Jan 15, 2004

Posted by John Loeffler | 0 Comments

The Battle of Pockets Deep

How Local, State and Federal Governments are doing Battle with their Citizens

by John Loeffler, Steel on Steel (www.steelonsteel.com)
(c) 2004 All Rights Reserved

January 15, 2004

“How did it come to this?” muses King Theoden in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings as the Battle of Helm’s Deep was about to commence. The residents of Middle Earth never saw their time of trial coming until it had grown to a level of grave crisis and so it is today. Look about you resident of Middle Class, the Battle of Pockets Deep is about to begin as Lord Taxman wages war.

Last week the media gasped when former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil announced that the Bush administration had planned to attack Iraq long before 9/11. (I’m shocked, aren’t you?). Seems like Mr. O’Neil was privy to a lot more than he told.

Last November a Fortune magazine article featured Professor Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University relating a study Mr. O’Neil executed during his tenure as Secretary of the Treasury, examining the U.S. government’s capability to meet its future unfunded liabilities, notably Social Security and Medicare. The answer staggered even the Secretary.

By the end of the decade there will be a gut-wrenching $44T abyss between what the government will be required to pay to retiring baby boomers and what it currently absorbs in taxes. The only solution – if there is one – will be a staggering 95% increase in payroll taxes on an already overtaxed populace or massive monetary inflation. Either way the result is the same: the bailout will have to be rolled over onto the middle class, not the rich.

Needless to say the Treasury study became a victim of partial birth abortion and the Bush administration proceeded to fire Mr. O’Neil as well. No team player there and ignore that man behind the curtain. But sit down Mrs. Middle Class, there’s more.

Sixty years of social(ist) programs, deficit spending, monetary inflation and Keynesian economics have left the U.S. economic system in a shambles. We are currently in the middle of a prolonged bear market rally with no real recovery, because little debt was discharged at the so-called “bottom” and thus we’re fueling the current “recovery” with even more debt and consumer spending. The slide into a massive recession will continue over time. Viva the “jobless recovery!”

Official government numbers are cooked, whether reports on GDP, unemployment etc, being jimmied to provide pre-determined outcomes which will convince the American public it isn’t as bad as it seems and persuading them to stay in the game. There is not one market where there is not some form of often illegal meddling, price manipulation or regulation by the government or its Federal Reserve partners.

In reality all overspending from Roosevelt’s New Deal to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and beyond, instituted to help yesterday’s “little guys,” is now due and payable. The bill will be bled from the backs of today’s “little guys,” and even now one hears the fining, feeing and taxing turbines spooling up for takeoff in the various states. An increasingly-wise public is already engaging in the three historical defenses of abusive taxation: fraud, flight or fight. They either cheat, flee the taxation jurisdiction, or fight – either at the polls or sometimes violently.

Fraud

So-called “untax” programs are doing a booming business, regardless of legality or illegality. The IRS makes public truck of prosecuting some prominent promoters but the untaxers are convinced they’re right and for every one prosecuted, dozens more drop out. For those who “stay in the system,” under-reporting of income, fake deductions, cash, and barter are traditional ways to evade taxation.

Of late Lord Taxman has informed us his evil eye is focused on tax abuse using credit cards issued by offshore banks, whereby income is deposited in those banks, the account holders fail to report it as income, and then use the credit cards to bring the money back into the country by paying for living expenses with the cards. This will have some effect but it will be only temporary. Everybody knows the system is broken.

When the real hammer drops and national personal buying power continues to fall, the concept of scaling back sprawling government and its “essential services” will remain unthinkable, so local, state and federal agencies will require a flawless collection engine to prosecute public plunder. Thus the system is already arming itself under guise of fighting the War on Terror with steadily increasingly monitoring of citizens in all facets of their lives. What better way to close the current loopholes than by having detailed snooping capability at the push of a button?

Flight

In state legislatures there is not a drip of recognition that the country has been bled dry. We really have a spending problem, not a taxation problem. California ‘s recall election was a microcosm of future events. A battle is brewing between Governator Schwarzenegger and the state legislature, which is determined to balance its wildly out of control budget on the backs of “rich people” ($50K plus per annum) and business.

But – horror of horrors, businesses and producing people are fleeing the state and thousands more are planning to do so. Even the rich Hollywood types are moving their assets to safe havens, while they preach socialism in their films. When it comes to their money, Hollywood liberals behave like those conservatives they’re always demonizing.

The Fight

Some predictions:

(1) When governments are forced to cut back, rather than cut the fat, they will go directly for the services they are supposed to provide for the public, so the public feels the pain! Meanwhile fees charged for every government service will increase.

(2) As people try to legally avoid excessive taxation, they will be demonized by government officials and the media as selfish and unpatriotic. There will be much hand wringing about the horrible deficits as if these somehow just appeared out of nowhere and how the public is now responsible for them.

As businesses flight from California increases for example, the state may even institute an “exit tax” or something like it, whereby leaving will be made as financially painful as possible. California is in the unsustainable position of swelling ranks people on the dole, over-controlled businesses, and impossible environmental regulations coupled with a declining tax base, which cannot pay for it. Long live the dead goose that lays golden eggs that everyone wants! We’ll just pretend the goose hasn’t quit laying.

(3) Anyone who counsels others on how to avoid abusive taxation and protect their assets will be demonized as unpatriotic. Look at this deficit! We may well witness prosecutions of financial advisors under the guise of “conspiracy to commit domestic economic terrorism,” covered by abstruse and obscure provisions of Patriot Act “X.” This will be designed to panic the rest of the financial industry into getting in line with the plunder program.

(4) Those who think they have escaped the system by untaxing will find new systems they have to join, which will be linked to the old, only to find this difficult because questions will be asked as to where they were all these years. Naughty Naughty. Oh yes, beware a national sales tax or worse a value added tax without repealing the income tax!

(5) As the Social Security and Medicare crisis becomes unmanageable – after all it is a Ponzi scheme in every sense of the word – the national government will thrash around looking for plunderable assets to feed a dying dragon. Private retirement plans will afford an overwhelming temptation. Under some law bearing a title such as the “Retirement Security Act of 20XX,” government may well seize private retirement plans etc., leaving an IOU for the owners, while assuring them their assets will be well managed and “protected” and available to them when they need it.

(6) Federal, state and local governments will waffle on their promises and raise the bar so high for benefits programs of all kinds that only a limited number will qualify. Thus little will be paid out while much will be consumed. The only alternative to save the system at the federal level is massive inflation of the currency, which will deflate the value of the dollar. You’ll get your promised money but it won’t be worth anything. Expect Alan Greenspan to be dumping cash out of helicopters.

(7) The trend to raising fees for government services for which the public already pays taxes will continue. As tax-fine-fee-inflate burdens grow to unbearable levels and the quantity of services and benefits falls, the potential for civil unrest among the squeezed populace will grow in direct proportion. This will be exacerbated when increasing numbers of working people realize their hard-earned, desperately-needed income is being transferred to faceless bureaucrats and non-working recipients against their will.

(8) Even with total information collection, officials will be hard pressed to digest it so the rat system will be broadened by means of “public-private partnerships,” whereby doctors, dentists, counselors, bankers, teachers et al. will be encouraged (read coerced) to spy on their clientele and report “suspicious” activities, which will come to mean virtually everything. The public-private partnerships also offload bloated government programs and responsibilities onto private groups, which must then bear the cost even though taxes were paid to have George do it.

Lenin understood that socialism and a heavily graduated income tax inevitably destroys the middle class because it ALWAYS bears the full brunt of this system, which collapses of its own imponderable weight, leaving the middle class impoverished at the bottom and a small group of rich elites at the top. There just aren’t enough rich people to soak!

I would love to argue myself out of this scenario, especially the potential for civil unrest, but nevertheless, the Battle of Pockets Deep of the War of Middle Class has begun. However did it come to this?

(Hint: Ask your congressman, who has exempted himself from the burdens laid on you and whose richly generous retirement pension is funded and guaranteed, regardless of the fate of the promises he made to you.)

 

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Dec 2, 2003

Posted by John Loeffler | 0 Comments

Stop Complaining!

How Liberals Paved the Way for the Ashcroft Civil Rights Assault

by John Loeffler, Steel on Steel
www.steelonsteel.com
(c) 2003 All Rights Reserved
December 2, 2003

This week’s letter from the ACLU appeared in the business mail, alarmed at the assault Attorney General John Ashcroft is waging on civil rights and hinting that if I kick some money into the pot they could prosecute an effective defense to this clear and present danger. Sigh. Give ’em enough time and they’ll eventually catch on, sort of.

Strange times do indeed make for strange bedfellows and while I have consistently attributed credit to liberals for clearly identifying the current civil rights crisis, my liberal friends just don’t seem to understand that their policies of the last three decades carefully laid the groundwork for such a situation to arise.

Three decades ago liberalism went off the rails, embraced a philosophy of relative, constantly-changing values as it morphed into an eclectic party of self-contradicting special interests. And so it’s always amusing when liberals talk about the “rule of law,” because the core belief of most liberals is that no values (or laws) are absolute and no one should push their values on anyone else unless of course they’re liberal values (a party of contradictions

Indeed, liberals have always preached the rule of law when in power but when forced to abide by laws they themselves find unpalatable, they consistently find some way to torture laws and the judiciary into getting around it or simply assume a glassy transcendent look and say, “oh but we have a higher moral purpose and are not obliged to obey immoral laws.” Heaven forbid one of their conservative adversaries should ever say such a thing, such as Judge Roy Moore.

So in complaining about the civil rights abuses of the current administration, consider dear liberal that when you bludgeoned the Second Amendment to death by creating so many laws and regulations it is difficult to exercise the right to bear arms, you proved that a right enshrined in the Bill of Rights could be destroyed without actually repealing it. Thus you opened the door for other amendments to suffer a similar fate. So stop complaining about violations of freedom of speech, or habeas corpus, or speedy trial, or privacy, etc. You made it all possible to legislate them out of existence.

When you ignored the Tenth Amendment and systematically forged a bloated, sprawling, out-of-control government to manage virtually everything in our lives in the name of helping the little guy or the environment, you made it possible for that same government to snoop on everything we are, control everything we do and take everything we own to do it. So stop complaining when that government invades your life.

When you seated activist judges in the courts, who cavalierly ignored laws that existed and contrived laws where there were none just to forward liberal agendas, you made it possible for successive judges of other philosophical persuasions to do the same thing, while ignoring your rights and rationalizing their way around legal protections, especially those protecting you. So stop complaining about rights violations.

When you said it was acceptable for President Clinton to commit perjury, you simultaneously gave consent for President Bush to lie about the war in Iraq. So stop complaining if he did it.

When liberals taught school children that the Constitution was the product “of long-dead white slave owners,” you laid the foundation for its unimportance and abolition in the minds of youth. So stop complaining when someone else doesn’t want to honor your rights written down by those very same long-dead racist slave owners.

When you said the Constitution was a “living breathing document,” you destroyed the foundation that it means what it says and enabled successive administrations to ignore it. So stop complaining when it doesn’t live and breathe the way you want it to. You created that monster in the first place.

When you ignored the Fourth Amendment and created civil forfeiture laws in the name of the War on Drugs, which created a stream of free booty for government agencies while doing little to stop the drug flow, you made it possible for your property to be seized for any frivolous reason. So stop complaining when they take your possessions on being accused as an enemy of the state.

When you inverted the first amendment from freedom of religion to freedom from religion, you forgot that freedom of speech is part of the same amendment. So stop complaining when someone inverts your right to express yourself.

When you created so many laws, regulations, fines and penalties, you made it possible for all of us to be guilty when we have to be, for dissenters and whistleblowers to be harassed by an inhuman machine with endless resources to do so. So stop complaining when these laws and regulations backfire and devour you and they are chewing up liberals as well. Did you think this machine would only eat conservatives?

When President Clinton said it was wrong to criticize our government, by agreeing to this outrageous statement or failing to object, you lost the right to criticize our government’s actions in Iraq or anywhere else for that matter. So stop complaining about what they’re doing.

When President Clinton illegally used 800 FBI files to get “dirt” on his enemies, you gave consent for conservative presidents to do the same to you. So stop complaining when government invades your privacy.

When liberal-controlled colleges actively suppressed the free speech rights of conservatives and libertarians on college campuses in the name of tolerance and diversity, which was neither tolerant nor diverse from anything that didn’t agree with it, you set the stage for people to ignore your free speech rights. So stop complaining when they tell you to shut up.

I have consistently argued to both liberals and conservatives that we must have a level playing field in civil rights and that the Constitution must be strictly constructed in this area. Otherwise everyone’s rights are endangered because they can simply be defined away as the current political need requires.

Unfortunately this concept of a level field and strict constructionism is a particularly hard sell to liberals with a philosophically incoherent belief system, comprised of floating, non-absolute, frequently-contradicting values that can be morphed into getting what they want at any given moment to satisfy any political agenda.

Thus, my liberal friends, if you are upset by the current administration, you must realize you set the stage for the current problem by torturing and ignoring law until you got what you wanted. It was a monster you promised could be kept under control but you failed do it. So stop complaining if John Ashcroft and George Bush want to play with the monster for a while. When it’s tired of playing with them, it will eat us all alive in the end anyway.

 

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Oct 8, 2003

Posted by John Loeffler | 0 Comments

Throw the Rascals Out!

by John Loeffler, Steel on Steel
www.steelonsteel.com
(c) 2003 All Rights Reserved
October 8, 2003

Now that the California recall circus is over and the Governator is in, a pre-mortem is in order for the nation’s economy. California’s recall election will be viewed by history as the first shot in a series of battles nationwide fought to the cry of “throw the rascals out,” tantamount to the “Grito de Dolores” of Mexican history.

The cry will increase in tempo and volume as the national economy continues to contract, inflation runs rampant, jobs become tenuous, unsustainable environmental policies can’t be sustained, and governments become rapacious for revenues and tax evasion becomes the order of the day.

Above all, the movement will pick up immense steam when it becomes obvious that various governments are defaulting on an extensive litany of promises made since the days of FDR, for which the taxpayers have already dished out trillions. Notable among this will be the inability of social security to pay the baby boomers, who are rapidly approaching retirement. The numbers simply war against any peaceful solution to the problem.

Leading the Pack

California has led the pack in the process of unsustainable self-destruction, literally a microcosm of wild-eyed socialism run amok. Once having the third largest economy in the world, California has slipped to fifth and continues to slip. Taxes are soaring. Environmental regulation is almost unbearable for many businesses. Businesses jump through more regulatory and non-productive hoops than they imagined possible, while being forced to pay exorbitant fees for permits just to endure the privilege of being harassed by a plethora of state agencies. Even the state’s liberals complain about the new car tax. Wait until they read the fine print and discover the state’s mileage tax, whereby all cars will be taxed for the number of miles put on their odometers each year.

So business has been fleeing the state en masse along with retirees who have found it just too expensive to live there on limited incomes. As illegal immigration continues in deluge proportions, the money earned by illegals is sent out of California’s economy back to Mexico to support their families. In an exclusive Spanish-language interview on Univision, Mexico’s Presidente Vicente Fox said a few weeks ago that the money sent back by illegals to Mexico exceeded the amount of money Mexico receives in its annual oil revenues!

No Mea Culpa

But for all of the severe problems California created for itself, only one of the major candidates in the recall election demonstrated any cognizance of exactly what brought the state to the brink of financial disaster. This violates a core rule of problem-solving: If one can’t accurately identify the cause of a problem, it can’t be fixed.

Americans have commenced the game of throwing one set of rascals out, just to install another set. The way out of the American economic dilemma is painful, which means it just doesn’t fly politically to tell the public that. To understand why this is so, we must review the three fundamental principles of all socialist bureaucracies, which must:

(1) Give lip service to their public mission. Bureaucracies come into existence usually for good purposes. So all during their lives they must present a face to the public that they are saving “the little guy” or “the environment” or “the children” or the public from themselves. In some cases, there really are idealists in the bureaucracy who believe in the mission. Others are more realistic – it’s about money and power, stupid.

(2) Defend the bureaucracy at all costs, even at the expense of its public mission. As it begins to bloat, a bureaucracy will fight for its life even when it has ceased to fulfill its public mission and will frequently penalize the very people it is supposed to be serving, making it harder and harder to get benefits. Increased amounts of monies will be demanded to keep the game afloat, and those who refuse to cough up will be demonized, as the bureaucrats point to their sacred public mission. A bureaucracy always analyzes everything in the light of its own survival and not in terms of its public mission.

(3) Defend itself from accountability. Sooner or later the jig is up and all sorts of reasons must be found for the failures that point blame away from politicians and onto anyone bold enough to try to defend themselves from a rapacious state. Frequently they will talk about “reinventing government ” or “reforming education” but it really means more of the same old same old. The goal is to get everything started again so the good times can roll again for political and bureaucratic careers.

The Socialist Replay

Every socialist experiment ever attempted has followed the same pattern of decline and collapse. California’s welfare state grew on the myth that some form of welfare utopia could be constructed on the backs of a theoretically unlimited pool of rich people, which is a myth.

First, tax rates are distorted to tax the rich more to support every imaginable welfare and social program to help the “little guy” or “those less fortunate.” With each program a huge bureaucracy comes into existence to administer it. The bureaucracies invariably become bloated and corrupt, requiring increased operating monies consumed by the bureaucracy, with less money getting to the target populations and programs. Despite promises of reform and fixing things, it never happens. Just look at the dollars wasted in education bureaucracies!

As the insatiable thirst for money increases, the definition of “rich” is notched downward to the not-so-rich, who are now called rich. The real rich are usually successful in finding schemes to shelter their money, something which the middle classes cannot afford to do. Even Hollywood types put a lot of their money and investments offshore.

At the same time the state becomes desperate to find new revenues and levies all sorts of fees, permits, and taxes. In the case of national governments, inflation of the money supply commences with vigor, causing a sharp up-tick in prices and the cost of living, making people and businesses run faster just to stay even. Meanwhile, the state can’t seem to deliver on the basic functions, such as roads and bridges.

The economy begins to groan under the weight of taxation, inflation and sprawling social programs. The middle class bears the brunt of this and either slides into the poverty sector, flees outside the state’s jurisdiction or shelters its assets legally or illegally.

Due to the lack of business opportunities, the poor become even poorer and at some point everyone begins to notice that one group of overworked people are supporting another group of people who aren’t working at all. Thus, for example, while many working people struggle to provide healthcare and insurance for themselves, another group gets it for free. Moreover, the working class gradually looks at lot like those “less fortunate than they are.”

The first people to get crushed by the “compassionate” welfare state are invariably the little guys. Even Lenin understood this, which is why he favored a heavy progressive taxation system, since it would eliminate the middle class. He also liked the class warfare it generated because the instability enabled his political agendas to be forwarded and people always clamor for a political solution from the very same people who created the problem in the first place.

Small or medium businesses go under first because they cannot comply with the taxation and regulation burden, spending more time complying than producing. With each business closure, cutback or flight, jobs are lost and less revenue is paid to the state in taxation, increasing the government’s craving for more money, money, money.

Finally the state becomes rapacious as people try to shield their assets from plunder and the “compassionate” state turns to demonizing those who don’t want to pay their “fair share,” seizing whatever can be choked out of what remains of the populace.

Eventually the economy grinds to a sickening halt. At this point history is replete with revolutions, sometimes bloody, sometimes just political, which is where California is. There is no such thing as a free lunch and there are not enough rich people around to support a bloated welfare state. Sooner or later, everyone has to pay the tab.

Like California, there is an immense day of reckoning coming for the U.S. as a whole, one people aren’t being told is underway. So remember the golden rule of all socialist bureaucracies: “In any situation, even life-threatening ones, bureaucrats will always act like bureaucrats in their own interests.” When you throw one group of rascals out, don’t put more rascals in!

 

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Sep 22, 2003

Posted by John Loeffler | 0 Comments

Taming the Boomerang

Taming the Boomerang

(c) 2003 by John Loeffler, Steel on Steel Productions
www.steelonsteel.com
September 22, 2003

You can usually get to the bottom of any issue in about 2-1/2 minutes simply by asking the right questions. If it takes any longer than that you’re probably being misled. The other night found another debate on a cable channel about whether anti-terrorist laws were protecting us or depriving us of our civil rights.

The customary group of clowns from the left and the right participated and as usual, none of the participants could seem to get to the core issues, and kept quibbling over peripheral topics like battling furious librarians, who don’t want to snoop on their patrons. If they think this is a core issue, we’re really in trouble. My BS-alarm sensors were beeping loudly into the night as I don’t have much tolerance for nonsense.

The Boomerang Syndrome

Since 9/11, the debate of endangered civil rights has been presented as President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft, good conservative Christians to tell the tale, declare solemnly that liberty is in danger from terrorism and we must defend our freedoms by giving up our freedoms — work that one out if you can. Anyone who opposes this sophistry is branded unpatriotic or aiding and abetting the enemy.

On the other side are the usual collection of hysterical liberals, upset that George Bush “stole the election in Florida,” who have been opposed to imperialism (Marxist term) and war since Vietnam days, and who are programmed to attack anything on the right just so Hillary has a fighting chance in [your election year here]. This so-called unpatriotic crowd has forgotten that just a few years back after the bombing in Oklahoma City President Clinton said it was unpatriotic for conservatives to criticize their government. He was busy demonizing conservatives and home schoolers for the “atmosphere of hate” responsible for the crime itself even though there was no connection.

In the debates over civil rights, hardball issues about the War on Freedom…excuse me, terror…raised by leftists, rightists and libertarians remain unanswered.

The first core matter can be summed up in the lesson Democrats are learning, called the boomerang syndrome: what goes around comes around. Laws passed for one reason can easily be ported for use in all manner of other crimes, making criminals out of ordinary citizens, creating crimes where there were none or aggravating the nature of what would be lesser crimes. This happens despite all those “assurances” we receive from war-on-terror proponents. Be assured that government assurances are always assuredly forgotten. History is on my side on this one.

The Endless Cycle of Loss

For the last 20 years we have witnessed a Buddhist-like cycle of crime, legislation, loss of rights, followed by more crime.

(1) A crime situation comes into existence.

(2) In order to deal with this crime situation the Justice Department or some arm of government claims expanded powers are required to deal with the situation in order to prevent more crime in the future.

(3) These laws invariably stomp on protections guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights but citizens are promised they will be safer and the crime will be prevented and that the laws will only be used against “bad guys” – you know, drug traffickers, terrorists, and [bad guy label here].

(4) Invariably the new laws do not prevent crimes and more are committed, almost always due to government ineptitude in using the surveillance powers and the laws it already has. In cases of malfeasance or incompetence on the part of agents representing government, no one is ever punished.

(5) There is then a stampede on the part of congressmen (“moo”) to pass more draconian laws, most of which they don’t read or understand, all of which trample (“moo”) on the rights of US citizens in the name of making them safer, which they don’t.

(6) The cycle then repeats itself once more but with one slight twist: the laws do not prevent more crime or terrorism and use of the laws rapidly broadens out, being applied to persons and crimes for which they were never originally intended, frequently sweeping up hapless citizens and making criminals where no criminals would have been before.

Precedent examples are legion of which the following is just one:

In the 1980s, the War on Drugs escalated. RICO statutes were enacted, which allowed the easy civil forfeiture of property among other things. The public was assured these laws would only be applied against drug kingpins. However before long the allure of easy property seizure with its corresponding payoff to law enforcement became too much temptation and suddenly there were hundreds of statues allowing property seizure, most of which had nothing to do with drugs. Then RICO statutes were applied against abortion clinic protesters and others never targeted when the laws were originally passed.

After the bombing of the Murrah Office Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, there was a big push (“moo”) to pass new anti-terrorist laws. But those laws didn’t prevent 9/11. In reality, the issue wasn’t more laws, but incompetence at enforcing the laws already extant with intelligence information already in hand.

For example, “Federal officials in both the intelligence and law enforcement community were repeatedly warned that terrorist attacks in the United States were likely. The respected Israeli journalist Ze’ev Schiff reported that when the former head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service warned Attorney General Janet Reno, FBI Director Louis Freeh, and Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet that terrorist cells were being set up on US soil ‘they looked at him forgivingly and claimed that he was exaggerating.'”

There was sufficient intelligence for the FBI to know that something was afoot in the US long before 9/11. Indeed FBI agent John O’Neil, who was ironically killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center, had become an expert on Islamic terrorist cells and was trying to warn the upper echelons of his organization that something desperately required their attention. But O’Neil was considered too “uppity” by his superiors in Washington, who didn’t want to hear about it. So while incompetence reigns, what is the answer to fighting terrorism? More destruction of constitutional protections, of course.

What Goes Around – Whack!

The primary issue of the War on Terror is that any statue, law, surveillance or regulation, can and will be used against ordinary citizens in the future just by shifting a few definitions here and there! To be more concise: Have slippery slope, will slip. Once a precedent for abusing civil rights is set in place and supported by the courts, the abuse can be expanded by simply changing the definition of those conditions required to legally trigger the legal action.

What goes around comes around. Poor laws written today will inexorably be broadened to ensnare all sorts of people who were never originally intended as targets. By this time in our nation’s history, we’re all criminals because we inadvertently break thousands of laws and regulations of which we are unaware. Let’s face it, even God has a hard time keeping up with the changes, but, unlike God, we have to suffer the consequences.

Justice requires a level playing field or it becomes corrupt. Beware the definition of a “terrorist,” which easily broadens to include almost anyone government wants to include in that category. Beware when habeas corpus is suspended simply by definition. Beware blurry ill-defined legal terms and definitions! Beware when property is confiscated merely upon accusation. Beware of being able to imprison people secretly for an indefinite period without trial, especially by calling it witness protection or military justice. Beware, beware, beware! Just a slip of the definitions and anyone can be made to fit. A terrorist or enemy combatant loses a lot of rights without even a trial just by being accused of being one and there is little appeal. Why? Because Johnny A. and Georgie B. say so, catch them if you can.

As powers granted under the War on Freedom, there will come a day in our lifetime when the name of John Ashcroft will be cursed for the precedents set in place today, as “they” are applied where “they” were never intended and where we were assured “they” would never go. How do I know that? Because “they” have done it before and “they” will do it again.

 

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