This is my first FDL blog post. I am a relatively new member and have posted replies to a few other postings. The following are my views, thoughts and beliefs about what is happening in America. I have done little research, but read extensively. If I am way off track, please be kind, but let me know.
When I was growing up, I was pretty much isolated from the goings on of government. My family really did believe in the White, Anglo, Saxon, Protestant way of doing things. The idea of: “Hard work and patriotism will get you everywhere” was instilled in me from an early age. Somehow, I came out of all of that with my own ideas of right and wrong, my own ideas of religious freedom and my own ideas around government. Those ideas differ greatly and are on the opposite end of the spectrum of what I grew up with.
The Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights:
“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 is so Un-Constitutional it is ridiculous! Lawmakers reacted to 9/11 instead of acting. The Patriot Act is a horrible piece of legislation. It was drafted in the wake of 9/11 to “Protect Americans and root out terrorism. ” Just with a quick search, Wikipedia ( not the best site) states this about the Patriot Act:
“Opponents of the law have criticized its authorization of indefinite detentions of immigrants; searches through which law enforcement officers search a home or business without the owner’s or the occupant’s permission or knowledge; the expanded use of National Security Letters, which allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to search telephone, e-mail, and financial records without a court order, and the expanded access of law enforcement agencies to business records, including library and financial records.”
This law has allowed the American government to turn on its own people. Everyone including your neighbor is now a suspected potential terrorist. Don’t even think about trying to revolt or fight back…Then you really are a terrorist and can be searched, detained, arrested, stripped of any Constitutional Rights that you have left. I was reading in the paper on Sunday…The FBI has investigated 80,000 Americans independently without their knowledge and only had 1 arrest…and that arrest had nothing to do with terrorism. (The Mcarthy Era comes to mind) I read in a weekly magazine yesterday about a man who took a photo of an oil refinery and was arrested on suspicious behavior. Gibson USA was raided by federal agents in bullet proof vests with machine guns…No explanation needed according to Federal Marshals. My personal story ,like thousands of others who have come into contact with the Patriot Act, is one that involves the TSA:
Last month I had to take a flight to San Francisco from Boston. I had to do the research to find out if I had too much toothpaste to bring on the plane. When I arrived at the airport, the curbside check in was painless. I was directed to security behind a separating barrier from the rest of the terminal. The the young woman who checked my identification was pleasant enough, then everything got obscenely crazy…TSA agents yelling and screaming at passengers…Take off your shoes!!! Nothing in your pockets and I mean nothing!!! Computers in this bucket, wallets in this bucket, liquids in another bucket…Personal effects in yet another…Holy CRAP!!! Then I hear…”People!!! This is for your safety!” My things pass through the scanners without incident. (The 16 year old girl in front of me…Not so lucky. They searched her belongings and detained her…All for an extra bottle of water!!) Then I’m ushered into the “Full Body Scan” More orders barked, “Put your hands behind your head. Lock your thumbs and don’t move!” I thought I heard her say ok…I moved…Yikes!!! She had me stand there legs spread, hands behind my head, thumbs locked for a minute. I counted. Finally, I’m released to board my plane. All I could think about while hurrying to my gate was when I watched old newsreel that showed Jewish people coming into the concentration camps when they got off of the trains and Nazi Guards screaming at them. “Personal effects here…This is for your Safety!” I make it to my gate and am ready to board when my jacket was grabbed and I was told to put my belongings up on the table. I was searched AGAIN!!! This time they went through everything by hand!!! I WAS MORTIFIED!!! No warrant, No Constitutional Rights…No Explanation! I made the flight…Thank God United still serves alcohol! I was so mad I was shaking!!! I’m no terrorist!! I don’t belong to or support organized crime, I don’t have any associations to drug cartels…and for God’s sake I did my homework about carrying the proper amount of liquids…WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!!! MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS WERE BLATANTLY VIOLATED. I WAS SEARCHED WITHOUT A WARRANT!
What to do??? This Act has expanded government into places where they don’t belong!!! REPEAL THE PATRIOT ACT AS THINGS ARE ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE!!!
“Those who give up their liberty for more security neither deserve liberty nor security.” Benjamin Franklin –