Category Archives: History
By John Galt
The photo of the JP Morgan Chase building in Houston, TX with all of the broken windows thanks to Hurricane Ike is the perfect metaphor for our shattered financial system. The symbolism of the fractured chunk of a window in the photo above is the ultimate image for describing what is happening to our economy and worse an indication of the destroyed solvency of the Federal Reserve banking concept. The irony is that it was good old J.P. Morgan who concocted and promoted the very system which is now at risk.
The transparency that glass is supposed to provide for those on the outside and inside is often smoked over or tinted by these financial towers so Joe Q. Public can not look in to see what is happening inside. This same discoloration of the glass to diffuse or block the ability of the public to see what is happening also obstructs these “Masters of the Universe” and their view of Main Street, U.S.A. These “giants” of our financial industry have absolutely zero perception or understanding of how the average man or woman lives in this nation. To make matters worse, the majority of them have little if any empathy for the small or mid-sized entrepreneurial businessman or the jobs their enterprises create. Now, after a disaster of such monumental economic proportions, we are not asked, but told it is our duty to trust what is happening behind these darkened buildings and pay for their mistakes.
Today, that window is broken, as is our banking and financial system.
Jagged glass falling from a damaged skyscraper can cut or kill a person or in this case, an economy. The destruction of the credit establishment and expansionist enterprises in our banking sector will eventually result in a deflationary depression unless action is taken to expunge the bad paper or debts immediately. The question is the path that will be chosen to reach this final result. The logical solution would be for the central banksters of these United States, our Federal Reserve, and their partners in crime, the politicians, to protect their Ponzi scheme and inflate their way out of this mess, passing badly devalued dollars off between each other and foreign powers to eliminate the overhanging corporate sector and government debt. This action would cause great distress domestically and internationally but who cares about the citizens of these nations and the pain they would suffer? The main thing in the eyes of the politicians and banksters is to protect the system, not the nations involved in this system.
The alternative path which in their eyes protects their fiefdoms, is to deflate and unwind the overhanging issues, eliminating competition and contracting the size of the banking system, once again inflicting unmentionable pain on citizens not just in the United States, but worldwide. Unfortunately for these Princes and Lords, the world political situation and level of civility is far different than in years past. America is no longer an overwhelmingly dominant geopolitical power with unending military resources to plant the flag and push or persuade our friends and enemies into a desired outcome. The theory that our money is the greatest thing since gold no longer holds true. The purity of our motives when our military is used can no longer be trusted. And sadly, the arrogance of our political class has soured some alliances while encouraging old enemies of the once discounted Marxist bloc to re-establish new alliances to counteract our hegemony.
A deflationary decline and depression this time would not be another Ma and Pa Kettle version of The Grapes of Wrath with Americans pulling together in every corner of the nation and living off of the resources of the land. The technocrats who have distributed our bounty and manufacturing capabilities world wide have seen to that outcome being null and void. The ideal by these theoretical heretics who figured that giving America’s dominance in economic affairs to our friends and enemies alike to maintain world peace and allow economic expansion to defeat the natural business cycle now comes with a price. When the fraud the government and Federal Reserve foisted on the world in 1973 with Nixon’s closing of the gold window allowed the acceptance that our paper was as good as gold and we would never issue a fiat currency scheme that was inflationary nor manipulative (heaven forbid), some who studied economics for decades realized the risk that would be taken with our future.
That future is now.
After thirty-five years of irresponsible economic policy by our government and the associated managers of the economy, the Federal Reserve, the failure to maintain a stable currency along with an inability to control the urge to spend money on any project or concept that lines the Imperial Senate’s pockets will have a major consequence. The full faith and credit ideal is about to see just how much faith the world has in our leadership and how much more credit they are willing to extend.
Thus the most dangerous idea, a deflationary unwind, might carry much more risk than the banking class is ready to endure. The societal instability it would create in America’s major cities is something the political class will not stand for, thus creating the final and over due conflict between the neo-capitalist class and the quasi-socialist elected officials. The instability this conflict is going to create as we migrate from a post-1970’s inflationary solution to a Franco-Chinese hybrid socialist-corporatist model will last at least one decade.
Japan experienced the “Lost Decade” as their never ending recession thanks to corporate fraud and government deceit destroyed the model Americans were told we should emulate. Then the Chinese who were willing to sacrifice everything for a better life, mainly because if they did not they could be shot, adopted a modified corporatist model where the political elite retained ultimate control via the fixed bayonet.
Thanks to the “We are the World” bunch and their perverted globalist economic theories, America will now have to restructure its entire economic model, configure a solution to replace a rapidly aging workforce, create a new economic growth model under government supervision, and fight off societal instability all while facing a revival of Marxism thanks to the re-emergence of Latin American classical revolutionary movements and the Russian Bear. The largest obstacle to our future, besides millions of furious and soon to be bankrupt retirees and investors who will open their statements and see “$0.00″ or worse “X,000,000,000,000,000.00″ like they do it in Rhodesia proper (Zimbabwe for the politically correct), will be the regionalized instability an American collapse will create. When, not if, we fall into a depression death spiral our neighbors to the south will probably have to deal with a full blown Civil War. This means our border states and those states with large “immigrant” and “illegal immigrant” populations will be directly or indirectly involved in the fighting.
Think I’m crazy? Think again. The vacuum created when a nation’s economic system collapses is one thing; when an Empire’s system collapses the void brings forth destructive forces that have been bubbling for years as the masses within the imperial borders enjoyed bread and circus, all the while dismissing problems in other nations as regionalized issues of little concern. The only logical outcome will be the one imposed by the political class to declare direct oversight of every aspect of our financial system and the liquidation of another U.S. Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the creation of some sort of modified European Union type regional banking system with direct political control of every aspect of its function and scope. The prospects of losing that type of control could motivate the Federal Reserve to begin monetizing the debts to prevent such an evolution in thinking, especially if a leftist regime seizes power in D.C., a given should economic conditions continue to accelerate over the next fifty something days.
Although I fear the risk of a deflationary depression does exist, the actual demand on raw commodities worldwide due to basic demographics in addition to the risk of major domestic and regional instability will ultimately lead to the Great Reflation which will lead to a monetization of debts and corporate structured instruments in an effort to buy more time and implement greater societal changes. In the eyes of the powers controlling our banking system, ten years of little or no economic expansion is a much more palatable outcome than to having their system replaced with a new financial and economic management model. The prospect of maintaining some leverage or control of the system’s future in cooperation with a new political regime is far more acceptable than losing a century of control. Power sharing and negotiation is the key thing to watch for and the one thing all of us will have to monitor to get some clue as to just how great a currency devaluation and redesign will be endeavored upon.
The people will be willing to tolerate a revision of our society’s structure or sacrifice of freedoms to maintain the illusion of wealth and security. That is the sad statement of fact that our Founding Fathers worried about when an undisciplined people elected scoundrels to office and bandits to run their finances. The only hope for our society now is that enough people will prepare themselves financially and spiritually to endure the hard times and take a leadership role to rebuild our system devoid of Lenin’s ideals and conniving leaders like Senator Nelson Aldrich. There will be a purge one day, but for now, the creators, the producers should consider the idea that the time to go on strike is near.
Just as the namesake of this editorial articulated in Atlas Shrugged.
By Rev. Peter Marshall
From the new edition of The Light and The Glory – 2008
In Philadelphia an almost fantasy-like refusal to accept the reality of what had already taken place seems to have held the colonial representatives firmly in its thrall. So strong was it that they spent much time carefully drafting a conciliatory appeal addressed directly to King George who, when it was presented to him, disdained to even look at it.
The situation was reminiscent of the Israelites in the wilderness, convincing one another that they had been better off in Egypt, and growing daily more certain that the only thing to do was to go back. For out in the wilderness they were forced to face the unknown and to put their entire trust in God. There was no one else to trust! Forgotten was all memory of the slave pits and the grinding, hopeless existence they knew, before the Lord God of Hosts delivered them. All they could remember now was that their bellies had been full, and they had known where their next meal was coming from, even if it was only stale crusts.
It may well have been the unknown – of having to trust in God, because there was nowhere else to turn – that was causing many delegates to Congress in 1776 to turn their thoughts back to a less perilous time of the 1740’s, or fifties, or sixties.
There were, however, a few realists in Congress who were not trying to escape into fantasy – men like John and Samuel Adams, and Patrick Henry and the others from Virginia. At least, John Adams, often the most persevering of the realists, had the benefit of having a wife with an extraordinary awareness of exactly what was at stake. As Abigail wrote to him on June 18:
“I feel no anxiety at the large armament designed against us. The remarkable interpositions of heaven in our favor cannot be too gratefully acknowledged. He who fed the Israelites in the wilderness, who clothes the lilies of the field and who feeds the young ravens when they cry, will not forsake a people engaged in so righteous a cause, if we remember His loving kindness.”
Adams and the other realists saw clearly that events had progressed beyond the point of no return, and that to go back now would be to go back under England’s terms – under a far-from-benevolent dictatorship. For despite the support of eloquent and high-minded Members of Parliament, the prevailing sentiment there reflected the King’s own intransigence (as well it might, since George III’s personal patronage had bought the majority of the seats). In the Kings eyes, the only way to deal with rebellion was to crush it. To show even the slightest mercy was to invite a recurrence in the future.
Nevertheless, great Parliamentarians like Pitt, Burke, and Fox, in speaking out for the cause of America, reached heights of oratory seldom heard since the days of Rome.
Of those in sympathy with the American cause, the most impressive address came not from the House of Lords, but from the House of Commons. There, Mr. George Johnstone spoke in terms so ringing that he might have been standing alongside Samuel Adams or Patrick Henry.
“To a mind who loves to contemplate the glorious spirit of freedom, no spectacle can be more affecting than the action on Bunker Hill. To see an irregular peasantry commanded by a physician (he was referring to Patriot leader Dr. Joseph Warren, killed as one of the last defenders), inferior in number, opposed by every circumstance of cannon and bombs that could terrify timid minds, calmly waiting the attack of the gallant Howe leading on the best troops in the world, with an excellent train of artillery, and twice repulsing those very troops who had often chased the chosen battalions of France, and at last retiring for want of ammunition, but in so respectable a manner that they were not even pursued—who can reflect on such scenes and not adore the constitution of government which could breed such men! Who is there that can dismiss all doubts on the justice of the cause which can inspire such conscious rectitude?
The conduct of the people of New England for wisdom, courage, temperance, fortitude and all those qualities that can command the admiration of noble minds, is not surpassed in the history of any nation under the sun. Instead of wreaking our vengeance against that colony, their heroism alone should plead their forgiveness.”
Neither the King, nor any of his Ministers, nor any of his bought Members of Parliament, had ears to hear. That same day, George III publicly announced his decision to crush the rebellion by force of arms, including the use of mercenaries. When the ensuing debate was finally over, the House of Lords voted in favor of the King’s address, 76 to 33, and Commons voted 278 to 108 in favor. England declared war.
Even so, seven months later, as the first week of June, 1776, drew to a close, the majority of men in Congress in Philadelphia were hoping against hope that some eleventh-hour formula for reconciliation might be found. They were aware of what it would mean, and how much it might personally cost them, if they were to cast their votes with those few who were now calling for an open declaration of independence. Such a move would close the door forever to any possibility of rapprochement with the Crown. Down on their necks would come the full military might on land and sea of the greatest power on earth. Even if they were truly united, they could not hope to stand up to such a force for long.
All their debates over the past weeks had indicated how utterly separated and individualistic these Thirteen Colonies actually still were. It would take a miracle of God to bring them into unity. . . . Dare they commit the Colonies they represented to such peril?
Though none of the delegates openly spoke of their personal jeopardy, it was surely on the mind of more than a few. The men who signed such a declaration would, in the quite probable event of America’s defeat, be held personally responsible. And throughout the British Empire, the penalty for instigating rebellion against the Crown was death. As Ben Franklin put it wryly, “Gentlemen, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we will all be hanged separately.”
The yearning to be free and stay free was gaining momentum. On May 10, town meetings all over Massachusetts had unanimously voted in favor of independence. On May 15, the Virginia Convention voted for independence. And on June 7, documented evidence arrived of the treaties which George III had made with the German princes, purchasing the use of their mercenaries in America. In the face of that, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia formally proposed that Congress make a declaration of independence, stating that these united Colonies are, and of a right ought to be, free and independent states. John Adams immediately seconded the proposal. After a day’s debate, Congress adjourned for three weeks to let the doubtful representatives of the middle Colonies go home to sound out the will of their constituents.
In the meantime, Franklin, Adams, Sherman of Connecticut, Livingston of New York, and young Jefferson of Virginia hurried to draw up a draft of the proposed declaration.
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal. . . . 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 the 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. . . . 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.”
Jefferson did most of the final composing, borrowing heavily from the popular phraseology of the day – except for the two phrases, “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions” and “with a Firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence.” Congress insisted upon including these phrases, over Jefferson’s vehement objection, for he was a confirmed “enlightened rationalist,” soon to become privately a Unitarian.
So resentful was Jefferson at their tampering with his prose, that he sent copies of his original draft to his personal friends, that they might better appreciate his unedited effort.
June 28: The convention of Maryland voted for independence. Word reached Philadelphia that New Jersey had dismissed her old delegates and was sending new ones, who were instructed to vote for independence.
July 1: Congress entered what John Adams called “the greatest debate of all.” Dickinson of Pennsylvania spoke eloquently and at length against independence. When he had finished, there was a long and thoughtful silence. Adams kept hoping that someone “less obnoxious” than himself, who was “believed to be the author of all the mischief,” would rise to answer. But none did, and so, with great reluctance, Adams rose. And he spoke with such quiet power and conviction that not a man present remained unmoved, especially as he reached his conclusion:
“Before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgment approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it. And I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, Independence now, and Independence for ever!”
No one spoke. Just then, the door swung open and in strode a mud-spattered figure with two others behind him. It was Dr. John Witherspoon, at the head of the New Jersey delegation. Apologizing for being late, he said that although he had not heard the debate, he had not lacked sources of information on the various issues. “Gentlemen, New Jersey is ready to vote for independence. In our judgment, the country is not only ripe for independence, but we are in danger of becoming rotten for the want of it, if we delay any longer.”
The Congress proceeded to the vote, and nine of the thirteen Colonies voted with New Jersey that day: Pennsylvania and South Carolina votedno, and New York abstained. Delaware was split, one delegate to one.
Since Congress was, in effect, only acting as a committee on behalf of the whole country, they had agreed that any decision on the Declaration would have to be unanimous. It was decided that debate would resume the next morning, to be followed by another vote. In the meantime, to resolve the Delaware deadlock, which could well decide the outcome, an express rider was dispatched to Dover, which would become the capital of Delaware, to fetch their third delegate, Caesar Rodney.
A Patriot of deep conviction, Rodney had been summoned home on urgent business. But now the express rider arrived at his farm at two in the morning, bearing word that debate would resume in less than seven hours, after which the final vote would be taken. Quickly getting dressed and saddling his best horse, Rodney galloped off into the pitch-black, stormy night. It was eighty-nine miles to Philadelphia, over stretches of road which were difficult under the best of conditions, and this night the conditions could hardly have been worse. Streams which were normally fordable with ease had become swollen torrents, and the rain had turned one portion of the road into a quagmire so deep that Rodney had to dismount and lead his horse through it, to avoid its being crippled.
Unable to obtain a fresh change of horses until dawn, Rodney nevertheless arrived at the State House by 1:00 p.m. just as the final vote was being taken. Half-carried into the assembly room, he was barely able to speak: “As I believe the voice of my constituents and of all sensible and honest men is in favor of independence, my own judgment concurs with them. I vote for independence.”
Few knew the circumstances surrounding Rodney’s vote. Caesar Rodney had cancer of the face, so advanced that he had taken to wearing a scarf around his neck to hide the disfigurement of his jaw. He had been planning a trip to England, because he had heard of a doctor in London, who might be able to help him. But he, and every man in that room, was well aware that if they declared independence Britain would immediately declare war on America and invade the Colonies. Caesar Rodney knew that he might never see England before he died of cancer. Nonetheless, without a moment’s hesitation, he voted “aye” for independence.
The last line of the document he had just voted to approve says: “With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we pledge to one another our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
With his vote Rodney had literally pledged his life – and gave us the Declaration. Had he voted “Nay,” Delaware’s vote would have been “Nay,” for the other two delegates had once again split their vote. Lacking a unanimous vote, the issue would have been tabled.
As it was, the vote was unanimous – twelve to none, with New York abstaining. The Thirteen Colonies had just become the United States of America.
In the silence that followed the announcement of the vote, the afternoon sun cast its soft rays through the tall windows – on a brass candlestick standing on a green felt table-covering, a carved eagle over the door, a pair of steel-rimmed spectacles lying on a polished desk.
The magnitude of what they had done began to weigh upon them, and they realized that they and their countrymen were no longer Englishmen, but citizens of a fledging nation barely a few minutes old. Many stared out the window. Some had tears in their eyes. A few, like Witherspoon, bowed their heads and closed their eyes in prayer.
Two days later, as President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock would legalize the Declaration by placing his famous signature on it. Now, he broke the silence: “Gentlemen, the price on my head has just been doubled!”
A month after the vote was taken, delegates who wished to sign the Declaration of Independence began gathering in Philadelphia on August 1. That evening, Samuel Adams spoke to those who had arrived, and put into sharp spiritual focus what they had accomplished: “We have this day restored the Sovereign, to Whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and. . . from the rising to the setting sun, may his Kingdom come.”
By Jim O’Brien
Today is the 4th of July, the day that America celebrates Independence.
Frank Buckles is 107 years old and still going strong. A farmer from Charleston, West Virginia, he is the last surviving doughboy of WWI. He was just 15 years old when he entered the army and was dispatched to England on the Carpathia. By the time WWII came along he was employed by a shipping company. He was on a business trip to the Philippines when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He was taken captive as a prisoner of war and lived a tortured life for 39 months.
His mind is still sharp. An affable man, fighting has not only been a part of his life but the rest of his family as well. He remembers his great great grandfather talking about serving in the Revolutionary war.
America began with a fight. I guess some could call it an avoidable war but freedom would not have occurred without it, not only for us but other countries as well. When the French Revolution occurred, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud from the street corners throughout France. It has been used as a model of inspiration for people everywhere ever since.
It was a fight to defend basic rights; the right of self-determination, the right of private ownership, the right to hold leaders accountable, and the right to justice to name a few. Freedom is not a universal value and it does not come without a fight.
Some people believe that man has no right to self-defense whatever the circumstances. The Bible is often used to support that concept in spite of obvious evidence to the contrary.
The Bible has a lot to say about fighting. And generally it isn’t what the timid or faint of heart expect.
When God gave His law to Moses, He commanded that a near relative should avenge murder (Num 35:19). The accused was allowed to flee to a city of refuge for trial. But the relative could take vengeance if the accused did not go directly to the city or if he left before the death of the High Priest. If he did the near kinsman of the victim was allowed to take the life of the offender. The reason the near kinsman was required to take revenge was that he was the inheritor of the victim‚s property. He had a vested interest to protect his family.
God seems to understand man’s timidity in the face of a fight. In fact, when Israel was fleeing Egypt God intentionally took them a circuitous route to avoid facing the Philistines. He knew the fear of war would cause them to turn and run (Exodus 13:17).
Jesus expected that truth would stir up trouble. He said he did not come to bring peace but a sword (Matt. 10:34). If a man thinks that becoming Christian means a life without fighting, he is mistaken.
And He expects us to prepare for opposition. In fact, when Jesus gave instructions to his disciples at the last Passover service he would observe with them he gave instructions for them to sell, if necessary, a second garment and buy a sword (Luke 22:36). His disciples responded that among the assembled group there were two swords at the time.
Later when He was take prisoner by a servant of the high priest, one of the disciples took out a sword and cut off a soldier’s ear. It is doubtful the disciple was aiming for the ear.
It is fascinating that people who read the Bible overlook these many references. It is filled with military references. The Patriarchs were often military leaders. Even the prophet Gideon, when God’s Spirit came upon him, went to war. Paul talked of fighting the good fight. It is a common theme throughout scripture.
But why does God focus so many scriptures on this subject?
One may as well ask, Why do men enslave others? Why do they build walls around countries guarded by sentries? Why do they cross an ocean to destroy the financial center of free people who seek peace? The answer is as clear as it is simple. There is something that hates freedom. It is a spirit that desires worship under threat of force.
Men who worship God do so from choice. Only men with a heart of freedom can make such a choice.
It has ever been and shall always be.
When our country was founded one of the books that turned the hearts of the patriots to resist the tyranny of oppressive government was “Common Sense” written by Thomas Paine. He reasoned that freedom could only exist without the burden of kings or powerful churches.
It is amazing that Paine referenced churches with oppressive government. What is important for a nation is equally important for a congregation. One of the founding tenets of this nation was freedom of religion. That meant freedom from another man’s religion.
It is an incredible thought that men had to die so that [y]our congregation can exist. We are free to worship God as we understand Him because someone was willing to fight.
Congregations, like nations, have the right as well as the responsibility to defend against oppressive church governments, heresy, disrespect by unruly attendees and abusive leaders. The willingness to stand against such threats is part of the heritage received and the legacy to pass on.
If our nation’s Founders could visit us on this, our 232nd Independence Day, what would they make of us? What would they declare of us?
A hint can be discerned in a letter from John Adams to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776, as the Declaration of Independence had just been approved. “It ought to be commemorated,” said the man who would become our second president, “as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Day’s Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
Americans have maintained the “Pomp and Parade” for more than two centuries now, and the “Bonfires and Illuminations” are commonplace, but how often do we recognize Independence Day as “the Day of Deliverance?” How often do we honor it with “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty”? How often do we contemplate the cost of our freedom, “the Toil and Blood and Treasure?”
Our Founders believed that independence was more than a choice; they viewed our break from royal rule as necessary.
Consider the first statement of the Declaration: “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.”
The signatories were emphatic that separation from the crown was not only an objective, but an obligation: “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.” In conclusion, the Founders wrote, “We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation…”
Their cause, of course, was not anti-government. Rather they objected to the misgovernment of the king, saying, “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.” Furthermore, the Americans had been patient, petitioning their British rulers for redress for over a decade. Armed hostilities had commenced on April 19, 1775, at the battles of Lexington and Concord, and the colonists faced the full power of the British Empire in their quest for American independence.
One year before taking that step for nationhood, on July 5, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition, beseeching the British king for a peaceful resolution of the American colonies’ grievances. A day later, that same Congress resolved the “Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of Taking Up Arms.”
King George III refused to read the peace petition and assembled his armies. On July 2, 1776, Richard Henry Lee’s proposal for a formal declaration of separation passed, and the document was ordered printed on July 4.
The war-weary among us today might ask, was independence really necessary?
To pose the question at the outset of the Revolutionary War was to answer it. Representatives of the colonial Americans realized that, in voicing this query, they already possessed proof that they, not the King of England, were legitimate instruments of self-government for their countrymen. How could circumstances be otherwise when the king offered no remedy for his subjects’ complaints, no guarantee their rights would be respected, and no means for them to govern themselves in their new lands?
The founders knew, however, that power could not be its own justification. They recognized that only an appeal to overarching laws, binding the king as much as his subjects, was legitimate. And abuse of authority demonstrated disqualification of any governor, whether a monarch or a purported representative.
We would do well to apply this insight to the political debates of today.
Indeed, two competing philosophies of government at odds during the American Revolution have reappeared, with the anti-republican form seen in those politicians who would seek to gain favor by manipulating language and misrepresenting their positions. Royalists, on the other hand, believed that the king was divinely ordained to rule over the people and was therefore above the law. This view is manifest currently in government officials—especially our elected officers—who believe they may properly command the citizenry to whatever they please, to whichever they purport to be for the good of the people.
As Thomas Jefferson observed, “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” Yet the prevailing philosophy of government proposes exactly this—that directions from Washington as to how we must conduct ourselves, in matters large and small, will lead inexorably to scarcity and will inevitably erode our freedom.
Our system of government today is not so different from the monarchy we escaped, except that a swarm of bureaucrats have taken up the throne.
A necessity thus presents itself to us as well: We must reconnect with the timeless principles that inspired our Founding Fathers; those same principles that long ago gave birth to a good, great and God-blessed nation.
“[W]hat do we mean by the American Revolution?” reflected John Adams. “Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations… This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”
Let us celebrate this Independence Day 2008 in a manner that Adams himself might recognize—with “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty,” and with a rededication to the principles of our necessary American Revolution. And as always, in the words of George Washington, “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”
Our nation was born on the shoulders of an army, whose exertions and principled patriotism gave the famous parchment its life.
Looking at where we have devolved as a nation and a people, the contrast in character between who we are today, and our patriarchs who laid the foundation of this country is staggering.
In the difficult days ahead, recalling our noble origins should serve to temper ourselves to strive for that which our nation has discarded.
I’m only including a snippet here – but for good edification – go to the link and recall the mindset of those that forged us into a country.
It makes the candidates now running for President look like juvenile baboons in comparison – in both character and intellect.
I weep for our nation.
…Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a commission. The Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles. We have professed to enterprise these and those accounts, upon these and those ends. We have hereupon besought Him of favor and blessing. Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this covenant and sealed our commission, and will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dissembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, and be revenged of such a people, and make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant.
Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, “may the Lord make it like that of New England.” For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, and all professors for God’s sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.
And to shut this discourse with that exhortation of Moses, that faithful servant of the Lord, in his last farewell to Israel, Deut. 30. “Beloved, there is now set before us life and death, good and evil,” in that we are commanded this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another, to walk in his ways and to keep his Commandments and his ordinance and his laws, and the articles of our Covenant with Him, that we may live and be multiplied, and that the Lord our God may bless us in the land whither we go to possess it. But if our hearts shall turn away, so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced, and worship other Gods, our pleasure and profits, and serve them; it is propounded unto us this day, we shall surely perish out of the good land whither we pass over this vast sea to possess it.
Therefore let us choose life,
that we and our seed may live,
by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him,
for He is our life and our prosperity.
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, ‘equality’. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” – Alexis de Tocqueville
I am encouraged when countrymen look into our past history to consider what our Patriarchs, Framers and even brillaint and simple men noted about the gift of liberty that is unique to America in all the world’s existence. There has been a bit of talk about one noted philosopher and author Alexis de Tocqueville, who came to America in 1831 and 1832 to write about his impressions of America from a European perspective after he was quoted in a Powerline Blog, and got mention on talk radio circles today.
What is so timely about the following notations from “Democracy In America” is that they put an exclamation point on the dangers this Election Cycle is parading in front of us with the various pushes and calls for bigger government Socialism, oversights, “fairness” and safety (for the children of course). From the scam that is Global Warming to the promises of what Nationalized Health Care will mandate – you can read de Tocqueville and feel as if you just read an indictment of our current culture and political circus that is this year’s elections.
In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville famously concludes with a warning of the kind of despotism to which democracies are especially susceptible. Of particular note is the chapter: “OF CERTAIN PECULIAR AND ACCIDENTAL CAUSES WHICH EITHER LEAD A PEOPLE TO COMPLETE THE CENTRALIZATION OF GOVERNMENT OR DIVERT THEM FROM IT”.
Among men who have lived free long before they became equal, the tendencies derived from free institutions combat, to a certain extent, the propensities superinduced by the principle of equality; and although the central power may increase its privileges among such a people, the private members of such a community will never entirely forfeit their independence. But when equality of conditions grows up among a people who have never known or have long ceased to know what freedom is (and such is the case on the continent of Europe), as the former habits of the nation are suddenly combined, by some sort of natural attraction, with the new habits and principles engendered by the state of society, all powers seem spontaneously to rush to the center. These powers accumulate there with astonishing rapidity, and the state instantly attains the utmost limits of its strength, while private persons allow themselves to sink as suddenly to the lowest degree of weakness.
Tocqueville warns that the passion for equality will give rise to a certain kind of degradation in which citizens will surrender their freedom democratically to a tutelary power:
Above these [citizens] an immense tutelary power is elevated, which alone takes charge of assuring their enjoyments and watching over their fate. It is absolute, detailed, far-seeing, and mild. It would resemble paternal power if, like that, it had for its object to prepare men for manhood; but on the contrary, it seeks only to keep them fixed irrevocably in childhood; it likes citizens to enjoy themselves provided that they think only of enjoying themselves. It willingly works for their happiness; but it wants to be the unique agent and sole arbiter of that; it provides for their security, foresees and secures their needs, facilitates their pleasures, conducts their principal affairs, directs their industry, regulates their estates, divides their inheritances; can it not take away from them entirely the trouble of thinking and the pain of living?
If one truly looks at and examines our culture and politics today in light of what Tocqueville is warning about – one could easily see that we have already arrived at that crucial point. Both political parties seem to be in a race over which one gets to be the bigger parent. You might recall the 1992 Presidential debate when an old hippie with pony tail asked Bill Clinton: “”We are your children, we have our needs. What will you do to take care of us-to take care of our needs?”
Government today works almost exclusively towards “providing” happiness, entertainements, bail-outs and free hand-outs to specific groups it decides deserves the largesse of the federal treasury from the pockets of a working class the government uses like slaves. All to the point that politicans and government talk about nothing but facilitating the pleasures of people, regardless how depraved and consequential they may be; dictates how industry works such as the demands Congress just placed on automakers for fuel-efficient cars and the abolishment of incandescent light bulbs for “enviro-freindly/mercury-filled” flourescents. Private property is now the pervue of the state according to the KELO decision of the Supreme Court; in Illinois you cannot smoke outside in any public place, in California not even in your own car. Your wealth is confiscated in taxes for those the government decides should receive it. This culture blames the government for not doing enough after Katrina or demanding they do something about high gas prices in the absolvement of any responsibility they should have for themselves, fulfilling what Tocqueville said about “tak[ing] away from them entirely the trouble of thinking and the pain of living”
I suppose we could almost declare Tocqueville a prophet in light of where we are today with what he was warning we could become.
Subjection in small affairs manifests itself every day and makes itself felt without distinction by all citizens. It does not make them desperate, but it constantly thwarts them and brings them to renounce the use of their wills. Thus little by little, it extinguishes their spirits and enervates their souls….
In listening to the political candidates, almost every single one of them is a purveyor of this disease. The fight for redefining what Conservatism means into some perverted nanny-state caring for others by use of government simply underscores where de Tocqueville said this Republic would end-up if we were not careful and vigilant.
Well….here we are.
Perhaps if we studied our roots rather than the latest ball game stats or arguing over who will win the next Survivor or America’s Next Top Model, we could have a chance to recpature what is being lost.
I’m not to hopeful, as the populace is become exactly like the ponytail Kid in 1992, that declared that all of us were children of Big Mama Government.
“The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.” – Alexander Hamilton
Today’s essay is most excellent and captures the true history of the Amendments securing 10 of our most sacred rights, that if not adopted – we would have lost those rights long ago to the tyranny of government and the courts.
Even now, the efforts to redefine them are before the Supreme Court – and by next Summer, the watering down, redefinition or abolishement of some of them may in fact become a reality, that will seal our coffin as a free republic.
By Mark Alexander
Patriot Post US
The Bill of Rights was inspired by three remarkable documents: John Locke’s 1689 thesis, Two Treatises of Government, regarding the protection of “property” (in the Latin context, proprius, or one’s own “life, liberty and estate”); in part from the Virginia Declaration of Rights authored by George Mason in 1776 as part of that state’s Constitution; and, of course, in part from our Declaration of Independenceauthored by Thomas Jefferson.
James Madison proposed the Bill of Rights as amendments to our Constitution in 1789, but many of our Founders objected to listing the Bill of Rights at all, much less as “amendments.” Their rationale was that such rights might then be construed as malleable rather than unalienable, as amendable rather than “endowed by our Creator” as noted in the Constitution’s supreme guidance, the Declaration of Independence.
Alexander Hamilton argued this point in The Federalist Papers, the most comprehensive explication of our Constitution: “I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous… For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?” (Federalist No. 84)
George Mason was one of 55 who authored the U.S. Constitution, but one of 16 who refused to sign it because it did not adequately address limitations on what the central government had “no power to do.” He worked with Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams against the Constitution’s ratification for that reason.
As a result of Mason’s insistence, ten limitations were put on the Federal Government by the first session of Congress, for the reasons outlined by the Bill of Rights Preamble: “The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution…”
Read in context, the Bill of Rights is both an affirmation of innate individual rights (as noted by Thomas Jefferson: “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time…”), and a clear delineation on constraints upon the central government.
However, as Jefferson warned repeatedly, the greatest threat to such limitations on the central government was an unbridled judiciary: “Over the Judiciary department, the Constitution [has] deprived [the people] of their control… The original error [was in] establishing a judiciary independent of the nation, and which, from the citadel of the law, can turn its guns on those they were meant to defend, and control and fashion their proceedings to its own will… It is a misnomer to call a government republican in which a branch of the supreme power [the judiciary] is independent of the nation… The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
In Federalist No. 81 Alexander Hamilton wrote, “[T]here is not a syllable in the [Constitution] which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution, or which gives them any greater latitude in this respect than may be claimed by the courts of every State.”
That admonition notwithstanding, the federal judiciary has become “a despotic branch.”
Indeed, since the middle of the last century, judicial despots have grossly devitalized the Bill of Rights, asserting errantly that our Founders created a “Living Constitution” amendable by judicial diktat.
For example, the Leftjudiciary has “interpreted” the First Amendment as placing all manner of constraint upon the exercise of religion by way of the so-called “establishment clause” and based on the phony “Wall of Separation” argument. At the same time, the courts have asserted that all manner of expression constitutes “speech.”
The judiciary and legislatures have undermined the strength of the Second Amendment, a right of which James Madison’s appointee, Justice Joseph Story, referred to as “…the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers…”
Equally derelict is the manner in which the Tenth Amendment has been eroded by judicial interpretation.
In Federalist No. 45, Madison outlines the clear limits on central government power established in the Constitution: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”
Alexander Hamilton added in Federalist No. 81 “…the plan of the [Constitutional] convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, exclusively delegated to the United States.”
There was a very bloody War Between the States fought over offense to the Constitution’s assurance of States’ Rights.
All is not lost, however.
Sunday, 16 December, is the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party (1773). The “radicals” from Marlborough, Massachusetts, who threw 342 chests of tea from a British East India Company ship into the Boston Harbor in protest of tyrannical rule, did so noting, “Death is more eligible than slavery. A free-born people are not required by the religion of Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their… liberties.”
Three years later, this rebellion had grown to such extent that our Founders were willing to give up their fortunes and lives, attaching their signatures to a document that declared, “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.”
Judicial and political despots, take note.