Pledge of Allegiance
Most meetings start with a flag salute. Why do we pledge allegiance to a rectangular piece of fabric? My dictionary defines allegiance as the obligation of a vassal to his lord or the fidelity owed by a subject to the government. Under those terms, please forgive me if I object. I, like the founders, believe that all people are granted sovereignty by God and human rights should be protected by law and not subject to the whims of the ruling class. The rulers should be more limited and restricted than the citizens. Alas, have we surrendered our citizenship and become subjects or vassals?
The founders had it right as far as they went. However, I believe that they should have included slaves and women and should have further restrained government meddlers. But, we have the right and the process to amend the Constitution to correct our errors and omissions. Let us redefine citizenship as voluntary participation of free individuals in an organization of common interest. Then, let us further restrict the power of the ruling class and it's cronies.
Then, instead of the flag, would it not be better to display an image of the Constitution at meetings and pledge as follows?
I pledge to support the Constitution of the United States of America and the principles contained therein:
The right of all to life, liberty, property and a just society, equality before the law and a limited government whose power is derived from the governed and whose purpose is to protect and not infringe upon the rights and safety of it's citizens.
Waving a Red Flag
Citizenship As Presently Defined
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside....
—Constitution for the United States of America,
Amendment 14, 1868
Jurisdiction As Presently Defined
Jurisdiction.... 1. Law. The right and power to interpret and apply the law.... 2.a. Authority or control.... b. The extent of authority or control.... 3. The territorial range of authority or control....
—The American Heritage Dictionary
of the English Language, 1992
|Points of No Return|
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Although most people fail to recognize it, the U.N. has authority and status in America equal to that of the U.S. government. That statement might inspire some disbelief but support for it exists in the U.S. constitution itself.
So, the U.S. constitution isn't the supreme law of the land. It's only one part of the supreme law of the land, of which treaties are another part. The U.N. charter is a treaty and, therefore, has equal authority with the U.S. constitution in America, as part of the supreme law of the land. The U.S. government is created by the U.S. constitution, and is inferior to it in status. The U.N. is created by the U.N. charter, and is inferior to it in status. Both documents are parts of the supreme law of the land, thereby giving both of their respective institutions equivalent authority.
I don't know if other constitutions include provisions analogous to Article VI, clause 2 of the U.S. constitution but, even if they don't, the authority of treaties has long been recognized.
Historically, nations have been created by the people in a region or, at least, by the leaders of those people. The existence of such nations has usually been maintained, when necessary, by the governments of those nations, using force. Nations, and their governments, have generally been legitimized by consensus. That is, a nation was a nation because its people viewed it as such, because its government could defend it, and because other nations formally recognized it. The system is a bit chaotic but it has worked well enough for millennia. Now, a change is in the wind.
In recent decades, the U.N. has become increasingly involved in the management of nations. It influences and manipulates their governments. It's involved in writing constitutions and in establishing and legitimizing them. It's involved in all aspects of the internal affairs of nations and governments. It intervenes in controversies, even internal controversies. It declares when certain internal policies of a nation are unacceptable. It even has its own judiciary and its own fledgling army, euphemistically called "peace-keeping forces". All such meddling in the internal affairs of nations is entirely contrary to the historically accepted principles of international law.
At a glance, the behavior of the U.N. seems harmless enough, maybe even beneficial. It certainly is presented that way by the various news agencies, most of which are controlled by governments. The reality is otherwise. In fact, the U.N. is well along in the process of transforming itself from a forum, or whatever it was, into a full-fledged government. It's also slowly reducing the member nations to the status of political subdivisions of that government.
Before the War Between the States, the United States theoretically had the constitutional authority to manage the member states. It lacked only a sufficient power of enforcement. The member states cherished their fantasies of state sovereignty, left over from the days before they sacrificed that sovereignty by joining the United States. During the War
|Between the States, the United States acquired
the power of enforcement that it needed to forcibly hold the union together.
After the war, the previous states, even those on the winning side, lost
even the fiction of state sovereignty. The United States became one
government. The member states became political subdivisions thereof.
Today, the United Nations is accumulating a de facto constitutional authority to manage the member nations. It lacks only a sufficient power of enforcement. The member nations cherish their fantasies of national sovereignty, left over from the days before that sovereignty began to erode, after the member nations joined the United Nations. So far, the arrangement hasn't been rigorously tested.
For quite some time now, various people have advocated that the United States should withdraw from the U.N. Suppose that such an attempt was made. Would the U.N. allow it? Would the other member nations allow it? A fictional version of that situation was presented in the miniseries Amerika. In that story, the United States wanted out of the U.N. The situation enabled the Russians to occupy America under U.N. sponsorship. The tactical unit of the Russian occupation force, in the miniseries, was the UNSSU, for United Nations Special Service Unit. To me, a UNSSU looks a lot like a U.N. peace-keeping force.
Remember what happened in the 1860s, when some of the member states tried to withdraw from the United States. So, if some of the member nations should try to withdraw from the United Nations, maybe there'd be a War Between the Nations, a larger version of the War Between the States. During that war, the United Nations might acquire the power of enforcement that it needs to forcibly hold the union together, as the United States did during the War Between the States. After the war, the previous nations, even those on the winning side, would lose even the fiction of national sovereignty. The United Nations would become one government. The member nations would become political subdivisions thereof. Previously, state meant what nation means today. In the future, nation might mean what state means today. There wouldn't be a need for a word to designate politically independent nations, because there wouldn't be any. They'd all be political subdivisions of the United Nations, the only real nation.
I don't know which side would win such a War Between the Nations or even if such a war would occur. Maybe the United States can still withdraw from the United Nations. Maybe not. Has the situation passed the point of no return? Is it too late for any nation, or for any group of nations, to get out of the U.N.? I don't know. As Justin Milford noted in the miniseries Amerika, "the longer we wait, the less likely we'll ever do anything."
Points of no return do, indeed, occur. The trick is to become aware of them in time, and to act accordingly, before they're irretrievably lost in the past.
Letter to the Editor
This is an excerpt from a message written in reply to the December 2013 issue.
... To me, the most interesting article was the one on the front page. Did I tell you that I first read "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" only two years ago? Also, I had a hard time finding a cheap copy to buy. At that time, they had stopped issuing the book in a pocket sized paperback edition. You could only get it easily in a big, bulky paperback edition with an ugly cover, that cost as much as a hardback edition used to. Luckily, I have good relations with the owner of a local used book store, who found me a small and relatively cheap copy. I think that in most ways, the Heinlein book is more astute than "Atlas Shrugged". Did you know that the character you quoted was based on a real person, Robert LeFevre? I never really knew him, but I saw him at some Libertarian events in Long Beach. He reminded me of Colonel Sanders! He was extremely old, and he passed away about the time that I returned to northern California. Even though I think that Heinlein had better political insights than Rand, I prefer the romanticism of Rand's story. There's something about Heinlein's way of portraying humanity that rubs me the wrong way, usually. I've finally set an approximate date for ending the radio show -- June 11, 2014. That will be just after the California primary vote. The show will have run slightly longer than 24 years! It's hard to believe that the time has gone by so fast.
—Sir Donald the Elusive
I'm sorry to know that your radio program is coming to an end. I would like for it to have continued.
My thanks to the following: SantaClara Bob; Lady Jan the Voluptuous; my mother; Dewey and Betty; Steve, of Mililani, Hawaii; and Eric, of Ione, California.
Original Source Unknown. Forwarded by Marilyn, of Bingham County, Idaho.
•If you think that there is good in everybody, then you haven't met everybody.
•If you can smile when things go wrong, then you have someone in mind to blame.
•The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so that he can tell when he's really in trouble.
•There's always something for which to be thankful. For example, I'm sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.
•The older we get, the less it seems worth waiting in line for things.
•You know you're getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
And Then the Fight Started
Original Source Unknown. Forwarded by Sir Donald the Elusive.
•When I got home last night, my wife demanded that I take her someplace expensive, so I took her to a gas station.
•My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion. I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table. My wife asked, "Do you know her?"
"Yes." I sighed, "She's my old girlfriend. I understand that she took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear that she hasn't been sober since."
"My God!" said my wife. "Who'd think that she could go on celebrating for so long?"
•I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter took my order first and I ordered the strip steak, medium rare. He said, "Aren't you worried about the mad cow?"
"No." I said, "She can order for herself."
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— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor