The Executive Order signed by President Obama last Friday is troubling, despite the lack of concern expressed by others. The powers included in this Executive Order are terrifying to anyone who believes in markets and freedom. These powers become even more worrisome when they are exercisable by someone who has already shown disdain for the Constitution and the Rule of Law.
I have expressed my concerns. Others have agreed and others have suggested that such concerns are unwarranted. The basis for non-concern appears to be that such laws/orders are not unusual and represent proper preparation on the part of government. That defense is untenable in my opinion because there has never been power granted to any government or State that has gone unused (and not been abused). The powers in this order will not be an exception.
Simon Black provides his perspective:
Quietly, and with little fanfare, President Obama signed a “National Defense Resources Preparedness” Executive Order on Friday. As the name suggests, the order intends to shore up the country’s national defense resources in advance of a national emergency.
To be fair, this is not the first time that such an order has been written. Presidents Bush (II), Clinton, Reagan, and even Eisenhower provided directives in the same spirit as President Obama’s order– providing some level of government commandeering in times of national emergency.
In the past, these orders have related to things like production capacity for defense contractors, or giving FEMA authority to resolve disputes between other departments in federally designated emergency areas.
President Obama’s order, however, takes things much, much further.
(1) The order vastly expands the role of Homeland Security… as if these knuckleheads didn’t already have too much influence in people’s lives. Apparently highways, shopping malls, airports, bus stations, Wal-Marts, hotels, train stations, etc. aren’t enough for DHS. Now the Secretary of DHS will:
a) “advise the President on issues of national defense resource preparedness”.
This one is really clear. Under normal circumstances, matters related to defense would fall under the Secretary of Defense… or perhaps the National Security Advisor. Giving such responsibility to DHS suggests that the government is expecting an emergency from within.
b) “provide for the central coordination of the plans and programs… under this order, and provide guidance to agencies assigned functions under this order…”
DHS now has authority to direct the emergency preparedness of every other government department. The Secretary of Homeland Security has effectively become the Emergency Czar.
c) have oversight of “all other national defense programs, including civil defense and continuity of Government.”
In case it wasn’t clear before, the people who molest children and radiate travelers will have total and complete control in some event defined as a national emergency in the sole discretion of the President.
(2) The order further provides for an effective nationalization of the entire US economy in the event of an emergency.
The Secretary of Labor, for example, will “collect and maintain data necessary to make a continuing appraisal of the Nation’s workforce needs for purposes of national defense” and then “formulate plans, programs, and policies for meeting the labor requirements of actions to be taken for national defense purposes.”
In other words, the Labor Department becomes the Ministry of Plenty, and all the good little citizens will be forcibly reallocated to other jobs. This turned out really well for the Soviets.
(3) The purpose of this order, for example, is to “take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements;”
It goes on to list ‘adequate resources’ to include things like:
(i) “all forms of energy including petroleum, gas (both natural and manufactured), electricity, solid fuels… solar, wind, other types of renewable energy, atomic energy”, etc.
(ii) “all usable water, from all sources, within the jurisdiction of the United States, that can be managed, controlled, and allocated to meet emergency requirements…”
(iii) “all commodities and products… that are capable of being ingested by either human beings or animals…”
(iv) “drugs, biological products, medical devices, materials, facilities, health supplies, services and equipment required to diagnose, mitigate or prevent the impairment of, improve, treat, cure, or restore the physical or mental health conditions of the population.”
Hmmmm. Food. Water. Energy. Medicine. Security. All the stuff that human beings need at a basic level to survive. Except that Obama’s executive order puts all of these resources under control of the government and allocates them exclusively to meet the needs of government.
In this capacity, we are all merely subordinates to the interests of the state… and it should be absolutely clear at this point where normal people stand in the grand pecking order: Citizens are resources to be exploited and sacrificed in order to ensure the continuity of government.
In the event of some catastrophe, you will be stripped of basic resources so that the government can survive. A free society cannot exist under a system in which the state exercises such control… or has the authority to exercise such control.
Taken in conjunction with the NSA’s new Utah spy center (which will collect and archive the complete contents of every email, tweet, Facebook post, Google search, phone call, and text message) and the National Defense Authorization Act, it’s clear that the Obama administration is expecting trouble from within.
And with good reason. By every possible calculation (except flat-out fraud), the US government is completely insolvent, and its balance sheet is growing worse by the day. The dollar is beginning to be seriously challenged as the global reserve standard, and every effort politicians make to ‘fix’ the economy only makes things worse.
As a matter of convenience, people are willing to deal with a lot of pain. They’ll suffer through wars, recessions, and all sorts of national unpleasantness. But the moment that rapidly decaying economics and shortages prevent people from being able to put food on the table for their families, they rise up. Just look at the Arab Spring.
This is all playing out with nearly perfect historical precision. Time and time again throughout history as once great empires accelerated their declines, governments have taken steps to protect their interests against the people.
In the past, they have imposed curfews, disarmed the population, curtailed civil liberties, and declared national emergencies, usually against some great faceless enemy from abroad who threatens their way of life.
As it turns out, though, our great faceless enemy is not some mythical boogeyman living in a cave, nor some angry brown person who hates us for our freedoms… but the very people within the system who’ve taken an oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’
Have you hit your breaking point yet?