Tom Hurst writes on liberty, free markets, private property rights, government and the Constitution from Nevada, USA
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Predicting the Future

By Tom Hurst, 20 June 2013

Lately, everyone seems to be arguing about the recent leaks of "secret" information indicating that our own government is always spying on us (and, evidently, everyone else in the world) in every way imaginable. Is it being done, or not? Does it stop terrorism, or not? Is it Constitutional, legal and moral, or not? Of course, even without access to any inside information, I can easily answer these questions and tell you with absolute certainty what is going on, what will go on, and why. How can I do this? Really, it's no mystery, because all of history, everywhere, shows that where government is concerned, certain things always happen in certain ways, always - laws of nature, so to speak. So, following, are the obvious answers to the questions posed above.

First, yes, our government always spies on us (and on everyone else). In fact, it goes to great effort and great expense to do so, and has done so for a very long time; I'd even suggest that our leaders and their large army of bureaucrats and agents greatly relish their continual spying, for in addition to the obvious self-serving benefits that Total Information Awareness and Big Data confer, spying complements government's arrogant (but delusional) mind set that they are the elite and that we are their lowly minions, mere serfs existing only to be exploited in order to give them wealth and power. Among proofs far too numerous to cite in total or even in part, witness the colossal NSA data storage facility currently under construction in Bluffdale, Utah. Reportedly, it will have enough capacity to store a lifetime of the complete dialog of our phone calls (not just, as claimed, the infamous "meta-data"), personal location data, emails, web surfing details, bank transactions, online purchase records, library records, medical records, insurance records, tax records, complete information on credit and debit card transactions, all public and private video surveillance feeds, time-stamped vehicle locations and activity, and all sorts of other data for every single person in the country. Yes, literally everything about everyone, forever! Now, that's spying by the NSA that would put the East German STASI and the Soviet KGB to shame! Consider the power that so much information about you gives to those in government. So, the question begs, do you really want some government lackey - actually millions of them, and many with guns or other power to harm you - to know literally everything about you? Where you go, what you do, what you say, who you associate with and, with meta-data mining, accurate predictions of where you *will* go, what you *will* do and say, and who you *will* associate with... yes, absolutely everything? Well, rest assured, it's already happening. And it is decidedly not a good thing for Liberty. If you remember just one thing, remember this: never, absolutely never, trust the government!

Next question. Does spying on all of us, all of the time really stop terrorism? I suppose that in a very few extremely rare instances, it might. The fact is, however, though the government would have us believe that we'd all be dead yesterday if it were not for their incessant spying on us, the vast majority of the time their spying does absolutely nothing except violate our civil liberties. Truly, no matter what the statists claim, in a free society government needs no secrets, period. And I would suggest that literally 99.99% of their "secrets" are irrelevant drivel that paranoid government idiots have made secret only for the sake of making things secret. In any case, to those who truly understand the meaning of liberty and respect our Constitution, the answer to this question simply does not matter. Here I would cite the timeless and profound wisdom of Benjamin Franklin: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Myself, I'm more than willing to accept the odd terrorist act as fair price paid for the total preservation of our liberty and privacy, and, indeed, that is the way it must be for a society to be truly free. Of course, the real question regarding terrorism should be, why, in the first place, does it happen? Perhaps it has something to do with our arrogantly and continuously invading and occupying half of the countries in the world, especially in the Middle East? Indeed, the best way to stop terrorism would be for us to just stop interfering with other sovereign countries. As much as some might like to zealously impose our beliefs and such on others, what others do is simply none of our business, period.

As for the question of the Constitutionality and legality of spying on everyone in all ways, all of the time, especially without a warrant based on probable cause and issued by a proper judge (i.e. not one of the government crony, rubber-stamp FISA court "judges", who rule entirely in secret), one need only read the few words that are the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution to realize that the Founders obviously intended it to more generally protect our privacy. To be thorough here, the Patriot Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Bank Secrecy Act, certain provisions of the recent National Defense Authorization Act, and many other government laws, rules and mandates are also, in my opinion, absolutely and totally unconstitutional. Truly, in this sense, we are no longer a free people.

So, now for my own question (and answer): Why is all of this spying happening? It's because, as history invariably shows, the natural tendency of all government in all places and at all times is only to grow without restraint, incessantly seeking power and wealth for itself (and its favored sons), eventually and certainly becoming tyrannical in the end. That evil is an inviolable law based on human nature and, despite government hype and lies to the contrary, the predictable and certain fallout for all "free" people in all "free" countries - any checks and balances be damned - is obvious. Any information about us that the government has *will* be abused, and to the maximum extent possible. Any technology the government has *will* be abused, and to the maximum extent possible. Any power - including the police power - the government has *will* be abused, and to the maximum extent possible. Any law or rule - even the Constitution - meant to constrain the government *will* be abused, and to the maximum extent possible. Indeed, absolutely all evidence indicates that any and all intended constraints on our government are totally ignored - even by judges - as if they didn't even exist. And, sadly, they are ignored to an ever greater extent as time passes. Further, all of the above guaranteed abuses are exacerbated by the fact that evil individuals who seek power and wealth are drawn to government like bees to honey, with the obvious and unavoidable fallout that all bad traits that these bureaucrats and functionaries might have *will* be amplified and *will* be used to harass, extort and terrorize citizens, and to the maximum extent possible. Indeed, government and parasitic government workers nearly always exemplify the classic tin god syndrome on 21st century technology steroids. If we are to survive the future as a free people, all must come to realize that government and government employees and agents are *not* our friends and - propaganda to the contrary be damned - they do *not* care one bit about us. They are our enemies and the enemies of liberty. Indeed, any wealth and liberty that the people might have *will* be seized by the government, and to the maximum extent possible. If perchance self-serving government occasionally gives one things rather than taking them, or does things *for* one rather than *to* one, it is *only* because of the power and wealth that it will be given return. Never forget that government by its very nature will alwyas seek to take your wealth and to control every waking minute of your life. And keep in mind that the reality is that the cost of those things is our freedom, a very high price to pay indeed. Sadly, in the end, we are all simply fodder to feed the government's lust for power and wealth.

The bottom line of all of this is that spying on citizens - no matter that the Patriot Act and other unConstitutional legislation supposedly authorizes our various elected and un-elected keepers to do so - is immoral, unnecessary, and illegal. It should stop totally and immediately, and anyone in government who has promulgated the current system should not only be fired, but charged with treason. Indeed, people like Keith Alexander (NSA Director), Chris Inglis (NSA Deputy Director), James Clapper (Director of National Intelligence), Michael Flynn (Defense Intelligence Agency Director), Matthew Olsen (National Terrorism Center Director), John Brennan (CIA Director), James Comey (FBI Director), Dick Cheney, and everyone else involved in spying on us with impunity and trampling the last vestiges of our liberty are just a bunch of arrogant, delusional, power-mad, treasonous traitors who are, in fact, destroying America, not defending America. Indeed, they are the laughable modern-day equivalents of Colonel Jack Ripper, the paranoid cold-warrior character in the classic black comedy film, "Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb". And people like Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and NSA leakers Edward Snowden, Russel Tice, Thomas Drake and Bill Binney are to my mind Patriots who risked all in an attempt to help save us. Thankfully, they seem to have started a movement, and we as a free people must keep the momentum going. Yes, we must work ceaselessly to totally eliminate all of our ridiculous spy agencies, for despite government hype and propaganda to the contrary, they actually do nothing of importance and certainly nothing moral. The sad reality is that, as things stand, we are all slaves because of their spying; let's hope that we will not be their slaves forever!

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Tom Hurst - Defender of liberty, free markets, private property rights, and the Constitution