Whatever happened to the Rule of Law? from The State of the Union, 1998 by Doug Fiedor
The State of the Union in 1998 is such that protecting ones individual rights from government usurpation is almost an impossibility. Not only has the central government attempted to legislate away many of our unalienable and Constitutional rights; in many cases it has actually succeeded in redefining the meaning of the terms used to describe these rights. This paper addresses some of the more grievous inconsistencies between today's central government and the Federal Government intended by the Founding Fathers. It also discloses how many of these unconstitutional changes in government came about, and how they have degraded the freedom of the American people.
Whatever happened to the Rule of Law?
Sure, we have all heard of it. But few Americans use the term "Rule of Law" anymore for a very good reason. Except for lawyers, not many of us have any idea what that term actually means. Worse yet, some of us don't really care what it means. The term is just not very useful for everyday conversation.
But we should care. There was a time, before about 1940, when nearly every American citizen knew exactly what Rule of Law indicated. And, they often demanded strict enforcement. You should be very familiar with the term, too. It pertains to something very precious to you: Your freedom. And today, we're desperately in need of a resurgence in good old fashioned freedom from government restraints.
One old political dictionary defines Rule of Law as "an Anglo-American concept that emphasizes the supremacy of the law and restricts the discretionary power of public officials. The Rule of Law particularly stresses the protection of individual rights from the arbitrary interference of officials." In other words, when applied correctly, it protects your personal freedom. Not the group rights the liberals and establishment media try to push, but our individual rights and liberties.
In The Road to Serfdom, Professor of Economics and Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek says of the Rule of Law: ". . . this means that government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand -- rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its coercive powers in given circumstances and to plan one's individual affairs on the basis of this knowledge."
Now do you see why we need to know more about the Rule of Law? Because it restricts the discretionary power of public officials. And yes, public officials are supposed to be controlled by something other than the vote. It is the what that is supposed to limit the actions of public officials that has become foggy in the minds of many of today's American citizens. Luckily, the basics are quick and easy to learn.
Years ago, we used to say that we have "a government of law and not of men." Back then, we expected our elected officials and bureaucrats to stay within the boundaries set down in the law. That is, Congress was not expected to pass unconstitutional laws, the President and the Courts were expected to strictly enforce the Bill of Rights, and your state and local officials would do only those things outlined by your state constitution and/or city charter.
That is what our grandparents expected. The rights and liberties of the individual citizen were supposed to be protected by government. But, that was years ago. This is now. And things have changed.
Today, there are so many things described as "rights" that the meaning of the word has been totally corrupted. A right is something which applies to everyone equally, like freedom of speech and religion. The word "permission" should be used when the activity is available to only a selected few -- such as licensing a special group, collecting welfare, etc. -- and can be revoked.
Among the protections citizens realize when they demand strict interpretation of the Rule of Law is the American concept of freedom. We all remember the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence:
"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."
Jefferson took a little editorial liberty with the phrase "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Consequently, if we modern Americans are to fully understand our own personal rights and liberties, this requires a little explanation.
Back in the days of the Founding Fathers, every family was said to have two well studied books in their homes. The most important best seller around 1775, of course, was The Bible. The second best seller in the Colonies was Blackstone's Commentaries on The Law, then a new three volume set on English common law.
For the Founding Fathers, Blackstone's Commentaries was the law book of the day. Of course, the writings of John Locke and others were freely quoted too. But, they were theory. Blackstone's was an accurately written description of the Law. Since then, it has been used in every English speaking law school in the world. Even today, a well read copy of Blackstone's Commentaries can be found in any American law library.
Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin all studied Blackstone's Commentaries at length, as did all of the Founders. That is very evident in their writings. They quote and paraphrase the text extensively.
So, it is no surprise that the phrase written by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, is derived from Chapter One of Book One of Blackstone's, titled Absolute Rights of Individuals. Blackstone describes the absolute rights of individuals as being our right to life, liberty and property. Jefferson took the editorial liberty of changing "property" to "pursuit of happiness," knowing full well that all Colonial Americans would understand exactly what was meant.
It is us, today's Americans, who seem to have a problem with that meaning. We Americans have lost the concept of true freedom because we no longer know exactly what our rights are. In today's United States, the word "rights" has been corrupted so completely that few Americans any longer know the difference between procedural rights, civil rights and our unalienable rights and liberties. However, the basics can be learned in less than a minute, so let's examine a little of Blackstone's original text.
Sir William Blackstone defines our absolute rights as "those which are so in their primary and strictest sense; such as would belong to their persons merely in a state of nature, and which every man is entitled to enjoy, whether out of society or in it." These rights have also been called natural rights by some.
Blackstone then breaks these rights down into three basic categories:
Life -- The Right of Personal Security: "This right consists of a person's legal and uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his health and his reputation." Herein can also be found your right of self defense.
Liberty -- The Right of Personal Liberty: "This consists in the power of locomotion, of changing situation, of moving one's person to whatever place one's own inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint, unless by course of law." We find this right protected, to a limited extent, within the body of our Constitution, and further guaranteed within the Bill of Rights.
Property -- The Right of Private Property: "This is the third absolute right, and consists in the free use, enjoyment and disposal by a man of all his acquisitions, without any control or diminution, save only by the laws of the land."
Our Founding Fathers called these absolute rights unalienable -- incapable of being given up, taken away, or transferred to another. In Jefferson's first draft of The Declaration of Independence, the word was conventionally spelled inalienable. However, the newspaper editor among them, Benjamin Franklin, thought unalienable sounded stronger. And, as they say, the rest is history. Thus, the protection of Life, Liberty and Property -- our natural, absolute and unalienable rights -- became the underlying reason our country was formed.
There is, of course, a caveat here: As members of society, we are required to respect these rights in all others. Therefore, the most important reason we empower governments to make and enforce laws is to insure that every person respects these rights of other Americans.
The Federal Government is, of course, mandated to both respect and protect these rights for all American citizens. In fact, the Founding Fathers intended that the Federal Government have no power to violate any of the individual rights, only to protect them. Towards this end, the body of our Constitution was carefully crafted by the Founding Fathers to allow the central government only certain enumerated powers. Although it may not seem like it today -- with our hundreds of thousands of pages of imposing laws, rules and regulations -- the powers of the federal government were intended to be few, and the freedoms of citizens were contemplated to be many.
The basic reasons our federal government was formed can be found outlined in the Preamble to our Constitution, which reads in part:
". . . to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity . . ."
In other words, the expressed intent of forming a central government was to insure a free, peaceful country in which to live, work and raise a family.
Notice anything in the Preamble about regulating We the People into submission? Of course not! Nor will you find anything within the body of the Constitution. Furthermore, judging by the extensive writings of the authors of our Constitution, that type of authority was expressly forbidden to the Federal Government. It is hard to believe today, but all policing powers (except for very few, such as treason, piracy and counterfeiting) were intended to be left to the states.
It was the Federal Government's duty, then, to not violate the unalienable and Constitutional rights of the citizens. And, generally speaking, it was the duty of the States to protect these rights. But, as we said above, that was then, and this is now. Yet, there have been no changes to the Constitution altering that arrangement. So, the changes must have came about by other means.
Still today, the Rule of Law demands strict obedience of our United States Constitution by all public officials. Should we be surprised, then, that many of today's public officials find that term embarrassing, and even repulsive?
It is because we Americans no longer study these most basic tenants of human rights that we are losing them. After all, how may we demand our individual rights be protected if we no longer know exactly what they are? Consequently, we have developed a collectivist society. A society in which group rights supersede individual rights. A society in which the Marxist theory of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is usurping the original American ideal of individual productivity and individual responsibility.
The idea of group rights, group protections, and special permissions for certain groups, is repugnant to the ideals set down in our Constitution. The American ideal professes equal rights and liberties for all, never special rights for any. But, along with equal rights come equal responsibilities. And, accepting responsibility for ones own actions is, in a nutshell, exactly what the liberals among us are loath to accept.
Now that you have a general idea of the basic intent of the Founding Fathers, we can move on to the methods used by the bureaucracy to supplant our "unalienable" and Constitutional rights. At this point, it is suggested that you actually read our United States Constitution and take the time to become especially familiar with Sections 8 through 10 of Article I, and the Bill of Rights.
The Usurping of our Unalienable Rights
For the last sixty-five years, our federal government has continually exhibited two very important predispositions: These are a strong propensity towards steady growth, and the accumulation and centralization of political power.
Of course, all of this growth and accumulation of power in Washington comes from one source: We the People. This is because, to put it simply, here in the United States all power legally originates with the people. Put another way, government cannot take a right away from us unless We the People relinquish it.
Years ago, we called the ability to do as we wished "freedom." And, back then, about the only caveat on our freedom was that we did not bother others with our actions. But about eighty-five years ago, this began changing. That is, starting about 1913, the federal government began to centralize political power and hence, control over the people.
The Founding Fathers designed a central government with authority to conduct only eighteen basic functions. Their expressed intent was that any powers not specifically delegated to the central government by the Constitution were deliberately left to the states in general, and to the people in particular. The Founders knew very well that every law, rule and regulation passed by the central government would decrease the rights and liberties of the people -- your personal freedom. Therefore, they were very careful to give the national government only those powers necessary for the country to function effectively as a unit.
That has all changed. Today, freedom in these United States is more or less a relative thing. Today's freedoms include only those actions Congress and the regulatory bureaucracies wish to allow to the people. That is, an American citizen is allowed to do something only until Congress, or one of the administration's regulatory agencies, decides to forbid it. Exactly how most of this happened will be addressed later.
And what of those eighteen powers given to the federal government by our Constitution? One, the regulation of money, has been totally abdicated to a semi-private corporation known as the Federal Reserve System. And, two others -- the protection of our borders and the proper operation of the city of Washington, D.C. -- have become utter failures.
George Mason University Professor of Economics Walter Williams writes that these eighteen duties mandated to the federal government by our Constitution would account for approximately one-third of the federal budget. The other two-thirds of the federal budget is, therefore, "extra-Constitutional" spending. In other words, two-thirds of the hard earned money we are forced to send to Washington every year is spent by the federal government with no Constitutional authority.
So too with many laws passed by Congress. Today's Congress legislates on even the most basic of human functions. One day it was how fast we will be allowed to drive our automobiles. Another day it was what we will be allowed to view on television. On yet another day it was what we would be allowed to transmit over our telephone or via computer networks, and send though the mails. Most recently, it's regulating how much water each personal toilet may use per flush and how senior citizens may spend their own personal money for medical care. Among the most humorous, though, was a discussion of how toilet paper was to be manufactured and marketed.
The point is that if certain members of today's Congress can contemplate something affecting human existence, chances are quite good that they will also attempt to regulate it. Complicating the problem is the fact that the federal regulatory agencies are now allowed to pass laws (regulations) on their own volition. Worse yet, these unelected federal bureaucrats are now even levying taxes on the American public, with no comment from Congress.
"How can they do that?" seems to be a popular question nowadays. Which should be stated more correctly as, where did they find the authority to legislate on that subject? Congress makes up their own authority as they go along, is the only completely correct answer. Congress invents its own authority. And now, so do the regulatory agencies.
Often, Congress starts by legislating on a matter that might actually be useful and desirable, but just borders on being outside the authority given by the Constitution -- like welfare, for instance. If the people do not complain too loudly, and the courts do not immediately knock it down, they then carry it on ad nauseam. And, as in the case of welfare, they tend to continue adding to the law every year, until its original intent is utterly corrupted, and the whole system becomes a total affront to our Constitution.
Contrary to popular belief by many in Washington, the term "Federalism" does not mean that the federal government is to control everything. The states were intended to have most policing powers, the central government very few. Were the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution enforced with the vigor of the First, this situation would be rectified immediately. Instead, our country is infected by a quagmire of many thousands of often conflicting federal laws, rules and regulations.
It is also disturbing that there are so many volumes of ever-changing federal law that no single person can ever learn it all. On top of that, there are two-hundred and some thick books of poorly written regulations, most of which also come with severe civil and criminal penalties. These regulations are enforced by ninety-some federal agencies, all of which are continually working on hundreds of new rules and regulations.
In fact, unelected federal bureaucrats now write so much law that, on average, it totals 70,000 pages of small print in the Federal Register annually. And, because ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defense, this is law that all Americans are required to know and obey. Clearly, the federal regulatory bureaucracy is out of hand.
Worse, many federal regulatory agencies use a recently invented power called the "General Duty clause." This allows regulators to invent a regulation, on the fly, when they come upon a specific circumstance that they do not have a standard regulation to fit. In other words, citizens can no longer only rely on the written law. Americans must also be able to read the minds of the regulators in order to conform to federal regulations. Obviously, the federal government has gone far afield from the rule of law on which this country was founded. Today's federal government is more akin to regulatory despotism.
This is further complicated by the diabolical attitude of those entrusted with enforcing the law. For instance, during Attorney General Janet Reno's Senate conformation hearings, she was heard agreeing with (then committee chairman) Senator Joseph Biden that "ignorance of the law is no excuse." In other words, she (or Biden) does not need to personally know all the laws (no single person can), but we citizens can be imprisoned if we do not obey them all.
And that is exactly the problem in a nutshell.
The analogy is that of a one way street down that slippery slope of justice; a road which contains many turns of unexpected consequences, and eventually leads down to the state of tyranny. For, when the volume of law enacted by government far exceeds the ability of the governed to comprehend, there is, in effect, no law. The unexpected consequence, then, is selective tyranny.
In The Federalist Papers No. 62 James Madison admonishes:
"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?"
Today's federal government is quite obviously not the government intended by our Founding Fathers.
The IRS and the Downfall of our Bill of Rights
Most Americans will long remember the IRS agents testifying about their misdeeds before a Senate committee last year. They were hidden from public view and even had their voices changed. Like Mafia stoolies, they feared the retribution of their coworkers.
And well they should. The Internal Revenue Service is the meanest, most obnoxious and ruthless of any of the federal agencies. It could and should be abolished. But instead, it has the support of nearly every elected official in Washington.
When the Sixteenth Amendment was debated in Congress, it was said that "the federal income tax will never increase over 10%, and would only approach that level for the most wealthy in the country." What is your tax rate today?
Also, our federal income tax system is said by the government to be "voluntary." That probably explains why so many IRS agents now carry guns -- so we will immediately "volunteer" to contribute whatever they instruct us to forfeit.
Clear thinkers will label them by their actions: An old rule of thumb in political science teaches that when you transform a crime-detecting police force into a crime-preventing policing apparatus, you have created a police state. In a dictatorship, or police state, organizations spy on the citizens before they have been accused of committing a crime. In a free society, there must first be reasonable suspicion that a citizen has committed a crime before the policing agency may inquire. Somehow this concept has been lost where federal taxes are concerned.
The Internal Revenue Service is plugged into nearly everything we do. That agency does not secretly spy on citizens like the BATF, the FBI and the spook agencies do. No, they are very out-front and blatant about it. The IRS just outwardly demands that taxpayers produce any and all information they want. It also demands that others, such as banks, employers, credit reporting agencies, auto dealers, etc., etc. also report all major taxpayer transactions to them. The IRS also freely shares this information with other federal government organizations. In other words, the IRS historically displays zero respect for the Rule of Law, and thus, for our United States Constitution.
The IRS's systematic contempt for our Constitution began years ago, when Congress decided that Constitutional protections -- such as our Fifth Amendment protection against self incrimination, and the Fourth Amendment mandate that government agents first obtain a search warrant before rifling through our private documents -- would not be required for that agency. Consequently, today's IRS is able to do just about anything it wishes.
As a result of this institutionalized contempt for American citizens, today's IRS pretty much just physically takes whatever it wants -- or puts a lien on it, in the case of real property. IRS agents collect merit pay increases and bonuses based on how much they collect, not on how much they legally collect. The agency also pays many millions of dollars annually in rewards to informants willing to spy on other citizens.
Recently, the IRS tried to pull another fast one on the American public. The IRS commissioner released what they call "The Taxpayers Bill of Rights." This so called bill of rights revolves around an ombudsman, who is also under IRS employ. Their resulting text is little more than pitiful pacification of Congress, and borders on a complete sham. Perhaps it is time we again inform our Members of Congress that we already have a Bill of Rights in our Constitution. And that is the Bill of Rights -- the only Bill of Rights -- federal officials must honor. Short of passing a Constitutional amendment, there can be no exceptions.
That is the Rule of Law. Remember? No place in our Constitution is there offered even a hint of permission for any government agency to function in violation of our Bill of Rights. Nothing in any succeeding Amendment canceled anything in the Bill of Rights. Therefore, the first ten amendments remain the law of the land; that is, if we citizens start to demand that they be enforced as such.
Another major injustice to the American public is that the government is continually changing the tax laws. The 1995 version of the Federal Tax Code was 1,378 pages in length. Income tax regulations included another 6,439 pages. The explanation of the above 7,817 pages of poorly written income tax law is 45,000 pages long. Don't bother to try to read it all, though. You will not have time.
Just last year, Congress decided to fix the tax code again. Consequently, they added 285 new sections and amended 824 others. And, of course, every American taxpayer is required to obey every section.
As the Kemp Tax Commission reported last year, there were over 4,000 changes in the tax code within the last nine years alone. Panel member Shirley Peterson, who is also a former IRS commissioner, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying that the tax code is so badly broken that "It can't be rescued."
She should know. She was a leader among the thousands of bureaucrats who helped corrupt it. Being broken does not stop them from imprisoning citizens for violations of that mess they call law, though. The reader is referred again to the above James Madison quote. Quite obviously, this is not the government intended by the Founding Fathers.
All government officials take an oath to support and defend our Constitution. So it is fair to ask any Member of Congress why the IRS is not required to honor all of our Constitutional protections, as well as their oath of office. Ten to one you will get a dirty look, and no answer. But, if you are lucky enough to receive an answer, the forthcoming rambling babble of rhetoric will probably be a marvelous lesson in political side-stepping.
The dirty little secret is that everyone in Congress, the administration and the courts know perfectly well that most actions of the IRS are unconstitutional. What they are not willing to do is put a stop to these blatant violations of our rights. It is a very irritating fact to the Washington bureaucracy that the Sixteenth Amendment was not designed to repeal anything that James Madison wrote into the first ten.
Search and Seizure -- a new government profit center
The White House, Department of Justice, CIA, National Programs Office, National Security Agency, and the FBI are working in unison on the passage of an unconstitutional bill to allow warrant-free wiretaps of any and all civilian and commercial telephone lines (the National Security Agency already does this) by the federal government. It will pass.
In addition, the FBI informed Congress that it needs equipment to tap 1,500,000 American telephones simultaneously. That is up from a total of less than 1,200 wiretaps by all police departments in the United States for the whole year of 1993. Congress let the request pass, and funded the program.
At this writing, there are also at least four bills in Congress forbidding encrypted computer and telephone messages by American citizens. Originally, the administration pushed for the clipper chip, a National Security Agency designed computer coding device to encrypt computer messages sent out via computer networks. Public opinion quickly squelched that idea because government was to keep the decoding device. So now the administration is pushing the anti-encryption bills. Their bureaucratic reasoning is that if we citizens start encoding all our telephone calls and computer transmissions to each other, Uncle Sam's police agencies cannot snoop to see who is breaking the law.
For some reason, today's Washington bureaucrats seem to think that spying on citizens is a right of government. Obviously, it has not occurred to anyone in the White House, the spook agencies, or the Department of Justice, that they have no authority to be snooping on us in the first place. The bureaucratically inconvenient words in the Fourth Amendment that supposedly limit their spying on citizens are:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
The operative words shall not seem rather understandable to most people, just not to politicians and bureaucrats. Also, the intent of the Founding Fathers was that every word of our Constitution is to apply equally to every official in government -- especially to the policing agencies and tax collectors. So, who can be depended on to defend our Fourth Amendment, and our right to privacy? Apparently, no one in Washington. Listen closely. Do you hear any words of support for your individual rights, liberties and privacy coming from your elected officials? Of course not. Because the Rule of Law is dead, the Constitution is no longer the law of the land.
What you will hear from those in the federal government is how we must step-up the drug war, pass stiffer sentences, and God forbid one of us look at a picture of an unclothed human body. And, oh yes, we need stricter enforcement of all of those federal regulations, too. You will not hear freedom mentioned. Rather, you will hear stricter controls of the population proposed. Freedom is out. Rigid control of the people is in.
Towards this end, President Clinton calls for a beefed-up FBI and another 100,000 police officers on the streets. That's a start. Clinton also suggested taking those mustered out of the down-sized military and making them federal police officers. But, will this be enough enforcement personnel? With all those federal regulations, probably not.
So, there are two other plans afoot. First, all over the country, junior colleges are training students to become state and federal agency regulators -- 50 to 200 of them graduate from each school, each semester. That is thousands of new regulators each year! What do you suppose all these new bureaucrats will be doing?
Second, the administration is arming as many federal agents as possible. Already, the federal government has a standing army of over 80,000 armed agents on the street. They plan to hire at least 20,000 more within the next two years.
In this atmosphere of fiscal austerity, some ask where the money will come from to pay all these new bureaucrats. Never fear, that has already been worked out by way of changes in the civil forfeiture laws. Today, if an officer sees that you have a large sum of cash with you, chances are excellent that money will be confiscated. Law-abiding citizens pay by check, or credit card, prosecutors say. So, anyone carrying a large sum of money must be a crook or a drug dealer, they say. Therefore, they take the money, and you must hire a lawyer and go to court to try to retrieve it.
If a cop finds so much as one marijuana seed in your nice new car, they can take the car. A California man ran over some type of weird protected rat while plowing his farm, so EPA fined him and "forfeited" his big, expensive new tractor rig. One police officer in Florida rips off thousands of dollars each week from out of state cars on the highway in the name of fighting drug trafficking. Others do the same in Louisiana. A Michigan grandmother's farm house was broken into by police because her visiting grandson was suspected of smoking a joint out behind the barn. They took the $5,000 cash she had for seeds, plus her new Christmas present -- a nice stereo system. This civil forfeiture practice already adversely affects tens of thousands of ordinary, law-abiding American citizens every year. Look for it in your neighborhood soon.
Interestingly enough, the combination of ever changing tax laws, warrantless searches, and this unconstitutional civil forfeiture scheme, were the primary reasons our country's Founding Fathers went to war with England in 1776. Today, civil forfeiture is the major tool used by the IRS, EPA, DEA, FBI, and most Federal prosecutors. Soon, it is to be extensively used by all regulatory agencies as a supplement to their budgets. Already, bonuses are awarded to regulatory agents collecting the most "forfeiture" from unsuspecting citizens in their districts.
Because the goods and money "forfeited" is used to supplement the prosecutor's and policing department's budgets, the court rules are set in their favor. In other words, the deck is stacked against the citizen and, more often than not, the practice amounts to little more than legal thievery.
The point is that, by virtue of the way the civil forfeiture laws are designed, any aggressive bureaucrat can effectively rip off enough from an unsuspecting population in three months to pay for ten more regulators for two years. So be assured, a workable plan to pay for more regulators and police officers is in place. And, as with tax law enforcement, none of the normal Constitutional rights and protections are available to the citizen. The current administration, and many in Congress, seem to feel that our Bill of Rights must give way to the expediency and expansion of the central government's bureaucracy.
Even more ominous are the federal government's 280 or more SWAT teams. Depending how SWAT teams are set up, it takes twenty-four to forty-eight trained shooters to make a good squad. That comes out to between seven and fourteen-thousand well-trained killers working for the administration of the Federal Government -- and that is without counting anyone in the military or the CIA.
These shooters do not go after those involved in organized crime or drug trafficking. They will not be used to clean up the crime infested streets of Washington, D.C.; where, incidentally, our Constitution gives the federal Government complete policing powers. Nor will these gunmen be protecting our country's borders. So, who do you think they will be going after?
Obviously, there is some sort of a plan here. And without a doubt, there is also great potential for a police state. We cannot yet tell if the ultimate overall plan is to intentionally create a police state. But it is most certainly apparent that the intentions of many in government do not include protecting the personal freedoms of American citizens. Nor do they include honoring the ideals set forth in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The Root of All Evil
Have you ever wondered where all of our money went? And no, we are not talking Federal Reserve Notes here. Federal Reserve Notes are script. Our Constitution intentionally defines money as something other than script. Exactly what is Constitutionally acceptable as money is unfortunately not clearly defined. Even so, it is quite clear that Federal Reserve Notes are not what was intended.
Article 1, Section 8 of our United States Constitution states that "Congress shall have the Power To . . . coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and foreign Coin, and fix the standards of Weights and Measures . . ." That is not much information. The Constitution gives the power to coin and regulate the value of money to Congress. Shall we take the word "coin" literally? There is much debate on that question.
Article 1, Section 10 of our United States Constitution gives us another hint: "No State shall . . . coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts . . ."
No State shall . . . make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts. Taken literally, this presents a rather inconvenient problem. Gold and silver coin -- or at least bills backed by gold and silver -- is what the Constitution mandates to be used as legal tender within the States. Federal Reserve Notes are obviously a "Thing" other than gold or silver coin.
Therefore, is this script we call money Constitutional for us to use within the States? It probably would be legal tender in Washington, D.C. But in the States too? According to our Constitution, States are not allowed to "make" anything but gold and silver a legal tender. Does this mean "make," as in "produce" or "make" as in "allow to be used"? Should we just forget that part of the Constitution? The Supreme Court says that all words of our Constitution apply equally, so obviously not.
Article I, Section 8 already gave Congress the power to coin money and regulate its value. Therefore, Congress is charged with producing the money. So, if we remove all words not needed in Section 10 to answer this question we see: "No State shall . . . make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of debts." This use of the word "make" then, must mean "to allow." So, the only other interpretation possible becomes: No State shall allow anything but gold and silver coin to be used as legal tender.
To be sure, the federal government has passed laws making Federal Reserve Notes legal tender for all debts public and private. But, so what! Over the years, the federal government has passed many laws in direct violation of our Constitution. Historically, it is quite obvious that the concept of Federal Reserve Notes is far from what the Founding Fathers had in mind as legal tender when they wrote our Constitution. There have been no Constitutional amendments changing the sections mentioned above. Therefore, this question of legal tender needs a great deal of serious discussion.
The United States could easily return to the silver standard. However, that would require banks, especially the Federal Reserve System, to keep silver to redeem on demand for the Silver Certificate bills. Banks, of course, do not wish to do that because their lending capacity would then be based on the amount of silver they had on hand. Also, they could no longer create fiat money out of nothing, and then profit from the resulting interest and inflation.
We cannot, however, return to the gold standard.
Probably the greatest financial-political whodunit story of this century is The Creature from Jekyll Island, by G. Edward Griffin. The book is a frank, yet interesting and readable, discussion on the Federal Reserve System and exactly how our money comes into being. As reported by Griffin and others, the Federal Reserve once was used to hold our public and private gold reserves. It then issued bills, which were always redeemable in gold on demand. That was the contract between the Federal Reserve System, its member banks, and the people. American citizens thought the bills were always redeemable for gold on demand.
After the big stock market crash of 1929, people started asking for their gold from the banks. Bankers, and later the President, called this action a run on the banks. Banks did not want to return the gold. So, people were suddenly accused of "hoarding" their own gold. Actually, the problem was that banks could not return the gold. First, the banks had issued many more gold certificates than they ever had gold -- they made a lot of money that way. And second, they did not even have much of the gold they were supposed to have. The gold was gone!
How and why the gold was gone is still being discussed. That much of our gold was found later, in Europe, is fact. Exactly how so much of it got there is the mystery. Regardless, the bankers pulled a fast one on the American people, and Roosevelt Administration helped by covering for them.
Another fact is that the bankers who were devious enough to send the gold to Europe at that time realized a profit of about 60-percent. The fact that it was not their gold to send is incidental. . . . It soon became an insignificant point anyway. Under Roosevelt, the federal government confiscated all gold from the American public and sold off much of that resulting stash to Europe too.
Still today, when coin dealers wish to purchase American gold coins for sale in the United States, they often buy them in bulk from Europe.
The Founding Fathers knew exactly what they were doing by adding that gold and silver clause into our Constitution. Gold and silver are a hedge on inflation. Back when gold was confiscated from American citizens, a good quality new car could be purchased for about 60 twenty-dollar gold coins. Sixty of those very same twenty-dollar coins will still by a good quality new car today. When used as currency, gold and silver provide a strong backbone for a stable economy.
Today's Federal Reserve money, however, is inherently unstable. All else being equal, today's money itself causes about a 2.5 percent annual rate of inflation. It must, because that is the "handling charge" profit skimmed off of the top by the banks. So, every ten years, Federal Reserve Notes alone cause at least a 25-percent increase in inflation. Or, put another way, you are assessed a disguised two and one-half percent (or there about) hidden tax on every dollar because of the actions of the Federal Reserve System and its member banks. This would not be true with gold and silver coin.
The federal government may, if it wishes, use Federal Reserve Notes as legal tender outside of the States. That issue was settled by the Supreme Court when Lincoln printed the Greenback Dollars. But Lincoln did not remove the customary gold and silver tender. He only supplemented it with Greenbacks, which people used to pay taxes. That tried and proven arrangement could still be workable today, were we to have the coin available. Our minimum savings, after all, would be the hidden tax of the inflation caused by the banks.
Another government action stymieing our economy and inflating our dollar is the national debt. The $5.5-Trillion national debt comes out to just over $44,000 per taxpayer -- almost enough to buy a decent house in some areas. Worse yet, the national debt is often expanding at a rate of nearly One-Billion dollars per day. The interest alone on the national debt eats up nearly one-third of the federal budget annually.
Yet, the Clinton Administration plans to add another $1-Trillion to that national debt before we start paying on the principle. Paying off $6.5-Trillion, in principle and interest, will be equal to a second home mortgage for all American taxpayers.
This government has kept us working 40-percent of each year just to pay taxes. It is almost a certainty that our children will work at least half of the year to pay taxes. Now, it looks as though our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have to work at lease three months each year just to pay the principle and interest on our portion of the national debt. Only then will they began working to pay their taxes. Yet, when some of the newly elected Members of Congress brought this problem up for discussion, they were immediately labeled radical trouble makers by the president and the obedient mass media. Does anyone see a problem with this picture?
We need a balanced budget, all right. More importantly, though, we must pay off the national debt! But start today, not seven years and over $1-Trillion more from now. All we are doing is stealing from our as yet unborn great-grandchildren.
There is, in fact, a method of shrinking government down to the size and cost it should be. The scheme is to once again return these United States to a Constitutional form of government.
The Coup de Grace of our unalienable rights
The above corruptions of our Constitution should be enough to pique any freedom-loving American citizen's interest. But unfortunately, there is more. Much more. Current laws allow our whole Constitution to be totally suspended with little more than the utterance of two magic words by one person.
Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a continuous state of declared National Emergency -- and, those are the two magic words: National Emergency. Federal law gives the president a whole host of otherwise unconstitutional powers during a declared national emergency. Only the president can declare a national emergency and claim these extra-Constitutional powers. And, of course, presidents want these extra powers. Therefore, each and every president since Roosevelt has signed the directives necessary to keep us in a continuous state of emergency.
Before FDR, the president's special War Powers Act could only be activated during wartime. Roosevelt had Congress include civil emergencies to the War Powers Act and, during the depression, FDR used these new powers as authority to "regulate" every industry in the country. Most of Roosevelt's regulatory agencies are still with us. We have no emergency, but we still have the effects of these Emergency and War Powers acts.
In 1933, Roosevelt used these new powers to propose the National Industrial Recovery Act and form the National Recovery Administration (NRA). That agency was the cornerstone of the early New Deal programs. It was also the first of a long line of executive agencies to combine the executive, legislative and judicial functions in one commission. This was, of course, an obvious violation of the separation of powers doctrine of our Constitution.
In The Federalist Papers, No. 47, James Madison labels that arrangement tyranny:
"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether on one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
In 1935, the Supreme Court ruled the NRA, and a few other such oppressive control schemes by the Roosevelt Administration, unconstitutional. This caused the great confrontation in which FDR threatened "court packing." He rationalized that if he could appoint justices sympathetic to his socialist schemes, he could get the Court to approve his heretofore quite unconstitutional agenda.
Congress did not increase the number of justices for Roosevelt. As it turned out, that was not necessary. Due to resignations and death, Roosevelt was able to appoint enough justices to control the Court. And, during the 1937-38 Supreme Court session, the Court reversed itself, disregarded our Constitution, and allowed socialism to flourish in the United States.
Previously, the Court had interpreted the Constitution with what was called the "original understanding" doctrine. Under this doctrine, they honored the words of our Constitution as written. And, when further explanation was needed, they referred to the ancillary writings of the original authors, such as The Federalist Papers. Suddenly, the Supreme Court declared that our Constitution was now an "evolutionary document." Apparently, for these nine old Supreme Court Justices at least, it was no longer necessary that the words of our Constitution be different for the meaning of the words in our Constitution to be different.
Thus, the administrative branch of government also began acting as a quasi-legislative branch and, through the regulatory agencies, also a quasi-judicial branch. The administrative branch called the new rulings "presidential proclamations" and "executive orders." The executive agencies call them "rules" and "regulations." But whatever these new rulings were called, to the citizens they were all just more federal laws. All have the force of law, and all impact on the citizen just as any law passed by Congress would. It is only a matter of political semantics. Because, when they are fining you, or taking you off to prison, there is no important distinction.
Without even including the numerous emergency acts Roosevelt had passed though Congress, and before even contemplating entering the Second World war, he alone issued over 200 presidential proclamations and over 1,500 executive orders. Add to this the many thousands of rules and regulations from the new executive agencies, and you have some idea of how the president's emergency powers changed our nation.
Quite obviously, the War and Emergency Powers Acts have corrupted our Constitutional form of government.
The United States Senate started looking into this extra-Constitutional emergency war powers situation once, back in 1973. They published some very surprising findings. One interesting section of the Senate Report's introduction relates part of the cold hard truth:
"A majority of the people of the United States have lived all their lives under emergency rule. For 40 years, freedoms and governmental procedures guaranteed by the Constitution have, in varying degrees, been abridged by laws brought into force by states of national emergency."
But there's more. Unfortunately, a lot more. Another part of the findings of the Senate concerning the emergency powers available to the president upon his decree is also very informative. This is also related in Senate Report 93-549 of 1973:
"This vast range of powers, taken together, confer enough authority to rule the country without reference to normal constitutional processes. Under the powers delegated by these statutes, the President may: seize property; organize and control the means of production; seize commodities; assign military forces abroad; institute martial law; seize and control all transportation and communications; regulate the operation of private enterprises; restrict travel; and, in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all American citizens."
Many of these powers were already Constitutionally available to the president during wartime. Roosevelt had Congress add the emergency clauses, making the powers available to him, or any succeeding president, anytime. Which means, we could actually have a dictatorship starting today. All that is necessary is for the president to say those two magic words.
Senator Church commented in the same document: "If the President can create crimes by fiat and without congressional approval, our system is not much different from that of the Communists, which allegedly threatens our existence. These powers, if exercised, would confer upon the President total authority to do anything he pleased."
Church was exactly right. The laws, collectively called the emergency and war powers act, give the president the authority to declare a national emergency at will. The Clinton Administration recently did -- twice. Once was to send troops to Bosnia, and the second was so Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin could impound federal worker's retirement funds for government use. Actually, Clinton has unilaterally made law a number of times by executive order. Congress does not seem to care.
The fact is, the president's emergency powers are almost limitless.
The Senate then (in 1973) asked the Attorney General for a report on what the consequences would be, were all of the emergencies to be terminated and the emergency powers laws repealed. And finally, here comes the truth about the origin of the federal authority to operate all of those meddlesome federal agencies. The Attorney General reported:
". . . a "national emergency" is now a practical necessity in order to carry out what has become the regular and normal method of governmental actions. What were intended by Congress as delegations of power to be used only in the most extreme situations, and for the most limited durations, have become everyday powers, and a state of "emergency" has become a permanent condition."
Got that? He said, "what has now become the regular and normal method of governmental actions." And he said, "power to be used only in the most extreme situations, and for the most limited durations have become everyday powers." Yet, the word unconstitutional never reached anyone's lips in this discussion! It is often hard to define the exact line between ignorance and outright negligence in public officials. But in this case, it is easy. The members of this Senate panel were traitors! They completely violated the public trust in their office and the whole of the Constitution.
The Attorney General might have used polite language, but what he said was: "These powers are unconstitutional. And, yes, we know that. But so what! We are use to having these powers. We like all these powers. So, too bad about the Constitutional part. We are going to keep and use all of these unconstitutional powers." And so they did.
Even using the attorney general's words, this could be seditious behavior. At the very least, it is nonfeasance -- which should have been enough to impeach every official in the room. The Attorney General's reply is the exact opposite of supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. Which is, by the way, what all these men swore to God to do.
It is clear that these officers of the federal government knew perfectly well that this was an unconstitutional arrangement. They clearly agreed that it was, in open testimony, in the Senate of the United States. All concerned were also in a good position to correct the problem and restore our country to a Constitutional form of government. They were also in a very good position to protect the rights and liberties of the American people, as was their primary function in government. But, to a man, they intentionally chose to do nothing! Hence, there is a very strong case of dereliction of duty, or nonfeasance -- maybe even treason.
But, nobody was complaining, so why rock the boat. That was back in 1973. To this day, Congress has done nothing. We still have all of those oppressive -- and, obviously unconstitutional -- laws, rules and regulations. We still have all those unconstitutional agencies bothering us, each one operating like a little Soviet Politburo. We still have hundreds of unconstitutional expenditures eating away at out tax dollars. And, because of all this, we still have a federal tax rate of more than double what is necessary.
By 1976, Congress was starting to question all this again and managed to pass something called the National Emergency Termination Act. To be fair, the Act did cancel a few leftover "emergencies." However, it terminated nothing in the way of unconstitutional emergency powers. In fact, it made the president's emergency powers even stronger, by making some of them permanent. Now remember, there have been no changes to the Constitution to validate any of this. They just did it on their own volition.
So, what is Congress doing today? Still not rocking the boat! Oh sure, some of the newly elected members of the House brought the subject up once or twice. Again, they were called radicals by the president and his obedient press corps. Effectively, they were told to go sit down and shut up. They did.
To put credit where credit is most definitely due, it should be added that Congress passed another emergency law a few years ago. This one (50 USC 2251) creates the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and more or less gives it dictatorial powers over American citizens during any type of emergency. Section 2-203 defines "emergency":
"For the purposes of this Order, "civil emergency" means any accidental, natural, man-caused, or wartime emergency or threat thereof, which causes or may cause substantial injury or harm to the population or substantial damage to or loss of property."
That sure is rather vague and open ended. It is an emergency because they say it is an emergency: ". . . any . . . or threat thereof. . . " No other criteria are necessary. The rest of the words are just excess spaces.
Under this law, an emergency gives FEMA powers to do just about anything. They can take over all communications, all medical establishments, all business, relocate people as necessary, send citizens to work in any place necessary and at any wage designated, pass any and all rules and regulations, control all military and civilian policing, limit travel, etc., etc. In other words, they control your body, your labor, your property, and under a related banking regulation, can even confiscate your bank account. And by the way, Congress and the civilian courts have no authority after a president declares an emergency. The only properly descriptive word, therefore, is "dictatorship."
Someone once said that only Stalin had more power than the administration under the emergency and war powers act, but that is not necessarily true. Through FEMA, the administration can also declare martial law and inflict strict curfews with shoot on sight regulations. Or, they can try offending citizens in a quasi-military court and hang them -- without any right of appeal. The agency already has a large police force, complete with SWAT teams. They also have complete authority over all police and military forces.
Federal agencies were said to operate like little Soviet Politburos. FEMA is no different. In any type of major emergency, FEMA actually becomes a real Politburo! It is responsible to no one, other than the president. And, it has full authority to control everything, other than the president.
Today, the Director of FEMA is none other than Clinton's Arkansas crony James Lee Witt. Witt was a high ranking Arkansas State Police officer before moving over to FEMA. He was also profiled in a number of publications as being instrumental in the cover-up of the Clinton's Whitewater affair.
Under the law, only the president may declare a national emergency, and only the president may end it. Remember that, the next time you vote. Also remember that this same opportunity was allowed by Article 48 of the German Constitution in the 1930's. Therefore, the German President -- Hitler -- was also able to suspend the Constitution by presidential decree alone. Shall we wait for a dictator before we attempt to change our laws?
Some emergency and war powers are necessary. If the United States is attacked, we would want the President to have the power to take swift and decisive action. But, that action is to be directed against the enemy, not American citizens. And then, when the threat is over, so too must any emergency declarations end. These powers are Constitutional, and could become necessary; but only in time of war.
All of these laws are available for reading in many public libraries. Look under War Powers, Emergency Powers, and especially Trading with the Enemy (12 USC 95b), for others not quoted here. That many of these laws need repealing is beyond a doubt. That none of these laws will ever be changed, or repealed, without the effort of the people is also beyond a doubt. Every Member of Congress knows of these inconsistencies between our United States Constitution and the written federal laws. But, Congress will never act unless we demand swift correction.
Many of us might even enjoy living under a truly Constitutional form of government. At the very least, we should have the opportunity to experience it for a while. Regardless, sixty-five years of continuous rule by presidential emergency decree is about enough.
Oath of Office -- a law without enforcement
Such blatant violations of our Constitution would also be violations of the oath of office taken by all public servants. You know, the one in which they raise their right hand and solemnly swear to God to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Federal law (5 USC 3331) requires that: "An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath:"
I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
Any violation of the oath of office should be grounds for immediate impeachment and/or dismissal. However, it is not. One dirty little secret in Washington is that there are no penalties for violation of the oath of office. And evidently, everyone in government likes it that way. Violating one's oath of office, and hence the Constitution, has become a rather acceptable and expected practice nowadays.
Ask your Member of Congress why there is no penalty for violation of the oath. The reply should prove very interesting.
There is, however, a federal law (18 USC 1001), titled "Fraud and False Statements," that is sometimes used against citizens lying to a federal agency. The full text of the law is short, but rather interesting:
"Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals or covers up any trick, scheme, or device a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or entry, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."
The word "whoever" makes the reader believe that the law would apply to public servants as well as to citizens. If so, the effective enforcement of that law could sure bring a little honesty and honor to the halls of government in a hell of a hurry. Most of the halls would soon be empty. So would the White House.
But in today's political atmosphere, such convictions would be virtually impossible. Why? Well, first, consider the Congressional testimony during the Ruby Ridge, Waco and the fundraising hearings. Then, consider the probable resulting debacle involved with having Janet Reno and her assistants prosecuting other government liars. . . .
For the Washington crowd, any lie, no matter how outrageous, is justified by calling it "spin." It is their opinion, or their recollection, they say, no matter how fraudulent it may be. Even when they intentionally twist or misrepresent facts to deliberately mislead the public, it is still winked at and called an opinion. It doesn't matter that when the establishment press reports these intentional fabrications as news, as they usually do, the lies are often believed to be honest facts by many in the public sector.
Unfortunately, the False Statements law is not used against federal law enforcement agents either. A prosecutor, FBI agent, IRS agent --- or any government bureaucrat or agent, for that matter -- can tell a citizen anything they wish. They can also accuse a citizen of any crime they wish. And, other than proving their innocence in court, citizens have absolutely no recourse. The only hope is to catch the lying agent with a perjury charge, if they lie in open court. Even then, to charge them requires the assistance of a willing judge, which will not happen often. Prosecutors, by the way, are said to have the protection of the Crown. They do as they please because they are immune.
An oath of office presupposes honor in the person taking the oath. Honor that seems to be woefully lacking in many of the public servants officiating in today's federal government. So today, the oath of office is little more than an interesting relic; and perhaps a barometer of just how much the quality of people running our central government has degraded over the years.
It is Time to Honor Your Constitutional Duty
Our United States Constitution is the people's order to federal bureaucrats of how We the People want public servants to operate our government. The Constitution is, in effect, their job description. Therefore, when permission for an activity is not granted government within the text of our Constitution, the government simply has no authority to perform that activity. Period! Stop! End of story!
More importantly, when public servants attempt to grab oppressive powers expressly forbidden by our Constitution -- such as violating the Fourth Amendment's search and seizure provision -- punishment should be swift and sure, and include imprisonment. The most important function of government is to protect our rights, not to limit them under color of fighting crime. As Ben Franklin said, "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Public servants must somehow be made to understand what they are -- the servants. Question your Member of Congress about the issues raised here. Ask direct questions in writing, as well as at public meetings. If you do not get an acceptable answer, work to get that person tossed out of office. Elect someone who supports freedom. We have had enough rhetorical excuses.
Watch C-SPAN. If you do not see your Member of Congress frequently making strong demands for a resurgence of individual freedom, start a movement to throw the rascal out! It is easier than you think. Small groups can do wonders.
For "the battle is not for the strong alone," said Patrick Henry; "it is for the vigilant, the active, the brave." We citizens must never forget that in the United States of America we, not the politicians and bureaucrats, are the ultimate sovereigns. We are also the ultimate controlling legal authority in the United States. That means, when enough of us demand that something happen, it will.
But meanwhile, what do you think the Founding Fathers would say about all this? Luckily, in The Federalist Papers No. 78, Alexander Hamilton gives us a pretty good idea:
"There is no position which depends on clearer principles than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this would be to affirm that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid."
Strong stuff! No legislative act, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. There is certainly no equivocation there. That is quite a concept, especially coming from a man who actively participated in the Convention that wrote our Constitution. It should be noted too that Hamilton was a bit of an authoritarian. At the Constitutional Convention, and within the Cabinet of the Washington Administration, he was a major proponent of a strong central government.
The Federalist Papers, by the way, are often cited by the United States Supreme Court as a source of Constitutional law. An inexpensive paperback book version can be found in any bookstore. That text should be studied by every American citizen.
Although this text seems somewhat depressing on its face, there is one very promising event in the federal government to report. That is, that the United States Supreme Court is again beginning to realize that the words of the Tenth Amendment have real meaning. The Court now signals that some of the contemptuous rulings during the Roosevelt era are to be changed. Through a series of opinions, cumulating in Printz et al v. U.S. (95-1478, 1997), the United States Supreme Court is attempting to put the federal government back into it's proper place in the scheme of things. The words below specifically concerned the Brady Bill. But they are also quite appropriate to dozens of other recent laws, rules and regulations promulgated by the federal government.
"Much of the Constitution is concerned with setting forth the form of our government, and the courts have traditionally invalidated measures deviating from that form. The result may appear "formalistic" in a given case to partisans of the measure at issue, because such measures are typically the product of the era's perceived necessity. But the Constitution protects us from our own best intentions: It divides power among sovereigns and among branches of government precisely so that we may resist the temptation to concentrate power in one location as an expedient solution to the crisis of the day."
Those words were written in the Court's majority decision of the Printz opinion just last year. The problem is, the Clinton administration decided to ignore this and other inconvenient United States Supreme Court opinions and continue regulating as usual. Yet, "No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid." Indeed.
The United States Supreme Court even used Hamilton's words in a few opinions. Yet, the administration refuses to heed these opinions. The executive branch will not begin to give up authority, no matter how unconstitutional that authority may be. Nor does Congress seem to care how the Supreme Court tries to rein them in. "To serve is to rule" seems to be the only bylaws in today's political climate. And "rule" they do, on any subject they so choose, and by any means necessary.
So, what do we, you and I, do about it? Because that, dear reader, is the major problem of our era. The "Rule of Law," if used, is on our side. But, they have the power; the guns. And when the administration does not respect the Courts, when Congress does not respect either the will of the people or the Courts, what shall be our recourse? This is our present dilemma.
This text will not offer an answer to that problem. This is the soapbox. We still have the ballotbox. Perhaps, if these boxes do not work, others will be used later. Nevertheless, these problems are real. They are now. And they must be addressed soon. The whole of our American way of life depends on it.
How soon these problems will be addressed is only proportional to the amount of noise we voters make. This is, after all, an election year.
This text is by no means complete -- it doesn't even begin to touch on such things as censorship, education, gun rights, medical care, the Ninth Amendment, racism, religion, or socialism. Nor should it be used as a complete authority on any subject discussed. Rather, the intent is to bring to light a few of the more malicious violations of our United States Constitution. The information related is correct at the time of writing. How you act upon it is your own personal decision.
However, if you honor our Constitution, the objective should be clear. We must all work diligently -- as is our responsibility as American citizens -- to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Because, if we citizens do not, who will?
Those presently in government had their chance. Quite obviously, they have failed miserably.
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