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CONSTITUTIONAL FIDELITY AND THE OATH OF OFFICE

Let’s start by consulting Article VI of the Constitution.

Paragraph three reads as follows: "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution..."*

It would be a hell of a sensation if we ever heard of a federal official resigning his position out of respect for this oath; all the more if he said he agreed with his superiors’ policies, but doubted their constitutional authority. You might expect that would happen once in a while given the disputes over constitutional interpretation. But you really don’t, do you?

It would be only slightly less surprising if the media ever inquired into a candidate’s constitutional understanding or quizzed him to discover if he had any.

Young Frary posing with axe
Child Frary Contemplates the Federal Budget

When Abraham Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus, ordered military arrests and exiled the copperhead Clement Vallandigham to the Confederacy there was a storm of protest, and rightfully so. The President sat down to write his own response. It was, after all, his oath of fidelity, not a speech writer’s. It is estimated that his plain and logical justification was read by ten million Americans. His reasoning persuaded the public and opinion shifted in his favor.

The modern custom is quite different. Presidents and legislatures pass measures and wait to see if the courts will let them get away with them. It’s hard to detect the soul-searching or independent thought that an oath implies. Pragmatic politicians want to get on with "problem solving" without a lot complications. Moderates recoil from conviction. It inhibits compromise, creates conflict and roils the smooth process of "finding the middle ground." Nearly as I can determine Ron Paul is the only candidate who takes his oath seriously and reflects intensely on his constitutional obligations.

Some people have asked for my constitutional views. A fair, if rare, question. So here they are. The Constitution was enacted to endow the national government with effective powers. These are implicitly stated in Article I, Section 8. This is followed immediately, by Section 9 with a clear set of restrictions on that power. Further restrictions were demanded by the people in the form of the Bill of Rights, all ten of which set barriers on the powers of the national government.

Article V lays down stringent requirements for amendments, requiring extraordinary majorities so that a national consensus for any changes will be assured. A five-to-four majority of Supreme Court justices does not serve that purpose.

The unique feature of our Constitution is its division of powers, safeguarded by a system of checks and balances. James Madison made the purpose clear---to "let ambition check ambition."

Finally, the "Consent of the People" that legitimizes all government power can only mean that the citizens must be able to understand it. And also understand any amendments proposed for their consent without waiting for judges to explain what they voted for. Anything less and the philosophical foundations of our government exists only as a rhetorical fantasy.

If elected I take an oath to uphold the Constitution AS I UNDERSTAND IT, not as some judge chooses to interpret it. Otherwise my oath is a travesty. My understanding is that the Constitution is intended to limit the exercise of federal powers. I believe that those powers are continually being expanded with scant attention to those limits.

My Solution for Maine, if Michaud does become Governor:

"Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable and most sacred right - a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can may revolutionize and make their own of so many of the territory as they inhabit."

Abraham Lincoln, January 12, 1848

From: T************************
To: jfrary8070@aol.com
Sent: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 12:54 pm
Subject: Pot rumors

Dear Mr. Frary,

I have heard rumors that you support legalizing pot. Is this true?

Curious.

T******* B*****


From: jfrary8070@aol.com
To: t**************************
Sent: Sun, 28 Sep 2008 5:55 pm
Subject: Re: Pot rumors

Dear Mr. B*****,

No rumor. Fact. Legalize, regulate, tax like alcohol. Forty years ago I'd have said nip it in the bud. Thirty years ago I'd have said stamp it out. Eighteen years ago I began to wonder. Twelve years ago I began to doubt. When I began this campaign, I began to consider whether it was up to me to place this idea before the public for serious discussion.

Then "Charlie from Milo" called the MPBN show to ask me what I thought of legalization and it was either commit myself to legalization or get politically cute and evasive.

I don't do cute. The die is cast. The Rubicon has been crossed.

John Frary

Professor John Frary, Republican candidate for US Congress in Maine's 2nd district, was asked by a caller on Maine Public Radio today what he thought about the War on Drugs in Maine, and told the caller he thought the time had come to consider treating marijuana like alcohol, prosecuting those who sold it to minors, and not prosecuting adults. You can hear the call here: http://www.mpbn.net/index.asp

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18 September 2008

FRARY ON RECONSIDERING THE WAR ON DRUGS

MILLIONS UPROOTED, TERRORIZED OR MADE REFUGEES, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS IMPRISONED, THOUSANDS KILLED, TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS LOST, WIRETAPPING & GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE OF CIVILIANS, OUR CIVIL RIGHTS ERODED, NO END IN SIGHT. IRAQ?

Hardly. It's the War on Drugs. Where are the liberals when you need them? Out trying to outlaw cigarettes and fatty foods.

An obscure challenger to an incumbent faces a mountain of disadvantages. Incumbents typically get re-elected 97% of the time. An incumbent Representative who can’t raise a million dollars from organized special interests isn’t even trying. He can communicate with his constituents (i.e., voters) at public expense. Newspapers print his (i.e., his hired hack’s) most banal thoughts. The list goes on and on.

But a challenger who has no ambition is start a political career, does not crave popularity and is not counting on a congressional salary has an advantage which serve a different kind of ambition. He can raise any issue he thinks needs public attention, regardless of established political taboos.

That, in fact, may be the most useful function a long-shot challenger can perform.
This brings me to the War on Drugs. This War has gone on for years. It has cost hundreds of billions of dollars and filled our jails. Criminal gangs prosper and proliferate. It has eroded our civil liberties. The drug trade has seriously destabilized Mexico, Columbia and Bolivia. There is no victory in sight.

The economics of the drug trade are clear. Demand remains undiminished. The cost of production remains low. Arrest a horde of producers, smugglers, wholesalers and retailers and all that can happen is that the profit margins go up. That is what must take place when supply diminishes while demand remains steady. Higher profits brings more recruits into the trade. More, when the flow of one drug is reduced alternative drugs seem always spring up to take its place. I suppose you could round up the millions of users and execute them, but I think the public might be a little hesitant to resort to such extreme measures. I know I am.

These appear to me to be the plain facts at issue. Those who wish to continue the War on present terms must decide how many wasted billions, how many prisoners, how much erosion of civil liberties, how many gangs and how much narcoterrorism they are willing to tolerate. These calculations must be made and balanced against the benefits as a foundation for rational discussion. Isn’t it possible we would be better off putting a fraction of the money spent on the War on Drugs into faith based addict services?

I’ve spoken with a number of police and corrections officers. No one, so far, is arguing that the war is winnable. Some believe that the effort must continue along present lines as a form of containment. Others favor a partial legalization or a measure of what may be called normalization for those drugs that are no more harmful than alcohol, so they are freed to concentrate on truly serious matters.

I'm in some very good company with prominent conservatives in questioning this policy, Milton Friedman and William F. Buckley, to name a few. And this year the drug enforcement people are upset because they are finding fewer plants in northern Maine, it seems that the number of helicopters available to search is down, because thye have been transferred to Afganistan. Personally, I prefer pursuing Osama Bin Laden to pursuing some Maine organic farmer.

My point is, why isn’t anybody talking about this? The people of Maine voted to legalize medical marijuana a decade ago, yet it remains illegal. Who’s in charge here? Is every elected official in Maine such a spineless weenie that they can’t talk about the very real costs of prohibition?

Professor John Frary is a Farmington selectman, a retired history professor, and an associate editor of the International Military Encyclopedia and the Republican candidate for US Congress in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District



AND FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT, A LITTLE THING FROM MATTHEW ARNOLD

 

Cruel, but composed and bland,
Mute, inscrutable and grand,
So Tiberius might have sat,
Had Tiberius been a cat.



The Real Deal

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.



LIBERTARIAN OR CHEAP CONSERVATIVE?

Some of my friends, from time to time, have accused me of harboring Libertarian tendencies. While it is true that I deplore many of the excesses of our modern Cultural Wasteland (rap music comes to mind), it is equally true that I am unwilling to use the power of the state to force you to pay for its suppression.

In short, my policy might be described as "Do as you please, and kindly stay out of my yard."

For years now I’ve been noticing a peculiar trend in American thought. The vast majority of Americans would like to be free to order their own lives and pursue their own dreams with their own money - but they would also like to determine how their neighbor should order his life, pursue his dreams and spend his money. I, on the other hand, am perfectly willing to live and let live, as long as you aren’t costing me any money, and, as I have noted, are not in my yard.

The more full throated libertarians deplore even the roads. They say that if people want roads, let them build them, or let others build them and charge a toll. And if they don’t want to build roads, let them walk. While this might alleviate the obesity epidemic in our country, I am not totally sold on this proposition. On the other hand, why shouldn’t the proponents of the East-West Highway be given every encouragement to explore the possibility of a private toll road? If it makes economic sense, then it will pay for itself.

Other anarcho-libertarians want to abolish the Department of Homeland Security or repeal the Patriot Act. Their solution to air piracy?: “Arm the passengers!” While I am not certain the country is ready to reenact the Shootout at the OK Corral at 30,000 feet, I am perfectly happy to arm the pilots. I am, after all, a Life Member of the NRA.

And I for one am glad that we have escaped the scourge of dozens of attempted terrorist attacks over the last six years, but by no means certain our luck will hold.

But my biggest pet peeve with the current political dialog and one I wholeheartedly agree with libertarians on, is how many of the Republican candidates for President have come out for a National Identity Card. Of course all the Democrats are for it - they invented Big Government! - but Republicans?

The last thing we all need in our lives is a government that can’t figure out what THEY are doing trying to figure out what WE are doing.



GUEST EDITORIAL

I am willing to extend an invitation to those who have something to say to do so on my website, provided the item is scurrilous enough, although true, to escape a reading in the PC Drive-By Media. By “scurrilous enough”, I mean something that would have been suppressed by John Adams under the Alien and Sedition Acts had it been directed at him. I’m old fashioned enough to believe that Freedom of the Press means exactly what it says.

Notes from a Ron Paul Revolutionary

A friend of mine sent me a "humorous" video, produced by some apparatchik at a labor union, which attempts to satirize the Bush administration by having Bush replace the currency with a new one based on Oil. It was pretty flat (ever noticed all the best satirists are libertarians?) but if it been a lot sillier I still could not have enjoyed it, because it took actual historical instances of abuse of government power and trivialized them. It's like the people who pretend to believe that Bush is Adolf Hitler - after all, they say, one staged the Reichstag Fire and the other blew up the World Trade Center. One killed the Jews and one killed the Palestinians for the Jews.

I blame the government schools for this sort of lunacy - after all, the less you know the more things seem possible.

But back to history. We DID have a government that did everything that was in the video. Altered the currency, moved vast waves of serfs into the industrial maw at subsistence wages, violated the Constitution at every turn, opened concentration camps, put enemy agents to death in secret facilities, debased the Supreme Court, openly defrauded the populace of their assets, you name it.

Do you know that President's name?

From: President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt
To: The United States Congress
Dated: 5 April, 1933
Presidential Executive Order 6102
Gold Confiscation Notice to Public

Forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion and Gold Certificates By virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 5(b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended by Section 2 of the Act of March 9, 1933, entitled:

An Act to provide relief in the existing national emergency in banking, and for other purposes in which amendatory Act Congress declared that a serious emergency exists,

I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said section to do hereby prohibit the hoarding gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations and hereby prescribe the following regulations for carrying out the purposes of the order:

Section 1. For the purpose of this regulation, the term 'hoarding" means the withdrawal and withholding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates from the recognized and customary channels of trade. The term "person" means any individual, partnership, association or corporation.

Section 2. All persons are hereby required to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal Reserve bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates now owned by them or coming into their ownership on or before April 28, 1933, except the following:

(a) Such amount of gold as may be required for legitimate and customary use in industry, profession or art within a reasonable time, including gold prior to refining and stocks of gold in reasonable amounts for the usual trade requirements of owners mining and refining such gold.

(b) Gold coin and gold certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate $100.00 belonging to any one person; and gold coins having recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins.

(c) Gold coin and bullion earmarked or held in trust for a recognized foreign government or foreign central bank or the Bank for International Settlements.

(d) Gold coin and bullion licensed for the other proper transactions (not involving hoarding) including gold coin and gold bullion imported for the re-export or held pending action on applications for export license.

Section 3. Until otherwise ordered any person becoming the owner of any gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates after April 28, 1933, shall within three days after receipt thereof, deliver the same in the manner prescribed in Section 2; unless such gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates are held for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a),(b) or (c) of Section 2; or unless such gold coin, gold bullion is held for purposes specified in paragraph (d) of Section 2 and the person holding it is, with respect to such gold coin or bullion, a licensee or applicant for license pending action thereon.

Section 4. Upon receipt of gold coin, gold bullion, or gold certificates delivered to it in accordance with Section 2 or 3, the Federal reserve bank or member bank will pay thereof an equivalent amount of any other form of coin or currency coined or issued under the laws of the Unites States.

Section 5. Member banks shall deliver alt gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates owned or received by them (other than as exempted under the provisions of Section 2) to the Federal reserve banks of there respective districts and receive credit or payment thereof.

Section 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, out of the sum made available to the President by Section 501 of the Act of March 9, 1933, will in all proper cases pay the reasonable costs of transportation of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates delivered to a member bank or Federal reserve bank in accordance with Sections 2, 3, or 5 hereof, including the cost of insurance, protection, and such other incidental costs as may be necessary, upon production of satisfactory evidence of such costs. Voucher forms for this purpose may be procured from Federal reserve banks.

Section 7. In cases where the delivery of gold coin, gold bullion, or gold certificates by the owners thereof within the time set forth above will involve extraordinary hardship or difficulty, the Secretary of the Treasury may, in his discretion, extend the time within which such delivery must be made. Applications for such extensions must be made in writing under oath; addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury and filed with a Federal reserve bank. Each applications must state the date to which the extension is desired, the amount and location of the gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates in respect of which such application is made and the facts showing extension to be necessary to avoid extraordinary hardship or difficulty.

Section 8. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and empowered to issue such further regulations as he may deem necessary to carry the purposes of this order and to issue licenses there under, through such officers or agencies as he may designate, including licenses permitting the Federal reserve banks and member banks of the Federal Reserve System, in return for an equivalent amount of other coin, currency or credit, to deliver, earmark or hold in trust gold coin or bullion to or for persons showing the need for same for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) of Section 2 of these regulations.

Section 9. Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Executive Order or these regulation or of any rule, regulation or license issued there under may be fined not more than $10,000, or,if a natural person may be imprisoned for not more than ten years or both; and any officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in any such violation may be punished by a like fine, imprisonment, or both.

This order and these regulations may be modified or revoked at any time.

/s/
Franklin D. Roosevelt
President of the United States of America
April 5, 1933

Nothing Bush and Cheney have ever dreamed of doing will amount to a tiny fraction of what FDR did do.

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