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Tyranny is as Tyranny Does July 11, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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During the recent 4th of July celebration of America’s independence, Hillsdale College, a bastion of constitutional education and a powerhouse in the promotion of liberty, announced a “Read the Declaration” campaign. This campaign encouraged people who were gathered to celebrate the victory of freedom over tyranny to read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety.

Many of our fellow citizens have never read this foundational document. Many who have may have stopped after famous second sentence of the preamble, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” In the Dream Time before political correctness, no child left behind, and the dumbing down of America most of us memorized that sentence in grade school and never forgot it. Sadly many of those same people never read or remembered anything in the document after that sentence. The rest of the Declaration is a litany of the reasons why our ancestors felt that they needed “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.” Or as they expressed it, “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

The litany that sought to enlighten the opinions of mankind was a long list of the grievances they had with the King of Great Britain: George III.

I believe it would be a good exercise to see how many items on this list would make sense today if we substituted “The Federal Government” or “The President” for the “He.”

America was born out of the desire for people to be free from what they perceived to be tyranny.

At this stage in America’s History we seem to have come full circle. That which we rejected at our birth we find encumbering us once again. Through our own indifference we have forged our own chains and allowed the low-information voters to become the majority of those whose votes are counted. Those who should represent the true majority have been sidelined and cast aside almost as subjects in an occupied state. However people are willing to bear with injustice long and to suffer the insufferable in silence. As our ancestors framed it, “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.”

Our ancestors finally reached the end of their rope when the stated, “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.” Obviously we have not reached this state. The tyranny which we face holds the seats of power. It calls itself by the old names and all the old forms are still in place. Just as there was still a Senate in Rome even after Octavian became Augustus.

Looking at our present day litany:

The president refuses to enforce laws duly passed by the legislature and signed by the executive.

The Justice department incites racial division and covertly interferes in the judicial process.

The administration spies on its citizens and mandates that its employees spy on each other with legal penalties for those who fail to report..

The Federal Reserve creates money without any oversight and irreparably damaging the earnings and savings of the American people.

The Federal Government which is charged with protecting every state from invasion has refused to secure our borders and allowed tens of millions of people to enter and stay illegally adversely impacting every aspect of American life.

The IRS has targeted groups and individuals that hold opinions opposing the Obama administration.

The President has made  recess appointments when Congress was in session; he has waged war without Congressional approval or notification, he took an apology tour around the world, he casts our allies aside, and he promotes our enemies.

Look at this long train of abuses and the subjugation of our God-given rights to a capricious and overbearing perpetually re-elected government dominated by two parties that are merely two heads on the same bird of prey. At such a time as this it is good to recall “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 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 affect their safety and happiness.”

A word to the wise they say is sufficient. After 50 years of ringing the bell of liberty I am beginning to wonder.

It is to the preservation of limited government, personal liberty and economic opportunity that we the descendants of the founders, the children of the Framers should “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” and “for the support of this Declaration … mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor.”

Be vigilant in the protection of freedom, keep the faith, keep the peace, we shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Are the States Out of Date? July 5, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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The people of the founding generation did not think of Americans as Americans. They did not see them as one people but instead as citizens of the various states. Even as late as the Civil War, people such as Robert E. Lee, who disagreed with secession and wanted a united United States, left because his State seceded and not because he suddenly wanted Virginia to be another country. Another example of the feelings of many in the founding generation was the fact that the term “We the People of the United States” that opens the  preamble to the Constitution caused great controversy during the ratification debates. It was pointed out as a blatant attempt to make the States irrelevant.

The Constitution was meant to improve the federation of the various States as created under the Articles of Confederation. It was not meant to create anything new. This was stressed over and over by the supporters of the Constitution in the ratification debates. The Framers voted by State, and, though some of the Framers wouldn’t sign the completed document, since it was adopted by all the States it was called unanimous. The ratification votes of the various conventions voted by state not as individuals. As provided in the original document the members of the Senate were not elected by the people at large. They were instead selected by the State legislatures. The house was designed to represent the people, and the Senate was designed to represent the States.

The Constitution never would have been ratified without this provision designed to protect the States from losing their integrity as sovereign republics which had voluntarily joined together. This was essential and this was generally understood.

So when was our social contract revised? How can a contract be unilaterally revised?

When did we agree to surrender our liberty in exchange for security? When did we agree to move from a voluntary federal republic to a centrally-planned democracy? When did our freedom from warrantless searches morph into 360° surveillance? When and how were the guarantees found in the Bill of Rights turned inside out and upside down?

The scariest thing I see about all this as I travel around the country is not that our totalitarian wanabes will use any excuse and any subterfuge to undermine limited government for the benefit of their power and their crony capitalist’s profit. No, that doesn’t scare me or surprise me at all. What catches my attention is that as I speak to more and more people about this creeping corporatism the majority of them say things like, “I’m glad the government is watching out for terrorists” or “If you’re not saying or doing anything wrong why should you care if the government listens in?”

Not only have Americans been dumbed down to the point where the majority of college freshmen need remedial studies, but these descendants of the pioneers have lost sight of the American Dream. Asked “What is the American dream?” most citizens today will recite the pabulum spooned out by the Federal Reserve Bubble Machine, the political hacks who gave them power, and the Wall Street Casino that profits by the game: “The American Dream is to own your own Home.”

That is not the American Dream! The American dream is limited government, personal liberty, and economic opportunity.

At what point do unilateral changes to a contract render it null and void?

I have long said, it will still be called the United States of America. The stars and stripes will still wave, there will still be elections, and we will still hear that this is the freest most prosperous nation on earth as our freedom slips away and our opportunities shrink.

During the ratification debates it became clear that the Constitution would not be ratified unless there was a promise that the first order of business for the new government was going to be to amend the document to state some things that a majority of people thought were missing. The promise was made and the first ten amendments were added. Today we call this our Bill of Rights. While some people can recite all of them and many more can recite a few almost every American knows they exist. The Bill of Rights has a treasured place in the American heart.

Few if any know what was said in the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, which is neither mentioned nor studied today. This sets out their purpose and is enlightening as a starting off point for understanding what they are and what we are losing.

“THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution” (emphasis added). The Bill of Rights was added in order to prevent misconstruction, or the words of the document, or abuse of its power by the government to be established under the Constitution. This could not be possible unless the words of these amendments were supposed to mean what they say, not what black-robed partisans can interpret them to say.

The Bill of Rights were not written nor adopted in their order of precedence. The number one amendment requested by the States was set as the 10th or capstone. “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.” In other words, above all the citizens of the various States were concerned most that the central government not run rough shod over the States which were the home republics closest to and controlled by the people. They feared that the central government would become a Leviathan, crushing dissent and smothering freedom.

And they never heard of the IRS, the NSA, or the EPA. They never imagined an unelected, appointed for life Supreme Court that would cancel amendments to State constitutions that were legally adopted according to the processes within those constitutions. Not since they had overthrown King George had they lived under the suffocating tyranny of a Patriot Act or rule by decree such as executive orders.

According to the amendment  process in the Constitution, the States can offer amendments to the Constitution by calling for a convention to propose such amendments. Many people are afraid of a convention believing that those who advocate for a limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom could not carry the day and the Constitution would be altered in a negative way.

It is time to admit to ourselves that the progressives have been and are changing their “Living Document” every day in countless ways: executive orders, regulations (from the EPA for example) and legislation (the 4th Amendment bending Patriot Act for example). We must face the fact the dam has broken and the foxes are guarding the hen house. The ship has sailed and the fix is in. We need a reset button before we slide completely into the abyss of totalitarianism. The flag will still fly, the national anthem still play, yet the land of the free and the home of the brave will be fundamentally transformed into a centrally-planned, regimented, surveillance state.

Once the scales have fallen from our eyes and we see that just because they call themselves liberals, people who want to control every aspect of every one’s lives are no more liberal than any of the other statists who have sought total control to impose their idea of utopia on anyone at any time in any place.

What we need is an American Spring. We need Americans to act like Americans and demand the freedom that is their birthright. Freedom is not just another word for nothing left to lose. We the People who believe in limited government, personal liberty and economic freedom have got to unite or we might end up joining a worldwide chorus singing, “And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’ your prison is walking through this world all alone.”

The center no longer holds. We must all work to influence our States, our home republics, to reign in the runaway Washington-centered bureaucracy machine before we are strangled in the red tape and buried in regulations.

The States must prove their relevance or perhaps the States are out of date.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

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