Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The List is Growing

Our Independence Day having passed, I wonder how many of us read the original words of that document this week to gain a better understanding of the mindset of our founding fathers. When you think about standing up to a tyrannical government, one which has shown little regard for individual rights and treated its citizens with impunity, the odds of surviving, much less coming out on top were less than favorable.

“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.”

I fear the spiritual foundation which prevailed at the time of our separation from England and King George, a spiritual foundation which fairly presumed a preponderance of fellow citizens held sacred a basic belief in the teachings of the bible; I fear this foundation has eroded. It would be safe to say that a good portion of our society, while being good individuals, have discounted or marginalized the hand of the Lord in their lives individually as well as in His blessings for our nation. A sure foundation being required in times of testing, I’m not at all certain that the Declaration of Independence could have been written in our day; as a nation, we simply are divided in our common beliefs and we surely lack resolve to act within the confines of morality as can be summed up in the Ten Commandments.

“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.”

Getting closer to the topic and taking notice of the most recent polls showing an approval factor of less than 10% for Congress, Americans have basically signaled a no confidence vote for what Washington’s elite have done to safe guard individual rights and freedoms. I’m guessing there’s a built in margin of error of 3 - 4 %, as with most polls; the approval rating might be as low as 6% if that is true. Americans are more disposed to suffer than to come to grips with the possibility of having to make major repairs to a system which has been in place for so many years.

“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 signers of the Declaration of Independence listed many serious issues of their day, issues which clearly indicated the need to disassociate themselves from the existing power which held their individual liberties with such a degree of scorn as to render the opinion that such liberties no longer existed in America. Have we not been covering much of the same ground in our present condition here in our day?

John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787, stated, “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”

Do Americans have true property rights in our day considering the Supreme Court decision now known as Kelo vs New London? Going past such a travesty of justice, how safe can a man’s property be when local taxing authorities are able to target prime locations and literally tax the owners into submission?

Individual property rights and the idea of ownership have been evaporated; there being no reason to acknowledge rights, which at one time had been acknowledge to have come from God, there being considerable debate as to God’s existence, much less man’s being created in His image. If there is no divine relationship between mankind and God, then there must have been an error in the Founder’s thought process which assigned individual rights; property rights, simply put, never existed and need not be held as valid.

Along the same line of thought are an individual’s right to life. Abortion activists have secured sufficient backing and legal representation to such a degree as to alter the sanctity of life itself. Great discussion and litigation have resulted in a society which considers the human fetus equal to an abnormal growth, no different than a diseased organ which is removed with no more remorse than burning off an unwanted wart.

If there is no legal acknowledgement of property ownership and the sanctity of life itself has been discounted, then what value is there in having a right to defend either life or property through the use of force?

By the narrowest of margins in the Supreme Court decision, District of Columbia vs Heller, acknowledging the 2nd Amendment’s assertion that the right to bear arms was an individual right, rather than a collective entitlement assumed only when an individual was part of an organized militia, the light of freedom remains lighted; however, even with the ruling in favor of individual gun rights, there is a concerted effort by the city council and mayor of Washington DC to ignore portions of the intended wording by banning ownership of any handguns which are not a revolvers.

Our form of currency at one time was backed by gold or silver as a means of establishing lasting value. Having abandoned sound fiscal responsibility, our money now has no real worth and exists only as a figment of imagination and trust. We hope that others respect the assigned value engraved on the paper and yet our own government continues to increase the supply of printed money with reckless abandon which in turn devalues and halves its worth every five to seven years depending on how much extra money is printed. This is the ultimate form of property confiscation and enslavement.

The introduction of an incremental income tax was designed to take advantage of wealth envy, to justify redistribution of wealth. It has blossomed into the means whereby government is able to seize wealth and control individual liberties; hardly within the design and scope of the intended limited government our founders envisioned, indeed, this form of forced dependence was listed as a primary issue with King George.

The entire issue with Social Security should be listed in the seemingly endless complaint against current forms of government imposition. Franklin D. Roosevelt promised:

“1.) That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary,
2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the program,
3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,
4.) That the money the participants put in would go into the independent 'Trust Fund' rather than into the General Operating Fund, and therefore, would Only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and
5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.”

The alterations to the “voluntary” Social Security Program are too numerous to list here; they are however yet another example of the usurpation of power which have stripped individual liberties away and proven Thomas Jefferson to be correct, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”

I haven’t listed the many “entitlement programs”, a means by which wealth has been confiscated and then redistributed under the guise of improving the lives of the less fortunate. What the legislature fails to state or acknowledge is that theft and/or robbery, regardless of whether carried out by individual criminals or a group of criminals working in concert ( congress ) remains a crime; that confiscation of property violates one of the concepts of a free nation which was spoken by John Adams.

I have in my files a comment regarding the misapplication of tax money, the below is a partial historical account regarding Davy Crockett which has been neglected, for the most part, by our current crop of Washington elitists.

“In the early 1800’s Congress was considering a bill to appropriate tax dollars for the widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in support of this bill. It seemed that everyone in the House favored it. The Speaker of the House was just about to put the question to a vote, when Davy Crockett, famous frontiersman and then Congressman from Tennessee, rose to his feet.”

“Mr. Speaker, I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity, but as members of Congress we have no right to so appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Sir, this is no debt. We cannot without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.”

If you would like to add to this list of usurpations carried out with impunity upon the citizenry of the United States of America, willful violations against the spirit and intent of our founding documents; please continue this discussion in the comment section or by establishing additional articles in your own appointed way. My thanks to those who have taken the time to document these issues to which I have linked.

The original signers of the Declaration of Independence closed that document with a solemn statement which placed each of them in grave danger. “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. Have we reached a point in time where we must also draw a line in the sand and stand in defiance of a government which continues to disregard individual rights and abandon the intent and limits set by those document which established the most perfect of governments ever on the face of the earth?

Thomas Fraser Stern

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