The Gathering Storm

Gathering StormGeorges Michel

Gathering Storm
Georges Michel

And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (Matthew 24:6)

What is going on in this country? The Constitution is either the law of the land, or it is not. If it is not, then we are no longer living in the United States of America. If that be the case, then the current civilian leadership in Washington D.C. and the military leadership of the Armed Forces have decided to set aside their oaths of office and govern by fiat. Can the use of armed force to enforce the will of the current political regime be far behind?

A while back I was doing some research regarding the oaths sworn by both officers and enlisted upon entry into the Armed Forces of the United States. Well, I have been doing some further research on this topic and found something interesting, to wit:

One notable difference between the officer and enlisted oaths is that the oath taken by officers does not include any provision to obey orders; while enlisted personnel are bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice to obey lawful orders, officers in the service of the United States are bound by this oath to disobey any order that violates the Constitution of the United States.

Before going any further, let’s take a look at the oaths. Here is the officer oath:

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

And the enlisted oath:

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Note that in both instances, the “So help me God” portion of the oath may be omitted for persons who desire to affirm rather than to swear to the oath. Yes, I have a bit of heartburn with that bit but Article Six of the United States Constitution states:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

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; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

The underlined bit being that which relates to the phrase “So help me God”.

So those are the oaths sworn by the members of the Armed Forces of the United States. The President, Vice President, members of Congress and federal judges also swear oaths. All of which make reference to the Constitution.

The President:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

The others:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]

Now as regards the current President, he may actually not be in violation of his sworn oath. I say this because the oath does state “to the best of my Ability“. It’s quite possible that he is doing the best he can. It’s possible that he’s just not that capable and the office of the President is beyond his competence. If so, then the electorate is at fault for electing an incompetent to the office.

Now the oath as taken by members of Congress, the judiciary and the Vice President don’t cut them any slack as regards “ability”. Their oath states “I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office”. My guess would be that if they are unable to do that, then they should step down.

Now all of that aside, there seems to be a hue and cry in this country for a “conversation” regarding firearms. Exactly which part of the 2nd Amendment don’t these clowns understand? To wit, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed“. No “conversation” is necessary, we have the right to keep and bear arms. The government is specifically prohibited from infringing upon that right.

The 2nd Amendment does not specify the type of arms. Various legislative acts and court decisions down through the years which have prohibited citizens from bearing certain types of arms are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court does make mistakes and has since the country was founded. I need only refer to the Dred Scott Decision.

From Wikipedia:

Dred Scott (1795 – September 17, 1858), was an African-American slave in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as “the Dred Scott Decision.” The case was based on the fact that although he and his wife Harriet Scott were slaves, they had lived with his master Dr. John Emerson in states and territories where slavery was illegal according to both state laws and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, including Illinois and Minnesota (which was then part of the Wisconsin Territory). The United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules. Moreover, Scott’s temporary residence outside Missouri did not bring about his emancipation under the Missouri Compromise, which the court ruled unconstitutional as it would improperly deprive Scott’s owner of his legal property.

While Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had hoped to settle issues related to slavery and Congressional authority by this decision, it aroused public outrage and deepened sectional tensions between the northern and southern U.S. states. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the post-Civil war Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments nullified the decision.

So the Supreme Court made a mistake, they are, after all, human. Any decision made by the Court which infringes at all upon our 2nd Amendment rights is unconstitutional, period, full stop. One does not need a law degree to figure out the Bill of Rights. One just needs to be able to read and comprehend English.

The way I see it, the President, the Vice President and a large number of congress-critters are in violation of their oath of office and should either correct that behavior or resign their office. Any officer in the US Armed Forces who supports the infringement of the 2nd Amendment needs to reconsider that stance or resign their commissions. They are morally and legally bound to do so.

Enlisted soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coast guardsmen need to understand that any order or orders which may cause them to infringe upon the rights conveyed by the 2nd Amendment are illegal orders and should not be obeyed.

Why are Progressive Elements in this country so intent upon dismantling the Constitution, or at least the parts they don’t agree with? Because they think they know what’s best for the rest of us.

Beware America. Once your 2nd Amendment rights are taken away, the rest won’t be far behind.

Say goodbye to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of worship, freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances, freedom to peaceably assemble, in short, say goodbye to the United States. You might as well learn how to speak Chinese. You’ll need it when the new rulers take over.


Filed under Freedom!, Perspective

23 responses to “The Gathering Storm

  1. Grumpy

    Sarge, this is a well thought out and written view on this subject. I have been around, used and owned firearms, since I was a young boy. This has been many, many moons ago, but it is still true today. But today, let’s take a look at what you have written.

    It was very interesting to read your insights on the different oaths these individuals take upon entering their different roles. When everything is said and done, the question becomes who has the final authority/responsibility? The answer is not at the top, but actually lies with the ” boots on the ground”. These are the people who ultimately decide whether or not it is a “lawful order” or not. Don’t forget, these are the people who will pay the ultimate consequences.

    You are quite right in your argument about individual citizens’ rights. At one time, during the Colonial Days, the British were housing their troops in the homes of the colonists. Many of them saw this as tyranny because they had no privacy. But, if you look at your position, you accurately point out an extremely important concept. The colonists saw the tyranny of constant intimidation in their own homes on a moment by moment basis. Therefore, the US Constitution specifies certain freedoms, but with those freedoms come responsibilities, as in all things. Did you notice, the point about a “Well regulated militia” + “The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL not be infringed.” As with all “Second Amendment Rights”, they start with a very basic principle, the separation of Federal Rights and States’ Rights. “Congress shall make no law…”. It says nothing about the power of individual states writing their own laws. I don’t like it, but that is the way it was written.

    As we see in this principle, the concept that our Constitution tried to keep things in balance. This is the reason that the document was written this way. There were many things that were done over the last 10 years that we should bring to the table and discuss. We have only just begun to understand. As always, Grumpy

    • Old AF Sarge

      Thanks Grumpy. I believe that the Constitution DOES prohibit the States from enacting laws which the Federal government is also prohibited from enacting. I just can’t find the reference.

    • Sarge, you’re thinking of the Doctrine of incorporation. It’s based on the 14th amendment that says that everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law. It is not a doctrine that is universally accepted, although the SCOTUS has shoved it down everyone’s throat.

    • Old AF Sarge

      Thank you QM, that’s the reference I was looking for. 14th Amendment.

  2. Once upon a time – I was on the side of the progressives. All the way down to the need for greater gun control. Throughout my 20s and to my mid-30s I would have voted Democrat across the board – if I cared enough to vote at all.
    Then 9/11 happened and my view of things changed. I now vote conservative on almost every issue – and the 2nd Amendment is one of them. In fact, 10 years ago I would have had a fit if I had learned that someone came into my house carrying a concealed weapon. Now the person carrying is likely to be…me.
    I say all this because I think I can give you an answer about why the progressives are so against the 2nd Amendment and it’s really quite simple….
    because guns hurt hearts. My position had been for years that it was such a horrible thing, gun violence, that they needed to be banned for everyone. My emotions were such that I could never understand how gun bans would only force more guns into the hands of criminals.
    Because criminals don’t obey laws.
    It’s a simple concept but the emotional response to gun violence blotted out all reason.
    And it’s not that I’m less emotional these days; far from it. But I can allow for reason to enter my consciousness and understand that – what happened at Sandy Hook was an horrific tragedy that will be a stain on my own state for a very long time, possibly forever. And yet I am also fully aware that if even one person in that school had a gun – rather than the entire school grounds being publicly declared as a gun-free zone – then things may have gone differently.
    Progressives can’t get beyond the “stained forever” mentality. And what they believe – because they are right about everything – has to be what everyone else wants.

    • Old AF Sarge

      Thanks for that perspective Kris. I sometimes forget that you “came in from the cold” once upon a time.

      I see no stain on the people or state of Connecticut. Only the stain which has permanently tainted those who would take our freedoms from us. They are not unique to your fair state.

  3. photoncourier

    The comparative analysis of the oaths is very interesting. It is worthwhile noting that in Germany, a major step in the consolidation of Nazi power occurred when the military officers’ oath was changed in form. The oath under Weimar had been:

    “I swear loyalty to the Reich’s constitution and pledge, that I as a courageous soldier always want to protect the German Reich and its legal institutions, (and) be obedient to the Reichspräsident and to my superiors.”

    In late 1933, a little less than a year after Hitler became Chancellor, the oath was changed to:

    “I swear by God this holy oath, that I want to ever loyally and sincerely serve my people and fatherland and be prepared as a brave and obedient soldier to risk my life for this oath at any time.”

    Note the elimination of references to the constitution and the president (who was Hindenburg, not Hitler.) And in 1934, the oath became entirely personalized to Adolph Hitler:

    “I swear by God this holy oath, that I want to offer unconditional obedience to the Führer of the German Reich and people, Adolf Hitler, the commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht, and be prepared as a brave soldier to risk my life for this oath at any time.”

    This oath gave quite a few officers heartburn, but few of them refused to comply with it.

    I just put up a relevant post: The Normalization of Abusive Government.

    • Old AF Sarge

      Photoncourier, your look at the oaths sworn by the Germans from the Weimar Republic to the Nazi regime are spot on. And your post, well written and very sobering. I fear for my country. I fear for my freedom.

  4. Bill Brandt

    You take the normalization of huge bureaucracies like the EPA affecting every facet of our lives – politicians (and judicial activists) running roughshod over the intent of the Constitutional framers, and you have what we have today.

    I don’t think the framers had the intent of allowing unelected and unaccountable people have the power of life and death over businesses, or a government seizing the land of a citizen so they could build a shopping center (and get more taxes) [Kelo vs City of New London].

    Nor was the concept of “political correctness”that has the same effect as oppressive dictatorships.

    Something is in the wind.

    • Old AF Sarge

      I think you’re right Bill. Something IS in the wind. It is foul and must be resisted. You have also correctly indicted the unelected bureaucrats who burden this land. There is blood on their hands.

      Political correctness is a huge mistake. Like my buddy Tuna said over at my place: “Freedom is hard, tyranny is easy. Just follow orders…”

  5. Grumpy

    Photoncourier and Bill Brandt, the comparisons with the Nazi’s Third Reich is an extremely powerful one. The Reich rewrote the Laws to justify their perverse actions. Ultimately, many were hanged for following these patterns of behavior, for simply following “Orders”. Therefore, following orders, was not a justification.

  6. Buck

    I have to start getting up earlier, or move to a different time zone. I have nothing to add that hasn’t already been said above… brilliant post, well thought-out, and admirably expressed. Well, wait. There’s this:

    If so, then the electorate is at fault for electing an incompetent to the office.

    Abso-freakin’-lutely. And that’s the biggest part of the problem, to my way of thinking.

  7. Bill Brandt

    This is a profound and thought-provoking post Sarge and I have been tryin to think of he causes for how we got where we are – today. I think – it is the tendency of government’s to grow – unless constantly checked. And governments growth has been fostered by both parties.

    And our economic condition will be as destructive as any change in politics – it was/is absolutely criminal for Congress to enact programs that despense money to the populace – without any checks as to the upper limit s.

    Imagine a CEO doing something like that – he would be out in the street.

    “The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.”

    John Adams

    • Old AF Sarge

      You’ve got a good point there Bill, the tendency of gov’t to grow unless constantly checked. It’s like weeding a garden I suppose, and the gardener, (that would be us, the American people) has not been out in that garden, getting hands dirty, cutting back the weeds. We have a mess on our hands. That’s for sure.

  8. Bill Brandt

    Sarge – you add the component of “free money” to a sizable part of the electorate and many are willing to trade their freedom for some economic security.

    I just finished this fascinating book on the Dust Bowl – and the author was talking about these impoverished families – who had really nothing – and FDR started giving them a small amt of money.

    From that the farm subsidies started given today to huge corporate interests.
    As with most good intentions….

  9. So, keeping with the theme here, does anyone know anything about the ‘Oath Keepers’? Seems like a noble cause, but I don’t actually know anybody involved with them. Nor do I want to end up on a list somewhere to be watched…I’m not interested in any kind of militia nonsense.

  10. Grumpy

    Well Sarge, this post was like the first morning you woke up in military basic training, with about no sleep at all from the night before. If you remember correctly, you will arrive at your base at about 1 AM. You have everybody yelling at you until about 2 AM. This is when you actually lay down and about 3 AM, you have a fire drill. Then, at 4 AM, you have a gas drill and reveille is at 5 AM. This is a moment in your life that you will never forget.

    This has been a good discussion and should be like that “gentle alarm clock” going off at 5 AM on the first day.

    There is only one issue that I would point out. Power is not just a government issue, but also a corporate issue. Some of these multi-national corporations are more powerful than some nations. This is the very thing that Eisenhower spoke against, as he left office. But we really need to do is track the relationship between some of these politicians and the policies/ corporations/ money that they have created. No politician should be making money, directly or indirectly out of this relationship. The Constitution established a policy of politicians who supposedly earn a salary. They were not supposed to be getting money on the side. This has the stench of corruption and both parties do it. This should be extended to the rest of their lives. Sarge and to the rest of you, THANK YOU!

  11. Sarge,
    I come to this thread a bit tardy but I do have an observation. You said: “Now as regards the current President, he may actually not be in violation of his sworn oath. I say this because the oath does state “to the best of my Ability“. It’s quite possible that he is doing the best he can. It’s possible that he’s just not that capable and the office of the President is beyond his competence.”
    Well, I can cite a few instances where Obama has indeed violated his oath of office. 1. His refusal to defend DOMA 2. Hi refusal to support immigration laws 3. His killing of an American citizen without due process (drone strike on Alwaki)
    We have a regime intent on operating outside of the Constitution and no one in the Congress has the courage to stand up for what is right and lawful.

  12. “I believe that the Constitution DOES prohibit the States from enacting laws which the Federal government is also prohibited from enacting.”

    Olaf (I mean Sarge), you’ve got that backwards. Yes, the Federal government is [supposed to be] limited to acting ONLY within the enumerated powers of Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution.
    However, you forgot about the 10th Amendment, which says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” “WE,” the people, hold the ultimate and unlimited power. We just have to remember that!

    As I’m sure you’re aware, and as an example of a power “prohibited by it to the States,” the States may not make treaties with foreign nations: that’s a power given by the Constitution solely to the “United States” a/k/a the Federal government.
    BUT other than as specifically prohibited to the States, the States and/or the people’s power is UNLIMITED.

    What’s also interesting, I think, is that the 1st Amendment reads, “CONGRESS shall make no law….,” while the 2nd Amendment doesn’t mention any branch of Federal or State government — it’s a broader statement that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.” (my caps added)
    That makes it pretty clear, I think, that any restrictive law re: arms is unconstitutional.
    Now the other side will argue that, analogous to the 1st A and laws restricting free speech (for the most common example, yelling “Fire” in a theater), some prudential restrictions are permitted with respect to the 2nd A as well.
    …but that’s a topic for another day, maybe.

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