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Thursday, April 22, 2004

People who should be shot when the revolution comes

“Why are you doing this to yourselves?” a history instructor at Elon University asked us about six years ago. “You’re going to find yourselves laying awake one of these days at three in the morning, the only sounds you hear being the breathing of your spouse and the beating of your own heart as you are trapped thinking about the horrible things that humanity is capable of doing. You guys are asking for madness, I hope you realize!”

Ever since then I’ve considered why I majored in history because his warning has proved all too prophetic. There are times that do I find myself in bed, unable to sleep, burdened with the weary knowledge of the shape of things as my beautiful wife slumbers beside me. I have to wonder if all our hopes and dreams are really all for naught - so much so that I struggle with thoughts of having children of my own. “How could we ask our sons and daughters for forgiveness when they someday realize what kind of a world - and what kind of nation – we have brought them into?” I ask myself. I worry, thinking about the life of my children and societal ills the future will inevitably bring us. Yet adding to the futility of it all, our nation is distracted and ignores our deep political and moral problems. If Americans are in anyway active in politics then that, also, is utterly spent of usefulness.

The fever of the moment is to be enraptured in this year’s Presidential election. But it… doesn’t matter. Not at all. It’s but a momentary dose of morphine to distract us from the cancer eating this country. Either candidate from the major parties has demonstrated that they have no regard for the Constitution and the contract it represents between our people and our government. Both of them – and their respective parties – now espouse a socialism that would have horrified Ronald Reagan and maybe even FDR. Their disregard for the things that once gave this nation her noble character reflects the general shallowness of our culture that has led me, sadly, to no longer consider myself to be a proud American.

That great country no longer really exists. The nation I grew up believing in was one where any individual was as free to pursue his dreams as far as his heart and God would take him. It was a land that held to equal justice no matter one’s origin or belief or philosophy. It believed in the encouragement of charity, not the demanding of tribute. It was a place where we really didn’t conceive that it would ever become a police state where every citizen was considered a virtual suspect. In the space of twenty years I’ve watched America go from a bright shining city on a hill, to a cellblock of an island prison “ruled” by petty crooks and thugs.

It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when” this house of cards will collapse. And when it does, one of two things is going to happen: either the American people will capitulate and declare themselves eternally the wards of Nanny Government, or they’ll take to the streets and demand blood. It would be tempting to pray that we would not see either of such days in our time under the sun… but that is not for us to decide. Nor does it look as if that’s guaranteed at all. Sooner or later, something’s gotta give and a whole lot of people are going to be hurt or worse for it.

I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. As such I walk a fine line between being being angry enough to relish harm befalling those that wrong us, while likewise wanting to forgive them: my spirit contends with my flesh more time than I care to admit. But scratch away everything else that there is about being Christopher Knight, and you’re going to find a guy who simply doesn’t want to see anyone die. And I like to believe that this article is my own way of at least trying to stop that from happening

The purpose of this essay is threefold, but definitely NOT to call upon or encourage a violent uprising! Note that I say “when” the revolt happens, not “before”. Any correspondence along the lines of “right on brother bring it on!” will not be acknowledged, and in fact I would not hesitate to report particularly disturbing allusions to the proper authorities.

First, when things fall apart and the center no longer holds, I want to do my best to limit the collateral damage. To that end I offer this list as a guide on who to target, as opposed to possibly hurting innocent civilians who never wanted a dog in this hunt to begin with. Second, the people described below deserve fair warning about what they have done, though in their own ways they have sought control over their fellow man when they deserved none. It is incumbent upon me in my duties as a Christian to tell these people that “look I love you but I don’t want you to get hurt like this,” and it should be our hope that they may yet repent and beg forgiveness for their wrongdoing.

Third, I write this because I want the people on this list to fear. To be afraid for their careers – and maybe even their children’s futures – if not for their lives. Why shouldn’t they be made to fear: they’ve led us to fear them for long enough already. It’s because we have feared them that they have been allowed to run roughshod over the rest of us for too great a duration. They don’t fear because they believe there is no ramification to the evil of their actions on this earth. God may have patience enough to give them time to make amends for their spiritual state, but the nature of man – particularly the man who realizes his oppression – is far less forgiving.

People Who Should Be Shot When The Revolution Comes

- Transportation Security screeners/fondlers

TSA are those peon-prodding Philistines who have the power to forever deny you – without appeal or rationale – the right to air travel if you so much as give them a cocked eyebrow when they ask if they can examine your sandals for shoe bombs. Or make you drink the bottle of your own breast-milk that you stockpiled for your infant. They have a particular affinity toward harassing small children, the disabled and attractive young women. I’ll never fly again if I can help it while they’re around but if I do and my lovely wife happens to be touched by a TSA bootlick in the least bit a suspicious manner, I swear to God that I’ll do my damndest to beat the living snot out of him. It might land me in jail but I don’t care: I’m a jealous husband and there are some things in this world that belong to no other man. No president, Congress or government agency can ever change that fact.

- “Zero tolerance”-happy public school principals

If TSA is the new breed of Brownshirts, then these guys running the indoctrination camps called “public schools” are the Schutzstaffel. Too many have become control freaks hell-bent on breaking any independence of tomorrow’s Americans. Woe be that student who dares bring in a 2-inch long action figure rifle or accidentally leaves a butter knife in the floorboard of his car: such totems of resistance result in instant expulsion. Not every principal is like this, but those that would banish a female student for possessing two Tylenol tablets in her pocket because it’s “that time” of the month have no sane excuse whatsoever to be put in charge of our children… or having any children of their own for that matter.

- Homeowners association busybodies

One in California is now threatening home-schooling families for “non-residential use” of their domiciles. Others throw a hissy-fit if a homeowner chooses to paint his house a loud shade of puce. Simply put: it’s none of their bloody business what a person does with his own home so long as its not infringing on the right of others to do the same with theirs.

- Highway patrol officers who give tickets for unbuckled seatbelts

An American military aircraft is considered territory of the United States no matter where it is. The same should hold true for private transportation: the interior of my car is a sovereign realm in which I can do whatever I want, so long as I’m not using it to deprive others of their own safety in which case does put me under the jurisdiction of the fuzz. But if my back itches while I’m driving and the only route to relief is unfastening my seatbelt and that momentary indiscretion causes me to suffer a fine, it indicates the issuing officer has no idea what it means to honor the Constitution he swore to uphold and protect. It tells me that this man chooses to serve the state rather than the people. It makes him worthy of more than simple derision: he should be stripped of his badge and hogtied naked to the hood of a roadkill truck for not less than two days.

- Law enforcement agents that shoot Eagle Scouts and helpless dogs

Let’s stop calling cops and deputies “law enforcement” officers and demand they return to what they originally were intended to be: “peace officers”. Once, police rarely showed wantonness in using armed force except as dire last resort: knowing they were accountable to the people gave them too much self-discipline for that. That time is fading now. The moment police give a higher priority toward enforcing the law than serving their neighbors, they become totally unanswerable for their actions. The result is a license to be incompetent at best and ghoulish at worst. With regrets to the naïve, an agent of the law who on vague suspicion fires point-blank into the face an unarmed kid sitting in his car, or shoots a family’s tiny pet to death during a traffic stop that was wrong to begin with and then smirks about it with his colleagues, should be branded as anathema to society and treated accordingly.

- Immovable judges that legislate from the bench

The number-one reason why we now have a Constitution in name only. “Judicial restraint” didn’t come in vogue when Robert Bork got thrashed as a Supreme Court nominee: for most of America’s history it was the predominant principle of higher court rulings. Justices traditionally made rulings according to ideals higher than man, rather than compromise to suit their own fallible sense of right and wrong. Were they perfect? Admittedly not, but they at least desired to seek that perfection. Without that belief in something above the ken of this flesh, judges inevitably find themselves governing from non-elected positions according to the flesh.

- Anyone in government who creates a regulation and insists that it’s a law

There is no law stating that people who look too young have to show ID to purchase cigarettes, and it’s a lie to demand that it is. Laws are drafted by those elected to represent us and can be made to answer to us. Being ID-ed for cigarettes is a regulation: made by people you will never see and probably will never even know the names of. In many ways they hold more power than any legislator and there’s almost nothing we can do about it, barring a major paradigm shift in this country. If it were just cigarettes it might be kind of funny… except that we’re a people stifled by ridiculous regulations imposed by everyone from FDA to HOSA. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems awful silly to specify the number of steps that a ladder must have in a certain type of workplace.

- Elected officials who violate the Ninth and Tenth Amendments after being direly forewarned

The Ninth and Tenth may be the most important portions of the Bill of Rights after the First Amendment. They are also the most ignored by the widest of margins. These are the blueprint for a limited government that does not encroach upon the liberties – enumerated or not – of the American people. Had our representatives in Congress and our Presidents been more mindful of these two amendments, we might yet have been a people that would enjoy the same degree of freedoms as our forefathers did a hundred years and more ago. Were we to enforce the effects of these amendments, our elected officials would be obligated to explain why the legislations they seek to enact are Constitutional, and whether or not they would respect the autonomy of the individual.

- Anyone who tries to enforce property taxation

Let’s just call it communism and get it over with. It’s even worse than that: you don’t really own your land if you’re compelled to pay a “user fee” for it. In mobster movies it’s called “protection money”. In government it’s called “business as usual”: don’t pay the fee, you lose all claims to “your” land. Homes that have belonged to families for generations have been taken away – and more often than not sold at a profit to major developers – because the “tax burden” could not be met. It must be asked aloud: whose land is it, the individual’s or the government’s? If government claims it, then by what moral argument does it feel it has the right to do so?

- Government officials that couldn’t care less about our nation’s borders being overrun

Anyone who turns a blind eye to the crumbling integrity of our borders after being entrusted with defending our nation’s sovereignty is a traitor, pure and simple. It should be particularly unforgivable when a pitiful excuse is made about offering amnesty to those who should not be here simply because they are here. One of the signs of the Roman Empire’s decline was that it could no longer hold its own frontiers against barbarians jealous for its wealth, to the point that there was no definable Roman Empire in the west. When a nation no longer cares for its boundaries, it can’t be said that a nation really exists at all. Why should it even care though, when those who would destroy that nation are allowed to slip inside it?

- Whoever’s responsible for giving Matthew Lesko the keys to the national treasury

You know: that third-rate Riddler impersonator who becomes a demon in your nightmares after a binge of late-night television. The guy with the big fat book on how to leech taxpayer dollars. I wouldn’t possibly consider hurting Lesko himself: he comes across as a loon but at least he’s honest about it. And Lesko is just a symptom of the problem: if something happened to him, someone else would just take his place and they might be even more irritating. We have too many ways for too many people to suck at the tit of too much big government, and it’s become too big a drain of our nation’s resources and vitality. Wean everybody off that tit that don’t belong on it and a lot more people will have the incentive to grow up… and have more money in their pocket to boot!

- NASA officials who believe they should corner the market on space travel

If someone is crazy enough to try to launch into space inside a converted cement-mixer drum from his own backyard, more power to them and screw asking the federal government permission for it. The time is more than ripe that private businesses and individuals be free to explore space on their own: it is demanded if this country is to hold the upper ground on industry and defense.

- Politicians who thought “Beavis and Butthead” should have been banned but say nothing about NBC on Thursday nights

Remember when Senator Fritz Hollings called the show “Beavis and Buffcoat”? Or when members of a congressional hearing denounced id Software’s videogame DOOM? Or when President Clinton alluded that conservative talk radio caused the Oklahoma City bombing? They were all riding the coattails of a fad and thought they were “on the cutting edge” of societal change for it. In truth they wanted to distract the population from their own foibles by hooking onto whatever was fashionable to attack at the time. All stripes of politician like to hoodwink the average American with that lil’ technique. It makes them look juvenile and it insults our intelligence too much to be tolerated.

- Elected officials who distance themselves from those they asked to serve

And George W. Bush is among the worst of them. Corralling away protestors – some of which have legitimate gripes – into a “free speech zone” just so you don’t get to see them is something that would be expected of Russian tsars, but not American presidents. What Bush and others like him are doing is more grievous than the apathy toward the peasant class given by Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette: those two could at least lose their heads knowing that they were born into their situation. The same can’t be said of American politicians who show the same apathy – if not outright arrogance – toward the electorate. They asked to serve, and they should have expected to fulfill their terms of office, taking lumps and all. If they can’t answer to the people, then they should end all charade of serving the people. To do otherwise implies that they earnestly believe that they are above the people.

- Election officers that swear by electronic “no paper” voting machines

If not in the very immediate future, this will be what lights the fuse beneath a frustrated citizenry. Computerized voting that produces no auditable record opens up Pandora’s box on voting fraud. To deny otherwise puts one rather squarely on the side of Josef Stalin, who purportedly commented that “people who cast the votes decide nothing; the people who count the votes decide everything." Every vote must be allowed to hold up under scrutiny in the light of day instead of trusting it to the digital innards of a Diebold machine.

- Any impenitent that ever agreed to install red-light or speed cameras

The cameras should be smashed apart with a ball-peen hammer. Those who even considered them need to be dragged kicking and screaming into a remedial class on the Bill of Rights, particularly about the Fourth Amendment guarantees that our personal effects will be “secure… against unreasonable searches and seizures.” While they’re at it they can brush-up on the Sixth Amendment that promises the accused has the right “to be confronted with the witnesses against him”. When was the last time a robot gave sworn testimony in court? Yet the robot is usually the ONLY witness presented against a defendant in red-light camera cases. Traditionally it would be considered a conflict of interest that appeals in such cases are usually heard by the firms contracted to provide the cameras. In modern America it’s par for the course.

- Anyone who thinks the United Nations is still a good idea

It does nothing useful except pull our nation into meaningless quagmires. There’s no redeemable value and America doesn’t owe it a cent much less billions to renovate its headquarters. The headquarters should be given one hour to evacuate before immediate implosion, with the wreckage bulldozed into the Hudson River and the ground sown with salt just to be safe. Anyone who tries to persuade us that it still has merit worth considering should be exiled.

- School board members that make your kids endure a 3-hour one-way bus ride

Destroying the neighborhood school destroys the neighborhood. And I cannot help but believe that there has been some motive behind this madness that has evolved over the past four decades. Students no longer care about their sense of local identity leaving parents with no incentive to become involved with schools as a result. All that’s left is a soulless shell of a building that the bureaucrats guard as if they were Crips in a turf war. Point being: parents need to take back the neighborhood school for their children. Peacefully if possible, forcefully if necessary.

- Unelected “committee” members that have the power to destroy your home

Many cities have zoning committees appointed by elected officials but otherwise free to act without regard to the electorate. In recent years there have been hundreds of cases in which these committees have condemned private property – without recompense to the owner – to use for government intent. Worse, some have been seized from homeowners and small businesses only to be sold to large developers and major retailers like Wal-Mart.

- Supporters of forfeiture laws

In the name of fighting the “war on drugs” and now terrorism, local and federal law agencies have run roughshod over the guarantee against seizure without due process. Billions of dollars in money and assets have been stolen from innocent people who were arrested under the most dubious of circumstances. They were cleared but their belongings went to the government with no recourse left to them. There are virtually no defenders of the people’s rights in this matter and government agents have been known to gloat over the fact that there is nothing to be done to stop them. At the cost of sounding callous, I would find it very hard to shed a tear if such violators of property rights were found bleeding to death in the streets.

- Fanatical followers of the Democrat party who turn a blind eye to what “their guys” do and demand that we accept only two parties in this country

The co-conspirators most responsible for the turmoil and suffering that this country has been made to endure for the past one hundred years. They should be, from sea to shining sea, strung up from the nearest telephone poles by their circular reproductive units… with piano wire.

- Fanatical followers of the Republican party who turn a blind eye to what “their guys” do and demand that we accept only two parties in this country