A Stiff-Necked People

If you could save one and only one, which would you save: the Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence?  If you chose the constitution, you were foolish, and made a fatal mistake.  The constitution is nothing more than a vehicle; the Declaration is the map that tells you where you are supposed to be going.  You can always find another means of transportation, but if you lose the map of where you are supposed to be going, you are likely to get lost.  This is the problem for those who consider themselves to be “conservatives” and “constitutionalists:” both have gotten lost but, like all “real men,” they refuse to stop and ask for directions and attack those who try to help them find their way.  And like those “real men,” their stubborn refusal to ask for and accept help is born of arrogance, pride and conceit.

If you are among those who think of yourself as a “conservative,” then understand this: that term has a specific philosophical definition.  It means to conserve the political system that is currently in power.  The political ideology was derived primarily from the work of Edmund Burke, and that man launched a spirited argument for the legality of allowing a corporation to buy the rights to 1/3 of the known world – including the people and their property.  He went so far as to defend the Corporation’s “right” to buy the authority to “dispose of” those people as the Corporation wished – so long as it was “legal.”  Is this what you think “conservatism” means today?  If not, then think about that before you try to force Progressives, Socialists, Communists or any other Statist to accept the established definition of what they claim to believe.  If you claim the right to redefine words, then you must grant that right to your opponent or be guilty of infringing on their right of conscience.

Or do you think “conservative” means you agree with the founding fathers political ideology?  If that’s the case, then you must oppose corporations; support the public’s right to legislate over “excess wealth;” and the public’s right to tax the wealthy at a higher rate than the poor.

“All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.”

–Benjamin Franklin, letter to Robert Morris, 25 December 1783, Ref: Franklin Collected Works, Lemay, ed., 1

“A right of property in moveable things is admitted before the establishment of government. A separate property in lands, not till after that establishment. The right to moveables is acknowledged by all the hordes of Indians surrounding us. Yet by no one of them has a separate property in lands been yielded to individuals. He who plants a field keeps possession till he has gathered the produce, after which one has as good a right as another to occupy it. Government must be established and laws provided, before lands can be separately appropriated, and their owner protected in his possession. Till then, the property is in the body of the nation, and they, or their chief as trustee, must grant them to individuals, and determine the conditions of the grant.”

–Thomas Jefferson: Batture at New Orleans, 1812. ME 18:45

“Taxes should be proportioned to what may be annually spared by the individual.”

–Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1784. FE 4:15, Papers 7:557

“Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.”

–Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:18, Papers 8:682

You’ll have to accept government control over inheritance taxes, as well:

“If the overgrown wealth of an individual is deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra-taxation violates it.”

–Thomas Jefferson: Note in Destutt de Tracy’s “Political Economy,” 1816. ME 14:466

I could go on, but why bother?  I can already hear the objection: “Jefferson was just one of the founders, and he didn’t even have a hand in the writing of the Constitution.”  Sadly, I suspect the first person I would hear those words coming from has, himself, invoked Jefferson – when it suited his purposes.  But I would reply that Jefferson is the preeminent authority on the founding ideals and principles of this nation as he did, in fact, write the founding document of this nation, which then led to the construction of the Constitution.  And so these same voices do not feel tempted to object that I am once again voicing a groundless opinion – which they will, no doubt – do anyway – I appeal to the last of our original founding fathers to pass away to testify to the validity of my claim, himself:

“Before the formation of this Constitution…[t]his Declaration of Independence was received and ratified by all the States in the Union and has never been disannulled.”

–John Quincy Adams

This is why I say it is a fatal mistake to save the Constitution over the Declaration, and I would assert that history would support me in this.  The Declaration asserts what your rights are and from whence they come, not the Constitution.  And yet, when anyone tries to remind the people of this, they look to the Constitution for guidance.  Well, the constitution is not the map, the Declaration is, and Jefferson was the founders one true master of what the Declaration means.  that we have lost sight of this fact is why we now have a system of government that – in reality – bears little more than a passing resemblance to its original construction.  What’s more, many of the changes have been made outside the process established by that original construction.  The Amendments allowing direct election of the President, State Senators and individual taxation have destroyed many of the checks and balances intended to chain down the federal government and prevent it from becoming a national government.  And the “living document” and judicial precedents have destroyed the government our founders designed.  We now have a system where the law is no longer fixed but shifts according to who you are and who you know.  And this is justified by claiming “prosecutorial discretion.”

But don’t bother trying to instruct the people as to the proper destination; the people don’t want to hear it anymore than they wanted to hear God’s prophets when they were sent to warn ancient Israel that is had lost its way.  If you try to warn the people of this nation today, they will turn on you – viciously – claiming that you have misquoted and maligned them the whole time they are doing the exact thing they decry to you.  They will ridicule you, slander you, liable you and accuse you of crimes such as sedition and treason, then feign innocence and injury when you point out what they’ve done.  They will renounce all reason and act like those they have attacked for their own behavior while claiming that you are the one who has renounced reason.  So, no, I would caution you against trying to warn the people of this nation that they have lost their way.  Let them cling to the letter of their laws.  You would be better served to just place your hope in the true repository of the Law and wait for His divine judgment than try to correct this stiff-necked people.

32 thoughts on “A Stiff-Necked People

  1. AH Definitions….. Who makes them, who gets to apply them..

    “……a “conservative,” then understand this: that term has a specific philosophical definition. It means to conserve the political system that is currently in power….”

    What then to with the Tea Party …. who do indeed consider themslves Constitutional Conservatives …… how far astray they would seem to have gone.

      • Well I agree with you about Burke….

        But NOT about the Tea Party. Conservatism to them means Limited Government and a Return to the Original Constitution.

  2. Joe,

    I would really like to know where you are going with this, but so far I can’t make it out and I disagree with a lot of your assumptions. Your argument hinges on the second to last paragraph so I will focus on that.

    “The Declaration asserts what your rights are and from whence they come, not the Constitution.  And yet, when anyone tries to remind the people of this, they look to the Constitution for guidance.  Well, the constitution is not the map, the Declaration is, and Jefferson was the founders one true master of what the Declaration means.” 

    I suppose I can agree with that. But what about this?

    “that we have lost sight of this fact is why we now have a system of government that – in reality – bears little more than a passing resemblance to its original construction.”

    Original construction? What is that? The Articles of Confederation? Seems to me there is no original construction. The system of government is something that has always been in dispute. It is something that men must come together and agree upon (or force upon each other, as the case may be), and will never for a moment be settled, so long as there are people who still feel compelled to stand up for their liberty.

    “What’s more, many of the changes have been made outside the process established by that original construction.  The Amendments allowing direct election of the President, State Senators and individual taxation have destroyed many of the checks and balances intended to chain down the federal government and prevent it from becoming a national government.  And the “living document” and judicial precedents have destroyed the government our founders designed.  We now have a system where the law is no longer fixed but shifts according to who you are and who you know.  And this is justified by claiming “prosecutorial discretion.””

    Agreed, for the most part, I suppose. But didn’t you just finish saying that the Constitution is not what matters, the Declaration is? None of this is in the Declaration, it’s in the Constitution, so this statement doesn’t really fit this argument. It appears you have ignored your own warning and “looked to the Constitution for guidance,” and not said anything about staying true to the Declaration.

    And back to, when have we ever had a system of law that was fixed? The answer is, we haven’t, and we never will. We can, however, work towards a system of government that protects liberty, as the founders did.

    Doing so requires engaging the current system of government and laws, flawed as they are. Engaging a flawed system in an effort to improve it does not imply you have turned your back on your Creator, or natural law, or whatever you believe in.

    No one here is likely to argue the principles of the Declaration. But at some point, the rubber has to meet the road. Principles have to be translated into action.

    Or, if you prefer, there is the alternative, and I am not saying this is wrong: “let him retire and live among Savages.” But, if you do, is it right to harass those who are trying to make a difference?

    • Justin,

      ALL of this is in the Declaration. That’s why I tell you it is the road map whereas the Constitution is just a vehicle. The Articles of Confederation were another vehicle, though less perfect than the Constitution. And the system you have now may be a vehicle, but it does not and cannot travel in the direction of liberty. But that is of little account if the people driving it have forgotten in what direction liberty lies.

      Now, as to the notion that all things are in a constant state of flux: NO! As Jefferson said before me, there is one thing that remains eternally fixed and that is the inalienable rights of man. The moment the notion that this is not true is allowed to sprout in the popular consciousness, that society has lost its liberty and cannot hope to regain it for generations — after its progeny has learned what it is really like to suffer under the yoke of open tyranny and decides to throw it off through the spilling of blood.

      • “And the system you have now may be a vehicle, but it does not and cannot travel in the direction of liberty. But that is of little account if the people driving it have forgotten in what direction liberty lies.”

        The system we have now is a corrupt version of the original Constitution. Rather than the branches checking each other, there is an effort to bring them all in line, so that the judicial and legislative branches carry out the agenda of the executive, and the states are more subservient to federal power.

        Politicians may seek to substitute dependence for liberty, but for now, the evils are still sufferable. There is still hope the thing can be fixed. The problem is with us. We can hardly ask for a better framework.

        • Justin – you wrote —

          “Politicians may seek to substitute dependence for liberty, but for now, the evils are still sufferable. There is still hope the thing can be fixed. The problem is with us. We can hardly ask for a better framework.”

          I agree that we probably have a better framework than exists anywhere in the world, but even a strong structure will collapse under too much weight. Are the evils still sufferable? I don’t know that they are. I think we’re rapidly reaching a breaking point where we have to say “NO! STOP!” and mean it!

          I do believe things can be fixed and the only solution to the problem is for people to stand up on their two legs enmass and demand a return to liberty, but … I’ve seen what happens to people who stand up without guarding their words and hiding their weapons. There’s a young man I know personally sitting in federal prison for plotting to kill theoretical government agents during a theoretical future societal collapse. Our state government refused to participate and released the FBI informant transcript so as to make the case clear to everyone. Theoretical future collapse of society, theoretical government agents attempting to impose martial law during that theoretical event. That’ll get you 24 years in federal prison in Obama’s America.

          How do you propose fixing things. Joe is suggesting we take a hard honest look at our founding documents so that we know what it is we really believe. How does he have that wrong, in your opinion?

          • Aurora: “How do you propose fixing things.”

            I don’t have much time, so I am just going to ramble for a bit.

            I have a really hard time comprehending everything that is going on in the world. I can’t imagine why some people chose to do the things they do. As the Declaration says, everyone has the inalienable right to be who they want to be. Maybe that’s the problem right there. Maybe that’s why the world is such a crazy place.

            I think Joe is right in emphasizing inalienable rights from the Declaration, but that the government has been steered toward centralized control of everything we do. Just bringing attention to that is a big part of the solution. The more people are aware, and skeptical, the more empowered we are to stand up for our rights, elect the right people to government, setting things in a positive direction. Maybe at some point, the government’s powers expand so much that there is no way it can carry out all it is supposed to, and we have no choice but to fill in the gaps ourselves, to chart our own course.

            In any event, personal empowerment is the key. Joe is right in pointing out that only a moral society is capable of holding on to its liberty, so we really should just work on being better people. Maybe it just starts with imagining what kind of changes you would like to see, and believing you can make a difference. That said, it’s enough work for most people to just look after their own, and I think reality coerces most of us into being someone we don’t really want to be. It’s hard to make things happen when you’re under pressure. All we can do is try.

            • Thanks, Justin!

              Just consider this. The nation is more than $16 trillion in debt and deficit spending more than $1 trillion per year. The entire GDP for 2012 was less than what we owe. Doesn’t that seem like a really good indication that the government has already grown beyond its capacity to do what it thinks it must do?

              Now is the time to correct that because in the future, if we stay the course we’re on, we’ll be that much further in debt. National debt like we have right now acts as a brake on the economy, so the bigger the debt becomes the harder it is to overcome.

              I’ll submit that the government has created those gaps you’re talking about in order to justify its size and power and that the big question is not whether it is time for we the people to fill the gaps, but do the gaps even require filling? Would people die if some of those gaps simply were not filled?

              • I know what you mean, Aurora.

                If America was a household or a business, seems to me it would have folded many times by now. The numbers no longer make sense. I’m not sure what keeps us going.

                The gaps I was thinking of are policing our neighborhoods and just looking after each other, not so much the free cell phones and birth control.

                • Justin – I misunderstood. And, yes, you’re correct about that. There was a sheriff/police chief not too long ago who said the residents of his city should have guns in their homes because he didn’t have the manpower to prevent crime. That’s something we in Alaska know all too well. It can take hours for the State Troopers to get to even major events like shootouts.

        • I agree with that. But then, then, what we have now is the culmination of decades of effort on the part of the Progressives to actually bring Wilson’s plan for “administration” to fruition: where we elect a dictator every four years and, after that, just have to suffer through his/her reign.

  3. Thank you, Don! If there is a political entity that I am willing to identify myself with, it is the tea party. You’ll note I use the lower-case version and I do that deliberately. It is not one organization and it is not a political party. It is a movement, but it’s more like a loose collection of parts moving in a similar direction than a truly coherent group. And, that’s partially what I liked about it … that it was truly grassroots. Although I suspect the IRS had a great deal to do with the looser movement’s inability to organize into organizations, I also believe that the GOP’s attempt to organize “us” under their wing is one reason the movement lost momentum. Instead of a people’s movement that gathered strength from principles, it became the Tea Party Express et al, being organized by politicos for political purposes.

    And, you’re right, they/we do consider ourselves “constitutional conservatives”. I suspect most of us haven’t analyzed that very much, but I don’t think most of us think “conservative” means what Joe says it means. We want to conserve the country by returning the government to its constitutional limits. That is most definitely a radical departure from the current governmental system. So are we conservatives or constitutionalists or something else? Under Joe’s definition, we can’t be both.

    I would note that what Americans call “conservative” is considered “liberal” in most of the world, because of the strong emphasis on liberty. But, on the other hand, I do know folks who would call themselves conservatives who have a distinctive totalitarian flavor to their ideology.

    So, Joe, are you going to elaborate? Maybe show Don and I where our thinking is confused?

    • Aurora,

      Not sure how I can. You seem to have a decent understanding of where I’m standing, so how do I reach those who do not? I’ve done my best, but, if they will not listen to what I am trying to explain, I cannot make them hear. 😦

  4. Oops, when I posted, I thought I was responding to Joe B. Not to worry.

    I think you have to keep saying it over and over again, arguing from principles rather than politics, and doing so firmly, but without getting angry. I know — hard!

    It might help to actually look at the Declaration of Independence. I think a major problem in this country is that nobody since my parents’ generation (the Greatest Generation) have studied the Declaration. Most just read the first sentence or two and that is really not enough to give them a clear understanding of what we’re talking about. In doing so, you might need to address what Jefferson wrote explaining the Declaration. For example “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal …..” To someone who has been fed the liberal-progressive public school pablum, Jefferson was a slave-owner, so clearly he didn’t mean “all” or “equal”. Now, I know differently, but many people don’t. You could get a rather lengthy series out of the Declaration and its supporting documentation.

    • Same guy. B3A is Joe B (guess I best change that back).

      1 — I am not angry, but no one wants to believe me. I suppose Bill is correct: I need to start posting video clips of myself 😦

      2 — You are correct: the problem is that we no longer understand the Declaration nor the philosophy it espouses. Know the map, you won’t get lost. Lose the map, you’ll never be found 😉

      Here is an EXCELLENT book on the Declaration:

      Defending the Declaration: How the Bible and Christianity Influenced the Writing of the Declaration of Independence

      • It may be a bit more complicated than that and this is something to pray about.

        In Alaska, our compasses point 23 degrees east, so if you use an unadjusted compass with a good map, you are going to end up in a muskeg being stalked by a bear.

        In America today, we have access to the map and we have a vehicle that can help us use the map — okay, it’s overloaded and needs to sway-bar replaced, but it’s still got four tires and steering wheel.

        But we 21st century Americans fix our lodestone as the goodness of mankind. Our founders knew that people stink and that government was necessary because we are not angels. They also knew that government would be ruled by devils if given a chance. But today, we think people just need to be understood and loved and given a nice cold Coca Cola and all will be well.

        So even with a map, the country and its leaders seem doomed to end up in that muskeg being stalked by a bear.

        But, here’s the deal — you can adjust for that deviation and end up following the map, if you know it exists.

        So, I don’t think the country is doomed, but I do think we’re lost in the woods and being stalked by large predators, so it would be a good time for a lesson in orienteering.

        Which is my light-hearted way of saying you have to keep pointing back to principles and explaining yourself a lot. You’re not alone in doubting that anyone is hearing you. Satan loves to keep us confused with lies made palatable by tiny bits of truth.

        • Aurora,

          The PEOPLE are doomed, hence the title of this post. It is a Biblical reference and I chose it for that reason.

          As for teaching others how to read that map, I’m tired of fighting people I am trying to help…


          • Isn’t it lovely that God loved us enough not to be tired of fighting people He was trying to help?

            No, I understand what you mean, but I also have hope that when people wake up to exactly how bad the situation is, there’s going to be a sea change that will completely amaze those of us who have been waiting for it.

            Or the Lord will come back and it won’t matter to me anyway. :=)

            • Ah, but he did leave them to the consequences of their decisions — several times. He comes back after enough generations have passed to work with a clean slate who — by that time — are ready to listen to Him because, by now, they know what real oppression is like.

              Still, I get your point. It’s lucky for me I’m fallen 😉

              • I like Joe. I know him personally. His wife was my son’s 3rd grade teacher at a local Christian school.

                I’m not donating to Joe’s campaign at this point because I’m not certain he is the best man to go to DC and I’m very much not certain he can beat Mark Begich.

                Begich is vulnerable — as vulnerable as Mike Gravel was when Frank Murkowski took his seat. But Alaskans know that the only real power a small-population state has in Congress is longevity, so there’s a national bias to keep encumbents in power. I’m not saying I agree with it — I don’t — but I am explaining the situation.

                Because of Lisa’s dirty tricks in 2010, Joe is perceived as naive and extreme. That’s a mischaracterization for the most part, but there is a granule of truth there.

                On the other hand, Tuesday, Lt Governor Mead Treadwell announced for the 2014 GOP primary and he does not have that baggage. I’m not going to endorse him … yet. I haven’t had time to research it, but I did vote for him as Lt. Governor and I do like his record. Go check out TreadwellAlaska2014 and see what you think.

                As I said, I like Joe. I wish him well. I would have voted for him in a heartbeat if he’d run against Don Young in the primary, but I’m not convinced about him for Senate and I don’t buy the argument of some that, since he almost beat Lisa, he deserves our vote to replace Mark. I want to elect the best candidate and I want to nominate someone who can beat Begich.

  5. Joe, I’m going to assume something here and probably embarrass myself, but … 🙂

    The anarchists here in Alaska say the faster the government spends, the sooner the inevitable collapse and then we can start rebuilding in the anarchist way, which means no state at all. Ah, I love the smell of utopia!

    Being a realist, I think we’re going to end up with armed gangs as our state if the collapse does come, at least until China, Japan and Europe step in to rescue from chaos and petition the UN to allow them to divide up the country as an economic management zone and make us all get to work repaying the loans.

    So, I’m not joining the cheerleading section for hastening the collapse. I’m hoping enough people will wake up as we start experiencing more and more hardships — a five-year recession that is starting to look like it’s not going away, a government that’s got its eyes in all of our private places, actual evidence of political tyranny — and as they wake up, they’ll remember what someone hear wrote and they scoffed at it at the time, but ….

    If you keep putting ideas out there, there’s a chance someone will read it and join the vanguard.

    And, if it’s already too late, well, at least they’ll know we told them so. We won’t even have to say it because they were warned.

  6. I’m not all that worried about it for several reasons.

    Private Alaskans are well-armed.

    Because of our long history of being strategic bases in the Cold War many of our residents are retired military who have experience with Russia.

    Our National Guard units were on full-time duty in Iraq and Afghanistan for 7 or 8 years, so we have a lot of real war experience in people who are permanent residents.

    We’d still have the Greely Missile Defense Base, which Russia respects even if they pretend not to. Whether we could convince a dissolving federal government to turn the codes over is the main issue there.

    If we “Alaskanized” the federal oil reserves, we’d be the 13th largest government-owned oil producing reserve in the world, bigger than Venzuela or Brazil, bigger than even some of the Arab Emirates. And that’s just oil. We also have one of the largest reserves of natural gas in the world and a boatload of precious minerals. If they ever develop Pebble Mine, it will be the largest gold mine in the world in terms of ore body.

    Men like Mead Treadwell, Wally Hickle and Bill Walker have been cultivating Pacific Rim relationships for a long time, so we’re positioned, if the federal government were not causing trouble anymore, to enter the world market as an economic factor fairly quickly. Japan can’t militarily protect our backs, but I’m willing to bet they’d float us a loan on the promise of natural gas so we could hire private military to supplement our resident military.

    Our main issue has always been that we can’t feed ourselves — well, not yet. There’s technology that could overcome that in a “nation” with plenty of fuel sources. But right now, if the Port of Long Beach goes on strike for three days, our shelves start looking pretty bare. Some of us have personal food storage and Governor Parnell has been setting up emergency food depots in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack, but federal economic collapse would work too. We would need to overcome that problem pretty quickly or we would become vulnerable to Russia or some other aggressor nation. Of course, money talks and we have a lot of resources to sell for money.

    Whenever Alaskans wonder if we might not be better off as our own country, people throw out the specter of Russia — Russia would eat you alive. Oh, my! Lions and tigers and bears! Russia might try, but I don’t think Alaska is as unprepared as people might think.

    I’m actually a lot more worried that there was semi-serious discussions in the back halls of the US House that selling Alaska to China would settle the national debt, Don Young says he thought they were joking at first and then he realized they were more or less serious, They simply sell the federal land to the State of Alaska and let us secede. As far as he’s telling, that shut down the discussion. It’s sort of scary to say this — but I think I trust the Russians more than I do the federal government at this point. You can fight an enemy you can see, but sneaky underhanded backroom deals can sink you before you know what’s coming.

      • They have no authority to own land (with very limited exception) within a state either, but that doesn’t seem to stop them.

        Remember, the federal government bought the Louisiana Purchase and then sold the land to Americans as a cost-recovery program — it actually made more than double its purchase price, if I remember correctly. Alaskans would be fine with purchasing the land for an adjusted price of 4 cents an acre in 1865 dollars. That would work about to $6 billion or $15 an acre. And that’s if we pay for the whole thing, not just the part that they think they own. It would be a small price to pay to get them out of our business.

        • You should just hold up the ULTIMATE law of the land, tell them you do not see ANY authorization for the federal government to “own” the land of a sovereign State, then tell them they have 48 hours to get their arses off all property that is not directly related to Constitutionally authorized roles of the federal government (i.e. post offices, federal court houses, military bases, etc). Then, if they do not comply, simply “nationalize” their stuff and jail their peeps. YOU would be legally in the right — not them.

          What’s more, you could throw their progressive trump card at them. If they try to take you to court or worse — use force against you — you could appeal to the UN and Hague naming Obama as an international criminal and violator of human rights and international law.

          How ’bout that idea? 😉

          • Actually, you’re right. That was what Joe Vogler said we should do and the premise behind the Alaska Independence Party.

            The UN said that non-self-governing territories (like Alaska and Hawaii) had to be allowed to vote on three alternatives to being territories in a plebiscite — become a protectorated commonwealth, become a state or become an independent nation. Congress only gave us the choice to remain a territory (which wasn’t supposed to be an option and was intolerable for many Alaskans) or become a state. Had we known of the other options, we probably would have voted for commonwealth because we could have maintained ties with the United States, but controlled our own lands and resources.

            Vogler’s idea was that we petition the UN for redress, but we’d have to secede first (states don’t have standing before the UN, but separatists groups do) and at the time (1995) Alaska wasn’t get in a financial position where we could do that and support ourselves. Now, we really probably are.

            Unfortunately, I think things are going to have to start falling apart in the Lower 48 before most people will buy a clue that this is the sensible thing to do. They’re raised to believe that states can’t secede and that Alaska couldn’t possibly survive without US protection.

            We’re like the woman with the abusive husband who is convinced she would be worse off on her own. Besides, between beatings, he buys her nice dresses.

            • That’s the problem — even with the UN and even with the States. No one seems to understand that the States are supposed to be independent, self-governing nations who have submitted to a FEDERAL control ONLY to work in cooperation. They are supposed to stay voluntarily, and to be able to leave at will. Now we treat States as though they were counties in a single nation. So, why bother calling it the united STATES? 😉

              • It would be lovely if people would come to that truth, but we’re not there yet. Long slog through a cold muskeg and then up a desolate mountain carrying a heavy pack.

                It’s doable. 🙂

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