Thursday, May 23, 2013

Touching on Tyranny - A Declaration of whose Independence?

Spring has sprung and while the bi-termal scandals are blooming furiously in Washington D.C., there has been a rare whiff of agreement between commentators ranging from MSNBC, to Fox to the Washington Post: the word in the air is Tyranny, and it is here, there and everywhere.

However, like Inigo Montoya, I'm not so sure dat word means wat dey tink it means. Not that there isn't evidence of tyranny abounding all around us...there most certainly is... I just am not so sure that if we took a walk together to see the sights, that we'd be pointing in as many of the same directions as we should be.

Let's take the hot media tour:
  • Benghazi - The press has caught the White house red handed.. 9 months late... that the White house has been lying, blatantly so, regarding whether or not they identified Benghazi as the work of terrorists (they didn't), as well as what they knew and when they knew it.
  • IRS - Since 2010, the IRS has been targeting conservative leaning organizations seeking the low level tax-exempt status of 501(c)(4), by way of their 'conservative sounding' names, meaning they referenced terms such as Tea Party, Liberty, Constitution or generally being Pro-American (think about that for a moment), as well as their donors. Oh, and Jewish organizations who were pro-Israel. Most left leaning organizations requesting the same status were approved poste haste, while most conservative leaning organizations seeking that status were either denied, or so tied up in red tape, that they are still waiting.
  • DOJ investigates AP Reporters - Turns out that, like most administrations, the Obama Administration doesn't appreciate leaks, but in trying to plug them they've gone to lengths that few others would attempt, maybe not even Nixon, by tracking and tapping the communications of a broad selection of AP reporters. Oops... FOX too... fair and balanced, I guess.
  • HHS Sebelius shakedown for Obamacare - Sec. Sebelieus, surprised that few in congress, left or right, are interested in forking over even more cash for the 'trainwreck' of Obamacare, decided to politely ask those whose lives and businesses it is within her power to make a living, or dying, hell, to volunteer donations so she can try and fundraise a publicity campaign for Obamacare.
  • EPA - agency for protecting a Leftist environment: - "Obama’s EPA Waives Fees For Liberal Groups 92% Of The Time, Denies Conservative Organization 93% Of The Time…: "Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Competitive Enterprise institute."
Those are the top five issues currently on the media rotation, as of last week.

So, what's to see here?
After talking with folks, at meetings, the recent IRS protest and online, I suspect that if we were both asked to point out the actual Tyrant in these instances, I think it's very likely that in many cases we'd be pointing in different directions.

I certainly agree that there is far more than a mere whiff of tyranny in these acts, especially in the case of the IRS. And I think that it is extremely interesting, not to mention sobering, to note that, as you can see from some of these pictures that I and others took at our protest at the St. Louis IRS office earlier this week - they had called out multiple Homeland Security Vehicles (and even a chopper in L.A.!), complete with well armed occupants, to be ready and waiting to greet us for our Tuesday afternoon lunch hour protest.

Note: They did NOT call out security or the Police - they brought in Homeland Security.

Someone in the hierarchy of our government felt that at least some of those Billions of rounds of ammunition recently purchased by Homeland Security, would be wise to call up and place at the ready in order to face us working people on a lunch break, retired people, a couple folks in wheelchairs, and more than a few students.

Were they hoping for a shot heard round the world?

Still, these are instances of tyrannical actions, but the tyrant itself, IMHO, wasn't so obviously visible. I worry that identifying the actions with the IRS as the Tyrant, or the EPA, or HHS, or the DOJ or even the Obama administration itself, is a mistake, and it is one that is made in the actual tyrants favor. These tyrannical actions are not the creature itself, and I worry that calling them tyranny, tends to let the true tyrant slip out the back (Jack), unseen, unidentified and unscathed - and no, I don't mean Obama.

Let me put it this way, these are signs of tyranny in the same way as that if you found a bee coated in pollen, it would be a sign that flowers were in bloom, but the bee is not itself the flower, and doing away with the bee is not going to do anything to stop the actual source of your allergies from cranking out the pollen. Yes, these issues indicate that tyrannical actions are in the air - no doubt about that - but they too are simply indicators, effects of tyranny, not the sources of it.

Closer to the mark
Wanna see one that comes much closer to the heart of the matter? It was in the news last week as well, though you'd have to dig fairly deep to find it.
  • Dept Of Justice rejects German family's request for asylum - German home schooling family, fleeing a 1930's era law (yeah, that means it's one of the few laws leftover from the little tyrant with the funny mustache), that forbids parents educating their children outside of the state's power. Nein!
    "The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Obama Administration’s decision to deny asylum to a German homeschooling family.

    The Romeike family fled their German homeland in 2008 seeking political asylum in the United States – where they hoped to home school their children. Instead, the Obama administration wants the evangelical Christian family deported.

  • ... the Justice Dept. is ... arguing ‘it is not a human rights violation."

  • ...“If we go back to Germany we know that we would be prosecuted and it is very likely the Social Services authorities would take our children from us,” he said""
Why do I think that that's more indicative of tyranny, than the hot topics of the day? The answer can be found, and I think more easily seen, if we first look at what tyranny actually is, which will also help to illustrate how some of the currently popular libertarian 'solutions' to federal tyranny are likely to result in little more than more of the same themselves.

Tyranny Is... what exactly?
From John Locke, a description of what tyranny actually is, from his The Two Treatises of Civil Government (Hollis ed.) > CHAP. XVIII. Of TYRANNY.
" AS usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which no body can have a right to. [this sentence removed to be addressed below]. When the governor, however intitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion."
And the machinery that a tyrant requires in order to be able to tyrannize you, is summed up here by James Madison, from The Federalist (Gideon ed.) > No. 47: The meaning of the maxim, which requires a separation of the departments of power, examined and ascertained
"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. "
And from John Adams, commenting on that which has been seen as the best antidote to tyranny, a Republic, described a Republic as :
"... It signified a government, in which the property of the public, or people, and of every one of them, was secured and protected by law. This idea, indeed, implies liberty; because property cannot be secure unless the man be at liberty to acquire, use, or part with it, at his discretion, and unless he have his personal liberty of life and limb, motion and rest, for that purpose..."
These points, and they really must be taken together, do apply directly to the hot five above, especially as regards the EPA & IRS, and all other administrative agencies, which, because our legislature has shamefully offloaded their responsibilities to them, they:
  • have been given power to write their own laws (a regulation by any other name, is a law just the same),
  • have been given power to enforce their own laws (administration by any other name is enforcement, just the same),
  • have been given power to judge themselves within their own judicial system (Govt arbitration of its own rules by any other name is arbitrary judgment, all the same).
Look back up at the quote from Madison's Federalist No. 47, and see if you don't see the shape of the beast here. But even so, what these issues still don't get to the heart of, is what it is that is at the heart of liberty itself, and through a negative light, tyranny, as well.

We often hear, often from myself, that we must have the Rule of Law, or we will be ruled by the whims of men, after all, where the rule of law ends, the power of the tyrant begins. But that leaves unsaid a dangerous assumption about laws themselves - that they are themselves in and of themselves, just. Madison touched upon this as well, in The Federalist (Gideon ed.) > No. 48: The same subject continued, with a view to the means of giving efficacy in practice to that maxim
"The founders of our republics have so much merit for the wisdom which they have displayed, that no task can be less pleasing than that of pointing out the errors into which they have fallen. A respect for truth, however, obliges us to remark, that they seem never for a moment to have turned their eyes from the danger to liberty, from the overgrown and all-grasping prerogative of an hereditary magistrate, supported and fortified by an hereditary branch of the legislative authority. They seem never to have recollected the danger from legislative usurpations, which, by assembling all power in the same hands, must lead to the same tyranny as is threatened by executive usurpations." [emphasis mine]
At the very least, the Laws must themselves be Just, and while a written constitution is a necessary means of keeping them in line, if that constitution does not prevent the consolidation of power (which is what our famous 'Checks and Balances' are designed to do), if it does not provide boundaries to those laws by stating to the law makers that they may go this far and no farther (as our Bill of Rights do), then tyranny may be affected upon those living under that constitution every bit as tyrannically by law, as it might otherwise be done by royal whim.

Our justice dept, in denying asylum to this German family who are after all simply seeking to educate their children as they, their parents, see fit, as is their right, rips down that no trespassing sign of "This far, and no farther" from our judicial landscape, and you can be sure it does so in the hope and expectation of it not being discovered and nailed back into place.

The Justice Dept. is arguing that a German law banning home schooling (a law, BTW, leftover from the days of the little tyrant with the funny mustache... yeah, that guy) does not violate the family’s human rights." Note 'Human rights' not Individual Rights. At the risk of making an unpopular and/or laughable statement... I find this more... far more... disturbing than all of the other scandals of the week, because those hot issues are instances of existing laws and procedures being violated within the functioning of (what remains of) our constitutional framework.
(H/T for those borrowed pics from Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit, and Caroline)
Alert DHS for the Assault Chair!

Assault Chair!

I try my 'Force Push' skills on the DHS

Hennesy & Hoft

Patch & I photo-bombing

Lloyd Sloan... wordless ;-)

Watch your step indeed...

DHS faces its greatest threats - youth and laughter

This decision doesn't merely violate the law, it seeks to create law, or rather, it seeks to uncreate the very source of our laws, striking directly at the heart of Individual Rights as such. It attacks our founding understanding that Rights are inherent in our nature as human beings and that they exist prior to, and superior to, what ever it is that governments might wish to grant to, or restrict from, We The People. This is what our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, was all about, that Individual Rights are what govt's are instituted to uphold and protect, and that is not only not reflected in this decision, it is explicitly repudiated by it, it is in effect, Govt's Declaration of Independence from We The People.

This decision declares that that most fundamental of Individual Rights, a parents rights over their children, to raise them and to educate them as they see fit, are of no substance whatsoever.

It may seem small in comparison to the scandalpalooza's of the day, but I promise you that in its implications it is huge, it is a dagger thrust at the heart of Individual Rights, and it is something which Holder's DOJ explicitly went out of its way to reverse. Realize that a lower court had already granted the Romelke family asylum, and Holder's Dept of Justice chose to expend great amounts of time, effort and expense in order to overturn it!.
"...In 2010, HSLDA took the family’s case and helped them win a legal battle. They became the first family to obtain asylum based on the protection of homeschooling rights. Shortly after, the U.S. government appealed the decision to the Board of Immigration, claiming the family’s case failed to show that there was any discrimination based on religion...."
This is extremely significant, in ways that - grave though they may be - simple run of the mill illegality on the part of government apparatchiks, pales in the face of.

If the basis of the Law is not itself Just, then no number of 'no trespassing' laws will keep tyranny away, for the law itself will have become the very source and means of exercising tyranny. Our Constitution was formed from, is an expression of, and is entirely dependent upon, an understanding of Natural Law and the concept of Individual Rights which follows from that, and it cannot function as designed without that understanding being present in those the govt derives its just powers from - that'd be you & me - see the last century for reference.

The United States of America's Department of Justice has not only stated, but taken action to establish, the 'fact' that parents do not have the right, do not have A Right, to their children, where the Govt might decide it wishes to assert that it has prior ownership and claim to them. If you do not think that this has bearing on other present and future government projects, if you don't think that this has a bearing on the Common Core Curriculum Standards... if you don't think that the Melissa Harris Perry's of Common Core of the world aren't taking courage from this... you are... dreaming. And if you think that if this decision is allowed to stand, that your own Rights will continue to stand as well... then you are not even dreaming.

Property Rights - your Right to what is yours, up to and including your own life - can have no standing whatsoever, in the face of a ruling that states that a parent has no right to their own children. If a Parent has no Right to their children, let alone to the education of their children, then there are NO Property Rights. Period. And in that case, Law, as we think of it, is merely a means of posting the Ruler's will.

What dreams will come from that, are nightmarish, to say the least.

More on identifying and remedying the tyranny around us, and waking up from it, next post.

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