Constant's pations

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Grand Remonstrance

The Grand Remonstrance was a document outlining concerns. It was one of the models Thomas Jefferson considered when drafting the Declaration of Independence.

There are many lessons from the Grand Remonstrance.

This note goes over the summary principles of this document from the 1600s, and shows you how the specific clauses and events of that time, compare to the events of 2000-2006.


There are times, when privilege is abused and must be denied; there are powers, when abused cannot be permitted to stand; and when authority, when exploited, cannot be recognized.

The issue is:

  • What rights have to be recognized, created, or asserted

  • What power has to be denied

  • What act must do what to assert a higher standard

  • What must be denied explicitly

  • How will creative means to circumvent the laws and abuse power be better defined, and more timely sanctioned.

    New rights must be created and recognized; new means to constrain and deny power.

    * * *

    There's a pattern to Charles I, that compares to what Bush is doing.

    Problem: King engaged in unpopular, costly foreign policy/wars

    Response: Parliament cut off funds

    King's reaction: Directly taxing the people, and, to save money, housed troops in homes

    Remedy: In Our Constitution, Amendment 3, the government may not house troops in private homes during times of peace; and can only do so during times of war if [1] the government passes a law permitted the President to do so; and [2] with the consent of the owner.

    Problem at the time:
    Refusal by Parliament to finance the king’s unpopular foreign policy had caused his government to exact forced loans and to quarter troops in subjects’ houses as an economy measure. Ref

    * * *


    1. There was a clear law against spending money for certain things/doing certain things.

    2. The King went around this law, and raised money/saved money using other methods.

    3. The Parliament did not like the result.

    4. Our Constitution is written to address the consequences; but it failed to outlaw all things which an Executive might do to thwart the law.

    5. The approach was rebuked in the Iran-Contra Affair; but the same crew has returned to do what Charles I did: To find new ways to circumvent the law, and achieve the same outcome, regardless the restrictions.


    Despite a clear law by Parliament, the King circumvented the Parliament and still did what was not allowed; but in doing so, he committed other abuses; our Constitution addressed the circumvention.

    The broader lesson is to look at what was actually going on: The King/Executive was abusing power; the review what isn't simply prohibited, but what broader principle is the executive invoking that must be denied as a power.

    We have the power, as was done with other Constitutions, to make new rules which restrict the abuse of power, and make rules which prohibit the Executive from doing things which result in bad consequences.

    * * *

    Applying Grand Remonstrance to 2006 Presidential Abuse of Power

    A. COMMENTS: The headings/comments before the numbers are the analogies of today.

    B #. The numbered items are taken from the Grand Remonstrance. (The Kings answer is similar to the Cheney-Specter letters over the Judiciary Review: Diplomatic, but unlinked with any real intent to comply.)



    What is interesting is the similarity between the events of the 1600s to what is happening over the NSA and attorneys. The lawyers are concerned the NSA monitoring is affecting the public willingness to be open.

    In the 1600s, private lawyers were directly targeted.

    A. OREGON LAWYERS intercepted by the NSA

    B. 39. Lawyers have been checked for
    being faithful to their clients;
    solicitors and attorneys have
    been threatened, and gome
    punished, for following lawful
    suits. And by this means all the
    approaches to justice were
    interrupted and forecluded.

    C. We do not have a credible system of jurisprudence when the agents of that jurisprudence are under threat for protecting rights, and standing up to the abuse of power. There need to be faster mechanisms whereby, when an executive denies the legal system the option to even review a matter, that that matter is quickly heard publicly, to prevent the abuse of power from spreading.

    It is appropriate to have many lawsuits against the NSA and DoJ; consolidating will merely make it easy to silence discussion and public knowledge. Each court is revealing new things; a single court will not afford us the chance to exploit the errors of the Executive. Rather, the correct approach, to check power, is to ensure that the many suits remain separated, distinct, and DoJ cannot consolidate the action into a single location. They are weak because their are being rightfully outflanked on many fronts.


    It is curious what happens when the oath to secrecy trumps the oath to the Constitution and laws of the land, even when that oath is more to hide illegal conduct and avoid accountability, than it is to preserve the law.


    B. 40. New oaths have been forced
    upon the subject against law.

    C. Perhaps there could be laws that forbid people to take oaths of secrecy when that oath mandates silence on illegal things; and provides a reward when the public can show the executive has requested secrecy on a matter than should be known, and is a violation of the law.

    The courts should not enforce any agreement to remain silent; nor should the court when it comes to the NSA-secrecy issues, enforce any agreement between the phone company and the government on matters that are secret. Rather, the government cannot be permitted to compel anyone to be silent, or honor an oath, when the aim is to suppress information of illegal activity.

    There is a problem when privilege is invoked; but the real aim is to hide from the public information related to the underlying abuse of power.



    42. The pretended Court of the
    Earl Marshal was arbitrary and
    illegal in its being and

    It is unfortunately, that despite clear Constitutional requirements to have speedy trial, this Executive has wasted many years pretending he can hide defendants in distant prisons.

    What is most curious is that the court rules required disclosure on matters related to Guantanamo; but when it came to Rendition -- another law enforcement action to gather information -- we hare told to accept a different standard.

    It makes no sense that one level of arbitrary application of the law, as it relates to Guantanamo can be challenged; but other more abusive treatment under Rendition, cannot be challenged. That defies sense; and it should be no wonder why the world holds the American system with contempt. It claims that is serves a higher good; but it is not consistent within its own arguments as to what something is or is not done.



    43. The Chancery, Exchequer
    Chamber, Court of Wards, Mid
    other English Courts, have been
    grievous in exceeding their

    Today, it is clear that the Jurisdiction of the Executive is finite; but the world and public have been told to assent to a rather expansive view of that power.

    Lincoln, as well documented in the Military Law Reviews of 1986 and 1988 (on either side of the Iran-Contra Minority Report), tell use that Lincoln's illegal action was just that: Illegal. No matter what end or objective he might have been serving, the conduct was still illegal.



    46. Undue proceedings used in the
    finding of offices to make the
    jury find for the King.

    IT is troubling when the DoJ attorneys appear to have ejected cases to keep unfavorable findings and information from the court. Addington was about to be challenged on the FISA evidence; but rather than risk the court discovering the FISA violations, he ejected the case form the court.

    When the proceedings are not favorable, Gonzalez did not permit the information to appear before the court. This was the reason for the detention in Guantanamo: To deny people access to the court. This ruse failed.



    54. And so afflict and trouble
    others, that great numbers to
    avoid their miseries departed out
    of the kingdom, some into New
    England and other parts of
    America, others into Holland,

    It is well known that America has swayed far from its tradition. Despite the abuses, the forces that might check this abusive Executive appear to be fleeting, transitory, and isolated.

    Americans are not willing to beat their head against a wall, and are leaving.



    60. Nay, all those that did not
    wholly concur and actively
    contribute to the furtherance of
    their designs, though otherwise
    persons of never so great honour
    and abilities, were so far from
    being employed in any place of
    trust and power, that they were
    neglected, discountenanced, and
    upon all occasions injured and

    It is troubling when we read of PNAC, and the abuse the RNC has inflicted on its members. Not that we should necessarily care -- rather, it is that the RNC used abuse to silence opposition for all people, including Plame.

    It is unfortunate, that despite the training they might have paid for, the RNC and PNAC leadership did not listen to the voices within their ranks that had other views on issues of Iraq, WMD, and what to be done on issues of the law.

    The morale in DoJ is low because the RNC can only control with abuse, not with inspiration.


    faction: PUTS Itself ABOVE THE LAW

    61. This faction was grown to
    that height and entireness of
    power, that now they began to
    think of finishing their Work,
    which consisted of these three

    62. I. The government must be set
    free from all restraint of laws
    concerning our persons and estates

    Ideally, our system of government was designed to ensure factions clashed. Clearly, the separation of powers-concept did not work.

    Something new is needed as a check on power. Notice they view themselves to be free of the law, just as then, and now.


    INORMATION: Take what they could
    not obtain by consent

    72. And in the meantime continued
    all their unjust levies of money,
    resolving either to make the
    Parliament pliant to their will,
    and to establish mischief by a
    law, or else to break it, and
    with more colour to go on by
    violence to take what they could
    not obtain by consent. The ground
    alleged for the justification of
    this war was this,

    Today, we value things other than money. More than money and physical things are needed in war.

    We have money, and the government takes it to wage war.

    Today, we also have something else that is valuable: Information; and the government also takes it without our permission to wage war against us.

    As was a time when the resources of war had to be managed and constrained, so too must the resources related to information also be restrained.

    Parliament was given the absolute power to raise money for war, because this separated the Executive from the power to tax; today, something else is needed in a similar vein with respect to information. It is not something that the executive and his private contractors can exclusively control, or bypass Congress.

    What is worse, is when Congress, like a Parliament, assent to the abuse of the needed resources for war -- and permits that resources to be used as an end in itself; and used for other things other than what is lawful.

    We need a new recognition that information, like other resources for war, is finite precious, and not something the Executive has absolute control over; the information, like money, is ours, and must be managed and carefully used, not squandered.

    We have more than a debt problem; or something related to an abuse of power; we have a new form of value that goes beyond money. It is fitting that we look at information in 2006 as the British looked at money in the 1600s: Something that does not belong to the Executive or anyone; rather, it is our right to decided how it is to be used.

    We did not grant the executive the power to take what is not his; he was denied the power to house troops in private homes. He too does not have the absolute right to sift through our information. Rather, if he does, then we should have the same right to do the same to his information.

    Yet, like the days of Kings, this Executive has a double standard: The desire to use others' resources, but remain above accountability for abusing others' resources.

    The information, as is the land, is ours; the power is ours to delegate and take away when we choose. Just as land is connected to power, so too is information. No one has the power or right to take our land or our information. We have the inherent right to decide how that information is or is not used.

    Just as papers are personal, so too is information; just as land is the fruit of power, so too is information. It is our land, our rights, our information. Not something that can be taken unless we assent; and it cannot be taken in secret. Rather, the taking must be public.

    Surely, if the goal of information is to be used, then ought we not have the power to decide how our most precious things about ourselves is used, bartered and traded. We have the right to choose to marry or not marry; to own or not own land; and to engage or not engage in contracts. Why is it any different with personal information.

    Alas, as we progress, technology is the means by which we are told we must give up our rights. Surely, to protect our rights absolutely, we would have to revert to the days of feudalism where there was no phone; no credit card; and nothing easily compared to harass or intimidate.



    80. The very next day some
    members of both Houses had their
    studies and cabinets
    , yea, their
    pockets searched: another of them
    not long after was committed
    close prisoner for not delivering
    some petitions which he received
    by authority of that House.

    The act was wrong, and then there was a privilege. The issue in 2006, is what is to be done when a well recognized privilege is ignored.

    Clearly, DoJ attorneys do not know privilege, and they have no comprehension of the law or history. They simply look at what laws, in the narrow view of the US Constitution, can they ignore to abuse power. They are lost when it comes to the reasons that power was originally constrained; and cannot discuss what was or was not done long ago.

    The FBI agent's name was Thibault, and he is a former Air force office of special investigations agent. He is alive in 2006; I do not imagine that he has much knowledge of the finer points of English history in the 1600s, much less the nuances of Charles I. He is an agent of the government, not a poet or cultured being.


    WHAT THE US HAS -- A dictatorship
    within a democracy

    92. New jurisdictions were
    erected of Romish Archbishops,
    taxes levied, another state
    moulded within this state,
    independent in government,
    contrary in interest and
    affection, secretly corrupting
    the ignorant or negligent
    professors of our religion, and
    closely uniting and combining
    themselves against such as were
    found in this posture, waiting
    for an opportunity by force to
    destroy those whom they could not
    hope to seduce.

    Today, it is curious how the abuse of power creates insulated pools of abuse: As if there laws and ways of history do not apply.

    Think of a map with many nodes. These centers of abuse connect. The actors are those spin meisters and propagandists who spew forth non-sense to encourage the public to not assert their minds, and ignore the abuse of history.

    These are not new circumstances. Rather, they are merely invoking the notion of novelty to abuse power in the same way: Absolutely.


    then: The object was money; today
    the object is information

    98. The prisons were filled with
    their commitments; many of the
    Sheriffs summoned into the Star
    Chamber, and some imprisoned for
    not being quick enough in levying
    the ship-money; the people
    languished under grief and fear,
    no visible hope being left but in

    - Guantanamo
    - NSA

    Despite a requirement of a speedy trial, that requirement was cast to the winds. Yet, the initial violation wasn't simply the abuse, nor the violation of the Constitution; the real violation was that the timely remedy was in terms of years. That is outrageous.

    Despite communications, it takes years to resolve simple issues of powers. The law, in theory, is there as a guide to provide immediate guidance. This Executive would like us to use technology to quickly abuse; but then use the feudal mode of communication to glacially arrive at accountability.

    If there is speedy abuse, then the consequences must be speedy.

    Our New Constitution must have harmony between the powers that be, and the powers that are denied: Timely, swift, and balanced in their oversight, check, and remedy.


    No one stood up

    105. As our first meeting, all
    oppositions seemed to vanish, the
    mischiefs were so evident which
    those evil counsellors produced,
    that no man durst stand up to
    defend them: yet the work itself
    afforded difficulty enough.

    It is clear the abuse is widespread. This did not happen immediately. Nor has it been with us for eons. Rather, within a few short years we have transformed our nation from a Constitutional Republic to a Constitutional Dictatorship.

    Those like Plame and Wilson who stood up were first abused; the MI6 propagandists gave us the WMD non-sense; the issue is what is to be done to take the broad view of the 1600's lessons, and do what must be done to remedy this abusive Executive-centered system.

    Nothing justifies this abuse, not even a phony enemy.


    Protects what is valuable, not
    simply valued.

    120. That which is more
    beneficial than all this is, that
    the root of these evils is taken
    away, which was the arbitrary
    power pretended to be in His
    Majesty of taxing the subject, or
    charging their estates without
    consent in Parliament, which is
    now declared to be against law by
    the judgment of both Houses, and
    likewise by an Act of Parliament

    Despite new abuses, the laws were well defined. They took away the power that was abused; we can do the same.

    There is no inherent right, nor is there any law of nature or edict from the Almighty which mandates that an Executive shall forever retain the unchecked power to wage illegal war.

    Rather, we can change this nexus, to deny him of the powers he abuses. Clearly, there will be much resistance; but resistance is meaningless when the resistance has no vote on the solution. We are many; they are few. We the People may do what was done in 1215, and tell the Executive what is to be done. He does not have an absolute vote of many; rather, we have that power, he is simply one tyrant, with one vote, which we can deny.


    THERE needs to be a check on the
    Congressional Committee Chairmen/women,
    when they defy their oath with
    sham reviews, yet do what ought not be done.

    137. Many excellent laws and
    provisions are in preparation for
    removing the inordinate power,
    vexation and usurpation of
    Bishops, for reforming the pride
    and idleness of many of the
    clergy, for easing the people of
    unnecessary ceremonies in
    religion, for censuring and
    removing unworthy and
    unprofitable ministers, and for
    maintaining godly and diligent
    preachers through the kingdom.

    The issue is what is to be done when the misconduct is not simply within the Executive; and the current rules related to impeachment are insufficient. Rather, new rules need to be broadened to more swiftly remove the abusive powers; and deny power from those in the legislature, even when their constituents celebrate tyranny.


    or people to other lands, to do
    abroad what is not permitted at
    home; yet to inflict at home
    the same damage from abroad, as
    if it were from home

    141. The settling of some good
    courses for preventing the
    exportation of gold and silver,
    and the inequality of exchanges
    between us and other nations, for
    the advancing of native
    commodities, increase of our
    manufactures, and well balancing
    of trade, whereby the stock of
    the kingdom may be increased, or
    at least kept from impairing, as
    through neglect hereof it hath
    done for many years last past.

    Trade of ideas is not simply something to be desired, but encouraged. What is to be said of those in the NSA who monitor those who dare freely exchange ideas. We have no force, but the force of the greatest -- the word, the key to the soul, and a vision.

    NO wonder the Executive trembles in fear: His words are not his own, nor are his visions.


    fishing for value -- of fish, and
    food; this is like fishing for
    information: It must be regulated

    142. Improving the herring-
    fishing upon our coasts, which
    will be of mighty use in the
    employment of the poor, and a
    plentiful nursery of mariners for
    enabling the kingdom in any great

    We have a small, emerging system of information management and control. It is at the local level; but it is something, which the Executive has permitted himself the power to track and monitor.

    Again, the existing rules are clear; and this government ignores the rules and does not enforce it. We can deny them the power to regulate what they have abused; and we can separate the power and oversight into new bodies which mandate an assent to law, not an assent to abusive tyranny.


    DOJ ORR: Blocked from finding
    facts; the public prevented from
    discovering the abuses committed
    against them; the law violated,
    but no one assenting to that law
    or punishment

    143. The oppositions,
    obstructions and the difficulties
    wherewith we have been
    encountered, and which still lie
    in our way with some strength and
    much obstinacy, are these; the
    malignant party whom we have
    formerly described to be the
    actors and promoters of all our
    misery, they have taken heart

    What is to be done when the fowl smelling, despite a good wash, remain fowl. Should we learn to enjoy the scent as we might enjoy the summer's fruit; or does the sweet nectar suffice.

    We are entitled to the entire fruit, as it is from our own orchard; we need not share what is not required to be shared.

    This is not a war against the nation, but an executive at war with laws.


    The issue is not immunity; but
    what they advised, but knew was
    wrong -- they hid what could not
    withstand the sunlight

    147. They were His Majesty’s evil
    counsellors, and their ill
    instruments that were actors in
    those grievances which brought in
    the Scots.

    What is to be done when the men and women who are the counselors invent fiction to create immunity. They have advised an Executive to violate the law, and clearly established rights.

    There need to be rewards for fleshing out the pipes of this stench, and quickly depriving the closest aids of absolute immunity, but quickly, not glacially.

    We have the right to a speedy trial, but it has been denied; conversely, we should have the power to mandate quick assent to law, which cannot be deprived or blocked.


    The war debt

    148. And if His Majesty please to
    force those who were the authors
    of this war to make satisfaction,
    as he might justly and easily do,
    it seems very reasonable that the
    people might well be excused from
    taking upon them this burden,
    being altogether innocent and
    free from being any cause of it.

    Yes, the innocent: What is t be done when the courts say "there are mistakes" but provide no remedy. Guantanamo and Rendition are no different. They are both illegal acts, and an abuse of power by the same Executive.

    The key is to force the counselors to assent to the law, not require the law to assent to the whims of the counselors.


    What was done to thwart the
    truth, hide the bad conduct, or
    not do what should be done

    155. But withal we cannot forget
    that these venomous councils did
    manifest themselves in some
    endeavours to hinder these good

    Yes, the DOJ attorneys have gotten in the way; prevented knowledge; but mostly did little to obstruct what should have never happened. They are just as culpable, more so because they ought to know better.


    PLAME: Iraq WMD -- using the
    retribution as a warning to
    others -- to intimidate

    169. They have sought by many
    subtle practices to cause
    jealousies and divisions betwixt
    us and our brethren of Scotland,
    by slandering their proceedings
    and intentions towards us, and by
    secret endeavours to instigate
    and incense them and us one
    against another

    What is to be said of the RNC when they use propaganda to divide the media. What is the monopoly, during this time, were set aside, and the media given the power to directly target the abusive executive, as one.

    There is no mandate that the media be open to the views of abuse; rather, they can organize and speak with one voice, and unite a people to stand.

    Individuals are merely one; a media empire is many; but a world empire can unite to speak with one voice -- refusing to be swayed by the non-sense.


    PROPAGANDA Non-sense in the media to make
    others believe the FBI Raid was a
    good thing

    171. They have laboured to seduce
    and corrupt some of the Commons’
    House to draw them into
    conspiracies and combinations
    against the liberty of the

    What is to be said of those who are manipulated to cheer as the Executive abuses more power. Is it a free place to cheer at tyranny; or should we have the power to cheer louder. Yet, we are limited in speech; but not limited in passion.


    the dangerous Congressional
    proceedings -- assenting to the
    abuse of power, not doing what
    should be done

    172. And by their instruments and
    agents they have attempted to
    disaffect and discontent His
    Majesty’s army, and to engage it
    for the maintenance of their
    wicked and traitorous designs;
    the keeping up of Bishops in
    votes and functions, and by force
    to compel the Parliament to
    order, limit and dispose their
    proceedings in such manner as
    might best concur with the
    intentions of this dangerous and
    potent faction.

    What is to be done when the Congress permits itself to be manipulated; should there not be something that stands in the way, and reminds the nation -- with a compelling voice -- of what is to be done.

    Clearly, the standard and voice is clear; what is missing?


    real goal


    182. They infuse into the people
    that we mean to abolish all
    Church government, and leave
    every man to his own fancy for
    the service and worship of God,
    absolving him of that obedience
    which he owes under God unto His
    Majesty, whom we know to be
    entrusted with the ecclesiastical
    law as well as with the temporal,
    to regulate all the members of
    the Church of England, by such
    rules of order and discipline as
    are established by Parliament,
    which is his great council, in
    all affairs both in Church and

    [ Real goal: ]

    183. We confess our intention is,
    and our endeavours have been, to
    reduce within bounds that
    exorbitant power which the
    prelates have assumed unto
    themselves, so contrary both to
    the Word of God and to the laws
    of the land, to which end we
    passed the Bill for the removing
    them from their temporal power
    and employments, that so the
    better they might with meekness
    apply themselves to the discharge
    of their functions, which Bill
    themselves opposed, and were the
    principal instruments of crossing

    Where is the propaganda: It implies compliance, without intention.

    Such could be the new oath: To demonstrate compliance and intention; otherwise one may be banished and lose public office.


    DoJ OPR THWARTED: The commission
    there to review; but now denied
    the power to review.

    193. That His Majesty he pleased
    to grant a standing Commission to
    some choice men named in
    Parliament, who may take notice
    of their increase, their counsels
    and proceedings, and use all due
    means by execution of the laws to
    prevent all mischievous designs
    against the peace and safety of
    this kingdom.

    What is to be done when the Congress refuses to ensure the Commissions do their job; and how do We the People create commissions that the Executive and Congress must assent to.


    yet it was recognized as having a
    role before:

    197. That His Majesty be humbly
    petitioned by both Houses to
    employ such councillors,
    ambassadors and other ministers,
    in managing his business at home
    and abroad as the Parliament may
    have cause to confide in, without
    which we cannot give His Majesty
    such supplies for support of his
    own estate, nor such assistance
    to the Protestant party beyond
    the sea, as is desired.

    198. It may often fall out that
    the Commons may have just cause
    to take exceptions at some men
    for being councillors, and yet
    not charge those men with crimes,
    for there be grounds of
    diffidence which lie not in proof.

    199. There are others, which
    though they may be proved, yet
    are not legally criminal.

    Perhaps there ought to be a means by which the Congress can directly recall Ambassadors and other agents to account; and there be a better accounting when the Congress refuses to compel the Executive to assent to the law.

    What is to be done when the Congress, despite the law, refuses to ensure that the law is followed. The law doe snot disappear, but remains; yet they ignore it.

    The Congress, in silence and neglect, has become a lazy tyrant; while the Executive has harnessed the will be an abusive tyrant.