There’s this thing where, if someone does something good for you, like makes really nice cakes, you tell the person “these cakes are good” and the person makes more nice cakes. If the person makes bad cakes and you tell the person “these cakes are good” then you are going to end up with a lot of bad cakes.

The same idea applies toward the government. When the government demonstrates merit, then it’s fine to say, “good government!” When the government does something, like, say, I don’t know, mass surveillance and targeted surveillance without a warrant, the government must be told “bad government!” If people like me and you don’t say “bad government!” to mass surveillance and targeted surveillance without a warrant, then me and you are going to end up with a lot more warrantless surveillance.

The Bill of Rights draws a circle. The circle is the line which, under no circumstances, may the federal government nor its agents cross.

The September 11, 2001 attacks have been something which gained a lot of attention. I mean, there are 50,000 Americans who died of suicide in 2023, but for some reason, when a few planes kill 2,996 people all at once, then we have to act completely different or whatever. Should we do stuff so planes don’t fly into the buildings? Of course. But let’s not act like more government departments and agencies are going to banish death. Oh, you want to, checks notes, prevent anyone from ever dying again? Good luck with that. There were 15,129 deaths from gang violence in America in 2017. In numbers, ~5 9/11s happened in 2017 from people in America shooting each other, but that’s not what some people are paying attention to. The 50,000 Americans who died of suicide last year is like ~16 9/11s happening over 12 months, but that’s not what some people pay attention to. So next time you hear “never forget,” or whatever, maybe consider suicide in America was, strictly speaking, ~16 times more lethal in the 12 months spanning 2023 than a few planes hijacked by weird Muslim guys 23 years ago.

Let’s dive into all this attention paid to the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 attacks shocked the nation. If you haven’t heard of “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein, I highly reccomend the book. The 9/11 attacks were the shock. Then came a wave of garbage. Should America fight a war in Iraq because a weird Muslim guy from Saudi Arabia is hiding out in, checks notes, the mountains of Pakistan? Bad government! I mean, the stuff makes literally zero sense. Once the American population was shocked, certain people saw the American population as malleable, as it were, for whatever. Then decisions were made. Those decisions are decisions which have had impacts which have lasted decades at this point.

What else happened after the “shock” of the 9/11 attacks? The Patriot Act is one of those things chucked into the pages of history after the “shock” of the 9/11 attacks.

“Hastily passed 45 days after 9/11 in the name of national security, the Patriot Act was the first of many changes to surveillance laws that made it easier for the government to spy on ordinary Americans by expanding the authority to monitor phone and email communications, collect bank and credit reporting records, and track the activity of innocent Americans on the internet. While most Americans think it was created to catch terrorists, the Patriot Act actually turns regular citizens into suspects,” per the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Patriot Act is a bad law. Bad government! The Patriot Act is code for doing search without a warrant.

What does the summary of the text of the Patriot Act say? The Patriot Act “allows internet service providers to disclose customer records voluntarily to the government in emergencies.” Oh, so like, all the time? There are literally a bunch of emergencies which have been said to exist by various presidents which have also not been declared over. And now this new law says, well, as long as there’s an “emergency” going on, then internet service providers have to fork over these records to whoever asks for them.

The Patriot Act is an example of how the federal government has stepped across the clear, bright line which says that unless a judge has signed a search warrant the federal government may not search a person and his effects, which includes his computer, which includes his internet activity on the computer he bought with the money earned at his job. Bad government!

The Patriot Act is code for search without a warrant because of an “emergency.” There are numerous emergencies said to be happening even though the country doesn’t have, I don’t know, North Korean troops on the Minnesota border or something or like a bunch of North Koreans who have invaded North Dakota. If a bunch of North Koreans had invaded North Dakota then I could understand the declaration of an emergency. There are people to fight those guys, but for some people in North Dakota, is a bunch of North Koreans shooting at you an emergency? I can see that argument being made.

There’s currently an “emergency” over the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. (Was there an emergency declared with regard to Saudi Arabia after 17 of the 19 hijackers were found to have been Saudi Arabian nationals?) Of course Americans being held hostage is not cool and not good. But is the fact Americans were held hostage from 1979 to 1981 an “emergency” in 2024? I mean, the emergency for the hostages ended literally 42 years ago. All of the presidents since Jimmy Carter have not ended this “emergency.” Bad government! The emergency ended. Just say that.

Bill Clinton said there were five emergencies during his time which, to this day, have not been declared over. All of these emergencies are a pretext for the government to do search without a warrant. Bad government!