of the Republic
As many people are aware, there are some serious problems taking place
within our federal government. Some people are ignoring the problems, others
are scared by the problems, others are seizing on tiny portions of one
of the problems and arguing that fixing that portion of that problem is
obviously a higher priority than doing anything else. Some people are trying
to take a bigger view of the whole thing but don't know where to start
from. It is the purpose of this essay to try to give you enough background
information so that you will know where to start from, and what things
might possibly be more important than other things.
In many respects the best way to do this is to start with an argument by
analogy. This has the disadvantage of making the essay longer, but I believe
that it is important in order to give people the reasons why certain courses
of study can be expected to be more productive than other courses of study.
The sad truth is that it is very difficult to be able to paint a true and
accurate picture of what somebody really needs to know about how their
government operates with sound bite sized chunks of information. It is
vitally important that people realize the problems inherent in trying to
figure out just what is happening and how to correct it if all they are
getting are just 30 second clips of stuff that are basically designed to
yield an emotional as opposed to a rational response.
In order to do that, we will start with examining a problem that is being
faced by a government agency and studying how it dealt with that problem
in a successful manner. Then we will look at what parts of that solution
are applicable to helping us as citizens of this great country solve the
problems that we have with the federal government itself. Because in many
ways the methods and techniques that were developed by this particular
government agency have a much wider application.
The United States Navy has a problem.
They have well over 400 ships each of which is a very complex piece of
machinery that is absolutely and totally dependent on its propulsion plant
to get anywhere. They also have to deal with a very large turnover rate
in their personnel, and they have to be sure that the personnel that they
have on board assigned to man those propulsion plants can not only operate
them under normal working conditions but also what are termed "casualty
"Casualty conditions" are essentially those that result from
such things as the breakdown of plant equipment, the derangement of plant
equipment by battle damage, and in short just about anything that can make
machinery go haywire. The Navy has found out from hard past experience,
literally paid for in blood, that training personnel to be able to deal
with casualty conditions in the propulsion and engineering spaces of ships
must be the controlling factor in designing the training curriculums,
the classes, and most of the drills that get run for the personnel that
are assigned to work in those spaces.
Given that the Navy has through time developed a lot of institutional expertise
in how to deal with this, they have been able to design training curriculum
in this regard that are arguably better then those of any other navy in
the world. The results of these training programs, applied not only to
the men who man the propulsion spaces but also to the rest of the ships'
crews as well have been what has enabled crews to save ships that have
been so badly damaged that other navies would have given them up for lost
and abandoned ship.
For example, the Stark took 2 Exocet missiles in the chief's quarters immediately
adjacent to her missile magazine and had her aluminum superstructure
catch fire. The crew saved their ship. The British navy lost ships
that had suffered similar damage in the Falklands war. The Samuel B. Rodgers
in another incident hit a mine. A six foot long section of her keel
disintegrated. The crew was still able to save the ship, and when they
got back stateside they were able to maneuver their ship from the floating
drydock that they were towed back to the shipyard in to the drydock that
they were repaired in at the shipyard under their own power. That
is the equivalent of somebody walking unaided from the ambulance to the
emergency room in a hospital after having had several lumbar vertebrae
ripped out of their spine.
Now, the whole point of all that was to demonstrate that Naval casualty
control and damage control techniques work. The main reason that they work
so well is because of the training programs that the Navy has implemented
to train their crews how to deal with battle damage and casualty conditions.
The Navy has found through hard won experience that they cannot train their
personnel to be able to perform at that level unless some very important
preconditions have been met.
The most important of those preconditions is also in some respects the
simplest to explain. Each person has to be carefully trained in exactly
how each piece of gear that they have to work with functions from the ground
up. All the way from the mechanical and physical principles employed in
the design of the piece of equipment originally to how each portion of
the piece of equipment works with every other in order to get the gear
to work, and how all the pieces of equipment assembled into systems react
with each other to affect system performance, and how all the systems work,
function and interact with each other. In each case, each person becomes
familiar enough with each system to be able to diagram the thing out from
memory, with all the interaction linkages with other systems noted as well
as being able to explain how the entire set of interconnected systems works
as a whole. All this is done with respect to the original design drawings
of the pieces of equipment and systems in question.
Now, what does all this have to do with the problems that we are having
with the federal government? What possible relevance can this have to dealing
with out of control federal agencies, run away levels of national debt,
private property forfeiture procedures that resemble those used by Genghis
Khan's Mongol Horde and assorted other problems too numerous to mention?
Quite simply to the extent that the federal government is "broken"
or in a "casualty" condition, then it has to be fixed. But, in
order to fix what is wrong with the federal government, one has to be able
to identify what the specific problems are. Now, quite simply, one can
not identify the problems and malfunctions in the federal government in
such a way that they can be successfully solved without reference
to and a thorough understanding of the original design philosophy and "blueprints"
for the federal government. In short, the Constitution for the United States
of America and the writings of the Founding Fathers as contained in the
Federalist Papers and other appropriate sources. In fact, without
that background, you won't even be able to identify what is actually working
right from what isn't, and which parts of the system need to be tweaked
in what ways in order to fix things.
In the various Naval training programs there is a term for what happens
when you try to deal with casualty control discussion questions, or even
try to describe the proper workings of various systems when this sort of
background material is not properly understood. It is referred to as a
"Loss of Big Picture Accident." Doesn't matter how smart you
are, or how well you know some of the other stuff. Once you lose the view
of how the whole thing functions together you invariably end up trying
to do the wrong things to fix the problem and as a result blow the test.
Or in real life break machinery, injure people, kill people or even possibly
lose the ship.
Now, to the extent that people feel that references to the Constitution
used in order to figure out just who should be doing what are inappropriate,
then they have lost the big picture. Doesn't matter how smart they are,
doesn't matter how learned they are or what professional/academic qualifications
they hold. If somebody loses the big picture they're going to blow their
attempted solution. The big picture in this case can simply not be obtained
without a thorough understanding of the Constitution and the design principles
that were used to create it.
Fortunately, this is easy to acquire. For a minimal cost you can go to
any good book store, pick up a paperback copy of "THE FEDERALIST PAPERS"
published by Mentor books, (ISBN 0-451-62541-2) and read where the people
who wrote the Constitution take it apart section by section, sentence by
sentence and clause by clause, explaining exactly what they meant and did
not mean by what they had written. There is also a sort of companion volume
published by Mentor books titled "THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS",
(ISBN 0-451- 62525-0) which is a collection of the speeches and writings
of those Founding Fathers who initially opposed the adoption of the Constitution.
Taken both together you have not only the design blue prints for the system,
but also what amounts to the casualty control manual for the federal government
in that just about everything that can go wrong with it is discussed and
analyzed, with most of the appropriate corrective actions outlined.
So, obtain the books, invest the time studying, and then you will know
why questions about jurisdiction are paramount. Either that, or ignore
my advice and decide that I am wrong without even doing the most basic
of studies for yourself. That will leave you attempting to fix something
without knowing how what you are fixing is supposed to operate in the first
place. The result of that will be to condemn your descendants to living
under a nightmare Orwellian government because you lost the big picture.
Now, it is probable that we may see the problems people are having with
the federal government escalate to the point where some sort of revolutionary
or civil war breaks out. If that happens it becomes even more important
that the design principles the Constitution was based on have been properly
taught to as many people as humanly possible. Those people must then continue
the ongoing work of educating as many more people as possible regardless
of how long or how hard the battles and wars may rage. Once the war has
started there will be no way of knowing how many people will survive to
see the end of it or who those people will be. And if those people do not
know what it was the fighting was for, and do not know what to demand of
the government that gets formed when all the dust has settled, then that
government will almost certainly be some form of totalitarian dictatorship
rather than a viable constitutional republic that guarantees the rights,
freedoms and liberties of its citizens. For those who would desire to uphold
our present Constitutional Republic must look not to winning the battle,
they must look not to winning the war, they must look to winning the peace
that follows or it will all have been in vain.
The most important part of the whole picture takes us back to the very
basics of what one has to know in order to be able to live in society with
other people. People have to be able to determine what the correct course
of action is to take, and for the purposes of fixing your government the
answer is that it must be the right or moral course of action. It is vitally
important that people be able to identify the moral high ground so that
they can be sure in their own minds that the actions that they end up taking
are both correct and justified. The need for that was recognized as far
back as the first person who ever wrote about the theory and practice of
warfare over 2,000 years ago.
|The First Factor is MORAL POSITION. You must operate from such a
strong sense of moral justification that even the threat of death will
not deter you from your course. You need such a firm sense of moral resolution
to overcome the debilitating effects of the inevitable dangers, setbacks
and hardships which will accompany any war. For a nation to have this moral
strength and resolution, the government must have the support of the people.
The people must agree that the reasons for the war are necessary, just
and deserving of the utmost sacrifice. Leaders who would wage war without
this strong moral justification, and without the support of the people,
will find their own power bases quickly crumbling when setbacks and hardships
That statement is all the more amazing when you consider that the author,
Sun Tzu, lived in a time and place when feudal warlords reigned supreme
over peasantry who looked upon them as either gods or the direct descendants
of gods. Thus, even in a governmental system that was essentially based
on the theory of rule by the divine right of kings and the might of the
strongest sword arm, and where unlimited numbers of peasants could be executed
on the merest whim of the nobility, it was felt that the actions of the
rulers had to be moral. If the actions of the rulers were not moral,
then the people would simply not support them, and through time their rule
would fail as enemies attacked them and their states were weakened by the
unwillingness of their own people to support their regime.
Now with that firmly in mind, we must look at which actions of the government
are moral, and what actions the government can take that might legitimize
a revolt against it. However, as ideas of morality tend to vary somewhat
with which religion is being practiced, the ancient chinese examples are
not always that applicable. So, I will move forward in time by about an
order of magnitude and we will examine the events that occurred a little
over 200 years ago in our own country. Again, we find ourselves dealing
with people who were being ruled by what was pretty much a feudal form
|WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-
That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving
their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form
of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the
People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying
its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form,
as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should
not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience
hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable,
than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the
same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,
it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and
to provide new Guards for their future Security. (2)
While there is a lot of good food for thought in the second paragraph to
the Declaration of Independence, for the purposes of this discussion we
will limit ourselves to only considering the idea that government derives
its just powers from the consent of the governed.
As our country evolved, we fought and won the Revolutionary War, obtaining
our independence from the King of England, and then later we exercised
our right to institute a new form of government, fashioning it after such
principles as seemed best to use at the time. Thus, we come to The Constitution
for the United States of America.
Now, it is very important to note that not all of the Founding Fathers
wanted to adopt the Constitution. There were some who saw some serious
problems with it, and in retrospect I would guess that one could say that
in some cases they hit pretty close to the mark. However, it is important
to realize that while the debates were raging throughout the country as
to whether or not to adopt the Constitution, the Founding Fathers who wrote
it and argued for it, known in general as the Federalists, established
the case for its adoption by the American people. In so doing, they laid
out as clearly as they possibly could just how this new form of government
was to function. They were exceedingly emphatic and explicit about the
point that the federal government could only legitimately do that which
the Constitution specifically stated it could do and no more.
Thus, when you see somebody arguing for a strict, literal interpretation
of what the Constitution says, you are not dealing with a "wacko."
You are dealing with a person who is making exactly the same arguments
given by the people who wrote the Constitution to begin with. They are
stating that the government needs to be run in the manner in which the
people consented to have it run, when they were given a voice in
the matter. The people decided then upon the adoption of the Constitution
that it was to be interpreted very specifically and very narrowly as the
Federalists had argued it would be, as that was the basis it was voted
into being on. The people have never formally consented to any other way
to interpret the Constitution. And, given that you cannot have a legitimate
government without the consent of the people, then that is what
has to be the controlling factor in order for the actions that the government
takes to be legitimate.
Now, once the Constitution was adopted, it became the Supreme Law of the
Land. Because the Founding Fathers realized that conditions change through
time, and they were not wise enough to foresee any and all possible circumstances
that might arise, they wrote the Constitution so as to provide mechanisms
to change it. There are two and only two valid mechanisms provided in the
Constitution that will enable it to be legitimately changed. The amendment
process and the potential for the calling of another Constitutional Convention.
In any event, nothing in the Constitution, or anything that shows up to
succeed the Constitution, has or will have the effect of nullifying any
of the theory of government provided by the Declaration of Independence.
So, even if the people of the United States were to pass a Constitutional
amendment stating that the government could deprive people of life, liberty
and property at whim without any due process at all, that amendment would
still not result in valid law, or actually give the government the authority
to legitimately do that. Quite simply, nobody can legitimately, legally
and morally step between you and your Creator to strip you of the rights
that He endowed you with so long as you are living your life in accordance
with His law. That is the essence of the moral high ground in America.
The second part that follows from it is that the federal government can
only legitimately exercise the powers granted to it in the Constitution.
Anything else constitutes rule by fraud and force and has no more moral
standing than a protection racket run by organized criminals.
Now, people may say that's all well and good in theory, but what about
treaty law, the UCC, the suspension of the Constitution under the War Powers
Act, Executive Orders, declared States of Emergency, Presidential Decision
Directives and any one of a number of other different things that have
been done to usurp the power of the people in this country? The simple
answer is that again it does not matter who says what. It does not matter
what the International Monetary Fund or the Federal Reserve decides, or
Bhutros Bhutros Ghali in the United Nations says, or depend on how many
jack booted grenade throwing submachinegun using baby killing thugs somebody
has got to slavishly follow their orders, it does not even depend on the
President, the Congress, the Supreme Court, or even what Mikhail [deleted]
Gorbachev and the international bankers want. NOBODY CAN STEP BETWEEN YOU
AND YOUR CREATOR TO LEGALLY, LEGITIMATELY AND MORALLY STRIP YOU
OF THE RIGHTS THAT HE ENDOWED YOU WITH AS LONG AS YOU ARE OBEYING
Not to say that you might not decide to knuckle under in the face of terror,
force and fraud. But that is not the basis of legitimate government,
and the government that results has no moral standing. As the Founding
Fathers saw it, you would have not only the right but the absolute duty
to rebel and throw off such a government. That is the essence of the moral
high ground, and the moral check on the power of any government
anywhere in the world. However, here in America, we still have the Constitution
to finish considering.
Now, one of the problems that has occasionally cropped up for people today
trying to interpret the Constitution is that the Founding Fathers apparently
thought that there were some things that were so inherently obvious that
they were not worth stating. However, given the passage of time and the
long slow work of various different groups of highly intelligent and cunning
people seeking to subvert the Constitution, some of those things that the
Founding Fathers thought were inherently obvious can only be brought out
again by a very careful study of what they had to say and very carefully
considering the logical preconditions that would have to hold for
what they were talking about to be valid.
The first thing to realize, is that the Founding Fathers, unlike modern
politicians, by and large meant what they said and what they wrote. Many
of them had put their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor on the
line to establish this country, and they were not about to see all that
hard work go down the drain for nothing. Thus, my argument earlier that
the Declaration of Independence is the governing body of theory behind
how the government should operate. The Founding Fathers thought this was
so inherently obvious that they did not appear to say that much about it
in the writings that I have had the chance to study.
The second thing that needs to be brought out is that the Constitution,
for all intents and purposes, is essentially a sort of contract or power
of attorney written in common law. Therefore, as I will show later,
there is no way that the UCC can supersede the common law, for the common
law is the basis of the Constitution, which the UCC must remain within
the scope of in order to be valid. But be that as it may an argument has
been put forward by certain clever and devious people, that treaty law
supersedes the Constitution. That is a lie. But in order to understand
that you must first understand that one of the properties of the common
law, which the Constitution was written in, was that every attempt was
made to keep things as logical and consistent as possible.
In some respects, the Founding Fathers would have made Mr. Spock from the
TV show Star Trek look like an emotional bag of jelly when it came
to the logical analysis that they did to ensure that the laws they wrote
and the contracts they drafted were consistent with the body of common
law that was already in existence up to that point in time.
The other main feature of the common law that should be brought out is
that one of the reasons it was called the common law was
because ideally it was held that everybody should be able to read
and understand it, thus it would be the body of law that the people
could have in common. In this manner everybody could understand
their rights, duties and obligations under it. Thus, the idea that the
members of the Supreme Court were the only people capable of correctly
interpreting the Constitution would literally have been laughed at by the
Founding Fathers. They wrote the Constitution very specifically and they
wrote it to be understood by everybody.
So, we now come to an analysis of treaty law under the Constitution. This
can only be understood by a very careful and specific analysis of the second
paragraph of Article VI, but nothing that I am about to quote or say from
here on out should be any mystery to anybody who can simply read and understand
|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.
Now, the sort of analysis that I am about to do is exactly the same
sort of analysis of what the Constitution means that you will see used
by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay in THE FEDERALIST PAPERS
where they explain exactly what they meant by each and every section,
sentence and clause of the Constitution. The first thing that you will
notice is that this entire paragraph is one long sentence. It is
broken up into three clauses by semicolons. Within those clauses are some
very important qualifiers without which the meaning of the sentence can
not be properly understood and would not yield a logically consistent meaning.
And everything that the Founding Fathers wrote into the Constitution was
intended to have such a logically consistent meaning when compared with
every other part of the Constitution.
The first clause is: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United
States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof;". The important thing
to note here is that this clause and those which follow then specifically
do NOT refer to laws which might be passed outside the scope of
the Constitution and that therefore would not have been "made
in Pursuance thereof".
The second clause is "and all Treaties made, or which shall be made,
under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the
Land;". Quick question, what does it mean to make a treaty under the
authority of the United States? For the Founding Fathers, this was a no
brainer. The treaty had to cover subjects within the specific scope of
the powers granted to the Federal government by the Constitution. Otherwise
the treaty would not be "under the Authority of the United States."
This is logical, consistent with both common sense and standard English
usage, and to suppose otherwise would involve serious convolutions of not
only logic but just the simple meaning of the actual words themselves.
The third clause is where some lawyers have a field day, because they think
they can trick you into believing that the words as written do not actually
say what they mean. However, when we take it apart, we will find that to
interpret them any other way but that in which the Founding Fathers obviously
intended is to violate both the rules of logic and common English usage.
The third clause reads, "and the Judges in every State shall be bound
thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary
notwithstanding." Now, is the third clause talking about the national
level government or about the State level governments? If you look carefully
at the third clause you will see that it applies only to State level
governments. Thus, as opposed to referring to "This Constitution",
which is the terminology used by the Founding Fathers when they are referring
to the Constitution for the United States of America, they referred to
"the Constitution or Laws of any State." What does that mean?
THAT MEANS THAT THEY ARE SPECIFICALLY REFERRING TO THE CONSTITUTIONS OF
THE STATE LEVEL GOVERNMENTS! Does this make sense?
I think that anybody who looks at that carefully will realize that it can
not possibly make any logical sense, or even be in keeping with the rules
of common English usage any other way. Observe the location of the commas
within that clause. The words "any Thing in the Constitution or Laws
of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding" is all one phrase
located within a clause that starts out with a specific reference to State
level officials! Therefore, to assume that somehow they are talking about
the Constitution for the United States, which heretofore throughout the
entire text was referred to as "this Constitution", and
then somehow it ended up with no specific reference in a phrase
located within a clause dealing with State level officials and laws
worded such that it could apply to any State, "the Constitution
or Laws of any State" is absurd.
Now, observe that if the Federal government passes a treaty which is within
the Authority granted to it by the Constitution for the United States of
America, under the interpretation that I have advanced the terms of that
treaty would be binding on the several States, and could potentially supersede
portions of State Constitutions. Does that make sense? Yes, because
it was one of the major design functions of the United States government
to handle treaty making and foreign affairs. If the State level governments
could nullify the treaties that the Federal government had entered into
by changing their Constitutions, then the treaty making power, and hence
one of the major reasons for having a federal government would be voided.
The Federalists wanted to vest the treaty making power in the Federal government
because otherwise they were afraid of the foreign relations nightmare that
would ensue from each individual State negotiating separate treaties with
foreign governments. They felt the result of that would be chaos. I think
that even a moment's reflection would lead one to believe that there is
a great deal of sense to that argument, and this was one of the reasons
that the Federalists eventually carried the day.
Now, if we interpret that the other way, that treaties which would be made
under the Authority of, or in other words in accordance with, the United
States Constitution then superseded the very Constitution whose
Authority they were made under, we have what would be a logical absurdity.
So, when somebody tells you that the Constitution for the United States
doesn't matter anymore because the government ratified the United Nations
treaty or some sort of trade agreement or covenant on something or other,
you now should know that they are full of manure. Plain and simple, there
is no other way to analyze it. That line of argumentation is only being
put forward by people who are trying to deceive others as to the very nature
of our government, usually for their own gain, but sometimes these days
merely due to sheer ignorance as well.
Will that sort of deception work? Only if enough people come to believe
that they are not intelligent enough to figure out what a document written
in plain English and designed to be interpreted by the entire body politic
actually means. How could that happen? If enough people are told that only
lawyers and Supreme Court Justices are capable of interpreting it because
the Constitution is a "living" document whose meaning changes
over time, and then actually come to believe that garbage, then they might
find themselves deceived into going along with almost anything. Would that
make the resultant treaties, laws, trade agreements, covenants on whatever
and other assorted cattle droppings valid? NO, because the deception
and fraud perpetrated upon the people to get them to go along with that
effectively nullify their alleged consent to be governed that way.
In the final analysis, we will either have the rule of law in this country,
or the rule of force, terror and fraud. The one forms the legitimate basis
for a stable and viable constitutional republic. The other forms the basis
for a tyrannical dictatorship, and a form of government that you have not
only the right but the absolute duty to rebel against.
However, I do not see how this sort of argument can be presented in sound
bites and still have any hope of convincing intelligent and independent
minded people that some of the things they might think are true about the
way their government operates are actually only a calculated fraud being
perpetrated upon the body politic. The only way to actually figure out
the real story is to go back to the most basic principles and work
your way forward from there. It's actually not that difficult, and was
never intended to be difficult, but it has been the sort of knowledge which
has been repressed in this country because the powers that be are afraid
that the people will wake up one day. Once the people wake up and realize
what is going on they will try to take their country back. And there isn't
a thing that the powers that be can do either legally, morally or ethically
to stop the people from reclaiming their country under the legitimate rule
of law in a Constitutional Republic which guarantees the rights, freedoms
and liberties of all of its citizens.
- Michael E. Johnson Spokesman,
North Central Florida Regional Militia
This essay is part of a larger work in progress. Therefore the author
retains any and all copyrights. However, the author does grant permission
for people to copy and redistribute this essay by any means that they see
fit as long as it is used for educational purposes only and and its authorship
is properly attributed.
(1) Sun Tzu, MANUAL FOR WAR, translated and edited by T.W. Kuo,
Atli Press, 1989, ISBN 0-910169-02-0, p. 18.
This is the best translation I have run across and I recommend it highly
(2) Declaration Of Independence, second paragraph.
(3) United States Constitution, Article VI, second paragraph
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HTML March 17, 1997