You Won’t Hear This On The Evening News

The average American goes home at night and turns on his television for half an hour to an hour to watch the news. They usually catch a half hour of local news and then another half hour of national news. They believe this makes them current on what is going on in this country and the world. They form opinions based upon the information they are given and they make choices based upon the opinions they form. But what if the information is faulty, or if it is skewed to one side to guide and manipulate your thought process?

Did you know that almost 90% of all the news companies in the country are owned and controlled by six corporations? That’s right, six companies control almost all the news you are being given. These companies are GE, NewsCorp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS. If you could follow the financial maze of who owns those companies I bet you would find that they are all owned, or at least controlling influence is exercised, by a few select individuals. That should worry you.

The First Amendment to our Constitution guarantees us freedom of the press. But if the same people who own, and exercise control over what news stories we hear are the same people who are major contributors and moving forces behind the political parties in this country, THEN we have a big problem. Is it too far a stretch of the imagination to believe that the same people who control the media and the government are not going to manipulate the news you receive so as to guide your opinions on the issues in a manner that is agreeable to their agenda?

Now consider this. In 1917 United States Congressman Oscar Callaway, (a Democrat by the way), stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and said, “In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interest, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press. … They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers.”

Read that underlined sentence as many times as necessary for it to sink in. The editors of these news agencies supervised what news the people were being given in such a manner that was vital to the interests of the purchasers. He said absolutely nothing about providing the American people with the facts or the truth.

You think the news wouldn’t lie, or at the least distort the truth? Think again! For all you Fair and Balanced FOX News fans, I have some bad news for you. Are you aware that a former FOX employee, Jane Akre discovered that cows in Florida were being injected with RBGH, a drug designed to produce more milk, but which also was linked to causing cancer in humans? Are you aware that FOX, under pressure from Monsanto, the manufacturer of RBGH, rewrote her report around 80 times to make it compatible with the companies requests? Are you aware that she refused to air the edited segment? Are you aware that FOX news went to court claiming “… it was their first amendment right to report false information…” And are you aware that the court ruled that the FCC’s position against news distortion is only a ‘policy’ and not a rule or regulation that can be enforced?

Don’t for a minute think that when you listen to your favorite news anchor that you are getting the truth about everything. Sometimes you may while others you may only get snippets of the whole story, and others you get an absolute distortion of the facts. If you want the truth you are going to have to research for it, and that means time and effort. But that is too much like work and people, for the most part, are loathe to expend any energy on things that do not bring them instant gratification.

A perfect example of that is fitness. How many people want to achieve quick results to losing weight and obtaining optimal fitness? Ever wonder why so many exercise machines are sold around New Years, and then are found in garage sales two to three months later? It’s because people want quick results and if they don’t get them they give up. They don’t have the time or patience to make lifestyle changes that will ensure results, they want a pill they can swallow to shed 50 lbs so they can go back to their couches, their TV and their potato chips and beer.

So you be certain that if they won’t make an effort to change their lifestyle to improve their health that they won’t make any kind of effort to find out if the news they are being told is truthful or not. But don’t for a minute go around thinking that you are informed because you watch the news every night.

The news you watch has been hand-picked for your consumption. The anchors are merely actors reading off a script which has been prepared for them. They may not even be aware that they are lying, or at the least misinforming you…but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were aware of it.

If you don’t believe this fact, consider this. Walter Cronkite was a household name when I was growing up. He was the voice everyone trusted to deliver the news to them every evening. Did you know that in 1996 author Carl Jensen wrote a book entitled Censored: The News That Didn’t Make the News-And Why. Why is this of importance? Well Walter Cronkite wrote the introduction for this book. In it Cronkite states, “A handful of us determine what will be on the evening news broadcasts, or, for that matter, in the New York Times or Washington Post or Wall Street Journal…. Indeed it is a handful of us with this awesome power… a strongly editorial power.” He then goes on to say, “…we must decide which news items out of hundreds available we are going to expose that day. And those [news stories] available to us already have been culled and re-culled by persons far outside our control .”

You are being told exactly what the owners of the news media want you to be told and nothing more. The truth does not even come into play here. The news you get is filled with half truths, lies, and omissions. Why do I say omissions? Well if they don’t report on something, then how can you be aware of its existence?

Did you know that according to some, at a Bilderberg Conference in Baden Baden Germany David Rockefeller said the following, “We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”

Now this can’t be verified as the Bilderberg meetings are exclusive and confidential, but the comments were quoted in many French publications and in Programming, Pitfalls and Puppy-Dog Tales (1993) by Gyeorgos C. Hatonn, p. 65. I will leave it up to you to believe it or reject it. I myself tend to believe that he said it.

However, this is fact. In 1971 Congressman John Rarick said, “The Council on Foreign Relations is “the establishment.” Not only does it have influence and power in key decision-making positions at the highest levels of government to apply pressure from above, but it also announces and uses individuals and groups to bring pressure from below, to justify the high level decisions for converting the U.S. from a sovereign Constitutional Republic into a servile member state of a one-world dictatorship.” And the CFR, if you weren’t aware, has very close ties to the Rockefeller family. In fact they run a think tank named the David Rockefeller Studies Program.

If one were to look at a roster of current and past CFR members one would find that many of the news anchors and the owners as well of the various news agencies have all been, or currently are members of the CFR. Are you that naive to believe that if they are members of a group like the CFR they don’t share common beliefs and would use their position to spread those beliefs, or at least manipulate the news in a manner which led us to accept the agenda they all followed?

And as I said earlier, if the same people who control our government also control the news then we have a big problem. Not only are members of the news media members of the CFR, but government officials in key locations…all the way up to presidents. In fact, if you browse through the roster of CFR members you will find that they are in key positions everywhere that your life, or your thoughts can be influenced; politics, the media, and academia.

My God people, if you were capable of any level of critical thinking all kinds of alarms should be going off in your heads by now!

One last thing and let me begin by asking you a simple question. How do you typically feel after watching the evening news? Are you angry, possibly a bit fearful? I don’t find it hard to believe that after an hour of the news each evening that anyone would not be fearful about something. The news is all about disaster, terrorist threats, gun violence, or some other thing to keep us in a perpetual state of fear.

Did you know that fear is a great manipulator? It can be used to cause people to accept things that they might otherwise not accept were they not afraid of something. Do you think that any of us would have tolerated the Patriot Act, TSA searches and the growth of Homeland Security had 9/11 not happened?

I absolutely love the movie V For Vendetta, particularly the scene were V takes over the broadcasting station and airs his speech. I have been criticized for using it in my articles as it is only fiction. But fiction often mirrors the truth, so I will use it again here. V states, “Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you…”

Films often portray snippets of truth in them, even though they are fiction. I find it amusing, at best, that people will criticize me for using a quote from a film like V For Vendetta, yet they will watch a film like Lincoln, or the new Russell Crowe version of Noah and believe them as the absolute truth. It simply amazes me how people readily accept some things as gospel truth simply because the film is based upon a historical event, while choosing to completely disregard comments made, or events portrayed, in a fiction film simply because it IS labeled as fiction. Truth is truth and it is up to you to use your logic and reasoning powers to discern it.

Well, since you are either going to believe me or you aren’t, I’ll leave you with one last film quote. This one comes from Live Free or Die Hard. Matt Farrell says to John McClane, “The news is completely manipulated. Everything you hear, every single day is designed by corporate media to one thing only. To keep you living in fear.”

Well, it has been said that the truth shall set you free. If you want to be free of all this fear you live under than the only reasonable way to achieve that is to seek the truth. And you won’t get that on the nightly news.

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There Is No Middle Ground (My Thoughts This ISIS Mess)

There has been a lot of talk lately about this problem in Iraq with the militant group ISIS and what to do about it. Sure what is happening over there is horrific and disgusting, but is it the responsibility of the United States to do something about it? Far too many Americans simply watch a four or five minute news story about what is happening over there and have no real understanding of who Isis is and what they are doing. Yet these people either support or oppose our government getting involved based upon the barest amount of information.

ISIS, otherwise known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is a self proclaimed caliphate which claims religious authority over all Muslims in the region. Some of you do not understand what a caliphate is, and therefore don’t understand what Isis is trying to accomplish. A caliphate is, according to their belief, is similar to the pope, a direct successor to Muhammad. Therefore they claim the authority to direct all religious activity in the region. This includes their requiring that all sects adhere to the dictates they impose. If anyone opposes them, or differs in their beliefs, they can, and routinely are, executed.

What Isis is trying to do is to establish control over all Muslims in the Middle East with their version of Islam as the foundation for their control. The problem is that there are differing sects in the region whose beliefs, although rooted in the teachings of Muhammad, differ from theirs. So they are either told to convert or die. For Isis there is no tolerance for religious freedom like we have here. To put it in a way you might better understand, it would be like the Pope declaring religious authority over all Christians and anyone who opposes the Pope, or refuses to convert to Catholicism is condemned to death.

Aside from the moral outrage many feel towards the treatment of those who oppose ISIS, you have to understand that that entire region has always been a hotbed for varying religious factions. Wars and sectarian violence are as much a part of their history, and their nature, as football and Christmas is to ours. Most Americans simply cannot fathom the level of belief these people have and the fanaticism that goes along with it. We are naive, at best, to believe that anything we might say or do is going to change that. This goes as much for the current problem with Isis as it does for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

For many of these people their religious beliefs are the underlying, or driving force in their lives. Their beliefs and centuries of fighting are not going to be swayed by U.S. diplomacy or the threat of U.S. military strikes. In fact, all our meddling in the region has only achieved in the region is causing them to hate us even more. To them we are infidels and they despise us for our intervention in what they believe to be a religious war.

This anger and animosity dates way back to ancient history. During the Ottoman Empire Sultan Selim the Grim declared “…the killing of one Shiite had as much otherworldly reward as killing 70 Christians…” To those who profess belief in strict adherence to Islamic law, those who belong to different sects are just a step above Christians and must either submit to their views or be exterminated. You cannot fight that kind of ingrained hatred and animosity.

I admit that the world is a far more complicated and intertwined place than it was centuries ago when our nation was founded, but our Founders were firm in their belief that we not become involved in the intrigue of foreign disputes.

In his first Inaugural Address, Thomas Jefferson outlined our nation’s foreign policy by saying, “Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none…”

Then in an 1821 speech to the House of Representatives, soon to be president John Quincy Adams declared, “America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she 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.”

Yeah that’s long, but it is crucial that we understand that our nation’s earliest statesmen did not believe in becoming entangled in the intrigue and wars of other countries. Yet this current crisis with ISIS, and the recent past terrorist attacks against America and her interests are not the first time we have had to deal with problems in that region of the world.

In 1786, after the U.S. had been an independent nation for awhile, the U.S. had to deal with pirates in the region now under discussion. America was paying $80,000 annually for them to leave us and our interests alone. At that time $80,000 was an astronomical amount. I could only find inflation calculators that go back to 1914, but even going back that far, $80,000 is equivalent to over a million dollars today. You can imagine how much more it was back in the late 1800′s.

After Algerians captured two ships and demanded an additional $60,000 ransom President Jefferson decided enough was enough. He felt it better to raise funds to build ships to fight the Barbary Pirates than to pay them off in bribes every year.

What differed then is that Jefferson went in with a Naval force and kicked their ass sufficiently so that they knew better than to mess with the U.S. or our interests. Now look at us. We meddle internally in the affairs of these countries, we support Israel, their sworn enemy, and we wonder why they hate us the way they do. Not only that, after we go into a country, no matter how justified, or not, our actions may be, we try to force them to install a democratic form of government, while American profiteers grow rich off the contracts to rebuild the country we just finished demolishing.

Yes, Isis is a threat to the region. But a few isolated military strikes here and there are not going to stop them. We could send troops over there again and kill enough of them to settle things down for awhile, but that would only stop this type sectarian violence for awhile until it sprung up again later.

As a friend of mine stated the other day, there are but two choices we have. We can either stay out of what is happening over there or we can go in and do what needs to be done to make sure this type thing never happens again. Anything else is a half measure that will not be effective.

The problem is that America has this guilt complex that makes us believe that we need to be the defender of what is right, making us the ones to go in and settle every little squabble that arises internally in the affairs of other nations. Does anyone remember Bosnia and Croatia?

Our Founders believed that was not our responsibility. Yet it seems that is what our leadership, the UN and a vast number of America believes, that we are the police force of the world who ensures that all the world enjoys the freedom our Founding Documents outline for us.

The problem is that most Americans don’t realize the extent of the animosity in the region and that our small military incursions into these countries are not going to erase centuries of hatred. Aside from complete and total genocide nothing is going to put an end to the violence in that region. Anything else will be futile. And I don’t think America has the stomach for that. Beside the backlash from the international community would stop that before it ever happened. All one has to do is go back to the Viet Nam war to confirm that. We went in and then would not allow the military to end the war by doing what needed to be done. Far too many U.S. servicemen died in that war because the country, and the government didn’t have the stomach to do what is needed to put a quick end to that war.

But for some Americans to say that we are the only ones capable of stopping a group such as Isis is a lie. China has far more military forces than we do. In fact they outnumber us 2:1 in total members of their armed forces. They could easily go into Iraq and put an end to this uprising should they choose to do so. And the thing is they could probably do it because they would not be afraid to eliminate the problem in its entirety.

But then our government would cry foreign intervention by China when that is exactly what we would be doing should we become entangled in this mess. Besides, we don’t dare let the Chinese get involved as it might give them control of the oil in the region.

All I’m saying by this is that nothing we can do is going to change anything over there. We don’t have the stomach to do what is required to put an end to this type sectarian violence once and for all, and anything else we do will never put an end to it.

But for Americans to say we must do something, then pull back when what we do crosses the line and becomes too horrific for our own sense of morality, is a waste of our time and any lives that may be lost by U.S. Servicemen who are forced once again to go off and fight in a land whose history is filled with such uprisings and wars.

I have always believed that Islam is a threat to the U.S. Sure there are moderates who only want to live in peace, but the moderates never end up becoming a major political force. It is always the fanatics who gain control, and their belief system is incompatible with ours. We must either come to terms with that and do what needs to be done to put an end to the threat radical Islam brings to the region, and the United States, or stay out of it entirely. On this there is no middle ground.

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Has The Gangrene Spread?

In 1831 the French government sent Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont to the United States to study our prison system. But the underlying reason for their visit was to study our country as a whole, particularly with respect towards our young republic and our democracy. The result of their 271 day visit is Democracy in America with Volume 1 being written in 1835 and Volume 2 being completed five years later.

I recently purchased both volumes in one single paperback book. For the longest time it sat on my shelf because I was apprehensive about starting the daunting task of reading a book of nearly 1,000 pages. Finally I mustered up the courage to open it up and begin reading. I was pleasantly surprised that the reading was not as dry as I had expected. In fact de Tocqueville writes in a style that is quite enjoyable to read. My only concern is that I do not have enough highlighters as I have been highlighting passages left and right as I make my way through it.

However, my purpose in writing this is not to review de Tocqueville’s masterpiece on American Democracy. Instead I would like to comment on one thing he said in Chapter 2 of the first Volume. De Tocqueville wrote, “A MAN has come into the world; his early years are spent without notice in the pleasures and activities of childhood. As he grows up, the world receives him when his manhood begins, and he enters into contact with his fellows. He is then studied for the first time, and it is imagined that the germ of the vices and the virtues of his maturer years is then formed.

This, if I am not mistaken, is a great error. We must begin higher up; we must watch the infant in his mother’s arms; we must see the first images which the external world casts upon the dark mirror of his mind, the first occurrences that he witnesses, we must hear the first words which awaken the sleeping powers of thought, and stand by his earliest efforts if we would understand the prejudices, the habits, and the passions which will rule his life. The entire man is, so to speak, to be seen in the cradle of the child.

The growth of nations presents something analogous to this; they all bear some marks of their origin. The circumstances that accompanied their birth and contributed to their development affected the whole term of their being.

If we were able to go back to the elements of states and to examine the oldest monuments of their history, I doubt not that we should discover in them the primal cause of the prejudices, the habits, the ruling passions, and, in short, all that constitutes what is called the national character.”

The National Character…hmmm, what could he possibly mean by that? According to National Character is defined as, “…the enduring personality characteristics and unique life styles found among the populations of particular national states.”

I suppose, using that definition, that the national character of any nation is subject to change as the personality characteristics of the people inhabiting that nation are subject to change over a course of time. But if you want to truly understand how our system of government was supposed to function, and why it isn’t working so well today, then you MUST go back and study the mindset of the people who created it. That is why that quote by de Tocqueville struck me with such force, as his analogy of understanding a person and how you must go back to its infancy, and not its adulthood.

Although there are some Americans who are able to do this, most people examine their government, and how it functions, from the framework of their own short lifetime. For instance, if you were born in 1970 then you examine how your government has changed since 1970 and you believe that for all to be well in America is for our government to return to functioning the way it functioned back in 1970. But, as de Tocqueville correctly asserted, that is a great error. To understand how our system of government is supposed to function you must go back prior to its creation and study the men who established it.

Unfortunately, for most people anyway, that is simply too much work. Most people’s lives are too busy, filled with the things they consider important, to spend reading musty old books about men like Jefferson, Madison, Paine, Adams, and Washington.

That may be their viewpoint, but our nation’s Founders felt differently. They felt that an informed and educated citizenry was the only safeguard for a free republic and the only defense against tyranny and the loss of liberty. That is why, in 1823, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “It is the duty of every good citizen to use all the opportunities which occur to him, for preserving the documents relating to the history of our country.”

That is why Noah Webster said, “Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.”

Our country is unique. It is rare that a people inhabiting a land get to create their own system of government. As de Tocqueville concludes at the end of Chapter 1, “In that land the great experiment of the attempt to construct society upon a new basis was to be made by civilized man; and it was there, for the first time, that theories hitherto unknown, or deemed impracticable, were to exhibit a spectacle for which the world had not been prepared by the history of the past.”

It saddens me to watch as the system of government established by our Founders is perverted and powers are usurped by our representatives that it was never intended they possess. It angers me to no end that people are so readily willing to give up their rights without even understanding why our Founders felt it so vitally important to preserve them.

I wonder, instead of de Tocqueville visiting the America’s in 1831 he had come in 2014, what would his thoughts have been on the National Character of the people who inhabit this country? Would he have found them to be a people filled with the love of liberty, full of industry and innovation, or would he have found a nation of people who are slothful, readily willing to surrender their rights, and only concerned with their own self gratification?

A quote from Thomas Jefferson and I’ll let you return to your lives. In a letter to Spencer Roane, written in 1821, Jefferson states, “Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so far we must expect institutions to bend to them. But time produces also corruption of principles, and against this it is the duty of good citizens to be ever on the watch, and if the gangrene is to prevail at last, let the day be kept off as long as possible.”

Has that day come when the gangrene has spread so extensively that our republic cannot be saved? I suppose only history will be able to tell. From my perspective until the people, in far greater numbers than I currently see, begin to care about how our system was supposed to function it is a lost cause.

When I am told by people that they don’t have time, but then I hear them talk about how they watched some sporting event over the weekend, or went out and got drunk, I only see that they have time, but their priorities are out of whack. When I hear people more concerned with the fate of a missing Malaysian airliner than the fact that their government is spying on them I know that their priorities are out of whack.

Mark my words, there will come a day when people will wished they had made the time to learn about and stand up for their rights and their liberty with the same courage and fortitude as the men who established this country 238 years ago. But when that time comes it will be too late, the land of the free and the home of the brave will no longer exist.

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The Clock Is Ticking

Liberty once lost is lost forever. When the People once surrender their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it…

John Adams to Abigail Adams – July 7, 1775

I don’t know what it is about me that makes me think so much about what is going on in this country while others are perfectly content to go about their lives oblivious to the obvious slide towards tyranny that we are taking. Whatever it is I simply cannot fathom how anyone could think that anything they do in their daily lives could take precedence over their liberty. To me, that is simply mind boggling.

Not only are people seemingly ready to surrender their God-given rights to anyone in a position of authority, they insult and denigrate those who speak out about the ever increasing police state with its associated loss of individual liberty.

I know that history is a boring subject for most, but if you look back over the various civilizations and empires which have risen and fallen, you will see that those based upon liberty and freedom have all eventually fallen, to be replaced by one in which the people had very little freedom at all. That is why I began this article with that John Adams quote. But to phrase it in a way you might understand, liberty is like virginity, once you lose it you can’t get it back.

People don’t seem to want to look at trends or understand the big picture. The average person has a very short attention span and an even shorter memory. A candidate for political office may make a statement during his/her campaign, then once elected the people forget they ever said it, and if it is brought up later they simply ignore it, never holding these candidates accountable for the things they said whilst campaigning. If they can’t remember, or don’t care, what a candidate said two, three years ago, how can I honestly expect them to care the things someone who has been dead for hundreds of years said?

Yet history unfolds and does, no matter how much we care to admit it, repeat itself. People may think that we are different, that America is immune to the same pitfalls that have plagued other civilizations, but we are not! We can, and will fall, unless people begin to pull their heads out of their asses in record numbers and start truly caring about what is happening in their country.

If people could see through my eyes, the things that I see, they would be frightened beyond words. They would also wonder why others weren’t seeing the same things they did. Just because we have an elective democracy in which we get to go to the polls and vote does not make us immune from the evils of tyranny and oppression. In case you didn’t know, Hitler was elected democratically, and everything that happened under his rule was done according to laws enacted by his government. If it happened once on such a large scale it can happen again…HERE if we aren’t careful.

People in this country are so fragmented and divided along various issues that they refuse to see the trend that is happening. They say it’s okay to ban certain rights of certain groups because these laws do not affect them.

Yet they really need to read something a German pastor, Martin Niemöller, said about the Nazi’s rise to power, “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Even though you may not chose to exercise these rights that I so often speak of, they are still yours to exercise should you chose to, and no law passed by government may infringe upon them. I don’t care what they tell you, that it is the interest of national security, or simply in the best interests of the people, the government cannot enact a law which deprives a single individual of their unalienable rights.

In 1967 the Supreme Court heard the case of U.S. v Robel, wherein it was ruled that the government cannot deprive the people of their rights, even in the name of national security. In his ruling, Justice Earl Warren stated, “It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of the liberties…which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.”

Yet how many rights have we seen which have been taken from us, or at least severely diminished because either the government told us it was in our best interests, or the people, in some emotional fervor demanded that certain rights be curtailed or limited?

How many rules and regulations must we abide by, under penalty of prosecution, must we live under before people begin to realize that we are on a steady course which will eventually see ALL our rights and liberty gone…forever?

In his book Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville warned us about when the government creates all these rules and regulations which control every aspect of our lives. De Tocqueville writes, “Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannise but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

People seem to find no problem in our government enacting all these laws which control the smallest aspect of our daily lives. But that is not what true liberty is. True liberty is the freedom to do as we please as long as our actions do not violate the individual rights of others.

In his Second Treatise on Civil Governments, John Locke states “This freedom from absolute, arbitrary power, is so necessary to, and closely joined with a man’s preservation, that he cannot part with it, but by what forfeits his preservation and life together: for a man, not having the power of his own life, cannot, by compact, or his own consent, enslave himself to any one, nor put himself under the absolute, arbitrary power of another, to take away his life, when he pleases. No body can give more power than he has himself; and he that cannot take away his own life, cannot give another power over it.”

Yet today we see entire governmental agencies devoted to enforcing these rules and regulations upon us, with the power to fine, imprison, and kill us should we choose to resist. Even local law enforcement agencies have become almost fully militarized and enforce the law with an iron will, regardless of whether the laws are just or not.

If that is not the perfect example of living in a police state I don’t know what is.

Yet people such as myself are considered by many to be threats to our national security and threats to the American way of life. Yet it is people such as myself who are, in fact, the only ones standing up for the true American way of life. It is those who blindly accept these losses of liberty, those who meekly obey every rule and regulation which controls their lives who are the true threat to the American way of life.

Going back to Locke’s treatise for a moment, he later writes, “…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, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.”

That is the guiding principle which led our nation’s Founders to fight back against the tyranny of the King of England and seek their own independence. It is that spirit which has, for the most part, long ago died in the hearts and minds of many of my countrymen.

In his Liberty Letters, Samuel Adams wrote, “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 be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”

The clock is ticking people. With each day that passes our government grows stronger while we lose more of our freedoms. Whether you like it or not, if America falls into tyranny the fault will lie with the people who became so ignorant and so complacent that they allowed their government to deprive them of their freedom.

So please, wake up before it’s too late…if it isn’t too late already.

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Must I Keep Repeating Myself?

The other day America celebrated the Fourth of July, the day in which we celebrate our declaring ourselves independent from Britain. Throughout the day I could smell barbecues and hear people having parties in their yards. Then during the evening, as I lay in bed, I could hear the sound, and see the colored flashes of lights from the people setting off fireworks. As I lay there I wondered to myself do these people really understand what this day signifies, and if so, how can they be celebrating it?

Awhile back someone told me that I’m always complaining about how screwed up our country is but I don’t give any specifics. I don’t, really? I wonder, has this person read all my articles or are they just saying that because of what they hear me say? I’m not saying that there aren’t other places that are better off than America, and I’m not saying there aren’t. As a friend of mine said on Facebook yesterday, America is probably still the healthiest patient on the cancer ward. Yeah, we may be better off than many other places, but we are far from healthy.
So you want specifics? Well let me get specific.

First, let me begin by asking a question. Do you even know what our Constitution is? I don’t want some generic answer filled with generalities, you want specifics from me, I’m asking for specifics from you. What is our Constitution?

Can’t answer? Don’t know? Didn’t think so.

Go to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary and you will see that the root word, constitute, means: to make up or form something; to establish or create. So a constitution is the act of creating a government. As Thomas Paine wrote in his booklet The Rights of Man, “A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal, but a real existence; and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting its government. It is the body of elements, to which you can refer, and quote article by article; and which contains the principles on which the government shall be established, the manner in which it shall be organised, the powers it shall have, the mode of elections, the duration of Parliaments, or by what other name such bodies may be called; the powers which the executive part of the government shall have; and in fine, everything that relates to the complete organisation of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound.”

By creating a body, a government, this is to represent the people, we ceded certain powers we held under natural law to the government to act on our behalf…for certain specific purposes. In that way it is much like a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document authorizing someone else to act on your behalf in legal matters. Powers of attorney can be general, that is unlimited, or specific, granted for certain purposes. In our discussion if our Constitution were a power of attorney it would be specific, as the Constitution clearly spells out what powers this government shall wield.

I honestly don’t care what you may think or feel, as we are not dealing with feelings, we are dealing with facts; our government cannot enact laws that a majority of the people support, or that they feel are in our best interest, when those laws exceed the powers granted them by the Constitution. They simply cannot legally do so. If our government does so it has violated the law and has become criminal in its actions. It is that simple.

In Federalist 78 Alexander Hamilton said as much, “There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

So it does not matter if the government feels that what it is doing is in our best interests, or if it acts upon the sentiments of a majority of the people, if its acts violate the Constitution, they are invalid…null and void, and we are not bound to obey.

You may not like that, but that’s the way it is. In his farewell address George Washington told us that we can modify the Constitution, but for our government to usurp powers was the means by which free governments are destroyed, “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.”

So let’s take a moment to sum up what I have just said. Our government was created by an act of the people; a constitution was written which described how it was to be organized and the powers it would have. It was decided that when a government acted outside the powers granted it by the people it was usurpation, and its acts were to be considered null and void. Sound about right? Good, let’s continue.

I suppose then the next logical step in this discussion is to define what powers we granted our government to wield on our behalf. If you at least understand that the power of making law falls within the purview of the legislature, the Congress, then at least you are slightly ahead of the game. If not, then you just learned something. The powers granted Congress are found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, and they are as follows:

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

That’s it, the whole ball of wax. If a power is not named in that list, our government does not have it. And you can cry and moan that you think government should have that power, it does not matter, until our Constitution is AMENDED to grant government that power, it cannot legally exercise it.

Let’s take a look at some of those powers.

One of the most widely argued clause of the Constitution is the second power granted Congress, the power to regulate commerce. Some argue that the phrase regulate commerce merely means to ‘make regular’ while others say it grants the government a whole slew of powers to govern over the production, sale, and consumption of goods. Many of these questions have been settled by the Supreme Court, but that alone does not answer the question as to what regulate commerce actually means. This is because there is a technical difference between how the Courts interpret, or construct when forming their rulings.

Keith Whittington is a professor of politics at Princeton University and he said the following about the difference between interpretation and construction, “Constitutional interpretation is essentially legalistic, but constitutional construction is essentially political. Its precondition is that parts of the constitutional text have no discoverable meaning. Although the clauses and structures that make up the text cannot be simply empty of meaning, for they are clearly recognizable as language, the meaning that they convey may be so broad and underdetermined as to be incapable of faithful reduction to legal rules…”

What he is saying is that the Court, when a clear definition of a word, or phrase, does not exist, that they have to find how it was used in context and then, as then as he later says, make “…an act of creativity beyond interpretation…” This is construction. So when the Court hands down a ruling it often is based upon the use of their interpretation of what the words and phrases mean, and may, in all reality, be far different from what the Founders intended. We may never know, but if their rulings are faulty, then laws such as those which require us to buy health insurance, Obamacare, may be unconstitutional.

It is my belief, based upon what I have read, that the government may enact laws which regulate the health care industry so as to ensure that people have access to affordable health care and health care insurance. But it MAY NOT force us to purchase any product. That is not part of a free market society where the people are free to spend their money as they please. On the other hand, if a person chooses NOT to purchase health insurance that person cannot require that others subsidize their health care should they become ill. It is a choice each individual must make, and then live with the consequences of their choice. But as for the government requiring us to purchase anything, I believe that to be an usurpation of powers not granted them and therefore unconstitutional.

The next clause I would like to discuss it the power to coin money. This act was granted government because each of the thirteen states had their own currency which made it difficult to use in the other states. Therefore it was agreed that a common currency was needed and that the power to establish that currency, and set its value was needed by the federal government.

The power to coin money was therefore a delegated power which we the people granted our government. There is a legal maxim which states, delegata potestas non potest delegari, which means no delegated powers can be further delegated. But the Necessary and Proper Clause states that Congress shall have all powers required to carry into execution the specific powers granted it by the Constitution.

In 1792 Congress passed the Coinage Act which established the U.S. Mint. Under this act coins were to be produced and their values set according to certain standards that would be uniform throughout the nation. This was a necessary and proper act in that without establishing a mint Congress could not coin money, nor regulate its value.

But then in 1913 something happened. Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act. Now, if you look at a U.S. dollar it does not say U.S. dollar, it says Federal Reserve Note. To understand why this is so important you must understand the definitions for lawful money and legal tender. Are they not one and the same you ask? No, they are not.

Legal tender is a phrase found in the Federal Reserve Act itself. According to the Federal Reserve Act, legal tender “…shall be obligations of the United States and shall be receivable by all national and member banks and Federal reserve banks and for all taxes, customs, and other public dues. They shall be redeemed in lawful money on demand at the Treasury Department of the United States, in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, or at any Federal Reserve bank.”

So, if you could take a legal tender $10 bill to a federal reserve bank and exchange it for lawful money, then there must be a difference. You used to be able to take a federal reserve note into a federal reserve bank and exchange it for an equivalent amount of gold or silver. But in 1933 Congress again changed the law so that all U.S. coins AND currency constituted legal tender, making Federal Reserve Notes the ONLY currency we can use to purchase items and to pay debts.

So what happened is that Congress delegated the power to coin money to a private consortium of banks, who then print our money. Whether they do so for profit or not is at this point irrelevant. Congress delegated a power to a private interest with the sole power of printing, and regulating the value of our currency. The Federal Reserve IS a private interest, it’s name may include the word federal, but other than the Board of Governors appointed by the President, it has no ties to our government. They are not audited, and are under minimal, in no, Congressional oversight.

Again, whether it was right to give a private banking consortium control of our currency to keep it stable is irrelevant. The question is was it legal for Congress to do so? If we delegated the power to Congress, they cannot delegate it to someone else and this is what they did by passing the Federal Reserve Act.

Then there is the hot topic of immigration. Congress does have the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization, which they have and can be found in our immigration laws. Yet the presidents, whose job it is to see that our laws be enacted and enforced, have failed to do so in regards to immigration. Now they cry that we must change the laws and pardon all those who have come here illegally just because they are already here. In 1986 we were told the same thing when President Reagan signed the Simpson Mazzoli Act, otherwise known as IRCA. We were promised that our immigration laws would be strengthened so as not to require any more amnesties. Yet here we are again, our government not overstepping its power, but failing to exercise it.

I’m sorry if I sound insensitive, but the law is the law. If you enter this country illegally you are a criminal and deserve whatever punishment the law mandates.

And for the last of the specific powers granted our government, I’d like to discuss the power to declare war. This power was delegated to Congress, not to the president. In 1793 George Washington declared, “The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.”

Yet again we see Congress delegating powers to the president. In 1973 Congress passed the War Powers Act, which gave the president the power to send troops into battle in case of a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States, its territories, its possessions, or its armed forces. All the president had to do is to notify Congress within 48 hours. It does however limit the time these forces can be deployed to sixty days with a thirty day withdrawal period unless Congress formally declares war. How long have we been in Iraq, Afghanistan?

In a message to Congress in 1805, Thomas Jefferson said, “Considering that Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war, I have thought it my duty to await their authority for using force in any degree which could be avoided.”

How often do we now hear of our government sending troops to a particular region of the world to settle disputes and maintain peace?
In a Fourth of July Address, President John Quincy Adams stated, “America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart… But she 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.”

It is not our purpose, nor is it among the powers granted our government, to police the world, to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations, to instill democracy for all. The sole purpose for our military, and the power to declare war, is to protect our nation from external attack. To put it in terms everyone can understand, if someone messes with us we go in, kick their ass, and leave them to lick their wounds. We do not go in and try to force them to accept our way of life, we merely let them know that we are not to be trifled with. And this is only when Congress authorizes it. The president has no power to send troops abroad to fight in whatever battles he deems necessary to protect American interests.

As Joseph Story said in his Commentaries on the Constitution, “War, in its best estate, never fails to impose upon the people the most burthensome taxes, and personal sufferings. It is always injurious, and sometimes subversive of the great commercial, manufacturing, and agricultural interests. Nay, it always involves the prosperity, and not unfrequently the existence, of a nation. It is sometimes fatal to public liberty itself, by introducing a spirit of military glory, which is ready to follow, wherever a successful commander will lead; and in a republic, whose institutions are essentially founded on the basis of peace, there is infinite danger, that war will find it both imbecile in defence, and eager for contest. Indeed, the history of republics has but too fatally proved, that they are too ambitious of military fame and conquest, and too easily devoted to the views of demagogues, who flatter their pride, and betray their interests. It should therefore be difficult in a republic to declare war; but not to make peace.”

Those are just a few examples of the specific powers granted by us to our government which have been violated. What about the powers our government wields that are not even mentioned? Among them I would like to address but one, the power to subsidize. How much money is spent annually by our government to fund people who are needy? I can already hear the bleeding hearts saying that I am cruel and insensitive. No, I am merely speaking from a legal perspective. Is our government authorized to take from those that have and give to those who are in need?

In a speech before the House of Representatives in 1794 James Madison clearly stated that “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” Throughout our nation’s history numerous presidents have vetoed acts passed by Congress which would take money from the federal treasury and give it to those in need, stating that they did not find it amongst the powers granted government to do so.

Yet now I could not even begin to list all the money that is spent of federal aid for some reason or another. On top of that, what about all the money we hand out in the form of foreign aid? Where is it stated that our government can donate millions of tax dollars to other countries? If you can find where in the Constitution that it specifically says our government can give money to foreign nations I will personally give you $100!

These are just the powers that our government has abused that are among those specifically enumerated within the Constitution. What about our rights?

As our Constitution was being argued amongst the states there were certain among them who would not agree to its ratification unless a Bill of Rights were included to protect certain rights of the people. The government has enacted so many laws which violate our rights that I cannot even begin to list them all.

The simple truth is that our rights are beyond the scope of powers granted government. In Miranda v. Arizona the court ruled, “Where rights are secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.”

And yes, it is that simple. If there is a right listed in the first ten amendments to the Constitution then our government has no authority to enact laws which violate them. It does not matter that we are in a war on terror, or that guns are used to commit crimes. Punish those who violate the rights of others, but leave the rights of average people alone.

Yet now we have laws declaring what we can and cannot say violating our freedom of speech. We have laws which say what type arms we may not own in violation of the Second Amendment. We are spied upon, our records searched, our persons and belongings searched in the name of fighting terror, all in violation of the Fourth Amendment. I could go on, but you may as well read some of my previous articles where I have gone into greater detail. The point is that our government was established to preserve and protect our rights, not limit them.

Yet people celebrate Independence Day as if nothing is wrong in this country when the truth is we live under a far more tyrannical and oppressive government than did our Founders when they wrote the Declaration of Independence.

I know this has been a long winded rant, but it needed to be said. I have no illusions that it will make any difference in the grand scheme of things. In fact I’m certain that those who need to read it most won’t. But it gets it off my chest, and for me, these days that is enough.
So go on, celebrate your Fourth of July as if America were still the nation which our founders bequeathed to us. Just expect me to join in with you because I know the truth.

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It’s Time to Put on Your Thinking Caps

Can I ask a favor? Could you turn off your TV’s, your cell phones and put on your thinking caps for just a few minutes and ponder the things I am about to say. Not that what I am about to say/ask will make a whole lot of difference in the end, but it will at least cause you to think about something that has been floating around in the back of my mind for quite some time now. Honestly, it won’t take long and it WON’T hurt.

First of all I want you to think about our Constitution; what is it and from where does it derive it’s authority?

Is it merely a list of suggestions, a guideline if you will, which our government may follow; is it something general, with the so-called general welfare clause allowing our government to take whatever measures it deems necessary to maintaining peace and prosperity for the United States?

Or is it the law by which all government officials are bound, (by oath I might add) to obey?

Next, and this is more important, from whence does the power granted by the Constitution to the government originate? Is it from the state legislatures which ratified it, or is it a general grant of power by the people?

The Declaration of Independence declares, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …” By governed it means all those to whom the laws government enacts apply to.

Abraham Lincoln goes even further. In his first inaugural address he declares, “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it.” Lincoln continues by saying, “Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.”

That in itself is strikingly similar to what the Declaration of Independence also states, ” That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

But neither actually tell us who it was that originally granted our federal government the powers it has, be it the people or their representatives in the state legislatures acting on their behalf.

So if you’ll be so kind as to allow me to pose a hypothetical scenario, I’d like you to consider it from a strictly legal point of view. That means put your emotions and personal opinions aside and just imagine that why I am saying might happen.

If the Constitution was agreed to by the states then later in time certain states decided that this federal government no longer served its purpose of establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, then could any of these states withdraw from the Union because it no longer served the purpose for which it was established?

It’s funny, because on Independence Day, AFTER giving the above statement in his inaugural address, president Abraham Lincoln made the following statement, “The States have their status in the Union, and they have no other legal status. If they break from this they can only do so against law and by revolution.”

Really? Well in the Declaration of Independence I clearly read that “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

So, going as far back as 1776 the original thirteen colonies considered themselves as states, and it was either by them, or an act of the people that our Constitution came into existence, (creating the federal government), 13 years later. So the people, and the states came first, THEN came the federal government. That solves the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg.

So, getting back to my hypothetical scenario, if either the states, or a majority of the people, all come to the conclusion that the federal government isn’t doing the job it was created to do, can they either withdraw from the Union, or, go even further, and dismantle the federal government which they created?

The Declaration of Independence clearly states that people have the right to alter or abolish it.

So, hypothetically, say that it did happen, that the states, and the people, all agreed that the federal government no longer served its intended purpose and decided to abolish it. What do you think would happen?

Do you honestly believe that our federal government would say, “Well, if that’s your decision it has been nice working for you. We will just close up shop and go home.”?

The whole concept of withdrawing from the Union didn’t go over so well in 1860…did it? There was this little thing called the Civil War when the government, (not the Northern States), took the nation to war to force the South to remain in the Union…at a cost of over 600,000 lives I might add. And since then the government has grown much bigger, and much more powerful. So, do you think they would allow the states, or the people, to simply shut them down because they weren’t doing the job they were created to do?

If your answer is no, then you may want to ask yourself if you truly live in the land of the free and if your government may not be tyrannical. After all, it was created to represent the people. If the people decide they no longer need it and the government, by use of force, says YES YOU DO, then you may just live under tyranny and oppression.

You can take off your thinking caps now and get back to regularly scheduled programming.

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Choose Well Grasshopper

On the opening day of the Constitutional Convention Virginia Governor Edmund Randolph raised four concerns which would guide the delegates in their search for ways to amend the Articles of Confederation, or replace it with something which they felt would better suit the needs of a growing nation. These four points were: what properties a government should possess, what the defects of the current confederation were, what dangers the United States currently faced, and what measures might remedy the abovementioned situations.

James Madison, who was a driving force in the formation of the convention, took extensive notes on the proceedings which are a wealth of information for those seeking to understand both the difficulties faced by the delegates, and the various ideas suggested by the various factions of the delegation.

However, Madison was not alone when it came to the taking of notes of the proceedings. Physician/Surgeon James McHenry also recorded notes on the proceedings. Madison skipped lightly over the dangers facing America, but McHenry noted that during his speech Governor Randolph said, “Our chief danger arises from the democratic parts of our constitutions…None of the constitutions have provided sufficient checks against the democracy.”

Later that year, in Federalist No. 10, Madison would write, “Hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

I know that this information probably bores most people to death. I, however, find it both fascinating and essential reading. I find it essential because how are we to know the purpose for which our government is supposed to serve unless we have a thorough understanding of the process by which it came into existence? Are you going to take the word of the news media and our current batch of elected officials or are you going to find out from the men who actually wrote the Constitution, from the horse’s mouth so to speak?

Why do I care so much, because ultimately if this country falls the fault will lie squarely upon the shoulders of the people who inhabit it. We will be to blame. Let that sink in. In speaking in regards to our system of government, Joseph Story wrote near the end of his Commentaries on the Constitution, “It has been reared for immortality, if the work of men may justly aspire to such a title. It may nevertheless perish in an hour by the folly, or corruption, or negligence of its only keepers, the People.”

That, my friends, is why I read so much, why I study so much, because I seek the truth. I don’t trust anyone to tell me what the truth is, especially when the words flowing from their mouths so clearly contradict the words spoken by the men who established this system of government. People may call themselves Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives, but if you don’t adhere to the principles upon which our system of government was founded you may as well all call yourselves traitors.

This country has become so divided along so many differing ideological lines, with this faction believing in this, while another faction believes in that. And the whole time the candidates from the political parties are vying to appease the largest number of factions to garner sufficient votes to get elected. The whole process is a circus and the participants nothing but sideshow scam artists who care nothing for the principles which made America great. They only care about getting elected, and once elected staying there. That means satisfying the most people. And that is why our Founders despised democracy, because of the mob rule mentality.

John Adams, our second president clearly stated, “There is no good government but what is republican. That the only valuable part of the British constitution is so; for the true idea of a republic is ‘an empire of laws, and not of men.’ That, as a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangement of the powers of society, or in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the law, is the best of republics.”

If any of you have watched any of the major election returns on the news you will have seen the anchors, the supposed learned pundits, telling of how most elections are won based upon how the undecided voters, the sway voters they call them, vote. Most people are loyal to the political party to which they are registered. It is the sway voters whose votes swing the tide for both sides.

What this means is that a small percentage of the people are deciding the elections because the majority of the voters are fiercely loyal to their party and with the numbers pretty well divided between them those swing voters are the ultimate deciders of any election.

Now I want you to consider something, and it does not matter which party you affiliate yourselves with. Think back to the 2008 presidential election where we had the McCain/Palin ticket running against the Obama/Biden ticket.

Think back to before the presidential election to the primaries where we had to choose between a wide array of people, all vying for our votes to become their party’s nominee. At first glance one would think that they have a wide variety of choices. That’s at first glance. But if you dig a little bit you will find something very interesting.

Are you aware that out of the sixteen candidates running that twelve of them were members of the CFR, (The Council on Foreign Relations)? All twelve of the following people are, or were at the time, members of the CFR: Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Christopher Dodd, Fred Thompson, Bill Richardson, Mike Huckabee, Joe Biden, Newt Gingrich, and John Edwards.

Why is this little fact so important, and what the hell is the CFR anyways? Well, let me answer the second question first. According to their own website, “The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.” Not a word of that is a lie. They are independent, that is they have no ties directly to our government, especially when it comes to funding. They are nonpartisan, that is they do not care one way or another for the divisions along party lines. They are a think tank in that they come up with ideas, and they DO publish their ideas. So, they aren’t lying. But if you consider lying by omission then you may find something very interesting. The membership of the CFR share a common ideology, complete with beliefs on the role of government, the direction of both foreign and domestic policy, and on just about anything else that really matters in life. Did you get that, a COMMON IDEOLOGY.

So, knowing that, go back to that list of candidates and see how many from BOTH SIDES of the political aisle are/were members of the CFR. Then tell me that you still think that they don’t share a common ideology as to the purpose of government and for its overall policy and agenda.

The CFR controls both political parties, and by parties I mean the machination behind the scenes that funds candidates and, without your knowledge, carefully vets them to ensure that no one gets through who isn’t loyal to their agenda.

I have used this quote before, from Tragedy and Hope by Carroll Quigley, but maybe now it might make a bit more sense. So read this, and think upon what I have just told you, “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.”

It was during the 2008 election cycle that Ron Paul really had his breakthrough and which saw the birth of the Tea Party movement. Prior to that time Congressman Paul had been a fringe outsider with a few loyal followers who believed in his concept of limited government and the evils of the Federal Reserve system. But it was in 2008 that he gained a national platform from which he could share his ideas with a larger audience.

It was during this election that I first learned of Ron Paul and his ideas rang true to my way of thinking. I donated funds to his campaign and then I contacted the local, state, and national offices of the Republican Party asking for campaign materials for him. The local and state offices told me that they had no banners, flyers, or other material for Congressman Paul, but if I wanted material for Mitt Romney or John McCain that they would be more than willing to send them to me. I politely told them no thanks. I never heard from the headquarters of the GOP.

You would think that the GOP would help support anyone from their party if it meant defeating a Democrat, wouldn’t you? At least you would if you believed that there are any real differences between the two parties.

Then came the political debates. I saw how on both sides, anyone who stood against the ‘party platform’ was given limited exposure, and afterwards ridiculed and denied any coverage by the media. Just think back to how Ron Paul (R) and Dennis Kucinich (D) were treated by the debate mediators and the media. But in truth they were the only two who stood out from the entire proceedings as having minds of their own. The rest were repeating tried and true party rhetoric, almost like they were Borg, members of a collective without any independent thoughts of their own.

I hear people call themselves conservatives and liberals and I have to ask, what the hell does that exactly mean? I hear conservatives saying how Barack Obama is such a bad president, how he is advancing the liberal agenda at an alarming rate.

I don’t see it quite like that. Sure Obama is doing more harm than his predecessor, but if you go back you will see that each and every president for a long time has been following a, script, if you will, which dictates the direction our country will take. It only seems to me that Obama is trying to accomplish MORE during his time in office than the others did during theirs. That is why it seems like he is such a bad president, he is trying to force feed America TOO MUCH Hope and Change and we are taking notice of it. Had it been done over decades, and by candidates from both sides of the aisle, I don’t think the American people would even have noticed.

One of the big concerns James Madison had for systems of government was factions. Federalist No. 10 was almost entirely devoted to this one subject. Madison describes a faction as, “By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”

Madison goes on to describe how a pure democracy in which the people deliberate on matters of state themselves is a system in which factions can work towards limiting the rights of a minority. He then goes on to explain how under a Republic the ills associated with factions can be easily controlled.

But all this relies upon the people, in general, understanding the true nature and purpose for which their government was established, and to place that above their own personal wishes and desires. The rule of law MUST BE supreme for a republic to survive. The moment the people disregard the limits placed upon their government by the Constitution, we basically revert to a democracy in which the majority get what they want. And when the political parties are owned and controlled by a faction whose agenda is adverse to the well being of the people in general, then we are limited to choosing between the lesser of two evils.

And that is why I harp so much, so hard, and so loudly upon the principles upon which this country was founded. If you don’t know them, don’t uphold them, don’t vote according to them, then we get what we deserve, simple majority rule, (democracy) in which we are provided with candidates who would sell their mother to the devil for enough votes to stay in office. And, as almost all our Founders agreed, democracies never survive long, and their deaths are often violent and painful.

So you have a choice to make. You can either find the time to educate yourself as to why our system of government was created the way it was, and the limits it imposes upon government, or you can remain ignorant and vote strictly along party lines as you have been. In one instance you will be taking steps towards halting the almost inevitable downfall of our republic, and the other you will be actively participating in that downfall. The choice is yours, choose well grasshopper.

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Let’s Get Personal

When we come into this world as babies we are pretty much blank slate with our minds empty and innocent and pure. Everything we become as an adult is due to the accumulation of knowledge and life events that occur over the course of our lives. Whatever prejudices we have, or belief systems we hold, they were somehow instilled into us as we grew from infants into adults.

This knowledge that we acquire and these beliefs we hold guide us in the choices we make and the way we live our lives. Sometimes we can change ourselves by acquiring more knowledge, but that would require that a person have the desire to expand their knowledge base instead of relying upon what they have already learned up to that point in their life. We can also change our belief system, but that is more difficult. To do so requires a deeper introspection and a lot of self examination. It often causes a condition known as cognitive dissonance, which is when an individual experiences stress due to having been exposed to information which contradicts the belief system they currently hold. In this instance many people simply refuse to accept the new, often valid, information, and go on believing what they have believed for years to avoid the stress having to accept the contradictory information causes them.

I know this for a fact because when I first started researching about the actions of our government years ago I was faced with having to decide whether to believe everything I’d been told all the years prior, or admitting that most of it was a lie. I chose to seek out the truth, no matter where it led me but it has caused me to lose friends and become know by others as, kind of, a nut case who believes in all these wild conspiracy theories. But that’s okay with me because it is a choice I made and I am willing to accept the consequences.

I cannot speak for anyone other than myself when it comes to what life events, and what knowledge obtained, have shaped and molded their lives. Each of us have had entirely different and unique experiences which have caused us to be who and what we are. I can, however, try to explain some of the things I believe in and why. It may help explain why I am the way I am, and why I believe in the things I do.

In any case, let’s get personal about Neal Ross.

When I was born in 1958 things were much simpler, at least it seemed that way to me. It wasn’t exactly Happy Days or Leave it to Beaver, but there was something very different between the America I see today and the America of my youth. For one thing, people weren’t as afraid as they seem to be today. You may have heard the old saying that you could go out and leave your house with the doors unlocked? Well it’s true, my parents did that all the time. Kids played outside much more back then, often till way past dark and parents never worried that their kids would become victims of some predator. there just wasn’t this pervasive fear that seems to grip people these days in a stranglehold.

Also people were more polite, they had more manners. Children would address other adults as Mr. so and so, and Mrs. so and so. They tended to follow orders given by elders without any back talk. It could have been fear of the consequences for disobedience, (a good spanking), but I think it was more than just that. I think it was just an overall respect for others and a good dose of manners and upbringing by their parents. Sure, I rebelled, what kid didn’t, but I was disciplined for it and I learned my place in the order of things.

We also trusted authority, be it in our government officials or the policeman who walked a beat in our neighborhoods. It was just the way things were, people in authority tended not to abuse their power and were therefore listened to and obeyed without much question.
That was what things were like when I was a child growing up in America. Now, let’s talk about how growing up in that kind of atmosphere affected they way I turned out.

Going to school I was taught certain things that kids today aren’t taught. Being a parent who has seen his son go through the public education system I can say that without a doubt the education I got was much better than his. Not that he didn’t learn more than I did, it was more in the way that he learned it. I was given material to read; a certain number of chapters from each subject, and then questions at the end of each chapter which caused me to think about what I had read and form my own opinions about it. In English class I would have to do book reports on books, often of the teachers choosing, and then give a detailed report on both the story, AND, what it meant to me. My son never did any of these things. Other than math homework I never saw him bring home any reading material, yet he flew through school as an honor student with straight A’s. I think kids today, unless they are sent to private schools, or home schooled, tend to be taught by repetition and to accept blindly everything they are told. It seems critical thinking is not among the skills that children are being taught today and it has produced generations of adults who blindly accept whatever is told to them by anyone in a position of authority. This may explain why I am able to so easily see the violations of our Constitution by our government when others can’t. I don’t know, but I just think that even though our kids may be learning more math and science than I learned in school, they are lacking in the ability to think for themselves, instead being taught to be part of a group with a common belief system. Just my two cents…

Now, as to what I personally believe in. I believe firmly in right and wrong and that right deserves reward, (or at least praise), and that wrong deserves to be punished. While on the surface this may seem pretty shallow, or at least straightforward, if you think about it you may find that it isn’t. For instance, if you have a job you are expected by your employer to perform certain tasks with a certain level of proficiency. In return you expect to receive a certain amount of pay. It is a mutual agreement between employee and employer. Neither is forcing the other to do anything. At any time the employer should be able to terminate you for subpar performance, or you could choose to leave that place of employment and seek one that pays more or has better working conditions.

But now, I go to work and see people who barely do the minimum required for their job positions. Often the first thing they do is look for something to sit down on and a fan to keep them cool. Sure there have always been lazy people, but what bothers me is that it is tolerated. Why aren’t people held up to the standards required for their position? In fact, I have seen standards lowered because people refused to put any effort into their work. Yet these same people are often the ones who cry the loudest that they aren’t getting paid enough. Why don’t they try earning what they get before they ask for more?

I hear a lot about tolerance and respect. Yet the same people who preach this mantra of tolerance and respect are those who have absolutely no tolerance for anyone who disagrees with them, or any respect for the things I personally believe in. Tolerance and respect work both ways.

And while we’re on the subject of respect, let me take a minute or two to talk about what I respect. As human being you are entitled to be treated with respect, that is until your actions prove that you don’t deserve it. No one person on this planet is any better, or any more worthy of respect, than any other. This goes for the lowliest of beggars all the way to the high and mighty; people such as the President of the United States, or maybe the Pope. Sure, the offices these people hold may be worthy of respect, but the men who occupy them are only worthy of the respect due their actions…nothing more. If they don’t respect their office, why should I respect the men who hold them?

I’m tired of being told that the things I say are offensive or cause others feelings to be hurt. I’m sorry but the truth often does hurt. I can fully understand the need to keep people from saying mean and evil things about another person, or group of people, solely because you dislike them. But if you say something based on fact and clear evidence, and it causes another to feel uncomfortable, then maybe the person who is offended needs to rethink THEIR position, not have MINE censored.

Getting back to respect, there are qualities in people that I do respect, and there are others that I don’t. Let me provide a quick list of those I do, then I will do the same for those I don’t.

I respect honesty, open mindedness, skill, your beliefs, (when they are based upon facts and evidence, not emotions and propaganda), willingness to exert oneself, (both physically and mentally), manners, charity, and an overall sense of integrity.

On the other hand, I disrespect, in fact I loathe laziness, liars, people who break their promises, people who think they are entitled to things they haven’t earned, people who refuse to examine the facts, (even when they contradict the things they currently believe), people who refuse to admit that they have been wrong, people who believe that society owes them something and that I should be required to provide it, people who think that certain groups of people should be punished for the actions of an individual, and finally, a lack of moral and ethical integrity. These things I despise in people. And unfortunately I find that these traits are far more common among people than those I do respect.

The reason I wrote this is so that I can hopefully explain to people why I am the way I am. I hope it explains my intolerance for certain things when society in general is told to be MORE TOLERANT. I am who I am due to the upbringing I received and the events that have occurred throughout my life. I am not perfect, nor am I always right. But I am always trying to better myself, both in how I treat others and in the knowledge I obtain. And, one thing that seems to set me apart from many, I am willing to admit that I was wrong.

I know that there are others out there who share many of my beliefs, but I feel we are far outnumbered by those who don’t. Our society is now filled with people who think they deserve something without having earned it. People demand that their beliefs and opinions be heard, while denouncing any who oppose their point of view.

In short, this isn’t the America I grew up in. But I ask you, at least those of you who disagree with my personal beliefs, look at America today, in 2014, and then, if you can, think back to the America of your youth. Then try to be honest with yourself and answer the following question: Which America was better off? In which America did you feel safer and more proud to be an American?

Depending upon how you answer that question you may want to reconsider the things you personally believe in, for maybe they are to blame for the state of our nation today. They say that the people we elect reflect the overall state of society from which they are drawn from, (or something similar). If that be true then until we, as a nation, change our thoughts and beliefs as to personal responsibility and the things we expect/demand from our government, then not a whole lot is going to change.

It matters not that there are all these groups springing up that are campaigning for a return to limited government and the principles it was founded upon. The fact remains that the people IN our government are elected by the people in general. Unless we have a revolution and forcefully take back our country, then we are stuck with having to deal with those that the people at large elect. And those choices are based upon the belief systems of each and every one of us.

That is what must be changed if we want America to survive…

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I Have Been Remiss

It has been commented that I have strayed from my purpose in writing, that instead of trying to educate and inform people that I have taken to criticizing and insulting them. I won’t deny that I have, of late, felt a deep sense of frustration and, even, anger that the things I have written have not been effective in changing the hearts and minds of the people to whom I was addressing them. Nonetheless, I have been remiss and I apologize for being so harsh and critical. With that in mind I would like to attempt to write a bit about the general thoughts and beliefs of the men who existed during the time our country fought for its independence, and established our system of government.

Although there is not a man or woman alive today who was present in the mid to late 1700′s, it was a unique time in the history of our nation, and in political thinking in general. There had always been philosophers and political thinkers throughout the ages, but there was something exceptional about the time when our nation came into existence. All through the ages most forms of government came about by many ways, most of which the people had absolutely no say in. As Thomas Paine wrote in his book The Rights of Man, “All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must either be delegated or assumed. There are no other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either….” Yet during the late 1700′s delegates from the thirteen original colonies gathered together in Philadelphia and drafted a Constitution which outlined a system of government.

You have to wonder, what guided these men? What were the beliefs they held which they introduced into the discussions on what shape, and how our system of government would function? Sure, there were some delegates who proposed another monarchy in which the executive, (the president), would hold office for his entire lifetime, and would have an absolute veto over any laws proposed by the legislative, (the Congress). But as we all know, that was not what they ended up producing. They created a perfectly balanced system in which a legislative body created law, the executive executed and ensured the laws where upheld, and a judicial which settled disputes in regards to the fundamental law of the land, i.e. the Constitution.

The Constitution itself is pretty straightforward as to how our system of government was to be established, and the powers it granted government, although today most people would be surprised to learn that most of what the government does is not among those powers.

Yet the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Again, quoting from Paine’s Rights of Man, “A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal, but a real existence; and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting its government. It is the body of elements, to which you can refer, and quote article by article; and which contains the principles on which the government shall be established, the manner in which it shall be organised, the powers it shall have, the mode of elections, the duration of Parliaments, or by what other name such bodies may be called; the powers which the executive part of the government shall have; and in fine, everything that relates to the complete organisation of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound. A constitution, therefore, is to a government what the laws made afterwards by that government are to a court of judicature. The court of judicature does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made: and the government is in like manner governed by the constitution.”

But I haven’t answered my own question yet, what was it that our Founding Fathers believed that guided them in designing this system of government. If I would have to guess, I would say that many were influenced by an Englishman named John Locke. I know for a fact that Jefferson styled much of the Declaration of Independence after Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Governments. In the Declaration of Independence Jefferson wrote, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Now take a look at what Locke said in Section 149 of his Second Treatise, “… there remains still in the people a supreme power to remove or alter the legislative, when they find the legislative act contrary to the trust reposed in them: for all power given with trust for the attaining an end, being limited by that end, whenever that end is manifestly neglected, or opposed, the trust must necessarily be forfeited, and the power devolve into the hands of those that gave it, who may place it anew where they shall think best for their safety and security.”

Strikingly similar, wouldn’t you say?

In the introduction to my copy of Locke’s treatise it says, “The central principles of what today is broadly known as political liberalism–individual liberty, the rule of law, government by consent of the people, and the right to private property–were made current in large part by Locke’s Second Treatise.” So if this work by an 18th century English philosopher was so influential to our Founders, don’t you think it might be a good idea to take a look to see what he said? I don’t know about you, but I found it fascinating, and I’ve read it four times already.

Locke begins at, well, the beginning, what state men are prior to the existence of any form of government. In Section 4 he states, “TO understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.” Again, that sounds strikingly similar to something Thomas Jefferson said. In an 1816 letter to Francis Gilmer, Jefferson wrote, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”

This was the state that men were in before the existence or establishment of societies and of governments, of the perfect free will to do as they felt fit with their lives, as long as they did not interfere with others from doing the same. But what if others did interfere with the rights, or property of another? Well, Locke addressed that as well.

In Section 7 Locke states, “And that all men may be restrained from invading others rights, and from doing hurt to one another, and the law of nature be observed, which willeth the peace and preservation of all mankind, the execution of the law of nature is, in that state, put into every man’s hands, whereby every one has a right to punish the transgressors of that law to such a degree, as may hinder its violation…”

Then in Section 11 he adds,”… and thus it is, that every man, in the state of nature, has a power to kill a murderer, both to deter others from doing the like injury, which no reparation can compensate, by the example of the punishment that attends it from every body, and also to secure men from the attempts of a criminal, who having renounced reason, the common rule and measure God hath given to mankind, hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or a tyger, one of those wild savage beasts, with whom men can have no society nor security: and upon this is grounded that great law of nature…”

Furthermore, in Section 12 he states, “By the same reason may a man in the state of nature punish the lesser breaches of that law. It will perhaps be demanded, with death? I answer, each transgression may be punished to that degree, and with so much severity, as will suffice to make it an ill bargain to the offender, give him cause to repent, and terrify others from doing the like.”

And finally, in Section 17 he concludes by saying, “And hence it is, that he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with him; it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life: for I have reason to conclude, that he who would get me into his power without my consent, would use me as he pleased when he had got me there, and destroy me too when he had a fancy to it; for no body can desire to have me in his absolute power, unless it be to compel me by force to that which is against the right of my freedom, i.e. make me a slave. To be free from such force is the only security of my preservation; and reason bids me look on him, as an enemy to my preservation, who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it; so that he who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into a state of war with me.”

This is how men dealt with offenses and violations of their right prior to their entering into civil societies, they took the law into their own hands and where judge, jury, and, if required, executioner. But not only could this be abused, it also was found to be lacking in that often one person could not provide himself adequate protection against the violations of their ‘natural rights.’ So men formed civil societies to better protect their rights.

But, as Locke would say in Section 23, “This freedom from absolute, arbitrary power, is so necessary to, and closely joined with a man’s preservation, that he cannot part with it, but by what forfeits his preservation and life together: for a man, not having the power of his own life, cannot, by compact, or his own consent, enslave himself to any one, nor put himself under the absolute, arbitrary power of another, to take away his life, when he pleases. No body can give more power than he has himself; and he that cannot take away his own life, cannot give another power over it.” So when men entered into civil societies they did not make themselves slaves unto those who would administer the law, they merely delegated them just enough power and authority to better safeguard their rights.

Or as he states in Section 123, “IF man in the state of nature be so free, as has been said; if he be absolute lord of his own person and possessions, equal to the greatest, and subject to no body, why will he part with his freedom? why will he give up this empire, and subject himself to the dominion and controul of any other power? To which it is obvious to answer, that though in the state of nature he hath such a right, yet the enjoyment of it is very uncertain, and constantly exposed to the invasion of others: for all being kings as much as he, every man his equal, and the greater part no strict observers of equity and justice, the enjoyment of the property he has in this state is very unsafe, very unsecure. This makes him willing to quit a condition, which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers: and it is not without reason, that he seeks out, and is willing to join in society with others, who are already united, or have a mind to unite, for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name, property.”

By entering into a civil society some authority must be granted to someone, or a body of men, to enact laws to serve the purpose for which men entered into that society, i.e. the preservation of their rights. Yet, as Locke would say, that power which was delegated to this body could not be arbitrary, nor could it usurp powers which were beyond the purpose for which it was created.

In Section 135 Locke states, ” Though the legislative, whether placed in one or more, whether it be always in being, or only by intervals, though it be the supreme power in every common-wealth; yet, First, It is not, nor can possibly be absolutely arbitrary over the lives and fortunes of the people: for it being but the joint power of every member of the society given up to that person, or assembly, which is legislator; it can be no more than those persons had in a state of nature before they entered into society, and gave up to the community: for no body can transfer to another more power than he has in himself; and no body has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life or property of another. A man, as has been proved, cannot subject himself to the arbitrary power of another; and having in the state of nature no arbitrary power over the life, liberty, or possession of another, but only so much as the law of nature gave him for the preservation of himself, and the rest of mankind; this is all he doth, or can give up to the common-wealth, and by it to the legislative power, so that the legislative can have no more than this. Their power, in the utmost bounds of it, is limited to the public good of the society. It is a power, that hath no other end but preservation, and therefore can never have a right to destroy, enslave, or designedly to impoverish the subjects.”

This is almost the same thing a Frenchman named Frederic Bastiat would say in 1850, “If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force—for the same reason—cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.”

So, when a group enters into a civil or political society, they surrender their authority under natural law and give it to the magistrate, or servant whom is to act to preserve the rights of the people in said society. But what if your rights come under attack and you have no means of contacting the agent whose job it is to protect them? Well, in that case the right devolves back to you. In Section 87 Locke says as much, “But because no political society can be, nor subsist, without having in itself the power to preserve the property, and in order thereunto, punish the offences of all those of that society; there, and there only is political society, where every one of the members hath quitted this natural power, resigned it up into the hands of the community in all cases that exclude him not from appealing for protection to the law established by it.” Although that is not explicit in saying such, I would take that to mean that if your life, or your property, is in danger, and you cannot expect an immediate response from those agents whose job it is to protect these things, then you have the right to protect them yourself, up to and including killing the person threatening you.

If you don’t believe that, just prior to the above quote from Section 87 Locke ALSO said, “Man being born, as has been proved, with a title to perfect freedom, and an uncontrouled enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of the law of nature, equally with any other man, or number of men in the world, hath by nature a power, not only to preserve his property, that is, his life, liberty and estate, against the injuries and attempts of other men; but to judge of, and punish the breaches of that law in others, as he is persuaded the offence deserves, even with death itself, in crimes where the heinousness of the fact, in his opinion, requires it.”

As long as men remain in a civil or political society, and have surrendered certain of their rights to the body which they have established to preserve their rights, i.e. their life and their ability to own and enjoy property, and that said society functions as designed, the people must allow the government to do it’s job and not take the law into their own hands.

However, as is the case with human nature, people in power tend to try and amass more power unto themselves. Thus, in this instance, the legislative body has overstepped its power and is in violation of the agreement, be it a charter or a constitution, which granted them power. In our system the government we established has created numerous agencies which have the power of producing regulations which affect our lives adversely. This is done under the mistaken belief that the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution authorized the government to do WHATEVER it thinks is necessary to protect us, be it from crime, the food we eat, and, even, ourselves.

Yet the government cannot delegate its legislative power to another body that is not accountable to the people. In Section 141 of Locke’s treatise he states, “Fourthly, The legislative cannot transfer the power of making laws to any other hands: for it being but a delegated power from the people, they who have it cannot pass it over to others. The people alone can appoint the form of the common-wealth, which is by constituting the legislative, and appointing in whose hands that shall be.”

And if the legislative acts outside its specified purpose, what authority do the people have? Well, as I previously mentioned in the similarity between our Declaration of Independence and Locke’s treatise, Section 149 states, “THOUGH in a constituted common-wealth, standing upon its own basis, and acting according to its own nature, that is, acting for the preservation of the community, there can be but one supreme power, which is the legislative, to which all the rest are and must be subordinate, yet the legislative being only a fiduciary power to act for certain ends, there remains still in the people a supreme power to remove or alter the legislative, when they find the legislative act contrary to the trust reposed in them: for all power given with trust for the attaining an end, being limited by that end, whenever that end is manifestly neglected, or opposed, the trust must necessarily be forfeited, and the power devolve into the hands of those that gave it, who may place it anew where they shall think best for their safety and security. ”

I talk a lot using terms such as oppression, tyranny, and usurpation. I’m sure that many of you don’t really understand the difference between the words. In Section 199 Locke explains the difference between usurpation and tyranny, “AS usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which no body can have a right to. And this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private separate advantage. When the governor, however intitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion.”

While we may foolishly believe that simply because we have the choice of voting for those who represent us in our system of government that tyranny cannot arise in America, think again. In Section 201 Locke warns, “It is a mistake, to think this fault is proper only to monarchies; other forms of government are liable to it, as well as that: for wherever the power, that is put in any hands for the government of the people, and the preservation of their properties, is applied to other ends, and made use of to impoverish, harass, or subdue them to the arbitrary and irregular commands of those that have it; there it presently becomes tyranny, whether those that thus use it are one or many.”

I am always harping about violations of the Constitution, yet people seem to think that, if they even care, it is no big deal that our government does things which the Constitution does not permit. Yet it is the ONLY reason our government exists. Without it there would BE NO government. In Section 212 Locke declares, “The constitution of the legislative is the first and fundamental act of society, whereby provision is made for the continuation of their union, under the direction of persons, and bonds of laws, made by persons authorized thereunto, by the consent and appointment of the people, without which no one man, or number of men, amongst them, can have authority of making laws that shall be binding to the rest. When any one, or more, shall take upon them to make laws, whom the people have not appointed so to do, they make laws without authority, which the people are not therefore bound to obey; by which means they come again to be out of subjection, and may constitute to themselves a new legislative, as they think best, being in full liberty to resist the force of those, who without authority would impose any thing upon them.”

Finally, in Section 222 Locke states what is the peoples right when the legislative authority seeks to pass laws which are contrary to its purpose, and which would enslave them under arbitrary power, “The reason why men enter into society, is the preservation of their property; and the end why they chuse and authorize a legislative, is, that there may be laws made, and rules set, as guards and fences to the properties of all the members of the society, to limit the power, and moderate the dominion, of every part and member of the society: for since it can never be supposed to be the will of the society, that the legislative should have a power to destroy that which every one designs to secure, by entering into society, and for which the people submitted themselves to legislators of their own making; 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, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.”

Yet some say that I talk of rebellion and am unpatriotic because I do not stand behind and support my government. Why should I when it does not stand behind and support the purpose for which it was created in the first place? They say that by openly disregarding laws which I feel are unconstitutional I will bring violence and death upon those who do so because our government is ready, and willing to enforce its laws at gunpoint, I have something to say.

If that happens, and blood is spilled by people who are tired of an overreaching government, then the blood will be on their hands, not ours. In Section 228 of his treatise Locke says, “But if they, who say it lays a foundation for rebellion, mean that it may occasion civil wars, or intestine broils, to tell the people they are absolved from obedience when illegal attempts are made upon their liberties or properties, and may oppose the unlawful violence of those who were their magistrates, when they invade their properties contrary to the trust put in them; and that therefore this doctrine is not to be allowed, being so destructive to the peace of the world: they may as well say, upon the same ground, that honest men may not oppose robbers or pirates, because this may occasion disorder or bloodshed. If any mischief come in such cases, it is not to be charged upon him who defends his own right, but on him that invades his neighbours.”

We the people of this country entered into a political society by establishing a Constitution which granted the government certain defined powers. We did not create a government to babysit us and to care for us from cradle to grave. The purpose for which our government was created is explained in the Preamble to the Constitution, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Notice that it says secure the blessings of liberty and ensure justice. Now I would hope that those words are understood by my readers. But to be sure, liberty is defined as: the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely; the power to do or choose what you want to. And while we may think we understand what justice is, I’m not so sure we do.

In 1841 John Quincy Adams, our sixth president, came out of retirement to argue a case before the Supreme Court. In his opening argument Mr. Adams gave what I believe to be the best explanation/definition of the word justice that I have ever read. Mr. Adams declared that “Justice, as defined in the Institutes of Justinian, nearly 2000 years ago, and as it felt and understood by all who understand human relations and human rights, is—”Constans et perpetua voluntas, jus suum cuique tribuendi.” “The constant and perpetual will to secure to every one HIS OWN right.”

While I may have overloaded you with input, these are/were the beliefs held by the men who established our system of government. They may not be popular, or politically correct in today’s society, but they were commonly held beliefs in the 1700′s.

I honestly don’t know that even if the people begin believing in these things again we can restore our country to one of limited government. It may be too late. To use a football analogy, it is the fourth quarter with two minutes remaining. You are out of time outs and are down by 35 points and your opponent is in possession of the ball. Not much you can do at this point, is there?

While I’m not giving up, I am a realist. I see society today and I don’t see much interest in returning to the values our Framers held. Sure I see a lot of people mad at the government for screwing things up. But what I don’t see is anyone looking to return to the limited government as outlined by the Constitution. As long as we continue to accept mediocrity, and even corruption, in the people we choose to represent us, as long as we meekly obey the endless laws and regulations which run contrary to the purpose for which government was established, as long as we believe that there is that big a difference between the two parties in this country, I don’t see much hope for anything changing.

Hopefully some record will remain of the writers, myself among them, who tried to warn the people about the state of affairs in this country. Maybe future generations may learn from our mistakes. But as far as us saving this country, I don’t see any hope for that.

So enjoy what is left of your liberty, for that too will soon be gone…  

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