Monday, June 15, 2009

Reaching for freedom

We look around for freedom, but so very rarely does anyone reach for it. Part of this is because so very few understand what it is... Freedom is not the absence of laws, for the absence of laws creates tyranny by its very nature. Freedom is being free to exercise your full rights in ways that do not remove the rights of others. This is the nature of our constitutional republic's vision of a Republican form of government. (To be distinctly separated from the 'Republican Party').

Our nation is based upon the definition of a republican form of government, a form designed and instiuted not to preserve absolute liberty, but to gain freedom by reducing the potential of removing liberty itself. We, as a nation, are a fallen group, having fallen away long since from the visions of our forefathers, and the truths that were enshrined so long ago.

We, the people of our nation, are not the servants of the government, for that government was designed and implemented to serve us, not the other way around. We, the people are the owners of the government, and as such, any actions taken by that government against our liberty are null and void.

We look at the society around us and say 'someone ought to make a law'. Well, to tell the truth, someone already did. The problem is not the lack of a law, but the presence of laws outside of the constitutional authority. That constitution conferred no rights, established nothing but a government with limited powers, and gave that government specific prohibitions against the use fo those powers.

The powers of government are such that each and every action taken by that government had to be within the limited, expressed powers of that government, and further within the very limited scope allowed by article 1, section 9. The limitations were placed against attainder, a very poorly understood term at this time. Attainder was not merely the old writ of attainder, however, by which property was seized and the life was forfeit by the writ. The doctrines of the United States, included 'bills of pains and penalties' by which any property, or right was also protected against seizure. These protections from attainder were placed to prevent aspiring politicians from stirring up the people, one part against another, and against the politicians for creating advantages for themselves or disadvantages for their competitors.

Any targeted legislation that removes any right of the people (including the rights of life, liberty, property, or the ability to defend them) is in effect transferring, or 'alienating' the right from the property of the person, to becoming the property of the government. This is why those rights were written as to be 'inalienable', the property process of transfer and alienation could not occur by any means.

How then do we have so much fewer exercises of those rights today? Perhaps because we've gone along passively, allowing the rights to be alienated for others. For a felon, we remove the rights to vote, to keep and bear arms, to serve on juries and hold offices. We make laws making more and more felons, when the only means by which those rights could be removed at the beginning... was for capital crimes like murder.

We go along, saying 'there oughta be a law' and ignore the fact that there is already 'a law', and myriad laws... but neither the state, nor the federal government can limit the operation of a right that pre-existed the union.

To do so would be attainder... even if targeted against the entire class of the citizenry.

After all, if it is a natural right to keep and bear arms, reserved to the people themselves, and not the states, to maintain, keep, and bear arms against tyranny of all sources.. then how can the most likely source of tyranny be allowed to establish statuses for which the right to protect oneself from tyranny is alienated to the government?

If the government removes that right, does it not follow that they take upon themselves the duty to protect those who can no longer protect themselves?

But they do not.

"Law enforcement agencies and personnel have no duty to protect
individuals from the criminal acts of others; instead their duty
is to preserve the peace and arrest law breakers for the protection
of the general public." (Lynch v. NC Dept. Justice)

". . . a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen."--Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181)

If there is no right to self-protect, and no right to be protected, we have created a class of victims.

To illustrate the attitude of the constitution prior to 1913, the Idaho State Constitution, ratified by the State, and part and parcel of its introduction to the Union.

Section 1.Inalienable rights of man. All men are by nature free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property; pursuing happiness and securing safety.

I don't know about you, but it would seem clear that 'enjoying and defending life and liberty' being an inalienable right would seem to indicate that even the government itself cannot limit it.

That's a good thing to ponder when you say 'there ought to be a law'.

The Texas constitution:

Sec. 1. FREEDOM AND SOVEREIGNTY OF STATE. Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States, and the maintenance of our free institutions and the perpetuity of the Union depend upon the preservation of the right of local self-government, unimpaired to all the States.

Sec. 2. INHERENT POLITICAL POWER; REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.

Sec. 23. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.
(amended by Texas's congress in the 1950s from Sec. 23. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State.)

Sec. 29. PROVISIONS OF BILL OF RIGHTS EXCEPTED FROM POWERS OF GOVERNMENT; TO FOREVER REMAIN INVIOLATE. To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this "Bill of Rights" is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate, and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.

I'd say that section invalidates the amendment, does it not?

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

For the greater good part 2

Greetings once again, friends. I don't write oft, and this writing perhaps is more difficult than most. I would not demean the honorable gentlemen of the congress or senate, or those who have been there, in service to our country with rhetoric designed to leave them at odds with the people.

Impugning their honesty would be a crime, and thus, I choose to lavish praise upon them instead. After all, have they not made us safer than we were? Didn't they create myriad laws guarding our children from the most dangerous of deviants? Certainly, that 6% of offenders who reoffend are dangerous, and reason enough for the communual punishment of all the rest. After all, human rights laws would never apply to sex offenders, nor should any civil rights law. This does not diminish your rights in any means, after all, legislation targeted at classes never expands.

Their statements that sex offenders are dangerous, after all, is not to distract you from their actions, nor to place themselves in a better light. It is for your safety that they institute upon the offenders all things which their counselors and treatment providers insist increases the chance for recidivism. After all, if they are homeless, they don't have the materials or means to offend, and instituting registries that punish employers for their employ certainly increases their likelihood for getting a job. And should honest citizens complain about their lack of a job, certainly those offenders could be castigated for their lack of effort in seeking.

After all, our legislators insist that the best way to treat them is to place them in prison, without any further recourse, for treatment only has a 50-70% decrease in incidents, taking it to between 1 and 1.5% of actual reoffense. It's far more economically feasable for them to warehouse them in prisons, at costs twenty to thirty times higher to the state per day, as a month on probation.

After all, reason these honorable senators and congressmen, these are the worst of the worst, and sacrifices must be made to protect the children. If a congressman should be caught in the same problems, it would be obvious that such an honorable congressman would not be like the scum of the streets, and therefore, it must be alcoholism, childhood abuse, and stress that caused it, therefore, it must be acceptable.

We have their assurances, after all, that the Boys Town scandal was no big deal, and that there was no male child prostitution in the congress and white house, regardless of what the then-children may have said.

For these honorable men are here to protect us, to keep us comforted in the night, and guard us in all things, just as they guarded and guided Enron, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. Certainly cost overruns and fraud are the fault of the managers over whom they have had too little regulatory control? After all, there could be no effect from Barney Frank sleeping with Frank Moses, of Fannie Mae.

If the gentlemen of the House and Senate had naught else that they've accomplished, look what they've done for your streets! You've no right to protection by the police, and thus you are so much safer from criminals now that they are working on taking away the right to protect yourselves. After all, muggings and murders dropped so much in Washington D.C. and Chicago and New York after the ban on firearms, didn't they? England is so much safer from hoodlums and ne'er-do-wells after the banning of arms on the island. That skyrocketing murder rate is just because of economic unrest!

No, no man could argue that the government has your best interests at heart. After all, they'd never use the power for arrest without trial, torture, or transport you without trial to a prison far away from your defense or witnesses.

It's all for your own good!
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

The great injustice.

A great injustice has been started in our nation, perhaps one of the worst it has seen. In these times of economic uncertainty and fear, injustice has fertile ground in which to grow, and has been lovingly germinated by falsehood, fear, and political acumen that has less to do with truth than with the accumulation of power.

We've had our injustices in the past, but never have we walked into them so willingly with eyes open, and with hands outstretched to mete out our hatred. Abraham Lincoln spoke glowingly of the necessity that all men be treated equally under the law, and we fought a war to see to it that it be so. We desegregated the schools, and stood out against injustices in the past, from the internment camps for the Japanese Americans, to the lynchings and cross burnings of the KKK.

But we fear to speak against this injustice. We complain when the rule of law in other countries denies people their rights, their liberties, and grinds them into the dust under the uncaring heel of a law... but in this state of powerlessness over the economy, over our own lives, we fail to recognize what we, ourselves are doing, and doing not to other nations, but to ourselves.

We, as a nation, are a whole, and any injury to the parts injures the whole. It matters not if it is a toe that is gangrenous, or a sucking wound of the lung, both can be fatal if untreated. Just so, the festering wounds of injustice are left untreated in this country.

Our country was founded on the simple, and infinitely brilliant thought that all humans must be equal under the law, that the rule of law must levy no heavier upon one person than another, nor could the rule of law single out any person for additional punishment, nor could that rule of law by writ seize any property, from real property such as land, to intangible property such as rights.

We fought a war for this, losing tens of thousands upon our own bloodied fields, and many brothers fought against brother for the cause, so no men would remain slaves, and so the union could remain strong and true in the face of adversity.

It was considered the strongest measure of a republic that the law must apply equally to all, and that even the people had not the right, nor the power to levy the law against any group without equally having it affect themselves, and that even so, they had not the power to become a slave.

But we do have a class of persons whom have no rights, and not just one class. We have a class of persons pushed to the margins of our nation, by deceit, by misleading information, and outright fraud. We talk of liberty, and how it must be for all men, but nobody will speak for those whom they suspect might be guilty of a sex crime.

We refuse to face that we have colonies of persons forced to live under bridges in hurricane zones, where malaria stands as only one of the dangers possible, by the rule of law forced into homelessness and danger. They are held up in the false light of the registry, placed under the microscope, denied work, housing, and opportunity, not entirely for things they have done, but also for things they fear that these persons might do.

We must ask ourselves as a nation, if we can punish, if we can incarcerate, not for crimes, but for the possibility of crimes, if we can make people weak and destroy them not for what they commit, but what they may commit, and arbitrarily change the punishments for things done in the past... what can be done to us today? If we control the lives of others, their protection, their property, are we not their owners? If we indulge in the bitter cup of slavery, are we not turning our back on all that this country stands for? Are we not reverting to barbarism and the rule of the mob enforced by the rule of law?

If we do not come out against this fiercely, and with forthrightness, and bring the light of truth back into the law, we bind ourselves and our children into the same unhappy slavery, where any politician when needing political boosts may change any law, any past offense in a 'regulatory' measure, that of course they snicker behind their hands claiming it is not punitive, even as it limits the activities of everyday life, their avocations and callings, their ability to speak and learn and live.

Should we not hold our nation to a higher standard? Should we not ensure that our politicians are telling us the truth, reading their bills and understanding them, and holding their own group to the truth? Perhaps that is a goal for another, forgotten age... but if it were so, then I pray that this nation awakes from the darkness it has bound itself in, before the shackles are bound more fully onto the people the government itself is supposed to serve.

What can be done to any, can be done to all, and injustice and tyranny anywhere, is a threat to justice and liberty everywhere.

…Bring the doctrine of reconciliation to the touchstone of nature, and then tell me, whether you can hereafter love, honor, and faithfully serve the power that hath carried fire and sword into your land? If you cannot do all these, then are you only deceiving yourselves, and by your delay bringing ruin upon posterity. Your future connection with Britain, whom you can neither love nor honor, will be forced

and unnatural, and being formed only on the plan of present convenience, will in a little time fall into a relapse more wretched than the first. 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 are you not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then are you unworthy 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, Common Sense, 1776
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gaining respect

Glenn Beck, for all the problems I've had with him, has made an impression on me with this one...

And he's right, it does strongly resemble the Wiemar Republic... which ended due to hyperinflation, bringing out a charismatic leader who shoved them down the path of National Socialism, and ended killing millions for 'racial purity', and because they had 'inconvenient political views'.
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