“In the past few months, as a result of our action, we have demanded of many citizens that they surrender certain licenses to do as they please in their business relationships; but we have asked this in exchange for the protection which the State can give against exploitation by their fellow men or by combinations of their fellow men.”
– President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, State-of-the-Union Address, January 3, 1934
Clearly, we need to be protected from those who wish more than anything else to do us harm. After all, we seem to be living during a time when we’re perpetually beset by crises. Heck, one Democratic senator just several days ago went on record as claiming that what we apparently need is a good crisis in order to bring the Republicans into line with regard to the proposed tax bill.
Sure – that makes sense.
I’m reasonably certain that if the question were posed to the average, everyday American, the one threat from which most understandably fear harm and from which they feel as though they truly need federal protection is the domestic and global threats embodied in the Jihad currently being pursued by Islamic extremists. Stangely, it seems that not only is our federal government not doing everything that it possibly can in this regard but also is deliberately making life as uncomfortable as possible for its own citizens while it begrudgingly takes any kind of defensive posture. More on that later in the article, however.
It is this more generalized notion of potential “harm” – a crisis which requires protection, if you will – that is the subject of this article.
The notion of “harm” comes in so many different forms. Fortunately for us, of course, we have had a vast array of people and groups throughout the course of the past century of American history who have been all-too-ready-and-willing to step up to the plate to protect us from the aforementioned “harm”, which, in all actuality, is nothing more than the fear of the unknown.
But only for a price. The price, though, is more often than not akin to tribute money than it is anything else. Sometimes that price is financial; other times, it’s with our freedoms. As regards this administration, it would appear to be a combination of both.
Let’s start with something as simple as La Cosa Nostra.
In one of the opening scenes of one of my favorite movies, The Untouchables, the character that I can only describe as Capone’s “right-hand man” – the assassin consistently dressed in all white – walks into a small business in Chicago and quietly demands “protection money”. From what, the proprietor loudly asks before flatly refusing to pay up, does he need to be protected?
For his defiance, a bomb was left behind in his establishment. A similar scene from The Sopranos will also help to illustrate the larger point that I’ll attempt to drive home in this piece. A mild warning for those who might be easily offended, as there is one brief moment of explicit language:
As I’ve mentioned in a couple of pieces here at AR, my grandfather – born in 1902 and brought to America as a small child with his parents from Southern Italy during the first decade of the 20th century – was a police officer and eventually rose to the rank of Head of Detectives during the 1950′s. It would have been very easy for him to acquiesce to the temptations of the local mob figures – names that are easily recognizable, as they were members of one of the more powerful crime families in the Northeast – but he never did. There were many times that he told my mother and grandmother the stories of his “acquaintances” telling him to “leave his trunk open” after he got home. Each and every time, however, he told them that he simply couldn’t do that.
If nothing else, my grandfather took his honor to the grave with him.
He was sworn to uphold the law, a vow that he took quite seriously. He could have compromised himself and augmented his family’s wealth and personal protection by aligning himself with some rather notorious figures, but he never did. He was in the business of providing real protection for people, and he did his best to do just that.
I would argue that what we’re seeing from our government these days isn’t a whole lot different than what we see in that Untouchables scene, and, in fact, sheds a great deal of light as to the reason that the vast majority of trial lawyers are Democrats. After all, the greater the amount of legislation, the more the lawyers are both necessary to interpret the laws for the people as well as they are beholden to liberal Democrats for the relative wealth that comes their way.
I find it rather funny that our administration recently referred to Russia as a “virtual mafia state”. Have these people looked in the mirror? But, then again, that would be yet another example of a classic page torn straight from the Alinsky playbook – accuse others of the very thing of which you’re guilty.
Unfortunately, our culture has fallen a long, long way since the days of men like my grandfather, and while there are probably literally thousands of reasons for this precipitous fall from grace, I would argue that one of the most significant reasons is that we now have more and more things from which we need protection. If you listen to the radio, watch TV, or go on the Internet, pay close attention to the number of things that are mentioned throughout the course of a day against which we apparently need to shield ourselves.
Protection is the biggest business going in the United States these days – some legal, some under the radar, so to speak. Thanks to progressives, we now live in a world in which millions of people need “protection” from being victimized by someone or something – especially from the clutches of all the really, really evil rich people and big businesses. Yes, there’s lots of corruption in big business; however, have liberals checked out the degree of corruption in their beloved government?
Since the crazed members of the far-Left seem to have a problem with the prospect of an individual person’s having the right to chart and decide his or her own destiny in life – which, of course, would naturally include the right to be as successful or unsuccessful as one wishes – let’s start with the recently introduced financial regulations. How about this? Mention the name Bernie Madoff, and the most likely reaction a person will receive is some form or combination of disgust, humor, disbelief, and/or unbridled anger. Admittedly, Big Bernie is almost completely yesterday’s news at this point, but on the offhand chance that someone does mention him and the nature of his billion-dollar ponzi scheme, more often than not I can’t help but laugh.
Not at him, however. No, I find it incredibly ironic that it doesn’t even seem to occur to the past two generations of young minds who’ve been used and brainwashed by what passes for instructors of higher re-education in this country that while Madoff is, admittedly, a reprehensible figure, the very people behind whom they so ardently cheer and for whom they are prepared to bring physical harm to anyone who disagrees with them are the very people who are stealing their money and freedoms as well.
But at least we can rest easy – the new financial regulations will protect us from those greedy businessmen.
Talk about laughable.
Since liberals are all about spreading the wealth, let’s take a look at a few of the places that our income goes in order to merely protect ourselves from some sort of “harm”. Naturally, the first thing that comes to my mind – this is just me, of course – is the concept of union protection.
In an earlier piece, I provided the example of one of my colleagues at the school at which I’m employed, a retired public school teacher who is, in addition to being a great person and a first-rate teacher, a staunch conservative. In fact, at our school there are two men of such ilk, and both of them have told me several stories of union neglect when it comes to “protection” that many of us have heard over the years. In any event, the example that I provided in the earlier piece was of the former gentleman, who as he was entering his profession 40 years ago in 1970 and was joining his public-sector union, was warned about unions by his father, who was on his deathbed. A union-employed career pipefitter, his father told him, “the unions once made this country great; now, they’re trying to take over the country.”
Prophetic, to say the least.
I’m fully well aware that diehard union activists and employees will argue that unions are necessary in order to provide some assurance to those in labor that they will never be fired for an unjust cause. The darker side of this, obviously, is that such blanket protection leaves some of the workers quite unmotivated, for once they’re vested in their union, it’s damn-near impossible for an employer to rid themselves of any part of an unproductive workforce – which, of course, relegates some professions to mere “jobs programs”. From a personal standpoint, some of the accounts that I’ve heard of both teacher (lack of work and effort) and union abuse from some of my friends in education in the public sector are enough to make my hair stand on-end. From what I’ve heard in the past, it’s not uncommon to hear employees tell colleagues “not to work so hard; the rest of us look bad”, and if and when an employee has actual, legitimate issues with his employer for his/her “protection” to not even show up for hearings.
But of course, their tribute – I mean, their union dues – is always extracted from their paychecks in a timely manner.
For that matter, how much difference – in principle, mind you – is there between union dues and income tax? In both cases, an individual is paying for the “right” to be an industrious person. Talk about backwards. And, in both cases, one could make the argument that the extracted income goes to government, in one form or another.
Protection money. Tribute.
Any wonder that the Mafia always exerted tremendous influence, if not altogether control, over union workforces? And that both Jack and Robert Kennedy wanted to bring them down? Here’s my only question about the necessity of unionized workforces – don’t we have labor laws for this sort of thing?
Of course, union protection – while one of and possibly the most significant of the forms of protection that I intend to discuss – is far from the end of the list, especially as it concerns this hyper-liberal administration. How about Cap and Trade? Apparently, each and every one of us humans needs protecting from him or herself, as our use of energy has apparently led us to living in Dante’s final circle of Hell. Before we burn up, our benevolent politicians would like nothing more than to protect us by driving up the cost of energy so high as to render it nearly unaffordable – unless, of course, you happen to be a really, really, evil rich person, in which case you’ll never even notice the added cost. If you’re a middle-class person, however, and you’d like to turn on the lights in your house as well as to be “protected” from the effects of the furnace that we seem to have created all around us, it is, quite simply, going to cost you.
Protection money. Tribute.
Back in March the Democrats managed to pass legislation that ostensibly provided health protection to everyone – even though we now can see that it not only hasn’t accomplished that goal but also has sent medical insurance premiums “skyrocketing”.
Wait – haven’t I heard that before?
To top it all off, of course, health insurance is now a forced mandate for the American people, something that is clearly and common-sensically unconstitutional as well as something that has never before been attempted in a free America.
Protection money. Tribute.
If we refuse? We’ll end up like the nice old business proprietor in The Untouchables. Well, maybe not quite – Nancy Pelosi will merely have it arranged so that we’re placed behind bars.
Hearkening back to Bernie Madoff for a moment, I’d certainly be remiss if I didn’t at least make a passing mention of the everyday insurance companies – home, auto (which is also mandated in many states if you’d actually like to drive your car – but, then again, that would contribute to the destruction of the planet), life, etc., which, truth be told, may be some of the greatest ponzi schemes going, given that when the everyday person calls in for his “protection”, there are many times that he or she has to nearly pull teeth in order to get from his representatives that which is justifiably his.
Is it any wonder that this administration wants control of the banks? – which, when coupled with the newly-fangled and Big Brother-like financial “protection” in which we now apparently can all hold hands and sing Kumba-Ya, is yet another ponzi scheme on a never-before-seen scale.
Clearly, there’s protection-a-plenty to be had from those in power. The only question in each case is what price or tribute must be paid to the fiddler. If it’s the right to feel safe from airliners hijacked by terrorists, the tribute doesn’t necessarily come in the form of cold hard cash; no, in this case it’s obscenely long lines and delays (something that only adds to the pressure cooker of traveling) coupled by a choice: either we submit to being photographed in the nude, or we allow complete strangers to “pat us down”, something that I personally view as tantamount to fondling, all in the name of our paternalistic government’s clearly showing their genuine degree of concern for all of their children. I’ve also no doubt that this is little more than our being “spanked” (pardon the pun) for having had the temerity to clean out the House of Representatives and a good portion of the Senate of those who were also riding the “protection for sale” financial express.
The message is clear: SUBMIT – or else.
So, let’s see – we need protection from big business, public sector administrators, health insurance companies, natural death, car accidents, natural disasters, being sick, the incineration of the planet itself, and terrorists. Oh, and I almost forgot – I’d certainly be remiss if I didn’t mention the Food Safety Act of 2010. I’m sure the farmers will love that one. Think any special interests will make out on that? The financial production of all of our labors is skimmed off the top by forcibly legal means by a big government and business sector and is – for lack of a better word – re-distributed amongst all the friends of those in power or those who support those in power.
Remember this one historical fact: arguably the most notorious gangster of all time, Al Capone, built an empire by laundering money through a redundant series of businesses of which he technically had possession but never had his name attached to them. Hmmm….it might just be me, but that sounds awfully, awfully similar to what this administration is doing with regard to massive bailouts and technically taking control of bigger businesses and crushing smaller ones in the process.
Sounds like they’re dealing in protection money to me. But that’s just me. What do I know?
And, finally, we arrive at the coup d’ grace: the full-court press by the global Left to take control of the media, most specifically the Internet, the very monster that was arguably the single greatest force in contributing to the great political awakening in America that has taken place over the course of past two years. As with all leftist regimes, opposition must be silenced; however, it will be packaged as being done only for our own protection. After all, there are a myriad of simple examples of Internet abuse that are clear threats to our daily lives.
First and most generally, terrorists obviously do the majority, if not all of their communicating over the Internet and cell phones. Legislation to patrol and shut down portions of the Internet to protect against these threats would absolutely be necessary. How could any American argue against that, right? Further, people like Julian Assange would be prevented from using simple internet technology to pose a very real threat to U.S. interests and security. Can’t have any rogue crazies out in cyberspace, right?
Earlier this year I discussed the possibility of the ground being paved for a “cyber-crisis” of some sort. Enter Julian Assange. The larger consideration in all of this, of course, hearkens back to something that Democratic senator John Rockefeller had to say when speaking of such legislation: the bill might not only wield authority over governmental Internet considerations but might also extend to other “private” online services that are of interest to the government.
Geez – think that might also include someone like me?
No, of course not – an American administration would never do that to one of its own citizens, someone who’s merely exercising his First Amendment right to speak his mind.
They’d never do that. Never. Only regimes like the Nazis and the Communists did things like that, and we’re clearly not that. Those regimes that were notorious for committing crimes against humanity now only exist in the pages of history.
Well, come to think of it, maybe they’d feel it necessary to shut me up if everyone in America needed to be protected from me. Then, well…maybe. I am a threat to American society, after all. I watch way too much football. I’m definitely one of those “rogue crazies”. Just ask my wife.
Let’s end with some rather direct statements. Each and every day we’re besieged by ads of the type that tell us that we have the “right to free wi-fi” and the “right to plug in”. Know this as well: just as in the movie The Matrix, you also have the right to wake up and unplug yourself from that which you’ve always taken for granted. As far as rights are concerned, I assume that I’m not alone when I say that the only rights about which I actually care have nothing to do with any aggrieved sense of entitlement; the rights with which I’m most concerned are the ones laid out for us in our Constitution, which are as basic as they come. Amongst those rights is the right to protect oneself, as presented in the Second Amendment, which brings me to a point at which I’ll shed a bit of light upon myself. In principal, I’ve always been an anti-gun guy; heck, I’ve never even been in the presence of a firearm, let alone having taken the time to buy one and learn how to shoot it. It’s not that I’m anti-gun in the sense of it’s constitutionality, but rather, I personally choose not to have anything to do with guns. I’m just not a violent guy. I will say, though, that with regard to this viewpoint, I have changed over the past ten years or so. For example, when I used to see Charlton Heston on television, speaking on behalf of the NRA and using the colonists’ struggles against the “Brits” and the Indians as justification for the Second Amendment in today’s world, I’ll admit that I’d typically scoff at such a notion and feel that such a viewpoint was badly misplaced some two centuries later. Now I can honestly say that the past five to ten years have brought me to an understanding of what the Founding Fathers had in mind: a man has a right to protect himself, even if it’s from the very people who are supposed to be doing that for him.
Naturally, this is the one true from of individual protection that those in the global elite and their cohorts in this administration would like nothing more than to eliminate. Any attempt that is made either by a person to protect himself or by people in the government to protect the country is met with stiff resistance by any of a litany of special-interest leftist groups.
Go figure that one out.
Instead, we’re told that we need to be protected from a deluge of “crises” that each and every day are being exposed for what they are – creations of delusional minds, minds that seem to belong to, unfortunately, our alleged “leaders”. The greatest, single form of protection ever conceived and put to paper is the Constitution of the United States of America, and its only functions are to protect men from the tentacles of a government gone awry and from individual men infringing on the rights of other men. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
Instead, we have “protection” schemes that are little more than glorified tribute to the head of crime families or fiefdoms. These people make me sick to my stomach.
My ardent wish is that while the American people are now most decidedly awake, they must never, ever fall asleep again. Perpetual vigilance is now and forever the name of the game, because only we can protect ourselves. It’s evident that no one in the government, and perhaps even in law, will do it for us.
I truly hope that while these people continue with their incessant political machinations, they remember this well:
I will not yield.
I will not submit.
Not while I draw breath.
And that I can protect myself. Count on it.