L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 282, August 1, 2004
Happy 50th Birthday Michael Badnarik!
Are You Going to be Free or Not?
Exclusive to TLE
Imagine, if you will, a country that was born in blood, blood shed to purchase freedom from oppression. Imagine a country where for many years, even though government was intrusive and annoying, as all governments are (at best), the people were still free to innovate, to experiment, to learn, to grow, without government supervision. Imagine a country where all you needed to make a fresh start was the guts and will to move on, to find a new land, where you could make a complete new beginning, if you had the strength and courage to take advantage of the opportunity, to face the inherent risks of settling a comparative wilderness. Imagine if you will, a country where the people were free, and more importantly proud of being free, where they could and would do whatever it took to make a better life for themselves, where the only unforgivable sin was lack of trying.
Then, in a time of great turmoil and civil unrest over the slavery issue, a great tyrant rose to power, a tyrant who has been turned into a saint by the descendants of these free men and women. In the year 84 AL, Abraham Lincoln came to power, a failed businessman, a man who was at the very least neurotic, and possibly psychotic, who had suffered several nervous breakdowns, even before the stresses of the War of Northern Aggression came to rest on his shoulders. This was the beginning of the end for the free peoples of this once great nation. Under the aegis of this tyrant, the Constitution became perverted and twisted.
After four years of horrible war, a war in which over 10 % of the adult male population of the nation was killed or wounded, vindictive politicians further twisted and mutilated the Constitution to justify the terrible vengeance they wreaked upon their own helpless countrymen, and to aid them in the lust for personal power this awful time gave opportunity to.
Now, 139 years after the death of the first great tyrant, another has risen to power. This new tyrant, just like the first, is a failed businessman. Like the first, he exhibits signs of mental instability, claiming that 'god' gives him orders to guide some aspects of national policy. Like the first tyrant, he is using a time of national upheaval to further his own goals of personal power.
Under this new tyrant, a new law was passed, without even being read by the majority of Congress. This new law gives the tyrant the same sweeping powers that the first tyrant assumed during a time of civil war. Under this new law, called the Patriot Act, it is no longer necessary for government officials to have 'probably cause' to arrest a citizen. It is no longer necessary to have a judge issue a warrant to perform a search and seizure. It is no longer necessary to obtain a warrant to eavesdrop on the private and personal communications of citizens who have neither been convicted of, or even accused of any type of crime or misdemeanor. With no reason given, which is bad enough, citizens can be refused the right to use the most efficient and fastest means of transportation. Even worse, there is no recourse, the citizen isn't told anything until he attempts to purchase tickets, then if he is on the 'prohibited' list, he is told that this is not allowed. Again, no reason is given, and no recourse is possible, since the 'list' does not officially exist. The person doesn't have to be a criminal. All that is necessary is that someone, somewhere, has to decide that this person just might, possibly, someday, maybe, be dangerous. The justification for this decision can be anything. Perhaps the person has written a letter critical of government to the editor of his local paper. Perhaps the person is a Libertarian columnist. Perhaps the person knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who just might be involved or connected with someone who just might be a possible terrorist.
Another facet of this is those who for some reason have medical appliances in their body, perhaps a pacemaker, or for some, a shunt tube, whatever it might be. These people can be, and have been, subjected to humiliating personal searches, for no other reason than that there is a lump of metal in their body, which they informed the SS about. The metal shows up exactly where they said it was, clearly visible on X-rays. Doesn't matter to the goons. They now have the opportunity to demonstrate their power over the hapless traveller.
Under this new tyrant, American citizens can be held without bond, without legal representation, and can be subjected to torture, all in direct violation of the Constitution this tyrant has sworn an oath to his 'god' to protect and defend. This tyrant has led us to an undeclared war which has killed over a thousand American and allied troops, and thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians, all for a lie. Now that more and more citizens are objecting to the tyrant's abuse of power, he is threatening to use his legal powers to protect his illegal assumption of powers. Does this seem a little strange to anyone else?
The saddest part of all this is something that I simply cannot comprehend: Almost half the population thinks this tyrant is actually doing good! For some incomprehensible reason, perhaps fear of change, perhaps fear of persecution, perhaps fear of prosecution, perhaps nothing more abstract than simple lust for power or personal gain in some form or other, they defend the illegal and immoral actions of those in government!
When the first tyrant came to power, he killed over 10% of the population in his grab for power. How many will this new tyrant kill or imprison, using this traitorous PATRIOT ACT, in his obsessive clutch for power?
As always, do not take my word for anything I have said here. Do
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