"...as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever." ~ Benjamin Franklin
Back Where We Started (Here We Go 'Round Again)
Exclusive to STR
December 18, 2006
Ironic, isn't it, that our current woes here in Amerika can be so accurately described by the lyrics to a song by a British rock band (namely, the Kinks; don't worry, I interviewed Ray Davies about 10 years ago, and he's a really laid-back dude). Not that I place much stock, mind you, in the efficacy of those Founding Documents so ideologically aggrandized by the Patriot crowd. We're 230 years along and fighting more desperately than ever for our rights -- absent, at least most of the time, the gunfire. Granted, read the Declaration of Independence, then Romans 13:1, and decide for yourself which tract possesses the greater virtue.
It's at this point where I do give some pause for further observation. As a starkly poignant example, take this excerpt from the former of the two aforementioned writings:
". . . 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. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security."
Overlooking the archaic wording and grammar, does that not sum up with Nostradamian accuracy where we're presently at? If we read on, other portions get even more painfully specific. Just substitute George W. Bush, or government in general as applicable, when "He" is used in reference to King George III :
"He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries."
Well, duh! That's what you get when you allow courts to be governmental in the first place.
"He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance."
Sounds an awful lot like the IRS , BATFE, DEA, NSA, CIA , and Department of Homeland Security to me. Thanks so much for being such a trend-setter, FDR.
"He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies . . . ."
As the lines continue to blur between police and military . . . .
"He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power."
Can anyone say USA PATRIOT Act, or Military Commissions Act of 2006, or the already passed John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 (and we're not even there yet)?
"He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:"
Ever hear of the UN Charter, World Court , NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT , or the North American Union (can anyone please loan me an Amero)?
"For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:"
How many military bases are there -- not even counting the ones abroad?
"For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:"
Remember Waco ? Ruby Ridge? Any number of botched anti-drug raids?
"For imposing Taxes on us without our consent:"
Don't know about you, but I've never willfully consented to pay one wooden nickel of "income," Socialist Security, Medicare, property, or any other taxes.
"For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:"
Does the rubric "War On Terror" ring a bell? How about "military tribunal?" Or "enemy combatant" Jose Padilla?
"For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:"
Can anyone say Gitmo, or "renditioning?" How about "ghost jails," or CIA "black sites"? Remember Canadian Mahar Arar, who was arrested at JFK in New York, then shipped to his native Syria (of all places, based on the Bush administration's public posture) to be jailed and tortured for a year before being released without any charges filed.
"For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever."
Bush has broken all previous records for issuance of Executive Orders -- most of them dealing with the imposition of martial law. He has never sought congressional approval for the wars in either Afghanistan or Iraq . He will almost certainly not do so when he decides to make his moves on Iran , Syria , and possibly North Korea .
"He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies . . . to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation."
"In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People."
We are back where we started, indeed. The Police State is rising, all around us burgeoning like a dark and devious cloud over this relatively small portion of Planet Earth where once the promise of Liberty held court. This will only expand and intensify until and unless you and I stop it. Uncle Sam already controls our Lives and Fortunes to an obscene, abhorrent degree. By allowing this intolerable state of affairs to continue virtually unabated, will we let it take our Sacred Honor as well?