Wednesday, January 20, 2021

And To The Republic For Which It Stands

God Save the United States! God Save the President! God Save the Constitution! God Save the Republic!  

As one administration fades into history and another begins, one lesson jumps to the foreground.  No one person is bigger than the Constitution or the Presidency.  Despite fears from some and panic from others, no one stayed in the White House refusing to leave.  The US Secret Service did not need to forcibly remove anyone from the  Oval Office, so a new caretaker can take his temporary seat behind the Resolute Desk. 

Despite the cloud of controversy that surrounded the Trump Administration, it was not without accomplishments.   The most significant could be seen this past December, with the lightning of the Menorah In Dubai to celebrate Hanukkah.  Israelis are traveling to the UAE under Israel passports for the first time ever. There is a Synagogue and Jewish Cemetery being constructed.  Jews, Christians and Muslims are celebrating weddings together in Dubai and products bearing the words “Made in Israel” are being imported. A year ago these events would not even be considered in the wildest fantasy.  This is an incredible accomplishment.  

Yet, despite the magnitude and Earth moving nature of this accomplishment, everything is overshadowed by the events of January 6, 2021.  

Blame for January 6 has and continues to be apportioned, and although the Trump administration is certainly not without fault, there is plenty of blame to go around.  A huge number of Americans feel marginalized.   The US vs THEM mentality is probably more prevalent now than any other time in the last 40 years certainly.   The twenty-four hour news beast has become a ratings machine rather than gathering and reporting news. There is no way to under-estimate the extreme hatred the left feels for the right or the fear and total contempt the right feels about the left.  This is a plague upon both our houses.  

Yet, the Founding Fathers crated a Republic based on the concept of MISTRUST.  The Founders put limits on the powers of the President.  The Founders created a system where each of the three co-equal branches of Government could stop the others.  They provided for the PEOPLE to elect Representatives to the House; but specifically removed the “people” from otherwise voting on Federal laws, or even electing Senators directly.  The people electing Senators has only been since the 17th Amendment was ratified in 1913.  Before that time, State Legislators chose the Senators of a states, and there are a large number of people who believe repealing the 17th may not be a bad idea.  

The fact is, despite what politicians like to say, we DO NOT live in a Democracy; we live in a Republic. This is something we all must be reminded of from time to time.  

We have all been through an “interesting” four years.  Regardless of ones political views, one cannot deny that we have faced struggles unlike anything the vast majority of of us have seen on our lifetime.   A new administration is being sworn in, and perhaps now it is time for all of us to take a breath, and remember that administrations will come and go.   The actions of one administration may be reversed by the next. Regardless it is not about the person that sits in the Oval Office.  Our nation is more important than any one man.  

As one President leaves and the next is sworn in, the question must be asked again as it was asked in times past: “How Stands the Republic?”

The Republic Stands. 


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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Attacks from Both Sides

There is a cost to taking a stand.  I have had disagreements with relatives, old friends and some of my readers of “The Carden Chronicles” on my statement that President Trump should leave office and that he has lost moral authority to lead.  

And while I have been defending myself on the right, I have been defending myself from some fairly vicious attacks from the LEFT- who want to lay the blame of all of this on EVERY Republican, regardless of wether we supported President Trump and who have laid blame on the grave of President Ronald Reagan- saying this is all because of “Reagan’s push for smaller government- and they have been vicious.  

I will not be backing down.   

For those on the left who cannot resist the childish urge to “rub [our] noses” in something- all you are doing is stopping more Republicans from speaking out.  YOU are the ones that will prevent action on the 25th or calls for resignation.   The more you attack from the left, the more those that should speak out will run to the right.   And I for one shall lay the blame for anything that happens next at your doorstep.  

For those from the right who keep telling me I am wrong- there is one fact that cannot be avoided.  NO MATTER WHO you think was responsible for the attack on the Capitol (ANTIFA plants or Aliens from Mars) - there was an attack on the Capitol.   The President of the United States and Commander In Chief had a DUTY TO ACT- he did not act.  He REFUSED a to call out the National Guard. The National Guard was called out by the VICE PRESIDENT sand SECDEF.  This alone creates a huge Constitutional Issue- bigger even than the question of wether Vice President Cheney gave the order to shoot down aircraft on 9/11 or if President Bush did.  

The PRESIDENT of the United States FAILED TO ACT when there was a Clear and Present Danger to the Capitol and the Congress.  He had a DUTY TO ACT.  He refused.   Alone, this is sufficient to declare he has lost all moral authority to lead and should step down or be removed from office.  

I will continue to speak out, regardless of consequences because it is the right thing to do.  I will not back down.  

(Cross Posted at The Carden Chronicles website and Facebook page) 

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

On the Sedition in Washington

We saw today something I had never dreamed I would see- an Armed Attack upon the capital of the United States.  What was worse, this attack was inspired by a sitting President of the United States and the President’s Lawyer, who minutes before the attack, spoke of “Trial by Combat.”  Never before in our history, has a sitting President or his spokesmen ever encourage such an event.  






We have had contested elections - 1800 was perhaps one of of the most controversial- with the House ultimately electing Thomas Jefferson.  But NO PRESIDENT has ever created the chaos that the sitting President caused today.   

Donald Trump has failed as President.  He has violated the Oath of Office he took in 2017.  His job is to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”.    Donald Trump failed to protect or defend the Constitution today.  

There are 14 days left of the current administration.  Despite this limited time, this President has lost any moral authority or right to lead.    Donald Trump should resign IMMEDIATELY.  Should he not take this action, he should be removed from office, by the 25th Amendment,  and IMPEACHED - so that he may be permanently barred from holding office by vote of the Senate.   

No matter ones political beliefs, we have a Constitution.  The STATES select Electors.  This was done.   Those Electors have voted. 

There was an attack on our Republic.  It was, at minimum, encouraged by the President.  At worst it was INCITED by the President.   It has been, at least in modern history, traditional for the person losing a Presidential election to call for the country to unite and work together.  Donald Trump and his spokesmen have called for the election to be  overturned.   That call resulted in violence, shots being fired, blood spilled and death in the Capital of these United States.  Donald Trump incited an attempted insurrection.  

It is time for EVERYONE- Including Donald Trump - to accept that Former Vice President Joe Biden won the  Presidential election.  

It is also time for Donald Trump to resign or be removed from office.   


 



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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

To the Shores of Tripoli

They have existed for 245 years; born of the Continental Congress before the country was founded and while the Colonies were subjects of the British Crown.  Although they fought in the Revolution, their most famous engagement was during this Country’s first declared war; a war against Islamic Extremists, known as the Pirates of the Barbary Coast.  Everyone who has heard their hymn knows oft “the shores of Tripoli;” but the battle referred to was not in Tripoli, it was in Derna- a fortified town down the coast.  

They fought on the beaches and in the jungles of Wake, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Guam and Iwo Jima- along with many other arils and rocks in the Pacific , only to return to a country with a President and Secretary of Defense  who believed them unnecessary, wanted them disbanded and cut their budgets severely. While underfunded and under equipped, they were sent ashore in Korea, and proved again to the Congress just how vital to this country they are.

They are known for being the first in, and the last out.   They stand post in very US Embassy around the world.  And every time an Embassy has been attacked, they are the last line of defense.  

They are, the few, the proud, the United States Marines.  

In 2001, while living in Japan, I was honored with an invitation to the Independence Day party and welcome for the new Ambassador at the United States Embassy Tokyo.  I never expected I would “feel” different when I stepped through the gate, and a young Marine welcomed me to the United States of America.    In every country I have traveled too, regardless of the political situation, I have always known that now matter what happened,  if I could make it to the Embassy, I would be in the presence of US Marines.  

In August 2009, I was accorded a tremendous honor.  I attended graduation ceremonies at Marine Corp Recruiting Depot, San Diego.  From that day forward, I have been able to proudly say, “I raised a United States Marine.”

Happy Marine Corp Birthday, to all Marines, past and present, wherever you may be.  

From the Navy Hymn (Eternal Father, Strong to Save):

Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
To all Marines, both night and day,
The courage, honor, strength and skill
Their land to serve, Thy law fulfill;
Be Thou the Shield forevermore
From ev'ry peril to the Corps.
Amen.





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Sunday, November 8, 2020

Obituary for The Trump Presidency

It appears now that we have a President Elect and when the Electoral College meets in December, the final vote will be “official.”  It is now probably safe to accept that former Vice President Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021. (I say probably because any number of things could potentially happen, even though the probability is quite low).

So what happened and why?  I certainly have opinions, and they are just that- opinions.  But, I will attempt to explain the logic behind my opinions and present any facts that support my opinion as well.  

There is no way one can call the Trump Presidency an unparalleled success.   I would argue there were only a few successes.  The biggest success that can be attributed to the Trump Administration is in relation to Israel.   After eight years with a President who said Israel should give up Jerusalem (May 20, 2011 speech is one instance) by calling for a return to pre-1967 borders (borders prior to the Six Day War), US-Israeli relations took a hit.  Now, the US is building an Embassy in Jerusalem (western half) and in effect the US has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  At the same time, additional Arab States have recognized Israel.  That is, at least, a significant change in the Middle East.  The fact of the United States recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and having the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan normalize relations, must be considered a success - especially when one considers that the last time an Arab Nation officially recognized Israel was Egypt in 1979.  That success may have been pushed through and quarterbacked by Jared Kushner, but it was a Trump Presidency which made it possible.  

President Trump also appointed three Justices to the US Supreme Court.   With that said, only one vacancy was from retirement, and therefore was replaced by choice of the retiring Justice.  

President Trump also lowered taxes both on corporations, which does keep prices from rising - when corporate taxes increase, prices of goods increase- and individuals. 

But the border wall to stop illegal immigration, which was to be paid for by Mexico, certainly did not happen.   We also have tariffs and retaliatory tariffs on various products and materials- which only increase prices. 

I cannot blame the President for the fact that COVID-19 exists.   I also do not believe that any President can stop the disease - unless the President single handedly develops a vaccine. Disease has existed for as long as man has existed.   We will continue to have diseases and pandemics regardless of who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Diseases do not care what party one belongs to or how much money one has.   Diseases do not respect international borders.

I am of the opinion and belief that President Trump lost this election due to his own personality and attitudes.   Lest we forget, a significant number of registered Republicans did not support the 2016 Trump nomination.   The “Never Trump” movement was not insignificant. The number of Republicans who opposed President Trump increased as time went on.  

President Trump was ill suited to the Presidency, where working with people and not just ordering them to do what you want is essential.  There were several cabinet members who simply could not work with the White House.  

The fact remains that President Trump lost the White House; President-Elect Biden did not “win” it. (Yes, President-Elect Biden got the most votes, I am not questioning election results). One need only look at the outcome of the House and Senate elections (this far) to see that a large number of voters chose to vote for someone other than President Trump while voting for GOP candidates on the rest of the ticket.   With the exception of the White House, the 2020 elections were incredibly good for Republicans in down ticket races.   President-Elect Biden may have won the Presidency, but he had no coat-tails.  It can be stated that President-Elect Biden may have won the vote- but he has yet to win the country. 

Perhaps, the last four years will serve as a cautionary tale- only time will tell.  

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Executive Action and the Biden Administration

From an unnamed source in the Biden Transition team - "I expect [executive action] to be freely used in a Biden administration at this point, if the Senate becomes a roadblock."

Now how about that.  Is the former candidate CLAIMING to be all about Democracy wanting to set up a dictatorship? That’s what “one man rule” is called.   If the Senate doesn’t do what the President wants - he will do it anyway by Executive Action.  That is what has been said.  

Except, I don’t seem to find those two words together in the Constitution.  

What I DO find - SEPARATION OF POWERS and CHECKS AND BALANCES.   

The Senate is a CHECK on the House, the Courts and on the Executive.    

It is the LEGISLATIVE BRANCH that is supposed to pass laws- NOT THE EXECUTIVE.   

The fact remains, the Rank and File GOP helped give this election to President-Elect Biden.   There was an enormous amount of “Trump Exhaustion”.  Biden won because Republicans voted against Trump - they did NOT necessarily vote FOR President-Elect Biden.   

We have a constitution that is set up on the concept that the branches of government are separate, equal and can block the actions of the other branches.   That is the entire point of what the Founders envisioned.   They WANTED obstruction.  Obstruction in Government is GOOD.   It ensures that only those laws that all parties find at least tolerable and constitutional are passed (or that is the theory). Obstruction must be tempered and used rationally; not on every single item that is proposed.    Compromise is what is required.   Unfortunately, we have a tendency to see obstruction for the sake of politics as opposed to obstruction based on policy... which is absolutely need.  

Before President-Elect Biden gets carried away, he needs to take a LONG, hard look at how he can achieve consensus, rather than cramming an agenda down the throats of America.  

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

On SCOTUS, BIDEN-HARRIS Are Completely Wrong

There is one phrase I hear over and over and over again during every election cycle, that I absolutely hate because it is 100% wrong.  That phrase is “We live in a Democracy.”    We do not.   This country has never been a Democracy.   We live in a Republic.  It is because we live in a Republic that we have a House and Senate, and because we live in a Republic, the votes of the middle of the country actually make a difference in a Presidential Election, and the President is not just elected by a plurality on the East and West Coasts.  

Recently, the Biden-Harris statement on Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Bench has been "We live in a Democracy, and the PEOPLE deserve their say" when it comes to the  Supreme Court (or words to that effect).  This answer could not be more wrong.

(In the interest of full disclosure, at this time, I have NOT decided which of the MANY candidates I will cast my ballot for.    I will likely NOT vote for former Vice President Biden and Senator Harris.  Anyone who has read the articles on this site over the last few years, will note I have not written in favor of President Trump- at least not often.  I have, however, found Jo Jorgenson to be an interesting candidate, but I remain undecided).

As a Republic, we vote for only certain persons at the Federal level.  Our US House Representatives and our Senators.  Voting for Senators is actually not what the Founding Fathers intended.   State Governments selected their Senators- not the people.  In point of fact, the Constitution has only stated that Senators are to be elected by popular vote since 1913 and the ratification of the 17th Amendment- or in other words, 107 years- less than half of our country's history.  We do NOT elect a President.  We elect slates of electors who will vote for a President and Vice President.   If they fail to elect a President, the House of Representatives elects a President and Vice President.   Again, this ensures that every state has an impact on the election- not just the plurality of the East and West Coasts.

The Court however, is supposed to be above politics.  Justices are appointed for life, by a President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.   The PEOPLE, have NO SAY in the appointment of Justices to the Supreme Court- as it should be.  This was the INTENT of the Founding Fathers and has been accepted for the entire history of this country.  The PEOPLE having a say on the Supreme Court would politicize the Court, and would destroy the integrity of the Court in its role as unbiased arbiter of the Constitution.  If the Court were dependent upon the "will of the people" through election, Brown v Board of Education, may not have been decided.   The Miranda (Miranda v Arizona) warning may not exist, and hundreds of other cases may not have been heard or decided, if Justices had to rely on "public opinion" to be elected, or to stay in office.   

The closest we are able to come to influencing the Court, is the election of a President and the election of our own Senators from our state.   But even this action has limited impact on The Court.   No one can predict the death or the retirement of a Justice.    The death of Justice Scalia was not expected.   Perhaps one could have predicted the deaths of Chief Justice Rehnquist or perhaps Justice Ginsberg, but one can not make those predictions years out. A President may only appoint one Justice in a presidency.  Appointing three in a single term is unusual.

The Constitution dictates that the President makes appointments to the Court.   The Constitution dictates that the Senate "advise and consent."   The appointment by President Obama of  Judge Merrick Garland fulfilled the Constitutional requirement to make the appointment.  The Senate majority did not provide consent to the appointment- as was the right of the Senate.  There is no Constitutional requirement for the Senate to hold hearings on any appointment.  The hearing is procedural, not a Constitutional requirement.   The fact is, the Senate chose not to "consent" to the appointment  This was within the scope of the duties of the Senate.   Whether this was a popular decision, or whether this decision was what the minority in the Senate wanted, the fact remains, it did fulfil the Constitutional requirements.

The appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is also within the scope of the Constitution.   To those who say she is going to rule in any predictable manner on any specific issue will very likely be in for a surprise.   The scope of Judge Barrett's prior rulings in the Court of Appeals are based upon precedent and interpretation of precedent as provided by the Supreme Court.  This does not mean that the Judge, once appointed to the Supreme Court, will vote the same way, when it is they who are deciding what the precedent will be.    We have seen this with Chief Justice Roberts and recently with both Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch.   I am sure we will also find that predicting Justice Barrett, will be equally as difficult.    One should never try to predict what the Court will do.











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Saturday, October 3, 2020

In Memory of Eric Chamberlain

A couple of years ago, I decided to try a new format on this site. I invited an author form “the Left side of the Aisle” to write a counter point to articles that were posted from the right.   There were several articles that went out - on China, and on other topics.   The author was a friend of mine dating back to grade school, Mr Eric Chamberlain.   

This morning I received word Eric has gone to be with his Creator.  

I never have been able to remember if Eric and I would argue politics as kids.   The world was different then.  There was a clear cut enemy in the Soviet Union.  President Reagan was in the White House from our Sixth Grade year on.  Mostly I remember the pranks we would pull and the trouble we would get into and the fun we had together. 

Our educational paths diverged after our Freshman Year of High School. We lost touch with each other.   However, thanks to the advent of the internet and the development of Facebook we were able to reconnect as adults. 

Eric and I sometimes had different views politically.  But we’re always able to maintain a civil and even friendly discourse as we tossed opinions around.  Although we would disagree, we shared a mutual respect.  

Eric was 51.  He was taken from this world too soon, and we have lost a Great Person, with a Wonderful Spirit who was able to articulate his views with compassion and grace.  This site and our readers have lost a valued author and I have lost a friend.   

Eric A Chamberlain

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