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The Shameful Truth: Intolerable Amnesia
Why are we so quick to accept our power being SEIZED by the government? And how can a state government take away constitutional rights granted to us?
I grew up in Philadelphia. The land of the Liberty Bell and the Declaration of Independence, unalienable rights and all of that. In fact, my hometown, where I lived for the better part of my formative years, has deep roots in the founding liberties of our Nation. The constitution was also signed and adopted in Philadelphia. Perhaps for this reason I feel such an integral allegiance to our forefathers. To the words...
"...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, 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." (Declaration of Independence, signed in Philadelphia, 1776)
In other words, the government works FOR the people.
So why are we so quick to accept our power being SEIZED by the government? And how can a state government take away constitutional rights granted to us?
I am confounded when blatant acts of oppression - which deny our people the principles of liberty upon which out nation was born - are implemented by our government.
The Patriot Act sent me spinning. The obstruction of habeas corpus at Guantanamo and Bagram make me weep. The torture of innocence still uncharged of any crime makes me sick. Each of these things is in violation of our constitution.
Now we face a situation in Madison, Wisconsin and Ohio that is momentous. It is more so because the people outside of Wisconsin and Ohio don't seem to be quite as concerned or alarmed about the breach of constitutional LIBERTIES by these state's government.
I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, so I do, also, feel an affinity to that sate. But my great concern about what is happening there umbrellas my entire nation. A nation which shows a certain amnesia about what liberty and justice actually stand for. A nation who does not adamantly protect its own freedoms, and yet so quickly criticizes other oppressive regimes.
As citizens we MUST stand with the people of Wisconsin and to fight to save our Nation's liberties and our Constitutional Rights. This is about all of us. We have become complacent in our responsibility to remember our history, to remember our inception and our birth. We take our rights for granted and we do not call upon them as sternly as we ought to, and it is as such they will disappear. We trust too much in government – or we trust too much in those who say government is too powerful. Rather than nomenclature and the semantics of politics, we need, simply, to stand up for our rights...which include collective bargaining.
To what are we, as a Nation, accountable if not our scripted rights?
To whom are we accountable if not to History?
In 1774 when Britain passed what would be known as "The Intolerable Acts," in hopes of tempering the resistance of the colonies to Britain's oppressive powers and restrictions of justice, the colonies, what would be known as The Thirteen Original Colonies of the United States, rose up against these violations of their constitutional rights and the threat to their liberty. It was the beginning of would be known as the American Revolution.
Perhaps you know this story, and perhaps you are familiar with the Intolerable Acts. Forgive me if I assume that most people neither can bring to mind these acts nor do they remember the important role these acts had as an impetus to our revolution.
One act in particular that I would like to name was known as The Massachusetts Government Act. The act expanded Britain's control over Massachusetts and, except for an annual and scheduled meeting, FORBADE town meetings without the consent of the governor.
We, the people, did consider this a loss of our freedoms, and when we composed the Bill Of Rights - the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the very FIRST Amendment was – and remains:
"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."
Knowing this, and having it in writing, how can The Governor of Wisconsin create legislation - counter to our first amendment rights - that will abolish the RIGHT of Union's collective bargaining?
Even more unsettling is that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Corporations being protected by the First Amendment (though I do not believe this was the intention of our forefathers), and yet Governor Walker of Wisconsin - and a couple of other Governors attempting to follow suit - is trying to deny the First Amendment to Unions. The irony in this is that Corporations represent the best interest of the shareholders who profit from the workers and laborers of the corporation. The more the workers are exploited, the greater the profit for the shareholders. Unions, on the other hand, represent the workers and laborers, and the Union's primary objective is to protect the workers from unfair representation and exploitation.
Recently the New York Times uncovered the secretive financing behind the counter (anti-union) demonstrations in Wisconsin. They were funded by the billionaires, the Koch brothers, also the owners Koch Industries – one of the biggest contributors to Scott Walkers campaign for governor. Speaking of Corporate interests in government.
I can not be wrong in assuming the founding fathers were trying to protect the rights of PEOPLE as opposed to the rights of a Corporation, which, by definition has a separate legal personality from the people who run it and profit from it.
Walker is going even farther now to deny first amendment rights to the people in Wisconsin by limiting the number of people permitted in the Capitol to 60. In addition to this, since these protests to protect the Constitutional Rights of the unions, Walker has begun to fire people. He can claim that this is not related, that he is not trying to unduly persuade the bargainers to relinquish some of their rights by coercion.
I'll let you be the judge of that.
No matter what, our LIBERTY has fallen prey to a government serving corporate interests and not the peoples' interest, and we, the people, have forgotten that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, 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..."
Somehow, we have forgotten our unalienable rights. Or even what that means...
And that's the shameful truth.
adjective another term for inalienable.
unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor : freedom of religion, the most inalienable of all human rights.