Author Archives: Darryl W. Perry

About Darryl W. Perry

Darryl W. Perry is an activist, author, poet & statesman. Darryl is a regular contributor to The Bulverde Standard, The Canyon Lake Week and The Comal Beacon and writes a monthly article for The Sovereign. He hosts the weekly news podcasts Freedom Minute and Police Accountability Report and hosts the weekly radio show Peace, Love, Liberty Radio on the Liberty Radio Network. Darryl is a co-founder and co-chair of the NH Liberty Party. Darryl is the Owner/Managing Editor of Free Press Publications.

Obama’s massive $955B “Swiss Army Knife” farm bill

On Friday February 7th, President Obama signed a farm bill that has an estimated cost of $954.6 billion.

The President and other supporters claim the bill will reduce the deficit by $23 billion over the next ten years, though the National Taxpayers Union points out, “it is highly unlikely that taxpayers will reap any so-called ‘savings’ from the almost $1 trillion spending bill.” see more…

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Taking Sense Away: Jason Harrington recounts time at TSA

On Jan. 4, 2010, The New York Times ran an opinion piece by TSA agent Jason Edward Harrington titled, “To Stop a Terrorist: No Lack of Ideas.

This caused Harrington’s supervisor, the federal security director at Chicago O’Hare, to have a meeting with him; a meeting that Harrington explained was usually followed by termination.

The supervisor told him, “The problem we have here is that you identified yourself as a TSA employee.”

Harrington explained his reaction and the ensuing conversation:

“[I knew] self-identifying as a government employee in a public forum may be grounds for termination.”

“I was shocked. I had been sure the letter would fall under the aegis of public concern, but it looked as though my boss wanted to terminate me.”

I scrambled for something to say. “I thought the First Amendment applied here.”

She leaned back in her chair, hands up, palms outfaced. Now she was on the defensive.

“I’m not trying to tread upon your First Amendment rights,” she said. “All I’m saying is: Couldn’t you have run those First Amendment rights past the legal department first?”

Harrington wasn’t fired, and continued working for the TSA for 3 more years. see more…

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With consent of the governed?

A recent opinion poll from Quinnipiac University shows that Americans are split when asked which Party they want to control the US Congress after the mid-term election.

Though respondents prefer the Democratic Party by a percentage that is less than the margin of error.

Respondents also prefer Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party Presidential nominee by a wide margin, while there is no clear favorite for the Republican Party Presidential nominee.

Clinton is also favored, by margins between 8 and 15%, to win the general election against the top four Republican hopefuls.

In the midst of the questions about Presidential hopefuls and which Party is doing a better job in Congress was a question that asked “How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right; almost all of the time, most of the time, only some of the time, or hardly ever?” see more…

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Paul Revere, 9/11 and the NSA

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…

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Rand Paul’s cognitive dissonance

Rand Paul-2Last 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.

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Cannabis re-legalized in Colorado

marihuana
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…

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Conflicting court rulings on NSA spying

On Christmas Eve, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden delivered a Christmas message for British TV station Channel 4, saying, “George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information. The types of collection in the book… are nothing compared to what we have available today. We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go.

A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves — an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. And that’s a problem, because privacy matters.”

Snowden added, “Privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.” Without moments of privacy, people can’t create, soul search, or even sit down to cry without fear of being interrupted or judged, not just by their own peers, but by government agents as well. see more…

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Harry Reid flips on “nuclear option”

Harry_Reid_Elena_KaganIn November, with little media coverage, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led the charge in changing the Senate rules relating to filibusters. The Washington Post reported, “Democrats used a rare parliamentary move to change the rules so that federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments can advance to confirmation votes by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote supermajority that has been the standard,” noting, “the rule change does not apply to Supreme Court nominations or to legislation.” see more…

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Your tax money pays for this!

It is no secret that the federal government spends millions of dollars on research.

Sometimes those funds go to questionable studies, such as the study by Joseph Staton, of Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, to determine why “most cooked, exotic meats taste like… the domestic chicken?”

According to Smithsonian Magazine, Staton wanted to sample dinosaur, and requested a T. rex bone from Chicago’s Field museum, but wasn’t able to acquire the bone because of “red tape.”

Other studies have looked at the mating habits of exotic animals, and one set of researchers even found that the land within the State of Kansas is “flatter than an average pancake.” see more…

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Will McDonald’s employ $15 an hour cashiers?

Every couple of years there is public debate about increasing the minimum wage.

Most recently, there were strikes outside of McDonald’s with people calling for a $15 minimum wage.

The claim is that an increased minimum wage will lift people out of poverty. However, the truth is that a minimum wage of $15 per hour would increase the poverty line.

Further, most people know very little about the history of minimum wage laws. see more…

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French Parliament institutes “War on Johns”

Najat BelkacemThe French Parliament has begun debate on a bill to institute penalties for individuals who seek to purchase sexual services. Under current French law prostitution is legal, however soliciting and procuring are illegal, including working in or operating a brothel.

Maud Olivier – one of the Members of Parliament (MP) who introduced the legislation – wrote in a report to parliament.

“There would be no prostitution without clients – that goes without saying. But we also know there will always be clients for prostitution. Our ambition should be to try to reduce the number.” see more…

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When you have a hammer, use it for good

HONOLULU, HAWAII — If one wishes to help the homeless, smashing what few possessions they do have is among the worst ways to do so.

Such action is sure to ruin one’s reputation, especially if the person in question is a State Legislator.

The possibility of a ruined reputation didn’t stop Tom Brower, a Hawai’i State Senator, from taking a sledghammer to shopping carts that were allegedly being used by some homeless people near Waikiki.

Brower told KITV-4, “I chose a sledgehammer only because the carts need to be destroyed to get them off the street,” adding, “I got tired of telling people, ‘I’m trying to pass laws.’ I wanted to do something practical, that will really clean up the streets.” see more…

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Ethanol to blame for higher grocery bills

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…

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Cops sued after raping a man for running a stop sign

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…

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Can your privacy be violated if you don’t know it happens?

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…

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Tom Watson Hates Libertarians More than He Hates the NSA

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…

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High Court to Decide the Future of Civil Asset Forfeiture

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…

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Imitation: Sincerest Form of Flattery or Theft?

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…

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Should Not the Punishment Fit the Crime?

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.

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White House Offers $300 Million to Detroit, Claims It’s Not a Bailout

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.”

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Don’t Believe the Hype About a Government Shutdown

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…

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Harry Reid is Wrong about Anarchists

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!

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Government Agencies are Hacking Encryption

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.”

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