As We Give Up Our Rights

Copyright 2020, Property News Service. May not be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher except for sharing on Facebook.

Let’s get one thing out of the way to begin with. the Covid-19 virus does exist and it’s making people sick, some worse than others, some fatally, some barely noticing it. It doesn’t matter if it was deliberately released from a Chinese lab, accidentally released, or naturally occurred in some forest somewhere and transferred to humans.  That’s a discussion for another time and one that may well show the despicable behavior of government but is not the point of this article. There’s enough other contemptible government behavior that we’re going to look at now.

Let’s get another thing out of the way. They have sucked you in with a red herring worrying about whether your rights are violated having to wear a mask. They are happy to have you ranting, raving, and protesting about that. The actions precipitated and excused by the pandemic are leading to far more egregious violations. If you get in a dither about mask-wearing and about social distancing, they figure you will aren’t paying attention to what government has planned to do to us.

Just think, people are begging to have their rights taken away so they can remain “safe,” much as they did after September 11 when Congress passed the Patriot Act. Oh, they’ll remain safe from the virus, all right, but they won’t be safe after their rights to free speech, their rights to freely assemble, their rights to travel unhindered on the roads, their rights to use their property as they see fit, their rights to be free of illegal searches and seizures, their rights to avoid arrest without probable cause and adequate warrant, their rights to a fair and speedy trial, and many others are swallowed up by a government eager for more power and domination.

Governments are gleeful that you are irate about the fact that you are supposed to wear a mask, that the virus may not really exist, that the virus might have been purposely developed in a Chinese lab and deliberately released upon the world.  Worry about all those things and they can continue on their nefarious plan to stifle the Bill of Rights into mere “outdated” words on paper, all with our permission because of our fears, and all with our paying attention elsewhere.

Let’s start with free speech. Private companies have every right to restrict what people can say on and in their businesses.  That means, as irritating as it is, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others can remove anything they like from their sites, just as Target can remove anyone it wants whom they consider disruptive or bad for business.  The scary part is, government drives these restrictions on free speech. If you write or say something considered racist, homophobic, sexist, terrorist, or whatever, they can call you out on it. Mind you, no one has ever delineated or defined exactly what is considered racist, homophobic, sexist, terrorist, or flying in the face of the absolute fact that the virus exists and that government is doing everything it can to kill it off.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

When private companies, albeit with the sanction and encouragement of government, do that long and consistently enough, people fear speaking up lest they be labeled racists, homophobes, sexists, terrorists, or purveyors of false information.  Big advantage for government because then they can go ahead with their plans to eliminate the First Amendment.

Even worse, now we see reporters being arrested in spite of the fact they are clearly identified as news media.  This appears to be an attempt to silence dissent and/or accurate reporting by the news media of government malfeasance (police, DHS, government officials, etc.), an obvious violation of the First Amendment.

And there’s more to the First Amendment than just free speech.  Many state and city governments have restricted the right to freely assemble saying that if more than 10 people get together in one place. They are in mortal danger of contracting the virus.  They can drag this fear mongering on for years, long enough so people inure to the idea that they can’t physically meet in groups. After a while, the idea never occurs to them because a bunch of people in one place is “dangerous.”  Sure they can meet online with Zoom or GoToMeeting, and that’s better than okay with government because government officials can easily hack into those meetings to find out if seditious ideas are being discussed and seditious plans formulated.

Likewise if you want to start your own newspaper or website devoted to exposing the actions of the government.  Because what you wrote is racist, homophobic, sexist, terrorist, or flies in the face of “science,” they will be able to shut you down.

Of course, if you want to petition the government for redress of grievances, not to worry.  Go ahead, sign petitions and write letters to Congress and the president; they will be assiduously ignored.  And since you can’t gather together in groups like the million man march because it’s not safe, government needs pay no attention at all.  You blew off steam and now you can calm down and watch Monday Night Football and the NBA Finals.  But the powers that be won’t completely ignore you. Your name and information will go into the Department of Homeland Security database just in case you “try anything.”  They’ve got you.

Then, as long as we’re on the subject, the Department of Homeland Security is more and more acting as the secret police department.  We’re not allowed to know what they do or whom they target because our knowing would be a “danger to national security.” They storm into cities with the ostensible excuse of protecting federal property, against the wishes of local and state government. Hearken back to the Patriot Ace of 2001. Here is how the law defines terrorism:

(5) the term `domestic terrorism’ means activities that–

`(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

`(B) appear to be intended–

`(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

`(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

`(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

`(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.’

That covers just about any civil unrest, doesn’t it, and makes any demonstrator candidate to be called a terrorist.

Amendment IV

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.

We gave away our rights against unreasonable searches and seizures with the Patriot Act along with the airport violations of our rights.  Today, people just accept it because “that’s the way it is” and we feel safer.  That, of course, is despite the fact that untold contraband can get through “security” at airports.  An ABC News report June 1, 2015 explained, “According to officials briefed on the results of a recent Homeland Security Inspector General’s report, TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests, with Red Team members repeatedly able to get potential weapons through checkpoints.

In one test an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer, but TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow-on pat down.”  No, the indignities perpetrated on the traveling public make us feel safer but don’t protect us much at all.  But the important thing is they inure us to Fourth Amendment violations and eventually make accept any and all other violations of our rights, and that’s what government counts on.

The Border Patrol has to right to set up checkpoints and stop all traffic within 100 miles of the border.  We came to accept that as protecting against something, what we’re not sure. It’s one thing to ensure people crossing the US border are legally permitted to enter the country but something else again to stop everyone on public roadways inside the United States. Never mentioned is economic effect of the checkpoints: the ghettoization of entire sections of the country, at best stagnating and at worst destroying the economies of cities and counties south of the checkpoints.  What large employer would locate inside these ghettos?  The hassles would not be worth it. Of course, the Border Patrol denies any harmful economic effects but can’t produce any studies that prove they are neutral.  When asked directly at a community meeting in Green Valley, Arizona, a number of years ago, the sector chief of the Tucson sector said that they “had not found” any ill financial effects because of checkpoints.  When asked what studies showed no adverse economic effects, he was unable to cite any evidence or produce any studies.  But we have come to accept those checkpoints as necessary to keep us “safe.”

Then there’s the spying on US citizens.  That began in earnest with the Patriot Act.  And we have come to accept the wiretaps, the hacking of the internet, and the accumulation of data on American citizens along with the secret indictments through the FISA courts.

The point is, they violate our rights but people come to accept it.  government is in this for the long haul.  They slide these violations of our Constitutional rights into law and then wait for people to think, “that’s just the way it is.”  It doesn’t take long.  And young people growing up now will accept it as normal, never knowing how their rights have been violated.  All while the red herrings direct our attention elsewhere.

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

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