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February 2017 Policy Study, Number 17-2


A Commentary on the American Founding


Part 7



The internal objection takes a different shape.  In the prior discussion, we were working from the vantage point of the central government and looking at objects of intrusion that abide outside the country as a whole.  Here we will be dealing with the relationship that exists between the central government and the sovereign states and the people thereof.  In this instance, the central government becomes the entity of foreign nature.  Earlier, you were informed that governments behaved in the manner of corporate bodies.  Unfortunately, most people mistakenly believe that the central government’s relationship to the sovereign state is much like General Motors is to it subsidiary, Chevrolet.  At that period of time, the states were an independent and unruly lot, in no mood for this type of an arrangement, and it is quite unlikely the Constitution would have ever been ratified if that were the case.


The relationship was to bear much more of a resemblance to that of IBM and Microsoft:  in the same basic industry; working in concert when it served their needs; not necessarily direct competitors, but still competitive; and, because of the circumstances, not entirely independent.  Not in the sense of monopoly, but more like the American and National Leagues are dependent on one another for the World Series — reliant on each other for mutual success, but very independent just the same.  The relationship has changed.  The central government has spread its jurisdiction over the domain of the sovereign states in areas from speed limits to the control of firearms, which our Founders would have found intolerable.  While the subjects mentioned might be fit subjects for government legislation, we allow that government to be a central, rather than a federal, government only at our peril.  Today, our elected officials at the national level have come to believe it is within their purview to legislate upon all manner of things.  It just isn’t so.  Their jurisdiction, though they pay little heed, is constitutionally limited.


For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: — For protecting them, by
a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on
the Inhabitants of these States . . .  (Declaration of Independence).


The thought here is not on the military, but rather on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF), Strategic Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) squads, etc.  These may have some legitimacy, but I must confess to some concern about their employment.  The Randy Weaver incident at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and the Branch Dividians at Waco, Texas, are particularly troubling.  One needn’t espouse their particular causes to question whether justice was done in these situations.  The Declaration continues:  “For imposing taxes on us without our consent.”


You may believe that today we have no problem in the area of “consent” to taxes.  But I ask you:  can you truly consent to a proposition of which you do not have an adequate understanding?  Our current tax system is constructed in such a manner as to obfuscate the true tax liability imposed on each of us.  The great majority of people in this country haven’t a clue as to the tax burden that falls on them.  The tax withholding from your paycheck doesn’t begin to cover that liability.  The Declaration continues:  “For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury.”


Once again you may perceive no problem in this area.  The truth is otherwise.  In our current legal system, the jury is erroneously deterred by attorneys and judges from utilizing its right of discretion in the application of justice.  More often than not, this is the case today, and the trial by a jury of your peers has become a charade and a sham;  it is less than effective in protecting you from the whims of the “mutable” government alluded to by James Madison a few pages earlier.  The Declaration continues:


For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring (sic) Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies. 


We have all but lost our access to “the free System of English Laws” our Founders so highly prized.  Without our attention being much drawn to the fact, we have been almost weaned away from the protective embrace of the Common Law.  Today, we fall under the dominance of the legal profession and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which is contract or equity law.  It is based on the old Roman civil law under which you were guilty until you proved yourself innocent.  This has fundamentally altered our form of law, and consequently it has fundamentally altered our form of government. 


With Common Law, we would be under a tort system.  A “tort” is a harm or a wrong.  You wrong your neighbor, and he has recourse; it’s incumbent upon you to make him whole again.  In other words, you must right the wrong.  Under equity law, you have a contract and, more often than not, it is with the government, not your neighbor.  The contract may have nothing at all to do with the Laws of Nature.  One of the most egregious aspects of this is that the contract can be preemptive in nature.  That is, you might harm your neighbor; thus your “crime” then becomes you might commit a crime.  An example would be the seat belt laws.  You might be involved in an accident, and because you are injured more severely than you would have been if you were wearing a seat belt, you become some a burden to the state.  Your neighbor supports the state through his taxes; you injure him because his taxes are now higher.  Ergo, you violate the contract and commit a crime.  Though this may sound like justice, you should remember this:  it was not you that made your neighbor involuntarily responsible for a portion of your medical bills.  It was a prior determination on the part of the state that made him so.


Today the “neighboring province” is the District of Columbia.  It is not a state and is entirely under the control of Congress.  Though they have not enlarged it in the physical, geographic sense, it is beyond question that they have enlarged their scope of power and direct control of “we the people.”  As they have fundamentally altered our original form of government, the abridgment of the jury’s prerogative to judge the law itself and the right to Common Law are both noxious and repugnant to the Constitution and to our continued liberty. 


For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Government: – For suspending our own Legislature, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.  (Declaration of Independence).


If you are waiting for outward manifestations of these breaches of faith, you wait in vain.  They are covert, not overt.  With the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment, there is effectively little representation in Washington for the sovereign state.  For all practical purposes, the central government in the neighboring province is free “to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.”  Indeed, what matter is it, however small, that the central government doesn’t intrude upon at the state level, if not lower?  With no representation for the sovereign state (Seventeenth Amendment), under cover of the “supreme law of the land” (treaty laws found in Article VI), the “general welfare” of the Preamble to the Constitution, and the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8) of the same, they work their mischief. 


In every state of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms:  Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. . . We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. . . we have conjured [called upon] them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations.  (Declaration of Independence).




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