Archive for the ‘independence’ Tag

Independence Hypocrisy   1 comment

 

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/12/walter-e-williams/independence-hypocrisy/

Image result for image of walter e williamsOfficials in Catalonia, Spain’s richest and most highly industrialized region, whose capital is Barcelona, recently held a referendum in which there was a 92 percent vote in favor of independence from Spain. The Spanish authorities opposed the referendum and claimed that independence is illegal. Catalans are not the only Europeans seeking independence. Some Bavarian people are demanding independence from Germany, while others demand greater autonomy. Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ruled: “In the Federal Republic of Germany … states are not ‘masters of the constitution.’ … Therefore, there is no room under the constitution for individual states to attempt to secede. This violates the constitutional order.”

Germany has done in Bavaria what Spain and Italy, in its Veneto region, have done; it has upheld the integrity of state borders. There is an excellent article written by Joseph E. Fallon, a research associate at the UK Defence Forum, titled “The Catalan Referendum, regional pressures, the EU, and the ‘Ghosts’ of Eastern Europe” (http://tinyurl.com/y8dnj6s6). Fallon writes that by doing what it’s doing in Bavaria, “Berlin is violating international law on national self-determination. It denies to Bavaria what it granted to the 19 states that seceded from Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. In fact, Germany rushed to be first to recognize the independence of Slovenia and Croatia.” It did that, according to Beverly Crawford, an expert on Europe at the University of California, Berkeley, “in open disregard of (a European Community) agreement to recognize the two states under EC conditionality requirements.”

The secessionist movements in Spain, Germany and Italy have encountered resistance and threats from the central governments, and in Catalonia’s case, secessionist leaders have been jailed. The central governments of Spain, Germany and Italy have resisted independence despite the fact that they are signatories to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which holds that “all peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

American Contempt for …Walter E. WilliamsBest Price: $8.71Buy New $13.10(as of 06:35 EST – Details)

Fallon notes the hypocrisy of Spain, Germany and Italy, as well as the entire European Union. Back in 1991, the EC — the precursor to the EU — “issued its conditions for recognizing the unilateral declarations of independence by states seceding from Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.” Fallon argues that these same guidelines should be applied to the states of Catalonia, Bavaria and Veneto. Isn’t it double talk for members of the EU to condemn independence movements today, given that they welcomed and supported independence movements for states that were members of the communist bloc?

Catalonia, Bavaria and Veneto are relatively prosperous jurisdictions in their countries. They feel that what they get from the central governments is not worth the taxes they pay. Each wants the central government off its back. They think they could be far more prosperous on their own. That should sound familiar. Some of the motivation for secessionist movements in Europe is similar to the motivation found in the Confederacy’s independence movement of the early 1860s.

Throughout most of our nation’s history, the only sources of federal revenue were excise taxes and tariffs. In the 1830s, the North used its power in Congress to push through massive tariffs to fund the government. During the 1850s, tariffs amounted to 90 percent of federal revenue. The Southern states were primarily producers of agricultural products, which they exported to Europe. In return, they imported manufactured goods. These tariffs fell much harder upon the export-dependent South than they did upon the more insular North. In 1859, Southern ports paid 75 percent of federal tariff revenue. However, the majority of the tariff revenue generated was spent on projects that benefited the North.

Tariffs being a contributing cause of the Civil War is hardly ever mentioned. Using the abolition of slavery as an excuse for a war that took the lives of 620,000 Americans confers greater moral standing for the Union.

JFK: Shrinking from Controversy = Crime   Leave a comment

Back when John F. Kennedy was president, the government did not have our current technology to spy on conversations in our houses. His Secretary of State could not run multiple servers to hide information from watchdogs or the president, but JFK wanted to warn people that there was a movement to do things like that. He also wanted to assure people that this was not his intention. How much JKF really wanted to protect the privacy rights of Americans is debatable, but here’s what he said in 1961. Some people believe this speech is what got him killed. If you prefer to listen along, here’s a YouTube link.

“Ladies and gentlemen. The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society. And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago, that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweigh the dangers which are cited to justify it.

Even today, there is little value in opposing the thread of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in assuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.

That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it’s in my control. And no official of my administration whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes, or to withhold from the press or the public the facts they deserve to know.

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, onguerrillas by night instead of armies by day. (VN:  This description tells us he not only knew their tactics already, but he knew “WHO” by this time as well.)

It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. It’s mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding, and from that understanding comes support or opposition, and both are necessary.

I’m not asking your newspapers to support an administration. But I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers, I welcome it. This administration intends to be candid about its errors. For as a wise man once said, an error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors. And we expect you to point them out when we miss them.

Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed, and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker, Solon, decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy.

That is why our press was protected by the First Amendment, the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution, not primarily to amuse and to entertain, not to emphasis the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply give the public what it wants, but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crisis and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.

This means greater coverage and analysis of international news, for it is no longer far away and foreign, but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improve the understanding of the news as well as improve transmission. And it means finally that government at all levels must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security.

And so it is to the printing press, to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news, that we look for strength and assistance. Confident that with your help, man will be what he was born to be, free and independent.

Let us remember that JFK was a Democrat and just do a little comparison between him and the current Democratic applicant for the office.

Independence Day   3 comments

It’s Independence Day here in the United States, so that is the topic of the blog hop. Join us.

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It’s Independence Day in the United States and, in some ways, in Britain. They’ve had less time being strangled by a monolithic government from afar, but the United States really did fire the shot heard round the world — the first volley in a vast movement toward freedom. Not too long ago, someone in the local newspaper insisted that taxation was perfectly fine so long as we were provided representation. This, they insisted was the sole purpose of the American Revolution and the only complaint of the colonies. Wow, you really can’t make this level of ignorance up. So, here is the Declaration of Independence — THE shot heard round the world … bellowing out of the past for the descendants of the generation that wrote it to WAKE THE HECK UP and seize back our liberties before we have to go to war against our own government with butter knives and toothpicks. A people who refuse to study history are doomed to repeat it. We have peaceful means for repairing the damage done by federal tyranny, but only as long as the people remain sovereign. We must set aside the elite class that believes it knows better than us how to rule and we must do it before the elites suspend our rights. So do read this Founding document of the United States and learn from history.  Lela

Declaration of Independence [Adopted in Congress 4 July 1776]

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America*

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.

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 shown 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. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world. He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing

Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies (or one could say states); and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain (federal government) is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

  1. He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. (Alaska & others)
  2. He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. (Alaska & others)
  3. He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. (Puerto Rico/Guam/America Samoa)
  4. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. (Many federal trials pertaining to Alaska are not held here)
  5. He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. (Congress has become irrelevant due to Executive Order)
  6. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. (Blame this on Congress, but this is also done in the administrative states. Sometimes Alaska waits months for determinations on road projects because there is no senior staff authorized to approve. We then miss the construction season and are penalized by the feds for missing deadlines.)
  7. He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands. He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers. (Arizona understands this claim)
  8. He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. (Lifetime appointment of judges was always a bad idea; why do we continue it? HINT – It’s not in the Constitution).
  9. He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. (Federal government has increased by 25% since Obama took office, but it was already too large. Hundreds of thousands of new regulations burden every aspect of life and commerce).
  10. He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature. (I’m surrounded by military bases and we hear the Army’s calls to prayer five times a day … no, I am not joking).
  11. He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power. 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: (Soldiers kill people in parking lots here and there is no civilian trial.)
  12. For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: (see 10 & 11)
  13. For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states: (see 10 & 11)
  14. For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world: (Jones Act – ask an Alaskan, Hawaiian or Puerto Rican if you’re unfamiliar).
  15. For imposing taxes on us without our consent: (Is electing Congress consent? Alaskans have 3 voices amid 465. We have no effective representation.)
  16. For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury: (Many federal violations here in Alaska are bench warrants, which means a judge hears the case rather than a jury of your peers. Federal jurors can be drawn from places other than Alaska as well, so again, trial by jury handpicked for a pre-conceived outcome)
  17. For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses: (Google Shaeffer Cox and then ask me about him)
  18. For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies: (All states suffer under the tyranny. Some of us are more aware of it).
  19. For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments: (Alaska has been repeatedly ordered by unelected federal regulators to rewrite our Constitution to allow certain federal priorities that are anathema to our culture).
  20. For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. (When federal courts overrule state legislatures, it amounts to the same thing)
  21. He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us. (We’re not quite there yet, but maybe we are — increasingly, people who stand up for the rights of liberty find themselves jailed or simply shot in the head).
  22. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. (Study up on western land issues or google Alaska d-2 lands)
  23. He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the head of a civilized nation. (The US military transfers personnel around so that soldiers do not become close or invested in communities and — I am told by some soldiers — this is in an attempt to bolster training that every soldier now receives on how to subdue American civilian populations.)
  24. He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands. (We don’t have a draft right now, but women will now be subject to the Selective Service, which makes some of us think the draft will be returning … to wage war against whom? See my comment in 23.)
  25. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. (Obama has been the most divisive president in my lifetime – dividing us along class and racial lines and some people suggest that the government is inciting extremists to attack in the United States because such false flag events make people more comfortable with losing freedoms, more willing to oppress their neighbors in the interest of “security”)

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. (Alaska, Arizona and other states know the meaning of this section intimately).

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. (Alaskans are told that we have it so good under federal oppression. We should not dare to complain. That’s what they said in 1776 too.)

We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends. (I, for one, want to remain friendly with the United States. If Alaska operating on its own self-interest causes a fight, it will be the federal government pursuing it, which is another history repeating itself.)

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levey war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our

And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

 

Note that taxation without representation made the list halfway down. Please do note the last place I emphasized – free and independent states and the pronoun “they“. Also notice up at the top where I emphasized “Thirdteen United States of America. They were plural back then and were considered separate and separatable until the Civil War. If folks didn’t like where they were living, they could move to another state where life was different. Today, you can’t do that. The federal government follows you everywhere. And there is no escape.

Read through the list of grievances and see how many our own federal government violates frequently. I got 25 out of 25.

 

 

How About Declaring Actual Independence?   6 comments

Most of us read the beginning statement of the Declaration of Independence in Government class back in high school. It’s a wonderful statement of political philosophy.

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.

Sometimes, it becomes necessary for a people to dissolve the political bands that have connected them to another and to launch out on their own. When they do that, they ought to have a good argument for doing so.

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.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Government exists for protecting the rights best summed up as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (John Locke said “property”, but Thomas Jefferson and his editorial committee wanted to avoid that whole discussion of slavery, so they decided upon “pursuit of happiness”). Government derives its power from the people and so, if the people decide government is no longer serving their rights, they have a right to dissolve those bands. It’s not just their right, it’s their obligation to throw off despotic governments and to provide structures to protect their rights going forward. The Colonies have patiently tried to find common ground with the King of Great Britain, but we have failed. Here is our argument, the evidence of his tyranny.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

King George had suspended the provincial laws in the colonies and expected the colonists to wait until he (or Parliament) got around to deciding what laws would replace them, but it had been several years and so far … crickets.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He expected the legislative bodies of the colonies to meet in places where the people they ruled could not easily attend the meetings and influence the outcomes. I’m a long-long way from Washington DC. How about you?

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

Although there have been no state legislatures dissolved, think about Puerto Rico which voted years ago now to become a state, but Congress has refused to take up the issue. Now their government is out of money and about to collapse. Is it possible that one reason for this is that they don’t control their own economic destiny because Congress has refused to allow them to control their own political destiny. And even if they were allowed to become a state, Alaska is a state, but we usually have to ask Congress’ permission for just about anything of value we might want to do. And, let’s remember the 30 state constitutions that were set aside just last week.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

President Obama is not the first president hoping that the legalization of unlawful immigrants will swing voter registration and resultant elections in the direction of his political party. President Reagan tried it too and look how well that worked out.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

King George controlled the colonial judges. Today, someone appears to be buying off the Supreme Court on the issue of health care and for those of you would are so up in arms about the United case, maybe you ought to be asking if money didn’t change hands on that one too.

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

Can we say czars? The ACA has created entire new offices within the Department of Social Services. In fact, the federal administration has grown substantially during the Obama presidency.

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.

The next time you get pulled over by a plain-brown wrapper and talk to a cop wearing kevlar, ask yourself “is this not a standing army among us that we have no consent over?”

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:

When the president of the United States is allowed to sign onto treaties without the consent of Congress that obligate us to change our laws and structures within our own borders, we are subject to jurisdictions foreign to our constitution. Remember that when we’re all living nine to a unit in high-rise apartment blocks because of international global warming regulations written into some UN treaty President Obama thought was a great idea and Congress wasn’t allowed to vote on.

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: (I live in a huge military town and military helicopters frequently fly over my house, sometimes really low and really slow.).
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: (Military personnel can and have killed civilians in my town and then been tried in military courts without any civilian oversight.)
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: (There’s a new trade law that just gave the president unmatched authority without the advice and consent of Congress).
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: (The ACA is a tax imposing unconstitutionally because the Senate cannot originate spending bills and the House was never allowed to vote on it).

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: (The Patriot Act allowed this. The replacement to the Patriot Act pretends not to allow it. Do you believe that? I don’t).

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences (Could we talk about entrapment here? The only terrorist attacks this government has stopped were ones where federal agents solicited the terrorism, provided the plans and the — so far — non-working bombs.)

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: (Jefferson was alluding to Quebec here, but again, consider Puerto Rico)

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: (How often in the last few years have you thought “That can’t be constitutional?)

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. (Congress might as well be a figurehead government for all the power it has these days.)

You should get my point, but there are more examples that I’m sure you could find parallels for in our own times.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

People are trying to petition for redress, with little or no ability to be heard.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We haven’t exactly gotten to this point yet, but maybe we should. Maybe it is time to be honest about the condition of our country and choose independence. Of course, that holds risks.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

I’m not sure how much sacred honor most of us have left today. As a nation, we’ve been here twice before. It worked out the first time. It didn’t work out the second time. Whoever fires the first shot loses is the general consensus. And I don’t disagree. This battle will not be won with armed conflict, but it might be won with civil disobedience.

So what happens if we keep it non-violent and demand our rights? Well, we’ve been there before too and that worked out pretty well, though we should be prepared for worse than water cannon to be directed at us these days.

The question is — how much do we actually value liberty? It sure looks more like we value comfort and a federal Sugar Daddy to keep us placated more than we value our rights of freedom of speech, religion, self-governance, fair trial, privacy, security in our persons, places and papers … well, pretty much, we have traded liberty for security and getting just about what we deserve.

Independence Day?   1 comment

So today is the day we set aside on our calendar to remember when our ancestors declared our country’s political independence from England. We holds parades, sand-castle building contests, fire works displays, concerts in the parks, and barbecues … lots and lots of barbecues.

But do we ever stop to think about what independence meant and whether we as a nation still exemplify that understanding?

Not really.

That’s obviously in the crap we take from our government. We all say we love freedom, but what freedom do we still have? I’m paying for health insurance regardless of whether in need it or not and paying extra so that people who have a lot of health conditions can pay less. Is that freedom? It doesn’t look like it to me. I’d rather spend that money on other things. If I could pay for catastrophic coverage (like I used to), I’d have a savings account again that I could use for medical expenses as needed or for buying a newer car before the one I have breaks down permanently. If that happens, I will have to incur several hundred dollars a month in payments because I haven’t got a savings account to use to buy a car with cash.

So, I lack basic freedom because in a town where you need to have a car to get around, I can’t afford to buy an affordable car because I’m forced to buy medical insurance I don’t need.

I have ZERO attachment to the Confederate flag. I grew up about as far from the south as you can grow and my great-grandfather was an abolitionist. Like many people I see it as a symbol of racism, but I’m willing to believe southerners I know (yes, Alaska has a lot of ex-pat southerners) who say they see it as a symbol of unbowed enthusiasm for states rights in the face of overwhelming tyranny. I know the acquaintance now driving around town with two of them streaming off the back of his truck is not a racist, so I’m assuming he’s doing it for another reason. Nostalgia, freedom of speech, a statement about states rights, a statement about liberty in general ….

But when I watched him drive by, two women behind me were talking in loud voices about how he ought to be arrested for his “racist” actions, as if they have forgotten that liberty means we all have a right to express opinions.

I stand with Fred Phelps in his refusal to be forced to participate in the pagan mating rituals of same-sex couples by sanctifying them through baking wedding cakes for them. We seem to have forgotten in this country that freedom of religion includes not forcing our neighbors to worship our god against their will. By forcing business owners like Mr. Phelps into catering to same-sex weddings, you are demanding that they kneel at a pagan altar. You may not see it that way, but that is the Biblical understanding of it. You are violating freedom of religion by insisting upon it.

I have very little use for the federal government. I can’t think of many things in this world that the federal government does that benefits me directly. Maybe the money it gives the State of Alaska for roads … but trust me, if the federal government quit doing that, the State of Alaska and the people who live here would figure out how to pay for them ourselves and we’d probably start building roads to the Scandanavian standards so they don’t fall apart every five years, which would reduce road costs in the long-run.

Right now, 25% of my income goes to the federal government for …???? That’s about 23% less liberty than our Founders had because they paid only excise taxes on the goods they purchased.

Like it or not, sooner or later, we will all of us have to pay a whole lot more in taxes because the federal government continues to spend like a drunken sailor. We’re $18 trillion in debt. We owe only a fraction of that to foreign entities, but if they ask for it back …. If we default on the debt owed to Americans, we bankrupt everybody’s retirement accounts. Yeah, so we lose freedom at one end by higher taxes to service the debt I didn’t ask the federal government to run up and then we lose freedom at the other end when they gut our retirement accounts. In the middle there is the increasing real inflation of food and fuel that is largely driven by our debt and the effects of quantitative easing (also known as printing fiat currency).

The freedom to spend the money you earn on what you want to spend it was well understood in the Founding generation. So how much liberty does the tax man take from you? Between the IRS, Social Security and medical insurance, I’m somewhere in the 40%, but people who make more money than me are up in the 60%.

So are we the land of the free anymore?

Perhaps we ought to look at the Declaration of Independence and ask ourselves:

Could we sign it today?

But of course, that’s the dirty little unspoken among us, right? We who celebrate that our ancestors seized their independence from the English know that the US government does not recognize our right to do the same from them.

On Being American   1 comment

If you’re looking for a nationalistic post that celebrates the United States of America I hope to disappoint you.

I am an Alaskan raised by Americans, and I celebrate both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America … circa 1830. But the United States of America today is a far cry from the the nation establish by the Founders. The Founders revolted against England for far less than modern Americans experience everyday.

Seriously, read the Declaration! For an eye-opening twist, read the list of grievances FIRST and then read the awe-inspiring opening. Go ahead. I’ll wait ….

You see what I mean? The federal government became King George a long time ago.

Yes, I’m kind of an anarchist. I see that our Founders did not establish a nation. They formed a cooperative body of individual states. I live in Alaska where almost every moment of our lives is dictated by faceless bureaucrats in DC at the behest of the folks who live in other states. This is no longer Jefferson’s America.

When did we decide it was a good idea for people living in Michigan to tell Alaskans how to live? Yeah, I know about the Civil War, but with all due respect, whether I can burn firewood to heat my home does not rise to the same level as whether I can own another human being. Slavery infringed upon human liberty. Burning firewood to heat my home infringes upon Conoco Phillips ability to make a profit.

Do we see the fundamental difference?

I’m only a passing anarchist. I believe individuals can govern themselves, but I think there needs to be some guidelines. Our Founders recognized this and that’s why they wrote the Articles of Confederation, which failed because it didn’t allow cooperation among the states and couldn’t be amended. Nothing engenders revolution like tyranny that cannot be changed.

Of course aren’t we there today?

In June, state delegates met quietly to discuss a convention of the states to propose amandments to the US Constitution. Thirty-four states have applied for a convention on the subject of a balanced budget. John Boehner is trying to figure out a way to deny it, but 33 states met to plan for it anyway.

I spent considerable time last year explaining how an amendments constitution is not a constitutional convention. I won’t revisit that. It”s a safety valve to prevent revolution when the federal government eats liberty. That”s why Boehner et all wants to weasel out of it.

He can’t ad he shouldn’t. We’re at a critical juncture for our country. If we do nothing, revolution will eventually result because Congress, the Executive branch and the Supreme Court all act as if we the people are subjects, not citizens. If we address this mess through this constitution safety valve, maybe we can restore liberty.

Or maybe not. We may be too far gone to return to our roots. That would be sad because the America of our Founders was a wonderful ideal and we could — and likely will — do a whole lot worse.

Independence   2 comments

Liberty is a Biblical concept. The notion of freedom in Christ would eventually lead to the American experiment in liberty.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

“Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:23-29)

In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:3-7)

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. Look, I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagarly wait for the hope of righteousness.” (Galatians 5:1-2)

“For you were called to freedom, brothers, Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fullfilled in one word: ‘You should love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Galatians 5:13)

The Galatians were Gentile Christians who had been listening to Judaizers, possibly Jewish Christians, more likely heretics who sought to undermine the Christian “experiment” in liberty. They had come to believe that they had to follow the Jewish law in order to be saved. Paul sought to disabuse them of that belief.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)

“That the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:21)

“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” (Romans 14:1-23)

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!” (Romans 6:11-22)

 

Posted July 4, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity

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