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Positions Statement
(Draft, Still Being Written)

The positions we take at US-First are based on one thing -- the US Constitution -- as envisioned by the Founding Fathers. Not political correctness or expediency. Not desires of altruism. Not popular opinion or want. The US Constitution defines what the United States government may do and what it may not do. The wisdom of the Founding Fathers is sufficient to understand the US Constitution. We reject any notion that their wisdom is not relevant for the times in which we find ourselves today; for the biblical book of Ecclesiastes and other ancients declare to us, "There is nothing new under the sun" and, "That which is past is once again". While technology has certainly changed since the time of Solomon, Washington and Jefferson, human nature most certainly has not -- and the US Constitution addresses human nature. If the positions we hold are pretty much the same positions that you hold, then how about joining US-First NOW! -- so that together -- we can make some good things happen!

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School has an extensive set of resources which will help you to understand the origin of our views. The American Constitution -- A Documentary Record includes colonial era writings and declarations, material from the Revolutionary War period, various drafts and proposals exhibited during the four-month Constitutional Convention, and minutes and personal notes from participants like James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.

Two clauses, and one underlying theme of the US Constitution have been mis-interpreted, misconstrued, and just generally bent out of shape -- most of the time deliberately. They are:

When you understand these three concepts, you will already be far ahead of the curve in knowing when some action of the [federal] government is or is not constitutional. And...you don't need a law degree from Yale (or Harvard, either)!!!

The Promotion Of The General Welfare clause

This clause is not a part of the US Constitution proper, but is in the preamble to it. In the Preamble, the writers of the US Constitution set forth what they hoped to accomplish by its adoption. It goes like this, "We The People, in order to...promote the general welfare..." Congress over the years has used this clause as a pretext to all kinds of intrusive laws and regulations. It grants no such power to Congress. It does suggest that Congress (as well as the Executive and Judiciary) may make recommendations on how we ought to live. For example, it is certainly a promotion of the general welfare for the government to maintain lists of medical practices, drugs and devices which it deems as beneficial. But, the government has no power to stop individuals from ignoring that advice and to seek out and employ alternatives.

The Interstate Commerce clause

Article 1, Section 8 gives to Congress the power to "regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." This arises from the notion that each of the states is an independent nation, who have delegated certain perquisites and responsibilities associated with nation-ness to the federal government formed by adoption of the US Constitution. Elsewhere, states are prohibited from charging tariffs on each other's goods and services, as nations often do. Congress is charged with "keeping the playing field level".

Congress has taken this to mean that if there's even a remote possibility that an article could cross from one state to another, or that a person (or company) residing in one state might perform a service to a person (or company) in another, that they can regulate it. For example, Congress has decided that cars should have a certain fuel economy -- because they contain parts from several states and are marketed in several states. Fuel economy has nothing to do with the buying and selling of parts and products or ensuring that one state is not treating another unfairly.

We The People

We The People -- how much more American can one get? But, exactly who are "We The People"? We are one and we are many. There are things that we do and decide collectively, and things that we do and decide as individuals. We The People collectively decided to enter into an agreement with ourselves to create a government...OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, and FOR THE PEOPLE. We make rules that we insist that everyone behind the wheel of an automobile follow so that traffic moves along in an orderly fashion. We, however, do not make laws as to what each of us must eat for breakfast every morning, or even that we each must eat something for breakfast every morning. We leave such decisions up to the individual, as we do for the level of education to be attained and the kind of activity to be pursued for income (subject to some restrictions so that one person's activities do not violate another person's rights).

The final two sections of the Bill Of Rights address the relationship of the federal government created by the US Constitution to We The People:

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X
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.
The 9th Amendment says that any right not mentioned in the US Constitution is not a denial of said right to We The People. In fact, there is a positive implication that we retain any right, in a completely unabridged form, that is not mentioned. The 10th Amendment takes this a step further by saying that the US Constitution prohibits the United States federal government from doing anything not expressly stated that it may do.

OK, on to our views -- which when implemented will result in a drastic reduction in the size of the federal government and its reach into our daily lives, much more money in the hands of We The People to spend as we see fit at the state and local level and for charity at home and abroad, and sound foreign policies which will go a long way to keeping us at peace with other peoples on this planet...

Governmental Reforms

Several wide-ranging factors have contributed to the state of our nation on this day. In order to be able to properly address specific issues, we must first, or at least simultaneously, address these systemic problems.
  1. Selection Of Senators

    It is human nature to try to amass power unto one's self. That is why the Founding Fathers added so many checks and balances into the government they set up under the US Constitution. They created three co-equal branches of government (legislative, executive, and judiciary), with specific powers and responsibilities, and wanted that there would always be tension and competition between them. Keeping in mind that the several states were (and still are) independent nations who have chosen to delegate certain (but by no means all!) powers and duties associated with sovereign nations to the federal government, the Founding Fathers also created a link between the states and the federal government in that members of the Senate were to be chosen by the state governments. Essentially, Senators were to be ambassadors to the federal government, tasked with looking after the best interests of their respective states in considering legislation before Congress. (Members of the House are to look after the interests of We The People in general, and of those in their district in particular.)

    This changed in 1913 with passage of the 17th Amendment. This removed the hand of the states from the federal government. Senators have essentially become Congressmen elected to six-year terms. They act like Congressmen, except that they have much more opportunity to do mischief that the voters forget about by time the next election comes around. The result is that the Senate does neither the will of the people nor the will of their respective states.

    US-First calls for repeal of the 17th Amendment and a return to the Senate envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

  2. A Return To Federalism

    The US Constitution created a federal system of government, not a consolidated system. We are operating these days as a consolidated system. In a federal system, there exists autonomous nation-states which voluntarily delegate to the federal government some of the powers and duties associated with being a nation, for example, the power to make treaties and war, to coin money, and the duty to provide for the defense of the nation. The individual nation-states retain and exercise all powers and duties not delegated to the federal government. in a consolidated system, all powers and duties are vested in the federal government, and the non-autonomous, non nation-state sub-entities may exercise only those powers and duties which the federal government may from time to time allow of them.

    Neither system is incompatible with either democracy or tyranny, although tyrannies rarely operate as federal systems. Consider Canada and Australia. Both would certainly be termed democracies, but none of their constituent provinces, states or territories is a separate nation-state, as are Texas, Minnesota, Virginia, California, and the other 46 states of The Union. The US Constitution defines which powers and duties are delegated to the federal government and forbids it from exercising any others, reserving all other powers and duties severally to each member state, or, as stated in the Tenth Amendment, to the people [if a state should decline to exercise a power or duty].

    What has all this political theory got to do with today? Plenty! As discussed in section "Selection Of Senators", the 17th Amendment abolished the direct hand of the several states in the federal government and allowed it to run without checks on its power by the several states -- and we now see that foolish action coming to fruition. The federal government routinely lords-it-over the several states -- to which it is supposed to be subservient excepting for the specifically delegated powers and duties.

    There does exist a cure for this condition, which is thought to have been dead for the past 140-some years -- secession -- an action -- the ultimate action -- which must be taken by a state if federal action becomes so onerous as to offer no other way out. This used to be taught at West Point as late as the 1820's. The War Between The States did not negate any state's right of secession. (It's incorrectly called The Civil War, a civil war being when multiple factions vie for control of a single seat of government, such as occurred in El Salvador in the years around 1990. The Confederate States of America was an independent nation, seated in Richmond, Virginia, and not interested in exercising the seat of government in Washington, DC. By the way, US-First's founder and the person who wrote the initial draft of our Positions Statement -- including this section, Dean Koepke, hails from Minnesota -- hardly a hotbed of the Rebel cause.)

    US-First IS NOT calling for the secession of any state from these United States of America! However, when We The People, and the several nation-states in which we live bring to remembrance and let it be known what is possible, things will change. When Congress, the President, or the Supreme Court step on populous, rich, and/or large states and those states threaten to secede, the federal government will have to consider if the intended gains from pursuing such a course are worth the potential enormous loss.

  3. Campaign Reform

    1. Public financing of campaigns must cease.
    2. More timely reporting of income sources and amounts.
      (Posted to the Internet within 48 hours, sorted by donor name, address and amount.)
    3. Limiting contributions limits how I may spend my money.
      (Excepting that no candidate may accept donations or income from Party, group, individual, or self closer to an election than twice the reporting period specified in the previous bullet -- to give the public time to acquire and digest the information.)
    4. Eliminate deficit spending by candidates, advocates, and detractors.
    5. All ads must identify the source, in all modes for multimedia ads.
    6. No restrictions on who may place ads, or on when they may be placed.

  4. Jury Nullification

    Every person who sits on a jury -- whether a Grand Jury or a Trial Jury -- IS ABOVE THE LAW! In legal-speak, this is know as Jury Nullification (or Jury Lawlessness), and refers to the right -- and duty -- of all jurors to try not only the facts of a case, but also the law (or the application thereof). A jury may refuse to convict if it, that is to say, any one juror, finds that the law under which the defendant(s) was brought before it is an unjust law, or that the law is being applied unjustly in this particular case. No person or court, whether the presiding judge or the US Supreme Court, may override the decision of the jury to acquit. Nor may any member of the jury be prosecuted for his decision to acquit.

    The power of juries to try the law as well as the facts has been the most potent guardian of freedom since its inception in medieval England, and is even more powerful than the gun in the protection and furtherance of our liberty. Consider that one Edward Bushell and three fellow jurors spent nine weeks in a dark, stinking, English prison in 1670 rather than convict a William Penn of a law which he admittedly broke (the "Conventicle Act") -- by practicing his religion other than as prescribed by the Church of England. Their refusal to convict finally rendered the law unenforceable, and further led to several legal matters which we now take for granted: freedom of religion, the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and habeas corpus. Non-technically, habeas corpus refers to a person's right to not be held indefinitely, but to publicly hear the charges against him. William Penn later went on to lead a group of his fellow Society Of Friends (Quakers) to found Pennsylvania. Just to the west of US-First's headquarters in League City, TX lies Friendswood -- quite probably founded by direct descendants of those first Quakers here in the New World. Such power!

    US-First therefore insists that every jury must be told of this right -- and duty to try the law as well as the facts -- by the presiding judge. Failure to do so should be grounds for dismissal of any verdict of "Guilty" -- no matter how heinous the crime.

    You will find some very compelling additional information in The Citizens Rule Book -- Jury Handbook. Please...PLEASE...do not shirk your responsibility the next time you receive a summons for Jury Duty in the mail -- for it is on a jury that your one vote can make a difference -- for million of people now and for centuries to come!

  5. Term Limits

    Term Limits limit the ability of a free people to choose those who will represent them.

  6. Ban Non-Specific Legislation

    Legislation is often drafted with titles like "A Bill to ... and for Other Purposes". While "..." might be -- and usually is -- quite popular, the "Other Purposes" are usually unpopular, nefarious, or involve spending generally large sums of money on Congressmen's pet projects -- commonly referred to as "Pork". It is the way that Congress votes themselves a raise -- God forbid that they should have to come before We The People and convince us of why they should get a raise -- which they may well deserve! Can you imagine a bill introduced and under consideration with a title of, "A Congressional Pay Raise"?

    This practice by Congress has led to all kinds of bad things. Spending is out of control -- along with taxing and borrowing to pay for it. There are many laws on the books which would not have survived the light of day had they been exposed to it as the "..." -- instead of the "Other Purposes" -- part of a bill under consideration by Congress. Service in Congress would not pay such a generous salary, nor would it have such swank retirement benefits not available to We The People under Social Security.

    And, one other result of non-specific legislation is that the President would not be so inclined to sign crappy legislation buried in that which the public is demanding. In this however, the fault is not totally with Congress, for if we would have a President with a backbone, he would veto the bill and tell Congress to get rid of the junk or dare them to override his veto -- at the risk of inciting We The People to vote them out of office. But alas -- one reason for US-First's existence -- we no longer have statesmen elected to the Congress or the Presidency.

    And so, US-First calls for amending of the US Constitution to require that all provisions within a bill pertain to the stated purpose of the bill. Further defined, we mean that every bill should begin with a Statement Of Purpose, and every subsequent provision must state its relationship to the bill's Statement Of Purpose.

  7. Presidential Line-Item Veto

    We saw the proper way for the Congress and the President to solve impasses in spending (and other legislation whose failure to become law would have similar results) when both Presidents Reagan and Clinton would not sign legislation and Congress failed to override their vetoes -- the federal government shut down -- at least in part. A similar impasse happened more recently in New Jersey when Gov. Corzine fought with the state legislature -- and the gambling halls and beaches were closed down.

    Yes indeed, politics can get very ugly and oh so inconvenient! But, a line-item veto would remove an important check-and-balance from our federal government -- We The People screaming at the top of our collective lungs, "Enough already!!!". In all cases, when the din of disapproval got shrill enough, the politicians got the message and came to an agreement. (In none of the previously-cited cases is the final outcome germane to this discussion.) US-First therefore stands steadfastly against giving line-item veto authority to the President.

Foreign Affairs

George Washington warned us in his Farewell Address against entangling ourselves in the affairs of other peoples and nations, and we have ignored his advice to our own peril.
  1. Unconstitutional Treaties

    A treaty can never supercede the US Constitution. Consider a treaty -- negotiated by the President and ratified by the Senate -- that makes, or requires passage of an ex post facto law (retroactive criminalization). Article 1, Section 9 specifically forbids passage of ex post facto laws. Such a treaty, or at least such a provision of a treaty, would be unenforceable.

  2. NATO, SEATO, and other Mutual-Assistance Treaties

    We are a super power and do not need to rely on assistance from lesser powers. We do not need to enter into treaties which obligate us to come to the aid of another country. (We may still decide to render aid.) US-First calls for withdrawal from NATO, SEATO and other such mutual-aid treaties, and for bringing our troops home from permanent stations in Europe and Asia. Aircraft carriers and submarines allow us to project our power wherever we feel it's needed without the cost of maintaining permanent land-based bases abroad.

  3. The UN

    The United Nations is an ill-conceived and anti-American organization which drains money from us and offers us no more than scorn in return. US-First calls for the United States to withdraw from the UN and to have the UN remove itself from New York City and anywhere else within our borders that it may have facilities.

Specific Issues

Taking into consideration what we have to say under "Governmental Reforms", we offer solutions and direction on the following specific issues and areas of concern:
  1. Immigration

    Our nation is made up of immigrants, from those who came aboard The Mayflower to those who arrived today. US-First welcomes all who come to our sea and land points-of-entry in accordance with our laws and who wish to either stay with us for a time to better themselves in accordance with our laws or to stay permanently and embrace our American culture, language, and values -- while enriching us with that which they have to offer.

    With the above statement in mind, and realizing that not all who currently come to the US are fulfilling it, US-First offers the following plan for reform of the current status:

    1. Get a handle on the borders NOW. We don't need a wall. We need to bring most of the permanently-stationed military in from Europe, Asia, and elsewhere to patrol and enforce the borders and coastlines.

    2. Require proof of citizenship (birth or naturalization certificate) to register to vote.

    3. Require two forms of ID to vote in any election.

    4. Deny publicly-funded social and non-emergency medical services, and public education to all non-citizens. Do not penalize private providers.

    5. Alter the law so that children born to non-citizens are no longer granted citizenship at birth. They will be granted citizenship (residency) if/when their parent(s) are granted citizenship (residency), or they may choose to pursue citizenship (residency) on their own once they reach the age of eighteen.

    6. Enforce the laws already on the books against hiring illegals, including penalties for those who [obviously and repeatedly] do.

    7. All non-immigration related government oral and written proceedings, forms, publications, etc. shall be in English only.

    8. Require English-only in conducting business (excluding only private, non-job-related conversations) in non-travel or hospitality-related establishments that serve the general public (i.e., do not cater to a specific group of people). Religious and fraternal organizations shall be exempt.

    9. Impose heavy tariffs on out-of-country money transfers, which will be waived upon proof of reciprocal into-country money transfers.

    10. Prohibit the flying from a flag pole (or other permanent fixture) of any flag foreign to the United States. Flying such flags from non-permanent fixtures (e.g., hand-held, car-mounted, temporarily-placed flag stand) would still be allowed. Representatives of foreign governments, and religious and fraternal organizations shall be exempt.

    11. Simplify the process and provide proper staffing levels to handle whatever amount of legal immigration we deem desirable, to make the process more understandable to the immigrants and to proceed in a more timely fashion than at present.

    12. Declare a moratorium on deportations of those who have broken no laws besides those related to immigration and their inability as illegals to perform (e.g., lack of auto liability insurance and licensing), during which time all illegals shall be required to register. Upon expiration of the moratorium, any undocumented alien will be subject to immediate deportation, as will any registered alien upon conviction of an offense which carries a possible sentence of time in the penitentiary. Persons who choose to register will be required to update their registration on a yearly basis (e.g., every January). Let it be known that registering will not be a guarantee of a subsequent granting of citizenship or other residency status; but, at such time as we might decide these matters, being registered will be looked upon with favor.

    13. Outlaw "sanctuary" declarations by municipalities and other entities.

    This will go a long way towards making those who are here to take advantage of us leave of their own accord without having to be deported. Those who are here to meld with our language and culture will not be terribly inconvenienced. Neither will those who are not currently exploiting illegals for cheap labor.

    Once the above measures are in place, we can then discuss which of those illegals who remain might be made legal and eventually naturalized.

  2. Tariffs, Trade and Taxes

    Tariffs sufficient to make foreign-made products and produce to demand a higher retail price than American-made counterparts must be enacted. Domestic federal income taxes must be lowered by an amount equal to that produced by enacting of the tariffs. To both government and consumer, it will be a zero-sum-gain. The amount of taxes collected will not change. If a consumer wishes to continue to purchase the foreign-made goods, the savings in taxes will offset the increase in price due to the tariffs. However, should he choose to buy the American-made product, the saving in taxes will more than offset the current higher price compared to the current price of the foreign-made equivalent. This net difference can be placed in savings or directed towards other purchases.

    Enactment of this plan will stimulate the return of manufacturing to America. Most consumers purchase based on the price of an item as long as it meets a minimum level of quality. Those consumers who already demand higher quality are already willing to pay a premium to get it -- whether from America or from abroad. We are currently in a dangerous situation with so much of our military-related goods coming in whole or in part from abroad. If our friends, who are currently supplying many of the needs of our military, should one day become our enemies, we'll be in a real hurt -- US-First believes that restoring our domestic manufacturing base will insure that this will never happen.

  3. The Federal Reserve System

    The Federal Reserve System, which is neither federal nor reserve, must be abolished. Article 1, Section 8 gives Congress the power to "coin money, [and] regulate the value thereof". It does not give that power to privately-run banks like the Federal Reserve.

  4. Fiat Money

    The term Fiat Money refers to currency that is not redeemable in some hard asset, usually gold or silver, the value of which is representative of the sweat and toil required to mine it. Paper is easier to carry around than chunks of gold. The piece of paper says that you can go to its issuer and exchange it for a certain amount of gold, if you'd like to wear your money around your neck. For example, the United States at one time issued "Silver Certificates", which one could take to the US Treasury and redeem for silver in the value stated on the face of the note. Walk into any of the twelve offices of the Federal Reserve scattered around the country with a $20 "Federal Reserve Note" and ask to exchange it for $20 worth of silver or gold -- and see if they don't have you hauled away in a straight jacket after they stop laughing!

    Fiat money is nothing new. When a nation's currency is not backed-up by something that they need to expend sweat to get more of, be it gold, silver, or perfectly-round pieces of wood, then there is no practical limit to how much they can print or how fast they can print it. Need more money? Just print off a billion here or a trillion there. Heck, it's only money! It's not like we have to slave in a mine or whittle us a bunch o' wooden nickels before we can print more.

    The trouble begins when word gets to you that what you just paid for with $10 worth of your hard-earned sweat, that same $10 worth of sweat-equity that it took to mine the speck of gold or to whittle those 35 wooden nickels that back-up that $10 bill you handed over to the salesman -- that same thing that you slaved to buy -- has been purchased by someone else who did not slave for the currency used to pay for it but merely fired-up the printing press. Your reaction is that when you have something to sell -- whether it be the thing you just bought or your labor to your boss -- you will consider your sweat to have been cheapened -- so instead of charging $10 -- you decide to charge $20 -- and since the printing presses are going like gang-busters -- you get it. After all, it's only money! Economists call this "inflation". Does anyone remember a nickel candy bar? How about when two bucks an hour was a darn good wage?

    Ever heard the phrase, "ain't worth a Continental"? A continental was a currency issued by the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War. It was backed-up by air. The southern Confederacy did the same during the War Between The States. So did the Weimar Republic (Germany) before Hitler came to power. You know that your currency is good for doo-doo when they pay you two or three times a day and you get an hour off to go spend it before prices rise beyond what you just earned. And you wonder why the average German was so ready to embrace Hitler...

  5. Civil Penalties

    The practice of levying civil penalties against individuals and corporations for alleged infraction of laws and regulations has no basis in the US Constitution. The plaintiffs are coerced into paying-up to avoid having to spend more money in defense of the charges, knowing that the government has virtually unlimited resources to bring to bear. The Constitutional way to prosecute alleged violators is to define criminal statutes and bring charges under them -- in which case the pronouncement of guilt or innocence would fall to a jury. US-First calls for an end to the practice of issuing civil penalties.

  6. Raising Money Via Lawsuits

    Taxes and fees are the method outlined in Article 1 of the US Constitution by which government is to raise revenue. The practice of government being a plaintiff to a lawsuit in which monetary awards are sought from defendants who are engaged in legal activities is despicable. The flagship case is the several states suing tobacco companies, and we see the beginnings of similar activities towards fast-food and soft drink producers and vendors. There is absolutely no Constitutional authority for these kinds of activities. To add insult to injury, the ill-gotten gains have been squandered on many things besides the supposed costs to the public that these lawsuits were supposed to recover. US-First calls for an end to this practice.

  7. Eminent Domain

    Eminent domain refers to the taking of private land for public use. Recent trends have been to take land from one private party and give it to another -- ostensibly because the other party would put it to some use that would generate greater taxes and/or business activity than the current owners. According to the final clause of the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution, "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Article 1 does authorize the federal government to purchase land on which public buildings are to be erected. Taken together, these statements clearly show that the government is not to force the changing of ownership from private owner to private owner. US-First calls for an end to this practice.

  8. Federal Involvement in Food and Medicine

    At most, federal involvement in the foods we eat and how we treat ailments should extend to no more than suggestion. Specifically, the US Constitution does not authorize the federal government to mandate content of foods or what treatments we may or may not seek for ourselves. US-First calls for the role of the Food and Drug Administration to be reduced to one of research to provide advice on best practices. It is ultimately up to each individual, in consultation with experts of their choosing, to determine the foods they will eat and the medical products and procedures to be employed in the maintenance or restoration of their health.

  9. Federal Involvement in Education

    At most, federal involvement in the education of our youth should extend to no more than suggestion. The US Constitution makes no provision for the federal government to mandate standards or provide any level of funding. This extends to grants and loans to students in post-secondary education. US-First calls for cessation of all federal funding of education and mandating of standards. Furthermore, the Department of Education should be disbanded, as the remaining activities of research and suggestion as to how we might improve to maintain our pre-eminence in the world would require no more organization than an office within a department.

  10. Federal Payments To State and Local Governments

    At best, it is an inefficient method of raising and spending money. At the mid-way point of folly, it results in a communistic re-distribution of wealth. At worst, it has been used as a hammer to coerce states and localities into doing the will of The Feds. In Wickard v. Filburn [317 U.S. 111 (1942)], the Supreme Court stated that, "It is hardly lack of due process for the Government to regulate that which it subsidizes." The US Constitution does not grant the federal government authority to disburse money to the states or local entities.

    Article 1 does authorize the federal government to "establish Post Offices and post Roads" and to "exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings". Clearly, the federal government may spend money within the states. But, this does not extend to matching funds for projects like mass transit, parks, day labor centers, urban renewal, public housing, etc. US-First calls for cessation of payments for projects by the federal government to state and local governments.

  11. Guns

    The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution states:
    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.
    This is yet another check and balance the Founding Fathers placed into the government they created. They knew then, just as we see the world over in our day, that the thing which a would-be despotic government hates most is a people with a gun in most every hand.

    This Amendment serves two purposes: to provide a standing army of citizen soldiers for protection against foreign invaders, and to protect We The People against our own government becoming despotic. There is an on-going debate about whether the 2nd Amendment provides for individual gun ownership, or if it provides just for collective ownership. US-First believes that it provides for both.

    The professional military needs to be greatly diminished in size and brought home from most of the over 100 countries in which it is currently deployed. George Washington warned us in his Farewell Address against foreign entanglements, and we have ignored his advice to our own peril. When we quit policing the world, a small rapid response force will suffice to meet aggression against us until the citizen soldiers are mobilized. That is the primary function of the National Guard -- and the collective ownership of guns set forth in the 2nd Amendment.

    As we stated before, We The People refers to both the individual and the collective. Context determines which meaning is operative in the clause, "being necessary to the security of a free State". Note that they did not write, "...security of a state." The collective meaning is intended when discussing the security of the state. They also wanted to insure that the people would remain free within the state -- free to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The individual meaning is intended when discussing the free-ness of the state. A state-controlled militia will not rise up against the state that controls it, because the state will placate it as it uses it to oppress the people. We see this every day. Given the means, like a gun in most every hand, a free people will rise up against oppression if no other way is found to relieve themselves of it.

    US-First calls for repeal of all gun-control laws and regulations, including the issuing of concealed-carry permits. There is no reason why John Q. Public should not be able to own an M16 with a full military clip. This will deter the individual criminal from his activities as well as deter the government from oppression. Swift and certain punishment for crime will deter Mr. Public from the way of crime -- whether he's contemplating carrying it out with a baseball bat or a bazooka. We can look to Switzerland, where all able-bodied males are required to keep a gun in there house and know how to use it. Swiss-on-Swiss crime is almost unheard of. It's the unwary foreigners who get the business end of a gun when they attempt a crime not believing that they're likely to encounter one.

    Concealed-carry permits are a form of registration. One of the first things a government does in becoming despotic is to register guns. That way, when they proceed further down the path of despotism and the time comes to disarm the people, they know who's doors to knock on when they go to picking up the peoples' defense against them.

  12. Abortion

    According to the Declaration Of Independence, we are endowed by our Creator [whoever or whatever that is] with, "certain unalienable rights; that among these are life". Unalienable means, "not to be separated, given away, or taken away", as compared to the oft-misquoted 'inalienable', which means, "that cannot be transferred to another or others". This is further refined in the 5th Amendment in the Bill Of Rights, which states that, "...nor shall any person...be deprived of life...without due process of law." We The People, acting corporately, in prescribed cases when an individual has transgressed against us, are allowed by that same Creator who gives life to take life from an individual.

    A child provided with a minimum amount of nourishment and shelter (as is supposed to be a natural instinct of motherhood and fatherhood -- and also required of its parents by law), but otherwise left to the passage of time, will grow into an adult. The same holds true for that which is in utero. However, one's severed toe will not of its own accord grow into an adult -- even with major medical intervention. A child has rights and privileges, which are overseen by an adult until that child reaches an age when his mental faculties are sufficiently developed to allow self rule. The same holds true while it's in utero. One's severed toe has no rights apart from the person to whom it was once attached. (One has a right to the return of his severed toe, but the reverse is not true!)

    Since abortions are performed without providing due process of law to the abortee -- who, in simply being, has transgressed no law, US-First calls for the re-criminalization of abortion -- without exception for the health or life of the mother. (On a related note, US-First also calls for much stronger penalties and enforcement of collection of child support from those who attempt to shirk their responsibilities as a father.)

  13. Separation Of Church And State

    This clause, lifted out of context from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson on January 1, 1802 to the Danbury Baptist Association in response to a letter they sent to him in October 1801, has been mis-interpreted to mean, "separation of the State from the Church". They were a religious minority in Connecticut, and complained to him that in their state, the religious liberties they enjoyed were not seen as immutable rights, but as privileges granted by the legislature -- as "favors granted". Jefferson's reply to the Danbury Baptists clearly indicated that the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution prohibited the federal government (and by subsequent extension, government at any level) from establishing a state religion. It did not indicate that religious expression within the government was prohibited. He states that, "religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god". Including the practicing of one's religion with other natural rights, he concludes that man, "has no natural right in opposition to his social duties." Indeed, he ends his letter with, "I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and creator of man,..." after having opened it with, "Mr. President, To list of recipients." Having called himself, "Mr. President" indicates that he was acting on behalf of the federal government. And, if he had intended to remove religious expression from within the government, one would hardly have expected him to close with such an obviously religious statement. (You may view the letter from Danbury to Jefferson, along with the full text of his reply at The U.S. Constitution Online.)

    What this means, among other things, is that there exists no prohibition against the display of privately-funded displays, which are of or contain a religious nature, on public lands. However, preference cannot be given to a display by one sect over that of another based solely on their beliefs. This is already practiced by the non-levying of taxes on religious organizations, e.g., land on which a church has been erected is exempt from property taxes, and donations to religious organizations are tax-deductible -- without regard to what religious views an organization might hold.

    Additionally, religious organizations are free to hold and express any view they wish -- no matter how unpopular or Neanderthal. The only exception is when those views involve physical violence, whether in actual deed or in word only, against any person or persons. Merely saying that homosexuals or non-Muslims are bound for Hell unless they repent or convert is protected speech under the First Amendment. The line is crossed when the view says that physical harm should be employed to get them to convert or to send them along their merry way to Hell.

    We have seen rigorous and increasing opposition to both of these freedoms of religious expression when it comes to the views held by the majority -- which happen to be Christian. (This has been occurring as part of a disturbing trend overall to promote the minority over the majority.) What this amounts to is a gross violation of the First Amendment, in which the government is establishing a state religion -- that religion being anti-Christianity. US-First insists that this be stopped immediately!

    Natural rights are unalienable rights, which means that they cannot be taken or given away. This is a slippery-slope logical outcome of the current practice of disbursing federal funds to faith-based organizations. In Wickard v. Filburn [317 U.S. 111 (1942)], the Supreme Court stated that, "It is hardly lack of due process for the Government to regulate that which it subsidizes." Receiving organizations are currently required to keep religious proselytizing out of charitable operations which are wholly or partially funded by federal dollars -- a regulation clearly within the kin of Wickard v. Filburn. It is hardly inconceivable that further regulation will not be promulgated which become onerous to an organization -- which has [now] become dependent upon federal dollars for its social outreach backdoor to religious outreach. At that point, its members will have to decide whether they will forgo federal funds or alter their religious beliefs to allow continued receipt of federal dollars for "the greater good". To be compelled to alter one's religious belief thru government action is no less than the alienation of unalienable rights -- which, by definition, cannot occur! US-First therefore calls for an immediate end to the disbursement of government funds to religious organizations. (Incidentally, without such overbearing taxation as we have today, parishioners would have more money to donate to their organization -- easily replacing current federal dollars and not requiring submitting to federal regulation.)