While these days I generally avoid politics like the plague, I have become more than a little annoyed by the uproar over Trump’s complaint — in a misspelled tweet, mind you — that he was wiretapped.


Of course he was!

As anyone who has been following the news in the past decade knows, we have all been wiretapped. We are living inside an inescapable leviathan of what has become a massive surveillance state. That this is loathsome to our democracy and loathsome to our Fourth Amendment seems almost beside the point to our rulers, of whom Trump is now one. Were he really as horrified as he claims to be, he would bring Edward Snowden home, and not execute him, but pardon him, give him a medal, and then gut the whole “Intelligence Community” “National Security” apparatus like a fish.

Much as I loathe what the country has become, I still love the Constitution, and I believe that following it is the only theoretical way out of this mess. Unfortunately, I don’t think the president has the option of following the Constitution, as these unconstitutional agencies with their unconstitutional powers have become stronger than this or any presidency. Which is ironic if you think about it, because as the head of the executive branch, in theory all of the spy agencies are working for the president. How that got turned around is well beyond the scope of a silly and insignificant blog post, but in my lifetime I have seen the presidency devolve from Eisenhower (who tried to sound the alarm), to Kennedy (who did little except get himself assassinated), to Johnson (a consummate politician who could not cope with the presidency) to Nixon (who vowed to gut the leviathan, but was instead overthrown), to Ford (barely a figurehead), to Carter (a micro-manager  who could not manage the presidency, and who made me wake up and realize for the first time that the president had become a figurehead), to Reagan (who acted like the president, while giving ever more power to the leviathan and dramatically extending its powers to include the war on drugs), and then the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama figureheads (all presiding over even greater extensions of unconstitutional power, with the 9-11 “Homeland Security” power grab being final coffin nail). Thanks to the endless wars on drugs and now terror, no citizen has any expectation of privacy, whether in his communications, his finances, his medical records, whatever. Freedom has largely become a joke.

So has talking about “the Constitution” as I am now. You bring that up and people just roll their eyes. (“Oh, that again!”) And of course I’ve made this point over the years so many times in the blog that I find it hard to believe I’m wasting my time doing it once again.

Me, these days I’m into ceramics. I’m proud of the fact that I managed to build two 3D printers that can actually print with clay. I guess you could say that I dropped out of politics. Yes, I ran for office twice as a Republican in Ann Arbor. That was two times too many, but I only did it because I don’t like the climate of pervasive, mostly voluntary  censorship that reigns in left-wing cities. Even though I dislike the GOP and realized it was a waste of time (for I had no hope of winning and I knew it), a beautiful girl in her early twenties inspired me when I was still pondering the idea. I was going door to door getting petition signatures so I could get on the ballot, and when she refused to sign she was nice enough to look me in the eye with a gentle smile, and give me a stunningly honest reason:

“I don’t think Republicans should be allowed to run for office.”

Had she been a mean old leftist with a pinched bitter evil face like so many of them I’d have thought nothing of it, but she was no sincere, so young, so nice… that it gave me chills and convinced me I had to run. I was reminded of her recently when I saw a video of this nice young college student calmly destroying a Republican sign. No malice at all. Just behaving as if he was a good boy doing the right thing as he had been raised.

Anyway, where was I? Freedom as a joke. Yes it is, nothing new there. But what prompted this outburst was Trump’s accusation that he had been wiretapped, and the kneejerk way people who should know better are reacting to it. That the very same people who are ridiculing Trump have themselves been wiretapped ought to tell us something about life in the leviathan state. Obama would never wiretap anybody, they say. That’s because even though we have the NSA and the CIA and the Director of National Intelligence and the “Intelligence Community,” we all know that they are independent of the president, that he can’t tell them what to do and is in no way responsible for their conduct.

Sorry, but that is the whole problem. It sounds complicated, but it isn’t, really. All you need to do is read the Constitution, which is so simply anyone could understand it.

Here: I’ll spell it out for all of the third graders in the news media and in government (as if that’s much of a distinction).

The Constitution is the law of the land. (Huh? No way, you say?)

There are three branches of government. Yes, only three! Isn’t that amazing?

The President heads one branch, which is the Executive branch. The other two are the Legislative and Judicial branches.

There are no other branches of government.

This means that from a constitutional perspective, the NSA (and a whole host of interrelated agencies) all fall squarely within the rubric and power of the Executive branch.

As someone old enough to remember Harry Truman’s pathetically anachronistic maxim “the buck stops here,” it seems to me that if an agency in the Executive branch does something, then it has to be assumed that the president did it. And if the agency was acting on its own, and if the president does not reign it in, then he might as well have done it.

In short, if the NSA did it, Obama did it. And if they’re still doing it, Trump is doing it!

Hint to Trump: Pardon Snowden and drain the swamp!

(Sometimes I fear that we won’t know we’re in a constitutional crisis until the Constitution is gone. Which would be too late.)

MORE: The unconstitutional power keeps growing:

Only days before the inauguration, President Obama also signed an executive order that allows the National Security Agency to share raw intercepts and data with the 16 other agencies in the intelligence community. NSA analysts used to filter out irrelevant information and minimize references to Americans. Now such material is being leaked anonymously.

4th Amendment? Hah!