Archive for the ‘Government Reform’ Category

Occu-Pests Don’t Speak For Me

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Do They Speak for You?

I am tired of the notion that these people speak for the 99% of us who are not billionaires.  I’ve grown frustrated listening to their complaints, offered with feeble-minded attacks on wealth, money, and the general notion of capitalism.  There’s a problem with those who lead these Occupy efforts:  They don’t give a damn about this country, its people, or any of the things about which they pretend to care.  Instead, what interests them is cultural rape.  They intend to change this country without your consent, in its laws, in its culture, and in its economics.   The leaders of the OWS movement are simply predators, and while they claim that violence is against their principles, they incite it, they provoke it, and they use the poor misguided folk who are following them to act as their buffer.  BusinessInsider published an interesting piece on the larger aims of the Occupy movement, and I’m afraid the American people have no idea about how thoroughly these people have developed their designs on America.  They’re going to attempt to re-write your Constitution, while you sleep, and as you watch the latest news on the silly stories of the day.

They imagine themselves as a modern-day version of the framers of our current Constitution, laboring in secret to present us with a new Constitution, in order to save us from ourselves.  Let me state emphatically that if they manage to carry off this coup d’etats, I will oppose them, and violently, if need be.  Let me throw down a marker now, so that all may know my position:  If the Occupiers, their leaders and benefactors succeed in trying to foist on the great mass of the American people some foreign system of government, which it now seems is their clear intent, I will be among the counter-revolutionaries who they will be forced to kill.  Write it down.  Bookmark it.  I will not surrender to these people, because in the main, they do not have my consent, and they do not speak for me.  Ninety-nine percent?  My ass!

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like for you to consider what the Occupy movement really has in mind.  This isn’t about the typical complaints, and it isn’t merely about some bankers, some tax rate, or some scheme for  redistributing your wealth.  It’s much more insidious than that, and you need to know that when the poor schmucks who follow the lead of this manufactured movement wind up looking stupid on television, it’s not because the movement has no firm goals, as we all first thought, but because the rank-and-file Occu-Pest doesn’t know what those goals actually are.  In order to understand what it is that they’re going to attempt, you must first understand some history, and I’d beg of my readers to educate themselves with a sense of urgency.  The leadership of this movement is trying to create a bit of theater, in mimicry of a historical event, and you must understand its importance if you’re to have any hope of confronting them.  You in the Tea Party had better pay close attention, because many of you will already know this history, but I am going to show you how they intend to use the weight of history against you and your beloved Constitution. If you wish to know how they are going to attack you, you must know that the past is prologue.  You must know that none of this is really new, but the manner in which it will be done is novel.  Finally, I think we can begin to see what they intend, and for once, I think you ought to know it so that you can do something constructive in opposition.

First, I would like you to acquaint yourselves with the Committees of Correspondence.  These were shadow governments that our founders formed in order to confront the British empire.  These committees were used to oppose the British and essentially superseded the colonial legislatures.  This was the method by which we eventually arrived at the pre-revolutionary state that would lead to the Declaration of Independence and our ultimate separation from the British. It is important to understand that those who are leading the Occupy movement are attempting to carry out something similar, although their desired ends are much different.  They intend to use a seemingly democratic movement to undermine freedom via the state, and they intend a quiet take-over.  Many have referenced their intentions, but it’s clear that most don’t quite understand.

The first thing necessary to their movement is the claim to legitimacy.  This is the meaning of all of this “99%” garbage they’re throwing around.  The truth is, they don’t speak for one percent of one percent of one percent of Americans.  Nevertheless, this will be their claim, and they will try to establish the providence of that claim through the use of media.  As we’ve seen, many in the media are in bed with the Occupy movement, and in at least one case Breitbart has uncovered, they are the media.  Don’tbe surprised when you find that they are now going to claim to be of you, by you, and for you, the American people.  Last week, I reported to you their plan for a national assembly, and now here’s their plan for creating this illusion:

1. The Occupy Wall Street movement, through the local general assembly, should elect an executive committee comprised of 11 people or some other odd number of people that is manageable for meetings. Ideally this committee should represent each city in the U.S. that is being occupied.

2. The executive committee will then attend to local issues such as obtaining permits, paying for public sanitation and dealing with the media. More important, the executive committee shall plan and organize the election of the 870 delegates to a National General Assembly between now and July 4, 2012.

3. As stated in the 99% declaration, each of the 435 congressional districts will form an election committee to prepare ballots and invite citizens in those districts to run as delegates to a National General Assembly in Philadelphia beginning on July 4, 2012 and convening until October 2012.

4. Each of the 435 congressional districts will elect one man and one woman to attend the National General Assembly. The vote will be by direct democratic ballot regardless of voter registration status as long as the voter has reached the age of 18 and is a US citizen. This is not a sexist provision. Women are dramatically under-represented in politics even though they comprise more than 50% of the U.S. population.

5. The executive committee will act as a central point to solve problems, raise money to pay for the expenses of the election of the National General Assembly and make sure all 870 delegates are elected prior to the meeting on July 4th.

6. The executive committee would also arrange a venue in Philadelphia to accommodate the delegates attending the National General Assembly where the declaration of values, petition of grievances and platform would be proposed, debated, voted on and approved. The delegates would also elect a chair from their own ranks to run the meetings of the congress and break any tie votes. We will also need the expertise of a gifted parliamentarian to keep the meetings moving smoothly and efficiently.

7. The final declaration, platform and petition of grievances, after being voted upon by the 870 delegates to the National General Assembly would be formally presented by the 870 delegates to all three branches of government and all candidates running for federal public office in November 2012. Thus, the delegates would meet from July 4, 2012 to sometime in early to late October 2012.

8. The delegates to the National General Assembly would then vote on a time period, presently suggested as one year, to give the newly elected government in November an opportunity to redress the petition of grievances. This is our right as a People under the First Amendment.

9. If the government fails to redress the petition of grievances and drastically change the path this country is on, the delegates will demand the resignation and recall of all members of congress, the president and even the Supreme Court and call for new elections by, of and for the PEOPLE with 99 days of the resignation demand.

10. There will NEVER be any call for violence by the delegates even if the government refuses to redress the grievances and new elections are called for by the delegates. Nor will any delegate agree to take any money, job promise, or gifts from corporations, unions or any other private source. Any money donated or raised by the executive committee may only be used for publicizing the vote, the National General Assembly, and for travel expenses and accommodation at the National General Assembly ONLY. All books and records will be published openly online so that everyone may see how much money is raised and how the money is spent each month. There will be no money allowed to “purchase” delegate votes as we have in the current government. No corporate “sponsorship”.

(H/T Business Insider.com)

This is a continuing attempt to make all of this look organic, but more importantly, to legitimize it and to pretend that they speak with authority for the ninety-nine percent they claim to comprise.  In effect, they are trying to create the appearance of an analog to the 1770s and the Committees of Correspondence.  Of course, the next part of their plan is even more insidious, and it is to replace the US Constitution by methods not unlike those employed to replace the Articles of Confederation, except that they will have nothing like the support among the American people that supported revising our Articles of Confederation.  Back when it was first suggested that our first form of government (Articles of Confederation) be revised, that’s what the delegates had been tasked to do.  Instead, they crafted an entirely new constitution and presented it for ratification.  In some contexts, this might have been considered a treason, except that any such claims have been made moot by the subsequent ratification and adoption of our Constitution. Most Americans forget that George Washington was our first president under this current constitution, but that he was not the first President of the United States.  Under the Articles of Confederation, that was the presiding member of Congress, who happened to have been Samuel Huntington (March 1, 1781 – July 9, 1781.)  Most people don’t know this because they aren’t taught it, along with so much else in our precious history.

Once you realize what Soros and the others who are driving this intend, it becomes obvious what their methodology will be: They intend to speak on your behalf, and to trump up a movement to convince those in government that they are speaking on your behalf.  There’s only one way to prevent this, and you should fight against it with full resolve. Confront them by telling your representatives in Washington DC that the Occu-pests don’t speak for you.  Confront them by telling the media, loudly and often, that the Occupiers don’t speak for us.  They’re trying to capture the legitimacy born of their 99% claim, but you and I know they don’t speak for anything like the 99% they claim.  It simply doesn’t exist.  There is no overwhelming desire on the part of the American people to replace or radically amend the United States Constitution. I will consider all such radical propositions as they are: Acts of treason.  Also, be aware that this other phony movement, Americans Elect, exists to try to change the way we elect Presidents.  It’s full of Soros shills too, and as I’ve reported before, I cannot trust anyone or anything related to the aims of that man or the multitude of organizations he funds and backs and manipulates.

This movement is being manipulated for one ultimate purpose:  To destroy and replace the US Constitution.  There is nothing else but that goal.  I consider the people leading these Occupiers as fomenting insurrection, while actively plotting treason.  I realize many of the rank-and-file Occupiers don’t understand this, however there will come a point at which they will begin to endanger the Republic, and in their mindless, unthinking support of this Marxist movement, they are assisting to destroy the United States.  In the sense specifically, they don’t speak for me.  They don’t speak for ninety-nine percent, or anything near that number.  They are the loud and vociferous cacophony of ne’er-do-wells who have in largest measure contributed to our current state of presumptive decline.

Ladies and gentlemen, these people and their leadership do not speak for me.  They do not speak for anybody I know personally.  I don’t know any person who actually supports them.  I don’t know a soul who thinks we should ditch our Constitution, never mind by the dictates of some Marxist cabal of Soros flacks.  I don’t know one person, anywhere in my extended circle of friends and family who actually believes in anything the Occupiers are espousing.  None.  Maybe you do, but I’d like to know from my readers:  Do they speak for you?  Do they?  Is George Soros acting on your behalf?  Somehow I doubt it, but rather than make any assumptions, as the Occu-Pests have done, I’m not willing to speak for others.  If the Occupiers don’t speak for you, you should let your government, and the media, and every person you can find to tell them that fact.

They don’t speak for me, and I’d rather die than submit to the mobocracy they envision.

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State Department: The Audacity of Dopes

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

The Audacity of Dopes

This should make your skin crawl and veins bulge in your forehead.  It turns out that the US Department of State spent more than $70K on copies of Barack Obama’s decade-old book, Dreams from My Father for global distribution.  As has also been revealed the embassy in Indonesia spent $3800 on copies of The Audacity of Hope for similar purposes.  This is an astonishing waste of tax-payer dollars, and honestly, I believe that if the government of the United States needed so many copies of these worthless books for the State Department’s global friendship tour for Barack Obama, they should have asked the wealthy author to provide them as a gift.  After all, this is the jerk who thinks we should pay more taxes.  Well, Mr. Obama, here was your chance to put your money where your mouth was.  He could say: “I gave at the office,” and mean it. I wonder how much he makes from the sale of $70K in retail sales of his books.  Minus the cost of publishing them, and the publisher’s cut, if it’s even seven dollars, it’s too damned much.

Honestly, I cannot imagine what goes through the heads of the worthless bureaucrats at the State Department. I’d vote for a candidate who promised to fire 90% of the State Department’s employees.  I am tired of this, but this case is astonishing.  The sad part is that Obama himself may not have known it, or at least he will have had plausible deniability, but in any case, this must be considered some sort of illegal campaign contribution, mustn’t it?  Who knows?  The laws are so mangled, nobody could make any sense of it anyway. Predictably, there is then this to accentuate the point in the Washington Time Article:

A review of the expenditures in a federal database did not reveal any examples of State Department purchases of books by former Presidents George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. The purchases of Mr. Obama’s literary work mostly, but not always, took place in the months after Mr. Obama captured the White House.

Shocker! This is another absurd example of what happens when liberals have any power in government.  The cronyism and favor-making begins immediately.  I’m not suggesting there have been no crooked conservatives, but to be honest, if they are crooked, they’re not really conservatives anyway.  I simply detest the statist mindset.  I find this sort of thing to be the evidence of how bankrupt these people really are.

On the Issues That Matter Most to You

Monday, October 17th, 2011

How Nearly All of You See Government

As a follow-up to my post Boiling It Down, This Is What You’ve Said, where we discussed first principles, it’s now time for we conservatives to talk about the particular issues on which we agree.  I notice that there is a fairly libertarian streak in most of what you’ve offered, which suits me just fine.  Let’s see what sense we can make of all of this. One of the things you’ve told me in various forms is that you want a platform of issues that are positive actions, rather than a bill of all the things against which you stand.  It’s true that there are certain things against which we must all align, but the truth is that most of you would rather see issues in which we are for something, rather than merely against something, which seems to be the reactive role into which Conservatives are all too frequently shoe-horned.

You are for a massive overhaul of the tax-code, in part by repeal of the 16th amendment, and by then instituting some other form of tax with some specific limits enshrined in the constitution.  I don’t think any person who responded expressed any sort of support for our current tax code or system.  Many of you referenced the gargantuan compliance costs for the entire economy that ultimately produce no net wealth.

You are for a balanced budget amendment that will severely curtail the run-away spending of government, with no recourse to additional taxes, but instead to some form of line item veto.  A line-item veto amendment was popular.

You are for the national defense, but not wastefully so, in either men or material, and you are for defending our few actual allies around the globe.

You are all some flavor of pro-life, those of you who mentioned the abortion issue, although there were some differences on any exceptions.

You are for a return to strict constitutional adherence.

There is a half-page of agencies and departments of the federal government you would like to see eliminated.  Those that showed up most frequently in your comments and emails are: Department of Education, EPA, and Department of Energy. Let’s call them the three E’s of disaster, because nearly all of you wanted these three gone, at a minimum.

Virtually all of you wish to see the repeal of Obamacare, with the only replacement being what I would term a de-regulation of health insurers so that they can compete across state lines, among other things.

You want the borders secured, and most of you have no sympathy with the notion that “we can’t deport 12-20 million people.”  Your idea seems to be that while we won’t do so in one day, or even one year, we need to take away the reasons illegals come to the US by instituting a uniform set of rules with respect to benefits and employment. You also want the practice of “sanctuary cities” specifically banned and all federal grants to cities which adopt that policy denied.

You want the government out of medicine except perhaps for veterans, and there is some variation on Medicare.  What you seem to want most in the medical care arena is government to take its nose out of it.

You have varying opinions on social security, although there seems to be a sentiment if not universally held, than held by a clear majority of opinion that the program is fatally flawed, probably unconstitutional by a strict yardstick, and certainly in need of overhaul. At least two people suggested that while they believe the program to be unconstitutional, they suggested amending the constitution to include it long enough to phase it out over twenty years.  Some of you actually said you’d be willing to do without it in the future if you could stop paying into it now.

There were a number of differing opinions on issues like gay marriage, and assisted suicide and such things,  but all in all, the bulk of the comments and suggestions were in relative agreement on most issues.

Of those who spoke of foreign policy, almost all of you wanted a radically reduced American role in any sort of global alliances like the UN.  From there, proposals differed radically, but one thing surfaced repeatedly: You want the United States to continue its support of Israel, with only one exception.

There was near unanimous support for term limits, although ideas on how long varied.  I saw a suggestion for a maximum of six terms in the House, two terms in the Senate, while leaving the President as is.  There was one that suggested nobody needed to serve more than a single term as President.  There was one that I found interesting suggesting that we should have a total of twenty years federal service for elected officials, but that the presidential term limit still ought to apply.  The idea was to discouraged lengthy federal careers, giving the edge to people from the states to move up.  More than one of you suggested that staff be term-limited just like the officials under which they serve.  It was a mixed bag of ideas from very sedate and practical to much more radical and creative.

Speaking of ‘radical ideas,’ the number of you who thought it would be a good idea to reform the Federal Reserve system, or abolish it outright was rather high.  I always knew that conservatives never really liked the Federal Reserve, but I figured this to be mostly a libertarian position.  Apparently, that’s not at all the case. You want a stable currency with a stable store of value providing its backing.

Most of you wanted the bulk of the welfare state eliminated, particularly for able-bodied people.  You wanted strict lifetime limits. You wanted to see cash and cash-like subsidies replaced with food allotments to discourage widespread fraud. Three of you expressly called for a requirement to establish paternity of any child for whom support would be claimed.

You wanted work and savings and thrift to pay.  Four of you suggested eliminating the minimum wage outright, citing its negative effects on total employment and inflation.

Most of you thought our energy policy is a joke.  You think the government is discouraging rational energy ideas while subsidizing what some of you called boondoggles(“green energy” and ethanol subsidies) and others among you called corporate welfare.

There were a few other things you expressed.  Most of you were in favor of harsh punishments for corruption. Almost all of you favored a federal death penalty, those who mentioned it. Anybody who mentioned “affirmative action” did so in the negative.

There were various opinions on drug legalization, some strongly against, and a couple strongly in favor.

Everybody was angry about debt growth and deficit spending.

That’s covering a lot of ground, and I hope you’ll help me with the next step in this.  What I’d like to do is get your help in prioritizing these things.  So, here’s what you can do:  Select your top five, in order of importance, and if you think there’s something not mentioned here that must be mentioned, make  it number six on your list, and I will add it for the second round.

I think this gives us a good toe-hold on this cliff, but it’s a long and treacherous climb ahead.  I expect there will be disagreements, but the general sentiments expressed suggested to me that you’re mostly willing to work around some issues in favor of your most important priorities.  Much of what you’ve offered comports well with what I’ve seen of Tea Party doctrine, insofar as I know it, and you all seem willing to give this a go.  I want to thank all the respondents who filled my inbox, and submitted comments.

Submit your new lists with the subject line [Priorities] to markamerica@embarqmail.com

Thank you!

On Money and Politics

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Is Money the Problem?

There are many people who decry the influence of money in politics, but to be honest, I think most of them are confused about the causes and effects involved.  People will immediately assume that cash waved in a politician’s face will readily buy influence, and sadly, in all too many cases, they’re correct.  The question then becomes one of cause and effect, however, and I think this is where most people become confused.  Did the money corrupt the politician, or did he corrupt the money?  It remains my proposal to all who will listen that it is naive to believe that so long as government is involved in every facet of our daily lives, that you will ever substantially reduce corruption.  Every official has some financial interests, and it’s in this atmosphere that some propose that money must be gotten out of politics?  No, there’s no rational way to do so without destroying liberty, and besides, it doesn’t offer any hope of solving the actual cause of the problem.

There’s an old and important rule of economics that says simply:  One cannot purchase at any price that which is not for sale. The root of the corruption we see in politics lies not with those interests throwing about cash, but with the politicians who in one way or another accept money and benefits from them.  If you want to make a substantial change in the way politicians in Washington or anywhere else behave, you must address the corruption at its fundamental root:  The politician who is for sale.  If it were mine to do, and if there were even the slightest hope of enacting it, I would propose a new constitutional amendment stating simply:

Corruption among elected or appointed public officials constituting the better part of the potential evils of government, any official of government who uses their office and official authority for private gain, or gain of any sort beyond his salaries and benefits shall be eligible for trial as for charge of treason, with the same penalties to be applied.

The first time a public official faces such a charge, it will have a profound effect.  It’s easy for them to pretend they’re putting tough new limits and reforms in place, but the truth is that their regulations tend to punish them the most lightly of all, reserving the worst punishments for others.  I’ve always thought that the willing recipient of a bribe is far worse than the person who offered it.  As I said, it’s impossible to purchase influence if it isn’t for sale.

Of course, the problem extends beyond politicians.  In many cases, Congressional staff members are involved in the key details of writing legislation that ultimately profits a particular business or group, or class of citizens, and all too frequently, themselves.  The same goes for the extensive bureaucracy and the regulations they craft.  Too often, regulations are authored in order to benefit somebody in particular, but the only way to limit this effectively is to restrict that which government may regulate.  What we need to combat all of this is a separation of economics and State at least as thorough as that which we have erected between Church and State. The simple fact is that so long as government has its fingers in every pie, there will be reason to expect that those who own the pies will seek to minimize their losses.

I believe disclosure is critical.  Campaigns and causes should be required to list their contributors and donors from largest to smallest.  The truth is, I don’t care if you’re a billionaire and wish to spend a pile of money on a single candidate.  I would merely require that your contributions be listed and published prominently by any campaign to which you contribute.  I find it’s better and more honest to get it in the open.  How many of you would like to know exactly how much in indirect contributions Soros made to Barack Obama through intermediaries like MoveOn and other entities?  In this way, disclosure provides the key.  They’re going to find a way to do it so long as politicians have the monumental power you’ve permitted them to arrogate to themselves, so it is better that at the very least, we know in detail who is funding whom.

The other problem is that it’s usually not bribery per se, but more frequently a form of extortion.  It works like this:  Legislator Doe introduces a bill that would, on its face, harm the interests of a particular entity, knowing that this entity will then come in with a deal.  It’s a bit of a protection racket, and it’s not even hidden.  They do this sort of thing on a continual basis, because in terms of the number of laws enacted each year, there’s simply too much opportunity, and most of the laws aren’t written to prevent this sort of corruption.  That may be the real “trick” in all of this:  Too often, since they make the laws, they decide what does and does not constitute a violation of law on their part.  Prodding Congress to police itself is not going to be easy, if it can be done at all.  This is why various campaign finance reform initiatives, including McCain-Feingold are destined for failure.

I believe in free speech.  I believe that money spent in politics constitutes free speech.  Free speech does not apply to any other sort of entity than individual people.  The  sorry game that has cost the American people dearly is augmented by rules that limit what Americans can contribute in one form, while giving preference to a relative few Americans in another.  Newspapers, radio and television stations or networks function as advocates perpetually.  Is there a spending limit on how much positive coverage the New York Times can give to President Obama?  No, of course not, and there should not be.  Individual citizens are having this same right denied them by the FEC(Federal Elections Commission) on the shoddy basis that they’re not protected as “the press” under the First Amendment.

For instance, if you run a blog, you could be considered to have contributed to a campaign merely by linking to its website.  The value of the alleged contribution increases on the basis of how much traffic your blog sees.  The same thing is true of commentary on some TV stations, although other outlets have exemptions under the law.  This is clearly intended to stifle free speech, and yet TV funny-man(?) Stephen Colbert  wanted to lampoon the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court, and among the other things he wanted to do was to set up a PAC(Political Action Committee.)  Imagine his surprise when he found the maze of laws that would obstruct him. Colbert found himself facing the very obstacles he insists other must face, and he didn’t like it very much.

Let’s be honest about something else, while we’re at it.  Your money is yours.  If you want to spend all you have in support of a cause or a candidate, by what authority does anybody lay a claim to restrict you?  More, what authority does government have in defining what is “the press,” or more frequently, what is not?  The problem with all of this regulation of speech is that there is no fixed bright line, and depending upon who is pulling the strings at a given moment, the rules will be shifted and twisted to suit the cronies of whomever holds power.  Free speech isn’t really free when some people are forced to comply with regulations while others are exempted from those same regulations on the basis of some arbitrary law or rule.

The truth is simply that money doesn’t corrupt politics.  People do.  If you want reform, the only way you’re going to have it is to move toward a free speech paradigm in which all are unshackled in their speech, but that full disclosure of contributors and donors is known, ranked from largest to smallest, so that all discerning citizens can choose accordingly when they head to the polls.   We need also to get government out of the business of business. Too frequently, it is the involvement of government that makes it possible  for corporate  interests to buy influence.  If government officials weren’t offering influence, for what purpose would corporations lobby them?  To reform this system, we’re going to need honest people in Congress willing to live under a much more strict regimen, and part of this will include sending the professional staff home.  Too many of them have far too much influence on legislation, and until we start sending them home with the politicians for whom they work, we’re not going to get very far.  Money is a problem in politics only inasmuch as people are open to corruption.  That’s the root of our trouble, and it’s the most difficult problem to fix.

Boiling It Down, This Is What You’ve Said

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

The Hard Work Has Been Done

I’ve gathered together all the material and information so many of you have sent me these last few days, in response to my article Note to the GOP Establishment: Forget It!   I first wish to thank you all for your contributions, as they were from a diversity of sources and yet they all seemed to abide by a set of principles that I believe we can distill down to just a few things.  One of the recurrent themes was that we must adhere to our Constitution, and that we must bear in mind the reasons for our founding as expressed in our Declaration of Independence.  One of you actually submitted the Declaration and said: “Here, it’s all right here.”  Indeed, much of it is, but I think in order to carry our nation forward, and up out of its current morass, we must make clear what it had meant.

Let us begin, again, with our Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Our founders were breaking away from the King, and they were laying out their justifications.  They were making a case that we must not ignore, because in many ways, it has become our case too, although there is no official monarchy now oppressing us.  Here, they told us something critically important, and I want my readers to pay special heed to it, because we will revisit these concepts repeatedly:

…the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…

I should very much like to drill down on this for a moment, in reflection on its explicit meaning, but also its implicit reasoning.  “Separate and equal station” means the rights of all men as equals under the law.  Which law?  The “laws of Nature and Nature’s God.”  What does this mean to us, now?  It means that our rights are not a gift from the State, but arise from our nature.  It also tells us something else: The founders wanted posterity to understand that irrespective of the particulars of a particular faith, or of a lack thereof, we must acknowledge that all people possess these rights because nature demands it, and if you hold God to be the great author of Nature, then you must admit that these natural rights are those of all mankind.  In other words, it really doesn’t matter if you believe in God, or not, or which version of God, with respect to various religions, because Nature’s laws lay out what are the rights of people, so that if you believe in a God that created the heavens and the Earth, He also created the laws of nature.  Even if you do not believe in a God Almighty, still you must respect the laws of nature.  In this way, the great mind who wrote this document was already laying the groundwork for our nation’s eventual basis in fundamental rights in a way that its people could universally agree, irrespective of the particulars of their individual and very diverse faiths.

We may argue yet what are Nature’s Law, but this much we can be certain:  All people must observe and ultimately obey it.  Since governments are merely fictional entities created by mankind, they too must obey.   No government can be permitted special dispensations to ignore Nature’s Law, just as no individual may ultimately ignore it.  This is a great basis for law, since it represents the most objective basis upon which mankind can derive a governing philosophy.  In their day, the founding fathers and the framers of our Constitution were called “liberals.”  This is because they believed in liberalizing governance, and freeing individual men to pursue their own rational self-interests with minimal interference from other men.   Let me suggest to you that before we go any farther down this road, we must understand these labels, how their meanings have changed over time, and how we must recapture the language that has been stolen from us.

In the days of our revolution, the “conservatives” were those who did not wish to break free of England and its monarchy.  They were adherents of statism, since monarchy is merely another manifestation of the state’s supremacy over individuals.   In the very early 20th century, this went through an odd transformation, in that those who were mere “progressives” grabbed the label for their own use.  They were in fact a sort of counter-revolution, inasmuch as their policy ideas were intended to undo much of what our founders had put in place.  In a burst of Amendments, we got the 16th, establishing the statists’ income tax, the 17th, making the election of Senators by direct majority of the people of the states, thereby silencing the States in the federal government, the 18th, making alcohol illegal(Prohibition,) and the 19th finally giving women the right to vote anywhere in the US where it had been denied to them previously.

For fourteen years, the nation suffered under the idiocy of the 18th Amendment, until it was repealed in 1933 by the 20th.  Two of the other three Amendments of the period were equally awful, those being the 16th and 17th, both put into place in 1913 during the Wilson administration’s first year.  These two Amendments have done more damage to our nation than any others, even prohibition.  The people who put those in place, and carried us into WWI were “progressives,” who were in both parties, but predominately the Democrats, and who were intent upon reversing the ethos of natural law upon which our government had been built.  It was after their ideas became known that they beat a hasty escape to the label they appropriated for themselves: “Liberals.”  It was at this time that conservatism as we now know it was truly born.  Understand with care and attention to detail: Today’s conservatives are the founders’ era’s liberals, and what we today call “Liberals” are in fact nothing but statists, particularly of the leftist persuasion, but nevertheless interested in the supremacy of the state over individual men.

This is a long way of getting  back to our discussion, but it needs to be firmly understood:  We believe in the supremacy of individual rights over the authority of  state.  Our founders were exceedingly careful to build a small sphere of authority in which government could, under specific conditions, temporarily ignore the individual rights of people, but these were remarkably limited.  Several of you have gone to some lengths to remind me precisely how limited, most frequently in the context of Obamacare, but also with respect to other programs and actions of the federal government. Let us then remember that individual liberties are the cornerstone of our Republic, without which it will fall. Let us now consider the preamble of the Declaration of Independence carefully:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, 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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Here, the founders through Jefferson’s mighty pen specified that the aforementioned natural rights are unalienable, and that they were numerous.  “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is a phrase with which we ought all be familiar, but its meaning is lost on many who mouth the words not knowing their full meaning.  “Life” seems clear enough, and by “Liberty” they meant a variety of things, but remembering the times, they meant even so basic a notion as the concept of Habeus corpus, that people would not be held indefinitely without charges or trial.  Their view of liberty was broad.  “Pursuit of Happiness” has been a phrase of some controversy because the inevitable tyrannical minds wish to reduce its meaning, but we can learn much if we understand that this phrase had been “Life, Liberty and Property,” but that property alone had been deemed too narrow a concept.  This phrase was chosen not to exclude property rights as some statists will argue, but instead to augment those rights with a good deal more.  It was in recognition that men may find happiness in property, but in all manner of things to which they ought properly have a right. Now consider what they told us of the relationship of people to their government:

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

This is very important as a basic tenet of our form of government. Government exists not to rule over Men, but merely to secure their rights.  This means that government is to be strictly limited to the role of a policeman, a judge, a prison warden, and a military force.  This is what they were explaining to the King who ruled over them, together with the parliament.  Government does not exist to fund the ambitions or benevolence of some men at the expense of all others.  Having told us the proper function of government, they then tell us what gives cause to changing it:

“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.”

Ask yourself:  Has our current form of government become destructive of these ends?  In my view, it is plain to see that it is not the explicit form of our government that has become destructive, but all the incessant adulterations of that form that have been implemented over the last century. In point of fact, the framers of the Constitution would ultimately build a framework in which we could abolish most of any given current government in a single election, for in every fourth year, we can elect a President, all of the House of Representatives, and approximately one-third of the Senate.  The courts and the other departments are institutionally more immune, but nevertheless, we can abolish the corruptions of our system through the electoral process in no more than six years. The founders made clear the great struggle it is to abolish a bad form of government, and carefully explained the reasons why changing form should never be undertaken lightly:

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

This is a warning, and one we also should heed, because even now, their are elements within our country agitating to change our form of government in large part for complaints arising from ideas, notions, and practices that are not rightly part of our form of government.  I have read a lot of material from you, my readers, submitted and thoughtfully offered, and what all of them seem to have in common is the notion that our Constitution, if strictly observed, with the Declaration of Independence providing its purpose, really is the answer to our problems.  We don’t need a new form of government, but only to adhere to and practice the one we had been gifted, until the statists wrapped their dictatorial hands about its throat roughly a century ago.

Let us then start from this place, and resolve that we still hold these truths as self-evident:

  • That government must adhere to the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God
  • That government must serve its people through the guarantee of their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
  • That we believe in the supremacy of individual rights over the authority of  state
  • That Governments do not properly exist to fund the ambitions or benevolence of some men at the expense of all others
  • That our form of government ought only be changed after all efforts to repair it have been expended

We will surely expand upon these, and I will continue this series as time permits.  Sadly, it is true that we are running out of time to restore our Republic, but if we are to do so, I believe we must begin with our fundamentals, so that we know that affirmative idea for which we struggle.  Than you to all the many contributors, and even the many who sent an email stating “Interested.”  Even as I finish this more material is coming in.  I’d ask those of you who haven’t read them to consider two articles I’ve previously written as a primer for where we next take this discussion:

If our government is to be in the business of protecting our rights, we ought to know what is or isn’t a right.  If we’re going to restore our form of government, we ought to know what that form had been intended to be.