“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Buy Your Duct Tape Now.

The NY Times again tries to stir the pot. This time they're reporting on FBI, Pentagon and CIA investigations into terrorist financing, espionage and possible threats to state-side military installations.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 — The Pentagon has been using a little-known power to obtain banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage inside the United States, part of an aggressive expansion by the military into domestic intelligence gathering.

The C.I.A. has also been issuing what are known as national security letters to gain access to financial records from American companies, though it has done so only rarely, intelligence officials say.

Banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions receiving the letters usually have turned over documents voluntarily, allowing investigators to examine the financial assets and transactions of American military personnel and civilians, officials say.

The F.B.I., the lead agency on domestic counterterrorism and espionage, has issued thousands of national security letters since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, provoking criticism and court challenges from civil liberties advocates who see them as unjustified intrusions into Americans’ private lives.

But it was not previously known, even to some senior counterterrorism officials, that the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency have been using their own “noncompulsory” versions of the letters. Congress has rejected several attempts by the two agencies since 2001 for authority to issue mandatory letters, in part because of concerns about the dangers of expanding their role in domestic spying.
The NY Times did not reveal how this issue first came to their attention, but this paragraph from the article raised my eyebrows.
Some Democrats have accused the F.B.I. of using the letters for fishing expeditions, and the American Civil Liberties Union won court challenges in two cases, one for library records in Connecticut and the other for Internet records in Manhattan. Concerned about possible abuses, Congress imposed new safeguards in extending the Patriot Act last year, in part by making clear that recipients of national security letters could contact a lawyer and seek court review. Congress also directed the Justice Department inspector general to study the F.B.I.’s use of the letters, a review that is continuing.
Speaking of fishing expeditions, the Democrats will soon begin 15 separate "oversight" hearings. You don't suppose someone leaked this story, do you?

Any good leftist, especially those in Europe, will tell you that GW Bush like his predecessor Ronald Reagan has transformed "Amerika into a gulag." Things have gotten so bad that one human rights organization reported this news from Human Rights Watch:

NEW YORK, Jan 12 (OneWorld) - The Bush administration's failure to address international human rights concerns has prompted an unusual call from one of the world's leading human rights organizations.

With U.S. credibility undermined by the use of torture and detention without trial, the European Union must fill the global leadership void on human rights, New York-based Human Rights Watch said Thursday in releasing its World Report 2007. "Since the U.S. can't provide credible leadership on human rights, European countries must pick up the slack," said the organization's executive director Kenneth Roth, who observed that instead, "the European Union is punching well below its weight."

Natalie Maines, like countless others including Martina Navratilova and Venezuelan Vice President Jose Rangel have tried to warn the American public but we will not listen. With the new management in Congress, all that's going to change now. When the left talks, the Democrats listen and they will make sure the whole country is listening too. By the time, the Democrats are done with GW Bush and the Republicans you'll feel like your head is going to explode. Go on and buy your duct tape now.


  1. Jose Rangel? You mean Charlie Rangel's brother?

    I've had a huge supply of duct tape for a long time now.

    Democrats (all of them, including the voters) are like Islam. They claim to be valid in some way but aren't. At best they're only troublemakers.

    Problem is, the Repubs are copying their technique.

  2. In other words, if the Times article is true you can't really break it down into Liberal-Conservative, Democrat-Republican.

    Neither group cares much about our personal freedoms.

    I'm all for hunting down the bad guys but not for the continuing loss of personal freedom. Sometimes I wonder who our government is fighting - Us or Them!?!

  3. Just who are these "military and civilian personnel" having their financial data scrutinized?

    How many of them are Muslim? How many of have a name like Muhammed? How are we keeping track of Saudi money? How about groups like C.A.I.R.? How about large Muslim concentrations such as Detroitistan? How about all these illegal aliens streaming across the border?

    Not much trust in the "system" anymore - is there?!?

  4. Tiger said, "Democrats (all of them, including the voters) are like Islam. They claim to be valid in some way but aren't."

    So are you saying that only Republicans have valid votes? Is America now a one-party system like Cuba?

    "At best they're only troublemakers."

    It seems to me the whole Iraq Nationbuilding/Democracy Experiment is trouble of the GOP's own making.

  5. No, I'm saying ther's not a dimes worth difference between the two!

    America has a multiple party system. Trouble is, all the parties seem to be broken.

    And yes, the GOP is causing much trouble.

  6. I think the system is broken because our society is broken.

    Don't ask me what to do to fix it - 'cause I don't really know where to start!

  7. I can believe something is broken but still work to fix it, without claiming I have all the answers.

    Perhaps we can start by initiating a grass-roots movement to reduce the size of the Federal government. Many of our problems seem to start there.

    If you're like me, my local government and "life" are pretty darn good. It's when the Feds get involved that things go sour.

    Since I've stated the "political system" is broken maybe we should ignore that approach and do something else!?! What's the definition of insanity? Doing it over and over again ....

  8. Well, sure, the "new" folks are going to ask questions about how this FUBARed TWAT came to pass.

    Lessons Learned will not be, if no questions are asked. Will the questions be "fair" or obstructionist?
    Does not much matter, really.
    The truth is that all these years of the Administration's lack of communication skills are coming home to roost. The Public has lost faith with the President and the whole of the Federal Government. The Dems will further erode the Public's confidence in the ability of the Federals to do anything, effectively.
    But as tiger says, neither side is in the "Right".
    Thousands of miles of unsecure frontier, both at home and abroad. A thousand points of Federal largess, the priorities of the Federals are totally misplaced.
    Any Librarian can tell you so.

  9. We like to say we haven't been attacked by Terrorists in the last few years.

    Guess what, we've been "attacked" by the Feds. They're almost as bad as the Terrorists!

  10. Tiger said, "Perhaps we can start by initiating a grass-roots movement to reduce the size of the Federal government. Many of our problems seem to start there."

    Unfortunately, the only part of the Federal Government that ever gets reduced is the Defense Department, even under Bush 43 at a time when they're calling for a troop surge. They're gutting the Navy to pay for Operation Build Iraq Nation, and they're going to let 40,000 Air Force pukes go to pay for new airplanes.

  11. Tiger

    give me an example of losing personal freedom. What have you lost, exactly?

    They can peel my skin back all they want if it means providing safety from the U.S./Christian haters.

    You have to admit, we havent been attacked since 9-11 on our soil. Someone, somewhere, is doing something right....I hope they keep doing it.

  12. Gag, sorry, had to leave the 'puter for a while.

    I can't go to some parts of town where I live, daytime or night now, just because of illegal gang members shooting people and selling drugs. The Feds did that.

    My wife is a Teacher at the local high school. Her life is threatened about once a week or so, by illegal immigrants usually, or kids from illegal parents. Also, the curriculum has become very Spanish oriented, not Judaic-Christian European (the way I like it). The Feds did that.

    If I go to my local gun show at the Fair grounds, it's likely an BATFE agent will harass me and perhaps confiscate my purchased firearm from me, as was done in Virginia awhile back. The Feds did that. It was also a Federal Judge, thank goodness, that made the BATFE give the guns back to those folks because they were illegally taken!

    I go to my local polling station to vote and nobody at the station speaks English. Also, they ask for my I.D. but not for all those Hispanics in line. No, the Feds aren't responsible necessarily for that, but they sure help with their lack of enforcement.

    Will I be one of those people whose finances are investigated - even if I'm not involved with Terrorism? How will I know?

    My local property taxes go for that school my wife teaches at. My taxes, Federal and local go to my local hospitals to care for illegals and their dependents.

    Mt taxes go the Feds for that damn Hispanic school and to agencies such as the border patrol that's doing such a wonderful job, and for those N.G. guys who are placed on the border with impossible ROE's.

    Now, they're talking about giving our S.Security to illegals.

    ... give me some time, I'll come up with lots more.


  13. Oh! Also, my wife teaches an I.B. course or two. If you don't know what that is, it's an International Baccalaureate program once based on American military schools for dependent's children. Once, an excellent program, in other words. Because of the Fed Dept. Education's influence it has been watered down and now even requires a section on learning Islamic culture!

    Read my blog entries over the years and you'll see how the NEA has influenced the U.S. Dept. of Education, Laura Bush's favorite organization. The Feds did that. Government schools have arguably gotten worse and worse!

    The Tigress is still harrassed, after 30 years of teaching, because she's not a UNION member. The Feds helped with this monstrous debacle of an education system.

    Her career is threathened over and over again because of P.C. conserns, also arguably supported by the Feds and Federal law!

    My son is 20 years old and may join the military. I would be proud of him, but I won't be proud if he dies because some idiot Feds won't allow him to actually FIGHT the G.W.O.T.!

  14. I haven't killed anything in a while and i'm getting REALLY PISSED now! It's time to GO TO THE GUN RANGE AND WASTE A FEW ROUNDS ON MY AK!

  15. GAG! Perhaps you don't know what life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness means, but it AINT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW!

  16. None of the Captured count, rufus.
    There is only capacity to hold 25,000 detainees, in Iraq. For each new one in, there is another one released.

    How many are dead, that's the only number that counts.

    Been that way for years.
    No Justice, No Peace

    The use of Social Security numbers for identification purposes.
    Iris scans of school children for identifcation purposes.

    Just two expansions of Federal power that limit personal freedoms.

    This desire for a National ID card, which will come full circle with "Immigration Reform".

    The Federal Income Tax

    12 million illegal migrants in the US, limiting fair employment opportunities for Citizens.

    Property siezures without due process, usually used in drug related cases.

    Ruby Ridge where a mother was killed with babe in arms, because of the sale of a sawed off shotgun.
    Waco, where the children were burned alive to save them from Cultish abuse.

    Legalized abortion, the ultimate limitation of the freedoms for over 20 million US citizens to be.

  17. Funny, we've killed as many US citizens as there could be illegal aliens in the US.

    Social Engineering on a Hempisheric Scale.

    All for the best, I'm sure.

  18. well, rufus, if something is not happening, that would be the story.

    Something ought to be happening, it is the success of those happenings that is all important.

    Success will be measured when the US begins to withdraw, until then there will be no success.
    Even the Administration allows withdrawal to be the benchmarked Goal.

  19. Bobalharb said, "Know all about that Sisyphus guy, these days you might call him a farmer."

    Sissy-puss is the Commander-in-Chief. Just when he rolls his stones up to the arena-plateau for The War Against Terrorism, he says something stupid like, "Islam is a vibrant faith. Millions of our fellow citizens are Muslim. We respect the faith. We honor its traditions" and his stones roll right back down again.

  20. Rufus said, "Bob, I look at Iraq as being like a 'Teenager;' it's going to break your heart every other day."

    Except that instead of Playstation 3, they got garage door openers rigged to buried 155 mm shells.

  21. More like a mob of Teenagers on Ice.

  22. 1st Ammendment?
    We don't need no stinking First Amendment

    Dobson on Reed Bill Supported by McCain

    He noted that legislation he'd just been discussing on the program, regarding an attempt by Democrat leaders in Congress to create obstacles for ministries such as Focus to reach constituents with action messages about pending legislation, is being supported by McCain, too.
    "That came from McCain, and the McCain Feingold Bill kept us from telling the truth right before elections … and there are a lot of other things. He's not in favor of traditional marriage, and I pray that we won't get stuck with him," Dobson said.

    The provisions of the new congressional proposal, hidden deep inside a plan to reform lobbying rules to eliminate the many recent scandals involving members of Congress, would require pro-family groups to provide documentation of their actions to the government any time they try to spark any "grass-roots" action.

    Phone calls, personal visits, e-mails, magazines, broadcasts, phone banks, appearances, travel, fundraising and other items all would be subject to government tabulation, verification and audits, Dobson said
    during a a recent program..
    "On and on it goes."

    "Clearly, the objective here is to hide what goes on from the public and punish and silence those of us who would talk about what our representatives are doing,"
    Dobson said of the plan by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

  23. Be Enthused, else Big Brother will not be Amused

    WHITNEY POINT, N.Y. — Thirty girls signed up for the cheerleading squad this winter at Whitney Point High School in upstate New York.

    But upon learning they would be waving their pompoms for the girls’ basketball team as well as the boys’, more than half of the aspiring cheerleaders dropped out.

    Whitney Point is one of 14 high schools in the Binghamton area that began sending cheerleaders to girls’ games in late November, after the mother of a female basketball player in Johnson City, N.Y., filed a discrimination complaint with the United States Department of Education.

    She said the lack of official sideline support made the girls seem like second-string, and violated Title IX’s promise of equal playing fields for both sexes.

    Last February, a statewide group of physical education teachers in California called for cheerleaders to attend girls’ and boys’ games “in the same number, and with equal enthusiasm” as part of its five-year goals.

    Stalingrad High comes to Amerika.

  24. It's only fair, doug.
    And not any type of limiting action to personal freedoms.

    McCain Feingold, another one of those "loss of liberties" that we can just ignore. Does not count, you see, cause it's for the "Greater Good", as defined by Mr McCain and Mr Bush.

    You see it's all for the best.
    To keep US secure, in our ignorance.

    Similar to fighting a "War" unlike any other in the history of mankind.

    The is no historical precedent, anywhere at anytime in all of recorded history, of fighting border bandits successfully, you know that.

    This whole thing is becoming a ever greater sham, I'm beginning to believe. Between the lack of US & Iraqi border security to being unable to beat impoverished border bandits in Warizistan.

    Just to much for US to accomplish, in less than a decade or two or four. Give up your freedoms until Victory is achieved, we just cannot define Victory, but trust the Federals, they have your best interest at heart. Really, they do.

    How many bombs have been found in the NYC subway backpack searchs? I have not heard of a single one.
    Nor have the searchs forced the terrorists to choose other targets. Not a single bombed bus, nor even a nonsuicide bomber, anywhere in NYC.
    So all those folk have forfeited their privacy, because of fear. Creeping authoritative police powers, cause folk are afraid of being afraid.

  25. Nor has the extra security chased the terrorists to other US cities. Not to Chicago nor Dallas.
    Not Miami or even Detroit.

    Millions of Federal USD spent for improved first responders, on a local level. With NYC saying they've been short changed in the funding. Local needs that should be met locally, not Federally.
    Another thousand points of largess, by a debetor in possession. Spending money they do not have, to counter a threat that does not seem to exist.

    Where are the prosecutions of these Terrorists, the ones whose "plans" have been thwarted?
    Pedilla was not charged with terrorism.
    Reid, the shoebomber, went down three years ago. What of late?

    Perhaps we've already won, and Mr Bush and Mr Cheney do not recongnize that we have, being that Victory will be unlike anything anyone has ever seen before.
    Perhaps we are seeing Victory, now, and just do not realize it.

  26. You'd fit right in with the Gypsys and Jews of Europe, circa 1939, then, rufus.

    Anything for the "security" of the State. It's for your own good.
    Ask Mrs Vicki Weaver about trusting the Federals. Oh, you cannot, because FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot her, with her baby in her arms.
    Mr Weaver was said to be a terrorist, you know.

    The surviving members of the Weaver family filed a wrongful death suit and Randy Weaver received a $100,000 settlement while his daughters received $1,000,000 each. The FBI sniper was charged locally with manslaughter, but the case was forcibly moved to FEDERAL Court, where the charges were eventually dismissed. No jury required.

    Catch & Release
    No Justice, No Peace.

    Sun Jan 14, 11:45:00 PM EST

  27. It was not Mr Weaver that was martyred at the alter of Federal power, it was his wife.
    Shot through the brain, with her baby cuddled in her arms.

    She had not sold a shotgun. Nor missed a court appearence.
    No she was in her home, when the Federals came a raiding.

    Much like those children in Waco, guilty by association.
    Sentenced to death, because they were victims of abuse, Ms Reno said.
    That and the Federals were "tired".

  28. In Waco they used a M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV), a full-tracked armored vehicle which is basicly a M60A1 tank with a blade and a boom, a 165mm turret mounted demolition gun.

    Anyone that had ever worked with quantities of CS gas know it is flamable in enclosed areas.
    Ignorance is bliss.

  29. That's what Bobal is doing w/all them details:
    Keeping the Stark Reality of what our Govt. did that day from coming into too sharp a focus.
    ...regardless of their "reasons" for doing so.