Monday, June 23, 2008

House FISA Cave And Outrage

I had held hope that the most public connected piece of Congress, the House, had some nerve regarding FISA, George II, telecoms. Turns out it was limited to an approaching General Election and looking weak on - of all things - terror. The left is in deep dungeon about this, fury that is redounding to the discredit of Sen Barack Obama. Simply put, I'm damned unhappy about it.

That unhappiness is tempered by something, the clause "unreasonable search and seizure" has been around for quite awhile, since it is number 4 in the list of the Bill of Rights, and the concept of unreasonable has been pretty thoroughly kicked around previously. There was a little abortion of a bill termed the RICO Act that was instituted to battle organized crime, specifically the Mafia, that poisoned the well very completely. Since this idea applied only to a despised minority - the Mob - it was pretty well ignored but here is the part that gets all the way into your face; it means all of us. The deal is this, the simple accusation of criminal enterprise involving more than yourself allows the government to take your stuff as a part of or the results of criminal activity. I didn't say proven activity, many cases never go to trial or verdict, but the stuff is gone. Stolen. You can, of course, sue to get it back - if after your assets are gone you can afford an attorney to get back what is yours and if you can get the Federal government to allow you to sue. Oddly, there is also the issue that the agency responsible for taking your stuff also profits from it. Would that encourage misbehavior? Under this Act you are treated as guilty before proven so.

There's little doubt the telecoms knew spying for George was illegal and that he told them not to worry he'd cover it and any attorney worth spit told them - it doesn't work that way. There's scant doubt George and his minions broke Federal Law. There's even less doubt that our wannabe kinglet is a dickhead. Do you want to make a bet how many Americans are pissed off that he might have heard them telling their spouse they'd be late? If you're in doubt tell me about all the times you've heard people foaming at the mouth about RICO.

Not too long ago it became public knowledge that the FBI had prowled a Portland, OR lawyer's home without a warrant looking for evidence to support a warrant. I seem to remember a complete lack of riots in the streets. It did make a news cycle. It is still considered to be OK.

You're really pissed about FISA. I'm kinda pissed, that's because I look at Civil Liberties as a whole, as my natural rights guaranteed by the government, not granted by them. I've watched the steady erosion of those Rights by people who should know better and supported by the same people who are kicking up a storm now. When I note that the same people screeching about FISA also tell me that the right to keep and bear arms is optional I get kind of dubious about their sincerity. One of the reasons I own things that go bang is because if you break into my house I'll blow a hole through you and if you happen to be a warrantless FBI it'll be rough on your health. A pretty far fetched idea, but so are a lot of things, like the Fed spying on phone calls without a warrant.

If the unpopular one, GWB, visits your neighborhood there'll be designated free speech areas. Now I'm unsure about all the rest, but I figure my free speech zone consists of where I'm standing at the moment I decide to exercise it. You'll tolerate something different? Why? Because some SS (Secret Service) officer tells you to? Will you tell him to fuck off? Really now, will you?

As long as most of America occupies the political segment of right wing today referred to as centrist, this crap will continue to happen because those hapless people in Congress want to get re-elected and those are the votes that will do it. The Senate has been in the tank for FISA from the beginning so expecting wonders from that august body is...unlikely. If you think there'll be an uprising of popular sentiment over you being spied on, burgled by authority, or your stuff stolen by police agencies you're deluded. People, in general, don't care because that stuff happens to those others.

The actual motivating impulse of government is to accrue power to itself, it will sell this as the good of the people - behind a smirk. It will continue to happen, just as it has - The Alien and Sedition Act was Madison's idea, flat out despotry from a Revolutionary. HUAC and Senate Subversives Committee are from my childhood, flat out despotry. Nixon and his agents provocateurs are from some of your childhoods. It goes on and on and the fires of freedom remain banked - and frankly will continue to remain banked. You're expecting a lot to expect the American public to arise over philosophical issues, you might have some problems with shutting down churches or grabbing guns, maybe.

So, here's the deal, I'll join in on the outrage when you tell me you'll join in with my outrage over the entire mess, the entire damned Constitution becomes a fighting word. When you get out an poke your neighbors over every Civil Liberties issue - no matter whether you've a dog in the fight nor not. Sure, I'll call your House Representatives rat bastards for being in the 293 who voted yea, my Oregon Democratic delegation unanimously voted nay, naturally opposed by our rat bastard Republican Greg Walden (R-OR2)((I hang my head - my district)). {head hanging mitigated by my having run in the contest to replace him}

I made the protection of all Civil Liberties a center piece of my campaign, it was worth 11% of a crappy turn out. If you think I exaggerate, go back in the archives of this blog to 2006 Primary season. I've spent your money, my money, and a boatload of my time and effort on this issue in as serious a manner as I can think of, to little effect beyond having a handful of regular readers and credibility to bitch about about the non-response leading up to this.

T Jefferson once made a statement about the tree of liberty needing the periodic nourishing of the blood of patriots, sucker is pretty malnourished now and likely to become much more so in the future. This is why I play in Party politics, trying to avoid the necessity of that blood.


KISS said...

Chuck, the day you will support a repug I'll believe you. Since FISA was given the Bush approval rating by 80 Bush dimmos I will maintain my hope for a moderate Repug or Dimmo. Both parties are so corrupted by greed and power that is why my wife and I are Independents, we changed after primary. Maybe someday you will realize the need for more parties without the hampering of dimmos with repugs to keep it from happening. This repugnant Governor points out my cause.

Bpaul said...

This cave pissed me off I can't even read much about it -- same shit different day. I posted about it in a post called The Two Party Pendulum.

The similarities between our two corporate parties are what enrage me. The differences give me a modicum of hope. I have been concentrating on the differences lately -- but this bullshit right here sent me over the edge again.

I'll be taking a brief hiatus from serious political immersion now to avoid a premature heart attack.

I'll still cruise your blog tho sir.


Bpaul said...

See there, I was so mad the comment didn't even make sense.

That's supposed to read "pissed me off so much I can't even read about it"

And the second sentence -- well I didn't write about this exact thing, i wrote about the corporate influence on the two parties and how that makes them so similar on some issues.

There's more to that post, but that's why I provided the link.

Anger makes my inarticulate -- I'll blame it on the anger.


xoites said...

Repeal FISA is up and running. Anyone who wants to is welcome to sign up and become a blogger on it. The purpose of the blog is to organize a drive to repeal the FISA laws and all laws that pardon or give immunity from prosecution anyone who has violated the Constitution during the Bush Administration.

That is why we want everyone to be able to Post so they can start a conversation about an idea they have to make this happen.

Stop on by and check it out. By all means leave a comment and sign up to blog with us as we figure out what needs to be done to return our Fourth Amendment Rights and our rule of law.

If you have a blog already and you become a poster we will link to your site.