Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Divine Rights of the US Federal Government

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Divine right of kings means the divine right of anyone who can get uppermost. – - Herbert Spencer

Once upon a time there was ‘the divine right of kings,’ a political and religious doctrine of political legitimacy asserting that kings are subject to no earthly authority, deriving their right to rule directly from the will of God. The king was thus not subject to the will of his people. According to this doctrine, since only God can judge an unjust king, the king can do no wrong. The doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act.

Then came a time and men like Thomas Jefferson to change all that, and with it a new doctrine that basically said: “[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”

But things never remain the same. Do they? In this case, devolution of some sort took place, gradually, sometimes more rapidly than at other times, and things reverted back to what they once were. The Divine Right returned, albeit with one or two cosmetic and inconsequential differences. Change the word ‘king’ to ‘Federal Government,’ expand the right to make it ‘rights,’ add a body of votes issued and granted (sometimes) by those who serve the throne, and there you have it: The Divine Rights of the US Federal Government; far bigger than a one-man kingdom, far more dangerous than a few-man monarchy, and far more powerful than a napoleonesque empire. It is a kingdom in layers: the not so visible top-tier kings-think MIC, Financial Conglomerates; the immune and untouchable presidency layer- think King George and King Obama; the leviathan bureaucracy unleashed with unlimited police powers- think CIA, Pentagon, Homeland Security, FBI and the rest …and let’s not forget the most crucial layer, the largest in size, the smallest in voice, and the most willing in rendering the power: the neo-indentured servants, as in ‘we the people’.

Here is a cursory list of a few characteristics of our federal government’s divinity in action: Our kings’ absolute power to declare wars and empire, Our kings’ ever-expanding police to spy upon the people, Our kings’ use of a iron fist when it comes to dissent or opposition, Our kings’ unlimited right to take away its servants’ money & spend it as it wishes; some of it in total secrecy

And here is one the latest on the divine government protecting and further expanding its divinity:
Two U.S. senators introduced sweeping privacy legislation today that they promise will “establish a framework to protect the personal information of all Americans.” There is, however, one feature of the bill (PDF) sponsored by senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) that has gone relatively unnoticed: it doesn’t apply to data mining, surveillance, or any other forms of activities that governments use to collect and collate Americans’ personal information.

At a press conference in Washington, D.C., McCain said the privacy bill of rights will protect the “fundamental right of American citizens, that is the right to privacy.” And the first sentence of the legislation proclaims that “personal privacy is worthy of protection through appropriate legislation.” But the measure applies only to companies and some nonprofit groups, not to the federal, state, and local police agencies that have adopted high-tech surveillance technologies including cell phone tracking, GPS bugs, and requests to Internet companies for users’ personal information–in many cases without obtaining a search warrant from a judge.

It also doesn’t apply to government agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, the Census Bureau, and the IRS, which collect vast amounts of data on American citizens.

Making the governmental exemption more pointed is the fact that the senators’ press conference comes as the Obama Justice Department is lobbying for broader surveillance powers and trying to head off pro-privacy reforms.

Last week, the Justice Department said it opposed proposals–backed by AT&T, Google, Microsoft, eBay, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Americans for Tax Reform–to protect Americans’ privacy by requiring a search warrant to access online files and track Americans’ locations. Then, on Friday, the Justice Department renewed its opposition to being required to use a search warrant to access the Twitter accounts of Wikileaks volunteers.

A naïve, or wanna-be naïve, or simply wanna sound naïve Jim Harper of Cato institute asks: “What’s a bill of rights if it doesn’t provide rights against the government?” And he follows with another wanna-be naïve statement: “Kerry and McCain are saying, ‘Do as I say, not as I do,” Really?! Is this a recent trend? Has he just begun to observe this divine and exempted class attitude? Where has he been?! Please someone tell this either utterly naïve or naïve sounding man:

The Divine Right of Kings doctrine has been back for quite some time, and has been expanding at an exponential rate during the last decade – with a slight change in name: The Divine Rights of the US Federal Government.

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