"Too Much Government"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, March 10, 2012

With the daily swings in the political arena, I have concluded we have reached a point where it really doesn’t matter what any of us think. So I think I’ll go back to ignoring the subject.

Having said that, I do not plan on avoiding topics regarding government takeovers and questionable moves. Why did we develop Privacy Acts? They define why and how our personal information is guarded and in what cases it may be released. Repeatedly, we are given complete sheets of reading material which we are required to sign acknowledging our understanding and awareness of the protections we have.

Why after placing the Privacy Laws into place did we follow them up with the Patriot Act? The multiple layers of definitions of the Patriot Act are written to defy understanding. Basically, they allow FBI and or CIA officials to look at our personal information. Examining bank accounts, books signed out at the library and more are allowed if a person is suspected of even being associated with a suspected terrorist group. All these “acts” can be done without warrants and may include wire taps of PCs, homes and cell phones or any electronic device.

Civil libertarians say the scope of the Patriot Act language is far too broad and encourages unlimited sharing of information regardless of the need. Critics speak out saying, “Information related to terrorism or espionage is the only data that should be accessed.”

All of the ramifications and definitions of the Patriot Act are covered in 24 pages on Wikipedia. Mine is just a brief exerpt.

Why do we have the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)? Their assignment is to oversee air traffic, TV, radio, telephone, GPS and other satellite communications.

Some actions by the FCC’s control of the airways, however, may create dangerous conditions due to overlapping frequencies, some private others military. Does that make sense to you? It certainly leaves room for query in my mind.

How about our Food & Drug Administration (FDA)? In the past few days, it has decided to approve a new drug; Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate, known as GHB. They already know the drug can cause serious problems for users but announce, “It will probably help more people than it will harm.” Doesn’t that make you want to run to your doctor and get a prescription for this drug? You can test it on yourself and see if it causes you harm. But, isn’t that what the FDA is supposed to do? In fact, they did when they banned the sale and manufacturer of GHB in 1990. (They must have forgotten about that).

If you watch TV ads (sometimes they are better than the programming), every other one is for a drug company advertising their latest and greatest concoction. The sales pitch may say it gives you muscles bigger than superman, stops headaches before they start, causes you to sneeze, or may cause death. The only problem with these announcements is they don’t say which action will hit you or how you can chose the one you’d like. Since the FDA approved the use of the drug, it might be OK.

Isn’t that a little like lighting a fuse on what could be a firecracker, yet may actually be a bomb? The FDA is a very large, multi-faceted agency that provides many jobs. It also provides jobs for advertisers including a group whose ads may state: “Have you taken ABC medication or had a heart attack? We may be able to recover funds to compensate you for these inconveniences including those that cause death. If you’ve had a problem call lawyer No. 1 to 10 to learn how he or she may make you rich,” or at least themselves, if enough people participate in a class action suit.

Another government agency that should cause some concern is the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) created in response to 9-11 within the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2003, it was moved into Homeland Security and given wide authority over air, rail, highway, bus, mass transit, pipelines and ports. The agency has allowed some airports to opt out of federal screening and hire firms to do the job. These private company’s employees receive little training, testing or scrutiny. Once on the job, they perform acts that, if performed by anyone else, they could be arrested and made to register as a sex offender.

Last on my list of government agencies to beware of is the Department of Homeland Security (DOHS), which was also launched as a result of 9-11. This agency has spent a lot of money on questionable items. It has placed a large number of armed personnel on our streets and waterways, yet we have no assurance they have been helpful when it comes to our security. Because of their government cloak, we will never know because they can say, “Our actions are classified.”

As I see it, we have a huge number of government employees drawing good pay and helping to keep the job market strong. But I think we could do that without all the big government involvement. Local governments should be allowed to do their job without big brother directing every move.



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