Author: Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
What Happens When the Government Breaks its Own Laws
Our country is in danger. Our children may not know freedom in their adult lives. When you ignore the Constitution or interpret it dishonestly you are then at the whim of every left and right winger who want to use government to suit their cause. Many progressives (actually socialists) just won't get honest enough to say they want to throw away the constitution. They're at the pre-stage of that where they put down the people who wrote it. Thankfully Judge Napolitano gives us a great history of crucial times and cases that started leading us away from the intent of the constitution. He gives us background to what the founders intended, and lots of good examples from the current day which heralds the demise of our freedom with the exile of the constitution. He also includes the actual Constitution in its entirety and some suggestions as to how we can fight to stay a free nation. It's well written, an enjoyable read, and since they evidently don't teach this in school anymore it should be passed around for everyone to read. It will help define who we are and give ammunition against the collective beehive globalists that want to lead us into their visionary utopia, which will actuate as fascism. The constitution was written to protect the people from big government. Now we have people who want government to do everything for us even at the loss of individual freedom. Educate yourself to stay free, please read this book.
A NATION OF SHEEP
Author: Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Does the federal government really follow its own laws? Can the federal government really disobey the constitution in hopes of preserving the union's security? No, claims Judge Andrew Napolitano in his latest work A Nation Of Sheep. Napolitano asserts that the citizen's of the United States have been acting like sheep for quite some time now. All in the name of security, the people of the United States have been passive as the government strips them of their rights guaranteed to them in their own constitution. The Judge doesn't just blame the current executive, but traces the abuse all the way back to the revered Abraham Lincoln.
To understand much of Napolitano's reasoning for rejecting the idea that the government can "take" away our freedoms to provide us security, he starts off his work with a chapter entitled "Where Does Freedom Come From?" This particular chapter outlines a theory which is dubbed natural law. "Natural law," writes Napolitano, "states that because all humans desire freedom from artificial restraint, and because all human beings yearn to be free, our freedoms stem from our very humanity, and ultimately from the Creator of humanity" (p.2). Judge Napolitano suggests that the idea that government can take away our freedoms gives the notion that the government gave us our freedom; however, according to natural law, our freedoms come from God, and not the government. Whether the reader is a theist or not, the Judge provides ample examples of what the founding fathers thought about the subject; even Jefferson, probably the least religious of all the founding fathers, seemed to have supported the natural law theory. The Judge urges the reader to the Declaration of Independence, authored by Thomas Jefferson, which is showered with references of a deity from which our freedoms stem. Even if the reader isn't a religious person, the Judge argues that it is in our very nature to be free. So, say the reader doesn't believe in the divine, he or she could certainly agree it is in our nature to be free. A firm understanding of the natural law theory is necessary for the reader to, if not agree, at least understand Judge Andrew Napolitano's angst towards the policies of our federal government.
Although Napolitano spends the vast majority of his work dedicated to criticizing the current policies of our government, he reserves a good portion briefing the reader on some of the past abuses posed on the American people. Very briefly, Napolitano attacks even the very beginning's of our country's infancy. He specifically mentions the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by the Federalists. However, Napolitano pays special attention on the abuses carried out by Abraham Lincoln. Either because the Judge is particularly upset with the way Lincoln is viewed as a hero, or because he really does believe that Lincoln was more of a dictator than a president of a republic, the Judge shows no positive bias for the president. A fact that our school's conveniently overlook, Judge Napolitano points out that " During the Civil War, [Abraham] Lincoln closed down newspapers across the country and seized telegraph lines so as to censor communications that he perceived as threats to his war effort"(p.30). Not only did Lincoln close down newspapers, but he even banished a congressman named Clement Vallandingham from Ohio! All this, according the Napolitano, for calling Lincoln a monster and a tyrant, which he was, at least in Judge Napolitano's assessment. As plain as day, the first amendment states that congress shall make no law abridging the peoples free speech. Lincoln, as far as Napolitano is concerned, showed no respect to his oath of office of President of the United States, after all, the constitution exists in the good times as well as the dire periods.
Truly, Judge Napolitano doesn't let ideology get in the way of his assault on certain president's abuses of power; he reveals to his reader the faults of the Democrats most loved president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. He slams Roosevelt for an executive order he signed called the "War Powers Act." The War Powers Act gave Roosevelt the power to monitor international communications during World War Two. This act, according to The Honorable Judge Napolitano, is also blatantly unconstitutional. Napolitano sights a few more acts carried out by Roosevelt, including expediting Japanese Americans to prison camps, all to show his audience that infidelity to the United States Constitution is not something just as of recent times, but, indeed, dates way back, in many times, to some of our most beloved leaders.
However, Napolitano's bulk of criticism is aimed at the current occupants of the Federal Government. Not only has the executive branch had, he also blamed congress for passing unconstitutional laws. This is a breath of fresh air in today's political atmosphere where Democrats always blame Republicans and vice versa.
Never forgetting to mention the prophecies pronounced by George Orwell in his book 1984, Napolitano's only objection to Orwellian world is the date he predicted it to happen. Living in post-September eleventh America, Napolitano implies that America has reached the epitome of suppression. In A Nation of Sheep, Judge Napolitano claims that the government dropped the ball when it declared terrorism, not al-Qaeda, it's enemy. The Judge claims that this was the prerequisite to the stripping of American's most basic civil liberties. Now, in the wake of September eleventh, America has an enemy not bound by "geography, ideology, or state authority"(p.65). The reader might object, thinking to him or herself, that terrorism is bad, and the government should do anything in its power to eliminate it; however, Napolitano doesn't advocate a free pass to terrorism; simply, he believes the government uses this new enemy as a means of increasing its power, and abusing the constitution. Much of his book covers the deceptively named Patriot Act. Napolitano implies that the bill was posted only fifteen minutes before the vote was taken under the pretensions that there wasn't time to read it, and now, the federal government can search your home or office without going to a judge, required by the constitution, and without you knowing until after the search has been conducted. Judge Napolitano also exposes that the government didn't stop with terrorism investigations, particular sections can be used in criminal investigations! Whether the reader agrees with him or not, the Judge makes it very clear to the reader that the vast majority of the so-called Patriot Act is not only unconstitutional, but also morally wrong.
Napolitano doesn't just stop at blaming the government for abolishing our God given rights; he actually goes into how ineffective the government can be when people become dependent on them for security. As far as airport security goes, he seems to hold particular hostility towards the government. Reporting on the TSA's lists of what can and cannot be brought onto an airplane, Napolitano points out "Gel-filled bras and fluids with medical use(including, specifically, K-Y Jelly) are exempt from the three ounce limit imposed on most fluids at the security gates. The TSA goes into bizarre detail, permitting sabers and meat cleavers, for example, in checked luggage, but prohibiting water"(p.123). It's hard to believe, but the Judge provides ample proof for his claims; however, forasmuch as Judge Napolitano bashes the government for its ineffectiveness, a clever mind would be quick to point out that since September eleventh two-thousand one, the United States has been free of domestic attacks. To the Judges credit though, he does somewhat answer this objection with a quote from Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty, or give me death." It's hard to tell how many of his readers would actually prefer death over some of their freedoms being briefly suspended, but the Judge makes it clear that much of our founding fathers held the belief that freedom and security are not to be balanced; because, if we lose the values that this country was founded on, then we truly have nothing left to defend.
The rest of Judge Napolitano's book is showered with seemingly countless circumstances where the government has abused its power, stripped Americans of their freedoms, and legislators breaking their oath of office. After citing a slew of facts and numbers, the Judge urges the American people to stop following their shepherds, and start acting more like wolves. Wolves, claims Judge Napolitano, can think for themselves, and don't trust that the shepherds always look out for their best interest.
In hindsight, this reviewer found that the Judge did a superb job of keeping his work readable, without dumbing it down to an elementary level. The Judge does describe himself as a pro-life libertarian; with that, he refrains from showing any obvious bias towards the right or the left. Whether it is the president, the legislators, or even the judges that refuse to do their jobs as defined in the constitution, Napolitano doesn't give anyone a free pass. It's refreshing for any American to read a book where its author actually respects the rule of the land, the freedom this nation was founded on, and the ideas of our founding fathers. In this reviewer's mind, A Nation Of Sheep should be required reading for anyone that wishes to hit the polls in November, of course, that is to be taken only half seriously.
LIES THE GOVERNMENT TOLD YOU
Author: Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Forward By: Congressman Ron Paul
Myth, Power, and Deception in American History
I have read many books on the subject but Judge Napolitano's is by far the best. I was sad to read that some other reviewers had a hard time or were confused reading it (all less than 5 star reviews) because I found it very straightforward. In plain language, the author summarizes the history of court cases that have taken away all of our "self-evident" rights. But you don't need to memorize cases to intelligently discuss the issues. For those of you, like myself, who keep a pocket copy of the Constitution handy, I will now keep a list of the lies on hand for when I discuss philosophy and politics with my friends and co-workers. Ask this question to get a spirited discussion started: "From your personal experience, is Judge Napolitano correct when he says the Federal Government lies to us?" I would like to see an honest jurist of Judge Napolitano's caliber nominated for the Supreme Court. These are the lies the author proved our governments tells us:
1. All Men Are Created Equal
2. All Men...Are Endowed by Their Creator with Certain Inalienable Rights
3. Judges Are Like Umpires
4. Every Vote Counts
5. Congress Shall Make No Law...Abridging the Freedom of Speech
6. The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed
7. Your Body is Your Temple
8. The Federal Reserve Shall Be Controlled by Congress
9. It's Only a Temporary Government Program
10. I'm from the Government, and I'm Here to Help
11. We Are Winning the War on Drugs
12. Everyone Is Innocent Until Proven Guilty
13. The Constitution Applies in Good Times and in Bad Times
14. Your Boys Are Not Going to Be Sent into any Foreign Wars
15. We Don't Torture
16. The Right of the People to be Secure in Their Persons, Houses, Papers, and Effects Shall Not Be Violated.
17. America Has a Free Market
BRAVE NEW WORLD
Author: Aldous Huxley
As critic and best-selling author Neil Postman points out so well in the introduction to his book "Amusing Ourselves To Death", we have congratulated ourselves prematurely by figuring we made it past the totalitarian nightmare state depicted in George Orwell's gripping cautionary tale "1984". Perhaps, Postman suggest, we should remember another visionary totalitarian nightmare scenario and use it to critically examine the contemporary state of social and psychological well-being. Of course he was referring to Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World, written before Orwell's by 15 or so years, and even more frightening in its own way in the world it describes. More and more, that frightening vision looks like our contemporary world.
Picture his ironic portrait of a populace doped into Nirvana on "soma" (read Prozac and Zoloft), isolated and diverted by petty preoccupations in mindless trivial pursuits (read video games and internet surfing to all the porno sites), oblivious to anything not directly pertaining to themselves and totally unaware of the degree to which they are being socially, economically, and politically co-opted. Beginning to sound more familiar? Remember, says Huxley, brute force is not the only method an oligarchy can use to influence, manage, and finally control our hard-won freedoms and liberties; it can be done with over-indulgence and the deliberate fertilization and promulgation of apathy through self-absorption, as well.
Even Huxley says (circa 1960, almost 30 years after the original publication) in the preface of the revised version of the book that he is alarmed as to how quickly the sort of events he figured might take a hundred years such as the appearance of political internationalism and transnational corporate entities are already arising and beginning to control more and more of the substance of our social, economic, and political lives. Just how much do we know other than what we hear and see on television, for example? Yet the electronic media is owned and managed by transnational corporations. Ever wonder why we never heard much muckraking news coverage of the NAFTA or GATT deals even though many recognized the two bills would radically change the nature of international trade? Perhaps the transnational’s didn't want too much hype or fuss. Starting to feel uncomfortable yet? Still, people keep insisting this was just a whimsical work of fiction, that it was a parable, that he really wasn't serious.
Want to find out more? Read this book, but do so slowly, taking notes, recognizing how many contemporary parallels there are to each of the "whimsical details" he conjures up, and then figure out in your own mind how very close he was to prognosticating just how far we have come toward the "Brave New World" in which everyone's soul and awareness is for sale. The kids are wowed by the recent movie The Matrix", yet few appreciate just how much of a fabled existence we are already living in. No pain, no sorrow, no trouble of any kind. Instead, we have our individual and collective consciousness "managed" pharmaceutically; our psyches eased into blithering bliss with "soma", our diminishing attention spans sidetracked and occupied by petty diversions and endless entertainments. Pass me the corndogs, honey!
But, hey! Don't touch that dial; Regis is on! They may retry OJ! What did Bill Clinton really do with that cigar? Have you seen the latest news about the stock market? Did you get any of that new beer they're advertising? It's supposed to make me a real ladies man....What's the latest gadget? Can I buy one on-line? By the way, where are the kids? Hell, never mind, just turn up the volume. I think I know the answer to that question Regis just asked... Meanwhile, folks, our awareness of what is going on around us, our rights and our liberties are being power-washed away, obliterated, and we cannot even see it happening in front of us. We are diverted, distracted, content in our own little worlds. So welcome to our nightmare. Better beware; it just looks like Nirvana. It's really another "Brave New World".
BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED
Author: Aldous Huxley
That is the message which Huxley conveys through this follow-up to his masterpiece, Brave New World. Huxley's observations of modern day mind control methods, brainwashing, and propaganda are chilling. What is even more chilling is that this book was written in 1958, one can imagine what advances in these dark sciences man has taken since then. A key point in this book is that if a totalitarian state is going to exist in the present day it will almost surely be more like Huxley's Brave New World, rather than Orwell's 1984. The main reason for this is that whereas Orwell's society revolves around the threat of violence, torture, and death, Huxley's revolves around the reward system. Huxley's Brave New World lulls the masses to sleep so that they have no idea that their freedom is being taken away. Huxley predicts that we will drug people who are even slightly out of the norm for "mental illnesses" (does Prozac ring a bell?). He predicts that valuable information, information necessary for the preservation of freedom, will be subtly, very subtly, taken away from the masses while replacing it with a seemingly terrific reward (does television ring a bell?). Huxley's most frightening premise in this book is that the individual (what he and others identify as "The Great Man") is being done away with by modern "science". He recapitulates for us the great debate between the behaviorist psychologists (like Watson and Skinner) and the philosopher psychologist William James. Skinner and company believe that the individual is powerless over his environmental influences while James strongly believes in the idea of "The Great Man". (In other words did Elizabethan England create Shakespeare's plays or did Shakespeare create his plays?) Huxley tells us the bad news in bulk before getting to the obvious question what can we do? His answer can be summarized in one word, THINK!!! Think, debate, and don’t accept the packaged and marketed ideas that are given to you like a McDonald’s cheeseburger. In Huxley's words, educate yourself for freedom. And you can start by reading a copy of this book. If your local bookstore doesn't have one, then for God's sake, for all of our sakes, find a copy quick.
Author: George Orwell
Written as a parable, ANIMAL FARM offers the cautionary tale of Manor Farm, owned by Mr. Jones, who proves a poor manager and who treats the farm animals poorly. Emboldened by the dreams of a long-lived, much respected, and recently deceased pig named Major, the farm animals rebel, throw Mr. Jones out, and seize the property. The will run the farm to suit themselves, and none will go hungry, none will be mistreated, and all animals will live equally as brothers.
It is a fine dream--indeed, it mirrors mankind's most cherished hopes for civilization. But history teaches us that where the opportunity for exploitation exists there is no shortage of those to take advantage of it. Little by little the clever pigs, led by Napoleon, rise to power. And the other animals are too trusting and often too ignorant to see that they have merely exchanged one task master for another.
ANIMAL FARM is often described as a satire on communist Russia. That is certainly true, and readers who have some knowledge of the history of the Russian Soviet will be quick to recognize the parodies of Karl Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky, among others. But Orwell cuts considerably deeper than this. Russia may have been the starting point, but in truth the parable of ANIMAL FARM can be applied to any culture where political leaders manipulate the public through a mixture of unreasonable hope, media "spin," and irrational fear to remain in power.
As such, ANIMAL FARM remains as disquieting today as it was more than half a century ago. And we can be sure that, in nations where power becomes centered in the hands of the few, it will continue to be among the first novels banned when that power becomes absolute.
Author: George Orwell
Winston Smith, member of the Outer Party, a small, petty cog in the great machination of "Big Brother", tries to step out from the shadow of his life in George Orwell's now masterpiece, "1984". Written over 50 years ago, this book was to serve several purposes, one being a warning to the present that a future like this, however fantastic and unbelievable, could be in the making should we allow for it to happen.
Winston leads the dull life of a worker, not encouraged to think, or dream, for feel for himself. His whole life must be driven to support the Party, which promulgates an apparent non-entity Big Brother as the supreme one. Winston early on shows the spark of individuality that the Party so wants to extinguish; by daring to write a journal on his own, he seals his fate early in the story. Soon he meets Julia, another worker, who charms and dares him even further to encourage having an affair. Together they make a lethal pair, and some lethal decisions, which lead to the great climax in the Ministry of Love.
What lies in the story is an amazing prophecy of government gone mad. The Party believes in creating present truths by writing and rewriting the past on its whim. The Party understands in order to control the people it must control the language, thereby, creating "Newspeak". The Party makes people simply vanish, eradicating them from existence. The Party realizes the people who follow are merely plebeians in society, and therefore, should be encouraged to not think for themselves. In fact, the Party is able to directly lie to the people, using "doublethink", where they say one thing but mean the other.
How much of Orwell's nightmare is something that can be true today? Do we have a government out of control, one that manipulates information for its own benefit, to justify war, ensure fear and terror reigns over the country; one that illegally detains people without trial, right to counsel, or even being charged with a crime; one that wants to extensively monitor our personal phone calls, e-mails, the books we check out of the library, the things we buy in stores. The dots are there to connect them; the challenge is, will you dare to do it, like Winston Smith dared?
I believe 1984 is ultimately a hopeful book. Orwell wants to challenge humanity, that during times of crisis, we are able to rise up and change things, so the fateful prophecy so nobly and horrifyingly espoused in 1984, will only stay between the covers of the book. The choice is up to us.