Archive for the ‘Declaration of Independence’ Tag

Sit Down and Shut Up, Americans!   Leave a comment

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
Having concluded the list of complaints whereby Britain denied Americans their right of self-government, the Declaration turned to the assault of the British government on the Americans’ lives, liberties, or properties, contrary to the purpose of government, which is “to secure these rights.”

George III approved, on December 22, 1775 and again on February 27, 1776, an act of Parliament which declared the colonies out of the King’s protection. The British government issued this declaration because of what it viewed as the intolerable degree of unruliness of the colonists. Basically, the American colonists were outlaws, in the original sense of the word.

 

If you have a complaint about American government in the 21st century, you’d best be careful how you state that complaint or you risk coming up on a surveillance program and having your life totally turned upside down.

Our government hasn’t officially declared war on us, but they sure are treating us like the enemy. Someone pointed out to me last night that it seemed interesting to her that whenever a official disagrees with the Obama administration, their sex life suddenly becomes common knowledge. Maybe it’s because they are moral scoundrels, but she found it really interesting that the sex lives of those who support the Obama administration (Anthony Weiner aside) don’t appear to make the media. Maybe it isn’t that the media isn’t reporting it. Maybe, she suggested, it is the NSA now finds out about these affairs through email and phone call tracking and chooses which ones to make public.

As far as I’m concerned the Patriot Act has pretty much declared war on all American citizens who hold views different from the current administration. But recognize, that if we change parties in the White House, we’ll just switch the enmity to those who disagree with the White House, so if you disagree with surveillance programs on principle, you’re an enemy of the state no matter who is in the White House.

Swapping Jurisdictions   Leave a comment

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
British policy allowed Americans to be transported to England at the desire of either prosecutor or defendant in trials of persons charged with having committed murder in the course of suppressing a riot or enforcing revenue laws. Americans charged with crime subject to trial in the military courts could also be transported far from the scene of the actual crime to stand trial. And, Americans could also themselves be shipped to England to stand trial for certain crimes against the King’s property, for example His Majesty’s ships or other military equipment. This policy was so obnoxious to the Americans that the first Continental Congress on October 21, 1774, adopted a resolution declaring “That the seizing, or attempting to seize, any person in America, in order to transport such person beyond the sea, for trial of offenses, committed within the body of a county in America, being against law, will justify, and ought to meet with resistance and reprisal.”

That’s not happening today, is it?

Well, … yeah, actually it is. Locally, Shaefer Cox committed his so-called crimes in Fairbanks. He vented, he gave some speeches, he planned violent actions in response to a future collapse of society (all theoretical) and he owned a semi-auto rifle that had been non-functioning since he’d attempted to convert it to an automatic more than 10 years before. Scary dude, huh? He did all these things in Fairbanks. The federal government insisted upon trying him in Anchorage and when his attorney objected that Anchorage is 400 miles away from Fairbanks, the judge replied that they could just as well move the trial to New Jersey and still get a fair jury of Shaefer’s peers.

You decide? Do you see any similarities?

Mock Trials   Leave a comment

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
The Sugar Act of April 5, 1764, entrusted military courts–the courts of admiralty and vice-admiralty–with enforcing all acts of the British Parliament pertaining to commerce and related revenues. In 1768, the British government, partly in an effort to suppress smuggling, increased the number of these courts. All trials by such courts were conducted without juries. Americans regarded trial by jury as a necessary protection to the rights of individuals against the abuse of power by government. It meant that before the coercive power of government could be brought to bear against a man, it had to be approved by a body of men, most likely his neighbors, who are not government employees.

Most of us were raised with the idea that in the United States of America, we are innocent until proven guilty and that we are owed a trial by a jury of our peers who approach the case fairly.

If you believe that, I have a pipeline in Alaska I’d like to sell to you … cheap.

Prosecutors enjoy a 98% “win” ratio. Most of their “wins” never actually go to court. People plea bargain before getting there. A number of cases have emerged from the Innocence Project showing that people sometimes plead guilty even though they didn’t commit the crime — DNA later proved someone else committed the crime. Why would you plead guilty to a crime you didn’t commit? Because your public defender, who works for the same state government the prosecutor works for, told you that it would be less time in jail if you didn’t fight the charge and convinced you that you would definitely be found guilty because you couldn’t prove that you didn’t do the crime.

If you do choose to go to trial, your public defender works for the same government as the prosecutor and so does the judge, so ….

Yeah … there’s no such thing as a fair trial if you can’t afford your own attorney.

George Zimmerman in courtAnd, even if you can — we all saw the Zimmerman case. In case you think you just imagined it — you didn’t. They prosecuted him on a charge that they couldn’t prove. That’s not unusual. A retired judge here in Alaska told me (several years ago now) that it is standard procedure for prosecutors to charge one step higher for any felony charge, so that when the defendant plea bargains (as 96% of them do) they will actually plead guilty  to what the prosecution believes they could prove in a court of law. Alaska has “also included charges”. So, if you’re charged with 1st degree murder, but actually guilty of manslaughter — two steps below Murder One — you have a compelling reason to accept the 2nd degree murder plea the prosecutor offers.  Since more than 50% of cases are represented by public defenders now, it’s a good strategy for incarcerating people for a very long time without any chance that they will appeal. You can’t appeal if you plea out and you’ll plea out if you’re scared enough — especially if you know you’re guilty of a lesser charge. Back when the judge was telling me this, most juries were biased in favor of the prosecution. I think that’s changing now, but many other examples where our American system of “justice” is anything but just and very much the opposite of a presumption of innocence.

That’s not King Obama’s fault, by the way, folks! When you’re pointing your fingers, please note the three pointing back at you. We’re all guilty of allowing this travesty to develop.

Posted July 27, 2013 by aurorawatcherak in History, Tyranny

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Intolerable Acts   Leave a comment

The Declaration of Independence happened because of a specific set of historical circumstances. We aren’t taught about those in our schools anymore, so one goal that I have in analyzing the Declaration is to provide that historical context.

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

When I was in honors history class in high school and later as a political science minor in college, instructors would throw out the term “The Intolerable Acts” without explaining that these were. The Intolerable Acts were passed by Parliament partly in response to the “Boston Tea Party” (December 16, 1773). In 1774, the British government decided that it was not possible to single out the participants in the Tea Party for punishment, so imposed a series of punitive actions against the town of Boston and the entire colony of Massachusetts Bay. There were five acts:

  1. The Boston Port Act closed the port of Boston beginning June 1, 1774, until the East India Company had been repaid for the losses it had suffered as a result of the Tea Party; this act in effect declared a military blockade of Boston. Thus, John Hancock and others became smugglers.
  2. The Administration of Justice Act empowered the Massachusetts governor (a political appointee sent from DC … I mean, London) to transfer either to Britain or to another colony for trial any official or soldier accused of a capital crime committed in the line of duty who could not expect a fair trial in Massachusetts.
  3. The Massachusetts Government Act nullified and altered the Massachusetts Charter in several ways, by stipulating, among other things, that the Council would thenceforth be appointed by the Crown rather than elected by the House of Representatives, and that town meetings could not be held without the prior written approval of the governor.
  4. The Quartering Act authorized every colonial governor under certain conditions to lodge troops in private establishments; this act showed that the British government intended to act firmly, very likely with force, to suppress American self-government.
  5. The Quebec Act reversed previous colonial policy by depriving inhabitants of Quebec of representation in government; this act also declared that the Roman Catholic religion was to be given the support of government in the exercise of its “accustomed dues and rights,” meaning that Catholics would be taxed to support the Catholic clergy. It also extended the territory of Quebec far southward, including a vast area we call Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Many American colonists viewed this as a cynical British attempt to buy the loyalty of Catholic priests so that they would not protest its abolition of republican government in Canada and prevent the westward expansion of the colonies by peopling the western region with Catholics who would willingly submit to despotic government if their priests urged it.

So it’s 2013 and the Intolerable Acts are history, right?

Oh, really????

1) How many of us will need medical care that will become unavailable in the United States within a half-decade of the full runout of ObamaCare and have to travel to third-world countries just get get medical treatment? Many doctors — my own and a cousin who works at a major research center — say this will be the outcome of ObamaCare.

2) I’ve mentioned Shaeffer Cox here before. An Alaskan who was an effective voice for liberty who also shot his mouth off in private, planning what he and his small group would do if there was ever a governmental collapse and theoretical soldiers came to impose theoretical martial law. He was found guilty of crimes against the government, though there was never any actual action taken. How did a jury come to that conclusion? Well, it wouldn’t have in Fairbanks because here we know that venting keeps you from actually carrying out crimes of violence. The feds knew that we knew that, so they transferred the federal jurisdiction to Anchorage, which is a far less libertarian town. The demographic makeup of the jury was essentially no long-time Alaskans. The prosecutor wanted people who were afraid of guns, unfamiliar with rifles, and preferrably either military members or their spouses. They got that. Arguments by the defense that Anchorage, which is 400 miles away from Fairbanks, was not a venue of like-minded citizens fell on deaf ears. The prosecutor went so far as to say in the media that the trial could also be held in Washington DC because all of the United States is federal venue. Do you think that’s a fair trial? Cox also had to pay for every defense witness to travel and to stay in Anchorage, which limited the scope of his defense because when you’re locked up behind bars, you can’t make any money. Of course, he was found guilty.

3) Alaska’s constitution requires that our wildlife resources by managed for the benefit of all Alaskans. Federal law (not constitution, just a law) requires that wildlife be managed for with rural preference. Forget that rural residents also have easier access to the game (remembering that Alaska has few roads, so you have to fly in). During times of scarcity (definition of which changes with the federal wind from week-to-week sometimes), rural residents get first crack at the game and then urban residents get a chance. But, ironically, when it comes to fish, out-of-state commercial fishers get first shot off-shore, then the rural residents and finally, the urban residents. So, 25% of the population of the state gets more access to 100% of the game than 75% of the state does — in violation of our state constitution, because of a law that probably violates the United States constitution.

4) The Quartering Act — soldiers do not live in our homes. Discussion closed! WRONG! The NSA has the ability and the usurped authority to listen to our telephone conversations and read our emails and Word Press posts for the purposes of using that content against American citizens. Anyone with a GPS equipped car can be tracked easily with modern technology and there’s no reason to believe you’re not being We’re living the Quartering Act every day and most of us don’t even realize it.

5) If you live in a western state, you know that most of your state belongs to Washington DC. Good luck using it for ANYTHING. If you live near a wetland, have fun in court if you ever want to build anything. Think it would be a good idea to build a refinery so the gasoline would be cheaper in your area? Laughing hysterically at the suggestion. There hasn’t been one permitted in over 25 years. Are we being prevented from expanding? And, what about the buy-off? Well, faith-based organizations take federal dollars in exchange for … not discussing politics. Alaska almost seceded in the 1980s, so the federal government increased revenue-sharing — making us part of the interstate highway funding system, for example — in order to placate us and make us less surly. It worked — for a while.

The Intolerable Acts — alive and well in a town near you.

No Taxation without Representation   1 comment

Before my laptop had a disabling encounter with water, we were working out way through the Declaration of Independence, seeking to see where our current government is acting a lot like the British in 19976.

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

This is not a problem we have today. We have plenty of trade. We could have a discussion about our trade imbalance, how environmental regulations prevent us from having trade appropriate to our national needs. We could also have a discussion about how Alaska is prevented from selling our oil overseas. We’re required to sell our oil to domestic markets, which costs Alaska a fair amount of money on every barrel of oil. It’s not a wide spread problem, but tyranny exacted toward one state should be the concern of all states.

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: 

The Stamp Tax of the early 1760s was the first major cause of the quarrel between the Americans and the British. It occasioned the first strong articulation of the principles of the Declaration by James Otis in 1764, entitled “The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved.” The principle “no taxation without representation” was soon extended to the whole conduct of government. Not just taxes, but all acts of government must be by “the consent of the governed.”

Supposedly we have representation in Congress, but many of us experience regulatory “taxes” all the time. We don’t realize we pay these taxes, because they’re hidden in our phone and electric bills and the cost of items we buy. ObamaCare is requiring a lot of new “fees” on medical supplies. Ask your Congressman if there’s anyway to discontinue these fees. I know the answer. Even those who are sympathetic to our side of things will tell you that it’s not going to happen without a major reform of the administrative state.

Have you heard of the REINS Act? Have you written your Congressional delegation about it yet?

Protecting Our Soldiers from Us   Leave a comment

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

In 1768, a dispute occurred between some soldiers and citizens of Annapolis, in Maryland, and two of the Litter were killed by the former. As they were marines, belonging to an armed vessel lying near, they were arraigned before the court of admiralty for murder, on the complaint of some of the citizens. The whole affair assumed the character of a solemn farce, so far as justice was concerned; and, as might have been expected, the miscreants were acquitted.

In 1771, a band of patriots, called the “Regulators,” in North Carolina, became so formidable, and were so efficacious in stirring the people to rebellion, that Governor Tryon of that colony determined to destroy or disperse them. Having learned that they had gathered in considerable force upon the Alamance River, he proceeded thither with quite a large body of regulars and militia. They met near the banks of that stream, and a parley ensued. The “Regulators,” asking only for redress of grievances, sought to negotiate, but Tryon peremptorily ordered them to disperse. This they refused to do, and some of his men, thirsting for blood, fired upon them and killed several. These soldiers were afterward arraigned for murder, through the clamorous demands of the people ; but, after a mock trial had been acted, they were acquitted, and thus they were “protected from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states.”

Here in Alaska, it is rare for a soldier who commits a crime off base to be tried in a civilian court. Our local police almost always hand them over to the base commander. They are court-martialed and may spend time in a military stockade, but civilian justice is not served.

Similarly, have you ever noticed that your local police can quite literally get away with murder and not even lose their jobs. Anchorage City Police have killed five (5) people in 2013 and four, so far, have been ruled justifiable. Some of the assailants were unarmed, but you know — they looked angrily at the police officer, so ….

Have you recognized tyranny yet?

Posted July 14, 2013 by aurorawatcherak in History

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Pretend Legislation   Leave a comment

We’re still looking at the Declaration of Independence. Looking back 240 years, a lot of us really don’t know what Thomas Jefferson and his editors (John Adams and Benjamin Franklin) were talking about. so I am attempting to put it into historical context, but also looking at if there are any similarities today.

We’ve seen that there are:

  • King George locked up large swaths of land and even declared that property owned by citizens was really just on loan from him.King DC says the same thing (and we’re going to get into the land grab in the near future).
  • King George dissolved colonial legislatures and refused them the power to enact laws unique to their circumstances. King DC does the same thing (think Arizona’s reasonable attempts to control illegal immigration when ICE refuses to do so). King Obama has overridden Congress with hundreds of executive orders, essentially rendering Congress irrelevant in governance. King Obama resoundingly lost both elections for President in the State of Alaska, but we duly elected our Congressional delegation. Do I feel like I’m being ruled without representation. Oh, yeah!
  • King George kept standing armies in the colonies (while in England they were not kept in communities) and enacted taxes to pay for them. We have lots of military bases everywhere and let’s face it, the United States military is second only to entitlements in spending and the largest military in the world.
  • King George enacted a plethora of new agencies to harass American colonists and, man, do we ever have agencies whose official duties can be boiled down to harassing American citizens.

Up to this point, Thomas Jefferson was speaking in generalities, but with this line he gets specific. We might not know what he was writing about, but Parliament did.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

This line introduces a recitation of certain acts of Parliament regarded as unconstitutional exercises of authority by the Americans. King George had given his assent to these acts of “pretended Legislation,” when he refused to exercise his veto on them. The “others” referred to here are the members of Parliament. This entire section rests upon a principal issue for the colonists: To what extent did the British Parliament have the authority to legislate for the American colonists? Keep in mind the principle stated at the beginning of the Declaration: all legitimate political power derives from the consent of the governed. This principle is implicit in the phrase “foreign to our Constitution.” Jefferson refers to the American understanding of the British constitution (see his Summary View), which rests upon the principle of consent. “Our constitution,” in this view, rightfully grants authority to the colonial legislatures to make laws for their respective colonies. The Founders believed that the colonists in each of the colonies had voluntarily consented to be governed by their own elected representatives. The colonies acknowledged King George as their “chief executive,” and were in this sense British citizens, but the colonists had not consented to be governed by the British Parliament; it therefore had no authority over them. Thus, when King George gave his consent to the acts of “pretended Legislation” of Parliament, he had given the colonists the justification for dissolving their allegiance to him, and thus for declaring their independence.

So it’s 2013 and our president ignores Congress to unconstitutionally create law by executive order, but Congress also passed massive spending bills that polled as majorly (as in majority) opposed by the American people, culminating in forcing through the laughably named Affordable Care Act on a partisan vote through only the Senate, which is constitutionally not allowed to initiate spending bills — of which anyone with half a brain can see the ACA is. All laws were meant to have to pass through BOTH houses of Congress and then to the president. In this case, “pretend” legislation made it to the President’s desk and he gave his consent, thereby giving us justification for at least nullification of the law, if not secession from the union.

Did we consent to be ruled without representation? NO! Did we consent to ruled by “pretend” legislation?

ONLY IF WE ALLOW IT TO STAND!

Standing Armies   Leave a comment

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

Standing armies had long been regarded, in both England and America, as a danger that required the closest supervision of the people. England did not keep standing armies on her own soil, but found nothing wrong with it in the Americas. At the end of the Seven Years’ War with France (the American portion was called the French & Indian War), English troops were not withdrawn from the colonies. The Quartering Act, passed by the British government in 1765, made the colonies liable for supporting the troops.

This practice was a violation of the principle that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. In A Summary View of the Rights of British America, Jefferson wrote that if the King did indeed have the right to keep standing armies in the colonies during times of peace without America’s consent, such a right “might swallow up all our other rights whenever he should think proper.”

Of course, the United States of America has standing armies in American communities. It used to be that young men joined the military during a war and were discharged back into society at the end of the conflict. There were some who served as a career, but most of the fighting force was a citizen’s army. Nowadays … well, you tell me. Here in Fairbanks, Alaska, I can drive to four military bases within two hours of my home. Military personnel and their families are a part of our community. Many military members return  here upon retirement. However, I would not say that the military is always a positive influence on our community. With the return of troops from Iraq/Afghanistan, we saw bar fights, shootings and stabbings, women being beaten. Increasingly, we told that the military member was remanded to base personnel to be adjudicated there.

How is it in your community?

Posted July 13, 2013 by aurorawatcherak in History, Liberty

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Administrative State 1776   Leave a comment

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

The British government in the American colonies had establish additional customs officials and courts of admiralty (military, not civil courts) in an effort to enforce trade laws and prevent smuggling. Since none of these officials were approved by the colonial legislatures, they were illegitimate.

John Hancock’s famously huge signature spoke to this. Hancock was a privateer — a smuggler according to the British. He brought needed supplies of food, etc., in violation of the British rules. He had warrants out for his arrest when he attended the Continental Congress that approved the Declaration of Independence. He wanted to assure that those who were looking for him knew that he was not afraid to appear in public in the American colonies.

When we think about “a multitude of New Offices” sent to “harrass our people and eat out their substance” … in 2013, we need look no further than the administrative state — OSHA, FAA, FHWA, FHA, DEA, DHS,  NSA, IRS, DHS, FTC, EPA, FCA, ICE, FDA….

Do you not see the similarities?

Separation of Powers   Leave a comment

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

In 1761, the English government declared that the tenure of colonial court judges was at the discretion of the King. Almost immediately, New York’s colonial judges refused to carry out their duties unless their commissions under the King were for continuance in office during good behavior. The New York legislature passed a law stipulating such tenure. When the British government learned of this law, it sent instructions to the colonial governors forbidding them from assenting to any act passed by their legislatures pertaining to the tenure of judges.

In writing the United States Constitution, the Founders sought to separate the judiciary from the executive branch, in order to make government abuse of power less likely, to safeguard from restrictions on the people’s unalienable rights.  The American system of government is based on a separation of powers because our Founders had discovered by painful experience that integrated government is autocratic and tyannical.

The existence of administrative courts that operate at the behest of the agency they are integral to is, therefore a constitutional violation, that has — among other things — resulted in citizens being unable to exercise their unalienable right to make reasonable use of their own property.

Have we reached tyranny yet?

Posted July 12, 2013 by aurorawatcherak in History, Liberty

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