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Privacy Lost: The Death Of The 4th Amendment

November 23, 2012 by  

Privacy Lost: The Death Of The 4th Amendment

Technically speaking, the 4th Amendment died on Oct. 26, 2001. That’s when the misnamed USA Patriot Act was signed into law by George W. Bush (since renewed, including by Barack Obama last year). Since then, it’s been on life support: essentially brain dead, but still there in words though not application.

For those who failed to learn the Constitution during their incarceration in the U.S. non-education system, that one applies to privacy. It reads: “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 searched.”

The unPatriot Act gives the criminal law enforcement class carte blanche to violate the communications privacy of Americans — whether they are involved in crime or are innocent. The list of Constitutional violations in the act is too long to list in toto. I have outlined some of them over the years here, here, here and here. Among its most egregious violations are allowing law enforcement to access voice mail and to search homes, businesses telephones, email and financial records with a search warrant but without a court order and without the owner’s knowledge or consent. It also lowered the standard by which search warrants could be obtained — making them almost automatic — and expanded the court jurisdiction, making it possible to go judge shopping for warrants.

Only Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) opposed the original bill in the Senate. Sixty-six House members opposed the original bill: 62 Democrats, three Republicans and one independent. In subsequent renewals it has received almost no opposition.

Last week, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) proposed a bill that would have removed the 4th Amendment’s life support and sent it off to the hereafter, like most of the rest of the Constitution. It would have allowed more than 22 government entities to access Americans’ email, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts and Twitter messages without a search warrant. It would also have given the FBI and Department of Homeland Security more authority to gain full access to Internet accounts without informing the owner or a judge.

Among the bill’s lowlights:

  • It grants warrantless access to Americans’ electronic correspondence to more than 22 Federal agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Reserve (which is not even a Federal agency), the Federal Trade Commission, the National Labor Relations Board and the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission. Only a subpoena is required, not a search warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.
  • It permits State and local law enforcement to access — without a warrant — Americans’ correspondence stored on systems not offered “to the public,” including university networks.
  • It authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a warrant — or subsequent court review — if they claim “emergency” situations exist.
  • It says providers “shall notify” law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell their customers that they’ve been the target of a warrant, order or subpoena.
  • It delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed from three days to “10 business days.” This notification can be postponed by up to 360 days.

After CNET News published an article Tuesday exposing the bill, the outcry became so great that Leahy announced that night on Twitter that he was dropping support of warrantless access.

That such a bill would even be considered is remarkable until one remembers that it was this time last year that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) came into being. Signed into law on New Year’s Eve, all the NDAA does is “legalize” the indefinite detention of Americans, allowing law enforcement to snatch them off the streets and hold them in secret locations for any reason or no reason and without trial for eternity. Obviously, the political class cares not a whit about the Constitution.

Leahy’s dropping of the warrantless access provision is a win for privacy. But don’t rest easy just yet; entities within the U.S. government law enforcement apparatus, the U.S. Congress and the United Nations are working daily to gain control of the Internet.

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • Buster the Anatolian

    Good article Mr Livingston.

    • Vigilant

      Mr. Livingston says, “For those who failed to learn the Constitution during their incarceration in the U.S. non-education system, that one [4th Amendment] applies to privacy.”

      Before any Conservative decides to champion the “right to privacy,” they should seriously consider that it was the activist proponents of the Constitution as a “living” document who CREATED the “right.”

      Yes, to use the words of Justice Hugo Black in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), “the right to privacy is to be found nowhere in the Constitution.” He was correct.

      The “right” “was created by being discovered in 1965 in ‘penumbras, formed by emanations’ from the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments.” (Walter Berns, “Taking the Constitution Seriously”)

      Once established, it became the basis for Roe v. Wade, and in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), Justice Kennedy “described the ‘right to privacy’ found in Griswold as the ‘most pertinent beginning point’ in the evolution of the concepts embodied in Lawrence,” (Wikipedia), regardless of the fact that the opinion in Lawrence was framed in terms of the right to liberty.

      The 4th Amendment is indeed a guarantee against “unreasonable searches and seizures;” it does not establish a right to privacy.

      • kibitzer3

        Excellent points, Vigilant. O what a tangled web we weave…

        The rot started in even earlier, in my estimation, when activist-minded legal beagles used the 14th Amendment’s ‘due process clause’ to overturn the whole thrust of the Constitution, and make of it a contract applying FROM the federal government TO the States/the people. The ‘principle’ used there was a high-falutin’ phrase (these lawyers…) called ‘incorporation’ – that all of the rights referred to in the Bill of Rights, preventing the federal government from doing such-and-such (known as ‘negative rights’), were now to be applied the other way around; when all the 14th said was that no State shall deprive any of its citizens – who were, by the enactment of that amendment, also now citizens of the United States – of life, liberty or property, “without due process of law”. That is, that no State’s laws or actions shall be arbitrary. Nothing about turning the Constitution on its head. If that had been the intent of the14th, its architects could have proposed an amendment that said: “All the powers formerly reserved to the States or to the people shall now be found within the purview of the federal government” – and let’s see how THAT would have gone down with the lawmakers of the time. No. This ‘incorporation’ business has been a fraud from the git-go. And the American people need to understand these things. They are giving up on a form of government that they really don’t understand properly.

        There’s that ‘education’ issue again…

  • zenphamy

    In what ‘Bizzaro’, Orwellian world does a Senator from the ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ State offer such a law! How have we come to this, and more importantly, where are we headed? Ron Paul said in his retirement speech that ‘The Constitution has failed.” No Ron, we have failed.

    • Walter & Renee Agard

      There are many things in the law that are not applied.Like, people take things and turn it to their own meaning or plainly breaking the law.

  • Kinetic1

    Mr. Livingston,
    I, like you have no love for the “Patriot Act.” I was appalled that President Bush was able to use 9/11 to push this monstrosity through and furious when President Obama supported it’s continuation (ultra Liberal my A$$). I do, however take umbrage with your incessant attacks on our education system. I realize that the right has as one it’s goals to end Federal involvement or privatize anything and everything, but I disagree with the assumption that education would improve simply by getting it out of government hands.

    I have worked with my children’s teachers for many years. I have graded and sorted papers, assisted children who were having trouble in a subject and provided a male presence when needed to keep some children in line. What I found was not a lack of ability or dedication on the teacher’s part. They work long hours for little money, the class rooms are underfunded to the point that teachers often have to buy supplies out of pocket, and the materials are often outdated. No, the problem lies with the students and their parents. Disrespectful children and parents who won’t even take the time to help their children learn their ABCs create a class room where a small group requires extra attention and extra resources. This is not often an issue in private schools where they have the option of kicking students out for their failures. Privatize all schools and they inherit this problem. End federal involvement and you eliminate the general guidelines, but the parents remain the same.

    Respect for k-12 teachers has been on a steady decline, often prompted by the “Right Wing Talking Heads” and individuals like your self. Claims that they are all empty headed liberals is nonsense and the idea that their union demands are the source of our educational system’s troubles are clearly more a part of the attack on unions in general then a thoughtful discussion of how to fix our schools. It’s time for a thoughtful discussion on restoring respect in the classroom and how our schools are administered.

    • DaveH

      How do you explain the “Honest” Abe Hoax, Kinetic? Did the kids just learn that at recess? To imagine that Government wouldn’t tout Big Government to the children in the Government-Controlled schools is just that — pure imagination.
      Our “primitive” (at least according to the Progressive Propaganda) ancestors knew over 300 years ago the potential for indoctrination that existed when Government was allowed to control the schools. How have so many decent people come to believe otherwise?

      • kibitzer3

        Just wanted to thank you, DaveH, for the link to the libertarian ”take’ on the various American education system proposals from the beginning. Very enlightening; a very fair and balanced article. Much food for thought. I highly recommend it to all concerned, in our busy schedules.

      • DaveH

        Thank you, Kibitzer.

    • eddie47d

      In Dave H’s mind it always has to be Progressive propaganda or blame the Liberal and so forth. Lincoln was a Republican and most Republicans were and still are Conservative. If there is a history being sold on Abraham Lincoln it was brought to us courtesy of Republicans. Time for Dave to get a reality check for that history was written long before Progressive was a common word.

      • CJ

        Lincoln’s ‘Republican’ party is NOTHING like that of today. They are similar in name only. The activities of the 19th centruy party have more in common to the 21st century Democrats. I use the example of Lincoln forcing Tennessee to rejoin the union by only allowing citizens of the state who voted for him in his election, or would swear loyalty to him, to vote on rejoining. As mentioned, the education ‘system’ in the U.S. has biased the understanding of history in its favor, which is far from the facts.

      • Sam Boes

        There is an ironic reason the GOP color today is “red” on the maps. Lincoln, Fremont and the rest of the founders of the GOP before the War between the States were progressives and many of their number were Socialists who fled from the failed Socialist Revolutions in Europe in 1848: they came to America to get a new start – in promoting their ideals. They did it in a way that gave the appearance of following traditional American politics, but THEY are the ones that turned many of the states which remained LOYAL to the Union into military dictatorships (Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio), THEY are the ones that precipitated the crisis and set up the temptation to hotheads in South Carolina to fire the first shots, THEY are the ones that set up the Indian Reservation system, THEY are the ones whose military occupation of the South poisoned black-white relations, THEY are the ones who created the first American empire of the Philippines and all the other conquests from Spain, and if not originating then tacitly supporting and not repealing the policies of Wilson, FDR, and Johnson. So don’t think that the real leadership – the elite – of the GOP today is anything remotely resembling “conservative” or even “American.”

      • DaveH

        As usual, Eddie spouts his zealous Propaganda of “Conservative” Republicans. There are few of them, Eddie, with the bulk of Republicans being NeoConservatives.
        Lincoln was far away from being a Conservative. You would know that, Eddie, if you spent time reading instead of gracing us with your useless conjecture.

      • eddie47d

        Dave please check into the nearest port O potty and get rid of your overload,thanks! Both ends are over runneth!

      • Vigilant

        CJ says:

        “I use the example of Lincoln forcing Tennessee to rejoin the union by only allowing citizens of the state who voted for him in his election, or would swear loyalty to him, to vote on rejoining.”

        CJ, you brought that up before and I already shed the light on the falsehood that it is.

        You may enlighten us with how to overcome the physical impossibilities of (1) the fact that Tennessee had no Republican ballots in the 1860 election, and (2) the fact that Tennessee was still at war with the Union and therefore had no participation in the election of 1864. So how many “citizens of the state who voted for him in his election” would that yield?

        Moreover, no talk of “forcing” anyone to rejoin the Union was ever heard from Lincoln’s lips. Lincoln’s plan for reconstruction was very lenient (read his second inaugural address). And most certainly did he NOT want anyone to “swear loyalty to him.”

        “Before the war was over, Lincoln began thinking about how to rebuild the South. Lincoln firmly believed that the more quickly southern states were restored, the faster the wounds of the nation would heal. Lincoln wanted to make the process as easy as possible for southerners.

        “Lincoln’s plan for Reconstruction is called the Ten Percent Plan. When ten percent of the population of a southern state swore loyalty to the Union, the state could form a new government and elect members to Congress. As part of the plan, Lincoln offered amnesty…to anyone who had supported the Confederacy but now swore loyalty to the restored Union…As fate would have it, Lincoln never got the chance to implement his plan.

        “Lincoln’s plan was very generous, and some Republicans in Congress objected to it. Instead of supporting Lincoln’s plan, Congress passed the Wade-Davis Bill in 1864. Under this plan, a majority of voters (51 percent) had to swear loyalty to the Union. Also, anyone who had fought for the Confederacy could not vote or hold political office. Lincoln vetoed the bill, so it did not take effect.” (

        Please check both the logic and historical facts before you post such nonsense again. And blame the radical Republicans in Congress for a corrupt and unfair Reconstruction, not Lincoln. You are entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts.

    • CaroleAnn

      I agree with you on the subject of education, public schools educated the majority of us during our country’s greatest times. I also disagree with privatizing everything, that only makes services out of reach to most people.

      But the Patriot Act is too important to shove aside.

      • DaveH

        Read this book, CaroleAnn, to see just how mistaken you are:
        Of course services and goods are pricier these days. There are numerous reasons why, but the main reasons all start with that Big Government that you think is “protecting” you.
        The main reason is the Federal Reserve creating counterfeit money out of thin air, which results in higher prices because there are more dollars chasing the scarce goods and services in our economy, and which results also in diluting the value of Mom and Pop’s savings and fixed incomes thus essentially robbing them of their wealth.
        Another big reason is that Government spends 40% of our GDP. Compare that to the year 1900 when they spent only 6% of our GDP. If somebody is taking most of your money, there isn’t much left to buy the things you need or desire.
        Then there is the loss in productivity that results from diverting financial assets from the Private Sector, where they would have largely been used for Capital Investments resulting in more and cheaper goods and services, to the Public Sector (Government) where they will be consumed.
        And also there is the loss in productivity that results from Government operatives harassing the Producers in society. So basically they take our money and then use it to harass us. How wonderful.

      • Vicki

        CaroleAnn writes:
        “I also disagree with privatizing everything, that only makes services out of reach to most people.”

        If private, what services do you think would be out of reach to most people and why?

      • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Roland

        I don’t believe that privatizing education is out of reach for most people. Maybe for some they’d have to sacrifice something, drugs, alcohol, or something else they just couldn’t do without. Most kids graduating high school can’t even fill out a job application, or even read what it says. It’s a known fact that public, schools of the “state”, dummy the kids down. As for the poor teachers, 1/2 your tax bill goes for public schools, but yet the kids have to go out & sell candy, & whatever else the board of “education” can come up with, so the kids have learning tools. But yet the teachers are getting their steady pay raises.
        The less fortunate, use all kinds of crutches as an excuse why they can’t do or have anything, unless the govt. helps.

      • DaveH

        Public School Costs vs. Private School Costs:

        “Once all private and taxpayer-funded costs are included for both systems, the ratio of total public school costs to total private school costs is less clear, but is probably about 2:1.”

    • Sam Boes

      Dear Kinetic 1:
      Believe me, the “public schools” (government-run, tax-funded) are key parts of the transnational liberal agenda. My parents were both public school teachers and got out of the system when they could no longer teach the truth (and my mother was a MUSIC and ART teacher!, my father a social studies/history teacher) and when discipline and standards were destroyed. I myself taught as a substitute teacher while going to college (I was an Army Cadet and now am an Army officer): I’ve seen the deterioration for decades: my sons spent some time in public schools mostly to let them see the evil in it; they were schooled at home and in private schools so that they could LEARN. The school system we have today was imported from Prussia specifically to “make good citizens” which could be controlled by government and industry, but as Americans tend to do, we “improved it” to make it into a hideous system which both makes the student malleable and subject to control by their “betters” and effectively dumbs them down to the lowest possible common denominator. Teachers who stay in and support the system with its sickening (and intentional) flaws and results deserve no respect: either they are hypocrites or they are themselves products of the brainwashing they are now giving students and incapable of human reasoning. This especially goes for the teachers who claim to be religious.

      • Kinetic1

        Please, what “truth” were you parents restricted from teaching?

        • Samuel C. Boes

          The ones that stick in my head, decades later now, are such as these:
          (a) The causes of the War Between the States in 1861: my father got in trouble for teaching that slavery was NOT the cause of the war, but an excuse.
          (b) The events leading up to Pearl Harbor in 1941, and the causes of that war in the Pacific: my father got in trouble for teaching that FDR basically egged on the Japanese in order to use that as an excuse to go to war against Germany, and that the US had adequate warning to be ready for the attack.
          (c) That Wounded Knee in 1890 was NOT a necessary battle to protect settlers but instead a massacre of many innocent women and children; same thing for Sand Creek Massacre and the Battle of the Washita: my father refused to make George Armstrong Custer into a demigod and hero.
          (c) That Christmas is NOT actually the birthday of Jesus Christ (this was an issue my mother faced, in those long-ago days when public schools considered Christmas to be a sacred holiday and musical programs had to be mostly Christmas hymns and religious songs and singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was considered sacreligious).
          (d) That the NEA and its state affiliates were actually Unions and not “professional associations.”
          Those are the ones that I recall from 50 years ago: there were others. My parents were “independents” and I remember at one school they got in trouble for voting for a Democrat, and in another school they got in trouble for voting for a Republican. They taught, all together, in six different states in their teaching careers. My mother eventually starting teaching music and voice and art privately, and my father became a full-time Reservist and technician for the Army Reserve.

      • DaveH
      • Kinetic1

        Thank you. I appreciate your willingness to share, though if I might push a little further I’m curious to know what states they taught in. It probably makes little difference so many years down the road, but it’s often interesting to see what issues remain.


      Arguments and sides picked seem to be about whose ox is being gored. No?

    • larry ryan

      Anything the constitution does not specifically tell the government to do, it is forbidden to do. Amongst others, the Department of Education, Engery Department and EPA are unconstitutional. Whether they are good or bad entities is irrelevant. The are UNCONSTITUTIONAL. If they do so much good and are so wonderful (a premise a stongly doubt) they should easily stand up to being put in the constitution by the ammendment process. Until then, they are illegal, not that doing illegal and unconstitutional acts seems to bother goverment polititians and bureaucrats much.

    • ibcamn

      you have both good and bad points to what you say kinetic1,but we dont need pre-k or headstart,that part is the parants responsability,too many people want to shove their kids into school earlier as a babtsitter!some parents have no time(in their world)for their kids,some simply because they dont want to be parents(unwanted pregonancy)parents shove their kids outside all day and dont care what they do.that started people thinking differant at pta meetings and fundraisers for school money(put it torwards a new class or after school program)and it just snoballs out of control, from there enter the union because now teachers complain of more work and no extra pay to school board or mayor ,etc..and all the points you talk of come into play.It all may come down to time,we the people allowed all this to start and now we are all screwed and bitching about it because we sat on our asses!!

      • Kinetic1

        I wish it were that simple. Parents who are forced to work several jobs or unusually long hours often fail to provide the discipline necessary for children entering Kindergarten. I can’t tell you the number of kids I’ve worked with who don’t know how to act with other kids, or can’t sit till long enough to hear a Dr. Seuss book. My children both attended pre-school (which I paid for) just for the opportunity to learn those important social skills.

      • DaveH

        Kinetic says — “I wish it were that simple”.
        It is that simple, Kinetic. All you have to do is quit voting for your own self-interest and let people choose their own education for their own children.

        Kinetic says — “Parents who are forced to work several jobs or unusually long hours often fail to provide the discipline necessary for children entering Kindergarten”.
        Then quit voting for the Progressives who have ruined our economy, thus Forcing many families to need two wage earners.

      • DaveH

        Kinetic says — “My children both attended pre-school (which I paid for) just for the opportunity to learn those important social skills”.
        Oh yeah, Social Skills. My son was in 5th grade. He brought a note home saying that he needed to go to the School Psychologist. I asked why. I didn’t want my son to bear the stigma of having to attend a session with a Psychologist unless it was something pretty important. They said he was staying in the classroom during recess and reading instead of going out and playing with the other kids and developing Social Skills. Oh, the Horrors. So they would risk stigmatizing my son with a visit to the School Psychologist because he preferred learning to playing.
        You Gotta love these Progressives.

      • Kinetic1

        Children learn social skills from playing together. I’ve worked with several home schooled children who’s socialization was limited to siblings and they often have a hard time of it when it comes time to join the rest of the world. They’re not dumb or behind in their lessons, but simply out of touch socially.

        Pre-school was a good launching pad for my kids, but then I took some time to research first and insure that the pre-school was what I expected. Both had a good head start on school and both have done very well. As they have grown they have also developed their own ways. My son is very social but does not care for sports, which can be an issue. My daughter, on the other hand prefers to have just one or two good friends and also values her “alone time” like your son. Yes, there are those who consider both of them odd, and some have suggested seeking help for my daughter’s “shyness”, but no one has ever tried to force the issue.

    • Stuart Shepherd

      Kinetic 1- Mr. Livingston didn’t say YOU when he was referring to the educational system. YOU sound like a wonderful, dedicated, hard-working professional of good character to me. He was referring to both the system and the overall level of achievement, both of which are BEYOND PATHETIC!! I blame the system and the character of the vast majority of the union-mentality teachers. Education, like everything else, is best organized and successfully accomplished at the local and individual level where there is ACCOUNTABILITY. Equally destructive to education is the total breakdown of our social institutions- namely the family and otherwise, which was primarily a result of the women’s movement, abortion, gay rights, etc. Because of this, and because of lack of parental involvement and an attitude of “entitlement” (to a quality education, etc) I believe we are beyond hope and really completely doomed in every way within another generation. There are too few people of character, like yourself, to hold things together any longer. thank you for what you do.

    • tlgeer

      Very well said.

      I already knew about the long hours (not just classroom time), the low pay, the fact that they often buy materials for their classes because they are no longer issued (they were when I was growing up, of course we still had field trips, too). What I learned when my son’s were in school is that very, very few parents come to any of the functions designed to let them know the school’s administration and their children’s teachers.

      I made sure that my children’s teachers knew that they could contact me about anything, and if they saw a problem starting that I wanted to hear about it. I made sure that they had my contact numbers, and they didn’t just see me a few days year.

      My younger son was late for school every single morning. It took him 30 minutes to get from his bedroom to the dining room (just a hallway). He had to pet each pet, and talk to them. I decided one day that I had had enough. I got him to school, late as usual, and I pulled around to the office parking lot. I went in to talk to the Principle. I asked her what kind of clothes that I had to legally bring my son to school in. When she asked me why, I told her about my son’s reason for being late every morning. And that what I wanted to do was to haul him off in the car, and get him to school, in whatever clothes he was wearing when it was time to leave for school.

      She told me that he had to legally wear shoes. lol

      When I picked him up after school I told him about my talk with the Principle, and that in the future he would walk into his classroom in whatever he was wearing when it was time to leave for school. He was horrified that I talked to the Principle (he was in 5th grade) and he was ready to leave for the next three months and the end of that school year.

      The Principle said that she wished more parents were willing to take a hard line with their children. Me, too.

      • Kinetic1

        One of the best tools for parents today is the internet. My children’s teachers post their homework assignments and a chart of past assignments and grades that I can check as I wish. Once a week I check it over and if my child’s grades are slipping I can review test results, missed assignments, etc. As long as there is a computer at home there are few excuses for any child in our school system to fail.

    • Old Henry

      Ever wonder K1 how they were able to get that monstrocity written, voted on / passed, signed into law in less than six weeks? Hmmmm…

      Does it all seem just a litle too coincidental?

    • DaveH

      Kinetic says — “They [Teachers] work long hours for little money”.
      Oh please. They may or may not have been true many decades ago, but the teachers are very well paid in most states, and there are usually many people seeking those positions. That would be especially so, if they weren’t throwing up regulatory hoops to exclude many who would be good teachers but don’t want to jump through the BS Teacher Certification hoops which are meant primarily to protect the jobs of existing Teachers from competition.

      • DaveH
      • DaveH

        Average Teacher Salaries by State:

        Average Teacher Salary in California, for instance, is $67,871. And consider the fact that they only work about 9 months each year.

        The only true test of Teacher Worth is to subject the Schools to Free Markets. The excellent schools would get more students, more money, and no doubt their average Teachers would make higher salaries. And no doubt their best Teachers would earn the most money. Free Markets separate the BSers from the Real Producers, as it should be.

      • DaveH

        Here is a list of 10 most popular jobs:

        Funny, isn’t it, that the job (teaching) — which Kinetic describes as “They work long hours for little money, the class rooms are underfunded to the point that teachers often have to buy supplies out of pocket, and the materials are often outdated” — would rank as the 6th most popular job?

      • Kinetic1

        You never quit with the games, do you. You must be aware that you picked the most expensive states to live in as a source. Of course teachers earn more in California! Try to get by on $30,000 a year in a state where a “relatively basic, 2,200-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-car garage house” would cost $1.18 MILLION in La Jolla, $1.77 MILLION in Santa Monica and $1.27 MILLION in San Jose. Of course these are some of the most expensive areas, but in Roanoke, Virginia, that house costs about $220,942.

        Speaking of the site “Teacher Portal”, while gathering your facts you seem to have missed (or purposely avoided) this information;
        “California is the 2nd top state for average salaries for teachers, but don’t be fooled. With such a high cost of living, you’ll definitely want to get your masters degree to increase your salary. In fact, California is the single most important place we stress getting that higher degree for that very reason.”

        And why is the job still among the most popular? Because some people consider the rewards associated with working with children more important than becoming wealthy.

      • Kinetic1

        Oh Daaave,
        “… teachers spent on average $356 of their own money on supplies and resources, including an average of $170 on supplies and $186 on instructional materials.”

        “Despite the total $1.33 billion out of pocket price tag for classroom materials, average individual teacher expenditures were actually down this year compared with previous studies: $395 in a 2007-2008 NSSEA study and $552 in a 2005-2006 NSSEA study.”

        And why are they spending less? Because their cost of living has gone up and they just can’t continue sacrificing their own families for the class room.

  • Vicki

    The forth amendment was critically wounded over 40 years ago with the No-Knock policies of the federal governments war on (some) drugs. It was hit again when RICO shot the 5th. By the time the Patriot Act was passed most of the 4th and 5th amendments were quite dead.

    • DaveH

      Yep, and those “Wars” still go on despite the unnecessary violence committed by the Drug Warriors, and despite the lack of effectiveness.

    • eddie47d

      Thanks Vicki for I have brought that up more than once myself (Timeline). Indeed it has been coming for a mighty long time although I didn’t directly reference the No Knock raids.

      • DaveH

        It means so much more when it comes from the mouth of a credible person like Vicki.

      • Vicki

        What I don’t understand is that eddie47d obviously does understand certain aspects of government abuse (E.G. the war on (some) drugs) but is apparently totally blind to other aspects of government abuse. (E.G. confiscatory taxation, Total control of health care, “social” justice etc)

      • eddie47d

        I could say why are Conservatives so oblivious to the necessity of having taxes for a functioning society. Hard to find a rational discussion from their side either. I’d like to see some social and economic justice with Americas banksters but Conservatives get rather touchy on that subject.

      • DaveH

        Because, Eddie, taxes aren’t a necessity. Most of what Government does is not only UnConstitutional but unnecessary. We could do much better with privatized services in Free Markets absent the Government Monopoly.
        And in Free Markets only the people who actually use the services would pay for them, instead of Forcing Unwilling Participants to pay for other peoples’ services.

      • eddie47d

        Repeating your same ol’ mantra won’t make you any smarter Dave H. What is it about 500 times now, probably more. Try thinking on a human level instead of this continued peddling of arrogance .

      • DaveH

        It beats the heck out of your continual Trollish remarks, Eddie, from which the readers can learn nothing but how ignorant you are.

  • hipshotpercusion

    The fact of the matter is, that the so called Patriot act was actually penned during Bill Clinton’s tenure in the White House. If George Bush would have had a set of Balls, he would have never signed it. Now we have a Marxist who is also trying to further destroy whats left of OUR Constitution with the help of a compliant congress. I’m sorry to say that I see no other course for OUR Republic but 1776 revisited.Once a majority of America is hungry and homeless, the fun will start.

    • DaveH

      Most likely George Bush would have signed the bill, balls or not. Leaders are always pushing for absolute control.

      • czman75


    • Hedgehog

      Well said!

    • ibcamn

      what most people dont realize YET,is this country is going to hit bottom and then reset itself(as what who knows)read history,what happens to a gov’t like this one,that feeds off the have nots?big gov’t!when all the little people cant pay the taxes and the ruling govt cant take a thing in to pay itself or its loan from afar?!unions will turn and an uprising blah blah blah…read your history!!!

      • DaveH

        After it hits bottom, we will have no choice but to return to the Productivity that results from Capitalism. Then as the economy rebuilds, the numbers of non-productive takers will start growing again until the next useless experiment with Socialism starts.

      • kibitzer3

        The ‘saving grace’ that I see in all this, ibcamn and DaveH, is that we do indeed “hit bottom”, have a reset, which now – with history having gone globalized, and thus at a peak point; also described as Synthesis – takes us into a New Era for humanity. At least, those who can make the cut (based on their consciousness; recognizing us ALL as ‘spiritual beings having a human experience’).

        The rest will just have to continue to wrestle with these sorts of 3D conundrums. Until they ‘get it right’ – recognize the duality in all that is going on; for a purpose – and move up a notch on the spiritual stairway as well. Recognizing, that is to say, that it is all an exercise in a classroom.

        ‘The play’s the thing, in which to catch the conscience of’ us all.

  • Amelia

    The people have become careless in their watch over Congress and the Courts, forgetting or not knowing that we, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts,not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men/women who pervert the Constituiton, for the Founding Fathers made it inviolate.
    Our freedoms and liberty depends upon preserving the Constituiton of the United States. Any act of Government, against or without the consent of the People is injustice, usurpation, and tyranny.

    Our rulers have become corrupt because of the lack of interest of the people in watching over their actions. The people must unite and in a concerted effort while there may still be time to fix every essential right on a legal basis.

    The nation has been going downhill ever since 1913 when Pres Wilson gave the control of the Federal Resersve System to a agroup of international bankers instead of giving its control to Congress, in the House of Representatifes where it rightfully belongs.

    Once in Congress, our representatives forget the people and disregard their rights,never thinking of the rights guaranteed to the people by the Constitution which they are neglecting—the shackles they have placed will remain and grow heavier until the people wake up and demand a return to the Constituiton, or all rights shall expire, and once again there wil be a sudden awakening when they realize they no longer have rights or a Constitution to protect them.
    George Washington warned:
    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence; it is force.
    Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master;
    never for a moment should it be left to ir responsible action.

    Freedom is not free—it r equires constant watch by the people.
    Unless the people speak up now; we will find ourselves under a New World Order with a global government dictating our lives— taking the world back to the dark ages of slavery where man had no human dignity or freedoms.
    Yes, it can happen and is happening before our eyes.

    • CaroleAnn

      Well said. The people need to get to work, too bad many are working longer hours than ever and have less and less time for family or the crisis of their freedoms.

  • http://PersonalLiberty Donnie

    Amelia,Congress is not the problem.The people are the problem.Only 13% of the people were satisfied with what congresswas doing.But they still voted overwhelmingly to send the same failures back to DC.They know how to complain about Congress but they don’t know how to vote against the incumbants.Has something to do with the two party system.People don’t vote for the other party.So keep voting the same way and get the same results.That is what gets you a useless Congress.If we had people running for elections instead of parties running for elections things might change.But as long as we have a two party system things will only get worse.Get used to that fact.

    • JC

      You must be a carpenter by trade because you just hit the nail on tn the head!! Nothing will change until We the People understand what you just said.

      • Vicki

        He who counts the votes decides who wins and looses. With such an obvious disconnect between the people and the vote there is something afoot.

      • eddie47d

        Poll monitors are Republicans,Democrats and Independents so are suggesting they are all crooked.

  • Seaweeble

    If you have any doubts about the nature of the history being taught in our public schools just talk to a recent high school graduate. I own a small business and have the opportunity to hire the best and brightest kids from our local schools because of the easy schedule (no evenings past 7pm and all Sundays off). I have had 5 valedictorians in the past 10 years and their knowledge of the founding of our nation and the constitution was so abysmal as to be almost non-existent.
    I don’t blame the teachers per say, although, the teacher’s unions get a big share. The real downfall in education started with the formation of the federal department of education and removal of local control from the schools. If you really want to save this nation get the feds and the state government out of your schools. Parents should be choosing who and what is being taught to their children on a local level. Yes, some school districts will be much worse than others but that is the way of the world. Abraham Lincoln said ” all men are created equal” in the Gettysburg address. The constituion never said that. It said we are all granted the same rights by our creator. How we each use that right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (pursuit should be in capital letters, bold print, and underlined) is up to each individual.That is what we should be teaching our children.


    south of here, the local gendarmarie use military type swat squads; armored vehicles; tanks for busting the door down at hopefully the right house; midnight raids that go bad; and there are 3 million outstanding felony warrants in Los Angeles (illegal alien drug sanctuary city).
    I was caught speeding down the street and the officer said he should charge me with a ‘felony’ since i was racing with a vehicle he never saw?

    we are all eventually criminals with 3-4 thousand laws passed by the anchor babie legislature in sacredemento every year.

    TaxMeMoreVille, Mexifornia
    push 1 for English ONLY in the USA

    • ibcamn

      well harvey,you hit on something not too many people want to talk about,try being a biker in this about your rights being violated!i get the same s#@t just going for a ride anytime anyplace.they make up every reason and law they can to pull you over.the best one to date was that i was trying really hard NOT to make eye contact with him(officer),thats why he pulled me over.”suspiciouse”he called it later in court,and the judge allowed it!!!!


        I have been riding a mc since 1962. There were dozens of bad biker movies during the middle to late 60′s and alot of foolish people got paranoid when they saw someone riding a bike. to believe every biker was an outlaw was unbelieveable.

        I got stopped ['66] traveling from Albuquerque to Dallas because i was on a mc FOUR TIMES. 3 were in Texas. A friend and i would stop to get a bite to eat and they would tell us: we do not serve mc’s here. in a couple of places we did eat, 2 times a waitress called the cop who came in at 1 place and watched us until we left and then stopped us at the end of town to check registrations and licences.

        There huge gaps in the interstate system and we had to go the old hiways thru these traffic trap towns. I learned to avoid Jackboro Texas no matter what.
        I think that riding today is accepted as more NORMAL than when i started.
        And the Caliban hi way patrol does write up a biker faster than a sedan. We are 100% visible after being pulled over is my thinking.

        Harvey Steele
        ps I just sold my 02 Concours and am looking at a triumph.

  • cerebus23

    Some interesting points brought up here. like to commend everyone on the general level of discussion, the whole system needs to go, there is no amount of money, no new amount of regulation, we need to deregulate the federal government out of our schools, out of our businesses, out of our personal lives.

    the unions need a serious slap down, all of them have gained too much power and are no better than the big business tycoons of old that they were supposed to protect them from.

    Our whole political system needs to be gutted and remade almost whole cloth, we need term limits on all levels of government, we need public funding of political campaigns get the pacs and the businesses out of it, we need voting districts drawn up impartially, no more rejiggering of districts everytime a party takes power to favor them and them alone. Rotating comitties in government no people sitting on the same seat for 30 years and milking that in to vote buying for their districts. Line item veto.

    I predict an all out war if anything in this area goes out if it is by our government or the UN there are enough anarchists on the internet to cause major havok if they try and put these things in place. “Groups” like anon, will not sit still for something like this.

  • sj

    Our educational system is designed to stuff people in boxes and be good little workers. Compartmentalization at it’s best.It could be sooo much more…… educational.

  • tlgeer

    What is the bill number? Does it have any co-sponsors?

  • Robert Rashbrooke

    I read these posts almost daily, and it seems to me that most of the opinions broadcast are just DOGMA, and do not seriously reflect real life situations.

    Whilst i accept that the school system is broken, surely that is because we accept Comprehensive education instead of teaching to the student’s ability. UK changed from its tri-partite system (Grammar, technical and secondary modern) to Comprehensive despite knowledge of the damage it does to participating students. Ask the Swedes!

    To those people (predominantly Republican) who wish to remove many of the government departments, i.e., EPA , FEC etc., ask yourself WHY we have these organisations existing today, and mostly the reason turns out to be to protect the workforce from unscrupulous employers, as evidenced many times historically. Howard Zinn’s book elucidates this in an exemplary manner. Read up on how the Koch brothers conduct their businesses today and you may see a reason for continuing these practices.

    The heyday of the States would arguably be the period following WW11, when the standard of living rose appreciably for most Americans, and ending in the mid to late 70′s. That standard had been rising for the last 150 years but has now ended and it is NOT due to Obama’s policies. Listen to Professor Richard Wolff’s lectures for the causes of our decline.

    Republicans continued references to the wisdom and sagacity of the Founding Fathers flies in the face of academic investigation into the causes and method of the introduction of the Constitution.

    The reason for the introduction of the Patriot Act and NDAA is not because we the people have become more lawless, but because we have NO CONTROL over our politicians since we are a Republic and not a democracy.

    I am constantly amazed at the great depth of knowledge displayed by some of the posters and equally appalled at the lack of knowledge of English grammar and punctuation by others. Now that I am in my 70′s I see so many things differently from the way I did in my younger days, and having been a 14 year military veteran, and having worked for large organisations world wide since, have vacillated between pro union, anti union and now back to pro union. One has only to look at the vast sums spent by industry this last election to see how self serving businesses are – they are not concerned about the workforce or the country in general, but only on their own continued profitable existence, otherwise they could have spent that money increasing job availability or working conditions. They DO HAVE 1.7 trillion dollars stashed away in (often foreign) banks which are not being used for American job creation.

    • Vicki

      Robert Rashbrooke writes:
      “…but because we have NO CONTROL over our politicians since we are a Republic and not a democracy.”

      The failure of control of politicians is explicitly BECAUSE of democracy. Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. It is “tyranny of the majority”. It is US for failing to remove politicians who openly fail to follow their oath to support and defend the Constitution yet we send them back to do us again.

      In a Constitutionally LIMITED Republic (which is what we are btw) the government is explicitly forbidden to do anything beyond what few enumerated powers are delegated to it. In our particular Constitution there is additionally a list of (Bill of) Rights that explicitly FORBID the government from doing certain things.

      In spite of all of this the whole of the Constitution is nothing more than words on paper if we ignore those words and keep electing people who obviously don’t know them either or are deliberately ignoring them.

      • kibitzer3

        Well said, Vicki. And it clarifies something that Amelia said above that was a touch misleading, in an otherwise impeccable comment. She said:

        “Our freedoms and liberty depends [sic] upon preserving the Constituiton of the United States. Any act of Government, against or without the consent of the People is injustice, usurpation, and tyranny.”

        A Republic is rule by law. A democracy is rule by ‘the People’. Yes, ours is a government ‘of, by, and for The People’ – but not in the sense of majority rule. Rather, by elected representatives, and within the constraints of a constitution – i.e., the rule of law. For example, Obama got elected – APPARENTLY (another subject) – by a majority vote of ‘The People’; but he is still an illegal president, according to the rule of law – the Constitution.

        We got into this current predicament (not just regarding our Usurper in Chief) by a lack of understanding of the specifics of the Constitution by a lot of the citizenry (and here we get back specifically to the matter of ‘education’ in the country). And part of this, I think, is the ‘fault’ of the very thing that so many cite as a bulwark AGAINST a tyrannical federal government: the Bill of Rights. You cited it correctly, Vicki; but the fatal misunderstanding on the part of a lot of the citizenry, to my thinking, is the assumption that the federal government can do whatever else it is not explicitly forbidden to do in the Bill of Rights – and can even do those BoR things it is expressly forbidden to do if it can just tweak the meaning of words a touch. (As in the liberals’ penchant for declaiming the Constitution a ‘living document’, and thus susceptible to their tweaking of it the way they want it to read, rather than the SCOTUS interpreting it by the ‘principle’ of ‘original intent’; as if that were only one legitimate legalese way to approach the contract. But that’s another subject, too.) I am mentioning the danger that Madison himself foresaw regarding attaching a BoR to the Constitution that the Framers came up with: that it would lend to the impression that the federal ‘beast’ could do anything it wanted to do ABSENT those specifically forbidden powers; i.e., that its default position was all-power except what it was specifically denied by the BoR. If more of the public understood the importance of the 9th and 10th Amendments, we wouldn’t be in quite the pickle that we are in today – i.e., that the BoR is only an EXAMPLE of the powers not invested in the federal government; not a definitive list OF them.

        Incidentally, Madison finally came around to the idea of adding such a list because he could see that the Framers weren’t going to get their ratification by the States if there weren’t such a specific BoR included; the people of the day knowing how governments tend to work, over time, and trying to nail ours down as clearly and distinctly as they could. Well; they did their best. The rest would be up to their successors.

        Take a bow, us. Or not; as the case may well be, considering the pickle that we are indeed in, in our day. But then, as they say: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

        And what are YOU made of, Citizen????….

    • DaveH

      One question, Robert. If you’re so good, why do you need to Force your way on us with Big Government?

    • DaveH

      Robert says — “To those people (predominantly Republican) who wish to remove many of the government departments, i.e., EPA , FEC etc., ask yourself WHY we have these organisations existing today, and mostly the reason turns out to be to protect the workforce from unscrupulous employers, as evidenced many times historically”.
      Hardly Robert. If you’d do some investigation, you’d find that those agencies were instituted to give Politicians more Power, which Politicians always seek, and to stifle their Crony Capitalists’ competitors. It’s much easier for the Crony Capitalists to lobby for favors than for them to compete in a Free Market where any businessman (no matter how rich) can go belly up in a short matter of time if he doesn’t please his consumers.
      Here’s an example of the FDA’s creation by Theodore Roosevelt:


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