Normally I avoid politics like the plague because opinions are like asterisk-holes, yada yada. But this time I’m irked too much to stay quiet.
Looking forward to the expiration of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008? Well … don’t hold your breath. “We the people” are still considered to be enemies of the state by our own government.
That’s right. The Orwellian law passed by the Bushies that makes wiretapping and other related spying on US citizens legal without a warrant and gives telecommunications companies a free pass from prosecution for any participation was supposed to expire … but it didn’t.
O-Lame-A, just as uninterested in protecting American’s Fourth Amendment rights from unreasonable searches and seizures as Dubya ever was, has signed the bill extending the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 all the way out to 2017. And without even bothering to add any of that much-needed oversight, transparency, or privacy protections to spying on our own citizens. The House and Senate both having already given it the green light, that means it’s officially law now with no one bothering to oppose it in today’s world of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. To think FUD used to be a four-letter word. Now it’s just SoP for our government.
It’s ironic that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, passed in 1978 as a response to Nixon-era spying on those darned hippies and other subversive countercultures in the US, an act instituted into law meant to protect us from Big Brother after rampant abuses of power were revealed to have taken place, has been turned right around to the exact opposite in the Bush era … and now continued in the Obama era.
It just goes to show that any rights granted by our constitution can be taken away when our own government stops caring about We The People.
After all, why bother protecting society from unreasonable searches and seizure when there are terrorists out there? Heaven forbid the Alphabet Soup or law enforcement be bothered to actually obtain a warrant so that reasonable people can prevent severe abuses of power. Naw. That takes actual effort and we can’t have little things like evidence or due process interrupting the US government’s search for “justice”. Just throw all rational thought away. We don’t need it anyway. We have Zero Tolerance. Why bother thinking (or dare I suggest proving) when you can just abuse so much more easily? Rational thought just slows us down.
Sure, we could always have gotten wiretaps and surveillance in the past when we had those little things like compelling evidence. But who has the time for all of that reasonable stuff like, you know, police work.
Maybe next we can mandate public GPS chipping as part of our Social Security services. After all, we just signed on for another five years of our government using our own phones and webcams to spy on us in our own homes. What’s a little GPS tracking. Oh, right, they don’t need to do that since we pretty much always have a cellphone in our pockets anyway, and we already require GPS for pinpointing the locations of 911 calls from mobile phones. Which, also, happens to fall under wiretapping.
So we might as well just repeal the whole Fourth Amendment anyway. Who needs those lousy rights in the first place? They just get in the way and we’ve bypassed them all now anyway. Darn hippies and their free-thinking idealism have no place in this country. Let them move to Canada or something. The only thing the Bill of Rights is good for is wiping your behind on, right?
Apparently that’s what Obama and Bush think. As do the incredible vast majority of our elected officials in the Senate and the House of Representatives. They’re the ones signing this s__t into law after all.
And just as apparently, us, since we’re the ones who voted for them, right?
Or is it possible, just ever so slightly possible, that our electoral system no longer empowers individuals to represent We The People, and has in fact become a tool used against us?
Uh oh. And I just said all of this on a computer?! OMG! I betcha I’ve got my very own wiretap now!
Technology. It’s neat. But just because it can be used for something doesn’t mean that it should. In this era of so much being capable of being recorded on our little gizmos and gadgets with the greatest of ease, maybe it’s not exactly the best time to be handing over unreasonable power to governmental authorities to use every last recording capability of those devices against us without any supervision thereof, or for that matter shred of evidence of illegal activity or even the suspicion of whatsoever. Hmm?
That’s crazy talk!
After all, if I’ve done nothing wrong, then I’ve nothing to hide, right?
It has nothing whatsoever to do with rights. Or due process. Or any semblance of privacy whatsoever. Or for that matter being just plain creepy.
The next time you run around in your underwear with your laptop turned on, even if you left your webcam off; the next time that you’re talking with a friend about your secret plot to choke Bush to death with a pretzel being foiled by a simple glass of water while your cellphone sits happily in your pocket; remember: They are watching you. They are listening to you. Every conversation, every minute, of every day, they can legally spy on you a upstanding citizen who has done absolutely nothing wrong, using your own phones against you, whether you’ve got your phone turned on or not. Without any regulation. Without any oversight. Without any transparency. Without even so much as a simple warrant. And they just extended the law that makes it legal for them to do so for another four years of fun. Yipee!
Gee, I wonder why more news agencies aren’t covering this story. Hmm…
That’s what really bugs me. If I didn’t read European media, I never would have even known. Warrantless wiretapping had been highly controversial under Bush, and so many had proclaimed that this kind of abuse of power under Dubya had to be stopped. But now under Obama it has been rubber-stamped in veritable media silence. Not just rubber-stamped. Heck, the darned thing was supposed to expire! But Obama, The House, Senate, they all just happily extended this rampant abuse of power to deny us rights like we’re living in a totalitarian regime. This isn’t f___ing China! This isn’t Cuba! This is the United States of America! Oh, how we have fallen.
Basic human rights? Apparently we don’t need – nor even care about – those anymore.
I’m sorry. You can brand me whatever dangerous free-thinking rebel synonym label you like, but this just isn’t right. It just isn’t sane. Not only should this not be happening now that Dubya is out of office, but this should be big news! People should care!
Maybe the world really is coming to and end. We all knew that the whole Mayan calendar thing was superstitious horsehockey. But maybe the world really is about to collapse when the countries that are supposed to be standing against these kinds of abuses of governmental power are the ones passing laws like this without anyone even so much as flinching. Something is most definitely wrong in the world. Even if it isn’t ending, maybe it’s time that it should.