12/3/19

Georgia on My Mind

By: Linda Goudsmit | Pundicity

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is poised to select Kelly Loeffler to replace Georgia’s retiring Republican Senator Johnny Isakson. Kemp’s choice has provoked vehement opposition from conservative Georgians and the White House. Why is Kemp’s choice so controversial?

For starters, President Trump helped Kemp get elected, and POTUS has made it widely known his preference to fill the senate vacancy is conservative Rep. Doug Collins.

So, who is Kelly Loeffler and why is she controversial?

Businesswoman Kelly Loeffler is the chief executive of Bakkt, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE) and co-owner of Georgia’s Women’s National Basketball Association team the Atlanta Dream. Atlanta News Now reports that Loeffler’s application to Governor Kemp states:

“From working on the family farm to creating jobs and opportunity in the business world, I have been blessed to live the American Dream. I am offering myself to serve hardworking Georgians as a political outsider in the United States Senate to protect that dream for everyone.”

But that’s not all!

Kelly Loeffler is married to Jeffrey Sprecher the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE) and Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Jeffrey Sprecher owns the NYSE? Yep!

A December 12, 2013 Reuters article, ICE completes takeover of NYSE, describes the transaction, “The deal, which was worth $10.9 billion as of November 1, gives ICE control of Liffe, Europe’s No. 2 derivatives market, as well as the New York Stock Exchange, which has been at the center of American capitalism since it was started in 1792.”

According to Wikipedia, “Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is an American company that owns exchanges for financial and commodity markets, and operates 12 regulated exchanges and marketplaces. This includes ICE futures exchanges in the United States, Canada, and Europe, the Liffe futures exchanges in Europe, the New York Stock Exchange, equity options exchanges and OTC energy, credit, and equity markets. ICE also owns and operates 6 central clearing houses: ICE Clear U.S., ICE Clear Europe, ICE Clear Singapore, ICE Clear Credit, ICE Clear Netherlands, and ICE NGX.”

According to Fortune Magazine, “In August 2018 Intercontinental Exchange announced it was forming the new company Bakkt, which is intended to leverage Microsoft online servers to manage digital assets. Bakkt was said to be working with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), MicrosoftStarbucks, and others to create a software platform. The Bakkt ecosystem is expected to include federally regulated markets and warehousing along with merchant and consumer applications. Its first use cases will be for trading and conversion of Bitcoin (BTC) versus fiat currenciesKelly Loeffler is Bakkt’s CEO.”

Bakkt, a subsidiary of Sprecher’s Intercontinental Exchange, was valued at $740 million after series A funding round March 2019. So what is the problem and why does it matter that Loeffler is Bakkt’s CEO?

Kelly Loeffler and Jeffrey Sprecher’s personal wealth is not the problem, their philosophical aspirations regarding globalized trading with a global cryptocurrency like Bitcoin through Bakkt is the problem.

Today’s worldwide clash between globalism and national sovereignty is reflected in American politics. The Leftist/Globalist axis has attacked the America-first agenda of President Donald Trump and repeatedly attempted to unseat him through impeachment or defeat him in the 2020 presidential election.

The unsuccessful coup attempts against President Donald Trump have been coordinated by the deep state through the intelligence community to destabilize and overthrow the president because of his America-first policies. President Donald J. Trump is the existential enemy of globalism and is unapologetically committed to American freedom and American sovereignty. His presidency is challenged by the Democrat party support for open borders and uncontrolled immigration that facilitates the one-world government envisioned by the globalist political elite.

The difference between global trade and globalism is being intentionally blurred to disguise globalism’s sinister objective of a New World Order of internationalized one-world government. One of the essential requirements for national sovereignty is a national currency. The United States dollar is our country’s national currency. Globalists Kelly Loeffler and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher support the internationalized cryptocurrency they are promoting with Bakkt where trades will be conducted with Bitcoin instead of fiat currency like the U.S. dollar.

Bitcoin is the world’s first global, digital currency. Its use eliminates the need for central banks or even the nation-state’s government that regulates banks. Bitcoin is the global currency of an internationalized planet. It is the currency of globalism’s New World Order and one-world government.

The fact that Kelly Loeffler is a woman, a business leader, and a registered Republican cannot erase her $750,000 support for globalist RINO Romney in 2012, or the globalist ambitions of the Bitcoin exchange she leads. Kelly Loeffler is a globalist and a dangerous choice for American sovereignty because her Senate vote could theoretically tip the scale against President Trump’s America-first agenda.

Globalists are determined to stack the political deck with senate seats of Romney supporters like Loeffler rather than republicans who support President Trump’s America-first agenda like Georgia Rep. Doug Collins.

So, who is Governor Brian Kemp and why would he choose a globalist like Kelly Loeffler? Georgians want to know – and so do I.

11/11/19

Veterans Day: The Forgotten History of America’s Veterans Day and What It Commemorates

Ammo.com

Veterans Day: The Forgotten History of America's Veterans Day and What It CommemoratesVeterans Day, celebrated each year on November 11th, was first celebrated on this same date in 1919, under the name of Armistice Day. The holiday was named in remembrance of the temporary ceasefire that brought about the unofficial end to World War I when, the year before, the Allied forces entered into an armistice with the Germans, stopping live battle on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

A year later, and nearly five months after the official end of the First World War (which occurred on June 28, 1918, with the Treaty of Versailles), President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th the first commemoration with the following:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with the gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

He called for parades and public gatherings and a brief moment of silence at 11 a.m. Two years later, on November 11, 1921, an unidentified American soldier was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in what became known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Celebrating America’s Heroes: Armistice Day

It wasn’t just the United States that remembered the end of the great war; countries around the world celebrated Armistice Day in 1919, and many still do today. In Canada, they call it Remembrance Day, and Great Britain celebrates Remembrance Sunday on the second Sunday of each November.

In 1926, a Congressional resolution was passed, making Armistice Day a recurring federal holiday, stating that it should be “commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through goodwill and mutual understanding between nations.” As a side note, the federal government can’t force the states into celebrating a holiday, as it’s not within its jurisdiction, but most states adopt the federal holiday calendar.

Celebrating America’s Veterans: Veterans Day

Although the ceasefire – believed to have occurred on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 – was the end of the war to end all wars, history has shown the naivete of the era.

Perhaps the Allied forces showed too much sympathy with the Treaty of Versailles. By the time the war-ending document was signed, seven months after the armistice in November, much of the Allied troops had returned home. And no one, not the United States nor Britain nor France, wanted to remain in Germany or Austria to make sure the terms of the treaty were enforced. What’s more, the Treaty did not require an unconditional surrender; the German troops, although defeated, were not disbanded.

As the embittered Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France, supreme commander of the Allied forces, presciently concluded of the Versailles settlement: “This is not peace. It is an armistice for 20 years.”

Foch was right. Twenty years after the 1919 settlement, the German army under Hitler – himself a decorated veteran of World War I who helped to spin the yarn that the German army hadn’t been defeated in the field, but instead betrayed by the Jews at home – invaded Poland to start World War II, which would cost the world roughly four times as many lives as World War I.

This time, over 16 million American soldiers, a whopping 42 percent of war-aged men, headed out to battle. And while we lost over 400,000 to the war, many of those men and women returned home. Shortly thereafter, tension began to rise in Korea, and by 1950, the Korean War began. Another 1.8 million troops were again sent across the sea.

By the end of the summer of 1953, after the Korean War ended, about one in every two service-age men were veterans and it was decided that Armistice Day would be officially be changed to Veterans Day – honoring all veterans from all wars.

Changing Throughout the Years: Veterans Day Today

Throughout the years, Veterans Day has changed, sometimes to its benefit and sometimes not. For instance, in 1968, the federal holiday – along with Memorial DayGeorge Washington’s birthday, and Columbus Day – was switched to a Monday celebration to help encourage travel and tourism in the country.

A few years later, in the brief period from 1971 to 1975, the date was changed again. Instead of the Monday closest to the original Armistice Day, the government opted to set Veterans Day as the fourth Monday in October.

This change wasn’t joyfully accepted by the American public, as many held emotional ties to the origins of Veterans Day. After a few years, the date was reverted back to November 11th.

Now, a century from the original remembrance of Armistice Day, the holiday is still celebrated on November 11th. If the 11th day of the 11th month falls on a Saturday, the day is observed on the previous Friday. If it falls on a Sunday, the holiday is observed on the following Monday.

Different areas celebrate Veterans Day in different ways. Most public schools close (normally on the Monday closest to the holiday), as do all federal buildings, most banks, and many businesses. There are parades and celebrations to honor veterans. Perhaps the most iconic is the annual wreath-laying ceremony that happens at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Many areas still observe a moment of silence at 11 a.m. to remember all veterans, those that are still here, those that have gone on, and those that never made it home. It’s also not uncommon to see the American flag flown at half-mast.

Regardless of political leanings, Veterans Day is about recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of America’s veterans. If you want to show support, attend a parade. Volunteer at your local VFW. Visit a VA hospital and spend some time talking to the men and women who are unable to attend such events. And when you see a vet, shake their hand, and thank them for their service.

11/7/19

Article 5 of the US Constitution: What “Convention of States Project” (COS) isn’t telling you

By: Publius Huldah

  1. Article 5 provides two ways to amend our Constitution: Congress (1) proposes amendments and sends them to the States for ratification (this was done with our existing 27 Amendments); or (2) calls a convention for proposing amendments if two-thirds of the State Legislatures apply for it. We’ve never had a convention under Article V – they are dangerous! 1
  2. But today, various well-funded factions are lobbying State Legislators to ask Congress to call an Article V convention. One faction, the “Convention of States Project” (COS), claims to be for limited government and is marketing the convention to appeal to conservatives. COS claims (falsely) that our Framers told us to amend the Constitution when the federal government violates the Constitution.2
  3. COS’s claim is absurd – it’s like saying that since people violate the Ten Commandments, God should amend the Ten Commandments.
  4. COS’s claim is false. Not only did our Framers never say what COS claims,
  • Our Constitution already limits the power and jurisdiction of the federal government to a small handful of enumerated powers (they are listed on this one-page chart).3  Furthermore, it’s impossible to rein in the federal government with amendments because when the feds usurp powers not delegated, they are ignoring the existing constitutional limitations on their powers.
  • All of the proposed amendments produced by COS and their sympathizers markedly INCREASE the powers of the federal government by delegating powers the federal government has already usurped; by granting new powers to the federal government; by transferring power from Representatives elected by the People to the Deep State; or by stripping States of their existing sovereign powers.4 See:

Mark Levin’s “liberty” amendments: legalizing tyranny,

COS Project’s “simulated convention” dog and pony show and what they did there,

The “Regulation Freedom” Amendment and Daniel Webster,

Parental Rights Amendment: Selling You and Your Kids Out to Big Government

Wolf PAC’s Amendment for “fair and free elections”, and

Term Limits: A Palliative not a Cure 5

  1. So what’s the real agenda of those (primarily George Soros and the Kochs) who are financing the push for a convention? A convention provides the opportunity to replace our existing Constitution with a new constitution which moves us into a completely new system of government, such as the North American Union (NAU).  Under the NAU, Canada, the United States, and Mexico are economically and politically integrated and a Parliament and combined militarized police force are set up over them.6

The phrase within Article V, “a Convention for proposing Amendments”, doesn’t restrict the Delegates to the Convention to merely proposing Amendments.  Our Declaration of Independence recognizes that a People have the “self-evident Right” to throw off their government and set up a new government.7  We’ve already invoked that Right twice:  In 1776 we invoked it to throw off the British Monarchy; and in 1787, James Madison invoked it to throw off our first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation (AOC), and set up a new Constitution [the one we now have] which created a new government.

This is what happened:

There were defects in the AOC, so on Feb. 21, 1787, the Continental Congress called a convention to be held in Philadelphia

“for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”

But the Delegates ignored their instructions from Congress, and similar instructions from their States 8 and wrote a new Constitution which created a new government.  Furthermore, the new Constitution had its own new mode of ratification:  Whereas amendments to the AOC had to be approved by the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States; 9 the new Constitution provided at Article VII thereof, that it would be ratified when only 9 States approved it.

And in Federalist No. 40 (15th para), James Madison, who was a Delegate to the Federal “amendments” Convention of 1787, invoked that same Right as justification for the Delegates’ ignoring their instructions and writing a new Constitution which created a new government.10

  1. If we have a convention today, the Delegates will have that same power to get rid of our second Constitution and impose a third Constitution. New Constitutions are already prepared or in the works!  One of them, the Constitution for the Newstates of America, is ratified by a national referendum (See Art. XII, §1). The States don’t vote on it – they are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government.
  2. So why was the convention method added to Article V? The Anti-federalists wanted it added because they wanted another convention so they could get rid of the Constitution just drafted.  James Madison and Alexander Hamilton understood that a people have the right to meet in convention and draft a new constitution whether the convention method was in Article V or not.  So this is why Madison and Hamilton went along with adding the convention method to Article V; and this is why, as early as April 1788, they and our future first US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay started warning against another convention.
  3. Using the pretext of merely getting amendments, the Globalists want a convention so they can complete their coup against us and get a new Constitution which moves us into the New World Order.
  4. States should rescind the applications they have already submitted to Congress.

Endnotes:

1 That is why James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, four US Supreme Court Justices, and other jurists & scholars warn against it!  See their words HERE.

2 See Michael Farris’s quote HERE. None of our Framers said such a silly thing as Farris claims!  Our Framers actually said the purpose of Amendments is to remedy defects in the Constitution, and they all knew that the real purpose of a convention is to get another constitution.

3 IGNORANCE is our problem.  Americans don’t know what our Constitution says.  Can you recite by heart the enumerated powers granted to Congress over the Country at Large?

4 Mark Levin’s amendment to “grant the States authority to check Congress” [p. 169 of “The Liberty Amendments”] provides that three-fifths of the state legislatures may vote to override a federal statute and certain Executive Branch regulations provided that the States do so within a certain time period.  When that time period has expired, the States are forever prohibited from exercising the override.

Levin’s amendment would strip the States of their long-recognized individual natural right – much written about by our Framers – to NULLIFY all acts of any Branch of the federal government which violate our Constitution. See Nullification: The Original Right of Self-Defense and What Should States Do When the Federal Government Usurps Power?

5 The federal term limits amendment would transfer power from US Senators and Representatives (elected by the People) to the Deep State (a massive body of nameless, faceless, and unelected bureaucrats who would become the PERMANENT AND TOTALLY UNACCOUNTABLE GOVERNING BODY).

6 For the Love of God, your Country and your posterity, READ the Council on Foreign Relations’ Task Force Report on the NAU. This is what the Establishment Elite wants and can get with a convention!

7 The Declaration of Independence is part of the “Organic Law” (the Fundamental Law) of our Land.

8 This Delegate Flyer summarizes the instructions the States gave the Delegates.

9 See ART. 13 of the Articles of Confederation.

10 In Federalist No. 40 (15th para), James Madison says the Delegates knew that reform such as was set forth in the new Constitution was necessary for our peace and prosperity.  They knew that sometimes great and momentous changes in established governments are necessary – and a rigid adherence to the old government takes away the “transcendent and precious right” of a people to “abolish or alter their governments as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness,” … “and it is therefore essential that such changes be instituted by some INFORMAL AND UNAUTHORIZED PROPOSITIONS, made by some patriotic and respectable citizen or number of citizens…”

10/28/19

The USA PATRIOT Act: The Story of an Impulsive Bill that Eviscerated America’s Civil Liberties

Ammo.com

The USA PATRIOT Act: The Forgotten History of the Bill that Destroyed America's Civil LibertiesThe USA PATRIOT Act provides a textbook example of how the United States federal government expands its power. An emergency happens, legitimate or otherwise. The media, playing its dutiful role as goader for greater government oversight, demands “something must be done.” Government power is massively expanded, with little regard for whether or not what is being done is efficacious, to say nothing of the overall impact on our nation’s civil liberties.

No goals are posted because if targets are hit, this would necessitate the ending or scaling back of the program. Instead, the program becomes normalized. There are no questions asked about whether the program is accomplishing what it set out to do. It is now simply a part of American life and there is no going back.

The American public largely accepts the USA PATRIOT Act as a part of civic life as immutable, perhaps even more so than the Bill of Rights. However, this act – passed in the dead of night, with little to no oversight, in a panic after the biggest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor – is not only novel, it is also fundamentally opposed to virtually every principle on which the United States of America was founded. It might not be going anywhere anytime soon, but patriots, liberty lovers and defenders of Constitutional government should nonetheless familiarize themselves with the onerous provisions of this law, which is nothing short of a full-throttle attack on the American republic.

What’s Even in the USA PATRIOT Act?

What is in the USA PATRIOT Act? In the Michael Moore film Fahrenheit 9/11then Rep. John Conyers cracked wise about how no one had actually read the act and how this was in fact par for the course with America’s laws. Thus, before delving into the deeper issues surrounding the PATRIOT Act, it is worth discussing what the act actually says. Here’s a brief look at the 10 Titles in the PATRIOT Act:

  • Title I: Enhancing Domestic Security Against Terrorism: This provision dramatically expands the powers of the President, the military and the intelligence community whenever the specter of “terrorism” is invoked. Bizarrely, it contains a provision condemning discrimination against Arabs, Muslims and South Asians, which seems to have very little to do with protecting Americans from terrorism.
  • Title II: Enhanced Surveillance Procedures: Title II contains the meat of the Act with regard to massive, industrial-scale surveillance on the American public. Beyond the simple spying on Americans and their communications, Title II increases the ability of federal intelligence agencies to share your private communications with one another.
  • Title III: International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act: Not simply a section of the USA PATRIOT Act, Title III is an Act of Congress in its own right. You might have noticed how much more difficult it is to open a bank account or send a wire transfer after 9/11. You can blame this provision, which shredded banking privacy rights in the United States.
  • Title IV: Protecting the Border: Other than expanding the number of federal employees (of course), the provision of the USA PATRIOT Act charged with protecting America’s borders does little other than point toward paths for future action and study. It is worth noting that the weakest provision of the act is the only one explicitly authorized by the Constitution — protecting the border.
  • Title V: Removing Obstacles to Investigating Terrorism: Title V authorizes bounties for the apprehension of alleged terrorists, broadens government power to conduct DNA analysis, allows for greater data sharing between law enforcement agencies and, perhaps most disturbingly, requires private telecommunication carriers to comply with government requests for electronic communication records whenever requested by the FBI. It also expands the power of the Secret Service to investigate computer fraud.
  • Title VI: Providing for Victims of Terrorism, Public Safety Officers and Their Families: Perhaps the most innocuous portion of the USA PATRIOT Act, Title VI provides for a victims’ fund for victims of terrorism and their families.
  • Title VII: Increased Information Sharing for Critical Infrastructure Protection: The subtitle of this section of the act is a rather wordy way of saying that the United States federal government is allowing for law enforcement agencies to share information across jurisdictional boundaries in an easier fashion than was previously legal. To that end, the Bureau of Justice Assistance was given a $50,000,000 budget for 2002 and a whopping $100,000,000 budget for fiscal year 2003.
  • Title VIII: Strengthening the Criminal Laws Against Terrorism: Title VIII is where the rubber meets the road: What exactly is terrorism, according to the federal government? Unfortunately, this Title does little to clarify what terrorism is, instead focusing on declaring a number of actions (such as attacks on transit) as “terrorism,” regardless of intent.
  • Title IX: Improved Intelligence: The section subtitled “improved intelligence” largely expands the powers and responsibilities of the Director of Central Intelligence.
  • Title X: Miscellaneous: When the federal government titles a segment of a law “miscellaneous,” you know it’s going to include everything and the kitchen sink. And so it does: The definition of electronic surveillance, additional funds for the DEA in South and Central Asia, research on biometric scanning systems, a limitation on hazmat licensure and infrastructure protections are all addressed in Title X, which is a catchall for everything the federal government forgot to address in the first nine sections of the law.

Most of the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act were set to sunset four years after the bill was passed into law. However, the law was extended first by President George W. Bush and then by President Barack H. Obama. The latter is particularly scandalous given that, at least in part, a rejection of the surveillance culture that permeated the Bush Administration was responsible for the election of Obama in 2008.

Passing the USA PATRIOT Act

Next, it’s important to remember the environment in which the USA PATRIOT Act was passed: Post-9/11. It is not the slightest bit of exaggeration to label the environment in which the PATRIOT Act was passed as “hysterical,” nor is “compliant” a misnomer for the Congress of the time. Opposition to the Act was slim and intensive review of one of the most sweeping acts of Congress in American history was nonexistent.

All told, Congress took a whopping six weeks drafting, revising, reviewing and passing the PATRIOT Act. That’s less time than Congress typically spends on totally uncontroversial and routine bills that don’t gut the Fourth Amendment. The final vote found only 66 opponents in the House and one (Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold) in the Senate. The entire passage of the PATRIOT Act, from start to finish, took place behind closed doors. There were no committee reports or hearings for opponents to testify, nor did anyone bother to read the bill.

“Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” is the bloated and overwrought full name of the bill, crafted by a 23-year-old Congressional staffer named Chris Cylke. This ridiculous name puts the focus not on the surveillance aspects or the erosion of basic civil liberties enshrined in Western society since the Magna Carta, but on patriotism. At the time of its creation, the messaging was very clear: Real patriots support massive intrusions on civil rights. As President George W. Bush said at the time, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” This sentiment very much seemed to apply to American citizens.

While the argument that if you have nothing to hide you shouldn’t fear investigation is anathema in a Constitutional republic with regard to citizens, it should be standard operating procedure when it comes to our organs of government. If we cannot expect transparency from the United States Congress – elected officials charged with representing the will of the people and protecting the Constitution – then we certainly can’t expect it anywhere else.

The Unfortunate Growth of the USA PATRIOT Act

It’s no surprise to those in the liberty movement that given an inch, the government (in particular the military-intelligence community) took a mile. Even the nebulous definition of “terrorism,” largely centered around a long litany of acts rather than the motivation behind them, has expanded to include receiving military training from a proscribed organization (without actually committing any terrorist acts or even acts of violence of any stripe) as well as “narcoterrorism” – the latter particularly convenient, as the United States government continues its losing “War on Drugs.”

Indeed, in many ways, the War on (Some) Drugs was the template for the War on Terror. Both wars have no defined enemy, no defined terms of victory. Instead, they are waged against a nebulous concept, while enjoying bipartisan support for their ever-expanding budgets. What’s more, it didn’t take long for the Feds to start using the USA PATRIOT Act for things it was never intended for, including prosecuting the War on Drugs.

Perhaps the silliest application of the USA PATRIOT Act is the prosecution of Adam McGaughey. McGaughey maintained a fansite for the television series Stargate SG-1. The Feds charged him with copyright infringement and computer fraud. In the course of their investigation, the FBI leveraged the PATRIOT Act to get financial records from his website’s ISP. This was made possible by the USA PATRIOT Act amending the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, allowing for search and seizure of ISP records.

The New York Times discovered in September 2003, that the USA PATRIOT Act was being used to investigate alleged drug traffickers without what would otherwise be sufficient probable cause. These were investigations into non-terrorist acts using a law ostensibly designed to investigate terrorism. There was some suspicion that the Act was being used to investigate crimes occurring before the act was passed, violating the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution.

In one of the biggest power grabs (excluding virtually everything we know from Edward Snowden – more on that below), the FBI sent tens of thousands of “national security letters” and procured over one million financial records from targeted businesses in Las Vegas. These businesses were primarily casinos, car rental bureaus, and storage spaces. The data obtained included financial records, credit histories, employment records, and even people’s personal health records.

The FBI maintains and databases this – and, indeed, all information collected through the USA PATRIOT Act – indefinitely. In the good old days before the PATRIOT Act, the Feds were compelled to destroy any evidence they collected on someone later found not guilty of a crime. Note that the aforementioned data collection brought to public attention by Edward Snowden (which, again – we’re getting to that) falls under this provision. Not only is the government collecting obscene amounts of private and personal information about you, they’re also storing it indefinitely with no plans to stop.

What’s more, the FBI has approached public libraries to turn over the records for specific terminals, collecting information not about specific users who might be under investigation, but about anyone who has ever used the computer at the public library. Libraries, to their credit, have been very much at the forefront of resistance against the PATRIOT Act, with some litigating compliance despite operating on small budgets and others posting “canary letters,” which effectively say “The FBI Hasn’t Been Here Yet.” The removal of such a letter would warn patrons that the FBI has been sniffing around in their records.

Indeed, the greatest criticism of the PATRIOT Act is the simplest and perhaps most obvious: Why does an act ostensibly passed to fight terrorism so drastically expand the government’s power to investigate virtually everyone else? The PATRIOT Act is not merely unconstitutional, it is an unprecedented expansion of state power in the Anglosphere, a culture based on restricted government and the primacy of individual rights.

An excellent example of this is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) expansion. Most people are familiar with the term “FISA court,” but very few people actually know what it is – a special federal court created under the Carter Administration that grants approval of electronic surveillance of both citizens and resident aliens in the event that they are accused of acting in the service of a foreign power. The last part of this sentence is very important: The FISA courts are not simply for allowing surveillance of anyone that it might be expedient to collect information about. The scope of their powers is very, very limited.

Or was.

The PATRIOT Act lowered the burden of evidence required to obtain a FISA warrant for electronic surveillance and expanded the overall scope of the FISA courts. Any savvy federal agent can now drape his charges in the garb of (what else?) “national security” and obtain electronic surveillance privileges hitherto only dreamed of by investigators. FISA courts have become pliant tools in the hands of the Feds, gladly approving their requests to monitor phone and internet surveillance, as well as access to medical, financial and educational records.

The Future of the USA PATRIOT Act

Do we still need the PATRIOT Act? Did we ever? All laws are certainly a product of their times. But this seems much more acutely true of the USA PATRIOT Act, which was passed in a rush and under duress without due consideration.

Particularly in light of the revelations from Edward Snowden – that the government is spying on everything they possibly can – it’s worth asking if there’s any walking back. He points out that the police state apparatus was originally for drug dealers, then for terrorists, but ultimately ended up being applied to anyone and everyone.

What’s more, Bob Bullard notes another frightful aspect of the USA PATRIOT Act: Terrorism-related cases are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. This means that there is little or no oversight. There is no surer hallmark of a police state than an all-powerful domestic surveillance agency with no transparency or oversight. While the USA PATRIOT Act might not create an American Stasi as such, it certainly paves the way for one.

09/11/19

The 9/11 Attacks: Understanding Al-Qaeda and the Domestic Fall-Out from America’s Secret War

Ammo.com

The 9/11 Attacks: Understanding Al-Qaeda and the Domestic Fall-Out from America's Secret WarWith American military personnel now entering service who were not even alive on 9/11, this seems an appropriate time to reexamine the events of September 11, 2001 – the opaque motives for the attacks, the equally opaque motives for the counter-offensive by the United States and its allies known as the Global War on Terror, and the domestic fall-out for Americans concerned about the erosion of their civil liberties on the homefront.

Before venturing further, it’s worth noting that our appraisal is not among the most common explanations. Osama bin Laden, his lieutenants at Al-Qaeda, and the men who carried out the attack against the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon are not “crazy,” unhinged psychopaths launching an attack against the United States without what they consider to be a good reason.

Nor do we consider then-President George W. Bush to be either a simpleton, a willing conspirator, an oil profiteer, or a Machiavellian puppet whose cabinet were all too happy to take advantage of a crisis.

The American press tends to portray its leaders as fools and knaves, and America’s enemies as psychopathic. Keeping the narrative simple – “Black and white,” “good versus evil,” “right and wrong,” etc. – is intellectually easy, even with something as complex as the 9/11 attacks.

Instead, it is our considered opinion that the events of 9/11 and those that followed in direct response to the attacks – including the invasion of Iraq – were carried out by good faith rational actors who believed they were acting in the best interests of their religion or their nation.

This does not in any way absolve the principals from moral responsibility for the consequences of their actions. It does, however, provide what we believe to be a more accurate and nuanced depiction of events than is generally forthcoming from any sector of the media – because we see these principals as excellent chess players who, in the broad sweep of events, engaged in actions which are explicable.

Continue reading

08/15/19

Annie Oakley: The Forgotten History of the Most Iconic American Woman Sharpshooter

By: Ammo.com

Annie Oakley: The Forgotten History of the Most Iconic American Woman SharpshooterPhoebe Ann Moses (or perhaps Mosey) was born on August 13, 1860, to humble beginnings. The daughter of Quakers, America’s first female superstar grew up log-cabin poor in the rural western Ohio county of Darke. From this rough start to entertaining world leaders, Phoebe Ann Moses, better known as Annie Oakley, was not only an icon of the American West, she was, and still is, a hero to women and girls from coast to coast.

Annie’s story begins as the youngest of eight siblings. Already poor, the family became desolate when Annie’s father died when she was six. Her mother remarried quickly, but was widowed a year later and soon after bore another child. Left with too many mouths to feed and little choice, Annie’s mother turned Annie, then nine, and one of her sisters into the care of the superintendent of the Darke County Infirmary, a home for the elderly, orphaned, and mentally ill.

In exchange for her room and board, Annie helped care for the family’s children and the Infirmary’s patients. While there, she learned to sew and decorate clothing, a skill that she used for the rest of her life.

Annie was then transferred to a neighboring home, to a family with a new child, and was told she would receive an education and $.50 a week for her services. Instead, she was treated like a slave, abused, and neglected. Eventually, Annie ran away from the family that she only referred to as “the Wolves” and made her way back to her mother’s farm.

Continue reading

08/12/19

A Resurgence of Old-school Courageous Americans

By: Lloyd Marcus

Following the horrific El Paso and Dayton shootings, I boycotted media. As expected, Democrats and fake news media were despicably giddy, thrilled for another opportunity to push for disarming law-abiding gun owners and falsely demonizing Trump and his supporters. I boycotted media because was I could not stomach wimpy Republicans and #NeverTrumpers running to microphones to surrender to anti-American leftists’ spin of the facts. I thought, “I am not going to allow cowards supposedly on our side to raise my blood pressure.”

A case in point is John Kasich, who raced to the CNN microphones to further the insidious lie that Trump is responsible for the shootings. What is wrong with Kasich, and why does he call himself a Republican?

Some on our side do not comprehend that Democrats and fake news media are not interested in truth and fairness. Attempting to play nice with these anti-American progressives is insane. Progressives are like unruly children. They must be firmly told no and sent to their rooms. Progressives must be defeated.

Allowing progressives to dominate public education, social media, the fake news media, and entertainment media has gotten us into this mess. Christian churches abandoned God’s command to be salt by foolishly staying out of politics. Consequently, we are one election away from transformation into a socialist country in which debauchery is government-mandated.

The Democratic Party has become a cesspool of pure evil and anti-Americanism. Their demonic behavior is expected. It is upsetting when people on our side surrender to the Democrats’ false premises rather than staying on offense and strongly pushing back with the truth.

Continue reading

08/11/19

ONE PICTURE OF AMERICANA: What has Changed?

By: Doug Ross @ Journal

Here is a picture of a rifle class typical of those conducted in schools just a few decades ago.

Kids took their rifles to class on the school bus.

What’s changed?

Could it be the growing epidemic of kids in single-parent households (“Of the 27 Deadliest Mass Shooters, 26 of Them Were Fatherless“)?

Could it be the mainstreaming of America hatred and demonization of law enforcement?

Continue reading

07/18/19

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

By: T F Stern | Self-Educated American

We were watching a movie the other day on one of the regular channels where you get to see a few minutes of the movie followed by several minutes of commercials.  The efforts of the moviemakers got lost somewhere between combining car, house and life insurance, more comfortable jockey shorts and deciding which brand of whiskey best matched the outdoor sportsman in us.

At a certain point, you consider yourself ‘invested’ in watching the movie until its conclusion while attempting to ignore interruptions.  Maybe this is how cable companies have figured how to get folks to pay for adding movie channels; just interrupt the programming on the regular channels enough and people will pay not to see commercials.

The movie was ending as the credits began to roll across the screen, a chance to give individuals who’d put the movie together credit.  Did I say roll across the screen; I meant sprint past at nearly the speed of light.  Evelyn Woods Speed Reading Course had not prepared me for this particular exercise.  To make it more challenging, they split the screen so that the credits for the previously viewed movie, now in a tiny box in the corner of the screen, could play out while introducing the next feature.

Continue reading

07/18/19

Bowling Alone: How Washington Has Helped Destroy American Civil Society and Family Life

Ammo.com

Church attendance in the United States is at an all-time low, according to a Gallup poll released in April 2019. This decline has not been a steady one. Indeed, over the last 20 years, church attendance has fallen by 20 percent. This might not sound like cause for concern off the bat. And if you’re not a person of faith, you might rightly wonder why you would care about such a thing.

Church attendance is simply a measure of something deeper: social cohesion. It’s worth noting that the religions with the highest rate of attendance according to Pew Forum have almost notoriously high levels of social cohesion: Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Evangelical Protestants, Mormons and historically black churches top the list.

There’s also the question of religious donations. Religious giving has declined by 50 percent since 1990, according to a 2016 article in the New York Times. This means people who previously used religious services to make ends meet now either have to go without or receive funding from the government. This, in turn, strengthens the central power of the state.

It is our position that civil society – those elements of society which exist independently of big government and big business – are essential to a functioning and free society. What’s more, these institutions are in rapid decline in the United States and have been for over 50 years.

Continue reading