LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Thanks for the history lesson

 

We would like to thank the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce for arranging “a celebration of the 150th birthday of West Virginia” on Saturday, June 22. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the history of Charles Town and to connect with the pioneers who lived and died in Charles Town during the late 1700s and 1800s.

Our afternoon began with taking the history and architectural walking tour given by Mark Reinhart on the west side of town. We have previously driven by several of the homes on the tour, but had no idea of their historical significance or the early settlers who had lived in these homes. An important point Reinhart made to the group was to think about the hard work these early settlers had to endure, including building log homes with hand tools and carrying water from a stream. Because water was so important, Charles Town began its roots near Evitt’s Run.

The next tour we took was the Civil War History Tour at Edgehill Cemetery given by Kevin Breeden. We learned about significant people who played an important role during the Civil War, although many we had never heard of before. As we walked from grave to grave, Breeden spun his stories from the knowledge he gained by reading numerous books on the Civil War. Through his visual characterizations, we better understood the injuries, heartache, sacrifices, and devastation these unsung heroes suffered during and after the Civil War and how they came to their final resting place in Charles Town.

Again, our thanks to the Chamber of Commerce, Mark Reinhart and Kevin Breeden for giving us a glimpse into the lives of the people who played a role in shaping Charles Town. We are grateful for the personal time and extensive knowledge that these two gentlemen shared with us so we could better understand our heritage.

 

Mike and Kathy Sholl

Shepherdstown

 

Sean O’Leary’s pretense

 

In a recent column, Mr. Sean O’Leary criticized Delegates John Overington, Eric Householder and some West Virginia sheriffs for defending our rights by asserting state sovereignty. Mr. O’Leary’s premise is all “legally enacted laws” (his words) and all U.S. Supreme Court findings must be enforced. His opinion suggests a need to familiarize himself with history. Mr. O’Leary should be aware by now of the civil disobedience to “legally enacted laws” by Rev. Martin Luther King and legions of others, both black and white. He might have read of “legally enacted laws” against Jews in Germany in the 30s. He may even know of the U.S. Supreme Court finding in Plessy v. Ferguson that upheld segregation of colored and white in the then-Democrat solid South. Yet Mr. O’Leary states all laws and Supreme Court decisions must be obeyed. (And Mr. O’Leary is an honorable man.)

Obviously all laws are not created equal; there are good laws and bad laws, just laws and unjust laws, good governments and bad governments. Which brings us to the essence of our present dilemma.

President Barack Hussein Obama swore an oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, to enforce the laws and uphold our Constitution. Hmmmm. This man defiantly refuses to enforce [legally enacted] immigration laws, sells weapons to Mexican drug cartels, fails to prosecute Maj. Nidal Hassan as a terrorist (who screamed “Allahu Akbar” as he gunned down 13 and wounded 29 unarmed American soldiers. That might make some people suspect terrorism) but Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder see only “workplace violence.”

The Obama Administration Justice Department refuses to enforce existing law and prosecute people who falsified information on their weapons background checks. The FBI reported 71,000 instances of people lying on their background checks to buy guns in 2009. How many of these were prosecuted? Just 77 out of 70,000! Yet Obama lectures us on the need for more gun control. Black Panthers obstructed a polling place in Philadelphia and Attorney General Holder, the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, refused to enforce the law. The IRS blatantly violates ‘legally enacted laws’ and constitutional rights of citizens — free speech, religion, petition for redress of grievances and peaceable assembly (1st Amendment). We’re learning Americans are increasingly subjected to unlawful searches and seizures of private property and communications (4th Amendment), and attempts to undermine the Second Amendment are too numerous to list. Then there’s the 10th and final Amendment in the Bill of Rights. One sentence: “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.” That’s clear enough isn’t it? Mr. O’Leary may be aware of it, but unable to comprehend it. True, federal law is supreme, but liberals like Mr. O’Leary ignore the fact that when created, our central government had few, limited, and specified powers. In Cohens v Virginia back in 1821, the Supreme Court wrote “The general government, though limited as to its objects, is supreme with respect to those objects.”

“Limited” is a key word. As aggressive proponents of unlimited big government, Barack Obama, Eric Holder & co. show their contempt for our laws, rights, and the Constitution itself as they work tirelessly to fundamentally transform our republic into an authoritarian state. We owe our sincere thanks to Delegates Householder and Overington and others like them across our nation for their devotion to individual liberty and state sovereignty. Big Brother government has always been the enemy of individual freedom; nothing has changed. History is our witness. Once acquainted with it, Mr. O’Leary might wish to redirect his attention to the real causes of our problems.

Brian Bellman

Charles Town

 

O’Leary is wrong

Sean O’Leary is out of touch.

He is out of touch with reality.

He is out of touch with history.

He is out of touch with the founding documents and the Founding Fathers.

In his recent attack on true liberty advocates, from state delegates to constitutional sheriffs, O’Leary attacked the right of nullification as something leading to war or an abstract theory.

In fact, the first advocates of the idea were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who drafted the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, which declared, “Whensoever the general government assumes un-delegated powers, its acts are un-authoritative, void, and of no force.”

And they were United States Presidents.

Our Founding Fathers noted the federal government only has about 30 enumerated powers delegated to it in the Constitution. According to the Tenth Amendment, any issue not found in the U.S. Constitution should be left up to individual states to decide.

This is why Jefferson wrote “Nullification is the rightful remedy” against Federal Government overreach. There are many ways in which nullification works.

People in large numbers might refuse to comply. A number of states could pass a law making its enforcement illegal. A number of states could refuse to cooperate in any way with its enforcement or a jury has the right to nullify a law in court, stating the defendant is innocent, as the law is corrupt.

The Federal government is broke, it is stretched thin by wars of empire overseas; if a consolidation of states refuse to implement un-Constitutional laws, the Federal Government is powerless to enforce them. They do not have the resources, plain and simple.

At a time when over 40 percent of the population, in a recent poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University, believes that armed revolution is needed to restore our republic, people must embrace nullification, for it prevents armed revolution.

For nullification protects the citizens of a state from tyrannical federal laws, and declares them null and void. If the people do not have such protection, then you will see armed conflict, as happens in most of the world today, from Libya, to Syria, Egypt, the Congo and scores of other countries.

That is the brilliance of our Constitution and the republic it created.

It is up to elected state officials to stand by the oath they take to defend the Constitution, and their foremost duty is to protect the individual rights of the citizens, from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Over 15 states have nullified federal laws, even counting California, Maine, Oklahoma, Georgia, South Carolina and many more.

This makes your vote even more powerful, as you actually can make a difference in a state or local election, while the corporations run the federal elections.

O’Leary is nothing less than a statist with an agenda. One of big government and socialism. I am disappointed the Spirit of Jefferson tolerates his columns, which lack in substance, education and historical knowledge.

It is those like O’Leary that are violating the law, when they push or support laws that are nothing less than treason against the Constitution. In these times of IRS, CIA, NSA, EPA and other Federal Government agency scandals, violations of the Second, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments, it is the job of Statesman to protect the people of West Virginia.

And we will continue to support their efforts.

Terrie Leigh

Harpers Ferry

 

Interesting facts about the state

 

With the passage of the 150th anniversary of West Virginia, the following factoids fascinated me:

“Montani Semper Liberi” (Mountaineers are always free) is our official state motto, but our elected and appointed officials sometimes struggle to understand and preserve our precious liberties.

n“Vandalia” was the first name suggested for West Virginia, as a part of a proposed 14th colony, which included Eastern Kentucky and Pittsburgh and without West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. The first name proposed for the current State of West Virginia was “Kanawha,” which now is the name of the county which includes our State Capitol (Charleston).

n Romney (Hampshire County) and Shepherdstown (Jefferson County) fiercely argue about which was the first incorporated town in West Virginia, but Hedgesville (Berkeley County) was the third.

n The grandparents of Davy Crockett, famous frontiersman and hero of the Alamo, lived in Spring Mills (Berkeley County), where their home still stands.

n The West Virginia state fruit is not our elected and appointed officials. It is the golden delicious apple.

For more West Virginia factoids, visit LarryKump.us (“Montani Semper Liberi” entry).

Larry D. Kump

West Virginia

House of Delegates

 

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