Monday, May 30, 2011

Adam Kokesh Is Dancing

Adam Kokesh is dancing.

We are surrounded, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 360 degrees by a multitude of tiny incremental stupid rules and taxes. Not a single one of them is cause for going to the barracades, but taken together they are more oppressive than the worst dictates of the worst dictators. And our police forces enforce these tiny stupid rules with a violent relish that any tin-pot dictator would approve.

If we think that a fascist state will arrive at our doorstep wearing full riot gear and demanding our obedience, we will be wrong. It will arrive, instead, by stealth and by almost imperceptible increments. It will, almost unnoticed, filch an extra penny from our pockets or require one more line of information on our applications. We think we will see it coming and that we will confront it like free men...with force if necessary. But it is already here, and despite our determination to resist, we cannot identify a single entity to resist against. The mailman who delivers the tax bill? The TV anchor who reports on the new ID rules? The Congressman who doesn't answer mail or phone calls, and whose vote only accounted for 1/3 of 1% of the votes that established the bureaucracy that hired the employees who contracted for the consultant who wrote the regulations that were published without a name?

There is no one to resist against.

The police, better known as Law Enforcement, are 'just doing their jobs' when they see that the rules are followed. They may even sympathize with your plight, but they have mouths to feed just like you. To keep their jobs, they will do whatever they have to, including the ocasional body slam or choke hold against a person who refuses to follow the tiniest of rules. It's not their fault, they say. They are just enforcing the rules. All the rules, no matter how stupid. That's their job. If you don't like the rules, change them. In the meantime, put your hands behind your back, and give them your name, address,....

Those of us who are advocates of liberty are more sensative than most to these restrictions on human freedom. Every little new rule grates on us, but we generally act like most people and learn to adapt. We may complain, but we pay the new taxes, show our ID's when requested, and stand in line for our new permission slips. We do this because it does not seem worth the effort, indeed it seems silly, to confront The Man over another dollar, or a five second flashing of ID card, or one more line asking for gender, date of birth, or race.

But there comes a point when the last indignity is the last one you can bear. To 'normal' people, your defiance is inexplicable. Why not go through the full body scanner? It just takes a few seconds; you're worrying about nothing and inconveniencing everyone.... You are making a mountain out of a molehill, they say. But you see it differently: you see the molehill is on top of the mountain.

So you break. And you do something silly, or at least seemingly silly to others. But it is important to you because, despite all the repressions you have put up with throughout your entire life, you will not take this last one. This last stupid, stupid, stupid rule. You protest, stupidly, doing something silly and over-the-top and out of proportion and crazy.

Adam Kokesh is dancing.

I can see from my life that the line in the sand is behind me, not in front. I should have Just Said No long ago. What will the trigger be that will make me the laughing stock of the neighborhood and an embarrassment to my family? I know it's coming, but I don't know what it is.

What's yours?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Letter to Russ Carnahan

I usually write letters to Russ Carnahan to bash him for his bafflingly stupid votes. Today, however, I found something to congratulate him for:

I would like to commend Rep. Carnahan for voting against the renewal of the Patriot Act. The invasive provisions in that act provide a rich opportunity for various law enforcement agencies, as well as politicians, to collect information on, intimidate, manipulate, and persecute otherwise peaceful citizens. The Fourth Amendment is being violated daily with hardly a peep of concern by our representatives.

I supported Rand Paul's principled stand against government encroachment on our right to be secure in our persons and our papers, unless there is credible probable cause for the commission of a crime, and unless there is a warrant signed by a neutral third party judge who certifies there is legitimate probable cause. In our current fear-based environment, even the most innocent of citizens is subject to suspicion, harrassment, and surveillance, all in the name of making us 'secure' against a real, but vastly overblown, threat of possible 'terrorism.'

There is always a risk that someone may do something violent to others, but the compensating factor in a free society is that at least we have our freedom. However, when a society focuses on absolute security, it never succeeds in acheiving that goal, and in the process it takes away our freedom, too. Terrorism may be bad, but terrorism coupled with a police state is much much worse.

I hope Rep. Carnahan will continue to vote against the destruction of our civil liberties and help support measures that will remove the heavy hand of government from our daily lives.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mr. Paul Goes To Washington

Just a short note: Freshman Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has taken a principled stand against the renewal of the infamous Patriot Act. Despite the general inclination of the Senate to 'go along to get along,' Rand Paul has begun a fillibuster to prevent the Senate from rubber stamping the Patriot Act without a debate. He apparently held the Senate floor for seven hours yesterday in order to frustrate Harry Reid's (D-Nevada) attempt to rush the bill through for a vote.

Good for Rand.

The Patriot Act is an unreadable mishmash of legalese that handed to the FBI, CIA, and NSA extensive powers read and listen to our personal communications, as well as to pry into our personal lives via the issuance of secret National Security Letters and draconian penalties for disclosing to anyone the fact that one has been issued to you.

The Fourth Amendment prevents the Federal government from intruding into our personal lives without probable cause and without a search warrent signed by a neutral judge. The Patriot Act does away with any such niceties. Instead, it has given the National Security State license to run amok with no effective recourse for citizens to stop them.

Rand is proving to be the greatest champion of traditional American liberties, possibly even eclipsing his father.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bin Laden Is Dead, Remember The Maine!

I waited patiently for the President's big announcement. The talking heads on TV had assured me that Mr. Obama would momentarily appear at the podium and deliver some startling news. Some great news. OK, some news about Bin Laden. Earth shattering news about Bin Laden having been...captured or killed! Captured or a Pakistan...

And so the news dribbled out over the next hour while we waited for the procrastinator-in-chief to appear and tell us what we already knew. Thousands of young people gathered outside the White House, many waving little American flags, chanting 'USA, USA, USA,' having been informed by tweets and a spontaneous desire to show support for our President and our Global War On Terror.

The actual speech was mercifully short. It had few details. It was, after an hour of prepping by every talking head that ever drew a paycheck from a network, anticlimactic. Bin Laden had been killed in a firefight in Pakistan. We were in possession of his body.

From the moment I heard the words, I had two conflicting thoughts: I was wrong to believe Bin Laden had been dead since 2001, and this latest announcement was one great big fat lie. The only way to resolve this was to wait for the evidence.

A photo of the dead Bin Laden quickly appeared on Pakistani TV, and was published in the UK Guardian. It was not, as far as I know, issued by the U.S. government, and the photo was quickly exposed by bloggers as a photo shopped fake. Another photo appeared yesterday, again quickly exposed as fake.

By the morning after the announcement, the body had been dumped into the sea. Hmmm. Then it was said the body had been positively identified as Bin Laden through DNA tests, yet skeptics noted that DNA tests generally take a couple of days. The comeback was that the tests are new, faster, and done aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier. Hmmmm. Not verifiable at this time. Then the White House said the photos might be too gruesome to publish, with brains hanging out and all. I don't doubt that, and I personally don't really want to see it...but how else am I to assess the truthfulness of Mr. Obama's claims?

Today, May 4th, the government is backtracking and saying the events did not unfold exactly as originally announced. Bin Laden was not armed. Nor did he use a wife as a shield. Both were shot dead. Hmmmm. What else will we learn in time?

So here I am, once again thinking...this is all a big fat lie to be lined up with all the other big fat lies that have caused the world so much harm in the last 100 years.

A short history of lies:

1. Sinking of the USS Maine: Caused by a coal fire, not the Spanish navy. Tens of thousands of innocent Filipinos are put in concentration camps or die in our dirty war sparked by a lie.

2. Sinking of the Lusitania: Was carrying munitions, which made it a military target, but the U.S. government didn't tell the civilian passengers they were at risk. The Germans were within the rules of war to torpedo it. Nevertheless, the U.S. uses the sinking as the reason to get us into WWI, which extended the war, killed millions more, resulted in the punitive Treaty of Versailles, and gave Hitler something to rally the German people around.

3. Pearl Harbor: Hardly a sneak attack, it was the calculated result of U.S. foreign policy to push the Japanese into making the first "overt act." Our soldiers and sailors were left, undefended and blind, as bait for a trap set to ensnare the Japanese and allow the U.S. to enter WWII. Millions died.

4. Gulf of Tonkin: The attack never happened. The President knew it, but he used it as an excuse to send ground troops into Vietnam. 58,000 Americans died, and about 2 million Vietnamese.

5. Gulf War I: We green lighted Iraq's attack on Kuwait, then we were shocked, SHOCKED, that Iraq invaded Kuwait. The rest is history. Hundreds of thousands died.

6. Gulf War II: No weapons of mass destruction. But that was the official reason for our attack on Iraq, with a little Bin Laden fear mongering thrown in to sweeten the story. All lies. About a million Iraqis died.

I could go on about the Jessica Lynch story, the Pat Tillman fable, and the most recent proven complete fabrication by Susan Rice that the Libyan army was issuing Viagra to it's soldiers as they went on a killing and raping spree. All completely made up stories intended to manipulate the American public. Sadly, Ms Rice still has her White House job.

Our government has lied repeatedly. Pathologically. That is not to say they don't sometimes tell the truth, but for god's sake, we can't be expected to know the truth from the fabrications unless we see evidence. "Because we said so" just doesn't cut it anymore.