Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bill of Rights’

When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.
    ―    Friedrich Nietzsche
[Some folks would like to return to a past when (they believe) America was greater than it is today.  The simple truth is, when it comes to the past, you can’t get there from here.
Despite our current President and political climate, America is still (IMHO) the best nation on earth.  We are NOT perfect.  Far from it.  Many other countries have better health care, better education systems, more safety from violence (specifically gun violence).  But is there any place you’d rather be?  Is there any other time in which you would rather live?
We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights.  American greatness stems from our beliefs: in the rule of law; that no one is above the law; and, that right makes might.  We have faith in the will of the informed majority and believe in the protection of the rights of the minority.
If our national course is erratic, it is because we understand (but sometimes only reluctantly accept) that the law breathes and changes.  As fundamental human rights are increasingly recognized, acknowledged, and codified, we change as a people, as a society and as a country.  And, yes, sometimes, change is painful.  When it is too painful, the rate of change is slowed (as it is now).  But, change is not halted.  It cannot be halted because change is an emergent property of existence and particularly of life.
America is STILL a great country!  To become a still greater nation we need only rededicate ourselves to a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  No, future greatness cannot be found in returning to the past, but we can get there (future continued greatness) from here…    —    KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2017 The Single Most Effective Thing For Health
2016 A Trumpet Solo
2015 Potential Is A Heavy Burden
2014 Fear Not, Weep Not
2013 Half Way There
2012 Sacrificed Any Lately?
2011 The Value Of One’s Character
2010 Intervals
On Being Human
Non-predictive Emergence
Events
Bodily Functions
Standing Thoughts
Sent Home Is Better Than Fixed

Read Full Post »

Our Bill of Rights, the most precious part of our legal heritage, is under subtle and pervasive attacks…  In the struggle between our world and Communism, the temptation to imitate totalitarian security methods must be resisted day by day…  When the rights of any individual or group are chipped away, the freedom of all erodes.
   —    Earl Warren
[Of course today’s “Communist Threat” is “Terrorism / Islamic Fundamentalism“…    —    KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2014 nom de plume
2013 The Real Reason
From The Book
2012 When Young
2011 14 Ways To A Better Judgement

Read Full Post »

Today, as always, the people, no less than the courts, must remain vigilant to preserve the principals of our Bill of Rights, lest in our desire to be secure we lose our ability to be free.
    —   Earl Warren
Former Chief Justice
United States Supreme Court
[Note the use of the word “principals” instead of “principles”.  This indicates superior position rather than “simply” equally important opinions and conditions.  To quote Benjamin Franklin:  “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”   —    KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2014 Life Advice (50)
Orange October (IV) – Giants Win Game 1 Of NLCS!
2013 Running To
2012 Suddenly
2011 Liberal Washington
2010 Giants Advance To NLCS!!

Read Full Post »

I am a BIG follower of things Sci-Fi and “Action / Adventure” pop-culture, and to me one of the best new shows in the last several years is a drama called: “Person of Interest“, which can be viewed on CBS on Thursday nights at 9:00pm.  The show began airing in 2011 and has won the People’s Choice Award for Best New Drama.  …And yes, it is all THAT!!
As someone who is extremely conservative on matters of personal freedoms and the Bill of Rights, the show has an initial “objection” factor which is normally (for my tastes) not easily overcome.  Essentially, the show’s premise is that post-9/11, the government has built a super-surveillance system to look for terrorist activity and/or threats to national security.  In order to do this, the system monitors EVERYTHING – phones, emails, private and public video surveillance cameras – everything.  The system doesn’t generate extensive results, though.  All it provides is a Social Security Number (SSN) for somebody (NSA, FBI, CIA) to look at (into) to find the problem/issue.  This is referred to as “actionable information” in the series.
Now the creator of the system has limited the actionable information for the government to only terrorist or national security issues, but the system is fully capable of generating actionable info about other types of crimes, too.  In the case of the weekly series, the info is about people who are either going to be murdered or who are about to commit murder.  The system doesn’t say which is which – so the “heroes” never know if they are helping the victims or the perpetrators.
The series has two main heroes: the computer nerd who invented the system and the bad-ass who has to be the muscle for the nerd (and the system).  There are also two other minor-heroes – cops who are drawn into the vigilante (hero) fight against evil.
Now, IF you can set aside the personal liberties issues, this is a terrific show.  It has action – fights and explosions, drama – nick of time rescues and last second escapes, great acting with multiple surprise plot twists (always one and sometimes two an episode), and, of course, great technology – surveillance (duh).  And the kicker is there is a slowly evolving relationship amongst the four characters which serves as the over-arching story line for the series.  All in all, it is a truly interesting and entertaining series.
What’s the problem then?
It is supposed to be fiction…  There is not supposed to be (in America) government surveillance of ALL citizens at all times.  We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights.  Well, we may still have them, but now we also have the “God” system, too.  If you don’t believe me try reading this article in Wired Magazine (April 2012): “Inside The Matrix“.
It appears the NSA (and all the other alphabet-soup agencies) are building exactly the super-God system depicted in fiction by this series.
Now, if I WERE the paranoid, conspiracy theorist kind of person, I would say TV is being used to show how such a system “could” be used to benefit society beyond fighting terrorism.  Since I’m not that kind of person, I’ll just put it down to a “happy coincidence” that TV is being used to make the system palatable to conservative civil libertarians like me.
The only problem is, while I’m happy to see a God-system on TV, I don’t actually want such a system to exist in reality as I have too little confidence in the human nature of government security bureaucracies.  Call me old fashioned and naive, but I still believe in innocent until proven guilty and restrictions on government regarding unlimited searches of my personal / private interests without probable cause and a search warrant.  Like I said, I guess I’m just an old fashioned conservative about some things.
If we are all inside the box, can the real “1984” (Orwell’s)  be far away?
By the way, last night was the season finale and it was SUPERB!  I can’t wait for the series to come out on DVD.  Gotta have, gotta have, gotta have it!!
.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: