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SENTRY JOURNAL » Uncategorized » Is the sun setting on our liberties?

Is the sun setting on our liberties?

I often sometimes wonder if states had another bite at the apple in regards to ratification of the constitution, would they rethink ratification knowing what they know today about how the federal government has positioned itself through interpretation the justify operating beyond its 17 enumerated powers.  It’s hard to say because so many people have become so dependent on the federal government and view minor infringements on their unalienable rights as a necessary evil to ensure what they perceive as a secure and safe society.  I have argued in the past for the need to convene an Article V convention to correct the wrongs of 16th and 17th amendments and to clarify the commerce clause.  I’m not so sure that’s the way to go in this age of dependency.

You see the only way an Article V convention works is if the citizenry has a rudimentary understanding of the constitution and sadly they don’t.  We the people have failed to gain the necessary knowledge about the constitution in order to defend it.  We can blame our public schools but the truth is the information about the debates and arguments that were made during the crafting of the constitution are readily available for all.  It only takes a small amount of effort to find the information, but it also takes the desire to want to learn and unfortunately for many there is always something more important on their to-do list.  I know this because I was one of those people about five years ago.

What started me down the path of wanting to learn more about liberty and our constitution was the Patriot Act.  Even though I realized that protecting America was indeed a responsibility of the federal government the Act went too far.  It created powers for the federal government that were beyond the scope of their constitutional authority and forced each of us to trade a little piece of our liberties for security.  I felt in a sense that more harm was done to America with the passage of the Patriot Act and its liberty stealing provisions than any outside force could ever inflict on us.  John Adams once said, “But a Constitution of Government once changed from freedom, can never be restored.  Liberty once lost is lost forever.”  The Patriot Act cracked the constitutional wall that protects its citizens from an overreaching federal government and since its passage things have only gotten worse for liberty in America.

When you examine in its totality what the Obama administration has done in just three short years you will see just how much this crack in our constitution has grown.  From speech limiting provisions in the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act to creating the authority out of thin air to detain American citizens indefinitely, the threats to our liberties are very real.  The Obama administration’s new guidelines for information collection on Americans citizens permits the collection and storage of information by U.S. intelligence agencies for up to 5 years even if there are no clear ties to terrorism.  This revises to 2008 version of these guidelines which require the prompt destruction of information if no terrorism ties exist.  Piggy backing off of that, I was reading an article the other day that was about a new data collecting center being built by the NSA in Utah; the following is an excerpt from the article.

The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.”

I guess it’s time to start paying cash for purchases.  A more chilling article carried by the BLAZE about how the DHS is purchasing 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets over a five-year period really caught my attention.  Why does the DHS need 450 million rounds of bullets?  Does the government know something we don’t?  Is there some sort of economic train wreck on the horizon that will blind side many or will our dollar finally collapse leading to civil unrest?  Add in the TSA, the government’s desire to control the internet, and the proposed internet kill switch and we have a real problem on our hands.

When you step back and look at the actions taken by our federal government over the last 10 years under the pretext of fighting terrorism, their actions appear to be more directed towards the American people than the terrorists who are threatening our way of life.  The government has exploited that crack in our constitution and we’re hemorrhaging our liberties away.  This is exactly how tyranny gets a foothold.  At what point does conspiracy cross over the threshold into reality.  There’s plenty of evidence to suggest it already has and without liberties we will be helpless to stop it.  The sad truth is there are simply not enough people who have a working knowledge of the constitution to know that the above acts are completely unconstitutional and that the only way the government gets there is by violating the constitution.  There are not even enough people to recognize that there’s a crack in our constitution and that’s the real tragedy of it all.  Perhaps the sun is finally setting on our liberties and the great experiment has run its course.  When our children look back on this period in our nation’s history I wonder if they will they ask how we could let our liberties slip away when all the signs were there?  My answer; it’s because we were dumb.

Liberty forever, freedom for all.

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  • Steve Dennis March 31, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    I wish I could argue your points or offer a glimmer of hope for the future, but sadly I cannot. Our liberties are slipping away and most of the people don’t even see what is happening so it might be too late to stop the decline into tyranny. Reagan said freedom is never more than one generation from extinction and we might just be the generation that lets it slip away.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..If right-wing politics are to blame for Trayvon Martin’s death, who is to blame for Brian Terry’s death?My Profile

    • John Carey April 1, 2012 at 6:54 AM

      I was listening to Mike Church the other day and he said anytime you witness the death of something that is good it is a sad thing; however the rebirth of birth is a very exciting and wonderful thing. He of course was talking about our republic and it’s rebirth. I thought it was a very interesting way to put it. I know I sound like a broken record sometimes and I always keep talking about the constitution and losing liberties but I really feel this is the most important thing we need to be looking at because without the constitution the government can infringe on our liberties and without liberty we are nothing…we are slaves.
      John Carey recently posted..Is the sun setting on our liberties?My Profile

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  • Jim at Conservatives on Fire April 1, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    It’s unclear to me if Americans have suffered enough economic pain to demand a change, although I am cautiously optimistic. I am even more pessimistic that Americans have not suffered enough from the loss of their freedoms to demand change. We may have to lose a lot more of freedoms before people wake-up. That makes me very sad.
    Jim at Conservatives on Fire recently posted..“Marital Advice” a poem by The Bard of MurdockMy Profile

    • John Carey April 1, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      Indeed Jim. I fear that people are kind of in that watch and wait to see what happens mode. They don’t believe that the government would ever take their freedoms away and yet that is exactly what is happening a piece at a time. I believe many of them are simply in denial and that includes a large number of conservatives.
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  • Teresa April 1, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    John, first I would like to say that was a fantastic post. But I have one quibble. This statement, “When you step back and look at the actions taken by our federal government over the last 10 years under the pretext of fighting terrorism, their actions appear to be more directed towards the American people than the terrorists who are threatening our way of life.”
    I would argue that, yes, our lives have been more affected and/or involved under the pretext of fighting terrorism under the Bush administration but the Obama administration has infringed upon our rights in an unprecedented and staggering way. I don’t agree with all that is in the Patriot Act but I don’t believe taking measures to ensure this country’s safety necessarily equals losing our liberties. But, I don’t believe that Obama’s main focus is on protecting the American people. I believe that is a big difference between Bush and Obama.

    • John Carey April 1, 2012 at 6:57 PM

      Thanks Teresa. I was merely trying to say that since the cowardly acts of the terrorist on 9/11 Americans have lost a number of liberties. I was not trying to lay it at the feet of President Bush, I was trying to make the case that the provisions in the Patriot Act do violate the constitution by permitting wiretaps without a warrant. It’s a very small thing but look at the door it has opened. A small thing has morphed into detaining citizens indefinitely, collecting information on citizens who have no ties to terrorism, limiting free speech, the TSA illegal searching and seizing without a warrant, controlling the internet, the Real ID act, and the list goes on. The Patriot Act has prepared the environment for more legislation that encroaches on our rights. That’s the point I was trying to make my friend. I absolutely agree with you that we need to take certain measures to fight terrorism; however not at the expense of our liberties. Liberty is something we need to be selfish with and guard against those who would use a crisis or war to limit them. This is exactly in line with what the founders believed. The crack has grown because government now feels because we allowed one area of our rights to be infringed upon without much of a fight to preserve them then others are now open for compromise. This is not an America we can leave for our children.
      John Carey recently posted..Obama’s InfernoMy Profile

      • Teresa April 1, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        I am in full agreement with what you stated above, John. God Bless.

      • theCL April 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        When you step back and look at the actions taken by our federal government over the last 10 years under the pretext of fighting terrorism, their actions appear to be more directed towards the American people than the terrorists who are threatening our way of life.

        This is why I eventually turned against the wars. Did we get retribution? No. Revenge? Nada. But we got more government bureaucracy, increased centralized power, a police state, airport feel-ups … Looking at the evidence, I must conclude that ‘keeping us safe” was the furthest thing from the Ruling Class’ mind.

        I also think it’s not only fair, but necessary for honest discussion to implicate the Bush admin. They own the police state. They built it. The creepily named Homeland Security, TSA, fusion centers, et. al., are not products of Obama, that’s for sure. They own the PATRIOT Act too. Although, proving the true “bipartisan” nature of Washington DC, if memory serves me correct it was Biden who authored the act (after the Oklahoma bombing). Republicans and Democrats are two-sides of the same statist coin.

        Is the sun setting on our liberties?

        Yes. Unarguably so. At a frighteningly fast pace to boot.
        theCL recently posted..3′s & 7′s & Rule 5My Profile

        • John Carey April 2, 2012 at 5:52 PM

          Well said CL. I too believe the sun is setting on our liberties. I feel helpless to stop it. It was war that contributed greatly to the fall of the Roman Republic. The Senate kept granting powers to the pro consul until they pretty much made themselves powerless to stop the pro consul. Heck the same scenario played our in Star Wars I, II, III. War lead to more liberties being infringed upon and more powers granted to the chancellor of the Republic.