society to flourish, moreover, for it to be happy, liberty was believed to be absolutely essential. I would tend to endorse that understanding, but in another sense, it is in fact quite unnatural, and this, unfortunately has become more painfully apparent at all levels of society from the man on the street to the highest courts in the land, from our city halls to the halls of Congress.
Everywhere the idea of liberty has simply become confused, even deranged. The pieces of a once-glorious tradition have been shattered, and the shards have been taken up as dueling implements in an all-out street fight, as right is pitted against right, freedom against freedom. Indeed, understanding liberty has become, for our people at least, entirely too complicated and even unnatural.
What has happened? As we consider cake-bakers in their artistic or religious expressions, or couples in their personal relations and public declarations; when we think of drug laws state and federal; when we consider the security of privacy and property while traveling or texting—everywhere we see contention and confusion, and all roads seem now to lead to the Supreme Court. What has happened? Technology has happened. .....Read More.....
Article1 Section1 Clause 1
"All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
How do you determine if something is Constitutional?
James Madison gave us a 2-step process.
First, Madison said “whenever a question arises concerning the Constitutionality of a particular power; the first question is whether the power be expressed in the Constitution. If it be, the question is decided.”
Second, if the action is absolutely necessary to carry out a power that is clearly spelled out in the Constitution, and it is a proper or customary way of doing so, then, as Madison put it, “it may be exercised by Congress. If it be not; Congress cannot exercise it.”
If you haven't noticed, the BBFL website has been undergoing a significant redesign for the past few weeks. In the coming weeks and throughout each week we will be bringing you fresh insights, new discussions, book reviews and compelling videos dealing with Constitutional issues, news and current events and historical truths. So we encourage you to visit us often on a regular basis.
What is Building Blocks for Liberty?
Building Blocks for Liberty is dedicated to the preservation of the original intent of the US Constitution and the restoration of a Federal government that operates according those precepts and principles set forth by our founders. We do this by educating our citizens "We the People" concerning our three major founding documents; the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Federalist Papers, which were designed to further explain and define the intent of the Constitution.
History has proven that elected officials are as fallible as the rest of humanity. As such, the founders understood that a government would stay within its prescribed, limited bounds only if its citizens were educated and actively participated in the process. From their exhaustive analysis of previous governmental systems they concluded that government would not automatically operate in the best interest of it's citizens. Thus, they designed a Constitutional Republic which makes "We the People" an integral part of the process and maintenance of that government.
...when people in multiple states actually start using gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.
Professor William Greene
CALLING ALL PATRIOTS - WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We are 100% funded by the donations of Patriots like you and will never take government funding in any form. There is so much more we need to do to help secure freedom in this country for your children and grandchildren. If you wish to join with us in this worthy cause, please consider making a donation toward educating true patriots that are equipped to fight for the future of this great Republic.
A Polarized Country Is the Political Norm
by James R. Rogers
With the highly partisan votes on tax reform in the House and the Senate (no Democratic legislator voted in favor of either bill; only one GOP Senator and 13 GOP House members voted against the respective bills), partisan polarization has again hit the headlines. A Pew Research Center report in 2014 showed public opinion becoming increasingly polarized in
the last 20 years. The same is true for Congress. The National Journal reported recently that, in 1982, 344 House members were ideologically positioned in this middle ground of the House. The National Journal defined the middle as Representative who were ideologically positioned between the most-liberal Republican House member and the most-conservative Democratic House member. Thirty years later, in 2012, almost 95 percent of the middle had evaporated. Only eleven House members, out of 435, remained between the most-liberal Republican and the most-conservative Democrat.
The puzzle is why. Why have the public and legislators become more ideologically polarized? But “political polarization” is simply another way to ask about the ideological coherence of parties and the ideological overlap between the parties. Albeit, “political polarization” sounds like a negative thing while “ideological coherent” parties sounds like a good thing, or at least “ideologically coherent” sounds like a thing that good parties should be. In any event, why are legislators and the public becoming more ideologically coherent; why is the ideological overlap between the parties disappearing? .....Read More.....
Wisdom from the Founders
When Leandra English, former chief of staff to the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, asked a federal judge to block President Trump’s appointment of Mick Mulvaney to replace her departing boss Richard Cordray, and to install her as the CFPB’s rightful
THIS WEEK at BBFL (12/10/17)
Is Liberty “Natural”?
by HANS EICHOLZ
For our Founders and most of the enlightened thinkers of the late 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, liberty was most definitely thought to be a natural and moral principle grounded in the nature of mankind. For a
"One of the happiest consequences of the absence of government ..... is the development of individual strength that inevitably follows."
Alexis De Tocqueville
Big Step Forward for Sound Money
Tenth Amendment Center
The Texas Bullion Depository took a step closer becoming operational earlier this month when officials announced the location of the new facility. The creation of a state bullion depository in Texas represents a power shift away from the federal government to the state, and it provides a blueprint that could ultimately end the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.
Gov. Greg Abbot signed legislation creating the state gold bullion and precious metal depository in June of 2015. The facility will not only provide a secure place for individuals, business, cities, counties, government agencies and even other countries to store gold and other precious metals, the law also creates a mechanism to facilitate the everyday use of gold and silver in business transactions. In short, a person will be able to deposit gold or silver in the depository and pay other people through electronic means or checks – in sound money.
Earlier this summer, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Austin-based Lone Star Tangible Assets will build and operate the Texas Bullion Depository. On Nov. 3, the company announced it will construct the facility in the city of Leander, located about 30 miles northwest of Austin. According to the Community Impact Newspaper, the Leander City Council has approved an economic development agreement with Lone Star. Construction of the depository is expected to begin in early 2018. Lone Star officials say it will take about a year to complete construction of the 60,000-square-foot secure facility located on a 10-acre campus. .....Read More.....
Resistance and the Crisis of Authority in American Politics
by James Wallner
leader, Judge Timothy J. Kelly of the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., denied her request. Yet English’s legal team, rejecting the idea that President Trump held the directorship in his hands pursuant to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1988 and Article the Constitution, has since vowed to continue its resistance to the President’s action.
Regardless of what happens next in the CFPB matter, this episode illuminated a crisis of authority pervasive in American politics today. The dysfunction it laid bare tells us that we have forgotten what authority means and are thus no longer capable of identifying where it resides in our political system. The result is a post-political order that delegitimizes conflict and undermines the institutions on which we depend to resolve disagreement and forge compromise in a pluralistic society.
If asked, most people today would likely equate authority with power. Power is rightly understood as the ability to compel obedience through intimidation and force. But unlike power, authority does not compel through such coercion. Rather, it is self-evident; people submit to authority voluntarily. Authority, properly understood, transcends the back-and-forth of political life. In that way, it resides outside the government.
In America, authority resides in the people and is expressed in the Constitution. In 1796, James Madison acknowledged this relationship between popular authority and the Constitution, arguing that, prior to its ratification, the Constitution “was nothing more than the draught of a plan, nothing but a dead letter until life and validity were breathed into it, by the voice of the people.” .....Read More.....
The Problem of Identity Politics and Its Solution
Matthew Continetti, Editor-in-Chief Washington Free Beacon
The beginnings of identity politics can be traced to 1973, the year the first volume of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago—a book that demolished any pretense of communism’s moral authority—was published in the West. The ideological challenge of socialism was fading, its fighting spirit dwindling. This presented a challenge for the Left: how to carry on the fight against capitalism when its major ideological alternative was no longer viable?
The Left found its answer in an identity politics that grew out of anti-colonialism. Marx’s class struggle was reformulated into an ethno-racial struggle—a ceaseless competition between colonizer and colonized, victimizer and victim, oppressor and oppressed. Instead of presenting collectivism and central planning as the gateway to the realization of genuine freedom, the new multiculturalist Left turned to unmasking the supposed power relations that subordinated minorities and exploited third world nations.
The original battleground was the American university, where, as Bruce Bawer writes in The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Politics and the Closing of the Liberal Mind,
The point [became] simply to “prove”—repetitively, endlessly—certain facile, reductive, and invariably left-wing points about the nature of power and oppression. In this new version of the humanities, all of Western civilization is not analyzed through the use of reason or judged according to aesthetic standards that have been developed over centuries; rather, it is viewed through prisms of race, class, and gender, and is hailed or condemned in accordance with certain political checklists.
Under the new leftist dispensation, the study of English became the application of critical and literary theory to disparate texts so as to uncover the hidden power relations they concealed. The study of history became the study of social history or “people’s history,” the record of Western Civilization’s oppression of various groups. And popping up everywhere were new departments of “studies”: African-American Studies, Women’s Studies, Queer Studies, Chicano Studies, Gender Studies, and so on. “What these radicals blandly call multiculturalism,” wrote Irving Kristol,
is as much a “war against the West” as Nazism and Stalinism ever were. Under the guise of multiculturalism, their ideas—whose radical substance often goes beyond the bounds of the political into sheer fantasy—are infiltrating our educational system at all levels.