Top 10 Events that Threaten Liberty in 2008
By: John Russell

What is Liberty? The word is used so frequently it has lost all meaning to the extent of pointless filler and doublespeak. Confucius warned that “When words lose their meaning, people lose their liberty.” What can be more dangerous than Liberty to lose meaning? Its basic definition is “immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority” and “personal freedom from servitude or confinement or oppression”. It becomes obvious that liberty necessarily means freedom to choose foolishly as well as wisely; freedom to choose evil as well as good; freedom to enjoy the rewards of good judgment, and freedom to suffer the penalties of bad judgment. If this is not true, the word “freedom” has no meaning. It requires responsibility of both citizens to defend and dutifully respect other’s liberty and for government officials to uphold and preserve it. This list will present how the American heritage of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and freedom from government tyranny has been deceitfully twisted and destroyed, and the problems that this country must face in 2008. The destruction of liberty comes when one imposes their values onto someone else through government force. No American is currently safe from such tyranny, for left-wing politicians impose their values of “fighting poverty”, “saving children”, and “saving the planet”, while right-wing politicians do so in the name of “family values”, “the war on drugs”, and “the war on terrorism”… all at the expense of liberty.

#10 – TSA (Transportation Security Administration)
What is the TSA? On their official website, they claim “I am the frontline of defense, drawing on my imagination to creatively protect America from harm. I am a Transportation Security Officer.” It is very heartening to know that the TSA is using their imagination to creatively infringe on liberty. Assuming that citizens are guilty until proven innocent when entering airports, subways et cetera, American’s are subjected to obtrusive pat-down searches, unwarranted and un-reigned access and removal to any and all property, examination of facial features when being asked certain questions, and even bomb sniffing machines. They are further drawing on their “creativity” to begin implementing backscatter machines that can virtually undress and see the naked body. If all men are created equal, as described in Article I of the Constitution, “All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.”, why then do they have special privileges? I certainly do not have the right to subject my fellow citizens to such treatment, nor do street police. Why then, do they have a higher claim over life than I do?

#9 – Universal Healthcare
To achieve universal healthcare coverage would require government to force the young, the old, the healthy, the sickly, the safe, and the reckless to comply or be jailed into a bureaucratic boondoggle similar to social security; where citizens would be forced to deal with government workers of the same efficiency, love, care, and incentive of the DMV to supply them with crucial and life-critical decisions and funding. If one is dissatisfied with services rendered upon them from a business, citizens can exercise their liberty to choose another business that sustains their individual values. However, a universal healthcare program would impose its values and criteria on to the people, inhibiting their liberties through their freedom of choice.

#8 – Gun Control Ruling from the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court announced it will determine whether the District of Columbia’s ban on all functional firearms violates the Constitution this March, which is critical since the last time the Supreme Court heard cases on the Second Amendment was in 1939 in relevance to sawed-off shotguns. This could be great news for citizens of Washington D.C. who have suffered from the highest murder rates in the nation, despite a full weapons ban since 1973. Our right to defend our life, our liberties, and private property will soon be held in the opinion and duress of a small group of non-elected individuals, where the vote amongst them will most likely be narrowed down to swing voter Justice Anthony Kennedy.

#7 – Biometric Database
The United States is currently building the largest biometric database in the world, where digital images of faces, fingerprints, and palm patterns are already flowing into a secure, double-sized football field climate controlled basement. This $1 billion project has been secured for the next 10 years, and will allow agencies around the world to access this monster database full of United States citizens to track and monitor
them, further perpetuating our surveillance society. To try and count the number of times unaccountable bureaucrats have lost computers, disks, and jump drives full of private information hurts thebrain, the only difference is that in this situation, unlike credit card numbers and even birth names, biometric information is permanent. Privacy advocate Paul Staffo simply puts it, “If someone steals and spoofs your iris image, you can’t just get a new eyeball,”.

#6 – Election of Hillary Clinton

According to the prediction market of intrade.com (as of January), Hillary Clinton currently stands at the top of the list at 40% of winning the 2008 US election. With quotes such as:

  • “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”(June 2004)
  • “I prefer a ‘we’re all in it together’ society… opportunity for all and special privileges for none.” (Associanted Press Holly Ramer 2007)
  • “(We) ….can’t just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people.” (June 2007)

and my personal favorite:

  • “I certainly think the free-market has failed.” (September 2005)

Need I say more?

#5 – Protect America Act of 2007

The Protect America Act of 2007 signed into law by President George Bush modifies the FISA Act (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) signed into law by President Richard Nixon. The act is to “provide additional procedures for authorizing certain acquisitions of foreign intelligence information and for other purposes” which grants the power of the executive branch to allow for wiretapping without a warrant to communication internationally. Furthermore, it allows the government to domestically monitor communication as long as one of the recipients are “reasonably believed to be outside the United States”. The keyword is all communication: while surfing the internet or sending an email, how many web servers does one hit that are “reasonably believed to be outside the United States”? Privacy is an allusion, the home of the free is an allusion, and our Constitution certainly must be an allusion to our elected representatives, because what part of “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated” do they not understand?



#4 – Global Warming Legislation
With large corporations leading the charge for massive profits, government grant-sponsored scientists flooding the lines with disinformation, rich Hollywood types defining the green “fad” as “cool”, and corporate-purchased politicians writing and voting the laws; leave no surprise why this quadruple cocktail of Global Warming legislation is bound to destroy elected representation. With recent laws that ban all incandescent light bulbs and vehicles under 35 MPG in the next few years, and proposed legislation to ban top-loading washers, our government is catering to green corporations, limiting free market forces, (which created these technologies in the first place) and limiting our freedom of choice; making it ever so important why stopping these special interest groups imposing their values onto us through government force are critical to preserving liberty.

#3 – Real ID Act
“You’re papers please” will soon become a reality in America. After several failed attempts in the past, the Real ID Act was finally sneaked into law by including it as a rider in a Katrina Tsunami Relief and War Spending Bill. The Real ID will turn state driver’s licenses into national ID cards by 2009. This program is devastating to liberty. First, it disrupts federalism by forcing states to spend over 23 billion dollars nationally, infringing on state’s rights. The Real ID will take a high resolution picture of one’s face, place it into a database that will generate and identify individual facial features, and be shared across the world. In the near future, if one steps into a federal building in Germany, for example, a security camera will be able to identify an American citizen based solely upon facial features. It also threatens the 2nd amendment, for the state firearm database will be absolved into a Federal database. Finally it inhibits the freedom to travel, for without a Real ID, one will be unable to pass any federal checkpoints, such as the airport.


#2 – The National Debt
The national debt is at a staggering $9.2 trillion, an amount so large the only Americans that can truly fathom it are the next generation. The irresponsible and selfish spending of Congress will be heartily felt by future Americans who will suffer rampant theft by taxation and secret inflation. Money is a product of life and liberty, and for government to take it and limit buying power is the same as stealing life and liberty. <
/span>The average American works 43 days to pay off federal, state and local income taxes, 30 days to pay off Social Security and Medicare, 16 days to pay off sales and excise taxes, 14 days to pay off corporate income taxes (which are passed on to all of us), 12 days to pay off property taxes, 4 days to pay off other taxes such as custom duties, and 1 day to pay off estate and gift taxes (taxfoundation.org). Four months out of every year, hypothetically January 1st to April 30th are absolutely stolen from all servants.. err citizens of the United States and redistributed to government… imagine how much further liberty and life will be stolen from the next generation.

#1 – “Security” from Terrorism
People claim that times are different since 9/11; that the arena has changed, policy must evolve, our Constitution is simply out-dated, and consequently some freedoms must be sacrificed in order to remain secure. However, the atrophy of liberty must not be tolerated, for the choice between a terrorized free country and a less-terrorized police state is a false alternative. At the root, there should not be any conflict between the ideals of liberty and security, for they are not conflicting goals. A proper government’s only duty is to secure the freedom of its citizenry by ensuring liberty, and to stop those who attack it. For government to claim that by protecting Liberty, it must infringe on Liberty, is simply plunder. “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin


John

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  • Travis

    The final point under #3 is critical. In The Constitution of Liberty Hayek points out that the essential components of liberty which are conferred when freeing slaves are:
    “‘legal status as protected citizens…immunity from arbitrary arrest…right to work at whatever he desire to do…[and] the right to movement according to his own choice‘” (Hayek’s source on this is “Between Slavery and Freedom”, American Historical Review (1945) pp213-227 by W.L. Westermann)
    It is also important to note the erosion of the first two epithets of freedom is easily accomplished by broad definitions of “terrorist” or “enemy combatant”.

  • Travis

    The final point under #3 is critical. In The Constitution of Liberty Hayek points out that the essential components of liberty which are conferred when freeing slaves are:”‘legal status as protected citizens…immunity from arbitrary arrest…right to work at whatever he desire to do…[and] the right to movement according to his own choice‘” (Hayek’s source on this is “Between Slavery and Freedom”, American Historical Review (1945) pp213-227 by W.L. Westermann)It is also important to note the erosion of the first two epithets of freedom is easily accomplished by broad definitions of “terrorist” or “enemy combatant”.

  • Anonymous

    “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
    James Madison

  • Anonymous

    “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”James Madison

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