Saturday, June 19, 2010

What is a law in the United States?

My detractors would claim that I promote lawlessness, and anarchy, but even a cursory examination of my arguments would reveal that is quite contrary to my purpose. I promote an absolute rule of law, absolute, and general. This is not a rule of law, however, to bind men's souls into the darkness which always hides tyrants, but to free them to be themselves.

The purpose of the law is to establish justice, justice for all, under that unbreakable rule of law. It is to abolish anarchy, to abolish the necessity for war between brothers and fathers, for all are bound by the same law, from the legislators to the electorate. It is a law of recourse, a law of means and ways for which to maintain the rights one has without resorting to acts of war.

It can be seen in no other light than as an act of war to remove recourse. It was said, in Paine's articles 'On War', that the state of war itself was when all recourse was removed from a man, when, in that state, there was no resort to law, nor to justice, no appeal, no power by which a man could regain his rights or his life, at that moment a state of war existed between him, and whoever would take those rights from him.

Story said much the same, in the Amistad trial. The federalist papers themselves spoke of the right, and intimately cojoined duty, to maintain and use those rights of recourse. Across the decades, centuries, and millenia, those rights of recourse have been used, and reused.

Manegold of Lautenberg spoke of the rights of man, as did John of Salisbury. The redes at Runnymede spoke of the recourses, as did Blackstone's commentaries on the laws of England. Thomas Paine's 'Common Sense' spoke of recourse, as did his 'The rights of Man.'

Those rights of recourse were sovereign rights, rights that could neither be given up, nor justly taken away. it was for the removal of those rights of recourse alone that the state of war could be justified, as a matter of self-defense.

Within the notes of Justice Story is found the story of his thoughts on recourse.

But in the next place, (and it is that which would furnish a case of most difficulty and danger, though it may be fairly be presumed to be of rare occurrence,) if the Legislative, executive, and judicial departments should all concur in a gross usurpation, there is still a peaceable remedy provided by the constitution. It is the power of amendment, which may be always applied at the will of three fourths of the states. If, therefore, there should be a corrupt cooperation of three fourths of the states for permanent usurpation, (a case not to be supposed, or if supposed, differs not at all in the principle or redress from the case of a majority of a nation or state having the same intent,) the case is certainly irremediable under any known forms of the constitution. The states may now, by constitutional amendment, with few limitations, change the whole structure and powers of the government, and legalize any present excess of power. And the general right of the society in other cases to change the government at the will of the majority of the whole people, in any manner, that may suit its pleasure, is undisputed, and seems undisputable. If there be any remedy at all for the minority in such a case, it is a remedy never provided for by human institutions. It is a resort to the ultimate right of all human beings in extreme cases to resist oppression, and to apply force against ruinous injustice.

-- Justice Story, notes on U.S. v. Libellants of the Schooner Amistad.

Before even the start of our nation, when it was barely an inkling and the pains created by Britain could still be borne, Samuel Adams wrote:

The liberties of our Country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have receiv'd them as a fair Inheritance from our worthy Ancestors: They purchas'd them for us with toil and danger and expence of treasure and blood; and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightned as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle; or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Of the latter we are in most danger at present: Let us therefore be aware of it. Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeath'd to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. - Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance. Let us remember, that "if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom." It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers in the event.

– Samuel Adams, Boston Gazette, October 14, 1771

But, yet, we have declared that the protections of the Constitution do not apply to some, that we may, by civil means, without recourse, without appeal, maintain some in prison indefinitely for the accusation, and fear of future crimes.

But who among us can guarantee that we are not felons? Who, in all this world, is not a dangerous man? Let him step forth, and I will show you a designing man in sheep's clothing.

Humanity, in and of itself is dangerous. It is a creature of force, of power, of dominion, control, of establishment of property and territory. He is a hunter, but also a healer, a steward and sometimes a wastrel. He is a saint and sinner, wrapped into one, a hope, and a horrific fear.

In this nation, we are all subject, in order for a law to be just, to the same law. The same acts, no matter who we are, must be equally illegal. The acts are what is targeted, not the person.

It does not matter who is doing the act, be it the highest executive officer, to the least prisoner in the darkest jail cell, if it is a crime, it is a crime for all.

The attainder clauses in the United States constitution equally apply to both state and federal governments. It does not matter who targets the law, only that the law is targeted. It does not matter who executes the power of that law, so long as all incidents are enforced equally. it does not matter who judges the law, so long as the law is judged equally.

The government is a creature, an incorporation of the Constitution. It can do nothing which the Constitution does not allow, and still be a legitimate entity created thereby. The moment any official steps outside of those bounds, they are not acting under that constitution, and may be treated as any other offender.

One cannot break the law... to enforce the law.

`The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.’ `Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no right, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it…’ `No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.’
” 16 American Jurisprudence, 2nd Edition, section 177.

"When a legislature undertakes to proscribe the exercise of a citizen's constitutional rights it acts lawlessly and the citizen can take matters into his own hands and proceed on the basis that such a law is no law at all."
- Justice William O. Douglas

Even the state constitution may not be altered to give an unequal burden of law to any person within the state.

All states are institutions, created by and under that constitution, restricted from the original powers, and established as incorporated entities under new obligations, and new restrictions. All counties, cities, municipalities, are equally bound. No incorporated entity can go beyond the purposes of its original corporation. They may not subcontract outside of those boundaries.

Those boundaries forbid the taking of any property, including the property of rights, without just recompense. For the property involved in the life of the person, there is no just recompense. For the property in the liberty, and in the right to property and right to have rights itself, there is no just recompense.

Those are things that are irrevocably the individual's, and well within the individual's right to defend.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

What is punishment?

I find that any idiot can understand punishment, but adults make it more complex than it is. Punishment is a taking, a restriction placed against an individual of those things which are his. The argument is not about this, but about those things that belong to a man, and the complexities adults who play at law bring to the picture.

To approach punishment, we must go back to the cases, and laws, where it was discussed. The primary of these was Cummings V. Missouri.

The Attorney General for the State of Missouri argued that punishment was only those things that were absolutely one's own, These things were life, liberty, and property, and in the nature of punishment, one could not be punished by taking that which was not his own. The farmer, recovering his cow from someone to whom he had loaned it, did no punishment. There was no punishment in retrieving stolen goods from a thief. He argued that a man did not own the right to have a job, nor anything else.

The supreme court wisely, and properly rejected this statement. According to the court in the past, our rights are not limited merely to those set down in that Constitutional bill of rights, but are a whole, indivisible, delivered via blood and toil of our worthy ancestors. They, Too, are a property.

We have a property in our own lives, a property most dear, and precious, for without that life we may enjoy no other property. We have a property in our liberty, for without that liberty, the enjoyment of our life is limited and restrained to that of the basest serf in a feudal land. We have a right within our property, as well, for without the right to property, we cannot have the property inherent in the other two rights. The fourth right is equally important, the right to defend life, liberty, and property against all takers.

But we also have a right to sue, in court of law, against all takers of our intangible property, and if necessary, to defend them. If a man attempts to restrain us against our will, it is an assault and battery. If a man stirs up a majority, and passes legislation to do the same, it is no less an assault and battery upon the individual thus restrained.

The court has repeatedly found that limiting the idea of punishment to that which seizes life, liberty and property only is false. Lesser assaults, bills of pains and penalties, are also attainder. Some of those bills and laws, refer to past acts in their establishment, and are no less attainder.

Punishment is any thing that sets the individual at a separate burden of law. While in the prison, for the protection of prisoners and others, you are restrained in the exercise of your rights for the time of the sentence. This, and the isolation from the society that you have wronged, is part of the punishment. Punishment as well as being retributive may be preventative, in order to bring about a desired prevention of the repeat of the act. It may be a separation from society, a mark placed upon the individual to forever set them apart from civilization.

Attaint, attinctus, blackened, or stained... no longer fit for society, set apart by the mark, society feels no further obligation to the individuals thus attained, save to see them executed.

Punishment is not a power of legislature. It can set guidelines, it is the judge, and jury that determine the nature of punishment, even to the point of defying the judge, and legislature themselves.

The court is not, and has never been, bound to accept the excuses the legislature gives for restriction. A setting of separate burdens of law, creation of crimes that for no other class of citizen is crime, an establishment of laws restricting where one may work, live, educate one's self, and how and where one must believe, all are punishment. They are taking rights which are irrevocably the individual's.

Restrictions upon the use of private property are also punishment. It is not a crime to use the property as one sees fit, so long as there is no danger to human life or the neighbor's property. There is no right to restrict one's neighbor's property to retain your own property value. If one chooses to destroy the value of their own property, that is their choice.

There is a right in our own sovereignty, a right to our own self-willed choosing of the future, a right that is, indeed, even the foundation of our right to life, liberty, and property. (Chisholm v. Georgia).

We have the right to have, and maintain, the best, and most-limited government for the purpose of maintaining those rights, and to alter or abolish those governments if they go out of bounds.

We have no right to try to restrict the rights of others, for any reason, by our own hands, or the hands of the government. It is no less punishment, and in many ways a far more insidious and damaging one, to use the force of government to steal that which you wish, than to use your own hands to murder, to pillage, or to enslave.

One might ask themselves... if I allow the removal of rights for those I do not like... how many do not like me? How many may be brought, by lies, or by confusion, by malice or fraud, to dislike me?

It is that security in rights that is part of the general welfare, and the purpose of government itself. We punish for violations of those rights of life, liberty, property, and the myriad other rights which are also property. The right to have an opinion is equally a property as your home, your land, and your body. The right to speak that opinion without reserve, is equally a right, not to be subject to a man's offense, but only for those things spoken and written to be knowingly, maliciously and damagingly untrue.

We have a right to self-defense, a right to worship, to believe, to walk down the street and breathe clean air. So long as you leave every other person the same right, it is a right. One does not have a right to pollute public lands, for the enjoyment of those lands, pristine, is a right. One does not have a right to kill others, except in self-defense, for the enjoyment of that life is also a right.

Punishment, therefore, cannot be simply those things that restrict life, liberty, and property, but those things that restrict, and damage those things which make the life, liberty, and property worth exercising dominion and control over. The properties of one's labor, the properties inherent in one's ideas and consciousness, the properties inherent in that very essence of the pursuit of happiness.

We do not have the right to have happiness delivered to us... we only have the right to pursuit, capturing it is up to us.

The congress has no rights, only powers, and none of those powers allow them to determine those upon whom the law is to land, but only general legislation is allowed. (U.S. v Brown.)

I may indeed be a total idiot... but at least I admit it. I still see these things clearly. I may not be an idiot in the nature of language and thought, but I approach things from ignorance and logic.

I sometimes wish, that there were more idiots out there that would.

It may have a salutory effect upon understanding to read the words of Chisholm v. Georgia, , Cummings V. Missouri, Ex Parte Garland, Aptheker v Secretary of State, and U.S. v Brown.

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