Posts Tagged ‘declaration of independence’

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; 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. 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.

Preamble to the Declaration of Independence

Our rights do not come from the king.  They do not come from any government, whether monarchy, democracy, republic, or whatever other pattern, chosen or forced on a nation.

At her confirmation hearings in the Senate, Supreme Court nominee Elana Kagan said that she admired the Declaration and the Constitution, but did not consider that there are pre-existing rights before a government is constituted.  On further questioning, she clarified that she does not deny that there are rights that pre-exist the Constitution and Declaration, but simply that she, as a judge, would only consider the rights established in our founding documents.

The problem, I think, is that our founding documents explicitly appeal to those allegedly ignorable pre-existing rights to justify what they were doing.  Many of the rights we hold dear were not created by our founding documents, but were simply acknowledged as already existing and demanding the respect of the government.  The founding fathers were appealing to a higher court than the king.

That higher court did not vanish with the establishment of the United States of America.

All governments are imperfect.  All governments, sooner or later, will pass.  The “laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” do not.  Kings used to be solidly aware that they would answer to God for their behavior.  As with any other Christian, each king was free to choose whether the idea of that future divine judgment would change them for the better or not.  Those who chose to gamble that God would stay silent at least had to deal with the Catholic Church.  It was never omnipotent, but no country could escape the pope’s notice; flaunt morality far enough, and there would be consequences, at least spiritually.

The Reformation made the pope’s power look ever more ignorable.  Never again would an emperor or king be forced to change a policy or kneel in the snow outside the pope’s castle, seeking forgiveness.  Some would call this an improvement, but the idea of absolute monarchy comes after this change, not before.  When there is no real restraint from God, when any king can pretend that his interpretation of God’s will is the final one, well, there is very little left to keep any government in line… and every temptation to claim the king (or president) is above any law, consequence, or consideration of the desires of the people he governs.

So, when America’s founding documents were written, the founders sought to instill a bit of the fear of God into the future politicians and presidents.  A bit of restraint, to remember that the president is not the king, is not immortal, is not the giver of morality, but only the enforcer of laws.

And that our rights may not be rescinded by the government because they are not from the government.

These are not throw-away phrases, irrelevant to the modern practice of law, as Ms. Kagan seems to hold it; it is the foundation of our government.


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Gee, if I didn’t know better, I’d think the left-wing was desperate…

Anarchists at the G20 smash windows, taunt cops, have to be dispersed with tear gas, etc.  (A lot like the anarchists who ripped up Minneapolis for the GOP convention… apparently, they didn’t feel the need to rip up Denver for the Democratic convention.)

Something like 250- 300,000 people met peacefully across the country.  Since we couldn’t just be ignored, we have to be mocked.  Insinuations were made that the Tea Parties “weren’t family viewing” (like the gross sex reference by one of CNN’s big names was “family viewing”?!?).  And might have been violent!  Funny, I didn’t notice any smashed windows, and I must’ve missed the burning cars and the riot police… saw a lot of moms with strollers, though.

But the Tea Parties are the real threat.  Uh huh.  Sure.

Our local paper sneered about the stay-at-home moms and kids on Spring Break.  They verbally rolled their eyes over people in “colonial costume” (yep, that’s me… because we go to Williamsburg several times a year and appreciate what was bought for us by what they did, warts and all).  They made sure they found the guy with the long gray hair and the slightly weird look to feature in a photo.

Then, of course, there is the now infamous CNN video, where the reporter started yelling at the person she picked to inverview, interrupting him twice.  Then, as the crowd started yelling at her to shut up and let him talk, she got mad.  People yelling, “You’re not a real reporter!” generated her *logical* comeback of, “Well, this isn’t family viewing…”  “Wow, how awful, well, that’s what we’re seeing around the country…” commiserated the anchor back in the studio.

Obnoxious, self-righteous, condescending jerks with microphones?  That’s what I saw in that clip, but I suspect that isn’t what she meant.

And then most of the networks complained that the protests were faked.  Sort of like when I was in the counterprotest to the much-hyped “March for Women’s Lives,” where Planned Parenthood hired buses to bring in protesters to fluff their numbers.  There was a very odd person working the fence, yelling at us, “You were paid to be here!”  I know I wasn’t paid, but you, on the other hand…

We got some wonderful flag stickers, most of which the kids slapped on their fronts, then moved so often they became too fuzzy to stick.  I rescued some.  I may have to put them on my laptop cover for when I hang out at the coffee shop.  Then again, unless they were at the Tea Party, too, hardly anybody would get the connection, since the MSM ignored the whole thing as much as possible.

File:Naval Jack of the United States.svg

We had a great discussion in my extremist minivan (Naval Academy and pro-life bumper stickers) on the way to the rally.  “So, honey, the government collects taxes to pay for things that the government does, like firefighters, police, national parks.  Is it fair to tax rich people more?”

She though for a minute, and answered, “Well, yeah, because they have more extra money.”

“But isn’t that their money?  Why should the government get to take it?  What if the government decided our house is too big, that we have “extra” space?  Plenty of people don’t have houses at all, so what if the government said, ‘Hey, we have a family who needs a home, so we’re going to give them your big playroom, the downstairs bath, and maybe the dining room, too.’  Would that be ok?”

“No, because that’s our house.  Oh… I get it.”

Good, because our government doesn’t.


Among the other horrible, “despicable” (according to a Democratic Congresswoman from Illinois), extremist things that happened at the local Tea Party, one of my favorite was the people handing out copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Oh, cool.

So, history today was me reading the Declaration to the kids, paragraph by paragraph, and asking questions and discussing how King George and Parliament largely thought the miserable colonials were being miserably ungrateful, while the colonists thought King George and Parliament had grossly overstepped their bounds on flimsy excuses.

Have you read the Declaration lately?

Not just the first two paragraphs (“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them to another…” and “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”).  When is the last time you read the government philosophy half of the second paragraph, about how and why people may finally become fed up enough to change or abolish their government?

Have you read the list of complaints against the king?  The king refused to pass laws the colonies thought necessary.  Even given the difficulties of distance, he refused to allow his governors to pass laws.  Immigration laws, needed to cover naturalization, were ignored.

“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…”  UN Treaty on the Child, anyone?  (more on that tomorrow)

“For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.”  No suspension of state legislatures, but a lot of federal mandates and pushing.  When FOCA is passed, as a whole or in pieces, every single state-level restriction on abortion (parental notification, waiting periods, informed consent, etc.) is gone, regardless of their popularity among the voting public and the state legislatures that passed the laws.  Why close the legislatures when you can just ignore them?

What was that about those who don’t know history being doomed to repeat it?


UPDATE: The attendance count seems to be around half a million or more now.  And one of the sites that was running a tally had my local tea party listed 50 people lower than what the local (strongly left) paper deigned to report as the official police headcount.

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