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?

1 comment:

griffinlotson said...

This is the first National Monument remember the African-American Slaves/abolition of slavery in the United States of America. This celebration will be on March 3, 2009, 4:00 PM. The Site will be in the city of Darien, (McIntosh County) Georgia 31305