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Scorecard: How Many Rights Have Americans REALLY Lost?

George Washington's picture





 

http://www.theispot.com/images/source/FredaLibertyUpended1.jpgPainting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

 

Preface: While a lot of people talk about the loss of our Constitutional liberties, people usually speak in a vague, generalized manner … or focus on only one issue and ignore the rest.

This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right.

First Amendment

The 1st Amendment protects speech, religion, assembly and the press:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

However, the government is arresting those speaking out … and violently crushing peaceful assemblies which attempt to petition the government for redress.

A federal judge found that the law allowing indefinite detention of Americans without due process has a “chilling effect” on free speech. And see this and this.

The threat of being labeled a terrorist for exercising our First Amendment rights certainly violates the First Amendment.   The government is using laws to crush dissent, and it’s gotten so bad that even U.S. Supreme Court justices are saying that we are descending into tyranny.

For example, the following actions may get an American citizen living on U.S. soil labeled as a “suspected terrorist” today:

And holding the following beliefs may also be considered grounds for suspected terrorism:

Of course, Muslims are more or less subject to a separate system of justice in America.

And 1st Amendment rights are especially chilled when power has become so concentrated that the same agency which spies on all Americans also decides who should be assassinated.

Second Amendment

The 2nd Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Gun control and gun rights advocates obviously have very different views about whether guns are a force for violence or for good.

But even a top liberal Constitutional law expert reluctantly admits  that the right to own a gun is as important a Constitutional right as freedom of speech or religion:

Like many academics, I was happy to blissfully ignore the Second Amendment. It did not fit neatly into my socially liberal agenda.

 

***

 

It is hard to read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to be an individual right. It is true that the amendment begins with a reference to militias: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Accordingly, it is argued, this amendment protects the right of the militia to bear arms, not the individual.

 

Yet, if true, the Second Amendment would be effectively declared a defunct provision. The National Guard is not a true militia in the sense of the Second Amendment and, since the District and others believe governments can ban guns entirely, the Second Amendment would be read out of existence.

 

***

 

More important, the mere reference to a purpose of the Second Amendment does not alter the fact that an individual right is created. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is stated in the same way as the right to free speech or free press. The statement of a purpose was intended to reaffirm the power of the states and the people against the central government. At the time, many feared the federal government and its national army. Gun ownership was viewed as a deterrent against abuse by the government, which would be less likely to mess with a well-armed populace.

 

Considering the Framers and their own traditions of hunting and self-defense, it is clear that they would have viewed such ownership as an individual right — consistent with the plain meaning of the amendment.

 

None of this is easy for someone raised to believe that the Second Amendment was the dividing line between the enlightenment and the dark ages of American culture. Yet, it is time to honestly reconsider this amendment and admit that … here’s the really hard part … the NRA may have been right. This does not mean that Charlton Heston is the new Rosa Parks or that no restrictions can be placed on gun ownership. But it does appear that gun ownership was made a protected right by the Framers and, while we might not celebrate it, it is time that we recognize it.

The gun control debate – including which weapons and magazines are banned – is still in flux …

Third Amendment

The 3rd Amendment prohibits the government forcing people to house soldiers:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Hey … we’re still honoring one of the Amendments! Score one for We the People!

 In America, Journalists Are Considered Terrorists
Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com.

Fourth Amendment

The 4th Amendment prevents unlawful search and seizure:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

But the government is flying drones over the American homeland to spy on us.

Senator Rand Paul correctly notes:

The domestic use of drones to spy on Americans clearly violates the Fourth Amendment and limits our rights to personal privacy.

Paul introduced a bill to “protect individual privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles commonly called drones.”

Emptywheel notes in a post entitled “The OTHER Assault on the Fourth Amendment in the NDAA? Drones at Your Airport?”:

http://www.emptywheel.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Picture-7.png

***

 

As the map above makes clear–taken from this 2010 report–DOD [the Department of Defense] plans to have drones all over the country by 2015.

Many police departments are also using drones to spy on us. As the Hill reported:

At least 13 state and local police agencies around the country have used drones in the field or in training, according to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, an industry trade group. The Federal Aviation Administration has predicted that by the end of the decade, 30,000 commercial and government drones could be flying over U.S. skies.

 

***

 

“Drones should only be used if subject to a powerful framework that regulates their use in order to avoid abuse and invasions of privacy,” Chris Calabrese, a legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said during a congressional forum in Texas last month.

 

He argued police should only fly drones over private property if they have a warrant, information collected with drones should be promptly destroyed when it’s no longer needed and domestic drones should not carry any weapons.

 

He argued that drones pose a more serious threat to privacy than helicopters because they are cheaper to use and can hover in the sky for longer periods of time.

 

A congressional report earlier this year predicted that drones could soon be equipped with technologies to identify faces or track people based on their height, age, gender and skin color.

Even without drones, Americans are the most spied on people in world history:

The American government is collecting and storing virtually every phone call, purchases, email,  text message, internet searches, social media communications, health information,  employment history, travel and student records, and virtually all other information of every American.

 

Some also claim that the government is also using facial recognition software and surveillance cameras to track where everyone is going.  Moreover, cell towers track where your phone is at any moment, and the major cell carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requests for cell phone locations and other data in 2011. (And – given that your smartphone routinely sends your location information back to Apple or Google – it would be child’s play for the government to track your location that way.)    Your iPhone, or other brand of smartphone is spying on virtually everything you do  (ProPublica notes: “That’s No Phone. That’s My Tracker“).

 

As the top spy chief at the U.S. National Security Agency explained this week, the American government is collecting some 100 billion 1,000-character emails per day, and 20 trillion communications of all types per year.

 

He says that the government has collected all of the communications of congressional leaders, generals and everyone else in the U.S. for the last 10 years.

 

He further explains that he set up the NSA’s system so that all of the information would automatically be encrypted, so that the government had to obtain a search warrant based upon probably cause before a particular suspect’s communications could be decrypted.  [He specifically did this to comply with the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure.] But the NSA now collects all data in an unencrypted form, so that no probable cause is needed to view any citizen’s information.  He says that it is actually cheaper and easier to store the data in an encrypted format: so the government’s current system is being done for political – not practical – purposes.

 

He says that if anyone gets on the government’s “enemies list”, then the stored information will be used to target them. Specifically, he notes that if the government decides it doesn’t like someone, it analyzes all of the data it has collected on that person and his or her associates over the last 10 years to build a case against him.

 

 

Wired reports:

Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations….

 

The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases ….

 

The IP audio-video systems can be accessed remotely via a built-in web server (.pdf), and can be combined with GPS data to track the movement of buses and passengers throughout the city.

 

***

 

The systems use cables or WiFi to pair audio conversations with camera images in order to produce synchronous recordings. Audio and video can be monitored in real-time, but are also stored onboard in blackbox-like devices, generally for 30 days, for later retrieval. Four to six cameras with mics are generally installed throughout a bus, including one near the driver and one on the exterior of the bus.

 

***

 

Privacy and security expert Ashkan Soltani told the Daily that the audio could easily be coupled with facial recognition systems or audio recognition technology to identify passengers caught on the recordings.

RT notes:

Street lights that can spy installed in some American cities

 

America welcomes a new brand of smart street lightning systems: energy-efficient, long-lasting, complete with LED screens to show ads. They can also spy on citizens in a way George Orwell would not have imagined in his worst nightmare.

­

With a price tag of $3,000+ apiece, according to an ABC report, the street lights are now being rolled out in Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh, and may soon mushroom all across the country.

 

Part of the Intellistreets systems made by the company Illuminating Concepts, they have a number of “homeland security applications” attached.

 

Each has a microprocessor “essentially similar to an iPhone,” capable of wireless communication. Each can capture images and count people for the police through a digital camera, record conversations of passers-by and even give voice commands thanks to a built-in speaker.

 

Ron Harwood, president and founder of Illuminating Concepts, says he eyed the creation of such a system after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Hurricane Katrina disaster. He is “working with Homeland Security” to deliver his dream of making people “more informed and safer.”

Fox news notes that the government is insisting that “black boxes” be installed in cars to track your location.

The TSA has moved way past airports, trains and sports stadiums, and is deploying mobile scanners to spy on people all over the place.  This means that traveling within the United States is no longer a private affair.  (And they’re probably bluffing, but the Department of Homeland Security claims they will soon be able to know your adrenaline level, what you ate for breakfast and what you’re thinking … from 164 feet away.)

And Verizon has applied for a patent that would allow your television to track what you are doing, who you are with, what objects you’re holding, and what type of mood you’re in.  Given Verizon and other major carriers responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requests for cell phone locations and other data in 2011, such information would not be kept private.  (And some folks could be spying on you through your tv using existing technology.)

Of course, widespread spying on Americans began before 9/11 (confirmed here and here. And see this). So the whole “post-9/11 reality” argument falls flat.

And the spying isn’t being done to keep us safe … but to crush dissent and to smear people who uncover unflattering this about the government … and to help the too big to fail businesses compete against smaller businesses (and here).

In addition, the ACLU published a map in 2006 showing that nearly two-thirds of the American public – 197.4 million people – live within a “constitution-free zone” within 100 miles of land and coastal borders:

The ACLU explained:

  • Normally under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the American people are not generally subject to random and arbitrary stops and searches.
  • The border, however, has always been an exception.  There, the longstanding view is that the normal rules do not apply.  For example the authorities do not need a warrant or probable cause to conduct a “routine search.”
  • But what is “the border”?  According to the government, it  is a 100-mile wide strip that wraps around the “external boundary” of the United States.
  • As a result of this claimed authority, individuals who are far away from the border, American citizens traveling from one place in America to another, are being stopped and harassed in ways that our Constitution does not permit.
  • Border Patrol has been setting up checkpoints inland — on highways in states such as California, Texas and Arizona, and at ferry terminals in Washington State. Typically, the agents ask drivers and passengers about their citizenship.  Unfortunately, our courts so far have permitted these kinds of checkpoints – legally speaking, they are “administrative” stops that are permitted only for the specific purpose of protecting the nation’s borders.  They cannot become general drug-search or other law enforcement efforts.
  • However, these stops by Border Patrol agents are not remaining confined to that border security purpose.  On the roads of California and elsewhere in the nation – places far removed from the actual border – agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing.
  • The bottom line is that the extraordinary authorities that the government possesses at the border are spilling into regular American streets.

Computer World reports today:

Border agents don’t need probable cause and they don’t need a stinking warrant since they don’t need to prove any reasonable suspicion first. Nor, sadly, do two out of three people have First Amendment protection; it is as if DHS has voided those Constitutional amendments and protections they provide to nearly 200 million Americans.

 

***

 

Don’t be silly by thinking this means only if you are physically trying to cross the international border. As we saw when discussing the DEA using license plate readers and data-mining to track Americans movements, the U.S. “border” stretches out 100 miles beyond the true border. Godfather Politics added:

But wait, it gets even better!  If you live anywhere in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey or Rhode Island, DHS says the search zones encompass the entire state.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have a “longstanding constitutional and statutory authority permitting suspicionless and warrantless searches of merchandise at the border and its functional equivalent.” This applies to electronic devices, according to the recent CLCR “Border Searches of Electronic Devices” executive summary [PDF]:

Fourth Amendment

 

The overall authority to conduct border searches without suspicion or warrant is clear and longstanding, and courts have not treated searches of electronic devices any differently than searches of other objects.  We conclude that CBP’s and ICE’s current border search policies comply with the Fourth Amendment.  We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits.  However, we do think that recording more information about why searches are performed would help managers and leadership supervise the use of border search authority, and this is what we recommended; CBP has agreed and has implemented this change beginning in FY2012.

 

First Amendment

 

Some critics argue that a heightened level of suspicion should be required before officers search laptop computers in order to avoid chilling First Amendment rights.  However, we conclude that the laptop border searches allowed under the ICE and CBP Directives do not violate travelers’ First Amendment rights.

The ACLU said, Wait one darn minute! Hello, what happened to the Constitution? Where is the rest of CLCR report on the “policy of combing through and sometimes confiscating travelers’ laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices—even when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing?” DHS maintains it is not violating our constitutional rights, so the ACLU said:

If it’s true that our rights are safe and that DHS is doing all the things it needs to do to safeguard them, then why won’t it show us the results of its assessment? And why would it be legitimate to keep a report about the impact of a policy on the public’s rights hidden from the very public being affected?

***

 

As ChristianPost wrote, “Your constitutional rights have been repealed in ten states. No, this isn’t a joke. It is not exaggeration or hyperbole. If you are in ten states in the United States, your some of your rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights have been made null and void.”

 

The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the entire DHS report about suspicionless and warrantless “border” searches of electronic devices. ACLU attorney Catherine Crump said “We hope to establish that the Department of Homeland Security can’t simply assert that its practices are legitimate without showing us the evidence, and to make it clear that the government’s own analyses of how our fundamental rights apply to new technologies should be openly accessible to the public for review and debate.”

 

Meanwhile, the EFF has tips to protect yourself and your devices against border searches. If you think you know all about it, then you might try testing your knowledge with a defending privacy at the U.S. border quiz.

Wired pointed out in 2008 that the courts have routinely upheld such constitution-free zones:

Federal agents at the border do not need any reason to search through travelers’ laptops, cell phones or digital cameras for evidence of crimes, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, extending the government’s power to look through belongings like suitcases at the border to electronics.

 

***

 

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the government, finding that the so-called border exception to the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches applied not just to suitcases and papers, but also to electronics.

 

***

Travelers should be aware that anything on their mobile devices can be searched by government agents, who may also seize the devices and keep them for weeks or months. When in doubt, think about whether online storage or encryption might be tools you should use to prevent the feds from rummaging through your journal, your company’s confidential business plans or naked pictures of you and your-of-age partner in adult fun.


Paintings by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com.

Fifth Amendment

The 5th Amendment addresses due process of law, eminent domain, double jeopardy and grand jury:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

But the American government has shredded the 5th Amendment by subjecting us to indefinite detention and taking away our due process rights.

The government claims the right to assassinate or indefinitely detain any American citizen on U.S. citizen without any due process. And see this.

As such, the government is certainly depriving people of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

There are additional corruptions of 5th Amendment rights – such as property being taken for private purposes.

The percentage of prosecutions in which a defendant is denied a  grand jury is difficult to gauge, as there is so much secrecy surrounding many terrorism trials.

Protection against being tried twice for the same crime after being found innocent (“double jeopardy”) seems to be intact.

HUNG LIBERTY (NYSE)Image by William Banzai

Sixth Amendment

The 6th Amendment guarantees the right to hear the criminal charges levied against us and to be able to confront the witnesses who have testified against us, as well as speedy criminal trials, and a public defender for those who cannot hire an attorney:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Subjecting people to indefinite detention or assassination obviously violates the 6th Amendment right to a jury trial.  In both cases, the defendants is “disposed of” without ever receiving a trial … and often without ever hearing the charges against them.

More and more commonly, the government prosecutes cases based upon “secret evidence” that they don’t show to the defendant … or sometimes even the judge hearing the case.

The government uses “secret evidence” to spy on Americans, prosecute leaking or terrorism charges (even against U.S. soldiers) and even assassinate people.  And see this and this.

Secret witnesses are being used in some cases. And sometimes lawyers are not even allowed to read their own briefs.

Indeed, even the laws themselves are now starting to be kept secret.  And it’s about to get a lot worse.

True – when defendants are afforded a jury trial – they are provided with assistance of counsel. However, the austerity caused by redistribution of wealth to the super-elite is causing severe budget cuts to the courts and the public defenders’ offices nationwide.

Moreover, there are two systems of justice in America … one for the big banks and other fatcats, and one for everyone else.   The government made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, even though fraud is the main business model adopted by Wall Street.  Indeed, the biggest financial crime in world history, the largest insider trading scandal of all time, illegal raiding of customer accounts and blatant financing of drug cartels and terrorists have all been committed recently without any real criminal prosecution or jail time.

On the other hand, government prosecutors are using the legal system to  crush dissent and to silence whistleblowers.

And some of the nation’s most powerful judges have lost their independence  … and are in bed with the powers-that-be.

Seventh Amendment

The 7th Amendment guarantees trial by jury in federal court for civil cases:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

As far as we know, this right is still being respected.  However – as noted above – the austerity caused by redistribution of wealth to the super-elite is causing severe budget cuts to the courts, resulting in the wheels of justice slowing down considerably.

Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

Eighth Amendment

The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Indefinite detention and assassination are obviously cruel and unusual punishment.

The widespread system of torture carried out in the last 10 years – with the help of other countriesviolates the 8th Amendment.  Many want to bring it back … or at least justify its past use.

While Justice Scalia disingenuously argues that torture does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment because it is meant to produce information – not punish – he’s wrong.  It’s not only cruel and unusual … it is technically a form of terrorism.

And government whistleblowers are being cruelly and unusually punished with unduly harsh sentences meant to intimidate anyone else from speaking out.

Ninth Amendment

The 9th Amendment provides that people have other rights, even if they aren’t specifically listed in the Constitution:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The government has trampled our basic rights as human beings.  While we can debate about what our inherent rights as human beings are, the government should not actively encourage fraud and manipulation. In reality – through the malignant, symbiotic relationship between big government and big corporations, the government is interfering with our aspirations for economic freedom, safe food and water (instead of arsenic-laden, genetically engineered junk), to be free of undue health hazards such as irradiation due to government support of archaic nuclear power designs, and our yearning for a level playing field … as opposed to our crony capitalist system in which the little guy has no shot due to redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the super-elite, and government support of white collar criminals.

 

Tenth Amendment

The 10th Amendment provides that powers not specifically given to the Federal government are reserved to the states or individual:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Two of the central principles of America’s Founding Fathers are:

(1) The government is created and empowered with the consent of the people

 

and

 

(2) Separation of powers

Today, most Americans believe that the government is threatening – rather than protect – freedom, and that it is no longer acting with the “consent of the governed”.

And the federal government is trampling the separation of powers by stepping on the toes of the states and the people.  For example, former head S&L prosecutor Bill Black – now a professor of law and economics – notes:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the resident examiners and regional staff of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency [both]  competed to weaken federal regulation and aggressively used the preemption doctrine to try to prevent state investigations of and actions against fraudulent mortgage lenders.

Indeed, the federal government is doing everything it can be stick its nose into every aspect of our lives … and act like Big Brother.

Conclusion: While a few of the liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights still exist, the overall scorecard of the government’s respect for our basic freedom is a failing grade.

 


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Fri, 02/22/2013 - 12:17 | Link to Comment Conax
Conax's picture

Watching TCM they had on "Double Indemnity".  The differences in general life in the late 40's to today were striking.  The man had a beer on the tray in his window at a Drive-in burger stand, people were smoking at will, it was total anarchy!

We've lost quite a bit of what made it fine to be an American since then.  I'm glad my dad isn't here to see us, he would call us all commie wusses.  And he would be right.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 11:57 | Link to Comment MickV
MickV's picture

How many rights have we lost? ZERO. The enumerated rights of the Bill of Rights are god- given, not given by any man. Government can only take them away if we the people let them, and so far we have.

 

Speak the truth GW. You are speaking of the PROBLEM--- the solution is mass realization that the Domestic enemy usurper Obama has no right to the office of President and thus no power. Regardless of whether he was elected to (or stole) the office-- the Constitution requires that he be a natural born Citizen, i.e one born in the US of US Citizen parents, where no foreign allegiance exists--- "NO PERSON, BUT A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN SHALL BE PRESIDENT OF THE US" (A2S1C4). It is a self executing constitutional provision, and we the people need to drag him from the office. Anyone who thinks it doesn't matter deserves what is coming.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 13:09 | Link to Comment rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

If one sees the central PROBLEM as one of not having a natural-born president,

and that is one’s stated central objection,

then it follows to have an undeniably natural-born president is your remedy,

to what you see as the central PROBLEM, and which would end your principal objection.

If however, one sees the central PROBLEM as one of empire itself,

then any violation of office eligibility becomes just another violation

in a long list of violations,

to which having a “natural-born” president is no satisfactory cure.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 13:44 | Link to Comment MickV
MickV's picture

Of course yours is a straw man argument. The fact is that the non eligible President voids US Citizen sovereignty---- which is why he was musceled in. If that is not a problem to you then you are willfully blind. The requirement of a natural born Citizen is a security requirement to guarentee allegiance to the highest degree possible--- it is not a guarentee 100%, but in this case it is obvious that the domestic enemy Usurper lacks any allegiance to America, or it's founding principles, so not following A2S1C4 in this case obviously has been with disasterous effects. Mass awareness of the Usurpation will lead to awareness of the mass treason by our government over decades. Obama is the end result, and the final piece of the NWO.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 11:07 | Link to Comment dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

Incrementalism - behold the results.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 10:30 | Link to Comment madcows
madcows's picture

This country is now nothing more than a tyrannical police state.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 10:01 | Link to Comment rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

NWO plans have wrecked the US.  FUCK THE US GOV'T.  Would that count me as being unpopular?  If there was a button to push that would kill everone of them my finger would be fucking broke.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 09:42 | Link to Comment MickV
MickV's picture

Speak the truth GW (why do you not call attention to the Usurpation?). The US Government has been Usurped by a domestic enemy British subject (HUSSEIN OBAMA) who was born British of a British subject father, and thus is not eligible for the office no matter if born on the Oval Office desk. Evicting him from the office voids all executive orders, bills signed, appointments made. Obama represents the coup of the NWO and essentially voids US sovereignty, since the putative POTUS, who is the executor of the office is an illegal entity. He is MUCH different then all of the other puppets, since his Presidency has ended the Republic. It can only be regained by the blood of tyrants and patriots.

 

Speak the truth, and it shall set you free.

"Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother". Deuteronomy 17:15

"The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners". Minor v. Happersett, 88 US 162, 167 (1874)

"Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?" Federalist 68

Hussein Obama is not a "creature of our own" (natural born Citizen) because he was born of an "improper ascendant" (IMPROPER ANCESTOR), named Barack Obama Sr., a British subject of Kenya, and never a US citizen. The country of the father is the country of the son (Vattle's Law of Nations, Bk 1 Ch. 212). Why do you think he named the book "Dreams FROM my Father"? Thus there is no "United States", and the beatings will continue until people like TD and GW and WB are brave enough to speak the real truth, pulling the curtain back on the Central Banker puppet masters of the NWO.

 

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 09:39 | Link to Comment rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

In a larger sense, the enumerated rights were meant to allow the citizens to control their government in order to reap the common benefits of government and avoid persecution by it.

A well-informed citizenry is necessary to control government. But extensive government secrecy now suppresses public knowledge of key government actions and effects.

Public access to the levers of government is also necessary for public control. But access to those levers is now monopolized by a select few and the institutions they head. That monopolized access is used to further concentrate wealth and power, often covertly, without regard to the common good.

It is in the common good to be a good neighbor. But just as government has been self-servingly used at home, so too has it been employed overseas to narrowly benefit a few without regard of the cost to many. Habituated and calloused to their unaccounted persecutions abroad, those who direct government come to rely step by step, on equal measures of repression at home to maintain their advantages.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 09:35 | Link to Comment MrBoompi
MrBoompi's picture

Excellent reporting GW. I'm sure you're on the enemies list now if you weren't before. And if they have a problem with people who read, or dare to say they appreciate your work, I'm sure they're on the list too.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 11:44 | Link to Comment lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I for one, am not replying to any emails offering a free trip to a ZH convention in a remote location.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 04:44 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

As so often with 'americans', their propaganda relies on the acceptance of a fabled past.

Loss of rights? How? From the start, in the 'american' projects, it was clear some were entitled to rights, some were not.

But 'americans' can not cope with their past. So they have to invent a new one.

Hence the vanity of their protests: very easy for anyone to dismiss the preposterous idea that rights were lost, especially when the protesters staged the FFs (who owned slaves despite signing a document in which they stated their convictions that freedom was an unalienable human right)

'Americanism' goes as usual: it parades coercion for freedom, propaganda and fantasy for truth and injustice for justice. No change here.

But 'americans' will keep the show as it helps the consumption part.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 11:38 | Link to Comment rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

AA

You generalize too much and mock too much.

Both a cynic and a Pollyanna can be fatalistic.

A Pollyanna out of the belief this is the best of all possible worlds.

And a cynic, from believing the same.

The failures and hypocrises of the past (or present) do not make the ideals less worthy.

Some will example the past as reason to do better.

Others will look to the same past as an excuse to do same.

Some even here may falsely idealize the past, and yet nonetheless be propelled by their ideals to oppose present hypocrisies and injustices.

None of us will know how, in the long run, it all turns out. None of us should be overly confident or deterministic about what will happen.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 09:38 | Link to Comment CJHames
CJHames's picture

Go fuck yourself, AnAnonymous.  Bend over and grab the biggest dildo - which, of course, would be one of your like-minded idiot friends - and ram it up your ass.

Other than that, have yourself a nice friday.

 

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 20:11 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Make me laugh.

US 'american' dildoism being inopportune to the practioners of Chinese Citizenism, interfering as it does with their ongoing campaign of roadside shitizenism.

Alas, alas, three times alas, just have to bear down on it.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 09:05 | Link to Comment Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Could be worse.

 

So, how's the Chinese pussy??

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 10:11 | Link to Comment GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Due to the one child policy, the best way to answer that is: scarce.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 20:19 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

I just hope that the Chinese Communist rulers will soon find the wisdom in a none child policy for AnAnnoyingUs and his immediate family, who continue to piss, and float turds, in the Chinese genetic pool.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 05:44 | Link to Comment Middle_Finger_Market
Middle_Finger_Market's picture

Required viewing: (There is a war going on; a war for our minds) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcnTdO47p0Q 

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 03:12 | Link to Comment Edward Fiatski
Edward Fiatski's picture

How does it go... Ah, yes - "The People deserve the government they get."

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 03:31 | Link to Comment honestann
honestann's picture

Anyone who utters such nonsense is either insane, terminally stupid, or terminally corrupt.

All such statements assume what we all know is absurd --- that all individuals deserve to be treated the same, no matter their actions, and no matter the consequences of their actions.

The notion that individuals who abhor and reject predators-DBA-government deserve to be slaves... just because many of their neighbors are liars, crazy, stupid or corrupt... is absurd.  This is nothing but a soundbite rationalization created by the predators-that-be to convince the sheeple to accept, sanction and even advocate their own abuse.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 04:57 | Link to Comment Edward Fiatski
Edward Fiatski's picture

My statement holds true, since inaction in the sight of injustice, is as abhorrent as the actions of the perpetrators.

You chose to live on your knees, thus - The People deserve the goverment they have.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 16:37 | Link to Comment honestann
honestann's picture

You are full of crap.  I moved out of the USSA several years ago to avoid the predators, knowing full well the vast majority of sheeple would accept, sanction, and often support any level of abuse.

For you to treat all individuals (including me) the same shows what an intellectually corrupt moron you are.  You claim I chose to live on my knees.  I do not consent to be governed.  I refuse to be governed.  I left the USSA to avoid the worst predators on the planet.  I built a self-sufficient place to live in the extreme boonies, far away from predators-DBA-government (of any stripes).

You don't know jack about me, not even what I've written in these ZH messages (which you could have checked).  This demonstrates that you have destroyed your own brain by treating every individual as if he or she was some kind of "average" of the morons near them.  In doing so, you've proved you are insane, stupid, ignorant and/or intentionally corrupt.  But just because you are insane, stupid, ignorant and/or corrupt doesn't say anything about others.  Your way of operating your brain is utterly defective.

In fact, there is no "country", and there is no "government".  Those are pure, unadulterated fictions.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 20:06 | Link to Comment Edward Fiatski
Edward Fiatski's picture

"I moved out of the USSA several years ago to avoid the predators, knowing full well the vast majority of sheeple would accept, sanction, and often support any level of abuse."

Well, enjoy the Life then. The maxim still stands -- You are the sole Soul responsible for your own life, let the other cattle get slaughtered - you shouldn't care whether that happens or not, since apparently they don't share your ethics. :-)

If they work to your detriment by being apathetic in all things related to the Republic, then they are the enemy - show them no mercy, for history will give them none.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 01:44 | Link to Comment honestann
honestann's picture

Yes, I reserve my mercy for being who are honest and benevolent, which are very few.  I will show sheeple no mercy, not by harming them, but by refusing to help anyone who thinks and behaves like them (dishonestly and unethically).  And one of the prime ways of being dishonest and unethical in the world today is to lump everyone into the same category, just because most beings near them fit into that category.

You're damn right that I'm the only one responsible for my life.  But guess what, that goes for everyone else too.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 02:06 | Link to Comment lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

The day comes you wake up and ZH is down, get your piece and go bag and haul ass.

Poor AJ will never know what hit him. A Drone will take out his entire house and family while Skeeter watches and giggles with Reggie's pole up his ass.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 01:47 | Link to Comment lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Since the Chief Executive now claims you can be summarily assassinated on command, you have no Rights left at all.

None.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 09:51 | Link to Comment Mercury
Mercury's picture

From this week's 'New Yorker' (of all places).

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 11:47 | Link to Comment lakecity55
Fri, 02/22/2013 - 09:40 | Link to Comment CJHames
CJHames's picture

Short and sweet.  And oh so correct.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 02:35 | Link to Comment fourchan
fourchan's picture

the intended power flow order:  the individual, the city gvmt, the state gvmt, the federal gvmt.

the actual flow today: fed gvmt, state gvmt, city gvmt, individual,

 

the system is completely on its head upside down.

gold is now paper, liberal is statism. republican is now empty headed blow hards

the Republic is now dead because we the people couldn't keep it.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 01:33 | Link to Comment groundedkiwi
groundedkiwi's picture

Left hand, right hand. The same person ( corp) who is shaking your hand and thanking you for your service, is out sourcing your job. WTFU!

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 00:05 | Link to Comment rustymason
rustymason's picture

Liberals/lefties worked tirelessly and enthusiastically for over 100 years to grow the government to its present size and scope. Now these lefty libs have the nerve to complain that that same government is too big and powerful.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 11:24 | Link to Comment dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

I can't disagree that liberalism, or at least the branch that believes ALL power and ALL rights belong to and are derived from government shoulder the biggest portion of blame for our current state of affairs, but what about the fucking neo-cons, mainly just con men, that have furthered the same causes while selling us the BS they were for limited goobermit and such lies as that? One group of people with the mindset of freedom and liberty, such as the Ron Paul's and Gary Johnson's of the world would shoulder the least blame, though nobody hardly wants to hear what they are saying.

One thing I would find hilarious, were it not so sad, is how now that the controls to the military machinery are firmly in BHO's greasy hands we see the anti-war, Bush lied kids died, group now all full of testosteone and defending the very same things they deplored just a few short years ago.Wrong is wrong....doesn't matter which phony party is doing it.

What IS Cindy Sheehan up to these days anyways?

 

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 10:24 | Link to Comment Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Liberals are well meaning......they just don't understand the damage of what happens when you give authority to an entity (government) that is controlled by proxy (Fed Reserve, Corporations, Uber Rich people) and NOT by the people.

The country is simply too big for a bureaucratic government.  And I say this as someone who leans LEFT.

Read "Liberalism: A CounterHistory"

http://www.amazon.com/Liberalism-Counter-History-Domenico-Losurdo/dp/184...

1. Liberalism does not expand the boundaries of freedom in an organic dialectical process. Liberalism has undergone profound changes in its history, but not because of any sort of internal tendency towards progress. The expanders of liberty have been rebellious slaves, socialists, organized workers, anti-colonial nationalists, and other forces outside of the "Community of the Free". Generally, the "Community of the Free" (a.k.a "elites") only grant accessions when faced with powerful opposition from outside its walls.

Right now, we don't live under a "socialist" system - that's a farce pushed on by the corporate right; nor do we live under complete fascism (although one can argue its Corporate Fascism - which is basically just Fascism with a Smile...think: Wal-Mart).  We are "ruled" by a class of Neo-Liberals/Conservatives, who are hell-bent on getting their way at ANY cost.

Neoliberals are the psycho exes of the global political economy.  They never stop screwing everything up, and keep telling you it's because they love you (as they rape our collective assholes).

 

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 12:16 | Link to Comment dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

We are "ruled" by a class of Neo-Liberals/Neo-Conservatives......

tfify

 

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 01:41 | Link to Comment uncle reggie
uncle reggie's picture

The primary problem with government in this nation today is the simple fact that it's owned, and controlled, by corporations and the super rich. They run the show, have the politicians, including Obama, in their back pocket, own the greatest propaganda machine in human history, control all finance and everything economic. They are your masters. Too many buy into their slick propaganda which includes making the "government" the source of all problems. What a con. Shit, they run the government. They want a big, powerful government to take care of their interests which includes keeping tabs on your ass and if you piss them off, they'll have the "government" throw you in prison which they operate for a profit too!

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 00:25 | Link to Comment George Washington
George Washington's picture

Nice try at creating a

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 00:12 | Link to Comment ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

I 'went Galt' back in 2005.  I WILL NOT feed the beast.  Or it's welfare system.  Or it's wars. It's oppression. It's ideology. It's expansion.

 

Someone the other day recommended a 'One Day Nobody Works'.  Just one day, if the whole country didn't work or buy anything, a strong message would be sent.  If the beast has no funds, it will thrash and stumble and strike out, but, eventually, it will die.

 

If fact, it's dieing now.  That's the process we're all witnessing right now.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 00:58 | Link to Comment The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

'went Galt'  mind if I steal that

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 23:51 | Link to Comment ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

There seems to be a common thread running through all of America's problems:

* Government promotes fraud

* Goverment 'spying' on everyone

* Government overtaxing

* Government taking away rights

* Government Government Government:

 

What am I missing?  It's right on the tip of my tongue?

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 10:08 | Link to Comment dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

Just as Ronald Reagan said, "Government can not fix your problems; government IS your problem."  How true - and getting worse by the day.  Can you say, "$16.6 trillion and growing fast."?

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 01:49 | Link to Comment lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

The Fourth Reich

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 23:57 | Link to Comment NaN
NaN's picture

The corporate control of government.

 

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 00:05 | Link to Comment ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

I was telling my wife just yesterday that everyone in Con-gress is bought off by lobbyists.  That RINO's are Repubs in name only, that although they identify with the R party, they espouse NONE of the ideals of the Republic. She's slowly starting to come around.

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 10:21 | Link to Comment GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

RINOs exist to ensure the true conservatives don't get control of that party. The 'R' party is 'plan B' for TPTB. 

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 23:33 | Link to Comment WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

Obomba, the great dictator and his USSA military war machine of executioners, murdering anywhere anytime unabated; contracting and supplying the means for other terrorists to kill and topple sovereign nations not deemed "friendly" whilst impoverishing other nations in the pursuit of oil.
An inept cold shallow congress and senate All bought and paid for by the Mob fed o' bankers.
Said fed o' bankers using sheeples taxes to finance the murder and control the publics defenders all the way up to the judges.
So why talk about BILLORIGHTY CONSTITUTIONAL AMeNdMeNts BS? Because the Tyranny is Now On Your Own Doorstep. There is a glimmer of hope though; you have between the sheeples a far greater arsenal than Tommy Taliban who have managed to hold the Fort.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 23:06 | Link to Comment yellowsub
yellowsub's picture

Should get a tally of how many people actually care and how many would be willing to give up more rights for "security".

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 10:23 | Link to Comment dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

My guess would be: not enough.

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 22:47 | Link to Comment The Heart
The Heart's picture

And the people said...come and take it!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vcr5-QvMdY

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