Saturday, November 11, 2006

Honor your oath

Today is Veterans Day. We create this day for the members of the arm forces. I served in the military. I was (or am) a Marine (once a Marine, always a Marine!).

Before serving in the military, the soldier/officer must take an oath. There are two oaths; one for enlistment and the other for commissioned officers. Both have two oaths in them. The enlistment oath required the soldier to "support and defend the Constitution" and "obey the orders of the President...and...officers appointed over me". The commissioned officer's oath required the officer to "support and defend the Constitution" and "discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter".

If the orders of the president or the duties of this office comply with the Constitution, it's a no-brainer: you would follow either, or both. But what if the second oath above conflicts with the Constitution? Which oath do you want to follow? In other words, which oath takes precedence?

In the beginning of Article II of the Constitution, it states, "The executive Power shall be vested in a President". In other words, the Constitution created the office of the President. Like parents and their child, if something created something else, the creator has the power and control over the created. That is consistent with the last clause of Article II, Section 1. The President, before entering office, takes an oath: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

It is plainly to see that the Constitution takes precedence over the president, and the president, being the Commander in Chief, is above any other officers. Now, the Constitution is just a piece of paper, but if you are in the military, I highly encouraged you to read it in full as well as have a copy of the Constitution with you for you to refer. It is your orders.

So what in the Constitution does it tell the military? One thing, in Article I, Section 8, Clause 12, the Constitution states, "The Congress shall have Power...To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years." The president says the war on terrorism will be indefinitely--with more troops needed indefinitely. That means, if the soldiers will honor their oath, they would quit.

Now, the next clause states, "The Congress shall have Power...To provide and maintain a Navy", and the Marines are part of the Navy. But before the Armies clause, the Constitution states (in part), "The Congress shall have Power...To declare War". The Constitution delegates the president to be the Commander in Chief "when called into the actual Service", but the Constitution delegates Congress the power to declare war. In other words, in wartime, the president follows Congress; the president can't lead the troops into battle when Congress hasn't declared war.

Congress hasn't declared war since World War 2. Do you see what I mean?

Now, the past is the past. But, in the future, if the orders call you into battle, refuse to go unless Congress formally has a declaration of war. You'll be ridiculed. You may be facing jailtime. But you'll won't be dead fighting an illegal, unconstitutional war. Be true and honor your oath. It's the right and honorable thing to do.

Friday, November 10, 2006

It's all the same

It's old news by now, but the Democrats won both the Senate and the House last Tuesday. Sheldon Richman wrote about what was in the voters' mind when the majority voted for the Democratic Party.

But the reality is both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party (with a few exceptions) are one and the same. They both have the same philosophy of passing more laws, restricting the freedom of Americans, and grow the government bigger. George Bush (41) grew the government bigger than Ronald Reagan left it, Bill Clinton grew the government bigger than George Bush left it, and George W. Bush grew the government bigger than Bill Clinton left it.

Thomas Jefferson knew this even in his time. In his immortal words, he said, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." And in the 20th century, the Republicans and Democrats are more overlapping as time goes by to be the party of government control.

Since both branches of Congress changed to Democratic control, I have a prediction: Between 2006 and 2008, government tends to slows down, like Clinton and the Republican Congress. However, since Bush is really a liberal at heart, and he is "a uniter, not a divider", government slows down slightly. In 2008, the people elect Hillary Clinton as president. Since now the Democrats have control of Congress and the White House, it's the same-old crappy business as usual, but with different targets.

The majority of the people can see the destruction of America. So seeing that, the Republicans will now say, "We have a new plan. We can see the error of our ways. So we will have a new 'Contract with America'. This contract is based on individual freedom, personal responsibility, and smaller government (i.e., the libertarian planks). If you will vote for us, all of this will be yours."

And the people (with the memory of about a year) will fall for it. And the cycle keeps going, and going, and going.

Can't the people see that the only way out of this mess, the only ray of light on a cloudy day, is the libertarian philosophy of a free society. Libertarianism is the key to our happiness and our prosperity for the future.