anonymous said:

Why do you love your guns?

Is this a serious question? You really have to ask that?

I don’t “love” my guns, or any guns. They are an inanimate object just is like any other tool. 

I like them because of the mechanical and ergonomic ingenuity that goes into them. It’s amazing to see a mechanical device that functions flawlessly nearly all the time. They are a wonder of engineering.

I also like them because they allow me to defend my life, my family’s life, and my property without sacrificing portability or ease of mind. Our founders had the right idea when they made sure the people could defend themselves.

So, anon, I’m going to have to call you out on your attempt at a “gotcha” questions and remind you to do better next time. Good day. :)

A forceful police response has worried civil liberties advocates.

Whenever I watch Law & Order, I always joke that it should really be called “Fun with Constitutional and Procedural Violations.” Its all well and good for that stuff to be on television (even if it warps our understanding as a community about what IS and ISN’T legal for cops to do) - but its a lot LESS funny when this shit is going down on the streets of a town in our country. In reality.

And the frustrating part - many of these acts may be found unconstitutional after the fact. ACLU and others will bring law suits. Federal courts will issue rulings. And NONE of that is going to help the people of Ferguson now or likely other places later. Because police seem to take the tact of doing now and apologizing later. And for “incidental” Constitutional violations (as in, ones that aren’t widespread and systemic) - the cities avoid much liability at all.

So yeah. Know your constitution. Support the ACLU. But also advocate to your city and local governments for policies and procedures that conform to the Constitution and for internal review systems that enforce those policies. And call out violations where you seem them.

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)

VIDEO: Police in Ferguson arrest Washington Post and Huffington Post reporters

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Speaking of cops who hate accountability and the 1st Amendment, the situation in Ferguson, MO is growing more and more frustrating to watch.  Last night, police actually arrested two reporters because they weren’t “packing their bags quickly enough” as the McDonalds where they were working from was being evacuated. 

Here’s the video:

from WaPo:

An officer with a large weapon came up to me and said, “Stop recording.”

I said, “Officer, do I not have the right to record you?”

He backed off but told me to hurry up. So I gathered my notebook and pens with one hand while recording him with the other hand.

As I exited, I saw Ryan to my left, having a similar argument with two officers. I recorded him, too, and that angered the officer. As I made my way toward the door, the officers gave me conflicting information.

One instructed me to exit to my left. As I turned left, another officer emerged, blocking my path.

“Go another way,” he said.

As I turned, my backpack, which was slung over one shoulder, began to slip. I said, “Officers, let me just gather my bag.” As I did, one of them said, “Okay, let’s take him.”

Multiple officers grabbed me. I tried to turn my back to them to assist them in arresting me. I dropped the things from my hands.

“My hands are behind my back,” I said. “I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting.” At which point one officer said: “You’re resisting. Stop resisting.”

That was when I was most afraid — more afraid than of the tear gas and rubber bullets.

As they took me into custody, the officers slammed me into a soda machine, at one point setting off the Coke dispenser. They put plastic cuffs on me, then they led me out the door.

I could see Ryan still talking to an officer. I said: “Ryan, tweet that they’re arresting me, tweet that they’re arresting me.”

He didn’t have an opportunity, because he was arrested as well.

The officers led us outside to a police van. Inside, there was a large man sitting on the floor between the two benches. He began screaming: “I can’t breathe! Call a paramedic! Call a paramedic!”

Ryan and I asked the officers if they intended to help the man. They said he was fine. The screaming went on for the 10 to 15 minutes we stood outside the van.

“I’m going to die!” he screamed. “I’m going to die! I can’t breathe! I’m going to die!”

Eventually a police car arrived. A woman — with a collar identifying her as a member of the clergy — sat in the back. Ryan and I crammed in next to her, and we took the three-minute ride to the Ferguson Police Department. The woman sang hymns throughout the ride.

During this time, we asked the officers for badge numbers. We asked to speak to a supervising officer. We asked why we were being detained. We were told: trespassing in a McDonald’s.

“I hope you’re happy with yourself,” one officer told me. And I responded: “This story’s going to get out there. It’s going to be on the front page of The Washington Post tomorrow.”

And he said, “Yeah, well, you’re going to be in my jail cell tonight.”

read the rest

If the police in Furguson are looking for any sympathy in what is obviously an out-of-control situation, they’re not doing themselves any favors.  They’ve gone from excessive use of force to violating the 1st Amendment in a span of a few short days. 

You see, liberty goes both ways.  Cops do not have special Constitutional rights that allow them to take the life or liberty away from others.  By the same token, when cops use excessive force or even act criminally, those actions give no one the right to go out and destroy innocent people’s private property in a riot.  

There is extreme examples of wrongdoing on both sides in Ferguson. One simply cannot pick a side and cheerlead from that sideline.  We must remain principled and call out the violence and wrongdoing on both sides. 

We will discuss this a lot more in the coming days, but for now, stay principled fellow libertarians and conservatives.  

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.

Happy Birthday President Clinton!

Here’s a list of Bill Clinton’s favorite books, in alphabetical order by author:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou.
  • The Denial of Death, Ernest Becker.
  • Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63, Taylor Branch.
  • Living History, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • Lincoln, David Herbert Donald.
  • Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot.
  • Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison.
  • The Way of the World: From the Dawn of Civilizations to the Eve of the Twenty-First Century, David Fromkin.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez.
  • The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes, Seamus Heaney.
  • King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed,Terror,and Heroism in Colonial Africa,Adam Hochschild.
  • The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis.
  • Meditations, Marcus Aurelius.
  • Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics, Reinhold Niebuhr.
  • Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell.
  • The Evolution of Civilizations: An Introduction to Historical Analysis, Carroll Quigley.
  • The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron.
  • Politics as a Vocation, Max Weber.
  • You Can’t Go Home Again, Thomas Wolfe.
  • Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, Robert Wright.
  • The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats, William Butler Yeats.

Photo: President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore view the Constitution of the United States in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom at the National Archives.  Washington, DC.  7/19/95.

-from the Clinton Library

2
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.

http://gigaom.com/2012/10/22/icelanders-approve-their-crowdsourced-constitution/

New Post has been published on http://www.naijacenter.com/news/national-conference-delegates-turn-pressure-group/

National Conference delegates turn pressure group

Some delegates at the just concluded national conference have formed a major pressure group with the aim of pushing for the implementation of the decisions reached at the conference. The group, which was known as “National Consensus Initiative”, was inaugurated few hours before President Goo…

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