To The Daily Sun,
In September 1996, the legislation called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into law by President Clinton. This law was enacted in Congress by the duly elected representatives of the people of the United States. The vote in favor was 342-67 in the House and 85-14 in the Senate, an overwhelming mandate of 83 percent and 85 percent respectively. It should be noted that these margins of yeas over nays easily surpassed the required two-thirds acceptance in both House and Senate to have passed a Constitutional Amendment had they attempted to do so.
Now, in June 2015, the Court has struck down this mandate, not by a vote of the people's representatives, but by an oligarchy of nine Supreme Court justices, politically appointed for life and not answerable to the electorate, by a 5-4 vote. This monumental landmark decision ultimately rested on one Justice, Anthony Kennedy, swinging the whole matter out of the hands of the four liberal Justices (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagen) and four conservative Justices (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito).
Justice William Brennan, who served on the Court for 34 years between 1956 and 1990, when asked what the most important principle of the court was, responded with the now famous remark, "Five! The law of five. With five votes you can do anything!" Justice does not have to be an ingredient. "Smoking gun" evidence of this will follow near the end of this discourse.
The author has just watched two video clips from 2008 and 2012 of President Obama affirming his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. Also, was a clip from 2012 showing Hillary Clinton affirming the same belief. The president has followed a convoluted path that has taken him through opposition and ambivalence to enthusiastic embrace. Rainbow colors illuminating the White House even.
Hillary, as a current presidential candidate, has reversed her more than two decades of support for traditional marriage. These are seen by apologists as progression rather than deception. Many could argue that in the timing of all this, political expediency has played a part, of which both are ultimate masters.
President Obama holds an enormous amount of raw persuasive power in multitudes of ways. One of his trump cards, one that history has shown can manifest a president's agenda for decades, even generations, is judicial appointments. Supreme Court decisions have had a major impact on the way the nation functions down through the ages, both positive and negative.
Our judiciary is at the same time a strength and a flaw in our system. Thomas Jefferson, himself an enigma as an egalitarian in principle but not in practice, nonetheless had these wise words of prophetic advice:
"To consider the judges as the ultimate arbitrators of all constitutional questions is a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and for the privilege of their corps and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal."
From James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution and the major force behind the adoption of the Bill of Rights, comes a similar warning:
"The preservation of a free government requires not merely, that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overlap the great barrier which defends the rights of the people. The rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are tyrants. The people who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them and are slaves."
And from Abraham Lincoln in this first inaugural address:
"I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court... At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed the instant they are made ... the people will have ceased to be their own rulers ... having resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."
Court rulings have been all too frequently rendered not based on justice or the merits of the case, nor upon the eloquence or skill of the lawyers but instead have far too often been based upon the political preferences and the personal agendas of the majority members of the court and/or upon their liberal or conservative leanings. The history of the court reveals an uncanny ability of this eminent tribunal at times to maneuver with amazing dexterity around what should obviously be just conclusions to pronounce rulings blatantly absurd and unjust. Many of these decisions have had a profound negative effect on the lives, the liberty and the pursuit of happiness of millions of "We the people."
The following is "smoking gun evidence" of this fact. We start with the Dred Scott case in 1858, one of the most blatantly unjust rulings of all time. After the Civil War, the 13th Amendment freed the slaves, the 14th guaranteed equal protection under the law and the 15th guaranteed voting rights for blacks. The latter two were all but ignored in a large part of our nation for the next century because of a series of unjust and now unconstitutional Supreme Court rulings over time denying civil rights and permitting segregation to flourish.
The matter should have been settled with the legislated Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875 and the Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871, the latter permitting federal intervention in cases of violence and abuse when the states offered no redress. But the court struck down these acts in blatant displays of unjust and now unconstitutional raw judicial power.
Redress began with the 1954 Brown vs Board of Education case and was finally anchored in with the Civil Rights act of 1964. These and other rulings reinstated the tenets and principles the court had earlier struck down. The court had denied the very rights they were sworn to protect.
The eviction of God from government, public domain and education beginning with the Everson vs Board of Ed case in 1947 and the legalizing of abortion in Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton in 1973 are prime examples of legislation from the bench bypassing the people and their elected representatives. These and the multitude of following case litigations continue to profoundly affect the way our entire nation lives and functions.
The fate of such vital issues as the expression of our faith, marriage and the lives of millions of unborn children, wanted or unwanted, is out of the hands of "We the People" and our elected representatives and into the hands of a politically appointed oligarchy with tenure for life, not answerable to either the people or their representatives.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 July 2015 09:48
"Natural law — God's law — will always trump common law," said Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a Christian leader in her own right, "God will have the final word in this matter."
But, for now, Justice Anthony Kennedy has the final word.
Same-sex marriage is the law of the land, as the right of gays and lesbians to marry is right there in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1868. We just didn't see it. Tony Kennedy spotted what no previous court had detected.
The absurdity of the decision aside, it represents another stride forward for the revolution preached by Antonio Gramsci. Before we can capture the West, the Italian Marxist argued, we must capture the culture.
For only if we change the culture can we change how people think and believe. And then a new generation will not only come to accept but to embrace what their fathers would have resisted to the death.
Consider the triumphs of the Gramscian revolution in our lifetime.
First, there is the total purge of the nation's birth faith, Christianity, from America's public life and educational institutions. Second, there is the overthrow of the old moral order with the legalization, acceptance and even celebration of what the old morality taught was socially destructive and morally decadent.
How dramatic have the changes been?
Until the early 1970s, the American Psychiatric Association regarded homosexuality as a mental disorder. Until this century, homosexual actions were regarded as perverted and even criminal.
Now, homosexuality is a new constitutional right and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is marrying homosexuals in front of Stonewall Inn, the site of the famous 1969 gay riot against police harassment.
Similarly with abortion. It, too, was seen as shameful, sinful and criminal until Harry Blackmun and six other justices decided in 1973 that a right to an abortion was hiding there in the Ninth Amendment.
Did the Constitution change? No, we did, as Gramsci predicted.
We are told that America has "evolved" on issues like abortion and homosexuality. But while thinking may change, beliefs may change, laws may change, and the polls have surely changed, does moral truth change?
Are the Ten Commandments and Christian tradition and Natural Law as defined by Aquinas just fine for their time, but not for ours?
If what Justice Kennedy wrote Friday represents moral truth, what can be said in defense of a Christianity that has taught for 2,000 years that homosexual acts are socially destructive and morally decadent behavior?
Three decades ago, this columnist was denounced for writing that homosexuals "have declared war on human nature. And nature is exacting an awful retribution." Hateful speech, it was said.
Yet, when I wrote that line, AIDS victims in America numbered in the hundreds. Worldwide today they number in the millions. And there is a pandemic of STDs among America's young who have joined the sexual revolution preached in the 1960s.
Can true "social progress" produce results like that?
And if it is an enlightened thing for a society to welcome homosexual unions and elevate them to the status of marriage, why have no previous successful societies thought of so brilliant a reform?
The late Roman Empire and Weimar Germany are the two examples of indulgent attitudes toward homosexual conduct that come to mind.
"No-fault" divorce was an early social reform championed by our elites, followed by a celebration of the sexual revolution, the distribution of condoms to the poor and the young, and abortions subsidized by Planned Parenthood when things went wrong.
How has that worked out for America?
Anyone see a connection between these milestones of social progress and the 40 percent illegitimacy rate nationwide, or the 50 percent rate among Hispanic-Americans, or the 72 percent rate among African-Americans?
Any connection between those fatherless boys and the soaring drug use and dropout rates and the near quadrupling of those in jails and prisons over the last third of a century?
One notes a headline the other day, that, among whites in America, deaths now outnumber births. This has been true for decades in Europe, where all the native-born populations are shrinking as the Third World crosses over from the Mahgreb and Middle East.
Any connection between the legalization of abortions — 55 million in the USA since Roe — and the shrinkage of a population?
"God will have the final word in this matter," says King.
Certainly, in the world to come, He will. Yet, even in this world, it is hard to recall a civilization that rejected its God, repudiated the faith and morality by which it grew great, embraced what was previously regarded as decadence, and survived.
Our utopian president may see ours as an ever "more perfect union".
Yet, America has never been more disunited and divided — on politics and policy, religion and morality. We no longer even agree on good and evil, right and wrong.
Are we really still "one nation under God, indivisible"?
(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00
To The Daily Sun,
Got Lunch! Laconia wishes to thank the local restaurants and their patrons for a successful and delicious return of the "Eat Out For GOT LUNCH! Laconia" program to raise funds for the children of Laconia.
Got Lunch! is a volunteer program and relies on donations from businesses and individuals to purchase healthy lunch fixings for children who might otherwise go hungry during the summer hiatus from school.
The following restaurants agreed to donate a portion of their sales to GLL from patrons who ate at their restaurant on a particular day. So thank you to T-Bones/Cactus Jacks, Hector's, Brick Front, Buritto Me, 405 Pub, Lyon's Den, Faro Italian Grille, Patrick's Pub, The Local Eatery and Tavern 27. The total raised for GLL was $2,708. And thank you to the patrons who came out to support Got Lunch! Laconia.
Advisory Board Member
GOT LUNCH! Laconia
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2015 08:04
To The Daily Sun,
I am writing to thank state Rep. Peter Spanos, a hard-working member of the House Finance Committee, for his recent letter outlining the factual fiscal realities regarding the New Hampshire business economy and recently vetoed state budget by the governor.
For the public to be properly informed factual information on the current state budget needs to be explained and shared in a way that one not close to the process can best understand the complexities. Rep. Spanos accomplishes this task with truth, not spin.
Our state is continuing to slowly rebound from a challenging economy and revenues are beginning to demonstrate a positive trend. A spender like this governor needs to show patience before thinking the "grand good all days" are back again and promote excessive spending which is possibly motivated by an individual political vision of the future for oneself.
As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee which is responsible for revenue projecting for supporting the state budget, I am pleased to report that with all the information known today by the committee, comprised of Democrats and Republicans, a very thoughtful approach and analysis occurred in Concord over the last six months to set a tone for spending. Revenues are very fair today.
Thank you Peter, for sharing the truthful fiscal realities of spending 101 in New Hampshire.
State Rep. Brian S. Gallagher
Member, House Ways & Means Committee
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2015 08:01
To The Daily Sun,
After reading Scott Cracraft's broadside against Walmart, there should be no mystery to any one why the cost of a college education now has its highest price tag in history. His rhetoric screams the total disconnect between common sense and logic. Scott derides and demonizes the business model of Walmart and how it might be applied to education. His commentary reminds me of the same egotistical, professor logic Leo Sandy tried so often to peddle to The Daily Sun readers.
Consider for a moment the incredible accomplishment of Sam Walton and Walmart. If there is any symbol that represents what opportunity stands for in America, the success of Sam Walton, and Walmart are it.
What we have from Scott is simply another far left, liberal, academic trash talking one of the most iconic, successful companies on earth. Walmart often offers the lowest prices on tens of thousands of items consumers need to buy every day. The low prices save the less fortunate hundreds of billions of dollars a year lifting their living standards. Walmart accomplishes it with one of the most efficient, low cost distribution systems in the world. If there is one word that defines the success of Walmart it is efficiency.
Not to mention Walmart is about the largest private employer in America hiring millions of people many other companies won't.
It does not take much investigation to understand why academia loathes Walmart. Walmart stands for everything colleges ought to stand fore but don't. Walmart has an entrenched commitment to provide the very best products possible, for the lowest cost possible. While Walmart spent that last 25 years creating the most efficient and cost-effective retail system in the world while colleges and universities tripled costs and for good measure reduced quality.
The U.S. ranks in the bottom half of education performance among all OECD countries. It is hard to find printable words that adequately describe the top-down, macro failure of education in this country. All while education screams for ever more grants and subsidies to cover its gross inefficiencies and ineffectiveness. Money by the bucketful that supposedly makes college more affordable. Another expensive joke on taxpayers by liberals. How can my conclusion be wrong.
Student loan debt now totals a record $1.3 trillion and student loan defaults set new records every week. All the billions of dollars in grant money from the states and federal government to colleges has done is increase tuition. The free money becomes nothing more than a slush fund to increases wages and increase spending by universities.
How has this been allowed to happen? The answer is easy, the solution impossible, made that way by people like Scott. No one is held accountable for failure in education. No one is fired that millions of kids take six to eight years to graduate from a four-year college. No one is fired that millions of kids spend billions of dollars toward college degrees they never get. No one is fried that hundreds of colleges and universities have absolutely horrific graduation rates but are allowed to stay in business. No one is fired, in fact many are actually promoted with higher wages no matter how high or how fast the cost of a college degree increases.
All that plus a national decline in the quality of academic output over the past two decades. Colleges are not interested in lowering tuition because they are not interested in cutting the costs (first labor costs) that produce that high tuition.
It is impossible to understand the horrendous failure of education until you look what's behind it. What stands behind education and its failure are unions. Tell me the last time you saw any teachers union motto that suggested keeping wages down or benefits under control were important to help our kids? Or that unions sought language in contracts that gave management the needed flexibility to better mange and control labor costs to keep tuition down. You will only see those things when hell has both ice and bob houses with people fishing in them.
Or that unions make commitments to output more product within the same time increment with better quality. That is the single, simple accomplishment that separates the incredible success of Walmart from the tragic failure of education Scott Cracraft so embraces to this very moment. Understand, unions only exist to increase costs and produce the lowest quality product in the longest amount of time they believe they can get away with.
Tenured professors will teach the lowest numbers of classes possible. At the University of Wisconsin that is 3.4 classes per week while their average wage is $123,500 for about eight months work plus benefits that drives their total compensation closer to $200,000. All the while your kid is forced to risk bankruptcy for the sake of a degree paying for those professor extravagances few professions get.
Until we demand the same accountability and entrenched commitment to produce the best quality, for the least cost, in the shortest time possible the status quo of failure so loudly defended by Scott Cracraft and every other professor in America will continue to increase college costs and produce ever declining quality at the same incredible pace they have in the past. I guarantee it.
How can the outcome be any different When no one is held accountable and the unions that run education from top to bottom are only interested in doing less, while getting paid more, while handcuffing management to stop it. One sure recipe for continued incredible failure in education.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2015 07:40