MAP-21 bill is a threat to freedom
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 03:04
The right to privacy in America appears not far from its final death throes. One of the scariest pieces of federal legislation since the PATRIOT Act is poised to pass the Republican-controlled U.S. House.
The Orwellian, do-everything bill, commonly called MAP-21, slipped through the Senate with little media oversight, despite it being “four times longer than the first Harry Potter book,” according to Forbes.
Inappropriately titled the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act,” the bill will cost an estimated $100 billion over two years and is so fat with federal highway and transportation funds that it will likely become law without the slightest objection from our elected representatives.
So, why is MAP-21 so dangerous to Americans’ freedom? It’s hard to narrow it down – there are several disturbing parts to this bill.
First off, the bill calls for “Mandatory Event Data Recorders” similar to the “black boxes” found in commercial airplanes to be installed in all new automobiles. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will get to decide what exactly will be recorded by these black boxes and how and in what cases that information will be retrieved, according to a piece by former Congressman Bob Barr in The Daily Caller.
It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to foresee the federal government abusing these newly mandated devices. This is the same government that plans to spy on us through wireless dishwashers and refrigerators, as confirmed by the CIA’s director, David Petraeus.
MAP-21 will also give the Internal Revenue Service the power to strip American citizens of their passports for owing unpaid taxes. Investors Business Daily pointed out that this new policy – a sort of virtual Berlin Wall imposed by the IRS – is highly reminiscent of the Stalinist policies of the former Soviet Union.
This provision in the bill will allow the IRS to share taxpayer identity information with the Department of State. The Department of State can then decide to “limit a previously issued passport or passport card only for return travel to the United States,” according to Forbes.
So thanks to this bill, which was introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Americans may have their freedom to travel internationally revoked with without ever seeing their day in court or ever actually being charged with a crime.
Then again, that whole due process concept was made history after President Barack Obama rubber-stamped the “indefinite detention” provision in the National Defense Authorization Act.
Obviously, the House of Representatives must strike down these controversial amendments to the legislation. These surreptitious attempts to further trash constitutionally protected rights go too far.