MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘patriot act’

Let’s stop the next Patriot Act

Posted by M. C. on February 8, 2021

https://mailchi.mp/dd511ff39bc2/the-us-celebrates-30-years-of-bombing-iraq-4195689?e=de2d0eded6

You can be prepared for the next 9/11.Last time we were caught completely by surprise. We won’t let that happen again.The American people were naive about U.S. foreign policy. They thought the 1990s were peacetime. On 9/11, the planes appeared to come out of the clear blue sky.This left us open false explanations.
We won’t let that happen again. We will stay informed, and we will inform others. So when someone asks, “why do they hate us,” you can explain what the United States government has done to their country.In Chapter 4 of Gus Cantavero’s video adaptation of Scott’s new book Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism,Scott delves into the George W. Bush years including the decision to let bin Laden go as an excuse to start and continue more wars.
Arm yourself with knowledge so you can fight for peace. Buy Scott’s new book, Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism

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Prepare for the new “Domestic Terrorism Bill” – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on January 11, 2021

Joe Biden has claimed multiple times to be the author of the original Patriot Act, saying it was based entirely on a bill he proposed in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.

Well now he has a chance to work on the reboot too, and they are always so much better when you can get the original creative team back together.

What will “Domestic Terrorism” mean in this law? The answer to that is pretty much always “whatever they want it to mean.”

https://off-guardian.org/2021/01/08/prepare-for-the-new-domestic-terrorism-bill/

Kit Knightly

It’s not been often, in the five years OffG has existed, that we’ve had to cop to missing something important within 24 hours of publishing an article – but this is one of those times.

In my article yesterday – “The Storming of the Capitol”: America’s Reichstag Fire? – I said this [my emphasis]:

Although there is not yet any talk of legislation [in response to the Capitol Hill riots], it’s certainly true there are whispers of purges and other measures to “protect the constitution”.

That quote did not age well, indeed it was wrong from the moment it went to print. Because, as it turns out, there has actually been “talk of legislation” for weeks – even months. Soon-to-be-President Joe Biden promised a new “domestic terrorism bill” back in November, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That is why you’re seeing so much usage of the phrase “domestic terrorism” in the last couple of days. It’s the meme-phrase. The primary talking point for this whole exercise. It was underlined in all the memos sent out to all the media outlets.

That’s why Joe Biden went to such lengths to distinguish “domestic terrorists” from “protesters” in his speech following the riots.

That’s why the Council on Foreign Relations had an interview with a “counter-terrorism and national security expert” published within 24 hours of the incident, in which he spends 4 paragraphs arguing that the people who “stormed the capitol” were domestic terrorists.

That’s why the Washington Post has got an article dedicated to “lawmakers and experts” arguing that the Capitol Hill protest was an act of “domestic terrorism”. And so have Vox. And Mother Jones.

That’s why ABC had an article about how “domestic terrorism and hate crimes” were a growing problem in America…a week before the riot took place.

And that’s why #TrumpisaDomesticTerrorist is trending on Twitter.

Georgetown University, a well-known spook college, published a paper in September 2020 titled the “The Need for a Specific Law Against Domestic Terrorism”, and op-ed pieces bemoaning the lack of such a law have been dotted through the press going back to last summer and even late 2019.

There was one published yesterday, in which a “senior FBI official” says “more could have been done” if there had been a “specific law outlawing” domestic terrorism.

“Domestic Terrorism” is clearly where it’s at in early 2021, so we can expect a brand new law regarding it…probably by March, at the latest.

What will “Domestic Terrorism” mean in this law? The answer to that is pretty much always “whatever they want it to mean.”

Certainly, it will include “incitement” and “hate speech”, I would expect “denialism” to make an appearance, and be downright shocked if “spreading misinformation” doesn’t get a mention. Don’t be surprised if “questioning elections” or “bringing democracy into disrepute” is made an outright crime.

It will probably be tied into the Covid “pandemic” in some way, too. After all, what is discouraging people from taking vaccines if not the very definition of “terrorism”, right? It’s possible that even climate change will get a mention as well. They like to slide that into every issue these days.

Joe Biden has claimed multiple times to be the author of the original Patriot Act, saying it was based entirely on a bill he proposed in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.

Well now he has a chance to work on the reboot too, and they are always so much better when you can get the original creative team back together.

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The Best 5 Minutes on the Internet – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2020

The face of the Covid response, if not the true power behind it, is of
course Tony Fauci. His decades burrowed into the federal bureaucracy has
given him a scientific power base using influence, money and bullying
to control the public health response to infectious disease. The putrid
undergrowth of his career as described by Judy Mikovits and others makes him the J. Edgar Hoover of public health.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/05/ira-katz/the-best-5-minutes-on-the-internet/

By

The Covid debate about the lockdown is often posed as a choice between the economy (wealth, money) and lives. There are many with whom I agree with that turn this debate into lives versus lives, as the health cost of the lockdown is already enormous for many reasons. For example, in the short term the mental health of people in isolation will deteriorate potentially leading to suicide. All other healthcare is being ignored. An old student of mine who runs an emergency unit in a hospital told me the patient load is about 5% of normal. Were all of those strokes and heart attacks fake?

In the medium term, a country racked by an economic depression will not have the same healthcare system as a prosperous one. As Robert Wenzel reports, the rising food costs will really hurt social security recipients.  Stopping production across the country while creating trillions in new dollars is a recipe for economic disaster that has never been witnessed in the United States.

But let’s consider in the long term a different aspect to this Covid response that has nothing to do with data or modelling. That is the unprecedented restrictions on the population. The rule of law, freedom of assembly, freedom of worship, the freedom to work and use property (closing of businesses) have devastated the last vestiges of our constitutional order. If we understand the ratchet effect as developed by Robert Higgs, the freedom lost in this debacle will never be fully recovered short of a revolution. From September 11th we still have the Patriot Act, the TSA, and forever wars. Now the choice between lives and freedom is often put forward by our fearless leaders in Washington who fight behind computer screens. They gladly sacrifice thousands of soldiers and millions in civilian collateral damage as a necessary cost for our freedom. What is coming in forced vaccination and tracking of the population is truly frightening. And yet now, most people meekly accept this legal and moral travesty to protect lives.

The face of the Covid response, if not the true power behind it, is of course Tony Fauci. His decades burrowed into the federal bureaucracy has given him a scientific power base using influence, money and bullying to control the public health response to infectious disease. The putrid undergrowth of his career as described by Judy Mikovits and others makes him the J. Edgar Hoover of public health. His insistence on vaccine, vaccine, vaccine as the only viable response to Covid, as Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams described in his Senate testimony, could be a turning point because it is so ridiculous. He says we must wait at least another year to restart normal life. Imagine a whole year of school missed over the whole country. Will Tony isolate seniors for a whole year with no visitors. You might as well shoot them now. People must recognize that this is madness.

From a philosophical point of view, this Covid response places one aspect of health as the highest priority (a false idol) above all else. Afterall, the churches (and all other religious gatherings) are closed. This point was made in a wonderful way in a discussion that I think is the best 5 minutes I have seen on the internet in a long time. There is a little corner of the internet that I came to know through Jordan Peterson that is an in-depth discussion of the Meaning Crisis (see my description here). Now I want to mention again the YouTube channel A Quality Existence created by Sevilla King, who delves into the philosophy and literature of Robert Pirsig (e.g., Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). She recently posted a discussion with Christopher Mastropietro. He works with John Vervaeke, a professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Toronto, who has created a project called Awakening from the Meaning Crisis. Mastropietro is a young man who speaks spontaneously in beautiful poetic phrases about philosophy. King as well has a soothing mellifluous voice (she is a practicing therapist). Together they discuss among other things the Covid situation. They make the point that life always consists of risk-benefit tradeoffs. A proper balance is essential. Starting about minute 49 Mastropietro illustrates this point with the example of smoking. Can you imagine the beauty of smoking! I have never inhaled myself, though I often thought of taking up the habit as solidarity to the truly oppressed class called smokers.

I recommend watching the whole conversation, but you must see the 5 minutes about smoking starting at about 49:00. It is wonderful.

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Lockdown Wars: Debating Pandemic Measures in a Failed State | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on May 2, 2020

People and governments always invoke the safety and security of the majority when they are taking away rights for “our own good,” just like the Patriot Act did. It’s an old playbook, joined in this century by our First Amendment nannies on social media, who electronically block efforts to organize.

The public beach versus public transportation debate came as a new study showed that NYC’s “multitentacled subway system was a major disseminator—if not the principal transmission vehicle—of coronavirus infection,” seeding the virus throughout the city.

A Stanford doctor nails it: “Strictly protect the known vulnerable, self-isolate the mildly sick and open most workplaces with some prudent large-group precautions. This would allow the essential socializing to generate immunity among those with minimal risk of serious consequence, while saving lives, preventing overcrowding of hospitals, and limiting the enormous harms compounded by continued total isolation.”

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/lockdown-wars-debating-pandemic-measures-in-a-failed-state/

Home/Articles/Politics/Lockdown Wars: Debating Pandemic Measures in a Failed State

Lockdown Wars: Debating Pandemic Measures in a Failed State

If you thought COVID-19 wouldn’t get political, think again.

 

If America has a fast forward button on it, someone should push it ahead to November. We won’t be done with the virus until we’re done with the election. Between prudence and overreaction lies politics.

We bleat about wanting decisions to be based on science, then we do the same dumb red-blue thing, even counting the corona dead differently (nothing left certain but taxes now) to make the numbers seem better or worse depending on shifty politics. Something that should not be about Trump at all is All About Trump.

It’s killing us. There is no other country in the world so driven by a politics so devoid of science. Other countries have good leaders, some not so good. But look at us. Our nation is held hostage to protests and counter-protests, lockdowns and open bowling alleys. There is no other nation where so many are convinced their leader is actively trying to kill them, even imagining he wants them to drink bleach.

The MSM portrays protesters against government restrictions as Trump death cultists who’d rather end up in an ICU than skip a haircut. Such flippancy insults the righteous anger over lost livelihoods. It is an echo of the things that lost 2016 for the Democrats. The people don’t want haircuts. They want to feed their families. They want thought-out targeted restrictions instead of politically driven overreaction and fearmongering. It’s about deep emotional waters, sense of self, a whole lot more than just how the economy will help Trump win or lose. Many also are concerned that their rights, including to assemble, to worship, and to protest, are being controlled by leaders they don’t trust while a media they abandoned years ago mocks them. Beachgoers in a red state are #FloridaMorons; in a blue state it’s #SurfsUp.

But they see this time the Brooklyn elites are going a step further, beyond the deplorable label, to wishing them to catch the virus, figuring the infection will teach them a lesson before they vote wrong again. Wishing death on people you disagree with.

Elsewhere, medical professionals say the protesters have no right to put others’ lives at risk, and think it’s more than OK to physically stop the rallies. That’s called “the heckler’s veto” by the Supreme Court and is not allowed under the First Amendment, whether you’re a hero ER nurse or an abortion protester blocking the door to a clinic. Stopping someone from protesting by shouting them down, driving a car into their crowd, or otherwise trying to interfere with them exercising their rights (including the right to hold a dumb opinion or one you disagree with) is disdainful and unconstitutional.

The medical professionals and their Muppet chorus of journalists sound like some soldiers who felt their sacrifice was made cheap by people who protested the war. Thank you for your service. It does not, however, allow you to choose which people can exercise their rights. When you choose to serve you serve those you don’t define as worthy as well as those you do. It’s bigger than you, doc.

People and governments always invoke the safety and security of the majority when they are taking away rights for “our own good,” just like the Patriot Act did. It’s an old playbook, joined in this century by our First Amendment nannies on social media, who electronically block efforts to organize. If you’re screeching about how rights don’t matter when lives are at stake, you’ve got company. The KKK used that argument to block black people from marching, claiming it was a safety issue. Yet California will no longer issue permits for anti-lockdown protests at any state properties, including the Capitol.

Agree? Just remember what you’re saying now about these redneck inbred gun nuts the next time someone claims a march permit can’t be issued in the interest of public safety to a group you support. It’s the same thing, rights are rights. Because you know what else can spread rapidly if “left unchecked?” Tyranny. Justice Louis Brandeis held free speech is not an abstract virtue but a key element of a democratic society. He ruled even speech likely to result in “violence or in destruction of property is not enough to justify its suppression.” In braver times when Americans challenged the safety vs. liberty argument, the Supreme Court consistently ruled in favor of free speech, reminding us democracy comes with risk. But that was another world ago, before we measured human worth in RTs.

There is science which should be informing decisions. But while claiming a small rally in Denver will cost lives, or Florida will kill people by opening its beaches, the same voices remain silent as NYC keeps its subway running 24/7. The public beach versus public transportation debate came as a new study showed that NYC’s “multitentacled subway system was a major disseminator—if not the principal transmission vehicle—of coronavirus infection,” seeding the virus throughout the city. Without a superspreader like the subway it can be contained locally. It is tragic when the virus rips through a nursing home or meatpacking plant (it is a virus after all, it will go viral), but all of those together barely touch a week’s body count in New York. Shut down mass transport.

We can put most people back to work with limited risk; the protesters are right. The virus kills a very specific patient. About half the dead are over age 65. Less than one percent of deaths are under age 44. Almost 94 percent of the dead in any age group had serious underlying medical issues (about half had hypertension and/or were obese, a third had lung problems). The death toll in NY/NJ under total lockdown: over 27,000. Death toll in much more densely populated Tokyo with “smart” lockdown: 98.

About 22 percent of New Yorkers already have the virus antibody and thus expected immunity. One logical implication of this—that large numbers already have or had the virus, and that it is harmless to them—is simply ignored. Quarantine/social distancing should be for those most vulnerable so we can stop wrecking all of society with cruder measures. Hospitals should separate patients by age. No need to keep kids from school, especially if that means isolating them inside a multigenerational household. Let them wear soggy paper masks to class, even tin foil on their heads, if it makes things easier. Online classes are lame and America doesn’t need a new generation dumber than the current one.

The New York-New Jersey area, with roughly half the dead for the entire nation, practices full-on social distancing while Georgia was one of the last states to implement a weaker stay-at-home policy. Yet as Georgia re-opens, the NY/NJ death count is over 27,000. Georgia is 892. NYC alone continues adding around 500 bodies to the pile every day, even with its bowling alleys closed.

We judge risk versus gain for every other cause of death. We wear condoms. We watch our diets. Time to do the same for the virus. As for lockdowns, we may not even be judging them accurately. Some 22 states have had fewer than 100 deaths. Only 15 states had total deaths for the entire duration of the crisis higher than NYC’s current 500 a day. The original goal of lockdowns, to buy time for the health care system (and most resources were never needed due to over-estimates of the viral impact), has passed. If the new goal is Virus Zero it will never come. If the real goal is to harm Trump we’ll have to put up with this without serious discussion until November.

A Stanford doctor nails it: “Strictly protect the known vulnerable, self-isolate the mildly sick and open most workplaces with some prudent large-group precautions. This would allow the essential socializing to generate immunity among those with minimal risk of serious consequence, while saving lives, preventing overcrowding of hospitals, and limiting the enormous harms compounded by continued total isolation.”

We are fretting and frittering away our national muscle watching TV about a bigamous tiger keeper. There are too many who want this isolation to continue indefinitely, a pathetic nation whose primary industries for its young people are camming and GoFundMe. Politics focuses on viral deaths, but the Reaper keeps a more accurate tally: deaths from despair, from hunger (two million new people became food insecure in NYC since the virus), financial losses (26 million Americans have filed for unemployment), mental health issues, and abuse (domestic murders during the viral months in NYC  outstripped the total from 2019). In some ultimate irony, parents are postponing standard childhood vaccinations for fear of bringing their kids to medical facilities.

It is the reaction to the pandemic that exhausts us, not the pandemic itself. So when someone claims it is Money vs. Life they miss the real answer: It’s both. It should not be taboo to discuss this.

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Impeach Brett Kavanaugh – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 22, 2020

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 which created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was supposed to be limited to intelligence gathering of “foreigners.” Thanks to judges of the ilk of Brett Kavanaugh, it has been expanded to cover U.S. citizens.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/04/walter-e-block/impeach-brett-kavanaugh/

By

Brett Kavanaugh does not deserve a place on the United States Supreme Court and should be impeached.

Why? No, not those sexual allegations; unproven. She said, he said.

Why then? In a word: privacy.

Our bedrock Constitutional protection from unwarranted invasions in this regard is the Fourth Amendment. It reads as follows:

“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.”

In what way does Judge Kavanaugh fall foul of this eminently reasonable public security blanket? He supports the Patriot Act. And what manner of beast is that, pray tell? Its full title is: “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.” The bottom line on this is that it gives the Federal Government tools that are incompatible with the Fourth Amendment. To wit, it short circuits the “no Warrants” safeguard. Specifically, this Act greatly enhanced the ability of the Federales to interdict citizens’ communication, while undermining the ability of the latter to engage in court challenges of these expansions.

Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) was the only Republican member of the House of Representatives to oppose this nomination of President Trump’s. He stated “Privacy advocates must fight. There are many potential nominees with a conservative record on abortion, guns, and regulations. The only question is will the Senate confirm one who is really bad on the #4thAmendment, when so much is at stake in upcoming digital privacy battles.”

True, Mr. Amash cannot vote on this matter since he is not a member of the Senate. But, enquiring minds want to know if this stance of his will affect the position of his libertarian soldier-in-arms, Senator Ron Paul (R-KY). Hint, hint!

Judge Andrew Napolitano, no pinko, he, either, points out that the Patriot Act allows two members of the FBI to authorize a warrant without any by-your-leave from a judge. The government may also demand that you not reveal to anyone else that your home and effects have been searched, not only violating the Fourth Amendment, but the First one too.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 which created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was supposed to be limited to intelligence gathering of “foreigners.” Thanks to judges of the ilk of Brett Kavanaugh, it has been expanded to cover U.S. citizens.

A word about privacy, if you please. The Fourth Amendment, properly interpreted, limits the government, not anyone else, from invading privacy. Individuals may still “assault” each other’s privacy. If we could not, then the entire profession of detectives would be per se illegal. There go Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, Robert B. Parker’s Spenser, Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe and Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole and all real world counterparts. We could not so much as look at each other without undermining privacy. (When my kids were young they would complain “he’s looking at me; “she’s looking at me; my wife and I tried to assure them that this was not a rights violation).

This privacy business is akin to censorship. Only the government can do this. If a private concern does this (you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater), they are not censoring you; they are only insisting on upholding their private property and contractual rights. Similarly for electronic platforms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon. They are not censoring the likes of Alex Jones, merely refusing to associate with him. Similarly, there are no privacy “rights” we can hold against other private citizens. The Fourth Amendment protects us only against governmental incursions.

With Mr. Brett Kavanaugh on the high court, these rights will be undermined.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Like Freedom? Then You Won’t Like the FREEDOM Act

Posted by M. C. on March 24, 2020

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/march/23/like-freedom-then-you-won-t-like-the-freedom-act/

Written by Ron Paul

Last Monday, a bipartisan group of Senators and a coalition including libertarian and progressive activists thwarted a scheme to ram through the Senate legislation renewing three provisions of the USA FREEDOM Act (previously known as the USA PATRIOT Act). The bill had already been rushed through the House of Representatives, and most expected it to sail through the Senate. But, instead, Senate leadership had to settle for a 77-day extension.

Senate leadership was also forced to allow consideration of several amendments at a later date. Included is Sen. Rand Paul’s amendment that would forbid the FISA court from issuing warrants targeting American citizens.

Deep state supporters claim the expiring business records provision (which authorizes the collection of our communications and was at the center of Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations), lone wolf provision (which allows government to subject an individual with no known ties to terrorists to warrantless surveillance), and roving wiretaps provision (which allows government to monitor communications on any device that may be used by a targeted individual) are necessary to keep Americans safe. But, since Congress first passed the PATRIOT Act almost 20 years ago, mass surveillance, warrantless wiretapping, and bulk data collection have not stopped a single terrorist attack.

The legislation does have “reforms” aimed at protecting civil liberties, but these new protections contain loopholes that render the protections meaningless. For example, the bill requires those targeted for surveillance to be notified that the government spied on them. However, this requirement can be waived if the government simply claims — not proves but just clams — that notifying the target would harm “national security.”

The notice provision also only applies to the target of an investigations. So, if you were caught up in a federal investigation because a coworker is being targeted and you shared an office computer, or if a store clerk reported to the government you and others bought pressure cookers, the government could collect your phone records, texts, and social media posts without giving you the chance to challenge the government’s actions.

The bill also makes some reforms to the special FISA court, which serves as a rubber stamp for the intelligence community. These reforms are mainly aimed at protecting political campaigns and candidates. They would not stop the FISA court from rubber-stamping surveillance on organizations that oppose the welfare-warfare-surveillance-fiat money status quo.

Anything limiting warrantless wiretapping and mass surveillance should be supported. However, nothing short of repeal of the USA FREEDOM Act will restore respect for our right to live our lives free of the fear that Big Brother is watching. The path to liberty, peace, and prosperity starts with eliminating all unconstitutional laws and returning to a system of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, sound money, and a foreign policy that seeks peaceful commerce and friendship with all instead of seeking new monsters to destroy.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : The Coronavirus Hoax

Posted by M. C. on March 17, 2020

The head of the neoconservative Atlantic Council wrote an editorial this week urging NATO to pass an Article 5 declaration of war against the COVID-19 virus! Are they going to send in tanks and drones to wipe out these microscopic enemies?

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/march/16/the-coronavirus-hoax/

Written by Ron Paul

Governments love crises because when the people are fearful they are more willing to give up freedoms for promises that the government will take care of them. After 9/11, for example, Americans accepted the near-total destruction of their civil liberties in the PATRIOT Act’s hollow promises of security.

It is ironic to see the same Democrats who tried to impeach President Trump last month for abuse of power demanding that the Administration grab more power and authority in the name of fighting a virus that thus far has killed less than 100 Americans.

Declaring a pandemic emergency on Friday, President Trump now claims the power to quarantine individuals suspected of being infected by the virus and, as Politico writes, “stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease.” He can even call out the military to cordon off a US city or state.

State and local authoritarians love panic as well. The mayor of Champaign, Illinois, signed an executive order declaring the power to ban the sale of guns and alcohol and cut off gas, water, or electricity to any citizen. The governor of Ohio just essentially closed his entire state.

The chief fearmonger of the Trump Administration is without a doubt Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Fauci is all over the media, serving up outright falsehoods to stir up even more panic. He testified to Congress that the death rate for the coronavirus is ten times that of the seasonal flu, a claim without any scientific basis.

On Face the Nation, Fauci did his best to further damage an already tanking economy by stating, “Right now, personally, myself, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant.” He has pushed for closing the entire country down for 14 days.

Over what? A virus that has thus far killed just over 5,000 worldwide and less than 100 in the United States? By contrast, tuberculosis, an old disease not much discussed these days, killed nearly 1.6 million people in 2017. Where’s the panic over this?

If anything, what people like Fauci and the other fearmongers are demanding will likely make the disease worse. The martial law they dream about will leave people hunkered down inside their homes instead of going outdoors or to the beach where the sunshine and fresh air would help boost immunity. The panic produced by these fearmongers is likely helping spread the disease, as massive crowds rush into Walmart and Costco for that last roll of toilet paper.

The madness over the coronavirus is not limited to politicians and the medical community. The head of the neoconservative Atlantic Council wrote an editorial this week urging NATO to pass an Article 5 declaration of war against the COVID-19 virus! Are they going to send in tanks and drones to wipe out these microscopic enemies?

People should ask themselves whether this coronavirus “pandemic” could be a big hoax, with the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit – financially or politically – from the ensuing panic.

That is not to say the disease is harmless. Without question people will die from coronavirus. Those in vulnerable categories should take precautions to limit their risk of exposure. But we have seen this movie before. Government over-hypes a threat as an excuse to grab more of our freedoms. When the “threat” is over, however, they never give us our freedoms back.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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A Primer on Domestic Spying – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 13, 2020

Also unabated and equally unlawful and unconstitutional is the government’s use of cell towers as monitors of movement. Whenever anyone travels with a mobile device in the U.S., the nearest cell tower picks up signals from the mobile device, even turned off. The government, which either owns the cell towers or under Section 215, captures all the data the towers amass, can effectively follow any person with a mobile device in real-time.

How does the government get away with this?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/02/andrew-p-napolitano/a-primer-on-domestic-spying/

By

“The Framers … conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized men.” — Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941)

While we were all consumed by impeachment, a pernicious piece of legislation was slowly and silently making its way through Congress. It is a renewal of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

The Patriot Act of 2001 has three sections that are scheduled to expire on March 15. One of those sections is the infamous 215, which authorizes the federal government to capture without a warrant all records of all people in America held by third parties.

Do we really want the federal government to spy without warrants? How can Congress, which has sworn to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, legislate such a blatant violation of it? Here is the backstory.

After the Constitution was ratified in 1789, it was soon amended to recognize the existence of natural rights and to keep the government from interfering with them. As Justice Brandeis wrote 140 years afterward, the most comprehensive of those rights was the right to be let alone, which today we call privacy.

To secure that right, the Fourth Amendment was ratified. The purpose of the Fourth Amendment was to prevent the government from utilizing general warrants and to require judicially authorized search warrants issued under narrow circumstances. James Madison, who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, shared the hatred that colonists-turned-Americans had for general warrants.

A general warrant was a document issued by a secret court in London authorizing the bearer of the document, usually a British soldier or intelligence agent, to search wherever he wished and to seize whatever he found. The applicant for the warrant needed to demonstrate to the court only that the warrant was intended to unearth something that the government wanted. Because these warrants did not specify the object of the search, there was no limit to them.

Hence Madison’s language in the Fourth Amendment preserving privacy but permitting the government to invade it only upon a showing, under oath, of probable cause of crime, and then requiring the warrant to specify in writing the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized.

After 9/11, in the collective spirit of fear, timidity and subservience to the presidency, and in utter disregard for its members’ oaths to uphold the Constitution, Congress enacted the Patriot Act. It permits one federal agent to authorize another federal agent to search and seize whatever the latter wishes to look at and capture so long as it is in the possession of third-party financial institutions.

Over the years, the definition of “financial institution” has been radically expanded by both legislation and presidential executive orders so as to include nearly every conceivable entity that has any records about any person in America — from banks to hospitals to lawyers to merchants to credit card issuers to telecoms and computer service providers and even the post office.

At the same time that the Patriot Act was being expanded, the National Security Agency — America’s 60,000-person strong domestic spy apparatus — was not even pretending to follow legislation. We know from Edward Snowden’s revelations — which have never been disputed by the government — that since 2003, the NSA has captured not only the records of Americans held by third parties but also the records of every keystroke touched by every person in America and every telephone call transmitted over fiber optic cable. That includes every email, text message and piece of data — even what was deleted. This warrantless mass surveillance continues today unabated.

Also unabated and equally unlawful and unconstitutional is the government’s use of cell towers as monitors of movement. Whenever anyone travels with a mobile device in the U.S., the nearest cell tower picks up signals from the mobile device, even turned off. The government, which either owns the cell towers or under Section 215, captures all the data the towers amass, can effectively follow any person with a mobile device in real-time.

How does the government get away with this?

The feds have labored mightily to keep all of these constitutional violations as far from judicial scrutiny as they can. They rightly fear — they know — that all of this violates the Fourth Amendment. If their nefarious behavior, which we know they have used on the president of the United States and on the Supreme Court, comes under judicial scrutiny, the feds will argue that the Fourth Amendment only pertains to criminal prosecutions and not to domestic spying; thus, they can ignore it when they spy.

They have made up this argument out of thin air. There is neither a hint in the language of the amendment nor a whiff in its history to support that argument.

Has the government lost sight of our birthright? It is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — not to mention getting into Heaven. How can we do any of this if the government we have hired to preserve our liberty is surreptitiously destroying it?

Brandeis’ language about being let alone was written in 1928, in a dissent to a Supreme Court opinion that failed to recognize the right to privacy. Today, his dissent is the law of the land, but the feds ignore it. He wrote that there is more to life than owning material goods. There is the fulfillment of spiritual, intellectual and cultural goals and the achievement of intimate aspirations, none of which are the government’s business.

Why do we permit the government to assault our most basic freedoms, under the law or under the table?

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While You Were Obsessing Over Impeachment

Posted by M. C. on January 4, 2020

The political class, including the mainstream media, would prefer you pay attention to the fluff, not to the things that really matter. Perhaps instead of obsessing over impeachment or the latest debate over a Trump tweet, you would be better served to pay attention to what they don’t want you to pay attention to.

https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/12/20/while-you-were-obsessing-over-impeachment/

…While you argued over the gory details of impeachment with your friends on Facebook, Congress passed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. The nearly 3,500-page bill authorizes $738 billion in defense spending in Fiscal Year 2020. It creates a “Space Force,” so the U.S. can expand its empire into the cosmos. And Congress rejected a provision that would have made it just slightly harder for the president to unilaterally send American troops into combat. In other words, Congress agreed that it would not bother to do its job and declare war before sending the U.S. military to conduct offensive combat operations as required by the Constitution. It will continue to let the president make that call on his own. You know – the president the House just impeached.

Even worse, the current iteration of the NDAA extended provisions written into the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that effectively authorize government kidnapping. The vaguely worded sections purport to authorize the arrest and “indefinite detention” of anybody the president decides might be associated with “terrorism” and subject them to the law of war. In effect, the government can deem you a terrorist and lock you away without due process. Government kidnapping may sound like hyperbole, but that’s exactly what the NDAA authorizes in effect.

Speaking of war, while all eyes were glued to the three-ring circus in D.C., the Washington Post released documents revealing that the U.S. government has been lying to us about the war in Afghanistan for decades.

“A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.”

As one three-star general put it, “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking. If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction .?.?. 2,400 lives lost.”

This seems, maybe, just a tiny bit, significant. But the news barely saw the light of day. It was completely buried under an avalanche of impeachment reporting…

So, let’s review. While America was mesmerized by the pro-wrestling event on Capitol Hill, Congress agreed to maintain the government’s “authority” to kidnap you, to keep spying on you without a warrant, to continue unconstitutional wars, and to spend you deeper into debt.

Political theater makes for splashy headlines and heated debates, but it really has very little impact on your life. The political class, including the mainstream media, would prefer you pay attention to the fluff, not to the things that really matter. Perhaps instead of obsessing over impeachment or the latest debate over a Trump tweet, you would be better served to pay attention to what they don’t want you to pay attention to.

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Trump Invokes PATRIOT Act to Detain Palestinian Adham Amin Hassoun Forever

Posted by M. C. on November 30, 2019

What happens when corrupt, inept government has to make crimes look legitimate.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-invokes-patriot-act-to-detain-palestinian-adham-amin-hassoun-forever

Never in 18 years has the government used Section 412 of the PATRIOT Act, which permits indefinite detention of resident aliens on national-security grounds. Until now.

For the 18-year lifespan of the war on terrorism, an obscure provision of the PATRIOT Act permitting the indefinite detention of non-citizens on U.S. soil has gone unused. But to keep a Palestinian man behind bars even after he finished serving his sentence, the Trump administration has fired this bureaucratic Chekhov’s gun.

Adham Amin Hassoun, now in his late 50s, has spent nearly the entire war on terrorism in cages. First picked up on an immigration violation in June 2002, he ended up standing trial alongside once-suspected “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla. But Hassoun was never accused of any act or plot of violence. His crime was cutting checks to extremist-tied Muslim charities operating in places like Kosovo and Chechnya that Congress outlawed after the 9/11 attacks. Hassoun wrote all but one of those checks before 9/11.

Sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, Hassoun should have been a free man in 2017. Instead, he found himself in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which locked him up in western New York. It was there that Hassoun’s case turned extraordinary.

ICE wanted to deport Hassoun, but his statelessness as a Palestinian got in the way. No country—not the Lebanon of his birth, not the Israel that occupies the West Bank and Gaza—was willing to take him. Aided by attorneys at the University of Buffalo Law School, Hassoun in January won what should have been his freedom, on the grounds that his deportation was unlikely.

The Trump administration instead declared him a threat to national security. It did so at first using an also-obscure immigration regulation designed to sidestep a 2001 Supreme Court ruling imposing a six-month detention limit. And it was aided by a testimonial, under seal, of Hassoun’s alleged misdeeds behind bars as related by what his attorneys describe as jailhouse snitches who provided second- or third-hand accounts. But as the government fought what had become a habeas corpus case for Hassoun’s release, the Department of Homeland Security invoked, for the first time in U.S. government history, section 412 of the PATRIOT Act. ..

Attorneys for Hassoun, who were in federal court on Friday to argue for his freedom, are stunned at the invocation of Section 412. They noted that the PATRIOT Act provision is written to “take [a non-citizen] into custody,” not to retroactively designate someone already in detention as a threat.

“If the government were to prevail in its claim of extraordinary and unprecedented executive power, the government would be free to lock up non-citizens indefinitely based solely on executive say-so, even after they completed serving their sentences,” said Jonathan Hafetz, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union…

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