Tuesday, April 17, 2012

So What’s The Matter With Just A Little Bit More Police State?

When the framers of our Constitution sat down in Philadelphia the realized they had to put substance and structure to the lofty goals of the Declaration of Independence or all the effort and sacrifice of the Revolution would be lost.
Part of their wisdom and genius was the concept of separation of powers. No one branch of government would be allowed to accumulate enough power to be able to unilaterally deprive the citizens of their rights and liberties.

Having dealt with King George they recognized that one of the hallmarks of tyranny was the restriction of movement. We still recognize it today. Countries like China, Cuba, Iran and North Korea severely restrict the movement of their subjects both internally and externally. You can’t just pack up and leave one of those places just because you feel like it. Even saying you would like to can have harsh repercussions. In fact this freedom of movement is one of the defining distinctions between a citizen of a free nation and the subject of an authoritian state.
That’s not to say that the free movement of a citizen cannot be restricted, but it can only be done under due process of law. The legislative branch passes a law, the executive branch charges a violation of that law and the judicial branch finds guilt. Then and only then (with the exception of other court orders) can a person have their passport revoked or the issuance of one denied. In any case it is the power of the judicial branch having made a legal finding that becomes the basis for the restriction.

Well that is up until now. I have often said that I hold both political parties in contempt and Senate Bill 1813 is exemplary of why. Our elected officials in Washington are either venal, stupid or both. Put forth as a Highway repair and financing bill it, as is often the case, has its “and other purposes” clause. In this case the “other purpose” is to enable the IRS (a branch of the Treasury Dept. and hence the executive) the unilateral authority to revoke or deny a passport on the mere accusation that the individual might owe the IRS some taxes.

If this bill passes in the House and is signed by the President the free movement of citizens can and will be restricted not by a judge making a decision on probable cause or actual guilt of a crime, but by a faceless bureaucrat to whom there is no appeal and no redress of grievance. This is an unconstitutional usurpation of the authority of the judicial branch by the executive branch plain and simple, and our elected representatives are allowing it to happen.
It’s long been known and sadly tolerated, that IRS code is Napoleonic law, under which the citizen is not innocent until proven guilty, but guilty until he proves himself innocent. But then only if he’s very lucky and has a very good lawyer.
Are we still free citizens of a republic anymore? Or are we like sheep being led to the slaughter  of  transformation back into the subjects of a tyrannical state? How long until even questioning the IRS’s authority to restrict your freedom of movement is cause to restrict your freedom of movement?

This shouldn’t be a question of left vs. right or Democrat vs. Republican. It’s much more basic than that. It’s a question of liberty vs. tyranny and do we as citizen still have the gumption to stand up and fight to persevere what’s left of our liberties before they are all gone?

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