Ninety-Five Theses on the Reform of Government.
by Andy Horning, Freedom, Indiana, USA
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences onto the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther’s disputation, now commonly called the Ninety-Five Theses on the Power of Indulgences came at a time when the Catholic Church was horribly corrupt and abusive, and the theses catalyzed the Protestant Reformation.
Four-hundred and ninety years later, there is no doubt that the USA needs reformation. Most of us don’t see the “forest for the trees,” but our political system has become horribly violent, corrupt and abusive. Some of my arguments to this are listed in the following theses.
Please feel free to distribute these as you see fit; and to print out and nail them to whatever you think appropriate:
1. Despite our hopes to the contrary, civil government has always been our most dangerous abstraction. It is the medium of oppression, slavery, genocide and war. Civil government exists only because people are too flawed to live without it.
2. The word “govern” means to restrain. But what we call “government” is actually a very dangerous, usually unrestrained abstraction of political power.
3. People wielding governing power are at least as flawed as the people who need to be governed.
4. Those who seek governing power tend to resist restraints upon power, and most people tend to be seduced by ungoverned leaders.
5. A civilization thrives when governing power is restrained. A civilization falls when its politicians become unregulated.
6. An excellent means of governing political power is written law, and people empowered and educated to demand and enforce that law.
7. Our nation’s founders devised a limited, federal form of government with divided powers opposed by checks and balances.
8. They wrote down the laws in plain speech to be read by all, understood by all, and obeyed without any exception or ambiguity.
9. The resulting Constitution for the United States of America worked better than any civil contract before or since. The degree to which this nation erred is the degree from which our nation deviated from the core tenet that the law applies equally to all, without any exception or ambiguity.
10. From the beginning there were both challenges to this governing contract, and also precedents for peacefully reasserting the Rule of Law.
11. In response to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the legislatures of Kentucky and Virginia passed resolutions in 1799 demanding that government keep the terms of the U.S. Constitution.
12. The signers of the Kentucky Resolution, echoing similar sentiments as in the Virginia Resolution, declared that “…if those who administer the general government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by that compact,” that it would be their duty to nullify the union.
13. Many limits have been transgressed in the time since those resolutions, and since 1803’s Marbury v. Madison.
14. In that ruling, The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Marshall decreed that “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”
15. Our politicians have twisted those words to mean that the Supreme Court is empowered to change the meaning of the Constitution.
16. That is not what the founders authorized by the constitution. That is also not what Marshall meant.
17. For Marshall also said in that same ruling that “…the particular phraseology of the constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written constitutions, that a law repugnant to the constitution is void; and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument.”
18. The constitution was exhaustively argued and explained in the Federalist and Antifederalist Papers, Madison’s Diaries, letters and books written by the men that wrote the Constitution itself.
19. No interpretation of the Constitution for the United States of America is necessary or legal.
20. Politicians can amend the constitution for clarity or alteration of government.
21. But the Rule of Law, as opposed to the Rule of Men or the Rule of Tyrants, requires that government leaders restrain their power to written law, as written.
22. Nothing else is legal under the Rule of Law.
23. And history demonstrates that nothing else will last.
24. The Constitution for the USA is short enough to be known by all.
25. The Constitution for the USA is simple enough to be understood by all.
26. The Constitution for the USA is important enough to obeyed without exceptions, special classes, caveats or provisos.
27. All USA federal power is both created and limited by the Constitution for the USA.
28. No federal actions or rulings can contravene or supersede the Constitution for the United States of America.
29. A federal government is a specific form of limited government. Just as it creates and empowers a central government stronger than a confederacy, our constitution forbids a unitary or all-powerful central government.
30. All federal powers granted are clearly written into the constitution (Article I, Section 8; Article II, Sections 2-4; Article III).
31. All other powers are prohibited from the federal government, and are the property of the states and the people (Amendment X).
32. The legislative branch has all legislative power, and no executive or judicial power (Article I).
33. The legislative branch of our central government has repeatedly passed laws that breach virtually every limit on federal authority, denying both state and citizen rights and taking property and money without legal authority.
34. Yet the legislative branch has failed to use its authority to check and balance the executive and judicial branches.
35. The executive branch has all executive power, and no legislative or judicial power (Article II).
36. Through “executive orders” and other means, the executive branch has repeatedly exercised illegal legislative power both in lawmaking, creation of agencies, taxation/ funding, waging war and in making rules concerning captures.
37. Yet the executive branch has failed to use its authority to check and balance the judicial and legislative branches.
38. The judicial branch has all judicial power, and no legislative or executive power (Article III).
39. The judicial branch has repeatedly usurped both executive and legislative authority to abrogate states’ rights (e.g, Roe v. Wade and Gonzales v. Raich) and citizen rights (e.g., Orff v. United States), as well as to diminish citizen rights by granting them to corporations (Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company).
40. Yet the judiciary has failed to use its authority to check and balance the executive and legislative branches.
41. Just as states have no federal power (Article I, section 10, and Article IV), the federal government has no state powers (Article I, Section 8, and amendments 9 and 10).
42. No agency of government other than the legislative branch, has any legislative authority.
43. No agency of government other than the executive branch, has any executive authority.
44. No agency of government other than the judicial branch, has any judicial authority.
45. Therefore, the EPA and IRS, for example, have no authority to make law, execute law, or judge law.
46. Yet many “federal” agencies have assumed powers to make law, raise tax, enforce and judge law.
47. Only the U.S. Congress has legal authority to coin official USA money and regulate the value thereof.
48. Yet this authority has been unconstitutionally delegated to private banks.
49. Our founders understood that free markets and maximum possible personal liberty serve citizen and national interests better than centralized authoritarianism.
50. Yet our founders also understood that, while markets should be unfettered, the power to coin and regulate the value of money is best entrusted to civil government.
51. The private banks now controlling the USA paper money supply are not audited or overseen by any agency of civil government.
52. There is no other area of business in which politicians play so little a role. Yet this is the one area of commerce where law clearly mandates political control.
53. The U.S. Constitution was written to “secure the blessings of liberty.” The “welfare” clauses of the Preamble and Article I, Section 8:1 did not refer to “welfare” programs that would not exist for another 150 years; and instead mean that general welfare is a blessing of liberty.
54. The “commerce clause” of Article I, Section 8:3 was understood to mean the regulation and arbitration of commerce disputes between the states; not government manipulation of all trade within each state.
55. Intentional misinterpretation of laws have gradually twisted “commerce” and “welfare” clauses to the effect that the USA government has forced industries overseas where less regulation (or almost no labor regulation, as in China) overseas means more opportunity, productivity and innovation overseas.
56. Yet this government that seems to thrive on regulation does not regulate or impose any duties upon products made without USA regulations.
57. This has in effect robbed U.S.A citizens of liberty, opportunity, employment, and of course, welfare and commerce.
58. The federal government was never legally granted powers over health, education or income redistribution; therefore these powers are prohibited by law.
59. Yet the greatest percentage of government taxation, spending and regulation is in these unauthorized domains.
60. The federal government only briefly had legal power to regulate the manufacture, sale or transportation of a commercial product (Amendment XVIII).
61. That power was repealed in 1933 (Amendment XXI).
62. Yet the central government has over time exercised unconstitutional powers to regulate production, sale, transportation and even consumption of every description (e.g., food, clothing, shelter, medicine, services); even by private citizens within each state.
63. The implementation and enforcement of federal payroll and income taxes abrogate Article III, section 2, and Amendments I, IV, V, IX and X.
64. These taxes and enforcement actions are therefore illegal.
65. These taxes harm every level of commerce, production, property ownership and even healthcare delivery (e.g., creation and maintenance of third-party payer system opposing free market care).
66. These taxes are a medium of widespread political corruption on all levels of government (e.g., local, state and federal political favors and punishments).
67. The U.S. Congress may not make federal law respecting any of the five freedoms enumerated in the first amendment, and only the U.S. Congress is empowered to make federal law.
68. There can be no execution or judgment of laws that cannot legally exist.
69. Hence there is a total constitutional ban on any federal authority in the first amendment freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.
70. Yet innumerable federal laws have been written (and judgments passed) respecting, for example, establishments of religion and the free exercise thereof.
71. The first amendment has been misconstrued to the effect that religious expressions have been banned from public places in clear violation of the letter, intent and exhaustive explanation (by its writers, at the time it was written) of the law.
72. The IRS has no constitutional authority to make, judge or enforce laws.
73. Yet tax “laws” restrict free speech within churches, political and other organizations, and in relation to political campaigns, in clear violation of the constitution.
74. This has led to the destruction of free markets and cooperative social organizations, and a culture of corruption, political reward and punishment among all levels of civil government.
75. Property ownership is guaranteed by the constitution; and this guarantee is a keystone to both liberty and healthy economics.
76. In Kelo v. New London, the Supreme Court ruled that property takings in violation of Articles III and IV and the 5th and 14th amendments are permissible.
77. The ruling itself abrogated Article III, section 2, and the separation of powers.
78. Even prior to the Kelo ruling, governments at every level (federal, state and local) have taken property for non-payment of taxes, without any constitutional authority.
79. Particularly since these taxes are routinely used for constitutionally forbidden purposes such as sports arenas, and since many taxes (e.g., income taxes) are themselves illegal, this property confiscation is illegal use of eminent domain.
80. A proper use of the 5th and 14th amendments would be to prohibit such takings.
81. The government of the USA has broken the Supreme Law of the Land (Article VI of the US Constitution).
82. Abuse and violation of our clearly enumerated rights makes it uncertain what limits, if any, govern our government.
83. This abuse of law and power has materially and significantly damaged USA citizens collectively.
84. The USA, “The Land of the Free,” has the world’s highest percentage of citizens in prison.
85. Up to 97 percent of felonies are settled by coerced plea.
86. Most prisoners have been convicted of statutory offenses with no human victim.
87. After generations of income redistribution, counterproductive programs and unsustainable government spending, Americans now work longer hours (over 20% since 1979), take fewer vacations (2 weeks since 1979) and spend less time with their children.
88. One-third of American citizen-owned investable assets are in overseas financial centers, and innumerable enterprises have gone out of business, relocated overseas or sold-out to foreign ownership to avoid illegal and destructive taxation, regulation and litigation.
89. Income/payroll taxes consume a half-trillion dollars in compliance costs, and drive business and personal decision-making to the detriment of the general welfare.
90. The embedded costs of the taxes on production put the USA on a competitive disadvantage on the global market.
91. It is established as just governance to prosecute as criminals those politicians who violate the laws restraining the dangerous power of government.
92. Yet abuses of such scale and scope as herein described have occurred by degrees over many generations.
93. This nation chooses its leaders by democratic elections, and citizen juries are empowered by law to judge both facts and the law.
94. Citizens therefore have the power to change laws and leaders. Abuses of governing power occurred by at least implied consent of citizens.
95. That consent must be withdrawn. The unconstitutional powers, agencies, rules and actions are null and void, and must be treated as such.
Whereas the government of the USA exists by the will of the People and only by Rule of Law under the Constitution of the USA; and whereas that government has broken the terms of that compact, and therefore operates as an ungoverned power; I demand that our leaders desist illegal operations and conform to the law of federal government.
In short I demand that our politicians obey the law.