September 29, 2016: I Did Not Watch

I did not watch the first Presidential Candidate Debate on September 26, 2016. I was in flight back from the Nation’s Capital where the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture had its Grand opening on September 24th.  I could have watched part of the debate while the plane was still in the air because JetBlue provides TV service. 

I decided who I would be voting for in July when the national party conventions were over. Luke 16:10 eliminates the Democratic Party Candidate:  “He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much” – Revised Standard Version.

I understand that government officials cannot always explain details of events as they unfold, but concocting stories to bolster their narrative of how they want events to transpire is deception. Wait if you must to get the facts right, but then tell me the truth. To lie to a Citizen is a violation of the trust that voters confer to their elected officials and those appointed by them. Lies by the governing should lead to disqualification from public service instead of chances to run for higher offices.

I also understand why the Democratic Party Nominee has so many followers. A large percentage of the American people are not capable of facing the consequences of the choices they have made and so they are happy to have someone continue to lie to them to make them feel a little better about their situation or themselves. They continue to hope that help is coming from someone else.

Many members of the Senate and House are entrenched in the status quo and are not interested in retaking the responsibilities of their office. The reason Donald Trump is the Republican candidate is because record numbers of Republican voters cast votes for him hoping to get someone who will turn the tide away from laws and regulations being written by unelected bureaucrats. It’s no longer “an act of Congress” to get a law changed, now it’s appeal to Federal Regulators.

I’ll digress to point out that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments yesterday concerning the Clean Power Plan. Understand that Congress has passed no law requiring a reduction in, or a setting a level for air pollution from power plants. This is all coming from the Environmental Protection Agency claiming it has the authority to issue regulations that will require some coal-fired power plants to shut down or substantially alter the manner in which they generate power. Those changes will substantially impact the rates consumers pay for electricity.   It will become more expensive if power companies have to adopt another set of EPA regulations.  

This leads to a point about the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Split decisions on the Supreme Court leave lower court rulings in place. DC Justice Brett Kavanaugh called the policy behind the Clean Power Plan “laudable,” adding, “The earth is warming, and humans are contributing.” – Richard Wolf, USA TODAY. This setup is an example of Justices who rule to promote their views to obtain goals rather than scrutinize the law. The next president will nominate at least one Supreme Court Justice (presuming the Senate does not confirm the present nomination of Merrick Garland).

This is the same Merrick Garland of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that refused to block the Clean Power Plan in January while states and industry coalitions were mounting their appeal. The Supreme Court did issue a stay in February before Justice Scalia’s death. The Supreme Court was 5-4 with Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Alito, and Kennedy approving the application for stay while Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, & Kagan would deny it.

The effect of the stay will be to prevent the EPA from collecting compliance fines until the case is decided.   This is unlike the Michigan v. EPA case in which the EPA collected nearly $10 billion a year in compliance fees before the Court reviewed the case and found the EPA had violated the law. Four (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, & Kagan) of the nine Supreme Court Justices were OK with this happening again.

It is not a difficult exercise to conclude that Merrick Garland would have denied the application for stay if he were a member of the Supreme Court instead of Scalia. That would have unleashed the EPA in another round of compliance audits and fine collecting for their new regulations while the appeal process was ongoing.

Two other 5-4 Supreme Court decisions that favor Citizens rights and liberties are District of Columbia ET AL v. Heller and McDonald ET AL. v. City of Chicago. These two cases are the foundation for protection of Citizens rights to keep and bear arms in the home for self-defense. This year’s Democratic Party nominee has stated she believes the Supreme Court got these decisions “wrong” – Sahil Kapur, BloombergPolitics May 20, 2016.

Another Supreme Court Justice in the mold of Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer, or Sotomayor will flip the decisions if they are revisited by a Court that is determined to join a President in curbing Citizens rights. A conservative Justice joining Roberts, Kennedy Thomas and Alito is the only hope of holding onto the historically understood individual right to keep and bear arms. A conservative will not be nominated by the Democratic Party candidate.

To effectively eliminate the Second Amendment, it does not have to be repealed. The Democratic Party nominee has been quoted as saying she does not want to repeal the Second Amendment.- AWR Hawkins, Breitbart.com, August 1, 2016. Don’t get fooled by her semantics. If Heller and McDonald are overturned on review, there will be no legal standing for private individual ownership of firearms. That will be the overthrow of more than 240 years of American history, practice, and yes, American culture. If Heller and McDonald do not stand, any government entity at any level can then write laws forbidding ownership of firearms.

The progressive/liberal chant for gun control to curb gun violence is always misplaced. Guns are tools used by violent people to commit crimes. Just as bombs, knives, hatchets, airplanes, trucks and any other object can be. Gun safety involves education, training and support for storage. Addressing gun violence involves the much more complex and harder to solve interpersonal conflicts. It involves family values, economic opportunity, education, personal responsibility and other topics that aren’t being resolved in 4 year cycles.

It also depends on the application of the rule of law to all Citizens, the governed and the governing. Peddling influence from public office for personal gain is despicable behavior that shows a special contempt for our foundation upon the rule of law. When influence and graft affect the outcomes we are not being governed by the law, we are being governed by the rule of a man or woman. That is tyranny, which must be cast off.

If our system were perfected, each elected person would be a steward of the position they held. The decisions they made would conform to the laws that governed the situations. When new laws were needed they would be crafted by and passed Legislation. Challenges would be decided by the Judiciary, not based on desired outcomes but on conformity to our Constitution. The Executive would carry out and see to the enforcement of the laws.

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