Centralization of Government

 

Excerpts of a speech made by Henry W. Grady * to the Societies of the University of Virginia, June 25, 1850.

 

“The unmistakable danger that threatens free government in America, is the increasing tendency to concentrate in the Federal government powers and privileges that should be left with the States, and to create powers that neither the State nor Federal government should have.  Let it be understood at once that in discussing this question I seek to revive no dead issue.  We know precisely what was put to the issue of the sword, and what was settled thereby.  The right of a State to leave this Union was denied and the denial made good forever.  But the sovereignty of the States in the Union was never involved, and the Republic that survived the storm was, in the words of the Supreme Court, “an indissoluble Union of indestructible States.”  Let us stand on this decree and turn our faces to the future!

 

   It is not strange that there should be a tendency to centralization in our government.  This disposition was the legacy of the war.  Steam and electricity have emphasized it by bringing the people closer together.  The splendor of a central government dazzles the unthinking – its opulence tempts the poor and the avaricious  - its strength assures the rich and the timid – its patronage incites the spoilsmen and its powers inflame the partisan.

 

   And so we have paternalism run mad.  The merchant asks the government to control the arteries of trade – the manufacturer asks that his product be protected – the rich asks for an army, and the unfortunate for help – this man for schools and that for subsidy.  The partisan proclaims, amid the clamor, that the source of largess must be the seat of power, and demands that the ballot-boxes of the States be hedged by Federal bayonets.  The centrifugal force of our system is weakened, the centripetal force is increased, and the revolving spheres are veering inward from their orbits.  There are strong men who rejoice in this unbalancing and deliberately contend that the center is the true repository of power and source of privilege – men who, were they charged with the solar system, would shred the planets into the sun, and , exulting in the sudden splendor, little reck that they had kindled the conflagration that presages universal nights!  Thus the States are dwarfed and the nation magnified – and to government a people, who can best govern themselves, the central authority is made stronger and more splendid…

 

…The syndicate, the trust, the corporation – these are the eldest sons of the Republic for whom the feudal right of primogeniture is revived, and who inherit its estate to the impoverishment of their brothers.  Let it be noted that the alliance between those who would centralize the government and the consolidated money power is not only close but essential.  The one is the necessity of the other.  Establish the money power and there is universal clamor for strong government.  The weak will demand it for protection against the people restless under oppression – the patriotic for protection against the plutocracy that scourges and robs – the corrupt hoping to buy of one central body distant from local influences what they could not buy from the legislatures of the States sitting at their homes – the oligarchs will demand it – for the protection of their privileges and the perpetuity of their bounty.  Thus, hand in hand, will walk – as they have always walked – the federalist and the capitalist, the centralist and the monopolist – the strong government protecting the money power, and the money power the political standing army of the government.  Hand in hand, compact and organized, one creating the necessity, the other meeting it; consolidated wealth and centralizing government; stripping the many of their rights and aggrandizing the few; distrusting the people but in touch with the plutocrats; striking down local self-government and dwarfing the citizens – and at last confronting the people in the market, in the courts, at the ballot box – everywhere with the infamous challenge:  “What are you going to do about it?  And so the government protects and the barons oppress, and the people suffer and grow strong.  And when the battle for liberty is joined – the centralist and the plutocrat, entrenched behind the deepening powers of the government, and the countless ramparts of money bags, oppose to the vague but earnest onset of the people the power of the trained phalanx and the conscienceless strength of the mercenary.” – Henry W. Grady:  Writings and Speeches, Joel Chandler Harris, 1890, pp. 146-150.

 

*Henry Grady was a famous mid 19th century political editorialist for various national newspapers.  

 

 

Federal vs. National Government

 

By:  David Deschesne

 

The position of Senator is a “Federal” position representing a “federation” – that is a federation of States.  Constitutionally, Senators (prior to 1917) were nominated by and beholden to the State legislatures of their respective states.  That was the “Federal” side of our bicameral system.  We the People possessed the “National” side of the government through the House of Representatives and elected said Representatives to represent our interests.

 

The people’s representatives = Representative

The State legislature's representatives = Senator

 

Historically, the State Senators had few worries about the “will of the people” because the only people they had to impress to keep their job was the legislature in the State from which they came.  The job of worrying about the “will of the people” was always left up to that State’s Representative.  I believe the founders came up with a good plan by dividing things up that way.  Too bad We the People have opted for a counterfeit.

 

When we switched to popular election of Senators by the people, that’s when we switched from a Representative Republic to a full blown Democracy because now the people control both sides of the equation – the States have been effectively kicked out, i.e.:  no representation beholden to them.  The Federal side of the government has been abrogated and replaced with one that is purely National – a carbon copy of the House of Representatives that exists only as a faint shadow of its former self.  Senators used to serve at the pleasure of the state legislatures – they now serve at the pleasure of the people; in the same capacity of  their counterparts, the Representatives.

 

Juries That Actually Decide? Blasphemy!

by John Bloom

In America we like our juries dumb and predictable.
God forbid they should know anything about the case they're judging, much less the law they're judging it by. We need to protect them from all sorts of things that could infect their brains with information. If we didn't do that, it would be like trusting 12 guys off the street to dispense justice.
What a quaint idea. And, obviously, a dangerous one.

The idea of a jury is at least 3,000 years old--the Greeks thought 12 was the perfect number of panelists--but our version of it is much younger. We're coming up on the 800th anniversary of the year when King John was told, essentially, stop forcing your laws down our throats or we're going to burn down your castle.
Voila! The modern jury system was born. The king could decree all the laws he wanted to decree, but from then on it would be 12 guys from the neighborhood who decided whether they would actually be used against anybody.

King John didn't go quietly, of course--he hated the Magna Carta and tried to throw jurors in prison when they failed to convict--so it shouldn't be that surprising that eight centuries later our own black-robed jurists continue to fear juries and try to manipulate and rein them in whenever possible. They would be much more comfortable with juries in the French, Russian or Islamic sense--panels of professional judges--but unfortunately they've got this pesky "peers" concept to deal with.

The main way they neutralize the enemy is to make sure the jury is stupid. The dumbing-down process has taken effect gradually over the past hundred years, mostly by making certain the jurors don't know how much authority they have, by keeping jurors off the panel who might tend to vote their conscience instead of the law of the land, and by just simply withholding information.

For example, in criminal trials, it's now routine to withhold from the jury any information about mandatory sentencing. While deliberating a man's fate, you're not allowed to know whether "guilty" is more likely to result in five years of prison or 50--because if you knew just how hard the hammer was about to fall, you might decide it's not fair and vote for acquittal.
News Alert:: it's the jury's job to decide what's fair and what's not fair. It's not the judge's, and, contrary to popular wisdom, it's not the legislature's. The legislature is the modern stand-in for King John, and it has no more authority over the jury than he did.

Unfortunately, we've reached a stage in our history when the people are forced to take back the rights granted by those ancient kings, notably in the form of Amendment A in South Dakota. The so-called "jury nullification" proposal in that state would require judges to tell juries that they're allowed to interpret the law--not just the facts--so that they can follow their own consciences if they disagree with some concoction of the legislature that shouldn't be applied to the living, breathing human being set before them.

Oddly enough, this idea strikes fear into the heart of the judiciary everywhere. And yet it's one of the oldest ideas in the land--almost all the Founding Fathers agreed with it--and, if you think about it, it's self-evident. If the judge could direct a verdict, by framing a question so narrowly that you could only vote one way, then it wouldn't be a real jury in the first place, would it?

And yet listen to what the state of California allows its judges to say while instructing the jury:
"It becomes my duty as judge to instruct you concerning the law applicable to this case, and it is your duty as jurors to follow the law as I state it to you. . . . You are to be governed solely by the evidence introduced in this trial and the law as stated to you by me."
Note the arrogance!  You must not only follow the law. You must follow it "as I have stated
it to you".  (Reads just like McBryde!! Maggi)
The idea of a reasonable man rising up to say, "But I've read the law and I don't think that's what it means," is beyond the pale of the judge's understanding of his duty. Far less would the judge tolerate "I know that's the law but the law stinks." The jurist doesn't condone this sort of mob thinking, and he doesn't allow it. He's essentially saying that a law degree, an elective office and/or a black robe convey special knowledge and wisdom that no juror could possibly have. The whole basis of the charge--which is fairly standard in courtrooms across the country--is profoundly unAmerican.

Which is precisely why the "informed jury" movement has been gaining strength for about 15 years now. And even though they don't have any major victories yet--they've lost in Oklahoma, Arizona and Montana--it warms the cockles of this jaded old heart to see that there are enough renegade patriots left to continue to insist on it.

First of all, I despise this term "jury nullification." If the jurors choose to disregard the law, they are not nullifying it. They are exercising their right not to apply it in this specific case. This used to happen all the time. All those jurors in Massachusetts who refused to convict violators of the Fugitive Slave Act knew very well that the law wasn't on their side. The difference at that time was that the defense attorney was allowed to argue that they should set aside the law. Today such an argument would result in a contempt charge against the attorney, and probably a mistrial.

Supporters of the informed jury movement usually go back to the John Peter Zenger libel case to bolster their position. Zenger was a New York printer who in 1735 published a series of pamphlets criticizing the colonial governor of New York. He was charged by the crown with "seditious libel," and at the time the definition of libel was the publication of anything criticizing public officials, laws or the government.
The judge in the case, quite rightly, ruled that the only fact matter to be proven was: Did he publish the articles or not? Everyone, including Zenger, agreed that the articles had been published and that they contained criticism, so there was no reason to put on evidence.
Nevertheless, Zenger's attorney Andrew Hamilton argued that the articles were also true, and urged the jury to acquit on that basis. The jury ignored the law and acquitted Zenger, thereby establishing a principle that was later made law: truth is an absolute defense against libel charges.

But I think there's an even better case. In 1670 William Penn was indicted for preaching Quakerism under the "unlawful assembly" act. Despite the fact that he was obviously guilty according to the judge's interpretation of the law, four of the 12 jurors voted to acquit him. The judge had the jurors thrown in jail and starved for four days in an attempt to change their votes. It didn't work. Reluctantly, he ordered Penn released--but the crown still wasn't finished with the recalcitrant jurors.
The four who voted for innocence were assessed fines for failing to follow the law and sent to prison until the fines should be paid. Three chose to pay the fine--just to get things over with. The fourth juror, Edward Bushell, was of heartier stock and refused to pay. Instead he took his case to the Court of Common Pleas, where Chief Justice Vaughan eventually ruled that Bushell was right--jurors could not be punished for a verdict. If anything established that the jury was the sole arbiter of law and facts, it was this case.  Now this is the secret that no one wants you to know:
If you serve on a jury, and you just flat don't like the law you're asked to enforce, you do not have to enforce it. You can vote in direct contradiction of the law and in direct contradiction of the judge's instructions--without fear of reprisal.

Up until 1895, the jury was routinely informed of this right. Then the big mining companies started losing a lot of cases against unions, and they put pressure on the courts, resulting in a Supreme Court decision stating that judges were not required to inform the jury of its rights. Could anything be more draconian?
 
The defendant is informed of his rights. The plaintiff is informed of his rights. The state prosecutor, being an attorney himself, is well aware of his rights. The jury--the only people in the room without right to counsel--must figure out its authority on its own. The judge, who is supposed to act as counsel for the jury, to advise it, is conspiring to deprive it of essential information.
And yet the jury's supreme authority was well known to the very first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, who explicitly informed a jury that it was free to ignore him and his court. It was well known to John Adams, who said, "It is not only [the juror's] right, but his duty . . . to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court." He even went further and called it "absurdity" for a court to expect a juror to be required to accept the judge's view of the law. The principle was well known to those two political opposites, Jefferson and Hamilton, and yet they both agreed on this point.

Need more legal celebrities? Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in 1920: "The judge cannot direct a verdict, it is true, and the jury has the power to bring in a verdict in the teeth of both law and facts." In more recent years, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote: "If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognize the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by a judge, and contrary to the evidence."    Could it get any clearer than that?

We shouldn't even need Amendment A in South Dakota, or any similar measure in any other state. All we need is for judges to assume their traditional roles as advisors to the jury, not dictators riding herd over it.
If a man stands before you with a little more marijuana than he might need for his personal use, and the result is that he's facing a 30-year prison term, you do have the right to say, "I won't be a party to that." If a man is charged with animal cruelty for striking a snarling dog with his cane--one of the more notorious South Dakota cases--you have the right to say, "Even though the law says he's guilty, I say he's not." If a man comes before you for the third time on burglary charges, and the only possible result is that he goes to prison for the rest of his life, the jury is empowered to say, "The law is too harsh. We will not condone it."

As D.C. Circuit Judge D. Bazelon once put it: "It's easy for the public to ignore an unjust law, if the law operates behind closed doors and out of sight. But when jurors have to use a law to send a man to prison, they are forced to think long and hard about the justice of the law." 
And yet, our courts today say: "Don't think long. Don't think hard. Don't think at all. It's not your place to think."   It is your place. Some guy got shackled in leg irons by King John so that it would be your place. Don't send us back to the Dark Ages by acting like a wimp.

 

Legalese: The Lawyer's Art of Deception

Are You Really Required to Have Auto Insurance?

By: David Deschesne

Legalese is a vocabulary used by lawyers, legislators, and judges that take ordinary words and use their Latin or Old French original roots that are no longer used today. Because the old languages are no longer taught by government schools, today, it has been suggested that legalese is implemented by government to deceive the people who place their trust in them in order to extract as much monetary gain as possible from an unsuspecting citizenry.

The following is an example of legalese and how words can be miscommunicated on purpose to benefit lawyers, government and corporations. There are hundreds of examples of legalese in the Maine Revised Statutes. While the auto insurance law was chosen as an example for this article, no advocacy for non-insurance is either suggested or implied.

While virtually everybody in Maine has been lead to believe that Maine Law requires auto insurance before a vehicle can be registered, Maine's law says something quite different. According to the Maine Revised Statutes at Title 29-A:

Who must register?

§351. The owner of a vehicle that is operated or remains on a public way is responsible for registering the vehicle.

Insurance required.

§402. 1. . A person may not register a vehicle unless the person satisfies the Secretary of State that the vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy.

What types of vehicles must be insured.

§1611. 1. The Secretary of State may not register any motor vehicle for rent, lease, hire or livery and a person may not operate or cause to be operated on any public way in the State such a motor vehicle until the owner or owners of that vehicle procure insurance or a bond covering the operation of that vehicle...

Since We the People have more power than the government (We are the source of their power) they had to figure out a way to subvert our authority and use that subversion to generate money off of us. Since we did delegate to government the power to regulate commercial entities, they simply have to presume We the People to be commercial entities in order to regulate us. They do that with just one word: "operate."

While it may appear that personal vehicles for private use is implied (it certainly isn't mentioned by name); according to the above section of the Motor Vehicle Code for Maine, the only vehicles that must be insured before being registered to "operate" on any public way in the State are vehicles that are "for rent, lease, hire or livery" (livery = delivery vehicles).

The way the lawyers who wrote the law tied a private, non-commercial vehicle to one that is used in commerce (and thus required to be registered/insured and regulated) is by choosing the word "operate" over the word, "drive." "Operate" comes from the Latin word operari, meaning:" to expend labor on". That same root is used in the word "Operatio," which means: "One day's work performed by a tenant for his lord." (-Black's Law, 5th ed.) "Drive," however, simply means to urge forward under guidance, urge onward, direct the course of.

Because the types of vehicles listed that are required to be insured before registration are strictly commercial in nature (taxi cabs, freight companies, busses, etc.), that lends credence to the historical precedence and various U.S. Supreme Court rulings that only those people using the road for profit or gain are required to obtain driver's licenses and be thus regulated; while private, not-for-profit people aren't (see Fort Fairfield Journal, February 2, 2005, page 3), and now it seems that those former entities are the only ones required to have insurance before they may "operate" (expend labor) their vehicles that are for profit or gain.

Government Exempted Itself

In paragraph six of MRS 29-A, section 1611, the state of Maine exempts government from complying with its own laws regarding insurance by stating, "All vehicles owned by the State, a municipality or school district are exempt from the insurance requirements established in this section."

Alternate to Insurance

Insurance, or bonding to help cover the cost of accidents is a good idea, though, even if Maine law doesn't require it of private, non-commercial people who don't use their vehicles for rent, lease, hire, or (de)livery.  However, because of the scam, insurance companies have enjoyed a sort of monopoly of power over the years since the public was "trained" the auto insurance compliance law was passed and have exercised very bold price increases to their benefit and society's detriment, causing prices for policies to get out of control.

   What if you and a bunch of your friends put together a club and said, "If any of us gets into an incident, each of us will pitch in and pay the bill for the other friend."

   Well, the Koreans and most of the Orient have been doing this exact thing for generations now; and continue to do so here in America today.  In Saipan it's called (Tong Fenguen) 'The Helping Hands.'  Similar Auto Bond Societies exist in the United States that exist for the sole purpose of bringing together like-minded men and women who wish to handle their own affairs amongst themselves.

   While Maine law requires insurance for some vehicles via mainstream insurance companies, the State also allows indemnity bonds bonding the applicant in an equal amount as an insurance company.  Since most Auto Bond organizations are not for profit-unlike insurance companies - the cost to cover up to three vehicles can be as low as $300 per year.  After that, the groups participating in the bonding program all share the cost of covering an incident.  Since most groups are 1,000+ members strong, and the cost is divided evenly, a low monthly cost share bill, if any, may be expected.

   To research bonding options further, do a yahoo search on the internet using the key words: auto bond not insurance.

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-source: US Government Manual, 2000-2001