas is the capital seat) was formed in 1908.

Cliven Bundy has no “right of title” to the lands he has been using. He is not the “fee simple owner” possessed of lawful title. He has no more right to the land than any other squatter. His claim to the land is the same as the guy who yells “I foun it on da flow! Iz mine!”
Cliven Bundy is not the State of Nevada and accordingly he has no standing to make a 10th Amendment claim.

What Cliven Bundy is trying is to take the use of the surface state by adverse possession and that is going to fail miserably.

That said – the US government and its agents have dealt with Cliven Bundy is a most objectionable manner.
Every citizen of the USA should be alarmed at the ease with which the US Federal Government, and specifically the Executive Branch under the control and direction of The President of the United States of America, decided to use military force to compel a citizen to its wishes.
Regardless of Cliven Bundy’s personal opinion of his fellow citizens there is no basis for which to legitimately deny his 4th, 5th, and 14th Amendment rights under the US constitution ( Hmm… maybe there is – obviously he is not a person of color so …).

The Federal Government should have pulled Cliven Bundy into Federal Court and demanded justice – not pulled a gun on him and acted like they come from the ‘Hood in Detroit.

Whether the Federal Government is using the land “properly” and whether they should be forced to sell “their” land is a matter for the voters of the USA, not Cliven Bundy or the State of Nevada. This is a matter of Federal ownership of the land and therefore it is properly subject matter for the US Senate and House of Representatives to decide.

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TKList @tklist

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You seem to have overlooked using civil disobedience to raise awareness to a problem, issue or grievance.

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Peter T. Burke @peter-t-burke

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You need to review Henry David Thoreau’s book “On Walden Pond” and especially the section on civil disobedience.

Thoreau didn’t pay his taxes but he lived outside of town and the town couldn’t do anything to him until he was in town. Thoreau went into town to get his shoe repaired. While he was in town, the town tax man caught him and put him in the town jail. Thoreau chose to serve out his time instead of paying the taxes they said he owed. After he served his time he was released. Thoreau went and got his shoe from the cobbler, went home and didn’t pay his taxes. That is civil disobedience.

Cliven Bundy’s actions do not rise to the level of civil disobedience. He is asserting that he should be able to use federal land, not pay the grazing fees, and claim the lqand belongs to Clark County, and that he has a right to do this because his family has done this for decades.

Trust me – if my father robbed banks for a living and never got caught alone would grant me any conceivable right to continue the family tradition.

If Cliven Bundy paid his bill and then went right back and continued what he was doing – that would be civil disobedience.

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TKList @tklist

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You overlooked another thing. Cliven Bundy is willing to pay Clark County.

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JasonBerky @jason-bercovitch-3

The United States of America is a country of Laws and Order! For anyone to openly support a guy that is OPENLY violating the LAW goes against everything this country has been built on. Whether you like, dislike, agree or disagree with the Federal Government the LAW IS THE LAW! If you dont like it, elect someone to change it.

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Two Cents @twocents

@jason-bercovitch-3 I agree with you that the United States is a country with laws and order, which should be abided by. And if we disagree with such laws, there is a process for changing them which Cliven Bundy should pursue if he is serious about his cause.

However, if that is your logic, then we should apply that to immigration as well which I think liberals are less willing to do. They want to simply pardon everyone that came here illegally. By your logic, that is wrong so I am wondering where you stand on the issue of immigration because those people broke the law.

If we compare the Cliven Bundy situation to immigration, we can see that yes Cliven Bundy broke the law, but most people agree the principle he stands for is just. Most people dont think the Federal government should own 85% of the land, just as you might think its okay all the illegals have come here looking for work. So maybe we should pardon Cliven Bundy and forgive his debt to the federal government and allow him to keep the land?

The above paragraph IS NOT my opinion. I am simply pointing out that people on BOTH SIDES seem to pick and choose which laws they want to enforce and they use the argument you used above: That the US is a land of law and order. But as soon as it is something they disagree with they throw that all out the window.

I dont know what the answer is to this whole situation. But I do know that I am very glad it did not escalate to violence. I think the discussion it has sparked of whether the federal government owning so much of a state is right or wrong is a good discussion to have.

In other news, this is now spreading: The Cliven Bundy supporters are on their way to Nevada to engage in a similar situation: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-na-utah-blm-militia-bundy-20140509,0,7685032.story

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Kevlar @kevlar

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Peter:

I have been on the road for some ten days and not specifically near a computer. That is clearly my fault and nobody else’s. However I have had access to my email and had my name been included in some of these posts I would have made it a point to visit the library to gain access to a computer so I could respond to your countering of my argument.

Nobody is ever required to include my nametag in a post but when a person actively tries to counter a well thought out analysis one could easily expect that his nametag would be included in that counter. If this is an oversight then so be it. Somehow I don’t think it was an oversight.

This kinda bothers me because you attempt to destroy a rational argument without the courtesy of addressing the person who made the argument. For the record it does not offend me that someone tries to destroy my argument (no matter how good I think it might be) because that is the essence of good robust debate. However including that person in the address line of the debate post is considered “good” form.

Peter’s first counter to my analysis: “Nevada became a State of the US in 1864 and any land that was not privately owned at that time became “Federal Land” due to the legal philosophy of eminent domain. The Federal government didn’t “take” the land – nobody either private or public claimed ownership so ownership defaulted to the Federal government.”

Why I believe Peter is in error:

I argued that the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land.” In fact I quoted the Constitution in that statement. I further supported my argument by indicating that ALL laws made “in pursuance thereof” (to the Constitution) are ALSO supreme laws of the land. I mentioned that these are “enumerated” powers and as such they are directive in nature and prohibitive in nature of that which they do not specifically allow. I then supported that position by quoting the Tenth Amendment “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 then mentioned the three kinds of land in the United States that can be owned by the federal government and referenced the United States Constitution itself in doing so. If you have a third grade education you will be able to rationalize that if that ownership does not fall into one of those three categories, upon reading the Tenth Amendment one must rationalize that the Federal Government CANNOT own that land (again, this is third grade logic).

The land Bundy is grazing his cattle on does not fit in either of those three types of land and by virtue of the Tenth Amendment MUST pass to the State for ownership (or to the people). This is logic that Peter is neither capable of applying and in the off chance that he is somehow correct he is also unwilling to support his position in the face of overwhelming support to the contrary. Additionally he is unwilling to include the nametag of the person making this solidly supported argument (again, if the failure to include my nametag was accidental then so be it).

Peter’s second counter to my analysis: “Clark County (Las Vegas is the capital seat) was formed in 1908.”

Why I believe Peter is in error:

First I do not dispute the date and therefore I do not dispute the statement itself. However, the obvious context, which refers to the initial post that says (paraphrasing) ‘the land in question was acquired through treaty with Mexico in 1848 in which ownership of that land was transferred from Mexico to the United States identified United States Government ownership.’

I made note that this was correct as long as the land in question was considered a “territory” but the moment that the land was included in a “State” such as in the State of Nevada in 1864, that land ownership immediately transferred from the Federal Government to the State of Nevada. Had it not immediately transferred to the State of Nevada, the federal government would be, as it is yet today, in violation of the Constitution of the United States which specifically forbids that ownership.

I regret only one thing and that is that I did not cite where in the Constitution it says that the federal government can exercise control over territories of the United States and that is found in Article IV Section 3.

Some folks have tried to make the case that when Nevada became a state, they were indeed given that land in accordance with the Constitution and that they (Nevada) immediately turned around and “gave” it to the federal government. While I doubt this is true, let’s assume it did happen. How can the new State of Nevada, as its first act of being a State, violate the United States Constitution by giving something to the United States Government that the United States Government is strictly and specifically PROHIBITED from owning?

Then one must ask the following question: “How could the United States Government, which exists ONLY because the Constitution says it exists (meaning that without the Constitution there is no United States Government (and no protected rights and freedoms of the people)) act in blatant violation of that Constitution by TAKING land that according to the same document that grants its’ very existence (the Constitution) strictly prohibits? This is NOT a viable argument!

Peter’s third counter to my analysis (actually this should offend the wisdom of all Americans): “Cliven Bundy is not the State of Nevada and accordingly he has no standing to make a 10th Amendment claim.”

Why I believe Peter is in error:

First of all since when do you need to have “STANDING” to make a “10th Amendment claim?”

Second of all is what the hell is a “10th Amendment claim” anyway?

You don’t make “claims” under the Tenth Amendment because it is not a “claims” process because the Tenth Amendment does not specifically apply to the people, nor does it apply to any one person. Even a casual reading of the Tenth Amendment will identify that Amendment as applying ONLY to the federal government and it gives NO RIGHTS or POWERS to the federal government. The Tenth Amendment serves to LIMIT the powers of the federal government.

Stepping outside the Tenth Amendment is something the federal government CANNOT EVER DO. However, since the federal government is run by people and people are not perfect, mistakes will occasionally happen. When those infrequent mistakes do happen, infrequent because the government is run by some very intelligent people and we only elect the very best, it is the job of the COURT SYSTEM, to include the United States Supreme Court, to catch those inadvertent mistakes that 535 members of Congress and their highly educated aides didn’t catch and also were not caught by the President and his countless advisors, because again we only elect the most qualified person to be President, to ultimately stop the mistake or unconstitutional act.

People don’t make claims under the Tenth Amendment and therefore there is no such thing as “standing” in that regard. The Tenth Amendment is there only to limit the size of government and keep as much power at the state level or even at the level of the people (lowest level possible, this is what freedom is all about).

There shouldn’t be such a thing as a “Tenth Amendment Claim” because the federal government should NEVER exceed their powers. To do so intentionally would be to deliberately destroy the very document (Constitution) that gives them ANY power. If they, the federal government, destroy that document their very power to even exist goes away (along with any and ALL guarantees of the protection of your rights and freedoms). As a side note this is why it is essential that every American has an intimate knowledge of the United States Constitution.

Peter, the Tenth Amendment is a statement of self-regulation of the powers of the federal government. The federal government because we only elect the best person for the job and we the people never get it wrong, has the brain-power to read and understand that self-regulatory statement and apply it themselves. In the rare case that they ALL miss the unconstitutionality of a certain thing, the entire court system is there for one reason and one reason only and that is to insure that the error is caught there.

Even with a system as solid as that, in the extremely rare case that a mistake is made by 535 legislators and all their highly educated staff AND is not caught by the President and his highly educated staff, AND (I can’t believe it would often if ever get to this point) gets past not only the lower courts but the middle courts and (this could NEVER happen) gets past the United States Supreme Court, we the people ALL have standing to invoke the Tenth Amendment and we do that by casting an informed vote to replace all the politicians who failed us so that we might preserve our nation and our government whose sole job is to protect and defend our rights and freedoms. This stuff is that important!

Peter, I once considered you an above-average person when it came to political knowledge. I’m not so sure I feel that way anymore. When it comes to understanding the powers of the federal government and the restrictions thereon, you seem to have been outclassed by the wisdom of Nancy Pelosi, et al. Sadly that is a pretty low bar.

Those last few paragraphs might have been written mostly for the benefit of Peter, but I hope everyone reads them and takes them to heart. The federal government is as devoted to the people as we demand them to be and every bit as reckless with the people as we allow them to be.

Peter, there are a few other things in your post that are wrong and I hope that someone else will step up and identify them for you.

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

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