Nebraskans concerned about U.S. sovereignty and the health of our economy, may want to get in touch with Dave Heineman regarding the upcoming forum explained forum. See the bottom of this article for Governor Heineman’s contact information.
Several weeks ago, our friends at OK-SAFE alerted us to the fact that the National Governors Association (NGA) is convening the U.S. – China Governors Forum at their July 15 – 17 Annual Meeting to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can imagine how thrilling it was to…
1) notice Nebraska’s Governor, Dave Heineman, featured in the NGA’s photo coverage of a previous such event (yes, there was a previous such event)
3) realize the Governors from both countries will be getting together again in the future
That’s just fabulous, isn’t it? I know I am one proud Nebraskan.
If the Governors were getting together for the purposes of discussing trade only, I would still have a number of problems with that, which I spell out below. But, this not the only purpose of the forum. Reportedly, U.S. Governors will be paired with their Chinese “counterparts”;
“The pairings, called ‘peer-to-peer exchanges’, aim to ‘strengthen bilateral cooperation.’ Topics are to include items items of ‘mutual interest’ i.e. ‘job creation, education, health and economic cooperation.'”
Anyone else scratching their heads? A few questions:
- Why do we want or need “bilateral cooperation” with the Chinese?
- What items of “mutual interest” we might have?
- What part of the Chinese system are our governors interested…their job creation, education, or health policies?
People may want to remind the U.S. Governors…China is a Communist country.
For a moment, however, let’s focus on the idea that the U.S. Governors were only going to get together for the purposes of possible trading relationships. For a number of years, I was bothered when I read about trade delegations going back and forth between state governments and foreign countries. I couldn’t put my finger on why I was bothered, I just knew I was.
I’ve learned that our Constitution actually prohibits these kinds of relationships. It’s becoming clearer all the time that these prohibitions exist for very good practical reasons. Unfortunately, like so many of our other problems, much of the cause is that the Constitution is being totally ignored.
Article I of the Constitution of the United States is all about the legislative branch. Seems like lately most of us believe the biggest problem with Congress is that it is constantly overstepping the bounds of its enumerated powers[1. I know a lot of people think that Congress is not exercising its powers over immigration. Having studied the question, we have found that federal control of immigration does not fit with the principles of the Constitution according to its original meaning. See “Immigration a State or Federal Issue? Birthright Citizenship and the Fourteenth Amendment?“].
I’d contend that there has been an increasing dereliction by Congress to exercise appropriate authority in certain cases. These derelictions, interestingly, mostly pertain to maintaining the integrity of the United States’ sovereignty.
Part and parcel of that sovereignty is maintaining the appropriate balance between and among all of government’s branches and with the states. I’ve written many times already about balanced federalism, otherwise known as dual sovereignty, proving that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld this principle numerous times, usually quoting James Madison in Federalist No. 39:
“(S)ince its (the federal government) jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects.” (emphasis added)
It’s clear that there are important objects over which the U.S. Congress has jurisdiction and that the states do not. Among them, are dealings with other countries.
Relevant sections of the Constitution…
Article I spells out the composition of the legislative branch.
“Section. 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.”
And gives a list of powers.
“Section. 8. The Congress shall have Power…
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
Section. 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation;”
Article II of the Constitution pertains to the executive branch; Section 1 where the power resides and then Section 2 lists the powers of the office.
“Section. 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.
Section. 2. The President shall…
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;”
This makes a tremendous amount of sense to me. Individual states should not be entering into relationships with foreign countries. No one state would have the interests of the entire U.S. in mind, it would, of course, put its own above all else.
One of the problems with the U.S. – Chinese Forum is that it has come about, as OK-SAFE reported, as a result of a “Memorandum of Understanding signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in January of this year.
The last time I checked, the Secretary of State was a member of the Executive Branch, but she is not the President (see footnote[2. Either someone needs to remind Hillary Clinton that she lost to Barack Obama in 2008 or that despite her desires for power through a second “co-Presidency”, there is nothing within in our system that accounts for it. Clinton has acted in at least two instances as if she is the President; since when does the Secretary of State behave as if she is the Commander and Chief the U.S. Armed Forces, as she has been doing regarding Libya? Finally, I think Mrs. Clinton needs a vacation. She’s been pretty busy lately managing a war, signed memorandums with the Chinese, and setting up gay pride event appearances for Lady GaGa.]) I don’t see any evidence, either, that Secretary Clinton received a vote of two thirds of the U.S. Senate for her “Memorandum of Understanding” with the Chinese, whatever such a document is supposed to be, besides an instrument to circumvent the law. Such a document, whatever it might be called, obviously constitutes some sort of agreement or other with a foreign nation and, therefore, would seems to fall under the Constitution’s provisions for dealing with such, both in terms of how they are approved, and importantly, as pertains to the Article I, Section. 10. prohibition regarding states entering into a “treaty, alliance, or confederation”.
From a Constitutional perspective, then, all of our Governors, sadly, led by Nebraska’s Governor Dave, are violating the separation powers doctrine, aided and abetted by one Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
On the practical side, engaging in cozy relationships with China need hardly be addressed. The idea is truly absurd. A particular poem I and my children worked to memorize several years ago comes to mind. It’s called “The Spider and the Fly”. I’ve included the full text of it at the bottom of this article for those who may not be familiar.
For anyone indulging in the notion that cozier relationships with the Chinese is a good idea, even if it is for the sole purpose of trade, think again. The reality is, there is a great deal of evidence that many of our economic problems are caused by the Chinese’s double dealings with us on a number of fronts, trade chief among them.
Check out any of the very small sample of articles below, which are just a few of many regarding just two of our problems with China; unfair trade practices and their proven hacking of sensitive computer systems. For many more, try Googling, “china unfair trade” and “china hacking”. Note that my links range from 2007-2011…these problems are NOT new:
Governor Heineman’s contact information:
Website (includes Email contact form)
Lincoln Office / State Capitol
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 94848
Lincoln, NE 68509-4848
Office of the Governor
4500 Avenue I
P.O. Box 1500
Scottsbluff, NE 69363-1500
The Spider and the Fly
A New Version Of An Old Story.
Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve a many curious things to shew when you are there.”
Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”
“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in!”
Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”
Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, ” Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I ‘ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome — will you please to take a slice?”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind Sir, that cannot be,
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”
“Sweet creature!” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I’ve a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you ‘re pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I’ll call another day.”
The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple — there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!”
Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue —
Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour — but she ne’er came out again!
And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.
by Mary Howitt 1821.
From Sketches of Natural History (1834), Effingham Wilson : London.
Poem text obtained from TheEarthLife.net