Friday, February 20, 2009

Wisconsin's 10th Amendment Resolution

Senator Liebham has kindly provided me with the text of his proposed resolution regarding the 10th amendment for Wisconsin and his aid, Mr. Werwie has assured me that I may publish it here. Without further ado, here is the text of the resolution.

2009 − 2010 Legislature SRM:wlj:phLRB−0927/1

Relating to: state sovereignty.

Whereas, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads,“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”; and

Whereas, the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the U.S. Constitution and no more; and

Whereas, as the scope of power is defined by the Tenth Amendment, the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and

Whereas, today the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

Whereas, the legislature has forwarded to the federal government numerous resolutions opposing federal encroachment on state powers but has received no response or result from Congress or the federal government; and

Whereas, many federal mandates are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

Whereas, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112S. Ct. 2408 (1992) that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

Whereas, a number of federal proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from Congress may further violate the U.S. Constitution; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the state of Wisconsin hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution; and, be it further

Resolved, That adoption of this resolution does not constitute an application by the legislature of the state of Wisconsin for the calling of a federal Constitutional Convention within the meaning of Article V of the U.S. Constitution; and, be it further

Resolved, That this resolution shall serve as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of its constitutionally delegated powers; and, be it further

Resolved, That the senate chief clerk shall provide copies of this joint resolution to the president of the United States, to the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to the presiding officer of each house of each state legislature of the United States, and to each member of this state’s congressional delegation.(END)" (Emphasis in bold is mine)

"Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no." ~Exodus 16:4

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kudos To Sheriff Lott

After returning from SD, I decided to catch up on the news and this caught my eye.(Yes, women do occasionally read the Sports page.)
There was an article by AP columnist Jim Litke making fun of Richland County, SC Sheriff, Leon Lott for doing his job.
Apparently Sheriff Lott is attempting to build a case against Olympic champion Michael Phelps for smoking marijuana at a party and Mr. Litke feels this is ridiculous and over the top. In his words: "If Lott genuinely believes that Phelps is a danger to Richland County, somebody needs to sit him down and explain the meaning of prioritizing. "
Mr. Phelps' attorney also makes light of the matter , saying:"It seems to me that Richland County has a host of it's own crime problems much more serious than a kid featured in a photograph with a bong in his hand."
I beg to differ.
First, Mr. Phelps is not a kid. He is an adult. Twenty three years old = adult.
Second, he is a role model. The Saturday Night Live joke quoted in the article where a parent should answer a child's queries about why they can't smoke pot when Michael Phelps does may be funny, but it is inappropriate. (The answer was "right after you win 12 gold medals")
Third, this sort of moral relativity is at the heart of our country's troubles today. We have a standard of behavior here. It is called the law. It is the duty of citizens to uphold the law and to condemn those who break it.
Mr. Litke says"While there's no condoning what Phelps did, " and then goes on to explain why he does condone what Mr. Phelps did. "..if anybody has the right to blow off some steam, it's him. Phelps has been in the pool nearly every day since age 7." Then he cites some of the consequences Mr. Phelps has already suffered for his lapse in judgment as further reasons why he shouldn't be subject to Sheriff Lott's persecution.

This article disturbed me. I have spent a bit of time volunteering with children and one of the things I teach them is the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance. When we get to the lines "with liberty and justice for all" I have a little exercise I do with them. I say that phrase means that the law applies to everyone equally.
Then I set up a scenario for them:"We have a law against littering here. If Thomas(my son-who served as my den chief) and I are walking down the street and we both litter and a police officer sees us both, to whom should he give a ticket?" They usually get that one right. Both of us. Then I say what if the mayor and I were walking down the street and we both litter? Sometimes they have trouble with that one. They almost always have trouble with it when I name a celebrity or if I say the other person is a big businessman with lots of money. The point is, that I reassure them that the law applies to everybody equally in this country-or at least it's supposed to.

Now I would like to ask Mr. Litke, "At exactly what point did Michael Phelps transcend his subjection to the laws of the USA in your opinion?"

I'd like to know. Was it when he reached a certain number of hours of hard work? There are guys out there working 60-80 hour weeks to pay their bills who have been doing so for longer than Mr. Phelps has been alive. Should they get a free pass too?

Does this law transcendent status result from the winning of a gold medal? Does everyone with a gold medal get to consider themselves above the law or do they have to win more than one? Just what would that magic-the-law-no-longer-applies-to-me number be?

Is it celebrity perhaps? My son has a following of older folks who show up for open mic nights on the chance that he might be there playing piano. The benefit concert he put on for his Scoutmaster got him an interview on satellite radio and one of his school projects caused him to be interviewed on camera for a television show intended for Japanese schoolchildren. Is that celebrity enough for him to smoke pot without fear of legal repercussions? Maybe he can speed now that he has his license.

Do you see where I'm going here? Simply because you have a soft spot for someone or find some of their achievements admirable does not mean that they should no longer be subject to the same laws as the rest of us.

I say kudos to Sheriff Lott. How would it help the crime rate in his county if he ignored a blatant, publicized instance of lawbreaking where the guilty party can be easily found upon whom to enforce the law? I'm assuming Mr. Phelps did not bring the marijuana to the party, which means someone else, who has access to the drug dealers of Richland County did. It is Sheriff Lott's sworn duty to press charges against Mr. Phelps and anyone else who broke the law at that party. It was Mr. Phelp's civic duty, not only to refuse the drug, but to report whoever offered it to him to the police himself. The only message criminals in Richland County should be taking from his actions is the message that no one is above the law here.

I don't have any idea how Sheriff Lott handles the rest of his duties, but in this instance, he's right on target.
So, kudos to you, Sheriff Lott and shame on you Mr. Litke for eroding the values and standards that uphold the republic.
"My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not." ~Proverbs 1:10

Monday, February 16, 2009

Follow-up to the note.

I am back in town, but with a friend. The flu decided to join us for our trip home and I am not at my best.
This morning, I received a reply to my interest in matching New Hampshire's resolution 6 from the other half of my legislative representatives, my senator.
Here is his reply:

"Thank you for contacting me recently with your support for state’s rights.

I appreciate that you took the time to bring this resolution to my attention. I introduced a similar resolution last year but, unfortunately, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Government Reform has not allowed a hearing on the bill. I plan to re-introduce the proposal in the next few weeks in order to renew this effort. We need to pull back our power and responsibilities from our federal government.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please contact me again if I can provide additional information or answer any questions."

I have asked him to provide a link to the text of that proposed resolution, and I will publish it here as soon as I receive it.

"And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. "~Exodus 32:18

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just a Note

I, upon reading of New Hampshire's Resolution 6, immediately wrote to my own state legislators requesting a similar measure. As I will be out of town for a few days, I thought I would post his response here to encourage those who may not have felt it worthwhile
to contact their own legislators.

"Thank you for forwarding a link to the resolution introduced in the New Hampshire legislature. This document has gotten considerable attention, and I have been sent copies from several sources in recent days. Although the current majorities in the Wisconsin legislature are not likely to embrace such a resolution, I am discussing with colleagues the possibility of introducing a Wisconsin version regardless of majority support.

The federal government has repeatedly usurped the constitutional authority of individual states, and grown government control far beyond the framers intent. I will watch with interest the progress of this initiative in the New Hampshire legislature."

"Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them." ~Judges 15:11