Was the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Incident a Federal Sting Operation?

by Al Benson Jr.

For a change this has been a good week. Given our culturally Marxist regime in Washington and the wannabees in most of our state capitals, us ordinary folks don’t experience many good weeks anymore. So we should be thankful to the Lord when He gives us one.

To start off, in a typically culturally Marxist move in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the usual culture destroyers were at it again (they never stop). A local college sociology professor and some of his students wanted to get the City Council of Fredericksburg to rename Jefferson Davis Highway there because, after all, Davis was a slaveowner. They got one  city councilman to propose a motion on that, but the effort rather fell apart when they couldn’t even get a second for the motion from anyone else on the City Council. And so, Jeff Davis Highway in Fredericksburg remains Jeff Davis Highway–at least until the next attempt to change it comes along, or until after the election.

And in the same vein, for whatever reason, the FBI has decided to reopen the Hillary email case they had blandly smoothed over last July when the recommended no indictment for Hillary.  That was expected. This wasn’t. Something happened, somehow, to make the FBI think they had to revisit this, with only 12 days until the election. Who knows what indigestion rumbles around in the bowels of the Establishment, but something happened to force them to reopen this can of political worms. Was it Wikileaks? Proof that the Lord does answer prayer. We will see what He will allow to happen in this situation.

But the one that really caught my attention, probably because I have spent time in the West and followed the Sagebrush Rebellion over the years, was the result of the trial of the folks in Portland, Oregon known as “the Malheur 7.” Two of these seven were Ammon and Ryan Bundy, whose family I wrote about in several articles on this blog back in April of 2014 during the Bundy Ranch standoff. Check my articles on this blog for April of 2014. There are ten of them, all about the Bundy Ranch situation in Nevada.

The Malheur 7 have been on trial in Portland, Oregon for their occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon. This was the tragic situation that resulted in the FBI gunning down Lavoy Finnicum at a roadblock while he was on his way to a peaceful meeting. They claimed he pulled a gun–so they shot him nine times. See the article on this blog for January 31, 2016. Personally, from what I have read about Mr. Finnicum and seen in the videos he has made, you will pardon me if I find the FBI’s account of this rather dubious. These are the same people who shot Randy Weaver’s wife in the head while she stood holding a child in her arms at Ruby Ridge in Idaho. Anyone remember Ruby Ridge? It really must have taken a brave man to shoot a woman holding a child. I understand he got a medal for that–so you will understand why I have some reservations as to their sterling qualities.

The court trial in Portland in which the Bundys were tried, along with five others,was, in my opinion, payback for the Bundy Ranch situation over two years ago.

Almost no one who followed this trial, from what I have read, expected anything other than a guilty verdict. As I have read about the occupation of the wildlife refuge on and off over the months, I was convinced that this was one situation the Bundys and their friends should have passed up. The adverse publicity they got from this was designed to portray them as the devil incarnate, given what the “news” media does to those who stand on patriotic principles.

The “Just Us” Department alleged some things during the trial they presented no evidence for, and their contention that the Bundys and the others were terrorizing the people who worked there seemed to have no basis in fact, but with the Feds, such is no surprise.

An article on http://www.lewrockwell.com for October 28th, by Roger I. Roots, noted the following: “The U S Justice Department alleged in Count 1 that the seven defendants (and many others) had engaged in an ‘armed standoff’ at the federal wildlife refuge with the intent of scaring away the various government employees who normally work there. Every defendant was utterly innocent of this allegation…In fact, Ammon Bundy and the other defendants took a monumental (and quite daring) stand for the plain text of the Constitution when they occupied the Malheur Refuge in January of this year. They pointed to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 of the U S Constitution which seems to plainly forbid the federal government from owning land inside the states unless the states agree to sell such real estate to the federal government.  Needless to say, the present reality in the American west is in sharp contrast to this piece of the constitutional text. The feds claim to own and control millions of acres of land in the western states–most of which (such as the Malheur Refuge area) was never purchased from state legislatures or anyone else.” So where do the feds get the authority to do all this? Why they just assume it–because no one else has the power to refuse their “requests.” So whatever you think of the Constitution (and many of us are not totally enthralled with it) the Bundys felt they had a clear and consistent understanding of what it said and that’s what they operated on.

However, the thing that made me wonder if this whole thing was, indeed, a federal sting operation, was what Mr. Roots said toward the end of his article. He stated that: “Most startling of all were the undercover government informants that were revealed in the trial. After weeks of wrangling and arguing with defense lawyers, the Justice Department finally stipulated that at least nine undercover informants were planted among the Refuge occupiers. Thus, informants outnumbered the defendants on trial. One informant was even a bodyguard for Ammon Bundy and drove him to his arrest. Another informant admitted he trained occupiers in shooting and combat skills.” In my opinion when you have more informants than defendants, something doesn’t smell right. And when you have one of the informants training the occupiers in shooting skills and combat techniques it definitely doesn’t smell right–in fact it stinks outright! At what point did these informants become involved? Were they there at the beginning? Did they have a part in the planning of this operation?

I don’t know all the facts in this case, but I wonder who got the Bundys involved in it to begin with–and were the people that got them into it among the informants? If so, then this constitutes what we call a sting operation–getting someone to take part in something “illegal” they ordinarily wouldn’t have done unless you conned them into it and then you busted them for doing what you had conned them into.

It appears, though, that the jury in this case saw through all the federal chicanery because it acquitted all seven defendants, much to the pleasant surprise of many of us and to the chagrin of those in the Federal Establishment, who, I am sure, will now seek to find some other way to punish these folks for daring to defend their rights.

Robert Lewis Dabney and the Forty-Eighters

by Al Benson Jr.

Many in our day, some of them so-called “historians” have sought to paint the Old South as a land of bigotry, ignorance, and treason.  They do this either because of gross ignorance, which was foisted upon them in public schools, or because they have an agenda that is geared toward the total destruction of any and all Southern culture, particularly Christian Southern culture. Everything that existed before the Beatles except slavery and the “civil rights” movement must be expunged, while these must be preserved in order to promote the proper amount of “white guilt.”

Robert Lewis Dabney, one of the most remarkable of the Southern Presbyterian theologians and a man who served on Stonewall Jackson’s staff had the presence of mind to recognize what was going on in this country even before the start of the War of Northern Aggression, and he, unlike some of his contemporaries, understood  what it was really all about. With the discernment he possessed in so many areas you might almost say he was the Patrick Henry of his day.  He had that rare ability Henry had in noting what the results of various actions would be if pursued to their logical conclusions.  He correctly foresaw where both the public education movement and the women’s “rights” movement were going while theological contemporaries like Henry Ward Beecher in the North were indulging in theological  “reality shows.”

Rev. Dabney early recognized what was going on in Europe and its implications for this country, particularly the South. He noted some of this in his masterful biography of the life of Stonewall Jackson, published in 1866, and subsequently republished by Sprinkle Publications of Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1983.

In this volume of over 700 pages he observed, quite correctly, on page 159, that: “History will some day place the position of these Confederate States, in this high argument, in the clearest light of her glory.  The cause they undertook to defend was that of regulated, constitutional liberty,  and of fidelity to laws and covenants,  against the licentious violence of physical power. The assumptions they resisted were preciously those of that radical democracy, which deluged Europe with blood at the close of the eighteenth century, and which shook its thrones again in the convulsions of 1848; the agrarianism which, under the name of equality, would subject all the rights of individuals to the will of the many, and acknowledge no law nor ethics, save the lust of that mob which happens to be the larger. This power, which the old States of Europe expended such rivers of treasure and  blood to curb, at the beginning of the century, had transferred its immediate designs across the Atlantic, was consolidating itself anew in the Northern States of America, with a wealth, an organization, an audacity, an extent, to which it never aspired in the lands of its birth, and was preparing to make the United States,  after crushing all law there under its brute will, the fulcrum under whence  they should extend their lever to upheave  every legitimate throne on the Old World. Hither, by emigration, flowed the radicalism, discontent, crime, and poverty of Europe,  until the people of the Northern States became, like the rabble of imperial Rome…” Reflect on what Dabney has said here. Really, how different is it than what we are currently experiencing in this country” Does anyone see the parallels? They are amazing!

Dabney continued: “The miseries and vices of their early homes had alike taught them to mistake licence for liberty, and they were incapable of comprehending, much more of loving, the enlightened structure of English or Virginian freedom.  The first step in their vast designs was to overwhelm the Conservative States of the South.  This done, they boasted that they would proceed, first, to engross the whole of the American continent, and then to emancipate Ireland, to turn Great Britain into a democracy, to enthrone Red Republicanism in France, and to give the crowns of Germany to the Pantheistic humanitarians of the race, who deify self as the supreme end, and selfish desire, as the authoritative expression  of the Divine Will. This, in truth, was the monster who terrific pathway among the nations, the Confederate States undertook to obstruct, in behalf not only of their own children, but of all the children of men.” This is definitely not a worldview you will get out of your “history” books. What Dabney has done here is to provide you with an outline of the agenda of the One World Government advocates of the 1860s.  And look at who their main opponent was.  Do you begin now to see why anything even remotely Confederate has been and is so much under attack in our day? Stop and think about what Dabney has told you.  This is a struggle that is much more than just North vs. South. In 1861 the Confederate States  stood in the way of the new World Order of their day and said NO! And they have been getting back at us for it ever since! And they will continue to do so unless, in God’s Providence, we prevail, or they do. They will not quit. Neither can we!

And, in this vein, Dabney made another insightful observation when he said: “One half of the prisoners of war, registered by the victorious armies of the South, have been foreign mercenaries. ” So this was much, much more than just a “brothers war” as we have been told. This fact was borne out in research done by Dr. Clyde Wilson, Professor Emeritus of the University of South Carolina, who noted that: “The German revolutionaries brought with them an aggressive drive to realize in America the goals that had been defeated in their homeland.  Their drive toward ‘revolution and national unification’…The most prominent among them, Carl Schurz, expressed disappointment at the non-ideological nature of American politics and vowed to change that.” His spiritual descendants have been working on that ever since. The current occupant of the White House is the most glaring example of the success of their venture.

Donnie Kennedy and I, in our book Lincoln’s Marxists, on page 219, noted that: “In his commentary, Dr. Wilson mentioned the events surrounding a German officer who, after the surrender, buttonholed Confederate General Richard Taylor and proceeded to inform Taylor  that he would soon recognize the gross errors  the South had made in fighting the war.  He informed Taylor, in very broken English, that he would soon rejoice because of the final results of the war. The German seems quite ready to instruct General Taylor on the fine points of Americanism.” This from a European socialist who could barely speak the language,  to a man whose father had been President of the United States! This is socialist arrogance at its finest and it continues to this day. Look at the finger-pointing, condescending attitude we are treated to today from a president that spent a fair part of his life in Indonesia and who we are told has an African father.  Yet his version of “Americanism” sounds like something that hailed from a Middle Eastern caliphate. It’s almost like Fidel Castro giving lessons in American government to Thomas Jefferson!

As previously noted, this struggle is much more than an “unpleasantness” between North and South.  It is, as Presbyterian theologian James Henley Thornwell so truthfully stated: “The parties in this conflict are not merely abolitionists and slave-holders–they are atheists, socialists, communists, red republicans, Jacobins on the one side and the friends of order and regulated freedom on the other. In one word, the world is the battleground–Christianity and atheism the combatants, and the progress of humanity is at stake.” I don’t think anyone else could have said it any better. This is where we are at right now, and unless we get on our knees and plead, with repentance, for the Lord to guide us in the ways of legitimate resistance, we will lose it all, at least for our time in history.

If Liberty Was the Object, Why Did They Give Us Centralism?

by Al Benson Jr.

The issue seemed clearer to some (but not all) in 1787. When the Constitution was presented for ratification in Virginia the issues were much better understood than they are today. Of course people back then had not had the dubious “benefit” of our government school system with its obfuscations and omittances regarding our history. It was pretty well understood in Virginia, as well as in other areas, that the issue was a strong federalism, or centralism, as opposed to a loose confederacy of state governments where states rights were to be the rule–the dreaded (by historians) Compact Theory!

In his speeches against ratification Patrick Henry noted that the delegates in Philadelphia had overstepped their bounds in that they had not been sent there with power to create a central government, but only to amend the Articles of Confederation. However, in light of the results of that convention it does seem that some went with other motives in mind. Henry warned the Virginia delegates that they were not to consider how they could increase trade nor how they could become a great nation, but rather how their liberty could be secured. Henry said, and quite accurately, “…for liberty ought to be the direct end of your government.” He made another prescient statement in this regard when he said: “If you give too little power today, you may give more tomorrow. But the reverse of the proposition will not hold. If you give too much power today, you cannot retake it tomorrow, for tomorrow will never come for for that.” In light of the direction this government has gone in from 1787 until now, does any sane person wish to argue with Mr. Henry’s logic?

Author, economist and columnist Gary North wrote a book almost twenty years ago now called Political Polytheism which dealt with much of this. For starters he noted that: “…The Constitution removed Christian religious tests as the judicial requirement of the judges and officers of the new national government. That, in and of itself, delivered the republic into the hands of the humanists. Nothing else was necessary after that. From that point on the secularization of America was a mopping-up operation.” That’s a much different assessment than most of us have been fed regarding the Constitution, even in Christian circles, or might I say, especially in Christian circles? I have to admit that when I first saw North’s book and skimmed it, I was a little hesitant about his thesis. As the years have passed I have become much less so.

And he made another trenchant observation, one that many of us, myself included, had not even thought of at the time. I since have come to where I can see his logic. He said: “The sought-for Constitutional balance of the one and the many, apart from the Bible and Old Testament case laws, is unattainable.” In other words you cannot have the proper relationship between a central government and the state governments apart from Scripture. So the further this country departs from Scripture and God’s law the more impossible it will be for us to really do anything right, especially in the area of differing governmental jurisdictions. By the same token, the “checks and balances” we have been told will keep the different branches of the national government in their proper spheres won’t work either.

North also noted that: “Like Newton’s universe apart from God’s constant, active providence, the ‘balanced Constitution’ will eventually move toward centralized tyranny (the fear of the Anti-Federalists) or toward dissolution (the fear of the Federalists). Both movements took place in 1861-65.” The Anti-Federalists feared tyranny; the Federalists feared secession. North’s comments add a whole different perspective to the question of the Constitution and what it really says.

Back in August of 2004, Gary North wrote an article called Conspiracy In Philadelphia. He also wrote a book by the same name. He observed: “In 1787 the states, with one exception (Rhode Island) were explicitly based on faith in God. In most cases, elected state representatives were required to swear their belief in the Trinity. The new constitution made all such oaths illegal for federal office (Article VI, Clause III). By means of the 14th Amendment (1868), the U.S. Supreme Court has applied this prohibition to state governments completing the transformation in the case of Torcasso vs. Watkins (1961). I told this story fifteen years ago. In response, the silence has been deafening.” Mr. North, like many of us over the years, has learned that the movers and shakers, the ruling elite, the country’s “other masters” will simply ignore what they do not want dealt with, and they press their lackeys in the “news” media to do the same, and the media bombards us with sports extravaganzas and “reality shows” to the point where we do not have the time or inclination for any serious reflection. If the truth can be out there and almost totally ignored by the general populace, Christians included, they don’t even have to bother shoving it down the “memory hole” anymore. Most people today will gaze at the plans for their own destruction and that of their kids–and yawn.

However, for the unusual few that may be concerned about the truth and how it might affect their children and grandchildren, Mr. North has posted his book Conspiracy In Philadelphia on the Internet, from which it can be downloaded. My son downloaded it for me and for a friend of mine at church. It can be found at http://www.garynorth.com/philadelphia.pdf and I would encourage those who have genuine concerns about our “founding document” and its background to download North’s book and see what he has to say. Knowing about Mr. North, I am sure his analysis will be penetrating and worth your time.

Christian Opposition, Checks & Balances, Etc.

by Al Benson Jr.

Having read several insightful articles by Al Cronkrite, a freelance Reformed Christian writer who lives in Florida, I usually pay attention when I see his name on an article because I know I will get something that goes beyond the usual “patriotic” chatter that is so prevalent on the Internet. Mind you, I am not against patriotism, but lots of what floats around out there today is not real patriotism but merely a shallow brand of nationalism–sort of like “My country, right or wrong–rah, rah, rah.” In its own way it’s just as bad as liberalism because it leads sincere Americans down the garden path to Nowheresville when they should be on the cultural path removing the thorns.

Having said that, I recall reading an article by Mr. Cronkrite in The Covenant News back in July of 2009 where he observed that most folks today view our founders as mostly Christian men “…who produced documents that, if they were not expressly Christian, contained Christian principles. Others find it strange that Christian men would fail to encode the name of the Savior or refer to His dominion.” Regarding the Constitution that brings a different dimension to the topic, one that Gary North has referred to more than once in his writings.

Mr. Cronkrite, along with others, also observed that: “The Philadelphia Constitutional Convention in the Summer of 1787, was a secret gathering convened for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation. It was an elite group that Jefferson described as ‘demigods’. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and probably President George Washington had no intentions of abiding by the instructions from congress to revise the Articles. Their intention was to form a new federal government which they believed the states would accept in order to solve the problems they were having in conducting their inter-state affairs. They were conspiratorial and dishonest in their actions but right in their political assessment…Patrick Henry of Virginia claimed he ‘smelled a rat’ and refused to attend.” Time has shown how foul the rat Henry smelled really was, and is.

It has been duly noted by Mr. Cronkrite that almost nothing has been written about Christian opposition to the final results of the Constitutional Convention. And I have to admit that none of the history I have come across has mentioned any of this, even the home school material. He observed that: “The shift from a reformation to a substitution was successful and in the exuberant pride that characterized the birth of a new nation the still small voice of the Creator was drowned out and a grave error was made. Several prominent clergymen expressed their dissatisfaction. Rev. John Mason of New York wrote, ‘Should the citizens of America be as irreligious as her Constitution, we will have reason to tremble, lest the Governor of the universe, who will not be treated with indignity, by a people anymore than by individuals, overturn from its foundations the fabric we have been rearing, and crush us to atoms in the wreck’.”

Also, “Rev. Samuel Austin said, the Constitution ‘is entirely disconnected from Christianity. It is not founded on the Christian religion.’ Rev. Samuel Taggart lamented the lack of Christian reference to be a national evil of great magnitude.’ ‘It is a great sin to have forgotten God in such an important national instrument and not have acknowledged Him in that which forms the very nerves and sinews of the political body,’ lamented Rev. George Duffield. Rev. Jedediah Morse thought that the secular Constitution meant that America, like ancient Israel was doomed. Rev. James Wilson considered its creation ‘a degree of ingratitude, perhaps without parallel’.”

Now, folks, stop and reflect for a minute. How much about this Christian opposition to the Constitution have you ever read about in “history” books? I’ll wager that about all you ever read what just about what I read–that almost no one was opposed to it but Patrick Henry and a mere handful of his friends, who must all surely have had charter memberships in the Flat Earth Society. Those folks were supposedly anachronisms that just couldn’t see the pressing need for consolidation–Henry and his dwindling number of friends were a bit shortsighted, so it’s a good thing no one listened to them (or Leviathan wouldn’t be where it is today) and that’s about all you get, if that. The anti-Federalist arguments against ratification are seldom, if ever, mentioned–and as anachronistic as I guess I must be, the ones I’ve read about I’ve agreed with.

Mr. Cronkrite informed his readers that one of the big selling points for the new Constitution was that old, mythical “separation of church and state” story–the so-called government “neutrality” in regard to religion. All you have to do is look at where we are today in this regard and ask yourself–how’s that “government neutrality” in regard to religion working out for you nowadays? Anything even remotely Christian is now constantly under attack, while all the other pagan faiths seem to be getting a poss. Folks, this is not by accident. I put that in bold letters because we need to grasp that. Muslims will get to do in many educational institutions what Christians couldn’t even dream about. Any perversion today is accepted, no matter how gross, as long as it flies in the face of Christian culture. It’s all “protected” except Christianity and it’s open season on us and that’s not by accident.

I read an article on LewRockwell.com for October 30th written by Martin Armstrong of Armstrong Economics, in which he noted a raid in Texas by a SWAT team on a community in which there was no probable cause. The inhabitants had done nothing wrong, did not use drugs; no weapons or anything illegal was found, but the SWAT team handcuffed people, destroyed their crops, and pretty much did what they wanted because they could.

In his article Mr. Armstrong observed: “Raiding such a community without probable cause is totally unconstitutional. This is my point about the Constitution–it is just a worthless scrap of paper with the purpose of providing propaganda and false hope. The Constitution protects nobody. It was supposed to be a self-restraint upon government. It fails in every respect. Government agents can do as they like and it is the BURDEN of the citizen to prove that they violated the Constitution.” I might not have said it quite the way he did, but he does have a point.

There are no real restraints upon government, no real checks and balances so that if one branch oversteps its bounds the others will bring it to heel. They all collude with one another to quash whatever rights the citizens have, all the while telling us we live in a “free country”–the freest on earth they tell us–and it’s all just so much bovine fertilizer. This government has gone rogue–it went that way noticeably when the Lincoln administration started, but it had been showing signs of major slippage before that. John C. Calhoun noticed it before he died in 1850.

It really appears to me that we have a government that is one thing when we have been told it was something else. Most of us who have followed the political situation realize that we have been shamelessly lied to by “our” government about just about everything in our lifetime. But what about our ancestors? Were they lied to in the same way about what went on in their day? What about the War of Northern Aggression, the Spanish-American War, World Wars 1 and 2, Pearl Harbor, the USS Liberty, the Kennedy Assassinaton, and a plethora of other things I could spend paragraphs on just listing? Where, in all of this and more, has there been “constitutional” protection for our citizens–from their own government?

We had better start grappling with some of this folks, before the gates to the FEMA camps open wide and we all become “memory hole” material–naturally under the protection of the US Constitution, replete with its “checks and balances.”

Was Nationalism Sold To the Country As Federalism?

by Al Benson Jr.

It seems that, under the Articles of Confederation, there were states rights, as each state was considered sovereign and independent. However, with the ratification of the new constitution, that seems to have disappeared. Historian Clarence Carson has noted that, regarding the Articles of Confederation: “This bent, or tradition can be traced to many sources. Americans were, above all, a people of the book–the written word–the Bible. There was the Puritan idea, too, of the Covenant, an agreement between man and man and between man and God…Colonists had drawn their own political agreements, such as the Mayflower Compact and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut…Once the colonies had broken away from England, the only historical allegiances that remained were to the states and localities…At any rate, there should be no doubt that the government of the United States under the Articles of Confederation was brought into being by the states.”

Some delegates saw the new Constitution as potentially tyrannical and refused to sign it. It seems that statesmen in those days had a far clearer view of things than do our present politicians, who I will not dignify by calling them statesmen.

George Mason of Virginia was unwilling to sign. The major objection was that the new document did not contain a bill of rights and there were objections in several state conventions to ratification being enacted too hastily without such being made part of the document. Patrick Henry argued, and rightfully so, in the light of history, that a specific bill of rights was essential. He observed that governments regularly and automatically assumed powers that were not prohibited to them. Can anyone in our day deny this truth? We have a Commander-in-Chief that regularly rules the country by executive fiat when he can’t get a usually-willing Congress to go along with something he has been instructed to ram through. And Congress never seems to complain. They sit back and let him do it. In our day the Executive Branch of government regularly usurps powers denied to it and the courts ignore the whole situation, giving the Executive and Legislative branches a wink and a nod as our rights are stolen. So much for checks and balances–another bill of goods we have been sold.

Added to all this was the continuing problem of differing views of the Constitution, which seems to have been a major problem back before the War of Northern Aggression.

In his book The Confederate Constitution of 1861 Marshall DeRosa noted that: “Within the context of American federalism does sovereignty reside in the people in their national or state capacities? To be more precise, does the U.S. Constitution establish an association of sovereign individuals within their respective states or a national community of sovereign individuals the states notwithstanding?” It seems that within the ‘more perfect Union” there has always been this tension. DeRosa noted that by 1861 this tension had become a major cleavage so that the Constitution “rather served as a vehicle for dissension and separation.”

DeRosa observed that: “This was most certainly the case by 1861, as Northerners insisted on a model of federalism consisting of a national community of individuals, with sovereignty being a national phenomenon–that is, nationalism–whereas Southerners adhered to a model consisting of a community of states.”

John C. Calhoun, while he was still alive, (he died in March, 1850) noticed that a transition was taking place wherein the old Federal Republic was being transformed into a consolidated democracy, which placed sovereign authority at the national level while taking power away from the states. That trend continued, with William Henry Seward claiming that the Constitution had established a national community of individuals and not a community of states. Seward was from New York.

And this thought has occurred to me–is it just possible that what Calhoun observed as a transformation was, in fact, actually there in seed form at the very beginning?

According to DeRosa, Seward claimed that: “the States are not parties to the Constitution as States; it is the Constitution of the people of the United States. But even if the States continue as States, they have surrendered their equality as States, and submitted themselves to the sway of the numerical majority…” There is no way I can agree with Seward’s blatant nationalism, but, what if that was really the intent from the beginning? What if nationalism was sold to the Southern states surreptitiously as federalism and, outside of a few men like Patrick Henry, hardly any grasped that? While that may sound far out to some, is it any further out than the idea of a group of men eagerly signing up for a “Union” they could not secede from only 13 years after they had experienced the same situation with Great Britain?

You have to wonder what would make men yoke themselves and their states again to a bondage they had only recently fought a war of independence to get away from. You have to wonder if some of these delegates had in mind something other than the freedom and liberty for both states and individuals that Patrick Henry envisioned.

An educated pastor once said to me “You have to wonder if there were some anti-Christs in that (constitutional) convention.” At the time, I did not grasp the enormity of his assertion. Now I have begun to.

Is the Constitution Really Inimical To States Rights?

by Al Benson Jr.

A lot of years ago now, when I first became involved in conservative and patriotic endeavors, I can recall many patriotic folks saying that we needed to get our government “back to the Constitution.” While I believe that would be a step in the right direction, away from the rogue government we have now with its Marxist proclivities, I am not sure that, in the long run, this would solve all our problems. Although for a little over a decade I believed that myself, so I am not faulting in any way those that believe it. However, over the years, events have changed my thinking.

For many years, when I first got involved in all the events that have shaped the direction I have gone in, I had a good friend, and sometimes mentor, Pastor Ennio Cugini, of the Clayville Church in North Scituate, Rhode Island, half a country and a whole culture away from where I am now. Pastor Cugini had a radio broadcast in Rhode Island called “The Victory Hour” which he used effectively and vigorously to expose the machinations of Communists, socialists, and various New World Order types, both in government and in the churches (yes, they were and are in the churches). He was also an avid reader of history. You have to be in order to deal effectively with what has gone on in this country for over two centuries. This is where so many Evangelicals fall by the wayside. Their grasp of our history is like the Platte River in our West, a mile wide and an inch deep.

I recall talking with Pastor Cugini on the phone one time, way back in 1980. My family and I were living in Indiana at the time. Pastor Cugini was telling me about a book he had just read, Patrick Henry–Patriot and Statesman by Norine Dickson Campbell, published all the way back in 1969. It was basically a biography of Patrick Henry, but towards the end of the book, actually starting on page 322, she delved into Mr. Henry’s views on the U.S. Constitution and why he was such an ardent foe of the ratification of that document in Virginia. Just that fact alone startled me, because none of the history books I could recall reading ever went into any of that. Nowadays, I am not surprised, but then I was. I had yet to grasp the truth the the “winners write the history books.” In fact, the “history” books never mentioned much at all about Patrick Henry. About all you ever got from them was a brief commentary about his “liberty or death” speech and then they pretty much dropped him out of the historical narrative (if you can call it that).

After hunting around I managed to find a copy of Miss Campbell’s book. It was the last copy the bookstore had, and over the years I have only seen one other copy. If it hasn’t been reprinted it should be. After reading her book I can understand why it didn’t get lots of coverage. In a nut shell, even in 1787, Patrick Henry was politically incorrect! And many of the Federalist mentality (it’s still out there) have never forgiven him.

Pastor Cugini told me something in that phone conversation I have never forgotten. He said that, while political conservatives wish we could simply get back to following the Constitution, he had concluded, from Henry’s comments included in the book, that “the Constitution is the problem.” Miss Campbell’s book gave a lot of Henry’s reasons for his opposition to it, as he put them forth in Virginia during his opposition to ratification.

Henry was downright prescient in his predictions of what would happen to this country if the Constitution was ratified. One of his most prophetic statements was that the Union that was cobbled together by the Constitution would not last 100 years. He was right on–it didn’t It didn’t last ninety years.

Henry had a problem with the wording of the Preamble, where it said “We the People” which he felt should have read “We the States” because it was the states that eventually ratified the document. He also noted, correctly, that the delegates from the various states that assembled in Philadelphia in 1787 did not have instructions from their states to form a new government–all they had been delegated to do was to amend the Articles of Confederation–and so they far overstepped their instructions in what they ended up doing. Miss Campbell’s book on Patrick Henry is excellent. If you can find a used copy in a book store or on Amazon.com grab it before someone beats you to it.

A more recently published biography of Patrick Henry has been written by David J. Vaughan and is entitled Give Me Liberty. Mr. Vaughan echoed much of what Miss Campbell had earlier stated. He wrote: “Although the federal Convention that met in Philadelphia in May of 1787 was authorized only to revise the existing Articles of Confederation, the delegates devised an entirely new constitution that was subsequently sent to the states for ratification. Those that favored the new Constitution were named ‘Federalists’ while their opponents were called ‘Anti-Federalists.’ These labels were apt to be misleading, however. In fact it would be more accurate to name the pro-Constitution faction as ‘nationalists’ and the opposing group as the true ‘Federalists.’ For it was Henry and those of similar sentiments who espoused the true sentiments of federalism–a federation of independent and sovereign states…”

Vaughan also noted that the pro-Constitution group, led by James Madison, felt a stronger national government was needed. He said: “The national government, they believed, needed the power to tax and to regulate commerce…The way to give energy to the national government was to give it power, but this required a change in its form. The Anti-Federalists, (or Federal Republicans as they often called themselves) were led by Henry of course. In general the Republicans were united on the principle of confederation…In effect, Henry charged the Constitutional Convention with illegal proceedings. And he was right.”

“Perpetual Union”–If you can bamboozle enough people into believing it

by Al Benson Jr.

In his rather convoluted thinking, Abraham Lincoln stated that: The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774.” Some historians have noted that this association of the colonies before the Articles of Confederation was adopted, was a body that could only suggest certain courses of action, none of which had the force of law–a deliberative body–nothing more. Such facts made no difference whatever to Abraham Lincoln. They didn’t fit his agenda and so he ignored them. As far as he was concerned, it was all “the Union” even though his ethereal version of it existed in his mind before the documents that founded the Union existed. Walter Kennedy and I noted in Lincoln’s Marxists on page 109 and following, which is chapter 5 entitled Lincoln’s Mystical View of the Union that this was Lincoln’s mindset.

Sad to say, this seems to be a rather strong tack in the Yankee/Marxist mindset in general. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Salmon P. Chase also seemed to lean strongly in this direction with his view of the Union.

John Niven, in his book Salmon P. Chase–a biography also noted: Had the Confederate States by their secession from the Union given up their former identity as Sumner, Stevens and other radical politicians argued? If they had, then it would logically follow that secession was a lawful act and the Union had existed only at the sufferance of the states, an argument Lincoln dismissed as an abstraction…

It has been argued that “The South never really understood the Union.” That may be true–at least they never understood it in the sense that the Yankee did. Had they truly done so, I would submit that the Southern states never should have ratified the Constitution to begin with. Christian statesman Patrick Henry warned his fellow Virginians with common sense arguments and logic of the dangers of Virginia’s ratification of the Constitution. Virginians did not heed his words. They should have. And yet, maybe some of the mud stuck against the wall, for in Virginia’s ratification ordinances it was stated: We the delegates of the people of Virginia, duly elected…do, in the name and behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known, that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States, may be resumed by them, whenever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression. New York’s ratification statement pretty much says the same thing. And their ratification ordinances were accepted with this language included in them.

In other words, some states ratified the Constitution with the proviso that, should things not work out in this new union, they had the right to leave. That was the Southern understanding of this new Constitution, and it would seem that some Northern folks had the same understanding. I agree with them. Yet, suffice it to say, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, after the War of Northern Aggression (or could we call it the War of Marxist Revolution?) took a view totally opposed to that truth, as had Lincoln. Should anyone really be surprised? After all, the winners always get to redefine the “history.”

Chase noted, in 1869, that the Constitution in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States. He felt that once a state or territory got into the Union, that was it. It was there for eternity unless its status was determined by a revolution, or “consent of the states.” Chase noted the language in the Articles of Confederation about a “perpetual Union.” That term, “perpetual” did not appear in the new Constitution, but rather the new document referred to a “more perfect Union.” Chase apparently took that to mean “more perpetually perfect.” If Chase was aware or either Virginia’s nor New York’s ratification terminology he kept silent about it. After all, those ratification ordinances contradicted his “indestructible Union” tomfoolery.

And Chase was, apparently, more than ready to accept more broad, sweeping powers for the federal government. In 1866 he observed: That the war had changed the government and the powers of government were essentially different from what they were before the war. Now there was an understatement if ever I saw one, and yet a revelation as well. He’s telling you, right flat out, that the war gave the federal government more and expanded powers–probably not constitutional ones–but not to worry, Chase’s Supreme Court would remedy that little problem.

To be continued.