Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Rise of Tyranny: How Federal Agencies Abuse Power and Pose Risks to Your Life and Liberty (paperback)

Publisher: Sentinel Press (phone: 202-466-6937)/$24.95 (148 pages)
Date of Publication: 2008
Reviewed by James J. Gormley (member, National Book Critics Circle)

In 1996, historian Joseph Ellis, in his seminal biographical look at Thomas Jefferson, entitled American Sphinx, noted: “ […] since the end of the Cold War in 1989, the American government has replaced the Soviet Union as our domestic version of the Evil Empire."

Ellis, far from demonizing the U.S., was looking at our country from a perspective that Thomas Jefferson would have had. Said Ellis: “The underlying logic […] clearly regards the entire federal edifice that has developed in post-Jeffersonian America […] as both dangerous and dispensable.”

Jonathan Emord, a gifted Constitutional scholar and defender of American liberty with whom I have had a number of conversations over the last 14 years, says it this way in this masterful call-to-action, The Rise of Tyranny: “Indeed, our federal government has become a bureaucratic oligarchy scarely resembling the limited federal republic the founders created.”

Emord has crossed swords with, and beaten, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) several times and correctly embarrassed other Federal agencies, such as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in a string of precedent-setting decisions and opinions after the Reagan era ended.

A former Federal attorney of the old school of zealous, eager and honest anti-regulation, anti-big-government reformers who called themselves Reagan Revolutionaries, Emord lays out a damning indictment of what he describes as bloated, un-accountable government agencies that are in many ways in charge of our healthcare and our civil liberties.

Emord makes a case against what he details as the overt stranglehold of our Federal agencies by Big Pharma and agri-biotech. He discusses the FDA’s approvals of unsafe drugs, its censorship of health information and competition and the government’s elimination of innovation in medicine.

He pulls no punches in his condemnation. Emord writes, for example: “The [FDA], the Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA] and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS] are three paradigms of combined legislative, executive and judicial powers that have devolved into cesspools of abuse and corruption.”

Fortunately, he also lays out a detailed action plan for Americans to follow in order to restore the liberties for which our country’s founding fathers and our country’s average citizens have fought, struggled and, in many cases, died in order to pass on to us.

Far from being a conspiracy theorist or anarchist alarmist, Emord is, to many, a modern-day American patriot who writes, in the book’s epilogue: “If that love of liberty that has inspired great Americans to sacrifice all to secure its blessings can be translated into political action in our day, we may yet see a restoration of the republic and a rekindling of liberty’s sacred fire.”

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