Archive for the ‘Declaration of Independence’ Category

Food for thought:

Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jeffe...

Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson writing the Declaration of independence (1776) were all of British descent. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Let’s face it folks, things are bad and not getting much better so the above from the Declaration has meaning in our day and age.

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

We have our lives for now, while liberty continues to decline while politicians believe that the pursuit of happiness is taking successful citizens money by the force of government taxes and giving it to those who do not wish to work and provide for themselves and their families. Governments are created by men and by their consent only. In this country of ours there is no divine right of kings only opportunity to advance oneself economically. If government becomes destructive towards its own people, when do the citizens say enough, do they give up holding their freedom and liberty in the face of burdensome government regulations and taxes? Our founding fathers found that point of no return, and took action. Will our generation or next have to attempt to fill the shoes of the founders? The founders go on to list all their reasons for separating from Great Britain, i dare you to replace He/His (the King of England) with the federal government:

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

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

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

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

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:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

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.

I understand that some of these reason may or cannot apply today but look at the complaints on the rule of law, the right of people to govern themselves, immigration, using foreign soldiers (Russian soldiers are going to be used in large public events). How many of these issues are citizens facing daily? How many new stories on non-enforcement of laws, immigration issues, gun running to subvert the second amendment have there been? How much more difficult is it going to be for citizens to be productive at work, their businesses, to pay their bills in the face of the ever-increasing cost of Obamacare?

After stating their reasons and having made known of their repeated attempts of redress, the colonies felt they had no choice:

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.

Do we have these men among us today? Do we as a people share the same convictions as the men that signed their names to this document? I pray every day that we do and that one day when it becomes absolutely necessary to make the same stand as our founders. Have a happy Independence Day, get out and speak with friends and neighbors. Do not succumb to the notion that politics is off-limits for discussion, because politics in this country can and will fundamentally transform your life if you allow it happen.

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From the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, aka Coalition to Ban Handguns:

csgv awb insurrection 2013Except for times when it’s necessary, like The Battle of Athens.

There might’ve been other times when it was justified but not exercised, too… like when the government rounded up Americans of Japanese descent, took their property, and stuffed them into concentration camps.

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csgv awb insurrection 2013 2

I think that quote goes quite well next to a tyrannical, military concentration camp that denied the rights to life, liberty, property, and happiness, where there was fear of actual military firepower – because it was in the guard towers.

This declaration that the insurrectionist argument “has no place” in the debate is ridiculous.  The Founders made it pretty damned clear.

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.

In general, our government, even though currently run by economically destructive Keynesians and professional anti-colonialist Marxist-socialist street agitators who want to fundamentally transform the nation, isn’t yet wholly destructive of the security of the rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Property (which was what the Founders wrote before they changed it to the intangible Happiness).  A government that is of, by, and for the citizens that institute it by their consent, has no real reason to fear insurrection, nor to give it a second thought.

The citizenry, armed, represent the nation as well, and should never be a threat to the state, provided the state is operating with the consent of the governed, as outlined by their charter – the Constitution.

The Coalition to Disarm Everyone is giving the knee-jerk reaction of tyrants everywhere, giving that tyrant’s plea of necessity, and mocking any concern that a government might, just maybe, get out of hand.

Inalienable rights to life, liberty, property and happiness all exist until someone violates them.  That’s why we have natural rights to defend ourselves, as individuals, citizens, and as a nation of citizen-individuals, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, oppressors large and small.  And because of those inalienable natural rights of self defense – specifically noted in the Constitution with the Second Amendment’s acknowledgement of the right to the tools of self-defense, it’s exceedingly rare that we have to exercise the rights of self defense.

“The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.”

- attributed to Thomas Jefferson

Update: Welcome Merry Band of Three Percenters.

Mark Steyn took a look at this last week:

CNN’s John King did his best the other night, producing a question from one of his viewers:

“Since birth control is the latest hot topic, which candidate believes in birth control, and if not, why?”

To their credit, no Republican candidate was inclined to accept the premise of the question. King might have done better to put the issue to Danica Patrick. For some reason, Michelle Fields of the Daily Caller sought the views of the NASCAR driver and Sports Illustrated swimwear model about “the Obama administration’s dictate that religious employers provide health-care plans that cover contraceptives.” Miss Patrick, a practicing Catholic, gave the perfect citizen’s response for the Age of Obama:

“I leave it up to the government to make good decisions for Americans.”

I believe the plebes should submit to the will of the State.  They should know their place.  Submit to the will of the State.  I am unwise, cannot make my own decisions, and submit to the wisdom of the State.  You should do the same.

Steyn continues:

Commissar Sebelius says that she is trying to “strike the appropriate balance.” But these two things — a core, bedrock, constitutional principle, and Section 47(e)viii of Micro-Regulation Four Bazillion and One issued by Leviathan’s Bureau of Compliance — are not equal, and you can only “balance” them by massively increasing state power and massively diminishing the citizen’s. Or, to put it more benignly, by “leaving it up to the government to make good decisions.”

Some of us have been here before. For most of the last five years, I’ve been battling Canada’s so-called “human rights” commissions, and similar thought police in Britain, Europe, and elsewhere. As I write this, I’m in Australia, to talk up the cause of free speech, which is, alas, endangered even in that great land. In that sense, the “latest hot topic” — the clash between Obama and American Catholics — is, in fact, a perfect distillation of the broader struggle in the West today. When it comes to human rights, I go back to 1215 and Magna Carta — or, to give it its full name, Magna Carta Libertatum. My italics: I don’t think they had them back in 1215. But they understood that “libertatum” is the word that matters. Back then, “human rights” were rights of humans, of individuals — and restraints upon the king: They’re the rights that matter: limitations upon kingly power. Eight centuries later, we have entirely inverted the principle: “Rights” are now gifts that a benign king graciously showers upon his subjects — the right to “free” health care, to affordable housing, the “right of access to a free placement service” (to quote the European Constitution’s “rights” for workers). The Democratic National Committee understands the new school of rights very well: In its recent video, Obama’s bureaucratic edict is upgraded into the “right to contraception coverage at no additional cost.” And, up against a “human right” as basic as that, how can such peripheral rights as freedom of conscience possibly compete?

The transformation of “human rights” from restraints upon state power into a pretext for state power is nicely encapsulated in the language of Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which states that everyone has the right “to receive free compulsory education.” Got that? You have the human right to be forced to do something by the government.

This goes against the rights that have been enshrined in Western democractic republics since day one.  Rights come from God, or from nature, or Nature’s Law.  What we give to the state, we do so as part of the social contract.  Handouts from the state are now called “rights”.  Newspeak.

Commissar Lynch puts it this way: “The modern conception of rights is that of a matrix with different rights and freedoms mutually reinforcing each other to build a strong and durable human rights system.”

That would be a matrix as in some sort of intricate biological sequencing very few people can understand? Or a Matrix as in the illusory world created to maintain a supine citizenry by all-controlling government officials? The point is, with so many pseudo-“rights” bouncing around, you need a bigger and bigger state: Individual rights are less important than a “rights system” — i.e., a government bureaucracy.

You have the “right” to do as the state tells you.  Wait, that’s not a right, that’s an obligation… but it’s an obligation not taken freely… so that’s a dictate.

From a bureau or a cigar-chomping mustachioed guy with aviator sunglasses and portraits of himself everywhere, it’s the same thing.  The faceless bureaucracy doesn’t have an object of scorn and ridicule by the resistance, though.

Steyn concludes:

I used to think that the U.S. Constitution would prove more resilient than the less absolutist liberties of other Western nations. But the president has calculated that, with Obamacare, the First Amendment and much else will crumble before his will. And, given trends in U.S. jurisprudence, who’s to say he won’t get his way? That’s the point about all this “free” stuff: Ultimately, it’s not about your rights, but about his.

He’s correct.  The thing is, the Constitution is more resilient.  Adherence to the Constitution is the problem.  People who abandon the Constitution in favor of their own brand of handouts, people who scorn the Constitition as a “charter of negative liberties” who want government to do things “for you” are the reason the government is straying from the Constitution.  Thomas Paine elaborated on what the Constitution is here.  The Constitution is the charter by which government operates.  It is the social contract.  It’s only dictators who reject it that make it not so, whether they be self-styled benevolent dictators who will do things “for you” as CS Lewis’s busybodies would, or whether they would simply be honest dictators say they’re doing things to you – which they are.

Sayeth Locke:

The people cannot delegate to government the power to do anything which would be unlawful for them to do themselves. … whenever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence. Whensoever therefore the Legislative shall transgress this fundamental Rule of Society, and either by Ambition, Fear, Folly or Corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty.

Short version –  you can’t tell your neighbor to buy your health care.  You can’t tell your neighbor to buy health care for himself, either.  You do that, you’re breaking natural law.

Or the American version:

… 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.

The Constitution itself is incredibly resilient.  It may outlive the nation, much like the Magna Carta did before it – though I sincerely hope that both the Constitution and the United States persevere.

I leave it up to the government to make good decisions for Americans.

Danica, if you love health care more than liberty, the tranquility of HHS better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your asinine comments. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you (probably at your next photo shoot). May your chains rest lightly upon you (again, at the next photo shoot) and may posterity forget that you did anything other than look pretty.

From the Greely Gazette:

President Obama has nominated a law professor for a position on the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals. The professor believes that judges have the ability to create laws and that the Constitution “governs no one.”

Oh really? Last I checked the job of a judge is to interpret law, not writing it. Wait, there’s more…

  Nourse embraces a concept called “new legal realism” which is critically opposed by “textualists” who believe the text of the Constitution should be taken literally. Nourse criticizes textualists for seeking to preserve legislative intent by referring to legislative texts. “Textualists contend that judges will be restrained from engaging in politicized lawmaking by standing closely to the text.”

You are darned right Nourse, judges should seek to preserve legislative intent. Look at what you lefties have done with the 14th amendment. Instead of preserving original intent of making sure the newly freed black population’s rights were encoded, the left in its rampant judicial activism gives us 300,000 anchor babies a year.

Heres more Nourse:

Nourse has also stated that she believes judges have the authority to amend the text of the Constitution because their rulings amount to a mini-constitutional convention.

“The Constitution changes as the people who constitute the nation change – as they participate and take control of their government – as they re-constitute themselves. The separation of powers has always been, since our founding – the means by which the Constitution may change in practice legitimately short of the far more arduous and almost impossible amendment process.”

Lady, I swear I am trying to be nice, but the amendment process is there for a reason and that is because amendments should not be taken lightly, nor should they be made and passed on a whim. States should look to their best interest, as should each individual citizen, but I doubt Nourse knows anything about that.

If you liked that you are bound to just love this:

Regarding the authority of Congress to pass laws, which says in Article 1, Section 1 that “All legislative Power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States”;

Nourse states, “These descriptive words, assumed to be the most important and naturalized text in our Constitution, do nothing in and of themselves. They govern no one.”

How do you figure? I’d say that governs the entire structure of the federal government, no one makes laws but Congress. The President can suggest, demand, scold, or even threaten Congress to pass legislation he deems important, but the decision to debate or pass a bill is Congress’ alone as Article 1, Section 1 states.

And finally:

The country’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, states that our rights come from God. “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.”

Nourse disagrees with the founding fathers, saying that:

“Real life, and reading hundreds of cases, have taught me that the natural in the law is quite unnatural, quite `made’ in the image of human relations, and that this is not simply a theoretical trope, that this ‘madeness’ is quite real and demonstrable.”

Here it sounds as if she should be living next door to Mao Zedong. Natural Rights are bestowed by God (by whichever Name you happen to call Him by) and given to His creation, namely us. We cede a portion of our rights to government to:

… form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity….

Those rights we cede to the government are encoded as LAW in the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution was designed to be check on the inevitable increase in government power. The LAW clearly delineates what the President can do, what Congress can do and what the Supreme Court can do.  It also codified basic rights such as the right to firearms (protecting yourself and your property), the right to speak your mind, as well as giving ALL RIGHTS and POWERS not specifically delegated to the federal government, back to the citizens and to their states.

This woman is not fit to be a university professor let alone a federal judge I hope Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin is able to continue to block her appointment.

The Declaration of Independence

In CONGRESS, July 4, 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 Abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect 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 importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent 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.

–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 has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasion 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 dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions from within.

–He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing Laws for the 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, be 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.

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

–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.

–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:

–For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

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

–For cutting off trade with all parts of the world:

–For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

–For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

–For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

–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:

–For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

–For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

–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 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 as undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage 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 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 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, 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 Great Britain is and ought to be 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 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.

Happy Birthday America!

Never forget who you are and where you came from! Best wishes to everyone this Independence Day. Be safe, have fun, and reflect on our deep and rich history as a Republic.

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From Chapter 11: The End of Truth

The most effective way of making everybody serve the single system of ends toward which the social plan is directed is to make everybody believe in those ends.  To make a totalitarian system function efficiently, it is not enough that everybody should be forced to work for the same ends. It is essential that hte people should come to regard them as their own ends.  Although the beliefs must be chosen for the people and imposed upon them, they must become their beliefs, a generally accepted creed which makes the individuals as far as possible act spontaneously in the way the planner wants.  If the feeling of oppression in totalitarian countries is in general much less acute than most people in liberal countries imagine, this is because the totalitarian governments succeed to a high degree in making people think as they want them to.

This is, of course, brought about by the various forms of propaganda.  Its technique is now so familiar that we need say little about it.

Choice architectureNudge.  A velvet glove on the iron fist.

Hayek elaborates on pg 174:

The most effective way of making people accept the validity of the values they are to serve is to persuade them that they are really the same as those which they, or at least the best among them, have always held, but which were not properly understood or recognized before.  The people are made to transfer their allegiance from the old gods to the new under the pretense that the new gods really are what their sound instinct had always told them but what before they had only dimly seen.  And the most efficient technique to this end is to use the old words but change their meaning.  Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language, the change of the meaning of the words by which the ideals of the new regime are expressed.

The worst sufferer in this respect is, of course, the word “liberty.”  It is a word used as freely in totalitarian states as elsewhere.  Indeed, it could almost be said – and it should serve as a warning to us to be on our guard against all the tempters who promise us New Liberties for Old – that wherever liberty as we understand it has been destroyed, this has almost always been done in the name of some new freedom promised to the people.  Even among us we have “planners for freedom” who promise us a “collective freedom for the group,” the nature of which may be gathered from the fact that its advocate finds it necessary to assure us that “naturally the advent of all planned freedom does not mean that all [sic] earlier forms of freedom must be abolished.”  Dr. Karl Mannheim, from whose work these sentences are taken, at least warns us that “a conception of freedom modelled on the preceding age is an obstacle to any real understanding of the problem.”  But his use of the word “freedom” is as misleading as it is in the mouth of totalitarian politicians.  Like their freedom, the “collective freedom” he offers us is not the freedom of the members of society but the unlimited freedom of the planner to do with society what he pleases.  It is the confusion of freedom with power carried to the extreme.

A simple example is universal single-payer health care.  It’s to provide freedom from the evil insurance companies.  It provides “freedoms” as quoted here in remarks by a speaker at a press conference by Nancy Pelosi:

The new law has not only given me the freedom to stay covered, but has also freed me and my family from the fear that an insurer could drop me at any moment or limit me to go without treatment.

The “freedom to stay covered” is at the expense of someone else – at the expense of the individuals who make up an insurance company, or at the expense of the individual taxpayer.  Their freedom is traded for this patient’s priviledge.  Being “free” from “fear” that he could be dropped means that the insurer, or taxpayer, is now enslaved to his treatment.  He is now a guaranteed recipient of the labor of individuals, whether those individuals who also purchase insurance from a company, and now face increased premiums because of this government-protected claimant, or he is dependant on the taxpayer to cover his bill.  Ultimately, he is “free” only insomuch as he takes from someone else.

He is not free to choose a less expensive company, or free to go to a non-profit charity that would look out for his special case and would desire to help him – he is “free” by shackling others to his needs.  That is not freedom – that is parasitism enforced by the state.  Person A now must pay for Person B’s medical needs because Person B is “free” from the costs.

Hayek continues on pg 175:

In this particular case the perversion of the meaning of the word has, of course, been well prepared by a long line of German philosophers and, not least, by many of the theoreticians of socialism.  But “freedom” or “liberty” are by no means the only words whose meaning has been changed into their opposites to make them serve as instruments of totalitarian propaganda.  We have already seen how the same happens to “justice” and “law,” “right” and “equality.”  The list could be extended until it includes almost all moral and political terms in general use.

This is a major, major point.  This is why “liberals” today are intolerant, closed-minded people.  Virtually every aspect of who they are is the exact opposite of what they are.  They fight for “social justice” which is just redistribution, they fight for “human rights” that include health care, and even food – which cannot be rights – as they come at the expense of others.  They call themselves progressives, but they don’t progress towards greater liberty for the individual, they progress towards greater power for what the state “must do on your behalf“.  This is regressive, towards the totalitarianism of dictatorships and kings, not towards the greater well-being of the individual.  Liberal in Hayek’s day meant closer to what libertarian or even conservative means today.  Not what libertarian or conservative is demonized as by the political left/progressives, but what they actually are.

It is for this reason that conservative author/radio host Mark Levin refers almost exclusively to the left as statists, as their main function is to expand government to their own ends.  Also note that there are right-wing, or socially traditionalist/conservative statists, who are often simply a different brand of moralist from the leftist statist.  The leftist statist wants you to stop drinking and smoking for your health and because it’s good for you, the rightist statist wants you to stop drinking and smoking because it’s “fiend intemperance”.  The leftist statist will force you to drive a hybrid car because of his Gaia-worship, the rightist statist will force businesses to close on Sunday to keep the Sabbath holy.

A major difference is that a rightward traditionalist in America, a mindset which often goes hand in hand with the moralist, can still be reminded that a reason the country was founded, and indeed the 1st Amendment was written, was to escape state-mandated religion.  The leftist, by contrast, believes that history started last week, and will reject the past as outmoded and obsolete in their own quest for power and The Greater Good.  As Thomas Sowell writes in his book “The Vision of the Anointed”:

“For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before.”

Returning to Hayek, pg 175:

If one has not one’s self experienced this process, it is difficult to appreciate the magnitude of this change of the meaning of words, the confusion which it causes, and the barriers to any rational discussion which it creates.  It has to be seen to be understood how, if one of two brothers embraces the new faith, after a short while he appears to speak a different language which makes any real communication between them impossible.  And the confusion becomes worse because this change of meaning of the words describing political ideals is not a single event but a continuous process, a technique employed conciously or unconciously to direct the people.  Gradually, as this process continues, the whole language becomes despoiled, and words become empty shells deprived of any definite meaning, as capable of denoting one thing as its opposite and used solely for the emotional associations which still adhere to them.

To sidetrack a while from the explicitly political, using a pop culture reference as an example, you can see how freedom has changed.  Most of the readers of this blog will know who this is.  On the off chance we have some very young readers or very old readers, this is Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots – the good guy Transformers.

His motto: “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.”

Now consider this online discussion amongst a group of Transformers fans.  Here are a few lines from the discussion, starting off with forum member “Octavius Prime” (hereafter OP) citing a movie review that had this line:

(Movie Review): And when Optimus Prime, the chief good Transformer, declares that “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings,” we know we’re in a Bush-era universe.

(OP): if the reviewers had done maybe 10 minutes of online research (say, on the Teletraan-1 wikia), they’d know that Prime has been spouting his line since before Bush’s dad was president. Moreover, what is so bad about freedom being a basic right? Isn’t that in the hugging Declaration of Independence? What is so quintessentially “Bush” about it?

(SD): Pretty much a case of people shooting words off before doing proper research, and an annoyingly over-liberal mindset. I mean, I don’t care for Bush, to put it lightly, but I also don’t wedge my political views into whatever I type/write.

(S): I can see how that line might be used by the likes of Bush to justify a war like Iraq (the lie that the war is all about human freedom rather than oil).

(PTP): Technically we were in a Regan-era universe when it was written, which isn’t all that much better…

(OP): Maybe, but I still don’t see how the motto that encapsulates democracy would be reduced to represent someone’s biased view of the Bush administration.

(D): I’d be hard pressed to vote for a president who didn’t believe in the basic right of freedom.  I mean there’s liberal, and then there’s blindedly liberal. Gah.

(TNG): I don’t really get why anyone would think that “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings” is a particularly conservative viewpoint. Definitions of exactly what freedom means may differ within the political spectrum but I don’t think you’d find many democrats arguing against freedom as a basic human right.

Liberals=progressives=statists, specifically here, anti-Bush statists, who are competing for the same space as state controllers.  Thus Freedom=Bush talking point.  Freedom=bad, to liberals, who are really progressives, who are really leftist-statists.  Also thus the word liberal, which is supposed to mean accepting of others, is now explicitly anti-freedom (even just in this discussion).  Liberal has gone so far as to also include Reagan and all non-leftist statists, thus even the original quote by Optimus Prime waaay back in about 1984 is rejected as being related to Reagan, Republicans, and therefore to a Liberal is a Bad Thing.

According to the leftist-statist, when Bush says freedom, it means ruthless oppression, even if it is freeing a nation from an actual ruthless oppressor.  Don’t bother them with the facts.  Criticism of a poor operational plan and shoddy intelligence (that leftist-statists agreed on) turned into a rejection of freedom in its entirety.  Leftist rejection of Bush-era domestic policies (that pretty much only targeted terrorists, but that should definitely be questioned in Constitutional interests) including the Patriot Act turned into Bush hates freedom.  This year when the Patriot Act was renewed by Barack Obama, without any of the reforms that were complained about during the Bush-era… well, Obama is still a good-guy to the leftist-statist, because he’s their guy there for The Greater Good.

Liberal is anti-freedom, freedom is oppression, progressive is statist.

Even the notions of left and right are reversed.  In France in 1789, at the French Assembly, the rebels who resisted the state sat on the left, while the supporters of the state sat on the right.  Except the French state was a monarchical state that didn’t represent the people, and had subjects, not citizens.  A rebel to the French state would be resisting tyranny.

The United States, by contrast, were formed by the people, for the people, and of the people.  The government was explicity designed to respond to the citizenry, and to be accountable to the citizenry.  The Constitution itself was a charter document designed to constrain any government to the initial agreement that the citizens had made when they settled on a government.  Consider first that the Declaration of Independence was a rejection of tyranny that called for the people to institute a government from the people, then consider that a government, instituted by the citizenry who choose their government, is how the democratic republic set up by the Constitution was designed.

Thomas Paine explains in concrete terms what a Constitution is:

But it will be first necessary to define what is meant by a Constitution. It is not sufficient that we adopt the word; we must fix also a standard signification to it.

A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal, but a real existence; and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting its government. It is the body of elements, to which you can refer, and quote article by article; and which contains the principles on which the government shall be established,  the manner in which it shall be organised, the powers it shall have, the mode of elections, the duration of Parliaments, or by what other name such bodies may be called; the powers which the executive part of the government shall have; and in fine, everything that relates to the complete organisation of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound. A constitution, therefore, is to a government what the laws made afterwards by that government are to a court of judicature. The court of judicature does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made: and the government is in like manner governed by the constitution.

The Constitution is static.  It is what the government is based on, and the laws that the government, in order to remain legitimate and existing upon the consent of the people, must adhere to.  Being on the left in the US and rejecting the established Constitutional order is rejecting a truly classically radical liberal document that enshines the rights and liberties of all citizens.  Being on the left is pushing for statism.  Being a conservative who wishes to conserve Constitutional principles is being a classical liberal, a radical libertarian – one who is opposed to the idea of a controlling state.

Religious liberalism and conservatism became injected into political liberalism and conservatism, as well as social liberalism and conservatism – but there is a wide gulf between what one preaches in one’s private or even public life, and what one inflicts through force of government.  Conservative has come to mean statist-religious, liberal to mean statist-humanist/statist-Gaia-or-Science-worshipper.

In this, the leftist-progressive-statist has changed the entire discussion by changing the meaning of words.  For another example: the religious-statist who would use force of government rather than persuasion has changed the word conservative to also mean moralist authoritarian – a term the leftist-statist is very much willing to embrace, as it drives people into their camp – to accept the “freedom from religion” that then turns into trying to destroy the religions of others – which is explicitly illiberal.  Another example: fascism was a brand of statist totalitarianism wherein the economic means of production were controlled by the state, but not always wholly owned.  Communists attacked fascists, with whom they were competing for the same leftist anti-capitalist statist-totalitarian space on the political spectrum, and accused fascists of being capitalist.  Fascism, descended from national socialism as opposed to communist international socialism, suddenly became its opposite, when the two are nary a hair’s breadth apart.  Yet the modern leftist-statist who favors socialism as an economic means to his Greater Good, will accuse someone who opposes them of being a national socialist.

Paine set up concretely what a Constitution is.  Those who support it, must support it for what it is.  It is a compact between we the citizen and those citizens we choose to serve us.  Words do mean something.  Our Constitution was established as a document that can change through the amendment process, but it is not to be manipulated until freedom means slavery.  But that is precisely what the leftist-statist has embraced (as well as the rightist-statist to a lesser degree).  George Orwell summed much of this up with his coining of the term “Newspeak” in his book “1984” several years after The Road to Serfdom had been published.  As Orwell says in “1984”:

By 2050—earlier, probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron—they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

Sadly, Orwell himself was a democratic socialist, basically a theory of benevolent socialism, but that can be the subject for another tl;dr post.

Lest I forget, the other Hayek:

Eventually I’ll just end up with pictures of chicks from Vienna to represent the Austrian School.

>From the Blaze:

This is everything that Barack Obama and the left preach. They attempt to indoctrinate people, seems they like to focus on children. Speaking of which I know several schools across the country got their “education” video whose return address comes from the Department of Education via 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

They also attempt to create rights to shore up their voting base. Seriously folks? High speed internet isn’t a right, for a list of rights try reading the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. Is high speed internet a nice tool? You’re darn right it is. Does it warrant a government subsidy so those who can’t afford it or it isnt available in an area can get it? Absolutely not. “Chairman Julius” Genachowski, and former FCC chairman Michael Copps need to keep their “collective” hands off the constitution and focus on monitoring radio stations for curse words. However, Copps seems to want to do otherwise by stating very clearly:

“You will need and you are entitled to have these tools and services available to you. I think it is a civil right.”

Guess what “Chairman” Copp, try heading to a public library. Most of them today have high speed internet and that type of technology in place. We don’t need to spend any more money that we do not have on goods or services that the left feels is a “right” so that they can get re-elected. We have already done that with Americorps to increase the number of government subsidized volunteers, and we are about to reap the “so called benefits” of a government option healthcare system. America was already the world leader in “private interest” volunteerism and “had” the worlds’ best healthcare system. There was no need to spend the money on two of these issues.

Most importantly Leftist want to redistribute wealth to low income families or if you prefer take money away from those who have worked their rear ends off to get what they have. This can also cause those lower income families to vote for whomever “shows them the money.” However, that money has to come from somewhere, and its the taxpayer, or worse yet it gets borrowed from China or Japan. The leftists’ believe that even if you have whatever it is they are subsidizing that they will just go ahead and give it to you any way because the extra income is “useful.” Really? Useful to get you reelected? Useful to help that low income family? Will that low income family use that money wisely? Will that money have oversight to determine if it is being used for it’s intended purposes?

Clear examples of leftist ideology, and clear examples of why the leftist way never works. It is impossible to oversee and fund a subsidy in our current economic state without the raising or creation of taxes (another leftist pillar). You can’t create rights out of thin air. If you do you asking for the destruction of a nation due to the populace losing all its iniative and its will to work or produce anything of economic value. You can’t indoctrinate people either, if you do, today you risk completely alienating the popualce due to the internet and the growing number of citizens that are “doing their civic homework.”

One can clearly see all these elements of the leftist plan at work and the good news is that people are now seeing it for what it truly is and people are throwing it back in the leftist “collective” faces.

2 November is approaching, please be sure to register to vote and discuss the issues with family and friends.

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