Who Would Trust Them After This?

Judge Andrew Napolitano called the situation “a fishing expedition on the grandest scale we’ve ever seen in American history.” The government is looking for a select group of people, and instead of obeying the Constitution and simply getting a search warrant for their phones, the judge says, “They got a search warrant for a 113 million phones!”

“Who would trust them after this? The Constitution doesn’t trust them!” Napolitano told Shepard Smith.

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Thomas Jefferson vs. John McCain

There is no question that Syria has been ruled by the authoritarian al-Assad family since 1971, that the country’s human rights record is dismal, and that over 40,000 Syrians have been killed in a civil war that has been ongoing for almost two years.

The question is what the United States should or shouldn’t do about any of these things.

Senator John McCain thinks he knows the answer.

John McCain (born 1936) graduated from the Annapolis Naval Academy in 1958. After flight training, he spent some time on aircraft carriers in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas before volunteering for combat duty in Vietnam. In 1967 Lieutenant Commander McCain began bombing runs over North Vietnam. He was shot down on his twenty-third bombing mission and held as a prisoner of war for five years. After his release in 1973, McCain resumed his naval service until his retirement in 1981. While in the Navy, he earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. After leaving the military, McCain began his career in politics. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. After two terms there, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, and has been there ever since.

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What if Laws Applied to Everyone?

What if government officials have written laws that apply only to us and not to them? What if we gave them the power to protect our freedoms and our safety and they used that power to trick and trap some of us? What if government officials broke the laws we hired them to enforce? What if they prosecuted others for breaking the same laws they broke?

What if the government enacted a law making it a crime to provide material assistance to terrorist organizations? What if that law was intended to stop people from giving cash and weapons to organizations that bomb and maim and kill? What if the government looked at that law and claimed it applied to a dentist or a shopkeeper who sold services or goods to a terrorist organization, and not just to financiers and bomb makers?

What if an organization that killed also owned a hospital or a school and the law made it a crime to contribute to the hospital or the school? What if the Supreme Court ruled that the law is so broad that it covers backslapping, advocacy and free speech? What if the court ruled that the law makes it a crime to encourage any terrorist organization to do anything – fix teeth, educate children, save lives or kill people? What if the law makes it a crime to talk to any person known to be a terrorist? What if the law is so broad that it punishes ideas and the free expression of those ideas, even if no one is harmed thereby?

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Colorado Nullifies Federal Hemp Ban With Governor’s Signature

COLORADO SPRINGS – On Tuesday, Colorado Gov.John Hickenlooper signed SB13-241 into law, effectively nullifying the federal ban on industrial hemp farming in the Centennial State.

Under the new law, the Colorado Department of Agriculture can create a state Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and Registry, giving Colorado’s farmers the ability to begin the process to “engage in industrial hemp cultivation for commercial purposes.”

The recent passage of Amendment 64 legalizing the cultivation and recreational use of marijuana in Colorado had the major impact on the state’s agricultural sector, and laid the groundwork for passage of this bill. Now, farmers in Colorado can apply for a 10 acre research plot, or they can apply for larger farms.

“I believe this is really going to revitalize and strengthen farm communities,” says Ryan Lofin, the man who planted Americas first hemp crop in 60 years on 60 acres of his family’s Colorado farmland. That plot previously supported alfalfa.

Steve Wilson of the Missouri Hemp Network praised Colordado’s new law.

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Crossing the Rubicon?

In 49 B.C., Julius Caesar was leading his army and came upon the Rubicon River. The Provence  on the opposite side of the river had a law that said that no general could lead armies in that province. All armies had to be disbanded and the generals could not be in front. The penalty for disobeying this law was death to the general and death to the soldiers.

Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River leading his army and said, “The die is cast.” – He fought and defeated the local forces and that law was then abolished. Since that time, the phrase” crossing the Rubicon” survived and represents any situation in which there is no turning back. Whatever consequences arise from this decision are accepted.

We citizens of these United States  have “crossed the Rubicon.” We are confronted daily with a federal government that is overreaching and intrusive. Their voracious appetite for power and control has encroached on our very liberty and freedom.

With a heavy hand and an abuse of power, the federal government has sought to run roughshod over the sovereignty of our states, and has insisted on making laws, rules and regulations severely curtailing the freedom, liberty and rights enjoyed by this citizenry.

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Your Congress, Your NSA Spying

by Jim Harper, CATO Institute

The National Security Agency is collecting records of every domestic and cross-border Verizon phone call between now and July 19th. The secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over these records has been leaked to the Guardian.

You may find that outrageous. 1984 has arrived. Big Brother is watching you.

But the author of this story is not George Orwell. It’s Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, and you.

Here’s what I mean: In June of last year, Representative Smith (R) introduced H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012. Its purpose was to extend the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 for five years, continuing the government’s authority to collect data like this under secret court orders. The House Judiciary Committee reported the bill to the full House a few days later. The House Intelligence Committee, having joint jurisdiction over the bill, reported it at the beginning of August. And in mid-September, the Housepassed the bill by a vote of 301 to 118.

Sent to the Senate, the bill languished until very late in the year. But with the government’s secret wiretapping authority set to expire, the Senate took up the bill on December 27th. Whether by plan or coincidence, the Senate debated secret surveillance of Americans’ communications during the lazy, distracted period between Christmas and the new year.

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Evanston, IL Passes Resolution Against Warrantless Drone Spying

On May 28, the city of Evanston, Ill.  became the third U.S. city to pass a resolution against the use of unmanned drones for warrantless surveillance.

The City of Evanston establishes a moratorium on the use of drones in the City of Evanston in the absence of reasonable state and federal regulation of the use of drone technology which will expire without further action by the City Council two years from the date of this resolution; with the following exemptions:

Exceptions include hobby model aircraft and experimental aircraft not associated with the Department of Defense.

The resolution also expresses support for state efforts to restrict drone use. In fact, the Illinois legislature recently passed a bill doing just that, and it awaits the governor’s signature.

The city’s action is notable. Northwestern University is located in Evanston. As an Ivy League school, Northwestern attracts students, faculty and guests from all over the world. As a university, it is very reliant upon the federal government to provide research grants, to set-up research facilities, and it receives Title 8 funding for students. Northwestern is a major force in the Evanston community, and contributes greatly to the local economy.  One can only imagine the pressure exerted on these city council members.

Several lessons can be gleaned from their passage of the resolution.

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Lesson Learned on NSA Spying? Hopefully?

Dear Republican,

I hear you’re a little miffed at Obama’s National Security Agency collecting phone records of millions of innocent American Verizon customers. I read some comments on the “bombshell” over at Townhall.com. Guy Benson seems displeased.

I hear ya!

I’m more than a little perturbed myself. I was always under the impression that the Fourth Amendment limited the federal government’s power to snoop around in innocent people’s private affairs without a warrant.

But I have to admit, I’m a little confused about your indignation. After all, you made it all possible!

Remember the Patriot Act?

Yup. It was your guy, George W. Bush, who insisted the feds needed these broad, sweeping powers to “protect us from the terrorists.” When civil libertarians protested and invoked the Constitution, you ridiculed them and swore it was “only for the terrorists.” You insisted these powers were absolutely necessary to “keep us safe.” I guess you never stopped to think “your guy” wouldn’t remain in power forever.

Nice bed you made.

Comfy?

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Constitutional Sheriffs Convention a Successful Promotion of Liberty

originally published at The New American

The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) held a successful convention last Friday and Saturday at the Ameristar Hotel in St. Charles, Missouri, a large suburb west of St. Louis. (See video below.)

Featuring a variety of nationally recognized speakers delivering dozens of liberty-promoting messages, the hundreds of lawmen and lawmakers in attendance were reminded of the vital role played by state and local law enforcement and elected officials in repelling the federal government’s assault on freedom.

A central aspect of the state and local counter-offensive is the nullification of any and all unconstitutional acts of the federal government.

Presentations on the first day of the convention were divided into four sections: The Constitution and the Oath of Office; The Right to Keep and Bear Arms; State Sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment; and American Liberty: Whose Job is it?

Representing the John Birch Society, this reporter spoke during the fourth segment, describing threats to liberty posed by the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the effectiveness of state measures refusing to enforce those provisions inside state borders.

Other keynote speakers included Sheriff Richard Mack, founder of the CSPOA, who recounted his experience fighting the Brady Bill and winning his case at the Supreme Court.

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