Friday, October 24, 2008

Who are we?

In the beginning, the worries of the founding fathers were manifold, wrought in the ideals of liberty, and creating bulwarks and safeguards against imposition against rights, and liberties. Our rights were recognized, not as simple rights created by the government, but as pre-existing rights, rights untrammeled by that creation of the government, and agreed upon that such government could never attack those rights. One of those worries were founded in the military, as the military had been, for ages past, the instrument of tyrants.

“An instrument of war and subjugation, the last argument to which Kings resort!”
-- Patrick Henry.

But what encroachments could be made upon a nation of free men by such army? How could it be recognized, and battled? How could such an army be made, in times of peace? This was discussed by Alexander Hamilton, another of the Founding Fathers, in the Federalists 26-28.

“Schemes to subvert the liberties of a great community REQUIRE TIME to mature them for execution. An army, so large as seriously to menace those liberties, could only be formed by progressive augmentations; which would suppose, not merely a temporary combination between the legislature and executive, but a continued conspiracy for a series of time. Is it probable that such a combination would exist at all? Is it probable that it would be persevered in, and transmitted along through all the successive variations in a representative body, which biennial elections would naturally produce in both houses? Is it presumable, that every man, the instant he took his seat in the national Senate or House of Representatives, would commence a traitor to his constituents and to his country? Can it be supposed that there would not be found one man, discerning enough to detect so atrocious a conspiracy, or bold or honest enough to apprise his constituents of their danger? If such presumptions can fairly be made, there ought at once to be an end of all delegated authority. The people should resolve to recall all the powers they have heretofore parted with out of their own hands, and to divide themselves into as many States as there are counties, in order that they may be able to manage their own concerns in person.
If such suppositions could even be reasonably made, still the concealment of the design, for any duration, would be impracticable. It would be announced, by the very circumstance of augmenting the army to so great an extent in time of profound peace. What colorable reason could be assigned, in a country so situated, for such vast augmentations of the military force? It is impossible that the people could be long deceived; and the destruction of the project, and of the projectors, would quickly follow the discovery. “

By limiting the powers of the executive and requiring congressional approval for both declaration of war, and for the funding of the military, the founding fathers had hoped to prevent the creation of an executive with the power to become a dictator. In each part of the founding father's papers, the worry of intermingling the executive and the legislative branches, and control of branches by other branches colored the text.
It was for this reason that the far less limited branch of congress was prohibited from anything but gold or other precious metals as a standard of currency, that they were prohibited from making certain types of laws. Let us look at what the Founding Fathers had to say about the Congress, and what was to restrain it from tyranny.

Federalist 57
“I will add, as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny. If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.

If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty.

Such will be the relation between the House of Representatives and their constituents. Duty, gratitude, interest, ambition itself, are the chords by which they will be bound to fidelity and sympathy with the great mass of the people. It is possible that these may all be insufficient to control the caprice and wickedness of man. But are they not all that government will admit, and that human prudence can devise? Are they not the genuine and the characteristic means by which republican government provides for the liberty and happiness of the people? Are they not the identical means on which every State government in the Union relies for the attainment of these important ends? What then are we to understand by the objection which this paper has combated? What are we to say to the men who profess the most flaming zeal for republican government, yet boldly impeach the fundamental principle of it; who pretend to be champions for the right and the capacity of the people to choose their own rulers, yet maintain that they will prefer those only who will immediately and infallibly betray the trust committed to them?

Were the objection to be read by one who had not seen the mode prescribed by the Constitution for the choice of representatives, he could suppose nothing less than that some unreasonable qualification of property was annexed to the right of suffrage; or that the right of eligibility was limited to persons of particular families or fortunes; or at least that the mode prescribed by the State constitutions was in some respect or other, very grossly departed from. We have seen how far such a supposition would err, as to the two first points. Nor would it, in fact, be less erroneous as to the last. The only difference discoverable between the two cases is, that each representative of the United States will be elected by five or six thousand citizens; whilst in the individual States, the election of a representative is left to about as many hundreds. Will it be pretended that this difference is sufficient to justify an attachment to the State governments, and an abhorrence to the federal government? “

On those very prohibitions from the government, in article one, section nine, and article one, section ten, speaks strongly to our situation today, in spite of all the changes, and alterations done in the name of the supreme court over the last seventy years.
federalist fourty-four.

“The extension of the prohibition to bills of credit must give pleasure to every citizen, in proportion to his love of justice and his knowledge of the true springs of public prosperity. The loss which America has sustained since the peace, from the pestilent effects of paper money on the necessary confidence between man and man, on the necessary confidence in the public councils, on the industry and morals of the people, and on the character of republican government, constitutes an enormous debt against the States chargeable with this unadvised measure, which must long remain unsatisfied; or rather an accumulation of guilt, which can be expiated no otherwise than by a voluntary sacrifice on the altar of justice, of the power which has been the instrument of it. In addition to these persuasive considerations, it may be observed, that the same reasons which show the necessity of denying to the States the power of regulating coin, prove with equal force that they ought not to be at liberty to substitute a paper medium in the place of coin. Had every State a right to regulate the value of its coin, there might be as many different currencies as States, and thus the intercourse among them would be impeded; retrospective alterations in its value might be made, and thus the citizens of other States be injured, and animosities be kindled among the States themselves. The subjects of foreign powers might suffer from the same cause, and hence the Union be discredited and embroiled by the indiscretion of a single member. No one of these mischiefs is less incident to a power in the States to emit paper money, than to coin gold or silver. The power to make any thing but gold and silver a tender in payment of debts, is withdrawn from the States, on the same principle with that of issuing a paper currency.

Bills of attainder, ex-post-facto laws, and laws impairing the obligation of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. The two former are expressly prohibited by the declarations prefixed to some of the State constitutions, and all of them are prohibited by the spirit and scope of these fundamental charters. Our own experience has taught us, nevertheless, that additional fences against these dangers ought not to be omitted. Very properly, therefore, have the convention added this constitutional bulwark in favor of personal security and private rights; and I am much deceived if they have not, in so doing, as faithfully consulted the genuine sentiments as the undoubted interests of their constituents. The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less informed part of the community. They have seen, too, that one legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding. They very rightly infer, therefore, that some thorough reform is wanting, which will banish speculations on public measures, inspire a general prudence and industry, and give a regular course to the business of society. The prohibition with respect to titles of nobility is copied from the articles of Confederation and needs no comment. “

Have we forgottten whence we came? What measure, what means shall guide us back to the goals of independence, of personal sovereignty? Is our will so weak, as to not exercise the means given? Should we vote for more of the same, or for claimed change that only changes things farther from the design laid down by our forefathers?

Is it not enlightened self-interest that motivates people and nations, not altruism? When we remove the rights of others, does that not put our own in peril?

It has been, and remains a truism, that any government is happy to remove rights, and loathe to return them. They are happy to claim to protect you until that needs for protection comes full, then to ignore the promises of protection. We wait for martial law, looking into the darkness to see when it comes... but what if it is already here?

I wonder sometimes if people are really seeing the whole picture, or selectively blinding themselves to aspects of it. I wonder what motives the Federal Government might have for many of the abuses, and usurpations in which they have engaged....

And I wonder, still more, at the naievity of the people, their blindness, their lack of will, ambition, and backbone in addressing it. We feel powerless, we feel hopeless, we feel empty... and we expect Martial Law to be declared in this country, judging by the myriad websites around the 'net.

What if Martial Law is already here, hidden under a semblance of normalcy? What if, deep down, we recognize its aspects, its faces, its judgments, its memes? The constitution only allows Habeas Corpus to be removed in cases of insurrection and rebellion... but it has been removed anyway. This was the definition of Martial Law at the time of the Constitution's founding.

We are men, and women, dedicated to a cause, a cause of the future, a cause of tomorrows leading into tomorrows for all their weary ages. There is but one end to what has occurred, one goal, one principle, the guiding principle of power, at any cost.

Our government was instituted, by an agreement of the then-existent several states, in order to help safeguard the future, and to limit the potential for government to corrupt, instituted the weakest, and most ineffective government that could be created, with just enough power to do its job. We have engaged, across the past two hundred years, in the act of making the government more powerful, more efficient, better at its job, and at what cost? The abrogation, destruction, and denunciation of the very contract upon which it was founded.

Such things were known in the beginning to be a possibility. Such things were written, worked, and existed, in the words of the founding fathers, the Federalist Papers, particularly the Federalist 26.

The government was prohibited police powers... but police powers have gone far beyond what was originally meant by the definition of the term. The government was allowed to make regulations, but the term of regulation has gone far beyond the original meaning of the term. The government was prohibited from controlling firearms... but they do so anyway. That government was prohibited from measuring, anticipating, or interdicting freedom of speech... but yet they do so.

These rights were inalienable, unable to be removed, modified, distanced from, or destroyed, but they legislate around them anyway, and our bulwark of the Jury, of Habeas Corpus, of even the very most basic rights, that to know why you are being held... are gone.

They impose upon us taxes, contrary to the will of the People, impose upon the states debts, contrary to the will of the people, impose upon the people requirements again quite contrary to the will and freedom of the people, without valid representation, without often even reading the bills, and without a vote, and without accountability.

In times of peace the nation has held a standing army, has required, seized, and sold the assets of sovereign individuals for the collection of the national debt. The government has ignored property, destroyed the concept of it, via the institution of a system of a privately owned bank, and the creation of debts under that bank, and the collection of those debts by that bank under force of law.

The Federal Government, in the claimed interest of protecting the people, has created, instituted, and established a system of tyranny the likes of which our nation has fought since the beginning.

Equality under the law is no more, with the Bar Association and public defenders having such a wide disparity of value and representation.

They seize assets, search on suspicion, sans a warrant, place in positions of trust over our monies, accounts, and assets men who have no responsibility to the people. They have emplaced those watching over our foods, our medications, our very lives, who are antithetical to the very job that they purport to follow, and paid by the companies whom they are sworn to regulate.
They have removed the locks from our doors, and the weapons from our hands, in order to better protect us. They say we cannot communicate in secret, that we may be better protected. They say that our nation is so vulnerable, that we must give up our rights, and our arms, in order to make it easier to police. They claim that to protect the children, that we must imprison them.

Is this wisdom? Is it justice? Is the measure, and meaning, of any of this anything other than tyranny? Is it the measure of a man's protection to limit the very things he seeks to protect?

And who are we.. if we remain silent?

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