“Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra
Judge Andrew Napolitano opens his new book, Lies the Government Told You, with that quote, and that’s the book’s theme: the State is our enemy because it constantly lies, steals, and kills.
That’s a pretty radical idea, so this is a radical book.
This is not a book about “public policy,” about how we might limit the rate of government’s growth, or about how to “reform” this or that program. It’s not really even about “getting back to the Constitution.”
Instead, this book is about exposing the criminal acts of our rulers in Washington, and about abolishing and repealing powers and programs wholesale.
We can laugh at the desperate people who threaten violence against elected officials. But they are not the fools. We are.
March 31, 2010
by Chris Hedges
Photo Credit: cometstarmoon
hat tip: TruthDig.
The language of violence always presages violence. I watched it in war after war from Latin America to the Balkans. The impoverishment of a working class and the snuffing out of hope and opportunity always produce angry mobs ready to kill and be killed. A bankrupt, liberal elite, which proves ineffectual against the rich and the criminal, always gets swept aside, in times of economic collapse, before thugs and demagogues emerge to play to the passions of the crowd. I have seen this drama. I know each act. I know how it ends. I have heard it in other tongues in other lands. I recognize the same stock characters, the buffoons, charlatans and fools, the same confused crowds and the same impotent and despised liberal class that deserves the hatred it engenders.
“We are ruled not by two parties but one party,” Cynthia McKinney, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket, told me. “It is the party of money and war. Our country has been hijacked. And we have to take the country away from those who have hijacked it. The only question now is whose revolution gets funded.”
The Democrats and their liberal apologists are so oblivious to the profound personal and economic despair sweeping through this country that they think offering unemployed people the right to keep their unemployed children on their nonexistent health care policies is a step forward. They think that passing a jobs bill that will give tax credits to corporations is a rational response to an unemployment rate that is, in real terms, close to 20 percent. They think that making ordinary Americans, one in eight of whom depends on food stamps to eat, fork over trillions in taxpayer dollars to pay for the crimes of Wall Street and war is acceptable. They think that the refusal to save the estimated 2.4 million people who will be forced out of their homes by foreclosure this year is justified by the bloodless language of fiscal austerity. The message is clear. Laws do not apply to the power elite. Our government does not work. And the longer we stand by and do nothing, the longer we refuse to embrace and recognize the legitimate rage of the working class, the faster we will see our anemic democracy die.
By Anthony Gregory
hat tip: Campaign for Liberty
The following is based on a talk delivered at the Free State Project’s Liberty Forum in Nashua, New Hampshire, Saturday, March 20, 2010.
In the United States, civil liberties are seen as the province of the left. The ACLU, the Bar Association, the Democratic Party, people who err in favor of procedural protections for criminals and even terrorists — this is what tends to come to mind to conservatives who condemn civil liberties as a leftist interest, and to liberals who celebrate it as a great anchor of their political philosophy.
But what happens when the left-liberals are in charge of the executive branch, its police, its justice department, prosecutors and military courts? Predictably, conservatives fear the government will be soft on foreign and domestic villains. Liberals hold out hope that due process will be restored.
Libertarians, too, will often adopt this general lens through which to see political reality. Just as many progressive writers discussed the coming of Obama as a new dawn for the Bill of Rights — or, at least, the amendments they openly favor — many libertarians hoped that the Bush era of warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention, torture and police statism would recede with the electoral victory of the Democrats.
But here we see the problem. For if the left are the most institutionally important guardians of civil liberties, then the ascent to power of one of their own will often mean a quieting of dissent. Left-liberals become caught up with economic policy, become corrupted, or simply tire of finding more reasons for their own partisan figurehead to be criticized, and look the other way. Just as Republican administrations can often implement domestic interventions with a freer hand — look at Bush’s effortless Medicare expansion compared to how long it has taken for Obama to move on health care — Democrats can expect a less hostile climate in which to build up executive power to the detriment of civil liberty. And indeed, even if they have good intentions, they run against political pressure from the opposition accusing them of being soft with the police power. A left-liberal in office is the perfect storm for the destruction of our privacy and the rule of law. Just remember what Clinton did at Waco, or the erosion of liberty after the Oklahoma City Bombing, and the truth of this was confirmed long before January of last year when Obama took the throne.
This is SO much like television today. Nothing has changed over the past 50 years at all! Don’t worry, you’re being told everything by O’Reily, Hanity and Beck…Edward G. Morrow is just one who has already had a movie written in his honor. That is the ONLY difference!
(ooops! It’s not April first? Well, forget all that then.)
No one familiar with the history of his country, can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating. But the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the Junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been confusing the public mind as between the internal and the external threats of communism. We must not confuse dissent from disloyalty. We must remember always, that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another, we will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason. If we dig deep into our history and our doctrine, we will remember we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who dared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.
This is no time for men who oppose Sen. McCarthy’s methods to keep silent or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of the republic to abdicate his responsibilities.
As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom wherever it still exists in the world. But we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the Junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies.
And whose fault is that? Not really his, he didn’t create this situation of fear, he merely exploited it, and rather successfully.
Cassius was right, the fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Good night, and good luck.
by Will Durst
A few words of advice for all you anti-Obama conservatives out there. Quit it with the whole teleprompter fixation, would ya? Okay, okay, we get it, you don’t like the president. And you’ll throw the kitchen sink to attack him on everything under the sun; from being responsible for the recent rash of substandard Vermont maple syrup crops to the irksome infestation of grunge rock into country-western music, all the way to wormy pears. Everything he stands for is bad, and everything he’s against is good. Got it.
But in order to avoid major mortification, you’ve got to stop with the “overly dependent on the teleprompter” charge. Please. Really. You need a new argument. And trust me, there’s a veritable plethora of opportunities available. Why don’t you make fun of the way he cocks his head and looks Messianically upward like he’s trying to catch the whisper of God on an errant zephyr? Or you could profess incredulity at the global-cooling shade provided by his overlarge ears or remark on how he’s such a conciliator he probably clogs up the express lane for hours while dithering over the dilemma of “paper or plastic.”
I’m serious here, and only trying to help. You look like idiots. For one thing, Everybody uses a teleprompter. No. No. No. EVERYBODY. I’m talking CEOs, news anchors, dog-catchers, dog-throwers, late night talk-show hosts and every politician on the face of the planet. When Glenn Beck spits contempt at the president’s lame reliance on a teleprompter he’s reading his criticism… off a teleprompter.
A teleprompter is a tool. Like rolling notes. It’s the words that count. You might as well criticize cooks and chefs for their preposterous dependence on pots. What is it with firemen and their hoses? Ski poles are obviously snow crutches and anyone using them at the Olympics should be disqualified. And shot. Or are you just emulating Emerson by eschewing the foolish consistency that is the hobgoblin of little minds?