Teen Faces 2 Years in Prison for Taking a Lewd Photo…..With a Statue

The young man is charged with “Desecration of a Venerated Object.”, which is defined as “Defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise, physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action.” 

An Everett, Pennsylvania, teenager is facing two years locked away over some offensive photos posted to his facebook account.

The photos depict him in mock sexual positions with a Jesus Statue.  The statue does not appear to have been harmed during the incident.

In Texas v. Johnson, Johnson was charged with Desecration of a Venerated Object for burning an American Flag during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas.

The case brought to light questions about whether or not expressive acts were protected under the amendment. The supreme court ultimately decided that the burning of the flag in protest was in fact, protected speech, since it was done in an expressive manner with obvious political intentions.

It is important to note that any act may be protected or not depending upon context and intention. For example, if a flag was burned in protest it is protected speech, if it was burned as an act of vandalism, it is not.

If the young man was expressing his distaste for the church, then legally, per our constitution, these charges must be dropped.


Aero Precision No-Forward Assist Upper ($84.99 MSRP)

From: All Outdoor

I started with Aero Precision’s unique No-Forward Assist upper. This is a unique product in the industry which actually takes away a classic AR-15 function that some folks such as myself are pretty excited about it — they removed the forward assist. The forward assist did not exist on very early M16s, but due to reliability was added to assure rounds made it in the chamber.

There are heated debates on whether the forward bolt assist mechanism is a relevant feature any longer. It was initially added as a solution to solve of the early ammo woes experienced in the Vietnam war. The thought was that if you could get a round in the chamber it would blow out and kinda self clean the gun until the next lull in shooting caused the in-barrel powder residue to cause feeding and functioning issues again. The military did at one time teach to hit the forward assist after each reload to assure the first round from the mag was definitely in the chamber. Most of the military guys I know say this is not the case any longer.

The very few times I have used the forward assist just left me swearing with some out of spec inexpensive steel cased ammo. It pushed the rounds in the chamber, but I ended up jack hammering the AR-15 on the ground to free the now jammed rounds after detonation. Sure, in some very extreme situations the forward assist can help keep an insanely dirty AR-15 shooting even if there is damage or gunk preventing normal cycling. My opinion is if a normal Condition 1 or Condition 2 failure clearing drill does not re-enable firearm operation, there is something serious wrong which requires disassembly.

I am not alone in my complete non-use of the forward assist. The current industry best practice for misfeeding rounds is not to hit the forward assist, but instead to get that damn round the hell out of the gun and put a round in that will cycle. So Aero Precision asked the question “Do we really need a forward assist if no one is using it?”

Customers surveys on the company’s Facebook page indicated that a mil-spec upper without the forward assist would be a great product as long as they kep the ejection port cover, and they whipped out the CAD eraser tool and removed the forward assist milling process. The upper is cleaner looking and of course shaves it ounces from the weight of the upper — all great things if you never use the forward assist.

You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights.
—  Sgt. Richardson of the Jacksonville, FL Sheriff’s Office, as caught on video speaking to a man filming prisoner transport outside a county courthouse. When confronted by police, the man invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid explaining why he wanted to film there. This was the police response.

Police: you have a constitutional right to assemble, as long as you properly filled out this 18 page form which will be approved in 2 weeks, that gives you permission to “protest”. During your “protest” you are required to move down a predetermined route without stopping, and the time and place and length of your constitutional assembly right will be dictated to you by heavily militarized police who will enforce a curfew and intimidate you with military surplus equipment, tear gas, and government sanctioned violence.

Police: you have the constitutional right to freedom of speech. However, news reporters, video, cell phones, twitter, internet, and speaking above a whisper is forbidden.

Police: you have the constitutional right to a trial by 12 of your peers, unless you frustrate or upset our tender feelings. then your trial will be by 12 rounds fired out of a state owned firearm. afterwords, we will release information alleging you to be a criminal; we didnt have this information at that time of your incident, but it will justify the actions of our emotionally delicate officer.

Police: as a law-abiding citizen, you have the constitutional right to bear arms; however, because we view every single person as a criminal, we know for a fact that only criminals want guns. therefore, exercising your constitutional rights makes you a criminal suspect, which you are then required to prove your innocence from with background checks and regulations other regulations which we, the police, are exempt from. because we view all citizens as criminals who have yet to act on your criminal nature, and it is imperative that we are more heavily armed than you and therefore we are allowed to purchase military surplus body armor and weapons, and to use those in acts of violence against whomever we deem, because trust us… you broke the law somehow, according to our officers discretion, in that stressful circumstance which the officer also initiated. 

Police:  as a law abiding citizen we expect you to allow your home or place of residence to be looted. if you use your firearms to protect your life or property, you will be arrested, or more likely, shot by police, because we dont want you to do the job you voted for us to do, even when we’re too busy tear gassing protesters and arresting journalists.

Police: you have the constitutional right to privacy, and we acknowledge that we need a warrant to search your property or possessions; however, we just dont care. fuck you. this is a no-knock warrant, and your under arrest, even though this is the wrong address. that white powder in the kitchen doesnt look like it belongs, and when the NSA tapped your cell phone last week they heard you talking about stuff and things.

police: we do what ever we want to do. 

#Boondocks always gets it right. By @queennigra “#wepost @stepnicely5” via @PhotoRepost_app #MoreLoveLessViolence #WakeUp #WakeUpAmerica #Stand #WakeUpBlackAmerica #Louisiana #BatonRouge #Constitution #USA #Evolve #Agape #Call2Action #Purpose #EachOneTeachOne #ripMikeBrown #Opferguson #Dontshoot (at Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

anonymous said:

How can atheists have religious freedom when atheism not are a religion?

Atheism is just as much a religion as any other. They doggedly preach their beliefs, proselytize anybody within earshot, and in some cities, gather in buildings on Sundays. 

All that is well and good, and deserves to be protected, because of the first amendment. Like I said, religious freedom is sacrosanct for everyone, regardless of denomination.

Obama’s ISIS War Is Not Only Illegal, It Makes George W. Bush Look Like A Constitutional Scholar

Rudderless and without a compass, the American ship of state continues to drift, guns blazing.

- Andrew J. Bacevich, the Boston University political science professor and former Army colonel who lost his son in the Iraq war in 2007, in a recent Reuters article.

I have spent the past several days outlining my deep concerns about the “ISIS crisis” and Obama’s willingness to employ extreme propaganda in order to once again embark on another poorly thought out military campaign here and here. What I have also come to realize is that his latest war plan is brazenly illegal and unconstitutional.

While critics have been questioning the legality of U.S. military campaigns consistently since the end of World War II, one trend has become increasingly clear. With each new President and each new war, we have witnessed those who hold the office act more and more like dictators, and less and less like constitutional executives.

One very important, and up until recently, overlooked point about Obama’s latest “war on ISIS” is that this is not at all just more of the same. This crosses yet another very important line of shadiness, and if we as as American public allow him to do so, we will suffer grave long-term consequences to our economic future as well as our liberties. This is very serious stuff.

No one has outlined this point better than Bruce Ackerman, a professor of law and political science at Yale, in yesterday’s New York Times op-ed: Obama’s Betrayal of the Constitution. He writes:

BERLIN — PRESIDENT OBAMA’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.

Mr. Bush gained explicit congressional consent for his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, the Obama administration has not even published a legal opinion attempting to justify the president’s assertion of unilateral war-making authority. This is because no serious opinion can be written.

This became clear when White House officials briefed reporters before Mr. Obama’s speech to the nation on Wednesday evening. They said a war against ISIS was justified by Congress’s authorization of force against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that no new approval was needed.

But the 2001 authorization for the use of military force does not apply here. That resolution — scaled back from what Mr. Bush initially wanted — extended only to nations and organizations that “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the 9/11 attacks.

Not only was ISIS created long after 2001, but Al Qaeda publicly disavowed it earlier this year. It is Al Qaeda’s competitor, not its affiliate.

Mr. Obama may rightly be frustrated by gridlock in Washington, but his assault on the rule of law is a devastating setback for our constitutional order. His refusal even to ask the Justice Department to provide a formal legal pretext for the war on ISIS is astonishing.

Senators and representatives aren’t eager to step up to the plate in October when, however they decide, their votes will alienate some constituents in November’s midterm elections. They would prefer to let the president plunge ahead and blame him later if things go wrong. But this is precisely why the War Powers Resolution sets up its 60-day deadline: It rightly insists that unless Congress is willing to stand up and be counted, the war is not worth fighting in the name of the American people.

But for now the president seems grimly determined to practice what Mr. Bush’s lawyers only preached. He is acting on the proposition that the president, in his capacity as commander in chief, has unilateral authority to declare war.

In taking this step, Mr. Obama is not only betraying the electoral majorities who twice voted him into office on his promise to end Bush-era abuses of executive authority. He is also betraying the Constitution he swore to uphold.

Think about this for a second. Barack Obama is using the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which allowed for military action against “nations and organizations that planned, authorized, committed or aided the 9/11 attacks.” ISIS wasn’t even a twinkle in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s eye back in September 2001. Even more stunning, ISIS and al-Qaeda more closely resemble enemies than allies. Yet this doesn’t seem to affect Nobel Peace Prize winning Barry Obama’s war planning. You can’t get much more insane and Orwellian than that.

Who cares right? This won’t ever affect you. So what if some bombs fall on innocent Arab civilians? Wrong.

One of the most terrifying aspects of this whole war push if Obama is able to pull it off, is that the reasoning (or lack thereof) could ultimately be applied to the detention of U.S. citizens indefinitely without a trial.

Yes, what I am referring to is the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens without a trial. I covered this frequently several years ago when Chris Hedges and others were suing the Obama Administration regarding the constitutionality of this law. In fact, one of my most popular posts ever was, NDAA: The Most Important Lawsuit in American History that No One is Talking About.

One of the ways in which the U.S. government has defended the NDAA is by saying it can only be used against “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” Glenn Greenwald noted in Salon in his, Three Myths About the Detention Bill, that:

Section 1021 of the NDAA governs, as its title says, “Authority of the Armed Forces to Detain Covered Persons Pursuant to the AUMF.”  The first provision — section (a) — explicitly “affirms that the authority of the President” under the AUMF  ”includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons.” The next section, (b), defines “covered persons” — i.e., those who can be detained by the U.S. military — as “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” 

Notice that the above says “pursuant to the AUMF,” which is the exact law the Obama Administration is using to justify his latest war. If he is able to start a war with ISIS based on the AUMF, despite the fact that ISIS and al-Qaeda are not allies at all, he or a future President could similarly use the AUMF and the NDAA to imprison anyone, anywhere for an indefinite amount of time based on the same absurd non-claim.

Let this all sink in for a second. Do you still support these ISIS strikes?

Iceland’s citizens were given a chance to help forge a new constitution for their country through Facebook and Twitter, so it’s not surprising that they backed the resulting draft. Now it’s over to the politicians.

Here’s a quick run-down of the background to all this. Iceland’s banking system collapsed right at the start of the financial crisis, taking the country’s government with it. The new leadership decided to go the open route, not least because secretive dealings were largely to blame for the banking fiasco.

There were two technologically interesting spinoffs of this situation. One was the creation of the Modern Media Initiative (now the International Modern Media Institute), a Wikileaks-inspired free speech drive – the idea here is to turn Iceland into an haven for free speech by inviting media organizations from around the world to host their sites in Iceland’s green data centers and enjoy the country’s strong new protections for whistleblowers and the like.

The other was the constitutional crowdsourcing. Iceland’s old constitution was based on that of former master Denmark and was seen as out-of-date, so 25 citizens were brought into into a Constitutional Council to help create a new one. The council took the ideas raised online by their fellow citizens and delivered the resulting draft in July last year. It took a while to ask the voting public at large what it thought of the result, but Iceland now has its answer to that question.


As it turns out, the judge who bent over backwards to keep noted wife-beater Ray Rice out of jail, is the same judge who has refused to dismiss the charges against Shaneen Allen, a Pennsylvania woman who was arrested for having a gun in her car while she was in it. Rice will get no jail time for knocking out his wife, but Allen will go to jail for 3.5 years for exercising one of her Constitutional rights.

When Ray Rice beat his wife unconscious in an elevator, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Michael Donio and New Jersey District Attorney Jim McClain agreed to put him in a diversion program for 1st-time offenders to keep him out of jail. But when Pennsylvania single mom Shaneen Allen was pulled over for a traffic violation and volunteered to a New Jersey police officer that she was carrying a legally-owned handgun with a Pennsylvania permit, the response of Donis and McClain was to deny her the same opportunity as Rice.

Allen lives in Philadelphia, right across the river from New Jersey. She has a Pennsylvania permit to carry a handgun. She thought it was recognized in New Jersey, just as it is recognized in over 30 other states. She was wrong. When she told the officer that she had the gun, she was arrested.

Now she faces a felony conviction and a mandatory 42 months in prison. Both Donio and McClain have been unwilling to dismiss the charges, or send Allen to a pretrial diversion program. They seem to want to make an example of her.

The problem is, she’s being punished for something the Constitution says — and the Supreme Court has agreed — is a constitutional right. And the super-stiff penalties and abusive prosecution she’s experiencing are pretty clearly intended to chill people from exercising that right. 

Americans are told (and often believe) that they retain rights they no longer have. Wait for the rhetoric that goes with the celebrations of our freedoms this July 4th. You won’t hear a lot about the NSA then, but you should. In pre-constitutional America the colonists knew that they were under the king’s thumb. In totalitarian states of the last century like the Soviet Union, people dealt with their lack of rights and privacy with grim humor and subtle protest. However, in America, ever exceptional, citizens passively watch their rights disappear in the service of dark ends, largely without protest and often while still celebrating a land that no longer exists.