Archive for the ‘Patriot Act’ Category

A Once Free Nation

by Bob Livingston on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

This is article 416 of 458 in the topic Government Corruption
A Once Free Nation

PHOTOS.COM

A once free nation’s descent into tyranny occurs one of two ways: either through sudden violent revolution or gradually over decades in fits and starts. America’s has occurred gradually.

Government conquers its citizens with gradualism because few understand it. Gradualism is imperceptible force.

America has evolved into a lawless state. There has been a breakdown of law and order, but only a few can see it. There are many layers of deception and those few who have become alerted see and understand at different levels.

The first trigger of alert is when a few people come to understand that government is organized crime and that government is in all-out war with its own citizens. The central purpose of Personal Liberty Digest™ is to raise the awareness of the people.

The U.S. Congress has, gradually, ceded its authority to the President and to the alphabet soup agencies of government that it created or allowed the President to create. Now the President rewrites laws on a whim, or chooses to not enforce them on a whim. This is the stuff of third-world banana republics. The imperial presidency feared by the Founding Fathers is in full operation. Yet the feckless Congress hardly whimpers about it and the people do little more than shrug their collective shoulders.

Even worse are the regulatory and quasi-military law enforcement agencies. These agencies, staffed by career bureaucrats and headed by statists with “altruistic” motives that always benefit either the cronies and well-connected or the growing government apparatus, create new standards and new regulations and new rules without regard to the Constitution and their effect on the American people.

Often the elites simply do not care how their policies will affect average Americans so long as the fascist system is rewarded or the State is made more powerful. Other times the detrimental effects are simply chalked up as unintended consequences or collateral damage.

Almost any crime can be carried out without overt force or resistance if it is done gradually. Somehow any process of gradualism escapes detection. Gradualism extends false hope and the illusion of reality.

One can poison himself and be dead immediately. On the other hand, we can be poisoned over time with fluoride in our drinking water, by vaccinations and inoculations, by toxins in our foods, and so on ad infinitum.

Gradualism does something else. It confuses cause and effect. As long as a process of currency depreciation is gradual, the people cannot discern the cause nor place the blame on the money printers.

Currency debasement has throughout history always been the method of choice of governments to steal and transfer wealth from the people to the government in subtle and secret ways so that the crowd never catches on.

This is going on now in our lifetime more than at any time in history. Yet there is no revolution. There is no blood in the streets. The propaganda still holds sway. The people still trust the system. The people remain calm.

Not only are the peasants calm, they have been deceived into believing that rising stock markets constitute a sign of prosperity.

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Fearing Obama

by Alan Caruba on Friday, August 2nd, 2013

This is article 360 of 458 in the topic Government Corruption
I have been sensing something about the mood of many Americans that I think is unprecedented in the history of the nation. It is a fear of the President. A fear that one observer, Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal, calls “the president’s creeping authoritarianism.”
Obama has had four and a half years to pursue his goal of “transforming” America and, along the way, he has continually expressed his disdain for the constraints of the Constitution, his contempt for Congress and the Supreme Court, and, if his recent speeches are any indication, his belief that enough Americans are so dumb they will believe anything he says.
Overall, there is a growing sense of foreboding as four in five Americans are facing some degree of poverty and a small chance of finding work. One can feel the nation slowing down, its momentum sapped, its national sense of optimism being drained.
The bankruptcy of a major American city, Detroit, tells one everything they need to know about the result of decades of liberal governance and its acceleration under Obama. What other cities face a similar fate? Is the nation on the path to becoming a third-world economy?
I had my own fears evoked by a news report that “The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge user’s stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.”
In countless ways, the Constitutional protection of privacy is being eroded along with reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been purchasing huge quantities of ammunition and military-style vehicles. A new book discusses the way local police forces have been developing SWAT teams with similar capabilities. What kind of domestic uprising is DHS anticipating? And why is it anticipating it?
The National Security Agency is building a huge complex in Utah, larger even than the Pentagon, to store data it collects, presumably about Americans as well as foreigners. Kiss the Fourth Amendment goodbye, yet Congress just voted to sustain the NSA without restraints.
Why hasn’t Congress acted to repeal the National Defense Authorization Act that permits the government to arrest and detain any American without recourse to an attorney or the courts?
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been on a tear, presumably to find out the sources of leaks in the Obama administration, seizing the telephone records of the Associated Press without giving the AP due notice.
Americans are beginning to suspect that there is little justice to be found in the DOJ, particularly since the revelations about “Fast and Furious”, an idiotic program of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency to purchase and “walk” guns into Mexico in order to “track” them. It was obvious they would end up in the hands of the drug cartels. It took an executive order by Obama to shut down a congressional investigation into this bizarre scheme.

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Are Americans Living in a Police State?

by Alan Caruba on Saturday, July 13th, 2013

This is article 349 of 458 in the topic Government Corruption
The thing about a police state is that it tends to creep up on you. One day you think the Bill of Rights is intact and the freedoms you take for granted are intact, but the next day you find out that under the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1540), signed into law by President Obama on December 31, 2011, you can be arrested and detained without recourse to an attorney or the courts.
HR 1540 kills the concept of Habeas Corpus by permitting the detention of U.S. citizens without trail. In 2009 the National Emergency Centers Act, HR 645,  was introduced for the establishment of “internment camps.” I have not been able to determine if it was passed and signed into law, nor have I found any explanation why the Congress of the United States either passed or even considered these laws.
The 2001 Patriot Act was justified as a response to 9/11 and revised in 2012. It gives the government unprecedented powers of surveillance and enforcement in the name of deterring terrorism.
One of Obama’s many executive orders permits him to “commandeer” all domestic U.S. resources, including food and water supplies, energy productions, and transportation, even in times of peace, with no congressional oversight. On March 16, 2012, the National Defense Resources Preparedness EO expands on a law from the 1950s as the Cold War was heating up and there were fears of a conflict with the Soviet Union.
President Obama, obsessed with leaks to the press, has now turned the entire federal government into a workplace where employees are expected to report “suspicious activity” of their co-workers. Failure to do so could result in penalties including criminal charges. Though figures differ, by 2010 there were an estimated 2.5 million full-time federal employees.
According to an article by Jonathan S. Landay and Marisa Taylor, two reporters for McClatchy newspapers, the October 2011 executive order mandating the program is “based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.” The program, deemed flawed, “could result in illegal ethnic and racial profiling and privacy violations.”
As Americans have been learning in airports across the nation, the Transportation Security Authority routinely engages in profiling and highly intrusive physical “pat downs” that many find humiliating.
In 2011, the TSA’s “VIPR teams” conducted an estimated 8,000 unannounced security screenings at subway stations, bus terminals, seaports, and highway rest stops in which Americans were required to show some proof of identity. This is the same administration that opposes voter ID, but not when the police functions of the TSA are concerned.
In bits and pieces, news of activities at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been reported and, when the dots are connected, some very scary conclusions can be reached. Why has DHS purchased 1.6 billion bullets as of March of this year? That is reportedly twenty times more than the amount of bullets expended in the Iraq War.

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Has the NSA collected massive data on all American’s credit card purchases, pharmacy records, library records, guns, financial information, and on and on?

by John Lott on Monday, July 1st, 2013

This is article 343 of 458 in the topic Government Corruption
A bipartisan group of 26 senators asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper whether the Patriot Act has been interpreted differently “from an intuitive reading of the statute” to allow massive data collected on all American’s credit card purchases, pharmacy records, library records, guns, financial information, and on and on.  Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) lead the group of Senators.  Their letter is produced here (Click to make text larger):

 

The Senators who signed the letter are: Ron Wyden (D-Or), Mark Udall (D-Co), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt), Mark Kirk (R-Il), Dick Durbin (D-Il), Tom Udall (D-NM), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jon Tester (D-Mt), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Dean Heller (R- Nev),Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), Patty Murray (D-Wash), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Al Franken (D-Minn), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chris Coons (D-Del), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), Max Baucus (D-Mont), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc) and Mike Lee (R-Utah)

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Living in the Government’s Fishbowl

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, June 9th, 2013

This is article 322 of 458 in the topic Government Corruption

You have to wonder why all the data gathering by the National Security Agency, Homeland Security, and the FBI failed to identify and surveil the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing? When even the Russians warned national security authorities about the Chechen brothers, Dzhokan and Tamerlan Tsaraev, they were reportedly interviewed and then ignored.

“Are you planning to make bombs to kill infidels?” “No, sir.” “Okay, have a nice day.”

It is useful to recall the extraordinary fear that the 9/11 attacks generated. Americans were ready to accept any means possible to avoid further attacks. The Patriot Act came off the shelf and was enacted swiftly even though most members of Congress barely had time or perhaps even made the effort to read it.

On June 6, an unidentified “senior administration spokesman” said, “Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats.” The latest revelations about the scope of that intelligence gathering, combined with those about the misuse of data by the Internal Revenue Service, led The New York Times to say of the reassurances being offered—just trust us—“The administration has now lost all credibility”; amending that shortly after to “…on this issue.” Too late. You told the truth the first time.

The Times, along with many conservatives, was wary of the Patriot Act, saying it was “reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.”

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution says “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath and affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

S.T. Karnick, the Director of Research for The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based, free market think tank, said, “The audacity of monitoring everyone’s phone calls in hopes of catching a small number of terrorists demonstrated the unconstitutionality and self-contradiction at the heart of the mass government surveillance. There is no probable cause for which to search any particular individual’s call records, merely a probability that someone somewhere used a telephone to assist in the planning or commission of a crime.”

A report in The Guardian, a British newspaper, of the gathering of all phone data was followed on June 6 by a report in The Washington Post that “The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track one target or trace a whole network of associates, according to a top secret document obtained by The Washington Post.”

That document was leaked and if it were not for such leaks to the news media we would not know even a fraction of what the current and past administrations have been doing with regard to the invasion of the constitutionally protected privacy of Americans.

Dr. Yuri N. Maltsev, PhD, professor of economics at the A.W.

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IRS Targeting Not New Says Minister

by Rev. Austin Miles on Sunday, May 19th, 2013

This is article 236 of 307 in the topic Taxation/IRS

The IRS Bullying tactics currently in the news is not a new thing. This individual, who was targeted by the U.S. version of the KGB, learned that the IRS is totally directed by the government to harass those with political ideology other than their own, which is Marxist. The government uses the IRS as a chain-saw to silence those with whom they disagree, especially ministers who believe in God.

In early 2000, an application for a 501c3 tax exemption for a valid ministry resulted in an avalanche of form after form requiring excessive information. This continued for several months after the demanded $400.00 had been sent to them to process the application.

After several months it became evident that they would never grant me the exemption even though this ministry has proved to benefit society with a 100% success rate in suicide prevention, crisis counseling, chaplain work in all areas, the training of chaplains and homeless ministry. They had no intention to grant the exemption and they kept my $400.00, which, for a devoted minister, is a sacrifice.

At the very same time, a perverted organization called, North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) whose goal it is [to] make it legal, for older men to have sex with little boys, which they refer to as inter-generational sex, applied for tax exempt status and that was immediately granted without delay.

The government then zeroed in on its quest to close down this ministry. California Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, launched a full frontal assault. My driver’s license Renewal Notice came in the mail at the usual time. I sent back the signature, again as usual, and BAM! The DMV wrote back that I had to provide identification to renew my license, which was strange since I had been living and driving in the State of California for 16 years with no violations.

Identification was sent and it was rejected even though it had been accepted before. I sent them a copy of my passport and even that was not accepted. The demand for massive identification was such that nobody could have provided what they insisted on having.

It is to be noted that the DMV, under direction of Gov. Davis took a very defensive stance against me, were rude and downright insulting when I called them, and in letters they wrote to me. Some of the things they said to me were downright stupid, something not expected from a government office.

They then asked for a birth certificate which I sent, but that was rejected since they would not accept a copy of a birth certificate. It had to be the original one. Since I was born in Houston I contacted the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics. Gov. Davis had already contacted them with instructions not to cooperate with me.

That bureau stated that I had to provide identification to prove who I was in order to be issued the certificate. I had sent them copies of the original birth certificate but that was not acceptable, it didn’t prove a thing, they said. I then sent them copies of my passports over the years and those were refused. They had made it impossible for me. The government was firing its best shots to force me out of public life.

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OVER THE CLIFF WE GO….WHEE!

by Burt Prelutsky on Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

This is article 1280 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

by Burt Prelutsky

The only consolation to being in my 70s is that I got to spend most of my life in a pre-Obama America, and probably won’t have to spend too many years in the post-Obama one.

I hate to be a gloomy Gus, but prior to the election, I wrote that the nation could probably survive another four years of this schmuck, but what it couldn’t survive is an electorate that would give him another four years in which to do his dirty work.

By now, even Obama must be embarrassed to keep blaming Bush. But being the sort of egotist who can never acknowledge his own miserable failings, I fully expect he will now start blaming Biden. Speaking of Biden, it’s often said of vice-presidents that they provide the president with more protection than the Secret Service. But for my part, I would actually prefer to see Biden in the Oval Office. At least, thanks to his gift for malaprops, he could be counted on to keep us laughing.

What confounds me about the left-wing lap dogs in the media is the way they keep insisting that their role is to speak truth to power when, in fact, all they really do is provide cover for Obama and his cronies in Congress. For instance, remember how upset they were when George Bush got the Patriot Act passed, when he invaded Afghanistan and when he refused to shut down Gitmo?

Well, here it is 2012. Obama has extended the Patriot Act, lost more American lives in Afghanistan in four years than Bush did in seven and kept Gitmo open, and nobody in the media or the Democratic Party is calling him a fascist, calling for his impeachment or suggesting he should die a painful death. On top of all that, he has employed drones to assassinate terrorists with little or no concern for so-called collateral damage. Understand, I have mentioned a few of the things that I personally approve of, but how is it that liberals aren’t raising a stink about it? It’s because they are hypocrites, first, last and always. So long as their side wins elections, nothing else matters. That’s why Sen. Feinstein initially vowed to get to the bottom of the national security leaks to the NY Times, and then shut her yap when it became obvious that Obama was the source of leaks that were intended to bolster his foreign policy decisions leading up to the election.

Can you imagine what the Democrats would have said if President Bush had spent months avoiding having an actual press conference, preferring to be pandered to by David Letterman, Jay Leno, the goofy ladies on The View and talking football on 9/11 with Lazaro Mendez, who bills himself as the Pimp with the Limp on his morning radio show? Hard to believe the media would have let Bush get away with attacking Fox News if he then pretended that Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg and Senor Mendez, were the reincarnation of Edward R. Murrow, Eric Sevareid and Howard K. Smith.

In California, in case it escaped your attention, it seems that lemmings, along with illegal aliens, are now being encouraged to vote.

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America’s Newest Vaccination

by Bob Livingston on Monday, August 13th, 2012

This is article 178 of 303 in the topic US Military
America’s Newest Vaccination

UPI FILE
In 2006, Louisiana National Guard troops took to the streets of New Orleans to stem rising crime in the area, which had begun to repopulate after Hurricane Katrina flooded more than 80 percent of the city in 2005.

In medicine under the germ theory of disease, vaccinations are supposed to provide immunity by introducing the disease to the body in small doses, allowing the body to build up its “germ-fighting” abilities. Of course, this is not so, as I pointed out last week.

But that theory is now being employed on Americans in another way that has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with control. Americans are being “vaccinated” into acceptance of martial law and military rule.

Military vehicles from the U.S. Army Reserve patrolling the streets of Sheboygan County in Wisconsin that began Aug. 5 and will continue through Aug. 17 are part of a “training exercise,” according to Captain William Geddes of the 200th Military Police Command at Fort Mead, Md. But those soldiers have already “trained” in the use of the M117 Armored Security Vehicles in Afghanistan. So the training is more to train the American public.

Geddes said the U.S. Army Reserve wanted to alert to the public — but apparently not those in local government — ahead of the training so they wouldn’t be alarmed when a pack of heavily armored military vehicles is driving around.

Remember, there is nothing to see here. Just move along.

This is just the latest in a series of ongoing violations of the Posse Comitatus Act, which is supposed to prevent the military from engaging in domestic law enforcement activities. Recent “vaccinations” include:

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One Nation Under Surveillance

by Chuck Baldwin on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

This is article 73 of 104 in the topic Preserving America

America prides itself in being called “the land of the free.” But, what, exactly, does it mean to be free? Does it mean owning a car and having a job? People in communist countries own a car and have a job. Does it mean going to a mall to shop. People in communist countries go to a mall to shop. Does it mean going to an amusement park to recreate? People in communist countries go to amusement parks. Does it mean going to the polls and voting? People in communist countries go to the polls and vote. In reality, many, if not most, of the things that most Americans would identify as marks of freedom are commonly practiced in the most oppressed communist countries of the world. So, what does it mean to be free?

Obviously, the freedom of speech is a crucial element of freedom, so much so that it is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. And the truth is, freedom of speech is not at all what it used to be in this country. If you doubt that, just ask the hundreds and thousands of journalists, news anchors, sportscasters, business executives, religious leaders, non-profit organization heads, teachers, scientists, government employees, etc., who have lost their positions for saying something politically incorrect. If you could, ask the late Howard Cosell or the late Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder. Ask Judge Andrew Napolitano, Glenn Beck, or Lou Dobbs. There are literally millions of people across America who daily “bite their tongues” and refuse to speak for fear of demotion, dismissal, retaliation, persecution, or worse! You call that freedom of speech? Gag!

Another critical element of freedom enshrined in the First Amendment is the right to worship freely. But, this, too, is not what it used to be. Can anyone remember when pastors and church leaders were free to say what they wanted in regard to issues that tread into government? If you do, you are probably over 50 years old or attend a non-501c3 church. On the whole, pastors and church leaders today are literally “scared silly” to broach any topic that might have political overtones, which means a sizeable percentage of the Bible is either ignored or spiritualized away by the vast majority of America’s pulpits. You call this freedom of worship? Barf!

Of course, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is one of the most crucial ingredients of a free society. It is this right that, for the most part, separates the United States from the oppressed nations of the world. And, of course, the Powers That Be have been chipping away at this fundamental tenet of liberty for nearly half a century, to the point that there are literally tens of millions of Americans who are forbidden by law from owning or possessing a firearm due to a conviction or plea bargain for some “crime” in which no one—nada–was injured. And in many states, even those who have never run afoul of the law are forbidden from owning–and especially–possessing a firearm. Can anyone say Massachusetts or California?

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First NDAA; Now Enemy Expatriation Act

by Chuck Baldwin on Thursday, January 12th, 2012

This is article 82 of 131 in the topic US Congress

On the heels of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), otherwise known as the “Indefinite Detention Act,” comes another draconian bill designed to give the federal government the power to turn American citizens into enemies of the state for virtually any reason it deems necessary. Stephen D. Foster, Jr. has the story.

“Congress is considering HR 3166 and S. 1698 also known as the Enemy Expatriation Act, sponsored by Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Charles Dent (R-PA). This bill would give the US government the power to strip Americans of their citizenship without being convicted of being ‘hostile’ against the United States. In other words, you can be stripped of your nationality for ‘engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States.’ Legally, the term ‘hostilities’ means any conflict subject to the laws of war but considering the fact that the War on Terror is a little ambiguous and encompassing, any action could be labeled as supporting terrorism.”

Foster goes on to say, “I hope I’m wrong, but it sounds to me like this is a loophole for indefinitely detaining Americans. Once again, you just have to be accused of supporting hostilities which could be defined any way the government sees fit. Then the government can strip your citizenship and apply the indefinite detention section of the NDAA without the benefit of a trial.”

See Foster’s report HERE

Ever since Congress passed the Patriot Act back in 2001, it seems the floodgates have been opened for more and more intrusions and abridgements of those fundamental liberties expressly protected in the Bill of Rights. From the Patriot Act, to the Military Commissions Act, to the NDAA (Indefinite Detention Act), and to now the Enemy Expatriation Act (EEA), these big government toadies in Washington, D.C., are clearly and unmistakingly declaring war on the American people.

I invite readers to see my column on the NDAA HERE

Have we forgotten the MIAC report out of the State of Missouri back in 2009? In that official State report, supporters of Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin were identified as potential dangerous “militia members,” and Missouri State law enforcement officials were notified to be on guard. Beyond that, anyone that identified themselves as being pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, anti-Federal Reserve, Christians who believe in the return of Christ, and even returning Iraq War veterans were likewise targeted as potentially dangerous to Missouri State law enforcement personnel.

After the MIAC report surfaced, Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and I sent a letter to the governor of Missouri demanding that the report be removed and that the State of Missouri repudiate the report. After a firestorm of outrage by thousands of Americans all over the country (not just in Missouri) the State of Missouri did indeed remove and repudiate the report.

Totalitarian regimes throughout history have attempted to marginalize those people that the state intended to target for persecution. Once a group or groups of people had been sufficiently marginalized, it wasn’t long before public condemnation and then military retaliation took place.

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