In my last post I spoke of very current legislation. Today I wish to bring to attention something of a much more historical nature. In this country we have a terrible habit of introducing legislation that benefits us now and forgetting about it later once we took care of whatever it was that peice of legislation was about. In the most benign sense this is why we have so many so called "blue laws" still in effect which no one seems to care about, and in the most serious instance we have emergency powers. It is this latter part that I wish to bring to light.
Over 72 years later, we are still officially in a state of emergency. Not one of the above emergency power acts/orders have been declared "over." And why would they? They provide for all three of the branches of government sweeping and practically absolute power. Once they get the power, why would they give it up? Now, you might say, well obviously we're out of the Great Depression. THAT emergency is over. Well, in 1973, Senate report 93-549 declared that "Since March the 9th, 1933, the united States has been in a state of declared national emergency." That was Congress themselves acknowledging the fact that these powers haven't gone away. That same report realized that over 470 federal laws were currently enabled by these acts. Countless more have been so enabled since 1973.
In light of my last post, I have promised myself that I will write a letter a month to my representatives. So, without further ado, here is my first letter. Please take this letter and send it to your representatives as well. I grant anyone public domain usage of the following letter, take it as it is (but put your name and your representative), or personalize it as you see fit.
- March 1933: Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a national state of emergency.
- So does Harry Trueman on December 16, 1950
- So does President Nixon on March 23, 1970 and again on August 15, 1971
Here is a Microsoft Word formatted version
Update Aug 22: I have sent off my letter to Senators Bennett and Hatch, Congressmen Mathesen, and George Bush himself. I will let you know as soon as I recieve any response from them.
To find out your representatives you can find out on the GovTrack website (the easiest way is to enter your nine digit zip code)