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 »
It was nearly five years ago when Zero Hedge first wrote: “This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied” in which we predicted as part of the ongoing herding of investors away from every other asset class and into stocks, regulation will be implemented to enforce that “money market fund managers will have the option to ‘suspend redemptions to allow for the orderly liquidation of fund assets” or in other words implement redemption “gates.” The logic: spook participants in the $2.6 trillion money market industry with the prospect of being gated (i.e., having no access to ones funds) and force them to reallocate funds elsewhere.
Moments ago the gates arrived, when following a close 3-2 vote (with republican commissioner Piwowar and democrat Stein dissenting), the SEC adopted new rules designed to curb the risk of investor runs on money market funds, capping the end of a years-long heated debate between regulators and the industry dating to the financial crisis according to Reuters.
Among the changes, funds will have to switch to a floating share price instead of the current $1/share (hence the term breaking the buck). But the key part: “The SEC’s rule will require prime money market funds to move from a stable $1 per share net asset value, to a floating NAV. It also will let fund boards lower redemption “gates” and fees in times of market stress.” Continue reading »
British journalists who publish politically motivated content could be labeled terrorists if UK authorities deem the material to be a threat to public safety, according to Britain’s counter-terrorism watchdog.
In his annual report published on July 22, the UK’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism LegislationDavid Anderson QC emphasized the UK’s anti-terror laws were simply too broad.His comprehensive review was presented to parliament by Britain’s Home Secretary on Tuesday morning. Continue reading »
Day after day, headlines from Argentina implore Judge Griesa to do the “fair, responsible” thing and lift his judgment that holdouts get paid before current bondholders receive their payments… and day after day Argentina’s demands are met with silence or denials. Today, though, with 1 week left until Argentina must put up or shut up, Judge Griesa has come out swinging…
*U.S. JUDGE SAYS OF ARGENTINA RULINGS: ‘JUDGMENTS ARE JUDGMENTS‘
*U.S. JUDGE URGES ‘SENSIBLE STEPS’ TO AVOID ARGENTINA DEFAULT
While CDS spreads have surged once again, bonds trade with default probabilities around only 50% which, according to Jefferies “are expensive on underestimating the risk of default.” Continue reading »
As is typically the case with posts on Liberty Blitzkrieg, the reason for highlighting this story is to see it in the context of other cultural trends happening within society. One of my biggest themes in 2014 has to do with the aggressive manner in which “authorities” relentlessly pursue average citizens for the most insignificant of infractions, while the most dastardly and destructive of criminals (financial oligarchs and others) receive, at worst, a slap on the wrist. Some of the more egregious examples of this behavior can be found below: Continue reading »
A law, legally allowing children to work from as early as the age of ten, has been signed in Bolivia this week, making the Latin American country the first nation to legalize child labor. International organizations say it contravenes UN conventions.
The legislation was approved by the Congress earlier this month, with Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera signing it into law on Thursday. The signature – which didn’t come from President Evo Morales due to his absence from the country – officially lowers the age that children can legally work from 14 to 10. Continue reading »
Everytime you’re smoking a cigarette you are inhaling radioactive polonium.
The tobacco industry knows this and could easily remove the polonium from your cigarettes, but that would greatly reduce the ‘nicotine hit’ you’ll get from smoking, which would greatly reduce your addiction to smoking, which would be bad news for their profits.
Jury says tobacco firm RJ Reynolds did not inform woman’s chain-smoking husband of risks before he died of lung cancer.
A Florida jury has awarded the widow of a chain-smoker who died of lung cancer punitive damages of more than $23bn in her case against the RJ Reynolds Tobacco, the nation’s second-largest cigarette maker.
The judgment, returned on Friday night in a Pensacola court, was the largest in Florida history in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by an individual, according to the woman’s legal team. 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.
Special exemptions to be written into Freedom of Information Act
The Royal Family is to be granted absolute protection from public scrutiny in a controversial legal reform designed to draw a veil of secrecy over the affairs of the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William.
Letters, emails and documents relating to the monarch, her heir and the second in line to the throne will no longer be disclosed even if they are in the public interest. Continue reading »
An Australian judge has incurred the wrath of child protection and gay rights advocates after stating that incest and pedophilia may no longer be considered taboo – just as gay relationships are now more accepted than they were in the 1950s and 60s.
District Court Judge Garry Neilson was recorded as saying that sexual contact between adults and children or siblings may no longer be regarded by society as “unnatural” or “taboo.” Continue reading »
The US State Department has allocated more than a billion dollars in contracts to the security firm Blackwater and its later manifestations since a top official for the company threatened a government investigator’s life in 2007.
The Huffington Post reported that the notorious security contractor Blackwater, its subsequent incarnations, and its subsidiaries have received more than $1.3 billion since the fall of 2007 for training and operations the world over.
In August 2007, State Department investigator Jean C. Richter said a Blackwater project manager, Daniel Carroll, told Richter“that he could kill me at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” where the investigator was observing – and criticizing – the company’s operations. The New York Times reported the details of the threat last month. Continue reading »
The world’s leading Scientists, Physicians, Attorneys, Politicians and Environmental Activists expose the corruption and dangers surrounding the widespread use of Genetically Modified Organisms in the new feature length documentary, “Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs”.
Senior Executive Producer / Writer / Director: Gary Null PhD
Executive Producer/Writer/Co-Director: Richard Polonetsky
Producers: Paola Bossola, Richard Gale, James Spruill, Patrick Thompson, Valerie Van Cleve
Editors: James Spruill, Patrick Thompson, Richie Williamson, Nick Palm
Music: Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech.com), Armando Guarnera
Graphics: Jay Graygor
New cybersecurity legislation cleared the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday during a closed session. Critics fear it may broaden the NSA’s already formidable access to Americans’ data.
Written by Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), CISA – or Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act – is widely seen as a redux of last year’s CISPA bill, which was widely protested by online privacy watchdogs and ultimately defeated in Congress. Continue reading »
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?
Moments ago the US Supreme Court – the same Supreme Court which two years ago upheld Obamacare but as a tax, something the administration has since sternly denied – dealt Obamacare its biggest legal blow to date, and alternatively handing Obamacare opponents their largest court victory yet, when in a 5-4 vote SCOTUS ruled that business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law that requires closely held private companies to provide health insurance that covers birth control. Continue reading »
California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill making alternative currencies, including bitcoin, lawful in the state.
The bill repeals the provision of the old legislation, which banned the use of “anything but the lawful money of the United States.”
Authors of the amendment labeled the old regulatory regime as “stagnant” and lagging behind Californian “growing and innovative payments market.”
“This bill makes clarifying changes to current law to ensure that various forms of alternative currency, such as digital currency, points, coupons, or other objects of monetary value do not violate the law when those methods are used for the purchase of goods and services or the transmission of payments,” the comments to the bill read. Continue reading »
The Supreme Court of the United States said Wednesday that police officers must have a warrant before searching the cell phone contents of an individual under arrest.
In a unanimous ruling announced early Wednesday, the high court settled two cases surrounding instances in which law enforcement officials scoured the mobile phones of suspects in custody and then used information contained therein to pursue further charges.
“The police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested,” the Supreme Court ruled.
“Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience,” the court continued. “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.”
Orin Kerr, a Georgetown University law professor who focuses primarily on computer cases, wrote Wednesday morning on his Washington Post-hosted blog that the court’s decision was “a big win for digital privacy.” Continue reading »
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 »