L. Neil Smith's
Number 251, December 14, 2003

Remember the Bill of Rights

What Will Cause the Next Civil War?
by Ron Beatty

Exclusive to TLE

Please notice that I do not ask the question; "WILL there be another Civil War?" To me, it is a foregone conclusion that, barring some miracle, we will all see another Civil War/2nd American Revolution in our lifetimes.

Why do I say this? Let's just look at some of what is going on in the world today. We have fundamentalist/evangelical Christians, convinced that it is their God-given duty to convert the whole world to their form of belief, even when they themselves don't know their own holy book well enough to articulate those beliefs. To them, if you do not believe the way they tell you to, you are not just mis-guided, you are willfully ignoring the word of God, and must therefore be destroyed to drive out the 'evil' in you. A prime example of this is abortion clinic bombings, and the scattered murders of doctors who perform abortions.

That is one minor facet of the religion problem. There are many others. Anti-semitism is alive and well, just ordinarily well hidden. How about the anti-Islam feelings abounding now, with all the trouble in the Middle East? Then there are the Wiccan/New Age/Pagan people, who also feel as if they are being persecuted.

Then there is the race problem. This is another one that is ordinarily well hidden, however, anytime a police officer kills or even injures a black or hispanic citizen, we all live in fear of riots and massive protests. This indicates a deep level of hate and distrust on the part of the races toward each other. Sooner or later, it WILL blow apart, just as it did in LA after the Rodney King incident.

Then there is the single biggest possible trigger point, US government abuse of power. I can already hear some people saying "What? Our government doesn't abuse it's power! We live in a free country!"


Is it a free country when a town in Florida shuts down a kid's lemonade stand because they don't have a permit and business license?

Is it a free country when the Supreme Court, fearing possible backlash, refuses to address the largest Constitutional rights issue in over 40 years?

Is it a free country when taxes, fees, and hidden costs of regulation take over 50% of every dollar you make? And THAT is on the low side! A very good case could be made for arguing that the government, through taxes, regulations, fees, increased costs of complying with all the foregoing, and general inefficiency, consumes over 75% of every dollar you see. In other words, you have to try to survive on 1/8 to 1/4 of your earnings, as phrased in real purchasing power.

Is it a free country when a 71-year old man is thrown in jail without bail because he shot a violent attacker of a 63 year old friend of his? A violent attacker who had been arrested earlier THAT SAME DAY for assault?

Is it a free country when government agents murder a woman who is holding her baby in her arms?

Is it a free country when government agents burn 80+ people to death for wanting to live according to their religious beliefs?

Is it a free country when our government wastes money investigating people like me, because I prefer to use cash, do not have or want a bank account, and own firearms?

Is it a free country when our courts. our legislators, and our executives consistently refuse to do their jobs, as they are sworn to do, which is to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States?

Now I can hear some of you saying, "OKAY, what the hell do we do about all this?"

Now comes the really sad part. I don't know what will fix all these problems. What I see happening, at some point, is another Civil War/American Revolution. Please note that I do NOT advocate over-throwing our government by force. I simply see it happening, unless some major changes are made.

Looked at by any objective standard, our country, our society, and our way of life is balanced on a knife edge, and has been for over 40 years (probably longer, but 40 is easily justifiable). Economically and socially, our nation is bankrupt. Our government has been robbing Peter to pay Paul, and pretty soon, Peter isn't going to have any more to rob! Instead of unifying to face our social problems, we have become even more factionalized. There is more divisiveness now than there was during the Civil Rights movement, it just isn't as overt. Think I'm joking? Go start a conversation about affirmative action with a group of small business owners.

About all I can see for us, as individuals, to do, is this: be prepared to defend your life, the lives of your family, and your property, when the sad day comes that the Great Experiment that was America fails, for unless our elected representatives return to the Constitutional Democracy this country was MEANT to be, it WILL happen. Unless the fanatics of EVERY religious group learn to be tolerant, it WILL happen. Unless the races learn to put aside their differences and learn to get along, celebrating the things they have in common, it WILL happen.

In the meantime, if you are a religious person, I hope that your god or goddess will bless you, guide you and keep you on your chosen path. For those who are not religious, I wish you all the luck in the world. Those of us who love Liberty are too few to let minor things come between us!


The State vs. The People
by Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman

Is America becoming a police state? Friends of liberty need to know.

Some say the U.S. is already a police state. Others watch the news for signs that their country is about to cross an indefinable line. Since September 11, 2001, the question has become more urgent. When do roving wiretaps, random checkpoints, mysterious "detentions," and military tribunals cross over from being emergency measures to being the tools of a government permanently and irrevocably out of control?

The State vs. the People examines these crucial issues. But first, it answers this fundamental question: "What is a police state?"

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