Saturday, September 09, 2006

The biggest power-grabbing bonanza

Whatever happened to those courageous 18th century Anglos, who had the guts to attempt the formation of an open society, even though such an entity might not offer the kind of security as that of a more rigidly controlled society?

How is it that the citizen's freedom to talk back to the country's representatives and to put restrictions on these elected officials meant more to the Constitution's framers than the guarantee of physical "safety"?

Would the Founders recognize their timid descendants, who today seek security above all else, and are willingly selling out their political birthright in their efforts to guarantee continuance of the good life? Today's typical American seems happy to exist within a network of government surveillance, if it means he can live in undisturbed play with his ever-increasing toys -- his iPods, cell phones, Palm Pilots, Blackberries, ad nauseum. In "Fear Is the Coin of the Realm," Jacob Hornberger, director of the Future of Freedom Foundation, writes:

Fear, of course, has been the coin of the realm for oppressive and dictatorial governments throughout history. Frighten the citizenry and they’ll practically beg you to take away their freedom. ...

When Soviet communism, which had been used for decades to justify ever-increasing budgets for the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department, expired with the fall of the Berlin Wall, new official fears had to be found. And fast! Federal power and federal budgets depended on it. There were, for example, the drug lords, who were coming to get us and put us on drugs. My favorite though was – "an unsafe world," which was enough to scare anyone to death. ...

No one can deny that 9/11 has been the biggest power-grabbing bonanza for power-loving federal politicians and bureaucrats since the Civil War. The terrorists, who are reacting to the power-grabbers’ own foreign policies, are coming to get us! Don’t even read the USA PATRIOT Act – just enact it! ...

Isn't it ironic that we have the most powerful empire in history, whose very own policies have often produced the things we're supposed be afraid of, and yet, at the same time, the most frightened grownups in the world? ... The sheeplings are bleating to the power-grabbing wolves, "Please, do whatever is necessary to protect me from the big bad terrorists. Take away my freedoms if you have to because I am so scared. I love you and I trust you."
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The divinely sanctioned American state

In an entry to the LewRockwell blog, Charles Featherstone questions the strange development of American Christianity into a belief system that now confuses Ceasar with God. A great many of today's Christians are taught that the church must become a subsidiary of the state. Not only do church leaders demand endorsement by the state of their particular notion of God, they also claim to know when God has returned the endorsement. He writes:

The core of the problem is the American conviction of "chosenness," that God has somehow singled out the United States of America for a special mission in the world. Personally, I'd like to see some evidence for that view, rather than mere assertions based on interpretations of scripture and self-centered wishful thinking.

Did I miss God handing out the law at Plymouth Rock, or making a covenant with Americans at Jamestown or Gettysburg? Did I miss the crucifixion and resurrection of Abraham Lincoln? Did I miss the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Progressives, empowering them to spread the Gospel and save the unsaved through the law and through state power? Read more!

Enough to secure the border ten times over

Chris Simcox, of the Minutemen, estimates that 2.2 miles of fencing along a section of the Arizona-Mexico border costs about $17,000. Congressman John Murtha says that the travesty in Iraq is costing us $11 million an hour. Now, how much border fencing would that pay for, and how many National Guardsmen might be maintained at $11 million an hour? Read more!

Paying for anchor babies

On the Vdare website, a South Carolina registered nurse vents her complaints about her hospital duties, where one-third of births are to illegal aliens.

She tells of women from South American countries who have never learned to read and write in their own native languages. Some, like indigenous Indians from Guatemala, never even learned to speak Spanish in their own countries, and certainly don't know a word of English. Yet voting advocates are insisting that such people participate in U.S. elections.

The nurse writes, "You pay over $2 billion each year just for illegals to have their anchor babies [children who are born over the border in the U.S., which insures American citizenship and benefits]." She logically proposes, "If the mother is an illegal alien who is not under our jurisdiction, then so is her baby."

Before the misinterpretation of the immigration clause in the Constitution, this was considered to be the case. Where jurisdiction was the key, the child shared the same citizenship as his parents, and did not magically become an American citizen because the mother happened to be in the country at the time she gave birth. Read more!

A "seamless" North America - The Founders didn't have this in mind

The following excerpts are from a commentary by Phyllis Schlafly about a document of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) that proposes to "integrate" the three countries of Canada, U.S. and Mexico essentially into one -- a sort of North American European Union.

The CFR document calls for creating a "North American preference" so that employers can recruit low-paid workers from anywhere in North America. No longer will illegal aliens have to be smuggled across the border; employers can openly recruit foreigners willing to work for a fraction of U.S. wages. Just to make sure that bringing cheap labor from Mexico is an essential part of the plan, the CFR document calls for "a seamless North American market" and for "the extension of full labor mobility to Mexico." ...

The experience of the European Union and the World Trade Organization makes it clear that a common market requires a court system, so the CFR document calls for "a permanent tribunal for North American dispute resolution." ... The CFR document demands that we implement "the Social Security Totalization Agreement negotiated between the United States and Mexico." That's code language for putting illegal aliens into the U.S. Social Security system, which is bound to bankrupt the system. ...

To expedite American embrace of the CFR plan, [Prof. Robert] Pastor [member of CFR Task Force] calls for educational centers to help us accept "an integrated North America" and to develop "a new consciousness" so that we will think of ourselves "as North Americans." Pastor criticized the U.S., Mexican and Canadian government for remaining "zealous defenders of an outdated conception of sovereignty." ...

Americans don't want to be "integrated" with the corruption, socialism, poverty, population, and communism of our hemispheric neighbors any more than the French want to be integrated with the Turks and Bulgarians.

The European Union political elite ridiculed the French and the Dutch for not realizing that globalism is on the march and we should all get on the train before it leaves the station. The French and Dutch [whose countries rejected the proposed EU Constitution] woke up to the fact that the engineers of the EU train are bureaucrats in Brussels and judges in Luxembourg who invent regulations and judge-made laws without so much as a tip of their hats to democracy. ...

The enemies of sovereignty are working toward world government, but they know that is a highly unpopular concept. So they woo us with softer semantics, always undefined, such as global governance, human rights, sustainable development, and international justice.

The world government advocates think they can achieve their goal by incremental steps. Europe progressed from the European Common Market to the European Union, and complete integration was to be sealed with the European Union Constitution. In the Western Hemisphere, the steps are NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), CAFTA (Central America Free Trade Agreement), numerous North American summits such as the ones in Quebec in 2001 and at Bush's ranch in 2005, and finally FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas). ...

Our Declaration of Independence, in essence, is a declaration of American sovereignty. Our freedom depends on keeping our sovereignty — with our own borders — and on avoiding European mistakes. It is essential that our next President be a man who will stand up for American sovereignty.
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Why not a return to states rights?

There was a time when true conservatives lamented the loss of the Constitution's Tenth Amendment. Somehow, as the civil rights of blacks took center stage and became the one and only Holy Cause of the nation, the right of individual states to exert political power on their own became an almost immoral idea.

Now, Pat Buchanan comes along ["Armistice in the Culture War?," The American Conservative, July 17, 2006] and proposes that which so many of us have mused over -- that each of the 50 states be allowed once again to operate under the will of their respective residents. Buchanan suggests that such a move is the only way out of this culture war that keeps Americans shouting at one another. Why not "rediscover the lost road to the states' rights nation" originally intended by Madison and Jefferson, Buchanan asks, and writes:

We need to look reality in the eye. America is no longer a moral community. We no longer agree on what is right and wrong, good and evil. The cultural revolution of the 1960s, while igniting the political counterrevolution that Nixon and Reagan rode to 49-state landslides, has by now occupied the commanding heights of academia, the arts, the media, and the popular culture. . . .

Consider the possibilities of a states' rights resolution of the issues that most bitterly divide us. Mississippi might outlaw almost all abortions, end forced busing for racial balance, forbid reverse discrimination against white folks, enact a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman, allow Bible instruction, prayer, and posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools, and outlaw X-rated movies in all theaters. Mississippians could create the society they want, according to values in which a majority of Mississippians believe.

The same with the Big Apple. If they want to legalize lap dancing and ban smoking in every bar, that is their business. But Big Apple values could no longer be imposed on Utah or Wyoming. . . .

With a return to states' rights, the social and moral issues could be decided either by state referenda or elected representatives who could be voted out of office every two years. Society would be shaped according to the values of the people of the community, region, or state.

And, one might add, if a state's residents opted for unlimited immigration from any country under the sun, let them have it. Whereas, another state could declare itself off-limits to any and all prospective immigrants, or off-limits only to particular ones from particular countries. Wouldn't that kind of choice raise the hackles on liberals! However, before becoming dismayed, they should consider that states could legalize abortion, homosexual marriage, preferential policies for their favorite ethnic/gender groups, and so forth.
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If Ike could see us now

The excerpts below are some of what former General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower had to say about past Republican governance. They are from the speech he delivered to the 1964 Republican Convention. He is proud that his party disdains the "expansion of federal influence," the "sinister trend toward paternalism," an "increase in the concentration of power in Washington," and "charging our bills to posterity."

Say, what?

• • •

I am here this evening, first of all, as a citizen of the United States, with primary allegiance to my country; but second, I am here, with great pride, as a Republican. I am dedicated to the purposes of this party; I am jealous of its good name; I am grateful to those among us who represent us all by their discharge of political responsibility. ...

In the last thirty-two years, our political opponents have controlled the executive branch of the Federal Government for twenty-four, and the Congress for twenty-eight. During this period our money was recklessly devalued, with great hardship visited upon much of our citizenry. The expansion of federal influence was made permanent policy, even though its miserable lack of success in the economic arena persisted until the violent demands of war obscured the unhappy failure. The centralizing process even went so far as to include an attempt, by summary executive power, to seize the steel industry. . . .

The sinister trend toward paternalism, which now again grows apace, was interrupted only by the eight-year determination of a Republican administration in the 1950's. That administration . . . insisted that all public responsibilities be carried out, wherever possible, by local and state governments; by the federal government only when necessary. . . . It was an administration which set its face directly for the people and their well-being and directly against any increase in the concentration of power in Washington. . . .

By our insistence upon paying now for what we demand from government today, instead of charging our bills to posterity, we are seeing to it that those who follow us will not one day be working out their lives, paying off gigantic debts run up through our own selfishness and profligacy.

This concern for the future is in keeping with Republican conviction and American tradition. America is here, not just for a day or a century. In the Constitution we read, as the purpose of our inspired founders, "To secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity." Any political party that counsels us to ignore the needs of tomorrow, so that, on deficit spending, we may live today in comfort and ease, is false to America's true meaning and to her destiny. Our policy of sound conduct of fiscal affairs is simply proof of our concern for all Americans, both now and in the future.

A couple of more gems from the General:

"If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They’ll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government."
-- Speech to luncheon clubs, Galveston, Texas, December 8, 1949, when he was president of Columbia University.

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity. War settles nothing."
-- Speech in Ottawa, Canada, January 10, 1946.
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