Wisconsin Nullifies Park Service Shutdown Order

Scott Walker is at it again. The governor of Wisconsin, who has previously publicly stated his intention to resist Obamacare, had his state’s Department of Natural Resources reject federal requests to close portions of parks in the wake of the federal government’s shutdown.  The Wisconsin DNR also reopened a boat launch that the federal government…

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Dianne Feinsten Defends NSA Spying, We Push Back

Dianne Feinsten Defends NSA SpyingLast week, during a hearing in the Imperial Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dianne Feinsten went to bat for the NSA – defending their wildly unconstitutional spying program as “lawful, effective and constitutional”

This is in light of the fact that the NSA intends to collect all U.S. telephone records and put them in a searchable “lock box” in the interest of “national security.” That’s how PCWorld reported on what General Keith Alexander, the NSA’s director, told U.S. senators.

There is no upper limit” on NSA telephone-records collection, Alexander said. “I believe it is in the nation’s best interest to put all the phone records into a lock box that we can search when the nation needs to do it.”

Fact: The 4th Amendment doesn’t authorize this kind of mass intrusion into your privacy, no matter what these people happen to say.

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Unconstitutional Federal Prohibition is Ending

The END is near for federal marijuana “laws” (which have no constitutional authority),whether or not they choose to admit it.  In fact, bringing in the banksters is admitting it. These guys will surely want to expand business. “The Justice Department and federal banking regulators will help clear the way for financial institutions to transact business…

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Obama Packs Surveillance Review Board With D.C. Insiders

After the uproar over his plan to appoint Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to head his intelligence review board, President Obama promised to pack the group with “outside experts.”

News of the names of board members reveals that the president’s definition of “outside” comes from somewhere outside the dictionary.

The five men tapped to lead the panel known officially as the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies are Richard A. Clarke (shown), Michael Morell, Cass Sunstein, Geoffrey Stone, and Peter Swire.

It would be challenging to assemble a group more “inside” the government.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s response to the announcement of the board members sums up the situation exactly. Said EFF: “A task force led by General Clapper full of insiders — and not directed to look at the extensive abuse — will never get at the bottom of the unconstitutional spying.”

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Ruling Reveals NSA Lies to Courts, Congress About Scope of Surveillance

originally posted at The New American

The National Security Agency was forced to de-classify a document, the contents of which make it easy to see why the snoops wanted it kept secret.

In an 85-page ruling handed down by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (commonly known as the FISA court) judge John D. Bates, the NSA was called out “for repeatedly misleading the court that oversees its surveillance on domestic soil, including a program that is collecting tens of thousands of domestic e-mails and other Internet communications of Americans each year,” the New York Times reported on Thursday.

Bates found that the NSA routinely misled the court as to the scope of its domestic surveillance activities.

“The court is troubled that the government’s revelations regarding N.S.A.’s acquisition of Internet transactions mark the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program,” former FISA court chief judge Bates wrote in his ruling.

Most of the secret NSA programs recently brought to light by the Edward Snowden leaks are mentioned by Bates as being evidence of the NSA’s blatant disregard for the Constitution and for legal limits on its surveillance authority.

As reported by the New York Times:

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Absolute and Irresponsible Authority

Richard Nixon kicked off a War on Drugs that still rages today.

Nixon’s directive has remained true for the last 40 years.

“This is one area where we cannot have budget cuts because we must wage what I have called total war against public enemy number one in the United States, the problem of dangerous drugs.”

In total war, combatants and the civilian population are not differentiated.

When the phenomena of crack cocaine (crack cocaine is just powder cocaine with baking soda, water, and heat) hit the streets, President Reagan signed into law mandatory minimum sentences that disproportionally sentenced users of crack cocaine and users powder cocaine. Crack, with it longer sentences, was primarily a poor minority drug.

Methamphetamine sparked the three strikes rule in the 90’s, and people are now serving life sentences for non-violent drug crimes.

Today we’ve moved on to the synthetics. We had the sudden DEA terror show that started with the zombie face eating frenzy. That hasn’t popped back up in mainstream media, but now the feds have been able to throw it on a Schedule too.

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NSA Uses Loophole to Justify Collecting Domestic E-mail, Phone Calls

The National Security Agency (NSA) is using a “secret backdoor” to conduct warrantless searches of the e-mails and phone calls of American citizens, the Guardian (U.K.) reports. As with earlier reports, this latest revelation comes from information given to the newspaper by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Spencer Ackerman and James Ball, reporting for theGuardian, write that a rule change that was previously unreported is giving the NSA the inroad it needs to monitor “individual Americans’ communications using their name and other identifying information.”

In a statement to the Guardian, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) reportedly said that this rule change makes it possible for the NSA to conduct “warrantless searches for the phone calls or e-mails of law-abiding Americans.”

The regulatory restatement relied on by the NSA to justify their unconstitutional surveillance was “approved in 2011” by the Obama administration, in direct contradiction to the president’s commitment to protect the constitutionally protected privacy of the American public “from the NSA’s dragnet surveillance programs.”

The federal spy apparatus is relying on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments of 2008 (FISA). This provision purports to grant the government the “authority to target without warrant the communications of foreign targets, who must be non-US citizens and outside the US at the point of collection.”

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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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Why Won’t They Tell Us the Truth About NSA Spying?

by Ron Paul

In 2001, the Patriot Act opened the door to US government monitoring of Americans without a warrant. It was unconstitutional, but most in Congress over my strong objection were so determined to do something after the attacks of 9/11 that they did not seem to give it too much thought. Civil liberties groups were concerned, and some of us in Congress warned about giving up our liberties even in the post-9/11 panic. But at the time most Americans did not seem too worried about the intrusion.

This complacency has suddenly shifted given recent revelations of the extent of government spying on Americans. Politicians and bureaucrats are faced with serious backlash from Americans outraged that their most personal communications are intercepted and stored. They had been told that only the terrorists would be monitored. In response to this anger, defenders of the program have time and again resorted to spreading lies and distortions. But these untruths are now being exposed very quickly.

In a Senate hearing this March, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Senator Ron Wyden that the NSA did not collect phone records of millions of Americans. This was just three months before the revelations of an NSA leaker made it clear that Clapper was not telling the truth. Pressed on his false testimony before Congress, Clapper apologized for giving an “erroneous” answer but claimed it was just because he “simply didn’t think of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.” Wow.

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Lie of the Century: NSA Director Claims to “Stand for Freedom”

We stand for freedom.

Those words were spoken by National Security Agency Director, Keith Alexander at a speech given during the annual Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, Nevada this week.

A little while later, he also responded to a heckler in the audience who told him to “read the Constitution,” with; “I have, and so should you.”

If that doesn’t qualify as the lie of the century, I don’t know what does.

I guess his version of the 4th amendment says this:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated unless the government feels it’s necessary, and no Warrants shall issue, because the government doesn’t need them.”

In an effort to show complete truthfulness, Alexander claimed that he would “answer every question to the fullest extent possible.” This because he welcomed dialog on this issue, and wanted to “put the facts on the table.”  He then assured another questioner in the audience that he had not lied to congress. Although, whether he was speaking only for himself or the entire NSA, is anyone’s guess.  He reaffirmed his stance that the NSA isn’t really doing any information collecting that we should worry about, because they are only collecting metadata.

Interestingly, the ACLU posted a great article yesterday on the truth regarding the intimacy of metadata. MIT media lab has developed a great tool called Immersion which “analyzes the metadata–From, To, Cc and Timestamp fields– from a volunteer’s Gmail account and visualizes it.” It illustrates what a huge repository of information exists as “metadata,” and why we have great reason to be concerned.

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