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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