The Coastal Post - August, 1996

Talkin' 'Bout Their Constitution


There are few voices of dissent in our nation today that seem as logical and persuasive as that of Bill Medina. He attacks an issue like Copernicus telling his peers that, despite appearances, and despite everything they had been taught, the sun does not orbit around the Earth. An exploration of Medina's thought challenges many of one's most deeply ingrained (programmed?) beliefs.

Our lives in America are being hugely controlled via an immense government that was created by a contract to which none of us are signatories. So it is not really "our" Constitution. The Founding Fathers promised that they would limit their exercise of power to carefully prescribed venues. They created a limited government for themselves and their posterity (which, it should be pointed out, they had no right to do without their posterity's power of attorney). No part of their Constitution can be shown to operate upon "We the Other People" (versus the now dead men who got together in Philadelphia and called themselves "We the People"). So, on its face, it is "their" Constitution, not ours.

Now, one can effectively become a party to their Constitution, and place oneself under its authority, when one swears an oath to uphold and obey that Constitution. Every cop, politician, judge and soldier is bound by the restraints of their Constitution. They join the government and promise to play by the rules. They promise to let us: worship as we see fit, speak to one another freely, arm ourselves, face our accuser in a court of law, and on and on. Fundamental to this arrangement is that none of "We the Other People" have made any promise to perform to those in government. (Unless the "Pledge of Allegiance" is that promise to perform. Medina explains what those words really mean. Yipes!)

Bill Medina sometimes hears: "Why, you're an anarchist!" And, if I'm understanding him correctly, he would agree with the label if one is using the word correctly. Medina is a stickler for the actual, etymological definition of the word "anarchy." The word means "no arch," "nothing over," or, in human terms, "nothing over me." And he would remind you that it also means "nothing over you." And that includes him. His rights and where your rights begin. Get it? This isn't that complicated. You don't need a law degree to understand this.

So what rules would apply in the form of civilization that Bill Medina envisions? Would we still have laws? Yes, the Common Law. One is in violation of the Common Law when one trespasses upon another man's or woman's property. Since your body is your property, you have a recourse at Law when you are assaulted. Since your possessions are your property you have recourse when you are robbed. Since the air you breath is your property when it crosses your lips you have recourse at Law when that air is polluted by another. Assault, robbery, burglary, and air pollution are all Common Law trespasses.

The Common Law civilization that Medina advocates would be immensely self-reliant. The courts would be much simpler. Each man or woman would have to become a plaintiff if his or her property is trespassed upon. Therefore, no one would be breaking the law unless an injured party came forth and filed suit. You've heard it before: "No victim, no crime."

So, I can't sue you for smoking pot. But I could sue you for growing it on my property without my permission. Or blowing it in my face if I can prove to a jury of your peers that you have exposed me to some danger. Gone would be all government created statutes, codes and regulations that pretend to lawfully operate upon "We the Other People." Government created statutes would either disappear completely or be converted into defined trespass against an individual. A sound ordinance makes sense. Noise of a certain decibel level is either dangerous to one's ears (a trespass against your body) or it is deleterious to your peace (which is also a trespass against your body). "Turn down the damn music! I can't sleep!" would be a perfectly legitimate complaint in a Common Law court. What would be the penalty? That's up to the accuser to argue and for a jury of the accused's peers to decide (knowing, that in all likelihood, those twelve men and women also appreciate their own sleep).

Governments don't like the Common Law because the penalty (short of court costs) is made in the form of a monetary reward to the victim. This doesn't fatten the bureaucrat's coffers. Government cannot repeal the Common Law without repealing the 7th Amendment of their Constitution. This has not happened.

The Common Law is easy to understand. The guilty party compensates the victim for injury. A dangerous criminal who breaks your arm in an assault would have to pay your medical expenses, compensate you for pain and suffering and time lost from the earning of your livelihood. Certain heinous crimes would carry with them a tradition of imprisonment, or, in the case of murder, a life of hard labor with the proceeds going to the victim's family. The criminal wouldn't just sit in a cell with a television and three meals a day at taxpayer expense. These are old, old concepts that embrace centuries of wisdom. Again, the Common Law has not been declared obsolete. Repeat: If it had been, their Constitution would not now contain the 7th Amendment.

I suggest that Americans who value their freedom make themselves aware of Bill Medina's ideas. Contract him at: P.O. Box 70400, Sunnyvale, California, Postal Zone 94086-0400. Phone: (415) 961-7752.

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