On a road trip out of the northern Rockies, into the high plains of Montana and North Dakota, time provided the opportunity to contemplate my journey on the liberty road. I have a professional life around water that few have experienced; I have only recently–in the last two years–come to realize what we truly are facing; and now find myself facing the walls I and others have carefully constructed in my own mind over a lifetime.
The two experiences I would like to share this early morning revolve around ‘the rules’–and our strong sense of obligation to follow them. The first is about my business, the second about the Third Continental Congress, scheduled to have election of new officers on April 11, 2010.
After I had worked for everyone possible in the area of water resource management and development, I decided I would venture out on my own. I did all the ‘right’ things…got my employment ID number; state identification
and licenses to do business; and unemployment insurance. You know, all the official stuff. My company is an S-corporation, done for more favorable tax purposes.
What I ‘sell’ or offer is what I know applied to the problem at hand–I am a solutions-maker. I love water and apply that passion, and my background, for my clients’ benefit. In exchange, they pay me.
Up until I learned about the 16th Amendment and the Federal Reserve, everything was ‘normal’. Then I began to think about what I ‘sell’ in my business, and, in fact it is my labor, my skills that I sell, not a tangible, material item. (note to self: good thing you don’t lose your brains when you sell their work…or… :shock:)
Taxes on income are unconstitutional so the Supreme Court ruled in 1895. Taxes on a man’s labor and the wages he earns from his work are unconstitutional, in part because they are a direct, non-apportioned tax on people. The 16th Amendment, which directly contradicted this Supreme Court ruling, was illegally declared ratified by Secretary of State Philander Knox.
Since 1916, the government has been collecting illegal income taxes. This has been challenged, but what did the 16th Amendment create that now prevents its exposure as fraud? The judicial system, and judges using our illegally collected tax dollars. How would any judge vote against his own interest by allowing evidence of illegality into the courtroom? Why would he advise anyone of their 7th Amendment right to a common law jury?
Our Constitution guaranteed our individual liberty to create, to invent, to be our own business of you will, to sell our skills for hire. I went out and instead of going directly to work, I ‘detoured’ through a system where I had to get licensed to do what I am at liberty to do! And a portion of the fruits of all my labor–which I could use to acquire more skills–is diverted to a system that is licensing me to be free. And that licensing prevents me from advancing, so my net pay is ‘just about enough to fall flat on my face’.
Here I am suffering for my insanity in following an illegal system, and will suffer for my sanity if I refuse to follow unconstitutional laws.
Liberty requires that I be sane and constitutional in my person, all suffering aside.
The Third Continental Congress
The TCC has learned over the last few months that the Congress, convened in November 2009, is organizationally somewhere between a “Convention” and a ‘permanent society.” In the rush to get something done in 11 days, we developed some rules, but not others; and, at the close of the meeting in St. Charles, agreed to adjourn the meeting sine die (permanently) on October 10, 2011. Thus we are a convention that will have numerous meetings within the one, 2-year session of the Third Continental Congress.
There is much excitement about work in the TCC: enhanced civic actions in collaboration with other organizations; 14th Amendment studies and recommendations, judicial reform, as well as those pesky rules known as ‘bylaws’ that have to be developed. We will likely meet on-line and try to hold an in person session when possible. It is too soon to tell what our longer term role is, or other activities undertaken, and the desire is not to siphon off any resources or attention from anyone else. The TCC is an unincorporated organization.
The conventional parliamentary guidance used is the 10th Edition of Roberts Rules Newly Revised (RONR). It provides guidance for organizations in holding meetings, with an emphasis on protecting the minority. Much like the original framework of the Constitution, the Delegates or members (i.e, the people) rule. The TCC can make any rule it desires and it supersedes any rule offered in RONR.
But RONR can only go so far, as it was not designed for a two year convention! It contemplated a convention of a day, or a few weeks at most, but not two years. So, we are a ‘young’ convention, with a few rules in place, and the best known parliamentary guidance doesn’t readily apply! It is useful, but is not wholly sufficient for the TCC.
Good news, right? We can make our own rules! 🙂
**WHACK** we’ve run right into the Walls in Our Minds. 😕
When there are no rules to go by, and you have the ability to write them yourselves, i.e., create the script, what happens? Several reactions can take over. While the underlying issue may be fear of the unknown, or even fear of one’s own power, we can cling to old rules and try to create order out of nothing; we can see the opportunity and craft a careful way forward, daring to create the rules as we go along, with all caution and respect to existing guidance; we can argue over who is right by focusing on words or phrases.
Think about this…if you have been in a box following rules you thought were valid your whole life, what happens when that box is removed? Can we handle liberty?
How did the Founders write the Constitution without permission or a rule book?
It is of profound concern the extent to which we can be buried in false entanglements, emotions, or misdirected anger, not recognizing freedom when its right in front of us. Yet, Liberty requires that we move forward no matter what, and embrace the awesome responsibilities of freedom.
“It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
Be the one in the ring, with all the grace, passion, and humility that comes with the territory.