In my previous post, The Art of Sedition I mentioned that sedition is only sedition if it is used against lawful Authority. What then, is lawful authority? When our Founding Fathers decided to break free and create a nation all their own, they set up a system that they considered to be lawful authority, or a governmental system that abided by the laws of humanity by ascertaining certain unalienable rights for the citizens of this new found country. Well, for most of the citizens in the highly unenlightened time period, anyway. What they did, aside from setting up a basic set of rules and governmental checks and balances also known as the Constitution, was list a rather long, and detailed set of grievances against the King of Great Britain, also known as the Declaration of Independence you might have heard of it, I'm sure.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
Our current government has gone through just such a test, approximately two hundred times during the Bush presidency. With threats of vetoes well into the one hundreds, and a slew of rapid vetoes in the last year or so, our president has seen fit to either coerce our legislature into dropping bills that are important to the well being of their constituents, or outright vetoing the bills. Such bills include Veto of the Anti-Torture Act, the UAE Port Deal, the Water Resources Development Act, the Earmark Reform Bill, the Children's Health Bill, and the US Troop Withdrawal.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
One bill that comes to mind with regards to this grievance is the D.C. Voting Rights Act, which can also be read about a little more here. This one is of great import because it directly relates the constitutional rights of citizens who are going without proper representation, and have no right to vote properly. The Protect America Act, and a few websites outlining the veto frenzy the Bush administration has gotten itself into, here, here, and here. Just for fun, see what our Biker Lawyers have to say about this very subject, here.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
While our government does comfortably sit in the halls of congress, I do firmly believe that our government has made it almost impossible for the average citizen to truly partake in the democratic process. It is uncomfortable, expensive, and beyond voting almost completely isolated from the general public. In fact, in the past few years our government has succeeded in restricting the rights of US citizens to take part in the process more so than any recent administration.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
I'll give the administration this much, for this grievance, they haven't gone much beyond arbitrarily removing archivists to cover their tracks, and of course, those pesky attorney firings that sparked the "I don't recall" Guinness record. Then again, since our representatives have been rendered impotent for the most part, who needs to dissolve them?
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
With a withering congress and senate, they might as well come back to the people at large.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
I have already written extensively on the problems with our immigration policies, here.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
This time around, the administration has loaded the bases with Judiciary powerhouses that support, rather than oppose the administration's policies, legal or otherwise. Either way, Bush strong armed our representatives into appointing Mukasey, a man who supported Bush's will to use torture. These two grievances are part in parcel now.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
Yes, with the Patriot Act, the Protect America Act, the John Warner Defense Authorization Act, the Military Act and other interesting, and wholly unconstitutional laws supported by the Department of Homeland Security, and Blackwater among other new, National Security positions, I'd say that our citizens are enduring and beginning to face worse harassment and spying by our own government.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
What times of peace?
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
Our military has taken on a life of it's own, with horrendous reports and accusations of torture, harassment, inhumane treatment and overall illegal activities with no reasonable legal jurisdiction and almost no one being held responsible, paired with attacks on civilians, as well as female members of the military being raped and harassed, and in at least one case, murdered. The actions of both the military and the out of control mercenaries have gone above the long arm of the law, and intends to stay there, at the behest of our president.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
Among many things occurring that are foreign to our constitution, the large bodies of armed troops among us include, the Globalized Private Military, the Lockheed sponsered British Military, the Canadian Troops assisting the US in teh event of Martial Law, and the reports of US military soldiers being asked if the would fire on US citizens which you can read here, and here.
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
Two words, Abu Girhab.
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
Not with all parts of the world, we haven't come to that point yet.
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
When was the last time we, the constituents actually approved a tax? Furthermore, the president plans on making his tax adjustments permanent, no matter how badly they will affect this economy, or the people who must live in it.
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
The loss of Habeas Corpus, and the impending Martial Law, which would remove every citizen's right to a trail by jury.
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
Not us per se, but others from a far away country who may or may not be part of a terrorist operation, and who may or may not confess under torture, and who may or may not ever get a day in court, no matter how much this behavior flies in the face of the Geneva Convention.
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
Did someone mention the enlarging of boundaries by less than ethical means? By golly, we've been doing that for centuries now!
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
These two grievances also go together as the Bush administration has shown more disregard for our constitution and laws than any other administration in our history, including Nixon's term. Furthermore this administration has usurped more power thus undoing the delicate balance of power that our Founding Fathers so carefully set up for our protection.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
It hasn't happened yet, and hopefully we can get a new president in office before this one goes all out on the citizens of the US.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
Not our coasts, but certainly we have ravaged, plundered, burned, bombed and otherwise destroyed other coasts.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
We have not yet seen this type of destruction on our own soil, but make it known that our government has seen fit, as mentioned above, to train foreign armies to control the US population, should the administration see fit to declare Martial Law, and or own military refuses to open fire on us.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
In the links above, our administration has seen fit to begin conditioning our own soldiers to open fire on US citizens, should the need arise.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
Domestic and foreign insurrections. In fact our international reputation is in such a shambles, I'm surprised we haven't undergone more attacks.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Our government has turned a deaf ear to our pleas. In fact, it is working to silence us further.
It would seem to me that our government's authority is no longer lawful, if we are to go by the very grievances that inspired the birth of this country to begin with. Ergo, sedition is no longer possible, not that our government woudl ever admit to that.
Our government has conducted itself in a manner that would disgust our forefathers, in fact it did disgust them so much that they started a revolution, to change it. To quote the Declaration of independence once again,
"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."