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Do You Feel Free, Yet?

In the spring of 1775 King George III declared American colonists in a state of open and avowed rebellion. It was the first time that many colonists began to entertain the idea of cutting ties with the crown. It was at that time that the colonists chose delegates to attend the first Continental Congress and that became the governing body during the Revolutionary War. After about a year, the majority of the delegates abandoned all hope of reconciliation with Britain.

Enter stage left my favorite "Founding Father" Richard Henry Lee with the "Lee Resolution" on June 7, 1776. "Resolved, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, completely dissolved. That resolution contained three parts, the first was a declaration of independence from the crown, the next was a call to form foreign alliances and the last was a plan for confederation.

Four days later, the Congress appointed three committees to do precisely those three things, however, many of the members believed this was happening without the consent of the colonies, they wanted to check with them before voting. Approval of the resolution was deferred until July 2nd. On that date, Congress adopted the first part of the Lee Resolution and the Declaration of Independence was born, echoing the words of Richard Henry Lee.

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, 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.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience has shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states.

That Declaration was issued 247 years ago. Do you feel free, yet? Eleven years later, in secret, the Constitutional Congress drafted the Constitution, establishing the government of the United States where only 39 of 55 delegates signed it because it lacked a Bill of Rights that would illustrate the rights of the citizens and the limitations of the government's authority. Eight days later, the Congress introduced twelve amendments to the Constitution. Ten of the twelve amendments were ratified by three-fourths of the states legislatures on December 15, 1791. These are known as the Bill of Rights. Do you feel free, yet?

Amendment I: 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 peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. And yet Obamacare and Medicaid still stands where federal tax dollars contribute to all manner of things that a person of faith may not wish to contribute towards, your government can use a virus to prevent you from attending church and will send police to fine you and arrest you if you choose to practice your faith. In Michigan, you can be fined and imprisoned for saying mean words that subjectively make someone "feel threatened." The most honest journalist with a 100% accurate track record is currently fighting extradition attempts by the United States, inhumanely locked away in the harshest prison in the United Kingdom, Belmarsh. You need a permit from "the government" to peacably assemble and if your cause is deemed controversial or unpopular, you can be denied or considered a domestic extremist. You can petition the government for a redress of grievances.....If you have enough money to compete with massive lobbying firms and throw lavish dinner parties to raise money for career politicians....Otherwise, your phone calls go unanswered and your letters go unread. Do you feel free, yet?

Amendment II: 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. This language is not interpretive. There should be no confusion on what the founders meant as we have a multitude of documents that explicitly express what they meant when they wrote this one. I'll once again defer to my favorite founding father, Richard Henry Lee, who said "Whereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." In addition, Alexander Hamilton wrote Federalist 29 where he said, "It will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.'' And yet you have public servants demanding the disarmament of citizens, domestic terrorist organizations like Everytown USA and Moms Demand Action running amok, all while the US Government not only established a standing army and multiple federal enforcement agencies, but states are constantly making it more difficult for citizens to exercise their inalienable rights that are guaranteed and can never be taken or even given away. Do you feel free, yet?

Amendment III: No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. The US Government is employing the NSA to spy on you through PRISM using devices you have in your home, applications you use on your phone and computer and the camera on your gaming console in times of peace, they don't even have to put a loyal soldier in there to spy on you anymore. Do you feel free, yet?

Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. In a continuation of amendment three's transgressions, the Patriot Act exists in what is now the third or fourth iteration and I feel like not much else need be said about that. It is the single-most egregious violation of the American people's fourth amendment rights and it was passed by a House vote of 357-66 and a Senate vote of 98-1. Overwhelmingly, the people who put this legislation in place were there to act on behalf of the citizens they represent and took an oath and swore to uphold the Constitution which is a limit on their authority and pissed it away with the promise of war to line their coffers. In addition to that we have seen via #TwitterFiles that the United States Government has coerced and paid, with our money, third party entities like social media companies and search engines to turn over massive amounts of data and personal information on their users without warrants or probable cause. Do you feel free, yet?

Amendment V: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. I'm sure those oligarchs that had all their property seized by the United States are eagerly anticipating their compensation. Jokes aside, that civil asset forfeiture even exists where the government (typically the police) is free to seize — and then keep or sell — any property that is allegedly involved in a crime or illegal activity makes it clear that we are so far failing our great experiment. Owners need not ever be arrested or convicted of a crime for their cash, cars, or even real estate to be taken away permanently by the government. Do you feel free, yet?

Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence. When the state creates so many laws that the court system becomes so backed up how is one supposed to actually get a speedy trial? J6 prisoners come to mind, not to mention the railroading the federal government does to discourage you from taking your case to a jury with the threat of additional charges and maximum penalties to force you to choose a guilty plea or spend the rest of your life without your family...Meanwhile the President's son can lie on a federal gun form and commit tax fraud and get probation. How public was the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell? Odd we weren't permitted to observe that hearing and all the evidence presented in the case but we had every right to. Do you feel free, yet?

Amendment VII: In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. As the desire of the colonists for independence from Britain grew, the jury in America became vital in the fight against the British government who claimed that Americans had to obey laws enacted by the British Parliament....Where they had zero representation. Americans did, however, participate on colonial juries, and these juries became a way for Americans to govern themselves. As tensions with Britain escalated, juries nullified (refused to follow) hated British laws, especially laws for collecting taxes. Because colonial juries had been valuable in the struggle against Britain, Americans put rights to civil and criminal jury trial into their new state constitutions immediately after declaring independence in 1776. Today, this is unheard of. Juries no longer see their duty to their fellow American, but as an extension of the state. Do you feel free, yet?

Amendment VIII: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. I am once again reminded of J6 defendants. A 63 year old man dared to walk in a public building, owned by the people, put his feet on a desk, owned by the people, belonging to at the time Speaker Pelosi, who works for the people. He was sentenced to four and a half years in federal prison. 54 months. Meanwhile, in U.S. v. Hawkins, where sentencing guidelines called for up to 10 years in prison for a man convicted of possession of multiple images of child pornography. He was sentenced to 3 months. U.S. v. Stewart, where sentencing guidelines called for 97 to 121 months in prison for a man convicted of possessing thousands of images of child porn and attempting to travel across state lines to abuse a 9-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 57 months....Just 3 months more. Do you feel free, yet?

Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage other retained by the people. All the rights not listed in the Constitution belong to the people, not the government. In other words, the rights of the people are not limited to just the rights listed in the Constitution.....Because the rights protected by the Ninth Amendment are not specified, they are referred to as “unenumerated.” The Supreme Court has found that unenumerated rights include rights such as the right to travel, the right to vote, the right to keep personal matters private and to make important decisions about one’s health care or body. You know, unless they've funded and accidentally released a virus on the world and want to help their buddies in the pharmaceutical industry make an ass-load of money at the expense of your and your children's immune systems or lose your job, peasant. Do you feel free, yet?

Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. In other words, the federal government only has those powers delegated in the Constitution. If it isn't listed, it belongs to the states or to the people. Say what? You mean the federal government forcing states to run background checks on people attempting to buy guns was already found to be unconstitutional per a Supreme Court ruling in Printz v. US (1997)? And yet they still shout from the rooftops in demand for it? Somewhere along the way, the bureaucratic bloat of the federal government expanded to the point where they can't even see the people whose backs they are standing on, anymore. Do you feel free, yet?

Politicians are not celebrities and the government isn't your daddy. Woodrow Wilson said it best when he said, "Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance." Start resisting. Real resistance. Turn off the televisions. Pull your money out of the banks, convert your 401ks, focus on your local community, start skill-sharing...Question your tax contributions if you're so inclined. Fortify your surroundings and your relationships with real people. Organize protests and make demands of your county commissioners, mayors and school boards that align with your core values. Make them uncomfortable. They work for you, assume the role of authority that you have. Stop being complacent, disinterested and apathetic to the future that we're leaving for our children. Go into your local Target and blare the National Anthem while singing at the top of your lungs in red, white and blue while cart surfing. Start asking people what they love about this country and video it and share it. Don't be passive; be passionate. As illustrated above time and again, this government doesn't give a damn about your rights. They will step all over every single one of us if we continue to allow them to do so. Free men do not need permission from their government, their government needs permission from them. Stop giving it to them.

I love you all and hope you have wonderful Independence Day celebrations with your friends and families. I hope this day is the catalyst as it was 247 years ago because I don't feel free, yet.

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