By David M.Kinchen
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely — Lord Acton
Lord Acton’s famous saying is often misquoted as “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Either quote applies to the power of the United States, says Judge Andrew P. Napolitano in his 2010 book “Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History” (Thomas Nelson, 368 pages, notes, index) which I found while dropping off a bunch of my review copies at our local library. I can think of no better good deed than to help a public library in times of need — and they’re always in times of need!
What convinced me to check out the good Judge’s book was the book’s foreward by Rep. Ron Paul, R-TX, who’s my congressman (Texas 14) and the guy I voted for in 1988 for President when he ran on the Libertarian Party ticket. I’ve voted for him twice in his re-election bid, in 2008 and 2010. I met Paul at a function in Calhoun County, Texas, where I live, and he autographed my copy of his book “End the Fed”. (for my review: http://archives.huntingtonnews.net/columns/090916-kinchen-columnsbookreview.html).
Like Paul, Napolitano hates the Fed and devotes “Lie #8 “The Federal Reserve Shall Be Controlled by Congress” to a discussion — and dissection — of the Fed. For one thing, it’s a private organization of banks and bankers and there’s nothing “Federal” about it. It also has no “Reserve” and is backed by neither gold nor silver. I call it the “Creature from Jekyll Island,” the offshore Georgia island where a band of bankers and political leaders met in secret in 1910 to come up with the idea for a backdoor central bank.
The Fed was institutionalized in 1913 with the Federal Reserve Act, the same year the Wilson Administration and naive state legislators brought forth the federal income tax law we have today — another Napolitano bete noire.
Napolitano is a strict constructionist and has no truck with many Supreme Court decisions. I personally think creating the Supreme Court was a mistake and Chief Justice of the United States John Marshall a much too admired figure. Marbury v Madison, handed down in 1803, two years after Marshall was appointed Chief Justice by outgoing President John Adams, was the slippery slope that made the unelected Supreme Court more equal than the other two branches of government, in my view and in Napolitano’s: “This case is important because it established the Supreme Court as the authoritative interpreter of the Constitution, and asserted the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review,” the Judge says.
Speaking of Wilson and the other early “Progressives” — including the Republican variety exemplified by Theodore Roosevelt — Napolitano says they contributed to the kind of oligarchy Lord Acton would instantly recognize — the force that runs the country today under the Big Government “Republocrat” party, where the Democrats and Republicans are equally to blame for our loss of freedom.
Yes, believe it or not, the Occupy folk could use this book by a Fox News Channel contributor as a handbook!
Wilson comes in for special scorn by Napolitano for his well-documented racism and opposition to women voting, reflecting his love of and nostalgia for the “Lost Cause” of Confederacy. (for more on Wilson’s racism, see my 2006 Parallel Universe: http://archives.huntingtonnews.net/columns/061219-kinchen-comment.html). Wilson also was responsible for Congress passing the Espionage Act of 1917, the World War I equivalent of the Patriot Act enacted under the Bush 43 administration. Wilson lied to get us into World War I, just as the Judge says FDR lied and cheated to get us involved in WWII, and Bush 43 lied to get us into Afghanistan and Iraq. Napolitano sounds more like Ron Paul than Ron Paul himself! I love it!
The Judge doesn’t like either Wilson’s attack on freedom of speech or Bush’s abominable “Patriot Act” because they are among the greatest lies told the people and they both steal our freedom.
We can’t blame it on Wilson, because the 17th Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1912, the year before that annus horribilis 1913 that saw the creation of the Fed and the passage of the income tax. The 17th amendment provides for direct election of U.S. Senators, which previouslyhad been chosen by state legislators. Napolitano says direct election of U.S. senators further eroded the power of states.
Here are the lies in the order Napolitano gives them:
#1: All Men Are Created Equal
#2: All Men …Are Endowed by Their Creator with Certain Inalienable rights
#3: Judges Are Like Umpires
#4: Every Vote Counts
#5: Congress Shall Make No Law…Abridging the Freedom of Speech
#6: The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed
#7: Your Body Is Your Temple
#8: The Federal Reserve Shall Be Controlled by Congress
#9: It’s Only a Temporary Government Program
#10: I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Help
#11: We Are Winning the War on Drugs
#12: Everyone Is Innocent Until Proven Guilty
#13: The Constitution Applies in Good Times and in Bad Times
#14: Your Boys Are Not Going to Be Sent into Any Foreign Wars
#15: We Don’t Torture
#16: The Right of the People to be Secure in Their Persons, Houses, Papers, and Effects Shall Not Be Violated
#17: America Has a Free Market
* * *
Rather than go into detail on all the lies the government uses to hoodwink us, I just want to recommend this book to all readers, liberal, “progressive,” conservative, libertarian, whatever. Borrow, buy or steal (no, not that!) this book and absorb it. I think if reasonable people ponder the points the Judge makes, they’ll find much common ground.
“In acquiescing to the government’s continuous fraudulent behavior, we bear partial responsibility for the erosion of our individual liberties and the ever-expanding federal regulation of private behavior. This book attacks the culture in government that facilitates lying, and it challenges readers to recognize that culture, to confront it, and to be rid of it.” From the Publisher’s description.
About the Author
Andrew P. Napolitano, born June 6, 1950 in Newark, NJ, is a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge and — since 1998 — a political and legal analyst for Fox News Channel. He’s a 1972 graduate of Princeton University (of which Woodrow Wilson was president before he became governor of New Jersey and President of the U.S.) and earned his J.D. in 1975 at Notre Dame Law School. Napolitano is the author of six books — including this one — all published by Thomas Nelson of Nashville, TN.