Friday, March 14, 2008

"They hate us for our freedoms" -- still more fascism

As I said in a post yesterday, it's been a busy week for the fascists among us. Today I've got three more little tales of fascists at work.

There are essentially three types of fascism in vogue today. The first category represents laws or bureaucratic regulations which serve to restrict our freedoms and further empower the government. Much of the environmental legislation passed in the past 40 years falls into this category, as well as all of the gun control laws. The second category can be described as petty bullying by the nanny state; laws or rules restricting what you can eat, where you can smoke, how much water your toilet can flush, etc. The last category consists of laws and regulations that give the government the power to keep tabs on the citizenry in ways that the Founding Fathers would have found completely unacceptable. I call these the Überwachenden Enablers. The government LOVES these laws because they can trample on the Fourth Amendment at will and wipe their asses with the Constitution -- all in the name of stopping crime and fighting terrorism.

The first two of today's tales fall into category two.

Honor student suspended for buying candy at school
This one really had me shaking my head in wonder. It seems the school board had outlawed the sale of candy on school property as part of a "wellness policy". ** Vulture gags uncontrollably ** The student in question was busted for purchasing "contraband" candy from another student. Sound familiar? It should: this is the very type of underground economy created under Prohibition in the 20's with alcohol and carried out since perhaps the late 50's with illegal drugs. Go ahead, nannies. Make things you don't like illegal - and watch the underground economy grow.

Anyway, they threw the book at this poor kid.

Michael Sheridan was stripped of his title as class vice president, barred from attending an honors student dinner and suspended for a day...
Are you catching this? To say the punishment was overkill is to do an injustice to the concept of overkill. Needless to say, saner heads prevailed, and the youngster was restored to his position as class vice president. Good grief!

Proposed law requiring would require eating establishments to have "enough toilet paper" in their restrooms (WARNING: bad puns follow)
What a load! Do you believe this crap? What's amusing is the murkiness of the proposed bill. Nowhere in it does the asshat state legislator specify how much is "enough". I'm sure enforcement would be a pain in the ass. This type of nuisance regulation needs to be wiped out. It's a stain on our legal system.

Okay, enough of THAT. This last item falls into the category of Überwachenden Enabler.

Big Brother checking up on financial records
Each year, federal agents peek at the financial transactions of millions of Americans — without their knowledge.

The same type of information that raised suspicions about New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is reviewed every day by authorities to find traces of money laundering, check fraud, identity theft or any crime that may involve a financial institution.

As concerns about fraud and terrorist financing grow, an increasing number of suspicious deposits, withdrawals and money transfers are being reported by banks and others to the federal government. Banks and credit unions as well as currency dealers and stores that cash checks reported a record 17.6 million transactions to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in 2006, according to a report from the network, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department.

"I don't think Americans understand that their financial transactions are being reported and routinely examined," said Barry Steinhardt of the American Civil Liberties Union.
As I stated in the intro to this post, this is the stuff that government just LOVES, because they can ram it through without too much outcry from the sheeple by invoking the specter of crime and terrorism. I can see Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, et al, all spinning in their graves. What ever happened to "probable cause"? What ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? It saddens me to see what we've become and where we're heading.