I used to perform magic in my youth. One of the tools used is “Look over here!” (while doing something secretive with the other hand).
Knuckledraggin My Life Away posted about the following:
Attorney General Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Innocent Americans
In a secret government agreement granted without approval or debate from lawmakers, the U.S. attorney general recently gave the National Counterterrorism Center sweeping new powers to store dossiers on U.S. citizens, even if they are not suspected of a crime, according to a news report.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder granted the center the ability to copy entire government databases holding information on flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and other data, and to store it for up to five years, even without suspicion that someone in the database has committed a crime, according to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story.
Whereas previously the law prohibited the center from storing data compilations on U.S. citizens unless they were suspected of terrorist activity or were relevant to an ongoing terrorism investigation, the new powers give the center the ability to not only collect and store vast databases of information but also to trawl through and analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior in order to uncover activity that could launch an investigation.~
Redacted material visible at the above link
~But the request to expand the center’s powers led to a heated debate at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, with Mary Ellen Callahan, then-chief privacy officer for the Department of Homeland Security, leading the charge to defend civil liberties. Callahan argued that the new rules represented a “sea change” and that every interaction a citizen would have with the government in the future would be ruled by the underlying question, is that person a terrorist? Callahan lost her battle, however, and subsequently left her job, though it’s not known if her struggle over the NCTC debate played a role in her decision to leave. SOURCE
I seem to remember the Democrats screaming about reducing the intrusive powers of government held by the Bush Administration under the Patriot Act. But their guy gets elected – twice – and not only does he re-authorized the Patriot Act, but adds to it the NDAA, and now this under the radar.
Of course, with everyone’s focus on the tragedy in Connecticut (Never let a crisis go to waste! – Rahm Emanuel) we’re more concerned about the gun control idiocy resurfacing than the ongoing erosion of all civil liberties.
Borepatch brings us a link to Simon Grey, and adds some additional content. A taste:
Both, ideologies fail because the logic and assumptions that are applied to the state are not applied to the operants of the state: individuals. Basically, anarchists have to assume that humans are intrinsically good while the government is systemically evil, while collectivists have to assume that humans are inherently bad while the state is systemically remedial. To put it in programming jargon, anarchists assume good in, garbage out; collectivists assume garbage in, good out. The state, though, is merely a mechanism and is neither intrinsically corrupting nor intrinsically remedial. If the effects of the state are remedial or corrupting, it is only because the people within (and in administration of) the state are remedial or corrupting.
Borepatch then reminds us:
Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people:
First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.
Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.
The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.
But, you really need to read both BP’s addition and the original to grok the whole thing. Quite profound, really.
I copied a somewhat humorous post a while back regarding Presidential Executive Orders. A Day In The Life Of A Talk Radio Blogger has taken the subject to the next level.
Reagan 5 in 8 years
Bush 3 in 4 years
Clinton 15 in 8 years
George W. Bush 62 in 8 years
923135 in 3 1/2 years!
EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions. +
During our lifetime, All Presidents have issued Executive Orders, for reasons that vary, some more than others.
When a President issued as many as 30 Ex. Orders during a term in Office people thought there was something amiss.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT
923 135 EX. ORDERS IN ONE PART OF ONE TERM?????? YES, THERE IS A REASON.
IT IS THAT THE PRESIDENT IS DETERMINED TO TAKE CONTROL AWAY FROM THE HOUSE AND
I’m no longer laughing. – Guffaw
Please go to the link above to see the whole thing. Then, become ill (as if you need me to tell you that)!
CORRECTION/ADDENDUM – A COMMENTER LEAD ME TO THE NATIONAL ARCHIVE RECORD OF PRESIDENT BARAK OBAMA’S EO’s, AND THEIR RECORDS STATE 135??! My apologies for not checking the record earlier. Here’s the link: National Archives
(I AM still greatly concerned at the content of the 135, though – Guffaw)
The Silicon Greybeard lends his sharp analysis regarding the ever-increasing mountain of utterly useless federal regulations polluting the Nation.
A year ago, I asked, “How Many Federal Crimes Did You Commit Today?“, quoting author Harry Silvergate from Reason Magazine saying the average person commits three federal crimes per day. Don’t think that not knowing if something is illegal is any excuse; there are many people in jail who had no idea they were doing anything wrong.
The register Code of Federal Regulations hit a record 163,000 pages in 2009 and the number of pending regulations costing more than $100 million has more than doubled according to Heritage. And once on the books, regulations are almost impossible to get rid of. One regulation that’s been requested for elimination for over four years, says Heritage, is one that treats “milk as an ‘oil,’ thus requiring dairy spills to be treated as hazardous. According to the agency, exempting milk from the regulation will save dairies around $1.4 billion over the next 10 years.” And yet this regulation still sits on the books four years later, even with the support of the Obama administration in getting rid of it.Now, according to the Center for Fiscal Accountability, when we add in the costs of [implementation] of just Obamacare over the next ten years the costs soar another $230 billion per year.
Not including the costs of premiums going up – which is already the case for many people.
Now The Money Quote:
The 163,000 ++ page Code of Federal Regulations must be cut down in size. I swear you could throw out 3/4 of it and not negatively impact a single person’s life – except for the lawyers and prosecutors who would need to find honest work.
Go and read the whole thing at the link. We need to petition Congress to start removing regulations instead of compounding them. - Guffaw
It’s been a taxing day. Not just in the way you think.
First, for some months now, I’ve not been sleeping well. Get four/five hours at best, then the demons keep me awake. Health, money, age, car maintenance, house, all manner of issues seem much worse in the dark when tired.
And the meds I take also make me a little dopey (insert joke here), so I need to nap during the day, making sleeping a night more difficult.
And my usual tax program wasn’t working correctly, making my status as Last Minute Louie (TM) @ tax time being even more apropos.
And Tuesday, I went to the skin doc for a follow up on the basal cell carcinoma (and other surgeries) he’s performed, and while he said those sites looked great (!), he didn’t like the way some hingus (technical term) on my left shoulder was looking at him, so he removed it for biopsy.
End result, I’m tired and many things, real and imagined are weighing on me. And I don’t like it.
As the day progressed,
Fortunately, a friend said I could email him the forms, and he would print them and bring them by tonight!
And the skin doc called. The hingus was benign!
So, end result, things are much improved. But, I’m still tired.
Please contact your congressman/senator as appropriate. AK folks links are below.
from a press release:
“Anchorage gun shops are being visited by BATFE agents that are requesting the shops 4473 forms as far back as 2007. They claim they want to make copies of the “book”. This is de facto registration, against the law, and BATFE knows it. Please inform everyone you know about this and notify any gun dealers you know that they don’t have to comply. Contact your congressman and senators and demand a full investigation. Don Young and our Senators have been informed about what is happening. Congressman Young is acutely interested but our senators seem to be indifferent. You can go to their websites to find their email forms.”
Office of Congressman Don Young
2314 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
111 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-3004
Fax: (202) 224-2354
Toll-free line: 1(877)501-6275*
*Only toll-free for callers with an Alaska (907) area code.
709 Hart Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
h/t Rev. Paul, KurtP, Robert Farago
Being ‘older’, and having spent much of my life not exercising, not eating the right thing, not avoiding alcohol, etc., I’ve some health ‘issues’. Because of these issues, I have daily medications I am prescribed. And, as with all prescriptions, from time-to-time, they have to be reauthorized for refill by my doctor.
What a pain-in-the-ass!
It seems of the five scrips I refill, at least one each month requires my doctor’s re-authorization. And statistically in the past nine months, at least 5 of those months involved not getting at least one scrip, a subsequent twenty minute call to the doctor’s office, and multiple trips to the pharmacy.
I repeat, what a pain-in-the-ass!
But, I need to remind myself that I do have a physician, and most of my meds are inexpensive, and they do help my various infirmities.
I’ve much to be grateful for. But, I did have to whine, a little.
Thank you for your time.
Update (Thursday) – my pharmacy gave me enough emergency supply of one med to get me through the holiday weekend. I’ve spoken with a live person at my doctor’s office three times and left two voice mails. And the pharmacist personally has called them twice.
Hopefully, this will be resolved soon. Sigh.
Then there’s NEXT month!
Update the Second – My pharmacy called the doctor’s office AGAIN, as the doctor’s office said they called in the prescription last night. The pharmacy had no record of such a call. (?!)
FINALLY, my prescription is approved and ready!! The pharmacy had no idea why all this took so long, nor did the doctor’s office.
Next month looms…
In essence, Mr. Smith opines that the United States is through the looking glass, and we are no longer a nation of the People, by the People and for the People, but rather we’ve turned into the United States of Orwell, with many fundamental aspects of the American way of life overturned and replaced by a quasi-socialist dictatorship.
Peter says this is cool, clinical analysis. I concur. This is not some wild-eyed rant by some tin-foil hatted moron. The author addresses government encroachment back to the creation of the Federal Reserve to President Nixon forward to our current President. No modern President is innocent in this ongoing encroachment.
But, go read the articles for yourself. And thank Peter in the process.
h/t Peter, Charles Hugh Smith
Photographer extraordinaire, civil rights advocate, gunnie, and all around good guy, usually posts photographs of guns, and pretty women with guns, and more guns. And more pretty women.
Sometimes, his rights advocacy is shuffled aside – except in his photo rights-content art – at least by me.
Today, no photo. Just truth regarding how we get used to the ursurpations of American bureaucracy.
As he eloquently states:
The greater the amount of effort required to live unmolested by the authorities, the less free a society is. United States does not look good in that respect…unfortunately, neither does the rest of the world.
Go and read at the above link. Before it’s prohibited to do so.
And now, another chapter in the seemingly endless drama (thank you George Carlin!)
So, I monthly need to refill prescriptions. Something to do with being
old decrepit having chronic illness(es). One of my medications is inexpensive, available through Wally-World pharmacy. But, it IS necessary. And it seems as if every month, one of the five scrips I must refill needs another permission from my physician. The pharmacy computer recording reminds me that it might take a little longer to obtain.
The ‘free’ clinic where I visit my doctor seems to have difficulty in processing such requests. And it’s having difficulty doing so again this week.
This morning I called the clinic to advise them I needed this medication refilled. You know, the one the pharmacy faxed to them three days ago!?
And I left a voice-mail message on the telephone of the lady who handles such things for the clinic.
Three hours later, when I’d not heard from either the clinic or the pharmacy, I called the clinic again. The main number just goes to busy. The main office number (overseeing the clinics) does answer, and then transfers one to the main clinic number, which goes to busy.
The main office number telephone answering person asked I call back in 20 or 30 minutes, as call volumes are high. Sigh.
I’ll try again first thing in the morning. Hopefully not everyone will be calling at the same time.
Sometimes I wish I weren’t sick.
Won’t it be great when all this is taken over by the efficient government?
PS – UPDATE – I had to call the doctor’s office again this morning, but I did get through. They did say IF they reached my doctor, the scrip would be called in this AM. No callback from the pharmacy this AM.
Called the doc back this afternoon – successfully did get through. The scrip was called in this AM. HUZZAH! I’ll pick it up in the AM.