VIOLATED: NYPD stop-and-frisks up 600% under Bloomberg reign, 88% never charged with a crime…
NYCLU: “It is not a crime to walk down the street in New York City, yet every day innocent black and brown New Yorkers are turned into suspects for doing just that. It is a stunning abuse of power that undermines trust between police and the community.”
Former New Mexico Governor and 2012 Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is being sued, in a civil lawsuit that claims the campaign and several contractors owe $104,945.65 in unpaid commissions and fees to their former money man.
Bydlak v. Gary Johnson (2/7/2012) [scribd]
Professional fund raiser Jonathan M. Bydlak (Bydlak & Associates) filed papers in Alexandria, Virginia Federal Court on February 7th. The suit names Johnson personally, Gary Johnson 2012 Inc., Our America Initiative, NSON Inc., Daines Goodwin & Company PC, Chet Goodwin (personally), Ronald T. Nielsen (personally), and Kim Blanton (personally). In the brief, Bydlak (who is represented by Charles Burham, a real lawyer) seeks damages for fraud, unjust enrichment, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
Bydlak previously raised money for Ron Paul during his 2008 campaign (without incident) as Director of Fundraising, claiming to have raised more than $35 million. Now, he’s come out guns blazing over allegedly not getting paid in full for his commission on more than a half million dollars he says he raised for Johnson between July 2010 and December 2011, “OAI and GJ2012 are insolvent or in danger of becoming insolvent.” He says the campaign started to have payment problems “from the beginning.” see more…
It may be a picture of Mitt Romney in this photo, but Ron Paul is the name on the primary states’ voters lips these days. Even the New York Times can’t help but enjoy the conflicting image presented on their Sunday print edition:
Spit-take: The font is larger and more readable than the NYT masthead, and Romney looks downright ghoulish and scary, with children wise to keep their distance.
This is nothing less than winning, because last time I checked they don’t put faces on ballots.
A lot of people are saddened that Judge Andrew Napolitano’s Freedom Watch will be airing its last show tonight (Monday, Feb 13) on the Fox Business Network. The judge is being pushed into a lesser role at the media behemoth as the Rupert Murdoch owned cable channel retools itself to be more business-oriented. Top executives have been ordered to sweep all political content back over to Fox News, sending a strong signal that the days of FBN being a libertarian haven are coming to an end.
Back in October, a leaked memo from FBN exec Kevin Magee foretold the bad news, “I’ve been asked to remind you all again that they are separate channels and the more we make FBN look like FNC the more of a disservice we do to ourselves.”
“There is always going to be overlap between economics and politics, but we need to maintain two separate services,” Magee said. “We can cover the political angle, but our focus should be on our charter of gaining and producing wealth.” see more…
From the time the law known as Obamacare was introduced in 2009, there has been some debate over the federal mandate that individuals must own a health insurance policy that has federal approval. More recently the debate has centered around a provision mandating employers not only provide health insurance for their employees, but that employers must provide health insurance that covers contraception and abortifacient coverage. However, like most other debates in this country, only two sides are being discussed.
Darian Worden at the Center for a Stateless Society asks, “Why is it considered normal for your boss to determine your healthcare options in the first place? Relying on employers for healthcare means the company has more leverage over the worker… this can mean an extension of the boss’s control outside of work hours.”
But, how did we get to this point? What happened to the free market? see more…
Here’s the tale of Father Larry Swink, a Catholic priest in D.C. who’s one of many now massing the Catholic pews into action against Obama:
My Catholic priest, Father Larry Swink, delivered a homily on Sunday that I told him would make headlines. In the toughest sermon I have ever heard from a pulpit, he attacked the Obama Administration as evil, even demonic, and warned of religious persecution ahead. What was also newsworthy about the sermon was that he cited The Washington Post in agreement—not on the subject of the Obama Administration being evil, but on the matter of its abridgment of the constitutional right to freedom of religion.
What is happening is extraordinary and unprecedented. The Catholic Church is in open revolt against the Obama Administration, with Fr. Swink noting from the pulpit that priests across the archdiocese were joining the call on Sunday to rally Catholics to resistance against the U.S. Government. He said we are entering a time of religious persecution and that Catholics and others will have to make a final decision about which side they are on.
The issue is what the Catholic Bishops have called a “literally unconscionable” edict by the Obama Administration demanding that sterilization, abortifacients and contraception be included in virtually all health plans.
At a time when the media are full of reports about who is ahead and behind in the polls, and who will win the next Republican presidential primary, this incredible uprising in the Catholic Church is something that could not only overshadow the political campaign season, but also may have a major impact on the ultimate outcome—if Republicans know how to handle it. This matter goes beyond partisan politics to the growing perception of an unconstitutional Obama Administration assault on religious freedom. To hear the Catholic Bishops and Priests describe it, our constitutional republic and our freedoms hang in the balance.
The administration claims there is a religious exemption in the mandate, but the bishops say it is so narrow that it fails to cover the vast majority of faith-based organizations, including Catholic hospitals, universities and service organizations that help millions every year. “Ironically,” they say, “not even Jesus & his disciples would have qualified.”
The bishops go on, “Now that the Administration has refused to recognize the Constitutional conscience rights of organizations and individuals who oppose the mandate, the bishops are now urging Catholics and others of good will to fight this unprecedented attack on conscience rights and religious liberty.”
Interestingly, The Washington Post, as Father Swink indicated, agrees with the bishops. The paper said, “In this circumstance, requiring a religiously affiliated employer to spend its own money in a way that violates its religious principles does not make an adequate accommodation for those deeply held views. Having recognized the principle of a religious exemption, the administration should have expanded it.”
So why would the administration pick a major fight with the Catholic Church?
The separation of Church and state clause is often referenced by the judicial branch as a wall between government and religion as Thomas Jefferson wrote in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists. The argument for the First Amendment freedom of religion clause was to keep government out of churches and to prevent government from establishing a national religion or church. It was not to keep religion out of government. Government has crossed the line, it is a direct attack on every religious institution not just the Catholic Church. If you do not believe this you know nothing about the history of the Constitution and our founders.
What our dictatorial executive branch is doing to the Catholic Church forcing a mandate on them to comply with their demands is no different than deciding observant Jews will be denied Kosher food. Think about that folks. It does not matter what your religious beliefs or lack thereof, if the tyrannical government can decide against the teachings of one religious group then they can decide how all of us are to believe, behave and worship or not worship. I am not Catholic, I am protestant but I stand with the Catholics, Mormons, Jews and any religious group who oppose tyranny and the socialist/marxist president.
Be prepared, very prepared. This corrosive dictatorial consolidation of power and absolute disregard of Constitutional government and the Rule of Law is just the beginning. It will get much worse unless we have a radical transformation soon and it must be this year or we lose as a nation because we will choose sides and the unspeakable may begin.
This video blew up on the internet last week.
A team of engineers at the University of Pennsylvania has built a fleet of flying robots. At first glimpse it is another in a long line of Gee-Whiz/Not too useful Robot designs. This idea is different from the rest however, because it is possible to envision an instant, revolutionary use.
Can we put cameras on them?
Can we send a couple thousand in to Syria?
Any regime that is actively killing its people denies it. They can get away with this because they control the territory and they control the information. Syria’s ruling regime recently accepted observers from the Arab League, to try to smooth over the 5,000-odd civilians it has murdered recently. The observers were supposed to guarantee the safety of the Syrian people, but they had to leave because the country got too violent. By definition, being around state violence is a dangerous pursuit. A flying robot costs less than an international diplomat, and is infinitely braver. These robots don’t look expensive. There is probably a Qatari or Silicon Valley billionaire that would be happy to pay for them. These little flying robots could quickly expose and document in real time any on-going massacres. This would make it harder for President Assad to kill people, and therefore harder for him to retain power. Who knows, perhaps Syria’s impending civil war could be averted, or at least sped up. We could do all this without dropping a single bomb.
What if the spy-bots were crowd-sourced?
Way back in 2002, web-comic artist Patrick Farley imagined an alternate history of the war in Afghanistan. Instead of bombing the Taliban, we sent in millions of spy robots, individually manned by common citizens. This is now a possibility.
What if the next time a Darfur-type situation develops, the UN could pass a resolution and send in a fleet of a million mini-helicopters? The robots could be manned by video-gamers world-wide. Instead of playing Call of Duty, they could follow real armed groups across European plains or African cities. Each potential murder could be documented, making it less likely to happen. Unlike other observation schemes, this one has the benefit of letting the murderers know they are being filmed. Hopefully this would make them less likely to carry out their plans.
Farley’s idea has endless potential. Our “duty to protect” could be satisfied without having to bomb or invade anyone. Another excuse for maintaining our excessive defense budget would be swept away.
This is all a fantasy. The robots are flimsy. The controlled conditions of a Philadelphia lab are not the jungles of the Congo. If they did work, they would be just as likely to be used by governments to spy on their people. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.
Rob is branching out into sci-fi blogging from his usual drug war stomping grounds.