The Road to Tyranny is All Downhill From Here

You don't need me to tell you that the federal government was originally designed to be much smaller and much less powerful than it is today.  (Well... maybe some of you do.)  Certainly the founding fathers intended it to be far less intrusive and costly.  But today we have arrived at a point where the federal government micro-manages numerous little details, including a law — the Comprehensive Energy Policy Act of 1994 — requiring that new toilets use only 1.6 gallons per flush.  (As long as swimming pools are legal and golf courses are irrigated with drinking water, 1.6 gallon toilets should not be mandatory.)  Very gradually, more and more laws and regulatory agencies are being created, and one day even the most gullible citizen will wake up and realize that he is ruled by tyrants.

Subtopics on this or other pages:

Abuse of Power by Ordinary Cops
USA Patriot Act
The 2020 Coronavirus
Operation Choke Point and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Obamacare opens the door to tyranny
The Invasion of the Food Police
Domestic surveillance
Obama's use of HUD to forcibly integrate wealthy neighborhoods
Operation Jade Helm 15
Operation Choke Point and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act
Obama vs Gibson Guitar




Chicago Mayor Launches Police Raid to Shut Down Black Church's Sunday Services.  On Sunday [5/24/2020], Chicago's first openly gay mayor, Lori Lightfoot, mounted a raid on a black South Side church for holding services in defiance of her coronavirus lockdown orders.  Lightfoot reportedly sent three marked squad cars and two unmarked cars full of officers to the Chicago Cornerstone Baptist Church in the South Side's Woodlawn neighborhood.  Woodlawn is just south of Hyde Park, the area in which the Obamas lived for a short time before Barack became president.

End of 'sanctuary' in Chicago:  Armed cops storm black church service.  On Sunday [5/24/2020], Chicago's mayor, Lori Lightfoot, launched a police raid to shut down a black church's Sunday services. [...] Hard to believe, but these Democrats are certainly loving this post-pandemic power, aren't they?  It reminds me of another Chicago story a few years ago.  You may recall that Elvira Arellano, an illegal alien, took refuge in a church in Chicago back in 2007. As you may recall, even the president of Mexico got involved in the story.  Mexico backed the young mother hiding in a church!  Chicago's local leadership warned ICE and federal officials from charging into a church.

I Am Criminal.  Fear is a tool of the tyrant.  Law is another tool of the tyrant.  When you put them together, you do not arrive at freedom, you arrive at more than even tyranny.  You arrive at terrorism, by means of law.  The very idea of a "business license" is one designed to ensure that the state has ultimate control over businesses, otherwise they don't arrive at the neo-communism practiced in America today.  The neo-communists have figured out that "state-owned" means of production is a non-starter, it makes the government responsible for production and when that production does not yield enough goods, people become disgruntled with the government and lean toward revolution.  But, "state-controlled" means of production allows them a buffer between the government and the people, the businesses themselves.  The business license claims all sorts of benefits.  It ensures that people who can't cut hair don't open hair salons.  The further justification is that some chemicals used in dying hair and other hair care procedures can be misused and harm the patron and the business license can be revoked by a bureaucrat with no accounting for due process. [...] The same with liquor licenses.  The license provides the threat.  Sell to underage people and your liquor license can be revoked by a bureaucrat with no accounting for due process, despite the fact that there are laws against it that can imprison the violator.  So, what purpose does the liquor law serve?  Now we know what the purpose serves.  It is all about control, not safety.

Insane News Tidbits.  There are other news tidbits about politicians drunk with power that we Americans have given them.  Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told city residents who disobeyed her stay-at-home order:  "We will arrest you and we will take you to jail.  Period.  We're not playing games."  Meanwhile, in violation of her own stay-at-home order, Lightfoot slipped out and got her hair done.  She explained her decision, "I take my personal hygiene very seriously."  Ventura County, California, health director Dr. Robert Levin said that his department would forcibly remove COVID-19 infected people from their own homes and put them "into other kinds of housing that we have available."  Facing stiff criticism, Levin later explained:  "I either misspoke or it was misinterpreted.  I'll take the blame of having misspoke."  The biggest casualty from the COVID-19 pandemic has nothing to do with the disease.  It's the power we've given to politicians and bureaucrats.  The question is how we recover our freedoms.

Major changes ahead for American civil liberties are going to 'redefine us'.  As the coronavirus pandemic continues to play out and Americans see many of their leaders adopting draconian lockdowns, mandating business closures, and implementing additional policies that seem to run afoul of the Constitution, scores are concerned about what a 'new normal' may look like.  And not everyone is going to like it. [...] The technology to track people already exists and the concept already has a name:  Contract tracing.  However, the question isn't whether it can be done but whether it's legal to do so.

5 Things I've Learned From COVID-19.  [#3] You Can Understand How Hitler Happened.  Too many people enjoy imposing rules on others.  Corona has unleashed the militant side of busybodies who used to be harmless, grumpy old men and women and are now something akin to the neighborhood Gestapo.  They enjoy telling you how to ride your bike, how far away you have to stand for their safety, and how many times you can walk your dog.  I took my children surfing at a local beach and residents were demanding to know 'where we came from' — like Germans checking papers in the war.  My 15-year-old replied, 'Wuhan,' and that seemed to end the conversation quite effectively.  Stanley Milgram's electric shock studies from the 1960s, in which volunteers were prepared to inflict pain on others when ordered to do so, now make perfect sense.  I never really understood how Hitler brainwashed so many people for so long, until coronavirus came along.

Brainwashing & the New Vocabulary: 12 Words & Phrases I Never Want to Hear Again.  [Scroll down]  The word "essential" has also been corrupted.  If you were able to keep working throughout the entire lockdown, it's because you were an "essential" worker doing an "essential" job.  "Essential" was defined separately by the governor of each state, so it varied from place to place.  My daughter, who works in a beauty supply store, was initially not "essential" but a month in when everyone's roots began to show, she became essential and got the travel papers to prove it.  The word "essential" was also used to describe purchases that the government felt were important enough for you to be allowed to make in person, and for trips outside the home.  It was "essential" to go to the grocery store, the doctor, the pharmacy, and out to walk your dog.  However, the dog had to be walked on neighborhood streets with all the other people essentially walking their dogs, instead of on a trail out in the forest alone, because the trails were closed because they weren't essential.

Can We Sue Our Way Out of Quarantine?  State governors from coast to coast issued coronavirus-related lockdown orders about two months ago, closing businesses and restricting people's movements.  Government officials have taken unprecedented steps, seemingly without much calculation or forethought.  In New York, for instance, Governor Andrew Cuomo insisted on March 18 that he would not approve a shelter-in-place order; by March 20, he praised California's lockdown and announced Gotham's own stay-at-home regime.  New York and many other states have extended these orders indefinitely.  The reasons for the lockdowns have shifted.  Initially aimed at "flattening the curve" — slowing the rate of infection to avoid overwhelming hospitals — shutdowns keep getting extended, even as medical workers are furloughed and temporary field hospitals (set up to handle a surge in cases) are dismantled.  Officials have leaned haphazardly on broadly worded and mostly untested "emergency powers" statutes to justify whatever policies they deem necessary.  The command-and-control mode of leadership has struck many Americans as contrary to limited-government principles.

DOJ warns Los Angeles, Illinois of possible illegality of stay-at-home orders.  The Justice Department warned state and local officials Friday of the possible illegality of their stay-at-home orders, as the agency continues to monitor restrictions meant to contain the spread of COVID-19.  In a letter to Los Angeles officials, Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said their recent comments suggesting that stay-at-home orders may stay in place longer "may be both arbitrary and unlawful."  The Justice Department also said that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's "sweeping limitations" on Illinois residents raise constitutional concerns.

The end is always three weeks away, yet you never quite get there.
Governor Whitmer extends Michigan's stay-home order to June 12.  Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed another Executive Order extending Michigan's stay-home order until June 12.  "While the data shows that we are making progress, we are not out of the woods yet.  If we're going to lower the chance of a second wave and continue to protect our neighbors and loved ones from the spread of this virus, we must continue to do our part by staying safer at home," said Governor Whitmer. [...] The order extends the temporary closure of theaters, gyms, salons and casinos among other things in an effort prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Police Shut Down Bernardsville Shop On Facebook Live Video.  A live video captures Bernardsville Police shutting down a borough business for repeatedly violating Gov. Phil Murphy's executive order for having a non-essential business open during the coronavirus pandemic.  Katherine Hermes of Peapack and owner of Country Home Store at 21 Olcott Square can be heard on the video making an emotional plea to the officer.  "I am just trying to save my business," Hermes says.  "I am widow with three children who need to eat."

Mandatory vaccination for coronavirus gains support from 'civil libertarian' Alan Dershowitz.  The media, computer modelers, epidemiologists, and the censors keeping dissenting views off of social media have succeeded in terrifying much of the political class and the American public into accepting far-reaching suspensions of civil liberties in the name of suppressing the spread of a Covid-19, a highly communicable flu strain whose lethality principally affects the elderly and those with comorbidities.  At the moment it is an open question whether the lockdown "cure" will end up being more lethal than the disease.  Last week, American Thinker took some flak, including from some conservatives for publishing Peter Barry Chowka's warning, "Mandatory coronavirus vaccination looming on the horizon."  But retired Harvard Law School Professor and prominent civil libertarian Alan Dershowitz has unburdened himself in favor of exactly that.

The Editor says...
If vaccines become mandatory, the any other drug could be mandatory, too.

Minnesota Gov:  Eateries can have 50 people.  Churches?  Ten.  Minnesota is moving into the third phase of its reopening under Governor Tim Walz's plan on June 1st.  After plenty of comments from the public, however, he's been making last-minute changes to the plan.  The most recent update offered more opportunities for people to out for dinner and put some food in their bellies.  Food for the soul, on the other hand, still won't be quite as available.  Restaurants will be allowed to host up to fifty customers on outdoor patio seating, but churches will remain limited to 10 congregants whether they are indoors or outdoors.

The Democratic Party:  A Robbery in Progress.  [Scroll down]  The Democratic Party is attempting to cash in on the nation's current pandemic fears so that they may finally dig themselves out from the mountains of debt they've created through vote-buying schemes and interest group bribes that have kept them in continuous power of their state and city governments while creating the most financially insolvent treasuries in the nation.  The truth is that our present pandemic nightmare has set in motion an event that has been fermenting for over fifty years.  Corrupt Democrat politicos have been fraudulently using the tax-and-spend powers of their offices to keep their natural constituencies financially beholden to their electoral success for generations and generations with no immediate plan for solving their growing financial albatross except the ephemeral hope that one day, somehow, they'd be able to offload the cost of all that graft and corruption onto the federal government's tab for the national taxpayers from faraway states to pay.

Gretchen Whitmer Allows Gay Swinger's Club to Operate While Barber Loses License.  There is perhaps nothing more confusing than Democrat governors' orders during the Chinese WuFlu pandemic.  Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is by far the worst.  That was made clear with the news that a gay swinger's club [...] is being allowed to operate under her nose in Lansing while she aims her business-killing death ray on 77-year-old barber Karl Manke for giving haircuts.

No Pandemic Exception to Constitution.  Does the Wuhan virus, which arguably escaped from a Chinese virology lab, supersede the rights guaranteed to American citizens under the U.S. Constitution?  The owners of a New Jersey gym think not.  They want to earn a living and pursue their American dream, and like most business owners and their customers are not stupid, suicidal, or children.  They are American citizens watching their unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness being ripped away by dime-store Napoleons who see this pandemic as a chance to pursue the liberal progressive dream of controlling every aspect of our lives. [...] As some states, mostly red states, open up and people begin to regain their lives and their liberty, it is clear this toothpaste is out of its tube.

Oregon Gov. Decrees Residents in Closed Counties Cannot Shop in Open Counties.  Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D-Portland) said that residents of counties that have yet to reopen may not travel to open counties to get haircuts or dine in restaurants. [...] Of course, Brown's lockdown orders have confused Oregonians since they began.  It turns out that many retail outlets shut down when they didn't have to do so.  As we approach the tail end of the pandemic, and as Oregon has consistently ranked in the bottom five states in terms of infections and deaths, Brown's scattershot approach to the virus has raised more questions than answers.

The Editor says...
In a free country, travel from one city to another is not restricted.

Virus Survey Reveals Most, Least Free States:  South Dakota Best, Illinois Worst.  States across the country are implementing their own plans for reopening in the wake of the coronavirus, with some allowing citizens to get back to their lives and livelihoods, while others continue to order people to remain at home and stay away from public places.  The personal finance website conducted a survey to determine which states have the most and least freedom as Americans are posed to celebrate Memorial Day.

We Were Never Asked.  [Scroll down]  Even as some states have started to open, leaders in mostly blue states and urban areas have held fast.  These new measures border on the sadistic.  Mandatory mask orders have appeared in many locales.  In Los Angeles, which has been only moderately affected by the coronavirus, the lockdown has extended through the end of July.  Illinois' governor, J.B. Pritzker, decreed that only two passengers would be permitted on recreational boats, regardless of size and whether everyone aboard lives in the same household.  Michigan's Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, said her state's harsh and ongoing restrictions were based "on the best science, the best facts."  Skepticism and annoyance are now bubbling into anger and active resistance.  Protesters in Michigan have taken to carrying guns and making vague threats against their governor, who has taken a particularly hard line against all normal human activity. [...] No one likes to be told what to do, whether by a bully cop or a bully doctor in a white lab coat.  This is especially so when the people doing the telling have done so in the form of arbitrary decrees after mayors and governors have handed over the keys to their public health experts.  No one elected Anthony Fauci or the freakishly unhealthy-looking public health commissars in Los Angeles and Pennsylvania.  No one asked us if we would endure universal masking or indefinite shutdowns on their say so.  And, to the extent we were asked to give our consent for any of this, our consent for a lockdown was procured using false pretenses about its necessity, duration, and severity.

Despot-like Government Shutdowns:  Only One Threat to Religious Freedom.  [Scroll down]  In 2020, in the Land of the Free, religious liberty is under attack from those who suffer from the "great and powerful OZ" illusion.  Such attacks upon the people of faith are not yet as bad as the control and subversion of religion in Communist China.  Yet, when state governors can get away with determining that a church service is "non-essential" activity, when legal cases involving internal religious issues are decided by corrupt secularist judges, and when ministers are arrested for "hate speech" for delivering a biblical message, there is a serious disease spreading across America, and it is not COVID-19. Precedents are being set that will determine the future of freedom.

The Shutdown May Soon Collapse in Pennsylvania Thanks to Local Resistance.  As in the rest of the country, life in Pennsylvania has been greatly disturbed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the chaos that has resulted from the state government's attempts to handle the situation.  On March 16, Governor Wolf ordered that all "nonessential" businesses be closed for at least two weeks.  They are still closed today, and as a result, 1.8 million Pennsylvanians have filed for unemployment.  At the end of December of last year, the state estimated that there were roughly 6 million employed persons in Pennsylvania.  If we set aside all the workers whose incomes have been reduced through pay cuts or reduced hours, or who for various reasons have not filed for unemployment, still nearly a third of people who were working in December are now out of work.

Rural America Rebels Against the Madness.  New York City is the center of the Wuhan epidemic in the United States, and in response to the virus, governors across the country have imposed shutdowns that might possibly be appropriate in New York, but are bonkers as applied to local conditions.  Initially, most of us tried to be good sports.  But as shutdowns lingered from weeks into months, and small businesses were destroyed by the hundreds of thousands for no apparent reason, the spirit of rebellion began to grow.  No doubt there were a number of places where rebellion flared today, but the one I know about is Albany, Minnesota, population 2,734, where a bar and restaurant owner stood up for his constitutional rights against the arbitrary power of the state's government.

NJ Governor Goes Full Dictator After Video of Gym in 'Defiance' of Stay at Home Order Goes Viral.  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is levying new threats against citizens who dare to defy his "orders" after a video of a gym re-opening went viral yesterday [5/18/2020].  For background, here's the video, which includes clapping and cheering after police decided not to enforce the order with arrests.  [Video clip]

Anyone Swimming at NYC Beaches Will Be 'Taken Right Out of the Water:' Mayor de Blasio.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday [5/18/2020] that swimmers at city beaches flouting COVID-19 restrictions would be hauled out of the water by authorities enforcing compliance.  Speaking at a briefing on COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, de Blasio said that "anyone [who] tries to get in the water, they'll be taken right out of the water."  Calling the outbreak "the worst health care crisis in the history of this nation," the mayor said that while social distancing rules applied, there would be "no swimming, no lifeguards, no parties, no BBQs" on the city's beaches.  He said failure to abide by restrictions may mean stricter enforcement, including potentially putting up police barriers on beaches, which the mayor said was not done to give people a chance to comply voluntarily.

County Judge Rules That Oregon Governor Kate Brown's Covid Restrictions are Unconstitutional.  She had no legislative authority for these diktats.  More and more, the left is straight-up endorsing tyranny.  For the public safety and health, you understand!

Wisconsin Supreme Court Invalidates State's 'Safer at Home' Order.  On May 13, 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued its decision in Wisconsin Legislature v. Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm, et al. and declared the state's Safer at Home Order unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable, creating a rush by local jurisdictions to issue orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19, resulting in uncertainty for businesses as to how to operate.

Judge tosses out Gov. Kate Brown's coronavirus restrictions in Oregon.  A judge in rural Oregon on Monday [5/18/2020] tossed out statewide coronavirus restrictions imposed by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, saying she didn't seek the Legislature's approval to extend the stay-at-home orders beyond a 28-day limit.  Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff issued his opinion in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by 10 churches around Oregon that argued the state's social-distancing directives were unconstitutional.

Georgia Supreme Court Says Yes, Economic Liberty is a Constitutional Right.  The Georgia Supreme Court this morning reversed a trial court decision that had declared that the right to earn a living is not a right protected under that state's Constitution.  In a unanimous ruling, the justices held that "we have long recognized that the Georgia Constitution's Due Process Clause entitles Georgians to pursue a lawful occupation of their choosing free from unreasonable government interference."  The case involves the state's laws regulating "lactation consultants" — that is, people who help new mothers learn to properly breastfeed newborn babies.  In the Peachtree State, you need a government license to do that, believe it or not.  That licensing requirement was challenged by a group of lactation counselors represented by our allies at the Institute for Justice, who argued that requiring government permission to help mothers breastfeed is so irrational that it violates the state's Due Process of Law Clause — a provision of the Constitution that for centuries has been understood as a prohibition on irrational laws.  But the trial court threw the case out on the grounds that there's no such right as economic freedom to begin with.

Tyranny as far as the eye can see.  California governor Gavin Newsom is now warning of the potential for a third and fourth wave of the coronavirus, stating that we must remain humble by what we still don't know about it.  While there may be a lot that we don't know about this sickening virus that was thrust upon the world by communist China, we do know that what is unfolding is unsustainable and unconstitutional.  Our society is nearing a state of partial collapse due to protracted mitigation in blue states as the Constitution is trampled upon and set on fire.  Newsom, like Dr. Fauci, appears to view our lives through the singular lens of this virus.  But life is more complex than that (duh), and Newson is ignoring the larger reality (or at least pretending to) in order to hold onto power.  Citing what we still don't know about the virus leaves the door wide open for him to continue to rule like an evil emperor.

You're Nonessential — Keep Your Mouth Shut.  COVID-19 America has realigned itself into a two-part caste system, one made up of the essential hero, and the other comprised of the selfish, nonessential coward.  Essential heroes, like those who work in grocery stores, hospitals, Walmarts, and deliver for Amazon, are deserving of our admiration and praise. [...] My wife is one of these essential workers.  She's a clinician at a small hospital in Philadelphia, where dozens of people have tested positive for COVID-19.  In the middle of April she too tested positive, and subsequently gave the virus to me.  Luckily, our symptoms were minor, and we quickly recovered.  When my wife returned to work after her 14-day quarantine, there was a big sign on the front lawn that read, Heroes Work Here.  Although she was completely recovered and COVID-free, she still had to take a deep breath to keep from vomiting.  My wife was given special papers from her job to show she's an essential worker, just in case she was out driving around and a cop pulled her over and demanded to know why she was on the road.  I kid you not.

America Is Reopening Itself:  Will Politicians Be Able To Stop It?  As has been widely noted, we were initially told that we needed to shut down and shelter in place so that we would "flatten the curve" of infection growth to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed by people sick with COVID-19.  That benchmark was met a little more than a month into the lockdowns. [...] Yet many Americans are still under shelter-in-place orders, some of which have been extended.  We hate to use a cliche, but politicians have been moving the goalposts.  Flattening the curve isn't good enough.  They want to keep people home until there's a vaccine; or science, which has sadly become a loose term that means whatever the user wants it to, has established an effective treatment; or maybe until there are zero coronavirus cases.  This has rankled more than a few.

Bills could pass with just 22 lawmakers present out of 435 under new House proxy voting rule.  The Democrat-controlled House's recent passage of a measure to allow a final vote on bills with just 22 members present on Capitol Hill is underscoring the partisan divide about coronavirus safety vs. abdicating congressional responsibility.  "A virtual Congress would be a Congress that is connected to the Internet, but disconnected from the American people," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted Sunday.  "Democrats are forever altering American democracy for the worse.  Unconstitutional power grab!"  McCarthy, the House's top Republican, has been at the forefront of the opposition, opposing the idea of proxy voting shortly after the House went into recess in mid-March as a result of the virus and began looking for alternative means of balloting.

Lock Up the Lockdown Governors.  The "never let a crisis go to waste" crowd continues to overplay its hand, which is why this would be the perfect time to begin some real push-back against them.  The expected spike in new COVID-19 cases in states that reopened early never materialized.  In fact, the opposite has been true.  States that have remained shut down have been seeing the spikes.  If we're really all about "SCIENCE!" then it's time to take a serious look at ending all of the lockdowns.  The governors who are arbitrarily extending lockdowns are now just fetishizing power grabs and making everything all about themselves.  They need to be reined in for the financial well-being of the people whose lives they're ruining with their uncontrolled egos.  There is a very real possibility that 20/20 hindsight will show us that little, if anything, was achieved by shutting down people's lives and livelihoods.  It will have been a self-inflicted and wholly unnecessary tragedy.

Lawsuit Against Cuomo Alleges 'Bloodless Coup' Has Stripped New Yorkers of Their Constitutional Rights.  The lawfare part of the lockdowns has begun in earnest with lawsuits being filed across the country against governors who ordered private businesses closed indefinitely with no due process and stripped them of their constitutional rights because of the Chinese coronavirus panic.  The latest lawsuit was filed by New York protesters in Rochester whose businesses have been shuttered by executive fiat.  The filing of the lawsuit was announced at a rally organized by RestartROC on Saturday [5/16/2020].

Some state governments vindictively using all tools at their disposal to ruin lives of lockdown resisters.  We are witnessing a shocking level of evil as tyrannical leaders inflict maximum harm to citizens trying to survive by reopening their businesses.  As most readers know by now, Karl Manke, the barber in Michigan who defied state orders and opened his business, has since had his business license revoked.  The witch of a governor would not tolerate his freedom to work, and one way or another she was determined to put an end to it.  Most recently in Oregon, salon owner Lindsey Graham opened her business in defiance of the lockdown.  She soon found herself the object of multiple investigations involving numerous state agencies.  She was fined $14,000 and has been threatened with having her business license revoked and the licenses revoked for all the hair stylists who work there (which would make it impossible for them to work anywhere in the state in their profession).

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's Shady Way of Shutting Down Businesses:  Sticking CPS on Parents.  Lindsey Graham, the owner of Glamour Salon in Salem, Oregon, has been harassed by numerous government agencies for reopening her salon despite Gov. Kate Brown's (D) stay-at-home order.  During a Friday [5/15/2020] press conference, Graham said multiple government agencies, including child protective services, have investigated her for wanting to reopen her salon and make a living.  "And, if you can possibly believe this, on May 7th, Child Protective Services showed up at my home," she said, taking a deep breath while holding back tears.  "They questioned my husband and I.  They questioned my child, without me present.  They searched our home.  And I've never expected such a violent, aggressive, vindictive thing ever could have been done to me or my family because I'm trying to earn a living, because I'm trying to work."  According to the salon owner, CPS' case is still open, as far as she knows.

Italian Politician Demands Bill Gates Be Arrested For Crimes Against Humanity on Parliament Floor.  ara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome, blasted Gates during her seven minute long speech on Thursday, claiming that he has been working on a depopulation policy and plans for dictatorial control over global politics.  The lawmaker blasted the shut down orders, handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and vaccines.  Cunial claimed that the "real goal of all of this is total control.  Absolute domination of human beings, transformed into guinea pigs and slaves, violating sovereignty and free will.  All this thanks to tricks/hoax disguised as political compromises."

COVIDictators Beware:  The American Rebel Spirit Is Still Alive.  In the current environment of uncertainty and government overreach into all of our lives, there seems to be some light at the end of the government built tunnel.  This is not because we have actually reached the end, but because as with most things built by the government, it's crumbling.  In the past few months, dollar store dictators from across the nation have been implementing strict draconian regulations, in what appears to almost be an attempt to break the back of the largest economy to have existed on this planet.  Those who have tried to fight back have been punished like Shelley Luther, a salon owner in Dallas, Texas who saw the inside of a jail cell for daring to put food on her own table.  Even more recently, Governor Whitmer of Michigan decided due process was not to be afforded to a 77-year-old barber who had his state licenses stripped after ignoring local health officials orders to close his shop.

Alderman: Mayor's Office Bans Parking On Ravenswood Streets Near Church That Plans To Hold Sunday Services.  People heading to Philadelphia Romanian Church in Ravenswood on Sunday might have a hard time finding a parking spot.  Ald. Matt Martin (47th) said no-parking signs have been put up for several surrounding blocks near the church at 1713 W. Sunnyside Ave.  The signs have been mounted on Sunnyside Avenue between Greenview and Ravenswood avenues, and Paulina Street between Lawrence and Berteau avenues, Martin's office said.  The parking ban is in effect from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Sunday, according to Martin's office.  Martin said the signs were put up at the direction of the Mayor's office, in response to plans by the church to hold one or more religious services — in violation of the stay-at-home order for the coronavirus pandemic.

Mitigating Tyranny:  Lockdowns and Flynn.  [Scroll down]  For reasons not based on science, but on fearmongering by the press and autocratic leanings of some governors (for the most part, Democratic Governors Cuomo, Newsom, Whitmer, Evers, Northam, and Inslee) draconian lockdown measures were instituted by executive order.  These orders were often backed up by health commissioners, themselves ill-equipped by education or experience to offer sound advice.  The consequences of these actions have been to jeopardize the health of the poorest and most vulnerable and destroy the livelihoods of those not able to work from home or on academic and government payrolls.  At the same time, they released from prison some really hardcore prisoners, ostensibly to protect them from the virus.  In sum, they have most harmed the members of the very lowest tranches of the economy, which they have always claimed to represent.  The rebellion against the orders by affected citizens and courts continues.  Counties, municipalities, and sheriffs are refusing to enforce these orders.  My favorite is the sheriff of Fresno, California, who said she was too busy rounding up the criminals Governor Newsom had released to bother enforcing his lockdown edicts.

Civil Rights Attorney Warns of First Amendment Lawsuit After Police Threaten Church With $1000 Fines for Holding Drive-In Worship Services.  The Rutherford Institute has warned that it will consider filing a First Amendment lawsuit if police continue to threaten a New York church with prosecution and $1000 fines for holding drive-in worship services that adhere to social distancing guidelines.  In a legal letter to the Chief of Police for the Town of Massena, NY, Rutherford Institute attorneys point out that while federal and state governments have adopted specific restrictive measures in an effort to decelerate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the current public health situation has not resulted in the suspension of fundamental constitutional rights such as religious freedom, freedom of speech and the right of assembly.

The Coronavirus Fifth Column.  As left-wing Democrat-controlled states continue to keep people in lockdown, it is becoming apparent that they are using the pandemic as a means to gain ultimate control of people's lives.  In fact, leftists the world over are exploiting the pandemic in order to create their alleged utopias. [...] This is happening all across the United States.  The governors of states like Michigan, New York, New Jersey, California, and Pennsylvania continue to hold people hostage to their dictatorial impulses.

The Moral Busybodies Strike Again.  There's a weird cognitive dissonance happening right now that is as revealing as it is alarming.  Just as we learn more details about all the ways Barack Obama and his henchmen weaponized powerful federal agencies to punish Donald Trump, Americans, oddly, are surrendering their own power to the same type of god-like government authorities under the guise of the common good. [...] The effort to stop coronavirus, much like the attempt to stop Donald Trump, has been presented by ardent defenders as their call to duty, a selfless act undertaken not to gratify their lust for power but to protect the public's best interest.  There is no discernible difference between the high-minded hectoring of former FBI Director James Comey and that of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer — their decisions are above scrutiny because, as they often scold their lesser subjects, these decisions are made for your own good.

Covid camp
Covid-19 Internment Camps Being Set Up In Washington!  Internment camps are being set up at county fairgrounds in Washington State to house Covid 1984 patients.  The truth was announced though Rep. Matt Shea with an eyewitness coming forward and providing a photograph of the camps being assembled.  The witness confirmed that she spoke to the Mayor of Goldendale and it was, again, confirmed that these camps are being set up for Covid 19(84) patients.  These mandatory camps are being set up through what can be called a mandatory grant of money, as these counties are being required to set up these camps before they can open any new businesses, yet cannot afford to do so.  Trailers, as well as tiny homes, can be set up at the Fair Grounds, and hotels/motels could be used in some cases.  And it is required that these Internment camps are to be in place before the counties can move to "Phase 2" of Governor Inslee's plans.


More stories of government power grabs — and a new, loud voice in the wilderness.  The phrase "drunk with power" seems relevant to modern times in America.  New information about the Wuhan Virus indicates that it's here to stay and that a total shutdown is both ineffective and counterproductive.  Nevertheless, Democrat politicians are clamping down ever harder on their beleaguered constituents. [...] It seems as if, every single day, even as they murmur vaguely about "opening up," Democrat governments are tightening restrictions on the people unlucky enough to be in their jurisdictions.  The big news on Thursday [5/14/2020] was Washington State governor Jay Inslee's demand that restaurants make customers log information about themselves if they wish to dine.  Of course, this applies only if restaurants don't instantly go broke under the new rules: [...] Restaurants famously have one of the lowest profit margins of any business.  The only way a restaurant can remain in business when filling only 50% of its space is to double the cost of its food.

Governors are grabbing business licenses to punish lockdown violations.  Democrat politicians intent upon perpetuating the Wuhan virus lockdown — even as more data show that the lockdown is pointless — have resorted to snatching business licenses when the owners refuse to allow their primary asset to wither away because of a useless edict.  Revoking permits without due process is a powerful weapon that instantly destroys businesses because it makes the owners criminals if they continue to operate.  In Michigan, power-mad governor Gretchen Whitmer seized 77-year-old Karl Manke's business license when he refused to starve.  He has announced that he will keep cutting hair, even without a license.

NY Tourist Arrested In Hawaii After Posting Beach Photos.  A tourist from New York has been arrested in Hawaii after he allegedly violated state regulations that require travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.  Tarique Peters, 23, of the Bronx, arrived in Honolulu on Monday.  He then posted photographs on Instagram photos showing himself sunbathing at the beach and carrying a surfboard, state officials said.  "He allegedly left his hotel room the day he arrived and traveled many places using public transportation.  Authorities became aware of his social media posts from citizens who saw posts of him — on the beach with a surfboard, sunbathing, and walking around Waikiki at night," said a news release from the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center.

The Bait-and-Switch Blues.  Years from now, when the American public's memory of the Wuhan virus craze has crystallized into something coherent, it's a good bet most of us will see the economic shutdown that was the governmental reaction as the dumbest, most wasteful, and most abusive error made on this continent since a government not of the people passed the Intolerable Acts of the early 1770s and was shortly thereafter dispatched from the 13 colonies.  Unfortunately, we will not have the benefit of throwing off an out-of-touch foreign government this time.  The stupidity and abuse of the shutdowns comes from people we elected.  Those have been our mistakes.

Police State Dry Run [was] a Huge Success.  We have become part of a mass scale human experiment in government control and it turned out that stripping away our freedom wasn't all that difficult.  Under the guise of concern for our health and well-being, tyrants came out of the woodwork. [...] You tell me if what follows sounds like the United States, or China.  We've been told who can work and who can't, with language that separates us according to who is and who isn't "essential" as the almighty State supersedes individual rights and the family unit.  We've been physically and verbally harassed, threatened, fined, detained, arrested, jailed, and/or placed in forced quarantine.  Business licenses have been revoked.  Going to work without the permission of the government is now a crime.  So is going to the park or a beach.  Children playing together is also in defiance of the government.  So is placing flags on the graves of veterans.  The list of infractions goes on and on and on and on.  Examples read like the manifesto of a demented madman.  [Numerous additional links.]  Stay home.  Do not go out.  Do not earn money.  Do not pay your bills, feed your family, maintain your credit rating, live your life.  Do not make a single move without permission from the State or you will be punished.

If they get away with this, they can arrest you for having any disease.
Michigan Judge Authorizes County to 'Involuntarily Detain' Suspected Coronavirus Victims.  A Michigan judge has granted the Kent County Department of Health the authority to arrest suspected coronavirus victims it deems a "health threat."  On April 6, 2020, 17th Circuit Court Chief Judge Mark Trusock granted an order sought by Kent County Health officer Adam London, who was seeking the power to "involuntarily" detain suspected virus carriers.

Licensing Agencies Threaten Business Owners Who Defy California Governor's Orders.  California regulatory agencies have started threatening business owners who defy the governor's four-phase business reopening plan, and have been notifying barbershops and restaurants that they may have their licenses revoked if they operate outside the state-approved public health guidelines.  The California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control, one of the agencies, has been visiting restaurants in Yuba and Sutter counties, two areas that have enacted less stringent public health measures than the governor's orders, and threatened to revoke their alcohol licenses if they don't stop in-person dining, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Criminalizing the businessmen is the socialist dream.
15 cops 'raid' restaurant allegedly over too many customers — Coronavirus violation.  [Scroll down]  Dave Carey, managing owner Lee's Landing, told the Whig he was following Hogan's social distancing and crowd size orders "to the letter of the law" and is upset that 15 uniformed officers from four agencies showed up to his establishment Sunday [4/26/2020].  He added to the paper that in addition to state police, deputies from the Cecil County Sheriff's Deputies, officers for the Maryland Transportation Authority, and Perryville police officers also arrived at Lee's Landing.  He said law enforcement found staffers wearing masks and other protective equipment while taking orders, placing them in tied-shut plastic bags, and handing them to customers who were in measured lines with proper spacing, the Whig reported.  In addition, Carey told the paper there were no more than 10 motorcycles in the parking lot, and customers waited for their orders and then departed.  "What exactly did we do wrong?" Carey asked the Whig.  "And who had the authority to take that many resources off the road?"  He added to the paper, "It's hard enough to get two cops at any other time.  If I called for a riot I wouldn't get that kind of response."

GoFundMe picks up the slack:
He's suspended for urging fellow officers to ignore stay-at-home orders — he also seems to be getting rich.  Greg Anderson, a Port of Seattle police officer and Special Forces veteran, has a problem with the direction this country is headed during the coronavirus pandemic.  He's prepared to lose his job over it.  In a viral Instagram video, Anderson urged fellow law enforcement officers to basically allow citizens their constitutional right to flout stay-at-home orders and go about their business.  "I'm seeing people arrested or cited for going to church.  I don't know what crime people are committing for doing nails in their own house," Anderson said in the video last week.  "We have to ask ourselves as officers, 'Is what I am doing right?'"

Seattle Cop Fired for Protesting Lock Down Just As Jay Inslee Declares He Will Confine People Without Food Who Don't Cooperate With Contact Tracers.  Sometimes two stories appear that that fit so nicely together that if you imagine this is all being done by a novelist with a gift for foreshadowing.  [On] Monday [5/11/2020], Port of Seattle Police Officer and Special Forces veteran Greg Anderson was terminated.  His offense, a viral Instagram post which he refused to take down.  You really need to read it.  [Video clip]  ["]I've seen officers nationwide enforcing tyrannical orders against the people and I'm hoping it's the minority of officers, but I'm not sure anymore.  We don't get to violate someone's constitutional rights because somebody in our chain of command tells us otherwise.["]  Bingo.  Across the nation we have seen police departments willingly accept orders to not apprehend many classes of criminals and divert officers to such important duties as arresting parents at playgrounds, rousting people off the beach, threatening ministers and church congregations with fines and involuntary isolation orders.  It is just a matter of time before a SWAT team shows up to shut down a restaurant.  Okay, we've already done that [...]

'Unlawful, invalid, unenforceable': Wisconsin Supreme Court nukes Dem Governor's lockdown extension.  Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers was dealt a blow as the state's Supreme Court struck down his coronavirus pandemic lockdown order and allowed businesses to reopen.  The unprecedented ruling handed down Wednesday [5/13/2020] found that the there was an overreach of authority when the Democratic governor's stay-at-home order was extended without consulting with the state Legislature.  President Donald Trump's son appropriately declared in a tweet that the court had "nuked" Evers' lockdown extension order.

Big police presence expected at Michigan protest of stay-at-home order.  A demonstration protesting Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order is set to take place on Thursday in the state capital of Lansing, with fears some might carry weapons inside the Capitol building. [...] The protest is organized by Michigan United for Liberty, which says it is a nonprofit with nearly 8,000 members, organized and formed in response to Whitmer's first stay-at-home order in April, which it views as unconstitutional.

Florida Gov DeSantis calls out other governors for 'draconian' lockdowns and says 'people have rights'.  Florida Gov Ron DeSantis tore into other governors who have ordered 'draconian' lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday as he took further steps to reopen his own state.  'You're not a dictator, you don't have unlimited authority, and people do have rights,' DeSantis said in an interview with Fox & Friends.  He made the comments after being asked if he thinks 'some of these governors that are just doing a one-size-fits-all for the entire state' are 'being too strict and going too far.'  'I don't think any governor has the authority to restrict anyone unless there's a direct relationship to combating this virus,' DeSantis replied.

Perpetual Lockdown in the City of Angels.  The Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro joins the podcast today to talk about lockdown from the perspective of the West Coast.  With his hometown of Los Angeles now planning to extend shelter-at-home guidelines well into the summer and early fall, what are the prospects that the public will abide by those recommendations?  And what are the chances that those who do will preserve their sanity?  [Podcast]

After She "Received Death Threats" Michigan Governor Says ANY Protester Holding Firearm Will Be Arrested.  A day after armed protesters against Michigan's stay-at-home order entered the statehouse in Lansing, Donald Trump once again expressed support for the rightwing movement.  Michigan's Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, should he said:  "make a deal" with the demonstrators.  "The governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire," the president wrote in a tweet on Friday morning.  "These are very good people, but they are angry.  They want their lives back again, safely!  See them, talk to them, make a deal."  She didn't listen to the President's advice.  Protestors in Michigan planning to rally at the state Capitol on Thursday are being warned that if they bring firearms to the event they will be arrested.

Cops Arrest Brooklyn Rabbi for Letting Kids — Ages 11, 8, and 2 — Walk to the Store.  A Brooklyn dad who let his kids walk a few blocks to the local store was arrested on Sunday morning [5/10/2020] and charged with endangering the life of a child.  The charges against Noah Chakoff, a rabbi, were dropped about 12 hours later.  But the ordeal began when New York City police stopped the kids — ages 11, 8, and a 2-year-old in a stroller — as they were simply heading to their local bodega (a small candy-and-everything-else store). "I can understand them stopping the children, just to ask a few questions," Chakoff's attorney, Jason Goldman, tells Reason.  "But obviously I don't agree with them charging the rabbi and keeping him for hours and hours while everything was going on with the pandemic."

Michigan Gov. Whitmer says GOP challenging her 'unconstitutional actions' in lawsuit is 'power grab'.  Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer blasted state Republican lawmakers on Tuesday [5/12/2020] over a lawsuit they have filed challenging her emergency authority to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, ironically accusing them of a "power grab."  Whitmer's office filed a legal response to the suit this week, claiming that while the Republican majority in the Legislature represents a "coequal" branch of government, they somehow don't have the authority to question her, no matter what she does.

Michigan strikes back by suspending elderly barber's license.  State regulators on Wednesday [5/13/2020] suspended the license of a 77-year-old Michigan barber who insisted on cutting hair despite an order to stay closed during the coronavirus pandemic.  Karl Manke has pledged to keep his shop open "until Jesus comes."  A judge declined the state's request to shut down his shop Monday without first holding a hearing.  Regulators took a different path by suspending his barber license and his shop license.

13 May LA County Supervisors:  Flashpoint for the Second American Revolution?  The LA County Board of Supervisors announced on May 12th a three-month extension of lock down or stay-at-home orders.  The LA Times concurrently reported that LA County's death toll stood at 1,613, which is said to be over half of the total for the entire state of California.  California has an estimated population of around 40 million people.  Which means coronavirus deaths in California represent around 0.000075 [percent] of the population, or about one thousandth of one percent.  And for this, all of Los Angeles will be subject to three more months of lockdown.  This is absurd and outrageous on its face.  Lethality rates for Covid-19 based on actual data do not justify this action in any way, shape, manner or form.  There isn't a shred of any 'science' backing up this decision; just political blather about insufficient testing making it too dangerous to conclude the worst is over.

No more anonymous dining in Washington:
State orders restaurants to collect private info of customers, keep logs to open for table service.  Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is facing criticism for demanding that, as part of their upcoming reopening, restaurants begin collecting private information from their customers, including their names, their telephone numbers and their email addresses.  "If the establishment offers table service, create a daily log of all customers and maintain that daily log for 30 days, including telephone/email contact information, and time in.  This will facilitate any contact tracing that might need to occur," a "Phase 2 Restaurant/Tavern Reopening" guidance issued by his office on Monday [5/11/2020] reads.

Coronavirus: Ohio to test 1,200 residents at random.  Around 1,200 Ohioans might soon find out that they have been selected to be tested for the coronavirus as part of a statewide study.  The Ohio Department of Health plans to screen 1,200 residents in their homes for the virus through a nasal swab test and through an antibody blood test.  Screening could start as soon as next week, department spokeswoman Melanie Amato said via email.

The Editor says...
Is the government looking for diseased individuals or gathering DNA for a massive database?  Is it the proper role of government to go door-to-door looking for sick people?  Is it the proper role of government to lock up sick people once they are discovered?  If the government can do this because of the coronavirus, they could do it for any contagious disease.  Election day is coming in six months.  If you remain silent about this creeping tyranny, you deserve the consequences.

A New Day in a Fearful America.  This past week in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's banana republic known as Michigan, a 77-year old barber opened his doors and let the community know he was ready for business.  For this small, essentially non-consequential action, he could lose not only his business, but even his very liberty.  Karl Manke, a barber in the town of Owosso, woke up in a new America where his governor issued an executive order stating all "nonessential" businesses would have to close in order to stop the potential spread of the invisible enemy.  For Manke, his barbershop was one of those "nonessential" businesses.  The decree from up high however ignored an essential truth, that to manke, his shop was essential to his very livelihood.  "I was in despair," Manke told a reporter from the Detroit News.  "I don't have anybody paying me unless I'm doing work."  As word got around that Manke was open for business, customers from towns over lined up for their first haircut in months since the pandemic began.  Word also got around to local authorities. [...] What a new day it is, where 77-year old barbers are now treated as common criminals because they refuse to starve.

A Pandemic of Illogic.  When dealing with politicians, the less logical the statement or action, the more political the statement or action.  This truism is notably evident as we contend with the pandemic of COVID-19 and its attendant pandemic of illogic.  For example, Governors Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.), and Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), have instituted continuing lockdowns — some of questionable state and federal constitutional validity — to defeat the novel coronavirus.  In Whitmer's case, she has been notoriously lax about providing the sources of and the actual data driving her decision — now a unilateral one — to extend her emergency powers over the citizenry, not for the purpose of "flattening the curve" (which already has been done), but to prevent a hypothetical "second wave."  One need not be a constitutional scholar to be concerned by the threat of a governor unilaterally imposing constitutionally dubious emergency powers to stop a hypothetical event; however, to be the victim of the pandemic of illogic, it seems one's governor is required not to give a whit.

Orwell: No one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it1984 describes the ultimate tyranny to come.  Or the retro-nightmare future that might-have-been, had it not been outdone by reality. [...] For Aldous Huxley, however, Orwell had missed the point.  The Nazis and Soviets were incomplete models for the emerging world order.  The real tyranny was scientific in its approach, sophisticated and slight in its maneuvered hand.  Mankind wouldn't face naked oppression as much as he would be pacified by easily obtained goods, engineered societal rewards and the use of literal opiates — refined pharmaceutical drugs — to make the masses "learn to love their servitude."  This would constitute the ultimate revolution — oligarchical domination administered by a scientific and expert elite.  What Orwell had described would be crude compared to the studied social programs of indoctrinated helplessness.  But Orwell had not missed the point at all (certainly not entirely) — he understood that this was domination nonetheless, no matter how concealed the bludgeoning arm was behind the velvet gloved-hand.  The true purpose of socialism is not the "good of others" [i.e. the masses] but the control by the few — the elite or oligarchy — of the many by an overarching system that made them controllable.

Power-Hungry Governors Must Understand an Economy Is Like Dominoes.  There are governors who fancy themselves kings and queens who want to continue the shutdown and enforce ridiculous executive orders, that for all practical purposes, treat the citizens of their states as if they were in prison, forbidding them to even venture outside for a breath of air, using drones and other spy tools to keep tabs.  What are they going to tell their prisoners when the store shelves are totally empty, there is no gasoline, the drug stores are out of medicine and can't fill prescriptions, because a few more weeks of an idle workforce and the supply lines, including the essentials of life, will begin to dry up?  The system that sustains our economy and very lives is interconnected, codependent, and a few segments cannot long exist without the others.

Georgia kicks off chilling door-to-door COVID-19 blood collections.  Let the government-pressed coronavirus-tied blood collections of citizens begin.  And begin they have.  They have in Georgia at least, where the state's Department of Public Health recently announced, in cooperation with both Fulton County and Dekalb counties' Boards of Health, that "to learn more about the spread of COVID-19," an "investigation" has commenced — and it's an "investigation" that's leading government officials to make random stops at randomly selected residences and ask random citizens for, get this, their blood.  Citizens' DNA in the hands of unelected government officials.  Hmm, what could go wrong there?

The Editor says...
Asking for a blood sample is okay.  (The answer is no.)  Demanding is not okay.  At this point, the virus emergency is all but over.  This blood collection isn't about public safety or studying the spread of a virus.  It is about gathering DNA information for a government database.  It may also be a test to see how much the government can demand without meeting any resistance.

Tennessee Police Arrest Citizen Who Escaped Forced COVID-19 Detention Camp.  Comrades, some readers might not be aware the Ministry of COVID compliance has set up quarantine camps, detention facilities in various areas.  Formerly free citizens who test positive for COVID-19 are forcibly taken to the quarantine camps and held under guard.  Last week one of the non-compliant captives demanded his freedom; he climbed the fence and escaped detention.  After a manhunt in Tennessee the subversive citizen was recaptured, arrested and brought back to the detention facility.  Alarmed yet?

The 'Freesistance' can Prevent Dems from Prolonging the Shutdown.  [Scroll down]  When the Michigan State Legislature tried to remove Gretchen Whitmer's ability to order around Michiganders, she decided to ignore the law and do as she pleased.  In Illinois, Pritzker issues "capricious coronavirus edicts" as if he is a Roman Emperor while insisting that the federal government give him $40 billion dollars so he can fill shortfalls in the state budget caused by years of Democratic Party mismanagement.  He has shut down churches indefinitely — gleefully threatening pastors with arrests and fines.  There can be no god but the state.  In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered nursing homes to accept virus-infected patients.  And since the virus is most deadly to the elderly and those with morbidities, this put New York's most at-risk population at the most risk possible.  While Cuomo has very publicly professed his love for his 88-year-old mother, even using her safety as justification for his prolonged shutdown, he has no problem killing other people's moms.  Out of the 21K+ deaths from the virus in New York State, more than 5K have been from nursing homes.

Trump is Not Weakening.  I characterize President Trump's behavior as strategic rather than weak.  Many Trump supporters are furious that Trump appears to allow Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx to dictate when we reopen America.  At the same time, Democrats and fake news media absurdly claim Trump is responsible for thousands of deaths because he ignores science and health experts.  Fake news media is flooding the airwaves with their claim that over 100,000 people will die if crazy Trump irresponsibly reopens America.  Trump is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.  I am confident that Trump will courageously press forward, doing what is best for We the People.  Out-of-control Democrats are using coronavirus to overrule our Second Amendment right to bear arms, release dangerous felons, and fund extreme leftist causes.  They have selectively implemented unconstitutional restrictions intended to punish Christians and Trump voters.  Insane with their newfound power, Democrats are actually considering going door to door to drag people out of their homes.  In a nutshell, coronavirus has liberated Democrats from the restraints of the U.S. Constitution.  Folks, we are at war with an evil enemy within, the Democratic Party.

Governor Greg Abbott has a Pen, a Phone, and a Tank?  [Scroll down]  The right to work to earn a livelihood is without question an unalienable right.  The government cannot take away that right.  Many in government want to take away the right to bear arms, but their efforts against the Second Amendment have led to conditions, not elimination.  Likewise, the government has no power to suspend or eliminate the right to earn a living.  With regard to the right to bear arms, the Second Amendment could, at least in theory, be abolished.  On the contrary, prior to lawfully suspending the right to produce income to survive, the government would have to first repeal the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God."  A silver lining may be that the COVID-19 pandemic has provided us the opportunity to consider the lawful reach of executive orders.  It is one thing to impose reasonable conditions of employment (masking, sanitizing, etc.) in perilous circumstances.  It is quite another to announce complete shutdown decrees from on high.

Dem governors will pay a huge price in November for unnecessarily long lockdowns.  In the nearly half year between now and the time the country goes to the polls, blue state voters are going to wonder why they should be imprisoned at home, their children out of schools, and their finances impoverished while elsewhere in the country it is still the land of the free.  Already, there have been protests in Michigan and elsewhere, demanding loosening of restrictions, and more are planned in Blue states like New Jersey.  Republican Senator Pat Toomey of purple state Pennsylvania agrees with me that American political leaders are "overstating the danger[."]  I think the Democrat governors are making a very bad bet.  Maybe South Dakota and Wyoming will become hot spots of infections, but in the meantime, the carnage of suicide, delayed medical treatments, domestic violence, and diseases of poverty will multiply in blue states.

Michigan legislature's lawsuit is necessary, reasonable.  The lawsuit filed by the Legislature is being broadly miscast as an attempt to strip Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of her powers to manage Michigan through the COVID-19 crisis.  That's not at all what legislative Republicans are attempting to do in suing the governor.  What they're asking for is a restoration of their Constitutional authority to provide oversight of an executive who has unilaterally declared herself the sole and absolute power in Michigan.

Dem Governors Face Dozens of Lockdown Lawsuits.  [D]uring the past two months, the nation's Democratic governors have clearly demonstrated that the temporary possession of emergency powers can unmask the hidden tyrant in even the most unremarkable politician.  Virtually all have overreached their legitimate mandates, and few show any inclination to relinquish their newfound authority.  This has not only produced widespread protests but has also led to dozens of constitutional lawsuits.  These governors behave as if they recognize no legal boundaries.  Consequently, the voters have sought to correct them.  New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), for example, is the defendant in at least two federal lawsuits, including a challenge to his prohibition of religious services in the Garden State.  Rabbi Yisrael A. Knopfler of Lakewood has joined Rev. Kevin Robinson in a four-count lawsuit that points out the obvious fact that "churches and synagogues can easily accommodate the kind of social distancing that keeps some commercial businesses open."  Moreover, Murphy refuses to provide the voters with a target date for lifting his "indefinite" lockdown.

Gov Pritzker gives seemingly never-ending five-phase plan to reopen Illinois, churches among hardest hit.  To some Illinois residents, particularly those who practice religion, it may feel as if their state will remain under some state of lockdown until the end of time, in part because Gov. J.B. Pritzker's five-phase reopening plan does indeed seem like it extends until infinity and beyond.  Unveiled by the governor on Tuesday, the plan contains no definitive reopening dates but does offer to keep the religiously minded waiting an exceptionally long time.  The plan specifically calls for not allowing churches to reopen until phase three, which won't begin until May 29th at the earliest.  And even then, churches will be restricted to a maximum of 10 parishioners, which is practically nothing.

With appropriate distancing measures, Virginia churches should be allowed to conduct services.  The Justice Department's recent decision to weigh in on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's (D) stay-at-home order poses a fundamentally important question:  If governments rightly consider physical nourishment an "essential" service, should not the spiritual sustenance that churches can provide receive at least equal consideration?  The Justice Department intervened after the pastor of the Lighthouse Fellowship Church in Chincoteague, Va., received a criminal charge for holding a service that 16 people attended, more than the limit of 10 set out in Northam's order.  Its brief noted that the congregation abided by social distancing guidelines and that other establishments — including liquor stores and big-box retailers — do not have to abide by a 10-person limit on gatherings.

The Editor says...
The First Amendment prohibits any limits on the number of people who may attend a church.

Is California Thinking About Coronavirus Internment Camps?  Gavin Newsom, governor of the "nation-state" of California, is raising what he calls an "army" of 20,000 government employees who will trace the spread of coronavirus across the state.  Those found guilty, or rather, infected, are likely to run into an uncomfortable change in their lives.  In Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles, a pilot program was launched this week to trace infections and exposure, according to County Health Director Dr. Robert Levin.  When infected persons are found, he said, they are "immediately isolated."  As more people are tested, Levin continued, "we will find more and more people who have COVID-19."  "We will isolate every one of them, and we will find every one of their contacts, and we will make sure that they stayed quarantined, and we'll check in with them every day."  Seems innocuous, even helpful.  But: [...]

Texas Woman Is Sentenced To 8 Days In Prison For The Crime Of Opening Her Salon.  Shelley Luther is the owner of the Salon À la Mode in Dallas, Texas, and she has been sentenced to seven days in prison and given a $7,000 fine for opening her salon despite the stay-at-home order from Governor Greg Abbott and the state and county's orders to close all non-essential businesses.  On Tuesday, May 5, Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail and fined $7,000.  Dallas County Judge Eric V. Moyé found Luther to be criminally and civilly in contempt of court and said that reopening her salon was a selfish act.  [Video clip]

The Editor says...
As a public service, I would like to introduce you to Judge Moye's opponent on the November ballot:  Jessica Lewis.  Whether you live in Dallas County or not, I'm sure she would appreciate your support.

Uproar when Bill de Blasio, NYPD commissioner declare protests won't be tolerated amid shutdown.  New York City's mayor and police commissioner think social distancing and coronavirus guidelines during the pandemic trump the constitutional rights of Americans.  Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea claimed this week that the First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly have to take a back seat to the executive orders issued in the efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19.

U.S. Constitution is so Meaningless, Leaders Don't Even Think About It.  Wednesday night [4/15/2020] New Jersey's Democrat Governor Phil Murphy appeared on Tucker Carlson to discuss his state's 'stay-at-home order.  Carlson asked him about his legal authority to issue such an order in obvious violation of specific constitutional rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.  Stunningly, Murphy admitted what most of us already knew:  "I wasn't thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this.  We went to all, first of all, the data and the science.  And it says people have to stay away from each other."

Woman Getting Arrested For Not Wearing A Mask Gets Slammed Face First To The Ground.  An altercation between a Birmingham police officer and a woman over the woman's apparent failure to wear a mask at a store was captured on video and now has prompted an investigation.  The incident took place Tuesday night [5/5/2020] at Walmart in Roebuck.  Video of the incident has been shared thousands of times on Facebook and shows the officer handcuffing a woman who is not complying.  He then picks her up and takes her to the ground.  [Video clip]

TYRANNY: Kansas City is Now Requiring Churches to Keep Lists of People Entering Churches.  New reopening guidelines in Kansas City that require churches to keeps "lists" of attendees have worried advocates of religious freedoms in the area, according to a report from Metro Voice.  Mayor Quinton Lucas enacted the policy where houses of worship receive the same treatment as "non-essential" businesses when it comes to keeping information of those who attend a service or anyone who enters the building.  "Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined Nazi-like measures designed to surveil, track and spy upon what was once a free American people," declared Liberty Council, founder and Chairman Matt Staver.  "That is exactly what Kansas City's misguided government officials are now demanding."

The Editor says...
Will the Kansas City mosques get the same treatment?

I'm Not Scared Anymore.  I have to confess that a few weeks ago I was scared.  Very scared.  Not of the coronavirus, which most likely will prove to be just as lethal, or even much less lethal than the flu virus that, coming from Asia, hits us almost every year.  No.  What I was scared of was the people President Trump appointed to protect us from the virus, particularly Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infection disease expert.  Why was I scared of him?  Because after just a perfunctory search on the Internet I found out that Dr. Fauci has been invited at least once to talk to the globalist crowd at the Harold Pratt House in Manhattan, headquarters of the nefarious Council on Foreign Relations.  But the CFR is not a simple organization like the National Association for the Protection of Stray Cats.  It is actually the visible head of the invisible government of the US, and the globalist conspirators do not invite people at the CFR to hear what they say, but to tactfully suggest to them what they must say if they want their careers to advance.

MSNBC: Americans are so 'freedom obsessed,' they are blinded to threats like virus or climate change.  An MSNBC contributor called out "freedom-obsessed" Americans and their aversion to big government amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas blamed Americans obsessed with the idea of freedom for creating a vulnerability in the country to threats like climate change, speaking in the topic during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday [5/6/2020].

Illinois governor says churches may not reopen for a year or more because of coronavirus.  It could be more than a year before churches are allowed to resume their in-person gatherings, according to Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.  Pritzker announced a five-phase plan to reopen Illinois that gives guidance to schools, businesses, churches, and other religious centers about when they will be allowed to reopen.  In phase three, gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed.  In phase four, gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed.  Gatherings of more than 50 people will not be allowed until phase five.

Dan Crenshaw reacts to jailing of salon owner, says some leaders 'drunk with power'.  Tuesday's jailing of a hair salon owner in Texas for defying a coronavirus shutdown order just doesn't cut it, U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw wrote Tuesday [5/5/2020]. In fact, the punishment dished out to Dallas business owner Shelley Luther was another example of public officials overstepping their authority during the crisis, the congressman wrote on Twitter.  "These punishments are NOT just," Crenshaw wrote.  "They are not reasonable.  Small-minded 'leaders' across the country have become drunk with power.  This must end."

Amid Plague, Press Takes a Powder On Religious Liberty.  A Worcester, Massachusetts, pastor, Kristopher Casey, will be punished with a $300 civil fine for convening more than 10 people at his Sunday church service.  If he does it again, the fine will increase to $500, and he could face criminal charges, Masslive.com reports.  Where has the press been in the face of what seems, on its face, to be an egregious violation of the First Amendment's protections of peaceable assembly and the free exercise of religion?  The newspapers have been basically cheering it on.

The Sheeple Are Worshiping at the Altar of Elitist Propaganda — Kiss Your Freedom Goodbye America.  A healthy economy requires freedom.  Locking up healthy people is insanity.  Covid-19 is a trial, a drill, a simulation of what the elitists want to do to America. [...] This is part of the plan for global governance, and few people recognize the massive deception.  Too many Americans have given up their freedoms, and their logic to untrustworthy and deceptive authorities. [...] The government has shown us just how quickly they can take over every aspect of our lives.  Authorities decree only "essential businesses" can be open.  We have allowed our civil liberties (the unalienable Bill of Rights) to be terminated.  You had better comply. [...] The states run by the Democrat Party, and even some run by neo-con Trotskyite Republicans, will not allow full reopening because they want this to last long enough to destroy Trump's economy during election year and they relish their control over the masses.  And what does the Gates Foundation have planned for us with mandatory vaccines?  Nothing good.

California Sheriff: 'I Refuse to Make Criminals Out of Business Owners'.  Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco reaffirmed his stance on not enforcing stringent stay-at-home orders, telling the Riverside County Board of Supervisors this week that he refuses to "make criminals out of business owners, single moms, and otherwise healthy individuals for exercising their constitutional rights."  Eight weeks ago, officials, including Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) "participated in something never done before in our nation's history," Bianco began.  Government "ordered residents into their homes, closed their businesses, made them wear masks, forbid them from going to church, and eliminated constitutional freedoms put in place over 200 years ago," he explained.

Continuing The Shutdown Is Downright Immoral.  This lockdown is fundamentally immoral and has been from almost the very beginning.  It took me a while to get to that place, but here I am and here is why.  First of all, let's address how the left views this.  They have framed this as a choice between certain death or making money for greedy CEO's.  They promote the argument that the jobs we have taken from 30 million (and still counting!) Americans should be dismissed as "amoral dollars and cents."  Amoral?  Please!  How is a young couple working entry level jobs to get their start in the work force and to put together a few coins to start a family, amoral?  How is a man working [...] to start and run a family business, who gives people their first opportunity in the labor force, amoral?  They aren't.  Period.  What is amoral, nay outright immoral, is arbitrarily deciding to deprive a certain class of American citizens of their fundamental right to feed their families.  What could be more immoral than restricting the movements of American citizens who have committed no crime.  Compounding said immorality, we did this based on little to no evidence that they posed any real danger to anyone but an extremely small segment of society.  That segment could have been easily protected without trampling on civil rights of the rest of our citizenry.

True Friends of Liberty Are Rare Indeed.  Since March this year, numerous freedoms — freedom of association, property rights, free exercise of religion, freedom of assembly — have been pulverized as the full power of the state has been unleashed by government agencies across the United States.  In genuine emergencies like war or plague, we let governments do things that we would never otherwise authorize them to do.  But the sheer ease with which this has occurred in recent weeks underscores how a strong in-principle commitment to liberty has weakened throughout America.

Democrats Will Sacrifice Americans to Win the Presidency.  We were first told we must "flatten the curve."  Then, as the curve flattened, they explained we needed to "test everyone."  That gave away the game.  America is a nation of 330 million citizens victimized by the Chinese plague.  To acquiesce to the new rules, each person would need to be tested not once, but probably at least twice or even three times.  To accomplish this monumental task, we would need at least a billion tests.  The amount of time necessary to produce, execute, and evaluate each test is not only incalculable, but unfathomable.  If that is to be the criteria, we will never reopen. [...] You see, the Democrat goal is to reopen not one day before November 3, 2020.  You know, Election Day.

Why does returning to normal after coronavirus lockdown have to be a fight?  In 2020 America, we should probably have expected that the eagerly-awaited prospect of a return to economic activity after the nationwide coronavirus lockdown would be greeted not with cheers but with widespread strife.  Understandably, some want their jobs and livelihoods back ASAP, not to mention everyone who simply hopes to retrieve newly-cherished freedoms such as strolls in the park.  And they see local politicians citing public health to exert questionable powers to enforce social distancing and prohibit even small gatherings, once a sacred liberty in this country.  Others, including majorities in some national polls, are not sure our society should move so quickly to restore an ill-defined normalcy, whatever that constitutes in the minds of 328 million people.  Understandably, they've been infected by the virus of fear, another affliction that's swept the land as history's 59th presidential general election cycle moves toward summer.  Fears have fueled some of history's most disastrous election results.

Your governor can't force you to stay in your state.  Period.  Truth be told, even when states were super-sovereigns, during time of the Articles of Confederation, they did not ban Americans from traveling from state to state, because that was recognized as a fundamental liberty interest that even King George didn't try to stop.  Even as states were free to regulate interstate commerce from 1776 to 1789, Art. IV of the Articles of Confederation unambiguously recognized the right of Americans to travel freely from state to state:  "The free inhabitants of each of these states ... shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each state shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state."

Wisconsin Sup.  Ct.  Justice:  Isn't state's lockdown order "the very definition of tyranny?".  The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral argument via video in the case brought by the Wisconsin legislature contesting the authority of state officials to impose a lockdown order. [...] I didn't have time today to watch the whole argument, so I can't express a view on who did better and who did worse, so draw your own conclusions.  From the reactions I'm seeing on social media, supporters of continuing the lockdown are expecting a loss.  [Video clip]

The third wave of the left's attempted destruction of America.  Personal freedom and free markets have made this the greatest economy and the greatest civilization in the history of mankind.  We have defeated fascism and communism.  Without us, the world would be an unbearably horrible place to live.  It is only because we love God and freedom.  That's it.  Since 2016, there have been three mortal attacks against these beliefs.  The left has attempted to continue Obama's (and Soros's) transformation of America away from its destiny as a savior of humanity into a prison of slaves ruled by their elite masters.  The first attack was a continuation of Obama's weaponization of the government, in orchestrating a coup d'état against the newly elected president.  This started with the attempt to subvert the Electoral College by threatening the delegates.  It ended with the Mueller investigation, the most corrupt government enterprise in American history.  It failed, but it distracted the administration and delayed enacting needed policy.  The second wave was the impeachment of the president by the House of Representatives, based on zero evidence.  From falsified testimony (called satire) from Rep. Adam Schiff to phony "whistleblowers," whose testimony was taken in secret and withheld from the public, this was an obvious sham from the start, quickly killed in the Senate.  But the damage was done.  More distraction and delay.  The third wave is not the coronavirus, but the reaction of the left.  Leftists desperately need to destroy the American economy and American lives and livelihoods in order to enact their agenda by any means necessary.

Yes, thank you, but many other cops don't have any such reservations.
Sheriffs defy 'unconstitutional' order: 'My conscience will not allow me to arrest someone who is trying to make a living'.  Two Arizona sheriffs have vowed that they will not arrest anyone for allegedly violating what amount's [sic] to state-required house arrest amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb insist Ariz.  Gov. Doug Ducey's stay-at-home order is unconstitutional and they won't enforce it either through monetary penalties or taking anyone, including a small-business operator, into custody.  Even so, both sheriffs seem to be taking a measured approach to their dissent.  Ducey, a Republican, has extended the shelter-in-place mandate through May 15.  According to Ducey's directive, violators could face up to six months behind bars if convicted for a class one misdemeanor along with a $2,500 fine.

Restaurateur Defied Maine Gov To Open His Business, State Agents Are Moving To Shut Him Down.  State officials pulled a Maine restaurant's health and liquor licenses after the owner opened up in defiance of Democratic Gov. Janet Mills' emergency shutdown order.  Rick Savage, owner of Sunday River Brewing Co. in Bethel, opened his restaurant and bar on May 1 after openly challenging Mills on an appearance on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" the evening before.  After Savage reopened, officials from the state health department revoked the health and liquor licenses he needs to operate.  "We've tried to call the governor; you can't even get ahold of them.  The lawmakers are left in the dark, both Republicans and Democrats.  She's doing this all rogue on her own," Savage said on Fox News on April 30.  "We've had enough of it.  We are encouraging all businesses in Maine to open up.  We never should have been shut down in the first place.  We need to open back up."

Salons And Barbershops Across America Are About To Show How Unnecessary This Lockdown Was.  In the eyes of many, Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther has become the latest face of justified resistance against governmental tyranny for her steadfast refusal to back down on keeping her business open despite the prospect of going to jail.  Luther's Salon a la Mode opened for business last Friday [5/1/2020], then promptly got slapped with a court order to close because of coronavirus restrictions.  Instead of meekly complying, as most others doubtless would have, Luther stood outside her salon and literally ripped the thing to shreds.  Indeed, it was a moment that would have made Patrick Henry proud.  (I'm also pretty sure it would have made another person with the surname "Luther" proud too.)  The salon owner told media she has "had enough" of stupid, nonsensical restrictions on her livelihood and that of her employees, and is more than willing to go to jail to make her point.

MI Governor Abandons Liberty Amid Lockdown Protests.  Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) appears to have abandoned liberty in a bid to bend the residents of that state to her will.  On April 30, just hours after protesters entered the Capitol building in Lansing to voice their anger at the Coronavirus lockdown, Whitmer extended those restrictions by executive order.  Some of the Lansing demonstrators were armed, and it is difficult to ignore the possibility that the governor's action was a direct response to the dissenters — as if she signed the order out of spite.  Michigan's emergency measures, which, as is the case in most states, shut down the economy and imposed draconian limitations upon everyday activity, were set to expire April 30. The Republican-controlled legislature refused to extend them beyond Thursday, and Whitmer has now practically granted herself extraordinary powers in defiance of both lawmakers and a large part of her state's population.

Jake Tapper to Governor Whitmer:  Do You See Michigan Stay-at-Home Protesters in the Same Vein as Charlottesville Neo-Nazis?  Thousands of freedom protesters converged on the Michigan capitol in Lansing in late April to protest Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her tyrannical orders during the state economic lockdown.  Whitmer's orders were some of the strictest and illogical in the nation.  The governor banned shopping at JC Penney's but Walmart shopping was approved.  Motor boats were not allowed but canoes were allowed.  Seeds were not allowed for sale during the April planting season.  The governor was drunk on her new-found power.

Say, Who's Up For A Post-Bat Soup Virus New World Order?  Seriously, this won't give the conspiracy theory folks ammunition, right?  Because it's not like former Obama State Department Policy Planning Staff member Edward Fishman is putting it to print, right? [...] Edward is saying that they want giant monster big world government, and will take advantage of the misery, fear, sickness, and even deaths of people to achieve it.

Two more California counties to reopen economies despite Newsom's stay-at-home order.  An additional two counties in California are reopening their local economies despite Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's statewide stay-at-home order.  Modoc County in California announced last week that all businesses and churches might reopen, but people must keep a 6-foot distance from each other.  Yuba and Sutter counties are now joining Modoc in reopening despite Newsom's stay-at-home order that is still in effect.

The Tyrannical Soul of Gretchen Whitmer.  [Scroll down]  Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer stepped into this boundless field at the end of April.  The legislature refused to extend her emergency powers as required by the Emergency Management Act of 1976, so she granted herself the extension the legislature refused.  She declared a new, separate state of emergency under a dubious interpretation of the Emergency Powers to the Governor Act of 1945, and granted herself the extension the legislature refused.  Sound statutory construction dictates that when two statutes cover exactly the same ground, the more recent statute governs, and the more recent statute limits the governor's power to 28 days unless extended by the legislature.  Even if both laws are still fully operative, they must be read in a way that is not nonsensical.  Whitmer's construction of the two acts effectively reads, "The governor's emergency power shall extend no longer than 28 days, unless extended by the legislature, unless the governor, according to her own unfettered will, shall choose to extend her own power, in which case it shall last as long as she pleases it to last."

U.S. district judge rules Pritzker's stay-at-home order constitutional.  A U.S. district judge issued a ruling Sunday upholding Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order for Illinois as constitutional.  The Beloved Church of Lena, an Evangelical church located about 50 miles west of Rockford, had filed a complaint Thursday seeking a temporary restraining order and injunction in order to resume worship services with its 80 congregants.  The church and its pastor, Stephen Cassell, still held in-person service Sunday without intervention from police, though the temporary restraining order was denied.

DOJ joins lawsuit against Blackface Northam after police threaten a pastor.  The Justice Department is siding with a Virginia church suing Gov. Ralph Blackface Northam.  Because of his orders, police threatened a pastor with jail time or a $2,500 fine for violating the state's coronavirus lockdown restrictions.  The pastor held a 16-person church service on Palm Sunday.  The DOJ decision came after police in protective garb served a summons to Kevin Wilson, the pastor of Lighthouse Fellowship Church on Chincoteague Island.  The service was held on April 5 and the 16 people were spaced far apart from one another in a church that could fit 293 people.

Anti-lockdown demonstrator falsely accused of holding white supremacist sign.  The lies never end when it comes to demonizing conservatives.  On April 20th, entrepreneurs, and their supporters participated in simultaneous rallies in both Pittsburgh and Harrisburg to send a message to Governor Wolf that it was time to safely reopen Pennsylvania businesses.  Organized by PA Small Businesses Against Governor Wolf Shutdown, the rallies boasted hundreds in Pittsburgh and in Harrisburg and were meant to send a clear message to Harrisburg; "Pennsylvanians want to get back to work again". Governor Wolf ordered a shutdown of nonessential businesses in mid-March.  One of the drive-in participants in the rally to call for the reopening of the state was Jill Cooper of Murrysville, PA.  Jill has been a long-time conservative activist since 2008. [...]

Michigan's Whitmer says armed protesters displayed 'worst racism and awful parts' of US history.  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer slammed the protesters who gathered inside the state's Capitol building on Thursday [4/30/2020] to demand she rescind her stay-at-home orders, saying they represented the "worst racism and awful parts" of U.S. history.  "There were swastikas and Confederate flags and nooses and people with assault rifles," Whitmer said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."  "Some of the outrageousnesses of what happened at our capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country."

The Freedom of Individuals Still Matters — Even If COVID Warriors Say It Doesn't.  Since all action is individual, purposeful, and subjective, in the case of a crisis it is impossible for government to take collective action that would not be coercive to almost everyone.  The coronavirus is a case in point.  At the present time (April 16, 2020), forty-one of the fifty US states have declared some form of what is called a "lockdown."  Supposedly "nonessential" businesses must remain closed, and there are various restrictions on the movement and interaction of the populace.  The stated purpose in all cases is to "stop the spread" of the virus.  Yet there is no way for a government bureaucrat to know which purchases and which businesses are truly "essential."  The individual himself must decide what action he will or will not take in order to both avoid catching the disease AND satisfy his other preferences, such as keeping a roof over his head and feeding his family.  If it were the preference of all people to isolate themselves, close their businesses, not patronize businesses, refuse to show up for work, or refuse to socialize with their friends and neighbors, then the government would not need to implement any of these measures.  The only conclusion to be drawn is that the state-imposed restrictions are violations of the preferences of many individuals.  Since it is only the individual who acts purposefully and not groups, government restrictions upon these individuals are illogical and cannot be justified.

Bill de Blasio warns New Yorkers that 'the nice weather is very much a threat to us'.  The weather in New York City is going to be quite nice this weekend, which gave Mayor Bill de Blasio another reason to remind citizens about what could get them arrested.

The constitutional guarantees of certainty, rule of law, and due process.  Some governors and mayors expanded and extended the restrictions, and the arbitrary nature of these became patent.  In Maryland, the owner of a drive-through car wash was cited for violating the lockdown rules.  In California, Governor Gavin Newsom opened some beaches to the public but not those in Orange County, apparently on the basis of a fake news account and without contacting local officials.  In Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order seems remarkably like imprisonment.  She has banned motorized boating, purchases of infant car seats and gardening supplies, and a drive-in movie theater was cited for violating her directives.  Does she imagine the virus travels from closed car to closed car?  If so, she may soon shut down Michigan's roads (and car factories). [...] While promulgating and enforcing (often arbitrarily) lockdown rules, many of the same political figures, actually have made infectious rates soar.  Governor Andrew Cuomo certainly has.

If 'Congress Shall Make No Law...' Why Can Governors?  The First Amendment states, "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." That's unambiguous. [...] Yet governors across the country are ignoring or suspending almost every one of those rights enumerated at the top of the Bill of Rights, with little to no pushback from the press, which just happens to be the only part of the first two amendments not under assault.  It's actually not under assault — it's gone — suspended indefinitely in the name of "the common good."  Governors have declared coronavirus emergencies and wiped clean the rights our nation was founded for the purpose of putting those rights beyond the reach of government.  These suspensions were not done by vote; they were done with the stroke of a pen.  Constitutionally, they can't be done by either.  There is no provision of the Constitution allowing for the waiving of rights under any condition, but most legislatures are content to sit back and watch this all proceed without their fingerprints anywhere near it.

Hawaii Travel Paradise Is Deserted, With Recovery Further Off.  In Hawaii, the number of new cases has dwindled to five on April 30, compared with a peak of 31 on March 17, according to the state's Department of Health.  The state had 618 cases in total, and 16 deaths.  Even as Hawaii's cases fall, Governor David Ige extended the state-at-home order through the end of May and said visitors need to quarantine for 14 days.

Liberate California!  Thousands Protest Crackdown on Civil Liberties Across State.  Thousands of freedom-loving patriots staged massive protests across the state of California from the beaches of Orange County to the capitol building in Sacramento.  The protesters were demanding that Democrats restore their civil liberties and release citizens from what is a de facto house arrest.

Communion Banned in Knoxville, Tennessee Churches.  There's good news and bizarre news for Christians who live in Knoxville, Tennessee.  The government will allow you to return to your church house on May 1st, but there are a number of rules, regulations and hoops you will have to jump through to make that happen.

Is It Time for a Revolution?  It's time for America's business owners to fight back against a tyrannical government.  Some might call that a revolution.  But in this case, I'm talking about a war fought in the courts.  I'm talking about a legal battle.  It's time for lawsuits — lots of them.  It's time to defend our civil rights.  It's time to defend our property rights.  It's time to make tyrant governors understand this isn't a dictatorship and we're not their serfs.

The First Amendment [is] Suffering Under PC Attack.  The First Amendment is beyond doubt under attack.  The five freedoms protected by this most critical Amendment are the freedoms of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly; the Coronavirus crisis has challenged every one.  People are forbidden from congregating and worshiping as they choose.  Those who speak against the set media narrative are pilloried.  For example, try posting information about the China virus and see how long your posts remain up.  Press agencies that do not kowtow to the World Health Organization are censored by big tech.  When protesters tried to assemble and to petition the state government of Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared that they could not.  This Coronavirus crisis has exposed the fragility of our relationship with our rights.  But it is not the first such attack.

Thousands protest at Huntington Beach against California Gov. Newsome's coronavirus lockdown.  [Video clip]

Tucker Carlson On Fire:  "Totalitarianism doesn't shock us any more".  "What are the limits to their power?"  [Video clip]

The Editor says...
The video clip is ten minutes long and well worth your time.

The Peasants Are Revolting — California Rebels Defy Comrade Gavin Newsom.  The Rebel Alliance is pushing back against the insufferable and silly rules of the little blue dictators hiding amid their governor mansions.  Yes comrades, the pesky red subversives have taken to the street and realized 'hey wait, there are more of us, than them.' [...] If the COVID Compliance Ministry tries to stop the uprisings, there could be trouble.

COVID-1984.  [Scroll down]  Made famous by George Orwell in his novel 1984, groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational and dysfunctional decision-making outcome.  The desire for cohesiveness produces a tendency to agree at all costs, minimizing conflicts and resulting in decisions made without critical evaluation. [...] Today, the group demands we stay away from our friends and families and neighbors, that we stay away from our jobs and work and lives, that we stay away from our schools and leisure activities.  The group says people must not attend church, eat at restaurants, or walk in local parks or on local beaches.  The group demands that those who are good citizens report their friends and neighbors who are breaking the lockdowns to police.  People who question or protest these new rules are dangerous.  The group says we have no choice.  This is a pandemic, after all.  Opinions that don't align with the group must be silenced.

Trump says armed Michigan lockdown protesters are 'very good people'.  President Trump says the protesters who stormed Michigan's Capitol on Thursday — some of them armed with rifles — are "very good people" who are angry with the state's restrictive COVID-19 lockdown.  In a tweet on Friday morning, the president weighed in on tensions roiling the state and called on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to negotiate with demonstrators who are demanding parts of the economy be reopened amid the coronavirus pandemic.  "The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire.  These are very good people, but they are angry.  They want their lives back again, safely!  See them, talk to them, make a deal," he wrote.

The Editor says...
We have already made a deal.  The deal is "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  ["]The Petition Clause protects the right to petition all branches and agencies of government for action.  In addition to the right of assembly guaranteed by this clause, the [Supreme] Court has also ruled that the amendment implicitly protects freedom of association.["] [Wikipedia]

Barr: 'Time to Start Rolling Back' Some Coronavirus Restrictions.  During a Twitter Q&A on Friday [5/1/2020], Attorney General William Barr stated that "it's time to start rolling back" some of the restrictions enacted to combat the coronavirus and that "in the appropriate case, we would consider taking action."

Ohio's stay-at-home order [has been] extended through Memorial Day.  Ohio's stay-at-home order is being extended through the end of May, impacting Memorial Day weekend throughout the state.  The state's stay-at-home order — first issued by Gov. Mike DeWine and health officials on March 22 — was set to expire late Thursday, but DeWine said during his daily coronavirus briefing it would be extended with exceptions for certain businesses.  "When retail opens up, that certainly will be a major exception for that," DeWine told reporters, WCMH reports.  "Certainly it's an exception in just few days when manufacturing and other companies are allowed to start back so, it will be extended."

Gov. Lujan Grisham announces lockdown of Gallup.  New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has locked down the City of Gallup.  Outgoing Mayor Jackie McKinney and new Mayor Louis Bonaguidi had both requested the governor invoke emergency powers under the state's Riot Control Act.  "A lot of people just don't seem to take it serious," Bonaguidi said.  "It's an epidemic, it's killing people.  All roads into Gallup were closed at 12 p.m Friday [5/1/2020].  Gallup police and the McKinley County Sheriff's Department will partner with New Mexico State Police, the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the New Mexico National Guard to enforce the emergency order and road closures.  Under the Riot Control Act, the restrictions will terminate automatically at noon on the third day after they become effective.

Wisconsin Police Visit Mom Because She Allowed Her Child to Play at Friend's House.  A video surfaced yesterday [4/30/2020] showing Wiscosin police officers visiting the home of a parent who allowed her child to play at their friends house during stay-at-home orders.  The video starts as the mom answers the door and is greeted by two police officers, one male and one female.

Alito orders Pennsylvania to respond in case asking Supreme Court to halt enforcement of stay-at-home order.  Justice Samuel Alito this week ordered the Pennsylvania government to respond to arguments from a variety of Pennsylvanians asking the Supreme Court to halt enforcement of Gov. Tom Wolf's strict stay-at-home order, aimed at fighting the coronavirus, because they say it is unconstitutional.  The Pennsylvanians behind the suit — called petitioners in Supreme Court parlance — are arguing that their rights under the First, Fifth and 14th Amendments have been violated through Wolf's order.  The petition lays out a variety of grounds on which it says the order is unconstitutional.

City of Dallas Goons Sue Heroic Salon Owner Who Refused to Shut Down.  CBS Local reported that Dallas city officials are filing a lawsuit against Salon À la Mode owner Shelley Luther.  In addition, the city of Dallas has filed a restraining order against Luther for violating the city and county's shelter-in-place orders that were implemented to allegedly fight the Wuhan virus.  BLP reported on Luther's bold action when she opened her salon in violation of the arbitrary order.

Blue States Become Laboratories of Despotism.  A number of Democratic governors have used the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to "experiment" with constitutionally protected civil liberties.  Their states have, in effect, become laboratories of despotism.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), for example, has refused to say when his stay-at-home order will expire, even in a purported reopen plan that that he announced last Tuesday.  When asked when Golden State residents would again be able to exercise their First Amendment right to attend church, he vaguely replied, "months, not weeks."  In addition, Newsom was evidently so incensed by the number of people who went to the beach last weekend he decided to order all Orange County beaches and state parks closed to the public, effective May 1.  Such decrees have provoked increased impatience with Newsom, including a rant from Elon Musk, whose Fremont Tesla factory is shut down.

Hundreds Of Protesters — Many Of Them Armed — Enter Michigan Capitol — Police Block Doors To House Chamber.  Michigan Protest:  Hundreds of patriots gathered at Michigan's capitol building in Lansing on Thursday, many gaining entry to the lobby, to protest the state's proposed extension of its "stay-at-home" order.  Hundreds of photos and dozens of videos have been uploaded to the internet as people share a glimpse of what's to come nationwide if the country doesn't re-open soon.  Footage shows officers checking protesters' temperatures before entering the capitol building.

Armed Protesters Flood Michigan Capitol as Whitmer Attempts to Override State Legislature.  Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing as the legislature considered a measure to extend Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's state of emergency declaration.  The House of Representatives voted down an extension of the order, but Whitmer claimed she has broad authority to continue the lockdown regardless.  This response only adds to the evidence she is abusing her authority amid the coronavirus crisis.  Protesters waved American flags and open-carried firearms as some changed, "Let us in!" and "This is the people's house, you cannot lock us out."  Video of the protest spilling over into the capitol building went viral on social media.  Protesters crowded into the hallway and up the staircase as state police and the sergeant-at-arms blocked the entrance to the House floor.

Judge rules against Illinois Dem governor's stay-at-home order: 'Shredded the Constitution'.  An Illinois judge has ruled against Gov. J.B. Pritzker's extended stay-at-home order, citing a violation of civil liberties.  Republican state Rep. Darren Bailey filed a lawsuit last week challenging Pritzker's lockdown extension.  The suit asked that a judge determine whether Pritzker abused his power by extending the order, [...] [Paywall]

North Carolina Police Arrest Man for Attempting to Reopen His Business, Others May Follow Suit.  As RedState managing editor Streiff wrote earlier today [4/29/2020], the "Reopen" rebellion against North Carolina's stay at home order is in full effect.  The arrests of protesters are continuing as well, with four arrested during Tuesday's ReopenNC protest, which was the third one held to date.  But in a disturbing incident that happened around lunchtime today, an Apex, NC man was seen on video being being led away by police from his business in handcuffs after attempting to reopen his tattoo parlor.

Why Can't We Go To the Hairdresser?  The cynic in me thinks the press will urge a nationwide lockdown unless and until a Democrat sits in the White House at which time they will take a harder look at the diminishing Covid-19 fatalities and the increasing cost of the lockdowns.  In the meantime frustrated, increasingly broke Americans are asking what happened to such rights as free speech, assembly, worship, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, right to bear arms, right to due process in criminal cases and privacy.  Fundamentally, why can't we go to the hairdresser or the gym, make routine visits to the doctor, the dentist, get elective surgeries, visit our families and friends, shop without looking like masked bandits?  The answer is not that complicated.  Unless the state governments, which have imposed these often-draconian measures, can justify them in court, you can.  But you have to get them judicially enforced by civil suit or in defending a criminal action against you.  Your rights are not self-enforcing.

'MAGA May Day' Freedom Rallies Planned Across America to Protest Lockdowns.  "MAGA May Day" freedom rallies are slated to pop up across America Friday, May 1, aimed to send a message to "local and state government tyrants" that it is time to safely and responsibly reopen the country.  The "drive-in" rallies for freedom encourage participants to head to their state capitol or local government building to protest the nationwide lockdowns and demand independence from China, not allowing the country to "control trade, supply chains, or anything else that affects the daily life, health, happiness of American citizens."

DOJ Instructs U.S. Attorneys To Lookout For State And Local Governments Violating Civil Liberties.  U.S. Attorney General William Barr instructed U.S. attorneys to monitor cases of state and local governments infringing on citizens' civil liberties Monday as municipalities remain on lockdown nationwide amid the pandemic over the novel Wuhan coronavirus.  "Millions of Americans across the nation have been ordered to stay in their homes, leaving only for essential and necessary reasons, while countless businesses and other gathering places have been ordered to close their doors indefinitely," Barr wrote in a department memo.  "These kinds of restrictions have been necessary in order to stop the spread of a deadly disease — but there is no denying that they have imposed tremendous burdens on the daily lives of all Americans."

CA Gov Newsom Warns Sun-Loving Newport Beachgoers "Aggressive" Measures Coming.  In a livestreamed update on the Golden State's response to COVID-19 this afternoon [4/27/2020], California Governor Gavin Newsom threw down the gauntlet to sun-worshippers in his state, who he was disappointed appeared to be enjoying life over the weekend.  That's something that just can't stand, man!  Newsom began his speech with a smile, by thanking "the 40 million" Californians who "over the course of the last number of weeks have not only bent the curve... but stabilized it."  But the governor's smile only lasted about 24 seconds, when he said this: [...]

Lockdown Protests Confound Anti-Trump Elites.  The Washington Monthly recently singled out yours truly as a typically deluded Republican, "desperately hoping" that Donald Trump's presidency can be saved by anti-quarantine protests, which we envision as "a renewal of the Tea Party spirit."  This fatuous nonsense is presumably based on a hasty perusal of a column warning the Democrats not to belittle the lockdown protestors lest they provoke an electoral backlash similar to that which they endured a decade ago.  The author of the article, Nancy LeTourneau, predictably deploys every demeaning cliché ever circulated about the Tea Party movement and the current protests that she can conjure, including the tired canard that racism has been the animating force behind both.

Mississippi Mayor Suspends Open Carry During Coronavirus Crisis.  Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (D) of Jackson, Mississippi, issued an order over the weekend temporarily prohibiting law-abiding citizens from openly carrying handguns during the coronavirus crisis.  The Clarion-Ledger reports that Mississippi adopted open carry in 2013 and Y'all Politics quotes Lumumba claiming that "child deaths by firearms in the South have increased 72 percent."

15 Uniformed Officers From 4 Different Law Enforcement Agencies Rush to Target Restaurant Owner For Violating Maryland's Lockdown Order.  This is not about a virus.  15 uniformed officers from 4 different law enforcement agencies descended on a restaurant in Maryland and cited the owner for violating the state's lockdown order.  Dave Carey, the owner of Lee's Landing Dock Bar is facing prosecution because approximately 70 people were standing in line waiting for their takeout orders.  Mr. Carey said people waiting for their food were following the social distancing guidelines "to the letter of the law" but the police swarmed his establishment anyway.

Our Dress Rehearsal for a Police State.  All my life, I have dismissed paranoids on the right ("America is headed to communism") and the left ("It can happen here" — referring to fascism).  It's not that I've ever believed liberty was guaranteed.  Being familiar with history and a pessimist regarding the human condition, I never believed that.  But the ease with which police state tactics have been employed and the equal ease with which most Americans have accepted them have been breathtaking.  People will argue that a temporary police state has been justified because of the allegedly unique threat to life posed by the new coronavirus.  I do not believe the data will bear that out.  Regardless, let us at least agree that we are closer to a police state than ever in American history.

Why wasn't this memo issued a month ago?
Attorney General Bill Barr Issues DOJ Memo:  "The Constitution is Not Suspended in Times of Crisis".  The U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General Bill Barr, has issued a memo (pdf here) citing a needed balance between COVID-19 mitigation efforts and U.S. civil rights under the constitution.  Notably AG Barr identifies both "religious freedom", and "undue interference with the national economy" within his memo.

Thank You, Democrat Governors, for Re-Electing President Trump!.  Government-imposed totalitarianism is not going over well in the land of the free.  Citizens are rising up across the nation against officials restricting their lives and destroying their livelihoods in ways unheard of here before now.  Sparked by the Operation Gridlock that recently brought ten thousand protesters to the Michigan capitol, citizens in dozens of states are creating their own gridlocks.  On the sunny Sunday of April 19 in Denver, Colorado, thousands staged a drive-by car protest, honking horns and flying flags for hours on streets around the Capitol.  A thousand more families and friends gathered happily on the Capitol lawn to cheer them on with homemade posters pleading with the Democrat governor to let them get back to work.  A fun picnic, but without the deviled eggs.  Facebook censors shut down the main group, Operation Gridlock Denver, the morning of the protest, but since many groups were publicizing the event, it wasn't hard for people to find information.  Mark Zuckerberg has acknowledged that Facebook has decided that these rallies are "harmful disinformation," so they will protect us by eliminating it.  Oh, thank you, mini-god Mark.  Nevertheless, the Denver Gridlock was a spectacular success.

Will Americans Let Coronavirus Panic Destroy Their Liberty?  There is a rumbling right now below our feet, though, and these tremors may well split the earth around us if our elected leadership do not yield to common sense and shared American purpose.  This moment in history is opening up before us two paths — one in which we reclaim for ourselves the truth that all legitimate power begins with individual consent and another that deviates sharply from our shared past by giving to the State the ultimate authority for determining what rights each one of us may freely call our own.  Down the path of freedom we must take solid steps, for the other path promises to swallow us whole.  I have no illusion that American liberty is destined to prevail over this new breed of socialism and government-by-fiat.  Life gives us no certainties — only choices and opportunities.  It's the other side that denies the existence of God while insisting that our historical fate is predetermined.  Our side has always cherished human freedom precisely because we know how rare it is.

Are Continued Shutdown Orders Constitutional?  Whether government action is constitutional is sometimes relatively straightforward:  Can the government impose prior restraints on speech?  Almost never.  Can it discriminate on the basis of race?  Same answer.  But for most questions that involve a restriction on liberty, courts tend to ask two less direct questions in deciding whether it violates the constitution:  What is the reason for the restriction?  And how is the government going about it?  Put another way:  is the purpose legitimate and are the means chosen properly to achieving that goal?  They are good questions for all of us to ask now.

Dan Bongino pleads with 'brothers & sisters in blue' to fight back against 'outrageous' orders.  With the image of a mother being arrested and placed in handcuffs for taking her children to the park as a backdrop, former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino called on his "brothers & sisters in blue" to speak out against "outrageous orders."  "To My Brothers & Sisters in Blue, PLEASE, speak w/your fraternal organizations & speak out collectively against these outrageous orders to arrest Americans for exercising their Rights," Bongino tweeted early Sunday.  "We're losing the support of people who've defended us in crises for years.  This can't continue."

Wait, how long are we supposed to stay in lockdown?  What are we waiting for?  The question can be posed in either a wild, irresponsible way — or a sane, measured way.  In New York, our "pause" will continue until at least May 15, and New Yorkers are asking, in a measured, sane way:  What exactly are we waiting for? [...] We did our part; we flattened the curve.  So why is there no move to loosen regulations?  In February and March, expert and elite opinion seemed to understand that patience with lockdowns would at some point wear thin.  But not anymore.  Last week, Cuomo used a graphic in his daily presentation that listed the lengths of various wars and previous pandemics.  The 1910 cholera outbreak lasted a year.  World War II lasted six years.  And so on.  The message:  We haven't been living through this that long, and our ancestors had it far worse.  But if we are looking at years of lockdown, we need to be informed of it, we need a debate — and we need a plan.

Democrats' Fascism Shines Through.  Someone once said that if fascism ever comes to America, it will come in the guise of fighting fascism.  Updated version:  Fascism has come to America, in the guise of fighting a virus.  Nowhere has Democrats' totalitarian instincts come out more clearly than in their response to the coronavirus.  David Horowitz says:  "Inside every progressive is a totalitarian screaming to get out."  In the case of Michigan's Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the totalitarian is not only out but goose-stepping toward the New Reich.  Instead of "Sieg Heil," it's "Obey or Else."  On April 17, 3,000 to 4,000 came to the state capital to protest the shutdown and some of the governor's more outrageous edicts, to wit:  You can't travel between two residences you own.  You can fish in a kayak, but not a motorboat.  You can buy lottery tickets but not garden seeds.

Napolitano warns freedom-stifling consequences of drones monitoring innocent citizens in name of safety.  Responding to the growing Orwellian trend of the authorities using surveillance technology to enforce social distancing protocols, Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said bluntly Thursday that such enforcement methods are illegal.  "We're not talking about a bank robber running out of a bank because there is probable cause to believe that he has committed a crime, and you don't need a search warrant to watch him," he said during an appearance on FNC's "Fox & Friends."  What "we are talking about," he continued, is using drone technology, as an example, to watch "people peaceably walking down the street or assembling in a public space."  And that is both Orwellian and frightening, not to mention illegal.

COVID Protests:  First Amendment Is an 'Essential' Service.  As anti-quarantine protests spread across America, so does the fight for individual liberty.  At a time when government has never been more powerful, Americans from Pennsylvania to the California are right to question its limits.  The coronavirus has jeopardized public health and wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy, but it has also exposed the dangers of an ever-encroaching government into once-protected corners of our lives.  On a daily basis, Americans are coping with the federal, state, and local government deeming what is "essential" and what isn't.  As it turns out, our cherished liberties — from religious freedom to free speech — don't make the cut.  Across the county, pastors and parishioners are being fined for daring to go to church.

Stupidity Kills.  Park authorities welcomed Tom Brady to Tampa by kicking him out of a public field.  Idaho cops arrested a 40-year-old mom in front of her children for the crime of bringing them to a playground.  Beautiful San Clemente dumped sand in ugly fashion on a local skate park.  From the beginning, tax-funded killjoys removed basketball rims from outdoor courts.  Tennis, a sport with social distancing baked into the game, sees its courts closed by order of people who threaten to get up close and personal to ostensibly thwart people who get up close and personal (even though they don't).

Government Goes Too Far.  I find it creepy how eager some people are for authorities to boss us around. [...] In Raleigh, North Carolina, people gathered to protest a "stay-at-home" order.  The police arrested a protester and tweeted, "Protesting is a non-essential activity."  I bet they got a chuckle out of that.  But our Constitution guarantees Americans the right to "peaceably assemble" and "petition the government for a redress of grievances."  The coronavirus doesn't override the Constitution.  Protests also erupted in Michigan, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer imposed some absurd rules.  She declared, "All public or private gatherings of any size are prohibited."  Her executive order stopped people from seeing relatives and banned anyone with more than one home to travel between them. [...] Sweden took a near-opposite approach.  Yes, they encouraged older people to stay inside and sick people to stay home.  They didn't want hospitals overwhelmed.  But otherwise, Sweden is carrying on almost as normal.

Idaho Woman Facing 6 Months in Jail For Violating Coronavirus Lockdown Order by Holding Yard Sale.  Welcome to the new America where law-abiding citizens are arrested while criminals are released from jail.  An Idaho woman is facing 6 months in jail and or a $1,000 fine for holding a yard sale.  Christa Thompson was helping her husband Peter, a truck driver, sell his late father's belongings at a yard sale when police issued her a citation for violating the Governor's Coronavirus lockdown order.  Peter Thompson told the Idaho Freedom Foundation that after his father passed away he had a significant financial incentive to sell his father's belongings because his family took over his storage unit which [...] cost $1,000 a month.

Progressive Governors Indulge Their Inner Despot.  We've all seen the catalogue of overweening unilateral diktats enforced by police power coming down from Democrat governors.  Under the guise of enforcing social distancing in order to slow the spread of the disease, governors have quickly violated the Bill of Rights: closing gun stores at the same time they release felons from prison; shutting down church services while leaving liquor stores open; criminalizing the right to peaceful assembly; arbitrarily deeming some economic activities as "essential," like abortion clinics and pot dispensaries, while proscribing others like buying paint or vegetable seeds.  Even our freedom of movement that doesn't endanger others, such as surfing alone or playing with our children in a deserted park, has been interdicted by overzealous police.

Police Have Started Revolting Against Draconian Coronavirus Edicts From Local Tyrants.  Police chiefs from Texas to Washington are standing up against draconian orders from local leaders demanding strict adherence to extreme social distancing measures to curb the spread of the novel Wuhan coronavirus.  The Houston Police Officers' Union declared Wednesday [4/22/2020] that its members would refrain from enforcing local County Judge Lina Hidalgo's ruling deeming it mandatory for any individual over the age of 10 to wear a mask in public. [...] The police union said it had contacted the state attorney general's office to determine whether Hidalgo's ruling was even constitutional, noting that until then, members were encouraged to use discretion in enforcement of the measure as resources are already stretched thin from the pandemic.

Houston Police Officer's Union to Harris County Judge Hidalgo:  Take Your 'Idiotic' Mask Order and Shove It.  The Houston Police Officers' Union is not shy in expressing how they really feel about Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo's order that all residents of Harris County must wear a mask under the threat of fines and prison.  Governor Abbot began to lift restrictions across Texas earlier this week.  Hildalgo seems to be full of authoritarian glee and is giving Gretchen Whitmer competition for her status as the most hated woman in America. [...] The title "county judge" in Texas counties refers to the county executive and not a judge on a bench who presides over cases.  Hidalgo has been doing her best to unleash chaos in her county by trying to release 4,000 convicted criminals from the county jails.  That hair-brained idea was blocked by a federal judge earlier this month.  Hidalgo announced her newest edict on Wednesday.  It includes $1000 fines and up to 180 days in jail for anyone who will not wear a mask in public even though the infection numbers are flattening out according to Governor Abbot and his medical experts enough to relax some lockdown restrictions.

We Need a New Base Realignment and Closure Commission — Not a New Bureaucracy.  In times of crisis like the one we are now going through, calls to grow an already bloated bureaucracy abound.  Whether it's through more centralization, more powers to the federal government, or the creation of new bureaucracy to address the pandemic, the hope is that next time around, a new arrangement will allow for a better and faster response.  Not likely.  Yet, it happens each time there's a crisis.

In a National Emergency, Does the Constitution Still Apply?  An essential principle of the United States is that it is a free country, with individual liberties guaranteed, and government power limited.  That concept is now being tested. [...] President Trump proclaimed a national state of emergency under the National Emergencies Act on March 13, 2020.  However, nothing in that proclamation closed any businesses, confined anyone in their homes or infringed on any other constitutional rights or liberties.  That, and other actions by the federal government merely cleared away certain regulatory roadblocks that could interfere with the government's response to the pandemic.  By contrast, the orders issued at the state and local level have dramatically restricted the civil liberties of ordinary law-abiding Americans, shutting down all "non-essential" businesses, causing, at last count, 22 million Americans to lose their jobs, and confining the vast majority of the nation to their homes.

Amid COVID-19, Deep State Moves in for the Kill Against Churches.  With churches across much of America being shutdown by government decree as "non-essential," they are facing enormous and potentially existential threats.  On one hand, churches are being terrorized by state and local governments, with pastors and congregations literally being fined or even arrested for simply attending a service.  Then, when the churches try to stream online, Deep State-run Big Tech firms are censoring them or even shutting them down.  At the same time, many churches across America are lining up to receive government bailout money — cash that comes with dangerous strings attached, including LGBT mandates.  This represents a profound threat to religious liberty and the continued independence of the church in America.  It could be a perfect storm.

Governors, not gods:  State executives cannot simply do whatever they want indefinitely.  As soon as the president began talking about opening up the country last week, the media pounced on him and suggested that he is not a king and cannot control the states.  Even House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., tweaked Trump and implied that the 10th Amendment gives states the power to shut down the people and our businesses.  They are right.  A president is not a king.  But most certainly, a governor, county commissioner, or sheriff is not king either.  We have natural rights given by God, and under no circumstances can any of those officials violate those rights indefinitely without due process, oversight, limitations, and checks and balances.  For decades we've been told that everything the Left has ever wanted to do is in the 14th Amendment and anything a state does contrary to those ideals is unconstitutional.  Whether it's early voting, voting without photo ID, affirmative action, abortion, redefinition of marriage, men in women's bathrooms, etc., it's all in the 14th Amendment, and federal courts can use it to strip state officials of their powers to govern.  Except, of course when the 14th Amendment actually applies. [...]

How Dare They Defy My Diktats.  Jobs are being destroyed, mortgages are in arrears, businesses have closed and many will never re-open.  If there's one thing that's becoming increasingly obvious about the coronavirus lockdown, it's that some people are getting really, really sick of it.  The last few days have been rife with protests, as people across the country let their governors know how they feel.  Onerous shutdowns are going to have to end soon or we're going to be facing genuine social disorder and economic collapse.  Nowhere is this more obvious than in Michigan.  Over the weekend, protests erupted in Lansing, and the Governor, Frau Whitmer, is none too pleased that her Michiganders have dared defy her quarantine diktats and her Bizarro-World definitions of "essential" and "non-essential." [...] What is clear is that her state is getting sick of her.  The recall petition has picked up steam.  Fair or not, she's become an avatar for the worst sort of capricious, nanny-state tyrant.  Whatever goodwill she enjoyed outside of Detroit and Lansing is quickly evaporating, and the anti-Whitmer voices are only getting louder.

Connecticut police to test 'pandemic drone' that monitors health of residents.  Police in Westport, Conn., said they will be testing a "pandemic drone" that can scan the body temperatures of residents to determine if they have fevers or other health symptoms in an effort to combat the coronavirus.  Aerospace company Draganfly announced in a news release the drones will be equipped with a specialized sensor and computer vision systems that can display heart and respiratory rates.  They can also detect people coughing in crowds, police said.

Killing Liberty, Coronavirus-Style.  It should now be self-evident for anyone with common sense that the Democrats, liberals, and their convenient Republican allies like "Republicans for the Rule of Law" are using the coronavirus as a cover to advance their deconstruction of America without opposition behind the veil of "saving lives" and "saving democracy."  This has been the dream of liberals for over a century.  Now they will not relent until they deliver the coup de grâce to their enemies:  Christianity, small businesses, and civil society as a whole. [...] Beneath our noses, the "guidelines" and "recommendations" — alongside the actual mandated orders by our political officials — serve as the first stage of widespread social engineering.  The intent is to break the spirit of independent Americans and shape them into a herd of conformity, which permits bureaucratic control over every facet of our lives.

Hobby Lobby Gets Last Laugh Over Dallas Judge Who Forcibly Shut Them Down and Insulted Them On Social Media.  Democrat Dallas County Commissioner Court Judge Clay Jenkins has stepped in it multiple times during this pandemic lockdown.  Not only has he taken the opportunity to exert his will over the people to the point where the rest of the court voted to strip him of his unilateral power during this crisis, he also used it as an opportunity to bash people and businesses he just doesn't like.  One of those businesses is the craft store Hobby Lobby.  Hobby Lobby stayed open after the lockdown of "nonessential" businesses began, making the case that the store sold all the necessary items allowing you to make masks for yourself and others.  Jenkins sent law enforcement to shut down Hobby Lobby locations, and forced patrons out of the store without allowing them to finish shopping.  As Jenkins is wont to do, he made a show of being a tough guy on Twitter and encouraging Dallas country residents to snitch on any business like Hobby Lobby trying to stay open at this time.

Will the Covid-19 PsyOp succeed?  [Scroll down]  Foreign Policy is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs.  It's now owned by the Washington Post and the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos.  An article published there a week ago says it all:  "Only Surveillance Can Save Us From Coronavirus — Big data offers tools to stop the pandemic right now — if we change our definition of privacy."  And what is the purpose of total surveillance?  Like the Red Chinese model, it's mandated behavior and total control of every aspect of our lives.  Bret Baier, the lead anchor at the Fox News channel, reported last Thursday that high-level sources in the administration now have evidence the Covid-19 did in fact escape from the lab in Wuhan, China — but was not initially designed as a weapon.  The next day, Gordon Chang said that Chinese President Xi was guilty of malicious intent after he witnessed the potential disaster of the virus' release.  So, he dragged his feet on preventing Covid-19 from being exported because he decided to allow it to "level the playing field" according to Chang with other countries in terms of economic and political impact.  According to Business Insider, on Friday [4/17/2020] at the White House, Fauci rejected as a "conspiracy theory" the reports that the novel corona virus was created in a Chinese lab.

Montana County Demands Citizens Wear Government-Issued Arm Bands to Shop at Grocery Stores.  A Montana county is mandating citizens to wear a pink wrist band to go shopping at grocery stores.  The band represents the person has quarantined for 14 days.  You know who else had armbands?

Celebrities and the Media Shouldn't Sneer at Coronavirus Lockdown Protesters.  In their desperation to get back to work, some Americans are taking to the streets to demand that the government end the quarantine. [...] But there are legitimate grievances for protesters to air.  Whitmer's stay-at-home orders were, as Reason's Billy Binion put it, a "hot mess," prohibiting travel between residences (even to relatively uninhabited areas), buying gardening supplies, and motorboats (but not boats without motors).  Authorities in New York City have called on people to report each other for failing to abide by the most stringent social distancing measures.  People have been stopped, shamed, and arrested for merely going outdoors.  Voluntary compliance with social distancing has been remarkable, but forcibly constraining every last person has diminishing returns, and is not a good use of government resources.  That does not mean the quarantine protesters are, as conservative pundit Stephen Moore put it, "modern-day Rosa Parks."  But some of them are justifiably upset, and their frustration should be neither mocked nor ignored.

A Tiny Virus Further Sickens the Fevered Media Mob.  Within the sphere of politics, we have already seen short-term impacts to elections and how legislative bodies do their work, but the question of how the psychology of crisis will translate into permanent changes in the relationship between the governed and the government can only be answered with informed guesses.  Is the rebellion in Michigan against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stringent stay-at-home orders the first shot in a war against the nanny state or the last gasp of "consent of the governed"?  Will the electorate become enamored of receiving "paychecks" from the government for not working, or will it chafe at adding untold trillions to the national debt and demand new austerity measures?

Blue State Governors Demand Facebook Remove Information Organizing Protests Against Their "Orders" — Facebook Complies.  There's some misinformation quickly spreading about Facebook taking down all content where people are organizing protests against state "orders."  In reality what Facebook is doing is responding to requests from state officials to remove content the state dictators claim is defiance of their orders.  Facebook is complying with those removal requests.

Suspending the Constitution:  Police State Uses Crises to Expand Its Lockdown Powers.  [Scroll down]  In fact, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been quietly trotting out and testing a long laundry list of terrifying powers that override the Constitution.  We're talking about lockdown powers (at both the federal and state level):  the ability to suspend the Constitution, indefinitely detain American citizens, bypass the courts, quarantine whole communities or segments of the population, override the First Amendment by outlawing religious gatherings and assemblies of more than a few people, shut down entire industries and manipulate the economy, muzzle dissidents, "stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease," reshape financial markets, create a digital currency (and thus further restrict the use of cash), determine who should live or die.  You're getting the picture now, right?  These are powers the police state would desperately like to make permanent.

America's Huddled Masses Yearn to Breathe Free.  Americans are tired of an oppressive government that, for our own good, they tell us, locks us in our homes based on computer models that have never been right from day one and health guidelines that keep changing so much they might as well be written on an Etch-a-Sketch.  They want to "flatten the curve" by crushing our hopes and dreams.  They seek treatments and a cure for a virus, ignoring the health-care costs of crushed lives and dreams, the human costs of lost jobs and careers, of nest eggs broken on the ground, of people who used to provide for their families fighting in stores over rolls of toilet paper.  We are being guided by the best infectious disease experts in the world, we are told, experts so smart they didn't anticipate or consider the lives lost from depression, suicide, drug and alcohol addiction, and despair in a land where abortion is considered an essential procedure but heart stints and CT scans not so much.  Americans are poor from an economy brought to its knees by an incompetent adversary, China, and a government whose leaders sit at home in their mansions in gated communities eating expensive ice cream stored in refrigerator freezers few Americans could afford when times were good and normal.

Wake up and smell the Alinsky:  Leftists use COVID-19 pandemic to bring about revolutionary change.  Communist-minded community organizer Saul Alinsky, in his prologue to "Rules for Radicals," explained that the most effective activists were those who worked within the established "system," not against it, so as to stir the revolutionary pots of change through fear.  His words:  "Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people.  They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future," Archives.org noted.  This is Coronavirus Chaos, exemplified.

Cooperation vs. Coercion:  The Coming Cultural Conflict.  [Scroll down]  Other protests have sprung up in other places around the country because we've gotten to a point in this crisis where people's health is in far less danger than their livelihood.  The protestors realize that the enjoyment of life and liberty, the right to acquire and possess property of every kind, the right to pursue and obtain happiness and safety is on the line.  Meanwhile, the orders coming from various governors are no longer specifically tailored for the general good of the whole.  Many Democrat governors are doubling down on coercion at the exact moment cooperation is evaporating.  Now we may start to see hair stylists, along with their partially coiffed customers, being dragged out of their stores by the police;  now we may see state troopers blockading trucks carrying items considered non-essential to stores that have been forced to close; now we may be seeing cash-strapped Americans arrested for going to work.  Although these images would have hurt President Trump if they had been broadcast in March, they will destroy the Democrat Party if they're broadcast now.

Stir crazy.  Democrat governors and mayors are going nuts with power.  The pandemic panic has them turning into King George IIIs.  He had an excuse.  He was mentally ill.  For some reason, parks and beaches are closed across the nation but subways aren't.  I fail to see how being 60 feet away from anyone on the shore is a public health threat, but being jammed in a rapid transit car is perfectly OK.

Appeals Court Chills First Amendment Activity by Allowing Cops to Retaliate Against Nonviolent Protesters.  The Rutherford Institute is pushing back against an effort by police to chill constitutionally-protected civil rights protests through the use of retaliatory lawsuits.  In filing an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Mckesson v.  Doe, Rutherford Institute attorneys are challenging a ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that allows law enforcement officials to hold protest organizers financially liable when officers get hurt (accidental or otherwise) while carrying out their duties at a constitutionally-protected demonstration, even when the organizers themselves did nothing to cause the injury.  Incredibly, the lower court reasoned that organizers of a protest should be held responsible for engaging in activity that merely has the potential to involve police or require their presence, thereby exposing them to possible injuries.  The case arose after a police officer, positioned near a group that was protesting police brutality in front of police headquarters, was hit by a projectile thrown by an unknown, unidentified individual.  The injured officer sued one of the event organizers, DeRay Mckesson, for more than $75,000, despite the fact that Mckesson engaged in no acts of violence and did not incite or condone violence by others.

The Rutherford Institute's Statement on the Right to Religious Freedom During COVID-19.  At the moment, the government believes it has a compelling interest — albeit a temporary one — in restricting gatherings, assemblies and movement in public in order to minimize the spread of this virus.  Yet these lockdown measures — on the right of the people to peaceably assemble, to travel, to engage in commerce, etc. — unquestionably restrict fundamental constitutional rights.  While these measures might pass muster for a short period of time, they cannot be sustained for longer stretches constitutionally, nor should they be allowed to stand if the days and weeks of the government's social distancing campaign stretches into months-long quarantines.

The strange case of Gov. Murphy's selective drive-through tulip farm shutdown.  Something stinks in New Jersey.  Gov. Phil Murphy is doing his best to style himself as the Gretchen Whitmer of New Jersey by initiating a series of capricious, absurd, lockdown diktats in the name of combating the coronavirus.  In reality, they help no one.  He's a stupid guy all right, given that his fiats are killing his state's economy, for one.  And he was last seen trying to tell Fox News's Tucker Carlson that the Bill of Rights was "above his pay grade."  [Video clip]  More disturbing, he seems to be trying to outdo Whitmer, who banned the sales of garden seeds to locals anxious to grow their own food, with an even stupider measure of his own.  Murphy banned drive-through tulip viewing from inside cars at a farm at the peak of the crop's limited growing season.  And his goons threatened to arrest the owner if he did.

Could anti-lockdown protests be new Tea Party movement?  Growing discontent with stringent state-level restrictions imposed to mitigate the coronavirus is pouring out into the streets near state capitols in ways reminiscent of the last decade's conservative activism.  "They have a very Tea Party feel," said Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo of the demonstrations.  "The current protests are because of government overreaching and infringing on our rights," said Tea Party Patriots founder Jenny Beth Martin.  "The protests are an extension of what the Tea Party movement has stood for the last 11 years — constitutionally limited government, personal and economic freedom.  In the time of crisis and to remain on solid ground with those whom they represent, elected officials should lean on the Constitution, not abandon it."

New Jersey Directorate Arrests Subversive Citizen For Organizing Protest Against The State.  A liberty-minded woman in New Jersey has been charged with crimes against the state.  Her infraction was organizing a protest, a rebellion against state interests, and violating Governor Phil Murphy's quarantine.  For the crime of allegedly planning a protest against statewide stay-at-home orders, Mrs. Kim Pagan has been labeled an enemy of the state.  New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan identified the woman's infraction in a daily offense bulletin intended to outline the identity of non-compliant citizens acting outside the boundaries of state authority.  Scofflaws will not be tolerated within the confines of the Garden State.  A rogue citizen could put a compliant society at risk of infection.  They may not just carry biologics they could carry a more alarming virus of wrong-thought against the interests of the state.  Rogue citizens would be subversive to our new society.

One US City Is Deploying A Chinese Firm's Drones To Police Americans Who Are Not Social Distancing.  Elizabeth, New Jersey, is using a Chinese company's drones to police citizens who fail to employ social distancing guidelines.  Past reports suggest the drones are feeding China data.  Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage is deploying drones from Chinese-based company DJI to warn Elizabeth citizens who are walking outdoors not to get too close in physical proximity to other people.  The drones blare sirens and issue this warning:  "Stop gathering, disperse and go home."

Baltimore PD to Use Drone Surveillance for 'Social Distancing' Enforcement.  The Baltimore Police Department and "Persistent Surveillance," an Ohio-based company, signed a deal together to spy on the residents of Baltimore, Maryland with drones. [...] This shady company was under fire almost 4 years ago in 2016, for doing surveillance with the Baltimore Police Department and violating their own 45-day data retention policy. [...] The drones will be equipped with high-resolution cameras, capable of posing a real threat to the security of anyone deemed a "criminal."  The ACLU emphasized that this crosses a massive line, explaining that the plan places every resident of Baltimore "under constant aerial surveillance."

Draconian Lockdown Powers:  It's a Slippery Slope from Handwashing to House Arrest.  We still have choices.  Just because we're fighting an unseen enemy in the form of a virus doesn't mean we have to relinquish every shred of our humanity, our common sense, or our freedoms to a nanny state that thinks it can do a better job of keeping us safe.  Whatever we give up willingly now — whether it's basic human decency, the ability to manage our private affairs, the right to have a say in how the government navigates this crisis, or the few rights still left to us that haven't been disemboweled in recent years by a power-hungry police state — we won't get back so easily once this crisis is past.  The government never cedes power willingly.  Neither should we.

Why Politicians Focus on Trivia in the Midst of Disaster.  You've probably heard:
  •   The municipal government of San Clemente, CA trucked in 37 tons of sand, at a cost of at least $100,000 when you count removal, to forcibly close a skateboard park that was being used by no more than a few dozen people per day.
  •   Governor Christine Whitmer of Michigan required that all stores over 50,000 sq. feet close their garden centers, eliminating access to plants, seeds, and other supplies.  The Governor admonished:  "If you're not buying food or medicine or other essential items, you should not be going to the store."
  •   The mayor of Greenville, MS outlawed public gatherings, including religious ceremonies, and sent city police to issue $500 tickets to worshippers who were sitting in the parking lot, windows closed, listening to a "drive-in" sermon on Easter.  The order was later reversed, but the mayor remains unapologetic.
  •   In Rhode Island, National Guard troops have been used at roadblocks, and in some cases for actual house-to-house searches, to find people who have "escaped" from New York to second homes or houses of relatives in the Granite State.

Scores gather in Huntington Beach to protest coronavirus stay-at-home orders.  Scores of protesters defying stay-at-home orders gathered in downtown Huntington Beach on Friday [4/17/2020], rallying for an end to restrictions on businesses and public gatherings that health officials say are needed to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.  Mobilized largely through social-media posts, several dozens of protesters gathered at Main Street and Walnut Avenue shortly before 1 p.m.  The crowd grew to more than 200 people, according to police.  Many had signs, such as "Live free or die."  Some wore masks.  The group periodically chanted "U.S.A" as some passing vehicles honked in support.

Stand by for a show trial, as the state makes an example of this lady.
Organizer of New Jersey Anti-Lockdown Rally Charged With Violating Lockdown.  A woman who helped organize protests against New Jersey's coronavirus-driven stay-at-home orders is now facing charges for violating those orders, authorities said.  Kim Pagan, of Toms River, allegedly helped organize the small crowds that gathered in Trenton Friday to protest Gov. Phil Murphy's order essentially shutting down the state due to the virus — which has infected nearly 80,000 people and killed almost 4,000 in just six weeks.  A video posted to Facebook by Central Jersey Libertarians shows police writing summonses to honking and shouting protesters in parked cars.  One woman can be heard to yell "we have the right to peacefully protest!" as an officer walks by a car with the word "Playdemic" written in the window.

Texas To Lead The Charge In The Return To Normalcy.  We're a long way from kicking the economy back into high gear, but the good news is there's finally a light at the end of the tunnel.  That's really good news for everyone who would rather be earning a paycheck than getting a handout, especially since there really isn't much 'free' money to go around in the first place. [...] Seven states managed to dodge the bullet, and never had to order stay-at-home measures:  Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, & Wyoming.

Congratulations, You've Just Won A 60-Day Trial of Authoritarianism.  The coronavirus pandemic is a real threat.  COVID-19 has become the leading cause of death in the United States.  I'm not and won't minimize any of that.  But no one should minimize the lengths governments are now going in the name of keeping us safe.  We've had pandemics before.  They didn't result in the strong-arm Big Brother government we are subjected to now.  Welcome to your free, 60-day trial of authoritarian government.  You have been compelled.  Some states have decided what you can buy, and what stores like Costco, Walmart and Target can sell.  Elizabeth, NJ is deploying its own miniature air force to make sure its residents stay the appropriate social distance apart.  Five drones equipped with loudspeakers now shout at people to stay the hell away from each other.  They have cameras on them.  They can and will take your picture.  Face recognition software is now part of most police departments' arsenals.  And you can be fined up to $1000 if you don't do what the drone orders you to do, so never forget to obey your drones.

Texas Protest Reflects Spreading Frustration With Coronavirus Closings.  Millions of Americans have sheltered in their homes for weeks in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, avoiding strangers and friends alike.  Mass gatherings have been canceled.  But in a public act of defiance, protesters in Texas are preparing to converge on the steps of the Capitol building in Austin on Saturday [4/18/2020] and call for the reopening of the state and the country.  It would be the latest in a wave of similar protests from North Carolina to Michigan to Idaho.  By merely assembling, the conservative activists and supporters of President Trump who are expected to participate in the "You Can't Close America" rally would be in violation of state and local stay-at-home orders that have been replicated across the country.  On Thursday, protesters demonstrated outside the governor's mansion, largely without incident.

Washington State Directorate Jay Inslee:  "The president is fomenting domestic rebellion".  Some language, some very specific wording, has a very specific meaning in the United States of America.  One of those words is "rebellion"; and it carries a deeper meaning to a nation of American citizens born into the idea of individual rights, liberty and freedom.  All of the various restrictions coming from state governors in response to the COVID-19 do not come from State House and/or State Senate decisions.  These are not laws.  The rules restricting liberty, in response to the crisis, have been pronounced without any representative voice supporting them.  All of the rules are arbitrary, and many of these rules will be challenged in court.  However, until those court challenges take place, the only option for a redress of grievance comes in the form of public protest.  Currently, there is no way for an citizen to appeal to a representative voice against the decrees from a state governor; other than a public protest.

Let freedom ring.  [Scroll down]  People who seek and obtain authority can be counted on to wield it arbitrarily and tyrannically when given the opportunity.  And so petty tyrants are spreading like contagion.  A father is arrested for playing catch with his daughter in an empty park.  Police try to apprehend a jogger on an empty beach.  Drive-in Easter services are declared illegal and worshippers are ticketed.  While the Chinese puzzle how to become more like America without giving up the iron-fists of their police state, certain American politicians puzzle how to become more like the iron-fisted Chinese.  They delight in the lock down, and relish their authority in enforcing it.  Or maybe they think an America in pain is an America that will vote against the incumbent president this fall.  That incumbent is President Trump.  Defying the lock-downers, this week he announced a plan to reopen America.  The reopening happens in phases in different locales depending on the local circumstances.  The feds will supply data, but the decisions and implementation are up to state governors and local mayors.

Strassel:  Here's Why the Democrats Keep Moving the Shutdown Goal PostsPolitico reports that, according to comments House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made during a two hour conference call with her caucus this week, her conditions for ending the shutdown have changed.  She said that "Trump was putting Americans in grave danger if he rushes to reopen the economy at the end of this month."  The Politico story said, "Until a robust testing and contact tracing system is in place, [Pelosi believes] it would be impossible for the president to guarantee Americans a safe reentry into their normal life." 

The Editor says...
Even in the best years, the President cannot guarantee the safety of every American.  The President should guarantee the freedom of every American, and let us take care of our own safety.

Sheriff Allegedly Threatened Teen's Family If She Didn't Remove Posts About Having Wuhan Coronavirus.  There have been a lot of crazy stories about governmental overreach surrounding the Wuhan coronavirus.  But this one has to be right up there among the wildest.  A high school sophomore, 15-year-old Amyiah Cohoon, from Wisconsin took a spring break trip to Florida with her school band in March.  They returned earlier than anticipated on March 15, because of concerns about the virus.  But a few days later, Cohoon began to feel sick and then had trouble breathing. [...] Translation: she had a diagnosis from the doctors that she had it.  But what happened next is insane.  On March 27, her family got a visit from the police. [...] Police going after a family for what a teen posted on Instagram?  Maybe these guys and the police in Raleigh, N.C. need remedial education in the First Amendment?

Dystopian Drones Are Here to Make Sure You're 'Social Distancing'.  [Y]ou aren't safe anywhere from the dystopian surveillance state if you aren't complying with their commands.  Hence the reason it was so disturbing to see the tweet about this story of drones now being deployed in at least twenty-two states in the U.S. to surveil people to 'check on compliance with social distancing.'  "The drones, donated by DJI, a Chinese company, have gone to 43 agencies in 22  states, all to help enforce social distancing rules."  Oh, goody, we're importing Chinese dystopian ideas now.

The Tyranny of 'Scientism' and the Subversion of Science.  In an interview with Tucker Carlson on Wednesday [4/15/2020], New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy unintentionally defined this critical moment in America's history.  "We weren't thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this," he explained about his draconian decrees, including a ban on religious gatherings, to fight coronavirus.  "First of all, we looked at the data and the science and it says people have to stay away from each other."  Murphy's comments undoubtedly buoyed the egos of academic "experts" across the country.  A leading politician boasted, without the slightest sense of remorse, that his fidelity to the almighty deity of "science" prevailed over protecting the rights of his state's citizens.  The first 10 amendments to the Constitution?  Meh.  The six-foot distancing rule concocted by a handful of careerist bureaucrats in Washington?  Bow and scrape.

California's top cop defends extraordinary virus shutdowns.  What would normally be broad constitutional protections for freedoms of assembly, religion — even buying guns — have their limits when they endanger others during the coronavirus pandemic, California's top law enforcement officer said in an interview.

Coronavirus Crisis:  Our Civil Liberties Are Being Crushed By Authoritarian Edicts.  Driven by fear, panic, and irrational reliance on deeply flawed statistical "models," state governors and local leaders have dangerously jeopardized more than 200 years of constitutional rights and civil liberties with their imposition of mandatory mass quarantine orders.  No exigent circumstances, however well-intentioned, can justify many of these authoritarian tactics employed to fight the COVID-19 contagion.  While it is true that the law authorizes states to respond aggressively during health emergencies, such actions have limits.  Restrictions must be rational, consistent, and justified.  Power is abused when the government orders quarantines that are arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable because they arguably violate the 5th and 14th Amendments' rights of Due Process and Equal Protection.  Some actions have violated the Bill of Rights.

Four Michigan Sheriffs Say They Won't Enforce Governor's Totalitarian Orders.  Four sheriffs in northern Michigan declared Wednesday [4/15/2020] they would not be enforcing recent executive orders signed by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer implemented to slow the spread of the novel Wuhan coronavirus in the state.  Citing concerns over violating civil liberties, sheriffs Mike Borkovich, Ted Schendel, Ken Falk, and Kim Cole who protect counties along Lake Michigan in the northwest part of the mitten said in a joint statement that the governor "has created a vague framework of emergency laws that only confuse Michigan citizens."

Coronavirus Authoritarianism Is Getting Out of Hand.  Under what imperious conception of governance does Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer believe it is within her power to unilaterally ban garden stores from selling fruit or vegetable plants and seeds?  What business is it of Vermont or Howard County, Indiana, to dictate that Walmart, Costco or Target stop selling "nonessential" items, such as electronics or clothing?  Vermont has 628 cases of coronavirus as of this writing.  Is that the magic number authorizing the governor to ban people from buying seeds for their gardens? [...] The criminalization of movement ends with 10 Philly cops dragging a passenger off a bus for not wearing a face mask.  It ends with local Brighton, Colorado, cops handcuffing a father in front of his family for playing softball with his daughter in an empty park.  It ends with three Massachusetts men being arrested, and facing the possibility of 90 days in jail, for crossing state lines and golfing — a sport built for social distancing — in Rhode Island.

Dangerous Distinction.  [Scroll down]  In the interest of public safety, many have tolerated the lockdown, but that limited leash is reaching its end.  Michigan has found a way to resist the communist nature of its governor and that method of resistance should continue and grow across the nation, putting more and more pressure on the oppressive governments to rescind their communist orders.  It does not undo the damage already done.  By once forfeiting the right to make such decisions on our own, we cannot reclaim them without force.  That is the ultimate question to be answered by patriots.  We have now seen communism demonstrated on these shores, the black hand of Marx spread throughout the states.  We have enough evidence of their intent and their methods to determine what they have in mind.  It is ours to start dismantling these forces peacefully, or not.

Ex-Police Officer Arrested in Empty Park for Playing Catch with Daughter During Pandemic.  A former Colorado State Patrol Trooper was arrested and handcuffed this week for playing catch with his six-year-old daughter during the Coronavirus crisis; prompting the Department to ultimately issue a formal apology.  "In an incident caught on video, a former Colorado State Patrol trooper said he was handcuffed in front of his 6-year old daughter on a near-empty softball field Sunday by Brighton police officers enforcing social distancing rules.  The department apologized Tuesday afternoon, calling the incident an 'overreach by our police officers," reports ABC News.

Possible 'Imprisonment' Or Fine Of Up To $5,000 For Violating Maryland's Executive Order On Face Coverings.  On Wednesday, during a COVID-19 press briefing, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced an executive order requiring citizens of the state to wear face masks or coverings while out in various public locations.  Violation of the order could be punishable with a hefty fine or even prison time, according to the text.  The order states that "a person who knowingly and willfully violates this Order is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both."

Asking Tougher Questions.  On Wednesday's [4/15/2020] "Tucker Carlson Show," the clueless Phil Murphy, governor of New Jersey, announced that he had not considered the Bill of Rights when decreeing draconian limits on New Jersians' mobility and, even more concerning, that gathering for church was verboten.  (Hint, Governor, these are rights for every U.S. citizen, not suggestions or advisories). [...] Ask the Guv the kind of questions that would elicit answers outside of the stick-to-the-script monologue the left so often uses:  Governor, why did you arrest Jews in their Synagogue?  I think it's a fair question.  Jews were indeed arrested in their synagogue — for gathering for religious purposes, a right guaranteed since the founding of the country.  I'd have had some follow-ups:  Governor, are you planning on arresting more Jews?  Why are you only arresting Jews?  What do Jews have to do to avoid being arrested?  Do you consider Jews worshipping in their synagogue to be criminals?  Have you arrested, or are you planning on arresting, Muslims or Buddhists or any other religious group if they exercise their absolute right to gather for a religious ceremony?

Civil disobedience can end the coronavirus stupidity.  Most Americans, when first informed of the coronavirus, wanted to simply do the right thing and help their neighbors, help their communities and families, help their country. [...] Then things got stupid.  Really stupid.  Then government ran amok.  The Americans saw tyrannical types, up close and personal, up close and in their own communities, seize powers the Constitution doesn't grant and run roughshod over the rights of individuals and business owners.  And Americans saw how these tyrannies were taking place in the face of failed computer modeling that showed wildly inaccurate coronavirus numbers.  "Michigan cracks down on seed purchases and tiny gatherings," The Post Millennial reported, of Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's ridiculous executive-issued prohibitions against the purchase of plant seeds and grains in the state — and against neighbors from visiting their next-door neighbors.  Police state, anyone?

Lemons into Lemonade: Did President Trump Trick Dems into Going 'Full Authoritarian' during Virus Crisis?  [Scroll down]  Between them, the Democrat governors of California, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, et. al., have run roughshod over civil liberties during the Chinese virus crisis.  Democrat mayors of metropolises like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco have followed suit.  They have used diktats to, among other actions:
  •   Force the closure of lawful businesses and effectively ruin owners without due process or recourse
  •   Prohibit peaceable assembly, regardless of commonsense safety measures
  •   Target and harass religious congregations, including ones using commonsense safety measures
  •   Seize private property without due process and suspend lawful evictions, which amounts to the same thing
  •   Limit or deny access to firearms for qualified citizens
  •   Suspend in-person voting
  •   Force whole cities into a species of house arrest and monitored release absent any proof of wrongdoing or infection
  •   Bully citizens and businesses with arbitrary and capricious 'stop-where's-your-mask?' procedures
  •   Release violent offenders to prey on the population and withdraw law enforcement protection
These were not 'suggestions' nor appeals to public conscience, cooperation, and consent.  These were decrees enforced with fines, handcuffs, threats, and spying.  Millions of Americans have watched the news in horror and disbelief as well-known Democrat executives and lawmakers across the country have gone full authoritarian in just a few short weeks.

Liberate America by Turning the Political Pain up to 11.  [Scroll down]  Don't accept the silly argument I keep hearing that it is too difficult to determine who "the vulnerable" are in order to isolate them and let Americans get back to work.  Politicians wrote their emergency edicts, some of which are incredibly detailed, quickly, not wanting to be blamed if mass death followed.  Figuring out who the people are who still need to be shielded from the Chinese contagion and balancing competing interests in society while making a plan for the liberation of the country has to be easier than policing an America that has been turned into a minimum-security prison. [...] The politicians are listening and they're beginning to get worried.  They took draconian steps because it's what they thought you wanted.  Now you need to correct that impression if you want your God-given freedoms back.

First Amendment at a Tipping Point on Easter Sunday 2020.  Everyone should pause for a moment during the current craziness and read the full text of the First Amendment again.  The genius of our founding fathers is more evident in the full text of the First Amendment than in perhaps any other freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  And as we approach the most important holiday of the year in America's founding faith — Easter — let it sink in that nearly every state has now abolished every one of our rights encompassed in the First Amendment.  We're entering truly scary territory due to our backward response to an historic threat. [...] Without blinking an eye, 41 states abolished the free exercise of religion (except for in mosques, of course) and the right of the people to peaceably assemble.  Church services have been declared "nonessential" in many states.  A pastor in Florida was arrested for defying his states' order and continuing to hold services during the shutdown.

You Might Go to Prison for Singing in a Livestream Church Service in This California County.  Banning music sounds like something out of a dystopian nightmare, but in a northern California county, singing or playing wind instruments — even a harmonica — during a livestream video event can get citizens fined or thrown in prison.  This limitation expressly applies to a worship team's efforts to praise God in a church sanctuary, even if they are spaced out 6 feet apart and even though the order only allows four people in a sanctuary at once.  Mendocino County issued its current health order on April 10.  Near the top, the order includes a warning:  "Please read this Order carefully.  Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both."

"Our basic rights do not go away during a pandemic!"
First Amendment Fail — Raleigh Police:  "Protesting is a non-essential activity".  Our Founding Fathers never once said that the rights given to us by our Creator go out the door in the case of a viral pandemic.  In other words, the Constitution still exists and it still protects us from tyrants.  The Raleigh Police Department had the nerve to tell someone on Twitter that protesting is a non-essential activity. [...] The right to protest and freely assemble is absolutely an essential activity!  Do you know why the Founding Fathers added the freedom of assembly into the amendment?  The tyrannical English monarchy also did not find protesting or freedom to assemble an essential activity.  Quaker William Penn faced charges for simply preaching in public in 1670.  The jury found him innocent, but it made the citizens realize that they have a right to assemble.

Raleigh Police Shut Down #ReOpenNC Protesters In Their Cars, Claim 'Protesting Is A Non-Essential Activity'.  On Tuesday morning, the Raleigh Police Department shut down approximately 100 protesters with the libertarian group #ReOpenNC. The majority of protesters were demonstrating from their cars, abiding by North Carolina's social distancing guidelines.  The group gathered to protest Gov. Roy Cooper's executive order shutting down the state until further notice.  While many governors have given constituents an end date to shelter-in-place orders, Cooper signed North Carolina's order until he decides to rescind it.  "This Executive Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until rescinded," it reads.

Michigan Bans 'All Public and Private Gatherings,' Will Still Allow Lottery Sales.  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an updated stay-at-home order — arguably the most constraining in the nation.[...] Some of the levers at Whitmer's disposal appear to be ineffective at best and draconian at worst.  Her directive forbids the in-store sale of paint, outdoor goods, and other allegedly nonessential items. (Home improvement stores can remain open, but they have to tape off those sections from customers.) It shuts down lawncare services.  It bans travel between Michigan residences.  It prohibits "all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household."  The order carves out a few exceptions, including for critical infrastructure workers and for those who have to take care of a relative.  Critics honed in on the lopsided nature of the order, which blocks the sale of all sorts of goods yet somehow still allows for the purchase of lottery tickets.

Under Pandemic Lockdowns, Bartending Is Illegal.  Is This the New Prohibition?  For bar culture, this is the darkest time since Prohibition.  Consuming alcohol is still legal, but bars and bartending as we have long known them are not.  Pubs everywhere have either shut down entirely or found themselves limited to takeout and delivery service.  The pandemic lockdowns have destroyed our ability to imbibe with friends and strangers, to enjoy the silent comforts of a cheap beer or a well-made cocktail, or to have conversations mediated by oak bartops and the taste of whiskey rather than the dim-blue glow of a screen.  They have destroyed an industry — and a community.

Here's One Thing Officials Can Do to Make Lockdown Life Better:  Stop Being Hypocritical Tyrants.  The sheer scale of the problems we face was unthinkable a few weeks ago and seemingly inescapable now.  Into this crisis has stepped not a generation of serious and sober leaders rising to the moment, but a whole bunch of opportunists who are happily flying their tinpot tyrant flag.  And it needs to stop, right now.  It's making a really bad, no good and quite terrible situation even worse.  Too many of our elected and unelected officials are acting like toddlers testing their boundaries. [...] There are the officials who decided Easter weekend was a good opportunity to start messing with churches struggling like everyone else to deal with the new reality.  California's Mendocino County is banning church singing on a livestream.  How does this help stop the spread of coronavirus?  Kentucky's Democrat governor took to taking down Christians' license plates for going to church in their cars.  How does this help halt the virus from spreading?  It doesn't.

Gretchen Whitmer Desperately Tries to Justify Her Orwellian Orders and Embarrasses Herself.  Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer must be feeling the heat from her own draconian methods of dealing with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak as she's now trying to explain why it's not so bad and not doing a very good job of it.  Appearing on "Today," Whitmer explained that her orders to stop people from doing everything from traveling to their own properties in different parts of the state to planting gardens within the bound of their own home won't be that big of a deal because [...] there's snow on the ground.  Apparently snow justifies the suspension of Michiganders to do what they want on their own properties.

One Arrested as Raleigh, NC Police Suspend First Amendment; Declare Coronavirus Lockdown Protest "Non-Essential Activity".  Raleigh, North Carolina police suspended the First Amendment Tuesday [4/14/2020], dispersing a protest against the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus lockdown and arresting one protester for failing to disperse.  The police issued a statement declaring "Protesting is a non-essential activity" that was in violation of an executive order by Governor Roy Cooper (D) prohibiting mass gatherings.

Coronavirus Authoritarianism Is Getting Out of Hand.  It's reasonable to assume that the vast majority of Americans process news and data, and calculate that self-quarantining, wearing masks, and social distancing make sense for themselves, their families, and the country.  Free people act out of self-preservation, but they shouldn't be coerced to act through the authoritarian whims of the state.  Yet this is exactly what's happening.  There has been lots of pounding of keyboards over the power grabs of authoritarians in Central and Eastern Europe.  Rightly so.  Yet right here, politicians act as if a health crisis gives them license to lord over the most private activities of America people in ways that are wholly inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the Constitution.  I'm not even talking about national political and media elites who, after fueling years of hysteria over the coming Republican dictatorship, now demand Donald Trump dominate state actions.  I'm talking about local governments.

Authorities begin enforcing shelter in place order with fines up to $1,000.  Some Bay Area residents are learning the hard way - violating the stay at home order can be costly.  But it really depends on where you are in the Bay Area.  Different cities and counties are enforcing the orders in their own way.  At Sea Cliff beach in Santa Cruz County, a San Jose woman who wished to remain anonymous was cited Thursday [4/9/2020] after snapping a photo during what she called a "mental break" from the confines of home.  "A sheriff's officer pulled up and told us that he was going to give us a citation for breaking the shelter in place," she said.

Behind the curtain of corona-madness.  Democrats and their fake news media enforcers cruelly created corona-madness as a weapon to further their failed transformation of America.  In their dream, America, government controls every aspect of our lives and the God of Christianity is banned.  Louisville mayor Greg Fischer decreed that he will not even allow a church to have drive-in parking lot Easter worship services.  Thank God the church is suing his dictatorial derrière.  Drive-in worship services are banned in Raleigh, N.C. Wake County even forbade a pastor from visiting his church members in hospitals and rest homes.  In Greenville, Mississippi, church members were given $500 tickets for sitting in their cars listening to their pastor's sermon on the radio.  Elmira, N.Y. has banned worship services in church parking lots.  Most arrogantly unconstitutional of all, NYC mayor de Blasio threatened to close churches forever.  We are talkin' tyrannical abuse of power on steroids.  Kentucky police recorded the license plates of churchgoers to fine them.

Greenie Gretchen's great war on garden seeds.  Within every liberal, there's a totalitarian dictator, screaming to get out, to paraphrase the great David Horowitz.  Nowhere is that more evident than in the case of Michigan's ambitious left-wing Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer.  She's declared war on garden seeds, forbidding their purchase from big box retailers now that there's a pandemic on, arbitrarily claiming they're not "essential."  This, from a governor who claims, of all things, to be a green, putting "climate change" at the "heart" of her governorship.  That's some green — a green who advocates for brown, at least among the locals.  Seems that changing the world "one act at a time," not to mention "growing local" and "going organic," isn't as important to her as being a tyrant and winning the approval of the Democratic establishment in D.C.  Oh, and she's widely touted as vice presidential material for doddering Joe Biden.  Imagine her giving orders at a national level with this record.

The Coronavirus Is Exposing Little Tyrants All Over The Country.  There's nothing like a crisis to bring clarity.  The response of some mayors and governors to the coronavirus pandemic in recent days has made it clear they think they have unlimited and arbitrary power over their fellow citizens, that they can order them to do or not do just about anything under the guise of protecting public health.  We've now witnessed local and state governments issue decrees about what people can and cannot buy in stores, arrest parents playing with their children in public parks, yank people off public buses at random, remove basketball rims along with private property, ticket churchgoers, and in one case try — and fail — to chase down a lone runner on an empty beach.  All of this, we're told, is for our own good.  The most egregious example of this outpouring of authoritarianism was an attempt by Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor Greg Fischer to ban drive-in church services on Easter.

Kentucky worshippers met with nails in road as they defy coronavirus lockdown.  A Kentucky church defied coronavirus-lockdown orders to hold a packed Easter Sunday service — despite a heavy police presence and even nails blocking the parking lots, according to a report.  Maryville Baptist Church appeared to have a near-full house for its Sunday service despite orders to avoid in-person services — and the heightened risk of catching COVID-19, the Louisville Courier Journal said.  Worshippers arrived even after police warned that they would record their car plates to force them into 14-day quarantines.  Many — including the defiant pastor, Rev. Jack Roberts — arrived with their plates covered, with officers instead recording their VIN numbers, the paper said.

Churchgoers Show up for Easter Services, Met With Nails and the Police After Governor Forbid Public Gatherings.  Some folks in Kentucky were determined to go to Easter services today, despite the order of the Governor of Kentucky Andy Beshear against public gatherings during the pandemic.  The Governor had threatened to record license plate numbers and then order a 14-day quarantine for anyone in attendance.  But that didn't stop folks at the Maryville Baptist Church from attending.  But the parishioners found a surprise on the ground in the parking lot — nails at every entrance — obviously an intended effort to hurt the cars of the folks in attendance.

Welcome to Kentucky.  [Thread reader]  I'm at Maryville Baptist Church, which continues to hold in-person services despite orders to cease.  This morning, piles of nails have been scattered at every entrance.  A few guys have finished cleaning all the nails up with about an hour to go until Sunday School.  The parking lot, cleaned of nails, is fast filling with cars now.  At least 2 have covered their license plates to avoid quarantine orders.  The church has set up a speaker outside and is playing the service through it.  "We shall rise."

Taking a bit out of crime!
KSP records license plates of Maryville Baptist churchgoers from in and out of Ky..  Despite governor's orders to postpone or cancel in-person mass gatherings in the state of Kentucky, Maryville Baptist Church hosted Easter services inside their church Sunday morning.  Bullitt County health officials had continued to urge Maryville Baptist Church to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.  Their efforts had been unsuccessful, and on Sunday morning, cars were lined up in the parking lot to celebrate Easter in-person at the church.


A police state scene out of China appears in the United States.  [Two video clips]  In both China and our country, the individuals being removed resisted the authorities, but they were ultimately defenseless against a small army of state enforcers.  You tell me "social distancing' hasn't become a relatively benign expression for a dangerous experiment in government control?  Just wait until the left comes to power.  This is just a dry run to soften us up.  Trump had better grab the reins, because it appears that a handful of "experts" are running and ruining the country.

The Rise of Karen-ism Means This Lockdown Nonsense Needs To End Soon.  When you have some petty official commanding Christians not to gather together in worship, that's a line that they don't get to cross.  No official gets to ban religious services.  My church is doing its services by video, because that's what we decided.  Government officials don't get to decide.  The question of whether they can ban religious services got decided by the First Amendment, and while they may think it's a really, really good idea to tell us what to do, they don't get to.  As federal judge Justin Walker put it in a powerful opinion that every American of any faith, or no faith, should read in its glorious entirety:  On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter.  That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of The Onion.  But two days ago, citing the need for social distancing during the current pandemic, Louisville's Mayor Greg Fischer ordered Christians not to attend Sunday services, even if they remained in their cars to worship — and even though it's Easter.  The Mayor's decision is stunning.  And it is, "beyond all reason," unconstitutional.

Enough Already With The Help.  As Benjamin Franklin said:  "Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."  Franklin recognized a false trade-off when he saw one.  It took yours truly only a couple weeks to see the same picture.  Every freedom you give up makes you more vulnerable, not safer.  There are two ways despots comes to power.  One is to kill their way into control.  The more insidious way is to promise to "take care of you."  Wannabe despots don't bother explaining the fine print: "They will decide what's good for you, once you've handed that power over to them."

The Worst Governor in America.  One word keeps recurring in online discussions of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's latest orders to fight the state's raging COVID-19 outbreak:  "Insanity."  Last week, the first-term Democrat issued an order extending the state's stay-at-home policy, which had been set to expire April 15, until May 1. [...] But the devil is in the details, and Whitmer's new order instantly provoked a firestorm of outrage.  Among the complaints was that Whitmer had prohibited sale of seeds and other garden supplies, at a time when vegetable gardens need to be planted.  Executive Order 2020-42 is titled, "Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life," and is quite specific about which activities are and are "not necessary." [...] So if Grandma went to Walmart for groceries and hoped to pick up some tomato plants or cucumber seeds while she was there — sorry, Grandma!  You could get a thousand-dollar fine and 90 days in jail for disobeying Whitmer's orders.

Mississippi church sues police after congregants ticketed during drive-in service.  A Mississippi church is suing the city of Greenville after police shut down its drive-in service this week in accordance with a city ban on the practice amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom filed the lawsuit Friday on behalf of the Temple Baptist Church.  The filing challenges Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons' April 7 executive order that prohibits drive-in church services until a statewide shelter-in-place order is lifted.  The suit comes after eight uniformed Greenville police officers reportedly issued $500 tickets to congregants who refused to leave a parking lot where a drive-in service was being conducted Wednesday, the ADF said in a statement announcing the legal challenge.

[The sale of] Fruit and vegetable plants [is] 'nonessential' under [the] governor's order.  An extended "stay at home" order by Governor Gretchen Whitmer bans selling fruit and vegetable plants.  Workers at greenhouses and nurseries say that makes no sense.  The governor wants people to restrict their trips from home to getting the essentials such as fuel and food.  Retail garden centers have been ordered to close temporarily.  Callie Gafner works at a small garden center.  She says banning fruit and vegetable plants does not help limit the spread of COVID-19.  "If you're growing them yourself, you're reducing the contact between people because you're not going anywhere.  You're going out in your own garden and picking them up rather than going into the store and coming into contact with how many people?" Gafner explained.

Indiana Governor To Churches:  Worship As I Say Or Be Shut Down.  It is a fundamental aspect of constitutional law and historic American practice that no government may tell citizens how to worship.  How one worships is a sacred duty that our laws and traditions have reserved entirely to the individual's conscience, completely outside of the bounds of government interference.  Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, however, has decided that this natural right secured in both the Indiana and national constitutions is something he is allowed to waive.  Yesterday afternoon [4/9/2020], he demanded that churches perform services according to his edicts or be subject to government punishment.  His requirements are not only unconstitutional because they trespass on the constitutionally secured individual right to worship, they are discriminatory because they place restrictions on churches that do not apply to other organizations, groups of people, and establishments.  The governor is telling Christians how worship must be done and with stricter rules than for all other public gatherings.

Liberal Mayor:  You're Not Allowed To Attend Drive-In Church Service.  Judge Disagrees.  When a Christian church in Louisville, Kentucky, was told they were not allowed to attend Easter Sunday church service in their vehicles, the group sued the liberal mayor giving the order, and the city.  A federal judge ruled Saturday that the church was right about their religious liberties being violated, permitted the establishment to hold drive-up service, and offered a firm rebuke of the mayor for attempting to "criminalize" the "celebration of Easter."  On Fire Christian Church sued Mayor Greg Fischer and the city on Friday [4/10/2020], arguing the mayor's order banning drive-up service was in violation of their First Amendment rights, particularly since the churchgoers would be practicing safe "social distancing" recommendations.  According to Courier Journal, U.S. District Judge Justin Walker wrote in a temporary restraining order:  "On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter."

Illinois State Police Warn Worshippers Who Attend Church On Easter Sunday Could Face Charges, Including 'Reckless Conduct'.  The police said that they will not be storming churches that violate the governor's stay-at-home order, but that charges could come "down the line."  Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order prohibits all gatherings of ten people or more through April 30, including church services.  Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly announced the potential for charges on Thursday [4/9/2020].

DOJ: 'Expect action' on government regulation of religious services amid COVID-19 outbreak.  The Justice Department (DOJ) may take action next week against local governments that have cracked down on religious services as widespread parts of the country are shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, a DOJ spokesperson said Saturday [4/11/2020].  "While social distancing policies are appropriate during this emergency, they must be applied evenhandedly [and] not single out religious [organizations]," DOJ Director of Communications Kerri Kupec tweeted.  She said the Attorney General William Barr is "monitoring" such regulations.  The DOJ move would come as some churches are standing up to city governments that have blocked them from holding in-person services during the outbreak — even in "drive-in" formats that keep people separated and in their own cars.

Judge Grants Temporary Restraining Order Against Louisville Mayor's Drive-In Church Ban.  Judge Justin Walker on Saturday granted a temporary restraining order against Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's drive-in church ban on behalf of On Fire Christian Church.  Mayor Fischer doesn't want churches to host drive-in Easter services because somehow people parked in their cars with their windows rolled up risk spreading the Coronavirus.  The First Amendment is under siege right now and Christians across the US are being heavily persecuted by crazed government officials.  It's about time a judge legally slapped down this mayor for targeting Christians.

It's a Wuhan Virus Easter.  Some states clearly have gone too far.  In Mississippi, worshippers who attended a church service sitting in their cars with the windows rolled up and listening to their pastor on their car radios were fined.  In New York a cop demanded a married couple sitting on a park bench near each other maintain six feet of distance even though they explained they were married and lived together.  Not every gubernatorial diktat was smart nor was everyone hired to enforce it intelligent or reasonable.  States that are not densely populated and have few infectious cases can and should have less onerous restrictions than states where the virus is raging.  That's one of the most important lessons of federalism:  Localities can and should tailor laws to suit the circumstances where they live.

Democrats seem to be enjoying this authoritarian moment.  In Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear has announced that if people attend Easter services, the police will photograph their license plates and summarily impose a 14-day quarantine on church attendees.  Governor Beshear is a Democrat.  The Kentucky governor is not alone.  In the city of Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer has ordered his police department to write down license plate numbers of those who attend Easter services so the attendees can be locked down in quarantine.  Mayor Greg Fischer is a Democrat.  In Greenville, Mississippi, people who sat in their cars, with the windows rolled up, in a church parking lot to listen to their pastor give a sermon on the radio received $500 tickets.  These tickets weren't given just to the driver.  They were given to every person in the car.  Greenville mayor Errick Simmons is a Democrat.

Authoritarian Overreach Is Unnecessary to Fight the Pandemic.  It is the history of the United States that courts do not enter the fray while executive officials are grappling with a crisis — war, natural catastrophe, plagues.  The constitutional issues attendant to the inevitable police-power excesses will not be settled until after the crisis has subsided.  But the legal dispositions are secondary.  As a practical matter, the nation's federal, state, and municipal governments, deploying all their police agencies, could not conceivably enforce quarantines, social-distancing, and interstate travel restrictions against 330 million Americans absent the vast public's assent.  At a certain point, a free people — nearly 17 million of whom have now filed unemployment claims in an economy that was booming just a month ago — comes to realize that the de Blasios are pleaders, not rulers.  Common sense emerges in the clarity of lives torn asunder by willful acts of elected officials and faceless bureaucrats.  Our DNA reminds us that governments derive their just powers only from the consent of the governed.

Philadelphia man not wearing face mask seen being dragged off bus.  A viral video shows police dragging a Philadelphia man off a bus on Friday, seemingly in violation of coronavirus policy at the time.  The video, recorded Friday [4/10/2020], shows the man fighting the police as they lift him up and off of the bus.  He repeatedly shouts at them before demanding their badge numbers.  The man was not arrested or issued a citation.  [Video clip]  One passenger was asked to leave despite wearing a bandana over his face, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested is a viable alternative.

Philadelphia cops drag man off bus for not wearing mask amid coronavirus.  The coronavirus crackdown on social distancing just might be going a bit too far.  This, after a group of cops physically removed a man from a public bus Friday morning [4/10/2020], all of it caught on video by a bystander with a cellphone.  The man's crime:  Not wearing a face mask while hopping on the bus for his morning commute.  As CBSPhilly.com reports, the incident is now under investigation by Philadelphia police.

Also posted under The police state on wheels.

Dr. Anthony Fauci:  National Immunity ID Cards May Be Needed.  This stuff is nuts.  People are seriously becoming unstable with this stuff.  In the latest batch of insanity apparently there is a movement toward a registration system where people will be designated as "immune" or "vaccinated"; and only with appropriate and verifiable registry ID's will citizens be permitted to engage in society.

Fauci suggests Americans should 'carry immunity papers' to 'prove' they are virus-free.  You know, we've been trying to cut Dr. Anthony Fauci a little slack with all of this coronavirus doom-and-gloom because it appears as though President Donald Trump trusts him.  But our patience with the president's lead virus task force health official just ran out.  Fauci appeared on CNN's "New Day" Friday [4/10/2020] — despite reports that the task force leader, Vice President Mike Pence, was banning appearances on that network — and was spoon-fed a loaded question from co-host Alisyn Camerota, who obviously would look much better wearing an "SS" uniform.  She asked Fauci if he could "imagine a time where Americans carry certificates of immunity" — as in, 'Show me your papers, please,' a la Nazi Germany or the former Soviet Union.  Fauci thinks that's certainly doable.

Your papers, please!
Dr. Anthony Fauci:  Americans could eventually carry certificates of immunity to coronavirus.  Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday [4/10/2020] said it's possible that Americans could eventually carry around certificates of immunity to the coronavirus once proper testing is widespread enough.  "That's possible," Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN's "New Day."  "It's one of those things that we talk about when we want to make sure that we know who the vulnerable people are and not," he said.  "This is something that's being discussed.  I think it might actually have some merit."

The expiration date on the "essential business only" doctrine has passed.  The most recent data I could find from the New York Times says that currently residents in at least 38 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and an additional 14 other major cities not in a participating state have been placed under "stay-at-home" directives from authorities in an attempt to quell the spread of COVID-19.  For those keeping track at home, that amounts to nearly 300 million people in our country who are being told not to go to school, or work, or anywhere, unless it is absolutely necessary.  There are exceptions, of course.  "Essential businesses" are exempted in all of these areas.  But what constitutes an "essential business?"  The truth is there is no fair or reasonable way for any governing authority to make such a determination, at least not for the length of time we are already enduring.

If You Like WuFlu Confinement, You'll Love Biden's Promised Green Prison.  [Scroll down]  If there's one thing Americans have always understood, it's this:  where speech and religion and personal defense are all outlawed, be an outlaw.  I, for one, welcome this grand display of government intrusion from coast to coast.  Unlike the invisible Chinese virus hunting us surreptitiously, this overbearing application of government force is right out in the open for all to see.  The more unscrupulous Democrat mayors openly brag about shutting down private businesses, banning gun ownership, and ripping congregants from church pews.  They're closing every house of worship in sight until their constituents learn to supplicate at the steps of City Hall and nowhere else!  Democrats are always gravely warning about creeping fascism from others, but they insist we ignore the rank smell of authoritarianism emanating from their every local executive order.  Lone drivers are pulled over for no other reason than to remind the riffraff that they are powerless before their local lords; neighbors are enticed by official favor and bounty to snitch on isolated joggers running through their streets; married nonagenarians are forcibly separated "for their own good."

Democrat Governor Recording License Plates Of Easter Sunday Churchgoers, Ordering Them To 14-Day Quarantine.  If you're attending a church service on Easter Sunday in Kentucky, the governor has ordered authorities to take down your license plate and report you to local health departments; you will then be ordered to a 14-day quarantine.  Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear "said local officials are being directed to record license plate numbers of participants to pass to local health departments," Kentucky.com reported Friday evening.  "Those who attend these gatherings can expect public health officials to show up at their doors with mandates that they self-quarantine for 14 days, the governor said."  "If you're going to expose yourself to this virus, it's not fair to everybody else out there that you might spread it to," the Democrat said Friday.  "Understand, this is the only way we can ensure your decision doesn't kill somebody else."

The Editor says...
This sounds to me like "an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Democrat Kentucky Governor Announces Plan to Record License Plates of Easter Church Goers and Force Them to Self-Quarantine for 14 Days.  The state of Kentucky is cracking down on Easter weekend worshippers by recording the license plates of people who attend services and forcing them to "self-quarantine" for two weeks afterwards.  The action is to discourage people from attending services.  In a statement provided to the Gateway Pundit, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul slammed the governor's plan.  "Taking license plates at church?  Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday?  Someone needs to take a step back here," Senator Paul said.

Mike Huckabee Files Federal Lawsuit Against County and Law Enforcement For Blocking Use of His Private Beach During Coronavirus Lockdown.  Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has filed a lawsuit against Walton County in Florida, and their Sheriff's Office, for threatening to arrest him and his neighbors if they use their private beaches.  Huckabee teamed up with several other residents to file a federal complaint over a county ordinance that closed all beaches, including the ones on private property, which they contend stops them from "being able to use or even set foot in their own backyards."

Tucker Carlson blasts 'mindless and destructive measures' imposed in response to coronavirus.  Tucker Carlson addressed some unanswered questions that have arisen from the coronavirus pandemic Friday, asking why America's leaders are making the choices they are during the crisis and questioning whether the country chose the right path in response. [...] Carlson criticized some of the responses to the virus by government leaders, saying "it would have been nice if the authorities had learned a lot more about it before they took such dramatic steps in response to it.["] [...] "Our leaders chose the Chinese model," Carlson went on.  "With every passing day, the response becomes more restrictive.  Requests that people stay indoors have become orders that people stay indoors.  People are being fined and arrested for driving alone, for playing catch in the park, for paddleboarding on the ocean.  How are measures like that keeping us safe?  The short answer is we have no idea that they are keeping us safe."

Crazed Michigan Governor Now Tells Home Depot to Shut Down Unnecessary Flooring, Tiles and Garden Centers.  In late March Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer limited access of doctors from prescribing the lifesaving drugs hydroxychloroquine and Z-Paks to save senior citizens in the state from coronavirus.  Hydroxychloroquine and Z-Paks have are widely used by doctors the world over to treat the coronavirus.  Democrat lawmaker Karen Whitsett said she had to beg for hydroxychloroquine that saved her life because her tyrannical governor limiting access to the drug with an executive order!  Now the far left governor is banning travel between homes for Michigan residents!  So kids can no longer play at their friends' house.  Families cannot travel for Easter.  And now the Democrat governor is calling on Home Depot and Lowes to shut down to close certain sections like flooring, garden centers and plant nurseries.

The Editor says...
Home Depot sells chewing gum at the checkout stand.  Is that really necessary?  In a free country, such a decision is left up to the consumer.  If I want to spend my quarantine time spreading fertilizer, why shouldn't I?

March Madness Without The Basketball.  As of April 1, 38 states and the District of Columbia had announced quasi-martial law, ordering residents to shelter at home except for "essential" purposes such as grocery shopping and medical appointments.  Around 297 million are affected by such orders, and people are already being arrested for violating the legally dubious restrictions.  A man in Charles County, Maryland, was arrested for disobeying Gov. Larry Hogan's order that people not congregate in groups of more than 10.  Hogan said the man's arrest for hosting parties "sends a great message to folks out there that we aren't playing around."  Some communities have gone even further:  Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatened individuals with arrest for going on runs and bike rides that police deem too long, while Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo sent the National Guard door-to-door to find fleeing New Yorkers and effectively place them under two-week house arrest.  Churches across America are being shuttered.  New York Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to permanently close any church or synagogue holding services in violation of his emergency order.

Stop this unconstitutional WuFlu insanity.  What manner of hubris is this, that computer 'what if' modeling has suddenly become the standard for violating the Constitutional rights given us in that founding document?  Suddenly, we can't worship; we can't 'peaceably assemble'; we can't travel?  Because of faulty computer modeling hysteria?  Unless martial law has been declared, no such powers exist for our government to take away our constitutional freedoms in such a manner:  even then, without good cause.  'What if' computer modeling IS NOT GOOD CAUSE.  Because, by that standard, EVERY civil right we're guaranteed could be abridged.

New order bans 'travel between residences,' with a few exceptions.  After Friday, Michigan residents will no longer be able to jump in the car — or cross the street — to visit friends and relatives inside the state, or to go to the cottage Up North, with limited exceptions.  That is one of the major changes in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's "stay home" order, issued Thursday [4/9/2020], which also extends the expiration of the order to May 1.

Coronavirus COVID-19: Public Health Apocalypse or Panic and Anti-American?  [Scroll down]  State governors seem almost in a race to see who can cause the most dramatic removal of basic constitutional liberties.  Some states have police officers pulling people over to quiz them where they are going.  Some businesses have printed papers that their employees carry to show they are going to work in an essential business.  All of this for a projected 5909 deaths from the virus!  All of this is reminiscent of Nazi and communist state control of people.  It seems to be working; with their willing accomplices in the media, Americans at this time are seemingly eager to exchange their freedom for what they believe to be security and safety.  What they don't realize is if this is allowed to continue, they will lose their security, safety and their freedom.  What will happen with the next epidemic?  Will we do this for the next outbreak of flu?  Or Strep?  Or drug overdoses?  What type of precedent will this set?  Federal and state leaders are using bad public health policy to promote even worse regulation.  Several have remarked that this epidemic offers those who wish to subdue the population an excellent way to see what works and how long it takes to corral people into almost total submission; it's taking about a month.

San Francisco:  Journalist Gets $369,000 After Cops Raided His Home & Kidnapped Him For Refusing To Name His Source.  In the land of the free, journalists are raided by SWAT teams in an effort to find out their sources and this is in spite of the law protecting journalists from this very act.  Freelance journalist Bryan Carmody fell victim to the police state in California last year as multiple San Francisco cops with sledge hammers and weapons began breaking down his door in an effort to find out his source for a leaked police report.  Now, the taxpayers of San Francisco will be paying him $369,000 for it.

It's time to end the great American COVID-19 police state.  We now have the most severe, widespread, and protracted form of martial law in our nation's history ... except as it applies to dangerous criminals who are undeterred and released.  How much worse will we allow this to get until we call a foul on these gross constitutional violations?  As I observed last week, states have wide latitude to forcibly quarantine individuals or groups of people from the general population.  But they don't have the power to shut down the entire general population.  Also, as the Supreme Court has said many times, there are times when life, liberty, and property can be infringed upon, but it must be narrowly tailored to the least invasive means needed to achieve the compelling state interest.  What is happening now is anything but narrow. [...] At what point will we the people stand up to this capricious nonsense, especially as these same politicians release criminals and illegal aliens, while lying to us about the math and science behind their unilateral edicts? [...] Remember, if we don't rise up now, these tyrants are just getting started.

Ted Cruz Blasts Dems for Treating Americans Like We Live in a Police State.  Sen. Ted Cruz had had enough.  The Texas Republican — like much of the country — apparently has been watching the increasingly extreme steps being taken in some areas to keep residents from violating "social distancing" rules laid down by increasingly authoritarian governments.  But a story out of Pennsylvania apparently pushed him over the line.  Cruz was reacting to the story of a 19-year-old woman who, according to The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, was pulled over by Pennsylvania state troopers on March 29 for allegedly having a taillight out and then fined for failing to obey Democratic Gov. Tom Wolfe's "stay-at-home" order.  It's a violation that could mean a $200 fine, though the woman, identified as Anita Schaffer, told The Patriot-News she plans to fight it in court.

Colorado man handcuffed for playing T-ball with daughter in empty park.  A man in Brighton, Colo., is demanding an apology from the city's police department for handcuffing him in front of his daughter before briefly detaining him in a patrol car on Sunday.  The reason, per Denver TV station KDVR:  He was playing T-ball in an empty park.  Matt Mooney said a group of officers approached him, asked for his identification and said he was violating state social distancing guidelines.  There are no laws in Colorado banning people from going to parks, however; the park Mooney visited has a sign specifically allowing gatherings of fewer than five people.  Mooney's 6-year-old daughter and wife were with him.

Chuck Norris Warns of Rebellion, Martial Law if America's COVID Strategy Doesn't Change.  The nation is gripped with coronavirus panic, but there is also fear about what is going to happen to our freedoms and our economy once the crisis is over.  This pandemic has taken its toll on the United States and that is not lost on conservative actor Chuck Norris, who published an Op-Ed for WND wondering how long it would be until we were under martial law.  The actor said he believes in "being prudent and also being peaceful" but, he added, he had "tough questions" to ask.

Because all violent crime is completely under control...
Chicago Police to Conduct 'Roadside Safety Checks' to Educate Public About 'Stay-at-Home' Order.  Chicago police officers will conduct roadside safety and informational check points in each police district to provide information to motorists about the state of Illinois' ongoing "stay-at-home" order.  According to police, the checkpoints will take place beginning Tuesday night at 10 p.m.  The checkpoints will last approximately 45 minutes each night, and could take place between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.  The checkpoints will also be deployed on Wednesday and Thursday nights, according to the department.

The Editor says...
The police are always on the lookout for an excuse to stop passing motorists, look for drugs and weapons, check the expiration date on your inspection sticker and your license, and sniff around for alcohol and marijuana.  The current virus hysteria is merely a convenient justification to suspend the Fourth Amendment.  After all, what are you going to do about it?

Amid 'Mandatory Lockdown,' Baltimore Officials Approve Spy-Plane To "Collect Images Of City".  For years, we've been documenting how spy planes have been flying over the Baltimore Metropolitan Area, transforming the region into a surveillance state.  To refresh your memory, the federal government used spy planes to monitor the 2015 riots in Baltimore City.  Even before the planes, the military was flying massive spy blimps over the region to "detect cruise missiles."  What you're beginning to understand is that Baltimore has been the testing ground over the last decade of how the surveillance state, now being ushered in by the COVID-19 outbreak, will be built across major metro areas.  Aaron Kesel of ActivistPost laid it out beautifully, "coronavirus outbreak is proving to be the Trojan horse that justifies increased digital surveillance."  Baltimore is dealing with several public health crises at the moment, one is a murder epidemic, and the other is the COVID-19 outbreak.  Blend it all together, and the city is on the verge of turmoil.  Hence why the National Guard was called in several weeks ago, not just to assist local area hospitals dealing with an influx of virus cases and deaths, but also to maintain public order.

Does a Health Emergency Give Government the Extraordinary Power to Violate Our Rights?  [Scroll down]  What kind of a health emergency constitutes the execution of these "extraordinary powers," for example?  To what degree must the emergency threaten the public for the government to employ these "extraordinary powers" that it supposedly has the authority to wield at such times?  And how "extraordinary" can those powers become without excessively infringing upon our rights?  Which civil liberties does the government have the right to infringe in these circumstances, and which does it not?  Are there any that it does not have the right to infringe?  Is it just "health emergencies," or other kinds of emergencies, too?  If arbitrarily-defined "health emergencies" are reason enough for the government to exercise the vague "extraordinary powers" to violate certain civil liberties, then why wouldn't it be so for other kinds of emergencies?  Using this exact logic, a progressive might say, for example, that the spate of mass shootings in recent years constitutes a national emergency which threatens Americans' lives, and in times of such emergencies, "the government has extraordinary powers to confiscate firearms from Americans."  You don't have to fall far down the rabbit hole before concluding that what is implied by that suggestion is a logical vortex toward justifying tyranny, if only on occasion, and especially when the public is crazed with fear.

Albany's Dead-Of-Night Coronavirus Vote Gives Cuomo Sweeping New Emergency Powers.  In the wee hours of Tuesday morning [3/31/2020], the state legislature approved $40 million in emergency funding to help contain the COVID-19 outbreak in New York.  Buried within the legislation is a provision that has alarmed progressive lawmakers and advocates: an extraordinary, broad, and little-understood expansion of Governor Andrew Cuomo's emergency powers.  "I'm scared or concerned because I don't know what the governor has in mind," said Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, the longtime chair of his chamber's health committee.  With the support of both legislative leaders, the emergency funding bill overwhelmingly passed the Democrat-controlled Assembly and State Senate.  Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate Majority Leader, and Carl Heastie, the Speaker of the State Assembly, pushed for its passage, overriding the concerns of the health committee chairs in both chambers.

Beware The Creeps Who Enjoy Their New Pandemic Power.  The problem with people referring to this bizarre pandemic life limbo as "the new normal" is that there are people out there, both in and out of positions of responsibility, who are digging this opportunity to boss us around.  And it is troubling to see that there are a number of prominent folks who are in no hurry to curtail their ability to boss us around.  We need to note carefully who these people are and ensure that they never get a chance to control anything again.  You are starting to see more of that as this drags out.  You have got Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom and others thinking this is a great time to get our socialism on.  You also have functionaries — all of whom are still getting paychecks — who are way too eager to start issuing orders instead of relying on citizens to behave rationally.  We don't need to be ordered around, but they can't resist the ordering.

When the judge orders an ankle monitor so you don't break quarantine.  Returning to our continuing series on the limits of executive authority during times of declared emergencies, there is yet another potentially disturbing story coming to us from the state of Kentucky.  A Circuit Court judge there by the name of Angela Bisig has begun issuing orders for ankle monitors to be attached to persons who have been exposed to the novel coronavirus and subsequently refused to observe self-quarantine measures.  One person, in particular, a man only being referred to by the initials D.L. lives with an individual who has tested positive for the virus and another who is presumed to be positive.  But despite that fact, D.L. has reportedly been leaving home "often."  This resulted in the order for him to wear the tracking device for two weeks. [...] But once again, stupidity still isn't a crime.  Or at least it wasn't until we ran into a national crisis like this and governors began trampling on any number of constitutional rights, including restricting the free movement of citizens.

St. Louis Federal Reserve Head Says Americans Should Be Tested for COVID-19 Daily And Forced To Display a Badge on Their Clothing with the Result.  In an era when the government is using cell phone data to track our movements, drones to enforce compliance of lockdown orders, thermal imaging to monitor social distancing, pastors are getting arrested for hosting church, and ankle bracelets to ensure people stay quarantined, a Federal Reserve official proposed today yet another surveillance plan; daily coronavirus testing for every citizen, and we publicly display badges showing if we tested negative or positive.

Tyranny on Display - DC Police Shut Down The Wharf's Fish Market After Pics of Crowds Go Viral.  The DC police shut down The Wharf's Fish Market on Sunday [4/5/2020] after photos of crowds there went viral.  Washington, D.C., recently issued a very strict shelter-in-place order in response to the Coronavirus panic.  Residents may only leave their homes to go to the grocery store or to seek medical aid. [...] Apparently food is no longer essential in DC?

Tennessee Supreme Court Allows Police to Carry Out Warrantless, Suspicionless Searches of Probationers' Homes, Undermining Fourth Amendment.  Pushing back against government efforts to chip away at the privacy and security guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a state court decision allowing police to search the homes of probationers without any suspicion or justification.  In an amicus brief filed in Hamm v.  State of Tennessee, Institute attorneys have asked the Court to overturn a Tennessee court's ruling that police have carte blanche to search the residence of probationers, arguing that it violates the Fourth Amendment's overriding purpose to protect the sanctity and security of a person's home.

In What Sense Do You Think We Are Free?  Here's a sensible question.  If the mayor of the most notable metropolis in the country can openly suggest that the government has the right to permanently shutter the doors of a church if it refuses to comply with "social distancing" guidelines, or any other edict the government finds necessary in a given moment, then what can't the government do? [...] Consider this.  A junkie can wake up on a brisk morning in the streets of San Francisco, defecate on the sidewalk in plain view of onlookers, and insert a used needle into his arm to inject illegal narcotics into his veins.  The cops will make no effort to stop him, for, you see, that might be a violation of his supposed "rights." [...] Now, consider that he is far less likely to incur the attention of law enforcement, or even the news media, than you might incur for the crime of choosing to attend your local church, should it have the audacity to be open.  It is you, don't you understand, who is the public health menace.

Anthony Fauci goes nuts.  [Scroll down]  So when Fauci calls for a national order to keep every man, woman and child in America at home, behind closed doors, for the next 30 days or longer, he's only suggesting the best course of action that, in his medical opinion, would keep his patients — whom he's deemed to be all of America — safe and healthy, free of risks of catching the coronavirus.  But that doesn't mean he's right.  That doesn't mean his medical opinion ought to be taken as sacrosanct; all the other considerations — economic, political, social — tossed to the side as secondaries.  Americans are not lab rats, and America is not a science lab.  The country can't come to a grinding halt every time flu season approaches.  Because mark these words:  If we do it once, we'll be doing it again.  This season's coronavirus will be next season's something else.

President Trump needs to set the country free now.  It is very clear now exactly how this nation is divided:  Between those who love this country and the liberty and freedoms once guaranteed by our revered Constitution and those who hate this nation as founded and, like Rep. James Clyburn want to see it "restructured," socialized, communized.  A man was arrested in Malibu, CA for paddling by himself in the ocean.  He was endangering no one.  In a matter of a few weeks, we have become a police state, fascist and menacing.  The left now sees an opportunity to force upon us their regressive agenda which is far more deadly to us all than the Wuhan flu. [...] Wake up Americans!  We are by nature a civil and law-abiding people, but what we are being subjected to is monstrous.

Rebellion: 'This Is Not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia Where You Are Asked For Your Papers!' Says Maine Sheriff.  Maine's Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols has a strong message for the Governor of Maine, Janet Mills, who issued "stay-at-home" orders with threats of police punishment if not followed.  Sheriff Nichols issued a statement on the Franklin County Facebook page saying in no uncertain terms he will not follow the unconstitutional order.  "We will not be setting up a Police State.  PERIOD," he wrote.  "The Sheriff's Office will not purposefully go out and stop vehicles because they are on the road or stop and ask why people are out and about.  To do so puts our officers at risk.  This is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia where you are asked for your papers!"  The sheriff's announcement comes as a welcome sign to Americans who have been arrested for inane things like praying outside, surfing, or trying to drive to work.

Dallas County official:  Stay-at-home order will remain in place until April 30.  Hours after Dallas County Commissioners extended a disaster declaration until May 20, the county's top elected official announced on Twitter that the so-called "safer-at-home" orders would continue until April 30.  The late-afternoon tweet is a reversal after County Judge Clay Jenkins stressed early Friday that the strict restrictions he first established last month and were adopted by other large counties would be needed for at least 60 days based on the advice of hospitals and health experts.

Clyburn Defends Calling Coronavirus an Opportunity to 'Restructure Government'.  House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D., S.C.) on Friday defended his previous claim that coronavirus is a "tremendous opportunity" to advance Democratic policy goals.  "I find it kind of interesting that one of my colleagues said he has a problem with me because I'm a 'restructure government' person," Clyburn told Roll Call.  "Yes, Jim Clyburn is a restructuring government guy and everybody with any common sense, and looking at where we are today, needs to be a restructuring government person."  Clyburn has taken a prominent role in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D., Calif.) coronavirus response.  The speaker tapped the South Carolina Democrat on Thursday to lead her select oversight committee on coronavirus relief, which will monitor the billions in federal dollars spent fighting the pandemic.  Top Republicans criticized the decision, pointing to Clyburn's March comments calling the coronavirus "a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision."

How a Police State is Born.  Over the past four weeks and with little or no legal basis, one state governor has outbid another in their dramatic responses to the Coronavirus outbreak.  Invariably their actions revolve around the curtailing of individual freedom.  Arrest warrants are being issued for holding funeral services, fines are being levied for not maintaining proper distance, people are being arrested for holding gatherings of over ten people, fines and arrests are the order of the day for re-opening a business the state deems to be nonessential, and the national guard has been called out to enforce state borders and lockdowns.  Pastors have been arrested for holding worship services, and in New York City the mayor has threatened to permanently close any church, synagogue or mosque that violates his lockdown order.  The Second Amendment is under assault as 12 states either have ordered or are contemplating ordering all gun stores and retailers closed, thus depriving millions of their right buy a gun.  Neighbors and ordinary citizens, in the best tradition of the Soviet Union and Communist China, are being encouraged to inform the authorities if anyone they know is not adhering to state lockdown rules.  Stores, deemed essential by the state, are being told what in their inventory they can and cannot sell.

Seriously Unserious.  I live in Orange County, California.  Here's a sampling of what my leaders have done to impress — at least in their minds — the seriousness of COVID-19 upon me and my fellow citizens.  Locally, at 2:26 p.m. on March 17, we got an Order from the County (this Order and the aftermath all pre-dated the statewide shutdown, but is still instructive as to our leaders).  Here's what they ordered:  "Effective immediately... the following will be in effect in Orange County:  1. All public and private gatherings of any number of people, including at places of work... are prohibited."  Just to make sure you were paying attention, the County closed with a warning:  "this Order may be enforced by the Sheriff or chiefs of police."  Serious stuff.  Businesses were closed, effective immediately, and the cops could come after you for disobedience.  Where did this strong medicine come from?  This was the valid Order of Orange County's Health Officer.  Who is that and who elected her?  No one knew — before March 17 that is, when, suddenly, no one could go to work and each had ample time to Google this doctor who had just unemployed them.  Turns out she, ultimately, works for the County Board of Supervisors.  They are elected by the People.  But their bureaucrat doctor, seemingly without their approval, shut down by fiat all "non-essential" businesses in a county of over 3 million people.

Mandating a True Great Depression.  nother Thursday in the formerly free United States of America.  Now, we live in the terrified, scared, locked-down shadow of that America.  The streets are empty.  In Beverly Hills, Persians walk down the middle of the streets begging to be run over considering that so many rich kids here have Ferraris and McLarens.  Women run by with their ponytails swinging in the breeze.  But people are in a state of terror.  Out of their minds with fear.  Police give citations for walking in groups of more than two (that's in LA, not Beverly Hills).  The worst of it is the Ministry of Fear that is the combo of government and cable news — injecting dread into the national bloodstream.  I have stopped watching the news and its constant poisoning us with fear.  Our civil liberties are just a memory and all because of a virus that's very bad but not as bad as heart disease or cancer. [...] But we have 340 million people at least in America.  That's an infection rate (assuming 10 times reported cases) of roughly 5/7 of 1 percent.  The death rate is too low to be readily calculated.  But it's far less than what we got with the swine flu 10 years ago, and no one said a word about curtailing civil liberties over that.

Will Trump Betray Us after Corona?  Some people are stunned that government using computer models to predict high coronavirus deaths has many Americans willing to gift Democrats and fake news media their lifelong dream of ending the U.S. Constitution.  Panic-stricken citizens want everyone non-compliant with immediate dictatorial government demands thrown into jail.  Consequently, Democrats are behaving like power-drunk pirates, raping and pillaging our God-given and constitutional freedoms.  Incredibly, New York mayor de Blasio has threatened to close places of worship forever.  Virginia governor (supreme dictator) Northam decreed that residents stay at home until June 10, after the June 9 Republican primary.  Despite practicing CDC guidelines, a pastor was arrested for opening his church while the nearby Home Depot was packed with people.  Planned Parenthood dead-baby-body-parts-chop-shops deemed essential are allowed to remain open.  Across America, thousands of inmates are being released from prison because of the coronavirus.  Disease-infested tent city vagrants ignore corona restrictions while violators of stay-at-home orders are arrested.

Residents in Texas city can face $1,000 fine for not wearing 'some form of covering over their nose and mouth' after new motion.  Under a motion passed by the city council in Laredo, Texas, earlier this week, residents in the town can now face a fine of up to $1,000 for not wearing some form of covering on their nose and mouth in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.  According to the Laredo Morning Times, council members passed the motion in a vote earlier this week.  As part of the measure, all residents over the age of 5 are required to have their nose and mouth covered when entering public buildings, using public transportation and when pumping gas, the body said in a notice detailing the motion, which went into effect Thursday [4/2/2020].

Those Who Would Give Up Liberty for Safety, Deserve Neither.  To frame it in perspective, think of the indignity suffered by law-abiding New Orleans residents during Katrina being yanked out of their homes at gunpoint by government troops using the backdrop of tragedy to forcefully confiscate private arms.  Think of the search for the Boston bombers as government troops went door to door pulling people from their homes, conducting illegal searches in direct violation of their formidable 4th amendment rights.  Think of power-hungry Socialist governors using media coverage of a virus, forcing private businesses to close and putting millions of Americans out of work.  Not only does this threaten our economic survival but our constitutional right to bear arms during a time of media-driven hysteria, as well.  As the dinosaur media continue doing irreparable harm to the bedrock of our society by sowing the seeds of panic and fear over the coronavirus with incessant headlines and coverage worthy of a biblical apocalypse, the true nature of some politicians becomes evident.  None of these events in and of themselves, a storm, two terrorists, and now a virus, are the reason people were yanked from their homes, shut down their businesses, or lost everything they had.  On the contrary, it is the decisions made by a man or woman who has overstepped their legal and moral authority in their quest for power using the cover of these events to do so.

Using COVID-19 to Kill Vote Security.  Probably the worst part of the coronavirus lockdown is the realization that Americans will put up with virtually any edict, no matter how draconian, and any subsidy, no matter how ridiculous, if they are scared about their health and worried about the economy.  Our system will eventually return to normal, but we now know that it doesn't take much to jettison the country's various checks and balances and constitutional protections, at least temporarily.  We've got to be particularly careful, though, about activists and politicians who are using the coronavirus situation to push for far-reaching and permanent changes to our system.  One of the worst ideas now getting a serious hearing involves internet and app-based voting. [...] Yes, some reformers want Americans to vote using laptops and cellphones.  If such ideas get traction, however, it could mean the end of the integrity of our elections.

Governor Northam Closes Virginia Until Day After GOP Primary.  We had a call in the previous hour from woman in Cincinnati very, very worried that elections will never be the same because they're arbitrarily being canceled, delayed, shut down, and, in many cases, they're arbitrarily being delayed, shut down for the benefit of a particular political party. [...] Now, why did Governor Northam in Virginia choose Wednesday, June 10th, as the date that people can finally leave?  Well, guess what?  The Republican primary in Virginia is June the 9th.

Martial Law:  The Trial Balloon Abolishing Civil Liberties.  Many Americans are beginning to feel very uncomfortable with the destruction of our civil liberties.  Being locked in our homes for a couple weeks is one thing, but now New York Governor Cuomo is telling folks it may befour, six or nine months before this is over as the number of confirmed New York City cases surges past 15,000.  Cuomo warns 80 percent will get the virus over 9 months as Mnuchin tells 80m to prepare for 12-week shutdown.  That's not going to fly with the American people, or will it?  Have we become willing sheep being led to the socialist slaughter?  The communist conspiracy is attempting to create a new normal, a normal where citizens are comfortable asking for permission to leave their homes, to close their businesses, and give up their liberty for security.  Our entire economy will not exist after nine months; it is already gravely damaged after only a few weeks.

Floridians Feel The Brunt Of Big Brother.  The "new normal" in Florida hints at startling government encroachment against private property rights and individual human autonomy.  On March 30, Sunshine State Governor Ron DeSantis (R) issued a "Safer-at-Home" order for residents of three heavily populated southeast coast counties and Monroe County in the Florida Keys amid the Coronavirus health pandemic.  The move encourages millions of Floridians to stay inside and be aware of social-distancing protocol. [...] There is no evidence that individuals partaking of these isolated outdoor activities — private beach use, golfing at a private club, or boating — would be violating "social-distancing" directives issued by health officials, which restrict groupings of ten or more people.  Yet all these private pursuits are targeted, and residents are expected to comply, no questions asked. [...] As I stood on a railing by a Florida public beach the very same day this interview was posted on the CBS News website, a dark-painted helicopter swooped in and hovered low over the stretch of sand right near me for a full minute or two.  I gazed around.  Nobody was on the beach below the copter, although a couple of people sat on a section of private beach a bit further up.  Just as abruptly as it came, the helicopter sped off.  There weren't 100 people on the beach.  There weren't even four.  There were two.  And apparently they were on their own private property.

De Blasio threatens to permanently close places of worship that resist shutdown order.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned religious leaders that their places of worship could be shut down permanently if they did not follow the city's order to pause services during the coronavirus pandemic.  "A small number of religious communities, specific churches and specific synagogues, are unfortunately not paying attention to this guidance even though it's so widespread," the New York Democrat said Friday [3/27/2020] at his daily press briefing.  "I want to say to all those who are preparing for the potential of religious services this weekend:  If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services," he added.

New York Mayor Bill deBlasio Announces Immediate Government Suspension of First Amendment.  New York Mayor Bill deBlasio is officially attempting to establish himself as the United States first totalitarian dictator by announcing a revocation of all New York City citizen rights under the first amendment.  A stunning move. [...] In a stunning announcement Mayor deBlasio threatens that all religious services will be forcibly closed by city authorities "permanently" if they do not comply with the established dictates of city government.  [Video clip]

LAPD helicopter orders people to leave skate park or FACE ARREST as city bids to slow spread of coronavirus.  An LAPD helicopter circles over a skate park in the city and orders people leave or face arrest on Saturday [3/28/2020].  Video shows the helicopter circling and a voice over the tannoy saying:  "The park is closed.  If do not leave, will be arrested for trespassing."  [Video clip]

Couple charged with violating N.J. coronavirus lockdown, endangering kids after cops break up big lawn party.  A Lakewood couple who hosted a gathering Sunday [3/29/2020] of 40 to 50 people on the lawn and street in front of the home have been charged with five counts of child endangerment and the husband was charged with violating the ban on gatherings due to the coronavirus outbreak, authorities said.

Florida begins coronavirus checkpoints, threatens jail time for out-of-state travelers who don't self-quarantine.  Florida, falling short of statewide lockdown, is now screening travelers from the New York City area and Louisiana "hotspots" both at highway roadblocks and at airports, threatening them with 60 days in jail if they don't self-quarantine as the number of confirmed cases in the state peaks to over 4,200.  Gov. Ron DeSantis has so far refused to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, similar to those enforced in at least 22 other states, including California, New York and Illinois.  More than 4,200 confirmed cases, with at least 56 deaths were recorded in Florida on Sunday [3/29/2020].

Stop the COVID-19 Insanity Now.  It is the gross overreaction of certain government and business leaders to the Wuhan coronavirus of 2020, otherwise known as COVID-19, that is the danger to the United States, not the virus itself.  The abundance of data show that the virus is far less dangerous than the seasonal flu, and if the overreaction is not stopped and reversed immediately, it will severely damage the economy and the lives that depend on it. [...] So we should be asking questions that the hysteria promoting media are apparently avoiding:
  •   Why haven't states or the federal government ever taken these kinds of measures before for any other illness in history?
  •   If the country is not shut down because of the flu, and wasn't for the H1N1 swine flu of 2009, why shut it down for COVID-19?
  •   How do the confirmed case rates of growth and fatality rates of growth in states with business closures compare with states without business closures? [...]
  •   If shopping at grocery stores is allowed, why is shopping at any other store different?
  •   How is it moral to have the government prevent small businessmen and their employees from earning a living and then demand of them the tax money to pay government employees who are not working during that same period?
  •   Where can people find the constitutional authority for the federal or state governments to shut down businesses, and restrict gatherings and internal travel?

Report: 20% of Detroit Police Officers Are in Quarantine as Fears of Civil Unrest Grow.  Fear is growing in the Detroit Metro area, as word spreads that 20% of the city's police force is now under quarantine.  Citizens are now worried about massive civil unrest unfolding in the city.  Currently, Michigan is under a very strict statewide "lockdown."  All non-essential businesses are closed and if you're an "essential worker" you have a laminated paper you must keep with you in case you're pulled over so you can prove why you're on the road.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Expands Quarantine to Louisiana Travelers, Installing Checkpoints on Roads.  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is requiring travelers from Louisiana to self-isolate for 14 days and said the Florida Highway Patrol will install checkpoints on major roads to screen travelers from that area, he announced on Friday [3/27/2020].  DeSantis is imposing restrictions on travelers fleeing to Florida from Louisiana — particularly New Orleans, which is emerging as one of the hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak.

Colorado Governor Polis (D) issues stay-at-home decree.  Not one to let a good crisis go to waste, last night Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) issued a decree ordering all Coloradans to stay at home "due to the presence of COVID-19 in the state."  He made this order claiming authority under the Colorado Constitution and the Colorado Disaster Emergency Act.  Polis originally declared a state of emergency on March 10th.  The order, which took effect at 6 am this morning, was broadcast to cell phones at about 8 pm last night using the weather alert system and again this morning at 8 am.

Rhode Island National Guard To Conduct House-To-House Searches, Texas National Guard House-To-House Coronavirus Checkups.  On March 13th Around 400 National Guard personnel have been activated across six states to support operations to stem the spread of novel coronavirus, the National Guard Bureau said in a press release.  The governors of Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington have all activated components of their Army and Air National Guard.  Guardsmen in California and Maryland are also expected to join their states' efforts today.  Things have become even more serious and some conspiracy theories suggested that we are on our way to martial law.  Martial law is the imposition of direct military control of normal civilian functions by a government, especially in response to a temporary emergency such as invasion or major disaster, or in an occupied territory.

Trump Activates Armed Forces Reserves To Battle Coronavirus Pandemic — Up To 1,000,000 Individual Reservists.  President Donald Trump announced at Friday's coronavirus task force briefing that he has granted the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security the "authority to activate the ready reserve components of the Armed Forces" to help battle the pandemic.  "This will allow us to mobilize medical, disaster, and emergency response personnel to help wage our battle against the virus by activating thousands of experienced service members including retirees," Trump told the reporters gathered in the White House Brady Briefing Room.

The Editor says...
Is this for virus control, or population control?

Eating the Elephant.  There is no legal means by which to quarantine HEALTHY people, other than communist-level restrictions of liberty.  If we were a better educated people, it would be sufficient to request that we do the intelligent things to avoid any spread of the disease, but since the public school system has been utilized to convert logical intelligent people into obedient slaves of governmental dictates, these quarantines are the only means by which to ensure compliance.  Proceeding on the principle that no government has ever returned power once obtained from the people through deception, threat or overreaction we might as well recognize that these levels of restrictions will find a home within government power from now on.  Imagine how many "health issues" can be used to demand papers to allow travel.  How soon will "health" dictate that all travel is inherently dangerous and can be mitigated with permanent travel restrictions. [...] In one fell swoop of a minor pandemic the United States as a nation has abandoned both the republic and capitalism.  Individual rights are destroyed, never again to be seen as rational arguments against the power of the state.  Capitalism has lost out to the political and economic ideology of Soviet Russia allowing for such things as "travel permits" and sequestration of healthy individuals.

Rhode Island police "hunting down" New Yorkers fleeing the city.  With New York City in the grip of the novel coronavirus and looking more and more like a movie featuring Snake Plissken, many of the wealthier denizens of Gotham have been fleeing to vacation homes in nearby states with less viral activity.  As John recently noted, this has been getting on the nerves of many of the locals who aren't used to an influx of tourists over the winter months.  But now, the state of Rhode Island is taking things to another level.  The Governor has dispatched the police to "hunt down" any cars with New York license plates and they're looking to enforce a quarantine on any New Yorkers fleeing to her state.

COVID-19: Lakewood Police Crash Another Wedding.  Lakewood police cited yet another Jersey Shore wedding host for holding a large gathering during the coronavirus outbreak, authorities said.  Officers responding to another call Thursday saw 40 or so people gathered on Wayne Street, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said Friday [3/27/2020].  They issued a summons to local resident William Katzenstein, 39, for "violating any rule or regulation adopted by the governor," the prosecutor said.  Then everyone dispersed, he said.

The Left is Loving This.  Consider, for a moment, what ideas Americans seem to have generally accepted in the last few weeks. [...] Thirdly, this crisis appears to have nullified any devotion to the concept of individual liberty among Americans.  A friend in Chicago tells me that he and his young daughters daren't risk even walking to the park that his tax dollars built, as he risks a $500 fine for doing so.  The stiffest resistance encountered by the government officials imposing these infringements upon law-abiding citizens is the quiet grumbling that exists beneath all these loud sermons about "social distancing" and "flattening the curve."  And finally, as Americans are left unable to care for themselves because the government is prohibiting their free association in the economic marketplace, the government is now facilitating a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers as cash payments to Americans below certain income thresholds.

Watch LA Mayor Announce Spy Program to Threaten Open Businesses During COVID-19 Scare.  California is bracing for its turn as the nation's hotspot for the COVID-19 outbreak and the state's leaders are flexing their statist muscles with all manner of edicts, spy programs, and threats of prosecution.  The state is currently in shut-down mode, with only "essential businesses" open and people ordered to socially distance from other possible germ carriers.  Restaurants can serve only take-out orders, grocery stores require people to line up outside until the crowds thin out inside.  In the beach communities, "outsiders" are being told to stay out.  Hiking trails, parks and even the beaches — the open-air beaches — are closed.  In the City of Laguna Beach, where drones are forbidden for you to use in public, cops are using drones to monitor whether scofflaws have hit the beaches and if people are keeping a socially acceptable distances from others.  So ingrained are these admonitions that if you're seen walking in a group, citizens will think nothing of calling the cops.

State legislatures must convene to control governors' growing tyranny.  We all went along with the severe social distancing and the termination of all public gatherings to help safety during this epidemic.  Even this is no picnic, because it includes the cancellation of all religious services as well as school.  We must recognize the danger of unilateral executive actions halting the most sacred constitutional rights.  Nonetheless, it was clear that these first actions were called for and passed the rational basis test of using the policies least restrictive of liberty to achieve a vital state interest.  Now, however, that states are moving to indefinite lockdowns without presenting any evidence that this is needed, over and above the severe distancing, it's past time for us to ask questions.  Placing Americans indefinitely under house arrest without any due process, transparency, time limit, guidelines, or checks and balances on a single executive is something that should shake us to our core.  That is true even if we were dealing with Ebola and a 60 percent death rate.

Fear Makes It Easy for Governments to Expand Power.  The coronavirus epidemic has for the past couple of weeks compelled panicked households to flood grocery stores in search of basic goods.  Until this past weekend, however, US governments had refrained from using special powers to order forced business closures and curfews.  Autocratic responses to the health crisis, it seemed, were being put in place exclusively by authoritarian governments such as China's Communist Party, which managed to allegedly contain the spread of the virus through martial law — barricading people in their homes, arresting those who wouldn't comply with quarantine mandates, and issuing passports to households so that authorities could verify whether individuals leaving their homes had already used up their weekly stroll quotas.  Following an announcement from President Trump, however, things changed.  After several states declared a state of emergency, some states took further steps by ordering forced business closures.  Ohio, California, Washington, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Indiana ordered owners of bars, restaurants, and wineries to shut down.

In Virgina, Go to Church, Go to Jail.  The Governor of Virginia has decided to ban churches from gathering in groups of ten or more.  The executive order applies to all gatherings, not just churches, so it is arguable constitutional.  But it also directly infringes on the First Amendment right to assemble and to freely exercise one's religion.  It actually makes it a crime to meet for church. [...] Churches should use common sense and avoid gathering right now.  But it is a fundamental right under the Bill of Rights and the Governor should have used the moral power of his office to work with churches instead of the hard power of state demands.

Lightfoot threatens to shut down parks, lakefront, Riverwalk.  Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday made an extraordinary threat — to shut down Chicago parks, Millennium Park, the downtown Riverwalk and the entire lakefront — if residents and visitors continue to thumb their noses at the statewide stay-at-home order aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.  Lightfoot instructed Chicago Police officers to shut down large gatherings and threatened to use what she called "every lever at my disposal" to compel compliance.

Conservative Leaders:  Public Health Measures Must Still Protect Constitutional Rights of Americans.  The public health crisis facing the country is unprecedented, and a whole of government approach is underway.  However, using this crisis as a justification to violate the basic civil liberties of Americans is unconscionable, and in no way justified.  This is also true at the state level, where unprecedented shelter-in-place orders threaten civil liberties as well.  We urge governors to make any movement limitations temporary and tailored.  A federal shelter-in-place order should be avoided at all costs.  Public health must be protected, but so, too, should the rights of Americans under the Constitution.  Americans have mobilized with extraordinary speed and cooperation.  The Trump administration has lifted regulations and expedited actions to begin vaccine testing, facilitate production of necessary medical equipment, and restricted foreign access to the country as appropriate.  These actions are justified.  A dramatic expansion of the police state is not, and we emphatically oppose it.

California Police to Use Chinese-Made Patrol Drones Equipped with Night Vision Cameras to Patrol Streets for Quarantine Busters.  California is really ramping up its efforts to control the population after a couple dozen people died from the Coronavirus.  Governor Gavin Newsom recently said he was considering martial law after 12 people died from the Coronavirus.  Now a California police department is planning on using drones with night vision cameras and loudspeakers to monitor the population amid the Coronavirus shutdown after approximately 28 confirmed deaths in the state.

Drones with bullhorns.  Sounds like 1984 is being used as a how-to manual.
California police consider new uses for drones during coronavirus pan(dem)ic.  A police department in southern California is looking into different ways its drones can help during the coronavirus pandemic.  The Chula Vista Police Department recently doubled its fleet with the purchase of two machines.  The police department told the Financial Times that they would be outfitted with cameras.  "We have not traditionally mounted speakers to our drones, but ... if we need to cover a large area to get an announcement out, or if there were a crowd somewhere that we needed to disperse, we could do it without getting police officers involved," said Capt. Vern Sallee.

Coronavirus Panic is a Trojan Horse for Socialism.  Finally we're blinking our eyes with dawning realization that maybe this pandemic isn't as sickly serious as was once hyped by the same media which pees itself in anticipation for hurricane season.  That's because, in my opinion, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats got greedy, thus exposing their hand.  Instead of providing relief to Americans who've stayed at home all because their state and local governments told them to, Pelosi and her band of ugly men stuffed a relief bill with socialism fan fiction. [...] It's almost like Democrats aren't taking this virus as seriously as they sold it.  It's almost as if they ginned up panic, with the full cooperation of the media, to push big government socialism when American fears were spiked.  It's almost as if Democrats and the media ripped a few pages from global warming alarmism and just doused it with gas, since not enough people were panicking and ceding their freedoms to government in order to save the planet.

Remember this if you ever have the urge to vote for a Democrat.
Yes, Virginia's Governor Has Made It a Crime for More Than 10 People to Attend a Church Service.  Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order on Monday that is aimed at stopping the new coronavirus — and, in the process, makes it a criminal offense to hold a church service attended by more than 10 people.  Yes, his order makes it a crime for more than 10 people to gather in a church.  There are two passages in the text of the governor's order that are relevant to this. [...] Conclusion:  The governor has issued an executive order that "bans" religious services that bring together more than 10 people.  His executive order expressly states that any "violations" of the paragraph in the order that bans "gatherings of 10 or more persons ... shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor."  Virginia law says that when a governor's executive order states that violating that order is a Class 1 misdemeanor, those violations are indeed Class 1 misdemeanors.  Virginians now live in a state where holding a church service attended by 11 people has been unilaterally declared a crime by the governor.

New Totalitarian Pandemic Power-Grab Idea:  Permanently Close Some City Streets to Cars.  These past few weeks have been far too filled with various attempts at crisis-induced power grabs by politicians, which isn't historically unusual.  A pandemic is the kind of thing that calls for extraordinary measures but politicians almost (I'm being generous there) always try to get a little too extraordinary with their responses.  It is almost as if they are genetically coded to try and take a mile every time a frightened public offers them an inch.  This is a truly bipartisan problem.  The September 11th attacks did prompt a Republican president to create the Dept. of Homeland Security after all, a fact that still makes conservatives cringe to this day.  Very little time was wasted before a host of overreactions were suggested during this crisis.  Over the weekend, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo really let his totalitarian lust slip out for public display: [...]

Eric Garcetti Threat:  Water, Power Shut Off if You Don't Close Up Shop.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti threatened "non-essential" businesses Tuesday that if they do not obey the city's "stay at home" order to close during the pandemic crises, he will cut off their water and their electricity. [...] Though the streets of the city have largely been deserted, some people have been going to work.  Some retail stores remain open; construction continues on unfinished homes; and gardeners continue to tend to yards and lawns.

Butter, Not Guns:  New Jersey Suspends Second Amendment; Gets Sued.  Firearm ownership may be guaranteed under our Constitution by the Second Amendment.  But it's secondary at best to the New Jersey officials who've closed down gun stores during our Wuhan flu panic, calling them non-essential.  Now two Garden State officials — who some would say are non-essential themselves — are being sued for trampling constitutional rights.  "The case was filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and the New Jersey Second Amendment Society on behalf of Robert Kashinsky and Legend Firearms, a gun shop in the state," reports WND.com.  "Defendants are Gov. Philip D. Murphy and State Police Supt. Patrick J. Callahan."  "'Gov. Murphy cannot simply suspend the Second Amendment, and neither can Supt. Callahan,' said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb," WND continues.  "Yet, under this emergency order, that's exactly what they're doing.  The Constitution, and federal law, don't allow that.  New Jersey may have been the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights, but they're the last state to recognize it."

Residents threatened with jail for leaving homes during pandemic.  The governor of New Jersey warned that "folks need to be jolted," so his attorney general is threatening jail for people who leave their homes in violation of the governer's order Monday.  Gurbir Grewal, the state's attorney general, said those who violate the stay-at-home order could be jailed or fined up to $1,000, NewJersey.com reported.  Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed executive orders that ban unapproved social gatherings and close all "non-essential" businesses.

The Editor says...
Does anyone else find it alarming that the state government has arrogated to itself the authority to approve social gatherings, and to decide which businesses should stay open and which ones should close?  We're no longer on the slippery road to tyranny.  We have arrived.

Inslee orders Washingtonians to stay at home to slow spread of coronavirus.  To combat the novel coronavirus, Gov. Jay Inslee is ordering Washington residents to stay at home, except for crucial activities.  Residents can still leave to buy groceries, seek medical care and go to work at essential businesses, Inslee said in a live televised address Monday evening [3/23/2020], and they can still engage in outdoor activities that can be done 6 feet away from others, such as walking and biking.  But the new order requires the closure of nonessential business places and, the governor said, "is enforceable by law," though broad crackdowns by officers aren't expected.

New Jersey Attorney General Announces That People Who Violate Stay-At-Home Order Could Face Six Months in Jail or Fines.  New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced on Monday that those who break the state's stay at home order could face jail or up to $1,000 in fines.  Gov. Phil Murphy signed executive orders over the weekend bar unapproved social gatherings and shut down all "non-essential" businesses.  The orders closed all retail "storefront and/or brick-and-mortar premises" and ordered that "all recreational and entertainment businesses must close to the public."

'Over My Dead Body': DOJ's request for new 'emergency powers' over coronavirus met with swift condemnation.  The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for new "emergency powers" amid the coronavirus outbreak, including the power to ask chief judges to indefinitely detain people without trial.  The DOJ has proposed numerous emergency measures, according to Politico, which obtained and reviewed documents the DOJ sent to lawmakers.

Two reporters cover the same development.  This reporter is skeptical:
Swift response to unconfirmed reports that DOJ seeks emergency powers during corona crisis.  Keeping in mind that there has been no official announcement, a Politico report that the Department of Justice is requesting new emergency powers during the COVID-19 outbreak went over online like a lead balloon.  The Justice Department, under the leadership of Attorney General Bill Barr, "has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the coronavirus spreads through the United States," Politico reported.  In an article published Saturday, the news source said it had reviewed documents that detailed requests to lawmakers which reportedly included topics such as the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted.

On the other hand, this reporter seems quite confident:
The Justice Department is asking for emergency powers.  It's not just private businesses and schools being impacted by the social distancing rules and lockdowns taking place all over the nation.  Our criminal justice system is feeling the pinch also, as courts deal with mandatory staffing reductions and the need to avoid having large groups of people gathered together in front of a judge.  This is restricting the ability of states to process suspects in normal fashion.  In response to this pressure, Politico reports that the Justice Department quietly filed a request to have emergency powers granted to them so they can maintain order without the normal procedures that are generally followed, and some of what they're asking for is disturbing to say the least. [...] There are more requests on the list, including the ability for the chief judge of any district court to "pause court proceedings" when the court is impacted by civil disobedience or other emergency situations.  Such a "pause" could be put into effect for pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures.  In other words, this would effectively throw habeas corpus out the window for the duration of the pandemic.  You could, in theory at least, be arrested and tossed in a cell and left there indefinitely without getting the chance to appear before a judge and ask to be released, have bail set or anything else.

California's Stay-at-Home Order Is a Legal Mess.  California Governor Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order may well be necessary as a matter of public health in the face of the new coronavirus — I will leave that to epidemiologists to determine.  But viewed as a legal declaration, it's a total mess. [...] The order is also drafted so badly that it creates contradictions with the state's own website explaining it, with the governor's own speech rolling it out, and with common sense.  As written, the order does not say clearly that Californians can leave their homes to buy food or medicine or other necessities.  It doesn't say whether they can go out to help family members or friends who are themselves vulnerable or otherwise in need.  It is silent on going out for exercise.  Although context suggests all these may be permitted, the formal legal implication of the text would be that all are prohibited.

New web threat:  Government plan to scan online messages.  A privacy organization warns a bill in Congress would violate privacy and security by requiring "every message sent" to be read by government-approved scanning software.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation said the EARN IT bill sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., would spell the end of encryption online.  The bill's authors avoided the word "encryption," EFF noted, but they proposed "legislation that enables an all-out assault on encryption."

A Real-Life Story of How Coronavirus Hysteria Oppresses People.  Commentators have noted the dishonest reporting of statistics to buttress the false claim that deaths from the coronavirus (hereafter, COVID-19) are far in excess of mortality from the common flu when in fact the opposite is likely the case. [...] I was indeed shocked when Nathan called me on March 17 to report that the wedding and reception, for which all the invitations had gone out and for which they had planned for over a year, were being canceled on the "Order of the Health Officer of the County of Riverside."  I obtained a copy of the so-called "order" that "prohibits" gatherings of ten or more individuals in the County of Riverside.  According to the text of the decree, "Violation of ... this Order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment or both."  The edict exempts gatherings of government officials, including those at the Health Department and their colleagues who drafted the order.  Another curious exemption from the order is those involved in "congregate living settings."  I suppose that's to cover Riverside County, California's resident population of homeless bums, who are stuck living in "congregate living settings" in their feces- and needle-infested encampments.

Are America, and Trump, being played?  [Scroll down]  America has never been brought to her knees to the level happening right now, on Trump's watch.  Not in the Civil War.  Not in WWI or WWII, and certainly not at any time during the Cold War.  Forty million Californians sheltered in place — by order of an American government official?  Schools closed from coast to coast; and restaurants closed in every major state, by order of American government officials?  And movements toward gun control and limited rights to gather — by order of American government officials?  And nationalized healthcare achieved in important practical respects without the inconvenience of having to pass laws?  And all of this to fight a pandemic of still unclear comparative seriousness that originated in anti-American communist China, and is being cheered on, magnified and roiled relentlessly by the anti-American left, including especially the MSM.  If this isn't a deliberate plot to take down America and every safeguard of American freedom, how would it look different if it was?

Scientist with 4 Degrees from MIT Warns 'Deep State' Using Coronavirus Fear-Mongering To Suppress Dissent.  A decorated scientist with four degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believes the coronavirus pandemic is being used by the "Deep State" for its own purposes.  Shiva Ayyadurai said on Twitter that "fear-mongering" over the outbreak is being used to push an agenda. [...] Think about what has transpired in less than a week's time.  We have handed control of nearly everything in our lives to the government.  In many places, they are telling us when we can leave our homes and when we must return to them.  They have decided what events or religious services we can attend, how many people are allowed to be there and which businesses are allowed to stay open.  In the process, the global economy has crashed with the assistance of the media stirring everyone into a mass panic.  People are hoarding and fighting over toilet paper as if it is the cure for COVID-19 and grabbing every canned and dry food they can find.

Will the Real Victim of the Wuhan Flu 'Crisis' Be Your Rights?  Right now, after nearly three months of the threat, the U.S. has had a total of 3,487 cases of the Wuhan virus, with 68 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  That compares to 222,000 flu cases with a range of 22,000 to more than 50,000 deaths.  Yet, we're told repeatedly that, out of "an abundance of caution," we must shut down our economy.  From New York to California, state and local governments have declared "emergencies."  So has the federal government, part of a much-broader "crisis" response.  This gives government officials, including non-elected bureaucrats, extraordinary powers over all of us.  We should be alarmed.  It started with asking people to avoid gatherings of more than 250 people.  Now that's been shrunk to just 10.  And we're told restaurants, churches and other places where people usually congregate are now considered dangerous. [...] [T]he media focus has been hysterical to the point of absurdity, encouraging government to impose the most stringent controls in modern history.  That's bad enough, given the mainstream media's undisguised contempt for President Donald Trump.  But they're providing cover for those who would deprive us of our rights permanently.

San Francisco Initiates Forced Quarantine of all Residents, All Hours.  San Francisco has skipped the interim mitigation efforts and has announced a forced quarantine of all residents inside their homes 24-hours-a-day for the next three weeks.  A totalitarian dream.  All residents must remain confined inside their homes or residences and no-one will be permitted outside except for emergency services or monitored visits to the grocery stores.  The order remains in effect until April 7, 2020, and may be extended.

Executive order in Champaign could include banning sale of firearms, ammunition and alcohol.  Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen has issued an executive order declaring an emergency in the city.  City officials said the emergency is related to the COVID-19, which is anticipated to cause an impact on the health of community members.  Champaign Municipal Code allows the mayor to declare an emergency for a limited time.  Included in the executive order are ordinances that would give the city extraordinary powers to the Mayor.
  •   Violating parts of the Open Meetings Act
  •   Ban sale of firearms and ammunition
  •   Ban sale of any alcohol
  •   Closing of all bars, taverns, liquor stores, etc
  •   Ban sale or giving away of gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank permanently fixed to a motor vehicle
  •   Direct the shutoff of power, water, gas, etc
  •   Take possession of private property and obtain full title to same
  •   Prohibit or restrict ingress and egress to and from the City
There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in central Illinois as of Thursday evening [3/12/2020].

The Editor says...
This is tyranny, whether it is for a limited time or not.

Gov. Inslee to restrict gatherings of more than 250 people, a move aimed at sports and concerts.  In the most drastic move yet to try to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Jay Inslee is expected Wednesday [3/11/2020] to restrict gatherings of more than 250 people in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, a move aimed at sports, concerts and other cultural events.  The measure will be announced during a Seattle news conference, according to a source involved in conversations with the governor's office but who has not been cleared to discuss the issue.  The measure would not affect retail stores, according to the source.

The Editor says...
The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the freedom of peaceful assembly.  There is no mention in the Constitution of exceptions due to a public health crisis, real or imaginary.  If the governor can outlaw gatherings of 250 or more people, he can change the limit to 100 people, then to 20.  What if your church has 500 members?  That's not likely in Washington, I suppose, but what if?

Standing Strong on the Constitution.  America, in both its ideal and in its actuality, stands on two feet.  Under those feet is a foundation of Biblical wisdom and a knowledge of history that taught the founders what worked and what didn't.  With enormous care, those great men designed a nation with a stable underpinning of a constitutional rule of law and the right of each individual to have a say in how that rule would be implemented — in other words, the right to vote. [...] The left isn't at all interested in continuing the grand experiment that is America.  The left is about ending it entirely, and they are involved up to their skinny necks and wobbling dentures in pulling those two stable feet of the commonwealth right out from under us.  They are trying to eviscerate the Constitution by attacking every one the of Bill of Rights, and they are undermining the individual vote — local, state, and national.

Secret Babel Street app is being used by Feds to track cell phone 'movement' — without warrants.  As supporters of President Trump wait on Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham to hold people at the FBI and Justice Department accountable for lying to the FISA Court to fraudulently obtain a surveillance warrant to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign, now comes a report that federal law enforcement agencies won't have to do that anymore.  And why?  Because they've spent millions on a contract with a tech company in Virginia that has developed an app the Feds are secretly using to track cellphone movements and, thus, the movements of any individual they choose.  No warrant necessary.

A warning:  Socialist Bernie Sanders vows to govern through executive actions.  As if Bernie Sanders's extremist positions alone weren't enough to give one pause, a look at how he intends to enact them is even more disturbing. [...] Instead of governing through the legislative process, he intends to govern like a dictator, pen and phone in hand, enacting extremely sweeping diktats through one-man rule.  This is pretty much what his heroes, such as Fidel Castro of Cuba, Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, and Nicaragua's Sandinistas did:  proclaim the democratic bona fides, quiet the critics and fool the New York Times — and then move in for the kill, going all in on the maximo leader dictatorship model, proclaiming it in the name of "the people."  You want to know how all socialist regimes end up as dictatorships?  This is how, and we all know who Sanders's heroes up to now have been.

Assault Rifle Bans Turn Lawful Gun Owners Into Felons Overnight.  On January 20, 2020, the nation turned towards Virginia as a massive Second Amendment rally took place in Richmond.  Why did this "Right to Bear Arms" rally occur?  Because Virginians were afraid of an aggressive legislative agenda aimed at gun ownership in a historically pro-Second Amendment state.  The gun grab legislation that fueled the pushback was proposed on January 10, when House Bill 961 passed with a 51-48 vote.  This dubious legislation, in short, would have prohibited the sale, transportation, and transferring of newly defined "assault firearms."  The ill-fated bill also would have banned magazines with a capacity of 12 or more rounds, suppressors, and other elements — restrictions that are anathema to many residents of Virginia.

New California Bill Requires Retailers Create 'Gender-Neutral' Aisles For Children.  A new bill introduced in the California Assembly would require retailers to create "gender-neutral" floor-spaces for children's merchandise, with the goal of banning sex-specific labeling labeling such as "girls aisles" and "boys aisles."  The bill proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low, requires all retail department stores with 500 employees or more to comply with the newfound gender standards of the Left.

The Editor says...
In a free country, businesses are allowed to arrange their stores in any manner they choose.

Alabama Dem Introduces Legislation Mandating Vasectomies for Men at Age 50 or After Third Child.  An Alabama Democrat state lawmaker from Birmingham has introduced legislation that, if passed would mandate, "every Alabama man to undergo a vasectomy within one month of his 50th birthday or the birth of his third biological child, whichever comes first," according to a report from Alabama-based Yellowhammer News.  The bill, filed by State Rep. Rolanda Hollis (D) on Thursday [2/13/2020], is viewed by some a response to the 2019 passage by the state legislature of the Human Life Protection Act, a law that is currently making its way through the federal courts that ban abortion with very few exceptions.

Medical Journal:  CPS Should Take Kids From Parents if They Oppose Transgender 'Treatment'.  At the tail end of last year, the Journal of Medical Ethics published a paper advocating for government intrusion into the family if parents disagree with their kids about dangerous experimental transgender drugs.  Among other things, the paper suggested that Child Protective Services should remove children from their parents if the children identify with the gender opposite their biological sex and the parents do not wish for them to take dangerous experimental "treatments."  According to the abstract, the paper focuses on "how to proceed if a minor and their parents have disagreements concerning their gender-affirming medical care."  After studying "ethical, paediatric, adolescent and transgender health research," the authors "discuss three potential avenues for providing gender-affirming care over parental disagreement:  legal carve-outs to parental consent, the mature minor doctrine and state intervention for neglect."

Sorry, you cannot compel Americans to vote.  Democratic California Assemblyman Marc Levine has introduced a clearly unconstitutional bill which mandates that anyone registered to vote must attend a voting booth and file a response.  Levine says his intended law is justified and necessary because "democracy is not a spectator sport — it requires the active participation of all its citizens ... Those rights come with a responsibility by registered voters to cast their ballot and make sure that their voice is heard by their government."  While registered voters would not have to select a candidate in order to conform with Levine's desired law, they would have to file a ballot return, even if unmarked.  But as I say, this bill is patently unconstitutional.

Alabama: State Kidnaps Newborn From Mother After Falsely Accusing Her Of Drug Use.  Due process is something that is protected under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, but since the Trump administration has been pushing red flag laws and continuing in the Obama administration's footsteps with asset forfeiture, it's as though due process is a thing of the past, even though it isn't.  The latest evidence of the state and its agents violating due process, as well as the rights protected in the Fourth Amendment and engaging in kidnapping comes from the state of Alabama, where a young mother was issued a drug test without her consent that resulted in a false positive, for which the state ripped her newborn baby from her arms.

Coastal States Are in the Fight of Their Lives.  Is the Rest of America Listening?  [Scroll down]  Everyone should be terrified at the blatant stripping of constitutional rights happening right now in the west and the east.  How long before it bleeds into your state?  In Virginia, second amendment rights have been all but obliterated.  There is only one other right we have that it is more vital to a free and prosperous society and that is the very right that the second amendment was designed to protect.  If Americans allow this egregious fascism to stand for their Virginian brethren, a precedent will be set.  How long before that precedent reaches the borders of your own bubbles?  In case you have the audacity to be thinking right now, "It'll be a while" just ask yourself how long it took for the transgender revolution to infect your schools, workplaces and governance in the five years it's even been in the public discourse.

NY Skygazing Permit
Can't Make This Up: New York State Is Now Mandating "Stargazing Permits".  Imagine this:  You're out with your family in one of the parks in New York state where you can actually see the stars when it gets dark.  You look up in the sky, see a constellation, and you point upwards to show your kids.  Along comes a park ranger demanding to see your Stargazing Permit, and issues you a citation because you didn't know you needed such a permit.  That's right, the state of New York is now demanding us peasants give them money so we can look up at the sky.


VA Bill Would Criminalize Criticism of Governor and Associates.  It's another day, another crazy proposed bill in Virginia.  While the state has been making headlines for their assault on the Second Amendment, that's hardly the only bullet point on their agenda.  The state doesn't have much respect for the Second Amendment, and we're about to see if their attitude is the same towards the First.  Bill HB 1627 is titled "Threats and harassment of certain officials and property; venue," and was introduced by Democrat Jeffrey M. Bourne on January 16th.

The Language of Virginia's New Anti-Free Speech Legislation Is Absolutely Unbelievable.  Virginia's current Democrat governance has devolved into an absolute dumpster fire.  Last week, protestors numbering in the tens of thousands took to the streets of Richmond to oppose a slate of new gun control laws which clear violate the letter and spirit of the 2nd Amendment.  For their trouble, the mainstream media smeared them as white nationalists and violent extremists.  In the end, things were peaceful and anchors at CNN were really sad, but the point was made.  Citizens were not going to sit idly be and be subjected to unconstitutional nonsense.  As I write this, hundreds of bodies in Viriginia have passed resolutions of non-enforcement and pledged to not expend resources to help Gov. Ralph Northam (also know as "Coonman" to his racist friends) in his crusade.  With the backlash that has formed toward the state's government in the aftermath of these laws, they've decided to respond in the most insane way possible.  Namely, attempting to legislate the 1st Amendment out of existence.  No, that's not an overstatement.

Virginia Democrats Push Legislation to Make Criticism of Government Officials a Criminal Offense.  In the wake of the Virginia gun rights rally on Monday, Democrats in the Capitol are not slowing down their push for tyranny.  They are moving a bill through the legislature that would effectively criminalize dissent against Governor Blackface Northam and other state government officials.  House Bill 1627 was introduced by Delegate Jeffrey M. Bourne last week.  The legislation "provides that certain crimes relating to threats and harassment may be prosecuted in the City of Richmond if the victim is the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia."  Language in the bill explicitly criminalizes free speech, in what would constitute a blatant attack on the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

Schiff Tells Senators They Must Not Allow Trump to Run for Re-Election.  House Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.) told the Senate during the impeachment proceedings on Wednesday [1/22/2020] that it must remove President Donald Trump from office and not allow him to run for re-election.  If the Senate allows Trump to run for re-election, Schiff insisted that we could not know if the election was "fairly won.["]  "Instead, we are here today to consider a much more grave matter, and that is an attempt to use the powers of the presidency to cheat in an election," Schiff told the Senate.  "For precisely this reason," Schiff said, "the president's misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won."

The Editor says...
If the Democrats get out the vote at the local graveyard, and allow illegal aliens to vote, and allow Motor Voters to vote on both sides of a state line, then there is indeed some doubt that "the vote will be fairly won."

Washington Has a Dangerous Obsession With Secret Courts.  Article One, Section 9, clause 2 of the United States Constitution states, "the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."  It says something about the importance of that clause that, to this day, the right of habeas corpus has been suspended only twice in criminal cases: once in the case of Abraham Lincoln's prosecution of the Civil War (rebellion), and once in the case of detaining suspected terrorists during the Bush administration (which, at least in theory, was tied to preventing something like invasion). In other words, the idea of using secret courts to try citizens without their having any knowledge of their accuser, or of the charges and evidence, is fundamentally un-American, and our criminal law has broadly reflected that, in a remarkable show of consistency across our multi-century history.  But there's a wrinkle:  habeas corpus has only remained that foundational to American government in the realm of explicit criminal prosecutions.  When it comes to intelligence gathering, civil suits, and regulatory actions, the results are far murkier.

A Textbook Example of Tyranny.  Virginia introduces a bundle of radical laws to destroy 2nd amendment rights, militias, sale transfer and registration bills, and the People of Virginia says no, and we're going to vote you all out next term.  Virginia government responds by introducing a bill to eliminate voter ID.  Virginia says we're not going to wait, we'll petition your removal from office, and get almost a 3rd of the 240K signatures to remove the governor and starts petitions to remove delegates.  Virginia government responds by introducing a bill to raise the amount of signatures from 10% of the prevailing vote, to 25%.  Folks, this is the a textbook example of tyranny.

Man gets 12-year sentence for keeping phone after being arrested.  Judges have been accused of racial injustice for handing an African-American man a 12-year sentence after he asked a jail officer to charge his mobile phone.  Willie Nash, 39, had been booked in to the Newton County prison in Mississippi on a misdemeanour [sic] charge when the offence [sic] took place.  He was found to have brought the phone in when he asked an employee for "some juice".  The jailer took the request to mean Nash wanted a drink, until he handed over his handset to be charged.  The jailer gave the device to a deputy sheriff, who later unlocked it using a pass code provided by Nash and found he had sent text messages to his wife.  Justice Leslie King, the only African-American on the nine-member Mississippi supreme court, said Nash could have avoided punishment entirely because it was not clear whether he had even been searched, or told not to bring his phone into the jail.

The Potemkin Court.  As set forth below, I pose the question as to whether or not, based on its operations and recent events, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ("FISC") can fairly be described as a Potemkin institution which in reality serves only to give the false impression that it is protecting U.S. citizens by imposing constitutional limits on the government's enormous, comprehensive, and thoroughly invasive powers of electronic surveillance. [...] Whatever its pretensions and judicial trappings, the FISC has been absorbed and co-opted by the surveillance state such that it now serves merely to put a reassuring smiley face on the alarming fact that the government has the untrammeled and unlimited power to inspect, catalog, and lay bare every nook and cranny of our lives.

Judge blocks Trump's attempt to let governors refuse refugees.  A federal judge ordered a halt Wednesday [1/15/2020] to the Trump administration's plan to give states and localities a veto over refugees being sent into their territory, saying the law doesn't allow them a say.  The ruling is a major victory for immigrant rights groups, who had feared some communities would shut their doors thanks to President Trump's executive order last year establishing the veto policy.  Judge Peter J. Messitte, an appointee of President Clinton to the U.S. District Court in Maryland, issued an injunction stopping the policy just days before it was to kick in.

New California Law Prohibits Showering and Doing Laundry on the Same Day.  "So all of the sudden I can smoke marijuana as much as I want but I can't take a shower?," newsman Mark Kriski said.  "Unbelievable.  That's where our state has gone."  KTLA news anchors and reporters debated on LIVE TV the stupidity of a new California law that effectively prohibits showering and doing laundry on the same day.

Why Americans Fear Trial By Jury.  Today, over 90 percent of American defendants waive that right in favor of a prosecutor's proposed plea bargain, because, as Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz notes in his new book Guilt by Association, they are warned that the penalty at the trial stage will be excessively higher.  Dershowitz offers frightening examples.  Two men picked up their uncle after committing a robbery, making him a passenger in a police car chase where a trooper was shot and killed.  The actual murdering robbers copped a plea and went to prison but the unarmed passenger uncle went to trial and was sentenced to death.  A doctor was offered one year if he pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud, but believing he had proof of innocence, ended up sentenced to 11 years after a trial.  Two businessmen accused of financial fraud were offered seven years on a plea but ended up with 80 years after trial.  A young mother accused of health fraud was offered a four year plea and ended up with 20 years after trial.

A Big And Bizarre Drone Mystery Is Unfolding In Rural Colorado.  [Scroll down]  Based strictly on the descriptions conveyed, it sounds like someone or some group is testing a broad-area surveillance capability with lower-end autonomous drones.  This could include something as simple as having a group fly a series of planned routes and return with the information gathered via autopilot.  By doing so, a group of small, relatively inexpensive drones can cover a large area quickly instead of single, far more expensive assets that could take more time and offer less redundancy.  Such a capability could be used for search and rescue, mapping, and general intelligence gathering.  This also doesn't require man-in-the-loop control that would necessitate line-of-sight connectivity.

Vermont rolls out mandatory composting.  Food scraps can't go in Vermont landfills beginning July 1.  Residents will have four ways to handle rotten leftovers and items such as peels, eggshells, seeds, pits, coffee grounds and oils, according to the state's environmental conservation department.  Vermonters can use a household compost bin, buy a Green Cone solar digester to break down the scraps, feed scraps to pigs or leave it to the composting professionals.  The universal recycling law will require trucking companies to provide food scrap collection services to nonresidential customers and multi-unit apartment complexes, the Burlington Free Press reported.  Restaurants, supermarkets and cafeterias must also comply with the law, which is the first state law of its kind.  The state hopes to reach a 60% recycling rate through mandatory composting.

The Editor says...
Recycling and composting may (or may not) be good ideas, but they should be voluntary activities.  In every state, other than Vermont, residents pay a nominal municipal tax every month for garbage pickup, except for areas out in the sticks where the trailer-dwellers have to dispose of their own trash.  The idea of mandatory composting is ridiculous, especially for a restaurant or school cafeteria, where there isn't enough room for a burial ground.  It sounds to me like somebody who owns a composting service has lobbied for the creation of this new law.

The Feds Don't Need To Tell You Or Get A Warrant To Collect Your Emails And Phone Records.  [Scroll down]  These records included calls allegedly with Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the ranking minority member on the Intelligence Committee, and John Solomon, a prominent journalist.  Americans began querying how Schiff could have obtained the phone call records for the report.  Some speculated that a secret warrant had been sought for them, that someone at the carrier (AT&T) had leaked them, that the National Security Agency had been tasked with obtaining them, or that a federal agency had issued a "natsec" letter to acquire them for the intelligence committee.  In reality, the government can obtain these records without taking any such extraordinary measures — and no judge even need be involved for Congress to get them.  It can simply send a subpoena to the carrier.

Virginia Dems Aim to Criminalize "Tactical Training."  A Trap for Gun Owners?  Virginia Democrats have put forth a bill that would strengthen current state law against "paramilitary" activity by criminalizing assemblies of persons with firearms.  The vague wording of Senate Bill No. 64 establishes that a person is "guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity, punishable as a Class 5 felony" if he so much as has the "intent" of intimidating a person or group.  The threat of SB 64 to defenders of the Second Amendment is the uncertainty of how "intent" would be decided.

Virginia Senate Bill No. 64: Declaring Tactical Training Illegal.  This is a remarkable development.  One refreshing thing is that the masks have all come off now.  With control of the Senate, House and Governor's mansion, the controllers want you to know where they stand and are willing to say so out loud and in the clearest possible terms.  Leaving aside the issue of whether one could ever demonstrate intent behind either the delivery or receiving of tactical training, what they really intend is to render illegal any training that involves CQB, small unit fire and maneuver tactics, or any combination of training in long range precision shooting, discrete communications, or battle tactics, techniques and procedures.  Only LEOs can have such training.  The truly remarkable thing is the stated reason: [...]

Virginia to outlaw Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, kickboxing, Tai Chi, firearms instruction and self-defense training under proposed law SB64.  The State of Virginia, now entirely run by truly insane Democrats who support infanticide and child murder, is proposing a new 2020 law known as SB64 which will be taken up by the Democrat-run Senate beginning January 8, 2020.  The law would instantly transform all martial arts instructors into criminal felons.  This includes instructors who teach kickboxing, BJJ, Krav Maga, boxing and even Capoeira.  It would also criminalize all firearms training classes, including concealed carry classes.  It would even criminalize a father teaching his own son how to use a hunting rifle.  Specifically, the law says that a person "is guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity" (a class 5 felony) if that person:  "Assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons..."

The Editor says...
If strictly enforced, such a law would also do away with Driver's Ed, the Boy Scouts, and high school football — all of which teach "technique[s] capable of causing injury or death."  Obviously the baby-killing Democrats would feel a lot safer if they ruled over a bunch of noodle-armed snowflakes.

Natural Rights Versus Political Rights.  A headline I read this weekend proclaimed that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, the Klan-hood-wearing gent formerly known at VMI as "Coonman," was "working on" possible gun confiscation in Virginia now that money on the Left has successfully buried his racism and bought the legislature for their party.  Aside from the obvious commentary about what happens when Democrats obtain power, the headline suggests a far deeper problem confronting our country.  It is only a matter of time before anti-constitutional forces seize control of the Senate, or perhaps the White House, and when they do, what historically American citizens consider to be unalienable rights will suddenly disappear.  The coming purge of natural rights is inevitable.

Who Can Stop Trump Now?  [Scroll down]  The rules of the impeachment process legalized by the House of Representatives turned out to be even worse than all assumptions.  Firstly, this is the first investigation of the current president in U.S. history, sanctioned by members of only one party:  the opposition.  Secondly, the new rules of impeachment legalize the de facto dictatorship of one person: chairman of the Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff.  Schiff gained almost unlimited power.  Now it is Schiff alone who decides who will be called in as a witness, what questions can be asked to the witness, and who exactly will get the right to ask questions.  Schiff obtained the right to terminate the hearing if his version of the events is disputed by some intractable witness.  Republicans were [...] given the right to be able to ask Schiff to call a defense witness, and then only Schiff would be able to decide to admit such a witness.  Only Schiff decides whether the hearing will be open or closed and whether a transcript of the committee's meetings will be made public.

The USA PATRIOT Act:  The Story of an Impulsive Bill that Eviscerated America's Civil Liberties.  The USA PATRIOT Act provides a textbook example of how the United States federal government expands its power.  An emergency happens, legitimate or otherwise.  The media, playing its dutiful role as goad for greater government oversight, demands "something must be done."  Government power is massively expanded, with little regard for whether or not what is being done is efficacious, to say nothing of the overall impact on our nation's civil liberties.  No goals are posted, because if targets are hit, this would necessitate the ending or scaling back of the program.  Instead, the program becomes normalized.  There are no questions asked about whether the program is accomplishing what it set out to do.  It is now simply a part of American life and there is no going back.  The American public largely accepts the USA PATRIOT Act as a part of civic life as immutable, perhaps even more so than the Bill of Rights.  However, this act — passed in the dead of night, with little to no oversight, in a panic after the biggest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor — is not only novel, it is also fundamentally opposed to virtually every principle on which the United States of America was founded.

Democrats' Election Bill Allows The Government To Define 'Legitimate News'.  The House will vote today [10/23/2019] on the SHIELD Act, a Democrat-led and misguided effort to deter foreign interference in American elections.  While both parties agree that foreign interference, especially online, was a serious issue in the 2016 election, in fact, the GOP has its own bill, this Democratic effort fails in two major ways.  First, it threatens First Amendment protections on free political speech, and second, it fails to address the major issue in 2016 interference.  One of the major problems with the SHEILD Act regarding free speech is a provision that allows the federal government to determine what is and is not "legitimate journalistic activities" for the purposes of protecting them from the provisions of the act.  The obvious problem with this is that should the federal government decide a journalistic activity is not legitimate, it will have broad powers to silence it.

O'Rourke's America.  [Scroll down]  Democrats, no longer content to impose confiscatory taxes on income, now propose — here again, Sanders and Warren stand together — to seize Americans' savings, confiscating their property rather than merely levying their income.  If you don't like that, you can organize a political campaign against it — maybe, if the Democrats will let you.  But keep in mind that Democrats today also hold as an article of faith that the federal government should have the power to prohibit the distribution of videos critical of Democratic presidential candidates, which is what the Citizens United case was all about.

Now the Police Are Telling You What Pronouns You Can Use.  Today is International Pronouns Day.  Just in case you weren't aware of it, here's a senior British police officer explaining its significance.  [Video clip]

Political correctness versus common sense.  Not long ago, everyone understood the unchanging commonsense reality that human beings are either male or female.  Today in New York City, the rules have been changed — and failure to keep up can have dire consequences.  New York City's special 31 genders are surrounded by special legal protections.  Businesses can now be fined as much as $250,000 for refusing to address someone by his preferred pronoun.  As we have seen in the news, even in cities that have not yet have caught up with New York City in terms of imposing legal penalties, failing a test of political correctness about genders can result in public shaming or the loss of a job. [...] The important thing to understand is that the masters of political correctness are not done yet.  They have given us a glimpse of the future they have planned for us.  If they continue to have their way, more and more will be required of us, and the penalties will eventually go beyond mere fines and public humiliation.

In NYC the Term 'Illegal Alien' Can Cost You $250,000.  Before we consider the attack on the First Amendment that protects our freedoms of expression to guarantee freedom of thought by the increasingly radicalized Democrats of New York City, we must consider how we have come to this point where our political "leaders" and the mainstream media have, in essence, become the "Ministry of Truth" that is found in Orwell's novel, "1984."  In that novel of a terrifying dystopia future, the Ministry of Truth formulated propaganda and administered the expansion of Newspeak, and was backed up by the Thought Police.  The misuse language to confound understanding, at least where immigration is concerned, can be traced back decades to the administration of Jimmy Carter, who began process of expunging the term "illegal alien" and even the term alien from the official lexicon that pertains to immigration.

Rep. Tlaib: 'No Joke': Democrats Want To Arrest Trump Officials, 'Take Care Of Them'.  Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib says House Democrats are "trying to figure out" how to arrest Trump officials who resist subpoenas during the impeachment process, promising to "take care of them." [...] Tlaib suggested people like Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross could be jailed in Detroit.  "So I just want you to know I will relay your message, I will tell them they can hold all those people right here in Detroit, we'll take care of them, and make sure they show up to the committee hearings.  We won't hurt them.  We'll make sure they come and show, right?  I'll make sure that you're in charge."

Rep. Rashida Tlaib approves of coup, kidnapping.  At a recent town hall meeting with constituents in Michigan, Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib ran with a suggestion from an attendee that Democrats "hunt down" and forcibly remove Trump administration officials from office if they don't comply with their wishes.  Tlaib quickly stated that her fellow Democrats have already been involved in discussions pertaining to who could arrest administration officials, Trump presumably included, if they refuse to leave power in a timely manner. [...] Maybe they will "hold all those people" they've captured at Ford Field.  Sounds like there will be a lot of them.  Whoever "goes and gets them" will have to figure out where to detain the hostages.  Presumption of innocence?  Rule of law?  Due process?  Trial?  Don't be quaint.  Look what they did to Brett Kavanaugh, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort, for example.  Today's Democrats are fond of wee-hour raids and drive-by lynchings, aided and abetted by their accomplices in the mainstream media.

This may work in Somalia, but it doesn't fly here.
Rashida Tlaib:  Democrats Exploring Ways to Arrest Trump Cabinet Members.  Far-left "Squad" member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) told constituents on Tuesday [10/1/2019] that her Democrat colleagues are looking into how to arrest White House officials who refuse to comply with subpoenas as part of an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.  Speaking to her constituents at a town hall in her hometown of Detriot, Tlaib said Democrats are puzzled about how to arrest Cabinet secretaries, telling voters in a video captured by America Rising PAC that they could be taken into custody if Congress votes to hold them in contempt.

Unhinged: Rashida Tlaib Agrees US Marshals Should Hunt Down White House Officials.  During a town hall meeting with constituents in Michigan this week, Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib agreed that U.S. Marshals should "hunt down" White House officials and remove them from office if they "refuse to leave power."  This includes President Trump.  The idea was suggested by a man questioning Tlaib, who nodded in agreement, and then admitted Democrats on Capitol Hill have been having a discussion about who can arrest administration officials and where they could be held.

The government can now activate your phone camera to stream live video of whatever you are seeing.  A New Jersey police department recently implemented new technology that allows 911 operators in the area to stream live video from callers' smartphones with the touch of a button.  While callers will still have to give their consent to such monitoring, some media outlets have dubbed the technology a slippery slope towards automatic surveillance, whereby Big Brother will one day have immediate access to people's smartphones without their consent.  In the meantime, some police departments plan to utilize 911eye, as it's called, a product of Capita Secure Solutions and Services, for permission-based surveillance during emergencies, which will allow first responders to see exactly what callers are seeing before they arrive.

30 of The Biggest Lies & Hoaxes Perpetrated on The American People.  [#7] Child Protective Services & Foster Care:  Child Protective Services (CPS), and the foster care system are two of the most deceitful programs on this list.  Though there may be some wonderful people working in these systems or fostering children, those at the top have created these structures for purposes of kidnapping and trafficking children.  Yes, this is the reality.  A simple search will provide story after story, nightmare after nightmare, and report after report of the negligence, abuse, and criminality of these systems.

He'll have more flexibility after 2020 — and he's going to need it.  The swamp is bottomless.  Truly undrainable.  Unlike blood-sucking vampires that can be tamed with garlic necklaces, holy water and a stake driven through the heart, this THING cannot be stopped.  The Leviathan has become a glioblastomic tumor with roots so deep beneath the Potomac that they can never be wrenched out.  Its gnarly fingers of government intrusion slither into every thin cranny of American life.

D.C. Rally:  Tea Party Patriots Warn Against Growing Socialism in America.  Several hundred Tea Party activists gathered Thursday morning on the steps of the Capitol for a "Stop Socialism, Chose Freedom" rally hosted by the Tea Party Patriots and featuring members of the House and Senate and conservative activists, who called on fellow Americans to reject the resurgent socialism among the left.  Speakers pointed to positions of the 2020 Democrat presidential candidates, arguing that they have been skewing further left to meet the demands of progressives on everything from wealth distribution, gun control, health care, and abortion.

A California Court Dealt a Blow to Religious Liberty.  It's Time for SCOTUS to Act.  Several hundred Tea Party activists gathered Thursday morning on the steps of the Capitol for a "Stop Socialism, Chose Freedom" rally hosted by the Tea Party Patriots and featuring members of the House and Senate and conservative activists, who called on fellow Americans to reject the resurgent socialism among the left.  Speakers pointed to positions of the 2020 Democrat presidential candidates, arguing that they have been skewing further left to meet the demands of progressives on everything from wealth distribution, gun control, health care, and abortion.

Don't Smile for the Camera.  Our federal government's 60,000-person strong domestic spying apparatus already captures every keystroke — even those which we think we have deleted — on every device used to transmit digital data on fiber optic cable in the United States.  That covers every mobile, desktop and mainframe device.  The government, of course, will not acknowledge this publicly.  Yet some of its officials have told as much to me privately.  They have also told me that they believe that they can get away with this so long as the data captured is not used in criminal prosecutions.  Why is that?  The last thing the feds and rogue police want is for government agents to be compelled to answer under oath how they acquired the evidence they are attempting to introduce.  Yet the admission of spying assumes that the right to privacy, which is guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, is protected from governmental invasion only for criminal prosecution purposes.

The Bill of Rights Turns 230, and What Do We Have to Show for It?  We can pretend that the Constitution, which was written to hold the government accountable, is still our governing document, but the reality of life in the American police state tells a different story.  "We the people" have been terrorized, traumatized, and tricked into a semi-permanent state of compliance by a government that cares nothing for our lives or our liberties.  The bogeyman's names and faces have changed over time (terrorism, the war on drugs, illegal immigration, etc.), but the end result remains the same: in the so-called named of national security, the Constitution has been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded to such an extent that what we are left with today is but a shadow of the robust document adopted more than two centuries ago.  Most of the damage has been inflicted upon the Bill of Rights.

Red flag laws to fight mass shootings?  Fine for an ideal world, but we don't live in one.  In the world we actually inhabit, state-level experiments with "red flag" laws should give all Americans pause before handing over this kind of power to Washington.  First of all, the bedrock of America's legal system is all citizens' guarantee to "due process" before the government infringes on any of their legal rights.  Red flag laws around the country skirt or even trample due process.

The enforcement problems with gun-grabbing 'red flag' laws are even worse than you think.  Everyone is debating "red flag" laws like they're some new thing, but California has had variations of them for decades.  We call them domestic violence restraining orders, civil harassment restraining orders, workplace restraining orders, elder abuse restraining orders, mental health seizures and prohibition orders, and, more recently, gun violence restraining orders.  They're all meant to disarm dangerous people — but they're all fundamentally flawed.  None of these red flag laws would have prevented recent mass shootings.  And in my 23 years practicing law in the heart of Silicon Valley, I have litigated dozens of these cases.  I've seen firsthand the practical enforcement problems that emerge in real-life cases.

Democrat Congressman Reminds You What Life Would Be Like Under Left-Wing Rule.  While there has been some pushback the problem is not one Democrat "doxxing" more Republican donors.  It is much deeper.  The Obama years demonstrated that this is how the Left does its business.  When street thugs like the Black Panthers, BLM, or Antifa can't get it done, find and publish any information you can on anyone.  Send the message.  You could be next.  This is speech suppression, plain and simple. [...] Obama's IRS released Tax information to third parties who then protested and intimidated individuals and companies.  His administration raided and terrorized private business owners.  His FBI and CIA spied on everyone including private citizens, the press, and political opponents.  For one purpose:  to destroy them if the need arose.  It's the sort of thing you'd expect from another Castro family.  The one in Cuba.

Red Flag Laws in the Age of Political Psychiatry.  As a general matter, a goal of every healthy community is to prevent all violent crime.  But there is no way to accomplish this goal in practice without a draconian police state.  Crime has a cost, but so do infringements on civil liberties, such as detentions, convictions, institutionalization, and other lesser measures like injunctions and protection orders.  We know that our ability to detect criminal intent in the absence of a completed crime is a difficult matter.  If everyone who had threatened harm on the internet meant it, for example, our society would be awash in blood.

The Racist History of Red Flag Laws.  The idea that mass shootings are based on mental health issues seems sensible, as we would like to think nobody in his right mind can commit these atrocities, but that line of thought is as wrong as those who choose to blame the gun.  Psychologists understand there is a perfect storm of strain and stress that can cause anybody to go on a rampage when certain factors are culminated and met.  Academic circles know that mental health is often wrongly blamed for these tragedies, mostly by the mass media, who like to diagnose mass shooters themselves postmortem.  However, statistical research shows that less than 5% of those suffering from any sort of mental illness ever become violent.

There is No Actual Law or Justice in the B.E.A.S.T. System.  In the aftermath of the Sandyhook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama issued 23 executive actions and proposed 19 legislative actions on guns.  After the Virginia Tech shooting, new rules were passed that allowed the Social Security Administration to provide information to the gun background check system of people with "mental disabilities". After Vegas and Parkland, it was bump-stocks.  Now, in the wake of the recent Gilroy Garlic Festival, El Paso, and Dayton mass shootings — all committed by crazed individuals and right on schedule, the politicians have announced bipartisan support for Red Flag Laws.  Do you see a pattern?  Unfortunately, the proposed "Red Flag" legislation has the support of President Trump according to his previous comments, and would allow just one of your neighbors to see something before saying something that would enable law enforcement to confiscate all of your guns and with no legal hearing whatsoever.

Skeptical of the government?  You're a potential terrorist.
The White Supremacy Hoax.  The Wall Street Journal on Saturday [8/10/2019] featured an essay by one Clint Watts, formerly of the FBI and West Point's Counter Terrorism Center.  Watts makes those proposals using the word "white" 16 times in 18 paragraphs.  The sociopolitical ideas rife among white people are the main matrix of terrorism in America, Watts contends.  Racial profiling, anyone? [...] Watts proposes legislation that would permit designating persons associated with what the government may identify as "white supremacist ideology" as subject to surveillance to "preemptively assess whether these white supremacists are taking a radical turn toward violence."  Watts also proposes "red flag" laws, that would allow the government to take away weapons from someone so designated.  Loss of weapons would be the least of burdens imposed on anyone so "red-flagged."  Career, reputation, possibly family, would be gone because someone in the notoriously impartial FBI so decided, perhaps with the agreement of the highly scrupulous FISA court, subsequent to ex parte, secret proceedings.

Liberty, If Not Already Annihilated, Is On The Brink Of Destruction.  The road to victory in the next election is narrow.  But it's like that when you have no principles and undercut the very base you used to put you in office.  We are where we are because enough people didn't ask Trump the hard questions on his core belief in gun rights (or enough people didn't listen when I asked the hard questions on core beliefs).  It appears he doesn't have any.

We're All Enemies of the State:  Draconian Laws, Precrime & the Surveillance State.  We've been down this road many times before.  If the government is consistent about any one thing, it is this:  it has an unnerving tendency to exploit crises and use them as opportunities for power grabs under the guise of national security. [...] It's all part of the grand plan for total control.  The government's proposed response to the latest round of mass shootings — red flag gun laws, precrime surveillance, fusion centers, threat assessments, mental health assessments, involuntary confinement — is just more of the same.  These tactics have been employed before, here in the U.S. and elsewhere, by other totalitarian regimes, with devastating results.  It's a simple enough formula:  first, you create fear, then you capitalize on it by seizing power.

Everything They're Telling You About Mass Shootings Is Wrong.  Democrats have complained about police brutality for years.  The police, they assure us, are out of control.  And, the story goes, they have it in for anyone whose skin is not lily white.  You can't trust the racist cops, they tell us.  Remember Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, and others.  But these same Democrats also tell us that the police are the only ones who should have guns, which is to say that the police we're not supposed to trust, who are guilty — in their view — of unspeakable crimes against Americans, should be given a monopoly on physical force and that private citizens should be deprived of their most effective means of defending themselves.

CO2 and the Supreme Power of sovereignty.  Sir William Blackstone defines sovereignty as "supreme power."  This power is unitary.  It cannot be shared or limited in any way.  Thus, "quasi sovereignty" cannot exist.  The Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency (2007) that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant under the Clean Air Act.  The result of that 5-4 ruling was that the EPA could be sued by the states for not controlling CO2 emissions.  The states, according to the court, have "quasi-sovereignty." [...] "Quasi" means "pseudo", "mock", "wannabe" or "virtual".  The states thus have the quasi sovereignty to accept the rules set down by the fully sovereign national government.  These rules are set by the nine lawyers collectively referred to as SCOTUS.

In case you haven't heard, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

Schumer Calls for Amending First Amendment to Limit Political Speech.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.-N.Y., has determined there is too much political speech in the United States coming from sources he cannot abide.  So, he stood in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, along with Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D.-Ill., to announce he is backing Democratic New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall's proposal to amend the First Amendment.  The First Amendment, as it now stands, includes 10 unambiguous words about freedom of speech.  "Congress," it says, "shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech."  Schumer and Udall do not like this sweeping restraint on government power.  There are speakers whose speech they want to abridge.  The Bill of Rights — as correctly interpreted by the Supreme Court — stands in their way.  So, they are seeking to change it.

School district warns parents:  Pay lunch bill or kids may go into foster care.  A Pennsylvania school district received backlash after warning parents their children could be removed from their homes and placed into foster care if overdue lunch bills are not paid.  The Wyoming Valley West School District in Luzerne County, Pa., said about 1,000 student accounts owe a total amount of more than $20,000 in school lunch debt.  Four parents owe at least $450 each.

PA School District To Parents:  Pay Your Kids' Lunch Bill Or We'll Seize Them.  What happens when a school district needs to collect $20,000 in unpaid lunch fees from parents?  In Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, they, um ... repossess your kids.  A letter from the director of federal programs at the Wyoming Valley West School District warns delinquent parents that the district will force their kids into foster care if they don't pay up.

More about school lunches.

This Man Did Nothing Wrong, But He Faces 49 Years In Prison.  The weaklings and fools in the California state legislature decided that guns are bad, bad, bad, so they passed some stupid 'gun control' laws to fight crime.  But Mr [Girard Damian] Saenz was never charged with any crime other than having weapons the state didn't think he should have.  He didn't rob anyone, he committed no crimes using the firearms in his possession.  This is the natural result of the left's insanity when it comes to our Second Amendment rights:  the state legislature made simple possession of firearms it didn't like a crime in itself, but the crime they said that they were preventing never occurred; Mr Saenz was not even suspected of using the firearms illegally.  The Pyrite State created a crime where no crime existed, infringed a man's rights when he had infringed on no one else's.

Renting Your House On Airbnb Should Not Trigger Felony Charges.  A felony is often thought of as reserved for the worst types of criminals — those who commit violent offenses, harming individuals or their property.  But that's not reality.  Aaron Elinoff, a 34-year-old Colorado man, found this out the hard way.  Last week, the city of Denver filed criminal felony charges against Elinoff for allegedly violating the city's short-term rental laws.  The city and others across the country have deemed that people may not freely rent out their property on a short-term basis for extra income (commonly done through the website Airbnb), and sometimes have deemed this transaction worthy of criminal penalties.

FBI, ICE using state driver's license photos without consent for facial recognition searches: report.  The FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have reportedly been using driver's license photos for facial recognition searches without license holders' knowledge or consent.  The Washington Post reports the two agencies have used millions of Americans' photos, largely from driver's licenses, for the purpose of facial recognition searches, citing internal documents and emails from the two agencies that were obtained by Georgetown Law researchers over the past five years and shared with the news outlet.  The photos give the agencies a new layer of information on Americans and a new tool to potentially track both criminals and those who have never committed a crime, according to the Post, which adds that Congress has not authorized any such development of a facial recognition system.

Democrat Proposes 5 years in Prison For "Parody" Videos Of Politicians Before Elections.  Democrat Representative Yvette Clarke from New York is beside herself over something called deep fakes.  These are "photoshopped" or digitally altered videos or images.  And if her bill passes, anyone who fails to mark their production properly could face up to five years in jail.

Democrat Rep. Frederica Wilson:  People Who Mock Members of Congress 'Should Be Prosecuted'.  Democrat Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson stated Tuesday that those who mock members of Congress online should be prosecuted.  "Those people who are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace, and there is no need for anyone to think that is unacceptable," Wilson stated as she stood outside of the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Homestead, Florida.

The Editor says...
Yes, I agree that "there is no need for anyone to think that is unacceptable."  Wait -- is that mockery?  Are you gonna have me arrested?

Rep. Frederica Wilson calls for online pranksters to be 'prosecuted' if jokes target lawmakers.  Rep. Frederica Wilson has no love for social media's meme-makers and pranksters — she literally wants them prosecuted.  The Florida Democrat weighed in on free speech issues this week and told an audience that it should be illegal to mock lawmakers.  "Those people who are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace," she said while speaking in Homestead.  "We're gonna shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted.  You cannot intimidate members of Congress, frighten members of Congress.  It is against the law, and it's a shame in this United States of America."

The Editor says...
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Rep. Frederica Wilson demands prosecution for those who mock Congress online.  Democratic Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson asserted that people who mock members of Congress online should face prosecution.  "Those people who are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace, and there is no need for anyone to think that is unacceptable [sic]," Wilson said during comments made Tuesday [7/2/2019] outside of the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Homestead, Florida.  "We're gonna shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted," she continued.  "You cannot intimidate members of Congress, frighten members of Congress.  It is against the law, and it's a shame in this United States of America."

Funny how death threats against mini-Ocasio-Cortez came just as Frederica Wilson called for prosecuting congressional ridicule.  [Scroll down]  Last December, [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez started something with General John Kelly in defense of her friend [Fredericka] Wilson.  She had nothing to gain from it, she just wanted committee seat assignments at the time and Wilson had ties to all the right people.  I wrote about it here.  At the time, Ocasio-Cortez was trying to demonstrate her loyalty to the touchy, egotistic Wilson, who by the way, wears ridiculous hats.  Since then, Wilson has owed her one.  Wilson loudly called for censorship in prosecution form for making fun of congressional members, in an astonishing call to nullify the First Amendment.  It was weird at the time and people assumed it was because people made fun of her hats.  But now we see a little child targeted, first with threats, second with doxxing, all of which serve to silence in a far more brutal manner.  So the timing here is really very strange.

Democrats are Officially the Party of Derangement.  If any of the 20 Democrats win in 2020, we can officially say goodbye to our democracy as we know it.  College campuses have already been destroyed.  The two left coasts are a disaster and demographic changes are leading to several purple states turning blue as the Democrats' refusal to address the immigration crisis proves successful in their quest for power.  More ignorant, arrogant, and bigoted representatives will be elected to Congress in the manner of AOC, Omar and Tlaib and Republicans will find themselves more and more marginalized.  We can only hope that the majority of Americans watching this disaster unfold wake up and realize that intolerance for thee ultimately leads to intolerance for me.  Democrats do not care about Americans' rights — they seek totalitarian power.  They need to be stopped.

Supreme Court:  Police Can Forcibly & Warrantlessly Carry Out Blood Draws On Unconscious Drivers.  In a ruling that gives police greater leeway to violate the Fourth Amendment rights of anyone driving on a public road, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police may forcibly and warrantlessly carry out blood draws on unconscious drivers suspected of drunk driving.  The Court's 5-4 decision in Mitchell v. State of Wisconsin found that an unconscious driver suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol constitutes an emergency situation that allows police to ignore the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement and draw blood from that suspect without consent or a warrant, regardless of whether there is an opportunity to obtain a warrant.

The Left is accumulating hellish power over us.  Project Veritas's latest work of investigative journalism has captured video of Google executive Jen Gennai expressing the company's effort to "prevent the next Trump situation."  She goes on to talk about her job, in drafting fairness algorithms to serve a community of people, "not those who voted for our current president."  Jen Gennai then decries Elizabeth Warren as being "misguided" in suggesting that the industry might be better served by breaking up large "monopolistic" companies like Google.

State GOP Learns to Love Big Brother.  In Great Britain, officials are arresting people who refuse to submit to a random face scan.  Their facial-scan system has proved wildly inaccurate, often leading to aggressive police actions against people misidentified as suspects.  You can't walk around any British city without being monitored by police cameras somewhere — something that has turned once-free citizens into the kind of sheep who have to be careful about anything they say or do lest it trigger a police visit.  American cities are trying to follow this police-state model, emboldened by tech companies that will earn a fortune by opening up this taxpayer-funded marketplace.  California agencies want body cameras not only to record police encounters — something that protects the public from abusive officers and officers from unfounded abuse allegations — but to alert the authorities if the person's face matches that of a suspect on some growing database.  The problems are obvious.

Spokane Pastor Arrested After Reminding Police of Free Speech Rights at Drag Queen Library Event.  A Spokane, Washington pastor was arrested for obstruction and taken to jail for a few hours on Saturday after refusing to move across the street from the Spokane Public Library while trying to protest a "Drag Queen Story Hour" event held at the library.  Pastor Afhsin Yaghtin of New Covenant Baptist Church was arrested after speaking with police officers, telling them the library is public property and that he should be able to protest next to the building rather than across the street, according to ChristianNews.net.

Pastor Jailed During 'Drag Queen Story Hour,' SWAT Team Snipers Positioned Atop Library Roof.  A Baptist pastor was arrested and jailed on Saturday [6/15/2019] after refusing to move across the street from the Spokane, Washington Public Library while exercising his free speech against a "Drag Queen Story Hour."  The event had a significant militaristic police presence, including camouflaged snipers positioned atop the roof to oversee the large crowd that stood both for and against the men dressed like women reading stories to children.  Afhsin Yaghtin of New Covenant Baptist Church was arrested for obstructing an officer as he contended with police that the South Hill Library is public property and that he should be able to speak adjacent to the facility instead of being required to stand across the street.

New York Bans Choice:  Public Health More Important Than 'Freedom Of Religion'.  The state of New York has eliminated the public's right to claim religious exemptions for vaccination.  The move, which was signed into law minutes after the measure passed, infuriated parents and defenders of individual liberty.  Now, in New York, parents do not have any say-so whether their children will be vaccinated or not... if they want to send their kids to public schools.

The Editor says...
In case you attended public schools, let me inform you that the Constitution says little or nothing about public health, vaccinations, or medicine, but it specifically protects freedom of religion.

The Omnipresent Surveillance State:  Orwell's 1984 Is No Longer Fiction1984 portrays a global society of total control in which people are not allowed to have thoughts that in any way disagree with the corporate state.  There is no personal freedom, and advanced technology has become the driving force behind a surveillance-driven society.  Snitches and cameras are everywhere.  People are subject to the Thought Police, who deal with anyone guilty of thought crimes. [...] Incredibly, as the various nascent technologies employed and shared by the government and corporations alike — facial recognition, iris scanners, massive databases, behavior prediction software, and so on — are incorporated into a complex, interwoven cyber network aimed at tracking our movements, predicting our thoughts and controlling our behavior, the dystopian visions of past writers is fast becoming our reality.

Rights Abridged: The Flawed Model for Red Flag Laws.  In fifteen states and the District of Columbia, new Red Flag laws allow judges to take licensed firearms away from individuals even if they have not committed or even threatened to commit a crime.  A simple petition from a third party triggers a court proceeding that could eliminate a person's Second Amendment rights and cause a cascade of consequences.  Florida is a good example of one of those states.  Some civil rights organizations have expressed concern about constitutional principles being violated by such laws, such as the right to due process and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.  Red Flag laws seem intended to bypass processes that already exist to have someone adjudicated as mentally ill or guilty of a crime.  Initial Red Flag hearings, like other restraining order hearings, often do not allow the accused time to retain an attorney or present a full defense before having their rights abridged.

Heavy-hitter lefty actor warns what they have in mind for us when they win power.  If I have to choose between sneaky radical leftists who pretend to be small-d democratic activists and honest ones who admit they would stop at nothing in punishing people like me should they gain power, I would always choose the honest ones.  Like radical jihadists, they believe that their cause is so righteous that opposition is immoral, and the evil people who oppose them deserve no constitutional protections once they are in power.  In fact, the Constitution itself is an obsolete document, written by evil white slave-owners, and a hindrance to the utopia they believe is in reach if only we submit to their command.

California threatens to upend Catholic 'seal of confession'.  Catholic priests in California would be legally obligated to report to police sexual abuse confessions brought to them by fellow priests and other church employees if a bill quickly moving through the state legislature becomes law.  Religious liberty advocates, including representatives of Catholic dioceses in California, challenge the legislation, saying it would invade a sacred space and direct priests to violate the "seal of confession."

House Democrats' 'Equality Act' Is Both Unnecessary And Unacceptable For Religious Liberty.  House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has proclaimed H.R. 5, the "Equality Act," as a top legislative priority for the current Congress.  This putatively anodyne but actually harrowing piece of legislation would not only add sexual orientation and "gender identity" protections to our nation's civil rights laws, but would browbeat religious dissenters into submission without any remotely resembling proper dispensations.

Democrats Are All About Restricting Ballot Access If It Helps Stop Trump.  Earlier this month, California began to join the growing chorus of Democrat-run states that are restricting which candidates may be listed on the presidential ballot.  Normally, Democrats decry any limits on ballot access, be they for candidates or voters, but this bill is different.  Why?  Because it is an undisguised attempt to keep Donald Trump off the ballot, and when Trump enters the equation, his opponents throw all other calculations out the window.  The bill is dressed up as a law to compel the president to release his tax returns, but it is really a form of nullification of federal law, the act of Resistance enragés who care for nothing so much as the idea that Donald Trump should not be allowed to occupy the White House.  They will allow no law or Constitution to stand in the way of that goal.

D Is for a Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy.  [Scroll down]  Indeed, while mainstream America has been fixated on the drama-filled reality show being televised from the White House, the American Police State has moved steadily forward.  Set against a backdrop of government surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, eminent domain, overcriminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches, roving VIPR raids and the like — all of which have been sanctioned by Congress, the White House and the courts — our constitutional freedoms have been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded.  Our losses are mounting with every passing day.  Free speech, the right to protest, the right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, a presumption of innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability and transparency in government, privacy, press, sovereignty, assembly, bodily integrity, representative government:  all of these and more have become casualties in the government's war on the American people.  The American people have been treated like enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, and denied due process.

Couple must pay nearly $600G for removing oak tree from their property, judge rules.  A judge ordered a Northern California couple this week to pay nearly $600,000 for uprooting an almost 200-year-old oak tree from their property that was protected under a conservation easement.  Peter and Toni Thompson removed the 180-year-old heritage oak tree to move it to another home they built adjacent to the property.  More than 3,000 cubic yards of dirt was also removed in the process.

California bill targets Catholic priests first, but the rights of all religions are at risk.  California is considering a proposed law that is nothing less than an attempt to jail innocent priests.  California Senate Bill 360 seeks to change its law to force a priest, when he hears of sins in the confessional regarding sexual abuse, to make a choice.  He must choose to either maintain the confidentiality of the sacrament and face possible imprisonment or to betray that confidentiality and violate his deepest conscience and the laws of God and the Roman Catholic Church.  No priest I know would choose the latter.

The So-Called Equality Act:  Making Some Americans More Equal than Others.  Every totalitarian system has used the tactic of coercing people to affirm the regime's agenda, even when they disagree.  Forcing people to mouth politically correct dogmas that they know are false is designed to break their spirit and their resistance.  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said the worst aspect of Communist totalitarianism was not the economic poverty or the lack of political rights; it was being forced to repeat the regime's lies:  "The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie."  Just a few years ago, few imagined that the greatest threat to liberty would come via the sexual revolution.  Its promise of liberation for some has turned into repression for everyone else.  Homosexual and transgender people are not a "vulnerable and marginalized population," as their propaganda puts it; they are now the favored few.

Parents Can't Monitor Autistic Son with GPS Tracker at School, Nevada Ruling Says.  The parents of an autistic child in Nevada who fought to have his school let him wear a GPS tracker with the ability to listen in on his surroundings lost their battle in a case that could resonate in school districts across the U.S.

23 reasons not to reveal your DNA.  DNA testing is a booming global business enabled by the internet.  Millions of people have sent samples of their saliva to commercial labs in hopes of learning something new about their personal health or heritage, primarily in the United States and Europe.  In some places, commercial tests are banned.  In France, you could face a fine of around $4,000 USD for taking one.  Industry giants Ancestry.com, 23andMe, MyHeritage and FamilyTreeDNA market their services online, share test results on websites, and even offer tutorials on how to search for relatives in phone directories, or share results in social media.  They often also claim rights to your genetic data and sell access to their databases to big pharmaceutical and medtech companies.

Elijah Cummings won't let witness have lawyer.  Democrats on the House Oversight Committee want to depose John Gore about his role in the Trump administration's decision to add a question to the 2020 Census about citizenship.  Gore was acting as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights when the decision was made.  Gore is prepared to testify and the administration is fine with him doing so.  Attorney General Barr insists only that Gore be accompanied by an attorney.  Barr is right to attach this condition, one that, according to a Department of Justice spokesperson, is consistent with longstanding DOJ policy.  The lawyer accompanying Gore would be be able to assert any privileges the executive branch may possess, including executive privilege.

Rep. Cummings Throws a Tantrum After Trump DOJ Official Refuses to Give Deposition Without DOJ Lawyer Present, 'Massive Obstruction'.  The Democrat Chairman of the House Oversight Committee accused President Trump and AG Barr of 'massive obstruction' on Wednesday [4/24/2019] for ordering federal employees to ignore congressional subpoenas.  "Both President Trump and Attorney General Barr are now openly ordering federal employees to ignore congressional subpoenas and simply not show up — without any assertion of a valid legal privilege," Dem Congressman Elijah Cummings said in a statement.  Reuters reported that the Justice Department on Wednesday refused to allow John Gore, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division to provide a deposition scheduled for Thursday if the committee would not allow a DOJ lawyer by his side.

Democrats Can't Win Based on Their Ideas, So They Want to Change the Rules of the Game.  One of the biggest criticisms of President Trump is that he violates so-called "democratic norms."  Leading Democrats, think tank officials, and newspaper columnists have continuously wrung their hands over how everything from Trump's tweets to his legitimate criticisms of the mainstream media somehow threatens American governing institutions. [...] Yet these same groups are conspicuously silent on Democrats' blatant and unapologetic attempts to subvert U.S. founding institutions in their lust for power that they cannot achieve through the existing governing framework.  In recent weeks, Democrats have called for abolishing the country's constitutional voting system, allowing children to vote, and packing the Supreme Court.

Brooklyn parents sue to stop mandatory measles vaccinations.  A group of parents in Brooklyn are seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent mandatory measles vaccinations from taking effect.  The parents' lawsuit against the New York City Department of Health called the emergency order "arbitrary and capricious" and the measures it necessitates "drastic."  The order, issued by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last week, demands that all persons, starting at the age of 6 months old, who live, work or attend school within the specified zip codes of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, be vaccinated.

Vaccine injury
Mom Catches CBS Using Image of Her Vaccine-Injured Child, Falsely Claiming Measles Caused It.  For months now, the Free Thought Project has been reporting on the hype and utter hysteria being pushed by the government and the media alike in regards to the 2019 measles situation.  It started in January as mainstream media and social media giants began begging for the government to silence those who advocate for vaccine safety and it came to a head on Tuesday as New York began force vaccinating citizens and charging those who resisted it with a crime.


De Blasio Declares Health Emergency, Orders Measles Vaccinations In Williamsburg.  Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency on Tuesday and has ordered mandatory vaccinations for people who may have been exposed to the virus in parts of Williamsburg amid a growing measles outbreak.  Since September, the city said more than 250 measles cases have been confirmed in the Brooklyn neighborhood.  "We have a situation now where children are in danger.  We have to take this seriously.  Every one of us has to feel responsibility for the situation because measles is so contagious, can spread so quickly," de Blasio said at news conference at a Williamsburg library on Tuesday morning [4/9/2019].

Health Freedom Is Being Destroyed All Over The Western World.  They tell us that we are "free", but it is just a lie.  In every country in the western world, there is layer after layer of rules and regulations that strictly govern just about every area of our lives.  But until just recently, there were certain lines that still had not been crossed.  One of those lines has to do with bodily integrity.  We have a fundamental right to say what goes into our bodies and what doesn't go into our bodies.  When any government violates that fundamental right, no matter how good the intentions are, they have entered the realm of tyranny.  And let there be no doubt — what is taking place in New York City right now is tyranny.  On Tuesday [4/9/2019], New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio used the pretense of "a public health emergency" to order mandatory vaccinations for all of the Orthodox Jews living in Williamsburg.

Media Goes Full Commie:  Christiane Amanpour Asks James Comey Why He Didn't Shut Down "Lock Her Up" Chants at Trump Rallies.  Christiane Amanpour asks James Comey if he is responsible for President Trump's victory in 2016 because HE ALLOWED Trump supporters to chant "Locker her up!" at Trump rallies.  Chistriane says this is "hate speech" and believes these people should have been silenced.

CNN Host Asks If FBI Should Have 'Shut Down' Trump Supporters Chanting 'Lock Her Up'.  CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour called "lock her up" chants by Donald Trump supporters "hate speech" in a new interview and asked James Comey if he wished he had "shut down that language" in his capacity as FBI Director at the time.  Amanpour recounted the frequent chants at Trump 2016 campaign rallies about imprisoning Hillary Clinton for her perceived crimes and wondered if they should have been legal, but Comey responded it was not the role of government officials to censor that speech.

House Democrats attack freedom of the press.  What part of "Congress shall make no law" does House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings not understand?  The Maryland Democrat, suddenly handed the investigative and subpoena powers of the House, must think there isn't enough executive branch misconduct to investigate.  That would explain why, when finally given the power to hold the Trump administration accountable, he is instead recklessly undermining the First Amendment's freedom of the press by questioning whether news organizations went and made editorial decisions he doesn't like.  Yes, it is every bit as dumb as it sounds.

Social media bosses face jail under 'world first' Australian laws.  Social media executives risk jail for failing to take down violent extremist content quickly, under controversial laws passed in Australia on Thursday — a "world first" in the wake of the Christchurch mosques massacre.  Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favour of the laws, which hold firms like Facebook and YouTube — and their executives — responsible for removing "abhorrent material" quickly.  The companies face fines approaching billions of dollars — or 10% of global annual turnover — for failing to enact the "expeditious removal" of footage of terrorism, murder and other serious crimes, while executives could face up to three years in jail.

House Democrats Want 'Oversight' over Fox News' Editorial Decisions.  Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are demanding to know why Fox News did not publish a story prior to the 2016 election about an alleged affair years before between porn star Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump.  House Committee on Oversight and Reform chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wrote to former Fox News reporter Diana Falzone last month demanding that she turn over any documents relating to Trump's alleged extramarital affairs.  An article in the New Yorker last month alleged that Fox News executive Ken LaCorte spiked the story to protect Trump — a claim LaCorte has vehemently denied, saying the story lacked corroborating evidence and that the network was merely practicing responsible journalism, as were other outlets who declined the story.

In New Zealand, a Democracy Turns Against Itself.  One of the oldest criticisms of democracy is that it's prone to degenerating into little more than mob rule, driven by the latest panic, hatred, or revulsion to consume people's attention.  When it comes to stoking such strong emotions, it's difficult to top the effect of the brutal mass murders committed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.  In the wake of that crime, the country's government has succumbed to blind reaction by restricting speech, depriving innocent people of arms, and heightening domestic surveillance — intrusions into individual rights that are inherent whether or not governments and majorities formally respect them.  It's a grim illustration of just how vulnerable the "liberal" element of liberal democracy can be — as our own country has itself demonstrated in the past.

The Tsunami Approaches.  The European Union has decreed — fatwa'd — that beginning with the 2022 model year, all new cars shall be electronically gelded, forced by software to hew to every speed limit, all the time.  The same software — and hardware — that probably two-thirds of all new cars sold here already have — merely awaiting activation.  Helpful, convenient GPS mapping — so much easier than having to read and handle a paper map, as people used to.  Helpful, convenient "driver assists" — such as the little cameras that enable your car to automatically brake itself when those electronic eyes see another car up ahead, moving more slowly than your car.  These cameras also see — and know, via the GPS mapping data, updated regularly — what the speed limit is on every road you drive.  And the car knows exactly how fast you are driving, in real time — all the time.

The Democrat Leninist Revolution Is Here.  The parallels between the Bolshevik takeover, which begat the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the über-leftward turn of the Democratic Party are impossible to ignore.  Lenin and the Bolsheviks did not significantly differ ideologically from the Romanov monarchical dynasty they ended with their takeover, or from the Mensheviks, from whom the Bolsheviks spilt in 1903, just as the new Democrats don't differ much from the old Democrats.  In the lead-up to Lenin's hijacking, the various Russian factions all sold iterations of socialism, democratic socialism, and communism.  These -isms, at their core, are mostly the same.  Lenin sold a revolutionary narrative of a proletariat revolt, in which the political power rests with the peasants and workers, which would evolve into socialism — equal social ownership of all produced by the workers.

Child Protective Services Has Created A Gestapo Police State.  The Gestapo power that the state now wields over parents is a creation of "child advocates" who believe that it is the function of government to protect children from parents.  One consequence has been to erode parental control and to effectively end it in the case of rebellious children who respond to punishment by calling CPS and reporting their parents.  CPS has powerful incentives to seize children as it justifies the agency's existance and brings a federal payment for each child seized.  There are reports that many of the seized children end up in the hands of pedophiles, but governments seldom want to hear that they are doing harm rather than good.  Why has child safety changed so much over my lifetime that children need a police agency to protect them?  Why could I and my 5 year old classmates walk alone to our neighborhood schools, for example, but such a thing is unthinkable today.  Could the destruction of homogenuous neighborhoods by "diversity" have anything to do with it?  Could the redefinition of the parental control of my day as child abuse have anything to do with it?  Could all the forces that have broken up the family have anything to do with it?

Judge rules against Rockland County's state of emergency over measles outbreak.  A judge has ruled on behalf of several dozen parents who challenged Rockland County's emergency order banning children from public places unless they've been vaccinated against measles.  A state Supreme Court judge made the ruling Friday [4/5/2019] on the legality of Rockland County Executive Ed Day's order, which is part of efforts to stop a measles outbreak that has infected more than 160 people since October.  The 30-day order enacted on March 26 banned unvaccinated people under 18 years old from gathering places including schools, stores, churches and public transportation.

The Editor says...
Obviously the government cannot prohibit anyone from going to church.  That is, it's obvious to anyone who has read the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but apparently it's not obvious to the reporter at WABC-TV, or the officials who run Rockland County.

Swat Team Takes Children from Home because of Political Liability.  On 26 February, 2019, the Chandler Police SWAT team raided a home where the children were sick.  The parents had not committed any crime, nor was any child in any substantial danger.  The raid itself created far more danger than the danger it was supposed to mitigate.  It was a perfect storm of the conflict of rights and the Nanny State, parental responsibility and bureaucratic fear of liability.  In short, it resulted from the basic conflict in our society between those who insist on perfection, and reality.  It shows how creeping tyranny is advancing in society.

Mom Ignores Doctor When Her Sick 2-Year-Old Starts Feeling Better, Child Services Send a SWAT Team.  It was dinnertime on February 25 when the pregnant mother took her 2-year-old to the doctor with a fever of over 100.  The doctor told her to take him to the emergency room, fearing that because the boy was unvaccinated, perhaps he had meningitis — a life-threatening disease.  The doctor called the hospital to alert them.  But by the time the mother and child left his office, the boy was "laughing and playing with his siblings," according to this excellent piece by Dianna M. Nanez in The Arizona Republic.  Mom took his temperature again, and it was almost normal.  So instead of going to the emergency room, the family went home.  The mom called the doctor to say her boy's fever had broken and she wasn't going to the emergency room.  The doctor told her she should go anyway, so she agreed she would — but then she didn't.  That's when the madness began.

Arizona SWAT busts down door to take 2-yr-old unvaccinated boy with 105° fever away from home for help.  After the parents of a sick 2-year-old child refused a doctor's recommendation late last month that they take their unvaccinated son to the emergency room for treatment for the boy's 105 degree fever, he reportedly sicced a police swat team on them via the Arizona Department of Child Safety.  Shocking police surveillance footage released by the media this week shows Chandler Police Department officers busting down the parents' front door and storming into their home as if they were taking down drug dealers or trying to apprehend armed fugitives.  Except they were, in reality, looking for the 2-year-old because they incorrectly believed he was in danger.

Police knock down family's door, take their kids in overnight raid because mom didn't follow doctor's orders for child with fever.  The Arizona Department of Child Safety and the Chandler Police Department in Chandler, Arizona, have fallen under scrutiny, after officers conducted an overnight SWAT-team-style raid on a family's home and took the children because an unvaccinated toddler had a fever.

The Editor says...
We are rapidly approaching the day when your children will no longer be your own.  The state wants total control.  The "local news" on television is an infomercial for big government:  The police are universally depicted as "heroes" and anyone who defies the police is portrayed as a dangerous extremist.  The story above is about a parent who chose not to vaccinate her child, and the child got sick — quite possibly with some illness unrelated to the vaccine she declined.  But that's no reason to withhold treatment, and it does not justify the confiscation of children by the state.   There is apparently no middle ground on the vaccination issue:  On one side, the people who watch too much television say the government is the final authority, and doctors are always right.  On the other side, skeptics have the right to live life without vaccinations, preferring to depend on God's healing power and every normal kid's immune system.  (I had the measles and chicken pox when I was a kid, and so did most of the other kids in my elementary school.  It was no big deal.)  Additionally, you don't know what's in those vaccines.  Consider how many children now have asthma, peanut allergies, ADHD, various degrees of autism, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, previously unknown mysterious diseases, and other problems that were extremely rare or completely unknown until recently.  At this point, one has the right to make informed decisions and proceed accordingly.

N.Y. Suburb Declares Measles Emergency, Bars Unvaccinated Minors From Public Places.  In a move aimed at getting the public's attention, officials in New York's Rockland County have declared a state of emergency in response to an ongoing measles outbreak.  Among the measures: a 30-day ban on any unvaccinated people under the age of 18 from being in public places.  Of course, there's no practical way to enforce the measure.  But that's not exactly the point, anyway, says Rockland County Executive Ed Day.  Officials just want to make sure parents know how serious things are in Rockland.  There have been more than 150 confirmed cases of measles in the county since the fall, officials say.

Michigan's Big Brother Attorney General Will Crack Down Hard on Free Speech.  "Know this: we are watching."  Who makes this kind of threat?  Reinhard Heydrich, the notorious SS general and chief of the Gestapo?  KGB head Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov?  Big Brother?  They all talked that way.  Last Friday, it was Michigan Department of Civil Rights director Agustin Arbulu's turn to say it.  He and Dana Nessel, the new state attorney general, announced plans "to increase the documentation and prosecution of hate crimes and incidents" in the state.  Not just hate crimes.  Hate incidentsWhat's a hate incident? you may ask.  The MDCR press release says, "Hate and bias incidents are those instances where an action does not rise to the level of a crime or a civil infraction."

Court Rules Father Cannot Halt Daughter's Transgender Hormones, or Even Call Her a Girl.  Last Wednesday [2/27/2019], the Supreme Court of British Columbia (B.C.) ruled that a 14-year-old girl may undergo transgender hormone "treatments" to support her transgender identity as a boy — without her father's consent.  The court went so far as to threaten to penalize the father's speech.  If he calls his daughter a girl, that would constitute "family violence," which would be punishable by law.  The B.C. Supreme Court ruled that the girl (referred to as A.B.) "is exclusively entitled to consent to medical treatment for gender dysphoria and to take any necessary legal proceedings in relation to such medical treatment," and that "attempting to persuade A.B. to abandon treatment for gender dysphoria; addressing A.B. by his birth name; referring to A.B. as a girl or with female pronouns whether to him directly or to third parties; shall be considered to be family violence under s. 38 of the Family Law Act."

Chicago Dem Candidate Says Socialism Should 'Control Every Facet of Our Life'.  A Democratic candidate for alderman in Chicago believes that socialism should have "control over every facet of our life." Ugo Okere, running against 35-year incumbent Patrick O'Connor, told the radical left publication Jacobin that socialism was "about Democratic control" of both politics and people's personal lives. [...] Of course, the "progressive left," who want to make our lives "easier," are just as clueless as Okere.  They're just not quite as honest.  In truth, the "transformation" that both the progressive left and radical socialists want would destroy America as we know it and bury human progress and freedom perhaps forever.

Incrementalism:
Cuomo Wants 7-Year Sentences for New Yorkers Who Lose Cool, Attack Transportation Workers.  Currently, some Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers such as bus drivers and station agents are covered under the Class D felony provision that levies a mandatory term of seven years in prison and a fine up to $5,000 for attacks on these workers.  Cuomo's FY 2020 budget would expand protected employees to include highway workers, contractors with the state Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority, municipal highway workers and contractors, and airport staff.  Other covered professions would include fare collectors, station maintenance workers, custodial staff, baggage handlers, ticket counter staff, and more.

A Citizen Suing the Department of Justice Needs More than Just a Winning Legal Argument.  As I fight on with my computer intrusion lawsuit against the U.S. government, it seems to intersect more clearly with current events every day.  And it points to an even larger story.  How widespread is improper government surveillance of journalists, politicians and other U.S. citizens in the name of the fight against terrorism?  A few of us found out we were targeted only because we were lucky enough to be alerted by inside sources or other unique ways.  How many others were targeted, monitored and watched by government officials but still have no idea it happened?

U. Minnesota Backs Off Plan to Punish People for Not Using Preferred Pronouns.  It's amazing that they thought this would fly in the first place.  That's how far we've drifted.

You may soon have to give your DNA to the state and pay $250 for the privilege.  Arizona could soon be one of the first states to maintain a massive statewide DNA database.  And if the proposed legislation passes, many people — from parent school volunteers and teachers to real estate agents and foster parents — will have no choice but to give up their DNA.  Under Senate Bill 1475, which Sen. David Livingston, R-Peoria, introduced, DNA must be collected from anyone who has to be fingerprinted by the state for a job, to volunteer in certain positions or for a myriad of other reasons.

Ten Thousand Commandments 2018.  Ten Thousand Commandments is the Competitive Enterprise Institute's annual survey of the size, scope, and cost of federal regulations, and how they affect American consumers, businesses, and the U.S. economy at large.  Written by CEI Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews, it shines a light on the large and under-appreciated "hidden tax" of America's regulatory state.  The current edition marks 25 years since the first report was published as part of the Journal of Regulation and Social Costs in 1993.  Federal government spending, deficits, and the national debt are staggering, but so is the impact of federal regulations.  Unfortunately, the financial impact of these rules gets little attention in policy debates because, unlike spending and taxes, they are unbudgeted and difficult to quantify.

Minnesota:  Christian Pastor Arrested at Mall of America Faces Hearing and Trial After Talking to Muslims.  Ramin Parsa, an ex-Muslim Christian pastor who was stabbed in Iran, imprisoned in Turkey, and then arrested in the Mall of America for sharing his testimony with interested Muslim women, faces a settlement conference in March and likely a trial in April.  The state of Minnesota has continued to prosecute his case, even though the Mall of America was wrong to accuse him of trespassing in the first place.  In late August 2018, Parsa was visiting the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minn.  Two Somali-American women spoke with him and asked him if he was still a Muslim.  When he said he was not, they asked him to explain.  At this point, another lady complained to mall security.  Security took Parsa into custody, holding him handcuffed to a metal chair for four hours without water, and then turning him over to the police.

What if the Deep State wins?  Survival in a Post-Trump Heavily Centralized Socialist Police State.  Put aside your personal feelings, good or bad, about President Trump for a moment.  The undeniable fact is, he won't be President forever.  At some point Trump's Presidency will end — by impeachment, coup, death, defeat in 2020, or when his second term expires in 2024.  Regardless of when or how Trump leaves office, the deep state, the political class, the DC insiders, the collectivists, the socialists, the political & social activists, and the anti-Western elites in business, academia & the media will still be there. [...] Its not hard to predict where the Elites are wanting to take us.  Just look at where Obama was pushing us.  And where Hillary was going to push us had she won in 2016.  And where the Dems are openly saying they will push us.  Just look at where recent social, political, business, and technological trends are taking us.  Just look at the open hostility towards traditional values and beliefs.

Hundreds protest in Washington state for right not to vaccinate children amid measles outbreak.  Hundreds of anti-vaccination supporters demonstrated outside a public hearing in Washington state on Friday [2/8/2019] to protest a bill that would make it harder for families to opt out of mandatory vaccinations for children, the Associated Press reported.  The protest took place amid the state's worse measles outbreak in more than two decades.  Health officials have reported at least 56 cases in Washington and Oregon.  An estimated 700 people demonstrated in Olympia, Washington, most of whom opposed stricter requirements, The Washington Post reported.

Journalist Arrested at Press Conference for Not Being Mainstream.  A rather disturbing situation unfolded in Las Vegas on Wednesday [1/30/2019] as two independent journalists — attempting to exercise their First Amendment right of the press — were arrested and cited for trespassing.  Joey Lankowski, Kelly Patterson, and Ronald Mecklosky were at the Las Vegas police station attempting to cover a press conference about one of their officers shooting at a man for holding a cane.  Lankowski tells the Free Thought Project that he'd been in contact with the Metropolitan Police Department so he could get the details of another press conference over police shooting another man and attend it.  However, according to Lankowski, officials from the department lied to him and refused to tell him when the actual press conference would take place and held it in secret on Monday.

One of the largest at-home DNA testing companies is giving the FBI access to its records.  DNA home testing kits that can trace ancestry and find missing relatives are a dream come true for genealogists.  But as conspiracy theorists have long suspected, the tests are being used for other purposes, too.  BuzzFeed News reported that Family Tree DNA, one of the largest home DNA testing companies, is allowing FBI agents to search its databases in their quest to "solve violent crime cases."  The company's database has about 1,021,774 records, Jezebel.com reported.  Public genealogy databases are often used by police to solve cold cases.  One of the most notable ones that used DNA from a public database was the Golden State Killer case.

Is Big Tech Merging With Big Brother?  Kinda Looks Like It.  China's social rating system, which was announced by the ruling Communist Party in 2014, will soon be a fact of life for many more Chinese.  By 2020, if the Party's plan holds, every footstep, keystroke, like, dislike, social media contact, and posting tracked by the state will affect one's social rating.  Personal "creditworthiness" or "trustworthiness" points will be used to reward and punish individuals and companies by granting or denying them access to public services like health care, travel, and employment, according to a plan released last year by the municipal government of Beijing.  High-scoring individuals will find themselves in a "green channel," where they can more easily access social opportunities, while those who take actions that are disapproved of by the state will be "unable to move a step."

Texas transgender bills to 'ban Christianity' in Texas?  While LGBTQ activists across the Lone Star State are confident that the upcoming state bills will enhance the so-called "gay rights" of Texans, many conservative pastors in the state are fearful that the proposed laws, that would add gender identity and sexual orientation to Texas discrimination laws, will diminish their right to express their faith.

IRS Becoming Big Brother With $99-Million Supercomputer.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is building a $99-million supercomputer that will give the agency the "unprecedented ability to track the lives and transactions of tens of millions of American citizens," tax expert Daniel Pilla reports.  The IRS is already dangerous enough, notes Pilla.  "The IRS lays claim to your data without court authority more so than any other government agency.  And to make matters worse, they share the data with any other federal, state or local government agency claiming an interest, including foreign governments."  The IRS already receives billions of tax documents annually, and the amount of information the agency receives continues to grow.

Uncle Sam Wants Your DNA: The FBI's Diabolical Plan To Create A Nation Of Suspects.  Actually, if the government gets its hands on your DNA, they as good as have you in their clutches.  Get ready, folks, because the government — helped along by Congress (which adopted legislation allowing police to collect and test DNA immediately following arrests), President Trump (who signed the Rapid DNA Act into law), the courts (which have ruled that police can routinely take DNA samples from people who are arrested but not yet convicted of a crime), and local police agencies (which are chomping at the bit to acquire this new crime-fighting gadget) — is embarking on a diabolical campaign to create a nation of suspects predicated on a massive national DNA database.

New IRS Spy Software.  The IRS lays claim to your data without court authority more so than any other government agency.  And to make matters worse, they share the data with any other federal, state or local government agency claiming an interest, including foreign governments.  In 2019, there will be about 152 million individual tax returns filed with the IRS.  There will be roughly another 100 million business tax returns filed.  There will be millions more miscellaneous tax returns, including trust, estate and gift tax returns.  On top of that, over 3.6 BILLION information returns (Forms W-2, 1099, etc.) will be filed.  There is quite literally a river of data flowing into the agency.  The flow cannot be stopped, and as far as the IRS is concerned, they need even more.

Oregon Could Become the First State to Require In-Home Surveillance of Newborn Babies.  If Oregon Governor Kate Brown has her way, the Beaver State will become the first to require universal home visits for newborn children in the care of their own parents.  Senate Bill 526, introduced this month in the Oregon Legislative Assembly as part of Brown's budget, orders the Oregon Health Authority to "study home visiting by licensed health care providers."  Lawmakers went so far as to declare that SB 526 is an "emergency" measure — one that requires a resolution by the end of the year.

Twenty Things You Probably Didn't Know about Kamala Harris.  [#2] Harris strongly supports "familial DNA searching,ˮ in which police take DNA samples from crime scenes and compare them to existing databases to look for not just any direct matches in criminal databases, but any familial matches.  Police have gradually expanded the practice's reach, from checking DNA collected against existing samples of convicted criminals to checking them against samples in the databases of genealogy web sites and genetic-testing companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com.  California allows the collection and preservation of DNA samples from anyone who is arrested, even if they're not charged with a crime.

On January 1, I became a criminal in my hometown of Boulder.  It's not the intolerance of progressives that is so insulting.  It is the denial of their intolerance that is so abusive.  When I was growing up it was the liberals who more often held the moral high-ground.  Those of us raised in the 1970's heard it all the time — "the end doesn't justify the means." [...] Progressives have not just rejected that proud tradition, they have remade it into the ugly opposite — the end justifies all:  Coercing speech with speech codes and forcing cake bakers to create statements against their core religious beliefs; social justice warfare and identity politics; the nanny state banning everything from plastic straws to tobacco products; and forcing private health insurance products at gun-point.

If you love free speech, get acquainted with the Lindsay Shepherd case.  A great many people — including many strong advocates of free speech — have only a passing acquaintance with the Lindsay Shepherd matter.  This lack of awareness is unfortunate, because nothing more chillingly reveals the way in which universities are violating the free speech principle.

Boston Mayor's Office to Force Doctors to Identify and Document Patients Who Own Guns.  Joseph Stalin's firearms registration and confiscation was a tremendous success for the Socialist state.  Under the Tsar, Russia was one of the most heavily armed societies on earth.  That all changed when Stalin and the communists took control.  Stalin was able to control, starve, punish and imprison a defenseless people, after he took their guns. [...] It's no secret that Democrats are hoping to repeat this history here in the United States.

GAO: IRS Had 4,487 Guns; 5,062,006 Rounds of Ammunition.  The Internal Revenue Service had in its weapons inventory 4,487 guns and 5,062,006 rounds of ammunition as of late 2017, according to a report published this month by the Government Accountability Office.  Included in this arsenal, according to the GAO, were 15 "fully automatic firearms" and 56,000 rounds of ammunition for those fully automatic firearms.  The same report — "Federal Law Enforcement:  Purchases and Inventory Controls of Firearms, Ammuntion, and Tactical Equipment" — says that the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services had 194 fully automatic firearms and 386,952 rounds of ammunition for those fully automatic firearms.

Government Shutdown Or Not, The Police State Will Continue To Flourish.  [N]othing about this government shutdown will diminish the immediate and very real dangers of the American Police State with its roadside strip searches, government surveillance, biometric databases, citizens being treated like terrorists, imprisonments for criticizing the government, national ID cards, SWAT team raids, censorship, forcible blood draws and DNA extractions, private prisons, weaponized drones, red light cameras, tasers, active shooter drills, police misconduct and government corruption.  Shutdown or not, war will continue.  Drone killings will continue.  Surveillance will continue.  Censorship and persecution of anyone who criticizes the government will continue.  The government's efforts to label dissidents as extremists and terrorists will continue.  Police shootings will continue.  Highway robbery meted out by government officials will continue.  Corrupt government will continue.  Profit-driven prisons will continue.  And the militarization of the police will continue.  Indeed, take a look at the programs and policies that are not affected by a government shutdown, and you'll get a clearer sense of the government's priorities, which have little to do with serving taxpayers and everything to do with amassing money, power and control.

Incoming House Democrats Ready Bill to Criminalize Private Gun Sales.  The incoming Democrat House majority is readying legislation to criminalize private gun sales.  Ironically, the push comes nearly 227 years to the day after private gun ownership was hedged in by the Founding Fathers via the Second Amendment, which was ratified on December 15, 1791.  Politico reports that Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) is spearheading the current gun control push through "universal background" legislation.  Such checks criminalize private gun sales, making it illegal for a neighbor to sell a firearm to his neighbor, a friend to his lifelong friend, and even a father to his son.

That Giant Liberty-Sucking Sound From the Tolerant Left.  Various leftist grievance groups have insisted for years that they just want equal treatment and equal rights, that they only want to end discrimination and that they come with an attitude of "live and let live."  Nope. [...] There is no semblance of tolerance in their bones.  They are militantly aggressive and spoiling for any opportunity to pressure and intimidate people into submission.  This suppression of our liberties doesn't just emanate from the government; the long arm of the private sector often enforces uniformity of thought with the same coercive power.

California Dem Ted Lieu say he would 'love to regulate' speech, bemoans US Constitution that prohibits him.  California Democrat Ted Lieu bemoaned on Wednesday that though he would "love to be able to regulate the content of speech," including that on Fox News, he can't do it because of the U.S. Constitution.  Lieu made the comments during an interview about the testimony of Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, where he dismissed the allegations that the tech giant amplifies negative stories about Republican lawmakers, saying "if you want positive search results, do positive things."  CNN host Brianna Keilar praised Lieu for his performance but asked whether other Democrats should have used the committee to press Google on conspiracy theories that spread on their platforms.

Congressman:  "I Would Love To ... Regulate The Content Of Speech".  You know, often we react to things emotionally and would love to "regulate" others on things we disagree with, and the representatives of the people are human.  Fortunately, our forefathers put in plain English the First Amendment that specifically states "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech."  Yet, they have done it on so many occasions in violation of their oaths of office and criminal acts against the people.  Now, California Democrat Congressman Ted Lieu says he would love to regulate speech too.  "I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech.  The First Amendment prevents me from doing so..."  Lieu told CNN concerning the testimony of Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Virginia teacher fired for refusing to use new pronouns for transgender student.  "You will be made to care," wrote Eric Erickson in RedState back in 2013.  He was referring to a court case in Colorado of a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple and was fined for it.  Today, we are being threatened, intimidated, and bullied into caring about people who believe they are trapped in the wrong body — that their biological gender is incorrect and that they are actually someone of the opposite gender — or some other gender created out of whole cloth.  A Virginia French teacher found out the consequences of trying to balance his religious beliefs with the new paradigm of "transitioning" to another gender.

The Editor says...
The people who say they believe in science (above all else) are willing to say that biology is sometimes incorrect.

Mastercard and Microsoft have a frightening plan to create universal "digital identities".  Sometimes a business inadvertently drops the pretense and just tells the world its real intentions.  We saw this yesterday, when Amazon bragged about how it "allowed" an employee to lose 100 pounds by endlessly delivering boxes.  Amazon saw this as a heartwarming tale about how great it is to work for the e-commerce juggernaut.  It completely missed the subtext:  Who needs a gym when someone can physically labor for their corporate overlord and lose weight?  Now we have another, possibly darker example.  Mastercard announced a new partnership with Microsoft that is tackling "digital identities."

Indiana Solicitor General:  It's Constitutional to Seize a Car for Driving 5 MPH Over the Speed Limit.  Civil asset forfeiture is such a farce that it took Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer only about 100 words to twist Indiana's solicitor general into admitting that his state could have the power to seize cars over something as insubstantial as driving 5 miles-per-hour over the speed limit.  Yes, really.

Democrat Congressman:  We Should Confiscate Guns and If You Fight Back, the Government Has Nukes to Deal With It.  California Democrat Congressman Eric Swalwell is calling for government confiscation of all semi-automatic rifles.  In other words, every rifle in America.  [Tweets]  Further, he's warning citizens of nuclear annihilation should people refuse to comply.  [More tweets]  When he was confronted, Swalwell tried to backtrack with some context and further explanation.

Dem Rep. Eric Swalwell:  If We Confiscate Your Guns And You Fight Back, We Will Nuke You.  I know he's running for president in a [very] crowded field and has to strain to get noticed.  But between this and shrugging off death threats aimed at Susan Collins, it seems like there must be a better way. [...] "Find common ground with us or risk incineration by your own government" is a top-ten all-time tweet by a federal elected official.

Dem congressman:  Government can always nuke resistant gun-owners.  [Scroll down]  It's worth noting just how radical [House Democrat Eric] Swalwell's suggestion is.  He isn't arguing for a "ban" of sales or imports, in the vein of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, for example.  He is arguing for federal confiscation of millions of weapons that the federal government may arbitrarily deem too deadly for individual Americans to own.  As should be clear to anyone, the prospect of such legislation implies two distinct outcomes.  Federal agents would be forced to physically visit Americans' homes to seize their weapons if they choose not to surrender or "sell" them to the government, and there will be a penalty of violence for a failure to comply.

Kansas Governor-Elect Wants to Block Law Protecting Religious Adoption Agencies.  The governor-elect of Kansas, Laura Kelly, said in a news conference on Thursday, Nov. 8 that she will try to block enforcement of a new law that protects religious adoption agencies from being forced to place children in homes that violate their beliefs.  The Adoption Protection Act, which took effect in July, allows adoption agencies with "sincerely held" religious beliefs to refuse to place children in LGBTQ homes.  According to the Associated Press, Kelly, who has called the law the "adoption discrimination" measure, "said she will have her staff review how far the state can go to avoid enforcing the law."  "If there is way to direct the agency to not implement that, then I will do that," said Kelly, a liberal Democrat.

Smith Canteen sign
New York coffee shop fined $300 by Sanitation Department for sign announcing how many cups they've kept out of landfill.  A coffee shop in New York was allegedly fined $300 by the Department of Sanitation for a misplaced sandwich board on the sidewalk, which announced that the business had kept over 2,000 cups out of the landfill in 2018.  Smith Canteen's owner, Kerry Diamond, posted about the ironic incident on Facebook, claiming the sign has been in the same spot for the past seven years.  "I've been spending a lot of money and time trying to figure out waste reduction, composting, and single-use plastic alternatives at the Canteen, so this really burns me," she wrote.


It Doesn't Matter If You Love The Constitution If Your Neighbors Don't Know What It Says.  A study conducted last year by the Annenberg Center of Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania showed that only 26 percent of Americans could name all three branches of government, while more than a third (37 percent) surveyed couldn't name even one of the five freedoms or rights guaranteed by the First Amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.  Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once lamented Americans' ignorance of the Federalist Papers:  "It is such a profound exposition of political science that it is studied in political science courses in Europe.  And yet we have raised a generation of Americans who are not familiar with it."  Indeed, most states' history and civics classes today are "mediocre to awful," according to a 2011 study published by the American Bar Association.  When states' standards for history classes were graded for "content and rigor" and "clarity and specificity" on scales from A to F, a whopping 28 states earned grades of D or F, while only 9 earned an A- or B.  This self-destruction of our popular constitutional culture has gone hand-in-hand with another dangerous trend.  With civic awareness at dismal lows, the people's unique relationship to the Constitution has also been systematically usurped by lawyers and legal elites.

Leftists Expand Their War Into All Corners of Society.  The simple reality is that from judicial appointments to pop culture, from schools to restaurants, from sports to internet searches, to nearly everything in contemporary life, the political left is waging an ideological war.  So conservatives and libertarians may not be interested in the politicization of all things, but the left's politicization of all things is interested in them. [...] One can't even watch a football game or select shoes anymore without descending into the politicized swamps.  More ominously, that same expanding leftism has entered social realms of greater consequence to everyday Americans, including internet searches and banking.

FBI makes suspect unlock iPhone X in first confirmed instance of forced Face ID.  The incident occurred on Aug. 10, when the FBI searched the house of Grant Michalski in Columbus, Ohio during a child abuse investigation, Forbes reported on Sunday, citing court documents.  Special agent David Knight ordered Michalski to face the iPhone, triggering Face ID.  Michalski was ultimately charged with receiving and possessing child pornography.  The search uncovered related Kik conversations, including a chat with someone who was really an undercover officer.  Only some data was obtained from the iPhone however as the FBI didn't have Michalski's passcode, which put up roadblocks for forensic tools after the device had been locked for more than an hour.

Mom investigated for letting 8-year-old walk dog around the block.  Just after returning home from a walk around the block with her dog, Marshmallow, an 8-year-old Wilmette girl expected a visit from a playmate.  Instead, police officers arrived at the family's door.  An anonymous caller had contacted police after seeing the girl walking the dog alone, said her mother, Corey Widen.  While police never pursued charges, the seemingly common activity launched an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigation to see if Widen was neglecting her children, she said.

Las Vegas Hotel "Security" Enters The Big Brother Age After The Vegas Shooting.  What would you do if you owned a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip after the Vegas shooting to increase security?  Why, of course... you'd perform surprise security checks on the most paranoid group that visits there — DEF CON.  Caesar's Palace in their stupidity has allegedly implemented a practice where hotel security, using keys to the rooms there, are doing random security checks where they enter the rooms without knocking and seize items from the rooms.  And if Caesar's Palace is doing it, the rest of the hotels on the Strip won't be far behind.  Any highrise hotel will fall in line.  You probably don't have to worry about Best Westerns or Holiday Inns... yet.

Democrats attempt to stifle dissent:
'Survival of our democracy' depends on banning sites like InfoWars, Dem senator says.  Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is calling on other tech companies to ban more sites like InfoWars, and says the survival of American democracy depends on it.  "Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart.  These companies must do more than take down one website.  The survival of our democracy depends on it," Murphy tweeted Monday [8/6/2018].

The Mask Slips In Santa Barbara.  A little noticed detail in Santa Barbara's recent drive to criminalize plastic straws, which culminated in the Santa Barbara city council taking testimony from a nine-year-old about the planetary menace, has come to light in recent days.  During that council session, councilman Jesse Dominguez said the following in response to citizens who asked "what's next?":  "Unfortunately, common sense is just not common.  We have to regulate every aspect of people's lives."  Take that one in for a moment, for it expresses the core impulse of liberalism today.

'We Have to Regulate Every Aspect of People's Lives'.  A Santa Barbara city councilman inadvertently let slip the primary purpose of progressivism in 21st century America.  The city recently criminalized the use of plastic straws.  Speaking to that issue, Councilman Jesse Dominguez said, "Unfortunately, common sense is just not common.  We have to regulate every aspect of people's lives."  Got that?  "We" are smarter than you and know what's best for you better than you do.  Perhaps realizing that his comment revealed a fundamental truth of progressive thought, Dominguez tried to walk back his gaffe: [...]

Drive to Regulate Speech On the Internet Is Gaining Steam.  Last week the House of Commons' Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport released an interim report on fake news and disinformation.  While couched in the usual do-good language, it illustrates the seriousness of the threat to free speech, most of which takes place, nowadays, on the internet.  The report is worth reading in its entirety.

Shock Survey: 40% Of Americans Cannot Name A Single Right Guaranteed By The First Amendment.  The survey of 1,009 American adults was conducted in May and June of 2018 by the Fors Marsh Group in partnership with Lata Nott and Gene Policinski of FFI.  The survey has a margin of error of 3.7%.  When asked to name the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, only one person was able to name all five.  2% of respondents were able to name the right to petition the government for redress of grievances; 12% were able to name the right of peaceful assembly; 13% were able to name freedom of the press; 15% were able to name freedom of religion; and 56% were able to name freedom of speech.

Sen. Mark Warner's Memo Calls for the Government to Regulate Internet.  Axios obtained a memo written by the office of Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, that plans for the government to takeover the internet and regulate digital platforms.

Town Orders Family to Stop Hosting Bible Studies on Farm.  The owners of a Pennsylvania farm have been ordered by the Sewickley Heights Borough to cease and desist holding Bible studies on their private property.  Borough leaders accused Scott and Terri Fetterolf of improperly using their 35-acre farm as a place of worship, a place of assembly and as a commercial venue.  They were served a cease-and-desist order in October 2017, the Post-Gazette reported.

Air Force veteran sells home after being fined $100 a week for displaying US flag in flower pot.  A Florida man had to sell his house after his homeowners association told him to remove a 17-inch American flag he had placed in a flower pot on his front porch.  Larry Murphree, who spent half a dozen years as an Air Force air traffic controller according to the Washington Post, received a letter in the mail from the Tides Condominium in Sweetwater seven years ago telling him to remove the "unauthorized object" or be fined $100 a day.  He refused to remove it and took up the issue with his lawyer after reaching $1,000 in fines.

Democrats Endorse Judicial Tyranny.  For example, legalizing pornography, coddling criminals, declaring abortion to be a fundamental right, redefining libel/slander, and redefining marriage have all been the result of the Supreme Court defining policy, not interpreting the Constitution and the law.  In most cases the Court went directly against the expressed will of the people and imposed laws on Americans that were only supported by the tiny elite who run the Democratic party. [...] 55,000,000 Americans had voted against redefining marriage — even uberliberal California resoundingly passed Prop 8, which declared that marriage was between a man and a woman, but the Supreme Court decided that the people didn't know what was best for them and imposed what Democrats wanted on the people.

UK Doctor Sacked For Blasphemy.  In the UK, the National Health Service has thrown out a doctor:  ["]A doctor has been 'sacked' as a medical assessor for a government department after refusing to renounce his Christian belief that gender is determined at birth, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal. [...] The 55-year-old father of four believes sex is genetic and biological, so established at birth.["]  Wait a minute.  Holding the view that people are born male or female is now a theological belief?  Do you see how radical this is?  Here's the theology angle:  this doctor was fired because he blasphemed against the militant new religion.

Mob Violence and Gun Ownership.  The future votes of illegals who will someday attain amnesty is the singular objective of the present version of the Democratic Party.  They have made clear that they will ignore MS-13, drug-trafficking, human-trafficking, rampant violence, and crime across the country by illegals, if that means that one day these future Democrats will control the outcomes of elections in every state the Democrats cannot presently rig, and will provide cheap labor for the Republicans who seem fine with never wielding political power again.

The judicial war on God and the Declaration of Independence.  Poor North Carolina just can't get a break.  It appears that the state's original concerns about joining the federal union in 1788 have been proven correct.  Over the past year, the Fourth Circuit has nullified the state's voter integrity laws; federal, state, and even county-level political maps; and gender sanity laws.  Now the court has banished God from county government prayers.  On July 14, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Rowan County, North Carolina, commissioners can't begin their session with a public prayer delivered by an elected official.  And the vote wasn't even close.  This once conservative panel voted 10-5 to banish God from the public square.

Border patrol agents are stopping people on highways in New England to check their citizenship.  Far from ground zero in the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration along the southern border, US Customs and Border Protection checkpoints on highways in Maine and New Hampshire are catching the eye of civil liberties groups.  On Interstate 95 near the remote northern Maine town of Lincoln this week, the Border Patrol said it made nine drug seizures and two arrests for immigration violations during an 11-hour checkpoint operation in which agents asked motorists about their place of birth and citizenship status.

Florida Candidate Promises To Ban 'Assault Rifles' By Decree.  While I really try not to focus on political parties here at Bearing Arms, sometimes, it's difficult.  The thing is, there are Democrats who support the Second Amendment, and as a writer covering the Second Amendment, I don't want to alienate those readers.  We all agree that candidates who oppose our right to keep and bear arms are a problem, and their party really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.  Their lack of respect for our civil rights, however, does.  However, I can't help but think of how many Democrats are screaming about "fascism" ever since the election of President Donald Trump, but remain completely silent when a political candidate for governor announces that they've figured out a way to ban a certain type of gun by decree, completely circumventing anything resembling democratic process.

California Man Has Home Raided, Guns Confiscated After Trying to Register Firearm.  A California man had his home raided, guns seized, and will appear in court this week to face a dozen state felony charges after attempting to register a rifle in accordance with state law.  Jeffrey Scott Kirschenmann attempted to register an AR-15 with the California Department of Justice last month but instead found himself in significant legal trouble.  The California DOJ accused Kirschenmann of illegally modifying the rifle he attempted to register.  Law enforcement officials raided his home in Bakersfield before ultimately confiscating a dozen firearms and a few hundred rounds of ammunition, then charging him with a dozen felonies, KGET reports.  Kirschenmann was accused of possession of assault weapons, two silencers, and something referred to as a "multi-burst trigger activator."  He does not appear to have been charged with any violent crimes.

Seattle cracks down on renters, free speech — and common sense.  Good luck trying to rent an apartment.  The Seattle City Council seems to think the right to speak is a privilege it can grant or withhold at its pleasure.  It has slapped a year-long ban on the use of certain housing websites that allow renters to place bids on advertised rental housing, while it reviews the sites.  Officials say they fear the sites might violate local housing laws or inflate housing costs, so the City Council wants to study the sites while forbidding their use in the meantime.  While city leaders try to figure things out, landlords are barred from posting ads on the sites, and renters can't even do a simple search for Seattle housing on the sites.  This is a clear restriction of speech protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Today's Two Main Political Camps Are Pro-Thought Versus Anti-Thought.  Let's remember that all of the other First Amendment rights follow in logical order from the first freedom of religion/belief/conscience/thought.  Freedom of speech is the right to express what you think and believe.  Freedom of press means the right to record those expressed thoughts in writing or other media.  In this vein, freedom of association would mean being able to deliver your ideas to anyone willing to listen.  It means the right to peaceably assemble and have open conversation with other people.  The heavy hand of the state has no right to cut off or interfere in our ability to spark thoughtful conversations.  If the state violates our First Amendment rights, the First Amendment also gives us the right to petition as a means of fighting back against that abuse of power.

Clapper: We Need Regulation for Social Media — 'Something Akin' to the FCC.  Thursday [6/7/2018] on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper argued for more regulation of social media.  The embattled critic of President Donald Trump suggested an agency akin to the Federal Communications Commission could be suitable for such a regulatory role.

The Department Of Homeland Security Plans To Compile A List Of All Bloggers, Journalists And "Social Media Influencers".  Many were hoping that once Barack Obama was out of office we would see less of this Big Brother surveillance nonsense, but instead it seems to be getting even worse.  In fact, the Department of Homeland Security has just announced that it intends to compile a comprehensive list of hundreds of thousands of "journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers etc.", and collect any "information that could be relevant" about them.  So if you have a website, an important blog or you are just very active on social media, the Department of Homeland Security is going to put you on a list and will start collecting information about you. [...] And if I was just a name on a list in some database somewhere, that would be bad enough, but instead it sounds like the DHS will be collecting any "information that could be relevant" about all of us.

The Editor says...
Note to Homeland Security:  Please let me know when I'm on The List, and be sure to spell my name right.

Secret Courts Guarantee Abuse.  I testified against the Patriot Act because I feared the abuse of secret tribunals.  I'm usually far off in my predictions, but it was obvious from the get-go that the FISA courts would be abused by the Intelligence Community, and indeed those secret courts have almost always done what the FBI and CIA asked, even when — as in the case of General Michael Flynn — the IC had to ask several times, and even when the "evidence" consisted of an unverified "dossier" produced by a political campaign.  The Intelligence Community has long considered itself a state within the American state, dating from its creation just after World War II.  Most of the time, the IC has used its power to support presidential policies — the CIA snooped on the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2014, and on the McGovern campaign, and the FBI spied on the Goldwater campaign — but when a president acted against the IC's convictions, the spooks advanced their own interests and beliefs.

Progressives on the Brink.  The left now demands the right to govern permanently and without opposition, regardless of the outcome of elections.  This is evidence that the left today has lost respect for democratic institutions and that, if they were ever to find themselves firmly in control of government, leftists would not willingly relinquish power, even if voted out in a fair election.

New Technologies Nurturing Big Brother.  Our governmental bureaucracy has been growing increasingly out of control over the past few decades, grasping ever more deeply at most aspects of our social interactions.  The government has decided that it knows better than the rest of us what we should think on various social issues, what politically correct language we should use, what views we should have of different racial or religious groups (for example:  Muslims are nice and peaceful, white males are suspect, American patriots are the neo-Nazis, Israel is an apartheid state, and most Christians are bigoted).  The overreaching government has exerted ever growing control over public school curricula, and it even tells us what we should eat (NYC has banned sodas over 16 ounces).  Some of these government initiatives are well meaning, like forcing restaurants to post calorie counts of meals, but teaching students what to think instead of how to think is a scary tendency.  In medical services, the government is already playing a major role and wants to expand it into single-payer, total government control.

Amarillo Man Arrested for Clapping.  Let it be known that clapping is not allowed at Amarillo City Council meetings.  Just ask Kip Billups, who was arrested Tuesday [4/3/2018] at the request of Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson after applauding a speaker during open forum.  Ironically, the arrest was made in an attempt to create a "less intimidating" environment during city council meetings.  "We are not going to clap," Nelson said at the beginning of the meeting.  "I want to make sure that we create an environment that's not intimidating for folks ... If that's not something you can abide by that's fine, you can leave now."  Billups, along with other attendees, applauded in response to public comments made by resident Michael Greene, who expressed grievances with the city council's conduct.  Of those grievances, Greene noted city council's repeated violations of the Open Meetings Act as well as Nelson's "clapping ban" infringing on First Amendment rights.

Amarillo man involved in the "clapping controversy" explains his applause.  Applause is used to express approval, but clapping got one Amarillo man in trouble with the law.  He spoke exclusively with ABC 7 News about the incident at Amarillo city council Tuesday night [4/3/2018].  "You can all clap if you want," said Mayor Ginger Nelson.  It was a statement followed by applause after the Amarillo city council issued a proclamation on child abuse awareness.  Minutes later that changed during public comment.  "We are not going to clap," said Nelson.  She followed that statement with a loud bang of her gavel.

'We are not going to clap' at council meetings, mayor said.  One guy even got arrested.  Clapping may be commonplace at council meetings when officials give out keys to the city or other grip-and-grin awards, but let it be known, there is to be no applause during the public comment portion of City Council meetings in Amarillo, Texas.  You might even be arrested for it, as was Kip Billups, a local homeless advocate, according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

No, Being A Christian Does Not Require You Meekly Submit To Leftist Tyranny.  Maybe you didn't notice, but they do not accept the concept that we have any legitimate interests or rights.  They hate us.  And, if we are weak and stupid enough to allow them to take power, they will act on their bigotry and prejudices.  Baking cakes is only the start.  Resistance is not merely an option.  It is a duty.

California Demands That Christians 'Evolve'.  There's a new legislative proposal banning all conversion therapy as a fraudulent business practice — by not just mental health providers but anyone.  Since the "independent fact-checkers" are quick to swarm around conservative "misinformation," FactCheck.org, PolitiFact and Snopes have all cried "False" at the idea that this bill is a threat to the sale of the Bible.  They declared that a threat against Bible sales is nowhere in the text of California Assembly Bill 2943, offered by gay assembly member Evan Low.  That is correct ... on its face.  It doesn't mention the Bible.  However, the bill would amend the state Consumer Legal Remedies Act, adding the ability to sue for damages for "advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual."  Any efforts to change someone's sexual orientation "in a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer are unlawful."  That's more than therapy.  It's any kind of an argument.

Christians' Munich Moment in California.  Scarcely any moment in American history is as important for America's Christians as the developing crises over religious freedom now happening in California.  The legislature of Sacramento not only is underhandedly banning books opposed to the doctrines of the transgender religion (including the Bible), but also has threatened Christians' rights to free assembly and freedom of speech.  According to its website, Summit Ministries, an organization devoted to advising Christian youths on how to live out a Christian worldview, has canceled its scheduled appearances at Biola University in Los Angeles "due to concerns that California will forbid some of what it teaches."  Summit's concern is real.

Here are 1,366 well sourced examples of Barack Obama's lies, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, hypocrisy, waste, etc..  [#362] In October 2013, the Obama administration announced the following on loudspeakers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas:  "Inappropriate remarks or jokes concerning security may result in your arrest."

An Imminent Counterattack Begins the Fight of Our Lives.  Unparalleled government abuses of power are about to become public.  The question is what we, the people, will do in response to this overt attempt by deep state players to strip us of our freedom. [...] The Left's ongoing refusal to accept the results of the 2016 election and live according to the rule of law, along with their willingness to destroy people's lives, are irreconcilable with a constitutional republic of self-governing people.  There can be no negotiated settlement over such fundamental differences.  We must boldly reclaim the righteousness of liberty and equal justice under the law on behalf of all Americans.

They Keep Telling Us Who They Are.  The California legislature is processing a bill to ban and criminalize all speech, all writing, that goes against "LGBTQ priorities".  Assembly Bill 2943, which has already sailed through two committees, would criminalize "efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions."  It seems to be aimed at practicing psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors whose clients ask them to help them get rid of unwanted sexual attractions; but the bill is so vaguely written that it could be used against virtually anybody — commentators who dissent from the agenda of Organized Sodomy, parents who teach their children that there are only two "genders," and Biblically orthodox churches where homosexual acting-out is presented as a sin.

Socialism's Gateway Drug.  There's open talk of a divorce between individualists and collectivists; i.e., a separation of the US into at least two separate countries.  Can chaos be far behind when so many see the corruption from top to bottom, and are giving up belief in The Great Experiment? [...] The corruption in government is not just for enrichment or power.  It's to sow the seeds of WHY BOTHER? among the population. [...] The flood of third-world immigrants is not just for "diversity".  It's to sow the seeds of violent civil unrest as the natives of America and Europe finally resist at the 11th hour. [...] The deficit spending of every Western government is not just to buy votes.  It's second-level intent is to sow the seeds of an inevitable financial collapse, leading to societal chaos. [...] Look around you at what's happening.  Look at everything — every single thing — the Left does, in the context of trying to precipitate chaos.

A deputy sheriff came to inventory family's property — over a $160 trash bill.  Joe Kirby was at work in Maryland when he got the phone call.  He drove back to his Pennsylvania home, texting his boss that there was an emergency.  His wife, Christina, was hysterical.  There was a member of the York County Sheriff's Office going through every room of their house, taking inventory of their property to eventually put up for sale.  The deputy sheriff told her he'd already done it with the cars in the driveway:  a 2002 BMW 3 Series and 2007 Volkswagen GTI.  It was over their unpaid trash bill to Penn Waste.

Yes, California Is on the Verge of Banning Some Christian Books, Here's How.  Late last week, I wrote an article that caused a bit of a furious reaction in social-justice Twitter.  Activists claimed I was lying, arguing in bad faith, and/or exaggerating the effect of California's AB 2943, a bill that purports to declare "sexual orientation change efforts" to be an "unlawful business practice."  I claimed the bill was so broad that it could even ban books.  And I'm right.  It can and would.

California Bill Would Criminalize Speech, Books Opposing LGBT Agenda.  In a direct assault on the freedoms of speech and religion, the California Assembly on Thursday [4/19/2018] overwhelmingly approved a bill that would, in effect, prohibit the dissemination of traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality and transgenderism.  The Assembly voted 50-14 to criminalize "a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer" that consists of "advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual."  The bill defines "sexual orientation change efforts" as "any practices that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation.  This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex."

Arizona residents will soon need 'travel ID' to board planes.  The Arizona Department of Transportation has announced that state residents will require a new form of identification to pass through Transportation Security Administration screeners in the near future.  As of Oct. 1, 2020, Grand Canyon state residents traveling out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International, Phoenix Mesa-Gateway, Flagstaff, Tucson International and Yuma International airports will need to carry "Voluntary Travel IDs" or be grounded, AZ Family is reporting.  The new ID will also be requisite to access restricted federal buildings and military bases, as standard credentials will no longer suffice.

The Editor says...
That doesn't sound voluntary to me.

American Greatness and its Enemies.  President Trump's railing against political correctness, and his disparaging of the deep state, show that he has a visceral understanding of these two core fissures in American culture and society.  It is that understanding that resonated with the Americans who voted for Mr. Trump, a group that was enough to hand him a victory in the electoral college.  So committed are his enemies, so unyielding are their beliefs, and so dangerous is the Kafka-esque legislative structure that we have created, that the American understanding of sovereignty and experiment in popular government is now at grave risk.

Homeland Security to Compile Database of Journalists, Bloggers.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants to monitor hundreds of thousands of news sources around the world and compile a database of journalists, editors, foreign correspondents, and bloggers to identify top "media influencers."  It's seeking a contractor that can help it monitor traditional news sources as well as social media and identify "any and all" coverage related to the agency or a particular event, according to a request for information released April 3.  The data to be collected includes a publication's "sentiment" as well as geographical spread, top posters, languages, momentum, and circulation.  No value for the contract was disclosed.

Making the government less larcenous.  On Sept. 21, 2015, [Gerardo] Serrano drove up to the Eagle Pass, Texas, border crossing, intending to try to interest a Mexican cousin in expanding his solar panel installation business in the United States.  To have mementos of his trip, he took some pictures of the border with his cellphone camera, which annoyed two U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents, who demanded the password to his phone.  Serrano, who is what an American ought to be regarding his rights, prickly, refused to submit to such an unwarranted invasion of his privacy.  One agent said he was "sick of hearing about your rights" and "you have no rights here."

They Take the Second Amendment First and the First Amendment Second.  We have talked a lot about the liberal assault on our right as American citizens to keep and bear arms for the defense of ourselves, our families, our communities, and our Constitution, but it is a mistake to think of a disarmed population as their desired end-state.  No, that's merely the first step toward the subjugation of the Normals.  What they want is not only for us to be disarmed, but to be silenced.  They are not going to stop with the Second Amendment.  Next, they are going to move to finish off the First Amendment.  They don't want you to speak freely.  They don't want you to have access to a free press.  They don't want you to practice your religion as you see fit.  And when you are disarmed and silenced, and you are stripped of any god but government — the government they control absolutely and forever — then they will have achieved their dream.  You will no longer be a citizen; you will be a serf.

California Democrat Introduces Bill to Force Websites to Use 'Fact-Checkers'.  California State Senator Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) has proposed a bill, the "Online False Information Act," that would require anyone who posts news on the Internet to verify their information through "fact-checkers."  The bill, filed quietly in late February as SB 1424, requires all California-based websites to develop a plan to fight "fake news," to use "fact-checkers," and to warn readers — including via social media — of "false information."

The Editor says...
Why stop at social media?  Why not require the same of broadcasters and newspapers?  Is CNN always 100% accurate?  Is MSNBC never misleading?  Is The New York Times not biased?

How Federal Surveillance and "Parallel Construction" Undermine the Rule of Law.  When we talk about NSA spying, most people's eyes glaze over.  They just don't think it will have any impact on them.  After all, the surveillance agency only spies on foreigners and terrorists, right?  And if some Americans' data ends up in NSA databases in the process, well, that doesn't really matter.  It's the price we pay for security.  But in fact, federal surveillance and the investigative practices it fosters undermines and subverts the fundamental rule of law in the United States.  State and local law enforcement agencies use the reams of data the NSA collects to prosecute Americans.  Most of these cases have nothing to do with terrorism or national security.  In fact, the vast majority relate to the so-called "war on drugs."  In the process, these state and local cops shred due process, obliterate the Fourth Amendment and make a mockery out of the "rule of law."

Yes, They Are Coming for Your Guns.  Today we have a multitude of reasons to have a high concern about a government that has become far too large, too invasive in too many issues and operated by people who are almost impervious to being fired for normal matters that citizens have to face in their own lives.  When I have discussions with people wanting to shrink the rights of gun owners, they discount this essential aspect of why citizens should be allowed to own guns.  When I ask them to explain the explosion of armed representatives of the government in non-military agencies, they are universally ignorant of that fact.  Here are just a few:
    [#1] The IRS has 2,300 Special Agents armed with AR-15s, P90 tactical rifles and other heavy weaponry.  The IRS recently spent $12 million on ammo and weapons.
    [#2] The Small Business Administration (SBA) spent tens of thousands on Glock hand guns.
    [#3] In 1996 the Veterans Administration had no armed employees.  Today they have 3,700 officers armed with millions of dollars worth of guns.
The list goes on.  As a Jew, I have a problem with any government having all the guns.  The last time we allowed that to happen, it ended with millions of dead Jews.  I believe any Jew who denies that reality puts their own political naiveté above the survival of the Jewish people.

Rep. Debbie Dingell to Introduce Gun Confiscation Legislation.  Debbie Dingell (D-MI) used an April 2 Fox News Live appearance to announce that she is preparing to introduce legislation to create a federal law allowing firearm confiscation orders.  Such laws, generally referred to as Extreme Risk Protection Orders, are already in place in California, Indiana, Oregon, and other states, and Dingell believes the ability to seize firearms is crucial for pubic safety.  During [the] live broadcast Dingell said, "Fred Upton (R) and I are looking at introducing ... legislation ... at the national level."

Boss Hogg and His Ingraham Angle.  There is plenty to criticize about David Hogg's actions and statements, yet that is not permitted.  Hogg is permitted to slander and slime anybody from the president on down.  If you disagree with him, blood is on your hands.  But don't dare mock one of his tweets, as Fox News host Laura Ingraham did.  The tragedy at Parkland has somehow transformed Hogg into an oracle we must honor and worship even as he ironically seeks to transform America into a gun-free zone.  In a rhetorical sense, he has become bullet-proof.

If the Second Amendment falls, our entire Bill of Rights falls.  The startling new proposal by 97-year-old former Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment to our Constitution's Bill of Rights is unwise, dangerous and totally unrealistic.  For 227 years, the amendment has guaranteed that "the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."  We should not abandon it.  The first 10 amendments to the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights.  These amendments are the foundation of our liberty and the lasting legacy of the Founding Fathers who so wisely created a Constitution designed to protect the freedom of generations far into the future.  These rights are a major factor in what makes America an exceptional nation and a beacon for freedom that attracts people from the world over.

Do Not Give An Inch On The Second Amendment.  [A]s liberals line up behind a shield made of children to march on the Second Amendment, it's important to remember what happens when you attempt to compromise with people whose ultimate goal is your obliteration and why no amount of compromise will ever be enough. [...] There is no compromise with someone who doesn't want you to exist, there is only incrementally losing ground until you no longer exist.  A right diminished will never return, government does not cede back power once seized.  The NRA is right to hold its ground, it's why the organization exists in the first place.  Liberals are not honest brokers when it comes to the issue of guns, and neither is the media.  Trying to appease leftists never works because nothing short of everything they want is ever enough for them.

Bad science puts innocent people in jail — and keeps them there.  Since the onset in the 1990s of DNA testing — which, unlike most fields of forensics, was born in the scientific community — we've learned that many forensic specialities aren't nearly as accurate as their practitioners have claimed.  Studies from the National Academy of Sciences and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology have concluded that there's insufficient research to support the claims of the broad field of "pattern matching" forensics, which includes analyses of such things as hair fiber, bite marks, "tool marks" and tire tread.  These forensic specialties were never subjected to the rigors of scientific inquiry — double-blind testing, peer review — before they were accepted in courtrooms.  Most are entirely subjective:  An analyst will look at two marks or patterns and determine whether they're a "match."  Most of these disciplines can't even calculate a margin of error.

'Something Smells Like a Rat': Mark Levin Calls for 'Abolishing' the FISA Court.  "Life, Liberty and Levin" host Mark Levin sounded off on alleged abuses committed before the FISA court in relation to the obtaining of a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.  Levin said Congress must look into whether representatives of the Department of Justice and FBI committed acts of "misconduct" before the court — in part by using an unverified dossier linked to an opposition research firm and former British spy as evidence.  He added that the judges on the FISA court deserve scrutiny too.

Arm The Teachers Or Disband The Schools.  It's hard to understand the future from the present. [...] Right now it is impossible to envision a return to liberty where every law is first judged by the impact to personal liberty and whether the government has the right to impose such a law.  It is so distant, this idea of a society based around liberty (the way it was supposed to be before the progressive movement over a hundred years ago got ahold of our government and turned it against liberty) that many can no longer even see it.

The First Amendment Is In Far Greater Danger Than The Second.  On the gender ideology issue, elites have been wildly successful in completely removing debate over transgenderism from the public square and even politics.  On abortion, they have largely failed as pro-life sentiment among the people has proven too strong for elites to overcome.  And on guns, the jury is still out, but elites are engaging in perhaps their most brazenly outrageous effort to silence opposing views to date. [...] We are instead operating in a country now where elites demonize the populist position with such ferocity that many are afraid to voice their opinion at all, which is, of course, the entire point of their strategy.  Our fight is no longer just over political issues — it is a battle against the very tactics being used by elites to stifle debate and destroy the essence of what makes America great.

Counterattack Hard Against Liberal Attacks on Our Gun Rights and Other Civil Liberties.  We're now supposed to give up our guns because it's the 21st Century, people, and the cops will totally protect us and oh, you can't dare criticize the FBI for failing to disarm yet another ticking time bomb and what kind of crazy nut would expect a police officer to actually confront a gunman?  Show of hands:  Who thinks this stops, even slows down, once those mean old not-actually-assault weapons get banned?  That liberals have taken a hard stand in favor of cowardice does not exactly fill one with confidence that once we give up our Second Amendment rights that we'll be safer or freer.

Busybodies battle outbreaks of freedom.  The majority leader of California's state Assembly has introduced legislation that would impose a fine of up to $1,000 on any waiter or waitress who offers a plastic drinking straw to a customer without being asked.  The Washington Post notes that this is part of a growing anti-straw movement, which is driven by alarm over the 500 million straws that are used every single day — which is almost certainly a fake number, seeing as how it is based on an unconfirmed phone survey by a 9-year-old boy.  (Yes, really.)

Parents Lose Custody of Daughter for Opposing Transgender Medical Treatments.  Parents of a 17-year-old girl lost custody of their daughter for opposing her wish for transgender medical treatments.  Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon of Hamilton County, Ohio has allowed the girl to be taken into the custody of her grandparents — who support her medical transition — allowing them to make decisions that will further along her physical transition to the opposite sex.  According to CNN, Hendon ordered that the family's names not be released.  The parents reportedly continued to call their daughter by her given name, rather than a male name, and refused to consent to hormone treatments that were recommended by her medical team.  The girl claimed she became suicidal as a result of her parents' refusal to accept that she wanted to transition to a male.

The Transgender Totalitarians Can Now Legally Take Your Kids.  An Ohio court has removed a teenaged girl from the custody of her parents because they refused to consent to dangerous and experimental medical treatment.  The teenager wants to undergo irreversible treatment (hormones and probably sex-reassignment surgery) that she hopes will alleviate the depression associated with her gender dysphoria.  Based on 1) the scientific facts that such treatment will convert her into a lifelong medical patient and probably fail to alleviate her suicidal tendencies, 2) their religious belief that created reality is unalterable, and 3) their fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their minor child, the parents said no.  But the court concluded they have no right to make that decision.  If they reject the radical new orthodoxy that replaces science with ideology, their authority to act for the good of their child is simply extinguished.

North Carolina mom begins serving jail sentence for baptizing daughter.  A North Carolina mom started serving a week-long jail sentence for having her daughter baptized, according to reports.  The 2016 baptism at St. Peter's Catholic Church when the girl was 2 years old defied a judge's order in a custody battle between unmarried couple, Kendra Stocks and Paul Schaaf, who are no longer together.

The IRS Is Coming for Your Passports.  Beginning this month, the Internal Revenue Service will begin denying passports to some American citizens with unpaid taxes and, in some cases, revoking the passports of Americans with tax delinquencies.  The government will in effect place those with unpaid taxes under arrest, effectively denying them their right to travel.  To be clear:  We are not talking about Americans who have been convicted of tax evasion or tax fraud, or who are awaiting a criminal trial on charges related to tax matters.  These Americans have not been charged with a crime, must less convicted of one.  They simply have unpaid taxes amounting to $50,000 or more.  More precisely:  They have an unpaid IRS liability amounting to $50,000 or more.  The IRS's aggressive schedule of interest and penalties for unpaid taxes ensures that a relatively small amount of unpaid taxes can turn into a $50,000-plus liability with remarkable speed.

Driver's licenses could soon be replaced by cell phone apps.  Your driver's license could be replaced by a cellphone app if a pilot program involving four states and the District of Columbia works out.  "We see great utility in the future with mobile driver's licenses that don't exist today with the physical plastic cards," said Paul Grassi with the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology.  "With innovation occurring on mobile platforms it almost makes too much sense to add this as an option."  NIST provided a $2 million grant to a cybersecurity company called Gemalto to design and test a digital license in a two-year pilot program.

The Editor says...
Interesting.  The government doesn't want you to talk on your phone while driving, but in this case, they would insist that you have your phone handy while you drive.  That's a case of mixed signals, at best.  But the thing about cell phone apps is, they can be turned off at any moment, and at that point, you don't have a license any more.

When Federal Prosecutors Go Bad.  [Sidney] Powell and [Harvey] Silverglate write about the horror faced by regular, even prominent citizens whom the FBI and DOJ destroyed, or tried to destroy, using their unlimited resources and the trust of the courts and the public.  From the very beginning of the prosecution when the affidavits for charges are submitted to the court, the honesty and fairness of the prosecutors is tested, and all too often, ambitious and aggressive prosecutors betray that trust.  Most of all, these books warn that the character and virtue of prosecutors are the critical factor in the proper conduct of a prosecution, the choice of target, the charge made, and the conduct of the discovery and the trial.  Prosecutors have all the cards, and if they don't conduct an honest and fair prosecution, innocent people are harmed, destroyed by their striving for conviction at any cost, even by cheating or by abuse of the process.

Driverless Cars and GPS: The Fearful Master.  Driverless cars contain innovations far too numerous to describe in this article, but the key piece is the GPS connection that allows the car to navigate to its destination. [...] Once your car becomes beholden to a central data center for its destination, you lose control not only of the car's operation from moment to moment, but of your own ability to travel freely on a daily basis.  Remember that GM's Cruise AV has no steering wheel.  You cannot take control of the car yourself.  You must give a destination to the GPS device so that your car can deliver you to that destination.  Programming your car before each trip will be the equivalent of an airplane pilot filing a "flight plan" before taking off.  As fun as this idea might seem, there is a 900-pound elephant in the room that few people are discussing.  Automobiles and transportation are among the most heavily regulated aspects of 21st century life.  If you think that the regulators are simply going to allow you to plug any destination into a GPS and ride off without a care in the world, you are fooling yourself.  The government has policy interests in your travel plans that are too numerous to mention.

The Russia 'Fake News' Scare Is All about Chilling Speech.  [Scroll down]  Democrats have manufactured panic over amateurish Russian propaganda not only to claim that Russian president Vladimir Putin was "meddling" in the election but also to argue that his purported interference had the power to turn the election to Trump.  With this risible idea in hand, they have created paranoia about social-media interactions and rationalized infringements on expression.  Not long before she demanded forensic investigations into hashtags, Feinstein was demanding that Twitter, Facebook, and Google restrict their content more tightly, threatening, "Do something about it — or we will."  Democrats have attempted to control interactions through the Fairness Doctrine or the IRS, and now through the Russia scare.

How a Civil War Happens.  Right now, Federal judges are declaring that President Trump isn't allowed to govern because his Tweets show he's a racist.  How long until they say that a president isn't even allowed to take office because they don't like his views?  That's where we're headed.

Sending Waiters to Jail for Offering Plastic Straws.  It makes absolutely no sense to me that a state that's worked so hard to lower its prison population would even consider passing a law that might clog its jail population full of people whose only crime was asking "Would you like a straw?"

Big Brother on America's Fishing Boats.  The plague on the commercial fishing industry isn't "overfishing," as environmental extremists and government officials claim.  The real threats to Northeastern groundfishermen are self-perpetuating bureaucrats, armed with outdated junk science, who've manufactured a crisis that endangers a way of life older than the colonies themselves.  Hardworking crews and captains have the deepest stake in responsible fisheries management — it's their past, present, and future — but federal paper-pushers monitor them ruthlessly like registered sex offenders.  Generations of schoolchildren have been brainwashed into believing that our seas have been depleted by greedy commercial fishermen.

Trump Needs to Transfer All Federal Land Back to the States.  [Scroll down]  However, most readers will remember the Cliven Bundy incident, the Nevada rancher who refused to pay $1.2 million in grazing fees to the BLM on grounds the land belonged to Nevada, not to the feds.  When the Bureau threatened to seize the ranch in 2014, hundreds of cowboys and militia members poured in from all over the country to defend the property.  Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the feds backed down.  Many Americans were shocked at the appearance of armed citizens, but the reality is that our founding fathers argued in favor of gun ownership precisely for the purpose of resisting government tyranny.  The Bureau of Land Management's police-state actions at the ranch were recently exposed, thanks to former BLM Special Agent and whistleblower Larry Wooten, whose shocking report details the agency's complete disregard for the rights of the Bundy family.

Hate-speech Laws USA? California Prosecutes Man for Anti-Muslim Posts.  California is already flouting federal immigration law with its "sanctuary" status.  Now it's also ignoring the most American of laws — the First Amendment — prosecuting a man simply for posting five anti-Muslim messages to Facebook.  The hapless defendant is 41-year-old Mark Feigin, who expressed his opinions at the Islamic Center of Southern California's (ICSC) Facebook page in 2016.  Feigin is certainly an acerbic, acid-tongued, foul-mouthed fellow, and he admits to sending the messages.  But while many may not like their substance and/or style, they're clearly an example of constitutionally protected speech.

In 'Caliphornia' you can be unconstitutionally prosecuted for exercising your First Amendment right to criticize Islam on Facebook.  California has leveled misdemeanor charges against 41-year-old Mark Feigin after he sent five anti-Muslim posts to the Islamic Center of Southern California's (ICSC) Facebook page in 2016. [...] The Los Angeles Police Department arrested Feigin Oct. 19 and interviewed him.  Feigin is now arguing that his charges should be dismissed because they are based on an unconstitutional application of the law.

California Parents Barred from Opting Kids Out of Mandatory LGBT-Inclusive Textbooks.  California has become the first state in the union to mandate the use of LGBT-inclusive textbooks in elementary schools and have given parents no way to opt out.  The choice has been made for them.  It's the law.  That law requires a "fair, accurate, inclusive, and respectful" treatment of homosexual, bisexual, transgender, and lesbian Americans despite the historical insignificance.

Lawmakers Seek Investigation After Whistleblower Exposes Federal Thugs.  Outraged by new whistleblower revelations of horrifying wrongdoing by federal officials in the Bundy case — one official kept a "kill list," others withheld evidence from the defense — prominent lawmakers in Western states are asking Congress and the Trump administration to investigate.  The government's case, which gained national attention after a 2014 armed standoff in Nevada between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bundy family and its supporters, appears to be crumbling.  But even as it appears increasingly likely that the defendants will soon walk free, officials say the alleged crimes perpetrated by government officials must not be allowed to go unpunished.  As The New American reported on December 19, a memo by whistleblower Larry "Clint" Wooten, who served as the lead BLM investigator on the case, revealed an incredible array of misconduct by heavily armed bureaucrats.  Among the most alarming revelations:  Special-agent-in-charge Dan Love, already under investigation by Congress, kept a "kill list" as a "trophy" commemorating ranchers whose deaths he contributed to.  Apparently the bureaucrat was proud of his role in driving three Utah ranchers to commit suicide. [...] Throughout the explosive memo, aside from the unethical conduct and the bigotry against Mormons expressed by officials, there is also evidence that some BLM officials wanted to instigate a conflict and even kill some of the defendants and their supporters.  On top of that, there are several allegations that officials withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense.

Whistleblower: Federal Thug Behind Bundy Fiasco Had "Kill Book".  The government is in big trouble.  At least it will be, if there is justice.  The now-infamous standoffs in Nevada and Oregon could have ended in disaster for liberty and ranchers.  And for some, such as rancher LaVoy Finicum, who was shot dead by government officials while traveling on a public highway, it did end in tragedy.  But after years of terror and pain felt by the embattled Bundy family and those close to them, there may finally be a very happy ending visible on the horizon for the Nevada ranchers and for justice.  It seems the tables have turned, dramatically against the out-of-control Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other elements of the federal bureaucracy.  In fact, rather than putting the liberty-loving ranchers and their staunchest supporters behind bars for life — or even six feet under, as some Obama administration officials apparently hoped — there is now explosive evidence from a whistleblower that could put some of the rogue bureaucrats on the case in prison for extremely serious crimes.

The FBI's Secret State Police.  The FBI's current stonewalling bears more than a passing resemblance to the Geheime Staatspolizei, the National Socialists' secret state police.  The people's representatives have been seeking answers on the probe of Russian influence in the 2016 election.  Former FBI boss Robert Mueller has failed to turn up any evidence of "collusion" in more than a year, but other matters have come to light.  FBI man Peter Strzok has been Hillary Clinton's Odd Job, changing gross negligence to extremely careless, failing to keep records of the interview with the former First Lady, and allowing her aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills to tell more than 300 lies about the unsecured server Clinton used to send classified material.  Representatives such as Trey Gowdy and Jim Jordan want to know if Strzok played a role in the compiling the fake dossier with Russian content.  They also seek to know whether Strzok was the one who deployed the dossier to gain a FISA warrant to enable spying on the Trump campaign and unmask U.S. citizens.

American Gestapo.  Any government agency with law enforcement and surveillance authority that uses those powers for political purposes is the definition of a secret police, no better than the Nazi Gestapo or the Soviet KGB.  There is indeed probable cause to conclude, meaning indictable offenses, that employees of the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the Democrat Party, used the power of their offices and with the assistance of foreign nationals to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump or to provide a basis for his impeachment should he win.  It is also abundantly clear from the Congressional investigations involving the Department of Justice and the FBI that those institutions of government are protecting themselves at the expense of transparency and accountability to the American people.  In other words, the government employees involved consider the survival of the Deep State more important than the survival of the Constitution.  That is the definition of tyranny.

Jail Time for Too Much Meat on a Sandwich?  Time and time again, the federal government has encroached into a sector of the economy and imposed a one-size-fits-all regulation that stifles competition, hurts small businesses, and creates troubling criminal penalties for lack of compliance.  This is epitomized in federal involvement in menu labeling — regulations and requirements for private businesses to disclose caloric information on physical menus.  Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) is leading the charge on rolling back this overreach through the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, H.R.772, to provide relief for convenience stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and pizza chains alike.

Ohio demands Christian parents provide gender reassignment for daughter.  In the state of Ohio, social workers are asking a court to side with a teenage girl who is asking for gender reassignment treatment at a hospital instead of the counseling desired by her parents.  Filed in Hamilton County Juvenile Court, the complaint is petitioning Judge Sylvia Hendon to order Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to provide treatment for the girl against her parent's wishes.  Documents filed with the court indicate that the parents do not acknowledge their daughter's desire to transition to a male persona.  The parents are seeking counseling consonant with their Christian beliefs, while they have not approved of her change in appearance to resemble a male.

Nothing About Collusion.  There is a basic lesson here for anyone who enters government service:  do not ever talk to the FBI unless your lawyer is present.  Just ask Scooter Libby, who was punished for making allegedly false statements to FBI investigators.  In the Flynn affair, there was no need for the FBI to ask any questions about the telephone chats, since the transcripts were available from the get-go.  It is said that a skilled prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, and a special counsel has even greater powers.  Furthermore, prosecutors' motives are not limited to the pursuit of the truth.  The "accomplishments" of aggressive prosecutors often have very little to do with the facts, but rather with the number of scalps they can hang on their war belts.  Rare is the person who can insist on his innocence — of anything — if a special prosecutor is out to get him.  The prosecutor can catch you giving an incorrect or confused answer to questions ... about anything.

Gates Pushes InBloom's Massive Data Tracking System for Everyone in America.  InBloom, which has already been caught selling student information, would store student's scores, attendance, needs, disabilities, disciplinary record.  If you were suspended in third grade, it would follow you for life.  InBloom is working with nine states:  Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina.  InBloom goes hand-in-hand with Common Core and standardized testing and they all mesh together to form a nationalized education program run by the federal government.  It is unconstitutional but this approach does an end-run around the constitution.  Many on both the left and right of the political spectrum are opposed.

Obama's Trans Fat Ban May Force Iconic Cookie Company To Close.  The makers of Berger Cookies in Baltimore, Md., are concerned that that new rules will force them to discontinue their iconic cookie due to federal rules.  Under current proposed rules, companies will no longer be allowed to sell food containing partially hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fats, after June 18, 2018.  That rule will make it difficult for Charlie DeBaufre, president of DeBaufre Bakeries, to continue making the chocolate covered soft German-inspired cookies because the recipe contains trans fats.  DeBaufre has not been able to create the Berger cookie taste without the using trans-fat-free ingredients.

Judicial Tyranny:  William Orrick, a Name That Will Live in Infamy.  The Constitution and the laws passed by Congress define one person who determines and executes U.S. immigration policy and U.S. District Judge William Orrick is not it.  Yet there is Judge Orrick once again imposing his will on the expressed will of the American people through their elected representatives by issuing a permanent ban on President Trump's executive order defunding sanctuary ciies:  A federal judge in California has blocked President Trump's executive order to cut funding from sanctuary cities that don't cooperate with U.S. immigration officials.  U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick issued the ruling Monday in lawsuits brought by San Francisco and Santa Clara counties.  According to the judge, Trump can't set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

FBI Raids on Homes of Anti-Government Activists.  Repeatedly, the FBI has raided homes on the flimsiest of evidence.  In 2014, it raided the home of prepper Martin Winters, claiming he was some kind of domestic terrorist.  But nothing was found aside from food stocks and other survivalist gear.  Then there's Terry Porter, also a prepper, whose house the FBI raided in 2012 using twice as many agents as in the Branch Davidian raid.  Again, nothing alarming found there.  Since when did anti-government preppers become terrorists?  The FBI raids group meetings as well, such as when it raided a Republic of Texas secessionist movement meeting in 2015.  No one was arrested because no one did anything illegal.  But once again, the FBI treated a handful of elderly men discussing constitutional issues as a terrorist plot.

Media Silent as Fed Committee Quietly Passes Act Allowing Warrantless Searches.  It has been over one month since the latest dangerous piece of legislation meant to infringe on Americans' constitutional rights was introduced, and Congress is now moving forward with the bill that will have serious ramifications for all Americans by blatantly violating the freedoms guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment if it becomes law.  The USA Liberty Act has passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 27-8, and as Congressman Justin Amash noted, all privacy advocates should be concerned about the overwhelming support the bill is receiving from Congress.

Doctor who refuses to use computers loses medical license.  Holding manila folders filled with pages of her handwritten reports, Dr. Anna Konopka insisted her system for keeping track of her patients' medical conditions and various prescriptions works fine.  But the New Hampshire Board of Medicine disagrees.

Post-Constitutional America and the Second Amendment.  In a series of articles I wrote last week about post-Constitutional America, I mentioned how everyday Americans have grown complacent with their God-given rights and how this has led to a growing acceptance of the idea that Constitutional rights are negotiable if the government gives them something in return.  The consequences of this mindset has been devastating.  Freedom of speech is silenced on college campuses in the name of political correctness.  Freedom of the press is threatened by the White House and Congress.  Freedom of religion is under attack by politicians and pro-LGBT radicals.  Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure is compromised at the hands of a growing police state.  Now, with incidents of mass shootings dominating the headlines, a new threat has risen — the willingness to surrender the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in exchange for a little bit of safety.

School District Orders Coaches to Stop Bowing Heads in Prayer.  Heaven help the coach who bows his head to pray in Coweta County, Georgia.  The Coweta County School District issued an edict banning all coaches and other employees from participating in student-initiated or student-led prayer or other forms of worship while acting in their official capacity.

Europe: Climate Dictatorship Proposed To Solve Global Warming.  [T]he current Paris promises will cost each American $500 per year, each European $600 and each Chinese $170.  Of course, most Americans and Europeans are unlikely to elect leaders that will actually incur a much larger cost than most people are willing to pay.  Moreover, these promises will not solve global warming — indeed, they will together achieve almost nothing:  By the UN's own estimate, the Paris Treaty will reduce emissions by less than 1% of what would be needed to keep temperature rises under 2°C and yet cost $1-2 trillion per year by 2030, mostly in reduced GDP growth.  So Paris will deliver far less than what most people expect, yet will cost much more than most people are willing to pay.  Of course, most smart people would be against paying lots for achieving little or nothing.  If anything, this suggests that democracy works just fine.  But [Professor Jørgen] Randers instead takes this unwillingness to spend fortunes on little benefits as an argument for ending democracy.

What is the deal with those FEMA/DHS AM backup transmitters?  In the light of current government trends where the FBI engages in a one year sting operation on a Amish farmer selling raw milk, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms is running guns to Mexican drug cartels, the US Department of Education employing its own SWAT team to serve warrants for delinquent student loans (they say no but offer no other explanation), Gibson Guitars being repeatedly raided for improperly labeled wood products, and so forth, makes me wonder what the government is doing.

REAL ID Allows Feds to Suspend Driver's Licenses for "Cause".  Thanks to Real-ID, DHS has created a national ID system right under everyone's noses.  [Video clip]

Why Are Federal Bureaucrats Buying Guns And Ammo? $158 Million Spent By Non-Military Agencies.  [Scroll down]  Federal agencies spent $44 million on guns, including an "urgent" order for 20 M-16 Rifles with extra magazines at the Department of Energy ($49,559); shotguns and Glock pistols at the General Services Administration ($16,568); and a bulk order of pistols, sights, and accessories by the Bureau of Reclamation whose main job is to build dams, power plants, and canals ($697,182). [...] The government spent $114 million on ammunition, including bulk purchases by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ($66,927); the Smithsonian ($42,687); and the Railroad Retirement Board ($6,941).  The Social Security Administration spent $61,129 on bullets including 50,000 rounds of ammunition plus 12-gauge buckshot and slug ammo.  The EPA special agents purchased ammunition for their .357 and 9mm revolvers and buckshot for their shotguns.  While Bernie Sanders claimed that the biggest adversary to the United States was climate change, the EPA stood ready to fight in ways we couldn't have imagined.

New California law allows jail time for using wrong gender pronoun, sponsor denies that would happen.  California health care workers who "willfully and repeatedly" decline to use a senior transgender patient's "preferred name or pronouns" could face punishments ranging from a fine to jail time under a newly signed law. [...] The bill itself is aimed at protecting transgender and other LGBT individuals in hospitals, retirement homes and assisted living facilities.  The bill would ensure those facilities accommodate transgender people and their needs, including letting them decide which gender-specific bathroom they prefer to use.  "It shall be unlawful for a long-term care facility or facility staff to take any of the following actions wholly or partially on the basis of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status," the bill reads.

Florida Threatens Woman with Fines, Jail for Giving Diet Tips.  The State of Florida is threatening a woman with jail unless she stops telling people what to eat.  To clarify:  Heather Kokesch Del Castillo of Fort Walton Beach is not wandering around the supermarket in giving unsolicited advice.  People have been asking her — and paying her — for dietary and nutritional advice.  Though all she is doing is talking to people as a health coach, the state has declared her an unlicensed dietitian and fined her more than $750.  She faces misdemeanor charges if she doesn't shut her mouth, with further fines of up to $1,000 for each incident and possibly even a year in prison.

Detroit-area mom jailed for not vaccinating 9-year-old son.  A suburban Detroit woman was handcuffed Wednesday and sent to a jail for seven days for failing to follow an agreement to have her 9-year-old son vaccinated.

Mother Faces Tough Decision:  Vaccinate Your Child Or Go To Jail -- This Is Bad For Everyone.  Do you think that a government has the right to force your child to get vaccinated or go to jail — well that's what one Oakland County mother now has to deal with, and the consequences of not doing it will be rough.  [Video clip]

Are you ready for airport security checks — Just to enter a hotel?  It didn't take long after Sunday's [10/1/2017] mass shooting in Las Vegas for resort hotels there to begin implementing new, far more strict security screenings simply to enter the building.  Hotel guests at Wynn's resort stood in line with a 10-minute wait to be screened.  That's likely to become a new normal as the country's worst mass shooting forces major tourist meccas to radically re-imagine potential threats and expand their thinking about security against a new range of threats.  As they did at any airport before boarding their flights to Vegas this week, patrons of Wynn's now have their bags searched before entering and their bodies scanned by metal-detecting wands wielded by uniformed security guards.

8 Really Bad Laws That Went Into Effect Today.  [#1] Touching your phone in Oregon:  From this day [10/1/2017] forward, Oregon drivers are prohibited from touching their cellphones while operating their vehicles, except to make a single swipe intended to turn a phone off.  While lawmakers passed the prohibition to make it easier for cops to enforce cellphone while driving laws, the "single swipe" exception is sure to muddy that.  The law will apply to cellphones, tablets, and GPS devices, but not for police officers, of course.

The FTC Raided My Office, Found Nothing, And Is Destroying My Business Anyway.  In early May, federal investigators raided my small tech-support company, Vylah Tec LLC, d/b/a "V-Tec," on suspicion of "deceptive" sales practices.  The raid was part of a politically hyped campaign by the Federal Trade Commission with the Florida Attorney General's office, dubbed Operation Tech Trap, to "crack down on tech-support scams."  The problem:  My business is not a scam.

What ARE the mysterious $100M metal towers popping up at tunnels and bridges all over New York and why won't the MTA say?  New York's public transportation system has come under fire for spending a whopping $100 million on mysterious metal towers that have popped up at the entrances of tunnel as many New Yorkers remain baffled over how they work.  The 30-feet-tall MTA Gateway Towers are a part of Gov Andrew Cuomo's $100 million vision to redesign the MTA's bridges and tunnels in the city.  Some people are still unsure about the purpose of these towers, including folks on the MTA board, but according to some officials, the towers will host equipment related to homeland security, such as anti-terror technology.

Tire Tyranny.  You visit the tire shop to buy a new set.  Used to be that you'd either tell the guy behind the counter which tires you wanted or discuss options with him.  Then you'd buy them and he'd install them.  Now the guy behind the counter will scan your car's VIN — which is tied to the DMV — and first find out all kinds of things about you and your car.  Then he will tell you which tires you're allowed to buy.  Yes, really.

Food Truck Giving Free Food to Hurricane Workers, Kicked Out of Town for Not Having a Permit.  After Irma devastated Florida, most restaurants and stores were shut down in certain areas.  Green Cove Springs was one of those places.  So, when Jack Roundtree, owner of the Triple J BBQ food truck, arrived in town, not only was he welcomed with open arms — he was desperately needed.  As he sold BBQ to paying customers, Roundtree used the extra money to feed utility workers for free for all their hard work.  However, once officials saw a man who'd dare sell food in their town without paying them first, police were called in to make quick work of this entrepreneurial good samaritan.

Mystery Surrounds Metal Towers Popping Up In Tunnels & Bridges.  Mysterious metal towers are popping up at local tunnels, and soon they'll start appearing at bridges, too.  But even people on the MTA board in charge of the towers can't say why they're being used or what's in them, CBS2's Dave Carlin reports.  Jose Lugo said the tall metal towers quickly appeared up after the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel tolls booths came down.  "We don't really know what's the purpose of this," he told Carlin.  It's a $100 million MTA project shrouded in secrecy, with 18 of them for tunnels and bridges.  So what are they exactly?

The Editor says...
It doesn't matter if these devices are lights, riot control machines, automatic license plate readers, or surveillance cameras.  If the project costs $100 million and they won't tell anybody what it's for, it's not going to be good.

Governments Turn Tables by Suing Public Records Requesters.  Government bodies are increasingly turning the tables on citizens who seek public records that might be embarrassing or legally sensitive.  Instead of granting or denying their requests, a growing number of school districts, municipalities and state agencies have filed lawsuits against people making the requests — taxpayers, government watchdogs and journalists who must then pursue the records in court at their own expense.

How Obama's EPA Nearly Bankrupted John Duarte's Farm.  EPA Chief Scott Pruitt has set out to transform the agency he leads to a greater extent than any of Trump's other cabinet appointees, pledging to end what he dubbed the agency's "anti-energy agenda" by loosening requirements on carbon emissions and eliminating land use restrictions.

Can You Get Fired for Missing Work During a Hurricane Due to Mandatory Evacuation?  What happens to your job if you flee the path of a hurricane due to a mandatory evacuation order?  What if you would simply rather be safe than sorry?  Many Floridians who have evacuated are currently considering this very question and concerned about the status of their employment upon returning home.

Mayor de Bolshevik.  In a wide-ranging and candid interview with New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio casually noted that the "way our legal system is structured to favor private property" provokes his "anger, which is visceral."  The mayor elaborated on this point, insisting that "people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be."  The mayor begs the question of who would build anything under these strict conditions.

What Country Is This?  Forced Blood Draws, Cavity Searches and Colonoscopies.  Forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, forced inclusion in biometric databases:  these are just a few ways in which Americans are being forced to accept that we have no control over our bodies, our lives and our property, especially when it comes to interactions with the government.  Worse, on a daily basis, Americans are being made to relinquish the most intimate details of who we are — our biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.) — in order to clear the nearly insurmountable hurdle that increasingly defines life in the United States:  we are now guilty until proven innocent.

U.S. Governor Orders Seizure of Privately Owned Guns, Ammo Ahead of Hurricane.  Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp there has activated the National Guard and has now ordered all guns, ammo and property needed by the National Guard seized.  Silly me... I thought that was unconstitutional and illegal.  The wording of the order is tricky as it allows the seizure in the performance of the National Guard's duties.  Mapp issued this emergency order and signed it on Monday [9/4/2017] in preparation for the storm.  It smacks of martial law.

Justice Department Forces Christian Pastor to Testify on Islam Views.  The United State Department of Justice has issued subpoenas to force a Christian pastor in Virginia to disclose under oath his views on Islam.  Pastor Steve Harrelson of the Mt.  Lebanon Baptist Church in Boston, Virginia, has been served with a wide-ranging subpoena by lawyers for the DOJ's Civil Rights Division.  The subpoena demands his presence to testify under oath in response to questions from Justice Department lawyers about his views on Islam as well as several other issues.

Is Your Dog 'Contraband'?  An awful ruling for pet owners has come from a federal court, in a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge George Caram Steeh.  But the threat is not just to Fido and Fluffy, because, as anyone familiar with how precedent becomes corrupted knows, the ruling will be cited and abused far beyond its original, flawed bases. [...] In deciding an unlicensed dog is "contraband" not protected by the Fourth Amendment, the ruling confuses government "licenses" with "title," i.e., private ownership and possession.  The ruling will eventually be cited in cases involving property other than dogs and other unlicensed activity in our overly license-happy statist society.

Federal Court Rules That Officials Can't Block Trolls On Social Media.  I first wrote about a lawsuit brought by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University a couple of months ago.  As you may recall, it involves a group of people who had been blocked on Twitter by President Trump after some of their "constructive criticism" (read: trolling) apparently generated enough spam in his mentions column to be noticed.  This was somehow interpreted as a First Amendment violation, leading to the pending lawsuit.  While the entire premise sounds like some sort of parody stolen from the pages of The Onion, we may have an early indication of how the courts will be treating such questions.  This case doesn't deal with the President, but instead an obscure fight involving the Board of Supervisors in Loudoun County, Virginia.  The board's chair apparently blocked a constituent, Brian C. Davidson, on Facebook (for a period of 12 hours before unblocking him) and deleted a post of her own which contained a comment from Davidson.  The results from the initial hearing at the federal district court are disappointing to say the least.

Betrayal: Republicans Push Anti-Free Speech Bill Written By Islamic Terror-Linked Groups.  The United States already has strict laws on the books that protect against hate crimes, so one reasonably asks, "why do we need this new resolution?"  Yes, this particular legislation is merely a "resolution" or a formal statement by a legislative body, but might the continued discussion of this matter really seek to prepare us to slowly move toward the next step in the process and expand the concept of what actually constitutes a "hate crime," — perhaps to include speech that some may find offensive?  In fact, its bent is quite the opposite and could end up landing you in federal court for espousing a politically incorrect opinion.

Washington's DUI-E Law Now Makes It Illegal to Text, Smoke and Even Eat While Driving.  The charge of "driving under the influence" used to only apply to drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol — but it will now apply to drivers who text, eat, smoke, read or groom while driving in the state of Washington.  The implementation of the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act was expedited from January 2019 to July 23 after Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a partial-veto, and insisted that "public safety is better served by implementing this bill this year."

Judge to Marine vet:  Give up Second Amendment gun rights to foster grandson.  On Wednesday [7/19/2017], Fox News reported that William Johnson of Ontonagon, Michigan, was told that he would have to give up his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms if he wanted to foster his grandson.  Not only was he told this by caseworkers with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), he was instructed by a county judge that, "if you want to care for your grandson you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights."  As a result, Fox said, a lawsuit was filed in federal court on Monday [7/17/2017].

State officials fume after leak shows how feds planned to use armed troops.  An organization representing top state election officials is complaining it's being kept in the dark by the federal government after a new report showed the Obama administration was quietly making extensive plans — including the possibility of deploying armed troops — in the case of an election day cyberattack or last-minute propaganda efforts from Russia.  Time Magazine reported on a document it obtained showing the administration's plans, which noted that state and local governments would have the primary jurisdiction, but called for the deployment of armed troops to counter a "significant incident."

Amish Man Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison for Improper FDA Labeling.  Samuel Girod is a farmer who belongs to the "Old Order Amish community" and a father to twelve in Bath County, Kentucky.  According to Ricochet, the 57-year-old Girod got in trouble with the government after selling homemade herbal remedies, [...] Girod, who said the FDA had no right to oversight since he made herbal remedies, wouldn't let them in.  His deeply-held beliefs require he "avoid the modern world as much as possible, including modern pharmaceuticals."  Unsurprisingly, the FDA disagreed with his assessment of their level of possible involvement, so the federal behemoth came down on him for the "vague medical claims" on his labels.

FBI Agent Indicted for Lying About Shooting in Oregon Refuge Standoff.  An FBI agent has been indicted for lying to state and federal investigators about firing at Robert "LaVoy" Finicum during a showdown between law enforcement and protesters last year in Oregon. [...] Oregon state police shot and killed Finicum on January 26, 2016.  He was fleeing a surprise traffic stop on a rural highway near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, where he was holed up with other protesters.  He crashed his truck into a snow bank and jumped out.  An autopsy determined that three rounds shot by state police killed him.  The U.S. Attorney for Oregon said the shots were "necessary and justified," since Finicum appeared to be reaching for his gun.  Investigators discovered that someone else fired as well before Finicum left his truck.  One round went into the roof of the truck.  Astarita failed to tell Oregon police officers that he shot two rounds at Finicum.  He also failed to tell the FBI's Shooting Incident Response Team.  Suspicions were aroused when two shell casings disappeared from the scene.

The Charlie Gard Case and Its Obvious Implications.  Most of the people following the macabre case of Charlie Gard were relieved when the British hospital holding the child hostage decided to let the 11-month old live until it has conferred with Perfidious Albion's High Court.  In a statement issued Friday [7/7/2017], Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) added that it had condescended to inform Charlie's parents of the decision, "and will continue to keep them fully appraised of the situation."  In a sane world most observers would shout, "What [if anything] does the court system have to do with this kid's care and why are his parents treated as mere bystanders?"

Worst media moments of the week.  The case of 11-month-old Charlie Gard is every parent's nightmare.  The child has "a rare genetic condition that has damaged his brain and left him unable to breathe without assistance," according to Fox News.  British authorities have refused to follow the parents' wishes to let them transport him to the United States for experimental treatments.  They didn't just give him a death sentence.  They said they get to decide what happens, not his parents.  ABC, CBS and NBC didn't care about the story, though American conservatives were up in arms about it.  None of the three networks mentioned the case.

Court Rules To Kill Baby, Denying Parents the Right To Pay for Surgery.  Charlie Gard is a ten-month-old baby who suffers from a rare, crippling disorder called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.  Baby Charlie is condemned to die.  But not because of his condition.  No, Charlie will die because a judge ordered that he should.

Court Rules Hospital Can Overrule Parents and Yank Their Disabled Son's Life Support.  Charlie Gard, a little baby on life-support with a debilitating genetic disease, has lost his last court battle.  His parents' heroic battle to bring 10-month-old Charlie to the United States for an experimental medication has lost out to a London hospital evaluation that he deserves "death with dignity."  A majority of seven judges in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Tuesday rejected, as "inadmissible" the plea by Charlie's parents to overturn three rulings in the UK court system against their son.  The ECHR had agreed to intervene June 19th to maintain Charlie's life-support in the interest of preventing "imminent risk of irreparable harm."

State Tyranny Exposed.  The bureaucracy decided that the parents had no rights in [the Charlie Gard] case.  They had raised the money to seek experimental treatment in the United States, and the British courts decided that, even though there was no cost to the British taxpayer, the parents had no rights.  They couldn't even take their child home to die in peace with his family.  I'm sure the experimental treatment was a long shot.  It probably wouldn't have worked anyway.  But God knows, if this were my child, I'd fight to the last, to the most extreme chance possible.  The public largely agreed with them, that's how they were able to raise the donation money in the first place.  But the primacy of the State cannot be questioned by us mere peasants.

Lynching Free Speech:  The Intolerant State of America.  Here's the thing:  if Americans don't learn how to get along — at the very least, agreeing to disagree and respecting each other's right to subscribe to beliefs and opinions that may be offensive, hateful, intolerant or merely different — then we're going to soon find that we have no rights whatsoever (to speak, assemble, agree, disagree, protest, opt in, opt out, or forge our own paths as individuals).  The government will lock down the nation at the slightest provocation.  It is ready, willing and able to impose martial law within 24 hours.  Indeed, the government has been anticipating and preparing for civil unrest for years now, as evidenced by the build-up of guns and tanks and militarized police and military training drills and threat assessments and extremism reports and surveillance systems and private prisons.  Connect the dots, people.

Government bureaucrats now have the power to take children away from their parents if they oppose non-biological 'gender identity'.  It seems like something out of a dystopian novel written by a conservative Christian, but it is actually happening.  A child decides to play at being the opposite sex, but the parents object, perhaps on religious grounds.  In the Canadian province of Ontario (which contains nearly 40% of Canada's population), "child protection" bureaucrats may now remove that child from the parents' care, in order to permit the child to express its chosen identity at variance from the dictates of biology.  Presumably, this could extend to allowing genital mutilation of the child as a so-called "sex change" operation despite the parents' strong objections.

Ontario Makes Disapproval Of Children's Gender Confusion Child Abuse.  American Lens goes on to note (using an article from Gender Trender) that Canada is looking to legalize gender confusion nationally with Bill C-16, which "would establish a government recognized class of people based on their personal feeling that sex stereotypes form an integral and desired component of their legal identity."  This would be a part of the criminal code, so, it should turn out great, right?  Perhaps it is time to stop tolerating this insanity and ruining kids' lives by allowing them to perpetuate fantasies that they're the other sex, which is encouraged by insane leftists with political agendas.

In Canada, Big Brother Is Ready to Raid Your Home and Steal Your Child.  We have not been crying wolf.  We have not been exaggerating the danger.  The unthinkable is now reality in Canada.  And it could be coming to America next.  In 2012, headlines announced, "Homeschooling families can't teach homosexual acts sinful in class says Alberta government."  As the article explained, "Under Alberta's new Education Act, homeschoolers and faith-based schools will not be permitted to teach that homosexual acts are sinful as part of their academic program, says the spokesperson for Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk."

Canada's New Law Lets Government Take Children Away If Parents Don't Accept Their Gender Identity.  A Canadian province has passed a law that gives rights to the government to take away children from families that don't accept their kid's chosen "gender identity" or "gender expression".  The Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act of 2017, also know as Bill 89, was passed in Ontario by a vote of 63 to 23, The Christian Times reported. [...] Minister of Child and Family Services Michael Coteau, who introduced the bill, said "I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently."  "If it's abuse, and if it's within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops."

City: You can't sell blueberries unless you affirm gay marriage.  The Tennes family has been farming in Michigan for generations.  They grow all sorts of crops at the Country Mill Farm — organic apples, blueberries, pumpkins, sweet corn.  And for the past seven years, Steve Tennes and his family have sold their produce at the farmer's market owned by the city of East Lansing.  But this year — city officials told the devout Catholic family that their blueberries and sweet corn were not welcome at the farmer's market — and neither were they.

Farmer Fined $2.8 Million for Plowing His Own Land.  It's a case that involves property rights, due process of law, constitutionally protected rights, and rule by bureaucratic fiat.  A farmer in California's Tehama County will undergo a trial this August in an attempt by the federal government and the state of California to fine him $2.8 million for failing to get a permit to plow his own field and plant wheat.  John Duarte, owner of Duarte Nursery, purchased 450 acres near Modesto in 2012 with the intention of growing wheat.  But the property included land designated "wetlands" by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Because of this, Duarte employed a consulting firm to determine which areas provided drainage for some creeks, making them "waters of the United States."  This information would enable him to avoid plowing areas that could cause conflict with governmental authorities.

Illinois Purges Social Workers And Foster Families Who Don't 'Facilitate' Transgenderism.  The science-deniers are running the LGBTQ show over at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and dissenters will not be tolerated.  The department's new "enhanced" policies promoting the "well-being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) children and youth in the Department's care" ratchet in one direction only: encouraging children towards LGBTQ identities.  DCFS has drawn a rainbow-colored line in the sand, announcing it "will not tolerate exposing LGBTQ children and youth to staff/providers who are not supportive of children and youths' right to self-determination of sexual/gender identity."

The Editor says...
When did "self-determination of gender identity" become a right?

Farmer Faces $2.8 Million Fine For Plowing His Own Field.  A California farmer is facing a $2.8 million fine for failing to get a permit to plow his own field.  John Duarte bought 450 acres of land near Modesto in 2012 and is now being sued by the federal government for plowing near areas the government considers to be "waters of the United States."

He plowed his field; now he faces a $2.8 million fine.  A farmer faces trial in federal court this summer and a $2.8 million fine for failing to get a permit to plow his field and plant wheat in Tehama County.  A lawyer for Duarte Nursery said the case is important because it could set a precedent requiring other farmers to obtain costly, time-consuming permits just to plow.  "The case is the first time that we're aware of that says you need to get a (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) permit to plow to grow crops," said Anthony Francois, a lawyer for the Pacific Legal Foundation.  The libertarian-leaning nonprofit fights for private property rights and limited government.

A new GOP bill would make it virtually impossible to sue the police.  The bill would create new federal crimes, impose federal police over the will of local officials and voters and shield police officers from virtually any civil liability, even in cases of egregious misconduct.  Let's look first at the new federal crimes.  The bill would create new federal crimes for killing, attempting to kill or conspiring to kill a state or local law enforcement officer who works for a police agency that receives federal funding.  Because nearly all police agencies receive some sort of federal funding, including most local sheriff's departments and town police, the bill basically makes it a federal crime to kill, attempt to kill or conspire to kill any police officer (as well as any judge or first responder).  The bill would also allow for the federal death penalty in such cases, and it would impose limits on the ability of defendants to file habeas petitions in federal court after they've exhausted their appeals.

Vermont DMV Caught Using Illegal Facial Recognition Program.  The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has been caught using facial recognition software — despite a state law preventing it.  Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont describe such a program, which uses software to compare the DMV's database of names and driver's license photos with information with state and federal law enforcement.  Vermont state law, however, specifically states that "The Department of Motor Vehicles shall not implement any procedures or processes... that involve the use of biometric identifiers."

How Reality Is Being Manufactured.  Reality is being manufactured to manipulate your emotions and actions!  In this video, Melissa Dykes of Truthstream Media brilliantly breaks down how our reality is created in the Information Age using very interesting Google Trend charts.  It used to be if you controlled the oil, you controlled the world.  Now it's if you control the information, you control the world.  That is why they are cracking down so aggressively on independent media.  [Video clip]

Former FEC Chairwoman Calls for 'Regulations' of Political Speech on the Internet.  The former Federal Election Commission chairwoman Ann M. Ravel says that political speech must be controlled on social media.  She presented her remarks in a speech at UC Berkeley, calling for regulations against "fake news."  Speaking at an event called "Future of Democracy," Ravel argued the proliferation of "fake news" and political advertising on platforms like Facebook influenced elections.  She warned that the lack of disclosure by the creators of these campaigns was becoming a huge problem.  "We know that there's a lot of campaigning that's moved to the internet, whether it's through fake news or just outright advertising and there is almost no regulation of this, very little," she said.  "And so that the disclosure that we expect as to who is behind campaigns is not going to exist soon"

Government Burglars.  The legitimate purpose of government?  It is to protect citizens from force and fraud, to defend individuals against violent and criminal attacks on their persons and property, and, beyond that, to leave them at liberty to pursue their own happiness.  Tyranny, conversely, is what we call governments that engage in force and fraud, committing violent and criminal acts against innocent people — even when those crimes are cloaked in the costume of legality.  In these United States, at this modern moment in time, which is it?  Do we live in a legitimately governed country or an abject tyranny?  Or is it somewhere in between?

The Government Doesn't Care About You.  We have reached a point in our nation's history where we have put far too much power in, trust in, and dependence on government.  Shortly after the nation was founded, government began to encroach on our freedom, making us more reliant on the federal government for our daily needs.  In recent decades, that government creep has accelerated exponentially, to the point where every single thing in our lives has some form of regulation touching it.  The more government intrudes through regulation, the fewer rights we have as individuals.

Appeals Court Says Right To Bear Arms Isn't A Right If Cops Are Banging On Your Door In The Middle Of The Night.  Qualified immunity — a legal doctrine that originates from court decisions rather than statute — received another boost from the federal court system last week.  Qualified immunity is the concept that allows overreaching and abusive government employees and officials to stay one step ahead of accountability.  If their actions don't "clearly violate" established law and/or precedent, police officers, etc. can walk away unscathed from deprivations of other people's life and liberty.

How California police are tracking your biometric data in the field.  [Scroll down]  Nine of the agencies have responded to our requests with documents, while many more claimed they didn't have any records.  Of those that did respond, most employed a digital fingerprinting device.  Facial recognition has also been widely embraced among agencies in San Diego County, with Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies close behind.  In addition, In addition, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's biometrics system includes tattoo recognition, while the Orange County Sheriff's Department is also investigating iris recognition.

Cops Given Pass For Shooting Innocent Man In His Own Home.  At issue in this case isn't whether these shootings by cop will continue in the future.  They will, and this case just makes that more likely, but judges should not be deciding cases based on their social import.  In other words, there is an objective standard against which their actions should be judged in this particular case, and that doesn't change one iota based on what may or may not happen in the future.  Judges aren't social workers, soothsayers or witchdoctors — or at least, they shouldn't be.

Cops given pass for shooting innocent man in his own apartment.  There was no warrant and no reason to suspect the apartment resident in Lake County, Florida, of a crime.  But police officers who said they were investigating a speeding motorcyclist, to which the man had no links, pounded on the door at 1:30 in the morning.  When Andrew Scott, 26, answered the door, carrying a weapon for defense because of the vigorous knocking at an unlikely hour, an officer shot and killed him.  Now, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has given the officer a pass for the killing, prompting an outraged dissent from four justices on the panel.

Oregon Man Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail — for Collecting Rainwater on His Property.  A rural Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday [3/29/2017] to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines because he had three reservoirs on his property to collect and use rainwater.  Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Ore., says he plans to appeal his conviction in Jackson County (Ore.) Circuit Court on nine misdemeanor charges under a 1925 law for having what state water managers called "three illegal reservoirs" on his property — and for filling the reservoirs with rainwater and snow runoff.

N.Y. bill would require people to remove 'inaccurate,' 'irrelevant,' 'inadequate' or 'excessive' statements about others.  [U]nder this bill, newspapers, scholarly works, copies of books on Google Books and Amazon, online encyclopedias (Wikipedia and others) — all would have to be censored whenever a judge and jury found (or the author expected them to find) that the speech was "no longer material to current public debate or discourse" (except when it was "related to convicted felonies" or "legal matters relating to violence" in which the subject played a "central and substantial" role).  And of course the bill contains no exception even for material of genuine historical interest; after all, such speech would have to be removed if it was "no longer material to current public debate."  [...] But the deeper problem with the bill is simply that it aims to censor what people say, under a broad, vague test based on what the government thinks the public should or shouldn't be discussing.

Today's Riot-Prone Mobs Are A Product Of America's Cult-Like Education System.  Today's street theater is the culmination of decades of radical education revision.  The radical Left's systematic attack on the study of Western Civilization has essentially been an attack against the study of any and all civil societies.  It is an attack on the features that make a society civil and free.  Those features include freedom of expression, civil discourse, the Socratic method of figuring out truth, value of the individual, and a common knowledge of the classics of history and literature that help us understand what's universal in the human experience.  All of that had to go.  Now, as we see students marching to demonize as "fascists" proponents of free speech, their ignorance is in full view.  This is really a full frontal attack on the rule of law, the Constitution, and a system of checks and balances that guards against the consolidation of centralized power.  That's the whole point of the education these students have been fed.

USDA Threatens To Shut Down Farm For Conservative Article In Break Room.  For hundreds of years, the meat-packing industry bore the responsibility for transforming Bessie the Cow into carnivores' favorite source of protein, and more recently the Food Safety and Inspection Service inspectors of the U.S. Department of Agriculture ensured that the finished product was "safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged."  Not so anymore.  Due to agency rules issued during the Obama era, FSIS inspectors enjoy expanded duties, including monitoring facilities for any "disrespectful" or "insult[ing]" communication (no, not among the animals).

Rubber stamp court:
9,400 to Zero:  For 6 Years, Spy Court Denied No Electronic Surveillance Applications.  In the last six years on record (2010-2015), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court did not deny a single application out of the 9,400 the government submitted seeking authority "to conduct electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes" under the terms of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to reports filed by the U.S. Justice Department.  The last time the court denied an electronic surveillance application under FISA was 2009.  That year, the court denied one application outright and denied another in part.

FISA Court: Whatever Obama Wanted Obama Got.  FISA became a rubber stamp for the Obama administration.  Between 2010 and 2015, FISA did not deny even one of the 9,400 applications submitted by the federal government.  These applications sought "to conduct electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes," according to reports filed by the U.S. Justice Department.  FISA Court, executive overreachWithout any real checks and balances, Obama could say, "I saw Trump drinking a Black Russian one night, ergo let's put him under investigation."  The Justice Department's annual report provides the status of their 2015 FISA requests.  The court denied a grand total of zero government FISA applications from 2010 through 2015.  However, the court did modify some applications that it approved.  And the government withdrew some of those it submitted.

U.S. Marshals Scan Passenger Retinas to Board Flight.  During the war on terrorism, Americans compromised their liberties to fight for freedom.  Now, during the war on immigration, Americans will again be compelled to sacrifice liberties for American sovereignty.  In the name of security, anywhere, anytime.  All measures will be justified, everyone will be authorized and the population will be controlled.

This Is How Free Speech Slowly Dies.  [Scroll down]  The result is a world like many Americans live in today, where they keep their mouths shut at work, they keep a tight rein on their social-media feeds, and they confine their true opinions to the most private forms of communication.  This culture isn't everywhere, of course, but ask conservative employees in entire areas of public- and private-sector employment if they're as free to speak as their progressive colleagues, and the answer is a resounding "No."  How free are they to disagree with their diversity trainer?  Can they argue against same-sex marriage with the same vehemence that their colleagues ask for "marriage equality"?  Are they as free to discuss, say, the border wall or Trump's executive order on immigration as their progressive friends?  One thing I can say for certain, I have conservative friends who are afraid to test the proposition.  They have mortgages to pay.

The Illusion of Freedom:  The Police State Is Alive and Well.  Anytime you have an entire nation so mesmerized by the antics of the political ruling class that they are oblivious to all else, you'd better beware.  Anytime you have a government that operates in the shadows, speaks in a language of force, and rules by fiat, you'd better beware.  And anytime you have a government so far removed from its people as to ensure that they are never seen, heard or heeded by those elected to represent them, you'd better beware. [...] The gravest threat facing us as a nation is not extremism — delivered by way of sovereign citizens or radicalized Muslims — but despotism, exercised by a ruling class whose only allegiance is to power and money.

Texas bill seeks to label attacks against first responders as a hate crime.  The father of a Dallas police officer murdered in the July ambush says he fully supports a sweeping new hate crime bill.  The father of Patrick Zamarripa says he wants his son's murder to have a purpose and hope a Texas bill, designed to protect first responders, does that.  Rick Zamarripa knows nothing he does will bring his son back.  But he hopes by pushing new legislation to make attacking police officers a hate crime will give his son's death meaning.

The Editor says...
I'm very sorry that Officer Zamarripa was amushed and killed, along with four other officers, but legislation of this sort means that "first responders" will be first-class citizens and everyone else will be something less.

The Real Force Chipping Away at Your Right to Speak Your Mind.  As odious as they are, campus speech codes and angry rioting leftists are not the biggest threat to most Americans' free speech.  No, the much more common and insidious threat to the average American is their employer's human resources department freaking out about a social-media post done off the clock.  Alexandria Brown suggested the actual threat to an American's free speech rights is someone else reporting their off-the-clock private social media posts to the employer's HR department. [...] We're creeping closer to a society and an economy where holding a sufficiently controversial opinion or making a sufficiently controversial remark makes you unemployable or barely employable.

A legal analysis of the Ninth Circuit's dangerous usurpation of presidential power.  What we have here is a creeping constitutional coup.  As long as President Obama was in charge and had a massive open-door policy at our borders and at our airports, in violation of statutory law, the judiciary was content to be silent.  But when Donald Trump became president and tried to use the powers of the presidency to put some national security safeguards into place, the judiciary sprang into action.  The judiciary has usurped the executive branch's powers and has created a parallel constitution — one that bears no relation to the founding document of our nation.

Trump Is Right.  Churches Should Be Free To Express Themselves Politically.  In 1954, Sen. Lyndon Johnson, worried about opposition at home, came up with an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) that prohibited campaign speech by nonprofits and tax-exempt churches.  There was no floor debate on the law, and one assumes, those voting for it saw little downside in quashing church criticism in their own states.  One also imagines that the folks writing the First Amendment didn't expect their pastors would be monitored by a central government agency and forced to watch what they say in the pulpit.  Yet, ignoring our rich tradition of religious activism, which includes the abolitionist movement, we've normalized the idea that pastors, priests, and rabbis should avoid talking about candidates, even when those candidates attack foundational ideas of faith.  We now task the IRS with monitoring every utterance in every church by every religious organization in the United States, and then deciding which of those thoughts constitute acceptable speech or "issue advocacy."

Hate Crime Laws Codify Inequality.  Because hate crime laws elevate some victims above others, their scope tends to expand over time.  If race and religion are covered, doesn't fairness demand that disability, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity be included as well?  A Louisiana law that took effect last summer classifies attacks on police officers, firefighters, or paramedics as hate crimes too.  Similar "Blue Lives Matter" bills have been introduced in several other states.  This unseemly competition, in which interest groups vie for recognition and status, has very little to do with justice, which requires equal treatment under the law.

Oregon Couple Told They Have No Water Rights, Forced to Destroy Their Own Pond.  Remember the Oregon 'Rain Man' or Gary Harrington — who was sent to 30 days in Jackson County Jail and slapped with a $1,500 fine for collecting rainwater on his 170-acre property?  He was ordered to breach his dams and drain his ponds that held more than 13 million gallons of water, enough to fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.  Now, an Oregon couple faces a similar fate as Gary Harrington because the rain belongs to the overbearing government, because corporate greed claims water is not a human right, and because Americans are not entitled to do what they please on their private property.

Army, Navy, Air Force, EPA.  During the period covered by the Open the Books report, EPA spent over $3 million on military equipment, including guns and ammo, tanks, drones, helicopters, camouflage, night-vision goggles, and other military hardware. [...] Other agencies with military-style equipment and cops include the Department of Commerce, Internal Revenue Service, Food and Drug Administration, and the Smithsonian Institution (guards to protect museum artifacts are one thing, but drones, helicopters, and SWAT teams?).  The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland has its own cops with a fleet of Crown Victoria police cars, as do the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Library of Congress, National Park Service, Forest Service, BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Fisheries Service, and even the Government Printing Office.  Do all these agencies really need police with guns, badges, arresting authority, and military equipment?

EPA May Crack Down on Wood Stoves in Alaska.  Many Alaskans rely on wood-burning stoves, which left-wing bureaucrats regard as offensive to environment. [...] A few weeks ago, it got down to -37°F in Fairbanks.  The high for the day was -27°F.  But never mind keeping warm.  According to liberal theory, global warming will see to that.  The important thing is to comply with the dictates of the regulatory bureaucracy.

EPA To Alaskans In Sub-Zero Temps:  Stop Burning Wood To Keep Warm.  [Scroll down]  But alas, now comes the federal government to tell the inhabitants of Alaska's interior that, really, they should not be building fires to keep themselves warm during the winter.  The New York Times reports the Environmental Protection Agency could soon declare the Alaskan cities of Fairbanks and North Pole, which have a combined population of about 100,000, in "serious" noncompliance of the Clean Air Act early next year.  Like most people in Alaska, the residents of those frozen cities are burning wood to keep themselves warm this winter.  Smoke from wood-burning stoves increases small-particle pollution, which settles in low-lying areas and can be breathed in.  The EPA thinks this is a big problem.  Eight years ago, the agency ruled that wide swaths of the most densely populated parts of the region were in "non-attainment" of federal air quality standards.

EPA To Alaskans:  We Might Fine You For Burning Wood To Stay Warm.  Well, in the Alaskan interior, winters can be brutal.  With temperatures dropping below zero, burning wood is the only viable way for Alaskans in these rather desolate areas to stay warm.  Yet, government thinks this is a problem concerning small-particle pollution.  In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency is so concerned that they're mulling fining people who burn wood to stay warm.

Obama Administration Yanks Second Amendment Rights from SSI Recipients.  Last week, the Obama administration put the finishing touches on a new policy that would deprive recipients of disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) of their Second Amendment rights.  The administration will now characterize those citizens as "mental defectives," thereby having their ability to own a firearm subject to the federal Gun Control Act.  Supplemental Security Income helps blind, disabled, and elderly people with little to no income.  Previously, it was understood that "mentally defective" referred to one's mental health.  Citizens who have been institutionalized against their will are restricted from owning a firearm.  The new definition of "mentally defective" has nothing to do with being mentally ill.

Obama Quietly Signs Bill Declaring War On Independent Media.  The human wrecking ball that is Barack Obama is refusing to be a good lame duck and just go away.  In a flurry of blows to America and a key Middle East ally, Obama stabbed Israel in the back at the United Nations and set the conditions for a total war on independent media.  The fiendish Obama waited until the Christmas weekend to quietly sign off on the creation of a new federal entity to combat "Russian" propaganda and target websites deemed to be sources of fake news.  Snuggled warmly within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund the military was a nasty and secretive provision that thanks to Congress, creates an Orwellian Ministry of Truth.

Obama Quietly Signs the "Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act" Into Law.  Late on Friday [12/23/2016], with the US population embracing the upcoming holidays and oblivious of most news emerging from the administration, Obama quietly signed into law the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes $611 billion for the military in 2017. [...] But while the passage of the NDAA — and the funding of the US military — was hardly a surprise, the biggest news is what was buried deep inside the provisions of the Defense Authortization Act.  Recall that as we reported in early June, "a bill to implement the U.S.' very own de facto Ministry of Truth had been quietly introduced in Congress.  As with any legislation attempting to dodge the public spotlight the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 marks a further curtailment of press freedom and another avenue to stultify avenues of accurate information.

A Hostile Environment For Truth.  [Scroll down]  There is no way for the owner of a website to know the absolute validity of any information found on the Internet then transmitted to the public.  In fact, without being able to go back and look at H.R. 6480, I would not know for sure that what I had heard was true.  What is known is that any website might fall under the clause (H.R. 6480, Sec 501(a)(1)(A-F)) without knowledge and be held legally culpable.  The thing I find odd about this clause is that it singles out Russia, rather than the more common "by foreign nations."  This has political intent and is not designed to enhance national security, rather it is designed to enhance political security.  It is not just the Democrat leftists who seek protection from the truth, the Republican globalists are shocked, scared and desperate.  If the media establishment cannot control the narrative for globalism, they are in trouble, so they agree with this Title and clause to intimidate websites that call them out for their distortions and extortions.  Trump and his election signals a victory for the unwashed and the globalists are already fighting back in every way they can.  The war has begun and the first battlefield is the Internet.

Very Stupid Idea Arises From Florida.  A government lawyer in Florida would like courts to impose community service and forced speech on you if you're unpleasant, and a prominent Florida newspaper is taking it seriously. [...] I'm not a fan of lunatics shouting at barristas about Donald Trump.  But honestly, I am far more offended by lawyers — especially government lawyers — promoting civic illiteracy by proposing patently unconstitutional policies.

Senate Quietly Passes The "Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act".  While we wait to see if and when the Senate will pass (and president will sign) Bill "H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017", which was passed by the House at the end of November with an overwhelming majority and which seeks to crack down on websites suspected of conducting Russian propaganda and calling for the US government to "counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence ... carried out in coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly," another, perhaps even more dangerous and limiting to civil rights and freedom of speech bill passed on December 8.  Recall that as we reported in early June, "a bill to implement the U.S.' very own de facto Ministry of Truth has been quietly introduced in Congress.  As with any legislation attempting to dodge the public spotlight the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 marks a further curtailment of press freedom and another avenue to stultify avenues of accurate information.

Trump will get power to text all Americans.  President-elect Donald Trump will have access to a system that can send unblockable texts to every phone in the US once he takes the oath of office.  Wireless Emergency Alerts are part of a program created by a 2006 act of Congress.  WEAs can be targeted messages sent to all mobile phones in a particular area, like Amber alerts, or to all phones nationally, like an alert issued by the president, according to a report by New York Magazine's Select/All blog.  The Trump office didn't immediately return a request seeking comment as to how the incoming president might use the system.  The FCC, which provides a guide to the WEA program, also didn't respond to a request for comment.

The State Wants to Raise Your Child.  The state's intervention into everyday life can be worrisome, whether it's a new tax policy, a new environmental regulation, or more government surveillance.  But it's something people can usually live with.  But in her new book, No Child Left Alone, Abby W. Schachter delves into how the federal government has been meddling in the bedrock of human society:  the family.  Whether it's letting your child stay home, packing your child's lunch, or sending your child to daycare, the federal government wants control.  Schachter discusses how the state's involvement has impacted the mental and physical development of children as well as how it strips away the rights of the parents to raise their children as they see fit.

Bureaucratic Tyranny in Trump's Crosshairs.  We have a VA that purposely lets vets die without medical care.  We have an EPA at war with the energy industry.  The Department of Education threatens public schools with loss of federal funds and mandates progressive lies about American history, teaching generations of schoolchildren to be ashamed of America and ignorant of our Constitution and our forefathers.  Universities are forced by the DOJ to hire feminist and racialist thought police under an Obama bureaucrat's interpretation of the Civil Rights Act.  We have an IRS that has a political enemies list its employees punish at the behest of Democrats.  Homeland Security and FBI are under a gag order that forbids them to use the term jihad or Islamic extremism.  Everywhere we look, regulations are strangling business, intruding into the personal lives and property rights of ordinary citizens.

People's Cube Artist Faces 5 Years in Prison for Hanging Up Anti-Terror Posters at GMU.  The artistic genius behind the highly acclaimed conservative satirical site The People's Cube has been arrested and released on $8,000 bail for putting up pro-Israel posters to combat a pro-Islamist conference at George Mason University.  He now faces the prospect of five years in prison for allegedly committing a "class 6 felony."  Beloved satirist Oleg Atbashian (who has contributed to PJ Media) has gotten in trouble for defying authorities before:  "Back in my Soviet dissident days, when I was collecting signatures in defense of Andrei Sakharov, I was screamed at, threatened, and lectured by the KGB and Communist functionaries," Oleg says.  "What I never imagined was that in the United States, the land of the free, I would not only be subjected to similar treatment, but go to jail."

Who Knew It Was A Crime To Hang Anti-Terrorism Posters?  My friend and compatriot Oleg Atbashian found that out the hard way.  Imagine my surprise this morning to find out he had been roughed up and arrested in Fairfax, Virginia.  His crime was hanging anti-terrorism posters on the university campus.  Oh, and bonus... he wasn't even read his rights.  He is now out on $8,000 bail for putting up pro-Israel posters to combat a pro-Islamist conference at George Mason University.  He faces the very real prospect of five years in prison for allegedly committing a "class 6 felony."  Oleg is an artistic genius.  His satirical site, The People's Cube, is one of the very best out there.  Oleg did the graphics for NoisyRoom and has done work for Trevor Loudon and Cliff Kincaid as well.  He is a member of a small circle of commie hunters out there.  We all have very long memories and we take it very personally when one of our own is treated like this.

Obama Quietly Signs Executive Order To Advance Global Vaccination Agenda.  So basically, the agenda is to push vaccines and normalize quarantine procedures across nations during outbreaks. [...] Bill Gates provided the CDC with a surveillance tool that helps identify "district-level measles risk" based on immunization records.  What's more, the HHS recently proposed giving the CDC the power to detain and quarantine people without due Process.

Single Mom Faces Jail Time After Participating in Facebook Food Group.  A Stockton woman faces an impending trial and potential jail time after she joined a social media community food group, and sold some of the meals she cooked, which county San Joaquin County officials say is against the law.  Mariza Reulas was cited by San Joaquin County for selling an illegal substance, but it wasn't a powder, a pill or a plant.  It was her bowl of homemade ceviche.  "It was just like unreal that they were saying you could face up to a year in jail," said Reulas.

State demands pastor turn over sermons, notes.  The state of Georgia is demanding copies of the sermons and related notes of a lay pastor who was fired by the Department of Public Health after it investigated what he said in his church.  But Dr. Eric Walsh is resisting, issuing a statement via his legal team that he will not comply with the demand from state lawyers.  The state's demand is in response to a lawsuit filed by Walsh against the Department of Health charging discrimination based on his religion and other civil rights violations.

Hillary Clinton Is The Greatest Threat to the Second Amendment Ever.  Law-abiding gun owners are preparing for what the Founding Fathers warned us about:  a tyrannical government that is out to limit our Constitutional rights.  We're stocking up on our guns and ammo, and not without good reason.

How The Cloward-Piven Strategy Is Driving The United States To Collapse.  Since Obama took office in 2008, the political elite has tried everything from smuggling illegal guns to Mexican drug cartels, attempting to make ammunition expensive through regulation to convincing banks to refuse to extend credit or loans to gun store owners.  Schemes like these are intended to make gun ownership such an impossible venture, that eventually no one will own any, thereby making any attempts to establish a hard tyranny slightly easier.  Although disarming law abiding Americans is an important step in implementing the Cloward-Piven strategy, the political elite must also establish an enforcement mechanism for the new government they intend to create.  Coincidentally, over the past five years, reports of numerous and excessively large transactions have occurred between federal agencies and ammunition manufacturers.  While some agencies need ammunition for training purposes and to do their jobs, why do agencies such as the EPA or the Department of Education ammunition and weapons as well, especially in an era where there isn't even enough for the military?  One possible answer to this vexing question is that even if the political elite succeeds in gutting the military completely, they likely don't trust the average soldier or Marine to carry out orders for a hard tyranny.  Therefore, the political elite likely intends to use federal agencies to carry out tyrannical orders, all in the name of "law enforcement".  If this is the case, it would likely explain the comments made by President Obama during a speech he made in Colorado, where he argued for a domestic force that was equally as well-equipped and funded as the military.

Obama Calls for 'Truthiness Tests' for Media Companies.  President Barack Obama floated the notion of a test for media organizations, griping about the wide-spread existence of alternative media available in America.  He was critical of the current Wild West online environment where people could say anything on social media or on news websites.  "We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to," he said.

Eric Holder named to lead effort to destroy GOP after Hillary wins the presidency.  This election is for keeps:  plans are being implemented, with President Obama already signed on, staff hired, and money being raised.  Perhaps lulled into complacency by the MSM polls, the Democrats have already constructed and staffed their strategy to permanently disable the Republican Party.  Eric Holder is the perfect henchman, a man above nothing in his quest for political dominance, unbound by old-fashioned concepts of justice.  The GOP will remain in existence as the token opposition, useful for legitimizing the actual one-party regime, the essential element of the election rituals reminding us of the Republic we once enjoyed.

Podesta Pal:  We 'Conspire to Produce an Unaware and Compliant Citizenry'.  One of John Podesta's emails released by WikiLeaks this week exposes how progressive elites seek to exploit the unwashed masses.  The email features one of Podesta's colleagues from the Center for American Progress admitting that the institutional left "conspires to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry," ostensibly to impose their radical agenda on us without much resistance.  The correspondent is Bill Ivey of Global Cultural Strategies, "the online representation of the ideas, writings, and affiliations of author/consultant Bill Ivey."  He is an author trained in folklore and history, a trustee of the Center for American Progress, a former team leader in the Barack Obama presidential transition in 2008, and the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in the Clinton administration.

The All-Out Assault on the First Amendment.  From the IRS targeting conservative groups to those trying to limit the ability of Americans to freely practice their religious beliefs, to membership organizations being forced to disclose their donors, the First Amendment is being assaulted on all sides.  Americans are familiar with the recent attacks on religious liberty, present in everything from forcing religious business owners to oyer abortion-inducing drugs and perform same-sex wedding services that violate their fundamental beliefs to the exclusion of churches from secular public projects.  Cases questioning the government's encroachment on religious liberty continue to come before the U.S. Supreme Court, [...]

Pentagon joins Homeland, FBI in eyeing oversight, control of elections.  Concerns about Russian hacking into the November 8 election have now reached the Pentagon where the military's top cyber official has outlined a plan to help the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to track an election altering attack.  What's more, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, has added his voice to that of Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson who is considering whether the election system is critical infrastructure, like the power grid and financial sector, and subject to federal oversight.

Clinton Camp "Demands" "Compliant Citizenry" for Her Master Plan.  An email released in the recent Wikileaks dump laid out Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's real plan for the future — and it didn't include justice, equality or fairness.  Instead, Clinton's plan for the future revolved around maintaining political power while working to create an "unaware" and "compliant" citizenry.  The email came from Bill Ivey, who was appointed Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts during President Bill Clinton's second term.  It was sent to Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta on March 13, 2016.

Kansas woman who claimed police told her to stop praying in her home fights court ruling.  [Mary Anne] Sause, a retired Catholic nurse on disability and rape survivor, was at home on the night of Nov. 22, 2013, when two police officers approached her door and demanded to be allowed in.  Sause said the officers did not identify themselves, and she could not see them through her broken peephole, so she did not open her door.  The officers left, but returned later and demanded that Sause let them in.  When Sause came to the door and the officers asked why she didn't answer the first time, she showed them a copy of a pocket Constitution given to her by her congressman.  One officer laughed and said, "That's just a piece of paper" that "doesn't work here," while still not explaining the reason for their presence at her home.

Federal Agents Can Secretly Read Every E-mail of Every American.  Not only is the federal government able to read every e-mail ever sent by every American regardless of any reasonable belief that the target has committed any crime, they have these decisions upheld by secret courts where the owner of the e-mails has no right to question the accusers.  How did the federal government get this power?  They were given it by federal judges who allowed the government to define "premises" in a clever, crafty, and contemptuous way.

A Banana Republic, If We Choose to Keep It.  ## In court documents made public in 2002, an IRS official admitted that legal opponents of former President Bill Clinton were singled out for tax audits, including 10 more than 20 conservative organizations such as the Heritage Foundation and American Spectator magazine, as well as a number of individual Clinton accusers, like Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers.  If Hillary wins, she brings Bill with her to the White House.

Global Bureaucrats Invited By Obama To Inspect US Elections.  Hundreds of foreigners are expected to enter America within the next month in order to observe the American electoral process.  The United States sends representatives to other nations with dubious democratic processes to survey the voting systems and look for fraudulent practices.  But now it seems that America is the one being inspected and scrutinized.  With the help of President Barack Obama, the Organization of American States (OAS) will send roughly 30 to 40 spectators to polling locations across the country for the first time ever, according to The Washington Post.  The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has been consigning a small contingent of bystanders to U.S. elections since 2002, but this time it plans to send extra reinforcements.

FEC war:  Dems reject call to protect Internet news, talk radio from regs.  In the latest partisan escalation on the Federal Election Commission, a top Democratic commissioner has ripped a Republican commissioner's bid to protect books, radio and Internet media from regulation as "pitiful."  Ann Ravel, a former FEC chairwoman, joined other Democrats at a meeting this month to block Republican Lee Goodman's proposal to explicitly expand the "press exemption" from regulations to books, satellite radio and Internet-based news media.

No More Accidental Criminals.  Consider the retiree on a snowmobile outing in Colorado who got lost in a blizzard and unwittingly crossed into a National Forest Wilderness Area; the Native Alaskan trapper who sold 10 sea otters to a buyer he mistakenly believed was also a Native Alaskan; and the 11-year-old Virginia girl who rescued a baby woodpecker from her cat.  The first two incidents resulted in misdemeanor and felony convictions, respectively, while the third led to a fine (later rescinded) and threats of prosecution.  All three qualify as federal crimes, even though the perpetrators had no idea they were breaking the law.  The federal code contains something like 5,000 criminal statutes and describes an estimated 30,000 regulatory violations that can be treated as crimes.

Legislation Without Representation — A 2016 Perspective.  [Scroll down]  The analogy is a critical frame of reference because the time for wondering about "what if" has passed.  We have already destroyed the tea.  There is no retreat from this moment, and more importantly, we have nothing left to lose.  There are many who use a frame of reference about 'saving a constitutional republic'; while I do not mean to be dismissive of this benevolent sensibility — in case you have not been paying attention we've long since passed the threshold of that possibility.  The architecture of our own U.S. government is now operating independent of the electorate (Obamacare, Omnibus etc.).  Congress is consistently passing legislation without appropriate representation (PR Bailout, Ominbus, Corker/Cardin amendment, Fast-Track Trade Authorization etc.), and the various operational constructs, divisions, and agencies within the DC UniParty are now fully weaponized against us (IRS targeting, FBI Comey/email non-finding, etc.).

Hillary's Talk of 'Implicit Bias' Should Scare Every American.  You're guilty and you don't know it.  Sure, you think you're a decent person who treats people fairly, judging them on the content of their character and not the color of the skin.  But let's face it:  You're deluded.  Especially if you happen to be white, you're biased and you don't even know it.  You're unaware of your own privilege, and of the extent to which your beliefs, speech, and even mannerisms oppress people of color.  It's time to confess.  It's time to be re-educated.  It's time to rid yourself of your false consciousness.  This is the message of the modern campus radical, of the diversity trainer, and, increasingly, of the Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton.

Police use TEN different types of checkpoints, with more on the way.  Police and the Border Patrol are using 'general crime control checkpoints' to harass and detain motorists across the country. [...] Sixteen years ago, the Supreme Court held that checkpoints established for general crime control purposes are unconstitutional.  So why are police and the Border Patrol stopping innocent motorists?  DHS admits DUI checkpoints are REALLY about checking a person's immigration status.

Pulling the Plug on America.  When the president, the attorney general, the director of the FBI, et al. have conspired to not merely shield a crook from prosecution, but elect her to the highest office in the land, they resemble mobsters who use bribes, threats, and murder to expand their criminal syndicate.  What the Founding Fathers put together is now on life support, and the grasping fingers of criminal collusion and left-wing dogma are about to pull the plug.

Obama's America — transformed indeed.  More Americans than ever now mistrust government.  And although such skepticism can be good, it is not healthy that citizens feel they are neither listened to nor represented by those in power.  Our divided country's rare consensus that Washington can't be trusted has much to do with President Obama.  His failures have taken the hammer to several quaint 20th-century assumptions.  The public no longer believes politicians understand how economies work, or that government has practical solutions to ordinary people's problems.

Nationalizing U.S. Elections — Obama's Most Dangerous Idea?  Not content with taking over health care and virtually nationalizing the financial markets, the Obama administration has another in a long line of great ideas:  Let's put our election system under federal control, too.  It's a terrible idea for which there are vastly better alternatives.

Why Democrats aren't serious about overcriminalization.  Among other things the Democrats want to change policing policy, reform the prisons, reduce sentences, and eliminate the death penalty.  All that is typical fare for Democrats.  But the Democrats don't care a bit about the more foundational issue of who is labeled a "criminal" in the first place.  Their platform says nothing about the average American who accidentally stumbles over an arcane regulatory tripwire, makes a simple mistake of fact, or commits the "crime" of holding an unlicensed croquet game in a national park.  They totally ignore the rapidly-growing tangle of federal criminal laws and the maze of criminally-enforceable administrative regulations, which are estimated to number in the hundreds of thousands.

'Pre-Search' Is Coming to U.S. Policing.  News that the city of Baltimore has been under surreptitious, mass-scale camera surveillance will have ramifications across the criminal justice world.  When it comes to constitutional criminal procedure, privacy, and the Fourth Amendment, it's time to get ready for the concept of "pre-search." [...] Since January, police in Baltimore have been testing an aerial surveillance system developed for military use in Iraq.  The system records visible activity across an area as wide as thirty square miles for as much as ten hours at a time.  Police can use it to work backward from an event, watching the comings and goings of people and cars to develop leads about who was involved. [...] But the technology collects images of everyone and everything.  From people in their backyards to anyone going from home to work, to the psychologist's or marriage counselor's office, to meetings with lawyers or advocacy groups, and to public protests.

Homeland Security to Take Over Elections.  The Washington Examiner reported that the Department of Homeland Security is considering taking control of elections by declaring them "critical infrastructure." [...] The federal government never wastes a good crisis to gain more power, and this is no exception.  Officials are already talking about speeding up the process in the wake of election cyber attacks:  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, "We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process, is critical infrastructure like the financial sector, like the power grid."

Homeland eyes special declaration to take charge of elections.  Even before the FBI identified new cyber attacks on two separate state election boards, the Department of Homeland Security began considering declaring the election a "critical infrastructure," giving it the same control over security it has over Wall Street and and the electric power grid.  The latest admissions of attacks could speed up that effort possibly including the upcoming presidential election, according to officials.  "We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process, is critical infrastructure like the financial sector, like the power grid," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said.

Regulators Are Running Amok.  Late last week, the Transportation Department issued a proposed rule that would require new commercial trucks and buses to have speed-limiting devices installed in them.  The government says the move is about increasing safety and reducing emissions, but what it's really about is showing how federal regulators can pretty much do whatever they want these days.

The Enemy Is Us.  Your government is on red alert:  between 2006 and 2014, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency of the Department of Agriculture, spent nearly $4.8 million to purchase shotguns, propane cannons, liquid explosives, pyro supplies, drones, thermal imaging cameras, and more. [...] This is one of many revelations found in a new investigative report titled "The Militarization of America:  Non-Military Federal Agencies Purchases of Guns, Ammo, and Military-style Equipment" published by American Transparency, a nonpartisan watchdog group.  Former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), chairman of the organization, points out that, "In the nine years until 2014, we found 67 agencies unaffiliated with the Defense Department bought $1.48 billion in weapons and ammunition.  Of this total, $335.1 million was spent by agencies traditionally viewed as regulatory or administrative, such as the Smithsonian Institution and the US Mint."

Voting machines should be seen as critical democracy infrastructure.  At the Open Source Election Technology Foundation (OSET), a 10-year old Silicon Valley based nonprofit election technology research institute, we are encouraged by valuable dialog underway about how to protect America's aging and vulnerable voting machinery and evolve our systems with technology for ease and confidence.  Setting aside some misunderstanding about the challenges elections officials face in administering a nationwide patchwork quilt of election technology, there is a critical mass on the left and the right discussing how to protect our "critical democracy infrastructure."

Obama Administration Plotting to Usurp Control Over Elections.  Under the guise of providing increased "security" for "critical infrastructure," the Obama administration is plotting to insert itself and the federal government into the American elections process.  While voting is constitutionally the responsibility of state and local officials, Obama's Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, pointed to the alleged threat of cyberattacks to justify the latest proposed usurpation of power.  The controversial scheme was floated amid growing national concerns, fueled in part by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's warnings of a "rigged" election, that America's electoral system might be vulnerable to major manipulation.  Critics and experts, though, warned that the White House scheming may be a first step toward illegally nationalizing the electoral process — with all the dangers that would entail.

Having solved all other energy problems...
DOE Imposes Efficiency Regulations on Wine Chillers.  The Department of Energy (DOE) has now developed an energy efficiency regulation specific to wine coolers.  On July 15, DOE released a final rule requiring manufacturers to test the energy efficiency of refrigerators used for wine.  It estimated the rule would cost the average small business $12,500 to test whether their equipment meets specifications.  While DOE said the $12,500 testing cost is "unlikely to represent a significant economic impact for small businesses," it did not address the costs to or impact on individual consumers who have or might purchase wine chillers for their homes.  The regulation set standards for temperature settings and energy use for 'coolers' with one or more doors, capable of maintaining compartment temperatures either no lower than 39°F, or in a range that extends no lower than 37°F but at least as high as 60°F," according to the final rule.  The temperature for wine chillers should be 55 degrees under the new rules, the DOE said.

NY bill would make assaulting a cop a hate crime.  Violence against police officers prompted a New York state lawmaker to draft a bill that would make it a hate crime to assault a police officer anywhere in New York.  It comes after recent murders of cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge.  Those who support it say the measure is needed to further deter people from attacking men and women in blue.

Martial Law Coming?  How much violence against authority would it take for President Obama to declare martial law and stay in power?  Less than you think.  Television coverage will make every act of violence seem a hundred times worse than it is.  I don't predict that we will see martial law in this country.  But all of the ingredients are in place.

We Thought We Were Free.  The America we live in, our nation, our people, our society, is not the America most of us were born in at all. [...] The transformation has occurred through the slowly creeping separation of not only the government from the people, but the people themselves from their country.  It has taken place so gradually and so insensibly that the majority of Americans, preoccupied with the latest crisis happening in their own lives, have failed to see the slow motion underneath of the whole process of our government and the spirit of our country growing more and more remote.

There Will Be No Second American Revolution:  The Futility Of An Armed Revolt.  We are poised at what seems to be the pinnacle of a manufactured breakdown, with police shooting unarmed citizens, snipers shooting police, global and domestic violence rising, and a political showdown between two presidential candidates equally matched in unpopularity. [...] For instance, anticipating civil unrest and mass demonstrations in connection with the Republican Party convention, Cleveland officials set up makeshift prisons, extra courtrooms to handle protesters, and shut down a local university in order to house 1,700 riot police and their weapons.  The city's courts are preparing to process up to 1,000 people a day.  Additionally, the FBI has also been conducting "interviews" with activists in advance of the conventions to discourage them from engaging in protests.  Make no mistake, the government is ready for a civil uprising.

Is government preparing for a new war?  [Scroll down]  Perhaps it's propaganda, maybe simple rumors, so take it with a grain of salt.  However, I have gained information on this matter from several sources, a few very hard to question.  This is about rather small military vehicles, apparently a bit smaller than a three-quarter ton, but containing armor on the sides.  According to reports, a rather long train carrying nothing other than such vehicles was observed in the West.

Do you see any navigable water here?
Federal Government Says a Farmer Broke the Law by Plowing His Land.  Earlier this month a federal court in California ruled that a farmer plowing his land without a permit from the federal government is breaking the law.  In 2013, the Army Corps of Engineers, without any notice or due process, ordered the owners of Duarte Nursery to cease use of their land for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The violation:  plowing.  The California court agreed with the federal government's action, despite the fact the CWA specifically exempts normal agricultural activities like plowing from regulation.  This overreaching assertion of federal power is not an isolated incident.  For decades, the EPA and the Army Corps have aggressively sought to stretch the bounds of the CWA.  When Congress passed the CWA, the federal government was given regulatory authority over "navigable waters," which the statute additionally defines as "waters of the United States."  While the word navigable may seem to have an obvious meaning to most Americans as bodies of water that can be navigated by watercraft, federal bureaucrats have identified these terms as a license for a massive regulatory land grab.


These three FEC commissioners must be removed from office.  Democratic senators are now trying to weaken Second, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights in their push for new gun laws.  They also controversially voted in 2014 to weaken the First Amendment, specifically to let both Congress and state legislators regulate political speech.  Yet even they have not yet dared to launch an attack on the freedom of the press.  But their fellow partisans on the Federal Election Commission do not scruple to take such a step.  They are completely out of control; they voted, it was revealed Wednesday [6/29/2016], to regulate the press and the editorial judgment of its members.  After years of chomping at the bit to go after conservative bloggers and aggregators on the internet, the three Democratic commissioners on the FEC went even further with an unprecedented effort to insert themselves into a cable news network's editorial judgment.

Cafe told to remove 'God Bless America' banner.  [Scroll down]  You would think most folks would appreciate the sentiment behind "God Bless America."  Lord knows we need it.  But rules are rules and the town board does not seem interested in accommodating Jennifer [Aquino]'s patriotic banner.  "The fact that I'm being asked to take it down is wrong," she said.  "It's against my First Amendment rights.  People need to open up their eyes.  If we start letting them tell us we can't do this — it's going to get worse."  Lots of folks seem to agree with Jennifer's sentiment.  Hundreds and hundreds of supporters have posted messages on the café's Facebook page and several customers have dropped off money — to help pay for any fines.  Jennifer tells me she never imagined there would be a day like this in America.

What Is The Government Preparing For?  You may not be getting prepared for a major national disaster, but the government sure is.  I have been informed that in recent months numerous emergency food companies have been contacted by the government, and they have been told that their inventories could potentially be seized in the event of a significant emergency.  And as you will see below, the government recently participated in an exercise that simulated "an unprecedented global food crisis lasting as long as a decade".  In addition, NPR has just revealed details about the very secretive Strategic National Stockpile program that is storing billions of dollars worth of medical supplies in warehouses around the nation.  This is a program that most Americans do not even know exists.  On top of everything else, strange reports of military vehicles with UN markings have been coming in from all over the nation.  So what in the world is the government up to?  Why are they working so feverishly hard to get prepared?

FEMA Contractor:  Unrest After 395% Food Price Spike Coming Soon.  Preparations by various cogs of the national security complex, including FEMA, indicate a coming worldwide food shortage — and a resulting crisis marked by extreme civil unrest around the globe.  As Motherboard noted of two reports published previously by CNA Corporation, but which largely escaped attention, the world's food supply could be insufficient to maintain even current populations much further into the future.  And the crisis — which several factors indicate may already be underway — may begin to worsen considerably as early as 2020.

Why Our Leaders Won't Name The Enemy.  [Scroll down]  The real reason that our leaders won't name the enemy is that they don't like us and they don't trust us.  Running through their heads are nightmare scenarios like Brexit and Trump.  They see their job as shepherding us away from our "worst impulses" toward a proper role within the global community.  They are quite capable of recognizing Islamic terrorism for what it is.  They may not be terribly bright, but people in their positions have more than enough access to information for the conclusions to be inescapable.  But they are determined not to allow Islamic terrorism to disrupt their larger plans for us.  It isn't another 9/11 or 7/7 that worries them, but a resurgence of nationalism in response to it.  That is why they will lie, mislead and even criminalize any dissent.  Their response to every Islamic terrorist attack is to make us feel responsible, ashamed and helpless by transforming Muslims into the victims.  For these same reasons they will push mass Muslim migration no matter what the terror risks are.  They will champion the hijab, even though they know it harms Muslim women.  Why?  Because these policies undermine our values and transform our countries.  And that is their overriding agenda above all else.  That is what we are up against.

America's Constitutional System is Hanging By a Thread.  [Scroll down]  What today means is separation of powers is hanging by a thread.  That is, our constitutional system is hanging by a thread, and the greatest fear that the Framers had:  this concentrated power in a centralized government is here.  You're staring at it.

After Trying to Kill 1st, Democrats Move on to 2nd and 5th Amendments.  In September of 2014, Senate Democrats voted to repeal the First Amendment.  They were enraged by a Supreme Court decision holding that ordinary constitutional protections for free speech prohibited the government from punishing political activists who had shown a film critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election.  This was a straightforward case of classical political speech — critics of Mrs. Clinton arguing that she'd make a poor president and distributing a film making that case — and Democrats, including every single Democrat in the Senate, insisted that that isn't what the First Amendment is intended to protect.  They started at the beginning, and are making their way down the Bill of Rights, with the Second Amendment and the Fifth Amendment.

Supreme Court OKs warrant-less breathalyzer tests in drunk driving arrests.  The Supreme Court on Thursday [6/23/2016] issued a split ruling on a trio of drunk driving cases, deciding that while law enforcement may require a breathalyzer for suspected drunk drivers without a warrant after an arrest, a warrant is required for a blood test in the same circumstances.  The consolidated cases, referred to as Birchfield v.  North Dakota, came from three separate drunk driving arrests where the men arrested were prosecuted or threatened with prosecution for refusing a blood or breath test.

The Editor says...
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution clearly states that "No person [...] shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself."

Militarized USDA and EPA using SWAT teams to terrorize innocent people including lemon growers and small farmers.  The federal government is becoming increasingly militarized, with numerous agencies now employing their own SWAT teams to conduct raids on raw milk producers, beekeepers, lemon growers — or anyone else who runs afoul of agency policies.  The trend has increased during Obama's presidency and is not only costing taxpayers enormous amounts of money, but also terrorizing citizens who could hardly be considered dangerous criminals by any sane estimation.  The USDA is just one example.

New rule lets feds hack your computer anywhere, anytime.  A proposal that Washington bureaucrats be given nearly unfettered permission to hack into private computers, which WND reported earlier was being described as the ultimate "Big Brother" move, is drawing strong opposition from privacy activists and members of Congress.  "We're in the midst right now of one of the biggest battles in the privacy world that we have faced," said U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, on a website mobilizing opposition.  "If we keep down this path, we're going to wake up in a few years in George Orwell's 1984.  This is why, as we fight for security, any intrusion on privacy needs to be narrowly tailored and aggressively overseen."

There Are Now More Bureaucrats With Guns Than U.S. Marines.  There are now more non-military government employees who carry guns than there are U.S. Marines, according to a new report.  Open the Books, a taxpayer watchdog group, released a study Wednesday that finds domestic government agencies continue to grow their stockpiles of military-style weapons, as Democrats sat on the House floor calling for more restrictions on what guns American citizens can buy.  The "Militarization of America" report found civilian agencies spent $1.48 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment between 2006 and 2014.  Examples include IRS agents with AR-15s, and EPA bureaucrats wearing camouflage.

Armed Federal Officers Now Outnumber the US Marines?  Titled "The Militarization of America", the report also confirms the IRS spent nearly $11 million on guns, ammunition and "military-style equipment" between 2006 and 2014, but they're not alone.  It seems other non-law enforcement related agencies are following suit, buying up heavy firearms, ammunition and tactical equipment in a pattern of militarization repeated throughout the executive branch of the government.  The other primarily administrative federal agencies militarizing their departments include the Environmental Protection Agency, The Department of Veterans Affairs, The Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Inspection Service.

The Militarization Of America.  We quantified $1.4 billion in non-military federal agencies purchase of guns, ammunition and military-style equipment during the last nine years.  We estimate that federal non-military agencies now employ more officers with arrest and firearm authorization than there are U.S. Marines. [...] Sixty-seven non-military federal agencies spent $1.48 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment.  Of that total amount, 'Traditional Law Enforcement' Agencies spent 77 percent ($1.14 billion) while 'Administrative' or 'General' Agencies spent 23 percent ($335.1 million).  Non-military federal spending on guns and ammunition jumped 104 percent from $55 million (FY2006) to $112 million (FY2011).  Nearly 6 percent ($42 million) of all federal guns and ammunition purchase transactions were wrongly coded.  Some purchases were actually for ping-pong balls, gym equipment, bread, copiers, cotton balls, or cable television including a line item from the Coast Guard entered as "Cable Dude".  Administrative agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Smithsonian Institution, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Mint, Department of Education, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many other agencies purchased guns, ammo, and military-style equipment.  Since 2004, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) purchased 1.7 billion bullets including 453 million hollow-point bullets.  As of 1/1/2014, DHS estimated its bullet inventory-reserve at 22-months, or 160 million rounds.

U.S. Air Force assaults veteran for mentioning God.  On April 3, 2016, at the retirement celebration of a colleague at Travis Air Force Base in California, retired Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez, a 33-year veteran of the Air Force who had been invited to deliver the flag-folding speech, was assaulted and dragged out of the room by four uniformed airmen for mentioning God.

Exclusive Video:  Veteran Forcibly Dragged from Air Force Ceremony for Mentioning God.  When a veteran started offering traditional remarks at a military flag-folding ceremony, several uniformed airmen assaulted him, dragging him out of the room because his remarks mentioned God.  Now First Liberty Institute lawyers representing retired Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez are demanding that the U.S. Air Force apologize and punish those responsible or face a federal civil-rights lawsuit.

Five Ways an Innocent American Could End Up on Obama's Secret Gun Control List.  [#3] The government made a mistake.  The federal government is not perfect, and can often make mistakes.  Sometimes, those mistakes have resulted in lawsuits.  In 2004, an FBI agent erroneously marked California resident Rahinah Ibrahim as a potential terrorist, barring him from boarding a plane in the United States.  Years later, Ibrahim, a doctoral student at Stanford University, ultimately sued the federal government.  But it didn't stop there.  The Obama administration cited "state secrets privilege," according to Wired, which served as an attempted coverup of the clerical error.  In 2014, she won the case after a judge ruled the federal government violated her due process rights.

Judge Rules Seattle's Warrantless Garbage Search Unconstitutional.  King County Judge Beth Andrus ruled Seattle's warrantless searches of garbage violates Washington State's constitution, banning Seattle sanitation workers from looking for possible violations of the city's composting law in residents' trash.  The April 27, 2016, ruling in Bonesteel, et al. v. City of Seattle shows states are able to grant rights beyond those guaranteed in the U.S. constitution.  According to the Washington State Constitution, "No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law."

Why Does the IRS Need Guns?  Special agents at the IRS equipped with AR-15 military-style rifles?  Health and Human Services "Special Office of Inspector General Agents" being trained by the Army's Special Forces contractors?  The Department of Veterans Affairs arming 3,700 employees?  The number of non-Defense Department federal officers authorized to make arrests and carry firearms (200,000) now exceeds the number of U.S. Marines (182,000).  In its escalating arms and ammo stockpiling, this federal arms race is unlike anything in history.

Report: IRS Spent $11 Million On Guns, Ammo In The Past 10 Years.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seems to be building an army.  The IRS spent nearly $11 million on guns, ammunition and "military-style equipment" between 2006 and 2014, according to a new report.  IRS investment in heavy firearms and tactical gear is a new trend for the agency, but it follows a pattern of militarization repeated throughout the executive branch of the government.

6 Things To Know About Tying Gun Sales To A Watch List.  [#6] It is no vice to want to respond forcefully to terrorist attacks.  But in this case the response looks exactly like the Democrats' last call for gun control.  In the months since they last pushed this legislation, the Democrats have not granted even for a second that the due process concerns that defeated it last time are reasonable.  This strongly suggests that the Democrats do not have the due process rights of Americans in mind in this legislation.  One can reasonably wonder why the Democrats' response to terrorism seems to set its sights on something other than terrorism.

NYTimes Editorial:  Congress Should Secretly Suspend Second Amendment Rights.  A New York Times editorial advocates for a new law allowing a secret court to take away citizens' right to own a gun at the discretion of the federal government.  Citing the Orlando terror attack that left 50 dead including the shooter and 53 wounded at a gay nightclub, the piece advocates for a "no-buy" list similar to "no-fly" lists.  Under the law, suspected terrorists would not be able to buy a gun.  In an attempt to ensure the integrity of the lists and preserve due process, the author proposes people only be added to this no-buy list after a secret court rules they are ineligible, similar to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court hearings where the federal government obtains permission to wiretap.  Under this proposal, an American who has never been convicted of a crime could be denied their right to buy a gun simply because a secret court decided it should be that way.

The Editor says...
If the Bill of Rights is secretly suspended, you could be secretly arrested, tried and imprisoned. That's the kind of country the New York Times wants us to live in.

He Flew a Drone to Take Photos for a Friend.  Now Faces $55K in Government Fines.  Mical Caterina is addicted. [...] But what Caterina has considered a hobby — and an "addictive" one at that — has landed him in trouble with the Federal Aviation Administration, which has levied $55,000 in fines against him for violating five aviation regulations, all of which he disputes.  Caterina's monthslong battle with the government underscores the frustrations drone hobbyists and commercial users have with the FAA as the agency has slowly debated how to keep the rapidly growing drone population under control.

Obama DEA Wants Access to Prescription Drug Records Without a Warrant.  Of course they do.  And with the advent of ObamaCare, it's natural the federal government aparatchiks feel they have every right to snoop into our medical records because, well, they're our boss now.

DEA Wants Inside Your Medical Records to Fight the War on Drugs.  Marlon Jones was arrested for taking legal painkillers, prescribed to him by a doctor, after a double knee replacement. [...] "There were three police officers pounding on the door.  They said they had a warrant for my arrest and they were going to take me in," he said.  "It was the middle of the day, on my front doorstep, in front of my wife and daughter.  I'm handcuffed and stuffed into a police car and they haul me to jail."  Jones was hit with 14 felony counts but all of them were later dropped.  Now the Drug Enforcement Administration wants that same kind of power, starting with access to an Oregon database containing the private medical data of more than a million people.

Crafty plan to give FBI warrantless access to browser histories axed.  A sly attempt to grant the FBI warrantless access to people's browser histories in the US has been shot down by politicians.  Unfortunately, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) Amendments Act of 2015, which would have brought in some privacy safeguards for Americans, was cut down in the crossfire.  The ECPA Amendments Act is very simple:  it amends the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which gives cops and agents warrantless access to any email that has been read or is more than 180 days old.  That 30-year-old act made sense back in the day of 20MB hard drives and when we stored own emails on our own computers:  if we deleted something to save space or to simply destroy it, it was gone.  But in today's cloudy world, where we have no real control over our information, it has proven a privacy nightmare.

Judge Nap Slams Congress Over Web Browsing Access That Promotes 'a Police State'.  The FBI may soon enjoy the authority to access the internet activity of any citizen without a warrant — a continuation of what Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano described as a decades-old "assault" on the Fourth Amendment.  Lawmakers are considering proposed legislation this week that would grant the FBI that uninhibited access.  Critics, including Google and Facebook, have argued such changes would be a violation of Americans' privacy.  But, in Napolitano's view, elected officials will argue under the "facade" that it is necessary for the population's safety.  [Video clip]

FBI wants access to Internet browser history without a warrant in terrorism and spy cases.  The Obama administration is seeking to amend surveillance law to give the FBI explicit authority to access a person's Internet browser history and other electronic data without a warrant in terrorism and spy cases.  The administration made a similar effort six years ago but dropped it after concerns were raised by privacy advocates and the tech industry.  FBI Director James B. Comey has characterized the legislation as a fix to "a typo" in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which he says has led some tech firms to refuse to provide data that Congress intended them to provide.

The Editor says...
If they get this passed, you can be sure that the warrantless access won't stop with terrorism cases.

School sends sheriff to order child to stop sharing Bible verses.  A public school in California ordered a 7-year-old boy to stop handing out Bible verses during lunch — and they dispatched a deputy sheriff to the child's home to enforce the directive.  "This is a clear, gross violation of the rights of a child," said Horatio Mihet, a Liberty Counsel attorney representing the first-grader who attends Desert Rose Elementary School in Palmdale.  They are also representing his parents, Christina and Jaime Zavala.

Obama Regulators Lose Case to Apply Future Laws to the Past.  In a little-watched case in the Midwest, the Obama administration's Medicare regulators were dealt an embarrassing blow this week by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Judges ruled that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) improperly pursued an $800,000 fraud fine against "homebound" therapy provider Caring Hearts, which services Medicare patients, by applying new regulations after-the-fact.  The court wrote that CMS was "unfamiliar with its own regulations" and is "struggling to keep up with the furious pace of its own rule making."

Thanks to EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, American farmers are a newly endangered species.  It is getting harder and harder, and in legal terms more dangerous, to be an American farmer these days, thanks to the aggressive behavior of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  I know, because I'm paid as a consultant to advise farmers in California on how best to comply with federal regulations under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  Increasingly, those regulations are changing at the arbitrary say-so of the Corps regulators who implement the EPA's regulations on the ground, even though most practices followed by American farmers have been exempted from CWA prohibitions since it was written in 1977.  In the past few years, those regulators — many of whom admit that they know very little about farming or agricultural practices — are radically reinterpreting the rules to limit what farmers do, even on land where they have done similar things for decades.

This Is Not The America My Parents Immigrated To In 1957.  This country is ruled by force, not law.  Governmental assassinations of US citizens.  A highly militarized police with almost unlimited powers to harass, intimidate, and brutalize with impunity.  TSA groping whereby in any other setting would be considered sexual harassment.  Overseas detention, torture and assassinations carried out against anyone, including American citizens, without due process — and without recourse if later cleared.  Warrantless GPS tracking by the FBI. The IRS targeting religious groups.  Some people now actually be charged with pre-crimes.  Checkpoints up to one hundred miles inland from all our borders (including the two oceans and Gulf of Mexico) in an area stunningly known as a "Constitution Free Zone".  No Ride / No Fly lists which are extrajudicial, secret, and form a guilty-until-proven innocent framework that subverts freedom instead of protecting it.  A See Something/Say Something program which goes beyond the already high-tech surveillance apparatus of the NSA and turns each of us into an unpaid employee of the police state similar to what the East German Stasi did to their citizens.  Web cameras and surveillance proliferating like a wildfire, data mining, recording all your phone conversations, all your web searches, all your emails, and all without your consent.  An FDA, which has near-total food control and usually renders anything healthy as toxic, and all that is toxic as healthy, and does insane [things] like jailing folks who buy raw milk.  Literally tens of thousands of regulations which literally invade every facet of society, whereby it has been said that almost all of us commit three felonies per day, and every violation of these laws will be met with the full force and fury of the State which promises fines, penalties, forfeiture of properties, or imprisonment.  Does any of this even remotely resemble a representative democracy, or does it sound more like a dictatorship?

Louisiana Passes 'Blue Lives Matter' Law To Make Attacking Cops A Hate Crime.  Louisiana enacted a new law Thursday [5/26/2016] to make it a hate crime to attack police officers.  Democratic Gov.  John Bel Edwards signed the "Blue Lives Matter" bill Thursday afternoon, adding police to the list of protected categories under hate crime law such as race and religion.  Louisiana law adds an additional five years in prison and $5,000 in fines for an offense against one of the listed groups, which now includes cops, firefighters, and EMS personnel.  "The overarching message is that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Louisiana," Edwards said.

Louisiana Makes it a "Hate Crime" to Target Police Officers!  State Rep. Lance Harris introduced the bill after Darren Goforth, a Texas sheriff's deputy who was in uniform, was killed in 2015, while getting gas for his patrol vehicle.  "It looked like it was strictly done because someone didn't like police officers, like a hate crime," Harris told CNN.  "In the news, you see a lot of people terrorizing and threatening police officers on social media just due to the fact that they are policemen," he added.  "Now, this protects police and first responders under the hate-crime law."  A similar bill was introduced at the federal level in March.

Blue Lives Matter bill makes targeting police a hate crime in Louisiana.  Thursday [5/26/2016] the Democratic Governor of Lousiana, John Bel Edwards, signed a bill making it a hate crime to target police officers or other first responders.  The bill is known as blue lives matter, a take off on the Black Lives Matter movement that has been critical of police in the past year.

Louisiana governor signs 'Blue Lives Matter' bill.  Louisiana's governor signed a first-of-its-kind bill Thursday afternoon [5/26/2016] that makes it a hate crime to target police officers and first responders.  Called the "Blue Lives Matter" bill, the measure expands the state's hate crime law to include law enforcement officers, firefighters and other emergency medical services personnel.  "The overarching message is that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Louisiana," Democratic Gov.  John Bel Edwards told FoxNews.com in a written statement.  He added that he has "great respect" for the work that law enforcement officers do and the daily risks they take.

The Editor says...
Criminal justice is supposed to be administered without regard to the class or status of the parties involved.  For example, one does not (ostensibly) receive a lighter sentence for a violent crime if one is caucasian.  Hate crimes introduce variable punishment based on the perpetrator's thoughts.  That idea is bad enough, but this proposed new law features increased punishment based on the status of the victim, regardless of the perpetrators thoughts or intentions.  It puts cops, firemen and paramedics into a new category of better-than-first-class citizens.  Once we get accustomed to it, the law will probably be modified to include all government workers.  This proposed law is nothing more or less than a means of putting more people in prison with longer sentences.

Louisiana governor signs 'Blue Lives Matter' bill.  Louisiana's governor signed a first-of-its-kind bill Thursday afternoon that makes it a hate crime to target police officers and first responders.  Called the "Blue Lives Matter" bill, the measure expands the state's hate crime law to include law enforcement officers, firefighters and other emergency medical services personnel.  "The overarching message is that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Louisiana," Democratic Gov.  John Bel Edwards told FoxNews.com in a written statement.  He added that he has "great respect" for the work that law enforcement officers do and the daily risks they take.

The Editor says...
Hate crime laws will always exhibit "mission creep" — incrementally expanding in one direction only, to include various new features that would never have been approved at the outset.

The FBI Wants To Keep The National Biometric Database A Secret.  In early May the U.S. Department of Justice released a proposal which would exempt the FBI's biometric database from public disclosure. [...] Although the database does contain biometric data on convicted criminals, it also contains information on individuals who were only suspected or temporarily detained under the suspicion of a crime.  The system also features data from people fingerprinted for jobs, licenses, military or volunteer service, background checks, security clearances, and other government processes.  Essentially the FBI is arguing that it will prevent individuals from knowing if their information is in the massive database if the release of information would "compromise" a law enforcement investigation.

Hawaii could be first to put gun owners in federal database.  Hawaii could become the first state in the United States to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country.

'Do No Harm Act' Would Forbid Religious Objection to 'Any Healthcare' Service.  Reps.  Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) introduced the Do No Harm Act Wednesday, which would amend the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to specify that religious exceptions should not apply to "protections against discrimination or the promotion of equal opportunity" and "access to, information about, referrals for, provision of, or coverage for, any health care item or service."  The legislation is intended to "clarify that no one can seek religious exemption from laws guaranteeing fundamental civil and legal rights."

NYC Mayor de Blasio to fine businesses that fail to use correct gender pronouns.  Greeting customers as "Mr." or "Mrs." could be costly for New York City businesses under Mayor Bill de Blasio.  The Gotham mayor's Commission on Human Rights says businesses that fail to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns are in violation of the law and could be subject to penalties.  The Commission issued a "legal enforcement guidance" for the New York City Human Rights Law, which apparently "requires employers and converted entities to use an individual's preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual's sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual's identification."

Resisting Obama's Transgender Directive:  A Hill to Die On.  [Scroll down]  Specifically, the administration's directive last week requires every public school in the nation to provide transgender students access to all activities and facilities consistent with their gender identity, at the risk of losing federal funds.  The Framers are rolling over in their graves, not just because of this inversion of moral standards but also because of the lawless manner in which this is being forced down the throats of the states, the American people and the public schools.  President Obama knows he doesn't have the legal authority to issue such an order, but he is determined to create as much chaos as he can and to unilaterally impose his iron will to the fullest extent before his term expires.  No one will convince me that this has anything to do with the rights of transgender people.  Rather, Obama and his fellow leftist tyrants are seeing how far they can push the envelope — how much they can fundamentally transform America against the people's will and against the protections guaranteed by the federal and state constitutions.

Indiana High Court Rules People Cannot Resist Illegal Entry by Police Into Homes.  People have no right to resist if police officers illegally enter their home, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a decision that overturns centuries of common law.

Dems on FEC shift from regulating Drudge to conservative cellphone texts.  The Democrats on the Federal Election Commission, following efforts to muzzle conservative news sites and even an anti-Obama movie maker, voted in secret to regulate conservative text messages despite a staff recommendation that the agency drop the case.  The three Democrats, in dismissing the advice from the FEC's own legal staff, voted to punish a Virginia firm that issued anti-Obama texts days before the 2012 presidential election, a move that would have set a sweeping precedent in advance of the upcoming election.

Obama's Lawsuit Against North Carolina Isn't About Civil Rights.  It's About Crushing Dissent.  Some of us care little about the debate over public bathrooms.  We do, however, care about the ongoing destruction of federalism, individual choice, and good-faith debate.  One reliable way to quash dissent and force moral codes on others is to liken your cause to that of the civil rights fight.  Every liberal issue is situated somewhere on the great historical arc of "equality" and "justice."  If a person stands against even one of these causes — which were once great but are increasingly trivial — they have, according to the cultural imperialists of the Obama administration, aligned themselves with the Klan.  Literally.

DOJ's Lawsuit Against North Carolina Is Abuse of Power.  North Carolina has sustained unrelenting and coordinated attacks from big business, the entertainment industry, the American Civil Liberties Union, and now the federal government over its commonsense bathroom policies.  Gov.  Pat McCrory and the North Carolina Legislature have had enough of this bullying and filed separate lawsuits against the Department of Justice Monday in the reasonable expectation that a federal judge will order the ideologues at the Department of Justice to back off.

Wyoming welder, facing $16M in fines, beats EPA in battle over stock pond.  A Wyoming man threatened with $16 million in fines over the building of a stock pond reached a settlement with the Environment Protection Agency, allowing him to keep the pond without a federal permit or hefty fine.  Andy Johnson, of Fort Bridger, Wyoming obtained a state permit before building the stock pond in 2012 on his sprawling nine-acre farm for a small herd of livestock.  Not long after contruction [sic], the EPA threatened Johnson with civil and criminal penalties — including the threat of a $37,500-a-day fine — claiming he needed the agency's permission before building the 40-by-300 foot pond, which is filled by a natural stream.

The Editor says...
This sounds like an Eighth Amendment issue:  Does the act of building a stock pond justify fines of $37,500 per day?  Does the pond do that much damage?  For that matter, can anyone beyond Mr. Johnson's fence tell if he has stock pond or not?

Judge tosses Seattle ordinance requiring garbage-can searches for food waste.  A state judge threw out a portion of a Seattle ordinance requiring garbage collectors to snoop through residents' trash in search of food waste, calling the provision unconstitutional.  King County Superior Court Judge Beth M. Andrus issued an injunction against the garbage inspections but not Seattle's residential food-waste ban, which forbids throwing away food scraps and compostable paper.  "This ruling does not prohibit the city from banning food waste and compostable paper in SPU-provided garbage cans," the 14-page decision said, referring to the Seattle Public Utilities.  "It merely renders invalid the provisions of the ordinance and rule that authorize a warrantless search of residents' garbage cans when there is no applicable exception to the warrant requirement, such as the existence of prohibited items in plain view."

Fired for preaching:  Georgia dumps doctor over church sermons.  Bi-vocational pastors be warned — what you say from the pulpit on Sunday could get you fired from your public sector job on Monday [4/18/2016].  Dr.  Eric Walsh, a renowned public health expert who also serves as a lay minister, has filed a federal lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Public Health alleging he was terminated for delivering sermons on issues ranging from homosexuality to evolution.  "No one in this country should be fired from their job for something that was said in a church or from a pulpit during a sermon," said First Liberty attorney Jeremy Dys.

Licensing Arizona.  [Scroll down]  For decades, states have been putting ever more jobs off-limits to anyone who doesn't have special government permission.  In the years right after World War II, "less than 5 percent of U.S. workers were required to have a license from a state government in order to perform their jobs legally," according to Morris Kleiner, professor of public affairs at the University of Minnesota.  Now it's estimated at nearly 30 percent.  Every now and then, and with great effort, a state will remove the license requirement for a job:  Kentucky, for instance, just eliminated a requirement that hair-braiders be licensed by the Kentucky Board of Hairdressers and Cosmetologists.  But the longstanding trend runs the opposite direction.  Though licenses put up hurdles, if not roadblocks, to people looking for work, states keep adding new occupations to the lists.

Michigan Family Arrested for Overdue Library Book.  After receiving four notices from the library asking them to return the books and pay the resulting late fees, the Duren family did indeed return The Rome Prophecy.  However, they did not return A Hatful of Seuss, as their son had lost it.  Because the Durens did not return the Dr.  Seuss book, the library contacted the Economic Crimes Unit (ECU) of the Lenawee County Prosecutor's Office.  A detective by the name of Robert Kellogg became involved, demanding the family pay the library late fees; the amount owed has not been disclosed.  However, local reporting by The Tecumseh Herald found that between 2013 and 2014, library patrons had a total of 248 overdue items, and those overdue items generated $3,061 in late fees.  That equals, on average, around $12 in fees per item.  The actual amount the Durens owed to the library remains unknown, but the Dr.  Seuss book can be acquired on Amazon for as little as 63 cents.

Michigan couple faces jail time over lost Dr.  Seuss library book.  A Michigan judge told a couple Thursday [4/14/2016] they could get up to 93 days in jail and face a maximum $500 fine for failing to return a Dr.  Seuss book and a novel borrowed from a public library.  Cathy and Melvin Duren, of Tecumseh, appeared in Lenawee County court to each face a misdemeanor charge of failure to return rental property.  The pair owes about $35 in late fees for "The Rome Prophecy," borrowed in April 2015.  They lost a Dr.  Seuss book their son borrowed for their granddaughter in July 2014.  "I can't image [sic] going to jail over it, but I certainly will fight these charges because I'm not guilty," Cathy Duren said.

Microsoft Sues U.S. Over Orders Barring It From Revealing Surveillance.  The software giant is suing the Justice Department, challenging its frequent use of secrecy orders that prevent Microsoft from telling people when the government obtains a warrant to read their emails.  In its suit, filed Thursday morning [4/14/2016] in Federal District Court in Seattle, Microsoft's home turf, the company asserts that the gag order statute in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 — as employed today by federal prosecutors and the courts — is unconstitutional.  The statute, according to Microsoft, violates the Fourth Amendment right of its customers to know if the government searches or seizes their property, and it breaches the company's First Amendment right to speak to its customers.

Lawyers in GWB scandal case argue creating a traffic jam is not a crime.  Lawyers for two former associates of Gov.  Christie accused of engineering massive traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge to exact political revenge have hit back at government prosecutors, insisting that their clients violated no laws.

Obama just gave cops the OK to simply take your stuff.  When Attorney General Loretta Lynch decided late last year that the Justice Department would end the federal civil-asset forfeiture program, criminal-justice reform advocates proclaimed it a "significant deal.  But late last month, less than four months later, the Obama administration reversed itself and reinstated the Asset Forfeiture Fund's Orwellian "equitable sharing" program.  That's a shame, particularly when the only supporters of the policy are the law-enforcement agencies that directly benefit from it.  Indeed, the federal program's combined annual revenue has grown more than 1,000 percent in the last 15 years, filling the coffers of federal, state and local police departments.

Parents to face charges if they approach school to pick up child under new policy.  Texas parents have had enough of an elementary school's new pick up policy that reportedly could have them face trespassing charges if they try to get their child after the school day is over.  Bear Branch Elementary in Magnolia implemented the policy at the beginning of the school year.  Under the new rules, if a student does not take the bus, parents must wait in the mile-long car pick up line to get their child, according to Fox 26 Houston.  Now, some parents have pulled their kids from the school.  "She's threatening to arrest people," Wendy Jarman said about Principal Holly Ray to the Fox station.

School's new policy bans parents from walking children to school.  Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing.  That's the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD.  This is the school's tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds.  Bear Branch is losing students over this pick up policy, that's been in place since the beginning of this school year.  The principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in a long car pickup line.  Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges.

The Editor says...
No matter how close you live, you can't walk to that school.  Is the school not on public property?  Can pedestrians with no connection to the school walk by?  Why are the schools centrally located in neighborhoods if the kids can't go there on foot?  And aren't these the same nanny-state bureaucrats who preach about childhood obesity?  Maybe walking to school would be good for them.

Texas School Threatens to Punish Parents Who Walk Children Home.  In September, Houston's KPRC 2 News (NBC) reported the new rule prohibited parents from walking to the Magnolia Independent School District campus to retrieve their own children.  Parents cannot drive to the school, park their cars at the school, or go inside to get their children early.  Their options are to send their children home by school bus or drive to the school and wait for their children in a very long pickup car line assembling for the 3:25 p.m. dismissal.

Magnolia ISD threatens to arrest parents for walking kids home from school.  It's a bad time to be a kid at Bear Branch Elementary.  The new principal this year, Holly Ray, may look as sweet as sunshine, but parents says she's got some wicked ways!  For one, she won't let parents walk up to the Magnolia elementary school to get their kids after school.  They have to be in a car.  And she's serious!

The Editor asks...
What if you don't own a car, or your car is in the repair shop?

Texas School Bans Parents From Walking Children Onto and From School Property.  One Texas elementary school is coming under fire after the principal banned parents from walking their children to and from school, and who is threatening parents with arrest.  The trouble began in September when the principal at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia, Texas, decided to implement a policy that not just discourages but prohibits parents from walking their children home from school or walking inside the school to retrieve their children after parents had parked their cars, according to KPRC-TV.

Texas Principal Wants to Arrest Parents Who Let Kids Walk to School.  'They have been threatened, if they step one foot on school property, they will be arrested and charged with who knows what.'

5 Indicators The Left [Doesn't Care] About Freedom.  [#4] Pursuing Legislation To Crack Down On Religious People.  The left wants to mandate that religious people be slapped with a legal duty to serve people whom they feel are engaging in sin.  And they claim that anyone who fights for their right to practice their religion in their daily life is a bad guy.

The Government Wants to Regulate Your Portable Air Conditioner.  The Department of Energy (DOE) recently determined that portable air conditioners meet the criteria set under the Energy Policy Conservation Act (as amended) for efficiency mandates.  Like all other efficiency regulations, mandated appliance standards remove choices from individuals and empower Washington to override personal preferences.  DOE concluded that the average household use of electricity for portable air conditioners exceeds the limit to trigger consideration for regulation.  The energy use threshold for DOE bureaucrats to begin inspecting and testing an appliance is low.

Chase Bank Decides ATM Withdrawals Over $1000 Are Shady.  Not kidding.  Regular Americans must be stopped from taking out $1001 at a cash machine because it's probably shady, but Iran getting $150B is just fine.  The new ATM rule, f[o]r the moment, applies to non-Chase account holders.  Give it a little while and I bet it'll apply to Chase accounts sooner than later.

If You Don't Rent to Criminals, Are You a Racist?  You're a private landlord, renting apartments in a building you bought with your savings from years of hard work and modest living.  You take pride in maintaining your property, keeping it clean, comfortable, and attractive.  You charge a fair rent and treat your tenants with courtesy and respect.  Your tenants, in turn, appreciate the care you put into the building.  And they trust you to screen prospective tenants wisely, accepting only residents who won't jeopardize the building's safe and neighborly character.  That's why you only consider applications from individuals who are employed or in school, whose credit scores are strong, and who have no criminal record.  Most Americans would look at you and likely see a prudent, levelheaded property owner.  Not the Obama administration.

Say goodbye to freedom of association.
Obama Admin Tells Landlords They Can't Refuse To House Criminals.  The Obama administration released a warning Monday [4/4/2016] telling the nation's landlords that it may be discriminatory for them to refuse to rent to those with criminal records.  The Fair Housing Act doesn't include criminals as a protected class, but the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says refusing to rent based on a criminal record is a form of racial discrimination, due to racial imbalances in the U.S.  justice system.

Obama: Not Renting to Criminals is Racist.  Disparate Impact has been the crazed monster living chained up in the civil rights basement.  No administration dared to completely unleash it because of the madness it would entail.  But Obama is releasing the beast.  Recently, Obama's Lynch declared that fines were racist because they had a larger impact on minorities.  Now we move on to renting to criminals.

The Green Witch Hunt.  Led by agenda-setting New York State and radical left-winger Al Gore the progressive persecution of climate change skeptics by the states is underway.  Top law enforcement officers in several states are joining with the Chicken Littles of green activism to weaponize the scientifically dubious argument that human activity is not only changing the earth's climate but that unprecedented world catastrophe awaits unless draconian, economy-killing carbon emission controls are imposed more or less immediately.  The litigation offensive has nothing to do with justice.  It is aimed at forcing those few remaining holdouts in the business community who stubbornly cling to science to confess their thought crimes and submit to the know-nothing Left's climate superstitions.  It is part of modern-day environmentalism's ongoing assault on knowledge, human progress, markets, and the rule of law.

Killing Knowledge in K-12.  John Dewey and his socialist brotherhood, a hundred years ago, decided they would use the public schools to transform the entire society.  They first had to seize control of what is taught in K-12 classrooms.  Dewey and his successors settled on two major strategies for controlling what educators call "content."  First, they discarded as much of the traditional curriculum as possible — i.e., knowledge was thrown out the window by the boxload.  Secondly, they invented many techniques for scrambling classroom instruction so that knowledge was no longer taught efficiently.  So we have here, across a wide front, a well organized war against knowledge and the transmission of knowledge.  Dumbed down schools were created intentionally in order to create dumbed down students.  That, my research suggests, is the horrible reality.[...] Where does all this go?  The American people are increasingly like a big blob of jelly.  They can't think critically because they don't know much.  If leaders lie to them, who is going to realize this?  If the media tell them only half of what's going on, how could they know the difference?

Elizabeth Warren Wants The SEC To Help Her Ban Free Speech.  Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to prohibit organizations from "saying whatever they want about Washington policy debates," according to a letter she sent to the agency on Thursday [3/31/2016].  Warren sent a letter to SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White calling for an investigation into alleged discrepancies between statements insurance executives made to their investors and complaints these same individuals made about the impact new government regulations would have on their businesses, The Wall Street Journal reports.  The new regulations stem from a Department of Labor rule change that will make it tougher for investment firms that handle retirement funds to operate.

It may soon be a crime to walk and text in New Jersey.  The US state of New Jersey may keep the inattentive amongst us from walking into brick walls or plunging into manholes, [...] even if it has to throw us in jail or fine us to get the point across.  The Associated Press reports that it's going to do this — in theory, at least — by banning walking while texting.  A new measure recently introduced by New Jersey Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt would ban distracted walking, forbidding pedestrians on public roads from using electronic communication devices unless those devices are hands-free.

The Editor says...
Who will enforce this?  The local cops, of course, who frequently talk on their radios while walking — and occasionally while running as fast as they can.  Hands-free devices free up the hands, but not necessarily the brain.  This is sort of law opens the door to numerous other restrictions on what we may or may not do while walking, or while talking on the phone.  Please don't protect me from myself.

EPA Fines Wyoming Man $16 Million for Building a Pond on His Property.  Farmers and ranchers call the EPA's new water rule the biggest land grab in the history of the world.  It is a massive land grab, especially in a country that has been built on the right to own property.  The administration is changing all that.  A new oppressive water rule gives the EPA jurisdiction over all public and private streams in the United States that are "intermittent, seasonal and rain-dependent."  It will regulate what are normal daily ranching and farming practices and take control of their land.  According to congressional budget testimony, waters of the United States would give the EPA authority over streams on private property even when the water beds have been dry, in some cases, for hundreds of years.

EPA Spends $295,507 to Track Energy and Water Use of Office Workers.  The Environmental Protection Agency is spending nearly $300,000 to develop technology that will track the energy and water use of office buildings, with a colored light bulb system that will send "visual messages" to employees when they are using too much.  Lucid Design Group, a California-based software company, received the funding from the agency with the goal to "change the habits" of Americans at work.  "Through this project, Lucid is focused on reducing energy consumption in commercial buildings by influencing people's behavior," the EPA said in a press release announcing the project.  "With this award, it will further develop, test and commercialize low-cost high-tech approaches that can reduce electricity use in commercial buildings by providing real-time feedback to office workers."

The Age of Mafia Government.  When black-helmeted men circle your home, break down your door, throw your children from their sleeping beds onto the dew-ridden lawn, and shoot you 22 times because some meathead mistook your house for a drug dealer's, it's clear government has gone from protecting you from threats to becoming a threat itself.  More directly, however, thanks to "The Godfather" and "The Sopranos," everyone knows that the mafia's presence means frequent, mysterious deaths.  That's also a hallmark of this administration.  Fast and Furious and the Benghazi massacre are the two most obvious examples.  It's been years, in both cases, and it's still an utter mystery as to why Americans died in foreign lands, where all those guns went, who used what money, where it all came from, and why.  That may have something to do with the Justice Department's utter lack of curiosity about massive crimes being committed on its watch, but remember:  where there are mafia, there are corrupt police, district attorneys, and courts.  The mystery isn't who did it, but proving it.  Part of the reason it's impossible to find evidence to prove what everyone knows is that no one will talk.

Protesting Donald Trump is Now a Federal Crime.  The Orwellian-named "free speech zones" Protected by the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act on college campus and political rallies are nothing new to regular readers of Reason, and suppressing political dissent with the brute force of government has been a feature of the American system since shortly after 9/11/01, when the Secret Service and local law enforcement entities began confining demonstrators to "protest zones."  What might be a surprise is the fact that quietly and right under our noses in 2012, Congress nearly unanimously passed H.R. 347 (a.k.a. the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act) which makes it a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison to "willfully and knowingly" enter a restricted area or to engage in "disorderly or disruptive conduct" that in any way impedes "government business or official functions." [...] Dahlia Lithwick and Raymond Vasvari wrote in Slate that "the law makes it easier for the government to criminalize protest.  Period."  They also assert the words "disorderly" or "disruptive" could be defined down to mean almost anything with regards to "impeding government business."

Charleston's storied history is off-limits to the unlicensed.  [Scroll down]  And of course there's more antebellum mansions than you can shake a stick at.  And if I were telling you all of this while standing on a street in Charleston, there's at least a small chance I'd be arrested for doing it.  That's because anyone who wants to talk about Charleston's history must first obtain a license from the city.  Getting that license means passing a 200-question written exam — a passing grade is 80 percent or higher — and then passing an oral exam conducted by taxpayer-funded city officials.  To pass both exams, would-be tour guides have to memorize pretty much the entire history of Charleston.

Minnesota men facing felony charges for selling beer.  Two men in Maple Grove, Minnesota, were arrested this week and slapped with felony charges of transporting alcohol for resale without a license.  They were nabbed as part of what the Star-Tribune called an "unusual bust" involving undercover state investigators.  Unusual, yes.  Anachronistic too.  The illegal beer was a keg of Spotted Cow, a popular brew made in Wisconsin by the New Glarus Brewing Company.

Wisconsin Farmers Fight Tough Bakery Regulations.  Three Wisconsin farmers are fighting the state government over an obscure safety regulation requiring baked goods made for sale to be cooked in a government-approved "food processing plant" or other commercial-grade kitchen, subject to annual government inspections and licensing fees.  Represented by the Institute for Justice (IJ), a nonprofit public-interest law firm, the farmers filed a lawsuit in the Lafayette County Circuit Court, in January, asking the court to overturn the state law.  Currently, violations of the "cookie ban" are punishable by six months of jail or fines of up to $1,000.

How Fiduciary Rule May Censor Financial Broadcasters Like Dave Ramsey.  Popular financial radio show host Dave Ramsey caused a firestorm on Twitter last week when he weighed in against the "fiduciary rule" — the controversial pending Department of Labor regulation that would impose new restrictions on a vast swath of financial professionals who handle IRAs and 401(k) accounts.  Yet, Ramsey was only echoing concerns about the costs of the rule already expressed by Members of Congress from both parties.  Ramsey Tweeted, "this Obama rule will kill the Middle Class and below ability to access personal advice."

Donald Trump Is The Next Barack Obama.  Today, nearly all the rules under which we live are made, executed, and adjudicated by agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and countless boards and commissions.  Congress no longer passes real laws.  Instead, it passes broad grants of authority, the substance of the president's bureaucracy decides in cooperation with interest groups.

Trump wants to weaken libel laws amid feuds with reporters.  Feeling maligned by the media, Donald Trump is threatening to weaken First Amendment protections for reporters if he were president and make it easier for him to sue them.

Trump Wants to 'Open Up' Libel Laws to Easily Sue Media.  A freshman senator whose endorsements included Sarah Palin is going after Donald Trump for talking about changing libel laws so he can more easily sue news organizations.  At a rally today in Fort Worth, Texas, Trump railed against major newspapers and said if he wins the presidency he'll "open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money."

Donald Trump: We're going to 'open up' libel laws.  Donald Trump said on Friday [2/26/2016] he plans to change libel laws in the United States so that he can have an easier time suing news organizations.  During a rally in Fort Worth, Texas, Trump began his usual tirade against newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, saying they're "losing money" and are "dishonest."  The Republican presidential candidate then took a different turn, suggesting that when he's president they'll "have problems."

A scheme to say how land is used.  It sounds like a bad dream — a really bad dream — but in a matter of days or at most weeks the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could become our national zoning board.  Some say that, with the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, the chances just became much bigger.  The reason is that the Supreme Court is about to decide whether to give the environmental agency the authority to make land use decisions throughout the nation.  The court will not even have to hear arguments in American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA to do this.  It will only have to decide not to hear the appeal of a Third Circuit decision.

Turning back the leviathan of the administrative state.  There are two stacks of papers in Utah Senator Mike Lee's office that should cause all Americans to pause.  One stack is 400 pages; the other is over 80,000 pages.  The short stack is all of the laws Congress passed in 2014.  The 11-foot tall tower is all federal regulations.  Senator Lee and other members of Congress see this disparity as indicative of not just a growing government, but an erosion of the separation of powers.  They are correct.  When James Madison authored Federalist 47, he gave voice to a sentiment shared widely by the Founders:  consolidating executive, legislative, and judicial power into one entity is "the very definition of tyranny."  To preserve self-government, the Constitution separated those powers into three branches.  As new laws may restrict liberty, separated power ensures that one faction of society cannot run roughshod over another.  Debate, compromise and consensus should ensure that any new regulations are enacted with wide public agreement.

Drone owners are warned that their aircraft will be SHOT DOWN if they fly within 32 miles of the Super Bowl.  Drone owners have been warned to leave their aircraft at home during the Super Bowl.  The FAA has released a statement insisting any unmanned planes flying within 32 miles of Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Sunday [2/7/2016] will be shot down.  The government agency produced a 20-second video that tells people to bring their lucky jerseys, face paint and team spirit to the game — but leave the gadgets as it is a 'No Drone Zone'.

The Editor says...
I suppose they've got to draw the line somewhere, but... 36 miles?  Why not 136 miles?  Most battery-powered drones are barely able to lift a TV camera.  How much damage could such a device possibly do?  If the cops shoot down a drone someplace just inside the 36-mile radius, isn't that (falling debris) a threat to public safety?  Does that not deprive the drone's owner of his property without due process?

The FAA says it will shoot down your drone if you fly within 36 miles of the Super Bowl.  The Federal Aviation Administration is taking a tough stance on drones at the Super Bowl this year:  bring them, and we'll shoot them down.  The "no-drone-zone" spans much further than just the stadium itself too, extending out 36 miles from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.  The no-fly zone encompasses nearly all of San Francisco to the north and west, Santa Cruz, Morgan Hill and Gilroy to the south, and San Jose and Pleasanton to the north and east.

The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat 'score'.  As a national debate has played out over mass surveillance by the National Security Agency, a new generation of technology such as the Beware software being used in Fresno has given local law enforcement officers unprecedented power to peer into the lives of citizens.  Police officials say such tools can provide critical information that can help uncover terrorists or thwart mass shootings, ensure the safety of officers and the public, find suspects, and crack open cases. [...] But the powerful systems also have become flash points for civil libertarians and activists, who say they represent a troubling intrusion on privacy, have been deployed with little public oversight and have potential for abuse or error.

EPA, FDA stocking up on body armor during President Obama's watch.  As the U.S. engages in a national debate over the militarization of the police, federal data shows that government agencies charged with largely administrative roles are spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to purchase SWAT and military-style equipment.  Since FY 2006, 44 traditionally administrative agencies have spent over $71 million on items like body armor, riot helmets and shields, cannon launchers and police firearms and ammunition, according to federal spending data from watchdog group OpenTheBooks.com.

The Editor says...
What is a cannon launcher?

House Democrats Move to Criminalize Criticism of Islam.  December 17, 2015 ought henceforth to be a date which will live in infamy, as that was the day that some of the leading Democrats in the House of Representatives came out in favor of the destruction of the First Amendment.  Sponsored by among others, Muslim Congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson, as well as Eleanor Holmes Norton, Loretta Sanchez, Charles Rangel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Kennedy, Al Green, Judy Chu, Debbie Dingell, Niki Tsongas, John Conyers, José Serrano, Hank Johnson, and many others, House Resolution 569 condemns "violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States."  The Resolution has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Muslim Student Association demands all 'Islamophobic speech' be punished.  The Muslim Student Association at San Diego State University is demanding that administrators combat Islamophobia by developing a "zero tolerance policy explicitly for Islamophobic speech and actions."  The demands, modeled after similar ones issued by black student associations at campuses across the nation, were lodged after a female Muslim student was allegedly attacked by a white man in a campus parking lot on the afternoon of Nov. 19, about a week after the Paris terrorist attacks, which killed 130 people. [...] Several comments on the article expressed incredulity over the attack, questioning whether it is a hate-crime hoax.

Democrats Pass Resolution Condemning Anyone Who Speaks Against Islam.  Stephen Coughlin alerted me to a House Resolution introduced on December 17th, H.Res. 569, "Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.114th Congress (2015-2016)."  As of this writing, the country remains clueless about this development.  The resolution was introduced by Virginia Democrat Donald S. Beyer, and sponsored by Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat, and endorsed by seventy-one other Representatives, most of them Democrats, and possibly a sprinkling of Republicans.  The resolution has gone into committee, but one can predict with confidence that it will emerge virtually unscathed and unaltered.  After all, the "victims" are Muslims, and the House wishes to put it in the record that certain of its members are against hurting anyone's feelings.

The Omnibus and the Left's Merry Statemas.  The list of victories in the spending package for the Left is so great that Nancy Pelosi had to preemptively warn her caucus not to gloat before it was passed for fear of scaring off any Republicans not fully aware of what the bill contained.  Harry Reid also tweeted that Democrats met all their omnibus goals, including "roll[ing] back sequester."  The forces of big government, in other words, are quite pleased with the outcome.  They have every reason to feel that way.  The omnibus rightly ended the crude oil export ban, a pointless and destructive anti-trade provision.  But that victory was paid for not only by extending wasteful and distortionary handouts to renewable energy, but also by establishing a slush fund to pay for the Paris climate deal, a global redistribution scheme beyond even the wildest dreams of Karl Marx.

Report: Facing Investigations, DOJ Claims Right To Avoid Investigations.  Beset by several investigations, the Department of Justice is claiming the right to avoid being investigated.  As reported by PJMedia, the Office of the Inspector General's job is to combat problems of waste, fraud and abuse within the federal government.  But Attorney General Loretta Lynch has no intention of allowing any investigation.  She told the House Judiciary Committee that her office will simply ignore any request from the OIG at will.

The Democrats' Theme for 2016 Is Totalitarianism.  Donald Trump may talk like a brownshirt, but the Democrats mean business.  For those of you keeping track, the Democrats and their allies on the left have now:  voted in the Senate to repeal the First Amendment, proposed imprisoning people for holding the wrong views on global warming, sought to prohibit the showing of a film critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton, proposed banning politically unpopular academic research, demanded that funding politically unpopular organizations and causes be made a crime and that the RICO organized-crime statute be used as a weapon against targeted political groups.  They have filed felony charges against a Republican governor for vetoing a piece of legislation, engaged in naked political persecutions of members of Congress, and used the IRS and the ATF as weapons against political critics.

FEC chair who sought to regulate Drudge slams colleagues as 'dysfunctional'.  Since assuming the chair's position in January, [Ann] Ravel has pursued an ambitious regulatory agenda that includes stricter regulation of campaign spending, eliminating some of the commission's members, and, as noted by the Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard, new controls over online political content on outlets like the Drudge Report, Google and Facebook.

The Democrats' War on Due Process.  [Y]ou don't actually have to be a terrorist to be "suspected" of being a terrorist.  You don't have to be a terrorist to have been "identified" as one by the FBI.  You don't have to be a terrorist to be arrested as a terrorist or indicted as a terrorist — any more than you have to be guilty of murder to be charged and tried for murder.  Some people who are accused of murder are innocent.  That's why we have trials, instead of sending every "person of interest" straight to the gallows.  Likewise, some people on the no-fly list are not terrorists.  But unlike people accused of murder, most on the no-fly list have never been charged, judged by their peers, or given the chance to prove they're not terrorists.

Gun Control: An Incipient Tyranny's Desperate Last Stand.  The governing establishment sees it coming, is terrified of the people, and desperately wants them disarmed.  It really isn't hard to understand why that would be the case.  After all, if your power and wealth depended upon lying to the people, abolishing their freedom, destroying their livelihoods, and sending their sons and daughters off to die in pointless wars, would you want them to have weapons?  The American people are buying guns and ammunition in record numbers in absolute defiance of a massive and coordinated gun control propaganda campaign.

The Man Who Can't Stop Lying.  As predicted, Barack Obama attempted to misdirect the American people during his prime-time Oval Office address last night.  The absentee President's relatively brief addressed seemed more concerned with protecting his view of the nature of Islam than the lives of American citizens, and he quickly pivoted towards asserting that American gun owners were the real threat.  Toward this end, Obama pushed his call to weaponize his enemies list.  He wants to be able to arbitrarily put American citizens that he doesn't like on one of several list, and then strip them of their constitutional rights by executive fiat.

Agents performing warrantless searches are the hallmark of totalitarianism.  In an effort to draw attention away from the intelligence failures that permitted the attacks of 9/11 and create the impression that it was doing something — anything — to avoid a repeat, the federal government tampered seriously with freedoms expressly guaranteed in the Constitution.  Its principal target was the right to privacy, which is protected in the Fourth Amendment.  At President George W. Bush's urging, Congress passed the Patriot Act in October 2001.  This 315-page statute passed the House of Representatives with no debate, and there was very limited debate in the Senate.  I have asked many members of Congress over the years whether they read this bill before they voted upon it, and I have yet to find a member who did.  In the House, that would have been impossible; the bill was made available to representatives only 15 minutes prior to their vote.

Man charged with felony for passing out jury rights fliers in front of courthouse.  A Mecosta man is charged with a felony for obstruction of justice and misdemeanor of tampering with a jury for passing out fliers about jury nullification rights on the sidewalk of the Mecosta County courthouse.  Keith Wood, 39, faces these charges after handing out about 50 fliers on Nov. 24, which the Fully Informed Jury Association wrote, that describe juror rights that are typically not given by judges during jury instructions before a trial.

Using the Terrorist Watchlist Against Gun Owners.  If you want to keep your right to keep and bear arms, you need to contact your congressman and U.S. senators now.  Amid the horror and outrage over last week's Paris terrorist attacks, on the pretext of stopping terrorism, New York Democrat Congressman Pete King is pushing a scheme to deny your Second Amendment rights — and deny your right to due process in the bargain — by banning firearm sales to anyone on the FBI's so-called Terrorist Watch List.

Three Liberties Being Threatened After the Paris Attacks.  In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris recently, statists and power-hungry bureaucrats have seized the opportunity to try and expand governmental power.  In the spirit of never letting a crisis go to waste, they hope to capitalize on fear to place new restrictions on individual liberties.  Here are three ways in which the forces of ever bigger government are seeking to exploit the Paris attacks to erode personal freedoms.

It's official: 'Homophobia' now a mental disorder!  If you think there might be something wrong with homosexuality, you most likely have a mental disorder, according to a recent study by a team of Italian researchers.  Discussing the study, lead researcher Emmanuele A. Jannini, M.D., stated:  "After discussing for centuries if homosexuality is to be considered a disease, for the first time we demonstrated that the real disease to be cured is homophobia, associated with potentially severe psychopathologies."  That's right.  The research team specifically found that "psychoticism," "immature defense mechanisms" and a "fearful attachment style" were associated with a greater "homophobic" attitude in individuals.

Hackers Catch Prison Phone Company Securus Recording Attorney Calls.  In an example of Aaron Swartz's SecureDrop technology working as intended, the Intercept received a trove of dumped Securus phone records recently.  Securus, for those who have never been jailed in the United States virtually anywhere, is a phone services leader in the justice industry.  That particular part of the prison industrial complex, communication, is worth about $1.2 billion annually.

Obamatrade Isn't Free Trade — It's A 5,544 Page Statist Monstrosity.  Read the TPP's Preamble.  The United States Constitution has a Preamble.  ObamaTrade's Preamble negates the Constitution's.  Note:  the spelling is British, not American.  This pretty well says it all.  The American lawyers and bureaucrats who negotiated this deal know who is on top.  It is not the United States of America.  This deal is the handwork of the New World Order and the multinational corporations that run it.  With this deal, the NWO will get inside the national governments as never before.  This is a massive surrender of national sovereignty.

TPP Trade Deal Hits 5,544 Pages, Longer Than Obamacare PLUS Rubio's 'Gang Of Eight' Cheap-Labor Amnesty Bill.  Rubio's immigration bill — which never cleared Congress — was just under 1,200 pages long, weighed roughly 24 pounds and was criticized for its large size and complexity.

Jeff Sessions: Kill The "Anti-Democratic" Trans-Pacific Partnership In The Crib, Repeal Fast Track Authority Now.  Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, is calling for the immediate destruction of the 5,554-page Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trans-global trade deal introduced on Thursday [11/5/2015].

Why Did the Environmental Protection Agency Spend $1.4 Million on Guns?  "We were shocked ourselves to find these kinds of pervasive expenditures at an agency that is supposed to be involved in clean air and clean water," said Open the Books founder Adam Andrzejewski.  "Some of these weapons are for full-scale military operations."  Among the EPA's purchases:
  •   $1.4 million for "guns up to 300mm."
  •   $380,000 for "ammunition."
  •   $210,000 for "camouflage and other deceptive equipment."
  •   $208,000 for "radar and night-vision equipment."
  •   $31,000 for "armament training devices."
The list goes on.  It's filled with the kind of equipment you'd expect to be purchased by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, not an agency ostensibly designed to protect the environment.  But as it turns out, armed, commando-style raids by the EPA are not unheard of. One such raid occurred in 2013, in a small Alaskan town where armed agents in full body armor reportedly confronted local miners accused of polluting local waters.  Perhaps the agency is gearing up for more operations like that one?

What did the EPA need with $1.4M worth of guns?  This comes on the heels of previous revelations, such as the discovery that the EPA had run up a $92M tab for designer furniture recently.  But this one is even more curious.  Rather than blowing moderately big dollars on designer roll away desks, the EPA has apparently been dumping more than a million dollars into equipping a small army.

Mic Cut, Police Chopper Sicced on Breitbart Event.  We are reaching the point where patriots are no longer able to meet in public.  A Breitbart meetup in the Phoenix suburb Scottsdale Wednesday night was aggressively silenced.

Millions of Americans might need passports to fly domestic.  A decade ago, the U.S. government issued stricter standards for state-issued IDs, including drivers licenses.  But four states have refused to comply:  Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York.  The deadline for upgrading is coming up in 2016. If those four states don't upgrade their ID systems by the deadline, the TSA will demand that residents of those four states use passports rather than drivers licenses to board flights next year.  About 9.5 million drivers licenses have been issued in those states, according to government licensing records.

Also posted under the proposed National ID Card.

Google, the NSA & DHS are creating a global DNA database.  According to the Verge, Ancestry.com, is seeking permission from the FDA to create a national DNA database.  Ancestry.com claims they'll use your DNA to assess your families disease risk.  Would it shock you to know that Google, the NSA and DHS are using "front companies" to create a GLOBAL DNA database?

Wow! Just What We Need! Fully Armed EPA Agents!  The Washington Times and The American Spectator have picked up an article by Open the Books, a watchdog group, that has found evidence the EPA has spent millions of dollars on guns, ammo, body armor, camouflage equipment, and even night-vision goggles to arm its agents in the war on polluters.  Why do they need this and where are we going with this?  I'll tell you where.  CBS News has an article every day on the alleged impending climate change catastrophe.  Today, for example, they reported that Miami and New Orleans could be washed away by rising seas at the end of this century.  This is according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  They can't predict the weather two hours from now, but they can predict what will happen in 85 years.

DHS Goes Alarmist... Brings Back Terrorism Alert System for Domestic Threats.  Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced earlier this month at the UN that she would be working in several American cities to form what she called the Strong Cities Network (SCN), a law enforcement initiative that would encompass the globe.  Now Jeh Johnson has decided what is really needed is an alert system to warn everyone of pending terrorist attacks on US soil.  I'm detecting a very unpleasant trend here.  The old one that these morons came up with was never used.  It went unused.  At least Bush's made sense — this one is only two levels.  'Elevated' and 'We're all about to die.'

What Does The EPA Buy With The Millions Of Dollars They Spend On Weaponry?  The EPA isn't content to trash river systems and destroy the American economy in an effort to prevent the emission of carbon dioxide, which is plant food and a net positive to ecology as its concentrations in the atmosphere increase.  No, the EPA must have a military wing complete with military equipment.

Armed EPA Agents? The Truth Is Way Out There.  According to a report released last week by a watchdog group called Open the Books, the EPA has spent millions of dollars recently on guns, ammo, body armor, camouflage equipment, and even night-vision goggles to arm its agents in the war on polluters.  The Illinois-based investigative group examined thousands of checks totaling more than $93 billion from 2000 to 2014 by the EPA, and its auditors indicate that about $75 million is authorized each year for "criminal enforcement" of America's clean air and water laws.  This includes cash for a cadre of 200 "special agents" that engage in SWAT-style ops.

EPA spends millions on military-style weapons, watchdog group reports.  The Environmental Protection Agency has spent millions of dollars over the last decade on military-style weapons to arm its 200 "special agents" to fight environmental crime.  Among the weapons purchased are guns, body armor, camouflage equipment, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night-vision gear and other military-style weaponry and surveillance activities, according to a new report by the watchdog group Open the Books.

Braiding without a license: A crime in Texas.  Isis Brantley, an African-American entrepreneur, told a small, but rapt audience Tuesday [10/6/2015] about her two-decade legal battle to operate a braiding business and school in Texas.  Brantley's problem was that for most of her career she operated without the state's approval.  It demanded that she have a cosmetology license even though braiding and cosmetology are two different things.  It wasn't for public safety reasons, either.  It is legal in Texas for anyone to braid hair for free.  But charging a fee made her a criminal.  Brantley's home was eventually raided by seven police officers.

Washington DC may regulate personal trainers.  [Andrew] Killion oversees one of the largest Crossfit gyms in Washington D.C. with six full-time employees — called "coaches" in the Crossfit lingo — who help more than 400 members sweat their way through daily workouts in a 10,000-square-foot warehouse near the booming Navy Yard waterfront.  Now he worries city officials will take it all away.  Killion and other gym owners in the nation's capital could soon be subject to the first set of occupational licensing laws targeting personal trainers.

Obama issues executive order for government use of behavioral data.  A new executive order from President Obama directs all government agencies to use psychological science and data to help connect more Americans to government programs.  The order instructs government agencies to use "behavioral science" — a tactic used by Obama's political campaigns to harness data from their supporters to target them effectively.  The program has already existed in an experimental form, but now Obama has formally established the federal "Social and Behavioral Sciences Team," ordering them to to use psychology and experimental behavior data to make government more user-friendly.

Seattle recycling
Recycling is now mandatory.
Seattle sued over recycling inspectors keeping tabs on residents' trash.  When it comes to garbage, the city of Seattle has launched a waste war.  Nine full-time solid waste inspectors have been hired as part of a controversial program to check city trash to make sure people are recycling.  Additionally, contracted waste haulers have been effectively deputized as trash police, given the authority to tag bins when people fail to recycle and compost enough.  The program is now the subject of a lawsuit, as residents fume over what some call an intrusive government program.


Men's Barber Shop Fined $750 for Not Cutting Women's Hair.  Our rulers' authoritarian obsession with stamping out "inequality" and "discrimination" is not making it easy to do business in Pennsylvania. [...] Once this was a free country in which business owners decided for themselves who their clients would be.  But then came "civil rights."

Pennsylvania Barber Fined For Not Cutting Women's Hair.  A Pennsylvania barber got slapped with a fine for refusing to give a woman a haircut.  The owner John Interval says his shop is a place for men to relax with a cocktail or a beer.  But now, he's facing legal action from the state's Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.  Interval says he didn't know he has to service both genders.

The Terrifying Tentacles of One World Governance.  Citizens do not understand U.N. Agenda 21's damaging ramifications to their private property, to their ability to make a living, to use their land, grow food in their gardens, sell their fresh produce freely, engage in agriculture, sell their land, and pass it on to future generations.  Local land owners do not have the opportunity to provide their input into the decision-making process; they are at the mercy of "visioning committees" and the board of supervisors, often plants or paid subscribers to the one world government idea.

Who are the Lawbreakers?  We're told that if we don't pay our taxes we will go to jail but we're also told that illegals can break the law and live off our tax dollars with no consequences.  In fact, we're told that we're racists if we don't believe that criminals should have at least as nice a lifestyle as taxpayers.  We're told we can't steal from our children but by spending mountains of money we don't have the DC elites steal from our children with impunity.  We're told we can't steal from our neighbor but the elites steal money from taxpayers to support the lazy and the illegal.  The reality is that that Kentucky clerk is not the lawbreaker.  The real lawbreakers are the Supreme Court Justices who simply dictated that the votes of 55,000,000 Americans don't matter and that the clear intent of the Constitution doesn't matter.  The Constitution says nothing about marriage.  Only by ignoring it could the Supreme Court decide that Americans must submit to the whims of the ruling elite disguised as a "Constitutional" mandate.

Can a Christian Be a County Clerk in America?  This is a question it now appears may ultimately be decided by five Supreme Court justices.  With it, too, will ride such questions as:  Can a Christian be a doctor?  A nurse?  A public-school teacher?  In June, when five justices declared that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment creates a right to "same-sex marriage," Justice Clarence Thomas issued a warning.  "In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution, it is a religious institution as well," Thomas wrote in his dissent.  "Today's decision might change the former, but it cannot change the latter.  It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples.  "The majority," said Thomas, "appears unmoved by that inevitability."

Nine Signs of the Impending American Collapse.  Race relations in the U.S. have markedly deteriorated under the suzerainty of the present administration, in some places resembling guerilla warfare as black-on-white violence proliferates and race riots are becoming an almost regular occurrence. [...] Civil disorder is radical community organizer Saul Alinsky's formula for revolutionary triumph, and his handbook Rules for Radicals is the Democratic Party's bible.  Alinsky was the subject of Hillary Clinton's senior thesis at Wellesley College and Obama's teaching at Chicago University Law School.

Religious liberty: The Kentucky county clerk and the Muslim flight attendant.  The New York Times and the rest of the national media are giving front page treatment to Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples on religious grounds. [...] A Muslim-American group plans Tuesday [9/1/2015] to file a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against ExpressJet Airlines for allegedly failing to accommodate a Metro Detroit-area Muslim flight attendant who objects to serving alcohol based on her religious beliefs.

Inhofe: EPA's Trying To Regulate Sewers.  A top Senate Republican is worried the EPA's new Clean Water Rule gives the agency the power to regulate sewers and stormwater systems — giving EPA a much more expansive reach than the agency had previously claimed.  Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe sent a letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, the assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, and Ken Kopocis, who heads up the EPA's Office of Water, asking them to clarify how the Clean Water Rule would impact city sewage systems.

Supreme Court rules against Kentucky clerk in gay marriage case.  The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and the clerk will arrive at work Tuesday morning [9/1/2015] to face her moment of truth.

Call Cease-Fire in the War on Cash.  Last summer, London buses stopped accepting money.  To pay your fare, you now have to wave either a prepaid Transport for London Oyster card or a contactless payment bank card at a receiver.  For some, not having to dig out a handful of coins is a welcome relief.  For others, though, the disappearance of cash represents a dangerous threat to our liberty.

EPA Politburo Takes Control of Ditches in 37 States.  U.S. District Court of North Dakota Chief Judge Ralph Erickson put a temporary hold on the EPA's new water regulations on Thursday [8/27/2015], but the EPA, an unelected and unelectable body of bureaucrats, has decided to defy the judge and move ahead on states that did not sue.  Except for the 13 states that filed the North Dakota lawsuit, The Clean Water Rule aka Waters of the U.S. rule is in effect as of August 28.  The EPA has assumed jurisdiction over ditches — ditches that flow from streams — tributaries, streams, and other small waterways.  Every farmer, rancher, land developer and land owner is now subject to federal enrichment actions under the Clean Water Act if they have small waterways on their property.  More taxes, more regulations, more bureaucracy heaped on farmers, ranchers and land developers by an enormous, incompetent government agency.  The EPA says it does not interfere with or change private property rights but that's all they do.

Kentucky clerk asks Supreme Court to intervene in marriage case.  Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who opposes to gay marriage for religious reasons, asked the nation's highest court on Friday [8/28/2015] to grant her "asylum for her conscience."  The Supreme Court ruled in June that the Constitution guarantees gay people the right to marry.  However, Davis contends the First Amendment guarantees her the right of religious freedom.  She stopped issuing all marriage licenses in the days after the landmark decision.  Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her, arguing that she must fulfill her duties as an elected official despite her religious conviction.  A federal court judge ordered Davis to issue licenses and an appeals court upheld the decision.

Appeals court upholds order that holdout Kentucky clerk issue marriage licences to gay couples.  A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling ordering a Kentucky county clerk to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

What First Amendment? Virginia State Police Forced BBC Journalists to Delete Video.  So I assume you have all heard that a homosexual African American shot and murdered to straight whites on live TV.  This was, of course, not a hate crime and never will be labeled as one.  This story from PRI caught my eye and makes me wonder why we even claim to have a First Amendment:  "Virginia police order BBC journalists to delete footage of suspected shooter's crash." [...] What I find especially insulting about this is that it happened to BBC journalists.  I don't know if they are British themselves, but it is galling to have a British media outlet learn just how flimsy our Bill of Rights really is.  What is the point of having a First Amendment if the police can simply order censorship?

More about Vester Lee Flanagan II a/k/a Bryce Williams.

Colorado Baker Case Latest Defeat for Religious Liberty.  The Colorado Court of Appeals has handed the concept of religious liberty for individuals yet another defeat, with its August 13 ruling against suburban Denver baker Jack Phillips.  The appellate court upheld a lower court ruling that the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop had illegally discriminated against two homosexual men by refusing to bake a cake to celebrate their "marriage."  The two men, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, had filed a complaint with the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), citing Colorado's anti-discrimination law.  Phillips told them that to accede to their wishes would violate his religious beliefs.  When the two men ordered the cake in 2012, Colorado did not recognize same-sex marriage; however, the court held that the refusal by Phillips to bake the cake ran afoul of the state's law which prohibits discrimination based upon "sexual orientation."

Judge opens door for cops to storm your home.  The Third Amendment, which guards against the quartering of soldiers in citizens' homes — and which came into being because of the abuse of British troops against American patriots — has just been dinged by a judge who ruled the provision doesn't apply to police.  In essence, that means police on official business could claim the legal right to bust into a private citizen's home and occupy it.  The determination from federal district court Judge Andrew Gordon was rendered when he dismissed a Third Amendment claim from a Henderson, Nevada, family who suffered that very fate.

"There is no area of our lives the leftists won't invade."
Progressives Want to Ban Barbecue Aromas And So Much More.  The city council in Austin, Tex. took up "the smell of barbecue and a proposal to control it," the New York Times reported in April, "in response to some citizen complaints."  They plan to order the restaurants to control the odors because it is a "public nuisance."  Austin is known for its barbecue restaurants and food trucks.  Most would close, perhaps all.  "A public nuisance is an activity that threatens the public health, safety or welfare, or does damage to community resources."  The city of Austin wants to take a handful of citizen complaints and make them into a public health hazard.  We won't ban illegal immigration but we will ban the aromas from restaurant barbecues.

The Editor says...
This problem is easily solved.  Let the left-wing liberal authoritarians shut down all the barbecue joints in Austin.  Better yet, all the restaurants that emit any discernable aroma.  Then sit back and wait for the outcry from the low-information voters who haven't been paying attention.  The restaurants will be back open in a few days, and the experience may make Libertarians out of a lot of hungry citizens.

Florida council official caught on camera telling resident the smoke from his barbecue 'cannot leave the property'.  A bizarre video has emerged out of Florida showing a man who says he is a council official telling a resident that the smoke from their barbecue is not allowed to leave the property.  The video, which went viral over the weekend, shows the male resident arguing with the apparent official and not believing what he is being told.  'I'm only here because of the odor, I'm only here because of the smoke,' the official says the clip.  [Video clip]

Bruce Jenner, Brett Favre, and the cultural totalitarians.  In a truly surreal display, NFL great Brett Favre is being denounced by the left's new cultural commissars for not clapping long and hard enough at ESPN's ESPY awards, as Bruce/"Caitlyn" Jenner received a "Courage" award for his efforts to become a woman.  Oddly, Favre did applaud — not doing so would have been a grave heresy to America's new church of progressive inquisitors.  His sin was not applauding enthusiastically enough.  The New York Post placed a video of Favre's blasphemous insufficient clapping, juxtaposed with Jenner's celebratory ascent to the stage. [...] No, I'm not making this up.  In the New America, not only must we accept transgenderism, but we must literally applaud it — and literally applaud it long, loud, and hard.  And remember, Big Brother is watching you.

The Editor says...
The same thing happens in North Korea:  If you don't applaud the Supreme Leader vigorously enough, you're taken away and re-educated -- or worse.

It looks like Lois Lerner may have also been behind conservative targeting in Wisconsin.  Remember those horrifying police raids in Wisconsin a while back?  With no hyperbole, it was modern-day tyranny that should have incensed the entire nation, regardless of political affiliation or viewpoint.  Instead, very few ever even heard about it.  Why?  Because progressives were the perpetrators and conservatives were the targets.  The raids were part of a so-called "investigation" of conservatives who were supporting Scott Walker.  Well new email evidence suggests that Lois Lerner may have been in cahoots with a Wisconsin official regarding the investigation.

H8 Wins: Oregon Threatens Home Of Christian Bakers.  Fox News is reporting that the fascist state of Oregon is ramping up its persecution campaign against Christian bakers who declined to bake a wedding cake for a same sex lesbian couple.  Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, have been told that if they don't pay the $135,000 awarded to the lesbian couple who sued them, a lien will be placed against their home next week.

The Gay Lifestyle Fallacy.  The United States is sinking into the moral decay of tribal warfare.  No longer can Christians state their case without a torrent of hatred coming from both atheists and those in the gay rights cabal.  Any opinion that does not toe the progressive line will not be tolerated.  This comes from the party of tolerance.  Your identity, your lifestyle, even you very dignity will be trashed if you do not comply.  This way of thinking will soon be a coercive force in every citizens life.  Much of it starts with those who speak out from within the gay community, or those who have been raised inside the gay community and have felt its corrosive way of thinking first hand.

We 'refuse to comply': Christian bakers won't be bullied by gag order.  It's going to take more than a gag order from a state bureaucrat to shut up two Christian bakers under assault for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in Oregon.  As reported by Bizpac Review on Saturday, Aaron and Melissa Klein were not only hit with a $135,000 fine for refusing to bake the cake, but they were also ordered by Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian to stop speaking out about the case.  The Kleins, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, told Fox News' Todd Starnes they have no intention of obeying what they see as a clear violation of their First Amendment rights.

Wasserman-Schultz on Bakers Fined $135K Over Wedding Cake: 'You Shouldn't Be Able to Turn People Away'.  Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said the marriage debate is over.  "The marriage equality decision is settled.  Love is love and now everyone in America enjoys the protection of the United States Constitution when it comes to who they choose to marry legally," Wasserman-Schultz told The Daily Signal.  She also weighed in on the religious liberty debate.  "That doesn't mean that churches and religious institutions have to conduct same-sex marriages and it doesn't mean that religious institutions aren't able to practice their own values.  But, in this country, we do not allow people to discriminate."

Democrat Senator: 1st Amendment Doesn't Apply To Individuals.  Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) says the 1st Amendment's religious liberty protections don't apply to individuals. [...] Democrat Senators Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein already believe that 'freedom of speech' only applies to the mainstream media.  They're both on record claiming that bloggers don't deserve 1st Amendment protections because in their eyes, we aren't genuine journalists.  To them, to be a real journalist you have to work for a nationally recognized media conglomerate, have a degree from an accredited school of journalism, collect a paycheck and be answerable to an editor for what you say.  In other words, they (the government) want the power to threaten to have you fired if you dare speak out of line.  Bloggers, being self employed, in their opinion, are renegades because they have no way to intimidate us into silence.

Cultural aggression, destructive policies, and ceaseless smearing are wearing out a great people.  [Scroll down]  Ask Aaron and Melissa Klein what they think of the state of our civil liberties, after an Oregon judge not only sanctioned the destruction of their wedding cake business but denied them the freedom to discuss their plight.  Ask Brendan Eich, the former Mozilla CEO who committed the crime of writing a check to support organizations opposed to gay marriage.  Ask any conservative attempting to ply a trade in Hollywood or academia.  The Left's cultural fascists have perfected the ability to silence their opposition without the use of jackboots and truncheons as in the past, though as we've seen an angry mob or a riot squad here and there is hardly out of the question.  Next up will be the forfeiting of tax exemptions by churches — unless the Left is willing to make exceptions for those it deems "helpful" to the cause.

United We Stood, Divided We'll Fall.  [Scroll down]  Oh the gay community and their supporters will argue it was a huge win, an in-your-face slam-dunk.  But beneath all the hoopla, behind the well-designed scenes, the gays lost.  We all lost because the real victor, the hands-down big winner is government.  You see, the dirty little secret is that gays, like blacks and Hispanics, are being used to declaw the silent majority.  Politicians have tried over and over again to stop those constitutional nuts who keep waving the American flag and quoting the Constitution.  It hasn't been easy, these conservatives have been the majority since colonial days.  They still are the majority, the silent majority; too silent.  But they're an obstacle to power nonetheless so they must be put down.

Surrender to judicial tyranny? I will protect religious liberty, not retreat.  America didn't fight a revolution against the tyranny of one unelected monarch so we could surrender our religious liberty to the tyranny of five unelected lawyers.  The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being, and the Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature's God on marriage than they can the laws of gravity.  Last Friday's same-sex marriage decision by the Court, which rejected the will of people in over 30 states, is an out-of-control act of unconstitutional judicial tyranny.  While some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and surrender to the false god of judicial supremacy, I refuse to light a match to our Constitution.  We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.

No Truce With the Left.  Republicans are still trying to figure out a truce on gay marriage.  They retreated to civil unions, then accepted a full defeat on gay marriage and then acted baffled when Christian bakery owners were dragged into court for refusing to participate in gay weddings.  When the left insisted that gay marriage was a civil rights issue, they refused to take them at their word.  Now they're wondering how an accommodation can be made with tranny rights.  A brief look back at gay rights will show that the only possible accommodation is one in which men in dresses have a legal right to use the ladies room and every single closed female space and event.  And yes, that means your business will be shut down if you object to Steve using the female locker room.

Same-sex marriage is only the beginning.  That the majority threw a bone to religious people, their churches and institutions, saying they could continue to preach and teach that homosexual marriage is wrong, will almost certainly be challenged by gay activists and secularists whose goal is to drive religious people, and especially Christians, out of the public square.  What might be a preview of things to come occurred last week when the Fairfax County (Va.) School Board voted 10-2 to approve a "gender identity" curriculum for children starting in seventh grade.  News reports said the crowd that showed up for the vote overwhelmingly opposed the decision, but majorities no longer matter.

'Disparate Impact' Ruling Emboldens Obama's Diversity Cops.  Armed with a Supreme Court-licensed shakedown weapon, President Obama's race cops will wage an even bigger war against lenders, insurers, employers and whoever else fails their "disparate impact" test.  Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch said she and her civil-rights goons are "bolstered by this important ruling" by the high bench, which by a narrow 5-4 vote upheld bogus disparate-impact theory as a tool to enforce laws against housing, lending and insurance discrimination.

15 Reasons 'Marriage Equality' Is About Neither Marriage Nor Equality.  Same-sex marriage is a notion that contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction.  I doubt many have thought this through, with the ironic exception of the elites who have been pushing the agenda the hardest.  Most people are weary of it all and going along to get along, especially since dissent has become such a socially expensive proposition, almost overnight.  That in itself should deeply concern anyone who values freedom of expression. [...] The same-sex marriage agenda is more like a magic bullet with a trajectory that will abolish civil marriage for everyone, and in doing so, will embed central planning into American life.  And that, my friends, is the whole point of it.  Along with Obamacare, net neutrality, and Common Core, genderless marriage is a blueprint for regulating life, particularly family life.

The Day the Constitution Died.  I have sadly come to the conclusion that many of my colleagues are correct...  our Constitutional form of government is now dead and Obama's transformative 'change' is all but complete.  Things are now snowballing and it is more than most Americans can take or bear.  From gay marriage and the ensuing infringement on free speech and our religious rights, to enforced Obamacare, to forced wealth redistibution in our neighborhoods, to the EPA run amok... our freedoms are being absolutely nullified.  States are now saying they won't comply with the EPA on coal and who can blame them?  Americans will get very dangerous when they are hungry and cold.

[The] Moral Life of [the] Nation Could be Decided by One Judge.  [Quoting Robert Bork:]  There's no end to the gall of some of these folks.  But amending the constitution is the clearest route.  Beyond that, the cures are longer term.  They would involve replacing these judges with other judges.  If it's an elective system, when they come up for reelection, vote them out and get new judges.  If it's not, wait until they retire or die, and then get new judges.  But as long as we insist upon treating judges as the final word no matter what they say, we're in trouble.

Democracy Is Dying; Persecution Is Coming.  You will not be surprised that the majority opinion in Obergefell, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, is full of gaseous eructations from the judicial pyloric, e.g., "the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals."  And who says a two-person union is unlike any other in its importance?  This is groundless assertion.  You really must read the four dissenting opinions in the case.  Even I am shocked by the bracing quality of the rhetoric and the analysis.  If these justices are correct, this is a dark day for American democracy, and for the practice of traditional religion in America.

SCOTUS invents new right to same-sex "marriage," outlawing Christianity.  Let me tell you how this is going to play out.  See what the progressive fascists are doing with the Confederate flag?  See how they're erasing it from every nook and cranny of America?  See the defacement of Confederate monuments?  Hear the calls for censorship of classics like Gone With The Wind?  You ain't seen nothin' yet.  Because the rainbow-shirts are coming.  And they're coming for us.  I figure the first church burning is only hours away.  Within days it'll be impossible to say the words "homosexual" and "sin" in the same sentence anywhere in America.

Scalia: 'This Court' is a 'Threat to American Democracy'.  In his dissent from the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision [6/26/2015] in Obergefell v. Hodges, which declared that same-sex marriage was a right, Justice Antonin Scalia declared that this Supreme Court has become a "threat to American democracy.  "I write separately to call attention to this Court's threat to American democracy," Scalia said.  "This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776:  the freedom to govern themselves."

EPA to Monitor Family's Water Use in Colorado.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to monitor how much water families use in Boulder, Colorado.  The agency submitted a solicitation Thursday [6/18/2015], announcing its plans to hire a contractor for the purpose of "Water Monitoring Equipment and Collection of Data" of apartments in the city.

A Thirsty Colorado Is Battling Over Who Owns Raindrops.  When Jason Story bought an old soy sauce barrel to collect the rain dripping from his downspout, he figured he had found an environmentally friendly way to water his garden's beets and spinach.  But under the quirks of Western water rules, where raindrops are claimed even as they tumble from the sky, he became a water outlaw.

The Government Wants You to Get Its Permission Before Discussing Gunmaking Information on the Internet (or Anywhere).  The NRA notes with alarm last week something that, if it were paying attention, it would realize is not a fear on the horizon but a nightmare certain people are already living: [...] As readers of Reason know well, Cody Wilson is living proof the government has already been acting on the belief they have this power to prevent certain technical details about gun making from spreading to the Internet without their approval — in Wilson's case, CAD files to for a 3D printed plastic handgun.

NRA: Gun blogs, videos, web forums threatened by new Obama regulation.  Commonly used and unregulated internet discussions and videos about guns and ammo could be closed down under rules proposed by the State Department, amounting to a "gag order on firearm-related speech," the National Rifle Association is warning.  In updating regulations governing international arms sales, State is demanding that anyone who puts technical details about arms and ammo on the web first get the OK from the federal government — or face a fine of up to $1 million and 20 years in jail.

Obama Plans To Muzzle Gun-Related Speech.  The foreign-raised President of the United States — who never set foot on the U.S. mainland until he was an adult — has proven throughout his rogue administration that he has no respect at all for the Constitution.  He's proving it yet again with a dual attack on both the First and Second Amendments, with an attempt to twist ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) regulations to ban online speech about firearms, claiming that information posted online is "exporting" data.

Don't be fooled, America, your government is still lying to you.  Last week, we learned that the FBI is operating low-flying planes over 100 American cities to monitor folks on the streets and intercept their cellphone use — without any search warrants.  Earlier this week, we learned that the Drug Enforcement Administration has intercepted the telephone calls of more than 11,000 people in three years — without any search warrants.  We already know that local police have been using government surplus cell towers to intercept the cellphone signals of innocent automobile drivers for about a year — without search warrants.  How dangerous this is.  The Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  It applies in good times and in bad, in war and in peace.  It regulates the governed and the governors.  Yet if the government that it regulates can change it by ordinary legislation, then it is not a constitution but a charade.

NRA: Gun blogs, videos, web forums threatened by new Obama regulation.  Commonly used and unregulated internet discussions and videos about guns and ammo could be closed down under rules proposed by the State Department, amounting to a "gag order on firearm-related speech," the National Rifle Association is warning.  In updating regulations governing international arms sales, State is demanding that anyone who puts technical details about arms and ammo on the web first get the OK from the federal government — or face a fine of up to $1 million and 20 years in jail.

Isn't this what Fort Hood, White Sands and the eastern half of Nevada are for?
City says loud explosions were Army training exercise.  It was a peaceful afternoon, and then residents said it seemingly turned hostile.  "I was standing there, and all of a sudden, boom!" Jean Glenn said.  "I mean it was loud, it blew up the whole sky or whatever, it was like four or five big bangs," Annette Humphrey said.  Explosions you'd expect in a war zone echoed through Flint.  People's homes shook and those inside were caught off-guard.  It all went down Tuesday [6/2/2015] at the shuttered Lowell Junior High on the city's east side.  The blasts are just an Army exercise.

EPA boss threatens to come knocking on doors.  Next time there is a knock at the front door, it just might be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency waiting to deliver a message.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy dealt a warning Wednesday to Americans who do not place environmental stewardship above everything else.

America's Own FIFA: the EPA.  An unprecedented power grab.  That's the only accurate way to describe the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which was made final on Wednesday [5/27/2015].  It twists the plain language of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the "navigable waters" of the United States, out of all recognition, to give the Obama administration powers over any land that might at any time be occupied by water, such as seasonal pools or drainage channels.  Your use of your own property could become subject to veto by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers — and you might not even know it until they stick you with $75,000 a day in fines.  And if the rule itself is an abuse of power, the way in which it was finalized is just as outrageous.

When They Come for the Smaller Groups....  The Nazis, obviously, used the principle successfully.  One by one, different groups were marginalized and demonized in the public opinion, until it was clear no one would come to their defense, because "we are not them."  Jews.  Socialists.  Trade Unions.  Military personnel.  Gypsies.  Mentally ill people.  Roman Catholic Priests.  Protestant pastors.  Step by step, the general population was divided in groups and subjugated through repressions and terror.  By the time many people realized the murderous nature of the Nazi regime, no one was in a position to unite the remaining groups in opposition to the government.  The Soviet Communists did the same.  They also started with a broad appeal to all the "classes," marginalizing and demonizing only small groups.  The "capitalists."  Then the priests.  Then the "intellectuals." [...] It was Solzhenitsyn who later realized that if the people didn't remain passive but united to shoot at government agents when they came to do arrests, millions of lives would have been spared.

The case for conservative civil disobedience.  [Scroll down]  In parallel, the legal system has become a vehicle for progressive social aims, growing arbitrary and subjective.  Murray points to lower bars for bringing lawsuits, broader rules of discovery and the rise of strict liability that doesn't require specific negligence to find guilt.  All this has conspired to create a system in which defending yourself is prohibitively costly, laws are so complex as to be unintelligible and prosecutors enjoy corrupting discretionary power.  Instead of a world where acts are criminalized because they are malum in se (wrong in themselves), Murray argues that a large proportion of crimes in the federal code are "malum prohibitum — not things that are bad in themselves but things that warrant criminal penalties because the government has said they do."

DOE Secretary Backs Public Boarding Schools: 'Certain Kids We Should Have 24/7'.  Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday proposed the idea of public boarding schools, saying there are "just certain kids we should have 24/7."  "One idea that I threw out ... is the idea of public boarding schools," Duncan said at the National Summit on Youth Violence Prevention in Crystal City, Va.  "That's a little bit of a different idea — a controversial idea — but the question is do we have some children where there's not a mom, there's not a dad, there's not a grandma, there's just nobody at home?"

The Editor says...
In what rent-free "home" would an orphaned minor live without adults?  I assert that no such example exists, and this boarding school idea is simply an incremental step toward the federal takeover of all children.

This took place on an Amtrak train.
DEA to traveler: Thanks, I'll take that cash.  [Joseph] Rivers, 22, wasn't detained and has not been charged with any crime since his money was taken last month.  That doesn't matter.  Under a federal law enforcement tool called civil asset forfeiture, he need never be arrested or convicted of a crime for the government to take away his cash, cars or property — and keep it.  Agencies like the DEA can confiscate money or property if they have a hunch, a suspicion, a notion that maybe, possibly, perhaps the items are connected with narcotics.  Or something else illegal. [...] A Washington Post investigation last year found that local, state and federal agents nationwide have seized $2.5 billion in cash from almost 62,000 people since 2001 — without warrants or indictments.

Also posted under The police state on wheels.

'We Will Not Obey': Christian Leaders Threaten Civil Disobedience if Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage.  "We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross that line," read a document titled, Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage.  "We stand united together in defense of marriage.  Make no mistake about our resolve."  "While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross," the pledge states.

Obama's Lawyer Basically Tells SCOTUS That Religious Schools Are Toast.  During oral arguments made in the same-sex marriage case heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday [4/28/2015] (Obergefell v. Hodges), Justices Roberts and Alito questioned Solicitor General Donald Verrilli about the rights of religious schools if the Court decides to impose same-sex marriage on the states.  Justice Roberts asked if religious schools that provide housing to married students would be required to offer such housing to same-sex couples.  Verrilli demurred, saying there is currently no federal law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.  "Those issues are going to have to be worked out," he said.

Idaho city's ordinance tells pastors to marry gays or go to jail.  Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, city officials have laid down the law to Christian pastors within their community, telling them bluntly via an ordinance that if they refuse to marry homosexuals, they will face jail time and fines.  The dictate comes on the heels of a legal battle with Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post wedding chapel in the city, but who oppose gay marriage, The Daily Caller reported.  A federal judge recently ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, while the city of Coeur d'Alene has an ordinance that prevents discrimination based on sexual preference.

Largest Bank In America Joins War On Cash.  Just a week ago, the infamous Willem Buiter, along with Ken Rogoff, voiced their support for a restriction (or ban altogether) on the use of cash (something that was already been implemented in Louisiana in 2011 for used goods).  Today, as Mises' Jo Salerno reports, the war has acquired a powerful new ally in Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., which has enacted a policy restricting the use of cash in selected markets; bans cash payments for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans; and disallows the storage of "any cash or coins" in safe deposit boxes.

Gov. Walker Supporters Claim Police Raided Their Homes Over Politics.  Megyn Kelly shared new information tonight [4/23/2015] about a series of terrifying raids which were reportedly a form of political retribution against supporters of Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI).  She explained that a few of the people who were raided came forward and spoke to the National Review about what they experienced.  Kelly reported that Cindy Archer had a raid conducted on her home when she was sound asleep one night.  Archer claims that more than a dozen police officers were yelling and pounding on her door.  She said that police would not tell her why they were there as they ransacked her home, Kelly reported.

America's Soft Police State.  Today Americans live in a soft police state.  We may not sense its severity and doom like runaway slaves or Anne Frank, but the freedoms of the greatest number of Americans have never been more threatened and violated institutionally — both openly and secretively — by our own government.

Involuntary Servitude Returns to America.  Given that America no longer allows involuntary servitude, why do florists, photographers, bakers or printers have to work for anyone who requests his services?  Why are they not protected by the Thirteenth Amendment?

'Free-Range' Parents Will Sue CPS for Grabbing Their Kids.  The Meitivs are lawyering up, and will file some kind of lawsuit against Montgomery County, Maryland, officials who took their children while the youngsters were walking outside by themselves. [...] Aren't prisoners allowed one phone call, or is that just on TV?  Because the Meitiv kids weren't able to contact their parents in the six hours they were held by the authorities.

Green Terrorists are Sabotaging the U.S. Economy.  Environmentalist extremists are controlling our policies at all levels of local, state and federal government.  The environmental terrorists are consuming land in the name of frogs and assorted creatures and putting cost prohibitive regulations on farmers and ranchers, raising the price of essential services and goods such as food and transportation.  They are lowering our standard of living in the name of non-essential wildflowers and prairie chickens.  They have infiltrated the government at every level so that you now see the DOD tweeting their latest green initiative as ISIS, Al-Qaida, and Iran compete for hegemony in the Middle East and do so without resistance.  Americans are afraid to resist the lies on which they build their power.  The majority have been silenced into blindness though truth is hiding in plain sight.  The EPA is a group of unelected bureaucrats — tyrants — who now act as an arm of extremists, pushing regulations on individuals, on every household, and every business without our permission.

The state presumes to own your children.
Maryland Parents Panic When Their Kids Are Once Again Confiscated By CPS.  Danielle Meitiv, the Maryland Mom who lets her children play outside by themselves — despite the government's ridiculous demands — just called me.  She and her husband were on their way to the Child Protective Services Emergency Crisis Center.  Why?  The police picked up the kids while they were outside again sometime Saturday afternoon [4/11/2015], and this time the cops took them without telling their parents.

NYT Writer: Christians 'Must Be Made' to Embrace Gay Lifestyle.  In the wake of the Indiana donnybrook over religious liberty, which somehow was transformed overnight into a question of gay rights, it couldn't be long before the New York Times weighed in against Christians.  Yet who could have expected the draconian measures the Times would propose?  Either Christians fully embrace the gay lifestyle, or you will be coerced into doing so.

No More 'Speeding' for You!  Someday — and that day might be closer than you want to know — we'll look back fondly on speed traps. [...] Tomorrow, you may not be able to "speed" even if you wanted to.  Because your car will not allow you to.

FBI Admits All Registered Motorcycle Owners Are On Classified Gang List.  MSNBC correspondent Jeremy Lancaster sat down with government official Darrin Cornia to discuss recent rumors that have been in circulation in regard to registered motorcycle owners being placed on a classified FBI gang list.

A List Of Things Potential Senate Minority Leader Schumer Has Tried To Ban.  It's long been said that the most dangerous place in Washington is between Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and a TV camera. [...] So what kind of leader is Chuck Schumer?  He is among the very most trivial politicians to serve in that crucible of triviality, mediocrity, and dead weight we call the U.S. Senate.  Here's a list of quickly ginned-up headlines of what our next illustrious Senate leader has been up to over his time in Washington.

Dem Suggests Kids Should Be Drug-Tested Before They Can Inherit From Their Parents.  Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez offered a baffling defense of the death tax Wednesday [3/18/2015] during a hearing examining the sometimes unbearable burden it places on family farms and businesses.  People receiving food stamps have to pass drug tests or meet work requirements to receive taxpayer dollars, Sanchez reasoned, so it's only fair that those "lucky" enough to inherit wealth should have to do something to earn it or, in this case, pay a tax.  "What work requirements are there to inherit up to $10 million tax free?" she asked a witness, rhetorically.

The EPA wants to watch you in the shower.  [Scroll down]  You can bet that before too long, there will be a move by the EPA to place one of those gizmos in every single home in America.  It will eventually be connected to the home's water system, with an auto-shutdown valve to enforce their idea of how much water you should be using to get clean.  You may be washing your hair when the water is suddenly turned off, leaving you with a headfull of suds and anger management issues.

EPA wants to monitor how long hotel guests spend in the shower.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants hotels to monitor how much time its guests spend in the shower.  The agency is spending $15,000 to create a wireless system that will track how much water a hotel guest uses to get them to "modify their behavior."  "Hotels consume a significant amount of water in the U.S. and around the world," an EPA grant to the University of Tulsa reads.  "Most hotels do not monitor individual guest water usage and as a result, millions of gallons of potable water are wasted every year by hotel guests."

The Editor says...
No sane person spends any more time in a hotel shower than is absolutely necessary.  But the EPA is to blame for low-volume shower heads in hotel rooms, which cause the guests to spend more time in the shower.  This results in near-zero water savings.  The amount of water "wasted" by hotel customers cannot be determined without a gross invasion of privacy.  In any event, the hotel guest pays in advance for the privilege of a long hot shower.

The Sasquatch carbon footprints of the sanctimonious environmentalists.  While the stars of former and present-day politics and religion get to burp carbon into the environment, the little guy is about to be spied upon by EPA when in the shower.  Not only does the EPA want to monitor how long hotel guests are spending in the shower, they have a $15,000 grant to create a device to "modify" guests behavior.

Obama's EPA Now Wants to Prevent You From Showering Too Long in Hotels.  On vacation?  Want to relax with a nice long shower in your expensive hotel room?  Well, if Obama's EPA has its way, the President's scolds will be there to harass you if your shower lasts longer than Obama has decreed that you are allowed to.

Obama's EPA Prepares a Crackdown on Long Hotel Showers.  The Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to crack down on shower sneaks.  You know who you are.  You're the type of selfish person who steps into a hotel shower and lingers too long.  Maybe you're trying to get clean.  Maybe you're shaving.  Maybe you enjoy the sensory blast of instant hot water on your skin that isn't going on a home water-heater bill.  The EPA doesn't care about such frivolous things.  Its concern is the amount of water you are "wasting."  Whatever it is, it's too much.

Reclaiming Legislative Power.  The power to make laws rests wholly in Congress — at least that is what the Constitution says.  Yet who makes the "laws" in our federal system today?  Vast amounts of legislative power have been "delegated" to independent federal regulatory agencies like the Federal Communications Commission or to the president or his cabinet secretaries.  The sheer volume of these rules is mind-numbing.  Consider that in 2014, the year that just ended, 75,000 pages of new regulations were adopted by the Executive Branch, either by the Obama administration directly or through independent regulatory agencies.  This is in addition to the myriad executive orders the president gives to his various departments regarding how to administrate federal laws.

Backyard burger and wiener roasts targeted by EPA.  The Environmental Protection Agency has its eyes on pollution from backyard barbecues.  The agency announced that it is funding a University of California project to limit emissions resulting in grease drippings with a special tray to catch them and a "catalytic" filtration system.  The $15,000 project has the "potential for global application," said the school.  The school said that the technology they will study with the EPA grant is intended to reduce air pollution and cut the health hazards to BBQ "pit masters" from propane-fueled cookers.

Couple denied role as foster parents over permits to carry guns.  A Nevada couple were denied their request to serve as foster parents because they have permits to carry guns.  Brian and Valerie Wilson, of Las Vegas, told "Fox & Friends" Sunday that they have always planned to become foster parents and eventually adopt, but have been denied permission to do so because of a state regulation that prohibits the carrying of loaded weapons with foster children.

Obama is Looking into Raising Taxes by Executive Order.  We already knew that President Obama was happy to continue waging war in Libya even after his lawyers told him he needed Congressional approval.  We already knew that he was willing to alter and delay major portions of Obamacare, regardless of the statutory language.  And we already knew that he was eager to indefinitely suspend deportations for millions of illegal immigrant adults — and proactively give them legal work papers, making them eligible for billions in tax credits — despite years of explicitly arguing that he didn't have the authority to do so.

Atlanta-area garbage collector jailed for going to work too early: 7 Online.  A sanitation worker in an Atlanta suburb is behind bars for getting to work too early.  Kevin McGill was sentenced to 30 days in jail for violating a Sandy Springs ordinance that says workers can only haul trash between the hours of 7am and 7pm.  McGill was cited for picking up the trash just after 5am one morning.

Elijah Cummings is Knee Deep in IRS Scandal.  Cleta Mitchell, who is representing True the Vote, has filed an ethics probe against Elijah Cummings on February 6th (2014) with the Office of Congressional Ethics.  Last fall, True the Vote started receiving 8 and 9 page letters from Cummings, claiming he was conducting an investigation of their organization as part of the House Oversight Committee.  One problem.  The House Oversight Committee is only allowed to investigate government agencies.  Going after a private citizen is illegal.  Mitchell wants to find out if Cummings is responsible in part or completely for the harassment of Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote.  After Cummings launched his "investigation", Engelbrecht had her business audited twice, her personal taxes once, two visits from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, a surprise visit from OSHA, seven visits from the FBI.

King v. Burwell Is Much Bigger Than Obamacare.  John Adams, in a 1775 essay referencing the Roman historian Livy and other sources, wrote that a republic was "a nation of laws, not of men."  As recently as fifty years ago, most Americans would have intuitively understood his point and why it was relevant to their lives.  Today, it isn't clear that the President of the United States, the leaders of the Democratic Party, or the members of our "news" media would grasp the meaning of Adams' words, much less that they still matter today.  We will soon discover if the same can be said of the Supreme Court.

Bozell to CPAC: 'Cultural Fascism Has Arrived in America'.  "Cultural fascism has arrived in America," Media Research Center President Brent Bozell said Friday [2/27/2015] in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference.  "Tyranny is knocking at our door," Bozell said.  "Webster defines fascism as 'a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control,'" he said.  "Cultural fascism has arrived in America."

Feds Seeking 'Wearable Alcohol Biosensors' to Track How Much Americans Drink.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is offering up to $300,000 for the creation of bracelets that can track how much Americans drink.  The federal agency issued a challenge on Monday for individuals and businesses to invent a "wearable alcohol biosensor" that shows a person's blood alcohol level in real time.  The government envisions a device that can be worn by Americans "in the course of their daily lives."  "Current technologies for real time monitoring of alcohol consumption, used in criminal justice applications, have performed adequately, but have disadvantages for broader use," the NIH said in a notice announcing the challenge in the Federal Register.  The NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) said it wants a device that can store data on how much a person drinks.

The Editor says...
Oh, I see.  The government wants to monitor our alcohol consumption "in the course of [our] daily lives," using a sensor that we will (all) have to wear, presumably 24/7.  For our own good, of course.

Exposed: The Planned Subjugation of America's Population.  Citizens about to be cast into the shadows is only courtesy of the natural order when the current administration in D.C. operates not on the way its own unsuspecting citizens presume, but on a long term in place, carefully mounted 'Shadow Government'.  It was the 'Shadow Government' that built its own "civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded as the military"; a Shadow Government that gives us a false image as Barack Obama as president when 'Shadow Woman' Valerie Jarrett, for whom not a single vote was cast, is running the show.

Bozell: Left Using IRS, FEC and FCC to End Free Speech.  President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday [2/27/2015] the "radical left" is using government agencies in "a relentless campaign to destroy the last vestiges of freedom in America."

"Caveman" blogger wins right to blog advice about food and fitness without a state license.  North Carolinian Steve Cooksey had gone through an intense personal journey he wanted to share with the world.  He had been obese, diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, and almost keeled over, but emerged from his near-death experience to adopt a simple, "Caveman" or paleo diet of meat, nuts, and veggies along with exercise.  He lost a lot of weight, felt great and healthy, and wanted to share with the world, so he started a blog, wherein he dispensed advice about food and fitness.  Recipes, grocery lists, general advice.  The state of North Carolina declared this illegal "counseling and assessing" without a license provided by the state.  For three years, he has been fighting for the right to blog without a license.

State Says 70-Year-Old Flower Shop Owner Discriminated Against Gay Couple. Here's How She Responded.  In a phone interview with The Daily Signal, Barronelle Stutzman said the decision — and its accompanying fines — will put her flower shop out of business, or worse.  After the fines and legal fees, "There won't be anything left," Stutzman said.  "They want my home, they want my business, they want my personal finances as an example for other people to be quiet."

Judge Rules Against Grandma Florist For Refusing To Service Gay Wedding.  A Washington grandmother and florist of 40 years who refused to service gay weddings because of her faith will now be forced to arrange flowers for gay ceremonies, a judge ruled Wednesday [2/18/2015].  On top of that, the woman, Barronelle Stutzman, will have to pay the legal penalties imposed by the judge as well as attorney's fees.  Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom ruled in a summary judgement that Stutzman violated anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws.

The Editor says...
This serves as a warning:  Democrats can and will use any legislation — even something as innocent as "consumer protection" or "voting rights" or "clean air" laws — against us in the future.  That's why it is important to oppose every plank in the Democrat platform:  There's always something rotten under the candy coating.

The Reckoning.  What is terrifying about government now is not just that Obama has made it a tool of fundamental political transformation, by ignoring the enforcement of laws, overriding statutes through executive orders, and expanding entitlements to create new Democratic dependent constituencies.  Scarier is the new 1984 state.  The IRS is a rogue, but politicized organization that considers your politics in choosing audits.  What exactly is NASA doing?  The Justice Department sees the law as a hindrance to social justice.

When letting your kids out of your sight becomes a crime.  One recent Saturday afternoon, six police officers and five patrol cars came to my home in Silver Spring.  They demanded identification from my husband and entered our home despite not having a warrant to do so.  The reason for this show of force?  We had allowed our children to walk home from a neighborhood park by themselves.  A few hours later, a Montgomery County Child Protective Services (CPS) social worker coerced my husband into signing a "temporary safety plan" for our children by threatening to take the children "right now" — a threat she backed up with a call to the police.

President Barack Obama's Complete List of Historic Firsts.  [For example,]
  •   First President to Triple the Number of Warrantless Wiretaps of U.S. Citizens  (Source: ACLU)
  •   First President to Sign into Law a Bill That Permits the Government to "Hold Anyone Suspected of Being Associated With Terrorism Indefinitely, Without Any Form of Due Process.  No Indictment.  No Judge or Jury.  No Evidence.  No Trial.  Just an Indefinite Jail Sentence"  (NDAA Bill)  (Source: Business Insider)

Dems on FEC accused of taking partisan turn.  Democrats on the federal agency responsible for enforcing campaign finance law are being accused of taking a partisan turn, by voting to give liberal-leaning groups and campaigns a pass for alleged violations — though the agency was tough on conservatives when they were under the microscope.  The claims come as the Federal Election Commission prepares for a hearing on Wednesday [2/11/2015] that will examine, among other matters, the hot-button issue of whether it should regulate election-themed Internet videos — an area that for years has been largely hands-off for the government.

How about banning political discussions over the telephone?  Is there any difference?
Federal Election Commission to Consider Regulating Online Political Speech.  The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is holding a hearing today to receive public feedback on whether it should create new rules regulating political speech, including political speech on the Internet that one commissioner warned could affect blogs, YouTube videos and even websites like the Drudge Report.  The hearing is a response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC last year, which struck down the FEC's previous cap on aggregate campaign contributions from a single donor in an election cycle.

Seattle's Garbage Police Ticketing Those Who Throw Away Food.  Seattle residents, beware:  The garbage police are on the prowl.  If you put too much food — as defined by the Seattle City Council — into your trash, you will be publicly shamed.  And if you keep doing it, you will be fined.  Last September, the city council, in a move the Seattle Times said did not require a public hearing, made formerly voluntary composting and recycling guidelines mandatory for all Seattle residents.  As of January 1, anyone caught with a trash can containing more than 10 percent food or recyclables gets a big red tag stuck on his can and, beginning in July, an extra dollar added to his garbage bill.

Seattle to Fine Residents for Throwing Food in the Garbage.  In an attempt to shame residents of their city, a new Seattle law will levy a fine on homes that do not properly sort food out of their garbage.  Emblazoned with a red citation tag, violators will start to be fined anywhere from $1-$50 in July.  For now, Seattle residents will be publicly shamed by the 'Scarlet Letter'-like tags.

Is The Global War On Terror Being Used To Bring In A Global Government Of Terror?  We see these officials act rather strangely after these supposed "terror attacks."  They seem to conglomerate on cue and ally themselves to condemn the acts — yet not the actors.  In the end, they ask the people to give up their rights while attempting to disarm them for the "global good."  Additionally, they attempt to forge new powers against the very people they are supposed to represent.  Concerning the current Obama administration, terror is nothing more than a created battering ram to upend government sovereignty in order to implement a new totalitarian government and establish a global government.

Are You Too Shy, Very Sad, Have Senior Moments? You Might Be Crazy!.  Pretty much everyone in the country is crazy and needs medication.  There is another advantage beyond supplying Big Pharma with customers.  The left wants doctors to report patients who might be mentally ill and who have gun permits.  This could provide a pathway to gun confiscation though saying that makes me a conspiracy theorist and possibly crazy.  None of these have a scientific basis but they will do a lot of harm unless you're a drug company which stands to benefit.

The overcriminalization of America.  It is surprisingly easy for otherwise law-abiding citizens to run afoul of the overwhelming number of federal and state criminal laws.  This proliferation is sometimes referred to as "overcriminalization," which affects us all but most profoundly harms our disadvantaged citizens. [...] Congress creates, on average, more than 50 new criminal laws each year.  This has translated into more than 4,500 federal criminal laws spread across 27,000 pages of the United States federal code.

Domino's to Obama Admin: Calorie Rule is 'Unworkable'.  The final Obamacare regulation forcing restaurant chains to display calorie information is causing headaches for companies who say it is "impossible to comply" with the new rule.  Domino's Pizza, one of the regulation's most outspoken critics, said the rule from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is vaguely written and carries the possibility of jail time.

Obama Tells States They Can't Block His Immigration Order.  Obama claims his unconstitutional immigration order is unreviewable.  He has also banned public input.  While we are watching the events in Paris, twenty-five states, that have sued to block Barack Obama's executive order allowing millions of illegals to stay in the U.S., have been told by the federal government that it is above judicial review.  The Dictator is not only ignoring Congress, he is ignoring the courts and he is trampling states' rights.  His goal is to destroy the co-equal branches of government and the constitutional protections against a rogue president.  It is not hyperbole to call him a dictator.  He is dictating.

Lamenting Liberty Lost.  The Framers believed in the presumption of liberty, which declares that we are free to make personal choices, and the government cannot interfere with our liberties unless we violate the rights of others.  Stated differently, the federal government cannot interfere with our personal choices by writing any law it wants; it can only regulate behavior or spend money when the Constitution authorizes it to do so.  But for the past 100 years, the federal government has rejected the Madisonian concept that it is limited to the 16 discrete powers the Constitution delegates to it, and has claimed its powers are unlimited, subject only to the express prohibitions in the Constitution.

Ferguson grand juror sues over gag order.  A member of the grand jury that declined to indict the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown asked a federal court Monday [1/5/2015] to remove a lifetime gag order preventing jurors from discussing the case.

The Editor says...
Never before have I heard of a lifetime gag order imposed upon a juror.

Guns Confiscated after Man Seeks Insomnia Treatment.  In the old Soviet and East German police states of the Cold War, police kept secret files on scores of common people.  Information was fed to the police by thousands of clandestine sources — and a seemingly banal or routine interaction with nearly anyone could lead to a surprise "knock on the door" by authorities.  During the late Soviet era, communist leadership moved away from the executions and purges of the Stalin years and began to increasingly rely upon medical professionals to diagnose "enemies of the state" as insane — thus, a routine trip to your doctor could lead to a visit from police.

FBI Agents Pose as Repairmen to Bypass Warrant Process.  This is a creepy story.  The FBI wanted access to a hotel guest's room without a warrant. So agents broke his Internet connection, and then posed as Internet technicians to gain access to his hotel room without a warrant. [...] Basically, the agents snooped around the hotel room, and gathered evidence that they submitted to a magistrate to get a warrant.  Of course, they never told the judge that they had engineered the whole outage and planted the fake technicians.

Supreme Court Erodes Key Check On Government Power.  Briefly, the facts in Heien v. North Carolina are that a North Carolina police officer pulled over Nicholas Heien because one of his car's brake lights was out.  The state's law requires only one light to be working, so the stop was based on a mistake of law.  After Heien was pulled over, he gave consent for the officer to search his car.  The officer found cocaine in the car, then placed Heien under arrest.  Heien later claimed the initial stop was not legal under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The Supreme Court ruled that the mistake for the initial stop, which was a seizure under the Fourth Amendment, was reasonable and therefore lawful.

The Obama administration and race-baiting pundits are paving the way for national policing.  Well America, the "change" you voted for is here.  Six years ago, you voted into office a community organizer who vowed to change America.  That same community organizer, while campaigning, argued for a "civilian national security force."  But how can you create a national force when we already have local agencies?  Easy, you sow distrust in the local cops until the divide is so great, people start clamoring for the feds to come to the rescue.

CPS Threatens Dad: Let Your Kids Play Outside and We'll Take Them Away.  I received an update from the Maryland mom of two who was contacted by Montgomery Country Child Welfare Service in November after she let her kids, ages 6 and 10, play at the park two blocks from home by themselves.  She was cited for allowing a child under age 8 "to be locked or confined in a dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle while the person charged is absent."  The CPS worker decided "confined in a dwelling" was the same thing as "outside in a park."  The higher ups at child services agreed that this was insane, and the case was closed — until this week.

Wisconsin Police Ask Residents To Volunteer For House Gun Search.  In an effort to reduce gun violence, police in Beloit, Wisconsin, have kicked off a new initiative asking residents to volunteer to allow police to search their homes for guns.  "Gun violence is as serious as the Ebola virus is being represented in the media, and we should fight it using the tools that we've learned from our health providers," said Police Chief Norm Jacobs.  Skeptical that people will actually call, Jacobs' hope is that the ones who do will allow the cops to find guns that residents did not even know were there.

Obama Says His Job Is Assuring Equal Protection Under the Law — Really?  When it comes to the great constitutional principle of equal protection under the law in the age of Obama, it is not that there is a black America and a white America.  It is that there are political supporters of the president who get one quality of justice, and political opponents and convenient political scapegoats for whom "justice" is a weapon their government has turned against them.

Fishing without a license in NJ? The game warden has a machine gun, aimed at you.  Why does a New Jersey game warden need an M-14?  Because, shut up.

Should Tour Guides Be Licensed?  When Dan Leger applied for his tour guide's license in Savannah, Georgia, six years ago, he had to strip, give blood and urine samples, detail his sexual history and submit to the dreaded "cough test."  Leger has also had to undergo additional physicals to renew his credentials, per Savannah's ordinance on tour guide licensing.  The city's regulations also require tour guides to pass a background check and a 100-question history test, as well as pay multiple fees.  "This is all simply so you can walk around and tell a story," Leger, who goes by the moniker Savannah Dan, says.  "The city of Savannah shouldn't have the authority to license my free speech."

Crypto Wars II.  There is absolutely no evidence, either statistically or even anecdotally, that criminals are going free because of encryption.  So why are we even discussing the possibility to forcing companies to provide insecure encryption to their users and customers?

How Long Must A Long Train Of Abuses Be?  I say we have been disposed to suffer long enough.  The Founders rose up over less than we are experiencing now.  The Constitution has been overturned in a Stealth Coup that took slightly over a century to achieve.  The current Leftists in Power And Control are merely firing the final shots into it's critically wounded corpse.  How long is long?  You say a century is not long enough a train.  Many of us say it is too long, that it is so long we stand a very good chance of not being able to derail it.  I say the situation is insufferable, intolerable, that it is time to act.

SWAT Team Tasers, Pepper-Sprays Homeschoolers.  A Missouri homeschooling family is suing a sheriff and another officer who forcibly entered their home without a warrant, Tasered the father, pepper-sprayed the mother and put their children in the custody of social service workers.  A court already has ruled that the actions of Sheriff Darren White and Capt. David Glidden of Nodaway County, Missouri, violated the U.S. Constitution, resulting in the dismissal of charges of child endangerment and resisting arrest against the couple, Jason and Laura Hagan, of New Hampton.

This is what a police state looks like:
More Federal Agencies Are Using Undercover Operations.  The federal government has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least 40 agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and even doctors or ministers to ferret out wrongdoing, records and interviews show.  At the Supreme Court, small teams of undercover officers dress as students at large demonstrations outside the courthouse and join the protests to look for suspicious activity, according to officials familiar with the practice.  At the Internal Revenue Service, dozens of undercover agents chase suspected tax evaders worldwide, by posing as tax preparers, accountants drug dealers or yacht buyers and more, court records show.

Navy veteran fired for posting Homeland Security vehicles on Facebook.  A Facebooking employee of Chesterfield's Drury Plaza Hotel is out of a job after curiosity over dozens of Homeland Security vehicles in the hotel garage got the best of him.  His photos on social media got him fired.  Mark Paffrath saw the collection of vehicles last Thursday [11/13/2014], and it certainly got his attention.  "It was very odd that there was a bunch of Homeland Security cars there and I was shocked and took a picture and a short video and posted them to Facebook with the status update, 'What are these vehicles doing here?  I wonder if it has anything to do with Ferguson?'"

Redskins War Continues as Bill Introduced to Revoke Team's Tax-Exempt Status.  Congress coming back into session after the long campaign break means quick legislative action — against the Washington Redskins.  D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) introduced on Wednesday [11/12/2014] a bill to amend section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code to "prohibit tax-exempt status for professional sports leagues that promote or allow a member club or franchise connected to that league to benefit from the Washington football team name, a derogatory term that has officially been found offensive."  It's companion legislation to a bill filed in the upper chamber by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

The Editor says...
It's a sad and dangerous day when the government can declare specific terms to be "officially" offensive.

House Committee Demands Answers on Truthy Project.  The Truthy project, being conducted by researchers at Indiana University, is under investigation for targeting political commentary on Twitter.  The project monitors "suspicious memes," "false and misleading ideas," and "hate speech," with a goal of one day being able to automatically detect false rumors on the social media platform.  The web service has been used to track tweets using hashtags such as #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter), and was successful in getting accounts associated with conservatives suspended, according to a 2012 book co-authored by the project's lead researcher, Filippo Menczer, a professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University.

Obama's FEC Wants to Criminalize Political YouTube Videos.  What is it with this administration and YouTube videos anyway?  Obama and Hillary blamed Al Qaeda terrorism on a YouTube video and sent a guy to jail over it.  Now Obama wants to ban political YouTube videos.

Dems on FEC move to regulate Internet campaigns, blogs, Drudge.  In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.  Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC's rules.  "A reexamination of the commission's approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due," she said.

FEC Democrat pushes for controls on Internet political speech.  The FEC deadlocked in a crucial Internet campaign speech vote announced Friday, leaving online political blogging and videos free of many of the reporting requirements attached to broadcast ads — for now.  While all three GOP-backed members voted against restrictions, they were opposed by the three Democratic-backed members, including FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel, who said she will lead a push next year to try to come up with new rules government political speech on the Internet.

Democrats Push for New Heavy Regulations on Internet Postings, Drudge, and Blogs.  As the media prepared to vacate newsrooms for the weekend, Democrats snuck in a last minute proposal that the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) be allowed to heavily regulate political content on internet sites such as Youtube, blogs, and the Drudge Report.  Obama FEC Vice Chairperson Ann M. Ravel announced late on Friday that the FEC was preparing new regulations to give itself control over videos, Internet-based political campaigns, and other content on the web.  She insisted that, "A reexamination of the commission's approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long overdue."

A Government Bureau Is The Nearest Thing To Eternal Life We Will Ever See On This Earth.  It is no secret that government today is far overreaching and intrusive.  This past year alone we have seen privacy breaches by the NSA, the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, and the disastrous consequences of Obamacare on small businesses and families.  Obama has even said, "I can take steps without legislation."  This self-righteous statement underscores that he has no respect for the Constitution — a document meant to protect the rights of all Americans and prevent our government and our leaders from trampling on those rights.  Unfortunately, today we have a President and federal officials who are no longer accountable to the American people because they consider themselves to be above the law.

The feds' 'truthy' new chill on free speech.  Earlier this week, the federal government's National Science Foundation (NSF), an entity created to encourage the study of science — encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities — announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media.  The NSF dubbed the project "Truthy," a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert's invention and hilarious use of the word "truthiness."  The reference to Mr. Colbert is cute, and he is a very funny guy, but when the feds get into the business of monitoring speech, it is surely no joke; it is a nightmare.  It is part of the Obama administration's persistent efforts to monitor communication and scrutinize the expressions of opinions it hates and fears.

Houston's 'sermon-gate' and the abuse of subpoenas.  Friday [10/17/2014], the City of Houston filed a revised subpoena removing the word "sermons" among the documents being demanded, but leaving the word "speeches."  Legally, this changes nothing.  It is a distinction without a difference.  City Attorney Feldman apparently didn't bother to check a dictionary (any dictionary will do) which describes "sermons" as "religious discourse or speech."  Pastors are therefore still required to turn over to the city their sermons.  Feldman is fooling no one.

California forces Churches to pay for abortions, immediately.  How soon will Leftists take the next step and force doctors and nurses to participate in abortions or face losing their license?

Houston to pastors: Forget your sermons, now we want your speeches.  Five Christian pastors will no longer have to turn their sermons over to attorneys for the city of Houston.  Instead, they will be forced to turn over their speeches related to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).  I don't mean to point out the obvious here — but what do those attorneys think a sermon is?  It's a speech.

The Houston Mayor Who Tried Harassing Pastors Says She's the Real Victim.  [I]t's tough being Houston mayor Annise Parker:  "One word in a very long legal document which I know nothing about and would never have read," Parker said on Thursday /10z16z2014=, "and I'm vilified coast-to-coast."  That's Parker's crack defense of the subpoenas, issued to five local pastors, that demand "all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to [Houston Equal Rights Ordinance], the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession."  Among other demands:  communications between the pastors and their congregants (including Facebook messages and text messages) and between the pastors and their attorneys.  First Amendment protections, attorney-client privilege — Parker's legal team has run roughshod over all sorts of rights.

Bozell: Network Censorship of Houston Mayor's Subpoenas Part of Left's 'Relentless Assault on Free Speech'.  According to a new analysis by MRC Culture, over the past two days the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have completely censored liberal Houston Mayor Annise Parker's attempt to subpoena sermons of five pastors critical of the mayor, homosexuality, gender identity, or the city's new "equal rights" ordinance.  MRC President Brent Bozell released a statement in response to the networks' refusal to cover Parker's brazen attack on religious freedom and free speech:  "When the government mandates what a pastor can or cannot say, and criminalizes preaching the Bible, we're no different than Red China. [...]"

Texas Attorney General tells Houston city hall: Stop bullying Christians.  Stop bullying people of faith.  That's the bottom line of a harshly-worded letter written by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to Houston City Attorney David Feldman.  Feldman's office sent subpoenas to five Houston pastors last month demanding that they turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality and gender identity issues.  They also wanted sermons or correspondence that referenced Annise Parker, the city's first openly lesbian mayor.

Houston Mayor Backs Off From Subpoenas to Pastors.  Houston Mayor Annise Parker has backed down from the subpoenas the City of Houston issued to several area pastors, Breitbart Texas has learned.  Breitbart Texas reported earlier about the controversy, stemming from litigation challenging the city's anti-discrimination ordinance and subpoenas asking the pastors for the content of their sermons, speeches and communications with church members.  Texas Senator Ted Cruz weighed in, firmly supporting the pastors in their efforts to fight the subpoenas, while Mayor Parker initially remained adamant that the city had the right to request those records.  Despite posting comments on Twitter just hours before that seemed to indicate she would continue to fight this issue, she told a Houston radio station that she had changed her mind.

City officials try to distance themselves from sermon subpoenas.  Amid outrage from religious groups, Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney David Feldman on Wednesday [10/15/2014] appeared to back off a subpoena request for the sermons of certain ministers opposed to the city's equal rights ordinance, with Parker calling the request "overly broad."  The subpoena, handed down to five pastors and religious leaders last month, came to light this week when attorneys for the group of pastors filed a motion to quash the request.  The pastors are closely tied to Christian conservative activists who sued the Parker administration this summer when the city announced the group had failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a repeal referendum.  The subpoenas were issued as part of the discovery phase in that case, which will be heard in district court in January.

Pastors to mayor: Don't mess with Texas pulpits.  Christians across the nation are mobilizing to defend a group of Houston pastors who were ordered by the city to turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity issues or Houston mayor.  Their message is simple — Don't Mess with Texas Preachers.  Dave Welch, the executive director of the Texas Pastor Council, is one of the five ministers who received a subpoena.  He said he will not be intimidated by Annise Parker, who is the city's first openly lesbian mayor, nor will he comply with the city's demands.  "My answer to that is — bring it on," he said.

Twitter Blocks Campaign To Protect Pastors From Having To Hand Over Their Sermons and Emails To The Government.  Twitter blocked a petition campaign Wednesday to protect Houston pastors from having to hand over to the city government all of their sermons and personal emails dealing with the issue of homosexuality.  The Christian organization Faith Driven Consumer's Twitter hashtag campaign #HoustonWeHaveAProblem was censored by Twitter minutes after launching so that users could not Tweet the petition and a warning was placed on Twitter-based links to the petition website.  The group's previous campaign #iStandWithPhil defending Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson was also blocked by Twitter at one time.

Houston's Mayor Throws Out Citizens' Petition, Goes after Local Pastors.  'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."  Unless you're in Houston, Texas, in which case you had best render everything to Mayor Annise Parker — or else.  Earlier this year Parker, a Democrat, spearheaded the passage of an "Equal Rights Ordinance" (ERO) that added "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the city's non-discrimination provision, which includes, among other things, "public accommodations" — for example, restrooms.  Citizens, among them church leaders, balked.  They launched a referendum petition that, with the requisite 17,269 signatures, would require the city council to repeal the ERO, or to put the measure up for a vote.  They obtained 55,000 signatures.  The city secretary, who has sole responsibility for certifying such petitions, signed off.

Houston's Mayor Backtracks on Church Subpoenas, Tosses Her Own Lawyers Under the Bus.  Houston's power-mad Mayor Annise Parker has backtracked on those subpoenas that she had the city issue to five city pastors, at taxpayer expense.  The mayor made the move as Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sent a letter to Parker asking that she withdraw the subpoenas "immediately."

Houston Demands Oversight Of Sermons.  Officials with the city of Houston, Texas, who are defending a controversial ordinance that would allow men to use women's restrooms now have demanded to see the sermons preached by several area pastors.  The recent move came in a subpoena from the city to pastors for copies of their sermons and other communications in the city's legal defense of a "non-discrimination" measure that allows "gender-confused" people to use public restrooms designated for the opposite sex.  A lawsuit challenging Houston's move alleges the city violated its own charter in its adoption of the Equal Rights Ordinance, which in May designated homosexuals and transgender persons as a protected class.

Even in Houston, Texas, You Will Be Made to Care.  Houston, TX is not thought of as a bastion of liberalism, but it has gone quite rapidly off the deep end.  Earlier this year, Houston's City Council voted on non-discrimination legislation that provides equal protection to the entire swath of the BLTGCZQDLMAO alphabet silliness.  In short, if a guy decides he's a girl and wants to go hang out in the girl's bathroom, it is a-okay in Houston, or it would be except the law will not be enforced pending a court challenge.

Big Brother in Texas: Houston Demands Pastors Turn Over Sermon Notes, Private Communications.  After decades of warnings on the right about liberal politicians threatening religious liberty, a Democratic mayor in Texas is now subpoenaing pastors to turn over their sermons.  Houston city officials are demanding that city pastors opposed to Houston's "Bathroom Bill" — "a law that allows members of the opposite sex into each other's restrooms" — turn over sermon notes and "communications with church members" to ascertain which pastors have (or haven't) "opposed or criticized the city."

Commission says Christian business owners should leave religion at home.  The Human Rights Commission in Lexington, Kentucky has a chilling message for Christian business owners who refuse service to LGBT organizations:  leave your religion at home.  "It would be safe to do so, yes," Executive Director Raymond Sexton told me.  "Or in this case you can find yourself two years down the road and you're still involved in a legal battle because you did not do so."  On Tuesday [10/7/2014], a Lexington Human Rights Commission hearing examiner issued a recommended ruling that the owner of a T-shirt company violated a local ordinance against sexual-orientation discrimination.

Judge Wants To Force A Printer To Make Pro-Gay T-Shirts.  An administrative law judge has ruled that a Kentucky printer's refusal to print gay pride t-shirts "constitutes unlawful discrimination," and, by extension, that printers cannot refuse to print materials promoting ideas they disagree with.

The Empire of Progressive Poverty.  Western resources are not innately centralized, which makes seizing control of them and routing them through a central point more difficult.  This has to be done legislatively and has to be justified by a universal benefit or a crisis.  One example of this is FDR's Agricultural Adjustment Act which allowed the government to control wheat grown on a farm for private consumption.  Another is nationalizing health care by routing the commercial activity of medicine through government organs.  Both services and commodities can be controlled in this manner.  But the larger challenge is that the West is rich and a water empire depends on scarcity.  Central control is much less potent if there is plenty of the commodity or service available.  It's only when shortages are created in bread or health care that the system really wields power by rationing a scarce commodity or service.

Ebola Patient's Family Ordered To Stay Inside After Trying to Leave.  "There were violations of the request to not leave their premises," Dallas judge Clay Jenkins said of the breach that prompted the Texas Department of State Health Services to order the quarantine.  [Thomas Eric ] Duncan was staying with family members in Dallas when he became ill and is now confined to an isolation unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.  His family members, including five school age children, were told to remain at home.

The Editor says...
If it's just a "request," what is the "violation" if one ignores the request?

Forest Service says media needs photography permit in wilderness areas, alarming First Amendment advocates.  The U.S. Forest Service has tightened restrictions on media coverage in vast swaths of the country's wild lands, requiring reporters to pay for a permit and get permission before shooting a photo or video in federally designated wilderness areas.  Under rules being finalized in November, a reporter who met a biologist, wildlife advocate or whistleblower alleging neglect in 36 million acres of wilderness would first need special approval to shoot photos or videos even on an iPhone.  Permits cost up to $1,500, says Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers, and reporters who don't get a permit could face fines up to $1,000.

The Editor says...
When the government prohibits photography in a large but specific area, it is reasonable to infer that the government is currently working on something, or is about to do something they don't want to publicize.  Like building a FEMA camp, or a missile silo, or something more sinister than just blocking the production of oil — although oil drilling is also out of the question if the area is locked down as tight as they seem to prefer.

"What do you call a man who claims voters' choices have no place in government?"
Brown's Final Nail In Prop. 187 Is Really A Blow To California's Voters.  [I]n 1994, millions of California's voters, by a margin of 59% to 41%, voted in favor of denying "free" welfare, education and other benefits to illegal immigrants on the clear logic that a burglar who breaks into someone else's home doesn't have the right to eat the owner's food.  It was a legitimate decision for a people to make, given that in any democratic system, the participants have the right to control the purse.  But [Governor] Brown's statements and those of his political allies, including those in the press, suggest an imperial contempt for the will of California's voters.

White House May Check Tourists Blocks Away.  As part of the screening, the Secret Service would establish several checkpoints a few blocks from the White House, the officials said. The screening would likely be limited to bag checks and not include measures taken at airports by the Transportation Security Administration, which include metal detectors and body scans. Along with giving Secret Service agents and uniformed Secret Service officers a chance to check for explosives and weapons in bags, the screening would allow them to interact with the visitors and try to identify those who may pose a problem, the officials said.

The Editor says...
The Washington DC version of Checkpoint Charlie won't be anything like the airport screening process — at first!  No, these things have to be done in small increments — small enough so that anyone who objects to such tiny changes can be labeled a paranoid bitter-clinger tea-party bigot.

Silent Coup.  [Scroll down]  Two levels of government would be permitted "to criminalize and censor all issue advocacy that mentions or refers to a candidate under the argument that it supports or opposes that candidate."  Recall that Citizens United, which the Udall amendment is supposed to address, was not about Tea Party Astroturf.  It was about the FEC's attempt to censor a film critical of her royal highness [Hillary Clinton]. The mandarins at the FEC and IRS, as well as their counterparts at the state level, would be responsible for distinguishing political communications that "support or oppose" a candidate from those that do not.  They would penalize the individuals and groups they subjectively deem violators of administrative diktat.  If this is not about "limiting free speech," what is?

An Open Letter To My Friends In Law Enforcement.  Let me just be blunt: ever since Ronald Reagan left office, both Republican and Democrat presidential administrations — along with both Republican and Democrat congresses — in Washington, D.C. are turning the United States of America into a giant Police State. [...] The totalitarian regimes of history could not have succeeded in implementing their enslavements over the people without the submission and cooperation of the citizen-policemen within their countries.  Nor can a Police State be constructed in America without your submission and cooperation.  My concern is, the Police State is already being constructed in this country; and most of you don't seem to even realize it — or don't want to realize it.  In fact, some of you become angry with people like me when we try to warn the American people about it.  This shows that you have already become acclimated and accepting of it.  Here is the problem:  in today's America, virtually every police agency and sheriff's office is being dictated to, intimidated by, and bribed by the federal government.  Much of the policies you operate under — and training you receive — comes straight out of the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Justice Department.

Government to Track 'False, Misleading' Ideas on Twitter.  One G-man's "social pollution" is another free man's First Amendment right.  The very term sounds like something out of a 1920s Italian fascist tract.  And why is the federal government even deciding which ideas are "false and misleading," let alone tracking them?  According to the project's grant, the service "could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate."  In 2004, dissent was "the highest form of patriotism."  A decade later, it's called "subversive propaganda" and categorized as the lowest form of treason.

Feds Creating Database to Track 'Hate Speech' on Twitter.  The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track "misinformation" and hate speech on Twitter.  The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor "suspicious memes" and what it considers "false and misleading ideas," with a major focus on political activity online.  The "Truthy" database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to "detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution."  The university has received $919,917 so far for the project.

Anything You Don't Say Will Be Used Against You.  In People v. Tom, California's Supreme Court justices upheld the prosecution of a man based on the district attorney's argument that the defendant's silence was evidence of guilt.  The cop shows make these matters seem simple.  A person is arrested.  The officer reads the suspect the Miranda wording.  Suspects can then clam up and wait for an attorney.  In real life, though, these matters can become more complicated and legalistic.

The Wane of Government by Consent.  From local politicians legally looting their communities to federal government that uses the IRS as a weapon of politics, there are real objections to be made.  In practical terms, we have a government that interferes with our lives and livelihoods far more than did the one our Founders threw off.  Which is not a call for revolution — it's a call for rebalancing, for reestablishing exactly who works for whom.

Liberty vs. License.  As unions decline, occupational-licensing requirements are on the rise, facilitated by back-scratching among industries and legislators both state and federal.  In 2012, the Institute for Justice (IJ) released a study identifying 102 occupations that require licensing somewhere in the nation and in which practitioners made less than the national average income:  EMT and cosmetologist are on the list, as are preschool teacher, vegetation-pesticide handler, florist, and a host of others.  According to economists Morris Kleiner and Alan Krueger, just over one-third of jobs in the United States today require some sort of licensing.

Who rules America?  A shattering new study by two political science professors has found that ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country.  The analysts found that rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups largely shape policy outcomes in the United States.  This study should be a loud wake-up call to the vast majority of Americans who are bypassed by their government.  To reclaim the promise of American democracy, ordinary citizens must act positively to change the relationship between the people and our government[.]

Connecticut Supreme Court Says State Cops Can Detain You Simply For Being In The Vicinity Of Someone They're Arresting.  Gideon, the pseudonymous public defender who blogs at A Public Defender, has a thorough rundown of a very disturbing ruling recently issued by the Connecticut Supreme Court. It involves every Connecticut citizens' civil liberties, which have now been thrown under a bus bearing the name "officer safety."  The court's decision basically makes everyone a suspect, even if they're suspected of nothing else than being in the relative proximity of someone a police officer suspects of committing a crime, or someone simply "matching the description."

Obama's FBI to hire firm to rate 'positive and 'negative' stories about the agency.  The FBI is hiring a contractor to grade news stories about the agency as "positive" "neutral" or "negative," but the agency won't say why officials need the information or what they plan to do with it.  FBI officials wouldn't even reveal how they will go about assigning the grades, which were laid out in a recent contract solicitation.  The contract tells potential bidders to "use their judgment" in scoring news coverage as part of a new "daily news briefing" service the agency is seeking as part of a contract that could last up to five years.

The IRS's God Complex.  Is the Internal Revenue Service a threat to religious liberty?  As the IRS continues to come under well-aimed fire for harassing conservative groups, on Friday [8/1/2014] it secured a final court order formalizing what amounts to a secret agreement to monitor the pulpits of ill-favored churches.  The serious danger, as former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams told Fox News, is that the IRS will start treating "theology as politics," and regulate it accordingly.  Lovers of liberty should be very concerned.

Obama's Rogue IRS Strikes Deal With Atheists To Monitor Churches — But Not Mosques.  Government's assault on religious liberty has hit a new low as the IRS settles with atheists by promising to monitor sermons for mentions of the right to life and traditional marriage.  A lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) asserted that the Internal Revenue Service ignored complaints about churches' violating their tax-exempt status by routinely promoting political issues, legislation and candidates from the pulpit.  The FFRF has temporarily withdrawn its suit in return for the IRS's agreement to monitor sermons and homilies for proscribed speech that the foundation believes includes things like condemnation of gay marriage and criticism of ObamaCare for its contraceptive mandate.

IRS Strikes Deal With Atheists To Monitor Churches.  Government's assault on religious liberty has hit a new low as the IRS settles with atheists by promising to monitor sermons for mentions of the right to life and traditional marriage.

Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown.  When it comes to environmental regulation compliance, the Department of Homeland Security isn't playing — as evidenced by a recent federal raid of a South Carolinian's home to confiscate a Land Rover that violated EPA emission rules.  Jennifer Brinkley said she saw a line of law enforcement vehicles approaching her home and wondered what was wrong, the local WBTV reported.  Homeland Security agents then went to her 1985 Land Rover Defender and lifted the hood.  "They popped up the hood and looked at the Vehicle Identification Number and compared it with a piece of paper and then took the car with them," she said, WBTV reported.

Homeland Security Seizing Cars That Violate EPA Standards.  Jennifer Brinkley of North Carolina says when saw a line of law enforcement vehicles coming up her driveway earlier this month she didn't know what to think.  "I haven't done anything wrong."  According to WBTV, the Homeland Security agents were not there to take her away, they were looking for illegally imported Land Rover Defenders.

IRS Strikes Deal with Militant Atheists to Monitor What Your Pastor Says In Your Church.  Democrats routinely campaign from the very pulpit of majority black churches.  It happens every single election cycle.  Pastors in those churches regularly push parishioners to support the Democratic Party, to support specific government social policy, and even specific candidates for office.  The Freedom From Religion Foundation has not sued to get the IRS to investigate any of that.  Its targets are churches that align with the more conservative Pulpit Freedom Sunday movement.  That tells us what the foundation and the IRS will really be investigating.  The IRS will be monitoring churches to listen for pastors supporting the right to life, the sanctity and traditional definition of marriage, traditional values in general, perhaps even patriotism.  Those are the churches, based on the angle that the foundation lawsuit takes, that will potentially find themselves under IRS investigation.

IRS Strikes Deal With Atheist Group to Monitor Content of Sermons.  Alliance Defending Freedom asked the Internal Revenue Service Tuesday [7/29/2014] to release all documents related to its recent decision to settle a lawsuit with an atheist group that claims the IRS has adopted new protocols and procedures for the investigation of churches.  Pastor Holding Bible ca. 2000 [A.D.] submitted the Freedom of Information Act request after learning of the IRS's agreement with Freedom From Religion Foundation in a press release the group issued on July 17 concerning its lawsuit Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Koskinen, which accused the agency of failing to investigate churches the way the atheist group would like.

A Government Feared and Distrusted.  [Scroll down]  The proposed regulations are so onerous, they could literally make farming of some areas impossible.  But if you don't comply, the EPA could label you a "polluter" whose wages should be garnished.  Case example:  the agency has threatened fines of up to $75,000 per day on Wyoming homeowner Andy Johnson.  He built a pond on his rural property.  Think twice before you build that koi pond in your own backyard — or collect rain water on your property, like Gary Harrington, an Oregonian now serving a 30-day sentence for violating water regulations.  An encyclopedia would be required to list all the examples of executive and governmental agency overreach.  But note the theme:  the examples above are violations of Americans trust by non-elected governmental agencies.  You, Joe Average, have no say in what is decreed.  You are not represented when thousands of regulations are enacted.

Terror watchlist can include dead, acquitted suspects.  Federal rules for adding someone to the government's terrorist watchlist are broad enough to include people who are dead or have been acquitted in court of terrorism charges, according to a government document that emerged on Wednesday [7/23/2014].  A 166-page guidance for the government database that includes the "no-fly list" and other lists declared that agents do not require "concrete facts" or "irrefutable evidence" that someone is a terrorist.  Instead, the system requires officials have a "reasonable suspicion" that someone could be connected to terrorist activity, which can include "violent acts" that could harm people or property and "intimidation or coercion" that affects the government or public.

Passionate Farmer Takes On Her Government Harassers.  With her life's dream of being a small family farmer in Virginia, Martha Boneta obtained 64 acres in Fauquier County, Va in 2006 to raise vegetables, herbs, raw honey, eggs, and host small animals.  Little did she know that a birthday party with eight ten-year old girls would trigger zealous county regulators who saw the party as an event needing special exception permits and required a hearing that would impose fees.  Thinking she had all the right commercial permits and licenses, Boneta was still threatened with $5,000 per day fines despite Virginia being a right to farm state, where local governments are considered unable to use zoning laws to bring nuisance suits for customary farm operations.

The Police State we've all feared is already here.  It would make complete sense if one was attempting to create a police state, first disarm the civilian population through crushing legislation and regulations and during that same time, proceed to arm as many different government agencies that were not previously armed before, using "false flag" operations to create public outrage against privately owned weapons and the immediate need to control them, or even outlaw private weapon ownership completely with an executive order.  What lies in store for us in the near future, if the EPA catches you polluting dear mother earth, or contributing to global warming, will they whip-out their sub-machine guns and blow you away for that?  Why on earth would the USDA or the EPA need to be armed at all?  What's really funny, is the fact that so-called "liberals" are leading the charge to curtail as much of our personal freedoms as possible by "Big- government" intervention.  I'd say that the "police state" we've all feared, but never thought would happen in America, is already here!

Federal agents swarm Livingston, Ill..  Homeland security, the US Customs and Border Patrol and other police agencies swarmed Livingston, Illinois.  They all parked in the field of a grade school.  The peacefulness of the town of 850 was broken by all the excitement.  The law officers would not comment about their operation, even to the school superintendent and they were using the school district's land.

Rep. Campbell: Government, IRS, EPA Are 'The Police State'.  Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) called the government, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "the police state" at a Financial Services Committee hearing at the Capitol on Thursday [7/10/2014].  At the July 10 hearing, Legislation to Reform the Federal Reserve on Its 100-year Anniversary, the Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act (HR 5018) was discussed, legislation which would require "the Federal Reserve to provide the Congress with a clear rule to describe the course of monetary policy."  The act would also require the Fed to conduct cost-benefit analysis, require transparency on bank stress tests and international financial regulatory negotiations, and would order the Fed to disclose the salaries of highly paid employees.

Advisor: Obama, NSA use internet to silence critics like Tea Party.  The Obama administration is expanding its online data search of Americans to find potential civil unrest — like the 2010 Tea Party movement — and squash it before they take root, a prominent financial advisor has warned clients.  David John Marotta compared the administration's efforts to those used by former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover against his critics and 1960s activists.  Targeting activists isn't anything new.  J. Edgar Hoover made it his life's work.  What has changed is the vigor with which the government has assumed its own activism against certain groups, he said.

The Age of Mafia Government: People Wind Up Mysteriously Dead.  The ultimate way to earn power over other people is to threaten not just their livelihood, but also their lives, and the lives of those they love.  On that note, perhaps it's appropriate to mention that the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of Education each have their own SWAT teams. [...] When black-helmeted men circle your home, break down your door, throw your children from their sleeping beds onto the dew-ridden lawn, and shoot you 22 times because some meathead mistook your house for a drug dealer's, it's clear government has gone from protecting you from threats to becoming a threat itself.

House Leaders Question $461 Million Training Center.  The Foreign Affairs Security Training Center, years in the making, would consolidate similar training operations in one place.  To be built on 1,500 acres of public land that was home to the Fort Pickett Army National Guard in Blackstone, Va., the security training center will look and feel like a real U.S. embassy surrounded by urban-style streets, buildings, and facades, State Department officials announced in April.  Some 10,000 students per year will practice shooting on firing ranges, driving at high speeds on race tracks, and detecting improvised explosive devices.

The Editor says...
I suspect they're training for house-to-house urban combat against us!

America's expanding police state.  Spying is one thing, but control is, in fact, key.  During the Obama administration, most of us have grown concerned about the massive buy-up of ammunition of various federal agencies.  The U.S. Postal Service, the Department of Agriculture, the Commerce Department and even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among so many other agencies, have acquired billions of rounds of ammunition.  In an article for Newsmax, Mrs. Chumley spoke with Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, who asked a telling question:  "Why exactly does a weather service need ammunition?

The Federal Octopus.  [Scroll down]  In pre-Obama times, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had a necessary and narrowly defined mission:  to protect individual achievement from improper infringement.  But under Obama it too is now not a disinterested government agency but an arm of the White House, which can be enlisted in the furtherance of a larger social agenda.  Most recently it waded into the controversy over the name of the Washington Redskins by rescinding the football franchise's trademark rights to its name — on the basis, apparently, that the president finds that name hurtful to Native Americans.

Has the Dept. of Homeland Security become America's standing army?  VIPR task forces, comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detection officers and explosive detection canine teams have laid the groundwork for the government's effort to secure so-called "soft" targets such as malls, stadiums, bridges, etc.  Some security experts predict that checkpoints and screening stations will eventually be established at all soft targets, such as department stores, restaurants, and schools.  DHS' Operation Shield, a program which seeks to check up on security protocols around the country with unannounced visits, conducted a surprise security exercise at the Social Security Administration building in Leesburg, Fla., when they subjected people who went to pick up their checks to random ID checks by federal agents armed with semi-automatic weapons.

Panel: Baker must make cakes for gay weddings.  Colorado's Civil Rights Commission on Friday ordered a baker to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding his religious objections to the practice did not trump the state's anti-discrimination statutes.

Make Them Bake Cake!.  The Colorado's Civil Rights Commission has ordered a suburban Denver baker named Jack Phillips to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding that his religious objections do not supersede the state's anti-discrimination statutes.  Because if the Constitution should be subordinate to anything it's the local thought police and nuptial pastries.

Inside the Ring: Directive outlines Obama's plan to use the military against citizens.  A 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that envisions the Obama administration's potential use of military force against Americans.  The directive contains noncontroversial provisions on support to civilian fire and emergency services, special events and the domestic use of the Army Corps of Engineers.  The troubling aspect of the directive outlines presidential authority for the use of military arms and forces, including unarmed drones, in operations against domestic unrest.  "This appears to be the latest step in the administration's decision to use force within the United States against its citizens," said a defense official opposed to the directive.

Police Militarization, Abuses of Power, and the Road to Impeachment.  Never in the history of this country have we been so weakened and polarized by what many view as deliberate government policy. Now anti-gunners in the U.S. Congress, the Obama administration, and legislatures across the country are seeking to exploit the Newtown tragedy to promote their "gun control" agenda that envisions federal, universal background checks on gun purchases, and that could lead to gun registration and confiscation.  At the same time, the increasing militarization of law enforcement, most visibly demonstrated by the growing use of massive, SWAT-type raids on businesses and individuals, sometimes with federal involvement or authorization, is heightening concerns that this country is moving toward a police state.

What's behind the national ammo shortage?  It's a question many hunters and gun enthusiasts across the country have been asking for months:  Where's the ammo?  Subsistence hunters in Alaska usually spend this time of year preparing for the return of seals and migratory birds to the Bering Straits region.  But this year many are preoccupied by the state-wide shortage of .22-caliber shells, one of the most popular and common types of ammunition in the world.

ObamaCare vs. religion: Why Media Research Center has filed suit against the government.  In its attempt to broaden the notion of a "right to health care," the Obama administration has shrunk our rights to practice our religion.  In requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, the government has trampled on people who believe artificial contraception to be wrong as a matter of morality and ethics.  The Media Research Center has filed a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the HHS mandate.  This lawsuit is about religious freedom and the conscience rights of individuals to operate their enterprises free from government coercion, reprisal, or punishment.

When baloney inspections go bad, you've got to be prepared!
Dept of Agriculture Orders Submachine Guns with 30 Round Magazines.  A May 7th solicitation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks "the commercial acquisition of submachine guns [in] .40 Cal. S&W."  According to the solicitation, the Dept. of Agriculture wants the guns to have an "ambidextrous safety, semiautomatic or 2 round [bursts] trigger group, Tritium night sights front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore group) and scope (top rear), stock collapsible or folding," and a "30 rd. capacity" magazine.

The Fine Print Everyone is Missing on the New USDA Ballistic Vests Order....  The 6 pouch and tactical vest requirement description on this USDA quote confirm that these are ASSAULT vests.  They're what troops wear in an attack evolution.  This is a full military-styled kit, not designed for typical defensive security work.

Update:
DOJ to Release Federal Weapon Count for First Time in 6 Years.  For the first time in six years, the Justice Department is taking inventory of the guns owned by the various federal agencies and will report that number, as well as the number of agents who "carry guns and have the authority to make arrests."  According to The Hill, this move is in response to "conservative and libertarian complaints about an excessively gun-happy government."  This announcement comes less than two weeks after a Breitbart News report about the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) order of submachine guns with 30-round magazines.

How am I to know what's "technically secret?"
Obama Policy Bans Employee Use of Leaked Material.  The Obama administration is clamping down on a technique that government officials have long used to join in public discussions of well-known but technically still-secret information:  citing news reports based on unauthorized disclosures.  A new pre-publication review policy for the Office of Director of National Intelligence says the agency's current and former employees and contractors may not cite news reports based on leaks in their speeches, opinion articles, books, term papers or other unofficial writings.

First Amendment's worst enemies are in nation's capital.  [Scroll down]  The Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard reported Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee Goodman's warning that "there are impulses in the government every day to second-guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers."  There have already been several proposals before the FEC to regulate conservative media outlets, Goodman said.  The proposals were defeated, but only because the FEC is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.  The Democrats voted for the proposals.

FEC chairman warns agency's desire to regulate media 'alive and well'.  The chairman of the Federal Election Commission warned Wednesday that officials at the agency want to start regulating the media, despite a longstanding congressional ban on doing so.  "The impulse to regulate the media within the FEC is alive and well," Chairman Lee E. Goodman told FoxNews.com in an interview.  Goodman pointed to several recent decisions and developments that stoke concerns about the commission — which is supposed to regulate money in federal elections — sticking its nose in the affairs of the press.

FEC chair warns that conservative media like Drudge Report and Sean Hannity face regulation — like PACs.  Government officials, reacting to the growing voice of conservative news outlets, especially on the internet, are angling to curtail the media's exemption from federal election laws governing political organizations, a potentially chilling intervention that the chairman of the Federal Election Commission is vowing to fight.  "I think that there are impulses in the government every day to second guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers," warned Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman in an interview.  "The right has begun to break the left's media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and internet communications," he added.

FEC Chairman Warns Conservative Media Could Be Regulated Like PACs.  As conservative media grows, the head of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) is warning that he thinks liberals will look for ways to regulate conservative news outlets just like they do political PACs.  Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman is vowing to fight back against such regulations by putting a stop to efforts to undermine the media's exemptions from federal election laws.

FEC chair warns that conservative media like Drudge Report and Sean Hannity face regulation — like PACs.  Government officials, reacting to the growing voice of conservative news outlets, especially on the internet, are angling to curtail the media's exemption from federal election laws governing political organizations, a potentially chilling intervention that the chairman of the Federal Election Commission is vowing to fight.

Virginia proposal would limit size of gatherings at private homes.  A plan to ban "frequent and large gatherings at neighborhood homes" is a lawsuit waiting to happen, a Fairfax County supervisor predicts.  Officials will get an idea Wednesday when public-comment hearings begin in Virginia's most populous county.  "I believe the county is risking a lawsuit and/or a Constitution challenge by interfering with peoples' right to assemble," Supervisor Pat Herrity said in a statement.

Can Your County Shut Down Home Bible Studies? Mine Is.  I never imagined when I agreed to host a Bible study in my home that such an action may one day be a violation of law.  Yet that's exactly what my very own Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is prepared to do right here in Virginia.

Federal Regulators Could Be Empowered To Enter Your Property To Inspect Your Cars.  President Barack Obama's $302 billion transportation bill gives federal regulators the power to enter the premises of car dealerships to determine if their vehicles are in compliance with federal fuel-economy mandates.  The Department of Transportation (DOT) could see its vehicle inspection authority expanded if Congress passes Obama's Grow America Act.  Currently, DOT officials are only allowed to inspect records and information from companies that must comply with federal fuel economy standards.  But Obama's bill would allow federal bureaucrats to enter the premises of car dealerships to physically inspect to see if vehicles are in compliance with federal fuel economy standards.

Calif. moves to ban judges affiliated with Boy Scouts.  California is proposing to ban members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) from serving as judges because the Boy Scouts do not allow gay troop leaders, The Daily Caller has learned.  In a move with major legal implications, The California Supreme Court Advisory Committee on The Code of Judicial Ethics has proposed to classify the Boy Scouts as practicing "invidious discrimination" against gays, which would end the group's exemption to anti-discriminatory ethics rules and would prohibit judges from being affiliated with the group.

The United States of SWAT?  Regardless of how people feel about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's standoff with the federal Bureau of Land Management over his cattle's grazing rights, a lot of Americans were surprised to see TV images of an armed-to-the-teeth paramilitary wing of the BLM deployed around Bundy's ranch.  They shouldn't have been.  Dozens of federal agencies now have Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams to further an expanding definition of their missions.  It's not controversial that the Secret Service and the Bureau of Prisons have them.  But what about the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?  All of these have their own SWAT units and are part of a worrying trend towards the militarization of federal agencies — not to mention local police forces.

37% of Voters Fear the Federal Government.  Thirty-seven percent (37%) of Likely U.S. Voters now fear the federal government, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.  Forty-seven percent (47%) do not, but another 17% are not sure.  Perhaps in part that's because 54% consider the federal government today a threat to individual liberty rather than a protector.

Governor Sandoval: Send in the Guard.  The fact that this situation could have been pulled from the script of the 1974 movie Chinatown or any of the Godfather movies is well known and must be exposed, but not before immediate action is taken to assure the preservation of life and liberty.  The current critical nature of the crisis cannot be understated.  In alleged response to a 20-year-old battle over "illegal cattle grazing," along with a more recent claim related to ostensibly protecting the allegedly endangered desert tortoise, the federal Bureau of Land Management has been dispatched to the Bundy ranch.  Do not be fooled by the innocuous sounding name of this federal agency, however, as the deployment now consists of some 200 heavily armed federal troops, transported by military troop carriers and equipped with sniper rifles and other military armaments.  It is an army by any other name.

More about the Bundy Ranch and the Nevada Bureau of Land Management.

What Does the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Need with 96 Armed Agents?  The proliferation of federal agencies with armed agents is one of the most worrisome aspects of the growth in government.  Just last summer the EPA carried out an armed raid on a mine in Alaska to enforce the Clean Water Act — a bit of government intimidation that residents say was totally unnecessary. [...] And who can forget the Gibson Guitar raid by armed agents of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  The EPA, the USFWS ...the Department of Education?  It's getting ridiculous — and frightening.

Fox News Special Report: Enemies of the State.  Fox News aired a special, Saturday night [4/5/2014] called "Enemies of the State" which focused on everyday Americans who somehow found themselves in the crosshairs of their own government.  Fox News reporter John Roberts talked to Wayne Hage, a rancher battling the Bureau of Land Management over his cattle farm.  Roberts pointed out that in one 105 day grazing season, the family was visited by government employees 70 times and received an additional 40 certified letters containing various citations and notices.

Suit Against SAFE Act Claims it Allows 'Warrantless' Police Searches.  The registry process of New York's SAFE Act allows for warrantless police searches into gun owners' homes, a violation of the Fourth Amendment, according to plaintiffs of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court Eastern District.  The law firm representing plaintiff Gabriel Razzano argues the registry process is "essentially secret and results in a mandatory, warrantless Penal Law 400 gun removal visit from police."  "The entire purpose of the registry is a sham to permit intrusions into a person's home on consent without a warrant for a 'gun removal,'" La Reddola, Lester and Associates said in a release.  "The entire registry and database seek to justify warrantless police searches, which my client and I now believe to be the real purpose of the SAFE Act."

NLRB Wants to Stop Businesses From Moving.  Richard Griffin, the new general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, wants to give unions a veto over a unionized employer's decision to relocate.  If Griffin has his way, and he most assuredly will, some unionized businesses will be pinned in place at the discretion of their unions.  The change Griffin is contemplating is unnecessary and inconsistent with both the law and the dynamics of our free-enterprise system.  It will upset the balance mandated by the Supreme Court and should send a chill up the spine of unionized companies contemplating relocating an operation.

Insanity: NLRB Wants Power To Prevent Businesses From Relocating.  In the Leftist dream world, Big Labor would have the most financial influence in politics and be in complete control of the companies they plague (and will eventually bankrupt).  These aren't the unions of old, which genuinely protected the rights of workers.  These are power-hungry madmen who don't [care] about any rights other than theirs to power.

Limbaugh is right about Obama's war on suburbs.  [Scroll down]  Under the regulation, in October the Obama administration will be empowered to condition eligibility for community development block grants on redrawing zoning maps to create evenly distributed neighborhoods based on racial composition and income.  In 2012, HUD dispersed about $3.8 billion of these grants to almost 1,200 municipalities.  And, apparently, if the National Council of La Raza is to be believed, the new rule will help millions of illegal immigrants resettle in communities across the U.S.

Progressivism Unbound at HUD.  [Scroll down]  Why the push to move into traditionally white communities?  It's about power, not what's best for minorities.  President Obama and Shaun Donovan have an ambitious plan to integrate Afro-Americans and other minorities into traditionally white middle and upper-class communities.  HUD is forcing Westchester, N.Y. and affluent areas in Los Angeles and across the country to integrate. [...] HUD calls it de facto segregation.  Not enough blacks and Hispanics live on every block and neighborhood within the county.

The Editor says...
Moving minorities into white neighborhoods is a roundabout means of gerrymandering.

Update:
Obama's Assault on Suburbs Stymied.  Earlier today [6/10/2014] the House of Representatives approved an amendment offered by Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar prohibiting the Department of Housing and Urban Development from implementing President Obama's rule on "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing" (AFFH).  This is an important setback for Obama's plans to transform the way Americans live.  The Obama administration has consistently downplayed its "regionalist" policies, delaying the release of successive versions of AFFH until after the 2012 and 2014 elections.  Obama understands how politically unpopular these policies would be if widely known.

Shock verdict — Mark Witaschek guilty of possessing muzzleloader bullets in D.C.  In a surprising twist at the end of a long trial, a District of Columbia judge found Mark Witaschek guilty of "attempted possession of unlawful ammunition" for antique replica muzzleloader bullets.  Judge Robert Morin sentenced Mr. Witaschek to time served, a $50 fine and required him to enroll with the Metropolitan Police Department's firearm offenders' registry within 48 hours.

Witaschek surrenders to D.C. police 'Gun Offenders Registry'.  Mark Witaschek never had a firearm in the District of Columbia, but he is now on the city's Gun Offenders Registry.  This bizarre case has drawn national attention because an upstanding citizen was tried and convicted of possessing unregistered ammunition for muzzleloader bullets, which are simply pieces of lead and copper.

Supreme Court says regulatory law means whatever EPA says it means, today.  On Monday, the [U.S. Supreme] Court declined to accept an appeal from Arch Coal of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's reversal of its 2007 issuance of a 2011 Clean Water Act permit for the company's Spruce Mine operation in West Virginia.  By refusing to hear the appeal, the court upheld EPA's authority to change its mind on a regulatory permit decision, even though doing so inflicts substantial financial and other losses on appellants.  The court's denial also creates a damaging new regulatory uncertainty because it casts potential doubt on the legitimacy on any federal permitting decision, not just those by EPA under the Clean Water Act.

Replica bullets, dud shell earn weapons conviction for former Washington man.  Replica bullets and a dud shotgun shell got a man convicted of weapons charges in the nation's capital, in a case gun rights activists say shows how overzealous authorities are trampling the Second Amendment.  On Friday, just two days after his conviction of attempted possession of unlawful ammunition, Mark Witaschek went to a Washington, D.C., police station to register in the city's Gun Offenders Registry.  The act was part of a sentence meted out after Witaschek lost his two-year legal battle that began when police searched his home and found an inert shotgun shell, a spent shell casing and a box of muzzle-loader bullets.

Political correctness and the slavery of Obamacare.  Some well-known radicals have very publicly written and stated that in order for their idea of a utopian, egalitarian society to emerge in the United States, the government must control health care, which ensures the dependency of the populace on government.  Historical analysis of many countries that have gone this route demonstrates obliteration of the middle class and massive expansion of the poor, dependent class with a relatively small number of elites in control.  This is sobering information, and those who want to fundamentally change America would much rather demonize someone who is exposing this agenda than engage in a conversation that they cannot win.

Ben Carson: America's now 'very much like Nazi Germany'.  Noted conservative speaker and nationally recognized neurosurgeon Ben Carson took his blunt talk about the state of the nation in a direction that deviated from his usual references to God and faith — remarking on America's resemblance to Nazi Germany days.  In a recent public event in New York, Dr. Carson spoke of living "in a Gestapo age," Mediaite reported.  Following, Fox News contributor Mallory Factor asked him to explain.

Wyoming welder faces $75,000 a day in EPA fines for building pond on his property.  All Andy Johnson wanted to do was build a stock pond on his sprawling eight-acre Wyoming farm.  He and his wife Katie spent hours constructing it, filling it with crystal-clear water, and bringing in brook and brown trout, ducks and geese.  It was a place where his horses could drink and graze, and a private playground for his three children.  But instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor, the Wyoming welder says he was harangued by the federal government, stuck in what he calls a petty power play by the Environmental Protection Agency.  He claims the agency is now threatening him with civil and criminal penalties — including the threat of a $75,000-a-day fine.

EPA Wants to Slap $75K a Day Fine on Landowner Who Built Stock Pond on Own Property.  Senators are trying to intervene on behalf of a Wyoming landowner facing $75,000 a day in Environmental Protection Agency fines for building a stock pond on his own property.  The EPA compliance order against Andrew Johnson of Unita County claims that he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.  Johnson says it was a stock pond, which would make it exempt from CWA permitting requirements.  The EPA is telling him to restore the creek as it was or face penalties.

Feds to Alaskans: No road for humans, lots of land for animals.  In one of Alaska's most remote outposts, where a thousand hardy souls make their homes, the Obama administration has put the fate of birds and bears above the lives of people, blocking construction of an 11-mile gravel trail connecting a tiny fishing hamlet to a life-saving airport.  For more than three decades the predominantly Aleut fishing community of King Cove has been fighting to build a one-lane, gravel track connecting the Cove to the nearby hamlet of Cold Bay.  What they have gotten is 30 years of flat-out federal refusals or stall tactics.

Obama's Trifecta.  In its violations of the First Amendment, the Obama administration has consistently relied upon self-serving definitions of press, religion, and political speech.  Holder justified violating Rosen's press freedom on the grounds that he somehow wasn't acting as a legitimate member of the press.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has arrogated to herself the right to determine what is and what is not a "religion."  She claims the HHS mandate doesn't violate religious freedom since groups that serve the public aren't religious according to her criteria.  She declared at the time of the mandate's release that only purely sectarian groups are deemed religious under Obamacare and thus worthy of an exemption.  The Federal Election Commission plays the same game on what constitutes political speech, defining the concept ever more narrowly to justify restrictions on ordinary participation.

DHS Contracted To Purchase 704 Million Rounds of Ammo Over Next 4 Years: 2,500 Rounds Per Officer.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is contracted to purchase 704,390,250 rounds of ammunition over the next four years, which is equal to a total of about 2,500 rounds per DHS agent per year, according to a January 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled Ammunition Purchases Have Declined Since 2009.  "If DHS were to purchase all 704 million rounds over the next four years, and if they were used by 70,000 DHS agents and officers, it would be roughly 2,500 rounds per agent per year," David Maurer, author of the GAO report, told CNSNews.com.

Pardon My Paranoia.  In a February 5, 2014 article on Infowars.com, Kit Daniels reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is currently seeking companies that can provide "assorted small arms ammunition in the new future.  The U.S. Postal Service joins the long list of non-military federal agencies purchasing large amounts of ammunition."  What has a growing number of Americans concerned is this arming of government agencies we do not associate with the need to be heavily armed.  "Since 2001, the U.S. Department of Education has been building a massive arsenal through purchases orchestrated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms" reported Daniels.  "Back in July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also purchased 72,000 rounds of [.]40[-caliber] Smith and Wesson, following a 2012 purchase for 46,000 rounds of .40 S&W jacketed hollow point by the National Weather Service."

Despite setback, the FCC's snout is under the tent.  After a week of mockery, derision, and disdain, the Federal Communications Commission has announced that it won't put observers in newsrooms after all.  FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 10 had alerted the public to the dangers of having government representatives querying news bosses about how they decide what stories to cover — and which ones not to cover.  The implicit threat of such heavy-handed research is that the government could be on the verge of announcing that IT will decide what stories are important to cover, just as it has decided what kind of cars you should buy (no "clunkers"!), what kind of health insurance you should have (Obamacare!) and what kind of dust is the right kind (whatever kind the EPA says!).

Mark Levin: Obama Admin Using The Law Against Us Is The Definition Of Tyranny.  The FCC, call it whatever you want, Barack Obama's henchman, Barack Obama's comrades, there, that's right, all over the federal government have hijacked the institutions of government and are now turning them on the people.  Whether it's the EPA, or the Department of Justice, the Interior Department, NOAA, this, that or the other, they're using the government, they are using a law against us.  Which is the definition of tyranny.

Is Obama trying to kill a free press?  The FCC is launching a new study, taking upon itself the task of deciding what news the public "needs" to hear, versus the news the public wants to hear.  The agency will conduct a "General Population Survey" that will "measure community members' actual and perceived critical information needs."  Got that?  What you think (perceive) you need to know is different from what the government says you need to know.  Next, the FCC will send monitors to newsrooms across the country who will ask questions regarding the "philosophy" of the newsroom, inquire about possible conflicts between reporters and their bosses, and even determine how much influence each individual has in deciding what to report.

More about the FCC.

US Army Builds Fake American Town to Practice War on Americans.  In Virginia, the U.S. Army has built an American city, replete with a church, a mosque, an embassy building, a bank and a working subway system, in order to practice assaulting American cities.  Welcome to Obama's America, folks.  The town took six years to complete, is built on a 300-acre plot of government-owned land in Virginia and cost taxpayers $96 million.  It is designed to, "replicate complex operational environments and develop solutions."  The "training" facility was completed and opened in January of this year and is operated by the U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group.

Government's insane hallucinations.  Once upon a time, people could start businesses in America and run them as they saw fit.  People can no longer do that.  Instead, businesses must conform to insanely expensive one-size-fits-all health insurance requirements imposed by a group of people who have never run a business, never met a payroll and never had to worry about making a profit.

USDA Gave $303,890 in Wool Loans to Couple Who 'Owned No Sheep'.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave $303,890 in wool loans to an Iowa couple that "owned no sheep."  Howard "Jack" Aleff and Reena Slominski, of Knoxville, scammed the federal government for six years and were ordered to pay the United States $1,376,670 in a civil judgment announced on Jan. 29.  The married couple filed 132 fraudulent applications for "sheep that were never sheared" to receive loans awarded by the Farm Services Agency intended to encourage wool production.  The program spent $7 million in fiscal year 2012.

Failing Liberals Turn To Oppression To Hold On To Power.  The Federal Communications Commission just floated a trial balloon about going out to radio and television stations to evaluate reporters on how they cover the news.  There was a time when journalists' response to a government inquiry into how they did their job would be "Go to hell, you goose-stepping bureaucratic flunky."  Not anymore.  Now, their response is slavish submission to their progressive governmental dominatrix.  When supposedly independent, iconoclastic liberal journalists let themselves to be dominated by the feds, their safeword is "Hillary."  Liberalism has to muzzle the truth because it operates on lies.  It is built on lies, fueled by lies, and creates an empire of lies.

Man-given rights and government gone wild.  Our formerly constitutional government, in the form of the Federal Communications Commission, has developed a plan to put observers in the nation's newsrooms in order to better understand "the process by which stories are selected."  Of course, they won't just "understand" the process; they will most assuredly and dangerously alter it, merely by the implied threat of their presence in the formerly sacrosanct newsroom.  Just ask anyone who ever worked for a newspaper in Soviet Russia or Hitler's Germany or even Chavez's Venezuela.

The FCC Plan To Police The Newsrooms.  The FCC has cooked up a plan to place "researchers" in U.S. newsrooms, supposedly to learn all about how editorial decisions are made.  Any questions as to why the U.S. is falling in the free press rankings?

DC Man Set for Hearing After Arrest Over Inoperable Shotgun Shell.  A Washington, D.C. man is facing a large fine and possible jail time after he was arrested for having an inoperable shotgun shell in his home.  The shell was a souvenir that Mark Witaschek decided to keep from a hunting trip years earlier.

Another strange Obama admininstration arms purchase.  On July 29, 2013, the Department of the Army in a Combined Synopsis/Solicitation, Solicitation Number W15QKN13T8513, asked the General Services Administration to procure "592,825 (approx) AK Rifle Magazines: 7.62x39mm Caliber, New Production, Steel, 30 Round Capacity".  That many magazines would require 17.8 million rounds just fill each magazine once.  What nation or even what moderate Syrian rebel group needs that kind of firepower?  That request is far beyond what is needed by any nation that issues AK's to its soldiers except Russia and China.  Of course, the US armed forces do not use AK rifles as standard issue.

Obama's Weaponization of Government.  For all the folks — primarily on the left — who screamed and yelled that the Patriot Act was shredding the Constitution, far more intrusive tactics that have nothing to do with the NSA or Homeland Security are being deployed right under our noses during this Administration.  Those tactics reduce every Americans' personal and economic freedom.  There is a dangerous arrogance of power among the President and senior-level Democrats that should concern every American.  Last week a senior United States Senator gave a speech stating that the IRS should be used to target and punish groups that disagree with the Democratic Party's political agenda.

A sorry state of the union — what if Obama believes he answers to no one?  What if the government spies on all of us all of the time and recognizes no limits to its spying?  What if its appetite for acquiring personal knowledge about all Americans is insatiable?  What if the government uses the microchips in our cellphones to follow us and listen to us as we move about?  What if the Constitution expressly prohibits the government from doing this?

TSA Harasses Police Chief.  Traveling by commercial airlines from Albuquerque, NM to Las Vegas, NV, [Police Chief Shane] Harger was asked by TSA to show his credentials.  Minutes later a man flashed a badge claiming to be a federal agent (agency unknown) also demanding to see Harger's credentials.  Harger was told that he was a person of interest, and the federal agent wanted to know where he was going and why.  Bear in mind, no one is required to provide this information under these circumstances.  Harger said that the federal agent told him that the he, the federal agent, was paid to be suspicious of everyone.

Aggressive SWAT Team in Full Body Armor Raids Home, Confiscates ONE Dud Shell Casing, Federal Charges Laid.  At 8:20 p.m. on July 7, 2012, SWAT agents showed up at Mark Witaschek's D.C. home to execute a search warrant for "firearms and ammunition ... gun cleaning equipment, holsters, bullet holders and ammunition receipts."  Witaschek's 14-year-old daughter answered the door and let about 30 officers, who were in full tactical gear, inside.  The officers immediately charged upstairs and demanded that Witaschek and his girlfriend, Bonnie Harris, surrender, face-down.  Both were handcuffed.

More about SWAT teams.

Oregon: Christian Businesses Must Follow Demands of Gay Customers.  The owners of a Christian bakery who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple are facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines after they were found guilty of violating the couple's civil rights.  The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said they found "substantial evidence" that Sweet Cakes by Melissa discriminated against the lesbian couple and violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, a law that protects the rights of the LGBT community.

Supreme Court Will Review Ohio Law Criminalizing 'Lies' About Politicians.  The U.S. Supreme Court announced on January 10th that it will consider a First Amendment challenge to an Ohio law that makes it a crime to "lie" about political candidates, which a pro-life PAC says was used to censor its political speech during the 2010 mid-term congressional election.

Pennsylvania town's $1,000-a-day fine is for the birds, residents say.  A retired Pennsylvania couple is facing a $1,000-a-day fine for feeding birds at their Bethlehem Township home, The Morning Call reported.  The couple has been feeding the birds for 25 years at their home, which is north of Philadelphia, but their bird feeder has been deemed out of compliance with town code.

EPA Decree Shrinks Size of Wyoming by a Million Acres.  Why is the EPA altering state boundaries in Wyoming — and reversing over 100 years of established law?  Well, apparently the city of Riverton now falls under the jurisdiction of the Wind River Indian Reservation.  This, obviously, isn't sitting well with the governor's office — which is urging the EPA to reconsider its ruling and respect the rule of law. [...] "This should be a concern to all citizens because, if the EPA can unilaterally take land away from a state, where will it stop?" Governor Matt Mead said in a press release on January 6.

Court Rules No Suspicion Needed for Laptop Searches at Border.  A federal court today [12/31/2013] dismissed a lawsuit arguing that the government should not be able to search and copy people's laptops, cell phones, and other devices at border checkpoints without reasonable suspicion.  An appeal is being considered.  Government documents show that thousands of innocent American citizens are searched when they return from trips abroad.

Interior border guard checks spur ACLU complaint.  Border Patrol agents routinely violate the constitutional rights of southern Arizona residents when they stop drivers at interior checkpoints on major highways and state routes near the border, according to an official complaint filed Wednesday [1/15/2014].  The complaint sent to Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties alleges that checkpoint agents conduct searches and detain people without justification and use immigration enforcement as a pretext for "fishing expeditions" for potential criminal activity.

The Real Purpose of Oakland's Surveillance Center.  City leaders have argued that Oakland needs a massive surveillance system to combat violent crime, but internal documents reveal that city staffers are also focused on tracking political protesters.

DOE Plugs Energy Rating For Homes Similar To MPG Rating For Cars.  The Energy Department on Tuesday [1/14/2014] is rolling out new, improved software to help Americans measure the energy efficiency of their homes.  DOE says its energy-scoring software — called the Home Energy Scoring Tool — is like a vehicle's mile-per-gallon rating because it allows homeowners to compare the energy performance of their homes to other homes nationwide.  It also provides homeowners with suggestions for improving their homes' efficiency.

The Editor says...
First of all, it's never a good idea to compare your house to someone else's house.  It only leads to pride and arrogance, or jealousy and envy.  All that aside, this is apparently the government's way of being "helpful" to home buyers that are too stupid to ask the right questions when shopping for a house.  It sounds harmless enough, but that's the way automobile gas mileage ratings got started, and now fuel efficiency standards are mandatory — and constantly tightening.

Does the Constitution Force Bakers to Bake?  Several recent court cases have resulted in small business owners, who create the wares and services that they sell, being ordered by a judge to sell their custom-made products (e.g., wedding cakes and floral arrangements) or services (e.g., wedding photography) to gay couples despite the small business owners' refusal to do so based on their religious principles.

Free Exercise Thereof.  We are in a post-republic America.  There is no rule of law, there is only a rule of judges.  Legislation is equal to a dictate from the king.  That we elect the barons and the lords to rule over us does not lessen tyranny, but it makes us feel better; it gives us faith in the "system" and that is all the government really needs.  Through several supreme court decisions, largely where they have ruled on Obamacare, the message as been sent:  Whatever the government chooses to do is within its power. [...] The laws against privacy and guns are passed by legislators.  The laws against religion are passed by judges.

Labor Department tells Arkansas businesswoman she can't have volunteers.  Ladies and gentlemen, be careful who you volunteer for — you could be doing them a lot more harm than good.  The federal government sometimes takes dim view of such generosity.  Just ask Rhea Lana Riner.  She owns a small Arkansas-based business that organizes consignment sales.  Since August, the Labor Department has been threatening her with stiff financial penalties, saying her business practices are illegal.  It has even been contacting donors to her events and encouraging them to instigate legal action against her.

EPA overrides Congress, hands over town to Indian tribes.  Have you heard the story of the residents of Riverton, Wyo.? One day they were Wyomingans, the next they were members of the Wind River tribes — after the Environmental Protection Agency declared the town part of the Wind River Indian Reservation, undoing a 1905 law passed by Congress and angering state officials.  The surprise decision was made by officials of the EPA, the Department of Interior, and Department of Justice early last month, and has invoked the ire of Gov. Matt Mead, who has vowed not to honor the agency's decision and is preparing to fight in court.

Obama Regime Issued Record 3,659 Economy-Crushing Regulations In 2013.  And they've picked up where they left off, issuing 141 new regs during the first three days of 2014.

Portion control — how the government plans to dictate what's on your dinner table in 2014.  Would you rather sip on unpasteurized milk or a cold glass of soda? Do you prefer Saturday lunch at a fast food joint or a farmers market?  Regardless of your choices, your food freedom — your right to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, share, cook, eat, and drink the foods you want — is under attack.

Former NSA Head: Americans Have No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy.  Former NSA Director Michael Hayden says that collecting billions of phone records in no way violates the Fourth Amendment and that Americans should have no reasonable expectation of privacy.  Major Garrett was guest-hosting CBS's Face the Nation Sunday discussing Judge Richard Leon's recent ruling that collection of telephony metadata is unconstitutional.  For Hayden, though, it is "inherently constitutional."  Still, he said, our history "demands that we be alarmed."

Team Obama Refuses To Allow Small, Critical Road Through Wildlife Refuge.  I'm all for wildlife refuges, protecting the majesty and beauty of nature.  One road won't hurt.

Local courts reviving 'debtors' prison' for overdue fines, fees.  As if out of a Charles Dickens novel, people struggling to pay overdue fines and fees associated with court costs for even the simplest traffic infractions are being thrown in jail across the United States.  Critics are calling the practice the new "debtors' prison" — referring to the jails that flourished in the U.S. and Western Europe over 150 years ago.  Before the time of bankruptcy laws and social safety nets, poor folks and ruined business owners were locked up until their debts were paid off.

Now Hear This: Big Brother Wants to Talk to You. Right Now!.  Apparently, the world has become so dangerous — and Americans, to put it bluntly, so stupid — that the federal government has concluded that it is vital that the president or other "authenticated public safety officials" be able to tell you what to do right now.  Kind of like the loudspeakers the North Korean government has wired into every home.  Only wireless, too.

Also posted under Liberals think you're stupid.

Red flags raised after local drivers asked for DNA samples at police checkpoint.  Drivers in St. Charles County were asked to take part in a government survey that involved the odd request of blood and saliva samples.  One driver who emailed News 4 said a deputy and others dressed in safety vests directed drivers to take part and answer questions about alcohol and driving.  The study is being conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and is supposed to be voluntary.  Constitutional Law attorney Bob Herman said the study does raise some red flags.

Judge Orders Colo. Cake-Maker to Serve Gay Couples.  A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said Friday [12/6/2013].

Washington Times sues Homeland over seizure of reporter's notes.  The Washington Times and one of its former journalists on Thursday [11/21/2013] sued the Department of Homeland Security, accusing federal agents of illegally seizing the newspaper's reporting materials during the execution of a search warrant in an unrelated case.  In a motion filed in federal court in Greenbelt, The Times and reporter Audrey Hudson asked a judge to force the federal agency to return all reporting files and documents it seized from Ms. Hudson's home office during a raid in early August.

Photographer sued for refusing to take pictures at lesbian couple's ceremony goes to the Supreme Court.  A photographer sued by a lesbian couple after she refused to take pictures at their commitment ceremony is taking her fight for religious freedom to the Supreme Court.  Elaine Huguenin, who runs a photography business in Albuquerque, New Mexico, refused to take the snaps for the happy day of Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth in 2006.  The women then filed a discrimination lawsuit again Ms Huguenin.  New Mexico law prohibits businesses from discriminating against people based on their sexuality.

Harry Reid's Nuclear Hypocrisy.  On Monday [11/18/2013], for the third time in less than a month, Senate Republicans filibustered an Obama nominee to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  That's the court that's checked the president more than once, as when it said he couldn't make "recess appointments" when the Senate wasn't in recess.  So in a Tuesday closed-door lunch, Reid moved closer to ending the practice, [...]

52 Democrats Change Two-Century-Old Senate Rule: Abolish Filibuster of Nominees.  Sweeping aside a century of precedent, Democrats took a chunk out of the Senate's hallowed filibuster tradition on Thursday [11/21/2013] and cleared the way for speedy confirmation of controversial appointments made by President Barack Obama and chief executives in the future.

Our Kids: Victims of the Rough Grasp of the State.  Wake up, Mom and Dad:  your government has its paws all over your children during school hours — always figuratively, and too often literally.  If parents are taken out of the education equation completely, something will fill the vacuum.  And that something is bound to be the police state.

War on the Little Guy.  Marty the Magician performed magic tricks for kids, including the traditional rabbit-out-of-a-hat.  Then one day:  "I was signing autographs and taking pictures with children and their parents," he told me.  "Suddenly, a badge was thrown into the mix, and an inspector said, 'Let me see your license.'" [...] Marty's torment didn't end with a demand for his license.  "She said, from now on, you cannot use your rabbit until you fill out paperwork, pay the $40 license fee.  We'll have to inspect your home."  Ten times since, regulators showed up unannounced at Marty's house.

Big Government is a Clear & Present Danger to our Liberty.  Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) has been a steadfast supporter and ally within Congress of the Tea Party movement.  Unlike many of his Republican counterparts who attempt to distance themselves from the Tea Party brand, many who actually attack it, Huelskamp embraces it.

Will Government Be Able to Remotely Control Your Car?  In May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published its "Preliminary Statement of Policy Concerning Automated Vehicles."  It pointed to a "continuum" of automobile development that "runs from vehicles with no active control systems all the way to full automation and self-driving." [...] But, if the driver does not control the vehicle, who does?

Wisconsin Political Speech Raid.  Americans learned in the IRS political targeting scandal that government enforcement power can be used to stifle political speech.  Something similar may be unfolding in Wisconsin, where a special prosecutor is targeting conservative groups that participated in the battle over Governor Scott Walker's union reforms.  In recent weeks, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz has hit dozens of conservative groups with subpoenas demanding documents related to the 2011 and 2012 campaigns to recall Governor Walker and state legislative leaders.

Political terrorism in Wisconsin: The American Police state begins.  Cops are bursting into homes, seizing computers and other "evidence" while groups are being hit with subpoenas that require them to turn over voluminous and sensitive information — including the names of political donors. [...] In Wisconsin, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz is going after conservative groups that were involved in the fight over the recall of Governor Scott Walker and Walker's union reforms.  Subpoenas are requesting "all records of income received, including fundraising information and the identity of persons contributing to the corporation."  They are seeking lists of conservative donors.

America's descent from rule of law to jungle law via Obamacare.  The Obamacare debacle and the president's attempts to fix it have created yet another notable episode in our political history.  This one will long live in infamy.  The federal government has been directed by President Obama to ignore the Constitution, to which the president and members of Congress have sworn an oath.  Obama has unilaterally delayed implementation of the provisions of Obamacare that have shattered his frequently repeated "If you like your insurance, you can keep it" promise.  The one-year delay is not really the issue here.  The more fundamental issue is that American Citizens have meekly and timidly accepted a blasphemy against our constitutional freedoms.

Americans' personal data shared with CIA, IRS, others in security probe.  U.S. agencies collected and shared the personal information of thousands of Americans in an attempt to root out untrustworthy federal workers that ended up scrutinizing people who had no direct ties to the U.S. government and simply had purchased certain books.  Federal officials gathered the information from the customer records of two men who were under criminal investigation for purportedly teaching people how to pass lie detector tests.  The officials then distributed a list of 4,904 people — along with many of their Social Security numbers, addresses and professions — to nearly 30 federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.

MA Politician Wants Unannounced Home Searches by Police to Enforce Gun Law.  Swampscott, Massachusetts Selectman Barry Greenfield is pushing a measure to give police the authority to conduct home searches to check proper storage of firearms.  Greenfield said "state law requires Massachusetts gun owners to keep their firearms locked away or rendered inoperable."  There are "600 registered gun owners in [Swampscott]," and the selectman wants police to be able to drop in unannounced, enter the homes of each gun owner, and verify compliance.

The Editor says...
The 4th Amendment very clearly prohibits blanket searches of every house in town, looking for guns, drugs, cash, or whatever the cops can find.  If an idea like this were to be met with no resistance, those unannounced searches would become a daily routine, and the 4th Amendment would be an archaic technicality.  Even the mere proposal of such a law (by the state of Massachusetts) is what one would expect to see only in Cuba, North Korea or East Germany.

Minneapolis School Bus Driver Fired for Praying With Students.  A Minneapolis school bus driver was fired from his job after someone complained about his practice of praying with students on his route.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that George Nathaniel, who is also a Minneapolis area pastor, was in his second year of service with Durham School Services, the bus company under contract with the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage district.  After receiving a previous complaint about Nathaniel's prayers with students, the company gave him a warning and assigned him a new route.

Seattle [is the] Latest City to Install DHS Surveillance Equipment.  Add Seattle to the list of local governments taking money from the Department of Homeland Security to put their citizens under federal surveillance. [...] Perhaps wiring the city with high-tech, federally funded surveillance equipment is what Seattle mayor meant when he described the city's budget as "a moral document.  It puts resources behind our vision of the city we want to see."  Apparently, part of those resources are coming from the federal government and they are earmarked for use to putting the city under the vision of the Department of Homeland Security.

Senior Navy civilians investigated in alleged scheme to defraud military for $1.6 million.  Federal authorities are investigating three senior Navy intelligence officials as part of a probe into an alleged contracting scheme that charged the military $1.6 million for homemade firearm silencers that cost only $8,000 to manufacture, court records show.  The three civilian officials, who oversee highly classified programs, arranged for a hot-rod auto mechanic in California to build a specially ordered batch of unmarked and untraceable rifle silencers and sell them to the Navy at more than 200 times what they cost to manufacture, according to court documents filed by federal prosecutors.  The purpose of the silencers remains a mystery.

The Editor says...
I can see why the Mafia might need such a product, but why is the Navy ordering "unmarked and untraceable rifle silencers"?

Lawsuit: Chaplains Banned From Saying "Jesus".  Two Baptist chaplains said they were forced out of a Veterans Affairs chaplain training program after they refused orders to stop quoting the Bible and to stop praying in the name of Jesus.  When the men objected to those demands they were subjected to ridicule and harassment that led to one of the chaplains leaving the program and the other being ejected, according to a federal lawsuit filed Friday [11/8/2013].

The Editor says...
Are there similar restrictions against Islamic, Hindu, Wiccan, or earth-worshiping eco-fruitcake prayers?  What if one of the chaplains prays directly to Barack H. Obama?  Would there be a reprimand or a promotion?

The unspoken success of ObamaCare.  Despite what you are being told, the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), commonly known as ObamaCare, is already proving to be a resounding success. [...] First, it is vital to understand that the ACA is not now, nor never was, about providing affordable health care.  It is merely disguised as such.  Rather, it is the vehicle that is being covertly used to conduct the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that this nation has ever experienced.  It is being done methodically and for a specific purpose.  It is the vehicle that will ultimately disassemble and destroy significant parts of the United States Constitution and further enslave United States citizens.

Now is the time to support Jana Winter.  [Scroll down]  While Ms. Winter's report was a world class scoop, defense attorneys complained that her law enforcement sources had denied Holmes a fair trial by violating the judge's gag order and leaking her potentially incriminating information.  After 14 law enforcement officials denied having been her source, the Colorado judge in the case ordered her to turn over her notes and testify about who gave her the information.  The court also demanded that New York enforce its certificate, then subpoena Ms. Winter and require her to return to Colorado on January 3, 2014 and testify about her sources, which she has refused to do.

Update:
New York's top court rules Fox reporter cannot be forced to reveal sources in Colorado.  New York's top court today [12/10/2013] spared FoxNews.com reporter Jana Winter from jail for refusing to reveal confidential sources for a bombshell story following the Aurora movie massacre.  In a 4-3 ruling based on New York's shield law, the state Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's decision that could have resulted in Winter being forced to appear in the Colorado murder trial of James Holmes.

Court Rules Fox's Jana Winter Doesn't Have to Reveal Sources in James Holmes Case.  On Tuesday morning, New York's top court ruled that FoxNews.com reporter Jana Winter cannot be forced by a Colorado court to reveal her sources regarding a major story about the Aurora movie theater shooter.  Voting 4-3 in favor of Winter, the New York State Court of Appeals reversed a lower court order and effectively prevented Winter from having to be subpoenaed by the Colorado court.

The tyranny of bureaucracy.  [Scroll down]  Do not millions of people owe their allegiance to the government for the privilege of receiving food stamps, unemployment insurance, welfare, business or individual tax credits, college loans, agricultural subsidies, and now even health insurance?  Is there any branch or even twig of life through which the sap of federal subsidies does not run?  No wonder the Tea Party, with its insistence on turning off the federal spigot, is being painted by progressives as a danger to the national well-being.  The national well-being, after all, is a state of stuporific addiction to entitlements and congressionally approved benefits spooned out by thousands of federal bureaus and agencies that prove their worth by keeping the populace in what de Tocqueville called "perpetual childhood."

The Progressive Degradation of Freedom.  Socialized medicine teaches that you must not value your life above that of other men.  Not only should no doctor care about your personal survival, but you yourself should stop thinking your survival is any kind of priority.  You should wait your turn in the only line in town, and be grateful if you do eventually get what you need from central command.  After all, what choice do you have?

The Drift toward Despotism.  [Scroll down]  But one notes that the Supreme Court has dramatically circumscribed Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure when it occurs at America's border, and post-9/11 the "border" has been redefined to mean anywhere within 100 miles of the actual frontier.  Many European countries are not 100 miles wide in their entirety.  A hundred-mile buffer zone from Belgium's northern border, for example, would be well south of the southern border and deep into France.

Fox Reporter Faces Jail Time for Protecting Sources.  In July 2012, Fox reporter Jana Winter reported that James Holmes, the shooter in the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre who murdered 12 people during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises, had sent a University of Colorado psychiatrist a notebook "full of details about how he was going to kill people."  The notebook had pictures of a stick-figure shooting other stick figures.  She got the information, she reported, from "law enforcement sources."  Now, Winter may lose her journalistic freedom.

Our Cash For Obama's Clunkers.  [Scroll down]  Seventy years in advance, [Henry] Hazlitt gave us the job descriptions of Health & Human Services head Katherine Sebelius, Obama's former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and his master of deception Jay Carney.  If all that is not enough to upset your wallet, despite the dismal failures of their efforts, keep in mind that no matter how bad the results, no one gets dismissed from the Obama administration. [...] That's right, you can waste over $600 million on a website, spend more than Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn combined, have it fail and keep your job.  That's good enough for government work.

Dissent must be crushed — just like in East Germany.
Feds Threaten to Prosecute Merchant for Selling 'Department of Homeland Stupidity' Coffee Mugs.  The Department of Justice, on behalf of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has threatened to criminally prosecute a novelty store owner for selling mugs and t-shirts that say, among other things, "Department of Homeland Stupidity" and "The NSA: The only part of government that actually listens." [...] The NSA and DHS sent "cease and desist" letters to Zazzle stating that the parody products violate statutes that protect their official seals from misuse.

Commentary on the incident described above:
Troubling sign of incipient national security tyranny.  Now that we know the National Security Agency is collecting every telephone call and email we make, and that the Department of Homeland Security is free to grope us and inspect our nude images when flying, we have every reason to fear abuse.  Knowing that the potential abusers will not be mocked is seriously scary.

FCC to police news media, question reporters in wide-ranging content survey.  The Federal Communications Commission is planning a broad probe of political speech across media platforms, an unprecedented move that raises serious First Amendment concerns.  The FCC's proposed "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," which is set to begin a field test in a single market with an eye toward a comprehensive study in 2014, would collect a remarkably wide range of information on demographics, point of view, news topic selection, management style and other factors in news organizations both in and out of the FCC's traditional purview.  The airwaves regulator would also subject news producers in all media to invasive questioning about their work and content.

Is Obama a Dupe or a Totalitarian, Megalomaniacal Liar?  [Scroll down]  In the progressive era 100 years ago, that presidential attitude brought us the Federal Reserve, the federal income tax, Prohibition, World War I, prosecutions for speech critical of the government and the beginnings of official modern government racial segregation.  That same attitude in our era has brought us the Patriot Act, which allows federal agents to write their own search warrants, government borrowing that knows no end — including the $2 trillion Bush borrowed for the war in Iraq, a country which is now less stable than before Bush invaded, and the $7 trillion Obama borrowed to redistribute — and an NSA that monitors all Americans all the time.

More hot water for Sebelius and the ObamaCare crew.  One of the reasons that allowing Sebelius to keep her job is ridiculous is that under ObamaCare, the HHS Secretary becomes the single most powerful bureaucrat on the planet.  The Affordable Care Act's huge stack of regulations include hundreds of matters left to the discretion of the Secretary.  Another example is the hangman's noose of regulations that have been strangling so many insurance plans over the past few weeks.

Federal agents' pre-dawn raid on reporter's home raises questions.  Audrey Hudson's husband had just left for work on August 6 when suddenly, her dog began barking.  The nationally-known journalist walked over to the curtains and peeked outside to discover her Chesapeake Bay home was surrounded by law enforcement officers wearing full body armor.  The phone rang.  It was her husband.  "I'm in the driveway," he said.  "The police are here.  Open the door."  And so began Hudson's nightmare — held captive by armed agents of the U.S. Coast Guard, Maryland State Police and the Department of Homeland Security as they staged a pre-dawn raid in search of unregistered firearms and a "potato gun."

Exclusive: Feds confiscate investigative reporter's confidential files during raid.  A veteran Washington D.C. investigative journalist says the Department of Homeland Security confiscated a stack of her confidential files during a raid of her home in August — leading her to fear that a number of her sources inside the federal government have now been exposed.

Silencing dissent by SWATing messengers of truth.  [Scroll down]  Ms. Hudson is now speaking out because of what the agents of this Gestapo-like tactic took from her home.  While the search warrant was limited to any alleged guns on the premises — again — stemming from a quarter-century old incident reportedly involving her husband, their reach well exceeded their authority.  What was taken from the home of Audrey Hudson was more valuable than any gun.  What was taken from Audrey Hudson, in addition to her freedoms as an American citizen and a Pulitzer Prize nominee for her journalistic prowess, were her pages of notes and names of sources inside and outside of government who had confidentially provided her information over the years.

Armed agents seize records of reporter, Washington Times prepares legal action.  Maryland state police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department's Federal Air Marshal Service.  Reporter Audrey Hudson said the investigators, who included an agent for Homeland's Coast Guard service, took her private notes and government documents that she had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act during a predawn raid of her family home on Aug. 6.

'Clearly Intimidation': Feds Seize Reporter's Files During Pre-Dawn Raid.  A conservative reporter alleges that in a pre-dawn raid, the Feds took her files while searching her home for a toy potato gun.  Audrey Hudson, Washington correspondent for the Colorado Observer, thinks the government may have an ulterior motive for conducting the search.  In her first television interview, Hudson told Gretchen Carlson on The Real Story that the raid stems from her husband purchasing a potato launcher online five years ago.  The search warrant presented said they came to recover the gun.  However, she said, "Once they were in the house, the first thing that the Homeland Security officer asked me was 'Are you the same Audrey Hudson who wrote all of the Federal Air Marshal stories for The Washington Times?'"

Ten Thousand Commandments 2013: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State.  Total costs for Americans to comply with federal regulations reached $1.806 trillion in 2012.  For the first time, this amounts to more than half of total federal spending.  It is more than the GDPs of Canada or Mexico.  This is the 20th anniversary of Ten Thousand Commandments.  In the 20 years of publication, 81,883 final rules have been issued.  That's more than 3,500 per year or about nine per day.

When Frogs Jump.  [Scroll down]  How far would today's American ruling elite go to stamp out real and concerted resistance to their brazen violations of individual liberty?  What steps would they not take to force submission to, and compliance with, their socialized medicine, their compulsory schooling, their EPA violations of private property, and so on?  In short, is there a point of coercive incivility beyond which you are certain they would never step to enforce their anti-constitutional, anti-natural rights, anti-rational plans?

Mission Creep: EPA Agents Enter Drug War.  A large-scale narcotics investigation and sentencing in Montana has revealed that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has entered the enforcement of U.S. war on drugs.  The EPA has full federal law enforcement capabilities, and their charter allows them to participate in the investigation and prosecution of "criminal conduct that threatens people's health," according to the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division (EPA CID).

The EPA's regulatory authority, coming to a stream or estuary near you?  You may recall the egregiously costly saga of the Sacketts, the Idaho couple personally persecuted by the Environmental Protection Agency for developing their half-acre of lakeside private property that the EPA belatedly and arbitrarily deemed a "protected wetland."  The Sacketts fought the EPA's demand that they either stop development and "restore" the property (with non-native plants!) or else face fines of up to $75,000 per day, but the EPA claimed that the Sacketts didn't even have the right to seek judicial review against the EPA's administrative compliance order, because the compliance order wasn't their "final enforcement action" — which is basically made-up hogwash that roughly translates as, "We're the EPA, we do what we want."

D.C. businessman faces two years in jail for unregistered ammunition, brass casing.  Mark Witaschek, a successful financial adviser with no criminal record, is facing two years in prison for possession of unregistered ammunition after D.C. police raided his house looking for guns.  Mr. Witaschek has never had a firearm in the city, but he is being prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  The trial starts on Nov. 4.  The police banged on the front door of Mr. Witaschek's Georgetown home at 8:20 p.m. on July 7, 2012, to execute a search warrant for "firearms and ammunition ... gun cleaning equipment, holsters, bullet holders and ammunition receipts."

Who Will Tell Obama He has no Clothes?  Before this phony government "shutdown," if you had asked whether I believed that American military and law enforcement personnel would follow an order from Barack Obama, or any other president, to turn their guns on their own countrymen, I would have said no.  However, after witnessing the behavior of armed National Park Service officers unnecessarily closing our national monuments, parks, and even our military cemeteries in Europe, while simultaneously allowing a protest demonstration by illegal aliens on the National Mall, I am no longer confident in that belief.  It's as though Obama is using every weapon in his arsenal to create civil division among the people.  Why?

The International Monetary Fund Lays The Groundwork For Global Wealth Confiscation.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) quietly dropped a bomb in its October Fiscal Monitor Report.  Titled "Taxing Times," the report paints a dire picture for advanced economies with high debts that fail to aggressively "mobilize domestic revenue."  It goes on to build a case for drastic measures and recommends a series of escalating income and consumption tax increases culminating in the direct confiscation of assets.

ATF's prescription for leaking secrets: A firing squad?  After months of anguished debate over mass shootings, gun control and Second Amendment rights, the Justice Department finds itself on the defensive after a training manual surfaced that suggests federal agents could face a firing squad for leaking government secrets.  A photo in the online manual for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — complete with a photo of a turn-of-the-century firing squad — was obtained by The Washington Times from a concerned federal law enforcement official, and it immediately drew protests from watchdogs who said it showed a lack of sensitivity to gun violence and the continuing hostile environment toward whistleblowers.

I'm From the Government and I'm Here to Spy on You.  The big portals showing the masses what the government is really up to all came last April, and until Obama's gone from the White House, civilian life will never be the same.  It was last April when a judge in Texas denied a request by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for what he described as a warrant to remotely "hack a computer suspected of criminal use", raising questions about the legal requirement for the government to use computer hacking techniques in investigations.  (Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2013).  "By "surreptitiously installing software" — a technique typically associated with computer hackers — investigators are able to infiltrate computers and gather extensive information, according to a document in the case.

A Step Toward Facebook.gov?  Get ready for the government to determine what bullying online is (and therefore, what free speech isn't).

An obvious affront to the First Amendment:
TSA introduces loudspeaker warnings threatening travelers with arrest for cracking a joke about airport security.  Travelers who attempt to make a joke about strict security procedures at airports have been warned they face arrest.  A loudspeaker announcement made by the Transport Security Administration warns the public:  'Any inappropriate remarks or jokes concerning security may result in your arrest.'  Concerned passenger Matt Miller recorded the loudspeaker message while passing through George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas.

Is Obama Creating a Martial-law-ready Military?  Let's start with a hypothetical.  Let's say you were a hard-left-wing commander in chief who wanted the military firmly in your corner.  You'd certainly note that our armed forces have been a bastion of conservatism and Christian faith, and you'd know that its members generally weren't very fond of you.  So how would you go about changing this?

The Slippery slope of Obama's constitutional contempt.  From where we stand today, it is merely a matter of degree before we are ruled by decree.
  ·   America's Bill of Rights is under assault.
  ·   Federal authority bullies 50 States and over 300 million Americans into unconstitutional compliance.
  ·   Common Core in schools indoctrinates communism and ignores America's founding values.
  ·   Christian belief and speech in the military are unlawfully restricted; Islam and atheism are favored.
  ·   The People's right to keep and bear arms is abrogated by Executive edict and UN treaty.
  ·   SWAT teams swoop in on Americans accused of crimes not criminal, written by nameless bureaucrats.
  ·   IRS is used to target and punish Americans who speak out against Obama and his cronies.
  ·   NSA and a host of other agencies scoop up and log every tidbit of personal communication for review.
  ·   NDAA allows arrest and indefinite detention without warrant, trial or writ of habeas corpus.
Yet this litany of abuses barely skims the surface of the foul stew Progressives have boiled up.

Also filed under The Clamor for Obama's Impeachment.

Faculty: Sexual Harassment Policy Approved by Feds 'Orwellian'.  Of special concern is a requirement that those professors who fail to complete training are being reported to the federal government.  Faculty members questioned exactly what information the university felt obliged to report to the DOJ and asked how the agency plans to use the information in a letter to University of Montana President Royce Engstrom, the Missoulian reported last week.

The Face of Tyranny.  It is beginning to dawn on a lot of people that Barack Obama is the face of tryanny, a man for whom the Constitution, the democratic process and its need for compromise, exist only to be spurned.  Any President who is happy to preside over closing the White House to public tours, who authorizes placing barricades around Washington War Memorial that is normally open 24 hours a day as well as the Normandy, France D-Day cemetery where our soldiers are buried, is more than merely heartless, but represents a level of evil intent never before seen in anyone who has held that office.

Are these the people you want running your health care?  [Scroll down]  The federal government is using its police power to punish the public!  Has this ever happened before?  Not to my knowledge.  We all understand the police blocking a road when there has been an accident or a washout or some other event.  Ditto for closing public spaces for good reason, perhaps unsafe construction or a terrorist threat.  But to close them simply to inconvenience the public or damage it in some other way?  Never!  Think of that!  Never before!

The Audacity of Bureaucrats.  To wit, to be a successful government bureaucrat this past week, you would have had to play your part in closing down parks, lakes, monuments and sporting events that are frankly none of your [...] business.  Whether your job was ordering Barry-Cades, procuring orange warning paint, police tape, or stapling notices to fences, trees and so on, you had to choose between being a good bureaucrat or a good citizen.  This is not an exaggeration. [...] On a positive note, these turbo charged Barney Fifes are finding out that their Park Service badges and yellow tape garnered absolutely no respect.

ATF tries to block Fast and Furious whistle-blower from publishing book.  The ATF agent who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious has been denied permission to write a book on the botched anti-gun trafficking sting "because it would have a negative impact on morale," according to the very agency responsible for the scandal.  After first trying to stop the operation internally, ATF Agent John Dodson went to Congress and eventually the media following the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

ATF tries to block whistleblowing agent's 'Fast and Furious' book.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is blocking the main whistleblower in the Fast and Furious case from publishing a book, claiming his retelling of the Mexico "gun-walking" scandal will hurt morale inside the embattled law enforcement agency, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times.  ATF's dispute with Special Agent John Dodson is setting up a First Amendment showdown that is poised to bring together liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and conservatives in Congress who have championed Mr. Dodson's protection as a whistleblower.

Two D.C. Attacks and a Series of Unfortunate "Coincidences".  No one would have ever believed beforehand that the President might conspire with his Department of Justice and other agencies to funnel weapons to Mexican drug lords in order to precipitate a panic over America's rampant "gun culture" — but indeed, this occurred.  Nor would Americans have thought that the President would clandestinely provide arms to the same Muslim fanatics who attacked us in 2001, then order an attack on the compound facilitating such action when it became a liability.  No one would have believed that Obama would allow American personnel to perish at that compound in order to preserve his power. [...] If that is not definitive of a tyrant — and one who would employ any means necessary in order to attain his objectives — then what is?

I Will Not Comply.  Like most members of the Congress that passed it and, undoubtedly, the president of the United States who signed it, I have not read the entirety of the ill-named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Yet there is one aspect concerning that legislation of which I am certain:  I will not comply.  I will not comply because I am a free citizen of the United States, not a subject of its government.

Bullied by the IRS.  I've always paid my taxes and have never been arrested or charged with any crime in my life.  I am a successful small-business man.  But in January of this year, I woke up to find that my business' entire bank account — more than $35,000 — had been wrongly seized. [...] Adding insult to injury, federal civil forfeiture law does not even grant me a hearing before or soon after they snatched my account.  They've had my money for 10 months.  I've been forced to spend thousands of dollars on lawyers just to get a hearing before a judge.  Even more bizarre, under civil forfeiture, the government's case is not against me, but against my property.  This is why the official case has the ridiculous name, United States of America v. $35,651.11 in U.S. Currency.  This is not just absurd; it's unconstitutional.

Connecticut judge declares 'No one should have guns'.  A Superior Court judge in Bristol "expressed his contempt for the right to keep and bear arms' in a closed door meeting in his chambers, the state gun rights group Connecticut Carry reported last Thursday in a media advisory.  Judge Robert C. Brunetti "exposed his bigotry for fundamental civil rights in front of at least three defense attorneys," the group explained.  "No one in this country should have guns," the judge reportedly stated, adding "I never return guns."

'Elephant in the Room' Ignored by Prosecutor After Conviction of 'Beat the Polygraph' Instructor.  As someone who spent much of the past four years conducting an exhaustive investigation of the U.S. Government's use of credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph, I didn't expect MacBride to mention the proverbial "elephant in the room" — that is, the fact so many countermeasures exist to make it possible for any individual to "beat" or pass a polygraph exam.  And he didn't.

Indiana Man Sentenced to Prison for Teaching People How to Beat Polygraph Exams.  Eight months in prison.  That was the sentence handed down to Chad Dixon today by a federal court judge in Alexandria, Va.  His crime?  Teaching people — in particular, government job applicants — how to beat polygraph exams.

The Editor says...
Sounds to me like a violation of the defendant's rights to free speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of association.  He is apparently being silenced because the government does not want the general public (jury pool) to know that it is possible to spoof a polygraph exam.

Another 250 Million Rounds Of Ammunition For An Agency.  In the middle of December 2012, the Customs and Border Protection Agency presented a pre-solicitation for 50,000,000 rounds of .40 S&W caliber ammunition, ostensibly for training.  The contract would provide a total of 250,000,000 rounds over the life of the 5 year contract.  The contract was to be issued on 20 January 2013.  CPB, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has included the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency with this solicitation.