Thursday, November 5, 2009
The Case for Treason: Has our Government grown Despotic?
(originally posted in July)
We are living in dangerous, uncertain times. The economic collapse deepens each day, wars are raging all around us, terrorism is now a household word in America, flu pandemics are being declared, and under the influence of all of these concerns, government is tightening the bands around our civil liberties in a most permanent way. The question is, "how much is too much?"
This is somewhat of a complex problem. It is my greatest hopes that many of you will read this entire article, and take the time to digest what I put forth here. I believe that it was inevitable that our government become tyrannical. The permission we have given to our politicians has created a class of citizens above ourselves. This has happened quite contrary to the idea that these very citizens now placed above us, who run our country on their own whims and in secrecy from us, were intended to be our servants.
The one protection put into the Constitution to prevent this from fully happening was the Bill of Rights. It is IMPERITIVE that we understand that those first ten amendments were the result of the bickering and outright opposition raised by the anti-federalists during the Constitutional debates in 1788. The anti-federalists argued that there were no provisions that would effectively secure the individual rights of Americans in the original Constitution. The resultant ten amendments outline our precious individual rights, and only in conjunction with each other do those rights prevent government from growing fully despotic. That is why there is major cause for alarm today as we see these civil rights being legislated away in Congress and abused on the streets.
During those debates surrounding the ratification of the Constitution in 1788, many voices were heard in favor of, and opposing this radical new government that would govern the United States. One of the loudest voices of opposition was Patrick Henry. It is not that he was not loyal to America, no, not in the least. In fact, his opposition was based upon his very dedication to liberty and freedom. It was in the designs of our then forming government that Henry seen the makings of despotism. If we take a close look at a few points made by Henry, and compare them to our modern dilemma, we can see not only how correct his concerns were, but how factually prophetic they have become.
Most telling of these speeches was the one made by Patrick Henry on June 5, 1788. He objected to the overreaching authority of the proposed federal government specifically because he feared the abuse of power by our Representatives.
"But we are told that we need not fear, because those in power being our Representatives, will not abuse the powers we put in their hands: I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection, whether liberty has been destroyed most often by the licentiousness of the people, or by the tyranny of rulers? I imagine, Sir, you will find the balance on the side of tyranny."
Henry could envision the flaws in a Representative democracy based upon the inevitability of men to become corrupt. Do we not see this today? Yes, we certainly do. Our Representatives, many of whom have been in Washington for three or four decades, repeatedly deny our voices any merit. They pass massive bills without even reading them. They alter bills at the last minute before votes. They attach amendments to bills that are completely unrelated, (such as the current unConstitutional Hate Crimes bill being attached to the "must pass" Defense Fund bill for 2010.) They propose, and often pass, bills that fly in complete defiance to the Constitution and Bill of Rights (Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, John Werner Act, and proposed H.R. 45, H.R. 2159, H.R. 2647, Cap and Trade, etc.) The nation's people screamed in opposition to the "bail outs", yet they overwhelmingly passed it, only to benefit certain banks while leaving the rest of us to continue to suffer in worsening conditions.
How does this happen? How can the Bill of Rights guarantee a right to privacy, yet the Patriot Act says you don't have it? How can it guarantee a right to due process, yet the Patriot Act says you don't have that either? How are our rights to privacy, private property, due process, keep and bear arms, free speech, and other rights protected by the Constitution continually under assault by these Representatives?
Patrick Henry was keen to point this problem out over 200 years ago, "However uncharitable it may appear, yet I must tell my opinion, that the most unworthy characters may get into power and prevent the introduction of amendments: Let us suppose (for the case is supposeable, possible, and probable) that you happen to deal these powers to unworthy hands; will they relinquish powers already in their possession, or agree to amendments? Two-thirds of the Congress, or of the State Legislatures, are necessary even to propose amendments: If one-third of these be unworthy men, they may prevent the application for amendments; but what is destructive and mischievous is, that three-fourths of the State Legislature, or of State Conventions, must concur in the amendments when proposed: In such numerous bodies, the must necessarily be some designing bad men: To suppose that so large a number as three-fourths of the States will concur, is to suppose they will possess genius, intelligence, and integrity, approaching to miraculous...It is, Sir, a most fearful situation, when the most contemptible minority can prevent the alteration of the most oppressive Government."
Although today's situation involves the passing of bills, as our government simply does not see the need to amend the Constitution in order to change or override it, Henry's words still ring true. A small contemptible minority are in control, and they do not hear our voices. Even our president now tells us that he will not obey our laws. Obama's signing statement given while signing the recent war funding bill strictly pertained to his ignoring of restrictions put on the executive branch within the bill. He signed the law, as he was telling us he himself would not follow it. Amazing.
When government ceases to listen to us; ceases to give us redress to our grievances, what can we do? The federal government has grown beyond belief. We actually do not even know how big it is! So much of it is now kept secret from the American People, and new bureaucracies are created all the time, expanding the federal while indebting us in taxes to pay for it all.
As Henry put it, "My great objection to this Government is, that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights; or, of waging war against tyrants: It is urged by some Gentlemen, that this new plan will bring us an acquisition of strength, an army, and the militia of the States: This is an idea extremely ridiculous: Gentlemen cannot be in earnest. This acquisition will trample on your fallen liberty: Let my beloved Americans guard against that fatal lethargy that has pervaded the universe: Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defence, the militia is put into the hands of Congress?"
As Henry clearly points out, without a Second Amendment, there is no security for liberty.
Today, many Americans fear the government. They are continually trying to disarm us, and in many ways have succeeded incrementally. Now, especially under the Obama administration, they are criminalizing dissent. The MIAC report of Homeland Security, H.R. 2159, H.R. 2647, and on and on. Anyone who speaks out against government is basically considered a terrorist, including gun owners, tax protesters, Constitutionalists, etc. (I have posted the links to these government documents so many times, if you have any doubts as to the truth to what I am saying, read previous blogs and check the links for yourself.) These fears are well grounded, for many of us know that tyranny is upon us once again in this great nation.
The most chilling of Henry's statements concerning this matter was driven by his sharp understanding of the history of liberty and tyranny,
"The Honorable Gentleman who presides, told us, that to prevent abuses in our Government, we will assemble in Convention, recall our delegated powers, and punish our servants for abusing the trust reposed in them. Oh, Sir, we should have fine times indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people. Your arms wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and have no longer a aristocratical; no longer democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in any nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all? You read of a riot act in a country which is called on of the freest in the world, where a few neighbours cannot assemble with the risk of being shot by a hired soldiery, the engines of despotism. We may see such an act in America. A standing army we shall have also, to execute the execrable commands of tyranny: And how are you to punish them? Will you order them to be punished? Who shall obey these orders? Will your Mace-bearer be a match for a disciplined regiment? In what situation are we to be?
The clause before you gives a power of direct taxation, unbounded and unlimited: Exclusive power of Legislation in all cases whatsoever, to ten miles square; and over all places purchased for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, etc. What resistance could be made? The attempt would be madness. You will find all the strength of this country in the hands of your enemies: Those garrisons will naturally be the strongest places in the country. Your militia is given up to Congress also in another part of this plan: They will therefore act as they think proper: All power will be in their own possession: You cannot force them to receive their punishment: Of what service would militia be to you, when most probably you will not have a single musket in the State; for as arms are to be provided by Congress, they may or may not furnish them.
Let me here call your attention to that part which gives the Congress power, "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." By this, Sir, you see that their control over our last and best defence, is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless.[auth. note: today they have criminalized our militia]: The States can do neither, this power being exclusively given to Congress; The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed, is ridiculous; So that this pretended little remains of power left to the States, may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory.
Our situation will be deplorable indeed: Nor can we ever expect to get this government amended, since I have already shewn, that a very small minority may prevent it; and that small minority interested in the continuance of the oppression: Will the oppressor let go of the oppressed? Was there ever an instance? Can the annals of mankind exhibit one single example, where rulers overcharged with power, willingly let go the oppressed, though solicited and requested most earnestly?"
Now is the time for each one of us to sit down, and quietly ask ourselves, what is really happening here? With this new administration building upon the Patriot Act type of legislation set before it, we are in big trouble. We now have a "no-fly" list with over a million names on it of Americans who are not allowed to move about freely, though they have not been charged with a crime and given due process of law. We have a president talking about "preventative detention", which is indefinite imprisonment without any due process or representation. We have a chief of staff, Emanuel, talking about a mandatory, forced civilian service for all Americans beginning in middle school, and who is also pushing for those million plus Americans stripped of their mobility to be stripped of their Second Amendment rights without due process as well.
Right now, this month, we have foreign troops in the U.S. participating in FEMA's martial law exercise NLE 09 (don't believe it? google it: NLE 09). That means, under martial law, you could have foreign troops in your living room barking orders at your family in broken English.
It is actually dangerous to be outspoken about tyranny now. Dissent is criminalized. Militia activity is demonized and criminalized. Is Patrick Henry's vision of an America where neighbors could not assemble without risk of being shot by hired soldiery becoming a reality?
If we do not heed these warnings, the very arguments that gave birth to our Bill of Rights, we shall surely perish as subjects, not a free people. These rights have been infringed, and are under continuous assault RIGHT NOW!
STAND UP AND SHOUT "NO, WE WILL NOT ALLOW OUR CIVIL RIGHTS TO BE TAKEN AWAY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!"
Its time to Fire Washington, and put some people on that hill that know what being American is all about.