photo credit: 89AKurt
This past weekend, I protested the TSA at the Salt Lake International Airport along with a couple dozen other individuals. I produced a flyer which we distributed to over 400 passengers, and many of the protestors had signs objecting to various aspects of this federal institution.
My main objections are summarized in a recent op-ed I published in the Salt Lake Tribune. I argue that the TSA’s invasive, warrant-less searches and seizures are in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and that Americans are willingly trading away their liberty for security theater.
This issue has, thankfully, received a significant amount of attention as of late. The national “opt out” day a few weeks ago rallied people around the country in protest of the irradiating, pornographying backscatter machines and the molestation of men, women, and children by low-skilled rent-a-gropers. Hundreds, if not thousands of stories are now in the public domain which both individually, and especially in the aggregate, paint a sobering picture of the degree to which individual liberty has been suppressed.
But as with all things, not everybody agrees with the underlying issue, let alone the reaction to it. As I have been following the issue closely in past weeks, and opining along the way, I’ve encountered several objections to the objectors—naysayers who don’t understand what the big deal is. Often, the person will state that they recently went through the airport and were not subjected to the backscatter machine or enhanced pat down, or even if they did, that it wasn’t as bad as some have made it out to be.
These responses are a perfect example of the self-centered, hedonistic focus our society embraced. It says, in effect, “I don’t care unless it affects me personally.” In the case of the TSA, such individuals are apathetic towards and even proponents of their searches and seizures; their tune only changes if something directly and negatively affects them, say, like their wife’s breasts being fondled, or their urostomy bag being punctured by an agent and dousing them in urine, or their child being taken by an agent out of view.
Indeed, I encountered many such people during our protest this weekend. When asking a passenger-to-be, with leaflet extended towards them, whether they were concerned about their fourth amendment rights to be free from warrantless searches and seizures, I was often told some variation of “nope, not at all” or “who cares?”
In short, these individuals seem to think that because it’s not happening to them, it’s nothing to be worried about. They fail to realize that the fact that it is happening to others increases the likelihood that it may happen to them in the future; by protecting the liberty of others, we protect our own. I’m reminded of the well-known words of Pastor Martin Niemöller which relate and deserve quoting:
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
One of the more disappointing responses among the group was from an individual who claimed that because the percentage of protestors and complainants to the total number of airplane passengers was so small, it was to be deemed an “average complaint rate” and thus relegated to the same status as those whose coffee is served cold by a flight attendant, or who are inconvenienced with the loss of their luggage. As the argument goes, because so relatively few are expressing concern, it’s a non-issue.
I admit that I do not understand this response. In fact, I find it stupid. My mind is filled with the stories of individuals who have been irradiated and molested, and I wonder what they think about people who show complete indifference towards their situation, since they are only one person. I think of the rape victim who wrote: “What [the TSA] did to me, in full view of everyone else in line, was like being sexually assaulted all over again. I was in shock. I hate myself that I allowed them to do this to me. I haven’t been able to stop crying since.” Is her story not important? Should her rights not be of concern to us?
Should her experience be ignored and forgotten because she is only one person?
Like the story of the increasingly-imposing camel, tyranny naturally increases in size and scope. Its occurrence anywhere should alarm all individuals, regardless of whether they are affected or not. Tyranny does not promulgate only when some statistically-significant critical mass (in excess of an “average complaint rate”) is achieved—its critical mass is one individual.
Wiser men than such apathetic individuals knew better. James Madison, for example, once wrote:
It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.
Tom Paine similarly wrote:
He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
Those concerned with individual liberty fight not only for their own, but for that of their friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens as well. Despite their objections, scorn, and at times active opposition, those who mock this as irrelevant or futile should instead be thanking those who foresee the consequences of small-scale tyranny and oppose it on principle, whether or not they have yet been personally affected.
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54 comments so far. Care to chime in?
I suppose I should add a disclaimer in anticipation of those who will object to my choice of picture for this post.
I selected that picture not to suggest that TSA agents are on par with the Nazis or anything like it; clearly the two groups of individuals are not directly comparable.
That is not to say that comparisons do not exist, however. My choice of that photo relates to my using Pastor Niemöller’s statement—in other words, there existed people during Hitler’s reign that likewise showed completely indifference to the persecution being inflicted on others.
There are those who didn’t object then (even when things got really bad), and there are those who aren’t objecting now (as I state in my post). This is the comparison I draw between the groups, and the reason why I think that picture, though perhaps provocative, conveys a message worth pondering.
#2 cgb | December 13th, 2010 1:33 PM
I just think you’ve lost a little perspective on this one. I think you sense it yourself, given your in-advance apology for the comparison with Nazism.
Explanation ≠ apology.
Pray tell, what perspective have I lost?
#4 Jim Turner | December 13th, 2010 1:49 PM
This isn’t only a TSA problem. It is a Wal-Mart and Sams club problem as well. This past wekend. I went to Wal-Mart with my Wife and Children. After paying for a few Items on of which was an extra large dog pillow. As we wentto exit the store a Wal-mart employee asked to see my receipt. I said no you may not and continued walking. My wife had the bag and pillow and the woman blocked her from exiting. Rather than push past her my wife stood there wanting me to produce the receipt. After a few awkward moments A nd an evil Eye from my wife. I gave her the receipt and said I am glad your ready to give up your rights and be illeagally searched.
later that night and on to the next day my wife was still taking the Wally World employee’s side. No matter how many times I explained that once we payed for out property at the check out and have a receipt in hand then the Fourth ammendment Gauruntee’s we are secure in our persons and property form illgal seach and seizure. Now had I been wondering around the store and acting suspicious and had not paid for anything yet then Wal-mart has every right to search me for their property if they suspect me of Shop lifting. But sicne I had not given Wal-Mart probable cause to suspect me for shop lifting then I can refuse showing them my receipt as well as my purchased property.
Am I wrong for think like this?
#5 Troy Groberg | December 13th, 2010 1:59 PM
I don’t think the image drawing the link between the Nazis and the TSA is that far off. Just like the camel, that’s how the nazis started. If people can’t see that it’s happening here we are destined to repeat it.
#6 Jake Brown | December 13th, 2010 2:06 PM
Yes. You are wrong for thinking that, and it has nothing to do with this discussion. The 4th amendment has no power over walmart. As long as you are in their store they can ask to see the receipt. If they take away your goods without reimbursing you, or if they do not allow you to leave then there is a different issue, but the 4th amendment is a limitation on the federal government (and now states because of the Supreme Court) and has nothing to do with the activities of private companies. If you don’t like it don’t shop there. Sorry.
What Walmart does has no bearing on the right of the governemnt to now allow me to fly until they see me naked.
While I agree that the 4th doesn’t have anything to do with what Jim describes, I disagree that the store is within its rights to demand your receipt. Upon exchange of goods, the property you’ve purchased, along with the receipt that the store provided to you becomes your personal property. They have as much right to demand these things after the exchange as they do to demand your wallet before it: none.
#8 cgb | December 13th, 2010 2:12 PM
Drawing the comparison is provocative, yes. Worth pondering? Perhaps, so long as it is summarily rejected and not taken seriously. It’s so asymmetrical that it’s without value. It’s classic reductio ad Hitlerum.
And pray tell me what rights the TSA has taken away you and I? The right to fly without being searched for weapons? Do you think you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that situation, given that planes have been repeatedly used as weapons of mass murder?
Argue the merits of the policy and you might very well come out ahead. But let’s just stop the shrill liberty and Nazism rhetoric.
#9 Jake Brown | December 13th, 2010 2:18 PM
@Connor- While I disagree with you, I will not change the topic of this discussion to whether a private business has the right to ensure that you have paid for your products before leaving their store.
#10 Ty | December 13th, 2010 2:20 PM
@Jim Turner — To me, your Wal-Mart scenario is entirely different. You’re on their property. You’ve done business with them and it’s no secret that they have people at the door (as they do at Costco, as well) checking receipts to deter shoplifters.
You have a choice of going elsewhere. To me, subjecting yourself to that “search” is part of what you’ve bargained for when choosing to patronize those stores. It doesn’t hurt to make your voice known and maybe they’ll change their policy. They have the right to set the terms upon which they’ll do business, though (in my book).
Having a representative of a federal agency search your person and/or expose you to radiation in order for you to patronize ANY airline in this country is something entirely different, though.
Asymmetrical? Hardly. The comparison is an apt one, though you seem to easily dismiss it. Just as many people do indeed reference all things Nazi to bolster their anti-government arguments, so do many people (such as yourself, it would appear) oppose all mentions of Hitler et al. on grounds that since the person/group who is being compared is not mass murdering people, it is “reductio ad Hitlerum”.
Do you disagree with the fundamental argument, namely, that there existed people amongst the Germans, and there now exist people within the United States, who ignore or excuse infringements on others’ liberty because they are not personally affected? If so, explain why, and then we can have a discussion about it.
What rights have the TSA taken away? To quote Nancy Pelosi, “are you serious”? I have the right to engage in commerce with another party and be free from warrant-less searches and seizures. The government’s restrictions do not apply only when sitting at home with a “reasonable expectation of privacy”. I’m not opposing the government taking photos of me going about my business (which would apply to your expectation of privacy line), but rather than fact that they want to see under my wife’s clothing, or take away my deodorant, or feel my testicles, or detain me when I ask to see their warrant.
These things, while reasonable for those who are suspected of committing or indenting to commit a crime, are unreasonable when applied to the citizenry at large, where an presumption of innocence is (or at least once was) upheld.
That planes have been “repeatedly used as weapons of mass murder” is immaterial to this discussion—so, too, have guns, cars, and matchsticks.
I’ll be interested to see how the lines are re-drawn on opposition to these tactics when some lunatic blows himself up inside a football stadium.
#12 Aaron Bylund | December 13th, 2010 2:29 PM
I was at the protest on Saturday and found the responses of others to be very interesting. One thing I noticed was a group of elderly ladies (probably about 30 or 40) who walked past us on their way to their flight. Nearly every single one of them were happy to see us and felt very upset about the TSA. But most of the people who passed by who were younger than 50 didn’t seem to care all that much. I wonder what has happened to our generation…it is very sad to see.
One of the elderly ladies separated herself from the group and came to share a story with us. She had been in an airport in California a few weeks earlier with her son. The TSA agents selected her to be patted down. She stood there and felt completely humiliated as the agent fondled her private parts. Her son was livid to see this happening to his mother. After returning home they emailed Nancy Pelosi and other representatives, sent a letter to the editor and tried to call others. In the end they felt they were not being heard and threw up their arms in frustration.
My opinion: What is happening to millions of our own people daily at airports across the country is a dark, evil and unconstitutional practice. The TSA is the greatest form of tyranny this country has ever experienced….the combined tyranny of millions of people being molested on a daily basis is more terrible and destructive by far than the loss of 3,000 lives and a few skyscrapers.
#13 Daniel B | December 13th, 2010 2:35 PM
Um…I agree in principle…but I can’t help but wonder: are you approaching Godwin’s law here?
#14 SpecKK | December 13th, 2010 2:43 PM
As with all government interactions, it is best to err on the side of civility and calm. I tried to respect dozens of TSA employees near me during the protest, while carrying a sign denouncing their positions in carrying out a state-sponsored terrorist propaganda campaign. Stay scared and get in line for your chance at a groin squeeze comrades.
But I consider the actions of TSA employees immoral. When new policies asked them to perform illegal, unconstitutional searches, they had the choice to comply, or file complaints and refuse the order, even if it cost them their job. Likewise, local police act immorally when they arrest, fine or parade conscientious objectors through the airport in just their underwear and handcuffs. It is tyranny whether it’s random or targeted towards a group of “undesirables”, and the swastika is the most despicable sign of unchecked tyranny in our culture.
A stranger said, “You’re a joke,” when I passed him with my sign. I don’t think the United States of America and the natural rights and freedoms guaranteed in it’s charter are a joke. There a plenty of police states in the world he can move to if he thinks that will make him safer, but the USA doesn’t exist any more when bureaucrats can write up policy that somehow trump individual rights.
#15 cgb | December 13th, 2010 2:44 PM
I think I understand your point. It just doesn’t even approach persuading me :)
Although I don’t agree with your reasons or underlying assumptions, I’m sympathetic to your ultimate position (believe it or not). I don’t think I would enjoy going through body scanners or being searched. And I doubt whether it’s all that effective in keeping people safe.
But I think I see the TSA policy for what it is. When I *choose* to fly on a commercial airline, as a co-passenger with hundreds of other individuals in a constricted, close-quarter space, I should not expect to be able to walk onto a plane without being searched for weapons. Since I didn’t hear any outcry when the searches involved only scanners and wands, I must assume that most people who oppose this new policy were fine with those types of searches. Now the TSA has stepped the searches up quite a bit and people are understandably upset. But the new policy is a change in degree, not a wholesale change in practice.
The Constitution allows for warrantless searches of people who board commercial airliners. But it doesn’t require it. That’s why I say, step away from the liberty rhetoric for just a minute and press your “illusion of safety” argument. That’s a winner. Invoking Nazism to try and scare people into protesting is not, and I think it really undermines your position.
When I *choose* to fly on a commercial airline, as a co-passenger with hundreds of other individuals in a constricted, close-quarter space, I should not expect to be able to walk onto a plane without being searched for weapons.
By whom? Not the federal government. They lack any constitutional authority, and as the U.S. Supreme Court has held, flying is a right. (As you’re an attorney, I thought you might like some precedent.)
Since I didn’t hear any outcry when the searches involved only scanners and wands, I must assume that most people who oppose this new policy were fine with those types of searches.
Perhaps others. Not me.
The Constitution allows for warrantless searches of people who board commercial airliners.
And what about warrantless searches of people who board trains? Enter libraries? Go to restaurants? Travel through a tunnel? Go to a football stadium? You catch my drift.
…step away from the liberty rhetoric…
Invoking Nazism to try and scare people into protesting is not [a winning argument], and I think it really undermines your position.
Where did I invoke Nazism to scare people into protesting?
I included a picture, explaining why I think there is a comparison between those who fail to object to one and those who failed to object to another. That was not encouraging people (or instilling fear in them) to protest, but to recognize a pattern.
I also included a statement by a Pastor which has wide circulation and whose principle—the same expressed by Madison and Paine—has nothing to do with fear or the Nazis specifically.
I think you’re too caught up in the superficial and incidental Nazi references.
#17 rmwarnick | December 13th, 2010 2:53 PM
Godwin’s Law is omnipresent on blogs, but not needed here. Why not get a sympathetic member of Congress to introduce a bill to require notices at airports, on airline websites, and on printed tickets that say something like, “Purchase of an airfare requires U.S. citizens to waive all constitutional rights.”
#18 cgb | December 13th, 2010 3:11 PM
Well, if the Nazism references are gratuitous, why make them?
My problem with the references is that you’re trying to get people to recognize a pattern that is inapplicable to the case at hand. That’s what prompted my response.
As far as where you invoked Nazism to try and scare people into protesting, I think that’s pretty clear :) See above.
Finally, I’ll admit that I don’t know much about the right to travel, but my point doesn’t depend on there being no right to travel. When you show up at a public place to fly on a commercial airline with tons of other people, whether you have a right to travel or not, it strikes me that the constitution allows you to be searched for weapons.
We’ve obviously gone as far (or farther) than is profitable on this issue. Thanks for the discussion.
What I am really impressed with is your background research. Are you checking my IP Address? :) Connor is watching . . . .
Where did I say that those references were gratuitous?
I disagree that the pattern is inapplicable. I think it is clearly applicable. Many people ignored, excused, or even supported Hitler’s actions—both the more innocuous ones as he gained power, nationalized industries, and got everybody on the dole, as well as the ones that we recognize more quickly as being associated with Hitler. While TSA agents aren’t murdering passengers, they are committing grievous assaults on both the dignity and liberty of passengers. And like then, today we have countless people ignoring, excusing, or even supporting those actions.
That is the comparison I was making, and your arguing that it’s inapplicable still leaves me wondering upon what basis you claim that such is the case.
The TSA does not search people because you are in a “public place” (a government-owned airport), but because you are going to board a privately-owned airplane. Even so, the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to detain and search a person merely because they are in a public place. If I am standing on a sidewalk, you really believe an FBI agent can walk up to me, grop me, and empty my pockets?
That’s not America. That’s a police state.
#20 Michael J | December 13th, 2010 4:04 PM
“…it strikes me that the constitution allows you to be searched for weapons.” -cgb
What?! It “strikes” you? That statement shows the fundamental difference between you and Mr. Boyack. Connor follows the text and original intent of the Constitution, while you bend it to suit your needs.
#21 Shaun Knapp | December 13th, 2010 7:37 PM
These usurpation’s are nothing more than training people to grovel like dogs to their masters. 150 years ago American’s would have lynched any US Federal Government thug attempting to molest them or irradiate them. American’s wouldn’t have acted like fool sheep bleating all the way to their ultimate slaughter. A slaughter is what is coming as government usurps more and more power, all in the false pretense of “protecting” citizens. It’s a lie. It’s a fraud.\n\nThe Undersecretary of State admitted the Underwear bomber was being watched. The State department put him on the plane. Passengers, including a husband/wife legal team (both lawyers and intelligent) witnessed the underwear bomber being escorted around checkpoints by a well dressed man who was able to waive all “security” measures that the rest were subjected to.\n\nPeople who don’t comprehend false flag terrorism as reality will never have life figured out—they will not do a damn thing for liberty’s sake, but betray that precious gift bequeathed to them and not stand to pass it forward to subsequent generations. Foolish Germans who watched Adolf Hitler’s emotion filled oratory before movie camera’s with the Reichstag in ashes smoldering behind him as he swore to bring to justice those who were responsible. A few astute German’s could see and discern that it was an orchestrated power grab from within. \n\nI loved to watch some years ago at an International Cinema presentation, a documentary featuring one of Hitler’s secretaries. She admitted to knowing a girl her same age who was part of the resistance to Nazism and lost her life in the cause, butchered by a wicked police state that tolerated no dissension to it’s actions. Here, this secretary closes out the documentary admitting she foolishly failed to “see” what was obviously before her eyes and that which her peer had seen.\n\nYou nailed it Connor, in describing the way most people are. Unless it “happens to them” and their rights are violated, they are happy to let any form of damned tyranny reign supreme by government in their name.\n\nThe Patriot Act was written for American’s not Al Quida (al-CIA-duh). American’s are the target of their government now.\n\nAnd to the irritation to some, but which I apologize not, let me dump in some religious material here. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Secretary of Agriculture, and later LDS Church President, Ezra Taft Benson in describing the ancient warning coming forth through the Book of Mormon to Modern America to warn her said:\n\n\n“Moroni seemed greatly exercised lest in our day we might not be able to recognize the startling fact that the same secret societies which destroyed the Jaradites and decimated numerous kingdoms of both the Nephites and Lamanites would be precisely the same form of criminal conspiracy which would rise up among the gentile nations in this day….\n\n“Moroni described how the secret combination would take over a country and then fight the work of God, persecute the righteous, and murder those who resisted. Moroni therefore proceeded to describe the workings of the ancient secret combinations so that modern man could recognize this great political conspiracy in the last days. (See Ether 8:23-25.)” (Conference Report, Oct.. 1961, Improvement Era, Dec. 1961, p. 954.)\n\nAnd he also stated:\n\n\n“To all who have discerning eyes, it is apparent that the republican form of government established by our noble forefathers cannot long endure once fundamental principles are abandoned. Momentum is gathering for another conflict—a repetition of the crisis of two hundred years ago. This collision of ideas is worldwide. The issue is the same that precipitated the great pre mortal conflict—will men be free to determine their own course of action or must they be coerced?” (The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner, p. 27; as quoted in The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 623.) [He stated this while Church President.]\n\nAnd to the delight of more, but perhaps angering some, he also dropped this on us, which certainly did anger plenty of the foolish among us:\n\n“I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14–16; D&C 84:49–53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. (See Ether 8:18–25.)” (Ezra Taft Benson, “I Testify,” Ensign, Nov. 1988, 86.)\n\nNow, to the foolish, I say, and I know plenty who will roll they eyes, shut down their minds and mock: “9/11 was an inside job.”\n\nAgain: 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB\n\nI’ll take that topic anywhere and anytime with any person, and they won’t be able to stand up straight in a fair notion of the facts. One need only watch the collapse of WTC Building 7 in near free fall speed (not seen on the nightly news and not even mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report. Here, a 47 story tall skyscraper fell on the afternoon of September 11, 2001. Why? How? There are yet American’s who, like Hitler’s secretary, have no clue what is going on around them. They will continue even after they find peers begin to disappear, but will continue blind, believing Federal Department heads promising “security” but otherwise being part of nothing but “theater” meant to train them to be dogs who will lick the boots of their New World Order masters.\n\nSuch American’s can even have David Rockefeller’s autobiography put before them, page opened up to 405, and it even read to them and they still can’t get out of their mind control brainwashing and know-it-all arrogant attitude to figure out what Rockefeller is boasting of. Let me quote Rockefeller therefore out of his own book, by his own pen:\n\n”For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” (“Memoirs”, David Rockefeller, P. 405.)\n\nLook at that. A man with power and influence beyond what any media outlet will be permitted to publish actually boasts of “conspiring” “against the best interests of the United States” and of being part of a “secret cabal” yet foolish American’s will let all that he represents in terms of banking and political power rob from them their precious liberty in the false promise of security—and it is he and that “vicious, oath bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction” that orchestrated 9/11 and now “woo the people with sophistry as they take control of the society.”\n\nI despise the “low-skilled rent-a-gropers,” as Connor has called them, and more so, their masters behind the scenes who laugh at the control they are taking of the society, and who will stage yet more terror attacks to put the foolish among the population into compliant mode to abide more tyranny.\n\nOnly select and intelligent American’s can see the obvious, and that, to me, is something to wet my pillow with each night with tears.\n\nAgain, I can’t help but to give one other reference to Ezra Taft Benson’s description of such folks:\n\n”If America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers – normally good Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free – Americans who have been lulled away into a false security.” (April 1968, General Conference Report)\n\nAmerica has been under attack by idiots be they “liberal” or “conservative” who embrace false “leaders” who scheme and betray them. Be it fooled “right wingers” or “Christians” who are snookered by the false pretenses toward God, Bible, and prayer of a George W. Bush, or “Liberal” “left wingers” who can’t see that Obama continues the same policies in foreign policy and domestic spying, continuation of the Patriot Act, etc—it all boils down to the same “secret cabal” behind the scenes overthrowing the “freedom of all nations, lands, and countries.”\n\nI love a Jesse Ventura, formerly a Navy Seal and Governor, getting in the face of phony commentators and letting them know that the Gulf of Tonkin was staged, it never even happened, yet he fought in Vietnam, and saw 60,000 of his generation die for the agenda of this “secret cabal” that Rockefeller boasts to be part of. Rare indeed are terror events where huge governments don’t their fingerprints all over the crime scene. American CIA and FBI bloodprints are all over major attrocities globally at home (Oklahoma City and 9/11) and abroad (some URL’s below) for the last half century. The CIA overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953. The United Nations butchered the free people of Katanga in one of the most horrid and maddening things to transpire in the continent of Africa in a hundred years. Watch this without weeping if you can:\n\nhttp://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-527956831065413624#\n\nListen as well to a 7 minute clip that very few radio or news cites will permit be heard. The History Channel’s website, Digg.com, Wikipedia.com have put the squash on this high level government official testifying of massive treason from within. Just try to link this into any of their stories or entries and you will find a swift lesson in censorship:\n\nhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BuSWNqLBkE\n\nI suppose, people will have the tyranny they deserve. Folks at the Airport who defend their molesters and grovel in massive radiation devices under false sense of security will one day, as Hitler’s secretary, feel ashamed at their “choosing” to be blind to the obvious. It is a choice to stay stupid and blind. It is a choice to embrace the police state and heap scorn upon correct principles and people defending liberty.
#22 3%er | December 14th, 2010 1:08 AM
Just wanted to stop by and say thank you. I got your web site from the pamplet you handed me at the SLC airport this weekend. Forget about the nay sayers, i thanked you there for your true patriotism and I’m thanking you again here. I sttod in the long line listening to the sheeple discuss and opine on the searches, all spurned by your actions. This problem is all stemmed from a lack of education (the reds goal from the 50′s… check) and truthful information. And whether or not the light bulb went off then, today, tomorrow, or never, you helped provide an opportunity for someone to ask… why? Keep up the good work and to the undecided… Stand up, or lay down!
#23 MarkinPNW | December 14th, 2010 4:05 AM
Yes, “Godwin’s Law”, that last refuge of those who resolutely refuse to learn from history, whether from ignorance, apathy, or their own vain ambition; and who therefore cause the first “N” in “Never Again” to be dropped, allowing a repeat of the history of holocaust, holdomor, and the reign of blood and horror.
Connor, I admire that you are actually getting out there and doing something, rather than just complaining and whining like so many of the rest of us. Makes this young 57 yr old think there might be hope for the younger generation.
#24 mormonlibertarian | December 14th, 2010 9:37 AM
Connor, I commend you for your activism.
Your reasoning is sound, I think.
There will always be people straining at gnats.
#25 mormonlibertarian | December 14th, 2010 9:48 AM
I feel sorry for TSA workers–
if they had high IQs (low IQs are the last, unaddressed area of discrimination, not that I believe discrimination should be handled by governments either, but so many things are, and not low IQ; people with low IQs are just ‘out of luck’–and not just in the ‘world’; they are pretty much ‘out of luck’ in the church also, by my experience)–
they would either be attending medical school or law school or getting a degree in engineering . . . doing almost anything other than groping people.
Just as so many of the military members are from lower income families and are looking for a way out of the tangle of Babylonian poverty . . . –
and are blamed wrongfully for the destruction in the middle east.
I need to change my name since Glenn Beck called himself a libertarian–
I’m not his kind of libertarian–
#26 mormonconsecrationist | December 14th, 2010 9:59 AM
oh, and #20, that’s quite a pile of info, and . . . thank you. I think you are on target.
#27 marmookiemar | December 15th, 2010 1:15 PM
While i usually agree with Connor on a variety of issues….i have to say that I disagree with you on this one….. I believe that rights not extended for temporary secure purposes in order to avoid an extreme potential of rights taken, due to the results of an attack, is understandable. Imagine the rights we will have taken away if an attack did occur on an airplane and some measures of security not instituted… I think post 9/11 describes what measures the government will go to and the people will support in order to make US more secure. I hate more than anyone that our 4th century “friends” in the middle east, terrorists mind you, have brought the United States to such measure, but sometimes “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”
Another issue is the matter of due process. Which should be discussed in this forum. These two words in the constitution set limits on all our rights…..Our rights are guaranteed unless due process says otherwise…In fact, life, liberty and property can be taken away from any of us….and sadly at any time….if due process is played out….I am wondering…if due process has already allowed TSA to do these measures, then the duty of all against it is to hopefully fight the process in court…
#28 J.M Harrison | December 15th, 2010 5:11 PM
Instead of asking whether the TSA’s actions are “constitutional” or “prudent” or “effective” or “necessary” let us first ask if they are something else: are their actions right? Are their actions good?
Therefore, if something can be “legal” and “prudent” at the same time it is not morally correct, then we have a problem.
#29 Shaun Knapp | December 15th, 2010 9:04 PM
How lamentable it is for me to read your post referring to “our 4th century friends in the middle east” bringing the United States to such measures.
You totally miss the point.
I take it you believe the US Federal Govenrment actually has benevolent intent, that it embraces liberty and life; that its officers are loving folks at the helm seeking to keep you safe. Absurd. Running you through airports like trained dogs and cattle, while George W. Bush and a Republican congress passed legislation prohibiting a permanent federal checkpoint in the Tucson corridor where over 3,000 folks a night pass through—these folks, for all we know, would include “Osama” and his “4th Century middle eastern friends” intent to do you or I harm? These folks don’t have their fingernail clippers confiscated, their shoes removed or their toothpaste or breast milk thrown in the trash. No, the Elite in D.C. make sure the borders are not secure, but they will laugh to consider the cattle they have made out of American sheeple who subscribe to their foolish and false pretense of promising security as youngsters are molested, elderly abused, your average person exposed to vast radiation—meanwhile it is admitted the US State Department put the “underwear bomber” on board the plane that the media was waiting to make a huge incident of as Homeland Security Head Chertoff then ordered in the naked body scanners, then leaving to now head up as the man in charge of that very company making hundreds of millions on these unsafe, un-useful machines that are merely for show.
You mean well, but you are worthless to your countrymen in the preservation of liberty. If you or I are targeted by terrorists from the 4th Century Middle East, bank on their being dupes with CIA and FBI handlers.
Oh, and if, as one columnist warned, the FBI delivers a couple ton of fertilizer to your house; DONT SIGN FOR IT.
Also, when you engage in dangerous and humiliating exercises at the airport that you seemingly rejoice in, remember the US head of the Visa Bureau in Jedah Egypt who protest intensely against the 9/11 hijackers being given access to the United States by—once again—the US State Department, brought in to be used by the CIA for terror upon Americans.
Your and my enemies reside not in 4th Century middle east, but in Washington D.C. at the Pentagon and the State Department, along with nearly every other government institution in that city.
And, I leave you with the “alternative media” that I would hope you would begin to tune into a bit more so as to not be conned by propaganda as foolish as ever existed in Nazi germany. This, again, quoting the head of the Visa Bureau for the middle east who objected to the passports and visas given to the 9/11 hijackers who were on the CIA payroll:
“Michael Springman was the former head of the U.S. Visa Bureau in Jeddah, Egypt. In June of 2001 (three months before the attack on the World Trade Center) he was interviewed on BBC News. This is what he said:
“In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high-level State Dept officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants. These were, essentially, people who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country. I complained bitterly at the time there. I returned to the US, I complained to the State Dept here, to the General Accounting Office, to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and to the Inspector General’s office. I was met with silence…. What I was protesting was, in reality, an effort to bring recruits, rounded up by Osama bin Ladin, to the US for terrorist training by the CIA.” (Has someone been sitting on the FBI?” an interview by Greg Palast, BBC News, June 11, 2001, (Article in Internet archive).
#30 Jim Turner | December 16th, 2010 11:55 AM
@ Shaun, I am in your camp. That is why I compared Wlly World to teh TSA. If one cannot see that the only difference is one is Government usurping your right and the othe ris a private individual is usurping your right it is still the same. The rights we are given By God can not be usurped by another man or a government if we don’t let them.
Being asked to see my receipt is not the price of doing Business with Wal Mart. The price of doing business with wal-mart is paying for the item I want to purchase end of story. Wal mart cannot and does not have the right to searech me ever. No one has challanged them on it. It is not a matter of oh it is a private business so they can do what they want. No other person has the right to infringe on anothers rights period. Asking to see my receipts tells me you assume I have stollen something. Just like Scanning me at an Airport or being felt up is the TSA or Government assuming I am Carrying weapons on a plane, which by the way I used to do before we all started acting like pansies after 911 and asked the government to protect us rather than gathering some intestinal fortitude and protecting ourselves which is another God Given right. I used tocarry a 4 in Lock Blade Knife on every plane I traveled on. All I had to do was take it off my belt, put it in the small tray for your pocket items, pass it through the scanner, and then put it back on my Belt and Board the Air Craft. Why? because I don’t trust anyone to protect me except me.
If you can seperate the comparison of TSA and Wal-Mart because one is the government and the other is a private business then As Shaun has discribed but not said you are in a world of hurt and you need to wake up. Because when the Wal-Mart Employee at the door is replace by a rent a cop and then by a Real Cop I don’t think even then you will realize you live in a police state and that the American Government does not have your Safety and Security at heart. It si only their hunger and thrist for power thatis at heart.
Just look at the recent tax Cut Deal. It originated in the Senate not the House as the constitution specifically lays out that all bills dealing with revenue or taxes must originate in the House of Representatives. So do you think the Government is concerned with abideing by the Constitution? Do you think the Constitution was established for your safety and security? If the Government Does care if it tramples on your rights then who is next to not care. Large Corporations who do not hold themselves to a high Moral standard. and so on until a neighbor or a brother wil not care if they trample on your rights. What Shaun is saying is Stand up and do not let any one take any more of your rights or your liberty. He is saying Learn from the Past because the past does repeat itself because we humans do not pay attention to it. so when things are transiring right before our eyes we have the tendancy to say “oh it’s mnot happening again. Not to us not in America”
Arise and Awake.
#31 mormonconsecrationist | December 16th, 2010 2:10 PM
re:#28, well-written, Shaun Knapp.
#32 Jim Turner | December 16th, 2010 4:55 PM
I am sorry everyone for fat fingering the last post. I guess I should have spell checked before posting.
#33 Shaun Knapp | December 16th, 2010 8:59 PM
And yes, the end of societies always have their “third rail” of “national security” which, as Connor has pointed out, is a “theater” and a rouse.
#34 mormonconsecrationist | December 17th, 2010 12:45 PM
appreciate that link–#32–
I don’t often get ‘personal’ on here; I have sensed that being ‘personal’ on here isn’t an accepted thing–
but is anyone else . . . just hoping for heavenly rescue at this point?
I got involved with constitutional politics many decades ago, and I did my best–and then I couldn’t do it anymore–
I went through a lot of phases, and some of them brought my family and me to economic downturn, in spite of much hard honest work and higher education–
Even with my food storage pretty much where I want it, I am worried.
I don’t see very many people in my ward feeling much concern to prepare. We haven’t needed church or government help, though we’ve had to break our backs and wear our fingers to the bone to get through–
we’re fine now, really–
but we have grandchildren, and we can’t help them (or our married children) as our parents’ generation helped our generation (not us; in our case our parents were gone)–
I see others our age experiencing great posterity and laughing at us for stressing and using food storage, etc.–
for thinking anything is ‘wrong’–beyond that we have Obama for a president–
*rolling my eyes*
We are blessed, actually; though we’ve lost a lot, we have almost no debt (just a low mortgage, which we shouldn’t have at our age; many, if not most, of our college roommates are either retired or retiring, and we work on–wouldn’t even have our low mortgage if it hadn’t been for our financial reverses)–
so . . .
on this blog ‘theory’ is mentioned a lot–
but is anyone else, in spite of close study of the Book of Mormon and great personal attempts at being righteous enough to listen to the Spirit–
is anyone else feeling ‘thin’ and worried?
All right, I’ll step back from the personal–
It’s all right if you don’t respond–
I just happened on this site when I was googling, “Mormons for Ron Paul”–
#35 Jim Turner | December 17th, 2010 1:03 PM
No you are not the only one who feels this way. As you know from prophecies sadly there will be many saints completely unprepared for this time we are living in. Many will say and are saying all is well in Zion. But we know and have heard over the pulpit for the last few years during General Conference that all is not well in ZION. We LDS people are not a Zion people.
I am active duty military I will retire from the military in 2 years with 24 years of service. The Day after Christmas My Wife and I are moving our Family into a 38 Foot 2 Bed room Camp trailer. We live in the DC area and the money we receive for housing in our Pay Check is being eaten up by the cost of rent in military housing. We can save over half of that pay down what little debt we do have and own our home (trailer), and have enough saved up in the 2 remaining years to by about 20 acres of land. Providing one will still be able own land in 2 years.
Our Bishop during tithing settlement said ” I heard you guys are moving?” we said yes but we will still be in the ward as we will still be living on Fort Meade we just won’t be in housing. We will be a the t RV camp ground on post. He looked at us as if he were about to call the men in White coats. Didn’t ask much after that. People think we are crazy for doing this. I just look at it as a sacrifice for the well being of my Family. My wife was the one who thought of and suggested the idea.
And yes Sometimes I wished these end time would speed up and we could get to the Saviors Second Coming. I do look for divine intervention at times.
#36 Greg | December 18th, 2010 11:19 AM
Mary Theroux at The Independent Institute seems to have it right – see TSA: What Would Rosa Parks Do?. It appears that it takes long periods of time to condition people to exchange freedom for security. Most seem completely unaware of the background behind the 4th amendment. Thanks for protesting and raising awareness of this issue.
#37 mormonconsecrationist | December 18th, 2010 2:04 PM
thanks for responding–
#34; sounds like a good thing you are doing–
#38 loquaciousmomma | December 18th, 2010 7:41 PM
Our people are comfortable, too comfortable. Why bother themselves with something like this?
Thank you for fighting the good fight, this is the only hope we have of making change.
The good news is that it only takes a small number like 10% to effect change.
Let’s get busy… :)
#39 loquaciousmomma | December 18th, 2010 7:47 PM
I thought I would add this fitting quote by President Benson:
This is still God’s world. The forces of evil, working through some mortals, have made a mess of a good part of it. But it is still God’s world. In due time, when each of us has had a chance to prove ourselves-including whether or not we are going to stand up for freedom—God will interject himself, and the final and eternal victory shall be for free agency. And then shall those complacent people on the sidelines, and those who took the wrong but temporarily popular course, lament their decisions. To the patriots I say this: Take that long eternal look. Stand up for freedom, no matter what the cost. Stand up and be counted. It can help to save your soul-and maybe your country.” (Ezra Taft Benson, An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 62.)
#40 AussieOi | December 19th, 2010 1:14 AM
Baaa\nLittle scared sheep\nBaaa, some of you are just scared little sheep\nAnd thats alright. You need someone to make you feel safe. Its just a sham eyou willingly line up and let yourself be groped, molested, fondled, assailed. Just do us all a favour and don’t justify it, or tell others they should put up with it.\nOh I wish we had a constitution in Australia.\nThe rights you have- given by god, penned by man. And now you so many of you so willingly throw them away and give them up. When were you all neutralised? Why do you wait for someone to do something to save you or tell youwhat to do? WHy are so many of you such sheep when it comes to freedom, but so militaristic and willing to go murder others in their countries. And Christians too. Otherwise good people joining militaries that go murder innocents to preserve oil and big business.\nThis TSA nazi thing- and its true, it really is true, your flag is desecrated by thugs it strands for so little now. It makes most of us across the world feel ill. I used to hat eit, detest it. It represents blood and murder and horror to us all. And then I read yoru constitution and your rights, and the proper role of govt by Ezra T Benson. And some of you so willingly give away your freedoms, as some sort of way to be protected. So bizarre.\nIm having this discussion over at another forum. You can see it here http://www.ldsfreedomforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=15358&p=167212#p167212\nHere is a great quote\nEZRA TAFT BENSON\nhttp://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6985\n\nThe Principle of Agency\n\nThe first basic principle is agency. The central issue in the premortal council was: Shall the children of God have untrammeled agency to choose the course they should follow, whether good or evil, or shall they be coerced and forced to be obedient? Christ and all who followed him stood for the former proposition–freedom of choice; Satan stood for the latter–coercion and force. The war that began in heaven over this issue is not yet over. The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality. And one of Lucifer’s primary strategies has been to restrict our agency through the power of earthly governments. \n\nLike I say- some of you are happy to be compelled in all things. Some are happy to be sheep and roll over and say give it to me government. What I never get it how some of you tell others they must surrender their god given rights and line up and be molested simply to travel. And some of you support this? \n\nSo many LDS say “oh a test is coming” and assume its about gays or abortion or something the church will tell us to do like sell a house and move to missouri. how many sto to consider that the test is about who will stand up to tyranny without being compelled?\n\njustify me!!!!!!!!!!\ntell me what to do!!!!!\ncompell me!!!!!!!\nwhat do i need the holy ghost for…those scriptures “likened to our day”!!\nwe have living prophets. “I saw a GA and the missionaries walk though those scanners. if its good enough for them…:\ngod does nothing except he tells the prophet\ni am an obedient law abiding member.\ni will for certain heed the call……..\n\nI really like this quote from President Benson. It is powerful and very much to the point:\n\n”And now as to the last neutralizer that the devil uses most effectively—it is simply this: “Don’t do anything in the fight for freedom until the Church sets up its own specific program to save the Constitution.” This brings us right back to the scripture I opened with today—to those slothful servants who will not do anything until they are “compelled in all things” [D&C 58:26]. Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. Perhaps if he set one up at this time it might split the Church asunder, and perhaps he does not want that to happen yet for not all the wheat and tares are fully ripe.\n\nThe Prophet Joseph Smith declared it will be the elders of Israel who will step forward to help save the Constitution, not the Church. And have we elders been warned? Yes, we have. And have we elders been given the guidelines? Yes indeed, we have. And besides, if the Church should ever inaugurate a program, who do you think would be in the forefront to get it moving? It would not be those who were sitting on the sidelines prior to that time or those who were appeasing the enemy. It would be those choice spirits who, not waiting to be “commanded in all things” [D&C 58:26], used their own free will, the counsel of the prophets, and the Spirit of the Lord as guidelines and who entered the battle “in a good cause” [D&C 58:27] and brought to pass much righteousness in freedom’s cause. . . .\n\nBrethren, if we had done our homework and were faithful, we could step forward at this time and help save this country. The fact that most of us are unprepared to do it is an indictment we will have to bear. The longer we wait, the heavier the chains, the deeper the blood, the more the persecution, and the less we can carry out our God-given mandate and worldwide mission. The war in heaven is raging on the earth today. Are you being neutralized in the battle?” (”Not Commanded in All Things” 538-39; also in GFC 385-89)\n\nConnor, keep it up. Some of these sheep will wake up and realise if they aren’t standing up and fighting AGAINST the beast….they ARE the beast.
#41 mormonconsecrationist | December 20th, 2010 10:28 AM
I understand your frustration. I am choosing not to fly, because, frankly, #1, I can’t afford it, and #2, I don’t feel good about all this garbage any more–
The bottom line is that it is an individual choice, and the minute any of us begin to do something, anything, because a general authority is doing it . . .
we are ‘sunk’.
I am pleased to see anyone who has the courage to protest–
I live in a very rural area FAR from SLC . . .–
and I am not sure if there are any machines at the tiny little airport–
so I will find other ways to try to be free.
But when I did last fly (had no choice) I was appalled at what I found in SLC at the airport; it was the worst airport I had ever been in–
post September 2001.
#42 Jim Turner | December 20th, 2010 12:23 PM
Many of us are realizing what situation we are in. There are many of my friends that are so fed up with our Government. Many are LDS and many are not.
You asked in your post “When were you all neutralized?”
Many of us are beginning to realize what we were taught in school has been a lie or in the best of cases not given to whole picture of our history. Our text books and curriculum have been steadily and systematically changed over the last century. I am just finding out the real reasons we got involved in WWI and how we were not lured in to WWII but that even up to President Roosevelt our Government was aware of the attack on Pearl Harbor before it happened. Up until 3 years ago I didn’t even listen to those who said 911 was planned by our government. But now looking at what physical evidence there is available I am very convinced our Government planned it.
Many posters here do not like Glenn Beck. I for one do what he asks on everyone of his shows and research what he shows to viewers on my own to get the truth. Many are mad at him because at first he was not a supporter of Ron Paul but now he is. He has changed his position on many things now because of the research he has done on his own. As he says he doesn’t want to believe the things he has discovered but you just cant ignore all the evidence. And People accept things at their own pace as I have3 seen him do even before he became very popular. I have been listening to him for over 7 years now and have seen in him that change. Sometimes he gets things wrong. But most of the things he presents now much of it History of the progressive movement in America is very accurate.
So I have gone on a journey of discovery about real American History. It has made me more grateful for our Founding Fathers, It has made me detest every 20th century president except for maybe Taft and Coolidge. I was a teenager for most of Reagan’s Presidency. He was at that time to me a great leader. But I have found that during his presidency many terrible things were done in the name of preserving freedom.
As a soldier I am Tired of fighting in 2 countries for no real reason. Neither Iraq or The attacks on 911 were a threat to our constitution. The only treat to the constitution is the American People who are not educated enough on the Principles of Freedom, our Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. That lack of education isn’t accidental or because Americans were lazy. It was by design by the Department of Education the N.E.A. and those who would be willing to wait a very long time to see Americans Kick there own liberties and freedom right out the door. But in today’s world where you can get information questioning everything. We (those who are awake, the watchmen on the towers) need to be shouting as loud as we can to help awaken people to the awful situation we are in. So we may be washed clean from the blood and sins of this generation. To help as many as we can fight against this Beast that is unleashing havoc all over the world.
I read through Zepheniah the other day and couldn’t help but see America as modern Babylon.
#44 mormonconsecrationist | December 21st, 2010 2:15 PM
oh-oh, time to go back into the closets, everyone–
#45 mormonconsecrationist | December 21st, 2010 2:16 PM
as in, ‘so long, it’s been good to know you’–
#46 Noah Fence | December 23rd, 2010 4:22 PM
“Trusted Traveler Program” signed by Janet and Mexican Prez for about 80 million Mexican travelers — now sheeple are begging for that program. Ok, so give the lesser of 2 evils, ramp up one to make the sheeple choose the one that’s really wanted (database), then come out with the TTP cuz sheeple are begging for that one cuz it’s lesser of 2 evils again, and how dare they give that one to the Mexicans (NAU)…one more thing to pit each group against the other to avoid the real focus on what DC is doing…and then there’s this liberal/CNN flip flop to Fox/Conservative, cuz after all he’s waking people up….but he STILL believes in the NWO/Value taxes/calling for treason and death to the messenger of WikiLeaks (that’s never been denied, BTW, just more “theater”), posed and ready to lead the opposition, Lenin style…now they’ve passed the famous Food “Safety” and “Modernization” Act…that controls all our food, dietary supplements, introduces the Codex….and on and on and on….and we have no clue how the Founding Fathers looked, saw, and organized enough to get something done with the correct issues and correct people instead of fighting Don Quioti’s windmills!
The following quote by Tom Paine has great relevance to this article:
Men of passive tempers look somewhat lightly over the offences of Great Britain, and, still hoping for the best, are apt to call out, “Come, come, we shall be friends again for all this.” But examine the passions and feelings of mankind: bring the doctrine of reconciliation to the touchstone of nature, and then tell me whether you can hereafter love, honour, and faithfully serve the power that hath carried fire and sword into your land? If you cannot do all these, then are you only deceiving yourselves, and by your delay bringing ruin upon posterity. Your future connection with Britain, whom you can neither love nor honour, will be forced and unnatural, and being formed only on the plan of present convenience, will in a little time fall into a relapse more wretched than the first. But if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face? Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor? If you have not, then are you not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then are you unworthy the name of husband, father, friend or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward, and the spirit of a sycophant.
#48 Carl Youngblood | January 4th, 2011 5:37 AM
Connor, that Thomas Paine quote is moving, but is it based on accurate accounts of the frequency and severity of British injustices? I have been discussing this period of US history lately with a British friend of mine who points out that there are numerous exaggerations and outright lies in the Declaration of Independence and that the colonists’ taxes were actually increased to pay off the debt incurred by a war (the French and Indian War) that they themselves started. Although I still respect the founders, I believe they were to some extent political opportunists who rode on popular sentiment and deliberately fomented opposition against the British monarchy, not all of which was deserved. We should not assume that all the hagiographies about the founders we were taught in school are accurate, nor that all the justifications for rebellion were honest. That said, I agree with the general sentiment expressed in this quote, even though the injustices he attributes to his enemy are probably quite exaggerated.
#49 loquaciousmomma | January 4th, 2011 6:55 AM
Carl, who to believe. eh? A loyal Brit who has been taught by his schoolmasters to reject the complaints of the rebellious Yanks as false accusations, or those same rebellious Yanks own words?
Could it be that the British were feeling a bit defensive as history was being written, and even perhaps a little worried that the sentiments of those foolish colonists might spread to the mother land and they lose their power altogether?
#50 J.M Harrison | January 4th, 2011 9:47 PM
I just wanted to adress Carl’s comment. I find it interesting.
…there are numerous exaggerations and outright lies in the Declaration of Independence…
Would you care to give some textual examples?
“…that the colonists’ taxes were actually increased to pay off the debt incurred by a war (the French and Indian War) that they themselves started…
I politely disagree.
The French and Indian War began in 1756 with the battle of Jumonville, where British volunteers fought against fortress-building Frenchmen in the Ohio River Valley.
Although these irregulars were technically “colonists” and under the command of none other than George Washington, they were acting under orders from Royal Governer Dinwiddie, a decidedly British subject, who fostered the hostile operations in order to protect his holdings in the Ohio Company. Rich Britishmen (and admittedly, some Rich Colonists) such as Dinwiddie began the conflict to edge out French competition in the lucrative Ohio River Valley area.
Although the conflict may have been fought by colonials, there is little evidence that the war was initially fostered by the colonists themselves. (With one or two wealthy exceptions.) In fact, you might call Dinwiddie and his war-starting, monopolizing buddies “political opportunists”– a term that you seem to think negative. Therefore, the British are just as guilty of political swashbuckling as any American Founder, and have no inherent moral authority over a “disloyal” set of colonies. What would you think of a master who started massive wars in your backyard to protect his business interests… and then have the gall to claim you ought to help pay for it?
I do not think it palatable to say that “colonists themselves” started the French and Indian War. To make that claim would be to also infer that the “German citizens themselves” were responsible for World War Two and the atrocities thereunto associated.
In essence, I agree with an open and calm mind that the Political Founding of America was captained by Men, and not by Demi-Gods. They were motivated simeltaneously by noble truths and normal desires They were uncommon men in uncommon times, but still only men.
But I disagree wholeheartedly that the American Colonists as a whole rebelled unjustly against a benevolent Britian. I believe that they were justified in their attempt to “pledge eternal hostility to all forms of tyranny over the minds of men” as Jefferson would say.
#51 Carl Youngblood | January 6th, 2011 2:13 PM
JM, I never said that the colonists “rebelled unjustly against a benevolent Britain.” I just claimed that the colonists exaggerated British offences.
Your assertion that the French and Indian War was instigated primarily by a British member of the Ohio Company implies a distinction that does not really exist.
The Ohio Company was composed of Virginians , including Thomas Lee as president, Nathaniel Chapman as treasurer (1709–1760), John Mercer as the company’s secretary and general counsel, John’s son George Mercer as the company’s agent to England, two of George Washington‘s brothers, Lawrence Washington (who succeeded to the management upon the death of Lee) and Augustine Washington, Jr., as well as Englishmen, including the Duke of Bedford, Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie, and John Hanbury, a wealthy London merchant. A rival group of land speculators from Virginia, the Loyal Company, was organized about the same time, and included influential Virginians such as Thomas Walker and Peter Jefferson (father of Thomas Jefferson“).
So if the war was started by the Ohio Company, you can’t claim that the colonists had nothing to do with it. They had much to gain and did greatly benefit from the war. Although the British crown certainly didn’t handle the situation well, considering the full context of the situation, I don’t think it was unreasonable to claim that the Colonists should help pay for the war.
As far as the Declaration is concerned, I think it’s fair to say that the grievances were somewhat exaggerated. For example, if you look at the Intolerable Acts in detail, they really don’t seem nearly as unreasonable as they are made out to be. David Ammerman points out that troops under the Quartering Act were never actually quartered in people’s homes, only in empty buildings. The Quebec act was about easing the integration of the French under British rule, preventing them from being forced to abandon Catholicism, and was objected to on sectarian grounds by the predominantly Protestant Colonists. So however “intolerable” it may have been, a freedom-loving American should have little objection to it. The Administration of Justice act seems reasonable. If you have Massachusetts bordering on rebellion it could not reasonably be assumed that Royal officials would receive a fair trial. Having the option of moving the trial to a neighboring colony or moving it back to England and paying witnesses for their travel expenses seems reasonable and measured.
How about the Liberty Affair or the Boston Massacre? They were rallying cries for the rebellion, but it can hardly be said that they were noble uprisings in which completely innocent victims suffered under British brutality. Two hundred years later, the American Army didn’t do much better that the British troops either.
The point is not that the British Crown and Parliament were blameless, nor that there was no justification or nobility to be found among the colonists, but that the general picture that many Americans have is unbalanced.
#52 Jeff T. | January 9th, 2011 2:56 PM
It’s actually true that American colonialists exaggerated British offenses before the Revolutionary war.
I’m not too bothered though… I guess I’m biased.
#53 Carl Youngblood | January 9th, 2011 3:38 PM
Jeff, nor am I. But I am bothered by how many Americans are so convinced of these hagiographies.
#54 Liz | January 25th, 2011 2:31 PM
Abolish the TSA. I can come to no other conclusion. Government-sanctioned sexual assault? I don’t care where you draw your line….I’m not having it. Put it first in line for budget cuts, maybe along with the NEA. I would also like a judgment from the Supremes FOR THE RECORD stating this behavior as unconstitutional, which it clearly is. I’m not flying until this abusive intrusion stops. What else can I do?
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