Philosophy, Power and Usurpation
In 1607 Jamestown was established as the first permanent colony in the New World. What few people know is that the original charter called for establishing the colony as a sort of communal experiment where there would be no property rights, no independent commerce, no capitalism per se. Within 2 years more than half the colonists had died. It was an early experiment in social engineering patterned as a forerunner of the modern day communist model. It was a complete and utter failure, a bust, a disaster that almost brought down the entire colony. The colonists had learned their lesson and made adjustments, to survive.
In 1620 the Plymouth Plantation was established by William Bradford again using a communal social model similar to the failed experiment in Jamestown. William Bradford took meticulous notes now known as History of Plymouth Plantation and later compiled in the book Of Plymouth Plantation. The book is quite a difficult read for modern day man. Most modern Americans just do not have the reading ability and/or intelligent faculties to comprehend such a book. I am not necessarily recommending the book as I myself have not yet reached to ability to consume such an enterprise. I was like most of you, educated in government schools. That aside it is obvious Bradford was very thorough in his assessment of the experiment. Bradford had similar results as John Smith in Jamestown noting that even with the loyalty of God and religion he was not able to motivate the people to do for each other what they would do for themselves. Bradford abandoned the experiment, to survive.
A book I do recommend is The 5000 Year Leap. This book unlike Of Plymouth Plantation is at least written in modern American English. It does the best job I’ve ever seen in laying out the historical birth of our nation and the meaning of a “Divine providence”. Most people are capable of ferreting out fact from fiction if they have a sound reading background. I know that everything in this book is true and real. It is the real American story. I consider this book to be the greatest book ever written on the subject. President Reagan said, “The 5000 Year Leap should be required reading for every student in America.” I agree. It tells the story of America like you’ve never heard if like me you are a product of government education. This book along with another, Original Intent by David Barton I believe encapsulate and embody the meaning of the birth of our nation. I highly recommend the reading of these two books if you are at all curious about the truth. Neither book is of an author of the original documents, but both have that foundation and are much more palatable to our modern understanding.
Today the teaching of history and philosophy in America’s classroom is rapidly being eliminated. I believe this has been the long shared goal of progressives for years. First, they simply attempted and succeeded in changing the story. Once any mention of God or any supreme being was eliminated it censored vast amounts of history in text books leaving holes in the accounts that were hard to explain away. The modern history book simply did not attempt to explain these holes. The next logical step for the progressive government education administrator was simply to eliminate the subject altogether and forever censure the minds of our youth. That would clear a path for the fertile indoctrination of the progressive agenda. They have been largely successful in their strategic goal. The subject is covered in many books and thoroughly documented under titles such as Dumbing Down America, The Death of Common Sense and others. America, just go read something! But I digress.
Now, let’s get back to our story.
Colonists growing tired and weary of tyranny fought and won their liberty, this we all know. The leaders of their day were extremely well read and generally well educated, this we do not generally know. We know the names of these people, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin. But have you ever heard of George Mason or Fisher Ames? George Mason is considered by historians to be the “Father of the Bill of Rights” and Fisher Ames helped Mason frame the First Amendment. Why were these men left out of history books? Thomas Jefferson gets most of the credit for many of the accomplishments that were really crafted by people like Mason and Ames. Why? Are the history books wrong? In some cases, I would say sadly, yes, but generally history books are not written by historians. They are written by authors and contributors with a political agenda. This is why one must read the original documents or something close to it to get at the truth. I suspect the motive behind the duplicitous behavior of those with historical revisionism in mind comes from the fact that Mason and Ames were very religious men. Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand is famously known as agnostic amongst many within our elitist academic culture. This is also false. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were probably two of the least overt religious followers but neither were atheist or agnostic by a long shot. Thomas Jefferson actually authored a book entitled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, a subject of which is obviously enshrined in the title. Jefferson authored many bills that strengthened protection for religious rights including, A Bill for Punishing Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers, A Bill Annulling Marriages Prohibited by the Levitical Law and Appointing the Mode of Solemnizing Lawful Marriage, and A Bill for Appointing Days of Public Fasting and Thanksgiving. James Madison offered numerous Presidential proclamations for national days of prayer, fasting and thanksgiving. Jefferson refused to do so on the grounds he believed these functions are better left to the states, hence the popular belief Jefferson was anti-religious. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it would be a challenge to anyone who could come up with a ‘Founding Father’ who was hostile to religion in general. It just didn’t happen.
So what did the founders intend for us and why are these truths no longer self evident? The founders intended a system of LIMITED government. You find evidence of that obvious fact in the Bill of Rights. Why did they believe it necessary for a Bill of Rights? Well, actually the Bill of Rights were not included in the original document as most of the original authors of the Constitution believed it was spelled out clearly enough without listing each right. But pragmatism won out over ideals and the first ten rights were listed. The Tenth Amendment is probably the most beaten down right of all as it is clear evidence the founders intended all powers not specifically listed and given to the Federal government were reserved to the states and the people. If not true why else have such an amendment? This is why progressives have sought to tear down the Tenth Amendment first. Read it. It means what it says. Is there any right given to the Federal government to impose a national health care standard on the people for example? Of course not. The states may have that right, but the Feds do not, that is clear.
After having lived under the King of England’s vision of ‘Ruler’s Law’, a derivation of Roman Civil Law, the founders were explicit that all law must derive from the ‘Consent of the People’, hence ‘People’s Law’, a derivation of English Common Law. Under ‘People’s Law’ no lawmaker has any more power to rule over another citizen than does any other citizen. The only exceptions to this rule would be spelled out and ‘listed’ in the Constitution. It is and they are. Anything above and beyond the plenary powers imbued by the Constitution would be considered an ‘Usurpation of Powers’ by the people and should be opposed by the people even by the point of the gun if necessary. This is what the founders believed.
So how is all this to be applied by the people? Here is a simple way to know when your federal government has overstepped their bounds. I call it the ‘6-20-10 Rule’. The ‘6-20-10 Rule’ is just the name I’m giving it but spells out the powers of the Executive, the Congress and the Judiciary respectively. These are not all explicitly listed in the Constitution as some are implicitly taken but are generally accepted and unlikely to ever change without new Constitution amendments. I have a problem with a couple of them but will accept for pragmatic argument’s sake: Here they are in abbreviated form:
- Chief of state charged with carrying out the laws of the land
- Commander in chief of the military
- Chief executive officer of the executive branch
- Chief diplomat in handling foreign affairs
- Chief architect for legislation
- Power to grant pardons and reprieves
- To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises and to pay debts, provide for the common defense and general welfare
- To borrow money
- To regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states and with the Indian tribes
- To establish a uniform rule of naturalization and uniform laws for bankruptcies
- To coin money, regulate it’s value and that of foreign coin and fix the standard of weights and measures
- To establish post offices and post roads
- To promote the progress of science and arts by securing limited times and exclusive rights for authors and inventors
- To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court
- To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and offenses against the law of nations
- To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal and make rules for captures
- To raise and support armies for which no appropriation of money to that use shall be for longer than two years
- To provide and maintain a Navy
- To make rules for the regulation of the land and naval forces
- To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions
- To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia
- To exercise exclusive legislation over the District of Columbia and authority over all places by consent of the state legislatures for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards and other needful buildings
- To make all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the foregoing powers and all laws vested by the Constitution
- To admit new states into the Union
- To dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory of other property belonging to the United States
and 1 added power embodied in Amendment XVI
20. To lay and collect taxes on incomes
- Cases involving the meaning or application of the Constitution
- Cases arising under the laws passed by Congress
- Cases involving disputes between the United Stated and foreign powers
- Cases affecting ambassadors or other officials of foreign governments
- Cases relating to the admiralty or maritime problems
- Cases in which the United States is a party
- Disputes between two or more states
- Disputes between citizens of different states
- Disputes between citizens of the same state over claims or land grants in different states
- Cases involving suits between a state or citizen of a state and a foreign government or citizen of a foreign government
and 1 power repealed by the 11th Amendment
Disputes in which the citizen of one state sues another state
Any power, act or order by any of the three federal branches of government outside of the ‘6-20-10 Rule’ is an usurpation of power and must be opposed by the people and/or their state representatives.
Analyzing the list which branch do you think is more powerful? Clearly with the breadth and depth of enumerated powers I believe the Legislative Branch should be the most powerful. But I was taught in our government schools about the ‘Balance of Power’ and ‘Co-equal Branches’, etc. I now believe I was taught wrong. It looks like the Executive Branch should be the next most powerful and the Judicial is last. What is the true pecking order today in my opinion?
The Federal Courts according to the Constitution appear to be the most limited of the three branches deriving their powers primarily to hear cases between and amongst the states and cases concerning foreign governments. But where is it today? We have seen a single Federal District Judge shut down all of Congress and/or the President, even preempting and taking over national security without access to security data. The Federal Courts receive the largest part of their power in the form of Constitutional judicial review. This has evolved into a broad and expansive power that has far eclipsed it’s intended application according to the Constitution. Where in the Constitution does it grant the federal courts the power to lay taxes, create new legislation, confiscate property or give orders to any citizen without due process? Over time judges have assumed certain powers of all three branches of government, having not properly limited themselves to judicial proceedings. Judges are probably the biggest offenders and usurpers of their proper function and deserve our utmost attention. We must acknowledge that the unelected Federal Judicial Branch contains individuals that can and have made law, enforced law and ruled on the other branches’ laws, even ruling on their own enacted laws. The Supreme Court has been asked and has complied with requests to rule on “policy issues” clearly a function of Congress and the Executive branch, not the Court. Prime examples we all recognize of course is Roe v. Wade in 1973 declaring abortion the “Law of the Land” thereby preempting both Congress, the Executive and the States from exercising their proper role. The clearest example of this technique to date was Obergefell v. Hodges in 2014 declaring “marriage equality” for all. These cases are the clearest examples of judicial usurpation since the only arguments that can be manufactured are not even “inferred rights” from the Constitution but rights created based upon the Court’s collective personal views. They will argue things like “equal protection” hold sway when in fact the ‘Equal Protection Clause’ was designed to force the states to protect its citizens with “the equal protection of the laws” enacted in their state. The Court here ‘created’ a new law and essentially directed each state to write new laws in accordance with their unwritten one. The courts should not even be hearing cases rooted in state and local policy provided they were duly passed by the states.
So how did we get here? You will find no explicit reference in the Constitution about anything resembling ‘Judicial review’. Judicial review I believe began in 1803 when the Marshall Court took it upon themselves in a case Marbury vs Madison. The case is not as important as the taking of power in effect declaring the Court to be the ‘Supreme rule’ in cases to include Constitutional law. Even though the Constitution is silent on this the Court inferred the power of judicial review upon itself by virtue of the judicial structure as described in the Constitution. But the Constitution only says there shall be one Supreme Court and does not even specify how many judges although again inferring there shall be at least one or arguably two since it does mention a Chief Justice. The Judicial branch has assumed its position as the most powerful branch using the concept of ‘stare decisis’, the ever increasing entropy of power abrogated from precedence and because we simply haven’t had a Congress and Executive branch willing to curtail their incursions.
It is clear to me at least the Executive branch is the second most powerful branch as it has evolved today. Presidents cannot declare and execute war on their own, although they have. The president has no power to order regulations of any kind or abrogate those powers to a self-appointed czar, although again they have. He has no power to make and execute orders to anyone outside the executive branch, although he has. Presidents tend to take powers they do not have. We see many examples of that but what about the power they are charged with, like Executive edict #1, to carry out the laws of the land. President Obama had his Attorney General flatly issue a directive to refuse to carry out the provisions of the “American Defense of Marriage Act”. It is expressly forbidden and illegal for a president to ignore a law just because he does not like it and is an act worthy of impeachment. It could be argued that the “American Defense of Marriage Act” is unconstitutional for its usurpation of the 10th Amendment but certainly the Executive branch must not unilaterally make their own law then lobby the Judicial branch to go along. How many Presidents have ignored the “War Powers Act”? Until such time as it is declared unconstitutional the law must be followed. How such laws are declared unconstitutional is open to debate, I concede, but I have already established the power of Judicial Review until such time we can retake that power in some form.
Congress is more powerful according to the Constitution but look at Legislative edict #3. This is where all three branches of government teamed up in 1943 to usurp power from the people. I wrote about this in Capitalism and the Courts last year. FDR threatened to pack the Supreme Court to rule that Congress has the power to regulate almost anything. But the Constitution specifically limits the regulation of commerce AMONG the several states. This is where history becomes very important to understand the background, motivation and derivation of this power. This power was constructed by the founders to allow the federal government the ability to regulate commerce to the extent that all states had equal access and that no state shall lay duties or impose tariffs on another, a problem of it’s time under the Articles of Confederation. They also gave power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and the Indians. Where do you think Obamacare falls here? Nowhere is it mentioned that Congress, the President or the Courts have any power to regulate anything on the citizen level or for that matter the state level unless it is to ensure equal footing amongst the states. We all understand the word AMONG don’t we? It does not say WITHIN. The usurpation of power encapsulated in the evolved form of the ‘Commerce Clause’ as it is known is in my opinion the most serious of all. Where Congress should be exercising their power they have instead abrogated to the Treasury or the Federal Reserve giving them power to borrow and to set the value of our currency. The Treasury department is not even under Congress but part of the Executive branch. The Fed (short notation for the Federal Reserve) is not part of either. The Fed is technically an independent corporation not answerable to Congress, the President or the federal courts. Congress does not have the power to create another congress, which is really what they have done in creating the Fed, but worse because there are no checks and balances applied to the Fed, no veto power over their actions and not even any transparency evidenced by the on-going efforts of certain legislators inability to see the books.
So where do we go from here and how can we change and hope for a better future? First, we must educate ourselves and others. Second, we must organize amongst like-thinking individuals and devise plans to overthrow the denigrative agendas from within our current governments. Third, we must repeal and replace those who seek to bring us down bringing forth those who wish to restore the nation to it’s rightful roots. And fourth, we must maintain everlasting vigilance. Does this not sound a whole lot like what the ‘Founding Fathers’ did to create a ‘More perfect union’? Alas, history must repeat itself once again.