December 13, 2003


Throughout history the natural order of States seemed to be that governments ruled the People. Tyrants crowned themselves as if convinced of their right to rule with Divine blessing (or even that they themselves were Gods). The divine right of kings was that they'd earned their station (and their responsibility) by being born into it. Order was bestowed to the great unwashed in society by their wise and literate betters. All authority was in the hands of the State, and the People were at it's mercy, always dependent on the kindness of the strangers who ruled them.

When the Law is taken into the hands of a powerful few with no accountability to the People, then Liberty is in peril. There are, of course, many countries in the world today where the People's liberties are granted and lost at the whim of irrepressible tyrants.

The Declaration of Independence established that Americans had ceased to recognize the subordination of the People to a Crown. It stated that in order to secure to the People their inalienable Rights: "governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
The Revolution introduced a new natural order of States:
The divine right of the People is that they've earned their Rights by virtue of having been born into them.

People have Rights, governments have powers; and only those powers specifically granted to them by the People. Practicing a rule of Law, not of the whim of men in office, is essential if we are to protect the existence of "government of the People." The principle that a legislature, executive or court shall not presume to have any authority that it has not been granted must be religeously re-enforced. If we stand by silently while they who are, for a term, entrusted with the stewardship of the Republic -- be they legislators, executives or judges -- assume for themselves permission and authority that they have not been granted, then we, in America and in the free world, will simply be allowing tyrants to rule the People once again.

Congress may pass a law abridging the freedom of speech; a President may sign it; a Court may even uphold it (finding that the State has a "compelling interest" in abridging your Liberty), all without respect for the Constitution's proscribed amendment process, or the understanding that the State has no interest, compelling or otherwise, that the People haven't instructed it to have.
It has happened, and it will happen again.

We here at Consent of the Governed want to preserve the rule of Law -- the rule of the People -- by exposing instances, great and small, where governments at all levels and at all branches excercize authority that the People have not granted to them in their Constitutions and Charters. Hopefully we'll even spread the word to those who haven't heard -- or haven't fully understood -- that if we allow one Right to be lost then that becomes a precedent in Law that can only mean that all Rights can be taken away at any time and without Our consent.

Tyrants will take power from the People until they are stopped, and so we must forever be vigilant in our proposition that "government of the People, by the People and for the People shall not perish from the earth."

Posted by Tuning Spork at December 13, 2003 09:45 PM

Yikes, what happened to the post titles?

Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 13, 2003 09:54 PM

Aaah, there they are!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 13, 2003 09:55 PM

I consent.

Spork, I really like the Declaration background, but can it be lightened? makes the print a little harder to read.

Posted by: Noel at December 14, 2003 07:26 AM

Well said.

One small thought. Rule by Divine Right was not, usually, as bad as many folks think. When a monarch claimed to rule by divine right, if he actually believed it, he knew that he was merely the steward of the land and all of the people in it on behalf of God. If the monarch was devout, despite his human failings, he would, by in large, do a good job of protecting people and preserving justice for them.

Our Constitution was supposed to institutionalize the best principles of this. The founders said that the MOST important characteristic and qualification for the presidency was that the leader be of strong moral character, and the first day that the Congress met was spent almost entirely in prayer. Our founders recognized that our government and prosperity, though perhaps not by divine "right," was certainly the result of divine "providence."

Anyway, I like what I see on yer site, so far.

Posted by: Bronson at December 14, 2003 03:56 PM

The background is the Declaration laid over a flag. The current one is the medium darkness and I bolded the body text so it would be easier to read.

Posted by: The Bartender at December 14, 2003 06:47 PM

Thanks, Bartender. That's betterer.

Posted by: Noel at December 14, 2003 07:23 PM

Here here. Welcome to Munuvia. And Loved the post. I'm definatly gonna read you daily.

Posted by: Mookie at December 15, 2003 03:22 AM

Well said, sir!

Posted by: Noel at December 15, 2003 12:00 PM

your all A little on the weird side eh? I think we ought to get you some help mates.

Posted by: Red Roses at January 5, 2004 06:53 PM

Re: An urgent plea for insanity (Feb.6 2004)

OK, I am slowly going nuts here, so try chewing on this...

May I take the liberty of suggesting a provision of the U.S. Constitution grievously in need of revision?

This country was founded on certain basic principles, one being that:

"...governments are instituted among men - - deriving their just powers from the **consent** of the governed."
(** my emphasis).

In the passage of the Declaratory Act in 1766, the British Parliament asserted "full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the crown of Great Britain, **in all cases whatsoever**."
(**my emphasis).

This contravened the basic first principle of democracy, that power resides in the people, since the colonies were not even represented in the British Parliament. Ten years later, the colonists revolted against such an unwarranted assertion of power. Thomas Paine said it well:

“Britain [read Congress?], with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right(not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is mpious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.”

Unfortunately, ten years later, the Founding Fathers, in their rush to design a new government, failed to note that, in writing the U.S. Constitution, they were subjecting the denizens of the new nation’s capital to the same sort of colonial status they had recently overthrown, when they similarly asserted Congress’ right (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 17, the so-called "District Clause") to exercise exclusive jurisdiction, also **in all cases whatsoever**, over the (un-represented) residents of Washington, DC. (**my emphasis**)

Where were the guiding “first principles” such as “just power derives from the consent of the governed” when this provision was written? Had they forgotten so soon the rallying cry of the Revolution, “Taxation without representation is tyranny”?

The truth is that they are not the only ones who have overlooked the God-given rights of denizens of the nation’s capital. Over the years,
through more than 200 years now, that unjust situation has persisted. Some Americans have occasionally given the matter lip-service, but nothing substantial has yet been done to right this grievous injustice.

In the current situation, the district known as Washington DC is not truly a part of the nation formed by the 50 United States. Rather, the District, and the more than half a million souls inhabiting it (as large as many Congressional Districts and more populous than the State of Wyoming), are in effect a colony of the fifty united states, a place separate and unequal, unrepresented at the national table, voiceless in national debates, and voteless in national decisions.

This situation creates in DC a colonial mentality, a mentality that saps the native energy of the local population, making them dependent on others for their subsistence. As de Tocqueville might have said, "it does not tyrannize, (so much as) it hinders, compromises,
enervates, extinguishes, dazes,..."

“Nor have We [DC denizens] been wanting in attention to our [American] brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.”

OR, we could, in fairness, justice and equity, permit the denizens (can't really call them citizens, until they are treated as such ) of the District to exercise their God-given rights to both representation at the national table, and local self -rule.

I suggest an amendment to clarify the Constitution, giving Americans living in the District equal representation in the House and Senate, and full local self-rule. Concerns about control over the seat of national government could be assuaged by making any local self-rule provisions in the District subject to over-ride by a vote of, shall we say, two-thirds of both houses? (It currently requires only a simple majority for the Congress to muck up local DC affairs). This would reasonably protect the principle of "consent of the governed", while allowing the American nation as a whole to over-ride local DC decisions, but only when clearly necessary for the compelling national interest.

What say you?

Posted by: gwenham at February 11, 2004 02:51 PM

hey there i reallie like this info. its very educational

Posted by: honalulu at May 12, 2004 04:38 PM

hey there i 4got 2 say what if the king came into the americas than could the colonist have kicked the king of off there land? i mean it is there land so it there property....would that have been allowed back in those days?????....wouldnt that be a little too crucial to the king!!??!!....what happened if some of the colonist liked the King would there have been a battle at Jamestown or anywhere els?????cuz i reallie am confused on this question....if it doesnt relate to the consent of the Governed than srry....but still answer my queston....thank-you!!!!....i am reallie confused of this king and colonist thing!?!thnx

Posted by: honalulu at May 12, 2004 04:43 PM

lolz*....thas a goo-------------d question honalulu!!!!????!!!!?!?!??!!

Posted by: blahblahbooboo at May 12, 2004 04:45 PM

i need to knoe that too......

Posted by: boohoohoo at May 12, 2004 04:45 PM


Posted by: And at November 4, 2004 11:13 PM
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