President Obama recently gave a speech about possible reforms at the NSA. Obama began his speech by invoking the name Paul Revere.
He stated that Revere and the Sons of Liberty “would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America’s early Patriots.”
While, this did happen, there is one major difference between the Sons of Liberty and the NSA. Alexandra Petri of the Washington Post points out, “Paul Revere’s surveillance was conducted by private citizens against the soldiers and partisans of an occupying government they felt was infringing on their rights and liberties.”
Which is the complete opposite of what the NSA is doing to individuals around the globe. see more…
After a neighbor complained about an egging, the millionaire teen singer’s home was raided early this morning by — read it and belieb it — twelve cops:
One person was arrested in Justin Bieber’s home after Los Angeles law enforcement executed a felony search warrant early Tuesday morning, showing up to his Calabasas, Calif., mansion with 12 detectives in about eight patrol cars.
According to TMZ, Bieber’s longtime friend rapper Lil Za was arrested for narcotics possession.
Lt. David Thompson told reporters at a press conference that cocaine was in plain view when deputies entered the home.
The Sheriff’s Dept. was investigating if Bieber was connected to an egg-throwing incident last week that caused damage to a neighbor’s home. They obtained a felony search warrant and entered the home at about 8 a.m. PST. see more…
Last Summer, Rand Paul announced intentions to file a class action lawsuit against the NSA for their spying program. On January 4, 2014, former Attorney General of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli announced on facebook that he would be joining Rand Paul in the lawsuit, “Join Rand Paul and I in asserting our right to privacy.” The irony is that anyone who signs the online petition is added to a mailing list for Rand Paul’s 2016 re-election campaign.
Then on January 5, Rand Paul told George Stephanopoulos, “I don’t think Edward Snowden deserves the death penalty or life in prison, I think that’s inappropriate.” Paul added that Snowden leaked secrets “and things that could endanger lives” and suggested that Snowden “would come home for some penalty of a few years in prison which would be probably not unlike what James Clapper probably deserves for lying to Congress.” Paul further suggested that Snowden and Clapper should serve time in a prison cell together.
I can not begin to fathom the cognitive dissonance that allows someone to initiate a lawsuit against the NSA for violating the privacy of millions of Americans, while simultaneously stating that the person responsible for bringing that information to light is a criminal who should be punished. It is a further act of mental gymnastics to claim that any of the information made public by Edward Snowden could have endangered lives. The US government admitted that nothing leaked by Private Manning endangered any lives, and that was information that exposed American war crimes in Iraq & Afghanistan. If nothing revealed by Private Manning endangered any lives, how could it be construed that Edward Snowden endangered lives?
The New York Times and UK Guardian both published editorials calling for clemency for Snowden, with The New York Times writing, “Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service.”
Exposing criminal wrongdoing by a government must never be a crime. Neither Private Manning, nor Edward Snowden, nor any other person who exposes government misdeeds should face any jail time. Private Manning should be given a full pardon, and Edward Snowden should have all of the charges against him dismissed. If anyone belongs in a jail cell, it is the people who have violated the rights of millions of people around the world, not the people who brought their crimes to light.
On January 2, Ed Krayewski from Reason wrote, “[New Year’s Day] marked the beginning of a legal market in recreational marijuana in Colorado, the first time government-licensed shops have ever sold marijuana anywhere in the world.”
There is, however, one major inaccuracy with that statement. Aside from the fact that cannabis has been available for years in medical dispensaries, it was not always against the law to purchase, possess or consume cannabis. In fact, in the United States, there were no federal laws regarding cannabis until the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which “required that certain special drugs, including… cannabis, be accurately labeled with contents.” The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, “made possession or transfer of cannabis illegal throughout the United States under federal law, excluding medical and industrial uses, in which an inexpensive excise tax was required.” see more…