Don’t Trust Congress to Protect the 4th Amendment

While there are indications that there are some positive provisions in the latest incarnation of the USA Freedom Act, it certainly wouldn’t end unconstitutional spying. There are also some troubling issues that make the proposed fixes potentially dangerous. Some analysts think the new version may have a massive loophole – something that even give supporters of the bill pause.

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ISIS and War Powers

Recent events in Iraq seem to pose a challenge to a limited view of presidential war powers.  Suppose, the argument runs, a fast moving threat to U.S. national security arises quickly, at a time when Congress is not meeting.  Containing the threat depends on a fast response — but if the President must get Congress’ approval to act, action will come too late.  

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Nevada Standoff a Symptom of Increasing Authoritarianism

Ron Paul writes: I believe incidents such as that in Nevada show we may be witnessing the failure of the American authoritarian warfare-welfare state — and that of course would be good. This is why it is so important that those of us who understand the freedom philosophy spread the truth about how statism caused our problems and why liberty is the only solution.

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Stop and Frisk: No Feds Needed.

Recently a Federal Judge, Shira Scheindlin, declared the New York City Police departments “Stop and Frisk” procedure Un-Constitutional and called for a federal monitor to watch over the police department to ensure Police Officers are in compliance with the constitution.

This happened without a peep of protest from any New York State elected official, Judge or lawyer.

You would think that Governor Cuomo would be at the fore of the angry protest against Federal intrusion into what is clearly a State Police power. Where does Justice Scheindlin believe her authority to rule on this matter come from? Not the United States Constitution.

The “Stop and Frisk” procedure is clearly un-Constitutional, however, it is the New York State Constitution that matters.

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Lexington TSA Manager Gets Busted For Doing What He Does At Work

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Police busted a TSA manager at the Blue Grass Airport and charged him with sexually abusing a coworker earlier this week.hinkle

According to court documents, the victim told police Shane A. Hinkle, 38, touched her breasts and put his hand down her pants twice on two separate occasions. The arrest report indicates the incidents all happened at the airport, and surveillance video captured some of the groping.

When I first read the arrest report, I couldn’t help but wonder what the big deal was. Perhaps he just thought he was doing a little on the job training.

In all seriousness, TSA agents across the United States subject hundreds of innocent Americans to this kind of behavior on a daily basis. In a very real sense, Hinkle went to jail charged with doing what he does at work every day. Only the fact that federal law and a badge authorizes his on the job behavior differentiates it from his alleged criminal acts. And in some weird parallel universe, that makes groping OK.

Wrap your head around this: a federal stamp of approval legitimizes sexual abuse.

I don’t mean to minimize the victim’s experience. I can’t imagine the humiliation and fear she must have felt. My point is that airline passengers who must endure strangers touching their breasts, butts and genitals at the airport feel degraded and humiliated as well.

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Feds Creating ‘Nudge Squad’ To Manipulate Your Behavior

Think you know how others should run their lives better than they do? Fancy yourself one of the intellectual elite tasked with molding the world into your own image? Love lording power over people?

You can serve on a federal “nudge squad!”

According to a document obtained by FoxNews.com, the federal government has positions open in a newly created “Behavioral Insights Team.” These behavioral scientists will work with a large array of federal agencies molding public policy to help “nudge” Americans toward government-approved behaviors.

“Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals,” according to the feds.

Essentially, the team will study ways to manipulate Americans into buying into prescribed federal behaviors, such as paying taxes on time, adopting energy efficiency measures and eating the “right foods. The document lists several examples of U.S. and international policy initiatives already benefiting from the implementation of behavioral insights.

Increasing adoption of energy efficient measures: Offering an attic-clearance service (at full cost) to people led to a five-fold increase in their subsequent adoption of attic-insulation. Interestingly, providing additional government subsidies on attic insulation services had no such effect.

Former Obama regulatory czar  Cass Sunstein and Chicago Booth School of Business professor Richard Thaler coined the term “nudge” in a book by that title back in 2008. The duo “offers a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we make—ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources—and show us how sensible ‘choice architecture’ can successfully nudge people toward the best decisions.”

Thaler can’t imagine why anybody would oppose this idea.

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Tsarnaev not guilty of federal charges?

by Jon Roland, Constitution Society

The Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with multiple federal offenses, but none of them are authorized by the U.S. Constitution for offenses committed on state territory, as the acts in Boston were. If the federal courts were constitutionally compliant, they would be compelled to dismiss them all, and let the State of Massachusetts prosecute him under its laws.

The following is a summary of the main federal charges:

  1. Use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and conspiracy.
  2. Bombing of a place of public use resulting in death and conspiracy.
  3. Malicious destruction of property resulting in death and conspiracy.
  4. Use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
  5. Use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
  6. Carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury.
  7. Interference with commerce by threats or violence.
  8. Aiding and abetting.

Contrast this with the following, taken from the second of the unanimous Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, written by Thomas Jefferson, summarizing original understanding of the U.S. Constitution:

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Obama to Congress: Only I Can Amend ObamaCare

The individual mandate is ObamaCare’s least popular provision. Just 17 percent of Americans support it. Only 12 percent support letting it take effect while employers get a pass. When he unilaterally delayed the employer mandate, President Obama put House Democrats, and potentially Senate Democrats, in the position of having to cast their most unpopular pro-ObamaCare vote, ever. The attack ads practically write themselves. ”Congressman X voted against giving families the same breaks as big business.”

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