The Death Of The Republic

This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.

Benjamin Franklin

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

Revelation 3:15-17

The opposite of love is not hate – it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn.

Leo Buscaglia

Love cannot endure indifference. It needs to be wanted. Like a lamp, it needs to be fed out of the oil of another’s heart, or its flame burns low.

Henry Ward Beecher

I intend to explore for the rest of the week and beyond what seems to me to be the a serious threat to our republic, and what could ultimately be it’s death.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are staring at the gaping maw of tyranny – it is here, it is now, it is ongoing with the various and rapid-fire scandals at IRS, the Department of Justice, at NSA, and the full court press that these federal authorities are putting on the Bill of Rights and the liberties and freedoms enshrined therein.

You may say that scandals happen to every administration and the warning of encroaching tyranny is sounded every few years and nothing ever seems to come of it, but I believe we have entered a new highly dangerous point in the history of the experiment of American liberty.

I believe that we are under attack.  The attack is not coming from some other country or even one person or group in particular.  We are the enemy, because the root of the problem is apathy, indifference, and a lack of love.

Tune in tomorrow for why WE are the enemy to our own liberty.

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Abuse of Powers

When the US Constitution was adopted, it was with the understanding that a number of amendments would immediately be proposed, passed, and given to the states to approve in order to further enshrine a number of commonly understood rights and privileges of the individual citizens and of the states themselves. Very important point to remember in this is that the amendments themselves did not bestow any of these rights as written or understood today or even then.  The amendments handcuffed the government in light of them and should serve as a constant reminder where the true power lies in this country – with you and I, as individual actors and citizens, empowered by an Almighty God, not by the whims of a beneficent government.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

These rights were not passed to protect the citizen of that day from governmental encroachment, but to clarify for future generations what rights were held sacrosanct by the founders of this great nation.  They collectively requested a number of enumerated rights by codified to prevent any confusion in the future.  What is most interesting to this former political science student is how horribly they have been eroded.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  1. Social media is monitored and data-mined in order to gather intelligence.  This is done without a warrant, nor aimed specifically at a single terrorist/criminal, but rather society as an whole.
  2. Statements made freely and openly can lead to your arrest for political speech.
  3. The concept of separation of church and state is not found in this text, but it is enforced by legislative and judicial fiat as the law of the land.
  4. Peaceful assembly and collective freedom of speech/protest has been banned.
  5. The government has taken steps to censor the media through regulatory means, through threat of arrest, imprisonment, and fine, and through veto power over story publication.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  1. I have written a great deal about this particular amendment because of how important I hold it (above the rest as it is the guarantor of liberty and freedom).  Any attempts by the government to limit our rights in this regard (assault weapons bans, carry bans, ammunition bans, excessive fees/taxes, etc) I see as violations of the ending clause.  Thankfully, the courts are finally seeing cases that expose many of the more excessive laws for what they are… unconstitutional and in gross violation of the letter of the law as well as the intent of it.

Amendment III
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

  1. I’ll admit I had to dig for this one all the way back to World War Two.  On this amendment, the government’s track record is significantly better than the rest.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  1. Strip searches for minor infractions are permitted.
  2. Sense-enhancing search methods are permitted without more than an anonymous tip.
  3. Wireless communications are monitored by law enforcement and archived indefinitely.
  4. Government unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly called drones) are permitted to gather intelligence domestically and to monitor everyone in their general area in the interests of public safety.
  5. In order to use commercial transportation, you must consent to a search of your person (either through electronic means or physical search). More so, these sorts of intrusions are not limited to air travel, but have appeared and used in train stations, bus stations, and interstate highways.  And don’t bother trying to opt out or protest how thing are being handled or you could end up with a criminal record or being threatened by an entire agency of the government.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

  1. The 2012 NDAA gave the President the authority to detain American citizens without due process. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield,” (ACLU).
  2. Held without charge and temporarily committed in a psychiatric facility.  He was released with no charges filed upon a judge’s order.
  3. People can now be compelled to provide passwords/passkeys to access your personal computer(s) in order to aide the prosecution of a crime in gathering evidence against you.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

  1. This is one of the amendments where I had a great deal of difficulty finding a concrete violation.  The track record on this one appears to be okay at least over the last few years.  The indefinite detentions in the NDAA fall under a violation of the 5th and 6th in my mind.

Amendment VII
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

  1. Again, concrete examples are hard to find.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

  1. The first 8th amendment case to reach the Supreme Court was decided in 1998.  There is little definition of excessive bails and fines so your definition of each may differ from mine.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

  1. Vague and numerous examples abound.  I take this as more of a “don’t read into the language too much because it means what it says in plain language.”

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  1. Rainwater collection mandates by the EPA.
  2. Arizona’s immigration controls halted by the court.
  3. Obamacare, and all other nonenumerated departments, bureaus, and offices of the federal government.

The simple fact is that these collections of violations and observations are just a small fraction of the number of probable violations in existence or practice today.  My point in writing this is to point out the variety of violations that are happening all around us as we live our lives.  Some of them are for issues I care about, some aren’t, but for me to stand on my principles and demand Constitutional government, it must be an all or nothing stance.

Need

One of the questions being blasted over the airwaves and over print media has been “why does anyone need an assault rifle/high capacity magazine?” (My apologies over the use of assault rifle per my previous rants on this misnomer).

This is a difficult question to answer as the sort of person asking the question either has not thought through the ramifications of their premise, nor are they knowledgeable enough about Constitutional construction, modern firearms technology, or lethal force application principles to be involved in the discussion anyway.

How do you answer their question sufficiently in a way that they will understand without belittling their lack of information or understanding?

Christ often used parables to insert a thought into the minds of men who were either incapable or unwilling to know and understand the Truth if presented openly.  What follows was inspired by a number of similar writings on message boards and hopefully conveys this concept in a way more commonly understood than by those of us who have taken the time to learn not only where we stand, but why we stand there based on facts and historical writings.

The authors of the Constitution were extremely forward thinkers.  They understood when they put pen to paper to write our foundational document that they would not have all of the answers.  They included things like the amendment process in order to allow the document to be modernized and changed while still preserving the integrity of it and the principles it codified.  They also understood that they would one day die and it would be up to others to interpret that document to infer those principles as time and technology advanced.  They wrote extensively in the Federalist Papers of the Constitution and the first ten amendments to it (which are the Bill of Rights) and how those should be understood for common men and for future generations.

Now, the United States, with all of it’s component parts, side-by-side systems and hierarchical structure is fairly similar to a computer.  The Constitution is the computer’s operating system.  It provides the framework for all of the computer’s potential to be put to work.  All of the various laws and bureaucracies are like computer programs – some are big, some are small, but they are supposed to work with the operating system to enhance the computer.

The founders understood men to be fallible, so they codified the First Amendment, our right to freedom of speech, the press, to assemble, to petition the government to tackle our complaints and fix the problems we have with it.  The First is like an antivirus and firewall on a computer.  It protects the inner workings of the computer from malicious programs or data packets that would damage it, one of the regular programs, or the operating system as a whole.  The founders considered it to be the first line of defense against corruption and destruction of the computer of the U.S.

Imagine your computer, what is the first program that starts after you turn it on?  The operating system.  The second is the antivirus and firewall.

What happens to your computer though when something invades through the firewall and disables the antivirus?  What can you do?

There are a few options remaining.  You can wipe the system, reinstall the operating system, and essentially start completely anew, but having lost a great deal of time and irreplaceable data.  Terrible damage was done, but all was not lost.  That is what the Second Amendment to the Consitution is for… it codified the right, that the founders understood to be possessed by all by virtue of their very existence, to keep and bear arms (more on this momentarily).  They understood that the computer needed a way to defend itself as well and that if the very programs that defended the computer, such as the antivirus (freedom of the press), were co-opted to work for the malicious program, then a built-in defense mechanism would be necessary.  That mechanism needed to be sufficiently powerful to be able to overthrow the rogue programs and files, beat back the original malicious program, and basically do a system restore to the “computer.”  It’s dirty, annoying, and takes time, but some malicious programs are that mean.

But, do you really need a rifle that can shoot thirty times before reloading?

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.

Noah Webster

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.

Patrick Henry

The whole of that Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals…[I]t establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.

Albert Gallatin

The right of self defence is the first law of nature…. Wherever the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.

St. George Tucker

No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people

William Rawle

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story

The arms intended by the Constitution are such as are suitable for the general defence of the community against invasion or oppression.

Thomas Cooley

So the next time someone asks why you need a thirty r0und magazine for your evil black rifle, don’t belittle them. Educate them on why.  Use a metaphor if you need to, but let them leave the conversation with a deeper respect of the reason why.  If you can break the framework of their thought process a little, you might just find them able to better understand the truth differently phrased.

Or simply ask them why they seem to want the return of feudalism or the rise of centralized totalitarianism so badly?

Violation of Second Amendment liberties is part of a comprehensive program to centralize political power and to overcome the ability of citizens to use the ballot box to resist the extension of this centralized political power.

Gary North

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