Number of TSA agents arrested for theft since 2003: 400 …
Number of terrorists caught by the TSA: 0
” Let’s just imagine we could transport an Internet-connected laptop back to the 1790s, when the United States was in its infancy. The technology would no doubt knock the founders out of their buckle-top boots, but once the original patriots got over the initial shock and novelty (and clearing up Wikipedia controversies, hosting an AMA and boggling over Dogecoin), the sense of marvel would give way to alarm as they realized how electronic communications could be exploited by a tyrant, such as the one from which they just freed themselves.
As America’s first unofficial chief technologist, Benjamin Franklin would be the first to recognize the danger and take to trolling the message boards with his famous sentiment: Those who would trade liberty for safety deserve neither. (And he’d probably troll under a fake handle, using Tor, since the patriots understood that some truths are best told with anonymity.)
Mass surveillance was not part of the original social contract—the terms of service, if you will—between Americans and their government. Untargeted surveillance is one reason we have an independent country today.
Under the Crown’s rule, English officials used writs of assistance to indiscriminately “enter and go into any house, shop cellar, warehouse, or room or other place and, in case of resistance, to break open doors, chests, trunks, and other package there” in order to find tax evaders. Early patriot writers, such as James Otis Jr. and John Dickinson, railed against these general warrants, and it was this issue, among other oppressive conditions, that inspired the Declaration of Independence and the Fourth Amendment.
James Madison drafted clear language guaranteeing the rights of Americans, and it bears reading again in full:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
9 Things You Need To Know About Terrorism Before Agreeing To More Violations Of Your Individual Rights
1. Terrorist Attacks and Fatalities are Down Since 1970s
” There is a broad consensus in the U.S.’ two major political parties that in order to save Americans’ lives, individuals should sacrifice their civil liberties: such as their reasonable expectation of privacy, and their right to be secure in their personal belongings.
This appears like an unassailable premise. And if it followed that violating people’s rights actually protected all Americans from terrorism, then perhaps a reasonable expectation of sacrifice could be argued without pointed counter-argument.
As with many things dealing with government, there are questions of trade-offs and if the U.S. government is being extreme in assuming that it has a blank-check to fight the “war on terror.” “
” A last-minute tea party primary challenge to Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas not only sent political shockwaves through the Lone Star State but signaled that the ongoing divide in the Republican Party would continue.
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, is aligned with the party’s hard-right faction, and his 2014 election challenge automatically puts pressure on Cornyn, who has tacked rightward for the last year since tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, won in 2012 as a political novice.
At the same time, another Senate Republican leader up for re-election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, is also facing a tea party opponent, putting the Senate’s top GOP leaders in the position of dealing with intra-party challenges next year as they guide the caucus.”
” Here in Pennsylvania, we have a full-time legislature, so as the lobbyist for the Pennsylvania affiliate of the ACLU, I have plenty of opportunities for face time with state legislators and staff. Since June, I’ve been hearing a similar refrain repeatedly: NSA surveillance is a major problem. We deal with a lot of state-level surveillance legislation, and I’ve joked with legislators and staff that Edward Snowden has made my job a lot easier.
Last week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives formalized that concern by passing a resolution to protest the NSA’s sweeping surveillance activities and to call on Congress to create a special committee to investigate and to recommend revisions to the USA PATRIOT Act and for reforms at the NSA and the FBI. The vote on House Resolution 456 wasn’t even close.
The final tally: 194 to 2.”
Good for Pennsylvania … Good for US . Here’s to the other states following the Keystone state’s example .
” I was reading up on the National Security Agency’s data-mining program when I came across this tweet by Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press:
If the programs needed secrecy to succeed, will NSA shut them down now? If not, did they ever need be secret? Or did I just blow your mind?
— Matt Apuzzo (@mattapuzzo) June 7, 2013
Why does this program have to be kept secret? It’s not like American consumers will just stop using cell phones, or wireless networks, or social networks. (A person could do that, but who’s actually willing to? Much as I loathe government surveillance, I’m not giving up Facebook or Gmail or my account with Verizon. I doubt many people are.) It’s also not like Americans didn’t know something like this was going on. So why keep it secret that the government is mining data when Americans will continue to provide data regardless?”
” On Friday morning, President Barack Obama defended his administration’s massive telephone records surveillance programs by explaining that “every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.”
There’s only one problem: both Republican and Democrat Congresspeople say that isn’t true. On Friday afternoon, the press office for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), one of the authors of the Patriot Act, tweeted, “Obama’s claim that ‘every Member of Congress’ was briefed is FALSE.” “
” Republicans have long depicted Obama as an advocate of a big, dangerous and overreaching government, back to the federal bailout of the auto industry he undertook during the financial crisis that greeted his first inauguration.”
” In recent weeks, it has fueled outrage over the targeting by the Internal Revenue Service of conservative Tea Party groups seeking non-profit status, and over the use of secret subpoenas and search warrants against the Associated Press and Fox News in Justice Department investigations of news leaks.”
” Now the headlines are focused on governmental monitoring that touches not just reporters but, apparently, just about anyone who makes a phone call. Thursday began with explosions over a story in The Guardian in London of a broad secret U.S. warrant for phone records from Verizon. By midday, Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein had confirmed the surveillance had been going on for years. By the end of the day, The Washington Post and The Guardian reported that a data-mining program targeting foreigners was tapping into such Internet companies as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Facebook.”
” To be sure, Obama didn’t launch the data-mining initiatives, which were started during the Bush administration, though he has expanded them. He had defenders Thursday ranging from California Sen. Feinstein, a liberal Democrat, to South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a conservative Republican. “It’s called protecting America,” Feinstein said.”
” In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.”
” But his critics also spanned the political spectrum. “Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?” former vice president Al Gore posted on Twitter. Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, an author of the Patriot Act that was used to obtain the court order, called it “excessive and un-American.” “
Published on Feb 10, 2013
” Judge Andrew Napolitano on the history of the federal government’s neglect, disdain, and continual erosion of the Constitution from John Adams to George W. Bush. Learn about the “Alien and Sedition Act”, FISA, and the Patriot Act and what we must do to get back to Constitutional fidelity at the federal level.
NOTE: This video may be reproduced for non-profit, educational purposes ONLY. “
Some reflections on our present state of affairs from Gun Owners of America
“In America nowadays, when all you have to do is infer that someone MIGHT be up to something that appears to be possibly terroristic in nature you can shred the 4th Amendment right and do whatever it takes in pursuit of him.
Then we have the TSA. Workers whose starting salary grade is $17,000 a year are given absolute power over whether you are allowed to travel or not. And I don’t mean that these people are stopping you because you have brought anthrax on a plane or reek of plutonium. They can kick you off just because they don’t like you. I feel bad for all the beautiful women who are subjected tocancer causing backscatter screens just because some agent wants to get his jollies off. Or for people who have been sexually assaulted having to relive the experience at one of the agents grope fests.
Not only is the government fighting to keep the TSA in airports they are trying to expand it to bus terminals, train stations and on the streets.”