Archive for March, 2010

Thought Crimes

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Thought Crimes!

What have we come to?

Gary Hunt
March 30, 2010

 

The recent arrests of the members of the Hutaree Militia pose a perplexing dilemma for all of us.  Many have reacted; if they were going to do that, then they should go to prison.  Well, perhaps so.  After all, that comes under the heading of “law and order”, and though it does not come under the heading of “crime”, we have been conditioned to accept the conclusion that laws lead to order.  In addition, this, of course, leads to a well-ordered society.  In fact, it is the epitome of a well-ordered society.  Anybody who even thinks against the order established by the government, the Constitution notwithstanding, is guilty of a crime.

Now, many will contest that thinking is not applicable here.  They argue that they played out their scenario, in a practice run.  I don’t know if all of the facts are in, yet, though we will, most surely, hear the government side (only) of what has occurred, and we will see (have already seen) the rush to judgment.

Perhaps this points out the need to understand what real “law” and real “crime” really is.

From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

Crime, n.

1.  An act which violates a law, divine or human; an act which violates a rule of moral duty; an offense against the laws of right, prescribed by God or man, or against any rule of duty plainly implied in those laws.  A crime may consist in omission or neglect, as well as commission and transgression.  The commander of a fortress who suffers the enemy to take possession by neglect, is as really criminal, as one who voluntarily opens the gates without resistance.

But in a more common and restricted sense, a crime denotes an offense, or violation of public law, of a deeper and more atrocious nature; a public wrong; or a violation of the commands of God, and the offense against any law made to preserve the public rights; as treason, murder, robbery, theft, arson, &c.  The minor wrongs committed against individuals or private rights, are denominated trespasses, and the minor wrongs against public rights are called misdemeanors.  Crimes and Misdemeanors are punishable by indictment, information or public prosecution; trespasses or private injuries, at the suit of the individuals injured.  But, in many cases an act is considered both as a public offense and a trespass, and is punishable both by the public and the individual injured.

2.  Any great wickedness, inequity; wrong

And, if we extend our search to include Tort, we find:

Tort, n.   In Law, any wrong or injury.  Torts are injuries done to the person pr property of another, as trespass, assault, battery, defamation and the like.

Now, within the Constitution, we find the following, in reference to crime in Article III, Section 2, clause 3:

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

As you read the above descriptions and portion of the Constitution, you might note that “committed”, “act”, “wrong”, “injury”, and, “offense”, are used to denote that which is construed as a crime.

Yes, that’s it!  An action must be taken, it must be committed.  Conjecture is not used, even once, the describing what a crime is.

Let’s suppose that your neighbor sneaks over at night and chops down your rosebush.  You know he did it, but you cannot prove it.  You talk this over with a friend and discuss what you could do to stop it.  You agree that force is the most productive form of reason and that strong steps should be taken.  Based upon this discussion, you expound, even further on what to do.  Based upon that meeting, you go to the gun store, get a rifle, and intend to use it on your neighbor, if he chops down another rose bush.  Of course, this thought goes through your mind, and, you have even taken actions, thought they are, to this point, legal actions, to prepare for an illegal one.  The, one evening, you catch him chopping done your rosebush.  You grab your rifle, with the intent of blowing his brains out.  You point the rifle at him, and then your conscience takes over and you order him to remain and your wife to call the police.  Well, you had the intent, you may have been voiced your intentions, you acted, you went to the scene, but, at the last minute, you did not “do the deed”.  Have you committed a crime?

Now, in the present state of our country, people yell “foul” and “treason” in their condemnation of the government’s actions regarding taxes, healthcare, war, executive orders, and all manner of evils, most of which are, without a doubt, violations of the Constitution as we perceive them.  Well, Treason, and, perhaps, violation of their oaths, when the consequences are as severe as the will be on our posterity, are, without a doubt, crimes that we, as jurors, might perceive as attaining the necessity of capital punishment.  Yet, we simply yell and shout.

However, when a group of people plans for an eventuality that we all see as well within the range of possibility, we are quick to side with that government, regardless of whether a real crime has been committed, or, for that matter, even planned — as the government suggests.  Was it to be carried out, or was it a plan that required some outside circumstance to initiate action?  In addition, even if it was planned, without outside influence, is it a crime unless committed?

If you wish to propose that playing the plan out, in practice, is an act that should be considered a crime, just why Hollywood would be exempt from such allegations.  They play out crimes against government, crimes against people, and even crime against non-existent entities.  In so doing, they play, the refine, they play out, each of which is a training tool for us in the real world.  Well, that is for entertainment, but, once we see it, does the idea, the concept presented, every really leave out heads?

Ironically, there used to be both laws and standards that prohibited much of what you see on television and in movies, today.  At the same time, we have seen federal authority flex its usurped power and make a crime of something that was beyond the conception of criminal, when our Constitution was written.

So, just how does this serve the government?

Let’s revisit the past.  In 1972, eight Vietnam Veterans were charged with conspiracy to disrupt the Republican Convention.  Another veteran, Bill Lemmer, was an undercover agent for the government.  He encouraged the group to expand their thought process and think of more violent means to achieve their objective.  In trial, the fact that the defendants were Vietnam Veterans and were accustomed to violence, was an element of the prosecution’s case, though the fact that Lemmer played such a significant role lead the jury to acquit.  The trial broke most of the defendants, and they had spent months in jail awaiting trial.  The government, which encouraged, acted out, conspired (both within the group and in the FBI offices), and even provided some illegal materials to the group, was not indicted, nor did the stand trial.

Years later, in the nineties, the Viper Militia in Phoenix, Arizona, and the West Virginia Militia were infiltrated by government agents.  The laws had been refined, and the fact that in both cases, informants were provocateurs and provided both material and planning, was inconsequential.  Convictions were obtained by the government, except, of course, the conviction of the informants, and, those who conspired with them.

For an understanding of how some informants are “recruited by the government, you might wish to read “Informants Amongst Us?”

The government, then, by changing the nature of what is considered a crime, and, by influencing those who might pose a greater threat to their usurpations than others to step over that fine line, even though encouraged by those who will not be charged, serves quite well in reducing those who might act, someday, against the government, and, at the same time, garner sympathy for those who have the same goals, though by different means, of restoring the Constitution, from going anywhere beyond the ballot box.

And, the most damning aspect of this whole practice (law?) is that it presumes that which cannot be proven — that a crime will be committed.  Unfortunately, though adhered to by the Founders, only when the damage has been done can a crime have been committed.

If we allow anything beyond that simple fact, we have submitted to domination by government, albeit through very divisive means, the subordination of our rights, principles and our Constitution, to the whim of those in power.

Informants Amongst Us?

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Informants Amongst Us?

 Gary Hunt
Outpost of freedom
May 8, 1995

The testimony in the Randy Weaver/Kevin Harris trial made clear that Randy had been induced into a crime with the intention of getting Randy to become an informant for the government.  While I was up in Idaho, I spoke with some people that suggested that nearly half of Richard Butler’s Aryan Nation Church were informants.  Others have suggested that when the old Posse Comitatus broke up, that most of their members had become informants.  Accusations have abounded these past few years as to who is a government agent or informant.  It was painfully clear that the government has means, other than agents, to accomplish infiltration, entrapment, and promulgation of misinformation throughout the Patriot community.  The question is, how can they achieve this goal?  I’ve been looking for an answer to that question for years, now.  Finally, thanks to the government’s efforts to accomplish that very goal with a true patriot, and friend, I’ve found the answer.

I have, in front of me, a Plea Agreement for that friend.  The deadline has passed, and he is scheduled before a federal Grand Jury later this month.  The Agreement is about as contemptuous a document as I have ever read.  I will get into the details, but, first, some background.  Although the friend was arrested, and held for a few days, until released on his own recognizance, there have yet to be any charges filed against him.  There were charges in the arrest affidavit, however they had not been filed with the court, and we can find no record that there EVER were any charges filed.  After a while, the United States Attorney submitted the Plea Agreement, and followed with a letter threatening to withdraw the Agreement if it was not accepted by a certain date.  That date has come and gone, and I am free to release the information, except the name of the patriot involved.  This particular Agreement refers to an IRS code violation, but, keep in mind, agreements could be submitted for nearly any charge.

The Agreement, first, sets out the charge that will be sought.  In this case, a violation of 26 USC 1212(a).  The maximum penalties (3 years in prison and $250,000 fine) are set out.  Then, a waiver of indictment gave up that Constitutionally protected right.  Then comes the USG’s agreement to not go after the Defendants wife or company, but only if the Agreement is accepted.  If no adverse information is received, the USG will not oppose the Defendant’s request for a “two level downward” adjustment from maximum sentencing guidelines.  Whether the Court accepts the Agreement, or not, the Defendant, once he signs the Agreement, is bound to its conditions.  If accepted, the Defendant agrees to cooperate and testify against “other persons“.  The USG will decide if the cooperation and/or testimony qualifies as “substantial assistance”.  If that “substantial assistance” is deemed worthy by the USG, prior to sentencing, the USG will, recommend the two level downward adjustment.  “[T]he determination as to whether ‘substantial assistance’ has been provided rests solely with the government, and the defendant agrees that defendant cannot and will not challenge that decision whether by appeal, collateral attack or otherwise.”

As the Agreement continues, speedy trial is waived, as are any other rights allegedly protected by the government/Constitution.  The bottom line — anybody who accepts such a plea agreement has become an informant, perhaps for the rest of his life.  Leaving the determination of “substantial assistance” on the USG leaves a means for the government to induce unethical, immoral, and illegal behavior of the defendant.  In order to satisfy the requirements, it would be easy for the government to suggest that more information (falsified, or not) needed to be provided to satisfy the provision.  Perhaps disseminating information that was meant to discredit someone, mislead people or just generally create confusion and disorder would satisfy the government’s requirement for “substantial assistance”.  It might even be possible for someone to entrap his friends, once the leverage was created by the Agreement.

Why would anyone agree to such an Agreement?  Let’s think about it.  First, to protect your spouse and family, there is a certain amount of pressure to agree.  If you own a business, or any property (asset forfeiture), fear of its loss may be added to the influence.  Finally, any bar attorney would probably seek a minimum retainer of $25,000 to defend a case such as this.

Just try to imagine yourself in such a situation.  Idealistically, we can all say, “No, I wouldn’t sign it.”  Nevertheless, realistically, the stakes are very, very high, and it probably would not be difficult to succumb.  How many people that we know may have succumbed, already?

When you think of the power the government exerts over an individual with an Agreement of this nature, visions come to mind of “involuntary servitude”.  As harmless, as first glance (and your attorney’s encouragement) might make it appear to be, it is a concept that is so evil on its face that it deserves to be equated with Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung — not with America.

Is there anything that we can do to help someone caught in this evil web?  Only if they are willing to come clean, and seek help from their fellow patriots.  If we are to shake off this “secret police” tactic, we must be willing to stand by any who come out and admit to falling into a Plea Agreement trap.  Whatever assistance (substantial???) they may need to avoid prosecution is warranted.  When we consider the severity of events currently engulfing us, it might be worth considering ANY support necessary to remove the chains from those who have submitted.  There are two reasons for this necessity.  First, we need every good man that is available, and cannot hold such acts against him, if he is willing to come clean.  Second, and more important by far, is the fact that we need to rid ourselves of the stigma that is associated with the control asserted by government through these contemptible means.

A final thought, is much of the information that seems to permeate our communications, and subsequently proven inaccurate, an indication of the existence of these problems?  Look at information sources, and their past records of reliability with open and thorough consideration.  The reliability of information is more important now than ever before.  If someone’s record is blemished with information that has proven to be inaccurate, or predictions that have been proven untrue, perhaps a very cautious regard should be applied to information from those same sources in the future.

The Press in Waco

Monday, March 29th, 2010

The Press in Waco

Gary Hunt

Outpost of Freedom

December 6, 2009

During the siege in Waco, an attorney contacted me. His name was Rick Morris, with Melvin Belli’s office. He had found out about the Power of Attorney that I had obtained from David Koresh.

Rick spent almost a week in Waco, but could find nothing that would help to utilize the Power of Attorney to bring things to a peaceful solution. By then, the government had decided, after having rejected him initially, the Dick Degurien could represent Koresh.

One evening, Rick Morris called and said that we were having dinner with a producer from CBS. Dick knew him and had arranged the dinner meeting to see if that would help with our attempt to get access to Mt. Carmel.

At diner, I was introduced to Charles, the producer out of Miami, Florida, and one of his reporters, also from Miami. As they explained it, they were on their ‘tour of duty’ in Waco. It seems that the networks were rotating people in and out because the length of the siege had exceeded their original expectations.

During dinner, I asked Charles why they weren’t telling the truth about what was happening in Waco. Charles did not attempt to claim that they were telling the truth, I believe he figured I knew what was really happening. Instead, he replied, “Gary, I have a wife and two sons.” He went on the explain that his job, as a producer, was to assure that program met the criteria of his bosses. He explained that there were no ‘written policies’, however, at cocktail parties, dinners and other social functions the higher ups would always make sure that the lower downs understood what the ‘policy’ of the network was(policy would include what stories to cover, what perspective to put on stories, what stories not to cover, etc.). He said that as these ‘policies’ worked their way down from owners, through the different tiers, each tier would add a little comfort to what he understood to be desirable. By the time it got to him, it might be far more restrictive than what the owners wanted, but, well, it is important to keep your job so that you can support your family.

He told me about a young video-journalism student that had graduated from Miami-Dade Community College. He had excellent grades, and his portfolio was very well done., so, they hired him. The young journalist was given several assignments, his first week. He did a ‘bang up’ job on the stories, including the 5 Ws (Who, what, why, where, when of journalism), however, the content and presentation was not exactly what the ‘policy’ wanted. None of the stories were aired, and that first week was also the last week of his journalism career with CBS.

Every morning the FBI held a press conference. It began with an update, from the FBI perspective, and then went to eruption and answer format.

An aside: while in Waco, I met the press from various countries. In particular, I got to know reporters from Australia, England and France who were as critical of the American press as I was. They mocked the American press for dutifully going to the press conferences, writing their stories, and then attending the local ‘discussion groups’ at one of the hotel lounges, very seldom venturing out to seek other newsworthy information about what was happening a few miles down the road.

These foreign journalists were constantly looking for local people, especially Davidians, or friends of the Davidians, who could add to the story of what really was happening. Of course, their reports were not published in this country, though a few that I did read were very critical of the great American “Free Press”.

If we look at the ramifications of what the press did in Waco, we can come to some pretty frightening conclusions.

The Freedom of the Press, as defined in the Anti-Federalist Papers, is:

“The FREEDOM OF THE PRESS hath, in consequence thereof, been esteemed one of its safeguards. That freedom gives the right, at all times, to every citizen to lay his sentiments, in a decent manner, before the people, If he will take that trouble upon himself, whether they are on point or not, his countrymen are obliged to him for so doing; for, at least, they lead to an examination of the subject upon which he writes.”

“John DeWitt,” Essay III, Nov. 5, 1787

It has always been considered the bulwark of liberty, since it could be relied upon to expose the  misdeeds of government. But, that was back when each paper was owned by different people, and the opinions expressed were as varied as the ownership of the press.

Today, three syndicates own over 99% of the printed newspapers. This leaves the control of the opinions (and the content) to three people, probably close friends, who have nearly absolute control over what is presented to the public as “truth”.

What effect did this monopolistic control of the press have on Waco?

As has been explained, what went out to mainstream America was what the government ‘created’ to excuse actions committed by the government. It was also the means by which the Davidians were made out as evil, child molesting, people. It if carried the message that implied that child molestation was something that the government (federal) had an obligation to deal with. The real reason behind the raid in Waco was lost to the contrived stories that were presented to millions of people.

The final result was that through demonization and distortion of truth, America was almost cheerful when the FBI promulgated fire swept through a wooden church, resulting in the death of many dozens of men, women and children — with nearly no expression of regret.

There can be little doubt that the press, as it was in Waco, is complicate in the murder of innocent people by their refusal to take an objective look at events in which the government is involved.

A question that we must ask ourselves is, does that make the press an accessory to murder?

C3CM

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

C3CM

By Gary Hunt
 May 1, 1995

 I have been seeking information on a government program for over two years. As I traveled around the country, and met various people, I would ask those that might have knowledge if they had heard of the program. More recently, I have published the “Outpost of Freedom-Sentinel”, and in the “Journals of the Outpost of Freedom”. In the second edition, I ran what is contained below as a part of that story. I have not been able to confirm the validity of what is presented, however, like Operation Cablesplice, it is worthy to note that what is being presented here may be a part of the plan.

 I will get into more detail about what appears to be happening around the country right now, in the days to come. For those who have not heard, Norman Olson and Ray Southwell have stepped down, or so news reports suggest, as a result of their being set up to run a story blaming the bombing on Japan. Others are now reporting what appears to be a set up occurring, and those that saw NBC news Friday evening, know that there is an effort to associate me to militia. I will make clear here that I believe 110% in the concept of militia, but have chosen not to join because I want the mobility to travel to cover stories, and the autonomy not to be associated, for the sake of any organization, and for my own, with any groups, militia, or otherwise.

 From Outpost of Freedom – :Sentinel, Vol. II, No. 2, March 8, 1995:

 There were a few people that I knew of in the Orlando area that had, like myself, become “untaxed”, or whatever term you may prefer. At any rate, we were no longer filing income tax returns. Some had gone through seizure of property and/or bank accounts. I had my share of run ins with the IRS, but felt more comfortable with my position as it had developed over the past few years. As a result I came into contact with some people who were going through a program from the Southwest. Unfortunately, it eventually cost them their home, but, as is usually true, the seizure was based upon taxes previously acknowledged as owed.

 I bring these people up because they introduced me, via telephone, to someone they had met, on the phone, as a result of the “program” they were in. The person they introduced me to was someone (let’s call this person Carl Morgan) that lived in the Northeast. Carl had decided to come to Florida and meet some of the Citizen’s. I had agreed to put Carl up, since my office had plenty of room. Carl arrived around the 20th of February, and stayed over for about a week.

 Carl seemed to me to be very sincere. We spoke of many things that were of issue to the Patriot community. Realizing that there may be a need for an “underground railroad” for patriots, the discussion came, eventually, to aiding people in need of help. Carl’s sincerity had been demonstrated, at least in conversation, so decided to let him in on our secret. I have often wondered whether this was a wise decision. Being “in charge” of hiding Peter, Linda and Alex, I had demanded of all others involved, an absolute silence. I think that this was a key to our success, yet I had violated that “order” in bringing Carl in.

 As it was, however, benefits were derived from this inclusion. Carl, after returning home, had begun to make arrangements for “securing” people should the need arise.

 Another benefit derived was that of trust. Carl recognized our sincerity in the cause, and, apparently, recognized that we were who we had said we were. The evening that Carl met Peter, Alex, Linda and Sam we had all had a few glasses of wine. Carl seemed somewhat awed by this group we had formed. As a result, Carl had become a bit intoxicated, either by wine or awareness, or both. When Carl and I returned to the office Carl began telling me more of the work that was Carl’s tie to government.

 Carl worked for a defense intelligence agency sub-contractor. Carl’s job was to study reports by various government people and utilize them in the development of a program named “C3CM”. Carl may have overstepped what was intended in talking to me about the project that evening. The project has been a dominant thought in my mind since that evening back in 1993. Since, if it is true, it answers many questions and ties together much of what has been left hidden to the Patriot Community. Following is an overview of what I learned that evening, with some speculative comments of my own.

 “C3CM” is a national defense project designed to assist in securing the “favor” of people in any country in the world. The idea, quite simply, is to identify those that would oppose the government of choice of the United States Government (USG).

 The identification process actually applies to virtually everyone within the country, and they are identified in three main categories. I have been unable to make contact with Carl since the end of the Waco siege when Carl paid the remainder of my motel bill and we last spoke. Carl told me the names of the three categories, and I have kicked myself many times for not having made better notes at the time.

 The categories, however, can be defined as: Those who would speak out against the objectives of the USG, let us call these group “A”; Those who would listen to the A’s, let us call these group “B”; and those who would do their best to avoid involvement in the matter (some might call them sheeple), or serve the other side, which we will call group “C”. Within each of these categories there are sub-categories, most significant in A and B. The sub-categories are a prioritization of the need for neutralization. The more outspoken were, of course, more of a threat to the goals of the USG. By the same token, the B’s are identified as those more likely to act, or possibly, move into group A. Group C was not discussed in this context, but I’m sure there are those who would be favored by their identification within this category.

 The first part of the program (C3), then, is the identification and categorization of all within a country. This does not preclude the United States. In fact, I am inclined to believe that the program is being applied here, and has been for quite some time. (I will discuss more on this, later).

 The second part of the program (CM) is the application thereof. Let’s suppose that the USG wants to take over country X and install their lackeys in positions of power. Given a longer period of time, (say a couple of years), the objective of the application would be to undermine or discredit the efforts of the A’s identified as a threat to the goal. At the same time, selected members of the C group might be “presented” to the B group and represented as A type people. This would be accomplished by apparent “attacks” on the plants, or “promotion” by identifying them as leadership in articles being critical of the objectives of the A’s and B’s.

 The conviction and incarceration of A’s, where practical, would also be applied. Any charge, and excuse, any method that would discredit or remove from “power” any A would be within the guidelines of the long term approach.

 Given less time to “apply” the program, (the extreme in terms of time), every effort would be made to “take out”, or at least jail, those A’s that posed an immediate threat. The other A’s would also be targeted, based upon their priority. Any excuse would be sufficient. But, promotion of a “crime” as a perceived threat (especially one where “set ups” are easily achieved) to the society (say drugs) must be in place. By coloring the subject as a criminal, questions may not be asked at all, or, if they are asked, sufficient time will go by to accomplish the objective before answers are demanded.

 Variations of both the C3 and CM portions allow a very broad scope of application suitable to nearly any objective. And there is no reason to believe that this program is not being applied to those in the Patriot community today.

 Speculating – that this program is being applied to the Patriot community, let’s look at a tool that might be available to those in government who would be applying the program. Danny Casselara died while investigating the theft, by the Department of Justice, of the INSLAW software. INSLAW was developed, under contract to DJ and Interpol, to “track” “criminals” by Modus Operandi, habits, and other characteristics. DJ failed to make payments under the contract which forced Prometheus (the software company developing the program) into bankruptcy. DJ was then able to buy the proprietary rights to the software from the bankruptcy court, thereby cutting Prometheus completely out of the picture. Could the INSLAW software be the primary tracking and identification element in the C3 portion of the program?

Finding Freedom Again

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Finding Freedom Again

Gary Hunt
March 23, 2010

[Note: I wish to gratefully acknowledge the assistance provided by Trey Tasker in ordering the information contained herein in a manner much more conducive to the purpose of the article.. G.H.)

Freedom!  What a wonderful word.  It brings forth visions of flags, eagles, and other inspiring symbols, and it is something that we have heard, all of our lives.  However, can we tie it down?  Can we fully comprehend that which made so many, over nearly two and a half centuries, willing to lay down their lives to defend?

We have all watched as a newborn baby went through the first stages of life.  We watch him grow, every day of his life.  We look, again, at the child, after a few years, and realize that he has changed.  He no longer wears diapers, he walks quite well, speaks very good English, writes, sings, and so many other things.  During the course of the years, we have not noticed the subtle changes, daily occurring, that have moved this once helpless infant into, of all things, a grown man.

There is another side of life, as well.  We have watched our parents, since our infancy, and only occasionally do we take a moment to notice how they have grown old and feeble, their bodies slowly wasting away from the youth that we remember, and achieving the stature of the aged.

Only when we take the time to sit and contemplate, do we realize that, with the passage of time, things do change.  Those changes are gradual, and, nearly imperceptible, on a day-to-day basis.  However, they do occur, and, they do accumulate — eventually, to the point that they would be almost unrecognizable, except for minor characteristics that are simply vestiges of the past. 

As it is with aging, it is also the case with the erosion of our freedoms.  It is quite probable that our founding fathers would examine the circumstance of our freedoms today and conclude that we have, indeed, given them up, and that we are immersed too far in the trees to see the forest.

The remainder of this discussion offers numerous examples of ways in which our freedoms have been eroded with the passage of time.  Since we cannot regain what we fail to see as lost, it is my sincerest hope that this discussion provides the reader a sense of what has been lost so that we can commit ourselves to finding freedom again.

The Meaning of Freedom

Perhaps a dozen years ago, I asked my son, then a teenager at the time, what ‘freedom’ was.  He responded that it was the ‘freedom’ to go down to the convenience store, at any time, to hang out with his friends.

This is the same son who, many years ago, I promised to myself that I would seek a life for him that was as full of freedom as my juvenile years were.  However, somewhere, during the course of making a family, moving myself upward to my career, acquiring management skills, and, finally, operating my own business, I had lost sight of that promise that I had made to us both, for my son and to myself. 

Since that rude awakening, I have endeavored to deliver on that promise.  In fact, in the course of study of what happened to those freedoms that were so common in my youth, but have since become nearly as extinct as the dinosaurs, I learned not only that they had been lost, but also that there were many that were lost long before I was even born.

The foundation required for understanding freedom must first be put into the perspective of the proper role of government.

Government’s purpose is to provide such services that we could provide to ourselves, though, as a community, makes more sense to be provided by our government. These services, for example, would include roadways. There is no doubt that our own driveway is our responsibility — to be built and maintained at our own expense or effort. But, what of the roadway that connects our driveway to the other driveways of the community? It, obviously, should not be the responsibility of one, but rather, of those who benefit by its existence. So, the community builds and maintains the roadways that connect the driveways.

Now, each community would be isolated from other communities if there were not even more roadways connecting this community to the other communities. Beyond that, there are others areas and regions which need be connected, until there is  national network of roadways whereby one from any community is able to travel on roadways to any other home in any other community. Each higher level of government only necessary for the construction and maintenance of those roadways that are necessary to connect the roads of the next lower entity.

Though roads are used in this example, there are many other aspects which fall into such necessity. Commerce, for example, must be provided for, and controlled, only to the extent necessary to assure that goods which are not locally available can be made available to members of any of the communities within the nation. It is the availability, not the prohibition of, that the Founding Fathers addressed when they granted to authority to the national government to “regulate commerce”. This provision was never intended to restrict or prohibit the availability of goods from one part of the country to another, for, to do so would surely be a restriction of the rights of those who were denied access, where they were, to goods that were produced elsewhere.

Common Defense and Foreign Relations, too, are the responsibility of higher government, though they should not be a restriction on our freedoms, except to protect us, and our freedoms, from assault by foreign powers.

Fundamentally, when “We the People” created the national (and state’s) government, we granted to them what authority we had, individually and collectively, to perform duties, in that collective capacity, that we had every right to perform on our own. We could not give to government that which we did not possess ourselves, for we had not that to grant. Since we have no ability to create rights for others, they government, likewise, cannot create rights which would impinge upon those rights that we do possess. Once a “right” (or freedom) is given to one, such that it has the effect of a detriment to another, it cannot be classified as a right (or freedom) that could be granted by us, or by the government that we brought into being.

To understand Freedom, we must first understand what Freedom means, and which, if more than one definition is appropriate, is the one that those, so long ago, were first willing to give their lives for.

From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, we find:

Freedom: The state of the exemption from the power or control of another; liberty; exemption from slavery, servitude or confinement.  Freedom is personal, civil, political, and religious.

Since “liberty” is included in the definition, here is what the same source provides for that term:

Liberty: freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind.  The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled.  A man enjoys his liberty, when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions.

Natural liberty, consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature.  It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life.  This liberty is abridged by the establishment of government.

Civil liberty, is the liberty of man in a state of society, or natural liberty, so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation.  A restraint of natural liberty, not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression.  Civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another.  Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty.

One other source worthy of inclusion is from Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition:

Freedom: The state of being free; liberty; self-determination; absence of restraint; the opposite of slavery.

The power of acting, in the character of a moral personality, according to the dictates of the will, without other check, hindrance, or probation than such as may be imposed by a just and necessary law and the duties of social life.

The prevalence, in the government and constitution of a country, of such a system of laws and institutions as secure civil liberty to the individual citizen.

Here, again, “liberty” is made a part of the definition:

Liberty: freedoms; exemption from extraneous control.  Freedom from all restraints except such as are justly imposed by law.  Freedom from restraint, under conditions essential to the equal enjoyment of the same rights by others; freedom regulated by law.  The absence of arbitrary restraint, not immunity from reasonable regulations and prohibitions imposed in the interest of the community.

The power of the will to follow the dictates of its unrestricted choice, and to direct the external facts of the individual without restraint, coercion, or control from other persons.”  See Booth v. Illinois, 184 US 425 (1902)

From these definitions, we can get an idea of what, in the past, was considered to be the inalienable right (freedom or liberty) that is protected by the Constitution.  In fact, it would appear that Freedom and Liberty are nearly synonymous, and will be used in that context throughout this discussion.

Now, the entire quotation from Booth v. Illinois:

[T]hat … liberty … ‘means, not only the right of the citizen to be free from the mere physical restraint of his person, as by incarceration, but the term is deemed to embrace the right of the citizen to be free in the enjoyment of all his faculties; to be free to use them in all lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling; to pursue any livelihood or avocation, and for that purpose to enter into all contracts which may be proper, necessary, and essential to his carrying out to a successful conclusion the purposes above mentioned.’

The effect of the decision was to overturn a law that had been passed, in the State of Illinois, which forbade options in the grain market.

Was a state law overturned in favor of the individual right to offer to buy, at a future date, grain, at a certain price?  Absolutely.  State law cannot deny rights, or liberties, of its citizens, even if enacted by the Legislature (this, too, would apply to federal legislation).

This decision clearly sets the distinction between what is “legal” and what is “lawful” The Court determined that though “legal” under Illinois’s laws, was “unlawful” in that it was a constraint upon the liberties of the people.

This leads us to another definition:

From Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition

Lawful.  Legal; warranted or authorized by the law; having the qualifications prescribed by law; not contrary to or forbidden by the law.

The principal distinction between the terms “lawful” and “legal” is that the former contemplates the substance of law, the latter the form of law.  To say of an act that it is “lawful” implies that it is authorized, sanctioned, or at any rate not forbidden, by law.  To say that it is “legal” implies that it is done or performed in accordance with the forms and usages of law, or in a technical manner.  In this sense “illegal” approaches the meaning of “invalid.”  For example, a contract or will, executed without the required formalities, might be said to be invalid or illegal, but could not be described as unlawful.  Further, the word “lawful” more clearly implies an ethical content than does “legal.”  The latter goes no further than to denote compliance, with positive, technical, or formal rules; while the former usually imports a moral substance or ethical permissibility.  A further distinction is that the word “legal” is used as the synonym of “constructive,” which “lawful” is not.  Thus “legal fraud” is fraud implied or inferred by law, or made out by construction.  “Lawful fraud” would be a contradiction in terms.  Again, “legal” is used as the antithesis of “equitable.”  Thus, we speak of “legal assets,” “legal estate,” etc., but not of “lawful assets,” or “lawful estate.”  But there are some connections in which the two words are used as exact equivalents.  Thus, a “lawful” writ, warrant, or process is the same as a “legal” writ, warrant, or process.

As you proceed through the rest of this discussion, keep in mind that there is a subtle difference between “lawful”, being the substance of law; moral or ethical permissibility, and, “legal”, being the form of law; compliance, with positive, technical, or formal rules.  Consider whether laws (rules) have not been used to undermine the intentions of the Constitution (moral and ethical).

What it boils down to is “no harm, no foul”, or, probably more properly put, that there is no crime unless another party is injured.

How Checks and Balances Protect Freedom 

The Constitution was written very carefully, with checks and balances to prevent our freedoms from being eroded.  First, we will consider a freedom that was lost by a legal amendment to the Constitution and later was restored in two steps, first by the jury system and later by repeal of the amendment.  Second, we will consider an unlawful arrest and how the appeals process restored one man’s freedom.  Finally, we will review how our protections to unlawful arrest have eroded.

Suppose the government wanted to pass a law making a crime out of an activity that caused no direct harm to others.  Well, first, since that activity would be considered lawful, absent a law to the contrary, and, since the Constitution prohibits denial of those rights, or liberties, it would require a change in the Constitution.

This very situation has indeed occurred.  In 1919, and Amendment to the Constitution (18th Amendment – Prohibition), which  provided that “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.”

This was the only means of imposing such a law on the people; however, if you will note, it does not apply to individual possession, which would be an extension of federal authority that acted on the people, themselves.  That would be beyond the accepted scope of federal authority.

States, however, bound by the Constitution, were obliged to allow the federal government to run, roughshod, over the states, and their citizens, in the federal effort to achieve a degree of social engineering (telling us what was acceptable, and, what was not acceptable), which contradicted the concepts of liberty before this time.

Until Prohibition, each county was able to determine what the will of its citizens was, and to pass moral laws that those citizens were desirous of having so that the community supported their collective morality.

So, what happened to Prohibition?  Well, fortunately, our system of government has many safeguards against abuse by the government.  Probably the most significant is the fact that juries are the final arbiters of the will of the people.  Their inherent right to judge both fact (what happened, based upon the evidence) and law (is this law one which we, the people, believe to be consistent with our will?) came in to play.  Many juries refused to convict those charged with violating laws enacted under the authority of the 18th Amendment.  As time went on, more and more juries followed this approach.  Finally, in 1933, the 18th Amendment was repealed by the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution.

One more noteworthy case warrants our consideration, if we are to understand what Liberty truly is.  That case evolved from an incident that occurred in 1899 [John Bad Elk v. US, 177 U.S. 529 (1900)], but, let us let the Court tell us what happened (emphasis, mine):

That John Bad Elk, “while out of doors, fired a couple of shots from his gun at or near the place where he resided.  Soon after the firing, one Captain Gleason, …asked him if he had done that shooting, and he said that he had; that ‘he had shot into the air for fun;’ to which Gleason responded by saying to him, ‘Come around to the office in a little while, and we will talk the matter over.’  Thereupon they separated.  As he [John Bad Elk] did not come to the office, Gleason, after waiting several days, gave verbal orders to three … policemen to go and arrest [John Bad Elk] … No reason for making the arrest was given, nor any charge made against him.  The policemen, one of whom was the deceased, went to the house where the [John Bad Elk] was stopping, and came back and reported to Gleason that he was not there, and they were then ordered to return and wait for him and to arrest him.  They returned to the house, but came back again and reported that the [John Bad Elk] said that he would go with them … in the morning; that it was too late to go with them that night.  Gleason then told them to watch him and see that he did not go away, and in the morning to [arrest him].

The policemen then again went back to the house where [John Bad Elk] was staying … He [John Bad Elk] went into the house, and one of their number followed him; found him smoking, and told him that they had come to take him to [arrest him].  [John Bad Elk] refused to go, and the policeman went outside.  Another of them then went into the house, and in a few minutes both he and [John Bad Elk] came out, and the latter saddled his horse and went over to the house of a friend, and they followed him.  It was getting dark when he came back to his mother’s house, still followed by them, and while following [John Bad Elk] to his house on this last occasion they were joined by others, so that when he went into the house there were four or five men standing about it.  In a short time [John Bad Elk] came out, and asked of those outside, ‘What are you here bothering me for?’  The deceased said: ‘Cousin, you are a policeman, and know what the rules and orders are.’  To [John Bad Elk] replied: ‘Yes; I know what the rules and orders are, but I told you I would go with you … in the morning.‘  Then, according to the evidence for the prosecution, [John Bad Elk], without further provocation, shot the deceased, who died within a few minutes.

There is an entire absence of any evidence of a complaint having been made before any magistrate or officer charging an offense against [John Bad Elk], and there is no proof that he had been guilty of any criminal offense, or that he had even violated any rule or … or that any warrant had been issued for his arrest.  On the contrary, Gleason swears that his orders to arrest [John Bad Elk] were not in writing, but given orally.  Indeed, it does not appear that Gleason had any authority even to entertain a complaint or to issue a warrant in any event.

At common law, if a party resisted arrest by an officer without warrant and who had no right to arrest him, and if in the course of that resistance the officer was killed, the offense of the party resisting arrest would be reduced from what would have been murder if the officer had had the right to arrest, to manslaughter.  What would be murder if the officer had the right to arrest might be reduced to manslaughter by the very fact that he had no such right.  So an officer, at common law, was not authorized to make an arrest without a warrant, for a mere misdemeanor not committed in his presence.

The Court further ruled that the error of the charge to the jury was material and prejudicial, saying:

…  And yet the charge presented [John Bad Elk] to the jury as one having no right to make any resistance to an arrest by these officers, although he had been guilty of no offense, and it gave the jury to understand that the officers, in making the attempt, had the right to use all necessary force to overcome any and all opposition that might be made to the arrest, even to the extent of killing the individual whom they desired to take into their custody.  Instead of saying that plaintiff in error had the right to use such force as was absolutely necessary to resist an attempted illegal arrest, the jury were informed that the policemen had the right to use all necessary force to arrest him, and that he had no right to resist.  He, of course, had no right to unnecessarily injure, much less to kill, his assailant; but where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no such right.  What might be murder in the first case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.

Before I comment on the ramifications of this case, I would like to point to a Texas State Law (Texas Penal Code) which clearly supports this conclusion.  Texas, understanding what the rights to liberty were, enacted a law, which reads:

§9.3.1(C) The use of force to resist an arrest or search is justified:

(1) if, before the actor offers any resistance, the peace officer (or person acting at his direction) uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search; and

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the peace officer’s (or other person’s) use or attempted use of greater force than necessary.

So, clearly, both the Court, in the John Bad Elk case, and, the Texas Legislature, in the enactment of Section 9.3.1(C), realized that government could err — and, that we had an absolute RIGHT to protect both our property and our Liberty.

Perhaps this is demonstrative of Article V, Bill of Rights: “No person shall be held [arrested] to answer [go to court on the matter] for any capital [death penalty], or infamous [where sentence would be one year, or more, year in jail] crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury [made up of fellow citizens]…”

This also demonstrates that, as in the case of John Bad Elf, whether written (into law) or oral (judge’s instructions to the jury), if apparently “legal” still must also be “lawful”  And, is clearly set out in Texas Penal Code, which insists on the lawfulness of an arrest.

As shown above, in the past, we were not subject to immediate arrest, at the will of an officer.  Rather, only other citizens, performing their constitutional responsibility to sit as a Grand Jury, could authorize that arrest.

How does this comport with what we have been led to believe, today?  By various means, including, but not limited to, unlawful enactments, abuse of even presumed authority by law enforcement, arming of National Park Service, other agencies which have no reason to be armed, and, perhaps, with a high degree of participation of Hollywood, we have been led to believe that the police have an ultimate power, contrary to the supreme Court, to do whatever is necessary, even using force, or threat of force, to compel us to submit to what would appear to be unlawful (though, perhaps, legal) arrests — even to the point of killing unarmed people.

If we are to fully understand that our freedoms are not only in jeopardy, but we have been reduced to fright for even participating in a life that is alleged to be free.  This is best explained with a simple example:  Suppose you are driving down the street, and you know that you are not violating any laws.  Then, you notice that a police car has pulled in behind you, and is following you down the road.  What do you feel?  If you are like most of the people I have asked, their reaction is one of concern.  They will first look at their speedometer, then, start thinking, is there a light out on my car, or has my license plate fallen off?  Regardless, the significant emotion is one of impending consequences, unless and until the police car discontinues his course, following YOU down the street.

This is perhaps best described as a police state mentality.  It is not much different, though to a much lesser degree, than what was felt by those who lived in East Berlin, prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall.  It is, without a doubt, a feeling that should never even be experienced in a free country.

Incremental Erosion of Freedom

The ways in which our freedoms have been eroded over time are so numerous that there is no way to count them all.  For most of the remainder of this narrative, observations of eroded freedoms are grouped by the type of freedom being impinged – private activities, business activities, childhood activities, licensing of our rights, loss of the meaning of public, and corporate seizure of our rights.  At the end of this section, we will consider a true life example of the incrementalism that slowly bleeds our freedoms.

PRIVATE ACTIVITIES

It seems that the government has become the arbiter of how we buy and sell land, how we socialize, and how we raise our children.  How did this happen?

Private Contracts.  We will start with the right to dispose of our private property, in any way that we choose.  Historically, Covenants and Restrictions were, and continue to be, a part of the purchase of land.  In the past, they were the will of the seller, and were made, as he say most suitable, to create an environment that was conducive to the property.  The buyer, then, acknowledged, by purchasing the property, an agreement with the provisions of that contract (Covenants and Restrictions).  These might include no animals to be raised on the property; no abandoned vehicles to be stored on the property; only homes of over a defined square-footage may be constructed on the property; no property shall be resold to anyone other than the Caucasian race, etc.  These were binding, and they were enforceable, until around 1950.  Why?  Let’s look at Article I, Section 10, clause 1: “No State shall… pass any… Law impairing the Obligations of Contract”.  Our right to contract is, in fact, one of those freedoms.

Now, Covenants and Restrictions are, most often, required to contain certain provisions mandated by the government, rather than what the seller decides is most conducive to the property.  And, the race-related provision that was common to the older Covenants and Restrictions was deemed ‘unconstitutional’.  So, what stood for centuries is removed.  A right that you had, which would also be considered a right of association, was reduced to history, without a Constitutional Amendment to remove it.

Private Associations.  This encroachment of freedom has been expanded to affect your very right of association (with whom you please and without whom you don’t please) through private organizations and associations. The PGA Masters is a private association with private membership and engages in “invitation only” golf tournaments. The government has seen fit to enact laws and then intimidate the Masters to force them into opening their membership, effectively denying the members the right of association (a very basic freedom).

Whether you agree the right of association (race restrictions), you have to accept that it is a fundamental right. Though you may not think that those who wished to preserve those rights have the freedom to do so, any acceptance of the government’s authority to diminish, or remove, those freedoms is the authority, also, to begin removing your freedoms, when they can model them as unfair to someone else.  In order to put this in perspective, you need to understand that the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), after all of these years, has still denied membership to Caucasian applicants.  What other freedoms do you cherish that may be unpopular with others?

Parenting.  Discipline was a matter for parents to deal dispense.  Spanking was a known detriment to many activities that we partook practiced, knowing that they were, not necessarily against the law, but against the rules laid down by those same parents.  Nobody was surprised when this corporal punishment was administered.  It was expected, if we were caught.  Society chose not to involve itself in the business of family and child rearing.  After all, the parents are, in God’s eyes, responsible for progeny.  And, I am sure that, as I reflect back, those who were subject to such discipline faired far better in life than those who were not, though there are many admirable exceptions.  The duty and the consequences were upon the parent, not the “village”.

Through legislation at both state and federal levels, the child is now free from discipline by the parents, though the parents are still held responsible for the actions of the child.  If the child manages to secure credit, the parent is responsible for the debt.  If the parent disciplines the child, the parent can be held legally accountable for such action.  If the child wants certain ‘medical’ procedures, then the child can secure such procedure, and the law does not even allow that the parent can be notified.  The parent’s rights have been abridged to “responsibility, without commensurate authority”.  And, in the long term, many parents will have to suffer over the product of their procreation, in some cases with anguish, and will have do so knowing that they had so little to do restrictions on the upbringing of their own child.

Another loss of freedom, regarding your children, is the concept the child belongs to the parents.  Regardless of whether you agree with how another person raises their child, or not, God left that part of procreation to the parents of the child.  The early history of this country demonstrates a respect for that relationship.  The “age of majority” was the point in life when a child was able to leave the care of his parents and move out into the world, on his own.  He was able to contract and was considered as much a part of society as any other person.  However, prior to that point in life, the parents were totally responsible for the actions of their child.

The Crime of Fraud.  Let us look at what used to be a crime and what is now an accepted and approved practice.  However, first, some definitions:

From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

Fraud n. : Deceit; deception; trick; artifice by which the right or interest of another is injured; a stratagem intended to obtain some undue advantage; and attempt to gain or the obtaining of an advantage over another by imposition or immoral means; particularly deception in contracts.  Or bargain and sale, either by stating falsehoods, or suppressing truth.

From Black’s Law Dictionary (5th Edition):

Fraud. An intentional perversion of the truth for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal tight.  A representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury.

What this means is that if I sell you something, and if I know that I cannot deliver, if you have created reliance upon that sale, and if you have even tendered payment for it, and if I fail to deliver, then I have committed a fraud.  This may be mitigated if I return your money, but it is still a crime.

So, if I sell you an airline ticket for a flight, at a specific time (or flight number), and to a specific destination, and take your money (credit card charge), then you should fully expect that I will deliver (especially, since the government has a degree of regulation through the FAA), as promised.  You, then, make plans based upon that reliance, though when you arrive to board, you find that all of the seats are taken, and you will not be able to achieve your goal of arriving at the destination in even close proximity to the time that you had planned. 

That constitutes what has always been regarded as a crime, though now, the airlines simply offer you another flight, or return your money.  They make no effort to offset any costs that you might incur because of their failure to provide what they had sold.  You have been deprived of your property, since your time is your property, and whether it is exchanged for money or set aside for pleasure, it is no less your property than your other physical possessions.  However, they have not committed a crime, and you have been the victim of a crime that was not committed.  This leaves you no legal remedy, which is a denial of justice as well as a loss of freedom.

BUSINESS ACTIVITY

Now that we have considered an example of fraud by a business that is somehow legal, it probably will not surprise you to learn business owners have been on the receiving end as well.

Who To Serve.  If many years ago you owned a business, you had every right to determine with whom you would, and, whom you would not, do business.  A very common sign of that same period read, “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone.”  That was the prerogative of the owner of the business, and had nothing to do with any authority granted to the federal or state government.  However, about the same time, the government decided that this, too, was unconstitutional on several fronts.  Who you do business with is now up to the state, not up to the owner who acquired the capital, provided the idea and the sweat, and made a functioning business, based upon the model that he had established, for himself.

Now, it might be understandable if the business was operated by a corporation, which is created by a grant from the state, and it would definitely be understandable in any government owned building, but, surely, it was never intended by the Constitution to allow that you, as the owner of the business, did not have the right to conduct the business, as you saw fit.  This “restriction” on the rights of an individual business owner, which they should have the right (freedom) to operate, as they see fit, has, after years of acceptance, been expanded even further.

Americans With Disabilities Act.  It was not enough restriction for the government to dictate clientele of the business, so they had to go one step further.  They had to find some way of you having to actually spend thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, because they said you had to so that people who have developed handicaps can have all for the rights that you have.  On top of that, they are, creatively, though not very practicably, ‘inventing’ new requirements for handicap access, every year.  The types of handicaps keep growing and the accommodations that are expected in the workplace are growing too.  The latest example of a “handicap” was an employee in Detroit who had a scent-sensitivity.  She asked her employer for an accommodation in her workspace, and after suing successfully, she was awarded $100,000.

Smoking Laws.  Not only has the government taken the freedom away from the business owner, with regard to refusing service, it has, also, gone to a greater extend to decide what activity, which for years was associated with that business, or, at least allowed by it.  For instance, government has mandated that smoking cannot be allowed in a restaurant, or a bar, or any other business that is open to the public, and even those businesses that are not open to the public.  They have decided that only they can determine, for the owner, the employees, and, the customer, that, whether they smoke, or not, or want to smoke, they can no longer do so in those locales where, for over two centuries, the Constitution recognized the freedom of that choice, by each of the parties involved.

They have taken this freedom in a rather deceptive manner.  It is easier to dispose of one’s freedom (rights) by a slight infringement, getting them used to, accepting the government’s authority, by less unreasonable imposition, e.g. separate designations for smoking areas and non-smoking areas.  After people have acquiesced, as a courtesy, they let their guards down.  Then, the government came in and said that there could be no smoking, period.  And, that freedom, to smoke where I choose, so long as the owner of the property has no objection, to one where the smokers is made into a criminal, while violating nobody’s rights in the process.

Second Chances.  Another aspect of the losses that have been incurred, with regard to our freedoms, is that of mobility and recovery, and, this also applies to children who have left the hearth and ventured out on their own.  In days past, as this country was growing from infancy to the greatest nation on earth, the mobility that was necessary to provide for that growth was accommodated by “room and board” facilities, and even people who would provide “room and board” in their own homes, for charge, or as just plain charity.  There were no laws restricting who could live under one’s own roof, and there were no health laws that required certified personnel and certified kitchens and equipment in order to feed those tenants.  This approach allowed someone new in town, someone who had gone through hard times and wished to get back on his feet, families, and those who had left their homes, to get a foothold and begin to build a life.  They did so by paying very reasonable rates for room and board, and paid daily, weekly, or even with additional work, or credit.  This would provide a means by which they could save for the future, eventually able to secure their own home, or, would provide a permanent and comfortable home for those who had no need for their own home.

Government, in their effort to care for us from cradle to coffin, decided that food could not be served in such facilities, and, in many places, even prohibited someone not of the family from living under the same roof.  Thus, someone living under the circumstances explained above is now placed in a position where he has must live somewhere else (or nowhere?) until he has secured first and last month’s rent, deposits for utilities, etc., usually amounting to thousands of dollars before he can have a place to live.  This government intrusion was created, under the guise of protecting us (though we know not from whom?).

CHILDHOOD ACTIVITIES

Let’s look at what it was like to be a child, or a teenager, just fifty years ago, when parents were our protectors, not the government.  Today, the government takes our freedom under the guise of keeping us safe from ourselves… how ridiculous.

I suppose that my fondest recollection is of water.  If there was water, we could play in it.  If it was deep enough, we could swim in it.  Often, if a neighbor was on vacation, that deep water was a swimming pool, usually enclosed by a privacy fence, though not secure, by any means.  If someone drowned, the rest of us were reminded of the dangers, a lesson was heeded, though this did nothing to discourage future escapades.  It was a different time with a different value system regarding who was responsible for our actions – WE WERE, not the government – even though we were children. 

Safer Cement.  We also put together plastic model airplanes, boats, cars, and, whatever else might find its way to the hobby store shelf.  The ‘glue’ of choice was “Plastic Model Cement”, which contained “toluene”.  It worked quite well, and it welded the parts together in such a way that the bond was probably stronger than the parts from which it was created.  In the meantime, some young people, who were not satisfied with getting into their parent’s liquor cabinet, or getting someone else to buy beer for them, found that putting the cement in a paper bag would, well, ‘weld’ their brains.  As a result (of the actions of a few — who probably deserved what they had wrought), the Plastic Model Cement makers were required to include additives in the cement.  The result was slower drying, far less bonding, and, consequently, the near destruction of a very useful, educational, and constructive hobby.  I know that I stopped making models, when the recipe for the cement changed to be barely functional.

Safer Bike Riding.  Bicycles are a boy’s best friend, well, at certain ages, anyway.  We knew our bicycles, inside and out.  We could change the tires, adjust the Bendix brakes, attach playing cards to make it sound like a motorcycle, when pedaled, and go anywhere, including roads, yards, fields, and even steep hills.  We had a hill that was fairly steep, behind our house.  On our side was the baseball field, which was a leveled area perhaps ten feet higher than the bottom of the gully.  We would tear down the hill, hit the gully, climb the short distance to the leveled ground, and fly into the air.  No insurance, no helmets or safety gear, no soft landing — and, occasionally, someone would fly over the handlebars and land in a heap, cut, bruised and dirty, or, worse yet, slide off of the seat and be jammed down on the bar between seat and handlebar post.  Even if any medical attention were warranted, it would be a mother’s sympathy, a washcloth and, perhaps, some Merthiolate and bandages.  Nobody ever considered that the blame lay elsewhere, nor was there any consideration of imposing laws, rules, or safety measures to assure that we would be protected against all of the evils of such an enterprise.

Safer Without Knives.  We also had knives.  Almost every boy had a pocketknife, either Cub Scout, Boy Scout or simply a pocketknife, most with blades at least three inches long.  Many of us also had sheath knives with blades six inches, or more, in length.  We could take them to school, though the sheath knives were frowned upon, and pull them out to show, or to use to cut something.  We were, after all, proud to be grown up enough to enjoy the sense of responsibility that came with such “adult activity”, and properly applied learning with regard to safety.  Who would have thought that our own children would be removed from school (suspended, or expelled) simply for possessing such on school property?

Safer Without Guns.  We also had guns.  It started with cap guns (“Bang, you’re dead!), then evolved to BB guns and pellet guns.  Whether lever action (spring loaded air compression), multiple pump (which could build rather substantial pressure), or, gas powered (CO2 cartridges), they were quite capable of causing injury, and of killing rodents and birds.  We learned to be both hunter (provider) and protector, by these exercises.

The next step was to a 22-caliber rifle.  These, of course, could have deadly consequences; however, we had, in the earlier stages, learned safety, and care in the use of guns.  To acquire the earlier choices, no requirements existed, except having the money to pay for the BB gun, or buy the BB’s and pellets.  The 22, however, required that you be eighteen years old to purchase, though most of us had one long before that age, for if our parents felt that we were old enough and mature enough, their blessing was the only requirement to possession of such an instrument of destruction.  Moreover, for the life of me, I cannot recall one instance, among the hundreds of those who enjoyed such luxuries, of any dangerous use, serious injury, or death, as a consequence thereof.

Safer Without Explosives.  Speaking of guns, both powder and dynamite were available, to those who needed them, prior to World War II, and, to some degree, afterwards.  Dynamite was commonly used to uproot trees, blast rocks and dig ponds in hard soil.  It was one of the most useful, and inexpensive, tools for those who worked the land.  Seldom were these tools misused by those of the time.  And, if they did misuse them, say, to rob a bank or open a safe, then they were guilty of robbery or theft, regardless of whether they used dynamite, or not.  Nor, did the restrictions of the use of dynamite curtail such activity.  The only suffering was by those who now had to resort to very expensive machinery to do what could have been done relatively inexpensively, before the restrictions.  However, as so many other useful objects, the majority must suffer because of the abuse of a few.

Safer Without Matches.  We used to go to the General Store and buy a package of book matches.  We would take a CO2 tube (cartridge for seltzer bottles and pellet guns) and drill the plug out of the small end.  The match heads would be torn off and packed into the entire tube.  Once filled, a pipe with the inside diameter of the outside of the tube would be secured as the “bazooka”.  One would hold the pipe and aim while the other would touch a lit match to the expose matched protruding from the tube.

One day, we heard of a neighbor that had been killed when the tube exploded and tore a gushing wound into the side of his neck.  Nobody was blamed, no new laws were passed, and many of us went to his funeral.  Life, after all, must end, but the pleasures of life will go on.  So, we fired a few “rocket” tubes, in memory of Danny Reagan.

Safer Without Hitchhiking.  Hitchhiking was a means of transportation for those under sixteen, and, for those who did not have a car.  Of course, the bus went to the same school that my thumb took me, but the thumb was far more fun, and, generally, much quicker in traversing the nine miles and numerous different roads that had to be followed to get to the High School.  During the summer, people and surfboards could travel great distances to find the best waves.  Never, however, was there any concern for safety, or a fear of someone wishing to harm us, as we travelled our merry way.  You see, those who might pose a threat to us were probably already in prison, for a very long time.  And, if not, were not willing to take the risk of joining their comrades in the “cross bar hotel”.

SEAT BELTS:  A LESSON IN INCREMENTALISM

In the sixties, the law required that seat belts be installed on the front seats of every passenger car.  This made little sense to us, so this required safety provision served, as far as we were concerned, only to add a few bucks to the cost of the car.  Life, after all, was as much about enjoying it as anything else.

So, let us use seatbelts as a means of understanding what effect the government intervention (social engineering) has had on us, and how it has resulted in much harm, along the way.

Seat belts were required to be installed, simply so that they would be available, if the occupants wanted to wear them.  Once the availability became more than a novelty, and were simply sat upon, the government decided to devise a means to force the use of them.  Simple gimmicks, such as contacts requiring that the seatbelt be latched before starting the car (cut-off systems) resulted in injury or death to some, while to others, they were merely an inconvenience, by-passed by leaving the seatbelt coupled, and sitting on it.  The injuries and deaths resulted when, in an emergency, the driver ran to the car, attempting to escape from a predator (rape or robbery), jumped in the car, inserted the key in the ignition, turned the key and found that the car would not start, because the seatbelts were not connected.  Having exerted the energy in attempting to escape by driving away, the doors were not yet locked, and the predator was able to gain access to the compromised victim.

Then came automatic restraint system.  Once you sat in the car and closed the door, a “runner” would drag the shoulder belt across a track in the door, gently wrapping you in the warm and comfortable arms of “auto-restraint”.  These, too, had drawbacks.  Apparently, some people were actually entangled in the restraints, or even choked to death by such systems.  So, we move on to the next endeavor to protect us from ourselves (and, to stand up against the ridicule that many of these efforts to force compliance had brought on).

Systems that were more passive were developed which flashed lights and sent irritating sounds into all ears on board, should a wary passenger fail to “buckle up”.  However, it was usually a rather simple task to reach under the seats and disconnect the wiring that sensed an occupant and initiated the cacophony.  After a multitude of attempts to outsmart the witty citizens of this country, who chose to do what they wanted, those same citizens finally succumbed, after many years, nay, generations, of indoctrination, to the acceptance of laws that will punish you financially, if you are caught failing to heed that which has been imposed for your own “protection”.  Though you must, if you consider the circumstance, wonder why the government is so concerned over your safety, when you are suppose to have the right to your own life, liberty and property.

LICENSING OF OUR RIGHTS

While we are delving into transportation, we might also look at the aviation industry.  Pilots, by the way, are not licensed, though you are licensed as a driver.  Why would that be?  If this is truly a free country, don’t I have a right to get around by the common mode of transportation, as have all who have come before me?  In this section, we will discuss how the government uses licensing to restrict our freedoms, and, to raise revenue for itself.

Here, we might want to revisit some definitions:

From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, we find:

License n.:  Leave; permission; authority or liberty given to do or forebear any act.  a license may be verbal or written; when written.  The paper containing the authority is called a license.

License v. t.: 
1. To permit by authority; to remove legal restraint by grant of permission.
2. To authorize to act in a particular character.

Certificate n.:  In a general sense, a written testimony not sworn to; a declaration in writing, signed by the party, and intended to verify a fact.

From Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition, we find:

License.  The permission by competent authority to do an act which, without such permission, would be illegal, a trespass, or a tort.

Certificate.  A written assurance, or official representation, that some act has been or has not been done, or some event occurred, or some legal formality has been complied with.

Now, forgive me for beginning with a question, but, why would a driver need a license when an airline pilot need only have a certificate?

Licensing Pilots.  If a pilot, (public or private) need only have a certificate to demonstrate that he has had the proper training and experience to “drive” airplanes, and then only have to retain “currency”: by flying so many hours, each year, to demonstrate maintained proficiency (no annual license required), then, why would someone who is only exercising his right to travel on the public roadways have his “right” subordinated to a “license” (permission to do what, without the license, would be illegal)?

I will leave you to ponder just why a “right” would be illegal if the government did not issue a “license”.

Licensing Cars.  When I was in high school, I had an accident.  I ran into the car in front of me, which had stopped for a stop sign.  I was at fault, without a doubt.  A cop was called and came to fill out an accident report.  The report recorded the fact that I was at fault (under the old form of mandatory auto insurance, not no-fault) for the accident, and so that the responsibility could be assigned to the proper party.  I did not receive a citation, fine, order for court appearance, or anything, except a copy of the accident report.  That was then …

Many years later, I had another accident.  I was in a strange city (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and was trying to find an address.  I, inadvertently, turned the wrong way on a one-way street.  Coming the right way (in accordance with the Traffic Control Devices), was a garbage truck.  He didn’t hesitate to run into me, causing substantial damage to the car I was driving, but not to his massive truck.  Though he saw me, he chose not to attempt to avert the accident, through his own admission, however, that was inconsequential, since I had violated the rules of the road.  I received no citation for “driving the wrong way on a one way street”, for this instance, which would have made a minor offense, but interestingly the driver of the garbage truck received no citation for intentionally hitting my car.  This shows that the government objective is not always about protecting the citizens, as we might prefer to think.

Since then, it has occurred to me, many times, that, perhaps, it is not illegal to drive the wrong way on a one-way street, however, it is illegal (only to the extent of determination of fault) to have an accident while driving on a one-way street.  However, government has learned that there are substantial revenue resources in looking out for our safety (traffic fines) for violating those rules of the road.  Today, I would have received a citation, so the government could receive revenue.

Licensing Drugs.  Moving right along, let us look at medications and drugs.  Many years ago, when the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution (Prohibition) was ratified (1919), you could go to the local pharmacist, without a prescription from the doctor, and tell him what your ailments were.  He would then determine both what medication and what dosage you required, and provide them to you.  Pharmacists, then, and now, require the same amount of education and internship as do doctors.  They have, however, concentrated their study on medicine, its effects, etc., while the doctor prescribes new medications based upon information flyers, and, perhaps, gifts received from the manufacture of the drugs.  He is not, by a long shot, and expert on the medication, and, as time goes by, he is probably far less “current” on the drugs, side effects, dosages, etc., than the pharmacists — but he does have a bigger lobby in Congress.  Meanwhile, the pharmacist is denied information that might save your life, unless you give him the information you received from the doctor.  He is nothing more than a technician capable of reading a doctor’s handwriting and counting pills into a bottle.

Also, in the meantime, many of the drugs, herbs, and other medical remedies have been removed from the pharmacists’ shelves and reclassified as dangerous, denying us access, unless we pay our way into a prescription from a doctor, if that otherwise useful drug has not been completely outlawed.  In addition, the doctor is on a short string — not to provide too many painkillers, under penalty of having the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) remove his right to prescribe medicine (effectively barring him from practicing medicine under his state issued license).

This has pushed the people into resorting to other means to obtain both prescription and non-prescription drugs, by venturing to Canada or Mexican, the internet, or even the streets, to obtain what free people in a free country should be able to obtain without question.

What we must consider is that, in 1919, our right (freedom) to obtain drugs to treat ailments, and, yes, even for recreational purposes, was an unquestioned freedom.  Can there be any doubt that, if a Constitutional Amendment were required, not to give the authority to the government to outlaw a drug (alcohol), specifically, then the Constitution did not ever intend, nor did the Constitution allow, the extension of that authority to prohibit beyond one drug to cover impact any other drugs?

So, what happened to that freedom of choice — to address our own means of dealing with our own medical problems — which existed prior to and Amendment that was repealed just 14 years later (1933)?  As mentioned earlier, the repeal was a consequence of the jurors, in cases involving the laws passed in accordance with the Eighteenth Amendment, were asserting their rights (and responsibilities) as the final arbiter of any laws, by not convicting those charged with such crimes.  Eventually, the states caught up with the people and repealed that perversion of our freedoms known as Prohibition.

Have you noticed a pattern, yet?

There are some things that are banned, now, from our use.  They tend to be rather inexpensive, though cost is not, of necessity, a factor on their significance in our lives.  Those items that have a value for the producer (medicine, health, transportation, etc.) tend not to be outlawed, rather, they tend to be controlled by the government, so as to yield a higher return for the manufacturers, or a revenue for government, or both.  Those “freedoms” we are allowed to keep, though they have an unreasonable costs associated with them.  Here is another example of licensing to produce revenue.

Licensing of Housing.  Many of the earliest homes were void of conveniences such as running water, inside plumbing and toilet facilities, and even glass windows.  In fact, if we look back to the days in which the western regions of the country first being peopled by Europeans, who had to contend with many obstacles to settle the land, they began by building homes of readily available materials.  As the western expansion began, they became even more creative in the use of readily available materials.  Probably the crudest, though in many ways, the most practical home in the western plains was the “Soddy”, a house built of dirt, rock and sod from the prairie grasses, and, perhaps, a bit of wood.  These were exceptionally well insulated, with built in heating and cooling, by virtue of the soil maintaining more stable temperatures, and moderating of extreme.  They were not required to obtain building permits and inspections.

Years ago, I rented a house that had been condemned.  The plumbing was not functional, most of the windows were broken out, and plaster was falling from some of the walls.  I replaced windows, plaster with sheetrock, repaired the plumbing, installed a new pump, and called the electric company to turn the power on.  A man from the power company came out and asked where the building permit an inspection records were.  I told him that I had none, and he explained that the power company, under their license, could not turn on the electricity absent approval by the County.

So, I called the County and explained that I needed an inspection so that I could get the power turned on.  A Building Inspector arrived at the property an asked if I had a building permit.  I told him that I did not, and then explained all that I had done, and showed him the electric box.  He walked through the entire house, inspected the box, and said, “Well, since this is not for commercial use, and will not be open to the public, I’ll sign off on it.”  He did, and I got my power turned on.

That was about forty years ago.  However, even then, it was possible to build (or rebuild) your house and get the blessings of the County so that you could live as you chose to.  That time has passed, however, and, in today’s world you can be required to tear down improvements, be fined, or even spend time in jail, if all is not done according to the dictates of the County (and the payment of certain fees).

Right of Restitution.  Another freedom that has been lost is the right to restitution, if a crime of injury or loss has been perpetrated against you.  In the past, if someone stole something from you, damaged your property, or caused an injury, and if that person were found guilty of the crime, then restitution — making you whole — was a part of the punishment meted out by the court (and jury).  This assured you that, if the guilty person were found, tried, and convicted, that then you suffered no loss, as a result of the crime.  Over time, the courts have developed a schedule of fines that enhance their own revenue, but the concept of restitution has been lost.  If you have not provided for insurance, then you will never be made whole.  Recovery from crimes against you is for you to deal with, on your own.  The court will collect their due, and then turn the criminal back on the streets to prey on others.

LOSS OF THE MEANING OF PUBLIC

Let’s now look at a word that has been used, before, in this discussion:

From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

Public n.: The general body of mankind or of a nation, state or community; the people, indefinitely.

Public a. :
1.  Pertaining to a nation, state or community; extending to a whole people; as a public law, which binds the people of a nation or state as opposed to a private statute or resolve which respects individuals or a corporation only.
3.  Open; notorious; exposed to all persons without restriction.
4.  Regarding a community; directed to the interests of a nation, state or community.
6.  Open to common use; as a public road.
7.  In general public expresses something common to mankind at large, to a nation, state, city or town, and is opposed to private, which denotes what belongs to an individual, to a family, to a company or corporation.

From Black’s Law Dictionary, fifth edition:

Public, n.  The whole body politic, or the aggregate of the citizens of a state, nation, or municipality.  The inhabitants of a state, county, or community.  In one sense, everybody, and accordingly the body of the people at large; the community at large, without reference to geographical limits of any corporation like a city, town, or county; the people.

Public a. : Pertaining to a state, nation, or whole community, proceeding from, relating to, or affecting the whole body of people or an entire community.  Open to all; notorious.  Common to all or many; general; open to common use, Belonging to the people at large; relating to affecting the whole people of a state, nation, or community; not limited or restricted to any particular class of the community.

Did you notice that the government was not once mentioned?  Well, if the government is not mentioned then a public building, a public roadway, a public park, public lands, or any other object defined as “public” does not belong to the government, rather, it belongs to “the body of the people at large“.  So, why is it that children are no longer able to camp (sleep out) on public land, or in a public park, when they were allowed to do so just fifty years ago?  Most states still allowed “open camping”, which meant that you could camp on any land owned by the people, collectively.  Can you imagine how many would have survived the Great Depression, as they moved west and sought jobs, if they had no recourse but to rent a room, or, well, is there even an alternative?  Why is it now that we are barred from public lands, except during certain hours, or with a certain permit, or, maybe, not at all?  Is this not a loss of our freedoms?

Speaking of public, let’s look at one of the mainstays of the inherent strength of this country — education.  Public schools date back to the sixteen hundreds, where the local community contributed both to build a schoolhouse and to hire an instructor.  The concept of the community being in charge of the schools was consistent with educating the students to become a betterment to the community.  “Ad valorem” (property) taxes were the means of funding, and the decisions of who to hire, what to build, the curriculum, which textbooks, etc., was left to the local school board — elected out from among the members of the community.  As time went on, state governments set standards, though they had little influence over other matters within the school.  The state involvement was directed at policy, not detail.

In 1953, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) was created in the United States government.  Over time, local revenues were replaced with federal funds, and not only [policy, but detail, regarding the education of our children, was transferred to the national government.  School boards were relegated to little more than where to purchase what the HEW mandated.  Control over content, curriculum, etc., was no longer in the hands of the parents.  The freedom to choose what education your child received in his first 12 years of education was completely removed from your control, and the determination of the foundation for the rest of the child’s life was laid in the hands of the government.

In might be said that the government has stolen from us that which is, rightfully, ours — Public.

CORPORATE SEIZURE OF OUR RIGHTS

We cannot discuss freedom without touching on one of the principle enumerated freedoms, as defined in the Bill of Rights.  This most important freedom is “Freedom of the Press”.  Exactly what Freedom of the press is has become rather muddled, over the years.  The courts have construed it as the right to keep a source’s identity secret, under the argument that to not allow such secrecy jeopardizes the reporter’s ability to gather information for stories.  However, is it possible that Freedom of the Press, that the means by which we are informed, might have other, and, much more significant meaning?

Let’s look at two aspects of that freedom that are worthy of considerations:

“The FREEDOM OF THE PRESS hath, in consequence thereof, been esteemed one of its safeguards.  That freedom gives the right, at all times, to every citizen to lay his sentiments, in a decent manner, before the people, If he will take that trouble upon himself, whether they are on point or not, his countrymen are obliged to him for so doing; for, at least, they lead to an examination of the subject upon which he writes.”

“John DeWitt,” Essay III, Nov. 5, 1787

And, as was clearly understood, in those days in which this Freedom was so highly regarded, there were many newspapers, each privately owned, and each having its own political views.  Therefore, each side of the arguments of the day could be heard.

Unfortunately, the laws promulgated by the Congress have allowed a consolidation of news sources to the point that three syndicates control over 90% of the news that is unleashed upon us, each day.  Those syndicates dictate (though through very subtle means), what can and what cannot be heard, or read.  This defies both of the above examples of what freedom for the press was intended to afford us.  This Freedom, by which we were to be informed, has become a means by which we have become misinformed, and, yes, propagandized and indoctrinated to the messages that are controlled by just a few.

Conclusion

As Benjamin Franklin said on his Memoir (1818), “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety“.  Moreover, we can see that the Congress, the government that was established to serve us, has determined to provide us the “safety” that they feel that we deserve — and, we have not objected.

However, as you can see in reading the above losses of freedom, there might well be other motives behind their actions.  They have become the source of redistribution of wealth and the grantors of economic favor.  And, they have done so at the expense of the Freedoms that so much blood has been shed to obtain and preserve.

Much like the process of aging, we have failed to notice these transgressions, though, if we simply stand back and observe, then it is quite evident that the loss of our freedoms, over decades, and even generations, has been a slow and meticulous process.  Whether by design, or by accident, it does not matter.  These lost freedoms (liberties) were enjoyed, well within the lifetime of many of us, but they are now gone.  Subordinated to the social engineering (and deprivation of freedom) that has been ongoing, in this country, for quite some time.  What truly matters, for ourselves and our posterity, is what we will do now that we are fully aware of the diminishment of that which was a gift from God, as well as our birthright.

Our opposition should be based upon principle, not upon comfort.  If this erosion of freedom makes you uncomfortable, that is a start, but it cannot stop there.  This travesty occurred because we were not outraged at the first loss of our freedom, the step that began the erosion.  If we were opposing government intrusions based on principle, rather than comfort, then the first lost of freedom would be the beacon to remind us that the next lost freedom might be our own favorite freedom. 

Do we owe any less to the task at hand as those who have come before us?  Their sacrifices were for their posterity, far more than for themselves, for they did not know just how much that they, individually, would lose in the process.  If the price of freedom is such that it is worthy of their commitment of their very lives, then can we expect no less of ourselves?  Or, has our complacency reduced us to simple beggars, begging for that which is rightfully ours, and unwilling to sacrifice our own safety to restore those freedoms, not only for ourselves, but, too, for our own posterity?

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

If someone wants to hurt my child, I care not what the reasons are; I care only about protecting that child, whatever the cost. 
If we ever are to prevail, we need that same clarity, borne of instinct, to protect that which cannot protect itself. 
Our constitution does not protect us, we protect it. 
Our liberties are not born in the Constitution, they are merely enshrined there.

E. Sutton

Download a PDF version of this article: Finding Freedom Again (PDF)

Let’s talk about the Constitution

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Let’s talk about the Constitution

Gary Hunt

March 17, 2010

Patriots have, for decades, challenged the assertion by the courts that the Constitution does not apply to you (the Defendant).  The Defendant’s reaction is that the court is ignoring the Constitution.  So, to begin with, let’s make one thing clear about the Constitution — It does not operate on you.

Now, most of you are probably scratching your head and wondering what I have been smoking.  Well, I have been smoking tobacco.  Tobacco was one of the principal means by which we were able to fund the Revolutionary War.  The use of that tobacco is my right, and is without the authority of government to intrude upon.

The government was given no authority, by the Constitution, to act upon the people, nor were the people in any way bound by the Constitution.

The Preamble to the Constitution for the United States of America sets forth its (the Constitution’s) purpose:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Read very carefully that the purpose is to provide for certain things, especially “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity“. Now, how is that to be accomplished?  Quite simply, by framing a government that will achieve those ends.

As was so eloquently stated in the Declaration of Independence:

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.

So, the Constitution set out to complete that which was proposed in the Declaration of Independence, “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”  So, clearly, the intention of both the Declaration and the Constitution is to provide a government — not a people, but a government — which purpose is to secure those blessings.

So, a government is created by that Constitution.  If you read it, carefully, it is instructions for the creation and management of the government.  It also provides for both authorities and limitations on what the government is allowed to do, even to the point of separating the national functions from the functions of the states.

Now, let us consider what we have given the government.  We have given it “authority” to do certain things, and, have withheld from it the authority to do other things.  We have not said what we could do, or what we could not do, with only a few exceptions (counterfeiting, treason, etc.).  And, absent those exceptions, there is nothing that is imposed upon us.

Going a bit further, it must be presumed that if we granted the authority, to the government, to do certain things, that we must have had the authority to make such grant.  After all, how can I grant to someone, or something, that which I do not have, myself.

But, that is what government is (at least under out Constitution), the transfer of authority that we hold to the collective instrument of government.  For example, I have the right to protect my property.  Though I do not give up that right, I have assigned a portion of my authority to protect my property to the government.  However, this does not preclude me from protecting my property in the absence, or failure, of government to do so.  However, once the government has interceded, by, say, apprehension of someone who stole from me, I relinquish my right to shoot him in the act of stealing, and subordinate my authority to the collective authority, by virtue of the right to a trial by jury.

Similarly, we have granted the government the authority to wage war on our behalf.  We have conditioned that grant of authority in the requisite that only the Congress can Declare War, since war is, by its nature, a community affair and.  If we go to war, the majority of the community must agree to it.  Otherwise, if only one member of a community is allowed to declare war on another community, he has, by his act, embroiled all of the other members of his community, and the other community, in a blood contest.  Quite clearly, the authors of the Constitution realized this relationship when they set forth the requisite that the Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, concur on war, and did not give that authority to one man, even though he be the executive of that community.

So, we can see how the Constitution was a grant of collective authority, for the purpose of consolidating our individual authority into a government, for the purposes laid out in the preamble.

Now, if we look at the limitations and restrictions, we will see that they are not laid out to protect us.  Quite simply, they were laid out to limit the authority that we have granted.

So, the question arises as to whether that authority is only valid in the United States, or, even only applicable to citizens of the United States.

Well, the Constitution does not define where it is applicable, it only states that the government (the creation of the people) can, or cannot, do certain things.  It is the chains that bind the government.  It is the authority by which they exist.  The government cannot do what it is not authorized to do.

If you give someone a position of management in your company, and you set limitations on that management authority, the authority (under the laws of agency) extends only to what and where that authority is given.  The authority is a grant based upon what you have, and the limitations on location are, quite obviously, limited by what you own and have authority over.

So, do you have the right to kidnap someone?  If not, then you cannot grant that right to government.  In fact, the necessity of retraining someone is clearly defined, though as an afterthought (clarification) in Article V, Bill for Rights.  This was an assurance that the government could not presume to be able to do what we could not, deprive someone of their Liberty, without the consent of the people, via the Grand Jury.  Having not the power to kidnap, how can the government assume that we could give them that authority?

Punishment, likewise, is restricted to that which is not cruel, nor is unusual.  And, punishment is always a consequence of crime, that crime to have been determined to have been committed by the accused by a jury of his peers.

This, when coupled with the right not to be required (forced) to witness against yourself (again, an afterthought included in Article V. Bill of Rights), the right to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects (Article IV, Bill of Rights, again a prohibition on the government), together provide a prohibition on the government from forcing you to give up your secrets, incriminate yourself, or to any other form of duress, especially when that duress is imposed by physical means (torture).

In the final extreme, the government has withdrawn previous laws that prohibited assassination.  They have assumed that they have the authority to ‘impose capital punishment’, without benefit of a trial.

To presume that authority was granted to punish, without conviction, for the purpose of obtaining information, or to execute him without trial, is repugnant to the Constitution, and without any authority that was vested in the government by the people.

As Thomas Jefferson said, in his draft of the Kentucky Resolves (1798), “It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights…  Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism.  Free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence.  It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power…  Our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go…  In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

If we assume that these limitations (restraints) upon the government are not to be imposed, when the person being subjected to such unauthorized actions is in another country, and we acquiesce to the government’s presumed authority to exceed its written authority, either by enactment, or simply by actions, we have also acquiesced to the government ignoring the contract which created that government.  Once ‘granted’ that authority by the people refusing to object to such violations, we have established the precedence that the Constitution is to be interpreted by those who exist only because of it, as they see fit.  Once the government realizes that it has circumvented the Constitution, without objection, what is to stop those encroachments from going contrary to the Constitution (which it has, as explained, already done) to a point of total submission to the omnipotent power of the government?

In consideration of a solution to the problem, let us reflect on the significance of what we have learned.

Authority comes from us.  We must assume, then, that either we, or the government, will define that which we authorized.  If it be us, then we must object, whenever any such abuse of authority exists, or, we must concur.  Ironically, if we object, and that objection is not heard, our recourse is what the Founders utilized in disposing of a government that did not adhere to its contract.

On the other hand, we might assume that, since we have allowed the government to decide what we have granted them, and, barring any justification that prevents us from exercising that same right, as in the case of defending our property, we must assume that we have the right to kidnap, torture and assassinate, as the government can have not authority which we do not possess.

Charity and General Welfare

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Charity and General Welfare

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom

[Note: in all definitions, italics, underscoring, and bolding are mine, for emphasis]

Often, we think that we know what a word means.  Its meaning can be construed according to the rules by which the communication game is played.  If we all agree to the meaning, then we understand what the other means, when he uses that word in a discussion.

What happens, then, when there is a disagreement over the definition of a word?

Let’s suppose that I define, for the sake of explanation, the word “water” to mean only potable (drinkable) water.  By that singular act, I have excluded most of the water in the world.  Seawater, wastewater, ground water, bathing water, heck, even tears are excluded, along with a large percentage of your body.  I have tipped the conversation to a point where you must struggle in any effort to describe any H2O, unless it can be ingested.

Let’s look at another word that, if defined outside of the common usage, creates a different sort of dilemma.  To understand this phenomenon, we must look back to get a solid understanding of what the word means.  Note that I use a dictionary that defines words, as the Founding Fathers would have perceived them, at the time of the birth of this great nation.  The word is:

Charity [from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary] 1.  In a general sense, love, benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good.

2.  In a more particular sense, love, kindness, affection, tenderness, springing from natural relations; as the charities of father, son and brother.

3.  Liberality to the poor, consisting in alms giving or benefactions, or in gratuitous services, to relieve them in distress.

4.  Alms; whatever is bestowed gratuitously on the poor for their relief.

5.  Liberality in gifts and services to promote public objects of utility, as to found and support bible societies, societies, and others.

6.  Candor; liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to think and judge favorably, and to put the best construction on words and actions which the case will admit.

7.  Any act of kindness, or benevolence; and as the charities of life.

8.  A charitable institution.

Now, we can see that benevolence is synonymous with Charity.  We can also see that, with the exception of the sixth definition, all acts of charity are acts of individuals (italicized words), or, perhaps, groups of individuals.

So, let’s look at:

Benevolence [from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary]

1.  The disposition to do good; good will; kindness; charitableness; the love of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.

2.  An act of kindness; good done; charity given.

3.  A species of contribution or tax illegally exacted by arbitrary kings of England.

So, benevolence provides a bit more insight into what Charity might really mean.  We can look at “disposition to do good” and “act of kindness” to clearly be acts that cannot be done by government.  Government cannot have disposition, nor can it commit an act of kindness, for kindness is a feeling of emotion.

Government can, however, require a contribution (not alms, which are freely given) or tax.  As is indicated by the definition, the government referred to one form of benevolence as such.  But, then, that was arbitrary, and without free will.

Now, let’s look at what the Courts have determined Charity to consist of:

Charity [from Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition]

A gift for, or institution engaged in, public benevolent purposes.  A gift for benefit of indefinite numbers of persons under influence of religion or education, relief from disease, assisting people to establish themselves in life, or erecting or maintaining public works [Johnson v. South Blue Hill Cemetery Association].

A charity, in absence of legislative definition, is an attempt in good faith, spiritually, physically, intellectually, socially and economically to advance and benefit mankind in general, or those in need of advancement and benefit in particular, without regard to their ability to supply that need from other sources and without hope or expectation, if not with positive abnegation, of gain or profit by donor or by instrumentality of charity [Planned Parenthood Association v. Tax Commissioner].

Once again, we see that government cannot act in the capacity of giving charity, unless it sets a legal definition.  But, to do so would be to say that Charity (water) is what we want it to be, and must exclude whatever we do not want to be included.

Now, I realize that this last sentence might be difficult for some to swallow.  After all, the government, through the IRS, determines what acceptable charities are.  Well, yes, that is true.  At the same time, by not acknowledging something that you or I might deem charitable, if the government does not, they have made an uneven playing field.  They have allowed tax deductions for what they consider to be charitable, and, denied those deductions from those that they choose to exclude.

This, then, means that if you want a tax deduction for a contribution, you can only receive it if you contribute (not give alms) to the charities on the official government list.  In addition, by the way, the government has set rigid rules for those charities to abide by, or they will lose their status as charities.

Now, with this simple conversion of charity to what the government wants it to be, and, since they are essentially tied to those charities (by their arbitrary influence over them), it is a simple step to allow the government to “take out the middle man” and become a “Charity” (see Charity, #8, and Benevolence, #3) in themselves.  When they perceive a deficiency in availability of resources, they will, well, fill in the gap.

However, that gap is filled through forms such as welfare, unemployment compensation, and numerous (actually, hundreds of) other “entitlement” programs.

So, how did charity work, in the past?

Charity, which is what was recognized at the time as the means by which individuals might receive assistance, was carried out by Churches, towns, cities, counties and the state, as appropriate.  And, the decisions of what to provide were solely in the hands of the people who voted within that level of government.  County and state only provided for hospitals, mental hospitals, and orphanages.  Counties also provided for “poor farms”, but those partaking of this offering were expected to work by growing food and producing products.  Churches, towns, and cities would provide assistance, as well as encouragement, to provide for those in need.

We can go a bit further and, perhaps, begin to understand that the results, or, consequences, of Charity can have very different outcomes.  We all know the pleasure of gift giving, — The smile on a young child’s face, or the gratitude from one that you were able to help during a time of crisis.  It seems apparent that, when Charity was administered locally, you could see the benefits realized, and with that, also realize the sense of goodness that you had demonstrated.

If you were the recipient of that local Charity, you would forever feel indebted, and very appreciative of those who had helped you in your time of need.

Fast forward to the “charity” of our current time.  As the “contributor” to the charity, you don’t even have a sense of who your gift went to, where they live, or what form that charity took.  Quite frankly, you don’t even know if your “contribution” went to charity, or not.  There  are, after all, so many needs that exist outside of helping people: Interest; armament and grants to other countries; research grants to scientists, so that they could ‘prove’ that global warming is a reality; etc.  So, your sense of giving is lost, and never realized as a good thing, something to be proud of.  Nor can you ever realize that sense of pleasure — seeing the effect of the good that you have done.

Similarly, the recipient of that “charity” really has nobody to thank for what good they have received.  They know that the dole is generated by a table based upon their needs, and, often, they will manipulate their apparent need to receive a greater benefit.  There is nobody to thank, or to be grateful to, because the ‘benefactor’ is a cold government agency, with equally cold employees, administering the ‘investigation’ of your needs.  You see it as their obligation to you.  And, further, having nobody to direct your gratitude to, you begin to lose all sense of appreciation for what you have received.  Eventually, you begin to be scornful of that very agency that puts food in your mouth, and the only thing that stirs any sense of self-respect is that you know that if you scorn those who have given to you, then you just might intimidate them into giving you more.

If you have any doubts about the above, just ask yourself if those, who gave in the past, would have given if the person who appeared to have a need also had a color television and a cell phone, and managed to keep the monthly charges current, rather than risking having the cable or cell service cut off.  Would you really want to help them, after seeing that they simply did not have a grasp on what is most important in life?

So, this will lead us to the next step of our journey.  In the Preamble (purpose) to the Constitution, we find the phrase, “promote the general Welfare.”  Well, we simply look around us and see that we have moved, consistently, toward a “welfare state”, but, was that what was intended by the phrase?

Let’s return to 1828, and see what the Founding Fathers might have meant by that phrase:

Welfare [from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary]

Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the normal blessings of society and civil government; as applies to states

General [from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary]

The whole; the total; that which comprehends all or the chief part; opposed to particular.

So, we can see that the intention of the phrase, as can be surmised by the definitions of those times, was very general — to endeavor to create an environment that was conducive, to all of the citizens, of peace and prosperity.  Nothing in this description would even begin to suggest that the general welfare was selective, and that it could be applied only to some.  It was not a tangible application; rather, it was intangible, and was presumed to create a harmonious and equitable political foundation for all.

And again, as the courts perceive it (though take note that while case cites are provided when there is precedent in law to provide a definition, as in the definitions above, the following definitions are absent any citations):

Welfare [from Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition]

Well-doing or well-being in any respect; the enjoyment of health and common blessings of life; exemption from any evil or calamity; prosperity; happiness.  See also General welfare; Public welfare

General welfare [from Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition]

The general term used to describe the government’s concern for health, peace, morals, and safety of its citizens.

Public welfare [from Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition]

The prosperity, well being, or convenience of the public at large, or of a whole community, as distinguished from the advantage of an individual or limited class.  It embraces the primary social interests of safety, order, morals, economic interests, and non-material and political interests.  In the development of our civic life, the definition of “public welfare” has also developed until it has been held to bring within its purview regulations for the promotion of economic welfare and public convenience.

Though the definitions hold similar meaning with Webster’s, in the last sentence we see that the foundation is beginning to be laid for the expansion of what was clearly the limitation on government from the Preamble to the allowance of regulations that would extend the authority to a realm in which the Founding Fathers did not anticipate.

There might be one more step that would assist us in understanding just what Charity is, or, at least, what it was intended by the Founding Fathers to be:

Hospital [from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary]

The building appropriated for the reception of sick, infirm and helpless paupers, who are supported and nursed by charity; also, a house for the reception of insane persons, whether paupers or not, or for seaman, soldiers, foundlings, &c. who are supported by the public, or by private charity, or for infected persons, &c.

Now, we can see that hospitals were charitable institutions.  Most people of means, at the time, would have the doctor call upon them for treatment.

As recently as sixty years ago, doctors made house calls.  However, the increases in population, the expansion of hospitals to meet the needs of the increased numbers, and, the increased demand on doctors, all conspired to pave the way for office visits, with visits to the hospital for surgical procedures, long term care, and contagious sequestration.

Now, what have the Courts said?  Although, once again, case cites are not provided here, you will nonetheless see that the definition reflects those changes just described:

Hospital [from Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition]

An institution for the treatment and care of sick, wounded, infirm, or aged persons; generally incorporated, and then of the class of corporations called “eleemosynary” [relating to, given as, or depending on charitable gifts] or “charitable.”  Also the building used for such purpose.  Hospitals may be either public or private, and may be limited in their functions or services, e.g., children’s hospital.

So, even though incorporated, the hospitals were charitable in nature.  They had not yet become the “profit centers” (medical, or health, centers) that we now see proliferating the landscape.

Charity, as I believe has been adequately demonstrated, is a voluntary contribution, by an individual or an organization, with the intent of providing a means of service or betterment for individuals who are otherwise unable to provide such benefit or service for themselves.

Over the last two centuries, there has been an “evolution” of the meaning of words as well as the intention of the Founding Fathers.  Though they made provision for Amendment of the Constitution, they made no provision for the redefinition of the words that they so meticulously selected to compose that document.

Let us look at the consequences of the changes, without lawful authority, to those definitions and intentions.  Government has removed the free choice of charitable contributions by selectively determining what constitutes a charity, and providing rewards (deductions) for contributing to those so chosen.  They have presumed an authority to act in the character of an individual or organization by becoming one of the most “benevolent” charities of all, via social security, welfare, and a multitude of other “programs” by which they have garnered the allegiance of the beneficiaries of those programs.  If I grant a gift, freely, that goes from me to you, it is charity.  If, however, you encourage, allow, or refuse to resist a burglar, or anyone else (government) from taking from me and giving to you, that is nothing less than theft (pillage), and you are an accessory to that theft by being the recipient of the benefit or service.  You cannot color it in any other way.

[on line at: http://www.outpost-of-freedom.com/verbnd.htm]