Washington DC

On Modest Encroachments

By George Mantor

“It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.” – James Madison

I wonder what Jimmy-boy might be thinking if he were around to see how much things have changed since the dawn of this noble, yet failed, experiment in personal liberty.  I wonder if he thought we would ever get dumb enough to buy into the notion that personal freedoms don’t really matter.

President Obama brushed off the recent revelations of the broad scrubbing of American citizens constitutionally protected communications while searching for nonexistent terrorists, by referring to the domestic spying as a “modest encroachment”.

He seemed to have an odd smirk that suggested to me that he had used this phrase before in some other context.

A modest encroachment is a preliminary to being screwed.

If experience has taught us anything, it is that it all begins as a modest encroachment. How far it goes depends on the determination of the encroacher and the level of resistance of the encroachee to the ever more intrusive encroachments.

When I was a young man, the relationship between men and women was a game of pursuit and catch.  It was likened to baseball and terms like “getting to first base”, “going all the way” and “scoring” were used to describe successive, ever less modest encroachments.

So, the question is, how much encroachment are we willing to allow?  They will keep coming on, going one base at a time, until we are all prisoners, or we stop them.

Without telling us they accessed our email and phone information, they now seek to punish the person who told us.  We can just call him the last, honest man, and I see a sad Billy Budd sort of ending here.  He knows too much.

They now tell us that this information stopped terrorist attacks, but if we ask for some evidence, we will be told we should take their word for it; that it is a secret and giving the secret away would empower our enemy.  We have an enemy like Manti Teo had a girlfriend.

What we know about these thwarted attacks so far is that most of them were FBI sting operations targeting groups of developmentally disabled adults, whipping them into a frenzy, then offering them guns and bombs to carry out their plans. Kind of like when the Justice Department sold all those guns to Mexican drug cartels.

In addition to our government, our other enemy is the ever increasing number of people who have had the sanity drained out of them by ever encroaching oppression and hypocrisy.

Big Brother knows that.  Are there desperate, angry people in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Chechnya?

Of course, but you cannot have rising poverty, high unemployment, wealth inequality, deteriorating infrastructure, burgeoning prison industry, bad government, and a corrupt legal system and not create that right here.   And, they know that.

There are more than 47 million Americans on food stamps and the program is about to be slashed in the new farm bill.

It isn’t a case of let them eat cake; it’s a simple decision to let some of the lower echelon starve to death.  Children, women, and the elderly—the usual victims.

Now, this will make some people angry.  The hunger, watching others suffer, watching the government confiscate food that has been grown by co-ops just to survive.  Naturally, there will come a revolution of necessity and that is what this is really all about.

It has nothing to do with foreign terrorists from central casting and everything to do with the fact that US government policy is being directed in a way that can only lead to the destruction of the notion of liberty and drive a humbled and defeated people toward a bargain with the devil.

That is why they are collecting the data. They also want us to take their word for what they do with the data that they collect and comb. Seriously? Trust them?

The President tells us, “You can’t have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience.”

Point of fact, Mr. President, you cannot have 100% security no matter how little privacy you leave to us.  We have a government that has deliberately imperiled its people time and time again without any regard for their security.  So, don’t give us that crap.

The very notion of complete security flies in the face of individual liberty and biology.  No one would be allowed to ride a motorcycle, climb a mountain, or go to war because they are all inherently unsafe.  And, we were all born to die.

First they create a bogey man, and then they offer to keep us safe if only we do what they tell us.  Just another version of the old protection racket:  break a storefront window; tell the owner that for a percentage of the profit, you’ll make sure it never happens again.

We are the ones who need more access to information about what they do.  We should be spying on them, listening in on their phone conversations, and seeing what kind of porn they like to surf.

Why can they can read my email and listen in on my phone conversations, but I can’t know what’s in my food?

Why can they take as much of my money as they want but I have no say in what they spend it on?  We should be able to allocate our taxes to the general budget categories that make money available to do what we want, not what they want.  We know their priorities are not the same as ours.

Why can’t we all have the same health care they have?  If it is good enough for them, it’s good enough for the rest of us.  If we had universal health care coverage, mental illness would be treated.  That’s what really scares me.  We are living in a pressure-cooker.  Suicide is way up, domestic violence and crime in general is rising, gang violence is increasing, police brutality is rampant, and I myself get a tad miffed, from time to time.

Normally, you would think that this type of broad brush domestic spying by the government would bring an outburst of rage, but not the American press.  To them the only story of merit is the apprehension and punishment of what they are universally referring to as a traitor.

Only the foreign press is reporting the real story.

I think that the money spent on domestic spending is a colossal waste.  When the story about the IRS parties broke, I called the IRS to express my strongest disapproval of how they were using our tax dollars.  I spoke to a Mrs. Clark, number 2086853.  She told me that there was no one I could speak to.  I asked to speak to her supervisor but she wasn’t available, even though these were office hours.  As I persisted in wanting to speak with someone else, she hung up on me.

See, they don’t have to read my emails and listen to my phone conversations to find out if I harbor any ill will toward my government, I call them up and give them my social security number.  Add my name to the list of angry Americans who believe that the time for revolution is upon us.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin

So give me 100% privacy and I’ll take my chances with whatever level of security that buys.  I have a zero encroachment policy.