Ignore UnConstitutional Laws

The undocumented White House usurper and acclaimed Constitutional “professor” has made a habit of ignoring the Constitution whenever doing so fulfills his agenda. Unfortunately, Congress has enabled President Barack Obama’s serial lawbreaking.

As Personal Liberty contributor Michael Boldin pointed out Tuesday, Americans are frustrated that those elected to serve them continue to ignore their wishes — and the Constitution — and pass laws they oppose. But the prospect of “voting the bums out” never seems to bring about change.

What did the Founders say about unConstitutional laws? Ignore them.

Patrick Henry wrote in Constitutions, Governments, and Charters: “A constitution defines and limits the powers of the government it creates. It therefore follows, as a natural and also a logical result, that the governmental exercise of any power not authorized by the constitution is an assumed power, and therefore illegal.”

EFF: Forcing Suspects To Decrypt Electronic Information Is UnConstitutional

The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed an amicus brief in a Federal court Wednesday in a bid to fight government efforts to violate Americans’ 5th Amendment rights by forcing people under investigation to decrypt their electronic files.

The filing relates to a case in which the FBI is attempting to force Jeremy Feldon, who is under investigation for child pornography, to decrypt data stored on devices and hard drives found in the apartment. After unsuccessfully attempting to access the electronic information for months, agents filed a court order forcing Feldman to provide the government with the decrypted contents of the drives.

EFF argues that forcing the man to decrypt the contents of the devices is a violation of 5th Amendment protections against self-incrimination.

From EFF:

The Fifth Amendment protects a person from being “compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” The question here is whether forcing Feldman to decrypt the contents of the computer drives is “testimony” that is protected by the Constitution. The issue ultimately boils down to whether the government is forcing him to reveal the contents of his mind and communicate a fact to the government it doesn’t already know. If so, then the Fifth Amendment applies and the only way the government can compel Feldman to decrypt or “testify” is to offer that person immunity from the testimony.

A magistrate judge initially denied the government’s request, finding the act of decryption was protected by the Fifth Amendment. The court found the government hadn’t sufficiently proven that the drives in question were accessed and controlled by Feldman. That would tell the government something it didn’t necessarily know: that the drives — and their contents — belonged to and were controlled by Feldman. That testimony would incriminate him and therefore triggered the Fifth Amendment privilege.

While Feldon is charged with a disturbing crime, EFF staff attorney Hanni Fakhoury said protecting a suspect’s 5th Amendment rights in the electronic realm is vital as Americans increasingly rely on technology on a daily basis.

Note from the Editor: Under the Obama Administration, the NSA, the IRS, and the State and Justice departments are blatantly stepping on Americans’ privacy—and these are just the breaches we’re aware of. I’ve arranged for readers to get a free copy of The Ultimate Privacy Guide so you can be protected from any form of surveillance by anyone—government, corporate or criminal. Click here for your free copy.

“At a time where personal data is increasingly generated and stored electronically and online, encryption is a crucial way to safeguard data from prying eyes. Its fast becoming a routine feature in computer operating systems and an integral aspect of exchanging information on the web,” he writes in a post on the EFF website. “But as we’ve explained to courts before, demanding this common sense data protection shouldn’t come at the expense of our right against self-incrimination. Of course the government should have tools to investigate and prosecute serious crimes. But important constitutional rights can’t be discarded in that pursuit.”

In Some States, Flashing Your Headlights To Warn About Speed Traps Will Get You In Trouble

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is using the case of a Missouri man to challenge a municipal law — one of dozens, if not hundreds of similar laws throughout the United States — that punishes motorists who flash their headlights at oncoming drivers to alert them to a police presence in their path of travel.

The ACLU of Eastern Missouri has filed a class action suit against the City of Ellisville after learning of what happened to Michael Elli, a resident who was pulled over by a local cop and cited for “flashing [his] lights to warn of radar ahead.” He was told in court he would have to pay a customary $1,000 in fines, but the charge was later dismissed after Elli put up more resistance than other unfortunate motorists who’d preceded him.

An ACLU attorney went straight to the heart of the deceptive evil inherent in the law:

Those who use their First Amendment rights to warn others to drive cautiously should not be punished for their message. After all, the purpose of traffic laws is to promote safety, not generate revenue.

Well said — although it could have been even more precise.

There’s a tremendous case to be made for exercising one’s 1st Amendment rights not merely to “warn others to drive cautiously” but to “warn others that cops are over the hill indiscriminately mining for probable cause so that they can stop strangers who aren’t under investigation and possibly violate their 4th Amendment rights in the process.”

With the ACLU taking up the case, Elli is the named plaintiff in the lawsuit against the city. The outcome could set a precedent to legal challenges in States like Alaska and Arizona, where it’s against the law to flash your headlights as a gesture to other motorists for any reason.

Do local laws deter you from flashing your lights at other drivers? Would they? Sound off in the comments.

The Cosmic Joke

Peruse the photograph that accompanies this column. Taken last Friday by the Cassini probe currently orbiting Saturn, it’s one of those pictures NASA likes to release to the public in an effort to remind us that they A) exist and B) can do stuff besides bum rides from the Russians to the International Space Station. Recalling the famed “family portrait” that the late, great Carl Sagan led the Voyager team to create in 1990, the Earth is in the picture. And much like the “pale blue dot” section of Sagan’s famous photo mosaic, the Earth is very, very small.

saturn0724

This latest photograph, which shows Saturn in all her majesty, actually includes the Earth only as a cosmic afterthought. Of course, our beautiful blue marble is a cosmic afterthought. Heck, Saturn is neither the largest of our planets, nor the farthest from home; those honors belong to Jupiter and Neptune, respectively. Nonetheless, the photograph is as humbling as any image that accurately depicts our infinitesimal smallness against the backdrop of God’s infinite creation.

But forget the metaphysical stuff. In fact, let’s put all the really cool regular physics aside, as well. Focus on the photograph. It was snapped by Cassini just six days ago. And that simple act of clicking the shutter on a plutonium-powered camera is amazing all by itself.

See, it took 14 years of development and construction, 16 years flying via remote control across more than a billion miles, nearly $4 billion and the cooperation of some of the most brilliant humans available in more than a dozen separate countries just to take that picture. Even the Italians, the same guys responsible for Fiat, pitched in. To be sure, there have been a couple of hiccups. A European Space Agency programming error caused the loss of one of the Huygens data channels and about 350 images of Saturn’s moon Titan. But given the fact that Cassini is about the size of a school bus and is assigned to cover a neighborhood even less hospitable than South Central Los Angeles, a minor transmitter failure is cosmically small.

The usual suspects nearly derailed Cassini years before its launch date. As zero hour approached, a far left eco-loon group named the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice tried to scrub the project on the grounds that its plutonium fuel posed a threat to the human race (or something to that effect). The Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice still exists, and it has continued its mission of scaring people with pseudoscience claptrap. Sixteen years after getting it all wrong about Cassini, its website is currently a mélange of so-called “global warming” babble and advertisements for something called “The Sustainable Living Center,” which sounds an awful lot like a “campground.” Beyond that, an impassioned campaign by astronaut Sally Ride and some luck at the budgetary butcher shop barely saved the program. And it still had to achieve escape velocity from the entropy that afflicts nearly everything that wanders too close to Washington, D.C.’s wild orbit.

Cooperating nations spent billions of dollars to make what amounts to a really amazing car that has functioned just about flawlessly for nearly 20 years — all despite worse working conditions than those faced by Keith Olbermann’s limousine service. Think about that for a moment; I mean, really let it sink in. Right now, as you’re considering the magnitude of the scientific, technological and bureaucratic success that is Cassini as well as the many parts of the incredible journey that produced that amazing photograph, the United Nations is spending many billions more Cassini cost to combat so-called “global warming.”

On the one hand, a group made up of multiple nationalities and specialties worked on multiple levels over multiple years to advance our understanding of the actual universe. On the other hand, a group made up of multiple nationalities and specialties is working on multiple levels over multiple years to advance our understanding of pseudoscience that averages a name change per decade.

The next time President Barack Hussein Obama and/or one of his liberal cronies goes into hysterics over global warming or suggests throwing taxpayer dollars at another “green” energy boondoggle, think of this photograph. Then ask yourself: “Could the same guys who came up with ‘global warming’ and Solyndra pull this off?”

–Ben Crystal

U.N. Wants You To Call ‘Illegal Immigrants’ ‘Irregular Migrants’

Citing concerns over the offensive-sounding implication of culpability latent in the term “illegal immigrant,” the United Nations is asking reporters covering human trafficking in Malta to stop saying “illegal immigrant” and start saying “irregular migrant.”

What, like their stomach problems trump their citizenship?

The U.N. is also discouraging reporters from referring to illegal immigrants’ border movements as “clandestine,” which, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Malta, has a “strong negative connection, invoking a sense of criminality.”

The Maltese case differs greatly from the illegal immigration controversy that rages in the United States. Many illegal immigrants in Malta are fleeing far more hostile political circumstances in Africa and claim political asylum upon arrival. But the ostensibly compassionate effort to bend plain language to dull the sting of its proper meaning is a trek down a one-way path toward crafting ever more statist policies spawned by globalists and liberals.

Writing for The Telegraph, foreign correspondent Colin Freeman explains the strange logic that makes offensive the very commonsense practice of calling things by their true names.

“Illegal immigration” apparently carries connotations of criminality, of someone doing something wrong. Like, for example, paying a people smuggler €700 to transport them (sic) a rickety boat that might sink with the loss of all on board. Whereas “irregular” is a more “neutral” term. Probably all the same to you and me.

…Make no mistake, people traffickers are the modern day equivalent of slave traders, the only difference being that these days, they have sidelines in drugs and weapons smuggling too. Yes, of course they are more culpable than the people they exploit, just as heroin traffickers get heavier sentences than heroin addicts. But to describe their cargo as simply “irregular” rather than illegal is a sophistry that risks detracting from the very real criminality of what they do.

The tide of humanity unleashed by the movements of desperate or displaced people can’t be legislated out of existence. Law is too feeble a construct to ultimately deter the primal motivator that’s driven mass migrations of Vandals, Visigoths, Mongols, Rwandans and Mexicans — all of which have left permanent and fundamental cultural change in their wake as they inhabit their new homes. Immigration — legal or not — is an enormously difficult phenomenon to attempt to control. But if there’s national will to address it as a problem that threatens the foundations of a society, then a Nation has every right to do so.

However, it’s a disservice to both sides of the argument to subvert, from the outset, the very language used to diagnose exactly what the problem is.

To Hell With The ‘Middle Class’

Here’s a term Americans hear endlessly during election seasons: middle class.

Those vying for political office bloviate continuously about protecting the middle class, expanding the middle class and empowering the middle class. After all, America’s middle class — the carpenters, plumbers, bank tellers, steelworkers, used car salesmen and farmers — represent the economic lifeblood of the Nation.

Those Americans who toil to achieve the picket-fence American dream vote and get politicians in office, yet they matter very little to most politicians once the ballots have been counted. The lowly middle-class voters, along with their needs and dreams, are then discarded in favor of more lucrative constituents belonging to the Nation’s military-industrial-Wall Street complex.

The United States is the richest nation on the planet; but regardless of what politicians would like for Americans to believe, its middle class isn’t doing so well.

As Les Leopold recently pointed out in a Huffington Post blog:

Our middle class is falling further and further behind in comparison to the rest of the world. We keep hearing that America is number one. Well, when it comes to middle-class wealth, we’re number 27.

The most telling comparative measurement is median wealth (per adult). It describes the amount of wealth accumulated by the person precisely in the middle of the wealth distribution — fifty percent of the adult population has more wealth, while fifty percent has less. You can’t get more middle than that.

Wealth is measured by the total sum of all our assets (homes, bank accounts, stocks, bonds etc) minus our liabilities (outstanding loans and other debts). It the best indicator we have for individual and family prosperity. While the never-ending accumulation of wealth may be wrecking the planet, wealth also provides basic security, especially in a country like ours with such skimpy social programs. Wealth allows us to survive periods of economic turmoil. Wealth allows our children to go to college without incurring crippling debts, or to get help for the down-payment on their first homes. As Bill Holiday sings, “God bless the child that’s got his own.”

Leopold considers the withering American middle class a direct result of a lack of ambitious liberal social and economic programs in the United States. He argues that stronger unions, universal healthcare, free college and more regulation is the answer.

President Barack Obama echoed a similar sentiment during a speech on the economy Wednesday, saying that the Nation needs more government efforts to lessen the Nation’s wealth gap.

“This growing inequality, it’s not just morally wrong, it’s bad economics,” he said. “Because when middle-class families have less to spend, guess what? Businesses have fewer consumers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther and farther apart, it undermines the very essence of America, that idea that if you work hard, you can make it here.”

But evidence abounds that liberal policy changes can’t be the answer.

The President’s very own attempt to provide universal healthcare has already begun to negatively affect the Nation’s economy — and especially the middle-class economy.

Employment numbers from June indicated that full-time jobs are being supplanted on a massive scale as companies steady their workforce numbers ahead of the implementation of Obamacare. The labor force lost 240,000 full-time jobs in June, continuing a trend that has seen 557,000 part-time jobs in the United States outpace the comparatively paltry 130,000 new full-time positions since the first of the year.

And Detroit, a bastion of union power, has been suffering the consequences of government meddling in business affairs for decades. As politicians made profit — without the benefit of government stimulus — nearly impossible for Detroit businesses, businesses left. And with no job keeping them tied to the city, residents left. Liberal policy meant to protect workers culminated in what is likely the Nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy in history.

But surely the money that the Federal government pumps into the Nation’s universities is emboldening the middle class. Well, not exactly.

Because colleges have access to too many Federal dollars and are incentivized to chase those dollars, the very programs designed to make college more accessible for Americans have an inflationary result, driving up the price of college. Meanwhile, the value of a degree falls. That is to say, colleges are spending money to chase money and the students are left behind.

So students from middle-class families are often taking on thousands of dollars in student loan debts — while their poorer peers qualify for larger Pell grant awards — in order to afford college prices that have risen artificially due to an influx of Federal dollars since the 1970s. Over the past five years, the average amount of student loan debt accrued by college students has risen by 30 percent to $23,829.

Because of a proliferation of economically damaging liberal policy initiatives such as Obamacare and pandering to unreasonable union demands, those debt-laden college grads can’t find jobs. About 48 percent of employed U.S. college graduates work jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests require less than a four-year college education.

Note from the Editor: Hyperinflation is becoming more visible every day—just notice the next time you shop for groceries. All signs say America’s economic recovery is expected to take a nose dive and before it gets any worse you should read The Uncensored Survivalist. This book contains sensible advice on how to avoid total financial devastation and how to survive on your own if necessary. Click here for your free copy.

Regardless of how staunchly conservative or liberal one may be, there is no way to deny that the U.S. has been dominated by liberal fiscal policy for just about a century.  And, more often than not, liberal fiscal policy initiatives have been gleefully accepted by a majority of Americans because of promises that they will help the middle class.

The reason the middle class in America is not doing so well has nothing to do with lack of government regulation or policy aimed at protecting this coveted segment of the American population. The reason the middle class is not doing well is that there is really no such thing as being middle-class. There’s being an American citizen who is financially comfortable and has an enjoyable work-life balance. But the only reason the term “middle class” exists is because it is a convenient way for the political power structure to promise comfort in return for economic and social freedom.

My George Zimmerman Moment

 
Hello, I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. President Barack Obama can’t stop comparing himself, or the son he never had, to Trayvon Martin. And he can’t stop talking about race. Everything in Obama’s world is black and white. This is not America’s first “post-race President.” This is America’s first “all race, all the time President.”

I see the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case very differently. For me, it was never about black or white. It was always about life or death — for Zimmerman. You see, 36 years ago, I was Zimmerman. Thirty-six years ago, I almost died in a life or death struggle eerily similar to Zimmerman’s confrontation. Let me tell you the story.

In 1977, at the age of 15, I attended Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, N.Y., one of the most dangerous and violent urban schools in America. Guns and knives were rampant. Assaults were a daily occurrence. Every walk through the hallway was an opportunity to be beaten or robbed. Lunchtime was an opportunity to have your lunch extorted by someone threatening your life. And worst of all were the bathrooms. All the decent kids at Mount Vernon High School knew we were taking our lives in our hands if we went to the bathroom, so we didn’t. We learned to hold it in all day until we got home — for fear of being robbed or beaten in the filthy, dangerous bathrooms where hoods, gang members and drug dealers hung out.

The school was about 85 percent black. I was white. But being white wasn’t the problem. Being a good kid was the problem. It’s wasn’t black versus white. It was good versus bad. The good black kids were as readily beaten up and intimidated as the good white kids.

Like Zimmerman, I decided I wanted to make a difference — for white and black kids. I was sick of the crime violence, intimidation and fear. I spent the summer lifting weights and taking boxing lessons, bulked up and, upon my return to school, volunteered to become a marshal. That meant I was part of our volunteer school police force. We were unarmed, but carried badges and walkie-talkies. Our job was to police the halls and prevent crime, drug dealing and cutting classes.

Like Zimmerman, we weren’t supposed to engage, only observe and call for help. But, as you might surmise, it doesn’t always work out that way.

In the late spring of 1977, I faced a “George Zimmerman moment.” As I patrolled an empty hallway in my high school, I spotted a gangbanger smoking and listening to loud music when he was supposed to be in class. I confronted and told him, “You’re coming with me.” The kid wheeled around and pulled a gigantic knife. In court it was classified as a machete (with a blade longer than 8.5 inches). He lunged at me, and I grabbed his wrist. We wrestled to the ground, with him on top. A much bigger kid than me, he was soon winning the struggle and was about to stick the machete into my head.

If I had had a gun, I certainly would have used it to save my life. That was the choice Zimmerman faced. What Obama and the race-baiters call murder is self-defense. Those who make the race-baiters happy by not fighting back are… dead. After the fact, they’re called “victims.”

I got lucky. As my life was about to be extinguished, a principal emerged from his office to check on the commotion.  Like Zimmerman, I’m sure no one knew which of us was screaming in my life-or-death struggle, but my screams saved my life. The principal shouted: “Hey, you! Drop that knife.” The kid ran. The principal raced to my side. I told him what happened. Together, we chased down my assailant in the school courtyard. I lived to tell this story.

Zimmerman’s critics call him “a police wannabe.” I guess you could say I was a “police wannabe,” too. How rude. You know what that means? Zimmerman and I cared about our community. I cared about my fellow classmates. He cared about his fellow homeowners. We both cared about right and wrong. We wanted to protect and serve. We wanted to make a difference. And we volunteered to put our lives on the line — for no pay.

Should someone like that be punished, vilified and put in prison or respected, celebrated and recognized by society? I believe that at the least, that person deserves the benefit of the doubt. I cheer a person who volunteers to protect his school or neighborhood. If only more Americans were willing to police our streets and schools, we’d all be safer. We should be thanking the George Zimmermans of this world.

And as if on cue to prove my case, just days ago, Zimmerman showed the world what a hero he really is. He came upon a terrible car accident: an overturned SUV on fire, with a family inside. He pulled the family to safety before the police arrived. Yes, that George Zimmerman risked his life to save a family from being burned alive. Even after what our government just put him through. Even after so many Americans threatened his life. Even after the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons asked for Federal charges. Yes, they demanded “double jeopardy” for a man found “not guilty” in a court of law. Still, he risked his life to save others.

You know the biggest irony? Obama is the ultimate “community organizer” and fan of volunteerism. Obama thinks if you volunteer to protest in front of banks to force minority loans or if you fight for welfare and food stamps, you’re a community hero. But if you lay your life on the line to protect your community from criminals, you deserve prison for defending your life. Interesting interpretation.

God forbid you ever find yourself in a life-or-death situation and survive by hurting or killing the bad guy. If the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons have their way, you’ll lose your freedom for the “crime” of self-defense. Unfortunately, our President can now be added to the list of people out to vilify you for trying to clean up your community and protect your fellow man, white or black.

Always remember that Zimmerman was protecting a large number of black homeowners in that community. There was never any racism involved in this case; even the FBI confirmed this after extensive interviews of Zimmerman’s friends and associates. You know what the definition of “racism” is nowadays? Anyone winning an argument with a liberal.

Obama fantasizes that he could have been Trayvon Martin. But 36 years ago, I really was George Zimmerman.

I’m Wayne Allyn Root for PersonalLiberty.com. See you back here next week. Same time, same place. God bless America and protect us from the race-baiters and community organizers out to destroy our country.

Bachman Needs The NSA; Detroit Council Fixated On Zimmerman; Cop Fired For Questioning Bully Tactics; Welfare Growth Outpaces Job Gains 2 To 1; Poll: Majority Want Snowden Charged— Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 7-24-2013

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Bachmann: We Need NSA Spying To Win War On Terror

Outgoing Representative and failed Presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) said that she supports National Security Agency spying and that she would vote “no” on efforts to curtail it at the Heritage Foundation’s monthly “Conversation with Conservatives” event. Read More… 

Detroit Files For Bankruptcy; Council Votes To Ask Feds To Investigate George Zimmerman

In the throes of the largest municipal economic crisis in American history, the Detroit city council found an opportunity at its Tuesday meeting to ask the Federal government to investigate a guy acquitted for a self-defense killing that took place more than a year ago in Florida. Read More… 

Watch: Cop Speaks Out Against Ticket Quota, Urges Officers To Serve And Protect, Gets Fired

Former Auburn, Ala., police officer Justin Hanners became disturbed when a new chief at his department ordered officers to hassle, ticket and arrest specific numbers of residents per shift if they valued their jobs. He spoke out— and got fired. Watch… 

Obama’s Dismal Economic Record: Two Welfare Cases Per Job

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama delivered a speech in Galesburg, Ill., decrying political conflicts that aren’t focused on improving the economy, heralding his Administration’s economic efforts and promising to do more work on the economy. Read More… 

Poll Finds Majority Want NSA Leaker Snowden Charged With A Crime

More than half of U.S. adults think NSA leaker Edward Snowden, hiding out in a Moscow airport, should be charged with a crime, a poll indicates. Read More… 

Bachmann: We Need NSA Spying To Win War On Terror

Outgoing Representative and failed Presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) said that she supports National Security Agency spying and that she would vote “no” on efforts to curtail it at the Heritage Foundation’s monthly “Conversation with Conservatives” event.

Getting into a verbal dispute with Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) over his proposed amendment aimed at cutting funding to NSA data collection efforts, Bachmann said that government spying is necessary to “win the war on terror.” The Congresswoman also said that Americans have no reasonable expectation of privacy with regard to phone records.

“I’ll be voting ‘no’ on the Amash amendment,” she said. “And the reason why is because with the business records exception, section 215 [of the Patriot Act], there is no expectation of privacy.”

“I believe that we need to win the war on terror,” the Congresswoman later added. “We need to defeat the goals and aims of Islamic jihad and for that reason, I will be voting no on the Amash amendment.”

Amash responded to Bachman, urging her to ask her constituents how they feel.

“All you have to do is go home to your constituents and ask them whether they think they have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their phone records, or any of their other records that are stored by a third party, and they will tell you yes,” the Michigan Congressman said.

Furthermore, he argued, that if section 215 is allowed to be used loosely by the Federal government, any digital records Americans have stored on third party equipment could be subject to snooping.

“You might as well throw the Fourth Amendment out the window,” Amash said.

Bachmann also made very clear that she considers NSA leaker Edward Snowden a “traitor” and an enemy of the U.S.

At publication of this article, House lawmakers were debating the Defense Appropriations Bill that includes Amash’s amendment.

Detroit Files For Bankruptcy; Council Votes To Ask Feds To Investigate George Zimmerman

In the throes of the largest municipal economic crisis in American history, the Detroit city council found an opportunity at its Tuesday meeting to ask the Federal government to investigate a guy acquitted for a self-defense killing that took place more than a year ago in Florida.

The council passed a resolution calling on the Feds to investigate the merits of possible civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, after a Florida jury found him not guilty on criminal charges in the “stand your ground” self-defense death of Trayvon Martin in February of 2012.

Council member JoAnn Watson sponsored the resolution, dismissing the comments of fellow council member Kenneth Cockrel Jr., who observed that a burgeoning epidemic of urban black-on-black crime has failed to capture the attention either of elected leaders or the media.

The Detroit Free Press covered the meeting, quoting Cockrel’s message that “we need to have the same level of outrage with respect to black-on-black crime that takes place in our community.”

Watson responded that there’s plenty of outrage already over that kind of crime. “Because the so-called major media does not cover all of the expressions does not mean it does not happen. So that’s not correct.”

Despite the back-and-forth, the council approved the resolution unanimously.

With the resolution approved, George Zimmerman remained free and Detroit remained bankrupt.

 

Watch: Cop Speaks Out Against Ticket Quota, Urges Officers To Serve And Protect, Gets Fired


 

Former Auburn, Ala., police officer Justin Hanners became disturbed when a new chief at his department ordered officers to hassle, ticket and arrest specific numbers of residents per shift if they valued their jobs.

“When I first heard about the quotas I was appalled,” he said. “I got into law enforcement to serve and protect, not be a bully.”

Hanners filed formal complaints to his chain of command and, getting nowhere, eventually began to speak out publically about the abuses. His superiors order him to shut-up about the abuses—and when he didn’t, Hanners was fired.

He is currently looking for a lawyer to help him sue the department.

H/T: Reason 

Obama’s Dismal Economic Record: Two Welfare Cases Per Job

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama delivered a speech in Galesburg, Ill., decrying political conflicts that aren’t focused on improving the economy, heralding his Administration’s economic efforts and promising to do more work on the economy.

Obama said that over the past 40 months, American businesses have created 7.2 million new jobs.

But, as pointed out by CNS News, the President left out a few key numbers in his economy speech.

CNS’s Gregory Gwyn-Williams writes:

Since February of 2009, the first full month of Obama’s presidency, 9.5 million Americans have dropped out of the labor force.  Nearly 90 million Americans are not working today!

That means that 1.3 Americans have dropped out of the labor force for every one job the administration claims to have created.

There are 15 million more Americans on food stamps today than when Obama assumed office.

At the end of January 2009, 32,204,859 Americans received aid from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. As of April 2013, there were 47,548,694 Americans on food stamps.

That means that more than two Americans have been added to the food stamp rolls for every one job the administration says it has created.

Under Obama, 1.6 million more Americans are collecting disability insurance. In February 2009, 9,334,369 Americans received disability payments.  Today, that number is 10,953,733.

It seems, as usual, it’s what the President doesn’t say that is truly revealing.

Royal Baby Named George Alexander Louis, Prince Of Cambridge

LONDON, (UPI) —  The newest addition to the British royal family is named George Alexander Louis and will be known as Prince George of Cambridge, Clarence House tweeted.

“The duke and duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son George Alexander Louis,” the Twitter message said Wednesday. “The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.”

The little prince was born Monday after 14 hours of labor and a natural delivery. He left St. Mary’s hospital in London with his father Prince William and mother Kate Tuesday night.

Upon leaving the hospital, William confessed to the crowd gathered outside that he and his wife were still “working on a name.”

The child’s name was officially announced Wednesday, the same day the prince and his parents visited the country estate of his maternal grandparents, the Middletons, in Bucklebury, following a drop-by from his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, at the family’s Kensington Palace apartment.

It was the first visit of a reigning monarch to a future king three generations down the line in 120 years, The Daily Telegraph reported

If he ascends to the throne, the little prince will be known as King George VII. Elizabeth’s father was George VI.

William’s brother, Prince Harry, visited the new family, dropping off a card from well-wisher Amanda Winney, 49, who included a 10-pound note she said he hoped would be used to buy a stuffed animal, the Telegraph said.

Prince George is third in line to the throne behind William and Prince Charles, who is the current monarch’s direct heir.

Last Hospitalized Boston Marathon Bombing Victim Is Discharged

BOSTON, (UPI) —  Marc Fucarile was discharged from a Boston hospital Wednesday, the last person injured in the Boston Marathon bombing to leave medical treatment.

Fucarile, 34, lost his right leg in the April 15 bombing, and his heart still contains shrapnel from the homemade bombs that exploded as he watched the end of the race, NBC News reported.

His discharge from Boston’s Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital comes 100 days after the marathon. Considered one of the most severely injured of survivors, he spent 45 days at Massachusetts General Hospital before entering Spaulding, WHDH-TV, Boston, said.

Fucarile, a roofer, has a son, 5, and a wife, a nurse. He told New England Cable News he is focused on finding a handicap-accessible apartment and a new career.

“I feel like I’ve been on the longest, craziest roller coaster,” he said.

Jobless Rate For U.S. Veterans Declined, On Par With Non-Veterans

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  The unemployment rate for recent veterans fell sharply in the second quarter of 2013 and is now even with the rest of the country, unemployment statistics show.

Recent figures show an end to a stubborn trend of higher joblessness among veterans who left the military after September 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

In the second quarter of 2013, the average unemployment rate of post-9/11 veterans was 7.4 percent, which is not statistically different from the 7.2 percent rate of non-veterans, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

That’s down from 12.1 percent for veterans and 8.7 percent for non-veterans in 2011 and 9.9 percent for veterans and 7.9 percent for non-veterans in 2012, the Times reported.

For the largest demographic of recent veterans — men between the ages of 25 and 34 — the unemployment rate is lower than non-veterans of the same demographic group, at 6.6 percent to 7.3 percent, the report said.

“The veterans have done something for their country,” said Derek Bennett, chief of staff for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “The country has a moral obligation to ensure they are working and productive citizens.”

Advocates said the unemployment rate improvement could be credited to public and private efforts to get recent veterans back in the work force.

Woman Sentenced To Serve Next 5 Christmases In Jail

GAHANNA, Ohio, (UPI) —  An Ohio woman accused of issuing state ID cards and driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants was sentenced to spend five Christmases in jail.

Betina Young, 44, who prosecutors said used her position at the deputy registrar’s office in Gahanna to falsify records for illegal immigrants who paid her a fee,  pleaded guilty in May to five counts of tampering with records and was sentenced Monday to spend at least three days in jail each Christmas for the duration of her five-year probation, The Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday.

Judge Michael Holbrook also ordered Young to pay a $3,000 fine. If she fails to abide by the terms of her probation she will face 15 years in jail, Holbrook said.

The exact number of days Young will spend in jail during her Christmas visits will be determined in consultation with the probation department, Holbrook said.

Poll Finds Majority Want NSA Leaker Snowden Charged With A Crime

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  More than half of U.S. adults think NSA leaker Edward Snowden, hiding out in a Moscow airport, should be charged with a crime, a poll indicates.

An ABC News/Washington Post telephone poll of 1,002 people conducted July18-21 found that 53 percent support charges against Snowden, up from 43 percent in June.

At the same time, the poll found 71 percent of people who think Snowden’s disclosures harmed national security are in favor of criminal charges.

More than half of those polled indicated they opposed economic retaliation against any country that provides asylum to Snowden, ABC News said.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted July 17-21 found only 11 percent currently view Snowden in a positive light while 34 percent said they view him negatively, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Nearly a third said they didn’t know who he was, the Journal said.

The poll carried a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

The ABCNews/Washington Post poll, conducted in both English and Spanish, carried a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Poll: Nearly Half Of U.S. Adults Agree With Zimmerman Verdict

NEW YORK, (UPI) —  Nearly half of U.S. adults agree with the Florida jury that found George Zimmerman innocent in the killing of 17-year-old Treyvon Martin, a poll indicates.

The online poll of 2,034 U.S. residents conducted by Harris Interactive July 16-18, found 46 percent agreed with the verdict while 45 percent indicated they disagreed. Ten percent of respondents reported they were not sure, the poll found.

When race of respondents was considered, 89 percent of blacks and 57 percent of Hispanics reported disagreeing with the not guilty verdict.

The poll found young people in the 18-34 age range were more likely to disagree than agree with the verdict, 54 percent disagreed while 35 percent agreed.

Respondents were also questioned about media coverage of the trial.

An overwhelming majority, 85 percent, found it excessive.

Approximately three-fourths of those surveyed or 74 percent, said it was inappropriate that the Zimmerman trial was more broadly covered than recent violence elsewhere in the United States.

Harris Interactive said it avoids reporting a “margin of error as they are misleading.”

Trayvon Martin’s Father To Speak On Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, is expected to talk about black males in the United States in a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday, lawmakers said.

Martin agreed to give the opening remarks at a hearing titled “The Status of Black Males: Ensuring Our Boys Mature Into Strong Men,” said Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting House Democrat representing Washington, D.C.

The 2-hour hearing beginning at 3 p.m. will be the first organized by the new Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys, started in March by Davis and Norton, both members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Martin’s remarks will mark his first Capitol Hill appearance since a Sanford, Fla., jury acquitted neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman July 13 of murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Martin’s son, an unarmed black 17-year old.

Public reaction to the verdict has been divided sharply along racial and political lines, with blacks and Democrats more likely to disagree with it and whites and Republicans more likely to agree, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday indicated.

Martin spoke last year on Capitol Hill about his son’s killing before House Judiciary Committee Democrats examining racial profiling and hate crimes.

President Obama spoke about race relations Friday in light of the verdict after days of angry protests across the country and mounting public pressure.

He said the verdict was profoundly distressing for many blacks, who he said deal with racial prejudice throughout their lives.

He gave three examples of racist indignities black men regularly face in the United States.

“There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me,” he said.

“There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator.

“There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often,” Obama said.

“Those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida,” Obama said. “And it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear.”

Obama began his remarks by saying: “When Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”

At Wednesday’s hearing, caucus members will hear testimony and question three witnesses after Martin speaks, Davis and Norton said in a statement.

The three witnesses are:

— David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans, who is expected to address issues facing black boys.

— Michael Eric Dyson, a Georgetown University sociology professor, who will focus on issues confronting black youth.

— Kweisi Mfume, a former NAACP president, former Democratic congressman from Maryland and former Congressional Black Caucus chairman, who is expected to speak about black manhood.

Obama’s Pick For No. 2 At Homeland Security Probed

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  President Obama’s pick to be Homeland Security’s No. 2 chief is being probed for allegedly helping foreign investors get U.S. visas, congressional aides said.

Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is alleged to have misused his position to help immigrant investors tied to top Democrats get visas leading to fast-track green cards, the congressional staffers told The Washington Post.

The probe threatens to delay the Senate’s planned consideration Thursday of Mayorkas’ nomination. Mayorkas was expected to run the Department of Homeland Security in an acting capacity after Secretary Janet Napolitano leaves in September to run the University of California.

The immigrant investors had applied for the so-called EB-5 visas through a company led by the brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, emails posted on conservative website Watchdog.org indicated.

Anthony Rodham, president and chief executive officer of Gulf Coast Funds Management of McLean, Va., asked for Mayorkas’ assistance in January, the emails indicated.

Rodham and other Gulf Coast officials said delays in the EB-5 program were hurting GreenTech Automotive, a McLean maker of energy-efficient electric vehicles co-founded by former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Post said.

McAuliffe stepped down as GreenTech chairman Dec. 1 and is now running for Virginia governor.

A DHS email sent to Senate staffers Monday said the inquiry by Inspector General Charles K. Edwards had so far not determined “any findings of criminal misconduct,” the Post said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney Tuesday referred questions to Edwards. Edwards’ office had no immediate comment.

Gulf Coast and GreenTech officials said they were unaware of the inspector general’s investigation.

The EB-5 program lets foreign nationals get the visas if they invest $1 million in businesses or projects that create U.S. jobs for U.S. citizens. The investment can be $500,000 in high-unemployment or rural areas.

If the foreign national investor’s petition is approved, investors and their dependents can be granted permanent legal residence status after two years, a United Press International review of the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services website indicates.

Mayorkas has a Senate panel confirmation hearing set for Thursday under an expedited approval process requested by the White House.

But Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, asked for the nomination to be put on hold until the inspector general’s inquiry is completed, a Coburn aide told the Post.

Panel Chairman Thomas Carper, D-Del., has not decided whether to delay the hearing, aides told the newspaper.

Obama’s Economy: Turn, Turn, Turn; Snowden Stirs; Republicans And Their Sisters; GM Bailout (Still) Soaks Americans; Big Apple Bikers Exposed – Wednesday Morning News Roundup 7-24-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • According to political reporter Salena Zito, today’s economic speeches by Barack Obama represent the 19th “pivot” for the president. Source: Weekly Standard… 

 

  • Fugitive U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has been given an official pass to leave Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, Russian airport officials say. He has stayed in transit since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23rd, and recently requested temporary asylum in Russia. Source: BBC… 

 

  • Researchers released a study Tuesday that found men who were raised with female siblings tend to be conservative in their views of gender throughout their lives, and more likely to vote Republican when they’re young than their male peers. Source: CBS Los Angeles… 

 

  • General Motors stock would have to sell for $95.51 per share for taxpayers to break even on bailing out the company, according to a government watchdog’s report released Wednesday. Taxpayers are still $18.1 billion in the hole on the $49.5 billion bailout, including interest and dividends, according to the report. Source: MyFox Detroit…  

 

  • Riders of New York City’s star-crossed Citi Bike service – many of them already frustrated by other problems with the pick-up and drop-off bicycle program – have now learned that their personal information has been compromised. More than 1,100 riders received emails this week that reassuringly stated “There is a security breach that has been solved. Thank you for your understanding. Your security is safe.” Source: CBS New York… 

 

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

Obama’s Plunging Approval Rating Still Outpaces Congress

Public approval for a scandal-embattled President Barack Obama, as well as a gridlocked, ineffectual Congress, has reached near-historic lows, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

The President is facing his worst slide in popularity among a cross section of Americans since his all-time low of 39 percent in September 2011. The recent poll, which finds his approval down to 41 percent, shows Obama on track to descend at least that far once more, if the trend established during the first six months of his second term continues.

In April (back when the Benghazi, Libya, debacle was the only major Obama Administration scandal the public knew about), Obama’s polling numbers were commensurate with the 51 percent of the popular vote he received in the 2012 election, with an even 50 percent of Americans still showing their approval.

But two months later, in the wake of scandals involving Obama’s ties with the Internal Revenue Service, National Security Agency and Department of Justice — along with an unfocused cavalcade of second-term agenda talking points covering Obamacare, energy regulations, ambivalent foreign policy and even civil liberties — the President’s popularity, even among his liberal base, has taken a dramatic hit.

A separate Field poll found that only 52 percent of voters in California, where Democrats have carried every Presidential election since 1992, now approve of Obama’s post-scandal performance. In February, by contrast, he had enjoyed a 62 percent popularity rating.

As the McClatchy poll summary notes, the numerous scandals have chipped away at Obama’s credibility on many fronts, with Americans from highly divergent walks of life finding their own different reasons for turning on the President. Despite that, Obama still is faring far better than the stagnant 113th Congress, especially the Republican majority in the House of Representatives:

“Clearly six months into his second term there’s been falloff across the board. It’s not like one group bailed on him,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in New York, which conducted the poll.

About his only solace is that the approval rating of congressional Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, sank to 22 percent. One-third of registered voters approved of congressional Democrats’ performance.

The dismal Washington numbers reflect “the ongoing, cumulative effect of those issues which have not been resolved” and no solution is in sight, Miringoff said. Lawmakers remain at odds over how to trim federal deficits or write a federal budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, and Congress plans to leave Aug. 2 for a five-week recess.

George Zimmerman: Hero?

George Zimmerman demonstrated why he was watching out for his community as a neighborhood watch volunteer on the night that Trayvon Martin was shot. He cares about his community.

Last Friday, he demonstrated it again. He was one of two men who pulled a family from a crashed and overturned vehicle in Sanford, Fla., less than a mile from where he shot Martin.

The corrupt persecutor who prosecuted the case against Zimmerman, Angela Corey, tried to portray him as a wannabe cop. But the reality is that Zimmerman is obviously an observant and conscientious American citizen who cares about others.

So despite thousands of death threats directed at him and his family, Zimmerman stepped out of his vehicle and helped pull to safety a family that he didn’t even know. It was something he didn’t have to do.

When someone puts his life in danger and helps others without regard to his own safety, he becomes a hero in my book.

The race-mongering punditry is already out saying it never happened, even though Sanford Police Department Capt. Jim McAuliffe told ABC News that it did.