From the latest Woodpile Report:
A passion for power, in any degree, will override moral-ethical norms, courtesy, and notions about “tolerance.”
— Francis Porretto at bastionofliberty.blogspot.com
Sanctioned violation of the innocent is a line that, once crossed, knows no other bounds. We as a nation have stayed far away from that line for all of our history and rightly condemned nations that didn’t. Until now.
For government benefits and a salary that starts at $12.85 an hour, these unarmed officers swallow the irritation of others, apply security methods that intensify by the day, stifle the awkwardness they might have about touching other people.
— Dan Barry, NY Times
Mr. Barry didn’t intend to suggest that TSA agents would do a good bit more for, say, $25.70 an hour. But one has to wonder how many would step forward and what else they’d be willing to stifle beyond a feeling of awkwardness. Events in the recent past give one answer:
Q: Did you yourself ever feel pity with the victims, thinking of your own family and children? How was it possible for you to carry out these actions in spite of this?
A: In view of all these doubts which I had, the only one and decisive argument was the strict order and the reason given for it by Reichsführer Himmler.
— Affidavit, Auschwitz commander Rudolf Hoss, Nuremberg War Crimes Trial
The “reason given for it” was security. Warrantless strip searches and hands-on violation of ourselves and our kids, our sisters, wives and grandmothers as a condition of travel is something we of a certain age believed couldn’t happen here. That it’s being done in the name of security recalls events and regimes we thought well behind us. That DHS has labeled dissenters as domestic extremists suggests something else truly ominous is in the making. To be clear, the only acceptable course for DHS is to back away from this. Well away. Alas, it appears they’re determined to make this blunder all but irretrievable.
I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime. So, what do we need to be doing to strengthen our protections there?
— DHS Sec. Janet Napolitano, Charlie Rose interview, via The Hill
Not satisfied with knowingly setting out on a formerly forbidden road and criminalizing its critics,DHS intends to turn all forms of transportation into a police procedure. Schools, banks, courts and other public places are being discussed as follow up venues with some limited trials already completed. Sadly, and to our shame, DHS now knows the men of this country will not stand up for themselves or even protect their families, by and large. They may yet, but until then Remus has a few words for you.
Given the DHS’s black-letter directive making dissent an actionable offense—an act of domestic extremism, and given that the Supreme Court has ruled that Constitutional rights do not apply in matters of state security as defined and administered by DHS, and given that there is no substantive limit to the actions an agent or deputy of the DHS may take against a citizen under the Patriot Act, given all this, it would be an act of self-destruction to seek or accept relief or assistance from DHS in an emergency. It is prudent to prefer any other status than refugee.
Any other status than refugee means you accept any bearable privation and run any reasonable risk rather than come under their direct control. No, DHS is not the Einsatzgruppen of Babi-Yar, but in a state of emergency their powers are the same: unlimited, or effectively so. They’ve already deployed their exculpatory phrase: an excess of caution. Notice its cloying, Klein Jar-like construction—entirely self referential, self activated and self absolving.
The Supreme Court—that body charged with assessing Constitutional compliance in all places and circumstances—has so far ruled the DHS may act on its own authority without fear of judicial review. In other words, a security agent can be sanctioned only for failing to be severe enough and is answerable to nobody outside the DHS, i.e., the field agent has an incentive for excess while you have no legal recourse from whatever disposition he imposes on you.
Unhappily, those dispositions have been and will be without regard to your well being, even incidentally. Their actions will be convenient for their purpose, even if it brings about otherwise avoidable dire consequences for you. Worse, you can only guess at their purpose. Therefore, and especially in a state of emergency, you are well advised to decline any voluntary or avoidable contact with DHS. Where contact is unavoidable, comply dutifully until an opportunity to cleanly absent yourself appears. But mark this: should DHS request or even require your participation in a mass special action, especially one that entails mass relocation—an “orderly evacuation” say—accept fugitive status if you must, but refuse to become a refugee no matter how reasonable, beneficial and benign it is made to appear. Act on your own initiative, attend to your own security, use your own resources. Be realistic about this, but be resolute.
Events are moving quickly. This beast is convinced of its strength, impressed by it actually, and anxious to exercise it. And so it shall. Things will get worse before they get better, yet one day our descendents will ask how such things were allowed to happen. It’s on that day we shall have redeemed ourselves, however that day was brought about.
Ein Schweizer, sieben Deutsche.