Zero Plus 346
Russia's Zero Tolerance Terrorism Policy For Keeping Government Corrupt
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York
City, August 24--Russians employ three tools to keep their politicians
in check--bullets, bombs and acid.
If you are an elected official in Russia
and don't do what certain lobby groups demand you do, there's a good
chance you'll get a vial of acid thrown on your face, or, your family will
be blown up by a car bomb, or, while walking your dog with two bodyguards
you'll be shot twice in the head.
In the mid 1990's, assassinations were
running as high as 400 a year, primarily against city officials linked
with some sort of criminal element as Russia tries to reorganize its self
from communism to capitalism. Recent statistics show the
"hits" have dropped by half, to only 200 per year.
Golovlylov member of Parliament and critic of the Russian Government
was shot August 23 while walking his dog.
During the two-year
session of Parliament's lower house that ended in 1999, a dozen
legislative aides were murdered. Some of the other politicians
killed include the chief of Russian notaries, Anatoly Tikhenko, killed 18
months ago in his apartment; Moscow's education administrator; the head of
the national sports foundation; two deputy mayors and a covey of district
Moscow's education czar survived a 1997
attempt on his life after refusing to let criminals enjoy part of the
revenues of the city's textbook sales. This week, the deputy
railway chief, Sergei Paristyl, was killed after trying to curb a
black market in forged rail and bus tickets.
Russian crime reporter,
Larisa Kislinska, who writes for the Russian paper, Top Secret
(Sovershenno Sekretno), says the killings aren't political but criminal.
The assassins, she claims, are thugs who want graft, and when the
politician won't play ball, he or she is killed or threatened.
It has been a decade since Russia's
communistic government collapsed, and the criminal element has seized a
firm strangle hold on the inner workings of government.
One official is suspected of embezzling as
much as $600 million during the privatization of former government to
I know a little about the corruption in
Russia. My brother is a wood broker, and a few years ago went to
Siberia to try and establish trade connections. He was
advised to hire bodyguards for his protection. After
making the wood deals, he returned to the U.S. and found that the payoffs
to get his products out of the timber-rich Siberian forests were virtually
impossible, and when he did receive the goods, they were of an inferior
"I felt I was in Al Capone land," he said,
"with people carrying all kinds of weapons to protect themselves and to
intimidate you with their ability to kill you if you didn't do what they
wanted. It wasn't a good way to do business."
My brother moved his focus from Russia to South
In America, we have corrupt politics just as
Russia has. Only our system is a bit more civilized. We
have a working justice system that eventually tracks and finds criminals
and then prosecutes them.
Government is always a treasure
chest for criminals. Large amounts of money are collected by
average people earning small paychecks and are vulnerable to pay offs.
Abuse of funds is the norm not the exception for government.
Take the citizens of
Lebanon, Maine. In a flap with their city government, they
Al Noyes, owner
of Lebanon Country Store
The 5,000 citizens of the community
didn't like the fact their three elected officials were billing the
town for $15,000 to $24,000 a year, or that the city budget was growing
and costs for services were escalating.
In response, they wiped out
their small-town government. Instead of paying $50,000
for a new ambulance, the citizens bought a used one from a neighboring
town for $7,000. A gas station owner set up a line of credit
for the fire and rescue teams, advancing them $400 in gas.
The shut down of government worked.
The city survived. The citizens banded together and collected
the money and supplies to keep the town operating without elected
leadership. When it decided to return to a city hall
leadership, the returning officials were aware they weren't invincible,
that their necessity was more administrative than functional, and the town
could survive without someone "heading it."
Power does corrupt.
Elected officials and their staff, or political
appointees, become trust managers of huge amounts of funds, or have the
power to direct their decisions toward certain groups or factions who
would benefit more by them than others. This draws the maggots
to the "blood."
In Russia, the way to put pressure on politics is
through assassination. In America, it's pay offs.
No matter how you look at it, the ultimate way to
control government is to eliminate it. Thomas Paine, one of
the great advocates of "no government is good government," said that a
great fissure could erupt in the earth, swallow all the politicians, and
the world would be better for it.
In his famous book, "The
Rights Of Man," he promoted the responsibility of individual government,
that which the citizens of Lebanon, Maine recently exercised.
He claimed that Complacency of Leadership occurs when we abdicate our role
as "self-governing units" to systems and structures we bow to.
In times such as these, where the threat of
Terrorism looms above our nation's thinking, we are much more inclined to
"abdicate" our leadership to those in power. We are even
willing to sacrifice fundamental rights such as those of privacy in favor
of giving government more power to reach its hands into our lives to
ferret out the Terrorist threat.
This "right chipping" by government is not unlike
embezzlement of funds. It is more nefarious in nature, because
it is stealing something more precious than our money--it is stealing away
our freedoms, one little law at a time, one little bending of the
Constitution at a time.
In Russia the
criminals put a gun to the heads of their politicians. In
America, government waves the flag of Terrorism threats in the public's
face. Both are acts of Intimidation. Both are
barrels of a loaded gun--one using cold metal, the other using Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency to achieve its goal of gaining power over the
Vigilance, however, is the counter weapon
The people in Lebanon, Maine know
this. They voted to eliminate Town Hall, to unelect their elected.
To run their city by themselves. They proved the "lack of necessity"
of government. In a way, they "assassinated government power," they
emasculated it, they scalped it and hung the scalps of government on a
totem pole so all could see that the people not the few could run their
town if all worked together to achieve that goal.
It took Courage, Conviction and Right
Action for the citizens of Lebanon to act in defense of their town's
rights. And, it will take the same elements for American
citizens to regain the power that is being stripped daily from them as the
threat of Terrorism overshadows the duty of Vigilance.
When a citizen of America,
or any democratic nation, begins to believe he or she is impotent
regarding the battle against Terrorism, government only grows stronger.
The budgets swell. The misuse of both funds and power metastasize.
Corruption of principles as well as of tax dollars increases in direct
proportion to the degree of Complacency the citizenry exhibits.
And the ultimate
loser of all the misdirected funds and corruption of principles isn't the
citizens themselves, but their children, and their children's children who
inherit toxic political soil, poisoned by the Complacency of their
Government is a bear. It will
grab and hug and hold and fight for anything it can get its hands on.
Repealing a law is difficult, while creating one is easy.
But we aren't that different from
If we look at "corruption of
politics" in terms of new powers and laws chipping at our freedoms while
we look the other way, there aren't many differences between a criminal
putting a gun to a politician's head and our government promoting the need
to have our fundamental rights altered so we can "kill the killers."
Some may argue that the small town of
Lebanon, Maine, is a poor example to but up against a federal government
with vast duties to protect and serve nearly 300 million citizens.
After all, Lebanon, Maine only has 5,000 people.
But when one stops to think that
America is the composition of only 11,200 communities of populations of
25,000, it's not so big after all. America is only the sum of
small towns. We are all franchisees of one nation.
Each of the 50 states is a franchisee, and each community in that state is
a franchisee of that state, and each citizen is a franchisee of that
We forget we, each citizen, has the
duty to protect our franchise rights from the oppression of government.
It is our duty to look at government as a potential Terrorist, not as an
ally. Governments which tend to expand their powers must get
that power from some source, since government produces nothing but waste,
and all resources it uses comes from tax dollars, generated by the
franchisees who toil in the soil.
Anyone who studies politicians knows
that few of them have ever "worked" for a living. They produce
no revenue, they only spend what is sent to them. That's why
Lebanon, Maine, could eliminate its leaders without missing a heartbeat
They were eliminating a vacuum cleaner that only sucked things up.
So why do we abdicate our duty as
franchisees to government? Why do we cower to them? Why
do we shudder when "they" don't do what we expect when we know they know
nothing about our community, have never visited our homes, haven't played
with our children, haven't walked our streets, or taken the shovel and
pick axe to build or rebuild our homes, parks, streets?
The answer is Terrorism.
We are afraid of our own ability to
This is the root of our great
governmental Terrorism. And when a Terrorist knows you are afraid,
that you are intimidated, and that you suffer from the impotency of
complacency, they take whatever they want from you.
But, if governments
see you are Vigilant, if they realize you know you have the ultimate power
in your hands, they bow to you and run the other way.
In Lebanon, Maine, when Town Hall was
reinstalled after eliminating it, the politicians came back with their
tails between their legs, reminded that their jobs were not to exercise
power over the people, but to serve the people's needs.
In Washington, D.C. this message of
individual responsibility to the security of our country is not being
heard. Instead, it is being muted by our "war on
Terrorism," and the threats of it are being waved daily so we might be
blinded to the real motivation behind government--to seize more and more
power from the people.
And what is the solution?
Is it to eliminate every
Town Hall in America to prove a point?
No, I don't think that's the answer.
Government of, by and for the people can only exist when people band
together as the citizens did in Lebanon, Maine.
Only when the common cause of the people
rises above the perceived cause of government can balance between the
people and politics be achieved.
Government is a necessary evil.
But it can become a partnership rather than a parent-child relationship
where government believes it knows what is best for all of use and acts
unilaterally, as it has been with such legislation such as the Patriot's
Act to strip of us of our rights.
When citizens of America realize
their government is the Parents of Vigilance, the Loved Ones of Vigilance,
the Citizens of Vigilance, they will realize that they can collectively
send a message to the politicians they understand their rights, and will
not let government run roughshod over them.
And what are those rights?
They are the freedoms of the
children, and the children's children's children to be free from both
Physical and Emotional Terrorism.
They are the Rights of Vigilance.
They are Courage, Conviction and Right Action, as opposed to Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency.
The true enemy of any society is the
one from "within," not "without." In Lebanon, Maine, it was
easy for the 5,000 citizens to see the absurdity of their government
flaws, and to act as one body to eliminate it.
There is little difference
between Lebanon, Maine, and any other community in America.
Each can, if the citizens of it believe in Vigilance, virtually wipe out
government and still survive. But that only works through
common cause, common purpose, common necessity, and common support.
I believe as Americans begin to
take the Pledge of Vigilance in droves, as we start to reestablish our
individual Constitutions of Vigilance, as we proclaim our independence
from the necessity of government by taking back the powers we have been
giving up, that government will stop trying to Intimidate and will shift
to much more partnership role with the citizenry.
But to achieve this goal we all need
In the Pledge of Vigilance is that
It is the future of our children, and
their children's children that dictates our thinking, and demands our
actions. If we as Parents of Vigilance, Citizens of Vigilance,
Loved Ones of Vigilance, sit back and wait for government to do what is
right, we deny our children protection from governmental Terrorism.
As the choke hold on our
rights squeezes, we gasp a little more for air. We must loosen
the fingers around our throats. We must neutralize the grip of
government by stopping the thought of Terrorism Impotence.
We begin by taking the Government of
Vigilance into our own hands, where it belongs. We take the Pledge
of Vigilance and send it to our Congressperson. We let the
government know we are reinstalling our values as franchisees to protect
our children, and we will not let ourselves become Complacent.
And, if we feel this is impossible,
or improbable, all we have to do is jump on a plane or climb in our car
and point it toward Lebanon, Maine. They know the power of
government lies in their hands, not in Washington's.
To Aug 23--Wasting Vigilance's Time
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