Safe or Sorry?

patriot act cartoon

There are many who feel Americans can stay safe against terror (etc.) and still keep our freedoms (no Patriot Act):

Z (with humble thanks to the ‘Original Artist” at “CartoonStock”  oops, I hope that works 🙂!!

This entry was posted in Cartoons, law enforcement, terrorism. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Safe or Sorry?

  1. When the Fourth Amendment was written, we had a Postal Service.
    There was never an injunction against it measuring how many letters went to a certain address.
    Reading those letters was a different thing altogether.
    Why should e-mail be different?


  2. Mustang says:
    To me, it is a rather stunning revelation that in spite of the tens of billions of dollars spent annually by NSA, CIA, and FBI (with billions more spent on law enforcement throughout the states) that the government is unable to keep Americans safe without denying them their constitutional (inalienable) rights. There is nothing anyone can say to me that will convince me that warrantless government intrusion somehow makes America safer—and no one can even make that argument if they believe, as I do, that the Bill of Rights was designed to protect us from an authoritarian government. Apparently, however, many Americans have fallen into this “scaredy cat” trap. Anyone who thinks of giving up liberty to achieve security deserves neither. Maybe the more correct approach would be to deny access to the United States by anyone professing the Islamic religion until it purges itself from all extremist ideologies.


  3. geeez2014 says:

    Mustang, that’s exactly what I’d like to ask; obviously, looking at our email or screening our calls is …a wrong approach. But it’s only wrong when we are doing other things on that same order; now that we have so many interceptions being made via cell phone calls and records, and things can go very bad because we hadn’t heard them, what do you suggest instead? Or do you approve of listening to SOME phone calls and reading SOME emails?

    I don’t think most Americans are ‘scaredy cats’ but only wonder, when such violence apparently has been tracked by cell or email, how would that information be found otherwise?

    Put aside the approach of denying access now; too many are here and this would never happen anyway, sadly. It should, I totally agree with you. But it won’t, particularly for the next 1 1/2 years.


    Ed…..see my remark above to Mustang.

    Different times call for different tactics; I HATE having to loose OUR FREEDOMS as much as you or Mustang do…………..but WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT ELSE, short of denying entry (or sending every Muslim back, because so many are Americans now, anyway) we can do that would effectively thwart attacks.

    I’d LOVE to hear so I could rest easy in my desire to stop the NSA from snooping………while knowing we’re not doing much else, so………………….WHAT ELSE WORKS?


  4. silverfiddle says:

    I agree with Mustang. This comes down to a deep distrust of government. Yes, they need the power and technology to go after the bad guys and find out what they’re up to before they hit us, but such power can be abused and turned against innocent people.

    Part of this problem stems from our stupid, morbidly obese, grossly incompetent feral government letting in dangerous people. If we maintained strict standards on who we let in, domestic spying would not be the big issue it is now. According to the FBI, we have terrorist cells in all states but Alaska.


  5. Mustang says:
    I actually have no problem with intelligent profiling. For example, if the NSA monitors telephone calls being placed to or received from overseas locations and the call involves foreign language discourse, then let them monitor that call using sophisticated word/term/phrase technology. If the NSA wants to monitor telephone calls, or other forms of communication within the United States (say from Santa Ana-stan to Dearbornstan), then let federal authorities go to a judge and get a lawful warrant. This would require the government to establish probable cause … but isn’t that why we’re spending so much money on the (cough, cough) Department of Homeland Security? I maintain that this really is pig simple, but the government’s incompetence actually places all Americans at greater risk … if you believe, as I do, that our government is untrustworthy.


  6. silverfiddle says:

    Mustang: Well said.


  7. geeez2014 says:

    Mustang, the untrustworthy thing is the worst thing about this. The program has always been , before the Patriot Act, I believe, to intercept any odd phones; different languages, etc. As many in gov’t say, they don’t have time to listen to you when you call ME or ME when I call a friend next door. Even if they collect every call, they can’t listen and it’s ‘sophisticated word technology that ferrets out calls they need to listen to.
    That doesn’t bother me one bit and that’s the kind of conversation I hoped to get here…so thanks.

    How far would you all GO? What parts of the Patriot Act do you find non offensive?

    SF….what’s scary is if anybody didn’t know we have terror cells already in every state in the union. I thought I heard about one in Alaska, too. There have been training camps in New Hampshire and the State of Washington since 9/11 talked about. Are they CLOSED? No, we haven’t heard of ANYTHING like camps being closed.

    We are doing nothing because the monsters lie and say “we’re only a school.’

    My reply from gov’t would be “Great, so you say you’re a muslim school? Well, you’re closed next month until Americans feel better about you and your people. We’re so sorry, but that’s the new law. You might want to consider moving to a muslim country if you need this kind of acreage for your ‘muslim school’, you might find room in a desert in Afghanistan.”



  8. geeez2014 says:

    Mustang, sadly, that time required to get a lawful warrant can be a great time for something to happen before we even got a judge roused to issue one. We all know that’s a big problem and has been discussed, so that is one part of the Patriot Act which can be ‘fixed’ or adjusted….that, somehow, we can act in a timely manner…as timely as the terrorist plans are put in place and enacted.


  9. geeez2014 says:

    Here’s a new headline “US INVESTIGATORS ARE becoming overwhelmed trying to keep up with the social media barrage by US-based supporters of the Islamic State — with the latest information suggesting ‘US military bases, locations, and events could be targeted in the near-term.'”

    I wonder if they ever didn’t think military bases and events could be big targets? Imagine OUR COUNTRY’S FBI and CIA “overwhelmed’ by cockroaches swarming over our country and promising mayhem on US? And can barely do anything about it? They’re ‘overwhelmed’ NOW? This is NOTHING~!

    We MUST MUST have muslims who haven’t lived here for 25 years go …and go YESTERDAY. This is a safety issue now, Leftwingers (if you’re still reading)…this isn’t about being NICE to foreigners. And terrorists don’t only kill Conservatives…matter of fact, they’ll be coming after YOU if you’re gay and YOU if you dress in a lib freak way. Good luck with that.


  10. geeez2014 says:

    Oh. Oh. Oh. Catherine Herridge on FOX is now telling us what kind of questions could be tip-offs that there’s terror snooping around for answers….. So, Terrorists; DO NOT ASK THOSE QUESTIONS: Find another way to get your information; Pay off an American guy who just got out of jail and needs $500, he’ll let you in, or plant that bomb, or whatever.

    Oh, brother.


  11. I’m going to assume SF and Mustang are conversant in the actual verbiage of the Patriot Act.
    I’m not. All I know is what I hear, and that is contradictory at times, particularly when described by Rand Paul.
    If indeed, the “meta-data” is all that is being collected, I have no problem with that as long as content is secret. Patterns of who is e-mailing who might be exactly what you want to know when tracking a threat to the populace. I hate the term “Homeland”.


  12. Kid says:

    Echo Everything Mustang said.

    Z, I’d have to go look , but you’re 25 year clause makes me wonder how long mohamed atta and crew were here, and surely there are other sleeper cells and simply islamists who are sympathetic to their cause. I don’t think you can put a time frame on it. Not to pick on you, but just sayin.

    You’re not going to like this but there is no way to beat these people at their game using our rules.


  13. geeez2014 says:

    “You’re not going to like this but there is no way to beat these people at their game using our rules.” Kid, there’s almost nothing I’ve said more on this blog than that ….that THEY are going to win because we’re still playing polite, American rules. We can’t. We are LOSING.

    I picked 25 years arbitrarily. I’d never believe any of you believe every single Muslim who lives here has to leave… who ever cared about islam until 9/11? They didn’t bother anybody, we didn’t bother them.

    I’m glad people are agreeing with Mustang, I just wish we went from agreeing with each other to some ideas on what to do. That’s why I posted this; we all KNOW the problem

    Ed…what part of “Homeland” do you hate?!


  14. Kid says:

    I figured it was just a number Z.. What to do? Start with removing religious benefits (tax-free etc) to islamists. Things should progress nicely from there.


  15. geeez2014 says:

    Good idea, Kid………and what to do about the listening in to phone calls, etc? What’s your opinion on that?


  16. Bob says:

    OK. I agree with some things everybody said, including what Ed said in his first comment about the Postal Department carrying the letters. In that case the government has the right to count the letters, and to record who the sender is. After all, didn’t somebody pay the Postal Service to deliver the mail?

    The same thing holds true about telephone records. A telephone record is nothing more than a record of a transaction, just like your VISA credit card bill. In this case VISA owns the bill, and you own the stuff you bought. Your credit card records are constantly data-mined for marketing reasons.

    There is a difference in the government keeping a record of your communications, and the actual content of your communications.

    Since the telephone was invented, the government has had the power to scrutinize your call records which do not belong to you. The call records are simply a record of the number you called, how long the call lasted, and when. These records are owned by the telephone companies who have always cooperated with the federal government since the beginning of time.

    I worry more about Google and other online data collecting companies selling my personal information to anybody that wants it. That’s the real threat to our privacy.

    As far as the terrorist threat, just this morning on Fox News I learned that the government cannot keep up with the massive amount of communications, and therefore cannot say for sure if we are threatened.


  17. Kid says:

    Z, As Mustang said I think we should be able to listen (search the digital data created from all the phone calls) to or from any out of country location, The moslems are invading all the other countries so I’d say any foreign country.

    And stop importing them like popcorn like obama is doing. What do they do, ask them if they are extremist? “No no, I nice moslem….”

    We should have stopped taking them in after the first terrorist attack in the name of islam. We know that the Saudi’s for example start teaching their kids about America – the great satan, right out of the box. So do many other islamic countries (the 57 states obammy spoke of that we initially thought he was just an imbecile – he was calling out to them)


  18. Kid says:

    The first moslem attack on a non-moslem country that comes to mind was around 1970.


  19. bunkerville says:

    Did the founders have in mind the spying on our snail mail? Collecting our names and address and where we are sending them? I doubt that.
    Ed’s comment:
    When the Fourth Amendment was written, we had a Postal Service.
    There was never an injunction against it measuring how many letters went to a certain address.
    Reading those letters was a different thing altogether.
    Why should e-mail be different


  20. geeez2014 says:

    Bob: “:just this morning on Fox News I learned that the government cannot keep up with the massive amount of communications, and therefore cannot say for sure if we are threatened.”
    Isn’t that reassuring?

    IN GENERAL, I think WE are inviting trouble by our wonderfully democratic ways (And I do NOT mean DEMOCRAT!)…….
    I LOVE our freedoms and don’t want to be without them…..believe me!

    But our intel agencies are overloaded….and, guess what! Theirs aren’t! 🙂 And they have NO senate hearings where we expose everything to the world on TV, and they don’t have media warning what questions to look for so they take another tack…etc etc

    THEY KNOW THAT…are we playing right into their hands?


  21. Z, the term “Homeland” always struck me as similar to “Fatherland”.
    Just kind of a fascist ring to it, and I don’t recall the term prior to 2001.
    Bunkerville, I agree, but in a general sense, you have to detect delivery patterns to set up an efficient service, like the airlines.
    Knowing that someone sent someone a letter is not as sacrosanct as reading the letter.
    I’m not sure the Founders would have a problem.
    It’s a shame that we have to fear our government.
    I’d like the bad guys to fear it, though.


  22. bunkerville says:

    You might want to check out the Binney interview and other writings he has done Ed.


  23. Kid says:

    Bunkerville, Yes, when things started going digital – from analog – it was a forgone conclusion there would be a massive database with Every Thing in it. And then the internet with bill pay, electronic banking etc etc. And that it would all be searchable and searched as well.
    I look at these commercials for the ‘connected home’ and I wonder what sort of complete moron would connect their home to the internet…


  24. Like Bob said above, Google probably datamines more than the feds. There’s a profit.
    Binney is describing illegal activity, not legally sanctioned activity.
    Apples, oranges.
    And as Binney describes it, the data is collected, but not examined without a warrant. Doesn’t make it right, but it’s an interesting distinction.
    When I join the insurrection, it won’t be digitally.
    BTW. Been watching Turn?


  25. geeez2014 says:

    I feel like Americans are just on the run ALL the time now…hacked, spied upon, insulted inside our country and out, all our private information is known………….
    Honestly..ever seen a cat playing with a tiny bug on the floor….as it watches the bug and then swats at it this way and that? The bug is US. You fill in what you think the cat is (tho I hate to use the example of cats, which I love)…just to get a picture in your mind. ya, that’s US.


  26. geeez2014 says:

    Did you hear that the DOJ is now getting involved with fixing the Cleveland Police Department?

    Is this normal? Has Washington done this to town police departments in the past? Or is this just Obama’s thugs making it harder to arrest anybody they don’t want arrested?


  27. Baysider says:

    Ed and Mustang – great commentary on meta data. The gov’t’s been sifting meta data for years – at least back to the 80’s. I don’t have a problem with that as you’ve outlined above. One of the best ways to muddy the water, though, is to flood the air with useless chatter, but my guess is good signals intel can sift through that. And Ed, I think the term ‘Homeland’ is downright creepy.

    ALL immigration by muslims should have stopped cold September 12, 2001. And then a lot of visas reviewed for cancellation. That’s harder and more labor intensive. Stopping the INFLOW is really a no-brainer. So sorry about your aged grandma – we’re running a war, not a social service system.


  28. geeez2014 says:

    I’m sorry that Ed and Baysider find the term “homeland” creepy. I suppose it’s due to the association with Department of Homeland Security. I find it comforting, ‘my homeland’ and am sorry it carries with it something negative today. I’m also sorry FATHERLAND conjures up NAZI days, but it does, let’s face it.

    Baysider, I WISH our gov’t had done exactly what you and others describe with muslims in this country…..we’d be so much safer, wouldn’t we.

    ISIS is so much more savvy than we are in regard to public relations. They see the insults to our police today from within and are now threatening them precisely…the nerves of our cops and their families must be really on edge. And our military, too.

    THey really know how to get to us. We, on the other hand, are playing golf and hoping they go away.


  29. -FJ says:

    Bunkerville asks: Did the founders have in mind the spying on our snail mail?

    The Washington Times notes:

    In 1773, Benjamin Franklin leaked confidential information by releasing letters written by then Lt. Governor of Massachusetts Thomas Hutchinson and his secretary Andrew Oliver to Thomas Whatley, an assistant to the British prime minister.

    The letters contained opinions on how the British government should respond to colonial unrest over the Townsend Acts and other unpopular policies. Hutchinson suggested that it was impossible for the colonists to enjoy the same rights as subjects living in England and that “an abridgement of what are called English liberties” might be necessary.

    The content of the letters was damaging to the British government. Franklin was dismissed as colonial Postmaster General and endured an hour-long censure from British Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn.

    Like Snowden, Franklin was called a traitor for informing the people about the actions of its government. As Franklin’s biographer H.W. Brands writes;

    “For an hour he hurled invective at Franklin, branding him a liar, a thief, the instigator of the insurrection in Massachusetts, an outcast from the company of all honest men, an ingrate whose attack on Hutchinson betrayed nothing less than a desire to seize the governor’s office for himself. So slanderous was Wedderburn’s diatribe that no London paper would print it.”

    Tyrants slandering patriots is nothing new. History decided that Franklin was a patriot. It was not so kind to the Hutchinsons and Wedderburns.

    History will decide who the patriots were in the 21st century as well.


  30. -FJ says:

    In other words, the citizens should be spying upon the Government and reading THEIR letters…(and Hillary’s e-mails) NOT visa-versa.


  31. geeez2014 says:

    FJ…..that’s a great point and pertinent history, for sure.. Sadly, Hillary’s email are being vetted by friends of hers whom she pays, so we know what’s happened to those emails which really OUGHT to be seen, don’t we….gone.
    But, yes, the days when WE were in charge are truly over. There is no ‘government BY the people’ and it sure isn’t ‘government FOR ALL people’ anymore.


  32. bunkerville says:

    FJ– great piece of history. Thanks.


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