Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

It’s back. The PATRIOT Act — that grotesque, ever-mutating, hydra-headed monstrosity from the Bush-Cheney Little Shop of Horrors — has risen again, this time with an added twist of Orwellian intrusiveness from the Obamacans.

Since 2006, Team Bush, and then Team Obama, have allowed the little-known, hugely powerful National Security Agency to run a daily dragnet through your and my phone calls — all on the hush-hush, of course, not informing us spyees. Now exposed, leaders of both parties are piously pointing to the PATRIOT Act, saying that it legalized this wholesale, everyday invasion of our privacy, so we shouldn’t be surprised, much less upset by the NSA’s surreptitious peekaboo program.

When the story broke, Obama quickly began dissembling, calling these massive and routine violations of the Fourth Amendment “modest encroachments on privacy” that are “worth us doing” to make us more secure. He added disingenuously that Congress is regularly briefed about the program. In fact, however, only a handful of members are briefed, and even they have been lied to by Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, who flatly denied in Senate testimony in March that the NSA was gathering information on hundreds of millions of our citizens’ phone calls. Yet, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the intelligence committee, loyally defends spying on Americans, claiming it protects us from terrorists. But she then admitted she really doesn’t know how the mountains of data are being used.

This is nothing but the “Great Bottomless Trust-Us Swamp,” created by the panicky passage and irresponsible reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act. Secretly seizing everyone’s phone records is, as the ACLU put it, “beyond Orwellian.” A New York Times editorial rightly says, “The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.” But no administration can be trusted to restrain itself from abusing the unlimited power of the PATRIOT Act.

It’s not enough to fight the NSA’s outrageously invasive spying on us — the PATRIOT Act itself is a shameful betrayal of America’s ideals, and it must be repealed.

When whistleblower Edward Snowden literally blew the lid off the NSA’s seven-year, super-snooper program of rummaging electronically through about a billion phone calls made every day by us average Americans, Al Gore tweeted: “Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?” It’s definitely not just you, Al — this latest explosion of the Fourth Amendment is so mega-awful that authorities had to conjure up a new word for the process: Metadata mining.

Most shocking, however, is the tin-eared, who-cares reaction by both Republican and Democratic leaders to this outrageous meta-surveillance. For example, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham blustered that “it doesn’t bother me one bit that NSA has my number.” Hey, Lindsey, it’s not your number we’re worried about. It’s the NSA’s collection of our entire country’s numbers. Then came Sen. Saxby Chambliss: “We have not had any citizen who has registered a complaint,” he blathered. Hello, Sen. Clueless: No one knew to complain since y’all kept the program secret from us! Remember?

Even more ridiculous was President Obama’s feeble effort to rationalize this spookery by declaring that Congress knew about it, as did a special spy court that routinely reviews and blesses it, so it’s all legit. In a perplexed voice, Obama added: “If people cant trust the executive branch, but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges … then we’re going to have some problems here.”

Gosh sir, We the People have now learned that all three branches of government have furtively conspired for seven years to violate our privacy — so, no, we don’t trust any of them. And, yes, that is a biiiiiiig problem.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

  • Budjob

    Time to repeal the Patriot Act? What a misnomer the word “Patriot” is.This very unconstitutional,fascist law should never have been enacted in the first place!

  • Dominick Vila

    I don’t care what they call it, but we need effective surveillance at home and abroad to be safe. We live in a very dangerous world, aggravated by provocative policies that incite violence from those who don’t need encouragement to carry out heinous crimes. Repealing the Patriot Act without an alternative is reckless and a recipe for a sequel to 9/11.

    • Buford2k11

      Are you that scared that you would be willing to let MY freedom from being monitored by OUR government continue? Sorry Dominick, but that is not a good enough reason to lose any of our Bill of Rights, or Constitution…oh there are problems, but not on the level required to treat UNITED STATES citizens like we were all criminals…that my friend is what the Police State is supposed to do…

    • TZToronto

      Dominick, your comments are usually so enlightened. I don’t know why you’re defending this clear destruction of the Bill of Rights (well, everything but the 2nd Amendment, which seems to have a life of its own). You do say that there should be something in place to protect the American people from those who would do harm to many if they had the opportunity, but the simple fact is that the PATRIOT Act is an affront to the Constitution. Allowing it to live is unconscionable, and, yes, it does need to be repealed, even if there is nothing to replace it. (There is, of course. If they want to snoop on me or you, GET A WARRANT from a REAL court, not a rubber-stamp one.) If this is allowed to remain as justification for unlimited (and for all intents and purposes warrantless) search and seizure of the lives of Americans, then be prepared for the total destruction of the Bill of Rights. The loss of a piece of freedom means that everything is up for grabs.

      • Sand_Cat

        I agree with you in all things except I think the “total destruction of the Bill of Rights” is nearly complete. Actually it probably is complete, but that information is “Classified.”

        • Robert P. Robertson

          Not really. The original Bill of Rights is strong and very clear. We are the ones who misinterpret it and read into it what we want it to mean. I think that’s called “revisionism”.

      • Dominick Vila

        The only alternative to the Patriot Act that I can think of is to change the way we interact with the rest of the world. As long as we remain the dominant military and economic power, and continue to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations our ability to live in peace will continue to be a dream.

        Our determination to impose our way of life, our values, and our form of government on others, including those whose beliefs are diametrically opposed to ours, people will continue to fight for what they believe in and for the preservation of their values and sovereignty. When they do, their reaction is usually violence.

        Yes, it would be wonderful to pretend there are no consequences to what we do, but that is simply ignoring reality or even logical thinking. We must never forget 9/11, and if we really want to enjoy the dream that is enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, we better make an effort to understand the root causes that contributed to that tragedy and do something about it. In the interim, we need a system to help us safe.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Normally, I read your comments and consider them very well fact-based and I enjoy them thoroughly. However, you’re way off the mark on this issue.

          We may be the dominant military power which can only be tested by a full-fledged war similar to WW2, no one knows if we are truly dominant in that area. Militarily, right now, other than using Nukes, the US could not fight a protracted WW2-style war. If someone, such as China or Russia were to declare war against us, we could not produce enough hardware to fight in enough time to win any major engagement.

          The Iraq War was NOTHING compared to a full war.

          As far as being Economically dominant, that is also a false claim. We were dominant around 10 years ago, but not anymore. We started NOT being the dominant economic player in the world during the first major Gas Crisis around the mid 70s. It’s been downhill ever since.

          We don’t need the Patriot Act in any way shape or form. It’s way too intrusive into OUR PRIVATE LIVES. What we do need is the CIA, NSA and the FBI to do their jobs better and uphold the laws we already have on the books.

          And, we certainly don’t need the Department of Homeland Security either.

          • Robert P. Robertson

            You’re on point, Michael. Me, myself, and I might be a bit off the mark, I personally think America began to slip downhill from Saint Reagan’s administration, when America began to slowly be transformed into a consumer nation. By Bush I, that consumerization was complete. America hasn’t created or made anything of any competitive or significance since. America has stopped competing on an economic global scale since Bush I. I remember seeing mechanical and technical parts that were “Made In America”, and saw “Made in Germany”, “Made in Italy”, “Made In Japan”, “Made In Korea”, and now, “Made In China”. Man, I wish we had our old America back where products were durable, tested for endurance, and reliable. I want a pair of work shoes that could last me more than a few months. We need to get back into competition where we can create, build, and invent something more than an Apple Ipad that other countries would envy. I miss that America.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I never consider your comments off the mark.

            You might be a bit misinformed at times, but, then we all are at some point.

            I fully remember those years when the first Gas Crisis hit this country. Where I live we didn’t suffer too badly. But, those who lived in the larger cities like Los Angeles, New York, places like that, there were huge lines waiting for gas and at extremely inflated prices.

            This was when everything started to go to hell in a hand basket.

            Our Corporations have gutted our industrial base, mostly to Mexico, China, India. We’ll pay hell trying to ever bring that back to this country.

            Buy all the computers, fancy gismos ya want, but if we don’t start producing hard products in the hard industries, and I mean primarily using the steel industry and manufacturing facilities, we’ll never recover. And, we’ll pay that price to if we ever get involved in a full war.

            Mark my words, we’ll loose.

            We should have learned that lesson during the Iraq War. We relied on technology to fight a war. Much of the technology we used was useless, especially highly sensitive electronics. Their front ends were blowing out like crazy because the sand created static electricity which overloaded some electronic components. They started using tried and true older Russia Glass Vacuum Tube technology and worked fine afterwards.

            By the way, Russian Vacuum Tube Technology is used, as it has for many years, in the finest, most expensive Stereo Systems available today. The US stopped producing systems that use them, instead now use solid state components for the most part. My companion’s 30 year old glass audio stereo 25 watts per channel, puts my 5 year old 150 wall per channel solid state stereo totally to shame.

            Now, we call it Glass Audio, some call it Hollow State Technology.

            Look it up on the net, it will blow your mind.

          • Allan Richardson

            Good point. A nuclear device exploded at the peak of an ICBM trajectory, far too high to cause direct death or building damage on the ground, emits a powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) that burns out all unshielded solid state electronics over an entire continent. But vacuum tube electronics would remain unaffected (except for a burst of static).

            Not even a nuclear weapon is needed; only an energized electromagnetic coil suddenly compressed by a surrounding shaped high explosive charge. Any nation with a missile, or even a terrorist group with a high altitude balloon, could do this.

            Unfortunately, there is no way to “harden” civilian consumer or commercial equipment; only critical MILITARY installations. And only IF the government spends the extra money to do so.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Thank you for mentioning the EMPs. I didn’t think of it in my previous comment.

            I think even a ground-based EMP could cause tremendous damage to our electronic infrastructure, even without using a nuke.

          • option31

            Agreed! If you look back this country was systematically de-industrialized during and after Reagan admin. A lot had to do with tax law, but their is also a profit at all costs attitude. This concept that you pick the cheapest manufacturing country to maximize profits so huge bonuses can be paid has ripped the heart out of this country. I manufacture products here in the US and constantly get beat up on price. Finally I have started asking my customers that purchase these overseas goods if they have retail branches in their suppliers country. If they don’t they may want to consider it because working at Wally World or fast food here does leave anything left over to by trinkets or unnecessary items. Buying all these overseas goods is transferring our wealth, talent and initiative. Yes we must blame corporate America but who the H makes the laws? All these pols get in front of a camera and blow smoke about the American worker then turn around and screw us. Free trade works BUT you cannot have a China with no environmental laws, few labor laws sending products to a country with strict environmental laws and labor laws. Equalize the price at the port.

        • TZToronto

          Now that makes sense. I like to think in terms of what Americans would do if some foreign power were to invade the U.S. Would there be violence? Of course! (Let’s stay away from the 2nd Amendment for the present discussion.) I think I understand your original comment a little better now.

        • TZToronto

          What the U.S. government needs is a group of cultural anthropologists to advise them on how to deal with people in non-Western countries. For example, does anyone really think that democracy will flourish in Afghanistan for the long term? This is a geographic region with artificial boundaries that is, and has been for centuries, ruled by tribal leaders. The only reason someone would want to work for the central government in Kabul is to get more money to feed his family. His first allegiance is to his tribal chief. In Iraq, it’s Shiite vs. Sunni. The only thing that kept the two sides apart before Iraq II was the iron fist of Saddam Hussein. The same was true in Yugoslavia where Tito kept the tribal factions at bay while an artificial country functioned reasonably well (well, for a communist country, anyway). Now the ethnic groups have their own countries, after much bloodshed, hatred, and genocide. I’m not saying that the U.S. should simply throws up its collective hands and say, “Oh well, they know what’s best for them.” I am saying that the U.S. should understand how different cultures are structured in order to better deal with events in those cultures. Ignorance of other cultures is no excuse, not when there are people who really do know what’s going on in other places in the world.

          • Dominick Vila

            I couldn’t agree with you more. Our foreign policy ignores the cultural differences that exist between most Western countries and other parts of the world. Sometimes I believe that our insistence to impose our form of government, values and way of life is influenced on arrogance. Lack of familiarity with the cultural influences and history of other countries are a contributing factor for our tendency to engage in protracted wars that more often than not, do not produce the desired results and quite often exacerbate the social and economic problems they had before we intervened. Let’s not forget that in addition to reasons such as those mentioned above, a major contributor for our decisions to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries involve geo-political priorities and goals. We are still the dominant super-power in the world, we still control the global economy, and we plan to retain our hegemony for as long as we can. In some ways, our behavior is not too dissimilar from that of previous superpowers, and the end result is likely to be the same.

            The turmoil that exists in the Middle East, the Persian Gulf region, Asia Minor and other parts of the world are caused by ancient tribal rivalries and religion, and by the creation of artificial borders by the British and earlier colonial powers.

    • WhutHeSaid

      I vehemently disagree. While total repeal may not be necessary, enacting safeguards to prevent abuse is a must. If there’s a single principle that embodies the dream that was and is America, it is this:

      Safety means little without freedom.

      • Robert P. Robertson

        Whut, I agree with both you and Dominick, but I lean more toward your point. You both make powerful points. To prevent terrorism, we must have sufficient surveillance at home and abroad. We can’t do this by placing our heads in the sand and pretending the danger is not there. But, like you’ve pointed out, we need the safeguards to ensure that somebody like Myth Romney, Paul Ryan, David Koch, Rush Limbo, or Rand Paul don’t get a-hold of that kind of power and abuse as you know they would. I feel that same way. I feel national security is a priority. The Constitution itself says so. There are some very dangerous, cowardly, sniveling people out there besides our domestic Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bags who would love to cause destruction in America. Without safety, there would be no freedoms for us to enjoy. The NSA surveillance is not really hurting anyone in America except the people it is intended to hurt: the enemies of America and Americans. Under Bush, the Patriot Act was actually randomly listening in on people’s communiques. a lot of law suits came out of that. Under the NSA, they are surveying patterns, modes, lengths, contacts, and the algorithmns of calls and communications that only networks and organizations and enterprises use and really can’t avoid to conduct an effective, smooth operation. They are not interested in our personal phone calls and communications. My only concern is like yours: keeping that power separated from the hands of someone who could and would think nothing of using it.

        • WhutHeSaid

          I agree with everything you’ve said here, but I’d like to add this:

          I pretty much feel that Obama has a certain level of integrity despite the constant howling of the bitter bigots. In fact, I think that the howling bigots help to prove that this is true. But I also believe in that old saying that goes “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. I think that any administration would be tempted to take shortcuts for what they perceived the good of the country, but shortcuts very often backfire. I also shudder to think what somebody like Dick Cheney would do given free reign.

          This is one of those issues where Democrats can be their own worst enemy. I’ve seen many progressive people posting here about their concern over this issue, yet many arrogant liberals sniff that they are ‘paranoid’ or ‘morons’ for doing so. That kind of thinking (and arrogance) is how we wake up some day to find that we’ve elected another Bush or Reagan. This is an important issue, in fact, one of the most important. Democrats would be wise to pay attention.

  • Budjob

    A quote from Ben Franklin states,”They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety,deserve neither liberty or safety”.

    • stcroixcarp

      And this is a guy who flew a kite in a thunderstorm!

      • Robert P. Robertson

        Good one! ROTFLMAO!

    • SibyllasStuff

      Thank you. I was just thinking the same quote. He WAS right on.

  • sigrid28

    Everybody’s having so much fun with Jim Hightower’s take on “A Modest Proposal” that I think the National Memo should print companion opinion pieces on every political controversy, just to amuse the trolls.

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    I agree completely.

    The Patriot Act should be REPEALED at the first opportunity.

    It does not protect anyone. In fact, it makes “government” more intrusive into every single American Citizen’s private life than any other piece of legislation.

    When it’s deemed in the name of “National Security” to tap into our private phone conversations, our emails, our private bank accounts WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW, that’s when it become tyrannical.

  • Robert P. Robertson

    Something keeps telling me that this is a distraction, but by whom? Is it Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bags who are drawing our attention away from their obstructionist terrorism? Is it another Koch sponsored ploy to create a scandal for the Obama/Biden administration? Or, are we being tested to see how easily we can be fooled? Whatever it is, its working. I once heard that if you throw a brick over a fence, the one that yells ouch is the one that got hit. Question: what is it in our private lives that is of such importance that the NSA would want to know about? Don’t tell me it’s privacy because all of our lives are open books. Don’t tell me it’s the 4th Amendment, because all of us are not criminals. Don’t tell me its the government because we are the government. What is it, really? Seriously.

    • WhutHeSaid

      It’s really so simple that perhaps you’ve completely overlooked the obvious answer. It’s not what the NSA wants to do or the FBI wants to do. It’s what countless PEOPLE would decide to do if they had information about you that they could use to their advantage. Maybe the original intent is golden, but the reality is that the government is made up of people, and people will always try to get away with what they can. Once the infrastructure is in place with no real safeguards — all bets are off on the number of different ways that personal information could (and would, guaranteed) be abused.

      For those fine trusting souls whose only worry is whether a TSA agent will post a scan of their crack on the Internet, I say fine — YOU give all your private information to the government, but don’t try telling me I have to do so.

      • Robert P. Robertson

        Whut, I agree that Bush/Cheney version of the Patriot Act should be completely ditched. It violated people’s rights to privacy, and a many lawsuits were settled because of it. I’ve been a victim of Republicunt pogroms where the IRS has been sic’ed on me, and a few computers I owned had been electronically searched and two of them literally fried by Trojan Viruses because of what I was saying about Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. My initial reaction was paranoia. I had me shell-shocked. I couldn’t believe that a group or individual could have that deep a reach. I’m a battle scarred warrior in this that spans nearly thirty years. I tried seeking legal help and not one Democrat, social activist, or attorney wanted or were willing to help me. I took it upon myself to study the law and the Constitution to do battle with them myself, and it worked out for me pretty well.

        My point is, we are all being scanned and surveyed by everyone, not just the government: marketing agencies, political blocs, corporate/industrial lobbies, the census, the local police department, the IRS, FBI, ATF, and DEA. Not in random sweeps for criminals and terrorists, but all the time. Who’s complaining about that? I know that I am not a criminal and definitely not a terrorist. I’m not doing anything that would prompt any agency to investigate me. Before I protest a thing, I research it for veracity before voicing it to make sure it is the truth. If any agency attempts to violate my privacy or freedom of speech, I’ll know its bogus and that I’m being harassed, and I would legally deal with it.

        Let’s do this. Start with your regular Joe and Suzie Citizen. They have a family. He/she/both works a 9 to 5. they pay their mortgage, taxes, and go shopping for themselves and their children. They watch t.v., go to church, browse the internet, and barbeque on weekends and holidays. They have a really decent life, no different from mine or yours. We are not affiliated with any political or social groups other than the PTA, homestead association, or community conferences. The NSA does a national sweep of phone calls, e-mails, and contacts foreign and domestic, and Joe and Suzie Citizen falls within that sweep. The next day, life goes on as it has done yesterday before the sweep or the day after the sweep. What harm has it done? What violation of their rights to privacy has been infringed? That’s my main question. I’m not trying to persuade anyone for or against what the NSA is doing. Under the guidelines of national security, they have been doing it for decades before and will be doing it for decades after. It was the Patriot Act that crossed the line under two home-grown domestic terrorists, Bush/Cheney. As I said above, I voiced my concerns about Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II, and they tried to put me in my place. Obviously it didn’t work because I’m still writing and voicing my opinion even if I have to go Flintstone and stand on top of a rock to do it. When I see helmeted jack-boot storm troopers marching along the street in every city, town, and hole in the wall smashing windows and kicking in doors to confiscate our lawn mowers, weed eaters, note books, and lap tops, I’ll believe it, and then I’ll be the first to die in that battle. But that’s very unrealistic, isn’t it?

        • WhutHeSaid

          You logic just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. You tell me that you’ve been a target of illegal invasion of your privacy and political harassment, then in the next breath you ask what hurt snooping into ordinary citizen’s could possibly do. That just makes me scratch my head.

          I can think of many things that don’t hurt you until they hurt you. What harm could smoking do to you? I see people smoke every day, and the next day life goes on just as before – unless they get lung cancer or heart disease. Then life doesn’t go on as before, but try telling that to the smoker who hasn’t suffered any effects yet. Now imagine that somebody was trying to force you to smoke against your will, all the while telling you that millions of people smoke every day and are happy as clams, so you should agree to do as they say. Maybe you will never suffer I’ll effects, but maybe you will. Either way it should be your choice.

          Under that same line of reasoning, shouldn’t Joe and Susie just grin and bear it if the TSA starts trading their body scans or posting them online? People have already seen them naked, and anyway tomorrow their life will just go on as before – right?

          If you ever have the chance to witness jackbooted thugs kicking down your door it will be far too late to do anything. More likely is a TSA violation of somebody’s body scan or something similar. Why should we accept either scenario when we don’t have to?

          • Robert P. Robertson

            I started to correct what you said on this, Whut. You misunderstood everything I said to you. I tried talking to you as a friend would. Now I’ve changed my mind. This is the second time today that two people that I previously respected on this site has turned on me and insulted me. . . I don’t know what has happened to you guys, but you’ve taken on the sorry, psychopathetic persona of Bozo, lana ward, bikerbitch, labrat, montana bill, and all the rest of these zombies and trolls that infests this site. They should be getting a hell of a laugh on this, but to me its not funny. It’s really unfortunate.

          • WhutHeSaid

            I’m not sure what you found to be so insulting. I didn’t call you any names. I mainly just disagreed with you, and outlined my line of reasoning.

            Trust me — I know how to insult people when I think they deserve it. You I didn’t insult, unless you consider an opposing argument an insult (I don’t). Why don’t you point out where you believe I insulted you, because I must have missed it.

            I don’t know what would cause you to call opposing violations of privacy ‘psychopathic’, but I’d say that YOU are the one doing the insulting here. I didn’t call you a psychopath or compare you to nitwits like Lana Ward, Obozo, or LabRat just because you disagreed with me. I’m not making absurd claims that Obama is plotting the world’s destruction or anything ridiculous — I just oppose unnecessary government invasion of my privacy. Are you really that intolerant to a different opinion or what?

          • Robert P. Robertson

            For one thing, Whut, you completely misunderstood everything that I said to you, then you alluded that I may somehow be confused. That is the insult to me. You talk about privacy, and then give me some dumb assed shit about smoking and cancer in relation to national security. But just the idea that there are organizations and even legislation that invade your privacy every second of the day is more than enough to dash your privacy to hell. Take that dumb assed analogy you made about smoking and cancer. Legislation has been made that deprive people’s rights to smoke, and it tells them where they can and can not smoke. They know the risks of smoking, and if it kills them, they still have that right. Yet, they ban smoking cigarettes, but legalize marijuana, which is worse than smoking cigarettes.
            A woman has the right of her own body, and whatever she wants to do with it is her right. Yet, people are attempting to legislate that right to deprive her of an unwanted pregnancy, even if it was caused by rape.
            Legislation has been enacted that tells you to wear a seat belt while driving, and if you don’t, they penalize you.
            They legislate drunk driving laws, but at every gas station across America, you can buy beer, alcohol, and daiquiris.
            Your rights to privacy is being invaded on a daily basis by law enforcement, but you’re not bitching about that, are you. those invasions impact lives every second of every day, legislated and enacted by the very people we elect to represent us.
            The Patriot Act actually violated the people’s rights to life, liberty, and happiness by intruding on their phone calls and e-mails, and you don’t hear much about them because they were settled out of court by a non-disclosure privilege. Have you ever heard of “privilege” in a court room? As smart as you are, I’m sure you have. That’s why you don’t hear much about what Bush/Cheney did to Americans.
            I don’t know where you get the assumption that you have a “right” to privacy because you don’t. If you’re relying on the 4th Amendment to provide it, you’re wrong. The 4th Amendment is a judicial amendment. Not only the 4th, but thru to the 8th amendment. It all deals with judicial powers and crime, and only explains Article 3 of the original Bill of Rights, which all deals with the judiciary and crime. You do have the right to life, liberty, and happiness, and anyone that violates that is intruding on those rights. It has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with national security.
            National security deals with the “common welfare” of the people. If you’ve served in the military, I’m sure you know what “God and country” means, don’t you? It means God above all, and NATIONAL SECURITY next. National defense is mandatory in America. it is a function of the government to protect the security, the life, liberty, and happiness of the people. It has priority above all things in America. Article 1, Section 8, Subsection 1-section 10, Subsecctions 1-2 explains it all. Not only that, Article 2, Section 1, Subsection 7, which is the oath of the presidency, tells us the president’s primary duty: national security (“to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States “). National security provides defense against “all” enemies domestic or foreign. It protects our freedoms. Without national security, there would be no freedoms, privacy, or otherwise.
            How in hell can the government invade your privacy when you are the government? Remember this: “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”? We are the government. The government works for us because without us, there would be no government. We uphold the government with our tax dollars. We invest in ourselves every time we pay taxes from income, food, and commodities. So, how the hell can we be against ourselves?
            That’s why I said you insulted me, whut, because you insulted my intelligence. I can tolerate a difference of opinion, but I’m not here to persuade or convince anyone of anything. I don’t get paid for this, nor do I get any certificates or degrees. You believe what you want to believe. But to twist what I said to you in the confidence of a friend, I have no patience for it. This is the last time you and I will discuss anything. I will avoid you like the plague from now on. Trust that.

          • WhutHeSaid

            It’s just as I thought: The only ‘insult’ was the fact that I argued a different viewpoint, and nothing more. After your last two posts, however, whatever respect that I had for you is now gone along with any desire to remain cordial.

            I understood you completely, but I disagreed with you, which is the real reason that your panties are in a bunch. You just can’t tolerate an opposing argument — especially one that you can’t defeat with your own argument.

            First, you couldn’t be more wrong about an American citizen’s ‘right’ to privacy. The first clue you missed is that the 4th Amendment is part of the ‘Bill Of Rights’ — ever heard of that? It’s not the ‘Bill Of Suggestions’ or the ‘Bill Of Things Nice To Have If The Federal Government Decides It Is OK’. It’s a RIGHT, and the 4th Amendment exists to provide protection for that RIGHT.

            Next, you claim that my analogies are ‘dumb’, which as far as I can tell just means that you are angry because they illustrate the flaws in your own arguments. When you ridiculously suggested that government invasion of citizens’ privacy causes no apparent harm because ‘Joe’ and ‘Susie’ woke up the next day to find that their lives hadn’t ended, I used smoking as an example of how something may appear harmless — up to the day that it becomes clear that it ISN’T harmless. That you missed the point entirely isn’t an insult on my part — it’s ignorance on yours.

            You didn’t comment on my analogy regarding the ‘right’ of ‘Joe’ and ‘Susie’ to expect that TSA agents cannot post naked scans of their bodies online — why is that? It’s because it defeats your argument: All of the elements of your argument are also present in this real-life example. There is a national security justification for doing the scanning. The TSA agents are government employees, who you apparently believe cannot possibly harm ‘Joe’ and ‘Susie’ because the ARE ‘Joe’ and ‘Susie’! Try telling that to a real husband and wife and see how quickly they call you a blathering idiot.

            I dislike ALL government overreach, including attempts to deprive a woman of the right to control her own body. Whether or not you’ve heard me ‘bitch’ about local police overstepping their bounds or not is immaterial and doesn’t help your arguments at all.

            National defense does NOT override everything else that we believe in, rather, it’s just one important part. The idea that we don’t have freedom without national security is an idea that I would expect a typical second grade student to be able to reconcile, but apparently you can’t. Of course freedom can and does exist without national security – what made you think it didn’t? The authors of the US Constitution knew that the opposite was true, but this principle appears beyond your reach. You apparently also miss the concept of self-governance, which does not mean that the people and the government are exactly one and the same literally. Nor did you apparently realize how boneheaded it is to claim that somebody cannot harm themselves.

            Finally, let me address your accusations of insult and your vow to ‘avoid me like the plague from now on’:

            I post what I believe no matter who likes it. If you can’t abide a differing opinion and start crying that somebody who doesn’t agree with you is ‘insulting’ you, then that just makes you an asshole. Even Lana Ward has more character than that, so you can piss off and see for yourself how much I care.

          • Robert P. Robertson

            WhutHeSaid just said too much. Thanks for the heads up, bitch. Everybody on National Memo has read what you just said, and they now know that you and RobertCHastings are two funky assed, two-faced, sniveling, yellow bellied, gutless, lily livered cowards, sell out pussies that doesn’t have a clue about your own country or its functions. You are so stupid, its utterly astounding! I may not know much, but I know this: you’re hiding behind a mask. That weasel or rat on your profile describes just what you are. You’re like a mangy, emaciated dog barking behind a fence, a harmless, toothless critter. I’m amazed that you’ve been able to survive for so long. . . Your caretakers are doing a miraculous job. Mental illness is a terrible disease. I feel sorry for your caretakers who have to be close to you and see the deterioration you’re going through. It’s ugly!

          • WhutHeSaid

            So what are you trying to say?

            LOL – you don’t like losing the argument, I guess. What a shithead.

          • Robert P. Robertson

            I don’t play games, you stupid, sorry assed pussy. what the fuck would I look like arguing with a damned idiot. Bitch, you didn’t even present a viable arguing point. You babbled. I held back because I overestimated you. I was cordial with you because of some righteous posts you and RobertCHastings had made. But now, I see your true personality.You’re a cowardly, two-faced, side-winding snake. You can’t be trusted or relied upon, like a fake, wanna-be, a cartoon activist. You sound silly and childish like Bozo. But even Bozo has more intellect than you. Atleast a clown can present an argument and know when to back away when reason is presented to her. Unlike Bozo, you’re a long headed donkey, hee-hawing and braying, and plopping on your fat ass until the shit get beaten out of you to make you get up. So get along, little doggie. You and RobertCHastings have exposed yourselves. I hope everybody on the National Memo sees this and know the weasel or rat that you are. You’ll just morph into another profile like that fake assed masquerade you are.

          • WhutHeSaid

            I’ve never heard so much whining in all my life — all because you lost the argument. I won’t bother to debate a sniveling, whining nut who claims that one of the amendments in the Bill Of Rights isn’t about rights, and squeals like a little girl when he’s called on it.

            Go get a life, asshole — you’re just getting plain boring.

          • Robert P. Robertson

            You weasly little coward. Rat bastard. You’re still twisting the remnants of what was said a day ago and you still don’t have it right. Nothing can get through that thick donkey head! What’s the matter, coward, your weed ran out? You don’t have any more false courage? An astronomical idiot lke you couldn’t hold my dick while I pissed, let alone debate me on anything. I really think you’re lana turner or Bozo behind that mask, but I wouldn’t disgrace them like that. You’re far far beneath them. I sense some other low life zombie behind that mask. You’ve been fooling everyone on National Memo for a long time, you little beady eyed rat bastard. But not any more, not if I have anything to do with it. I got your number, bitch. Trust that.

          • WhutHeSaid

            LOL! I’ve never seen seen anyone whine and snivel like you! Even Lana has more balls than you. No matter how often she gets proven wrong, at least she never whimpers, squeals or blubbers like you. You don’t have a dick, you sniveling little pussy-clot — that must be your clitoris.

            I’m guessing that you are Lana’s long-lost ass-baby. I don’t have to guess that you’re a piece of shit — that much is obvious. All because you lost an online argument! LOL!!!

          • Robert P. Robertson

            Your mother’s clitoris is bigger than my dick, bitch. You ought to know that. You sucked your mother’s dick and thought you were being breast fed! That bearded bitch ought to be proud of the ignorance she shitted out into this world. You scum sucking whipperwill, is that why you’re obsessed with your so-called privacy, because you’re a pervert hording child pornography on your computer? Are you a child molesting Mr. Binky, beady eyed weasel/rat? Or you must be a transsexual cross dresser wearing smeared lip stick on your nicotine crusted lips and a dirty blonde wig on your pin head? Do you like to wear diapers while a whore smacks you on your little wrinkled fanny? You’re a crime against nature, you worthless piece of shit, a good fuck gone terribly wrong. You’re nothing but dead weight, a fucking dead-beat drag. Go suck on your mother’s dick like a good weasel/rat.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Hahaha!! You lost the argument, and now you’ve gotten yourself so worked up over it that your pussy hurts. I can see why you are so eager to bend over for the government. After all, you do it for everyone else so why not them too?

            Lose. Losing. Lost. L-O-S-E-R.

            The thought of the government getting into your business gets you all wet — doesn’t it Tinkerbell?

          • old_blu

            I don’t know what happened here you two were doing so good and then ‘BAM’ it exploded, LOL
            I still gave you both likes just because it was entertaining to read thank you.

          • Robert P. Robertson

            old_blu, I did it just to draw her out. It’s Bozo! I always wondered why she used a weasel/rat as a profile picture. She was giving us a clue. She always did smell of rotten fish heads when you read her posts, and you could never tell because she’s hiding behind a mask. That little bitch is probably snickering at us right now. We’ve been had. Another one is Robert CHastings. She might be either Bozo or lana ward. They’re playing us like a Grand Piano. But not any more, my friend. They’ve blown their own covers.

          • WhutHeSaid

            I’ve heard of man-boobs before, but until you I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a man-vagina. I suppose this could explain your behavior somewhat, after all, daily self-rejection must be very frustrating indeed.

          • WhutHeSaid

            I’m not sure why, but he obviously got to the point where he felt insulted. I think it was about the time that he couldn’t defend his arguments. I haven’t even really started to insult him yet, I’m still laughing at how badly he takes losing the argument. I probably shouldn’t laugh though, because if he’s seriously this angry over losing a debate then he has to be mentally unstable.

          • Robert P. Robertson

            I knew it! You are Bozo! HEY EVERYBODY, WHUTHESAID IS BOZO THE CLOWN!!!! This bitch has been hiding behind that mask all this time! I knew I was smelling rotten fish every time your post appeared. I thought it was just your fingers from playing with yourself while you post! You tricky little bitch! I knew it was you. . . Congratulations, Bozo. You really had everyone fooled. You blew your own cover, Einstein.

          • WhutHeSaid

            I think the rotten fish smell was just you neglecting to wash your pussy, you whining twat. I’ve never heard any man whine and cry like you — especially just because they lost an online debate. Don’t look now, but I believe that you’ve been crying and whining like a sissy for so long that you’re probably going to start menstruating soon.

  • nomaster

    If we weren’t the sheep we always tend to be, it would never have been passed. But then look at Obama and his Data Collection Agency (Government). How does it feel to still bleat like sheep. Oh yes, and the drones that are so harmless. Seems like the Constitution continues to take all these hits as freedom seems to quietly die.

    • WhutHeSaid

      So what’s your real problem? Did you squeal and snivel about Bush and Cheney’s violations, or did you merely bend over and spread your cheeks? Perhaps you are upset because Obama is black, and that causes you to hyperventilate and lob ridiculous claims because you are in pain — the pain of being a bigot and seeing a black man who is better than you in every possible way.

      I disagree with the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata, but Obama has done nothing even remotely as slimy as Bush and the vile and despicable Dick ‘The Dick’ Cheney. Don’t you have a cross to burn or some sheets to hang out to dry? Try to make yourself useful. Perhaps your sister has forgiven you by now.

      • nomaster

        So what’s your problem asshole. If you are a government croney you Bush and Obama can all kiss and make up. Go hang yourself it would save the earth some air.

        • WhutHeSaid

          Let me guess: You’re one of those slack-jawed redneck Tea-Bigots who dances around in dogshit, lies continuously, and hates Obama because you can’t stand knowing that a black man is better than you in every possible way. Am I close?

          • nomaster

            Let me guess: You are one of those idiots that like to make stupid assumptions and use profanity and name calling as a sign of your intelligence. No one hates Obama. Sounds like with all your statements you might be black and hate the world. The original statement meant is that we shouldn’t trust everything that government says. Looks like you might be a redneck want to be and lay around in chicken shit all day with your attitude.
            Have a wonderful day.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Nah, good try on the guess but I’m just a poster who reacts poorly to liars, bigots and idiots. When I saw your nutty remarks about Obama, I could tell that here was yet another liar who hates Obama and makes up ridiculous stories in order to ease the pain of being a bigot. Naturally all bigots deny being bigots.

          • nomaster

            Glad your not black because being a sorry excuse for yourself isn’t really a crime only a pity. You still are an idiot that makes stupid assumptions. I think you might just be the poster that doesn’t take the time to think and was born to be an idiot and really may be the bigot he portrays others to be. Liars are always deny and you are the greatest.

            Have a nice day. Who really cares what you think. Find a hole and jump into it.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Zzzzzz…..

  • option31

    Not only is it time to repeal but we need a list of elected representatives that support the act so we can try to vote them out next election. Rep or Dem does not matter supporting this act is a violation of our rights that should transend party lines. The right to freely speak our minds no matter our opinion is our foundation as a nation.

    This started back in 1975 as we know from the Frank Church hearings, but gained real traction under Bush II. Is it any wonder this has been set up for us when Bush hired two ex KGB heads in 04 to consult and implement domestic spying. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/15/73576/-Soviet-America-Bush-Hires-2-Former-KGB-Chiefs