— The 21st of May has come and gone, and I’m still here. Not even a minor ground shake in either of my Ring of Fire locations (in Silicon Valley & Southeast Asia).
But this no time for rapture. Last week, quietly, Members of Congress reached an agreement that continues the God-like powers given to the Federal government over how it can track people domestically, what information it can seize, and why. The nefarious Patriot Act—a piece of legislation that’s named about as accurately as Greenland—is going to be with us for at least four more years.
The USA Patriot Act, as it’s formally called, passed quickly in 2001 after 9/11. It grants extraordinary powers to the government, the kind often found in wartime, the kind that rank with Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War and Roosevelt’s internment camps of WWII.
Former Rep. Dick Armey—not a liberal fave or warm and fuzzy guy—did his best to build “sunset” provisions into the act when it first became law. He assumed that the US in all its might would have found Osama bin Laden and wrapped up this Al Qaeda nonsense by 2005, so set that year for the act’s expiration.
Armey’s idea didn’t fly, and the act has been with us all along. It was set to expire early this year. First it got extended for 90 days, and now it’s expected to be around until at least 2015.
I’ve Got Nothing to Hide
I often wonder if people who say “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about” are fascists or just foolish.
The idea that anyone can just start going through your stuff at any time, without telling you about it, then use anything that’s found to develop serious charges against you, valid or not, runs about as counter to what America is all about generally and what the Fourth Amendment is about particularly as anything imaginable.
Imagine the outcry if the United States government started shutting down newspapers and radio stations, or if agents suddenly showed up on everyone’s doorstep to confiscate their guns. Imagine if National Guard troops showed up at doors, demanding to be fed and housed. Imagine if you suddenly the courts said you had damn well better admit to a crime or face jail.
Those abuses would be rank violations of the First, Second, Third, and Fifth Amendments and would be shouted down immediately. Yet there seems to be little concern about the Patriot Act’s flagrant flouting of the Fourth.
Indeed, this is a time in which the reasonable middle ground is leading the stampede. The Members of Congress who oppose it come from the edges of both parties. Two dozen Republicans opposed extending it previously, as did many Democrats.
But now, an agreement has apparently been reached by those normally viewed as moderates. The Obama Administration has been annoyingly coy about this legislation all along, apparently afraid to look soft on terrorism but also lacking the spine to admit it’s not so in love with civil liberties either.
The irony in this situation was reflected last week when Facebook came under attack for its approach to the privacy of its members. First revealed as the ogre behind a potentially ugly smear campaign against Google (aka the bear calling the moose brown), then accused of a stealth campaign against proposed privacy legislation in California, the increasingly friendless social networking monster was lambasted in Washington for its “indefensible” business practices…by a Rockefeller.
What’s next? A lecture on child protection by the Pope? A call for humility and reasonable hairstyles by Donald Trump?
What Facebook, Google, and the other big data attractors absolutely must understand is that their rigid refusal to stop collecting personal data by hook or crook plays right into the hands of Feds empowered by the Patriot Act. The government has and will work to “persuade” these companies to give up any and all information deemed worthy of the continuing war on terror.
Now that President Obama has enabled bin Laden to swim with the fishes, would it be that he embraced Dick Armey’s insight. Would it be that the moderate viewpoint in Washington wasn’t the one that J. Edgar Hoover and Mussolini would have loved.
Would it be that top management at Facebook understood that the real battle they face with the government is not about limits to what they can collect, but an absence of limits over what they may have to reveal.
Courtesy: Facebook, Beware! Fear the Patriot Act
Probably you have already burn your blood in anger when you noticed that couple of hundred Millions british pounds have been thrown into Royal wedding of Kate and William recently. Couple of Hundred Millions ? are you nuts … ? where does it comes ? Did “prince” William CEO of a multi national ? Oh Poor, Citizen they (Monarch) don’t have to wake up early and rush towards metro to bang the head for next 10-12 hours .. We feed them, my dear. It was our Tax money.. [pullquote]Oh Poor, Citizen they (Monarch) don’t have to wake up early and rush towards metro to bang the head for next 10-12 hours[/pullquote]
But this in not only in U.K rather In Sweden last year when “Princess” Victoria got married, her father King Gustav of Sweden ordered Skatteverket (Swedish Tax agency) to throw around 6 Million Swedish Crowns.. Wow… that is too much , yes but it is ironic as well.
At that time let me share you how does we fit-in on this canvas. The capitalism pyramid , where me and you are the bottom serving people.
We do have rights to eat , sleep and sometime to speak against those which our masters want , but we are not allowed or never free our minds to speak against themselves.
Furthermore, now using our blood tax money Kate and William are on honey moon on the islands of the Seychelles. Which cost around 150 Million GBP but not to them , but for Us , the poor workers.
Don’t worry work hard , be focused on your job , earn money to feed your children but never ever try to think beyond this box .. otherwise , if you do ? You will be called Terrorist of the Elite centric System.
Despite all the propoganda and euphoria , Many are not going to celebrate Osama’s death. Sure, Osama was a thorn in America’s side for a long time, but, like we all learned in kindergarten, don’t beleive what shows on TV.
Rather than viewing Osama’s execution as a cause for celebration, I think it would be better to treat this event as an opportunity for reflection. Who was Osama? Why did he become public enemy number one? And, how can we make the world a better, safer place in the post-Osama era?
As everyone knows, Osama became a household name when we was infamously blamed as the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.
Osama seemed to come out of nowhere in the 1990s and, in a sense, he did. As early as the 1980s, Osama’s base of operations lay in Afghanistan. For most Americans, Afghanistan was completely off the radar screen. However, in 1979, way back before the cold war was over, the Soviets decided to invade Afghanistan.
US following his long plan to invade the world and to control the navigation on China specially, the US opposed this exercise in Soviet expansionism and made a covert, but concerted effort to undermine the Soviet invasion. Thus, it is important to emphasize that, during the 1980s, the US and Afghan soldiers groups were allies: we were both fighting for a common cause against a common enemy. Even more significantly, in prosecuting that cause, the US also allied itself with none other than…Osama bin Laden.
The degree to which the US officially trained and supported Osama remains a matter of dispute. Nevertheless, there is no question that, during the 1980s, the US and Osama both had friends and enemies in common. So, what happened? How did Osama go from being a strategic ally in the 1980s to public enemy number one?
Although very few people in the US are willing to own up to it, the truth is: the US blew it. As the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan began falling apart, the US withdrew its support and left its former allies flapping in the breeze.
After defeat of Russian by Afghan mujahideen , US decided to cut and run. To put it mildly, this really pissed the Afghans and their sympathizers off. No one likes to be treated like cannon fodder. Thus, Afghanistan rapidly transformed from a steadfast ally into a simmering cauldron of anti-Americanism. The rest is, as they say, history.
Osama is dead, but many not going to celebrate, because you don’t buy peace with murder—no matter which side of a war you may be on. If we’re going to win the war on terror, the US will never do it with bullets. But it won’t happen until we quit foisting all the blame on Osama, and take a long hard look in the mirror.
*If that sounds radicilous, then compare it to the consequences of an endless war.
Khalid was sitting and begging for the food on the street with dust flows on all of his face. He was not born without legs rather he used to be a business man until 2001 . He had family of four boys and two girls who are already killed with his wife “Salma” who was a school teacher at that time.
I asked Khalid ” How did it happen ? he looked me with tired eyes and replied what do you mean? .
I asked How did you loose your family and how you loose your legs . He took a deep sigh and told me that It was a Tuesday night when we heard that US with his alies are planning to attack Afghanistan. We first realized that “Truth is on our side” as we did not engaged in any allegation they blamed on us.
In midnight we heared screaming, shouting and terrific bombing with glazing on sky every where and all of a sudden a Cruise missile hit on our home and i woke up like this.
I asked what happened to your family and childern , he stopped , glazed down and tears drop from his eyes .. I understood what it means..
Khalid is not the only one who has lost his family and life in last decade , rather about 10 million innocent childern , adults, old and infants been massacred since 2001 and it is continiue as I write this text.
On 2nd of May 2011 , when i heared the news that Osama bin laden has been killed i asked myself, Is it now that the “US License of Massacre” has been expired ? or they will renew it with on other name.
May be I am right in my judgement as next day news media were boosting in creating fear and making stage that muslims will now take revenge of Osama’s death and West has to prepare for something similar.
Beside the fact that 9/11 was not any Muslim’s job rather was an inside drama , but now they are making people mind that … be prepare ” They are coming “….
As a citizen of Humanity we must open our eyes and free ourselves from this type of manufacturing consent tactics ..
I hope that People are now more well informed than in 2001 but we will see how we performed our duties as human beings and stop US in repeating the history and even confirm that “US License to Massacre” is really been expired …