I’ve never much liked priests. Those guys (and lately, gals) in black outfits who have anointed themselves the parsers and interpreters of the “word.”
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.
And not just on the road, either.
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.
It has become whatever the Archons say it is.
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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You think the Holy 9 are bad when it comes to your Constitution. Look at the crap included in the Canadian Charter of Rights (BS) and freedoms (more BS).
Section 33 – notwithstanding clause
“The federal Parliament, a provincial legislature, or a territorial legislature may declare that one of its laws or part of a law applies temporarily (“notwithstanding”) countermanding sections of the Charter, thereby nullifying any judicial review by overriding the Charter protections for a limited period of time.”
Basically, Canadians have ‘Rights’ that can be suspended. So in practice, no ‘Rights’ at all, should the Government decide so.
What many don’t realize (and TPTB like to keep it that way) is that the 1st 10 Amendments, aka the Bill of Rights, are NOT a granting of rights, but a recognition of rights that all humans (not just citizens) have simply because they are human.
If our rights were granted by the gunverment, then they could take them away. But, as TJ said, these rights are unalienable.
right? i hate it so much when people try to claim it only applies to “americans” – it’s for all.
“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.” ” – “but that’s illegal,” they say, awaiting the shears.
I believe this is incorrect.
CITIZENS are, for example, guaranteed a fair, speedy trial. Foreigners can simply be deported. (Note, however, that indefinite detention is a fraud, regardless of who is imprisoned, citizen or non.)
Right to self-defense, a given to all people, everywhere.
Freedom of speach, a given – but be careful about inciting a riot or fomenting revolution. (Officially. Of course, these days, if you’re an Islamic fanatic screeching for overthrow of the US democracy, that’s freedom of speech; if you’re a christian mentioning god in a private conversation, it’s a subversive act and you should be executed on the spot, as should anyone who was talking with you, because you’re all dangerous psychopaths out to overthrow the government.)
The law’s been twisted, but the first 10 weren’t meant to apply to everyone, IIRC. They also weren’t meant to be misused, twisted, or abused, against US Citizen OR foreign national – it’s the difference between a newt and a skink, or thereabouts; field mouse vs. church mouse.
These days? We’s all house niggas now. Guilty until proven guilty by TPTB.
OT: Anyone watching “The Last Ship” on TNT, I think it is? Interesting how it turned out last night…. EXACTLY one of the scenarios I think THEY would want to create.
The only place in the Constitution that mentions citizenship is the 14th Amendment, that was ratified by coercion – seceding states applying for readmission were told that ratifying the 14th was a requirement. Otherwise they would remain “occupied territory” under the administration of the US Army and the carpetbaggers. And even there is only says that anyone born in the US is a citizen. 10th Amendment SHOULD apply in all other cases.
Yet we are all occupied territory now… 😛
Jean, should you truly believe that citizens are afforded a speedy trial, it only shows the disconnect you have with what really happens. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, that’s what’s posited but it’s not what’s happening. May I suggest you read Grits for Breakfast for a few months. Speedy trial, make me laugh(or cry), couldn’t be further from the truth. Oh, I know it works that way on the surface but that’s not really the way it’s set up now and never will be again. Ready those sharp blades when awaiting those “speedy trials”. The Just Us system squashed that long ago.
You can suggest, and given the opportunity, I’ll add it to my daily list.
I am well aware of the limitations you mention, though. I grew up talking with lawyers and expert chemists and engineers.
IOW, Yeah – I know well enough.
I have more faith in God revealing himself to humans on a daily basis than in government ever doing ANYTHING in honest, noble, or even legal methods.
Besides: Speedy trials trump plea bargains and reduce legal costs. Plea bargains are convictions, and show the Prosecutor is tough on crime, while the billable hours impoverish the defendant and enrich both the prosecutor and defense lawyers.
Hence the wish to delay, obfuscate, deny, and destroy.
re: Speedy Trial – the practice these days is “Speedy Non-Trial,” aka Plea Bargain
BTW – I know Tolkien was a Brit, but do you think it is just coincidence that Sauron had 9 Nazgul, who wore black robes but had no faces?
Sorry, but the constitution has had no relevance since the Civil war. Because of the castration of state’s rights fundamentally changed the country, to the point of being a second revolution. This was followed by the third (progressive) revolution, beginning in the 1890s and ending with Nixon taking us off the gold standard to pay for welfare and endless wars.
The second revolution meant that there was no check for federal power. Yes, the states can and sometimes do complain (thank God the good people of Colorado and Washington came to their senses, despite the pleas from the state capitol), but any major boat-rocking will be met with threats to cut the purse strings or worse. Politicians know how to keep other politicians in line, and of course The Party will deal with any underlings who don’t know their place.
This third revolution, which was world-wide, established the central planners and the concept of subjugation of the masses under their control. The reason it was such a long revolution is because it required such a radical change from human nature’s self-presevertion instinct, to convince people it was in their best interest to give half their income to the bureaucracy, to allow the state to indoctrinate their children (and convince parents that “experts” are much more qualified then they for teaching their children what is moral and right). Ultimately, the volunteer army is proof (in their minds) of their success, after all, who in their right mind would be willing to fight the king’s wars without fear of being killed by the state instead?
Eric_G – you are right, the Constitution was already in trouble earlier, but it died when Lee surrendered at Appomattox in 1865.
Actually Amerika never had an real Revolutionary War. The fight with the Brits begun in 1776 was the 1st War of Secession. The 2nd war of Secession began in 1861. We all lost, north and south alike.
Eric, it’s even worse than what you mention. It’s not Nine (9) Archons. At least six of them can be counted on to vote in a predictable way. Notice all the 5-4 decisions for the past few decades. In reality, only one mummu-wearing priest will decide.
One cross-dresser decided that Bush should be dear leader instead of the equally horrible Gore. One cross-dresser decided that the IRS will take over the multi-trillion dollar health insurance system.
This will continue until enough people have the courage to opt out. They don’t care if you complain, as long as you comply.
But they really hate it when you laugh at them and then ignore them and go about your life. That really pisses them off.
It was on it’s death bed before, but was declared dead by 535 voting members of the congress October 26, 2001.
Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. AKA the Patriot Act.
The already rigged to go setup passed the House 357 to 66, with Democrats comprising the overwhelming portion of dissent because they needed the cover. The following day, on October 25, 2001, the Act passed the Senate by 98 to 1.
May 26, 2011 Barrack Obama signed the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011, a four-year extension of three key provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act: roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the “library records provision”), and conducting surveillance of “lone wolves”—individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.
Two wings of the same bird.
I always thought they put more time and effort into getting the name right so it could spell PATRIOT than they did in the actual writing or reading of the bill.
Read the bill? They don’t read those bills – they’re to dang long!
Sorry, “too,” not “to.”
Good point Phillip, there was a movement awhile ago to pass a “Read the Bills” Act that would require these morons to actually read their 1,000+ page laws. Instead we get Pelosi making the asinine statement “we had to pass it to find out what is in it” in regard to Obummercare. Truth is almost all the “laws” we are supposed to follow are written by the Wall St. and other assorted members of the elite to compel us mundanes to do their bidding. Congress is merely a bought and paid for rubber stamp to accomplish this.
The idea of any group appointed for life having absolute power to interpret “the law” in their favor is a step beyond even Stalin’s dreams.
I forgot how that episode just defines cloverian ways…
Joy to you friend, Are you of the Body?
Star Trek was brilliant in that respect. Episodes routinely dealt with such issues, which is why I often reference them!
Star Trek gets a little hokey sometimes. But I like that prime directive, it’s right out of the libertarian playbook.
Read L. Neil Smith’s book, Tom Paine Maru.
When those libertarians encounter a planet ruled by an authoritarian government, they crush that government.
That was creative. Well done.
BTW: Most Protestant pastors I know would NOT pray for your eternal damnation. They want people to be saved. I can’t say the same for the guys on the court. They’d probably eternally damn everyone if they could. Sociopathic scumbags, the lot of them.
Now, if we were to somehow get Judge Nap on the Supreme Court…
It’s similar to rule by clauses, where the anointed ones on the bench determined that the federal government has the right to run roughshod over the states because of the “supremacy clause”, the “commerce clause”, and the good and plenty… oops, “necessary and proper” clause. Of course, if that were truly the case that the federal government could ignore all boundaries on their powers, then the 9th and 10th Amendments wouldn’t exist.
In their own rights, each of these stipulations in the Constitution are legitimate, but the Holy Bench has spoken that they give limitless power to the federal government, so it must be.
What’s also comical is the idea that A) the court is part of a representative government (which supposedly we are) and B) the appointments to the Holy Bench are lifetime and cannot be terminated. The indoctrination began in public school and has continued into adulthood as most people can’t seem to even read the text for what it says or doesn’t say. There is no interpretative power listed in Article 3 and the only thing about their appointment is it is to be held “while in good standing” – if the current representatives feel you’re screwing it up, you’re gone. But since Marbury, when the Congress and President did nothing to the Holy Bench when they overstepped their bounds, the court has assumed power and no one has questioned it.
Have to agree Eric, especially with the comment about the “Supremes” arrogating to themselves the right/power to interpret the Constitution. If the 10th Amendment meant anything, the States would be the final arbiters of what powers they had or had not ceded to the Federal Gunverment. See also Jefferson’s “Kentucky Resolution” of 1798 and Madison’s “Virginia Resolution” of 1799. Of course what powers the States had to cede is a matter for another discussion.
According to Gary North (www.garynorth.com/philadelphia.pdf) the Constitution itself was a coup d’etat against the Articles of Confederation.
Of course the real solution to Federal overstep was secession, which up until Dishonest Abe took office in 1861, was considered a viable option even in Yankee New England.
The Return of the Archons. The Enterprise crew finds a world run by a computer named Landru.