The American Spirit

The American Spirit. A very rare, powerful thing at it’s best. It has been tried and tested to the highest degrees. Those who contain that wild spirit are often called crazy. Most recently they’ve been called racist, extremist…among other “colorful” terms. At best, the American Spirit is something you just can’t extinguish.

Think about it. It isn’t just about fighting or protesting big government. America has always been the first responder when it comes to international tragedy. Be it a natural disaster, war strife or poverty. You name it, we’ve been there to help with recovery. We’re one of the only nations with the capabilities of providing large amounts of humanitarian aid, and we don’t blink an eye at providing it. Because it’s what we do. Americans, at heart, are very generous. However, I must say, we are very tenacious and aggressive when we have to be.

There comes a point in time when we as Americans need to stop fixing the world’s problems and solve our own. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with helping others. We, as a nation, are crippled though. Our rights are being stripped away because of global distractions. The administration knows we have big hearts, and they’re taking advantage of it. This is where we need to tap in to that aggressive side and fight back. We can’t just allow the government, along with the rest of the world, pin us in a corner. No, we’re better than that. There was a time where Americans would be like a German Shepherd protecting it’s master from harm. We would tirelessly pursue who hurt our family, and inflict harm on them. Not anymore, instead, we arm them and train them. What happened to us? Have we become so numb to the world that we don’t notice that it has driven a dagger into our back? What will it take for us to stop retreating and reload? When will we stop letting people just walk on us? We are Americans! We’re stronger, smarter, faster and better than that!

Americans, the real American, we are a rare breed in this world. Back before this administration painted us as weak and apologetic, we were feared and respected. Now? Now we are the laughing stock of the world. What happened to the fighting spirit we had before? Did we get complacent? I think we did. Scratch that, I know we did. We got cozy in our American homes, American jobs…..going out and practicing American traditions. We lost sight of what that spirit really represents. Strength, courage, power, grace, tenacity and ambition. No one dared to disrespect America or inflict harm on her. Wake up America, if we don’t fight now, we will never be able to turn this ship around.

What Would Government Without God Look Like?

by Mark David Shaw M.T.S.
Restore America Together Network
Executive National Director of Tea Party Conservatives for Freedom

mds-smallThe first major change you would see in a government that denies the existence of God is that unalienable rights would have no foundation and thus begin to disappear.  If there is no God, then there can be no rights that are given by God.  Any rights that would exist would then be derived from other human beings.  If other human beings can give a right, then that right can change or even be removed by human beings.  Government would be the entity from which a person’s rights are derived, but the definition of those rights would be left to those representatives who make up that government entity.  Hence, government would take the position of god in its definition of good and evil.

Under this system of government, you would possess nothing that the government could not rightly remove from you.  I say “rightly” because there would be no transcendent moral standards to which you could appeal.  Without a standard, morality would be the mere machinations of human beings subject to change on a whim.  Morality could hold no weight beyond human opinion.  Because of this, all morals would have to be relative.  This would establish each human as the progenitor of their own moral codes which could not be extended beyond themselves without violating another of their ability to define their own morals. One could come into agreement with a group to establish a common moral code of conduct and thus establish a social moral relativism.  However, this would amount to tyranny by the majority since the majority opinion becomes the law of the land.  This is why a constitutional republic is so important.  All laws must be measured against those rights enumerated in the constitution.

In a worldview without God, man becomes his own god.  All proclamations of good and evil would have no other basis than the mind from which it came. With morality being the brainchild of each human, those in governmental positions would have the power to imposition others to their particular individual brand of morality, which could equal nothing more than their mere opinion.

What about human life?  It could no longer be sacred because the notion of “sacred” only exists within the concept of God.  Sacredness of human life can only exist if humans are created in the image of God.  Without God, humans can claim no more value than anything else that is natural.  This would lead to a philosophical position where animals and plants are elevated to a status worthy of human life.  With a devaluation of human life, it becomes easier and more palatable to take human life.  We could even conceivably see it become a morality to take human life to protect plant and animal life.

What about liberty?  Because liberty would be a conflation of the state, the state would have sole power to grant or remove any right that is derived from the state.  With morals being relative rather than absolute, liberty would be unstable and ever changing.  Equality would be a thing of the past as glad-handing and favors would generate the most liberty for groups and individuals willing to play along.

What about property?  Your right to your own property would also be derived from the state.  Since the state is functioning as god by defining good and evil, all property could be absconded by the state with the justification that it is a “good” thing they are doing.  Again, since morality would be relative, the right to property would change based upon the winds of culture.  You might start hearing terms like “social justice” as a state sponsored reason to extract your property from you.  Whatever the stated “ill” of the time is, the state would use that as a reason for taking what is yours to “justly” putting it into the hands of another but especially themselves.  Favors would be given to political allies and penalties would be commissioned against political enemies.

Does this look strangely familiar?  As our culture looses the notion of a transcendent Almighty God, it will begin to elect likeminded individuals to represent it.  As these godless individuals attain power, they begin to govern in a way that ignores absolute moral standards. A nation that looses the notion of God will fall.  As our culture flirts with secularism, it becomes apparent that these individuals are unaware that they are gnawing at the very foundation that holds them secure in their unalienable rights. As they do, at a certain point the weight of secularism collapses the very house that holds them.

 

Providence and National Sins

Susie photo CBI

by Susan Snelling
Restoring America Together Network
Regional Director of the North Central States
Tea Party Conservatives for Freedom

The American flag stands awash in a sea of blood. It’s the blood of Founders and Framers and named and unnamed patriots who lie in flag draped caskets or on battlefields while on missions far from home. They lie in the heart of every American who enjoys the freedoms secured for this nation. But there is a stars and stripes that is not fitting for full-staff, perhaps only half-staff at best. Better yet, turn it upside down, for this is a nation in distress and in many sectors it does not even know it.

Just as the blood of patriots spilled for this great nation calls out for justice; the blood of an entire generation of those unborn but terminated cry out from their early grave. Found in dumpsters and toilet bowls and cylinders meant for medical refuse, the silent bellowing of these future patriots rends Heaven’s air. We mere mortals may never hear their voices and their silence to us is deafening, but their Creator is attuned to their pleas.

The sea of bodies that were meant to be citizens of the United States lay silent to our ears, breathless, never given a chance to live out their destinies. America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, has become a refuse and garbage dump for millions of lives created by God and knit together lovingly in their mothers’ wombs. It is a national holocaust of enormous proportions when over 50 million and counting have their lives stolen from them.

The lies of the modern American liberal have brought one of the most egregious national sins upon America. They lied to the new mothers that abortion is safe and a healthy alternative. The Church stood by silently, except for a few quarters, while heaven beheld the unquenchable stench of a nation turned to their basest and deep-seated hatred of all that is holy. Proponents of abortion place the value of their freedom and prosperity over the value of the life of their own progeny.

It has been reported that if the Founding Fathers had the modern technology that we have today, they would say that life began at conception. Their held belief was that life began when the mother felt the baby move. We have more knowledge now through scientific advancement that life begins far before that happens.

Yet, the unjust will murder for convenience. The women are lied to so they believe that abortion is acceptable and even in some cases preferable. And those who have not become reprobate and hardened from suppressing the truth, suffer from the knowledge that they took the life of their own. The pain they hold within has ramifications and so does their actions. God forgives them when they turn to Him and He binds up their wounds. But there is always someone else who is entering the same journey based on the lies of the proponents of abortion.

The children cry out from the graves. There must be Divine retribution, you know. A nation that does not nationally repent of their sins will receive the just harvest from the seed they have sown. Everything is seed time and harvest, the bible says, and so it is. America has sown wickedness through lies and deception to countless men and women that it is good and permissible to kill your unborn child and it is even promoted amongst the youth. Haughty academicians, politicians, news reporters and media types, savvy in wickedness, promote it to the world.

What other national sins has America engaged in and not repented or turned away from? Where is the sorrow and shame for immorality promoted amongst the youth, attempting to corrupt an entire generation? Attempting to abort them from their God-designed purposes? Rob them of their destinies and assure that this great Republic will come under judgment?

The Founding Fathers understood a great principle of Divine Providence which was that individuals are judged during the great judgment at the end of history as we know it, but nations, who cannot be judged later, are judged in the here and now. Where does America stand? Will there be national repentance for national sins or will God say, enough.

George Mason, Revolutionary statesman and delegate from Virginia to the Constitutional Convention said:

“Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgement of heaven upon a country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins, by national calamities.”

We can take whatever action necessary to push back against bad legislation and bad legislators and the progressives who would take us spiraling fast toward socialism or some other “ism,” but until there is repentance for, a turning away from, those things that are an affront to the Almighty, we will see limited success.

Let the unborn cry out and those wronged on other fronts get their justice. What will it take, America? What will it take to wake you up to your purpose and destiny, as a protector of the inalienable rights of all born and yet to be born. “The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” seems to be a forgotten phrase by the liberal left unless they are applying it to themselves in whatever manner they choose. However, it is not a selective edict. It applies to all, born and unborn.

To those who think God does not judge a nation for national sins does not understand the God of the bible. They want to live in a fantasy world. Even Thomas Jefferson, who the left likes to say was not a Christian, grasped the concept of the nature and character of God when he said:

“I tremble for my country to think that God is just and will not be quiet forever.”

Do you tremble for your country? You should. We are the watchers on the wall, the caretakers of this great Republic that our forefathers gave their all for. Nothing less should be expected from us, the heirs and guardians of this grand experiment, to ensure that inalienable rights, those God-given rights, are secure for all of us and those yet to come.

What is an “Inalienable” Right?

by Mark David Shaw M.T.S.
Restoring America Together Network
Executive National Director
Tea Party Conservatives for Freedom

mds-smallIf we are to understand our Declaration of Independence, we first need to understand what an “inalienable right” is.  Note that our Declaration of Independence states that these inalienable rights are endowed by our Creator.  All inalienable rights must originate from God.  Why?  An inalienable right is another way of saying an “absolute right.”  An absolute right can only come from an absolute God.  Governments are not absolute hence they cannot confer an absolute right nor do they have the right to remove it from anyone. It is actually the duty of government to protect those rights.

Only the giver of a right has the “right” to remove it. How these absolute rights are discovered is to observe the natural state of human beings.  This is why inalienable rights are also called “natural rights.”  For instance, Thomas Jefferson stated, “Almighty God has created the mind free.”  Because of this, no one has the right to control or suppress our thoughts.  When government encroaches upon my right to think as I want, even if that thought is wrong or immoral, they overstep their bounds and take powers that are not intrinsic to government. It is only when that immorality of mind crosses over into immorality of action where victims are abridged of their rights as a result of that behavior, does government have the right to step in to suppress that behavior.  Why does government have a right to interfere then?  Because there is a victim whose rights have been violated and it is the duty of government to protect these rights equally.

This was the basis or foundation of our Declaration of Independence.  The British government was stepping upon these rights and our Declaration of Independence was written to express to them that they do not have that right to trample our inalienable rights.  These rights were not conferred by government and they cannot be transferred to the government for control.

These rights only belong to the individual and not to groups.  This is important because we hear terms like “human rights” and “civil rights.”  Groups cannot have inalienable rights for that would presuppose that other groups do not have those same rights.

These absolute rights must transcend us because we are not absolute beings; hence, they must be conferred by a transcendent Being.  We must understand that it is the nature of a government, unrestrained by the people, to suppress these rights.  This is why an electorate that does not vigilantly monitor their government will become enslaved by it.  Political parties will also gravitate toward abridgement of these natural rights as well.  Our only defense against this is an educated and vigilant electorate.

Presently, many Americans have no idea who their representatives are let alone what type of government they are in, yet they still exercise their right to vote at the polls.  If we are to save this country, we must not only concentrate upon what our representatives are doing and getting the best of humanity into those positions, but also we must reintroduce as many citizens as possible to their form of government and the need to be vigilant to maintain their inalienable rights.

If we only seek to change our representatives to save our country, then we are short sighted with regard to the root of the problem.  That root or foundation of government is the people who are being governed.  When the people cease to acknowledge Almighty God, they also cease to have a basis for inalienable rights. They are then likely to support likeminded individuals as their representatives and elect enemies of our republic which, if left unfettered, will result in the subjugation of our most valuable possession, our inalienable rights.

The Cult Like Symptoms of the Left

by Mark David Shaw M.T.S.
Restoring America Together Network
Executive National Director
Tea Party Conservatives for Freedom
mds-smallThis is not meant to be a professional analysis but rather my own personal observation.  Being a minister I have had the opportunity to help various people come out of cults.  I am always amazed at the control these leaders would have over these poor people.  Recently I notice a local newscast about a cult nearby.  One couple who had escaped told stories of some of their experiences. I will just share one to make a point.

This couple was married and the wife was pregnant.  The cult leader suggested that this pregnancy was not God’s will.  His instruction was for the woman to run so that she would lose the child.  Her husband was given the command to watch her to verify that she complied.  She did, and he did.  She did not lose the child and gave birth to a normal child.

What struck me was these are adults with adult minds.  Why would they submit to such a foolish command?  As a man, I cannot understand why her husband did not rebel against this command.  Common sense suggests that if his wife is pregnant then it is the will of God.  Although it might look like a simple dilemma to most of us, it was obviously not so clear for the victims.  Yes, I said victims.

Then it struck me.  This behavior is much like those who are leftist.  Commonsense just does not apply.  What causes this?  Like the couple in the cult, they “believed” in what their leader was saying.  Now, I am not opposed to obeying leaders but I am opposed to doing so when the command is knowingly evil.  Isn’t this concept what we learned from the Nuremburg trials?  Nazi officials were taking the “I was just following orders” defense. What we learned is that even in the military which must rely upon obedience to commands there is a personal responsibility not to cross certain boundaries.

For instance, what if a despotic commander-in-chief told our military to arrest, and even kill citizens of America in America?  Each individual soldier has a personal responsibility to rebel against such a command.  Why would some, perhaps, be willing to follow that command?  It could only be because they believe in the leader giving the command or in their philosophy.  So, like the Nazi’s on trial, they would be guilty as well.

The couple in the cult would have been personally responsible if she had lost her child.  But all of this brings up a bigger point.  Let me give you another example.  I used to get a newsletter called The Schwarz Report.  I remember one particular letter that shocked me to my core.

Dr. Fred Schwarz was speaking at a large hotel at one of his conferences and during the break, he decided to seek out other conferences and see if he could set in on one.  The one he found was on environmentalism and the story you are about to hear, I believe, is true because of the integrity of Dr. Schwarz.  In this conference the speaker was talking about how over-population was endangering the earth.  He was giving the audience various solutions to the problem.  In one solution the speaker suggested that officials create enough of the Ebola virus to infect the populations around the globe.  His reasoning was that because this virus has a near 10% survival rate that this would leave about 10% of the population alive on our poor over-populated planet.

How did the crowd react?  Did they boo this speaker for the stupidity of this suggestion?  No, they gave him a standing ovation.  This is very cult like don’t you think?  These were leftists environmentalists who had bought into leftist philosophies.  So much so, that apparently they were all ready to die to save our planet, unless they thought that the gods would favor them since they are so superior to the rest of humanity.

Why?  Why would thinking adults follow such foolery without as much as a question?  Cults control their followers using emotion.  One of the emotions that is very successful is a feeling of superiority.  Hitler used it in his attempt to exterminate the Jews. These cult leaders get their followers to think that everyone on the outside just does not understand them and that they alone have the way of truth making them superior.

Interestingly, this is the vibe I get from liberals.  Even the policies reveal this.  They do not think the rest of Americans can handle their wallet, their children, and their personal lives.  They believe that they are the superior guardians that must step in and handle your affairs for you. When I question liberals, I find that they just regurgitate what their leaders have told them.  When I ask them to think that through to its end, they get defensive and then launch into question begging epitaphs.

I asked myself the question the other day, “Why do we Republicans have such spirited debates and the Democrats are all just saying the same thing?”  The answer is “cult syndrome.”  The free thinker ponders, then questions.  The brain washed just respond with rhetoric memorization. Now I am not saying all Democrats are like this but the ones I have interacted with sure were.  What I fear is that because the Democrats have been so successful with this tactic, Republicans will begin to follow suit.  Our country was born in and out of passionate debate.  Let us not resort to mind numbing as a way of feigning unity.  Don’t give into the political correct ideology of never questioning or debating.  This is America and we are Americans.  We are strong, we are spirited, we love liberty, we think critically, and we do not lay down our conscience when given a command!

Liberty is the Product of the People, Not the State

Susie photo CBI

by Susan Snelling
Restoring America Together Network
Regional Director of the North Central States
Tea Party Conservatives for Freedom

When I read that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is considering filing a lawsuit against the president for abuse of powers, the phrase “a long list of abuses” kept going through my head given the behavior of this executive branch. Those words were used by the Founding Fathers about King George III in the Declaration of Independence.

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Opinions are all over the place whether or not suing the president for abuse of powers is going to achieve anything. Regardless of what one thinks about this action, it cannot be denied that this president has engaged in abuse of power. Charles Krauthammer noted that if this were a Republican president, he would have been impeached already. What we have is a Democrat dominated Senate with the help of the mainstream media who protects the president no matter what and in the process protects their liberal agenda.

What the Founding Fathers were clear about was that it is the duty of the citizens to do something about it when the government abuses its powers. It is the responsibility of the Congress to reign in the executive branch. And if the Congress does nothing then it is up to us to do something about a do nothing Congress. It begins at the ballot box and the riddance of the old guard who refuse to do their job and use their Constitutional powers. Those are the first steps.

Thomas Jefferson said:

“When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil,”

Generally speaking, Congress has for too long sat by while this administration runs roughshod over the Constitution and both Houses of Congress; while agencies and departments of the federal government make rules that carry the force of law, bypassing Congress; while blatant disregard for time honored institutions get cast aside and overrode for special interest groups, money hands, and those that despise our Christian heritage and Republican form of government. Too many of the electorate sat by silently looking after their own personal interests while the government established by the people and for the people became an unimaginable monstrosity. It is up to us to guard against burgeoning tyrants.

According to George Washington:

“The people must remain ever vigilant against tyrants masquerading as public servants.”

Like community organizers who are really opportunists and posers who fundamentally dislike the America the Founding Fathers gave us. Like self-servers in Congress who slither about its halls sidling up to anti-American policies, big corporate money, and other money hands, who profess to be conservatives but defame real conservatives and side more often with the liberal left. Like those who give more credence to what a few ignorant celebrities have to say than men and women well-schooled in freedom and the Constitution. Like those who loathe the pro-life movement and rejoice at every abortion that takes place. Or those who launch campaigns against everything that supports the pillars of this great country and adhere to ideologies that are contrary to a free Republic. George Washington warns us to be on guard against these phony patriots:

“Guard against impostures of pretended patriotism.”

Democrats and Republicans alike have fallen prey to the forces that seek to bring this bastion of freedom, America, down to resemble nothing like its intent. The Democrat Party particularly has become no friend to liberty. They became the party of slavery and they still are. It just shows itself differently. They protect the evildoers in government and fight the investigations into corruption. They appear to be more concerned about protecting this administration than searching for truth. The Founding Fathers said to vote for the man, not the party, except one of the major parties is especially troublesome. It is the party of death and taxes and corruption of the culture.

Those who fight for truth and justice in Congress need to keep pushing against the flood of wickedness and corruption that the left has flung at America and that the right has allowed to happen or cooperated with. They need to know the American people demand it, support them, and insist that they do the right thing. What we need to do is “throw off” the old guard in the Republican Party who are the status quo, the back scratchers in Congress, and elect those that are Constitutional conservatives who can help us “throw off” what this government has become. We need to bring America back from the brink.

I wonder if the Founding Fathers ever imagined that this Republic would come to what it has with career politicians who sometimes never go back to live under the same laws they passed, and who refuse to assert their enumerated powers for the good of the nation. It is our duty to keep their feet to the fire so they do their duty.

The Tea Party and other liberty loving people have played a role in keeping the fires of freedom alive in America. Keep pushing, Tea Partiers! Keep pushing, citizens who care about America! It is our duty to protect our country from the government.

“It is the duty of the patriot to protect its country from its government.” Thomas Paine

Today, Americans fear their government, and the IRS and other governmental departments and agencies are central to that fear, but it should be the other way around. The government should fear us. That tells me that we have a form of tyranny.

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson

Show the old guard that we mean business. It is time to throw off what our government has become, that which is unconstitutional and oppresses the people, and elect the new guard to help us turn this around.

The Necessity of Virtue in a Republic

by Mark David Shaw M.T.S.
Restore America Together Network
Executive National Director
Tea Party Conservatives for Freedom

mds-smallThe laws of a republic, being made by representatives of the people, have the power to bring freedom or slavery.  Hence, if we are to have freedom there must be a tenable virtue in our lawmakers, and if we are to expect laws that protect or enhance virtue rather than resist or undermine it, our representatives must be of that same character.  The republic that gives unethical individuals the reins of power will allow for the creation of unethical laws that enslave even those who gave these individuals that power.

Freedom is the measurement of the worth of our republican form of government.  I think that here we need congruency with the term “freedom.”  Real freedom is NOT the right to do anything you like.  Real freedom is the right to govern yourself!  The law serves NOT to restrict freedom, but to protect it.  This is where virtue becomes a necessity.  How do we measure freedom?  It must be through the lens of virtue.  Freedom flourishes in a “just” society where the rules are fair and equally applied to all.  In an unjust society, laws are focused to restrict one group in favor of another.  When something is unjust it is also immoral.

You have probably heard the statement “You cannot legislate morality.”  That is an absurd declaration.  Laws have, as their foundation, moral principles.  Is stealing immoral?  Do we have laws against stealing? Then we do indeed legislate morality.  The freedom of the will is of course maintained until one breaks a law.  The law is there to force you into compliance with moral principles if you refuse to govern yourself regarding those virtues.

Now a government is like everything else: to preserve it we must love it. Has it ever been known that kings were not fond of monarchy, or that despotic princes hated arbitrary power? Everything therefore depends on establishing this love in a republic; and to inspire it ought to be the principal business of education: but the surest way of instilling it into children is for parents to set them an example. People have it generally in their power to communicate their ideas to their children; but they are still better able to transfuse their passions. If it happens otherwise, it is because the impressions made at home are effaced by those they have received abroad. It is not the young people that degenerate; they are not spoiled till those of maturer age are already sunk into corruption.  Montesquieu, Charles de (2011-03-31). The Spirit of the Laws (Kindle Locations 1344-1355). Neeland Media LLC. Kindle Edition.

When we see a trend where our young are slipping into an immoral cultural trend, it can only be by reason of adults who have already demonstrated their corrupted nature.  If we are to reverse this trend, we must start by being moral individuals first and foremost.  We must teach our young the importance and blessing of virtue.  Why is it that the immoral among us always want to silence the voice of opposition?  Because intrinsically they know their behavior is indefensible.

The people of this Republic must let their voice be heard.  Virtue must be proclaimed not hidden under the dark fog of opposition.  That simple but profound statement that my father always stated remains relevant. “Right is right and wrong is wrong.”  Although simple in its construction it reveals a wisdom that others would seek to undermine.  It is that morality is not something that changes with a culture, it transcends it.  It must, or we have nothing with which to measure our own liberty.  Moral principles are constant, they are absolute, they are unchanging, and they are higher than the governed and the governor.  This is why Montesquieu stated:

The laws of religion are of a superior nature, because they bind the sovereign as well as the subject.  Montesquieu, Charles de (2011-03-31). The Spirit of the Laws (Kindle Location 1171). Neeland Media LLC. Kindle Edition.

There is a concrete reason why some want to remove the laws of religion from the public sphere.  It can only be that they serve to reveal their own corrupt nature.  They do not want to be measured by them because they have demonstrated a life that ignores God’s Law.  Let me remind you Mr. or Ms. Politician, God’s Laws are non-negotiable and we are all measured equally by them.  So rather than trying to erase them from the public square, why not instead try to bring yourself under compliance and receive the blessing that comes with it.  Rebel if you want, but remember the words of the prophet who revealed, “Your wickedness will correct you.”

declarationbiblegun-620x412

Has the Dept. of Homeland Security become America’s standing army?

A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”—James Madison

 

If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS’ governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.

The third largest federal agency behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the DHS—with its 240,000 full-time workers, $61 billion budget and sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—has been aptly dubbed a “runaway train.”

In the 12 years since it was established to “prevent terrorist attacks within the United States,” the DHS has grown from a post-9/11 knee-jerk reaction to a leviathan with tentacles in every aspect of American life. With good reason, a bipartisan bill to provide greater oversight and accountability into the DHS’ purchasing process has been making its way through Congress.

A better plan would be to abolish the DHS altogether. In making the case for shutting down the de facto national police agency, analyst Charles Kenny offers the following six reasons: one, the agency lacks leadership; two, terrorism is far less of a threat than it is made out to be; three, the FBI has actually stopped more alleged terrorist attacks than DHS; four, the agency wastes exorbitant amounts of money with little to show for it; five, “An overweight DHS gets a free pass to infringe civil liberties without a shred of economic justification”; and six, the agency is just plain bloated.

To Kenny’s list, I will add the following: The menace of a national police force, a.k.a. a standing army, vested with so much power cannot be overstated, nor can its danger be ignored. Indeed, as the following list shows, just about every nefarious deed, tactic or thuggish policy advanced by the government today can be traced back to the DHS, its police state mindset, and the billions of dollars it distributes to police agencies in the form of grants.

Militarizing police and SWAT teams. The DHS routinely hands out six-figure grants to enable local municipalities to purchase military-style vehicles, as well as a veritable war chest of weaponry, ranging from tactical vests, bomb-disarming robots, assault weapons and combat uniforms. This rise in military equipment purchases funded by the DHS has, according to analysts Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz, “paralleled an apparent increase in local SWAT teams.” The end result? An explosive growth in the use of SWAT teams for otherwise routine police matters, an increased tendency on the part of police to shoot first and ask questions later, and an overall mindset within police forces that they are at war—and the citizenry are the enemy combatants.

Spying on activists, dissidents and veterans. In 2009, DHS released three infamous reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “Extremism,” and another entitled Operation Vigilant Eagle, outlining a surveillance program targeting veterans. The reports collectively and broadly define extremists as individuals and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.” In 2013, it was revealed that DHS, the FBI, state and local law enforcement agencies, and the private sector were working together to conduct nationwide surveillance on protesters’ First Amendment activities.

Stockpiling ammunition. DHS, along with other government agencies, has been stockpiling an alarming amount of ammunition in recent years, which only adds to the discomfort of those already leery of the government. As of 2013, DHS had 260 million rounds of ammo in stock, which averages out to between 1,300 to 1,600 rounds per officer. The US Army, in contrast, has roughly 350 rounds per soldier. DHS has since requisitioned more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammo, “enough,” concludes Forbes magazine, “to sustain a hot war for 20+ years.”

Distributing license plate readers. DHS has already distributed more than $50 million in grants to enable local police agencies to acquire license plate readers, which rely on mobile cameras to photograph and identify cars, match them against a national database, and track their movements. Relying on private contractors to maintain a license plate database allows the DHS and its affiliates to access millions of records without much in the way of oversight.

Contracting to build detention camps. In 2006, DHS awarded a $385 million contract to a Halliburton subsidiary to build detention centers on American soil. Although the government and Halliburton were not forthcoming about where or when these domestic detention centers would be built, they rationalized the need for them in case of “an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs” in the event of other emergencies such as “natural disasters.” Viewed in conjunction with the NDAA provision allowing the military to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone, including American citizens, it would seem the building blocks are already in place for such an eventuality.

Tracking cell-phones with Stingray devices. Distributed to local police agencies as a result of grants from the DHS, these Stingray devices enable police to track individuals’ cell phones—and their owners—without a court warrant or court order. The amount of information conveyed by these devices about one’s activities, whereabouts and interactions is considerable. As one attorney explained: “Because we carry our cellphones with us virtually everywhere we go, stingrays can paint a precise picture of where we are and who we spend time with, including our location in a lover’s house, in a psychologist’s office or at a political protest.”

Carrying out military drills and lockdowns in American cities. Each year, DHS funds military-style training drills in cities across the country. These Urban Shield exercises, elaborately staged with their own set of professionally trained Crisis Actors playing the parts of shooters, bystanders and victims, fool law enforcement officials, students, teachers, bystanders and the media into thinking it’s a real crisis.

Using the TSA as an advance guard. The TSA now searches a variety of government and private databases, including things like car registrations and employment information, in order to track travelers’ before they ever get near an airport. Other information collected includes “tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information.”

Conducting virtual strip searches with full-body scanners. Under the direction of the TSA, American travelers have been subjected to all manner of searches ranging from whole-body scanners and enhanced patdowns at airports to bag searches in train stations. In response to public outrage over what amounted to a virtual strip search, the TSA has begun replacing the scanners with equally costly yet less detailed models. The old scanners will be used by prisons for now.

Carrying out soft target checkpoints. VIPR task forces, comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detection officers and explosive detection canine teams have laid the groundwork for the government’s effort to secure so-called “soft” targets such as malls, stadiums, bridges, etc. Some security experts predict that checkpoints and screening stations will eventually be established at all soft targets, such as department stores, restaurants, and schools. DHS’ Operation Shield, a program which seeks to check up on security protocols around the country with unannounced visits, conducted a surprise security exercise at the Social Security Administration building in Leesburg, Fla., when they subjected people who went to pick up their checks to random ID checks by federal agents armed with semi-automatic weapons.

Directing government workers to spy on Americans. Terrorism Liaison Officers are firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees who have received training to spy on and report back to government entities on the day-to-day activities of their fellow citizens. These individuals are authorized to report “suspicious activity” which can include such innocuous activities as taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs, and buying items in bulk.

Conducting widespread spying networks using fusion centers. Data collecting agencies spread throughout the country, aided by the National Security Agency, fusions centers—of which there are at least 78 scattered around the U.S.— constantly monitor our communications, collecting and cataloguing everything from our internet activity and web searches to text messages, phone calls and emails. This data is then fed to government agencies, which are now interconnected: the CIA to the FBI, the FBI to local police. Despite a budget estimated to be somewhere between $289 million and $1.4 billion, these fusion centers have proven to be exercises in incompetence, often producing irrelevant, useless or inappropriate intelligence, while spending millions of dollars on “flat-screen televisions, sport utility vehicles, hidden cameras and other gadgets.”

Carrying out Constitution-free border control searches. On orders from the DHS, the government’s efforts along the border have become little more than an exercise in police state power, ranging from aggressive checkpoints to the widespread use of drone technology, often used against American citizens traveling within the country. Border patrol operations occur within 100 miles of an international crossing, putting some 200 million Americans within the bounds of aggressive border patrol searches and seizures, as well as increasingly expansive drone surveillance. With 71 checkpoints found along the southwest border of the United States alone, suspicionless search and seizures on the border are rampant. Border patrol agents also search the personal electronic devices of people crossing the border without a warrant.

Funding city-wide surveillance cameras. As Charlie Savage reports for the Boston Globe, the DHS has funneled “millions of dollars to local governments nationwide for purchasing high-tech video camera networks, accelerating the rise of a ‘surveillance society’ in which the sense of freedom that stems from being anonymous in public will be lost.” These camera systems, installed on city streets, in parks and transit systems, operating in conjunction with sophisticated computer systems that boast intelligent video analytics, digital biometric identification, military-pedigree software for analyzing and predicting crime and facial recognition software, create a vast surveillance network that can target millions of innocent individuals.

Utilizing drones and other spybots. The DHS has been at the forefront of funding and deploying surveillance robots and drones for land, sea and air, including robots that resemble fish and tunnel-bots that can travel underground. Despite repeated concerns over the danger surveillance drones used domestically pose to Americans’ privacy rights, the DHS has continued to expand its fleet of Predator drones, which come equipped with video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar. DHS also loans its drones out to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for a variety of tasks, although the agency refuses to divulge any details as to how, why and in what capacity these drones are being used by police. Incredibly, the DHS has also been handing out millions of dollars in grants to local police agencies to “accelerate the adoption” of drones in their localities.

It’s not difficult to see why the DHS has been described as a “wasteful, growing, fear-mongering beast.” If it is a beast, however, it is a beast that is accelerating our nation’s transformation into a police state through its establishment of a standing army, a.k.a. national police force.

This, too, is nothing new. The Emerging American Police State, the establishment of a national police force has served as a fundamental and final building block for every totalitarian regime that has ever wreaked havoc on humanity, from Hitler’s all-too-real Nazi Germany to George Orwell’s fictional Oceania. Whether fictional or historical, however, the calling cards of these national police agencies remain the same: brutality, inhumanity, corruption, intolerance, rigidity, and bureaucracy—in other words, evil.

The Extremity of Hate Speech Legislation

by Mark David Shaw M.T.S.
Restore America Together Network
Executive National Director
Tea Party Conservatives for Freedom

mds-small

Thomas Jefferson stated:

“Well aware that the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds; that Almighty God hath created the mind free; and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do but to extend it by its influence on reason alone;” ***

When legislation crosses the border from limiting action to limiting thought, it has gone into that territory of abridging natural law.  Having a culture that desires to put limits on my opinion is so egregious to liberty I dare not keep silent.  As I have pondered this subject for the last couple weeks, I am more alarmed than ever that the society of America is becoming a willing assembly of those who would lock up a person for merely thinking, or writing, or saying something.

What Jefferson is proposing is that if the Creator who does have the power to coerce the mind does not, then where do those who would seek to control thought and speech derive their authority?  Our culture is being engineered to “think” that to think certain things should be restrained by the state.  Where does the state derive its authority to make that distinction? On what basis or upon whose opinion or thought does this idea rest?  What makes their opinion or thought superior to another?  Jefferson goes on to say;

“…that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgement, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own;”  ***

That is the fallacy of hate speech legislation. It rests upon another’s opinion.  If I, as a legislature absolutely hate the color blue and seek to ban anyone from expressing a like for that color then I have made myself that person’s tyrannical god.  Laws are meant to restrain and punish action that produced victims, not the thought that led to that action.  If a person desires to hate me, they have every right and freedom to hate me.  Where the law restrains them is in their actions of hate toward me, not their words.  Oh they can call me names but they do not cross the line until they act to abridge my liberty.  If they assault me, there is a law that I can appeal to.  If they steal from me, there is a law that I can appeal to.  If they make me a victim of their hate; if their hate harms me by depriving me of my liberty or property, I can appeal to the law.  But if they restrain their hate to their thoughts and speech, their opinions should be protected from restraint by the state.

Might their opinion be wrong?  Of course it might.  Wrong opinion does not abridge another’s liberty until it is put into action.  Their wrong opinion can be contended with by opposing opinion.  For the state to consider restraining a person’s thought is to fashion a society where the use of psychotropic drugs will be the prescription of the state rather than the physician. How else will they control my thoughts?  This is tyrannical.  To even think that I should be arrested for the public reading of my bible, staggers me to the deepest core of my being.  Face it, the state always tends toward functioning as superior guardians at all times when it is meant only to secure our rights as individuals.  The only restraint to this unrelenting trend is “We the people…”

“…and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.”  –Thomas Jefferson  ***

*** (2012-01-28). The U.S. Constitution: A Reader (p. 136). Hillsdale College Press. Kindle Edition.