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Archive for December 29th, 2010

“Democracy is based upon the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice.” Harry S. Truman

 “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but inform their discretion.” Thomas Jefferson

“As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the lawgivers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.” Adlai Stevenson

“Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.” Henry Clay

“If there have been those who doubted whether a confederated representative democracy were a government competent to the wise and orderly management of the common concerns of a mighty nation, those doubts have been dispelled.”John Quincy Adams

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There is nothing so disturbing as an employee who refuses to follow directions.  In the private sector, it can be remedied, but in the public sector, it becomes more complicated by the sheer proliferation of agencies and employees that are not answerable to the people they ostensibly serve, and it becomes maddening when they have the nerve to pretend that they know better than them what pays the freight.

This was brought into focus recently with the FCC’s decision to implement its so-called “Net Neutrality” regulations to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.  This was a decision that was slow in coming.  The DC circuit had already ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to regulate the internet.  Congress, in a rare show of real bipartisanship had also made a point of asking the FCC not to promulgate regulations for the internet and leave it to the lawmakers.  And yet despite every indication that it had no authority to do so, the FCC decided to start regulating the internet… to the cheers of those who believe the hype without any consideration of the long-term implications, as a cousin of mine was only too eager to demonstrate on Facebook recently, as he expressed his exuberance at this wonderful development. 

The website he hyperlinked was one extolling the virtues, but never actually thinking the process through.  When I pointed out that the FCC did so over both the Legislative and Judicial Branches’ objections, his response was a childlike “Yes, but they did it anyway.” 

I was stunned. 

Did he really mean it?  I have never questioned his good intentions, but at the same time, a demonstration of such glee at an obvious and egregious avoidance of the authority of the Constitutionally mandated branches of government demonstrates two stark facts:

1.  Our educational system has failed;

2.  And as a result, “The means justifies the ends” has become the default in place of “the rule of law, not men.”

This is not an isolated phenomenon.  As my friend and co-blogger Nice Deb, points out, it is a trend. Whether it is the EPA deciding sua sponte that it has the authority to regulate CO2 emissions as a pollutant, or the Secretary of Health and Human Services resurrecting the “end of life” counseling that lawmakers removed from the final draft.  But the money quote, which stopped me cold, was this:

New legislation is already being drafted by Republicans to stop the EPA from imposing cap and trade on its own.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Our elected officials are in a power struggle with unelected functionaries who are on a power trip.  Unelected functionaries who are not accountable to “We the people.” 

The people who serve us are fighting for control with the people who serve themselves and claim to do it for our own good.

This power struggle will distract the Congress from its actual business, and even better yet, we get to foot the bill for it.  We have a front-row seat for the clash that will determine the fate of freedom.  On one side, there is the consent of the governed; on the other, the dictates of the governing.  If we lose control of the government, then our fate is to have it control us.

I only hope that God won’t judge us too harshly if the wrong side wins…if not for my sake, then for the sake of my children.

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