In January I summarized on my blog the various ways in which the U.S. Federal government had abused the people during that month alone. I did so for the convenience of my U.S. representative and my state’s senators, who are so busy contriving new ways to rob us of liberty and wealth that they may not be able to keep up with their “progress.” So, for them and for anyone else interested in keeping track, I present this month’s installment of “The Month in Federal Abuse.”
The Senate quietly and without debate voted this past week to renew the perversely named Patriot Act without a set of safeguards that had previously been considered. Predictably, they blamed “partisanship” for failing to include these safeguards.
Project Censored announced the top censored story of 2009: An estimated one million Iraqis were killed as a result of the U.S. invasion that began in 2003. That number exceeds the number of people killed in the Rawanda genocide and approaches the 1.7 million killed in Cambodia’s infamous killing fields. Meanwhile, an estimated 140 Americans have been killed by terrorists since Sept. 1, 2001—slightly more than the number of Americans killed in auto accidents each day. These numbers raise a compelling question: Which is the more lethal threat to life and limb, the high-tech killing machine known as the U.S. Federal government, or some shadowy network of men hiding in caves?
Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said last week that “Whatever may have been left of the Fourth Amendment after [United States v. Black] is now gone. The evisceration of this crucial constitutional protector of the sanctity and privacy of what Americans consider their castles is pretty much complete. Welcome to the fish bowl.” Yes, we don’t have a Fourth Amendment anymore.
John Yoo, the former Bush legal adviser, told a radio audience that the massacre of an entire village of civilians would be acceptable “if I thought it was militarily necessary.”
Newsweek reported Feb. 19 that for years, federal law enforcement agencies have been tracking U.S. citizens’ cell phones in real time and without warrants. That is to say, illegally. Where are the people sworn to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States on this issue? Silent, as usual. And who can blame them? All members of Congress are under active surveillance and some are being blackmailed, as chronicled by former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds.
Janet Napolitano, head of the Ministry of Homeland Security, said Feb. 21 that domestic “extremism” is now as great a threat to “security” as the traditional terrorist. The lethal force of the Federal anti-terror apparatus is poised to be used against U.S. citizens. Criticism of the government is to be viewed with suspicion, and the Patriot Act stands ready, locked, and loaded.
President Obama acknowledged Feb. 11 that there’s a slight drawback to the jobs bill then emerging from the Senate: It’s unlikely to create many jobs. The only new jobs being created these days are Federal jobs, and many of these have to do with the rapidly expanding surveillance, capital-confiscation, imprisonment, and civil-liberties-violation industries.
The Utah House of Representatives voted Feb. 20 not to comply with the Federal Real ID Act, thus joining the ranks of states asserting their sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment. A rare glimmer of hope.
The Washington Times reported earlier this month that the underground economy is growing as more and more Americans attempt to protect their wealth against brazen Federal seizure.
Sen. Lindsay Graham said Feb. 15 that he is working with the White House to craft legislation that would introduce “indefinite detention.” Thus empowered, the Federal government would be able to abduct anyone it pleased, including U.S. citizens, and imprison them for life without due process of law.
The National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association reported Feb. 15 that agents of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had raided the farm of an Amish man in Kinzers, Pa., on suspicion of his having sold milk without Federal authorization.
Twelve more Afghan civilians were killed by U.S.-made rockets Feb. 14. (Happy Valentine’s Day!) General Stanley McChrystal said he was really, really sorry about the incident. Massacres of Afghan civilians are becoming rather routine and boring. Americans, meanwhile, continue to wonder why we’re universally hated, as Washington continues to confiscate our wealth to build more weapons to kill more brown people and enrich the defense contractors whose lobbyists wine and dine members of Congress. Ain’t government grand?
On Feb. 11, Federal agents raided a legal medical-marijuana operation in Denver. The business’s owner, Chris Bartkowicz, was hauled away and jailed.
A New York Post reporter attempting to learn about the Plunge Protection Team, formally known as President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, was stonewalled Feb. 13 with bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo and his rights under the Freedom of Information Act denied. [Cached story here.]
Yahoo Finance reported Feb. 11 that bank lending to consumers has “fallen off a cliff” since the passage of last year’s stimulus bill. Lending to the Federal government, meanwhile, has increased to an average of $1 trillion per year. Those missiles used to kill brown people and the naked body scanners at airports don’t come cheaply!
The Rasmussen Report reported Feb. 8 that 45% of U.S. citizens are “very angry,” a nine-point increase from last September. Some of those angry people are armed. Uh-oh!
The Dept. of Justice posted a job listing on its official Web site saying it was seeking attorneys with various disabilities, including “mental retardation.”
ABC News reported Feb. 9 that Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told the House Intelligence Committee that the U.S. intelligence community has the right to murder U.S. citizens abroad.
John Brennan, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said in an op-ed piece in USA Today Feb. 9 that “Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda.” Yes, critics of the government are to be viewed as terrorists. And we know how they may be abused, under the powers granted by the Patriot Act.
The FBI is pressuring Internet service providers to store Internet records for two years.
The U.S. Mint announced Feb. 2 plans to further debase U.S. coins by cheapening the composition of some of them that still contained traces of precious metals. Not that U.S. currency could be much more thoroughly debased than it already is. U.S. coins have contained no precious metals since the mid-1960’s, and the backing of paper currency by gold was removed during the Nixon administration.
Several agents of the Transportation Security Administration were caught engaging in various forms of bizarre or perverse behavior in February. An agent in Los Angeles was accused Feb. 5 of possessing child porn. An agent in south Florida was jailed for groping a 13-year-old girl and asking her to be his “sex slave.” An agent in Philadelphia played a “joke” on a University of Michigan undergraduate by holding up a packet of white power and asking if it was hers. And an agent in Los Angeles was arrested for running around declaring “I am god, I am in charge.”
And finally, the Obama administration reported Feb. 2 that the Federal payroll will soon balloon to 2.15 million parasites—whoops, I mean public servants.
The punchline to all of this? We get to pay for it all, involuntarily!