Posts Tagged ‘tyrant’

1776 vs. 2012 Part 2

1776 vs. 2012 Part 2

Hopefully you read part one, if not, please go here 1776 vs. 2012 Part 1. To recap, I am simply comparing the government’s role in our everyday life during the time of the revolution against the Crown and the role our government has today. We are going through the listed grievances in the Declaration of Independence.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

The reader must remember, we are comparing the Crown to our current federal government. While technology surely gives an obvious advantage causing some to think this point moot, the fact it, it is not. To compare this provision, we must see what the founders did to solve the problem. They, in part, created the House of Representatives. A legislative body close to the people and able to replaced every two years. The number of Representatives at that time “shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each state shall have at least one.” If we stuck to that formula today, our House of Representatives would be about 10,400 instead of the 435. It would be very easy to have constant and real contact with your representative. It would also make it much easier for a third, fourth, maybe even a fifth party to be established. This writing is mainly focused on principle, not policy, one of the few diversion I will make is here. Having 10,000 representatives may be overkill. I would be happy to scale that down a bit and maybe make the formula to be based only on those over the age of voting (currently 18), maybe even only actual citizens. (Did you know, the original Constitution did not specify “citizens” for the purposes of determining Representatives. The exact words were “Free persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years” and then excluded Indians who were not taxed and then 3/5th of all other people. – the oft mis-quoted saying our founders considered slaves only 3/5ths a person.)

Back to the point. At the time, the problem was the Crown made it very difficult for the bodies to physically meet to discuss the issues. While that is not a problem today, we can meet anytime and with technology, most any place is near “the depository of their public records.” What is similar today, our Representatives simply represent too many people. No matter how hard they tried, they simply cannot do an adequate job of understanding the concerns of the people they represent. They can only comprehend the “high level” of public sentiment. They know if their district is “against” this bill or “for” that bill. But, they do not get the advantage of talking with them and getting new ideas. I will grant, part of this problem lies at the feet of the people, too lazy to even register to vote, too lazy to follow what goes on in DC, but, in the end, we should demand a more accessible House, even if that accessibility is not used to full capacity.

He has dissolved Representative House repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

We certainly do not fear being invaded because of any dissolution of Congress. One small aspect similar to that time is the current practice of “recess appointments.” The original intent of these was to ensure a cabinet member could be appointed when Congress was out of session in case of death or other incapacitation. Now, it is used by our Presidents to appoint people who they know would not be confirmed by our Senate. If stretched enough, the Presidential use of “Czars” could be included in this.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

I almost glossed over this one. We all know DC cannot become a state, but, we have several other territories wanting to become states. Unfortunately, the skeptic in me thinks the main reason is for the welfare they will then be entitled. However, this section is also about immigration. While, at that time, the issue was not enough, we now have a problem of too many. Or at least too many illegal’s or “undocumented” or whatever other PC term one wishes to use. In either case, then or now, the solution is the same, the government should get off the can and pass/enforce real legislation to fix the problem.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

This is one few people realize is such a problem. There are many federal judge positions vacant because the Senate refuses to take up their nomination. In the actual time of now, the problem is not that big since both the Senate and the President are of the same party. However, for years now, it has been common practice for the Senate of the opposing party of the President to filibuster a judicial nomination. While neither party is immune from this, the most recent tryst was the Democratic Senate refusing to consider dozens of judges nominated by the Republican President George W. Bush. This is certainly an area of checks and balances, but we, as citizens should demand the Senate at least vote on the Presidential appointments rather than not even bringing the name to floor for a vote. Furthermore, we should demand no stupid filibuster to deny a vote once on the floor. A long debate may be warranted for the lifelong appointment, but at least have that debate. The second one above is not a “problem” today. A President cannot fire a judge or determine his salary.

Part three will be coming tomorrow, again, thanks for reading, and go out and blow colorful stuff up in the air as John Adams envisioned when he said of the signing of the Declaration of Independence,

“…it ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

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1776 vs. 2012 Part 1

I am going to write a series of comparisons of the time a people decided to form their own government back in 1776 compared to the issues we face today in 2012.  Lest I be accused of trying to start another revolution to overthrow our government, let me be clear, we still have the ability to correct our situation at the ballot box.  But, I do caution, I do fear that will soon be lost.

 

Part 1

 

We all know the Declaration of Independence was drafted, written, and signed to declare the birth of a new nation.  At the time, the colonies operated much like their own country, being so far from the Crown of England, yet, still had to abide by rulings and such from the Crown.  I equate it to a 20 year old living at his parents’ house.  Sure, he is cable of being on his own, but, so long as he lives under their roof, they still maintain some level of  “the final word” on what he can and cannot do.

 

The Declaration was written and outlined for the world to see the specific reasons why the States of America should be, and from that point would be, their own free independent country.  I am going to list all of those listed grievances and compare them to today.  Not all compare of course, but, the astute reader will be amazed how much more we, as a people, have tolerated compared to the people of 1776.

 

Of course, the Declaration starts with the famous words, “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary….  We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…”  We all know this.  Most all of us had to memorize this at some point of our government indoctrination education.  However, what we SHOULD have memorized are the listed reasons.  We did not memorize those, for doing so would teach us we have already long passed many of those items and realized it is time for another revolution.  Shall we?

 

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

 

We currently have enough, er, too may laws.  Compared to today, we could easily say our government refuses to remove laws.  If there is one thing our government is not shy about, it is passing laws for the “public good.”  The pendulum has certainly swung on this one.

 

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, has utterly neglected to attend to them.

 

In this case, there is no “he” there is “it” and that “it” is the Senate of the United States.  The current House, the same house frequently accused of “doing nothing” has passed dozens of bills which have yet to even be debated in the Senate.  I often say elections have consequences.  As much as I abhor the healthcare law, the simple truth is, the President said he would pass it if elected, the American people voted for him, and a House and Senate of Democrats, many of whom said the same thing.  Right or wrong, the American voters got what they wanted.  However, the same should be true for 2010 when the American people made a historic vote and replaced enough Democrats in the House to give the control to the Republican Party.  As such, THAT election has the same consequence as the one of 2008.  We should be demanding the Senate start voting on the bills passed by the House.  Let the Senators make it known exactly where they stand on those bills so the people can decide in November if we wish to keep 1/3 of those Senators.

 

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

 

I could compare this today with so many different angles, and in the conclusion of this series, I very well may reference this a time or three.  For this segment, I will focus on the first part of it.  Why do we have a Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, and a whole host of other government regulatory agencies?  In part, to absolve Congress from being held accountable for the laws and regulations put into effect by those agencies.  We, as a people, have been forced to relinquish our right of Representation in the Legislature.  When the EPA issues a regulation, there is no one we, as a people, can vote out of office and replace.  We are near helpless to these unelected government officials.  By most any definition, if these agencies were just a single person, we would label that person a tyrant.  Is living by the demands of a body of people or a single tyrant any different when the rules are the same?

 

Part 2 will be published tomorrow.  Thank you for reading, feel free to leave comments and let the debate ensue.  The only “rules” for posting, obviously, keep it clean, secondly, keep the debate related to the topics of this post.  Do not “fast forward” to other parts of the Declaration, I am going to cover the entire Declaration by the end of the series.