Feds overstepping their bounds

Commenting on Tyranny and America’s moral decline,
ONLYJB1 says:
February 23, 2015

What ever happened to the old standard of doing business. “We reserve the right to refuse service”!??
Now our Fed Gov is overstepping their bounds and flexing their communist muscle, mandating what business owners MUST do.


Commenting on Obama’s lapdog media is a pack of cowards,
Donnie J McDonald says:
February 25, 2015

Obama’s enemy is every American who believes in traditional values. I must be his enemy. I support the second amendment, I support the first amendment and the right to draw cartoons if I or anyone else wishes. How ridiculous, muslim radicals are committing outlandish acts of mutilations and murders of human beings just because they do not believes as they do. It does not surprise me after these attacks by radical muslims that Obaham seeks to target Americans instead of radical murderous muslims. It has become obvious he is a radical muslim supporter who hates Americans, Christians and Jews. He also ranted against the Egyptian military after they threw the radical muslim brotherhood supporters out of Egypt. The USA has met the enemy and it is obama and his supporters.


Romney was right

Commenting on Want to take your country back? Here’s where it starts,
1940voter says:
February 9, 2015

Most Americans haven’t a clue about the Constitution. We now have a federal free stuff army that only grows every day. Obama and the dems have created this monster and who will defund it?No politician who attempts to change this system will win. Think not? go to Romney’s 47% statement, the msm and dems crucified him yet he was correct. He was also correct about Russia and the same happened. Obama’s army cares nothing about issues and policy, it’s what am I getting for free. Period.


Commenting on Illinois governor ends mandatory union dues for public employees,
Mys77 says:
February 11, 2015

So, the poor unions have experienced push back. They abused the power they were given, created more problems than they solved, and now they have been neutralize….how very poetic, and justified.


State of the Union a waste of time

Commenting on Open mic night at the State of the Union,
2broke said:
January 23, 2015

you guys have more guts than me… I hear him and I want to throw up. not one minute of my time was wasted on him, I had better things to do, like sitting on a toilet!


Commenting on The amazing arrogance and stupidity of Barack Obama,
Glock 10 said:
January 29, 2015

Obamas is Arrogant but not stupid. He knows what he is saying is not true but he also knows the MSM will not make a fuss about it , in fact they will double down with him. So anybody who calls him out will be vilified and made to look like “Stupid Squared”. He owns the Media and they own the Narrative = everything he says is the Gospel according to the Koran.. bible… I did not capitalized the word Koran , spellcheck did it, so I tried typing the bible to see if it would Auto Correct to a capital, you can see the results for yourself.
Even spellcheck has been corrupted by this administration, I should not have to capitalize the kor an……
We used to live in a free country, now not so much………
I am looking forward to the shooting part of “Hope and Change”..


Voters ignored the facts

Commenting on America’s Muslim in chief,
TruFolk says:
January 14, 2015

All of the information was available before the 2008 presidential elections, and a majority of American’s (and I use that name lightly) ignored it, and voted him into the most powerful position in the world. Why, either they agree with Obama and want America to be a Communist nation with Islam as the national religion, or they’re idiots and just thought it would be cool to have a Black president. I also hold the MSM responsible for the destruction of America because of their intentional lies concerning Rev. Wright and his hatred, racist views of White Americans… also, their avoidance and cover-ups of the terrorism arrests and convictions of Bill Ayers and Eric Holder. I want to watch their agony when they realize they’ve caused their own suicide when America no longer resembles anything close to its glorious past as a free country.


Tackling acid indigestion

Dear Bob,

In this month’s (Bob Livingston) letter, you mentioned taking Betaine Hydrochloride for acid indigestion. I looked on Amazon for this product and there are so many different options, I didn’t know which to get. Do you have any suggestions for this? I’d appreciate any help you can give.

I really enjoy your newsletter and have benefited from your advice. Thank you for all you do.

Alonah L.

Dear Alonah,

This is a mild preparation that puts acid back in your stomach, so it is OK to just get any of them. I have used the product from the NOW product line and also from Standard Process. Both are good. I have noticed that Standard Process’ product is now available on Amazon.

Thank you for your continued patronage.

Best wishes,


Independent thinking is still alive and well

Commenting on Personal Liberty’s 2015 agenda revealed,
John Adams says:
December 29, 2014
Thanks, Bob. You have assembled a crew of journalist – writer – researchers that continually provide excellent fodder for debate and disagreement and – therefore – some evidence that independent thinking is still alive and well.

As someone with over 6 decades of experience on this planet, I have always believed that reading was a key element in whatever small success I’ve had in my life. In fact, I recently read the most compelling reason that parents should read to their infant children who cannot even decipher the alphabet yet. They learn to associate reading, and books, with familial love and affection, and these deep feelings are imprinted on their young minds for their entire lives.

In support of your broad agenda, here are some quotes that I have found to contain some value in my life:



“To resist the frigidity of old age one must combine the body, the mind and the heart – and to keep them in parallel vigor one must exercise, study and love.” Karl von Bonstetten

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” Bertha Calloway


“Men are not against you; they are merely for themselves.” Gene Fowler

“A tough lesson in life that one has to learn is that not everybody wishes you well.” Dan Rather

“I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!” Tom Lehrer


“Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.” Russell Baker


To all who read this, please accept my best wishes for you, your families and friends, for 2015. Each of us has but one life to live. Let us live well, and without surrendering the integrity of our own beliefs for short term gain.


Blame judges, lawyers for destruction of republic

Commenting on From republicanism to tyranny: How did we lose our rights?,
joe1cr says:
December 8, 2014

Main 2 reasons for the destruction of our republic are corrupt federal judges and conniving double speaking lawyers who have taken over the congress and formed a Oligarchy . What we have today is a Presidential Dictator along with a Congressional Oligarchy. Oligarchies have been tyrannical relying on public obedience and/or oppression to exist. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich. Today the banks, commercial entities and lobbyists that act in complicity with, or at the whim of the oligarchy, often with little or no regard for constitutionally protected prerogatives.

“There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. ” Daniel Webster



Commenting on The ‘thin blue line’ serves no purpose,
wavesofgrain says:
December 9, 2014

The separation between the citizens and the Public Ruling Class has been enabled due to the unionization of these employees and departments. They have become a collective untouchable by the citizens, and these employees now work for their unions and the politicians who promise to continue their parasitic existence and utopian wages, benefits and power.
The unionized police have become a left arm of the government, a mafia brotherhood, protected by their unions so they are rarely fired or held accountable. The days of Andy Griffith and Barney disappeared with the implementation of these unions. Abolish public unions and get the power back in the citizens hands.


Perhaps we’ve learned from the errors of the past

Dear Mr. Livingston,

I am dismayed and alarmed that this nation has become so polarized. It is not too much to say that we are divided into progressive vs. conservative camps and the the really disturbing element of all this is that these are armed camps. We have a tinderbox on the verge of exploding into a holocaust if we do not learn to talk to and not merely shout at our fellow citizens who simply hold different political and social views than ourselves. Unthinkable as it may be, I can foresee the ‘Balkanization’ of this great country. A contentious patchwork on the old City State model with the ‘ULTRA LIBERAL TALIBAN STATES OF AMERICA’ Bordering the FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN STATES OF AMERICA Bordering the ULTRA-ORTHODOX JEWISH STATES OF AMERICA etc., etc., etc., I do not doubt your sincerity, sir. But the recent poll I took on your site regarding the right to openly carry weapons in public and into private businesses is very telling. Yours is clearly a very conservative site. Not many progressives or liberals are likely to visit it anymore than your conservative bretheren (and ‘sisteren) are likely to view your site. So clearly your poll will reflect the conservative point of view. BUT-the overwhelming adherence of the majority of your poll respondents in favor of 2nd amendment supremacy voted overwhelmingly in the last question to indicate that they would, in fact, boycott businesses which allowed patrons to carry weapons. What does that tell you about the dichotomy between deeply held philosophical convictions and practical reality? People, applying commonsense, know that if multiple people in a business are carrying weapons, however responsible they may be, when confronted with criminal activity in which they elect to intervene are likely to injure and kill more citizens in uncoordinated friendly fire than the lone criminal perpetrating the action. I would welcome a dialogue here. )


Harley V.

Dear Harley,

I am currently reading “The Political Crisis of the 1850s” by Michael Holt, published in 1978. It describes the political situation that led to the breakdown of the U.S. political system and, ultimately, the War to Prevent Southern Secession (aka Civil War). On page 4 Holt writes:

[T]he collapse of the old framework of two-party rivalry aggravated and in part reflected a loss of popular faith in the normal party political process to meet the needs of voters, to redress personal, group, and sectional grievances. Malignant distrust of politicians as self-centered and corrupt wirepullers out of touch with the people spread like an epidemic during the 1850s. So, too, did dissatisfaction with political parties as unresponsive and beyond popular control. Americans grew impatient with the inefficacy of traditional political methods and institutions. Widespread disgust with politics as usual engendered cries for reform that helped to destroy the old parties, propel voters to new affiliations, and shape new parties as ways were sought to return power to the people.

That sounds exactly like the political situation of today. You see, we are not experiencing anything that has not happened before. Perhaps we’ve learned from the errors of the past. You fear a separation of the states that you call “Balkanization.” I embrace the notion. I also encourage you to read “Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century,” edited by Donald Livingston (no relation).

The vast U.S. “democracy” is too large and corrupt for republican government. It has become a fascist system, and I fear that only its breakup can “fix” it. If only the corrupt U.S. regime will allow those states that want to leave peacefully do so this time, as is their right under natural law, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

You write: “Yours is clearly a very conservative site. Not many progressives or liberals are likely to visit it anymore than your conservative bretheren (and ‘sisteren) are likely to view your site.” You are wrong on both counts. People of all political persuasions are found here in great numbers, and they are welcomed. In the very poll you mentioned, respondents claim to be 4 percent Democrat, 35 percent Republican, 7 percent Libertarian, 27 percent Tea Party, 22 percent independent and 5 percent other.

You write: “BUT-the overwhelming adherence of the majority of your poll respondents in favor of 2nd amendment supremacy voted overwhelmingly in the last question to indicate that they would, in fact, boycott businesses which allowed patrons to carry weapons. What does that tell you about the dichotomy between deeply held philosophical convictions and practical reality?” It tells me you have difficulty with you reading comprehension. The question asks exactly the opposite of what you claim it asks.

You write: “People, applying commonsense, know that if multiple people in a business are carrying weapons, however responsible they may be, when confronted with criminal activity in which they elect to intervene are likely to injure and kill more citizens in uncoordinated friendly fire than the lone criminal perpetrating the action. I would welcome a dialogue here.)” Proof by bald assertion, and unsupported with history.

Best wishes,


A crisis of American culture

In response to an article on President Obama’s immigration announcement, a commenter describes how he sees illegal immigration hurting the nation.

Commenting on Lawmakers: Immigration plan could lead to violence, get Obama jailed, Libertarian Soldier says:

November 21, 2014

barack hussein obama is a divider. This renegade illegal alien, himself, is doing against America just what he did to get himself on a ballot, commit naturalization fraud.

If anybody is paying attention, we’re in a crisis of American culture. America, “one nation under God” has been so chipped away, Christmas and Easter have been so eviscerated by interlopers that hate America, anyway that our culture, our founding documents, our moral principles, our currency are all but moot.

Our Just Us Department has disenfranchised our citizens and our laws in favor of criminal aliens, affording them forms of amnesty with no regard for our citizens in an economy, directly, artificially repressed and factually undermined by our pResident.

It has become policy that American students may not wear or present effects with an American flag on them because they are “racist” of all things, in America! Un-American, un-Constitutional, democrat appointed and elected judges rule against American citizens’ Constitutional, 1st Amendment Rights, in favor of the illegal alien children and the children of criminal aliens.

Soon after the turn of the 20th Century, extended for decades, immigration and naturalization was strictly restricted, almost stopped. There were many reasons. One was that, like today, the country, economically couldn’t support its current citizens and residents. Another reason is the dilution of our culture. We weren’t naturalizing new citizens fast enough and new Americans were not learning what it means to be American, weren’t having loyalty and patriotism instilled in them. They weren’t learning about what America is, what it stands for and what it means to live within the traditions of an established, new country. Still, another was national security. We were becoming a power which comes with competitors, enemies and subversive influences like socialism and communism.

We have a flood of criminal aliens, about 35 million+, more than triple the White House’s fallacious estimate of 11 million (more than 11 million just between California and Texas, at that time), criminal because their first act in America was to violate our sovereignty and they commit petty and serious crimes daily, while here. They actually have more political clout than citizens, now! If the TEA Party has a peaceful rally, there’s almost a 1-10 law enforcement officer presence. Yet, when the government was putting up fences to keep veterans out of the open air memorials in Washington, they granted permits and provided security for illegal aliens, criminal aliens to protest, to complain that they weren’t given citizenship as a reward for their crimes. They demanded, some violently, amnesty and citizenship!

While we’re struggling with unemployment and underemployment, the underground, labor market is flourishing and un-American, big business is using cheap, illegal labor to supplant the American laborer.

There’s another consequence. National security is more an issue than ever before. While the pResident continues his islamocentric agenda, kissing up to and assisting muslim nations that wish to go nuclear, he stupidly seeks to destabilize the globe while destablizing America and her allies. He engineered, funded and armed the overthrow or attempted overthrow of 4 allies for the muslim brotherhood! Look at who’s behind Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Syria. obama and clinton ii did that!. In Libya, he also moved unilaterally under the fabrication that Ghadafi was slaughtering his people when operatives on the ground reported no such event. Turns out Ghadafi, our ally, didn’t trust the US currency for oil and demanded gold. So, we paid and armed al qaida to overthrow him. We even provided air support bombing and cover fire as well as cash, guns and intelligence, while we were pretending to be looking out for Ghadafi, ansar al shariah, usama bin laden’s re-branded al qaida was raping and executing Ghadafi and his family.

I digress. Naturalized Americans who go through the process of naturalization do not plant bombs at our Boston Marathon. They don’t fly fully fueled, fully occupied, commercial airliners into densely populated, iconic American structures on American soil.

The idea that criminal aliens are already American, as pelosi and biden both claim is a lie, as is jeb bush’s assertion that criminal aliens are all ‘here as an act of love’. This is preposterous and this guy wants to be the next obama? This is how we come to understand that wearing or presenting an American flag is a racist statement in America.

This pResident has committed an illegal act. It is time for the states to take back the trust, the sovereignty, the power that the government has corruptly violated and send their national guard to protect our border and to begin the deportations in compliance with the Congressionally, Legitimate Presidentially passed bills that have become laws the shameful, disgraceful, criminal executive will not enforce.

Extreme weather warning: As polar vortex descends on U.S., all hell to break loose

This article originally appeared at SHTFplan.com

Leading physics professor Michio Kaku of the City University of New York has signaled a warning concerning the polar vortex now bringing extreme cold weather to a majority of states in the U.S.

“Superstorm Nuri packs more energy than Hurricane Sandy. It’s headed our way, and we are in the bull’s-eye. This weekend it’s going to plow into Alaska, creating 50-foot waves. Then, by midweek, all hell breaks loose. It’s going to combine with the jetstream, pushing arctic air perhaps as low as Florida,” Michio Kaku told CBS News.

“In the worst-case scenario, it could mean a deep freeze. It means airlines canceling flights left and right. It means transportation being disrupted… we’re talking disruption that will peak between Nov. 13 and Nov. 15, but will ripple through the rest of November,” Kaku added, telling viewers to “get used to” polar vortexes, because “the Earth is changing, and we’re going to see more violent swings.”

Northern states are expected to experience extreme lows that could reach -30 Fahrenheit and beyond, while early bouts of extreme cold will affect nearly the entire U.S., dipping between 15 and 30 degrees below normal.

It will bring snowstorms and heavy rains across the much of Northern United States and Canada, particularly in the Northeast.

The Weather Channel’s Tom Niziol cautioned, “It’s early in the season, but we are poised for a pure Arctic outbreak.”

While several credible weather watchers have linked this polar vortex to weather manipulation — which Kaku himself admits is different from last year’s — investigative reporter Shephard Ambellas has also linked it with several curiously timed events that may prove to be play into a disaster-recovery agenda:

However, all of this may dovetail into a massive FEMA drill already set to take place on Nov. 13, in FEMA Region II, as reported by Intellihub.com.

Furthermore the Washington Post reported, “Hackers from China breached the federal weather network recently, forcing cybersecurity teams to seal off data vital to disaster planning, aviation, shipping and scores of other crucial uses” possibly coinciding with the plan.

Hurricane Sandy certainly proved to be a massive weather event with even bigger political and power ramifications, which included massive property damage, tens of thousands of destroyed homes and severe disruption to the power grid, gasoline fuel and natural gas for heating. FEMA is still dealing with the aftermath of destruction that affected millions and totaled $1.1 billion just in federal allocated dollars and another $3.2 billion in National Flood Insurance Program payments, along with several hundred million dollars in other related costs.

There are some important ways that you can prepare your home and family for extreme winter weather, as well as possible electricity outages or gas and food shortages.

Below are some detailed steps on how to insulate your body, particularly for any extended outdoors activity, and also to insulate your home. In particular, there are several ways to winterize your abode for even the most insane winter weather, while taking some common-sense steps to preparing for alternative energy supplies, power outages and potentially life-threatening circumstances.

Insulating the home

  • Light some candles. Burning candles can add some much-needed warmth to a small area. And if you want to make the most of heat emitted from a candle, try making a space heater from a candle. This handy device collects, retains, concentrates and radiates dry space heat from a candle.
  • Sealing off a room or a smaller area to heat by using a folded quilt at the bottom to better insulate the room. You can also hang heavy quilts in the doorways of rooms with a heat source to block them off from the rest of the house. Ensure that you seal any drafts coming from windows in the room as well.
  • To prevent heat from escaping from the fireplace when it’s not in use, purchase a fireplace plug. It is an inflatable pillow that seals the fireplace damper, eliminating drafts, odors and noise. The pillow is removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.
  • Insulate your windows. Rubber weather sealant and/or window insulation film can also keep drafts at a minimum.
  • You can also use a plastic shower curtain or bubble wrap and duct tape, topped by a heavy quilt, to keep the wind from whistling through your windows. Another option is to purchase a draft door dodger or make your own. Layers of curtains made of heavy fabrics can also keep a room more insulated.
  • Heat some rocks. If you have a place outdoors for a cooking fire, you can add large rocks to the fire. Rocks retain heat for a very long time. When you are ready to go to bed, move the rocks into a cast iron Dutch oven. Very carefully take this into the room that you are heating. The stones will emit heat for several hours. This is an excellent way to passively heat your room when you’re sleeping. With this method, you don’t have to be concerned about the potential of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning during the night.

Serious preppers will already have a step forward on this, but it is not yet too late for most to check over your supplies or to shop for additional emergency items to ensure that the polar vortex, or any similar biting winter cycles, don’t leave you out in the cold.

Here’s who is ruining our country

Commenting on Friday morning quarterbacking,
TheOriginalDaveH says:
November 7, 2014

Here’s a good example of how even Ben, who I think considers himself a Conservative, has been misled:

Ben says—”If they [Democrats] hope to return to the majority, they might consider ending their war on liberty”.

War on Liberty?

Who backs the Liberty-Crushing Drug Wars?

Who backed the Patriot Act? Who backed the NDAA? Who is backing the perpetual overseas wars?

Both the NeoConservative Progressives and the Liberal Progressives are ruining our country and diminishing our Freedom.


Ron Gold, Republican candidate for California AG, supports marijuana legalization; here’s why

This post, written by Zoe Russell, was originally published on the Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition website. 

Ron Gold, the Republican candidate for attorney general in California, answered several questions about marijuana legalization in an interview with Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP). His Democratic opponent, Attorney General Kamala Harris, did not support Prop 19, the 2010 effort to legalize recreational marijuana in California that narrowly lost. Brian Brokaw, a spokesman for Harris told KCRA in August, “She believes that this is an evolving issue that requires that we monitor what is happening in Colorado and other states, and that ultimately, this should be up to a vote of the people.”

Gold, on the other hand, supports marijuana legalization and has outlined some steps in the interview below that he would pursue as Attorney General.

RAMP: Why do you think marijuana prohibition is not in line with conservative principles?

Gold: Marijuana legalization is basically libertarian rather than conservative. Libertarian concepts, such as rights of privacy and free expression, negate any other principles. People have a right to do with their bodies what they wish as long as they don’t harm others. This is basically a libertarian concept.

RAMP: What are the complexities California has had to deal with since the 1996 medical marijuana initiative? There seems to be a gray area in the law.

Gold: It is a black and white area with regards to the federal government, state government and the 10th Amendment. Obama, through his DEA, is enforcing the federal law of prohibition. Meanwhile, California and other state laws have progressively gone toward medicinal marijuana. California has not approached recreational marijuana like it needs to. It is shocking to see the federal government in action, like with Dr. [Mollie] Fry who is spending time in prison for prescribing marijuana. We have a petition on www.rongold.org to pardon her. Our opponent decided not to help her. The complexity arises because an old fashioned concept like prohibition implies marijuana should be restricted because it’s sinful. We will overcome this mindset with libertarian concepts and freedom of choice.

RAMP: Did you always support marijuana legalization or have you adopted that position over time?

Gold: This is something that I have long held beliefs on. Fortunately, early in my legal career, I worked with John J. Murphy Jr., a former FBI agent. Over 45 years ago, we discussed that even FBI agents and most cops knew this was a farce. It made no sense to take law enforcement resources from hard crimes like rape and murder for marijuana enforcement. In the last month, our campaign recognized the 100th anniversary of the first person to be convicted for marijuana, which occurred in Los Angeles. I’ve known for the last 45 years that marijuana needs to be legalized for both medical and recreational uses.

RAMP: What would you, as attorney general, be able to do to correct the current structure of California marijuana laws?

Gold: In 2016 there will be an initiative to legalize marijuana. I wouldn’t wait for an initiative. When I am elected, I will call in experts in the field, of which I’ve already contacted a number. We’d recommended legislation. We will also create guidance for regulation. There’s no purpose in waiting for 2016. We’ve waited 100 years for marijuana reform. Serious reform requires serious action.

RAMP: What are your opinions of the federal government’s actions in California? It seems the Feds take a harder stance against California growers, distributors and patients than in other states.

Gold: That’s a really interesting point. On one side, you have a Republican potential attorney general who supports recreational legalization. Then you have a Democratic Party, whose state platform supports recreational marijuana legalization. And yet, you have two or three obstinate politicians like Kamala Harris and Barbara Boxer, who resist. The federal government has been friendly with the current administration in California, and yet the California lawmakers seem not to have made any progress in the last four years with the federal government respecting our state laws. Even though my opponent went to the marijuana community in 2010 saying she would work to clear up regulations for the industry, four years have gone by and she’s sat at her desk.

FBI borrows a page from Obama’s EPA by seeking power expansion through a rules change

It appears to be working at the EPA, so why shouldn’t federal law enforcement get in on the power-grab game?

The FBI is reportedly seeking a major expansion in surveillance powers not by approaching lawmakers, but by tweaking the phrasing of federal rules of criminal procedure. The change, if approved, would allow the agency to execute search warrants for digital content in locations far from the jurisdictions in which they’ve been issued.

According to The Guardian, the change concerns a small tweak to a very specific portion of one rule:

The proposed operating changes related to rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure, the terms under which the FBI is allowed to conduct searches under court-approved warrants. Under existing wording, warrants have to be highly focused on specific locations where suspected criminal activity is occurring and approved by judges located in that same district.

But under the proposed amendment, a judge can issue a warrant that would allow the FBI to hack into any computer, no matter where it is located. The change is designed specifically to help federal investigators carry out surveillance on computers that have been “anonymized” — that is, their location has been hidden using tools such as Tor.

The FBI hopes to accomplish this policy-level sea change in surveillance powers by introducing the concept of “remote access” searching of computers — regardless of whether they’re located inside the jurisdiction of the issuing magistrate — into the revised rule, essentially allowing the agency to use Patriot Act terror surveillance methods in routine domestic criminal cases.

In order to push through the proposal, it must clear the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules, a standing committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. The body meets on Nov. 5; civil liberties groups are already submitting written testimony intended to oppose the changes.

The Center for Democracy and Technology has made public its prepared testimony ahead of time, making several strong arguments against the change.

None is more germane to the constitutionality of the proposed power grab than the group’s argument that the proposal “would authorize searches that violate the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment.”

If the physical location of the electronic media to be searched is unknown, the search may not satisfy the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment, which requires that the ‘place to be searched’ be particularly described.

… The proposed FRCrmP Rule 41 modification includes a note that states: “The amendment does not address constitutional questions, such as the specificity of description that the Fourth Amendment may require in a warrant for remotely searching electronic storage media […] leaving application of this and other constitutional standards to ongoing case law development.”8 While we appreciate the fact that the Committee does not seek to address such questions in this rulemaking, the proposed modification to Rule 41 nonetheless does have direct bearing on these very questions since it specifically contemplates the issuance of warrants for computers in concealed locations.

Where potential 2016 Republican presidential contenders stand on marijuana reform

All photos by Gage Skidmore

This post, written by Zoe Russell, was originally published on the Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition website. 

We’ve taken a look across the field of the names being thrown around as Republican presidential contenders and collected their thoughts on marijuana policy.

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush is the former Governor of Florida, a state whose residents are voting on a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana this November. He has recently weighed in on the issue with a statement to “strongly urge” a no vote.

His statement:

Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism, and a desirable place to raise a family or retire. Allowing large-scale marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts. I believe it is the right of states to decide this issue, and I strongly urge Floridians to vote against Amendment 2 this November.

Though he’s clear on his feelings about medical marijuana, Bush is not sure how a president should react to state-by-state reform while marijuana remains illegal federally.

Asked by the Miami Herald how the federal government should be enforcing marijuana laws, Bush said, “In medical marijuana states? I don’t know. I’d have to sort that out. I think that states ought to have a right to decide these things. I think the federal government’s role in our lives is way too-overreaching.”

“But having said that,” he continued, “if you’re in Colorado and you can purchase marijuana openly, should people in Wyoming not be concerned about that? And I think there, maybe, the federal law needs to be looked at — interstate commerce.”

Rand Paul

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has been the most outspoken in the field of Republican presidential contenders on the topic of marijuana policy.

Medical Marijuana
Paul co-sponsored an amendment in the Senate to limit DEA raids in legal medical marijuana states. The bill is similar to the one passed in the House in a historic vote in May. Paul also introduced an amendment to the “Bring Jobs Home Act” which would allow states to “enact and implement laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical use” free from federal raids.

Industrial Hemp
Rand Paul is a champion of industrial hemp in Kentucky, which is legal for research purposes. Paul and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell succeeded in passing a measure in the 2014 Farm Bill providing for hemp research by universities.

Criminal Penalties for Drug Possession
Rand has actively engaged minority communities by discussing how drug policy unfairly affects African American and Hispanic young men. He and Cory Booker co-sponsored the REDEEM Act, a sentencing reform bill with several reforms aimed at non-violent criminals. Paul also co-sponsored the “Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013″ which would provide judges the option to institute a lesser mandatory minimum sentence in certain cases of non-violent drug offenses.

Chris Christie

Chris Christie has repeatedly denounced the war on drugs as a “failure,” yet prefers the route of drug courts rather than taking the issue out of the criminal realm.

Christie signed a bill in 2012 requiring drug treatment for low-level offenders in lieu of prison time. Defendants attend meetings and other strict requirements of the five-year program.

We have tried now, for 40-plus years, a war on drugs that is broad and wide against everyone involved in drugs in America, and it hasn’t worked, it hasn’t worked. What works is giving those people – non-violent drug offenders, addicts – the ability to get the tools that they need to be able to deal with their issues. I put lots of people in jail for seven years, and violent sociopath drug dealers deserve to go to prison. That’s not the people I’m talking about. The people I’m talking about are the users.

The New Jersey medical marijuana bill was passed in 2010, but is suffering from low enrollment and financial instability of the dispensaries. Christie believes the program’s issues speak to the inefficacy of marijuana as medicine. Supporters of the bill, however, say regulators have made the program too strict and expensive for doctors or patients to utilize. Another issue pointed to is the requirement of doctors to publicly list their participation in the program on a state website, which they’ve shied away from.

On his radio show, Christie asserted, “This program and all these other programs, in my mind, are a front for legalization… I am not going to allow de-facto legalization of marijuana in this state or regular legalization of marijuana in this state by statute. It’s not going to happen on my watch.”

In his warnings against legalization, Christie said, “Go to Colorado and see if you want to live there. See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado, where there are head shops popping up on every corner, and people flying into your airport just to get high. To me, it’s not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey.”

Christie told the Denver Post during a later trip to Colorado, “I’m not backing off an inch from what I said. What I said is what I believe. I think it’s the wrong thing to do. I think legalizing marijuana is the wrong thing to do from a societal perspective, from a governmental perspective. I just disagree.”

Bobby Jindal

Jindal answered at a press conference, “I continue to be opposed to legalization of marijuana. When it comes to medical marijuana … if there is a legitimate medical need, I’d certainly be open to making it available under very strict supervision for patients that would benefit from that.”

“He would be open to making medical marijuana available under strict circumstances,” Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin said.

The Times-Picayune asked Governor Jindal about his openness to reducing sentences for non-violent drug offenders. He responded, “I think it is better, for all of us, to help provide that treatment, instead of simply adding longer sentences.”

Rick Perry

Rick Perry has twice garnered recent headlines about marijuana. First, Perry participated on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Perry said about his tenure as Texas governor, “As the governor of the second-largest state in the country, what I can do is start us on policies that can start us on the road to decriminalization.”

Perry does not support legalization, but as “a staunch promoter of the 10th Amendment,” he believes “states should be allowed to make those decisions.”

Perry’s comments in Davos prompted Jimmy Kimmel to ask, “In January, you said you might possibly favor decriminalizing marijuana in the state of Texas. Is that correct?”

Rick Perry: “Yea, we’ve kinda done that. What we did is, for over a decade, we’ve lowered the penalties. We’re trying to be smart about it. You don’t want to ruin a kid’s life for having a joint, and that was historically what you saw. We put drug courts into place and we, I think, are making really smart decisions about dealing with people, particularly when it comes to these small amounts of drugs. And we’ve been able to shut down a prison in the state of Texas. That’s conservative, man.”

Ted Cruz

Senator Cruz from Texas has criticized President Obama for his lawlessness, which he extends to the Justice Department’s handling of marijuana legalization across the states. He believes the federal government should take up the issue, but is less clear on his position. Cruz has not had a chance to vote on an amendment similar to the one passed in the House to improve clarity between state and federal law in legal medical marijuana states, but when asked if he would support a bill that restores federal gun rights to medical marijuana patients, he answered affirmatively.

Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio has been clear about his opposition to recreational marijuana. He has recently come out against the medical marijuana ballot initiative to be voted on this November in Florida. Rubio did, however, support the CBD-oil bill passed by the Florida legislature in 2014.

Marco Rubio told ABC News, “Marijuana is illegal under federal law. That should be enforced.”

He continued, “When something is legal, implicitly, what you’re saying [is] it can’t be all that bad, because if it’s legal, it can’t be bad for you. And the bottom line is, I believe that adding yet another mind-altering substance to something that’s legal is not good for the country. I understand there are people that have different views on it, but I feel strongly about that.”

Rubio answers whether he has ever tried marijuana with the non-answer of, “If I tell you that I haven’t, you won’t believe me. And if I tell you that I did, then kids will look up to me and say, “Well I can smoke marijuana because look how he made it.”

Ben Carson

Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon and author, is being drafted to run for president. I don’t question his knowledge of medical cannabis, which he supports, but I do question his knowledge of economics. He seems to think the 77 years of marijuana prohibition has not been enough time to discuss the ramifications of marijuana use versus the effectiveness of a zero-tolerance policy.

He tells Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, “I think medical use of marijuana in compassionate cases certainly has been proven to be useful. But recognize that marijuana is what’s known as a gateway drug. It tends to be a starter drug for people who move onto heavier duty drugs – sometimes legal, sometimes illegal – and I don’t think this is something that we really want for our society. You know, we’re gradually just removing all the barriers to hedonistic activity and you know, it’s just, we’re changing so rapidly to a different type of society and nobody is getting a chance to discuss it because, you know, it’s taboo. It’s politically incorrect. You’re not supposed to talk about these things.”

Susana Martinez

Susana Martinez is the current Governor of New Mexico, the first female Hispanic Governor in the US, and a former prosecutor and District Attorney. She is up for reelection in November. She has reacted to the local efforts in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, where citizens and councilmembers want to pass ordinances to decriminalize the possession of 0-1 ounces of marijuana possession within city limits. (Santa Fe’s ordinance was passed and Albuquerque’s vetoed after Martinez gave these comments.)

“It is against the law federally and therefore it is also against the law in New Mexico. And I think it is the way it should be, and the penalties are appropriate.”

The AP also reports, “Martinez called the efforts political moves to get young voters to the polls.”

RAMP wants to know why that is a bad thing. People with a small government message should be reaching out to young voters.

Scott Walker

Medical Marijuana
Scott Walker, the Republican Governor of Wisconsin, has recently signed into law a bill legalizing a low-THC/high-CBD strain of medical cannabis oil that has been shown to help children suffering from epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

In the bill, doctors may only dispense the medication through an FDA-approved clinical trial. No doctors have contacted the state to start a trial.

Criminal Penalties of Marijuana Possession
Walker told reporters at a meeting of the Badger State Sheriffs Association that sheriffs had discussed with him concerns about any policy that could “open up the door to marijuana use legally in the state of Wisconsin.”

“They said when they talked about heroin and meth and other issues that they were still very concerned that (marijuana) was a gateway drug,” he said.

Mitt Romney

Will he run again? That’s not for us to decide, but we will try to pin him down on his marijuana stance.

Romney said to the Denver Post in October 2012, “I oppose marijuana being used for recreational purposes and I believe the federal law should prohibit the recreational use of marijuana.”

Soon after his spokesperson said, “Governor Romney has a long record of opposing the use of marijuana for any reason. He opposes legalizing drugs, including marijuana for medicinal purposes. He will fully enforce the nation’s drug laws, and he will oppose any attempts at legalization.”

This, of course, was 2012. Since 2012, seven more states passed medical marijuana legislation, Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana, and Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C. may soon follow suit.

About the Author: As a small government, fiscal conservative, Russell sees grave inconsistencies between Republican values and the prohibition of marijuana. Her role within RAMP is to act as a spokesperson, coordinate and grow membership as well as organizing events. She went as a state delegate to the 2012 and 2014 Texas GOP Conventions in Fort Worth. She is also an active member of Houston Young Republicans. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Auburn University.

Learn more about RAMP here.

Alliance Defending Freedom: ‘Controversial Speech’ Restricted At University Of South Alabama

This post was reprinted from the Alliance Defending Freedom website.

MOBILE, Ala. — Alliance Defending Freedom filed an amended complaint Friday in a pro-life student organization’s lawsuit against the University of South Alabama.

The university relegated the group’s pro-life display to a small speech zone on campus because it deemed the nature of the event “controversial.” Under the university’s policies, students must also obtain a permit 72 hours in advance in order to use the speech zone.

“Universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “Free speech should not be censored or limited to a ridiculously small area on campus, nor should students need permission to exercise their constitutionally protected freedom of speech. The First Amendment protects speech for all students in the outdoor areas of campus, regardless of their religious or political beliefs.”

Last October, Students for Life USA requested permission to a hold a “Cemetery of the Innocents” event, which consists of students placing small crosses in the ground to represent the innocent lives lost to abortion. University officials denied the request and said it would need to be held in the campus’s speech zone, even though other groups have exercised free speech on other portions of the campus. At the time, the speech zone was restricted to the Student Center, which was less than one percent of the college’s main campus. Although the university has since expanded its speech zone, it still restricts speech throughout the campus.

The lawsuit, Students for Life USA v. Waldrop, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, explains that the university’s speech policy violates the First Amendment and gives university officials “unbridled discretionary power to limit student speech in advance of such expression on campus and to do so based on the content and viewpoint of the speech.”

“Free, spontaneous discourse on college campuses is supposed to be a hallmark of higher education rather than the exception to the rule,” added ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “We hope that the University of South Alabama will revise its policy so that its students can exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.”

Neoconservatives Wary Of Real Conservative Becoming President

This story, written by Nick Sorrentino, was published by AgainstCronyCapitalism.org on May 16. 

chart of neoconservatives

The term “neoconservative” or “neocon” is often thrown around, but few people have a real grasp of the school of thought.

Basically, it is a big-government “conservative” position. Neoconservatism does not fear government and government expansion the way traditional or “paleoconservatives” do. Neocons believe, like progressives, that the state should be used to craft a better society (at home and abroad). It can be argued well that neoconservatives are a branch of the progressive tradition in this country.

In fact, Irving Kristol in his book Neoconservatism even wrote:

It describes the erosion of liberals among a small group toward a conservative point of view, conservative but different in certain respects from the conservatism of the Republican Party [1930’s]. We accepted the New Deal in principle, and had little affection for the kind of isolationism that then permeated American conservatism.

The neocons rose out of the City College of New York, led by Irving Kristol, the father of Bill Kristol, the current editor of the Weekly Standard. In its early days, it has been said that the school was influenced by the ideas of Soviet thinker and leader Leon Trotsky. Originally, the neocons were allied with the Democratic Party but then switched to the GOP in the late 1960s and early 1970s as the Democrats became too socially liberal for the neocons. Soon the neocon school was lodged firmly within the GOP.

Abroad neocons are advocates of an activist foreign policy. It is this activist policy that most defines them. Iraq and, in many ways, Afghanistan were neoconservative endeavors. As you may recall, President George W. Bush referred to Iraq as the first of many battles in an ongoing war. Indeed, the plan was to turn the Mideast into a garden in which democracy could blossom.

I remember listening to the Diane Rheame show in 2002 or 2003 while some neocon wonk made the case that we needed to systematically depose all the despots in the region one by one, that Iraq was only the beginning and that a bright shining future lay just around the corner. In addition to increasing our safety in the U.S., the wonk argued, such a crusade would greatly enhance the security of Israel.

It must be noted that a large number of neoconservatives are Jewish, but certainly not all are. And it is true that for neocons Israel occupies a special place. It is for these reasons that opposition to the neoconservatives has often been characterized by some within the school as anti-Semitic. To oppose the neocons is to oppose Israel’s existence, which is to oppose the Jewish people.

It has been an effective charge. But it is one that has worn with time. As more and more Americans have seen their sons and daughters come home in body bags or with crippling injuries, both visible and not, more and more Americans have grown sour to the idea that we must make the world “safe for democracy” — especially while the democracy at home is a shadow of what it should be or even what it once was.

The neocons, who still control many of the purse strings of the GOP and many of the important foreign policy positions in the GOP, are very concerned that this more traditional American approach to foreign policy might really take hold (again) within the halls of power. They particularly fear a leader who can articulate the traditional GOP position on foreign policy effectively to the voting public — a position which holds that the U.S. is to be very sparing in engagement and slow to meddle in the affairs of other countries. The neocons fear that Rand Paul might be such a leader, and that is why they are lining up to throw money at the other Republicans running for President.

The neocons think Paul can’t be trusted. That is, Paul can’t be trusted to expand the government at home the way the neocons like (think the Bush big-government years) or to employ our military overseas in the way the neocons would like.

Of particular concern is the idea that Paul might not bomb Iran the way the neocons want the next President to. Another concern is that Paul has questioned the effectiveness of foreign aid. Israel gets more than $3 billion in foreign aid each year. Israel is not a big country. That’s a lot of bread spread across the Israeli political class. The neocons and their allies in Israel do not want that money to dry up. It’s conceivable that a President Paul would move to reduce this pool of money.

That is why the neocons are gunning for the first real conservative to have a shot at the GOP nomination in a very long time. They simply don’t want a truly conservative President. And yet the neocons still dominate the GOP. What does this say about “the party of small government?”


The foreign policy hawks within the establishment GOP — among them pro-Israel donors, national security types and neoconservatives — are impressed by Paul’s attempts to broaden the Republican base and find him willing to listen to their concerns. But ultimately, according to people plugged into the Republican donor class, they worry that a President Paul would dangerously scale back America’s activities abroad — a deepening concern in some corners as his star has risen within the broader party.

Editor’s note: Noninterventionism is not isolationism. Noninterventionism is the traditional American position. It’s also known as minding one’s own business.

Hillbilly High School Under Fed Fire; Jet Setter In Chief Costs Taxpayers Millions; College Students Okay With Infanticide; FBI Ignored Boston Bomber Warnings; Government Demands Internet User Passwords—TGIF Morning News Roundup 7-26-2013

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

  • Political correctness: The U.S. Department of Education has officially opened an investigation into allegations that an Arizona high school’s campus-wide “Redneck Day” amounted to a Federal civil rights violation. Source: The Daily Caller
  • President Obama’s speeches are already costing taxpayers well over $1 million – and probably closer to $2 million – as the president jets around the country campaign-style to drum up support for his agenda. Source: White House Dossier 
  • What’s going on here?: Several students at George Mason University (GMU) signed a petition on Wednesday demanding lawmakers legalize “fourth trimester” abortions. Source: Campus Reform 
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation officials ignored warnings about the radical origins and nature of the mosque frequented by the Tsarnaev brothers for years before this April’s deadly Boston Marathon bombings. Source: The Daily Caller 
  • The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users’ stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed. Source: CNET 

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

Feds Raid ‘Legal’ Pot In Washington; Obama’s Reporter Buds Love His Thoughts; Majority Agrees With Affirmative Action; Tea Party Students Spurned At Speech; How Congress Can Leash The NSA— Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 7-25-2013

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

ProPublica: Six Ways Congress May Reform NSA Snooping

Although the House defeated a measure that would have defunded the bulk phone metadata collection program, the narrow 205-217 vote showed that there is significant support in Congress to reform NSA surveillance programs. Here are six other legislative proposals on the table. Read More… 

Obama: Reporters Say My Ideas Are ‘Great’

Who needs state media when you have the MSM?  President Barack Obama told an Illinois audience Wednesday that reporters are sympathetic toward his policies, but that they advise him Congressional Republicans will never let those good ideas take root and blossom. Read More… 

College Republicans Banned From Obama’s Campus Speech

A group of College Republicans who held tickets to an on-campus economy speech by President Barack Obama was denied admittance after civilly protesting the President’s fiscal policies in the hours leading up to the event. Read More… 

Feds Raid Legal Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In Washington

Despite State legalization and promises from President Barack Obama that raiding medical marijuana facilities was not a priority of the Federal government, medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Gig Harbor, Washington were raided by Drug Enforcement Agency agents on Wednesday. Read More… 

Poll: Most Americans Support Affirmative Action

Two-thirds of Americans think college applicants should be admitted based solely on merit, yet most approve of affirmative action, according to the results of a recent poll. Read More… 

ProPublica: Six Ways Congress May Reform NSA Snooping

This article, written by Kara Brandeisky, was originally published by ProPublica,  July 25, 2013, 4:39 p.m.

Although the House defeated a measure that would have defunded the bulk phone metadata collection program, the narrow 205-217 vote showed that there is significant support in Congress to reform NSA surveillance programs. Here are six other legislative proposals on the table.

1) Raise the standard for what records are considered “relevant”

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has reportedly adopted a broad interpretation of the Patriot Act, ruling that all the records in a company’s database could be considered “relevant to an authorized investigation.” The leaked court order compelling a Verizon subsidiary to turn over all its phone records is just one example of how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has interpreted the statute.

Both Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have introduced bills requiring the government to show “specific and articulable facts” demonstrating how records are relevant.  Similarly, legislation introduced by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., would require any applications to include an explanation of how any records sought are relevant to an authorized investigation.

2) Require NSA analysts to obtain court approval before searching metadata

Once the NSA has phone records in its possession, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has explained that NSA analysts may query the data without individualized court approvals, as long as they have a “reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts” that the data is related to a foreign terrorist organization.

A bill from Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., would require the government to petition the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court every time an analyst wants to search telephone metadata. From there, a surveillance court judge would need to find “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that the search is “specifically relevant to an authorized investigation” before approving the application. The legislation would also require the FBI to report monthly to congressional intelligence committees all the searches the analysts made.

3) Declassify Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions

Right now, court opinions authorizing the NSA surveillance programs remain secret. Advocacy groups have brought several Freedom of Information Act suits seeking the release of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court documents, but the Justice Department continues to fight them.

Several bills would compel the secret court to release some opinions. The Ending Secret Law Act 2014 both the House and Senate versions 2014 would require the court to declassify all its opinions that include “significant construction or interpretation” of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under current law, the court already submits these “significant” opinions to congressional intelligence committees, so the bill would just require the court to share those documents with the public.

The bills do include an exception if the attorney general decides that declassifying an opinion would threaten national security. In that case, the court would release an unclassified summary of the opinion, or 2014 if even offering a summary of the opinion would pose a national security threat 2014 at least give a report on the declassification process with an “estimate” of how many opinions must remain classified.

Keep in mind, before Edward Snowden’s disclosures, the Justice Department argued that all “significant legal interpretations” needed to remain classified for national security reasons. Since the leaks, the government has said it’s now reviewing what, if any, documents can be declassified, but they said they need more time.

4) Change the way Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges are appointed

Current law does not give Congress any power to confirm Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges. Instead, the chief justice of the United States appoints the judges, who all already serve on the federal bench. The judges serve seven-year terms. Chief Justice John Roberts appointed all 11 judges currently serving on the court 2013 ten of whom were nominated to federal courts by Republican presidents.

A bill introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., would give the president the power to appoint surveillance court judges and give the Senate power to confirm. The president would also choose the presiding judge of the surveillance court, with Senate approval.

Alternatively, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., has offered a bill that would let the chief justice appoint three judges and let the House Speaker, the House minority leader, the Senate majority leader, and the Senate minority leader each appoint two judges.

5) Appoint a public advocate to argue before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Currently, the government officials petitioning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court do not face an adversarial process. Surveillance targets do not have representation before the court, and they are not notified if a court order is issued for their data.

In 33 years, the surveillance court only rejected 11 of an estimated 33,900 government requests, though it the government has also modified 40 of the 1,856 applications in 2012. 

Two former Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges 2013 Judge James Robertson and Judge James Carr 2013 have argued that Congress should appoint a public advocate to counter the government’s arguments. Carr wrote in the New York Times, “During my six years on the court, there were several occasions when I and other judges faced issues none of us had encountered before. [2026]Having lawyers challenge novel legal assertions in these secret proceedings would result in better judicial outcomes.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has promised to introduce a bill that would provide a “special advocate” to argue on behalf of privacy rights and give “civil society organizations” a chance to respond before the surveillance court issues significant rulings.

The surveillance court can actually invite advocates to argue before the court, as the Supreme Court did when the Obama administration refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.  

“There’s nothing in law that would prevent the FISA court from hiring an advocate as an additional advisor to the court, except the need to obtain security clearances for that advocate, which would have to be granted by the executive branch,” explained Steven Bradbury, who served as the head of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice from 2005 to 2009.

Bradbury has argued that the surveillance court may not need a permanent public advocate because its legal advisers already fulfill that role.

6) End phone metadata collection on constitutional grounds

The Justice Department has maintained that mass phone metadata collection is “fully consistent with the Fourth Amendment.” That reasoning is based on the 1979 Supreme Court decision Smith v. Maryland, where the Court found that the government does not need a warrant based on probable cause to collect phone records. The Court reasoned that whenever you dial a phone number, you voluntarily share that phone number with a telecom, and you can’t reasonably expect a right to privacy for information shared with third parties. As a result, the Court ruled that the collection of phone records is not a “search” and does not merit protection under the Fourth Amendment.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has introduced a bill declaring that the Fourth Amendment “shall not be construed to allow any agency of the United States Government to search the phone records of Americans without a warrant based on probable cause” 2014 effectively shutting down the NSA’s phone metadata collection program.

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… 

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.

Defund NSA; Lawsuit Alleges Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Too Powerful; Taiwanese Cartoon Makes Fun Of Crumbling Detroit; NSA Can’t Search Its Own Emails; Mayors Bailing On Anti-Gun Bloomberg—Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 7-23-2013

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

Defund The NSA

On Wednesday, House lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the Defense Appropriations Bill that will include an amendment presented by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to defund portions of the National Security Agency’s data-collection efforts. Read More… 

Lawsuit: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Too Powerful; Unrestrained; UnConstitutional

A legal support services company has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), alleging the emerging Federal agency is too unrestricted in its powers and threatens to aggrandize powers that are already properly delegated to established government agencies. Read More…

Watch This Cartoon From Taiwan: The World Is Laughing At Detroit

A video created by a Taiwanese animation company illustrates how nations abroad view the current Detroit bankruptcy fiasco. Watch… 

NSA Says It Can’t Search Its Own Emails

The NSA is a “supercomputing powerhouse” with machines so powerful their speed is measured in thousands of trillions of operations per second. The agency turns its giant machine brains to the task of sifting through unimaginably large troves of data its surveillance programs capture. But it can’t search its own email database. Read More…

Mayors Abandoning Bloomberg’s ‘Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ Group

Mayors who signed on to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pet gun control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), are beginning to ditch the organization after learning they attached themselves to a group with an ambitious gun control agenda that far overreaches its innocent-sounding name. Read More…