Secession: Is There Any State That Could Successfully Secede?

June 15, 2009

I’ve recently offered the opinion that any person who loves and desires liberty has but two choices:

1) Moving to a state that seceded from the United States

2) Emigration to another country

The more I look at the realities of state government here at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, I am beginning to seriously question whether any current state of the Union has what it takes to even seriously consider secession, much less actually complete a formal secession from the Union.

If any of you watched the movie “The Matrix,” you’ll remember the scene in which Thomas Anderson (not yet Neo) was being removed from the Matrix. In this scene, he awakens before the fluid has been drained from his pod. As he jerks the intravenous lines out of his arms, he peers over the edge of the pod and sees hundreds of other pods below…just like his. They are all storage batteries for the Matrix, kept alive to power the system.

Are the fifty states of the USA any different? Is there any one state that can and will throw off its IV lines and reject the Washington Matrix?

The state governments have been run by Washington for decades now. Many of the DC Congress members got their start in state houses across America. That is where they got a taste for being part of the ruling class. So, state legislatures seem to be the farm system for DC politics.

A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. The laws that the legislators and Congress members pass exempt themselves regularly. Those exemptions become perquisites (perks) of power.

Because the ruling class is so inured to the trappings of nobility, I gravely doubt whether the present-day state legislators have the ability, morality or courage to cast off from the national sinking ship and seek their own fortunes.

Secession would naturally force any state to radically alter its methods of governance. Otherwise, it would be “mini-me” of Washington.

Here is a short list of the challenges a state will face from secession:

1. The Washington money pipeline will be turned off. How will that state raise revenues? The citizens of that state will expect their taxes to diminish equal to the former Federal burden. If the state tries to sop up the tax revenue that was going to Washington, the citizens could revolt.

2.  What will that State do if Washington doesn’t accept their secession? Will it form a state militia and defend its borders? War against Washington is serious.

3. Would the new State reject the jurisdiction of the Federal courts, and thus refuse to accept legal challenges to its secession in any court but its own? What will that State do with seated judges who are anti-secession?

4. Any state that has no history of self-governance will have no clue what to do. States like Texas, which was a sovereign nation before statehood, will be better equipped to move forward.

5. A seceding state will need a founding document, such as a constitution. Why should anyone believe that politicians who either ignore or violate the present Constitution would suddenly become statesmen with consciences?

6. Every state function will have to be evaluated to determine its necessity. However, if a new state government sets about to create new agencies to mimic the DC government, it will not work. “Meet the new boss…same as the old boss.”

7. Will the new State deliver the mail?

8. What will they use for money? US currency? Will the new State mint its own currency, or simply authorize and regulate bank-issued currency?

9. Would the states that share borders with the seceding State honor the secession and seek diplomacy and trade?

10. Would the DC government allow aircraft from the seceding State to fly over US territory, or create a “no-fly zone?” Would the US allow open borders?

You see? Secession, while easy to discuss, is very difficult to performMy conclusion here is this: I do not know of a single American state that comports itself in a liberty-leaning manner in 2009. I do not know of a single state that presently squirms under the thumb of Washington. I don’t see any single state that is serious about secession and becoming a sovereign nation unto itself. Therefore, why should I believe that the secessionist movement in America is anything more than the musings of a powerless, disgruntled minority?

If you know of an American state that is trying to “live liberty”, let me know what it is.

I wonder if any state has people with the intelligence required to secede and then become what the original states were, laboratories of liberty.


In Diversity is Freedom, by Paul Starobin

June 15, 2009

Remember that classic Beatles riff of the 1960s: “You say you want a revolution?” Imagine this instead: a devolution. Picture an America that is run not, as now, by a top-heavy Washington autocracy but, in freewheeling style, by an assemblage of largely autonomous regional republics reflecting the eclectic economic and cultural character of the society.

There might be an austere Republic of New England, with a natural strength in higher education and technology; a Caribbean-flavored city-state Republic of Greater Miami, with an anchor in the Latin American economy; and maybe even a Republic of Las Vegas with unfettered license to pursue its ambitions as a global gambling, entertainment and conventioneer destination. California? America’s broke, ill-governed and way-too-big nation-like state might be saved, truly saved, not by an emergency federal bailout, but by a merciful carve-up into a trio of republics that would rely on their own ingenuity in making their connections to the wider world. And while we’re at it, let’s make this project bi-national—economic logic suggests a natural multilingual combination between Greater San Diego and Mexico’s Northern Baja, and, to the Pacific north, between Seattle and Vancouver in a megaregion already dubbed “Cascadia” by economic cartographers.

Devolved America is a vision faithful both to certain postindustrial realities as well as to the pluralistic heart of the American political tradition—a tradition that has been betrayed by the creeping centralization of power in Washington over the decades but may yet reassert itself as an animating spirit for the future. Consider this proposition: America of the 21st century, propelled by currents of modernity that tend to favor the little over the big, may trace a long circle back to the original small-government ideas of the American experiment. The present-day American Goliath may turn out to be a freak of a waning age of politics and economics as conducted on a super-sized scale—too large to make any rational sense in an emerging age of personal empowerment that harks back to the era of the yeoman farmer of America’s early days. The society may find blessed new life, as paradoxical as this may sound, in a return to a smaller form.

This perspective may seem especially fanciful at a time when the political tides all seem to be running in the opposite direction. In the midst of economic troubles, an aggrandizing Washington is gathering even more power in its hands. The Obama Administration, while considering replacing top executives at Citigroup, is newly appointing a “compensation czar” with powers to determine the retirement packages of executives at firms accepting federal financial bailout funds. President Obama has deemed it wise for the U.S. Treasury to take a majority ownership stake in General Motors in a last-ditch effort to revive this Industrial Age brontosaurus. Even the Supreme Court is getting in on the act: A ruling this past week awarded federal judges powers to set the standards by which judges for state courts may recuse themselves from cases.

All of this adds up to a federal power grab that might make even FDR’s New Dealers blush. But that’s just the point: Not surprisingly, a lot of folks in the land of Jefferson are taking a stand against an approach that stands to make an indebted citizenry yet more dependent on an already immense federal power. The backlash, already under way, is a prime stimulus for a neo-secessionist movement, the most extreme manifestation of a broader push for some form of devolution. In April, at an anti-tax “tea party” held in Austin, Governor Rick Perry of Texas had his speech interrupted by cries of “secede.” The Governor did not sound inclined to disagree. “Texas is a unique place,” he later told reporters attending the rally. “When we came into the Union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that.”

Such sentiments resonate beyond the libertarian fringe. The Daily Kos, a liberal Web site, recently asked Perry’s fellow Texas Republicans, “Do you think Texas would be better off as an independent nation or as part of the United States of America? It was an even split: 48% for the U.S., 48% for a sovereign Texas, 4% not sure. Amongst all Texans, more than a third—35%—said an independent Texas would be better. The Texas Nationalist Movement claims that over 250,000 Texans have signed a form affirming the organization’s goal of a Texas nation.

Secessionist feelings also percolate in Alaska, where Todd Palin, husband of Governor Sarah Palin, was once a registered member of the Alaska Independence Party. But it is not as if the Right has a lock on this issue: Vermont, the seat of one of the most vibrant secessionist movements, is among the country’s most politically-liberal places. Vermonters are especially upset about imperial America’s foreign excursions in hazardous places like Iraq. The philosophical tie that binds these otherwise odd bedfellows is belief in the birthright of Americans to run their own affairs, free from centralized control. Their hallowed parchment is Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, on behalf of the original 13 British colonies, penned in 1776, 11 years before the framers of the Constitution gathered for their convention in Philadelphia. “The right of secession precedes the Constitution—the United States was born out of secession,” Daniel Miller, leader of the Texas Nationalist Movement, put it to me. Take that, King Obama.

Today’s devolutionists, of all stripes, can trace their pedigree to the “anti-federalists” who opposed the compact that came out of Philadelphia as a bad bargain that gave too much power to the center at the expense of the limbs. Some of America’s most vigorous and learned minds were in the anti-federalist camp; their ranks included Virginia’s Patrick Henry, of “give me liberty or give me death” renown. The sainted Jefferson, who was serving as a diplomat in Paris during the convention, is these days claimed by secessionists as a kindred anti-federal spirit, even if he did go on to serve two terms as president.

The anti-federalists lost their battle, but history, in certain respects, has redeemed their vision, for they anticipated how many Americans have come to feel about their nation’s seat of federal power. “This city, and the government of it, must indubitably take their tone from the character of the men, who from the nature of its situation and institution, must collect there,” the anti-federalist pamphleteer known only as the Federal Farmer wrote. “If we expect it will have any sincere attachments to simple and frugal republicanism, to that liberty and mild government, which is dear to the laborious part of a free people, we most assuredly deceive ourselves.”

In the mid-19th century, the anti-federalist impulse took a dark turn, attaching itself to the cause of the Confederacy, which was formed by the unilateral secession of 13 southern states over the bloody issue of slavery. Lincoln had no choice but to go to war to preserve the Union—and ever since, anti-federalism, in almost any guise, has had to defend itself from the charge of being anti-modern and indeed retrograde.

But nearly a century and a half has passed since Johnny Rebel whooped for the last time. Slavery is dead, and so too is the large-scale industrial economy that the Yankees embraced as their path to victory over the South and to global prosperity. The model lasted a long time, to be sure, surviving all the way through the New Deal and the first several decades of the post-World War II era, coming a cropper at the tail end of the 1960s, just as the economist John Kenneth Galbraith was holding out “The New Industrial State,” the master-planned economy, as a seemingly permanent condition of modern life.

Not quite. In a globalized economy transformed by technological innovations hatched by happily-unguided entrepreneurs, history seems to be driving one nail after another into the coffin of the big, which is why the Obama planners and their ilk, even if they now ride high, may be doomed to fail. No one anymore expects the best ideas to come from the biggest actors in the economy, so should anyone expect the best thinking to be done by the whales of the political world?

A notable prophet for a coming age of smallness was the diplomat and historian George Kennan, a steward of the American Century with an uncanny ability to see past the seemingly-frozen geopolitical arrangements of the day. Kennan always believed that Soviet power would “run its course,” as he predicted back in 1951, just as the Cold War was getting under way, and again shortly after the Soviet Union collapsed, he suggested that a similar fate might await the United States. America has become a “monster country,” afflicted by a swollen bureaucracy and “the hubris of inordinate size,” he wrote in his 1993 book, “Around the Cragged Hill: A Personal and Political Philosophy.” Things might work better, he suggested, if the nation was “decentralized into something like a dozen constituent republics, absorbing not only the powers of the existing states but a considerable part of those of the present federal establishment.”

Kennan’s genius was to foresee that matters might take on an organic, a bottom-up, life of their own, especially in a society as dynamic and as creative as America. His spirit, the spirit of an anti-federalist modernist, can be glimpsed in an intriguing “mega-region” initiative encompassing greater San Diego County, next-door Imperial County and, to the immediate south of the U.S. border, Northern Baja, Mexico. Elected officials representing all three participating areas recently unveiled “Cali Baja, a Bi-National Mega-Region,” as the “international marketing brand” for the project.

The idea is to create a global economic powerhouse by combining San Diego’s proven abilities in scientific research and development with Imperial County’s abundance of inexpensive land and availability of water rights and Northern Baja’s manufacturing base, low labor costs and ability to supply the San Diego area with electricity during peak-use terms. Bilingualism, too, is a key—with the aim for all children on both sides of the border to be fluent in both English and Spanish. The project director is Christina Luhn, a Kansas native, historian and former staffer on the National Security Council in Ronald Reagan’s White House in the mid-1980s. Contemporary America as a unit of governance may be too big, even the perpetually-troubled state of California may be too big, she told me, by way of saying that the political and economic future may belong to the megaregions of the planet. Her conviction is that large systems tend not to endure—“they break apart, there’s chaos, and at some point, new things form,” she said.

The notion that small is better and even inevitable no doubt has some flavor of romance—even amounting to a kind of modern secular faith, girded by a raft of multi-disciplinary literature that may or may not be relevant. Luhn takes her philosophical cue not only from Kennan but also from the science writer and physicist M. Mitchell Waldrop, author of “Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos.”

Even for the hard-edged secessionist crowd, with their rapt attentiveness to America’s roots, popular texts in the future-trend genre mingle in their minds with the yellowed scrolls of the anti-federalists. “The cornerstone of my thought,” Daniel Miller of the Texas Nationalist Movement told me, is John Naisbitt’s 1995 best seller, “Global Paradox,” which celebrates the entrepreneurial ethos in positing that “the bigger the world economy, the more powerful its smallest players.”

More convincingly, the proposition that small trumps big is passing tests in real-life political and economic laboratories. For example, the U.S. ranked eighth in a survey of global innovation leadership released in March by the Boston Consulting Group and the National Association of Manufacturers—with the top rankings dominated by small countries led by the city-state republic of Singapore. The Thunderbird School of Global Management, based in Arizona, has called Singapore “the most future-oriented country in the world.” Historians can point to the spectacularly inventive city-states of Renaissance Italy as an example of the small truly making the beautiful.

How, though, to get from big to small? Secessionists like Texas’ Miller pledge a commitment to peaceful methods. History suggests skepticism on this score: Even the American republic was born in a violent revolution. These days, the Russian professor Igor Panarin, a former KGB analyst, has snagged publicity with his dystopian prediction of civil strife in a dismembered America whose jagged parts fall prey to foreign powers including Canada, Mexico and, in the case of Alaska, Russia, naturally.

Still, the precedent for any breakup of today’s America is not necessarily the one set by the musket-bearing colonists’ demanded departure from the British crown in the late 18th century or by the crisis-ridden dissolution of the U.S.S.R. at the end of the 20th century. Every empire, every too-big thing, fragments or shrinks according to its own unique character and to the age of history to which it belongs.

The most hopeful prospect for the USA, should the decentralization impulse prove irresistible, is for Americans to draw on their natural inventiveness and democratic tradition by patenting a formula for getting the job done in a gradual and cooperative way. In so doing, geopolitical history, and perhaps even a path for others, might be made, for the problem of bigness vexes political leviathans everywhere. In India, with its 1.2 billion people, there is an active discussion of whether things might work better if the nation-state was chopped up into 10 or so large city-states with broad writs of autonomy from New Delhi. Devolution may likewise be the future for the European continent—think Catalonia—and for the British Isles. Scotland, a leading source of Enlightenment ideas for America’s founding fathers, now has its own flourishing independence movement. Even China, held together by an aging autocracy, may not be able to resist the drift towards the smaller.

So why not America as the global leader of a devolution? America’s return to its origins—to its type—could turn out to be an act of creative political destruction, with “we the people” the better for it.

—Paul Starobin is the author of After America: Narratives for the Next Global Age, recently published by Viking, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Copyright 2009, Wall Street Journal


Life in Vichy America by William Buppert

May 30, 2009

“You can only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again.”

~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Collaboration in a negative connotation is an active or passive surrender to an overarching regime which removes freedom and liberty and replaces it with an ordered command mechanism to modify or influence your behavior. One can consider the British Loyalists in the American colonies to be collaborators and their fates on occasion were quite ghastly. This can happen as a result of foreign occupation or a replacement of statist forces over time through elections, coups and administrative fiat in an increasingly tyrannical government. The state is a remora that needs a host to survive and convincing the host that the relationship is beneficial to both parties is the key to the remora’s survival. If Obamunism provides one salutary service to the nation, it is a televised demonstration project on how gangster government (is that redundant?) thrives in an environment where the rule of force trumps the rule of law. On your own counsel, is your acceptance and compliance voluntary or a submission to staying one step ahead of the jailer?

When the Germans rolled into France in June 1940, the French Third Republic toppled to be replaced by État Français or the French State. Vichy France was established after France surrendered to Germany on 22 June 1940 and Marshall Phillipe Pétain removed the administrative center of France from Paris to Vichy. Southern France remained relatively autonomous from direct German control until 11 March 1942 when the Allies landed in North Africa in 1942. The Vichy government ruled over France until the Allied repatriation of the Free French under de Gaulle in June 1945. This government was acknowledged and legitimized by the US and Canada, among others, until 23 October 1944.

During this entire time a guerilla war raged between the French Resistance and the maquis and the Vichy/German government in France and some of its colonial holdings. The Vichy government was simply the latest installment to provide a stage for the adversaries to engage in real and rhetorical combat. This civil war had its origins in the 1789 Revolution when the people who did not agree to the destruction of the Ancien Régime continued to sow division resulting in tremendous dissent and disruption throughout French history in the nineteenth century. During WWII, the behavior and resistance of these anti-Vichy forces was used as an opportunity to expand the state and was responsible for the post-WWII socialist government after the war.

“Historians distinguish between a state collaboration followed by the regime of Vichy, and “collaborationists,” which usually refer to the French citizens eager to collaborate with Nazi Germany and who pushed towards a radicalization of the regime.”

The French started taking measures against undesirables such as communists, socialists, Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and other unfortunates who became subject to harassment, imprisonment and death. The French then reactivated and reflagged various existing concentration camps for the government’s latest victims. Stanley Hoffman avers that “an ideologically-motivated cooperation with a Nazi Germany [was] seen as the only bulwark against the spread of Bolshevism in Europe”. Of course, one can note that the opposite is happening in America today.

What is fascinating are the dynamics that animated the relatively easy slide of the republican French into a fascist dictatorship channeling the National Socialist agenda into a French variant that had its moments of viciousness that would do the Nazis proud. This brought to the surface centuries-old conflicts that had been brewing and finally spasmed violently in resistance organizations against the Vichy regime’s predations against urban undesirables and rural pockets of refusal, among others.

These sentiments are now starting to manifest themselves in America. There are people for whom desperate economic times are forcing their ideological hand to reexamine support for a state that seems to work against the wealthy and self-employed, among others. We have collectivists versus individualists; rural versus urban; wise users versus green fascists and an entire panoply of opposition forces starting to coalesce and bringing their fights to the surface.

So what does WWII occupied France have to do with modern America? I would suggest we have labored under a Vichy-style occupation since 1865 when a virulent form of government supremacism extinguished states rights in the original Federal system and then the Progressivist virus metastasized under Theodore Roosevelt and the rest is history as the republican vision of a decentralized, localized and minimal government became as anachronistic as the notion of natural rights.

We are all Vichy French in America today. Your decision is to choose Free American or Vichy French. Your choice is collaboration with a regime that seeks to control your every behavior and rob your children of their inheritance or to stand athwart history and say enough is enough. Collaboration is the willful ability to hold your nose and do what you know is the wrong thing. Collaboration is the desire to look the other way as a large coercive system robs your neighbors’ against their will and you take advantage of the spoils. Pushkin said “[w]hy should cattle have the gifts of freedom? Their heritage from generation to generation is the belled yoke and the lash.”

How many folks do you know (especially collectivists) who would voluntarily pay the taxes they do right here and right now if not compelled by the threat of violence? How many folks do full stops instead of rolling stops at stop signs? How many corporations would willingly staff the accountancy and regulatory requirements imposed on them? From the local to the federal level, how many Americans would enforce or comply with the millions of idiotic regulations forced on them?

What if tens of millions of American workers simply followed Gandhi’s teaching and crossed their arms and said no more taxes, jail me instead? Imagine if state governors stood up and said all the Federal Law enforcement elements within their borders had 24 hours to resign or leave the state?

There was no foreign vector that caused this to happen as it did in WWII France yet the amount of discontent, disenfranchisement and disgust on the part of Americans matches much of what inspired the resistance organizations. Depressingly, one of the reasons the French Resistance was such a tough nut to crack throughout the war was that before the Nazi occupation, they had been hunted as Communists by the pre-1940 French regime and had a very robust cellular organization structure. Many Americans today increasingly look at the machinations in DC and view it as occupation behavior. Yet why did so many Frenchmen collaborate with the Nazi and Vichy regimes? They did it because any other behavior demanded a moral stand or courage they did not possess. We all have to take a measure of the degree of moral cowardice we are willing to live with.

Of course, this is the story of humanity. How did the Bolsheviks maintain their stranglehold over tens of millions? How do we maintain the fascinating fiction just celebrated on Memorial Day that American foreign wars since 1898 have secured our freedom? Was Spain that strong a threat? Did WWI stop the Bolshevik victory in Russia? Did WWII guarantee a free and democratic Russia? All of these can be argued into the wee hours but one observation remains unassailable: war abroad robs and strangles freedom and liberty at home. Case in point: the United Kingdom now is the most visible and truest testament to Orwell’s vision in 1984.

I think the desire to collaborate takes on many guises to include state education systems, mass media and war. For example, I just had the misfortune of visiting the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO. It is truly a memorial to liberty to note its passing and death but the authors of the title probably did not see the irony. I have a tremendous interest in military history but age and further research has proved to me that most wars not fought on your own soil tend to rob the invading nations of their own freedoms and liberties at home over time. Woodrow Wilson’s campaign slogan in 1916 was “He Kept Us Out of War.” That appears to have been less than true. Look at the fate of empires in WWI. Millions of deaths to include one out of three French lads under thirty slaughtered during a four year stalemate and tens of millions of maimed and killed for…more war in WWII. It was sickening to wander through the facility to witness a gallery glorifying the savaging of young lives and the enslavement of the world afterwards as the communist experiment found its footing and raced to see how many citizens could be robbed, jailed, maimed and killed while America raced to make the world safe for big government and soft socialism. Wilson managed to strangle whatever remnant of American independence and freedom remained which Lincoln may have accidentally overlooked. We see the ravages of Wilson’s brownshirts in the American Protective League and the germination of the slow but accelerating crawl to define Americans by national identity instead of the localist roots of village, state and region. This, of course, paved the way for the patriotic gore we see today of American flags emblazoned on every conceivable surface to celebrate war on the world and our own enslavement.

The next ten years in America will be pivotal and I believe the country will dissolve into independent nation states in what is now these united States. Take the scales from your eyes and read the real history of America. This is not a country that progresses through government but in spite of it. The change starts at the bottom with the individual. The three percent who will resist and work for liberty and freedom changed the prospects of liberty in America during the last half of the 18th century. Ask yourself: what is the price of my refusal to obey? More importantly, how dear will the price be for your children if you simply stand by and watch?

This is Bill Buppert. If you are reading this, you are the Resistance.

“The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance”
~ Thomas Paine

May 30, 2009

William Buppert and his homeschooled family live in the high desert in the American Southwest.

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com.


Oath Keepers: The Sentries On The Wall

May 24, 2009

Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, veterans, and peace officers who will fulfill their sworn oath to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help me God.”

I recently learned about Stewart Rhodes, a Yale-educated lawyer. Stewart served on the staff of Texas Congressman Ron Paul until after the 2008 elections. While he was there, he formed a new idea. Seeing the fast encroaching totalitarianism infecting the Federal Government, he correctly concluded that without willing and compliant military, combined with local law enforcement personnel, the tyrants among us could not subjugate the American populace.

So, Stewart founded Oath Keepers.

There is a debate within the ranks of the military regarding their oath. Some mistakenly believe they must follow any order the President issues. But many others do understand that their loyalty is to the Constitution and to the people, and understand what that means.

Their oath is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and not to any political party. In the long-standing tradition of the U.S. military, they are apolitical. They don’t care if unlawful orders come from a Democrat or a Republican, or if the violation is bi-partisan. They will not obey unconstitutional (and thus unlawful) and immoral orders, such as orders to disarm the American people or to place them under martial law. They won’t “just follow orders.” Their motto: “Not on Our Watch!” or to put it even more succinctly, in the words of Lt. General Harry Kinnard, in response to a WWII German order to surrender, “NUTS!”

There are thousands of active duty and veteran military joining Oath Keepers, as well as active duty and retired law enforcement officers.

Each person entering the US military swears this oath:

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

(Title 10, US Code: Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

Many law enforcement personnel also take an oath much like the military oath.

Notice that, above all, the oath-taker swears to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. He swears true faith and allegiance to the Constitution, not the Commander-in-Chief. Only after that affirmation does the oath to obey orders of the President and superior officers appear in the body of the oath. A soldier who obeys an order that violates the Constitution commits treason against the Constitution. An officer who issues a direct order that violates the Constitution issues an unlawful order, and the order should be ignored.

I submit to you that a soldier that understands the depth of his oath cannot lawfully and constitutionally follow the orders to deploy to an undeclared war anywhere in the world. Nor could he obey an order that would violate the rights of an American citizen. Soldiers who truly understood their oath have a duty to disobey unlawful orders, even if it meant prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.”

~President Theodore Roosevelt

Every President of the United States must take the following oath of office as set forth in the US Constitution, Article II, Section 1:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Any President that commits an act subverting the Constitution commits treason against the Constitution. Can you count the number of acts committed by the last six Presidents? The number would stagger the memory of your calculator.

Under Article 4, Section 4, the Federal Government must defend the states against invasion:

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

There is a deep debate today in America on Article 4. Many today believe that the Federal Government may take unconstitutional measures to “protect…against invasion…and against domestic violence.” So, now we have the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security. Oath Keepers believe in the rule of law.

Any law or regulation that undermines the Oath of Office or the duty of the Federal Government under Article 4 shall be considered unconstitutional and each person has a duty to ignore that law.

“The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.”

~ President Dwight David Eisenhower

Allow me to compare today’s American political reality with J.R.R. Tolkein’s stories of the Kingdom of Middle Earth.

Washington DC is Mordor, the very center of evil. Sauron, the all-seeing eye, is the Federal Government. Sauron seeks to rule the world. But, recently, the gaze of the all-seeing eye has been turned inward on Middle Earth.  He seeks out those who he considers a threat to his power. The only way that Sauron can conquer Middle Earth is to send forth his army of Orcs. Orcs are often portrayed as beings with brutal, warmongering tendencies, although in some instances are described as a proud warrior race with a strong sense of honor.

That description of Orcs accurately describes some of today’s military and law enforcement communities.  There are many that will obey Sauron’s orders, and try to subjugate American citizens. But if the military and law enforcement rise up and refuse to obey unlawful orders, the ability of Sauron to conquer will be diminished and could evaporate.

Oath Keepers speak directly to those members of the military and law enforcement that still have a conscience. They are having remarkable success with military and law enforcement veterans and retirees, since those individuals are free of the orders of superiors. However, there are many that are still on active duty that must protect their identities against persecution and/or termination. Still, those secret Oath Keepers exist in growing numbers.

It is the military and law enforcement that can stand in between the citizen and the tyrant. Time will tell just how many of them will stand for the rule of law and forsake the rule of men.

To learn more about Oath Keepers, go to:  http://oath-keepers.blogspot.com/


Memorial Day 2009: How About A New Meaning?

May 23, 2009

The Memorial Day 2009 weekend is upon us. Many will use this weekend as the first short vacation of summer. Picnics, boating, traveling, family gatherings, and dedication to enjoyable activities are the rule this weekend.

But Memorial Day is meant to honor the men and women who died in military service to the United States of America. Formerly known as “Decoration Day,” it was first established in 1868 to decorate the graves of the Civil War (War of Northern Aggression) dead.

This weekend, there will be memorial services and parades across America in town squares, churches and at cemeteries. Flowers will be strewn and American flags will be in grand display. Politicians will walk the route, and veterans will don old uniforms and walk with them. Twenty-one gun salutes and taps will echo among the headstones. Empassioned speeches will be delivered to patriotic crowds on the goodness of America and the honor and bravery of the fallen soldiers and sailors.

And Americans will be remembering all the wrong things.

How about a reality check?

Those who fought and died (over 364,000) in Lincoln’s Army died invading another sovereign nation, the Confederate States of America. The CSA, who lost over 139,000 soldiers, was defending itself from the aggression of a foreign nation. It would have been no different morally if the Northern Army would have invaded Canada. So, Northern mourners should remember the shame of the North, not just that their loved ones died in battle. And Southerners should forever laud their sons who valiantly died in an attempt to thwart a foreign invasion and protect their homeland.

The 3,500-plus military personnel who fought and died in the Spanish-American War of 1898 died invading Cuba and the Philippines against Spain. Last time I checked, neither country was a state of the Union and did not require defense from a foreign aggressor. The war was perpetrated by the McKinley Administration and an expansionist Congress, assisted by Theodore Roosevelt and fomented by propaganda in the Hearst newspapers.

The American war dead of World War I (1914-1918), numbering over 116,000, died fighting a war between European nations. America had absolutely no business becoming involved, but as George Washington predicted, our treaty obligations dragged us into war.

World War II (1941-1945) devoured over 407,000 American military personnel. President Franklin D. Roosevelt baited the Japanese into attacking us, and after they did, Congress (in its last constitutional act of war) declared war. FDR was itching to get into the war, and got his way. Once again, treaties and war-hungry politicians cost this nation its sons and daughters.

The “police action” in Korea (1950-1953) started by the United Nations cost America over 54,000 military deaths. A cease fire was negotiated in 1953 which continues to this day.  No constitutionally-declared war. No defense of American borders.

The Vietnam War (1958-1975) cost over 58,000 American lives. No declared war, no Vietcong in American streets trying to take over our nation. Finally some Americans protest a war! The US military gets its ass whooped and runs for home.

On 24 April, 1980, President Jimmy Carter sent a strike force into Iran to rescue the 52 American hostages held by Iran since 4 November 1979. The mission was a complete cluster fornication, and 8 men died.

In 1983 President Ronald Reagan sent 1,200 troops into Lebanon as “peace-keepers.” 220 Marines and 9 other servicemen are now resting in peace. No constitutionally-declared war. No constitutional justification.

In April 1986, President Ronald Reagan ordered air strikes in Libya against President Mohammar Ghadhafi. Ghadhafi lived…2 American airmen died.

The invasion of Grenada (October to December, 1983) cost 19 American lives. 10,000 American troops joined forces with about 300 terrifying shock troops from Caribbean islands like Antigua, St. Kitts, Dominica and Saint Lucia to liberate Grenada. Yes, that last sentence was sarcasm. The struggle led to the deposition and execution of Grenada’s Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. Anyone find a declaration of war or reason for America’s involvement….anyone? Bueller?

On May 12, 1987, the frigate USS Stark was attacked by an Iraqi missile while in the Persian Gulf. Thirty five sailors died in the blast.  The Persian Gulf is not the territorial waters of the USA, is it?

Gulf War I (8-90 to 2-91) costs another 378 deaths as the USA protects its oil interests in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. None of the other neighbors of Iraq consider this worth a fight without the arm-twisting of President George H.W. Bush, especially since Kuwait formerly belonged to Iraq. Our Congress passes “resolutions” subordinating their constitutional authority to declare war to Bush, and he took it seriously. Still, no defense of America was involved here.

Panama was invaded by US military forces on December 20, 1989 under the order of President George H.W. Bush. Twenty four American military personnel died in the invasion. Bush said that protecting 35,000 Americans in Panama was cause for the invasion, as well as “defending democracy and human rights” in Panama. General Manuel Noriega was captured and tried on drug charges, ending up in a Miami prison.

The Bosnian War (1992-1995) was prosecuted by President Bill Clinton in conjunction with the United Nations. He sent over 20,000 troops to Bosnia, and there were no official American casualties. Still, where is the declaration of war? Why are our troops deployed outside of the United States? Were the Serbs attacking Cleveland?

In September 1994, President Bill Clinton sent US troops into Haiti to restore the regime of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristede. It cost 4 American lives.

The USS Cole was docked at the port of Aden, Yemen, on 12 October 2000 when it was attacked by suicide bombers. Seventeen sailors died in the incident. The Gulf of Aden is not part of the territorial waters of the USA, is it?

War in Iraq and Afghanistan (2001-present) was started on a web of lies by President George W. Bush and his minions. It continues bolstered by more lies. Once again, no constitutional declaration of war, no honorable reason for our military to be in either country has ever been found. So far, over 5,000 military personnel have been killed. The totals are actually much higher, since the Defense Department does not count combat deaths that occur after a wounded soldier leaves Iraq, or the hundreds of suicides of both active duty and veteran personnel.

I may have missed some obscure deployment of troops in that history lesson. But I think the message rings loud and clear. In case you may have missed the overwhelming ringing sound, here is what it means.

Except for the Congressional declaration of war in 1941, which started our involvement in WWII, no other military action since the CSA defense of 1865 has been a lawful use of military force. And, when you consider that America had no business fighting in WWII, our involvement should be considered immoral.

So, over 1,147,000 American sons and daughters have fought and died in military actions that can be considered both immoral and unlawful.

Please do not misunderstand me here. I do not suggest that the surviving families of dead military personnel should not mourn the loss of their sons and daughters. Surely the loss of a child, husband, father, mother, friend or loved one should be mourned.

I am not diminishing the dead’s courage, bravery, sacrifice or valor. I do not minimize their love of country, love of liberty and sense of duty.

What I am saying is that the REASONS that they died do not stand scrutiny. The REASONS they were deployed outside our shores were illegitimate and founded in lies. The REASONS for ALL military action, save the defensive actions of the Confederate States of America, were in fact illegal, immoral and unlawful.

They were deceived into military service, where politicians used their feelings of patriotism and trust as weapons against them, and their bodies as cannon fodder.

I do not hold the dead entirely at fault. Did they not come from our own homes and schools, where this false sense of patriotism was taught from the cradle onward? We the living are the ones most guilty. We did not teach our children how to discern truth from lies. We failed to teach them to question ALL authority. We neglected to infuse them with a love for the rule of law.

Therefore, here in the Memorial Day weekend of 2009, may we at long last accept the tragic truth that more than a million of our children gave their lives as sacrificial lambs on the blood-soaked altar of the God of the State? May we finally accept that additional hundreds of thousands were maimed and disabled on the same altar? Truly, they did not die to protect the American homeland. They did not die to protect our freedoms. They did not die defending “the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic”…words found in their Oath of Service.

They died in vain. They died for nothing.

That is what we should mourn this weekend.


Tenth Amendment Showdown: La Boétie vs. Machiavelli

May 16, 2009

By John Bowman

One of the very few things that virtually everyone in America will agree on is a substantial degree of dissatisfaction with the state of political affairs. In particular, I think everyone understands that we, as a nation, somehow got on the wrong track, even without an understanding of why that is, or, worse, if one believes or repeats the perceived reasons from major political party mouthpieces. On the other hand, many of us earnestly believe the primary reason for this dissatisfaction is that government no longer adheres to the binding rules set forth in the Constitution. And, let’s face it, everyone, even illiterates, knows that’s true. At the same time, there is a set of well-intentioned people who have utter faith in the Constitution, yet have no idea why it is that federal government can so easily ignore it. God bless public education, because I was erroneously taught in grade school that an intricate set of “checks and balances” was established by our Founders so that the courts would protect our liberties from one or both the Congress or the President. In fact, the original and only conceivable “checks” on federal government are/were the States, which makes the Tenth Amendment ground zero for anyone who desires to fix modern problems of leviathan government. But as a result of a bloody and vicious military coup fought 150 years ago on American soil, the Tenth Amendment has been ever since comatose. There’s the answer, really, why the government can so easily ignore the Constitution. Without the Tenth Amendment, or rather the clear allocation of powers it reaffirms, the Constitution can guarantee nothing but it’s own eventual demise.

The very recent revival of the Tenth Amendment on both popular and political landscapes has underscored the ever-present demarcation between liberty and statism. It has also brought to light an interesting demarcation within the group of liberty-minded anti-statists. In my own State of Washington, HJM 4009 has been introduced and has had its first reading. It is very tame when compared to some other State sovereignty bills, essentially merely reminding the federal government that the Tenth Amendment exists and what can be read on its face. I cannot imagine an excuse politicians – notably ones who have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution – could have to willfully, via active vote, reject this bill that merely reaffirms a particular portion of the Constitution. I could not imagine it, that is, until the Oklahoma fiasco. As most know, the House and Senate of the State of Oklahoma passed a resolution claiming sovereignty only to have it vetoed by governor Henry with scarcely any rational defense for said action other than not wasting precious legislative time (laugh all you want, that’s what he said) or belatedly the far more palatable argument that it might jeopardize federal funds that are dispersed to Oklahoma. After overriding the veto, by a two-thirds majority in the House (and a belief that the Senate will do the same), Republicans soothed constituents that this resolution would not jeopardize federal funds.

My question is this: Do the fools not realize that they are merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that these federal funds could not be given them without having first been taken from them? It really isn’t my question alone, but one penned, virtually verbatim, almost 500 years ago by a revolutionary philosopher in the realm of natural rights (and peaceful resistance) named, Étienne de la Boétie.

To illustrate how timely and relevant was la Boétie’s eloquence, consider the full passage from The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude:

“[Roman] Tyrants would distribute largess, a bushel of wheat, a gallon of wine, and a sesterce: and then everybody would shamelessly cry, “Long live the King!” The fools did not realize that they were merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that their ruler could not have given them what they were receiving without having first taken it from them. A man might one day be presented with a sesterce and gorge himself at the public feast, lauding Tiberius and Nero for handsome liberality, who on the morrow, would be forced to abandon his property to their avarice, his children to their lust, his very blood to the cruelty of these magnificent emperors, without offering any more resistance than a stone or a tree stump. The mob has always behaved in this way – eagerly open to bribes that cannot be honorably accepted, and dissolutely callous to degradation and insult that cannot be honorably endured.”

For myself, I first learned of la Boétie only recently, when I stumbled upon the following quote by him:

“The fundamental political question is why do people obey a government. The answer is that they tend to enslave themselves, to let themselves be governed by tyrants. Freedom from servitude comes not from violent action, but from the refusal to serve. Tyrants fall when the people withdraw their support.”

I was amazed at how advanced one’s philosophical framework must be in order to construct the above statement in the 1550′s, as it encompasses much of the beloved Lockean natural rights tenets. Sure enough, a quick search revealed an essay devoted entirely to la Boétie by none other than Murray Rothbard (full article here). Rothbard concludes that while many commentators of the past have illustrated great faith in central governments,

“It is hard to think of anyone having such unexamined faith in government today. In such an age as ours, thinkers like Étienne de La Boétie have become far more relevant, far more genuinely modern, than they have been for over a century.”

But I can think of a set of actors who will happily propound unexamined faith in government: the government itself, such as elected politicians or appointed bureaucrats. However, given that the present sovereignty movement is still in its infancy, there has not been much response from the leviathan as yet, other than that from Obama’s acceptance speech, uttered before the movement began in earnest, in which the president-elect claimed in classic non-speak of the politician where abstractions, not logic or truth, are all the supporting evidence one needs, and further without any apparent understanding that it was a brazen lie: that we have never been a collection of individuals or a collection of red States and blue States, rather, we are, and always will be the USA. Worse yet, he made these remarks in the context of a question of whether or not the dream of our Founders is still alive, no less. But then again, it really was not a declaration by Obama alone, but the same lies Dishonest Abe directed to a previous generation of Americans and to (posthumously) sovereign South Carolina’s patriot, John C. Calhoun.

It remains to be seen whether the present administration, like Lincoln in his day, will attempt to stamp out the ideas of our Founders by employing force against those who, despite other flaws (real or perceived), still hold these ideas dear. And it’s no great leap to realize that if such were to occur with Obama heading the executive, as with Lincoln, it would be quite consistent with the advice penned by Machiavelli, also about 500 years ago, only a few decades before la Boétie. According to Machiavelli, when subjecting a State that is accustomed to principles of freedom or liberty (even the mere belief of freedom by Lysander Spooner’s “dupes” if not its actual presence), the Prince essentially must destroy that State (or alternatively live among them).

The ultimate reasons behind America’s War between the States can be condensed to a single issue, which is the very one that is resurfacing today: The Tenth Amendment. So, while post-Lincoln era statists might previously have thought they had settled this issue by using the first plank of advice Machiavelli offered – destruction by attack – they have not, it would seem. One can fill the Grand Canyon and then some with verbal acrobats, tortured logic, propaganda, and deception of those who make claims similar to Obama’s acceptance speech, but every bit of it is nonsense. The Tenth Amendment exists, and it actually means what it says. Of course States are sovereign. Of course States can ignore edicts not among the few and enumerated powers of the subservient (not master) federal government; or even, if the People of a State so choose, leave the voluntary union when the benefits of union are found to be outweighed by onerous detriments. That’s what all the States and ‘The People’ thought they were getting when they ratified the Constitution. And any with doubts, need only look to the very first sentence of Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolve, or to Madison’s counterpart Virginia Resolve, which address these very issues when related questions arose for the first time in our nation’s history.

La Boétie clearly believed violence was not necessary to overthrow the tyranny of government. Rather, the people need only, as Rothbard summarizes, stop supplying the government with the instruments of their own oppression.

Wrote la Boétie,

“Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you.

“Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? You sow your crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest privilege he knows – to be led into his battles, to be delivered to butchery, to be made the servants of his greed and the instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labor in order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him the stronger and the mightier to hold you in check. From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free.

“Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.”

So la Boétie describes what would happen if we simply stop supplying the instruments of our own oppression to the oppressive government. Namely, if we ended the Federal Reserve, ended the IRS, and for good measure repealed the Sixteenth Amendment. Then the great Colossus would tumble and shatter. All already assume none of those things are achievable at the federal level. And therein lies the essence of the demarcation between the otherwise unified anti-statists: some feel it can be achieved peaceably, while others are resigned to or at least expect violence. After all, said, JFK: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

But imagine if a single State asserted its Constitutional rights and followed its own charters and mandates to protect its own citizens who empower it from theft and fraud. Imagine if that single State refused to collect oppressive taxes from its own people to ship off to DC, which DC in turn dishonorably doles out as largess to the most supplicant. Imagine if that single State called on its own militia or a temporary posse, comprised of volunteers, to expel any federal tax collector from its borders. Every other State in the union would be forced to follow suit, if not by the power of The People directly, then by rapid and unanimous exodus of individuals and businesses eager to relocate to the nearest “free” State. That is a peaceful solution worthy of la Boétie, and why I strongly support any quest for State sovereignty or Tenth Amendment affirmations as well as ideas like freestateproject.org. The fear then is, will it be met by a Machiavellian response, like was the case in 1860? It won’t if we have an educated, peaceful society, which is a goal all Americans, I think, can agree.

May 16, 2009

John Bowman [send him mail] lives in Washington State.

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com.


The Absence of Outrage

May 2, 2009

The machinations of the Federal Government of the United States remind me of the old story of the frog and the scorpion.

The frog and the scorpion met at the edge of a creek. Both needed to cross to the other side. The scorpion engaged the frog in conversation and made an offer.

“Frog, I cannot swim, but you can. I need a ride across the creek.”

“But you will sting me and I will die,” replied the frog.

“Use your frog brain,” said the scorpion. “If I sting you, then we’d both die.”

So, the scorpion got onto the back of the frog and they set out to cross the creek. About half way across, the scorpion stung the frog.

“Scorpion, you idiot! Why did you sting me? Now we will both die here in the creek,” cried the frog.

“Because stinging is in a scorpion’s nature. It’s what scorpions do,” became the scorpion’s last words.

Governments throughout human history have always been true to their nature. They gradually enslave the citizens until the government collapses. Then along comes another government and the cycle is repeated.

The Federal Government of the United States of America is spinning entirely out of control. It is comparable to the drowning man who will grasp any form of help to save himself, even if he kills himself and his savior. It recognizes no restriction from without…not even its own founding documents. The Constitution and Bill of Rights have been dead documents for decades.

The only self-imposed restriction it will currently abide is what it can get away with.

The Congress, the President, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve have joined forces to plunder the American economy and the American taxpayer.

They have instituted laws that violate the natural rights of individuals to enter into contracts.

They have handed billions of dollars to the very companies that were seated at the crap tables of Wall Street, and covered their bad bets.

The Federal Reserve, a privately owned bank, and the government colluded to issue trillions of dollars of worthless paper money that over time, will cause massive inflation, thereby stealing even more money from the citizens.

Meanwhile, the government makes no effort whatsoever to curb its own spending. It is the leech and the body America is the host. Will this leech eventually kill this host?

Because of the direct interference of Washington, the nation is now fully plunging into a deep depression which will last for many years.

But, where is the outrage in America?

I maintain that outrage is buried in a common grave along with the education that Americans used to get about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The two have been interred together now for about 140 years.

The understanding of our constitutional republic form of government has been ignored now for at least three generation, so that its memory has nearly been wiped out by the government educational establishment, tasked with the job of producing compliant dumb citizens.

So, the legislators who are chosen from that pool of Americans ignorant of their rights cannot be expected to champion a concept of natural law foreign to their ears.

The occasionally-heard voice of outrage is today labeled as a domestic terrorist, or threat to the government, or a Homeland security risk. Those persons are likely to be hassled when they attempt to board planes on American soil.

It  appears that the American populace will abide any injury…any ill treatment…any crushing regulation visited upon it from Washington. The 2008 elections had the greatest turnout in history, with Americans willingly lining up as sheep to be shorn.

Without outrage. Without revolt or revolution. Without dissolving its government and instituting new government that protects its rights under natural law.

So, in light of the breathtaking apathy and outright refusal of the majority of American citizens to actually control their Federal Government, only a few consequences remain for us all to anticipate:

Increasing confiscatory taxation

More laws to diminish personal liberty

Abridgement of any free speech that criticizes the government

Tax revolt, in which taxpayers refuse to send money to Washington

Implosion and collapse of the Federal Government

State secession

Complete societal collapse

Which will occur first? Only time will tell.

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.


Who Should Be The State’s Mortal Enemy?

May 2, 2009

The church should be the worst enemy of the State. When I use the term “the church,” I really mean nearly all organized religion. Most religions don’t espouse state worship in their sacred writings and doctrines.

When I use the term, “the State,” I mean all forms of human government, across the spectrum from anarchy to totalitarianism.

For today’s discussion, I’m going to concentrate on the Judeo-Christian traditions, which are the foundations of Western Civilization. So, because Judaism and Christianity are found in worship of the same God, these faiths will be held to the same standard as it relates to their relationship to the State.

The Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, is about the Kingdom of God and Liberty. He tolerates mankind’s feeble attempts at governing. That’s probably why he is called King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

But if you look at history over the last 5,000 years, you will see repeated oppression of religion by the State. The State has always seen the church as direct competition for money and power and control over people. So, in order to escape persecution by the State, the church has made increasingly cowardly efforts to assuage the hostility of the State. The church has given its blessings to most of the basest, vilest, tyrannical acts of the State.

Why?

Think of it this way. If the schoolyard bully regularly beats you up for the funny clothes you wear, and you want the beatings to stop, you will either fight back or change clothes. If you want to go even further, and enjoy the acceptance of the bully, you will have to join the bully in some of his actions. Perhaps you’ll have to learn how to be a bully, too.

But, by learning and approving of the ways of the bully, the bully comes to understand that you are no longer a threat to him. Then you might enjoy an uneasy peace.

Israel began its descent into state worship when, around 1047BC they decided they needed a king like their neighbors. God told Samuel to tell them what a king would do to them in I Samuel 8:11-18:

11: This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

12: And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

13: And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

14: And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

15: And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

16: And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

17: He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

18: And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

Even when the prophet Samuel told them what a monarchy would do to them, they turned their back on God. So they got Saul and a string of good and bad kings from then on. Even after their experiences of evil kings split the nation into Israel and Judah, both sides couldn’t give up on the idea of having kings rule over them.

It never got any better.

The Christian church solidified its state worship during the reign of Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century and has been increasingly worshipping the State in all its forms over the past 1,700 years. Kings, despots, tyrants and republics all felt the fawning love of the church.

The Catholic Church alternately fought and blessed the monarchies of Western Civilization for that 1,700 years, and still does so today. I’m not picking on the Catholics here, because the Catholic Church was synonymous with “Christendom” until just recently in history. They learned how to share power and money with the State.

I hear all the comments from evangelicals about the government being ordained by God, and that Christians should obey the State. But I don’t find anything in the Bible that tells Christians to obey a State that is violating God’s Word. I do find verses like Acts 5:29: “…we should obey God rather than men.” These words were said by the Apostle Peter after the priests threw the apostles into prison for spreading the Good News.

To be true to the message of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, churches and synagogues would only teach allegiance to God, and to no other. They would be forced to reject the approval of the State and to call the faithful into open rebellion against the State’s ungodly actions.

If churches and synagogues were doing their job, they would preach themes like this Top 10.5 List:

1. The overarching premise that if an action is a sin and a crime for an individual, it is still a sin and a crime for a group of individuals. Political organization by no means affords immunity from sins and crimes committed.

2. Taxation is theft by other means (thou shalt not steal) and is a combination of force and fraud.

3. Murder violates a biblical Commandment (thou shalt not kill) and is a crime, and is no less a crime when you wear a military uniform. The taking of a life in defense of life or property is not murder.

4. Military service: No person of faith should ever serve in the State’s military. Serving in the military of the State is to accept the State as a sovereign higher than God (thou shalt have no other gods before me). Serving in the military of the State forces the person of faith to have to decide to obey an unbiblical order or obey God’s Word.

5. Government commits crimes against its citizens every day through the laws it passes and enforces.

6. Pledging allegiance to the flag of the State is to place God in a subordinate position to the State (thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them)

7. When a church uses the corporate laws of the State as its chosen legal entity, it becomes subservient to that State.

8. The acceptance of the tax exempt status places the church subservient to the State, and is an abridgement of freedom, simultaneously giving up many of its God-given rights.

9. Vices, which may be sins, should not be made crimes.

10. Invading another sovereign nation is breaking the Tenth Commandment, “thou shalt not covet.”

10.5. Any war other than a defensive war on your own territory violates God’s Word.

In closing, think about how radically different our communities and our nation would be if these simple yet powerful realities had been taught from the pulpits over the past couple hundred years. I dare say that our states and nation might more closely resemble the confederation of sovereign States found in 1776. The People, in whom are found the powers delegated and undelegated to government, would be the masters of government, rather than its slaves.

DumpDc. Six Letters That Can Change History.


America’s “Tea Parties”: Fantastic Or Futile?

May 2, 2009

During the week of April 15th, in over 800 cities across America, hundreds of thousands of people gathered to give voice to their opposition to out-of-control spending at all levels of government. These protests sprung from a true “grassroots” movement, as people from all walks of life met at state capitols, city squares, parks and street corners to protest intrusive government.

Now, it’s been about ten days since the events. I’ve had opportunity to watch, read and think about the events and their meaning.

First I want to address the Constitutional issues. The Declaration of Independence speaks of the right of the people to peaceably assemble to seek a redress of their grievances. The First Amendment guarantees the right of free speech.

The dictionary defines “sedition” as any action promoting discontent or rebellion against a government. The Declaration of Independence, US Constitution and Bill of Rights have their bedrock in sedition. Sedition is the oxygen they breathe, so to speak. Without that element of sedition, I dare say that the Revolution of 1776 would not have occurred.

So in cities across America, citizens peaceably yet seditiously assembled. But in many cities, organizers first went humbly to their masters and filed for permits. Permits!! I dare say that the Founders and the patriots of that age did not commit acts of sedition against King George only after they got a permit.

Since when do people protesting an unconstitutional usurpation of power and outright criminal behavior go get permits to gather and speak? Kind of redefines the idea of civil disobedience, doesn’t it?

Second come the visual images. I saw people in the most quaint outfits…tri-cornered hats, men in Colonial outfits riding horses like Paul Revere, American flag garments, face painting, and every kind of poster message imaginable. The video clips of the protests were more like a street party than a serious protest. Even if the visual images were edited in a slanted way to make the protestors look ridiculous, you must admit that the editors had plenty of funny looking characters to work with.

Third come the celebrities. Guys like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and opportunistic politicians were key speakers at various locations. The keyword here is “opportunistic.” These guys found a parade and jumped out in front of it so it looked like they were leaders.

Fourth, let’s talk about the timing of the events.  The protests took place on Tax Day, April 15th. Income taxes have been a ruinous, confiscatory theft for decades. Tax day 2009 is a good day to protest. But, where were the protests during the last 25 years?  Are the 2009 protests a partisan backlash against the Obama Administration and the now Democratically-controlled Congress? Why didn’t these protestors take to the streets when George Bush was in office during the last eight years? How many billions of dollars must a government waste before the citizens howl in protest? Obviously Bush could waste nearly a trillion dollars and not incur the wrath of the populace.

The reasons for the protests are entirely valid. The Federal Government and many state governments are wasting tax dollars at breathtaking levels. They are passing legislation that trashes natural law and rushes America toward totalitarianism. The American economy is in the tank and we are facing years of depression and hyperinflation. It’s going to get real ugly real soon.

Here is my final analysis. I do not believe that the politicians at the state and Federal level found any level of threat to their power. People wearing funny clothes and carrying signs are no threat to power. Contrary to recently leaked Homeland Security memos, there’s no real threat to Washington…not yet.

When hundreds of thousands of people show up in camouflage, carrying rifles instead of bottled water…Washington will take it seriously. Tyrants fear armed citizens.

When hundreds of thousands of people simultaneously stop paying their income taxes…that will be a protest that gets Washington’s attention.

These protests were not fantastic, they were futile.


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