Thursday, May 28, 2015


My Sunday Walk blog generated a thoughtful response from one of my favorite correspondents, the gist of which was that the article was full of gloom and doom; that I had painted a dark and hopeless picture prompting “a tsunami of despair.”

Ugh. That’s not hardly what I was trying to do. I like to think that I am a pretty optimistic guy. Like Percy Veerance “I don’t quit and I don’t cry; don’t shake my fist up at the sky. I just keep on pluggin’ along…”

Admittedly, my ruminations about the surge of Islamic terrorism and our national paralysis of foreign policy invoked a lot of eerie shadows dancing on the walls, and I suppose that my dissing of the White House didn’t sit well with some folks who like to look on the sunny side.

But that’s no reason to dig a bomb shelter and stock up on canned goods.

We survived Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. There’ll be an Obama Library some day, and I’ll want to visit it, too.

I just finished reading The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It’s a masterful work that follows the lives of Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft and a cadre of writers and journalists which came to be known as the muckrakers.

It’s fascinating to see how many things have remained the same and how vastly different other conditions have become. Obviously technology has skyrocketed since 1908. Air transportation, interstate highways, television, computers, Iphones and electronic gadgets that populate our kitchens were unknown to Roosevelt and Taft.

Still they were familiar with big corporations, banking conglomerates, the political influence of big money, the rough and tumble of Presidential politics.

In the first decades of the twentieth century, there was a wave of political reform sweeping across the land. Between February of 1913 and August of 1920, four amendments to the United States Constitution were adopted: The 16th Amendment, giving Congress the power to levy income taxes; the 17th Amendment requiring Senators to be elected state wide; the 18th Amendment prohibiting sale of alcoholic beverages; and the 20th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

At the same time many state constitutions were being amended to authorize popular voting in referenda, initiatives and recalls. In 1908 the Republican Party’s Presidential candidate, William Taft, finished third, behind the Progressive candidate, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson.   

It was an era when the notion of a “manifest destiny” for the United States, which originally defined expansion from the Atlantic to the Pacific, was exploding to include colonial possessions as distant as the Philippine  Islands.

So here we are in the twenty-first century, the most powerful nation on earth, with military presence in more than 150 countries around the globe, engaged in some kind of warfare some place on the planet almost all the time.

We were on the winning side in WWII. Not so in the last 60 years. Clearly, we need a wave of political reform in America, much like we had in the Bull Moose era. There is nothing depressing about preaching political reform. It’s a cause that needs happy warriors.

Americans have always believed that the best is yet to come. We want our children to have a better life than we have had. In 2100, that ‘better life’ may not be measured in money or the things that money can buy.

My great grandson Henry was born at home and will be home schooled. I am confident that he will grow to manhood imbued with the Christian values that will enable him to live a meaningful, productive and happy life.

Presidents come and Presidents go. MSNBC and Fox News will not always be with us. But good people make great nations, and I am confident that there will be many, many good people in the United States of America in the twenty second century.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


It’s Sunday morning and I have a few minutes before we leave for church. Just time for a few words from the old judge.

So far today I have finished my daily mile and a half walk and my ten laps in the pool. Feeling pretty well. I shot 88 on Friday and I’ll be 86 on Wednesday. Close enough to boast about.

Maybe there are some folks who would like to know what an 86 year old man thinks about when he is walking and swimming in the morning.

Not many, but some. A few perhaps? I’m sure nobody under the age of 40 would give a hoot in hell what I was thinking about. But maybe their parents might.

Anyway, I think about death. Not in a frightened or worrisome way. More a matter of curiosity. It’s hard to imagine a world without being in it. Sort of like New York or Los Angeles. A lot of people doing a lot of things, but I’m not part of it.

My faith tells me there is a hereafter, and that’s a comfort. Exactly what that hereafter will be like, I don’t know. Nobody does. The only course I ever failed was a speculative elective at the University of Detroit taught by a Jesuit named Father Magget. I didn’t need the credit to get into law school and I couldn’t get into wondering about how many choirs of angels there are.

What I do wonder about these days is the next hundred years. I see pictures on the Internet of masked ISIS gunmen ceremoniously beheading 21 Coptic Christians and I read that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States, and I wonder.

Then I think about Nidal Hasan. Again. I have written a couple of blogs about him over the years. In 2009 he slaughtered 13 innocent Americans at Fort Hood, Texas. In 2013 he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. That sentence has not been carried out.

Now I see that Hasan wants to be a member of ISIS. He wrote a letter to Abu Bakr al-Baghadadi, leader of the Islamic State. Here is what he had to say:

“I formally and humbly request to be made a citizen of the Islamic State. It would be an honor for any believer to be an obedient citizen soldier to a people and its leader who don’t compromise the religion of All-Mighty Allah to get along with the disbelievers.”

Isn’t that just dandy? The U.S. Army provided the man with stationery and postage to give aid and comfort to our enemy. That would be treason, I should think. Maybe the crowd who think that Hasan was a victim of work place overload will now urge that he be transferred to Gitmo as an ‘enemy combatant.’ Sick.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. Polly and I will raise a glass to toast her brother, Emmanuel Weinberger, a paratrooper who was killed on the beach of Salerno in 1943. E.J. died in the Great War, fighting for our freedom.

We’ll also salute the thousands of brave and decent young Americans who have died on the sands and stones of Iraq and Afghanistan in a war that wasn’t declared by Congress as required by our Constitution. They died in a war that all the talking heads and the intelligentsia are now telling us was a mistake. No wonder so many of them have post traumatic problems. No wonder eighteen of them commit suicide every day.

The President of the United States hasn’t the slightest idea about how to deal with ISIS. He talks about “degrade and (ultimately) destroy.” That’s a bumper sticker foreign policy that basically means we’re going to bomb them a lot and hope they give up.

The Islamic State is based on an extremist version of Islam, in which the killing of innocent non believers is expected and rewarded. They will not quit. They will not surrender. Religious fervor is their motivation. They will kill for it. They will die for it.

My great grandson, E. Henry Richardson, will be my age in the year 2100. I wonder what his world will look like.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Eleven score and six years ago, our Fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.
This war is not between the North and the South, between slave States and Free States. This war is between the People and the Oligarchy. This is not a war of cannons and blood. It is a war of words and votes; a war of ideas and principles; a war between a government of laws and a government of men.
The United States of America was founded on the principle of natural law that there are certain rules of human life and conduct which are ordained by the Creator, and that among these are the right of human beings to establish governments; to determine how they shall be governed and by whom.
The Constitution of the United States specifies that every state shall be guaranteed a republican form of government. In each State the ultimate political power resides in the people. The people make the State’s laws, either directly or through their elected representatives.
In 39 of the 50 American States, the people have adopted laws defining marriage as a relationship between one male and one female human being.
In the face of this overwhelming expression of popular sovereignty, judges of federal and state courts have decreed that the law shall be otherwise; that persons of the same sex must be allowed to enter into marriage contracts.
They have issued their mandates based on the rationale that the people of the States and the legislators they have elected simply don’t have a good enough reason to declare marriage as the union of a male husband and a female wife.
This in the face of the obvious reproductive functions of male and female human beings. This in spite of the centuries of recorded human history in which matrimony has been celebrated, revered, and respected throughout the civilized world. This in total disregard of the mountains of books, studies, treatises, and scientific studies that demonstrate the biological, emotional, spiritual, financial, and social benefits and advantages associated with natural human families founded on the natural marriage of males and females.
And yet, even the stubborn refusal of the judges to recognize the overwhelming evidence in favor of natural marriage is not the ultimate threat to American democracy.
The real problem is the willingness of so many Americans to surrender their birthright of self government; to exchange the rule of law for the law of rulers; to accept and even celebrate the usurpation of popular self government by a self aggrandizing judicial oligarchy.
And for what? Does anyone really suggest that homosexuals, lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transsexuals comprise a majority or even a significant minority of the American people?
Certainly not. If the oligarchy had only the support of the LGBT community, they would not be able to dictate to the nation. The truth is that apathy and  indifference, a preference “not to get involved,” and the reluctance of the silent majority to be perceived as judgmental allow a trenchant  hedonistic community to commandeer the popular media and dominate its narrative.
Judges are more influenced by favorable editorials than by election returns. That is why they can write legal opinions asserting that there is an emerging public consensus which is diametrically opposite to the results of actual plebiscites. And they know that the American people have a bias in favor of  the appearance of regularity. If the judges say so, it must be so. The unhappy result is that judicial opinions have a way of becoming self fulfilling prophesies.
The United States of America is the greatest nation on earth because of the character of its people. We are good people who know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil.  If this nation perishes from the face of the  earth, it will be because its people have lost their moral compass, allowed themselves to become indolent, hedonistic, selfish, and inhuman; because they permit themselves to trust judges rather than God and the sovereign will of His people.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Thomas McIntyre Cooley is among the most preeminent constitutional experts in American history. A long time Professor and Dean of the University of Michigan Law School, Justice and Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, First Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission, President of the American Bar Association and prolific author and speaker, Cooley remains a credible resource for all Americans who love our Constitution and the rule of law.

Here is what Thomas Cooley said about interpreting our Constitution:

A Constitution is not to be made to mean one thing at one time and another at some subsequent time when the circumstances may have so changed as perhaps to make a different rule in the case seem more desirable.

And further:

A court or a legislature which should allow a change in public sentiment to influence it in giving construction to a written constitution not warranted by the intention of its founders would be justly chargeable with reckless disregard of official oath and public duty.

No member of the Supreme Court has opined that the people of the several States who ratified the Constitution in 1789 or the legislatures of the States that ratified the 14th Amendment in 1868 intended thereby to forbid the State legislatures to enact laws defining marriage as a contract between a man and a woman.

None of the lawyers who argued the gay marriage cases said so. No newspaper, television station, network or web site has ever claimed that the Framers of our Constitution or the people who ratified it, intended to legalize gay marriage.

The plain, obvious and undeniable truth is that the supporters of gay marriage want the Supreme Court to read something into the Constitution which isn’t there, never has been there, and does not have sufficient support among the American people to be adopted as an amendment to the Constitution.

The people of the State of California, have on two occasions, by a significant majority vote, expressed their wish to restrict marriage to the traditional relationship between a man and a woman.

In spite of those votes and in spite of the Constitutional guarantee that California shall have a republican form of government, the 9th Circuit Federal Court has substituted its will for the will of the people.

It is commonly said that federal judges are appointed for life. This is not true. Section 1 of Article III of the United States Constitution says that federal judges shall hold their offices “during good behavior.”

Federal Judges, including the Justices of the Supreme Court, have taken an oath to support the Constitution. They are not sworn to do what is popular, or what they think is best for the people or what they think the people want. They are not empowered to dictate the cultural mores of the American people.

When a court announces that it has perceived ‘an emerging public consensus’ and proceeds to base a decision affecting the rights of litigants on public opinion rather than the plain words of the Constitution, the Judges or Justices who subscribe to such a decision are patently guilty of judicial misbehavior and are subject to removal from office.

The Constitutional standard of “good behavior” differs from the definition of the grounds for impeachment. Article II, Section 4 spells out the grounds for impeachment, which include treason, Bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Removal from office for failure to maintain ‘good behavior’ is a far stricter standard than an impeachable offence.

I submit that the attempt to deny the people of the states the right to legislate on the subject of marriage is conclusive evidence of judicial misbehavior and the Congress of the United States should immediately take steps to remove from office all those Justices and Judges who have violated their oaths of office by rendering or concurring in such opinions.