Happy Independence Day?

This is a sad 4th of July for me. It’s one thing to celebrate the beginning of our country, but quite another thing to realize what we have become. I can’t separate the two.

How can I celebrate a country that has allowed the President to have a “kill list” with any person who is merely suspected of being a terrorist on the list? They can be shot or a bomb dropped on them and anyone who is with them when it happens is just collateral damage. What happened to the rule of law, warrants for searches and charges being filed and a trial in a courtroom? We still have indefinite detention, and even if they didn’t detain American citizens (Do you trust them on this? I don’t.), but only non-citizens, what can be done to one will eventually be done to all. Anyone who participates in a protest can be suspected of terrorist activity. There doesn’t seem to be a definition of that word, terrorist. It seems to change with the circumstances and the whims of the accuser.

Our military is misused. We go to war to protect “our interests” rather than defending our country against foreign military attacks.  And speaking of the military – we have been militarizing our city police and county sheriffs. Look at the equipment these guys have these days. Tanks? Huge guns? Drones? OH…drones. Yes, those, too. Won’t be long and we will have thousands of them in our skies. They say this is to “keep us safe”?

Just writing something like this may land me on a list of some sort. I am complaining, after all. I’m looking back at how our founders didn’t trust big government and didn’t want a standing army. They didn’t want a government that could do to citizens even a fraction of what ours can, and does, do to us. I guess this article, along with all of our email, phone calls and whatever else they can gather up, will be in their huge database. If you wonder what I’m talking about, just do a search of “NSA database.”

We have a government agency in our airports that has a Ha-Ha I See You Naked Machine, which one can refuse to stand in front of and have their naked body viewed by a stranger, only to then be mauled by the gloved hands of a different stranger. The only basis for such invasive government activity seems to be that one is traveling. Even Henry Kissinger was groped by TSA agents who didn’t even recognize his name. This one truly turns the 4th Amendment on its head.

The abuses and losses just go on and on.

So, how did this mess happen? I read the other day that someone once asked Alexander Solzhenitsyn how Russia became a Communist state? What happened to allow that? His answer was that “the people forgot God.”

Now, if you have read much of my political or spiritual writings on this blog, you know that I am not in favor of making Christianity into a civil religion. I think when a country declares itself to be a “Christian Nation” and then behaves like ours does, invading countries that have not attacked us, going back on promises made to other countries and to groups of people who were fighting off dictators (ones we didn’t support),  just generally running over anyone who gets in our way, it gives Christianity a bad name worldwide. I don’t care if we have “In God We Trust” on our money, or not. I don’t care for the trappings of a show of religion. The church does not need the support of the state, and in fact, it seems to weaken the church when it has had that. The church, and all religions, only need the freedom to practice their beliefs and to speak out in the public square.

But, what happens when the people forget God? What happens when Christians forget about the dignity and reverence for life? What happens when they forget that all men are created in God’s image and deserve to be treated accordingly? They vote their pocketbook, that’s what. They look at their retirement accounts and want more regulation. We’ve got it, folks, and it’s intrusive.* They look at their bank accounts and vote for more welfare and care of every sort. We’ve got that, too. And everything we get takes something away. It takes our privacy and our dignity in being able to live our lives like adults who are able to care for themselves. We get protection that we need to be protected from.

So, now what we have is a President who has a “kill list” and local police who look like soldiers when they do raids and they act like soldiers, too. We have unreasonable searches in our airports and homes. Our papers (all our communications) are subject to the scrutiny of the federal government without our knowledge or consent. No dignity. No respect. This is what happens when we forget God.

*Someone showed me the questionnaire that is required by the Dodd-Frank Act. It asks not only about investments, but also, “For Natural Person, Estate, and Trust clients: Is the client, clients (sic) family member or other person who shares the client’s household a government official?” If the answer is “Yes” they want the name, relationship to the client, jurisdiction, etc.

We’ve Gone Completely Berserk in This Country

Our government mauls citizens at airports, and Janet Napolitano is at Walmart telling shoppers to watch out for anything suspicious, and to report whatever they think they see. And now they have come to the Interstate highways. Are we not making a loud enough protest? Are people scared stupid? Do they think this is necessary? What country is this?

Who Owns Your Body?

When you buy a plane ticket, do you think you are giving up your Constitutional right that prohibits unreasonable search? Do you think you ought to be ogled and groped by the government? Many Americans, including myself, are appalled by the behavior of  TSA  (Transportation Security Administration) in our airports. (I know – CBS did a poll that says 80% are OK with this. Eighty percent of Americans don’t fly. Someone rightly said they should ask those who have been through airport security recently.)  TSA says we do give up our rights. They are, as of yesterday, trying to back-pedal a bit and say they will come up with some less objectionable practices. I will object as long as TSA  is in our airports at all, and here is why.

What is the foundation of this right not to be ogled and groped by the government? The Fourth Amendment says “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Looks to me like private property is the basis of this. What belongs to you is yours and you have control over it. If they have no reason to suspect you of a committing a specific crime, they have no right to rifle through your things, or inspect your body.

Who owns your body? Should the government tell you what vitamins or herbs you can take? Should they tell you how much salt you are allowed to consume? Or, fat? Or, if you are allowed to buy raw milk? Or, whether or not you can smoke tobacco? Or, consume anything else that you choose?

Who owns the airports? Not the federal government. Federal construction funds probably opened the door to all this mess, but they do not own airports. Most airports in the US are private property and are controlled by local government, such as cities and counties, along with the airlines and the federal government. Before 9/11 the airlines handled baggage and check in. They still ought to be doing that, rather than the federal government. That brings us to another Amendment to our Constitution – the 10th Amendment. It’s short and to the point and says “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.” That means if the Constitution does not give authority to the federal government to make a law or institute a tax, or whatever other measure of control they envision, they should not be allowed to do so by the States or by the people.

As a Christian and as an American, I object to the government having any control over my body. And as the old saying goes, “Give them an inch, and they will take a mile.” Private property ownership is the basis of the freedom we are supposed to have in this country. When the government and the people forget about private property rights, we have all kinds of problems. I don’t think our government schools emphasize this for some reason or other, so I just thought I’d bring it up, for those who might want to consider it.