Saturday, December 4, 2010

US government tracking Americans Without Warrent Though Use of a `Hotwatch`

American used to project an image of `The land of freedom` to the world. Yet, it seems these days the only image America projects is war,greed, empire and fascism.  As an American, it is not easy for your man of liberty to write such words but the truth is written on the wall. Of the numerous policies which destroy liberty in America, the one which may be ruining personal liberty in American the most tracking of US citizens by the Federal government. 

Most people are aware of the warrantless wiretapping program which was put in place by Bush W. and maintained by Obama. What has made this policy truly disturbing is that the Federal Government not only was out in the open about it but also defended secretly tracking US citizens without warrants and little or no oversight. At this point one would think that tracking phone calls, e-mails, and text messages would be enough but there seems to be no end to the Federal government desire to track US citizens every move. Due to the efforts of blogger Christopher Soghoian documents have been released which show the Federal Government tracking US citizen`s purchases without warrant and without the person targeted knowledge. As shocking as this new level of government tyranny is, I have no choice but to report that it all true.  The document which Chris pressured to get released details exactly how, and by which methods, the Federal government uses so-called Hotwatch tracking to see what any American buys. You can read the doc. by clicking here.

What makes this kind of spying program truly disturbing is that while the released docs. explain what kind of purchases they target and the method of going about it, what it leaves out is the standard to engage in such activity. This document, which took Chris over a year and a half to get release, contains no mention of a need to ask the courts for permission to engage in tracking a US citizen`s financial transactions. On page three of the ten page government doc. is clearly states the number one way in which such authority is granted is by `Administrative subpoena with a court order for non-disclosure.` In short, the government has agents signing off on their own orders to track US citizen`s financial transactions. The teeth of such an order is only a court order which prevents or bank or company from informing the person targeted.

With such a system in place the government now has FBI and CIA agents running around targeting anyone they want for pretty much any reason as long as they say it is for, `an ongoing investigation.` There is no oversight and the courts can do little to stop it. The level of corruption and revenge such policy creates must be massive. With the right paperwork any US citizen can have almost any financial transaction they do tracked and recorded by the government. The docs. express no standard so we can only assume government agents can order a `Hotwatch` whenever they want. When people talk about a police state this is what they are talking about.            

Monday, November 29, 2010

The World Does Not Need It`s American Hero Anymore.

Your man of liberty is always watching, reading and researching the state of liberty in our increasingly complex world. As I was making my rounds on the internet, I ran across an article by famed Libertarian and American Conservative Patrick J. Buchanan. The title of the article is Why are we still in Korea? He pulls no punches in this article and lays out some very clear points about how the old post WW2/Cold War Alliances no longer benefit our grand nation. It should be clear to just about anyone but sadly most of our fellow American brothers just don`t get it. America has long over served it`s role as the world`s hero.

There really is no need for us to have military bases all over the world anymore. Korea is a perfect example of how an American military presence makes things worse not better. For starters the only reason we are in Korea is due to the fact the nation is a ex-colony of Japan. After the war is was necessary for America to set up camp in Korea because Japan had no ability to keep the region stable. America had a responsibility to stabilize East Asia because we had taken over control of Japan; thus ending the Japanese Empire. After an intense war with North Korea we end up staring each other down at the DMZ for over 50 years now. All those years later things are very different. South Korea is one of the strongest nations in Asia with respect to its economy and military. The North Korean military is in a very sad condition. Their military technology is way behind the rest of the world. There is no way the North could muster any kind of fight against the South. Simply put America is not needed in Korea anymore.

What about Japan? Japan ranks sixth in the world for military spending. The military of Japan is highly advanced and fully able to defend itself. They have one of the top economies in the world. Japan is a stable nation and has been for a very long time. The Japanese face very little threat to their nation. They have strong political ties to many of their neighbors. If Japan was attacked by the more aggressive Communist China there is no question they could defend their island nation with no help from the US. While China puts on a front of being unafraid of war, it would be clearly a major disadvantage for them to wage war with any nation in Asia. In reality Japan has very little need for the US military.

So why are we so stuck on the idea that the world needs us? It seems America has a military Empire and does not want to give it up. Despite the fact that most nations with a US military presence have very little need for a foreign army, American insist we must protect people who don`t want to be protected. East Asia is a prime example of the American military Empire having little usefulness in the modern era. We fight the enemies of others because we have no enemies of our own who could pose any threat to our mighty nation.

Our military even goes as far as to look for a fight to be had with other nations. Currently The USS George Washington has left Japan and is meeting up with South Korean forces to engage in military war games as a way to show North Korea just how powerful the American military is. The North has already said they are ready for war and will respond with military action if we come any where close to their border. Our military is provoking a war when it is none of our business in the first place. Even China has told America to return the USS George Washington back to Japan. It is clear our military in East Asia provokes notions of war.

When will the American Hero understand it is time to come home?      

The GOP Having Trouble Holding it Together On Earmark Ban

As anyone with a real sense of liberty is fully aware, the left/right bipolar political establishment in America is nothing more than two management teams fighting for control of the same dirty government. Both so-called parties do not have our interest in mind. Yet, as long as they are in control we must work within this system to restore true liberty and Constitutional law to our grand nation. So then the GOP conference voted on a complete ban on all earmarks, liberty minded citizens took notice. Your man of liberty reported on this event which you can read here. To to shock and awe of libertarians, and liberty minded people in general, the GOP conference voted for an all out ban on earmarks for the 112th Congress. Well as it turns out the GOP may not be ready to stick to their guns on a complete ban on earmarks.

All the heat is centered around H.R. 4783 which pretty much hands out money to settle a disagreement on behave of black farmers and Native American tribes over discrimination they say was carried out by the Department of Agriculture. Now to say that this issue should have never reach the level of a bill in the congress is an understatement. The Dept. of Agriculture clearly failed to deal with this long standing issue. The DOA should have never let it get to this point. The DOA should have dealt with this though the courts or even better allocated money, which they already had on hand, to the states to deal with it. Yet, like a gang of cowards they stoned walled the entire issue and forced Congress to create a spending bill to take care of it. The DOA did this clearly in order to protect their own budget from taking a hit. So a spending bill was created and moved though Congress which put the earmark ban to the test.

From the looks of things GOP leaders were unable to hold to their own rule of banning earmarks. Arizona Sen. John Kyle just could not resist adding an earmark into H.R. 4783. The Senator added a earmark setting aside 200,000,000 billion dollars to settle a Arizona Native American water rights dispute. This super large earmark will be used to make snow at a ski resort, improve water access for some Casinos, and build fish hatcheries. The sad thing about this is that if Arizona did not have to send so much money out of their state and into the hands of the Federal government they could have dealt with this at a state level.

This issue just goes to show the state of Washington. Yet another unconstitutional Department gets into hot water and sets on their hands out of fear of having their budget taking a hit. Congress has to get involved and create a bill which spends even more money. This in turn catches the attention of Arizona, which has a large settlement to take of, which is related to the bill in question. Add to all of this the fact that if Arizona could keep more of their state revenue in the state they could have paid the settlement from their own treasury.

The devil in all of this is Federal taxing being totally out of control. The states or the courts cannot really handle these kinds of issues due in large part to the high amount of Federal taxing. Not even one of Washington`s many Departments can handle disputes involving money because Congress looks for any reason to suck more money out of any section of the government which causes problems. If the DOA actually did decide to settle this issue though the courts or with good old fashion negotiation rest assured Congress would cut their budget and hand it to the Pentagon. Every time an earmark comes up in a bill we will see the insanity of Federal spending.