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Liberty (Part Two)

By Peter J. Mancus

18. The primary purpose of the U.S. Bill of Rights was to legally place off-limits, beyond the control of civil authority and all majorities, certain rights—the rights specified in the Bill. In that sense, the primary purpose of the U.S. Bill of Rights was to take away civil authority's advantage, vis-à-vis citizens, of otherwise having absolute, boundless, unfettered, arbitrary control and unchecked power over citizens—their lives, their bodies, their property, their freedom.

19. Mankind's greatest achievement is the U.S. Bill of Rights, but only when adhered to, and not diluted by interpretations that favor civil authority to the detriment of citizens. Mankind's greatest achievement is not the pyramids, not the World Trade Center, not the Panama nor the Suez Canals, not nuclear powered submarines nor super aircraft carriers, not stealth fighters and bombers, not the wonders of modern science and modern medicine, but the U.S. Bill of Rights. That Bill is the high water mark of all civilizations.

20. The U.S. Bill of Rights is the invisible glue that holds the United States together—as an invisible, strong bond between citizen and civil authority, both co-existing peacefully and productively within a framework known as the Constitutional Rule of Law. That framework is unique. That framework freed talented human beings to become productive busy bees, to enjoy hedonistic pursuits without guilt, to worship or not worship the God of their choice [if any], to keep most of the fruits of their labor, and to not have to worry about the proverbial knock on the door . . . and what awaits them when the door is opened . . . or broken down.

21. When the U.S. Bill of Rights is interpreted away, abandoned, ignored, or not enforced, our natural resources, our continental land mass from the Atlantic to the Pacific, our infrastructure, our economy which is the envy of the world, our armed forces, our technological prowess, our intercontinental range nuclear tipped weapons, our satellites, our space shuttles, and our economic juggernaut is of scant value to the ordinary citizen. When civil authority breaks the Constitution's chains and governs in ways that are Constitutionally infirmed, those assets, when controlled by a rogue civil authority with tyrannical tendencies, become a problem. No one wants to be a lone 180-pound citizen versus a billion ton civil authority.

22. Modern technology has enabled a tyrant wannabe to inflict political-legal horrors in ways that Hitler and Stalin could only dream of.

23. It is imperative that citizens manifest the courage to keep civil authority tied down by the Constitution's chains; otherwise, civil authority will continue to morph into an unprecedented political-legal beast with awesome power—demanding more and more concessions from citizens, in the name of necessity. Modern examples of such alleged necessity are: threats to national security, the war against drugs, the war against terrorism, and the need to promote the general welfare [whatever that is!]. Beware of the war against drugs and the war against terrorism. How fortunate for civil authority that both of these wars have no clear boundaries, no clear standards, no reliable signs of progress, stalemate, victory or defeat. Beware how each of these wars, individually, and especially collectively, can be, and will be, exploited—INDEFINITELY, by civil authority—to demand more taxes from citizens and to demand that citizens surrender more Liberty to be sacrificed in the name of Security. Never let your entitlement to Liberty, as a U.S. citizen, nor the Bill of Rights, fall victim to either of these wars. 

Heed H.L. Mencken's insight: 

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

Heed Benjamin Franklin's warning: 

"They that would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

24.Necessity, historically, has always been the plea of tyrants.

25. Be hyper vigilant against any and all who plead necessity: surrender one more right, [allegedly] temporarily, for the common good, the common welfare. Whenever you hear that pitch, be hyper vigilant.

26. To the extent that the Bill of Rights glue dissolves, the United States, as envisioned by the Founders, Framers and those who value Liberty, will disintegrate. When that happens, what makes the United States unique and worth fighting for will no longer exist. When that happens, the United States will become a glorified, post industrial state, economically powerful, modern "banana republic" where civil authority's authority and control is boundless, arbitrary and insufferable—where "might makes right".

27. Champion the Bill of Rights. Love Liberty. Never let anything come between you and the Bill of Rights. Take care of that Bill and that Bill will take care of you.

28. Per the Bill of Rights, "right makes might right," and "might" is tied down by the Constitution's chains. This is true, however, only when sufficient numbers of armed citizens take all action necessary to enforce the Bill.

29. Some of the hardest jobs in the world are these: being a good citizen, being a good parent, and being a good soldier on the modern battlefield. Compared to these jobs, being President of the United States or a U.S. Supreme Court Judge or a Governor or a Senator is relatively easy.

30. A good citizen, by definition, has to do all of the following: stay informed; be hyper vigilant to protect Liberty and the Constitutional Rule of Law; show courage; take politically incorrect positions—publicly; keep civil authority from falling into error; and be willing, able and ready to take up arms, when necessary, against civil authority, to preserve or to restore Liberty and the Constitutional Rule of Law.

31. A pure democracy means, literally, one man, one vote. Reformulated, a pure democracy means five wolves, two sheep and one lamb decide what to eat.

32. A pure democracy and a dictatorship are conceptually, logically, politically and legally 100% compatible. How? Simple: The majority becomes the dictator—the infamous tyranny of the majority. Example: In a pure democracy system, a majority is within its legal rights to vote that everyone over 45 years of age, or with freckles, or with buck teeth, or with small breasts, or with blue eyes, etc., should be summarily executed.

33. Realizing the grave implications of how tenuous life is in a pure democracy, is it prudent to live in a pure democracy, where a simple majority can arbitrarily determine your fate? Determine what are your rights, if any? 

34. Historically, many majorities have been stupid, mean spirited, unmercifully cruel, and horrendously destructive. Examples: the earth is flat; the earth is the center of the universe; everything revolves around the earth; bleeding is a legitimate medical procedure that will cure most ailments; witches are real; slavery is good; Aryans are superior, etc. Eugene V. Debs was correct when he stated, 

"When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right."

35. There are no assurances [never have been and never will be] that what a majority wants or votes for correlates with what is wise, prudent, humane, productive, compassionate, moral, ethical, and constitutional.

36. The United States is not, and never was, a pure democracy. This is because our Constitutional Rule of Law system has many built-in countermajoritarian safeguards. Among these are: the separation of powers; staggered elections; the electoral college; bicameral legislature; advise and consent features; executive veto power; specified limits on Congress' powers; and the Bill of Rights.

37. Anyone who states that the United States is a democracy [meaning a pure democracy] telegraphs his or her ignorance and lack of political-legal sophistication and is unfit to be a ruler, or even to vote. They are Constitutional illiterates at best or schemers at worst.

38. Constitutional illiterates are uninformed or misinformed and dangerous. They are incompetent citizens who commit citizenship malpractice, and, if an office holder, statecraft malpractice. They do not even realize how incompetent and dangerous they are to themselves and to others and the problems they create for themselves, others and civil authority.

39. Legally, the United States is a constitutionally limited democratic republic with certain guaranteed minimum rights for all citizens that are off limits and beyond the control of all civil authority and all majorities. These guaranteed minimum rights cannot Constitutionally be pre-conditioned, diluted, infringed, or suspended, etc., by civil authority, by a majority or by civil authority with the backing of a majority.

40. The U.S. Constitution, as modified by the U.S. Bill of Rights, is Mankind's greatest political-legal achievement. This is because it is a workable set of rules calculated to achieve a workable harmony between Majority Control and Minority Rights, with everyone enjoying certain rights within a Constitutional framework.

41. Per our constitutionally limited democratic republic with certain guaranteed minimum rights for all citizens, five wolves cannot get away with eating two sheep and one lamb. This is because the two sheep and one lamb have certain minimum rights which the majority and civil authority are supposed to (and required to) honor.

42. It is prudent for all wolves to respect the rights of all sheep. Majorities are fickle. Majorities are not permanent. Today's wolf is tomorrow's sheep; today's sheep is tomorrow's wolf. Do today's wolves think today's sheep will have pity on them when today's sheep become tomorrow's wolves and today's wolves become tomorrow's sheep?

43. There is security in the Bill of Rights, but only when the Bill is understood, supported and enforced. Outside the Bill, there is brute force and mob rule. Take away the Bill of Rights, or give that Bill lip service, and sheep become mutton to wolves.

44. Because wolves love to devour defenseless sheep, sheep must find the means, and the courage, to cope with and to defeat wolves.

45. Without the Bill of Rights, when the wolves devour the sheep, what will wolves rip into next?

46. The controlling majority that still counts is the one that came together on December 15, 1791 when the U.S. Bill of Rights was ratified.

47. Every U.S. citizen is free to celebrate Christmas, or not celebrate Christmas, on December 25 because of what happened ten days earlier, back in December, 1791.

48. Two things are strong circumstantial evidence that this nation is populated with Constitutional illiterates. First, few people know what happened on December 15, 1791, and second, December 15 is not widely celebrated nor remembered as a crucial date in our nation's history.

49. The United States, the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Bill of Rights were born as a result of courageous men who defied a king and his redcoats, who used their wits and skills in a coordinated, sustained manner, and their unregistered, privately owned firearms to make their July 4 th Declaration stick. In so doing, many of these courageous men sacrificed their lives and their fortunes, but not their sacred honor. Approximately only one half of those who signed that Declaration were alive when the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The non-survivors were killed in combat with the British, captured and executed by the British, or died of old age or disease.

50. The "supreme law of the land" is the U.S. Constitution, which includes the U.S. Bill of Rights. Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution says so.

51. All judicial officers, all elected officers, all law makers, all bureaucrats, all law enforcement officers, all members of the armed forces, and all citizens are subject to the "supreme law of the land."

52. [Note: This point is important. Please pay careful attention.] The entire U.S. Bill of Rights, effective December 15, 1791, to date, per the U.S. Constitution, is part of the Supreme Law of the Land. As such, the entire U.S. Bill of Rights, per the express terms of the U.S. Constitution, as modified by that Bill, was, from the moment it was ratified, and still is, binding on all civil authority [federal, state and local] in the United States, regardless of what anyone else, including the U.S. Supreme Court, says to the contrary. This is because:

Article V of the U.S. Constitution states:

"...amendments...shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified...."

Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states:

"This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."

Article VII of the U.S. Constitution states:

"The ratification of the conventions of nine states, shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same."

The Preamble to the U.S. Bill of Rights states, in part:

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

Go back and read carefully the above four bullet points. What is the true legal significance of these points? I submit that the significance is this: the U.S. Bill of Rights was binding on all levels of civil authority [federal, state and local], from the instant it was ratified on December 15, 1791 to date. A tyrant wannabee will have to win a civil war to undo what was done on December 15, 1791, if, but only if, citizens understand the above four bullet points and manifest courage [a most mysterious intangible] to restore their inalienable rights, as codified in the Bill of Rights.

What part, if any, of the following is factually not true?

  • Article V of the U.S. Constitution states that all amendments to it are part of it.
  • Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states that it is the supreme law of the land.
  • Article VII of the U.S. Constitution clearly put the states on written notice that their ratification of the Constitution would be sufficient "for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same."
  • The states which ratified the Constitution, and which later joined the Union, are charged with knowing about Article VII and its legal import.
  • Those parts of the Constitution created a federal system of civil authority: one central government with its powers and multiple state and local governments with their powers, all subject to the supreme law of the land, the U.S. Constitution.
  • The Preamble to the U.S. Bill of Rights states that the purpose of the Bill was "to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution."
  • What was "the Government" that was created when "it," the U.S. Constitution, was ratified in 1789? Answer: one central government and multiple state governments.
  • The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Bill of Rights were ratified on December 15, 1791. When ratified, the entire Bill of Rights modified, and became part of, the U.S. Constitution.
  • The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land—Article VI, Section 2 says so. There is no exception for the states.
  • The U.S. Constitution could not be the supreme law of the land if the states were exempt from that law.
  • Conclusion: the U.S. Bill of Rights was intended to apply to the entire government, namely, all ratifiers of the U.S. Constitution [the states] and the government that the states created by ratifying the U.S. Constitution, namely, a system of federalism [one central government and multiple state governments.]

53. After the colonies won their independence from England, even before George Washington took office as the first U.S. president, two of Washington's greatest champions, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, became the heads of competing factions, the forerunners of political parties and special interests groups. Hamilton championed the cause of Statism, Industrialization, and Nation Building. Jefferson championed the cause of Individual Liberty, Small Government, and Agrarianism. [For a scholarly discussion of this conflict, read the following: The Presidency of George Washington by Forrest McDonald, ISBN 0-7006-0359-X and The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson by Forrest McDonald, ISBN 0-7006-0330-1.]

54. The Hamilton-Jefferson conflict continues. It is a conflict between Statism and Liberty. Statism is winning. Liberty is losing.

55. All of the major Founders and Framers expressed a personal belief in a Creator or Deity.

56. Today, many champions of Statism are atheists or agnostics who believe that civil authority is the source of all rights and that inalienable rights do not exist whereas many champions of Liberty believe a Creator [or Nature] is the source of all rights and that inalienable rightsdo exist.

57. The conflict between Statists [godless or god fearing, with or without a belief in inalienable rights] and Patriots [godless or god fearing, with a belief in inalienable rights derived from a Creator or Nature, and a strong commitment to maximize Individual Liberty per a Constitutional Rule of Law,] is growing. This conflict appears to be moving toward a flash point that will trigger overt insurrection and civil war. Many Patriots believe that many Statists have an agenda: to eliminate the idea of a Creator [or Nature] as the source of rights and to make a godless civil authority the sole source of rights. Statists believe X. Patriots believe Y. It remains to be seen how long X and Y can co-exist. A key challenge in our lifetime is coming to terms with this Statist-Patriot conflict. What Statists and Patriots believe appears to be 100% irreconcilable.

58. All laws contrary to the "supreme law of the land" are null and void, per the U.S. Supreme Court. Hence, no citizen is required to obey any law that is unconstitutional.

59.Legal and Constitutional are not necessarily the same. A law can be the former without being the later, even if a judge has not yet declared the law to be unconstitutional.

60. This nation was not united before September 11, 2001, and we are substantially less united now than before. This is because civil authority is using September 11 as another alleged necessity to gut individual liberty, in contravention of the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights, Liberty, Freedom, our Way of Life, our Constitutional Rule of Law, are increasingly becoming causalities of September 11. Patriots cannot, and will not, let that happen indefinitely.

61. The primary purpose of the Bill of Rights was to impose legally enforceable restraints against civil authority and to deny civil authority the exercise of arbitrary discretionary powers. Sadly, we are increasingly surrendering Liberty to civil authority and civil authority increasingly exercises unfettered, arbitrary powers. This is the opposite of what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are about. Americans have come full circle relative to the Constitutional Rule of Law. Civil authority's train has jumped the Constitutional tracks. We are headed for a horrific, national scale, unprecedented, political-legal train wreck with a staggering body count and billions of dollars of destruction to our infrastructure and economy.

62. This train wreck can be, and should be, avoided. For this train wreck to be avoided, it is imperative that civil authority, and citizens, recognize that civil authority is out of control. We—as a nation—have broken faith with the Founders and the Framers. Most of civil authority and too many citizens fear freedom. We are living under the functional equivalent of, at best, a Judicial Aristocracy, or, at worse, Judicial Despotism. The Judiciary has seduced and co-opted the other branches of government. The Judiciary has done this by granting all branches of government immunities from civil authority's violation of Constitutional restraints, in contravention of the First Amendment's Right to Petition civil authority for redress of meritorious grievances.

63. This train wreck was set in motion by the so called "least dangerous branch of government"—the Judiciary. Anyone who believes that the Judiciary is the Guardian of the Constitutional Rule of Law and the Champion of Individual Liberty should read the following:

  • Max Boot's Out of Order: Arrogance, Corruption, and Incompetence on the Bench, ISBN 0-465-05432-3;
  • Raoul Berger's Government By Judiciary: The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment, ISBN 0-86597-144-7;
  • Henry Mark Holzer's and John A. Pugsley's Sweet Land of Liberty?: The Supreme Court and Individual Rights; and
  • John E. Wolfgram's "How the Judiciary Stole the Right to Petition," which is available on line at: www.constitution.org/arbus/wolfgram/ptnright.htm.

64.All branches of government are dangerous.

65. Governments are especially dangerous when each branch of government enjoys immunities from its wrongdoing, each branch gangs up in unison against ordinary folk, governments collect too much money in taxes, governments convert tax money into a bigger sword which governments wield to impose further oppression, governments pervert the language and the law to interpret away rights and to reduce rights to privileges, governments brainwash their cops and military personnel to function as government goons who commit horrors in the name of the law, and governments manipulate citizens against themselves by spewing forth rhetoric and concepts that cannot withstand close scrutiny.

66. Make no mistake: civil authority's agents, especially judges, use language as a powerful tool to increase civil authority's powers and to insulate civil authority from its enemies, real and imagined.

67. Government is alarmingly dangerous when it repeatedly blows through Constitutional red lights; when it stiff arms citizens' petitions for redress of meritorious grievances; when it fails to obey its own laws; when it insists that citizens must turn perfectly square corners—on a dime, while it arbitrarily, at its leisurely pace, turns well rounded corners—outside the Constitution's limits; and when it coerces citizens to pay an increasingly heavy tax burden while eroding rights.

68. The U.S. Supreme Court is charged with enforcing the U.S. Constitution by maintaining a proper Constitutional balance. It is supposed to be a neutral umpire between civil authority and citizens. Starting in the 1830's, however, and continuing to date, the U.S. Supreme Court has done all of the following: 

  • it invented the Doctrine of Governmental Immunity. Per that doctrine, it granted the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislature, and many of their subordinates, legal immunity from lawsuits. Immunity conflicts with the First Amendment's Right to Petition for Redress of Meritorious Grievances. Such immunities mock the Right to Petition. When the Right to Petition is gutted, civil authority has laid down the following challenge to citizens: wear your chains and shut up or take up arms and fight. 
  • it invented the Doctrine of Judicial Review. Per that doctrine, it boldly declared that it alone has the power to decide what the Constitution means, how the Constitution should be applied and what is and is not Constitutional. 
  • to consolidate its power to be sole interpreter of the Constitution, it declared that all judges must follow its decisions—its legal precedents. This set up a "follow the leader" situation. This arrangement assumes that the "leader" is correct, wise and leads prudently and Constitutionally. [This "follow the leader" concept reminds me of what happened to the U.S. Air Force's famous Thunderbird fight demonstration team a few years ago when they were flying T-38s. On a training flight over the desert, the leader, Thunderbird No. 1 (the equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court) failed to pull up from a loop. He flew himself into the ground. Since the team was flying in their famous tight diamond formation, with pilot Nos. 2-4 looking at No. 1, those carefully selected, hand picked, gifted pilots, self-destructed. While it is true that problems can arise when everyone is free to go their own way without any authority holding it all together, what happened to those Thunderbird pilots illustrates well what can happen when the "leader" commits an error.] 
  • it put all judges in a logical trap: all judges take an oath to uphold, support and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Simultaneously, all judges, per the U.S. Supreme Court, are required to obey all "controlling" legal precedents. [This system assumes that all previous court decisions are Constitutional, which is an erroneous assumption. The real law is the Constitution, as worded. What a judge or a panel of judges says is the law is only the Judiciary's interpretation of the law. That interpretation is not a substitute for the real law—the Constitution. Thus, all judges face this stark conflict: When deciding a case, does a judge honor his or her duty to obey his oath and adhere to the Constitution as the "supreme law of the land" or does the judge "follow the leader," even when the "leader" is wrong?] 
  • it ruled that the Bill of Rights is not binding on the states. [That ruling allowed the states to become oppressors and do the feds' dirty work for them, which triggered the 1860-1865 Civil War.] 
  • then, after passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, it invented the Doctrine of Selective Incorporation of the Bill of Rights Against the States via the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This doctrine was invented in belated realization of the intolerable harm the states were imposing on their citizens after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Bill of Rights is not binding on the states. 
  • in the process of inventing this Doctrine of Selective Incorporation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that only those rights which it, and it alone, deems are "fundamental" to what it describes as "ordered liberty," as determined by it, and only it, are binding against the states. [Think about what rights should be declared "fundamental".] 
  • to further consolidate its power to be sole arbitrator as to what is the law, after ordering judges to obey it, judges, in jury trials, now order jurors to obey them. Trial judges, therefore, serve as conduits for compelling jurors to obey the U.S. Supreme Court. Typically, all trial judges order jurors to obey what the trial judge tells them is the law. Rarely, if ever, are jurors instructed that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and that they have a duty to first enforce the Constitution. Thus, jurors are reduced to determining only what are the facts and are ordered not to judge the law. This is because the Judiciary is adamant that it has a monopoly on the right to determine what is the law and to insist that all must kowtow to its interpretation of what is the law. 
  • by inventing these doctrines that hog tie citizens, it devalued U.S. citizenship.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five