Tag Archives: Liberty

Constitution Day 2021: It’s Time To Make American Free Again, by John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead

An amendment by amendment review of the Bill of Rights yields the distressing conclusion that Americans have almost no liberty left. From John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.”—Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

The Constitution of the United States represents the classic solution to one of humankind’s greatest political problems: that is, how does a small group of states combine into a strong union without the states losing their individual powers and surrendering their control over local affairs?

The fifty-five delegates who convened in Philadelphia during the sweltering summer of 1787 answered this question with a document that called for a federal plan of government, a system of separation of powers with checks and balances, and a procedure for orderly change to meet the needs and exigencies of future generations.

In an ultimate sense, the Constitution confirmed the proposition that original power resided in the people—not, however, in the people as a whole but in their capacity as people of the several states.  To bring forth the requisite union, the people through the states would transfer some of their powers to the new federal government.  All powers not reserved by the people in explicit state constitutional limitations remained in the state governments.

Although the Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, the fear of the new federal government was so strong that a “bill of rights” was demanded and became an eventuality.

Intended to protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights or “first liberties” against usurpation by the newly created federal government, the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments of the Constitution—is essentially a list of immunities from interference by the federal government.

Unfortunately, although the Bill of Rights was adopted as a means of protecting the people against government tyranny, in America today, the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned.

“We the people” have been terrorized, traumatized, and tricked into a semi-permanent state of compliance by a government that cares nothing for our lives or our liberties.

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True Civil Libertarians Must Oppose the IRS, by Ron Paul

Tax collection is inherently anti-liberty. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Progressives who work to end individual rights violations committed by the NSA, FBI, DEA, CIA, and other federal agencies usually overlook, or even support, the routine violations of Americans’ rights by the IRS.

For example, progressives rarely, if ever, speak out against the IRS’s targeting of the opponents of those in power. When liberal Democrats control the White House, the IRS targets advocates of free markets. When hawkish Republicans are in power, the IRS targets antiwar activists.

The Democrats’ election reform legislation would require political organizations to divulge their top donors. Such donor disclosure requirements can be, and have been, used to intimidate donors from supporting “controversial” causes. Yet the requirements are supported by many progressives in the name of getting big money out of politics.

In order to “pay for” their massive spending schemes, President Biden and his congressional allies are planning a huge increase in the IRS budget. The declared purpose is to enable the tax agency to bring in to the government much more money by ramping up efforts to identify and punish those not paying the “proper” amount of taxes.

The tax code’s complexity guarantees many innocent Americans will be caught in the IRS’s expanded net. Yet progressives will support this because they favor the new social programs the new revenue will finance, and because they believe the IRS will only target billionaires and big corporations.

The truth is that most of the new revenue will be collected from middle-and-working-class Americans. These Americans will be targeted because, unlike billionaires and big corporations, middle-and-working-class Americans cannot afford legions of tax lawyers and accountants to level the playing field between them and the tax agency. They are more likely to simply give in to the IRS’s demands.

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Police Problems? Embrace Liberty! by Ron Paul

The more laws, the more problems you’ll have with police behavior, acknowledged or not. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Many Americans saw former policeman Derek Chauvin’s conviction on all counts last week as affirming the principle that no one is above the law. Many others were concerned that the jury was scared that anything less than a full conviction would result in riots, and even violence against themselves and their families.

Was the jury’s verdict influenced by politicians and media figures who were calling for the jury to deliver the “right” verdict? Attempts to intimidate juries are just as offensive to the rule of law as suggestions that George Floyd’s criminal record somehow meant his rights were not important.

The video of then-policeman Chauvin restraining Floyd led people across the political and ideological spectrums to consider police reform. Sadly, there have also been riots across the country orchestrated by left-wing activists and organizations seeking to exploit concern about police misconduct to advance their agendas.

It is ironic to see self-described Marxists, progressives, and other leftists protesting violence by government agents. After all, their ideology rests on the use of force to compel people to obey politicians and bureaucrats.

It is also ironic to see those who claim to want to protect and improve “black lives” support big government.

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Why Is Freedom Always the Problem? by Tom Mullen

Why is the burden of proof always on liberty lovers opposing government actions, and not on their proponents? From Tom Mullen at lewrockwell.com:

One year after Americans were ordered to close down society for “two weeks to flatten the curve,” Bloomberg columnist Andreas Kluth warned, “We Must Start Planning for a Permanent Pandemic.” Because new variants of SARS-COV-2 are impervious to existing vaccines, says Kluth, and pharmaceutical companies will never be able to develop new vaccines fast enough to keep up, we will never be able to get “back to normal.”

“Get back to normal” means recovering the relative liberty we had in our already overregulated, pre-Covid lives. This is just the latest in a long series of crises that always seem to lead our wise rulers to the same conclusion: we just cannot afford freedom anymore.

Covid-19 certainly wasn’t the beginning. Americans were told “the world changed” after 9/11/2001. Basic pillars of the American system, like the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, were too antiquated to deal with the “new threat of terrorism.” Warrantless surveillance of our phone, e-mail, and financial records and physical searches of our persons without probably cause of a crime became the norm. A few principled civil libertarians dissented, but the public largely complied without protest. “Keep us safe,” they told the government, no matter the cost in dollars or liberty.

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The Never-Ending Battle between Leviathan and Liberty, by James Bovard

Liberty is a hard fought for and hard-won blessing. It certainly hasn’t been the natural condition of humanity, nor is it an inevitable historical outcome. From James Bovard at mises.org:

he notion that Americans will always be free is part of the catechism that is force-fed to public school students. For hundreds of years, philosophers, politicians, and reformers have touted a law of history that assures the ultimate triumph of freedom. “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The urge for freedom will eventually come,” Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

But few political follies are more hazardous than presuming that one’s liberties are forever safe. None of the arguments on why liberty is inevitable can explain why it has not yet arrived. Most of the human race existed with little or no freedom for 95+ percent of recorded history. If liberty is God’s gift to humanity, then why were most people who ever lived on Earth denied this divine bequest?

Many efforts at limiting state power have failed almost immediately. In the thirteenth century, oppressed English nobles revolted and sought to bind their kings in perpetuity. King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215, petulantly accepting a limit to his prerogative to pillage everything in his domain. While the Magna Carta is celebrated nowadays as the dawn of a new age, it failed to even bind the king who signed the document. The ink on his signature was barely dry before King John brought in foreign forces and proceeded to slaughter the barons who forced his signature. King John died just after his vengeance commenced, providing a respite for Englishmen. In the final realm, the Magna Carta was simply a political pledge that was honored only insofar as private courage and weaponry compelled sovereigns to limit their abuses.

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Freedom vs. Liberty: How Subtle Differences Between These Two Big Ideas Changed Our World, by Brian Miller

A definitional distinction between freedom and liberty has had enormous real world ramifications. From Brian Miller at ammo.com:

“I see the liberty of the individual not only as a great moral good in itself (or, with Lord Acton, as the highest political good), but also as the necessary condition for the flowering of all the other goods that mankind cherishes: moral virtue, civilization, the arts and sciences, economic prosperity. Out of liberty, then, stem the glories of civilized life.”

The terms “freedom” and “liberty” have become clichés in modern political parlance. Because these words are invoked so much by politicians and their ilk, their meanings are almost synonymous and used interchangeably. That’s confusing – and can be dangerous – because their definitions are actually quite different.

“Freedom” is predominantly an internal construct. Viktor Frankl, the legendary Holocaust survivor who wrote Man’s Search For Meaning, said it well: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way (in how he approaches his circumstances).”

In other words, to be free is to take ownership of what goes on between your ears, to be autonomous in thoughts first and actions second. Your freedom to act a certain way can be taken away from you – but your attitude about your circumstances cannot – making one’s freedom predominantly an internal construct.

On the other hand, “liberty” is predominantly an external construct. It’s the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views. The ancient Stoics knew this (more on that in a minute). So did the Founding Fathers, who wisely noted the distinction between negative and positive liberties, and codified that difference in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

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Forget About Human Rights And Freedom, by Dr. Mark Sircus

The protection of individual liberty is in a massive retreat across the globe. From Dr. Mark Sircus at lewrockwell.com:

The story of human freedom is coming to an end. We are in a great crisis as a species with madmen (public health officials) believing that we humans need to be controlled to control a virus that has killed few. The head honchos of the world are having a field day with the rest of us. They are letting the air out of the bag of freedom and laughing all the way to the bank.

That is just the beginning of the story. In France, a teacher is beheaded for showing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in a freedom of speech seminar. It was a clear warning for the teaching staff who will have to shut up or perish. In the Muslim order of things, infidels have no rights, no freedom, and they make sure of that when in power.

In terms of freedom of the press, this week’s hottest scandal is the Hunter and Joe Biden disgrace that last week was published by the New York Post. Lies and treason are now exposed due to a hard drive that Hunter Biden left abandoned, showing the world the ugliest side of politics. Rudy Giuliani said. “There’s some pretty disgusting things this family was involved with. Really disgusting.”

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Liberty vs Socialism, Ayn Rand

Lockdowns, tracing, testing, vaccinating, and Liberty, by Jon Rappoport

Liberty has always been worth fighting for and it’s always inspired people to fight for it. From Jon Rappoport at nomorefakenews.com:

Liberty: “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views; the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.”

These are the days. These are the days when men and women accept draconian measures as if they were trifles.

The nation and the world come grinding to a halt, and it is just another “interruption.”

In 1776, there was a revolution against restraints from a foreign power. Now there is bleating from domestic governors about lockdowns, tracing, testing, vaccinating, and the majority of the populace obeys these tyrants without question. Even with loyalty.

Birthed after blood and sacrifice, national government in the United States was severely hamstrung, in order to prevent abuses of power. But it has become the teat, the Giver and the Taker. The wanton parent.

And now for decades, people have shrugged: “What harm could come from a government giving gifts?”

People say, “What harm could come from schools that don’t teach history? We already have freedom. Who cares how we got it?”

The exalted nature of Liberty has been disposed of in a sea of amnesia.

“Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end. It is not for the sake of a good public administration that it is required, but for security in the pursuit of the highest objects of civil society, and of private life.” (Lord Acton, 1877)

“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” (John Adams, 1772)

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” (Samuel Adams, 1776)

“The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.” (Edmund Burke, 1784)

Does none of this matter now? Are pacification and passivity the cardinal virtues? If so, I suggest a new Constitution, where we can enshrine these qualities with official language and be done with it.

BILL OF RIGHTS:

ONE: Shout “this is science!” when anyone threatens the power of government.

TWO: Censor dissent for the sake of public safety, according to guidelines laid down by government and corporations. Disrupt the lives of dissenters.

THREE: Give up Liberty when the authorities demand it.

That is all. Done.

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Congress is Trump’s Co-Conspirator Against Liberty, by Ron Paul

As guardians of liberty, both Congress and Trump should be tossed out, and we should just start all over again. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Imagine that President Trump spent his phone call with the Ukrainian president threatening to withhold military aid unless the Ukrainian government agreed to use the money to purchase weapons from a US manufacturer. Does anyone seriously think that foreign service professionals and deep state operatives would be so shocked and offended by Trump’s request that they would launch efforts to impeach him? Would Congress view this as “high crimes and misdemeanors” or applaud Trump for carrying out one of modern presidents’ supposedly most important jobs — acting as salesmen for the American military-industrial complex?

This hypothetical shows that impeachment is not about President Trump’s abuse of power. Instead, it is an attempt to make sure President Trump, and all future presidents, confine their abuses of power to items that advance the agenda of the political establishment.

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