Thursday, July 5, 2007

Defending the Freedoms of July 4, 1776: America's Hope for the World

From Paul Lehto

You gotta stand for something,

Or you’re gonna fall, for anything.

--John Cougar Mellencamp

Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.

--Tom Van Meurs

If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.

–William Somerset Maugham

All Power, Freedom, and Democracy comes from rights. Starting on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence changed forever how the world thinks of rights, and thereby became one of the most important political documents in the history of the world.

The Declaration of Independence especially was intended not just for Americans, it was declared for the benefit of all of humanity. Benjamin Franklin wrote: “Our cause is the cause of all mankind, and…we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own.”

The American Declaration of Independence boldly declared Independence from King George III as a matter of inalienable human rights, and rejected kingly tyranny under claim of divine right. By shifting the idea of who holds rights away from the king, the government and the British East India Corporation and instead in favor of the human beings in We the People, it was as though the Founders had diverted a Nile River of rights. Instead of the blessings of the Creator fertilizing the king’s divine rule, the Founders declared that all people were born with rights, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and created “self-government” by We the People.

These rights were planted in individual people, who instead had an inalienable human right to create, alter and abolish their forms of government, in addition to various inalienable rights involving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As President Ronald Reagan put it “Ours was a philosophical revolution that changed the very concept of government.” The critical second paragraph of the Declaration also tells us governments are only legitimately created through the will of the people and the very reason, the sole reason, governments are instituted is “to secure these rights.” Thus, it is the government’s #1 job to secure you your inalienable rights, to guarantee them and make them real.

Many historians also say that our Nation was the first nation consciously founded upon ideals, instead of race, nationality, religion or class. Enormous faith was placed in the ability of any independent person to use the rules of reason and the principles of liberty and justice in order to “become their own Governors” as John Adams put it. In one word, it was Self-Government or republicanism that was the key to the American Revolution. In two words, the very same thing as republicanism is “representative democracy” (as distinguished from direct democracy, which the Founders generally opposed).

These ideals of We the People were not just being fought on behalf of the 13 colonies, they were sought on behalf “of all mankind.” The subsequent Constitution, arrived at using the Rule of Reason by representatives of the People, was declared by Henry Clay as a gift to “endless, perpetual posterity.” That is, unlike the temporary Articles of Confederation, this Constitution was intended to give principles that could guide America for all time, for perpetual posterity.

Given that the Founders consciously intended to change the history of the world for all of humanity and for all time, they of course did not set out ideals that could be achieved in a day. They set out principles and ideals that could be the guide stars to orient ourselves by. As Carl Schurz wrote: “Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.”

By maximizing individual human rights and dignity and maximizing liberty, the founders unleashed the greatest colossus of ingenuity and freedom and progress the world had ever seen. The guide stars of liberty and democracy, though not fully achieved, nevertheless worked to inspire ever greater progress. The political history of America can easily be told in terms of making the promises of the Declaration of Independence real, as women and minorities expressly insisted on their rights, citing our Declaration of Independence in support. Thus, while some say that the Founders had some faults, it adds considerably to accuracy to state that in setting forth ideals intended to benefit all of humanity for all time, they could not and did not set out standards that could be achieved in the 1700s or even the 1800s.

And indeed, considering the highest of political moralities and 620,000 civil war dead, President George H.W. Bush (Sr.) wrote: "I sometimes wonder if we've forgotten who we are. But we're the people who sundered a nation rather than allow a sin called slavery, and we're the people who rose from the ghettos and the deserts." Bush Sr. also wrote: " America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation, and gentler the face of the world." Whether or not one supported President George H.W. Bush, his evocation of American ideals is consistent with the noble intent of 1776, and the guidance those ideals intended throughout all of history. If any President of the United States wants to accomplish something in our country, for better or for worse, he will invoke this power of American idealism, as George W. Bush did once again in his Second Inaugural Address:

"Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul." These ideals are so powerful, they are even used with success in convincing the American public to go to war. Countless millions have died in the name of freedom and democracy or self-government by We the People. President Woodrow Wilson said "Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. … America is the only idealist nation in the world." Americans are often called by their leaders to aggressively achieve American ideals: Indeed, "the American," as President John F. Kennedy said, "builds best when called upon to build greatly." Americans started by building a great Declaration of Independence and Constitution that were intended, as Founder Henry Clay put it, "for endless perpetual posterity." Ideals can indeed work forever because they guide us or remind us even when not yet fully achieved.

But the fundamental freedom of American self-government, the very key of liberty, is being challenged like never before. The sole method of control of the government that Americans have is elections. And in the last several years, the counting of America’s votes has been rendered corruptly secret, invisible and outside the power of any citizen to observe, via the processes and contracts of computerized voting. Secrecy is always the total lack of accountability, because everyone needs information to make someone accountable.

Moreover, because this corrupt secret vote counting is being handled by corporations in invisible trade secrecy of computer software, a government insider that wants to throw an election can manipulate the election computers just as easily as we all manipulate our own personal computers. There is no such thing as security against our own computers that we possess or control. Essentially all of the talk about “security” of computerized voting machines has been restricted to taking them off the internet, which only protects the government against “threats” from the public, but does not do anything to protect We the People from insiders in our government who want to stay in power, sell elections, or have a political issue they strongly wish to favor.

As a result, even though the government’s #1 job and the reason it was formed was to “secure” our rights, our right to “alter or abolish” our government under the Declaration of Independence is totally unsecured, and in fact no longer exists wherever there is a criminal insider in elections. This is the main time if not the only time when we really need our inalienable right to “kick the bums out.”

Thus, the American people, not able to freely kick out the worst criminal cheaters, are not a free people. This is not a “threat” of loss of freedom, it is a present day reality wherever computerized voting and a criminal insider are present.

Given the many very important issues on the ballot, combined with the control of the world’s richest country, many billions in federal contracts, and control of the sole military superpower in the world at stake, it is both naïve and even unpatriotic to believe that nobody would desire to preserve or achieve power over America illegitimately. Our right to vote, and therefore to be master instead of slave, is rendered entirely meaningless if we can not secure an open and public count, controlled by We the People. The government sure can’t audit itself, investigate itself or elect itself, and the government gets 100% of its money and power from one source: elections.

The powerful role of We the People in self-government is, along with the inalienable right to alter or abolish the government, a self-evident fact. Self-evident means that we don’t need to prove these rights or facts, they prove themselves and are completely obvious. There is only one alternative to democracy where we are all tied for #1 most important citizen in the land on account of our equal votes, and that is inequality whereby one person or class rules over another with unequal rights. That is the essence of Tyranny and the opposite of freedom. That is categorically not what the Founders set out to accomplish for all of humanity and for all time.

Everybody wants to be #1 and many want to “rule the world” and so perhaps it is to be expected that corporations have captured our vote counts and made them their private property, literally kicking off We the People as trespassers, even though this is the very heart and soul and democracy. But as soon as we recall our past, recall the importance of freedom as a people, recall that all power emanates from rights, and that rights are supposed to inhere only in people and not kings, governments and soul-less corporations, we will re-invigorate the engines of human rights and freedom that have so excited the American people and the people of the world that they’ve acted as both prime political forces as well as facilitating economic progress by unleashing the enterprise of free individuals.

Americans, once they know what is at stake, will never tolerate a takeover of their country by forces hostile to the common good of the American people and dedicated legally and contractually solely to private profit. If a foreign country could not demand the right to count votes in secret, neither can corporations in America demand the same. Indeed, the two are the same and the effort by a foreign country to take over our elections would be unanimously resisted by all Americans, using the military if necessary. No corporation is our superior, there is no basis for them to have these special privileges of secret counting.

John Quincy Adams spoke on July 4, 1821: “America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government.”

These rights are the tools of democracy. Each generation must use them or lose them. So far every generation of Americans has acted to make the promises of the declaration of independence more real. This one will too, as long as people take the time to remember what the American experiment is all about, remember to defend democracy, remember that compromises of our rights are the same as violations of our rights, and remember that the government has no excuse but to be our servant and guarantee us our rights, especially our #1 inalienable right to “alter or abolish” our own government, or kick the bums out.

If you believe as I believe, then you can see how the power of the Declaration of Independence has melted away the forces of history, bigotry, oppression, and been our guide star for centuries. We are not any longer a free people because of computerized secret vote counting, but this is so obviously improper and such a clear invitation to the grossest corruptions that it simply can not stand the light of day, or the sunshine of publicity.

Already, an August 2006 Zogby poll shows that 92% of the American public support a system of observable vote counting by citizens. This is a totally nonpartisan issue, and high support exists for observable vote counting across every political party and demographic. This is yet another reason why there is simply no excuse for Congress to deny the will of the people in favor of the corporate will to own the heart of our democracy as their own private property. There is also no excuse for asking us to trust these private corporations or officials, our system is not based on trust it is based on checks and balances.

Thus, in fighting to restore our freedom we are incredibly lucky in our generation, that the battle will only involve informing all of our fellow Americans, and watching these vote counting corporations and their election official defenders of secrecy melt before the power of the Declaration of Independence. Today, we have the unique privilege of knowing for sure that we are fighting for freedom and democracy, even as some who have served our country and sacrificed their lives might understandably have had a doubt whether it was truly necessary to sacrifice their lives. But as the Marines say “Ours is not to wonder why, ours is just to do or die.”

If you’d like to see the American Declaration of Independence be restored to its rightful course as the world’s beacon of rights freedom, for all of humanity and for all time, if you believe that America is real and that ideas matter, your help is very needed to spread the word to our fellow citizens, the true and rightful rulers of this country. To do this, please post, email or copy and paste this article in as many places as you can find, and talk about it with whoever you can. Do this today, tomorrow, and the next day, and keep going because the sacred inalienable rights of the Declaration are top news EVERY DAY, regardless of what anyone says.

In distributing this word, we need to let all American citizens know of the unfaithfulness of our government to the principles they are sworn to uphold, and that they are about to vote in the House of Representatives on HR 811 and in the Senate on S1487 which will institutionalize secret vote counting for Senators and Representatives IN THEIR OWN ELECTIONS. This too, this self-serving behavior, will not stand, and can not stand. It would be comical were freedom not so serious.

Many state constitutions and the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights state words directly to the effect that “a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is necessary to the preservation of liberty and free government.” See, e.g., Wash. State Const. Art. I, sec. 32. Thus, in passing word to your fellow citizens, you are literally doing what is necessary to preserve liberty and freedom: remembering the principles of the Declaration and using them as the tools of Freedom and the defenders of democracy.

Whether our freedom as a people is restored soon or not depends on how much each of you acts like Paul Revere and does your part. There’s a simple test here of your status: if you are a one of the co-equal ruler-citizens of this country, you will be alarmed by this and tell as many of your fellow rulers as possible to keep our eyes on the prize and put aside any partisan differences in order to preserve the freedom of ALL Americans on this issue On the other hand, if you have adopted the ways of the slave, you will be fearful, or depressed, or otherwise rationalize inaction in some way: you will not feel empowered. Indeed, rationalization is the process of surrender.

As Thomas Paine reminded America in Common Sense in 1776, “we have the power to begin the world all over again.” He also said “Be free, set up for yourselves, a great destiny is before you, show yourselves worthy of it.” We can all be tied for the most important citizen in our democracy, each with an equal vote, or we can be slaves bossed around by others with no real say, and a government we can’t change that stays stuck on the “Stupid” setting.

We are each free to do nothing for our country. But in this case that may be the last decision the American people are allowed to make by their masters. So please study paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence, find out more places to learn at and spread the word. Tell every state and federal politician that it is corrupt to have secret vote counting at all, and unbelievably improper to vote for it for their own elections. It will only be a matter of months, if we all do this, before politicians are doing their rightful job of falling all over themselves to fully restore citizen control of our own elections.

It’s our country, our government, our elections, our representatives, our ballots, our votes, our tax dollars, and our opinions that count. The government has never received a single legitimate tax dollar, or power, except from We the People. They are public servants, not the public’s masters. So educate everyone first, then later on in late summer we’ll have to have a talk with them about who’s really in charge of this country: a refresher course in Independence.

Paul R Lehto

Attorney at Law

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R.D. Laing

R.D. Laing
Speaking on Autonomy