If you like your NSA surveillance program, you can keep it

In July, an amendment sponsored by Rep Justin Amash failed to pass muster in the House.  This amendment would have ended the “indiscriminate collection” of American’s telephone records, to those records that pertain to a person who is subject to an investigation under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

It failed, 217-205.

The vote was very close, and disappointing for citizens who believe that their Constitutional right to privacy is being violated on a daily basis.  Frankly, I’m amazed that this has gotten so little play in the Press.

I have a message for those Americans who like their NSA surveillance program:  You can keep it. 

For the rest of us, Rep. Amash is now sponsoring a new bill.

big-brotherThe legislation, titled The USA Freedom Act, would, if signed into law, curb the National Security Agency’s ability to conduct communications sweeps and close a “back door” to information by requiring a court order when performing searches of Americans in data already collected without warrants.

“It’s getting out of control. “… “(Courts are issuing) general warrants without specific cause, … and you have one agency that’s essentially having superpowers to pass information onto others.”  —  Justin Amash, 11/6/2013.

Surprisingly, John Boehner and the establishment GOP is against this legislation.  This disgraceful group of so-called conservatives includes my own Congress-critter, Gregg Harper.

Is your Congressman on the list of those who voted against the original legislation?  Check here to see.  Then, send them a note, and let them know what you think.

This is truly an idea whose time has arrived.

What Is A Police State?

Guest post, by Rodney Lee Conover:   Your ex-girfriend may have a nuclear device

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I hear a lot of people complaining that the Obama Administration is leading us down a path where one day we will be living in a police state.

I ask you this:  What do you consider “a police state?”  Does it mean residing a place where authorities are standing in your living room, watching everything you do and waiting to place you in shackles if you violate any new “thought police” statutes?  Is it like the old Soviet Union or the current North Korean regime?  What?

While you’re thinking about that, let me tell you where you live right now:  You live in a country where the Federal government can (notice I didn’t say “does” or “might” or “will”) can listen to every phone call you make, read every email you send or receive and track your movements once you step outside your home.  They can access your IRS information on how much you make, where you make it and your perceived intentions regarding tax-relation activity.  Soon they will have all your medical records and can see what you’ve been treated for and what type of doctor you’ve been to.  And they can do that without your permission…

jimclapperliarI’m not saying they are doing it. I’m merely pointing out that they can. And they now have been dragged kicking and screaming into admitting it in public, with the exception of a few lies in front of Congress by the head of the NSA, James Clapper (currently the Director of National Intelligence).  My question to you is simple:  What is a police state?

If for whatever reason, the Federal government decides you are someone of interest, they can, without any concern for your Fourth Amendment rights, investigate all forms of your communication, Facebook postings, Google searches, cell phone conversations, whatever.  And if they hear the right buzzwords (they decide the buzzwords) they can do the same to your friends, relatives, enemies, acquaintances, Facebook pals, whoever.

You know what I hear less and less of lately? That Snowden is a traitor. And for good reason.

I’ve been told over and over again that the NSA doesn’t spy on Americans.  Then they were, but they won’t.  Then they would but they couldn’t.  Then they did but they won’t anymore.  Now they just do.  This is about political power, not catching terrorists.  Grow up.  There is no time in this country’s history where the government has been given power and they didn’t abuse it.  It’s the nature of power and this is no different.  Need more?

A British newspaper, The Telegraph, is reporting that NSA staff has been using their technology designed to catch terrorists to spy on their lovers, past and present.  Yes, there’s nothing like keeping a watchful eye and ear on your ex, just in case they’ve decided to set off that nuclear device they’ve been building in the spare bedroom. The folks who swear they won’t abuse their power or use it in any way to further their careers or help a politician or oppress a fellow American in any way, are keeping tabs on what their love interests are up to.  Their phone calls, emails, Internet activity, searches and who knows what else.  I’m serious – who knows what else? Raise your hand if you think they haven’t been downloading Snowden’s hot girlfriend’s every email, photo, conversation and who knows what else?

spyingeverywhereI heard Dana Perino – someone I highly respect and admire – say that with all the intelligence they gather, the NSA is of course going to gather some information by mistake along the way.  But this is not an innocent slip-up. This is the deliberate abuse of power and denial of civil liberties guaranteed under the Constitution to their victims and all of us.  These weasels did not break the rules – they broke the law.

Until they are rooted out and held accountable, the NSA should not be in charge of anything.  The NSA is not about terrorism or spying, it is about gathering information for coercion, oppression and political extortion.  Raise your hand if you think every bit of information on President Obama’s enemies and potential adversaries are not being organized for use by the usual suspects – Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, Plouffe – all of ‘em.  Go look up the Cloward–Piven strategy and get back to me if you don’t believe it.

What is a police state?

paul_lee_cruzI just hope that Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul haven’t searched anything online that can be used against them in 2016 because it will be.  I hope none of their relatives, co-workers or friends have done any research or looked at any subject that will allow CNN, the NY Times, MSNBC, CBS, The Washington Post and all the others to scream the headline; “REPUBLICAN NOMINEE’S UNCLE GOOGLE’S TOPLESS ACTRESS !”  Don’t worry; I’m getting to Hillary…

I’m not exaggerating. It’s so easy now – before you had to sneak into or know somebody at the FBI willing to give you 900 confidential files of Republicans, and then explain how they got in your sitting room with your fingerprints on them.  Or you had to be married to the President and the whole thing goes away – but still it was a lot tougher then.  Now you just Instant Message your buddy at the NSA; they stop listening to their ex-girlfriend talking to that guy she met at the gas station long enough to upload enough info on anybody to find something that can be twisted into a scandal.  Or maybe you need to intimidate, say, a Supreme Court Justice into rewriting ObamaCare so it somehow seems Constitutional?…”Just say it’s a tax or something.  What can they do – you’re a frickin’ Supreme Court Judge for life, baby!”…  Just being hypothetical there.

Here’s what we know:

  • Clapper lied to Congress, nothing happens
  • The NSA says they have broken privacy “rules” 3,000 times in the past 12 months or so nothing happens
  • Again, these are not rules; they are laws that were broken
  • The law states these violations are felonies which call for up to $250,000 in fines and five years in prison for each violation No one has been charged

This is what we know. Imagine what we don’t know? If this isn’t a police state, what is?  Twenty words or less.  Thanks.

==+==

rodneyleeconoverRodney Lee Conover is a candidate for the US Congress in CA-8.  He is a self-described religious libertarian (small “l”), and a long-time friend of the late Andrew Breitbart.  His Primary opponent is incumbent Paul Cook, a Boehner devotee, who voted against Amash Amendment  which would have reined in the NSA surveillance program.

Domestic surveillance: It’s worse than you think

By Philip Bump, writing at The Atlantic Wire

Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which prompts the question: How’d the government know what they were Googling?

Catalano (who is a professional writer) describes the tension of that visit.

michele-catalano-pj-media[T]hey were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked. …

Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren’t curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.

The men identified themselves as members of the “joint terrorism task force. ” The composition of such task forces depend on the region of the country, but, as we outlined after the Boston bombings, include a variety of federal agencies. Among them: the FBI and Homeland Security.

So, how did the government know what they were Googling?

Just a week ago, Congress voted down the Amash Amendment which would have reined in the NSA surveillance program.  As you probably know, the vote was extremely close.  My Congressman, Gregg Harper voted against it, and I’m none too happy about it.  What happened to the Catalanos could have happened to you, me, anyone.

Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), the newly announced GOP candidate for Senate,  also voted “No.”  Cotton described meta data as nothing more than a five column Excel spreadsheet.

“It’s in a lock box. It can’t even be searched,” he said. (emphasis mine-ed.)

A lock box?  Isn’t that what they said about Social Security?  They were wrong about that, and I suppose we see now that Tom’s conclusion was also wrong.  Bad wrong.

Enough is enough.

It’s high time to take back our status as free citizens of the Republic.

Stand up, America!

Also blogging:  VodkaPundit

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