The Daily Dose
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
Notes from around the Human Experience…
UH, YEAH, THIS IS BREAKING NEWS: Last week the United States carried out two airstrikes in Somalia in an effort to kill senior ISIS leaders. The exact extent of the damage done isn’t entirely known or, if it is, the US Africa Command isn’t saying what it is yet. They did issue a statement that read, in part:
U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized…measures to protect and to disable terrorist threats.
Call Us Traditionalists: The US Africa Command is lying of course because they are not using authorized measures at all. The only authorized measure for conducting airstrikes in any foreign country is a declaration of war by Congress, and Congress has not declared war in Somalia.
Fly In The Ointment: Congress has not, in fact, declared war anywhere since 1942. All other wars we have fought, from Korea to Vietnam to the wars we have been fighting continuously since 1989 have either been authorized by a Congressional resolution, conducted unilaterally by the president or authorized by the United Nations. Congress’ abrogation of its responsibility to declare war is one America’s great tragedies, completely out of step with both the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Maybe The Constitution Is Good For Cleaning The Sink With: To review, the Constitution is very clear on the matter, with Article I, Section 8 stating, in part:
The Congress shall have power…To declare war.
Eight words, all very common and very clear, though three of the words have multiple syllables. There meaning is plain:
There is no other justification for the United States conducting war.
Congress has not declared war on Somalia or on any other foe the United States is currently fighting, so the US should not be fighting these wars. A Congressional resolution, a presidential order or a UN mandate is not a satisfactory alternative.
Dry, Technical Matter: Why does the US even have an Africa command in the first place? Does Somalia have a US command? Why can’t America give other nations the dignity of conducting their affairs without the benefit of US interference?
The Bottom Line: Our world is a violent place in large measure because America is a violent nation. The very best example we can set is an example of peace. We will not have a peaceful world without a peaceful America. A large step towards having a peaceful America is not fighting wars unless they have been declared by Congress.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! Adolf Hitler attempts to take over Germany for the first time, the Beer Hall Putsch ending in failure on this date in 1923.
The failure was academic. The publicity generated by the event and the ensuing trial gave Hitler – then merely a malcontent veteran that headed the Nazis, then a relatively small party – national recognition and he used his prison term to produce his manifesto, Mein Kampf.
Uh-Oh: Pan-Am Flight 7, en route from San Francisco to Honolulu, disappears on this date in 1957. It wasn’t until November 14 that wreckage and passenger bodies began appearing, about 950 miles northwest of Hawaii. Some of the recovered bodies had life jackets, so they had some idea something was wrong, but the cause of the crash was never determined.
Great Moments In Getting Grandpa To Pay Your Ransom: An ear of kidnap victim John Paul Getty III, son of John Paul Getty, Jr and grandson of John Paul Getty, Sr, arrives in a Rome newspaper office on this date in 1973. Getty, then 16, had been kidnapped over the summer in Rome.
“If We Don’t Get Money In Ten Days….He Will Arrive In Little Bits.”: The initial ransom demand was for $17 million, with Getty, Sr. warmly refusing to pay the kidnappers anything. Even the arrival of body parts didn’t spur grandpa Getty into immediate action. After some negotiating, a ransom of $3 million was agreed to. Getty Sr chipped in the maximum of $2.2 million that could be deducted from his taxes and loaned his son the rest.
Oh Yeah: Nine people were eventually arrested in connection with the kidnapping. Two were convicted and the others were acquitted. Getty III died in 2011.
Get Out Your History Books: Elgin Baylor of the Los Angeles Lakers sets the NBA single-game scoring mark with 64 points in a 136-115 victory over the Boston Celtics on this date in 1959. Baylor broke the record of 63 set by Joe Fulks of the Philadelphia Warriors in 1949 and Baylor would break his record a year later when he scored 71 points in a game against New York.
FunFact: The record is now 100 points, by Wilt Chamberlain.
Quotebook: …you cannot blame a mirror for what it shows. – Gore Vidal, Empire
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Montana went from having two members in the US House of Representatives to having one member in 1993.
Today’s Stumper: Where is the US Africa Command headquartered? – Answer next time!