Liberty Activist News Digest

News


| Commentary | Action Items |

Russia: Snowden is surprise guest on Putin phone-in

Hindustan Times [India]

"Edward Snowden, the fugitive former US spy agency contractor who leaked details of US intelligence eavesdropping, made a surprise appearance on a TV phone-in hosted by Vladimir Putin on Thursday, asking the Russian president if his country also tapped the communications of millions. The exchange was the first known direct contact between Putin and Snowden since Russia gave the American refuge last summer after he disclosed widespread monitoring of telephone and internet data by the United States and fled the country." [editor's note: What's most interesting to me is Putin's response -- unlike American politicians ("whatevah -- we do what we want"), for some reason he felt constrained to at least pretend to a respect for rule of law - TLK] (04/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nxfc2fv

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US Army general upholds Manning’s prison sentence

Chelsea Manning Reuters

"A U.S. Army general has denied clemency for Chelsea Manning and upheld the former soldier's 35-year prison sentence for [exposing the US government's crimes to public scrutiny], the Army said Monday. Major General Jeffrey S. Buchanan's decision to uphold the findings [sic] of Manning's 2013 [political show trial] will automatically send the case to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, an Army statement said." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/onrvnhb

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Judge: Feds can hide rationale for murdering US citizen

San Francisco Chronicle

"A Bay Area federal judge says the Obama administration can keep secret a memo spelling out the legal rationale for a 2011 drone attack in Yemen that killed a U.S. citizen and alleged terrorist mastermind. The Justice Department was entitled to withhold the memo on the grounds of national security and lawyer-client confidentiality, Chief U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland said Friday." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lbmr8u5

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WI: GOP to vote on secession at May state convention

Raw Story

"When Republicans in Wisconsin meet for their annual convention next month, one of the topics on the agenda will be whether the party supports seceding from the United States if necessary. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Wisconsin Republican Party’s Resolutions Committee voted earlier this month in favor of a proposal that says the state GOP 'supports legislation that upholds Wisconsin’s right, under extreme circumstances, to secede.' Fringe Republicans managed to defeat more moderate members of the party who were hoping to reject the proposal at the April 5 meeting. The proposal was adopted on a split vote with only a few changes." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l4ochkq

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Reuters wins Pulitzer for reports on persecutions in Myanmar

Reuters

"Reuters won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for international reporting on the violent persecution of a Muslim minority in Myanmar, the Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia University announced. The board commended Jason Szep and Andrew Marshall of Reuters for their 'courageous reports' on the Rohingya, who in their efforts to flee the Southeast Asian country, often fall victim to predatory human-trafficking networks. Their Special Report (Thailand dumps Myanmar’s Muslim refugees into trafficking rings) ran on FaithWorld on December 5, 2013." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n4uakgl

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First “cyber” Pulitzer to publishers of NSA leaks

Christian Science Monitor

"The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded Monday to The Washington Post and The Guardian US for reporting on the global scope and intricacies of the National Security Agency’s global surveillance programs. A controversial award to be sure, the Pulitzer committee appeared to draw distinctions between the two organizations’ approaches to the task of reporting on the tens of thousands of top secret documents leaked to them by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor now living in asylum in Russia." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k3e5t5g

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LAND: The week in review March 30-April 12

Commentary on Women and guns, women and freedom, Hounding of Eich: New cover for dark money defenders, Get thee behind me, Satan … but first, write a check, Review — Kairos: A Proposal to Restore Federalism to the United States, The Internet is tolerant. Don’t agree? Keep out, McCutcheon: Should the rich speak louder?, Liberty: Rooted in rights, and Premature executions
In the news, Tennessee Congressman challenges AG on “fallacious” pot laws, Report: OKCupid CEO donated to anti-gay politician, Couple fights to save land from eminent domain, Costa Rica voting: Yes or no for president, Pussy Riot protesters cleared of religious hatred charge, Greece: Regime bans protests at EU ministers’ meetingsm Albuquerque protests over police killing turn to “mayhem,”

Til next week

For freedom

Mary Lou

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Tennessee Congressman challenges AG on “fallacious” pot laws

Raw Story

"A pro-pot legislator has pointedly asked Attorney General Eric Holder why he wants to wait for Congress to loosen marijuana laws. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) reminded Holder during a House Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday that the attorney general had the authority to ask the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a study of cannabis for the possibility of reclassifying it as an illegal drug. ... The lawmaker said its classification alongside much harder drugs 'breeds contempt for our laws....'" [editor's note: Are you getting as sick as I am of the Executive Branch hiding behind Congress and shirking its own valid powers? - SAT] (04/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p43s23r

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Report: OKCupid CEO donated to anti-gay politician

San Francisco Chronicle

"OKCupid told users last week that Mozilla Firefox’s new CEO allegedly opposed equality for gay couples, an announcement that ended up forcing the CEO to step down. But a new report finds that OKCupid’s own CEO once did something very similar -- donate money to a politician with an anti-gay voting record." [editor's note: Both of these revelations should have been nobody's business; however, the hypocrisy of OKCupid is of note - SAT] (04/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nu52ry4

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CO: Couple fights to save land from eminent domain

Fox News

"'They're spending us to death,' said landowner Andy Barrie. He is not talking about property taxes, inflation or even the cost of skiing in glitzy ski country. Rather, he's talking about the legal fight he and his wife have been waging to save their pristine piece of mountain property -- with breathtaking views of Colorado's high country -- from being taken over by the county through eminent domain. Their battle is a unique test of private property rights. Unlike in countless other cases, where local governments have used those powers to seize land to make way for a road or some economic development project, Colorado's Summit County is using eminent domain to go after the Barries' land simply because officials want the open space." (04/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/npfzuqj

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Costa Rica voting: Yes or no for president

Raw Story

"Voting got under way in Costa Rica on Sunday, where historian and former diplomat Luis Guillermo Solis faced no opposition in the country's presidential run-off election. His lone rival in the race, conservative contender Johnny Araya, dropped out last month after polls showed he would be soundly defeated, giving the centrist Solis an easy glide path toward victory in the election to lead this country of some five million people." [editor's note: A clear case where NOTA should be an option - SAT] (04/06/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kdchtan

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Russia: Pussy Riot protesters cleared of religious hatred charge

Reuters

"Two women from Russia’s Pussy Riot protest group who were jailed for a song deriding President Vladimir Putin were cleared in a Moscow court on Friday of inciting religious hatred. But the court knocked only one month off their two-year sentences, upholding a charge of hooliganism. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova spent nearly two years in prison after performing a protest song against Putin in Moscow’s main cathedral in 2012. Many in the West criticized the harshness of the sentence, saying it was evidence of a clamp-down on dissent." [editor's note: So, after they served almost the entire prison-terms, and then got "amnesty" just before they were due for release, we now find the charges themselves have been dropped? Don't ya love "justice"? - SAT] (04/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mlbpr6c

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Greece: Regime bans protests at EU ministers’ meetings

Washington Post

"Greek authorities have banned demonstrations in much of central Athens to forestall planned anti-austerity protests at this week’s meetings of European Union finance ministers. Labor unions and leftwing groups have called for three separate rallies Tuesday outside the prohibited area, but it was unclear whether demonstrators would challenge police cordons and try to reach Parliament, the customary focal point for protests." (03/31/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n899gz9

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NM: Albuquerque protests over police killing turn to “mayhem,” says mayor

Washington Post

"Hundreds of protesters blocked traffic, trying to get on freeways and shouting out anti-police slogans. They trapped police in a vehicle and tried to break the windows. Gas canisters were thrown outside police headquarters and Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputies charged at demonstrators to disperse the crowd. That was the scene in Albuquerque described late Sunday night by news reports. It was unfortunate but characteristic of riots. What wasn’t so typical was the work of 'hacktivists' who reportedly sparked the protests, participating on the other side of the mayhem and teargas." (03/31/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m4unugv

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LAND: The week in review March 16-29

Commentary on The “perks” of NSA surveillance, Chilling effect, next steps, final steps, hope, “Insanity” is now gun control—Are you nuts? and The new Inquisition ....In the news Northwestern players get union vote and SCOTUS: Can corporations assert religious rights?

Til next week

For freedom

Mary Lou

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Northwestern players get union vote

ESPN News

"In a potentially game-changing moment for college athletics, the Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board ruled on Wednesday that Northwestern football players qualify as employees of the university and can unionize. NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr cited the players' time commitment to their sport and the fact that their scholarships were tied directly to their performance on the field as reasons for granting them union rights. Ohr wrote in his ruling that the players 'fall squarely within the [National Labor Relations] Act's broad definition of "employee" when one considers the common law definition of "employee."'" (03/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pmom9mx

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SCOTUS: Can corporations assert religious rights?

Christian Science Monitor

"President Obama’s Affordable Care Act comes under close scrutiny at the US Supreme Court on Tuesday, with the justices poised to examine whether the measure violates the religious rights of company owners who object to being forced by the government to pay for certain birth control methods that offend their religious beliefs. The high court is set to hear two consolidated cases in which business owners are seeking a religious exemption from the ACA’s requirement that large employers provide their workers cost-free contraceptives." (03/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nkpos8s

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LAND: The week in review March 2-15

Commentary on Torturing Senator Feinstein’s CIA torture study, The Snowden testimony, Last rural abortion clinics in Texas shut down, Richmond and eminent domain, Best amicus brief ever, Down Dixie way and Worth their salt ....In the news, US House passes bill to crack down on legal weed, Showdown: Tesla Motors vs. Chris Christie, SCOTUS dismisses “I Heart Boobies” appeal, CT: First state to curb loud movies, UK: Policing “damaged” after Stephen Lawrence report, Cops ‘secret weapon’: warrantless cellphone tracking, LA CC approves e-cigarette ban, Ultra-Orthodox Jews stage anti-draft protest, Venezuela: Opposition keeps protests despite carnival season

Til next week

For freedom

Mary Lou

No Comments »

US House passes bill to crack down on legal weed

Raw Story

"Legislation approved by House Republicans would force President Barack Obama to crack down on marijuana in states that have made the drug legal for medical or recreational use. The House passed the Enforce the Law Act by a vote of 233-181 on Wednesday. The bill was introduced by Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jim Gerlach (R-PA) to allow Congress to sue the president for failing to faithfully execute laws." [editor's note: Once again, their stupidity knows no bounds - SAT] (03/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pjx5zoy

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Showdown: Tesla Motors vs. Chris Christie

San Francisco Chronicle

"Tesla Motors on Tuesday accused New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration of a political double-cross that could hobble the electric automaker’s growth in the Garden State. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission on Tuesday adopted a rule that blocks the company from selling directly to consumers in the state. In a post on the Palo Alto company’s blog, Tesla said the administration had 'gone back on its word,' claiming two top Christie aides had agreed not to move forward with the regulation. And the company framed its complaint in a way the Republican Christie would understand." (03/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qgo2p5q

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SCOTUS dismisses “I Heart Boobies” appeal

Raw Story

"Two U.S. students won the right to wear breast cancer awareness wristbands bearing the slogan 'I Heart Boobies' Monday after the Supreme Court dismissed a bid by a school district to ban the bracelets. The top court announced it would not hear a case sought by Easton Area Middle School, meaning that a lower court ruling last year in favor of the students will stand. ... Lawyers for the Pennsylvania school district had argued that the wristband’s lighthearted slogan carried sexual connotations but the schoolgirls continued to wear them citing rights to freedom of expression." (03/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/llddtl6

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CT: First state to curb loud movies

Fox News

"Connecticut could become the first state to curb loud movies under proposed legislation that's drawing opposition from the Motion Picture Association of America. The legislature's Public Safety and Security Committee is considering the bill, which would prevent theaters from showing a film or preview that exceeded 85 decibels. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends noise should be kept below 85 decibels for workers for eight hours to minimize hearing loss." (03/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q3rcfoh

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UK: Policing “damaged” after Stephen Lawrence report

BBC News [UK state media]

"Policing stands damaged after the findings of a review into the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation, Home Secretary Theresa May has said. A report found a Metropolitan Police officer spied on the Lawrence family, and it did not rule out that corruption may have compromised the investigation. Mrs May said some undercover operations could have led to wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice. She also announced a judge-led public inquiry into undercover policing." (03/06/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26474009

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FL: Cops ‘secret weapon’: warrantless cellphone tracking

Blacklisted News

""olice in Florida have offered a startling excuse for having used a controversial “stingray” cellphone tracking gadget 200 times without ever telling a judge: the device’s manufacturer made them sign a non-disclosure agreement that they say prevented them from telling the courts." (03/03/14)

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Florida_Cops%E2%80%99_Secret_Weapon%3A_Warrantless_Cellphone_Tracking/33344/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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CA: LA CC approves e-cigarette ban

Reuters

"The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban the use of electronic cigarettes, popularly known as 'vaping,' from restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other public spaces within the nation's second-largest city. If signed into law by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the measure would take effect in 30 days, said Tony Arranaga, spokesman for Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, one of the sponsors of the bill." [editor's note: Hey folks, have you been around anyone who smokes these? There is NO second-hand smoke, NO offensive odor (to smell or carry home on your clothes) ... and all this will do is make people go back to actually affecting the non-smokers around them! - SAT] (03/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mffk7gt

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Commentary


| News | Action Items |

Liberty movement rising

Alt-Market
by Brandon Smyth

"The label of 'fringe' is a common one used by statists, bureaucrats and paid shills in order to marginalize those who would stand against government corruption. The primary assertion being sold is that the 'majority' joyously supports the establishment; and the majority, of course, is always right." (04/17/14)

http://www.alt-market.com/articles/2097-liberty-movement-rising

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Civil disobedience: King versus Huemer

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

"Martin Luther King's 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail' defends an odd position: You may morally break an unjust law IF you make no effort to evade the legal punishment for the unjust law you break. The obvious question: If the law is unjust, doesn't consenting to punishment simply compound the injustice?" (04/15/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/04/civil_disobedie_1.html

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Women and guns, women and freedom

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
by Claire Wolfe

"But I fear that a lot of the new women who are buying guns, taking training, and enjoying the skills and thrills of shooting sports haven't (yet) grasped the bigger implications of their choices. That is, they still have a ways to go before they understand that guns don't merely protect people; they potentially protect freedom. Without greater understanding of history, of the principles of liberty, and of the Bill of Rights, many of these women may go no farther than they already have." (04/06/14)

http://jpfo.org/articles-assd04/women-and-guns-women-and-freedom.htm

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Hounding of Eich: New cover for dark money defenders

The New Republic
by Alec MacGillis

"As if there weren’t enough reasons for liberals to have misgivings about the hounding of a Silicon Valley executive over his $1,000 check to an anti-same sex marriage campaign, there’s also this: the episode is giving cover to those fighting to keep secret the vast sums of dark money flowing into American politics. When the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission last week eliminated overall limits on how much wealthy donors could contribute to candidates, parties and political action committees in a given campaign cycle, supporters of the decision rationalized that it would be better for democratic accountability because these contributions would be public." (04/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oloaq5e

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Get thee behind me, Satan … but first, write a check

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

"After the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision Wednesday that threw out a cap on the total amount wealthy donors can give to federal candidates in an election season, Democrats and self-proclaimed do-gooders cried foul at the prospect of more big money tainting Washington politics. ... Stop, please. The Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org estimates that GOP biggie Sheldon Adelson and his wife bulldozed $93 million into conservative super PACS in 2012. Does anyone inside the Beltway really believe that special interests have been holding back and now that they can give $5,200 to more than nine candidates, the big money is really going to roll out?" (04/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m9stw7t

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Review — Kairos: A Proposal to Restore Federalism to the United States

Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe

"Laird Minor, a good guy and a member of the Living Freedom Commentariat, has just published a new book. It’s called Kairos: A Proposal to Restore Federalism to the United States.Okay, I hear the keyboards of the anarchists and cynics charging up now. I suspect I’m even hearing the sound of a few claws being sharpened out there. I suspect Laird’s expecting that." (04/06/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ngz44bg

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The Internet is tolerant. Don’t agree? Keep out

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

"Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, gave $1,000 to Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure passed by a majority of California voters to limit marriage to one man and one woman. The U.S. Supreme Court voided the measure, but the hate campaign against its supporters lives on. There's a Twitter campaign to force Eich to step down." [editor's note: Umm, update ... he did; her points are still valid, though -- and I did NOT stop using their browser, which is still superior to pretty much anything else out there - SAT] (04/03/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ll27v9y

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McCutcheon: Should the rich speak louder?

Reuters
by Jeffrey Rosen

"On Wednesday, the Supreme Court handed down its most important decision on campaign finance reform since Citizens United. The decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, seemed to divide along familiar ideological lines, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority opinion for five conservatives, and Justice Stephen Breyer writing the dissent for the four liberals. What really divided the court, however, wasn’t partisan politics pitting Republicans against Democrats but two conflicting views of the First Amendment." [editor's note: As usual, an ill-fated attempt at controlling oligarchy behavior, rather than limiting the effects of its power - SAT] (04/03/14)

http://tinyurl.com/laf3cuy

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Liberty: Rooted in rights

Strike the Root
by Jim Davies

"Everyone wants to be free, to make his own decisions without interference. That's a no-brainer; if there are any exceptions beyond those unhappily born without the ability to manage for themselves, they are very few. I never met anyone who said 'Rule me, please!'" (03/31/14)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/liberty-rooted-in-rights

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Premature executions

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Christopher Brauchli

"The question is, what is the highest court in the land? The uninformed will immediately respond that it is the United States Supreme Court and the next highest, in the legal hierarchy, the Federal Courts of Appeal. People answering in that fashion can be forgiven for their answers since they are merely reflecting conventional wisdom. In fact, however, the highest court in the land is the Missouri Supreme Court. It has repeatedly shown itself to be above the United States Supreme Court and other federal courts when it comes to death penalty cases over which, most people, including the federal courts themselves, thought they had the final word." (03/30/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/28/premature-executions/

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The “perks” of NSA surveillance

The Nation
by Tom Tomorrow

Cartoon. (03/25/14)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/178987/perks-nsa-surveillance

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Chilling effect, next steps, final steps, hope

Popehat
by Clark Bianco

"The system is unreformable. It has more guns than the good guys (at least now). But if discontent grows and enough people start to stop talking about 'our government' and start talking 'your [ illegitimate ] government,' at some point even the hard men look out at the swelling crowd, realize that they are on the wrong side of history, and go home. Or at least we can hope." (03/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/owmwqtn

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“Insanity” is now gun control—Are you nuts?

The Libertarian Enterprise
by Alan Korwin

"This -- the slippery mental-health database entries as a gun-ban tool is a battleground for our rights we have not recognized yet. The quiet 'reasonable' drumbeat to find and lockup the crazies is not getting softer. Everyone is afraid to speak out against mental health -- and the priesthood of head doctors running that crazy carnival. Eventually, the propagandists who are already attacking everything about gun ownership will slip into the obvious -- the very desire to even own a gun is practically proof that you must be nuts. What sane person would want to own a killing machine, right?" (03/17/14)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle762-20140316-03.html

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The new Inquisition

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith

"Psychology can be fooled into incarcerating individuals who are perfectly sane, as it once did with Nellie Bly, a courageous reporter investigating conditions in a New York mental asylum late in the 19th century. Nor have its powers of diagnosis much improved since then. On the other hand, if, like Ezra Pound or Frances Farmer (look them up), you hold opinions contrary to those the government wants you to hold -- especially today on global warming, gun ownership, race relations, or the meaning and significance of the U.S. Constitution -- it will more than question your sanity, it will lock you up and tear it to bits." (03/16/14)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle762-20140316-02.html

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Torturing Senator Feinstein’s CIA torture study

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

"Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein 'reluctantly' accused the CIA on Tuesday of spying on her committee. The CIA should be very afraid. DiFi has stood out as Langley's fiercest Democratic defender. Now she threatens to become the agency's biggest nightmare. Edward Snowden accused Feinstein of hypocrisy for protesting when spooks spy on Congress, not regular folk. Others hailed her for courageously standing up to CIA thuggery. Me? I cannot fathom why the CIA would pick this fight, although that doesn't mean Feinstein's wrong." (03/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qakoa5t

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The Snowden testimony

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark

"The case of Edward Snowden is an object study about why whistleblowers have mountains to climb when it comes to revealing abuses within a system. Last Friday, Snowden detailed a series of answers to submitted questions from the European Parliament outlining what those mountains were." (03/10/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/10/the-snowden-testimony/

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Last rural abortion clinics in Texas shut down

The American Prospect
by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

"Since November, the last abortion clinics in East Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, some of the poorest and most remote parts of the state, have been hanging on by their fingernails. The two clinics, both outposts of a network of abortion providers called Whole Woman’s Health, stayed open with slimmed-down staffs while their owner, Amy Hagstrom Miller, struggled to comply with the first chunk of HB2, ... which requires abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. Today, after weeks of failed negotiations with nearby hospitals, Hagstrom Miller announced that both clinics are closing their doors. The clinics in Beaumont, about an hour east of Houston, and McAllen, just north of the Mexico border, were the last rural abortion providers left in Texas. " (03/06/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mw656un

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Richmond and eminent domain

CounterPunch
by Ellen Brown

"Gayle McLaughlin, the bold mayor of Richmond, California, has gone where no woman dared go before, threatening to take underwater mortgages by eminent domain from Wall Street banks and renegotiate them on behalf of beleaguered homeowners. A member of the Green Party, which takes no corporate campaign money, she proved her mettle standing up to Chevron, which dominates the Richmond landscape. But the banks have signaled that if Richmond or another city tries the eminent domain gambit, they will rush to court seeking an injunction. Their grounds: an unconstitutional taking of private property and breach of contract." (03/05/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/05/richmond-and-eminent-domaine/

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Best amicus brief ever

Above the Law
by David Lat

"Today we bring you an amicus brief that will make you laugh out loud -- which shouldn’t be surprising, given that it’s being submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of a leading humorist .... On Friday, the Cato Institute submitted an amicus brief on behalf of itself and one of its fellows, legendary political satirist P.J. O’Rourke, in the case of Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus. The case involves a First Amendment challenge to an Ohio law that makes it a crime to 'disseminate a false statement concerning a candidate, either knowing the same to be false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false.'" (03/03/14)

http://abovethelaw.com/2014/03/best-amicus-brief-ever/

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Down Dixie way

Fred Reed Fred On Everything
by Fred Reed

"There was a wildness to the South, a sense that anything could happen. It didn’t feel controlled. Maybe it wasn’t obvious. People talked soft and slow like the Good Lord intended, instead of honking through their noses the way they do in Brooklyn, and they were polite and friendly. You didn’t want to lean on them, though. That wasn’t a good idea." (03/03/14)

http://www.fredoneverything.net/Dixie.shtml

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Worth their salt

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Jane Slaughter

"Bosses hate a salt -- a pro-union worker who’s taken a job with the intent to organize. A few unions are recruiting salts these days, usually young people who apply for low-wage jobs in retail, hospitality, or logistics. But unions are reluctant to talk about salting, not wanting to alert management to look out for suspicious characters. In this article every worker will use a pseudonym and their situations will be disguised." (03/02/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/28/organizers-worth-their-salt/

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What if Americans demanded the ouster of this government?

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by David Lindorff

"Now let’s compare those fine, high-minded scoldings and warnings -- and remember, we’re talking about three countries where the protesters have been seeking the overthrow of their existing governments, not just for reforms in the system, and protesters, particularly in Ukraine and Venezuela, who have themselves resorted to violence and especially to property damage -- to how our own government these days responds to peaceful public protest." (02/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mwu77se

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The auction block comes to Colorado

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith

"Our concern, here, is not so much with the religious or free speech aspects of the First Amendment, as with the Thirteenth Amendment. It isn't really that surprising: underneath the skin of every 'progressive,' there is a would-be plantation-owner and slave-keeper, struggling to get out. Democrats have a long, sick history of always supporting involuntary servitude of one kind or another. It's why they're all such fans of victim disarmament -- you can't have slaves running around the plantation toting guns, now, can you?" (02/24/14)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle759-20140223-02.html

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NSA concedes: Parody T-shirts that use NSA’s name and logo aren’t illegal

The Volokh Conspiracy
by Eugene Volokh

"I wrote about this incident last fall, and now the National Security Agency has folded (as has the Department of Homeland Security with regard to a similar controversy), thanks to the work of Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen, who represented the designers. Here is the letter the NSA agreed to send Zazzle ..." (02/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k3ffesd

2 Comments »

The surveillance of WikiLeaks

Wikileaks CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark

"If only we could say it was the first time. Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have become the bread and butter of a good many staff in the National Security Agency and their British equivalent, GCQH. The outfit is also providing rich fare for a range of agencies keen to mark out WikiLeaks in some capacity as an illegal organisation. The effort has so far failed because the implications -- at least for now -- are simply too terrifying, especially for those with even a shade of interest in publishing and reporting. Criminalise WikiLeaks, and you criminalise us all." (02/22/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/21/the-surveillance-of-wikileaks/

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Amazon’s collaboration with the CIA

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Normon Solomon

"As the world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon wants a benevolent image to encourage trust from customers. Obtaining vast quantities of their personal information has been central to the firm’s business model. But Amazon is diversifying -- and a few months ago the company signed a $600 million contract with the Central Intelligence Agency to provide 'cloud computing” services.'" (02/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mgc6vky

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Students for Liberty

John Stossel Fox News Forum
by John Stossel

"On Saturday, some 1,500 students from all over the world gathered to discuss freedom at the Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C. Economist Donald Boudreaux showed the students a department store catalog from 1958 to underscore how the free market, while contributing to income inequality, also dramatically improved the lives of the poor. ... That's how free markets work: quietly, gradually improving things. That doesn't always appeal to impatient young people -- or to radical old people who fancy themselves social engineers who should shape the world." (02/19/14)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/02/19/students-for-liberty

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Tyrant’s Day 2014

Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert

"There is no better way to celebrate Tyrant’s Day than to talk about the nightmare scenario of any sitting President which is the secession and dissolution of the Constitutional Union and the freeing of the people presently living in the USSA." (02/17/14)

http://zerogov.com/?p=3285

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Missing Comma: Studioless Podcasting #3

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Trevor Hultner

"Previous columns in this series explored briefly the hows and whats of studioless podcasting. This final installment hopes to explain the 'why.' Why is studioless podcasting important? Podcasting represents a radical decentralization of the airwaves that can’t actually take place on the airwaves, for a few reasons." (02/18/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/24729

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The five criminals

CounterPunch
by Paul Craig Roberts

"All five of these Gestapo wannabes are in violation of their oath of office to protect the Constitution of the United States. They have relentlessly violated the Constitution, which makes these five, who are in charge of US intelligence and black operations, traitors to the United States. Yet, they have not been arrested and put on trial. Congress is content to sit there and listen to their ongoing lies time after time after time, despite the fact that these 5 have committed more and worse crimes against our country than the “terrorists” that serve as an excuse for the crimes committed by the intelligence agencies." (02/18/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/18/the-five-criminals/

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Drop charges against woman brutalized by NYPD at protest

Activist Post
by Kevin Zeese

"Drop the charges against Cecily McMillan. McMillan was sexually assaulted, beaten unconscious and into seizures by NY Police, but the city is charging her with felony assault over the incident." (02/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o5qunxw

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The Chicago Tribune’s War on dissent

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Chris Geovanis

"The Chicago Tribune threw down the gauntlet this week in the war on dissent -- and came in solidly on the side of the billy club and the black-masked police provocateur. In its February 10 op ed piece, the paper’s apparatchiks undertake what all good instruments of the jack-boot state do -- they reinvented history." (02/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l2yta49

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Being homeless is not a crime

The Libertarian Republic
by Father Nathan Monk

"But outside it was 17 degrees and raining and sleeting, and if you were homeless, you had to consider that if you used a blanket to shield yourself from the elements, that you might be hauled off to jail for a violation of a local ordinance prohibiting using blankets, cardboard, or newspaper to cover yourself." (02/07/14)

http://tinyurl.com/owwft9v

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Legal pot coming soon? 50-state marijuana law roundup

Reason Reason
by John K. Ross

"The march towards good sense and marijuana freedom continues apace. To give a glimpse of what’s in store for 2014, here’s a 50-state guide to legislation and ballot measures that are in the works thus far this year." (02/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kouffzz

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Free Barrett Brown

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

"As long as Barrett Brown is in jail, claims that the United States is a 'free country' -- indeed, the 'beacon of freedom' in the world -- are just so much horseshit." (02/05/14)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/02/04/free-barrett-brown/

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Action Items


| News | Commentary |

August 4: Rally against unconstitutional surveillance

1984 Day

"This Sunday – 8/4 – Rally Against Unconstitutional Surveillance
Join thousands of participants in 1984 Day rallies around the country."

http://1984day.com/

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Occupy Wall Street: Strike The Root! Video Contest

Cop Block

"Can you make a video that communicates the ideas of complete liberty to those at the Occupy Wall Street protests? $400 (as of Sat. Oct 1st). Deadline: 11:55PM EST on Sunday, Oct. 16th" [Sponsors: Strike the Root, Cop Block, Freedom's Phoenix, Liberty on Tour] (10/05/11)

http://www.copblock.org/occupy-wall-street-strike-the-root/

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Lemonade Freedom Day Aug. 20

Lemonade Freedom Day

"Please join us on August 20, 2011 and set up your own lemonade stand. We need to send a message to everyone who is listening. They can not shut down the kids lemonade stands. If you do not have kids or do not want to set up your own lemonade stand, please support a local kid's lemonade stand. Selling lemonade is not a crime!" (07/26/11)

http://www.lemonadefreedom.com/

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Rethinking a bug-out

Living Freedom

"Like most of you, I’ve always had a bug-out bag — a grab-and-go kit — around the house. But I realized as I worked yesterday that I never took those kits completely seriously. Thing is, I didn’t believe I’d need to bug out. Until now, I’ve mostly lived in the sort of places other people would bug out to." (03/21/11)

http://tinyurl.com/49qmqh4

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