The supposed leaders of the United States have claimed to seek “energy independence” for the past 40 years, yet the nation is no closer to energy independence now that it was in the 1970’s.
In recent years many supporters of energy independence, and corporate welfare, have championed ethanol as the product that will lower energy costs and finally give the nation energy independence. see more…
On January 2, David W. Eckert was stopped by police in Deming, NM for running a stop sign.
What happened next is extremely difficult to comprehend.
Deming Police Officer Robert Chavez had Eckert exit his vehicle, and patted him down. A lawsuit filed by Eckert says this was “without reasonable suspicion.” According to court documents, the officers who stopped Eckert thought he was “clenching his buttocks.”
They brought in a dog to sniff for drugs, and the dog “alerted” to the driver’s seat. see more…
If the Republican sellouts who are “the establishment” wanted to eliminate their nemeses the grassroots Constitutional Libertarian tea party — what better way than to allow the Democrat socialists/Marxists now in power to do the work for them?
If the Democrats think they can be successful in silencing us — will the Republican sellouts who have all the assets and resources (think Wall Street and big business money) stand by and be silent as we are silenced, harassed and ridiculed. Even placed on government enemies lists (some of us are already there) to destroy us?
Will the government, now inseparable from the Democratic Party, stop at silencing us or will they destroy us using their tools of tyranny such as DOJ, IRS, DHS, NSA and a host of other government agencies to even have us arrested, tried and convicted in Kangaroo Courts?
There is precedent and it is accelerating.
I believe the Republican establishment is much more dangerous to individual liberty, free market economy (not today’s capitalism), limited government and strong national self-defense (not nation building) than the socialist/Marxist Democratic political machine. see more…
It was an amusing piece of propaganda, but it left the most important part of Russian practice out.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian foreign policy has had one overarching theme, and that is respect for sovereignty.
If it’s not a country in Russia’s “near abroad” like Georgia, Russians are generally opposed to intervention. see more…
There is an age-old, unanswerable question that asks: “if a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?” Now, there is a new question: “can your privacy be violated if you don’t know it happens?” That is a paraphrase of a statement turned question uttered by Rep. Mike Rogers during a House Intelligence Committee hearing concerning NSA surveillance in late October.
Let’s rewind for a minute to March 12, 2013. On that date the US Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling in the case of Clapper v. Amnesty International USA that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing. Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his opinion, the plaintiffs’ argument that they have the standing to challenge the program was based on a “highly speculative fear.” He also wrote they “have no actual knowledge of the Government’s … targeting practices,” and “can only speculate as to how the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence will exercise their discretion in determining which communications to target.” see more…
On October 26, 2001 George W. Bush signed into law the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, also called the Patriot Act. The legislation (H.R. 3162) was introduced by Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner on Oct. 23, passed the House the next day, and passed the Senate on Oct. 25. There is no way any member of Congress could have read and understood the 132 page bill in the amount of time they were given from introduction to passage, but I digress. see more…
[Editor’s note: this was originally forwarded to us by Tracker in an email, we’ve reproduced it here to give it more visibility to our Colorado readers.]
This article by Daniel Greenfield does a good job defining who you are. In 2014 when you dip sticks who are in the way of victory claim defeat you can only blame yourselves. It very well may be too late. Read history. see more…
We’ve been hearing a lot about inequality lately. From Robert Reich to Russel Brand, our media streams are full of people denouncing its presence in the western world. This video has been particularly effective. The story that all these media are telling is real. There is real pain out there, and it should be documented. We should be grateful for their efforts. The answers these folks are proposing, however, are inadequate. The story seems to be that the one percent, and their foul corporations have banded together to use capitalism and ideology to crush the little guy. Capitalism has stopped working. If we could only go back to the mid 20th century with its vigorous labor movement, and more re-distributive government, we could make things good again. This story is incomplete, however, and therefore the solutions it presents are likely to fail.
Capitalism has not stopped working. Over the past ten years it may not have been working well for the majority of the people in the United States and Western Europe. What Capitalism has done for the rest of the world over the past decade, however, is a miracle. see more…
On Wednesday October 16, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Kaley v. United States. This case will undoubtedly be a landmark decision on the legality of civil asset forfeiture, a “government seizure of property and cash, even when the owner isn’t charged [with] a crime.” see more…
Can you own an idea? This may seem to be a simple question, however the question requires a complex answer. And unlike most issues, not all people who fall into the libertarian quadrant of the Nolan Chart agree on the answer.
While many people believe “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” some libertarians believe that an idea belongs to the creator even after the idea is shared and that imitation is theft. Recently, a three-year old dispute between Davi Barker and L. Neil Smith was reignited when Smith sent an email to one of Barker’s employers. see more…
We often hear the phrase “the punishment should fit the crime,” and I’m quite certain that many people believe that to be a cornerstone of common law. It is certainly the primary concept of retributive justice, and is contrasted by the legal theory of utilitarianism; “the doctrine that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority.” While I’m no expert on the concept of utilitarianism, I would suspect that the theory has been used more often than not by the supporters of the drug war.
On September 4, 2013, 27 year-old Corey Ladd was sentenced “to 20 years hard labor at the [Louisiana] Department of Corrections.” Ladd’s dastardly offense that landed him in the clink for 2 decades was possession of 15 grams of cannabis.
Bill Quigley of AlterNet.com reports, “In Louisiana, a person can get up to six months in jail for first marijuana conviction, up to five years in prison for the second conviction and up to twenty years in prison for the third. In fact, the Louisiana Supreme Court recently overturned a sentence of five years as too lenient for a fourth possession of marijuana and ordered the person sentenced to at least 13 years.”
The punishment of 20 years in prison for possessing 15 grams of plant substance is in no way proportionate to the supposed offense, and I can’t even fathom how such a punishment is seen as benefiting the whole of society. The tax-payers of Louisiana are ultimately worse off, as they are being forced to pay for the incarceration of Corey Ladd for the next 20 years. Those same tax-payers are also being forced to pay for the incarceration of nearly 14,000 other people in Louisiana for drug offenses.
Karen O’Keefe, Director of State Policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, said “A sentence of 20 years in prison for possessing a substance that is safer that alcohol is out of step with Louisiana voters, national trends, and basic fairness and justice. Limited prison space and prosecutors’ time should be spent on violent and serious crime, not on prosecuting and incarcerating people who use a substance that nearly half of all adults have used.”
Whether a punishment of 20 years in prison for possessing 15 grams of cannabis is considered retributive justice or utilitarianism should not matter. No one should be incarcerated for an offense with no identifiable victim. Further, those individuals who do create a victim should make their victims whole, and incarceration should only be a last resort if the perpetrator refuses to give the needed reparations.
With the federal government once again nearing the debt ceiling limit, the AFP reports, “The White House offered more than $300 million in aid and support to bankrupt Detroit.”
A statement released by the White House said, “The Obama administration is dedicated to ensuring that the federal government remains an active partner in bringing jobs back into the City, and turning the people of Detroit’s vision of the future into a reality.”
Obama claims the money being given to Detroit is not a bailout, and is committing to $150 Million for the Effective, Coordinated Demolition of Blighted Properties, Neighborhood Revitalization and Redevelopment in Detroit; $30 Million to Improve Public Safety, Reduce Crime, and Decrease Emergency Response Time; and $140 Million in Federal Funds for Improving Transportation Systems for City and Regional Residents.
Interestingly this announcement by the White House came less than a week after former-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said “there’s no more cuts to make… The cupboard is bare.”
One would imagine the $300 million being given to Detroit would be a place to begin cutting federal spending. Instead of attempting to be fiscally responsible with the money stolen from taxpayers, the Congress and White House are claiming they can’t cut the budget, despite the fact that the budget continues to increase, and despite the fact that the federal government continues to go deeper into debt. If anyone in the Congress were serious about cutting the budget, they would immediately offer legislation to withdraw troops from the nearly 1,000 bases around the world, and end foreign aid. After all, the foreign policy of the United States government costs taxpayers nearly $1 trillion per year. This sum includes the nearly $1.5 trillion spent on the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan since 2001. The federal government could also stop “giving” militarized vehicles to city and state governments at a cost of almost $300,000 each. There are many other areas where the federal government could cut spending, however it seems the majority of Congress agrees with Nancy Pelosi’s statement that “there’s no more cuts to make… The cupboard is bare.”
The mainstream media would have you believe the Republicans and Democrats are preparing for a high-noon stand-off in front of the O.K. Corral. Both parties do seem to be playing into the narrative. The Republican-controlled House voted for the 42nd time to defund implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called “Obamacare,” this time the vote was part of a bill to keep the federal government operating. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Democrat-controlled “Senate will not pass any bill that defunds or delays Obamacare.” Cue the tumbleweed and western-themed suspense music. see more…
During a Senate debate on an energy efficiency bill, Harry Reid claimed “the anarchists have taken over” Congress. This claim was part of a longer statement in which Reid was frustrated over the fact that several amendments had been proposed for the bill. One amendment would, if passed, delay implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare. Another amendment would require some congressional and executive branch staff to enroll in the ObamaCare health exchanges.
Those are the amendments that have Harry Reid upset. He didn’t want there to be any amendments that weren’t approved by the bills sponsors. During his speech on the Senate floor Reid said, “We’re diverted totally from what this bill is about. Why? Because the anarchists have taken over. They’ve taken over the House and now they’ve taken over the Senate. [pause] The Speaker couldn’t pass a simple CR, today… We’re in a position here where people who don’t believe in government — and that’s what the Tea Party is all about — are winning, and that’s a shame.”
Calling Tea Party members “anarchists” plays nicely into the narrative for both Reid, and the members of the Tea Party that want people to believe they don’t like (big) government. The problem is that it simply is not true.
Some Republicans will will do whatever they can to make sure certain bills they may not like get delayed. In an article titled, The Rise of the Myth of the Republican Anarchist, Trevor Hultner says, “This obstructionism is being called anarchism, repeatedly, despite having nearly nothing in common with any aspect of the anarchist tradition. Yes, it is true that if an actual anarchist somehow managed to get themselves elected to Congress, they would do all they could to make sure that nothing got passed. But this doesn’t just stem from a hatred of Democrats. Actual anarchists loathe both parties, and would make sure that their obstructionist platform was bipartisan in its monkeywrenching.” Hultner adds, “despite their flirtation with (often the most basic or vulgar) libertarianism, Republicans love the State. Specifically, they love the aspects of the State that anarchists loathe most.”
If there were any anarchists in Congress, among the first things they would do is introduce legislation to de-fund the entire federal government. This has not happened, nor will any of the members of the Tea Party Caucus ever introduce such legislation. An anarchist member of Congress would also introduce legislation to abolish all forms of taxation, and withdraw the US military from the nearly 1000 military bases around the world. Again, that has not happened.
To Harry Reid and many Democrats, an anarchist is anyone who wants government to grow slower than they do; to the Republicans, being viewed as wanting less (or no) government fits within the myth that Republicans support limited government, despite the real-world evidence to the contrary!
We are still learning the secrets discovered by Edward Snowden. Among the most recent revelations is that “US and British intelligence agencies have successfully cracked much of the online encryption relied upon by hundreds of millions of people to protect the privacy of their personal data, online transactions and emails.”
The Guardian reports the National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have broadly compromised the guarantees of internet privacy. The agencies “have adopted a battery of methods in their systematic and ongoing assault on… ‘the use of ubiquitous encryption across the internet.’
Those methods include covert measures to ensure NSA control over setting of international encryption standards, the use of supercomputers to break encryption with ‘brute force,’ and – the most closely guarded secret of all – collaboration with technology companies and internet service providers themselves.”
The agencies insist they need to quarter-billion dollar program to defeat encryption because it “is vital to their core missions of counter-terrorism and foreign intelligence gathering.”
But the anti-encryption program puts all users at risk, not just suspected terrorists. The Guardian reports, the NSA & GCHQ have worked with software companies to insert vulnerable points or “backdoors” into commercial encryption software. Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist and senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union said, “Backdoors are fundamentally in conflict with good security. Backdoors expose all users of a backdoored system, not just intelligence agency targets, to heightened risk of data compromise. This is because the insertion of backdoors in a software product, particularly those that can be used to obtain unencrypted user communications or data, significantly increases the difficulty of designing a secure product.”
For those who value their privacy, security is almost synonymous with encryption. The executives at Google are extremely concerned with this program. The Washington Post reports, “Google’s encryption initiative… was accelerated in June as the tech giant struggled to guard its reputation as a reliable steward of user information.” Google began encrypting its Gmail service in 2010, and also encrypts search results for most users. Eric Grosse, vice president for security engineering at Google says Google resists government surveillance and has never weakened its encryption systems to make snooping easier.
Soghoian added, “If the NSA wants to get into your system, they are going to get in… Most of the people in my community are realistic about that. This is all about making dragnet surveillance impossible.”