Once again, the U.S. government is making noise about going to war (oh sorry, “intervening for humanitarian reasons”) in a Mideast country on sketchy evidence.
If gov-o-crats decide to side with Islamist rebels in Syria, the choice could cost us all — in more ways than one. Some of the costs are unforeseeable. One is obvious: The U.S. is going broke and will go broke faster.
Well, the U.S. is going broke no matter what, and We the People — or They Our Grandchildren — are going to pay. And pay. And pay.
So this seems a good time to ask: In your book, what is the best way to avoid spending your money and your effort to finance government actions you consider, at best, morally indefensible and, at worst, downright evil and catastrophic?
People cheer and applaud. They turn out in the streets to wave little American flags.
And next we can watch as they condone demand and slaver over illegal treatment of Suspect #2 (an American citizen). We can “enjoy” a new round of anti-immigrant and anti-Islam hatred. We can observe bobbleheads nodding from Los Angeles to Hartford as Good Citizens agree with all the new promises politicians and the state-security apparatus make as they concoct onerous new ways to “protect” us all.
Did you feel that coming right from the beginning? Right from the moment the sound of the explosions boomed across the media?
Even when the possibility still existed that the bombings were the work of some random crazy or some creep with a personal grudge, the media, police, and politicians from DC down (if you can go any farther down than DC) immediately went into “All of America has been attacked!” mode.
Contrast the reaction between the marathon bombings and the tragic explosion in Texas. Which killed more? Which leveled more buildings? Which killed paramedics and EMTs who had rushed to help? And which was treated like a afterthought?
I don’t mean to minimize or dismiss the suffering of the bomb victims. What hell they’re forced to endure! What a barbarity they were struck with. And of course, the Boston disaster was a vile crime and there’s no evidence (far as I know) of a crime at that Texas fertilizer plant.
But what an excuse the marathon bombs gave the media-police-politics complex. Now they’re free to lay the groundwork for another ramp-up of the Homeland (Achtung!) Security state. And are we going to be in for it.
Jim Bovard sent me this Salon article that sums up a big part of the problem: namely that we gave up freedom for the promise of security and (as you could have predicted), didn’t get security, either. The author comes from the left; he doesn’t seem to understand that the Second Amendment is our last bulwark against the permanent loss of all the others. But he’s nailed some of the big issues.
We’re all supposed to pretend that violence against masses of people is something new — that somehow the U.S. is under unprecedented attack that requires unprecedented (and certainly Draconian) central government crackdowns and surveillance. You know they’re coming — on top of the ones we already endure.
But we can only believe that if we’re a) big babies, b) hysterical drama queens, or c) completely ignorant of history. We’re supposed to forget that, clear back in 1955, some creepazoid blew up an airliner with 39 people on board. We’re supposed to pretend the Bath school disaster wasn’t perpetrated all the way back in 1927. And those weren’t even the first highly public bombings committed in this country.
Did the federal government concoct a security state over either of those horrors? No, because back then a few things still held government back. No, because back then the 24/7 propaganda-and-hysteria machine hadn’t been completely built yet. No, because back then, Americans didn’t wet their pants and quiver in the closet every time some moron with an agenda perpetrated evil somewhere in the country.
Oh, but now government and media know no restraints. Now we’re going to get it. Only question is: what exactly are we going to get this time?
At the end of December, Bob Owens looked around his local gun stores and wrote, “This isn’t a society stocking up on certain guns because they fear they may be banned. This is a society preparing for war.” (H/T BW)
And he mentioned something I can’t recall ever hearing about, though it was an important precursor to the American Revolution: The Powder Alarm. Yep. That’s a good analogy for where things stand now. The tyrants hadn’t yet started killing people to get their guns and ammo. They just confirmed their intentions and the colonists’ suspicions.
Hey, look! Business owners, here’s yet another “benefit” from the fedgov and possibly another addition to your “three felonies a day” quota (and you are doing your share to keep up, aren’t you?). You could become a criminal for running criminal background checks on prospective employees.
Thanks and an apology to all the people who sent or posted these great links. I’ve been saving some of them for a week and don’t remember who-all found them. So I can’t give proper credit. But you’re all brilliant, I’m sure. :-)
UPDATE: That indefatigable archivist, Bill St. Clair, has put a much more attractive and easily readable version online. According to commenter Woody, Bill’s version can also be ported to Kindle and other devices (if you have Caliber software). Thank you, Bill!
The Moon is Down is a war story of an unusual kind. It’s set almost entirely in living rooms and drawing rooms, with the violence offstage. It’s about what happens when ordinary, peaceable people are conquered — but not defeated — by an invader. What happens when a top-down organization that prides itself on its superiority and meticulous planning meets that most unknowable of all things … the ordinary individual.
But as I try to write about those reasons, I find post after abortive post going in a different direction. Not because the reasons to be hopeful don’t exist, but because they all lead to a conclusion I don’t want to conclude.
It’s not a new conclusion. Others have reached it long since. It’s just one I think more of us need to quit dancing around, like it or not. We’ve bitched about how the fedgov now treats its citizens subjects as criminal suspects. But that misses the point by orders of magnitude.
You don’t spy on millions of people, militarize your police, encourage neighbor to rat out neighbor, define thousands of innocuous activities as “domestic terrorism, conduct checkpoints and VIPR raids, lock people up without trials, kick down doors in the middle of the night, or arbitrarily deny people the freedom to travel if you’re looking for mere criminals.
You do that only if you’re pants-pissing terrified because you fear that those millions — millions! — of peaceable people are enemies of your regime.
The U.S. federal government has (covertly of course, and gradually) declared war on its citizens. That’s the reality. We’re not mere criminal suspects. We’re enemies — and by their choice, not ours.
Sure, some of us may have philosophically fancied ourselves enemies of the state. Some of us prefer to be ignorers of the state. Most of us have learned to live, one way or another, peaceably in the shadow of the state. But I don’t know one of us who has ever violently attacked the state — or wanted to.
But no matter what we think, or how we live, or with what civility and decency we conduct ourselves, in the eye of Mordor-on-the-Potomac, we are all enemies. All despised. And above all — all subject to destruction at the whim of power.
We need to recognize exactly what that darkness is, massing on our horizon. We need to quit being indignant innocents protesting against it and nattering about constitutions and rights — as if anyone in power listened or cared. We need to understand exactly what the looming darkness portends for us — and what the forces behind it intend for us.
I’m not sufficiently paranoid to believe things like the following. But that may be because I’m not sufficiently paranoid. An anonymous friend (who is not notably paranoid, either) writes:
Bless me, Father,
For I have sinned.
The news I saw this AM was that the next global warming report by the UN IPCC had been leaked. Leaking blows their favorite tactic out of the water. SOP is to release a heavily politicized “summary” written by politicians and parasites for politicians and parasites. The press and .gov types lap it up. Three months later, the actual report written by sort-of scientists (the kind that suck up to UN agencies) is released. The correlation between the summary and the actual report is rather low.
Now that’s gone. What’s worse for the alarmists, the 2nd draft that was released shows that quite a few scientists know darn well that 1) there has been no global warming for 16 years, and 2) global temperature changes are highly correlated with solar magnetic (aka sunspot) activity. Solar magnetic activity rose from 1920 to 2000, and most research shows that over the eons, it accounted for 60-80% of the observed warming. This is so highly correlated that not using solar magnetic activities in models is fraudulent. Which is precisely what prompted one outraged scientist to leak the 2nd draft.
Now solar magnetic activity has collapsed, the earth is cooling, and warmism will die a well-deserved death. But not before one last round of new carbon taxes, renewable energy scams, and related graft and theft.
Then at lunch I see the news about the shooting. Pushed the flap about the latest, very severe blow to warmism right off the news. Will probably keep it off for quite some time.
Then the thought crossed my mind. No, no one could be that depraved. But it’s been pointed out by people only slightly more paranoid than me that the timing of these rampages is really amazing.
But that thought keeps coming back I’m really around the bend, or maybe I’m afraid to confront what I see.
After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.
– William Burroughs