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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Liberty or Tyranny

“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” — Patrick Henry

Those words of Patrick Henry were issues some 235 years ago and they are ringing more than ever true today. A more contemporary of Patrick Henry, Ronald Reagan said; “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

Several years ago Mark Levine wrote a million seller book entitled Liberty and Tyranny Levin goes on meticulously (many more than 300 endnotes), but plainly explaining the principles of classic conservative philosophy of "prudent" progress, a government that is subservient to the people (rather than the other way around), the fundamental truth that rights are not derived from the government but from a higher power, that the free market system more than any other in history provides the best, most efficient and most just opportunity for individual prosperity as well as for the general welfare, and much more.

Levin's book provides ample evidence of government encroachment on individual liberty and our country's descent into the soft tyranny warned of by Alexis de Tocqueville in our country's earliest years. Economic regulation, environmental extremism, the usurpation of representative government by the judiciary, unprecedented and uncontrolled illegal influx of people into our country, and the like threaten our economic viability. Finally, Levin's book details how the liberal (and some so-called conservative) political elite rejects the notion of American Exceptionalism and seek to surrender voluntarily the sovereignty our forefathers fought and died to give and to preserve for us.

I was so impressed with Levine’s logic and knowledge of the principles of our Founders that I read the book twice and then passed in on to family members to read. Levine’s book along with the works of Bastiat, Hazlitt, Hayek , von Mises, Adam Smith and Ayn Rand should be required reading in any high school or college curriculum as they give us a clear and logical argument for personal and economic liberty and what it means to our nation.

My daughter gave me the DVD of the HBO miniseries John Adams for my recent birthday. This, like the books I mentioned, ahold also be required viewing in high school classes as long as the teacher does not have a left wing agenda and understands what our founding fathers went through to gain our independence from the British Crown and give us a constitutional republic. The casting, dialog and costuming were nothing less than terrific as the series walked us through the period from 1775 to 1826 when Adams and Jefferson died on the same day — July 4, 1826. The series showed how our Founders struggled with the issues economic and person liberty as they developed a republican form of government that would insure for posterity a land where men and women could be free to live their lives without the tyranny from the government.

Over the past two decades we have been losing more and more of our liberty to big government programs. These programs are based on plundering one segment of the population for the benefit of another segment. This plunder has put more and more power in the hands of the central government as politicians vie for the votes of the recipients of the plunder. This is how dictators gain power, they turn class against class and in the end everyone suffers.

Across America it seems chaos and government oppression are the new order.

Violent mobs are gathering in cities large and small and looting stores and terrorizing communities and theme parks. Thieves are stealing air conditioners from churches and schools, manhole covers from streets, copper from electrical substations, street signs from city roads and hay from petting zoos. Home and automobile burglaries are being reported in increasing numbers.

Local police officers are becoming more militarized and more dangerous and oppressive, arresting people for photographing landmarks and detaining them for taking video of trains, train stations, public buildings and interactions with public figures. When serving warrants, no longer do officers knock on the door and give the subject of the warrant an opportunity to comply. The new normal is to crash through the door with guns drawn, prepared to shoot anything that moves, according to a report by the CATO Institute. The executive summary of the CATO white paper states:

“Americans have long maintained that a man's home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.

These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they're sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. These raids bring unnecessary violence and provocation to nonviolent drug offenders, many of whom were guilty of only misdemeanors. The raids terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence. And they have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent suspects.”

The health police have run amuck. In Detroit, a woman had her daughter taken away by a SWAT team because she decided the treatment a doctor had prescribed was doing more harm than good. It took more than a month for the courts to overturn the actions by the Michigan Department of Human Services and release the daughter from the “protective custody” that resulted in her being sexually assaulted, according to an attorney representing the girl.

In 2009, during the run-up to passage of ObamaCare — a proposal that more than 60 percent of Americans opposed at the time — Congress ignored its rules of procedure and mocked opponents who gathered outside the Capitol building protesting. Congress, which is supposed to represent the will of the people, instead represents its own interests and those of the corporations that fill campaign coffers.

Even now — in negotiation over raising the debt ceiling by imposing higher taxes rather than making significant spending cuts — it is opposing the will of Americans who elected a Republican majority in the House hoping to see reduced spending in Washington.

The effect of the battle in Washington, which has nothing to do with doing what is right for America and everything to do with enriching and entrenching the political elites and their cronies, is trickling down to local government. The Federal government has long been a thugocracy, but now we are seeing the thugocracy metastasize like a cancer.

In Quartzite, Ariz., city council members had police wrest the microphone from a woman who had been given the floor. Jennifer “Jade” Jones, a gadfly described as a blogger and vocal critic of local government, was apparently bringing up subjects the council didn’t want to hear. Or didn’t want the public to hear.

After a video went viral that showed the police officers obeying their superiors on the council — and ignoring Mayor Ed Foster’s demands to let Jones speak — Police Chief Jeff Gilbert encouraged the council to declare a state of emergency. They did so following a closed meeting that some believe violated the State’s open meetings laws.

Things are apparently just as bad in Gould, Arkansas, where the city council has decided the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply.

A new ordinance passed there bans the Gould Citizens Advisory Council from doing business in Gould because it “is, in effect, causing confusion and discourse among the citizens of Gould and as a result is contributing to the friction not only between the Mayor and Council but also among the citizens who deserve a cooperative government. Also no new organizations shall be allowed to exist in the City of Gould without approval from a majority of the City Council,” according to the ordinance.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Dean John Pippa told Fox16: “I couldn’t believe that it was real when I first read it. The truth is, the city of Gould doesn’t have the authority to tell anyone that they have no right to petition them, no right to speak and no right to exist in their city.”

“That’s why you have a higher court,” Council member Sonja Farley told Fox16. “To keep order when people can’t keep order. That’s why you have a council.”

But now that council, according to its own ordinance, can’t lawfully meet and discuss city business with the citizens it supposedly represents.

Not even little girls or home gardeners are safe from the new thugocracy. In Midway, Ga., police put an end to a lemonade stand being run by three girls who were trying to earn money for a trip to a water park. The reason: They didn’t have a business license or the required permits (which would cost $50 per day or $180 per year).

Police chief Kelly Morningstar said police didn’t know how the lemonade was made, who made it or what was in it.

In Oak Park, Mich., Julie Bass faced jail time for growing vegetables in planters in her front yard. Vegetables are not considered suitable, live, plant material under the city’s code. A judge dismissed the charges; but then the city, in an obvious case of piling on, cited her for not having licenses for her two dogs that live inside her house.

The elected elites and bureaucrats occupying the halls of government no longer represent the people. They represent themselves and those who can give them the biggest favors.

In Alabama, some current and former legislators, lobbyists and two gambling magnates are on trial on bribery-related charges. The lobbyists, who agreed to testify as part of their guilty pleas, have described how they promised campaign cash, do-nothing jobs and other favors at the behest of the gambling magnates to legislators in exchange for support for a pro-gambling bill the gambling bosses supported.

Cash and favors in exchange for legislation are being portrayed by defense attorneys as standard operating procedure in Alabama. That’s certainly the case in Jefferson County, Alabama, where a number of county commissioners and county bureaucrats are serving sentences for corruption relating to financial shenanigans with big banksters that have left the county on the brink of filing the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history (and you thought Bell, California was bad). Unfortunately, it seems none of the banksters will ever see the inside of a jail cell.

Governments hate freedom. But the laws they pass to “keep order” only create more chaos. It’s happening right now on a Federal level, where government and Federal Reserve policies have created an entitlement mentality, bubbles and busts leading to high unemployment, default, currency collapse, uncertainty and chaos.

In Washington, in Alabama, in Quartzite and Gould, and in towns and cities across the country, governments are ignoring Americans and creating more chaos, unrest and unhappiness. In response, citizens grow increasingly unruly. Many begin doing things they never would have considered before.

Gerald Celente was correct when he said: “When people lose everything and they have nothing left to lose, they lose it.”

We’ve already seen chaos in Europe and the Middle East. With rampant, long-term unemployment — the government’s skewed unemployment numbers show overall unemployment at 9.2 percent, but the rate is 16.2 percent for blacks — the loss of homes through foreclosure and class warfare being stirred up by politicians, is it any wonder that chaos is becoming the new normal?

As the chaos in our nation increases over our debt, spending, class warfare and greater control over our lives from Washington, D.C. the chaos will bleed into anarchy and anarchy will bring dictatorship. This has happened to every society in the history of mankind, from the Roman Republic to the Weimar Republic. This is what radicals like Saul Alinsky, Van Jones, Cloward and Piven, George Soros and Barack Obama desire. For it is only through this chaos and subsequent anarchy that their dreams of transformation can be realized. Once the people become so disenchanted and embroiled in class warfare they will look for a person on a white horse to lead them out of the chaos. The problem is that the person with on the white horse will be wearing the black hat of a tyrant.

Watching the nonstop commentaries on television about the debt ceiling debate only reinforces the reality that most people — including many perceived conservatives — still don’t get it. If they did, they would not allow themselves to be diverted by a political circus.

It amazes me how the vast majority of conservatives — both inside and outside of the media — still take Barack Obama seriously and believe he is desperately trying to save the United States from economic disaster. Don’t get me wrong. Obama wants to do what is right for America, but his vision of “right” is wealth redistribution on a massive scale carried out by an all-powerful Federal government.

As Obama continues to toy with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling, he is well aware that the continuation of his policies will destroy the U.S. economy beyond repair. I believe his strategy from the outset has been to follow the Saul Alinsky model: Win the Presidency through a semi-legitimate election, then tighten your grip over everything and everybody, move swiftly to create economic chaos, and use the chaos you’ve created to establish a dictatorship.

Now don’t go giving Obama too much credit for originality. He’s really just a slick and clever copycat. Getting elected and then using your powers to eliminate all competition is an old trick used by power-hungry thugs throughout history.

Of all the dictators over the past hundred years, I believe Obama’s rise to power mirrors that of Adolf Hitler’s more than anyone else. I know I can practically hear readers chuckling. Enslaved people throughout history have a propensity for chuckling — until they wake up one morning and find themselves in chains. So, by all means, feel free to chuckle — but do hear me out.

Though most people don’t realize it, Hitler was legitimately chosen to be chancellor of Germany in 1933 by President Paul von Hindenburg. At his swearing-in ceremony, Hitler faithfully repeated the oath of office: “I will employ my strength for the welfare of the German people, protect the Constitution and laws of the German people, conscientiously discharge the duties imposed on me, and conduct my affairs of office impartially and with justice to everyone.”

Nice words similar to those uttered by Obama when being sworn into office. Hitler was a charming, eloquent speaker who carried on incessantly about change. (Sound familiar?) Then, once elected, he moved quickly to establish a dictatorship, accomplishing that seemingly impossible feat in 52 days. Obama moved swiftly as well, but opposing forces in America made it impractical to establish a quick dictatorship.

The upstart Nazi Party (which was the commonly used name for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party repeat, Socialist) staged a slobbering love affair between Hitler and the German people. (Sound familiar?) When Hitler spoke for the first time as chancellor, it was said that he “was greeted with an outpouring of worshipful adulation unlike anything ever seen before in Germany.” (Sound familiar?)

In The Road to Serfdom, Frederick Hayek explained the way countries travel the road from democracy to dictatorship:

“It is important to remember that, for some time before 1933, Germany had reached a stage in which it had, in effect, had to be governed dictatorially… Hitler did not have to destroy democracy; he merely took advantage of the decay of democracy and at the critical moment obtained the support of many to whom, though they detested Hitler, he yet seemed the only man strong enough to get things done.”

Under the Articles of Confederation, the central government of America was very weak — which was a good thing. It was true then, and it’s true now: You can have a strong government and a weak people, or a strong people and a weak government — but you cannot have both. Today, we have a draconian, out-of-control government and a very weak people. A people looking to Washington for solutions and largess.

Arguably, democracy in this country started to break down in 1787 when the Constitution created a strong Federal government. This is why Madison wanted to include a bill of rights. It got worse — much worse — under the fascist policies of Woodrow Wilson’s reign from 1912 to 1920. Then, beginning in 1932, FDR’s failed socialist policies took away even more individual freedom from American citizens. And the final disintegration of true democracy in the U.S. was catalyzed by the left-wing revolutionaries of the 1960s.

So if you’re wondering how Obama and his Marxist cronies have been able to violate the Constitution as though it didn’t exist, the answer is that they are merely taking advantage of the decay of democracy in the U.S. that was already present when they came to power. While Americans have been busy focusing on sports, reality TV, eating out three nights a week and trying to pay their mortgages, the fascistic socialists in Washington have been quietly working to establish a dictatorship based on the ruins of our democracy (which actually began as a republic).

Get it? I hope so. Because if a vast majority of everyday folks don’t get it soon, it will be too late. As I have repeatedly said, the debt ceiling debate is nothing more than a distraction from the real, underlying problem we all face: We are losing our liberty.

Our focus should be on stopping Barack Obama and his Marxist allies in Washington from establishing a socialist dictatorship — politely referred to by conservative media commentators as an “imperial presidency.” But regardless of what one calls it, the important thing to understand is that under a dictatorship, everything else becomes irrelevant — including the debt ceiling “crisis” that political junkies are spending so much time fretting about. The one true fact about government is that it will do anything to protect its power.

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