A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

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The NSA Was Recording Phone Calls

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Remember when Mr. Obama said the National Security Agency (NSA) wasn’t listening to your phone calls:

The president added that the “hype” surrounding the NSA revelations is largely unwarranted. He said that “nobody is listening to your phone calls” and that if the feds decided to actually listen in, they would have to go back and ask for a warrant from a FISA court judge by showing probable cause.

Turns out he was lying:

The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls, a participant said.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed on Thursday that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”

If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA’s formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.

So much for needing a warrant from a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court judge. It’s nice to know that the NSA not only has a widespread surveillance system but they have no oversight. This story just gets better and better.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 17th, 2013 at 10:30 am

The State’s Monopoly on Violence

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Jerrold Nadler is on his way to becoming one of the most honest statists in existence. Shortly after the shooting in Connecticut Nadler put his foot in his mouth by claiming that mass shootings have become more common. During the same speech he called on Obama to exploit the tragedy in order to advance the cause of gun control. His call for the president to exploit the tragedy was one of the more honest statist quotes made by a politician. While most people are aware that the state exploits tragedies in order to forward its goals it’s rare to hear an agent of the state come out and admit it. They usually try to hide their grabs for power behind a thin veil of public safety and protecting children. It appears that Nadler is on a quest to explain statism to the masses because he had another gem:

Nadler added. “One of the definitions of a nation state is that the state has a monopoly on legitimate violence. And the state ought to have a monopoly on legitimate violence.”

The very definition of a state is an entity that claims a monopoly on the initiation of force within a geographic area. Even though most politicians know this Nadler is one of the very few bold enough to come out and say it. Nadler’s statement raises an interesting question, who gets to define what violence is legitimate? I’m sure Nadler would say the state gets to decide that, as it’s a belief most statists hold. Why somebody would support an entity claiming a monopoly on violence deciding what type of violence it can legitimately wield is beyond me.

I hope Nadler keeps explaining statism. Eventually he’ll admit that taxation is nothing more than theft.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 24th, 2012 at 11:30 am

Mass Killings Haven’t Become More Frequent

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After a mass shooting two things can always be counted on. First the victims will be forgotten while the shooter will live on in infamy. Second politicians will start demanding more gun control. As if on queue a politicians by the name of Jerrold Nadler is claiming that these shootings are becoming more frequent and therefore stronger gun control laws must be implemented:

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who represents portions of New York City, said he was encouraged by Mr. Obama’s statement on Friday afternoon that the mass shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 young children, requires “meaningful action” by Congress, but hopes those words turn into concrete legislation.

“These incidents, these horrible, horrible incidents … are happening more and more frequently. And they will continue to happen more and more frequently until someone with the bully pulpit, and that means the president, takes leadership and pushes Congress,” Mr. Nadler said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz.

Fortunately his statement is unfounded:

Even before Portland and Newtown, we saw a former student kill seven people at Oikos University in Oakland, Calif. We saw gunmen in Seattle and Minneapolis each kill five people and then themselves. We saw the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” at a theater in Aurora, Colo., devolve into a bloodbath, as 12 people died and 58 were wounded; 24-year-old James Holmes was arrested outside.

And yet those who study mass shootings say they are not becoming more common.

“There is no pattern, there is no increase,” says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, spurred by a rash of mass shootings in post offices.

[…]

Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century.

Once again we find those demanding more gun control either playing fast and loose with the facts or deliberately lying in order to advance their agenda. The truth of the matter is that these mass killings aren’t becoming more frequent, they have always been a rather random anomaly. The chances of being killed in one of these mass shootings is very rare as the occurrences of mass shootings themselves are very rare. These facts matter not to the politicians demanding more gun control laws because they know exploiting mass shootings can lead to political gain. By clamoring for more gun control legislation Mr. Nadler is getting his face on television and making it appear as though he cares about the children who were murdered. In reality Mr. Nadler is likely unable to name a single victim of the shooting.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 17th, 2012 at 11:00 am