The above string of letters indicates the real danger of this current administration to America, our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It represents what is has done to damage to those rights secured by the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the ruthless manner in which such damage is done and it represents the potential for future such abuse.
What has been done?
To start with the IRS and the AP, we now have on record the first shots that Obama and his fellow travelers are willing to take to enhance their power and to cow their opposition. Though the investigations are nowhere complete it is clear that the abusive targeting, by the IRS, at the President’s opponents came from sources near to the president. More than the targeting of conservative not-for-profits with abusive questionnaires, these opponents have been targeted by audits. And, additional pile-ons by abusive investigations by the EPA or the Department of Labor.
As if the Fourth Amendment wasn’t enough, the Department of Justice weighed with further prods and decided to go after the First Amendment with the theft of phone records from AP reporters. It’s very questionable whether the reporting of a foiled terrorist attempt in Yemen was truly a national security leak or just a ‘narrative leak’ dealing with the President’s then presidential campaign touting the end of terror. But, given the utter politicization of everything the President touches, one can’t tell any longer. Nor, can one trust the president when he tries to make the distinction between politics and national security.
It is a matter of record that there is a systematic abuse of power for the accumulation and maintenance of power in the hands of a certain elite.
Then we have the complete lack of control and measured response once the socialists, that dominate the Democratic Party, think they have the upper hand. The gun control craze of the last six month so perfectly illustrates this. It first was only when the President and his allies thought they at the perfect narrative, Sandy Hook, that they even brought up the topic. All platitudes about respect for the Second Amendment went out the window. Draconian laws popped all over the place.
Senator Feinstein, after waiting twenty years had yet another chance to roll out her new and improved ‘assault weapons’ ban. This ban went beyond the first with an out-and-out registration system complete with finger prints. And, slow-motion confiscation–‘grandfathered’ guns could be kept until the owner died. Then such guns would be turned over to the government instead of the owner’s heirs.
Senator Schumer further revealed the true goals of the latest round of attempted gun control with his remark, that universal background check was the ‘sweet spot’ to pass something through the US Senate. This remark came after it was becoming apparent that the ‘assault weapons’ ban was going down in flames. It reflected Schumer’s goal to pass something, anything. It matter not that what was passed would truly address some realistic crime reduction goal. Rather, it was an attempt to get anything on the law books to make the exercise of those rights secured by the Second Amendment more difficult and onerous. The Machin-Toomy universal check bill, which had Schumer’s fingerprints all over it, was pages upon pages of deceit. The general prohibition against gun registries was gutted with just a prohibition applying now only to the Attorney General. Nothing to allow any other department of the Federal government to create registries–for example, the HHS through medical records greatly eased by electronic medical records.
The blue states, where there was no realistic opposition to the Democrats gun control mania truly reveals the complete lack of control with the exercise of governmental power. The Democrats in control of the Colorado legislature and governorship passed a raft of gun-control bills including a background check and magazine capacity limit. Never mind, that in the mind of most Coloradans, this was a settled issue with a series of compromises, worked out in the wake of the Columbine mass shooting, that consisted of legislation that would address the issues surrounding the Columbine shooting and at the same time expand the gun rights of law-abiding citizens. But, no, with the right ‘narrative’ and a shift in legislative and executive power into the hands of one party, all of this went out the window. Poorly written legislation that is impossible to enforce; legislation that serves as flypaper to entrap law abiding citizens with felony convictions on technicalities.
All of this legislation that will only burden the law abiding since it will do nothing to alter the behavior of criminals since they they won’t get a background check and will show up with ‘high capacity’ magazines. All of this legislation, signed into law by Governor Hinkenlooper, a man who got rich making and selling beer–a business activity made illegal earlier last century by a similar stroke of a pen. And, now with a stoke of a pen the making of magazines has forced Magpul out of the state of Colorado. Never mind the loss of some 800 jobs, manufacturing jobs no less. Hinkenlooper just shrugged off these newly unemployed Coloradans, something about broken eggs and omelets.
Abuse potential for the future?
Metadata can tell you a lot of things. Indeed it can pick up illegal activities that would otherwise hide is a see of data clutter. But, it can be use to serve what ever purpose the owner or user of that data desires. It helped re-elect the current President and helped that President trash his opponent in that same election.
But, what more can it do? Could it pinpoint and prompt a visit from the HHS obesity ‘outreach agent’ based on soda purchases? Could too many purchases at Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse prompt an ATF outreach agent for buying too much ammunition? Could coupling medical data from mandated electronic medical records be correlated to visits to certain political web site serve as the basis to deny or approve medical care? The data is there. One day it catches a terrorist. The next day it ensnares a citizen in a felony charge over a technicality. Maybe leveled with a little lie to get a search warrant to ransack your home. With everything illegal or regulated there’s probably something that will land you in prison; it just a matter of finding out what that may be.
Take a look at the photographed checks on your monthly bank statement. Combine that with the monthly credit card statements. Combine that with your web site visits on the History tab on your browser. Combine that with your email traffic. So, much can be immediately inferred by looking at those things. Who needs gun registries or enemies lists; these patterns speak for themselves. We know there are people in our government willing to use the power of government against their political enemies. The NSA data only give far more detailed and accurate information to carry out those attacks.
This series of scandals serve to create a massive breakdown in the glue that holds a free society together–trust. Trust that there are limits and people will have the self restraint impose those upon themselves for reasons of personal dignity and honor; not because of external limits impose by courts and threat of prosecution. Trust that people can be entrusted with privileged knowledge and power for use in advancing the general welfare; not their own.
And, so the Progressive conceit of replacing the individual responsibility with the ‘scientific’ and dispassionate judgement of a class of ‘expert’ bureaucrats comes crashing down. The Progressive conceit that Constitutional limitations to protect the individual stood in the way of efficient and modern governance. What we have is venial progressives using the levers of power to sustain and enhance personal power and lavish personal economic benefit.
Who watches the watchers? This was one of the most fundamental questions that our Founding Fathers debated. It seems that all of the watchers have created a very elite club in Washington DC for the purpose of watching everyone steal power and treasure for themselves.