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Recently by Scott Lazarowitz: Two Kinds of Selfishness

     

Some people are predicting that there will be a major economic collapse, caused by unsustainable debts and other government intrusions into private economic matters, and by central banks' excessive money-printing.

In America, the Federal Reserve's continued irresponsible and reckless actions will result in further devaluing the currency and huge increases in price inflation, especially in food and energy prices. Some are predicting that there will be food shortages, looting, rioting, and civil unrest and violence in America.

There are some people who believe that such events will be followed by President Obama imposing a nationwide martial law. Recent terrorism drills, such as the major drill last week in Denver, are believed to be part of the U.S. government's preparation for either terrorism or false flag events, or part of preparation for planned martial law. Obama was recently in Denver. One hopes that what former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has documented, a possible huge underground government or military facility at the Denver airport, and other similar places, are not true.

But the subject of martial law needs to be discussed, because it's important that the people of the U.S. states have an understanding of this before Obama imposes martial law, which is essentially a presidential-military-rule dictatorship.

Obviously, any imposition of martial law by the U.S. government would be not only a gross violation of state sovereignty, thus making the states even further subservient to the authoritarian rule of the federal government, but martial law goes against the Founders' ideas of inalienable rights and liberty.

Martial law includes the suspension of civil liberties, such as freedom of speech and dissent, the right to bear arms and self-defense, the right to freedom of movement, and the right to presumption of innocence. The Declaration of Independence recognizes the right of each and every human being to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." These are inalienable, pre-existing rights, meaning that they are natural and inherent rights, not given to us by any government. That means that no one, including government officials, police or military, may violate these rights or remove them — otherwise, they could not be considered inalienable.

Specifically, the right of the individual to life and liberty includes the right to own and control one's life, and the right to be free from the aggressions of others, including police and military. The right of the individual to one's life and liberty includes the "right to be secure" in one's person, property and effects. In America, there are supposed to be no intrusions into the person or property of the individual without actual suspicion that a specific individual has committed a specific crime against someone else's person or property. Even in those cases, the people were advised by the Founders to nevertheless question the official judgments of government agents.

Any suspension of these rights and civil liberties such as under a martial law would thus be an act of criminality by government officials, including the president, military and police, against the people. There have been many aspects of the post-9/11 "War on Terror," including the Patriot Act and new warrantless surveillance intrusions, and due-process-free policies of apprehension and detention of Americans by federal agents, that some people believe to have been a back-door means for military rule in America.

As I wrote in my article, Tea Partiers May Need the ACLU Soon, the rights to presumption of innocence (and thus the right to be left alone without suspicion) and due process have greatly diminished in America since the Bush Administration exploited 9/11 to expand the federal government's intrusive police powers over Americans. Putting such policies as the Patriot Act into place, and allowing for the apprehension, detention and assassination of Americans as well as foreigners, policies that remove presumption of innocence and due process, has made the U.S. government a much bigger threat to our liberty than terrorists ever could be.

Given Obama's assassination of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without any due process, without having been convicted or even charged with terrorism, but by merely having been labeled a "terrorist" by government officials, and given the preponderance of historical evidence as to why we should not trust the judgment of government officials, Americans need to be vigilant. Why? Just one example is how current administration officials' continuously label government protesters and Tea Party activists, antiwar protesters and even anti-ObamaCare activists as threats and "terrorists." The crackdowns on peaceful protesters show more clearly how America is quickly turning into the Soviet Union.

Now, if you are a governor, and President Obama imposes martial law and orders you as governor of your state to enforce such an order, you are obligated by law to disobey that order, because it would be an unlawful order. Government officials recite an oath as they take their office, as do police and military personnel. Part of the oath for governor of a state — and local police officers for that matter — includes "support" of the U.S. Constitution and respective state constitutions. In some cases, the oath states that they will "obey and defend" the Constitution.

Some police officers' oaths state that they will "obey the orders of superior officers" on the force. And the oath for enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces does include mention of obeying the orders of the President of the United States. However, when a superior officer or president gives an unlawful order, such as one that violates an individual's right to due process or right to free speech or dissent, then the soldier or officer is obligated to disobey that order.

Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers, explains here in this video why such unlawful orders must be disobeyed. The Oath Keepers organization notes that

Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, reserves, National Guard, peace officers, fire-fighters, and veterans who swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic … and meant it. We won't "just follow orders."

The Oath Keepers organization views the soldier, military officer or police officer's primary obligation of service as being to the people, not the president, and that their loyalty is to the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. If the President of the United States orders governors, National Guardsmen, military soldiers, police officers, to enforce federal martial law, the purpose of which is to remove civil liberties and rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, then such an order, therefore, is an unlawful order, and government personnel are obligated to disobey such orders.

Here is the Oath Keepers' list of orders they would not obey, particularly because, as the Oath Keepers themselves note, such orders are "unconstitutional (and thus unlawful) and immoral violations of the natural rights of the people. Such orders would be acts of war against the American people by their own government, and thus acts of treason. We will not make war against our own people. We will not commit treason."

  1. We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people
  2. We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects — such as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons.
  3. We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as "unlawful enemy combatants" or to subject them to trial by military tribunal.
  4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a "state of emergency" on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state's legislature and governor.
  5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.
  6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
  7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
  8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to "keep the peace" or to "maintain control" during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war.
  9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext whatsoever.
  10. We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

I never thought that in my lifetime I would see such a strong possibility of economic collapse, food shortages, civil unrest and martial law in America. But all of this is completely avoidable.

How are economic collapse, food shortages, civil unrest and martial law avoidable? First, get rid of the causes of food price inflation. That means ending the Federal Reserve, ending central planning in money and banking, and allowing for free, competitive banking and competing currencies. Encourage the people to use gold, silver or something else of value as their medium of exchange, or a currency that is at least backed by something of value. Get the government out of money and banking, period.

Second, end the federal government's intrusions into, restrictions on and subsidization of food production and distribution. Decentralize the entire food industry, and make the federal government stop infringing on the rights of local farmers and food producers, food distributors, retailers and grocers. Those local producers and traders — not government central planners — are the ones who know best how to handle their businesses, and what the consumers want and how much food should cost. No more police S.W.A.T raids on raw milk producers and other food producers.

We just can't allow America to descend into the third world police state dictatorship that it seems to be becoming (and that is being reinforced in the schools). One step in the right direction would be to end all restrictions on civilians' right to self-defense, and protect their right to own, conceal or openly carry weapons. That is what really prevents crime.

And communities need to consider de-monopolizing local policing and security. There's no good reason for government to monopolize those functions. Let voluntary groups and private, competitive firms handle those things — that is what will end the current police-thug phenomenon.

Also, the federal government needs to end its counter-productive aggressions overseas and War on Drugs.

Finally, besides invoking the 10th Amendment and nullifying federal food, monetary and banking restrictions, and nullifying federal gun laws, if Obama orders martial law, then U.S. state governors must also nullify that, too. If Obama and federal agents and military insist on forcing martial law in the states against the authority of the states' leaders, then the states' governors may have to order state and local officials to arrest federal agents acting in violation of the states' sovereignty and the people's rights.

No, the way to deal with economic collapse, civil unrest and looting is not with a federal martial law presidential-military dictatorship. The way to deal with or prevent such a crisis is by going the other way: through decentralization and de-monopolization, and undoing all the governmental interventions that will have caused the crisis in the first place.

Scott Lazarowitz [send him mail] is a commentator and cartoonist at Reasonandjest.com.

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