Barbara Hartwell

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Independent Investigator, Intelligence Analyst, Journalist. Former CIA (NOC, Psychological Operations.) Black Ops Survivor. Sovereign Child of God. Believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Exposing Government Lies, Crimes, Corruption and Cover-ups.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do

The Usurper with Fat Busybody Extraordinaire Janet Napolitano
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NOTE: I wrote this article back in April, 2004. It addresses an issue which is paramount among my concerns: The right to privacy. I value my privacy second only to my liberty, and the way I see it, when the first is violated, so is the second. An integral part of liberty is the right to be FREE from unwanted intrusions; FREE from the invasions and prying eyes of meddlesome snoops, snitches and busybodies.
 
Privacy is a God-given right, one which no government, no individual, no collective, has any business violating.
 
In this article, I mention the 'TIPS' program. But since that time, not much has changed --except that it has gotten worse. Now, we've got "naked body scanners", spy cameras in most of the traffic lights, and to add insult to injury, we're being bombarded with the "See something, say something" propaganda campaign.
 
The busybodies of America are having a field day!
 
BHP
February 12, 2011
  
There ain't nothin' I can do, nor nothin' I can say,
That folks don't criticize me.

But I'm gonna do just as I want to anyway,
I don't care if they all despise me.

If I should take a notion
To jump into the ocean,
It ain't nobody's business if I do.

Rather than persecute me,
I choose that you would shoot me,
It ain't nobody's business if I do.

If my friend ain't got no money
And I say, "Take all mine honey,"
It ain't nobody's business if I do.

--Porter Grainger and Everett Robbins

My favorite rendition of this classic is by Billie Holiday, though I like Bessie Smith's almost as well. Written more than half a century ago, its message of individual rights and personal freedom has stood the test of time. For some of us who have endured the relentless intrusions of Big Government run amok with violations of citizens' privacy and transgressions on personal boundaries, the lyrics of this song have a special meaning.

What has happened to "the reasonable expectation of privacy" --the opinion issued by the Supreme Court, the universally accepted legal interpretation of the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution? And why have so many people blindly accepted the insidious encroachment of government agencies (and even privately owned businesses) into their personal lives?

The most flagrant privacy violations have come as a result of the installation by the Bush regime of the fascistic Department of Homeland Security and the treasonous Patriot Act.

And remember the TIPS program? A Big Government behemoth recruiting citizens to spy on and report their neighbors for any "suspicious" activity. I guess it's A-okay for illegal aliens to commit crimes with impunity. Bush wants to give them "amnesty" and issue them all a green (get-out-of-jail-free) card. But for the rest of us, the English-speaking U.S. citizens, there'll be hell to pay. Yes sir, with domestic terrorists in our midst, reporting your neighbor is a real act of "patriotism".

ESPIONAGE, AN EVERYDAY AFFAIR?

Yes, that's right, an espionage free-for-all. Spies-R-Us. Folks spying on their neighbors and reporting back to the "authorities". But what, in the eyes of these citizen spies, constitutes a "suspicious activity"?

A woman who normally keeps regular hours, arriving home one day at 3 AM, whose nosy neighbors see her car pull into the driveway next door? Must be up to no good, coming home at 3 AM!

What about a man seen loading some black lawn-and-leaf bags into the trunk of his car? In the middle of the night, yet! Normally he'd dispose of his trash at the curbside pickup, the neighbors speculate. Wouldn't he? Yes indeed, something must be terribly amiss for him to be engaging in such clandestine activity.

An empty package of rolling papers, spotted on the edge of a young man's lawn? Yep, come to think of it, he always did look like a suspicious character, with his shoulder-length hair and those seedy-looking friends of his, skulking in and out at all hours of the day and night. He must be smoking that devil-weed, the snoops surmise. What else could it be?

And what about that strange car with out-of-state tags, on the other side of the old man's fence? It's been parked there in his driveway for three whole days! No sign of the mysterious visitor, yet the lights in the house are on until all hours of the night. Considering that the old man is an eccentric recluse, who has always kept to himself, surely, some skullduggery must be afoot.

And so it goes...

Nosy neighbors are nothing new, they've been the bane of privacy-seekers since the dawn of civilization. And yet, to institutionalize such nosiness is quite a different affair. Under such an intrusive system, any person who does not conform to the expected and accepted "norms" falls under suspicion and is deemed fair game for amateur surveillance by neighborhood snoops. Add government "authorities" to the mix and it becomes the stuff of nightmares. 
 
Gulag Amerika, here we come!

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, PLEASE?

It has become commonplace for certain businesses and especially those providing professional services to request a person's SSN, especially if the billing system requires payment after services are rendered. In the state of New York, where I was born and lived on and off for many years, it has now become compulsory to divulge one's SSN in order to be issued a driver's license. In the state of Connecticut, where I was also a longtime resident, it had been "optional" (as far back as 1993) though the DMV pressured drivers to comply. 
 
Needless to say, I didn't. But when I moved back to New York in 1995, the government bureaucrats nabbed me. Compulsory SSN or no driver's license. The same now holds true in the state of Maine, where I relocated last year. Maine: The Way Life Should Be, the motto of the state, proclaimed on billboards all along the highways and byways. Maybe once upon a time, but not anymore.

I also remember being outraged when I called a trash removal service in Woodstock, NY and was asked over the phone for my SSN. I explained that it was none of their business, as I was interested in having my trash removed for a monthly fee, NOT in applying for a job as a garbage collector. "Well, we have to ask", the guy told me, "and most people have no problem with that". Well, I'm not "most people" and I have a MAJOR problem with that. Why in hell should the trash man have access to my SSN and by extension, to private information about me? If he wants my business as a customer, all he needs to know is my street address. Case closed.

ABUSES OF POWER BY LOCAL AND STATE POLICE

Have you ever, while driving, been pulled over by the police? Who hasn't? Maybe you were exceeding the speed limit. Perhaps it was a broken tail light or failure to signal when making a turn. Understandable and fair enough, if your actions were endangering others on the road.

But what about when the officer asks "Where are you heading this evening, Barbara?" Calling me by my first name is bad enough. But now he needs to know my personal business, my comings and goings?

My answer is always the same: "That's not your business, officer. If you don't intend to cite me for a traffic offense, please return my license to me and I'll be on my way." I have never yet met an officer who refused to back off after I asserted my rights. And yet, at times when I have been a passenger in someone else's car, it amazes me to see how often another person just makes a "confession" of his or her personal business to a cop, whose job is to be a public servant, to enforce the law and to protect citizens from lawbreakers, NOT to act as an interrogator about a citizen's private business. It's none of the cop's damn business where you're going or where you came from!

GOV'T GOONS AND A GLASS OF WINE FOIL JUSTICE

Here's another little tale of police meddling (and incompetence) you might be interested to hear. One evening back in 1998, some government goons showed up uninvited at my home in Woodstock, NY after having been duly warned not to trespass on my property. Why they were there is a long story and mostly irrelevant, just the usual government harassment I've been a target of for so many years.

Suffice it to say that the goons had previously stolen a computer from my home (under the deception that they were taking it to be "upgraded") and then after making phone threats and failing to intimidate me, dumped the dismantled hardware (their idea of "upgrading" the computer) on the hood of a visiting relative's car, around midnight.

One of the goons banged on my door (which I did not open) while his two accomplices waited in the car on the other side of the road. I told Goon #1, through the locked door, to get off my property immediately or I would call the police. He refused to leave and continued shouting obscenities and threats through the closed door. A male relative, a guest in my home, was sleeping upstairs and woken by the commotion out in the yard. When he came down to see what the problem was, he opened the door, to be confronted by Goon #1, the same thug who had dumped the computer parts on the hood of his car.

"Get the hell off this property now" he ordered the goon, while I started back inside to call the police. At this point Goon #1 assumed a bogus martial arts stance and threatened : "I'll fuck you up, bro!"

Angry as I was, I almost fell over laughing, as both I and my relative, who is ex-military, are well trained in martial arts, as well as forms of hand-to-hand combat so deadly we could have (separately, or as a tag team) made mincemeat of this guy. If he had so much as touched either one of us, he would have been on the ground, in seconds flat. But instead of allowing ourselves to be provoked (which seemed to be the intent) we did the right thing. We again issued a directive for him to leave the property and called the police.

By the time the police arrived, half an hour later, the goons were long gone. We overheard them across the street, arguing loudly among themselves, clearly nervous at our lack of fear, and they peeled out in their souped-up car, burning rubber, and with gravel flying, fled the scene.

Two cops came to the door and asked for my statement. I told the story, sticking to the relevant facts and criminal offenses committed against me and my relative. Naturally, I wanted to press charges and have at least one of the perps, Goon #1, arrested on a number of counts, including tresspassing, threats to my life, grand larceny, telephone harassment...just to name a few. After listening to my litany of complaints, one of the officers stepped closer and asked me this question: "Have you been drinking tonight, Ms. Hartwell?" He pointed to a half-filled glass of wine sitting on my coffee table.

"You've got to be kidding, right?" I replied.

"Well, we need to get the whole story here" said the officer condescendingly, looking at me as if I were a recalcitrant child.

"The WHOLE STORY? You were told the whole story of why I called you people: Criminals trespassing on my property and making death threats. If I want to drink in my own home, I'll do so, whenever I please and as much as I please. In fact, if I want to get blind drunk and swing from the chandelier, I'll do that too. Ain't nobody's business if I do!"

(Whatever happened to "Just the facts, ma'am"?)

At this point, his comrade took on the role of "good cop" and tried to placate me, but I was having none of it. I told the cops they could leave and that I would come to the police station the next day to make a formal report, which I did.

But the cops never pursued the criminal, never even ran a proper investigation. Despite numerous calls to the police, numerous visits to the station house to check on the progress of the case, the perps just got away with it, leaving me with over $1,000 in damaged equipment and without a computer for several months, seeing that I was too poor to buy a new one.

Even when I took matters into my own hands and called the D. A.'s office, nothing was done, not a damn thing. Justice was never served. After all, I guess my unseemly behavior of leaving a glass of wine on the coffee table and, God forbid, defending my right to drink in my own home, aroused enough suspicion that I became persona non gratis in the legal system. Can't be too careful these days, there's a criminal lurking behind every bush.

I think maybe this evening I'll take a stroll down to the beach at midnight with a couple plastic garbage bags in tow and collect some driftwood. I'll make a show of stuffing the bags in the trunk of my car, right under the streetlight where visibility is best. Maybe after that, I'll open a bottle of good bordeaux and stay up 'til sunrise, listening to Bessie Smith.

Maybe I'll invite a friend with out-of-state license plates to spend a few days and let my neighors speculate to their heart's content that he's a foreign spy here to plot subversive acts against the government. Maybe I'll raise hell in the privacy of my own home by cursing out the government rat bastards at the top of my lungs. Maybe I'll put a message on my answering machine informing the callers that my phone line is under illegal surveillance by a criminal element of government spooks.

Ain't nobody's business if I do.

Barbara Hartwell
April 25, 2004
 
Barbara Hartwell Percival
Legal Defense & Research Trust
PO Box 22
Old Orchard Beach, Maine 04064
Barbara Hartwell Vs. CIA