A New Declaration for Independence

Two hundred thirty nine years ago, Americans declared their independence. I’m suggesting that this Saturday we declare it again.

As we celebrate the freedoms already won, let’s celebrate as well our coming freedom from the tyranny of politics as usual and the yoke of corporate infotainment culture. Let’s commit ourselves to becoming a nation of grown-ups, with an eye for accounting, a respect for complexity, and a well-developed sense of humor. It’s time for the emerging libertarian majority to make itself known.

That’s libertarian with a small “l” – an ideal of personal freedom, not a political party. Parties serve their own ends, that’s one reason for the rebellion. We don’t necessarily need new parties, we just need to remind the ones we’ve got who’s boss.

My sense of this libertarian majority is based on no polling. That’s part of its strength, it doesn’t have to be validated by focus groups. Liberty is a founding principle of the country. It’s that simple. If you need anecdotal evidence that people actually want to be free, start listening to the vox populi making itself heard on weblogs (and social media). Or better yet, write a weblog of your own.

I propose that the motto of this movement be the Thoreauvian chestnut, “That government is best which governs least.” Or maybe we should quote Douglas Adams: “We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”

Whatever. The plan is to legalize almost everything and let adults be adults. see more…

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SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality raises new question

Many people are celebrating the ruling from the US Supreme Court which makes same-sex marriage legal across the country. Some people, like Ted Cruz, say the ruling marks “one of the darkest hours of our nation.” see more…

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SCOTUS rules on free speech

FreeSpeechZoneThe US Supreme Court recently issued two seemingly conflicting rulings on free speech.

Scotusblog reports the Supreme Court “gave state governments sweeping new control over the messages that can be put on auto and truck license plates but restricted governments at all levels from using differing rules to control the messages put on billboards and other outdoor signs.

As a combined result of two new rulings, government both gained added power to speak for itself but faced the loss of some of its power to control what others may say in public displays.

And the meaning of the First Amendment, in general, became somewhat more confusing.” see more…

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Facebook, Reason.com and free speech on the internet

WCJ-images-SCOTUS-Internet-913x512If you thought you still had free speech on the internet, you might be in for a surprise. A couple of weeks ago the US Supreme Court issued an opinion reversing a lower court’s conviction of a man, Anthony Elonis, who posted violent messages on Facebook. Forbes reports, the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, raised the level of criminality required for conviction of online threatening, “ruling that prosecutors must offer some proof that a defendant made a ‘true threat’ with the intent to hurt a specific individual.” In other words when it comes to online threats, intent matters! Bloomber adds, “The justices didn’t decide whether Elonis’s First Amendment rights were violated, instead interpreting the federal threat statute in a way that averted potential constitutional problems.” see more…

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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi may win the prize for biggest failure ever. His historic role as the first elected leader of Egypt in thousands of years of history was a disaster. He was kicked out after around a year by a popular coup, as oxymoronic as that may sound. He’s a clown, but that doesn’t mean he should die. Unfortunately that seems very possible. He was sentenced to death on May 16th and his appeal comes up on June 16th. Killing him would be a mistake. This video delves into Turkish and Russian History to show why… see more…

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TSA failures expose security theater

security theaterAt the beginning of the month, Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson announced that acting-TSA chief Melvin Carraway would be reassigned after a report was released showing that the TSA failed 95% of their own tests to detect mock explosives and weapons. These results are dismal but not unexpected, at least to those who have paid attention to previous reports of TSA failures. CNN reports, “ The TSA has been failing these sorts of tests since its inception: failures in 2003, a 91% failure rate at Newark Liberty International in 2006, a 75% failure rate at Los Angeles International in 2007, more failures in 2008. And those are just the public test results.” However, the TSA had attempted to excuse those previous results as not being accurate, because they were tests in a single airport, or “not realistic simulations of terrorist behavior.” see more…


What Really Would Have Happened If The Allies Had Lost World War I?

Back when Americans would not half ass anything. David Frum just published a fascinating article in the Atlantic. When I first saw “What If the Allies Had Lost World War I” I was really excited.

The choice to undertake a counter-factual exercise like this demonstrates exactly the kind of imagination that we need in talking about geopolitics.

So much of what we say and think about foreign policy operates from the assumption that the world has to be the way it is, and opinion only varies between the poles of “The US should be more cautious about exercising its great power” and “The US should be using its great power more strenuously”.

100 years later we are still living out the ramifications of Woodrow Wilson’s decision to take the United States into World War I.

So I was very excited to read this article. I was deeply disappointed. see more…

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Tap into FOMO and Other Psychological Tactics to Increase Voter Turnout…

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FIFA, FATCA and the New World Order

There are hundreds of thousands of people working for the Federal government in many different capacities.

Some work for the military, some work for the IRS, some work for the Department of Justice. There are thousands of departments, programs, and offices. They are all doing very different things, but they are all, wittingly or unwittingly, working towards the same goal: More power for Washington, DC.

If you look at individual agencies, the big picture can be obscured, but if you look at what’s happening in parallel a disturbing picture emerges.

This video does exactly that… see more…

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Rand Paul winning voter support over NSA showdown

Momentum. It’s the watchword of the week for Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul.

Last night, Senator Paul and a small group of watchful Republicans of a libertarian bent forced the expiration of key provisions of the PATRIOT Act. Specifically, the NSA’s bulk data collection program that bristled privacy advocates. Paul explains in his editorial for USA Today:

Congress will this week force the president to end his illegal collection of all American phone records. This is a victory for defenders of privacy.

The Fourth Amendment requires that government searches be individualized. Collecting all Americans’ phone records all the time indiscriminately is what our Founders fought against when they objected to general warrants.

Some will ask: But how will we catch terrorists without this program? My reply: with the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment allows probing searches as long as the request is for an individual’s records and as long as there is probable cause of a crime.

see more…

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Silk Road sentence sets dangerous precedent

kill SR precedentOn May 29, Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison for having created and operated the Silk Road online marketplace. The Silk Road was a revolutionary website because it was a truly free market, where people could buy and sell almost anything, including illicit drugs, false identification documents and even books; however, there was a prohibition on anything that was meant to harm innocent people. see more…

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Sri Lanka and the Power of Elections

We should celebrate Democracy’s successes as well as its failures. Too few people are aware of what happened in Sri Lanka in January. This video attempts to make up for that. see more…

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What the New Economy Has Cost Us

The internet economy offers a lot, but it has also taken some things away. This video takes a look at the pros and cons. see more…

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Ramadi falls, Shocking Washington, DC, and Nobody Else

When the Islamic State took Mosul in June of last year, shock was the appropriate response.

If you hadn’t been following the situation they really did seem to come out of nowhere.

Unfortunately, the people who were supposed to be following the situation were just as shocked. The United States government, having spent 11 years as the most powerful force in the region, and having spent billions of dollars of our money to gather intelligence, missed this development just as completely as the general public did. see more…

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Abolish legalized theft

policing for profitOver the last several years, as the debate about ending the drug war has grown, so has the debate about ending a practice of legal theft known as civil asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeiture, unlike criminal asset forfeiture, does not require the person ever be charged with or convicted of any offense deemed illegal under either federal or state law. Under federal law, property may be seized based upon probable cause that the property was linked to a crime. The property owner can then challenge the seizure, and must prove to a judge that either the property was not used in connection to a crime, or that he was unaware his property was somehow used in a crime. see more…

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What the Killing in Europe No One Cares About Says About American Empire…

The small city of Kumanovo, Macedonia was the site of a running battle between police and Albanian nationalists last weekend.

The US media can’t find a recognizable enemy so no one cares. They should. It tells us a lot about what happens when Empires fall. This video attempts to address that gap… see more…

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NSA spying ruled illegal; what’s next?

nsa logo - ILLEGALIn some ways, 2013 seems like it was yesterday, and in other ways it seems like 2013 was an eternity ago. On March 12 of that year, the US Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling in the case of Clapper v. Amnesty International USA that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to sue the NSA. 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…

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Who Rules? Networks…

Or rather one network.

Our federal government is built to share power across different networks across the country.

That’s beginning to break down. This video tells the story… see more…

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The “Black on Black Crime” Myth Must be Stopped!

It’s like clockwork.

Every time some government approved thug kills another unarmed black man, some media figure, abetted by a horde of twitter morons, starts talking about “Black on Black Crime”.

The problem with this is that it is an utter fantasy. No matter how many times you explain this to people, it keeps cropping up.

This video is an attempt to shut that down. see more…

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Abolish the FEC

abolish FECIn an interview with the New York Times, the Chair of the FEC, Ann M. Ravel, said she’s given up hope of stopping or prosecuting abuses in the 2016 presidential campaign. The paper reported that she was resigned to the fact that “there is not going to be any real enforcement” in the coming election. Additionally, Ravel said “People think the FEC is dysfunctional. It’s worse than dysfunctional.” see more…

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Who in the world is the US killing with drones?

Predator_and_HellfireFor the last several years US government has not only attempted to cover-up the death toll of drone strikes, but often has no idea who is being killed. This may not come as a surprise to some, given that NBC News reported in 2013 that, “[a]bout one of every four of those killed by drones in Pakistan between Sept. 3, 2010, and Oct. 30, 2011, were classified as ‘other militants’… The ‘other militants’ label was used when the CIA could not determine the affiliation of those killed.” That figure does not include those killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, or any other country in which the US military, or CIA might feel the urge to kill people with unmanned aircraft. see more…

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Debating the CPD

OAI CPDThe 2016 Presidential election is still about 18 months away, yet the debates are becoming subject to debate. This is due partly to the proposed lawsuit by the Our America Initiative against the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the early start of the 2016 campaign season, and an announcement by the CPD that the Commission will seek input “on various elements of the debates, including the criteria used to determine who will be invited to debate, what formats will be used, and ways to enhance these civic forums.”

The first question to ask is: who is the CPD, and why do they control the Presidential debates? see more…

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