Sep 09

Free-Speech

- Kentucky Man Arrested for “Terroristic Threatening” After Posting Song Lyrics to Facebook (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Sep 8, 2014):

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 »

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Jul 02

- Free speech banned: Student group sues 4 US universities that ‘stifle dissent’ (RT, July 2, 2014):

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 »

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Jun 23

FYI.



Added: June 18, 2014

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May 25


May 24, 2014

Description:

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.”

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Mar 18

RT - Russia Today

https://www.youtube.com/user/RussiaToday:

Russia Today YouTube channel suspended

Spam? Gaming? Unlikely.

Other Terms of Service violations? Maybe.

It is easy for Google to dig something up if Google really wanted to shut down RT.

Or is it because of ‘misleading content’?

How about RT’s coverage of the Ukraine situation, which is definitely not being in line with western media propaganda?

RT America (another Russia Today channel) is still up.

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Mar 06

- NSA Chief is Pushing for Legislation to Stifle the First Amendment (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 5, 2014):

“Recently, what came out with the justices in the United Kingdom … they looked at what happened on Miranda and other things, and they said it’s interesting: journalists have no standing when it comes to national security issues. They don’t know how to weigh the fact of what they’re giving out and saying, is it in the nation’s interest to divulge this.”
- General Keith Alexander, Director of the NSA

Although General Alexander states the above with regard to the UK justice system, he clearly agrees with the assessment. Read the passage above again and think about how scary that statement is. It becomes clear that one of the reasons abuses at the NSA are so egregious is because of the attitude of the person in charge. Alexander genuinely thinks that intelligence officials know best, and should not be subject to any sort of accountability. You don’t need to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU to see how dangerous this perspective is. To endorse this notion that “journalists have no standing when it comes to national security issues,” is to effectively make illegal one of the most important free speech rights in any democracy. This sort of attitude represents the antithesis of American values.

Not only does General Alexander see things this way, apparently he is lobbying for Congressional legislation that would solidify this authoritarian view within the law itself.

For example, the Guardian reported yesterday that:

General Keith Alexander, who has furiously denounced the Snowden revelations, said at a Tuesday cybersecurity panel that unspecified “headway” on what he termed “media leaks” was forthcoming in the next several weeks, possibly to include “media leaks legislation.”

Continue reading »

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Feb 20

STASI-USSA1

- The Obama Administration Plans to Embed “Government Researchers” to Monitor Media Organizations (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Feb 20, 2014):

Last week, I highlighted the fact that the latest Press Freedom Index showcased a 13 point plunge in America’s press freedom to an embarrassing #46 position in the global ranking. If the authoritarians in the Obama Administration have their way, this country is set to fall much further in next year’s index.

Incredibly, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to roll out something called the Critical Information Needs study, which will embed government “researchers” into media organizations around the nation to make sure they are doing their job properly.

No this isn’t “conspiracy theory.” It is so real, and represents such a threat to the First Amendment, that a current FCC commissioner, Ajit Pai, recently wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal, warning Americans of this scheme. He writes: Continue reading »

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Nov 22

“Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”
- Benito Mussolini

So much for your First Amendment rights!


- US House approves $5,000 fee for official drilling protests, less federal authority over fracking (RT, Nov 22, 2013):

The US House passed Wednesday two bills that would demand a $5,000 filing fee for any individual that wanted to hold an official protest of a drilling project, and that would give the feds less authority nationwide over hydraulic fracking rules.

HR 1965, the Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act, imposes a $5,000 fee for anyone wishing to file for an official protest of a proposed drilling project. An amendment to the bill offered by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) that would have clarified the fee to make sure it was not in violation of First Amendment rights was defeated.

In addition, the bill would allow for automatic approval of onshore drilling permits should the US Department of Interior (DOI) take over 60 days to act on an application. DOI would also be required to begin commercial leasing for development of oil shale – not to be confused with “shale oil” – which is rock that must be heated to about 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit to yield crude oil.

Continue reading »

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Oct 17


Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

- Americans Have Lost VIRTUALLY ALL of Our Constitutional Rights (ZeroHedge, Oct 17, 2013):

This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right.  (This is an updated version of an essay we wrote in February.  Unfortunately, a lot of information has come out since then.)

First Amendment

The 1st Amendment protects speech, religion, assembly and the press: Continue reading »

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Aug 09

- Snowden’s Email Service Provider Shuts Down Following Government Pressure (ZeroHedge, Aug 8, 2013):

Secure and free web-based email service provider Lavabit shut down today. What makes Lavabit different from countless other email providers who have shuttered over the years is that according to BoingBoing, Lavabit is the email service supposedly used by Edward Snowden. Which would explain the nebulous tone in the farewell letter posted on the company’s front page by owner Ladar Levison. It also explains why Lavabit was shut down by the US government, although that was mostly inferred from the letter which due to legal limitations does not expound on the official reasons for the shut down – one can imagine. It certainly explains the following punchline in Levison’s letter: “This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.“We wholeheartedly agree.

Lavabit’s farewell letter:

My Fellow Users,

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on–the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.

Continue reading »

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Jul 02

- In Tennessee Complaining About Water Quality = Terrorism (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 2, 2013):

This is a little over a week old, but I hadn’t seen it and it’s so bothersome that everyone needs to be made aware.  One of my major themes this year has been the sudden outburst of cases in which mostly young people face extremely long prison sentences for merely exercising free speech. The way that many of these charges are justified is through new sets of “anti-terrorism” laws that have been set up in municipalities across the country, and allow for harsh sentences for minor offenses.  Of course, this is merely a backdoor way to erode the First Amendment in the name of fighting the never-ending “war on terror.” A war that is supposedly against Al-Qaeda, the same folks we are actively arming in Syria.

Now from the Tennessean:

A Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation deputy director warned a group of Maury County residents that unfounded complaints about water quality could be considered an “act of terrorism.”

“We take water quality very seriously. Very, very seriously,” said Sherwin Smith, deputy director of TDEC’s Division of Water Resources, according to audio recorded by attendees. “But you need to make sure that when you make water quality complaints you have a basis, because federally, if there’s no water quality issues, that can be considered under Homeland Security an act of terrorism.”

Continue reading »

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Jun 15


Thomas Drake, NSA whistleblower, in a still from the Robert Greenwald documentary War on Whistleblowers. Photograph: guardian.co.uk

- Snowden saw what I saw: surveillance criminally subverting the constitution (Guardian, June 12, 2013, by Thomas Drake):

What Edward Snowden has done is an amazingly brave and courageous act of civil disobedience.

Like me, he became discomforted by what he was exposed to and what he saw: the industrial-scale systematic surveillance that is scooping up vast amounts of information not only around the world but in the United States, in direct violation of the fourth amendment of the US constitution.

The NSA programs that Snowden has revealed are nothing new: they date back to the days and weeks after 9/11. I had direct exposure to similar programs, such as Stellar Wind, in 2001. In the first week of October, I had an extraordinary conversation with NSA’s lead attorney. When I pressed hard about the unconstitutionality of Stellar Wind, he said:

“The White House has approved the program; it’s all legal. NSA is the executive agent.”

It was made clear to me that the original intent of government was to gain access to all the information it could without regard for constitutional safeguards. “You don’t understand,” I was told. “We just need the data.”

In the first week of October 2001, President Bush had signed an extraordinary order authorizing blanket dragnet electronic surveillance: Stellar Wind was a highly secret program that, without warrant or any approval from the Fisa court, gave the NSA access to all phone records from the major telephone companies, including US-to-US calls. It correlates precisely with the Verizon order revealed by Snowden; and based on what we know, you have to assume that there are standing orders for the other major telephone companies. Continue reading »

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Jun 15

- Al Gore denounces NSA’s surveillance program as ‎unlawful (PressTV, June 15, 2013):

Former US Vice-President Al Gore has sharply criticized the National Security Agency (NSA)’s secret telephone data collection program, saying it is against the country’s Constitution.

“This in my view violates the Constitution. The fourth amendment and the first amendment – and the fourth amendment language is crystal clear,” he told the British daily The Guardian on Friday.

Gore said the argument that the NSA surveillance had operated within the boundaries of the law has failed to convince him, adding, “It is not acceptable to have a secret interpretation of a law that goes far beyond any reasonable reading of either the law or the Constitution and then classify as top secret what the actual law is.”

Continue reading »

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Apr 30

- Political Activists May be Banned from San Francisco’s Public Transportation System (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 30, 2013):

This article seems innocuous enough…until you keep reading.  At first it appears entirely reasonable that the BART system (Bay Area Rapid Transit) might look to ban riders for a year who act violently while using the service. However; as is becoming increasingly typical these days, what sounds reasonable at first tends to be awful upon deeper inspection.

For example, according to ABC News in San Francisco:

AB 716 won’t only target violent behavior. It can be applied to protestors who have been arrested during free-speech movements.

Continue reading »

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Mar 25

- El Pais Retracts Article Alleging “Merkel, Like Hitler, Has Declared War On Europe” (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2013):

What does it take for the Spanish “first amendment” journalistic override to kick in? Apparently, in the case of local media leader El Pais, putting up the following in print: “Merkel, como Hitler, ha declarado la guerra al resto del continente, ahora para garantizarse su espacio vital económico.” For the Spanish-challeneged this translates as follows: “Merkel, like Hitler, has declared war on the rest of the continent now to secure their economic living space.” Ah yes, the touchy verboten topic of German “Lebensraum” – its invocation, and ostensibly the unflattering Merkel comparison (seen so often in Greece) were enough to get the article by Juan Torres López in the Andalusia version of El Pais titled simply enough “Alemania contra Europa” taken down.Is it perhaps because unlike in Greece, where articles like that are a daily occurrence, Spaniards still have something to lose should they also lose the good graces of the German chancellor? Something that is more than one Spiderman towel per depositor in the nation’s just as insolvent banking system, where apparently unlike in Cyprus, the ESM actually does work to preserve liquidity and stability?…

A cached version of the article:

In its place one only now sees the following: Continue reading »

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Feb 22


Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

- Scorecard: How Many Rights Have Americans REALLY Lost? (Washington’s Blog, Feb 21, 2013):

How Many Constitutional Freedoms Do We Still Have?

Preface: While a lot of people talk about the loss of our Constitutional liberties, people usually speak in a vague, generalized manner … or focus on only one issue and ignore the rest.

This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right. Continue reading »

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Jan 22

- Rapper Lupe Fiasco Booted Off Inaugural Party Stage After Criticizing Obama (NPR, Jan 21, 2013):

The rapper Lupe Fiasco was escorted off the stage at an unofficial inaugural ball in Washington, last night.

As Politico reports, the Grammy-nominated rapper stayed on the anti-war song “Words I Never Said” for 30 minutes. Video posted by Now This News shows Fiasco dropping lines critical of President Obama, before the lights go off and men in black suits escort him off the stage.

“Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist,” he raps. “Gaza Strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say SHIT”. That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one either. I’m a part of the problem; my problem is I’m peaceful.

Continue reading »

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Nov 28


YouTube Added: 27.11.2012

Description:

Ashley Jessica and Jason Bermas visit Albany International on Black Friday to educate people about opting out of dangerous body scanners and filming intrusive pat downs.

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Nov 28

- Supreme Court rules cops can be filmed (RT, Nov 27, 2012):

Smile for the camera, coppers — the US Supreme Court has decided to let stand a lesser ruling that allows citizens in the state of Illinois to record police officers performing their official duties.

Up until just last year, an anti-eavesdropping legislation on the books across Illinois meant any person within the state could be imprisoned for as much as 15 years for recording a police officer without expressed consent. In August 2011, a federal appeals court struck down the law, but an Illinois prosecutor has asked the Supreme Court — unsuccessfully — to challenge that ruling.

On Monday, the top justices in the US said that they would not hear the case and will instead rely on last year’s ruling where a federal appeals court in Chicago agreed that the eavesdropping law, as written, “likely violates” the First Amendment.

Continue reading »

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Sep 18

- US Totalitarian State Wins After All: Obama Reinstates NDAA Military Detention Provision (ZeroHedge, Sep 18, 2012):

Just over a week ago, we wrote of the challenge to Obama’s NDAA totalitarian bill. Hope remained that Chris Hedges’ view of the indefinite detention as “unforgivable, unconstitutional, and exceedingly dangerous” would bolster judgment. However, as Russia Today reports, a lone appeals judge bowed down to the Obama administration late Monday and reauthorized the White House’s ability to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or due process. On Monday, the US Justice Department asked for an emergency stay on the previous Chris Hedges’-driven order, and hours later US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier agreed to intervene and place a hold on the injunction. The stay will remain in effect until at least September 28, when a three-judge appeals court panel is expected to begin addressing the issue. It would appear the total fascist takeover of Amerika is drawing nearer by the day.

Some background:

What is ironic, is that in the ongoing absolute farce that is the theatrical presidential debate, there hasn’t been one word uttered discussing precisely the kind of creeping totalitarian control, and Orwellian loss of constitutional rights, that the biparty-supported NDAA would have demanded out of the US republic. Why? Chris Hedges said it best:

The oddest part of this legislation is that the FBI, the CIA, the director of national intelligence, the Pentagon and the attorney general didn’t support it. FBI Director Robert Mueller said he feared the bill would actually impede the bureau’s ability to investigate terrorism because it would be harder to win cooperation from suspects held by the military. “The possibility looms that we will lose opportunities to obtain cooperation from the persons in the past that we’ve been fairly successful in gaining,” he told Congress.

But it passed anyway. And I suspect it passed because the corporations, seeing the unrest in the streets, knowing that things are about to get much worse, worrying that the Occupy movement will expand, do not trust the police to protect them. They want to be able to call in the Army. And now they can.

Via RT, Obama wins right to indefinitely detain Americans under NDAA:

A lone appeals judge bowed down to the Obama administration late Monday and reauthorized the White House’s ability to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or due process.

Continue reading »

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