April 17, 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson
“Is the IRS even allowed to do this?” –KTRN
Efforts to pass a bill that would allow the IRS to deny travel rights to U.S. citizens who the feds merely claim owe $50,000 or more in delinquent taxes represents a de facto move to revoke the citizenship of Americans without due process and in complete violation of the Constitution.
Thanks to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a recently passed Senate bill, the suitably Orwellian entitled ‘Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act’, includes a provision that allows the federal government to revoke passports of Americans accused of owing back taxes.
The legislation now moves to the Congress where, despite a Republican majority, the IRS provision is expected to be retained in the final version of the bill because it will raise an estimated $750 million dollars over ten years.
“There is no requirement that the tax payer be guilty of or even charged with tax evasion, fraud, or any criminal offense — only that the citizen is alleged to owe the IRS back taxes of $50,000 or more,” reports the Daily Economist.
Empowering the IRS to deny fundamental rights on a whim is completely illegal and unconstitutional.
“There are also numerous Supreme Court precedents protecting these same rights,” writes Jack Swint. “Furthermore, the law appears to violate Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution, which forbids “Bills of Attainder”, which are laws providing for the punishment of an individual without benefit of judicial process.”
“It takes away your right to enter or exit the country based upon a non-judicial IRS determination that you owe taxes,” Constitutional Attorney Angel Reyes told FOX Business. “It’s a scary thought that our congressional representatives want to give the IRS the power to detain US citizens over taxes, which could very well be in dispute.”
What’s next? If the feds can bar you from leaving the country merely by claiming you have committed some infraction without having to provide any evidence, the prospect of Americans being abducted and interned indefinitely under the National Defense Authorization Act with a similar absence of due process is just around the corner.
April 13, 2012
By Kurt Nimmo
“What do you think? Should Obama get impeached?” –KTRN
A new national movement has been launched to impeach President Obama based around five core issues which clearly demonstrate how Obama has flagrantly violated the Constitution.
The campaign, backed by director, producer, actor and writer Sean Stone, is a follow-up to North Carolina Republican Walter Jones’ efforts to bring the administration to account for launching unconstitutional wars without the authorization of Congress. Jones’ recently introduced resolution states that such actions represent “an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.”
The five core reasons for impeachment proceedings to be launched can be summarized as follows;
1) Despite promising otherwise, Barack Obama committed U.S. military resources to overthrow Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi without any kind of congressional authorization whatsoever and without citing any evidence that Libya under Gaddafi was a threat to the security of the United States. Furthermore, Obama brazenly undermined the power of Congress by insisting his authority came from the United Nations Security Council and that Congressional approval was not necessary. “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question,” Obama churlishly remarked.
2) On New Years Eve 2011, Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act which includes provisions that permit the abduction and military detention without trial of U.S. citizens. Despite Obama claiming he would not use the provisions to incarcerate U.S. citizens, it was his administration that specifically demanded these powers be included in the final NDAA bill.
April 4, 2012
By Steve Watson
“Doesn’t anyone think it’s odd that the mainstream media hardly covered the NDAA? It’s almost as if someone told them to leave it alone. What would the founding fathers think?” –KTRN
An award winning reporter who is suing the Obama administration over the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which legislates for the ‘indefinite detention’ of American citizens without trial, is appalled at the lack of media coverage of the issue.
Appearing on RT, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, author and Middle East expert Chris Hedges said that the NDAA, otherwise known as the ‘Homeland Battlefield Bill’, is already causing a chilling effect on the work of journalists in the US.
“The NDAA has received very little publicity, including by my former employer The New York Times.” Hedges said.
“It is a piece of legislation that was essentially supported by both political parties. Indeed the sponsors of the Bill are Carl Levin, a Democrat and John McCain, a Republican. There was no outcry within the systems of power itself, and that of course meant there was no outcry within the media, which allows those systems of power to set the parameters of debate.” Hedges added.
The controversial legislation, signed into law by Obama on New Years Eve, allows American citizens to be abducted and held in a detention camp anywhere in the world without trial under section 1031. Although Obama indicated in a signing statement attached to the bill that he would not use it to indefinitely detain American citizens, it was the Obama administration itself that requested the provision be worded so it would apply to US citizens.
The legislation specifically says that any persons deemed to have “substantially supported” al-Qaida and the Taliban and “associated forces” may be incarcerated without trial.
“What’s an associated force?” Hedges rhetorically asked, after explaining that his lawsuit is based around the fact that definitions within the NDAA are extremely, and seemingly purposefully vague.
March 30, 2012
By Jim Garrison
“Remember when Obama said he was going to bring change? I guess he meant it – but this is not the change people wanted.” –KTRN
President Obama’s National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order of March 16 does to the country as a whole what the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act did to the Constitution in particular — completely eviscerates any due process or judicial oversight for any action by the Government deemed in the interest of “national security.” Like the NDAA, the new Executive Order puts the government completely above the law, which, in a democracy, is never supposed to happen. The United States is essentially now under martial law without the exigencies of a national emergency.
Even as the 2012 NDAA was rooted in the Patriot Act and the various executive orders and Congressional bills that ensued to broaden executive power in the “war on terror,” so the new Executive Order is rooted in the Defense Production Act of 1950 which gave the Government powers to mobilize national resources in the event of national emergencies, except now virtually every aspect of American life falls under ultimate unchallengeable government control, to be exercised by the president and his secretaries at their discretion.
The 2012 NDAA deemed the United States a “battlefield,” as Senator Lindsey Graham put it, and gave the president and his agents the right to seize and arrest any U.S. citizen, detain them indefinitely without charge or trial, and do so only on suspicion, without any judicial oversight or due process. The new Executive Order states that the president and his secretaries have the authority to commandeer all U.S. domestic resources, including food and water, as well as seize all energy and transportation infrastructure inside the borders of the United States. The Government can also forcibly draft U.S. citizens into the military and force U.S. citizens to fulfill “labor requirements” for the purposes of “national defense.” There is not even any Congressional oversight allowed, only briefings.
March 12, 2012
By Eric Blair
“Is it time to impeach Obama? The signing of the NDAA should be enough to get him out of office.” –KTRN
Since 2005, Veterans for Peace and others have been calling for the impeachment of the sitting president for war crimes. After their demands to lawmakers to uphold the rule of law against Bush were largely ignored, they renewed their effort to impeach Obama once he continued to bomb sovereign nations without congressional approval. Now, lawmakers seem to have finally decided to take the rule of law and Separation of Powers seriously.
Obama will face impeachment over his failure to seek congressional authorization before launching offensive military action in Libya last year. Official impeachment proceedings have now been filed in both the House and Senate.
Last week, North Carolina Representative Walter Jones filed an Impeachment Resolution in the House H.CON.RES.107.IH stating “Expressing the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.”
“Whereas the cornerstone of the Republic is honoring Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.”
March 9, 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson
FBI Director Robert Mueller’s failure to acknowledge that the Constitution and the rule of law prevents the government from being allowed to kill American citizens on U.S. soil without due process is yet another shocking benchmark of how far American has sunk into a military dictatorship.
Asked by House lawmakers Wednesday on whether the Obama administration’s policy of extra-judicial killings of American citizens abroad could also apply inside the United States, Mueller was evasive.
“I have to go back. Uh, I’m not certain whether that was addressed or not,” Mueller said when asked by Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., about a distinction between domestic and foreign targeting.
Graves followed up asking whether “from a historical perspective,” the federal government has “the ability to kill a U.S. citizen on United States soil or just overseas.”
“I’m going to defer that to others in the Department of Justice,” Mueller replied.
As Judge Andrew Napolitano explains in the clip above, Mueller shouldn’t have to “check” whether the government is allowed to kill American citizens on U.S. soil or indeed anywhere in the world – the thing that stops this from happening is called due process and the rule of law.
As top constitutional and military law expert Jonathan Turley explains, “[Mueller] appeared unclear whether he had the power under the Obama Kill Doctrine or, in the very least, was unwilling to discuss that power. For civil libertarians, the answer should be easy: “Of course, I do not have that power under the Constitution.”
Despite Mueller’s evasive response, the Obama administration itself has made it clear that American citizens will be targeted for assassination on U.S. soil if they are deemed enemy combatants.
Since the National Defense Authorization Act defines the whole of the planet, including the United States, as a “battlefield” in the perpetual war on terror, it doesn’t matter whether Americans are inside the United States or abroad, they are all legitimate targets of the policy of state-sponsored assassination, according to the government’s argument.
As Turley stated when the issue arose during the recent NDAA debate, “President Obama has just stated a policy that he can have any American citizen killed without any charge, without any review, except his own. If he’s satisfied that you are a terrorist, he says that he can kill you anywhere in the world including in the United States.”
February 23, 2012
End The Lie
By Madison Ruppert
“John McCain in an evil man. Let’s not forget he was one of the major players at getting the NDAA signed. Please vote this man out of office.” –KTRN
During the Senate’s major hearing on cybersecurity last week, Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, announced that the Republicans in the Senate would introduce a bill to compete with S. 2105, also known as the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.
McCain seeks to give the NSA and the military previously unimaginable powers over civilian networks, even further expanding the ludicrous power over American citizens given to the military under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA).
This is similar to the conclusions drawn by a study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which unsurprisingly had a long list of corporate “advisers” who would directly benefit from such a centralization.
Although, even the legislation as it is currently being considered follows the study’s recommendations by putting the power in the hands of DHS. McCain would apparently rather see that power in the military’s hands.
The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 is currently being supported by the chairmen of not only the Senate’s Homeland Security committee but also the chairs of the commerce and intelligence committees as well.
The current bill is cosponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut Independent, Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat and Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California.
McCain spoke out against rushing the debate on this legislation and instead called for widening the role of the National Security Agency (NSA) in cybersecurity matters domestically.
On the February 16 hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee McCain said that the fact that similar legislation has been introduced in the past by Lieberman and Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, in the past does not mean that this new bill should be rushed to a vote.
“To suggest that this bill should move directly to the Senate floor because it has ‘been around’ since 2009 is outrageous,” McCain said.
“First, the bill was introduced two days ago. Secondly, where do Senate Rules state that a bill’s progress in a previous congress can supplant the necessary work on that bill in the present one?”
February 23, 2012
End The Lie
By Madison Ruppert
“People in Tennessee should ‘volunteer’ to protest their state for using the TSA in traffic stops.” –KTRN
Tennessee, the Volunteer State, has begun to push back against the tyranny that is the indefinite detention provisions contained in the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2012, better known simply as the NDAA.
The state bills currently being considered could be one of the most significant steps taken against the atrocious assault on our most essential liberties embodied by the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA.
The Tenth Amendment Center (TAC), a group promoting state’s rights (something which I think is an honorable cause in these dire times in which we have an increasingly centralized, authoritarian federal government) reports that two bills are to be considered in the Tennessee legislature.
These include HB1629 and SB2669, both of which are set to be considered in the 2012 session.
The legislation could essentially nullify the troubling indefinite detention provisions in the NDAA by requiring federal agents to obtain written permission from the county sheriff before making any arrests in Tennessee for any reason.
So long as county sheriffs are actually doing their job and keeping people safe from an out of control federal government, this could be a major step forward.
On the second episode of End the Lie Radio, Bob Tuskin and I discussed how sheriffs can act as a buffer between federal tyranny and the American people, something which these bills are going to reinforce.
The actual text is quite striking and to me it is very exciting that such a thing is even being placed before a state legislature.
February 20, 2012
By John Rubino
The US government’s obliteration of the Bill of Rights via the Patriot Act, the recent defense bill that allows the military to detain citizens indefinitely without trial, the health care law that forces citizens to buy insurance, and the attempted takeover of the Internet through SOPA and PIPA has gotten a lot of attention lately, and in a few rare cases has generated some effective push-back.
But according to an article in this month’s Harper’s Magazine (Killing the competition: How the new monopolies are destroying open markets, by Barry C. Lynn), US corporations are evolving into forms that are more threatening to their victims than anything emanating from Washington. As the author characterizes it, a new generation of monopolists are imposing their own private governments on their industries — and not always the industries one would expect. This long, detailed article should be read by anyone with a desire to understand how the US is evolving. Here I’ll highlight a few excerpts to summarize the major plot points:
Just a few years ago a software engineer’s talents were almost completely portable, allowing a programmer to move effortlessly between tech companies. In other words, there was a functioning market for talent in which the individual had power and choice vis-à-vis local employers. Then a handful of companies began to accumulate near-monopoly control over their product lines — and their workers.
But perhaps the best way to understand the true structure of America’s political economy in the twenty-first century is to talk to some of the people who publish, edit, and write books in America. These days, most articles on the book industry focus on technology. The recent death of the retailer Borders is depicted as a victory of Internet sales over brick-and-mortar stores, the e-book market as a battle between the Kindle e-reader and the iPad. But if we look behind the glib narrative of digitization, we find that a parallel revolution has taken place, one that has resulted in a dramatic concentration of power over individuals who work in this essential, surprisingly fragile industry.
A generation ago, America’s book market was entirely open and very vibrant. According to some estimates, the five largest publishers in the mid-1970s controlled only about 30 percent of trade book sales, and the biggest fifty publishers controlled only 75 percent. The retail business was even more dispersed, with the top four chains accounting for little more than 10 percent of sales. Today, a single company—Amazon—accounts for more than 20 percent of the domestic book market. And even this statistic fails to convey the company’s enormous reach. In many key categories, it sells more than half the books purchased in the United States. And according to the company’s estimates, its share of the e-book market, the fastest-growing segment of the industry, was between 70 and 80 percent in 2010. (Its share of the online sale of physical books is roughly the same.)
Not surprisingly, then, we find the same sort of fear among our book publishers as we do among the chicken farmers of the Sweedlin Valley. I recently sat down with the CEO of one of the biggest publishing houses in America. In his corner office overlooking a busy Manhattan street, he explained that Amazon was once a “wonderful customer with whom to do business.” As Jeff Bezos’s company became more powerful, however, it changed. “The question is, do you wear your power lightly?” My host paused for a moment, searching for the right words. “Mr. Bezos has not. He is reckless. He is dangerous.”
Later that same day, I spoke with the head of one of the few remaining small publishers in America, in a tattered conference room in a squat Midtown office building. “Amazon is a bully. Jeff Bezos is a bully,” he said, his voice rising, his cheeks flushing. “Anyone who gets that powerful can push people around, and Amazon pushes people around. They do not exercise their power responsibly.” Neither man allowed me to use his name. Amazon, they made clear, had long since accumulated sufficient influence over their business to ensure that even these most dedicated defenders of the book—and of the First Amendment—dare not speak openly of the company’s predations.
If a single event best illustrates our confusion as to what makes an open market—and the role such markets play in protecting our liberties—it was our failure to respond to Amazon’s decision in early 2010 to cut off one of our biggest publishers from its readers. At the time, Amazon and Macmillan were scrapping over which firm would set the price for Macmillan’s ebooks. Amazon wanted to price every Macmillan e-book, and indeed every e-book of every publisher, at $9.99 or less. This scorched-earth tactic, which guaranteed that Amazon lost money on many of the e-books it sold, was designed to cement the online retailer’s dominance in the nascent market. It also had the effect of persuading customers that this deeply discounted price, which publishers considered ruinously low, was the “natural” one for an e-book.
In January 2010, Macmillan at last claimed the right to set the price for each of its own products as it alone saw fit. Amazon resisted this arrangement, known in publishing as the “agency model.” When the two companies deadlocked, Amazon simply turned off the buttons that allowed customers to order Macmillan titles, in both their print and their e-book versions….
In 1978, 43 firms made and sold beer in the US, with the biggest controlling less than a quarter of the market. Today, more than 1,750 companies make beer in this country but Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors control 90% of the market. Harper’s asserts that this gives them the ability to decide which small brewers survive, and quotes a microbrewer: “When I want to get my beer on a store shelf, I don’t call the retailer. I have to beg Anheuser-Busch.”
In the 1980s, there were more than a dozen large ad agencies and scores of smaller ones on Madison Avenue. Today four—WPP, Interpublic, Omnicom, and Publicis—control almost the entire industry. “WPP alone controls more than 300 ad agencies, including such once iconic shops as the Grey Group, Ogilvy & Mather, and Hill & Knowlton. And the four giants vigorously shore up this power with strict non-compete employment contracts.”
Musicians are being squeezed by Live Nation, doctors by hospital management corporations. Retailing is concentrating into a few mega-box chains. The list just keeps going.
February 17, 2012
By Kurt Nimmo
In a move completely ignored by the establishment media, the Virginia House of Delegates has voted in favor of House Bill 1160 (HB1160), legislation that codifies in Virginia law noncompliance with the “kidnapping provisions” of section 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA).
The final vote, held on February 14, was 96-4. The bill was sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall and was introduced on January 16th of this year.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is on record as opposing the legislation.
HB 1160 reads as follows: “A BILL to prevent any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”
Passing the legislation demonstrates the power of local grassroots activism. A number of groups opposed to the federal NDAA bill petitioned the government in Virginia and motivated a Sub-Committee #2 Civil vote followed by a vote of 16-0 by the Courts of Justice Committee which led to the passage of Bob Marshall’s final bill earlier this week.