Remember the Way we Were Celebrate The Fourth of July

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Remember the Way we Were Celebrate The Fourth of July

Postby WalkerARCHITECTS » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:02 am

Unconstitutional Laws ARE examples of Failed Design Intelligence. When the Supreme Court creates by decisions they make the consequence should not be new laws that are obviously unconstitutional, such as the Citizens United Decision. What should be done?

Supreme Court justices are appointed for life in order to ensure their independence from politics. But when it comes to the core political strategy of the Republican Party, the five Republican appointees are, in effect, an extension of the GOP. This is damaging to the citizens of the United States to have political assets at work in the Supreme Court.

That this politicization of the Supreme court is a miscarriage of justice is obvious, but more significantly, it is also failed Design Intelligence. Political polarity by the Supreme Court justices is an expanding problem. This trend is economically damaging, undermines the concept of Liberty, it is an abuse of Justice as a concept and creates an enduring abuse of the force of law.

When they make decisions that affect our democracy such as they did last week on voting rights, you need to understand what the Republican Party has been up to and what motivations they have..

The modern GOP is based on an unlikely coalition of wealthy business executives, small business owners, and struggling whites. Its durability depends on the latter two categories believing that the economic stresses they've experienced for decades have a lot to do with the government taking their money and giving it to the poor, who are disproportionately black and Latino. These assumptions are flawed but they endure.

The real reason that small business owners and struggling whites haven't done better, is the same reason that most of the rest of America hasn't done better: Given the output of Americans, has continued to rise, and the money that has been made the reality is that almost all the gains have gone to the very top. That IS the problem in America and It is damaging all of USs.

Something evil is taking place in America. It is not an accidental phenomena but a deliberately, consistently contrived transfer of wealth and power away from the American people and into the hands of a very small number of persons.

To be clear about this additional blow to freedom all we really need to do is read a newspaper. The Supreme Court just gutted the most important civil rights law in our country -- the Voting Rights Act. Why is that evil? It is evil because it is reversing progress, it is regressive and it is designed to empower the capacity to stop some citizens of the United States from being able to vote. It resurrects a potentially evil capacity that previously existed in the 1960’s, to prevent minorities from voting. It is not an accident, The Supreme Court deliberated and adjudicated with the intent that this part of the law be neutralized. Who benefits?

As of this week, the landmark civil rights legislation NO LONGER fully protects minority voters from state-enacted voter suppression laws -- especially in the South -- as it has effectively done for nearly 4 decades. Today's decision is a serious blow to democracy. This joins Citizens United and the Patriot act among other laws that are systematically attacking the freedoms of the American People.

The Supreme Court's decision Tuesday striking down a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act puts the nation's strongest remedy against voting discrimination on life support, virtually powerless to block actions by states and dependent on a deadlocked Congress.

In a 5-4 decision this week, an ultra-conservative U.S. Supreme Court struck down key enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act, including those which required states with a history of racial disenfranchisement to get pre-approval from the US Department of Justice before those states could change voting laws. This opens the floodgates for states to pass restrictive voting laws across the country, such as voter identification laws and gerrymandered redistricting, that have the intended goal of preventing people of color from accessing the ballot box. This is an attack on freedom itself and it is consistent with the regressive practice of the last decade.

Joining Roberts in the majority opinion were Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Millions of Americans are now threatened by attacks on our ability to vote, if we don’t act. President Obama and civil rights advocates called the ruling a huge blow to democracy.

Among other things, Ginsburg argued in her dissent that the court should have deferred to Congress on the validity of the Voting Rights Act. "When confronting the most constitutionally invid?ious form of discrimination, and the most fundamental right in our democratic system, Congress' power to act is at its height," she wrote.

The truth is that the opportunity to improve this body of law now exists and a weakness in the structure of the Voting Rights law has been excised surgically by the high court. Regressive intentions however are not friendly toward minority voters. Now the nations leadership has the opportunity to fill the gap with an amendment to the law that repairs and enhances the intent of the law to preserve the civil rights of the people. True to form, the regressive GOP will road block all efforts to empower minority voting and repair the law. So the Supreme Court has delivered to the GOP exactly what they need to manipulate the reduction in the number of voting minorities. This comes on the heels of President Obama’s defeat of Mit Romney, primarily achieved with an unprecedented number of minority voters.

Where did all of these people of color come from? Immigration is also a heated issue. There are two sides to the issue. Illegal Immigrants damage our economy and destroy the wage rates of U.S. citizens. Legal immigrants however, typically are good for America and it’s economy. What should be done?

Anti-choice laws are becoming a bigger issue than ever before as some States seek to engage tuff new laws. Senator Wendy Davis. She stood for nearly 13 hours to stop them. Women everywhere (and the men who stick up for them) are so grateful. All across the country, hundreds of thousands of people were loudly standing up with Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who spoke for 11 hours to filibuster a dangerous bill that would have closed dozens of health clinics that provide services to women across the state.

It was a rare -- and if the other side has their way, temporary -- victory in that fight. Texas Governor Rick Perry has already scheduled a special legislative session so they can bring it up again next week.

Many of these issues arise from philosophical differences. Two sets of forces pulling in opposite directions.

Perry said in a statement Wednesday: “We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do.”

So no solutions are planned, just more politics.

Two sets of forces pulling two different groups in opposite directions creates a plane of friction. Design Intelligence should be used to design solutions to these problems by compromise and reason based upon the best outcomes for the greatest number of people. Solutions are not created by politics.

For example the debate about Social Security reform has two sets of forces pulling in opposite directions. Some reforms would incorporate Social Security into the social safety net. Others would change Social Security into a personal savings account.

Ironically enough, neither change actually reforms the existing system. Both reforms rewrite the concept of the system. Today, Social Security is in theory, old-age insurance without which the vast majority of Americans would be unable to retire without fear of outliving their assets. Social Security is not an anti-poverty program, nor is it a personal savings account. The problem of course arises from the nature of Capitalism, no employer wants to pay wages any higher than they have to and competition for jobs is always going to eliminate the money needed for healthcare and essential like shelter, food and water in your old age. The existing system is better that a cut back system to one group and it is seen as a wasteful extravagance by the other group.

Obviously if everyone could sustain a family supporting job where the wages included money for your old age there would be no debate. The concept that the system only works if we optimize our capacity to exploit labor for profit, will ensure only that the debate never ends except conflict, or unnecessary poverty. The balancing act we engage, almost as a ritual, is in fact failed Design Intelligence, it guarantees instability of our society that orphans too many participants from successfully taking care of themselves. On the other hand it empowers a ruthless exploitation that is literally destroying the middle class in America.

Life expectancy creates an unmanageable uncertainty for people who want to retire because no one can ever know how much savings they will require. People may live for very long periods of time. Insurance spreads the risk of an extended life over a large population. Insurance mitigates the risk by injecting a small income stream over the retiree’s lifetime. Insurance is meant to augment savings, not replace it. It is an expense, not an investment.

What is lost in the Social Security reform debate is that when we change Social Security from old-age insurance we are giving-up something that is not readily available elsewhere. There is no private or public market old-age insurance for the vast majority of Americans. On the other hand, we have many government run programs in the social safety net. We have many privately run savings accounts, ranging from 401Ks to IRAs. Wealthy people do not need the Social Security Insurance program and they want the Social Security money in the market, the working class can’t afford that risk and they do not want Social Security to be privatized. What should we do?

Two groups being pulled in opposite directions create friction that defies political solutions.

These issues often end up being decided by the courts. The current Supreme Court is very radical. Few Americans can even afford to hire an attorney to represent them because the cost of legal services is way beyond their pay grade, even in simple civil law suits. Consequently when the Courts make these decisions almost everyone involved is a wealthy person or Corporation. Since our law is built upon a system of precedents, the working class is increasingly disenfranchised by the Justice System, because they can’t participate without adequate wealth. Clearly the Justice Department knows about the problem and seeks no remedy. Consequently we conclude that this is done deliberately and that power is being transferred to those few who are wealthy. The essential agent of delivery for justice is not right or wrong it is simply money. No money equals no access to the justice system. What should we do?

In context too many Supreme Court rulings and laws work against the working class, you and me, because they are deliberately contrived by the system of financial constraints to favor a powerful minority, composed of the wealthiest American’s. These lost freedoms, that are discussed here, represent another point of friction because these new laws are likely to be used to hold down the middle class and the poor. Laws that create greater inequality are deliberately created. These laws nibble away at the working class and systematically remove power from the body politic in favor of the wealthy. This is driven by greed and it is evil at work. It is impossible to assert that it is not deliberate. We advocate Design Intelligence to resolve these points of friction as the most logical manner to create the future that we all must share, either in peace and harmony or in conflict.

Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. No. 107-52) expanded the definition of terrorism to cover ""domestic,"" as opposed to international, terrorism. A person engages in domestic terrorism if they do an act ""dangerous to human life"" that is a violation of the criminal laws of a State or the United States, if the act appears to be intended to: (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping. Additionally, the acts have to occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States and if they do not, may be regarded as international terrorism. A Union strike for example may be an act of terrorism depending upon which side you are on.

This definition is dangerous. This is the kind of thing that invites suppression of our freedoms.

The definition of terrorism is getting broader. There’s a strong incentive to label someone a “terrorist” if you’re in a position of authority: a terrorist has no rights. Under the Patriot Act, someone who is even suspected of being a terrorist can be whisked away and detained indefinitely. Obama claims that torture of suspects has now been discontinued, but (a) no one who did torture suspects was punished in any way—some were promoted—and (b) Obama chronically lies to the American public and is also very keen that secrets remain secrets and has been ruthless in persecuting whistleblowers. So an authoritarian who is being criticized for any reason (including competence) will want to label as “terrorists” those doing the criticism.

Expect these laws to be abused and consequently for the erosion of freedom to accelerate. Work to achieve a reversion of these same forces and to repeal these dangerous laws.

You’ve seen how big companies are now calling protestors “terrorists” so that the companies can use Homeland Security as their goons and thugs, thus outsourcing that expense. And now, for example, if you complain about the (terrible) quality of your drinking water, you may be labeled as a terrorist. Organize a sit-in on that issue and you might be jailed if any law has been broken.

A whistleblower who exposes practices that constitute serious violations of our constitutional rights, is now a traitor.

Who benefits from these laws? The Patriot Act is an example of this kind of legislation that empowers the suspension of key rights, that undermines the Bill of Rights, and creates a cloud about basic freedoms including the right to peaceably assemble and protest government actions. The following videos are provided for historical context.

See what we mean, this is nuts!

Failed Design Intelligence is now an epidemic! The processes do not create cogent laws. The latest whistle blower on the NSA now demonstrates how serious the disease has become. Architects have an obligation to be informed about government and the serious state of decay of the American dream.

The USA PATRIOT Act broadly expands law enforcement's surveillance and investigative powers and represents one of the most significant threats to civil liberties, privacy and democratic traditions in U.S. history. The act in its current form gives sweeping search and surveillance to domestic law enforcement and foreign intelligence agencies and eliminates checks and balances which had been the difference between the free world and the suppressed.

The self-identified “author of the Patriot Act” has had a swift change of heart on surveillance. In a letter to Attorney-General Eric Holder last week, Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin asked: “How could the phone records of so many innocent Americans be relevant to an authorized investigation as required by the Act?” In a separate newspaper column, Sensenbrenner went further, claiming the administration was abusing the law.

Maybe Sensenbrenner wouldn’t have been as surprised, had he attended classified briefings on the National Security Agency’s program over the last three years.

Sensenbrenner, who has been among the most insistent and aggressive in his claims that he was not informed, didn’t attend at all. Yet his complaints carry particular weight because he is a longtime presence on the House judiciary committee and shepherded the Patriot Act into law in 2001 as chair of the committee.

The PATRIOT Act’s principal author, was U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who spoke on June 23rd on “UpFront with Mike Gousha” that the law needs to be amended after revelations about broad-ranging NSA domestic data collection. Clearly the administration now has the flexibility to curtail the current practice of mining for terrorists. While he said Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who leaked the information, should be extradited and tried for revealing the classified information, he agreed Snowden did the public a favor by revealing the wide scope of the data sweeps.

Thanks for your help Mr. Snowden your reward is prison. Obviously a man who is thinking clearly, he followed with this remark;

“I think he did the American public a favor by showing that,” the Menomonee Falls Republican said on the program, produced with “This certainly was not what was contemplated when the PATRIOT Act was passed. I was the principal author of the PATRIOT Act, and I know that everybody who supported it made a conscious effort to balance national security needs with civil liberties requirements that make America different than practically any other country.”

But the only thing that has changed is the leak on Obama’s watch along with expanded abuse of the Bill of Rights.

He said the law’s business records provision used by the data collection program was intended only to be used to get records of foreigners targeted by an authorized terror investigation—not against U.S. citizens or legal residents.

The uproar President Obama has faced over the issue, Sensenbrenner said, “is a self-inflicted wound because he went beyond the PATRIOT Act.” He said.

Added Sensenbrenner: “We need to amend the FISA Act. We need to amend the PATRIOT Act business records section so that this type of snooping is only targeted to people who have been identified as foreigners trying to do us harm.''

So if the White House screwed up and the language of the act was clear…. Then why do we need to amend the PATRIOT ACT business records section?? Something get left out or was it cut out?

He added that surveillance of Americans or legal residents should be done through subpoenas and warrants, so there is due process. That comes along a bit late. The lack of Design Intelligence is increasingly clear.

“I do not believe the released FISA order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act,” Sensenbrenner wrote. “How could the phone records of so many innocent Americans be relevant to an authorized investigation as required by the Act?”

"Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American," he added in a press release that accompanied the letter.

Sensenbrenner cited 2011 testimony from a Justice Department official who said the feds obtained data through the business records provision of the act around 40 times a year. That testimony, Sensenbrenner wrote, left the impression that the administration was using the provision "sparingly and for specific materials," rather than the broad interpretation of it officials sought and obtained.

On the topic of immigration reform, Sensenbrenner also added that tougher border security and sanctions against employers who hire people illegally in the country, must come before any legalization program in immigration reform.

“If we don’t do border security first, before any type of legalization program, then we make the mistake of 1986, which was supposed to end the issue of illegal immigration once and for all and instead made it worse,” Sensenbrenner said.

Design Intelligence requires that we read the laws and understand how they will be enforced before we enact them.

Former Sen. Russ Feingold was one of two senators to vote against the Patriot Act in 2001, he was one of only two Senators to read the Patriot Act before it was enacted,… other than the authors. What caused this was that it was not possible for the Act to be read before the vote had to be taken, it was railroaded into law. The crucible of lies where this body of law was forged, is directly related to the unconstitutional nature of the patriot act. There was no debate on the floor of the House. See the link below.

We have to remember where this attack on American freedom began. The origins of the Patriot Act was to protect America from terrorists. The Patriot Act however short circuits the logic of freedom. The Authors of this bill are potential Traitors to freedom despite the appearance of good intentions. We only recently heard from the principle author. Where has he been? Evil is as evil does even if what is done is simply silence. This is the problem with embedded secret laws of sweeping power. It gets abused too easily. Destroying the freedom of the American people is an act of war on the American people! I think all concerned must agree that this is true.

Playing politics rather than repairing the damage is the source code of the problem, apparently nobody at the White House asked the author for his interpretation and just as obvious the Author didn’t bother to show up when he would have been the most valuable. Instead, he and other Republicans, shift the blame and point the finger to the left.

The Patriot Act was passed in the context of 9-11 and In the Crucible of Lies about a nuclear threat, America created laws to empower a preemptive war on Iraq. It is important to strike down the Patriot Act in it’s entirety, simply because the manner in which it came to form and became law was so deeply flawed and so destructive to our civil liberties. Let us retire this law, before any more damage is done.

The Bush White House signed this deeply flawed legislation into law. The law had an expiration date, but In his second term it was again ratified, reinforced and made even more damaging to American freedoms.


To the extent that the FISC sanctioned PRISM, it may be consistent with the law. But it is disingenuous to suggest that millions of Americans’ e-mails, photographs and documents are “incidental” to an investigation targeting foreigners overseas.

Sensenbrenner speaks courageously to the facts and engages the politics of damage control. But, it is clear, that the law he claims to have authored, is itself flawed as well as the intentions of the NSA. So this is a case of a broken law, and execution of the law is also flawed. This is another example of failed Design Intelligence in government.

The telephony metadata program raises similar concerns. FISA did not originally envision the government accessing records. Following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Congress allowed applications for obtaining records from certain kinds of businesses. In 2001, lawmakers further expanded FISA to give the government access to any business or personal records. Under section 215 of the Patriot Act, the government no longer has to prove that the target is a foreign power. It need only state that the records are sought as part of an investigation to protect against terrorism or clandestine intelligence.

This means that FISA can now be used to gather records concerning individuals who are neither the target of any investigation nor an agent of a foreign power. Entire databases — such as telephony metadata — can be obtained, as long as an authorized investigation exists. This is a serious flaw.

Congress didn’t pass Section 215 to allow for the wholesale collection of information. As Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), who helped draft the statute, wrote in the Guardian: “Congress intended to allow the intelligence communities to access targeted information for specific investigations. How can every call that every American makes or receives be relevant to a specific investigation?”

As a constitutional matter, the Supreme Court has long held that, where an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, search and seizure may occur only once the government has obtained a warrant, supported by probable cause and issued by a judge. The warrant must specify the places to be searched and items to be seized.

There are exceptions to the warrant requirement. In 1979 the court held that the use of a pen register to record numbers dialed from someone’s home was not a search. The court suggested that people who disclose their communications to others assume the risk that law enforcement may obtain the information.

More than three decades later, digitization and the explosion of social-network technology have changed the calculus. In the ordinary course of life, third parties obtain massive amounts of information about us that, when analyzed, have much deeper implications for our privacy than before.

As for Section 702 of FISA, the Supreme Court has held that the Fourth Amendment does not protect foreigners from searches conducted abroad. But it has never recognized a foreign intelligence exception to the warrant requirement when foreign-targeted searches result in the collection of vast stores of citizens’ communications.

Americans reasonably expect that their movements, communications and decisions will not be recorded and analyzed by the government. A majority of the Supreme Court seems to agree. Last year, the court considered a case involving 28-day GPS surveillance. Justice Samuel Alito suggested that in most criminal investigations, long-term monitoring “impinges on expectations of privacy.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor recognized that following a person’s movements “reflects a wealth of detail about her familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations.”

The FISC is supposed to operate as a check. But it is a secret court, notorious for its low rate of denial. From 1979 to 2002, it did not reject a single application. Over the past five years, out of nearly 8,600 applications, only two have been denied.

Congress has an opportunity to create more effective checks on executive power. It could withdraw Sections 215 and 702 and introduce new measures to regulate intelligence collection and analysis. There are many options.

James Madison put it best: “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

The New York Times wrote in an editorial this week that the Patriot Act “needs to be sharply curtailed if not repealed,” joining a growing chorus of voices expressing dismay over just how broadly the federal government interprets its powers under the act.

Two provisions of the USA Patriot Act are unconstitutional because they allow search warrants to be issued without a showing of probable cause, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

“It's not enough to fight NSA's outrageously invasive spying on us — the Patriot Act itself is a shameful betrayal of America's ideals, and it must be repealed.” Said Sensenbrenner the principle author of the act. “He also claims that people calling Ed Snowden a traitor are off base because without Snowden, he wouldn't have known how the Patriot Act was being abused. That's quite an incredible statement when you think about it. “

That difference previously had given courts the opportunity to ensure that those powers were not abused. PATRIOT and follow-up legislation now in development threaten the basic rights of millions of Americans and has turned America into a suppressed state. A new bill introduced in this 110th Congress is designed to extend the USA Patriot Act allowing what many experts say are illegal provisions which will continue to allow the FBI, DEA, ICE, ATF, U.S. Military and other federal agencies to spy on investigate and arrest innocent Americans. The law because of the act allows for violations of Americans constitutional rights that our fore Fathers did not intend. Constitutional lawyers all across America say the Patriot Act should be repealed not reinstated. President Bush signed into law the earlier renewal of the controversial Patriot Law on December 30, 2005 as the provisions were due to expire they were extended with Public Law 109-160 that pushed the date from December 31, 2005 until February 3, 2006. The date of expiration was again changed from February 3, 2006 until March 10, 2006.

The original Patriot Act was passed into law on October 24, 2001 by the Congress of the United States, just 45 days after the September 11 attacks, with few Congressman even reading it and virtually no debate. There are significant flaws in the Patriot Act, flaws that threaten your fundamental freedoms by giving the government the power to access your medical records, tax records, information about the books you buy or borrow without probable cause, and even worse the power to break your door down at your home at any time of the day or night and conduct unconstitutional searches and seizures or if your lucky and are not home they can search your home or business in secret without telling you for weeks, months, or even indefinitely.

According to Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) the law dramatically expands the ability of states and the Federal Government to conduct surveillance of American citizens. The Government can monitor an individual's web surfing records, use roving wiretaps to monitor phone calls made by individuals "proximate" to the primary person being tapped, access Internet Service Provider records, and monitor the private records of people involved in legitimate protests.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended by the Patriot Act, "now permits the executive branch of government to conduct surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment."

Obviously this is an example of failed Design Intelligence. How does this kind of thing keep happening? Is it because some members of the government want to turn the USA into a Security State run by a few wealthy insiders. When one considers the nature of some of the laws they keep trying to pass it really supports cause for suspicion about the actual intentions of those wielding power in Washington DC.

Portland attorney Brandon Mayfield sought the ruling in a lawsuit against the federal government after he was mistakenly linked by the FBI to the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people in 2004.

The federal government apologized and settled part of the lawsuit for $2 million after admitting a fingerprint was misread. But as part of the settlement, Mayfield retained the right to challenge parts of the Patriot Act, which greatly expanded the authority of law enforcers to investigate suspected acts of terrorism.

Mayfield claimed that secret searches of his house and office under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act violated the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure. Aiken agreed with Mayfield, repeatedly criticizing the government.

"For over 200 years, this Nation has adhered to the rule of law — with unparalleled success. A shift to a Nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill-advised," she wrote.

By asking her to dismiss Mayfield's lawsuit, the judge said, the U.S. attorney general's office was "asking this court to, in essence, amend the Bill of Rights, by giving it an interpretation that would deprive it of any real meaning. This court declines to do so."
Elden Rosenthal, an attorney for Mayfield, issued a statement on his behalf praising the judge, saying she "has upheld both the tradition of judicial independence, and our nation's most cherished principle of the right to be secure in one's own home."
Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said the agency was reviewing the decision, and he declined to comment further.

Received apology from FBI

Mayfield, a Muslim convert, was taken into custody on May 6, 2004, because of a fingerprint found on a detonator at the scene of the Madrid bombing. The FBI said the print matched Mayfield's. He was released about two weeks later, and the FBI admitted it had erred in saying the fingerprints were his and later apologized to him.

Before his arrest, the FBI put Mayfield under 24-hour surveillance, listened to his phone calls and surreptitiously searched his home and law office.

The Mayfield case has been an embarrassment for the federal government. Last year, the Justice Department's internal watchdog faulted the FBI for sloppy work in mistakenly linking Mayfield to the Madrid bombings. That report said federal prosecutors and FBI agents had made inaccurate and ambiguous statements to a federal judge to get arrest and criminal search warrants against Mayfield.

The Edward Snowden leaks have revealed a U.S. corporate media system at war with independent journalism. Many of the same outlets -- especially TV news -- that missed the Wall Street meltdown and cheer-led the Iraq invasion have come to resemble state-controlled media outlets in their near-total identification with the government as it pursues the now 30-year-old whistleblower.

Quick Refresher Course; Abuses of the Bill of Rights

Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The Abuse; Freedom from unreasonable searches: The government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation. According to the Patriot Act. (This is not lawful legislation.)

Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
The Abuse; Right to a speedy and public trial: The government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial; According to the Patriot Act. This is not lawful legislation.

Amendment I: 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.
The Abuse; Freedom of association: To assist terror investigation, the government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity; According to the patriot Act. This is not lawful legislation.

Amendment I: Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ...
The Abuse; Freedom of speech: The government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation; According to the Patriot Act. This is not lawful legislation.

Amendment VI: ... to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
The Abuse; Right to legal representation: The government may monitor conversations between attorneys and clients in federal prisons and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes; According to the Patriot Act. This is not lawful legislation.

Amendment VI: ... to be confronted with the witnesses against him ...

The Abuse; Right to liberty: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them. US citizens (labeled "unlawful combatants") have been held incommunicado and refused attorneys; According to the Patriot Act. This is not lawful legislation.

Constitutional Source: Cornell Law School
Patriot Act Source: The Associated Press, Knight-Ridder Newspapers
Full Patriot Act Text:

The PATRIOT ACT is not limited to terrorism EFF writes on their web site. They point out that the Government can add samples to DNA databases for individuals convicted of "any crime of violence." Government spying on suspected computer trespassers (not just terrorist suspects) and all of this and more requires no court order. Wiretaps are now allowed for any suspected violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, offering possibilities for Government spying on and monitoring any computer user's searches, e-mails and in fact record every stroke on any computer. Foreign and domestic intelligence agencies can more easily spy on Americans.

PATRIOT is not limited to terrorism EFF writes on their web site. They point out that the Government can add samples to DNA databases for individuals convicted of "any crime of violence." Government spying on suspected computer trespassers (not just terrorist suspects) and all of this and more requires no court order. Wiretaps are now allowed for any suspected violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, offering possibilities for Government spying on and monitoring any computer user's searches, e-mails and in fact record every stroke on any computer. Foreign and domestic intelligence agencies can more easily spy on Americans.

The Department of Justice, with little input from Congress and the American people, is developing follow-on legislation — the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (nicknamed Patriot II) — which would greatly expand Patriot's already sweeping powers. The federal government has turned American freedoms into a world wide mockery with their unchecked spying on ordinary Americans, part of a broad pattern of the executive branch using "national security" and or "suspected terrorism " as an excuse for encroaching on the privacy and free speech rights of Americans without adequate oversight. It eliminates many protections against unlawful imprisonment and now many rights in U.S. legal system are absent — such as the important right ofhabeas corpus.

As written the act violates due process for all Americans. All the president has to do is call a citizen an "enemy combatant," and the person's due process rights disappear. The US Government says that U.S. citizens can be detained and then tried in secret trials — in absentia, and can use secret evidence that the accused cannot see or challenge. If evidence is obtained by coercion, or torture government lawyers contend that it should still be allowed as a basis for conviction, there by erasing 300 years of Anglo-American jurisprudence.

You should be very uncomfortable with the collection of your records by the governmentwhich are using the Patriot Act to demand your social security number and other private financial or medical information by order of secret courts and the muzzling of those citizens who receive such orders from speaking publicly about them. This is a violation of both the 1st and 4th amendment. You should also oppose the collection of both private and business records by banks, pharmacies and other businesses which are using the Patriot Act to demand your social security number and other private financial or medical information. Criticism of former President Bush's admission that he had received warnings only weeks before September 11th has made it more important to understand the origins of the act. There has never been a more urgent need to preserve fundamental privacy protections and our system of checks and balances than the need we face today. As illegal government spying, provisions of the Patriot Act and government-sponsored torture programs transcend the bounds of law and our most treasured values in the name of national security and just the allegation of suspected terrorist activity be it true or not. The current Act that was extended and updated you can read online at this site:

Financial Transactions

The sections of the Patriot Act that deal with financial transactions fall under Title III, which is also known as the International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001. It stands on its own as a separate act of Congress as well as being part of the Patriot Act, and is an amended version of the 1986 Money Laundering Control Act and the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act. The earlier acts tended to focus on preventing money laundering and international cash flow as it related to the drug trade, or to gambling, smuggling, and other types of criminal activity. In the 2001 version, the focus has shifted towards money laundering as a means of financing international terrorism.

The current act encourages financial institutions to collect certain data to identify customers and their transactions in case any of the activity should be flagged as "suspicious" by a government agency. "Suspicious" in most cases means involving any foreign nationals or corporations. The Patriot Act considers any such accounts or transactions worthy of intense scrutiny. (Although the scrutiny will, of course, be more severe for certain nationalities than for others.)

What if you are a US-born, US citizen, do not have any arrest record, and are not involved in any type of criminal activity? If you'd just like to open a bank account or engage in another banking transaction, can a bank force you to provide your social security number? How about fingerprinting you? Is either of these strictly required by law? Not exactly — although if you do not wish to provide your social security number you will have to obtain an alternate taxpayer identification number. This information (along with your name, address, and date of birth) is used as part of the required Customer Identification Program (CIP) used to verify customer identity (and to compare customer information with lists of known terrorist suspects). Such information may also be required by other money service businesses such as currency exchanges. All having the effect of the financial institution acting as agent to and for the US Government.

Fingerprints are not a requirement of the Patriot Act, and they are certainly not required by all financial institutions — so if your bank insists on this procedure, you may wish to take your business elsewhere.

Cash Transactions

Cash transactions are certainly not prohibited, but they bring more government scrutiny, and they are now more inconvenient for certain vendors to process. If you deposit, withdraw, or make a purchase involving more than $10,000 in cash in one day, the other agency involved has to file a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) with the IRS that reports details such as your name, address, and taxpayer identification number. If you purchase over $3,000 of traveler's checks, money orders, or cashier's checks, such a transaction will also be reported to the IRS via a Monetary Instrument Log (MIL). And should you engage in any activity that indicates you may be engaged in money laundering or otherwise violating the law, your transaction may even trigger your being put on the no fly list and on the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). The SAR will be filed without your knowledge — it is, in fact, against the law for you to be informed of the SAR as your knowledge would compromise the subsequent investigation.

If you want the Patriot Act to be repealed you should immediately write your Congressperson and express your concerns, if you and millions of others don't America's leadership in freedom and many of our own basic freedoms and liberties will be a thing of the past.

Remember what happened during the Bush Administration.

Wake Up America before it is too late.
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