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Independence Day Meaning Thereof.. Madison

countryclubjoe

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Folks

Happy Independence Day!

Are we truly free, are we independent of our Government? You decide..

I look to Federalist Number 49, for our answer.

" The people are the only legitimate foundation of power, and it is from them that the Constitutional charter is derived.. " Government is and should be fully accountable to them for the actions which it supposedly takes on their behalf'.. ( James Madison, February 2nd 1785)..

While I enjoy the celebration of July 4th, I would also like to see September 17th, the day in the year of our Lord 1787, that our Great Document was ratified, Constitution Day, become a Holiday, or at the very least, a day of remembrance thereof..

In a time of, tax, license, permits, fees etc, where one surrenders a right for a government privilege, are we really free? Do we own ourself?

Your thoughts and opinions are most welcome.

Regards
CCJ
 

Citizen

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Folks

Happy Independence Day!

Are we truly free, are we independent of our Government? You decide..

I look to Federalist Number 49, for our answer.

" The people are the only legitimate foundation of power, and it is from them that the Constitutional charter is derived.. " Government is and should be fully accountable to them for the actions which it supposedly takes on their behalf'.. ( James Madison, February 2nd 1785)..

While I enjoy the celebration of July 4th, I would also like to see September 17th, the day in the year of our Lord 1787, that our Great Document was ratified, Constitution Day, become a Holiday, or at the very least, a day of remembrance thereof..

In a time of, tax, license, permits, fees etc, where one surrenders a right for a government privilege, are we really free? Do we own ourself?

Your thoughts and opinions are most welcome.

Regards

CCJ

There is no one here whose opinion and views I value more. Please do not take what I am about to say as invalidation.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Readers,

For an insightful analysis of the constitution, look up and read, "No Treason" by Lysander Spooner.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Late in life, John Adams said that the ideas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence were trite when Jefferson wrote them.

Oh, really?

How does something become trite (commonly known and overused)? Perhaps by being diffused throughout the culture? Repeated over and over because thought valuable?

"All men are created equal...John Locke included that idea as a foundational concept in his Second Treatise on Government in 1689. Some lucky fellow has in his possession a copy of an invoice for books bought and shipped from England to Thomas Jefferson. One of the books on the invoice is Second Treatise. Direct, documentary proof that Jefferson owned a copy of Locke's book written some 80 years years earlier. But, wait. Let's think about that for a moment. A book written 80 years eaerlier was still in print and available in 18th century England?

But, wait! There's more! John Locke wasn't the first. Hunt up the writings of a Richard Overton from the English Civil War. Near as I can tell he was the first in English history to write it.

The constitution either "gave us the government we have, or was powerless to prevent it." But, those first few phrases of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence contain an idea that has endured for centuries.

"To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Fireworks? Cook-outs? What could be a better way to celebrate and commemorate than to read it again this day?
 
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utbagpiper

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For many years I've made a point to read the Declaration of Independence on or about July 4th. Since having children, I've read it aloud to them. I suggest actually reading it aloud to yourself at some point. It was written to be read aloud. Copies were carried throughout the colonies and read aloud by town criers. In addition to expressing powerful, timeless principles, the Declaration of Independence is also beautiful poetry.

This thread reminds me of the importance of these passages:


"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, ... and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. ...

"The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

"He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

"He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

"He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

"He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

"He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.

"He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

"He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

"He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers...."


Several things stand out:

1-Governments are instituted among men to protect our rights.

2-Radical changes in the institutions and forms to which men are accustomed most often lead to tyranny, rather than relief of modest problems.

3-The first 8 major charges levied against King George all deal with him denying the colonists a functioning government. The denial of functioning government was listed in great detail before Jefferson listed the problems associated with an excess of government or a tyrannical government or of government officials abusing their authority.

Independence from England and King George was just the first step. The establishment of a well functioning government was an essential follow-on. The Articles of Confederation proved inadequate. The Constitution of the United States has proven to provide the best form of government ever established among mortal men. Sadly, it is not immune to the imperfections of the populace and we can damage our rights if we diverge from proper principles.

Happy Birthday USA.
 

color of law

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Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)
The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.
Bastiat also said:
If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right.
We have surely lost our way.
 

Citizen

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Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

Bastiat also said:

We have surely lost our way.

Or, it may have been taken from us by scum preying on our own aversion to confrontation and violence (remember that line in Declaration of Independence about experience showing people are disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable?).

Bear with me.

The last Ice Age ended about 12K years ago. At that time, the English Channel was dry land (lots of animal bones and some human artifacts dredged up from the English Channel by fisherman.) Archeologists have figured out that it took about 3500 years of melting ice to raise sea levels to the point you couldn't walk from Belgium to England.

Roll the clock forward to the Bronze Age and Late Iron Age.

Druids.

Lots of people, myself included for a long time, think of the Druids as pagan priests. Some were. More accurately, the Druids were the intellectual class of the Celtic society that lived in Britain and northwester Europe. You see, "celtic" was not originally a cultural term. It was a linguistic term referring to a bunch of related languages. Over time, I suppose, the term slid to apply to the people who spoke those related languages--northwestern Europe, including, Britain. The Druids, as the intellectual class, included the healers, the law sayers, the scholars, and the historians. Julius Caesar was sure the Gauls (France, Belguim, Netherlands) sent their druid rookies to Britain for training.

Roll the clock forward a little more. Roughly 73 AD. Commit this name to memory. Suetonius Paulinus. We keep track of some of history's worst offenders: Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler. Paulinus belongs on the list. You see, he was the Roman military governor of Britain. And, he was tired of a problem. The dammed Celts were resisting Roman rule. He figure out that it was the intellectual class--the Druids--who were telling the rest of the Celts to resist. So, he killed them. Yep. He chased the Druids to the Isle of Anglesey...and erased them.

Now, besides genocide, here was the problem. The Druids believed in keeping an oral history, not unlike several thousand years of Hindu tradition (The Vedic Hymns), and not unlike some Buddhist monasteries today. When bat rastard Paulinus killed the Druids he erased potentially several thousand years of oral history of the British Isles.

Roll the clock forward. Two British archeologists--Helen Geake and Francis Pryor--are on record suggesting that late Stone Age and Bronze Age England had consensual government.

Oh! Citizen! You are such a schmuck! A mere suggestion? No conclusive archeological proof?

Except the lack of conclusive proof--one way or the other--isn't my fault. That belongs to Suetonius Paulinus. Oh, wait! He worked for who? Government? No! Couldn't be.

So, we can argue this point all month--did we lose or way? Or, was it stolen from us?

This we do know for sure. In roughly 73 AD, a government employee--Suetonius Paulinus--erased possibly several thousand years of history, including the possibility that a society thrived under a loose, decentralizedsocietal structure based on influence and persuasion, not based on non-consensual force.
 
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utbagpiper

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This we do know for sure. In roughly 73 AD, a government employee--Suetonius Paulinus--erased possibly several thousand years of history, including the possibility that a society thrived under a loose, decentralizedsocietal structure based on influence and persuasion, not based on non-consensual force.

So your Utopian ideal, if it existed, was unable to protect itself against the first hostile group (Call that group a tribe, call it a gang, call it Communism, call it tyrannical non-consensual government. The nomenclature doesn't matter nearly so much as does the result.) that came along and decided to enslave everyone? And it did so in a day and age where the outcome of warfare was primarily a matter of man-on-man strength, expertise, and some strategy. What exactly is the ability of any merry little band to protect itself in a day of tanks, strategic bombers, and WMDs?

Yup. That is exactly the point I've raised repeatedly. Even if someone can get some loose association to function in some way better than our Constitutional Republic, all evidence is that such associations are doomed to enslavement by a stronger, more powerful hostile group. Hostile groups often enjoy the economic advantage of getting to enslave large groups of others and glutting on their labors.

Rarely have I seen such a sterling example of knowing so many facts and yet utterly failing to connect the obvious dots. Seeing beyond the mark some call it. Missing the forest for the trees is another term.

Utopian non-government would be grand...if only there were no hostile individuals or groups wanting to enslave utopianians. We could all stop packing around a pocket full of keys if only there no thieves. I will believe Utopian non-government has half a chance of surviving, when its adherents are able to walk around without feeling any need to carry a gun for self defense. So long as we feel a legitimate need to go about armed in our neighborhoods, it is foolhardy to think there are not groups in the world against whom a stronger defense is needed than can be mounted by a utopian non-government social order.

I do believe that proper federalism answers most of the legitimate concerns about current government in this nation. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach dictated by the Bos-Wash area, we'd have 50 States setting most laws in accordance with local culture. Within those States, individual cities and communities might have a lot autonomy. A rather short list of enumerated rights (religion, speech, press, RKBA, due process, right to vote, etc) would be protected and enforced nationwide. Everything else (market vs socialized medicine, zoning, speed limits, family law including marriage definitions and benefits, etc) would be handled at the local level.

Across the better part of a continent, with over 300 million residents, with hundreds of cities, thousands of small towns, and 50 States, any sane, sensible, civil man could surely find a community whose laws were agreeable to him and with whose people he could find common cause. Of course, there will also be that minority who are so disagreeable, contentious, and lacking in civility as to be unhappy anywhere.

There will also always be the criminals whose conduct must be restrained and punished.

Charles
 
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Jim675

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I don't think government is a question with a binary answer.

You may feel secure enough to make some small decisions for yourself, others with the help of BigGov. Many consumer electronics are marked approved by UL - a private organization paid to certify certain standards were met in manufacturing this product. Why not that same model for cars and planes? Are BigGov inspectors smarter or more ethical? I would posit that they are not. Bad actors can occur anywhere but private employees are much easier to punish or dismiss than public employees once malfeasance is detected.

Why not this same model for much more of what BigGov does? It requires no taxes, is self healing by the market when it goes astray, and generally does its job.

Perhaps dial BigGov from say a 7 back to a 5. If that improves life, try a 4. Who knows where that could lead? Perhaps all the way back to requiring an actual warrant, no standing army, no more asset forfeiture, etc.
 

utbagpiper

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I don't think government is a question with a binary answer.

You may feel secure enough to make some small decisions for yourself, others with the help of BigGov. Many consumer electronics are marked approved by UL - a private organization paid to certify certain standards were met in manufacturing this product. Why not that same model for cars and planes? Are BigGov inspectors smarter or more ethical? I would posit that they are not. Bad actors can occur anywhere but private employees are much easier to punish or dismiss than public employees once malfeasance is detected.

Why not this same model for much more of what BigGov does? It requires no taxes, is self healing by the market when it goes astray, and generally does its job.

Perhaps dial BigGov from say a 7 back to a 5. If that improves life, try a 4. Who knows where that could lead? Perhaps all the way back to requiring an actual warrant, no standing army, no more asset forfeiture, etc.

I fully agree. In most settings, I'm the smaller government, limited government, libertarian-leaning conservative. Only around here do I get labeled with the epithet of "statist" by a few anarchists.

Let me mirror something I heard Newt Gingrich say once: I don't want a weak government. I want a government of limited powers. When it comes to national defense, a strong, stable, honest currency, and dealing with international matters, I want a very strong government. I certainly don't want Obama to ever again get to bow and apologize to the rest of the world on my behalf. I want a strong government. In matters not delegated to the federal government, I don't want a weak government. I don't want "compromise". I want the federal government entirely out of those matters. These matters include health care, the fuel efficiency of my car, and what my State recognizes as and grants benefits to as a marriage. I certainly don't want any level of government infringing my enumerated rights to speak, worship, print, petition, keep and bear arms, access an attorney, or be secure in my person, papers, and effects.

True federalism solves a lot of these problems. Residents/citizens of the several States can decide how to order their society within the broad framework of the federal constitution.

A couple of legitimately federal matters probably ought to be formally delegated by Amendment rather than relying on the commerce clause: Regulation of air traffic (I'm glad things very rarely fall from airplanes an onto my home), regulation of radio emissions (radio waves do not recognize State boundaries), and some much reduced environmental protections (pollution spewed in Cali turns into acid rain in Massachusetts, What Utah puts into the Colorado river flows to Nevada and California). Proper delegation would limit the scope of these areas to protect against the insanity of the EPA shutting down highway construction or the FCC making a felony of radio waves too weak to be picked up off your own property, while still allowing proper federal regulation of what are legitimate nationwide matters.

I'm very much in favor of reducing a whole lot of federal over-reach, while extending proper federal protection and enforcement of the enumerated RKBA.

But the bottom line is, unlike some, I'm not hostile to government. I recognize the need for government ("If men were angels there would be no need for government", but there are too many non-angels among us) and believe the US Constitution has created the best government possible among mortal men.
 

color of law

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utbagpiper, what you are describing is a limited federal government. That kind of rings a bell. I believe Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1, also known as the Comity Clause was intended to limit the federal government, Privileges and Immunities Clause. The Privileges and Immunities Clause says that a citizen of one state is entitled to the privileges in another state. This clause protects your right to move from state to state or choose to live in any state you choose. If you don't like the laws in one state you can move to another state. Taxation was a big reason for this clause. The feds are limited in their tower to tax. Even so, the lower courts has thrown that out the window. Cordell Hull made it clear that the inheritance tax was reserved to the states and the feds had no power to tax inheritances. He then turned around and got the feds to pass an inheritance tax. Go figure. Rockefellers, Fords, Vanderbilts and many other rich moved from state to state to avoid state inheritance taxes because there were no federal inheritance taxes. Just say'n......
 

utbagpiper

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utbagpiper, what you are describing is a limited federal government. ..

Yup.

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

It is easy to think of this in terms of church attendance and sexual conduct. I don't want to dismiss those.

But I do want to point out that the "Big 10" talk about not coveting, stealing, or bearing false witness. Elsewhere, the Bible requires that even slaves be treated with some minimum level of decency and that workers be paid a just wage. Jesus taught the Golden Rule, to love our fellow men as we love ourselves.

Now, consider on how much of federal over-reach boils down to someone coveting and using government to steal what others have. How much requires office holders (at State and federal levels) to violate their oaths of office? How much of the righteous demand for federal intervention came because of the evil of slavery and the subsequent gross mistreatment of black citizens? How much because employers grossly mistreated employees? How much because certain businesses put profits above the health and welfare of their customers?

It is easy to point to "the government" as some foreign entity. This is especially true for those living in the Mountain time zone where DC is far away, yet exerts tremendous control over us as the feds own nearly 70% of our land in Utah.

But the reality is, "the government" is merely the collection of ourselves and our neighbors. The federal government has exceeded its proper power not just because we (collectively, not individually) have allowed it to, but in many cases demanded that it do so. Sometimes these demands come because someone is coveting what someone else has. Sometimes it is in response to a perceived wrong being inflicted on some weak or unpopular minority. But I think in most cases it boils down to our citizens, collectively failing to live up to the standard that Adams suggested is necessary for our constitution to work well.

Charles
 

color of law

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As long as the republicans keep kowtowing to the progressives we will never turn this ship. A good example is the many states where the republicans control both houses and governorship will not control their state universities or colleges. Texas allows conceal carry, but no knives. Ohio refuse to control their universities. What's the term? Oh yes, RINO. They have no intention to support the U.S. constitution or their state constitution.
 

countryclubjoe

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Moving forward, some quotes on Government...

Now, how can we apply said quotes, with 21st Century American Government?

" No Government can be maintained without the principle of fear as well as of duty. Good man will obey the last. But bad man the former only' Thomas Jefferson

" Government even in its best state, is but a necessary evil, in its worst state, an intolerable one'.. Thomas Paine

"Governments do not restrain themselves, Governments do not keep people free. The people must restrain their Governments. The people must preserve their freedoms.' T.J. Martinell

" I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better Government".. Henry David Thoreau.

" The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its Government".. Thomas Paine

______________________________

The problem in 21st Century America, is that we have too few Patriots, and many Statist, said Statist believe, in licensing, and permits, and miscellaneous fees.

When we let Government into our life, rights slowly become government issued privileges...

The great Patriots of 18th century America, fought against Taxes, we need 21st Century American Patriots, to stand up against, fees, and permits and licensing etc..

Fee's, permits, licensing etc is simply a de facto term for a tax... When a right is taxed, it becomes a government issued privilege..

The power to tax, is the power to destroy.. Justice John Marshall..

" Men should not petition for rights, but take them'.. Thomas Paine..

'" No contract with the Government is needed to exercise a Natural God given right or Constitutional right" CCJ

This last and final quote from Mr. Thomas Jefferson, while quite simple in 18th Century America, is actual more apropos in 21st Century America, however we need brave Patriots to enforce our great Constitution and the Supreme Laws of the Land thereof, " Bind down the public officials with the chains of the Constitution" Thomas Jefferson

Mr.Jefferson meant, hold Government accountable, do not surrender Rights for a mere privilege.. Do not pay for a Right. Do not blindly out of fear or ignorance, contract with the Government.. Rights are inherited from the Creator, Privileges are bestowed from Masters..

All patriots, know and keep their rights, they do not rely on Government for the issue thereof..

My .02
Regards
CCJ
 
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utbagpiper

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As long as the republicans keep kowtowing to the progressives we will never turn this ship. A good example is the many states where the republicans control both houses and governorship will not control their state universities or colleges. Texas allows conceal carry, but no knives. Ohio refuse to control their universities. What's the term? Oh yes, RINO. They have no intention to support the U.S. constitution or their state constitution.

Again, you're blaming an external group: "RINOs". These folks don't elect themselves to office.

I realize in some cases the electorate is faced with the choice of the evil of two lessors. But most often our election system works to reflect majority will. Gerrymandering can amplify a majority's voice while reducing the voice of a minority. Sometimes weird things come into play in any given election (Perot running for president). But by and large, elections in this nation tend to reflect majority will. This is very hard for anyone in the minority to accept. Whether it is a conservative/constitutional minority in a liberal area, or a liberal minority in a conservative area doesn't much matter. Minorities are loathe to admit their minority status. My awakening was when I ran for the legislature 16 years ago and was confronted by the harsh reality that many of the grassroots GOP delegates in my area were far less conservative (more liberal) than I was. They simply didn't care about the platform of the party. Many of these folks are fairly described as anti-abortion Democrats. I visited with enough of these persons that my convention loss to a more moderate candidate wasn't really a surprise by the time we got to convention. He was a good man who generally did the right thing. He just wasn't as hard core as I am in some conservative areas.

In Utah we really have three parties: The ultra-left Democrats, the RINO Republicans, and the conservative Republicans. Turns out the last two parties caucus together and appear on the ballot under the same "Republican" moniker. But there is a clear divide. The latter two parties form a super majority in name. In terms of policy, however, we get a lot of moderate to left of center policies enacted. Frankly, in most cases, these policies not only reflect Utah's culture, but also work very well for us. In some cases, it means making the kind of progress I'd like on RKBA is more difficult than I'd like it to be.

In most cases I don't think Republicans are kowtowing nearly so much as they are reasonably well representing the desires of those who elected them. There are exceptions, of course. We've all seen the race where a candidate claims to be one thing during the election and then votes very differently once in office. This is more common the higher one goes up the political chain. Presidential candidates most all run to the edges for the nomination and then run to the center for the general election.

Bottom line, it has less to do with office holders, or parties, or factions within parties, than it does with us and our neighbors. Some neighbors are near by, others farther away.

But time and again, as I visit with voters I'm grateful we don't actually get the government we deserve.

Re-taking local control of education--getting both DC and the Teachers' Union out of power--is crucial to long term success and I think even to long term preservation of functioning families. Backpack funding (aka voucher) for private schools is great if you can get it. Charter Schools controlled by a board of parents rather than beholden to elected school boards who have to negotiate with the Unions and cater to a lot of folks without kids are a very achievable goal. Regardless of which school a child attends, parents have got to be fully involved. If we can't raise our children and grandchildren with correct values, how can ever hope to influence neighbors and strangers? We need to be involved civically as well as politically. A whole lot of kids are in dire need of good Scoutmasters and coaches, Sunday School teachers and someone who will pay them to mow a lawn while teaching them what it means to do the job right.

Charles
 

utbagpiper

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Mr.Jefferson meant, hold Government accountable, do not surrender Rights for a mere privilege.. Do not pay for a Right. Do not blindly out of fear or ignorance, contract with the Government.. Rights are inherited from the Creator, Privileges are bestowed from Masters..

All patriots, know and keep their rights, they do not rely on Government for the issue thereof..

And yet you've repeatedly declined to provide any actionable education on how one might follow in your self-proclaimed, highly successful footsteps of avoiding these contracts with government.

Inability to teach? Selfishness in not sharing what you've learned? Or less real success than you claim?
 
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Citizen

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Moving forward, some quotes on Government...

Now, how can we apply said quotes, with 21st Century American Government?

" No Government can be maintained without the principle of fear as well as of duty. Good man will obey the last. But bad man the former only' Thomas Jefferson

" Government even in its best state, is but a necessary evil, in its worst state, an intolerable one'.. Thomas Paine

"Governments do not restrain themselves, Governments do not keep people free. The people must restrain their Governments. The people must preserve their freedoms.' T.J. Martinell

" I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better Government".. Henry David Thoreau.

" The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its Government".. Thomas Paine

______________________________

The problem in 21st Century America, is that we have too few Patriots, and many Statist, said Statist believe, in licensing, and permits, and miscellaneous fees.

When we let Government into our life, rights slowly become government issued privileges...

The great Patriots of 18th century America, fought against Taxes, we need 21st Century American Patriots, to stand up against, fees, and permits and licensing etc..

Fee's, permits, licensing etc is simply a de facto term for a tax... When a right is taxed, it becomes a government issued privilege..

The power to tax, is the power to destroy.. Justice John Marshall..

" Men should not petition for rights, but take them'.. Thomas Paine..

'" No contract with the Government is needed to exercise a Natural God given right or Constitutional right" CCJ

This last and final quote from Mr. Thomas Jefferson, while quite simple in 18th Century America, is actual more apropos in 21st Century America, however we need brave Patriots to enforce our great Constitution and the Supreme Laws of the Land thereof, " Bind down the public officials with the chains of the Constitution" Thomas Jefferson

Mr.Jefferson meant, hold Government accountable, do not surrender Rights for a mere privilege.. Do not pay for a Right. Do not blindly out of fear or ignorance, contract with the Government.. Rights are inherited from the Creator, Privileges are bestowed from Masters..

All patriots, know and keep their rights, they do not rely on Government for the issue thereof..

My .02
Regards
CCJ

Oh, my.

Every once in a while, even + 1[SUP]23[/SUP] is inadequate.

Every once in a while, a fella needs a smiley with a head bowed in respect.
 

OC for ME

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The courts hold sway over the people and our individual liberty. When the legislative branch is populated with those who will hold the courts accountable to the precepts of the federal constitution, as it is plainly written, only then will individual liberty be restored to the people. There is no greater tyranny than a judge who is given a free hand.
 
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