Thursday, December 30, 2010

Liberty is Essential for the General Welfare of the People.

Constitutional scholars/professors Randy Barnett and David Oedel's article, "Obamacare and the General Welfare Clause", written for the Wall Street Journal:

John Adams wrote an interesting point about the "general welfare of the people" in his 1766 letter, called "The Earl of Clarendon to William Pym", where Adams takes the character of Clarendon:

"For a government is... a combination of powers
, for a certain end, viz the good of the whole community.-The public good, the salus populi [welfare of the people] is the professed end of all government, the most despotic, as well as the most free." "Liberty is essential to the public good, the salus populi.-And here lies the difference between the British [American] constitution, and other forms of government, viz that Liberty is its end, its use, its designation, drift and scope."

Liberty is essential to the general welfare of the people of the United States! And since it is the duty of the federal government and state governments to secure our liberty and promote the general welfare, even via taxation, the federal government must secure out liberty in every thing it does, even in it's use of taxation and every other method it uses to promote the general welfare of the people!

It seems to me that the people do not have liberty when the government can mandate us to purchase a specific commodity or thing in exchange for mere life or that the states have their sovereignty and liberty when the federal government can bribe or coerce the state legislatures into doing complying with their dictates upon penalty of denying that state's citizens and residents of their benefits from their already paid direct taxation of their income. That is not liberty! That is DESPOTISM!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What is the federal Constitution to President Obama?

President Obama, in the following link, at minute marker 1:10, said the following concerning the federal Constitution:

"Generally the Constitution is a charter of negative says what the states can't do to says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf."

This statement by President Obama is utterly false and and unfounded, and here is why:

In 1776, the Massachusetts town of Concord, in their town meeting, made certain resolves concerning the desired constitution for Massachusetts state, and said the following in their resolves:

"That the Supreme Legislative, either in their proper capacity, or in joint committee, are by no means a body proper to form and establi
sh a constitution, or form a government; for reasons following. First, because we conceive that a constitution in its proper idea intends a system of principles established to secure the subject in the possession and enjoyment of their rights and priviliges, against any encroachments of the governing part."

Thus, Mr. President, The Constitution does indeed state, by its very purpose and existence, what the government "must do" for the people on their behalf.  These are the same things that it cannot legally do to the people. It must provide protection for or on behalf of the people of their rights and liberty. It cannot and must not provide things or materials for the people except those things that benefit the whole of the people, like a post system or roads, that all individuals can use and benefit from personally.  It must provide for the common defense of the people and their rights and liberty.  It must do, and cannot do, anything more or anything less than these.  This is what the Constitution dictates that the federal government and state governments must do on behalf of the people, and "must do on your behalf," Mr. President.     

So, Mr President, does the Constitution really not state what the federal and state governments must do on behalf of the people?  In short, yes, it does state such, but not what you personally think it should do on behalf of the people, President Obama.  Remember, Benjamin Franklin said,

The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Book Recommendations

1.) "Tom Paine, A Political Life" -John Keane

2.) "The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1789" - Gordon S. Wood

3.) "The Radicalism of the American Revolution" -Gordon S. Wood

4.) "Colonies to Nation: A Documentary History of the American Revolution, 1763-1789" -Jack P. Greene

5.) "Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different" -Gordon S. Wood

6.) "The Boston Tea Party" -Benjamin Woods Labaree

7.) "The War of American Independence" -Don Higginbotham

8.) "Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson" -Jane E. Calvert

9.) "John Dickinson, Conservation Revolutionary" -Milton E. Flower

10.) "Declaring Rights: A Brief History with Documents." -Jack N. Rakove
Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Can you really save the free market by injecting socialism into it?

My responses to the BYU Political Review article on President Obama, his administration, and the Democratic Party's policies concerning the economy, capitalism, and saving the free market.

Thanks for your views on the current admin.'s tax & economic policies. However, I’m concerned with your line of thinking. What many Americans seem to be forgetting is that we are a nation of laws & not of men or the will of men; all individuals are equal before the law, regardless of race, gender, disability, financial situation, etc. This means that what we all must do is consider the law 1st before we consider what we think should be done. We are forgetting that just because something should be done it doesn't mean it can be done legally. All Americans & the gov. are bound to act within the boundaries & dictates of the federal Constitution. What looks to be happening ever so increasingly is that Americans & the gov. are bending the Constitution to agree with the laws made by Congress & desires of the gov. & the American people. But, in a constitutional, democratic republic, this can't be. Rather, it is the laws of Congress and desires of the gov. & Americans that must be bent to agree with the demands of the constitution. It frightens me when you say “the best option in such economic conundrums" is for the gov. to intervene, and that "complete market freedom is not much good if this freedom results in conditions that are deleterious to the economy."

Free economies rise and fall of their own accord, due to supply, demand, and the spending habits and situations of the people. What economies loose during a down period, they are able to make up in the next rise, without being barred by legal limitations. But when a country sacrifices a few freedoms to the gov. during economic hard times, those freedoms are extremely difficult/impossible to get back during the economic up times, when things are good & the people want those freedoms back. Thus, when people submit freedoms for economic security during the bad times, they are allowing the gov. to set legal limitations that bar them from taking those freedoms back during good times. We mustn't be willing to sacrifice freedoms for materialism & economic security, because these are only temporary, & will run out when the supply of such security is exhausted. We see this now in Europe where violent riots are rampant. While economic security is temporary, ending with the present generation, freedoms and rights are eternal; they are inherent in each generation. We must stop selfishly worrying only about ourselves & the now, & worry about what we are doing for our posterity & the future.

We must not forget that we have a natural right to ACQUISITION of materialism & financial security, & not a natural or civil right to PROVISION of materialism & economic security. I can't help but agree with what the Bible Dictionary says about the War in Heaven; "the issues involved such things as agency, how to gain salvation, and who should be the Redeemer. It was evident that if given agency, some persons would fall short of complete salvation; Lucifer and his followers wanted salvation to come automatically to all who passed through mortality, without regard to individual preference, agency, or voluntary dedication." We have a natural right to ACQUISITION of salvation thru our agency, but not to PROVISION of salvation.

Concerning the estate tax, it merely establishes injustice, unfairness, & inequality before the law. Taxation is legislation, & when 1 group of people is seen as of more or less worth before the law, where the law applies to only 1 portion of the population but not the other(s), this establishes inequality before the law. This is exactly what the estate tax does. It taxes or binds only 1 tiny portion of the population, while the rest of the nation gets a free ride and isn't bound by the tax law. It establishes 1 portion of the country, the poor and middling people, as of more worth before the law and in society than those who are considered rich. This CANNOT happen in America, the land of liberty and equality. The progressive income tax does the same thing; it establishes inequality before the law. 

The estate tax also cannot happen legally because it establishes quadruple taxation & hence violates our right to acquisition, accumulation, & possession of private property. It's taxed once upon purchase, twice with yearly property taxes, & thrice with the income tax. Remember, an estate is not only landed property; it includes money & personal possessions too, & is the value of the entire estate to be passed on as an inheritance. Thus, it will establish a 4th tax on private property that has already been taxed 3 times. When the gov. can tax a private possession as many times as it wishes, for whatever reason it wishes, & at any rate it wishes, can it really be said we even own the possessions any more? This doesn't happen with other private possessions that have already been taxed, like a car or a computer, so why should it happen with an estate? It is nothing but mere coveting and theft via taxation.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Quotes by Me, Inspired by Many"

"In a Constitutional, Democratic Republic such as ours, no matter what branch of government it may be, precedent does not establish law; rather, it is law, (our Constitution) that establishes precedent. The very moment that precedent begins to determine and establish law is the very moment that tyranny and oppression begin their terrible reign."

"The surest way to secure, protect and ensure your own liberty and rights, is to secure, protect and ensure other's liberty and rights, indeed, the liberty and rights of all mankind. When one assaults another's rights and liberty, in whatever manner or form, he/she automatically weakens and abolishes the security and protection of his/her own rights and liberty; it's only a matter of time until the very same thing that happened to the victim, happens to attacker. And so on the cycle goes, until freedom and rights were nothing more than a fairytale, having ceased to exist altogether." 

“Would you eat a piece of cheese with mold on one part while the rest is good? Would you eat the entire thing, mold and all, just because the rest is good for you, or would you cut away the moldy part and eat only the good? Most rational, clear-thinking people would choose the latter. The same must be done with a law that has one unconstitutional part; it can't be allowed to go into effect in its entirety; the illegal part must be cut off!”

"If we are all equal before the law of nature in a state of nature, created thus
by our Eternal Creator, equal in our rights and equal in our agency, and equal
as individuals and in pursuing our own happiness according to how we each
individually choose, all within the bounds of the law of nature, then we can
expect no less from the laws of man in a state of society and government created by man.  Equality before the law in a state of nature must mean equality before the law in a state of human society and government.  Equality in rights in a state of nature must mean equality in rights in a state of human society and government."

"Considerations upon the 2nd Amendment."

Justice Breyer,

I read today the following news article on Fox News' website:

Assuming all information in the article is true, I will proceed with some concerns I have with some of the thinking and quotations attributed to you in this article.

Regulation, sir, is not at all the same as an outright ban. Congress controls DC, this is true, but it's laws and regulations for DC must be within the scope of powers delegated to Congress in the Constitution. This includes the entire Constitution that stands now, sir, which includes the 2nd Amendment. Nor does the 2nd Amendment or Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution allow Congress to regulate guns or firearms in the individual's private home or on the individual's private property, unless he/she is violation of another law or of an individual's natural and civil rights. For example, if the individual, on his/her own private property, and without the use of self defense, was hurting another individual; or if he/she was violating/destroying another's private property or public property or if the individual with the gun was violating another's private property rights. This is the only sort of regulation, I believe, according to the dictates of the Constitution, that Congress is allowed to perform and legislate about.

You claim, sir that the founders, especially Madison, were in favor of gun regulation. But what must be remembered , sir, is that all of the founders, most especially Madison, were in favor of abiding by the Consititution. Now, granted, each founder had his own interpretation as to what the Constitution allowed and did not allow. This especially can be seen in the likes of the Federalists, and most especially in Alexander Hamilton, and even John Adams during his very own presidency (think of the Alien and Sedition Act). But, since you primarily use Madison, I shall stick with Madison for now. Madison was a strict interpreter of the Constitution's clauses. No matter how much he may have attached the Bill of Rights and certain pieces of its contents to placate the states, he would not have the federal government disobeying the Constitution's dictates, no matter what was in the Constitution. He would have the federal government stay within its current bounds. His dislike of and opposition to the Bank of the United States and the national funding of all state debts blatantly shows this. This means, I strongly believe, that Madison would not agree with you sir, that as long as the 2nd Amendment remains in the Consitutiton, that Congress has the authority to ban outright, guns in any portion of the United States, including DC. Nor would he agree to stating that Congress has the constitutional authority to regulate guns in an individual's private home or on his/her private property, excepting the aforementioned regulations of not allowing an individual with a gun to violate another's rights. In addition to these proofs, the very fact that Madison joined Jefferson, Monroe and others as a Repuglican/Democratic Republican and states rights-advocate disproves your claim, sir, which I believe is based off of faulty evidence. Historians will know this, sir, and I know it because I count myself as among their ranks, albiet I am an amateur and not a professional.

In addition, Madison indeed wanted a strong federal government in order to curb the excess of Democracy and state sovereignty, but he no way approved of the federal government overspilling its constitutional bounds, and it would be doing so if it attemped to enact and enforce an outright ban on guns, even in DC. Indeed, historians would know that the 1787 Constitution looked nothing like Madison's "Virginia Plan." He even said so himself. The Constitution was the work of many elected men, and not one; and these men elected specifically for the sole purpose of creating and writing the Constitution. The Bill of Rights was also the work of many men, in that Madison was not the creator of the Bill of Rights, but rather the compiler; he adopted many enumerated rights from the biils of rights from the state constitutions, which were created and written by other men. Since you suggest that Madison supposedly included the 2nd Amendment so as to placate the states and get them to ratify the Constitution, would you also say that because Madison also wanted the states to be represented proportionally in both the House and the Senate, that he would be in favor of Congresses enacting new laws allowing such? No, because the Constitution directly says that this cannot be done. Madison had to yield to the smaller states concerning the issue of representation in the Senate,, and thus placated them, in order to get the Constitution written and to keep the small states in the convention. So, in light of this additional factual information, your claim that Madison only included the 2nd Amendment so as to get the Constitution ratified is meaningless, I believe. It say nothing about whether Congress can or cannot regulate or ban guns outright, sir. It merely states what you think Madison's motives were in including the 2nd Amendment. It says nothing concerning the stubborn fact that the 2nd Amendment was indeed included, and that it states nothing concerning regulation of guns. I personally believe that Madison would not be in support of Congress banning guns outright, nor prohibiting individuals from owning guns and having them operational in their own homes, given the factual information about Madison mentioned above. Nor does the history of the entire Revolution condone such illegal and unconstitutional actions by teh Congress, sir. Remember Lexington and Concord. Remember battles won by the help of the militia; remember that if the members of the militia had not had private access to their guns, ammunition, and powder, then the outcome of the war would have looked very different, and the chances of the Americans very bleak. Also remember, sir, that as most oft he founders saw a standing army as dangerous to liberty and freedom, they saw the militia as the primary means of defense against enemies both foreign and domestic. The Constitution, in Article 1, Section 8 proves this, concerning the authority of Congress in relation to the militia. and because, as it states in the 2nd Amendment that a militia is required for defense against enemies both foreign and domestic, which includes a tyrannical and despotic government, all members of the militia, which includes all citizens, must be allowed unbridled access to acquisition and possession of their own private firearms/guns. Thus, I do not think that the provision of the information that Madison only included the 2nd Amendment merely to placate the states qualifies or proves, by its mere existence alone, that Madison was in favor of gun regulation. This one fact is but one among a large and often complex context. 

Also, you allude that the founders could not have known our day in age, our technology, and the role of guns. I must respectively disagree. Guns were dangerous then, in that era, just as they are today, and there were criminals then just as there are today who use/used guns to hurt or kill people. To say that founders could not have imagined our day and the technology we have is, I believe, with all due respect, a ludicrous claim, sir. Steam power and steam powered engines were being developed during the 1780's and 1790's. Indeed, Ever since weaponry, including guns, was invented, men have been trying to come up with new and improved versions that would increase accuracy, decrease the time required to fire such weaponry, and increase the amount of ammunition such weaponry could fire. Look at the rifle and the role it played in the Revolution, in terms of range and accuracy. Think of Daniel Morgan, sir. In addition, many of the founders were inventors themselves. They knew the world and its technology would continue to progress. They wanted it to. They helped it to do so. This claim that you make, that the founders could never have envisioned our modern day and the role guns play in it is, in my humble opinion, bogus and illogical. The bottom line , sir, that I'm attempting to get at, is that the Constitution has the 2nd Amendment, and Congress, and well as the judicial and executive branches, must abide by it. Justices cannot make up what does not exist in it already. They cannot add to it but by the Amendment process. This includes personal interpretations that have no solid evidence behind them. And, with all due respect to the office you hold, sir, as I have explained in this email, I do not believe your claim has significant historical proof enough to be considered as "original intent."

My belief, sir, is the same as Thomas Paine's concerning a constitution, expressed in his "The Rights of Man;" it is the Constitution that determines the actions and limits of the offices and officers it allows to exist, not the other way around. Also, the Constitution cannot and must not be bent, twisted, or warped so as to agree with laws made by Congress; rather, it is the laws of Congress, and the rulings of the Supreme Court, and every court below it that can and must be bent, twisted, warped, and altered so as to agree with the Constitution.

I also agree with Justice John Marshall when he said, in Marbury vs. Madison in 1803,

"It is also not entirely unworthy of observation that, in declaring what shall be the supreme law of the land, the Constitution itself is first mentioned, and not the laws of the United States generally, but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the Constitution, have that rank.

Thus, the particular phraseology of the Constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written Constitutions, that a law repugnant to the Constitution is void, and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument."

Thank you for your service, and may you have sufficient wisdom so as to come to the best judgments as you possibly can.


A concerned citizen.

Further evidence that discredits Justice Breyer's unfounded assertion:

The following excerpt is taken from John Keane's "Tom Paine, A Political Life," found on pages 102-103.

"Paine set about clarifying his thoughts on whether violent means could legitimately be used to defend what, for a long time, he had cons
idered the highest earthly goal: human liberty. It was clear to him that those who take up the sword risk perishing by the sword. Yet it was equally clear that those who refuse the sword risk perishing on the cross. How was this dilemma to be resolved? Paine left no doubts: 'I am thus far a quaker, that I would gladly agree with all the world to lay aside the use of arms, and settle matters by negotiation; but unless the whole will, the matter ends, and I take up my musket and thank heaven he has put it in my power.'

The realist argument against Quaker pacifism- that might always triumphs over right unless right protects itself-had a ring of urgency about it. Yet as much as Paine approved the resort to arms, he made it clear in 'Thoughts on Defensive War' that violence was a difficult horse to ride. Violence could easily throw its rider, galloping away from its role as a means and becoming an untamed end in itself, living according to its own wild whims and desires. He drew from this the conclusion that it was fundamentally important to be clear about the ultimate purpose for which violence could be used. Liberty, he argued, was the only legitimate purpose violence could serve."

Thus, Judge Breyer, it is every man's natural right to life and liberty, and defense of that life and liberty by any means possible, including guns, sir. Therefore, every man and woman has the right to purchase, possess, and use guns in protection of those natural rights to life and liberty from any threat to them, be it an intruder bent on harming the individual or group, a tyrannous government, hunger (guns for the use of food and fuel), or whatever it may be. Therefore, no, the gov. doesn't have the right to regulate the possession of guns except from passing legislation that bans the use of guns for abridging other's natural rights.

Thomas Paine's "Thoughts on Defensive War."

And yet even further proof of the absurdity of his claim:

Thomas Jefferson and John Dickinson's "Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms."

"A declaration by the representatives of the united colonies of North America, now met in Congress at Philadelphia, setting forth the causes and necessity of their taking up arms.

If it was possible for men, who exercise their reason to believe, that the divine Author of our existence intended a part of the human race to hold an absolute property in, and an unbounded power over others, marked out by his infinite goodness and wisdom, as the objects of a legal domination never rightfully resistible, however severe and oppressive, the inhabitants of these colonies might at least require from the parliament of Great-Britain some evidence, thatthis dreadful authority over them, has been granted to that body. But a reverance for our Creator, principles of humanity, and the dictates of common sense, must convince all those who reflect upon the subject, that government was instituted to promote the welfare of mankind, and ought to be administered for the attainment of that end. The legislature of Great-Britain, however, stimulated by an inordinate passion for a power not only unjustifiable, but which they know to be peculiarly reprobated by the very constitution of that kingdom, and desparate of success in any mode of contest, where regard should be had to truth, law, or right, have at length, deserting those, attempted to effect their cruel and impolitic purpose of enslaving these colonies by violence, and have thereby rendered it necessary for us to close with their last appeal from reason to arms. Yet, however blinded that assembly may be, by their intemperate rage for unlimited domination, so to sight justice and the opinion of mankind, we esteem ourselves bound by obligations of respect to the rest of the world, to make known the justice of our cause. Our forefathers, inhabitants of the island of Great-Britain, left their native land, to seek on these shores a residence for civil and religious freedom. At the expense of their blood, at the hazard of their fortunes, without the least charge to the country from which they removed, by unceasing labour, and an unconquerable spirit, they effected settlements in the distant and unhospitable wilds of America, then filled with numerous and warlike barbarians. -- Societies or governments, vested with perfect legislatures, were formed under charters from the crown, and an harmonious intercourse was established between the colonies and the kingdom from which they derived their origin. The mutual benefits of this union became in a short time so extraordinary, as to excite astonishment. It is universally confessed, that the amazing increase of the wealth, strength, and navigation of the realm, arose from this source; and the minister, who so wisely and successfully directed the measures of Great-Britain in the late war, publicly declared, that these colonies enabled her to triumph over her enemies. --Towards the conclusion of that war, it pleased our sovereign to make a change in his counsels. -- From that fatal movement, the affairs of the British empire began to fall into confusion, and gradually sliding from the summit of glorious prosperity, to which they had been advanced by the virtues and abilities of one man, are at length distracted by the convulsions, that now shake it to its deepest foundations. -- The new ministry finding the brave foes of Britain, though frequently defeated, yet still contending, took up the unfortunate idea of granting them a hasty peace, and then subduing her faithful friends.

These colonies were judged to be in such a state, as to present victories without bloodshed, and all the easy emoluments of statuteable plunder. -- The uninterrupted tenor of their peaceable and respectful behaviour from the beginning of colonization, their dutiful, zealous, and useful services during the war, though so recently and amply acknowledged in the most honourable manner by his majesty, by the late king, and by parliament, could not save them from the meditated innovations. -- Parliament was influenced to adopt the pernicious project, and assuming a new power over them, have in the course of eleven years, given such decisive specimens of the spirit and consequences attending this power, as to leave no doubt concerning the effects of acquiescence under it. They have undertaken to give and grant our money without our consent, though we have ever exercised an exclusive right to dispose of our own property; statutes have been passed for extending the jurisdiction of courts of admiralty and vice-admiralty beyond their ancient limits; for depriving us of the accustomed and inestimable privilege of trial by jury, in cases affecting both life and property; for suspending the legislature of one of the colonies; for interdicting all commerce to the capital of another; and for altering fundamentally the form of government established by charter, and secured by acts of its own legislature solemnly confirmed by the crown; for exempting the "murderers" of colonists from legal trial, and in effect, from punishment; for erecting in a neighbouring province, acquired by the joint arms of Great-Britain and America, a despotism dangerous to our very existence; and for quartering soldiers upon the colonists in time of profound peace. It has also been resolved in parliament, that colonists charged with committing certain offences, shall be transported to England to be tried. But why should we enumerate our injuries in detail? By one statute it is declared, that parliament can "of right make laws to bind us in all cases whatsoever." What is to defend us against so enormous, so unlimited a power? Not a single man of those who assume it, is chosen by us; or is subject to our control or influence; but, on the contrary, they are all of them exempt from the operation of such laws, and an American revenue, if not diverted from the ostensible purposes for which it is raised, would actually lighten their own burdens in proportion, as they increase ours. We saw the misery to which such despotism would reduce us. We for ten years incessantly and ineffectually besieged the throne as supplicants; we reasoned, we remonstrated with parliament, in the most mild and decent language.

Administration sensible that we should regard these oppressive measures as freemen ought to do, sent over fleets and armies to enforce them. The indignation of the Americans was roused, it is true; but it was the indignation of a virtuous, loyal, and affectionate people. A Congress of delegates from the United Colonies was assembled at Philadelphia, on the fifth day of last September. We resolved again to offer an humble and dutiful petition to the King, and also addressed our fellow-subjects of Great-Britain. We have pursued every temperate, every respectful measure; we have even proceeded to break off our commercial intercourse with our fellow-subjects, as the last peaceable admonition, that our attachment to no nation upon earth should supplant our attachment to liberty. -- This, we flattered ourselves, was the ultimate step of the controversy: but subsequent events have shewn, how vain was this hope of finding moderation in our enemies.

Several threatening expressions against the colonies were inserted in his majesty's speech; our petition, tho' we were told it was a decent one, and that his majesty had been pleased to receive it graciously, and to promise laying it before his parliament, was huddled into both houses among a bundle of American papers, and there neglected. The lords and commons in their address, in the month of February, said, that "a rebellion at that time actually existed within the province of Massachusetts-Bay; and that those concerned with it, had been countenanced and encouraged by unlawful combinations and engagements, entered into by his majesty's subjects in several of the other colonies; and therefore they besought his majesty, that he would take the most effectual measures to inforce due obediance to the laws and authority of the supreme legislature." -- Soon after, the commercial intercourse of whole colonies, with foreign countries, and with each other, was cut off by an act of parliament; by another several of them were intirely prohibited from the fisheries in the seas near their coasts, on which they always depended for their sustenance; and large reinforcements of ships and troops were immediately sent over to general Gage.

Fruitless were all the entreaties, arguments, and eloquence of an illustrious band of the most distinguished peers, and commoners, who nobly and strenuously asserted the justice of our cause, to stay, or even to mitigate the heedless fury with which these accumulated and unexampled outrages were hurried on. -- equally fruitless was the interference of the city of London, of Bristol, and many other respectable towns in our favor. Parliament adopted an insidious manoeuvre calculated to divide us, to establish a perpetual auction of taxations where colony should bid against colony, all of them uninformed what ransom would redeem their lives; and thus to extort from us, at the point of the bayonet, the unknown sums that should be sufficient to gratify, if possible to gratify, ministerial rapacity, with the miserable indulgence left to us of raising, in our own mode, the prescribed tribute. What terms more rigid and humiliating could have been dictated by remorseless victors to conquered enemies? in our circumstances to accept them, would be to deserve them.

Soon after the intelligence of these proceedings arrived on this continent, general Gage, who in the course of the last year had taken possession of the town of Boston, in the province of Massachusetts-Bay, and still occupied it a garrison, on the 19th day of April, sent out from that place a large detachment of his army, who made an unprovoked assault on the inhabitants of the said province, at the town of Lexington, as appears by the affidavits of a great number of persons, some of whom were officers and soldiers of that detachment, murdered eight of the inhabitants, and wounded many others. From thence the troops proceeded in warlike array to the town of Concord, where they set upon another party of the inhabitants of the same province, killing several and wounding more, until compelled to retreat by the country people suddenly assembled to repel this cruel aggression. Hostilities, thus commenced by the British troops, have been since prosecuted by them without regard to faith or reputation. -- The inhabitants of Boston being confined within that town by the general their governor, and having, in order to procure their dismission, entered into a treaty with him, it was stipulated that the said inhabitants having deposited their arms with their own magistrate, should have liberty to depart, taking with them their other effects. They accordingly delivered up their arms, but in open violation of honour, in defiance of the obligation of treaties, which even savage nations esteemed sacred, the governor ordered the arms deposited as aforesaid, that they might be preserved for their owners, to be seized by a body of soldiers; detained the greatest part of the inhabitants in the town, and compelled the few who were permitted to retire, to leave their most valuable effects behind.

By this perfidy wives are separated from their husbands, children from their parents, the aged and the sick from their relations and friends, who wish to attend and comfort them; and those who have been used to live in plenty and even elegance, are reduced to deplorable distress.

The general, further emulating his ministerial masters, by a proclamation bearing date on the 12th day of June, after venting the grossest falsehoods and calumnies against the good people of these colonies, proceeds to "declare them all, either by name or description, to be rebels and traitors, to supercede the course of the common law, and instead thereof to publish and order the use and exercise of the law martial." -- His troops have butchered our countrymen, have wantonly burnt Charlestown,besides a considerable number of houses in other places; our ships and vessels are seized; the necessary supplies of provisions are intercepted, and he is exerting his utmost power to spread destruction and devastation around him.

We have rceived certain intelligence, that general Carleton, the governor of Canada, is instigating the people of that province and the Indians to fall upon us; and we have but too much reason to apprehend, that schemes have been formed to excite domestic enemies against us. In brief, a part of these colonies now feel, and all of them are sure of feeling, as far as the vengeance of administration can inflict them, the complicated calamities of fire, sword and famine. We are reduced to the alternative of chusing an unconditional submission to the tyranny of irritated ministers, or resistance by force. -- The latter is our choice. -- We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. -- Honour, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them, if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them.

Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable. -- We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favour towards us, that his Providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike operation, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverence, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather thanto live slaves.

Lest this declaration should disquiet the minds of our friends and fellow-subjects in any part of the empire, we assure them that we mean not to dissolve that union which has so long and so happily subsisted between us, and which we sincerely wish to see restored. -- Necessity has not yet driven us into that desperate measure, or induced us to excite any other nation to war against them. -- We have not raised armies with ambitious designs of separating from Great-Britain, and establishing independent states. We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies, without any imputation or even suspicion of offence. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death.

In our own native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birthright, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it -- for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our fore-fathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before.

With an humble confidence in the mercies of the supreme and impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe, we most devoutly implore his divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war."

And yet further proof of the ludicrousness of Justice Breyer's claim:
Continental Congress's "Reply to the Ministerial Proclamations..." in 1775, otherwise known as "Response of the Continental Congress to the Proclamation of Rebellion by King George III:"

"We condemn, and with arms in our hands,--a resource which Freemen will never part with,--we oppose the claim and exercise of unconstitutional powers, to which neither the Crown nor Parliament were ever entitled."

My Response to the ongoing "Welfare in America" debate in BYU's "Political Review."

So, I have read BYU associate professor of Political Science, Dr. Gichrist's response to Jacob Glenn's piece on America and the welfare system in BYU's Political Review.

The article can be found and read here:

Here is my response to Dr. Gilchrist's article:

I think Thomas Paine best defines and illustrates the distinctions between natural rights and civil rights, since as you mentioned, Dr. Gilchrist, that Locke is not the sole authority on rights.  Indeed, like all of his contemporary American and European Whigs, radicals, and revolutionaries, Paine received influence from Locke and other radical Whig writers of the 17th and 18th centuries.

In his 1791 piece, "The Rights of Man," Paine writes:

"Natural rights are those which appertain to man in right of his existence. Of this kind are all the intellectual rights, or rights of the mind, and also all those rights of acting as an individual for his own comfort and happiness, which are not injurious to the natural rights of others.

Civil rights are those which appertain to man in right of his being a member of society.  Every civil right has for its foundation some natural right pre-existing in the individual, but to the enjoyment of which his individual power is not in all cases, sufficiently competent. Of this kind are all those which relate to security and protection.

From this short review it will be easy to distinguish between that class of natural rights which man retains after entering into society and those which he throws into the common stock as a member of society. The natural rights which he retains are all those in which the power to execute is as perfect in the individual as the right itself."

However, he also writes something very interesting a little later in “The Rights of Man” while discussing monopolies; he writes about a specific natural right that we retain, even after we have entered into the societal compact and deposited some of our natural rights best executed by society, as civil rights, into that common stock of rights:

"In a city, such for instance as Bath [England], which contains between twenty and thirty thousand inhabitants, the right of electing representatives to the Parliament is monopolized by about thirty-one persons.  And within these monopolies are still others.  A man even of the same town, whose parents were not in circumstances to give him an occupation, is debarred, in many cases, from the natural right of acquiring one, be his genius or industry what it may."

-Thomas Paine, "Rights of Man." (pg. 53)

So it would seem that Paine is saying that, as human beings, we all have the equal, natural right to ACQUIRE an occupation, regardless of our family, pedigree, possessions, wealth, genius, or industry.  I would like to point out the specific use of the word "acquire."  I see this as logically meaning that regardless of one's position in society, all individuals, being equal before the law, have and maintain the natural right to acquire an occupation, as opposed to having the "natural right" (or civil right) to have an occupation provided for you, be it by the government or anyone else.  It seems to me that if we do not have the natural right of being provided a job/occupation by the government, then it only seems logical then that  we do not have the natural right of being provided funding or financial security, funded by revenue from taxation, for this is a something that each individual may effectively execute himself/herself.  We do, however, have the natural right of ACQUIRING financial security/funding and being secure under the law in the possession of that security, secure against arbitrary seizure, dictated by the 4th Amendment, as opposed to having the natural right (or civil right) of having that financial security PROVIDED by the government via taxation. 
It seems to me that what America is debating, and what many don't seem to understand about our natural and civil rights, is that we don't really have a "natural right to PROVISION, but, rather, a natural right to ACQUISITION, of physical, material, private property, be it landed property, possessions, or monetary property."

Therefore, Dr. Gilchrist, I will have to disagree with your argument that the government may “produce,” or as you say, “protect our natural rights by building interstate highway systems, public education, Social Security, and Medicare.”  If we maintain the natural right of acquiring occupations by ourselves, then we maintain the natural right of acquiring “Social Security” and “Medicare” by ourselves as well, because all these are is funding, or financial security, provided by the government via taxation.  I would argue that we do have the “civil right” of public education (primary education, through high school) and interstate highways, in that because it ineffective for each individual to maintain and execute by himself/herself the building of interstate highway systems or teaching himself/herself one’s own primary education while living in a society, we have deposited these natural rights into that common stock of rights of society for society, or our government, to execute.  But I do not believe we have deposited our natural right to acquire financial security, for whatever use it may be put to, which means I do not believe it is a civil right, or natural right, to have financial security PROVIDED for the individual by means of taxation, taking another’s acquired property, in which he is protected by his/her natural rights, in order to provide it for someone else to live off of.  The government does not protect our natural rights by providing these things for us.   Rather, it protects our natural rights to acquire these things and and protects our natural rights in being secure in maintaining these things and protecting them from arbitrary seizure.  When the government begins to think it can seize these things by means of a tax, and continue to tax these things whenever it feels like it, however many times it feels like it, and by establishing unequal rates any time it feels like it, the government is not abiding by nor protecting our natural rights, but is instead invading and abridging them, and is attempting to become a law unto itself (see D&C 88, 34-36).

It must be remembered, however, that though we have the natural right to acquisition, this does not mean that we will be guaranteed any receiving, or that we are guaranteed to receive the thing we are attempting to acquire.  This is because we also maintain the natural right to private property, and no one can force an individual to give or exchange of his private property without proper and just compensation or restitution.   Remember, Paine said that our natural rights  cannot encroach upon or injure another’s natural rights (which I believe provision by the government of financial security by means of taxation does do).  Therefore, just because we have the natural right to acquisition, does not mean have the natural right to a guarantee of receiving.  It merely means that no one individual or group, including the government, may bar any individual from exercising his natural right to acquisition, based on creed, sex, age, pedigree, wealth, race, physical appearance of features, etc.  It in no way assures any receiving of the thing the individual is attempting to acquire.  Indeed, if the government had the power to tax private property whenever it please, however it pleased, however many times it pleased, and at any unequal rating system it pleased, can it be said that we even own the private possession anymore, and that it isn’t the property of the government, who has loaned it to the individual?  On a side note this is what will happen with the estate tax coming back next year.  It is quadruple taxation, taxation on an item that has once been taxed upon purchase or acquisition, twice been taxed every year due to property taxes, and thrice been taxed due to income tax.  Where will the number of taxations stop if not at quadruple taxation on a private possession that has already been taxed once before, and in this case, three times before?  Do you really “own” such an item anymore?  But, I digress.

Concerning the civil rights of public education and the building of interstate highway systems and other infrastructural issues, these can be proved as civil rights in that they are present in the bowels of the Constitution, under the 1st clause of Article 1, Section 8: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.”  That this is a civil right is proven by the fact that each American who decides to reside among society, deposits these natural rights  into the common stock of rights of the society, to be executed by society, or this case, the Congress.  And historical analysis of the words of the founders and framers of the Constitution also serves as proof, seeing as many of the founders were in favor of public, primary education and infrastructure throughout the union and states.  But what is not provided in the Constitution, as a civil right, and what is not even a natural right, is the so-called “right to be provided financial security from the government by means of taxation.”  Many people claim this is found in the “general welfare clause,” but this cannot be so.

“General welfare” means everyone benefits equally and lawfully; no one is barred by laws from benefiting from these things, from traveling on the public highways and roads, from benefiting from and participating in public, primary education.  It does not mean that some people receive and others are forced to give, or some receive or are provided and some do not, according to their situations.  This last definition of “welfare” that many seem to believe in America today is arbitrary.   It leaves it up to some bureaucrat to decide who receives and who is coerced into giving, or who receives and who does not.  It cannot logically be so in a nation of laws, where all are equal before the law, where all, including their natural and civil rights, are protected by the law, and where liberty is the national slogan for all. 

There is a fundamental misunderstanding in America and the world today on what exactly is a natural right and a civil right.  And to disagree with you once more, I see no difference between a civil right a civil liberty.  They are one in the same; for a civil right establishes, or brings about civil liberty.

"That which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same."

D&C 88: 34-42:

The importance and real existence of law, and abiding by and being governed by that law, as noted in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 88, received by Joseph Smith in 1832 and 1833, given in revelation thru the spirit by Christ, the creator of the world and all in it.

"36–41, All kingdoms are governed by law; 42–45, God has given a law unto all things;"

34: "And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.   

35: That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.

36: All kingdoms have a law given;

38: And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.

39: All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified.

40: For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.

42: And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;  

43:And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets."

Therefore, if God has given a law unto all things, and if those or those things who/that do not abide by that law/laws, attempt to become a law unto themselves, which cannot be so, and they attempt to become arbitrary.  And if abiding by law preserves, protects, and perfects you by law, then we must abide by our laws.  This includes Congress, the Executive branch, and the Judiciary branch.  For if they seek to break the laws passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, they seek to become a law unto themselves, and become arbitrary tyrants,  which cannot be, nor is it allowed by law to do so.  

Thus, we must all abide by law, and the laws of the land, which are constitutional, as it says in D&C 101.
For if we have no need to break the laws of God, we have no need to break the laws of the land.

This does not mean you cannot lawfully and legally oppose laws, but obedience is necessary, for all laws that are not unconstitutional, and therefore void.  And laws that are unconstitutional, and hence void, break the laws of God, and as such, attempt to become a unto unto themselves, and are arbitrary and tyrannous.