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Posts Tagged ‘Constitutional rights’

A federal protection that comes with exemptions is no protection at all. Note that the feds do not vouch for the accuracy of the information they secretly keep. This is a formula for gross abuse.

Last Friday, the federal government’s new anti-terror database, the Terror Screening Watchlist Service, went live. The database is loaded with an unknown amount of personal information, including names, photographs and biometric data. In a new turn that has civil liberties advocates crying foul, the Department of Homeland Security is claiming all information contained in the watchlist is confidential.

Earlier today, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and several other groups filed a formal complaint with DHS about the blanket exemptions to the Privacy Act.

Under DHS’ rules guidelines for the Terror Watch Lists, individuals “do not have an opportunity to decline to provide information” for the database, and cannot obtain the relevant information through the Federal Privacy Act. The Privacy Act is one of the milestone reforms passed in the wake of the Watergate spying scandal. It permits individuals to obtain law enforcement files about them by the government, with the intent of correcting incorrect information.

Read the rest at KALW News.

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More and more, both houses of the U.S. Congress are demonstrating that they are merely ceremonial bodies that rubber-stamp legislation that advances the corporate, defense, and financial interests that own them.

An amendment offered on May 24 by Sen. Ron Wyden would have challenged the Administration’s reliance on what he called “secret law” and required the Attorney General to explain the legal basis for its intelligence collection activities under the USA PATRIOT Act.  But that and other proposed amendments to the PATRIOT Act have been blocked in the Senate.

“The public will be surprised… when they learn about some of the interpretations of the PATRIOT Act,” Sen. Wyden said, based on his access to classified correspondence between the Justice Department and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“U.S. Government officials should not secretly reinterpret public laws and statutes in a manner that is inconsistent with the public’s understanding of these laws or describe the execution of these laws in a way that misinforms or misleads the public.”

Read the rest at Secrecy News.

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Denver cops aren’t known for being warm and cuddly. See also Denver Man Beaten for Offering to Testify against Cops.

On the night of January 15, 2009, nineteen-year-old Community College of Denver student Alexander Landau was stopped by Denver police for allegedly making an illegal left turn. But according to a federal complaint filed yesterday, within minutes of the stop Landau was being beaten by three Denver cops, two of whom were wielding a radio and a flashlight as bludgeons. When it was all over, he was taken to Denver Health to be treated for a broken nose, lacerations and closed head injuries — but not before he demanded somebody take photos of him.

The lengthy and detailed complaint is the latest in a string of high-profile cases of alleged police brutality incidents that have captured local headlines and led to the resignation of Denver Manager of Safety Ron Perea. The issue was even discussed during the swearing-in ceremony of interim mayor Bill Vidal earlier today.

Landau’s story may add fuel to the fire — especially since one of the officers named in his complaint, Randy Murr, also played a role in the controversial police beating of Michael deHerrera. The complaint filed on Landau’s behalf notes that in the process of the traffic stop, police found marijuana on Landau’s passenger, a fellow student named Addison Hunold, and proceeded to search Landau’s car. Apparently the situation spun out of control when the cops asked Landau if they could search his trunk and Landau stepped towards them, asking if they had a warrant. Allegedly the three officers then on the scene – Murr, Ricky Nixon and Tiffany Middleton — then proceeded to punch him in the face and then, once he fell over, beat him for several minutes, with one officer yelling, “He’s going for the gun.” According to the complaint, when it was all over, Landau heard one officer say to him, “Where’s that warrant now, you fucking nigger?

Read the rest at Denver Westword.

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From Alex Jones and Infowars.com:

A plethora of tyrannical campaigns have been initiated and designed to break up communities and turn citizens against one another. The justifications for these fascist programs are always a matter of national security. The real reason for these programs and even the events that brought them into existence is to set up a police control grid.

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This is intimidation, pure and simple. Fundamental legal protections have been swept away in the “war on terror”—whose putative purpose was to go after scary bearded men living in caves—and the state is now going after citizens who speak out against government corruption. When will they come knocking on “Government Against the People”‘s door? When will they come knocking on your door?

A local blogger who was critical of Rep. Billy Long during last year’s congressional campaign has been interviewed by the FBI about his encounters with the congressman.

Clay Bowler, who lives in Christian County, says he was shocked to find an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation at his doorstep. Accompanying the agent was Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott.

The agent asked Bowler if he was a threat to Long, a notion Bowler finds laughable.

“I’m not a threat to Billy Long,” Bowler said Thursday. “I find the whole thought very funny, because I’m such an advocate for constitutional rights that I would never do anything that would put in jeopardy those constitutional rights like the Second Amendment.”

Read the rest at KSPR Television.

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Rumblings from the former Confederacy . . .

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 557

Offered January 12, 2011

Prefiled January 5, 2011

Establishing a joint subcommittee to study whether the Commonwealth should adopt a currency to serve as an alternative to the currency distributed by the Federal Reserve System in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System. Report.

———-

Patron– Marshall, R.G.

———-

Referred to Committee on Rules

———-

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in In re Rahrer, 140 U.S. 545, 554 (1891), that “the police power” of a State “is a power originally and always belonging to the States, not surrendered by them to the general government, nor directly restrained by the Constitution of the United States, and essentially exclusive”; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in Beer Company v. Massachusetts, 97 U.S. 25, 33 (1877), that the police power of the States “extend[s] to the protection of the lives, health, and property of the[ir] citizens, and to the preservation of good order”; and

WHEREAS, the protection of the lives, health, and property of Virginia’s citizens, and the preservation of good order in the Commonwealth, depend upon the maintenance of both an adequate system of governmental finance and a sound and robust private economy; and

WHEREAS, an adequate system of governmental finance and a sound and robust private economy cannot be maintained in the absence of a sound currency; and

WHEREAS, the present monetary and banking systems of the United States, centered around the Federal Reserve System, have come under ever-increasing strain during the last several years, and will be exposed to ever-increasing and predictably debilitating strain in the years to come; and

WHEREAS, many widely recognized experts predict the inevitable destruction of the Federal Reserve System’s currency through hyperinflation in the foreseeable future; and

WHEREAS, in the event of hyperinflation, depression, or other economic calamity related to the breakdown of the Federal Reserve System, for which the Commonwealth is not prepared, the Commonwealth’s governmental finances and Virginia’s private economy will be thrown into chaos, with gravely detrimental effects upon the lives, health, and property of Virginia’s citizens, and with consequences fatal to the preservation of good order throughout the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, Virginia can avoid or at least mitigate many of the economic, social, and political shocks to be expected to arise from hyperinflation, depression, or other economic calamity related to the breakdown of the Federal Reserve System only through the timely adoption of an alternative sound currency that the Commonwealth’s government and citizens may employ without delay in the event of the destruction of the Federal Reserve System’s currency; and

WHEREAS, “legal tender” denotes a currency that must be accepted in payment of a debt denominated in United States “dollars” if the parties have not stipulated that some alternative currency is to be used as their medium of payment or are not otherwise required to use such alternative currency; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Reserve System’s currency has been designated “legal tender” under color of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5103; and

WHEREAS, under Title 12, United States Code, § 411 and Title 31, United States Code, § 5118(b) and (c), the Federal Reserve System’s currency is not redeemable in gold or silver coin or the equivalent in bullion; and

WHEREAS, that the Federal Reserve System’s currency is not redeemable in gold or silver coin or the equivalent in bullion is being identified by more and more experts as a, if not the, major reason for the ever-increasing instability of the Federal Reserve System; and

WHEREAS, all gold and silver coins of the United States are designated “legal tender” under the aegis of Title 31, United States Code, §§ 5103 and 5112(h), and must be so designated perforce of Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 and Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of and the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, each State must make gold and silver coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States in Lane County v. Oregon, 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) 71, 76-78 (1869), and Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701, 706 (1884), has ruled that the States may adopt whatever currency they desire for the purposes of performing their sovereign governmental functions, even to the extent of adopting gold and silver coin for those purposes while refusing to employ a currency not redeemable in gold or silver coin that Congress has designated “legal tender”; and

WHEREAS, “the police power” being the primary sovereign governmental function of every State, under Lane County and Hagar every State may adopt its own currency, consisting of gold or silver, or both, whenever necessary and proper to facilitate exercises of that power in aid of the general welfare of the State and its citizens; and

WHEREAS, under the aegis of Title 31, United States Code, § 5118(d)(2), and perforce of Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 and Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of, and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to, the Constitution of the United States, Americans may employ whatever currency they choose to stipulate as the medium for payment of their private debts, including gold or silver, or both, to the exclusion of a currency not redeemable in gold or silver that Congress may have designated “legal tender”; and

WHEREAS, under the aegis of Title 31, United States Code, § 5118(d)(2), and perforce of Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 and Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of, and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to, the Constitution of the United States, the citizens of Virginia may choose to employ as the medium for payment of their private debts whatever alternative currency, consisting of gold or silver, or both, that the Commonwealth may adopt in the exercise of “the police power”; and

WHEREAS, in light of the possible instability of the Federal Reserve System, proposals for states and their citizens to adopt an alternative currency consisting of gold or silver, or both, are receiving increasing attention throughout the United States, as evidenced by bills that have been or are being introduced in the legislatures of the States of Georgia, Indiana, Montana, New Hampshire, and South Carolina; and

WHEREAS, various systems of alternative currency employing gold or silver, or both, in the form of coin or its equivalent in bullion have already proved themselves in the free market, and could either be employed by the Commonwealth directly or be used as models for a new system created by the Commonwealth to meet Virginia’s unique needs; and

WHEREAS, the adoption of an alternative currency consisting of gold or silver, or both, would not destabilize the present monetary and banking systems, the Commonwealth’s governmental finances, or Virginia’s private economy, because it would not compel or commit the Commonwealth or her citizens to employ such alternative currency to the exclusion of the Federal Reserve System’s currency immediately, but would merely make the alternative currency available, and enable it to be used in competition with and preference to the Federal Reserve System’s currency, to the degree that the need for such use became apparent; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve System have taken and are preparing to take no action to provide the United States with an alternative to the Federal Reserve System’s currency, in the likely event that the latter would be destroyed through hyperinflation; and

WHEREAS, because legislators in Virginia know or should know all of these facts; and because the General Assembly has the authority, the ability, and the duty to take timely action to deal with this situation without first seeking the approval of or assistance from Congress or any other state; and because the Constitution of Virginia provides, “That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them”—for these reasons, the citizens of the Commonwealth will properly conclude that the members of the General Assembly will be primarily responsible if the Commonwealth is found to be without an alternative currency when the Federal Reserve System’s currency collapses in hyperinflation, or some other related economic calamity supervenes; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That a joint subcommittee be appointed to study whether the Commonwealth should adopt a currency to serve as an alternative to the currency distributed by the Federal Reserve System in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System.

The joint subcommittee shall consist of eight legislative members who shall be appointed as follows: five members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates and three members of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. The joint subcommittee shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from among its membership.

In conducting its study, the joint subcommittee shall call or hear from such witnesses and take such other evidence as it deems appropriate and shall consider recommendations for legislation, with respect to the need, means, and schedule for establishing such an alternative currency.

Administrative staff support shall be provided by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Delegates. Legal, research, policy analysis, and other services as requested by the joint subcommittee shall be provided by the Division of Legislative Services. Technical assistance shall be provided by the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Bureau of Financial Institutions of the State Corporation Commission. All other agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the joint subcommittee for this study, upon request.

The joint subcommittee shall be limited to six meetings for the 2011 interim, and the direct costs of this study shall not exceed $12,000 without approval as set out in this resolution. Approval for unbudgeted nonmember-related expenses shall require the written authorization of the chairman of the joint subcommittee and the respective Clerk. If a companion joint resolution of the other chamber is agreed to, written authorization of both Clerks shall be required.

No recommendation of the joint subcommittee shall be adopted if a majority of the House members or a majority of the Senate members appointed to the joint subcommittee (i) vote against the recommendation and (ii) vote for the recommendation to fail notwithstanding the majority vote of the joint subcommittee.

The joint subcommittee shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2011, and the chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2012 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall state that the joint subcommittee intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document and shall specify the date by which the report shall be submitted. The executive summary and the report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports, and shall be posted on the General Assembly’s website.

Implementation of this resolution is subject to subsequent approval and certification by the Joint Rules Committee. The Committee may approve or disapprove expenditures for this study, extend or delay the period for the conduct of the study, or authorize additional meetings during the 2011 interim.

From the Virginia General Assembly.

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