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    Fighting For Local Government

    Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2003

    According to The Washington Times, some 165 communities nationwide have passed resolutions condemning the USA Patriot Act. One community in upstate California recently took its opposition even further. The city of Arcata passed an ordinance making it a misdemeanor for city employees to cooperate in enforcing the federal measure.

    Over the past several decades, the federal government has encroached upon state and local governments to the point that the original American concept of limited central government has completely disappeared. What the fed cannot achieve through bribery (also known as grants), it achieves through brute force and intimidation.

    That over 160 communities nationwide would go on public record as opposing the perpetual abuse of power by the federal government demonstrates the level of frustration being felt by citizens throughout the country. These local grass fires would doubtless grow into a national inferno but for the fact that the national media smothers the stories so as to keep these flames of resistance from spreading.

    Since 9/11/2001, the Bush administration has superintended over the greatest expansion of federal growth and power of any administration in the 20th Century. The USA Patriot Act is only one example of how the federal leviathan is swallowing local authority.

    Under the Patriot Act, the feds are able to conduct roving wiretaps on anyone. It compels libraries and bookstores to become professional snoops on behalf of the federal government. The Act allows feds to tap our phones, read our email, even monitor every keystroke of our Internet activity.

    Beyond that, the Patriot Act allows federal police to sneak into our homes and confiscate our property with no notice. It even authorizes the FBI to access our financial and medical records with no meaningful judicial oversight.

    It is little wonder that cities such as Arcata, California are alarmed. We all should be! America was established upon the principle of limited federal authority. However, that principle is being systematically dismantled.

    What Osama Bin Laden and all the other terrorists of the world combined could not do, our own elected politicians from both parties are doing. They are turning our constitutional republic into a federal oligarchy. Such transference of power may provide a semblance of security, but it destroys freedom in the process.

    Therefore, we should all applaud the brave efforts of those communities who resist the destruction of local authority. More than that, we should all determine to vote out of office any holder of elected federal office who seeks to accrue any additional authority to the federal government. We need to understand that party affiliation means nothing, but that allegiance to the U.S. Constitution with its guarantee of a limited federal government means everything!

    © Chuck Baldwin

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