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The Surveillance State (January 19th)

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Did you sleep well last night? I certainly hope so, because while you slept our federal government was busy gathering information about you. 

Bet you don't remember giving them consent, do you? 

How about your bank or credit card company, did you give them permission to share your account activity, source of funds, and buying habits with the federal government? If you had transactions with the words "Trump" or "MAGA, or if you bought a Bible, if you legally purchased guns and ammunition, if you had any charges whatsoever in or around Washington DC in the days around January 6, 2021.... they know, they have the documentation, and to them, you a terrorist and a threat to democracy. 

I'm guessing you don't remember giving your consent for all of that, either.

That's because you didn't. Don't worry, they don't need or even want your permission. They are the imperial federal government, and that permission was taken, not granted, just like so many of your freedoms have been taken, not granted, especially in the past 20+ years beginning with the Patriot Act and metastasizing through the massive growth of the shadow unelected government that is our federal bureaucracies. 

That is the real swamp, not necessarily our elected officials who are much more, but still not really in any meaningful way, transparent. It is the unelected bureaucracies, protected by those power-hungry politicians, media, and unions, that according to the Cato Institute grew by 13.8% during the Bush presidency and by another 8% during the Obama presidency. 

By the way, the only bureaucracy that grew anywhere close to those numbers under Trump was Veterans Affairs, which grew by 13%, in case you were wondering about priorities. 

What if I told you that since 2006, 103 federal bureaucracies and agencies not contained in the Department of Defense, have spent a combined $3.7 billion on guns, ammunition, and military style equipment?  Of those 103 agencies, 27 are traditional law enforcement agencies like the DOJ or Homeland Security, but 76 of those agencies are not, including the EPA, IRS, and HHS, just to name 3, and are without a direct law enforcement purview. 

There are now more federal agents spread across those 103 departments with arrest and firearm authority, numbering about 200,000, than there are US Marines, who number about 186,000. And that's not counting the 87k new IRS agents that Biden, the democrats, and RINO's apportioned $45.7 billion to for "enforcement" in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act.

In so many ways they are, to quote the Rush tune, "The Enemy Within."

The founding fathers of this country knew that the farther the government was away from the people and the more centralized it became, the more detached, the more anonymous, more tyrannical, less accountable, and more dangerous it became. They revolted and won a war over that very thing. 

They set up a system that, at least on paper, we still have today, a constitutional republic based on federalism, not statism. The framers understood that a smaller government located closer to the people was better, that it would be less power hungry, more accountable, more efficient, and- to the extent that any government can be- more trusted.

Now, 240 years later we have a shadow government of unelected bureaucrats who don't trust we the people, and we the people cannot and had darn well better not trust them. 

I would argue that our biggest duty we face as a people not only for ourselves but for future generations, is to course correct, return the seats of government to the people not the powerful, to Main Street not K Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, and to reign in the growth and militarization of the surveillance state and bureaucracies. That power MUST belong to the people for the republic to survive. Our founders knew it, and we better learn it.

So when you make your decision on who to support and eventually vote for this year, let's make America less 1984 and more 1776. Our survival as a free people and the future of freedom worldwide depends on it. 

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