Ed Knight, Executive VP at Mill Branch Industries, holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management and is Jon’s brother. Today he discusses a different kind of infrastructure, one that is every bit as important as roads and bridges.
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President-elect Obama has made mention of how an emphasis on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure will have a positive effect on the economy, securing for generations to come that which we have come to rely and expect in our daily lives, by providing jobs for millions. I personally think this is a grand idea. It quite simply makes sense.
But let us for a moment consider our government as a part of that infrastructure. Our founders two hundred years ago were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not of men.
Those laws are the quintessential infrastructure of our United States.
The Damage Done
The outgoing executive administration has for the past eight years repeatedly violated the laws designed to protect the freedom guaranteed to us in the Constitution.
Warrantless surveillance programs, unlawful detainment and blatant kidnapping of innocent American citizens as well as other nationals is, to say the least, shocking – and contrary to the laws that for generations gave the world a view of our country as a shining example of hope for humanity.
Al Gore has said:
“What would Benjamin Franklin think of President Bush’s assertion that he has the inherent power, even without a declaration of war by congress, to launch an invasion of any nation on earth, at any time he chooses, for any reason he wishes, even if that nation poses no imminent threat to the United States? How long would it take James Madison to dispose of our current president’s claim, in Department of Justice legal opinions, that he is largely above the rule of law so long as he is acting in his role as commander in chief?”
Regardless of what you might think of Mr Gore, it would be a rare patriot who would disagree with what he’s said here.
Winston Churchill remarked that “ The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious, and the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.”
Oppressive forms of government survive principally through the suppression of what our founders referred to as “unalienable rights”. Among these rights are the ideas of due process, equal treatment under the law, the dignity of the individual, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and freedom from promiscuous government surveillance.
All of these “unalienable rights” have come into question throughout the past eight years.
Starting a few years ago, our federal government, (you know the one…by the people and for the people…) under authority of the Patriot Act, was granted “sneak and peak” actions not only on suspected terrorists but on anyone. Federal agents can legally, in secret, enter your home without any warning. In fact if you are not home at the time, they do not even have to tell you about it.
The federal government also under the same Act can legally keep a record of every web site you visit and monitor every email you send or receive, every phone call you make and even what you check out at the local library. Yes, that too.
The outgoing administration has made the claim that it can legally collect pretty much any information about anyone that the government finds “of investigatory interest”. I am pretty certain that Stalin felt the same way.
Regain The Road
Thomas Jefferson said of the essential principles of our government “…should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.”
That road is certainly a part of our infrastructure and I for one hope that the new president is successful in paving over the multitude of potholes established by the outgoing administration.
I am Ed. Let’s rebuild that road first.