Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party Movement’
This is the kind of crap that the KGB would pull in Soviet countries. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
On Thursday the Examiner provided an exclusive report indicating that the Obama administration had implemented a covert program beginning in 2009 that was intended to spy on conservative, evangelical Christian churches.
That program involved infiltration — sending in government operatives to join churches for the purpose of data collection. The government snoops would keep their eyes and ears open for criticism of the Obama administration, talk of Tea Party participation, conversations about gun ownership, and a number of other issues.
But a special report issued today by Fox News indicates that the program went far beyond infiltration and snooping. The IRS was used to harass Christian churches if they were identified as places where large numbers of anti-Obama citizens congregated for worship.
The Obama administration, according to the report, considered any public criticism of administration policies to be political in nature and should therefore impact whether or not these congregations were allowed to gain or keep their tax exempt status.
Daniel Blomberg and Eric Rassbach explain at Fox News:
What most people don’t realize is that the IRS has been acting as the speech police for decades. Ever since 1954, when then-Senator Lyndon Johnson pushed for a law enabling the IRS to punish non-profits who opposed him politically, the IRS has been in the business of government censor. What’s worse is that one of the biggest targets of this censorship has been religious people and houses of worship. In fact, one of the IRS’s first targets in the 1950s was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was subjected to a searching IRS audit because of his religious advocacy for civil rights for African-Americans.
The IRS of course has the crushing power to deny or revoke the non-profit status of a synagogue, church, or mosque if it says something the IRS decides is too “political.” But it can also put houses of worship and other religious organizations through the wringer of intrusive, costly, and time-consuming audits.
There are two ways the targeting works. One way is for an outside group, often one that is anti-religion, to file a complaint asking the IRS to investigate a church they don’t like. The IRS responds to the complaint by opening an investigation and asking the church often hundreds of questions about its activities, with the threat of revocation of non-profit status. This is what lawyers call “selective enforcement” and it is unconstitutional. No one should be singled out in this way, especially because of collusion between the IRS and outside groups with an ax to grind.
The second way the censorship starts is for IRS officials to take their lead from high government officials, including the President, to decide which groups to target for disfavor. This is apparently what happened to the “tea party” groups, but religious groups have also been targeted in this way.
Don’t believe it? Just ask Billy Graham. Last fall, the famed Christian evangelist publicly advocated on behalf of a ballot measure in his home state of North Carolina, taking a position that the President and other high government officials publicly opposed. The tax man was knocking at the door almost immediately. And while the expensive, time-consuming audit eventually ended without any finding of wrongdoing by Graham, a message was sent to every other religious group that might oppose government policy: the IRS can use its audit powers to harass you or shut you down simply for saying what you believe. That kind of intimidation is wrong–and unconstitutional.
The dam has broken, the curtain has been lifted, and the flood of scandals coming to light this week is finally beginning to open people’s eyes.
1. Benghazi. Four Americans were abandoned to die in the middle of a terrorist attack. In the aftermath the administration changed the talking points, lied about a stupid video being to blame, and spent months trying to hide the truth as they intimidated and blocked access to witnesses.
2. The IRS admits to targeting Tea Party groups. It turns out they were also targeting pro-life groups, pro-Israel groups, religious groups, and pretty much anybody who dared to criticize Obama’s policies. They were also leaking confidential information about the opposition to their political friends.
3. The Department of Justice secretly obtained months of phone records from over 100 AP reporters and sources, including Congress. Guess the Obama administration likes to keep a jealous eye on his favorite mistress.
4. HHS Secretary shakes down companies she regulates for “donations” to implement Obamacare. It’s the Chicago way.
5. The EPA applies a double standard when dealing with conservative vs. liberal groups. If you’re “green,” you’re clean. If you oppose EPA power grabs and agenda, you’re treated as an enemy.
So how is Obama trying to squirm his way out of trouble?
One unique excuse being offered by David Axelrod is that the government is simply too big for Obama to know what’s going on. Yes, you heard that right…the liberals’ favorite argument that more government is the solution to every problem has suddenly turned into an excuse for ruling class ignorance and incompetence.
Another approach has been to claim that Obama is simply a passive and aloof leader who tends to distance himself from the nitty gritties of governing, and therefore has no clue what his underlings are up to.
Obama’s consistent claim that he always finds out about these scandals the same way that we do – when they first appear on the news – has become such a running joke that even Jon Stewart tore into him over the absurdity of it all.
Whoever created this meme summed it up beautifully:
Yep. That’s their story and they’re sticking to it.
Who needs a Bill of Rights or due process of law? The same government that claims to be “of the people, by the people, for the people” really considers itself completely above the law and unaccountable to the people.
When will Americans finally stand up to these abuses of power and say, “ENOUGH”?
The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t believe it needs a search warrant to read your e-mail.
Newly disclosed documents prepared by IRS lawyers say that Americans enjoy “generally no privacy” in their e-mail, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and similar online communications — meaning that they can be perused without obtaining a search warrant signed by a judge.
That places the IRS at odds with a growing sentiment among many judges and legislators who believe that Americans’ e-mail messages should be protected from warrantless search and seizure. They say e-mail should be protected by the same Fourth Amendment privacy standards that require search warrants for hard drives in someone’s home, or a physical letter in a filing cabinet.
An IRS 2009 Search Warrant Handbook obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union argues that “emails and other transmissions generally lose their reasonable expectation of privacy and thus their Fourth Amendment protection once they have been sent from an individual’s computer.” The handbook was prepared by the Office of Chief Counsel for the Criminal Tax Division and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
By that reasoning, a letter or package that leaves your home on it’s way to the intended recipient would would have no “reasonable expectation of privacy” either….except that it DOES.
If the government is not permitted to snoop through your physical mail without a warrant, neither should they be permitted to snoop through your electronic communications.
Thanks to one of the bombing victims, the suspects were quickly identified, and their photos posted for a state-wide manhunt:
Minutes before the bombs blew up in Boston, Jeff Bauman looked into the eyes of the man who tried to kill him.
Just before 3 p.m. on April 15, Bauman was waiting among the crowd for his girlfriend to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. A man wearing a cap, sunglasses and a black jacket over a hooded sweatshirt looked at Jeff, 27, and dropped a bag at his feet, his brother, Chris Bauman, said in an interview.
Two and a half minutes later, the bag exploded, tearing Jeff’s legs apart. A picture of him in a wheelchair, bloodied and ashen, was broadcast around the world as he was rushed to Boston Medical Center. He lost both legs below the knee.
“He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me,’” Chris Bauman said yesterday in an interview.
Those words may have helped crack the mystery of who perpetrated one of the highest-profile acts of terror in the U.S. since the 2001 assault on New York City and the Washington area, one that killed three people and wounded scores.
They were identified as two Muslim brothers of Chechnyan origin. Chechnya is known as a hotbed of Islamic terrorism:
[C]ongressional researchers and foreign policy analysts have long tracked a connection between the Chechnya region and Islamic extremists sympathizing with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. If the suspects are indeed Chechen, analysts told Fox News they may represent part of a jihadi network which has made its way to American soil.
“The Chechen jihadi network is very extensive,” Middle East analyst Walid Phares said Friday. “They have a huge network inside Russia and Chechnya.”
The older brother, 26, was killed in a shoot-out with police on Thursday night, after killing a police officer. The younger brother was finally taken into custody on Friday night, after the entire city of Boston and outlying areas had been on lock-down for most of the day in search of him.
She wasn’t the only media back who was openly hoping it was a white “right winger,” because that would fit the narrative they’re trying to use to smear good, decent American citizens who happen to disagree with them politically. For them, it’s not about the truth, the victims or justice. It’s all about politics, and how they can exploit any tragedy to advance their agenda and smear their opponents.
After the Chechnyan revelation, the Left finally stopped blaming right-wingers. How big of them, after baselessly smearing their fellow Americans for a week.
I learned the difference between facts and speculation in Journalism 101. It never fails to amaze me how much of the evening news is editorializing dressed up as “reporting.” But they’ve really outdone themselves the past three days.
CNN reported earlier today that a suspect for the Boston bombing was in custody and being taken to the Moakley Federal Courthouse. As word spread on social media, crowds began to gather outside the courthouse.
Trying to clear up confusion, the Boston police finally tweeted at 11:33am:
Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack.
— Boston Police Dept. (@Boston_Police) April 17, 2013
Still, they reportedly HAD identified a suspect – they just hadn’t found him yet:
In what could be a major break in the Boston Marathon case, investigators are on the hunt for a man seen in a department-store surveillance video dropping off a bag at the site of the bombings, a Boston politician said Wednesday.
Separately, a law enforcement official confirmed that authorities have found an image of a potential suspect but don’t know his name.
As media and bystanders waited at the courthouse for news, someone called in a bomb threat and the building was quickly evacuated:
The Moakley Federal Courthouse in South Boston was evacuated Wednesday afternoon for a reported bomb threat.
The U.S. Attorney’s office told FOX 25 the courthouse would remain closed for the rest of the day. However, courthouse staff was allowed back into the building just after 4 p.m. The courthouse is scheduled to open Thursday at its regularly scheduled hours.
An attorney attending a pre-trial conference on the third floor of the building told FOX 25′s Erica Ricci red lights began flashing and a “frantic” voice came over the loud speaker of the courthouse and said, “code red, all evacuate the building immediately.”
In the midst of so much confusion and people desperate for answers, it’s understandable why the media is looking for any tidbit of information they can possibly report, but it’s their job to make sure that reports are factual, accurate and substantiated before going on the air.
The FBI got so frustrated with the erroneous reports that the media kept leaking that it warned them about the “unintended consequences” of their irresponsible reporting:
The FBI chided media outlets for wrongly reporting Wednesday afternoon that an arrest had been made in the Boston Marathon bombing, saying “these stories often have unintended consequences.”
[...] “Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate,” Comcowich said.
Added the agent: “Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.”
If a suspect potentially got away because the media revealed law enforcement’s cards on this one, they should be fined or charged for interfering in an investigation.
It’s embarrassing that the supposedly “professional” media can’t get their act together, and even jeopardize an investigation with their incompetence.
Explosions at the Boston Marathon
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With thousands of runners still on the course, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people, injuring at least 113 and turning the city’s most celebrated event into a grisly spectacle of shattered glass, blood and screams.
President Barack Obama said authorities did not know who carried out the attack but vowed to render “the full weight of justice” against those responsible. Minutes later, law enforcement officials said that an 8-year-old child was one of the dead.
Video from the scene showed two blasts about 20 seconds apart just off the course at the finish. White smoke rose, barriers flew, and throngs of people who had gathered to cheer the runners turned and fled in terror. They later reported seeing horrific injuries that included blown-off limbs and bodies thrown to the asphalt.
However, the Left isn’t necessarily opposed to jumping to conclusions, so long as the people they wish to target are being blamed. The bodies weren’t even cold before Leftists began exploiting tragedy to attack political opponents.
Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce noted that today was “Patriots Day” in Massachusetts, and suggested it might be the work of the Tea Party, whom he compares to Timothy McVey.
Wolf Blitzer speculated the same, live on the air.
CNN’s Peter Bergen claimed it must have been “right wing extremists.”
Nicholas Kristof at The New York Times blamed Republicans, claiming their blocking Obama’s radical ATF nominee was the culprit.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews posed the question of whether or not the bombing was motivated by the fact that April 15th was tax day.
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” ~ Rahm Emanuel
After all that’s happened today, it can be difficult to remember that there are still good people in this world. For that reason, Business Insider has made a list of “People Being Awesome After The Attack On The Boston Marathon.”
When was the last time a Christian strapped on a suicide bomb or flew an airplane into a building? Hmmm…..let me think…..
Oh, that’s right. NEVER!
A U.S. Army training instructor giving a training brief on “extremism” to an Army Reserve unit in Pennsylvania has labeled Evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism as examples of religious extremism right alongside Al Qaeda.
In addition to Al Qaeda, the instructor also equated Evangelical and Catholic “extremism” with that of Hamas, Sunni Muslims, the Nation of Islam, and the Ku Klux Klan.
This wasn’t an accident. The Left loves to throw out extreme positions and see what they can make stick. They’ll back down temporarily from the inevitable uproar, but they also know that Americans are forgetful and easily desensitized, so they’ll continually push a point until it is no longer considered extreme.
“We find this offensive to have Evangelical Christians and the Catholic Church to be listed among known terrorist groups,” said Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of wrongheaded characterization.”
[...] The incident was made public by a soldier who attended the briefing. He asked for copies of the presentation and sent them to the Chaplain Alliance.
“He considers himself an evangelical Christian and did not appreciate being classified with terrorists,” Crews told Fox News. “There was a pervasive attitude in the presentation that anything associated with religion is an extremist.”
The Archdiocese for the Military Services was shocked to learn that the Army considered Catholicism to be an example of extremism.
“The Archdiocese is astounded that Catholics were listed alongside groups that are, by their very mission and nature, violent and extremist,” the Archdiocese said in a statement.
They want the Dept. of Defense to “ensure that taxpayer funds are never again used to present blatantly anti-religious material to the men and women in uniform.”
“In the notes it was clearly stated that the presenter was not a subject matter expert, and produced the material after conducting Internet research,” Wright said.
So if the presenter was not an expert, what were they doing presenting the material, Crews asked.
He said he had a chance to speak with the officer who conducted the briefing and she told him that she got her information from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Why is there such dependence upon the work of the SPLC to determine hate groups and extremist groups,” Crews said. “It appears that some military entities are using definitions of ‘hate’ and ‘extreme’ from the lists of anti-Christian political organizations. That violates the apolitical stance appropriate for the military.”
If you want to talk about extremist groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center certainly qualifies. Originally founded to combat racism, now they smear any organization that doesn’t agree with their radical leftist ideology – such as Focus On The Family – as a “hate group.”
It is not a legitimate source for the military to be using to study domestic terror threats.
Nothing stirs the Left’s seething rage more than a woman, black or gay person refusing to toe the ideological line and daring to speak out for conservative values.
Dr. Ben Carson is the latest target of the bigoted Left, which does not allow independent thought from “minority” groups they seek to keep under their control. Mark Levin recently had an amazing interview with Carson, in which they discussed the Left’s agenda to silence conservative minorities.
Kyle Becker has the transcript at the Independent Journal Review:
MARK LEVIN, HOST: These attacks on you, I have to ask you. You’re a religious man. Do these attacks make you want to speak out more and do more or do they cause you to second guess coming out and talking like this?
DR. BENJAMIN CARSON: No, they make me recognize what serious trouble we’re in. And what has really brought it home to me is, you know, I’ve gotten so many letters of support or phone calls or emails from people who believe similarly, but are afraid to speak out because they think there may be retribution. And basically, it proves what I was saying at the National Prayer Breakfast that political correctness is threatening to destroy our nation because it puts a muzzle over honest conversation, and the fabric of our nation is changed without the benefit of a conversation.
LEVIN: Well, you’re right. They don’t want a conversation, do they? They don’t want us to engage. In fact they…
CARSON: No, they want to shut us up completely.
CARSON: And that’s why the attacks against me have been so vicious because I represent, you know, an existential threat to them. They need to shut me up, they need to get rid of me. They can’t find anything else to delegitimize me. So they take my words, misinterpret them, and try to make it seem that I’m a bigot.
LEVIN: And you’re attacked also, in many respects, because of your race, because you’re not supposed to think like this and talk like this. A lot of white liberals just don’t like it, do they?
CARSON: Well, you know, they’re the most racist people there are because, you know, they put you in a little category, a little box. You have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?
Listen to the whole interview on the Mark Levin show:
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Republican Establishment Blames Social Conservatives, Tea Party For GOP Being Viewed As ‘Out Of Touch’
Hmmm…could it be that the reason people think the GOP is ‘out of touch’ is that they keep ignoring the American people’s concerns about massive debt, out-of-control spending, the erosion of constitutional liberties, and massive power-grabs like Obamacare?
Karl Rove has founded an organization for the specific purpose of bulldozing Tea Party candidates and replacing them with those hand-picked by the GOP establishment.
House Speaker Boehner has caved on Obamacare, illegal immigration, and a host of other issues, and even says that “trusts Obama completely.” WTH???
And he’s not the only one. Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have all waved the white flag on Obamacare.
The conservative base has been betrayed again and again by their own party. But who does the party blame for their losses? Their base!
I believe that the disappointing results for Republicans in the 2006 elections and probably the 2012 elections, as well, were in no small part attributable to frustrated conservatives staying at home.
The thinking among many conservatives has been that the party has consistently fallen short by failing to restrain the growth of the ever-expanding federal government and by failing to nominate sufficiently conservative presidential nominees. That is, if we would just nominate and elect Reagan conservatives and govern on Reagan principles, we would recapture majority status in no time.
The main opposing view — call it the establishment view — holds that Republicans need to accept that the reign of small government is over, get with the program and devise policies to make the irreversibly enormous government smarter and more energetic. In other words, Republicans need to surrender to the notion that liberalism’s concept of government has won and rejigger their agenda toward taming the leviathan rather than shrinking it.
I’d feel better if the ongoing competition between Reagan conservatives and establishment Republicans were the only big fissure in the GOP right now, but there are other cracks that threaten to break wide open, too. Our problems transcend our differing approaches to the size and scope of government and to fiscal and other economic issues.
Reagan conservatism is no longer under attack from just establishment Republicans; it’s also under attack from many inside the conservative movement itself. Reagan conservatism is a three-legged stool of fiscal, foreign policy and social issues conservatism. But today many libertarian-oriented conservatives are singing from the liberal libertine hymnal that the GOP needs to remake its image as more inclusive, more tolerant, less judgmental and less strident. In other words, it needs to lighten up and quit opposing gay marriage, at least soften its position on abortion, and get on board the amnesty train to legalize illegal immigrants. I won’t even get into troubling foreign policy divisions among so-called neocons, so-called isolationists and those who simply believe we should conduct our foreign policy based foremost on promoting our strategic national interests.
[...] I belong to the school that believes the Republican Party must remain the party of mainstream Reagan conservatism rather than try to become a diluted version of the Democratic Party. This does not mean Republicans can’t come up with creative policy solutions when advisable, but it does mean that conservatism is based on timeless principles that require no major revisions. Conservatives are champions of freedom, the rule of law and enforcement of the social compact between government and the people enshrined in the Constitution, which imposes limitations on government in order to maximize our liberties. If we reject these ideas, then we have turned our backs on what America means and what has made America unique. What’s the point of winning elections if the price is American exceptionalism?
Rush Limbaugh is calling the Republicans to task for their “blame the conservative base” mentality:
The Republican National Committee released earlier on Monday an “autopsy” of its 2012 election failures and pinned the blame on the party being out of touch with voters, particularly minorities.
Limbaugh said the opposite was true. “We are in touch with the founding of this country. We are in touch with the greatness in this country and its people,” the popular radio commentator said, according to Politico.
Limbaugh said that if the party moves away from championing values, such as traditional marriage, it will lose support among its base.
“If the party makes that [gay marriage] something official that they support, they’re not going to pull the homosexual activist voters away from the Democrat Party, but they are going to cause their base to stay home and throw their hands up in utter frustration,” Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh said it was party leaders who were out of touch with its own base.
Jonathon Moseley writes that the problem isn’t conservative values, but a failure to effectively market them to a new generation:
The Republican Party is violating time-tested, basic principles of sales and marketing. That’s why the GOP is failing to communicate its messages. On Monday, the Republican National Committee released a massive reform strategy, whimsically labeled an “autopsy” or “reboot,” to completely overhaul the GOP. Like Democrats in 1992, Republicans are growing hungry to win in 2014 and 2016.
Here is what is wrong with the Republican Party. This author taught in a sales training seminar firm in Eastern Europe, International Trendsetters. The solutions are overwhelmingly time-tested and proven in real life. This is not theory. Republicans are chronically making classic rookie sales mistakes.
“FAB” — Features, Advantages, Benefits. You must explain how a policy benefits the voter. Bad salesmen talk about features – the radio has a better tuner. Good salesmen talk about how the radio benefits the customer – you will enjoy the music more and set a better mood for your love interest because it sounds better and clearer. People don’t buy a mattress. They buy a good night’s sleep. And maybe good décor.
On Monday, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus explained that we must talk about how Americans benefit from low taxes and lower national debt. We have to talk about how Republican policies will put more people to work, at higher salaries, improve our economy, and strengthen our country. Republicans talk about details — lower taxes, lower regulations, lower deficits. We fail to explain why those details actually matter to the voter.
But isn’t it obvious? No. Classic rookie mistake. It’s obvious to you if you spend lots of time thinking about these things. It’s not obvious to busy people who have other things to think about, which they feel are more important in their lives. Yes, you have to draw them a map.
There is an imbalance between the speaker who is extremely familiar with a topic and the listener who isn’t. The speaker needs to understand how the speaker really sounds to the listener. Republicans skip over too many steps and assume too much. The American voters are smart. But they haven’t spent as much time thinking about your topic as you have. We have to be able to empathize with the busy listener and even remember how we were when we first learned about these issues.
It is amazing that the GOP has been so bad at this, when Ronald Reagan was so good at it. If anyone is thinking of running for office, Step #1 is to listen to every speech Ronald Reagan ever gave. Several times. Reagan “got” it. Then the GOP lost it.
Next, the mind abhors a vacuum. What you don’t say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. People have never stopped talking about cuts in education, even while education spending soars year after year. People will assume you want to help the rich by lowering taxes. They will assume you hate immigrants. They will assume you want women barefoot and pregnant. If you don’t explain how GOP policies benefit the listener, their minds will fill in the vacuum with other explanations. If you don’t provide a reason, their minds will provide one for you.
Third, love objections. This is one of the most powerful principles good salesmen know. We view objections with dread. A voter tells you why they don’t like the GOP. Time-tested sales techniques have proven that objections are opportunities. When a prospect tells you what he is concerned about, you now have the opportunity to address his or her concerns.
This is especially true when a voter believes something that isn’t true about Republicans — if they are willing to talk to you, that is. Proven sales experience shows that when someone is willing to tell you their negative views, and talk to you about it, you have an open door to dramatically turn around their perceptions.
Of course you have to treat them as a future friend, not as a current enemy. But the overwhelming majority of successful sales are closed after the third or fourth objection. That’s right, most sales succeed after not just the first negative response, but after several negative issues are raised and discussed. But you have to care about the other person as much as you care about yourself to answer their concerns fully, fairly, and respectfully.
Fourth, “ask for the order” as RNC Chairman Reince Priebus described on Monday. In other words, you have to show up. You are not going to win over any hearts or minds sitting in your office across the street from the Capitol South Metro station (the RNC headquarters). It is common sense that you have to go out and talk to Hispanics, Blacks, and other groups.
The GOP’s “outreach” efforts have often been embarrassing. Republican campaigns appoint leaders of, say, “Korean-Americans for Bush,” then order bumper stickers and campaign pins. And that’s about it. Pretending to be doing outreach, but not really, is a Republican specialty.
Unless all your financial transactions (including earnings) are in cash, you’ll want to pay attention to this one.
The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.
The proposed plan represents a major step by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot and track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. The plan, which legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates.
Contributor “George Washington” notes at Zero Hedge:
The excuse given for this intrusion on privacy?
As with the destruction of all of our privacies and other liberties, the excuse given is terrorism.
Indeed, given that the government claims the right to assassinate or indefinitely detain Americans without any due process of law, do you think government employees will hesitate in seizing the assets of Americans labels as “enemies?”
And the government’s take-down of Megaupload was an exercise of the power to seize all of the legal property held in a storage facility because a handful of crooks have illegal property in theirs.
Know Your Rights: Citizens Journalists Show How Not To Comply With Unconstitutional Detention, Searches or Questioning
I’ll admit it from the get-go: I don’t like confrontation. If a police officer randomly stopped me on the street and asked for my I.D. or asked me questions, I’d most likely comply because frankly, it’s just easier. I would assume that I must match the description of someone they’re looking for, and the sooner I clear up any suspicion they may have, the sooner I can get on with my day.
But unfortunately, that kind of mindless compliance with unconstitutional abuses of police power has led many Americans to assume that law enforcement officers can demand anything they like from you – regardless of probably cause – and you must submit to unlawful questioning, detention, or searches.
The young man in this video was stopped for openly carrying a gun in a holster, which is legal in the state of Oregon. He insists that the officer follow the law and provide legal justification for stopping him (which the officer does not have):
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Some may see this as unreasonably antagonistic. Why not just comply and be done with it? How hard can that be? The truth is, it WOULD be easier to comply. But it would also lead law enforcement officers to forget the laws they are sworn to uphold, and to violate the law with impunity.
I used to live near border patrol checkpoints and drove through them frequently. They’d ask me if I was a US citizen, I’d reply “yes,” and they’d wave me through (they’re listening for your accent and tone of voice, or behavioral cues). It never occurred to me that these checkpoints were unconstitutional.
But the reality is, they are. Border Patrol has no constitutional authority to stop citizens from driving down the road and question them without reasonable suspicion or probably cause. To do so is to violate the 4th Amendment. Yet most of us comply without thinking twice. These Libertarian citizen journalists decided to exercise their constitutional rights on video:
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In a national climate where simply speaking out for lower spending, constitutional rights and the 2nd Amendment can get you demonized as an “extremist,” it’s important that we know our rights, and how to exercise them respectfully. Lawful resistance to unconstitutional abuses of power is an effective way to tell our politicians and bureaucrats they have gone too far. They work for us, not the other way around. Their job is to protect our unalienable rights, not take them away.
Don’t worry, little citizen. It’s not like they’re planning on actually using them or anything…right?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show.
The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department’s unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States’ northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.
Homeland Security’s specifications for its drones, built by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, say they “shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not,” meaning carrying a shotgun or rifle. They also specify “signals interception” technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones, and “direction finding” technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.
The sequestration question du jour is why the Department of Homeland Security, busy releasing hundreds, if not thousands, of deportable and detained illegal aliens due to budget constraints, is buying several thousand Mine Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicles?
And just who are they intended to be used against?
[...] The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the U.S. They were formerly used for counterinsurgency in Iraq.
These vehicles are specifically designed to resist mines and ambush attacks. They use bulletproof windows and are designed to withstand small-arms fire, including smaller-caliber rifles such as a .223 Remington. Does DHS expect a counterinsurgency here?
An “expert” at West Point recently published a study for the Combating Terrorist Center which warns cadets about the dangers of the “violent far right,” such as Christians, pro-lifers, and advocates for limited government.
It is the extreme left (Occupy, Bill Ayers, ELF) that has been involved in bombings, riots, and other violent actions. Never ONCE has there been an arrest, destruction of property, or other violent action at a Tea Party. And yet WE are supposedly who they’re worried about?
Democrats are preparing for a major nationwide fight on the gun issue by purging the party’s moderates–including the very candidates it cultivated in 2006 and 2008 to win seats in conservative districts. Republicans are preparing for a major debate on immigration reform by purging the party’s conservatives, casting opponents of bipartisan legislative efforts as bigots who will doom the party to ongoing electoral failure.
It is true that both parties have shown little tolerance towards moderates lately. Democrats began the purges in 2004, when the left netroots commandeered the Democratic National Committee elections. In 2006, the anti-war movement succeeded in defeating Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary in Connecticut. In 2010, the Tea Party began defeating establishment, moderate Republicans in the GOP primaries before going on to wipe out the Blue Dog Democrats, finishing what the anti-war movement had already started. In effect, Capitol Hill today is divided not by two governing parties but two opposition movements, speaking past one another.
But the Democratic Party has managed to maintain a striking degree of party unity, even amidst grumbling and dissatisfaction with President Obama’s disappointing performance. It has done so primarily through Chicago-style carrot-and-stick patronage dished out by the White House, partly by demonizing Republicans, but also by defeating, silencing or otherwise co-opting the party’s moderates before going into big legislative battles.
[T]he pattern remains the same: the new, netroots-and-community-organizer Democratic leadership dispenses with party’s moderates, while the old Republican establishment tries to marginalize the grass roots conservatives who are largely responsible for the limited electoral successes the party has enjoyed in recent years.
The time for moderation is over. Obama and the Democrats are advancing the most extreme left-wing agenda in American history. From radical left-wing judges and cabinet appointments, to the most radical anti-liberty regulations and legislation ever imposed (Obamacare, HHS mandate, gun control, EPA…). They’ve helped radical Islamic jihadists in their conquest of the Middle East, and armed extremist drug cartels. They’re succeeding because they actually STAND for something – Socialism and the destruction of America as we know it – that their base firmly believes in.
Republicans can no longer afford to be “moderate.” It’s time to give Americans a REAL choice between liberty and tyranny. Block, defund, and filibuster the left-wing extremists at every turn. Run the most conservative, liberty-minded, fiscally responsible candidates, and advance a pro-liberty agenda: school choice, entitlement reform, REAL spending cuts and tax cuts, defunding Obamacare and agencies that impose extreme anti-business regulations, etc. It’s time to actually STAND for something. The time for moderation is over.
Liberal conspiracy theorists unite! Rolling Stone, Al Gore and others have already donned their tinfoil hats!
Hans Bader at Open Market calls it “Shades of McCarthyism“:
A government-funded study — paid for by the National Cancer Institute! — says (ridiculously) that Big Tobacco and Koch brothers created the Tea Party. The study is now being parroted by Al Gore. The study is based on strange reasoning, such as the fact that one group funded in small part by tobacco companies used the word “Tea Party” in passing in 2002, a group largely unrelated to the groups that later came into being and used it in 2009. (Because, obviously, no one had ever used the words “Tea Party” before the 21st century.) Never mind that much of America’s non-profits get money from tobacco companies, which fund countless causes, such as arts funding, domestic violence shelters, and non-profits across the political spectrum — the family behind Lorillard Tobacco is famously liberal and donates to liberal politicians. But Al Gore trumpets the study, relying on its taxpayer-funded status to buttress its credibility…
[...] As the Huffington Post notes, this “study” was “funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health.” The federal government has become so politicized that it can even use money intended for cancer research to demonize the administration’s critics.
The study was funded by federal taxpayer grants through the National Institutes of Health and its subsidiary the National Cancer Institute, both federal agencies. It’s difficult to tell how much grant money specifically went toward this study, but federal records show researchers at the university have received $7 million since 2007 to study tobacco issues.
Of course the Tea Party principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise must be a “tobacco issue,” right? That’s why they can redirect money that was intended for cancer research into opposition research and spinning conspiracy theories (who needs cancer cures when the REAL threat is those “right wing extremists”?).
The theory was developed because a study funded by the National Cancer Institute found that the Tobacco industry and Koch brothers advocated and organized for limited government, and even used the term Tea Party. Because, as we all know, before the Tobacco industry and Koch brothers advocated for limited government and used the term Tea Party, no one had ever done that in the entire history of the United States.
It is so stupid, and such an abuse of taxpayer funding, that one would have hoped it would die in the laboratory, but it was just the sort of crackpot theory to which the left-blogosphere inevitably would be drawn. And it has.
I gotta be honest…I just didn’t have it in me to watch this year. My BS meter was already maxed out, and every preview of the speech’s content pretty much assured me that a root canal would be preferable to sitting through this.
When I read the transcript, I toyed with the idea of going through it as I have in the past, debunking and translating the double-speak point by point. But there’s nothing he said that hasn’t already been debunked and exposed multiple times before. He really doesn’t have any new ideas…just the same old, tired, recycled talking points.
So I’m going to let the CATO Institute break it down for you. I honestly can’t think of anyone better (apart from their apparent agreement with Obama that Al Qaeda is “on the run,” but that’s to be expected of Libertarians):
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Here’s the Tea Party response from Sen. Rand Paul:
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Senator Marco Rubio delivered the official GOP response.
Dr. Ben Carson gave some great commentary, as well:
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