There are nine such in DC. It’s true they are a secular priesthood – but that’s actually worse in a very important way. You can tell a Catholic (or Protestant) priest to shove off. You can ignore him. Mock him, if you like. And there’s not much he can do about it – legally speaking – beyond don his hair shirt and pray for your eternal damnation.
But the nine archons in DC wield real power. Much harder to tell them to shove off. Somehow, these nine acquired the now-blithely-accepted (though nowhere in the Constitution specified) absolute authority to “interpret” the language of the Constitution. That is, they got the power to edit the Constitution.
It no longer means what it plainly says.
It means whatever they say it means.
Consider what they said back in 1991 – when the Archons “interpreted” the plain meaning of the Fourth Amendment right out of existence – at least, as a meaningful guarantee against the arbitrary exercise of state power against individuals.
This was the year of Michigan State Police v. Sitz, the case that decreed the “constitutionality”of random roadside sobriety (since expanded to driver’s license, seatbelt and child safety seat) checkpoints … on the basis of “compelling state interest,” as then Chief Archon William H. Rehnquist put it.
What the Fourth Amendment actually said was simply ignored.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Being stopped at random and compelled to demonstrate to the satisfaction of a cop that one is not “drunk” is the very essence of unreasonable.
You’ve done nothing – but now it’s your burden to prove you haven’t done something.
Or, put another way: Innocence is no longer a defense. You are presumptively guilty until the state’s goons decide you’re innocent. You are required to provide evidence of your not-guilt, via a breath test or a coordination test or a blood test, right there by the side of the road. If you decline to provide such evidence – surprise – you’re guilty. In most states, mere refusal to provide evidence is sufficient to arrest you on the spot, impound your vehicle and rescind your “privilege” to travel. Even if the tests – forcibly applied – later confirm you were in fact not “drunk.”
A more alien to American – to Western – legal tradition is hard to imagine.
Maybe the cop administering the tests at gunpoint is a pederast. Who knows? It is certainly possible. Should he therefore be compelled to prove to our satisfaction (perhaps by dropping his trousers for a “check”) that he is not a child molester?
It is reasonable to suspect a driver who is driving on the curb – or weaving across the double yellow – might be impaired, whether by alcohol or senility or cell phone. But is the mere fact that one happens to be operating car sufficient provocation to require that the driver demonstrate to the satisfaction of a roadside gendarme that he is not “drunk”?
Yes, said the Archons.
Who dismissed out of hand the next italicized item about probable cause. This once meant an individual had to have done something specific – something substantive that could be articulated and pointed to – that suggested he (that specific individual) may have committed some offense.
Absent probable cause, the state’s goons were compelled by law to leave us alone.
Even more astonishing, the state’s goons didn’t have carte blanche to search us. In addition to probable cause, a warrant was required – and it was required that the warrant state specifically what was the object of the search.
Fishing trips were verboten. Much less dragging people out of their cars at gunpoint (as in Colorado recently) because someone else robbed a bank.
Well, such things used to be verboten.
They have since been “interpreted” into legality by the Archons.
The Fourth concludes with the stern admonition that the preceding terms “shall not be violated.” Not much room there for “interpretation” – the clean-sounding term for the exceptionally dirty business of undermining or even outright ignoring what the language of the amendment (which is supposed to be “the law,” never forget) clearly stated. But “interpret” the Archons did.
And continue to do.
Do you suppose the Constitution would have been ratified if the people had been clearly told that the actual language – the guarantees and prohibitions enumerated – were subject to “interpretation” by nine appointed-for-life autocrats? That “shall not be violated” (and “shall not be infringed”) will be “interpreted” to mean “infringed when we decide it’s ok to infringe?”
Imagine if you were presented with a contract for a home loan – with the terms and conditions laid out in the contract (such as the interest rate, your monthly payment) subject to “interpretation” by the lender.
Would you sign on the dotted line?
And more: If you did sign a contract – under the impression that you were agreeing to specific terms and conditions – and the lender unilaterally decided to “interpret” those terms and conditions, would you feel morally obliged to abide by those “interpreted” terms and conditions?
What if you never signed – or even were presented with – the contract? What if, instead, some people simply claimed you “consented” – and then insisted you abide by its terms, those terms being whatever they said they were, constantly “evolving”?
We are told the Constitution is the law of the land. This is nonsense. Decisions such as the one rendered in Sitz prove that it is not. The law is the whim of the state as postulated by its “interpreters.”
And they “interpret” it to suit.
Why do we tolerate this? It’s a slow-motion coupe d’ etat.
Which may be exactly why we do tolerate it.
Our former rights are not rescinded all at once. Just chipped away at, gradually.
Until one fine day, they are gone entirely.
Clovers, the useful idiots of creeping tyranny, do not grok any of this. They squint and focus on the Importance of Getting Dangerous Drunks off the Road. (Or “keeping us safe” from “terrorists.) Not noticing that ceding to the government power to treat anyone as a presumptive criminal – to upend the concept of innocent until proved guilty – is vastly more dangerous.
Clover does not grasp that, one day, he too may be treated as presumptively criminal.
What made America unique – for a time – was that it was a country in which the individual’s rights were explicitly protected. The state was compelled by law to restrain itself. Or at least, the individual had recourse to law when the state stepped beyond the clearly defined limits laid down by the law (that is, by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights).
That time is over.
“You got nothing on me, coppers” – that was a line common in old black and white gangster movies – and it conveyed the flavor we no longer savor. They had to have something on you before they could (legally) do anything to you. You could tell them to go self-inseminate themselves – and there was nothing they could do about it. Until they “got something on you.”
But not before.
We are driving on fumes.
The Constitution is worse than a dead letter.
We’ve been defrauded, gypped.
If the contract we (the proverbial people) agreed to is no longer respected by them then we are under no obligation to respect – much less – abide by – their manufactured, constantly-shifting “law.”
We’d be fools to do so.
Which is precisely why we are treated as such by them.
Throw it in the Woods?
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