Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Senate Bill 1959 to Criminalize Thoughts, Blogs, Books and Free Speech Across America

The end of Free Speech in America has arrived at our doorstep. It’s a new law called the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, and it is worded in a clever way that could allow the U.S. government to arrest and incarcerate any individual who speaks out against the Bush Administration, the war on Iraq, the Department of Homeland Security or any government agency (including the FDA). The law has already passed the House on a traitorous vote of 405 to 6, and it is now being considered in the Senate where a vote is imminent. All over the internet, intelligent people who care about freedom are speaking out against this extremely dangerous law: Philip Giraldi at the Huffington Post, Declan McCullagh at CNET’s News.com, Kathryn Smith at OpEdNews.com, and of course Alex Jones at PrisonPlanet.com

This bill is the beginning of the end of Free Speech in America. If it passes, all the information sources you know and trust could be shut down and their authors imprisoned. NewsTarget could be taken offline and I could be arrested as a “terrorist.” Jeff Rense at www.Rense.com could be labeled a “terrorist” and arrested. Byron Richards, Len Horowitz, Paul Craig Roberts, Greg Palast, Ron Paul and even Al Gore could all be arrested, silenced and incarcerated. This is not an exaggeration. It is a literal reading of the law, which you can check yourself here: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/h1955_rfs.xml

—-

This is scary stuff. Time to get in gear folks.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Local 2 Investigates Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test - Local 2 Investigates News Story - KPRC Houston

Montalvo told reporters the unmanned aircraft would be used for “mobility” or traffic issues, evacuations during storms, homeland security, search and rescue, and also “tactical.” She admitted that could include covert police actions and she said she was not ruling out someday using the drones for writing traffic tickets.

A large number of the officers at the test site were assigned to the department’s ticket-writing Radar Task Force. Capt. Tom Runyan insisted they were only there to provide “site security,” even though KPRC cameras spotted those officers heavily participating in the test flight.

Houston police contacted KPRC from the test site, claiming the entire airspace was restricted by the Federal Aviation Administration. Police even threatened action from the FAA if the Local 2 helicopter remained in the area. However, KPRC reported it had already checked with the FAA on numerous occasions and found no flight restrictions around the site, a point conceded by Montalvo.

HPD leaders said they would address privacy and unlawful search questions later.

Out of control. WTF?

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad.”
— James Madison

Take Action!

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Bush Signs Law to Widen Reach for Wiretapping - New York Times
President Bush signed into law on Sunday legislation that broadly expanded the government’s authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.

Congressional aides and others familiar with the details of the law said that its impact went far beyond the small fixes that administration officials had said were needed to gather information about foreign terrorists. They said seemingly subtle changes in legislative language would sharply alter the legal limits on the government’s ability to monitor millions of phone calls and e-mail messages going in and out of the United States.

They also said that the new law for the first time provided a legal framework for much of the surveillance without warrants that was being conducted in secret by the National Security Agency and outside the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that is supposed to regulate the way the government can listen to the private communications of American citizens.

“This more or less legalizes the N.S.A. program,” said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington, who has studied the new legislation.

Previously, the government needed search warrants approved by a special intelligence court to eavesdrop on telephone conversations, e-mail messages and other electronic communications between individuals inside the United States and people overseas, if the government conducted the surveillance inside the United States.

Today, most international telephone conversations to and from the United States are conducted over fiber-optic cables, and the most efficient way for the government to eavesdrop on them is to latch on to giant telecommunications switches located in the United States.

By changing the legal definition of what is considered “electronic surveillance,” the new law allows the government to eavesdrop on those conversations without warrants — latching on to those giant switches — as long as the target of the government’s surveillance is “reasonably believed” to be overseas.

For example, if a person in Indianapolis calls someone in London, the National Security Agency can eavesdrop on that conversation without a warrant, as long as the N.S.A.’s target is the person in London.

Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, said Sunday in an interview that the new law went beyond fixing the foreign-to-foreign problem, potentially allowing the government to listen to Americans calling overseas.

But he stressed that the objective of the new law is to give the government greater flexibility in focusing on foreign suspects overseas, not to go after Americans.


Yeah - because we all know it’s all about the intent. And the intents are wholly honorable. WTF ever. More fascist power-grabbing. And Congress is going along for the ride.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Think Progress » Cheney Says He Is A ‘Unique Creature,’ Refuses To Say He Is Part Of Executive Branch
MARK KNOLLER: Another issue, why did your office stop filing reports about your handling of classified material with the National Archives?

DICK CHENEY: Well, there’s an executive order that covers that was issued in 2003 that makes it clear that the vice president’s to be treated the same as the president. And neither one of them is to file those reports with the national archives.

KNOLLER: There’s no cover up?

CHENEY: Nothing to cover up.

KNOLLER: There was an aide in your office who said one of the reasons you weren’t abiding by that executive order is that you’re really not part of the executive branch. Are you part of the executive branch, sir?

CHENEY: Well, the job of Vice President is an interesting one, because you have a foot in both the executive and the legislative branch. Obviously, I have an office in the West Wing of the White House, I am an adviser to the president, I sit as a member of the National Security Council. At the same time, under the constitution, I have legislative responsibilities. I’m actually paid by the Senate, not by the executive. I sit as the President of the Senate, the presiding officer of the Senate. I cast tie breaking votes in the Senate. So the vice president is kind of a unique creature, if you will, in that you’ve got a foot in both branches.

KNOLLER: But you are principally a part of the executive branch, are you not?

CHENEY: Well, I suppose you could argue it either way. The fact is I do work in both branches. Under the Constitution, I’m assigned responsibilities in the legislative branch. Then the president obviously gives me responsibilities in the executive branch. And I perform both those functions, although I think it’d be fair to say I spent more time on executive matters than legislative matters.

KNOLLER: But two Saturdays ago, for two hours and five minutes, you were technically acting President of the United States when Mr. Bush invoked the 25th amendment. So that certainly made you a part of the executive branch.

CHENEY: Correct.

Gotta love Dick.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

N.H. Gov. signs bill that rejects federal Real ID law
July 05, 2007 (Computerworld) — New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch last week signed into law a bill that forbids New Hampshire government agencies from complying with the controversial federal national identification act, or Real ID bill.

The New Hampshire Legislature had overwhelming passed the bill this past spring and handed it off to Lynch, who signed it on June 27.

“Real ID is intended to make us all safer, which I think we can all agree is a laudable goal,” said Lynch in a statement. “However, I strongly believe Real ID’s proposed haphazard implementation and onerous provisions would have the exact opposite effect. The federal government obviously did not think this burdensome system through and that is why we in New Hampshire are right to reject it.”

Right on, New Hampshire - Now everyone else needs to do the same. Apparently Congress is incapable of doing the right thing here - the States will have to do it for them.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Challenge to Secret Wiretaps Is Dismissed - New York Times
A divided federal appeals court yesterday dismissed a case challenging the National Security Agency’s program to wiretap without warrants the international communications of some Americans, reversing a trial judge’s order that the program be shut down.
The majority in a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, ruled on a narrow ground, saying the plaintiffs, including lawyers and journalists, could not show injury direct and concrete enough to allow them to have standing to sue.

Because it may be impossible for any plaintiff to demonstrate injury from the highly classified wiretapping program, the effect of the ruling was to insulate it from judicial scrutiny. Thus, the program’s secrecy is proving to be its best legal protection.

So this is just wonderful. The Executive Branch can now wiretap without warrants with impunity. Even when King George II is gone.
Forget the Constitution - the ruling that it was illegal was reversed on appeal because the plaintiffs can’t show harm. ???? It violates the Constitution - why should the burden of showing harm be an issue. Especially when all the evidence of harm is “secret” and can’t be used. Nice.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

FBI audit finds widespread abuse in data collection - Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An internal FBI audit has found the agency violated rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data on domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions in recent years, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The number of violations uncovered by the audit was far greater than those previously documented in a Justice Department report in March, the Post said.

The vast majority of newly discovered violations were instances in which telephone companies and Internet providers gave agents phone and e-mail records the agents did not request and were not authorized to collect, the Post said.

The agents retained the information in their files, which mostly concerned suspected terrorist or espionage activities, according to the report.

The new audit covers just 10 percent of the FBI’s national security investigations since 2002, so the actual number of violations in the FBI’s domestic surveillance efforts probably number several thousand, bureau officials told the newspaper in interviews.

The Justice Department audit found 22 violations in a much smaller sampling.

It sure is a good thing that they’d never abuse that power they’ve taken.

Their own audit only got 22 violations. Hahaha. Who watches the watchers?

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Less Than 0.01% Of Homeland Security Cases Are Terrorism Related
Records obtained from the immigration courts under the Freedom of Information Act show that only 0.0015 percent of the total number of cases filed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were terrorism related, despite the fact that the Bush administration has repeatedly asserted that it is the primary focus of the DHS.

So now I need to find out who this TRAC group is that did the report.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

The Raw Story | Cheney criticizes the Geneva Conventions in Military Academy commencement address
Vice President Dick Cheney criticized the notion of applying the Geneva Conventions to individuals captured in the course of the war on terrorism in a Saturday commencement address at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Completely without honor. Completely un-american. This man is disgusting.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Leahy, Others Speak Out Against New ID Standards - washingtonpost.com
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), citing concerns about Americans’ privacy, signaled yesterday that he will push to repeal a provision of a 2005 law aimed at creating new government standards for driver’s licenses.Leahy, who has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to repeal the provision, spoke out as the debate intensified over the Real ID Act, which requires states to create new tamper-proof driver’s licenses in line with rules recently issued by the Department of Homeland Security. States must begin to comply by May 2008 but can request more time. After 2013, people whose IDs do not meet those standards will not be allowed to board planes or enter federal buildings.
A similar Democrat-backed bill to repeal the provision is pending in the House. At least seven states have passed laws or resolutions opposing implementation of Real ID. Fourteen states have legislation pending. By yesterday, the DHS had received more than 12,000 public comments in response to the rules.

Real ID legislation was tacked onto a 2005 emergency spending bill by House Republicans, without Senate debate, and signed by President Bush. The bill’s passage cut short negotiations between states and the federal government to improve driver’s license security. Advocates of a repeal want to restart the negotiations.

Let’s hope we can get this repealed. Very bad legislation.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

From DHS Alabama anti-government page

(edit: They removed the page. Here is a Google Cache version)

First of all they, the DHS Alabama site (and the DHS Pennsylvania site), use the Gadsen flag on a page representing Domestic Terrorism. Unbelievable.

Now - who is a terrorists?

Some bullet points (straight from the site)

Gun Control = Enslavement

Constitution has been subverted

The U.S. has lost its sovereignty

” In general, these terrorists claim that the U.S. government is infringing on their individual rights, and/or that the government’s policies are criminal and immoral. Such groups may hold that the current government is violating the basic principles laid out by the U.S. Constitution and that a new world order is attempting to enslave humanity.”

“Anarchists groups are the 21st Century’s version of left wing or communist groups of the last. Anarchists believe that any government or organization that has power over others, no matter how good, will eventually become corrupt and abusive. So far, without major causes to incite mass public opinion (such as civil rights and the Vietnam war were in the 1960’s), and without a national organization or coalition of organizations, these groups have focused on specific limited issues.
Most of these groups operate around larger urban areas and colleges/universities.
A diverse mix of organizations, many target hate groups for often violent counter-protests. Some are focused on issues such as World Trade, International Debt, and military involvement in foreign cultures. Meetings of the World Trade Organization or the International Monetary Fund are guaranteed to attract protests.
The theme is always the same. Big is bad. Rich are using the poor to stay rich. Our government in particular is using its power immorally.”

Looks like they are covering all the bases. Painting with a very broad brush. Generally speaking, if you disagree with “the government”, you just might be a domestic terrorist.

Here are some great quotes from some famous domestic terrorists:

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom ofthe people by the gradual and silent encroachments of those in power,than by violent and sudden usurpations.” - James Madison

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” - William Pitt, 1783

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” - George Washington

“It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.” - George Washington

“Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.” - George Washington

“The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” - George Washington

“The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.” - George Washington

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” - Dr. Benjamin Franklin, 1759

“The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it.” - Woodrow Wilson

“The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients.” - Edmund Burke

“The oppressed should rebel, and they will continue to rebel and raise disturbance until their civil rights are fully restored to them and all partial distinctions, exclusions and incapacitations are removed.” - Thomas Jefferson, 1776.

“Convinced that the people are the only safe depositories of their own liberty, and that they are not safe unless enlightened to a certain degree, I have looked on our present state of liberty as a short-lived possession unless the mass of the people could be informed to a certain degree.” - Thomas Jefferson to Littleton Waller Tazewell, 1805.

“A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.” - Thomas Jefferson (writing to James Madison), 1787.

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” - Thomas Jefferson.

“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” - Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1819.

“Most codes extend their definitions of treason to acts not really against one’s country. They do not distinguish between acts against the government, and acts against the oppressions of the government. The latter are virtues, yet have furnished more victims to the executioner than the former, because real treasons are rare; oppressions frequent. The unsuccessful strugglers against tyranny have been the chief martyrs of treason laws in all countries.” - Thomas Jefferson: Report on Spanish Convention, 1792.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Benjamin Franklin

“The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.” - Thomas Paine

“No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.” - Abraham Lincoln

“You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.” - Charles A. Beard (1874-1948), U.S. historian

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

thegavel: Did The White House Miss It? National Guard Readiness Is A Serious Issue For The States
http://www.speaker.gov/blog/?p=349
Today, White House spokesman Tony Snow claimed the crisis in Kansas was not a result of the National Guard being strained and stretched thin by the war in Iraq, but rather a result of Governor Kathleen Sebelius’ failure to communicate the state’s needs to the federal government. But the problems with National Guard readiness country-wide have been at the forefront of the Iraq debate this year and last. In fact, Gov. Sebelius sounded the alarm last year when she told the New York Times, “We are not only missing National Guard personnel…We are also missing a lot of the equipment that’s used to deal with situations at home, day in and day out.” Perhaps the White House missed it.

Not to mention the fact that Bush has basically federalized National Guard troops. The Executive Branch now has primary control of the NG. It’s total crap to try and blame this on the Governor of Kansas. This change in command has happened on Bush’s watch. The National Guard of each state was formerly, and rightly, under the control of each State’s respective Governor. Another effect of this is that the states no longer have any protection from the Federal military to protect their rights (if it came to it).

John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007
Where the States lost control of the Guard
National Governors Association Objection Letter
Where the Governors all objected
Stateline.org article on loss
Where the loss is declared

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

VOA News - Iraq Funding Bill Vetoed by Bush
President Bush has vetoed more than $124 billion worth of funding for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because the measure includes a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.


Not a surprise. Unfortunately. He’s an arrogant SOB with ratings in the toilet and Congress united against him. Time to impeach on any of the multitude of things he’s done wrong.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Essay arrest baffles experts :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State
Police Thursday released portions of an essay used to charge a Cary-Grove High School student with disorderly conduct, leaving several experts puzzled at an arrest based on such schoolwork.

Asked to write about whatever he wanted in a creative writing class, would-be Marine and honors student Allen Lee, 18, described a violent dream in which he shot people and then “had sex with the dead bodies.”

The over-reaction of the nanny-state has begun. ~I mean look!!!! He’s Asian!~ Geez people.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

50% Good News Is the Bad News in Russian Radio - New York Times
MOSCOW, April 21 — At their first meeting with journalists since taking over Russia’s largest independent radio news network, the managers had startling news of their own: from now on, they said, at least 50 percent of the reports about Russia must be “positive.”

In addition, opposition leaders could not be mentioned on the air and the United States was to be portrayed as an enemy, journalists employed by the network, Russian News Service, say they were told by the new managers, who are allies of the Kremlin.

How would they know what constituted positive news?

“When we talk of death, violence or poverty, for example, this is not positive,” said one editor at the station who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution. “If the stock market is up, that is positive. The weather can also be positive.”

In a darkening media landscape, radio news had been a rare bright spot. Now, the implementation of the “50 percent positive” rule at the Russian News Service leaves an increasingly small number of news outlets that are not managed by the Kremlin, directly or through the state national gas company, Gazprom, a major owner of media assets.

The three national television networks are already state controlled, though small-circulation newspapers generally remain independent.

This month alone, a bank loyal to President Vladimir V. Putin tightened its control of an independent television station, Parliament passed a measure banning “extremism” in politics and prosecutors have gone after individuals who post critical comments on Web chat rooms.

As if we didn’t have enough problems. Looks like Bush’s good buddy - Pooty Poot - can’t resist the siren call of communism. Soviet style communism that is.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

BBC NEWS | Americas | Airships to tackle Caracas crime
Officials in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, are taking to the air in an attempt to make the city safer.

The council has bought three mini remote-controlled airships which are soon to be launched to look down on the city monitoring criminal activity.

Each has a camera mounted on it, which beams back pictures to a control room.

The Venezuelan capital is regarded as one of the most dangerous cities in Latin America, with gun crime a particular problem.

There were a few strange looks skywards in Caracas as the new mini Zeppelin took to the skies.

Steered by remote control from the ground, the balloon ducked and dived above the buildings, its pilot showing how manoeuvrable the machine can be.


This is pathetic. Good ol’ Hugo. What an asshat.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Got a reply from Senator Cornyn (R-TX) about my letter to him to stop REAL ID.
Expensive, unconstitutional, big government, big brother, unsecure bullshit National ID.

--

Dear Ms. Keller:

Thank you for contacting me about national identification cards. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important matter.

As you may know, the REAL ID Act (H.R. 418) was introduced by Congressman James Sensenbrenner on January 6, 2005. It was added to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005 (H.R. 1268), which was introduced by Representative Jerry Lewis on March 11, 2005, and passed the House, as amended, on March 16, 2005. An amended H.R. 1268 passed the Senate on April 21, 2005, by a vote of 99–0, but did not include the REAL ID Act provisions.

A conference report resolving differences between the two versions of the bill (H.Rept. 109-72) passed the House on May 5, 2005, and the Senate on May 10, 2005, before being enacted into law on May 11, 2005. The version of the REAL ID Act (P.L. 109-13, Division B) ultimately enacted includes most of the provisions of the REAL ID Act that initially passed the House, though some changes were made to certain REAL ID Act provisions. I supported the REAL ID Act as I believe it to be an important component of national security.

I appreciate having the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.


Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN
United States Senator


----

He's a remote control robot for Bush. Does absolutely everything he's told. I sometimes wonder why I bother.

Thanks for the detailed explanation of WHY you support this piece of crap, jackass.

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