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Thursday, December 8, 2022
HomeNewsUSTruth Week: NSA Abuse of Patriot Act Is Just One Piece Of A Very Big Puzzle

Truth Week: NSA Abuse of Patriot Act Is Just One Piece Of A Very Big Puzzle

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt_jXgAZceg?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360]

It is getting to the point that we simply do not know what else will come out in the next 24 hour news cycle. However, it is not as if the NSA abusing the Patriot Act is something terribly shocking, nor will we learn that Verizon is the only company who was forced to comply with the rolling order.

The ACLU today said that they had every reason to believe that other cell phone carriers, as well as Internet carriers, were also subject to the same demands from the federal government. Much was made of the comments earlier by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner R-WI, author of the Patriot Act, who said in a statement:

I do not believe the broadly drafted [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.

That is all well and good, but did we really believe that the NSA, among various other agencies in the intel apparatus, were not spying on private American citizens? Mark Levin is dead right; we are somewhere in between a police state and who knows what anymore, but we are certainly no longer a constitutional republic. And we haven’t been since the Progressive Era, specifically, the passage of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments.

As I explained in the previous two days, which were the first two days of “Truth Week,” the Progressive Era couched good old fashion democratic despotism in the coo-shy language of “fairness” and other powerful one-liners. We have wavered way too far away from our founding principles, and it was not an accident.

Despite the rhetoric, or the Washington establishment’s largely successful efforts to calm our natural and uniquely American fears toward government, there has never been a period since the Progressive Era when the danger of government was any less severe.

In fact, in an age of such wide-spread technological advancement and proliferation of information, the danger of despotism may never have been greater than it is now in modern America. The degree to which Americans are bombarded through television, radio, the Internet, pop culture and many, many other venues with carefully crafted – poll tested – micro-targeted messaging campaigns filled with misinformation is absolutely astonishing.

Is it any wonder how despots keeps enjoying electoral victories? In academia, there is even a name for this despotic tactic – “rational ignorance.” It is the intentional placement of structural and psychological challenges within society that obstructs the pursuit and obtaining of truth; and that is if citizens even have the desire to obtain it in their spare time when they are not trying to make ends meet. God forbid there is an instance when someone does obtain, and even worse, attempts to teach others about the truth.

Ultimately, this is the ideology that produces that visceral offense toward any reformation to the education monopoly, because after all, education is the most lethal weapon against tyranny, which brings me to a man named Mr. Ben Chavis.

When researching the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina for “Our Virtuous Republic,” I had the pleasure and privilege to conduct interviews with tribal leadership. For background, the Lumbee Tribe is far and away the most autonomous Indian nation in the United States, and consequentially, they do not receive federal assistance, which in reality has perpetuated the miserable state of dependence suffered by many Indian nations. The key to the Lumbee Tribe’s success, who by the way are ardent practitioners of the American ethic, is the focus and community-based design of Lumbee education.

Ironically, education is operated and conducted much the same way that New England education during the era of John Adams’ Congregational Church was conducted – locally. American Indian Model charter schools, otherwise known as AIM, are among the most highest performing schools in the United States, and definitely California – that is, before the government set out to destroy them, the lives of the children who attended them, and the man who began it all – Ben Chavis.

The OUSD, or Oakland school board voted to close AIM charter schools, even in the face of crying minority families who took the time to engage and attend the board meeting in protest. Andrew Caulson, an education policy scholar at CATO, studied the superiority of the American Indian Model charter schools and wrote:

The Oakland school board has voted 4-3 to shutter three of the highest-performing schools in the state: the American Indian Model charter schools. The decision was based on alleged fiscal improprieties by Ben Chavis, former head of the schools and the man who raised them to educational greatness. It was the wrong decision.

I’ve visited the AIM schools several times, interviewed students, staff and graduates, conducted regression studies of the performance of California’s charter schools, and gotten to know Chavis a little. Last December, I testified before a U.S. Senate committee on how AIM schools have created an island of calm and learning in a sea of scholastic dysfunction.

In a 2011 study, I found that AIM is the highest-performing charter school network in the state, by a wide margin. That is after controlling for student characteristics and schoolwide peer effects.

Of course, Mr. Chavis has not been charged with a crime, nor is there a single shred of evidence to back-up the accusations. He even put his hands out and offered his own freedom – by requesting to be taken to jail – as long as the board would not close the school. Here is the story about this supposedly corrupt man, as told by one of his students:

Mr. Chavis paid $500 out of his own pocket in order to ensure placement for this young lady. How many stories have we heard about proponents of big government demonstrating deeds of charity in this fashion? Probably because they are too busy destroying people’s character, spying on U.S. citizens, and targeting – whether through the IRS or labor unions – private American citizens who just so happen to understand that government’s nature is to be tyrannical and oppress.

As I stated earlier today, Mark is also correct to say “that we are not a constitutional republic anymore,” and that we better “wake the hell up.” Because like Levin, “I don’t know what the hell we are anymore” either. Tapping the phones and confiscating the records of reporters is just one piece of a much bigger puzzle that also includes the prohibition of knowledge, such as the effort to destroy AIM and Mr. Chavis – and it was successful.

Don’t forget to follow and tweet #Truth to @Peoples_Pundit or @LauraBaris to receive your discount code for the new book “Our Virtuous Republic” and help spread the truth, while supporting veterans through the action of civil society. Learn more here in Hometown Veterans Outreach Letter.

Sign & Stop Susan Rice from serving as National Security Advisor!

  • Author of the Patriot Act says NSA Action is a “Big Deal” (richardbaris.wordpress.com)

Written by
Data Journalism Editor

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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