FISA and all that Jazz

soapboxpileThere has been a great deal of bitching, whining and otherwise raising the roof regarding the loss of our civil liberties lately. I am all over this issue, I don’t like it and neither should you. In fact, we should be storming the halls of Congress, raising our voices on the lawn of the White House in protest; demanding a reinstatement of our Constitution. Power once given is difficult to take back, authority once ceded is nearly impossible to demand returned to the powerless.

Let us all admit it, when the planes flew into the towers on September 11, 2001 we were all shocked and dismayed. We had been attacked, successfully by what we considered unsophisticated enemies. American lives were lost and we mourned, it was a terrible day. In the midst of our mourning, we were bombarded by fear mongering, more attacks were coming and none of us were safe not in our homes, not in our places of work, nowhere. The ‘Terrorists’, they were coming to kill us all!

Enter The Patriot Act of 2001, signed by President George W. Bush on October 26. Approved by a nearly unanimous House (357 to 66) on October 23, with Democrats the largest portion of the dissenters.  The700.hq Bill moved onto the Senate where it passed on October 25, with a vote of 98-1. This Act opened the floodgates, giving law enforcement the right to search, seize, listen and otherwise trample your civil liberties granted under the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The Patriot Act has been reauthorized twice, once in 2005 by George W. Bush, once by Barack H. Obama. Those who are screeching about FISA, undue seizures, wiretapping and the loss of privacy must go all the way back to 2001 and remember their willingness to give up their civil liberties for the bullshit idea of safety from those terrible terrorist hiding behind every corner and down every dark alley.

The reality is this; you are more likely to die in one of the following ways:

Falling in Bathtub, Drowning or other injury since 20021 – 3,000

Talking, Texting and otherwise acting in ignorance on your phone while driving2 – 54,000

2nd Amendment Homicides (1 decade of carnage 2001 – 2011)3 – 130,347

2nd Amendment Justifiable Homicides – 5,924

2nd Amendment Unintentional Homicides – 4,764

2nd Amendment Suicides (1 decade of why not leave this mess) – 195,096

Death by Lightening (2003 – 2012)4 – 418

Here you go a picture just to put it in perspective –

killrates

If you remove the horrible September 11, 2001 event from the average on Terrorism, this number is reduced to two (2) per year. Even lightning has a better chance to kill you if you are stupid enough to stand out in a storm.

I loved the idea of death by weather; well I had to give you this one –

Weatherkill

Weather Kills, certainly more on average than Terrorist but still not more than Azzhats with Guns

Amazing isn’t it? On the 6-month anniversary of Sandy Hook today, we haven’t done a damned thing at a federal level on Gun Sanity. Those morons in Congress, couldn’t even pass a Federal Background Check, not even that in 6 months, yet look at the numbers.

Some state governors’ struggle, weighing their party line with the will of the people of their state. Only yesterday Governor Brian Sandavol of Nevada vetoed a bill sent to his desk to strengthen background checks, call in support indicated the people of Nevada supported this bill overwhelmingly 86% to 13%, didn’t matter he chose party politics and vetoed.

Since Newtown, there have been 5,047 gun deaths in the US. These are what we know about, sometimes these numbers are hard to get. I love this chart:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html

Despite the Boston Marathon bombing, which was tragic you are more likely to be murdered by a toddler than killed by a terrorist in the US (list provided by Opposing Views).

  • Jan. 10: 6-year-old playmate shoots and kills 4-year-old Trinity Ross, Kansas City, Kan.
  • Feb. 11: 4-year-old Joshua Johnson shoots and kills himself, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Feb. 24: 4-year-old Jaiden Pratt dies after shooting himself in the stomach while his father sleeps, Houston.
  • March 30: 4-year-old Rahquel Carr shot and killed either by 6-year-old brother or another young playmate, Miami.
  • April 6: Josephine Fanning, 48, shot and killed by 4-year-old boy at a barbecue, Wilson County, Tenn.
  • kidswithgunsApril 8: 4-year-old shoots and kills 6-year-old friend Brandon Holt, Toms River, N.J.
  • April 9: 3-year-old is killed after he finds a pink gun that he thinks is a toy, Greenville, S.C.
  • April 30: 2-year-old Caroline Sparks killed by her 5-year-old brother with his Cricket “My First Rifle” marketed to kids, Cumberland County, Ky.
  • May 1: 3-year-old Darrien Nez shoots himself in the face and dies after finding his grandmother’s gun, Yuma, Ariz.
  • May 7: 3-year-old Jadarrius Speights fatally shoots himself with his uncle’s gun, Tampa, Fla.
  • June 7: 4-year-old fatally shoots his father, Green Beret Justin Thomas, Prescott Valley, Ariz.

Should we be worried? We absolutely should be worried, we should be damned worried for our own future and future generations and more Civil Liberties are eroded, more economic opportunities are lost and Civil Rights are contracted rather than expanded. We should be shaking in our boots. Then, when we are done with our whining about what we have given away, we should put on our big girl and boy panties and get to work.

We created the Tyrants currently filling up Washington and spewing the bile. We continue to elect them. We allow them to abuse this nation with their arrogance and ignorance. We do this with our failure to take action and thus we have no one to blame but ourselves for the outcome. Our legacy to future generations?

  • Economic Failure of a once brilliant nation
  • Rampant poverty, including homelessness, starvation, rise in disease
  • Joblessness
  • 3rd world nation status.Bridge Collapse
  • Unbreathable Air
  • Undrinkable Water
  • Failed Infrastructure
  • Widespread Illiteracy, failed education systems
  • Theocracy and Feudalism replacing Democratic Republic

We are well on our way to all of these. In some cases, we are already there. Is this the legacy we want for our children? So FISA courts through the continued reauthorization of The Patriot Act, allow your e-mail, phone records and all sorts of other personal information to be combed. The Second Amendment seems to be the only piece of the Constitution anyone gives a good damn about, I mean really who doesn’t want to shoot’um up in the streets just cause you look different, strange, odd, or by damned you might by an f’ng terrorist or a kid with skittles.

Worried? I know I am and so should all the rest of us be. I have a far better chance of being shot in the street by an azzhat with an attitude than being killed by a terrorist attack, but this nation spends $750 billion on The War on Terrorism while bridges are falling down.

Think about it, when will we be marching again to regain what is being stolen from us?

1 Bathtub accidents statistics gathered from a variety of sites, used 300 per year as the average.

2 Statistic gathered from a variety of sites, texting has been available since 2004. Included standard phone use in calculation, which has been available far longer. It is estimated accident rate is increasing by 4% per year. Used 6,000 per year as the fatality rate.

3 http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states

4 http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/stats/03-12_deaths_by_state.pdf

Comments

  1. I am woefully behind on my blog reading. I’m glad this one didn’t escape my attention. Excellent reporting. There was this dumb movie that my husband made me watch, Final Destination, that has haunted me ever since I saw it. There have been about a dozen sequels I think, because of the many terrifying, mundane ways a person can die, but I have studiously avoided watching any of them. I am more scared of a bathtub fall than of a terrorist any day. And of course, a fool with a gun.

    • Fools with guns, well given my history I suspect I am done with that one. Bathroom falls though, this one might yet get me.

      Like you I am a bit behind and trying to catch up. Glad you liked this one.

  2. Blahahahahahahhaha death by weather. I don’t think I could get through a funeral like that without laughing out loud 🙂

    • I am with you, though some weather is worse than others. If you are simply to stupid not to stand out in a lightening storm though, well yeah I am thinking that shock might be well deserved.

      🙂

  3. Let me tel you something that happened to me recently (2 months ago).
    I have an American passport and a passport from Honduras (my family lived there for awhile because of my dad’s job, I was eligible for citizenship so I got it) I’m a legal “resident” of Brazil (as long as I go once a year I don’t lose my resident status) and I’m also a legal resident of Spain (I’ve been living here for 3 years).
    This is gonna be a long comment so bear with me lol.
    I love to travel ans as you may now, in some countries is harder to get with an American passport, by harder I mean you gotta pay a visa for that thing called “reciprocity”, America charges no less than $150/visa application (doesn’t mean you’ll get) therefore many countries apply the same fee to American passport holders (with all due right). So for those countries that charge Americans I use my passport from Honduras, same for countries in the Middle East, traveling with an American passport nowadays is not the best thing.
    Then for trips to “first world” countries where they see a traveler from Honduras as a potential immigrant, I use the American passport.
    A nice trick I’ve developed.
    My American passport expires in September, so I made an appointment in may to get a new one, went to the embassy in Madrid, paid the fees, got my pics. I got my fingerprints taken and signed a document, I asked to wait, so I did, then I was called again (all this is regular procedure) for a short interview.
    I noticed something was off when they started to asked me question such as “Why you travel often to Morocco”(I go there 3-4 times a year with work), “Why I crossed the border more than 15 times in a period of 2 months in Texas back in 2008?”
    “What was the reason of my travel to Syria back in 2011?”
    I answered all those questions, then she asked “Who sponsors your trips?”
    Somehow that question made my blood boil, I breathed and answered “I work, I can afford those trips and many more as you can see on that passport, I also have a credit cards which I can max out if I wanted and then I have my parents who can support my apparently wild life style”
    Then she said “Mr. Leo, we are going to hold your passport because we need to investigate your case, we are going to contact you in a minimun period of 90 days”
    I told them I needed my passport because I must travel with work, they made me sign a document authorizing them to look for any dirt on me.
    And they sure did, they called my parents, my company (headquarters back in Texas).
    Needles to say I’m beyond pissed, they keep looking for things were they aren’t, I felt violated, but at least I was aware they were gonna do something. My parents freaked out.
    FISA courts are an effing joke!

  4. Very interesting post.

  5. Jueseppi B. says:

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    Great post Ms. Logar!!

  6. The thing is Americans don’t fear falling in bathtubs, falling down steps or being hit by stray asteroids, Valentine. They see planes full of screaming passengers plowing into buildings as those poor doomed souls within face the ugly choice of being burnt alive or jumping to certain death and say, “Yeah, I don’t want none of that. Here ya go. You can have my civil liberties, I’ll get ’em back later. Just keep me safe.”

    Of course, later never comes. That’s the risk you take when you make these sort of trade-offs. Fear is Big Business and Business is Good.

    • Dwight Eisenhower said in his farewell speech, “We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.”

      I think it is more than simply financial / economic bankruptcy. It is moral bankruptcy. We are sending this nation back into the stone age.

  7. Personally, I’ve always carried far more about the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution than any of the others. Also, here in Texas, only about a third of eligible voters actually make an effort to get to the polls each election; that explains a lot about this state. The ‘death-by-toddler’ trend is especially alarming. Yet, our elected officials are more concerned with Syria and the IRS. Sad, real sad.

    • Yet so many of them are critical to our civil liberties and voting rights, including the 4th and the 14th. The 1st is only the tip of the iceberg.

      I hear you on Texas. We have to get engergized here this next go around or we will see Rick Perry in office again, with Republicans owning the Legislature again. It will be a sad state of affairs if this happens.

      You are right, the death by toddlers is terrible and still we do nothing.

  8. What bothers people like me half a world away, is that where America goes today, we go tomorrow, hence Coca Cola, MacDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken…

    • The wave of conservatism is certainly taking the world by storm. It is a phenomenom that is worrisome. Though I believe, in many cases the world today is looking on the US and shaking its head in dismay. No longer are we the nation to follow.

  9. What I can not understand is How responsible adults can leave a loaded gun for a 4 yr old to get hold with.. Here if we have a licence for a Gun we have to have a locked metal cabinet to keep it in.. This is just insane!…. But then we can not just go into a Supermarket and buy a gun like a piece of meat…
    So sad …
    And thank you Val for enlightening us on all these facts..

    • I am not a peaceful in my meanderings Sue, all I can do is speak truth to power and hope someone hears.

      It is insane. Perhaps the insanity will eventually cause someone to say enough.

      • Val I so hope so……… Sometimes we Have to speak out Val.. and hope someone somewhere listens! and stops this insane world killing itself..
        Love to you and all you do in making us aware. xx

  10. You make absolute sense with everything that you have offered here Val and I too like your statistic charts, especially the weather and bath tub accidents I wonder if any of those are caused by blatant naughtiness or is it just a slip and a slide over the lip of the tub and into the toilet bowl, I guess there is a lot of sh…

    I was going to swear then but let us discuss politicians in a better light for now, I mean they are full of good intentions especially when the votes are required but afterwards everything is thrown back into the begging bowl for another election. Something needs to change fast, or what will be of the future, more slips and slides and kindergarten homicides, it doesn’t bear thinking about 😦

    Have a lovely Friday evening Val and
    don’t be treading on the soap, or else? 😉

    Andro xxxx

  11. By incredible coincidence, I just had to call the White House for work. I was greeted by a recording that said, and I am not making this up:

    “For quality purposes, this call may be monitored, but it will not be recorded.”

  12. I am much more worked up over the lack of bridges and gun sanity and our inane focus on “the war on terra” than I am over government wiretapping. Google already knows my favorite brand of toilet paper — the information age, internet, facebook, blogs, etc. has opened us up to everybody knowing everything.

    • I am with you on this, they already know. They have been doing this for years. Frankly if you aren’t doing something they are interested in, who really gives a good damn, really. It would be nice if they would leave some of it alone. It would be nice if they would return our Civil Liberties to us, return the Constitution to its original Glory, however there truly are so many bigger and more worthy fish to fry today.

  13. I can only shake my head…

  14. oh yes and as the government goes on and on about how they are tackling terrorism more people keep dying in India due to poverty, flood, drought, train accidents …and not a single effort to eradicate or take care of these problems…Huge amount of food keeps rotting in food godowns when people on streets keep dying due to shortage of it..no connectivity, no channeling…

    • Soma, we are right behind you. Once a nation wealthy enough to pay attention to those less advantaged than us, now a nation with our hands out begging for aid. Yet still, the wealthy would rather our food rot on the vine than feed our children.

      It is a shame on all our governments. So I ask, when do we rise? When do we demand of our governments they begin to unravel what they have knit so tightly they are strangling us.

  15. 1wanderingtruthseeker says:

    I want all my amendments back. Just because some criminals and stupid people. Do you want to be protected by our police or military people. You have a much better chance of being killed by our local police than by any terrorist.

    • I want a working Congress back. I want a balanced SCOTUS back. I want an Administrative branch back that knows how to work with the Legislative branch, knows what it means to work with the Justice branch and knows it is right and proper to return the Constitution to its former glory.

      But then I want a great deal apparently.

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