About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

America's War On Liberty

"There were times this past week when it seemed like the 19th-century Know-Nothing Party had returned to Washington.  President Obama insisted he knew nothing about major decisions in the State Department, or the Justice Department, or the Internal Revenue Service.  The heads of those agencies, in turn, insisted they knew nothing about major decisions by their subordinates. It was as if the government functioned by some hidden hand.  We cannot long protect liberty if our leaders continue to act like mere bystanders to the work of government."  George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley writing in the Washington Post on May 24, 2013
  Click on photo to enlarge
Now the news that the NSA & FBI have been conducting secret government operations in the war on terror gathering telephone, credit card, & internet data on virtually every American coupled with the points made by Professor Turley above brings the term "Nixonian" to another level. 
The fact that this latest leaking of top secret information was obtained from a 29 year old contract worker, who had previously flunked out of community college, was not reassuring that any of the almost five million federal employees & contractors who hold this secret clearance can be trusted – i.e., there is a tremendous potential for abuse.  Makes you think that the Army private who leaked classified information to the WikiLeaks website was not an aberration doesn't it? 
All of these people accepted a security clearance, much like I did over forty years ago, that makes it a crime to leak secret information – there are other ways to disclose operations involving secret information that goes against your conscience – but none as dramatic or immediate as the one used.
But the fact remains that the information is out & it provides another example that government programs can't stop growing even when they are out of control.  In this case the seeming innocuous named Patriot Act has started to reveal its expansion possibilities & of course each expansion takes more & more of our freedoms away.
Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, principal author of the Patriot Act, was extremely concerned & dismayed last week to find the way that Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act had been used in fighting the war on terror.  Sensenbrenner - "The Patriot Act was a careful balancing of national security interests & constitutional rights.  While I feel we found an appropriate balance, I have always worried about potential abuses of the Act."
Sensenbrenner was so upset he wrote a letter to AG Eric Holder to complain that our constitutional rights might be in jeopardy.  He wrote a letter to whom? To raise concerns about what?  Oh please.
So many pundits, especially conservative ones, take the position that "we have to stay one step ahead of the terrorists who would like to murder us."  This approach is not fighting a war on terror or anything else bad – passively defending ourselves against Islamic fascists who would murder us is a better description.  America's current approach is to wage a war on liberty.  
USA PATRIOT is an acronym that stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.  This act describes defending, intercepting, or obstructing not fighting.  Fighting the war on terror means we are aggressively trying to kill all of them before they kill any of us & not just sending a drone strike here or there on occasion or leading from behind on one matter after another.  What does it tell us that we have to bring this up again after just engaging in two wars that we did not try to win?
So all of this boils down to a liberty & freedom versus safety & privacy issue. 
Our forefathers did not come to America for safety or privacy – they came for freedom.  They were not afraid to fight for freedom – hence the Revolutionary War.
Nothing is sillier than someone walking around a drug store talking in a loud voice on their cell phone so that everyone aisles away can hear what they are having for dinner – these are some of the same people who complain that the government is violating their constitutional right to privacy re the above matters.
Of course students of the Constitution know there is no constitutional right to privacy.  The man who looked the hardest to find it, Supreme Court Associate Justice Harry Blackmun, wrote in his opinion in Roe v. Wade "The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy." 
Ben Franklin summed this up – "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."  Not only do they not deserve liberty or safety they will actually have neither.  Dr. Franklin's quotation, slightly altered, is inscribed on a plaque in the stairwell of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.  It is also important to note that this sentiment was much used in the Revolutionary period.
So the Founder's idea was not only to minimize an intrusive government but not to create one in the first place meaning that all of the current opinions about balancing national-security interests and constitutional rights is a false choice.  America is not a police state yet but electronic strip searches, pat downs & gropings, & the NSA building a one million square foot facility in Utah for secret security reasons keeps us on the police state road.
We have been brainwashed into a mindset to think we must hunt terrorists by presuming every innocent American is guilty until proven innocent & always these trials (like @ airport check ins) are @ our total inconvenience.  Many people don't fly unless an absolute necessity – thereby robbing them of another freedom.
Rather than being totally on the defensive where, as an example, the Boston Marathon bombers, who were on the Watch List but were not watched, could slip in & out of the country without notice or enough scrutiny to red flag them before their damage was done illustrates a realization this is ultimately a losing battle where the terrorists have to be right only once.
Contrary to BO's assertion that the war on terror is winding down we still hear of al Qaeda in Iraq, al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula, & many other terrorist groups, plots, & murders like the soldier in London in May.  I would hope that enough of us do not have to wait for another 9/11 attack (or February 26, 1993) to realize that metaphorically we are standing @ the top of a flight of stairs & because of our current defensive & politically correct positions we are teetering toward a very bad fall.
Can't we stand @ the top of this flight of stairs & know we will be hurt if we fall down the stairs so that we take the real appropriate action to not only protect the members (citizens) in the Club known as the United States of America but to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves & our Posterity?"

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