Category Archives: Honoring Their Sacrifice

Take A Moment to ‘Thank a Veteran’, Especially Today

eagle patriot 1There is no mystery behind the endurance and the success of American liberty. It is because in every generation, from the Revolutionary period to this very hour, brave Americans have stepped forward and served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States. Every one of them deserves the thanks and the admiration of our entire country.

Military service demands a special kind of sacrifice. The places where you live and serve, the risk you face, the people you deal with every day — all of these are usually decided by someone else. For the time you spend in uniform, the interests of the nation must always come first. And those duties are shared by family members who make many sacrifices of their own, face separation during deployments and sometimes bear extreme and permanent loss.

Military service brings rewards as well. There is the pride of developing one’s character and becoming a leader, serving a cause far greater than any self interest and knowing that our nation’s cause is the hope of the world. Every man and woman who wears America’s uniform is part of a long, unbroken line of achievement and honor. No single military power in history has done greater good, shown greater courage, liberated more people, or upheld higher standards of decency and valor than the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

That is a legacy to be proud of, and those who contributed to it must never be taken for granted.

VP Cheney 2008

God’s Grace & Peace Be With All the Families & Troops of the Victims of the Ft Hood Massacre

OB-EV586_fortho_G_20091107173411

Photo by Getty Images

The fatal victims of the Ft. Hood shooting, as released by the Department of Defense on Saturday

Associated Press list of victims.

 

The U.S. Constitution Does “NOT” Authorize Congress To Force Americans To Buy Health Insurance

Being under the weather and feeling the pressure of supplying new material here at ConstitutionallySpeaking along with the pressure I am now feeling of getting everything on my Christmas list completed as I am also a quilter & seamstress, it helps when an article such as this comes along. Thanks to Publius Huldah of Canada Free Press  for all your hard work and due diligence in compiling this for us.

I now CHALLENGE ALL my readers to copy and send this to ALL your US Senators & Reps in DC as well as your state Senators & Reps.

Constitution‘General Welfare’ Clause: Defending The Constitution From It’s Domestic Enemies.

By Publius Huldah  Friday, October 23, 2009

CNSNews.com recently posted an article, “Hoyer Says Constitution’s ‘General Welfare’ Clause Empowers Congress to Order Americans to Buy Health Insurance”.  In the article, Steny Hoyer(Democrat House Majority Leader) said Congress has “broad authority” to force Americans to purchase health insurance, so long as it was trying to promote “the general welfare”.

Oh my!  Does Steny Hoyer not know that his view was thoroughly examined and soundly rejected by our Founders?

The Truth is that Congress is NOT authorized to pass laws just because a majority in Congress say the laws promote the “general welfare”!  As shown below, James Madison, Father of The Constitution, and Alexander Hamilton, author of most of The Federalist Papers, expressly said The Constitution does not give a general grant of legislative authority to Congress! Rather, ours is a Constitution of enumerated powers  only. If a power isn’t specifically granted to Congress in The Constitution, Congress doesn’t have the power. It really is that easy – and our beloved Madison and Hamilton prove it.

1. Let us look at the so-called “general welfare” clause:  Article I, Sec.8, clause 1, U.S. Constitution, says:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States…

Immediately thereafter, follows an enumeration of some 15 specific powers which are delegated to Congress. If you will spend 20 minutes carefully reading through the entire Constitution and highlighting the powers delegated to Congress, you will find (depending upon how you count) that only some 21 specific powers were delegated to Congress. This is what is meant when it is said that ours is a Constitution of enumerated powers!

2. But Steny Hoyer and his gang of statists claim that the “general welfare” clause is a blank check which gives them power to pass any law they want which they say promotes the “general welfare”. Further, they claim the power to FORCE their view of such on us.

3. Let us analyze this. Since words change meaning throughout time [200 years ago, “nice” meant “precise”], we must learn what the word, “welfare”, meant when the Constitution was ratified. “Welfare”, as used in Art. 1, Sec. 8, clause 1, meant:

Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil govern-ment (Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828).

But The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969), gave a new meaning: “Public relief—on welfare.  Dependent on public relief”. Do you see how our Constitution is perverted when 20th century meanings are substituted for original meanings?  Or when the words of The Constitution are treated as if they have no meaning at all except that which the statists assign to them?

4. Both Madison and Hamilton squarely addressed and expressly rejected the notion that the “general welfare” clause constitutes a general grant of power to Congress. In Federalist No. 41  (last 4 paras), Madison denounced as an “absurd” “misconstruction” the notion that

…the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare….

In refuting this “misconstruction”, Madison pointed out that the first paragraph of Art. I, Sec. 8 employs “general terms” which are “immediately” followed by the “enumeration of particular powers” which “explain and qualify”, by a “recital of particulars”, the general terms. Madison also said:

…Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity…

Madison was emphatic: He said it was “error” to focus on the “general expressions” and disregard “the specifications which ascertain and limit their import”; and to argue that the general expression provides “an unlimited power” to provide for “the common defense and general welfare”, is “an absurdity”.

In Federalist No. 83  (7th para), Hamilton said:

…The plan of the [constitutional] convention declares that the power of Congress…shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd, as well as useless, if a general authority was intended… [italics added]

5. And what else did Madison and Hamilton say about the “enumerated” powers of the federal government?  In Federalist No. 45  (9th para), Madison said:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.  The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.  The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people…[emphasis added]

Madison said it again in Federalist No. 39  (3rd para from end):

…the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignity over all other objects….” [emphasis added]

In Federalist No. 14  (8th para), Madison said:

… the general [federal] government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects...[emphasis added]

In Federalist No. 27  (last para), Hamilton said:

…It merits particular attention in this place, that the laws of the Confederacy [the federal government], as to the ENUMERATED and LEGITIMATE objects of its jurisdiction, will become the SUPREME LAW of the land…Thus the legislatures, courts, and magistrates, of the respective members, will be incorporated into the operations of the national government AS FAR AS ITS JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY EXTENDS…[caps in original]

6. Now, let’s look at the 10th Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Now, we can understand the true meaning of the “general welfare” clause: OUR FOUNDERS UNDERSTOOD that the “general Welfare”, i.e., the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, and the enjoyment of the ordinary blessings of society and civil government, was possible only with a civil government which was strictly limited and restricted in what it was given power to do!

7. So!  How did we get to the point where the federal government claims the power to regulate every aspect of our lives, including forcing us to buy health insurance? Consider Prohibition:  During 1919, everyone understood that the Constitution did not give Congress authority to simply “pass a law” banning alcoholic beverages!  So the Constitution was amended to prohibit alcoholic beverages, and to authorize Congress to make laws to enforce the prohibition (18th Amdt.).

But with Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), the federal government abandoned our Constitution:  FDR proposed “New Deal” schemes; Congress passed them. At first, the Supreme Court opined (generally 5 to 4) that “New Deal” programs were unconstitutional as outside the powers granted to Congress. But when FDR threatened to “pack the court” by adding judges who would do his bidding, one judge flipped to the liberal side, and the Court started approving New Deal programs (generally 5 to 4).

Since then, law schools don’t teach the Constitution. Instead, they teach Supreme Court opinions which purport to explain why Congress has the power to regulate anything it pleases. The law schools thus produced generations of constitutionally illiterate lawyers and judges who have been wrongly taught that the “general welfare” clause, along with the “interstate commerce” and the “necessary and proper” clauses, permit Congress to do whatever it wants!

Roger Pilon  of the Cato Institute nailed it in his recent post on Politico.com:

Is it unconstitutional for Congress to mandate that individuals buy health insurance or be taxed if they don’t? Absolutely—if we lived under the Constitution. But we don’t. Today we live under something called “constitutional law”—an accumulation of 220 years of Supreme Court opinions—and that “law” reflects the Constitution only occasionally.

Now you see how the statists justify the totalitarian dictatorship they are attempting to foist upon the American People.  The statists and the brainwashed products of our law schools go by U.S. Supreme Court opinions which reject Our Constitution!(But Publius Huldah goes by The Constitution as explained by The Federalist Papers).

8. But is the Supreme Court the ultimate authority on the meaning of our Constitution? NO!  Hamilton said the people are “the natural guardians of the Constitution”, and he called upon us to become “enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority.” (Federalist No.16,  next to last para). Madison (or Hamilton) said that breaches of our Constitution can be corrected by “..the people themselves, who, as the grantors of the commission [The Constitution], can alone declare its true meaning, and enforce its observance” (Federalist No. 49,  3rd Para).

Folks! Your duty is clear:  Study The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Federalist Papers. Live up to the expectations of Hamilton and Madison; and throw off the chains which the usurpers are forging for you and Our Posterity.

My reply to Senator Johnson. I am still waiting for one from a similar letter sent a few weeks ago now that also pointed out the Federalist Papers, the Framers & early SCOTUS decisions.

Dear Senator Johnson,

I am still waiting for that reply to my previous constitutional questions sent to you regarding all the unconstitutional legislation that you and those on the left in Congress are trying to shove down our throats.

And while I do respect the office you serve, I can not and will not support your actions since getting re-elected and the following is why.

Please dear Sir, take some time to reflect on your position as a “PUBLIC SERVANT” to those whom you represent and the limitations of your office. You are treading on treacherous ground and ‘We the People’ are tired of you turning your back on us.

The True Keepers Of The “Flame of Liberty”

H/T Ed Morrisy via HotAir: Cheney’s speech is as good as it is long. He blasts Obama’s “dithering” on the war in Afghanistan and his abrupt betrayals of allies in eastern Europe:

As prepared for delivery
October 21, 2009

Thank you all very much. It’s a pleasure to be here, and especially to receive the Keeper of the Flame Award in the company of so many good friends.

I’m told that among those you’ve recognized before me was my friend Don Rumsfeld. I don’t mind that a bit. It fits something of a pattern. In a career that includes being chief of staff, congressman, and secretary of defense, I haven’t had much that Don didn’t get first. But truth be told, any award once conferred on Donald Rumsfeld carries extra luster, and I am very proud to see my name added to such a distinguished list.

To Frank Gaffney and all the supporters of Center for Security Policy, I thank you for this honor. And I thank you for the great energy and high intelligence you bring to as vital a cause as there is – the advance of freedom and the uncompromising defense of the United States.

Most anyone who is given responsibility in matters of national security quickly comes to appreciate the commitments and structures put in place by others who came before. You deploy a military force that was planned and funded by your predecessors. You inherit relationships with partners and obligations to allies that were first undertaken years and even generations earlier. With the authority you hold for a little while, you have great freedom of action. And whatever course you follow, the essential thing is always to keep commitments, and to leave no doubts about the credibility of your country’s word.

So among my other concerns about the drift of events under the present administration, I consider the abandonment of missile defense in Eastern Europe to be a strategic blunder and a breach of good faith.

It is certainly not a model of diplomacy when the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic are informed of such a decision at the last minute in midnight phone calls. It took a long time and lot of political courage in those countries to arrange for our interceptor system in Poland and the radar system in the Czech Republic. Our Polish and Czech friends are entitled to wonder how strategic plans and promises years in the making could be dissolved, just like that – with apparently little, if any, consultation. Seventy years to the day after the Soviets invaded Poland, it was an odd way to mark the occasion.

You hardly have to go back to 1939 to understand why these countries desire – and thought they had – a close and trusting relationship with the United States. Only last year, the Russian Army moved into Georgia, under the orders of a man who regards the collapse of the Soviet Union as the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. Anybody who has spent much time in that part of the world knows what Vladimir Putin is up to. And those who try placating him, by conceding ground and accommodating his wishes, will get nothing in return but more trouble.

What did the Obama Administration get from Russia for its abandonment of Poland and the Czech Republic, and for its famous “Reset” button? Another deeply flawed election and continued Russian opposition to sanctioning Iran for its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

In the short of it, President Obama’s cancellation of America’s agreements with the Polish and Czech governments was a serious blow to the hopes and aspirations of millions of Europeans. For twenty years, these peoples have done nothing but strive to move closer to us, and to gain the opportunities and security that America offered. These are faithful friends and NATO allies, and they deserve better. The impact of making two NATO allies walk the plank won’t be felt only in Europe. Our friends throughout the world are watching and wondering whether America will abandon them as well.

Big events turn on the credibility of the United States – doing what we said we would do, and always defending our fundamental security interests. In that category belong the ongoing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the need to counter the nuclear ambitions of the current regime in Iran. Candidate Obama declared last year that he would be willing to sit down with Iran’s leader without preconditions. As President, he has committed America to an Iran strategy that seems to treat engagement as an objective rather than a tactic. Time and time again, he has outstretched his hand to the Islamic Republic’s authoritarian leaders, and all the while Iran has continued to provide lethal support to extremists and terrorists who are killing American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic continues to provide support to extremists in Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories. Meanwhile, the regime continues to spin centrifuges and test missiles. And these are just the activities we know about.

I have long been skeptical of engagement with the current regime in Tehran, but even Iran experts who previously advocated for engagement have changed their tune since the rigged elections this past June and the brutal suppression of Iran’s democratic protestors. The administration clearly missed an opportunity to stand with Iran’s democrats, whose popular protests represent the greatest challenge to the Islamic Republic since its founding in 1979. Instead, the President has been largely silent about the violent crackdown on Iran’s protestors, and has moved blindly forward to engage Iran’s authoritarian regime. Unless the Islamic Republic fears real consequences from the United States and the international community, it is hard to see how diplomacy will work.

Next door in Iraq, it is vitally important that President Obama, in his rush to withdraw troops, not undermine the progress we’ve made in recent years. Prime Minister Maliki met yesterday with President Obama, who began his press availability with an extended comment about Afghanistan. When he finally got around to talking about Iraq, he told the media that he reiterated to Maliki his intention to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq. Former President Bush’s bold decision to change strategy in Iraq and surge U.S. forces there set the stage for success in that country. Iraq has the potential to be a strong, democratic ally in the war on terrorism, and an example of economic and democratic reform in the heart of the Middle East. The Obama Administration has an obligation to protect this young democracy and build on the strategic success we have achieved in Iraq.

We should all be concerned as well with the direction of policy on Afghanistan. For quite a while, the cause of our military in that country went pretty much unquestioned, even on the left. The effort was routinely praised by way of contrast to Iraq, which many wrote off as a failure until the surge proved them wrong. Now suddenly – and despite our success in Iraq – we’re hearing a drumbeat of defeatism over Afghanistan. These criticisms carry the same air of hopelessness, they offer the same short-sighted arguments for walking away, and they should be summarily rejected for the same reasons of national security.

Having announced his Afghanistan strategy last March, President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision, and unable to provide his commander on the ground with the troops he needs to complete his mission.

President Obama has said he understands the stakes for America. When he announced his new strategy he couched the need to succeed in the starkest possible terms, saying, quote, “If the Afghan government falls to the Taliban – or allows al-Qaeda to go unchallenged – that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can.” End quote.

Five months later, in August of this year, speaking at the VFW, the President made a promise to America’s armed forces. “I will give you a clear mission,” he said, “defined goals, and the equipment and support you need to get the job done. That’s my commitment to you.”

It’s time for President Obama to make good on his promise. The White House must stop dithering while America’s armed forces are in danger.

Make no mistake, signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries. Waffling, while our troops on the ground face an emboldened enemy, endangers them and hurts our cause.

Recently, President Obama’s advisors have decided that it’s easier to blame the Bush Administration than support our troops. This weekend they leveled a charge that cannot go unanswered. The President’s chief of staff claimed that the Bush Administration hadn’t asked any tough questions about Afghanistan, and he complained that the Obama Administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy.

In the fall of 2008, fully aware of the need to meet new challenges being posed by the Taliban, we dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, assembling a team that repeatedly went into the country, reviewing options and recommendations, and briefing President-elect Obama’s team. They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt. The new strategy they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them. They made a decision – a good one, I think – and sent a commander into the field to implement it.

Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced. It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity.

It’s worth recalling that we were engaged in Afghanistan in the 1980’s, supporting the Mujahadeen against the Soviets. That was a successful policy, but then we pretty much put Afghanistan out of our minds. While no one was watching, what followed was a civil war, the takeover by the Taliban, and the rise of bin Laden and al-Qaeda. All of that set in motion the events of 9/11. When we deployed forces eight years ago this month, it was to make sure Afghanistan would never again be a training ground for the killing of Americans. Saving untold thousands of lives is still the business at hand in this fight. And the success of our mission in Afghanistan is not only essential, it is entirely achievable with enough troops and enough political courage.

Then there’s the matter of how to handle the terrorists we capture in this ongoing war. Some of them know things that, if shared, can save a good many innocent lives. When we faced that problem in the days and years after 9/11, we made some basic decisions. We understood that organized terrorism is not just a law-enforcement issue, but a strategic threat to the United States.

At every turn, we understood as well that the safety of the country required collecting information known only to the worst of the terrorists. We had a lot of blind spots – and that’s an awful thing, especially in wartime. With many thousands of lives potentially in the balance, we didn’t think it made sense to let the terrorists answer questions in their own good time, if they answered them at all.

The intelligence professionals who got the answers we needed from terrorists had limited time, limited options, and careful legal guidance. They got the baddest actors we picked up to reveal things they really didn’t want to share. In the case of Khalid Sheik Muhammed, by the time it was over he was not was not only talking, he was practically conducting a seminar, complete with chalkboards and charts. It turned out he had a professorial side, and our guys didn’t mind at all if classes ran long. At some point, the mastermind of 9/11 became an expansive briefer on the operations and plans of al-Qaeda. It happened in the course of enhanced interrogations. All the evidence, and common sense as well, tells us why he started to talk.

The debate over intelligence gathering in the seven years after 9/11 involves much more than historical accuracy. What we’re really debating are the means and resolve to protect this country over the next few years, and long after that. Terrorists and their state sponsors must be held accountable, and America must remain on the offensive against them. We got it right after 9/11. And our government needs to keep getting it right, year after year, president after president, until the danger is finally overcome.

Our administration always faced its share of criticism, and from some quarters it was always intense. That was especially so in the later years of our term, when the dangers were as serious as ever, but the sense of general alarm after 9/11 was a fading memory. Part of our responsibility, as we saw it, was not to forget the terrible harm that had been done to America … and not to let 9/11 become the prelude to something much bigger and far worse.

Eight years into the effort, one thing we know is that the enemy has spent most of this time on the defensive – and every attempt to strike inside the United States has failed. So you would think that our successors would be going to the intelligence community saying, “How did you did you do it? What were the keys to preventing another attack over that period of time?”

Instead, they’ve chosen a different path entirely – giving in to the angry left, slandering people who did a hard job well, and demagoguing an issue more serious than any other they’ll face in these four years. No one knows just where that path will lead, but I can promise you this: There will always be plenty of us willing to stand up for the policies and the people that have kept this country safe.

On the political left, it will still be asserted that tough interrogations did no good, because this is an article of faith for them, and actual evidence is unwelcome and disregarded. President Obama himself has ruled these methods out, and when he last addressed the subject he filled the air with vague and useless platitudes. His preferred device is to suggest that we could have gotten the same information by other means. We’re invited to think so. But this ignores the hard, inconvenient truth that we did try other means and techniques to elicit information from Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and other al-Qaeda operatives, only turning to enhanced techniques when we failed to produce the actionable intelligence we knew they were withholding. In fact, our intelligence professionals, in urgent circumstances with the highest of stakes, obtained specific information, prevented specific attacks, and saved American lives.

In short, to call enhanced interrogation a program of torture is not only to disregard the program’s legal underpinnings and safeguards. Such accusations are a libel against dedicated professionals who acted honorably and well, in our country’s name and in our country’s cause. What’s more, to completely rule out enhanced interrogation in the future, in favor of half-measures, is unwise in the extreme. In the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed.

For all that we’ve lost in this conflict, the United States has never lost its moral bearings – and least of all can that be said of our armed forces and intelligence personnel. They have done right, they have made our country safer, and a lot of Americans are alive today because of them.

Last January 20th, our successors in office were given the highest honors that the voters of this country can give any two citizens. Along with that, George W. Bush and I handed the new president and vice president both a record of success in the war on terror, and the policies to continue that record and ultimately prevail. We had been the decision makers, but those seven years, four months, and nine days without another 9/11 or worse, were a combined achievement: a credit to all who serve in the defense of America, including some of the finest people I’ve ever met.

What the present administration does with those policies is their call to make, and will become a measure of their own record. But I will tell you straight that I am not encouraged when intelligence officers who acted in the service of this country find themselves hounded with a zeal that should be reserved for America’s enemies. And it certainly is not a good sign when the Justice Department is set on a political mission to discredit, disbar, or otherwise persecute the very people who helped protect our nation in the years after 9/11.

There are policy differences, and then there are affronts that have to be answered every time without equivocation, and this is one of them. We cannot protect this country by putting politics over security, and turning the guns on our own guys.

We cannot hope to win a war by talking down our country and those who do its hardest work – the men and women of our military and intelligence services. They are, after all, the true keepers of the flame.

Thank you very much.

Narcissus-in-Chief Frozen Gazing At His Perfect Image In His Private Pool

We have thousands of battle-hardened, experienced veteran soldiers and their officers, who know far more about the Middle East…and counter-insurgency…We have a media mesmerized by Obama, that will withhold criticism of him in Afghanistan…it is hard to figure out why Obama can not make a simple decision to send troops requested by commanders on the ground.
 
Click to Continue Reading

Click to Continue Reading

“We Are Taking Our Country Back”

A 9~12 message from Glenn Beck

Patrick Henry’s Peaceful Dissent

Those who were once united by the “Spirit of ’76,” or the Revolutionary generation, were not necessarily united in supporting the Constitution in 1787-88. We need only look to the state ratification debates to see the diversity of opinions regarding the new plan of government among faithful and once-united patriots. Acceptance of the Constitution was anything but a foregone conclusion.

Virginia patriot Patrick Henry, famous for his “give me liberty or give me death” speech which prompted Virginia (and eventually her sister states) to join besieged Massachusetts in the cause of independence, was one such devout Anti-Federalists, or one who opposed the new Constitution. His voice was often heard (and feared by Federalists) during the Virginia ratification debates.

Patrick Henry’s objections were not unfounded. After fighting off a British superpower, he feared a large national government with no declaration of rights to limit its power. He warned that if Virginia ratified, “the Republic may be lost forever,” and subsequently demanded to know “what right had [the delegates at Philadelphia] to say, We, the People.”

As the Virginia convention drew near a final vote on ratification, Henry stood to deliver his most impassioned soliloquy against the Constitution. He condemned an affirmative vote by saying it would negatively impact not just the fledging United States, but countries and even generations yet unborn but nonetheless present in the convention hall with the delegates in ethereal form.

When I see beyond the horrison [sic.] that binds human eyes,” Henry began, “and look at the final consummation of all human things…I am led to believe that much of the account on one side or the other, will depend on what we now decide. Our own happiness alone is not affected by the event-All nations are interested in the determination. We have it in our power to secure the happiness of one half of the human race. Its adoption may involve the misery of the other hemispheres…”

Just as Henry finished his speech, a storm suddenly arose which combined with Henry’s rhetorical weaponry to have an eerie affect on his listeners. His final words were punctuated by thunder and lightning which “shook the whole building.”

Without calling for adjournment, the delegates—including such distinguished figures as George Washington, Governor Edmund Randolph, George Mason, James Monroe and James Madison—fled the convention hall. One listener explained why: “the spirits whom [Henry] had called, seemed to have come at his bidding.” Moreover, “[Henry] seemed to mix in the fight of his aetherial auxiliaries, and ‘rising on the wings of the tempest, to seize upon the artillery of Heaven, and direct its fiercest thunders against the heads of his adversaries.’”

Yet in spite of his vehement opposition, Patrick Henry demonstrated his commitment to the democratic process. Shortly after the Virginia Ratification Convention, he was approached by his Anti-Federalist colleagues to head a guerilla war against the ratified Constitution. Instead of continuing to oppose the Constitution outright, he declared “I will be a peaceable citizen.”

And he was. While Henry disagreed with some aspects of the new government, he also recognized that the Constitution left his head, hand, and heart free to advocate change “in a constitutional way.” He accepted the choice made by the American people and advocated for change within the system they had chosen. As a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, he ensured Virginia’s two U.S. Senators were Anti-Federalists, paving the way for the passage of the Bill of Rights.

ConSource logo

In Loving Memory of the Victims of 9-11

 Remembering Those We Lost

A horrible tragedy occured at 8:46 Tuesday Morning September 11, 2001. There were 4 planes hijacked by terrorists. A senseless act of cowardness.

American Airlines Flight 11, crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York. There were 92 people aboard, including 9 flight attendants and 2 pilots.

At 9:03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower, carrying 65 people, including 7 flight attendants and 2 pilots.

At 9:38 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. There were 64 people aboard, including 4 flight attendants and 2 pilots.

At 10:10 a.m., United Airlines Flight 93 crashed Southeast of Pittsburgh carrying 45 people, including 5 flight attendants and 2 pilots. It is believed that flight 93 was headed for the White House when some of the passengers rushed the terrorists, causing them to miss their intended target and crash into a field in Pittsburgh. We thank those aboard flight 93 for such a courageous act of selflessness and bravery for saving the many lives that would have been destroyed at the White House.

May God Bless the victims, their families and the heroes who lost their lives in helping save the lives of others.