DOES THE GOVERNMENT SERVE THE PEOPLE TODAY?
by Robert Laity
(Sept. 17, 2010) — “It came time to draft a new constitution, the founders drew upon the principles they had outlined in the Declaration…” -Roger Pilon, Cato Center.
Today, September 17th, is Constitution Day. The document is preserved for posterity behind state-of-the-art displays. The document was subcribed to, two-hundred and one score plus three years ago. The Constitution and Declaration of Independence are considered the founding documents. The preamble to the Constitution reads:
WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity (children, offspring), do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America…
“We the People.” The people are in charge of the government; the government serves the people, who by constant vigilance and observance of government actions strive to “form a more perfect union.” The people seek justice and want domestic peace; the defense of one is provided by all. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are the “blessings of liberty.” These blessings are bestowed by God and not man. They are inalienable; they cannot be taken back by anyone but God. These blessings are meant for us as well as our children, our “posterity.”
Each and every one of us is required and duty-bound, by the blood of those who died defending these blessings from usurpation, to preserve and protect them, to safeguard them and to pass them on unscathed to our descendants. This is a duty that cannot be taken lightly. With the enjoyment of these blessings comes responsibility. “Freedom is not free.”
People usually regard our government as consisting of three branches: the legislative, judiciary and the executive. There is a fourth branch of our government, and it is “we the people.” We the people ARE the fourth branch of the government. We the people are responsible for holding the other three branches accountable for their actions, and they ARE accountable. Patrick Henry once said that the constitution is not a document to restrict the people, but rather, a document to restrict the government.
Over the years certain rights have been watered down. Attempts have been made by government to loosen those restraints that we the people exercise upon the government. Our government officials, though they may sometimes think differently, are not the rulers; they are the servants of the people.
The founding brothers called the United States “the grand experiment.” At no time prior to the founding of the United States had the people ruled. We have a Constitutional Democratic Republic. We vote through representatives. If those representatives fail to pay attention to those whom they represent, they must be removed by impeachment or by vote. A legislature that does not heed the opinions of the people, which consists of people in office for selfish gain, is not worthy of the continued trust of the people. This also applies to the judiciary and the executive branches. It is the God- given right for the people to live in liberty, to pursue happiness and to be free.
To that end, the founders ratified the noble and sacred documents which established these free and multiple states.
When it comes to the point where the government starts stating that the “Constitution is flawed,” that people have no right to dissent, that the people have no “standing” to petition their government for a redress of wrongs, then that is the time for vehemently reasserting the rights outlined in the constitution and to voraciously pursue justice.
After outlining the authorities that the legislative, judiciary and executive branches were granted by the people, a “Bill of Rights” was established in order to outline inalienable rights granted by God that no man could cast asunder. The first ten amendments constitute the “Bill of Rights”:
Amendment 1- “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;or abridging the freedom of speech,or of the press,or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,and to petition the government for redress of grievances.”
Today, certain religions are being given preference over others; Christian displays are being restricted while Muslim sensitivities are being honored excessively. Our presumed “President” seeks ways to curtail freedom of speech by advocating that he be given control over the internet during a time of emergency. He mocks the Bible but praises Islam. People peaceably assembled are told to move on; the government has denied “standing” to “We the People” and has placed people on “watch lists” after they have dissented, labeling them “extremists.”
Amendment 2- “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”
It has been said that “The Second amendment is the reset button of the Constitution”-Doug McKay. Indeed, it is. History has shown that the first step that despots take when they want to dominate the people is to take their guns away.
Amendment 3- “No soldier in time of peace shall be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law”
Amendment 4- “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.
Several violations of this amendment by the government come to mind: scientific advances in the surreptitious spying upon the citizenry, monitoring the internet, secret courts, renditions, searches orchestrated before a warrant is obtained, allowing 24 hours after the search to get the warrant, increasing the time that one can be held before a charge is proferred, inter alia.
Amendment 5-“No person shall be held to answer for a capital,or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”
In 1946, the government illegally changed the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure wherein they claimed that “presentments are obsolete.” Currently, the American Grand Jury has exercised the right of “presentment,” only to be told that they have “no standing.” The Fifth Amendment has never been repealed. Rules do not supersede Rights secured by the constitution nor can an amendment be repealed without following the procedures outlined in the constitution (See Article 5 and Miranda v. Arizona).
Amendment 6-“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall been committed: which district shall have previously been ascertained by law,and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his consent.”
Some persons are held for weeks or months before trial, some are not apprised of charges against them, the assertion of “national security” is used excessively to deny the people their rights, exculpatory evidence has been denied to some so that they could not properly present their defense and physical harm (tasering) has been threatened (See the Col. Lakin case).
Amendment 7- “In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be re-examined in any court of the United States, then according to the rules of the common law.”
We the people have been subjected to a 13-trillion-dollar debt. The right to trial of the perpetrators by a jury connotes standing to invoke such a trial.
Amendment 8-“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
What crime has an unborn child committed that he/she should forfeit one of the Blessings of Liberty (Life)?
Amendment 9-“The enumeration in the constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Amendment 10-“The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved, to the States respectively, or to the people.”
This review should serve to re-energize “We the People” to re-assert our rights in this time of corrupted government, a time when we have a presumed “President” who does not respect our constitution.
The founders subscribed to the Constitution on September 17, 1787:
Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.
“In witness whereof” George Washington and representatives of the several states “subscribed” their “names.”
Spend some time reading the entire document. Read the Declaration of Independence also. We MUST persevere against tyranny in all its forms.