It seems as if the never-ending stream of American plebs being arrested for the most innocuous activities, things that were seen as completely normal just a few years ago, is continuing its irrational march forward toward peak nanny-statism, at which point everything will be criminalized.
This disturbing trend has been a key topic for Liberty Blitzkrieg in 2014. Here are the three most recent absurd cases from July and August alone: Continue reading »
In a landmark gun control case, a federal judge in Washington DC has overturned the city’s total ban on carrying handguns outside the home, saying it is unconstitutional.
“There is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny,” Judge Frederick Scullin said. Continue reading »
The U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights – Navi Pillay – also said this week that Snowden should not be prosecuted:
Those who disclose human rights violations should be protected. We need them. And I see some of it here in the case of Snowden, because his revelations go to the core of what we are saying about the need for transparency, the need for consultation of all, as what we say, ‘multi-stakeholders,’ everybody concerned. So we do owe it to him for drawing our attention to this issue.
The US/UK/Israel wars of the present are Orwellian unlawful because they violate two treaties renouncing armed attack as a foreign policy option, and allowing military use only in a narrow definition of self-defense when attacked by another nation’s government (full explanation/documentation here).
There’s not much good you can count on Congress to accomplish, but when it comes to introducing and passing oligarch protecting, civil liberties destroying legislation, our “representatives” are absolutely relentless in their determination. Unsurprisingly, the only “distinctly native American criminal class,” as Mark Twain described Congress, is at it again when it comes to institutionalizing spying and attempting a legal run around the Bill of Rights.
One thing that has become crystal clear since the Edward Snowden revelations, is that much of Congress has no problem at all with unconstitutional spying. Rather, they are primarily upset it was exposed and are dead set on making sure no other whistleblower can ever do the same. Enter CISA, or The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.
A leaked memo attributed to RAND corporation think tank suggests the Ukrainian govt should engage in an all-out war in the east, including shutting down all communications, putting citizens in internment camps and killing all who resist such actions.
In the shocking letter, which has been leaked to online media, the advice offers a step by step brutal guide in how to deal with the population in eastern Ukraine.The authenticity of the document which bears the RAND corporation logo, however, could not be independently verified.
The RAND Corporation is non-profit global think tank which offers research and analysis to the US armed forces. Continue reading »
Arguing that free speech is suffering at colleges across the US, an advocacy group filed lawsuits against four universities, seeking to strengthen the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has filed lawsuits against four schools – Iowa State University, Ohio University, Chicago University and Citrus College in Glendora, California – that it says disrupt the flow of free speech in a number of ways, including the banning of particular T-shirts, for example, or by refusing to permit certain speakers address the student body on controversial issues.
According to the group’s estimate, about 60 percent of public universities and colleges have restrictions on rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Continue reading »
A five-person panel handpicked by US President Barack Obama concluded Tuesday that the National Security Agency’s use of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provision to spy on non-Americans is not unjust.
Nevertheless, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s findings — published late Tuesday in a 196-page pre-release report that was approved by the panel early Wednesday — did acknowledge that substantial flaws exist in the way the NSA uses Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act to conduct surveillance against not US-persons believed to be located abroad. Continue reading »
A protester holding a placard shouts slogans at a rally against Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to expand Japan’s military role as police officers refrain him in front of Abe’s official residence in Tokyo June 30, 2014 (Reuters / Yuya Shino)
Thousands gathered outside the Japanese prime minister’s office to protest constitutional changes that would expand Japan’s military role and allow overseas deployment. It comes one day after a man set himself on fire in protest against a proposed law.
Protest organizers have estimated that 10,000 people – including students, pensioners, and women – attended the rally outside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office in Tokyo. However, police put the number of participants at “several thousand.”
The demonstration comes on the eve of a cabinet meeting, where lawmakers are expected to endorse a resolution that would expand the use of Japan’s military by reforming the constitution. Continue reading »
Under Article 9 of its post-war pacifist constitution, Japan is blocked from the use of force to resolve conflicts except in the case of self-defense; but, as The BBC reports, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants a new interpretation of the constitution to be agreed on. This has brought major protests in Japan, climaxing this weekend when a man set himself on fire in central Tokyo in protest at a proposed law which could allow Japan to deploy its military overseas. With stocks falling, JPY strengthening, an economy collapsing, and a surging disapproval rating, it seems Abe needs a 4th arrow – war?
Powers once granted are almost impossible to take back.
After 13.5 years, there is more than enough evidence for reasonable people to conclude that the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama are easily the most destructive in U.S. history.
When historians speak of failed presidencies or weak presidencies, they are typically referring to presidencies characterized by uneven leadership, petty corruption by self-serving cronies or in extreme cases such as the Nixon presidency, abuses of executive power.
But weak or failed presidencies are not destructive to the rule of law and the foundations of the nation. The failed president leaves office and the basic structure of the nation continues: the rule of law, the balance of powers and a free-market economy. Continue reading »
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told attendees at a Family Research Council pastors retreat that Senate Democrats want to limit free speech through amending the Constitution.
“When you think it can’t get any worse, it does,” Cruz said at the FRC’s Watchmen on the Wall 2014 event in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. “This year, I’m sorry to tell you, the United States Senate is going to be voting on a constitutional amendment to repeal the First Amendment.”
BANGKOK – Thailand’s prime minister was ordered by a court to step down Wednesday in a divisive ruling that handed a victory to anti-government protesters who have staged six months of street protests — but does little to resolve the country’s political crisis.
The Constitutional Court found Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of abusing her power by transferring a senior civil servant in 2011 to another position. It ruled that the transfer was carried out to benefit her politically powerful family and, therefore, violated the constitution — an accusation she has denied.
The ruling also forced out nine Cabinet members but left nearly two dozen other ministers in their posts, including Deputy Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan, who was quickly appointed the new acting leader.
Pulitzer prize winning reporter Chris Hedges – along with journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, activist Tangerine Bolen and others – sued the government to join the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans.
The trial judge in the case asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing about bad guys.
The government refusedto promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge.
The United States Supreme Court this week effectively ended all efforts to overturn a controversial 2012 law that grants the government the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without due process.
On Monday, the high court said it won’t weigh in on challenge filed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and a bevy of co-plaintiffs against US President Barack Obama, ending for now a two-and-a-half-year debate concerning part of an annual Pentagon spending bill that since 2012 has granted the White House the ability to indefinitely detain people “who are part of or substantially support Al-Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces engaged in hostilities against the United States.”
The Obama administration has long maintained that the provision — Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 — merely reaffirmed verbiage contained within the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, signed by then-President George W. Bush in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The US Supreme Court has further enhanced the administration’s ability to detain anyone, at any time, on any pretext today, when it refused to hear the Hedges v. Obama case, meaning an Appeals Court ruling on the matter will stand.
The case stems from a 2012 lawsuit brought by Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky and others, and sought to block the enforcement of a 2012 National Defense Authorization Act statute that allows the president to unilaterally impose indefinite detention on anyone, without access to courts, if he personally believes something they did “aided” the Taliban or al-Qaeda.
American law enforcement has long advocated for universal “kill switches” in cellphones to cut down on mobile device thefts. Now the Department of Justice argues that the same remote locking and data-wiping technology represents a threat to police investigations–one that means they should be free to search phones without a warrant.
In a brief filed to the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday in the case of alleged Boston drug dealer Brima Wurie, the Justice Department argues that police should be free to warrantlessly search cellphones taken from suspects immediately at the time of arrest, rather than risk letting the suspect or his associates lock or remotely wipe the phone before it can be searched.
The Supreme Court declined to take a case challenging the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of metadata. Plaintiff Larry Klayman won his case challenging the NSA in a lower court, but wanted the Supreme Court to hear the government’s appeal of the decision. This would have avoided the normal but more lengthy appeals process in lower courts. The decision by the high court does not mean that they won’t hear the case in the future. RT’s Ameera David examines this decision and other challenges to the NSA working their way through the courts.
Just over a month ago, we reported on the Supreme Court’s ruling that police may search a home without obtaining a warrant thus denigrating the Fourth Amendment to the funeral pyre under the Obama Administration’s totalitarian might. Today that decision (and the end of the 4th) were confirmed when the country’s top intelligence official confirmed in a letter to Congress that the Obama administration has conducted warrantless searches of Americans’ communications as part of the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations. While efforts were made to suggest agencies do not deliberately track Americans’ emails, phone calls, and online activity without a warrant, as Sen. Wyden notes, “the facts show that was misleading.”
The Obama administration has conducted warrantless searches of Americans’ communications as part of the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations that target foreigners located outside of the U.S., the administration’s top intelligence official confirmed in a letter to Congress disclosed Tuesday. Continue reading »
WASHINGTON – Momentum is building behind what would be an unprecedented effort to amend the U.S. Constitution, through a little-known provision that gives states rather than Congress the power to initiate changes.
At issue is what’s known as a “constitutional convention,” a scenario tucked into Article V of the U.S. Constitution. At its core, Article V provides two ways for amendments to be proposed. The first – which has been used for all 27 amendment to date – requires two-thirds of both the House and Senate to approve a resolution, before sending it to the states for ratification. The Founding Fathers, though, devised an alternative way which says if two-thirds of state legislatures demand a meeting, Congress “shall call a convention for proposing amendments.”
While we are sure the governments and their IMF handlers will find a way around such annoyances as the rule of law, the Greek Supreme Court just ruled that the seizure of bank deposits due to debts to the state without previous notice was against the Constitution. We humbly suggest the Ukrainian courts be rapidly brought to a decision on the same ruling, before IMF hands start dipping into pockets.
Greece’s Supreme Court ruled that the seizure of bank deposits due to debts to the state without previous notice was against the Constitution. The judges had taken up a debtor’s complaint filed in 2006. The debtor had seen his pension being grabbed from his bank account due to debts to the tax office.