L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 185, August 5, 2002
EVEN IF THE JUDGE HAS A FIT, YOU MUST ACQUIT
Tips, and Tactical Timing
Exclusive to TLE
"The 1992 ordinance had required police to order any group of people standing around 'with no apparent purpose' to move along if an officer believed at least one of them belonged to a street gang."
Yes, liberty does seem to be lost, as Ashcroft claims, or nearly so. No doubt the Reichsmarshall would like us to believe that battle is over so that we'll stop fighting him. It's happening piecemeal, and started generations ago. In the common freedom analogy, we're being boiled slowly. (Has anyone actually done that to a frog? It strikes me as unlikely in the extreme that it would work that way.)
But I don't plan to go down without a fight. The question is, when is it time to fight?
TIPS may give you a tip.
The Terrorist Information and Protection System is Herr Ashcroft's current attempt to inflict an East German-style State Intelligence Service upon America. His intent is to recruit private citizen-spies who might already have some excuse to enter your home or neighborhood, and use them as covert surveillance agents to watch you and inform on you should you be foolish enough to commit any lawful act which Der Fuhrer, Der Reichsmarshall, or their General Staff might find convenient to consider to be anti-People's Police State in sentiment.
Ashcroft wants millions of STASI informants to watch you.
Why It's Wrong
In an actual free land, this should be a no-brainer. Regrettably, far too many American serfs have been conditioned to shut up and obey orders unquestioningly. So let's look at a few reasons why TIPS must never happen here.
For the Constitutionally-inclined: The now-defunct US Constitution specifically forbade the federal government to do anything it was not explicitly empowered to do by the Constitution. I fail to see the authorization for a secret horde of domestic spies to watch their neighbors. I do see a Fourth Amendment ban on warrantless searches, which any honorable and sane person would recognize rules out clandestine scans of your house on behalf of the American Police State by your appliance repairman.
Even if you see no need for a working Constitution, perhaps you have faith in the will of Congress to protect you: Too bad! While US House passed a bill authorizing the Homeland Security Administration, for once they had the balls to specifically rule out the establishment of TIPS. But the bill is now in limbo with the Senate tabling it until after their August recess, leaving the way open for the Injustice Department to continue with TIPS (intentionally, I have no doubt). Not that it really mattered, since that power-grabbing lunatic Fuhrer Dubya had threatened to veto any HS bill that limited his ability to seize such unconstitutional, dictatorial powers. Even so, an honorable national citizen, which Ashcroft can't even fake, would see Congressional intent coupled with the above-mentioned lack of Constitutionality and scrap the whole thing now. On those now rare occasions when Congress demonstrates cojones to partially oppose the People's Police State, the Reich General Staff simply ignores it.
More to the point, the whole concept is sick: It takes an insecure, egomaniacal, paranoid snoop to feel driven to spy upon his neighbors for signs of legal behavior of which he personally disapproves; if it was illegal, he could simply call the cops and be done with it. There are already mechanisms in place to control that, ranging from dropping a nickel on 'im to making a citizen's arrest. TIPS is about spotting legal behavior that frightens paranoid control freaks.
And it's presently based upon a lie or inefficient stupidity, you tell me which: Ashcroft claims that no TIPS database will be established to correlate the information reported through the TIPS network or to the hotline. What then does he plan to do with it? Give it to the FBI so that they can ignore it like they did real terroristic warnings of 9-11? Or create a secret database for his own use and abuse?
So What's To Be Done?
Some groups - like the ACLU - would sue to stop it. Let them, as just one barrage against the evil. Brad Templeton has suggested a "TIPS- TIPS" (www.all-the-other-names-were-taken.com/tipstips.html) to track informers and scare off employers who might accede to their employees donning Ashcroft-issued jackboots. I'm certainly in favor of that, too.
I have two more suggestions.
1) Shunning: This extends from Templeton's suggested letters to companies likely to have their employees co-opted as TIPS spies, and tagging (for ID) of spies. It should be expanded to absolute shunning by individuals of TIPS/STASI spies. Don't socialize with the scum. In bars, move away and refuse to speak with one. Bartenders should fail to see a TIPS snoop. Grocers should experience cash register "failures" when a spy wants to buy so much as a penny Tootsie Roll. Don't see a TIPSter when walking down the street. Yeah, the bastards' feelings will be hurt, and they'll probably report you, but odds are they would have anyway; these are low self-esteem folks with a grudge against the world. If the STASI is going to start a file on you, you might as well have fun with it.
2) Action: TIPS is a NAP violation; defend yourself by making it difficult, or even impossible, for TIPSters to operate. Spike tires. Sugar gas. Cut phone lines. Kill electricity. Lose mail. All covertly, of course.
Overtly, when you catch a TIPSter in action in your home or business, have him arrested for trespassing and any other crime you can think of. If he's gotten into your files, call it industrial spying. File civil suits for privacy violations and other rights violations. If a TIPSter/cable guy wanders into a room where he has no business, arrest him for trespass and suspected theft. Bankrupt him with legal challenges.
If a TIPSter is found snooping on your property without your permission or any other possible legal reason (a cable guy, when you don't have cable, or after normal hours when there is no cable emergency) consider shooting the bastards. Finally.
Perhaps like-minded neighbors should consider pooling their cash for a backhoe, and lots of canvas and quicklime.
All this sounds a little extreme? Bear in mind that I'm asking a general question: When is it time to fight? If you're rational and love freedom, TIPS should be your camel's final straw. TIPS informants are spies, snoops sent to hound honest people instead of known terrorists and criminals. The very actions - such as owning and practicing with firearms - that may allow you to someday fight, assuming you ever decide it's necessary and right, are the actions that these citizen-spies are likely to be reporting. If you don't stop TIPS, TIPS may stop you.
In the best of peaceful times, these TIPSters are criminals. They are not police acting within some vague gov-mandate. They are private citizen-thugs illegally recruited to conduct unconstitutional searches. The use of anonymous hotlines even precludes your supposedly Constitutional right to face your accuser. Use whatever force you believe is acceptable to stop criminal activity.
Alternately, your supposed-constitutional gov has officially staged a coup, overthrown your wimpy constitution, and declared all of you citizens guilty of unspecified crimes until proven innocent. You are subject to official gov attack without notice at any time, survivors to be held incommunicado as "war criminals"; even though your Congress has yet to declare war - under your Constitution's Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11, only Congress can do that; egomania and delusions of grandeur do not confer that sick power upon the Prez - Der Fuhrer has suspended habeas corpus without even the dubious authority of the governmentally inconvenient Constitution.
In short, the gov appears to have declared war on the American people. Don't let it be unilateral. If gov has declared war against you, then defending yourself is no act of aggression. And to meekly submit to abuses that Orwell's Big Brother would have envied, that Soviet- controlled East Germany never quite achieved, that Hitler actually implemented, is stupid and suicidal.
Claire Wolfe said in the introduction to "101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution" that, "America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." Still more people have noted that morally it's more than past time to start shooting, but tactically it's still unwise. The tactical timing is the question of the moment.
Perhaps the folks who maintain that it's not yet time are correct. On the other hand, is it tactically wise to hold fire until your neck vertebrae are already crushed to a splinters beneath Fuhrer Dubya's and Reichsmarshall Ashcroft's jackboots?
It isn't good tactics to assume that Dubya's Fourth Reich will apologize and go away because you shake a finger at them and say, "Shame on you!"
It isn't good tactics to meekly "Baaah!" as you're sheared of wool and butchered for mutton.
It isn't good tactics to refuse to fight except when overwhelming, zero-casualty success is guaranteed.
But sometimes it is good tactics to take a chance on winning. While you can.
"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say goodbye to his family?"
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