Steve Scroggins is a volunteer contributor to the Georgia
Heritage Council who lives in Macon.
America: "Ripe for Destruction?" – Commentary by Steve Scroggins, 2/10/2010
"Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of
government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be
ineffectual, and slavery must ensue." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men, 1776
"This April 15 is the 94th year that Americans have had to file an income tax. For most Americans, the day is a non-event. The federal and state
governments have already collected the taxes due by withholding from each paycheck over the course of the calendar year. Most Americans never saw the
money and have no real idea that they earned it. ...Few Americans realize that over the last 94 years they have been enserfed and have no more rights to
their own labor than medieval serfs or 19th-century slaves....The immunity of many Americans to facts is impressive." ---Paul Craig Roberts, from
94 Years of Serfdom, 4/15/09
This Witherspoon quote above invoked a cascade of thoughts and a mood somewhere between despair and anger. Like an obedient serf, I recently worked on complying
with the labyrinthine laws handed down from our masters in D.C. and Atlanta--- my income taxes. Though the ratification of the 16th Amendment authorizing income taxes
is very questionable, I'm electing not to debate the issue from jail. I was reminded of a Roberts commentary (see quote above)
I read last year, a theme (tax slavery) Roberts has been drumming since the early 1990s. The combination of these two made a Thursday seem like a rainy
The Framers told us in a variety of ways that the Constitution, our republican form of government, was designed exclusively for a "moral" and
"religious" people and that it would only work under that condition.
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” --John Adams
"Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.
... And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the
influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality
can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." ---George Washington, from
Farewell Address, September 17, 1796
With all the drama recently about the
Pirates of the Potomac and
their plans for nationalized, socialized health care, the question naturally occurs again: "Does a moral people accept, expect and
demand that the government take from some citizens by force to provide for other citizens?" Does a free citizenry accept
unconstitutional mandates from the government, such as requiring citizens to buy
health insurance or
else face prosecution (jail, fines)?
Corruption - can one think of a better term for the decline of American society? Think of what passes for our "leaders"; think of
divorce rates, and moral standards. Look at the profanity that passes for popular 'family' entertainment now versus 25 years ago, versus
50 years ago. I remember when "G" rated movies were plentiful; when prime time TV could be watched for 3-4 hours each day of the week
without hearing a curse word or sexual innuendo. That's gone with the wind.
“More than 1.6 million babies were born to unmarried women in 2006, the highest number ever recorded in the United States. The 2006
total (1,641,946 births) was nearly 8 percent greater than in 2005 (1,527,034) and a 20-percent increase from 2002 when the recent
steep increases began.” --- CDC report:
Teen birthrates Increase in Over Half the States
The sexual revolution of the 1960s-70s was said to be enabled by the widespread availability of birth control (and cultural 'rebellion').
But since the 1990s birth control
apparently was no longer a factor. Children out of wedlock is now "accepted" socially. The illegitimacy rate (all races) for 2006 was 38.5% according to the
CDC, that's double the rate of 1980, and it's climbing. The rate is 28% for whites, 71% for blacks, 50% for hispanics. The government
nanny has discouraged fatherly responsibility and financially penalized father participation and sought to replaced the need for Dads
---at least that's been the result for generations of fatherless families.
71 percent unwed mothers! The illiteracy rates, illegitimacy rates, poverty, black on black crime and high incarceration rates for
blacks are a genuine human tragedy. A disgrace. One in three black males are or have been in prison if the 2003 trend holds. These problems
were relatively unknown in the 1950s...a time when the pundits tell us things were so bad for black people. And the organization that purports to speak for
black people can't seem to change its focus from protesting Confederate flags. Hmmm...
I remember when people took pride in not accepting charity. When people would rather do without than accept it. When good work ethic was
more common that general laziness. Generations now have grown accustomed to having sustenance given to them by the government---which
took the said money from others who earned it. It's hard for these welfare generations to imagine actually earning their own
living without a Robinhood government nanny being involved. "We have rights; they owe us."
At least "charity" is voluntary, with no expectation of reward or repayment. "Public assistance" comes with strings, involves coercion
and self-perpetuates like cancer. The more government meddles in public assistance, the less people voluntarily give to charities. Their
rationale is that they "gave at the office" --- that is, the taxes for said care have already been deducted from their paychecks.
"Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition."
Theft --- theft is always wrong. (There I go again with my absolutist certainty!) It's always wrong when the government takes from one
citizen to give to another. As author
Walter Williams puts it, it's
a "practice that differs only in degree from slavery which we all should find morally offensive." And yet, ironically as a collective, this concept
has gained favor under the guise of "concern for fellow man." Some
call it "progressive" or "socialism" but it's essentially government thievery and tyranny. Politicians buy votes and power by transferring
wealth from one segment of citizens to another.
"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul." --- George Bernard Shaw
"Government is the great fiction by which everybody tries to live at the expense of everybody else." ---Frederic Bastiat
We discussed America's moral decline and deteriorating work ethic in some detail in a commentary entitled,
The Perils of Democracy, Part 5:
"When did America change from a country of self-reliant rugged individualists to a nation of moochers and whiners who want to live in
comfort and without WORK at someone else's expense? When did Americans decide the Nanny State should take care of them? From before FDR’s
New Deal to LBJ’s War on Poverty to Obama’s “Change” stimulus we have stumbled from relative liberty to slavery and
dependence. --J.A. Davis & Steve Scroggins
Values Relativism: if the time for absolute values (this right-- that wrong) has passed, we are truly doomed. If the Ten Commandments
is no longer fit for public display, if we can dismiss its stated values with a wink and a nod, we are lost. The American
principles that promised liberty to the world are lost. Without a religious set of guardrails, we're free to drive over the cliff or
out into the desert.
The Commandments bite the dust one by one. Perjury, lying, murder and adultery are OK. (See Clinton, Lewinski, John Edwards, Ted Kennedy,
Newt Gingrich, Tiger Woods, O.J. Simpson, et al).
We act shocked when we watch the TV news and hear that another child has murdered his parents, that another mother has murdered
- If theft is sponsored, endorsed and carried out by the nanny government, another Commandment bites the dust.
- If murder is a protected
'right' adjudicated and projected into the Constitution and paid for by monies taken by force from a slave population (taxpayers), then another Commandment bites
- If we're willing to beg, borrow, steal, rob and murder others to get the material "stuff" we see on music videos, commercials
and movies, then several more Commandments bite the dust (another god has been put first, we covet our neighbor's belongings).
- If the Lord's name is taken in vain and religion is
mocked in all our popular fiction, literature, movies and music, then contempt for God lives in the hearts and minds of the people.
Another commandment bites the dust.
this same popular culture revels in teen and pre-teen brats sassing and mocking their parents, then another Commandment bites the
"We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst." ---C. S. Lewis, English essayist & juvenile novelist (1898 - 1963)
"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and
tyrannical." ---Thomas Jefferson
If the Constitution is a "living document," then it is truly dead. The only reason to write such a document on paper is to fix its
meaning, to cement an agreement between people to live under the Rule of Law and to protect the equal rights (including property rights)
of all. If it means whatever we want it to mean this year, then it means nothing. We've had king's rule by brute force for all of
recorded history. The "mob rule," the Tyranny of the Majority is just as bad as the king's brute rule. We explained that the
Constitution sought to prevent the Tyranny of the Majority in
The Perils of Democracy - Part 1.
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property;
and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death." -- James Madison, from
The modern sages and pundits tell us it's a waste of time to look at history for lessons. The past is irrelevant they say. "Living in
the past" is for fools they say. We should all focus on the now or the future they say. Comparing the now to the not too distant past,
how does the future look to you?
No! The Constitution is NOT a dead "living document." Some of us know, some of us remember what it's supposed to mean, what
real liberty should be. General Beauregard Lee
predicted an early
winter for the Looters of D.C. starting November 2, 2010. Who is
John Galt? If The People rise up and take back part of their
country and government, if they loudly say "No!" to tyranny...maybe there is hope.
"Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, yet they furnish a text to which those who are
watchful may again rally and recall the people. They fix, too, for the people the principles of their political creed."
--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Priestley, 1802
is Commander of the Lt. James T. Woodward Camp 1399, Sons of Confederate
Veterans, in Warner Robins, GA and a frequent GHC contributor of parody
and political cartoons and graphics.
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The American Ideal of 1776: The Twelve Basic American Principles - Hamilton Abert Long
Voting Rights, Responsibilities (Part 1) - Steve Scroggins, 02/08/10
Serious About the Constitution - Steve Scroggins, 11/12/09
Perils of Democracy - Part 5 - J.A. Davis & Steve Scroggins
Perils of Democracy - Part 1 - J.A. Davis & Steve Scroggins
Perils of Democracy - Part 2 - J.A. Davis & Steve Scroggins
Perils of Democracy - Part 3 - J.A. Davis & Steve Scroggins
Perils of Democracy - Part 4 - J.A. Davis & Steve Scroggins
FDR's 'rewriting' of the Constitution - Ben Shapiro
FDR v. Constitution: The Court-Packing Fight and the Triumph of Democracy - by Burt Solomon
Crisis and Leviathan - by Robert Higgs
Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War - by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel
Founders' Wisdom v. ignorance and 'democracy' - Steve Scroggins, 4/26/07
The Judicial Activist Coup D'Etat -- Steve Scroggins
Slavery, Apologies & Duty - Steve Scroggins
The will of the uninformed - Jonah Goldberg
An Important Distinction: Democracy versus Republic
America's Worst Scandal: the 14th Amendment - J.A. Davis
Liberty Lost - Part 1 - J.A. Davis
Liberty Lost - Part 2 - J.A. Davis
Liberty Lost - Part 3 - J.A. Davis
Liberty Lost - Part 8 - J.A. Davis
Repeal the 17th Amendment - articlev.com
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