How "Tolerance" Becomes Totalitarianism

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 1, 2012

All human beings who enjoy a measure of personal liberty practice discrimination. Each of us makes choices in social, economic, political, and religious associations that involve including some and excluding others. Inasmuch as we do so without violating the property rights of others through force or fraud, no government has any role in scrutinizing them, much less micro-managing them and punishing those who make choices that some people find objectionable.

In the name of officially mandated “tolerance,” however, the government ruling us has created a system in which all of our commercial enterprises and private associations are quietly monitored for evidence of politically unacceptable opinions regarding race, “gender,” and what is called “sexual orientation.”

As the leftist jihad against the Chick fil-A restaurant chain illustrates, those who offer evidence of such proscribed views can find themselves subject to punitive sanctions of various kinds. In this case, the supposed offense committed by the chain’s president consisted of expressing opposition to so-called same-sex marriage in exactly the same terms used by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008.

The regulation of attitudes and associations in the name of “tolerance” is a form of soft totalitarianism – albeit one that can harden into undisguised tyranny very quickly.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

Meet Your Friendly Neighborhood Drone Killer

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

July 31, 2012

From the comfort and security of an Air National Guard base in suburban Syracuse, Col. D. Scott Brenton murders people 7,000 miles away.

“I see mothers with children, I see fathers with children, I see fathers with mothers, I see kids playing soccer,” Brenton tells the New York Times. Drone operators see their intended targets “wake up in the morning, do their work, go to sleep at night,” explains another high-tech murderer identified only as Dave.

When instructed to kill someone he has stalked from the air for a prolonged period, “I feel no emotional attachment to the enemy,” Brenton insists. “I have a duty, and I execute my duty.”

As the Times points out, the Pentagon – driven by “a near insatiable demand for drones” – is training hundreds of operators to join the corps of more than 1,300 currently stationed at more than a dozen bases across the country.

The New York Times profile is part of a campaign by the state-aligned media to “humanize” the state functionaries who murder by remote control – and to normalize this mode of mass murder as drones become part of the domestic apparatus of surveillance, regimentation, and repression.

 Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Given the Choice, We'll Keep Our Guns -- and Abolish the Police

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

July 30, 2012

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the most implacably totalitarian figures in American political history, has suggested that police nationwide should go on strike until the law-abiding public disarms itself.

“I don’t understand why the police officers in this country don’t stand up collectively and say, `we’re going to go on strike,” Bloomberg blurted in an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan. “We’re not going to protect you unless you – the public – through your legislature do what’s required to keep us safe. After all, police officers want to go home to their families.”

An unidentified police officer in Portland, Oregon acted on Commissar Bloomberg’s recommendation on July 26. Rob Anderson, who owns a computer software store, witnessed a robbery taking place at Central Drugs. Spying a uniformed officer in a marked police car, Anderson reported the robbery. The valiant defender of the public replied that he was off duty and told Anderson to call 911. Then he rolled up his window and drove away.

After the robber made off with cash and pills, the pharmacist grabbed his personal firearm and, with an assistant, chased down and arrested the suspect until the police tardily arrived.

Memo to Mayor Bloomberg: We’d be better off with an armed citizenry and no police.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

Chick-fil-A vs. the Commissars

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

July 27, 2012

After the president of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain expressed opposition to the peculiar social artifact called “same-sex marriage,” homosexual pressure groups announced their intention to boycott the business. Withholding business is a form of political activism compatible with property rights and the non-aggression principle.  Attacking the property rights of someone with whom you disagree is not.

Chicago Alderman Proco Moreno, who was born in the wrong time zone to be a Communist Chinese functionary, has announced that he would use zoning ordinances to block Chick-fil-A’s plans to establish a second store in the city. That action has the approval of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has displayed greater tolerance for urban street gangs than he has for Christian business owners.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino made a similar announcement. He reversed his decision, however, after it dawned on him that in the current economy gestures of this kind might be the equivalent of political suicide.

Left--leaning pundit Adam Serwer of Mother Jones magazine notes that “The government blocking a business from opening based on the owner's political views is a clear threat to everyone's freedom of speech….” Serwer neglected to mention that it is also lethal to the very concept of property rights.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Dropping a Dime on the Secret Police

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

July 26, 2012

Three years ago a property manager in New Brunswick, New Jersey discovered something unsettling during a state-mandated inspection of his apartment complex, which was located near the campus of Rutgers University.

The apartment was unfurnished except for two beds. No clothes were found, but the landlord saw software, New York Police Department radios, and disturbing photographs of local buildings and people the manager perceived to be terrorists. Fearing that his property had been used as a safe house for a terrorist cell, he called the police.

It turns out that the property was being used as a safe house – by a unit of the NYPD acting well outside its jurisdiction in cooperation with the CIA. The apartment was used by undercover agents who were conducting warrantless – and illegal – surveillance on people who had done nothing to deserve the unwanted attention of police.

For more than a year, the NYPD fought a court battle to prevent publication of the 911 call made by the apartment manager, who was following the Homeland Security department’s “If you see something, say something” admonition. In the East German-style surveillance society we’ve become, the suspicious people you report might well be assets of the secret police.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

When the Hospital Becomes a Detention Center

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

July 25, 2012

Eric and Corissa Mueller were concerned when their newborn daughter Taige developed what appeared to be a serious cold. They took her to an emergency room, just to be safe.

By the time the family reached St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise, the baby’s fever had climbed to 101 degrees. The parents consented to several tests, but balked at the suggestion that Taige undergo a spinal tap and full course of antibiotics, which emergency room doctors had demanded as a precautionary measure against meningitis. 

There was a very small chance that Taige had contracted that fatal disease; the risks of potentially fatal complications from the spinal tap were slightly greater.  When the parents exercised their rights by withholding consent, officials called the police, who seized custody of their infant and held the parents hostage. They were threatened with arrest if they attempted to call another doctor. This invasive and potentially fatal procedure confirmed the mother’s suspicions: Her baby had a cold, from which she soon recovered.

If Taige had died from meningitis, her diligent and conscientious parents would likely face criminal charges. If she had died from complications of the spinal tap and antibiotics, her abductors would have been protected by “qualified immunity.”

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free

Lighting a Bonfire of Liberty In Scituate, Massachusetts

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

July 24, 2012

Police in Scituate, Massachusetts – a small beachfront town midway betweenBoston andPlymouth -- celebrated Independence Day by nearly burying two small children alive and then arresting four men for the supposed crime of roasting marshmallows over a campfire. One of those arrested was 70-year-old Michael Joyce, whose offense was to step in front of a police bulldozer to prevent potentially fatal harm to his grandchildren.

The officers who arrested Joyce forced the old man to his knees and thrust his head into the sand. He was handcuffed so aggressively that his wrists were left bloodied and bandaged.

One eyewitness to the operation described the crackdown as “a full military operation… Hummers up and down the beach, state police helicopters, horseback [officers], bomb squad, [and] a command post up the center.”

Those forces were arrayed to enforce a ban on beach bonfires enacted in May by the town government.  On July 3, recalls resident Emory Langlolies, police invaded his property, unplugged his stereo – which was playing patriotic music – and then destroyed the power adapter.

Many residents of Humarock, a senior citizen enclave in the town, are so weary and disgusted of the municipal government that they are talking about seceding fromScituate. May God prosper their efforts.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

A Tale of Two Atrocities: Aurora and Anaheim

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

July 23, 2012

One day after a lethal shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado left twelve people dead and scores injured, another eruption of criminal violence left one dead and several others injured in Anaheim, California. The perpetrators of the second assault were officers from the Anaheim Police Department, who used rubber bullets, which are reliably lethal at close range, to disperse a spontaneous protest that coalesced after the "officer-involved shooting" of a young man in the neighborhood.

Cell phone video of the police assault shows a wall of officers firing at a group of unarmed and terrified civilians — including several small children, who were shielded by a man who appeared to be their father. Another officer unleashed a police dog, which immediately attacked a stroller containing an infant. A bystander who interposed himself — and was mauled by the dog for doing so — probably saved the child's life.

Those acts, in which private citizens protected the innocent from criminal violence at the hands of the State's armed servants, were just as heroic as those of the three men in Aurora who died protecting their girlfriends during the shooting rampage.

 The Anaheim police rampage illustrates how quickly the State's armed enforcement caste can turn any neighborhood into an urban war zone.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Condemning U.S. Aggression is Now a Capital Offense?

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

July 20, 2012

Anwar al-Awlaki, the New Mexico-born Islamic cleric who was the first U.S. citizen specifically targeted for assassination by presidentially ordered drone strike, is frequently described as a proponent of terrorist attacks against American citizens.

If Awlaki had committed an actual criminal act, he should have been taken into custody and put on trial. Instead, Awlaki was assassinated without trial or formal charges, as was his 16-year-old son, who had gone to Yemen to find his father.

As it happens, Awlaki was a passionate critic of U.S. foreign policy – and also a forthright opponent of terrorist attacks against American civilians. In a typical address he stated that the U.S. government’s role in invading and occupying Muslim countries “does not justify the killing of one U.S. civilian in New York City or Washington, D.C.,” just as the murder of thousands of civilians in New York and Washington do not “justify the death of one civilian in Afghanistan.”

Awlaki believed that all people -- including Muslims -- have the right to defend themselves against aggressive violence, and was not shy about saying so. By presidential decree, the expression of those views was made a capital crime.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Once You're on "The List," You Can't Get Off

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

July 18, 2012

Sandra Cortez was born in Chicago sixty-eight years ago. She has never set foot outside the United States. She has no criminal record, and an exemplary credit history.

In March 2005, Cortez – who was living in Colorado – attempted to buy a car. The Subaru dealership’s credit adviser balked at the sale, despite the fact that Cortez had a 760 credit score and money for a down-payment. A notification from the TransUnion credit reporting agency mentioned that Cortez’s name had been flagged on a “watch list” mandated by the so-called USA PATRIOT Act.

After being detained at the dealership while the FBI was consulted, Cortez was able to buy the car. When she contacted TransUnion, the agency insisted that the notifications had been removed from her file. Nonetheless, in June 2006, the red flags appeared when Cortez attempted to rent an apartment. In fact, the notifications materialize every time Cortez has to conduct business that involves credit.

Following a seven-year legal struggle, Cortez was awarded $750,000 in damages by a jury. The government arbitrarily reduced that award to $150,000, and then stole roughly a third of that in taxes. Most infuriating is the fact that the Regime refuses to take Cortez’s name off the list.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

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