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FROM THE EDITOR
Morlocks and Eloy
J. R. Dieckmann - Editor

In the 1960 production of H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, George Pal gave us a glimpse of life in the far distant future. As Rod Taylor’s character, George, arrived in the year 802701 A.D., he found a different world than the one we know today. The land was populated with a docile and peaceful people known as the “Eloy” living along the riverbanks, eating berries and fruit from the trees. They spent their days in idle conversation and play with no cares, no worries, no responsibilities, and no ambition. They all looked alike; they all acted alike and lived happily together in their ignorant and blissful commune. That is, until the horns blew and large groups of them were herded underground through huge doors at the base of the mountain.

What we observe in this scene is precisely the liberal vision for the future America where all needs and worries are taken care of by the government, and no one remembers what America used to stand for, or the meaning and responsibilities of freedom. As far as the Eloy knew, they were free. But how little they knew.

When Weena, played by Yvette Mimieux, fell into the river and was threatened by drowning, the others looked on with little interest. After all, it wasn’t their problem, and they didn’t have the knowledge or ability to save her without risking their own lives. If she was to be saved, her savior would have to be from the government. Sound familiar? Does Katrina ring any bells?

But instead, it was the early Victorian era man, George, who saved her – purely on instinct. He was outraged that none of the people would lift a hand to save Weena and couldn’t understand their apathy. George wanted to know who was in charge. Nobody knew. He wanted to know about the government. Nobody knew who that was. Weena took him to a futuristic library where the history of mankind was recorded on disks. There he learned the truth about this society. He found that some of the survivors had migrated underground while others remained on the surface after a devastating nuclear war. The rulers were the cannibalistic “Morlocks” who lived underground and raised the Eloy on the surface like cattle for food, and used them as slaves to support their underground complex, as George later discovered.

The parallels to this scene and today’s American government are uncanny. The Morlocks in government today have become our rulers who are trying to control every aspect of our lives which they believe is for our own good. We not only have to be protected from others, we have to be protected from ourselves by a group of politicians who think they are so much wiser than the rest of us.

After a few years in Congress, they start to believe their own political rhetoric and begin abusing the power granted them by the Constitution. They feel they are above the law. After all, they create the law. They tend to lose all respect for local and state powers, guaranteed by the Constitution, and think that if anything is to get done, it’s up to them to do it. If a plane crashes, they make new laws. If a bridge collapses, they make new laws. If a truck hits a school bus, they make new laws, but still don’t require school buses to have seatbelts.

What seems to be happening is that Americans are becoming more and more dependent on federal government and career politicians than ever before. Without a proper education, young people never learn that living free means taking personal responsibility for oneself. To insure that Americans would remain free, the founders wrote specific powers and limits on government into the Constitution.

What does the Constitution actually authorize Congress to do? Article 1, Section 8 defines the powers of Congress which, in a nutshell, state the following:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate interstate commerce and with foreign countries;

To regulate immigration and establish bankruptcy laws;

To coin money, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To establish patents and copyrights;

To hold hearings inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies on the high seas;

To declare war;

To raise and support armies;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining of the federal militia;

To establish the seat of the government of the United States (Washington DC), and to exercise like authority over all federal land;

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

You may have noted in the above portion of the Constitution the power to declare war, raise and support armies, provide and maintain a navy, and to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union and suppress insurrections and repel invasions. Some believe this is the most vital responsibility of our government. Unfortunately, the government has grown well beyond providing “for the common defense and general welfare” of its citizens. Let’s take a look at some of the other things they are doing.

Last week, I watched the House of Representatives debate amendments to the Energy Bill on CSPAN. Now I’m not particularly opposed to having an energy bill, but where in the above authorizations does the Constitution grant Congress the power to regulate and dictate policy to private industry? The energy industry doesn’t belong to the federal government, nor is it a department within the federal government. If government wants to subsidize the energy industry with taxpayers’ money, then it must be done for the general good and welfare of the entire country.

The bill, as it stands now, does not address the energy needs of the country, but rather addresses the wishes of environmental special interest groups. This was blatantly clear as the debate between Republicans and Democrats progressed. Republicans fought for practical and effective resolutions to the domestic energy shortage while Democrats fought exclusively for an agenda of restricting public energy use to unreasonable levels and promoting inefficient alternatives to the obvious solution.

And what is the obvious solution? Quite simply, it lies in the development of domestic oil resources and nuclear power for electrical generation. But it seems that every time one of these solutions was mentioned, the gavel was slammed down and time was called on the congressman speaking. The Democrats will listen to none of it. Why? Because it offers the best solution to the problem but doesn’t pander to the environmental special interest groups who in part, have bought the Democrat Party.

What I saw during that debate on CSPAN was a bunch of politicians who know nothing about energy technology, dictating policy to those in the energy industry based on what Al Gore thinks we need to do to save the planet. But it was also based on what they think they need to do to maintain the financial support of their special interest lobbyist groups, rather than real energy policy reform that the country needs. It’s no different with their immigration reform or their handling of the war on terror in Iraq.

Everything this 110th Congress has brought to the floor of Congress is aimed right at their liberal special interest groups, and not the American citizens. The most “ethical” Congress in history? That’s not only a joke; it’s an outright lie.

But what concerns me even more is the common practice of our government to give away taxpayers’ money after taking it from our pockets by force. Where does the Constitution authorize Congress to take taxpayers’ money from the federal treasury and give it to anyone? It doesn’t. What the Constitution does allow them to do is to levy taxes for the purpose of financing programs necessary to perform the functions authorized by the Constitution.

Do you see anything about Foreign Aid listed there? Do you see anything about earmark giveaways to private companies and special interest groups? In fact, is there anything there in the Constitution that would authorize Congress to engage in “discretionary spending” of money that doesn‘t belong to them? Congress is supposed to be a responsible steward of tax money and budget it responsibly. They are not, and they do not.

In a Rose Garden press conference on August 2nd, President Bush said:

“The budget I've sent to Congress fully funds America's priorities. It increases discretionary spending by 6.9 percent. My Cabinet Secretaries assure me that this is adequate to meet the needs of our nation.

“Unfortunately, Democratic leaders in Congress want to spend far more. Their budget calls for nearly $22 billion more in discretionary spending next year alone.”

Why does the Bush budget increase, or even allow for discretionary spending? Why are we giving Congress “funny money” to play with, to use as bribes for votes, and to spend on themselves and on their own pet projects? I’m not sure when this practice started, but now it has become an accepted practice by Congress and the fact that it is unconstitutional is simply ignored like so many other constitutional limits on Congress and government today.

My good friend, Raymond S. Kraft points out where the problem lies when he writes:

“This is the problem: What does the "general welfare of the United States" mean? That's almost as good as "depends on what the meaning of 'is' is." Where does it begin? Where does it end? Round and round and round it goes, and where it ends, nobody knows! And since the Founders didn't define it, it has come to mean pretty much whatever Congress in its infinite wisdom of the moment says it means. And Congress sure as hell isn't going to limit the meaning of the general welfare of the United States . . . it's the perfect catchall clause. It gives 'em a hook on which to hang damn near any hat they want.”

Ray must be right, because this seems to be the only clause that would explain the behavior of Congress. These words, “the general welfare of the United States,” are from the first clause in Article 1, Section 8, which authorizes Congress to levy taxes. Should not then tax money apply only to programs benefiting all of the United States? Tax dollars going to the Appalachian Fruit Laboratory in Kearneysville, the National Wild Turkey Federation, or Ted Stevens’ “bridge to nowhere” do not benefit the “general welfare of the United States” – but rather benefit only a chosen few. I cannot believe that this is what the founding fathers intended. What I do understand is that they gave Congress the authority to levy taxes for the purpose of funding government operations, and nothing more.

Each year, Congress develops the annual budget, and each year it gets bigger than the year before. There is no budgeting; only irresponsible spending in unlimited amounts of money that doesn’t belong to them. Congress has no respect for the working taxpayers and seems to feel that our money is their money with no limits on spending it. If they want more they can just raise our taxes, and every year spend more than they take in. We the people, to whom the money belongs, have nothing to say about it. There is not a government agency or body that doesn’t complain every year that they need more money to function, yet they never seem to have any shortage of money for wasteful spending on their pet pork barrel projects.

The founders of the United States of America envisioned a country with limited government and penned the Constitution to define those limits with specific powers relegated to each branch of government. Today, our federal government has its hands in everything and has become the modern day Morlocks, exercising domination and power over all aspects of our lives. Every law passed by Congress takes away another freedom from those whom it affects. Every dollar Congress spends on non-government expenses is another dollar stolen from the people.

From the view of Congress, we are nothing more than Eloy, being grown and raised to feed and support them. Sooner or later, we are going to have to take back our government and send the Morlocks all to hell, just as George finally did in The Time Machine. Only then will America once again be the Home of the Free and the Brave. Freedom, safety and security depend upon a resurgence of the “eternal vigilance” that Patrick Henry understood so profoundly.

JR Dieckmann is Editor, Publisher, Writer, and Webmaster of GreatAmericanJournal.com. He also works as an electrician in Los Angeles, Ca. His articles also appear on The Conservative Voice, Real Clear Politics, New Media Journal, Mich News, Daley Times-Post, Great Minds Think Right, and other conservative websites.