DACA – “The fathers eat sour grapes…

And the children’s teeth are set on edge.”  So went a proverb among the ancient Israelites who had been deported from their homeland of Judah to Babylon.  Their lament was that God was punishing them for the sins of their fathers, but God replied “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel” (Ezekiel 18:2-3).  However, God did not specify when they would no longer have reason to quote that proverb.

Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, carried out three deportations of the Israelites in the kingdom of Judah, and at the time of Ezekiel the first two had taken place – the third and final one was yet to come when the Babylonians utterly destroyed the city of Jerusalem in 587 BC.  Obviously, the teeth of those in captivity were to continue to be set on edge for a while longer.  It was necessary for them to be deported because of their having broken God’s law, but in time, they would be restored to their home and this proverb would no longer be used.

So what has this to do with DACA?  We hear the same proverb used as justification for granting these individuals – also referred to as “Dreamers” – legal status and ultimately citizenship.  It wasn’t their fault; their parents brought them here, so why should they be punished with deportation?  It is very unfortunate, but sometimes in order to stress the value of something it must be taken away for a time just as God had to do with the Israelites.

We are a nation of laws.  The law – as Thomas Paine put it – is king in America.  Why should anyone here in our country illegally, regardless of how they got here, have any respect or adherence to any of our laws if they broke the very law governing entrance into our country?  The answer is there is no reason to and many times they do not.

If we want to stop people of other nations from coming into our country illegally, then one sure way is to deport those already here illegally regardless of the circumstances of their arrival.  This would send a clear message that others should not waste their time trying to cross our borders as they will not be given any opportunity to stay, but instead will be sent back to their country of origin immediately.

The United States is a sovereign country, founded on the principle of adherence to law and the expectation that those who are in the United States are here because they followed our law for admittance.  Does this mean I think our laws regarding immigration are perfect?  No, there are changes that need to be made, but without the enforcement of our existing laws we become a lawless society, for why should any of us obey any other law if those who have no stake in our society refuse to obey from their very first act of coming onto our soil?  If the “Dreamers” want someone to blame for their “teeth being set on edge”, they need look no farther than their parents, not the citizens nor government of the United States.

-February 26, 2018

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America – Your Republic Lies in Ruins!

In Federalist 51, James Madison stated “Justice is the end [i.e., goal or purpose] of government.  It is the end of civil society.  It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.”  As we see the abuse of power wielded by the FBI, the Department of Justice, and perhaps others in the Obama administration over the fourth amendment rights of those involved in the Trump presidential campaign, we must demand that justice against those who mishandled their public trust be brought to justice, else, as Madison warns, liberty for all of us will be lost.

However, in trying to bring justice back to being the foundation of our government and our society, we must look deeper into how it was that justice came to be lost.  Baron Charles de Montesquieu began the opening of Part I, Book 8 in his monumental work, The Spirit of the Laws (published 1748), with these words:  “The corruption of each government almost always begins with that of its principles.” 

This then leads us to ask what principles within our government have been corrupted that led to its current state of corruption?  To answer this question we must return to the principle that motivated our founders to take that step for freedom and independence, namely that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”  The import of this phrase is that all men are therefore to be treated equally, which is the essence of the concept of justice.

How then is justice for all to be achieved (as we say in the closing of our pledge of allegiance)?  This question was answered by Frederic Bastiat in his treatise The Law in 1850.  He posits the question repeatedly “What is the law?”, to which he consistently gave a one word answer:  “justice.”  Putting this all together we have the principle that justice can exist only when all men are treated as they were created, namely, equal under the law.  When those of a supposed “higher class” are given a pass for violations of law that others would suffer severe punishment, then the principle of justice has died and along with it the principle of a representative government.

Returning to Montesquieu, he went on to give this analysis of how to reverse this situation when it occurs within a republic:  “When a republic has been corrupted, none of the ills that arise can be remedied except by removing the corruption and recalling the principles; every other correction is either useless or a new ill” (Part I, Book 8, chapter 12).

How then are we to remove this corruption and return to our principle of justice?  To answer this question we must look at who has brought about this corruption.  In chapter 5 Montesquieu gave the answer:  “Aristocracy is corrupted when the power of the nobles becomes arbitrary; there can no longer be virtue either in those who govern or in those who are governed.”  Indeed, do not most of those in Congress, and especially in the higher levels of bureaucratic power, act aristocratically as though they are nobility?  This is what happens when those who are given the reins of power refuse to relent them to others and remain in office year after year.  Montesquieu continued, “Extreme corruption occurs when nobility becomes hereditary; the nobles can scarcely remain moderate.”  We claim that we do not have nobles and hereditary claims to the right of power and position, but when incumbency is the rule rather than the exception, and those serving in departments of the government make a career of it, then most certainly we do have a class of “nobility” that has become for all intents and purposes “hereditary”, and as a result, extreme corruption sets in.  Once this occurs Montesquieu states that “Corruption will increase among those who corrupt, and it will increase among those who are already corrupted.”

 If ever there was a time, then, to “drain the swamp” that has become our national government, it is now.  We as voters can do our part by voting our “nobles” and “aristocrats” out of their positions of power and encouraging their replacements to alter the laws so that those in these myriads of unconstitutional bureaucracies can be removed as well and their power over us be diminished.  The ruins of our republic can be rebuilt and rise like a phoenix out of the ashes, but the time is getting very, very short.

-February 9, 2018

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