“The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself … guilty of treason.” -- Patrick Henry, 23 March, 1775, St John’s Church, Richmond Virginia
When Patrick Henry delivered those words, part of his famous “Liberty or Death” speech he followed Edmund Pendleton, the elder statesman of Virginia at that time. Pendleton had begged his fellow Virginians to give King George III and Parliament just one more chance at “reconciliation.”
Henry’s response can be compared to the situation we face today. That is, we know that our government is spying on us through the NSA and other agencies. We know that the NSA was created to assist the U.S. military. It follows then that whom it spies on is considered an enemy. Henry, eyeing a eerily similar situation, put it this way to Pendleton. (I changed British references to “federal.”):
“I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has [the Federal Government] any enemy in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of [spies] and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the Federal Government have been so long forging.”
If you consider the NSA as a military outfit, as do I, Henry posed this question to a crowd of “patriots” still not convinced that Independence was legal or advisable against such a power. (Again, I changed proper nouns for comparison.) “They tell us, sir, that we are weak, — unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a Federal Agent shall be monitoring every house?”
There are no Patrick Henrys today but there is a Tea Party. The modern Tea Party movement got its start when CNBC’s Rick Santelli stood on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and indignantly demanded to know “how many of you wants to start paying their neighbor’s mortgage?” Does anyone else remember what had people so outraged? It was the soon to be passed, $866 billion “stimulus” deal, coming on the heels of a trillion dollar “bailout” for reckless banks, mortgage, car and insurance companies.
In the span of less than a year, The American government lavished almost $2 trillion on the well-connected while tea partiers saw their jobs eliminated, purchasing power eroded and savings made worthless. Millions turned out across the land for the April 15th, 2009 Tea Parties demanding this cease, but it never did and in fact has picked up steam. Between 2009 and today the Leviathan’s loan shark, the Federal Reserve, has laundered over $3 Trillion to the bailout class of ‘09, via “quantitative easing.”
I bring this and Patrick Henry up to update the scoreboard, Patriots of 1775, 28, Brits 27, in 4 overtimes. Patriots of 2009, 15, Federal Leviathan, 6.5 trillion, midway through the 3rd quarter. I would throw the challenge flag out now on the CIA for “roughing the Senator” but it wouldn’t make a difference, the national government is immune to officiating of any sort. We have an elected king some call president that fancies himself an expert on international law. He lectures Russia’s Putin and the citizens of Crimea over the nuances of Ukraine’s Constitution while micturating on our constitution. Then he lectures the same characters on international law and how they are violating it without his permission.
Their alleged crime? Resorting to 400 year old, well known cultural and geographic traditions and the God-given right to self-determination. This he does while denying that Louisianans can practice self-determination with our natural resources, schools and marriage laws. The same tyrant had no regard for “international law” when he assisted in the intervention in Libya and the assassination of that country’s leader, Qaddafi.
Captain Obvious is now a big star in hotels.com commercials but he is nowhere to be found when our King tells the world not to do business with Russia because they “invaded” eight football fields of Ukraine. What about the 8,000,000 square miles of Afghanistan we have invaded and conducted war in without ever declaring war on that country? What does “international law” say about dropping bombs on an innocent wedding party in Yemen? These acts have been presided over by two Secretaries of Defense and as many Secretaries of State, while the Tea Party-controlled House of Representatives has done nothing about it other than huff and puff over a tragedy, Benghazi, caused by America’s violation of international law in intervening there. The Tea Party’s response? Obama must pay for Benghazi! That’s like Patrick Henry and John Adams yelling, “George III must pay for Monongahela!”