Tom's Thoughts

Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Time for a new revolution?

Thomas Jefferson said that America would probably need a new revolution every twenty years or so. He was onto something.

People in power tend to become entrenched, which leads to corruption. Men in power don't have people around them to tell them they can't do things. Cf. my previous post on the lack of Nathans. In Anne of the Thousand Days (the movie) one character advises his successor, "Tell the king what he ought to do, not what he can do." Of course the character does tell the king what he can do and loses his head for it.

People running the government now have learned what they can do, and have completely lost sight of what they ought to do. The latest scandal involves insider day trading conducted from inside Congressional offices.

I think I am beginning to agree with the bumper sticker I saw: "Don't re-elect anybody."

Seriously, we need new voices, new heads, new ideas, new ethics in government: in Lenoir, in Raleigh, and in Washington.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Fourth Amendment: Isn't it clear?

"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."

That is the Fourth Amendment. See, contrary to the NRA, the Bill of Rights contains ten amendments, not just the Second. The Fourth says we are not to be searched, eavesdropped on, or otherwise snooped on by the government. It clearly states that anything that is to be searched for, which would include information, must be included in a legal warrant.

Judge Samual Alito voted to allow the sexual molestation of a ten-year-old girl, in the form of a strip search, even though she was not mentioned in any warrant, anywhere. Yet who will stand up for decency, for right, for the clear language of the Fourth Amendment? Don't look to the Republican majority who want unlimited gevernment power over the private lives of every person, and don't look to the Democrats who can't find the backbone, the common sense for crying out loud, to call him on this.

Now, terrorists are plotting further attacks on our country, and it is imperative that we thwart them. This thwarting includes wiretaps, etc., and the government has set up the FISA Court system to oversee the issuing of warrants for national security purposes. Granted, it is not always possible to get a warrant in a timely manner when events are breaking. That's why they have up to 72 hours AFTERWARD to get the warrant. The FISA court has approved tens of thousands of warrants and refused five. FIVE! So why does George W. Bush insist that it is so important that he have the ability to spy on Americans without a warrant, when getting one is so darned easy? What does he have to hide?

What Bush has done is clearly in direct violation of the clear language of the Fourth Amendment. Thus it is an impeachable offense. Will the Republican Congress impeach him? Do the Democrats have the backbone to stand up for America?

Don't hold your breath.