Friday, January 15, 2010

Cass Sunstein: Obama's Truth Czar

Cass Sunstien is President Obama's Czar of White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. As a scholar, Sunstien is known for believing that “people” (not him of course) as a rule make bad decisions, so they need government to “nudge” them in the right direction, this includes all areas of their lives, such as“ education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, (and) happiness..”; yes happiness, government knows better than you, what direction you need to be nudged to be happy. Sunstien also believes there are problems with the concept of freedom of speech. Sunstien believes that citizens with mutual interests, should not exchange ideas as “like-minded people speak or listen mostly to one another.” Sunstien basically believes that the government needs to control the information you hear and that he “doubt(s) whether, as interpreted, the constitutional guarantee of free speech is adequately serving democratic goals”.

The following is another example; "conspiracy theories are a subset of the large category of false beliefs, and also of the somewhat smaller category of beliefs that are both false and harmful. Consider, for example, the beliefs that prolonged exposure to sunlight is actually healthy and that climate change is neither occurring nor likely to occur. These beliefs are (in our view) both false and dangerous, but as stated, they do not depend on, or posit, any kind of conspiracy theory. We shall see that the mechanisms that account for conspiracy theories overlap with those that account for false and dangerous beliefs of all sorts, including those that fuel anger and hatred". Here, Sunstein seems to be insisting that one plus one equals three, and if you don't agree, you have dangerous beliefs. Why someone would write that prolonged exposure to the sun is a problem belief (it isn't) or that anyone denies that climate changes (they don't), shows that government defining a belief they determine both false and harmful, is completely arbitrary.

Sunstien further says the Constitution is a hindrance to his ideology and belief that, “There is no liberty without dependency”. Let me say that again, “There is no liberty without dependency”. No one with this belief belongs anywhere near the President of the United States. The only way it could happen, is if the President believes it also. Now, the reason I say this, is because President Obama was a Constitutional scholar and views the Constitution flawed; he stated, “the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf”. Here, Pres Obama is being intellectually dishonest because, the Constitutional is nothing near a “charter of negative liberties”, unless you believe that “there is no Liberty without dependency”. The only true “negative liberties” in the Constitution are the protections it gives us from a tyrannical government.

Sunstein has said, “If government could not intervene effectively, none of the individual rights to which Americans have become accustomed could be reliably protected”. In other words, only the government can protect your freedom and liberty and; “Without taxes, there would be no liberty. Without taxes there would be no property. Without taxes, few of us would have any assets worth defending. [It is] a dim fiction that some people enjoy and exercise their rights without placing any burden whatsoever on the fisc (services supported by taxes) ”. What Sunstein and the President seem to be ignoring is that the American citizenry have tasked government to protect us. We should be as dependent on government as a business owner is dependent on an employee. But, for this to have any meaning, than the American people need to have the ability to protect itself without government, this is specifically why our founding fathers guaranteed citizens the right to bare arms. To allow any politician to say we need to protect our Second Amendments rights by allowing firearms for sport and hunting, completely mis-states the meaning of the Constitution. It's pretty clear, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”. Our founding fathers wanted us to have firearms to protect ourselves and the liberty guaranteed in the Constitution. The meaning of Militia is an army made up of citizenry, not trained soldiers. There is no reason why any sane and law abiding citizen should not have access to a military rifle and be part of a local militia.

Sunstein's war on the First Amendment is particularly extreme against conspiracy theorists. Sunstein believes that conspiracy theorists are dangerous, “and raise significant challenges for policy and law”. He defines "extreme conspiracy theories" to include, " the Central Intelligence Agency was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy; that doctors deliberately manufactured the AIDS virus, ; that the 1996 crash of TWA was caused by a US military missile; (or) that the theory of Global Warming is a deliberate fraud”. Oops, well I guess 3 out of 4 ain't bad; apparently he wrote this before the hacked emails showed some “deliberate fraud” going on with amongst the Global Warming scientists. There's a problem defining what is appropriate for the American citizen to believe; the government may just wind up being wrong, usually is, and many times the censoring is deliberate; it's called fascism.

Since, as I explained before, Sunstein believes the idea that , “like-minded people speak or listen mostly to one another”, is bad and does not serve “democratic goals”, then this kind of free exchange of ideas needs to be subverted by the government. Sunstein's method for this is called, “Cognitive Infiltration”; defined as not just the “1960s-style of infiltration with a view to surveillance and collecting information” but rather, “breaking up the ideological and epistemological complexes that constitute these networks and groups.” Does this sound like an America you want to live in? Sunstein explains his plan in detail, “Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real space groups and try to undermine percolating conspiracy theories.” If you haven't figured this out yet, what Sunstein is talking about is using the tactics the FBI used in the 50's and 60's to undermine the communist party, the civil rights movement and anti-war demonstrators. There was evidence that the agents not only infiltrated these groups, but helped to increase their radicalization and incite them to escalate their levels of violence. It was illegal then and it is illegal now; and again it is the definition of fascism.

But Sunstein is an intellectual and a scholar, I'm sure these ideas and concepts were written decades ago, and he was dealing with the purely theoretical; yes this was written all the way back in 2008. The only way we can protect ourselves from those who want to destroy our country is to stay informed, get involved, vote for representatives that believe them same as you, and continue to exercise the freedoms and liberty guaranteed and protected by the Constitution; as the saying goes, use it or lose it.

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