The Frogpot

The old tale of the frogpot has it that when placed in a pot of hot water, a frog senses its danger and hops right out. But if placed in a pot of cool water that is slowly heated, it doesn't sense the danger until too late and - to mix metaphors - its goose is cooked!

Each of the rights in America's Bill of Rights has been, and is being, slowly eroded; if this erosion occurred in a single event the people would be up in arms. But it occurs slowly, incrementally and the result is that almost daily the charter of the federal government moves away from securing the "... Blessings of Liberty..." to that of centralizing its power.

The 9th and 10th amendments serve as examples: America's founders established a federal government that was highly decentralized, in which the powers of that Central Authority were enumerated, thus LIMITED, by Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, and all other powers were reserved by the 10th amendment "...to the States ... or to the people", if not prohibited "... to the States ..." by Article 1, Section 10. Additionally, the 9th amendment established that "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

The federal government has effectively nullified these two pillars of America's Bill of Rights and continues to erode those that remain.

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people ... To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition."

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington on the Constitutionality of the Bank of the United States, 1791

"With respect to the two words 'general welfare', I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars."

Letter from James Madison to James Robertson

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."

James Madison, Federalist #45

"It is not difficult to find support in history for the general principle that an unconstitutional law is void. Alexander Hamilton contended in Federalist #78 that 'there is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men, acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.' "

Thomas E. Woods, Jr. "Nullification; How To Resist Federal Tyranny In The 21st Century", p. 5

"The State tends to expand in proportion to its means of existence and to live beyond its means, and these are, in the last analysis, nothing but the substance of the people. Woe to the people that cannot limit the sphere of action of the State! Freedom, private enterprise, wealth, happiness, independence, personal dignity, all vanish."

Frederic Bastiat (1801 - 1850)