Beware the camel's nose
Some warn the federal snout may be under the tent already,
but there is away to halt its progress.
by Teddy James
There is an old Arab tale about a prince and his camel
traveling through the desert. The camel was hot and wanted to shade himself in
the tent of the prince. The prince refused. The camel requested that the prince
only allow him to shade his nose under the tent. His cry was so pitiful and his
eyes so sad that the prince allowed it. Once the camel's nose came in, inch
by inch, the rest of the beast followed.
So it often is with government - once it insinuates its
big nose under the tent of the private sector, its dominance grows as
individual rights diminish.
is credited with this short poem lamenting what happened when German citizens
allowed the Nazi party to gain a stronghold.
First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak
out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't
speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out
because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak
out for me.
Thankfully, America's government is not hunting down
its citizens, but Niemoller's point
is well taken: until something affects us personally, the human inclination is
to do nothing, even when the stakes are significant.
That's why many Americans are sounding the alarm that
the federal proboscis is already under the tent in at least three areas in
America: privacy, free enterprise and the economy.
First they came for privacy …
In 1962, the Supreme Court decided in the landmark case,
Griswold v. Connecticut, that Americans have a right to privacy. However, that
right is being eroded slowly and surreptitiously.
Congress recently passed a measure allowing 30,000 drones
to be used across the country. Drones are small, remote controlled planes that
can be used for surveillance or tactical missions. The Electronic Frontier
Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to protect the First Amendment
in light of ever-changing technology, is suing the Federal Aviation
Administration, the government organization that grants licenses to groups who
use drones. The suit requests that the FAA disclose what agencies are using
drones and for what purposes. EFF's main concern is the privacy of everyday
citizens. Currently, the government can use an unmanned drone to watch anyone,
anywhere, anytime without a warrant and without the knowledge or consent of the
targeted citizen. This flies in the face of the Fourth Amendment to the
Constitution, protecting citizens against unlawful search and seizure.
But even without drones, the government is closely
listening, or reading, personal interactions online. Due to a lawsuit from the
Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Department of Homeland Security has
released a list of over 200 words it is tracking on social media sites. DHS is
reportedly using fake profiles to connect with people and track their posts and
Even without the DHS tracking the 200 words, the Library
of Congress is currently archiving every tweet sent out over Twitter since its
inception. Not only will these tweets be stored by the government. According to
Library of Congress releases, the tweets will also be used for "data mining,"
although that term is not fully defined.
Then they came for businesses …
In Thomas Jefferson's first State of the Union address,
he stated, "Agriculture, manufacturers, commerce and navigation, the four
pillars of our prosperity, are the most thriving when left most free to
Clearly, the Founding Fathers had a belief that Americans
would be most prosperous when they were most free. In today's government,
both Democrats and Republicans seem to hold the opposite view, that free
enterprise and laissez-faire capitalism oppress the people.
According to a March 15 article on CNSnews.com, many
small businesses opt to stay small as a direct result of federal policies.
Those federal policies include higher taxes for large businesses and increased
regulations for businesses that employ more than 50 people.
Due to these government regulations, many small business
owners choose not to hire more employees or embark on new business ventures.
Some cut the number of full-time employees and hire more on a part-time basis.
This hurts those businesses, as it essentially gives them
no incentive for growth. It hurts workers because it becomes difficult to find
full time employment, and it hurts the economy as those who could work full
time but don't will not have the discretionary income to purchase items,
save, invest, pay more in taxes or be able to afford better health care for
themselves and their families.
The health care industry is in no way immune to the costly
effect of government policies. While most hospitals exist to help people, they
must also make money to cover their costs.
But due to provisions in federal health care policies,
hospitals cannot release a patient without a health plan. This has resulted in
what some have called "permanent patients." A permanent patient is a person
who is healthy enough to be released from the hospital, but does not have
insurance or a family member who will continue to care for him and is therefore
forced by federal policies to stay in the hospital, sometimes for months, with
the hospital taking the bill on the chin. Permanent patients cost hospitals
several millions of dollars every year, and the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare, only pushes the price of health
care up for paying patients.
Lastly, they came for me …
Sadly, Uncle Sam is not content only to make his presence
felt in employment and health care. He also wants to reach directly into the
pockets of working Americans. On January 1, 2013, sans direct action from
Congress, there will be a nationwide tax increase of $500 billion. This is due
to the expiration of tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bush. If
those cuts are not extended, the average working American family can expect a
$4,000 increase in their taxes.
But even if the good uncle isn't reaching his
white-gloved hands into the worn wallets of his citizens, there are many other
ways he is separating them from their money. One way is through the use of
For several years, banks have offered free checking
accounts to patrons. To offer these, banks devised a plan to charge for
customers who wrote checks or charged debit cards for money not in their
accounts. When a patron spent more than he had, the bank covered the purchase,
but charged $35 to do so. Due to new regulations concerning how much banks can
charge customers for swiping their debit cards or for overdrawing their
checking accounts, banks have been forced to begin charging customers simply
for storing their money in the banks' vaults.
President Obama has essentially forced banks to stop
charging for overdrafts so they have to charge for checking. He has made them
stop charging for mistakes and start charging for responsibility.
that his government was coming for people. His government was coming after
lives. The U.S. government today is coming after the rights of citizens every
First they came for social networks, and I didn‚'t speak
out because I wasn't on Facebook.
Then they came to take privacy,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a criminal.
Then they came for hospitals,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a health care
Then they came for my wallet, and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
AFA encourages concerned citizens first to prepare for
the upcoming election with prayer, then to take action by staying informed and
voting. The button at right, available at store.afa.net or 877-927-4917,
encourages others to join together in prayer for the nation. To help facilitate
following prayer with action, AFA has also developed a comprehensive online
voter guide at