- 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.”
The war on liberty is coming to a head in Connecticut, where tens of thousands of gun owners have refused to comply with their state government’s gun registration laws. Officials have literally ordered those who failed to meet the registration deadline to surrender their firearms or face arrest.
The State of Connecticut is now demanding that gun owners across the state turn in all newly-banned, unregistered firearms and magazines or face felony arrest.
A six-month-long investigation in Central California culminated this week with the arrests of five members of the King City Police Department, the former police chief and the owner of a local towing company.
According to the Monterey County district attorney, for at least three-and-a-half years the city’s top police officers participated in a scheme that took advantage of poor area Hispanics by essentially stealing their cars for profit.
Investigators say King City police ordered hundreds of vehicles to be impounded — most often those driven by Hispanic immigrants — and then either kept the cars for themselves or re-sold them for profit.
- Supreme Court Rules Police May Search A Home Without Obtaining A Warrant (ZeroHedge, Feb 27, 2014):
If the most disturbing, if underreported, news from yesterday, was Obama’s “modification” of NSA capabilities, which contrary to his earlier promises, was just granted even greater powers as phone recording will now be stored for even longer than previously, then this latest development from the Supreme Court – one which some could argue just voided the Fourth amendment – is even more shocking. RT reports that the US Supreme Court has ruled that police may search a home without obtaining a warrant despite the objection of one occupant if that occupant has been removed from the premises. With its 6 to 3 decision in Fernandez v. California on Tuesday, the Court sided with law enforcement’s ability to conduct warrantless searches after restricting police powers with its 2006 decision on a similar case.
In 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department sought suspect Walter Fernandez, believed to have stabbed someone in a violent gang robbery. When police first arrived at the suspect’s home, they heard yelling and screaming before Fernandez’s live-in girlfriend Roxanne Rojas answered the door, appearing “freshly bruised and bloody,” and with an infant in hand, according to argument recap by SCOTUSblog.
- Supreme Court Makes Big Decision On When Cops Can Enter Your Home (Huffington Post, Feb 25, 2014):
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police may search a home without a warrant when two occupants disagree about allowing officers to enter, and the resident who refuses access is then arrested.
The justices declined to extend an earlier ruling denying entry to police when the occupants disagree and both are present.
- Former Supreme Court Justice Wants to Change the Second Amendment for Our “safety and wellbeing” (The Daily Sheeple, Feb 23, 2014):
In his new book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, former (thankfully) Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens outlines the six Constitutional Amendments that he would like to see changed.
According to the book’s description on his website, Stevens outlines “six specific ways in which the Constitution should be amended in order to protect our democracy and the safety and wellbeing of American citizens.”
YouTube Added: Feb 22, 2014
New York state authorities are planning to step-up surveillance – this time, on school kids. The program, which is to be launched state-wide, is supposed to gather information on students starting from the age of five. And as RT’s Marina Portnaya reports, the move is finding little support among parents.
YouTube Added: Feb 21, 2014
President Barack Obama violated his own rules for the use of drone strikes in a December 2013 strike on a wedding procession in Yemen, a new report from Human Rights Watch says. The US military initially claimed that the procession was actually members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, then admitted it was a wedding procession, but claimed that most of the people killed in the attack were members of the terrorist organization. But Human Rights Watch says, “The procession also may have included members of AQAP, although it is not clear who they were or what was their fate.” The group went on to say that there is no evidence that members of the caravan posed an imminent threat, and that killing them was a violation of international human rights laws. RT’s Meghan Lopez speaks with investigative journalist Ben Swann about US drone policy and whether the attack was a violation of Obama’s own stated rules.
- Nun sentenced to years in prison for nuclear site sabotage — Sister Rice pleads with judge to give her life behind bars, “Greatest honor you could give me” — Yale scholar mentions her along with Gandhi, MLK — TV: Highly unusual hearing, judge repeatedly says how much sway they have to affect change (ENENews, Feb 19, 2014):
Reuters, Feb. 18, 2014: A U.S. judge sentenced an 84-year-old nun, Sister Megan Rice, on Tuesday to 35 months in prison for breaking into a Tennessee defense facility where enriched uranium for nuclear bombs is stored.
AP, Feb. 18, 2014: Rice asked the judge to sentence her to life in prison [...] “Please have no leniency with me,” she said. “To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest gift you could give me.”’ [...] God was using them to raise awareness about nuclear weapons and they viewed their break-in as a miracle. […] Rice testified at trial that she was surprised the group made it all the way to the interior of the secured zone without being challenged and that plant operations were suspended. “That stunned me,” she said. “I can’t believe they shut down the whole place.” […] U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar said he was concerned they showed no remorse and he wanted the punishment to be a deterrent for other activists.
- Texas man cleared of killing detective who delivered no-knock warrant (VIDEO) (Guns, Feb 8, 2014):
When Henry Magee heard people burst into his Texas home before 6 a.m. on a Thursday morning in December, he grabbed his rifle, came face to face with an armed man, shot, and killed him.
It was only later that Magee found out that the man was Sgt. Adam Sowders, an investigator with the Burleson County Sheriff’s Department who was there serving a search warrant for drugs.
Now, seven weeks after the shooting, Magee has been cleared by a grand jury of all charges related to the detective’s death.
- Linking to free stuff is not piracy, EU rules (RT, Feb 14, 2014):
Managing a site with links to freely available copyrighted content does not amount to online piracy, an EU court has ruled. The justices advised their Swedish colleagues, who are reviewing a journalists’ lawsuit against a link-hosting website.
The case involves four journalists from Göteborgs-Posten newspaper, who believe they sustained damages from the website Retriever Sverige, which provides users with clickable links to various online publications.
David Swanson is an American activist, blogger and author. He served for a year as media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association. In May 2005, Swanson helped make the Downing Street memo known in the United States and discussed in Congress. He co-founded After Downing Street and led an ongoing campaign to impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Swanson continues to work closely with the peace movement and often leads campaigns to end the Iraq War and punish those involved in launching that war. His Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works as Campaign Coordinator for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio.
- Activist: US president can murder anyone (PressTV, Feb 11, 2014):
By David Swanson
From the Associated Press:
“An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.”
Notice those words: “legally” and “policy.” No longer does U.S. media make a distinction between the two. Under George W. Bush, detention without trial, torture, murder, warrantless spying, and secret missile strikes were illegal. Under Obama they are policy. And policy makes them “legal” under the modified Nixonian understanding that if the President does it as a policy, then it is legal.
Under the U.S. Constitution, the laws of the nations in which drone murders take place, treaties to which the U.S. is party, international law, and U.S. statutory law, murdering people remains illegal, despite being policy, just as it was illegal under the less strict policy of some months back. The policy was made stricter in order to bring it into closer compliance with the law, of course — though it comes nowhere close — and yet the previous policy remains somehow “legal,” too, despite having not been strict enough.
- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul sues President Obama over NSA’s surveillance tactics (Daily News, Feb 12, 2014):
The outspoken Tea Partier filed a lawsuit on behalf of at least 350,000 plaintiffs alleging that the NSA’s bulk collection program violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul and a large group of Tea Party conservatives have filed a lawsuit against President Obama over the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance tactics.
Paul’s suit, filed in conjunction with conservative group FreedomWorks, alleges that the NSA’s bulk collection program, under which the agency has collected the telephone metadata of many Americans, violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which protects against unreasonable searches.
- 11 States Fight Back Against NSA Spying (Washington’s Blog, Feb 11, 2014):
Can American States Rein In An Out-Of-Control Federal Spy Agency?
But Obama refuses to rein in the NSA, Dianne Feinstein says that Congress “doesn’t have the votes” to do anything about mass surveillance, and at least some judges are supporting the NSA’s spying (and it’s not clear what the Supreme Court will do).
But states are trying to fight back … Continue reading »
- Will No One Challenge Obama’s Executive Orders? (Ron Paul, Feb 10, 2014):
President Obama’s state of the union pledge to “act with or without Congress” marks a milestone in presidential usurpation of Congressional authority. Most modern presidents have used executive orders to change and even create laws without Congressional approval. However President Obama is unusually brazen, in that most Presidents do not brag about their plans to rule by executive order in state of the union speeches.
Sadly, his pledge to use his pen to implement laws and polices without the consent of Congress not only received thunderous applause from representatives of the president’s party, some representatives have even pledged to help Obama get around Congress by providing him with ideas for executive orders. The Constitution’s authors would be horrified to see legislators actively aiding and abetting a president taking power away from the legislature.
- GM Maize 1507 Safety Scandal Erupts ahead of EU Vote (Sustainable Pulse, Feb 9, 2014):
Ahead of an important EU vote regarding the possible authorisation of GM Maize 1507 on February 11, meta-analysis has shown the data is insufficient to make a decision on the safety of the plants.Testbiotech has made an initial meta-analysis of some of the data on genetically engineered maize 1507 submitted by industry to authorities in the EU, the US, Australia and New Zealand for their approval procedures. Continue reading »
- GMA Forms US Coalition to Destroy State GMO Labeling Bills (Sustainable Pulse, Feb 7, 2014):
The US Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced Thursday the formation of one of the largest ever food and biotech industry coalitions, in a press release that can be seen below. The aim of the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food is to force the US Congress to pass a Federal GMO Labeling Bill, taking away the democratic right of the people of the US to vote for GMO labeling in State votes.
Sustainable Pulse Director, Henry Rowlands, has described the GMA coalition’s attempt to stop US States from deciding for themselves on whether they want GMO labeling as an “open attack on democracy in the US”.
- France Launches Law to Ban Cultivation of All GM Maize (Sustainable Pulse, Feb 5, 2014):
France has launched a move to restore a ban on genetically modified (GMO) maize annulled by its top court to prevent sowings this spring that could raise public outcry in a country strongly opposed to GMO crops.
A Senator of the ruling Socialist party submitted a draft law on Tuesday calling for the cultivation of any variety of genetically modified maize to be prohibited in the country. Continue reading »
- German Top Court Finds ECB’s OMT Is Illegal, Then Promptly Washes Its Hands Of Final Decision (ZeroHedge, Feb 7, 2014):
In what was a shocking and disappointing at the same time decision, overnight the German Constitutional court, which had been contemplating the legality of the ECB’s still non-existent OMT program, conceived in July 2012 to prevent the collapse of the Eurozone and still only existing in Mario Draghi’s head as it has zero legal documentation supporting it, said that, in its judgment, the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions program likely exceeded the central bank’s powers.
“There are important reasons to assume that [the OMT] exceeds the European Central Bank’s monetary policy mandate and thus infringes the powers of the member states, and that it violates the prohibition of monetary financing of the budget,” the German court said Friday. “Subject to the interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Federal Constitutional Court considers the OMT decision incompatible with primary law,” the German court said.
- Turkish Government Restricts Internet Access; Erdogan Compared To Hitler (ZeroHedge, Feb 6, 2014):
“Remember that Adolf Hitler used the same methods when he rose to power,” opposition leader Hasan Oren blasts as Turkish PM Erdogan as the Turkish parliament has approved a bill that would tighten government controls over the internet. As The BBC reports, the new law allows the government to block websites without first seeking a court ruling. “Now you are implementing fascism,” Oren goes on, despite promises of “enhancing democracy in Turkey” when Erdogan was elected. The Erdogan government had already restricted access to “the scourge of Twitter” and Facebook’s “menace to society,” but this latest step dismisses any legal limits or restrictions.
The Turkish parliament has approved a bill that would tighten government controls over the internet.
The new law will allow Turkey’s telecommunications authority to block websites without first seeking a court ruling.
- Chaos Computer Club files criminal complaint against the German Government (Chaos Computer Club, Feb 3, 2014):
On Monday, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) and the International League for Human Rights (ILMR), have filed a criminal complaint with the Federal Prosecutor General’s office. The complaint is directed against the German federal government, the presidents of the German secret services, namely Bundesnachrichtendienst, Militärischer Abschirmdienst, Bundesamt für Verfassungschutz, and others. We accuse US, British and German secret agents, their supervisors, the German Minister of the Interior as well as the German Chancelor of illegal and prohibited covert intelligence activities, of aiding and abetting of those activities, of violation of the right to privacy and obstruction of justice in office by bearing and cooperating with the electronic surveillance of German citizens by NSA and GCHQ.
After months of press releases about mass surveillance by secret services and offensive attacks on information technology systems, we now have certainty that German and other countries’ secret services have violated the German criminal law. With this criminal complaint, we hope to finally initiate investigations by the Federal Prosecutor General against the German government. The CCC has learned with certainty that the leaders of the secret services and the federal government have aided and abetted the commission of these crimes.
- JAILED WITHOUT BOND: 81-Year-Old Woman Left Birdseed Outside For Animals On Her Property (Government Slaves, Feb 2, 2014):
Neighbors say Mary Musselman has been feeding backyard animals as long as they can remember.
“She fed the squirrels, the birds, strays and that was in the community. She’s just always been that kind of soul,” says neighbor Patty Palmer.
That is, until Wednesday, when the 81-year retired physical education teacher was hauled to jail for feeding bears one too many times.
“I just think it’s so heavy handed. Way overdone. I don’t think that there was much thought given to her age, her physical, her mental condition,” says John Payne, who is also a neighbor.
- 11-Year-Old Girl BANNED From Selling Cupcakes By Control Freak Government Bureaucrats (Economic Collapse, Jan 30, 2014):
America is being suffocated to death by red tape. You are about to read about an 11-year-old girl in Illinois that had her cupcake business brutally shut down by government bureaucrats. Her name is Chloe Stirling and her crime was doing something that we used to applaud young people in America for doing. Instead of sitting on her sofa and watching television all day, she actually started her own business. And it turned out there her little business started thriving. In fact, it started doing so well that a local newspaper took notice of it. Well, that is when the control freaks swooped in and took her business away and banned her from selling any more cupcakes. The really sad thing is that people are being paid to do this with our tax dollars. All over America, little entrepreneurs are having their lemonade stands shut down and are being banned from selling Girl Scout cookies, and our tax dollars are paying the people that are doing it. As I wrote about earlier this month, the level of economic freedom in the United States is at an all-time low, and it gets worse with each passing year. The country that so many of us love is dying, and it is being replaced with something that I like to call “the USSA”.
- Dutch court rules in favor of unblocking Pirate Bay as ban ‘ineffective’ (RT, Jan 29, 2014):
People in the Netherlands will soon have access to The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s most censored file-sharing websites, as a court in The Hague ruled that Dutch ISPs need to stop blocking the site after the ban proved ineffective against piracy.
The Court of The Hague released its verdict that two leading ISPs operating in the country – XS4All and Ziggo – no longer have to block access to file sharing website The Pirate Bay.
- ANGRY MoE AND THe STeNCH oF THe UNioN… (ZeroHedge, Jan 28, 2014)
- State of the Union: Obama calls for action, with or without Congress (CNN, Jan 29, 2014):
He talked a good game of acting on his own if necessary, calling for 2014 to be a “year of action, but President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address showed he knows that true progress depends on cooperation with a divided and recalcitrant Congress.
“Sometimes we stumble; we make mistakes; we get frustrated or discouraged,” he said near the end of the more than hour-long speech, seeming to describe his bad 2013 that lowered his approval ratings. “But for more than 200 years, we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress.”
It was vintage Obama, blending hopeful calls for a unified approach with declarations of presidential independence through executive orders.
José Pizarro Montoya, a 38-year-old landless farmer from Melipilla (Santiago, Chile), and ex GMO producer (season 2009-2010) is the first and perhaps the only Latin American who has won a lawsuit against Monsanto/ANASAC for breach of contract.
- Destitute Chilean Farmer Defeats Monsanto in Landmark Legal Victory (Sustainable Pulse, Jan 23, 2014):
A landless Chilean farmer has won a landmark lawsuit against Monsanto and thus exposed the dangers posed by the transnational corporation to the whole country.
Chilean farmer wins lawsuit against Monsanto and exposes the company at Chilean Government’s GMO seminar
By Lucía Sepúlveda Ruiz
Lucía Sepúlveda Ruiz: periodismo sanador, January 22 2014
Translation: Ignacia Guzmán Zuloaga
Slightly edited by GMWatch
He tried and failed to break the news at a GMO Seminar which took place on January 22 and was organized by Chilean Agriculture Secretary, Luis Mayol. There, international and national speakers preached about the goodness of GMO crops. Pizarro only wanted to speak out to the audience and share that he did not recommend any farmer to work for Monsanto growing GMO seeds for export, because they could end up ruined as he did, besides damaging the soil. Continue reading »
- Eco Groups Challenge Canadian Government in Court over GM Salmon (Sustainable Pulse, Jan 20, 2014):
Environmental groups want a court to decide if the federal government violated its own law by permitting the manufacture of genetically modified salmon in Canada.
“Canadians expect their government to implement, not ignore, the laws that protect our ecosystems from harm,” said Tanya Nayler, one of the Ecojustice lawyers representing Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society. “By granting approval for this genetically modified species without obtaining all the legally required information, the government has once again failed the environment and Canadians.”