If we don’t want a future U.S. government to become tyrannical we must work every day to limit the creation of government powers, laws, regulations and departments with the potential to be used as tools of tyranny. The tax collector has been an unfortunate but necessary fixture in society for thousands of years and will continue to be so. The power to tax is necessary (but certainly not at the levels we’ve chosen the past few years) but is also ripe for abuse and is definitely a potential tool of tyranny. Let’s not forget that one of the rallying cries that created our nation was tax related… “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”
I must admit that when the cries of unfair treatment from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by conservative nonprofits was raised during the election I discounted them as oversensitivity encouraged by election year politics but as it turns out there was preferential treatment for non-profits which espoused views similar to President Obama’s. It seems that organizations ‘friendly’ to the incumbent President weren’t selected for additional scrutiny but organizations with ‘patriot’ or ‘tea party’ in the title were.
A ruling intelligentsia, whether in Europe, Asia or Africa, treats the masses as raw material to be experimented on, processed, and wasted at will.
Yesterday those of us who value the right to self defense and believe that an armed public is the best defense against future tyranny won a battle but not the war for firearms freedom.
Although the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the gun control bill from consideration he’s indicated that the President intends to go around Congress (again) and take executive action to limit firearms freedoms. It must be a terrible burden to bear when you have to resort to executive decree to force regulations on a populace that’s failed to support your schemes willingly.
If you’re a freedom loving citizen then by all means, celebrate this victory…but remember that you’re celebrating the win of a battle, not of a war. The gun grabbers aren’t giving up, just taking time to reconstitute, resupply, and wait for the next crisis they can exploit.
I have a good friend who I deployed with who was fond of reminding me (and everyone else that would listen) that ‘words matter.’ I took his admonition to heart and have since made a hobby of listening to how our language is evolving and is often manipulated to achieve one political agenda or another. It’s amazing how a little language tweak can hide the complexities of an issue, get folks to ride an emotional wave in a new direction or even stand an argument on its head. What’s particularly troubling is when language is purposefully manipulated to make the abridgement of freedoms more acceptable or reduce self reliance.
I’ve written previously about George Orwell’s admonitions against collectivism and specifically the premise behind what Orwell called ‘Newspeak’ in his classic book 1984. Newspeak was a modification to the language so that ‘Big Brother’ could exert greater control and change the way people think. By modifying the language, Big Brother hoped to eliminate ‘thoughtcrime’ and the drive for freedom.
While we are fortunate enough to live in a society that is still ruled more by law than by man, there is a potential tyranny to such language manipulation and even some language changes made under the cover of ‘political correctness.’ While these manipulations aren’t centralized (as in from Big Brother’s government) in their origin they still represent our own version of Newspeak.
One recent example of this phenomena was when Rep. John Conyers Jr. admonished the House Judiciary Committee:
If Philip K. Dick is rolling over in his grave it’s from bouts of hysterical laughter. One of the major plot devices of his book Minority Report, later made into a Tom Cruise blockbuster is seriously being contemplated by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Dick’s Department of PreCrime is in danger of becoming a reality…just without the clairvoyants.
In the story a government agency called the Department of PreCrime is established to identify criminals before they commit their crimes and incarcerate them as a preventive measure against crimes they might commit in the future. As the book unfolds it becomes clear that the Precrime Agency which might have been developed out of the best of intentions, has become a tool of tyranny. The nice thing about fiction is that you can clearly identify the good guys and the bad guys…unfortunately in real life it’s more complicated.
America today is the only global superpower…. Only America has the reach and means to deal with Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or the other wicked psychopaths who will sooner or later step into their shoes.
Former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, December 9, 2002
Andrew’s Note: Been there, done that!
It looks like former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel may become our next Secretary of Defense.
Whenever I hire anyone at the office I do a little research into their background including an internet search.
The U.S. Secretary of Defense is intrusted with securing and maintaining our country’s nuclear arsenal and nuclear superiority…so I was a little curious when an internet search for Chuck Hagel turned up board membership in an organization called Ploughshares.
Hagel appears to still be a member of the Board of Directors of Ploughshares Fund Partners. Here’s how Ploughshares Fund describes it’s funding priorities on their website:
When the Supreme Court, or any other court for that matter, makes a ruling in a case they first look for precedent, in other words to see if there has been a court decision rendered on the same subject in the past and usually defer to the old decision in ruling on the case.
The greatest teacher in life is experience; it only takes one time of burning your fingers on a hot stove to know that you never want to touch another one.
The next greatest teacher is observation, paying attention to someone else’s experiences and profiting from their wins and losses, trials and errors.
In my generation I have seen the rise and fall off fascism, communism, different experiments in socialism and the kind of downright social and fiscal foolishness that leads to what has recently happened in Greece.
There is an old saying that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
There is at this time a huge debate in our nation about the private ownership of firearms. The president and the anti gun crowd claim they do not want to do away with private ownership, that they only want to modify the existing laws having to do with assault weapons -which can be construed as anything in your gun cabinet of any heavy caliber – and clips for semiautomatic weapons holding more than 10 bullets.
I submit to you that what is going on here is the first assault on private gun ownership
Charlie Daniels via Precedent Teaches Us The Left Really Wants ALL Our Guns
Note from Andrew: Today I’m pleased to introduce you to a new periodic column by my friend Roger Reality. Roger has been a key mentor in my life particularly with regard to critical thinking and analysis, and as you will see…he speaks with passion. Enjoy.
I have become increasingly irate at the insanely skewed tax code in this country. The more that I have researched the situation and discovered the facts the greater has become my ire with a “system” that is so patently unfair that it is almost difficult to believe!
Please take a close look at the facts as assembled and organized by the great folks at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation from the raw data available from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
For tax year 2006, the last year for which complete data is available, there were exactly 133,208,934 federal individual tax returns filed. That means the bottom 50% of filers constitute 66,604,467, roughly 67 million filers. So exactly how much of the federal government’s income tax revenue does the bottom 50%, those 67 MILLION “taxpayers”, put into the pot?? How about a mere 3.11%!! So does that sound “fair” to you? It does to a lot of people, particularly those in that 50% and those who pander to them. But before you decide, let’s look at some more numbers.
So a relative handful of taxpayers in each of four states paid more in taxes than the 67 MILLION did together! Continue reading
In his book, 1984, George Orwell described a despotic society so controlling that it modified the English language to make ‘thoughtcrime’…unthinkable. The language Orwell described as ‘Newspeak’ was based on English but pared down to the absolute minimum with all words used to describe politically incorrect ideas removed.
…two emails from the DNC host committee referring to the Charlotte venue where President Obama will speak as “Panthers Stadium.”
It’s the place where the Panthers play, but it’s actually called Bank of America stadium.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) seems to be engaging in a bit of ‘Newspeak’ of its own. It seems that all the money Bank of America (BOA) spent to have the stadium named after the company wasn’t good enough for the DNC to call it by…its name. Maybe if Bank of America didn’t fit into the ‘evil bankers’ dialog they wouldn’t have had their (named) stadium renamed by the DNC. Yes, BOA has been at the center of mortgage transfer scandals…but this is just one example of the spin and massaging of the dialog that has become more and more commonplace recently. For further examples just look at how many entitlements are now being described as ‘rights’ by Democratic politicians.
In case you think I’m unfairly targeting one party let me assure you that the Republicans massage the language as well…imagine how hard it would have been to pass the “Trade a Bunch of Your Freedoms in For a False Sense of Security Act” during the Bush presidency. Doesn’t ‘The Patriot Act’ sound so much more appealing…if less accurate.
Blackwhite- The ability to accept whatever “truth” the party puts out, no matter how absurd it may be. Orwell described it as “…loyal willingness to say black is white when party discipline demands this. It also means the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know black is white, and forget that one has ever believed the contrary.”
Newspeak – The official language of Oceania. Newspeak is “politically correct” speech taken to its maximum extent. Newspeak is based on standard English, but all words describing “unorthodox” political ideas have been removed. In addition, there was an attempt to remove the overall number of words in general, to limit the range of ideas that could be expressed.
Andrew’s Note: As of 9/15/2012 the Newspeak Dictionary Website has been down for a couple of weeks. I’ll keep the link active for now in the hopes that it’s a temporary situation.
… a democratic republic cannot long survive as a special interest state. The destruction of economic value is too complete, as interests channel the money into unproductive uses—housing and education bubbles; alternative energy; battalions of compliance officers; a ruling class that depends on the iron rice bowl of the government giving its members jobs telling the masses what to do.
The destruction of other values is also serious. Respect now goes to the person who can best manipulate the system to extract resources for his clientele, not to the one who creates productive enterprises. The term “doer” becomes a synonym for “sap.” Private institutions respond to Big SIS by becoming Little SISes, choosing their leaders for their ability to schmooze the government rather than for skill or dedication in pursuing the mission of the institution. Log-rolling coalitions require that members of each group within the tent abandon any reservations about the demands of their allies.
Margaret Thatcher said that socialism eventually runs out of other people’s money, but in a socialist world the ruling class is at least trying to promote some vision of the general welfare, however demented. The special interest state is more degraded in that the general welfare is of little concern to the interests’ representatives. Arguments that their positions are destructive have no impact, except perhaps to send them back to their offices to grab more before the game ends.
The special interest state cannot keep growing and has no natural equilibrium point. So the question now is not whether but how it will end, and this is inscrutable. One can envision a period of creative politics and institution building in which an aroused public demands the dismantling of much of the special interest state, a cut-back in government, and the creation of new institutional controls to prevent a recurrence.
I keep reading that last line…
“One can envision a period of creative politics and institution building in which an aroused public demands the dismantling of much of the special interest state, a cut-back in government, and the creation of new institutional controls to prevent a recurrence.”
…and have to say that I’m having a hard time envisioning that period. Given the dramatic spending increases orchestrated by the current and previous administration (even if you don’t count the war spending) I see people fighting for their piece of the pie rather than calling for necessary but painful spending cuts. This culture of dependency and forced redistribution of wealth to special interest groups has the potential to break our great nation…both financially and morally.