What We Want – Part XI

By: Richard A. Correa Sr. SGT RIARNG, Retired

It is hard to determine which clause of the US Constitution is the most abused. The masters of the federal behemoth seem to take the most obscure parts of this great document and twist them so much it is almost impossible to understand what the original purpose of them was. However, if one is looking for the most misinterpreted and abused clause of the constitution surely the interstate commerce clause would be in the top ten.

As we are no longer taught that the United States of America is a compact between free and independent nations which created an agent to represent them as a whole to the rest of the world, and an impartial ‘referee’ to settle disputes among them, we no longer view the constitution from the correct perspective. Because of this it has been easy for the activist (progressive/socialist/Marxist) judges to manipulate the meaning of the interstate commerce clause into a license for the federal government to do things within the states that it has no real authority to do.

The interstate commerce clause is Article I, section 8, clause 3 of the constitution and reads as follows:

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes

It is the clause in the constitution that gives congress the power to make laws, lay tariffs and import quotas for the imports from other nations. The last two segments of it, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes, exist so congress can keep the trade between the states fair and unbiased and to regulate what people within the states are allowed to trade with the Indian tribes.

We scarcely think about it today but before the constitution each state had laws that laid tariffs on goods manufactured in a different state that were ‘imported’ into it. They also levied taxes and established quotas on goods coming into them from the other states to give locally manufactured goods an advantage over the ‘imported’ goods with the buying public. Add in other regulations not germane to our discussion and it made it very difficult for goods made in Massachusetts to be sold in Connecticut.

The ratification of the US Constitution changed all of this. Under it selling the goods made in one state in all the others became a simple process that allowed the economy of all the states to thrive and the entire union prospered resulting in the economic superiority these United States enjoyed until the 1980s.

It should be noted here that all governments seek to control all levels of the lives of the people that live under them. It is the natural tendency for this to happen not for evil intent, but for the good of all. The argument is simply ‘we’ll be able to protect you from ‘X’ if you give up a little of your freedom so the government can do ‘Y’’. The state and federal governments of these United States are no exception to this rule. A good example is the provision in the Patriot Act that allows the NSA to monitor all private international phone calls. ‘Just give up a little of your right to privacy and we’ll be able to catch the terrorists before they can hurt you’.

The problems with this are:

1)    When you give up some of your rights to solve a problem, once the problem is solved the government does not give back what you gave up

2)    Once agents of the government have this power they will abuse it to protect you from yourself

3)    If you keep giving up a little of your rights when ever there is a problem to solve eventually you have no rights left

So whenever the politicians in the state or federal government say ‘give up this little piece of your rights and we’ll be able to save you from ‘X’’ remember what Ben Franklin said:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.1

But I digress.

Today, thanks to activist judges and a congress that only respects the parts of the constitution which they can misuse to enhance their own power, the interstate commerce clause has been ‘mutated’ into a virus that affects the day-to-day activities of all of us. Sadly, we have become so used to this we don’t even question the constitutionality of the decisions made by these judges or the ‘laws’ passed by the congress. The absurdity of this boggles the mind.

For example, in 1941 Mr. Roscoe C. Filburn, a farmer in Ohio, exceeded his ‘quota’ the federal government set on him for his winter wheat crop. Mr. Filburn used the wheat to feed is farm animals, to make bread and other consumables used by his family and to sell locally. The Department of Agriculture levied a fine on Mr. Filburn of $117.00 because he had exceeded his quota of wheat. Mr. Filburn refused to pay the fine so the Department of Agriculture put a lien on his farm. In reaction to the governments’ actions Mr. Filburn filed a lawsuit against U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard in federal district court. Mr. Filburn won his case in the district court, so the federal government appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

In its’ ruling the Supreme Court stated:

The maintenance by government regulation of a price for wheat undoubtedly can be accomplished as effectively by sustaining or increasing the demand as by limiting the supply . . . That [Filburn’s] own contribution to the demand for wheat may be trivial [very small] by itself is not enough to remove him from the scope of federal regulation where, as here, taken together with that of many others similarly situated, is far from trivial . . . Home-grown wheat in this sense competes with wheat in commerce . . . Congress may properly have considered that wheat consumed on the farm where grown if wholly outside the scheme of regulation would have a substantial effect in defeating and obstructing [the act’s] purpose to stimulate trade . . . at increased prices.2

The court further stated:

Whether the subject of the regulation in question was ‘production,’ ‘consumption,’ or ‘marketing’ is . . . not material for purposes of deciding the question of federal power . . . But even if [Filburn’s] activity be local and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce.3

The Supreme Court overturned the lower courts ruling and ruled in favor of the government. In essence, the court ruled that the federal government can dictate how much of anything a person can grow on their own property for their personal use and, if carried to the logical conclusion, keep a person from growing anything for personal use on their own land.

The most recent ruling on this matter is as distressing as Wickard v. Filburn. Though it concerns the growing of marijuana for personal use the logic of how the court got to its’ decision is important to the discussion.

When California passed its’ medical marijuana law in 1996 Diane Monson began growing marijuana to alleviate a medical condition she had. She was following her doctors recommendation and as far as can be determined abiding by the laws of the state of California. The DEA raided Ms. Monsons’ property and seized her marijuana. In October of 2002 she filed suit against then Attorney General John Ashcroft and former DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson in federal district court. Though the plaintiffs lost in the district court they appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which decided in their favor, 2-1 on December 16th, 2003. The federal government appealed to the US Supreme Court which ruled on June 6th, 2005 that under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution the Congress may ban the use of marijuana even where states approve its’ use for medicinal purposes. What makes this particularly disturbing is the following ‘analysis’ by the court:

Even respondents acknowledge the existence of an illicit market in marijuana; indeed, Raich has personally participated in that market, and Monson expresses a willingness to do so in the future. More concretely, one concern prompting inclusion of wheat grown for home consumption in the 1938 Act was that rising market prices could draw such wheat into the interstate market, resulting in lower market prices. Wickard, 317 U.S., at 128. The parallel concern making it appropriate to include marijuana grown for home consumption in the CSA is the likelihood that the high demand in the interstate market will draw such marijuana into that market. While the diversion of homegrown wheat tended to frustrate the federal interest in stabilizing prices by regulating the volume of commercial transactions in the interstate market, the diversion of homegrown marijuana tends to frustrate the federal interest in eliminating commercial transactions in the interstate market in their entirety. In both cases, the regulation is squarely within Congress’ commerce power because production of the commodity meant for home consumption, be it wheat or marijuana, has a substantial effect on supply and demand in the national market for that commodity4

If you follow this line of reasoning to it’s logical conclusion the congress can pass a law, which the executive branch will enforce, that prevents you from knitting sweaters for your family because you might give one to a neighbor which interferes with interstate commerce. Or, the congress can make it illegal for you to do your own tune-ups on your car because you might help a neighbor tune-up his car which would have a negative impact on interstate commerce.

If this sounds to absurd to you remember it was under the interstate commerce clause that congress passed the ban on possession of a firearm within a ‘school zone’ denying those that live near a school their second amendment rights. The argument used for this law was that a child being intimidated by someone possessing a firearm, or injured, or killed by that someone, has a negative impact on interstate commerce which makes it legitimate for congress to pass, and the executive branch to enforce, such a law.

One may legitimately ask ‘do these Supreme Court decisions adhere to the principles espoused by the founders’? In Federalist number 45 James Madison said:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined.5

It appears that the Supreme Court, by way of its’ arguments, is in opposition to the father of the constitution. This is a situation that can only come from a progressive view of the constitution.

Alexander Hamilton also addressed the idea of federal encroachment on the internal authority of the states in Federalist number 17:

The administration of private justice between the citizens of the same State, the supervision of agriculture and of other concerns of a similar nature, all those things in short which are proper to be provided for by local legislation, can never be desirable cares of a general jurisdiction. It is therefore improbable that there should exist a disposition in the Foederal councils to usurp the powers with which they are connected; because the attempt to exercise those powers would be as troublesome as it would be nugatory; and the possession of them, for that reason, would contribute nothing to the dignity, to the importance, or to the splendour of the national government.6

It is clear from Hamiltons’ above statement that the idea the federal government would extend its’ reach to this level of control of the people is completely foreign to the intent of those that wrote the constitution. Hamilton also wrote of a self correcting condition built into the federal system. In the same essay Hamilton wrote:

But let it be admitted for argument sake, that mere wantonness and lust of domination would be sufficient to beget that disposition, still it may be safely affirmed, that the sense of the constituent body of the national representatives, or in other words of the people of the several States would controul the indulgence of so extravagant an appetite. It will always be far more easy for the State governments to encroach upon the national authorities, than for the national government to encroach upon the State authorities. The proof of this proposition turns upon the greater degree of influence, which the State governments, if they administer their affairs with uprightness and prudence, will generally possess over the people; a circumstance which at the same time teaches us, that there is an inherent and intrinsic weakness in all Foederal Constitutions; and that too much pains cannot be taken in their organization, to give them all the force which is compatible with the principles of liberty.7

From this it is clear that the founders intent was that if the federal government should usurp this much power that the sates, supported by the people, would redress the imbalance and restore the power stolen by the federal government to where it belongs, in the hands of the states and the people.

Thomas Jefferson said in a statement on this topic:

To make a thing which may be bought and sold is not to prescribe regulations for buying and selling. Besides, if this were an exercise of the power of regulating commerce, it would be void, as extending as much to the internal commerce of every state, as to its external.

So it is clear that the federal government, in particular the congress, was never to be able to attain this level of control. The US Supreme Court has granted to the Congress power they have no authority to give. This means they have stolen that power from the states and the people.

It is almost impossible to say how much better off you would be if this had not happened. The myriad horde of federal regulation that imposes themselves on our lives would certainly be less if we the people stood up to the federal beast and empowered our state governments to stand with us so we could rein in this abuse.

What do we want? We want the US Supreme Court to correct these misinterpretations of the power entrusted to it and to the congress, and we want the congress to cease legislating in areas it has no authority to legislate in. It is long past time for the federal government to behave itself.

1 Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 175, US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 – 1790)

2&3  Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)

4 Gonzales v. Raich (previously Ahscroft v. Raich), 545 U.S. 1 (2005)

5 James Madison, Federalist, no. 45, 308—14

6 & 7 Alexander Hamilton, Federalist, no. 17, 105—8

8 Quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson source unknown.

What We Want – Part X

By: Richard A. Correa Sr. SGT RIARNG, Retired

Most Americans are completely unaware of this nation’s Civil Asset Forfeiture laws, and those that are aware of these laws usually became aware of them after the government has seized an item of property belonging to them for a crime that was never committed. In Civil Asset Forfeiture actions, the owner of the property is not charged with a crime, but the property is seized for either “hosting” an illegal activity or being the proceeds of an illegal activity, mostly for drug related activities. Once seized it is up to the property owner to prove the alleged activity did not happen and therefore the property should be returned to the owner (or, in the event the activity did take place, that the owner had no knowledge of the alleged activity and therefore is an innocent bystander). These laws are such a violation of our rights under the US Constitution that it has to be said again, THE PROPERTY OWNER MUST PROVE THAT THE PROPERTY WAS NOT THE SCENE OF AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY OR THAT THE PROPERTY IS NOT THE PROCEEDS OF AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY; the government is not required to prove anything.

The majority of these seizures go uncontested because of the value of the asset seized. As stated on the webpage of Forfeiture Endangers American Rights, “The average vehicle siezed is worth about $4,000,” states FEAR president Brenda Grantland, Esq. “To defend a case, especially when you’re out of state, they’ve pretty much made it cost prohibitive.

Under these laws the mere possession of cash can be considered evidence of criminal activity though no crime has been committed and the person holding the cash is not in possession of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia. All this is being done in the name of the “War on Drugs,” with complete disregard of the victim’s constitutional protections. In some cases, people have been killed or imprisoned though they never violated any law. Some of those killed were shot by law enforcement officers serving a seizure warrant, but they had gone to the wrong address.

This activity is clearly in violation of the IVth Amendment to the US Constitution which states,

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

the Vth Amendment to the US Constitution which states,

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

though the federal courts have ruled this process meets the due process clause, and section 1 of the XIVth Amendment to the US Constitution which states,

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Jennifer Abel wrote in an October, 2007, article published by the Hartford Advocate. “Even if you’re a law-abiding citizen who’s never been convicted of a crime, local police are allowed to confiscate your property and money and keep up to 80 percent of it for themselves, with the legal stipulation that this windfall be spent only on programs likely to result in additional confiscations where the police can keep up to 80 percent of the booty for themselves,

These laws have changed our local police departments from agencies charged with enforcing our laws to highway robbers and invaders of peoples homes for the sole purpose of looting their victims and enriching the department.

The most egregious of these laws is the federal law which allowed the US Department of Justice to set up its “adoption’ program.” Under this program a local law enforcement officer can claim to be acting as a “federal deputy” at the time the officer seizes property. As most of the states have greater restrictions on asset forfeiture and returns smaller amounts of money to the police agency that made the seizure, claiming to make the seizure under the DoJ’s “Adoption Program” allows the local police agency to keep 80% of the money made by the auction of the seized property, circumventing the states’ laws, while the US Federal government keeps the remaining 20%, a win-win for everyone except the US citizen who has been robbed by this process.

In their twelve month study “Drug Enforcement’s Double-Edged Sword: An Assessment of Asset Forfeiture Programs”1 sociologists Mitchell Miller (University of Tennessee) and Lance H. Selva (Middle Tennessee State University) described forfeiture as a “dysfunctional policy” that forces law enforcement agencies to subordinate justice to profit. The researchers “covertly” observed form within drug enforcement agencies. The researchers observed the agencies they studied routinely abandon investigations of suspects they knew were dealing in large amounts of contraband because the case was not “profitable.” The researchers also observed the agencies target low level dealers rather than the large traffickers because they did not “protect” their assets as well as the “big” traffickers. The report states, “Efficiency is measured by the amount of money seized rather than impact on drug trafficking.

In one case when the researchers asked why the police had not served a warrant on a drug dealer known to have large quantities of contraband for sale an officer replied, “Because that would just give us a bunch of dope and the hassle of having to book him (the suspect). We’ve got all the dope we need in the property room, just stick to rounding up cases with big money and stay away from warrants.”

In another case the researcher was told to “observe the suspects” daily transactions so the police could wait until the cocaine the drug dealer was selling had been “converted” to cash so making the arrest would be “profitable.”

The information in the report leads to the inevitable conclusion that the anti-narcotics efforts of the agencies observed were not to stop the inflow of illegal drugs, but to maximize the profit made by the law enforcement agencies under study.

In an article written by John Worral titled Addicted to the drug war: The role of civil asset forfeiture as a budgetary necessity in contemporary law enforcement” he stated, “A conflict of interest between effective crime control and creative fiscal management will persist so long as law enforcement agencies remain dependent on civil asset forfeiture.”2

In the early 1990’s the US Forestry Department became interested in acquiring the “Trails End Ranch,” which abutted the Angeles National Forest in Malibu, California from its owner, Donald Scott, a local millionaire. Mr. Scott did not wish to sell the property and the matter would have ended there except for two enterprising LA County sheriff’s deputies. After conducting some “over flights” of the property, the deputies falsely reported that Mr. Scott was growing marijuana on his property for sale.

In the early morning of October 2, 1992, LA County Sheriff’s deputies and agents from five federal agencies entered Mr. Scott’s home to serve an asset seizure warrant that was based on the false report of the sheriff’s deputies. The Scotts were awakened by the police smashing in their door. Mrs. Scott ran down stairs to be faced with several heavily armed men, dressed like ninjas, entering her home. When her husband heard her scream, “Don’t shoot me,” Mr. Scott, who was recovering from recent cataract surgery, exited their bedroom carrying a gun and came to the top of the stairs of their home. The police ordered him to lower his weapon and as he did so they shot him, killing him.

Mrs. Scott fought to recover their property and for justice over the killing of her husband. Because the government seized all of their property and money, she lived on the tennis court of the property, refusing to leave but unable to stay in her own home because the government locked her out.

In a report by the Ventura County District Attorney, Michael Bradbury, stated that the police lied to get the warrant, that no illegal activity had taken place on the property, and the incident was motivated by the desire to forfeit the multi-million dollar property. Despite this, no law enforcement officer was disciplined for this action in any way.

A number of articles on the topic have also appeared in many newspapers and magazines over the years, and yet the public remains mostly ignorant of these laws. In an article titled “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” by Randy Fitzgerald3, five instances of abuse were cited where the government was proven to be “wrong” in seizing the property, but the property owner had to go through great expense to recover their property, sometimes having to sell the recovered property to pay their legal expenses.

For instance, in December 1995 Cheryl Sanders was driving on US Interstate 10 when she was stopped for speeding. Instead of getting a ticket, the police arrested her and took her to the Sulphur, LA jail. There she had to submit to a strip search. After searching her and her car she, was released but the police seized her car stating it had a secret compartment for transporting drugs. She hired an attorney and after seven months, a judge ruled the police had to return the car; however, by then she had to sell the car to pay her attorney fees.

Is any of the above the way you want your local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to work? Do you want the police basing their law enforcement decisions on how profitable they may be? Do you want them ignoring criminal activity because it is hard to get a good payoff for the effort? Do you want them to get away with falsifying reports so they can get warrants to take your property when no crime has been committed? And when they kill an innocent person, should they get away with it?

How did the founders of this nation view the right to property and the government’s responsibility in that regard? In the Federalist # 10 James Madison said,

The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.

In the same document he further stated,

The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice.

And, in the same document, when speaking of the advantages of a republic over a democracy he stated,

Such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

John Adams stated it this way in the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights,

“All men are born free and independent, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.”4

Thomas Jefferson said,

I believe .. . that a right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings; that no one has a right to obstruct another exercising his faculties innocently for the relief of sensibilities made a part of his nature . . .” 5

From the above it is clear that what the federal, state and local governments have implemented in these civil asset forfeiture laws are antitheses to what the founders of this nation intended. The governments of these United States are stealing the property of law abiding citizens, in violation of all constitutional principles, based on hearsay and falsified evidence without having to prove in a court of law the alleged crimes the government says give them the right to seize the property. These laws turn upside down the whole concept of innocent until proven guilty.

For those that have never been affected by these laws the repeal of them would not be noticed except, perhaps, for a slightly increased sense of security. For those that have been the victims of these heinous statutes, the repeal of them would provide some small measure of vindication that their loss was not in vain, and that their travail was instrumental in restoring some of our lost liberty.

So what do we want? We want the government of these United States, and their associated law enforcement agencies, to cease using these odious statutes as an excuse to steal from us and the national and state legislatures to immediately repeal the offending “laws.”

1 Sociologists Mitchell Miller (University of Tennessee) and Lance H. Selva (Middle Tennessee State University) Drug Enforcement’s Double-Edged Sword: An Assessment of Asset Forfeiture Programs
2 John L. Worrall, Department of Criminal Justice, California State University, San Bernardino, Addicted to the drug war: The role of civil asset forfeiture as a budgetary necessity in contemporary law enforcement, Journal of Criminal Justice Volume 29, Issue 3, May-June 2001, Pages 171-187
3 Randy Fitzgerald Guilty Until Proven Innocent Readers Digest March 2000
4 G A Peek, Jr, (ed) ‘The Political Writings of John Adams ‘(New York, 1954) p 96
5 E Dumbauld (ed) ‘The Political writings of Thomas Jefferson’ op cit p 49

What We Want – Part VIII

By: Richard A. Correa Sr. SGT RIARNG, Retired

One of the top priorities of the TEA Parties and 9/12ers is the federal government must return to sound fiscal policies. The federal government has abandoned any semblance of common sense when it comes to management of the peoples’ resources. Why is it that the people we send to Washington leave common sense at home and become totally irrational when it comes to managing the federal budget? The cause of this illness is the Federal Reserve System.

What the average American is unaware of is that the Federal Reserve System is not a part of the federal government of these United States. It is a banking cartel, setup to be the central bank of these United States, owned by private bankers, and by federal law it has complete control of the money supply of the United States of America. The establishment of the Federal Reserve System has transformed the currency of the United States of America from a medium of exchange, the value of which is set by congress, to a commodity the value of which can be manipulated by those that control the Federal Reserve System, meaning the bankers that own it.

Why is this important, the following statements made by Mayer Amschel Rothschild, of the European banking family, explain it clearly:

Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes her laws.

Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.

In essence, if you control the issuance and value of a nations’ currency you control the nation.

You may say ‘wait a minute, doesn’t the president of the United States of America appoint the chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve System?’ and you would be correct. The president of these United States appoints, and the US Senate confirms the appointment of, the Chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve System as well as the seven other governors of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. This is camouflage to make it appear the government controls the Federal Reserve System when in fact the twelve member banks of the system control all banking in the US and by manipulating our currency control the politicians that are elected to office. And if you control the elected officials of a government you control that government.

Under the US Constitution a system like this is illegal. You may ask, ‘if congress passed a law that created this system how can it be illegal?’ A legitimate question, and the answer to that question is found in Article I – Legislative Branch, Section 8 – Powers of Congress, 5th paragraph which states:

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures

If you do a careful reading of the US Constitution you will see that nowhere in the constitution, or any amendment to the constitution, is the authority to legislate the passing of any power or authority of any branch of the federal government to another entity be it governmental or private. As Article VI, 2nd paragraph declares the US Constitution the ‘supreme law of the land’ this makes the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 illegal because it gives a private banking cartel the power granted to congress in Article 1, Section 8, 5th paragraph.

If the above is true, how did this system get established? Why did the political leaders at that time in our history do this?

This time in our history was the ‘height’ of the American Progressive movement. Woodrow Wilson had just taken office and many senators and representatives of both parties were progressives. Many of these people, as do many of todays’ politicians, saw the constitution as a roadblock to what they wanted to accomplish, so they simply ignored it.

The legislation was drawn up at Jekyll Island, South Carolina by the ‘Warburg Group’ in 1910. Among the notables of the ‘Warburg Group’ was Paul M. Warburg, a partner in Kuhn, Loeb & Company and Nelson W. Aldrich, senator from Rhode Island, the republican whip, Chairman of the National Monetary Commission, a business associate of J. P. Morgan and father-in-law of John D. Rockefeller Jr.

As to why they did it, wealth and power of course. In an article published in 1914 in a magazine called The Independent Senator Aldrich was quoted as saying “Before the passage of this Act, the New York bankers could only dominate the reserves of New York. Now we are able to dominate the bank reserves of the entire country.2 Anthony Sutton, former Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution for War, Revolution and Peace stated “The Federal Reserve System is a legal private monopoly of the money supply operated for the benefit of the few under the guise of protecting and promoting the public interest.3

Before continuing it should be noted that the Federal Reserve System is not the first attempt at having a central bank for the United States of America, it is the fourth. The last such bank had its’ charter revoked by President Andrew Jackson. From the time of the Jackson administration until 1913 the banking system of the US had its’ ups and downs (booms and recessions/depressions). Even so, the value of the US dollar, in comparison to other nations’ currencies, grew by 13%. Since the establishment of the Federal Reserve System, aggravated by the US going off the gold standard, the value of the US dollar has shrunk to current levels.

The founders, and President Jackson, had this to say about central banks:

Thomas Jefferson said:

The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am an Enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but Coin. If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.

And:

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

John Adams said:

Banks have done more injury to the religion, morality, tranquility, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they can have done or ever will do good.

Andrew Jackson said:

If Congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given to be used by themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.

And:

Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves.

So, what is so bad about the Federal Reserve System? The Federal Reserve System is the ‘lender of last resort’ to the United States federal government (and apparently other governments) and it ‘creates’ money. Aren’t these good things? As with all things that depends on how what the bank does affects you.

How the system impacts all of us is the way in which it creates money. Though there are many variations on how this is done there are two basic ways of creating money, loans to the government and loans to private individuals.

Loans to the US Federal Government

How this works is fairly straight forward (keep in mind here that the congress, not the president, dictates the federal budget). Congress passes a bill that tells the administration to spend ‘X’ amount of dollars, in this case let’s say 1.5 trillion dollars. After the president signs this bill into law the Treasurer of the US tells the president and congress the treasury only has 1 trillion dollars in it. The problem is that the bill has been signed into law so the federal government has to spend money that the treasury does not have. So the Treasurer of the US goes to the fed and says ‘I need ½ a trillion dollars.’ The fed, of course, is only too happy to lend the government the money, the only problem is that the money does not exist. For the fed this is not an issue, they simply write a check to the government for ½ a trillion dollars and presto change-o the money is suddenly created out of nothing.

Now, the US taxpayer owes 500 billion dollars to the fed and has to payback this loan, and pay interest on the loan, with ‘real’ money, your tax dollars, and the dollars that existed before the fed loaned this ‘money’ to the US government are worth less because the supply of dollars has just been increased by ½ trillion dollars.

Loans to individuals

Under the Federal Reserve Act all banks in the US became a part of the Federal Reserve System and must follow its’ regulations. Under this system banks must maintain a certain level of ‘cash’ reserves in relation to the number of dollars that the bank loans. This is called fractional reserve banking. The idea is that if there is a ‘run’ on a bank it will have enough ‘cash’ on hand to pay it’s depositors what they have saved in the bank so the bank doesn’t ‘go under’ or ‘fail’. The ratio varies based on fed regulations but it can be easily explained.

For the purpose of this discussion let’s say the ration is 1:9. What that means is that for every dollar deposited in the bank the bank can lend nine dollars. So, on payday you deposit your paycheck in your account at Freds’ bank. Let’s say your paycheck is 100 dollars (hopefully you make more than that but this is an easy number to work with). Now you have 100 ‘real’ dollars in your account at Freds’ bank. Now your neighbor, Bob, needs a loan to fix a hole in the roof of his house. Bob goes to Freds’ bank to get the loan. Under the Federal Reserve System regulations Freds’ bank has to keep the 100 dollars you deposited in your account so they meet the requirement for cash on hand. That’s OK because Freds’ bank can loan 900 dollars that do not exist to Bob because they have your 100 dollars that do exist.

The end result of this is that Bob has to pay Freds’ bank 900 dollars of ‘real’ money, and interest until this loan is paid off (also ‘real’ money) because the bank gave him 900 dollars that did not exist until the bank wrote Bob a check for the loan he needed. Again, all the dollars that existed before Bob got his loan are now worth less because Freds’ bank increased the number of dollars in existence by creating 900 dollars out of nothing

Now take the above scenario and expand it to cover all the loan transactions that take place on each business day in the USA. It’s easy to see why the banks like this system but why do the politicians like it?

When you take the government and individual scenarios together you have the mechanism that drives inflation. Inflation is a hidden tax on all activities in the nation that involve money. The reason politicians love this mechanism is that they don’t have to ‘openly’ increase taxes on the voting public, making it easier to get reelected, and yet they can still spend the publics money like drunken sailors.

Now imagine how things would be if the Federal Reserve Act had never been passed. For one thing your paycheck would be smaller. Well that’s no good, until you realize how much more the dollars you bring home could buy. In 1966 a brand new Ford Mustang was anywhere from $2,416 to $4,428 depending on options. Today a Ford Mustang runs $27,200 for the basic model. That’s over 10 times the 1966 price. This reasoning can be applied to anything else you might buy from candy (I remember buying a single stick of gum for a penny at the local market when I was a kid) to houses.

Also, how much better off would you be if the dollar had continued to gain value instead of losing value after the Federal Reserve Act was passed. That can only be guessed at.

So what do we want? We want an end to the Federal Reserve System and congress to take up it’s responsibilities under Article I, Section 8, paragraph 5 of the US Constitution.

1 The Creature from Jekyll Island, pg. 5, by G. Edward Griffin

2 The Creature from Jekyll Island, pg. 20, by G. Edward Griffin

3 Sutton, Wall Street and F.D.R., pg. 94

What We Want – Part V

By: Richard A. Correa Sr. SGT RIARNG, Retired

In my opinion, to restore constitutional rule in these United States, the repeal of the XVIth and XVIIth Amendments is of paramount importance. I’m sure all of you are familiar with the XVIth Amendment, the infamous income tax amendment. Many of you are probably not familiar with the XVIIth Amendment which changed how US Senators were ‘elected’, a change that took the power of the state governments away and replaced it with ‘two houses of the people’ in congress, effectively eliminating one of the most important checks and balances in the US Constitution. Both these amendments, along with the XVIIIth Amendment, prohibition, were ‘gifts’ to us from the early progressives. One might say ‘gifts that keep on giving’.

For the record, repealing the XVIth Amendment does not prevent the federal government from implementing an ‘income’ tax. The federal government has always had the authority to do so and has done so from time to time in our nation’s history. Abraham Lincoln had congress implement an income tax to pay the debt incurred by the Civil War, well before the XVIth Amendment was ratified. Once the war debt was paid the tax was repealed. The same pattern was followed for WWI even though the XVIth Amendment was in effect. It was at the end of WWII that this pattern was ‘broken’ and the tax was not repealed.

Before continuing I’d like to point out that many people (myself among them) believe that income in the sense of the income tax is money earned from investments (stocks, bonds, real-estate etc.) not wages. Research I did some time ago showed that all the Supreme Court cases on the XVIth Amendment were related to investment earnings not wages. And after the XVIth was ratified people paid income tax on their investments, but not on their wages. As far as I can tell (and if anyone out there has research to the contrary please let me know) the only time wages were taxed was in time of war, until the end WWII. As a matter of fact I recently saw a ‘Donald Duck’ cartoon that was shown in all the movie theatres in the US during WWII asking people to ‘voluntarily’ start paying taxes on their wages. But I digress.

The real evil in the XVIth Amendment is in the words ‘without apportionment among the several states’. What does that mean? Blacks Law Dictionary defines apportion ‘to divide and distribute proportionally’ and, in regard to taxes states ‘the apportionment of a tax consists in a selection of the subjects to be taxed, and in laying down the rule by which to measure the contribution which each of these subjects shall make to the tax’, and Wiktionary defines:

to apportion (third-person singular simple present apportions, present participle apportioning, simple past and past participle apportioned)

  1. (transitive) To divide and distribute portions of a whole.

The controlling party had apportioned the voting districts such that their party would be favored in the next election.

  1. (transitive) Specifically, to do so in a fair and equitable manner; to allocate proportionally.

The children were required to dump all of their Halloween candy on the table so that their parents could apportion it among them.

From the above, and the second most evil part of the XVIth Amendment ‘and without regard to any census or enumeration’ (the restriction on how taxes were to be determined across each state), I conclude that the XVIth Amendment was deliberately designed to allow congress to institute a progressive/socialist/communist/marxist graduated income tax. In other words, the XVIth Amendment allows congress to punish the successful by stealing the fruits of their labors and to buy off the unsuccessful, making it easier for the thieves to stay in office. Also, it is the tool they used to establish class warfare in the USA.

A side note, it is clear that the members of congress are in the category of ‘the rich’. They either start off rich and get richer or enter congress with little and leave with a lot. So when people you know start complaining that the rich don’t ‘pay their fair share’ of taxes ask them if they really believe that the members of congress are going to raise taxes on themselves without a loophole so they don’t have to pay.

How would the founders view this? James Madison said:

A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species.

James Madison, Essay on Property, March 29, 1792

Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own.

James Madison, Essay on Property, March 29, 1792

The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling which they overburden the inferior number is a shilling saved to their own pockets.

James Madison, Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787

And Thomas Jefferson said:

Taxes should be proportioned to what may be annually spared by the individual.

Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1784

Taxes on consumption, like those on capital or income, to be just, must be uniform.”

Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Smith, 1823

Excessive taxation… will carry reason and reflection to every man’s door, and particularly in the hour of election.

Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1798

And Alexander Hamilton said:

When avarice takes the lead in a state, it is commonly a forerunner of its fall.
A Letter from Publius, October-November 1778

They [taxes] will in the end be borne by all classes; yet it is of the greatest importance that no one should sink under the immediate pressure. The great art is to distribute the public burdens well and not suffer them, either first, or last, to fall too heavily upon parts of the community; else distress and disorder must ensue. A shock given to any part of the political machine vibrates through the whole.

The Continentalist VI, 1782

Experience will teach us that no government costs so much as a bad one.

The Continentalist VI (LOA, p. 115)

There is a lot more from these and other writers but I think I’ve made my point, the XVIth Amendment is not a friend to liberty.  We want it repealed.

I’ll discuss the XVIIth Amendment in my next offering.

What We Want – Part III

By: Richard A. Correa Sr. SGT RIARNG, Retired

One of the most dangerous issues of today is the progressive view that a treaty with the UN is law superior to the US Constitution and that we should make interpretations of our law based on this and how foreign courts have resolved cases of a similar nature to cases before courts in the United States. Nothing can be further from the truth, but many people in the national government believe this and are even enforcing treaty provisions for treaties that have not been ratified by the US Senate. This view is based on the ‘Dulles Doctrine’:

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles promulgated what some call the “Dulles Doctrine” that treaties, executive agreements, and votes in the United Nations, could effectively amend the U.S. Constitution and expand the powers of the federal government without limit.

Further, this ‘doctrine’ is supported by the current administration as seen by the opinions expressed by individuals appointed by it to high government offices.

All of this is based on the ‘supremacy clause’ of the US Constitution, which we know from our last discussion is Article VI, paragraph 2 which reads:

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.

The argument of the progressives is that the supremacy clause of the constitution makes the provisions of a treaty law ‘superior’ to the constitution. Many scholars have expounded this point of view. However, it is obvious to anyone with a degree of common sense that it is an argument without validity.

A logical argument against this doctrine is simply how can the law that allows for treaties to be made ‘under’ it be replaced by such a treaty. A treaty cannot be made without the law that gives the government the authority to make the treaty and no where in the US Constitution does it state that a treaty made ‘under’ it becomes law superior to it. However, let us not base our insistence on the supremacy of the constitution over a treaty on my humble argument; instead let us see what the US Supreme court has to say on the subject. In ‘Reid v. Covert, October 1956, 354 U.S. 1, at pg 17’ the Supreme Court held that:

There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. Nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification of the Constitution which even suggests such a result. These debates as well as the history that surrounds the adoption of the treaty provision in Article VI make it clear that the reason treaties were not limited to those made in “pursuance” of the Constitution was so that agreements made by the United States under the Articles of Confederation, including the important peace treaties which concluded the Revolutionary [354 U.S. 1, 17] War, would remain in effect. It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights – let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition – to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power under an international agreement without observing constitutional prohibitions. In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and the Senate combined.

There is nothing new or unique about what we say here. This Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty. For example, in Geofroy v. Riggs, 133 U.S. 258, 267 , it declared:

“The treaty power, as expressed in the Constitution, is in terms unlimited except by those restraints which are found in that instrument against the action of the government or of its departments, and those arising from the nature of the government itself and of that of the States. It would not be contended that it extends so far as to authorize what the Constitution forbids, or a change in the character of the [354 U.S. 1, 18] government or in that of one of the States, or a cession of any portion of the territory of the latter, without its consent.”

This Court has also repeatedly taken the position that an Act of Congress, which must comply with the Constitution, is on a full parity with a treaty, and that when a statute which is subsequent in time is inconsistent with a treaty, the statute to the extent of conflict renders the treaty null. It would be completely anomalous to say that a treaty need not comply with the Constitution when such an agreement can be overridden by a statute that must conform to that instrument.

There is nothing in Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 416 , which is contrary to the position taken here. There the Court carefully noted that the treaty involved was not inconsistent with any specific provision of the Constitution. The Court was concerned with the Tenth Amendment which reserves to the States or the people all power not delegated to the National Government. To the extent that the United States can validly make treaties, the people and the States have delegated their power to the National Government and the Tenth Amendment is no barrier.

It is clear from this decision that the US Supreme court has ruled against such an interpretation of the US Constitution and that a treaty cannot change our constitution and is null and void when the treaty, or a provision of a treaty, is in conflict with the constitution.

To further clarify the issue, what did the founders of the nation say on this subject? Well, James Madison, the father of the US Constitution, said:

I do not conceive that power is given to the President and the Senate to dismember the empire, or to alienate any great, essential right. I do not think the whole legislative authority to have this power.

Alexander Hamilton wrote:

A treaty cannot be made which alters the Constitution of the country, or which infringes any express exceptions to the power of the Constitution

And Thomas Jefferson said:

I say the same as to the opinion of those who consider the grant of the treaty-making power as boundless. If it is, then we have no Constitution

So it is clear that the doctrine that a treaty is law superior to the US Constitution is not true and never will be. The supreme law of this nation is the US Constitution and the only way to change it is to follow the amendment process of Article V.

So what is it that we want? We want the federal government of these United States to cease immediately enforcing any treaty, or portion of a treaty, that contradicts the US Constitution and to immediately quit enforcing any treaty or provision of a treaty that has not been ratified by the US Senate because it is NOT law in these United States of America and it’s territories.

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