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Twilight of the Courts: The Elusive Search for Justice in the American Police State

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This commentary is also available at www.rutherford.org.

By John W. Whitehead
June 5, 2017

“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”—Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas We have entered a new regime and it’s called the American police state. More

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‘We the Prisoners’: The Demise of the Fourth Amendment

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speak truth

By John W. Whitehead

June 28, 2016

“Our carceral state banishes American citizens to a gray wasteland far beyond the promises and protections the government grants its other citizens… When the doors finally close and one finds oneself facing banishment to the carceral state—the years, the walls, the rules, the guards, the inmates—reactions vary. Some experience an intense sickening feeling. Others, a strong desire to sleep. Visions of suicide. A deep shame. A rage directed toward guards and other inmates. Utter disbelief. The incarcerated attempt to hold on to family and old social ties through phone calls and visitations. At first, friends and family do their best to keep up. But phone calls to prison are expensive, and many prisons are located far from one’s hometown… As the visits and phone calls diminish, the incarcerated begins to adjust to the fact that he or she is, indeed, a prisoner. New social ties are cultivated. New rules must be understood.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic

In a carceral state—a.k.a. a prison state or a police state—there is no Fourth Amendment to protect you from the overreaches, abuses, searches and probing eyes of government overlords.

In a carceral state, there is no difference between the treatment meted out to a law-abiding citizen and a convicted felon: both are equally suspect and treated as criminals, without any of the special rights and privileges reserved for the governing elite.

In a carceral state, there are only two kinds of people: the prisoners and the prison guards.

With every new law enacted by federal and state legislatures, every new ruling handed down by government courts, and every new military weapon, invasive tactic and egregious protocol employed by government agents, “we the people”—the prisoners of the American police state—are being pushed that much further into a corner, our backs against the prison wall.

This concept of a carceral state in which we possess no rights except for that which the government grants on an as-needed basis is the only way I can begin to comprehend, let alone articulate, the irrational, surreal, topsy-turvy, through-the-looking-glass state of affairs that is being imposed upon us in America today.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we who pretend we are free are no different from those who spend their lives behind bars.

Indeed, we are experiencing much the same phenomenon that journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates ascribes to those who are banished to a “gray wasteland far beyond the promises and protections the government grants its other citizens” : a sickening feeling, a desire to sleep, hopelessness, shame, rage, disbelief, clinginess to the past and that which is familiar, and then eventually resignation and acceptance of our new “normal.”

All that we are experiencing—the sense of dread at what is coming down the pike, the desperation, the apathy about government corruption, the deeply divided partisanship, the carnivalesque political spectacles, the public displays of violence, the nostalgia for the past—are part of the dying refrain of an America that is fading fast.

No longer must the government obey the law.

Likewise, “we the people” are no longer shielded by the rule of law.

While the First Amendment—which gives us a voice—is being muzzled, the Fourth Amendment—which protects us from being bullied, badgered, beaten, broken and spied on by government agents—is being disemboweled. More

A Pandora’s Box: Cellphone & Land-Line Intrusion

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new-logo25Chuck Frank

So, do we now have “special cases” to where the protection of the people and their rights should be taken for granted? It is quite obvious that Washington D.C. isn’t concerned one bit about any of this.”

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Martin Cooper, an employee with Motorola, invented the cellphone on April 3, 1973. Though the first land line telephone had been around since 1876, cellphones and especially smart cellphones have opened up a Pandora’s Box when it comes to personal privacy and especially so since 9/11.

Historically, government intrusion of communications has actually been ongoing ever since the invention of the telegraph In 1877. Yes,it’s true. That was when the “Wichita Lineman” was still on the line and the Western Union company was King. And it may surprise many that in that same year government, in a special case, was demanding that the Western Union betray the confidence and the privacy of its patrons and surrender coded information.

However, the court ultimately sided in favor of the telegraph company, concluding that these open-ended demands for telegrams “would lead to consequences that can be contemplated only with horror, and such a process is not to be tolerated among a free people.” (Bloombergview.com) Thus, was the beginning of a cat and mouse game and a 4th amendment tug-a-war between government and “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, and effects, against unreasonable searches…and persons or things to be seized.”

In the proper context, when considering electronic surveillance, “things to be seized” today would amount to Internet spying and an extraction of text or a verbal cellphone message from one person to another and then placing it in a national data bank.

Now then, in the case with Apple Computer, the company was very explicit by saying that surrendering an encrypted code compromises the privacy of millions of persons using Apple cellphones, and it also becomes a serious 4th amendment issue, and even more so when one considers the implications that would result from cracking corporate codes that are meant to protect every users cellphone worldwide.

People want to have the confidence that their communication with others is not being compromised by an Orwellian State bent on absolute power and control such as what takes place in totalitarian regimes such as China. Being secure with one’s effects used to be the standard, but today, government and NSA believes that they no longer need to observe an unalienable right that originated in the Bill of Rights.

So, do we now have “special cases” to where the protection of the people and their rights should be taken for granted? It is quite obvious that Washington D.C. isn’t concerned one bit about any of this.

A change in the people’s privacy rights along with major intrusion began on 9/11 when the Bush administration went into high gear and contracted major telephone companies such as AT&T and paid them money to track and then store conversations which were either foreign or domestic and without warrants. There was no resistance from any major telephone company except one, and that was Quest Communications. At that time, Joseph Nacchio who was the CEO said, absolutely no, to NSA spying and that Quest Communications would not wiretap anyone unless a warrant was issued by a judge.

Nacchio was legally correct in his stance, however the government didn’t see it that way and it wasn’t very long after the standoff that Nacchio ended up in prison for over 4 years on “insider trading” charges brought on by the government. A frame up?  Perhaps this sent a message to other CEO’s that are not willing to cooperate with the feds? Did Congress rush to pass a new law that would protect persons such as Nacchio for refusing to tap someones telephone lines unless warrants were issued? If they did, please, someone out there correct me.

And that’s a long story short.

Now then, considering America’s unique roots and being the only nation in the world that has a Bill of Rights which is meant to protect the people from their own government, a San Francisco based organization called the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), is busy pursuing a legal remedy in the courts that will hopefully protect the people from illegal wiretaps or wireless intrusion when there is no warrant. They are on a major mission to give America a far less intrusive country.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small of a degree of it.”
Jefferson, letter (1791)

FISA secrets: The Court That Lays Golden Unconstitutional Eggs

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new-logo25Marti Oakley        © copyright 2014 All rights reserved

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Legal v Lawful:  Weasel word swapping at its finest

Weasel word swaps are those words and phrases that sound as if they mean a certain thing and, most of you have been conditioned to believe mean something specific, when in fact, they do not. The recent ruling by U.S. District Judge William Pauley III who took it upon himself to violate the Constitutional rights of every American citizen when he decided that the unwarranted and illegal  NSA spying on virtually everyone, was LEGAL (he did NOT say lawful).  The swapping of the word legal as opposed to lawful requires a closer look.

Definition of legalize:

To make legal or lawful; to confirm or validate what was before void or unlawful; to add the sanction and authority of law to that which before was without or against law.  

In other words, the NSA Spying without probable cause, without obtaining a warrant  is and was1441183_401318466665654_1752838926_n unconstitutional and therefore, unlawful.  Pauley, who knew exactly what he was doing, attempted to by-pass the Constitutional prohibitions against exactly this kind of unfettered and lawless activity by the government and its incorporated agencies to make an otherwise Constitutionally prohibited activity appear to be lawful.

Law Dictionary:

Definition of Legal:  Blacks Law Fifth Edition page 803, column 1, para: 9

Conforming to the law; according to the law; countenanced by the law; good and effectual in law. Not forbidden or discountenanced by law; good and effectual in law.

This contrasts with a ruling earlier this month by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon who ruled that the spying was in fact, unconstitutional and unlawful.

Here’s a clue:  More

DFL’er Alice Hausman launches an ex post facto attack on gun rights

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new-logo25Marti Oakley        copyright ©2013

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Below is the video of Alice Hausman DFL, 22A, MN, delivering her opening attack on the 2nd Amendment in the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee of 2/6/13.  Sighting gun deaths from countries such as Japan which does not have the right to keep and bear arms, Hausman makes no reference to that fact that these countries are defenseless while the US citizens have more than 500 million privately owned guns.  Or, that gun deaths in the countries she alludes to are usually the result of government attacks.  gc indian Furthermore, I know of no one on either side who is remotely concerned with what are most likely fictionalized stats from other countries.  After all I doubt few of the countries she mentions keep actual tally’s on the number of people the governments execute routinely.  Obviously, our own government doesn’t keep any records either and they have empowered themselves to kill us for any, or no reason at all.

The remainder of Hausman’s remarks are nothing more than a re-hash of UN Global Small Arms Treaty mandates which OBama is desperate to implement.

As Hausman concludes her attack on the 2nd Amendment, she quickly folds up her tent and scurries from the room, leaving her lobbyist to listen to public comments….AS DID EVERY OTHER DEMOCRAT.

For some reason, violating the constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws, as well as your 4th and 5th Amendments in addition to the gross infringement on the 2nd Amendment is okay…….but staying to face the people whose rights you are violating knowing that you your self have violated the very premise under which you were elected is too much to ask.  Cowards are like that.

From Powerline

Under the Democrats’ legislation, no one can buy or possess an “assault weapon” in Minnesota. If you already own one as of February 1, you can keep it. But you have to register it, and give the state permission to inspect your home–which is the only place you can keep the “assault weapon”–to make sure you are storing it properly, and undergo annual background checks. You can’t sell the firearm or give it away, and when you die, your heirs are required to either destroy it or “surrender the weapon to a law enforcement agency for destruction.” So the statute represents a ban, followed by confiscation.

If people actually read the bills, especially HF 241-244 they will find out it actually turns many lawful gun owners into felons. HF 241 calls for registration and annual back ground checks and home inspections, by force if necessary.

So how many of you are willing to comply? And why is no one moving to recall this woman from office?

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Tennessee: Have you people lost your minds?

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Marti Oakley

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We reported last week on the sudden installation of TSA checkpoints on the highways in Tennessee.  Apparently, the terrorist situation has increased exponentially in that fair state and Homeland Security is now sending more TSA agents in to aid state troopers in an effort to protect trick-or- treaters from impaired drivers.  This has got to be one of the lamest excuses yet to come from HSD to try and justify their unlawful entry into a sovereign state, for the violation of rights and in violation of Constitutional rights. 

“State Troopers will be conducting safety checkpoints, sobriety roadblocks, saturation patrols and other enforcement techniques to look for aggressive or impaired drivers,” over the next few days, in order to “keep roadways safe for trick-or-treaters,” according to Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons, whose office’s role includes “terrorism prevention”.’

See! Its for the KIDS!  And you do love the kids, don’t you?  Well….DON”T YOU?  More

Tennessee Highways–TSA performing unwarranted random searches

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Marti Oakley (c)copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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As Smedley Butler said: “It is always easy to convince half of the people to kill the other half.”  

Say hello to the invasion of  TSA agents inside the states, on our roads, unlawfully and illegally interfering with the right to travel freely….unacosted by government agents.  More

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