Archive for the ‘Fourth Amendment’ Category

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The Fine Art of Redefinition…

August 2, 2018

…and the meaning of security & safety…

Granted, those illustrious shadow denizens who are said to know all of the ins and outs of minding everybody else’s business would most likely blow me off as just another one of those disgruntled alleged citizens running off at the mouth; or maybe put me on a List. I don’t care. I’ve always felt free to fart in church, or at least in Algebra class, and at 74 I’m not in a mood to change. Besides, I have the most inviolable credential those $&!%s have ever encountered, one they reclassified as “irrelevant” a few years ago and subsequently erased from their memories. It’s called the Fourth Amendment. Yeah, I know. Those kinds don’t acknowledge it. Did you ever wonder why?

Working feverishly under the notoriously abused and often misapplied catch-all of “National Security”, everyone from the local cow-town Dog Catcher to Cabinet level spook bosses have been hallucinating about Bad Guys and sniffing laundry hampers since September 12, 2001. It’s an insidious and progressive disease, you know.,….not so much what they are doing, but by what we the people are not doing: saying “no, you may not.”

One of the more objectionable examples of cerebral excreta produced by the self anointed Poobahs of Washington, DC was, and still, is, the Department Of Homeland Security and its mutant offspring like the “TSA” (Transportation Security Administration). More about that in a bit.

Like most “Bad Ideas”, these entities and the rationale behind them started out as seemingly “Good Ideas” in response to the terrible events of September 11, 2001. Unfortunately, they soon outgrew their initially given names to become more like the Exemplar of Misnomers, the “Protection Squadron” of the mid nineteen forties, formally called the “Schutzstaffel”, but more familiarly known as the “SS”. I don’t know what the heck they were supposed to be protecting, but history would suggest it wasn’t the citizens. By the same token, after nearly two decades of the TSA groping families heading for Disney World and harassing other American citizens exercising their “Right to Travel Freely” (reference: Fifth Amendment), one has to wonder who or what is actually being kept “Secure”.

One of the more recent insidious ideas, one that was Bad right from its very conception, has to be the TSA’a “Quiet Skies” obscenity, which should more appropriately have been named “Secret Domestic Behavioral Monitoring” or something like that (Use your chosen search engine: “TSA, Quiet Skies”).

It’s not exactly new, just newly brought to light. This Orwellian scheme just spies on anyone. While they claim to have criteria that make someone a potential subject to be followed and studied, it’s just one more offensive violation of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is interesting to notice that the farther away we get from “911”, the more Big Brother expands his reach. Apparently, one of the several words and key phrases that have been “redefined” is “Probable Cause”. Then again, without a functioning Fourth Amendment, who needs genuine “Probable Cause”?

These increasingly intrusive and opaque government agencies, empowered to engage in unchallenged redefinitions or “Definist Fallacy” exercises whenever they deem it convenient, also seem to have taken a cue from nature and to have developed the ability to increase and multiply pathogenetically, or without the inconvenient necessity of a mate, like certain snakes and sharks. How ironically appropriate. In the political sense, of course, that would refer to the inconvenient necessity of voter approval. Having to pass Constitutional muster becomes of little concern as well (see: Definist Fallacy, above).

The general public had been somewhat aware of such shenanigans due to personal experience or observation, but did not necessarily see them as anything but disconnected shifts of focus and procedure. Re-examination of that presentation for inaccuracies didn’t really get its wings until Edward Snowden took flight himself in May of 2013 abandoning his job at the NSA (“National Security Agency”), to end up in Hong Kong, et al. He subsequently blew the whistle on that agency for its considerable acts of domestic spying, et cetera.

By hook or by crook then, as they say, the Protectors and Guardians of Our Security have thus acquired “permission” (refer to “Definist Fallacy,”, above) to amass as yet unmeasured or accounted for mountains of data about you, me, and the neighbor’s dog, a veritable master dossier about Who’s Been Naughty and Who’s Been Nice (once again, refer to “Definist Fallacy”, above)

Conspiracy theorists like to shake it all down to a planned and choreographed scheme by THEM to pounce like trapdoor spiders when the moment is right, but I don’t buy that. For one thing, THEY are undoubtedly far too busy conspiring against each other to worry about the compliant masses basking in the glow of repackaged nationalism and occasional Free Lunch.

Instead, I suspect a generous portion of the responsibility lies with US, the people, for basking, as previously mentioned, and refusing to see that which could not happen in the United States actually happening in the United States. Apparently seduced, distracted, and in-DUMB-nified by the unending and immovable war of witlessness between the Right and Left, and/or entranced by those 4.7 inch to 5.5 inch screens surgically imbedded in their nondominant hands, the population seems to not give a toot, to not understand, or actually look forward to the impending return to a faux-warm, fuzzy, and completely dependent childhood. These folks must have forgotten the old “Go to your room” events and being grounded or worse.

Is our government broken? I don’t know. Perhaps, but so is my Buick, and I suspect each can be fixed. Both outcomes require certain actions on my part, of course. The Buick isn’t going to fix itself and neither is the government. With the car, I have to select a repair shop, take the car there, pay the bill, and be willing to take it back if I’m not happy.

In the case of my government, I have to stop playing dartboard roulette with the ballot at election time when I really don’t know much about the candidates or other questions. I have to take responsibility to read up on and understand the issues and the candidates, I have to vote, and I have to be willing to say something and do something if I’m not satisfied with the outcomes and their performance. I can’t influence the itinerary of this bus if I just loll in a passenger seat bellyaching about the scenery and the alleged libido of the numb-nut at the wheel.

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