Killing the Killers by Chloe Buppert

My sixteen year old daughter crafted this paper for her first college class and wanted dear old Dad to post it on his blog.  So here I will fill my filial obligation to my spirited young filly.  I am certainly opposed to the death penalty myself because I think no state should have any power to take the lives of its citizens.  It always historically abuses such a prerogative.  Chloe addresses a few other concerns.  The paper is unedited and remains the province of my precocious daughter. -BB

Killing the Killers

            The death penalty is an unprincipled, barbaric punishment that uses words such as “justice” and “retribution” to disguise a painfully vicious crime against the American people.  The risk-taking involved in giving the U.S. government such tremendous power is an unnecessary and foolish action. With large governments comes large responsibility, and that responsibility should not include choosing life and death for its citizens. The death penalty is an immoral and unjustified act of violence and greed. This disturbing law puts the government behind economically because of its ridiculously high cost and politically with its outdated, barbaric act of violence. With such high numbers of convictions, the risk of innocent executions is higher. The common mindset among jurors, a premeditated assumption of guilt, leaves the accused, whether innocent or guilty, without a chance. The death penalty is wrong because it is illogical, immoral, and prejudicial.

The Corruptions of Capital Punishment

            There are many faults with the death penalty. Its illogical standpoint results in numerous malfunctions; its immoral mindset teaches Americans that life is undervalued and that the government has the power to take it away if they so desire. The last flaw of the death penalty is its prejudicial view that creates the risk of innocent executions. With its many flaws the death penalty has no reason to exist.

The largest flaw of the death penalty is its illogicality. Though it was thought that the death penalty deterred crime, a recent study proves otherwise. A study done by the Death Penalty Information Center in 1995, says that murderers thinking of  future consequences is 82% inaccurate and the death penalty significantly reducing the number of homicides is 67% inaccurate (“Dispelling the Myths”). If the death penalty is meant to deter crime, and it doesn’t, why does the U.S. still have the death penalty?

Its cost system is nowhere near effective. A study done by the United States Kansas Legislative Post Audit in 2003 discovered that the cost of death penalty cases were 70% more than the cost of the non-death penalty cases, the study also found that the median legal cost of the death penalty cases was $1.26 million whereas the median legal cost of the non-death penalty cases was $740,000 (qtd. in United States. Dept. of Public Advocacy). It puts the United States behind socially, making its politicians seem behind the times. Lastly, by claiming death solves death, they have a clear misunderstanding of the simplest logic.

The U.S. death penalty is a painfully immoral and unjustified act. No matter the opinion, it is common knowledge that morals are extremely strict; many search for the gray areas, but right and wrong are clear. It is wrong to steal a cookie from the jar, it is right to leave the cookie in the jar. It is wrong to kill someone, it is right to let them live. Morals are really to the point. Death, crime, and killing are much more complicated than the intense decision to eat the cookie, or not to eat the cookie. Yet morals are simple, they are the natural instinct, one’s religion, the voice in one’s head called a conscience, it is called many things in many countries and cultures, but everyone knows since they were a small child that killing someone is wrong. So why does the U.S. do it?

Last, but certainly not least, the death penalty is prejudicial. In 1990, twenty-eight studies done by the United States Government Accountability Office show that in 82% of the studies, the victim’s race influenced the likelihood of the defendant being charged with murder or receiving the death penalty, making black men more likely to get convicted than white men. With racism being a sensitive subject, this gives the United States political system a bad image. The death penalty continues to give itself a bad image by executing the mentally insane and handicapped. For example: Robert Moormann was executed at the old age of 63, despite his history of mental illness which was proven by a psychologist (Zennie and Boyle). This outdated, cruel state of mind, affects many people negatively, making the men of the United States government look incapable of clear judgment.

The United States Façade Should Be Finished

            Any remaining states in the United States should have the death penalty abolished. The cons far outweigh the pros, making for a weak argument. The death penalty has adverse effects, making the law abiding citizens more fearful than their criminal counterparts, the United States government is using it as a play of power rather than a justified act for the American people. Therefore the death penalty should be abolished.

The Frustratingly Factitious Favoring Facet

On the pro death penalty side of the table, many claim that the death penalty deters crime. Though that would be a justified reason for the death penalty, that theory is inaccurate. As mentioned before, a study done by the Death Penalty Information Center in 1995, says that murderers thinking of the future consequences is 82% inaccurate and the death penalty significantly reducing the number of homicides is 67% inaccurate (“Dispelling the Myths”). With that being the case, the death penalty is unnecessary, like an animal trap that works on every animal except the one the hunter is after.

Another case the pro death penalty side argues is that the death penalty is a perfectly moral act. Journalists who prey on the fear of buyers, put the American people into a craze, fearful of the ever looming death that journalists so excitedly describe. When driven into their natural survival state, people tend to become protective of themselves, as well as others. In this state they see things differently. Since they are entranced in their survival mode, they feel the need to kill the killers to ensure their survival. Though in theory, eliminating the threat makes you safe, as mentioned before, the death penalty does not deter future crimes, and in all practicality there are too many threatening people to get them all, whether the death penalty was actually successful or not. So when the people are in this crazed survival state they find it perfectly justifiable and moral to eliminate the threats upon themselves and their loved ones. Yet can two wrongs make a right? By stating someone has morals and is pro-death penalty, at least one lie is being told. One who has morals cannot possibly choose death for another person. Having morals means doing the right more difficult thing, and considering others before oneself, therefore morally whether they care about the person or not, they cannot justify letting them die.

The last point that the pro side argues quite passionately, is the emotional relief it brings, that it will be relieving to the victims’ families and an act of justice. This more illogical aspect of the pro death penalty side is one that appeals too many, due to death being such an emotional act. Death is fascinating to most, they consider how painful it would be to die, questions of an afterlife, and who would care if they were left behind. “What will happen when I die?” is one of life’s most common questions. Yet what they do not ask is “What will happen when someone else dies?” Since the questions remain unanswered, they are subjecting someone to the unknown. The irony of it all being, they are putting someone else through unimaginable pain to protect their own emotions, when they are not going to be protected or relieved. The reality of it all is that the victim is never coming back, and they added another victim, the family of the accused. They must carry the burden of the knowledge that their family member is dead and cannot undo any of the wrong he has done. The death penalty is not an act of justice or a solution, but an immature, vengeful act to relieve emotional pain, that will never actually be relieved.

Expanding on the Endless Exactitude

            The death penalty violates one of America’s most sacred documents: The United States Constitution. The 8th amendment of the Bill of Rights states: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted,” (Madison). This is an extremely clear statement, yet it is defied deliberately by the U.S. government. Killing is both cruel and unusual, though the statement of Americans’ rights was clear, they are defied, and the U.S. government is granted the right to kill its own citizens.

The larger the program, the larger risk of error, innocent men get trapped behind bars, due to being falsely convicted.  Faulty evidence and bad representation can lead to accidental convictions. Mosi Makori, a volunteer at the Innocence Project, a non-profit organization located in the U.S. whose main purpose is to prove the innocence of the wrongly convicted, said in an interview that when the men are released it is a massive challenge for them to reconnect with the world. He continued on saying that it is rather traumatizing for them to revisit the place where they had a bad experience, and with the court system fighting the exonerated so fiercely they are forced to come back multiple times (Makori). By taking away their money, reputation, and essentially their support system, the government ends up taking everything away from them, they must not only start from scratch but they must tell future employers they have been to jail. The government ends up taking away the lives of innocent men.

With what seems to be an eternity waiting on death row and its tendency to wrongfully convict previous criminals, the death penalty is inhumane. In the interview, Makori mentioned how the system ends up targeting previously convicted men, due to the assumption of guilt. Though tigers usually do not change their stripes a previously convicted criminal will have a much harder time proving innocence, making it so past choices define his entire life. Men can sit on death row for many years before ever being executed never knowing which day will be their last. Though they did vile, cruel things, how does treating them the same way make the prison system any better? Treating them as if they were animals only reflects one’s own hidden darkness. With these barbaric actions, the United States is unnecessarily cruel and inhumane.

In modern day, racial issues are extremely common. Black men and women feel owed due to their ancestor’s pain and neglect. White men and women argue that that is not applicable due to it being in the past, and they themselves did not inflict any pain. This in turn results in American’s being conscientious of the things they say and do, afraid of being mocked or called racist. With the issue of racism being such a sensitive subject, the death penalty makes the United States political system look neglectful and outdated.

Pain upon Pain

What the accused did is not right, when they committed horrendous crimes on innocent people they caused endless pain. They created many victims. But how does adding more pain solve the problem? The U.S. ends up adding more and more pain, piling on top of the revolting pile of pain, death, and victims. Men die, that in itself is tragic. Whether they were bad or good, they died. All the death stacks up into a heaping pile of stench. There are all the victims: the family of the original victim, the family of the accused, the accidental innocent executions, the men who have to kill the criminals. It all becomes a sticky, rotting heap of pain, agony, and utter despair. The death upon death is unnecessary and gut wrenchingly painful to many, so many. How does adding hate upon hate fix hate?  How does killing the killers set an example? And how can anyone with any virtue, innocence, or empathy stand by and let more killing be done?

 

Works Cited

“Dispelling the Myths About the Usefulness of the Death Penalty.” Does Capital Punishment  Deter Crime? Ed. Stephen E. Schonebaum. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2010. At Issue. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 27 Mar. 2012.

Madison, James. The Bill of Rights. 1789. The Charters of Freedom. The Charters of Freedom. n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2012.

Makori, Mosi. Personal interview. 22 Apr. 2012.

United States. Dept. of Public Advocacy. Commonwealth of Kentucky. “ABA: The Kentucky Death Penalty Assessment Report.” Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy.            Commonwealth of Kentucky, 2003. Web. 15 Apr. 2012.

United States. Government Accountability Office. “Research Indicates Pattern of Racial            Disparities.” U.S. Government Accountability Office. U.S. Government Accountability Office, 1990. Web. 15 Apr. 2012.

Zennie, Michael, and Louise Boyle. “Arizona Executes Mentally Disabled Inmate Who             Murdered Mother After Last Meal of Hamburger, French Fries, Burritos and             Rocky Road Ice-Cream.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd, Feb. 2012. Web. 1             Mar. 2012.

 

 

The Pentagon Abides: Martial Incompetence and the Extinction of America by Bill Buppert

“Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction.”

~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Be happy that the US is spending itself into oblivion on military hardware.  The American military is a colossus in presence, spending and technology and they lack one vital feature, they cannot fight a sustained conflict anywhere.

The spending numbers are deceptive because like all the traditional US budget legerdemain, there are plenty of ways to hide military spending such as the black budgets in the intelligence community, the Department of Energy nuclear programs and the ever burgeoning budget for veterans both retired and medically enfeebled who are starting to take a greater toll on government expenditures.  This would include the aging military retiree population in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the care necessary for all the maimed and crippled soldiers returning from the failed attempt to install an American Caliphate on the Middle Eastern peoples.  When it is all added up, it appears to exceed one trillion dollars which is merely 25 percent of the total budget for the US.

As William Lind and other keen observers of the military industrial complex have observed, the US simply cannot prosecute an effective long term military conflict anywhere on Earth despite the vast resources and hundreds of military bases peppering the globe.  There are a number of explanations for this.

First, the US military is ill-suited to fight the cost effective and localist nature of most conflicts.  There are currently hundreds of small-scale insurgencies and dozens of large-scale insurgencies and revolutionary movements around the globe.  It is a large and cumbersome Second Generation warfare model although the USMC is showing signs of evolving into a genuine Third Generation warfare military engine. Excepting some special operations forces, the US is hopelessly mired in a stalled and ultimately futile effort to master Fourth Generation Warfare.  There are some who claim that if we simply unleashed the forces to maximize their homicidal urges on both combatants and civilians alike, winning in Iraq and Afghanistan could be achieved.  I would suggest that historically more restrictions on targets and surgical means to achieve military goals in these irregular warfare conflicts always give the greatest yield if victory is desired but then again victory has a different flavor in these conflicts as opposed to the WWII model that still permeates the thinking in the Pentagon and the modern US military machine.

Second, as I wrote earlier, the American military solution always involves creating large centralized governments.  This makes the bureaucratic mind purr with satisfaction.  If we can only impose a powerful police state where the state’s every wish is obeyed and they can centrally plan the entire mechanism, all will be well with the world.  From the USSR to the European Union to the current fiscal nightmare that is these United States, one can see that large central governments only guarantee ill-ordered fiscal houses, political control of the economy and concomitant extinction of individual liberty that appears to be the leading result of these central planning nightmares.  It appears that more and more folks in the developing world are watching the first world’s self immolation and economic seppuku and getting a clue.  Afghanistan, for instance, will never have a properly functioning central government because it can only have a mayor and never a unitary state.  It has an historical legacy that rightfully ignores the machinations of Kabul outside the city borders.  Western nations and their nascent revolutionary movements would be wise to crack the code on how the Afghans created this immovable resistance to central planning.  It certainly confounded the blindered Soviets in their ill-fated attempted of conquest of a country with imaginary borders such as Afghanistan.

Third, technology is never a panacea or substitute for ago old military maxims.  If you fight in urban terrain, you better have highly restrictive Rules of Engagement or the inevitable civilian maiming and killing by military operations will simply sow the seedbed of resistance and rebellion.  It will stiffen the spine of any insurgency. You can vacuum up petabytes of data but if you don’t have the human sense or critical thinking skills to make sense of the data, it becomes an expensive archival repository with limited military value.  You can create billion dollar aircraft like the F-35 or continue to improve anachronisms like aircraft carriers but you will simply spend yourself into oblivion with no military value achieved.  Drones have certainly revolutionized targeting but the inevitable civilian mayhem reaped by these airborne robot killers simply prolongs the conflict.

Fourth, the US government has a penchant to think that there is a bureaucratic solution to everything as if all problems have a solution. This is not reality.  The only way for the US to its problems in the Middle East is to get out.  There is no more viable nor elegant solution.  It could achieve the exact opposite of its consistent record of military failure in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and now Libya with spectacular military victories across the fated Arabian sands and it would still have to remain for decades or centuries because the day after its military forces departed, things would revert back to the way they have been for hundreds of years.  The law of intended consequences is especially cruel to the techno-wizards in the marble halls of the US government as their vaunted system of mob rule known as democracy metastasizes into increasingly powerful enclaves of Islamist fundamentalism in Egypt and Libya.  Even one not steeped in the art of statecraft and Machiavellian intrigue like the mandarins on Capitol Hill and the White House could have predicted that outcome.  When it comes to freedom and liberty, there are no teachable moments in DC.  They talk a good game but at the end of the day, a police state is always the answer mated to the fiscal suicide of monopoly fiat currency and the regulatory state.

The current US military menace to the globe has a half-life and it is slowly but inexorably approaching its nadir.  The US fiscal house is nearing collapse and once the inevitable economic meltdown occurs, we will be lucky to be able to buy plane tickets to get the troops home much less sustain more pointless blundering and blustering about the globe enforcing a military presence that actively destabilizes the planet and saps the lifeblood out of the host in the US mainland.

California is Greece but it has a sugar daddy in Uncle Sam…for now.  The bankrupt cities in California are simply harbingers of what America is going to look like before 2020.

Many years from now, historians are going to puzzle over the causes and effects of how the largest hyper-power in the history of humankind could extinguish itself so effectively in less than one hundred and fifty years.  All empires turn to dust over time and America will join that ash-heap soon enough.  Those same historians will wonder how a military power so rich in expenditure and technology could be so impotent in the execution of its most basic military functions after its victory in the War to Save Josef Stalin (1939-1945).

The answer is rather benign.  Not only is government and the state a doomsday machine for the hundreds of millions of victims it cages, maims and murders but over the long term, it always manages to murder itself and history is littered with the evidence of the corpses left behind.  The graveyard of empires is the very existence of the state.

“The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations.”

~Ambrose Bierce

Government is the Engine for Perverse Incentives by Bill Buppert

Manners are the lubricant of civilization and so are incentives.  Incentives, whether good or bad, make the world go ‘round.

When drugs are illegal such as the wide variety of illicit hallucinogens proscribed by the rulers in America, they don’t go away.  Prices rise in the black market attracting guerrilla entrepreneurs who emulate government in their use of violence to deliver goods and services.  After all, the government delivers its goods and service at the point of a gun.  Behind the smiling and beneficent face of Uncle Sam is a violent psychopath who will stop at nothing, even your death, to enlist your compliance and obedience.  He cannot brook opting out or refusing because most sane human beings would do the cost-benefit analysis and discover that the goods and services offered by the government are shabby, ineffective or just plain bad for their health.

So the state puts the economic and behavioral permutations of incentives on their head.  If one is a small firm owner, you go out of your way to develop customer relationships that speak to repeat business and a growing clientele of loyal customers.  One tries not to treat family members poorly as an incentive to continue to receive their love and comfort.

Incentives are a means to predict how folks will respond.  A positive incentive would be hotel loyalty programs and great customer service.  A negative incentive would be the likelihood of a burglar surviving a shopping spree on private property in my old haunts in rural northern Idaho.  Not likely.

A perverse incentive is the third way by the state.  The perverse incentive tries its best to encourage sub-optimal behavior to benefit the few at the expense of the many.  It is a means to subdue and force loyalty albeit, a false loyalty from the lash and the fetters.  Innumerable penalties and threats are the lion’s share that leads to the well-trodden path of the statist ladder of obedience – threatening, fining, kidnapping, caging, maiming and killing.

Who in their right mind at the individual level would overspend, always seek a higher credit line, reduced payments and insist that the risks be socialized to their neighbors but all profits be granted to them?  No normal human could achieve this yet that is what the state does with their fiscal house.

Who in their right mind would insist that certain naturally occurring substances must not only be banned but penalized in a fashion that would triple the size of Stalin’s political and criminal gulags at the height of Soviet power in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Who in their right mind would engage in a protracted and bloody military campaign in their neighborhood on ALL their neighbors to wage war to right a slight by a single malicious blackguard in the community?

America would and does.

Throughout history, governments have pioneered the perverse incentive.  They blackened the good and stymied progress at every turn.  One of my friends claims that the solar system would be colonized by now if the government dysfunctions and pathologies that have enslaved billions and murdered millions had not existed.  Hyperbole, to be sure, but illustrative nonetheless.

Imagine a world where the advancement of civilization is embraced and punishment is viewed as not only punitive but barbaric.

Imagine a world without government.

 

 

Happy Dependence Day! Preamble to the 1977 Soviet Constitution Slightly Modified to American Standards by Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note:  I took a stab at modifying the 1776 American Declaration of Independence to present standards of governance and cowardice and discovered that  much would be left out on the cutting floor and severe alterations to verbiage would be necessary to keep the homo sovieticus booboisie in America from filling their pants and gibbering in abject fear at the prospect of freedom with risks and costs not underwritten by their neighbors. I had to erase over half of it and wipe out any reference to any behavior absent government permission. 

The DI continues to be a masterwork of brevity and directness in its promise to sever ties and formalize a divorce.  There is no sizeable sector of America today that would even have the temerity to sign it much less live up to it.

So I scrapped that project and found a document more in keeping with the modern 21st century American mood.

Now the Soviet Constitution is something that most Americans can cotton to with the slightest modification in verbiage.  I chose the latest of three variants from 1977.  I have included a link to the original text at the bottom.  All I changed were the descriptors and none of the prospective language.

On another note, in a nation that has institutionalized theft and torture and turned it into rule and color of law, I figured the Supremes would get around to the codification of taxing inactivity which is the secret sauce in the recent ruling.  On page 193 of the infamous recent decsion, Thomas says the most important observation in all the pages of painful and obtuse totalitarian apologia for ObamugabeCare:

“As I have explained, the Court’s continued use of that test “has encouraged the Federal Government to persist in its view that the Commerce Clause has virtually no limits.” Morrison, supra, at 627. The Government’s unprecedented claim in this suit that it may regulate not only economic activity but also inactivity that substantially affects interstate commerce is a case in point.”

The majority in that decision would applaud the Soviet Constitution not that the earlier American version was any shakes when it came to liberty.

Happy Dependence Day, comrades. -BB

 

PREAMBLE to the 1977 Soviet Constitution slightly modified to American standards

The Great November Democratic Revolution, made by the workers and peasants of United States under the leadership of the US Government headed by its Presidents, overthrew capitalist and landowner rule, broke the fetters of oppression, established the dictatorship of the voter, and created the American state, a new type of state, the basic instrument for defending the gains of the revolution and for building government intervention and democracy. Humanity thereby began the epoch-making turn from capitalist to government intervention.

After achieving victory in the elections and repulsing free market intervention, the American government carried through far-reaching social and economic transformations, and put an end once and for all to exploitation of man by man, antagonisms between classes, and strive between nationalities. The unification of the American Republics in the Union of American Democratic Republics multiplied the forces and opportunities of the peoples of the country in the building of government intervention. Social ownership of the means of production and genuine democracy for the working masses were established. For the first time in the history of mankind a democratic society was created.

The strength of government intervention was vividly demonstrated by the immortal feat of the American people and their Armed Forces in achieving their historic victory in the Great Cold War. This victory consolidated the influence and international standing of the American Union and created new opportunities for growth of the forces of government intervention, national liberation, democracy, and peace throughout the world.

Continuing their creative endeavors, the working people of the American Union have ensured rapid, all-round development of the country and steady improvement of the democratic system. They have consolidated the alliance of the working class, collective-farm peasantry, and people’s intelligentsia, and friendship of the nations and nationalities of the US. Socio-political and ideological unity of American society, in which the middle class is the leading force, has been achieved. The aims of the dictatorship of the voter having been fulfilled, the American state has become a state of the whole people. The leading role of the US Government, the vanguard of all the people, has grown.

In the US a developed democratic society has been built. At this stage, when government intervention is developing on its own foundations, the creative forces of the new system and the advantages of the democratic way of life are becoming increasingly evident, and the working people are more and more widely enjoying the fruits of their great revolutionary gains.

It is a society in which powerful productive forces and progressive science and culture have been created, in which the well-being of the people is constantly rising, and more and more favourable conditions are being provided for the all-round development of the individual.

It is a society of mature democratic social relations, in which, on the basis of the drawing together of all classes and social strata and of the juridical and factual equality of all its nations and nationalities and their fraternal co-operation, a new historical community of people has been formed–the American people.

It is a society of high organisational capacity, ideological commitment, and consciousness of the working people, who are patriots and internationalists.

It is a society in which the law of life is concern of all for the good of each and concern of each for the good of all.

It is a society of true democracy, the political system of which ensures effective management of all public affairs, ever more active participation of the working people in running the state, and the combining of citizen’s real rights and freedoms with their obligations and responsibility to society.

Developed democratic society is a natural, logical stage on the road to democracy.

The supreme goal of the American state is the building of a classless democratic society in which there will be public, democratic self-government. The main aims of the people’s democratic state are: to lay the material and technical foundation of democracy, to perfect democratic social relations and transform them into democratic relations, to mould the citizen of democratic society, to raise the people’s living and cultural standards, to safeguard the country’s security, and to further the consolidation of peace and development of international co-operation.

The American people,

  • guided by the ideas of scientific democracy and true to their revolutionary traditions,
  • relying on the great social, economic, and political gains of government intervention,
  • striving for the further development of democratic democracy,
  • taking into account the international position of the US as part of the world system of government intervention, and conscious of their internationalist responsibility,
  • preserving continuity of the ideas and principles of the first American Constitution of 1791,

hereby affirm the principle so the social structure and policy of the US, and define the rights, freedoms and obligations of citizens, and the principles of the organisation of the democratic state of the whole people, and its aims, and proclaim these in this Constitution.

See the original Soviet Constitution from 1977 for the remainder.

Preamble and Constitution:  http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/russian/const/77cons01.html#I

Dressed for a Funeral by Chris Dates

What to the slave is the 4th of July?”

-Frederick Douglass

I slammed the hood shut on a car I was working on the other day, and something caught my eye. There was a sticker on the windshield that struck me as odd, and immediately I couldn’t help but notice the irony. It was a picture of the Culpeper Minutemen, and the sticker happened to be a county tax sticker.

For those who don’t know what these stickers are, they represent that you have paid the yearly tax on your private property–your vehicle. The sticker is placed on the windshield so that the King’s Men know to back off as you drive on the King’s roads-all licensed, registered, and subjugated. A sticker that is up-to-date will help to ward off unwanted attention from armed tax collectors. As one who thinks it is absurd to have to place a sticker on my vehicle to prove that I’m being an obedient subject, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud a bit when I first saw this stupid sticker.

Any Riflemen in this area knows The Culpeper Minutemen were a group of men who were formed under the same oak tree–not once, but twice to fight off centralized tyranny–and now they are immortalized on a tax stamp.

Fitting for the times we find ourselves in.

Last year I wrote an essay just before Independence Day, and I started the essay out with this quote from Frederick Douglass.

My subject, then, fellow citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave’s point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine. I do not hesitate to declare with all my soul that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July!”

This Douglass quote rings just as true today as it did for him back then.

The North Korean government claims for itself the power to tax the personal wealth of its slaves anywhere in the world; not only within their imaginary borders. There is also another government that claims to have the same power to tax beyond their arbitrary, imaginary borders. They claim they are able to flex this power until one has renounced their “citizenship”. Anyone care to take a stab at what tyrannical government might claim this power?

That’s right.

The United States Government.

Recently, the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, switched out due process with what I now call “do process”. Let me explain what that means. Instead of following due process, that is, instead of respecting all of the legal rights that are owed to a person–including the right to face one’s accuser and have their day in court–the DOJ now just has to do this process, and the Rule of Law remains intact and legitimate.

First, the U.S. government has determined, after a thorough and careful review, that the individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States; second, capture is not feasible; and third, the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles.

If they decide that–after a thorough and careful review, of course–there is sufficient evidence to show that you are an imminent threat to the United States (which means the US government), they will drop a hellfire missile on your head. This is why I say due process has been switched out for “do process”. I mean, they did something, right?  Sure, it may be arbitrary and completely contradictory to the Rule of Law–the very concept this Nation was founded on–but hey, it’s close enough for government work. If other human beings die because they just had the bad fortune of standing next to the person that was deemed to be an imminent threat, well….

That’s just part of the process.

The tyranny bubble that this government is creating will swell and pop just like any other government subsidized bubble, but first we get the pleasure of experiencing Lord Acton’s maxim of “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”, first hand. The power to tax you and kill you–without due process, anywhere on the planet–is now in the hands of scoundrels. But this Independence Day I will be in a sea of red, white, and blue rubbing shoulders with people who have no clue what is going on, or more importantly what lays just over the horizon.

I could go on and on about the enslavement and tyranny human beings are experiencing because of government-Federal, State, or local, but I’ll bet the readers of ZeroGov are fully aware of it, so I won’t waste their time. Which brings me to the point of this essay; this Independence Day, I will be sporting attire that is appropriate for a funeral: Black. I would like to see others join me in the hopes of engaging in a little bit of lite Independence Day activism. Inevitably, in the course of the day’s festivities, I will be asked why I am wearing such dark dress, and I will explain that I am dressed accordingly; I will explain that I am dressed for a funeral.

I’ve come to find that black is a much more appropriate color for myself anyway.

When exhaling carbon dioxide becomes Original Sin, democide becomes the Rapture.”

-L. Neil Smith