Tag Archives: Constitution

The Ultimate Power: The People Themselves

By Karen Lees, Bill Norton and Mark Herr

Of America’s founding architects, Thomas Jefferson is arguably one of the greatest minds and ardent defenders of liberty and the fundamental rights of man. Yet he was wise enough to recognize that he was not immune from the corrupting effects of governing power.   THOMAS JEFFERSON

Jefferson said, “If once they [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, judges and governors shall all become wolves … Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them.”

From textbooks to illegals and everything in between, the federal government’s willingness to embrace anti-American policies has  awakened a sleeping giant. As a result, communities across America have witnessed a more active participation in local government by the people.

While some rolled over and hit the snooze button, many have answered the call to civic responsibility by becoming involved. The inalienable First Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances has been dusted off and asserted. Citizens are beginning to hold their elected officials accountable. They are sincere, they are passionate, and they are engaged in the process.

Boston Tea Party Dec. 16th, 1773
Boston Tea Party
Dec. 16th, 1773

This would make Jefferson proud.

While the outcomes may not always be successful, the real achievement-which must not be overlooked-is the awakening itself. This rebirth is an indication that the people are in the process of rediscovering their individual liberty, personal responsibility and civic authority – attributes of freedom cherished by America’s original builders.

Jefferson continued, “The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution…The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right.”

The Republic is not won or lost on just one issue. But there is tremendous value in the experience, which will lead to more successful outcomes in future citizen efforts. Extraordinary understanding is gained in the process.

The ability to use the experience as training, along with proper instruction and focused energy, will be the key to success in continuing the experiment in self-governance the original designers began.   CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION 2

In order to keep the unique Republic we inherited, the proper balance of power between the people and the government at the federal, state, and local levels, must be restored as it was originally intended.

Whether our inheritance is claimed or not, We the People, brimming with power and energy, remain the stakeholders in a self-governing society. However, many citizens do not understand the governance process, have been alienated from it in the past, or have given up involvement altogether. To make matters worse, a few in governing positions make it clear they prefer it that way, contrary to America’s founding principles.

With daily reports of our basic freedoms being whittled away, many citizens feel more like a cowherd, begrudgingly manipulated by the issues, rather than the governed, from which all power is derived. This, combined with the politically correct speech used by some officials today, does more to divide than unite, contriving a nation of “We the Pieces” rather than “We the People”.   CONSTITUTION

Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

With citizen training in the architect’s self-governing philosophy, the original design of limited government can be restored. Proper instruction is the key to demolishing the mind-forged manacles developed over decades. When the shackles are removed, the language of captivity is replaced by the language of liberty.

Jefferson made it clear. The correction will not happen by accident. He stated, “The qualifications for self-government in society are not innate. They are the result of habit and long training.”

The Language of Liberty® Series

The Language of Liberty® series is a collaborative effort of the Center   LANGUAGE OF LIBERTY CREST for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, and selected students. They may be contacted at info@tncsg.org. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. To learn more, go to CenterForSelfGovernance.com.

We Need to Become America Again

By John Velisek USN (Ret), staff writer

The American people, the working people of this country, the 9-5ers with a wife and kid are scared. Business owners just scraping by are demonized by the administration for being too rich and not paying their employees enough. The economy has spent time in a ditch yet Barack keeps telling us everything is fine.

The Obama administration is unique, being the first in American history to at once dismiss our culture, the Christian religion and the moral principles upon which the nation was founded. The majority of Americans do not condone Barack Obama bowing and scraping before those whose mores are completely foreign to this country. Our institutions are scorned, our veterans treated like pond scum and the well-being of Americans endangered by a Regime which happily ignores the threat posed by Islamic terrorists.

Wealth is confiscated from those who earn it for the purpose of providing ever increasing handouts to the incompetent, the inferior and the non-producers. This country is not a socialist, European state and was never meant to be. The success of the U.S. is based upon working for what you get and keeping what you work for.

To make a habit of ignoring the expressed will of the American people is more than problematic, it is downright dangerous. Refusal by the Obama Administration to uphold the law has already proven detrimental to the country. Riots continue to take place as professional agitators move from city to city, causing a level of unrest not seen since the 60’s. The American people expect the law to be enforced yet watch helplessly as groups favored for political reasons wreak havoc without consequence across the nation. For years, both state and local law enforcement officials have had their hands tied by the federal government.

Obama recently declared that the country is better off than it was six years ago. Based on what? I walk down the streets in my hometown and see businesses boarded up and people out of work, many of them living with parents. Is Obama concerned? Of course not. Living a thoroughly insulated lifestyle, none of it affects him. After all, his moral authority is based upon shouting down, ignoring or intimidating those who disagree with him or make mention of his failed policies.

No one can believe that a government which kicks down doors and expects subjects to cower in its presence has our best interests at heart. And Republicans are complicit in each federal abuse of constitutional guarantees by helping make possible the ills which affect the nation.

By providing the Republican Party with landslide wins in 2014, the American people made it clear they expected Congress to take a strong stand against the agenda of the Obama Regime. And what happened? Portions of that agenda have been preserved or passed into law thanks to the fecklessness and cowardice of Republican politicians. The Party establishment has simply rolled over, allowing Obama to do as he wishes.

What can be done to combat corruption and abuse of power by the federal government? State legislatures need to nullify the effects of legislation passed down from Washington D.C. and take back the powers given states by the Constitution. If the federal government attempts to extort acceptable behavior by withholding funds owed the states, those states must respond by withholding tax dollars owed the federal government. I am firmly convinced that my local government knows better than the federal government how to spend that money. Federal elites have spent decades ruling from on high. It is past time the American people begin to push back. 

Nothing will change until the true owners of the nation say no; no to unconstitutional legislation, no to corruption from the Supreme Court and no to power hungry, agenda driven bureaucrats. Those in charge of the federal government understand nothing but force. If enough force is brought to bear by the states and the American people, the federal government will have no option but to fold.

Why Property Rights Matter

From the Language of Liberty Series

By Karen Lees and Sylvia ZikaLANGUAGE OF LIBERTY CREST

John Adams said, “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God … anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.”

I am not a politician or public figure. I am one of many Americans whose property is under assault by government. I am a student of self-governance living in New Jersey. My state and local governments make a habit of redistributing privately held property among the private parties it chooses. This is absolutely forbidden by the U.S. Constitution. If it can happen here in my state, it can happen anywhere in America.

Attorney Jennifer Kruckeberg writes: “Corporations . . . are proposing the following assignment: ‘Find me your most prominent location, get rid of what is on it, help me pay for it, and maybe you will be lucky enough to have me move to your city.’”

To clear out areas for big business, local governments force mom and pop businesses to leave. Multimillion-dollar companies establish close relationships with government officials in communities across the nation where they squeeze out, come hell or high water, any opposition.

Court rulings disregard constitutional protections of private property located in the “takings clause” and play a big part in the abuses of property rights. They also disregard the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits denying any person equal application of law.

Assume a big box store wants to build in your town. And they want your property upon which to do it. What chance do you have against a huge corporation?

None! For if the local government wants the corporation’s presence in their town badly enough, they will not follow the rule of law. Justice and the right to own property will be thrown out the window as local authorities obscure important facts.

Of course the property owner may seek protection of his rights from the court which will order the matter back to the same local government for a hearing.

But this is a process which can take years. And how can a rehearing give the property owner an opportunity to present objections after the big box store has been fully built and operational for over 10 years?

The property owner is the only one in this scenario who follows what they believe to be the proper course of action according to law. They realize too late that the entire project had been rigged in favor of the big box store from the beginning.

Is there anything positive that might come from such a process of defending private property rights? Yes!

A clearer understanding of the inner-workings of government was gleaned. Valuable information was gathered. A few elected officials clearly revealed themselves as opponents of liberty. Eventually, they must face the voters during the next election   CONSTITUTION MEMO cycle. The people will be made aware of the officials who violated the Constitution and their oath of office. Citizens will be rallied against those who failed to act as proper representatives of the people. This will be just as our founders intended.

Additionally, in the process of verbalizing this story, the ability to articulate a message to fellow citizens was sharpened. Writing articles such as this one has increased public awareness about property rights and why they are so important to our freedom. Perhaps other Americans will be inspired to take action when they see property rights threatened.

Our Founders understood that liberty means one must have the freedom to keep what has been earned through one’s own labor. American colonists believed it unjust to have the fruits of their work confiscated by a powerful, dictatorial British government. What was wrong for individuals to do to one another was wrong for government to do to the people. The Founders devised a government which would secure the people’s natural rights of property, not take them away.

As James Madison said, “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort …. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own.” 

“The Language of Liberty®” is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, and selected students. They may be contacted at info@tncsg.org. Please include the article’s title and date of publication. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. To learn more, go to CenterForSelfGovernance.com.

Sustainable Liberty

By Don Clifford, guest writer

To paraphrase the Declaration of Independence, when it becomes necessary for a people to alter a course of events deemed destructive to the preservation of liberty, any available legitimate means to accomplish the task should be wholeheartedly embraced and pursued in all due earnest.

The Constitution of the United States of America has been hollowed out. It is a dead letter. Even with its myriad of checks and balances the Constitution is not ultimately self-enforcing.

But fortunately, the Founding Fathers in their great wisdom enabled “We the People” to reclaim our constitutionally secured rights in just such a situation as we now find ourselves. I refer to the provision in Article V which requires that Congress call for an amendment-making convention “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several states.” This makes for an important alternative to the way in which every amendment to the Constitution has been proposed in the past—by a 2/3rds vote of both houses of Congress.

In short, the Founders have provided the American people the means to make necessary reform even when Congress has been hopelessly compromised.

The plunder of our nation never stops. Special interests today are legion, exerting grossly disproportionate influence as compared to the general interest. The scale and momentum here is so great as to render the Constitution scarcely even a speed bump in the rush to devour our national substance. Radio talk show host and author Mark Levin in his recent book, The Liberty Amendments, describes in detail the need for a series of reform amendments to be proposed by a convention of the states pursuant to Article V. Some have proposed implementation of a continuous standing convention, that tyranny may be opposed even as it begins.  “Toward a Standing Article V Convention” explains both the need for and positive effects of such convention, as amendments could  proceed quickly to the states for ratification.

A standing convention could institutionalize oversight of the Constitution with a version of a permanent committee controlled by the states as an ultimate guard, always ready to act with future proposed amendments, in the spirit of eternal vigilance. Since the forces arrayed against us never cease their assault against liberty,  our guard should never be let down. The same structure needed to propose the Liberty Amendments can be kept permanently in place to this end.

It is up to us to reclaim our country. It seems the good old USA is up for sale to the highest bidder. This is our country by right and we should not allow it to be sold out from under us. We must redeem her from the money changers and the sellouts in the District of Criminals. Fortunately, with Article V we have the legitimate means to accomplish this. We also have the internet from which to shout this from the proverbial rooftops. The American people must “go viral” with this constitutionally provided path to sustainable liberty.  If we should lose our rights to inaction,  I see no viable, non-violent way of regaining them.

An Elective Despotism: the Tyranny We’ve Brought on Ourselves

By Rod & Sherri Dodsworth, staff writers

It is no secret that over recent decades, constitutionally defined powers reserved to Congress or the states have swirled into the Executive branch. As a result, no matter the name or the party, the next President will possess and put to use the autocratic power secured by Barack Obama. His will be a broad authority associated far more with the likes of brute strongmen like Hugo Chavez than with George Washington.

But don’t put the entire blame on Obama, for he didn’t pull the keystone to the Framers’ division of powers and claim them all for his own. Blame early 20th Century Progressives for democratizing the Senate and concentrating power in Washington DC. Just as the Roman Republic didn’t descend into a tyrannical empire overnight, the slide of the American Republic into its current misery has been long in the making. Obama and his party simply took advantage of a hundred year trend.

Congress began to relinquish its Article I powers upon ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, a process which accelerated under the New Deal and Great Society as the Executive branch pursued the pinnacle of raw and arbitrary power.

And now our government relies increasingly on Executive and Judicial precedent rather than legislative statute or the Constitution for the supreme law of the land. Every Executive and Judicial excess since the New Deal has been built on prior outrages. Ask the coiffed and pedicured lawyers who convinced SCOTUS to rewrite Obamacare and they will claim that it was entirely constitutional all along. After all, the high court Justices have revised legislation to their own satisfaction since FDR. The limits to governmental authority are now determined only by those in power, based on what they believe they can get away with.

We have an elective despotism in which the people every four years elect a near-autocrat rather than a constitutionally limited president. This soon to be mortal wound is self-inflicted by a people too wrapped up in election year personalities and inanities to understand that corrupt institutions must be torn down and rebuilt if liberty is to be restored.

Should events continue along their present course we run the serious risk that a future president will decide elections are no longer necessary or are too great a threat to public safety.

Reform cannot emerge from Washington, DC. If this nation is to return to free, limited government, “We the Sovereign People” must take the lead through our states. And that is to be accomplished through Article V of our Constitution. The Framers’ precious bequest of Article V formalizes the right of the people to frame their government, to define its responsibilities and set the boundaries of its power.

Contact your state assemblyman and senator. Demand that your state makes the Article V application to Congress for a convention of the states to propose structural amendments that limit the size and scope of government.

Time is short. We must do this now, before corrupt politicians prevent the exercise of our rights in the future.