Archive for the ‘Freedom Defined’ Category

Dec 16

“Congress Shall Make NO Law!”

“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.”  Ref. Amendment I of the Constitution of the United States. 

The ongoing and persistent assault on this fundamental protection by uninformed agenda driven secular activists in concert with inept jurists has attained a status where further disregard is no longer acceptable or even possible.  The intent of the Authors is clear.  “Congress shall make no LAW respecting an establishment of religion,—”  This statement carries with it a strict and precisely limited restriction on the Congress pointed at prohibiting the establishment of any legally recognized theocracy which might compete with the branches of government set forth in the preceding document. No other requirement or prohibition is asserted except that, in the same sentence, it strictly prohibits the power of the State to interfere with “the free exercise thereof;” and in the same breath, “or abridging the freedom of speech,—-“. 

 No power is given to the State or any authority to prohibit or otherwise regulate the free expression of any speech, including and particularly that relating to religion, be it in open discussion, private mutterings, or open and public prayer. 

 However inconvenient, objectionable, irritating, discomforting or annoying other citizens might find such displays they are obligated and duty bound as citizens of a free Republic to respect and protect the right of their fellow citizens to engage in such speech and expression.  The liberties of the few or the individual must never be held hostage to the objections of any other individual or like minded group of individuals and most certainly by any officer in law.  Further, the Constitution does not proscribe where such speech may take place, neither in public, nor in private, nor limit such speech to properties not owned by the state in behalf of the people.  The traditions of the people are perpetuated by consent of the community.  If a group of persons in any congregate activity desire to engage in any activity respecting or acknowledging a common deity, they must not be required to forfeit their right to exercise that activity by any part of the community on the basis of religion or any other objection not specifically proscibed by law.  The duty of any and all citizens is to respect that right so long as he or they are not required to suffer any injustice established in law.  Having to listen to someone else pray to his god does not reasonably fall into this category.  The right of free speech caries with it the implication of being heard, but no requirement or expectation of response or approval.  Indeed, the action of any individual or group of individuals who by their deliberate and organized actions intend to prevent the intended recipients of such speech or display from hearing or seeing such speech or display is a violation in and of itself and may beg the protection of Federal law on behalf of the speaker or producer of such speech or display.

 The power of an individual or individuals to control the speech of any person or group of people simply because he or they find it objectionable to their personal sensibilities is nowhere recognized in the Constitution any more than it might recognize the legitimacy of a dictator or tyrannical despot. 

 Nor can the enforcement arm of the State purchase the power of censure simply because it owns the property on which such speech or activity takes place.  It must be remembered that the State holds in trust such property in behalf of the community which it serves and must never presume to inflict its censorship on the common traditions of that community.  Any Jurist that recognizes such a use of his court participates in that tyranny.  The Courts must recognize their proper duty and protect their use from the tyrants and plunderers who only regard them as dens of piracy and political expediency.

Just as FCC regulations require the commonly owned and managed frequencies of the air-ways to be allotted and serve in the interests of the communities in which they are used, so must public property be likewise served.  Can the civil or criminal remedies of the State be applied, for example, to exclude or censor religious broadcasts upon the objection of non-religious individuals?  What could follow from such a violation of fundamentally recognized Constitutional rights and privilege?

The unreasonable proscriptions of the State regarding the traditions and religious practices of the innocent at large necessarily requires the violation of their fundamental civil rights from the right of free speech and religious practices to the right to peaceably assemble.  The burden of civil liability lies not upon the otherwise innocent at large but upon those who would misuse authority to infringe or disparage those rights.  No proscriptive law favoring theocracy has been established here and no theocratic authority has emerged nor any hint thereof.  What has emerged is a unjustly tolerated cabal of like minded tyrants opposed to the exercise of fundamental liberty in direct conflict to the guarantees set forth in the Bill of Rights.  It is time to use the Courts to hold them to that liability.

Oct 08

The Cross as a Secular Symbol of Freedom

2ooo years ago a man from Nazareth in ancient Galilee was condemned to death by crucifixion at the behest of a powerful local lobby.  Though guilty of no other crime than what was deemed a treasonous position to the dominant theocratic politics of the population, the controlling  judicial authority of Rome, for reasons of expediency, complied with their demands and the Nazarene was tried, convicted, and executed on a crude wooden cross.

This was nothing more nor less than the political murder of a man for what he believed to be true.  He was essentially sacrificed for his opinion and for proselytizing the same.  His name became legendary and the Cross became the symbol of his sacrifice for his beliefs.  Several religions developed subsequent to these events, derived in large part from his ideas, that became highly influential among much of the worlds populations albeit with both positive and negative consequences as it evolved through the times.   But none of this diminishes the  value of one man sacrificing his own life for what he believed in.  This was a unique phenomena emerging from the annals of history regardless of the use men of lesser character have made of it.  The Cross is the enduring symbol of sacrifice for the right to believe what one wants and speaks to.   This is the First Freedom, recognized and protected in our Constitution.  It is most ironic that this symbol should be denigrated and removed from public view on public property.   To say that this symbol should not be allowed on public property for some spurious notion of separation of religion from the power of the state is contemptuous of all men and women who have made such sacrifice, regardless of any issue of faith.  The Cross, at a secular level, should be regarded as a universal symbol of freedom respecting the sacrifice of free men and women everywhere.   It should be honored as such without acrimony.

I would remind anyone who objects to such a symbol of liberty of a soldiers prayer that emerged from World War I.

“Oh God, if there is a God, save my Soul, if I have a Soul.” Author Unknown.

Such is the religion inspired by war, an activity sponsored and directed by the State.

Aug 09

The Right to Defend!



The Constitutional protections regarding the right to defend ones self  can be found in the 2nd and 6th Amendments to the Constitution.


The Second Amendment: 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 Sixth Amendment: 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.

In addition the Fifth Amendment requires that no person: “shall be compelled to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

Further, the Ninth Amendment states: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The right of self defence throughout history has been and is considered by all reasonable people as a natural and fundamental right requiring no legislation.  Only more recent thinking (over the last and current century) has moved to deprive or restrict this right or even obliterate it all together for the sake of some notion of “the common good.”  The uniqueness of the American Constitution is the powerful protection it affords the least and lowest among us against the tyranny of the community.  Here the individual is the sovereign entity, not the State or the mob.

Clearly these Amendments identify certain of our natural rights as free citizens considered so essential to those freedoms that they were specifically protected by the Bill of Rights with the admonition to those in power DO NOT GO THERE!!

The Sixth Amendment both implicitly and explicitly guarantees the right of the individual to defend him or herself and the right to obtain or posses the means to that defence.  In the case of accusations at law the means is the acquisition of witnesses and of counsel for his defence. In the case of personal protection in society at large this means can only be a credible weapon of effective efficiency, in most cases a firearm, to deal with those who would act violently and illegally against that person.

In brief, the right to defend one’s self is meaningless without the means to that defence.  In today’s circumstances at large the only reasonable option is a personal firearm.

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.  Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”  Benjamin Franklin

The recent Candidate for the Supreme Court of the United States, when queried about the right to self defence, seemed at loss to identify and acknowledge this right under any inherent Constitutional protection.  The equivocation displayed was and is, upon confirmation, more than a little troubling.  To hand down a ruling contrary to this fundamental right would be to usurp that portion of authority held by the citizen without regard to responsibility thus constituting an act of tyranny.

© theBushwhacker 2007-2009

Jul 03

Essay on Freedom.

Freedom Defined: I can define it, you can’t. Learn Why!!

Essay By Dr.James K. Hahn.

No public servant should ascend to elected office without knowing how to define freedom and why that is important!

Did you ever notice that truth is often difficult to discover, yet when revealed astonishingly simple?  The kind of “Oh! I knew that! That is so obvious!” truth?   But you couldn’t articulate that simple, obvious truth no matter how hard you tried simply because it was so simple and so obvious, so ordinary it escaped notice and detection and frustrated articulation.  So it is with freedom.  Much has been written about freedom, what it means to be free, the benefits arising thereof and so on.  Only one person of note ever came close to a definition, and he was being sarcastically facetious. He was also a socialist.  So now it is my turn.  (Note: Quotes from judicial works in “blue”.)

At the beginning of the American phenomena and its separation from empire Thomas Jefferson authored one of the most astonishing documents in the history of civilization and at the time one of the most dangerous.  Its implications sent fear through the hearts and minds of the rulers of civilizations across the world.  He put pen to parchment and laid down the American Declaration of Independence.  In that Declaration he identified the very essence of freedom.  To wit: the claim that “Governments derive their just powers from the Consent of the Governed.”  This one word, “Consent” at once separated the citizen from the subject, the free man from the serf and the slave, the chattel and the bondsman.  Why and how is this so?  Just this. What must you  possess to give your “Consent”?  You must have the individual authority to give it. (Note: The concept that all authority rested with the people and not with the royal elite and the divine right of kings turned the powers of European rulers upside down and was much feared.) And what is inherent in all authority?  The RESPONSIBILITY for the consequences of the exercise of that authority.  FREEDOM, then, is nothing more nor less than the responsible exercise of individual authority.

Thus the definition:

Freedom: noun: The Responsible Exercise of Individual Authority.™©

This is not only the definition of freedom but the requirement of all those who would be free!


So simple it may seem as trite.  So obvious, yet it has escaped any framework of succinct definition until now. Research has revealed that all other attempts to define freedom are merely collections of adjectives attempting to give subjective and descriptive meaning to the term.  None offer a succinct definition of the word as it describes a free person functioning in a free society.  Every act we commit, or not, flows from our individual authority and we inherit responsibility for the consequences.  However, this simple idea has not been without criticism.  “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” George B. Shaw. 

It follows that the exercise of individual authority without regard to responsibility is not liberty, but license. But also, when the community acts such as a collective at the expense of the authority or responsibility of the individual its acts become tyranny.  In a free society, the individual is sovereign not the community.  Indeed, we are not a sovereign nation.  We are rather a nation of sovereign individuals by which the State embodies, represents, protects and defends our sovereign interests.  Without that recognition of individual sovereignty we are reduced to mere members of the masses to be managed and controlled by an authoritarian oligarchy.  This is what distinguishes us from every other civilization on Earth.

Why is this important?  Whenever the State usurps any portion of responsibility for the individual, no matter how well meaning, it must necessarily usurp that portion of authority required to discharge that responsibility and with that authority goes that portion of freedom.  It is therefore impossible for a free person to be a Socialist or a subject thereof or any authoritarian oligarchy and remain free.  Rather the duty of the State is to enhance and facilitate the ability of its sovereign citizens to exercise responsible authority over themselves.

Further,  whenever the State usurps authority over a citizen or any number of citizens without regard to responsibility it commits an act of tyranny.  This begs the question, how can any State, no matter how great its resources, bear the burden of competence required to accomplish such a duty even in the event of brief emergency?  The agents of the State must have a clear understanding of their duties but also knowledge of the limits of their power.  The people must understand that the duty of the State is to facilitate their responsibilities not to assume them.  The burden of preparedness must fall on the individual.

Example: The issue of programs sponsored by the State already in existence and those pending deployment.  The oldest and most familiar of course are Social Security and Medicare.  Both of these schemes have reached the event horizon of deficit funding.  As was inevitable shifting demographics and shrinking relative wealth creation have driven the funding obligations for these programs into the black hole of the public treasury from which they will not re-emerge during the lifetimes of anyone now living, if ever.  There were better and more effective means of addressing the issues these programs were designed to resolve, but the obvious was ignored in favor of government sponsored socialist mechanisms whose failure was guaranteed from the outset. It is clear, or should be, that mechanisms designed to provide economic sustenance for specific demographic groups or individuals should never be rooted in dependence on the productivity of one group by another. Free people do not own the labor of others. We do not own each other.  Such systems are an inherent form of slavery or servitude which is not acceptable under the Constitution.  All such systems, if there are to be such systems, must be founded in equity and individual ownership.  By this approach each individual would be economically prepared for both the anticipated and unanticipated events all peoples must deal with over the course of their lifetimes.  But those solutions are for another post. (see the Great Irony of Economic History.) However here we offer this caveat from a speech by another great leader.

Labor believes in turning workers against owners. We believe in turning workers into owners.”   Margaret Thatcher.  1987  (this is also a goal of theBushwhacker)

If freedom is the responsible exercise of individual authority then the duty of the State of a free people is not to usurp responsibility for and therefore authority over the citizen, but to enhance and facilitate the ability of the individual to exercise responsible authority over him or her self.  Economics are fundamental to just about everything.  The modern word economics is derived from the Greek Oikos Nomos which meant Law of the Home.  Indeed, the success of any economic system requires a strong economic foundation beginning with the individual and the individual family unit.  Nothing can assure the success of and duration of a free society more reliably than ubiquitous individual economic competence and integrity.  The proof of this principle is replete throughout history.  Economics are essential to the moral threads that hold families and societies together.

To be succinct, the best use of this definition may lie in the legislatures within which to frame all law and better define the meniscus between the powers and duties of the State versus the authorities and responsibilities of the people.   It is never the duty of the State to hold the rights and privileges of the innocent at large hostage to either the circumstances or behavior of the lowest and least common denominators among us.

The best use of  law is to deter rather than prevent injustice.   According to Blackmun as stated in Roe v Wade the law “does not deal in speculation.” but rather “deals in reality, not obscurity,…. the known rather than the unknown.”(pg. 191 and 192 Reports.) and therefore the knowable rather than the unknowable.  Justice Douglass quoting Justice Clark claims that the law recognizes only the “actual” and not ” potential “. This assumption is the basis of most law, but not necessarily regulations that carry the force of law.  However no free person or persons should be required to exist under the substantial and persistent threat of harm by others or the State.  The threat alone impedes the exercise of one’s personal authority and is an infringement on his or her fundamental civil right of legitimate activity of any sort.  It is extortion against civil liberty.  Therefore any law or regulation that creates an adversarial relationship between the State and the legitimate activities of the innocent citizen at large and for the sake of expediency must not stand. This is the difference between deterrence by just law and mere prevention by regulation.  If the law does not serve justice in a free society it serves nothing at all.  Mere order can be enforced and attained by tyranny and oppression of the populace. (An example of the latter can be demonstrated by the late Spanish dictator Franco who dispatched pairs of Guardia armed with sub-machine guns to every populated corner of Spain.)

“Government is not reason”.  “It is not eloquence.  Government is force; like fire, it is a dangerous servant– and a fearful master.”

Again, the duty of the State is to enhance and facilitate the responsible exercise of individual authority, not to presumptively impede it.

George Washington’s warning to the people.

When the Free individual engages his environment he has three choices under the option of his personal authority.  To fulfill any want or need he or she can do or make what he requires for himself,  he can obtain the services of someone else to render or fabricate it for him, or he can do without or leave the task undone.  These are his choices.  If he, by his own efforts, accomplishes the service or task for himself he of course retains responsibility for the consequences of the accomplishment.  If he chooses to abandon the chore and leave it undone, he also inherits the consequences of his neglect or inattention.  If he obtains the services of another individual or individuals he, by his own choice, extends his authority by consent to such parties.  However he cannot transfer his authority.  The responsibility for the consequences remains with him.   The principle is simple.  The individual cannot legally forfeit or abandon his freedom or his right to that freedom.  His freedom is represented by his individual authority.  Inherent in that authority is responsibility for the consequences of the exercise of that authority.  Thus the responsibility for the consequences also remains with the individual.  The liberty and responsibility of any individual cannot be forfeited except by due process of law and only for just or compelling cause prescribed in law.  This was the original intent of the caveat: “Buyer beware.” Use caution in extending personal authority to those you would enlist or employ in your behalf.  You may have to live with the consequences.  Unfortunately the legal profession has succeeded in significantly eroding this duty.  This does in no way abrogate the obligations of contracts.  The contractor accepts, by his own authority, certain obligations specifically or by reasonable implication the responsibility for those duties set forth in the contract at the risk of being subject to certain penalties ascribed therein.

It is the opinion of theBushwhacker that no public representative should ascend to or be sustained in office without knowing how to define freedom and why that is important.

Oh! The only other person to approach a succinct and meaningful definition of freedom, parroting the thinking of Sigmund Freud,  was George B. Shaw,1930. “Liberty means responsibility, that’s why most men dread it.” Unfortunately this was the basis for his socialist ideals and his sympathy for the authoritarian movements arising in Europe during that period. If mankind was incapable or unwilling to accept responsibility for himself then the responsible elite must take charge and manage the masses for the good of all.  Individuality is then forfeited for the good of the whole.  The end, therefore, justified the means to that end. Thus the rise of the dictator class who initially seemed to bring such order to society.  In the end it brought misery and death to millions.  (Ironically even many in the West, including Charles Lindbergh, were initially seduced by such movements.  It should be remembered that no two liberal democracies have ever made war on each other.)

The duty of the state of a free people is to enhance and facilitate the sovereignty of the individual such that he can successfully achieve and manage his own economic destiny thus enabling him to bear the burden of his responsibilities. The free man thus becomes an economic asset of a free economy.  The perceived duty of the socialist state is to relegate the individual to a simple and insignificant member of the masses to be managed, as an economic liability, by the state.  You choose.

Much more could be said but the reader has enough to think about for now.  Did the foregoing challenge your preconceptions?  Did it infringe on your comfort zone?  Your fortress of myth?  If so, all for the better.  Leave your thoughts, ask your questions and think!!.

Freedom is not Free!  Diligence is required.  If you want to promote and preserve the cause of genuine freedom pass on the definition to others.

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© 1996-2012 Do not reproduce or copy this article without permission except for personal use being mindful of proper credit and acknowledgment.  theBushwhacker