If I could send a letter to God
And include a stamp stuck to it,
I would set it out in nature
And let the wind do what it would to it.
And if the letter remained in place,
No one or nothing came to it,
I’d assume that it had been read
Because what was on my mind God already knew it.
But still I’d ask how things became this way
And God watched and fully knew it.
How power and money overthrew our land
And the common man lost to it.
If a war were fought between the sides
There really wouldn’t be much to it.
The rich man’s tanks and planes
Would bring a quick end to it.
So now I’m asked to vote
Though there really is not much good to do it.
Both set political parties are bought and paid for;
To choose the least destructive would be all that’s to it.
And the courts well paid for by money brokers
Would find no evil to it.
For war or law is not really just
We commoners can not fight on through it.
The dreams of common men are being lost
The evil stench of power and wealth struck through it.
What is left is servitude for some
And a form of slavery stuck to it.
We cannot expect to preserve our dreams—
The one per cent have run right through it.
They own this country lock, stock, and barrel
And the rich intend to rule it.
But, God help me I will vote
And all ninety-niners should do it.
Gregory T. Krysiak
A Letter to Citizens
Obama’s now infamous “you didn’t build that” speech may possibly be his most classist and collectivist rhetoric to date. What’s more, this speech was delivered after his administration put an end to welfare reform as we know it:
“There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”
At first blush, this all probably sounds reasonable to the average observer. But if you’re able to see through the smoke and mirrors, you recognize two euphemisms: “somebody,” which is really “government,” and “give back,” which is really “pay taxes.”
According to Obama, we owe our success to the state, the collective, and we should willingly “give back” out of appreciation. What the president fails to understand is the government doesn’t have any wealth of its own, except what it forcibly takes from individuals and businesses through taxation.
Milton Friedman wrote, “To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them. He is proud of a common heritage and loyal to common traditions. But he regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favors and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshipped and served.”
As we approach the 100th birthday of Friedman, we still believe America is great because free men and women are willing to risk everything to pursue their dreams. Not because of the state. And the Institute will continue to promote self-suffiency — the antithesis of government dependence.
Here’s to the free man. The individual.
Executive Vice President
Illinois Policy Institute
Response to Representative Sacia
With the difficulties we are facing today as a nation and a region, I am curious as to why Mr. Sacia’s focus continues to be whether we can carry concealed weapons in public, and how the poor, (or I am sorry, people that are faking being poor) abuse the social safety net.
Does he not believe that there are families in his district that are legitimately suffering financially, and would like to hear ideas of how their representative is trying to create jobs rather than him accusing them of “gaming the system” or implicitly comparing them to animals? While there surely is some abuse that needs to be remedied, pandering to hating of this small sector is purely playing politics.
Being as you are an elected government official, my recommendation to you is this: Correct gaps in the system that can create abuse, then get to work on the real issue that most American’s want - not to avoid work, but to have a job that can support their family. Politics of hate is never the answer. This recession was not made by “lazy people”. This, I believe, we can all agree on.
Guest Commentary – The Obama Nullification Doctrine
By Dr. Marvin Folkertsma
In December 1828, South Carolina had 5,000 copies of John C. Calhoun’s “Exposition and Protest” printed and distributed throughout the state. A defiant document, Calhoun’s “Exposition” outlined a theory of constitutional interpretation first adumbrated in the infamous Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which asseverated the right of states to declare “null and void” acts of the federal government within their respective jurisdictions. These instances of the nullification doctrine were based on the view that certain acts of the federal government could be deemed unconstitutional by state authorities and reserved to states the option of interposing their sovereign will between their citizens and officials attempting to enforce national law.
In his “Disquisition on Government,” which appeared two decades later, Calhoun explained, “It is this negative power—the power of preventing or arresting the action of the government—be it called by what term it may—veto, interposition, nullification, check, or balance of power—which, in fact, forms the Constitution.”
In short, a valid Constitution should allow any of its constituent parts to interpret its terms any way it likes, regardless of the Supremacy Clause, or those pesky introductory words to the acclaimed document, which state, “We the People”—or the first Article of the Constitution, which assigns to Congress the authority to make national law. More remarkably, Calhoun admitted in a letter written to a colleague in 1832 that the real inspiration for his nullification doctrine was safeguarding the power of the South to preserve its peculiar institution: slavery. Clearly, depraved intentions spawned this nefarious constitutional construction by Southern elites: preserve your political power by any means possible.
Interpretations like this lurk beneath the Obama administration’s recent non-enforcement of federal law. For instance, President Obama’s Department of Justice declared in 2011 that it regarded The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)—duly enacted by a majority in Congress, to use the president’s sophomoric constitutional reminder—to be unconstitutional and would no longer defend it in court. Oh, really? What happened to Article Two, Section Three of the U.S. Constitution, the part that enjoins the president to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed?” DOJ insisted it would continue to “enforce” the law, but still has managed to ignore it in several cases involving immigration and gay marriages, as pointed out by Representative Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), one of which involved the department “vacating” a decision made by the Board of Immigration Appeals involving a gay man. And “not defending” a law in court on constitutional grounds is tantamount to lack of enforcement, because the bottom line is: if you don’t like federal law, simply don’t enforce it. Which is the federal version of nullification.
Nowhere has this nullification doctrine been more apparent or more maddening than the federal government’s refusal to enforce national immigration laws. Further, the Obama administration has announced that it no longer will abide by the so-called 287(g) agreements with the state of Arizona. These agreements permitted state and local authorities to assist in the enforcement of federal laws on immigration. Of course, if you have no intention of enforcing the law anyway, federal authorities certainly don’t want states to do it in their absence. Also, since national policy in this area has been significantly determined by executive order—since the president’s de facto amnesty announcement for children of illegal immigrations—neither Congress nor the American states seem to have any role to play.
And the nullifications keep on coming. On July 12 the Health and Human Services Department announced that it was granting waivers to certain states from the work requirements of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, perhaps the signature achievement of the Clinton administration. Republicans reacted with predictable outrage, but also with a constitutional case to make, centering on HHS’ lack of legal authority to administer by regulation what it is denied to do by law, one that has been regarded by most observers as a huge success. As far as HHS is concerned, none of that matters, which is another egregious case of what critics have termed “executive overreach.”
But the HHS decree represents much more than that. In fact, there has been considerable commentary on Obama administration policies under the rubric of the “imperial presidency,” a term that dates back to the 1960s. However, the real doctrine is more threatening and the dangers are far deeper; the Obama-ites are not just doing their “imperial presidency” thing; they’re practicing nullification, with designs on power as suspect as those that inspired that interpretation’s notorious roots. Indeed, if the dark visage of John C. Calhoun were somehow to encounter the administration of Barack Obama, one can easily imagine a thin smile of approval cracking his stony expression. Nullification remains alive and well, though this time in federal clothing.
— Dr. Marvin Folkertsma is a professor of political science and fellow for American studies with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. The author of several books, his latest release is a high-energy novel titled “The Thirteenth Commandment.”
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
Daily I try to thank the Good Lord for my blessings. My good friend Gary Quinn often quotes the Biblical saying “this is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad”. Gary is quick to add there are no qualifiers such as I’ll rejoice if I make more money, don’t get angry, get better health, etc. I get that Gary but today I’m angry and of all the things I’m angry at our President.
No, this isn’t a political article. I pride myself on writing on issues of concern and avoid political agendas. Do my conservative leanings come through? Of course they do. I do try very hard to see all sides of an issue and Mr. President – I’m trying real hard on this one. You have been quoted widely with your attack on business stating, “…If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen…” The inference of course is the business owner didn’t, the working man did.
Here is why I’m angry. I personally know our President. For two years I worked with him while he was an Illinois State Senator. A bill he carried in the senate I carried in the house. I doubt that Mr. Obama has me on speed dial. We don’t play cards on Thursdays.
Don’t create class warfare Mr. Obama. We grew up having great respect for everyone who earned their keep. Why is our President trying to create a special class of person, who is the “working man”?
I see the “working man” as the one who builds the cars, drives the truck, cleans the house, raises the kids, roofs the house, milks the cows, and yes builds a business and hires others to work with and for him. I did the latter Mr. Obama, like thousands of other small businesses across America.
The bottom line is – they are all the “working man”. If one becomes more financially successful than the other he shouldn’t be punished or vilified. We are all in this together. We are a capitalistic society where anyone can reach for the top and that should not be attacked as “Un-American”, quite to the contrary, that is America at its finest.
With one hundred plus days to election time all of us should be repulsed at what’s going on in Washington. We should be rewarding everyone who contributes to society and start recognizing that those who don’t contribute and intentionally live off those who do are America’s biggest problem.
The working man, be he the president of the corporation or the man pushing the broom, in America can become anything he or she wishes to become. Class warfare has no place in America.