Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Governments use fear to sabotage liberties

I have always wondered why people seem so impressed by the line "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself".  It has always seemed to me to be both glib and utter BS.  So it is interesting to see it put into context below-  JR

"[F]irst of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory"

Many people will recognize these as the words of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After taking the oath of office on Saturday, March 4, 1933, Roosevelt delivered his inaugural address, containing the now famous line. In his speech, the President spoke to a crowd in the early throws of the Great Depression. High unemployment and an uncertain future had many Americans wondering, “What’s next?”

My late grandfather was 21 at this time, the only one in his family with a job, making a small wage—even for the time. Put simply, this experience would impact him for the rest of his life.

He was reluctant to throw anything away or buy anything new. In fact, he didn’t like to spend money if he could avoid it and saved all that he could. He had a lifelong distrust of the stock market and banks. In 1999, at the height of the Y2K scare, my grandfather withdrew some five figures from his bank and stashed it in his house. (Upon learning this, my mother and my aunt managed to convince him that the bank was in fact a safe place for his savings, and he re-deposited the money in his account.)

The fact of the matter is that my grandfather wanted to make sure he could provide for his family (and he did). As much as I hate to think of it this way—I think my grandfather was afraid. He was afraid of once again being in a position of having practically nothing, of being that 21 year old kid and knowing that, if he lost his job, his family was in trouble.

In reading FDR’s speech, in hearing his discussion about fear, I think about my grandfather.

I also think about the complete and utter—uh, bologna—contained in FDR’s famous address.

I’m referring to the President’s attempt to discourage fear among U.S. citizens. The fact is, FDR, like members of government before and after him, thrived on fear to push his agenda. Government uses fear as a means to expand the scale and scope of its power in unprecedented ways. FDR is their poster child.

As Robert Higgs has discussed, the growth and maintenance of government requires fear on the part of U.S. citizens. Fear means people will clamor for the government to “do something” to assuage their anxiety. As a result, the government steps in to supposedly provide a remedy. He states:

 [Governments] exploit it [fear], and they cultivate it. Whether they compose a warfare state or a welfare state, they depend on fear to secure popular submission, compliance with official dictates, affirmative cooperation with the state’s enterprises and adventures.

Fear is useful for government actors for two distinct but related reasons. First, fear has a “neutralizing” effect on citizens. If someone is afraid of X, for example, they are more likely to tolerate, or even demand expansions in state activities to control or eliminate X. This includes the use of methods, which, under other circumstances, would not be tolerable.

Second, those working within and with the state to provide security and defense (i.e., government actors or private contractors, etc.) will actively look to promote people’s fear and exploit it for their own personal advantage.

Examples of this abound. FDR, despite his message of “freedom from fear,” cultivated fear throughout his presidency and set the stage for future executives to do the same. On March 6, 1933, President Roosevelt issued Proclamation No. 2039 and declared a state of emergency in the U.S. (it was continued by Proclamation No. 2040 on March 9, 1933). Over the next several years, FDR would push through some of the worst policies in U.S. history (despite what your high school civics teacher told you).

These proclamations have become a staple of U.S. presidencies since this time. They grant the President hundreds of powers normally reserved for the Congress. Patrick Thronson, a J.D. candidate at University of Michigan Law School, identified at least 160 laws that immediately expand the President’s authority to act during an “emergency.”

Since 1976, 53 states of emergency have been declared, not counting those issued in the wake of natural disasters. Most of these orders remain in effect, including the one issued by President Roosevelt—in 1933.

Clinton enacted states of emergency in 1995 and 1998. President Bush continued these orders, and he added a healthy crop of his own. Not to be outdone by his predecessors, Obama continued both Clinton AND Bush’s declarations, while adding his own. In fact, Obama has issued or continued a state of emergency regarding terrorism in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

The result of these declarations is disastrous for civil liberties. These orders, all “necessary” in the face of crisis, allow the President to freeze an individual’s assets, confiscate private property, and limit trade. These directives can force retired veterans into military service, and allow for unlimited, secret patents for the military. In some cases, these laws allow the suspension of Habeas Corpus, meaning that the President can arrest, imprison, and detain individuals without review.

Fear is a powerful tool. This is not only well-known by those in positions of power, but exploited. Just like a child makes a parent check under his bed for the monster, U.S. citizens, out of fear, have called upon their elected leaders to be “proactive” against monsters like “drugs” and “terrorism.” Except, while a parent encourages teaches her child to reason, to not fear his imagination, the government tells the child the monster is not only real, but has friends. At any moment, these friends are going to come from under the bed, the closet, and the bedroom door to devour you. Unless, of course, Big Brother steps in to save you.



We Can Deport 11 Million Illegal Aliens

The Obama Administration, Jeb Bush, John McCain, Lindsay Graham and the media's take on why Congress needs to enact "comprehensive immigration reform" is that it's impossible to deport the 11 million plus illegal aliens here, or as the president calls them, "Americans in waiting."

Of course, it's possible. The notion that this country can't find these people is simply ridiculous. Here's why.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are over 461,000 local, county, and State law enforcement officers in the country. There are also about 120,000 federal law enforcement agents. If Congress gave state and local police officers the authority to enforce federal immigration laws, most of the 11 million illegal aliens could be identified and deported in about a year. Let's do the math.

I'll round down to not count about 61,000 State and local officers who are probably managers, sheriffs or chiefs of police. Eleven million divided by the remaining 400,000 is 27.5. That's the number each law enforcement officer, on average, would have to apprehend to get to the 11 million goal. It's been my experience that uniformed police officers and sheriff's deputies encounter an illegal alien at least one a week, or often daily, during his or her normal work day. Most of those encounters result in the illegal alien's arrest for drunk driving or crimes such as shoplifting, drinking in public, vandalism, domestic violence, hit and run accidents, peace disturbance, driving without a license, drug possession and the like. Without even trying, an average uniform police officer will run across an illegal alien at least 52 times a year, based on my theory that they encounter illegals at least once a week. If all 400,000 police officers arrested just one illegal alien a week for a year, more than 20 million illegals could be identified and deported, far exceeding the estimated 11 million that are here.

The real challenge is to locate the estimated 40 percent of illegal aliens that have overstayed their visas. That's where the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and other federal agents could concentrate their efforts.

In places where there are large numbers of illegal aliens such as in Los Angeles County, police encounter illegal aliens far more often than the police in say, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. According to the Los Angeles Times, L.A. is the "hit and run capital of the nation." Nearly half of the 40,000 traffic accidents reported in Los Angeles were hit and runs, well above the national average, according to the LAPD. I'd estimate that nearly all the hit and runs in Los Angeles were committed by illegal aliens who have no drivers license, no insurance, and fear they'll be deported. But, illegal aliens flourish where municipalities, such as Los Angeles, declare themselves "sanctuary cities" and won't allow their police officers to cooperate with immigration authorities. That needs to change. Congress should hold back federal funding to these cities until they stop running interference for illegal aliens.

Where I live in Monterey County, California, the largest industry besides tourism is agriculture. The National Agricultural Workers Survey estimates that 48 percent of farm workers in the country have no legal status. Mexican-American Cesar Chavez, the founder of the United Farm Workers, was very vocal about not hiring illegal aliens for farm work because it undermined the wages of legal immigrants and American Citizens. If there are not enough American workers available to plant and harvest the Salinas Valley, why not fill the void by allowing farmers to hire non-violent, volunteer state prisoners, at minimum wage, and pay for their correctional officer escorts. Paying these prisoners minimum wage would give them the ability to pay any court ordered restitution to their victims and provide them a nest egg for when they are eventually released.

Since California and other states have prison overpopulation problems, why not let convicted illegal aliens do their time in their home countries? About 30 percent of all federal prisoners are illegal aliens.

Altogether, federal, state and local governments spend about $338 billion dollars a year on illegal aliens. I think that money could be better spent on other things.

None of what I'm suggesting will happen during this current Administration. The U.S. immigration system isn't broken, it's being ignored. The country needs to get a handle on illegal immigration before promoting legal immigration, with very few exceptions.

Securing the southern border while deporting illegal aliens will go a long way in freeing up jobs, reducing crime, enhancing public education, reducing disease, and providing security for American Citizens.

We need a leader to take action so the rule of law and quality of life for American Citizens can be restored.



You can live longer if you don't have kids (?)

The report below is another example of the old human dream that you can improve your lifespan by choosing what you put in your mouth.  The research is however a rodent study and relies therefore on the fairly ludicrous proposition that you can make generalizations about lifespan from how a short-lived creature like a mouse responds to how a long-lived creature like a human being responds.  Needless to say, most rodent/man generalizations fail

It may be possible to live longer and increase fertility by manipulating diet, according to world-first research in mice from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centreand ANZAC Research Institute.

Researchers showed for the first time in mammals that there is an ideal balance of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) for reproduction and another, different ideal balance for increasing lifespan.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), calls into question the long-standing theory that animals are forced to trade-off between reproduction and longevity when resources are limited. According to the researchers, it is possible to manage diet at different life stages to both optimise fertility and extend lifespan, rather than sacrificing either.

"This study takes a very big step in explaining why trade-offs between reproduction and longevity are not inevitable in mammals," said Dr Samantha Solon-Biet from the Charles Perkins Centre, who co-led the research with Dr Kirsty Walters from the ANZAC Research Institute.

"Rather than a trade-off, we now know that each evolutionary function has different nutrient requirements. That means that as our nutrient requirements change with our life stage, we can change our diet to suit our current requirements, for example by increasing our protein to carbohydrate ratio when in our reproductive prime and lifting our carbohydrate to protein ratio in later life.

"Animals don't have to choose between high fertility and a long life. By managing diet throughout our life cycle, we can have both."

The findings open the door for the development of dietary treatments for infertility in humans.

"As the findings based on insects are now shown to be true in mammals, we are hopeful that they will be equally true in humans," said Dr Solon-Biet.

"As women increasingly delay child-bearing, the demand for assisted reproductive technologies increases. With further studies, it's possible that instead of women with subfertility resorting immediately to invasive IVF techniques, an alternative strategy may be developed to change the ratio of dietary macronutrients to improve female fertility. This would avoid the need for medical intervention, except in the most severe cases."

The study is the most comprehensive nutritional trial ever conducted in mammals exploring the relationship between macronutrients, reproduction and lifespan.

Researchers placed 858 mice on one of 25 ad-libitum diets with varying levels of protein, carbohydrate, fat and energy content. At 15 months, they measured the male and female mice for reproductive function. In both male and female mice, they found that lifespan was enhanced on a high carbohydrate, low protein diet, and reproduction was enhanced on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog

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