Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On what it means to be an American.

In responding to an article on the Backyard Beacon entitled "No Ron Paul relief for New Orleans", I went on a bit too long and decided to post my comment as an article on here and simply link to it.

I could probably have continued on, touching on things such as the government and media denial of the North American Union, despite a variety of news coverage, already passed legislation, government meetings and even government websites detailing parts of the plan etc. But I'll leave that for another post.

For now, here is my comment:

I think what binds us is that we share a common privilege of being part of what was founded as the greatest nation on Earth, primarily for the reasons of its diversity and freedoms. We were a nation that ensured equal status for people of any nationality or religious belief. People could come here from foreign countries for a new start and know that they would have the equal grounding to begin from. This was the great American dream of coming here to rise through the ranks through hard work and provide for your family and descendants etc.

We are united in the patriotism we feel that we were a nation that threw off the shackles of a foreign imperial power to fend for ourselves on the world stage and through American ingenuity and hard work became the dominant world power, based on the principles of freedom and equality for all engendering a spirit of progress and competitiveness.

Americans take pride in being a part of the "land of the free and the home of the brave". They like to feel that the government is here to protect that institution and preserve the sense of liberty and freedom espoused by the founding fathers.

Many of these points could probably be argued when contrasted with the historical facts or motivations of particular people, but the point stands that most Americans feel and believe in these ideas. Just as the soldiers who sign up to fight and die in foreign lands believe so strongly in their hearts that they are fighting and dying to protect those most precious principles.

What Paul proposes is not to completely cut off the current system, but to return to the rightful system of states' rights and states' responsibilities. A state has a right and an obligation to govern its own people as it sees fit, to make laws on the state level and to provide for its people on the state level.

The Federal Government's role is that of arbiter of international conflicts, interstate commerce, interstate disputes etc. It is not to govern the people of every state individually, that is the role of the state government.

If a city floods, that is the role of the state government. If a drought hits or a depression occurs that affects the nation as a whole, that is a national disaster.

First off there should not have been a city built on the gulf coast in the line of hurricanes that was below sea level and relying only on a levee wall to keep it from being submerged. Secondly the state should have been responsible for ensuring the safety of a city built in such a foolish location. It is not the responsibility of other states to have their tax dollars used to fund the fools errand of protecting a city below sea level hundreds or thousands of miles away.

I think it almost goes without saying that if a city is built in such a foolish location, they should have planned ahead and created emergency procedures, evacuation routes etc.

To rely on the Federal government to use billions of tax dollars from across the nation to take care of them, and then bail them out when everything goes wrong is to demand and rely on a welfare state. A socialist government that takes from one man to give to another. Not a free society of individual responsibility and opportunity.

I hear over and over again that the government failed in their responsibility to the people of New Orleans, but the reality is that the Federal Government had no such responsibility to the people to begin with and was in the wrong in creating such bureaucratic monstrosities such as FEMA and the DHS to begin with. They should have never been responsible for building the levee. They should have never been responsible for bailing the people out or taking care of them after the fact.

There is a problem here with confusing State Government with Federal Government. People cannot seem to differentiate the two. They just ignorantly see "government" and expect to be taken care of it.

I should point out that I am in Michigan and thus did not see the disaster first hand. My cousin is in the National Guard and spent several weeks in New Orleans helping with the rebuilding etc. In the interest of full disclosure.

I worked for a Tribal Government here in Michigan for several years and we had implemented a variety of disaster related procedures. Evacuation routes, rescue procedures, locations for different bases of operation, methods for cooperation between law enforcement, medical, government, media, etc.

There was nothing preventing New Orleans from planning for this possibility and having a system in place to facilitate a disaster prevention and recovery operation, moving the people out of danger zones, providing safe refuge through the storm, channeling relief supplies and coordinating volunteers to assist in the recovery etc.

There is nothing preventing the nation from an outpouring of assistance and volunteering, from one end of the country to the other. But it should have been the responsibility of the state to coordinate these things and channel the proper funds, goods and personnel to the proper places.

Instead what we got was a bunch of Federal Government bureaucracies and mercenaries creating a perfect storm of red tape, government largesse, unConstitutional actions, incompetence at essentially every level and a waste of tax dollars at a staggering level. Interference, if not outright prevention, of independent relief efforts at every turn etc.

I'm sure that many of you who were there could vouch for these things better than I.

The point is that many many mistakes were made here in almost every possible aspect of the situation, starting from years in advance up until the present day situation of refugees still languishing in squalor, still waiting for the hollow promises of the Federal Government to bail them out.

The solution is not to hope in vain for the Federal Government to solve the problems while pointing the finger at them for their failure to prevent it, but to look more closely at the factors that led to this. To understand the responsibility of the different parties involved on both the State and Federal level and the important differences between them. The failures in state and local preventative planning. And possibly most importantly, looking to the future and in how to avoid a repeat of this disaster, which may very well include the obvious option of leaving the area.

There are lessons to be learned from this, but they are certainly not that we should sit idly by relying on an authoritarian government to police and provide a welfare state for the entire nation, but that we are a nation of proud patriots that celebrate our freedom and liberty and can take care of ourselves on the state and local level when left to do so. That we don't need a Statist big brother to direct our lives and provide for all of us by taking from one neighbor to give to another just because one neighbor might have a better job or been luckier. That we can rely on ourselves to govern ourselves and to support our communities and our neighbors. To have faith in the human spirit of accomplishment, of compassion... the great American spirit of Adventure, of Discovery, of Invention... the great "American Ingenuity" that was spoken of in years gone by.

We need to return to the great nation our founding fathers built for us and turn away from this horrible descent into a Statist and Socialist Authoritarian and Totalitarian Theocratic Dictatorship.

The direction we are heading is in every way, and at every step, the very antithesis of what our founding fathers intended and created for us. Suspension of Habeus Corpus, suspension of Posse Comitatus, suspension of due process, of right to privacy, of right to bear arms, of separation of Church and State, of freedom of speech, of right to protest, right to property, of protection from search and seizure, of representation and on and on.

Our Constitution and our Republic are being openly and systematically dismantled before our eyes under the ageless guise of trading our most fundamental freedoms and liberties for an utterly false sense of security.

We need to take responsibility for our actions. Take pride in our communities and in our country. Respect the rights of our fellow man to his life, liberty, beliefs, property and pursuit of happiness (all of which are mentioned in the documents which founded our nation). Respect the rights of foreign sovereign nations to govern themselves by their own laws and customs. To aid only those foreign countries in need and only by consensus of the people as laid out in our Constitution and not to wage preemptive wars or enter entangling alliances with foreign powers. To return to a sound currency for our nation instead of relying on an unbacked paper currency implemented by a private bank to control every aspect of our society and government from the very top to the very bottom. To abolishing the income tax and returning our country to the Constitutional government system we had before 1913 where a man was free to enjoy the fruits of his own labor, thus enabling a great amount of income to go back into the hands of the people to be used directly in the economy and not instead go into the government coffers to be used at the whim of a bloated government acting largely in the interest of corporations and lobbyists, where companies take the profits but the American people pay the price of failure, thus perpetuating a one way flow of wealth away from the people.

When I look around me and see all the hallmarks of the fascist states we so soundly denounced over the past half century, I am appalled. When I hear what so many of my international friends, and the friends in foreign lands of all of us American people, think of our current government... it deeply saddens and disheartens me. When I see our media lying to the people and covering up the most important events of our time, because a handful of powerful companies own essentially all the sources of mainstream information and are in bed together with the government that enables them... it angers me. When I see our government openly being converted into a theocracy in violation of the Constitution, Creationism and biblical fundamentalism displacing the teaching of scientific fact and critical thinking skills in our schools, of a nation increasingly devolving into divisions of race, gender, sexuality and beliefs... echoing the unconstitutional change of our national motto from "E Pluribus Unum (out of many [come] one)", which celebrated the strength of our nation through its diversity, to the divisive "In God We Trust", which states that to be an American is to be a Christian and espouse Christian beliefs, which in turn shuts out millions of Americans who hold different beliefs or whose lifestyles don't match the arbitrary biblical morals of the Christian majority... I am pressed to rise up, to speak out, to rage against the criminal injustice being done to our nation as a whole.

We are showing almost all of the symptoms of the most heinous regimes in modern history and it is frightening to the extent to which the American people seem apathetic to and unaware of the dire warnings history holds for us.

There are countless direct parallels today between the United States and Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Fascist Italy, Communist China, etc. The American heart and soul recoils at such claims, but the reality is there for those brave enough to look, see the evidence and act as true patriots to protect our country, our people and our Constitution which is at the very heart of it all.

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
-- Thomas Jefferson, November 13, 1787

So stated by the author of our own Declaration of Independence. A true patriot seeks always to guard against the consolidation of power by the government, to be ever vigilant in protecting our liberties. To maintain a spirit of resistance. To call the government into account for its actions.

I feel the desire to go on about how we cannot be set right as to the facts, as Jefferson proposes above, because our government has invented scores of illegal "top secret" classifications that violate the rule of law, because they have invented ways to prevent people from speaking out about what is being done to them, because they have destroyed vast amounts of incriminating evidence, in direct violation of the law, because they openly state that they are not beholden to the law and have the absolute authority to grant themselves any powers they so choose, at their own discretion and without the need to reveal their actions to anyone.... and on and on.

I can only hope people can start to open their eyes to what is happening. To what history tells us. Look at the facts and the evidence. Don't be afraid to ask questions, to research, to try to understand. Use your common sense, reason, critical thinking skills, rational and logical thought gain a greater understanding of the world you live in... of the great country you are a part of that is in imminent danger of fundamentally losing it's very foundation.

(There is so much more to these issues, but I must stop at some point and submit this... I fear that I've gone on too long as it is... I lack the gift of brevity it seems.)

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