A Homegrown Mess-Part Two: Quiet Skies

Last week we talked about a real-life scenario. Today, I want to expand on that.

Previously, when I told you to imagine that an undercover agent had been following you, I never specified what kind of agent. The agent I had in mind was a federal air marshal, working by the authority of the TSA.

We all know the mess that there is in this country between the government and the people. For years we’ve been subjected to various infringements. Taking another hit to our rights, the TSA has secretly been monitoring airline passengers.

In 2010, the TSA began a program called “Quiet Skies”, which involves the monitoring of passengers who aren’t on government watch lists. For years federal air marshals have been following passengers through the airport and even on the plane itself. These passengers (supposedly just those who were coming in from overseas) were and are being watched and reported on for simple things such as, but not limited to, if you are overly aware of your surroundings (who wouldn’t be?), if you use the lavatory often (maybe you have a weak bladder), or if you slept during the flight. In minute-by-minute reports, this information is sent back to the TSA. US Citizens that are reentering the country are automatically screened for the program. Those who have been surveilled, can remain in the program for 90 days or three encounters. Whichever comes first.

So, have I piqued your interest? Or are you just one on those, “it doesn’t matter anyway- I haven’t done anything wrong” people? Either way, stayed tuned for A Homegrown Mess-Part Three: Trespassing. Not interested? I would love to hear from you on why.

 

P.S. In no way am I anti-government. I am just an anti-infringing on my rights kind of person.

 

 

Sources:

Huffington Post

Boston Globe

Washington Post

 

Proverbs 15:1-4

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”

 

*New International Version

A Homegrown Mess-Part One

Picture this. You’re walking down the street. You’re in a crowed area in a popular city. You are minding your own business. Little do you know, someone is following you. They blend in with the rest of the crowd. You would never suspect they were following you. But they are not just following you, they are taking information and reporting it. Reporting information about YOU.

This information they are reporting-it’s about how you behave, how you look at people, and interact with them. Now how would you feel if I told you that you vaguely knew this unknown stalker? I imagine you wouldn’t feel too keenly about this.

According to the American Heritage High School Dictionary, stalk is defined as “To follow or observe (a person) persistently, esp. out of obsession or derangement.”

Criminal.Findlaw.com defines stalking as: Stalking is the unwanted pursuit of another person, such as following a person, appearing at a person’s home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person’s property.

By its nature, stalking is not a one-time event, but rather a pattern of behavior meant to cause harm or distress. The individual’s actions must be considered in connection with other actions to determine if someone is being stalked. It includes repeated harassing or threatening behavior toward another person, whether that person is a total stranger, slight acquaintance, current or former intimate partner, or anyone else.”

With that key information in mind, what would you think if I told you that this was a real-life scenario and that the stalker was an undercover agent? Would you feel in distress? Harassed? Violated? I would. This agent who has been stalking you has had no right to do this. You showed no ill-will towards others, nor were you committing any crime.

So I ask you, reader, why would our own government, who is supposed to protect and uphold the rights of the people, do this to its law-abiding citizens?

Stay tuned for A Homegrown Mess-Part Two: Quiet Skies, next Wednesday.

2 Peter 1:5-8

“For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love. These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

*Good News Translation

Ambition Baby…

I bet you know of a lot of people that spent a week of summer hanging out at the beach (bleh), surfing, fishing, or some other mundane thing. Me, I participated in a search and rescue mission in the middle of the ocean. I flew planes. I dropped weather buoys from the sky to prepare for a hurricane. I even went to Havana airport in Cuba. I really did! No exaggeration. But maybe there’s a slight nuance in my truth that you should be aware of.

During the month of June 2017, I participated in the week long Ambition program that is offered to teens through the National Flight Academy (NFA). The NFA is stationed on the Naval Air Station (NAS) in Pensacola,FL. While on a simulated aircraft carrier called the CVT-11 Ambition, I had the opportunity to fly an X-12B Triad (which goes Mach 2.5 by the way) using a flight simulator, learned how to navigate a plane using radar, planned my course (how far,what direction,fuel consumption), met new people, and made new friends. On the Ambition, the schedule can be kinda crazy but the morning is a little less hectic. I mainly spent it with my squadron or my cag (3 squadrons make up 1 cag). I spent some of the mornings taking field trips to various places such as the  National Naval Aviation Museum, seeing the Blue Angels Fly and even visited a control tower. After lunch the hard (& fun) stuff began. I helped plan and fly missions while helping other AXPs (Ambition eXperimental Pilots) was the agenda for the rest of the day. When the day came to a close, I proceeded with a little R&R with my bunkmates. At the end of the 6 day Ambition program I graduated. I earned a diploma and a CVT-11 Ambition patch. I even received my wings from retired LtGen Duane D. Thiessen.

That my friends is what I call a summer well spent…Ambition baby

If you want to take a peek at the NFA head on over to this site: http://nationalflightacademy.com

Below is the link to one of the primary organizations that made my scholarship to the NFA possible. Thanks OBAP!  obap.org