Cynical Synapse

Mon, 15 Feb 2010

Gradual Spread of Totalitarianism in the US

Filed under: Behavior, Citizen rights, Civil liberties, Congress, Government, Justice, Legal, Life, Politics, Society — cynicalsynapse @ 9:20 pm

Arabic TSA agent searches nun

Since the attacks of 9-11, we have suffered an erosion of freedoms and rights along with an expansion of federal powers. This should cause great concern and alarm but is largely accepted as part of the post 9-11 world.

The Federal government took over airline security screening under the auspices of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This agency issues arbitrary rules, such as take your shoes, belt, and coat off, and no liquids more than 3 ounces. There’s only been one shoe bomber and he got caught. Did I mention his flight originated in Paris? As for the liquid restrictions, they’re based on foiled plans to bring liquid explosives onto US-bound planes from the United Kingdom. Now the TSA is moving forward on implementing full-body scanning in response to the undie-bomber incident on 25 Dec 2009. Experts disagree on if the scanners would have identified the explosives in Abdulmutallab’s girlie panties. More to the point, however, is would screeners have been alert for it before this incident? I suspect not since their training would probably focus on more routine threats, such as guns and knives.

Vice Pres. Cheney addresses the Senate

Other erosions of our civil rights have occurred besides airport screening. At least I have the choice to fly or not. But I have no choice as to whether my phone company allows the government to wiretap my phone. This has been a contentious issue, to the point the Senate has taken up hearings regarding holding phone companies liable for violating their customers’ privacy. At the opening of the debate, then Vice President Dick Cheney said, “Those who assist the government in tracking terrorists should not be punished with lawsuits.” So, the end justifies the means. Break the law and make it legal afterwords. Is anyone seeing the chilling comparison to the Nazi consolidation of power after Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, 30 January 1933?

One of the problems with the term “sex offender” is there’s no clear definition. Most people think of child predators when they hear the term. But sex offender laws, such as the federal Adam Walsh Act, use a broad brush to, in effect, place a scarlet letter on large portions of US society. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are 704,777 registered sex offenders in the US. Whether registries are effective or not is a matter of growing debate.

scarlet letter

Regardless of registry effectiveness, politicians continue to use sex offenders for political gain. US Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) has introduced legislation proposing worldwide registration of sex offenders. Just like Michigan’s Repbulican gubernatorial candidates Mike Cox and Michael Bouchard, Lundgren is hoping to cash in on a popular theme. Unfortunately for them, statistics show only 2-4% of predators on social networking sites were convicted sex offenders. On that basis, Rep. Lundgren’s proposed legislation, H.R. 1623, which actually does nothing since the US cannot control other countries’ laws, is pointless. Add to that the fact 18 USC 2423 makes sex tourism illegal for US citizens no matter where it occurs. Obviously, Rep. Lungren is grandstanding with legislation that has no appreciable benefit.

The bigger issue here is the Adam Walsh Act which is under consideration by the US Supreme Court. In essence, the act permits the Federal government to civily commit those it believes need to be retained in “protective custody” beyond the serving of their criminal sentances. Civil commitment, which is practiced in some states, allows officials to keep offenders in custody beyond their criminal sentances under the auspices of protecting the community. In essence, officials continue to incarcerate people on the basis of potential future crimes. There’s no Constitutional basis for this.

thought police

Research shows sex offender registries don’t change crime rates. Since more than half of child sex offense cases involve people who know each other, there’s no point to spending as much time and effort on sex offender registries as we are. According to the US Department of Justice, New Jersey spent $555,565 in 1995, but the amount grew to $3.9 million in 2006.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting we throw our youth to the whims and fancies of the deranged. And I recognize the world today, with the Internet and all, is more dangerous than it once was. I just don’t think we should tolerate politicians taking away our freedoms in the name of protecting us or our kids. In case you don’t remember, the Nazi seizure of power had its own innocent beginnings.

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3 Comments

  1. How very true. With everything that is taking place in Government these days, comparing it to NAZI Germany is hitting the nail right on the head….We all stand by and let them take away our rights all in the name of protecting us all. What happens when they have taken all of our rights from us…Who will protect us then? Our Government…Don’t people realize that Nazi germany started out the same way…they even cleansed society by killing mental patience. Our Government has the right now to confine a person to a mental hospital simply because they may re-offend…not that they will 100% for sure but simply because they may. Now there is a bill pending that will give the Government the right to exicute people that are convicted of sex offence…even though the Supreem Court ruled that exicution is only to be used in capital offences…Comitte a person to a mental hospital as being mentaly ill then exicute them….take a member of society sex offenders and subject them all to unhuman treatment all in the name of protecting society sounda like What the Nazi’s did to the jews…WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS ONCE GREAT LAND WE CALL AMERICA? How can anyone that calls himself or herself a American just sit by and let this go on….our forefathers must be rolling over in there graves at what we all are letting take place. CAN WE ALL I LIGHT OF WHAT IS TAKING PLACE TRUELY HOLD OUR HEADS UP ANS SAY WE ARE AMERICANS AND PROUD OF IT? I FOR ONE CAN’T NOR CAN I SIT BY AND NOT VOICE MY CONCERNS OVER IT ALL….THIS COUNTRY HAS SEEN ITS SHARE OF DARK DAYS IN HISTORY BUT WHAT IS GOING ON KNOW IN GOVERNMENT IS TRUELY SOME OF THE DARKS DAYS WE HAVE EVER SEEN AND HISTORY WILL RECORDED AS SUCH.

    Comment by greg55 — Mon, 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:42 pm

    • @greg55: Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. We’ve tolerated the erosion of our Constitutional rights for too long.

      Comment by Cynical Synapse — Tue, 16 Feb 2010 @ 10:29 am

  2. There is just a few more things I need to coment on that is brought up in this artical.
    This Adam Walsh act has got to be one of the most unconstitutional act of modern time….any time a government can single out and target one group of society in the way this law does and how it infringes on there human right in the manor inwitch it does is unbelievable
    But I do disagree in one part of this artical that being you say the United States can not controll other countries laws….you are wronge they can and do every day. I have seen first hand protests out side of our Embasseys for just this reason….That the Philippines as a example the United States offers ecconomic help to this country and they are very close alleys of ours..if the united States wants a law put into effect here what they do is threaten to cut aid…aid that the county truely needs….so out of fear of lossing the aid the Philippine government gives in to U.S. demands…thats how they will get there agenda done….
    Like I said I know this from first hand experience…I also know the effect this Adam Walsh act is have first hand as well…you see I am a U.S. citizen living in the Philippines and the reason I am living there is because of the Adam Walsh Act….!8 years ago my then wife and myself had friends over we all ended up drunk and played strip poker…..well it turned out one of the females with us who said she was 19 was not 19. And we all ended up charged with exposing ourselves to a minor…16 years later I am remarried to a wonderful Philippine woman we have a son together and I apply for a family base visa for them to come live with me in the U.S. Well this Adam Walsh Act makes it illegal for a sex offender to get a family based visa to bring a loved one to the U.S. THis Adam Walsh Act was passed into law under the pretenses of protecting children…well what does protecting children have to do with me not being able to get my wife here to live…you see my son is a U.S. citizen,has U.S. passport birth certificate and socal security card…I can bring him here any time I like but with out his mother….now if I was a threat to him how is this protecting him…its not its possibly putting him in more danger.
    People has to wake up, open there eyes to what is going on around them in government…dont you people realize when the government can effectivly do this to a group of society…its just a matter of time till they apply it to another group of society…But no one cares unless it happens to them…but when it does its to late..the time has come for every American to take back our government…it was to be government for the people by the people….that is not what we have now as a form of government…..Sit down spend some time talking to our older folks, my uncle was 92 years old back inthe mid 60s and I remember him telling me “I will see a revolution in my life time. He went on the say I am 92 years old and I have seen so many of my freedom and rights taken from me…people will not take this much longer.” Well I have seen so many more of my right taken from me and its not going to stop till we all stand up and either tell them enough is enough or we do something to take our government back

    Comment by greg55 — Wed, 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:13 am


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