Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congress Has Become Taxation Without Representation

-By Warner Todd Huston

We are speeding headlong toward a time when our Congress will have become just like Mad King George’s Parliament, that body from which in 1776 the American colonists separated with the rallying cry of “no taxation without representation.” Our national government is fast becoming just as unrepresentative of the people as far off Briton was when we went to war to become the United States of America.

Does that seem like a hyperbolic statement to you? At first blush, it might. But a considered look at the direction in which we are quickly heading will prove that, compared to the British Parliament that raised the ire of our forefathers so long ago, today’s Congress shows many signs of the same, oppressive, haughty, disinterested politicians that considered their national government more important than the local’s interests and needs.

Representation is the key word, here. What does it mean? What did it mean then? Of course, the problem was that it meant two different things to the opposing sides of the Revolutionary era, hence the conflict. In England, representation meant that Parliament “represented” the whole of the country and that each member of that body was elected from their home to go forth and become a member of the whole. British politicians generally did not imagine that they were representing their hometown when they went to Parliament.

As an example of the basic assumption of Parliamentary representation, a pamphlet published in 1765 in London asserted that, “every Member of Parliament sits in the House not as a representative of his own constituents but as one of that august assembly by which all the commons of Great Briton are represented.” (”The Regulations Lately Made Concerning the Colonies and the Taxes Imposed Upon Them, Considered,” by Thomas Whately)

On the other side of the Atlantic, however, the American political system had evolved in the opposite direction. The distance between colonies, the fact that they didn’t all meet together and each represented distinct and separate proto-states, this tended to propel the colonial political scene toward local interests and control. Consequently, when someone was sent to any political office in the colonies, it was expected that he would represent those that sent him, not the greater body into which he entered. Local interests were premier.

Consequently, when it came time for Parliament to consider tax policies to be imposed on the colonists (the Paper Tax, Tea Tax, Towshend Duties, et al), there was no expectation among them that the colonists themselves needed any members of their own sitting in Parliament to represent their fellows. Parliament itself was considered the proper representation of all Great Briton’s possessions regardless of what individuals sat there.

The colonists, however, were quite upset that their own people had no voice in the national body and were incensed that taxes descended upon them without their ascent to the policy. Parliament seemed haughty, disinterested, unconnected and unconcerned with the colonist’s needs and desires and Americans felt as if enslaved to far off masters that never asked for as much as a by your leave. The people and the government seemed in no way connected to the colonists.

Now, doesn’t that sound like Congress today?

Of course, this is not to say that Congress is in every way a far off body of disinterested masters haughtily unconcerned with the voices back home. But who cannot see that it is becoming more like that every day?

Repeatedly, for instance, we find Congressmen and Senators suddenly adopting the national party line and doing a 180 from previous positions — the ones that got them elected — or succumbing to giant piles of cash from interests outside the state that elected them. Remember Al Gore, the staunchly anti-abortion politician from Tennessee that suddenly became a Roe fan once he entered Congress and decided he had national political ambitions? Even this year we saw Senator Gillibrand from New York do an instantaneous about face on the Second Amendment once she entered the Senate. She was well known as pro-Second Amendment and then she got appointed to the Senate and, voila, she’s suddenly anti-Second Amendment. Additionally, Republicans in Illinois just discovered that Congressman Mark Kirk is a proponent of Cap and Trade proving himself amenable to destroying the entire energy industry and laying an oppressive tax on every American despite what they might want. Why did he do it? Because he got money from the enviro-wacko lobby from outside his state and decided to give them his vote instead of the people of Illinois, that’s why. It was a simple, unprincipled dash for the cash.

Increasingly nationally focused Non-Governmental Organizations are gathering large sums of money to influence Congressmen to their cause whether the people back home care about the lobbyist’s issue or not and this is not to mention the increasingly demanding control of the national party establishment forcing Congressmen to spout the party line often times in contravention to what those at home support.

There are many reasons for this. The 17th Amendment, for instance, dangerously detached members of the Senate from local control by making them beasts of the party and elected by “the people,” instead of sent by the states to represent state interests. And there is the increasing cost of running for election. Any more, only the ultra rich can run a campaign without having to worry if the national party will support them financially — and that support is often keyed toward whether or not the candidate assumes the party line.

As it happens, the voice of the folks back home is receding farther and farther into the background as members of Congress pay increasing heed to national issues, donors outside their state, and party doctrine instead of local interests.

How long will it be until Congressmen will firmly decide that they represent “The United States” instead of the individual States there from? In fact, Congress is already far down that road toward ignoring the voices back home and deliberating on what they imagine is good for the whole of the country instead of those that sent them to D.C. in the first place.

So, how are they getting away with it? One way is that, while these unconnected, haughty pols make laws they deem it in their political interests to pass, they hide behind baubles and pork sent home in an insincere attempt to make it seem as if they are “doing something” for the folks back home.

Still, our voices from home can force a Congressman to change course. But it takes the collective outrage of the people back home to force that course correction because all too often it seems as if Congress is intent on its own agenda with no mind to what the little people back home might want. Instead of going to Congress with their constituents first and foremost in their minds, the people are an afterthought as the national agenda is pursued.

Congress may not quite yet be a perfect emulation of the Parliament that taxed American colonists without including them in on the decision making process, but how much longer will it be until that hubris is revisited on the people of this nation?

We should not entirely despair, of course. The true system that the founders created is still there underneath all the garbage that later generations piled on top of it. It will take dedication of the citizens to hold their representatives accountable to return this system to a more pure one, but more than that it will take education. As Ben Franklin is reputed to have said to a woman wondering what the founder had wrought, we have a Republic “if we can keep it.” That takes educating ourselves on the issues as well as just how our government is supposed to work.

All is not lost, to be sure. But with the poor education we are now offering our youth, it cannot be much longer before no one has the slightest clue what it was that the founders created and just why it is special enough not to let slip through our fingers.

We conservatives serve as the stopgap to the degradation of our country. Liberals and the uneducated see no reason not to rush headlong to wholesale destruction of what the United States “is.” They just don’t care a whit about what we are. Like Buckley said, it is our duty to stand athwart their path and yell STOP. But our duty is not just to be bellicose. Ours is to educate and keep this country on the straight and narrow and one of those duties involves holding our representatives accountable within the American system. We can fix it, if we have the fortitude. The alternative is to lose the world’s greatest nation and to see our great experiment end in failure and that is just what the left wants.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Remembering the Boston Tea Party

Lance marks the 236th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party

If you hadn’t already heard, today is the 236th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. The website EyeWitness to History has an account from George Hewes, who was there:

In about three hours from the time we went on board, we had thus broken and thrown overboard every tea chest to be found in the ship, while those in the other ships were disposing of the tea in the same way, at the same time. We were surrounded by British armed ships, but no attempt was made to resist us.

…The next morning, after we had cleared the ships of the tea, it was discovered that very considerable quantities of it were floating upon the surface of the water; and to prevent the possibility of any of its being saved for use, a number of small boats were manned by sailors and citizens, who rowed them into those parts of the harbor wherever the tea was visible, and by beating it with oars and paddles so thoroughly drenched it as to render its entire destruction inevitable.
God bless the lovers of liberty. Let us resolve to make sure that we throw out every miscreant politician who seeks to deny us our natuiral rights. Remember in November!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A message to RINOs, Newtists, and David Brooks!

To every single "Republican" who says backing Conseratives will lead to failure for the GOP, we at WWTFFD say HELL NO! 
Rubio tied with Crist! There's a lesson here for the NRSC. Something about pearls before swine.
At this rate, Crist might be Scozzafavaed by March of next year. One can only hope, at least.

Red Code Rally photos

Taking our country back from the Neo-Marxists is job number one. Here are some pictures of some patriots with the right idea, via the Left Coast Rebel

More info at Michelle Malkin

Ed posted some videos at The DaleyGator, so please check them out

What happens when the government ignores our Constitution?

One of the founding principles was the right to own property. But, today, our "leaders" seem to lean far more towards the Stalinist view of "property rights". Via The Pirates Cove

The Clean Water Restoration Act currently pending in the U.S. Senate could reach to control even a “seasonal puddle” on private property.

Eleven senators and 17 representatives in the U.S. House have sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasting the measure as one of the boldest property grab attempts of all time.

This bill is described by opponents as a sweeping overhaul of the Clean Water Act that could threaten both physical land and jobs by wiping out some farmers entirely.

“Right now, the law says that the Environmental Protection Agency is in charge of all navigable water,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Western Caucus and an opponent of the bill.

“Well, this bill removes the word ‘navigable,’ so for ranchers and farmers who have mud puddles, prairie potholes — anything from snow melting on their land — all of that water will now come under the regulation of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency,” he said.
They just keep taking away our liberties, because they DO NOT BELIEVE in liberty! My friends, we must take this nation back, and it starts with removing these miscreants next November!

Mourning the Bill of Rights

Great post up over at the Classic Liberal

Today is Bill of Rights Day. Should we celebrate? Or should we mourn the Bill of Rights?
The Bill of Rights should be mourned, not celebrated. It is defunct. Intended as the bulwark of the right of decentralized self-government, it now serves mainly as an excuse for the opposite: a roving judicial veto of state policies that federal judges dislike.

So, if the people of virtually every state ban flag burning or regulate abortion, provide capital punishment or support prayer in school, that does not settle the matter. Unlike 200 or 100 years ago, today the federal judiciary is apt to step in to stop state legislatures from adopting policies like this.

The people never consented to have the federal judges behave this way.

The purpose of the first ten amendments was laid out clearly by their Preamble. “Preamble?” You might ask. “What preamble?” Although the main body of the Constitution is never published without its Preamble, one could study American history for a lifetime without ever encountering the Preamble to the Bill of Rights.

That Preamble says that Congress is recommending amendments to the states because a number of states in ratifying the Constitution “expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added.” Since the people were afraid of the new Federal Government, that is, the Bill of Rights was being added to hedge in the powers of the Federal Government more carefully.

So, for example, the Tenth Amendment stated what Thomas Jefferson called the underlying principle of the entire Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” In other words, the Constitution gave the Federal Government a few enumerated powers, and those were all.

That is why the First Amendment begins by saying that, “Congress shall make no law.” Congress, not government generally. The point was to leave such questions in the hands of elected state legislators.

America’s Revolution was fought and won in the name of self-government via elections to state legislatures. King George III and Parliament insisted that those legislatures could legislate only when and as far-off officials essentially unaccountable to American colonists said they could. The Americans rejected that idea. In fact, rejecting that idea was what made Britain’s North American colonists into Americans.
Be sure to read it all, our nation is dying right before our eyes. It is dying because of many things, but the most telling blow comes from abandoning our founding documents My friends, pray for this nation.

God blessed us with those men who had the wisdom to found this nation, and only He can now bless us with the leaders to return us to our roots.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

American Liberty v. Obama’s Social Engineering

Frank Salvato has a great piece up over at The Publius Forum. It is a must read and fits perectly into what this blog is all about.

After the General Election of 2008 I made a conscious effort to give President Obama a chance. I wanted to give him an opportunity to be true to his word; to prove that he was committed to governing from the center. I also wanted to demonstrate that I was not of the same ilk as the Bush-hating, “he stole the election,” fact-ignoring Progressive malcontents that served to divide the country over the eight years of the Bush Administration. But now, a year after the election, and as we approach a full year of the Obama Administration, it has become abundantly clear that Mr. Obama has abandoned almost all of his campaign promises (but for his commitments to the SEIU) and is governing from the far Left. He has instituted a campaign of social engineering that can only be described as a direct threat to liberty.

Liberty is defined as, “freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.” It was the single most motivating factor in the American Revolution and war for independence. Our Founders and Framers risked their lives to free the people of what would become our nation from the elitist tyranny of King George and his court, a tyranny that choked liberty – personal and societal – dead.

In addition to the limitations placed on religious freedom and freedom of speech, taxation was excessive and exploitative and it was imposed without representation. Many of the colonists believed the denial of direct representation in the British Parliament was an illegal denial of their rights, as colonists were considered Englishmen subject to the king’s rule. Thus the credo, “no taxation without representation,” served as the rallying cry for Patriots in each of the thirteen colonies as they coalesced into a movement toward American independence.

Thomas Jefferson is quoted as having said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” If Jefferson were alive today to witness the encroachment of government into the private sector being perpetrated by the Obama Administration or the non-representation of constituencies in the House of Representatives under Nancy Pelosi and the US Senate under Harry Reid, he would be validated in his statement.
Intolerable Acts

In the run-up to the American Revolution, the British Parliament imposed five laws that Patriot colonists referred to as “Intolerable Acts .” Four laws were enacted in direct response to the Boston Tea Party:

The Boston Port Act closed the port until such time as the East India Company should be paid for the tea destroyed.

The Massachusetts Government Act gave complete control of seating government officials to the King and Parliament. It also severely limited activities at town hall meetings.

The Administration of Justice Act allowed the king’s appointed governor to move trials of accused royal officials to another colony or even to Great Britain. This made it nearly impossible for witnessed to testify against those charged due to monetary and geographical constraints.

The Quartering Act allowed the king’s appointed governor to house soldiers in non-governmental buildings.

The rult of the imposition of these acts was the formation of the First Continental Congress and the eventual Declaration of Independence, which not only stated the colony’s declared independence, but enumerated the Patriot colonists’ grievances with the king.
Intolerable Acts II

Today, we are witnessing another establishment of “Intolerable Acts” by the 111th Congress and the Obama Administration that enable an encroachment into the private sector and onto the personal liberties of every American; an encroachment of liberties that dwarves the Intolerable Acts of 1774.
The Stimulus Bill

The $787 billion stimulus bill that was rushed through Congress by a coalition of liberal Democrats and neo-Marxist Progressives, and signed into law by President Obama, was less a bill that stimulated the growth of the US economy or the creation of jobs and more a pork-laden special interest bill that was timed to be dispersed for the maximum political benefit it could afford the elected Democrats and Progressives. In reality, the almost trillion dollar legislation was a raid on the Treasury by political factions to reward loyal special interest groups and bankroll the intellectual manipulation of voters in 2010 and 2012, just before the elections.

The Healthcare Reform Bill

The trillion dollar healthcare bills proposed by both houses of Congress and championed by the Obama Administration have more to do with a governmental power-grab of one-sixth of the US economy than they do with affording the uninsured in the United States healthcare benefits.

Instead of crafting legislation that would mandate the private sector to cover the uninsured and promote true free-market competition among private health insurance companies (which would lower premiums for all), the Obama Administration and Congress are deceptively marketing a government take-over of the healthcare insurance industry as a protection against the “evil healthcare insurance industry.” An examination of the almost bankrupt federal Medicare program provides a perfect example of government-run healthcare.

The EPA, CO2 and Cap & Trade

With the recent announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency that carbon dioxide (CO2 – the stuff we exhale and which is required for plant growth) is now considered a pollutant by the federal government, the Obama Administration has enabled itself to not only usurp the legislative process but coerce the electorate and the total of the energy industry into supporting a Cap & Trade Bill. Of course, this designation – as well as any legislation designed to address this issue – is based on the now debunked junk science of anthropological global warming – or what the disingenuous eco-zealots are now calling climate change.

With this designation, FOX News reports that the Obama Administration has positioned itself to force one of two outcomes with regard to energy management in the United States:
“The Obama administration is warning Congress that if it doesn’t move to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency will take a “command-and-control” role over the process in a way that could hurt business.
“The warning, from a top White House economic official who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity, came on the eve of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s address to the international conference on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“…while administration officials have long said they prefer Congress take action on climate change, the economic official who spoke with reporters Tuesday night made clear that the EPA will not wait and is prepared to act on its own.”
Taxation Without Representation

The 111th Congress and the Obama Administration have veered violently away from representative government where the citizenry is concerned and moved to execute a government that represents special interest groups, unions, advocacy organizations and the two political parties. They have crafted legislation behind closed doors and in the company of special interest groups and union officials that provides wealth and privilege to the few while mandating a debt that future generations will have to bear if, in fact, we do not collapse the US dollar and watch, helplessly, as our country fades into the pages of the history books as another failed experiment of government and human nature.

A Usurpation of the Established Branches of Government

In seating a plethora of “czars” – overseeing everything thing from broadcast regulation to safe schools, jobs and the economy to environmental issues – President Obama has effectively usurped the congressional oversight used to vet cabinet level appointees and department heads. In essence, Mr. Obama has seated a shadow government with ideological generals who answer to no one but him. This usurps the complete idea of representative government as mandated by the US Constitution.

The Revolution Starts Now
James Madison, the Father of the US Constitution, said in Federalist 10 :

“Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. Nor, in many cases, can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations, which will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may find in disregarding the rights of another or the good of the whole

“…Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.”

Today, enlightened statesmen are not at the helm. Political opportunists who have their own interests and the interests of the financial benefactors in a position of priority are seated in power. And while there are a scant few in government who still do adhere to the notion of public service and are still dedicated to their oaths of office and the US Constitution, the controlling majority of those in federal government – and in many cases state government – have come to represent everything our Founders and Framers despised in the elitists they waged war against for independence.
Now, the question is this, will those of us who still believe in the sanctity of the Charters of Freedom – The Declaration of independence, The US Constitution and The Bill of Rights – defend them, doing so in a cohesive manner so as to avoid the politics of factionalism – as with the institution of litmus test politics, or will we watch, helplessly, impotent, as Rome burns?


Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal . He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. He recently partnered in producing the first-ever symposium on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism in Washington, DC. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. He can be contacted at

Friday, December 11, 2009

Your Founding Quotes of the Day

Come from the greatness of Thomas Jefferson
The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.
How lovely it would be if Congress listened to that sage advice
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.
We can see today that the Democatic Party wishes that spirit to be non-existent.

An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.
Imagine if our political leaders had such character. Instead of seeking power, they would be seeking to serve their constituents.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
No words better sum up the divide between those Americans who love liberty, and those who desire the government to take care of our every need.

Cross posted at The DaleyGator

Saturday, December 5, 2009

No Isolated Incident: Why Was the Boston Massacre so Shocking?

-By Warner Todd Huston

You may heave heard of the saying “nature abhors a vacuum”? In essence, it means that once something disappears nature quickly fills the hole left behind. Well, in history there is another axiom about “vacuums.” It is that nothing occurs in one. In this short piece, we’ll take a moment to find out why the Boston Massacre was one of the final straws that severed the bonds of affection between the American Colonists and the British Crown and we’ll see that it didn’t occur in a proverbial vacuum. Far from being a sudden action or one that happened without precedent, the Boston Massacre was the culmination, at least philosophically so, of actions of a similar nature that had been happening in both England and the Colonies for months beforehand.

Any student of the American Revolutionary era knows of the Boston Massacre. It was that incident that occurred on March 5, 1770 in Boston, Massachusetts during which five colonists were killed by a contingent of skittish British Infantry. It was an incident inextricably linked to the beginning of the Revolution that founded the United States of America.

The row began when British Infantry private Hugh White was confronted by a townsman claiming that the soldier hadn’t paid a debt. The argument went on for some time during which more colonists gathered. At one point, Private White struck a young man with his musket butt angering the crowd further. Eventually, several hundred Bostonians gathered and began hurling insults at the beleaguered soldier causing several more British troops to come to White’s aid. Momentarily, one of the British troops was struck with a club and, once he regained his feet, the angered private fired his musket into the crowd. This startled the rest of the soldiers causing them to follow suit. It became clear later that the officer among them did not order his troops to open fire, but five colonists were killed in the incident nonetheless.

Soon afterward, the British soldier involved were arrested and charged with murder. At length, the imprisoned soldiers were represented in court by John Adams with the result that the men were acquitted of the crime. But Adams’ successful defense of these soldiers was not the sort of solution that allowed the Colonists to forgive and forget, nor was the final verdict looked upon by many as justice properly carried out. To the most suspicious of the Colonists, it appeared as if the fix was in.

By itself, it might seem odd that this one incident led inexorably to the American Revolution. A cynical review of that history might make one suspicious that the colonists merely inflated this messy conflict into far more than it really was to serve their separatist purposes. However, the Boston Massacre was not a lone, solitary incident but was of a piece with a series of events that led to this attack being a final straw of sorts.

To begin with, the political culture of the Colonies had been steeped in the small-government, pro-liberty thinking of English Whiggery made popular several decades prior by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon in the weekly periodical “The Independent Whig.” Trenchard himself was well-known among the most educated and politically active Colonists for writing a 1698 book entitled “A Short History of Standing Armies in England,” and even more famous — at least in the Colonies — for penning “Cato’s Letters,” an extended treaties on liberty, freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience. “Cato’s Letters” became one of the sources that fed the ideology of the American Patriots.

The fear of a standing army, though, had also become ubiquitous in the philosophy of peace loving colonists of both pro-separation as well as pro-British sentiment. A careful examination of history showed the colonists that every time a government emplaced an army among the people — those not on the frontiers, in any case — tyranny and despotism soon followed in that location. Boston had already been inflamed for two years before the massacre when the British regulars entered the town on October 1, 1768.

For his part, the governor of Massachusetts, Sir Francis Bernard, had been looking for a reason to bring in the Army to quell the rising incidents of tax evasion and other near mutinous behavior in his province. The Stamp Act and his ill advised 1760 Writs of Assistance to Massachusetts’ customs tax collectors had had the people in an uproar since he was appointed governor. During those two years, Bernard used these “lobsterbacks” to enforce tax collection as well as to act as a police force. Many incidents of a questionable nature had already occurred between these soldiers and the increasingly resentful townsfolk.

So, as Bernard escalated his actions by bringing in the military to tamp down insurrection his action inadvertently fed right into the worst fears that the colonists had. Once the troops arrived, the Colonists had become more sure than ever that their liberties were about to be stolen away from them and the fear that they were to go from free British citizens to virtual slaves under the heel of a standing army that would be used to grind them into dust became common even among some pro-royalists.

To spread the word, as the British Army entered Boston, a series of articles began to appear in the New York Journal (from dispatches sent out of Boston) chronicling the outrages suffered by Bostonians at the hands of the British regulars. The series lasted from October 13, 1768 to November 30, 1769. Called “The Journal of the Times,” this series was reprinted first in the Pennsylvania Chronicle, then the Boston Evening Post and then throughout the Colonies. These articles also appeared widely in England.

But, it wasn’t just a matter of fears and a ginning up of suspicions by those interested in rabble rousing against the Crown that led to further feelings of revolutionary zeal. Real incidents of government abuse were piling up one on top of the next in both the Colonies and England herself previous to the Boston Massacre. Every move the soldiers made was viewed as another act of oppression of the Colonist’s liberties and rights as Englishmen.

There was also a situation occurring in England that seemed to mirror the oppression happening in the New World. Americans with political interest had become taken with the situation of English politician and radical John Wilkes. Wilkes was seen by many Americans as the epitome of the man of the people standing against the tyranny of overpowering government.

Wilkes had been voted into Parliament by his voters half a dozen times, yet the Crown refused again and again to allow him to take his seat. At some point, Wilkes had ben accused of being an “outlaw” for having written a ribald poem titled “An Essay on Women” that the Crown deemed pornographic and it was widely known that a particular member of Parliament used his position to thwart Wilkes’ ability to take his rightful seat in that body. Wilkes was involved in an awful lot of controversy but one incident in particular caused the American Colonists to see him as their example of growing English tyranny.

In May of 1768 a mob had formed in St. George’s Fields, London to jeer the imprisonment of John Wilkes. As it happened a detachment of British troops fired on this crowd killing several. The troops were also used to hunt down and shoot to death a young boy that was, it turned out, wrongly accused of being one of the mob’s leaders. Worse, those soldiers involved in the St. George’s Fields massacre were let off without any consequences, a situation that many Americans would see as a parallel with the not guilty verdict of the soldiers in Boston a few years later.

Not long after this incident in London, in February of 1770, some soldiers in Boston ended up killing an eleven-year-old boy in another riot against a customs house there. Because of the amount of time it took for incidents to be communicated over the vast ocean, the St. George’s Fields attack was fresh in the minds of the colonists and many quickly equated this Boston incident to the Wilkes incident. Of course, shortly after the eleven-year-old boy was killed by British troops in Boston in February of 1770, the Boston Massacre occurred in March.

These incidents, the constant harassment and imprisonment of the popularly elected Wlikes in London, the killing of civilians during the 1768 riot in England and the killing of the boy in 1770 in Boston, as well as the irritant of the British troops being used against the Colonists in Boston, added up to an obvious conspiracy to destroy British liberty, quash British rights, and unleash a despotic, overweening government upon the people. It all amounted to a final straw as far as many were concerned.

Yet, then came a brief two-year-long period when it almost seemed as if the Crown had begun to realize its mistake. The troops were withdrawn from Boston and several of the onerous taxes like the Townshend Duties were repealed. But, by 1773 it started all over again with the Tea Act which soon to lead to the Boston Tea Party in December. From there it wasn’t long until full-blown revolution was on hand at the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775, which became the “shot heard round the world.”

Finally, it should be remembered that incidents of a like nature were playing out throughout the colonies, not just Boston, until Tea Parties of the sort that happened in Boston harbor occurred in several eastern costal cities in several colonies. It didn’t take much of a logical leap for politically active colonists to shift from imagining that their government was merely incompetent to feeling that there was a concerted plan emanating from the King and carried through several personnel changes in Parliament to destroy their constitutional rights as Englishmen.

As you can see, history is always more complicated than a simple review of “the” incidents is concerned. The Revolution did not skip from the Boston Massacre, to the Boston Tea Party to the first shots at the battle of Lexington and Concord but had rather a wide range of incidents both in the Americas and in the Motherland that finally led up to that great conflagration.

And now, you know a little it more about those interesting and perilous times.

Your founding quote of the day

Comes  from Ben Franklin, and is I think very timely considering the current attempt by climate change "Scientists" to say the deabte about AGW is settled, and the media's current policy of repeating this lie.

Printers are educated in the Belief, that when Men differ in Opinion, both sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Public; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter: Hence [printers] cheerfully serve all contending Writers that pay them well, without regarding on which side they are of the Question in Dispute

Friday, December 4, 2009

Your Founding quote of the day

Comes from George Mason.

When the last dutiful & humble petition from Congress received no other Answer than declaring us Rebels, and out of the King’s protection, I from that Moment look’d forward to a Revolution & Independence, as the only means of Salvation; and will risque the last Penny of my Fortune, & the last Drop of my Blood upon the Issue.

Why did Jefferson say "We hold these truths to be self-evident"?

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.

These words are the most well known in American history. The Declaration of Independence, penned by Thomas Jefferson, is the mission statement for the American republic. Every principle that America was founded upon can be traced back to those words Jefferson wrote in the Summer of 1776. Of all those words, so carefully chosen, and so eloquent, these two have been on my mind of late. "Self-evident." Why self-evident? Why did Jefferson choose those words?

I would submit that Jefferson chose those particular words because they best defined the most basic of American principles. That principle? That our rights, our basic liberties are natural rights. Not rights selected, alloted and limited by any government. Rather these rights, which would later be listed in our Constitution, are not man's, or government's to give, or to restrict. They are our rights at birth. Jefferson believed, as did Franklin, Mason, Madison, Washington, and the rest that it is the natural condition of mankind to be free. Alexander Hamilton defined the source of our liberties quite eloquently.

The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records.

They are written, as with a sun beam in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of  the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.

So, it was quite natural for Jefferson to use the words "We hold these truths to be self-evident" wasn't it? That liberty is the natural right of people was not a great discovery for our founders. To them, saying that humans are blessed with the freedom to pursue happiness, and live as they choose, was as simple as saying the sky is blue, or that grass is green. Again, Jefferson saw the great truth that birthed this great nation. We are created with certain liberties as surely as we are born with lungs, eyes, or toes.

To ask if a man ought to have liberty was to the founders a non-question. Men are free, because they were created to be free. Again, this, to men like Jefferson was what we might refer to today as a no-brainer. The importance of understanding this cannot be overstated if we are to understand why this country was founded. The words "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" ARE America.

Those words define the most basic principles that Americans must defend today. The Left does not believe Jefferson was right. Their ideology is so clouded witth delusions that they are not able to truly honor Jefferson's words. To the Left, despite their cliams of loving freedom, people are not created free. Take any issue that divides Left and Right and weigh it on the scales of Jefferson's words.

The right to self-defense? To keep and bear arms? To the Left, no such individual right should exist. In the Jefferson model, that right is not up for question. We are free, and being free means being free to defend ourselves, period!

Take the current debate over health care "reform". The plan that the Left favors mandates everyone have health insurance. It does not respect individualism. Again, this is completely anti-thetical to the principles of Jefferson.

Examine any position the Left argues for, and put in on the scales of Jefferson's principles. Government regulations, high taxes, laws that invade our personal lives, or that place the government in the role of restricting basic liberties, such as seat belt laws, laws dictating that a restaurant owner cannot allow smoking, or tax laws that punish the productive.

Take a close look at the relentless campign of political correctness the Left has been waging for years. How would Jefferson react to speech codes? The Fairness Doctrine? Net Neutrality? The war on Christmas? The war on any viewpoint that dares dissent from Leftist (Marxist) doctrines? What would Mr. Jefferson say about these?

I think Jefferson might see the real goal of the Left. I think he would have two very apt words to describe their agenda. Self-evident!