Citizen Control–Part 4

“Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” – Ronald Reagan

“Man is not free unless government is limited.” – Ronald Reagan

The above two quotes from Ronald Reagan sum up the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  It is an absolute abomination that the current government violates both of these statements as well as the Founding Documents of this country.  The problem is that many people within this country are oblivious to the apparent disregard our government & politicians have for the principles of our Founding Documents.

This last statement follows up the previous post in this series with this question:  In your government and/or civics classes, did your curriculum include a study of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?  Or was it a footnote in the history of this country?  In my classes in the 70’s, the answer is “No.”  My son’s textbooks and classes definitely did not.

The Constitution of the United States is a very simple document that outlines the roles and responsibilities of the three branches of government.  The Bill of Rights (the first ten Amendments to the Constitution) are the Rights of the People have over the government.  Both documents are easy to read, and can be read in 15 minutes or less.  But the implications of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are far reaching.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” – Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

“THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.” Preamble to The Bill of Rights

When read together, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights state that the People have power over the Government, not the other way around.  Let’s take a few examples of where the Government is not following our Founding Documents.

The most recent example of a violation of the Founding Documents is the Federal mandating of the purchase of health insurance.  No where in the Constitution does it state that as a condition of citizenship a person must purchase a product offered by a private company.  Our Supreme Court has played it fast & loose by accepting (wrongly) that this act is a tax – the fact remains that a citizen must purchase this product or face a penalty.

Another issue that is facing the modern Citizen is privacy.  The Fourth Amendment states,

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The warrantless gatherings of emails, phone records, and other information by the NSA is a violation of the Fourth Amendment if not in practice, then in spirit.  Now I understand that the Patriot Act supposedly authorizes the gathering of such records, and if so, the Patriot Act violates the Fourth Amendment.

The Fifth Amendment states:

“…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

In 2005, the Supreme Court held that government, under eminent domain law, could transfer property from one private party to another if “just compensation” is given and the transfer is in the public good.  At issue was a person did not want to sell their property to a developer wanting to build a shopping mall.  For the sake of jobs and tax revenue, the government sued and won.  This ruling legalized the virtual theft of private assets on the whim of whoever is in power, and I believe in violation of the Fifth Amendment, no matter what the Supreme Court ruled.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Ronald Reagan

It is now up to the average citizen to educate themselves as to the rights of a Citizen of the United States, and to what limitations that the government is legally to follow.  In today’s low-information voter, that isn’t likely to happen until government personally impacts that person.  Usually, it is then too late.

We must indeed be vigilant and vocal with our representatives, holding them accountable to their oaths to this country and to the People they represent.  Otherwise, we will indeed get the country we truly deserve.

Citizen Control–Part 3

Captain Renault: “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”

Croupier: “Your winnings, sir.”

Casablanca, 1942

In the first two parts of this series, I have shown that our government is in the process of controlling the United States citizenry through economic means (taxes and rampant spending),  unfettered interference (mind-numbing laws & regulations), and an increasing reliance upon government for daily needs by the population (Welfare, healthcare insurance, and other subsidies).  And government, via the political class, is hell-bent on keeping their power over the People.

One of the ways that government has been keeping control over the population has been in the field of education.  “Common Core” is only the latest of education schemes designed to inhibit learning and increase dependence upon government to “help.”  I seem to remember in my earlier years the “new math” craze where the right answer didn’t matter as long as the method was correct (which is utter BS, by the way – if the method is correct, you will arrive at the correct answer).

I was taught to read using phonics.  My son was encouraged to use the whole word method (i.e., word memorization).  I will tell you right now, trying to memorize a dictionary is impossible unless you are a savant.  To this day, he has difficulty reading even after tutoring in phonics – his Asperger’s Syndrome inhibits his “unlearning” a faulty method.

Which is why we appear to have 50 million functional illiterate people

There have been several news articles in recent weeks concerning Common Core, especially math.  The following graphic is a perfect example why this learning methodology isn’t worth the paper it’s written on:

A parent’s letter to “Jack” – Priceless!!

I’m pleased to see my home state of Indiana has rejected Common Core lock, stock, and barrel.  More states and school districts are following suit.

One of the things that irritated me beyond belief with the school system is that they constantly teach how to pass a test, usually leading up to the SAT or ACT standardized tests for admittance to colleges and universities.  It frosted me to see kids doing well on these tests, getting accepted to colleges and universities, but having to take remedial classes just so they would have a half a chance to make it through the first semester.

And the above is in addition to the “let’s make everyone feel special” movement to supposedly boost self-esteem.  Let me tell you – when my son got out of high-school, expected to walk into a business expecting to get a job, and was promptly rejected multiple times, he found out very quickly that the world is not a fair place by any stretch of the imagination.  He found out what the schools were saying was wrong and his old man was right – self-esteem is earned and learned, not given out like candy and bogus grades.

President Carter created the Department of Education in 1979 ”to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”  In my humble opinion, the opposite is true – other countries are surpassing the United States despite more money being funneled into the education system (NPR report here).  We are not even in the top 20 of developed nations.

So here’s where we are now at:  Children and young adults are graduating from high school and college without a firm grasp upon the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, and critical thinking skills.  The result is that we now have a undereducated population, otherwise known as the low-information voter who is easier to be manipulated because they have not learned these basics.

“Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination.” – Thomas Sowell

“If the education of our kids comes from radio, television, newspapers – if that’s where they get most of their knowledge from, and not from the schools, then the powers that be are definitely in charge, because they own all those outlets.” – Maynard James Keenan

It’s not a big stretch to hear Fred Sanford telling the country, “You big dummy!” and it be true.  The ship of public education in this country is sinking fast, and the public is jumping ship to private and charter schools – at least those that can afford it.  For those that cannot, they will be subjected to an expensive, sub-standard education mandated by faceless bureaucrats at the State & Federal levels.

Pity, for no one knows what potential is lost by the under education of children…and the resulting increased control of those same children as adults.

Citizen Control–Part 2

A gilded cage, no matter how gilded, fancy or comfortable, is still a cage.

Maslow states that human motivation is based upon a hierarchy of needs from the most basic (food, water, air, sleep) to the highest (self-actualization).  The following graphic from Wikipedia is a better visualization than what I could describe in words. 

Now, I’m not a devious person, but having slept in a Holiday Inn Express a few times and watching the world around me, the way I could control people is to make them dependent upon me.  In other words, for a person to eat and have a roof over their heads (i.e., survive), they would have to depend on my generosity.  How many movies have been made on such a premise?

Hollywood doesn’t have a monopoly on this idea.  Our government via subsidies, Welfare, grants, and so on has ingratiated itself into so many facets of our lives it is truly disturbing.  For example –

Last year, during the sequestration and the various political threats being thrown back and forth, the EBT debit system mysteriously went off-line.  People who depend (and some who don’t) on these EBT cards for their survival screamed loud and long, in some cases threatening riots unless the problem was fixed immediately.  Not surprisingly, the system was fixed within a couple of days, but the message was clear – many people are dependent upon the government for their survival.  This is power over the people.

I don’t need to tell you that this is absolutely backward from what this country was founded upon.  Hard work, self-sufficiency, and achievement have given way to no work, dependency, and mediocrity.  For shame…

The populace has bought into the idea that government serves the people by taking care of the people.  We The People have forgotten that we are the government.  We The People have allowed this to happen not overnight, but over many, many years.  To illustrate, here is a story from my personal Facebook page:

There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt. The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist regime.

In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked:

“Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line.

The young man said that it was no joke. “You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in Canada & the United States. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.

The government is now in the middle of another scheme to control the People, and that scheme is the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare.  We all have seen the stories of people losing their coverage, losing their doctors, not being able to afford the new premiums or the deductibles, and the list goes on.  ObamaCare isn’t about health or healthcare, it is about controlling yet one more facet of the lives of the citizens of this country.

The people of this country are waking up to what government is up to, although slower than what I personally would like.  It’s hard to vote for a candidate that states that he will reform the government when you are dependent upon the government for your survival.  And that is what Conservative and Constitutionalist candidates are up against.  But these same people have to remember these two statements to put it all in perspective:

There is no free lunch – someone will have to eventually pay for it.

A government big enough to give you everything is also big enough to take everything away.

Is that how you want to live?

Citizen Control – Part 1

What is history but the story of how politicians have squandered the blood and treasure of the human race?” ― Thomas Sowell

Our recent history has proven that the politicians of both political parties have done exactly that – they are spending away the resources of the American People.  Our national debt is now in excess of 17 Trillion dollars, the President has submitted a budget that increases governmental spending across the board except for national defense, and Congress has repeatedly passed legislation extending the debt limits of the United States.  In return, the American People are required to shoulder the burdens of these actions under threat of confiscation of assets and incarceration. 

Is this really the United States that the Founders had in mind?

Our Founders had the concept of a limited government accountable to the People of the country.  As the Declaration of Independence states, “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.”  Interference from, servitude to, or dependence upon a government was not part of that concept.  Indeed, the Constitution of the United States clearly state what limits were placed upon the Federal Government, and what Rights of the People were not up for debate or alteration without the consent of the People.

And yet, here we are, 225 years after the ratification of the Constitution, we are watching this country of ours being decimated by politicians for no other reason than naked political power and megalomania.  The Founders understood that our Constitution was in danger of such actions by unscrupulous people.

“Among the most formidable of the obstacles which the new Constitution will have to encounter may readily be distinguished the obvious interest of a certain class of men in every State to resist all changes which may hazard a diminution of the power, emolument, and consequence of the offices they hold under the State establishments; and the perverted ambition of another class of men, who will either hope to aggrandize themselves by the confusions of their country, or will flatter themselves with fairer prospects of elevation from the subdivision of the empire into several partial confederacies than from its union under one government.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #1

Indeed, we find ourselves under a government similar to one that our Founders sought to liberate us from, and to prevent from being inflicted upon the People of the United States.  While we do not have a monarchy to contend with, we have something much worse – an Executive Branch that has multiple branches of bureaucracy, a Legislative Branch that refuses to be responsible to the People, and a Judicial Branch that looks to other countries for legal precedents rather than view the history and laws of this country.  Almost all of these Branches are headed by people, both elected and appointed, who are driven by personal agendas, political philosophy, and egos beyond compare.  This is a many-headed Hydra that is overwhelming for the People to comprehend much less deal with.

Government via the politicians and the bureaucrats depend upon the size and mind-numbing complexity of government to achieve it’s goals, which are self-preservation and expansion.  Just in the past 15 years, we have witnessed the beginnings of a government takeover of healthcare, the establishment of several new government departments (the TSA and DHS among them), the Patriot Act (where rights are suspended if a terrorist activity is suspected), expansion without accountability of government subsidies, and bailouts, grants, & investments (mostly bad) of industries.  And this list is barely scratching the surface.

Additionally, I read the other day that there are over 172,000 Federal regulations, and the number is climbing every day.  It was speculated in this article that it would be possible for you, an ordinary citizen, could be violating a half-dozen of these regulations and never even know it!  This is the government We The People have, not the one that We The People were to have.

“James Madison wrote that “a people who mean to be their own governors must be armed with the power that knowledge gives”. 

“The founders knew that only an educated populace, jealous of their rights, would be strong enough to resist the usurpation of their liberties by government. Today many people know nothing of our true history, or the source of our rights.” – TheFederalistPapers.org

We The People must be educated of our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and the limits of Government.  This will be the only way We The People can effect change within our Country.

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