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Movie Review of "Don't Tread on Me" - by "Glen, a Navy Veteran"

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A Movie Review

William Lewis — Director
Gary Franchi — Producer
Written by William Lewis and Gary Franchi

Other Films

“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … And what country can preserve its liberties, if it’s rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure”—Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Stephens Smith, quoted in Padover’s Jefferson On Democracy

When I set up to view an Infowars video, I usually expect to see an extension of the popular radio broadcast by Alex Jones. I am usually not disappointed. Not that his information is wrong. Far from it. The only thing one should be aware of is that you are getting his analysis of events. Again, he’s usually not off the mark as far as the federal government is concerned. Will Rogers once said, “It’s easy being a humorist when you’ve got the whole government working for you.” The same can be said of “conspiracy theorists.” And you have to give him credit for trying to inform the public after what happened at Ruby Ridge and Waco.

The point is that this film is the work of William Lewis and Gary Franchi, who appear in the film so they are on the no-fly list. Alex Jones appears in a good part of the film, but as an interviewee. There is a long list of interesting figures in the film, however, from Cynthia Davis, State Representative from Montana and R.J. Harris, Congressional Candidate from Oklahoma, to Sheriff Mack to Dr. Edwin Vieira. There are politicians, scholars and organizations giving their input into the Constitution and what it may mean.

Let me describe, first, what you get. I recommend the package with the “Don’t Tread on Me” ball cap. It is the perfect accessory for any tea party occasion or the theatre. You get two bumper stickers. I was especially excited to receive a copy of the Citizens Rule Book, a small pamphlet packed with information including the Constitution. Now you can say that you are “packing” just like Al Franken. You can order more in bulk if you would like to hand them out in schools, libraries, to politicians and police, who ever. And, of course, you get Don’t Tread on Me.

The movie is unusual in that is starts out with the blooper reels and then leads into the message. It is a Common Sense, of sorts, explaining where they believe the government has gotten out of control. It mainly centers on gun control and the Second Amendment, but does touch on health care and other issues. There are some good explanations of the basic tenants of the Constitution and it is not a bad overall view. It is well worth sharing with friends who might have recently graduated a public high school, especially in California. It is a good conversation starter. It is worth the $19.95 plus shipping.

The problem that I have with the movie is that it may be a good conversation starter and has good information, but could be more detailed. They could have cut some to add some more about the foundation of the laws. For example, Andrew Young wrote The Government Class Book in 1859. He wrote several political science books including a book for younger students entitled First Lessons in Civil Government. The advantage of works of this age is that they are written prior to the twisted sixties when Bill Clinton protested the existence of the United States of America in the Soviet Union. In Chapter III, Laws, defined, Sec. 7, of that book, he wrote,

If, as has been said, the laws of the Creator form a perfect rule of conduct for all mankind, and out in all cases to be obeyed, then all human law ought to agree with the divine law. If a human law is contrary to the divine law, or if it requires us to disobey the commands of God, it is not binding, and should not be obeyed.

You won’t find that in any Harvard text.

You cannot really understand the Constitution without studying some of the ancillary documents that led to its ratification. On the Second Amendment, for example, they could have quoted Federalist Paper #29 attributed to Alexander Hamilton,

The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties, of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.

Many people are worried about treaties and compacts that Obama and his cronies may enter into with the United Nations and our neighbor to the south. They could have touched on that and quoted generously from the Supreme Court of the United States.

It need hardly be said that a treaty cannot change the Constitution or be held valid if it be in violation of that instrument. This results from the nature and fundamental principles of our government. The effect of treaties and acts of Congress, when in conflict, is not settled by the Constitution. But the question is not involved in any doubt as to its proper solution. A treaty may supersede a prior act of Congress, and an act of Congress may supersede a prior treaty.—Mr. Justice SWAYNE; 78 U.S. 616, 20 L.Ed. 227, 11 Wall. 616, The Cherokee Tobacco Case, 1870.

But this is for want of any statute or treaty authorizing or permitting such naturalization, as will appear by tracing the history of the statutes, treaties, and decisions upon that subject, always bearing in mind that statutes enacted by congress, as well as treaties made by the president and senate, must yield to the paramount and supreme law of the constitution.—Mr. Justice GRAY, UNITED STATES v. WONG KIM ARK, 169 U.S. 649, 18 S.Ct. 456, 42 L.Ed. 890, March 28, 1898

Heck. That’s even clear enough for a wise Latino woman to understand.

That being said, this is, basically, a pro-second amendment movie. It does indicate examples of where the government is off-base. And it is a good overview of tyranny in the making and suggest some ways, short of war, on how we might return to the Constitutional foundations in which our government was founded. Many Republican friends of mine tell me that I throw away my vote when I vote for Dr. Ron Paul for president. I should vote for a good Republican. They remind me of Periot getting Clinton elected. That is how we got Bush and the Patriot Act, remember? The recent nomination of Rand Paul in Kentucky will, hopefully, break that stigma—on both sides—that was put in place by the two divisions of the ruling aristocracy and abhorred by George Washington.

I’m getting a little off topic, but I will say that this movie does not contain information that most thinking Americans do not know, but it does show short clips about the abuses, such as the marching army of darkness in Philadelphia, and what is being done with clips of the Tea Party movement. I do like what they have done with the their 94-minutes of fame. Stephen Shute of the Campaign for Liberty has an interesting idea that I might share with my state politicians, though. (Sorry, I’m not a spoiler!) This is a good movie to purchase for the state representative for your district, your local sheriff, your mayor and, of course, your State Representative and Senators in Congress. Give one to your liberal friend who thinks that health care is a good idea. You might just save a mind.