Thursday, February 26, 2009

The nature of slavery.

I think sometimes people have forgotten what slavery is, in modern definition, and in the ancient. In many cases, the modern definition agrees with the ancient, as it does with the founding fathers.

There is more to the definition of slavery, by International Law. These laws were pioneered by the United States, as was the Declaration of Human Rights.

The Anti-Slavery Society's copy of the 1926 act.

(1) Slavery is the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised.
(2) The slave trade includes all acts involved in the capture, acquisition or disposal of a person with intent to reduce him to slavery; all acts involved in the acquisition of a slave with a view to selling or exchanging him; all acts of disposal by sale or exchange of a slave acquired with a view to being sold or exchanged, and, in general, every act of trade or transport in slaves.

This was expanded in 1930, and again in 1956.
1930 forced labor convention
The 1930 Abolition of Forced Labour Convention included the use of forced labor for racial, social, national or religious discrimination.

Each Member of the International Labour Organisation which ratifies this Convention undertakes to suppress and not to make use of any form of forced or compulsory labour:

(a) As a means of political coercion or education or as a punishment for holding or expressing political views or views ideologically opposed to the established political, social or economic system;
(b) As a method of mobilising and using labour for purposes of economic development;
(c) As a means of labour discipline;
(d) As a punishment for having participated in strikes;
(e) As a means of racial, social, national or religious discrimination.


Each of the States Parties to this Convention shall take all practicable and necessary legislative and other measures to bring about progressively and as soon as possible the complete abolition or abandonment of the following institutions and practices, where they still exist and whether or not they are covered by the definition of slavery contained in article 1 of the Slavery Convention signed at Geneva on 25 September 1926:

(a) Debt bondage, that is to say, the status or condition arising from a pledge by a debtor of his personal services or of those of a person under his control as security for a debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied towards the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined;

(b) Serfdom, that is to say, the condition or status of a tenant who is by law, custom or agreement bound to live and labour on land belonging to another person and to render some determinate service to such other person, whether for reward or not, and is not free to change his status;

(c) Any institution or practice whereby:

(i) A woman, without the right to refuse, is promised or given in marriage on payment of a consideration in money or in kind to her parents, guardian, family or any other person or group; or

(ii) The husband of a woman, his family, or his clan, has the right to transfer her to another person for value received or otherwise; or

(iii) A woman on the death of her husband is liable to be inherited by another person;

(d) Any institution or practice whereby a child or young person under the age of 18 years, is delivered by either or both of his natural parents or by his guardian to another person, whether for reward or not, with a view to the exploitation of the child or young person or of his labour.

The 1956 definition was finally ratified by the U.S. in 1957, thus giving it the force of law, and adding its definition (and all prior definitions) to the definition within the 13th amendment.

The laws of firearm control have long been used to attempt to maintain slavery, as has the manipulation of the vote.
as per :

After The Civil Rights Act was passed Democrat President Lyndon Johnson praised Republicans for their overwhelming support.

The Republican Party was formed by anti-slavery activists to combat the pro-slavery Democrats

The Ku Klux Klan was formed by radical Democrats who opposed equality for blacks.

In 1935 Democrats defeated an Anti-Lynching Bill supported and put forward by Republicans.

The 1924 Democrat National Convention in New York was host to one of the largest Klan gatherings in American history. Dubbed the “Klanbake convention”, a minority of delegates attempted to condemn the presence of the Klan but was rebuked by the Klan supporting Democrat Majority.

On April 20, 1871 the Republican Congress enacted the Ku Klux Klan Act, outlawing Democratic Party-Affiliated terrorist groups.

Ronald Reagan, a Republican, made history on November 2, 1983 by signing into law Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a National Holiday. This is the first and only Federal Holiday that recognizes a Black American.

These are verifiable, however, I don't know what all they left out on the other side of the equation, or what was taken out of context.

Three years after Appomattox, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting blacks citizenship in the United States, came before Congress: 94 percent of Republicans endorsed it.

"The records of Congress reveal that not one Democrat – either in the House or the Senate – voted for the 14th Amendment," Barton wrote. "Three years after the Civil War, and the Democrats from the North as well as the South were still refusing to recognize any rights of citizenship for black Americans."

He also noted that South Carolina Gov. Wade Hampton at the 1868 Democratic National Convention inserted a clause in the party platform declaring the Congress' civil rights laws were "unconstitutional, revolutionary, and void."

It was the same convention when Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first grand wizard of the KKK, was honored for his leadership.

Barton's book notes that in 1868, Congress heard testimony from election worker Robert Flournoy, who confessed while he was canvassing the state of Mississippi in support of the 13th and 14th Amendments, he could find only one black, in a population of 444,000 in the state, who admitted being a Democrat.

Nor is Barton the only person to raise such questions. In 2005, National Review published an article raising similar points. The publication said in 1957 President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, deployed the 82nd Airborne Division to desegregate the Little Rock, Ark., schools over the resistance of Democrat Gov. Orval Faubus.

Further, three years later, Eisenhower signed the GOP's 1960 Civil Rights Act after it survived a five-day, five-hour filibuster by 18 Senate Democrats, and in 1964, Democrat President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act after former Klansman Robert Byrd's 14-hour filibuster, and the votes of 22 other Senate Democrats, including Tennessee's Al Gore Sr., failed to scuttle the plan.

Until 1935, every black federal legislator was Republican, and it was Republicans who appointed the first black Air Force and Army four-star generals, established Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a national holiday, and named the first black national-security adviser, secretary of state, the research reveals.

Current Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has said: "The first Republican I knew was my father, and he is still the Republican I most admire. He joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The Republicans did. My father has never forgotten that day, and neither have I."

And yet... somehow the parties both have drifted. The original term 'republican' was those that believed a constitutional republic (designed to safeguard the rights of the people, against each other and the government) and 'conservative', i.e. the conservators of rights were the people.

The term 'democrat' was for those that believed the power of the people should be less fettered, and the term 'liberal' was akin to 'libertarian', i.e. the government had no business in people's lives.

How far we've drifted. With the work of tireless minorities, tireless activists in both parties, the parties have grown so utterly polarized that they are moving together on the far end. Extreme social programs arise, as do extreme punishments and responses. The 'left' and 'ultra-liberals' have no bearing on liberty, and the 'ultra-right' and the 'ultra-conservatives' have no bearing on rights.

Frankly, in either direction, they have lost the entire point of their power, the rights and liberties of the people, the powers of the state, and the limitations upon those powers were all needed for rights and liberties to exist.

Slavery? If they'd followed the original constitution, it would have ended in 1808 with the ban on the importation of new slaves, and the requirement that at that date they would have to make some tough decisions on the practice. Those provisions on slavery (the 3/4 a person clauses) were included at the insistence of slaveowners, to give the south a larger vote with its lower population.

Ultimately, a great many of the founding fathers believed slavery to be wrong, even as they practiced it. All men have their own blind spots, as I have my own. I believe any person enslaved, abused, or controlled is wrong. They can be stopped if they are in commission of a crime, held for the punishment of crime, after a full and fair trial, or even executed for that crime, but once the judgment is ended, it is ended.

To do otherwise is its own form of slavery.

"What, then, is life to me? it is aimless and worthless, and worse than worthless. Those birds, perched on yon swinging boughs, in friendly conclave, sounding forth their merry notes in seeming worship of the rising sun, though liable to the sportsman's fowling-piece, are still my superiors. They live free, though they may die slaves. They fly where they list by day, and retire in freedom at night. But what is freedom to me, or I to it? I am a slave, -- born a slave, an abject slave, -- even before I made part of this breathing world, the scourge was platted for my back; the fetters were forged for my limbs. How mean a thing am I. That accursed and crawling snake, that miserable reptile, that has just glided into its slimy home, is freer and better off than I. He escaped my blow, and is safe. But here am I, a man, -- yes, a man! -- with thoughts and wishes, with powers and faculties as far as angel's flight above that hated reptile, -- yet he is my superior, and scorns to own me as his master, or to stop to take my blows. When he saw my uplifted arm, he darted beyond my reach, and turned to give me battle. I dare not do as much as that. I neither run nor fight, but do meanly stand, answering each heavy blow of a cruel master with doleful wails and piteous cries. I am galled with irons; but even these are more tolerable than the consciousness, the galling consciousness of cowardice and indecision. Can it be that I dare not run away? Perish the thought, I dare do any thing which may be done by another. When that young man struggled with the waves for life, and others stood back appalled in helpless horror, did I not plunge in, forgetful of life, to save his? The raging bull from whom all others fled, pale with fright, did I not keep at bay with a single pitchfork? Could a coward do that? No, -- no, -- I wrong myself, -- I am no coward. Liberty I will have, or die in the attempt to gain it. This working that others may in idleness! This cringing submission to insolence and curses! This living under the constant dread and apprehension of being sold and transferred, like a mere brute, is too much for me. I will stand it no longer. What others have done, I will do. These trusty legs, or these sinewy arms shall place me among the free. Tom escaped; so can I. The North Star will not be less kind to me than to him. I will follow it. I will at least make the trial. I have nothing to lose. If I am caught, I shall only be a slave. If I am shot, I shall only lose a life which is a burden and a curse. If I get clear, (as something tells me I shall,) liberty, the inalienable birth-right of every man, precious and priceless, will be mine. My resolution is fixed. I shall be free."
-- James Madison, The_Heroic_Slave: Part_1

False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty ——so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator—— and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.
BECCARIA, CESARE, On Crimes and Punishment, 1764

Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article [the Second Amendment] in their right to keep and bear their private arms.

COXE, TENCH, under pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian," Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

[B]ut if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights.

HAMILTON, ALEXANDER, The Federalist Papers, No. 29

To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.

MASON, GEORGE,, during Virginia’'s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any body of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.
WEBSTER, NOAH, An Examination into the Leading Principals of the Federal Constitution Defects, and Abuses, 1774

A gun in the hands of a free man frightens and angers the autocrat, not because he fears the power of the gun, but, rather, the spirit of the man who holds it.

... to prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm ... is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege.

WILSON V. STATE, 33 Ark. 557 (1878)

That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.

ADAMS, SAMUEL, in Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789

I have but one question for the 'Honorable' gentlemen of the house of representatives, the Senate, the Federal Government and president. If the purpose of punishment was not to make restitution for crimes that could not be ended, then what is its purpose? If it is not to deal with the pain of society, and make the individual peaceable with them, is it not attainder? Cannot any punishment thus be levied upon a citizen, if that purpose is not true? Is it not the purpose of society to heal itself, even from those who have wronged it? If those individuals are not made peaceable by the judgment, if that onus is not ended with the end of the judgment, then what is its purpose and measure, except as a measure of slavery? If retribution can be meted outside of that framework, and rights can be destroyed, is it not true that those that make the law can make anything a criminal act? If attainder is allowed upon one segment of the population, is it not suddenly available to be used for all?

Can any man be free, so long as any man is a slave? Or is the truth really that we merely are marking the time until they decide to enslave... us?

Remember how we were talking about how registries expand?
H.R. 45

Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by sections 101, 201, 301, 302, and 303 of this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(ff) Failure To Provide Notice of Change of Address- It shall be unlawful for any individual to whom a firearm license has been issued under title I of Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 to fail to report to the Attorney General a change in the address of that individual within 60 days of that change of address.'.
Also, the federal government cannot exempt itself from its own laws.

This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall not apply to any department or agency of the United States, of a State, or of a political subdivision of a State, or to any official conduct of any officer or employee of such a department or agency.

(c) Elimination of Prohibition on Establishment of System of Registration- Section 926(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking the second sentence.


In the event of any conflict between any provision of this Act or an amendment made by this Act, and any provision of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2751), the provision of the Arms Export Control Act shall control.

Arms Control Export Act

One thing to remember is the Weimar government attempted to disarm the nazis early on... and then when the Nazis took control, the laws were broad enough to be used for other purposes. They didn't need to pass gun control laws at that point.

Wikipedia on history of German Firearm Control

In 1928, the German government enacted the Law on Firearms and Ammunition. This law relaxed gun restrictions and put into effect a strict firearm licensing scheme. Under this scheme, Germans could possess firearms, but they were required to have separate permits to do the following: own or sell firearms, carry firearms (including handguns), manufacture firearms, and professionally deal in firearms and ammunition. This law explicitly revoked the 1919 Regulations on Weapons Ownership, which had banned all firearms possession.

The 1938 German Weapons Act, the precursor of the current weapons law, superseded the 1928 law. As under the 1928 law, citizens were required to have a permit to carry a firearm and a separate permit to acquire a firearm. Furthermore, the law restricted ownership of firearms to "...persons whose trustworthiness is not in question and who can show a need for a (gun) permit." Under the new law:

* Gun restriction laws applied only to handguns, not to long guns or ammunition. Writes Prof. Bernard Harcourt of the University of Chicago, "The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition."[4]
* The groups of people who were exempt from the acquisition permit requirement expanded. Holders of annual hunting permits, government workers, and Nazi party members were no longer subject to gun ownership restrictions. Prior to the 1938 law, only officials of the central government, the states, and employees of the German Reichsbahn Railways were exempted.[5]
* The age at which persons could own guns was lowered from 20 to 18.[5]
* The firearms carry permit was valid for three years instead of one year.[5]
* Jews were forbidden from the manufacturing of firearms and ammunition.[6]

On November 11, 1938, the Minister of the Interior, Wilhelm Frick, passed Regulations Against Jews' Possession of Weapons. This regulation effectively deprived all Jews of the right to possess firearms or other weapons.

Germany was a constitutional government, even under the Weimar republic and Hindenberg. They had their congress. (the Reichstag), for all the good it did them.

Look back at history, and ask yourselves if anyone seeking further power for emergency reasons has ever, even once, corresponded in their use to the reasons they were claimed?

The Alien and Sedition acts:
The U.S. Government's internment of Japanese and German Americans.
The U.S. Patriot Act.
The U.S. Military Commissions Act.
The 'Enabling Act' of the German government, after the Reichstag fire.

In the German Weimar Republic, an Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz in German) was a law passed by the Reichstag with a two-thirds majority, by which the government was authorized to legislate without the consent of the Reichstag. These special powers would remain in effect for the specified time. This is to be distinguished from the provisions of Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which allowed the President to legislate by decree in times of emergency, subject to the veto of the Reichstag. An Enabling Act was supposed to be used only in times of extreme emergency. Only two Enabling Acts were ever passed:

* the first Enabling Act was in force in 1923-24, when the government used an Enabling Act to combat hyperinflation.
* the second Enabling Act, passed on March 23, 1933, was the second stepping-stone after the Reichstag Fire Decree through which Adolf Hitler obtained dictatorial powers using largely legal means. The formal name of the Enabling Act was Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich ("Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the State"). It carried a four-year sunset clause (and would also have lost force should another government have been appointed) but was renewed in 1937, 1941 and 1944. In contrast to the Enabling Act of 1923, this Act covered changes to the constitution, excepting only the existence of the Reichstag, the Reichsrat and the office of President.

the Sedition act of 1918, and the Espionage Act.

History is replete with these actions.

Make your own decisions on what these things mean... from slavery and bigotry to firearms control, and those that are proposing it. Are they really doing what they are saying that they intend to do?
Read more!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Banks and scandals

Our nation looks out at the various banks, with their collapses, and numerous economic scandals, and we find that, too often, there is no explanation, no reasoning, and the pundits in the media are so bold as to call some scandals 'penny ante' in comparison with others.

It is not any different, whatsoever, for a person to end a life via banking, or to end their lives via highway robbery. It is no different if the theft is legally condoned or if the theft is by taxes. Taking from people, without recompense, without process, without justice, is wrong. Taking from a man's work to fund another man's idleness is wrong. While I concur that the disabled need support, that support should come from the towns and states, not from the Federal government. While I concur that the people need help sometimes, that help must come from their own people, not from a government with its own agendas.

Bailing out banks is stealing from those very people whose money was mismanaged. Those that claim any diversion is 'penny ante', or less severe, are farcical in their argument. That money, stolen by gunpoint or stolen by taxes or stolen by financial instruments, is equally stolen. Those that would have used it for their own security can no longer do so, and those that would have used it to invest in the security of others no longer can.

These people invested, and chose to invest in a work of trust. Those banks betrayed that trust. These people are taking a loss, even if the assets are *still there* in an environment of inflation. If they cannot access the assets, the assets are not there for them. If the assets are lost (as is the indication by the SEC in the Stanford case) then there has been a theft which may well risk the lives of those who invested, and chose to depend upon that trust.

To call it penny ante? Well, I have one quote for you.

But if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face? Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor? If you have not, then you are not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then you are unworthy of the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward and the spirit of a sycophant.
– Thomas Paine

It is no different burning a house, than losing it to another, via taxes or any other means, by inflation, by redistribution, by deed theft, by government seizure, than to lose it by theft or murder.
Read more!

The banking system.

Been writing quite a bit on the Federal Reserve. Take a look at what was said back in '88.

By Ron Paul.

Now... remember some of the earlier quotes I had on Benjamin Franklin's statements?
We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression. – Thomas Jefferson

The system of banking [is] a blot left in all our Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction... I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity... is but swindling futurity on a large scale. – Thomas Jefferson in a letter to John Taylor, 1816.
Read more!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where do I stand?

People have asked what my real beliefs are. They've asked where I stand, and there is only one answer I can give them.

I am against abuse, no matter the form, no matter the nature, no matter the reasons behind that abuse. Also I am against abuse no matter the purpose, projector, or victim.

It saves us nothing to abuse in order to prevent abuse, nor does it preserve our rights to limit them in the name of their preservation. Liberty is meaningless if it cannot be exercised, and the law, when focused against people, of any stripe, can be abused.

Our nation is, and remains at a crux point. The crossing of events is such that abuse is becoming a way of life. We torment people for political gain, play games with their lives, and gamble and often lose with our own liberty.

It is no more right to rape a rapist, than for them to rape another. It is no more right to take enjoyment in their pain, than it is for them to torture another. It is no more right to take the law into our own hands, than it is for others to violate law.

Laws are established, in essence, to preserve our liberties, not to destroy them, thus chains were placed upon the law in the very beginning, chains forged in principle, but as strong as steel for their forging. We as a nation have a duty to those principles, because it is from those principles that our prosperity flows.

We stand in the darkness, too often, waiting for the next axe, the next hammer. We wait, and grieve for what we've lost, but do not fight to regain it. As our families are abused, our friends are abused, our nation and the very government we established to protect our liberties steals them from us in the name of preventing abuse.

But who protects us from them? When we are disarmed, are the abuses by the police going to stop, or grow only more vicious? When the people are disarmed, is not the historic pattern to become more brutal, more bold, more uncaring with the criminals and police alike?

We cannot become more free by further limiting our freedoms. We cannot gain the right to life, liberty, and property without the means to defend those. We cannot retain our own rights without equally protecting the rights of those we detest. We cannot, in the very nature of rights, surpress the rights of others, without surpressing our own.

When a precedence is set that moves us away from the core and founding principles, it is easy to find another, and then another. Often, when we finally recognize how far we've come from the core, it is too late.

We deviate here from the rights of the accused, to be free of search and seizure without warrant, there from the requirement of decent treatment of the accused, deviate here from the rights of the people after conviction, and there from the rights of the people... the government, my friends, is the one who determines what is criminal and what is not. By proposing limiting rights upon criminals, and proposing their utter removal, it does not prevent the power of the government from declaring you a criminal.

If the government were to pass and complete a law stating that starting your vehicle is a crime on Wednesdays, thereby emitting greenhouse gases, they have the power to enact that law. They have the power as well to enforce it. There is an act... a time involved in the act, and more, the violation of the act creates the actus rea, and the mens rea.

Shall they declare it a felony, that is also in their power. And you have to live with it for the time period involved. All the sudden, you become a felon.... and your rights are removed. After all, was it not good that we took 'x' class and registered them and removed their rights? Isn't it, according to Chris Hansen, a crime against humanity to continue emitting greenhouse gasses? Isn't that more dangerous, and affecting more people than a simple criminal act? After all, should we ignore it, humanity will go extinct, if you listen to the IPCC.

And then you are banned from using vehicles, wherever you go. Banned from public transportation, etc.

It's the same arguments, on a different subject. After all, look at all the children that cutting carbon emissions will save. There is no proven link, but it makes good rhetoric.

The problem is, you are dealing with lives, in either case. Rhetoric and political expediency does not trump rights. The idea that it can is old, but placed in new trappings.

But... if you look at the words, the intentions, the very works of the founding fathers, then that assertation is dubious at best, and potentially treasonous at worst.

Those rights, those freedoms, those liberties are foundational to our very constitution. They were guaranteed to all, rich and poor, felon and free man, young and old. The intention was to even provide them to the slaves and to the women, in spite of massive political opposition.

Today, it is often illegal to go to a streetcorner and hand out pamphlets without a permit. Our society has produced people who fear to speak their minds for fear of repercussions, and for what? We've so many taboo topics now that free speech becomes nigh impossible, and heaven forbid we should offend someone....

Well, guess what. I don't care about offending anyone. If you chosoe to be offended, be offended. But look at why you are offended, think about what offends you, and look into your hearts and see if what offends you is actually something... about you.

We don't dare talk about the past, because it illuminates the present. If we look at the past, the present patterns are there, and visible. Why do we not look at the past?

it is because, more and more, the government steps in, and we are just a little less free. The incrementalism has gotten faster over the last few years, and is reaching full steam now... but when will we derail it?

Is it easier to derail when only one class of citizens has lost their rights? Or when the whole of society has lost the means to defend itself and the rights?

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, and is always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.
— Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (1747-1813), Scottish jurist and historian. Professor of Universal History at Edinburgh University in the late 18th Century. From the 1801 

Is it better to wait, or better to fight? Let us examine what the founding fathers had to say.. federalist 84.

I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.

Powers congress was not given....

There remains but one other view of this matter to conclude the point. The truth is, after all the declamations we have heard, that the Constitution is itself, in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, A BILL OF RIGHTS. The several bills of rights in Great Britain form its Constitution, and conversely the constitution of each State is its bill of rights. And the proposed Constitution, if adopted, will be the bill of rights of the Union. Is it one object of a bill of rights to declare and specify the political privileges of the citizens in the structure and administration of the government? This is done in the most ample and precise manner in the plan of the convention; comprehending various precautions for the public security, which are not to be found in any of the State constitutions. Is another object of a bill of rights to define certain immunities and modes of proceeding, which are relative to personal and private concerns? This we have seen has also been attended to, in a variety of cases, in the same plan. Adverting therefore to the substantial meaning of a bill of rights, it is absurd to allege that it is not to be found in the work of the convention. It may be said that it does not go far enough, though it will not be easy to make this appear; but it can with no propriety be contended that there is no such thing. It certainly must be immaterial what mode is observed as to the order of declaring the rights of the citizens, if they are to be found in any part of the instrument which establishes the government. And hence it must be apparent, that much of what has been said on this subject rests merely on verbal and nominal distinctions, entirely foreign from the substance of the thing.

If the entire constitution prohibits the very rights reserved in the Bill of Rights, there is only one section by which this can be. That section is article 1, section 9.

Section 9. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.

No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another.

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

and article 1, section 10.

Section 10. No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.

No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

Within these declaratory clauses are several prohibitions, most of which are against the government regarding state power and taxation. The only plausible points which could contain the powers involved in the Bill of rights is article 1, Section 9's prohibition against the suspension of habeas corpus, bills of attainder, and ex-post-facto law... which were equally prohibited to the state.

The Fourteenth Amendment at that point was already meaningless, it was already incorporated, if their intent was to provide all rights within the bill of rights, the only clause by which to do so, if the only powers allowed in government were explicitly stated.. was article 1, section 9. Laws seizing rights are attainder, by that definition. There is, was, and remains no authority for the Federal Government or the State government to take natural rights, as recognized by Samuel Adams, and Jefferson, and the Journal of the Times from Boston, and the people on the streets. That was the agreement.

Further, explaining the agreement to the people was the Federalist 57, which talks about the nature of restraining Congress from tyranny.

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.

There is no authority to produce laws targeting any class of persons, for any reason. This includes the class of the whole, if rights were restricted, which would be attainder.

It was known in the beginning that any law thus passed would be abused, and abusive. It does us no good as a society to become abusive to prevent abuse, nor does it do us any good to deliberately engender hate, and intolerance to help make society 'safer', because hate and intolerance are inevitably contrary to the work and nature of society, and of safety.

It is akin to bleeding someone to fix hemophilia, or killing someone to make sure they don't hurt themselves. It is nonsensical and contrary to all measure of reason.

Is there any better reason needed to prevent laws that hold out people for attack? If the fact that they don't work isn't enough, the fact that it's addressing a minimal problem, the fact that the system is already failing, the fact that they cost too much, and have no perceivable positive effect and have numerous negative effects isn't enough, consider this one....

What happens when you, or someone you love is placed in the line of fire of this same insidious reasoning? Will it seem as valid then as now?
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Economies, inflation, and banking.

I've been watching for a while, with great interest, the fervor of the Congress to pass out the money earned by our putative future generations. This is not in the interest of our nation, nor the interest of the future, however. When credit becomes available, we as a people become dependent upon it.

Those that choose not to indulge in the use of credit are disadvantaged economically compared to those that do, at least in the short term. But what happens in the long term? Depending on the nature of the lease, interest rates determine the repayment amount. An interest rate of ten percent, for instance, will double the total repayment in ten years. Twenty five percent, such as with some credit cards, increases two and a half times as fast. If the interest rate is compounded, i.e. interest is charged upon the total after interest is placed, it can increase substantially faster.

In the short term view, credit can be a good thing, it allows for flexibility in emergencies, and more consumer purchasing power. But what is the price of credit?

Credit's price is the future repayment, and any other terms and conditions tacked upon your contract. Governments have engaged in the credit game for centuries, from the banks in England (including the Bank of England and the World Bank) to today. The International Monetary Fund provides loans, and exchanges currencies, among other things.

The banks use a fractional reserve system, and fiat currency printed upon that putative reserve. They provide loans to outside sources, repaid at a suitable rate of interest determined by the bank, then use the interest generated (on paper or in reality) to determine their reserve component.

But what happens if the bank sets up credit? Where does the money come from? For a bank to receive a loan from the Federal reserve, the fractional reserve rate usually hovers around 10% actual assets to paper money. These assets used to be viewable on the Federal Reserve site, but have not been updated for several years. To increase the monetary pool, the Federal reserve 'sells' loans to outside agencies. I.e. they create a loan to Unidistopia (fictional) for x amount. We'll call this six hundred million dollars. The government of Unidistopia agrees to pay back that loan at a specific rate in the future. Should the government fail to pay back said loan, what is the result? That six hundred million dollar loan goes defunct, thus collapsing any currency that it backs by the total value of the loan. At the end of the loan period, the Reserve, in theory, is paid back in full.

Foreign nations, however, are not subject to U.S. laws. There is no way to force them to repay anything, and Unidistopia discovers this. They refuse to repay the loan, after garnering the benefits of it. What can the Federal Reserve do? Not much, they either have to write the loan off, or find someone to pay it. Unfortunately, in some cases, they've chosen to 'pay' the loan on paper to back their currency, by giving Unidistopia a certain amount of money that is immediately on paper paid back into the system, thus 'floating' the loan to allow continuation of the value of the backed currency.

The payment, however is not really there. The payment in fact is made up out of whole cloth with printed dollars. When sufficient amounts of this type of loan (originally made in gold) occur, the currency is debased and devalued. While there is an apparent 'growth' of wealth, the real growth is in the debt owed.

There is only one way to expand an economy in the long term, and that is to expand the available workforce. As more man-hours are available, more goods and services can be produced. The core of the economy must be raw goods and materials, however, or those that produce raw goods and materials have a 'seller's market'. I.e. they can set the price on the raw goods and manufactured goods according to their needs, rather than according to the demand, as demand is guaranteed under this scenario.

In a free market system, supply and demand ideally determine what is made, stockpiled, or sold. A manufacturer flooding the market with a device x can't get the overhead back with the market flooded with his product, due to the reduction of scarcity. I.e. when volume exceeds demand, prices drop, so manufacturers must drop their manufacturing volume. This is basic economics, as warehouses, inventory control, and transportation and manufacturing expenses eat portions of profit.

There is another aspect to the free market system however, the producers are also consumers. The manufacturing work force uses their monies to purchase raw goods and materials of their own, as well as completed manufactured items, food, etc.

Monetary supply alters this cycle. Gold is counted as a hedge against inflation, due to its intrinsic value due to scarcity. There is little gold mined at any point on the planet, and it cannot be easily or safely produced, which effectively fixes its value. It had an exchange rate with silver, as well as a value declared to be a 'talar' or Dollar, in troy silver ounces. Fiat currency, however, is not a fixed-value currency. Ostensibly, fiat currency has backing in that very gold, however, with the fractional reserve system, the true value of that certificate can be far less than the face value.

The problem comes in with monetary supply versus man-hours available to the economy. If any economy has more money per man-hour, the value of that money, however it is comprised, reduces. More 'money' reduces the scarcity of that very money, which also reduces its buying power. As more money comes into existence per man-hour available to the economy, prices of goods and services rise, as does the price of all foods, materials, and labor. As money is reduced per man-hour, the prices of food, materials, and labor drops, as the purchasing power of the existing money is higher.

By creating money to inject into the system, the banking system can affect that ratio of money to man-hours. If the money ratio is 1:1, or 1.00, the equivalent amount of 'money' at a ratio of 10:1 would be ten times (10x), or ten dollars per dollar at the 1:1 rate. If the money ratio is 1:10, a dime would buy the same as a dollar at the 1:1 rate, assuming all other influences being fixed.

All other influences, however, are not fixed. Innovation affects costs of manufacture, scarcity of raw materials, financial panics, and many other things affect the actual buying power of fiat currency. By basing that currency in the debt and loans to outside nations, it in effect attempts to reduce the influence of those fluctuations.

Credit operates in this market, as well, as a barrier against inflation. Inflationary cycles themselves assist credit, so long as the rates are fixed, but banks take a loss in inflationary credit cycles, due to the higher-valued dollar being repaid with devalued dollars. Conversely, in a deflationary cycle, credit amounts are repaid with a higher-value dollar but purchased with lower-value dollars.

For example, if you have a $10,000 loan that is purchased at the 1:1 rate, and the rate remains the same, you have no real change. If the ratio goes to 10:1, you can repay the note literally with dollars worth a dime at the earlier rate. If the ratio goes to 1:10, however (an extreme fluctuation) you are paying a dollar for every dime that you purchased.

What has occurred is we've given the ability to determine when the dollar inflation and deflation cycles will occur... to the federal reserve, a private banking practice that has only the trappings of federalism. It can determine the monetary redistribution rate (the 'prime rate' for loans) and thereby determine when economies are going to boom, and bust.

The reserve can make a profit, on paper or in hard currency, in either of these times as it is uniquely capable of both determining when a shift will occur, or hastening or delaying it.

It is in their interests, prior to purchasing in the deflationary cycle, to convert all loans into paper money, then waiting for the deflation to end. In an inflationary cycle, it is in their interest to take out interbank loans, and pay them off at the inflated currency. At this point, they are poised to use the newly 'created' currency due to the inflationary cycle or deflationary to exceed the purchasing power of other organizations, due to 'insider' knowledge of the changes in the prime rate and other motivators.

For instance, in the Bank of England, a small change was placed on the ratio of silver to gold. Say the world price of gold, in silver, was six ounces per ounce. The bank of England chose to gather a great deal of silver, then converted their price to 6.5 ounces of silver per ounce of gold. Engineering and profiteering individuals noticed this, and purchased silver, took it to France and other nations, and brought back gold, making a small profit (or a large one) with each transaction. Eventually, gold accrued to the Bank of England in larger and larger amounts, cornering effectively the world market on gold.

A scarcity of gold was produced, and plenty of silver in countries outside England. This created inflation in the silver market, and deflation in the gold market. By being poised to take advantage of this, the Bank of England could purchase the inflated silver back at literally pennies on the dollar, at the deflated (more buying power per ounce) gold price.

The fluctuations between boom time and panic are closely tied with prime rates, exchange rates between banks and interest rates tied to credit. In the 1770s, this was a prime weapon used against the colonists to keep them under control. Most people today forget that those colonists were often exported from Britain as penal colonies, in the beginning. They were considered felons, and riff-raff. To control them, specific goods and services were introduced (including tea, and other trade via the British East India corporation, rum, sugar, and molasses) to keep fueling the finances of the British empire and the Bank of England.

The British colonists began to recognize and resent the taxes placed upon their goods, but then the most insufferable taxes began... taxes not only upon the goods and services they purchased, but upon that which they owned, that which they made, and their own labor. Even this, however, was not enough to spark full rebellion, in spite of the Boston Tea Party.

The massacre at Rowes Wharf was not enough either. The introduction of the Hessians and the British Colonial guard wasn't enough. The British Colonial guard could write a warrant on the spot, and search and seize any item, household, property, or person, and retain them without a trial. It wasn't enough even that people were being taken overseas.

It was enough when the British Guard marched upon the armories of Lexington and Concorde. Those armories were not only for their defense against the Indians of the area, and criminals and vagabonds, but their only effective means of defense against the Crown itself.

On April 18, 1775, the British Army, under the control of General Gage, marched out of Boston toward Lexington and Concorde, to seize the armory of those rebelling against the taxation and false writs of warrant and attainder. Three men were dispatched from Boston, taking different routes under cover of night to attempt to warn the towns of the army that was coming.

Those men were: Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott. There were countless other riders that night, but these are the names remembered by history.

Many of the men at the battle of Lexington turned and ran on the first volley, fired high by the British. One stood and reloaded his musket, one Jonas Parker. Before he could fire, he was shot dead.

Seventy men stood against the British on that field of battle. 52 fled, 10 were wounded, and eight died as heroes... to prevent the very things we see today. The British Army, flushed with the victory and determined that the American people were no match for their might, chose to march on Concorde.

At 2 am, Samuel Prescott rode into Concorde, having evaded the patrol that took Paul Revere captive. After numerous strategic withdrawals, the American Minutemen had brought the British to a bridge. They'd seen smoke coming from the nearby town, and they'd had enough. The british soldiers were backed across a bridge with a numerically superior American force, and started to take up the boards on the bridge to prevent following. After orders from the American Captain (John Buttrick) to leave the bridge intact, the British panicked and opened fire. Two more Americans fell dead, and the fire as per orders was returned, effectively.

The enemy were repeatedly re-engaged at Tewksbury, At Meriam's Corner, all over the map. The rebels had used surprise and cover to their advantage, in contrast to the British Military tradition of standing in the field of battle exposed in ranks.

I digress.. this is a history of banks and economics... but the very forces at work those days are at work today again. Banks and money funds, disarmament proposals, taxes, and other instruments of subjugation are once again in the fore.

To repeat the words of Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775:

It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
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Monday, February 16, 2009

About Agitation: Web sites and veracity.

One thing I've been watching over the last few years is a number of web sites, which at one time I respected. They continue, however, to grow more shrill, the people there more polarized. This is their right. However, with larger information bases, and more money, comes new responsibilities to verify their data before publishing. This is no different from the information presented by CNBC, nor does the bias occur from any different source... that of their money. Context is required for statements, and that context must be derived from both the historic pattern, as well as from the present. Events can parallel and diverge, as much as parallel and converge. The question at this point becomes... where is it going?

When any web site has information placed upon it, including this one, the veracity of that information must be explored. A person, including me, can claim anything. The question becomes the nature of the source, ultimately. One can, with absolute belief in something, be brought to write about it, and find later that it is untrue.

Take, for instance, one Alex Jones's site, such as Infowars, or Prison planet. It is curious indeed, when comments quoting history supporting their viewpoint are removed. It is further curious that comments quite opposite of the nature and substance are allowed to remain. Additional curiousity must be indicated, and caution, when some of the comments allowed to remain are far more inflammatory, with less basis than historic quotes regarding the subject.

When history is not allowed to get in the way of the rhetoric, one must question the purpose of the rhetoric. When history is not allowed to assist the rhetoric, one must be doubly cautious. At this point, one must ask what the actual objective of the website truly is? If it is to engage and spread truth, and to expose lies, then certainly history must be part of that process. Establishing historic parallels allows one to illustrate parallels. If one, for instance, is discussing legislation regarding the second amendment, then the words and works of those founding fathers (both federalists and antifederalists) are part of that discussion.

Imagine my surprise, when quotes from both federalists, and antifederalists were removed from the site, with no explanation, no communication, simply vanished into thin air? These quotes, further, were in support of the idea that it is constitutionally unsound to either fine or tax something into nonexistence that is a natural right, by the words of those founding fathers.

If history, and reasoned discourse is not allowed on a site, then what is its purpose? If the comments remaining are designed to be inflammatory and not allowed to be answered with reasoned statements, then reason would dictate that it has a purpose other than reasonable discourse. When further research reveals information released upon that site, (for instance, the Minedoka County resettlement center, quoted as being a WWII Japanese Internment camp) is researched, should not their statements of its rebuilding be verifiable?

The WWII Japanese Relocation Center was actually not in Minedoka. it was in Jerome County, in a town called 'Hunt'. This location is easily accessible, and currently contains tumbleweeds and old rusty cans, the 'guard shack' present is nothing but a foundation and the old rock walls. Numerous other locations quoted in the same article are either as decrepit, or unsuitable for habitation according to area locals.

But, if the purpose of the site is not to reveal the truth, but to fight an information war, is it not reasonable to assume that perhaps the clientele that they are aimed toward are those with less reasonable and considering minds, and that the introduction of information, history, and facts and discourse might be counterproductive to those ends?

When a body is polarized, political or social, it tends to split along the divide of the polarity. If the information presented is inaccurate, is it not reasonable to assume that perhaps the purpose presented for the site is equally inaccurate? Perhaps, just perhaps, the site has a purpose beyond telling the truth, beyond even simple monies and accounts. Perhaps... just perhaps, it can equally be an identifier for those who would fight for logic and reason in the battle for liberty, and those who would fight for liberty for all, not just the chosen few?

One site never makes a difference. It is those people that visit the site, address it, consider the points, and present them in a reasoned and calm manner. In this, in many instances, I have failed.

It is, however, with careful consideration that I cannot equally dismiss all the claims upon said site. Other information, indeed, seems to present that there is something beyond what is seen, something odd, and interesting that affects the pattern which I perceive. It is an echo, a ripple, that indicates a shape of something hidden and waiting, something patient. Even the Rothschilds of the Revolutionary War, and those of today, the same banking institutions of the past as the present may well be being used by it.

Human nature is quick to see conspiracies in the shadows, but what does the shape of events say? Currently, the pattern of events shows that there is a hole beyond what we see, that the manipulations of currency is part of something else. The manipulations of the media, via that currency manipulation, may be something else as well.

What that something else is, will remain unseen for the nonce while I attempt to seek it out. I'm a blind man attempting to identify an elephant, and hoping said elephant is not truly a dragon.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A treasury of liberty

The past reflects the future, as from the past we have seen day turn into day, logic illuminate illogic, truth illuminate lies. If we mean to be free of oppression, we must stand free of ignorance, we must illuminate the truth, no matter the cost. If a thing is true, it can stand of its own nature, if it be true, no lie can forever hide it. The past is key to the future, for in its truths lies the course set by nations. – Tried By Conscience

Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals, that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government, that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection against the government.
—Ayn Rand

Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.
— James Madison

On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed. — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), letter to Judge William Johnson, (from Monticello, June 12, 1823)

If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.
— George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
— Frederick Douglass, civil rights activist, Aug. 4, 1857

Any power that can be abused will be abused. — Tyranny Law #1
Abuse always expands to fill the limits of resistance to it. — Tyranny Law #2
If people don't resist the abuses of others, they will have no one to resist the abuses of themselves, and tyranny will prevail. — Tyranny Law #3
John Roland of the Constitution Society.

Political corruption begins with every voter who votes his pocketbook instead of for what's good for the country. There is little difference between the selling of his vote by an elected official and the selling of his vote by a voter, to whatever candidate promises him some benefit.
— Jon Roland, speech during his campaign for Congress, 1974
In politics nothing gets done until you first create a channel of corruption.
— Jesse Cuellar, cynical observer of the political scene, San Antonio, Texas, 1982

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. — Daniel Webster

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
— Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William Smith, Nov. 13, 1787

We must realize that today's Establishment is the new George III. Whether it will continue to adhere to his tactics, we do not know. If it does, the redress, honored in tradition, is also revolution.
— Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Points of Rebellion, New York: Random House, 1970

Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. — Abraham Lincoln

I was born an American. I live as an American; I shall die an American; and I intend to perform the duties incumbent upon me in that character to the end of my career. I mean to do this with absolute disregard to personal consequences. What are the personal consequences? What is the individual man with all the good or evil that may betide him, in comparison with the good and evil which may befall a great country, and in the midst of great transactions which concern that country's fate? Let the consequences be what they will, I am careless, No man can suffer too much, and no man can fall too soon, if he suffer or if he fall, in the defense of the liberties and Constitution of his country. — Daniel Webster

Let us remember, that 'if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.' It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers in the event. — Samuel Adams

Liberty is defended in three stages: The ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box. — Ambrose Bierce

"... freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power erected in it. A liberty to follow my own will in all things where that rule prescribes not, not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man, ..."
— John Locke, Second Treatise, Ch. 4 § 21.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
— H. L. Mencken
For every problem there is a solution which is simple, obvious, and wrong."
— Albert Einstein

"The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed and that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press."
— Thomas Jefferson

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
— Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776.

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
— Benjamin Franklin

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins; all of them imaginary.
— H.L. Mencken

The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and the punishment of his guilt. — John Curran, July 10, 1790, in a speech about electing the mayor of Dublin

You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered. — Attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson or Hubert Humphrey, but unconfirmed.

"Government is like a hammer, good for pounding nails but not for surgery." — Jon Roland, June, 1995.

The price good people pay for their indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. — Plato (427-347 BC)

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, and is always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.

— Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (1747-1813), Scottish jurist and historian. Professor of Universal History at Edinburgh University in the late 18th Century. From the 1801 Collection of his lectures.

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on them (public offices), a rottenness begins in his conduct.
— Thomas Jefferson

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
— Abba Eban

No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session. — 1 Tucker (N.Y. Surr.) 249 (1866)

When Hitler came for the Jews... I was not a Jew, therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then, Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned.
— Pastor Martin Niemoller, Congressional Record, October 14, 1968, vol. 114, p. 31636.

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do. — Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909)

A ripple here, a ripple there.
Now there's something in the air.
A wave is building in the sea
As we play the game of history.
— Jon Roland, Feb. 1998

We have the greatest opportunity the world has ever seen, as long as we remain honest — which will be as long as we can keep the attention of our people alive. If they once become inattentive to public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, judges and governors would all become wolves. — Thomas Jefferson

Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of "emergency". It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And "emergency" became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains. — Herbert Hoover.

Sed quis custodiet ipsos Custodes? (Who is to guard the guardians themselves?) — Juvenal, Satires, ~120 CE.

Give me six lines written by the most honourable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him. — Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642)

In the twentieth century being "well-spoken" came to mean speaking in such as way that you can't easily be discredited by being quoted out of context. — Jon Roland, 1995

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man; brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot. — Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

One of the first rules of effective communication is to so compose the message as to anticipate all the ways it could be misinterpreted, and minimize such misinterpretation. This is especially important with laws, which are messages from the past to the future. It is well to keep in mind Murphy's Law of Lawmaking: "If it can be misinterpreted it will be, and it will be misinterpreted in the worst way possible." — Jon Roland, 1997

I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes, believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save
it. — Judge Learned Hand

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And what I can do, I will do. —
D. L. Moody (1837-99), paraphrased. Similar to saying of Edward Everett
Hale (1822-1909).

It is not the job of the candidate to win. His job is to BE the best candidate. Electing the best candidate is the job of the people. We have to let the people do their job, and if they fail to do it well, we will all pay the price together.
— Jon Roland, to a discouraged campaign worker, after losing his campaign for Congress, 1974

During the late 20th century the word "liberal" came to mean someone whose copy of the Bill of Rights was missing the Second and Tenth Amendments, and the word "conservative" someone whose copy was missing the First and the Ninth.
— Jon Roland, May, 1994

Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.
— Attributed to Josef Stalin

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evilminded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding." — Justice Louis D. Brandeis dissenting,Olmstead v. United States

"Fiat iustitia ruat cœlum". Let justice be done though the heavens fall! — Ancient Roman maxim.

"Tyranny and injustice thrive when people make economic decisions rather than stand on principle." — Jon Roland, 1983

There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
— Ayn Rand

Bills of attainder are: "legislative acts, no matter what their form, that apply either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial. ... An act is a 'bill of attainder' [under common law, see Blackstone's Commentaries] when the punishment is death and a 'bill of pains and penalties' when the punishment is less severe; both kinds of punishment fall within the scope of the constitutional prohibition.
U.S. Constitution Art. I, Sec. 9, Cl. 3 (as to Congress); Art. I, Sec. 10 (as to state legislatures)." Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition.

And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions. – Samuel Adams

Were the talents and virtues which heaven has bestowed on men given merely to make them more obedient drudges, to be sacrificed to the follies and ambition of a few? Or, were not the noble gifts so equally dispensed with a divine purpose and law, that they should as nearly as possible be equally exerted, and the blessings of Providence be equally enjoyed by all? –
Samuel Adams

A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.... While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.... If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security. – Samel Adams

How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words! – Samuel Adams

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. – Samuel Adams

Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. – Samuel Adams.

If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin. – Samuel Adams

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen. --Samuel Adams

All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should. – Samuel Adams

If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave. – Samuel Adams

It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions --Samuel Adams

Driven from every other corner of the earth, freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience, direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum. – Samuel Adams

...Virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone that renders us invincible. These are the tactics we should study. If we lose these, we are conquered, fallen long as our manners and principles remain sound, there is no danger. – Patrick Henry

Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. – Patrick Henry

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined. – Patrick Henry

Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands? – Patrick Henry

I have the highest veneration of those Gentleman, -- but, Sir, give me leave to demand, what right had they to say, We, the People? My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask who authorized them to speak the language of, We, the People, instead of We, the States? States are the characteristics, and the soul of the confederation. If the States be not the agents of this compact, it must be one of great consolidated National Government of the people of all the States. – Patrick Henry

Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (adminstrators) too plainly proves a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing us to slavery. – Thomas Jefferson

An elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one which should not only be founded on true free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among general bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others. – Thomas Jefferson

We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression. – Thomas Jefferson

The system of banking [is] a blot left in all our Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction... I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity... is but swindling futurity on a large scale. – Thomas Jefferson

A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement – Thomas Jefferson

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a feather bed. – Thomas Jefferson

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. – Thomas Jefferson

In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. – Thomas Jefferson

A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable. – Thomas Jefferson

Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled, we have yet gained little if we counternance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of a bitter and bloody persecutions. – Thomas Jefferson

Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction – Thomas Jefferson

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear... Do not be frightened from this inquiry from any fear of its consequences. If it ends in the belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise... – Thomas Jefferson

Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. – Thomas Jefferson

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. – Thomas Jefferson

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. --Thomas Jefferson

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. – John Quincy Adams

Law logic -- an artificial system of reasoning, exclusively used in courts of justice, but good for nothing anywhere else. – John Quincy Adams

Civil liberty can be established on no foundation of human reason which will not at the same time demonstrate the right of religious freedom. – John Quincy Adams

[America] goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. – John Quincy Adams

Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation. – John Quincy Adams

All the public business in Congress now connects itself with intrigues, and there is great danger that the whole government will degenerate into a struggle of cabals. – John Quincy Adams

But the indissoluble link of union between the people of the several States of this confederated nation is, after all, not in the RIGHT, but in the HEART. If the day should ever come (may Heaven avert it !) when the affections of the people of these States shall be alienated from each other, when the fraternal spirit shall give way to cold indifference, or collision of interests shall fester into hatred, the bonds of political association - will not long hold together parties no longer attracted by the magnetism of conciliated interests and kindly sympathies ; and far better will it be for the people of the disunited States to part in friendship with each other than to be held together by constraint. Then will be the time for reverting to the precedents which occurred at the formation and adoption of the Constitution, to form again a more perfect Union, by dissolving that which could no longer bind, and to leave the separated parts to be reunited by the law of political gravitation to the center.
– John Quincy Adams

The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy. – John Quincy Adams

The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected, in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity. – John Quincy Adams

The public good is in nothing more essentially interested, than in the protection of every individual's private rights . – Sir William Blackstone

It is better ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer. – Sir William Blackstone

And, lastly, to vindicate these rights, when actually violated and attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self preservation and defense. – Sir William Blackstone

The power of the legislative being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws, and place it in other hands. – John Locke

... whenever the Legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience ... [Power then] devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty, and, by the Establishment of a new Legislative (such as they shall think fit) provide for their own Safety and Security, which is the end for which they are in Society. – John Locke

[F]or nothing is to be accounted hostile force, but where it leaves not the remedy of such an appeal; and it is such force alone, that puts him that uses it into a state of war, and makes it lawful to resist him. A man with a sword in his hand demands my purse in the high-way, when perhaps I have not twelve pence in my pocket: this man I may lawfully kill. To another I deliver 100 pounds to hold only whilst I alight, which he refuses to restore me, when I am got up again, but draws his sword to defend the possession of it by force, if I endeavour to retake it. The mischief this man does me is a hundred, or possibly a thousand times more than the other perhaps intended me (whom I killed before he really did me any); and yet I might lawfully kill the one, and cannot so much as hurt the other lawfully. The reason whereof is plain; because the one using force, which threatened my life, I could not have time to appeal to the law to secure it: and when it was gone, it was too late to appeal. The law could not restore life to my dead carcass: the loss was irreparable; which to prevent, the law of nature gave me a right to destroy him, who had put himself into a state of war with me, and threatened my destruction. But in the other case, my life not being in danger, I may have the benefit of appealing to the law, and have reparation for my 100 pounds that way. – John Locke

The Care therefore of every man's Soul belongs unto himself, and is to be left unto himself. But what if he neglect the Care of his Soul? I answer, What if he neglects the Care of his Health, or of his Estate, which things are nearlier related to the Government of the Magistrate than the other? Will the magistrate provide by an express Law, That such an one shall not become poor or sick? Laws provide, as much as is possible, that the Goods and Health of Subjects be not injured by the Fraud and Violence of others; they do not guard them from the Negligence or Ill-husbandry of the Possessors themselves.

– John Locke

If the innocent honest Man must quietly quit all he has for Peace sake, to him who will lay violent hands upon it, I desire it may be considered what kind of Peace there will be in the World, which consists only in Violence and Rapine; and which is to be maintained only for the benefit of Robbers and Oppressors.

– John Locke

Where there is no law there is no freedom.
– John Locke

Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.
– John Locke

Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society and made by the legislative power vested in it and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, arbitrary will of another man.
– John Locke
To love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.
– John Locke

hese are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated. – Thomas Paine

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived. – Thomas Paine

A constitution is not the act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution is power without a right. All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. There are not other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either. – Thomas Paine

It has been thought a considerable advance towards establishing the principles of Freedom, to say, that government is a compact between those who govern and those that are governed: but this cannot be true, because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as man must have existed before governments existed, there necessarily was a time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact with. The fact therefore must be, that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist. – Thomas Paine

I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies another this right makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it. – Thomas Paine

But if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face? Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor? If you have not, then you are not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then you are unworthy of the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward and the spirit of a sycophant. – Thomas Paine

The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them... – Thomas Paine

Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. – Thomas Paine

When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon. – Thomas Paine

The most formidable weapons against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall. – Thomas Paine

He who dares not offend cannot be honest. – Thomas Paine

From the east to the west blow the trumpet to arms! Through the land let the sound of it flee; Let the far and the near all unite, with a cheer, In defense of our Liberty Tree. – Thomas Paine

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed. – Ayn Rand

Independence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgement and nothing can help you escape it -- that no substitute can do your thinking, as no pinch-hitter can live your life. – Ayn Rand

Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.
– Ayn Rand

There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers
– Ayn Rand.

The difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time.
– Ayn Rand

The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property rights...
– Ayn Rand

Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel.
– Ayn Rand

This Act establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the Presidentsigns this bill, the invisible government by the Monetary Power will be legalized. The people may not know it immediately, but the day of reckoning is only a few years removed. The trusts will soon realize that they have gone too far even for their own good. The people must make a declaration of independence to relieve themselves from the Monetary Power. This they will be able to do by taking control of Congress. Wall Streeters could not cheat us if you Senators and Representatives did not make a humbug of Congress... The greatest crime of Congress is its currency system. The worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking bill. The caucus and the party bosses have again operated and prevented the people from getting the benefit of their own government. When the President signs this act [Federal Reserve Act of 1913], the invisible government by the money power -- proven to exist by the Monetary Trust Investigation -- will be legalized. The new law will create inflation whenever the trusts want inflation. From now on, depressions will be scientifically created. – Senator Charles Lindberg Sr.

Qui tam, abbreviation of "qui tam pro domino rege quam pro sic ipso in hoc parte sequitur", meaning "who sues for the king as for himself." Black's Law Dictionary defines a qui tam action as "an action brought ... under a statute which establishes a penalty for the commission or omission of a certain act, and provides that the same shall be recoverable in a civil action, part of the penalty to go to any person who will bring such action and the remainder to the state or some other institution." --- John Roland

Ex Rel., abbreviation of "ex relatione", are actions brought in the name of the state but on the information and at the instigation of a private individual with a private interest in the outcome. The real party in interest is called the "relator." The action is captioned "State of X [or United States] ex rel. Y. v. Z."
Quo warranto, "what authority?", is an ancient legal doctrine by which persons may challenge actions of governmental or corporate officials or agents when they exceed their legally granted authority. It may be used to remove the offender from office.
Habeas corpus, "have the body", a kind of quo warranto action seeking to release someone from custody if the authority to hold him cannot be proven.

Bring of this what you will. Look into the past to see the future. Look into your own hearts to see who you are. Courage, patriotism, indeed, even justice is the greatest fear of tyrants. No man can be just that is not also bound by that same justice. No man can be free that does not strive for the freedom of others. No man may rule that is not in turn ruled by those he has power over. The greatest master of any president, any king, ought to be the duty to the people. He is bound in chains to their service, chains written of the very law he executes. Should he step outside those bounds, then he is a tyrant. Usurpation, placing the rule of law under the heel of its executor, or placing the executor or legislator of the law outside of its rule is as sure an indication of tyranny as any torture, any physical chains. It avails a man nothing if he has a right he is not free to use, nor does it avail him to have justice which is not applied to all. No man is above the law, nor beneath it, for the law applies, and forever should apply, to kings and emperors, to presidents and judges, from the least to the best loved. If justice does not apply to all, then there is no justice... only tyranny, and the truest measure of any society is how it treats those least loved. -- Tried By Conscience

"It is not only permitted, but it is also equitable and just to slay tyrants. For he who receives the sword deserves to perish by the sword.But 'receives' is to be understood to pertain to he who has rashly usurped that which is not his, now he who receives what he uses from the power of God. He who receives power from God serves the laws and is the slave of justice and right. He who usurps power suppresses justice and places the laws beneath his will. Therefore, justice is deservedly armed against those who disarm the law, and the public power treats harshly those who endeavour to put aside the public hand. And, although there are many forms of high treason, none is of them is so serious as that which is executed against the body of justice itself. Tyranny is, therefore, not only a public crime, but if this can happen, it is more than public. For if all prosecutors may be allowed in the case of high treason, how much more are they allowed when there is oppression of laws which should themselves command emperors? Surely no one will avenge a public enemy, and whoever does not prosecute him transgresses against himself and against the whole body of the earthly republic." -- John of Salisbury: Policratus

"If the king ceases to govern the kingdom, and begins to act as a tyrant, to destroy justice, to overthrow peace, and to break his faith, the man who has taken the oath is free from it, and the people are entitled to depose the king and to set up another, inasmuch as he has broken the principle upon which their mutual obligation depended." -- Manegold

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