Posts tagged civil liberties
Written by RPI Staff
Ron Paul With Charlie Rose: ‘The Meaning of Non-Interventionism’
Do not miss Ron Paul’s extensive interview on the Charlie Rose show. He gives the best yet definition of his personal philosophy, called “non-interventionism,” which also is the philosophical framework of his Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. He also offers important insights on Syria and his amazing new education freedom book.
Video capture added to RPI original post.
Texas High School Rewrites the Second Amendment in its History Books
This is straight up ridiculous. The Daily Paul has brought to my attention that Guyer High School in Denton, Texas is currently using a textbook that describes the 2nd Amendment as such:
Now this is what the 2nd Amendment actually says:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The Daily Paul correctly points out:
Did you catch the sleight of hand?
A militia is a body of citizens enrolled for military service, and called out periodically for drill but serving full time only in emergencies. It’s a common man army of citizens, NOT soldiers. The citizens are called up in emergencies to protect the free State.
The 2nd Amendment says that a militia is necessary to protect a free State, so in order to be able to have a militia, the citizens have a natural right to keep and bear arms and the government cannot infringe on that right.
The textbook version implies that we’re only allowed to keep and bear arms if we’re in a State militia, a clear misrepresentation of the 2nd Amendment.
Anyone that has actually read the Bill of Rights, understands that they are very brief in text. There is absolutely no reason to ever abbreviate any of these Amendments considering how crucial they are to our civil liberties.
To demonstrate just how brief they are, I have listed them below:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Full Daily Paul article here.
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New Interview with SGT Report with Michael Krieger: The Great Awakening
Michael Krieger: It’s been a little while since my last interview with SGT Report, so I’m really pleased to be able release the recording of a chat we had last weekend. I was in an area with spotty internet connection, so you will notice some bad audio quality in the beginning, but I promise it gets better from there. It’s actually mind-boggling to think about all the topics we covered, so brace yourselves for a 27 minute political hurricane. Enjoy!
Lon Snowden & Atty. Bruce Fein Discuss Edward Snowden
Published by LeakSourceNews
Lon Snowden, father of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, and civil liberties attorney Bruce Fein discuss the fate of Edward Snowden and their upcoming trip to Moscow, Russia. A good interview despite the non-journalistic approach by the mainstream media, which is rather consistent nowadays.
Posted by Judy Morris
Rep. Peter King Blasts Rand Paul For ‘Apologizing For America’: ‘Fringes’ Will ‘Destroy’ GOP
Congressman Peter King appeared on CNN’sState of the Union on Sunday morning and warned that Senator Rand Paul’s “isolationist streak” will destroy the GOP in much the same way the anti-war movement crippled the Democrats in the 1970s and 80s.
“To me the overriding concern here has to be national defense, national security, and not be apologizing for America,” King said. “When you have Rand Paul actually comparing [Edward] Snowden to Martin Luther King, Jr., or Henry David Thoreau, this is madness. This is the anti-war left wing Democrats of the 1960s that nominated George McGovern and destroyed their party for almost twenty years. I don’t want that happening to our party.”
King, a vocal proponent of robust national security measures, was revved up over this week’s vote on an amendment to defund the NSA surveillance program.
“I thought it was absolutely disgraceful that so many Republicans voted to defund the NSA program, which has done so much to protect our country,” King said. “This is an isolationist streak that is in our party. It goes totally against the party of Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush. We are party of national defense, we’re a party who did so much to protect the country over the last few years.”
Host Candy Crowley asked King if he thought the divide between the neo-conservatives and the newly-resurgent libertarian wing led by Paul signalled a serious schism in the GOP.
“I want the Republican Party to be the party of strong national defense, and a party, for instance, which can reach out to labor unions, such as construction unions, police officers, firefighters,” King said. “These are people who are socially conservative and want to agree with us, and too many people in our party drive them away.”
Read the rest at Mediaite, here.
Who Are We at War With? Sorry, That’s “Classified”
You’d think that a nation that has allowed the shredding of the civil liberties enshrined in its founding document might deserve to know who the dastardly enemy is to justify such a dramatic transgression, right? Wrong. Amazingly, Carl Levin (D-Michigan) asked the Pentagon to define who exactly the “Al-Qaeda affiliates” we are at war with are. While Mr. Levin received and answer, guess what he told the public? Yep, you guessed it. It’s classified.
In a major national security speech this spring, President Obama said again and again that the U.S. is at war with “Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces.”
So who exactly are those associated forces? It’s a secret.
At a hearing in May, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., asked the Defense Department to provide him with a current list of Al Qaeda affiliates.
The Pentagon responded – but Levin’s office told ProPublica they aren’t allowed to share it. Kathleen Long, a spokeswoman for Levin, would say only that the department’s “answer included the information requested.”
A Pentagon spokesman told ProPublica that revealing such a list could cause “serious damage to national security.”
There’s that “national security” line again.
“Because elements that might be considered ‘associated forces’ can build credibility by being listed as such by the United States, we have classified the list,” said the spokesman, Lt. Col. Jim Gregory. “We cannot afford to inflate these organizations that rely on violent extremist ideology to strengthen their ranks.”
During the May hearing, Michael Sheehan, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, said he was “not sure there is a list per se.” Describing terrorist groups as “murky” and “shifting,” he said, “it would be difficult for the Congress to get involved in trying to track the designation of which are the affiliate forces” of Al Qaeda.
Let me fill in the blanks for you: Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, the ACLU, Oath Keepers, We are Change, P.A.N.D.A., the EFF, short sellers, gold buyers and critical thinkers.
Thanks for playing America.
Full article here.
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Feel-free fee: TSA will grope you less for $85
If full-body scanners and TSA pat-downs make you feel uncomfortable, you now have an alternate option – making the agency like you and paying a fee of $85.
The Transportation Security Administration has launched an expansion to their program that allows members to bypass regular airport pre-flight security checkpoints. Those enrolled in the ‘trusted traveler’ program, called TSA PreCheck, don’t have to remove their shoes, jackets and belts during screening. Members can also keep their laptop computers and approved liquids in their bags.
Currently, only members of several frequent-flier programs are given the opportunity to apply without paying a fee, the TSA says. But TSA Administrator John Pistole on Friday announced that all travelers will soon be able to join PreCheck – as long as they pay $85 for a five-year membership, provide identifying information, pass a background check, and undergo fingerprinting.
Pistole said that enrollment will be opened to the public later this year and he expects an additional 3 million people to sign up for PreCheck before the end of the year. About 12 million travelers are currently enrolled.
If his estimates are accurate, the TSA will reap about $255 million from the program in 2013.
Applicants must visit an enrollment site to undergo identification verification and fingerprinting. PreCheck enrollment will be launched at Washington Dulles International and Indianapolis International airports later this year.
“America’s travel community applauds TSA for making its highly-successful trusted traveler program, PreCheck, more accessible to the traveling public,” US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement. “By expanding PreCheck enrollment options, today’s action by TSA will help speed more Americans safely through the US air travel system while strengthening America’s aviation security. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
PreCheck passengers receive a Known Traveler Number that allows them to use special security lanes at more than 40 participating airports in the US.
Travelers have long complained that TSA agents take the security screenings too far, in some cases groping passengers. Carol Price, a 59-year-old woman who was trying to board a flight to Ohio last summer complained that a TSA agent subjected her to a pat-down in which he groped her genital region and breasts.
Those in the PreCheck program will probably have an easier time at security checkpoints.
But there’s a catch: PreCheck does not guarantee expedited screening, and all travelers are still subject to “random and unpredictable” security measures, the agency said in a statement.
For the cost of $85, travelers can enter expedited security lines, but still be subjected to pat-downs and searches if they appear suspicious.
Who voted in Congress yesterday to defund the NSA domestic spying program, and who didn’t. (List and graph)0
Who voted in Congress yesterday to defund the NSA domestic spying program, and who didn’t.
It was a very interesting vote with a majority of Republicans joining the Obama Administration and many Dems in support of the continued funding of the NSA spying program which dragnets the data of American citizens without a warrant.
But a large minority of the GOP voted to limit funding. In fact, the Amash Amendment nearly passed with help from a good number on the other side of the aisle.
Whether your congressperson voted to continue funding or not is probably a good determiner of whether your “small government” congressperson is actually for small government. I am sad to say that only 1 member from my home state (more properly the Commonwealth) of Virginia voted for the amendment.
One aside. On the way into Washington DC this morning I was entertained by the ranting of one Republican in the House (on the radio) complaining that too many members of the GOP were acting like “libertarians” in voting to defund the NSA domestic spying program.
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Posted by Judy Morris
Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords
The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users’ stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.
If the government is able to determine a person’s password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused.
“I’ve certainly seen them ask for passwords,” said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We push back.”
A second person who has worked at a large Silicon Valley company confirmed that it received legal requests from the federal government for stored passwords. Companies “really heavily scrutinize” these requests, the person said. “There’s a lot of ‘over my dead body.’”
Read the rest at CNET, here.
Using fake names on Facebook, Surveillance State, androids
File this one in the ever-burgeoning category of: how insane can legislators get?
Congress is now debating an update to the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Turns out it’s already a misdemeanor to “exceed authorized use” of a computer, but the DOJ wants to make it a felony.
Of course, what does “exceeds authorized use” mean? Well, it means, for instance, an employee sending emails to pals while he’s at the office—because his employer has a rule against that.
In other words, the feds want to back up employers’ rules and turn them into felonies. Splendid.
“Yeah, you remember Jack, don’t you? Used to work here? One day he made an online reservation at the Wynn in Vegas, and now he’s in jail. Life is tough, keep your eyes straight ahead and don’t mess with the boss.”
“And Betty? She ordered three lipsticks on a slow Thursday and she’s now upstate. I hear the shrinks got hold of her. Dosing her with an anti-psychotic. Hope she has three live brain cells to rub together when she gets out.”
Then there’s the Facebook issue. The company, originally bankrolled by a CIA front, has a rule against users setting up accounts with fake names. Does the DOJ want to go after Facebook users who break the rules?
The Surveillance State, aided by Facebook, wants to know who you are at all times. They want you to be your name and no other name.
It’s a technical issue, see? It’s a lot easier to spy on you if you’re Mary Jones all the time when you’re online. As opposed to Mary Jones and Dragon Lady and HiHat and Ben Franklin and The Beast From 40 Fathoms…
The joke is, most people lead lives that are fictional already. The NSA and its allied partners spy on those lives.
Here’s the same thing from another angle. John Smith, citizen, follows the straight and narrow. He, like every other John Smith, is a target of the Surveillance State. He hasn’t committed any crimes. He isn’t a threat. But that doesn’t matter. He’s there. He’s a unit. Therefore, he’s on the radar.
But John Smith is a fiction. He’s a convenient, solid, average, normal persona/role in the stage play called Society cooked up by the Real John Smith, who is hiding. Inside himself. You rarely see him. Once in a blue moon, he pokes his head out and says something off-key. Then he retreats behind his facade.
There are millions and John Smiths, and the NSA is spying on all of them. The fake ones. The fictions.
What if every John Smith invented six or seven new personae?
“Sir, are you pretending to be somebody else?”
“Yes, and the pretending is now more intense. It’s ongoing.”
“But you see, sir, that introduces confusion, when we spy on you.”
“I used to believe I was a John Smith android forever. Wow, was I kidding myself. I used to go to one church service on Sunday. Now I go to three different churches. And I’m also an atheist.”
“I campaigned for Democrats only. Now I campaign for Democrats, Republican, Libertarians, Communists, and Anarchists. Of course I don’t vote for anyone. I’m exploring monarchy as well. I think the divine right of kings could make a comeback.”
“But who do you actually worship?”
“The NSA, of course. And the CIA and DIA, Interpol, MI-5, the old GRU, and the Chinese Secret Service.”
“Sir, we have you on the record talking to about eight different wives.”
“Only eight? I must have misplaced a couple.”
Some people will assume I mean they should actually marry a dozen women. Those people are the literalists. They always go for the lowest-common-denominator reading. They think if they have a little fun, do a little acting, a little pretending, it might infect their minds. It might take them over. They’re the John Smiths. They live inside walls of fear.
Reality is one fiction among a limitless number of possible realities.
The basic problem with Reality is that’s it’s only one.