The truth about Executive Order #13603

Although my friends lovingly describe me on occasion as a “right-wing nut,” I’m neither an alarmist nor a conspiracy theorist. I get plenty of emails and see a lot of posts on the Internet that would send shivers down your spine and make you want to stock up on ammunition.- Not me. I know that the majority of it is balderdash and not worth my time.

Something new is afoot, though, that’s worth investigating — Executive Order 13603. Actually, it’s not all that new. President Obama signed it on March 16 of this year.

Order #13603 throws all notions of personal responsibility out the window, and it does so in a way that sets the principles of property ownership and all rights attributed to ownership on its head.

A month and a half after the order was signed, it was reported and discussed at length by Jim Powell in a Forbes magazine op-ed. Although Forbes may lean a tad to the right, it’s nurtured a well-deserved reputation for honesty and integrity since its beginnings in 1917.

According to Forbes, the order provides that, in a national emergency, the government may take over and administer “all forms of energy.” Note that it doesn’t distinguish energy manufactured by a public utility from that produced by a homeowner from a diesel, solar or wind generator.

Eminent Domain CartoonThe executive order also grants the federal government authority to take over “all forms of civil transportation.” The order’s use of the term “civil transportation” rather than “public transportation” is disturbing. If you own some form of transportation — be it a watercraft, aircraft or a motor vehicle — and the government wants it, it gets it.

“All commodities and products that are capable of being ingested by either human beings or animals,” as well as “all usable water from all sources” also come within the order’s purview. Again, it doesn’t distinguish between public and private property. Private farms, ranches, water wells and cisterns seem to be covered.

The order covers “health resources – drugs, biological products, medical devices, materials, facilities, health supplies, services and equipment.” Great. Now that the government can lay claim to your food and water, it can now abscond with your air if you require a personal oxygen supply for your survival.

The power to engage in military conscription is an integral part of the order.

Just as ominous as the power this order grants the federal government in times of national emergency is the power it affords the government to determine what constitutes a national emergency.

John F. Kennedy Signing documents - BWThe order is reminiscent of a similar series of orders signed by John F. Kennedy on emergency preparedness. In essence, during times of national emergency, it gave the federal government authority to take over, well, everything.

Ironically, it was later repealed by Richard M. Nixon, someone few look to as a champion of human rights.

Speaking for myself, a week doesn’t pass without someone complaining about the National Defense Authorization Act. As far as I can tell, the act, which was passed by Congress in open session, does not grant the military the power to take any action whatsoever against American citizens. This was confirmed and has been reiterated numerous times by U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Jupiter.

Rather than being an act of a full Congress, however, Executive Order 13603 was signed by just one person — the president. It was signed without the benefit of lively, open and unfettered debate. So much for the idea of transparency being the hallmark of the Obama administration.

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney often says that his first act upon assuming office will be to rescind Obamacare, or at least exempt the states from it. I hope his second act will be to tear up Executive Order 13603.

There’s no question but that the notion of property ownership is polar opposite to government takeover of property and redistribution of wealth. The following recording from a speech the president made at Loyola University on Oct. 19, 1998 illustrates his thinking on that particular subject.


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