A.J. DiCintio
The most frighteningly monstrous vampire squid
By A.J. DiCintio
April 16, 2012

As the campaign heats up, Barack Obama is ramping up his usual tactic of speaking in vacuous generalities, especially when he asserts that the notion of big government has been supported from the nation's founding, conveniently leaving out the crucial detail that in harmony with the Constitution's basic purpose, the great majority of Americans have historically opposed the idea of a supremely powerful central government.

But though he avoids the term "liberal" as if it has the power to infect him with leprosy, the facts are that Obama is a dogmatically committed liberal and that the fundamental tenet of modern American liberalism corrupts the thinking of the Founders, Framers, and genuinely democratic citizens such as Henry David Thoreau to say this:

"That government is best which governs most from seats of power farthest removed from the people."

That's why every time I hear the president attempt to disguise his real beliefs by employing nonsense terms such as "empathy" or sliming his opponents as social Darwinists who (as Democratic Party ads proclaim) literally would throw granny over the cliff, my mind runs to making a few changes to the passage in which Matt Taibbi bequeathed us an invaluable metaphor that can be applied to much more than Goldman Sachs:

"The first thing you need to know about Washington is that it's everywhere. The most powerful level of government is increasingly a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of the American people, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money, power, and control."

(See Taibbi's original at "The-Great-American-Bubble-Machine," rollingstone.com)

To that essential observation, I add another, which also argues against the now eighty year trend of making a "federal case" out of everything:

The second thing you need to know is that federal laws, court decisions, and bureaucratic regulations trump all others, meaning they will prevail even if they are opposed by every last state legislature, county board, and town council in the country.

Now, true to the most important dogma of their church, liberals don't see any problem with centralized political power.

But the rest of us (80% of the population) should, as illustrated by a long, horrid, sordid list of failures throughout history as well as the following current American examples, which, by way of full disclosure, are likely to get a lot more than your dander up.

Just last month, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in Sackett v. EPA, a case arising from the fact that after Mike and Chantell Sackett had properly obtained every state and local permit necessary to build a home, the EPA ordered the couple's act illegal on the basis, as Justice Alito put it, that its agents claim the power to declare any piece of land subject to provisions of the Clean Water Act if some of it is under water for at least part of the year.

But not only that, the EPA, which had threatened the Sacketts with daily fines as heavy as $75,000, maintained that in such cases citizens have no right to appeal to the courts, a position the justices unanimously rejected.

Last, there is this reality. While it took five years to get their case heard by the Supreme Court, the Sacketts have earned only the right to go back to court again.

Who knows how much life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness they will yet be forced to sacrifice in what ought to have been the simple yet exciting pursuit of one of the most important elements of the American Dream.

Next, consider the case of Nancy Black, a marine biologist and owner of a whale watching boat whose captain whistled (yes, whistled) at a whale to encourage it to come nearer, an act the feds incredibly interpreted as running afoul of laws prohibiting the harassment of cetaceans.

Asked by the feds to provide a video of the incident, Ms. Black complied but edited out the rest of the crew, thinking that the relevant issue was only the allegation that the whistling captain had inflicted cruel and unusual punishment on the humpback.

The result? Federal agents and prosecutors interpreted her edit as a form of lying, ordered computers and documents seized at her home, and charged her with a crime that could result in a 20 year sentence, their perfectly psychopathic behavior certainly causing the accused to suffer an enormous amount of emotional, physical, and financial pain since the incident occurred in 2005.

Liberals will never agree, but the case is enough to cause the most decent and meek among us to complain that as vicious and unremitting as Jonathan Swift was in mocking politicians, judges, and bureaucrats who are power loving, morally deformed, hypocritical liars, he fell short in his task by a factor of a trillion, at least.

(For an illuminating review of a legal and bureaucratic abomination every Jeffersonian ought to find disgustingly abhorrent, see the WSJ's "For Feds, 'Lying' Is a Handy Charge.")

Finally, there is the news the administration conveniently made public over the Easter/Passover holidays regarding the transfer of $500 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to the IRS for the purpose of enforcing Obamacare.

This legal but shamelessly insulting shenanigan reminds us that while it is permitted in the 2,000 mind-numbing pages of the oxymoronically named "Affordable Care Act," even researchers and members of Congress who hurriedly slogged through the bill failed to pick it up (not that exposing it would have meant a whit to Democrats all in a sweat to foist a federal takeover of healthcare upon the nation).

More importantly, however, it impels us to focus on the 15,000 additional IRS agents Obama claims are necessary to enforce the Act, the huge number of DOJ lawyers to be hired to prosecute "offenders," and the slew of other bureaucrats who will be paid to define what it means, fearsome realities that also help explain why the CBO is now saying that at a minimum the law will cost nearly a trillion dollars more than the $900 billion Obama and his allies blatantly lied about.

But most importantly, it forces us to recall all we know about centralized government and then think about the rotten, officious, arrogant, high-booted field day Washington's politicians, judges, lawyers, and bureaucrats are set to have with respect to medicine, including our health issues and those of our loved ones, our doctors, our nurses, our hospitals, our medications, indeed, every last thing associated with our healthcare.

If that reality alone doesn't cause us to think about the profound dangers posed by this nation's most frighteningly monstrous vampire squid and then take this year's election as seriously as we have ever taken a civic duty in our lives, nothing will.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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