Since when does the Attorney General of the
United States get involved in child custody cases?
Since when are automatic weapons required
to settle such cases?
In 1949, this definition of "terrorism" could be
found on page 1346 of
Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of the English Language.
Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1970, page 911.
This page is written for the benefit of people who have absolute faith
and trust in the government. Perhaps you know people who believe the
government can do no wrong. People who believe that the government
never lies. People who believe that every good and perfect
thing comes from the federal government. One fellow I know
comes to mind. When the government declares it illegal to
inhale, he will be the first person in town to turn blue. And
he will probably be the first person in town with a bar code on his
forehead. He will take the government's side in any argument, because
the government is his god. To him, and others like him,
the situation shown in the photo above is perfectly normal.
Here is some of the evidence that the federal government
and some state governments have too much power and
too little restraint. In fact, much of this web site is
devoted to the never-ending task of spotlighting abusive government
and bad ideas. Tyranny is defined as cruel and oppressive government,
and that is exactly what is described in some of the news items shown below.
The Road to Tyranny is All Downhill From Here
Abuse of Power by Ordinary Cops
The War on Little Kids with Lemonade Stands
Videotaping the police
Money Down the Drain
Abusive and Invasive Searches at the Airport
Snitch on Your Neighbor
The TIPS program
Know Your Customer
Obama's "snitch on your neighbor" program: The 2013 version.
The Homeland Security report on right wingers
Incompetence and Absurd Application of the Law
Uncle Sam loses stuff -- especially guns and laptop computers.
Uncle Sam is afraid to say what he means
The Steven Hatfill / Anthrax Investigation
Threats to the Constitution
The Bill of Rights is Taking a Beating
Property Rights and Property Seizures ...
including commentary about the Supreme Court's Kelo decision.
Invasion of Privacy (includes numerous subtopics)
The Government's Role as Overprotective Nanny
... including The Smoking Section
... and Governor Perry's Vaccination Mandate
The use of Traffic Signals as Fundraisers ... as well as seat belt laws and speed traps.
The use and abuse of Tasers
Taxes in general,
specifically, Cigarette taxes
and The Proposed "Odometer Tax"
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The Endangered Species Act
The USA Patriot Act
FEMA -- the Federal Emergency Management Agency
Other Items of Interest
Additional pages on similarly irritating subjects:
The Invasion of the Food Police
The War vs. Liberty and Freedom
Pork Barrel Politics
Carnivore & Echelon
Hate Crime Laws
The Proposed National ID Card
What Does the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Need with 96
Armed Agents? The proliferation of federal agencies with armed agents is one of the most worrisome
aspects of the growth in government. Just last summer the EPA carried out an armed raid on a mine in Alaska to
enforce the Clean Water Act — a bit of government intimidation that residents say was totally unnecessary. [...] And
who can forget the Gibson Guitar raid by armed agents of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The EPA, the
USFWS ...the Department of Education? It's getting ridiculous — and frightening.
someone mention Gibson Guitar?
March to the Future is Destroying America. The progressive march to the future is destroying America. What
the Democrats and the progressives are doing behind the scenes is a more frightening and unjustified power grab than Putin's
on the Ukraine. [...] [I]n spite of the dysfunction of our House and Senate there is a more pervasive danger — and
it is the people who are behind the scenes — people who in the dead of night write laws and bills that no one
seems to know what [...] is in them. Or decisions that give up America's sovereignty to an organization
that has now changed what its initial purpose once was to an institution preparing for a one-world government, The United
Nations. So the freest, most stable nation in the world gives up the Internet to forces that could advance it being
stifled? Does this make sense?
Director: 'Wish I Had Better Answers' About ATF Agents Probing a Tea Party Conservative. B. Todd
Jones, director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, couldn't tell Congress why his agents made
two visits to a tea party conservative in a 13-month period — but only after she requested tax-exempt status
for her conservative group, True the Vote. Catherine Engelbrecht had a Federal Firearms License (FFL) for
12 years. "And suddenly she applies for tax exempt status, and you're knocking on her door twice in
13 months," Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Jones at a hearing on Wednesday. "Congressman, I wish I had
better answers," Jones said.
attack: Depth of federal arms race should surprise, shock citizenry. In late February,
four federal agents carrying side arms with a drug-sniffing dog descended on the Taos Ski Valley in
what was called a "saturation patrol." Authorities were working on tips of possible drug selling
and impaired driving in the ski resort's parking lot and surrounding area. But the agents weren't
from the FBI, ATF, or even the Drug Enforcement Administration. Rather, the agents represented the
U.S. Forest Service. [...] It may come as a surprise to many U.S. taxpayers, but a slew of federal
agencies — some whose responsibilities seem to have little to do with combating
crime — carry active law enforcement operations.
warrantless searches of Americans. The Obama administration has conducted warrantless searches of Americans'
communications as part of the National Security Agency's surveillance operations that target foreigners located outside
of the U.S., the administration's top intelligence official confirmed in a letter to Congress disclosed Tuesday [4/1/2014].
Hate-Crime Laws and
the Expansion of Federal Power. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia provide additional penalties for crimes
that they classify as "hate crimes," over and above what would have been available if the same crime been committed with a different
motivation. In 2009, President Obama signed into law a federal hate-crimes statute that adds a third level of criminalization
for violent crimes that occur "because of" the victim's "actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender,
gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation." Actual hatred is not required. It is enough that there is a causal connection
between the crime and one of these grounds.
inside the dysfunctional federal bureaucracy. We are governed by an arrogant, dysfunctional, self-serving organization
that couldn't care less about us. The federal bureaucracy, which increasingly behaves as our overlords, regulating what we may
or may not do, prosecuting (or declining to prosecute) alleged wrongdoers, and spending roughly one dollar of every four in our
economy (up from one in five in just a few years) is out of control and dangerous. And it is only "extremists" like tea
partiers who propose to do anything about it.
If You Are
on the Right, 1st and 4th Amendments Don't Apply. In August, 2012 uniformed county police officers showed up at
Brandon Raub's front door. They introduced Raub to several unidentified agents of the Secret Service and FBI who spoke
with him concerning his anti-government Facebook posts. A few minutes later, according to the August, 2013 complaint,
one of the federal agents telephoned a Chesterfield County licensed psychotherapist to discuss the situation. The therapist,
without observing, meeting or evaluating Raub, recommended that he be taken into custody. Raub was subsequently handcuffed,
arrested and medically cleared before being driven to a psych hospital over a hundred miles away from his home.
Obama Administration's Unilateral Actions. Abusive, unlawful, and even potentially unconstitutional unilateral
action has been a hallmark of the Obama Administration. When Congress refuses to accede to President Barack Obama's
liberal policies, the Administration often ignores the restraints imposed upon the executive branch by the Constitution,
and when the Administration disagrees with duly enacted laws or finds it politically expedient not to enforce them, it waives
legal requirements. Under the U.S. constitutional system, Congress is charged with enacting the law, and the Executive is
charged with enforcing it. The individual liberties of all Americans are at stake when one branch usurps the role of another.
Most Abusive Obama Executive Actions. President Obama has made liberal use of "executive action" throughout his
presidency, and pledged to make even more use of executive action in this year's State of the Union speech. He seems to
think that because Republicans don't want to implement his agenda, he can go around Congress. The Heritage Foundation is
out with a new report on President Obama's executive actions, titled "An Executive Unbound," finding that "abusive, unlawful,
even potentially unconstitutional unilateral action has been a hallmark of the Obama Administration."
Obama's Trifecta. In its violations of the First Amendment,
the Obama administration has consistently relied upon self-serving definitions of press, religion, and political speech. Holder justified violating
Rosen's press freedom on the grounds that he somehow wasn't acting as a legitimate member of the press. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen
Sebelius has arrogated to herself the right to determine what is and what is not a "religion." She claims the HHS mandate doesn't violate religious
freedom since groups that serve the public aren't religious according to her criteria. She declared at the time of the mandate's release that only
purely sectarian groups are deemed religious under Obamacare and thus worthy of an exemption. The Federal Election Commission plays the same game on
what constitutes political speech, defining the concept ever more narrowly to justify restrictions on ordinary participation.
Legal Kidnapping. Are
responsible and loving parents safe from having their children taken away from them by government agents? The Joneses had always
thought so, until recent events taught them otherwise.
Americans rising up
against government. [I]n response to widespread protests last week, the Department of Homeland Security canceled plans to build a
nationwide license plate database. Many local police departments already use license-plate readers that track every car as it passes traffic
signals or pole-mounted cameras. Specially equipped police cars even track cars parked on the street or even in driveways. The DHS put
out a bid request for a system that would have gone national, letting the federal government track millions of people's comings and goings just as
it tracks data about every phone call we make. But the proposal was suddenly withdrawn last week, with the unconvincing explanation that it
was all a mistake.
Democrat Rep. Gary Peters threatens TV station licenses over Obamacare ad. While Julie Boonstra of Dexter, Mich., struggles to survive
leukemia, she now also has to cope with being called a liar by the Democrat who wants to be her next senator. And the campaign of Rep. Gary
Peters is also going after television stations airing ads in which her story is featured, threatening their licenses. The ad by Americans for
Prosperity features Boonstra talking about how her insurance was canceled under Obamacare and saying that Peters' decision to vote for the law
"jeopardized my health." The ads are airing in Michigan as Peters seeks the Democratic nomination to replace Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who
is not seeking re-election.
Levin: Obama Admin Using The Law Against Us Is The Definition Of Tyranny. The FCC, call it whatever you want, Barack Obama's
henchman, Barack Obama's comrades, there, that's right, all over the federal government have hijacked the institutions of government and are
now turning them on the people. Whether it's the EPA, or the Department of Justice, the Interior Department, NOAA, this, that or the
other, they're using the government, they are using a law against us. Which is the definition of tyranny.
Is Our Commander, Covert Or
Criminal? On January 1 an agreement between the United States and our most hostile enemy went into effect. This agreement was
secretly negotiated at secret meetings by a secret Presidential trip, and a secretive Secretary of State. This super secret agreement we were
told would bring peace in our time. [...] The only problem however is that there is now no way for "We The People" to know if our employee, one Barack
Hussein Obama, is telling the truth. And in our representative republic there is no way for our representatives — even ones legally
empowered to watch foreign affairs and national security specifically — to be able to know. Why? Because the President has the
text of the agreement — an agreement we are told is unclassified — being squirrelled away — and is off limits.
Mayor Defends Using Emergency Lane to Get to Interview. Atlanta's mayor is defending
his use of emergency lanes at the height of Tuesday's icy traffic jam so he could do an interview
at The Weather Channel's studios.
Big government does too much, badly.
Around the country there have been calls to raise the minimum wage, to impose strict regulations on our businesses and to forcibly adopt a health care
system that nationalizes one-sixth of our economy. The intended role of the federal government established by our Founding Fathers was to protect
the rights of all Americans. Nowhere in our Constitution is there a clause that mandates government to act as an employer, a health care provider
or a charity — nor should it. However, over the years the role of government has shifted from protecting rights to selectively
distributing them. This, in turn, has spawned a host of redistributionist policies that have been thrust upon the public as commandments.
Many people are beginning to wonder why they are being forced to pay for their neighbors.
What would Patrick Henry do with the NSA?
We are constantly informed that business cannot be trusted to regulate their public behavior, so government is called upon to manage the FDA, EPA,
ICC, USDA and dozens of other alphabet-soup agencies. We are told that even those who have taken oaths for their business activities, doctors
and nurses come to mind, are not to be trusted to play fair with the fees they charge for services, with the latest attempt to fight this alleged
threat being Obamacare. Heck, we are even told that the clergy and those who look to them for spiritual guidance are not to be entrusted with
the care of the poor any longer, thus the growing need for our vainglorious "safety net." Everywhere an American citizen looks, you will find
government, taxing, regulating, micromanaging, threatening and in some instances killing. All made legal and growing by what force? The
threat of penalties, fines, unaffordable legal defense and imprisonment.
Rein in HUD. Under our Constitution, a government
agency may not act beyond the authority given it by Congress. Indeed, as the Supreme Court has said, "an agency literally has no power
to act ... unless and until Congress confers power upon it." The principle is basic, but in a significant matter the Department of
Housing and Urban Development under President Obama has ignored it, to say no worse. Fortunately, a lawsuit now moving forward in the
nation's capital promises to compel the agency to quit its conspicuous overreaching.
Must Curb The 'Soft Tyranny' Of Bureaucrats. The late Sen. Eugene McCarthy, D-Minn., observed, "The only thing that saves us
from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty." He said this in 1979 when the
Code of Federal Regulations contained about 30,000 rules. Today, the federal government has more than 180,000 rules.
DOE Plugs Energy Rating For
Homes Similar To MPG Rating For Cars. The Energy Department on Tuesday [1/14/2014] is rolling out new, improved software to help
Americans measure the energy efficiency of their homes. DOE says its energy-scoring software — called the Home Energy Scoring
Tool — is like a vehicle's mile-per-gallon rating because it allows homeowners to compare the energy performance of their homes to
other homes nationwide. It also provides homeowners with suggestions for improving their homes' efficiency.
The Editor says...
First of all, it's never a good idea to compare your house to someone else's house. It only leads to pride and arrogance, or jealousy and envy.
All that aside, this is apparently the government's way of being "helpful" to home buyers that are too stupid to ask the right questions when shopping
for a house. It sounds harmless enough, but that's the way automobile gas mileage ratings got started, and now fuel efficiency standards are
mandatory — and constantly tightening.
Lee: Obama's 'Unelected Bureaucrats' Wrote 80,000 Pages of Rules in 2013. Friday [1/10/2014], Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) published a
photograph on his Facebook page of all the rules and regulations President Barack Obama's administration implemented throughout 2013. The
photo, a display of all the printed pages of the federal register, is 80,000 pages worth of regulations stacked in a filing cabinet.
Border Security as Oppressive as Ever. A constant barrage of stories of
abuse from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have arisen in 2013. These did not only occur at the physical borders, but at the numerous domestic checkpoints that
appear all over U.S. roadways across the southwest. Up to 100 miles into the country, permanent roadblocks exist where travelers are asked by federal
agents to prove their citizenship and often subjected to searches and other harassment.
The Police State in Review, 2013. The foundation of an American police
state is already laid and making its existence known, while most of the country remains blissfully focused on sports, reality shows, establishment pseudo-news,
and other distractions. It would require an encyclopedia to cover all of the injustices, scandals, and brutality that took place in 2013. This list
is designed to illustrate certain trends and significant stories from the past year. If Americans don't fix their apathy and disengagement toward causes
that matter, we can expect these trends to continue toward their logical conclusions: an increasingly repressive police state dominating the lives people
inside these borders and beyond.
Happy New Year! Feds list 141 new
regulations in only three days. It's a new year and you know what that means — new regulations. The Obama administration has
wasted no time in writing them. The website Regulations.gov lists 141 regulations that have been posted by federal agencies in the last
three days alone. Of these regulations, 119 are "rulemaking," meaning they establish a new rule. Twenty-three are "non-rulemaking,"
meaning the regulations does not establish a new rule. The largest group of regulations have to do with energy and environmental issues, many
of them issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.
11 Nasty Trends That Will
Test America's Resilience. Last year was a challenging one for entrepreneurs and other productive Americans. No fewer than
13 new taxes were put into place. Big government now consumes one of every four dollars of our GDP and is getting bigger. Entering
2014, we face problems, including taxes and spending, that neither the White House nor Congress is addressing.
Showing How Government Fails.
The hyper-regulation by the federal government of nearly every aspect of commerce and industry through an ever-growing leviathan of
laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and executive actions has stunted and even crippled huge swaths of private enterprise in America.
Almost any small business can recount at least one horror story that cost our nation productive activity, reduced meaningful employment, and
closed off areas of potential growth in our economy. Many Americans, however, have generally been shown only the sunny side of the
New Year's Binge: Borrows $1,088 Per Household in 1 Day. Uncle Sam — AKA the federal government — went on a New Year's Eve
binge, adding a net of $125,202,709,546.99 to its total debt in just the one day of Dec. 31, 2013, according to the U.S. Treasury.
That equals approximately $1,088.60 for each of the 115,013,000 households the Census Bureau currently estimates there are in the United States.
40,000 new laws take effect in 2014.
In Illinois for example, teenagers will no longer get to use tanning beds without a doctor's note. If you live in Delaware, visit the
shark fin buffet while you can, a new law will make it illegal to own, sale, or distribute the controversial delicacy. And in California,
new laws take effect that will let students take part in school sports, or use bathrooms based on their gender identity, regardless of the
gender noted in their birth certificates.
State Dept Whistleblower's Emailed
Hacked, Deleted. The personal e-mail account of a State Department whistle-blower was hacked, and four years worth of
messages — some detailing alleged wrongdoing at the agency — were deleted, The [New York] Post has learned.
The computer attack targeted the Gmail account of Diplomatic Security Service criminal investigator Richard Higbie, his lawyer, Cary
Schulman, confirmed. "They took all of his e-mails and then they deleted them all," said Schulman. He said that he could
not prove who was responsible for the hack job, but said the attack was "sophisticated" and called the targeting of Higbie "alarming."
a Very Merry Christmas for Washington's Parasite Class. Simply stated, government is a racket that benefits the DC
political elite by taking money from average people in America[.] I realize this is an unhappy topic to be discussing during
the Christmas season, but the American people need to realize that they are being raped and pillaged by the corrupt insiders that
control Washington and live fat and easy lives at our expense.
Illegal Immigration: History's Greatest
Wage Suppression Tool. The very notion that in today's day and age that borders cannot be secured is beyond contempt. Meanwhile, your
grandmother is getting cavity-searched by the TSA and yet another anchor baby is born in a U.S. hospital (which accounts for 8% of all births). The
average American knows this "look the other way" policy very well, with all of its repercussions, because he has been dealing with suppressed wages for
decades. This suppression has not only helped gut lower and middle-class Americans, it has also caused millions of Americans to rely on government
subsidies, i.e. welfare checks, section 8 housing, and EBT cards.
The Fed Is Operating Without Rules.
Basically, the Fed has become a central-planning agency that does what it wants when it wants, and will not be subject to the discipline of rule making.
Over time this can come to no good.
'Massive Seizure of Power': Climate
scientists, economists challenge EPA. A group of climate scientists and economists are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's
authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other stationary sources. These critics see a "massive seizure of power" by the
agency. The scientists and economists, including the former chair of the EPA's Science Advisory Committee, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court,
arguing that the agency does not have the authority to permit greenhouse gases from stationary sources. According to the group, such a permitting scheme
is a "naked power grab of the most cynical sort."
Drowning In A Costly, Intrusive
Federal Regulatory Flood. The federal regulatory machine is coming not only for power plants, as the president promised while campaigning
in 2008. It also has its eye on controlling private property. Earlier this week, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has a long
history of highlighting Washington's regulatory excess, said that during the first week of December, "95 new final regulations were published in
the Federal Register," which followed "77 new final rules" published the previous week. It's "the equivalent of a new regulation every
one hour and 46 minutes."
Politically motivated traffic are probably more common than anyone knows.
ally steps down in wake of George Washington Bridge scandal. Gov. Chris Christie's top appointee to the Port Authority of New York and
New Jersey resigned Friday [12/13/2013] amid questions over whether he ordered a traffic jam at the world's busiest bridge as political payback.
The Republican governor accepted the resignation of Bill Baroni, the agency's deputy executive director, effective immediately, and praised the former
state senator's four-year stint at the bi-state agency.
Dookhan's Falsified Lab Data: Symptom of a Corrupted System. Friday [12/6/2013], former Massachusetts chemist Annie Dookhan pleaded guilty to
all 27 counts of falsifying nearly 40,000 criminal drug cases, effectively upending the Massachusetts criminal justice system. Dookhan
admitted to filing false test results, mixing drug samples together, and lying under oath about her job qualifications. [...] Dookhan's "dry
labbing" is just one part of a structure that incentivizes people working in the criminal justice system to get convictions — not
truth — and put as many people in prison as possible without regard to their actual guilt.
BART Defends Cell Phone Shutdown.
San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit is defending its order last August to shut down commuters' cell phone service. BART's actions attracted a
considerable amount of negative attenion. Digital rights groups have spoken out against government agencies assuming the authority to shut down
wireless coverage. "BART is a government agency, and the First Amendment prevents the government from censoring communications. Also,
federal law — the Communications Act — outlaws both the government and carriers from interfering with wireless service," said
Rebecca Jeschke, spokesperson for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
EPA preparing to unleash
a deluge of new regulations. Happy holidays from the Obama administration. Federal agencies are currently working
on rolling out hundreds of environmental regulations, including major regulations that would limit emissions from power plants and
expand the agency's authority to bodies of water on private property. On Tuesday [11/26/2013], the White House released its
regulatory agenda for the fall of 2013. It lists hundreds of pending energy and environmental regulations being crafting by
executive branch agencies, including 134 regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency alone.
The Drift toward Despotism.
[Scroll down] But one notes that the Supreme Court has dramatically circumscribed Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable
search and seizure when it occurs at America's border, and post-9/11 the "border" has been redefined to mean anywhere within 100 miles
of the actual frontier. Many European countries are not 100 miles wide in their entirety. A hundred-mile buffer zone
from Belgium's northern border, for example, would be well south of the southern border and deep into France.
Father Fed Knows Best. The government
thinks you're stupid, or at least ignorant. [...] In Massachusetts, all kids in daycare are required by law to brush their teeth after lunch.
In Texas — Texas! — if you don't have an interior-design license, you can't call yourself an interior designer, lest some
unsuspecting consumer trust your opinion on throw-pillow placement without the backing of the state. Almost everywhere, Americans need a license
to open a business — sometimes even a lemonade stand — but in Milwaukee, you even need a license to go out of business.
Horror: Police force man to undergo invasive anal
operation. When New Mexico police stopped a local driver for committing a minor moving violation, they decided to check whether he was carrying
drugs in his anus. So they procured a warrant, drove him to two different hospitals, forced him to endure eight medical procedures — including
an invasive colonoscopy — and stuck him with the bill. No drugs were found.
Schweizer Says DC 'Just Like the Mob, Except
It's Legal'. Peter Schweizer argued that Washington's political establishment creates threatening bills to scare wealthy interests into making big
campaign donations and to hire favored lobbyists, similar to the mafia's tactic of requiring "protection money" on Friday [10/25/2013].
Ten Thousand Commandments 2013: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State. Total costs for Americans
to comply with federal regulations reached $1.806 trillion in 2012. For the first time, this amounts to more than half of total federal spending.
It is more than the GDPs of Canada or Mexico. This is the 20th anniversary of Ten Thousand Commandments. In the 20 years of publication,
81,883 final rules have been issued. That's more than 3,500 per year or about nine per day.
When Frogs Jump. [Scroll down] How far would today's American
ruling elite go to stamp out real and concerted resistance to their brazen violations of individual liberty? What steps would they not take to force
submission to, and compliance with, their socialized medicine, their compulsory schooling, their EPA violations of private property, and so on?
In short, is there a point of coercive incivility beyond which you are certain they would never step to enforce their anti-constitutional, anti-natural rights,
Mission Creep: EPA Agents Enter Drug
War. A large-scale narcotics investigation and sentencing in Montana has revealed that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has
entered the enforcement of U.S. war on drugs. The EPA has full federal law enforcement capabilities, and their charter allows them to participate in the
investigation and prosecution of "criminal conduct that threatens people's health," according to the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division (EPA CID).
Gun Free Zones are Designed to Spread, Like Smallpox.
The ugly truth is that gun free zones are not about irrational dreams of safety. They are about power and control. The irrational spouting about safety
is just a way to get emotional support from those who do not think about the issue. Gun free zones are just another incremental way to move toward total control.
Documents: Congress Charges Secret Fee to Land Top
Committee Spots. Members of Congress must pay secret fees known as "party dues" to the Democratic and Republican parties to secure and maintain top committee
chairmanships and assignments, newly uncovered internal documents reveal. [...] The so-called "party dues" lawmakers must contribute for committee assignments are separate
and apart from the fundraising they conduct for their own campaigns. If lawmakers fail to make their tribute payment to their party, they can lose their place on a
Feds try to eliminate housing for the
deaf — at complex built for hearing-impaired. A 2005 federal study found that the U.S. had virtually no affordable housing for the deaf.
So the federal government helped build Apache ASL Trails, a 75-unit apartment building in Tempe, Ariz., designed specifically for the deaf. Ninety-percent of the
units are currently occupied by deaf and deaf-blind seniors. But now, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development says Apache ASL Trails violates civil
rights law — because it shows a preference for the hearing-impaired.
Democrats and Media Do a Number on the American People.
No free people should tolerate the pervasiveness of federal government activity in our daily lives even if we benefit from it in some fashion.
It is a matter of human dignity and self-respect. And it was House Republican insistence on this very point that resulted in the shutdown.
Illegal use of DoD Communications Systems by Obama
Administration. The American Spectator has been provided with the text of a political message sent on Saturday evening, using
Department of Defense communications systems, on behalf of President Obama and Secretary of Defense Hagel. It is addressed to "all US government
employees" and further specified by the DoD sender to go to "all subordinate commands," in compliance with Hagel's call for "the widest possible
America's liberty requires an alarmed America. National finances, domestic and foreign policies are all askew. Government spends the
earnings of our yet-unborn great-grandchildren buying political support with corporate and individual welfare programs. The U.S. government stifles
the entrepreneurial spirit that made us prosperous, with over-regulation. It partners with terrorists abroad, yet calls any who oppose unconstitutional
tactics domestic terrorists. And everywhere you turn, our government makes more and more nitpicking rules regarding everyday behavior, with drastic
legal consequences for any who offend.
'Moral decay' and the rot of
paternalism. What is liberty when you can be forced by your government to spend endless hours toiling in the Kafka-esque maze of compliance and
kow-towing that is our federal government today? As businesses and individuals scurry to curry favor with their masters in Washington, D.C., the nation's
wealth is being absorbed into a bottomless drain of regulation and dictate. And what's scary is that this is the accepted norm. The Supreme Court
has joined with Congress and the president to rewrite the very rules which were intended to protect the people. Now the Constitution of the United States
of America is an instrument of the government, not a solemn vow of the people.
Woman who got 20 years for warning shot gets
new trial. A Florida appeals court is ordering a new trial for a woman sentenced to 20 years to prison after she fired a warning shot
in a wall during a dispute with her husband. The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that a judge did not properly instruct the jury handling the
case of Marissa Alexander. But the appeals court did also state that the judge was right to block Alexander from using the state's "Stand Your
Ground" law as a way to defend her actions.
The Hypocrisy Of Congress's Gold-Plated Health
Care. As close observers of history and human nature, James Madison and the other Founders of the U.S. Constitution knew that the
equal and unbiased application of the law to all people, especially elected officials, is essential to freedom and justice and one of the primary
safeguards from authoritarianism and oppression by a ruling class. And so, referring to the members of Congress, James Madison wrote in
Federalist No. 57: "[T]hey can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the
great mass of the society." Today, elected officials need to be reminded of these truths.
E.P.A. is the New Gestapo.
Just recently, a task force including members of 10 state and federal law enforcement agencies descended on a gold mine in the
tiny town of Chicken[,] Alaska[,] with a population of 17 last month, in what locals described as a raid. "Imagine
coming up to your diggings, only to see agents swarming over it like ants, wearing full body armor, with jackets that say
"POLICE" emblazoned on them, and all packing side arms," gold miner C.R. Hammond told the Alaska Dispatch. [...] According to
the EPA The investigation was into possible violations of the Clean Water Act. The officers were part of the Alaska
Environmental Crimes Task Force and visited the outpost near the Canadian border during the third week of August to investigate
water discharges into rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. This is how the EPA handles an investigation, with rifles,
handguns and bullet proof vests?
It's the law: Washington state lawmakers
don't get speeding tickets. A spokesman for WSP says Washington lawmakers are constitutionally protected from receiving noncriminal traffic tickets
during a legislative session, as well as 15 days before.
America: Not Shining but Burning.
America is now a nation ruled — and that is the correct word — by a self-appointed elite of ignorant snobs and power-mad
degenerates to compete with the worst ruling castes of the civilized world. The U.S. federal government has, through the deliberate deteriorations
of a century, finally dispensed with all but the flimsiest pretense of the principles of limited government and the rule of law that virtually defined
America's historic political achievement.
Where is the Rule of Law? Maybe the new Rule of Law is now the
plain clothes police everywhere, who no longer serve and protect since we don't know who they are to ask for help in an emergency, they just
ticket us to death for speeding, or the drones hovering over quiet residential neighborhoods, or the EPA police surprising a few law-abiding
miners in Alaska, or the fully geared and assault ready police in the metro, the TSA molesting and irradiating us at airports, or the IRS
making sure that we pay all of our taxes, including the Affordable Care Act tax?
Stop privileges for
government officials. All over America, government officials enjoy privileges that ordinary citizens don't. Sometimes it
involves bearing arms, with special rules favoring police, politicians and even retired government employees. Sometimes it involves
freedom from traffic and parking tickets, like the special non-traceable license plates enjoyed by tens of thousands of California state
employees or similar immunities for Colorado legislators. Often it involves immunity from legal challenges, like the "qualified"
immunity to lawsuits enjoyed by most government officials, or the even-better "absolute immunity" enjoyed by judges and prosecutors.
NSA Staffers Have Spied on Lovers.
National Security Agency officers on several occasions have channeled their agency's enormous eavesdropping power to spy on love interests, U.S. officials said.
The practice isn't frequent — one official estimated a handful of cases in the last decade — but it's common enough to garner its own
spycraft label: LOVEINT.
employees spied on their lovers using eavesdropping programme. The employees even had a code name for the practice —
"Love-int" — meaning the gathering of intelligence on their partners. Dianne Feinstein, a senator who chairs the Senate intelligence
committee, said the NSA told her committee about a set of "isolated cases" that have occurred about once a year for the last 10 years. The
spying was not within the US, and was carried out when one of the lovers was abroad. One employee was disciplined for using the NSA's resources
to track a former spouse, the Associated Press said.
NSA analysts knowingly broke surveillance
rules. The National Security Agency acknowledged Friday that some of its analysts knowingly violated the agency's rules, after the
incidents were included in an inspector general report. "Over the past decade, very rare instances of willful violations of NSA's authorities
have been found, but none under FISA or the Patriot Act," the NSA said in a statement.
Blooming Bureaucrats Make 1,000 Flowers Wither. A guerrilla gardener planted 1,000 flowers at the ugliest subway stop in the
capital. Instead of saying thanks, D.C. Metro authorities ripped the plants out to show him — and the public — who's boss.
The Government our American
Founders Warned Us About. The framers of the U.S Constitution were well aware of the historic trend of government. They knew
that ruling entities that endured over time evolved towards greater power, gradually increasing control over their nation's citizens. The
Constitution was designed in part to remedy this. The Founder's vision of a limited government was a remarkable innovation for its time
that was meant to maintain the rights of the individual citizen, and preserve the power of the individual states. Their concept had little
to do with left versus right, or liberal versus conservative. Rather, they were largely motivated by the creation of a republic that
would not descend into a state of tyranny — a fate that history seemed to show was in the end, inevitable.
announces extra $300 million in aid for Syrians, refugees. The U.S. is to give more than $300 million in additional
"life-saving humanitarian assistance" to Syrians caught up in the country's civil war, Barack Obama has announced, taking the total amount
given since the conflict began to nearly $815 million.
The Editor asks...
Can Mr. Obama generate $300 million dollars just by announcing it, and then spend it on whatever he pleases? What part of the
Constitution authorizes such a thing?
Fearless Fosdick at work.
The Obama administration and its well-meaning defenders, including several Republican members of Congress, argue that just because
the government can discover intimate details about everyone's life, beliefs, politics, sexual orientation, health, diseases and sexual
infidelities doesn't mean it would, with the click of a computer mouse, ever identify and mark this person for personal attention.
(We trust the IRS, don't we?) If the snoopery were as innocent as these defenders claim, the government wouldn't have gone to so
much trouble — in "the least most untruthful manner" — to hide what it was doing.
It's better to take our chances with the Muslim terrorists than to forfeit our liberty.
Are you Willing to Die for your
Freedom? [Scroll down] I'm willing to die for my freedom. I'm certainly willing to take the slightly-increased
risk of dying in a terrorist attack that ostensibly will result from the government not sifting my email and monitoring all my calls and
banking activity and who knows what else. At this point, I'm becoming convinced it's not worth it. We're groping children
and Korean War vets in airports as part of an expensive show of security. We're teaching our kids to put up with government
intrusion into our lives. On my most recent flight, I saw a father help his 5-year-old son remove his shoes and show him
where to put them, how to remove his belt, how to wait his turn, how to go through security and comply with routine government
searches. It's not worth the toll on our freedom and our veneration of freedom.
NSA's PRISM, the
IRS scandal: The U.S. Government gone wild. [Previous presidents] created massive government regulatory and administrative
bureaucracies — in fact, intelligence agencies — which demand information from businesses of all sizes to use against
them at will — EPA, OSHA, IRS, and a host of other alphabet agencies, great and small. The used these agencies and the
intelligence they gathered to torment, punish and destroy their enemies. Remember, intelligence is nothing more than information.
Intelligence gathering is information gathering. What better way to gather intelligence than through pervasive regulatory regimes?
The felonious fibbers. Thousands of
Americans are languishing in federal prisons for lying to federal officials. Federal officials themselves often get a pass when
they tell a whopper to Congress. It's a double standard that must end. The problem starts at the top with Attorney General
Eric H. Holder Jr.
A flawed federal law enforcement
agency? The federal government maintains a bewildering number of armed law enforcement agencies, including the 295 armed
Social Security special agents, for whom 174,000 .357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point bullets were recently put up
for bid. A much larger armed police force consists of about 2000 agents in the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
According to the New York Post, that police force is seriously compromised because numbers of people with hidden criminal backgrounds have
been hired. This makes them unable to participate in criminal prosecutions.
Government's Shocking Interference in
Rancher's Life. The 104-page opinion by U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Jones on May 23 in Nevada tells a
sordid and infuriating tale of a two-decades-long conspiracy among federal employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of the
Department of the Interior to deny the grazing rights of a Nevada ranching family, interfere with their water rights, and destroy
their cattle business by scaring away their customers.
Government's Job To Require Paid Vacations. Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, has introduced the Paid Vacation Act.
It would require employers with more than 100 employees to provide workers with a week of paid leave every year. It's not the first
time Grayson has cranked out crackpot legislation that requires the government to act dictatorially toward private businesses. Four
years ago he came up with the same idea, inspired, he said, by a trip to Disney World.
DA 'arrested' people and held them until they testified in 'private jail system'. Brooklyn's District Attorney has been accused
of using locked hotel rooms as 'private jails' to interrogate witnesses and pressure them into giving false testimony in court.
The office of Charles Hynes is said to have routinely held trial witnesses against their will, according to new court papers filed by
a lawyer representing a man suing for $150million for a wrongful murder conviction. In court papers, Joel Rudin said: 'Hynes's
office was running a private jail system where witnesses were illegally interrogated and forcibly detained indefinitely.'
The VanderSlooting of America. [Scroll down] But
what the massive abuse of the IRS illustrates is a tyranny of a different sort. A bloodless yet still quite decided tyranny. A tyranny of the
American Left designed not just to chill free speech — although that is a primary goal. What has evidenced itself in the Obama era is a tyranny
designed not just to silence dissent, but to deliberately, willfully damage if not ruin outright the reputations and businesses of Americans across
about the use of the IRS as a weapon.
Barack Obama's America.
Barack Obama's America is one where fishermen aren't allowed to catch red snapper but where the government can kill tens of thousands of
snapper by blowing up oil rigs that provide valuable habitat for Gulf sea life.
Why All of Us Should Mistrust the Government.
[Scroll down] The government rejects the natural law because it is an obstacle to its control over us. The natural law is divinely embedded in
our souls. It is manifested by the universal yearning for freedom and justice. It consists of areas of human behavior — thought,
expression, religion, self-defense, travel, acquisition and use of property, privacy, for example — in which our behavior is subject only to
the exercise of our free will and not the permission of our neighbors or regulation by the government. The natural law, properly understood, is a
restraint on the government.
Judge asks enviros for ideas to punish gas company. Apparently frustrated by
a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down an $18 million penalty for a Texas natural gas firm, a federal judge is taking the unusual
step of asking the environmental community for suggestions on how to sentence the company in a way that will have "the broadest possible
Big Sis: Obama Admin Can Pick Which Laws to Enforce. During her testimony on
the "Gang of Eight" immigration bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday [4/23/2013], Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano declared that she, President Barack Obama and other political officials at the top of this administration
have the authority to decide which laws to enforce, and which ones to ignore.
Obama Regime can decide which laws to enforce. In a startling and candid admission, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano argued
to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday [4/23/2013] that regardless of oaths to uphold the law, the President and the executive branch can choose what laws are to be
enforced. Tensions rose as the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Napolitano over the enforcement, or lack thereof, of current U.S.
Leave your vuvuzula in the car.
banned from Obama's Ohio State speech despite past heat-related medical emergencies. President Barack Obama's speech at the Ohio
State University graduation ceremony Sunday will be on tight security lockdown, with graduating students subject to "airport-like security screening"
and a strict list of prohibited items for graduates and their relatives attending the event at Ohio Stadium (capacity: 102,329). Attendees
are prohibited from bringing liquids into the stadium, despite high temperatures.
Is this an excuse to get a sample of everyone's DNA?
Federal panel says everyone 15 to 65 should
have HIV test. Citing recent evidence that HIV infections are best managed when treated early, an influential panel of
medical experts has finalized its recommendation that all people ages 15 to 65 be screened for the virus that causes AIDS.
The recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force seeks to address one of the key challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS:
The window during which patients respond best to treatment is also the time when symptoms of the disease are least noticeable.
$1.75 Trillion to Enforce Federal Regulations. It's a crazy system in which a bloated government meddles in areas
that it shouldn't. This is done via federal regulations that, of course, require manpower and money to enforce. This
costs U.S. taxpayers an astounding $1.75 trillion, an amount larger than all but eight of the world's economies, according to a U.S.
senator who is pushing for reform. It gets better; this means that more than 10% of the nation's economy is spent on trying
to satisfy rules issued by Washington bureaucrats [...]
A Property Rights Revolution for 2013. Martha Boneta
had a business license for her tiny farm store in scenic Paris, Virginia, yet she was threatened with fines of up to $5,000 per violation per day for selling organic
tea and wool products crafted from her rescued animals, and for hosting a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls. Officials from Fauquier County using zoning
ordinances to bully Mrs. Boneta never obtained a warrant nor set foot on her property to gather actual evidence. Instead a county bureaucrat relied on unscrupulous,
unlawful methods to make these charges against Mrs. Boneta. Her store remains closed out of fear of further uncertain charges carrying even criminal penalties.
Law Be Right Around The Corner For Americans? Merely a week after military exercises featuring Blackhawk helicopters were
flown over the Miami skyline, the Florida Highway Patrol has informed the public that it will set up "vehicle inspection checkpoints" on
specific roadways in at least six Florida counties that will be established during daytime hours. State troopers will be requesting
drivers licenses and conducting a visual inspection of every third vehicle once the checkpoint has been established.
Washington: Don't tread on me. Nearly two-fifths of Democrats (38 percent) say the government is a threat to them
personally, as do 45 percent of non-gun owners. Overall, the percentage of Americans who view the federal government
as a threat has increased from 36 percent in May 1995 to 53 percent today.
After 10 Years, Revisiting the Elián González
Fiasco. Given all the genuinely weighty events of the intervening years, from 9/11 to the Iraq War and the election of our first
black President, it's hard to imagine that a decade ago I and so many other journalists, as well as millions of rapt readers and viewers around
the world, spent five months outside a modest house in Miami's Little Havana watching a six-year-old Cuban boy named Elián
González. His media code name, we can reveal now, was The Rabbit — as in, "The Rabbit's out!" — which jaded
television cameramen shouted whenever Elian stepped into the yard.
Guns and the Government. The Supreme Court
has ruled consistently and countless times that the "police power," that is, the power to regulate for health, safety, welfare and
morality, continues to be reposed in the states, and that there is no federal police power.
EPA execs use secret email addresses to skirt FOIA, suit alleges.
Environmental Protection Agency senior executives used secret email addresses to skirt freedom of information laws, a lawsuit by a free-market
think tank alleges. The Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a lawsuit against the EPA last week claiming senior executives at the
agency used secret email accounts to conduct public business, shielding their communications from the Freedom of Information Act.
The suit cites an internal EPA memo, first revealed in a 2008 Government Accountability Office, which describes secondary email accounts
known only to a "few EPA staff members, usually only high-level senior staff."
The TSA is flexing its muscles, just to see how much the public will tolerate.
TSA Lies About Bizarre "Freeze" Drill. The footage shows
travelers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona being caught up in what the TSA calls "Code Bravo," a suddenly announced drill whereby
passengers who have already passed through security are required to "freeze" on command. The You Tube user who uploaded the video commented, "I
suddenly found myself in a bunch of travelers who were being sharply told to "STAY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE! DON'T MOVE!". A TSA employee was
pointing his blue-gloved hand at anyone who moved a muscle (including airport workers) and barking these orders. [...] TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee
admitted to the New York Times that travelers are not mandated to obey the order to "freeze".
The Greyhound Station Gulag. No formal criminal charges were filed
against [Abdulrahman] Zeitoun. When he protested the denial of his due process rights and rudimentary decencies of living, he was told by the guards that
he was under the jurisdiction of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) — which meant that he was somebody else's problem.
If it hadn't been for an encounter with a Christian missionary ministering to the prisoners — a man Zeitoun believes was sent in literal
answer to prayer — it's likely that he and at least one of his friends, a fellow Syrian-American, would still be prisoners of
the Department of Homeland Security.
Under Obama, 11,327 Pages of Federal
Regulations Added. Over the past three years, the bound edition of the Code of Federal Regulations has increased by
11,327 pages — a 7.4 percent increase from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2011. In 2009, the increase
in the number of pages was the most over the last decade — 3.4 percent or 5,359 pages. Over the past decade, the
federal government has issued almost 38,000 new final rules, according to the draft of the 2011 annual report to Congress on federal
regulations by the Office of Management and Budget. That brought the total at the end of 2011 to 169,301 pages.
officials accused of pressuring staff to vote for Obama. A government accountability group is accusing supervisors at the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of urging the agency's employees to vote for President Obama and other Democrats in November.
The Washington, D.C.-based Cause of Action, which identifies itself as nonpartisan, said Wednesday that FAA officials at a Seattle office
told employees that the agency's funding would be more secure if Obama defeats Mitt Romney to win a second term. The allegation, if
true, would be a violation of the Hatch Act, a federal law that prohibits government agencies from getting involved in partisan activities.
The Environmentalists' Police
and Welfare States. The story about the abuses by Fauquier County against Martha Boneta, the farmer, of pitchfork protest
fame, just gets creepier and creepier. [...] Martha, as you may have already read, was fined by Fauquier County, Virginia for selling
her farm produce and holding a birthday party for eight little girls. The Fauquier County board of zoning appeals ruled for the
county (surprise!), claiming that even though Martha had a business license, she should have gotten other more restrictive permits,
including one that requires farmers to divert water from their crops and livestock to their driveways during hot, dry spells, or else
face fines. Fauquier County also recently passed a winery ordinance that blatantly violates property rights and civil liberties.
It gives Fauquier zoning administrator Kimberley Johnson discretion to create penalties and to prohibit private personal gatherings.
DNA test jailed innocent man for murder. Scientists,
lawyers and politicians have raised new concerns over the quality of forensic evidence testing — so is the criminal justice
system too reliant on lab tests without realising their limitations?
Protest Farmer Confronts Government Corruption and Retribution. American Thinker was the first to report about how Fauquier
County, Virginia attempted to fine farmer Martha Boneta for hosting a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls without a special events permit.
She was also fined for selling her farm produce without a special administrative permit, even though she had a business license that allowed those
sales. As also reported here, Martha the farmer lost her appeal before the county's Board of Zoning Appeals. What has not been
reported is that Fauquier County, without explanation, refused to renew her business license just days before her appeal hearing.
The Separation of Medicine and State.
The federal government in general, and the Food and Drug Administration in particular, increasingly inject themselves into direct control of
every medical practice. The FDA is aggressively moving past its lock on the approval of every medication and all medical equipment.
It now seeks control of every procedure and treatment that your physician recommends.
The Man Is a Sneak. While publicly
professing ardent admiration for the free market, Obama and his myrmidons are busy behind the scenes using the regulatory power
of government to nudge its citizens to the land of the dependent and home of the drone. Social justice regulations are
smuggled in under banking regulations, under consumer protection regulations, under food and drug regulations, under commerce
regulations. ObamaCare is rife with social justice regulations.
Rule of law provides equal protection.
We live in perilous times. The president acts above the rule of law and fights his own wars. Congress acts below the rule of law by
letting the president do whatever he can get away with. And this summer, the Supreme Court rewrote the rule of law. What do we do
Anti-Big Government Rant Gets Standing Ovation On House Floor. Rep. Mike Kelly just gained a lot of new fans.
The Editor says...
The Mike Kelly video is well worth your time.
It's the Bureaucrats, Stupid. Once the very
foundational nature of this insidiousness is understood, everything else falls into place. Perhaps even in the minds of the precious
moderates and independents. It's the bureaucrats, stupid! Vote Obama in 2012, and you have cast your ballot for more rules and more
paperwork and more bureaucrats to answer to should you dare to try to carve out your little piece of the pie without government help.
Vote against Obama, and you are at least saying "no" to the Roanoke vision. Yes, bureaucrats, bureaucracies, red tape, endless and mindless
regulations are the real cancer that is sapping the freedom from not only our economy, but also our very lives.
mocks agency's 1,000-page plan to simplify loan forms. House Republicans and the nation's head consumer watchdog sparred Tuesday
[7/24/2012] over an agency proposal to simplify mortgage documents that runs more than 1,000 pages. Republicans expressed astonishment
at the length of the proposed rule and argued the page count is evidence that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking the
heavy-handed approach to regulation that it has long feared. "Only inside this Beltway that we come up with solutions that are so
difficult," Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) said at the hearing of a House Oversight subcommittee. "It's government red tape that's keeping
this economy from recovering."
SWAT and the Second Amendment. In a free society, a
society with a fundamental right to keep and bear arms, police officers believing they may shoot a citizen in his own home simply
because he is carrying a firearm cannot be tolerated. Officers must absolutely avoid putting citizens in situations where they
might be armed, or even pointing firearms in the direction of police officers banging on or breaking down their front doors. If
such misconduct is tolerated, as in the cases of Jose Guerena and Andrew Scott, the next knock on any citizen's door may be the last
they ever answer.
DHS gives 'criminal illegal aliens' privacy rights even Americans don't have. Department of Homeland Security
officials (DHS) rejected an official request for information about illegal immigrants arrested and deported in California,
citing the privacy rights of the deportees, even though that information would be publicly available if the criminals were
American citizens. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., suggested that
officials under President Obama had blocked the information for political appointees.
Over-Regulation Is Pricey.
When EPA, FCC, and OSHA staffers go to work, they regulate. If instead they cruised Facebook, bought novels on Amazon, or surfed
Internet pornography (as SEC employees were caught doing), they would neglect their taxpayer-funded duties. So, these functionaries
occupy their desks and concoct fresh ways to enforce the 169,301-page U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. [...] Brigades of federal
busybodies perpetrate such nonsense — all of which springs, at least loosely, from laws enacted by congresses and presidents
of both parties, spanning decades.
Congress Tries to Slow Big-Government Takeover of Public Waters. Some in Congress
are standing up for anglers and against a Big-Government power grab that would restrict public access to our oceans, Great Lakes, and
even inland waters. In the latest move in this high-stakes chess game, the House National Resources Committee has asked the
Appropriations Committee to include language in each appropriations bill to prohibit funding for the National Ocean Policy (NOP).
What I Miss About America.
Here are just a few of the things I miss since America entered the golden age of Hope and Change in January 2009.
• Going for minutes, hours, even days, without worrying about what weird insanity the government
is dreaming up next
• Having money
• The Border Patrol
• Having a president whose background isn't more closely guarded than the formula for Coke
• Going on vacation without the TSA auditioning me for "Stella Does Dallas"
• Not feeling like I have to whisper, if I say something that's not completely, 100%
complimentary about our president
The Supreme Court
Again Upholds Your Right to Be Framed. In 2009, Elena Kagan, then-solicitor general, argued before the Supreme Court
that prior to trial, a defendant has no right not to be framed, because false evidence does no real harm until it is actually used
in court. "Fabrication Of Evidence During An Investigation Does Not, By Itself, Violate The Constitution" read one
of the subject headings of her brief. [...] How does this play out in the real world? The vast majority of criminal cases
never go to trial at all; they are settled with plea bargains.
5 Reasons America Is In Decline.
[#3] A Government That Is Far Too Large: The Founding Fathers were small government fanatics who didn't have an income tax and were deeply
suspicious of government power. That proves their wisdom because as government grows larger and more powerful, the people grow smaller, weaker,
and more dependent. Additionally, in order to take on its vast powers, the government has chosen to ignore the Constitution. Making an
honest attempt to adhere to the 10th Amendment [...] would probably invalidate half of the activities of the federal government.
The 'Crucify Them' Presidency. Al "Crucify Them" Armendariz
resigned from the Environmental Protection Agency this week, for the mistake of telling it like it is. All he leaves behind is an entire administration of
slush fund shows Obama's abuse of power. President Obama regularly misuses executive power, often nakedly in the
service of his political interests. [...] More than 60 Republican congressmen last week sent a letter to the Internal Revenue
Service charging that Tea Party groups across the country were being "harassed" and "stonewalled" by the agency. Rep.
Tom McClintock described a group in his Northern California district that easily obtained nonprofit status from the state
government but got nowhere with the feds. The list of demands, as described by McClintock on the House floor, sounds
like political bullying: "The IRS demanded the names of every participant at every meeting held over the last two years,
transcripts of every speech given at those meetings, what positions they had taken on issues, the names of their volunteers
and donors, and copies of communications they had with elected officials, and on and on."
Is Big Brother's black box coming to your car?
MAP-21 clearly bears the fingerprints of our nanny-in-chief, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, but it passed the Senate last month by a strong bipartisan
vote, 74 to 22. The massive bill federalizes everything within sight of the feds' roving eye. So-called "open-container laws" would
become uniform under federal guidelines, as would heretofore state-enforced laws regulating treatment of repeat DUI offenders. Interlock ignition
devices would fall within Uncle Sam's grasp. The availability of electronic charging stations — to launch all those electronic cars no one
is buying — would be expanded. Perhaps most troubling, at least for anyone who harbors even the remotest interest in privacy, MAP-21 mandates
that within three years every single passenger vehicle in the country must be outfitted with a "vehicle event data recorder" — the proverbial
Big Brother's Next Target: Your Car.
Many are quite concerned about Senate Bill 1813, a massive piece of legislation supposedly devoted to transportation issues. Besides
including a provision allowing the IRS the power to revoke passports belonging to those who are delinquent with tax debt in excess of $50,000, it
appears that the potential law may be used to measure the size of your carbon footprint each time you get behind the wheel.
Job Killers. The feds now have 160,000 pages
of rules. Does anyone read all that? I doubt it. (Members of Congress don't read the bills they vote on.) Do the
rules make life safer? No. A few new rules are useful, but most are not. Their sheer volume makes us less safe and less
free. In fact, the thick rulebooks help cheaters by giving them an indecipherable screen to hide behind. They also mislead
consumers by giving them the illusion of protection.
It's bully government, not nanny. President
Obama may be the Nanny King, but he took the crown from the Man Who Gave Us TSA. George Walker Bush was the president
who green-lighted making people walk through those body scanners — or else! TSA is not about protecting us.
If it were, TSA would be stealth about it. TSA would target terrorist suspects, follow them and nail them to the
wall when the terrorist acted. That is good police work. But the purpose of TSA is to dissuade the middle
class from flying. The TSA exists now to limit freedom of movement. The price of an airline ticket now
includes standing in line for an hour to be humiliated. Everything is now for security reasons.
Woo-woo-woo! Ding-ding! Woo-woo-woo!
New tornado warnings
to pinpoint storm's severity. In a test that starts Monday [4/2/2012], five weather service offices in Kansas and Missouri will
use words such as "mass devastation," "unsurvivable" and "catastrophic" in a new kind of warning that's based on the severity of a
storm's expected impact.
The Editor says...
Since there are so many weather warnings on radio and TV, usually about storms in another county, the public has become annoyed and
desensitized by the alerts. So the government will now incorporate more shocking rhetoric in their warnings, so people will pay
attention — for a few years. After a while, the general public will blow off these warnings, too. It is
a lot like the government wanting to put graphic pictures on cigarette packages because nobody pays attention to the verbal
warnings any more. Bureaucrats hate to be ignored.
Over-regulated America. A Florida law requires
vending-machine labels to urge the public to file a report if the label is not there. The Federal Railroad
Administration insists that all trains must be painted with an "F" at the front, so you can tell which end is
which. Bureaucratic busybodies in Bethesda, Maryland, have shut down children's lemonade stands because
the enterprising young moppets did not have trading licences. The list goes hilariously on. But
red tape in America is no laughing matter.
State's War on Religious Liberty: The case for limited government is becoming increasingly inseparable
from the case for religious liberty. Yesterday, the New York Times published a lengthy article on the
battle between the Catholic Church and various arms of the leviathan welfare state. The church is battling Obama
administration requirements that Catholic schools and hospitals cover contraceptives in their health plans, battling
Obama administration decisions to freeze Catholics out of contracts to aid sex-trafficking victims, and battling the
state of Illinois over state requirements that Catholic charities place kids with same-sex couples. These fights
come after the Catholic church famously shut down its adoption services in Massachusetts rather than bow to state
demands that it place children in same-sex households.
DEA now laundering drug
money. Combating drug traffic requires the ability to track money. That is a given.
After all, even Al Capone could only be brought down by following the money. We now have several news outlets
reporting that the DEA has decided to be in the business of laundering the money for Mexican drug cartels.
Apparently, it is a new program and involves significant sums of money.
Holder's New Scandal: Money Laundering For Cartels. Just as Fast and Furious was allegedly intended
to track and interdict gun-trafficking into Mexico, this operation, detailed in a New York Times article Sunday,
is said to have as its purpose to follow how criminal organizations move their money, where they keep their assets
and, most important, who their leaders are. But the question once again arises: Have the feds interrupted
or aided the flow?
Secrecy. Congress, which is charged and authorized by the Constitution to write the federal laws
and to decide how to spend the people's money and to keep public records of all its deliberations, has simply
declined to do so. In establishing the debt supercommittee — which consists of six representatives
and six senators — Congress is violating the Constitution by keeping its work and deliberations from you.
American Mules Must Eat Certified Weed-Free Hay. In Montana's Finley Basin there are known tungsten
deposits. An Australian company wanted to bring revenue and jobs to the state by developing the resource.
While the property was successfully drilled and recognized by Union Carbide in the seventies, it is now about
200 yards inside a roadless study area. The Forest Service was willing to offer a conditional drilling
permit. Among the conditions were these requirements:
• The drill sites must be cleared using hand tools,
• The drilling equipment and fuel must be transported to the site by a team of pack mules,
• The mules must be fed certified weed-free hay, and
• Drill site and trail reclamation must be done using hand tools.
The company gave up. How can America remain competitive in a global marketplace when we are required to
use pick axes and mules? How does this help America's heavy equipment manufacturers like Caterpillar?
No wonder we are in trouble.
Agency Creep. Why is the US Wildlife and Fisheries raiding Gibson Guitar, the SEC
examining hydraulic fracturing fluids, NASA seeking to build bridges with Muslims, and the
Department of Education attacking Rick Perry? ... Consider [also] that the EPA has strayed
into map-remaking with its new "navigable waters" standard, the IRS is Obamacare's bouncer,
the formerly domestic ATF now has the ability to instigate hostilities on foreign soil through
operations like Fast and Furious, and Health and Human Services is funding abortions.
HUD Scandals: The $65 billion
Department of Housing and Urban Development has been plagued by mismanagement and scandal in recent decades.
Numerous HUD secretaries have used their power to enrich themselves or to confer special benefits on people with
political and financial connections.
Efforts to Count Nation's Federal Criminal Laws. In 1982, while at the Justice Department,
[Ronald] Gainer oversaw what still stands as the most comprehensive attempt to tote up a number. The
effort came as part of a long and ultimately failed campaign to persuade Congress to revise the criminal
code, which by the 1980s was scattered among 50 titles and 23,000 pages ...
Enjoys Fruits of Forfeitures. The sheriff's office in Douglas County, Neb., just finished a new
$4.2 million crime lab and police-dog center thanks to money seized from people driving by on Interstate 80.
That money is a small part of a large and controversial asset-forfeiture program known as "equitable sharing."
Most of the problems caused by politics and government in America today are caused by the
federalization of government power and by the unnatural elevation of the judiciary over the
elected branches of government.
keep $2,000 found by honest teen. Dallas will keep $2,000 found by a teenager in a parking
lot last February. The money will go into the city's general fund — not back to Plano high
school student Ashley Donaldson, who found the cash in an envelope at the Pavillion Shopping Center in North
Speeding Ticket Require Forfeiting Your Smartphone Data? Whatever ever happened to the good
ol' days where getting pulled over just meant you would get a speeding ticket, or if you're lucky, just a
warning? Well, if it's up to the Michigan State Police, those days are not only long gone, but a
speeding ticket is now reason enough to harvest all the information possible on you, including all of your
e-mail, social networking, texting, personal photos, and virtually anything else you might have on your
cell phone, or in many cases, your smartphone.
nation choking on endless laws. Heading back to work this week, Americans were greeted not only by a new
year but also by a whole slew of new laws — 31,000 of them at the state level — covering everything
from guns to 100-watt light bulbs to, of course, "health care." As usual, most of these laws tell us what we can't
do: texting while driving (duh), cyberbullying and smoking in bars. In the near future, everyone will be a
criminal for at least 15 minutes, whether they know it or not.
cops imposing a digital police state. Michigan State Police are accused of stealing driver's cell
phone data on routine traffic stops. Michigan has become a digital police state. And if people in
Michigan just stand by and let this digital totalitarian [nonsense] continue, it will probably come to your
state too. We are a nation of copycats after all, governments in the United States like to take other
people's ideas to control people and make them their own.
Cops Be Allowed to Scan Your Phone During a Traffic Stop? According to an American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU) letter to the director of the Michigan State Police on April 13, that department
has several forensic cellphone analyzers deployed in the field. Forensic analyzers are routinely used
in police investigations to recover data from computers and other digital devices. Lately, cellphones
have become valuable sources of evidence for police, since one phone can include almost all of an individual's
private communications (SMS, recently dialed numbers, email, Facebook and Twitter posts) as well as location
data from the device's GPS unit.
Bill Would Let Only Licensed
Barbers Use Barber Poles. As North Carolina lawmakers grapple with closing an estimated
$2.4 billion budget deficit, four-term Sen. Doug Berger, D-Franklin, has introduced a bill making it
illegal for anyone who is not a registered barber to use or display a barber pole. Berger said he
introduced the bill because his barber told him the legislation was needed.
dogs in traffic stops often wrong. Drug-sniffing dogs can give police probable cause to root through
cars by the roadside, but state data show the dogs have been wrong more often than they have been right about
whether vehicles contain drugs or paraphernalia. The dogs are trained to dig or sit when they smell drugs,
which triggers automobile searches. But a [Chicago] Tribune analysis of three years of data for suburban
departments found that only 44 percent of those alerts by the dogs led to the discovery of drugs or
paraphernalia. For Hispanic drivers, the success rate was just 27 percent.
TSA 'Strip and Grope':
Meet the Fourth Amendment. [Scroll down] Do these sorts of things violate our rights to be
secure in our persons against unreasonable searches? No act of Congress gave TSA agents the power to do
these things; the Congress delegated various powers to the TSA and the TSA developed the procedures, evidently
with no little or no adult supervision and even less consideration given to the Fourth Amendment. It appears
that substantial discretion is left to low-level TSA employees in deciding what is "reasonable" — substantially
more than is left to more "ordinary" and often better-trained law enforcement officers in deciding whether there
is reasonable cause to think that a crime has been or is being committed.
about the TSA's abusive and invasive searches.
Had No License to Censor Vanity Plates. Shawn Byrne applied to the Vermont DMV for the tag
"JN36TN," a creative reference to the popular Bible verse, John 3:16. But Vermont denied his
request, citing a state law prohibiting vanity plates that reference religion or deity. On appeal,
after the Vermont District Court ruled against Byrne, the 2nd Circuit [Court of Appeals] recognized that
even a seven-letter long vanity license plate provides a place for the citizens of Vermont to express their
opinions. Since other citizens were permitted to express a variety of messages on their vanity plates,
Byrne could not be denied from expressing his message simply because it was religious.
Are We Free? We are required
to have a social security number as individuals or a taxpayer identification number as a business. We
need a license to operate a business, get married, drive a car, hold a rally in a park, etc. We ask
permission from the building and zoning department to build a house or change the house we have. We get
fined if we do not wear a seatbelt. We pay taxes for just about everything we do. The government
controls the airwaves, the waterways, the sky and highways. They tell us where we are allowed to go in
the national forests and parks. We are charged fees to use public lands. We are prohibited from
using our own land if some rare insect is found there. Our churches ask the IRS for permission to operate
with tax favors. Our leaders tell us what we can and cannot say. The first two of the Bill of Rights
have been trampled at every opportunity. This list could go on and on, but you get the message.
We are controlled from cradle to grave.
Obama's Torrent of New Regulation. The
burden of regulation on Americans increased at an alarming rate in fiscal year 2010. Based on data from the
Government Accountability Office, an unprecedented 43 major new regulations were imposed by Washington.
And based on reports from government regulators themselves, the total cost of these rules topped $26.5 billion,
far more than any other year for which records are available. These costs will affect Americans in many ways,
raising the price of the cars they buy and the food they eat, while destroying an untold number of jobs.
Government: No. 1
job destroyer. Taken as a whole, the Small Business Administration estimates that total federal
regulatory costs in America amount to $1.75 trillion annually — a number that dwarfs the federal
government's entire discretionary budget for 2011 and exceeds Canada's gross domestic product. The
cost of compliance is stunning, and it speaks to the heart of the employment issue in manufacturing and
every sector of our economy. It's clear that to create more jobs, government at the federal and state
levels must change course and embrace policies that drive down the cost of doing business in America.
What about the SBA itself?
Terminating the Small Business Administration.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) was created by the Small Business Act of 1953. The primary purpose
of the SBA is to encourage lending to small businesses through government loan guarantees. ... More than 99.7 percent
of all businesses in the United States are considered "small" by the SBA. The Congressional Research Service
calculates that these businesses account for about half of the nation's gross domestic product and employment.
This is an original
compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart
The Death of Government.
Government has gotten a bad name among conservatives. There is far too much government in our lives.
Government regulates the light bulbs we can use, the process of hiring employees, the licenses which businesses
need to operate, and, of course, the mammoth monster of public debt and taxes which have reached such surreal
levels that each American — man, woman, senior citizen, and infant — owes a
mind-numbing $44,000 of federal debt.
The Renewable Electricity
Standard Con. On November 2, many voters expressed their displeasure with the 111th Congress and
its efforts to control personal lives by passing massive legislation few members of Congress bothered to read, much
less understand. Some of these bills have future costs which are now coming to light. By its actions, the
111th Congress abrogated a basic principle of representative democracy: that legislation be freely and openly
discussed so that the public has the opportunity to understand its consequences.
Barack and the Bureaucracy.
Bureaucracy is liberalism's strong right arm. Liberalism would not exist as it does today without
it — it would have nothing of the reach or durability that it now possesses. Government
bureaucracy forms a kind of shadow universe, in which each human activity has its department or agency to
oversee and manipulate it — a massive structure established over decades, with no real purpose
but to perpetuate itself.
for Limited Government prepares for potential FOIA lawsuit against Department of Education.
Americans for Limited Government filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department on Education
on September 2 for the release of internal e-mails in which Education Secretary Arne Duncan and his
senior staff purportedly either encouraged or required non-partisan career-employees of the Education
Department to attend Al Sharpton's National Action Network rally on August 28, a rally touted by
Sharpton as an anti-Glenn Beck event.
Authorities make changes
after first responders watch man drown. Alameda, California, has immediately changed its policies
after first responders watched a man drown in San Francisco Bay and did nothing to rescue him.
Is it a public service or a protection racket?
No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn.
Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee.
Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with
three dogs and a cat.
pleads guilty to hitting man in face with baton in unprovoked attack. A cop pleaded guilty
Friday [6/3/2011] to cracking a man in the face with his baton during an unprovoked attack in the Bronx.
Officer Marc Rios admitted to the March 30, 2009, assault that left victim John Roperto, 34, with broken bones
in his cheek and nose.
Shows Ohio Cop Grow Irate During Arrest. The June 8, 2011 video, which was obtained by a
gun rights group, shows a Canton police officer grow irate after he indicates that the driver of a stopped
vehicle waited too long to inform him of his concealed gun, even though he had a proper permit to carry it.
"I could blast you right in the mouth," the officer said. "I am so close to caving in your [expletive]
gets Canton police officer in trouble on the job. A Canton police officer is off the job
and on administrative leave. The organization called Ohioans for Concealed Carry posted a dash cam
video of the officer's verbal altercation with a driver.
The Editor says...
The only surprise in this story is that the dash-cam video didn't get "accidentally" deleted.
House Democrats Pass Bill to Grill School Children
about Sexual Preference. At the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing last Thursday
[9/16/2010], Democrats passed a bill to require federal health officials to question anyone seeking services
from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) community health centers or other programs about their
sexual orientation and "gender identity." Introduced by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), H.R. 6109
requires HHS to obtain, retain and analyze sexual identity information from patients who seek healthcare,
California's Man-Made Drought.
On a springtime drive through the Central Valley, it's hard not to notice how federal and state governments
are hell-bent on destroying the state's top export — almonds — and everything else in
the nation's most productive farmland. Instead of pink blossoms and green shoots along Highway 5 in
April, vast spans from Bakersfield to Fresno sit bone-dry. Brown grass, dead orchards and lifeless
grapevine skeletons stretch for miles for lack of water.
The Fine Pursuit of Exposing
Corruption. In a disturbing case of politically motivated retaliation, prominent Beverly Hills attorney
Dr. Richard Fine has been incarcerated in coercive solitary confinement for close to fourteen months at the Los Angeles
County Men's Jail. That confinement will continue under a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. ... Dr. Fine's plight
demonstrates the grim fate of those who come forward in good faith to expose malfeasance, public or private.
Bailout Bill Would Require Banks to Track and Report Personal Checking
Accounts to Feds. It's amazing to watch the civil libertarians hide when Democrats propose the
most sweeping intrusions of privacy in generations. In addition to the litany of bad policies contained
in the Dodd Financial Reform bill is this nugget on pages 1039-1040. In short, it extends government
reach to every deposit account of every citizen.
FCC Lets Hollywood Turn Off Your Output
Jacks. Hollywood will soon have the power to remotely disable the analog outputs on your set-top
box, under a decision by federal regulators on Friday [5/7/2010] intended to prevent home recording of new
movie releases. The move by the Federal Communications Commission grants cable and satellite providers
the power to block consumers from viewing just-released movies in an analog format through a process known as
Selectable Output Control.
The Editor says...
Digital television and software-controlled receivers are some of the most powerful tools ever put in
the hands of Big Brother. If the government can turn output jacks on and off, it can also take
control of the channel selection and the power switch, just like the telescreens
about The Technology and Politics of Broadcasting.
The Fossilization of
America. [Scroll down] Bureaucrats gain control of government programs by feeding on ideals.
No doubt the program I was involved in began, as most do, as an attempt to reflect the sincere ideals of the American
public. However, when bureaucrats implement programs, ideals are their first victims. ... This self-preservation
ethic leads to increasing organizational size and a corresponding growth in government. The larger the
organization, the less likely it is that the original ideals generating programs will be attained. In fact,
attaining these ideals would be counterproductive as this would result in the termination of the program.
Organizational inertia is the ultimate result and the actual goal of all bureaucrats.
The NoVa Police Blackout.
The Fairfax County Police Department — along with the neighboring municipal police departments of
Arlington and Alexandria — are among the most secretive, least transparent law enforcement agencies
in the country. And local political leaders don't seem particularly concerned about it.
Police Chief Beats the [Heck] Out of Defenseless
Old Woman. Interestingly in order to justify his abuses the police officer claimed it was all done
because she was being arrested. And yet, according to the new acting Police Chief Randy Liles, "There is
no arrest or incident report on file at the department." Despite it all, Liles assures us once Ford's
unrelated leave of absence is over "he'll be reinstated."
vet suffers broken neck after police takedown. An elderly man is in critical condition after
being thrown to the ground by a police officer. It happened Saturday night [9/18/2010] near North Orange
Avenue after police say Daniel Daley put his hands on the cop. The World War II veteran is out of
surgery. He suffered an injury doctors at Florida Hospital say only about 10 percent of people are
lucky enough to survive.
Government Is the
Biggest Lawbreaker. Measured just by the number of victims, there is no close second place
to government as the biggest lawbreaker. Measured in terms of impact, government lawbreaking is
disabling our entire society. When an individual or collection of individuals (such as a business)
violates the law, there are victims who are harmed directly, and the law provides remedies. ... When
government breaks the law, not just individuals, but entire industries are often the direct victims.
Folks. Federal programs grow like Paul Bunyan and live far beyond their usefulness.
There is simply no incentive to cut programs or staff, which would signal loss of power and prestige.
Government managers face no profit motive or expectant stockholders. Businesses and households cut back
if they overspend. The government just comes up with more ways to tax us, and in increasingly
sneaky fashion. Have you looked at your phone bill lately?
Why Fear Big Government?
[Scroll down] On the more mundane level, this week I saw the following examples of government exemption.
A local police car randomly did a running stop at a 4-way intersection (should I have called 911?); a city bus
driver (very common) cell phoning against California law (report him to the cop running the intersection?); a
city garbage truck spewing trash out its top as it sped down Freeway 41 (call his cousins at the state EPA?).
We are all routinely pulled over for any of the above infractions. But the larger the government, the
more its power, and so the more its employees feel that they are royal and exempt from enforcement. In
other words, big government creates millions who feel the law does not pertain to themselves. Ask Tom Daschle,
Duke Cunningham, Chris Dodd, or Timothy Geithner. The result is an increasingly lawless society.
of regulatory bodies under scrutiny by N.J. Gov. Christie. Governor Christie has set his sights
on the hundreds of regulatory boards whose jurisdiction is scattered throughout the state. They run
airports and regulate charity bingo. They borrow money to build schools and try to ban bikini waxes.
They provide "soft landings" — complete with fat salaries and pensions — to allies of the
politically powerful. And they spend billions of public dollars every year.
Homeland Security Collected Information on Wisconsin
Abortion, Pro-Life Activists. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducted a threat
assessment of local pro- and anti-abortion rights activists before an expected rally last year, even though
they did not pose a threat to national security.
The Forced March to Mediocrity.
The perverted, and yes, un-American, pieces of legislation oozing their way through the halls of Congress over
the past few years have taken advantage of our "lack of duty" to govern ourselves. We now find ourselves
in a predicament that we have been warned of countless times, over decades, generations, and centuries... no
longer are Americans a self-governed citizenry, we are virtually dictated to by that which we are supposed to
Happy Upside-down Day, America. The
dream of limited government, personal freedom and liberty, rugged individualism, and self-sufficiency that our
forefathers fought and died for is rapidly disappearing in 2009. It is once again a world turned upside
down. Our federal government is turning into the very type of heavy-handed, unaccountable, and disrespectful
government our forefathers despised, fought against, and warned us to avoid.
Public service or self-service? In a
free market, as Forbes magazine says, your reward is a function of how much you contribute to the economy,
but in a regulated market it's how much you contribute to politicians. Sound familiar? It should,
especially to Californians. In New York, it is the reason a taxi cab license is worth $600,000 (because
of fares rigged by paid-off politicians). In California, the cost of a vast range of services gets skewed
by high pay and benefits for public employees.
in Washington. [Scroll down slowly] The only way to get rid of such corruption is to
deprive Congress of its vast regulatory powers. There is truly no reason why politicians should
superintend any portion of the private sphere. Finance, health care, energy, housing, farming,
and all the rest should be left wholly to the market, since the market invariably delivers goods and
services in the most economical and cost-efficient manner. Every time politicians decide to
regulate, they only make matters worse.
won't work. Government is bigger than ever and controls more aspects of American life
than at any time in U.S. history. Last year, the federal government ate $3.52 trillion out
of a $13.2 trillion economy. ... A basic problem with a future dominated by ever-expanding government
is that bureaucracies are hobbled by waste, fraud and abuse. Government simply does not work
well. Freedom works, but the more government that exists, the less freedom we have.
Government Agencies Take on a Life of Their Own: As soon as a proposed budget cut looms, as if on
cue governments start threatening to shut down the police force, fire department, and schools. Since almost
nobody wants to do without cops, firemen, or teachers, this is a highly effective tactic most of the time —
although oddly enough, governments always seem to find a way to hold on to the Special Executive Assistants For
Airport Graft, to say nothing of the odd Georgia Road and Tollway Authority.
Gun Nuts at 30,000 Feet? [Scroll down]
After the flight landed, the marshals nailed another terrorist suspect — Robert "Bob" Rajcoomar.
He was handcuffed and taken into custody because, as TSA spokesman David Steigman later explained, Rajcoomar, "to
the best of our knowledge, had been observing too closely." ... When the plane landed, Rajcoomar recalled, "One
of these marshals came down to me and said, 'Head down, hands over your head!' They pushed my head down,
told me to bend down." Rajcoomar said one of the marshals told him, "We didn't like the way you looked" and
"We didn't like the way you looked at us." Some air marshals apparently think of themselves as minor-league
deities whom no mortal should be permitted to directly observe.
to fear but we citizens. According to yesterday's Herald, Boston City Hall has been testing
ePanicButton software. "[City] workers would be able to hit a button on their computer or push a pedal
on the floor to summon help if an angry taxpayer storms into City Hall or if someone arguing a parking ticket
gets out of hand," the Herald reported. ... Consider the thousands of businesses around New England that
provide customer service or take customer complaints. Now consider how few of them fear their customers
to the point of emergency panic systems.
"When the people fear their government
there is tyranny;
when the government fears the people, there is liberty."
APF and Hardin Constitution Violations.
A Livingston state representative is questioning whether Hardin officials and American Police Force have violated
the Montana constitution. Representative Robert Ebinger says he became aware of the situation after
Cascade and Park County law enforcement officials came to him asking questions about APF. ... "No armed
person or persons or body of men shall be brought into the state for the presentation of the peace or the
suppression of domestic violence unless the application of the legislature or of the governor when the
legislature cannot be convened," said Ebinger while reading the constitution word for word.
entrepreneur has checkered past. Michael Hilton showed up in Hardin, Mont., last week,
presenting himself as an economic savior, the man who would take over the town's $27 million
jail — empty since it was built as a development project in 2007 — and provide 200 new
jobs in the process. He wore a military style uniform, and as a gesture to local law enforcement
offered up the use of three Mercedes SUVs.
Mystery 'Police' Force Has Small Montana City on Edge.
When two brand new, shiny black Mercedes SUVs bearing a "Hardin Police Department" logo drove through the main thoroughfare
of Hardin, Mont., last week, people took notice. "How many police forces have Mercedes?" said Charlene Warren, a local
business owner who has lived in Hardin for more than half a century. "That threw up a red flag."
Military helicopters land in Rolesville
field. Three Chinook military helicopters set down in a Rolesville field Monday afternoon,
witnesses said. People reported seeing the helicopters flying low and slow over Holly Springs,
downtown Raleigh and elsewhere in Wake County. A viewer told WRAL News they came to rest off Rogers
Road about half a mile from U.S. Highway 401.
The Editor asks...
Isn't that what Fort Hood is for? Why must this be done in a small town?
The Tipping Point?
We are living in a surreal age of $2 trillion annual deficits, in which we just casually talk about "more stimulus",
"reforming health care", "fixing education", "cap-and-trade", while fighting two wars abroad — all the while "not
raising taxes on 95% of Americans" — all predicated on the idea that "they" will always be willing and able to
create new wealth and now hand over two-thirds and more of it to an ever-expanding government.
High Court Curbs Power of Police to Search
Cars. The Supreme Court ruled that police couldn't search the car of a person arrested unless the
officer's safety was threatened or there was reason to think the car contained evidence of a crime, reviving a
constitutional protection against unreasonable searches. The court effectively closed a loophole opened
in a 1981 opinion that has been widely interpreted to allow police, without a warrant, to search cars — as
well as bags or containers within them — when they arrest a driver or passenger.
killing us softly with laws and red tape. For the past 20 years, I have advised landowners,
homebuilders and energy companies on the intricacies of the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.
Both are complex statutes supplemented by dense volumes of regulations and administered by confusing agencies
that have state and local counterparts applying state and local versions of the similar laws and rules.
The costs of these regulatory regimes are enormous, but dimly, if at all, understood by the public. The
highest-sounding rhetoric surrounds both laws, but, even as they accomplish important environmental goals,
they also operate to batter tens of thousands of Americans every year.
The Coming of
the Fourth American Republic. The appropriations committees and their pork barrels are the most obvious
example of rule by special interest, but not always the most important. Whole departments are dedicated to special
interests — Labor, Education, Energy. Money is important, but regulation is every bit as useful,
especially because regulations can shift property rights from third parties without going through the budget process.
For example, environmentalists successfully combined a vaguely worded Endangered Species Act with control of the Fish and
Wildlife Service to shift the costs of their no-development ethic onto random land-owners, regardless of costs, benefits,
Let's 'Restructure' Washington While
We're at It. The federal government is a giant Rube Goldberg machine that not only wastes
hundreds of billions of dollars each year but also burdens local governments and the private sector with
legal requirements that no longer serve the public good. Congress should take its own advice and
America's 86th most proftable industry. When Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and a sidekick decided
to intimidate CEOs in the health insurance industry, it wasn't just another instance of shabby politics, but an
imperious, anti-democratic abuse of power, an attempt to put the fear of the almighty federal government in
the hearts and minds of American citizens.
Former Chicago Cops Admit to Invading Homes and
Stealing. Four former members of a now-disbanded Chicago police unit have admitted they used to
barge into people's homes and steal money.
Arrests are being made 'to expand
DNA files'. Police are routinely arresting people simply to record their DNA profiles on the national
database, according to a report published today. It also states that three quarters of young black men are on the
database. The finding risks stigmatising a whole section of society, the equality watchdog has warned.
Also in England:
'Stunned' Driver Fined For Blowing His Nose. A motorist
has told Sky News of his disbelief at being fined for blowing his nose while his vehicle was at a standstill.
Michael Mancini had stopped his van in traffic and wiped his nose with a handkerchief. When he moved off,
he was pulled over by police who told him he had not been in control of his vehicle.
The Editor says...
Don't worry, Michael, that's what juries are for. (How difficult can it be to maintain control of
a stationary car?) This case shows what can happen when traffic cops become self-important badge-happy
The Attorney General and the Black Panthers
This subsection is now on a page of its own,
Stop and Think. Really.
Stop and think. What does your government actually do for you? ... In short, nothing tangible in
the room is a "gift" from the government. Not one thing. (This is true even if you happen to work for the
government and are situated in a government owned building. All of the work on the building was subcontracted.
All of the items in the building were privately produced.)
Many Of Today's Americans Love Government.
Congressional efforts to create "affordable housing" have created today's financial calamity. Congress props up
failed enterprises such as Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service with huge cash subsidies, and subsidies in the forms of
special tax treatment and monopoly rights. I can't think of anything that Congress does well yet we Americans
call for them to take greater control over important areas of our lives. I don't think that stupidity, ignorance
or insanity explains the love that many Americans hold for government; it's far more sinister and perhaps hopeless.
I'll give a few examples to make my case.
FBI Defends Disruptive Raids on Texas Data
Centers. The FBI on Tuesday [4/7/2009] defended its raids on at least two data centers in Texas, in which agents
carted out equipment and disrupted service to hundreds of businesses. The raids were part of an investigation
prompted by complaints from AT&T and Verizon about unpaid bills allegedly owed by some data center customers,
according to court records. One data center owner charges that the telecoms are using the FBI to collect
debts that should be resolved in civil court. But on Tuesday, an FBI spokesman disputed that charge.
OK When We Politicize the Justice Department. The "politicization" of the Justice Department was
one of many aspects of the Bush administration which the Obama administration was going to cure. But it appears
that while the party of the administration has changed, we are seeing a level of political meddling at the Justice
Department which the Bush administration never remotely approached. First, we had word that Eric Holder overruled
the career attorney lawyers' research on the issue of voting rights for the District of Columbia. Now we learn that
political appointees have overturned the work of career attorneys attempting to prevent voter intimidation by the New
Black Panther Party.
Who pressured Justice to drop
case against voter intimidation in Philly? After screaming for 8 years about Bush "politicizing" the Justice
Department, it appears that there is a clear cut case of interference in a legitimate prosecution of the New Black Panther
Party for intimidating voters at a polling station in 2008 by Obama appointees.
Against 'New Black Panthers' Dropped by Obama Justice Dept.. Charges brought against three
members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense under the Bush administration have been dropped by the
Obama Justice Department, FOX News has learned. The charges stemmed from an incident at a Philadelphia
polling place on Election Day 2008 when three members of the party were accused of trying to threaten voters
and block poll and campaign workers by the threat of force — one even brandishing what prosecutors
call a deadly weapon.
Protecting Black Panthers.
Imagine if Ku Klux Klan members had stood menacingly in military uniforms, with nightsticks, in front of a
polling place. Add to it that they had hurled racial threats and insults at voters who tried to enter.
Now suppose that the government, backed by a nationally televised video of the event, had won a court case
against the Klansmen except for the perfunctory filing of a single, simple document — but that an incoming
Republican administration had moved to voluntarily dismiss the already-won case. Surely that would
have been front-page news, with a number of firings at the Justice Department. The flip side of
this scenario is occurring right now.
Civil Rights: Who are the "Cowards"? On
taking office as Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder stated that America is a nation of "cowards"
when it comes to race and that he would commit the Department of Justice to making civil rights cases a top
priority. President Obama himself promised to "reinvigorate federal civil rights enforcement," especially by
prosecuting cases of voting discrimination against blacks. On May 15 Obama's Department of Justice
quashed a civil rights case involving voter intimidation by blacks in Philadelphia on election day, 2008.
The U.S. Department of
Injustice. Let's examine the uproar over Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to protect hate-mongering thugs
who harassed and bullied precinct workers and voters on Election Day in Philadelphia. Oh, wait. There's been no
uproar. Let me tell you why.
A few words about Elian Gonzalez
April 22, 2000, is a date that has been flushed down the news media memory hole. Imagine the surprise on Elian
Gonzalez's face someday when he gets access to an internet browser, looks up his own name, and finds out
that it wasn't just a dream after all!
Tamerlan Tsarnaev — But You're Outta Here Elian Gonzalez. Thirteen years ago, a Stalinist regime that our State
Department condemns as an official "state-sponsor of terrorism" (Fidel Castro's) asked the U.S. government to deport a 7-year-old
immigrant named Elian Gonzalez. The U.S. Justice department snapped to attention and acted upon Fidel Castro's request.
Elian Gonzalez's family — as demonstrated for over a decade — is completely law-abiding. The Tsarnaev
brothers, on the other hand, pulled off what's being billed as "the most successful terrorist attack since 9/11," killing three
Americans, wounding 178 more and temporarily "shutting down" one of the richest, most dynamic, most sophisticated and
financially-vital cities in the Western hemisphere.
The Rise of the American
Police State. The increasingly antiterrorism-oriented police units have begun to regard
dissenting citizens, or even innocent and unsuspecting citizens, as the "enemy" in domestic "war zones." ... The
militarization of the police does not occur instantaneously, but is the cumulative result of each military tool
amassed, each protester silenced based on his political views, or each wrongful search that goes unchallenged.
A young boy serves a life
sentence. He's just a normal, average, typical 12-year-old boy. If the normal, average,
typical 12-year-old boy has the world's longest-reigning dictator drop by every year for his birthday,
that is. Elian Gonzalez was shipped into the waiting arms of Fidel Castro in 2000. The
delivery man was Bill Clinton, who used a SWAT team armed with submachine guns to assure everyone's compliance.
Elian Gonzalez joins Cuba's youth
Communists. The Cuban boy at the center of an international custody battle eight years ago has joined Cuba's
Young Communist Union. Elian Gonzalez said he will never let down ex-President Fidel Castro and his brother Raul
Castro, according to the Communist youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde.
Gonzalez back in news again. Here's a name I didn't think I'd hear again, but remember Elian Gonzalez, whose
story transfixed our nation eight years ago in an international custody fight between the U.S. and Cuba? Now comes the
news that the 14-year-old has joined Cuba's Young Communist Union, according to the Associated Press.
Janet Reno's Show of Force. How would you
respond to a 30 second warning at 5:00 AM? This is barely enough time to wake up and gather your wits in order
to deal with a threatening, armed contingent wearing body armor and banging at the door. Was this just
another way for the INS to paint the family as non-cooperative, giving them the excuse to use a battering ram
to break their way in?
Anita Dunn — Pots and Kettles.
On April 16, 2000, viewers of CBS' 60 Minutes saw Dan Rather interviewing Elian Gonzalez' father, Juan Miguel
Gonzalez. ... Here's what America didn't see: "Most of the questions Dan Rather was asking Elian's father during
that 60 Minutes interview were being handed to him by Gregory Craig," recalls Pedro Porro, who served as
Rather's in-studio translator during the taping of the famous interview.
A Decade of Defiance.
Let us give the last word about the gloriously diverse past decade of American law to an unlikely mouthpiece:
Lazaro Gonzales, Elian's effervescent uncle, who came into our lives nearly 10 years ago, at the start of the
21st Century. Told that Janet Reno's federal agents were on their way to his town outside Miami to seize young
Elian, Lazaro famously said he wouldn't hand over the kid. "Not in Opa Locka, not in any locka," Lazaro
declared, in Spanish no less, in an epic comment that was as funny as it was serious.
Now 16, Elian Gonzalez shown at
Cuba youth meeting. Cuba has released photos of one-time exile cause celebre Elian Gonzalez
wearing an olive-green military school uniform and attending a Young Communist Union congress.
of an Outrage. Castro's Stalinist regime just released pictures of 16-year-old Elian Gonzalez,
resplendent in the uniform of a Communist Party youth. The timing of the photo-release may coincide with
the 11th anniversary of Elian's shanghaiing from the U.S., which hits on the 22nd of this month.
Clinton in Miami compares Elian case to kidnapping. Former President Bill Clinton said
Saturday [4/17/2010] he had no regrets over sending Elian Gonzalez back to live with his father in Cuba,
and would order a federal raid on Little Havana all over again.
Eric Holder Earned his Spurs. [Scroll down] Then on Dec 5th, 1999, Castro clapped his
hands and his MSM minions snapped to attention. Within weeks Clinton's INS had turned its initial decision
on its head. Within months this same INS was kicking down Lazaro's door, pummeling camera men and elderly
ladies to the ground with jackboots and wrenching a screaming Elian from his legal custodians in a blaze of pepper
gas and machine guns. When asked for the legal authority for this, they brandished either a search warrant
to seize evidence that didn't exist (and would not have been hidden anyway) or an arrest warrant to seize
someone who no one claimed was a criminal or even a lawbreaker!
Gonzalez turns 18 in Cuba at a quiet celebration. Nearly twelve years have passed since he was
pulled from a closet by a masked machine gun wielding US agent. Now Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy who
survived a perilous raft journey that killed his mother and became a symbol of troubled relations between the
United States and Cuba, is an adult.
why you don't remember Elian Gonzalez. It was horrifying. I looked down at a little Easter
basket the inn hostess had made and I was reminded this was Easter day. The sky was dark where they were
broadcasting because in a shrewd move on the part of the U.S. military, the extraction of this child by brute
force happened at an hour when most Americans were asleep. You did not see this live. The news
coverage you saw of Elian Gonzalez being taken from his home were snippets narrated by calm news personnel
in clean suits who were not choking on tear gas.
Down the Second Amendment: The Connection between Fast and Furious and the Trayvon Martin Case. [Scroll down] Before
Fast and Furious, the AG was notorious for engineering last-minute pardons for Marc Rich, on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List for the largest
tax fraud in history, and for sixteen members of FALN, the Puerto Rican terrorist group that killed several people in bombings in Chicago
and New York. But a more revealing accomplishment was his role as point man in the kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez. After applying
for a court order to seize the boy from his legal guardian, Holder went ahead with the operation without one, then baldly denied that Elian
was seized at gunpoint. Holder was not fazed by the fact that millions of people throughout the world had seen Alan Diaz's disturbing
II: The Sequel "Elian II," the sequel we hoped never to see, is what fathers'
groups are calling a Miami case that once again highlights our confusion about paternal rights
in child custody battles. This time, the dispute revolves around a 5-year-old Cuban girl,
her biological father in Cuba, her mentally unstable mother in the U.S., a passel of relatives,
therapists, guardians ad litem, activist attorneys and, finally, a wealthy, influential Cuban-American
The Chicago Way is
Piracy, Too. While they don't use grappling hooks to board merchant ships, the Chicago Way pirates
do have their hooks in the merchants, nevertheless. The Chicago Way is a political system run by kleptocrats
who demand tribute from merchants whenever the merchants want to do something. If they want to get a building
permit or win a lucrative contract at O'Hare Airport, they must pay tribute.
government in secret. Thom Rae wants to know why his town is spending $1 million to
keep a second-run theater afloat. Kevin and Anne Barber want to know what happened to the principal
who forced their 8th grader and his classmates to kneel painfully on a gym floor during a lecture on
respect. Patricia and Joel Garza want to know why so many secrets surround the investigation into the
crash that killed their grown son. They all want answers. The answer they all got was "no."
City Hall routinely denies requests for public documents. The Daley administration routinely denies
requests for documents that could shed light on how the mayor really runs the city.
Colorado Governor Signs She-Male Restroom Bill.
This bill makes all public accommodations — including public restrooms and locker rooms in the state —
"gender free." This law now means that anyone who identifies as the opposite sex, can freely access public facilities
formerly reserved for a single sex. Sexual predators can now enter women's restrooms and claim they have a sexual
identity different from their birth sex. It makes it legal for drag queens, cross-dressers and anyone else with a
serious Gender Identity Disorder to use opposite sex restrooms and locker rooms. But it goes further. It defines
"public accommodations" as including malls, restaurants, schools, and small businesses.
The Taxpayer Frog In the
IRS Pot: In 1900 federal spending was $0.5 billion. In 2000 it was $1,789 billion.
Those amounts translated to 2.5% of GDP in 1900 and 21% in 2000. Government spending at all levels in the
U.S. was 36.5% of GDP in 2006. That 2.5% of GDP that could sustain the entire federal government in 1900
is not even enough to cover the Medicare program today. The Medicare program, by the way, did not exist
in 1900; it was established in 1965.
Nearly eight years in prison
without a trial. Whatever happened to the right of an accused to have a speedy trial? Once
a successful dentist in St. Louis County who treated many indigent patients, Charles Thomas Sell was accused of
Medicaid fraud in 1997. Although he has never hurt anyone, and a federal court held that he poses no
danger to those around him, prison officials frequently placed him in solitary confinement for periods that
totaled nearly two years.
Woman jailed for refusing
court-required psych exam. An Iowa grandmother has been banished to jail, including a night
in isolation, after refusing to give in to a judge's demand that she submit to a psychiatric exam and take
psychotropic drugs if prescribed to mitigate her opposition to abortion, her husband has confirmed.
Would Your Beliefs Brand You A
'Homegrown' Terrorist? H.R. 1955, titled the Violent Radicalization and
Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 allows the government to target Americans and
actually calls "thought" crimes "homegrown terrorism". Part of the bill (Section 899A)
employs extremely vague terminology ("violent radicalization") to describe the promoting of
any belief system that the government considers "extremist".
The Editor says...
Under H.R. 1955 it is a crime to "intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian
population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social
objectives". Such a crime is depicted in the photo at the top of this page.
'Thought Crimes,' HR 1955 Passed.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955, titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown
Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. It was passed with 404 votes in favor. ... This is a "Thought Crime"
bill of the type so often discussed in an Orwellian context. It specifically targets the civilian
population of the United States. It defines "Violent Radicalization" as promoting any belief system that
the government considers to be extremist. "Homegrown Terrorism" and "Violent Radicalization" are defined
as thought crimes. Since the bill does not provide a specific definition of extremist belief system, it
will be whatever the government at any given time deems it to be.
The Senate Could Vote on the "Thought Crimes" Bill Soon!
It should be remembered that following the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Clinton administration blamed not just
the indicted perpetrators, Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier, but also all those who had like
McVeigh, Nichols and Fortier protested against the government's deadly actions at Waco and Ruby Ridge.
Time magazine and other media organs joined the administration in charging that these "anti-government"
protesters were actually "ideational co-conspirators" with the OKC bombers. Like President Clinton,
President Bush now equates opposition to his policies, especially concerning the War in Iraq and the "War on
Terror," as unpatriotic, or even treasonable.
Muggers, Sneak Thieves, and Con Men. The beginning of political wisdom is the realization
that despite everything you've always been taught, the government is not really on your side; indeed, it is
out to get you. Sometimes government functionaries and their private-sector supporters want simply to
bully you, to dictate what you must do and what you must not do, regardless of whether anybody benefits from
your compliance with these senseless, malicious directives. The drug laws are the best current
example, among many others, of the government as bully.
America's Injustice System Is
Criminal. In the US the wrongful conviction rate is extremely high. One reason is that
hardly any of the convicted have had a jury trial. No peers have heard the evidence against them and
found them guilty. In the US criminal justice (sic) system, more than 95% of all felony cases are
settled with a plea bargain.
Armed and dangerous: Federal agencies expanding
the use of firepower. During the late morning of January 14, 1997, 20 heavily armed federal
agents and local sheriff's deputies descended from a military helicopter onto rocky Santa Cruz Island off the
California coast. As snipers moved into position along the ridge tops to secure the perimeter of the
attack area, other agents staged dynamic entries into the buildings — rousting 15-year-old Crystal
Graybeel who was sleeping late in her cabin. The agency responsible for all this was not the BATF, nor
the FBI, nor any other agency typically associated with such "dynamic entries." This raid was the work of
the National Park Service. At a time when elected legislative bodies from city councils to Congress have
been passing laws that restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, federal agencies
within the executive branch have been quietly authorizing dramatically increased numbers of armed
personnel — often heavily armed with military-style assault weapons. Today, there are nearly
60,000 federal agents trained and authorized to enforce the over 3,000 criminal laws Congress has passed over
the years, plus the hundreds of thousands of regulations which now carry criminal penalties.
The EPA's Swat Team: Hubert Vidrine, a
manager at a refinery plant, was at work when FBI and EPA Criminal Division Agents stormed into his place of
business using M-16s and police dogs. His alleged crime was storing waste covered by the Resource
Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) without obtaining a permit. Just wait, it gets better...
'SWAT' raid still troubling after story corrections. The story was a sensation on Wednesday morning
[6/8/2011]. A Department of Education SWAT team broke down the door to a house owned by a man whose wife was
delinquent on her student loans, according to original reports. The man was handcuffed and, along with his
children, put in a cop car for 6 hours. It turns out that some of this story was misreported. It
wasn't a SWAT team but a special branch of the DOE who executes search warrants. And it wasn't for a student
loan, but the warrant was in connection with a criminal investigation. But before you breathe a sigh of
relief, it should be rightly asked: What ... is DOE doing with a paramilitary unit to serve warrants?
team launch dawn raid on family home to collect unpaid student loans. A father was dragged from
his home and handcuffed in front of his children by a SWAT team looking for his estranged wife -- to
collect her unpaid student loans. A stunned Kenneth Wright had his front door kicked in by the
raiding party at 6 am yesterday before being dragged onto his front porch, handcuffed and led to a
police car with his three children.
How To Survive The Coming Martial Law In America.
Some patriots in the government have already let it leak that local police organizations are aggressively
recruiting US Marines still on active duty to leave the military and immediately become police officers... with
little or no training. These Marines have been trained not to protect and serve but to kill quickly and
efficiently. Let's face it, traditional armies are trained to dispatch enemies with vicious efficiency... and
that's why local police have always been trained differently. Local police have traditionally been
trained to protect and serve with respect for the rights of the citizens. But things have changed
dramatically in this country.
Troops Preparing for Martial Law In America — Who Is FEMA Really? Is it far fetched
to imagine that these U.N. "peace keeping" forces would be used against American citizens? The 502nd,
another unit from Fort Campbell Kentucky, is shown here arriving as peacekeepers in Somalia wearing their U.N.
blue berets and insignia. Shortly thereafter this same unit the 502nd was in Arkansas practicing house
to house searches and seizures in a joint U.N. training mission called "Agile Provider" in the Spring of 1994.
Federal SWAT Raid Over ... Orchids.
So as it turns out, even the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has its own SWAT team.
"You don't need to know. You can't know." That's what Kathy Norris, a 60-year-old grandmother of eight, was told
when she tried to ask court officials why, the day before, federal agents had subjected her home to a furious search.
The agents who spent half a day ransacking Mrs. Norris' longtime home in Spring, Texas, answered no questions while they
emptied file cabinets, pulled books off shelves, rifled through drawers and closets, and threw the contents on the floor.
The six agents, wearing SWAT gear and carrying weapons, were with — get this — the U.S. Fish and
Unlikely Orchid Smuggler: A Case Study in Overcriminalization. George Norris, an elderly
retiree, had turned his orchid hobby into a part-time business run from the greenhouse in back of his home.
He would import orchids from abroad — South Africa, Brazil, Peru — and resell them at
plant shows and to local enthusiasts. He never made more than a few thousand dollars a year from his
orchid business, but it kept him engaged and provided a little extra money — an especially important
thing as his wife, Kathy, neared retirement from her job managing a local mediation clinic. Their life
would take a turn for the worse on the bright fall morning of October 28, 2003, when federal agents,
clad in protective Kevlar and bearing guns, raided his home, seizing his belongings and setting the gears in
motion for a federal prosecution and jail time.
'Overcriminalization' Making Us a Nation of
Felons? Critics argue there are so many new laws, rules, and regulations that it's all too easy to violate one of these laws and never
know you did it. Take, for example, Texas retiree George Norris and his wife, Kathy: federal agents raided and ransacked their Texas home
in 2003. Originally, the indictment against them was sealed, so they weren't even told why they were targeted at first. [...] George wound up
serving nearly two years in federal prison alongside killers, rapists, and other hardened criminals. What was his crime? A paperwork
violation related to flowers in his backyard nursery: buying, importing, and selling perfectly legal orchids.
snafu is behind at least 50 'raids' on Brooklyn couple's home. Blame it on a computer.
Embarrassed cops on Thursday [3/18/2010] cited a "computer glitch" as the reason police targeted the home
of an elderly, law-abiding couple more than 50 times in futile hunts for bad guys.
The raid on Mayor Cheye Calvo's house
This section has moved to
Cops Employing Robbers: [Ryan]
Frederick's case is only one recent example of the inherent danger and disproportionate absurdity of using
violent, forced-entry police tactics to serve nonviolent drug warrants. This raid on a man with no prior
criminal record left a police officer dead, his wife widowed, and his children without a father, while
effectively ruining Ryan Frederick's life. He's facing one count of capital murder for the shooting
of [Detective Jarrod] Shivers, a felony drug distribution charge, and a charge of using a weapon during
the commission of a drug crime.
family wins suit over raid on home. A Capitol Hill family won a lawsuit against the D.C.
government after their row house was raided in a search for evidence that their renovation plans violated the
city's historic preservation laws. About a dozen police officers and D.C. Consumer and Regulatory
Affairs inspectors searched the home of Laura Elkins and John Robbins four years ago, entering the bedrooms of
their teenage children who were home sick from school, and searching through drawers, behind furniture and
Available in the airport gift shop.
Big Brother endorses
these playthings. Two years ago in this column, I lamented the fact that toy manufacturers were
cashing in on society's headlong rush toward constant and ubiquitous surveillance. I highlighted a Lego
construction set that included, as part of a police 18-wheeler, a surveillance and monitoring unit. I
also noted a plastic "play set," manufactured and marketed by Playmobil, depicting a police officer wanding a
civilian figure as pretend belongings go through a pretend X-ray machine. This trend toward "play"
search and surveillance has continued, and now includes a functioning toy metal detector.
The Gangster State:
A recent incident in San Diego illustrates that there isn't nearly enough distance separating the federal government
from the criminal underworld. According to the local NBC television affiliate, four gunmen disguised as federal
agents conducting a drug raid "invaded a home near the San Ysidro border crossing…. Investigators
say the gunmen were dressed as agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms." What is surprising
is not that the criminals chose to disguise their home invasion as a federal raid, but rather that this sort of
thing hasn't happened more often.
Kathryn Johnston: A Year Later.
When police forced their way into Johnston's home, she met them holding a rusty old revolver, fearing she
was about to be robbed. The police opened fire, and killed her. Shortly after the shooting, the
police alleged that they had paid an informant to buy drugs from Ms. Johnston's home. They said she
fired at them first, and wounded two officers. And they alleged they found marijuana in her
home. We now know that these were all lies. In fact, everything about the Kathryn Johnston
murder was corrupt.
Sometimes 'sorry' doesn't cut
it. A SWAT team from the Milwaukee Police Department burst into Denise Berndsen's
apartment and turned the place upside down looking for evidence of child porn. Oops. The
man they were targeting had moved out five weeks earlier. Instead they roughed up Berndsen,
who had returned home from back surgery that day, her 74-year-old father, and a man she had just
started dating and who for a few terrifying minutes wondered what he got himself into.
The Rise of a Judicial
Dictatorship: The Warren Court launched a social, cultural and moral revolution and began openly
to dictate to what had been a self-governing people. Under this dictatorship, radically secularist and
egalitarian, America's public schools were as de-Christianized as thoroughly as in the Soviet Union.
is No War on Drugs! Why does the War on Some Drugs and Users continue despite the obvious
failure of every tactic tried by prohibitionists? Could it be that the illegal drug trade engenders
such massive untraceable black market profits and forms of social control that the Warriors really do not
want the War to end? When one takes the endless tales of corruption, greed and lies on the part of
so many Drug Warriors into consideration, it isn't such a stretch of the imagination.
Powder and crack
cocaine: Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about a case in which the judge
refused to impose the notoriously high sentence required for crack cocaine, Kimbrough v. U.S. While the
case doesn't challenge the sentencing disparity directly, it calls attention to the statute that punishes
crack cocaine with sentences 100 times greater than for powder cocaine, despite the fact that there is no
difference in the chemical makeup of the two forms of cocaine.
Laws' Absence of Justice. You've probably read about the disparity in federal mandatory minimum
sentences before. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 mandated a five-year minimum sentence for possession
of 5 grams of crack cocaine or 500 grams of powdered cocaine. Civil rights groups have attacked
the 100-1 volume disparity on racial grounds. The U.S. Sentencing Commission found that more than
80 percent of crack offenders are black, while some 80 percent of powdered cocaine offenders
The War on Drugs is No Laughing Matter. Alcohol
did not create Al Capone's gang violence in the hometown of our current president. Prohibition did.
Marijuana does not create murderous drug cartels in Mexico. America's War on Drugs does.
This could happen here, too ...
plan to sue RCMP over 911 reaction. A North Vancouver couple has complained to District of North
Vancouver council and said they will sue the North Vancouver RCMP after officers responded to their hang-up
911 call by breaking down their door, making a forceful arrest and jailing them overnight when the couple
refused to allow a house-search. ... North Vancouver resident Marget Lieder said that in the early
evening of Oct. 25 she was having wine with her partner and a guest when she misdialed the
emergency number, meaning to call 411 instead. … "I don't want my privacy to be invaded just
because I misdial a number," she said.
Incidentally, there could be at least 100 Ways to Mis-Dial 911.
And even if you dial 911 when you need it, there are no guarantees.
Waits 35 Minutes On 911 While Intruder Breaks In. A Williamson County woman fought off an
intruder with a vacuum cleaner. She was desperate for help, waiting for almost 35 minutes for law
enforcement to arrive. The single mom described that 35 minutes like the scene of a horror movie
as she watched a man walk from windows to doors doing anything to break in to her home.
Caller desperately seeking help gets sleeping 911 operator instead.
The unidentified employee was placed on administrative leave after a panicked woman whose husband was turning blue called for help — and heard nothing but snores.
"Hello? Hello? Hello?" the caller asked as the sleeping operator snored away on the tape acquired by NBC4 News in Washington. "Now he's all blue," the
crying woman said at one point to the sound of sawing wood.
Pentagon wants new spying powers
in the US. The Pentagon says it won't spy on "innocent" Americans, but critics say
past record shows this is false.
Monitoring Americans: There is a proper role for
police in a free society. They are needed to protect lives and property, to respond in emergencies, and
investigate crimes — and the NYPD and America's other local police departments have long served admirably
and honorably in this role. But in a militarized society, one in which the police are no longer
accountable to local civil authorities and become instead an instrument of a central government in
Washington, the central government could be expected to abuse its newfound law-enforcement powers.
Cheney won't tell
how much he keeps secret. A standing executive order, strengthened by President Bush in 2003,
requires all agencies and "any other entity within the executive branch" to provide an annual accounting of
their classification of documents … but [Vice President] Cheney insists he is exempt.
I guess the telephone is out of the question...
Passport customers fume over
parking fees. Getting a passport was already starting to get pricey for Mary Simpson. In
March, she paid $97 for the passport application fee, plus another $60 to expedite it. She's expecting
to fork over $80 in gas for the trip from San Antonio to find out in person the status of her application.
Then, the parking sign declares "$10."
may banish TV dishes from view. The Boston City Council, citing a proliferation of satellite
television dishes across the city, is considering banning the devices from the front of buildings. Saying
that the dishes are potentially dangerous and increasingly hard to overlook in parts of the city where some
buildings are festooned with them, councilors plan to consider a measure to confine the satellite television
receivers to the back of buildings, out of public view.
[Potentially dangerous? How?]
Runaway Train That Hit Scooter Libby. With the sentencing of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby,
[Patrick J.] Fitzgerald has apparently finished his work, which was, not to put too fine a point on it,
to make a mountain out of a molehill.
[This investigation] would not have been conducted if, say, the Iraq
war had ended with 300 deaths and the mission had really been accomplished. An unpopular war produced the
popular cry for scalps and, in Libby's case, the additional demand that he express contrition — a
vestigial Stalinist-era yearning for abasement.
N.J. Governor's SUV Went
91 Mph Before Crash. The SUV carrying Gov. Jon S. Corzine was traveling about
91 mph moments before it crashed, Superintendent of State Police Col. Rick Fuentes said
Tuesday [4/17/2007]. The governor was critically injured when the vehicle crashed into a
guardrail on the Garden State Parkway just north of Atlantic City last week. He apparently
was not wearing his seat belt as he rode in the front passenger's seat.
[The car is going 91 mph, and he's not wearing a seat belt. Oh, but that's
okay because he's the governor after all, and a state trooper was driving. Who's
going to tell him to slow down?]
Frustration over Corzine
not buckling up. Last year, New Jersey law officers ticketed 271,182 people for not wearing seat
belts. This year, one seat-belt violator stands out: Gov. Jon S. Corzine, who was critically
injured in an automobile accident last week. … State police said Trooper Robert Rasinski, Corzine's
driver, was wearing a seat belt and received minor injuries in the wreck, while Corzine aide Samantha Gordon
was riding in the back seat without a seat belt and received minor injuries.
Virginia Introduces $3550 Speeding Ticket.
Virginia legislator introduces new speeding ticket tax that boosts penalties beyond $3550, driving business to
his traffic law firm.
Highway Robbery: One definition
of injustice is grossly disproportionate punishment. You don't put people into prison for a year because
they jaywalked. So what do we make of Virginia's new "civil remedial fines" that slam ordinary motorists
with thousand-dollar fines (payable in "three easy installments") for relatively minor traffic violations? ... We
all know of broad avenues that seem to drop for no apparent reason from 55 to 35 mph -- typically,
with a motorcycle cop hiding behind a bush just beyond where the drop goes into force. It has always been
unfair. Now, it's egregious.
All the material about "Corporate Social Responsibility"
has been moved here.
Shattered Dreams: 100 Stories of
Government Abuse. This publication highlights how regulations that are poorly written and/or
inflexibly enforced can overwhelm, intimidate, bankrupt or otherwise harm average Americans. It features
situations related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, building codes, INS, IRS, the Endangered Species Act,
OSHA, Indian Affairs, zoning, property rights issues, etc.
Shattered Dreams: 100 Stories of
Government Abuse. Download the entire book in PDF format.
scoundrels. The March 10  issue of Human Events carried a special report on the 10 most
outrageous government programs. … The Legal Services Corp. headed the list, followed closely by
the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act and the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. Rounding out the
list were: Americorps, Endangered Species Act, No Child Left Behind Act, Amtrak, Corporate
Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, Title X Family Planning Act, and the provision of welfare
payments to non-citizens and illegal aliens.
and the Station Engineer. Broadcasting may not be unique in this, but it certainly presents
a severe case of a regulated industry. My view is that at least 13 layers of regulation burden
broadcasting. The layers go by names like FCC, FAA, OSHA, BOCA, DOJ, Copyright Tribunal,
Homeland Security, etc.
Protest Call to Upgrade Online Systems. The federal government, vastly extending the
reach of an 11-year-old law, is requiring hundreds of universities, online communications companies
and cities to overhaul their Internet computer networks to make it easier for law enforcement
authorities to monitor e-mail and other online communications.
City of Seattle
may ban microwave popcorn. First, Washington State banned indoor public smoking. Now, the
City of Seattle may ban employees from making microwave popcorn. No kidding. A memo from the Fleets
and Facilities Department addressed to "Employees at Civic Center Buildings" says there has been several
evacuations in recent years due smoke alarms being tripped by burning popcorn.
Man risks five years jail time for using open WiFi
connection. A Michigan man who was caught using a coffee shop's unsecured WiFi connection while
sitting in the car park was fined $400 and ordered to do 40 hours community service. But he could
have received a 5-year jail term, as the state law which covers this is part of a 1979 anti-hacking bill which
makes this a felony.
the CIA. Political correctness reigns in the U.S. government at every level, and the
CIA is no exception. The result is an agency that is conducting a steady leak campaign against
President Bush designed to discredit the Iraq war and undermine the war on terror.
someone else's meth habit leaves you with a runny nose: Under the Combat Meth
Act, which Congress is expected to pass soon, you too can be treated like a criminal the next
time you have nasal congestion, thereby doing your part to help achieve a drug-free society.
Hoover wanted to put 12,000 in
jail. A newly declassified document shows that J. Edgar Hoover, who headed the FBI from 1924 to
1972, had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison about 12,000 Americans whom he suspected of disloyalty.
Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, 12 days after the Korean War began. It
envisioned putting suspect Americans in military prisons.
FBI Examines Pastor's Sermons On
Culture. Nov. 23, 2004, started out like any other normal morning for Randy Steele, senior
pastor at Southwest Christian Church in Mount Vernon, Ill., a town about 80 miles southeast of
St. Louis. … The Pastor was questioned by the FBI over the way he talked about abortion
from a biblical perspective.