In Defense of Second Amendment Rights of U.S. Merchant Seamen vs Mercenaries

[CENTER][I][B]My June 14, 2011 Email to These [/B][/I][/CENTER]
[CENTER][I][B]5 Congressional Committees and 1 Advisory Committee[/B][/I][B].[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]Don Hamrick, American Common Defence Review (blog)[/B][/CENTER]
[B] [/B]
[CENTER][B]FOR:[/B] [/CENTER]
[CENTER] [/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]● HOUSE & SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEES[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]● SENATE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER]● [B]SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON SURFACE TRANSPORTATION AND MERCHANT MARINE INFRASTRUCTURE, SAFETY, AND SECURITY [/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER][B](of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science,& Transportation).[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER]● [B]HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON COAST GUARD AND MARITIME TRANSPORTATION[/B] [/CENTER]
[CENTER][B](of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure)[/B] [/CENTER]
[CENTER]● [B]U.S. HOUSE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER]● [B]DHS/USCG NATIONAL MARITIME SECURITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (NMSAC)[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER] [/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]__________________________________________[/B][/CENTER]

[CENTER][B]DON HAMRICK COMMENTARY ON [/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER] [/CENTER]
[CENTER][B][Rep. Lamar Smith (R, TX-21st)]: [/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]Al Qaeda Threat No Reason to Change Gun Laws[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER] [/CENTER]
[CENTER]by Mike Lillis, The Hill[/CENTER]
[CENTER] [/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]__________________________________________[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER] [/CENTER]
This is not commentary criticizing Mike Lillis of The Hill but my [I]editorial[/I] on Rep. Lamar Smith’s comments advocating the status quo on federal gun control laws in the face of a publicized threat against the United States by an Al Qaeda spokesman. I commend Mike Lillis of the Hill for reporting the news on Rep. Lamar Smith’s remarks affecting the [I]Common Defence[/I] (refer to the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States) of the American people.

Here again, I push the true intent of the Common Defence clause in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States:

[CENTER][B]PURPOSE AND EFFECT OF THE PREAMBLE[/B][/CENTER]
[INDENT][INDENT]Although the preamble is not a source of power for any department of the Federal Government, [FN1] the Supreme Court has often referred to it as evidence of the origin, scope, and purpose of the Constitution.[FN2] ‘‘Its true office,’’ wrote Joseph Story in his COMMENTARIES, ‘‘is to expound the nature and extent and application of the powers actually conferred by the Constitution, and not substantively to create them. For example, the preamble declares one object to be, ‘to provide for the common defense.’ No one can doubt that this does not enlarge the powers of Congress to pass any measures which they deem useful for the common defence. [I][U]But suppose the terms of a given power admit of two constructions, the one more restrictive, the other more liberal, and each of them is consistent with the words, but is, and ought to be, governed by the intent of the power; [B]if one could promote and the other defeat the common defence, ought not the former, upon the soundest principles of interpretation, to be adopted?[/B][/U][/I]’’[FN3]
[/INDENT][/INDENT][INDENT][INDENT]


[FN1] Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11, 22 (1905).

[FN2] E.g., the Court has read the preamble as bearing witness to the fact that the Constitution emanated from the people and was not the act of sovereign and independent States, McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. (17 U.S.) 316, 403 (1819) Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall. (2 U.S.) 419, 471 (1793); Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 1 Wheat. (14 U.S.) 304, 324 (1816), and that it was made for, and is binding only in, the United States of America. Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 244, 251 (1901); In re Ross, 140 U.S. 453, 464 (1891).

[FN3] 1 J. STORY, COMMENTARIES ON THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES (Boston: 1833), 462. For a lengthy exegesis of the preamble phrase by phrase, see M. ADLER & W. GORMAN, THE AMERICAN TESTAMENT (New York: 1975), 63–118.
[/INDENT][/INDENT]Now, my questions to Rep. Lamar Smith and Congress itself are these:
[INDENT][INDENT]n “What happened to the Common Defence?”

n “In the span of American history when did the Common Defence of, for, and by the People become National Security by the U.S. Government?”

n “When did Congress start ignoring the Second, Fifth Ninth, Tenth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the American people to participate in the Common Defence?”

n “And does Rep. Lamar Smith’s remarks as quoted in Mike Lillis’ article in The Hill promote or defeat the Common Defence?”

n "And for the defense of the U.S. merchant marine and U.S. merchant marine personnel when did the U.S. merchant marine stop being an armed force that the U.S. merchant marine personnel now need mercenaries to provide security against Somali pirates? (See also the original documents.)
[/INDENT][/INDENT]These are legitimate questions in defense of the Constitution of the United States. An excerpt from Mike Lillis’ article in The Hill is worth a few comments. The excerpt: “[I]Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said tightening gun laws to address the threat would be to surrender to terrorists at the expense of Americans’ rights[/I].”

My question here is, who are the real terrorists? I mean who is it that aided and abetted the murders of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Agent Jamie Zapata? Al Qaeda terrorists? They are the BATFE, the Justice Department, and President Obama! See Dave Workman, [I]Dems Circle Wagons on Gunrunner, Float Perennial Gun Ban Agenda[/I], Seattle Gun Rights Examiner, Examiner.com, June 14, 2011.

From Dave Workman’s article about Congressman Darrell Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing titled, [I]Obstruction of Justice: Does the Justice Department Have to Respond to a Lawfully Issued and Valid Congressional Subpoena?[/I], Monday, June 13, 2011. Dave Workman’s lead paragraph states:
[INDENT][INDENT][I]Before the dust settled on yesterday’s opening hearing on the controversial Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious scandal now plaguing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Democrats were already busy with their defense strategy, which once again[/I] [I][U]demonizes American gun owners and their constitutional rights[/U].[/I]
[/INDENT][/INDENT]True to form, the Violence Policy Center (VPC) issued a press release today, June 14, 2011 titled, [I]U.S. Civilian Gun Market has Become a Militarized Bazaar, New Violence Policy Center Study Documents: Widespread Sale of Military-Style Weapons Drives Illicit Traffic to Mexico, Increases Armed Attacks on U.S. Law Enforcement Officers, and Facilitates Mass Shootings[/I], on yesterday’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing noted above. VPC, hawking their latest so-called study titled, The Militarization of the U.S. Civilian Firearms Market, June 2011. The VPC study has this bit of propaganda (footnotes omitted):
[INDENT][INDENT]Other trends include aging consumers—the percent of the U.S. population aged 65 and older has grown from 4.1 percent in 1900 to 12.4 percent in 2000. [B][U]Gun owners are older and young people are less likely to buy firearms[/U].[/B] The Christian Science Monitor reported in 2002 that some in the gun industry itself explained that the “fact that the average age of gun owners continues to increase is…more than a statistical quirk tied to aging baby boomers. [B][U]Rather it’s a sign that younger generations see guns differently[/U][/B].” The growing proportion of immigrants in U.S. society also has an impact: “[B][U]America’s increasing immigrant population has less of a tradition with firearms[/U]. . . .[/B]”
[/INDENT][/INDENT]([I]Emphasis is mine[/I].)

From the International Maritime Organization’s steadfast refusal to recognize the individual human right of self-defense for the crew of merchant vessels of maritime nations but only agreeing to shipping companies hiring mercenaries to provide security for the unarmed crew of merchant vessels:
[INDENT][INDENT][INDENT]n MSC.1/Circ. 1404 on “Guidelines to assist in the Investigation of the crimes of piracy and armed Robbery against ships”

n MSC.1/Circ. 1405 on Interim Guidance to shipowners, ship operators, and ship masters on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) [B][[I]i.e. MERCENARIES[/I]][/B] on board ships in the high risk area

n MSC.1/Circ. 1406 on Interim Recommendations for flag States regarding the use of privately contracted armed security personnel[B] [[I]i.e. MERCENARIES[/I]][/B] on board ships in the high risk area
[/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT]To the United Nations Small Arms Treaty (see also Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects; See also Jessica Erdman, Small Arms Trade: Disarmament vs. Regulation, World Politics Review, May 24, 2011) in which Glenn Beck of Fox News says (Start 15m:54s into the video):

[I]“By the way, the U.N. is also working on a small-arms treaty-- which purports to fight terrorism, but if implemented, Second Amendment proponents like me believe that it will only enforce rougher licensing requirements, create more red tape, and possibly an international gun registry. As if terrorists give a flying crap about registering their gun or their machete before they kill you. This will do nothing but make it harder for you to get a gun. Why would you get a gun? [Points to picture of President Obama and adviser Cass Sunstein.] To prepare for tough times. That’s why.”[/I]

To the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of an Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials, and this: Halting U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico: A Report by Senators Diane Feinstein, Charles Schumer, and Sheldon Whitehouse to the United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, 112th Congress, 1st Session, June 2011. See also Jim Kouri, Senators See Gun Control as Anti-Terrorism Strategy, Public Safety Examiner, Examiner.com, June 14, 2011. And see Mike Piccione, Back Door Gun Control and Fighting Back, Human Events, June 14, 2011

The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not only facing nullification threats from the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization, and the Organization of American States, but also home-grown traitors in the United States Senate and President Obama and his Cabinet.

Here is another exerpt from Mike Lillis’ news article:
[INDENT][INDENT]“[I]We’ve seen time and again that terrorists will use anything, including our own rights and freedoms, to plot attacks against innocent Americans[/I],” Smith said in an email. “[I]But simply because terrorists abuse our liberties doesn’t mean that we should limit the rights of law-abiding Americans. On the contrary, to limit our rights is to give in to terrorists and the fear they try to spread[/I].”
[/INDENT][/INDENT]There exists a problem of logic with Rep. Lamar Smith’s comments above.
[INDENT][INDENT]n “[I]Terrorists will use anything, including our own rights and freedoms, to plot attacks against innocent Americans” [/I]

n [I]"Because terrorists abuse our liberties doesn’t mean that we should limit the rights of law-abiding Americans.[/I]

n [I]“To limit our rights is to give in to terrorists and the fear they try to spread[/I].”
[/INDENT][/INDENT]Did the BATFE, the Eric Holder of the Justice Department, Hillary Clinton of the State Department, and President Obama conspire to arm the Mexican Cartel with firearms solded by American FFL gun dealers? See Chris Field, [I]Misfire: Obama’s Scandalous Secret Gun Control Agenda[/I], Townhall.com, June 1, 2011. Each of the 3 bulleted items is exactly what the BATFE has done to the American people. By their own actions and by the logic the BAFTE, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, and President Obama are terrorists. A shocking thought, isn’t it.

[CENTER][B]Whate will you do to support and defend [/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]the Constitution of the United States [/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]and the Bill of Rights?[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER].[/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]NOTHING?[/B][/CENTER]

The American merchant marine never was an armed force. We have always required professional protection from pirates, privateers and hostile nations for the entirety of our existence.

Recall that, “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute,” was spoken in the Barbary Wars when American merchant shipping was attacked and seized from North African pirates and privateers. We fought and lost and fought on until the final capitulation of the Barbary states. The merchant fleet could not defend itself. Our Navy and Marines were our protectors.

In the Civil War merchant shipping on both sides were preyed upon by hostile forces and, once again, both sides were often defended by their governments’ arms. Again in both World Wars the merchantman required professional protection from Nazi subs and surface ships.

Today is no different. The world merchant fleet, American included, is protected by sailors and marines of many nations. Those forces include mercenary and arms for-hire. It is as it has always been.

The rest of the rhetoric in the above post is little more than pre-election year drivel premised on the fantasy that everyone is a terrorist thus making any act, no matter how absurd, ineffective and usually expensive, justifiable to someone who wants something from you.

I love my guns almost as much as I hate political talking points spam.

[LEFT]For the United States on March 4, 1943 a [B][I]Memorandum for then President Franklin D. Roosevelt[/I][/B] from Robert P. Patterson, Acting Secretary of War, put a question to President Roosevelt: “[I]Is it your desire that, for the purpose of awarding decorations, the War Department consider officers and members of the crews of ships of the Merchant Marine as members of the armed forces?[/I]” President Roosevelt returned that Memorandum to the Secretary of War with a handwritten answer: “Yes.” ([B][I]See original documents here[/I][/B].)

FYI… http://www.nytimes.com/1861/06/05/news/the-civil-war-in-america-and-letters-of-marque.html[/LEFT]

[LEFT]See also excerpt from the U.S. National Parks Service: The American Revolution—Lighting Freedom’s Flame
[/LEFT]
Stories From the American Revolution
[LEFT] [/LEFT]
[INDENT][INDENT][LEFT]Privateering encompassed two levels of participation. A Letter of Marque authorized armed merchant ships to challenge any likely enemy vessel that crossed its path during the course of a commercial voyage. A Privateer Commission was issued to vessels, called privateers or cruisers, whose primary objective was to disrupt enemy shipping. The ideal target was an unarmed, or lightly armed, commercial ship.

With the passage of an act on March 23, 1776, the Continental Congress formalized the commissioning process, and uniform rules of conduct were established. Owners of privateers had to post monetary bonds to ensure their proper conduct under the regulations.
Although the documentation is incomplete, about 1,700 Letters of Marque, issued on a per-voyage basis, were granted during the American Revolution. Nearly 800 vessels were commissioned as privateers and are credited with capturing or destroying about 600 British ships.
Vessels of every size and description were pressed into service as privateers. At the upper end of the scale was the 600-ton, 26-gun ship Caesar of Boston. At the other end was the 8-ton boat Defense of Falmouth, Massachusetts. Crews ranged from a few men in a whaleboat to more than 200 aboard a large, fully equipped privateer. Two-masted schooners and brigantines were most often used in privateering, reflecting the kind of vessels available to American seamen.

Home ports for vessels operating as privateers and Letters of Marque included Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Boston, Salem, Beverly and Newburyport in Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; New London, New Haven, Norwich and Wethersfield, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; and Richmond, Virginia.

Privateers achieved the best results if they could bluff an opponent into believing opposition was futile. When this failed the result was often vicious combat with unpredictable results. Many privateers were captured or sunk when the odds were against them. In spite of all the risks and hazards, the overall effort to cripple Britain’s commercial fleet was highly effective, and fortunes destined to finance the new republic were made. It is estimated that the total damage to British shipping by American privateers was about $18 million by the end of the war, or just over $302 million in today’s dollars.[/LEFT]
[/INDENT][/INDENT][LEFT]See also excerpt from Jesse Lemisch, Privateering, the American Revolution, and the Rules of War: The United States Was Born in “Terrorism” and Piracy, George Mason University’s History News Network, August 19, 2002. Mr. Lemisch is Professor Emeritus of History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. In this article, he borrows from his “Listening to the ‘Inarticulate’: William Widger’s Dream and the Loyalties of American Revolutionary Seamen in British Prisons,” Journal of Social History, III (Fall 1969), 1-29.[/LEFT]
[INDENT][INDENT][LEFT]By the time of the Revolution (1776–1783), privateering had become an old American institution and industry, which lured the young to sea with seductive promises of a share of the booty. Although privateers were private vessels, they were armed and governmentally licensed, with"Letters of Marque." (In the Revolutionary era, Congress authorized privateering in March 1776; and Article I, section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power"To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.") Heroic tales of John Paul Jones aside, there was not much of a U.S .Navy during the Revolution. The U.S. forces at sea were primarily privateers, preying on British commerce. They were extremely effective in capturing British merchant ships, cutting off British supplies and raising insurance rates for shipping. Although they did not constitute a US Navy, American privateers were a significant presence at sea, and played an important role in the success of the Revolution.

When privateersmen were captured, they were not recognized as prisoners of war, since they were civilians, and civilians of rebellious colonies to boot. They were held indefinitely in special camps, in particular the notorious prison ship [I]Jersey[/I], in the Wallabout Bay off Brooklyn, and in Mill and Forton Prisons in England. These were places of bad food, overcrowding, bad health, brutal guards and harsh punishment. (A British Peer, friendly to the American prisoners, responded to the statement that Mill was run by a"dirty fellow" : “Government keeps dirty fellows, to do their dirty Work.”) [/LEFT]
[/INDENT][/INDENT][LEFT]See also J. Gregory Sidak, [I]The Quasi War Cases—And Their Relevance to Whether Letters of Marque and Reprisal Constrain Presidential War Powers[/I], 28 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 465 (Spring 2005). The Introduction:[/LEFT]
[INDENT][INDENT][LEFT]Constitutional scholars cite three Supreme Court decisions arising from the undeclared Quasi War with France in 1798-1800 as support for the proposition that Congress may authorize war of any magnitude, and that, except in case of sudden or imminent attack on the United States, this congressional authority displaces any right of the President to use military force of even modest magnitude without prior congressional authorization. The textual hook claimed by these scholars for so reading [I]Bas[/I] v. [I]Tingy[/I], [I]Talbot[/I] v. [I]Seeman[/I], and [I]Little[/I] v. [I]Barreme[/I] is the phrase in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution that immediately follows the grant to Congress of the power “To declare War” – namely, the power to “grant [B]Letters of Marque and Reprisal[/B], and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.” 4 These additional words, it is argued, are placed in the War Clause because the Framers intended that Congress, and Congress alone, have the power to authorize not only “general” or “perfect” war through a formal declaration of war, but also “limited” or “imperfect” war. It is further argued that the temporal proximity of the three Quasi War decisions to the framing of the Constitution strongly implies that the Framers meant to constrain the President’s ability to use military force in a manner short of full-scale war.[/LEFT]
[/INDENT][/INDENT][LEFT]And see the conclusion in Theodore M. Cooperstein (Assistant U.S. Attorney Southern District of Florida), Letters of Marque and Reprisal: The Constitutional Law and Practice of Privateering, April 2009:
[/LEFT]
Twentieth Century Epilogue: Revival and Future Use?
[INDENT][INDENT][LEFT]With the Spanish-American War, prize law, and as part of it, privateering, effectively disappeared from the courts. The modernization of arms and the centralization of modern war economies during the two world wars subsumed the private actor into the public war effort. Those private vessels that could be armed and converted became quasi-public or outright commissioned naval vessels. With rare exception, ships were not taken prize brought to American ports for condemnation. In none of those cases were privateers commissioned with letters of marque and reprisal.

But the failure of Congress to exercise the authority in this century does not mean the authority no longer resides in the Congress. At the time of the debate over accession to the Declaration of Paris, some opponents argued that a two-thirds vote of the Senate in ratifying the treaty, or even a joint legislative enactment of both houses, could not amend the Constitution to remove the express allowance of the practice. That proposition is undeniably true, as the only means for amending the Constitution are stated clearly within the document. The power to issue letters of marque and reprisal remains in the Constitution, and whether for reasons of ignorance or inopportunity, recent Congresses have chosen not to employ it.

Not having used the provision for letters of marque and reprisal does not necessarily mean that it no longer has any use. Most obviously, in a war the Congress might yet see virtue and economy in calling upon private ship owners to enlist in the cause. The occasion, now as before, would best be one involving an enemy with vulnerable trade and shipping but little naval power.

Perhaps less literally, though, it is important to recall the broader original scope of the letter of marque and reprisal. As a means to authorize private actors to seek international justice and use force in a public cause, it may yet have utility. This is especially true given the applicability of letters of marque and reprisal to actions not necessarily nautical and to situations short of war. Congress might commission persons to enforce international arrest warrants, such as those recently issued for war criminals. Commissions might augment United States effort at border control or the interdiction of smuggling contraband items from drugs to special nuclear materials. In an expansive interpretation, Congress might commission specialists to respond to attacks upon the United States in new arenas like cyberspace and information warfare. In all such instances, the commissioner is amenable to regulation and direction by the executive branch, and the body of law establishes precedent for liability on violations of the terms of one’s commission, Presidential directions, or international law.

Conversely, centuries of international practice establish liability on the part of a nation for the acts of its commissioned private actors in violation of the terms of their letters of marque and reprisal. This comports to the modern problem of state-sponsored terrorism and may provide further legal basis in support of its suppression.[/LEFT]
[LEFT]
The Letter of Marque and Reprisal has a long history and a permanent legacy in the operation of the United States Constitution. While it may have gone dormant, it may yet rediscover utility and vigor.[/LEFT]
[/INDENT][/INDENT][LEFT]You get the point. The Constitution of the United States makes U.S. merchant marine and armed force through the War Powers Clause as a power of Congress.

[/LEFT]

don:
a quick fyi for you.
there are two types of on gcaptain: 1. dumb-ass boat/ships types who can’t read that political stuff you have posted. and 2. intelligent boat/ship types who are too busy or just don’t give a damn about that political stuff you have posted.
either way, nobody here is going to read your legalize sounding political diatribe that you posted.
in my opinion, thats a FAIL for you.

I read his posts. I disliked the modern political name calling but otherwise thought the history was very interesting.

I still don’t see where he is going with his argument. Does he think modern American flagged ship owners will want to convert their container ships and tankers into privateers and hunt daho off the coast of Somalia?

We do have modern versions of privateering without the formal letters of marque. (We go to war without congress declaring war so why not privateering without issuing letters?) Blackwater/Xe and the rest of the private security forces are today’s version of privateers and mercenaries. They are armed to the teeth and congress doesn’t mess with their Second Amendment rights (even when they have no Second Amendment rights overseas.)

[B]REPLY TO:[/B] richard8000milesaway

[B]You Wrote:[/B] “nobody here is going to read your legalize sounding political diatribe that you posted.”

[B]My Rebuttal:[/B] If people choose to remain ignorant about events that affect their employment, their lives, their freedoms, rights, liberties, and responsibilities by refusing to read good information extensively documented as what I presented above then the fault rests on their shoulders, not mine. I spent 4 to 5 hours searching the Internet for information to write that email that I sent to the above named congressional committees and subcommittees and one advisory committee outside of Congress. People who object to the political style and legalese that I used in my attempt to influence those congressional committees can call 1-800-WAAAAAA. Politics and legalese is what it takes to make things happen in Congress. You have to speak their language.

[B]REPLY TO:[/B] DeckApe

[B]You Wrote:[/B] "I read his posts. [I][B][U][FONT=Bookman Old Style]I disliked the modern political name calling[/U][/B][/I] but [B]otherwise thought the history was very interesting[/B].[B]I still don’t see where he is going with his argument[/B]. Does he think modern American flagged ship owners will want to convert their container ships and tankers into privateers and hunt daho off the coast of Somalia? We do have modern versions of privateering [B]without the formal letters of marque[/B]. ([B]We go to war without congress declaring war so why not privateering without issuing letters?[/B]) [B]Blackwater/Xe and the rest of the private security forces are today’s version of privateers and mercenaries. They are armed to the teeth and congress doesn’t mess with their Second Amendment rights (even when they have no Second Amendment rights overseas.) "[/B][/FONT]

[B]My Rebuttal: [/B]Where in the text of my postings did I do any [I][FONT=Bookman Old Style]name-calling[/I]? No where in the text! I presume you objected to my description of [I]privately contracted armed security personnel [/I]as mercenaries. Let me educate you on this point. I suggest you do research on “political correctness” and its origins. When it takes up to 5 words to name something when one word will suffice chances are political correctness is involved. [/FONT]

I direct your attention to the United Nations’ [B][I][FONT=Bookman Old Style]International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, 4 December 1989[/I][/B]. Article I defines what a mercenary is and does. “Privately contracted armed security personnel” who are hired by shipping companies to provide armed security against Somali pirates are, by defintion, mercenaries. This is NOT name-calling. This is an internationally known fact. [/FONT]

You don’t see where I’m going with my argument? Well, you do have a point there. Okay. Here it is! Citing John C. W. Bennett, [B][I][FONT=Bookman Old Style]USCG Updates Information on Foreign Nations’ Policies Towards Weapons on US-Flag Commercial Vessels[/I][/B], Marine Protective Services (MPS) blog, August 8, 2010:[/FONT]
[INDENT][INDENT]"[T]he US Coast Guard posted, on its Homeport website, an updated [B][FONT=Bookman Old Style]Port Information Matrix that summarizes available port state responses to a US State Department démarche requesting information on port state laws and restrictions on the carriage of self-defense weapons for vessels operating in high risk waters[/B]. The new matrix, an attachment to Port Security Advisory (PSA) (08-09) “[B][I]Port State Responses to Request for Information Regarding Carriage and Transport of Self-Defense Weapons Aboard U.S. Commercial Vessels[/I][/B],” replaces a previous version that had been updated in May [2010].[/FONT]
[/INDENT][/INDENT]When the U.S. State Department collects responses to their démarche from all maritime nations the collected information will be the basis for a new maritime treaty for defensively armed merchant vessels. If the United Nations can impose upon member states to change their internal laws to appease a U.N. global gun control agenda then the U.N. can just as easily reverse anti-gun position for armed merchant vessels and impose a duty upon member states to amend their laws to allow defensively armed vessels to enter their ports under whatever regulations member states may develop to facilite defensively armed merchant vessels entering and leaving their ports. This is the common sense approach. Whether the U.N. takes this approach is another story. See this, and that, and this, and that.

[B]You wrote:[/B] “We do have modern versions of privateering without the formal letters of marque. (We go to war without congress declaring war so why not privateering without issuing letters?) Blackwater/Xe and the rest of the private security forces are today’s version of privateers and mercenaries.”

[B]My Rebuttal: [/B]Apparently you didn’t read all of my information above. We do NOT have constitutionally authorized privateers under the Letters of Marque and Reprisal. Engaging in what you think is privateering without Letters of Marque and Reprisal issued by the U.S. Congress are not privateers but they are mercenaries under the U.N. Convention Against Mercenaries. It is political correctness to rename mercenaries as [I][FONT=Bookman Old Style]Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel [/I]that allows the United Nations to accept the practice of shipping companies hiring mercenaries for on board ship security against Somali pirates. Just because Congress is myopic to the unconstitutional practice of shipping companies hiring mercenaries without the Letters of Marque and Reprisal or failing to see the need to arm U.S. merchant vessels and their crew under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 does not mean that the practice is legal by U.S. federal laws or by international laws or maritime treaties.[/FONT]

This is an excellent example of how to write like a well-educated, if not totally neurotic person…

If your post looks like a webpage maybe it should be one…

my reply to don hamrick:

(yawn. scratch nuts) . "what-ever floats your boat, bub. see ya."
click to different screen.

[QUOTE=george44;51120]This is an excellent example of how to write like a well-educated, if not totally neurotic person… If your post looks like a webpage maybe it should be one…[/QUOTE]

Ohhhh mannn! Is that the best you can do? [I]Argumentum ad hominem [/I](insulting personal attacks)? So, style is more important to you than content? How pathetic it is that you did not provide a substantive rebuttal other than childish insults. If you are truly ignorant on what is going on in the world around you and in Government itself then I suggest you education yourself on current events. There are a multitude of people in Government and in the private sector working hard to take your rights, freedoms, liberties, duties, and responsibilities away from you.

NEWS FLASH: This forum, by definition, is a web page, you idiot!

Have I stumbled into a den of idiots? Come on! Show me you are not an idiot. If you disagree with anything I wrote that post your rebuttal explaining what you disagree with and why. Show me that this forum is not limited to a perpetual pissing contest! The same goes for Richard8trillionmilesaway who seems to be in his own universe scratching his own balls or the balls of another man, he didn’t distinguish whose balls he was scratching nor how many balls he was scractching. Hell, it may have been his “To Do List” for all I know. That’s the risk you take engaging in Argumentum Ad Hominem attacks. The target can sling it right back atcha.

All I tried to do here was to show you what the Constitution of the United States intended for us but the U.S. Government is giving us something completely different and offensive to the Constitution. If you don’t care to learn this then you will get what you deserve.

ha, I didnt read your response!

I stuffed my fingers in my ears and started humming!

(They have meds for bi-polar by the way)

[QUOTE=george44;51144]ha, I didnt read your response!

I stuffed my fingers in my ears and started humming!

(They have meds for bi-polar by the way)[/QUOTE]

How very said it is that personal insults are the favored method of discussion on this forum.

This was the line that drew my attention. Its common to call political opponents terrorists, socialists, hicks or other catchy sound-bites. Reasoned argument is the basis of our democracy. Petty name calling belongs on Maury Povich and Jersey Shore. If it was not your intention to imply that a President of our country is a traitor then please accept my apology.

A question for you: just the President and Senate? Why not the House of Representatives, too? If I read between the lines…

Where in my posts did I say, “privately contracted armed security personnel,” or some other PC euphemism? Nowhere. Blackwater/Xe and the like are arms for hire. Mercenaries, privateers, profiteers. Words, words, mere words. None of that offends me.

We could talk about if we should or should not be contracting out force projection and protection to privately contracted armed security personnel but that’s another discussion.

Sovereign countries impose all sorts of restrictions on what calling ships may or may not have on board. I can’t bring my porn collection into Singapore or Saudi Arabia just as I can’t bring my own Beretta 92FS into Oman or Japan. It’s their shores and they do as they wish. Ship owners that wish to do business in a country must abide by the laws of that country. If that means no porn or no guns then that’s exactly what the ship owner will do. This is not an attack on the Second Amendment. There is no Second Amendment when we call on a foreign port.

Just the other day I was having lunch with a shipmate and we were trying to figure out a way to bypass the nuisance of other countries’ laws to legally carry arms on a ship when transiting dangerous waters. We thought up all sorts of schemes but could never overcome one thing: the ship owner.

Don, it’s not that we mariners don’t want to defend ourselves. It’s that an armed crew takes training (), upkeep (), and subjects an owner to liability ($$$) in addition to complications with foreign laws.

If my memory serves me right, just after the Maersk Alabama incident several ship owners went to testify before congress. Guess who was emphatic about NOT putting arms aboard. Here’s a hint: ($$$)

Am I mistaken in believing that you blame the government, congress or some world body for preventing the arming of our American merchant fleet in dangerous waters such as the Gulf of Aden? May I offer you a better boogyman?

Ship owners, corporations, lawyers. They have a duty to their shareholders to maximize profits. It must be most profitable to pay tribute, ransom and insurance premiums against piracy otherwise everyone wouldn’t be doing it. It must be less profitable to arm ships and provide a proper defense otherwise the ship companies would be doing just that. The economics are self-evident.

Governments, ours included, put warships in the Gulf of Aden to play catch-and-release with pirates. This justifies the budgets that support the navies. Again its economics. (You don’t think the warships are there to stop piracy, do you? That would be counter-productive!)

Mercenaries are in the Gulf for profit. They provide plausible protection to merchant ships so that ship owners can claim they did their best to defend their ships, then collect the insurance. Economics.

None of this changes my original assertation that the American merchant marine is not an armed force. Vital to the nation in times of hostilities? Yes. But not armed. You cite examples of armed merchant vessels threw our history and you are correct to say that there were times when merchantmen were armed and did play a offensive role in hostilities. These are the exception and not the norm.

If it was not your intention to imply that a President of our country is a traitor then please accept my apology.

You tell me what I intended. See this; (Hear this); Then you tell me how absurd it is to consider that Congress committed treason against the Constitution for failing to properly vet Obama during the election process or that Obama fraudulently and treasonously won the election by refusing to prove is eligibility to run for president as a natural born citizen.

Don, it’s not that we mariners don’t want to defend ourselves. It’s that an armed crew takes training (), upkeep (), and subjects an owner to liability ($$$) in addition to complications with foreign laws.

See this! It will take the U.S. State Department to work out an international maritime treaty for defensively armed merchant vessels which they are working on now by collecting the laws of every foreign port of all the maritime nations.

I can provide more information if I had time. But you would probably dismiss any inforamation I present just has you are trying to contradict the information I have already presented. You appear to have you minded locked in to disagreeing with me regardless of any evidence I present proving me right.

In that case I won’t waste any more of your time.

Good shooting!

[QUOTE=don_hamrick;51130]
Have I stumbled into a den of idiots? [/QUOTE]

Yes;

Perhaps you should retreat back to Free Republic and WorldNetDaily with the rest of the PhD’s and Mensa members…

[B]TREKLEADER SAYS:[/B] Perhaps you should retreat back to Free Republic and WorldNetDaily with the rest of the PhD’s and Mensa members…

[B]DECKAPE SAYS: [/B]In that case I won’t waste any more of your time.

Yeah. I thought this was a discussion furom. My mistake. It’s a target practice range for flamers. What you gangbangers don’t know or don’t care to know is that there are a multitude of people in Government and in the private sector who are working to take your rights, freedoms, liberties, duties, and responsibilities away from you bit by bit. The meager attempt I made to reveal this to you only instigated your ignorance into flaming me with your insults.

Perhaps you should read this as a form of behavioral therapy to teach yourself how to recognize the difference between an honest and real discussion and [I]argumentum ad hominem[/I]. But I doubt you have the cognitive ability to do that.

I am not likely to post another message on any gCaptain forum thanks to the ignorance you have displayed. I can spend my time better elsewhere and get better results. I have deleted this URL from my favorites to insure that I will not return here again.

Y’all must be very happy here. The say ignorance is bliss. It must be true from your example.

Adios morons.

Don: You are confusing the second amendment rights, with the ordinary work of Seamen. We are NOT the same as the general population. If I am reading your post correct you feel that all us Merchant Mariners should be carrying, and have the ability to defend ourselves while at work. This is not the current law, never has been the law, and has always been specifically prohibited or controlled by individual masters, companies and countries.

I fully agree that we all should have the right (and ability) to carry weapons (of any types) BUT, not while at work. Who will train, equip and support this? You are discussing the fault of the companies, congress, et al. But the real responsibility is the companies. THEY need to pester congress to fully protect our fleet (read: no more catch and release.) once that is done, and the pirates see there is a greater chance of dying than getting a ransom will the days of the barbary coast be a reminder that no matter when, pirating is unprofitable.

To bring up another analogy about your perception of our rights while aboard: Are you allowed to drink onboard? You DO have the right to consume alcohol in the USA. Why not aboard ship? You can do alot of things at home that you are specifically prohibited from doing aboard. arming yourself is one more of those things.

It sounds like your point of argument is based upon the fact that you feel we are all equal and should be afforded the constitutional rights we all enjoy at home. Check into the appropriate(ness) of how those rights have always been interpreted once you sign articles and are aboard a US Merchant Marine Vessel. THAT is the issue you should be delving into.

Cappy, check his links! He’s a birther. All reasonable discourse ends there. He believes in a grand conspiracy. Your arguments only support his idea that you, too, are either a party to the conspiracy or a fool to it.

This topic (force protection, anti-piracy, the arming of merchantmen) could be an interesting discussion. I had hoped it would be. His agenda drove off all reason.

Maybe next time.

[QUOTE=DeckApe;51175]Cappy, check his links! [B]He’s a birther.[/B] All reasonable discourse ends there. He believes in a grand conspiracy. Your arguments only support his idea that you, too, are either a party to the conspiracy or a fool to it. This topic (force protection, anti-piracy, the arming of merchantmen) could be an interesting discussion. I had hoped it would be. His agenda drove off all reason. Maybe next time.[/QUOTE]

DeckApe said earlier: “I read his posts. [B]I disliked the modern political name calling. . .[/B]” But yet he calls me birther! [B]That’s modern political name calling there jackass![/B] Ya Think? DeckApe is a damnable hypocrite!

See this! It is not about calling people birthers! It is all about Federalism under the Constitution of the United States. It is about the individual right to hold the Government accountable for wrongful acts. The following is the text from an email I sent to U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas today! And like the idiot I believe you to be you will find something to mock about this too.

[B]A Constituent with a Private Bill [/B]
[B]Is [/B][B]Reduced to Begging for Help [/B][B]From U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford (R, AR1st)[/B]
[B]Because His Staff Refuses to Cooperate with Information[/B]

FROM: DONHAMRICK, A[I] pro se[/I] refugee from the federal courts and a constituent of Rep. Rick Crawford

TO: JONA SHUMATE, Chief of Staff for Rep. Rick Crawford

It has been 9 days since I emailed the four charts on the number of public and private laws passed throughout American legislative history. It has been 15days since I emailed the case work authorization form so that you could work on my private bill. No one work back from anyone on Rep. Rick Crawford’s staff in DC, Jonesboro, or Cabot.

NOTE that I have included the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Arkansas News Bureau in this email hoping that they will be interested in a news story about corruption in the federal courts in Washington, DC and even corruption in the federal court in Little Rock, and by that I mean extortion of their filing fees from a seamen in violation for federal laws! See more below. And the extortion includes the current Chief Justice John G. Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court! I have the evidence! See also my blog:American Common Defence Review.

Not enough to get you to do your job in accordance with the First Amendment right to petition the Government for redress of grievances? Okay! Then let me submit to you the U.S. Supreme Court’s slip opinion on [I]Carol Anne Bond [/I]v. [I]United States[/I], No. 09-1227 (June 16, 2011) THAT’S YESTERDAY! Section III.A discusses Federalism. I will highlight parts of the text that has direct application to my Private Bill:

III.A
[INDENT][INDENT]The federal system rests on what might at first seem a counterintuitive insight, that “freedom is enhanced by the creation of two governments, not one.” [I]Alden[/I] v. [I]Maine[/I], 527 U. S. 706,758 (1999). The Framers concluded that allocation of powers between the National Government and the States enhances freedom, [B][U]first by protecting the integrity of the governments themselves, and second by protecting the people, from whom all governmental powers are derived[/U][/B].

[B][U]Federalism has more than one dynamic[/U].[/B] It is true that the federal structure serves to grant and delimit the prerogatives and responsibilities of the States and the National Government vis-à-vis one another. The allocation of powers in our federal system preserves the integrity, dignity, and residual sovereignty of the States. The federal balance is, in part, an end in itself, to ensure that States function as political entities in their own right.

[B]But that is not its exclusive sphere of operation. Federalism is more than an exercise in setting the boundary between different institutions of government for their own integrity. “State sovereignty is not just an end in itself: [U]‘Rather, federalism secures to citizens the liberties that derive from the diffusion of sovereign power[/U].’”[/B] [I]New York[/I] v. [I]United States[/I], 505 U. S. 144, 181 (1992) (quoting Coleman v. Thompson,501 U. S. 722, 759 (1991) (Blackmun, J., dissenting)).

Some of these liberties are of a political character. The federal structure allows local policies “[I][U]more sensitive to the diverse needs of a heterogeneous society[/U][/I],” permits “[I][U]innovation and experimentation[/U][/I],” enables greater citizen “[I][U]involvement in democratic processes[/U][/I],” and makes government “[I][U]more responsive by putting the States in competition for a mobile citizenry[/U][/I].” [I]Gregory[/I] v. [I]Ashcroft[/I], 501 U. S. 452, 458 (1991). [B]Federalism secures the freedom of the individual. It allows States to respond, through the enactment of positive law, to the initiative of those who seek a voice in shaping the destiny of their own times without having to rely solely upon the political processes that control are mote central power. True, of course, these objects cannot be vindicated by the Judiciary in the absence of a proper case or controversy; but the individual liberty secured by federalism is not simply derivative of the rights of the States.[/B]

[B][U]Federalism also protects the liberty of all persons within a State by ensuring that laws enacted in excess of delegated governmental power cannot direct or control their actions. See ibid. By denying any one government complete jurisdiction over all the concerns of public life, federalism protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power. When government acts in excess of its lawful powers, that liberty is at stake[/U].[/B]

The limitations that federalism entails are not therefore a matter of rights belonging only to the States. States are not the sole intended beneficiaries of federalism. See New York, supra, at 181. [B]An individual has a direct interest in objecting to laws that upset the constitutional balance between the National Government and the States when the enforcement of those laws causes injury that is concrete, particular, and redressable. Fidelity to principles of federalism is not for the States alone to vindicate.[/B]

[B][U][I]The recognition of an injured person’s standing to object to a violation of a constitutional principle that allocates power within government is illustrated, in an analogous context, by cases in which individuals sustain discrete, justiciable injury from actions that transgress separation-of-powers limitations. Separation-of-powers principles are intended, in part, to protect each branch of government from incursion by the others. Yet the dynamic between and among the branches is not the only object of the Constitution’s concern.The structural principles secured by the separation of powers protect the individual as well.[/I][/U][/B]

In the precedents of this Court, the claims of individuals—not of Government departments—have been the principal source of judicial decisions concerning separation of powers and [B][U]checks and balances[/U][/B]. For example, the requirement that a bill enacted by Congress be presented to the President for signature before it can become law gives the President a check over Congress’ exercise of legislative power. See U. S. Const., Art. I,§7. [B][U]Yet individuals, too, are protected by the operations of separation of powers and checks and balances; and they are not disabled from relying on those principles in otherwise justiciable cases and controversies[/U].[/B] In [I]INS[/I] v.[I]Chadha[/I], 462U. S. 919 (1983), it was an individual who successfully challenged the so-called legislative veto—a procedure that Congress used in an attempt to invalidate an executive determination without presenting the measure to the President. The procedure diminished the role of the Executive, but the challenger sought to protect not the prerogatives of the Presidency as such but rather his own right to avoid deportation under an invalid order. Chadha’s challenge was sustained.[B] A cardinal principle of separation of powers was vindicated at the insistence of an individual, indeed one who was not a citizen of the United States but who still was a person whose liberty was at risk.[/B]

[I]Chadha[/I] is not unique in this respect. Compare [I]Clinton[/I] v. [I]City of New York[/I], 524 U. S. 417, 433–436 (1998) (injured parties have standing to challenge Presidential line-item veto) with [I]Raines[/I] v. [I]Byrd[/I], 521 U. S. 811, 829–830 (1997) (Congress Members do not); see also, e.g., [I]Free Enterprise Fund[/I] v. [I]Public Company Accounting Oversight Bd[/I]., 561 U.S. ___(2010); [I]Plaut[/I] v. [I]Spendthrift Farm, Inc[/I]., 514 U. S. 211(1995); [I]Bowsher[/I] v. [I]Synar[/I], 478 U. S. 714 (1986); [I]Northern Pipeline Constr. Co[/I]. v. [I]Marathon Pipe Line Co[/I]., 458 U. S. 50 (1982); [I]Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co[/I]. v. [I]Sawyer[/I], 343 U. S. 579 (1952); [I]A. L. A. Schechter Poultry Corp[/I]. v. [I]United States[/I], 295 U. S. 495 (1935). [B][U]If the constitutional structure of our Government that protects individual liberty is compromised, individuals who suffer otherwise justiciable injury may object.[/U][/B]

[B][I][U]Just as it is appropriate for an individual, in a proper case, to invoke separation-of-powers or checks-and balances constraints, so too may a litigant, in a proper case, challenge a law as enacted in contravention of constitutional principles of federalism. That claim need not depend on the vicarious assertion of a State’s constitutional interests, even if a State’s constitutional interests are also implicated.[/U][/I][/B]
[/INDENT][/INDENT]The U.S. Supreme Court opinion on Federalism above essentially tells you to do your job to protect my Seventh Amendment right to a civil jury trial when the federal corrupts are so corrupt that federal judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit (with includes the current Chief Justice John G. Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court) have criminally extorted filing fees of the DC Circuit in violation of the Seamen’s Suit law, 28 U.S.C. § 1916 and 18 U.S.C. § 872 [I]Extortion by Officers or Employees of the United States[/I]. I have repeatedly cited chapter and verse of federal laws and cited provisions in the Constitution that vindicates my rights to submit my Private Bill to Rep. Rick Crawford so that he can submit it to Congress.

BECAUSE YOU HAVE IGNORED ME WITHOUT END OVER MY PRIVATE BILL YOU HAVE NOW REDUCED ME TO BEGGING YOU TO DO YOUR JOB! THE FIRST THING YOU CAN DO IS TO BEGIN THE COLLABORATION PROCESS BY EMAILING ME TO GET MY PRIVATE BILL INTO THE PROPER SHAPE SUITABLE FOR SUBMITTING TO CONGRESS.

I have spent 9 years pushing what started out tobe a simple Judicial Review (5 U.S.C. § 702) of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Final Agency Action (46 C.F.R. § 1.01-30) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under my Seventh Amendment right to a civil jury trial as a U.S. merchant seaman under Admiralty/maritime law or even under civil rights law (42 U.S.C. § 1983). But because my case involved the official recognition of Second Amendment rights of U.S. merchant seamen in intrastate and interstate travel within the United States and because I wanted that recognition in the form of an endorsement on my Merchant Mariner’s Document to read National Open Carry Handgun on the federalism principle noted in the U.S. Supreme Court opinion above and based on the U.S. Coast Guard’s admission of fact that there were, and still are, no federal laws or regulations for or against the requested National Open Carry Handgun endorsement for the Merchant Mariner’s Document it then becomes a ministerial duty of the U.S. Coast Guard to look to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for guidance.

The U.S. Coast Guard under those circumstances would have been compelled by the Oath of Office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and thereby would have had to grant my application for the requested endorsement. However, that did not happen. Instead, the Coast Guard used his own personnel judgment to determine that the endorsement would have no benefit to marine safety or security and denied my application with the Final Agency Action. The Coast Guard’s Final Agency Action, under the above circumstances, is an act of arbitrary power just as I presume the reluctance or refusal of Jona Shumate and Ted Verrill to respond by email to my submitted Private Bill.

TODAY! I called Rep. Crawford’s Washington, DC and Jonesboro, Arkansas offices inquiring about why Jona Shumate and Ted Verrill have not responded to my previous phone calls or emails.

I think I finally understand!

You want your MMD/MMC to be a firearms permit to be valid within the United States by virtue of merchant mariners’ participation in historical armed hostilities.

USCG won’t put a national open carry handgun endorcement on your MMD/MMC and you feel they are violating your Second Amendment rights.

You have spent nine years pushing for your rights while the courts, politicians and government officials don’t seem to care.

We don’t care either.

An MMD/MMC is a mariner’s document, not a gun permit. Get over it.