Publisher’s Note:  September 17 is the day the serfs in the tax jurisdiction known as America celebrate Constitution Day.  We hear all the usual ill-informed and ahistorical notions celebrating what was in essence one of the most savvy and lucrative political coups in Western history. The Antifederalists were right, the Constitution was an elegant trap to shackle an entire nation to a system to empower the few over the many and the banksters over the entire system of commerce.  The respective states which had signed separate peace agreements with the United Kingdom in 1783 were merely political and inferior subsidiaries to the greater national power emerging in Mordor on the Potomac.  The Constitution created a Soviet style system well before the Bolsheviks were even contemplating such a scheme.  Whenever you hear some of your friends and neighbors extolling the virtues of the Constitution, read them Spooner’s quote and see how they address that particular conundrum. -BB
By rendering the labor of one, the property of the other, they cherish pride, luxury, and vanity on one side; on the other, vice and servility, or hatred and revolt. ~ James Madison "But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist." ~ Lysander Spooner  
Today, 17 September 2009, is Constitution Day. There will be paeans, abundant commentary and church-like observances of the glories of this document in making us the most blessed nation on planet earth. This essay suggests a contrarian thesis. The Constitution is an enabling document for big government. Much like the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain is a fraud. In this case, for all the sanctimonious handwringing and the obsequious idolatry of the parchment, it sealed the fate of our liberties and freedoms and has operated for more than 200 years as a cover for massive expansion of the tools and infrastructure of statist expansion and oppression. Among the many intellectual travels I have undertaken, this is one of the most heart-breaking I have ventured on. I want to acknowledge the compass-bearers who sent me on this journey: Kenneth W. Royce (aka Boston T. Party) and his seminal book, The Hologram of Liberty and Kevin Gutzman's Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. For most of the political spectrum in America, the document represents their interpretation of how to make this mortal coil paradise. Even in libertarian circles, it is taken as an article of faith the Constitution is a brilliant mechanism to enlarge liberty and keep government at bay. That is a lie. The document was drafted in the summer of 1787 behind closed doors in tremendous secrecy because if word leaked out of the actual contents and intent, the revolution that had just concluded would have been set ablaze again. They were in a race against time and did everything in their power to ensure that the adoption took place as quickly as possible to avoid reflection and contemplation in the public square that would kill the proposal once the consequences of its agenda became apparent. They were insisting that the states ratify first and then propose amendments later. It was a political coup d'état. It was nothing less than an oligarchical coup to ensure that the moneyed interests, banksters and aristocrats could cement their positions and mimic the United Kingdom from which they had been recently divorced. The original charter of the drafters was to pen improvements to the existing Articles of Confederation. Instead, they chose to hijack the process and create a document which enslaved the nation. Federalist in the old parlance meant states rights and subsidiarity but the three authors of the fabled Federalist Papers supported everything but that. Their intent and commitment was to create a National government with the ability to make war on its constituent parts if these states failed to submit themselves to the central government. As Austrian economists have discovered, bigger is not necessarily better. The brilliant and oft-dismissed Articles of Confederation (AoC) and Perpetual Union are a testament to voluntarism and cooperation through persuasion that the Constitution disposed of with its adoption. Penned in 1776 and ratified in 1781, the spirit and context of the Articles live on in the Swiss canton system and are everywhere evident in the marketplace where confederationist sentiments are practiced daily. The confederation's design divines its mechanism from what an unfettered market does every day: voluntary cooperation, spontaneous information signals and the parts always being smarter than the sum A. confederation according to the Webster's 1828 dictionary is: The act of confederating; a league; a compact for mutual support; alliance; particularly of princes, nations or states. I would advise the readership to use the 1828 Webster's dictionary to accompany any primary source research you may undertake to understand American (& British) letters in the eighteenth century. It is the source for the contemporary lexicon. It is even available online now. Here is a simple comparison of the two organizing documents:  
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Articles of Confederation

Constitution

Levying taxes Congress could request states to pay taxes Congress has right to levy taxes on individuals
Federal courts No system of federal courts Court system created to deal with issues between citizens, states
Regulation of trade No provision to regulate interstate trade Congress has right to regulate trade between states
Executive No executive with power. President of U.S. merely presided over Congress Executive branch headed by President who chooses Cabinet and has checks on power of judiciary and legislature
Amending document 13/13 needed to amend Articles 2/3 of both houses of Congress plus 3/4 of state legislatures or national convention
Representation of states Each state received 1 vote regardless of size Upper house (Senate) with 2 votes; lower house (House of Representatives) based on population
Raising an army Congress could not draft troops, dependent on states to contribute forces Congress can raise an army to deal with military situations
Interstate commerce No control of trade between states Interstate commerce controlled by Congress
Disputes between states Complicated system of arbitration Federal court system to handle disputes
Sovereignty Sovereignty resides in states Constitution the supreme law of the land
Passing laws 9/13 needed to approve legislation 50%+1 of both houses plus signature of President
Note that the precept of individual taxation was an end-run against state sovereignty from the very beginning. If the Congress does not wish to violate state sovereignty, then they will simply prey on the individuals in the states. It should be obvious that the AoC was not a recipe for government employees from top to bottom to use the office to enrich themselves so a scheme was afoot to precipitate and manufacture dissent over the present configuration of the central government apparatus which for all intents and purposes barely existed. The AoC was intolerable to a narrow panoply of interests and the Federalist Papers appeared between October 1787 and August 1788 to plead the case for a newer form of "Republic" authored by three individuals: James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. The British had sued for peace in 1783 and the AoC were still in effect until 1790. Time was ticking to erect the new government apparatus that would strengthen the central government to eventually mimic the very tyranny which caused British North America to put the English Crown in the hazard. The Anti-Federalists rose up in response and provided what I consider one of the most splendid and eloquent defenses of small government penned in our history. When the Constitutional Convention convened on 1787, 55 delegates came but 14 later quit as the Convention eventually abused its mandate and scrapped the AoC instead of revising it. The notes and proceedings of the cloistered meeting were to be secret as long as 53 years later when Madison's edited notes were published in 1840.
“All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.” - George Orwell
We all experience the world through the shared stories and anecdotes that illuminate who we are and where we come from.  Our educations, both formal and informal, drive the worldviews we develop over time.  These are influenced universally by the transmission mediums we listen to or read about.  Whether we are reading books (an increasingly uncommon practice), watching television, interacting on the internet or engaging in conversation with friends and family, all of these activities consistently and irrevocably develop and refine the way we view the world around us.  First and foremost, our language and employment thereof has the most significant impact on us.  I do not want to bother with the noxious collectivist apologias familiar to the deconstructionists like Chomsky and Foucault who profess that literary texts and contemporary conversation are freighted with the various Politically Correct bugbears like race, class and gender which to me is a neat but erroneous substitute for thinking things through.  But they do make an important point:  our language, in this case, English, informs and prejudices cogitation in an unconscious fashion that can short-circuit clear and conscious thinking. For example, prior to 1860, the use of the phrase “the United States are” was far more common than the post-1865 notion of the “the United States is”.  Mark Twain “observed that the Civil War was fought over whether ‘United States’ was singular or plural”.  Some attribute this to Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, Professor of Greek at Johns Hopkins University, who wrote in 1909 that “if I chose (sic), I might enlarge on the historical importance of grammar in general and Greek grammar in particular. It was a point of grammatical concord that was at the bottom of the Civil War – “United States are,” said one, “United States is,” said another.”

"You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments: rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws...."

~ John Adams

As I have mentioned before, I am an Auto Mechanic. As part of my job I test drive customer vehicles to verify a complaint, and to recheck my work when it's completed. The other Technicians I work with do the same thing, so when Law Enforcement has set up a speed trap, or are actively running radar in the area where most of us test drive, word spreads like wildfire. But this time was different.... My buddy walked down to me and explained to me that he had just got stopped by the cops. I thought to myself that he must have been speeding, or committed the heinous crime of rolling through a stop sign, or some other arbitrary traffic infraction so I asked him what he had done. He told me that he had done nothing wrong, but a roadblock had been set up, and he went through it. He told me that the road was blocked off in either direction, and they were stopping both sides of the road. He explained the roadblock was rather large, and it was a collaboration between Local and State Law Enforcement. I asked if any Military was present, he said no, but said they sure did look and act like the Military. He was not in his personal vehicle when they stopped him, and he was also wearing gloves.  Technicians wear gloves to protect themselves from chemicals, and other substances that could cause harm. He was asked to produce his license and registration. He pulled out his license, and held up the work order explaining to this Jackboot that this was not his vehicle.  He pointed to the Honda emblem on his shirt, and also pointed out the rest of his uniform.  The Officer then asked if there was anything in the van that he should know about. My buddy responded, again, that this was not his vehicle, and he has no idea what's in the van. The Officer then noticed that he was wearing gloves, and for some odd reason became very alarmed. The officer asked him why he was wearing gloves. He said it's for protection from oil, brake clean, and other harmful fluids in the shop. The officer then asked him if he was sure that was the reason he was wearing gloves. My friend, at this point puzzled, responded with yes. The Officer then took his license and work order and walked away. He came back in about two minutes and told him he was "cleared to leave". It's important to note that the armed State Employee who was busy interrupting the daily commerce of everyone who happened to drive down that road was concerned by my friend's uniform. How bizarre, an armed man standing in the middle of the road with the rest of his armed gang was alarmed my a man trying to fix this person's vehicle.
"ATF is supposed to be the sheepdog that protects against the wolves that prey on our southern border, but rather than meet the wolf head-on, we sharpened its teeth and added number to its claws. All the while, we sat idly by watching, tracking and noting as it became a more efficient killer." - ATF Agent John Dodson, August 2011
Sheepdog or government lapdog? The promotion of the three primary Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) should come as no surprise.  The government is the entity in everyday life that usually rewards venal, unprofessional and vicious behavior on the part of its apparatchiks because that is the primary means by which government gets things done.  The Fast and Furious Operation was designed as a sting by the ATF to allow straw purchases to flow to Mexico through the border states like Arizona where I live even though it has also been linked to a dozen crime scenes in the US.  This clown posse intended to allow the semi-automatic weapons to get into the hands of the drug cartels so they could be traced and used to identify who was who in the evil narco-conglomerates in the greater failed state known as Mexico. I use the term failed state in the common patois but as far as I can see it is a wildly successful state – a government dominated economy rich in agricultural and natural resources squandered by the Soviet-style central planning that has informed Mexican politics since the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) took over in 1929.  The 1917 Constitution was an inspiration for the 1918 Russian Constitution for the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.  Even though the PRI lost in 2000, the country continues to be a collectivist cesspool dominated by restriction on the most basic human rights.  It was not until 1992 that Mexico started to extricate the state from religion and lifted severe restrictions.  By Communist standards, Mexico is a close approximation of that wretched idea and like China, has been one of those rare Marxoid nations whose territorial ambitions have been rather muted and lazy beyond their contiguous borders.  I would suggest part of this lies in the unique brand of military incompetency that places Mexico among the worst armed forces in the history of mankind, a circumstance that has greatly benefited America’s yen for expansion into the southwestern portion of North America. The ATF conducted their bumbling operation without even informing the American embassy in Mexico City which later came to bite them badly.  Let’s step back a moment.  A straw purchase is a violation of American gun laws because it allegedly permits a potential felon or other ineligible owner of firearms to get a firearm by having another person purchases it for them much like the idiotic alcohol consumption laws in America where an adult will purchase beer or wine or liquor for someone under age. I have stated before that we don’t need to enforce the 271 Federal gun laws on the books, we need to get rid of them and the thousands of state and local laws this has created such as the urban hellholes like DC and Chicago where gun possession by the lawful is rather problematic but not for criminal who…ahem…break laws for a living. We need to strive to make America number one in gun freedoms and not number nine behind the Khyber Pass, Finland and New Zealand where these countries have no restrictions on suppressors, for instance.

Publisher Note:  I don’t normally agree with Hanson’s prognostications beyond his masterful treatment of the ancient world of Greece and his occasional scribbling about the health and impending doom of his small business.  His militaristic instincts and neoconservative sensibilities have blunted the efficacy of his more contemporary ramblings but this particular missive is much more instructive.  I certainly see a far greater historical correlation to post WWII Britain than other comparisons that have been proffered.  Imagine if we had adopted the post WWII economic model adopted by Conrad Adenauer after 1949 leading to the Wirtschaftswunder that briefly led to an industrial revival that was strangled in its cradle by the welfare/warfare statist enthusiasts who then forced Germany to mimic the fascist economic models of the West.  The socialist Atlee was the instigator of taking Churchill’s more fevered dreams of a controlled economy and putting the wartime shackles on peacetime private industry.  Attlee claimed:   "The Labour Party is a socialist party and proud of it. Its ultimate purpose at home is the establishment of the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain - free, democratic, efficient, progressive, public-spirited, its material resources organized in the service of the British people." Government is always at war with industry unless the private sector becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of the government whether through outright expropriation like the British nationalization ventures or the American  variant using total regulatory and tax vertical and horizontal micromanagement to achieve the same objective of Keynesian economic fascism.  One would imagine that absent...

Foreign intervention is the pride of American policy. It has been our raison d'être for a century, beginning with the Spanish-American war in the late 1890s and continuing without meaningful interruption. The people of these united States are amenable to these constant entanglements, it seems, because our enlightened system of democracy allows us to decide what is best for the rest of the world. Our latest humanitarian effort is the destruction (and forthcoming rebuilding) of Libya. Our intervention in Libya is justified by international consensus, the dictator's evilness, access to natural resources, and perhaps the specter of weapons of mass destruction. For this reason it is different and more justified than our entanglement in Afghanistan, which was justified by international consensus, the Taliban's evilness, access to natural resources, and the bad acts of a wealthy Saudi; or our invasion of Iraq, which was justified by international consensus, the dictator's evilness, access to natural resources, and the specter of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. Libya, I am told, is in Africa, a continent full of people who cannot be trusted with their own governance. This is obvious due to how poorly they've behaved themselves when conquered, ruled, armed and raped by Europeans. Furthermore, Africans are incapable of conducting successful revolutions without outside help; this is evidenced by the terrible situation in South Sudan. For this reason, it was absolutely necessary for the Western nations to render the rebels assistance against the Gadaffyduck regime, which had been previously armed by Western nations. After the...

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="304"] TSA on Red Alert[/caption]
"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." -  HL Mencken
I went to board a flight at Tucson on Monday and checked in my guns in a secure case at the ticket counter like I always do.  Usually I have to wait but they said they would page me if they needed me for anything.  I proceeded to the TSA Security Theater festivities to have my bags and body violated and was stopped by an agent from the ticket counter and asked to return.  The scan of my gun case indicated the weapon was loaded. A loaded firearm has a round in the chamber by all gun community standards.  We are addressing the legal definition here and not the assumption that all firearms are loaded for safety purposes.  Search as I might, it was difficult to find a Federal definition for loaded but I did find this: As typical legalese, this definition isn't all that clear. Luckily, in 1996 the California Appellate Court ruled on the interpretation of "loaded firearm" in People v. Clark, (1996) 45 Cal. App. 4th 1147, 1152. Mr. Clark was arrested for allegedly having a loaded shotgun because, even though there were no shells in the chamber, there were shells in a compartment in the stock of the firearm. The court held that "attached in any manner to" the firearm was intended to encompass a situation where a shell or cartridge might be attached to a firearm or "loaded" for firing by some unconventional method.  The court said:  "Under the commonly understood meaning of the term "loaded," a firearm is "loaded" when a shell or car­tridge has been placed into a position from which it can be fired; the shotgun is not "loaded" if the shell or cartridge is stored elsewhere and not yet placed in a firing position."
"Ideas are bulletproof" ~V
The resistance is growing. The revolution taking place between the ears is beginning to swallow up more of the market share. Millions of humans have begun to shake off the sheep of their Statist slumbers, and more wake up by the  minute. They are beginning to see Politicians for who they are;  paper tigers who point to pieces of parchment as proof of their perverse powers. They are beginning to see governments for what they are; nothing more than  dens full of these pitiful, petty paper tigers who promise peace,  prosperity, and progress,  but only deliver debt, destruction, and death.  For these reasons the light of liberty is blinding for such starving eyes, and too bright for some, but there are those who stand ready to usher in this dawn long overdue. Ideas have been the weapon of choice in the struggle for freedom, but the common man has stumbled upon something else to compliment his weapon; the Internet.  Now, information is passed around in the cyber world faster than ammo  was passed around to those brainwashed boys in the Government trenches of any given needless war.  The Pandora's Box that used to harbor the ideas of freedom and liberty has been flung open like so many double doors on the last day of school. It is too late to stop the virtual stampede. Governments around the world now find themselves in a catch-22. If the internet is shutdown, governments risk immediate revolution. If the free flow of information is allowed to continue unfettered, revolution will eventually come. Humans have gotten a taste of the truth, and they seem to like it. The stranglehold that was placed on truth and information is slipping away. State propaganda and disinformation is being rendered useless. Tyrants are like children who hold clay in their hands, the harder they squeeze, the more they lose. This is what every government has failed to understand throughout their tragic and horrible 10,000 year history. Pure tyranny brings with it pure liberty. As awful as it sounds, my desire is that the grip of tyranny continues. Coercive, violent governments have proven to be the best recruiting tool for those who long for liberty, and if liberty is what lies on the other side of this tyranny, the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.
 
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs." -Thomas Jefferson
In six months or six years, the nation known as the United States is going to dissolve roughly along the same lines that the other Soviet republic, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), died with a whimper in 1989-1991.  Like the ersatz Russian experiment in economic stupidity and incompetence, the American variant of the collectivist experiment shares some parallels.  The main structural difference was the fascistic approach to wealth expropriation the Americans adopted versus the more direct exsanguinations of the populace that took place in the USSR.  The Communists are simply more forward in the robbing and enslavement of its subject population.  The American model was a bit more forward-looking in seeing that when the subject population is bombarded with the concept that they are sovereign individuals who may pursue what they wish, they tend to be more productive.  During the twentieth century, America’s prosperity was a hollow ideal built on the fundamentals of war, debt, heavy taxation and universal regulation of everything  (that which could not be effectively regulated like  drugs became illegal, creating yet another expansionist opportunity for more government employment of bureaucrats and increases in power). When one is able to grasp that your government school civics classes were nothing more than cheerleading events for bigger and bigger government and the very institution of government schools supercharged the collectivist enthusiasm in every young mind, careful reflection demonstrates that the government media-education complex is nothing more than a sophisticated propaganda mechanism to make the cattle feel good about the feed lot they are on; all the pieces start to fall into place. Many, including myself, have visited the laundry list of items that have produced the economic super-storm that is the American meltdown in front of us; the debt, the deficit, the spending, the promises and the endless ideological wholesaling of other people’s money and resources as if none of it belonged to the original owners.
I live in Nevada – one of 22 remaining helmet-bondage states.  It’s no secret I hate to wear a helmet when I ride my motorcycle and I’ve gotten flack by the indoctrinated sheeple who still believe that helmets and helmet laws save lives.  What a crock! I used to persuade people that helmet choice is about liberty.  But my research revealed that helmets can also contribute to accidents and death.  I liken it to the world-is-flat theory as it pertained to the safety of sailors.  If they sailed too far and didn’t return it was because they fell off the earth.  If they returned unharmed it was because they didn’t go far enough to fall.  But if the dead of that day could speak, they’d explain that their death was due to illness, storms, faulty ships, or starvation.  Same with helmets.  People swear that helmets save lives.  How do they know?  Because someone told them so.  And government statistics confirm it.  Never mind the number of motorcyclists that die despite wearing a helmet.  But if dead helmeted motorcyclists could talk, how many of them would explain that their helmet impaired their vision or hearing – or that a strong wind caught underneath the rim of their DOT helmet to act like a parachute and cause them to lose control of their ride? I could write scores of essays on what helmet laws have taught me just since I began my research a year ago.  It’s taught me that our system is immoral – right down to the core.  I’ve witnessed the agenda-driven corruption by every branch of government locally, federally, and levels in between.  I’ve learned that our system is “beyond screwed.”  My insight into this one little-ole, seemingly insignificant issue such as Nevada’s helmet law, is but one cancerous cell lost among the others within its malignant tumor.  I now believe that the only “cure” for the cancer is the extinction of government.