L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 277, June 27, 2004
"...the traffic jam at the spaceport..."
Somebody Please Wake Me Up
Exclusive to TLE
I'm having a really bad trip.
The events of the past few weeks lead me to believe that I'm having a bad acid flashback the likes of which Timothy Leary never experienced. The only trouble is, the drug the government is pushing down my throat is, well, government. It's been well established that Cheyney, Ashcroft, and Ridge, Tyrants At Law, want to keep USA PATRIOT in force beyond the sunset date. But that doesn't seem to be good enough for them anymore.
On Monday we learned that John Ashcroft's office managed to play the terrorism card successfully before the Supreme Court a month ago, which bodes ill for any attempt to challenge the provisions of USA PATRIOT in the future. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court granted the largest expansion of police power since Terry v Ohio. No longer can a person refuse a police order to produce identification in the twenty states with such laws. A law enforcement officer can now walk up to you out of the blue and demand that you identify yourself. If you can not or will not, you will be arrested and tossed in a hole filled with real (or imagined) criminals. You will end up with a conviction record that might be used later to confiscate your firearms or anything else the government deems not suited for a jailbird. Never mind that you weren't doing anything wrong, you now can be required to identify yourself for any reason or for no reason. It seems to me there are 5 people who need to be impeached and removed from the bench before they do any more damage. This for durn sure isn't the "good behavior" I have in mind for the members of our highest court, but I'm not holding my breath.
The worst part is, this power isn't going to help Homeland Security (which I still say sounds better in the Original German) catch one single terrorist. Any terrorist worth his salt is going to have all the proper cards and papers to satisfy our gestapo and convince them "these aren't the 'droids you're looking for, move along." How many times did the police stop and release the beltway snipers? On the other hand, this is the perfect tool for harassing political demonstrations or preventing people from protesting government excesses or distributing literature the police in question (or the people who sign their paychecks) don't like. Unlike the government "no-fly" list and other more subtle tools of oppression, this gives the "street justice" advocates in law enforcement an immediate and overwhelming punishment tactic. Far fetched, you say? Well, Senator Lautenberg claims his anti-RAVE act wasn't intended to halt a NORML fund-raiser in Montana and put the organizer in jail for violating probation, but a Jack-Booted Thug out of the US Marshal's office did exactly that and he's still breathing. Not to mention walking around the midwest with a badge and gun when at the very least he should be spending the next couple of years as some lifer's sperm receptacle.
This SCOTUS decision dovetails nicely with the little STAZI wannabes running the transit system in the Boston megopolis. In violation of the 4th, 5th and probably 14th amendments, transit police now have the authority to make "random" stops and searches of commuters. That's right, the people who wouldn't let Poor Charley off now can toss people off the train or bus and into jail if they object to officers pawing through their ham sandwich with their dirty, snot-covered fingers. The fact that terrorists are unlikely to be carrying ham sandwiches in the first place is quite beside the point. I guarantee this trial balloon will soon be seen elsewhere. In fact, there are plans in the works to make AMTRAK stations more like airports, including body-cavity searches and surly TSA goons. Stay tuned.
But the one news item that almost made me drop a load in my shorts was Bush's proposal to "encourage" 65 million people to have their mental health evaluated and be put on psychotropic medications "if appropriate." One could almost see the arm of Eli-Lilly's CEO coming out of the presidential anus as the hand worked the controls, but there's a lot more to this than the profitability of pharmaceutical companies at stake here. Right now such mental health screening are 'encouraged' which implies that they are voluntary. How long will it be before certain groups will be forced to endure such screenings? Anyone who owns a firearm, for example? Anyone who registers to vote as a member of any party other than the Boot On Your Neck party? Anyone who is tied to publications the government doesn't like, such as TLE? As I recall, the Soviet Union had a program like this. Anyone who didn't agree with The Party like obviously had "mental problems" and needed to be "helped" right into special gulags where they were tortured with all sorts of devices and chemicals. Bush's plan sounds a lot like a precursor to a similar program here to suppress thoughtcrime.
Hoo boy. This trip makes LSD feel like aspirin and I can't take it anymore. Can someone score me about three amps of Narcan™?
The Simon Jester Project