Monday, September 20, 2010

Mao's Great Leap Forward 'killed 45 million in four years'

Hi, my friends!  I haven't disappeared from the face of the earth, but I am taking a break from blogging.  I am working on a book and my goal is to finish it as soon as possible. 

But in the meantime, here is an article on Chinese Communism.  This isn't meant to give you nightmares, but to be honest about the fruits of Communism.

Arifa Akbar
September 17, 2010
The Independent

Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China, qualifies as the greatest mass murderer in world history, an expert who had unprecedented access to official Communist Party archives said yesterday.
Speaking at The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival, Frank Dikötter, a Hong Kong-based historian, said he found that during the time that Mao was enforcing the Great Leap Forward in 1958, in an effort to catch up with the economy of the Western world, he was responsible for overseeing "one of the worst catastrophes the world has ever known". 

Mr Dikötter, who has been studying Chinese rural history from 1958 to 1962, when the nation was facing a famine, compared the systematic torture, brutality, starvation and killing of Chinese peasants to the Second World War in its magnitude. At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years; the worldwide death toll of the Second World War was 55 million. 

Mr Dikötter is the only author to have delved into the Chinese archives since they were reopened four years ago. He argued that this devastating period of history – which has until now remained hidden – has international resonance. "It ranks alongside the gulags and the Holocaust as one of the three greatest events of the 20th century.... It was like [the Cambodian communist dictator] Pol Pot's genocide multiplied 20 times over," he said. 

Between 1958 and 1962, a war raged between the peasants and the state; it was a period when a third of all homes in China were destroyed to produce fertiliser and when the nation descended into famine and starvation, Mr Dikötter said. 

His book, Mao's Great Famine; The Story of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, reveals that while this is a part of history that has been "quite forgotten" in the official memory of the People's Republic of China, there was a "staggering degree of violence" that was, remarkably, carefully catalogued in Public Security Bureau reports, which featured among the provincial archives he studied. In them, he found that the members of the rural farming communities were seen by the Party merely as "digits", or a faceless workforce. For those who committed any acts of disobedience, however minor, the punishments were huge. 

State retribution for tiny thefts, such as stealing a potato, even by a child, would include being tied up and thrown into a pond; parents were forced to bury their children alive or were doused in excrement and urine, others were set alight, or had a nose or ear cut off. One record shows how a man was branded with hot metal. People were forced to work naked in the middle of winter; 80 per cent of all the villagers in one region of a quarter of a million Chinese were banned from the official canteen because they were too old or ill to be effective workers, so were deliberately starved to death. 

Mr Dikötter said that he was once again examining the Party's archives for his next book, The Tragedy of Liberation, which will deal with the bloody advent of Communism in China from 1944 to 1957.
He said the archives were already illuminating the extent of the atrocities of the period; one piece of evidence revealed that 13,000 opponents of the new regime were killed in one region alone, in just three weeks. "We know the outline of what went on but I will be looking into precisely what happened in this period, how it happened, and the human experiences behind the history," he said. 

Mr Dikötter, who teaches at the University of Hong Kong, said while it was difficult for any historian in China to write books that are critical of Mao, he felt he could not collude with the "conspiracy of silence" in what the Chinese rural community had suffered in recent history.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Signpost 14 -- It's Good to Be King??

  "There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates." (Baron de Montesquieu)

 So we are finally down to the 14th and final Signpost to Slavery. It's been a long road, and an enlightening one if only for me personally!  So here it is, Signpost 14:

14. Any attempt to make a new major law by executive decree. 

 Pro's and Con's of Executive Rule

The annoying thing about the separation of powers called for in the U.S. Constitution (whereby the legislative branch presents legislation, the judicial branch judges it against the measuring stick of the Constitution and rule of law, and the executive branch makes the final decision) is all that red tape.  Partisan politics can lead to filibusters and any one person or group's agenda -- whether potentially beneficial to society or not -- can come to a grinding halt.  This is not always ideal for getting things done in Washington.

With executive rule it's a lot easier for a President to get his agenda passed, because he doesn't actually have to get it passed!  He invents a law and signs it, and unless Congress refuses to fund it, quickly enacts legislation that specifically conflicts with it (which the President can veto, in turn), or 2/3 of Congress votes against the president's veto of their legislation opposing the executive decree, it magically becomes law!  These executive orders can be discarded by subsequent presidents, but history shows that they rarely are.

And in reality, Congress rarely disputes executive orders:

"It has been argued that a Congressional override of an executive order is a nearly impossible event due to the supermajority vote required and the fact that such a vote leaves individual lawmakers very vulnerable to political criticism." (1)
Executive Rule -- An Essential Ingredient in Dictatorship 

What could Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, or Mao have accomplished without the ability to invent laws and regulations, judge them as sound, and enact them without having to bother with checks and balances?

And how many of the laws passed unilaterally by certified tyrants throughout history have been done under the guise of helping, caring for, or protecting the masses?  I would wager a guess that most if not all tyrannical decrees have promised some sort of public benefit.

The notorious Great Purges -- in which an estimated 20-30 million Soviet citizens were murdered by Soviet fire squads or perished in the brutal Gulag prison and labor camps from 1930-1953 -- came about due to an  executive rule by Comrade Stalin against "terrorist organizations and terrorist acts".

Executive Orders in America

Executive orders have been used sporadically by presidents throughout America's history, primarily for mundane directives to different governmental agencies.  Some executive orders have had more of a sweeping influence on America's history, for better or worse.

Lincoln's famed Emancipation Proclamation was an exercise in executive power.  Eisenhower desegregated public schools and Truman integrated the armed forces through Executive Order, bypassing racial separatists in Congress.

Some hotly-criticized orders, however, include Executive Order 10340 from President Truman, which sought to put all American steel mills under federal domain, FDR's  Executive Order 9066 that rounded up German - and Japanese-Americans and led to Japanese-Americans being placed in internment camps during WWII.  

King William Jefferson Clinton

Rule by presidential executive order became more commonplace during the presidency of Bill Clinton, along with presidential directives (executive measures passed in conjunction with the National Security Council, sometimes secretively).  Clinton was responsible for 347 executive orders and among them, "80 classified Presidential Decision Directives (PDDs) mandating secret, unilateral executive actions that impact[ed] on the freedom of Americans." (2)

Through executive power, Clinton waged a war with Kosovo without Congress declaring war, designated that U.S. troops serve under foreign UN command, and exempted UN personnel from being prosecuted for violation of America's civil or criminal law while on American soil.  In another directive, Clinton granted the FBI power to conduct surveillance on groups opposed to the UN and promoting gun rights, as well as "extremist" Fundamentalist Christian groups.  Clinton designated millions of acres of land across America as Federal Reserves or National Monuments, including 1.7 million acres in Southern Utah.  And the disturbing trend of allowing government agencies to spy on the online activities of U.S. citizens, usually attributed to George W. Bush, was actually initiated under President Clinton through PDD-63.

"Stroke of the pen. Law of the Land. Kinda cool."
(Paul Begala, former Clinton advisor, The New York Times, July 5, 1998)

King George "W"

In the year 2001 King George W. came onto the scene of the presidency with promises of smaller government and less involvement in foreign affairs.  Due to a suspiciously convenient disaster, he was able to do a switcharoo on the American populace and take America's War Machine to a new level with preemptive strikes.  He succeeded in getting the PATRIOT Act passed, purportedly to safeguard America from terrorists.  He also signed his own set of 291 Executive Orders during his 8-year stint as president.

Some of W's most infamous Executive Orders include the following:

"- Executive Order 13440 - allowed the use of "special" interrogation techniques blocked by the Geneva convention (aka torture).
- Executive Order 13292 - gave the Vice President full power to classify any documents he deemed appropriate.
- Executive Order 13303 - gave blanket legal protection to U.S. companies dealing in Iraqi oil.
- Executive Order 13438 - allowed the administration to seize property from groups who pose a threat to stability in Iraq, even if said threat has not been proven. The language of the order is so broad that even a domestic critic of the war could be considered a 'threat to stability.' This violates the Fifth Amendment right to due process." (3)

Bush also passed a special directive --NSPD 51-- which essentially gave the president dictatorial powers in the event of catastrophe or emergency.  Suspiciously, most of the details of this directive are classified, and not even Congress has been allowed to see the documents associated with this directive!

(Full list of Bush executive orders here.)

Liberals blasted Bush for his show of excessive executive power and for eroding the freedoms of Americans, and rightly so!  Conservatives largely accepted Bush's actions as good and necessary, though many of them had been more than willing to criticize Clinton for his over-reaching executive authority.  And today, conservatives unite to bemoan the accendance of the latest king in town . . .

King Barry Soetoro, aka Barack Houssein Obama 

Faster than his Republican forebear.
More powerful than Washington insiders.
Able to enact CHANGE in a single term.

Look! Up in the sky!
It's a bird. It's a plane. It's the Obamessiah!

Within King Obama's first week in office, he was hailed for signing executive orders to close Gitmo by January 22, 2010 and do away with torture once and for all. (We'll just overlook the fact that Gitmo is still open as of July 2010, and the anti-torture loopholes only shut down CIA torture centers, with no mention of prohibiting torture if carried out by the FBI, NSA, or corporate contractors such as Blackwater/Xe, and doesn't condemn the torture of individuals detained in counter-terrorism . . .)

This was just the beginning of the CHANGE in Washington --

Corporate Bailout -- CHECK
Takeover of GM -- CHECK
Extended Benefits to the Unemployed -- CHECK
Cash for Clunkers -- CHECK
Healthcare Reform -- CHECK
Cap CEO pay -- CHECK
Sue the state of Arizona for enforcing immigration law -- CHECK

(No matter that this was not the type of change desired by a large percentage of Americans . . .)

No one can doubt that President Obama has been one busy man.  He has appeared to make significant efforts to make good on his many, many campaign promises (though he has yet to reverse many of Bush's most draconian policies).  During the presidential campaign, Obama criticized Bush's prolific use of "signing statements" to pass law without Congress's approval.  As of May 2010, Obama had signed a total of 55 executive orders, including an order entitled "Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging while Driving" and the famous order reemphasizing a limit on Federal funds to be used for abortions, allowing the healthcare bill to pass.

Time will tell whether Obama resorts to using his executive powers more extensively to push his agenda through before he is likely kicked to the curb after one presidential term.  Evidence is mounting that things are headed in that direction:

"With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities." (4)

It is further rumored that Obama may grant amnesty to illegal aliens through an executive order if he is unable to garner enough support in Congress.

 In Conclusion

I will sum up my opinion of executive rule in just one sentence:  rule through executive decree is dangerous to a free society, side-stepping the checks and balances laid out in the Constitution.  Executive orders should be extremely limited in their use, and never ever be used to pass major laws, wage wars, or pass any sweeping changes in our nation.

The fact that Obama shows signs of doing the very thing he criticized Bush for should come as no surprise.

Neither should conservative Americans be shocked if the Republican they elect to replace Obama in 2012 (if we make it that far) follows in the footsteps of previous American quasi-kings -- exercising improper executive power while ignoring the Constitution.  It appears that this destructive trend will continue either until enough Americans wise up and absolutely refuse to allow it, or our nation is totally destroyed.

14. Any attempt to make a new major law by executive decree. -- BIG FAT CHECK

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Signpost 11 -- Minimum Wage . . . Yee Hah!

I have been slammed with a variety of things over the past month and have neglected  my blog.  My apologies!  So now we are down to just two more Signposts to Slavery. Today's post will cover Signpost 11 -- 

11. Wage and price controls, especially in a non-wartime situation. 

Let me start by being completely up front with you -- I am no economics expert.  But I do have a basic understanding of the concepts of supply and demand.  Also, it is abundantly clear to me that many who profess to be true experts in this arena and hold positions of authority seem to know even less than I do!  So I will try my hand at touching on the in's and out's of wage and price controls.

First off, let me state that I don't think in our world, filled with imperfect, less-than-altruistic individuals, that there is any economic system without its faults.  In a capitalist society, someone always finds a way to make a whole lot more money than everyone else (and so long as they aren't doing anything illegal, what's wrong with that?!).  Someone is always in need either due to illness, incapacitation, lack of opportunity, lack of motivation, or some combination thereof.  Wages and prices are determined by supply and demand. Certain freedoms are valued, even if it means that some in the society will not fare as well as others. 

In a socialist society, the state assumes the responsibility of meeting many of the needs of the people.  No-one is homeless, for instance.  Nobody goes without basic health care.  In many instances, jobs are created by the government.  Wages and prices can be fixed by the state.  Certain freedoms are sacrificed in order for the government to provide services and in some cases sustenance to the people.

Of course, America today is some mixture between capitalist and socialist.  Most wages and prices are still determined by the market, but by no means are 100% of wages and prices left alone by the government.  We  have our minimum wage.  More recently, President Obama has placed caps on how much CEO's of corporations receiving bailout money are allowed to make.

Doesn't that sound good?  Power to the people, right?  Blast those filthy rich CEO's anyways!

But I have to wonder -- wouldn't it just have been easier (and far less costly to the American populace) to just forego the corporate bailouts altogether?  The market would have determined which CEO's were worth millions and which should receive pay cut, based on which businesses had products and services still in enough demand during a recession.

As for the minimum wage, it was instituted in 1938 at 25 cents per hour.  Those who argue for a minimum wage say that there are no negative effects of raising the minimum wage (these are probably the same people who see no negative effect from pumping trillions of freshly printed dollars into the economy to prop up failing corporations and banks.)

Those not in favor of a mandated minimum wage argue that it causes inflation, leads to fewer jobs for those with few skills, causes a greater rates of outsourcing of jobs oversees where wages are cheaper, and feeds the market for illegals to work for dirt-cheap wages under the table.

As I stated at the beginning of this article, I am no expert in the field of economics.  But I have enough brains to know that if companies have a limited number of jobs with a limited amount of money to pay to employees, any law mandating a minimum wage will affect how many people they can hire and could certainly cause them to look for ways to hire people oversees or illegally for less.

I can't say for sure if the minimum wage leads to inflation, but it certainly seems possible!

Why would our government be "for" a minimum wage, and vote to increase it from time to time?  Certainly some in government have good intentions -- they don't want the poorest of Americans to suffer so much.  But isn't it interesting that an increase in the minimum wage is a nice handy way to levy a tax increase by stealth as an increase in the minimum wage increases all wages, and therefore increases government tax revenues?!

As far as price controls go, except in a few exceptional cases primarily during wartime, they disrupt the normal levels of supply and demand naturally determined by the market, and lead to shortages, rationing, long lines, as well as inflation.

To quote an expert (emphasis added):

"The reason most economists are skeptical about price controls is that they distort the allocation of resources. To paraphrase a remark by Milton Friedman, economists may not know much, but they do know how to produce a shortage or surplus. Price ceilings, which prevent prices from exceeding a certain maximum, cause shortages. Price floors, which prohibit prices below a certain minimum, cause surpluses, at least for a time. Suppose that the supply and demand for wheat flour are balanced at the current price, and that the government then fixes a lower maximum price. The supply of flour will decrease, but the demand for it will increase. The result will be excess demand and empty shelves. Although some consumers will be lucky enough to purchase flour at the lower price, others will be forced to do without." (1)

Richard Nixon's failed price controls in 1971 led to run-away inflation, and further gas price controls later in the 70's led to gas shortages and even more inflation.

A type of price control taking place today is the subsidization of corn production in the U.S.  For some reason, our government feels it important to pay farmers to grow corn.  Corn is sold for less than it costs to produce, making it a cheap commodity that is being used to produce high-fructose corn syrup, feed for animals (fattening them up faster and causing all kinds of problems in the process), and is being exported all over the world taking out farmers in Mexico and other nations because they can't compete with America's super-cheap corn.

The U.S. government also heavily subsidizes the meat and dairy industry.  Perhaps that is why it is cheaper to buy a Big Mac and Coke (sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, of course) than a salad.

So here we have it -- put the government in charge of wage and price controls, and what you get is bailed-out CEO's with a capped income higher than their income would be if the market had been left to deal with them, and more low-skill jobs going to hire Samrat's in India or Pablo's from Mexico but illegally living in Colorado, than Billy-Joe-Bob's in Arkansas because foreign or illegal labor is cheaper.  And it's cheaper to buy a bag of Dorito's and soda than food that is actually really food

11. Wage and price controls, especially in a non-wartime situation -- CHECK


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Signposts 9, 10, 12, & 13 -- Big Brother Gone Wild!!!

It is a beautiful day in Salt Lake City, and I am feeling especially grateful for many things in my life!  Among the things I am thankful for is the fact that I am self-employed -- I can work the hours I choose to work, I am free to try new things, and I answer to no-one except God, my clients, and those to whom I pay my bills!

I am free to succeed, and free to fail.  Though it hasn't been without its challenges, I have found working for myself to be worth it.  100%.

I was not trained up to be an entrepreneur.  Like most of you, I attended public schools where I had a few excellent teachers and several mediocre ones.  I spent my early adolescent years awkwardly searching for my own identity and path amongst such things as MTV, sit-coms, fast food, and pegged jeans -- things I participated in not because I liked them so much as because it was what everybody else was doing! 

I've had a lot of growing experiences through the years and the blessing to come across a number of people who have influenced my life for good, helping me find a path that is much more true to me.

I am saddened that our nation seems to be on an entirely opposite sort of path. We have gone from being a nation of immigrants determined to carve out their dream in the rugged landscape of a free country in spite of any obstacle, to collectively being fat, lazy, and weak-minded in our prosperity.

We have created a Big Brother and don't seem to mind that we now pay him upwards of 1/3 of our annual income, we look the other way as he kills and tortures people in various locations around the world, and we don't even blink that he now requests to see beneath our clothing with scanning devices pumping out radiation just a tad less toxic than microwaves, in order to make sure we aren't hiding bombs in any crevices or folds before boarding an airplane!

What will Big Brother think of next?!  Watch this real commercial that aired in the state of Pennsylvania earlier this year --

 Before you jump to say "Well, Tom deserves to have the government harass him -- he has broken the law", think again.  The government knows where you live too, as well as where you work, how your finances are, what your spending habits are, and what you are posting on your Facebook status updates.

Big Brothers just like ours throughout history have a track record of turning against the very people they promise to protect -- law-abiding citizens who naively relinquish their liberties in the name of protecting society.

In the remainder of this post, I will share a few more of the 14 Signposts to Slavery that deal with such things as our ability to travel, assemble in each others' homes, and work and live unfettered from undue government intervention.

9. Laws limiting the number of people allowed to meet in a private home.

The right to assemble with whomever we choose for whatever reason we choose both publicly and in our own homes is an essential liberty (as long as we aren't infringing on the rights of others).  Thankfully, this is one liberty that is still mostly honored in our nation.  There are some notable exceptions.  Recently seven individuals in Gilbert, AZ were prohibited from meeting together in private homes for Bible study. Some homeschooling families have reportedly suffered from similar over-reaching local homeowner's associations.

Let us be diligent to support the rights of everyone in our nation, even if we find their beliefs abhorrent, to assemble freely!

10. Any significant change in passport regulations to make passports more difficult to obtain or use.

In August 2007, U.S. passport agencies began exclusively issuing "e-passports" that contain a microchip, making it much easier to track an individual's travels (and also making it possible to disable an individual's passport with a simple keystroke).  Further, face-recognition technology is now in use at all checkpoints tightening government control over individual travel.  Can you imagine what the Nazi's could have accomplished with this type of technology in terms of cutting people off from travel?

This is yet another example of policy changes that have been made in the name of The War Against Terrorism.  Too bad our intelligence and passport regulations have proven impotent against terrorists (ie. the "Underwear Bomber").  Instead, we have innocent 5-year-old children on the "No Fly" list who could potentially have their passports disabled for no reason because they are mistaken for a terrorist.

12. Any kind of compulsory registration with the government of where individuals work.

Besides the fact that the U.S. government is the largest employer in the nation (and those numbers will only rise with the implementation of the new health care bill), and the government is surely aware where each of its several million employees work, the government also knows where every tax-paying American lives and works.

Companies report their salaries given to their employees through W-2 or 1099 forms.  Unless you are living a fugitive lifestyle off the grid, the government knows perfectly well where you work.

Further, the government now has GPS coordinates of the front door of each and every American home thanks to census employees who were sent out last year with hand-held devices to gather this extremely specific information.  I guess that's how the state of Pennsylvania really does know exactly where "Tom" lives (in the commercial above)!

13. Any attempt to restrict freedom of movement within the United States.

If it's not bad enough that the government can now prevent anyone it chooses from traveling internationally with e-passports and face recognition technology at airports, recently US Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) proposed the Vehicle Miles Traveled fee that would allow the government to install GPS tracking devices into each and every private vehicle of every American.  Not only would this allow the government to tax us for each mile we drive, but it would allow the government to know where our vehicles are at every moment of every day. 

Let us thank the heavens that Obama threw this draconian legislation out, and let us make sure nothing like this is ever implemented in the United States of America!

A wise man once said that he who would trade his liberty for security deserves neither.  It is so easy to justify many of the types of laws that have passed, particularly since 9/11, that appear important and necessary for our longevity as a nation.

But let us be diligent against potential tyranny from within lest we someday find ourselves hostage to the Big Brother we empowered to protect us from threats from without!


In summary --

9. Laws limiting the number of people allowed to meet in a private home. -- WE HAVE SEEN A LITTLE OF THIS

10. Any significant change in passport regulations to make passports more difficult to obtain or use. -- CHECK
12. Any kind of compulsory registration with the government of where individuals work. -- CHECK

13. Any attempt to restrict freedom of movement within the United States. -- NOT YET

Friday, June 4, 2010

Signpost 8 -- Know Your Place, Shut Your Face!

After a few weeks' hiatus, I am back on the scene of the Fourteen Signposts to Slavery.  Before I get into the details for this week's red flag of impending tyranny, I wanted to make just a few comments about myself and how it is that a blog that I originally started a year ago to share my story of recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome, has now been turned into an outlet for sharing my views on politics.  

And how did I go from where I was a few years ago, blindly and dumbly voting Republican, getting my information from the nightly news, and trusting that those in charge had my best interest in mind, to where I am now?!?  Some people who know me are baffled at the views I now broadcast, as they seem contrary to what some may consider "normal".  

I don't know for sure, all I know is that in 2007 some things began to click in my mind.  The years I spent in grad school studying Soviet history and the Soviet government's cruel tactics of control and manipulation for the "good" of the masses, and an awakening to the awful situation of medicine and the sick care industry through my own experiences with cfs -- all of this led me to espouse the belief that if I want to know about any given trend, event, or even health concern, I must do my own research.  I must push past the veils of marketing tactics and propaganda schemes to see what really lies behind the green curtain, if only to catch a glimpse!

I still know next to nothing.  But what I have found has caused me to want to research further and share my findings, meager though they may be, with anyone who cares to take a look.

With that, here is the 8th Signpost to Slavery --

8. An official declaration that anti-Communist organizations are subversive and subsequent legal action taken to suppress them.

Today we live in a world where threats of modern-day Communism, Socialism, and Fascism are poo-pooed by the general media as ridiculous, hyperbolic claims.  Those who warn of encroaching tyranny are labeled as kooks at best, and at worst -- potential domestic terrorists.  It's even gotten so bad that those who oppose President Obama's bailouts and health care bills, considering them to be an assault to our liberties, are dubbed "racist".  The same thing goes, of course, for those who are against illegal immigration.

But do we see the government and the media denouncing anti-Communist organizations?  Well, are there really any big anti-Communist organizations left to speak of after they were so denigrated in earlier years? 

Certainly The John Birch Society comes to mind as one of the most vocal anti-Communist (and anti-Big Government) organizations in America, but it hardly retained much national influence after the barrage of assault against it in the 60's.  Interestingly, the initial blows to the John Birch Society came from Communist organizations with ties to Moscow.  After a time, the American mass media joined the bandwagon.  How disturbing to see a collusion between foreign Communist agencies and our own mass media! 

Even more frightening is that fact that in 1963 upon his failed bid for President, New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller, a member of the most prominent elitist family in America, gave a speech before the Republican National Convention denouncing members of the John Birch Society and equating them with the Klan:

"These extremists feed on fear, hate and terror, [they have] no program for America and the Republican Party... [they] operate from dark shadows of secrecy. It is essential that this convention repudiate here and now any doctrinaire, militant minority whether Communist, Ku Klux Klan or Birchers." (1)

 The tactic of associating a group or person you wish to discredit with other groups and persons known to be of ill repute is a common one in political smear campaigns, and Nelson Rockefeller used that tactic quite proficiently in this instance.  Because of Rockefeller's speech and other negative pieces in the mass media, the John Birch Society was effectively black-balled from mainstream America. No direct government involvement was needed to shut them up.


Gone are the days of old-school Red Communism, bomb shelters, and rampant McCarthyism.  If you want to know my opinion, Communism as it was during the Cold War is never to be again.  The Soviet Communist experiment came to an end in the early 1990's for a reason -- the command economy of the Soviet state was unsustainable.  And some of the Soviet state's tactics of secluding its people from the rest of the world were failing.

Today, China is the shining star of Communism, and it looks a little different from its Soviet cousin -- at least on the surface.  China's market economy emphasis and PR with the West to portray it as hip and savvy have done wonders for the nation's economic growth as well as its standing in the world (never mind that political prisoners still languish away in China's vast Gulag and the average farmer or worker struggles just for basic subsistence).

Never again will we see a Communist state emerge that totally resembles the USSR, though there are still a few struggling nations, such as North Korea, who appear to be hanging on to old-school Communism for dear life.

Today we have a different kind of tyranny that has been spreading like a super-virulent swine flu virus to practically all of the nations of the earth.  Unlike the swine flu, however, no government agency exists to hedge its progress, and no National Emergency has been declared to warn the populaces.

The type of tyranny I am referring to has been quietly bankrupting 3rd world countries for decades, and since then has set its desires on bankrupting the rest of the world including the coveted U.S.A.

This type of tyranny might be referred to as Corporate Fascism, or the New World Order in which a few, self-appointed elite gain control of all big business and set up a global government with themselves at the helm.  This New World Order has many faces, only one of which is Communism, and it can shape-shift to please and appease the minds of the unsuspecting masses in any nation.

Just as the John Birch Society was a "voice in the wilderness" against Communism and Communist infiltration in earlier years, today there are those who actively speak out against our current breeds of tyranny.  Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Alex Jones of, Chuck Baldwin, and others are vocal critics of world government run by a tiny elite -- the "new Anti-Communists".  And they are also at the brunt of attacks by the media and politicians alike, and accused of the very same crimes with which Nelson Rockefeller accused the "Bircher's" -- hate, racism, gross ignorance, and militism.

In February of 2009, the Missouri State Police issued the  MIAC report instructing policemen to consider people driving vehicles displaying militia symbols, including the famous "Don't Tread on Me" flag, as potentially dangerous.

The report went on to specify that individuals who support candidates such as Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin (of the Constitution Party), Bob Barr (of the Libertarian Party), and anyone who was against such things as gun control, illegal immigration, and abortion on demand should be considered a possible threat.

Recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center issued a list of individuals it considers as threats to America.  The list of course, includes most of the individuals I have already named, and comes complete with their bio, mugshot, and fake criminal alias (one man is dubbed the "Apostle of Disunion", another "The Repentant Taxman".)  One by one, each of these activists for small, Constitutional government is mocked and discredited.

On June 16 of this year, MSNBC will air a new documentary characterizing the Tea Party movement, Constitutionalists, and those who expose tyranny in our nation as dangerous extremists.

Rand Paul's recent win in Kentucky caused him to be the focus of media attack for supposed racism because he happens to espouse Libertarian philosophies in regards to business and private organizations and who they associate with.

Lastly, in my mind the most unsettling move of all to discredit and silence those who speak out against our new breed of tyranny is the law proposed by White House Information Tsar Cass Sunstein that would curtail the freedom of speech of bloggers, reporters, and independent media organizations.  Cass Sunstein is the author of a book entitled "Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech", and is a proponent of the "Fairness Doctrine" that would criminalize "hate speech" and conspiracy theorizing. 

Under Sunstein's watch, nobody would be allowed to voice an opinion that discredits the government or goes against mainstream media's talking points without first proving to a government agency that their points are moral and correct.  Because, of course, government agencies are the ultimate authority on that which is moral and correct. . .

Such a law would effectively silence small fry bloggers like myself and would severely limit the ability of anti-establishment media outlets to operate freely, while big media would continue to spout its rhetoric untouched.

How similar this is to the state monopoly over media in Communist nations!  The Soviets worked feverishly to silence the dissidents in their nation, China will throw you in the slammer if you go against the grain, and now the U.S.A. is considering muting the voices of certain non-mainstream views?!

Whether you consider yourselves Conservative or Liberal, if you are an American this should appall you!  Our nation was founded on principles of free speech for majorities and minorities alike!  

I hate to say it but --

Friday, May 14, 2010

20 Signs That The United States Is Rapidly Becoming A Totalitarian Big Brother Police State

The End Of The World
May 10, 2010

Once upon a time, the United States was a land of unparalleled freedom.  The rest of the world envied the freedom that ordinary Americans had to think, say and do what they wanted.  But all of that has changed.  Now Americans have to fear that they will be tackled by a squad of security goons and dragged off to a detention facility somewhere if they spill a Pepsi on a flight attendant or take a few too many pictures of a public building.  The United States used to be the polar opposite of totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, but now America is rapidly becoming very much like them.  Due to the fear of a boogeyman living in a cave somewhere or some guy with explosive powder in his underwear we are all being forced to give up our freedoms and learn to live in a Big Brother police state.

But have things really changed so much that we have to give up all of the cherished freedoms that our fathers and grandfathers fought and died for?  Haven’t there always been fanatics and crazies and criminals out there?  Why do we suddenly have to become so afraid of them?

In the past, Americans would not let anyone make them live in fear.  If some unbalanced individual did something bad, it wasn’t the end of the world, was it?  No, in the past Americans dusted themselves off and continued to live as free men and women.  You see, when we live in fear and radically alter our way of life just to feel a little more secure, we lose.  We have let someone else steal our freedom and our dignity.

But now in the name of “security” all kinds of bizarre proposals have been implemented on the local, state and national levels.  Somehow we think that if everything that we do is watched, monitored and analyzed we will all be safer somehow.

Maybe we are safer and maybe we aren’t, but we are certainly a whole lot less free.
The following are 20 signs that the United States is rapidly becoming a totalitarian ”Big Brother” police state….

#1) A new bill being pushed by Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman would allow the U.S. military to round up large numbers of Americans and detain them indefinitely without a trial if they “pose a threat” or if they have “potential intelligence value” or for any other reason the President of the United States “considers appropriate”.

#2) Lawmakers in Washington D.C. working to create a new immigration bill have decided on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national biometric identification card all American workers would be required to obtain.

#3) Barack Obama is backing a plan to create a national database to store the DNA of people who have been arrested but not necessarily convicted of a crime.

#4) Just to get on an airplane, Americans will now have to go through new full-body scanners that reveal every detail of our exposed bodies to airport security officials.

#5) If that wasn’t bad enough, the Transportation Security Administration has announced that airport screeners will begin roving through airports randomly taking chemical swabs from passengers and their bags to check for explosives.

#6) Starting this upcoming December, some passengers on Canadian airlines flying to, from or even over the United States without ever landing there, will only be allowed to board their flights once the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has determined they are not terrorists.

#7) Organic milk is such a threat that the FDA has been conducting military style raids on Amish farmers in Pennsylvania.

#8) An NYPD officer has broken his silence and has confessed that innocent citizens are being set up and falsely arrested and ticketed in order to meet quotas.

#9) A growing number of police departments across the U.S. are turning to mobile camera systems in order to fight motor vehicle theft and identify unregistered cars.

#10) For decades, Arizona has been known as “the sunset state”, but lately many frustrated residents have started calling it “the surveillance state”.

#11) Judges and police in Florida have been caught using “secret codes” on tickets in the state of Florida.

#12) An extensive investigation has revealed that between 2003 and 2007, that state of Texas quietly gave hundreds of newborn baby blood samples to a U.S. Armed Forces laboratory for use in a forensics database.

#13) A 6-year-old girl was recently handcuffed and sent to a mental facility after throwing temper tantrums at her elementary school.

#14) One 12-year-old girl in New York was recently arrested and marched out of her school in handcuffs just because she doodled on her desk.

#15) In Florida, students have been arrested by police for things as simple as bringing a plastic butter knife to school, throwing an eraser, and drawing a picture of a gun.

#16) When a mother on a flight to Denver spanked both of her children and cussed out a flight attendant who tried to intervene, she suddenly found herself handcuffed and headed for prison.  Why?  She was charged with being a domestic terrorist under the Patriot Act.

#17) A new global treaty may force U.S. Internet service providers to spy on what you do online.

#18) A leaked Obama administration memo has revealed plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres of land from Montana to New Mexico.

#19) 56 percent of Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll said that the U.S. government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.

#20) But one other recent poll found that 51 percent of Americans agree with this statement: ”It is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism.”
Thanks to one of my readers for showing me this article.  I hope you found it as disturbing as I did.  In the next couple of weeks I will finish the series on the 14 Signposts to Slavery.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Signpost 7 -- Tell Me About Your Mother . . .

Forgive me for skipping a week on my 14 Signposts to Slavery series.  Without further ado, let me address Signpost number 7 out of 14 that could indicate a nation is headed toward tyranny --

7. Compulsory psychological treatment for non-government workers or public school children.
Provide free mental health care for the masses -- isn't that the compassionate thing to do?  Not when you can be deemed mentally insane, forcibly interred in a psychiatric institution, and administered psychotropic drugs against your will for such mental illnesses as "religious delirium" or "sluggishly progressing schizophrenia" (with symptoms including a paranoid struggle for truth and justice).

If that sounds impossible to you, it was taking place on a widespread basis in the Soviet Union just a few decades ago.  Psychiatric hospitals, called "psikhushkas", were instituted during the times of Stalin and "were often used by the authorities as prisons in order to isolate political prisoners from the rest of society, discredit their ideas, and break them physically and mentally; as such they are considered a form of torture."   
Soviet political activist Vladimir Bukovsky spent 12 years rotting in prisons, labor camps, and psikhushkas for organizing poetry readings and defending human rights in the Soviet Union.

 Reports of these types of control tactics in use today in Russia surface from time to time. (1)
Punitive psychiatry is also still utilized in China's tool-bag of repression against its own people.  In 2007 Chinese human rights blogger He Weihua was confined to a psychiatric institution in the province of Hunan by Chinese authorities after complaining about rising pork prices and criticizing the Chinese government.  He's family reported that he was in fine mental health at the time of his arrest and psychiatric incarceration (2). 

It's disturbing enough to learn of such horrifying assaults against human freedom and dignity taking place on the other side of the world in a Communist or former Communist nation.  Even worse is the realization that much of the groundwork for punitive psychiatry has been laid in today's America.

The recently-passed health care bill contains provisions that seem innocuous on the surface, but could potentially be used to prescribe evermore mind-altering drugs to American children and workers, as well as label politically-active individuals or parents as mentally ill and unfit for a job or raising children.

Do I sound paranoid?  Am I overreacting?  Perhaps.  But I'm not the only one --

Before you read further, let me share one more thing with you.  I spent last week with my sister and her family, during which time my sister received word about someone she had known years ago.  This individual was a bit on the eccentric side and had an unconventional hairdo.  He was also a supporter of the Constitution.  My sister found out last week that he had been arrested by the FBI and forcibly interred in a psychiatric hospital IN AMERICA THIS YEAR with no right to communication with family and no right to a trial after he sent them some sort of letter of complaint.

I hope my sister misconstrued what happened with this individual.  And I hope nothing resembling this ever happens in our nation. . . .
The Health Care Bill's Sops to the Mental-Health Industry

By Beverly K. Eaton, November 5, 2009, The New American
(emphasis added)
Most people (including Members of Congress and the press) won’t read the nearly 2,000-page healthcare bill (“Affordable Health Care for America Act”: H.R. 3962). Consequently, like most Americans, they are oblivious to the elephant in the living room that’s about to transform the nation. While legislators shadow-box over public-versus-private options, trillion-dollar debts, and socialized medicine, tucked away in the bill under warm and fuzzy labels are numerous sops to the mental-health industry. 
If enacted, these will serve to prop up an already misrepresented collection of disorders and channel ever-more-billions into the psycho-pharmaceutical industry that could be better directed toward research for cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and a host of other known, physical ailments that cost families a fortune and send their victims to gruesome, painful deaths.

Worse, however, is what this bill will do to America as a constitutional republic — and indeed what is left of the entire free world, since no doubt it will follow the United States’ lead. With legal legitimacy for unprovable mental disorders will come, inevitably, an excuse to marginalize individuals on the basis of conscience, outspokenness, and politics. Thus far, the United States has been among the few countries to dodge that particular bullet — even though we have been moving ever-closer for 40 years to that outcome via draconian measures aimed at instituting political correctness. But this bill will send the issue over the edge and discourage anyone from honest exchanges of ideas.

Most Members of Congress, unfortunately, rely on youngish aides to provide synopses of a bill’s provisions. Elected politicians, most of whom know little about medicine anyway, can hardly be expected to read and analyze a document that exceeds the size of War and Peace in the space of a few days, complete with technical and legal jargon. Their aides, unfortunately, are mostly products of a failed and politicized education system that has spent some four decades skipping over the particulars of our Constitution and the related debates of its Framers. So, to expect such individuals to catch mistakes that might compromise the health of the republic, not to mention the physical health of the populace, is wishful thinking.

Let us examine, then, some of the key components of this House bill that serve to sustain and support an already out-of-control mental-health, quasi-political industry.

The Mothers Act (Section 2529, Page 1418 of the bill.)

Ah, mom and apple pie — how American is that?

Turns out, not very…

The bill’s language seeks, for example, to “expand treatment for postpartum conditions” and calls for the development of “improved screening and diagnostic techniques.” No provisions, however, are made to ensure that the entities doing the screening and treatment are free of conflicts of interest vis-à-vis pharmaceutical investments.

Let’s take the company Screening for Mental Health, Inc., and its sub-organization, “Signs of Suicide.” Both promote and conduct mental-health screening. The umbrella organization received $4,985,925 from pharmaceutical companies prior to 2008, and 10 of its psychiatric researchers have been exposed in just the past year for failing to disclose millions of dollars in pharmaceutical payments. Yet, this bill contains no requirements of “full disclosure” for entities in receipt of federal grants to perform research or create “promos” (promotional campaigns).

An example of a “promo” would be the provision calling for a nationwide public-relations campaign using TV, radio, and public service announcements (PSAs) to urge that all women be screened and seek treatment for the questionable “disorder” called postpartum depression. Many physicians say this is not an “illness,” but a cultural phenomenon, in which a new mother feels overwhelmed with her duties — all-night jags with crying babies, endless diaper changes, and an onslaught of laundry and feedings. Mothers of yesteryear knew this sort of thing “came with the territory,” but modern moms, who tend to simultaneously try to hold down careers, and who are under constant pressure in the media to look sexy and “have it all,” are suffering accordingly.

The Mothers Act also calls for “clinical research” in developing new treatments (read: drugs) for this questionable ailment, but again, no guidelines exist to ensure that researchers and research firms are free from conflicts of interest. In fact, it would be unusual if they were not awash in such conflicts because in order to obtain a medical research grant or contract, the successful competitor is expected to have experience with pharmaceuticals.

Mental-health Parity (Section 214, Page 100)

This idea has been floated before. It guarantees equal insurance coverage for mental disorders and physical diseases, whether under regular health insurance or via new coverage, such as the Health Insurance Exchange. It is interesting to note that typically, psychiatric patients are “cured” as soon as insurance benefits run out, lending a credibility gap to the entire notion.

In this bill, of course, the benefits never run out. Considering there are no medical tests to verify the existence of any psychiatric disorder (blood work, urinalysis, X-ray, etc.), meaning that government has nothing other than a psychiatrist’s opinion that the person is “cured,” parity becomes a taxpayer-funded cash-cow. No doubt billions can be channeled into the psycho-pharmaceutical industry to continue drugging Americans, as the provision could easily encompass all 374 disorders listed in psychiatry’s diagnostic manual — everything from Phase of Life Problem to Arithmetic Disorder.

Home Visitations for Families with Young Children and Expectant Parents (Section 1904, Page 1177 of the bill)

This section creates a home-visitation program for families with young children, for families that are expecting children, and even for families with certain “risk factors.” This is one of the more dangerous sections that already have a counterpart on the political scene. Since the 1970s, parents wishing to adopt a child, for example, have been scrutinized for their disciplinary beliefs (such as spanking). Spanking is one of the few ways to get the attention of toddlers who are below the age of reason. For example, it is useless to explain to a toddler why it is dangerous to go out in the street without looking to the left and right for vehicles; yet, any toddler who wanders off and is injured or killed as a result brings down the entire force of Child Protective Services upon the parents, mandatory “parenting” classes (by psychology “experts,” of course) and charges of negligence.

This section also provides assessments regarding matters of “age-appropriate behaviors” for children, prevention of family violence, and referral to outside services. Never mind that government-mandated graphic sex education for kindergartners is wholly age-inappropriate. With an inconsistency that blatant, it is no stretch to imagine that parents could be held “accountable” for holding politically incorrect viewpoints (whatever those may be in, say, five years), with the threat of removal of a child from the home in the offing.

Already, parents adhering to firm religious beliefs (regardless of faith) are characterized as “inflexible,” “dogmatic,” and “intolerant,” as exemplified by the North Carolina judge who, on March 11, 2009, took issue with the mother’s religious faith and even ordered a mental evaluation on no basis other than the mother's “conservative Christian beliefs,” then ordered her child to public school so that the student could be properly socialized.

The American Civil Liberties Union has long taken the position, as have other anti-religion organizations, that a parent’s rights “stop at the schoolhouse door.” This argument generated a wave of public outrage in a 2007 case before the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. But the roots of this sort of logic can be found in old writings from Sigmund Freud as well as in Erich Fromm’s 1947 psychoanalytic scale of “authoritarian characteristics,” which was used to “eliminate” political opponents in his homeland of Germany. Fromm had already hypothesized that the family “predisposes men to blind submission,” his seminal work from 1941 being entitled (tellingly) Escape From Freedom.

Max Horkheimer’s and Theodor Adorno’s Cross-Studies on Child Training and Personality (1947) contributed further to the notion that parents were too inflexible to raise children. Dr. Brock Chisholm’s speech to the World Federation of Mental Health in 1946 provided, perhaps, the most scathing indictment of parental authority.  But as recently as 2003, a joint study by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation (at a public cost of $1.2 million) postulated that adherents to conventional moral principles and limited government are actually mentally disturbed. The study correlated morality and individualism with “dogmatism” and “uncertainty avoidance,” leading to “lowered self-esteem, fear, anger, pessimism, disgust, and contempt” (Jost, J. T., J. Glaser, et al. (2003), “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition,” Psychological Bulletin 129(3): 339-375 and at

Thus should Americans be concerned about any suggestion of home visitations by government as “routine.”

School-based Health Clinics (Section 2511, Page 1352)

School-Based Health Clinics include subjective psychiatric mental-health screening for children (a.k.a. “assessments” since the 1980s). These already have invaded classrooms under a guise of academics. The bill’s referral to “a continuum of services including emergency psychiatric care, community support programs, inpatient care, and outpatient programs” as part of “comprehensive primary health services” launches a project to mix primary healthcare with psychological services on a permanent basis. This would clear the way for psycho-pharmaceutical products to be channeled directly or indirectly into schools.

As explained previously, psychiatric screening and counseling extends to assessing worldviews and political issues that, no matter what faction does it, conflicts gravely with the U.S. Constitution.

Wellness Program Grants for Small Employers (Section 112, Page 67)

Grants for “wellness” serve as incentives for employers to include mental-health evaluations for contractors, grantees, and even non-governmental businesses. The most objectionable part of the program entails a “Behavioral Change Component” that encourages “healthy living through counseling” for programs relating to “tobacco use, obesity, stress management, depression and mental health.” The problem with this? Anything labeled “behavioral change” in psychology means “worldview change” and “attitude/perception adjustment.”

Can re-education camps be far behind?

Re-education is part and parcel of dictatorial regimes. It was used by the Nazis, the Soviets, the Stasi, the North Koreans, and South Africa under apartheid. So this bill subtly moves psychiatric counseling from voluntary to mandatory.

Also, the term behavioral is misleading; it doesn’t mean conduct, as in good manners. It means changing the belief system.  That is a far cry from habits like eating junk food and smoking. It moves into the realm of political attitudes — the very thing the Framers of our Constitution worked to avoid in splitting from European models of government.

Federally Qualified Behavioral Health Centers (Section 2513, Page 1367)

These proposed centers take the “Behavioral Change Component” of Wellness Program grants, described above, to a new level. To obtain a grant, an organization or individual must compete and/or “qualify.”

“Qualifying” is the kicker. In order for community mental-health centers to qualify, they have to provide, among other things, “mental health screening, assessment and diagnosis,” as well as “outpatient clinic mental health services, including screening, assessment, diagnosis, psychotherapy and medication,” plus “crisis mental health services, including 24-hour mobile crisis teams,” which means a person can be carted off to a psychiatric facility (prison?) if government deems it necessary.

This is psychology on steroids! If you thought the old Soviet Union or North Korean or East German psychiatric “hospitals” were alone in incarcerating  and drugging out-of-favor individuals, think again, because America is playing with fire in this healthcare provision. All drugs, of course, come with side effects, some relatively mild to full-blown intolerances and allergic reactions.  But psychiatric drugs are particularly lacking a track record and are highly risky.

Retired pediatric neurologist, Dr. Fred Baughman, has repeatedly testified and written concerning this.  In a November 4, 2009, letter to the Wall Street Journal following an article on the troubling number of apparent suicides in the military by soldiers prescribed psychiatric drugs, Dr. Baughman stated:  “Although antipsychotics (Ray, et al, 2009), antidepressants (Whang, et al, 2009) and psychostimulants/amphetamines (Gould, et al, 2009) have been proved to increase the risk of sudden cardiac death, they are routinely prescribed together, as if no such risk was known.”  Just “not waking up” one morning is not a catch-all for suicide, yet it is happening with increasing frequency in connection with psychiatric drugs.  Some instances seem to mimic heart failure, seizures and strokes, but not quite — especially when there is no history or other factor indicating such a problem.

Moreover, we are speeding down a road that will be difficult to reverse once instituted — all in the name of easing the financial strain on individuals and families caused by rising health costs.

Yes, health costs are bankrupting financially responsible people. But at least three reasons have little to do with government:  (1) new technologies, which are often effective, but very cutting-edge; (2) health insurance companies, which at first rushed to fill the void, but quickly morphed into multibillion-dollar enterprises whose investors are unconcerned with patient comfort or even recovery, resulting in non-stop questions concerning every drug and procedure; and (3) a dearth of qualified physicians under a medical-school system that works to keep its numbers down, thereby artificially creating shortages of physicians and keeping salaries high.
Meanwhile, government’s interest in healthcare is related solely to cost-cutting, not quality of service or patient recovery. The exceptions are programs for Members of Congress, whose procedures and medications are never questioned under their unique program.

Moreover, some 110 new boards, bureaucracies, commissions, and programs fill the pages of this so-called “Affordable Health Care for America Act,” which reveals a Pandora’s Box of covert psychological/mental-health programs like those described above. Others include such items as a mental-health technician training program (Section 3101, p. 1898) and an Indian youth tele-mental health demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1909).

Real advancements in medicine, of course, are a realistic goal, and Americans can agree on a reasonable expectation of caring alternatives to the status quo.  These dual objectives scream for some new thinking from “outside the box.”

What healthcare doesn’t need is a hidden, politicized agenda that institutionalizes thought control and re-education centers.

In regard to reader commentary on this article, I would like to add that I have noticed that any objection to over-reaches by the mental-health industry, regardless of the context, tends to be met with allegations of “having an agenda.” There’s an agenda, all right; I could see that “agenda” on the wall when I was a classroom teacher, way back in the early 1970s. And it wasn’t coming from me. It was coming from a host of behavioral-science advocates and organizations that were asked to come speak at our teacher-inservice workshops. Educators took the advice of these behavioral scientists, as did parents, and now we have out-of-control schools where nearly half the kids are either diagnosed with a disorder, on a psychiatric drug of some kind (or, more accurately, a cocktail of such drugs, to mitigate the side-effects), in Special Education, or all of the above. Nothing like any of this was happening in the 1950s.

As to my not having any facts to support my position: I spent the entire article giving facts that anybody could look up, including page numbers in the Bill itself, and expert testimony by a noted neurologist. Oh, as for “no experience” on my part: I do have a background in the topic, not just through course work but through my 1999 award-winning bestseller, which I spent three years researching:
Cloning of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality Through Education. See Part III, in particular, of that book for a detailed analysis and history of the problems I allude to in the article.

My question is: Where are the “facts” on the psychology side? As I wrote, there is no X-ray, blood work, urinalysis, or chemical finding yet to be located relative to any of the trendy disorders listed in the bible of the psychiatric profession, the DSM-IV.

Of course, some people do erroneously include things like “narcolepsy” among these mental disorders (I’ve even heard it in legislative testimony by people who should know better), and that is a pity because narcolepsy is a physical disease with visible mental outcomes. But it doesn’t change the fact that psychiatric drugs for purely emotional phenomena, or even “stress,” have no track record of success. Many, in fact (esp. antidepressants and antipsychotics), are now suspect (even by Congress) of being culpable in violent, out-of-character aggression.

Moreover, a look at this morning’s newspaper about the professional psychiatrist who just yesterday killed and wounded dozens of soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas, and who probably knew more about psych meds than I do, having dealt with them himself, allows me to rest my case….”

Beverly K. Eakman is a former educator and retired federal employee who served as speechwriter for the heads of three government agencies and as editor-in-chief of NASA’s newspaper at the Johnson Space Center. Today, she is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer, the author of five books, and a frequent keynote speaker. Her most recent book is Walking Targets: How Our Psychologized Classrooms Are Producing a Nation of Sitting Ducks (Midnight Whistler Publishers).
Original Article can be viewed here.   

7. Compulsory psychological treatment for non-government workers or public school children.
Not yet -- not quite

Friday, April 23, 2010

Signposts 5 & 6 -- Teach the Children Well

It's a beautiful, rainy Spring day in Salt Lake City.  Not only that -- it's Friday, and I'm headed to California tomorrow!  Granted, I won't exactly be lounging at the beach or sipping a virgin strawberry daiquiri by the side of a pool.  But I'm in a relatively festive mood none-the-less.  =)

I'm actually going to be helping my sister with her 4-year-old, 23-month-old, and 4-week-old all next week.  My sister definitely has her hands full!  Even though she is a smart, creative, and well-educated woman with aspirations of her own, she is blessed to have a husband who provides for her and the family and so she has chosen to stay at home at this time in her life and raise her kids.

Though not everyone has that luxury, I think it's great when people with small children make the sacrifice to raise their children themselves.  And I can see that it definitely is a sacrifice!

On to a more somber but related topic, in today's article I will be looking at the next two "Signposts" in our Fourteen Signposts to Slavery series.  They both have to do with children and young people and public, government-run systems.

Looking back at some of the infamous totalitarian regimes of the 20th century (and even some that have survived through until today), we can observe that these governments sought for regimented, top-down, state-designed programs to influence the minds of the young people.

After all, every marketer knows that if you can hook someone on your product at an earlier age, they are easier to teach, more willing to buy into the marketing, and will have a much greater chance of remaining loyal to that product throughout their life.  This is true for governmental systems just as much as it is for soda, cigarettes, or pornography (all of which are incessantly peddled to the children and young people of the world).

These are just two "red flags" of fourteen that indicate a society might be descending into tyranny --

5. Use of compulsory education laws to forbid attendance at presently existing private schools.

I am not an educator and I don't have any children, so if the truth be told, I have not paid as much attention to the state of education in our nation as I would under different circumstances.  But I remember when George W. Bush came out with his "No Child Left Behind" legislation.  It certainly sounded like a good idea to many of us.  But I have to admit, these days it sounds totally Soviet to me.  Really -- all the children of America need to be kept together in one big herd?  

I know I would have hated that as a kid!  I was reading at the 3rd-grade level when I was in kindergarten.  And when I was in 3rd-grade, I had the athletic finesse of a klutzy kindergartner!  I was above average in most academic subjects, and LOVED it when our teachers separated us into groups based on our aptitude and gave us special projects.  Just as I got frustrated having to participate in reading groups with kids who could barely read, I avoided playing kick-ball with the sporty kids who could run me over in a few seconds flat!

My impression on "No Child Left Behind" has been solidified by friends in public education who bemoan the fact that they no longer have any control over the curriculum in their classroom and are limited in catering to the needs of the varying levels of student aptitude.

Now it seems that education in America has gone from state and locally-run, to a standardized-test-obsessed behemoth that offers the same curriculum, the same tests, the same almost everything to all of the diverse corners of our nation.

It seems to actually make the kids stupider.  And it gives an enormous amount of power to the publishers of  textbooks and makers of tests.  Who are these people who now have the minds of America's youth in the palms of their hands?

In regards to Signpost 5, Americans still have some rights concerning the education of their children.  I am not aware of any laws that prevent parents from enrolling their children in private schools (although the economic difficulties we are experiencing certainly have caused some to put their kids back in public schools in order to save money).

But besides the centralizing of power in Education, we have seen some disturbing signs that both state and federal government look upon homeschooling with less than admiration. 

In 2003, the federal government proposed HR 2732 -- the "Homeschool Non-Discrimination Act", which would have increased federal oversight and regulation of homeschooling.  It doesn't appear that this bill passed.  (1)

In 2008 a California court ruled that a homeschooling family in their state has no right to home school their children unless they are certified tutors. (2)

Recent news report depicting a homeschooling family in Massachusetts who don't actually teach their children anything, but let them stay up all night or watch TV all day if they want to.  The parents of this family, unrepresentative of the majority of homeschoolers in the the U.S., calmly state on camera that they believe it's best to let their children do whatever they want, if they want to learn something they will do it on their own. (3)

Whether it was designed to or not, this news piece clearly would have the effect of giving the public a bad opinion of homeschooling.

One homeschooling father had this to say about potential future government encroachment on the practice --

"Look for the first few leaks of damning stories about home schooling. They will start by demonizing the movement. Then they will move rapidly to tax it, and outlaw it in practice if not in law. Before the next election home schoolers will see a world on the horizon where school boards and local school administration have to certify their credentials. Homes will be subject to inspection and regulation by OSHA and the EPA." (4)

Since I hope to have kids someday, and there is no way I would consider putting my children in most public schools, this definitely concerns me.   

Whether or not it is of concern to you or me, Americans should have the right to have their children educated in the way they see fit without having the government constantly hassling them.

Signpost 5 -- Not yet

6. Compulsory non-military service. 

While we don't yet have laws requiring compulsory service to the state, President Obama and his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, are both on the record for promoting a period of required non-military service of individuals between the ages of 18-25.

Take a look --

Here's a commercial that has been actually aired on television depicting Obama's proposed youth corps --

Is this a harmless program that will help young people contribute to the well-being of their nation?  After all, who wouldn't want their teenage children involved in serving their community and working towards a high ideal?

The problem is not teenagers involved with community service, but rather a government reaching its hands into an arena better served by the family or church.

A youth corps is a common feature of fascist and communist regimes. It is their tactic designed to mold the minds and opinions of the rising generation to cause them to conform to a state agenda.  From Hitler's Youth Brigade, the Young Pioneers of the Soviet Union, or the Communist Youth League of China, we would be following in the footsteps of some seriously questionable regimes if Obama gets his youth corps.

Signpost 6 -- In the works

Lastly, I want to point out that in the case of the Communist nations, not only did the state want control over the young people, but it wanted to do away with all competition.  The destruction of the family and the church are two of Communism's stated goals.  

In my mind, anything that weakens the autonomy of family and church and subjugates their influence to that of the state is potentially dangerous to a free society.  

What do you think?