Posts Tagged ‘PATRIOT Act’

Robert R. Livingston

To me, the American creed is best expressed in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed.

The past 10 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks have served as a great wake up call to me.

Growing up as a Canadian, I was told how Americans were fundamentally different from us Canadians. I was raised to believe that they don’t tolerate their government pushing them around like we Canadians do.

The events since September 11, 2001 have forever shattered that comfortable yet dangerous illusion I had grown up with.

July 4, 1776 was a momentous and unique day in human history. It was probably the closest that Americans came to realizing their true identity as sovereigns with natural rights, instead of citizens with privileges granted by government.

Historically, Canadians have had no problem sacrificing individual freedoms in the interest of protecting public safety, and the overreaching government actions that have taken place in the U.S. since 9/11 would not have been inconceivable had they taken place in a Canadian context.

But in a U.S. context? Such responses are completely alien to America’s founding creed.

The post 9/11 adoption of the so-called Patriot Act, which eviscerated several natural rights recognized by the Bill of Rights, and its repeated renewal under different Congresses and a different President who had promised “change,” showed me that the America of today is a very different one than the one I remember as a child.

The surprising results since 9/11 have been that the United States is now more socialistic than Canada, its federal government has higher taxes than Canada’s, only has a mostly free economy compared to Canada’s free economy, and its federal government is more centralized and expansive than Canada’s.

Since 2010, Canada has been pointing the way forward in forcing an overreaching government to retrench to some degree in the face of an otherwise general trend toward less individual liberty.

Even unintentionally, Canada has become more free in the past few years, with the Conservative minority Harper government pulling combat troops out of Afghanistan by 2011 as a consequence of fearing electoral losses for not pulling out.

They also scrapped the long-form census by 2011, even though it seems evident to me that it was purely for partisan reasons, and not out of a genuine commitment to personal privacy, to the point that it is less intrusive than the American census, despite the U.S. Constitution only calling for an enumeration of its residents for the purposes of determining representation in the House of Representatives.

Now, with the election of a Conservative majority government in May 2011, they are committed to ending the wheat and barley marketing monopoly, and scrapping the long-gun registry, and as a consequence, Canada will be more free.

Canadian Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier once said that the 19th century belonged to the United States, but the 20th century will belong to Canada. Well, he was clearly wrong, but perhaps only with regard to his timeline. If Canadians embrace their successes and move forward in achieving greater liberty, than Canada can stand out from other nations as a beacon as the United States once did.

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My comment posted on the November 27 PrisonPlanet.com article, “Canadian Border Officials: Political Thought Police,” on the detention of Amy Goodman, for her intended lawful comments on the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Absolutely disgusting. Holding someone up at the border, questioning them as to what they planned on lawfully saying, while they let that criminal, George W. Bush, into Canada three times now since he ended his criminal presidency (signed the unconstitutional Patriot Act, authorized unlawful warrantless wiretapping, went to war against Iraq on the basis of several lies, and without a constitutional declaration of War by Congress,

My comment after that, in <> brackets, got cut off. I wrote, “see Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s articles of impeachment against President Bush, for more information.

A great editorial on Infowars.com from November 30, “The Constitutional Bankruptcy of our Republic,” sums up my sentiments exactly.

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On January 27, 1996, President Bill Clinton stated during his 1996 State of the Union Address, “The era of big government is over.”
The federal budget numbers are from the 1996 and 2009 budgets.

THEN: No government bailouts
NOW: Bailouts could reach $23.7 trillion

THEN: Total federal spending was $1.61 trillion
NOW: $3.1 trillion

THEN: Government was already big.
NOW: The PATRIOT Act, Department of Homeland Security, two unconstitutional wars, federalization of the National Guard, warrantless wiretaps, 30+ “Czars.”

THEN: Defense spending was $262.2 billion
NOW: $651.1 billion

THEN: The federal debt was $5.27 trillion
NOW: $10.41 trillion

THEN: “Our economy is the healthiest it has been in three decades.”
NOW: The economy is the worst it’s been in six decades.

THEN: “We have the lowest combined rates of unemployment and inflation in 27 years.”
NOW: The highest rate of unemployment in 26 years.

THEN: “America is selling more cars than Japan for the first time since the 1970s.”
NOW:  GM and Chrysler went bankrupt, Toyota overtook GM as the world’s largest car producer in 2008 for the first time ever.

THEN: “And for three years in a row, we have had a record number of new businesses started in our country.”
NOW: The highest number of bankruptcies in the past four years since the 2005 bankruptcy overhaul.

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