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There's licenses for everything nowadays, from marriage, to adding a bathroom in YOUR house. Speeding tickets and speed limits make us "criminals" for going 66 in a 65 zone, even if nobody else is on the road. Motorcyclists and bicyclists get tickets and fines for not wearing a helmet, and then there's seatbelt laws... We've become a society of laws that force people's "good ideas" on everyone else, regardless of constitutional freedoms. Here, we'll discuss our freedoms and how to keep them.

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force;
like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.
Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
- George Washington - founding father, general of the continental army
in the war of independence, first president of the United States, and
framer of the Constitution.

To all who cry "peace at all costs":
"NO WAR" you say? We tried that.
Fifty-five million people died.
It was called World War II.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

A short brief on the state of things...

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force;
like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.
Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
- George Washington - founding father, general of the continental army in the war of independence, first president of the United States, and framer of the Constitution.

If there was anyone who understood the proper role of government in the United States of America, it was George Washington and the other founding fathers who wrote our Constitution.

Our founding fathers constantly warned of the dangers of powerful government. Prior to the founding of the United States in 1776, the prevalent belief in the world was that God gave power to government, who gave power to man. And so the heirarchy went like this:

God --> Government --> Man

This is evidenced by the monarchies and other nations at the time, where the King (or other ruler) owns the entire country, and is just so kind as to let you live on the land and farm it (for a fee). But then the founders of our nation came along with a radical concept for their age, which said that God gave power to man, who gave power to government. Like this:

God --> Man --> Government

This is most clearly shown in their letter telling King George III to shove off (we know the letter as the Declaration of Independence). In that letter, they say this "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." (which in layman's terms means "any idiot ought to be able to see this") "...that all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Goverments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." (Read a copy of the entire declaration here)

In those few words, we can look and see the very core of our nation. First (and I don't care if you're an athiest or Buddhist or Christian, or Hindu or whatever... it is an undeniable fact that our Founding Fathers believed this and established our nation on this set of beliefs), we see that we are endowed with Rights by our Creator (in my example, that is God). Next, we notice that these rights are unalienable. The dictionary defines unalienable (or another word often used in its place, inalienable) as this:
  • inalienable: incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred (Merriam Webster)
  • unalienable: Not to be separated, given away, or taken away; inalienable. (American Heritage Dictionary)
    • incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another; "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" (American Heritage Dictionary)
From this we can see that there are certain rights that are unalienable from us, that is, they are part of our very being, part of our nature, just by the very simple fact that we were created and exist today, we have certain rights that cannot be taken away from us. The only thing that can happen to those rights is someone can prevent us from exercising them (by force or other means). Here is a somewhat weird example, but you'll get the point:

If you own a cheeseburger, you have an unalienable right to eat it. Now, someone can step in and do a number of things to prevent you from doing that. He can walk up to you and cover your mouth with twenty layers of duct tape, thus preventing you from exercising your right. Or he can pass a law saying it's illegal to eat cheeseburgers (this is simply force in a more "friendly" manner). Or he can take it from you (perhaps in the form of a tax) and say "Give me two bites from your burger", thus restricting your ability to exercise that right.

There is an unlimited number of ways people can find to restrict your rights, and we all know, people are rather creative in finding those ways, but no matter how they do it, they are still acting to take away your unalienable rights. Now, our Founding Fathers knew from history that governments tend to do things similar to that cheeseburger example. And so, in our founding documents, they explicitly stated that there are certain rights that are unalienable from us, and as long as their form of government still stood, our government is prevented from EVER being able to take away those rights.

So, we understand the God --> Man --> Government diagram, and so far we've established that the part that "God gives Man unalienable rights". Now, the final part of that diagram, we go back to the text in bold above, which states "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." From this we see that Man creates government SOLELY in order to secure those rights. They didn't say "That to secure these rights and to make sure everybody gets their fair share of the government dole..." or "That to secure some of these rights and not others based on what the majority of people think..." or anything else ridiculous like that.

So governments are instituted among men (by man) to secure our rights. We know that now. Reading further, we see that governments derive their power from the consent of governed, meaning all power is inherent in the people, and therefore the only power government has is the power that "we the people" give to it. We the people did that in writing the Constitution.

And so without going into too much detail, basically we wrote the Constitution to set up how our government is to be run, and the only power that our government can exercise is that which "we the people" give it via our Constitution. And so, in theory, we go about our daily lives living under a government that we the people have defined and set strict limits on, so that it cannot do things like the example above, and come in and duct tape our mouth shut so we can't eat our cheeseburger.

Now, here's where we come in. The only way to keep them from doing so is to know exactly what your rights are, stand up for them, and know exactly what we've allowed the government to do (that's why on the left side of this page, I've got links to our founding documents and other importand documents). The 10th amendment to the Constitution (part of the Bill of Rights) makes the proper role of government very plain, when it says: "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."

Our duty as Americans is to know what our Government should and should not do, and when it gets out of line, it is our duty to scream and holler and not stop until government gets back within its rightful place, which is the place "we the people" have set out in the Constitution. If you had started a fire in your fireplace, and all of a sudden a piece of flamin' hot wood rolled off the pile and onto your floor, you'd attack that sucker so fast it wouldn't even be funny. You'd maybe grab the fire tongs and slam it back in the fireplace, or yank the fire extinguisher off the wall and soak it with foam, or whatever it took, to prevent it from burning part of your house. We should have the SAME furor when government gets out of line and leaves its little "fireplace" we built for it in our Constitution.

Unfortunately, here is what has happened and is happening today. I'll use an analogy, similar to the one George Washington used in the quote at the top of this page. We've got a fire in a fireplace, we'll call it "government", and it's burning brightly, serving its purpose in keeping us warm. However, as you know, fire (like government) by its very nature seeks to expand itself, and never willingly reduces itself in size. And so we are carefully watching our fire to make sure it doesn't go out of control. We know that the only way our fire can grow is by catching something else around it on fire, or maybe throwing a spark or something hot out of the fire, so we watch for it. In the case of government, this would be adding to (or subtracting from) its power by amending the Constitution, something which may be useful, but if we're not careful, it could burn the house down our put out the fire entirely, neither of which do we want.

So we're sitting ten feet away from the fire, in a chair staring at the fire, when all of a sudden out of nowhere, in an instant, flames appear on the couch across the room. Now, you know how in one of those moments a million things flash through your mind all at once? You think to yourself "What the heck just happened here? I'm sitting here one second, and all of a sudden the next second a fire magically appears on the couch across the room, with no sparks no nothing? I thought the laws of physics still applied on this planet..."

Now, a fires don't just appear across the room without any sparks or anything else setting it off, because the laws of Physics DO still apply. Unfortunately, when you're dealing with human beings, they don't always follow the rules. In this example, the fire is government, and the laws of physics is our Constitution. If our government were truly governed strictly by our Constitution (as fire is by the laws of physics), and could NOT in any way violate the Constitution, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today. However, repeatedly over the years we've watched government fires (from "small" things like Seatbelt Laws, to "bigger" things like mandatory participation in Social Security) appear across the room out of nowhere, in direct violation of the "laws of physics", aka the Constitution.

The only way to prevent fire (government) from acting outside its powers is to know exactly what it should and should not be doing, know your rights, and when government tries to take power we haven't given it, or to take away your rights, then it is YOUR duty (and ours to assist you) to put government back in its rightful place. That is what we will be discussing here. I'm not talking revolution, I'm not talking violence, and I probably never will, as the Founding Fathers said in the Declaration of Independence "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, in the case one day it does get to the point where it becomes necessary, which I pray to God it never does, the Founding Fathers followed up that last sentence with another: "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."

And so, I continue to pray that it never comes to that, but if we Americans are not willing to take a stand and peaceably put government back in its place, then, God forbid, the day may come where it comes to throwing it off of our shoulders. I pray that day never comes, and you and I must do all we can right now to ensure that we preserve our Constitution, before it becomes too late.