It Can't Happen Here - Ron Paul

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RatMan
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It Can't Happen Here - Ron Paul

#1

Post by RatMan » Thu Dec 23, 2004 2:11 pm

It Can't Happen Here

Ron Paul | December 20, 2004

In 2002 I asked my House colleagues a rhetorical question with regard
to the onslaught of government growth in the post-September 11th era:
Is America becoming a police state?

The question is no longer rhetorical. We are not yet living in a
total police state, but it is fast approaching. The seeds of future
tyranny have been sown, and many of our basic protections against
government have been undermined. The atmosphere since 2001 has
permitted Congress to create whole new departments and agencies that
purport to make us safer- always at the expense of our liberty. But
security and liberty go hand-in-hand. Members of Congress, like too
many Americans, don’t understand that a society with no constraints on
its government cannot be secure. History proves that societies
crumble when their governments become more powerful than the people
and private institutions.

Unfortunately, the new intelligence bill passed by Congress two weeks
ago moves us closer to an encroaching police state by imposing the
precursor to a full-fledged national ID card. Within two years, every
American will need a “conforming� ID to deal with any federal agency--
including TSA at the airport.

Undoubtedly many Americans and members of Congress don’t believe
America is becoming a police state, which is reasonable enough. They
associate the phrase with highly visible symbols of authoritarianism
like military patrols, martial law, and summary executions. But we
ought to be concerned that we have laid the foundation for tyranny by
making the public more docile, more accustomed to government bullying,
and more accepting of arbitrary authority- all in the name of
security. Our love for liberty above all has been so diminished that
we tolerate intrusions into our privacy that would have been abhorred
just a few years ago. We tolerate inconveniences and infringements
upon our liberties in a manner that reflects poorly on our great
national character of rugged individualism. American history, at
least in part, is a history of people who don’t like being told what
to do. Yet we are increasingly empowering the federal government and
its agents to run our lives.

Terror, fear, and crises like 9-11 are used to achieve complacency and
obedience, especially when citizens are deluded into believing they
are still a free people. The loss of liberty, we are assured, will be
minimal, short-lived, and necessary. Many citizens believe that once
the war on terror is over, restrictions on their liberties will be
reversed. But this war is undeclared and open-ended, with no precise
enemy and no expressly stated final goal. Terrorism will never be
eradicated completely; does this mean future presidents will assert
extraordinary war powers indefinitely?

Washington DC provides a vivid illustration of what our future might
look like. Visitors to Capitol Hill encounter police barricades,
metal detectors, paramilitary officers carrying fully automatic
rifles, police dogs, ID checks, and vehicle stops. The people are
totally disarmed; only the police and criminals have guns.
Surveillance cameras are everywhere, monitoring street activity,
subway travel, parks, and federal buildings. There's not much
evidence of an open society in Washington, DC, yet most folks do not
complain-- anything goes if it's for government-provided safety and
security.

After all, proponents argue, the government is doing all this to catch
the bad guys. If you don’t have anything to hide, they ask, what are
you so afraid of? The answer is that I’m afraid of losing the last
vestiges of privacy that a free society should hold dear. I’m afraid
of creating a society where the burden is on citizens to prove their
innocence, rather than on government to prove wrongdoing. Most of
all, I’m afraid of living in a society where a subservient populace
surrenders its liberties to an all-powerful government.

It may be true that average Americans do not feel intimidated by the
encroachment of the police state. Americans remain tolerant of what
they see as mere nuisances because they have been deluded into
believing total government supervision is necessary and helpful, and
because they still enjoy a high level of material comfort. That
tolerance may wane, however, as our standard of living falls due to
spiraling debt, endless deficit spending at home and abroad, a
declining fiat dollar, inflation, higher interest rates, and failing
entitlement programs. At that point attitudes toward omnipotent
government may change, but the trend toward authoritarianism will be
difficult to reverse.

Those who believe a police state can't happen here are poor students
of history. Every government, democratic or not, is capable of
tyranny. We must understand this if we hope to remain a free people.
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one eyed fatman
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#2

Post by one eyed fatman » Thu Dec 23, 2004 9:17 pm

Don't forget the first thing the people in DC did after 9/11 was give themself's a 150% increase in pay.


TexasYankee
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Who got the 150% raises?

#3

Post by TexasYankee » Thu Dec 23, 2004 9:58 pm

I've got a boatload of back pay that Santa Claus must be bringing for Christmas if there were 150% raises after 9-11??? Most people that work for Government that end up in D.C. lose big$$.Been There Done That- I think someone is pulling your chain.. Merry Christmas!


one eyed fatman
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#4

Post by one eyed fatman » Tue Dec 28, 2004 2:15 pm

Even if I'm wrong about the 150% sounds like they are living pretty high on the hog.

CCAGW Blasts Congress for Stealth Pay Raise
War, Recession, Deficits Fail to Deter Self-Aggrandizement


(Washington, D.C.) -- The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today denounced Congress for increasing its salary by $5,000 to a total of $155,000 per year. Congress amended the law in 1989 to allow for automatic "cost of living" increases every year, unless there is a specific vote to cancel it. Fiscal 2003 will make four years in a row that Congress refused to turn down its pay hike. CCAGW is joined by Ralph Nader and several other organizations in calling this year's pay raise untimely, hypocritical, and completely insensitive to the nation's hardships.

"Members of Congress have the only job in the country whose occupants can set their own salary without regard to performance, profit, or economic climate," CCAGW President Tom Schatz said. "At the very least, Congress should hold hearings on the proposed raise, and permit a roll call vote to reject it. Unfortunately, both parties share a 'gentleman's agreement' to stay quiet on the issue and pass it with as little fanfare as possible."

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), four years of budget surplus will plummet to a $157 billion deficit by year's end. Successive deficits will add billions more to the national debt, already looming at $6.2 trillion. The recent stock market drop has cut the retirement savings of millions of Americans, and unemployment is rising. Finally, the nation's war on terrorism and a possible invasion of Iraq will place even greater strains on the government's resources.

"The average family's share of the national debt amounts to $20,000," continued Schatz. "This burden is the direct result of partisan politics, reckless spending, and budget shenanigans in Washington. And now the politicians who created this problem want a pay raise! What exactly are they rewarding themselves for?"

Senators and representatives earn four times the median income of full-time, year-round American male workers, excluding benefits and pensions. Over the past five years, members of Congress have given themselves $13,300 per year in raises, which is more than a minimum wage employee would earn during an entire year of full-time work. Other perks include: free outpatient care at certain hospitals; a special $3,000 tax deduction, frequent-flyer miles from government travel; free meals and vacations from lobbyists and business groups, access to first-class gyms and tennis courts, taxpayer subsidized life and health insurance, and a special pension program.

Meanwhile, Congress is way behind schedule on its most fundamental tasks: passing the 13 appropriations bills that will fund the federal government's next fiscal year by the Oct.1 deadline; presiding over the near collapse of Amtrak; the ongoing financial death spiral at the U.S. Postal Service; the Senate's inability to pass a budget; and the Senate's failure to confirm or reject dozens of the president's nominees for sensitive executive and judicial posts.

"Congressional pay raises keep coming despite Congress's failure to do its job," concluded Schatz. "Since 9/11, there has been a lot of talk about sacrifice. But politicians are unwilling to sacrifice a simple pay raise, to say nothing of the $20 billion in pork they smuggled to their home districts last year, or the $159 billion in waste and abuse they allowed to be spent."

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation's largest (one million members and supporters) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/PageSer ... ms1.app24a


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#5

Post by bobrogers » Fri Dec 31, 2004 7:32 pm

Ratman: Here here.
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stevie_d_64
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Harumpf!!!

#6

Post by stevie_d_64 » Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:50 pm

I'm not seeing a lot of "harumpf's" out there!!!

Later,
Steve

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