All I can say is GO RON PAUL! His strategy during the primaries is unique and effective! Too much government, too many entitlements and we continue to be short changed in our liberties. It is time to wake up and stop the growth of this police state!
‘We don’t need more government,’ Ron Paul says to ovation
Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under 2012 Presidential election, Republicans, President Obama Updated: February 4, 2012 – 2:39 PM
Hoping to ride the shoulders of passionate Minnesota fans Tuesday. Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul packed events in the state Saturday, speaking of liberty over government and rights over entitlement.
“There is reason to be optimistic that now the people are thinking correctly….We don’t need more government,” Paul told a standing room only crowd in a Rochester high school Saturday.
Paul may have some reason to find optimism in Minnesota. His campaign has been organizing for the caucuses for months and has a structure to, as one supporter said, “storm the caucuses.”
With a still-unsettled electorate, Minnesota’s Tuesday straw poll is gaining attention from the remaining Republican candidates as they look for momentum to fight on. Paul, Romney and Santorum supporters are now streaming television ads in Minnesota and they and Newt Gingrich fans are now dialing for votes among Republican activists.
Paul’s on the ground campaigning over Saturday and Monday will be matched by Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, who are also pitching Minnesotans for votes during their visits. Newt Gingrich has the most recently organized campaign here but his fans are still hoping the former U.S. House Speaker will stop by the next 48 hours.
With few polls among Minnesota caucus goers and a non-binding vote on Tuesday, even longtime Minnesota polls are left guessing about how it will play out.
“There is no way to predict a straw poll,” said Republican National Committeeman Jeff Johnson, a Gingrich fan.
So far, Paul has not won any of the early states, although he came in a close third in Iowa.
Paul’s hopes in Minnesota rest not just on passion but on organization. His fans have been on the ground for months, gathering steam for the caucuses. At his Saturday events, volunteers gathered contact information from anyone who was willing to sign up and, in Rochester, fans practiced caucusing in advance of Tuesday evening’s vote. In a low turnout caucus, that could give him the edge.
“We are feeling super good about this coming Tuesday,” said Marianne Stebbins, Paul’s Minnesota director.
The 12-term U.S. representative from Texas was the first to visit the state last year, turning out nearly 3,000 people at a St. Cloud rally and has capitalized on voters unease with their state by promising a radical turn not just from the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama but from the path of the last 100 years.
At a Saturday morning rally, he rarely mentioned the current president and did not use the names of any of his Republican rivals, instead hearkening back to what he said were bad government decisions of 1913, 1971 and 2007.
“Our problems are a lot longer than three years long,” Paul said.
He promised to cut $1 trillion from federal spending, repeal the Patriot Act and refocus government on liberty, not entitlements.
“I find that there is a great interest in the cause of liberty,” Paul said. “Our liberties are still under attack.”
That cry holds some sway with Tea Party folks.
“He was Tea Party before it was cool,” said Walter Hudson, of the North Star Tea Party Patriots.
Paul’s coolness won him about 16 percent of the caucus vote in 2008. He did particularly well in urban areas and will hold a massive rally on Monday night at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
He also has found new fans, including 15-year-old Devin Alexander, of Rochester.
The high school student Saturday paused from buying a Ron Paul t-shirt to explain that he was introduced to the 76-year-old candidate on YouTube and found common sense in his prescription.
“The debt is going on my generation’s shoulders,” Alexander said. Paul, he said, “is one of the most conservative politicians in American history — no joke.”
While Alexander can’t vote on Tuesday, his parents can. After Alexander introduced them to Paul via the internet, they not only attended Saturday’s rally in Rochester, they’re planning to caucus for Paul on Tuesday.
I plan to caucus for Ron Paul this Tuesday!
This is just one more intrusion into our privacy. Now a Federal court judge has ruled that agents of the government can secretly attach GPS device to your car and that information can be used against you in court.
I don’t do anything that would be considered illegal, at least not by todays measure, but I have to protest this ruling. I don’t think that Big Brother has the right to watch you or track you without a warrant. This is going a bit too far don’ you think?
Court allows agents to secretly put GPS trackers on cars
By Dugald McConnell, CNN
(CNN) — Law enforcement officers may secretly place a GPS device on a person’s car without seeking a warrant from a judge, according to a recent federal appeals court ruling in California.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Oregon in 2007 surreptitiously attached a GPS to the silver Jeep owned by Juan Pineda-Moreno, whom they suspected of growing marijuana, according to court papers.
When Pineda-Moreno was arrested and charged, one piece of evidence was the GPS data, including the longitude and latitude of where the Jeep was driven, and how long it stayed. Prosecutors asserted the Jeep had been driven several times to remote rural locations where agents discovered marijuana being grown, court documents show.
Pineda-Moreno eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to grow marijuana, and is serving a 51-month sentence, according to his lawyer.
But he appealed on the grounds that sneaking onto a person’s driveway and secretly tracking their car violates a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy.
“They went onto the property several times in the middle of the night without his knowledge and without his permission,” said his lawyer, Harrison Latto.
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal twice — in January of this year by a three-judge panel, and then again by the full court earlier this month. The judges who affirmed Pineda-Moreno’s conviction did so without comment.
Latto says the Ninth Circuit decision means law enforcement can place trackers on cars, without seeking a court’s permission, in the nine western states the California-based circuit covers.
The ruling likely won’t be the end of the matter. A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., arrived at a different conclusion in similar case, saying officers who attached a GPS to the car of a suspected drug dealer should have sought a warrant.
Experts say the issue could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
One of the dissenting judges in Pineda-Moreno’s case, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, said the defendant’s driveway was private and that the decision would allow police to use tactics he called “creepy” and “underhanded.”
“The vast majority of the 60 million people living in the Ninth Circuit will see their privacy materially diminished by the panel’s ruling,” Kozinksi wrote in his dissent.
“I think it is Orwellian,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which advocates for privacy rights.
“If the courts allow the police to gather up this information without a warrant,” he said, “the police could place a tracking device on any individual’s car — without having to ever justify the reason they did that.”
But supporters of the decision see the GPS trackers as a law enforcement tool that is no more intrusive than other means of surveillance, such as visually following a person, that do not require a court’s approval.
“You left place A, at this time, you went to place B, you took this street — that information can be gleaned in a variety of ways,” said David Rivkin, a former Justice Department attorney. “It can be old surveillance, by tailing you unbeknownst to you; it could be a GPS.”
He says that a person cannot automatically expect privacy just because something is on private property.
“You have to take measures — to build a fence, to put the car in the garage” or post a no-trespassing sign, he said. “If you don’t do that, you’re not going to get the privacy.”
I guess we are all going to have to start looking under the car and checking the engine compartment for bugs…
I don’t really care if you agree or disagree with the leaking of the Afghanistan papers. What I do want to point out is the ‘backlash’ against the founder of Wikileaks. His arrest on rape charges, kept overnight and then released with all charges dropped and warrant cancelled.
This can only be the long arm of Big Brother reaching out to Sweden to show its displeasure. Think about it, you could be next especially if you upset the apple cart so to speak. I could be next for writing this…where does it stop?
Swedish authorities have withdrawn an arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, stating that the accusation of rape against him was unfounded.
The move came just a day after a warrant was issued by Sweden’s prosecutors’ office in Stockholm in response to accusations of rape and molestation in two separate cases.
“I don’t think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape,” the chief prosecutor, Eva Finne, said.
She made no comment on the status of the molestation case, a less serious charge that would not lead to an arrest warrant.
Assange has denied both accusations, first reported by the Swedish tabloid Expressen, which were described as dirty tricks on the Wikileaks’ Twitter account.
He implied that they were linked to the release by the whistleblowers’ website of a huge cache of US military records on the Afghan war, which were published in collaboration with the Guardian and two other newspapers.
Assange wrote: “The charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing.”
Earlier postings on the Twitter account implied the accusations were part of a dirty tricks campaign against the Wikileaks founder, who has been strongly criticised by the Pentagon.
“Expressen is a tabloid; No one here has been contacted by Swedish police. Needless to say, this will prove hugely distracting.
“We were warned to expect ‘dirty tricks’. Now we have the first one.”
Last month Wikileaks released around 77,000 secret US military documents on the war in Afghanistan.
US authorities criticised the leak, saying it could put the lives of Nato troops and Afghan informants at risk.
Assange has said that Wikileaks intends to release a further 15,000 documents in the coming weeks – a pledge condemned by the Pentagon, which has demanded the deletion of the files from the website.
Assange, an Australian citizen, was in Sweden last week to apply for a publishing certificate to make sure the website, which has servers in Sweden, can take full advantage of Swedish laws protecting whistleblowers.
He also gave a talk about his work and defended the decision by Wikileaks to publish the Afghan war logs
It is time we stood up for the constitution here and now!
In news that is not so new…but just a continuation on the history of the past decade or so as our rights just continue to recede bit by little bit. Before you know it they are all gone and then we wonder what happened!
Incrementalism, and the fact that humans don’t tend to remember anything at all, are our worst enemies!
Wake up and act!
High court trims Miranda warning rights bit by bit
By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press Writer – Mon Aug 2, 10:46 am ET
WASHINGTON – You have the right to remain silent, but only if you tell the police that you’re remaining silent.
You have a right to a lawyer — before, during and after questioning, even though the police don’t have to tell you exactly when the lawyer can be with you. If you can’t afford a lawyer, one will be provided to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you, which, by the way, are only good for the next two weeks?
The Supreme Court made major revisions to the now familiar Miranda warnings this year. The rulings will change the ways police, lawyers and criminal suspects interact amid what experts call an attempt to pull back some of the rights that Americans have become used to over recent decades.
The high court has made clear it’s not going to eliminate the requirement that police officers give suspects a Miranda warning, so it is tinkering around the edges, said Jeffrey L. Fisher, co-chair of the amicus committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
“It’s death by a thousand cuts,” Fisher said. “For the past 20-25 years, as the court has turned more conservative on law and order issues, it has been whittling away at Miranda and doing everything it can to ease the admissibility of confessions that police wriggle out of suspects.”
The court placed limits on the so-called Miranda rights three times during the just-ended session. Experts viewed the large number of rulings as a statistical aberration, rather than a full-fledged attempt to get rid of the famous 1966 decision. The original ruling emerged from police questioning of Ernesto Miranda in a rape and kidnapping case in Phoenix. It required officers to tell suspects taken into custody that they have the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer represent them, even if they can’t afford one.
The court’s three decisions “indicate a desire to prune back the rules somewhat,” Kent Scheidegger, the legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a victims’ rights group. “But I don’t think any overruling of Miranda is in the near future. I think that controversy is pretty much dead.”
The Supreme Court in 2000 upheld the requirement that the Miranda warning be read to criminal suspects.
This year’s Supreme Court decisions did not mandate changes in the wording of Miranda warnings read by arresting police officers. The most common version is now familiar to most Americans, thanks to television police shows: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”
However, the court did approve one state version of the Miranda warnings that did not specifically inform suspects that they had a right to have a lawyer present during their police questioning.
The Miranda warning used in parts of Florida told suspects: “You have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any of our questions. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed for you without cost and before any questioning. You have the right to use any of these rights at any time you want during this interview.”
Lawyers â€” and the Florida Supreme Court â€” said that didn’t make clear that lawyers can be present as the police are doing their questioning. But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing the 7-2 majority decision, said all the required information was there.
“Nothing in the words used indicated that counsel’s presence would be restricted after the questioning commenced,” Ginsburg said. “Instead, the warning communicated that the right to counsel carried forward to and through the interrogation.”
The next day, the court unanimously limited how long Miranda rights are valid.
The high court said for the first time that a suspect’s request for a lawyer is good for only 14 days after the person is released from police custody. The 9-0 ruling pulled back from an earlier decision that said that police must halt all questioning for all time if a suspect asks for a lawyer.
Police can now attempt to question a suspect who asked for a lawyer — once the person has been released from custody for at least two weeks — without violating the person’s constitutional rights and without having to repeat the Miranda warning.
“In our judgment, 14 days will provide plenty of time for the suspect to get reacclimated to his normal life, to consult with friends and counsel and to shake off any residual coercive effects of his prior custody,” said Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion.
And finally, the court’s conservatives used their 5-4 advantage to rule that suspects must break their silence and tell police they are going to remain quiet if they want to invoke their “right to remain silent” and stop an interrogation, just as they must tell police that they want a lawyer.
All the criminal suspect needs to say is he or she is remaining silent, wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy. “Had he made either of these simple, unambiguous statements, he would have invoked his ‘right to cut off questioning.’ Here he did neither, so he did not invoke his right to remain silent.”
But Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the majority’s decision “turns Miranda upside down.”
“Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent — which counter intuitively requires them to speak,” she said. “At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so.”
Police officers will look at these decisions and incorporate them into their training, said James Pasco of the National Fraternal Order of Police. “Officers are expected to adapt to changes required by the Supreme Court,” Pasco said. “This will be no different.”
But Fisher thinks the court’s Miranda decisions will make it easier for police to get confessions out of people who don’t want to confess. “Those decisions open up ways for cops to work around Miranda,” Fisher said.
There are ample sources for great information about just how far our rights have deteriorated!
If this is indeed true it is certainly following the script that BP wrote the day this disaster struck! Delay, lie, broken promises, just anything to limit their liability and temper the ‘media’ bombshell that this disaster is.
I can’t tell you how these actions are not only an attack on the freedom of the press and our Constitutional rights…but yet another example of how the real power in this world isn’t governments or even the people…it is Corporations!
However, WE THE PEOPLE do have power…we just need to stand up and use it!
BP Hires Mercs to Block Oily Beaches (Updated)
Last week, we all voted here on who should buy Blackwater now that it’s up for sale. In addition to Steve Jobs and the Salvation Army, one of the top finalists was British Petroleum. “Somebody is gonna have to keep all those sunbathers away from the beach,” one commenter noted.
Well, today we can tell you: Danger Room gets results. Kinda.
BP, in a move destined to go down as one of the bestest public relations moves ever, has apparently hired a private security company to help to keep pesky reporters from covering the unfolding catastrophe on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. The report comes via New Orleans’ 6WDSU reporter Scott Walker, who last week ran into representatives of a “Talon Security” trying to block him from interviewing cleanup workers on a local beach. Just which of the various companies named “Talon Security” is storming the (public) beaches for BP, however, remains unclear.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time a private security firm made an appearance in a Gulf disaster. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Department of Homeland Security and a number of private firms, fearful of reported widespread violence and chaos, turned to private security contractors like Blackwater and ArmorGroup International to protect their property.
So take heart, Blackwater. BP may have opted rent the services of a rival instead of purchasing you wholesale, but disasters are fairly regular occurrences and there seems to be no shortage of companies willing to make ill-considered PR moves in their midst.
Spotter: Paul McLeary; photo: Wikimedia
UPDATE: Merc-chronicler Jeremy Scahill reminds us that this isn’t the first time BP has enlisted the aid of a private security company. The company hired Wackenhut Services to guard the joint US government-BP Unified Incident Command for the Deepwater Horizon spill response, Scahill reported in May. If Wackenhut Services doesn’t ring a bell, you may remember the scandal surrounding their subsidiary, the 101st Tequila Brigade (a.k.a Armor Group), and its drunken bacchanalia at the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan. You stay classy, British Petroleum.
This probably deserves some emails to your representatives. Who knows they might..maybe..oh well probably won’t do a thing!
Well the fun begins! Ink barely dry and lots of lawsuits filed with more to come. This bill is certainly unconstitutional and needs to be rescinded. I imagine it will go to the Supreme Court and who knows what that bunch will do….
In the meantime, get active at the local and community level. Start thinking about what you want to see in place of the ‘system’ we have now, the broken one!
States Launch Legal Challenge to Health Care Law
At Least 14 States File Suit Challenging Constitutionality of Health Care Law
The ink on President Obama’s signature was barely dry when attorneys general in 14 states filed papers in federal court today challenging the constitutionality of the newly signed health care bill.
Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty discusses his party’s fight over bill’s legality.
“We are convinced that this legislation is fundamentally flawed as a matter of constitutional law, that it exceeds the scope of proper constitutional authority of the federal government and tramples upon the rights and prerogatives of states and their citizens,” David Rivkin, Jr., an attorney representing 13 of the states, told ABC News.
The challenges to the legislation focus on the mandate that requires an individual to buy health insurance. The states are also worried about the extent to which the statute imposes a financial burden — in resources and personnel — on them.
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is leading the attack for 13 of the states and filed papers in the Northern District of Florida shortly after noon today.
More states are expected to file in the days and weeks to come.
“We simply cannot afford the things that are in this bill that we’re mandated to do,” McCollum, who is running for governor of Florida, said at a press conference this afternoon. “It’s not realistic. It’s not hype, it’s just very, very wrong.”
McCollum said he’s confident the case will go before the U.S. Supreme Court and that the states will prevail.
This is a great article, one that everyone should read and contemplate. I personally fall into this category, I choose not to pay for health insurance that does not cover the types of therapy or treatments that we prefer. I do see a need for ‘trauma’ medicine and we buy a very inexpensive policy through the schools for my kids just for this reason.
For any other treatments or therapies, we always use one of our alternative practitioners.
March 17, 2010
Reform Threatens Alternative Medicine
By Curt Levey and Jim Turner
We are the heads of two non-profit organizations – one of us liberal and the other conservative – who are concerned that the impending healthcare legislation will negatively impact holistic and natural medicine and limit the healthcare choices of the people who consume it.
Because alternative medicine is highly effective in treating many of the chronic conditions which resist treatment by establishment medicine -from arthritis, heart disease, and chronic pain to insomnia and attention-deficit disorders – nearly 50 percent of Americans regularly use some type of alternative therapy, according to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. In fact, the study found that visits to alternative practitioners, for treatments ranging from acupuncture and chiropractic to herbal remedies, outnumber all visits to primary care physicians by almost two to one. Additionally, more than 100 million Americans “regularly consume dietary supplements as a means of improving and maintaining healthy lifestyles,” according to a U.S. Senator who has worked on related legislation.
Nonetheless, “alternative therapies (including acupuncture, chelation therapy, biofeedback and holistic medicine) are not covered by Medicare,” says the federal government. The same is true of Medicaid. Nobody expects better coverage for alternative treatments when, as a key part of the reform legislation, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determines the “essential health benefits” that insurance plans will contain. When supporters of the legislation speak of a right to health care, they mean a right to establishment medicine.
Consumers of alternative medicine are used to health insurance plans that offer little or no coverage for holistic treatments and thus don’t meet their needs. That’s why many of them choose not to purchase health insurance. What they’re not used to – but will have to get used to if the proposed “reforms” become law – is being forced to purchase the very insurance plans that fail to meet their needs. And therein lie the dire consequences of the impending legislation.
If you’re an alternative healthcare consumer, the money you will be forced to spend subsidizing other people’s establishment healthcare, through premiums and higher taxes, is money you can no longer spend on holistic and natural medicine for you and your family. It’s as if the government forced you to join and pay for a food shopping club that didn’t include natural food stores. After you finished paying thousands of dollars up front to the big supermarket chains you rarely if ever visit, where would you find the money for the natural food you really want?
Sure, you can lobby HHS to include a few alternative treatments as “essential health benefits” – just as you can ask the big supermarket chains to carry some natural foods – but you shouldn’t have to beg to spend your money on the type of healthcare you want.
If you don’t think you will be affected by the government’s forced transfer of healthcare dollars from alternative to establishment medicine, consider the breadth of treatments that will be completely or partially excluded when federal bureaucrats draw up the list of essential benefits. You will be affected if you’re one of the patients of America’s 70,000 chiropractors, if you use an athletic trainer to treat your sports injury, of if you’re a woman who would prefer to give birth at home with the help of a midwife. You’ll be affected if you rely on treatments that are a traditional part of your culture or anyone else’s culture, whether you seek help from Native American medicine, acupuncture and other traditional Chinese treatments, India’s Ayurveda – made famous by physician Deepak Chopra – or the Latin American hueseros and sobaderos who treat traumatic and occupational injuries.
Consumers of these indigenous healing traditions are particularly vulnerable to the forced transfer of healthcare dollars because their typically modest incomes will make it difficult to pay for both their traditional medical practitioners and the new federally-mandated health insurance premiums. So much for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation that indigenous medicine be integrated into national healthcare programs. Instead, so many of the American politicians who pay lip service to respect for racial and cultural differences appear ready to hand the feds the power to impose a one-size-fits-all healthcare solution.
In the end, the essential point is not what the WHO recommends or whether acupuncture will be effective in relieving your chronic pain. The point is that every American deserves the right to make their own healthcare choices with their own healthcare dollars. No healthcare system will guarantee you access to every treatment you ever want – not an unregulated free market, not Medicare, not Medicaid, and certainly not “ObamaCare.” But when you’re allowed the freedom to make your own choices about treatments and insurance plans, you can prioritize what access is most important to you.
We all lose out when those choices are taken away, and not just in the obvious ways. With the impending diversion of money away from alternative medicine, the development of new holistic therapies that could benefit everybody will be stifled. If, instead, the Congress and President chose the path of fostering true competition in the health insurance market, insurance plans that cater more to our varied needs – including the needs of the natural medicine community – would likely bloom and expand. The increase in competition among treatments and insurance plans would put downward pressure on the high cost of establishment medicine, especially because alternative medicine typically has a lower price tag. We would all benefit.
Whether you prefer establishment medicine or are a fan of acupuncture, biofeedback, and dietary supplements, there are good reasons to share our concern about the negative impact of the impending legislation on alternative medicine and healthcare choice in general. With a final vote on the bill just days away, the time to share any concerns with your elected representatives in Washington is now.
Jim Turner is Chairman of Citizens for Health. Curt Levey is Executive Director of the Committee for Justice.
Write your representatives and express your opinions about this crazy attempt to ‘Reform’ healthcare. I continue to believe that they are offering all the wrong choices.
Well if you are into facebooking, twitter and other forms of social networking–BEWARE! Your next friend might be the FBI or Homeland Security…Big Brother wants to keep his eyes on you!
Feds consider going undercover on social network sites
by Declan McCullagh
The next friend request you receive might come from the FBI.
The Obama administration has considered sending federal police undercover on social networking Web sites including Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.
A confidential U.S. Department of Justice presentation on social networking sites made public Tuesday said that online undercover work can help agents to “communicate with suspects,” “gain access to non-public info,” and “map social relationships.”
Federal police agencies organized under the Justice Department include the FBI, the U.S. Marshals, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The 33-page presentation noted that Twitter has a “stated policy of producing data only in response to legal process,” while saying that Facebook is “often cooperative with emergency requests.”
By contrast, an IRS document about social networking sites was more cautious about Internet undercover work. It says that agents are allowed to conduct Internet searches for taxpayers, and review information from public Web sites — but that they are not allowed to “misrepresent your identify (sic) or obtain information from a Web site using a fictitious identity to register.”
That advice appears to apply to routine investigations. In some cases, as CNET reported in late 2008, Congress has authorized undercover IRS agents to run businesses for an extended sting operation, to open their own personal bank accounts with U.S. tax dollars, and so on.
For years, FBI agents have gone undercover on the Web for child porn sting operations. One technique that the bureau has used involves logging in to a discussion forum, posting hyperlinks that purport to be illegal videos of minors having sex, and then raiding the homes of anyone willing to click on them.
One possible hurdle that the lawyers at the Justice Department noted in their presentation, which was given by John Lynch and Jenny Ellickson, both attorneys in the department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, is the possibility of violating a Web site’s terms of service if an agent lies about his identity.
This is called prosecutors hoist on their own petard: In the Lori Drew case, the Justice Department claimed that violating MySpace terms of service was a criminal offense.
Their problem today? Many Web sites require that subscribers use their real name. Facebook’s terms of service require users to agree not to “create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.” At Twitter, “impersonation is against the terms of service.” Even some newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times say that “using a name other than your own legal name in association with the submission of user content is prohibited.”
A federal judge eventually ruled that a strict interpretation of criminal law would be unreasonable, but it remains an unsettled legal question.
“The good example set by the IRS is in stark contrast to the U.S. Marshals and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” wrote Marcia Hofmann, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which obtained the documents through the Freedom of Information Act and released them this week. “Neither organization found any documents on social networking sites in response to EFF’s request, suggesting they do not have any written policies or restrictions upon the use of these websites.”
Declan McCullagh is a contributor to CNET News and a correspondent for CBSNews.com who has covered the intersection of politics and technology for over a decade. Declan writes a regular feature called Taking Liberties, focused on individual and economic rights; you can bookmark his CBS News Taking Liberties site, or subscribe to the RSS feed. You can e-mail Declan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you think this is an invasion of your privacy then you might want to consider staying on top of this situation and make sure you respond to this latest assault!
More articles on this unbelievable decision by our esteemed Supreme Court! There is no justice left in this country.
CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ARREST OF 5 SUPREME COURT JUSTICES FOR TREASON
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor
Five members of the Supreme Court declared that a “corporation” is a person, not a “regular person” but one above all natural laws, subject to no God, no moral code but one with unlimited power over our lives, a power awarded by judges who seem themselves as grand inquisitors in an meant to hunt down all hertics who fail to serve their god, the god of money.
Their ruling has made it legal for foreign controlled corporations to flush unlimited money into our bloated political system to further corrupt something none of us trust and most of us fear. The “corporation/person” that the 5 judges, the “neocon” purists, have turned the United States over to isn’t even American. Our corporations, especially since our economic meltdown are owned by China, Russia and the oil sheiks along with a few foreign banks. They don’t vote, pay taxes, fight in wars, need dental care, breathe air, drive cars or send children to school. Anyone who thinks these things are people is insane. Anyone who would sell our government to them is a criminal and belongs in prison. There is nothing in the Constitution that makes this “gang of five” bribe sucking clowns above the law. There is nothing in the Constitution that even mentions corporations much less gives them status equal to or greater than the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government.
The Supreme Court of the United States has no right to breathe human life into investment groups owned by terrorist sympathizers, foreign arms dealers or groups working for the downfall of the United States and everything we believe in, but 5 “justices” have done just that. We now have a new government above our government, above our people, one above any law. Five judges have created institutionalized gangsterism as the new form of government for the United States.
No American soldier can ever go to war fighting for a Chinese hedge fund, a German bank or a Saudi Arabian fertilizer company. Will our new debates in Congress be between members representing the opium warlords against the Columbian cartels? Their cash, which long ago has infiltrated one major corporation or bank after another is now heading for your local representative. How important do you think secure borders for America are for these new policial “influencers?”
For years we complained about AIPAC, the Sierra Club, the NRA, trial lawyers, trade unions, NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) and the churches that got involved in politics. Behind all of these were people, American citizens, and, on some occasions, Americans who fought for their country, raised kids here and were invested in the survival of America although they didn’t always act that way. This was an American problem. Now we aren’t even sure we have an America anymore.
Anyone who believes that a massive flood of corporate money into politics won’t throw control of both houses of Congress into the hands of the wealthy nations that are also our primary strategic enemies, you know the ones, the ones loaded with oil cash, the ones with 10 cent an hour labor and legal systems that shoot first and ask questions later. They just were told they can buy the United States, not just our government, but our military, and the lives of our soldiers. They can now make our laws, raise our taxes, decide on our civil rights, where we can live, if we can own guns, how late we stay up, where and what we drive and, eventually, how we think. The Supreme Court has given foreign owned corporations the eventual power to silence us all.
When a corporation commits a crime, nobody goes to jail. When wars come, they don’t fight, they simply rake in cash. When children are poisoned or workers are killed, they seldom even pay a fine. However, when they want something, billions in tax money for “bail outs” or fat contracts or special laws, they have always gotten it. It has been a battle to control corporations for 140 years. Sometimes the American people have lost, sometimes they have won. Our greatest presidents are the ones who reined in corporate power and kept the influence of money over humanity in check. Think of Theordore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy.
Without them we would be living in work camps, stuck at machines all day, our children at our sides. We would be paid in beans and salt pork, dying at 40 in filth like people around the world who live in countries controlled by corporations.
Based on the justices that we want prosecuted being Reagan/Bush “conservatives” you would think this is a liberal/conservative issue. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing less “conservative” has ever been done by a branch of our government. There is nothing “conservative” about our Supreme Court going insane and abandoning our Constitution and making medical decisions, not to give life to a fetus, but to a bank account.
This is nothing but an extremely unAmerican and unpatriotic group of thieves believing that Americans had given up so many of their civil liberties in silence during the Global War on Terror scam that opening the “Pandora’s Box” of class conflict could now be done with nobody saying a word. Their “corporate person” is now a Baron or Duke, the great landlords of the medieval period. Americans are now destined for serfdom. Their political and economic theories, what are they? Is it conservatism or feudalism?
We are already burdened with a representative government that has tied itself to the money spigot because of the incredible cost of media exposure in campaigns. People running for office in ancient Rome would purchase thousands of animals for slaughter in the arena. Mass executions were staged as media events for political campaigns. In fact, the arenas in every Roman city were built for that purpose, today replaced by television and the internet. We thought we had changed since that time. We were wrong.
The framers of the Constitution created the Supreme Court, the Electoral College and originally had Senators appointed, not elected, to protect the wealthy from having their money and land seized by the masses who would otherwise have controlled the government. This was the 1780s. The only “democracy” we knew about was ancient Athens, where the majority of the people living there were slaves. 27 Amendments later, including the Bill of Rights, we have worked to define justice and decency. Generations have fought and died to keep life in our imperfect system from 1780. Who would have thought that 5 people could destroy it all?
Political debate in America is sometimes extreme, often bordering on violence. Feelings are high. How many times have you heard people threaten to leave the country because “their America” no longer exists. We know that few really mean it. When faced with a real threat, no people on earth are to be feared like Americans. When help is needed, no people on earth are to be trusted and relied on like Americans. This is the pride we have in our country and ourselves. We never agree on anything. We aren’t supposed to, we are Americans.
Everything we built has been based on a balance, race, religion, ethnicity, social standing, political beliefs, regional interests, all striving and compromising to build something we are all secretly very proud of, something all of us are willing to fight for and many are. Americans all agree on one thing, that our government in Washington is out of control and has been for some time. We all have different ideas on this but agree on the fact itself. We wonder where the politicians come from, men too often “less great” than those of the past, in fact, less great than average. Decisions are continually made that most find puzzling and, in fact, are driven by a rotten underbelly of corruption and self interest.
Now, 5 members of the Supreme Court, people none of us voted for, a group that is answerable to no authority and, seemingly, no law or moral code, a group famous for immoderation, poor judgement and low personal integrity has, either through blindness, avarice or insanity clearly done something so malicious, so unjust and so utterly inconsistent with our Constitution that they, themselves, have become an “enemy of the people.”
What is their power? What they have done is not within the scope of the authority given through the Constitution. Their acts are outside the law, their acts are those of a conspiracy, their acts are meant to diminish our freedoms, our sacred institutions and even endanger our lives. Typically, such acts are called crimes and those who commit them are criminals.
What could drive judges, albeit judges appointed with little thought as part of a cheap political ploy, to abandon any American consitutency? Corporations have no religion. They care nothing for the unborn. They have no allegiance to a flag, a family or any moral ethic. They serve no person, owe no loyalty other that to stockholders, shadowy groups of Russian oligarchs, Chinese banks, corrupt dictators grown fat on the spoils of their people or the international consortiums of bond and currency speculators who have, for decades, abandoned any economic law to build the etherial “house of cards” we call the “world economy.”
The control of the American electoral process has been given to them. No serving politican can survive now standing against them. Years ago “they” bought our newspapers and our television networks. Fact and truth became whatever they wanted us to believe. “They” gained control of what many thought and what almost all of us see and hear. That wasn’t enough. They wanted it all. As their control has grown, so has terrorism, continual war, economic poverty for millions Americans and insensitivity to justice and humanity. Who would expect anything else from a corporation with no blood, no heart and no face?
The Founding Fathers led America on the path to freedom and eventual democracy. The Federalists limited the ability of an impetuous electorate to seize power and “reform” America into chaos and anarchy. This system of government was predicated on the belief that love of country would always burn brightly in America and with progress, freedom and bounty was the ineviable reward of our industry. It is only now too obvious that so much has happened that was unforseen. It is not a denial of our traditions to correct wrongs when we find them. This was how America was created. We are drowning in wrongs, we all finally agree on this.
The time is now. Party politics have failed. Political theories are little more than empty rhetoric meant to mislead and misinform. State has become church and church has become state. State is less just and church less godly. All we have left is “we, the People.” This is how we began and it is now all we have to move forward. It is time for the states to call for a Constitutional Convention to establish, not just a Republic, but a Democracy, by and for the people, the American people, rich and poor, a nation loyal to itself, not tied to corporations, a vast military industrial complex or endless foreign alliances.
If it is to be a genuinely conservative nation, one with individual freedoms, a small government, fewer taxes and more opportunity, a nation as intended, then we will all have to live with it. The bloated corpse we are creating in Washington is emitting a stench we can no longer abide. We will be saying goodbye to our Supreme Court, our seniority system in Congress and our political machines pretending to be “parties” and hello to paper ballots, a free press, term limits and the ability to yank a scoundrel out of office when we catch one.
Veterans Today Senior Editor Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on political and social issues.
Are you prepared? Things are going south very quickly now!
The recent decision by the pirates in the Supreme Court is a blatant move to support the ‘coup’ that is being orchestrated by Corporate Amerika! Folks this became so obvious in 2008 with the socialization of BAD DEBTS that came from BAD BETS, but allowing profits to continue to be private! Hey shouldn’t we be getting a very large share of that dough? We invested, in fact saved these Huge Ships from disaster…or was that just a ruse to get FREE MONEY?
By Jim Kirwan
It finally happened the Supreme Court has now eliminated all connections between people and their supposed government at all levels of this society. What it means is that the ancient Tower of Babel has taken over from anything like a real society. This was done by simply flooding the political marketplace with vast sums from the stolen political coffers of the most corrupt Rogue Corporations in the long history of unchecked capitalism.
This wanton and criminal “ACT” by five certifiable traitors on the Supreme Court has actually eliminated any and all need for any government, at any level whatsoever! Since none of these people need to listen to the voices of the people that supposedly elected them, then officially they are no longer needed and their positions should immediately be eliminated.
“By any fair legal definition, the decision yesterday by The Supreme Court 5 constitutes nothing less than an act of TREASON against the people of the United States. Having read and analyzed the entire 183 page decision and all of its concurring and dissenting opinions ourselves, we are fully prepared to support this accusatory conclusion.
Having so grossly abused its jurisdiction by presuming to decide a question expressly WAIVED by the petitioner in the Court below (p.12), this rogue Supreme Court ruled for the FIRST time that NO corporation can be constrained from unlimited influence over our elections. And even assuming that the Court intended the decision to only apply to American corporations, the Court expressly DECLINED (pp. 46-47) to reach the question of whether foreign ownership stakes in American corporations should likewise be given carte blanche to put their thumbs on the scales of our democracy.
Thus, until Congress FURTHER acts (and it must, though it could not have escaped the attention of The Supreme Court 5 that the current Republican minority has vowed to obstruct ANYTHING of consequence that Congress might try to pass), there is now nothing to constrain foreign nationals, even our most sworn enemies, from usurping what even the most die hard Tea Bagger takes as an article of faith, that the rights of citizenship of this country are ONLY for Americans. This must be construed, within the four corners of our Constitution, as deliberately and knowingly exposing the United States of America to harm in the interim, by giving “aid and comfort” to our enemies (Constitution Article 3, section 3), should our enemies now wish to take advantage of this unprecedented and rash decision. In simple constitutional terms . . . treason!!
The fact is that we now live in a world of giant transnational corporations, with allegiance to NO sovereign government, let alone our own, sworn only to exploit the most vulnerable and desperate workers they can find in any country of the world. How does The Supreme Court 5 propose parsing which of these extra-national legal artificialities should be allowed to corrupt our democratic election process? Apparently in their minds, all of them.”
For those that might not understand the subtleties involved in this illegal ruling by the court: All you have to understand is that there will no longer be any political office or appointed position that will exist in opposition to any major-corporate interest, on any level from dog-catcher to resident dictator. This includes senators, and representatives, all those associated with the courts system at any level, and of course all of the now unnecessary departments of the City, County, State or Federal governments.
This also means that there can no longer be any reason for taxes, fines, levies, use-taxes or fees of any kind to be collected-to be paid to this band of outlaws; because the basis for everything depended upon having a government of the people, by the people as well as for the people. That antique view has been trashed by the US Supreme Court, which nullifies all such agreements in the compact that existed between the people and their government: Because all that remains of our Republic now is government by privatized-corporate ownership of every person as well as everyone in every office at every level, that must be pleasing to the various corporations, who have just been licensed to own outright what was once the Republic of the United States.
Of course the new corporate owners will violently disagree with this interpretation; but that is really not our concern any longer. Either we are Americans living under the clear and applicable laws of the US Constitution; or we are nothing but a bunch of property living under a number of corporate charters (As signified by the backward American flag, surrounded by the gold fringe on US uniforms and on display in every courtroom in this land). If the latter is true then that newly appointed group of owners has yet to make themselves known publicly; but whatever they say must be seen for the treason and the treachery that brought them into existence in the first place.
IF those five members of the US Supreme Court are not arrested, tried and shot for high-treason against the United States and its constitution; then the new owners will leave everything as it is and pretend that nothing has changed. Yet everything has changed from credit-card charges to ownership of your supposed home or property: From what you’re allowed to keep by way of what you supposedly earn to what you will be allowed to buy. And everything will be subject to immediate change without any challenge from those directly affected by these “NEW RULES.”
All of this goes way beyond the nightmare described in Orwell’s “1984″ because in effect there are now ‘NO RULES’ for those in power and millions of rules for the chattel that we shall all become under this new system that bears no resemblance to what was envisioned under the US Constitution. “We” are no longer citizens in a country because we have just become expendable property of a group of faceless corporations whose only interest is their own bottom-line-regardless of the cost in human life, in property or in long term damage to the human race.
So the really good news is that there is no longer any legal authority that can require the paying of taxes; nor is there any authority to continue to hold all those totally bogus selections that masquerade as elections. Of course the price of all these drastic and malevolent changes to the way that people must now try to live will far outweigh any real benefit that might ever be gained, from the end of our criminal and formal taxation policies.
The irony of course in all of this, is that again the bastards have over-reached, and now they’ve actually eliminated all those positions that they worked so hard to steal over so many decades and generations. But, since in Amerika, “Instant-gratification takes too long” perhaps that’s understandable, if you look at it from their pathetic position which is supported only by greed and a lust for power that is obscene upon its face.
Maybe this blatant act alone might be enough to wake the sleep-walking dead which this nation has continued to emulate for far too long. If not then this is the final curtain in the Endgame that was designed to do exactly what the US Supreme Court just formally did last Thursday!
Good night and Good Luck Amerika, you’re going to need it!
1) A Supreme Act of Judicial Treason Against the People of the United States
ARE YOU PREPARED? This country has dissoved into a Nation based upon Greed and Avarice. The foundations of disaster!