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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/20/18

I Remember When America Was A Free Country

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From Paul Craig Roberts Website


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In the Western World truth, justice, and liberty are in total collapse. They cannot be resurrected and restored without information. Few people have that information. The young are born into what exists, and as the tyranny increases year by year, tyranny becomes the natural order to them. Indeed, they do not recognize tyranny. Their cell phones, social media, and the Internet give them the illusion of freedom. The old are lost in the controversies of their time: The Russians are communists -- only hippies, left-wingers, and communists distrust the great and good US government.

In short, the vast bulk of the American people haven't a clue. When readers ask me to tell them the solution, what to do, my answer is that nothing can be done until enough people are informed. Informing is my job. But, in America, and throughout the Western world, it is harder and harder to speak the truth. Indeed, truth is such a devalued virtue that to speak it almost qualifies one as a criminal.

If you want truth spoken, you must support it.

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I remember when America was a free country. You could get on an airliner without an ID. Driver's licenses didn't even have photos. If a friend was coming through your city on a flight and had a few hours layover, you could meet them inside the airport for lunch or dinner. You could meet friends, children, and relatives at the gate or see them off at the gate. Parents could actually put children on the plane and grandparents could take them off.

Your flight ticket was good at any airline. If something happened to your flight or you missed it, you could use the ticket on another airline going to the same place. On international flights you were permitted two free stopovers prior to your destination. If you were going to Athens, Greece, for example, you could first visit Paris and then Rome. It worked both ways, over and back. So one air ticket, six cities.

I can remember when you could enter a Manhattan office building without having to show an ID, be looked up on a list, and cleared in; and when you could check in a hotel without an ID and pay your bill when you checked out, with cash if you preferred. The only evidence of your name was the one you gave when you checked in.

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Cars didn't beep at you and neither did appliances nor construction machinery. The world was a quieter, less noise-disturbed place.

Common sense was more prevalent. Today it is hard to find any common sense. The British parliament is debating a law that would criminalize upskirt photographs. The "invasion of privacy" would have a price tag of two years imprisonment. Yet government can invade our privacy at will with street cameras, traffic cameras, read our emails, listen to our telephone calls, monitor our credit card purchases. Serious kinds of privacy invasion run amuck, but parents cannot find out if an underaged daughter is pregnant or has VD.

As kids we ran free. Heaven help a parent that permitted that today. Oh, but times are more dangerous today we are told. What made today more dangerous? Failures in public policy. The government has made life more dangerous and less free.

Give the punishment of upskirt photos a moment's thought. Laws end up being applied to the limit of their logic. Initially, enforcement might require a complaint from the person whose privacy is violated. But it wouldn't be long before the act itself was the crime, complaint or not. The photographer of the famous 1954 upskirt photo of Marilyn Monroe would be in danger and perhaps Marilyn herself as an accomplice. And what about all the people who looked at the photo. Aren't they also privacy invaders?

There is now a giant statue depicting the upskirt photo. What would be its legal implications?

Women show much more of themselves intentionally in string bikinis and thongs or in short shorts and halters than is revealed by upskirt photos. Under the English law, would a photo of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders in action be considered a criminal offense?

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Would TV shows such as this one be considered a violation?

Let's move on to more serious examples of the crackpot laws of our time. In yet another assertion of the universal applicability of US laws, a collection of congressional nitwits has proposed a law that would punish those who make, distribute or use banned substances at international sports events with a $250,000 fine and 10 years imprisonment. The US law would apply to athletes of other countries at events held in other countries.

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Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His books, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available (more...)
 

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