Tyranny of the One, Tyranny of the Few, Tyranny of the Many, Drone Strikes and the Rand Paul Filibuster

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 7th, 2013

Politics 101

Trusting that only Good People will Serve in Government is Sheer Folly

History has been a struggle for power.  Those who wanted it fought those who had it.  And those who had it tried to eliminate anyone who didn’t have it but wanted it.  So people have killed each other since the dawn of time for power.  Making for a rather Hobbesian existence.  “Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”  A quote from Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan.  Where he posits that only an all powerful dictator can provide a just society.  Otherwise there would be great unrest and civil wars.  Such as was going on in England at the time he wrote Leviathan.

England, though, would choose a non-Hobbesian path.  Choosing to restrict the powers of their monarch with a represented body of the people.  Parliament.  Evolving into what John Adams once called the best system of government.  A constitutional monarchy where power was balanced between the few, the many and the one.  The few, the rich, paid the taxes that the one, the king, spent.  The common people were the many.  Who had a say in what the rich and the king could do.  So everyone had a say.  And no one group, the majority, the minority or the one, could do whatever they wanted.  Which is why John Adams once thought it was the best system of government.

John Adams wanted a strong executive in the new United States.  Not a hereditary king.  But something close to the king of England.  Who would advance the new nation to greatness.  And with disinterested men of the Enlightenment serving in the new government Adams didn’t worry about any abuses of power.  For this wasn’t Great Britain.  But not everyone had Adams’ confidence in the nobility of men.  Worrying that given the chance they would try to form a new nobility.  As James Madison said in Federalist 51, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”  And that was the problem.  Men are not angels.  And trusting that only good men would serve in government was sheer folly.  So we should form governments under the assumption that bad people would reach positions of power.  And thus limit the power of government.

Today both Houses of Congress win Elections by Appealing to Populism

So the Americans settled on a similar system.  They separated powers between a legislature, an executive and a judiciary.  Further, they separated the legislature into two bodies.  The House of Representatives.  And the Senate.  Representation in the House being apportioned by population.  The more populous a state the greater that state’s representation.  And the greater influence they had in writing law.  They chose their representatives by popular vote.  Making it truly the house of the people.

The states, though, feared a tyranny of the majority.  Where the largest states could have their way.  And force the smaller states to accept their rule.  For in a true democracy the majority could vote anything into law.  Such as the subjugation and oppression of a minority group.  Like the Nazi Party passed legislation subjugating and oppressing the Jews.  So minorities need protection from majorities.  In the United States the Senate provided a check on majority rule.  For each state had equal representation.  Each state had two senators.  And to further protect the interests of the states (and their sovereignty) the states chose their senators.  A constitutional amendment changed this later.  Which weakened the sovereignty of the states.  By making the Senate a true democracy.  Where the people could vote for the senators that promised them the most from the treasury.

Today both houses of Congress win elections by appealing to populism.  Representatives and Senators are, in general, no longer ‘disinterested men of the Enlightenment’ but pure politicians trying to buy votes.  Which is what James Madison worried about.  The people in government are not angels.  And they’re becoming less like angels as time goes on.  Proving the need of a separation of powers.  And a bicameral legislature.  To keep any one group, or person, from amassing too much power.  So there can be no tyranny of the many.  No tyranny of the few.  And no tyranny of the one.

The Obama Administration can’t use the Military to Kill Suspect Americans on U.S. Soil

Senator Rand Paul just recently completed a 13 hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate.  To delay the vote to confirm John Brennan as CIA director.  Not because he had a problem with Brennan.  But because he had a problem with the Obama administration.  Specifically with Attorney General Eric Holder.  Senator Paul had asked Holder if the Obama administration could use a drone to kill an American on American soil without due process even if that person posed no imminent threat.  The attorney general gave his answer in a letter.  In which he didn’t say ‘no’.  Which bothered Senator Paul.  Because the Obama administration had killed an American or two on foreign soil without due process.  Including the son of a guy that posed an imminent threat.  While the son did not.

U.S. drone strikes have killed many terrorists overseas.  And they’ve killed a lot of innocent bystanders who had the misfortune to be in the same vicinity.  Such as being in the same coffee shop.  Basically a policy of ‘kill them all and let God sort them out’.  But you don’t hear a lot about this collateral damage.  As the Obama administration simply counts all the dead from a drone strike as being a terrorist that posed an imminent threat to U.S. security.  And the innocent son that was killed in a drone strike?  Well, he should have chosen a better father.  Or so said a member of the Obama administration.  Which is what so bothered Senator Paul.  For in the War on Terror the battlefield is worldwide.  Including the United States.  Which means given the right set of circumstances the Attorney General of the United States stated the government had the legal right to use a drone to kill an American on U.S. soil without due process.

In the United States there is a thing called the Constitution.  Which guarantees American citizens due process.  If you’re an American fighting Americans on foreign soil you have no Constitutional protections.  And can be killed by a drone strike without due process.  But if you’re on U.S. soil you have Constitutional protections.  Which means the government can’t use the military to kill suspect Americans.  No.  On U.S. soil we have police forces.  And courts.  Miranda rights.  On U.S. soil you have to convince a judge to issue an arrest warrant.  Then you have to collect evidence to present in a trial.  And then you have to convince a jury of a person’s guilt.  Then and only then can you take away a person’s freedom.  Or life.  Thus protecting all Americans from the tyranny of the one.  The tyranny of the few.  And the tyranny of the many.

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President Obama is Killing more People in the War on Terror than George W. Bush

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 16th, 2013

Week in Review

Under George W. Bush the Americans committed great atrocities.  It embarrassed terrorists at the Abu Ghraib prison.  Including things like forcing these terrorists to form a human pyramid.  In the nude.  Much like a fraternity hazing.  Though without the drinking and sex that typically follows admission into a fraternity.  And American soldiers, including at least one woman, posing for pictures with some of these terrorists at the end of a leash.  But the atrocities didn’t end there.

Allies in the War on Terror took some terrorists into secret prisons.  Where they were interrogated with enhanced interrogation techniques.  Also known as torture.  Even the U.S. used some enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorists in their custody.  Water boarding as many as three terrorists.  Including one that gave up the name of a messenger used by Osama bin Laden which led us to his compound.  But the atrocities didn’t end there.

The Americans held terrorists in a military prison at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.  Freelance terrorist captured on the battlefield fighting for no organized state.  And therefore not subject to the Geneva Convention.  Terrorists that just travel to wherever they can as long as they can kill Americans.  The Americans captured them.  Imprisoned them.  And, worst of all, denied them access to the American criminal justice system.  Giving them trials by military tribunals instead.  While those on the Left wanted to give them full protection of the American criminal justice system.  Including the mastermind of 9/11.  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  Who the Left wanted to try in lower Manhattan.  Not far from Ground Zero.  And called George W. Bush a war criminal for not extending the full protection of the American criminal justice system to these terrorists.  For we are Americans.  We don’t torture people.  Or deny them their rights.  Even when they have no rights for they are not military personnel fighting under the flag of a nation signatory to the Geneva Convention.  But unaligned lawless mercenaries.

President Obama, on the other hand, has a way to deflect this criticism.  He just kills people without trial or due process.  Even if they are American-born.  And he labels any innocents caught in the cross fire as terrorists.  Because if everyone is a dead terrorist then there is no detainee problem or collateral damage.  A very efficient solution.  Death.  And when it comes to killing terrorists President Obama has many tools to use (see Stop Calling It The Drone Memo by Kelsey D. Atherton posted 2/11/2013 on Popular Science).

The United States uses a whole arsenal of tools to carry out the targeted killing policy detailed in a recent DOJ memo. Why is everyone focusing on drones..?

While it’s true that drones are the best-known tool for carrying out targeted strikes, they are only one of many methods by which the United States attacks individual terrorists from afar. Here are some others:…

The AC-130 is a type of gunship built on the body of a troop transport that has been in service since Vietnam…

Tomahawk cruise missiles, in use since the 1980s, are also part of the targeted killing program…

Another way the U.S. does targeted killings is with special forces…

We may talk about the “drone war” and debate the drone memo, but we’re not really looking at the use of a specific technology. Instead, the “drone debate” is about policy, and how the United States chooses to attack its enemies in the War on Terror. Fancy as modern drones may be, it’s the policy that makes this kind of war new.

Surprisingly, these assets are still in use even after the war criminal, George W. Bush, used them.  In fact, you’d think this was a laundry list of killing tools for George W. Bush.  Or Ronald Reagan.  Not the beloved President Obama.  The guy that had Hillary Clinton press a reset button with the Russians to show our kinder and more loveable side.  But no.  This is President Obama’s list of killing tools.  Who’s killing terrorists just as President Bush killed terrorists.  Even taking it up a notch with those drone strikes.

President Obama is killing more people with his drone strikes than President Bush did.  Including a lot of innocents standing too close to terrorists when those bombs fell out of the sky.  Some of the innocent dead even included children.  Making the locals hate the Americans even more than when George W. Bush was president.  Where the locals are saying that President Obama’s drone strikes and his indiscriminate killing policy are tools for terrorist recruitment.  Just as the Left said Abu Ghraib, enhanced interrogation techniques, denying rights to outlaw terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and not giving Khalid Sheikh Mohammed his day in court were tools for terrorist recruitment.

There are degrees of hate.  People hate cancer more than they hate washing the dishes.  So one would assume that some things make people hate Americans more than other things.  And one would have to believe that a bomb falling out of the sky killing innocent children would make people hate Americans more than water boarding three terrorists that no one knew about until the Left told the world about it.  So we can conclude that President Obama’s policies are recruiting more terrorists than the war criminal George W. Bush.  Even though President Obama said George W. Bush was everything that was wrong with U.S. policy.  A policy that only intensified under the Obama administration.  Yet the Left continues to love President Obama.  While they continue to hate George W. Bush.  Even though President Obama is even ‘more’ George W. Bush when it comes to his kill policies.

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Imagine what the Left would be saying if President Obama was a Republican

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 7th, 2013

Politics 101

President Obama added more to the Federal Debt in 4 Years than Reagan and Bush did in 8 Years

The Left hated Republican Ronald Reagan.  Because his policies worked.  He cut federal income tax rates.  And those cuts in tax rates increased tax revenue coming into the federal treasury by 75.8% during his 8 years in office (see Table 1.1—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-): 1789–2017).  Even though the Left likes spending money and loves having more money flowing into the treasury they can’t stand that this growth in tax revenue came from a cut in tax rates.  So they focus on his deficits.

They say, yes, he generated great economic activity, but at what cost?  He added $1.69 trillion to the federal debt (see A History of Debt In The United States) in his 8 years ($2.51 trillion in 2012 dollars).  The Left say he was irresponsible, reckless and was mortgaging our children’s future.  While President Obama has added $5.39 trillion to the federal debt.  In only FOUR years.  That’s just over twice what Reagan added in only half the time.  On top of that tax revenue fell 2.19% from where they were in 2008.  Yet President Obama is not irresponsible, reckless or mortgaging our children’s future.  Instead the Left blames the Republicans because they won’t increase tax rates.

Republican George W. Bush added $3.15 trillion to the federal debt over his 8 years.  President Obama’s 4 years in office outdid that by 1.7 times.  And Bush beefed up homeland security after 9/11.  Fought the War in Afghanistan.  And the Iraq War.  Bush cut taxes, too.  Not as much as Reagan.  Probably explaining why he didn’t increase tax revenues as much as Reagan.  After his 8 years in office he increased tax revenues by 24.6%.  While President Obama decreased tax revenue by 2.19% after his first 4 years in office.  Yet George W. Bush was irresponsible, reckless and mortgaging our children’s future.  While President Obama is not.

President Obama vowed to Shut Down Gitmo and try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a U.S. Court

The Left really hated George W. Bush.  They didn’t just want to impeach him.  They wanted to arrest him for war crimes for his invasion of Iraq.  Among other things.  They called him every dirty name in the book.  Even accused him of trying to give himself dictatorial powers.  Which is what the Patriot Act did according to the Left.  There are few things that angered the Left more.  They hated the powers it gave the president in the War on Terror.  Even allowing warrantless wiretaps on Americans.

If an American citizen was talking to someone with known terrorist connections the Bush administration didn’t need to go to a judge.  They could just listen into private phone calls like in any other dictatorship.  The Patriot Act was everything that was wrong with George W. Bush.  And his assault on personal liberties.  But when President Obama renewed the Patriot Act the Left did not call President Obama every dirty name in the book.  Or accuse him of trying to amass dictatorial powers.  After he renewed the Patriot Act all criticism of the Patriot Act just went away.  Just as the daily body count in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan went away from the network news broadcasts once President Obama moved into the White House.

As the War on Terror progressed the U.S. started taking terrorists into captivity.  People who wore no uniform.  Who fought for no state signatory to the Geneva Convention.  Who followed no rules.  And killed indiscriminately.  Men.  Women.  Even children.  The U.S. incarcerated these most dangerous outlaws on the island of Cuba.  At Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.  Gitmo.  Including the mastermind of 9/11.  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  The Left called this a travesty of justice.  They wanted to shut down Gitmo.  Transfer these men to U.S. prisons in the United States.  And give them proper trials.  They even wanted to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City.  Not far from Ground Zero.  For these prisoners in Gitmo deserved the full protection of the American criminal justice system.  Not military tribunals.  President Obama vowed to shut down Gitmo if elected.  And give these outlaws the full protection of the U.S. legal system.

President Obama acted as Judge, Jury and Executioner when Targeting and Killing Americans Abroad

But that’s not the only thing the war criminal George W. Bush did.  He also tortured people.  He water boarded three terrorists.  And held people in foreign countries where they did who knows what to these terrorists.  To gather intelligence.  To help the U.S. interdict terrorist strikes against America.  And to ultimately lead us to Osama bin Laden.  But to the Left these things were just beyond the pale.  Crimes against humanity.  They wanted to do to Bush what Bush was doing to these terrorists.  They even applauded when foreign states issued arrest warrants for George W. Bush should he travel to their countries.  President Obama was going to reverse the damage Bush did to the reputation of the U.S.  And make America the law-abiding nation it once was.

It’s now 2013 and Gitmo is still open.  And those terrorists are still there.  Also, they’re being tried in military tribunals.  Not the American criminal justice system.  Yet the Left doesn’t call President Obama a war criminal.  Terrorist incarcerations are down, too.  Thanks to his policy of drone strikes.  And his kill list.  Instead of capturing terrorists he just kills them.  Without a trial.  Along with any innocent civilians who had the misfortune to be near these terrorists during these drone strikes.  Who are identified as terrorists after the fact.  So his drone strikes don’t kill any innocent civilians.  Not taking prisoners solves the problems of what to do with terrorists in American custody.  But dead terrorists can’t give us intelligence that can interdict future terror strikes.  While dead terrorists and dead innocent civilians incite anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world.  That has led to al Qaeda recruitment.  And attacks on U.S. embassies.

But President Obama is doing something that George W. Bush never did.  While the Left attacked the Bush administration for their legal defense of enhanced interrogation techniques (what the Left calls torture) the Obama administration had a legal defense of their own.  But it wasn’t to justify water boarding three terrorists to gain useful intelligence.  It was for killing Americans in foreign countries who MAY present a threat to the U.S.   Which he has done.  Three times.  Without due process.  Where the president acted as judge, jury and executioner.  Like someone with dictatorial powers.  Yet the Left doesn’t call President Obama a war criminal.  Despite doing a lot of the same things George W. Bush did.  And worse.  Like targeting and killing Americans abroad.

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