Some independence: It’s “EZ-Pass up our a-s,” says Myron Robert Pauli, Ph.D.
238 years ago in Philadelphia, a group of Americans adopted the world’s most famous grievance list against the British Empire and declared our independence. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “… unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men … ”
With some guts, guns, and help from Louis XVI, we secured our independence – that was the good news. The bad news was that America was left with the task of self-government. It didn’t start that well with squabbling local governments full of rogue demagogues appealing to indebted yahoos with paper money and contract repudiation. Alarmed men like Washington and Hamilton supported a federal government to keep the yahoos in check. Others like George Mason and Patrick Henry preferred 13 local independent confederacies over one big (potential) tyranny and became the Anti-Federalists.
Jefferson and Madison went along with the Federal idea with a Bill of Rights attached to limit the potential tyranny. And Ben Franklin prophetically said: “I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”
Fast forwarding to 2014, and we now celebrate our independence with military displays. We spend more on our Armed Forces than the rest of the world combined. We can kick anyone’s butt, even with such exemplary soldiers as Lynndie England, Chelsea Manning, Nidal Malik Hasan, and Bowe Bergdahl and with one hand tied behind our back! Even our Coast Guard has a larger budget than the British Navy! We can invade anyplace and install “democracy” in primitive cultures in the form of Diem, Thieu, Maliki, Karzai, or HumptyDumpty, until Americans get tired of the expenses and the troops returning in body-bags, without limbs and with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Our President can execute 16 year old Americans on his whim-wham by pushing buttons controlling drones. The local cops now are equipped with lasers, tasers, radars, ladars, mMine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles with turreted 50 cal machine guns, and even drones. Millions of bureaucrats, contractors, etc. can read our e-mail, regulate our soft drinks, fondle our privates, access our bank accounts, deny medical treatments, and track our movements.
It’s EZ-Pass up our a-s – and even small children can come equipped with transponders. Americans can be held incommunicado for years if captured on a “battlefield,” such as Chicago, provided the president labels them “terrorists.” Waterboarding, sleep deprivation, thermal discomfort and painful positioning is how we “secure these rights” in the 21st Century. Unless there’s permanent organ failure, it isn’t torture!
Our educational system spends more money than anyone else to churn out ADHD-drugged up functional illiterates with masters degrees and tons of student debt. The accredited over-tested narcissists having gone through years of New Math, Leave No Child Behind, Ebonics, Political Correctness, Common Core, and dozens of other bureaucratic fads taught by burned-out teachers in a system where administrators outnumber teachers.
Our Federal Reserve can miraculously create trillions of “dollars” at the press of a computer tab and, lo-and-behold, the banksters and hedge funds are bulging with newfound wealth. My 401k can rise $1000 while I’m in the bathroom. General Motors can turn out clunkers indefinitely and the people shout Amen! Employment drops 5 percent and inner cities resemble Hiroshima in 1945 while the Dow hits new highs.
But whatever corrupt rot, bureaucracy, dysfunctional hyperpartisan politics, or authoritarianism has evolved – it was not imposed on us by “terrorists,” Nazis, Commies, Martians, or even Mexicans, but by our own making (as Franklin foresaw). The self-government that was supposed to “secure these rights” now keeps us in a gilded cage with 500 TV channels in the Empire of the Welfare-Warfare State.
In the 1960’s show “The Prisoner,” Patrick Mc Goohan, “Number 6” was held captive in some “utopian ‘Village’” and asked, “Who is Number 1?” That’s easy, baby. It’s US! USA!! U-S-A!!!
Myron Pauli with his late, lovely wife.
Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.