Look! Squirrel! Weasel!!

shocking ≠ surprising

I remember reading this somewhere…

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.

Probably some quaint, historical novel I picked up at a used book store somewhere…

[By Julia Angwin | The Wall Street Journal]
The rules now allow the little-known National Counterterrorism Center [NCTC] to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. That is a departure from past practice, which barred the agency from storing information about ordinary Americans unless a person was a terror suspect or related to an investigation.

Now, NCTC can copy entire government databases—flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and many others. The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior. Previously, both were prohibited.

The changes also allow databases of U.S. civilian information to be given to foreign governments for analysis of their own. In effect, U.S. and foreign governments would be using the information to look for clues that people might commit future crimes.

Like the “crime” of voice-texting while driving?

Hey. A “crime” is a crime.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution says that searches of “persons, houses, papers and effects” shouldn’t be conducted without “probable cause” that a crime has been committed. But that doesn’t cover records the government creates in the normal course of business with citizens.

The hell you say?

… the Federal Privacy Act in 1974. The act prohibits government agencies from sharing data with each other for purposes that aren’t “compatible” with the reason the data were originally collected.

…But the Federal Privacy Act allows agencies to exempt themselves from many requirements by placing notices in the Federal Register…

Since my primary function of existence [in the eyes of govt, at least] is to be a Federal Tax-Paying Unit, maybe I ought buy one of those ads and exempt myself…

At least against Johnny Jihaddi I have a chance; I might not be in that city on that day, Acccchmed’s underwear might misfire, my fellow passengers might join me in pounding him into goo… Now all I can rely on is typical govt efficiency.

Late last year, for instance, NCTC obtained an entire database from Homeland Security for analysis, according to a person familiar with the transaction. Homeland Security provided the disks on the condition that NCTC would remove all innocent U.S. person data after 30 days.

After 30 days, a Homeland Security team visited and found that the data hadn’t yet been removed. In fact, NCTC hadn’t even finished uploading the files to its own computers, that person said. It can take weeks simply to upload and organize the mammoth data sets.

Homeland Security granted a 30-day extension. That deadline was missed, too. …

That’s comforting. BigSis took the data back…

More here and here.

First guy to say “I haven’t done anything wrong – I don’t haft worry!” gets a smack with the hundreds of thousands of pages of “Laws” Congress and the Shadow govt of the Regulatory Agencies have passed in the last decades. It is estimated that the average citizen going about his daily business commits three felonies a day*.

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
Dr. Theodore Dalrymple


  1. logdogsmith
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:37 am |

    “Your phone records indicate you sent text messages at the same time traffic camera’s indicate your vehicle was moving.”

    “Pay $200 now or submit proof of legal compliance work through our bureaucracy for the next two years in an attempt to prove your innocence.”

    First cost in proving innocence? Probably have to pay a certifying official $60 to $100 to verify you have text to voice capability.

  2. Lord of the Fleas
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:56 am |

    The interview with this Bob Newhart look-alike is educational. I particularly like his response to the “I haven’t done anything wrong so I don’t have anything to fear” whinge.

    As Ayn Rand said in Atlas Shrugged “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt.”

  3. DougM (Well, thaaat sucked!)
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:13 am |

    We are all on double secret probation.

  4. Posted December 13, 2012 at 11:33 am |

    they lose once and for all their sense of probity.

    Hell, I didn’t even realize I ever had a sense of probity. What is that, exactly, and where do they generally keep it?

  5. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm |


    adherence to the highest principles and ideals; UPRIGHTNESS syn see INTEGRITY

    In you case Hog——-no worries buddy…. :^)

  6. Freddie Sykes
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation,

    I have a fantasy in which every bogus warrant issued results in an investigation to determine whether or not the person supplying the information the warrant was based upon had committed perjury.

  7. Merovign
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

    And that’s what the screaming, irrational leftist crowd is for. To impose that lack of response, that “humiliation” without even necessarily having the full power of government to do so.

    Part of what we call the “culture war” that we don’t really fight because what do you do with a shrieking lunatic?

  8. Posted December 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm |

    “He’s making a list
    And checking it twice;
    Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice

    He sees you when you’re sleeping
    He knows when you’re awake
    He knows if you’ve been bad or good
    So be good for goodness sake”

    The conclusion is inevitable: Big Brother is Santa Claus!

  9. Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm |

    Try ordering a pizza by phone. (This is an old one.) “We see you’re ordering a large pizza. According to our records, your cholesterol is a bit high. We’ll just do you a favor and cancel the order. Have a nice day.”