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Thread: A nation of sheeple

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    Default A nation of sheeple

    by Walter E. Williams - Oct 18, 2005




    President Bush recently informed the nation, during a press conference, that he might seek to use the U.S. military to quarantine parts of the nation should there be a serious outbreak of the deadly avian flu that has killed millions of chickens and 60-some people in Southeast Asia.

    That’s the second time Bush has expressed a desire to use the military for local policing. The first was in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    The Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. 1385) generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the U.S. National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the U.S. Constitution or Congress.

    Enacted during Reconstruction, the purpose of the Posse Comitatus Act was to severely limit the powers of the federal government to use the military for local law enforcement.

    Would Americans today tolerate such a gigantic leap in the federalization of law enforcement? I’m guessing the answer is yes.

    In the name of safety, we’ve undergone decades of softening up to accept just about any government edict that our predecessors would have found offensive. Let’s look at some of it.

    The anti-smoking movement might be the beginning of the softening up process. They started out calling for reasonable actions like no-smoking sections on airplanes.

    Then it progressed to no smoking on airplanes altogether, then private establishments such as restaurants and businesses. Emboldened by the timidity of smokers, in some jurisdictions there are ordinances banning smoking in outdoor places such as beaches and parks.

    Then there are seatbelt and helmet laws that have sometimes been zealously enforced through the use of night vision goggles. On top of this, Americans accept government edicts on where your child may ride in your car.

    Americans sheepishly accepted all sorts of Transportation Security Administration nonsense. In the name of security, we’ve allowed fingernail clippers, eyeglass screwdrivers, and toy soldiers to be taken from us prior to boarding a plane.

    We’ve accepted federal intrusion in our financial privacy through the Bank Secrecy Act. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, says, “More than 99.999 percent of those [who] had their privacy invaded were law-abiding citizens going about their own personal financial business.”

    Most recently there’s the U.S. Supreme Court Kelo decision, where the court held that local governments can take a private person’s house and turn it over to another private person.

    Politicians have learned and become comfortable with the fact that today’s Americans will docilely accept just about any legalized restraint on their behavior.

    You say, “Hey, Williams, but it’s the law!” In the late-1700s, the British Parliament enacted the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, and the Townshend Acts, and imposed other grievances that are enumerated in our Declaration of Independence.

    I’m happy that we didn’t have today’s Americans around at the time to bow before King George III and say, “It’s the law.”

    Respectful of the Posse Comitatus Act, President Bush has suggested that he’ll ask Congress to amend the law to allow for the use of the U.S. military to enforce regional quarantines.

    Whether Congress amends the law or not, Bush has no constitutional authority to deploy military troops across the land. Why?

    The U.S. Constitution’s Article IV, Section 4 reads, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion
    ; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.”

    Coupled with the Tenth Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” this means short of an insurrection, the U.S. military must be invited by a state legislature or executive.

    Any federal law that violates these constitutional provisions is null and void and can only be enforced through fear, intimidation, and brute military force.


    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He has authored more than 150 publications, including many in scholarly journals, and has frequently given expert testimony before Congressional committees on public policy issues ranging from labor policy to taxation and spending.
    A Nation of Sheeple - Ayn Rand Admirers at The Atlasphere

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    so he went from Federal use of military to quarantine parts of the nation, which somehow stemmed from a direct health related item like no smoking?

    LOL

    yeah, way to stretch that theory
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    *yawn* another crazy op ed piece minus a whole lotta facts.

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    It would be nice to see some different points of view from this particular poster once in a while. These second-rate columnists are boring as hell.

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    It's difficult to find journalism that gets to the heart and center of topics. I don't have a legal background either. I find these articles simple and straight to the meaning....

    These op-ed may be from a narrow pov. That's all I can find right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieElizabeth View Post
    I find these articles simple and straight to the meaning....
    I find them badly written drivel. I don't know whether I agree with the 'author's' point of view because I cannot make any sense whatsoever of the point of view he is trying (and failing) to convey.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Give me a break, you have the WHOLE internet to look in.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    That's what I mean -- bad writing. I can't tell what the hell they're trying to say. Maybe try to find someone who's not writing from some backwater, but from a metropolis. That way, they might have been exposed to a few ideas other than their own. And someone who can actually write.

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    Well to begin with I've never been a big fan of Ayn Rand, these days even less so.

    But Jamie if you are looking for good stuff, you have to do a lot of background reading and really get to know the topics. It takes time. I used to listen to 9 hours of radio every day, announcers who have on people who are experts in their subjects, have done research, written books, people who keep up on the trends, facts, research... after listening for about 6-12 months, you can start to hear the bias of BOTH Rethugs and Dems. But if one is to be truly informed, one has to listen and read a LOT, and develop discernment which leads to better perception of what is really going on.

    A while back one of my favorite radio hosts obliterated the fundamental issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because he's almost completely uninformed about the scriptural and historical roots of the problem (not to mention the political). It bothered me a lot and I wrote the show and got a nice answer back. I basically told him, look don't venture where you don't have any idea what you're talking about. If you're going to discuss it, ante up instead of forcing people in the know to call in and set you straight, which in almost all cases cannot be done quickly.

    Understanding who and what is the source of your information is extremely important. Newsprism is a great list of who and what is behind many of the sources of "news" and "information", as well as opinion.

    I refuse to be swayed by those who are paid for their support, or who support completely unethical and immoral corporations and businesses who profit off of misery, violence, death, murder, starvation, the blood of innocents, and much more.

    You may think that paints a broad brush, but it IS possible to discern who the worst offenders are and avoid them.

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