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Showing posts with label Constitution of the United States. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Constitution of the United States. Show all posts

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Larry Arnn on the Declaration and Constitution

Larry Arnn, who earned his graduate and doctorate in government from the Claremont Graduate School, is the president of Hillsdale College. He discusses, with Hoover research fellow Peter Robinson, what the founders gave us and how the Declaration of Independence mattered at the time.
 


Monday, March 14, 2011

Education Secretary Won’t Say Where Constitution Grants Authority for US Department of Education

Arne Duncan, the U.S. secretary of education and a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, would not say where the U.S. Constitution authorizes the federal government to be involved in primary and secondary education. 

On Thursday after a House subcommittee hearing, CNSNews.com asked Duncan, “The Bill of Rights says that powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states and the people. With that in mind, Mr. Secretary, where specifically does the Constitution authorize the federal government to be involved in primary and secondary education?


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gowdy Supports Reauthorization of Patriot Act

 Updated Monday evening, 2/15/11

We were very pleased to learn this evening that Representative Gowdy shares our concerns about many aspects of The Patriot Act.  We failed to make clear in our earlier post that because the Patriot Act is due to expire in the next several weeks, the Congress temporarily reauthorized only three of the more benign provisions of the Act, one of which pertains only to foreign nationals.

Congressman Gowdy has assured us that extensive oversight hearings will be held as early as March and that he and many Members of Congress will be eager to hear the views of their constituents to ensure that it in no way violates the Constitution of the United States.

The Congressman has kindly provided the following summary of the three provisions that have been temporarily reauthorized.  We look forward to following this issue closely in the months ahead.
The three provisions set for review, oversight and potential reauthorization are (1) the Lone Wolf Provision, (2) the Roving Wiretap Provision and (3) the Business Records Provision.  

The constitutionality of the Lone Wolf and Roving Wiretap Provisions has never been challenged.  The Business Records Provision was more controversial, and has been amended to address those concerns.  The USA PATRIOT Act actually erects additional safeguards in national security cases that do not exist in other categories of criminal conduct.  These additional layers of constitutional protection require more oversight and scrutiny than the garden-variety drug cases I investigated as a federal prosecutor.


1)  Section 6001 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act (Lone Wolf Provision) – This provision allows law enforcement to conduct surveillance on non-U.S. citizens who act as  “lone wolves” without ties to an organized terror group or foreign power.  The United States faces varying threats to our safety, and national security agents must have the tools to prevent attacks planned by non-U.S. citizens acting outside the structure of an organized enemy. 

2)  Section 206 of the Patriot Act (Roving Wiretap Provision) – The roving wiretap tool has been available to law enforcement since 1986.  It allows for law enforcement agents, after proving probable cause on an initial warrant, to extend that warrant to other communications devices used by a suspect.  Instead of having to procure individual warrants on each device, which in the age of disposable phones can number in the thousands, this provision prevents suspects from evading surveillance by using multiple devices.  The provision also requires continuous monitoring by the FISA court and detailed reporting by law enforcement officers.

3)  Section 215 of the Patriot Act (Business Records Provision) – Business records are routinely sought and obtained in domestic investigations through the use of subpoenas, a practice I participated in countless times during my years in law enforcement.  This provision goes a step further, requiring FISA court approval to obtain third-party information, NOT personal documents.

H.R. 514 only covers these three provisions, and is merely a temporary reauthorization through the end of the year.  By voting for temporary reauthorization, we are ensuring our law enforcement agents have the necessary tools to keep our country safe from attack, while at the same time providing for a thorough examination of the law.  Instead of rushing legislation through behind closed doors without proper oversight, this measure sets the stage for meaningful hearings to address any civil liberties concerns.

I have personally approached Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (the original author of the USA PATRIOT Act), and Representative Lamar Smith (Chairman of the Judiciary Committee) urging them to conduct oversight hearings as soon as possible on the reauthorization of the three PATRIOT Act provisions set to expire at the end of 2011.  I have been assured these hearings will occur, and expect to be an active participant in the process by asking tough questions and expecting candid responses.

We acknowledge the need to provide oversight in all aspects of government, including law enforcement and national security.  I look forward to full, frank and fair debate on all aspects of the reauthorization in an open forum, with the public as an active partner in the oversight process.
--Trey
. . . .


Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who was nominated and elected on a wave of revulsion to the liberal voting record of his Republican predecessor, joined Democrats in reauthorizing the misnamed Patriot Act.

Prior to last weeks vote extending the Patriot Act, we contacted Gowdy's office by phone and E-mail to express our strong disapproval of this unconstitutional intrusion into the rights and freedoms of American citizens.  When reauthorization of the Act failed under previous rules, the House changed the rules to allow reauthorization with a simple majority vote.  We received the following response from Congressman Gowdy:


gowdy.house.gov

February 15, 2011

Dear Mr. Cassidy:

Thank you for contacting me about the temporary renewal of three provisions from the USA PATRIOT Act and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act ("IRTP Act"). I value your thoughts and appreciate the opportunity to respond.

The PATRIOT Act erects additional safeguards in national security cases that do not exist in other categories of criminal conduct. These additional layers of constitutional protection require more oversight and scrutiny than the garden-variety drug cases I investigated as a federal prosecutor. For these reasons, I voted to support H.R. 514.

Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, the Business Records Provision, allows the FBI to request the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court ("FISA Court") to access third party items relevant to international terrorism cases. Gathering business records is routine in investigations, and this provision requires that these items only be obtained with the approval of a FISA Court judge who is appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States and well versed in constitutional and criminal law.

Section 206 of the PATRIOT Act, the Roving Wiretap Provision, authorizes the use of multipoint wiretaps, a tool employed by law enforcement since 1986. This provision allows the government, with the approval of a FISA Court judge, to use a single wiretap to cover any communications device used by a terrorism suspect. With out this authority, investigators would need to receive approval from a FISA judge to conduct surveillance each time a terrorism suspect uses a different cell phone or computer, allowing terrorists to evade detection by using multiple devices.

Section 6001 of the IRTP Act, the Lone Wolf Provision, allows the government to conduct surveillance on individuals without ties to an organized terror group or foreign power. This provision can only be used to conduct surveillance on people who are not U.S. citizens, and ensures that terrorists who work on their own will not escape surveillance and detection.

H.R. 514 extended these provisions temporarily through December 2011, ensuring law enforcement has the tools needed to keep our country safe, while allowing for a thorough examination of the PATRIOT Act. Congress will be considering these issues in the coming months as it looks at a more permanent reauthorization, and I will keep your thoughts in mind as Congress looks to strike the appropriate balance between protecting American citizens while ensuring civil liberties are respected. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have specific questions or concerns about these provisions that you would like us to examine in this process.

Thank you again for contacting me, and please do not hesitate to do so in the future. It is an honor to serve you and the 4th Congressional District.

Sincerely,

Trey Gowdy
Member of Congress

Monday, July 14, 2008

Has America Lost Her Will to be Free?



From Canada Free Press
By Rod Ewart

We wonder why Americans have lost their will to fight a battle, or right a wrong, or defend their freedom and liberty? We allow hordes of illegal aliens to invade our country every day and say we can’t do anything about it because we must be compassionate, without acknowledging the dire consequences that misplaced compassion will inflict upon us.

We allow our government to slap chains on our wrists and ankles with a million regulations, without so much as a whimper. We allow socialism and radical environmentalism to tear down the very foundation of our freedom while we look the other way. We allow our children to be indoctrinated and brainwashed with the new social order and environmental extremism and say we don’t have the time to get involved. We have allowed special-interest groups to replace the consent of the governed, even though our in-action leads to our enslavement. We have allowed a fourth branch of government to grow and prosper that answers to no one, in the rising stench of out-of-control bureaucracies.

We allow waste, fraud, abuse, corruption, negligence and incompetence to thrive in our government institutions and don’t demand that the perpetrators be summarily fired, fined, or jailed. We stand back and do nothing while they get promoted and ask for money to do their job “right”. We allow government contracts for mega projects and military hardware to escalate into cost overruns that exceed original estimates by several factors. Millions grow to billions and then trillions and not even a ho-hum is uttered. We have allowed entitlements to grow and grow to the point where one day, the piper will have to be paid and government will take our very souls to retire the debt, or some foreign country that holds the debt will confiscate our major assets because we can’t pay. Some say our unfunded liability now stands in excess of $50 Trillion dollars and yet our candidates for president are offering more of the same that will only make matters worse and increase our debt beyond any capability of paying it. We will, for all intent and purposes, go broke, if we stay on the same path.

We shrink in fear and horror when we must send our brave men and women into harm’s way to protect our interests. We place a greater value on capitulation and appeasement rather than on strength and victory, in spite of the lessons that history has taught us. We allow our government to cut deals with other countries that violate our very sovereignty and we do nothing. As we write this, our government is planning a union with Canada and Mexico that seeks to dismantle what’s left of our Constitutional Republic. Soon the North American Union will spring to life and the shining beacon of American freedom will grow dimmer.

We allow the government to force us to tag every one of our animals with a micro chip and notify the government of any movements of those animals, as well as letting them know where we live by GPS coordinates, under the U. S. Agriculture Department’s National Animal Index System (NAIS). How soon will it be before every American citizen is required to have a micro chip inserted under their skin? A requirement that will be sanctioned by both parties in the name of our security. How is this any different than the numbers that were tattooed on the arms of Jews in World War II, in the Nazi death camps?

We allow presidents to codify UN social and environmental policies into law by executive order, without ratification by the U. S. Congress, in violation of our constitution. We allow our courts to subvert the meaning of the words in our constitution and fabricate out of thin air, government rights and powers that don’t exist. We have become so soft that we have allowed the government to convince us that our security is more necessary than our liberty.

But even worse, we have allowed the entertainment industry to redefine our standards of decency. It has become acceptable to call women, bitches and ho’s. We spit on the rule of law in rap and hip hop, as well as film. Swear words, once banned, are now common on TV and radio.

It is now Ok to demean personal achievement as being, trying to be better than anyone else. We have allowed common courtesy to go out the window. Our children are exposed daily to the worst within us, instead of the best. While, with science, we have eradicated many diseases that were fatal to us, we have allowed honesty, integrity and honor to be almost erased from our culture. We have allowed depravity and bad behavior to define our values, instead of demanding good behavior from ourselves and those around us. In other words, almost anything goes today and we find it acceptable! In the end, lowering the bar of decency could very well be our undoing as a free society. It has happened before.

We cannot say the words to help you understand a clear and present danger, if you will not listen. We cannot reach into your heart and instill courage if you are determined to cloak yourself in cowardice. We cannot convince you that your enemy draws near, if you choose to ignore reality. We cannot tap you on the shoulder and say join with us to confront that enemy, if material comfort and instant gratification are your only reasons for living. We cannot ask you to take up arms in the defense of freedom, if you continue to consort with that very same enemy, when it has been proven beyond any doubt that that enemy’s goal is to rob you of that freedom by any means. We cannot incite your anger, if you see no reason for alarm and believe that all is well. But we can assure you that all is not well.

This was America, the land of the free, before we decided to become too civil, too compassionate, too cowardly, too politically correct and too depraved. The result of our folly is to have lost our will to confront the twin enemies of freedom, socialism and radical environmentalism, while we seek earthly pleasures.

Everyone cries out for solutions but that solution will never come until we act as one in the defense of the document that secures our individual rights and freedom, our Constitution, no matter what the price or the consequences. We will not be free so long as we allow the worst in us to define who we are. Our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to give birth to this great Nation and our freedom. How on Earth can we dishonor their sacrifice by standing by and letting what they built, descend into the sewer of abject socialism?

If you do not believe in your heart that all creatures cry out for freedom, you do not understand nature. If you are not aware that your government is doing everything within its power to strip you of your freedom, your eyes are not open, or you choose not to see. If you do see and do nothing, some may call you a coward. If you do not know that freedom has a price that you must pay, you are na├»ve and lack wisdom. If you stand by and watch while others take up the “sword” of freedom, your soul shall find no peace and your children and grand children shall bear the scars of your inaction. The government’s only hold on you is that they assume you will be law abiding citizens. But what if the laws are wrong and unconstitutional? What then is your duty to obey the law?

In spite of the negatives we outline here, we are still a great people and there remains a core of courage and wisdom in us to act. Join with us in this fight for freedom, it being the noblest of all causes. We are individual Americans and we cannot be defeated, unless we decide that security and mindless compassion, at any price, trumps liberty. Let the goodness within us replace the evil that has overtaken us and let that goodness direct us to the great heights that American can still attain, but only under freedom.

Be there not man among you who will rise up against government tyranny that is coming at us from all directions? Let us show the rest of the world that we are still free people and are willing to do whatever it takes to defend that freedom. Let us show the politicians and the bureaucrats that we have a spine and that we are mad as Hell and we aren’t going to take it any more? We need to march on City Halls, all across the country and demand that government stays within the limits of our constitutions. If we do nothing, government will not hear us and do exactly as it pleases. And it is.

Has America lost her will to be free? Some of us haven’t, but It would appear that way too many of us have. The question is, will it take a revolution to restore the greatest experiment with freedom that ever existed on planet Earth? Or will we restore freedom by peaceful means, before revolution becomes the only solution?

Your individual, natural, God-given rights, are only as good as the depth of your willingness and courage to defend them.” Ron Ewart


Ron Ewart is President of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RURAL LANDOWNERS, an organization dedicated to re-establishing, preserving, protecting and defending property rights.



Monday, March 31, 2008

Let's Hear It For The GOP!


By Pastor Chuck Baldwin


I think it is time that we all stood up and gave the Republican Party a big round of applause. I mean, they have done us all a huge favor. By an overwhelming majority, the GOP has prevented a potential plague from enveloping these United States of America, and I think it is time that we acknowledged it. Yes, the GOP stopped a potential catastrophe. Without the combined efforts of millions of Republicans, there is no telling what kind of disaster might have ensued. Let’s hear it for the GOP! Hip Hip Hooray!

For a few minutes there, I thought the GOP might have lost its mind, but I am glad to report that all is well with the Republican Party. The international bankers and oil companies, and the military-industrial complex, as well as the presidents of Mexico and Canada, can breathe easy. With John McCain as the presumptive Republican nominee, the globalist power brokers who have dominated the last three Presidential administrations can know that they are still in charge. There will be no changing of the guard this November.

It was scary there for a while. You see, there was this kook who was running for the Republican nomination that had the potential to upset the applecart real good. But thankfully, the fine people within the GOP rose to the occasion and beat back the attempts of his nutty supporters to vault him to the nomination.

After all, just think what would have taken place if this kook Ron Paul had won the Republican nomination for President. This nut case actually believes that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Imagine that. That means he would never take America to war except with a Declaration of War by Congress. Think how such a thing would prevent America’s meddling and interventionism worldwide. Think of the billions and even trillions of tax dollars that would not need to be spent overseas. Think of how much money Halliburton would lose. Think of how much money the Federal Reserve bankers would lose by not being able to loan money to the U.S. government. It is too ghastly to think about.

Furthermore, this Ron Paul nut might have actually insisted that the federal government declare unborn babies to be “persons” under the law. Think of it. This would mean that every unborn baby would have the immediate protection of law. And this would have happened without the necessity of appointing a single Supreme Court justice. Whew! The Republican Party dodged a bullet on that one. Now they can continue to talk about being “pro-life” for the next thirty years in order to fool Christian conservatives into voting for them without having to actually do anything about it.

This Ron Paul kook would also have put a stop to the incessant spying on the American people by their own federal government. Egad! This Paul character would have set America back two hundred years. Think of it. No more illegal wiretaps. No more reading private emails, letters, and telegrams. No more harassment by the BATFE of law-abiding firearms dealers for honest errors in paperwork. No more using the wars on “terror” and “drugs” to violate the Fourth Amendment. Think of the money that would be lost by the feds not confiscating the private property of the American people.

In addition, if this Ron Paul nut had actually become President, he might have succeeded in abolishing the Internal Revenue Service and overturning the Sixteenth Amendment. Holy Horrors! Can you imagine the tragedy that would have ensued? No more income taxes. No more tax forms to fill out. No more IRS agents arresting hard-working citizens for “tax evasion.” No more government tracking of our private financial transactions. Think of the US attorneys whose services would no longer be necessary. Imagine that. The federal government would actually be required to live within its means; it could no longer raise taxes, because there would be no more taxes to raise.

And if all of the above is not bad enough, this Ron Paul kook would actually demand that the federal government obey the Tenth Amendment. This, all by itself, would reduce the size and scope of the federal government by at least fifty percent. Imagine if the American people suddenly had the federal government out of their pocketbooks and off their backs? What would they do with all that newfound freedom? It is too scary to contemplate.

Do not worry, however. Thanks to the fine men and women of the Republican Party, John McCain will carry their standard into the November elections. Yes, my dear friends, David Rockefeller and his fellow travelers at the Council on Foreign Relations can rest easy. Should McCain win the general election, they will retain their influence in the White House. Indeed, we can all rest easier knowing that John McCain will be the Republican nominee for President.

After all, John McCain will see to it that our borders and ports remain open to illegal aliens. In fact, a McCain Presidency will ensure that illegal aliens become permanent U.S. citizens. Or better yet, that the U.S. and Mexico will be merged into a North American Community, thus eliminating the need for U.S. citizenship altogether. This will greatly help the Chamber of Commerce and Big Business. Think of the money they can save by hiring cheap Mexican labor. Think of the plants and factories that can be moved to Mexico. Think of the cheap Chinese goods that can be loaded onto Mexican trucks from Mexican ports and shipped into the United States on the NAFTA superhighways.

And did I mention the advantage a John McCain Presidency will provide to incumbents in future elections? Because John McCain does not believe in the U.S. Constitution, the First Amendment means nothing to him. This is good, because he can use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to promote his McCain/Feingold bill that would make it illegal for citizens to voice their concerns and opinions regarding the voting records of incumbents during a general election. That means those sinister organizations such as the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America will no longer be able to publicly promote their views regarding the anti-Second Amendment voting records of congressmen and senators.

That Ron Paul kook would never have tolerated such a law as McCain/Feingold. But thanks to the fine men and women of the Republican Party, we do not need to worry about these little inconveniences such as the First and Second Amendments (or any of the other articles within the Bill of Rights, for that matter), because they wisely selected John McCain to be their standard-bearer.

Furthermore, because the good men and women of the GOP decided to nominate John McCain, we can look forward to one hundred years of war in the Middle East. We can all anticipate the opportunity of sending our troops into harm’s way all over the world to promote the interests of international corporations, nation-building, and other U.N. machinations.

Had that nut Ron Paul been elected, he would have practiced a non-interventionist foreign policy. He would have sought peace with all nations. And, instead of preemptively invading foreign countries, he would have dealt constitutionally with terrorists, resulting in their capture or death, the protection of America, the absence of long-term war, and the respect of nations throughout the world. Furthermore, that nut Paul would have refused to use U.S. forces to do the bidding of the United Nations and other international entities.

However, we do not need to worry about old-fashioned, out-of-date ideas such as constitutional government, conservative principles, or common sense, because the fine men and women of the Republican Party wisely chose John McCain as their presumptive Presidential nominee. Yes, indeed. Let’s hear it for the GOP!


Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence.

Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, “Chuck Baldwin Live” This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet [1]
http://www.ChuckBaldwinLive.com and newspapers.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Not Yours To Give

By Davy Crockett

This story by and about Davy Crockett is taken from The Life of Colonel David Crockett, compiled by Edward S. Ellis (Philadelphia; Porter & Coates, 1884).

0ne day in the House of Representatives, a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:

"Mr. Speaker-I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering t
here be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.

"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."


He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.

Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:
"Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was a
ttracted by a great light over in Georgetown . It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could he done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.

"The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather
coldly.

"I began: 'Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and__”

“Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.'

"This was a sockdolager . . . I begged him to tell me what was t
he matter."

'Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth-while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest, but an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be
worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.'

'I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question.'


'No, Colonel, there's no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown . Is that true?' '

"Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing
Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.'

'It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can he entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he
. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution. "

'So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.'


"I could not answer him, and the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:

"'Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head in
to the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.'

"There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men -- men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased -- a debt which could not be paid by money -- and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them
responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."