A general dissolution of principals and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.
The sanctioned backwards display of the U.S. flag is a perfect example of the backwards thinking of our federal and State governments, as well as our laughable policy-makers in general within the United States. The sad examples of what we call leaders, do much more than support this sort of idiocy, they enthusiastically promote more of the same. But there are other examples of backwards thinking we can look at, not just the flag. Let’s look at the bills Congress passes or attempts to pass. Even a moron tries to read what he is going to sign, although he may be incapable. But Congress routinely signs bills without reading them. The Legislative and Executive Branches have created more public debt than could be paid off in a millennia, yet they continue to foolishly borrow more money from foreign nations with the sole intent of giving that same money to other foreign nations in the form of aid which will never be repaid, only to leave the U.S. taxpayer dangling on the hook with more debt to suffocate him. We allow this by giving the so-called fix to our junkie lawmakers time and time again. Another example is government refusal to police our international borders while we police the borders of foreign nations who neither pay for the service nor wish for our presence in those nations. At the same time, they encourage and we allow overzealous policing of ourselves by an overly militarized police force right here in the United States. Then there is the hypocrisy of government when they speak of the evils of China and Russia (or the former Soviet Union if you will), only to turn around and gladly incarcerate more U.S. citizens than either China or Russia incarcerate, and at a staggering cost. But remember, we are the ‘land of the free.’
So what do We the People do? We enable these forked-tongued prevaricators by giving them whatever they desire, rather than disabling them so they have to slither on their bellies like the snakes which they actually are. This is the backwards thinking of our government officials at every level and these are just some of the tools which they are using to happily bury us with what appears to be our consent.
If you look at the U.S. flag code Section 175 (i), which deals with the position and manner of display of the flag. It states, “When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observers left[ii].” Just so you are not confused by this, it is quite simple. The canton or union, which is blue and holds the stars, always, goes in the upper left hand corner as the crowd is looking at it. So if you hang the flag from your porch, while you look out of your own window and see the canton in the upper right corner, to the people who pass by and see the flag, the canton is in the upper left hand corner. Now we get to my problem. The backwards display of the flag on military uniforms as ordered by the federal government. While the U.S. Army claims this ‘backwards’ display has always been the case (at least for the Army), so the soldiers appear to be advancing and not retreating is really nothing more than a misleading argument. In no way is it possible for a patch of the U.S. flag on the shoulder of a uniform capable of giving anyone the appearance of retreating. I looked at hundreds if not thousands of photos of troops who fought in WWII through the Viet Nam War; I could not find one photo of the patch which was displayed in that fashion. If there was a patch, the canton was always in the upper left corner, I don’t care on what sleeve the patch was on. If you look at old photos of U.S. military aircraft, if there was a flag on the starboard side of the aircraft, the canton was in the upper left hand corner. I asked a friend of mine who is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant if I was right or wrong, he agreed with me. He stated, with a disturbed look on his face, “The canton always goes in the upper left corner, but in the upper right…that was never the case.” The canton always was in the upper left hand corner, until maybe 2002-2003 when some mental midget in the government thought it would be a good idea. I know people think this is a good idea, I personally think it is disgraceful, wrong and it makes me sick. Let’s move on, because the government and at least some of the people seem to have what they want, something backwards.
A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the objects of the government; secondly, a knowledge of the means, by which those objects can best be attained.
Since the Republican National Convention just happened in Tampa Florida and the Democratic National Convention is happening right now in Charlotte North Carolina, these are good examples. According to an article, “Congress set aside $50 million for security at each of the party conventions for 2012, for a total of $100 million. The total cost to taxpayers of the two national party conventions in 2012 exceeded $136 million[iv].” Here in Tampa, it was like some sort of police state. I personally have never asked the government to protect me in this manner. There were barricades impeding pedestrians and vehicles, cops in gangs roaming about. In fact you couldn’t walk 100 ft. without encountering a bunch of them. Did they bother people? No, but that isn’t the point. If I wanted to live in the Middle East, that’s where I would go. So are we to actually believe, our so-called leaders need this type of security? If they do, then they are obviously doing something wrong. I cannot believe the security was to protect them against al Qaeda, because we know it was to protect them from Americans. What would possibly make U.S. politicians feel as though they need that type of security to protect themselves from U.S. citizens? If the massive security was to protect property from protesters, then it also seems like overkill. People do have the right to protest, whether I agree with them or not. But to assume they will be a violent mob in some way violates the 1st Amendment; the right to the people to peaceably assemble. Where does it say peaceably assemble under threat of an overly militarized police force? Or in the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; nor be deprived of…liberty…without due process of law. Barricades and an excessive police presence do in fact deprive us of our liberty. But once again I will state, in no way did the police act in a Nazi-like fashion. However, I still have a problem with the apparent lack of trust by our elected government officials who feel this type of security is needed with regard to U.S. citizens.
An example of our leaders not paying attention is the Read the Bills Act of 2011 (RTBA). Why would there need to be such an Act if our legislators actually read what they were signing? According to Downsize DC, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse for citizens. Neither should it be for Congress[v].” The report goes on to state, “Any member of Congress wishing to cast an affirmative vote for more spending, greater regulation, or the creation or retention of a program of bureaucracy, must sign an affidavit swearing that he or she has either…read the entire bill or heard the entire bill read.” Can you actually imagine our geniuses in Congress passing legislation without reading the bill first? Keep in mind, this isn’t like reading a thousand page novel, this is difficult stuff and takes time, effort and thought. We know there is absolutely no way they can read and understand something that large or complex in a short period of time. Maybe if the plumbing wasn’t so difficult, it wouldn’t be so easy to stop up the drain. Bills should be simplified and they should stick to the proposed idea or intent of the bill and not have phony pork-laden trailers added ad nauseam. So the easy answer to what has been happening is, Congress is and has been passing bills without reading them. I believe this is criminal behavior. Why you ask? Simple, fraud is a crime in the United States. To enact a law which affects us all without knowing what is actually in the law is fraudulent. The devil is always in the details and lawmakers should know that. US News reported, “Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives…all but admitted that few if any members of Congress will read the healthcare reform bill before voting for it[vi].” Representative Hoyer further stated, “If every member pledged not to vote for it if they hadn’t read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes.” That would actually be a good thing. But be that as it may, it certainly is nice to know our elected leaders don’t find it important enough to take the time to read, digest and discuss the bills which have a huge impact on American citizens. Someone should really slip in something that states these fools will accept a 95% pay cut, but you can bet they would read that part of any bill.
An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.
A perfect example of us borrowing money just so we can give it back to the same nation would be China. House “Republicans and Democrats bashed the programs during a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Asia and Pacific panel, calling them a “giant mistake of thinking” by the State Department and “an insult” to taxpayers in America[viii].” For once I can actually applaud the words of some politicians. But, even though Congress controls the purse-strings, they still allow this to happen. So once again the State Department and their misguided foreign policy agenda strikes and our impotent House members can only be ‘insulted.’ According to the Daily Mail in the UK, “The U.S. is providing hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign aid to some of the world’s richest countries – while at the same time borrowing billions back[ix].” Articles like this one make it very difficult to think that U.S. lawmakers aren’t slightly ‘special’ when it comes to intelligence. The report went on to name some of the countries receiving the aid in 2010, “China…$27.2m, India $126.6m, Brazil $25m, and Russia $71.5m. Mexico also received $316.7m and Egypt $255.7m.” This is why we pay so much money in taxes. The government throws our money around the globe like the Secret Service does while on duty in a Columbian brothel. How and why we allow this to continue is beyond me, but it is quite easy to see why our public debt as of 4 September 2012 is a whopping $16,009,448,000,594.65[x]. Remember how Thomas Jefferson described public debt, as “A departure of principle” which reduces us to “Mere automations of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering…The fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression[xi].” Thomas Jefferson was not wrong.
According to Vet Friends, “No military in the history of the world has been more widely deployed as the United States. Currently, the United States has military personnel deployed in about 150 countries…This covers 75% of The World’s Nations[xii].” In a Tampa Bay Times report, Ron Paul states, “We’re in 130 countries. We have 900 bases around the world. We’re going broke[xiii].” Even if we split the difference between 150 and 130 nations, that’s still 140 nations out of roughly 196 nations (that number changes depending on who is calculating the number). Still, if we had those troops in the United States, securing our borders instead of everyone else’s borders, do you think it would cost so much? Plus, the United States and our borders would be better protected and at a much lower cost to the taxpayer. Does South Korea really need us there to secure the DMZ? I’ll bet if we left and told them what they do is their business, the ROK would stomp on North Korea in no time. How about Europe? Maybe Europeans nations should guard their own borders, I like Europe, but if they can’t handle their own security, maybe they should be called something else. Either way, that wouldn’t be my concern, it would be theirs. My concern as should be the concern of all Americans is the United States of America, not every other nation on the planet. Read the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. To ‘provide for the common defence… to ourselves and to our Posterity’ is for the United States, not Korea, Germany, or any other nation. I don’t believe in the U.S. being the policemen of the world and if we are going to be that, then I believe people of other nations should be paying us handsomely for the service.
Let’s take a moment to talk about prison populations around the globe. While we all know for a fact we are the land of the free, which might not actually be true when you stop to consider we have more people in prison than any other nation on this planet. According to Nation Master[xiv], we have 715 people out of 100K people in prison, while Russia has 584 per 100K and China has 119 out of 100K. If you take these numbers, you come up with about 2.5m incarcerated in the U.S. to China’s 7.14m. If Nation Master’s figures are correct, and if you figure China has 6 billion people and we have 350 million, then we still incarcerate the most per capita. Stop and consider the fact that China has a population over 17 times greater than the United States, but we have a third as many people incarcerated. However, in a 2006 report by Natural News, “The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population.” The report goes on to state, “A report released by the justice department…a record 7 million people -- were incarcerated, on probation or on parole at the end of 2005, with 2.2 million of them in prison or jail[xv].” So how ever you do the math, the United States has far more people incarcerated than any other nation per population. Then there is “China ranking second with 1.5 million prisoners, and Russia sitting in third with 870,000.” A CBS News report about the U.S. prisons or ‘Incarceration Nation’ stated, “A report by the organization, “The Price of Prisons,” states that the cost of incarcerating one inmate in Fiscal 2010 was $31,307 per year. In states like Connecticut, Washington state, New York, it’s anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000[xvi].” It seems fairly obvious there has been a push in the United States to incarcerate as many people as possible in order to sustain what I believe is an institution which has no intention of ever getting smaller. Prisons are now being built and operated by private companies, not that it wasn’t bad enough to have the government doing this to their own people, now it is for-profit prisons and we all know they are only going to get bigger. “Is it fair to call the United States “incarceration nation”?” Fairness has nothing to do with what is happening in the United States to the people through petty laws meant to strip us of our freedoms and keep us locked up in prisons so a profit can be turned.
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.
We should all remember how the founding fathers of this nation wanted limited federal government. While the people within each sovereign State can easily make up the laws as they see fit, nobody needs to go there if those laws are too draconian. But when the federal government gets it claws into you, there is little chance you will ever break free. While you may or may not like my analogy of the backwards flag, keep in mind our so-called leaders are backwards, and they prove it time and time again. Why else would they pay $100 million for security for 2 weeks of political conventions, when we know they are trying to protect themselves from us, not to protect the cities from a foreign attack. Why would they sign bills without reading them? Those bills impact us greatly. Why would they borrow money from foreign nations only to give it back to foreign nations, while we suffocate under a $16 trillion plus public debt? Why would we have our troops in 75% of the nations of the world, while we are policed by an overly militarized police force right here at home? Are we that much of a threat? Yet our borders protections are much like a malfunctioning sieve, allowing practically anyone or anything to pass. I guess in the end that is why we have 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population. It’s nice to know the U.S. government has such affection for its people. Perhaps we should show our government the same kind of affection. I realize they don’t think the laws apply to them, but they do.
God Bless this Great Republic, the United States of America.
Brett L. Baker
[iv] About.com US Politics; Who Pays for the Political Conventions? http://uspolitics.about.com/od/Political-Conventions/a/Taxpayers-On-The-Hook-For-Political-Conventions.htm
[vi] US News; Democratic Leader Laughs at Reading the Healthcare ill Before Passing It, http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2009/07/08/democratic-leader-laughs-at-reading-the-healthcare-bill-before-passing-it
[viii] US News; Politicians ‘Insulted’ by Foreign Aid to China, http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2011/11/15/politicians-insulted-by-foreign-aid-to-china
[ix] Daily Mail UK; U.S. gives billions of dollars in foreign aid to world’s richest countries – then asks to borrow it back, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1393960/US-gives-billions-foreign-aid-worlds-richest-countries-asks-borrow-back.html
[xii] VETFRIENDS; US Deployment Facts – How many US Troops are Overseas? http://www.vetfriends.com/US-deployments-overseas/
[xiii] The Tampa Bay Times; Ron Paul says U.S. has military personnel in 130 nations and 900 overseas bases, http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/sep/14/ron-paul/ron-paul-says-us-has-military-personnel-130-nation/
[xiv] Nation Master; Crime Statistics, http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_pri_per_cap-crime-prisoners-per-capita
[xv] Natural News; United States imprisons more people than China, Russia or any other nation, experts say, http://www.naturalnews.com/021290_prison_system_incarceration.html
[xvi] CBS News; The cost of a nation of incarceration, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-57418495/the-cost-of-a-nation-of-incarceration/
[xvii] Mark’s Quotes; Founding Fathers Quotes, Patrick Henry. http://www.marksquotes.com/Founding-Fathers/index2.htm