Thursday, November 20, 2014

Undocumented Power

I listened to the President's speech. I listened to the responses to it. I didn't hear the real problem being identified as a problem on either side.

Here's the problem:

The problem isn't immigration, legal or illegal. The problem is a Govt that is supposed to be bound down by laws to protect and defend the Individual Rights of We The People for which "...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...", and which is instead seizing hold of the power that we've given them and ignoring those laws that bind it; exercising the power that we've given them in opposition to our laws; exercising the power that we've them without even the pretense of respecting any restrictions or limitations upon their ability to exercise the power that we've given them.

When those we've given power over our lives to, promise to use power in pleasing ways if... we'll just... look the other way... and let slip our lawful restraints, they leave us with no way to restrain them with laws again, we leave ourselves with no way to prevent their using their power over us in ways that we do not find to be so very pleasing. When that's accomplished, then "As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn", they'll eventually use that power in ways that we'll find to be utterly horrifying.

That's the problem. And yes We The People, I'm looking directly at you.
"Where-ever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm; and whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by the law, and makes use of the force he has under his command, to compass that upon the subject, which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate; and, acting without authority, may be opposed, as any other man, who by force invades the right of another. This is acknowledged in subordinate magistrates."John Locke - OF CIVIL-GOVERNMENT BOOK II, CHAP. XVIII. Of TYRANNY
"... 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."Thomas Jefferson
"...There are Church-quakes and state-quakes, in the moral and political world, as well as earthquakes, storms and tempests in the physical. Thus much however must be said in favour { 250 } of the people and of human nature, that it is a general, if not universal truth, that the aptitude of the people to mutinies, seditions, tumults and insurrections, is in direct proportion to the despotism of the government. In governments completely despotic, i.e. where the will of one man, is the only law, this disposition is most prevalent.—In Aristocracies, next—in mixed Monarchies, less than either of the former—in compleat Republick's the least of all—..."John Adams, A Defense, Boston Massacre
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” Samuel Adams
“It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” Samuel Adams
“If ever the Time should come, when vain & aspiring Men shall possess the highest Seats in Government, our Country will stand in Need of its experiencd Patriots to prevent its Ruin. There may be more Danger of this, than some, even of our well disposd Citizens may imagine.” Samuel Adams


USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Right on, Van!

Obama is (and has been for years) using unConstitutional authority and force to take our money illegally, remove our liberties, ignore our representatives and court rulings, and ignore our Constitution to do as he pleases.

This latest abuse of his power and authority is but one example of many, and he has had help from his fellow demon-cRats, the media and the entertainment industry, as well as his wackademic friends.

Sadly, most of his opposition is caught up in the particulars, and few are pointing out what is really happening as you have.

This is yet another reason why democracy is bad, which is why our Founding Fathers created a Republic instead.
If we can keep it.

John said...

Did you make a similar post when the patriot act was signed?

Van Harvey said...

Why? I'm curious what you see the relation between the two as being?

I didn't begin blogging until about 2006. I didn't vote for W in the primaries because it was obvious that he was a pro-regressive rightest. I didn't dislike or distrust his character, but his understanding of our Republic, and mine, we're vastly different.

After 9/11 I could see the need to reform or intelligence agencies, but I thought that the entire 'Homeland Security' agency, from name thru structure, was creepy as hell and an awful idea. Some of the policies that leaked out, wiretapping, I was leery of but willing to wait and see, thinking it was anonymous numeric data only, as advertised, but as it became clear that it was sucking in related contacts and identified user data, no, I opposed it.

John Lien said...

Hmmm, seems from what I have read of Locke, on your site mostly, he always seems to be itching for a fight.

Good post.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I think it's safe to say that John Locke hated tyranny. :)

Van Harvey said...

Yeah... might have had something to do with his boss being put to death by a tyrant. That'd wind me up too.

John said...

I see both as unconstitutional overreach. Sounds like you do, too.
I get weary of both left and right not being able to see how their own parties lie in order to get power. They either create or use a crisis, exaggerate it, and then seize more power to solve it.

Van Harvey said...

John, yep, that's about the size of it. There's very little that is done in Washington today that doesn't ride upon one overreach or another, and the last President who really tried to operate within the Constitution's boundaries was Coolidge.

This latest example is more glaring because of it being one branch, rather than all three walking on thin air, but the fact is that what they all get together on and agree to call 'laws', have little or no foundation in the constitution and in respect of our Individual Rights. The only real check there has been on the use of power since the 1930's, has been the perception of what the public would find acceptable without shocking their sensibilities overly much.

There's not a whole lot left today that people find shocking. We are the 'debased posterity' the Founders worried about, this from Jefferson is typical:

"...We believed that men, enjoying in ease and security the full fruits of their own industry, enlisted by all their interests on the side of law and order, habituated to think for themselves, and to follow their reason as their guide, would be more easily and safely governed, than with minds nourished in error, and vitiated and debased, as in Europe, by ignorance, indigence and oppression. ..."

They knew what would follow from a people who'd forgotten, or never been taught (Thanks schools!) the meaning of their Individual Rights and the need to think for themselves and have reverence for what was worthy, and scorn for what wasn't. Without that, it all falls apart; that it's taken this long is remarkable.