Take back your rights!

Blog of personal philosophy, advocating liberty.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Swiftian proposal

Mel Shavelson is a name from some of the glory days of Hollywood.
You can look him up at http://www.imdb.com.
He has also written several books, including “Lualda,” which is credited to Melville Shavelson.
This excerpt is from page 149, copyright 1975:

One of the most important parts of a writer’s work in films is not writing the script but in telling the story to people so they will think it’s a lot better than what he wrote. You used to be able to make wonderful deals in Hollywood without ever writing down a word. In case you did make the mistake of writing it down first, there was a whole system evolved to get around reading it. Louis B. Mayer had a woman who was employed as his Story Teller, and it was her job to read all the stories submitted on paper and tell them to him out loud. Every writer felt if you could get to her in some way – money, sex, booze – you could persuade her to put more emotion into her telling of your story, but Mayer was too smart for that. He had her paid in MGM stock, so she had a vested interest in honesty. Maybe we ought to pay our Presidents in United States Bonds. And read the Constitution out loud to them.

Wait! Was Sowell right?

See the entry two down.
The usually great Thomas Sowell said he hasn't seen any fascism.
Maybe he was right.
Maybe -- and here see the entry immediately below -- he meant what the Bush administration and its leftover Supreme Court have brought us is NOT fascism ... but communism.
The Bush administration and the Court have certainly acted as if and legislated as if and ruled as if each of us is property of the state.
Their premises certainly seem to be similar to those of Stalinist Russia, possibly more than those of Nazi Germany, but not much different from those of Fascist Italy.
However neo-conservative principles ... maybe "principles" is the wrong word for neo-cons ... Neo-conservatives seem to have a philosophy quite similar to that of Benito Mussolini, a warfare/welfare state dedicated to building an empire.
Definitions get confused here, though. Mussolini was a Marxist; communism was known, in the early part of the 20th century, as red fascism.
Under whatever label, though, it is we the people, we the individuals, we the possessors, supposedly, of inherent rights, who suffer and decline, and it is the state, the government, which grows and prospers.

Milk carton picture: Liberty

Liberty is missing from America.
With the perhaps most egregious mis-ruling since ... possibly ever, the United States Supreme Court has declared the U.S. Constitution null and void.
Probably the single leading reason our ancestors came to these shores was the right to own property.
We say "the right to own property." What other culture, what other nation has ever been founded on such a premise?
"Own" property. What a glorious concept.
All that was done away with Thursday, 23 June 2005, in the case of Kelo et al v. City of New London, 04-108, by five mis-called "justices" who obviously have not the slightest idea of what makes a free country, what makes a free people.
Writing the minority opinion, Sandra Day O'Connor expressed horror, according to news reports, that the majority has merely empowered rich people, that moneyed developers will be able to use their power -- and in politics more than anywhere else, apparently, money IS power -- to acquire other people's property and make even more money.
Surprisingly, O'Connor is right, but, unsurprisingly, she focuses on only a tiny part of the problem: The real horror is that individual humans and their rights are not even mentioned, are not even considered.
One of the houses being stolen -- and that is not too strong a word, no matter how much money the thieves eventually pay for the object being taken -- belongs to a couple in their 80s. They have lived in their home for some 50 years, yet now discover they never really OWNED it. They were allowed the privilege of paying the mortgage, of spending their money on upkeep, of paying the taxes, but they have never really OWNED the property -- they were merely allowed to live there by the kind benevolence of the local politicians and bureaucrats.
That benevolence ends when some rich developer sees a method to become richer, by booting the residents out of their homes and destroying their homes and replacing their homes with something -- offices in this case -- that will bring in more money to the tax coffers of the local government.
Five members of the Supreme Court -- and I cannot call them "justices" -- have denied the history and tradition of the United States of America; they have denied the basic premise and very concept of human liberty.
They have, in the words of Henry Clay and repeated by Abraham Lincoln, blown out the moral lights around us; they have penetrated the human soul and eradicated there the love of liberty.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Sowell sells out

Who'd a-thunk it? Thomas Sowell endorsing big government intrusion. Incredible.
When his column of approximately 16 June (publishing date varying from publication to publication) appeared in our local "news"paper, I thought the paper had again put his name on somebody else's column.
Sowell -- usually one of my must-reads, usually, in fact, one of my heroes -- said this:
"Not only individuals but whole nations have lost their sense of danger after having been protected from those dangers."
He tried to make the analogy that people ignore polio vaccination because the vaccinations of previous years had so nearly wiped out polio that it seemed unnecessary, and the same attitude applies to the mis-called USA PATRIOT Act, which has prevented further acts of terrorism.
He ends his column:
"The Patriot Act is no closer to perfection than anything else human. It has costs, as every benefit has had costs, hard as it is for many among the intelligentsia to accept anything less than 'win-win' situations.
"'I have a real problem with fascism,' as one lady in a trendy California bookstore said fiercely, when discussing the Patriot Act. (sic)
"She was aghast when I replied, 'I hadn't noticed any fascism.'
"Have you?"
Well, gosh, Tom, how about the PATRIOT Act itself? How about continuing raids by jack-booted thugs on sick people growing or using marijuana? How about federal intrusion into what should be private acts between consenting adults, such as employment? How about federal mandates forcing states to get ever more personal and private data from individuals to be implanted on driving licenses in a new national ID bill? How about the threat to impose federal controls on blogs? How about the likely impending reinstatement of the military draft? How about ...?
The list goes on and on, and likely will get longer still.
Thomas Sowell has previously been one of the most intelligent, even wise, commentators in wide distribution, but this column was and is a shocker.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Marijuana, the Supreme Court, and Freedom

One of the reasons it was too bad George W. Bush was re-elected: court appointees.
Of course Kerry was a terrible choice, too, so let's don't get distracted.
The point is simply that judges and justices seem to have NO concept of what the Constitution says and no concept of what freedom is and no concept of what justice is.
The Supreme Court today (Monday, 6 June) ruled against a sick woman's being able to grow her own medical marijuana.
NOTHING in the Constitution gives the federal government any right to control what that woman puts into her own body; NOTHING in the Constitution gives the federal government any right to control what that woman can grow in her own garden.
It is so strange: A Supreme Court rules the Constitution says a doctor can prescribe an abortion for a woman, and medical privacy says no government can interfere.
Yet if a doctor prescribes a natural product to help the woman medically, the Constitution says the feds can charge in, with guns pointing, to the woman's home, to the doctor's office, to, I suppose, any place the armed thugs of the federal government want.
Those Supreme Court "justices" sure do read selectively.
And what an irony: On this very date, 61 years ago, thousands of Americans died allegedly fighting for freedom.