The Chinese Water Torture, Sort Of

Column by Paul Hein.

Exclusive to STR

Years ago I gave speeches to any group that wanted to hear me, about the nature of our money and the illegality and immorality of the monetary system. I gave one such talk to a group of students at a tony private school in St. Louis, and had a pleasant meeting with the headmaster prior to my speech. I noted a plaque on his desk bearing the words: “Illegitimi non corundum.” He saw me glance at it, and smiled. “It’s a motto I need to frequently refer to: ‘Don’t let the bastards wear you down.’” Words to remember!

The word “legitimate,” according to Black’s Law Dictionary, means, among other things, “according to law.” A legitimate government, therefore, is one that is according to law, which, in our case, means the Constitution of the United States. Many commentators have pointed out the flaws in that document, and I have no argument with them. My personal preference would be for no (external) government, and no constitution. That isn’t going to happen. I would be willing to settle for a government which was “according to law.” So let’s take a quick look at the “law,” i.e., the Constitution, and see how things shape up.

The first problems we encounter are to be found in the very first sentence: Article 1, Section 1: “All legislative Power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” But wait! Aren’t decisions of the Supreme Court considered the law of the land? Aren’t executive orders binding upon us? So we have not only Congress, but the executive and judicial branches issuing “laws.” Hmm. So much for the division of power. Not an auspicious beginning.

Article III deals with the judiciary, and establishes a Supreme Court. It appears to my non-lawyer eyes that this court is the ultimate appeals court. I can’t find anything in the Constitution that authorizes the Supreme Court to decide upon the constitutionality of legislation. And the court’s jurisdiction applies to “cases,” which, I assume, refers to the legal situation wherein one party sues another, not simply to a law which is controversial. I am perplexed that the individuals claiming to have the sole right to declare what is, or isn’t, constitutional can derive that right from a constitution which doesn’t grant it to them.

When we get to the Amendments, things really get interesting. The 1st Amendment guarantees “freedom of speech.” If you are free to speak, you are surely free to keep your mouth shut, if silence is what you wish to convey. Can you imagine the problems you would encounter if you chose to say nothing when officious bureaucrats demanded information from you? Try keeping mum about your Social Security number, or your income, expenses, and losses!

The 2nd Amendment states, quite unequivocally, that the right to bear arms “shall not be infringed.” To “infringe” is to “encroach upon.” Is there anywhere in this country where a person can buy and carry a weapon without securing a permit, or license, or some sort of permission from some bureaucrat?

The 4th Amendment guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their “papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Can it be said you are secure in your financial papers and effects when you must reveal, as a matter of routine, their contents to a tax “authority”? Try declining to display your drivers license to a cop at a routine traffic stop!

The 5th provides that no one can be deprived of “property without due process of law.” At the very least, this means that any person claiming a right to your property which exceeds your own right to it (!!) should be able to cite the law authorizing his demands. Ask for such a citation and discover that, ultimately, his “right” to your property is based upon the threat of violence if you persist in obstinacy. The Rulers’ might is their right.

And it goes on and on. The 9th and 10th Amendments, for example, are utterly trashed. And did I mention that the Constitution prohibits the states from making anything but gold and silver coins a legal tender, while forbidding them to coin their own money? That provision alone would take care of inflation, about which our rulers express the greatest concern. These rulers, moreover, have sworn an oath of allegiance to the Constitution, to which they pay not the slightest heed. So the question: How much allegiance, if any, does one owe an illegitimate government?

But it’s not only the federal rulers that have taken that oath, but the state rulers also. And this is where the “Illegitimi non corundum” might be employed. Not only have those doing business as the state sworn allegiance to the federal Constitution, but the state Constitution as well. In Missouri, that document states that ALL political power is vested in and derived from the people, that ALL government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will ONLY, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole. Well! Does your state Congressman realize this, or remember it? Your job is to remind him, in a non-aggressive, friendly way, at every opportunity. Wearing him down, so to speak. “Gee, Senator, how is it that I have to pay a great deal of money to remain in my own house? Who gave the collector that political power? All political power is supposedly derived from us, the people, and we don’t have that power! Didn’t you swear an oath of allegiance to the document that says that any power you or your colleagues have is derived from us?” Or “Hi Senator. Can you tell me why I have to pay to support the schools my neighbor uses but he doesn’t have to pay to support my kids’ school? How can he, or you, have a political power I don’t have? Does the Constitution you swore to obey permit that?” Or “Well, Senator, I am being fined for not wearing a helmet while riding my motorcycle, but I can’t fine my friend for doing the same thing. How can you--the government--exercise political power that I haven’t got, when you have sworn that you derive all your power from us?” Your elected “representatives” may not come up with believable answers to these questions, but almost certainly they will have to give them some thought, as outside of the usual sort of inquiries to which they have ready responses.

Why state, and not federal senators and representatives? Suit yourself, but my feeling is that state congressmen have less power, and therefore may be less corrupted, than their federal counterparts. And they’re closer to the people that they “represent.”

You get the idea. It’s like the Chinese water torture. Nag, nag, nag, you might say. Wear the bastards down. You might ask your representative or senator to get an opinion from the Attorney General of your state regarding some particularly repellant action of the government, and periodically ask him how the inquiry is coming. (The AG won’t answer to you.) How can it hurt to frequently remind a public servant that he is, in fact, a servant, and that the proper attitude of a servant is servility? For years, the “illegitimi” have been wearing us down with their demands and their laws. Why not do a little grinding down of our own?

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Paul Hein's picture
Columns on STR: 150


Log from Blammo's picture

While the phrase is essentially mock Latin to begin with, I believe it is usually "illegitimi non carborundum." Corundum, as emery, is a useful abrasive in its own right, but as ruby and sapphire is considered a precious stone. Carborundum, otherwise known as silicon carbide, has been grinding things down for 120 years as a synthetic mineral, and is only known to jewelers as moissanite.

It still works either way.

But the reason why it works for them is that nickel-and-diming the human livestock is how they earn their livelihoods. They can spend six hours a day chipping away at us and still goldbrick among themselves for another two, while the people like you and me are still trying to do something useful at our day jobs. Pestering the government happens on our own time and on our own dime, and competes with hours that could be used on something else. And it is about as rewarding as fishing for muskellunge in an inflatable kiddie pool, or painting a wall just to watch it dry.

That is how we can be ground down by a gang with far fewer numbers. They simply have more man-hours in the day to wear away at our resolve, not having any more useful occupation that could otherwise turn their labor into wealth. Having rejected the proposition that we might take the necessities of life without offering back anything in return, we give to the economy, that we might get something back.

That is why I do not endorse fighting fire with fire, in a war of attrition. They have so much time to waste, they must have load of extremly ironic meetings about how to waste less time. If we make an overt attempt to waste their time, they might simply opt to hire another person away from the productive economy just to dream up more bureaucratic snipe hunts.

That is why it is best to use the state's propensity for wasting time against itself. Bureaucrats are *experts* at wasting time. How about we play let's you and him fight? Turn some of those government guns back toward the government, and they are no longer pointed at us.

Paul's picture

That's OK, I suppose, if you've got nothing better to do with your time. I made some similar suggestions here:

However I question being motivated by the minions' annoyance. They are usually pleased if you engage them, because engagement itself confers legitimacy. Maybe better to ignore them.

That's bureaucrats, by the way. As to politicians, I see little profit in wasting time with them.

Brian Mast's picture

I have no intention of engaging with anyone in the government more than what is absolutely necessary because it is a real waste of time. I did fall into temptation a few years ago when Texas at first passed the anti-groping law. I e-mailed the local Missouri state level Republican representative and requested that our state do the same thing or else I just might move to Texas. I also had noticed the hundreds of bills listed on-line that were being considered, so I also expressed strong disapproval for big government growth at the state level as well as at the federal level despite our bad economic times. He never even bothered to reply back to me, and the pathetic Texas politicians caved to the feds, so I still live here.
I think that a more effective way to plant seeds in the minds of some people is by calling your local talk radio morning shows. I live close to a lake that has quite a few resorts, so my closest radio station chats about the local events around the lake, along with some politics with a Republican slant. I don't bother listening to that one, but I do listen to one that is just beyond the reach of my portable radios' antenna via computer entitled
The Gary Nolan Show. His show is based in Columbia, Missouri which is very close to the state capital, and is on-air from 9 AM to noon M-F.
Gary Nolan , unfortunately, is a minarchist who still believes that most cops are good people, and believes the official version of the 9-11 events. He also ran for Presidency as the Libertarian candidate in 2002. I disagree with him about many things, but his show is far better than Rush Limbaugh's show, and you can actually call into the show and talk to him.
The two times that I have called in so far were when
Jim Babka, President of Downsize DC dot org sat in for Gary. I'm sure that many heads within the listening area were exploding when I said that Constitition should be disposed of properly, that the founders illegally replaced the Articles of Federation with the Constitution, that the first three Presidents violated the Constitution without being punished, and a few other things. I ended by saying that I believe in genuine self-government as opposed to the pseudo self government that we now have. Surprisingly, Jim said that my dream was beautiful and he invited me to visit his Zero Aggression Project website.