Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Statism Begins at Home aka "The Land of the Free" Rings Hollow

A California legislator attempted to pass a bill outlawing spanking children below a certain age.
The woman who submitted the bill doesn't even have any children of her own.

Thank goodness the public's overwhelming negative reaction stopped it.

Now a city in California wants to ban smoking in apartments:

In "Testing for the Fascist Factor", Karen de Coster tests a person's "Fascist Factor" by asking them if they agree with banning smoking on private property. If a person says "yes", she asks, well why not ban blondes in certain restaurants?
arbitrary decrees that invade the self-ownership and private property rights of others. Both decrees are based on the view that one group of persons has the means to control another group of persons and their choices via government fiat. Both decrees are fascist in that they subject the individual to the collective and private property to some notion of "public good."

Is America the "Land of the Free"?
How many of you really asked this question?

Wikipedia defines Statism is defined as follows:

Statism (or Etatism) is a term that is used to describe:

  1. Specific instances of state intervention in personal, social or economic matters.
  2. A form of government or economic system that involves significant state intervention in personal, social or economic matters.
(Note the word "state" means "government", not "state" as in California, Maine, etc.)

The Nanny State and the Police State are two forms of Statism.

The Police State is very much alive in the USA. How many times have you been nervous while driving because there was a police car near your car, despite the fact that you're doing nothing wrong? It gets worse than that. The

The Police State Is Closer Than You Think
by Paul Craig Roberts

Police states are easier to acquire than Americans appreciate.

The hysterical aftermath of September 11 has put into place the main components of a police state.

Habeas corpus is the greatest protection Americans have against a police state. Habeas corpus ensures that Americans can only be detained by law. They must be charged with offenses, given access to attorneys, and brought to trial. Habeas corpus prevents the despotic practice of picking up a person and holding him indefinitely.

President Bush claims the power to set aside habeas corpus and to dispense with warrants for arrest and with procedures that guarantee court appearance and trial without undue delay. Today in the US, the executive branch claims the power to arrest a citizen on its own initiative and hold the citizen indefinitely. Thus, Americans are no longer protected from arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention.

These new "seize and hold" powers strip the accused of the protective aspects of law and give reign to selectivity and arbitrariness. No warrant is required for arrest, no charges have to be presented before a judge, and no case has to be put before a jury. As the police are unaccountable, whoever is selected for arrest is at the mercy of arbitrariness.

If you think the Neoconservatives are the only ones who voted for this, well, look at this Senate voting record:
~70% of Democratic Senators voted to extend the Patriot Act, including Hillary and Obama.

Goes to show the Dems and the Republicans are both pushing the country towards an Authoritarian, Socialistic state.

Homeland Security is pushing for the militarization of local police departments.

His blog chronicles many excesses of police departments:

If you think Homeland Security was created as a reaction to 9/11, well, the first draft of the Homeland Security Act was written in 1998, during Bill Clinton's presidency:

The Nanny State is more alive than ever.

It is most apparent every time you drive. The speed limits are set artificially low, in the guise of Safety. In reality, the insurance companies lobby to keep speed limits low, so that they can collect extra premiums whenever you get a "point" on your license. This is a classic example of collusion between corporations and government; government passing laws to either enable cartelization, or in order to increase profits of corporations. This is a form of Fascism. And of course, the courts, the PD's, and the cities just LOVE the revenue stream.

Speed limits have very little correlation with safety. In fact, speed limit signs have little effect on the average speeds that motorists drive. That is, motorists will tend to drive at a speed that they consider to be a reasonable compromise between time savings and safety. Drivers who drive faster than average, those that are faster than 85% of other drivers, have the lowest crash rates.

What is the greatest cause of crashes? In one word, inattention. Researchers in Virginia Tech installed cameras to record crashes and near misses in 100 cars over more than a year. Nowhere is speed mentioned:
  • Nearly 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of all near-crashes involved driver inattention, just prior (within 3 seconds) to the onset of the conflict.
  • 93 percent of the rear-end-striking crashes involved driver inattention

And of course, when driving, the police state and the nanny state combine to punish you for behavior that isn't necessarily unsafe. Witness the Kangaroo courts that the traffic courts are.

Since 1969 in California, citizens have been denied jury trials for most alleged traffic offenses.

Beginning on January 1, 1969, the state legislature created a new category of criminal offense called the infraction. The state would preserve all its rights in prosecuting these infraction citations as criminal offenses, but would remove the citizen's most basic rights to justice in these cases. For the first time in California history, citizens would be legally denied their right to a jury trial in criminal cases. The community would no longer be the arbiter of justice in these contested criminal cases.

It's unconstitutional, of course, because it got around the right to a jury trial.

Even red light cameras are a scam. They don't reduce accident rates, and there are better alternatives.

A 3rd manifestation of Statism is over-regulation. Regulatory compliance cost to the economy is 14%: It adds to our total effective tax rate:

This over-regulation completely takes over common sense:

Most Americans don't realize that having a Statist society is the opposite of what the Founding Fathers intended. And, while the so-called Republicans claim to advocate smaller government, in reality they are anything but. Bush has borrowed more than all previous 42 presidents combined.

And, the neocons that have hijacked the Republican party are statists at home, and imperialists abroad.

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