(Editor's note: This package also includes the sidebars "The More You Make, The More They Take" and "The 'Contract' and 'Article 8 of the Articles of Freedom the Works of Continental Congress 2009' on the Income Tax.")
Were our federal and state constitutions written to limit and control the actions of the people or limit and control the actions of the government? The Iowa Constitution reads: "All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it."
What denotes "public good" is no doubt the seed of discord between those who would see government take or borrow resources to provide for those that cannot provide for themselves and those who would see government ensure the protection of personal property so the people may provide for themselves and each other.
Article 1 of the Illinois Constitution reads: "All men are by nature free and independent and have certain inherent and inalienable rights among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights and the protection of property, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
What denotes "consent of the governed" is no doubt the seed of discord between those that would assert that if one more than half of the electorate deem it so, then the government is given consent to violate our rights and those that would assert that each individual's inalienable rights are secured by each individual's consent, not the will of the majority.
Assuming that the consent of the governed includes an expectation that the leaders we elect actually abide by their oaths of office to uphold and defend the federal and state constitutions, ask yourself if the litany of violations occurring today warrant a free people to avail themselves of these famous words in the Declaration of Independence: "Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these rights, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it."
The litany of abuses I refer to is documented and articulated in no better document that I am aware of than the "Articles of Freedom: The Works of the Continental Congress 2009." Last fall I reported on the proceedings of the modern-day Continental Congress 2009 held in St. Charles, Illinois, with 116 delegates from 48 states for 11 days. (See "The Line in the Sand Is Drawn. Will You Help Hold It?" River Cities' Reader Issue 740, November 25, 2009.)
The folks behind this work product do not seek to alter or abolish the government. Rather the Articles are remedial instructions to the federal and state legislators on how to remedy what we the people have allowed to be broken. But when one reads the litany of violations and reflects on the level of theft by our government from the people in order to perpetuate a warfare and welfare state, one does understand why the founders wrote those famous words into the Declaration of Independence.
The Articles of Freedom will be delivered nationwide next Monday, April 19, to each state's governor, congressional delegation, and state legislative leadership in a formal presentation and ceremony at that state's capitol. The plan is to have them served on those in violation simultaneously nationwide. In Iowa and Illinois, this will occur in Springfield and Des Moines at 2 p.m. local time. No doubt many of the legislators will not accept their invitation to attend and receive these instructions from the people. They've refused to acknowledge the people's petitions for redress for decades, so why show up for these instructions?
Here's why: I see this thoughtful, methodical, well-documented, and empirical approach as the next appropriate step for a free people; otherwise the people will be forced to work toward what founded this country and repeat the cycle by abolishing the corrupt government.
This work product warrants scrutiny at a minimum by our state legislators, because it is on their watch that constitutional lawfulness will be restored in America. The federal legislators are far too deep into the pockets of all the industries that thrive off of the welfare and warfare state. At a minimum the state legislators can use the Articles as a ballast or navigation tool to steer our states back to prosperity and self-reliance.
The alternative is for the servant government to ignore the people's instructions and force their hand to push back against the tyranny. As Bob Schulz, the chair of the We the People Foundation and visionary for the Continental Congress 2009, says: "It is well-settled in American jurisprudence that if anyone has an obligation to respond and he fails to do so, his silence amounts to admission. It is also well-settled that any Right that is not enforceable is not a Right - that is, with every Right there is a Remedy. However, the Constitution cannot defend itself. It is the duty of the People to defend it."
So how do the Articles of Freedom propose to enforce the people's rights, to ensure the instructions are complied with, to defend the Constitution? What if the servant government does not listen?
According to the Articles of Freedom, "Five percent of the People should engage in a nationwide, well-organized, well-coordinated, pro-active, non-violent series of civic actions including economic sanctions as necessary to peaceably procure the relief they are entitled to under our system of governance." Is that enough of a mass movement to alter or abolish a government instituted to work for the people? Only time and your willingness to engage in the assertion of your right to be governed by consent will tell.
There is one effort already underway to pursue such economic sanctions. The Tax Free 15 movement is calling for a nationwide strike the 15th of every month and a four-day strike this April in anticipation of the delivery of the Articles of Freedom on Monday, April 19. TaxFree15.com is the Web site, and it calls for Americans to stay home from work and school, shop only at locally owned stores/restaurants, put your assets in locally owned banks, and finally ask why we are allowing the Constitution to be ignored, and why our children must pay for banking scams, and why we are spending a billion dollars per week on wars of aggression. Tax Free 15 has recognized the merits of the Articles of Freedom as educational for both legislators and for Americans. They are encouraging people who participate in rallies, protests, and the April 15-18 strike to read the Articles and watch the videos of presenters at the Continental Congress 2009 that helped inform the delegates on each of the 14 violations and instructions to right these wrongs.
It is time to go beyond elections, beyond petitions, and beyond tea parties and coffee parties. Take this opportunity to check out ArticlesOfFreedom.us and consider showing up in your state capitol next Monday, April 19, if at a minimum to remind your government who is the servant and who is the master.