Monday, April 26, 2010

The Borders Are Closing In

Ihre papiere, bitte: A defining demand of a police state.

Slavery consists of being "subject to the incessant, uncertain, arbitrary will of another man."

-- John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government

When an officer tells you to come inside and sit down, you come inside and sit down.... When an officer tells you to do something, you do it .... There is no "why" here.

-- U.S. Border Guard to a befuddled Canadian citizen arbitrarily detained while trying to visit a shopping mall in Niagara Falls, New York.

Returning to his home in Toronto following a brief visit to the States last December, author Peter Watts had the misfortune of being "randomly selected" for a search by members of the Regime's Border Guards Directorate stationed at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Michigan.

The science fiction novelist's bad luck was exacerbated by a momentary miscommunication: He saw a "flicker of motion" outside his car that he assumed was a wave, rather than a demand to pull over. His passenger understood what was happening, and urged Watts to pull over -- which he did.

"When I go like this, I'm not waving hello," sneered the border guard, assuming the snarky tone of unmerited superiority that armed functionaries use when addressing Mundanes.

"I guess we're not in Canada, because sometimes that means `hello,'" Watts replied, thereby committing a potentially fatal offense called "contempt of cop."

He compounded that supposed sin by getting out of the car and asking what the guards were doing as they pawed through the luggage in his trunk and the bags in his back seat.

As a citizen of the freest country (by default) in North America, Watts made the critical error of assuming that he had the right to ask why his privacy was being invaded, and that his question would be answered. His question was answered with repeated demands that he get back in his car.

After Watts hesitated, one of the guards seized his arm. This provoked a predictable "flinch response" from Watts, who pulled his arm away.

For reasons that make perfect sense to those attuned with Kafka's sense of reality, American law enforcement officers often construe the act of pulling away from their unwanted physical contact as a form of "assault" -- and thus as a pretext for the summary administration of "street justice."

First two, and then eventually three, of the stalwart guardians of our sacred northern frontier took turns pummeling the slender, mild-mannered 52-year-old man. Watts was punched, kicked, pepper-sprayed, handcuffed, then thrown wet and partially disrobed into an unheated cell. He was then interrogated, held overnight, and charged with "assaulting a federal officer" after being denied access to legal counsel (and pestered repeatedly to repudiate his Miranda rights).

After Watts' computer, flash drives, and loose-leaf notebook were confiscated, he was unceremoniously dumped -- in shirtsleeves, without so much as a windbreaker -- on the Canadian side of the border.

Ironically, in his novel
Maelstrom, Watts -- a Hugo nominee who specializes in dystopian fiction -- appears to have anticipated his experience. Describing the abuse suffered by a character at the hands of customs officials, Watts observes: "Technically, of course, it was not an assault. Both aggressors wore uniforms and badges conferring the legal right to beat whomever they chose."

A jury of dutiful collectivist drones found Watts guilty of the supposed crime of "non-compliance with a border guard"; his "crime," reduced to its essence, was to ask, "why?"

Although Watts could have been forced to spend years as part the world's largest prison population,
the presiding judge was content to pilfer $1,628 from the victim of the assault at the border -- after treating him to a patronizing lecture about the need to be "nice" to the feral armed adolescents who constitute the State's punitive caste.

Watts' experience leaves a decidedly totalitarian aftertaste. Crossing the border of a totalitarian state — in either direction — is an experience fraught with visceral anxiety. Finding himself in the unwanted company of humorless, heavily armed goons of questionable competence and dubious intelligence, the traveler is vividly aware that he can be arrested, imprisoned, beaten, or even shot at whim.

The best thing to do in such circumstances, travelers are told, is to assume a posture of utter servility, meekly and quietly enduring whatever indignity inflicted on them until they are safely through the checkpoint. In coming years, it most likely won't be necessary to visit the border in order to have a sample of what Watts endured; experiences similar to his will become increasingly commonplace for citizens and other residing legally within the United States.

Is it easier to build a police state from the inside out, or from the outside in? We may never know, since the architects of the Homeland Security State are doing both simultaneously.

Whenever a society descends into totalitarianism, the ruling clique will eventually close the borders -- not just to prevent contamination by politically troublesome foreign influences, but also to prevent the egress of refugees and (most importantly) the flight of capital to more congenial economic environments.

In our case, the invasive and arbitrary powers exercised by in the name of border security are becoming embedded in routine law enforcement within the interior.
Although the geography of the contiguous 48 states remains unchanged, there is a very real sense in which the borders are closing in on us.

The Border Patrol -- the kind folks who treated Mr. Watts to a dose of uniquely Amerikan hospitality -- already carries out warrantless, suspicionless checkpoints as far as 100 miles inside the national boundary. The Department of Homeland Security insists that the Fourth Amendment proscription of "unreasonable searches and seizures" doesn't apply to "border enforcement" searches. This would mean that the two-thirds of the U.S. population living within 100 miles of an international border are residents of a "Constitution-Free Zone."

Tragically, the expansion of the immigration control "Constitution-Free Zone" is being propelled by some of the most outspoken critics of "big government."

Last week, many (by no means all) adherents of the Tea Party movement briefly suspended their campaign against invasive government to promote and applaud the
enactment of a measure turning Arizona into an authentic police state -- that is, one in which police can demand identity papers from practically anyone and arrest those who don't comply.

An ill omen: This billboard was photographed in Arizona by libertarian activist Ernest Hancock

Under SB 1070, signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer on April 24, any "lawful contact" between a law enforcement officer and a citizen can end with the latter being arrested and detained if he cannot satisfy a "reasonable suspicion" that he is in the country without official permission.

An incident that occurred two days before that law was signed by Brewer demonstrates that a valid driver's license may not be sufficient to allay that suspicion, and that it's entirely possible for a native-born U.S. citizen who fully cooperates with the police to end up being handcuffed, arrested, detained and humiliated.

On April 22, an Arizona resident who identifies himself as Abdon (he hasn't chosen to disclose his surname) pulled his truck into a weigh station. As his vehicle was being inspected, Abdon was asked by an official to display proof of legal residency. He promptly handed over a valid Arizona commercial driving license; he also supplied his Social Security number and additional personal details.

For some reason this was considered insufficient, and Abdon ended up being cuffed and hauled away to an ICE detention facility while his wife -- who was dragged out of work -- was dispatched to their home to retrieve Abdon's birth certificate and other documents.

The unfortunate truck driver's birth certificate listed his birthplace as Fresno, California. This means that he -- unlike one, or possibly both, major party candidates in the last presidential election -- has an unassailable claim to being a "native-born United States citizen." He had complied with every demand made of him at the weigh station, and did nothing to suggest that he harbored criminal intent of any kind.

The only source of the "reasonable suspicion" that led to Abdon's arrest was his visible ethnicity.
This is the standard under which American citizens (particularly, but not exclusively, of Latino ancestry) can now be harassed, arrested, and detained in the State of Arizona.

The more frequently this kind of thing happens, the likelier it becomes that innocent people will be seriously hurt -- as if being accosted, questioned, and detained by armed strangers for reasons beyond one's control weren't sufficient injury.

SB 1070 has been the equivalent of a public works project for the "tolerance" industry, which is busy planning boycotts and other expressions of punitive sanctimony against Arizona. This had the predictable, albeit unfortunate, effect of leading at least some honorable people of goodwill to assume the best about the measure without examining its impact on individual liberty.

Every invasion of individual rights
happens with the eager support of people acting in the sincere and thoroughly mistaken confidence that what they permit the state to do to others will never be done to them.

The seminal error is to insist on exceptions to the principle that government -- assuming, of course, that one should be permitted to exist -- must be strictly limited to protecting the life, liberty, and property of every individual.

When that error is coupled with a fertile topic of public concern -- such as terrorism, drug addiction, child abuse, or illegal immigration -- politics becomes pregnant with large-scale abuses of individual rights.

Supporters of the Arizona immigration law define the controversy as an issue of "sovereignty" -- preservation of Arizona's reserved powers under the Tenth Amendment and the national independence of the United States. Political sovereignty, valuable as it is, must be regarded as a "good of second intent" -- something that, while of great worth, is derivative of, or subordinate to, a much greater good. The paramount political good, according to America's founding premise, is individual liberty protected by law.

In dealing with immigration, as with all other matters of public concern, government's only legitimate role is to protect individual rights against criminal aggression -- such as crimes of violence, fraud, or trespassing on private property.

Current policy, however, is to abet and reward aggression in the form of participatory plunder by illegal immigrants by way of welfare subsidies, which obviously have to be abolished (and not just for immigrants, but for everyone -- beginning with the corporate welfare whores on Wall Street and in the military-industrial-homeland security complex).

Enactment of Arizona's "your papers, please" legislation -- which, Judge Andrew Napolitano predicts, won't survive constitutional scrutiny -- comes at a time when the problem of illegal immigration is in remission, both in that border state and nation-wide.
It's entirely likely that with immigration beginning to taper off, the border enforcement apparatus being built today will increasingly be directed inward.

As the government consummates its transformation into an undisguised corporatist kleptocracy, many Americans seeking to preserve some portion of what they have earned and saved will be driven to expatriate themselves.

The Regime already treats Americans living abroad as tax slaves, irrespective of their current place of residence. Economist Doug Casey warns that currency export controls are all but inevitable -- indeed, in a small but significant way, they are already a tangible reality.

Many of Obama's conservative critics simultaneously condemn him for building an invasive collectivist state and for his inadequate zeal in closing down the border. If their perception of Obama's intentions is sound, those critics had better hope and pray that he doesn't reverse course and become a border control zealot.

Be sure to tune in for Pro Libertate Radio each weeknight from 6:00-7:00 Mountain Time on the Liberty News Network.

Dum spiro, pugno!


Unknown said...

What is next for US? Armbands to designate those who must be watched? Who would believe that this is actually happening, and is supported by tea partiers--it makes me sick

Anonymous said...

This country is totally screwed. A number of weeks ago my wife and I were on a business/vacation trip to Canada. Entering Canada was easy. Leaving and coming "home" was another story. On our journey "home" we meandered - sightseeing- along the border visiting quaint rural towns along the way. We then picked a tiny border crossing to cross over. What a mistake that was. After being liberally harassed by a border agent as to what we were doing up here, why we chose this rural out of the way crossing to cross over on etc etc etc...I dutifully answered all questions honestly and yet this was not enough. We were then shipped off to a room for 45 minutes whereupon, after the fact, we learned that they had rummaged through our bags and used a dog to sniff throughout the whole car. It was utterly humiliating. To add insult to injury they took all of our information and entered it into some computer. Needless to say this incident has sparked a serious discussion between my wife and I about leaving North America for good. For those who are entrepeurenurial and who love freedom this country holds no hope whatsoever. The parasite class is too entrenched and the entitlement complex too pervasive.

Daniel Hewitt said...

Meanwhile, only a short distance away, at the Windsor-Detroit border - customs 'treated me like a terrorist,' Windsor man says.

kirk said...

When are we going to wake up? There does come a point when it is too late to wake up and do anything...
save die at the hands of the state.

Unknown said...

Will thanks for sharing this. It is amazing I might add though to hear this. (well not really) We never hear such things from young Vance but then he really doesn't do the "border" per say rather he is in the field collecting drugs, children, whole families and the like. I take that unless you are running away from the feds, or as long as you are not toting drugs then you can get some fairly nice treatment before being escorted home. I think I would beg, (maybe demand) him to quit if he lowered himself to such standards as you have shared in your story.

Say hi to your wife for me!! Tricia

Anonymous said...

These juries blow my mind. What instructions are they receiving from the judge? To vote guilty or else?

liberranter said...

My comments in response to Will's brilliant treatment of these sickening developments in my state are too lengthy to post here. For anyone interested, I've left my assessment of this travesty here (no shameless plug intended).

icr said...

With Ruby Ridge and Waco it was proven that the agents of the DC regime can openly commit the most atrocious crimes, get way with everything, go on to get promoted and then finally ride off into the sunset to lead carefree(as far was we can tell) and lucrative retirements. What more does anyone need to know? So take it easy: be assured that the citizenry of AZ will soon enough be crushed beneath the tank treads of the Federals one way or another.

For those out there who have forgotten what was done to the Weaver family:

Anonymous said...

Just as those with eyes to see and ears to hear made a bee-line OUT of Deutschland in the thirties it would be wise if you are able to make plans to do likewise.

I'm reminded of my last big overseas trip some four years ago. Going out of this country and entering another was an absolute pleasure. No pressure, no gauntlet of TSA goons, no barking of commands. I thought I'd stepped onto another planet. On the other hand it was when I came back that I thought I'd entered some twilight zone of totalitarianism. The sense I had, then, was that it had already gotten worse than in 2003 when I'd been to Europe. My last trip inside the belly of the beast ,AKA die USSA, showed me that it had gotten worse. The machine of state grinds on with inefficient "efficiency" and I'm spurred to want to get out or hide more than ever.

liberranter said...

Just as those with eyes to see and ears to hear made a bee-line OUT of Deutschland in the thirties it would be wise if you are able to make plans to do likewise.

The question, though, is where can one go where the situation is demonstrably and truly any better? ALL of the world's sovereign nations practice their own forms of petty, vicious totalitarianism. It just manifests itself differently in each country. In none of them is the individual sovereign over himself or his property. Indeed, most national governments (and, in fact, the majority of their citizens) make no pretense of believing in or striving to guarantee such freedom, and that includes today's United Fascialist State of Amerika. As an example, a guest contributor to yesterday described himself as a "re-pat" who had lived abroad for two years, but came home. His reason? He "found that most everywhere else he's been is just as dysfunctional as we are here."

I think that sums it up rather nicely.

Anonymous said...


Another great piece. Your journalistic skills are nothing short of amazing.

Question: I'm likely in no position to leave the United States. In addition to lacking the kind of income needed to just "pack up and leave" as well as a lack of skills (or perhaps not). Add to that the likely unwillingness of my wife to just leave family behind and move to a foreign country, what other precautions can we take? Sure, we try to have supplies on hand for a day of need, but I'm not sure those will be everything needed for an increasingly totalitarian-oriented government.

(Yes, I would leave in a New York minute, given the opportunity. U.S. "Citizenship" does not hold the value it once did).

Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

So he lied about where his mother was born? The alleged reporter talked over the woman's answer, but it appears that is why. Also his obviously limited English, which is sufficient probable cause. He probably also claimed he lived his whole life in the U.S. but speaks only broken English. You gun rights advocates are in for a world of hurt if you think that opposing the enforcement of immigration laws will protect the right to keep and bear arms. These two "Americans" are no undoubtedly voting for the gun grabbers like the Mayor of Phoenix and the former Governor and Baraka Hussein Obama, who interestingly you point out has not proved his natural born citizen status. Well, if you can't make someone traveling in a state with 500k illegal aliens, then how can you make a presidential candidate prove his eligibility?

Anonymous said...

Your point about states' rights is dead on. A state is still just the State, writ small. Federalism is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

And, quite correctly, you point out that many anti-immigration folks fail to see the implications for freedom of their anti-immigrant zeal. You can't "control the borders" without a national ID card, a federal permission-to-work database, and unfettered authority for the pigs to throw anyone's ass in ICE jail that they please.

zach said...

Mr. Grigg, I read on CNN ( I know, not a reliable source, but one that has an interest in making the Az law sound as "intolerant" as possible) that this law would simply make non-citizens be able to prove that they have permission to be here. I understand reservations about this but that's not quite as bad as "your papers please." I guess I'm going to have to read the bill.

Van Wijk said...

Not sure if you all are aware, but the American Southwest (among other parts of the country) is being actively colonized by a hostile, culturally collective people who care not a jot for the notions of liberty espoused at this blog.

Mexican agitation for the reconquista of Aztlan is so well known that Absolute vodka ran an ad in favor of this fantasy some years back.

I loathe the federal government as much as anyone, but I do not consider myself a libertarian. My question for Mr. Grigg and others here is this: how does the liberty-minded American address this invasion without recourse to some government border-enforcing entity? Or do you address it at all?

William N. Grigg said...

zach, the statute authorizes police to demand identity papers in the course of "any lawful contact" with any person suspected of being an illegal immigrant; see the language beginning at line 20 of the measure (it's in section 8 [b]).

Van Wijk, my view is that the "Reconquista" movement is largely a product of tax-subsidized radicals on this side of the border. If we stop filling their trough, that movement will wither away.

Campus-based and foundation-funded radicals are hardly representative of the Mexican immigrant population (legal or illegal). Mexicans are no more culturally collectivist than Americans; in fact, they might be a bit more entrepreneurial in outlook and commendably hostile toward government of any kind.

Illegal immigration from Mexico is not an unremitting onslaught; it has steadily declined every year since at least 2006 -- and that includes Arizona. That's one ironic benefit of a depression, I suppose.

Obviously, in addition to de-funding the revolution lobby, we have to do away with welfare subsidies and the government-funded apparatus of "reverse assimilation."

We should also stop subsidizing Mexican criminal cartels through the price support program called the "War on Drugs."

This approach wouldn't "solve" the problem, but it would probably reduce it to a manageable size without abetting the growth of the proto-totalitarian Homeland Security State.

Here's one of my axioms: If the "solution" is a police state, the "problem" is one we can probably live with.

Ex-JBS said...

"Every invasion of individual rights happens with the eager support of people acting in the sincere and thoroughly mistaken confidence that what they permit the state to do to others will never be done to them."

So well put, Will. This most definitely describes many of the people I know. Already, I'm receiving emails from these folks saying that the Arizona anti-immigration law is a good thing, because it will protect the ranchers from the drug cartels. They also say that we need the same kind of law in Texas (and they might very well get their wish if what I read today comes to pass:

It does no good telling these acquaintances that legalizing drugs will basically render the cartels impotent and will do more to help help the ranchers than anything else. That idea, of course, is met with outrage!

Even pointing out how the 'war on drugs' is comparable to the disastrous prohibition of alcohol years ago does nothing to change their minds, either.

Aside from the problems with the cartels, the so-called invasion of most "illegals" could be brought under control by eliminating all the free medical care, education, and welfare given to them by that criminal cartel in Washington, D.C., who are always eager to spend everyone else's money.

I have no illusions about anything changing in Washington, but a good dose of nullification and interposition by the border states - or, better yet, secession - would likely have the desired effect.

PaxAmericana said...


FDR's America may not have been free, but it was a lot better than where Hitler's Germany went. So, too, with the issue of living in South America or Vanuatu. There are lots of corrupt places with petty bureaucrats in the world, but they don't have the totalitarian feel that you get in the US.

Even home gardens are going to be against the law in the US before long, which would outdo the USSR. The evils of, say, Panama are not remotely in that league.

liberranter said...

"If the 'solution' is a police state, the "problem" is one we can probably live with."

Grigg's Law!

348 said...


Name me one other place (except Somalia) where I can pack my M1911 without a permit.

I'm not saying it's perfect here, but the alternative places have disarmed the citizenry. I'd rather stay and fight because there's nowhere else I can still fight.

Expatriation is not the solution this time.

Anonymous said...

As a trucker I have seen attitudes that would make nazis look like sweet little girls. These customs agents have been brainwashed.(Please google "brainwashing techniques"). I believe that they have no grasp of reality, humanity, or laws. As humans, they are only what their masters so skillfully conditioned them to be. Its just plain scary.

Bobert said...

There are some things listed here that are not quite in perspective.
A: The war on drugs is wrong and needs to be stopped.
B: True but the end of the war on drugs has no end in sight. It's too good a weapon against the Bill of rights.

A: Cutting back on social services would stop illegals and would force non-working Americans back into the labor market.
B: True, but what's that saying "Ain't gonna happen."
A: A well thought out and planned Guest worker program would help.
B: Again "Ain't gonna happen."
1: Having to show valid ID has been with us for years.
2. Police have been questioning and arresting Illegal's forever.Forty years ago,the Immigration and Naturalization Service used to pay three dollars a head to police officers for every Illegal they brought in. It was a good way to get Christmas money.
2a. There are always going to be some bad cops; no matter how free the society. Yes the Federals are really getting cocky. They plan on nationalizing the police countrywide.
3. The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico now designates areas of the city as "War Zones" An area of the city maybe ten blocks by ten blocks has all of its streets in and out but one at one end so that the police can monitor who comes in and who goes out.
Then that part of town gets saturated with police officers. It stays that way until the bad elements move. Then the police follow them to the next war zone.
4. The law abiding citizens that have to live with those freedom restrictions are a lot happier than they would be with the alternative drug and gang warfare. If nothing else it makes a good bet that you and your wife will still be alive after the bandits leave.
5. I moved to an area where my son could go to a school that didn't have to have police officers roaming the halls to keep the violence down.
I'll keep the people in Arizona in my prayers.

PaxAmericana said...


The Second Amendment may be the best reason to stay in the US. However, even on that front, many places in the world allow you to simply pay a few bucks to the local police and there's your permit. Less than ideal, but most of the US has the feel of the USSR now, and there's no way to pay a few bucks to someone to get around it. And like in the USSR, there's nothing really for one to fight. It's everywhere. China seems significantly freer to me than the USSA.

Anyway, good luck in fighting the flood of tyranny.

Anonymous said...

I think the Arizona law is a step in the right direction - though concerns of abuse are not without merit.

Perhaps everyone could agree that such investigation not be made unless someone is arrested for a criminal act and to increase the penalty from a few months and a few thousand dollars to death by hanging.

That way, illegals would be on notice that their invasion is going to be met with suitable force, while the average man on the street - illegal or not - has nothing to fear... unless he commits a crime, and need not fear execution unless he's an illegal alien.

Considering that unemployment is running 9%+ in Arizona, and that illegal aliens are estimated to be holding something like 8% of all jobs in the state, putting the enemy on notice that they can't steal from America without risking their lives is probably all we can ask.

I think that should address all the concerns by both sides of the issue... except for the illegals. This is America. They aren't citizens. They're criminals. They don't get a vote.

Terry said...

As you noted in your article, the use of suspicionless 'immigration' checkpoints inside the country against domestic traffic is already in full swing.

I've been documenting my experiences at just such a checkpoint located over 40 miles North of our Southern border along a highway that never intersects the border for over two years.

You can see what it's like to exercise your rights at such a checkpoint on my Youtube channel located at:

Anonymous said...

"China seems significantly freer to me than the USSA."

...Seems? U mean u dont know??


Visit CHINA - and all they want to talk to Americans about is "Whats it like to own Gun?" ... U DO KNOW that they cannot, right?

or that -even tho the average worker there is now generally wealthier than WE are [yes, its very true!] - nevertheless, depending on who u work for, gender, etc. - few are allowed the "FREEDOM" to come to the USA - or even to leave CHINA AT ALL??

Listen closely: DEFEND UR FREEDOMS! U take them for granted... the Chinese do NOT!

NO OTHER COUNTRY ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH LIKE THE USA. DONT LET 'O & his socialist ilk destroy them FOR u!!!!

liberranter said...

Considering that unemployment is running 9%+ in Arizona...

That's the "official" figure, but just based on casual observation I'm willing to wager that it's actually at least twice that high. And don't even get me started on the UNDERemployment situation here...

Unknown said...

Van Wijk said...

I loathe the federal government as much as anyone, but I do not consider myself a libertarian. My question for Mr. Grigg and others here is this: how does the liberty-minded American address this invasion without recourse to some government border-enforcing entity? Or do you address it at all?

Mr van Wijk, 150 years ago there were not even any passports; so in theory, a state can exist without heavy border control. However for one to return to that happy condition its government would have to repeal almost every law enacted ever since; tax-funded welfare, alleged education, "free" health care and the rest of it. I don't think such a thing will happen. Do you?

In contrast, it is feasible to abolish the state altogether, and rather soon. To see how, start at

Anonymous said...

The white people of Arizona will be in for quite a shock when they realize what this law really is. Immigrants can come from anywhere, like Canada, and a ton of Canadians winter in AZ. The reality is that, to the extent the notion of "probable cause" still exists, that's been wiped out in the state of Arizona. Your mere presence in the state, in fact, is "probable cause." Good luck with that out there.

Anonymous said...

Actually, my view is that this is an attack on anyone who declares himself (herself?) a sovereign. A sovereign is an independent individual (key words) and most expressly, not a subject/citizen (protectee/dependent) of another sovereign or subservient to a master.

Despite your many clamorings, fellas, a citizen is nothing more than a privileged serf. A citizen is a man who has sworn and upholds an oath of loyalty/fealty (usually implicitly through birth/paperwork, or explicitly through actual oath taking and upholding) to a ruler or a zone subjected to a certain ruler. Voila, subject in all but title.

If you are not a sovereign, you are either a freeman of sorts, or a serf of sorts. The difference being that a sovereign can only be interacted with by reason (trade) or outright destruction while freemen can be enslaved, and serfs already are. Irony, indeed, seems to be the order of the day.

Not recognizing that ALL who are intelligent and claiming of their rights HAVE THEM, is implying that YOU also will not have those rights either. All of these laws are double edged traps, and will bite back the fools who clamor for more tyranny.

However, if one studies the Qin dynasty and its following Confucian (in its early market anarchist variety) influenced Han dynasty, one will find that the Han was much like the original Confederation. "Conceived in liberty, fallen into iniquity and depravity." My quote, but vastly applicable, since I believe it was the third or fourth Han emperor who had Sima Qian castrated (some stories say also executed, but its all hearsay/read material, I wasn't a witness to it.) Sima Qian was a bit of a Confucian Thomas Paine. Apparently he crossed the wrong tyrant... as if there is a right tyrant to cross.

Irony being, (to get back to my point) that much like the fall of the american Confederation, the Han turned from the freedom oriented rebellion against the Legalistic hell of the Qin dynasty, into something equally as horrid, within the short time span of one century. Sort of how the Confederation was morphed into what it is today, in about the same timespan.

History may not repeat, but oh hell does it ever RHYME! And while it is such horribly depressing poetry, it isn't like any of us were actually TAUGHT this stuff in school. Learn it outside, learn it on your own, or stay ignorant. The change occurs in oneself, not outside.