Below you see the changes just this year in how your government sees you, the public, as the enemy and truth as a weapon. These are people you have re-elected for decades and it is this handing off of politics to incumbents that has created this environment of entitlement and impunity. One thing for sure----when 300 million people WAKE UP!----and they will, we will return to a first world democracy.
Please do not allow all of the flurry of laws aimed at fear and retaliation to dissent dissuade you from shouting out and organizing. We are growing in numbers and will be coming out strong against the status quo. We see restrictions on where we can gather in protest, where we can voice our dissent, who can be allowed to be a citizen journalist, and when truth will be considered a crime.
We know these global politicians think bringing a first world country to third world values will happen with neo-liberals in control of the democratic party but I have my doubts. It is much harder to bring civilized people down then to bring developing worlds up. There are tons of actions in Washington and your neck of the woods. Please get out, get organized, and build a network of communication in your communities that does not involve corporate media----
SUPPORT THE POST OFFICE WITH NEWSLETTERS!
Feinstein has been shown to have been enriched by Insider Trading and represents the area known as ground zero for the subprime mortgage fraud and for-profit education frauds. She is on committees involved with the NSA-----THIS IS ONE BAD CHICK. NEO-LIBERAL ANYONE?
Sen. Feinstein’s Proposed Bill Would Incriminate Anyone Speaking Against NSA’s Spying and Courts
By Admin on October 22, 2013 5 by Ali Papademetriou
California lawmaker and member of the United States Senate committee, Diane Feinstein has let it be known that she strongly supports the National Security Agency and its surveillance programs. The agency has caught much heat from the American people after whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked documents showing that the NSA spies on millions of citizens through their phone data.
Last weekend, she published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, claiming that the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented had the NSA surveillance programs been alive beforehand. “We would have detected the impending attack that killed 3,000 Americans,” she wrote.
Then on Monday, she stated that the NSA’s bulk compilation of phone records is actually “not surveillance” and is rather just a necessary device by means of fighting terrorism. Her statement was made in an op-ed, which was published by USA Today.
She also asserted that the agency’s actions have been “effective in helping to prevent terrorist plots against the US and our allies.”
Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, both of whom are also members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to NSA director Keith Alexander, criticizing him by detailing, “Saying that ‘these programs’ have ‘disrupted dozens of potential terrorist plots’ is misleading if the bulk phone records collection program is actually providing little or no value.” They also detailed how the NSA has only stopped a few pieces of terror plots over the years – contradictory to Senator Feinstein’s assertions.
It was also reported by the Guardian that Senator Feinstein is anticipating introducing legislation, which would criminally punish those who make critical statements about the NSA and its secret courts.
Feinstein’s bill comes just in time in the agency’s favor, considering both the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) have active lawsuits against the NSA for its unconstitutional surveillance of US citizens.
Update 6:06PM: Guardian hyperlink fixed to Feinstein’s upcoming introduction of new bill.
AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez
You know if neo-liberals think they can throw us out of public meetings for trying to comment they will go crazy over just 'who is a journalist' and how that will limit speech. Remember, the problem is that government at all levels is committing crimes and is systemically corrupt. The solution is outing the problems and getting rid of the politicians who are creating this suspension of Rule of Law
VOTE ALL INCUMBENTS OUT OF OFFICE!!
Memo To Dick Durbin: All Americans Are Journalists
Posted 07/09/2013 07:18 PM ET First Amendment: Is our constitutional right to publish something going to be decided by the likes of Sen. Dick Durbin? If so, our republic and the liberty it guarantees are in trouble.
Late last month, Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, wrote a column for the Chicago Sun Times in which he conceded that "Everyone, regardless of the mode of expression, has a constitutionally protected right to free speech."
But that doesn't mean Durbin accepts that there is an absolute freedom of expression.
"When it comes to freedom of the press," he continued, "I believe we must define a journalist and the constitutional and statutory protections those journalists should receive."
And who is to define who is and isn't a journalist? Durbin and his colleagues, of course.
Congress, when controlled by Democrats, already has the mainstream media under its thumb. So it's not ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times and the Washington Post that Durbin is worried about. It's the bloggers, tweeters and Facebook users that he wants to control.
Durbin suggests this is all about laws that protect journalists from being "compelled to disclose sources or documents unless a judge determines there is an extraordinary circumstance or compelling public interest."
But, as he says, 49 states already have laws that do this.
With the mainstream press in their pockets, what Durbin and others truly fear are citizen journalists and the free and open dissemination of ideas that threaten the political class' agenda.
They don't want bloggers rabble-rousing against ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank. They hate the idea of Twitter being alight with criticisms of the left's efforts to have government "do good things."
They resent citizens using message boards to condemn the White House's attempts to redistribute wealth, its imperial tendencies, its miserably failed foreign policy and its growing list of scandals.
And they certainly want to chill discussions of how the political left has abandoned — after once being a reliable defender of it — the First Amendment.
With cellphones, pads and laptops in every home and car, we are all journalists ready to document, report, record and discuss.
Washington hasn't the moral authority to say who is and who isn't a journalist. The First Amendment was written to stop the government from doing exactly that.
HERE YOU GO......JOURNALISTS AND WHISTLE BLOWERS TO GOVERNMENT CRIME ARE MORE AND MORE BEING LABELLED 'TERRORISTS' AND 'TRAITORS' WITH LARGE SENTENCES ATTACHED TO ORDINARY ACTIONS OF REPORTING CRIME!
NSA Chief: Reporters Must Be Stopped
Accuses Media of Creating 'Dramatic, Convenient Lie'
by Jason Ditz, October 24, 2013
NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander gave a long interview today with the Pentagon’s “Armed With Science” blog, calling on the world to find some way to stop international media outlets from reporting about his agency’s surveillance programs based on leaked documents.
“We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that,” Alexander insisted, saying that the ability of media outlets to report on the NSA “just doesn’t make sense” to him.
The focus of Alexander’s comments to the military blog was insisting that all media reports on the NSA were a “dramatic, convenient lie,” followed by an admonition for troops not to “give into the hype” and to trust the NSA unconditionally.
Alexander’s comments during the NSA scandal have mostly been blanket denials, and even after some of those denials have been proven flat out untrue he has stuck to that story. He seems to still be holding out hope that after months of confirmed reports based on official documents, everyone will somehow be convinced to forget about everything and just trust him.
As it becomes easier to be sent to jail for ordinary protest we see that indefinite detention is now legal....OR SO THEY SAY. We are already seeing people sent to jail for little reason then made to sit in jail for months before trial. Funding for public defense was cut in Maryland just for this reason. It is all done to make protest and dissent onerous-----too hard for most people to do. THIS IS AUTOCRATIC LAW.
YET, WE ARE SEEING THE SAME INCUMBENTS RUNNING WITH NO LABOR AND JUSTICE CHALLENGE!
Obama signs NDAA 2013 without objecting to indefinite detention of Americans
Published time: January 03, 2013 17:01
Edited time: May 15, 2013 14:24 Get short URL US President Barack Obama (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowsky)
President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 on Wednesday, giving his stamp of approval to a Pentagon spending bill that will keep Guantanamo Bay open and make indefinite detention for US citizens as likely as ever.
The president inked his name to the 2013 NDAA on Wednesday evening to little fanfare, and accompanied his signature with a statement condemning a fair number of provisions contained in a bill that he nevertheless endorsed.
The NDAA, an otherwise mundane annual bill that lays out the use of funds for the Department of Defense, has come under attack during the Obama administration for the introduction of a provision last year that allows the military to detain United States citizens indefinitely without charge or trial for mere suspicions of ties to terrorism. Under the 2012 NDAA’s Sec. 1021, Pres. Obama agreed to give the military the power to arrest and hold Americans without the writ of habeas corpus, although he promised with that year’s signing statement that his administration would not abuse that privilege.
In response to the controversial indefinite detention provision from last year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) introduced an amendment in December 2012 that would have forbid the government from using military force to indefinitely detain Americans without trial under the 2013 NDAA. Although that provision, dubbed the “Feinstein Amendment,” passed the Senate unanimously, a select panel of lawmakers led by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Michigan) stripped it from the final version of the NDAA two week later before it could clear Congress. In exchange, Congress added a provision, Sec. 1029, that claims to ensure that “any person inside the United States” is allowed their constitutional rights, including habeas corpus, but supporters of the Feinstein Amendment say that the swapped wording does nothing to erase the indefinite detention provision from the previous year.
“Saying that new language somehow ensures the right to habeas corpus – the right to be presented before a judge – is both questionable and not enough. Citizens must not only be formally charged but also receive jury trials and the other protections our Constitution guarantees. Habeas corpus is simply the beginning of due process. It is by no means the whole,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) said after the Feinstein Amendment was removed.
“Our Bill of Rights is not something that can be cherry-picked at legislators’ convenience. When I entered the United States Senate, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. It is for this reason that I will strongly oppose passage of the McCain conference report that strips the guarantee to a trial by jury,” Sen. Paul added.
Although the Pres. Obama rejected the indefinite detention clause when signing the 2012 NDAA, a statement issued late Wednesday from the White House failed to touch on the military’s detainment abilities. On the other hand, Pres. Obama did voice his opposition to a number of provisions included in the latest bill, particularly ones that will essentially render his promise of closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison impossible.
Despite repeated pleas that Gitmo will be closed on his watch, Pres. Obama failed to do as much during his first term in the White House. Thanks to a provision in the 2013 NDAA, the Pentagon will be unable to use funds to transfer detainees out of that facility and to other sights, ensuring they will remain at the top-secret military prison for the time being.
“Even though I support the vast majority of the provisions contained in this Act, which is comprised of hundreds of sections spanning more than 680 pages of text, I do not agree with them all. Our Constitution does not afford the president the opportunity to approve or reject statutory sections one by one,” Pres. Obama writes.
Congress, claims the president, designed sections of the new defense bill “in order to foreclose my ability to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.”
“I continue to believe that operating the facility weakens our national security by wasting resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and strengthening our enemies,” he says.
Elsewhere, the president claims that certain provisions in the act threaten to interview with his “constitutional duty to supervise the executive branch” of the United States.
Before the 2013 NDAA was finalized, it was reported by the White House that Pres. Obama would veto the legislation over the provisions involving Guantanamo Bay. Similarly, the White House originally said the president would veto the 2012 NDAA over the indefinite detention provisions, although he signed it regardless “with reservations” on December 31 of that year.
Since authorizing the 2012 NDAA, the president has been challenged in federal court by a team of plaintiffs who say that the indefinite detention clause is unconstitutional. US District Judge Katherine Forrest agreed that Sec. 1021 of the 2012 NDAA violated the US Constitution and granted a permanent injunction on the Obama administration from using that provision, but the White House successfully fought to appeal that decision.
Commenting on the latest signing, American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero says, "President Obama has utterly failed the first test of his second term, even before inauguration day.”
“His signature means indefinite detention without charge or trial, as well as the illegal military commissions, will be extended,” adds Romero. "He also has jeopardized his ability to close Guantanamo during his presidency. Scores of men who have already been held for nearly 11 years without being charged with a crime--including more than 80 who have been cleared for transfer--may very well be imprisoned unfairly for yet another year. The president should use whatever discretion he has in the law to order many of the detainees transferred home, and finally step up next year to close Guantanamo and bring a definite end to indefinite detention."
We all need to be aware of the extent of these anti-protesting laws! As we see people are being carted out by security and jailed for simply interrupting a public meeting. This is big in Maryland as the public not only cannot participate in policy-writing but we are being silenced in public meetings.
This article does a good job highlighting details of the bill you may not know. It is why police demand you leave a protest in many normally safe areas.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - Washington Times
"Anti-Occupy" law ends American's right to protest
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - Leading Edge Legal Advice for Everyday Matters by Paul Samakow
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 1, 2012 — I was stunned upon hearing a news report about a protest going on in China. Teachers, parents with their young, school-age children and pro-democracy activitists (one estimate was 90,000 people) marched in Hong Kong to government headquarters last Sunday to publicly protest a new required “Patriotism” class, to be taught in the school system starting in 2015. The protestors think that the effort of the Chinese government here is to brainwash their kids in favor of communism.
What stunned me was that this protest, in China, against the government’s upcoming policy, at the government headquarters, would not now be tolerated here in the United States of America.
Thanks to almost zero media coverage, few of us know about a law passed this past March, severely limiting our right to protest. The silence may have been due to the lack of controversy in bringing the bill to law: Only three of our federal elected officials voted against the bill’s passage. Yes, Republicans and Democrats agreed on something almost 100%.
We have lived through a number of protests, large and small, and if we are like most, we shrug because the protestors or their message is either irrelevant or objectionable to us, and does not affect us. This non-interest is the case even when some of the protestors and some of their messages are highly objectionable.
Recent example Number One are the military funeral protests by the Westboro Baptist Church. This very small, anti-gay group from Topeka, Kansas says that God is punishing the United States for accepting gay rights by killing US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They protested at the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards, because she supported gay rights. Our Supreme Court upheld the rights of these bigots to continue their protests. We hated the opinion while we recognized its correctness.
The First Amendment to our Constitution guarantees us the rights of free speech and assembly. A fundamental purpose of our free speech guarantee is to invite dispute. Protests can and have been the catalyst for positive change. Thus while we despise that protestors can burn our flag as protected political speech, and we hate that Neo-Nazis can march down our streets, we recognize the rights of these groups to do what they do and we send our troops across the world to fight for these rights.
Last year’s “occupy movement” scared the government. On March 8, President Obama signed a law that makes protesting more difficult and more criminal. The law is titled the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act, and it passed unanimously in the Senate and with only three “no” votes in the House. It was called the “Trepass Bill” by Congress and the “anti-Occupy law” by everyone else who commented.
The law “improves” public grounds by forcing people - protestors - elsewhere. It amends an older law that made it a federal crime to “willfully and knowingly” enter a restricted space. Now you will be found guilty of this offense if you simply “knowingly” enter a restricted area, even if you did not know it was illegal to do so. The Department of Homeland Security can designate an event as one of “national significance,” making protests or demonstrations near the event illegal.
The law makes it punishable by up to ten years in jail to protest anywhere the Secret Service “is or will be temporarily visiting,” or anywhere they might be guarding someone. Does the name Secret tell you anything about your chances of knowing where they are? The law allows for conviction if you are “disorderly or disruptive,” or if you “impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions.” You can no longer heckle or “boo” at a political candidate’s speech, as that would be disruptive.
After you swallow all of this and correctly conclude that it is now very easy to be prosecuted for virtually any public protest, you should brace yourself and appreciate that it is even worse. Today, any event that is officially defined as a National Special Security Event has Secret Service protection. This can include sporting events and concerts.
The timing of the law was not coincidental. The bill was presented to the Senate, after House passage, on November 17, 2011, during an intense nationwide effort to stop the Occupy Wall Street protests. Two days before, hundreds of New York police conducted a raid on the demonstrators’ encampment in Zucotti Park, shutting it down and placing barricades.
This law chips away our First Amendment rights. Its motivation is 100 percent politically based, as it was designed to silence those who would protest around politicians giving speeches. Both Republicans and Democrats agreed they did not want hecklers at their rallies. If you want to protest a politician speaking to a crowd now, you can do so maybe a half mile or so away.
We used to have a right of access to streets, sidewalks, and public parks to engage in political discussion and protest. The government should be able to impose reasonable limits to ensure public order, but that power must have a limit; it must never be used to quell unpopular opinion or to discriminate against disfavored speakers. Protestors must be allowed to be in the same place at the same time as the speaker they oppose. The presence of a Secret Service Agent (remember, how do we know they are there?) should not prevent us from lawfully, non-violently organizing and demonstrating against a cause or a speaker we disfavor.
Write to Congress. Protest this anti-protest law.
Rather than litigate we need to send these neo-liberals packing. Anyone running as a democrat voting to end US citizen's ability to protest IS NOT A DEMOCRAT-----GET RID OF THEM BY RUNNING AND VOTING FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!
Occupy and the Right to Protest Could litigation over the Occupy movement strengthen First Amendment rights for protesters?
Laura Bolt April 13, 2012 The Nation
On the morning of November 17, UC Davis students participating in a peaceful protest of rising tuition costs, in solidarity with the Occupy movement, were informed that they were to remove their tents from the quad on which they had been camping. The protesters had spent only one night there, but the university said the encampment was a health and safety violation. The students’ first instinct was to engage in a dialogue with the university; students requested that the administration cite the standards they were violating, but by that afternoon no details had been provided to them, so the students decided to continue to “occupy the quad.”
About the Author Laura Bolt Laura Bolt is an editorial intern at The Nation. A native of Washington, DC, she has written also for Washington City... That occupation, however, did not last long. At around 3 pm, police in riot gear arrived on campus, threatening to “shoot” students who refused to leave. As students were pulled up from the ground at random, their hands violently tied behind them, twenty-five students remained peacefully seated in the center of the quad. A crowd of onlookers began to accumulate. In a scene that would go viral, thanks to cell phone videos, officers stepped within a few feet of the seated protesters, shook cans of pepper spray—“like cans of aerosol paint,” according to the students’ complaint—and doused the protesters. UC Davis student David Buscho described the experience as “absurdly painful…we were in a state of collective shock.”
Now that the shock has worn off, nineteen of these students, supported by the ACLU of Northern California, are fighting back with a lawsuit filed against UC Davis administration and officials that alleges that its actions violated the students’ First Amendment rights. An attorney for the plaintiffs, Mark Merin, believes that the police had no right to get involved in the protest, asserting that the “right of general assembly is enshrined in the constitution and should not be interfered with by police.”
While the nineteen plaintiffs in this case are seeking compensatory and putative damages, the suit also asks for a statement from the court that the First Amendment rights of the protesters were violated, and that there be a serious effort to reform the campus practices that led to that violation. Merin believes campus policies should be revised to grant students an opportunity to appeal the decision if the university moves to quash protest.
Cases like this are not without precedence. In 1972, in the case of Jeanette Rankin Brigade v. Capitol Police, the Center for Constitutional Rights represented several Vietnam War protesters who had been arrested while demonstrating on Capitol grounds. CCR asserted that the federal statute under which they had been arrested, which prohibited congregating in a group in Capitol property, was unconstitutional. A district court, in a decision that was later affirmed by the Supreme Court, ruled the statute unconstitutional, stating that “it would be difficult to imagine a law that more plainly violates the principle that First Amendment freedoms need breathing space to exist.” In 2008, in the case of Kunstler v. City of New York, the New York Police Department awarded anti-war protesters $2 million after they filed suit for unlawful arrest and excessive detention, violating their First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Merin acknowledges that these are good precedents for the UC Davis case, signaling that free speech in general, and protests in particular-should be protected under the law.
The UC Davis case is just one in a series of recent lawsuits brought about by Occupy movement protesters asserting that their rights have been violated. Last October, protesters who where arrested while on the Brooklyn Bridge filed a civil rights complaint against the city, Mayor Bloomberg, and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, alleging that they were lured onto the bridge in order to be arrested. Two women who were pepper sprayed in a now-infamous episode involving NYPD officer Anthony Bolgona sued Bologna, the city and the NYPD in February. Just last week, two protesters who were arrested during an action against Merrill Lynch offices in Washington, DC, sued its Metropolitan Police Department for violating their First Amendment rights and accused them of false arrest. All of these cases are pending.
The stakes of this case go beyond the UC Davis campus. As the winter freeze on Occupy Wall Street begins to thaw, a victory for the UC students could have a major impact on upcoming protest opportunities, including the NATO Summit in Chicago, the Republican National Convention in Tampa and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, all happening the coming months. As the OWS movement continues to inspire protests and strengthening of protest rights, these cities have already began enacting draconian anti-protest statutes. Unrealistic permits and insurance requirements, restrictions on banners and handheld items and the creation of specific “free speech zones” are all components of the anti-protest backlash these cities are experimenting with in anticipation of the demonstrations that will certainly be coming over the summer. While any decision the court makes in the UC Davis case would be unlikely to directly alter the anti-protest statutes that have already been passed, the implication for the climate of free speech and First Amendment laws in this country could be significant.
Michael Risher of the ACLU says that victories in these kinds of cases not only strengthen First Amendment rights, but also serve to assure people interested in demonstrating that their voice will be heard in a safe and respectful manner. He hopes the UC Davis suit will help to serve as a counterweight against the scenes of violence from protests around the country, which may frighten people away from protesting, as “self-censorship threatens the First Amendment.” Risher believes the UC Davis case will not only be an affirmative change how things work on the UC Davis campus but will also be a defensive move against “aggressors of the First Amendment” and make police think twice before employing violence.
Buscho, a senior at UC Davis, hopes that the case will achieve a “paradigm shift,” in which “society can see protesters and free speech as important to civil society.” He sees this moment as an opportunity to change public discourse about protests and solidify the notion that people engaging in peaceful protest should not be subject to police intervention and brutality. A recent Rasmussen report showed that 51 percent of likely voters view protesters as a “public nuisance,” a number that could perhaps fall if free speech rights were strengthened, thereby allowing protests to take place in a more civil manner.
Beyond a shift in public perception of protests, Baher Azmy, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, hopes that cases like this will also effect change on an institutional level. He notes that there is an increasing level of police interaction with peaceful protesters in a more and more militaristic way. “There is a momentum to that kind of aggressive response,” he says, “unless litigation challenges that.” While it is not a perfect solution, Azmy notes that cases like the one at UC Davis, not only cost the aggressors money, but also generate publicity that could facilitate a deeper institutional change, in which police departments may alter how they train their officers.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has been part of this kind of change before, when they represented Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and two of her producers in suing the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments, as well as the US Secret Service, based on their aggressive conduct during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The case, which was settled in October 2011, included not only $100,000 in compensation but also an agreement from the cities to train their police on First Amendment rights.
With these cases accumulating and publicity growing, Azmy believes that this kind of reform could even reach the police departments of Chicago, Tampa and Charlotte, before future lawsuits cost them time, money, and damaged reputations.
As protesters across the country stand (or sit) for what they believe in over the next few months, the UC Davis case could affect what kind of conditions they are met with. Right now, in Merin’s words, “when law enforcement gets involved you have no options—submit or be arrested.” If suits like this are successful and seep into public consciousness and police training, spaces where everyone has a voice would be more likely.