I have to quit watching television. Some years ago...in a land not so far away...
The founding fathers came up with this document called the Constitution with an accompanying document called the Bill of Rights. I think it's safe to say the documents came about as a result of all of the human history which pre-dated it's origin including the Magna Carta and it's material demise. Indeed, the Constitution and Revolutionary War came about as a result of a King still rendering taxes on those which had fled his rule.
Today while watching CNBC, I witnessed a Kansas Representative, Mike Pompeo, on national television lecturing those watching on why Apple had no right to impede the FBI and the federal governments' never ending intrusions into our lives. You see, folks like Pompeo don't get it. They don't understand that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are the law of the land. In their minds, Congressmen can simply ignore the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It's as though it doesn't apply to them and they are free of those constraints.
Moreover, as they go about their business of ignoring inconvenient laws they install freedom stripping laws in their place- laws like the Patriot Act.
So today's speech on CNBC consisted of Pompeo telling the uninformed, small fry in America why it was acceptable to suspend the 4th amendment. You know that amendment, the one which states we will be from free from unlawful search and seizure without due process.
Of course, the CNBC interviewers never bring up the 4th amendment nor did Representative Pompeo. It's an inconvenient fact or truth in America- that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were taught to all of us. In fact, learning about the Constitution is still a part of becoming a citizen. I guess everyone has forgotten it or maybe they think, the Constitution has an expiration date. The ironic part, the part that always makes me shake my head- is when I observe elected Congressmen who swear an oath to protect the Constitution and then set about the task of engineering laws- which subsequently violate it.
You did a helluva job today Mike.
So after listening to Pompeo rant about why Apple has no business hindering the Federal government in it's quest to search and seize data from our phones- I got a little miffed. I looked up Pompeo's email. Here's what happened.
Pompeo has a website which attempts to restrict email from anyone other than his "constituents." I suppose Congressmen can do this and provide any number of excuses for limiting access. I am kind of ok with that if you are a state legislator- only working on state laws which effect Kansas residents.
However, when you are elected to Congress- the rules change. Now you are originating and voting on legislation which effects all of us. You are also making appearances on national television and bloviating to the bourgeoisie by telling us how we should think. That level of ego and arrogance is just one of the many reasons why Congress has the worst approval rate in history.
So I had to tell one lie. I said I lived in Wichita and I grabbed a zipcode and I wrote Mr. Pompeo an email. In it, I outlined the 4th amendment and I also mentioned the cowardly nature of an email filter which would protect a Kansas legislator from emails from a concerned Idaho resident- concerned because Pompeo clearly forgot about the Constitution while riding high for the FBI.
So here's your constitutional refresher Mike, just in case you have forgotten what it says.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
So maybe Mike, the cops can just get a search warrant like they HAVE always had to do.
I imagined as a Police Chief that it would have been nice to limit all the tourists from contacting me and rendering their opinions over the years. "I'm sorry ma'am you are from the Bay Area and do not pay property taxes here. I am so busy that I only have enough time to talk to local residents" as I handed her back her California driver's license.
It's time people. It's time to take responsibility for these ego maniacs we keep electing and it's time to hold their feet to the fire.
Or it's not. Perhaps we should just surrender the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and let these people render it useless.
I swore to uphold the Constitution once. I don't remember that oath having an expiration date but maybe it did. Or maybe guys like Mike just don't take oaths anymore. Maybe one day the press can ask the appropriate questions- ya know if it dawns on them- and maybe one day I'll get to hear an appropriate answer. Gawd it's mind numbing.
Politics done right, is just civil compromise. Done wrong, it's deceitful, harmful propaganda. It would be nice to see it done right again.