Hear... hear... vote for that guy.
"When all of us feel that we are no longer seen as citizens but as potential
suspects — a relationship of trust is impossible."Have to
agree, all levels of government are quickly becoming the all-controlling
overlords predicted in so many dystopian novels. Overlords where laws and powers
are continually expanded to control every aspect of life.Don't
you dare step of out lines you don't even know about!
Wow...a bit startling to learn the extent to which our current administration is
arming the "non-military" departments of the federal government. Thank
you Congressman for bringing this to our attention! With the proliferation of
laws at both the federal and state level, we are rapidly approaching the point
where the federal government can justify interrogating, detaining and arresting
just about anyone. While that would not be alarming were we to trust the
government to not cross the line, as Rep. Stewart points out, most of us do not
trust the government to respect our rights. Not a good situation, to be sure.
I think it's great you want to defund the policing units, but the
legislatures need to go a step further and forbid them to exist, immediately.
Also, any abuse needs to be punished swiftly to the actors and to those in
charge. Not investigate, eliminate.
Representative Stewart, I would like to ask you one question. Do you support
Clive Bundy and his very well armed followers? A simple yes or no will suffice.
How is it possible to reconcile this dilemma of trust between our government and
the general public when the extreme elements of the general public are the ones
making the agenda?Mr Bundy in Nevada seemed to generate more support
for his rebellion against paying his legitimately owed fees to the American
public than did the efforts of the government to enforce a legitimate law? Was
it legitimate to jail the polygamist who terrorized the RLDS communities and
forced children to marry old codgers? Climate change deniers lack any semblance
of credibility, yet it is dogma of one our political parties. These extremes
and others are manipulated for the public sympathies by so-called conservative
commentators to garner sympathies for their bizarre thinking.I know
that this piece would never have been written by this author if G W Bush was in
office. I know that conservative voices would not constantly harangue and
delegitimize the current President (show me the Birth Certificate!!!). This is
just another attempt to tear apart the fabric of our democracy for political
The people the author talks about have broken the law. Transporting illegal
milk across state lines surely breaks all kinds of laws. Say what you will
about the benefits of un-pasturized milk, it's still illegal. Like pot.
As for federal snipers for the rancher, the well-armed response of Mr. Bundy and
his supporters justifies the belt and suspenders approach.Yes,
Americans do distrust their government. Both parties. The reason lies behind
the heavy corruption caused by unlimited spending by the uber wealthy and large
corporations. Free speech is for sale, as is the freedoms our founding fathers
fought for. The wealthy new royals in America don't pay their fair share,
they take and keep more than they need, and they put their money offshore,
export jobs and they don't shed their blood for our country. No, they let
the poor do that ... in defense of their financial interests.
The irrefutable fact is that the public cannot trust the current left-wing
administration because the current left-wing administration has proven that it
is untrustworthy.The left has misled the public about Benghazi and
the IRS's role in silencing conservative organizations, to name just two
examples. Then, when caught, the left seeks to obfuscate and hide what has
really happened.Thomas F. Meagher once said that "sunlight is
the best disinfectant." This is what is required for trust: open and
transparent dealing by the government.
Amen This country has changed so much just in the past few years and
not for the better. One example is that gay have come out of the closet, which I
am fine with, but it seems christians have been shoved into that closet now and
if you speak your mind on gay getting married you are deemed a racist and can
lose your job and be pretty much an outcast. People now fear that if they speak
out against the President the IRS will be coming through the door. What happened
to people speaking their mind and not worrying about the government coming down
on them? Serving in the military I would like to beleive I defend peoples right
to the 1st Amendment and it is looking more and more like people do not have
those rigths any more.
"...The simple reality is that Americans will never trust Washington...who
can trust a government that believes it is OK to lie to you, spy on you, target
you and then arm its agencies against you?...".Exactly."...The heart of the problem is that the federal government no longer
trusts the American people....we are no longer seen as citizens but as potential
suspects...".Ok.BTW...A complete failure
to protect America while Republicans controlled the government (9-11) have
anything to do with this breach of trust?Two wars started on
Republican talking points have anything to do with this breach of trust?Medicare Part D shoved down the throats of Americans by a Republican
controlled government have anything to do with this breach of trust?Republican policies shoved down the throats of Americans leading up to an
economic meltdown have anything to do with this breach of trust?A
Republican controlled SCOTUS have anything to do with this breach of trust? Until Republican Kingmakers and the Republican Political Machine address
these realities...Americans will never trust Republicans again.
Stevo123 & Ordinary Folks illustrate the larger problem in America. They
ignore the reality that government agencies are abusing their power and have no
business having paramilitary/SWAT enforcers. Rather, Stevo & Ordinary People
take the position that this is about something else, I.e., Bush or Bundy's
action. Do they not know that the federal agencies have stockpiled hundreds of
millions of rounds of ammunition and purchased armored vehicles. And at the risk
of being accused as hating Obama, have they forgotten that he called for an
armed civilian force funded as much as the military and as well organized? An
uniformed or uncaring electorate ready to justify and accept federal policies
over ruling personal liberties and armed agencies bullying citizens is a greater
danger to Americans than the act of an individual such as Bundy.
People trust those who see things like they do. Many in Utah
don't trust Washington. A lot of others in Utah don't trust the Utah
Legislature. There is some overlap in these groups, but not a lot.Representative Stewart seems to be saying here that it's OK to disregard
federal laws you don't like, and if you owe 20 years in fees to the US,
that's OK, there should never be any enforcement.I would trust
Representative Stewart a little more if he agreed that Cliven Bundy needs to be
held to account for owing the citizens of the US over a $1 Million, and that
Cliven's son needs to be held to account for illegally entering areas that
have been closed, on land owned by all Americans. If Stewart
can't agree on these two points, he is to be trusted less than he is now.
The heart of the problem is that the federal government no longer trusts the
American people. When all of us feel that we are no longer seen as citizens but
as potential suspects — a relationship of trust is impossible."Our government leaders treat Iran's crazies better than they treat
our own citizens, especially our veterans. Yes, move all those
enforcement agency funds to our military, the real defense of our country, and
to the veterans administration, after you have house-cleaned the corruption in
it. But then we can't count on this administration to out corruption
anywhere in the government, not the NSA, not the IRS, not the VA, not anywhere.
Yeah, we can't trust them at all.
Anyone else find it ironic that a sleazy tea party Congressmen who collected his
paycheck when he helped to shut down the government (while millions suffered) is
talking about the public's distrust of the government?Maybe Mr.
Stewart should look at himself?Maybe people distrust the government
because of Mr. Stewart's actions? Maybe people actually trust the
government but distrust sleaze balls like Mr. Stewart?I love it when
folks like Mr. Stewart talk about the distrust of the government... So what are
you doing to fix that Mr. Stewart? Or when he talks about hating the
government... So if you hate it so much, why are you a part of it?It
appears that Mr. Stewart doesn't have any solutions. All he wants to do is
play political games of trying to convince the public to "hate
Washington" but love "your Congressmen." Even though, it's
sleazy Swallow-like Congressmen who are bought off and beholden to special
interest which causes the public's distrust of its elected officials.
Our gov't is broken and cannot be fixed. It is too late. The oligarchy
rules. When the cow has been milked entirely, we will move on, but not until
The author uses great license when he invokes "America" and, as I
interpret it, implies a collective "we". If anything, there is greater
trust issue among citizens and the dysfunctionality now on display in Washington
is merely mirroring "Americans" if we truly have a representative
democracy. If this is not so, the system is corrupted. If so, the elementary
school who, what, when, where, why and how research needs to be performed. But
maybe we need to separate true Americans from posers (a "who" question).
Please, Chris ... do enlighten us!
Some civil liberties lawyers estimate that the average adult US citizen commits
some obscure federal felony every single day because of the number of laws
Congress has passed. These include postal laws, securities laws, tax laws, gun
laws, on and on. If this is true, all the federal government needs to do to
eliminate opposition is to assign a federal agent (or the NSA) to tail or
monitor the rabble rouser for a short period of time, charge him or her with the
obscure crime, conduct forfeiture proceedings to confiscate his or her assets,
what assets are not confiscated need to be sold cheap to afford defense
attorneys, and in the end, imprison the person. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas
Mavericks and co-star of the show Shark Tank talked about how the feds targeted
him for some federal offense he didn't commit, offered him a plea bargain
if he would admit guilt. Fortunately, he had the money to fight to clear his
name. 8 million dollars in attorney fees later he was found not guilty. How
many Americans have that kind of money to fight a federal indictment. Wake up
Thank Goodness for courageous men like Chris Stewart, Jason Chaffetz and Mike
Lee who are not afraid to shake things up in Washington.
Just how, then, do you propose to enforce Federal laws if there are no
enforcement capabilities, Rep. Stewart? Unpasteurized milk can kill people.
It's illegal to transport it without certification. Should the FDA simply
stand by and say tsk tsk, please don't? Should an FDA official show up at
the crook's door and plead with him not to do this terrible thing? Then
wait while the crook shoots him down? Again, how do you propose to enforce the
laws of Congress, Congressman?
So the fallacy of this article and most of the arguments in the comments is the
belief the current administration is to blame for all these issues. Somehow this
country magically started on Jan 20, 2009. These policies that Stewart decry
have been in place for a long time now. Many were enacted under Republican
administrations. But now, all of a sudden people have issues with them.
We have paid taxes to run our government and are then met with incidences of
gross waste too numerous to list, negligence (Benghazi, IRS, VA hospitals, Fast
and Furious, NSA, but to mention a few) and the unhinging of reason due to
partisan blindness (blaming everything on Republicans or Democrats). We expect
value and accountability from a government that takes much of our wages. It is a
fair expectation that has not been met.
Congressman Stewart, The "California father" that you want
us to empathize with was later convicted and sentenced (along with his wife) for
identity theft and fraud in excess of $285,000. In fact, many of the news
agencies (including the Washington Post) that originally reported the
"student loan collection" angle, issued retractions. Can you
provide us with another example from your list of "countless others"
that hasn't been debunked?
RE: John Charity Spring "The irrefutable fact is that the public cannot
trust the current left-wing administration because the current left-wing
administration has proven that it is untrustworthy."Mr. Spring,
you should watch the 2 part "United States of Surveillance" PBS
Frontline. This surveillance started under Bush (left wing?). These are tough
issues. Their history is complex. Watch the Frontline piece.
“ ... If we lived in a state where virtue was profitable, common sense
would make us saintly. But since we see that abhorrence, anger, pride, and
stupidity commonly profit far beyond charity, modesty, justice, and thought,
perhaps we must stand fast a little - even at the risk of being heroes...”
[Thomas More, “A Man for All Seasons]. Henry VIII’s society sounds
like our society today. It's not just the government.; it is big business,
small business, education, drug dealers, gangs, gays, gay haters, racists,
religious hypocrites, the health industry, insurance companies, etc., etc.,
etc. Selfishness, greed, dishonesty, carnality, pride, power, laziness, etc.
permeate our society and no set of laws or law enforcers can change that; only a
change of heart and I doubt that will happen. I fear that our society is going
to implode because decent people can’t carry the heavy weight of
‘winked at” corruption.
I'd be a lot more accepting of this argument if it didn't come from a
certain Air Force Major Chris Stewart (ret'd.). His belief is that many if
not most of these security duties would be best left to local law enforcement.
Are you saying, then, Congressman, that you'd replace the Air Force
Security Services that protect Hill AFB with Davis County deputies? And when
(not if) a local sheriff decides that a particular federal law he's asked
to enforce isn't "legal," then what? Call out the National Guard to
remove Governor Wallace from the schoolroom door?
@DanOHave you thought that it just might be because of how the
current administration is using and abusing power to control every aspect of
your life, to control and silence opposition, to grow and increase its own
power at a a rate never before seen?
So Called "Informed voter"I merely commented on the fact
that this particular Congressman found a bogeyman in the current administration,
as do many of his fellow government haters.I freely admit that this
administration has continued some really awful policies that started under a
Bush or a Reagan, and maybe even Clinton. However, all I have ever
heard from most conservatives is the sound of crickets when confronted with
proof of the misdeeds of past Republican actions. Remember Reagan permitting
the sale of drugs so he could give someone some arms? What about Bush's
initiation of the super surveillance programs? All bad stuff, but still cricket
sounds over this and other incidents of mis-government and violation of our
"It all stated under Bush!" Gee everything did! Yes, the Patriot Act,
that a lot of people railed against including Republicans/Conservatives.But this has been taken to a new high. How would you like to run against a
dem now that the nsa has all the information on us including taxes and health
reports and apparently feeds it to the dem administration? Remember reid?
Yep he said he had someone call him about Romney's tax return? I know they
were trying to goad Romney into releasing all his tax returns so they could
laugh and make sure everyone knew how much he made and how much he donated to
his Church. Reid knew he paid taxes on it. He's been audited for years. I appreciate Chris Stewart for trying to stop this scary army that's
being put together by every department. A million bullets? Why? Especially
since our military has come up short on them.BTW, I don't think Chris
said anything about Bundy except how it escalated.
"Have you thought that it just might be because of how the current
administration is using and abusing power to control every aspect of your life,
to control and silence opposition, to grow and increase its own power at a a
rate never before seen?"Are you talking about Obama or
republicans?Look at how repubs want to control women, minorities,
education, health care, economy (via bailouts, big oil subsidies, and tax cuts
for the rich), foreign countries, and our politics? Remember, the 5 justices who
ruled that bribery is free speech weren't liberal, but conservatives!
Re: Star Bright "I appreciate Chris Stewart for trying to stop this scary
army that's being put together by every department. A million bullets?
" Yes, and here come the black U N helicopters. Been there done that.Seriously, power is always a threat to individual liberty. But power
comes from all directions. It also comes from powerful corporate interests who
are creating global conglomerates which dictate to the laboring masses. We have
to figure these things out, but we won't succeed by just look at pieces of
@JCSThe only group the IRS denied tax exempt status to was a liberal one.
Reports indicate they used words like "progressive" in their filters too
and had extensive reviews of liberal groups as well. Why didn't you hear
about that? Well, that's not convenient to mention for your news sources I
take it. Issa's report about investigating right-wing groups, the reason
why it doesn't include their actions against liberal groups is because the
report demanded only the information about right-wing groups. Useful I suppose
for a chairman of an oversight committee that has no sense of duty and is just
looking for made up scandals when the real scandal is sitting right there...
pretty much none of these groups, left or right, should be getting tax exempt
status. The law says these groups have to "exclusively" be working for
social benefit, and it has been interpreted for 50 years as "primarily".
These political action committees meet neither of those definitions and yet they
have tax exempt status anyway. .
This thread is the quintessential example of the devolution of republican
political thought over the past 30 years. The paranoia would be funny if it
weren't so scary and the downright nastiness is embarrassing.This left wing administration is wielding unprecedented power. Really? Think
about it. What modern administration has come in and said...ahhh I think we
should get rid of this federal power, and this federal program, and oh yea
let's get rid of this surveillance tool. Every administration
has unprecedented power. That's why it's so easy to point back to
Bush, and why it's so disingenuous for the right to scream
unprecedented.However, private militias, stockpiling of weapons,
accusations of personal involvement in murders. That's all just
Wow -- I just know where to begin.Our U.S. Congressman is
advocating the armed confrontation of criminals?If Cliven Bundy was
INNOCENT, I might listen, But the guy is breaking the law and evading
taxes.If anyone else didn’t pay taxes, we could – we
SHOULED expect going to jail.At yet, here is a sitting U.S. Congressman
sticking up for criminal – amazing.BTW – I supposed the
BLM wouldn’t need to justify that SWAT team, or armed service men IF they
didn’t keep running into the armed criminals like Cliven Bundy’s in
This is a radical position advocated to appease the radical tea party that is
moving to a separatist philosophy. This congressman should resign and wait for
the new Republic of Utah, Arizona and Texas to be formed.
This whole thread is a LOL experience. All the justification for private armies
to carry out the job which belongs to local law enforcement agencies. The BLM can get the local authorities involved, Other than having an armed
agent along for protection in an IRS the established FBI can deal with major
issues. Department of education, EPA, and other agencies needing an armed army,
really. It would help if the IRS tax cheat geitner had not just revealed the
Administration told him to lie and he did. Then of course it must
be ok by the progressives supporting the current administration if we say Bush
did it to. Folks that is the problem Bush did it Clinton did it and Obama is
still doing it. Trust the government? We are about to have a Schutzstaffel
moment. I love what is happening in the UK, the people are realizing
they gave up representation to the EU. They are about to have their 1776
"People now fear that if they speak out against the President the IRS will
be coming through the door."evan, only stupid people fear this.
"What happened to people speaking their mind and not worrying
about the government coming down on them?"I don't worry
about this one bit, and apparently not very many people that comment here do
Mr. Stewart is confused. Every night I go to bed I thank God for Pres. Obama, a
guy who inherited the worst decade of the past century, & in spite of GOP
racism & terrible leadership, has brought into being the greatest civil
rights legislation in half a century, the ACA. He’s rebuilt the economy so
that business thrives, the Dow Jones is record high, & unemployment is
gradually dropping. My research when our new president entered office predicted
that since it took Republicans 8 years to destroy Clinton’s success, it
would take at least 15 years to rebuild our economy. But he’s turned it
around in half the time. While GOP vision is merely a squint, our president has
had a long term view, with coherent strategies to move us forward. While Right
Wingers vowed to “do anything possible” to ensure Obama would fail,
he has exceeded our greatest expectations. All the while, he has done so with
class, reason, & patience. Long after Stewart, Lee, Chaffetz and their ilk
are buried in the dustbin of history, American will remember with pride the
greatness of our friend who cared, Barack Obama.
This is ridiculous -- A supposed law "maker", supporting a law "breaker".And we think spending is
"the" problem with our Congressmen?
Positions such as this is why the tea party candidates cannot govern and are
ideologically bound to dogmatic unworkable positions.
"or shipping lobsters in plastic instead of cardboard boxes."Congressman Stewart shows himself to be an misinformed lackey for the tea
party. Our Utah Congressional representatives are an embarrassment. The case Congressman Stewart must be talking about (although, for some reason
he is externally vauge about exactly what incidents he is talking about in all
of his examples. Is he afraid people might actually look them up?) is the McNab,
Blanford, Schoenwetter case. Needless to say, congressman Stewart is grossly
misrepresenting the case. They were convicted of conspiracy, smuggling, money
laundering, and Lacey Act violations by a jury. Their convictions were upheld on
appeal. But of course Congressman Stewart probably doesn't know
this. He probably is just repeating what he heard from some right wing talk
show. What an embarrassment.
This op-ed piece is (not surprisingly) classic Congressman Stewart. He has a
habit of boiling down complex, nuanced issues into simplistic, black-and-white
ones that are long on dogmatic sensationalism, and short on reason (or real
information, other than cherry-picked anecdotal evidence to support his
position). It is also condescending for him to expect his audience to accept
whatever he has to say as the final word on the matter, without employing any
critical thinking skills of their own.What his article really
reminds me of is "Professor" Harold Hill telling the good folks of River
City that they "got trouble, with a capital 'T', and that rhymes
with 'P', and that stands for Pool!!"Does the federal
government sometimes abuse its power, and occasionally use excessive force in
enforcing the law? Absolutely, and that should be cause for concern; but how
prevalent is it, relative to the good work that is done daily? Arguing that
federal agencies should be stripped of their police-like law enforcement ability
because of occasional abuses is sort of like arguing that the Second Amendment
should be repealed because of instances of extreme gun violence.
Do you know all the ways you could break the law where you live? The number of
laws has increased incredibly over the decades such that there are now so many,
no person could possibly be sure they are not breaking a law at any given
moment. When we don't know the laws that govern us, then how can we avoid
breaking them? If there are enough laws, then we are all criminals. When we are
all criminals, then we are no longer a nation of laws, but a country ruled by
those who can grant clemency. This isn't an issue for finger pointing
about who is or was in the White House. This is about federal government troops
breaking down doors over relatively trivial matters.
The American Federal Government is totally corrupt and self serving from the
White House to the congress to the thousands of federal judges and agencies. I
honestly feel the Federal Govt is the enemy of the middle class in this country.
Actions speak loud for anyone willing to listen. Unfortunately we have far too
many in this country who are like the monkey - hear no evil see no evil.