The Liberty Manifesto
When In the course of human events, as Freedoms and Liberties are being denied by arduous laws, the people must decide wheather to continue living in Tyranny, or to dissolve the political bonds which bind them in slavery! History has proven time and time again that Tyranny and Despotism are the rule and Freedom and Liberty is the rarest of exceptions. Our founding fathers knew just how rare and precious Liberty is! So when the crown of England over many decades usurped the Liberty of the colonists, they were forced to either fight for their Freedom, or remain the slaves of a dictator. Two hundred thirty plus years later, we are again facing the same dilema. Only this time our Liberties are being assaulted by the very government our founding fathers fought to create! It appears the people of America are no longer concerned about the loss of Liberty and more concerned about the mundane and the intrique of fantasy!
It is clear that in times of crises, real or imagined, the people are far too willing to throw away essential Liberty for the false sense of security! Ever since the beginning of our republic, Americans have been far too willing to throw away their birthright. In the presidency of John Adams, our Freedoms and Liberties were threatened by the the Alien and Sedition acts! The first act made it illegal for people of certain nationalities including French to live in America, even if they were previously here legally! The fear was the French living in America would begin to commit acts of violence against the people of America and the government. All because we were in a skirmish with the nation of France at the time! The Second act prohibited the exercise of free speech if that speech was of concern or in condemnation of the President, his administration, or to a lesser extent the Congress! Many in the Congress as well as the president were concerned that if Americans began to criticize the government, it would lead to riots, breaches of the peace, and possibly a coup!
In the Civil War, president Abraham Lincoln in effect decreed that any magazines, newspapers or pamplets criticizing him or the war would be confiscated and the persons involved, arrested! Also anyone speaking out against the war and his administration would be subject to the same punishment! Again, people were arrested and detained for the rest of the war for exercising their first amendment rights! During the second world war, Japaneese Americans were forced into detention camps, for their protection of course. President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment with Executive Order 9066, issued February 19, 1942, which allowed local military commanders to designate "military areas" as "exclusion zones," from which "any or all persons may be excluded." These American citizens were denied due process, denied counsel and denied trial by jury of their peers! These people were U.S. citizens and were not accused of any crime, but were unfortunately of Japaneese decent. That was the only reason given for their detention. The consensus was these people would be tempted to commit acts of treason against the United States and initiate acts of terrorism in response to our war with Japan! All done without the consent or approval of Congress!
There are many more examples of the government using unjust and unconstitutional power to force Americans into obediance! But one of the gravest breaches of Constitutional rights in living memory was the Patriot act of 2001! Shortly after the worst terrorist act in America, Congress in one fell swoop forever changed the landscape of government authority! The president George W. Bush promptly signed the bill into law. The patriot act is the most deceiving name ever thought by the mind of Man! It assumes that if you do not agree with the provisions of the law, you are not a patriot! Any real Patriot would find this law repugnant. The Patriot Act for all intents and purposes repeals the first and fourth amendments! It gives government authorities including the F.B.I and the A.T.F. the power to write their own search warrant while they are literally breaking down your door! Before the passage of the patriot act if the authorities suspected you of a crime, they had to go before a judge, declare their reason for wanting to search you or your possessions, and provide sufficient evidence of your guilt to warrant the search. Now, if you or your possessions are searched, the authorities need only write a warrant on the scene and thus violates your fourth amendment of no unreasonable searches or seazures! All warrants must be issued by an unbiased judge! This law also can violate your first amendment right of free speech. There was a case where a Librarian was handed a self written search warrant by an F.B.A. agent. They demanded a list of all the books their subject had been checking out. The Librarian was also told not to mention anything about the warrant or they would be prosecuted! Later the librarian did tell a lawyer and ended up being arrested! Does this sound like the Land of the Free to you?
The latest threat to our Constitution and our Liberties is the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act! The NDAA amends several existing laws on the books. Because of the way it is written, it is practically impossible for average Americans to determine just how abominable it is and how it threatens our Freedoms! For the most part, it deals with the military and how it operates and its appropriations. But a few amendments included in this bill authorizes the president and his administration to indefinitely detain certain persons. It is assumed that this new power would only be used to detain terrorists and persons involved in treason. As we have seen through our history, such power never remains as innocent as initial assumptions suggests! Eventually, this law could be used to detain American citizens for speaking their minds if their speech is of concern or condemnation of the government!
Perhaps you are thinking I am over exaggerating and things are not as bad as I portray them to be. If so ask yourself this. When was the last time you didn't pay your income tax? I forget, most of you have your Income tax deducted from your paycheck before you ever see one penny of your money! Now try to grasp that for a second! The Federal government actually takes your money before you even get it! This suggests the government believes your money is theirs, that they OWN it. They keep what they think you will tolerate, and then lets you keep a percentage! This has the unfortunate consequence that if they own your money, they also own your labor and you as well! Article one section nine clause four of the U.S. Constitution originally stated the Federal government could not impose capitation or other direct tax unless it was "in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration". This meant the government could not have one state or one group of persons paying a higher or lower rate of tax than the other. Even though this clause does allow for a direct or capitation tax, it is not the same as the income tax we pay now, nor the mode by which it is collected!
Still not convinced? When was the last time you failed to pay your property tax? Unless you were unable to pay, I would guess never. What would happen if you did fail to pay the tax? Right, your property would be seized and sold to the highest bidder! So in effect, you do not really "own" your property at all, the government levying the tax does! For all intents and purposes you are just paying rent money to the Landlord! Now some will bark and say the fact they have a deed to the property proves they own it. If you feel that way, then stop paying your landlord and find out just how much you really "owned" that property! If the government can take your property away for lack of payment, then you really never owned anything but the debt you owed to "acquire" it. While property taxes is a state or local tax, it is still an unjust one. Some may say the tax is not as burdensome or as expensive as the income tax. That may very well be, but it does not diminish the certainty that it is a tax which destroys your Freedom!
Another prime example of our collective loss of Liberty is the Transportation Security Administration or TSA. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, we as airline travelers have been forced to accept the loss of certain Liberties for the false sense of security! In the last several years, travelers at airports have been subjected to full body scans which invade their privacy, as well as "pat downs" which is nothing more than an illegal search of persons without warrant! It appears the TSA presumes that everyone in the airport is a terrorist and are guilty of some crime! The government justifies this by saying it is for our protection. If the U.S. government were not meddling in the domestic affairs of foreign countries, perhaps 9/11 would not have happened! In any case, armed Air Marshals and bullet resistant cabin doors would be all the "protection" we would need for safe air travel! Many will say the TSA is not a big problem because we could always choose to ride the bus, train, or by car. Eventually, the TSA and other agencies will do the same with all modes of transportation as they are doing with the airlines! It is already happening.
This government which we have inherited is in contrast and is anathema to the one our founding fathers fought to create, and is a direct assault on the Liberty of the People! Our Constitution is not a perfect document. Nothing thought or made by the mind of Man can be perfect. But short of the divine, it is the most effectual and beautiful document ever written! There are some now realizing just how far we have fallen from a state of Liberty and from a Free Society! They wonder how it all came to be. The answer, sadly, is no one cared enough to do anything about it! We have forgotten the Constitution is a contract between the People, the States, and the Federal government! We have forgotten, or never learned, the powers delegated to the Federal government which were enumerated in the Constitution were derived from the States and the People, and by the will of the same! It is we who are truly Sovereign! The States and the Federal government derive their just powers from the consent and by the will of the people through the constitution. If we want to change our country, we must change ourselves and understand this crucial fact. When government enacts laws that are in offense to our Rights, Freedoms, Liberties, and Sovereignty, we must let them know where their powers come, and to protest such "laws". Any law that is made that violates the Constitution is no law at all!
There are some who sincerely wish to change their country and see the light of Liberty shine once again. Those of you who feel this way must understand that you are not alone! Despite what others may say, you are not odd and you are not the radical! The idea of convenience or security before Liberty is the most dangerous of our modern time! Anyone who would throw away their inherent and inborn birthright of Liberty for the false sense of security deserves neither (Benjamin Franklin paraphrase). We once again must be willing to fight the just fight for Freedom and Liberty! Just like the founding fathers, we will be forced to fight our own brethren. Only this time the crown is on our own soil, and in our back yards. Although I speak metaphorically, our modern day fight for Liberty will be just as hard and just as costly as the first! I do not promote or condone violence as a means of bringing about the change we seek. Instead we need to study people through history who have also fought for the same reasons as we! People such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Civil disobedience is the prime example of the weapon of our fight for Liberty. If the government passes a law which violates our Constitutional rights, then do the opposite to what the law said not to do, in mass! A good example would be if the government made it illegal to protest or exercise your freedom of speech. Do the opposite! This is an appropriate way to protest the law as long as you do not harm anyone or violate their Constitutional rights or Liberties! That in my mind is the definition of Liberty, to be free to do anything you want as long as you do not harm anyone or violate their rights and Liberties. Any law which restricts your Liberties is a violation of the Constitution and your dignity as a human being!
President George W. Bush once said that the Constitution is just a GD piece of paper. While many people were insulted by this remark, it is partly true! If the American people become so complacent and uninterested in what the government is doing, it becomes nothing but a piece of paper in their minds! If the people of America would rather concern themselves with the trivialities of day to day life rather than individual Liberty, then the Constitution is already dead! That would explain why Congress does not take it's vow to defend the Constitution seriously! Because they know most really do not care! At one time, the Statue of Liberty stood as a beacon of Freedom and Liberty! At one time, Lady Liberty shone her light for all to see. Now many have their eyes shut and their ears stopped, they no longer walk in the blessings of Liberty! Lady Liberty once stood for Liberty, but what does she stand for now? What will you do about it?