There's a Little Bit of Judas in Us All

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 23, 2011

Perhaps unwittingly, contemporary songwriter Gino Vannelli offered a valid theological insight when he wrote that there is “A Little Bit of Judas in Us All.” This trait is relentlessly exploited by the devious, opportunistic people who presume to rule the rest of us.

The Arlington and Mansfield Independent School Districts in North Texas have created an anti-truancy program called “You Earn, They Learn.” Tiara Ellis Richard of the Arlington Police Department explains that when residents see a school-age child suspected of cutting classes, they can call in an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers. The police will then dispatch a “school resource officer” to investigate the complaint. The informant will be paid up to $40 for each confirmed tip.

As is always the case, this rat-on-your neighbor initiative is depicted as a form of applied altruism. It will pose obvious and potentially serious problems for local homeschoolers, who can expect a great deal of unwarranted and potentially dangerous attention from the police.

Every police state relies heavily on the cooperation of those who are willing to inform on their friends in exchange for some trivial material reward – and the intoxicating sense of righteousness that comes from being a tattle-tale.

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

Jay Sekulow's Lies about Ron Paul

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 19, 2011

Legal activist and radio host Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice is a passionate advocate for the Israeli government, which is his right. Where the foreign policy views of Republican presidential aspirant Ron Paul are concerned, Sekulow is an impenitent liar.

During a recent Fox News Republican presidential debate, Congressman Paul was asked why he opposes economic sanctions and potential military action against Iran, which allegedly seeks to acquire nuclear weapons. Paul, a consistent advocate of free trade and non-aggression, noted that Iran is surrounded by four nuclear-armed neighbors and that it poses no threat to the United States. Threatening Iran with sanctions and war is more likely to instigate problems than solve them, Paul contends. It was possible to deal with nuclear-armed Communist regimes in Russia and China – governments that killed tens of millions of their own subjects – without resorting to pre-emptive war.

In a subsequent broadcast, Sekulow deliberately misrepresented Paul’s position, claiming that “he’d be fine with Iran being the power in the Middle East” and that the congressman displayed “anti-Semitism and [a]dislike of Jews….”

This isn’t a mere disagreement over policy. It is a deliberate act of slander, and Sekulow must apologize to Congressman Paul.

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

Government as Organized Cruelty

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 18, 2011

Every government action is accompanied with the tacit – and often overt – threat of lethal force. This is why every time someone seeks to involve a government agency in a dispute, he risks becoming an accomplice to homicide. Jan Cline’s neighbor should have considered that principle.

In June, Cline – a senior citizen and independent businesswoman – was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, which is among the most painful afflictions one can imagine. “It’s a bone marrow cancer that eats through the bones and causes holes in the bones so that just by walking I can break a bone,” the resident of Salem, Oregon told a local television station.

To raise money for her treatment, Cline has held several yard sales, being careful to lay out the merchandise in her backyard so as not to create a problem. The sales were bringing in several hundred dollars a week until a neighbor, who somehow managed to take offense, called city officials to file a protest. The city sent a code enforcement official who ordered Cline to desist.

“I’m sorry – rules are rules,” the municipal jackboot told Cline.

The people responsible for this act of officious cruelty are perfectly capable of herding their neighbors into death camps.

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

Should We "Invest" in Incarceration?

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 17, 2011

Morgan Reynolds of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis is a prominent advocate of building prisons not where the crime is but where the jobs are.

Decisions regarding prison construction should be based on “commercial opportunities,” rather than the crime rate, according to Reynolds: "It's pretty clear that's where the future is if we're going to grow our prison population."

The Texas State Legislature – which seems perversely determined to criminalize every conceivable activity – certainly did its formidable best to expand the prison population. Many small communities tried to profit from the prison boom. Among them was Littlefield, a town of 6,000 that borrowed $10 million to build a large medium-security prison.

In 2009, following the suicide of an inmate from Idaho who was kept in solitary confinement for a year as a punitive measure, Littlefield’s municipal government was left with a deserted jail – and local residents were stuck with huge tax increases. Littlefield eventually had to auction off the jail at a loss. Lubbock and several other Texas cities who built their economies on the incarceration bubble are likely to follow.

A growing prison population is a symptom of societal sickness, not a source of economic benefit.

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

The Painful But Inevitable Death of a Durable Illusion

by Will

Will Grigg's Liberty Minute

August 12 2011

Forty years ago this August 15, the Nixon administration closed the “gold window” – that is, it defaulted on the federal government’s debts by severing the connection between the dollar and gold. This meant that debts would be paid with dollars that were, in effect, IOUs written to cover IOUs drawn on an empty bank account.

In the mid-1970s, Washington entered into a corrupt financial entente with Saudi Arabia in which Riyadh agreed to accept worthless fiat dollars in exchange for the world’s most coveted commodity. This petro-dollar accord provided a few decades of entirely artificial viability for the dollar: Since the Saudis and the OPEC cartel were willing to accept dollars for oil, the greenback remained the world’s reserve currency.

This arrangement meant giving the Saudis advanced military hardware and committing the U.S. military to defend the Saudis. It led to two wars against Iraq, a war against Libya, and may lead to war with Iran. And still, the dollar’s demise is unavoidable – and with it will die our standard of living.

Few things are more painful than the inevitable end of an unsustainable fantasy.

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

Politics Becomes Gang Warfare

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 11, 2011

With the support of a majority of City Commissioners, Mary Lee Cook, the 84-year-old Mayor of Oak Hill, Florida, recently fired the city’s six-member police force. This came several weeks after the police reportedly found a handful of “scrawny” marijuana plants on the octogenarian’s property. No charges were filed against Mayor Cook, who insists that the plants were placed there by a political enemy in the police force seeking to damage her reputation. The dismissed police chief, incidentally, has a history of personal drug abuse

In Quartzsite, Arizona – population 3,600 -- the Town Council has attempted to dismiss all but three members of its 14-man police force. In that case, the Council is at odds with the mayor, who has accused the Council of misappropriating funds. The officers facing dismissal have accused the police chief of abusing his authority in the service of a corrupt ruling clique on the Council, which has declared a state of emergency and now does business behind closed doors.

Episodes of this kind are erupting all across the United States and as bankrupt municipal governments degenerate into factional squabbles that may soon take on the nature of gang warfare.

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

The Wave Recedes, the Walls Remain

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 9 2011

According to the Sacramento Bee, the migratory wave from Mexico to California has gone into reverse. While the official unemployment rate in the U.S. is around ten percent, in Mexico the rate is lower than five percent. Mexicans who had immigrated to the U.S. without official permission are now returning to their homeland, which right now boasts a healthier economy than the United States.

Illegal immigration has long been a problem, but it was never a crisis. The police state measures imposed as supposed “solutions,” however, will remain part of the architecture of official repression. One good example is the so-called “Safe Communities Initiative,” through which information on criminal suspects is compiled in huge federal databases for the alleged purpose of identifying criminal aliens. Several states had objected to the program on federalist grounds, or out of concerns over racial profiling.

On August 5, the Obama administration unilaterally decreed that states can no long opt out of that program – which, like nearly everything else the administration has done, is a brazenly unconstitutional usurpation of power.

Never forget: The walls being built by our rulers are intended to keep us in, not to keep foreigners out.

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

The Police as Tribal Predators

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 8, 2011

Like thousands of other police union officials nation-wide, John Barnes of Michigan’s Warren Police Association is infuriated that he and his comrades may have to start paying a larger share of their own health care and pension benefits.

This matter will require the immediate, personal attention of members of the police union in lobbying the Michigan legislature in Lansing. Barnes prescribed a very direct approach:

“[I]f we cannot earn their respect we will do what we have always done … hit it with a flashlight until we gain compliance!”

When challenged about what can be reasonably construed as a threat of insurrectionary violence, Barnes insisted that this was simply as specimen of “cop speak” that was not intended for general public consumption. Besides, he continued, “I will refrain from using inflammatory language as soon as those attacking me and my fellow police officers refrain from using the same.”

We are indebted to Mr. Barnes for dispelling the pious misunderstanding that police exist to protect and serve anything but their own tribal interests.

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

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 5, 2011

Police in in Renton, Washington seek to arrest and prosecute an anonymous satirist who created several animated cartoons mocking the scandal-plagued police department.

The videos “target specific members of the City of Renton and Renton Police Department with the intent to embarrass and emotionally torment the victims,” claimed police investigator Ryan Rutledge in a July 11 affidavit filed in King County Superior Court. Rutledge contends that the videos are covered by the Washington State “cyberstalking” statute.

Remarkable as the case in Renton may be, this is not the first time a city government and its armed enforcement apparatus have sought to identify and prosecute an anonymous critic.

In 2008, municipal officials in the town of Whitewater, Wisconsin, particularly Police Chief James Coan, targeted the pseudonymous John Adams, publisher of www.freewhitewater.com , which lambasted the town’s “narrow-minded" political class.

Police departments are persistently looking for ways to circumnavigate that troublesome First Amendment. In many jurisdictions they seek to use wiretapping statutes to prosecute citizens who record their public actions. Now police are attempting to redefine criticism of its performance as a form of “cyberstalking.”

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

The Double-Secret "Patriot Act"

by Will

Will Grigg’s Liberty Minute

August 4, 2011

In a memorable scene from the 1970s film “Animal House,” the odious Dean Wormer of fictional Faber University informs the slovenly misfits of the Delta House fraternity that they’ve been on “double-secret probation” and are facing expulsion from college. Apparently the people running Washington’s intelligence bureaucracy have seen that film, and drew inspiration from it for the official interpretation of the so-called PATRIOT Act.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has referred to a “secret” PATRIOT Act – meaning a classified interpretation of the statute that would permit extensive covert surveillance of American citizens.

Wyden and fellow Senator Mark Udall affixed an amendment to the Patriot Act reauthorization that would require the Attorney General “publicly [to] disclose the United States Government’s official interpretation of the USA Patriot Act.”

Their concerns were deflected by the Select Committee, which rejected Wyden and Udall’s proposed amendment.

What this means, of course, is that for the foreseeable future, all Americans will be on “double-secret probation” – under unremitting scrutiny, and subject to the whims of people who are entirely unaccountable to us.

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

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