Sunday, December 25, 2011
The Right to Bear Arms, Government Tyranny, and the Second Amendment
America’s Founding Fathers framed the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) to protect people’s natural and inalienable rights. Such rights are described in the Declaration of Independence as being those rights endowed by the Creator. As such, they cannot be taken away. Albert Gallatin explained in 1789 that “[t]he whole of the Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals... It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.”
The Bill of Rights identifies the right to keep and bear arms as being one of these inalienable rights of citizens. The right to bear arms has a long history. In Blackstone's 1768 Commentaries on the Laws of England, Henry St. George Tucker declared that “the use of arms for self defense and self-preservation was among the absolute rights of individuals.”
The Subcommittee on the Constitution agreed in a 1982 report that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right of Americans. The Supreme Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., 130 S. Ct. 3020 (2010) held that the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense is fundamental to the nation's scheme of ordered liberty, given that self-defense was a basic right recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present.
Defense Against Government Tyranny
The Founders feared government tyranny because, as Patrick Henry put it, liberty has been destroyed most often by the tyranny of rulers. Daniel Webster noted that men in governance may “promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." George Mason reasonably feared “the natural propensity of rulers to oppress the people.”
Aristotle wrote in Politics that oligarchs and tyrants “mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms.” Rulers will, according to Tucker, try to confine the “right of self-defense within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction" (Henry St. George Tucker, Blackstone's 1768 Commentaries on the Laws of England).
James Burgh observed that "the possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave, it being the ultimate means by which freedom was to be preserved" (Shalhope, The Ideological Origins of the Second Amendment, p.604). Thus, according to Noah Webster, "before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed” (Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Philadelphia, 1787). Not surprisingly, when Great Britain decided to enslave America, “the British Parliament was advised...to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them" (quoting George Mason).
The right to keep and bear arms is "the palladium [safeguard] of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them" (Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution). "[T]o preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms" (Richard H. Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer, 53, 1788). George Washington extolled the importance of firearms in his address to the 1st session of Congress:
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable... The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. When firearms go, all goes...
Thomas Jefferson asserted that "the strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" (Thomas Jefferson Papers, p. 334, 1950). According to Alexander Hamilton, "[i]f the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government."
Several Founders wrote of the importance of maintaining an armed citizenry. Thomas Jefferson felt strongly that "[n]o free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” (Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334) Zacharia Johnson, delegate to Virginia Ratifying Convention, agreed that "the people are not to be disarmed of their weapons." Samuel Adams even pushed for an amendment stating that the "Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms" (Phila. Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789).
James Monroe was assured that, if the right to keep and bear arms was “well defined, and secured against encroachment, it [would be] impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny." James Madison felt confident that "Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed."
Protecting the Right to Bear Arms
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was intended to protect the individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, to protect himself, his family, and his freedoms, against infringement by either state, federal, or local government.
The Second Amendment reads: “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.” The exact meaning of the text was disputed for many years. Finally, the Supreme Court held in Dist. of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm and to use that weapon for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense. This right is protected from infringement by federal, state or municipal government.
The Second Amendment protects the inalienable right of Americans to bear arms from infringement by state, federal, or municipal governments.
Rich Mason, “Why the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is Important to You,” 1999, available at http://www.tennesseefirearms.com/articles/rkba_important.asp.
“Quotes on Firearms Rights,” available at http://catb.org/~esr/guns/quotes.html.
“REPORT of the SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES SENATE NINETY-SEVENTH CONGRESS, Second Session,” February 1982, available at http://www.constitution.org/mil/rkba1982.htm.
“The Right to Bear Arms,” available at http://www.c4cg.org/guns.htm.
“The Right To Keep And Bear Arms - Quotes,” available at http://whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/RKBA/2ndQuotes.php.
“U.S. Constitution: Second Amendment,” available at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment02.
James P. Hodges, Ph.D.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
The following is an excerpt from chapter four of NONE DARE CALL IT CONSPIRACY by Gary Allen with Larry Abraham, 1971. In this excerpt, the authors discuss the federal income tax, which forms the 2nd plank of communism according to Karl Marx Communist Manifesto. The tax serves as a mechanism to relieve Americans of their wealth and redistribute it to the banking Elite. For more information on the federal income tax, please see "The Federal Income Tax: Unconstitutional as Applied."
... Two months prior to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, the conspirators had created the mechanism to collect the funds to pay the interest on the national debt. That mechanism was the progressive income tax, the second plank of Karl Marx' Communist Manifesto which contained ten planks for SOCIALIZING a country...
The best way for the Insiders to eliminate this growing Competition was to impose a progressive income tax on their competitors while writing the laws so as to include built-in escape hatches for themselves. Actually, very few of the proponents of the graduated income tax realized they were playing into the hands of those they were seeking to control. As Ferdinand Lundberg notes in The Rich And The Super-Rich:
"What it [the income tax] became, finally, was a siphon gradually inserted into the pocketbooks of the general public. Imposed to popular huzzas as a class tax, the income tax was gradually turned into a mass tax in a jiujitsu turnaround."
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The Insiders' principal mouthpiece in the Senate during this period was Nelson Aldrich, one of the conspirators involved in engineering the creation of the Federal Reserve and the maternal grandfather of Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller. Lundberg says that "When Aldrich spoke, newsmen understood that although the words were his, the dramatic line was surely approved by 'Big John [D. Rockefeller]… '" In earlier years Aldrich had denounced the income tax as "communistic and socialistic," but in 1909 he pulled a dramatic and stunning reversal. The American Biographical Dictionary comments:
"Just when the opposition had become formidable he [Aldrich] took the wind out of its sails by bringing forward, with the support of the President [Taft], a proposed amendment to the Constitution empowering Congress to lay income taxes."
"During the past few weeks the unexpected spectacle of certain so-called 'old-line conservative' [sic] Republican leaders in Congress suddenly reversing their attitude of a lifetime and seemingly espousing, through ill-concealed reluctance, the proposed income-tax amendment to the Constitution has been the occasion of universal surprise and wonder."
The escape hatch for the Insiders to avoid paying taxes was ready. By the time the Amendment had been approved by the states (even before the income-tax was passed), the Rockefellers and Carnegie foundations were in full operation..
The conspirators now had created the mechanisms to run up the debt, to collect the debt, and (for themselves) to avoid the taxes required to pay the yearly interest on the debt. Then all that was needed was a reason to escalate the debt. Nothing runs up a national debt like a war. And World War I was being brewed in Europe...
James P. Hodges, Ph.D.
Lewis v. United States is a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case that held that the Federal Reserve is an independent, privately owned, locally controlled corporation and not a government agency.
For more information about the FED, please see:
Thomas Jefferson on Banking Tyranny
And for ideas about how to fight back:
680 F.2d 1239
United States Court of Appeals,
John L. LEWIS, Plaintiff/Appellant,
UNITED STATES of America, Defendant/Appellee.
Submitted March 2, 1982.Decided April 19, 1982.As Amended June 24, 1982.
POOLE, Circuit Judge:
On July 27, 1979, appellant John Lewis was injured by a vehicle owned and operated by the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Lewis brought this action in district court alleging jurisdiction under the Federal Tort Claims Act (theAct), 28 U.S.C. s 1346(b). The United States moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The district court dismissed, holding that the Federal Reserve Bank is not a federal agency within the meaning of the Act and that the court therefore lacked subject matter jurisdiction. We affirm.
In enacting the Federal Tort Claims Act, Congress provided a limited waiver of the sovereign immunity of the United States for certain torts of federal employees. United States v. Orleans, 425 U.S. 807, 813, 96 S.Ct. 1971, 1975, 48 L.Ed.2d 390 (1976). Specifically, the Act creates liability for injuries “caused by the negligent or wrongful actor omission” of an employee of any federal agency acting within the scope of his office or employment. 28 U.S.C. ss 1346(b), 2671. “Federal agency” is defined as:
the executive departments, the military departments, independent establishments of the United States, and corporations acting primarily as instrumentalities of the United States, but does not include any contractors with the United States.
28 U.S.C. s 2671. The liability of the United States for the negligence of a FederalReserve Bank employee depends, therefore, on whether the Bank is a federal agency under s 2671.
There are no sharp criteria for determining whether an entity is a federal agency within the meaning of the Act, but the critical factor is the existence of federal government control over the “detailed physical performance” and “day to day operation” of that entity. United States v. Orleans, 425 U.S. 807, 814, 96 S.Ct. 1971, 1975, 48 L.Ed.2d 390 (1976), Logue v. United States, 412 U.S. 521, 528, 93 S.Ct. 2215, 2219, 37 L.Ed.2d 121 (1973). Other factors courts have considered include whether the entity is an independent corporation, Pearl v. United States, 230 F.2d 243 (10th Cir. 1956),Freeling v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 221 F.Supp. 955 (W.D.Okla.1962), aff'd per curiam, 326 F.2d 971 (10th Cir. 1963), whether the government is involved in the entity's finances. Goddard v. District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency, 287 F.2d 343, 345 (D.C.Cir.1961), cert. denied, 366 U.S. 910, 81 S.Ct. 1085, 6 L.Ed.2d 235 (1961), *1241 Freeling v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 221 F.Supp. 955, and whether the mission of the entity furthers the policy of the United States, Goddard v. District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency, 287 F.2d at 345. Examining the organization and function of the Federal Reserve Banks, and applying the relevant factors, we conclude that the Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of the FTCA, but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations.
Each Federal Reserve Bank is a separate corporation owned by commercial banks in its region. The stockholding commercial banks elect two thirds of each Bank's nine member board of directors. The remaining three directors are appointed by the FederalReserve Board. The Federal Reserve Board regulates the Reserve Banks, but direct supervision and control of each Bank is exercised by its board of directors. 12 U.S.C. s 301. The directors enact by-laws regulating the manner of conducting general Bank business, 12 U.S.C. s 341, and appoint officers to implement and supervise daily Bank activities. These activities include collecting and clearing checks, making advances to private and commercial entities, holding reserves for member banks, discounting the notes of member banks, and buying and selling securities on the open market. See 12 U.S.C. ss 341-361.
Each Bank is statutorily empowered to conduct these activities without day to day direction from the federal government. Thus, for example, the interest rates on advances to member banks, individuals, partnerships, and corporations are set by each Reserve Bank and their decisions regarding the purchase and sale of securities are likewise independently made.
It is evident from the legislative history of the Federal Reserve Act that Congress did not intend to give the federal government direction over the daily operation of the Reserve Banks:
It is proposed that the Government shall retain sufficient power over the reserve banks to enable it to exercise a direct authority when necessary to do so, but that it shall in no way attempt to carry on through its own mechanism the routine operations and banking which require detailed knowledge of local and individual credit and which determine the funds of the community in any given instance. In other words, the reserve-bank plan retains to the Government power over the exercise of the broader banking functions, while it leaves to individuals and privately owned institutions the actual direction of routine.
H.R. Report No. 69, 63 Cong. 1st Sess. 18-19 (1913).
The fact that the Federal Reserve Board regulates the Reserve Banks does not make them federal agencies under the Act. In United States v. Orleans, 425 U.S. 807, 96 S.Ct. 1971, 48 L.Ed.2d 390 (1976), the Supreme Court held that a community action agency was not a federal agency or instrumentality for purposes of the Act, even though the agency was organized under federal regulations and heavily funded by the federal government. Because the agency's day to day operation was not supervised by the federal government, but by local officials, the Court refused to extend federal tort liability for the negligence of the agency's employees. Similarly, the Federal Reserve Banks, though heavily regulated, are locally controlled by their member banks. Unlike typical federal agencies, each bank is empowered to hire and fire employees at will. Bank employees do not participate in the Civil Service Retirement System. They are covered by worker's compensation insurance, purchased by the Bank, rather than the Federal Employees Compensation Act. Employees traveling on Bank business are not subject to federal travel regulations and do not receive government employee discounts on lodging and services.
The Banks are listed neither as “wholly owned” government corporations under 31 U.S.C. s 846 nor as “mixed ownership” corporations under 31 U.S.C. s 856, a factor considered in Pearl v. United States, 230 F.2d 243 (10th Cir. 1956), which held that the Civil Air Patrol is not a federal agency under the Act. Closely resembling the status*1242 of the Federal Reserve Bank, the Civil Air Patrol is a non-profit, federally chartered corporation organized to serve the public welfare. But because Congress' control over the Civil Air Patrol is limited and the corporation is not designated as a wholly owned or mixed ownership government corporation under 31 U.S.C. ss 846 and 856, the court concluded that the corporation is a non-governmental, independent entity, not covered under the Act.
Additionally, Reserve Banks, as privately owned entities, receive no appropriated funds from Congress. Cf. Goddard v. District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency, 287 F.2d 343, 345 (D.C.Cir.1961), cert. denied, 366 U.S. 910, 81 S.Ct. 1085, 6 L.Ed.2d 235 (1961) (court held land redevelopment agency was federal agency for purposes of theAct in large part because agency received direct appropriated funds from Congress.)
Finally, the Banks are empowered to sue and be sued in their own name. 12 U.S.C. s 341. They carry their own liability insurance and typically process and handle their ownclaims. In the past, the Banks have defended against tort claims directly, through private counsel, not government attorneys, e.g., Banco De Espana v. Federal ReserveBank of New York, 114 F.2d 438 (2d Cir. 1940); Huntington Towers v. Franklin National Bank, 559 F.2d 863 (2d Cir. 1977); Bollow v. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 650 F.2d 1093 (9th Cir. 1981), and they have never been required to settle tort claimsunder the administrative procedure of 28 U.S.C. s 2672. The waiver of sovereign immunity contained in the Act would therefore appear to be inapposite to the Banks who have not historically claimed or received general immunity from judicial process.
The Reserve Banks have properly been held to be federal instrumentalities for some purposes. In United States v. Hollingshead, 672 F.2d 751 (9th Cir. 1982), this court held that a Federal Reserve Bank employee who was responsible for recommending expenditure of federal funds was a “public official” under the Federal Bribery Statute. That statute broadly defines public official to include any person acting “for or on behalf of the Government.” S. Rep. No. 2213, 87th Cong., 2nd Sess. (1962), reprinted in (1962) U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News 3852, 3856. See 18 U.S.C. s 201(a). The test for determining status as a public official turns on whether there is “substantial federal involvement” in the defendant's activities. United States v. Hollingshead, 672 F.2d at 754. In contrast, under the FTCA, federal liability is narrowly based on traditional agency principles and does not necessarily lie when the tortfeasor simply works for an entity, like the Reserve Banks, which perform important activities for the government.
The Reserve Banks are deemed to be federal instrumentalities for purposes of immunity from state taxation. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston v. Commissioner of Corporations & Taxation, 499 F.2d 60 (1st Cir. 1974), after remand, 520 F.2d 221 (1st Cir. 1975); Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis v. Register of Deeds, 288 Mich. 120, 284 N.W. 667 (1939). The test for determining whether an entity is a federal instrumentality for purposes of protection from state or local action or taxation, however, is very broad: whether the entity performs an important governmental function. Federal Land Bank v. Bismarck Lumber Co., 314 U.S. 95, 102, 62 S.Ct. 1, 5, 86 L.Ed. 65 (1941);Rust v. Johnson, 597 F.2d 174, 178 (9th Cir. 1979), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 964, 100 S.Ct. 450, 62 L.Ed.2d 376 (1979). The Reserve Banks, which further the nation's fiscal policy, clearly perform an important governmental function.
Performance of an important governmental function, however, is but a single factor and not determinative in tort claims actions. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis v. Metrocentre Improvement District, 657 F.2d 183, 185 n.2 (8th Cir. 1981), Cf. Pearl v. United States, 230 F.2d 243 (10th Cir. 1956). State taxation has traditionally been viewed as a greater obstacle to an entity's ability to perform federal functions than exposure to judicial process; therefore tax immunity is liberally applied. *1243 Federal Land Bank v. Priddy, 294 U.S. 229, 235, 55 S.Ct. 705, 708, 79 L.Ed. 1408 (1955). Federal tort liability, however, is based on traditional agency principles and thus depends upon the principal's ability to control the actions of his agent, and not simply upon whether the entity performs an important governmental function. See United States v. Orleans, 425 U.S. 807, 815, 96 S.Ct. 1971, 1976, 48 L.Ed.2d 390 (1976), United States v. Logue, 412 U.S. 521, 527-28, 93 S.Ct. 2215, 2219, 37 L.Ed.2d 121 (1973).
Brinks Inc. v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 466 F.Supp. 116 (D.D.C.1979), held that a Federal Reserve Bank is a federal instrumentality for purposes of the Service Contract Act, 41 U.S.C. s 351. Citing Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the court applied the “important governmental function” test and concluded that the term “Federal Government” in the Service ContractAct must be “liberally construed to effectuate the Act's humanitarian purposes of providing minimum wage and fringe benefit protection to individuals performing contracts with the federal government.” Id. 288 Mich. at 120, 284 N.W.2d 667.
Such a liberal construction of the term “federal agency” for purposes of the Act is unwarranted. Unlike in Brinks, plaintiffs are not without a forum in which to seek a remedy, for they may bring an appropriate state tort claim directly against the Bank; and if successful, their prospects of recovery are bright since the institutions are both highly solvent and amply insured.
For these reasons we hold that the Reserve Banks are not federal agencies for purposes of the Federal Tort Claims Act and we affirm the judgment of the district court.
James P. Hodges, Ph.D.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Now that we find ourselves in the position of being relieved of our wealth by the big banks, what can be done to fight back short of "refreshing the Tree of Liberty?" One strategy may be to starve the banks by withdrawing our money from them. The following strategy of passive resistance could be easily (and safely) implemented by everyone.
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1) Use Treasury-minted dollar coins as much as possible.
The Treasury mints coins and does not charge interest to the American taxpayer. When the Federal Reserve (a consortium of private banks) prints paper currency, it charges interest for its "service." Printing paper currency is contrary to the Founding Fathers intent in the Constitution. Art. I sect. 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to coin money, not print it. The Founding Fathers experienced the collapse of the Continental, a paper currency, so they wanted to avoid that from happening again. Art. I sect. 10 states that states may only accept gold and silver in payment of debts The Constitution grants the government enumerated powers, and printing money is not one. By using coins. one deprives the Federal Reserve of interest payments, cutting into its profit margin.
Coins are preferable to paper currency because they have some intrinsic value based on their metal content. For example, pre-1983 pennies are worth twice as much as their face value based on their copper content.
Finally, if the currency is ever devalued, coins are usually untouched. A thousand dollar bill could be knocked down to $10 or even $1 over night, but the coins will stay the same and therefore, maintain their purchasing power.
2) Use credit cards as little as possible.
Banks get 3% in fees from merchants every time a purchase is made with a credit card. In addition, if the cardholder does not stay current on his or payments, he or she is paying additional amounts to banks, keeping them fat and happy. Withdrawing this source of income from the banks will cut into their bottom line.
Another negative aspect of credit cards is that they inflate the currency supply each time they are used. America is at risk of a hyper-inflationary depression due to the Federal Reserve's policies, including quantitative easing, so inflating the currency even more may accelerate a hyper-inflationary event.
Finally, using credit cards allows every purchase to be tracked, which some view as an invasion of privacy.
3) Move money out of the corporate banks and into credit unions or out of the banking system completely.
Banks engage in fractional reserve lending based on the amount of currency in their accounts. They charge fees to lend that money. The less money is in their clients' accounts, the less money they can lend, and the fewer fees they can collect.
4) Buy gold and/or silver.
Gold and silver are hard money and act as a store of value. They are a method to protect oneself from inflation because they maintain their purchasing power. It also eliminates one's counter-party risk.
Gold and silver are seen as the "enemy" by governments because they constrain spending. (See "Gold and Economic Freedom" by Alan Greenspan.
JP Morgan and HSBC have large naked short positions in silver. If everyone would buy at least one ounce of physical silver and take it out of the supply, those two banks would be forced to cover their positions. It may be enough to drive them into the ground. (See Max Keiser's "Crash JP Morgan, Buy Silver" campaign).
By withdrawing money from the banks, such as by using coins and credit unions, not using credit cards, and buying gold and silver, the people may peacefully restore balance in the system and free themselves from banking tyranny.
James P. Hodges, Ph.D.
Friday, September 16, 2011
"Signing the Constitution: September 17, 1787" by Dr. James P. Hodges was published in the Edmonds Beacon on September 16, 2010. Please click on the images below to enlarge them. The article can also be viewed as a PDF [LINK].
James P. Hodges, Ph.D.