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Rand Paul introduces Fourth Amendment Restoration Act

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http://reason.com/blog/2013/06/06/rand-paul-to-introduce-fourth-amendment

This is exactly what we need right now. I’ve actually had a glimmer of hope in these past few weeks as the stories have hit the news about NSA recording of cell phone traffic and electronic communications. Also, in a short period of time we have heard about the Obama administration spying on the press, and the IRS targeting of conservative groups. The fact that these issues are still considered controversial is a good sign. It means that the American public and the media still have something of a pulse when it comes to civil liberties. More and more it seems that those who mistrust the government with unbridled power are not just paranoid outliers. Maybe there is hope after all.

Then again, you have idiots like this:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/06/sen-graham-im-a-verizon-customer-i-dont-mind-turning-over-records/

Idiot Lindsey Graham

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This Poor Girl is being charged with a Sex Crime for a High School Romance

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Source: BuzzFeed

I sincerely hope people will stand up and demand what is right for this poor teenager who’s only crime is a consensual relationship with a same sex student. Something everyone who has been a teenager has experienced, except for the detail of gender. What is wrong with society?

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Follow the Source Link for ways to help.

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Despite what you’ve heard, Gun Crime is down by 49% in two decades

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Source: Forbes
Despite what you’ve heard, Gun Crime is down by 49% in two decades

In the bizzaro world that we live in, you’d think that with the recent increase in gun purchasing, there would be a rash of gun violence across the country. The data simply does not support the media impression.

Pew researchers observed that the huge amount of attention devoted to gun violence incidents in the media has caused most Americans to be unaware that gun crime is strikingly down” from 20 years ago. In fact, gun-related homicides in the late 2000s were “equal to those not seen since the early 1960s.”Yet their survey found that 56 percent believed gun-related crime is higher, 26 percent believed it stayed about the same, and 6 percent didn’t know.  Only 12 percent of those polled thought it was lower.

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Kern County Police beat a Man to Death in front of Witnesses

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Kern County Sheriff’s deputies beat an unarmed man to death as he begged for his life. They continued to beat him after he was unconscious, say witnesses who captured the incident on video. Reportedly, the cops then proceeded to confiscate cell phones and cameras in warrantless searches following the incident. One witness who came forward was allegedly followed by deputies and then arrested for being under the influence of PCP. He claims it was retaliation for his accusations.

Police brutality has gone unchecked for decades. But it seem have crossed a threshold now where police and law enforcement are no longer classified as regular citizens. I have much respect for police officers and the risks that they take in the line of duty. However, there are always bad eggs, and we have created a situation where the bad eggs often run the show. Cops are, for the most part, trustworthy and good people; but that doesn’t mean different rules should apply to them.

For example, there are exemptions made in concealed carry laws for police officers in states where average citizens have virtually no chance of acquiring a permit. Why is the right to self defense in public the sole jurisdiction of the police? We’ve built a system where a class of individuals has been solely entrusted with the use of force–force being defined by pre-emptive violence. That means that they are the only ones who can prosecute those who use violence against others. What happens when they are tasked with prosecuting the very crimes that they themselves are committing?

Whenever a group of people are elevated to a special status in society, there is potential for abuse. These officers enjoy an impunity to the law that average citizens do not have. This is the unfortunate consequence of the statist view that certain individuals are entitled to powers that the average citizen is not.

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National Insecurity

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trulyfreegayrightsIf you consider the notion of “legalizing gay marriage” you’ll quickly come to the realization that “legalization” equates to a “consensus of the majority.” This causes one to wonder what exactly is wrong with our society that we need everyone to agree on everything.

What is wrong with us that we are so insecure about our own choices that we cannot live the way we want without everyone else’s approval? Moreover, why are we so insecure about our own choices that we must first approve of the beliefs or choices of other people in a legal framework before allowing them to carry on? Yes, I’m aware that homosexuality is not a choice, no more than being Asian is a choice; bear with me. What I am saying is, why do we live in a society where there needs to be a consensus on an individual’s validity?

There’s something darkly disturbing about this type of collectivist thinking. It speaks of a lack of confidence in the individual, a fear of differences. This type of society lends itself to a homogenous world view that discourages deviation from the norm, and keeps a list of ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ ways of thinking and living. The only question we should be asking ourselves is: why do I even get a say over someone else’s life?

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DOJ: We don’t need warrants for e-mail, Facebook chats

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Eric Holder

The Justice Department’s disinclination to seek warrants for private files stored on the servers of companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft continued even after a federal appeals court in 2010 ruled that warrantless access to e-mail violates the Fourth Amendment. A previously unreleased version of an FBI manual (PDF), last updated two-and-a-half years after the appellate ruling, says field agents “may subpoena” e-mail records from companies “without running afoul of” the Fourth Amendment

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57583395-38/doj-we-dont-need-warrants-for-e-mail-facebook-chats/

Utterly unacceptable.

It seems like Eric Holder and the Department of Justice’s sole agenda these days is to discover new ways to circumvent the US Constitution.

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The Greatest Tragedy

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September 11th, 2001. A day seared into the memory of every American living at the time. I remember my eyes welled with tears as I watched those towers come down. I felt it in the pit of my stomach as we witnessed the death of thousands of innocent people in a brief instant– live on television. They were average citizens, like you or me– with families, loved ones, dreams and a future. We felt the collective anguish of a nation as we experienced the most traumatic event of our generation. Like many Americans, I spent the day glued to the TV, as my mother attempted to reach loved ones on the East Coast. We passed the day in a general state of shock. When I awoke the next day, a thought began to seep into my consciousness. Something sacred had died that day with the thousands of victims in those towers– the America that I had known and loved was about to change for the worse.

As information was revealed that Osama Bin Laden, and his terrorist organization Al Qaeda were responsible for the attacks, I thought to myself, “Surely, these guys are toast. Interpol, the FBI, and the CIA will investigate; we will send our best guys after them. They won’t stand a chance when the SEALS and Delta Force get their hands on them and bring them to justice.” I thought, “Okay, what happened was absolutely unforgivable. We must apprehend these guys. Hopefully they will resist, and we will kill them.” But all my assumptions were based on the presumption that we would be involved in some sort of police manhunt with the support of law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the international community.

Never, in my wildest imagination did I think that in a short time, we would be at war with not one, but two middle-eastern nations. One of which had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks on 9/11. I couldn’t imagine mobilizing the entire US military to invade entire nations in search of dozens of men. I did not foresee the vast quantities of ordinance dropped over populated cities. Never, did I conceive that a full decade after the fact, we would still be at war in these countries; expending Trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and nearly bankrupting the American people. And least of all, did I imagine that we would compromise every principle that has ever defined us as Americans in order to do so.

When I was growing up in the previous century– as youths are wont to do–I saw the world as a clear cut dichotomy of good and evil. It was never presented in any other way. During my elementary school education, we regularly dedicated time to studying current events. Our teacher would show us slideshows on the projector of relevant news, and play a recording of a man dutifully reading the events of the current day to us. Just as each student’s attention began to drift, a loud beep would sound on the recording jolting us awake– signaling the teacher to advance to the next slide. This was how I learned about South African apartheid and its abuses of human rights. I learned about the Soviet Union and its belligerent posture towards the free world. I cheered when our armed forces successfully invaded Panama under Operation “Just Cause” and put that drug-dealing dictator Manuel Noriega in prison.

This was the country I grew up in, and it seemed that whether you were young or old, black or white, liberal or conservative, you pretty much all believed in the same narrative. The rest of the world was full of evil people, and we were the ones who would set it right. We were always the good guys; it was our responsibility and duty as freedom loving Americans to ensure that the rest of the world had a chance at the same kind of life that we enjoyed. We would dispense our brand of American justice upon the evil-doers of the world, only resorting to violence if need be, and stop the spread of that evil cancer called Communism at all costs. This was the American Narrative. We were special.

The thing is, we had no reason to believe otherwise. America had enjoyed the moral high ground and the admiration of the free world for the better part of a century. We had gallantly charged into both world wars to save Western Europe from the peril of fascism. We had staunchly defended– with mixed success– democracy, from the encroachment of Communist invaders in both Korea and Vietnam. We rescued Kuwait from the evil Saddam Hussein, and Kosovo from ethnic cleansing. We were a beacon of light to the world– a shining example of freedom in a world of oppression. If the dictators of the world were threatening you, then the good guys would come to your rescue.

However, along with the respect and admiration we commanded was a great moral responsibility. There was an “American” way to do things and certain things were considered wholly “Un-American.” For example, America never attacks a country unless we or one of our friends is attacked. Americans hate bullies. Americans never target civillians. We don’t spy on our own people. America does not torture. America does not participate in assassinations. America does not negotiate with terrorists. These were the things that made me proud to call myself American. To violate these principles was taboo, and we would never dream to do so– at least publicly.

Perhaps none of the things we told ourselves had been true for a very long time– if ever. Nonetheless, the narrative persisted, and if you had pulled your average American off the street in say, 1995 and told them that within a decade we were going to preemptively invade a country that had done nothing to harm us, fly killer robot drones over them, detain and spy on citizens without due process, torture enemy combatants, assassinate people in foreign countries, and systematically shred the very document this nation was founded upon– they would have thought you’d gone mad.

If you believed President George W. Bush’s assertion that the terrorist’s goal was to destroy our way of life– that they attacked us because they hate our freedom, then we have certainly played right into their hands. We have sacrificed liberty for security and have gotten neither. We have done more to accomplish the goal of the September 11th attacks than the terrorists could have in their wildest dreams. Our country is bankrupt. Our economy is destroyed. We live in a state where every communication is monitored and recorded. Women and children are regularly frisked in airports, and you can lose all rights to due process if you end up on the wrong side of an investigation. We have a state security apparatus that would make the Soviet KGB envious. We have become a paranoid, cynical, and fearful nation. We are no longer free. The terrorists have won.

The greatest tragedy isn’t that the narrative of America the Heroic, is dead; or that it’s no longer true– it may never have been. Perhaps the real tragedy is that this narrative which once served as our moral compass, has become nothing more than a justification for our actions. We tell ourselves that we are exceptional and act in the name of the greater good, yet we have given up the very freedoms that once emboldened us to proudly proclaim ourselves as sons and daughters of this great nation. We have committed acts which we swore never to commit; broken taboos we swore we would never break. Policies that we once would have been ashamed of are now discussed with nonchalance on CSPAN. In seeking to destroy evil, we have become that which we abhor. We have lost far more than the lives of 3000 innocents since that terrible morning in September.