“Giving money and power to Government is like giving whisky and car keys to teenage boys.”
The founders well knew that when ordinary men are thrust into positions of power, as fallible as men (& women) are, that the temptations created by that power could corrupt even those with the finest and most noble of intentions. That in their pursuit of short term good and in fighting off the emergencies of their day, they could lose sight of, and trample over, the critically important civil liberties and freedoms that protect us all as individual citizens, and are, in fact, what define us as a country and make us great. It is not our military strength, our economy, our riches or our resources – it is our freedom and our liberty as individuals within our country, protected from an over reaching and intrusive government – that is what makes America truly great, and always has. That is the basis of of our justice system & justice, that is how economic freedom and opportunity has arisen, and ultimately how we have battled for and continue to fight for equality in those opportunities. The Federal Government certainly has a defined role to play in many things, and chief among those should be the jealous protection of the rights of the people.
But I fear that what we have seen at an accelerating pace, first with the “Cold War”, then the “War on Drugs”, and now the “War on Terror” is that at every turn, the Federal Government had expanded its power and authority, it has curtailed civil rights & liberties, and it has created enormous taxpayer funded military like national police organizations & supporting agencies to execute what have evolved into endless wars against the foot soldiers of these causes, while doing nothing to reduce or eliminate the causes (in fact often exacerbating the root causes). For example, the War on Drugs, has done nothing to actually reduce drug usage in this country (& thus demand) which has cycled through a narrow range independent of any interdiction efforts. What it has done though, is succeeded in incarcerating the largest percentage of citizens of any country in the entire world by a huge percentage, no other country even comes close!
All with no real affect on the problem – and we get to pay for all of that. In tax dollars, and worse, in the loss of our freedoms and in the huge increase in danger and crime that the failed policies have resulted in.
Now, we are seeing a rapid rise in the militarization of even our smallest local law enforcement departments. Some, but not all, of these departments also now seem to be infected with an “us vs them” mentality when it comes to the communities that they used to go out into to serve – viewing them as enemy sectors to be patrolled, where every citizen is now a bad guy. The only people they are “protecting & serving” have badges. I do jot mean to imply that this is universally true by any means, their are still a LOT of hardworking and dedicated cops out there doing the right thing day in and day out for no thanks at all, but the rise of this new breed of “warrior cop” is frighteningly real. SWAT teams in armored vehicles going on all out raids, killing pets, destroying property, and all to often killing people – when it all could have been handled safely with a knock on the door by any officer (or many times by mail), and when they hit the wrong house it is all the more tragic – but of course, almost never is anybody held accountable.
The changes in this country of late are disturbing.
They can not be justified by the events of 9/11 or any threat.
We can not allow this country to be destroyed, even with the very best and most noble intentions, in an effort to save it.
As I see things that I am particularly worried about, things that I believe would make the men who fought so hard and debated so long over the Constitution and the Bill of Rights sit up or roll over in their graves, I will try to call attention to those things here.
I will also attempt to shed some light on what our rights actually are & what they were intended to be; as well as why it is important that they are there in the first place (I.e. What were those old men thinking?).
Occasionally I might just vent a bit.
What I probably WON’T be doing (never say never), is any direct Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal bashing. I won’t be calling the President any foul names or attacking him personally, nor engaging in wild speculation about birth certificates, or what not. When I disagree with him (which right now is often), it will be on policy and my comments will generally be directed at policy.
When the next President arrives, he will be afforded the same respect.
I generally won’t be engaging in personal attacks or name calling when it comes to anybody else either, I will try and restrict my comments to their behavior, actions, words, or policies – and not be overly reactive when they call me names (which may happen).
I am not here to fight flame wars, I am simply disturbed because this is NOT the America that I learned about in Civics class, this bears much more resemblance to the “Evil Empire” USSR that we all feared in the 70s. That’s not the America I want my children and grandchildren to inherent.