We The Serfs

 By Tom Rhodes, 8/5/2013

When you think feudalism, with kings, dukes, princesses, etc., you think of royalty who live off the work of the toil of serfs. The federal government has just confirmed that the US consists now has a two-tiered system of justice and governance. There are two sets of laws: one set for the government and the corporations, and another set for you and me.
The ruling elite, ruling class, government oligarchy,whatever you want to call ’em, no longer is even trying to hide the fact that they don’t want to live by and won’t accept the same rules for them and their favorites as you and I. The Office of Personnel Management, under pressure from Capitol Hill and Obama, has said that they will issue a ruling that the government can keep making contributions to the health care premiums of members of Congress and their aides in clear violation of the law.
If you weren’t paying attention, a feature of Obamacare was put there by Sen. Chuck Grassley that said members of Congress and their aides MUST be covered by plans created by the law or offered through an exchange. You know that “We have to pass the law to see what’s in it” bit? Well, it had a good bit of wording that made Congress and their staff subject to the exact same treatment as the rest of us.
As Congress was “finding out what was in the bill”, they learned that following the law would result in a massive increase in health insurance premiums for congressional staffers, IRS workers, etc. That meant the government had the same costs that we the common people have to experience. They didn’t like it so exempted themselves from the pain and cost that you and I have to endure. They have loudly proclaimed that “We the People” are actually “You the Serfs” and will be forced to pay for Congress and their staff’s “Cadillac health plans” and subsidies while hard-working taxpayer lose ours or face enormous premium hikes.
The next example you will see is IRS being made magically exempt from the Obamacare Law without congress actually passing a new law. The rule of law is dead, and if you are a mere serf who if you are lucky enough to work at the big house in DC you too may receive favors by the ruling elite. IRS Chief, Daniel Werfel clearly declared that he wanted to keep his health care and didn’t want any part of Obamacare. Those who collect the taxes for the rulers in DC want the same special treatment as Congress. I don’t think he has to worry as Chief Potentate Obama will grant him and the IRS special dispensation.
Has the hypocrisy of Washington pushed the American people to their breaking point? When did the Constitution get changed to grant the President dictatorial powers and create law by executive order if Congress doesn’t write the laws he wants?
I don’t get it. Congress passes a law that specifically says members of Congress and their aides MUST be covered by plans created by the law or offered through an exchange, and some bureaucratic agency has the authority to issue a ruling negating the law. Would somebody please show me where the Constitution grants the power to the Office of Personnel Management to issue rulings that supersede laws enacted by Congress and signed by the President of the United States, or some Supreme Court ruling that grants the Office of Personnel Management more authority than Congress?
The height of Roman Civilization was the Republic with the rule of law and a viable Senate. The fall came with moral decay, the rise of despotic powers, and the end of the rule of law. The fall of Roman civilization was followed by the Dark Ages. The height of western Civilization was NATO’s crushing defeat of communism and the end of the cold war. I wonder what history will call the coming dark age, and who’s going to write “The Rise and Fall of Western Civilization”?
Tom Rhodes is Chairman of the Platform Committee of the Libertarian Party of Florida

What I’m All About

I am Calen Fretts. People tell me I must be mad to run for Congress in the First District as a Libertarian. They say the Republican Party armor is far too thick to make a dent.

I don’t like attitudes like that. They make people who deserve better settle for less.

You see, I’m a blessed man. I have a home, a business, a wonderful fiancée, and I live in the greatest country in the world – a country that flourished by protecting individual rights, free markets, and limited government. I want my neighbors and future family to prosper. I can’t stay silent when I see the best parts of America withering away.

It is withering. A lot of that comes from Congress doing things it shouldn’t.

Take the debt ceiling, for example. Just this past August it was raised again by $2 trillion. Numbers have gotten so big, it’s tough to completely understand them, but $2 trillion means about $7000 in new debt, forced by the government, at interest, forever, on every man, woman and child in the country . Mind you, the federal government has spent $15 trillion already, and is set to spend a lot more.

Another example is Congresspersons giving up their powers to a “Supercommittee” so that they don’t have to make tough decisions. It is dead wrong for a member of Congress to give up his power to such a group. He may as well not be in Congress at all.

There is more. Most of my neighbors detest the thought that government is everyone’s nanny. The resistance to Obamacare, with its obvious costs and personal restrictions, instantly comes to mind. But the Republican Party doesn’t want to repeal Obamacare, they want to “repeal and replace” it with their own version that will also have costs and personal restrictions.

Add the Patriot Act to the list. Enacted without time to be read, it was sold to a frightened public as the way to keep us safe. It led to secret lists, government permission to travel, abusive searches on airlines, warrantless searches of Americans, zero financial privacy, and soon will lead to checkpoints in train stations, bus stations, and even open roads. This is America, the land of the free? What good is it for a country to gain the whole world, yet forfeit its own soul?

Even the rule of law is now in question. Congress has actually exempted itself from insider trading laws, meaning acts that we lowly citizens would go to jail for make them rich. The government uses fake accounting methods. Large financial companies, supposedly regulated by the government, repeatedly violate the law (some even get bailouts), and no one goes to jail.

Don’t take my word for it. Read the news yourself. These things are already happening, and happening by the hand of those in Congress.

In a land founded on individual rights, our government- at all levels- taxes us, limits us, regulates us, commands us, and threatens our way of life, more than ever. These assaults on liberty are branded as keeping us safe, or investing in the future, or the lesser of two evils, or being fair, or even compassion for our fellow citizens. No one can feel secure in their property, papers, or personal effects anymore. The abuses are everywhere, and are being enabled by Republicans and Democrats alike.

I may be young, but I know when I am being taken advantage of, and I don’t like it.

Congress is the key. I am about standing firm on no new debt. I am about political competition. I am about fighting the nanny state and all its ills. I am about maintaining our liberty instead of trading it for the illusion of security. I am for free, not managed, markets. Most of all, I am for the rule of law. We are not a country of truth and justice for some.

The proper role of government is to defend the country, impose justice on those who use force or fraud on others, and act within the limits of our Constitution. It is not to own businesses, or grant favors.

It won’t be fixed by hiring the same leaders again either.

This is what I am about.