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.
The Fourth Amendment, which is the law limiting government power to search and seize our persons and most private property, has been gutted by executive and administrative actions, Congress, and the courts — the very bodies that were supposed to enforce it on government. This American Bill of Right is based in English common law, and was written to prevent what’s now called a “police state.”
Although Americans now live in a soft police state, we may not understand how we got to this point, or why reclaiming the Fourth Amendment is essential to retaining our exceptionalism that flows from freedom. Also, a proposed 21st Century Fourth Amendment introduced in the Virginia General Assembly this year is a model that can restore this Bill of Right to its rightful status.
The Fourth Amendment is quintessentially American even though it is based in English common law. It inherently relies on the separation of powers, but that too comes from the common law, and was forged through centuries-old battles between freedom and tyranny.
The Fourth Amendment is written in broad strokes covering many complex concepts, but has three basic parts — trespass, process, and specificity. Understanding them, and the historical context from which they evolved, will help us reclaim this Bill of Right.
The first clause (or part) reads: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated….”
Government violates our privacy, especially with its electronic surveillance and arbitrary interception of phone and digital records. The Fourth Amendment, however, is historically and correctly based in property rights and the law of trespass. Justice Antonin Scalia, for example, wrote in a 2013 Supreme Court opinion:
“[F]or most of our history the Fourth Amendment was understood to embody a particular concern for government trespass upon the areas (‘persons, houses, papers, and effects’) it enumerates . . . [and the] reasonable-expectation-of-privacy test has been added to, not substituted for, the common-law trespassory test.”
It is actually a relatively simple concept that has come to be misunderstood or simply disregarded, but just as private individuals may not trespass on our persons or our most intimate property, neither may the government. That concept was as inherently understood and easily grasped by the Framers as it may seem radical to today’s statists or property rights antagonists.
Read all of this HERE.
“Gennifer Flowers. Cattle futures. The White House travel office. Rose Law Firm files.The Lincoln Bedroom. Monica Lewinsky. And now, the Clinton Foundation. What ties these stories together is the predictable, paint-by-numbers response from the Bill and Hillary Clinton political operation.
1. Deny: Salient questions are dodged, and evidence goes missing. The stone wall is built.
2. Deflect: Blame is shifted, usually to Republicans and the media.
3. Demean: People who question or criticize the Clintons get tarred as right-wing extremists, hacks, nuts, or sluts.” —Ron Fournier
Make no mistake: the war everyone fears is already here
Peace and a new beginning are not on the horizon
War must be averted. This is the appealing narrative, the glue that has held the theater of the Iran nuclear negotiations together for more than a decade as Western and UN powers try to talk it out with the Islamic Republic in Geneva.
It makes sense, in its own right, as nobody should want a war—as in a confrontation where bombs are falling, cities are destroyed and a lot of people end up dead. The Obama Administration has been steadfast in presenting war as the only alternative to the marathon talks, a dire warning from a president who won the Nobel Peace Prize supposedly because his commitment to diplomacy would save the world from witnessing future Iraq scenarios. God forbid that should happen again, right?
But hold on there. Putting aside the fact that President Obama bungled an invasion of Libya and unleashed anarchy that is drowning thousands of fleeing refugees by the boatload, the idea of a grand bargain with Iran is an illusion, or worse, a deliberate deception. For all the song and dance in Switzerland, for all the talk of moderates, hardliners, and the deal of a lifetime, the war everyone thinks they are avoiding is already here. On one front after another, the Middle East is on fire—and behind many of them is the hand of the Shiite-Islamist Iranian regime, the same one making a lot of promises to diplomats all too eager for their own shot at the Peace Prize.
Syria has been reduced to rubble as Iran holds the line for dictator Bashar al-Assad
Evidence considered it is difficult not to notice this. Syria has been reduced to rubble as Iran holds the line for dictator Bashar al-Assad in his battle against an uprising, the country transformed into a ravaged hell that has produced more refugees than almost any other conflict since the Second World War. Next door, Iraq has been reignited after a period of relative calm that made it safer than many Latin American countries. In Yemen—the country cited by President Obama as the model for solving the new, before mentioned Iraq crisis—civil war rages in the streets as Iranian-backed rebels advance, the US presence on the ground heads for the hills, and starvation threatens millions. Iranian proxies Hamas and Hezbollah rule the Gaza Strip and Lebanon respectively, sitting atop a massive arsenal of weaponry that can spark a conflagration with rivals or Israel at any moment. All this is going on while Iran itself ramps up executions and leaves anti-government activists rotting in jail—under the “moderate” president, Hassan Rowhani.
Continue reading all of this HERE.
Evidently, depositing big gobs of it into her and Willie’s bank accounts qualifies.