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140

THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 140, September 24, 2001
Cliff 'Em All!

Reflections in the Aftermath

by James J Odle
jjodle@appleisp.net

Special to TLE

Randolph Bourne once stated that, "War is the health of the state." Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, it looks as if the state is about to get a whole lot healthier. In the wake of the bombings we can expect to see a massive build-up of 'assets' within the CIA and other 'intelligence' agencies as well as the military. Look for increased 'security' at airports, border crossings, closing off of water supplies, monitoring of financial transactions via FenCen and domestic surveillance of the internet. Possibly even WWIII. What won't emerge is an increase in respect for our individual rights or freedoms. Times of crises are when people should insist on the utmost respect and 'due diligence' for their rights, Unfortunately, times of national crises always provide governments with an excuse to increase their power and dominion over us. Power that never seems to decline once the emergency is passed.

What I find most disturbing, coming from our politicians, are the cries of astonishment that acts of terrorism could happen here, on American soil. Friends, these acts are utterly predictable to anyone with anything resembling a brain. How do politicians expect to succeed in their 'profession' if they lack even the slightest understanding of human nature? Here, I'll make it very simple for you:

When you go through the world, taking sides, acting like a bully, thinking that everything under the sun is your freakin' business, sooner or later the bullied fight back. It's no more complicated than that. Period. End of discussion.

But you say, Odle, you don't know what your talking about! We're not a bunch of bullies! We are simply trying to spread democracy and freedom to the rest of the planet! Friends, the first thing we should all learn is that there is the government and then there is us. The two are not the same! We are not the government. I don't care how much they try to teach this crap in the government schools.

Governments [as well as the subdivisions thereof] are, so to speak, 'living organisms' that have agendas that benefit themselves and not necessarily us. Ask anyone who has tried to reform public education. It's time that we all learn to do our own thinking and not interpret the world through our government's self interested rose colored glasses. Here are just five groups who look upon us with something less than total brotherly love:

  • Japanese on Okinawa, where our servicemen have raped and murdered some residents. These people want us out-of-there! [The US military was expelled from the Phillipines several years ago, probably for the same reasons.]

  • Iraqi civilians where our aircraft are still protecting the 'no-fly' zone [its their freakin' country — dammit!} and dropping bombs on their heads. By the way, we're not accomplishing anything doing this, are we?

  • Palestinians who are perishing in the genocide perpetuated by the Israelis using Black Hawk helicopters and other high tech weapons sold to them by the US. They hold us partially responsible for the carnage.

  • People living in the drug producing regions south of our borders who are suffering from spraying of their crops using, once again, Black hawk helicopters, not to mention bombings, murder and other atrocities all in the name of the international War on Drugs. A war that is a complete and useless waste of time and which has only led to a police state.

  • The Kosavars and Albanians can not possibly look upon us with warmth in their hearts when our bombs fall on their heads or when they see our tanks rolling down their streets. Nor are they a bit fooled by those colorful UN insignia that our soldiers are wearing. No sir! They look upon us as an occupying army! Wouldn't you?

Quite frankly — the only thing that surprises me is that it hasn't happened before now! What took them so long?

Meanwhile, the average American seems to 'think' that if he will simply acquiesce to the increased security at the airports, that he will be safer. I can tell your right now how to defeat even these enhanced security measures, using a method that doesn't require guns or objects with sharp edges. It will also evade bomb sniffing dogs, metal detectors, luggage searches and other police state approaches. Every woman possesses the tools of the next high-jack attempt. Need a hint? Ever hear of the Boston Strangler? A woman, wearing a dress and nylon stockings, boards a plane. [Women have been known to be among the most ruthless terrorists.] At an opportune moment she slips off a stocking and grabs the nearest stewardess and wraps it around her neck and, presto, you're right back to the straight edge scenario. Or do you propose denying women their nylons, men their electric razors [they have power cords] or people their portable cassette players [think of the wires attached to the headphones]? Anyone with the slightest military training knows that it is perfectly possible to kill someone using nothing but bare hands. [Should we all 'de-hand' ourselves now?] A quick karate chop across the larynx will crush the windpipe and death occurs in four minutes. Or you can drive the sternum into the heart muscle with a quick, hard blow to the chest. [Ah, but then you wouldn't have a hostage with which to terrorize the rabble.] Do we still want to put complete, unthinking faith in the government's willingness and ability to protect us? Are we feeling any safer yet?

Earlier this year, I wrote a little article for TLE, "Constitutional Drift", in which I discussed how far we have drifted from the basic principles upon which this country was founded. We are in this mess today first because we have ignored the admonition of George Washington: "Peaceful relations with all people and entangling alliances with none." Second, for more than a century, we have indulged one president after another in the fantasy that somewhere within his job description it says that he is to "go forth and be the Leader of the Free World." Read my earlier article for an elaboration on this stupidity. In it, I stated {among many other things}:

Throughout the previous century we were led into war by one power-crazed president after another. Three have committed war crimes. {Roosevelt instigated a blockade against Japan. Bush, Sr. led us into a war against Iraq. Clinton has dropped bombs on Kosovo and an aspirin factory. Not one of these countries had attacked the US prior to our harassing them.}…How many American have lost their lives in foreign wars? How many have been injured? How many families shattered because of out-of-control presidents? Do the research and add up the numbers. I'm sure it is in the millions. {I highly recommend the anthology The Failure of America's Foreign Wars, Ed. By Richard M. Ebeling and Jacob Hornberger .... This century's wars have all been failures. That's the theme of The Failure of America's Foreign Wars.

Foreign intervention is frequently justified by saying that we have 'an interest' in what goes on 'over there.' Somehow the specific nature of this 'interest' and exactly how we became so 'interested' never seems to be examined. This is a much overused expression in politics and it is used to justify anything that the current administration wishes to do. To illustrate how ridiculous this proposition is, I have noticed many actresses over the years that I have 'an interest' in viewing in their birthday suits. [Rachel Ward in Sharky's Machine comes delightfully to mind.] It doesn't mean I have any legitimate business to do so. To give you a specific example of this kind of 'thinking,' Rush Limbaugh justified the Gulf War by saying that we had 'an interest' in maintaining the free flow of oil at 'market prices.' [Rush. Killing people is a strange way to go about getting the price we want.] If you're killing people to ensure a 'low' price then it is not 'market' pricing! Market pricing is what happens when governments are not involved! Suppose the Gulf War never took place and that we left Hussein in possession of the Kuwaiti oil fields. Hussein would then have been perfectly willing to sell the oil to us as we are the biggest consumer on the planet and no one turns his back when serious cash is at stake. Even if he had raised the price a few cents, this then would have been the new 'market price' and a new point of equilibrium would have been reached.

Had our government not involved itself in Middle Eastern affairs, taking sides with and arming Israel against the Palestinians, the New York terrorist attacks would have never happened as Bin Laden and others would not have been motivated to attack us! We have not experienced a 'War on Freedom' as the politicos have been proclaiming, but a retaliation for our government's interference in other people's affairs. [Besides our own government is the biggest threat to our freedom.] Face the facts. Politicians are full of themselves. They love to prance before each other on the world stage and the media, filled with unjustifiable self importance, believing that they possesses some special wisdom and abilities that are unavailable to the rest of us mere mortals and war and oppression are the natural consequences of this kind of mentality. {Get out of the road little puppy and let us big dogs roll!}

Third, for approximately 150 years children have been compelled to attend government schools where they are taught dependency upon and subservience toward government. In Bootie Zimmer's Choice, a speech delivered to the Conference on Private Initiatives in Education, {November 13-14, 1992} New York State teacher of the year John Taylor Gatto had this to say:

By 1889, a little over one hundred years ago, the crop was ready for harvest. In that year the U.S. Commissioner of Education, William Harris, assured a railroad magnate, Collis Huntington, that American schools were "scientifically designed" to prevent "over-education" from happening. Harris is dead now, so we can't ask him what he meant by "over-education", but we can make a shrewd guess because Mr. Harris was among the leading German scholars in the nation. The average American would be content with his humble role in life, said the Commissioner, because he would not be tempted to think about any other role. My guess is that Harris meant he would not be able to 'think' about any other role.

In 1896 the famous John Dewey, then at the University of Chicago, said that independent, self-reliant people were a counter-productive anachronism in the collective society of the future. In modern society, said Dewey, people would be defined by their associations — the groups they belonged to — not by their own individual accomplishments. In such a world people who read too well or too early are dangerous because they become privately empowered, they know too much, and know how to find out what they don't know by themselves, without consulting experts. Dewey said the great mistake of traditional pedagogy was to make reading and writing constitute the bulk of early schoolwork.

Earlier in the same speech, he had this to say:

So the world got compulsion schooling at the end of a state bayonet for the first time in human history; modern forced schooling started in Prussia in 1819 with a clear vision of what centralized schools could deliver:

Obedient soldiers to the Army.
Obedient workers to the mines.
Well subordinated civil servants to government.
Well subordinated clerks to industry.
Citizens who thought alike about major issues.

Judging from the quality of the 'thinking' taking place, public education has been an enormous success. The public schools have accomplished the goals for which they are designed. They have successfully dumbed down the American people. Similarly, the great libertarian sci-fi author, Robert A. Heinlein, stated in "Expanded Universe", that the public schools "do not produce organisms worthy of survival."

As a consequence, once again our friends and neighbors, perhaps even ourselves will march off like a bunch of damn robots to fight an avoidable war the politicians have cooked up for them. For this reason alone [and many others], public education can only be described as 'child abuse.'

At Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto is reported to have said, "We have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve." This is quite true. But the real question is: When this is all over and done with [if it is ever over and done with], will we Americans learn anything? After every major war there have always been these glorious pronouncements that "Never again!" will we see our fellow Americans march off to fight. "Never again!" will we see our fellow Americans arriving at Dover Air Force Base in body bags. Yet, somehow no matter which political party seems to be in power, they manage to find another war to fight. Look back over the last century. Was there a single ten year period when Americans were not called upon to shed blood? 1900-1910 perhaps? Bloodshed is the price of empire and when you station troops in more than 100 countries around the world, where they don't belong, you have an empire. Whether it is intended to be that or not.

Finally consider this. Switzerland has lived at peace with the world for over 700 years. Perhaps, they have something to teach us.

{I have the essay "Bootie Zimmer's Choice" available in Acrobat format for anyone interested. Unfortunately, our esteemed editor can't publish it, unless someone knows how to obtain clearance from John Taylor Gatto. Let me know and I'll e-mail it to you.}



James J. Odle is a splendid fellow who, unlike the vast majority of so-called 'public servants' has a real job in the private sector performing real work which a real employer voluntarily pays him to perform. He is also a Life Member of Gun Owners of America.


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