Mayor Carty Finkbeiner of Toledo, OH recently denied the Marines access to using his city for wargames. While I will say with all confidence that a strong defensive military needs to have a sound understand of all types of combat, including urban combat, and that reasonable efforts to train them in such skill is of high importance, in this case Finkbeiner's actions were a neccessary assertion of the power of a state governed mayor to deny federal military authority over his city.
While it is generally understood, falsely so, that in America every individual is a sovereign and the elected officials are simply citizen representatives, there lives a more complex reality behind the organization of authority in American politics. The significance of this particular event is that we have reached a new age where the Military feels that urban training exercises in American cities is a valuable and necessary activity. Despite having a budget which is in excess of any industry in the history of mankind, which could build the most technologically advanced training facilities, they still chose to do this in a live American city. The mayor felt that this would be inappropriate and told the Marines to leave. The significance here is that the Marines left. It is through their leaving that Finkbeiner retained the authority to remove the Federal Military from his city.
On the one hand, though Finkbeiner was lambasted in the Media, with a similar line of reasoning as "if you don't support the war, you don't support the troops", he stood up for an authority and a power which he believed lied in his constituency, based in constitutional design, and by the submission of the Federal Marines to his command, he assumed this power for his constituents. It is for this reason that he is a patriot to the people of his city. Had he not stood up for this power, the Federal authority would have been able to use it as case precedent that this sort of thing is acceptable. The Marines probably have the military might to command that the city allow their wargames regardless, and if enough cities allowed it over time, a dissentor in the future might be facing full executive challenge to his sovereignty, beginning with legal action and possibly ending with military action.
The reason for this, is the nature of authority. It is falsely believed that authority is found in the defining document, the constitution, in America. In reality, it is international law, through a complex system of treaties, relationship, and military conquest that the division of power exists in civilized society. Although much of our current government exists in direct violation of the constitution of the United States and its pursuant State constitutions, the violations themselves are legal, have the backing of the United States Military Generals, the executor and his branch of subjects including the law enforcement authorities of the states of the United States. While the militia is the Constitutional check and balance against the executive military, the militias of the states or interests of the citizen-sovereigns were defeated, most notably in the Civil War, but in many other cases as well. One could argue that cases such as Waco also prove victories of the Federal Military against the militia of citizen-sovereigns. As per international law and recognition of state authority, these defeats and the submission of the citizen-sovereigns to the rule of the new law thereafter create new treaties which supercede the Constitution of the United States as legal authority. Although the new governments caused by these coups grants some recognition to Civil Rights found in the consitution, it overturns the concept of Natural Rights which are demonstrated in the constitution.
The shift from the usage of the concept of Natural Rights to the usage of the term Civil Rights only further submits to the will of the new governments, to whom the Constitution is an ideal, not the rule of law. This means that you now get your rights from the government, and that these rights can be taken away. Natural Rights mean that your rights are given from your creator, and that no man can take these from you.
Considering that you at one time had a Natural Right extended from the Constitution, under Constitutional rule, let's take a look at how that has changed. It is clear that no citizen of the United States is a citizen sovereign. You cannot afford a private military or weaponry to defend a claim that you own land. If you choose to purchase land and then refuse to pay taxes, you will have your property taken from you. You do not have the power to hold the land and live in peace in a way that others would recognize as sovereign. You do not have the right in America to choose what products you will buy, or what you will ingest into your body. There are a vast array of products which, upon purchasing, you can have your life and liberty seized from you and you can be placed in an increasingly private jail system. Since the gross majority of crimes which would incarcerate a citizen of the United States are ones which do not cause harm to a third party, it is not being done on the behalf of the citizen-sovereigns of the United States or the individual States. It is being done on the authority of the executor of the Federal Government or the executor of the state government at the expense of the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of the citizen-sovereign. This, on a singular event, is a declaration of War between the government of the United States and the citizen-sovereign which is recognized by the Founding Father's and their documents concerning the design of our Republic.
When a citizen-sovereign submits to an executive authority, allows himself to be placed in prison for such a crime by force or threat of violence, he has lost a war. His imprisonment is the terms of the treaty. When the community around him allows it to happen, they have either sided with the non-Constitutional authority of Civil Rights and State power, or at best, decided to remain neutral to shirk off the responsibility to protect these rights for other citizen-sovereigns. In a microcosmic way, they have granted the same authority to the State concerning themselves in the future. Since they did not protest or take arms against the State for the crime committed, they have given away this power to the state in regards to their own right to Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.
There exists a truth in saying that one cannot bring a Constitution or book of laws into a court to his defense. Once you have entered into a court, and submitted yourself to its authority to render judgement on a matter, you have de facto given away the power to resolve the issue to the judiciary in question, and he can chose to rule however he likes.
Ultimately, there has not been a successful military challenge by a state or citizen militia to the power of the State in U.S. History. This means that, in accordance with International Law, there is no guarantee of Constitutional protections in our government. It is only through popular election of people who recognize the authority of this document that we can hand back the power to the people. As of right now it is a tiny minority who believe in Republican government in American politics, so to refer to our system of government as "Republican" or "Democratic" is in ideal alone.
There exists a famous quote, "we have four boxes with which to defend our freedom, the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box. Apply in that order." Be not fooled, no power exists without proper enforcement. Enforcement of power can come only through the submission of your opposition to the application of said power. As it stands, the powers of Liberty in America, the Natural Rights of the Citizen-Sovereign exist in a tiny, limited scope, and are undefendable from further trespass.
We now have quite a few guys who are standing on the Soap Box, I will join them there. We need to now move to step two. There is a Revolution at hand to return to our Republican system of government, and to add new protections to help us maintain it. The Ballot Box is our next line of defense, let us use it!
Remember, the moral of the story here is that powers which are not enforced, do not exist.
SPECIAL NOTE: to those of you who get the entirety of your understanding of political theory from broadcast television news, what i mean by Republican government is Republic vs. Empire, not George Bush vs. John Kerry. To me, George Bush AND John Kerry are representatives of the rule of Empire, and Republican government is a representative government of the people(who are the sovereign nations), under Constitutional rule.