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Is Congress Declaring War on ISIS…or on You? – Article by Ron Paul

Is Congress Declaring War on ISIS…or on You? – Article by Ron Paul

The New Renaissance HatRon Paul

Passage of Senator Mitch McConnell’s authorization for war against ISIS will not only lead to perpetual US wars across the globe, it will also endanger our civil and economic liberties. The measure allows the president to place troops anywhere he determines ISIS is operating. Therefore, it could be used to justify using military force against United States citizens on US territory. It may even be used to justify imposing martial law in America.

The President does not have to deploy the US military to turn America into a militarized police state, however. He can use his unlimited authority to expand programs that turn local police forces into adjuncts of the US military, and send them increasing amounts of military equipment. Using the threat of ISIS to justify increased police militarization will be enthusiastically supported by police unions, local officials, and, of course, politically-powerful defense contractors. The only opposition will come from citizens whose rights have been violated by a militarized police force that views the people as the enemy.

Even though there is no evidence that the federal government’s mass surveillance programs have prevented even a single terrorist attack, we are still continuously lectured about how we must sacrifice our liberty for security. The cries for the federal government to take more of our privacy will grow louder as the war party and its allies in the media continue to hype the threat of terrorism. A president armed with the authority to do whatever it takes to stop ISIS will no doubt heed these calls for new restrictions on our privacy.

Following last year’s mass shooting in California, President Obama called for restricting the Second Amendment rights of any American on the “terrorist watch list.” The president also used the attacks to expand the unconstitutional gun background check system via executive action. Can anyone doubt that President Obama — or a future anti-gun president — will use the absolute power to do whatever is necessary to stop terrorism as a justification for imposing new gun control measures? Using the war on ISIS to justify more gun control will be particularly attractive since even many pro-gun politicians will support gun control measures if they are marketed as part of the war on terror.

As the American economy faces continued stagnation, and as challenges to the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency mount, an increasingly authoritarian government will impose new restrictions on our economic activities and new limits on our financial privacy. In particular, our ability to move assets out of the country will be limited, and new reporting and other requirements will limit our ability to use cash without being treated as criminals or terrorists. Those who carry large amounts of cash will find themselves at increased risk of having the cash confiscated by police under civil asset forfeiture laws.

If Senator McConnell’s declaration of perpetual war passes, presidents could use the war on ISIS as a justification to impose new restrictions on our use of cash and our financial privacy via executive action. After all, they will say, the government needs to make sure cash is not being used to support ISIS.

The only way to protect both liberty and security is to stop trying to impose our will on other countries by military force. The resentment created by America’s militaristic foreign policy is ISIS’s most effective recruiting tool. Adopting a non-interventionist foreign policy that seeks peace and free trade with all would enable the government to counter legitimate threats to our safety without creating an authoritarian police state.

Ron Paul, MD, is a former three-time Republican candidate for U. S. President and Congressman from Texas.

This article is reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Asset Forfeiture Comes to Canada – Article by Bradley Doucet

Asset Forfeiture Comes to Canada – Article by Bradley Doucet

The New Renaissance Hat
Bradley Doucet
February 2, 2014
Should a man lose his home because police find some marijuana plants in his basement—in an illegal warrantless search, no less? David Lloydsmith was never charged with a crime, but British Columbia’s Civil Forfeiture Office is attempting to seize his residence in civil court, where the burden of proof is lower than in criminal court. Welcome to the new Canada, where governments fill their coffers with revenue from US-style “laws” that are the very antithesis of justice.
According to an in-depth Globe and Mail article published this past weekend, Ontario was first to introduce civil forfeiture legislation in Canada. It opened its Guilty Till Proven Innocent Office back in 2003. Seven other provinces now have similar legislation, but BC is apparently the one that’s raking in the most cash. “The public has a very strong interest in seeing that people do not keep ill-gotten gains,” says that province’s Justice Minister, Suzanne Anton. Spoken like a true authoritarian who hasn’t got the slightest inkling that anyone with power would ever abuse it.
Mr. Lloydsmith, by the way, has been on partial disability since breaking his back on the job. He says he started growing marijuana because he had trouble getting prescriptions for the drug. What a dangerous misfit. How dare he disobey his rulers. Clearly he needs to be punished before he guns down a busload of schoolchildren.

It’s one thing if the cops impound a getaway car and sell it at auction once some bank robbers are tried and convicted. It’s quite another if the government threatens to seize the home of a family who unwittingly rents to pot growers, as the BC government did to the Jang family in 2009. The Jangs, afraid of losing their home despite having committed no crime, settled out of court for a sizable sum, according to the Globe.

In response to the BC Justice Minister, it is not in the legitimate or long-term interest of “the public” to confiscate, or threaten to confiscate, the property of innocent people. On the contrary, we all have a strong interest in strictly limiting the power of those we pay to protect us, lest they succumb to delusions of grandeur and elect to turn that power against us.

Bradley Doucet is Le Québécois Libre‘s English Editor and the author of the blog Spark This: Musings on Reason, Liberty, and Joy. A writer living in Montreal, he has studied philosophy and economics, and is currently completing a novel on the pursuit of happiness. He also writes for The New Individualist, an Objectivist magazine published by The Atlas Society, and sings.