Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Founding Fathers

From time to time I encounter various quotes attributed to various members of the Founding Fathers of America, you know that group of self-serving hypocrites Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin. More recently as the new Messiah, Barrack Obama, has ascended to power, the number and frequency of these quotes is increasing, especially those attributed to Thomas Jefferson. So precisely what did this slave owning rich hypocrite do – what are his beliefs?

It was Jefferson who inserted into that revolutionary document that forms the very basis of our nation the statement that has stood as a stumbling block to all tyrants and would be tyrants:
“ ...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”. Americans are the only people in the world who have the RIGHT to the pursuit of happiness. Not very specific but it was meant to be imprecise because it represents the first separation of government from individual rights. As long as the individual does not break the law Jefferson intended that he should be free to pursue his own pathway to happiness. Even though Jefferson’s words laid the foundation for the elimination of slavery the fact that he owned slaves forever brands him in the eyes of the modern revisionist history professors – a hypocrite and unworthy of admiration or even study, even though he was a driving force behind the Bill of Rights. It is this Bill of Rights that buttress the Constitution, spell out and guarantee the very fundamental rights that Americans take for granted, but it is this same Bill of Rights that is under attack by those Oligarchs in Washington. Perhaps it is time to review these basic rights, which have been so interpreted and distorted by the Congress and the Supreme Court as to be virtually unrecognizable.

Article 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 a redress of grievances.

Note that Congress is prohibited from making any law the curtails or restricts the free exercise of religion. It does not state that religion or God should be separate from the government if those governed desire to worship God. Congress cannot abridge the freedom of speech but it says nothing about “hate speech” or the use of profanity but the Supreme court acting unilaterally has declared profanity and pornography protected by free speech but God and racial slurs are not. Precisely who is the hypocrite today?

Article 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

Of course this Article is under heavy attack as the Congress and those Oligarchs seek to expand their power. It is to their benefit to disarm the people and it is this precise risk to our freedom that his Article was inserted. The argument is that only the “militia” can be armed which is interpreted as the “National Guard” but it was the Minutemen Farmers who fought and won our independence and it is the well armed citizenry that will and can maintain it. The Constitution specifically spells out this right because the Founding Fathers wanted to protect the people FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

Article 5
No person shall be held to answer for any 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 offence 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.

This article has been quoted and employed to great effect but more recently the little phrase at the end regarding private property seems to be routinely ignored by the current administration. We see the government taking over private industry and determining unilaterally the value of the property being taken from the share holders and bond holders. The Bond Holders in particular had a contract that guaranteed them “just compensation” but the administration gave preferential treatment to the labor unions – their big supporters while giving the investors – the capitalists—pennies on the dollar-- Jefferson and Madison be damned!!

As President Jefferson reminded America that our happiness and prosperity rested on a wise and frugal government and a government that would remain free of regulating business and industry and that government “shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned”. The time has long past for Americans to return to those fundamental rights and limitations established by the Founding Fathers and increasingly ignored by Congress, the Supreme Court (and Ninth Circuit Court) and the current Administration who are by passing Congress entirely in their drive for power never intended by the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

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