Judge Andrew Napolitano has something to say…

about the NSA and Executive Branch violating the attorney-client privilege. He cites the NY Times investigative report about Chicago mega-firm Mayer Brown, which represents the government of Indonesia in trade import regulations, indicating that the NSA listened to phone conversations between the Mayer firm and its client, in order to give the U.S. Government a “leg up” in trade negotiations.

Big Brother is watching!

Much more of this and “due process” will be just another euphemistic Newspeak term.


Surprise! Republicans Lie TOO!

ChristieWow, who’d have thunk it? A Republican using political power to defeat, irritate or thwart political opponents is pretty much the same thing as a Democrat using political power to defeat, irritate or thwart political opponents. Liars lie. And, just for the record, lying is a sin and sin is stupid, so by the forces of syllogism liars are stupid.

Exhibit A: A 107-minute news conference in which a politician strives to preserve his Presidential aspirations by pretending to be ignorant of the actions of his water-carriers, while the unsympathetic and ideologically-opposed news media smells blood in the water and takes the opportunity to down the biggest apparent threat to getting another Clinton in the White House.

And it’s pretty funny when guys like Limbaugh make comparisons, asking why there wasn’t a two-hour press conference for Benghazi, or the IRS Tea Party Scandal, or the “If you like your plan, you can keep it” Scandal, or the NSA Scandal. That’s just sour grapes and lamentation over the fact that while the President is stupid enough to lie, he’s not stupid enough to lie about lying (when he might get called out on it by the media).

We have a Ruling Class. You’re either in it, or you’re not. If you don’t have at least a million dollars, you’re probably not in it. The two-party system is illusory.

Trust Us, the American Government

The Government, through its uber mysterious NSA data trolling machinations, is intercepting e-mail address books and “buddy lists” from instant messaging services as they move across global data links at the rate of 250 million per year.

It’s a violation of national security for you and me to even know that. The fact that our government is doing this is supposed to be classified.

But don’t worry, it’s all on the up and up. They mean it this time. This time they’re really telling the truth. From the Washington Post:

A spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the NSA, said the agency “is focused on discovering and developing intelligence about valid foreign intelligence targets like terrorists, human traffickers and drug smugglers. We are not interested in personal information about ordinary Americans.”

The spokesman, Shawn Turner, added that rules approved by the attorney general require the NSA to “minimize the acquisition, use and dissemination” of information that identifies a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Believe and feel safe.

The Government Reads EVERY E-Mail…

…or at least has the capacity to do so. Here’s proof: the e-mail service Lavabit just shut itself down today. I happened to look into this service a couple weeks ago after receiving an e-mail from a friend informing me of his new Lavabit account. I wanted to know about how Lavabit differed from Yahoo, MSN, gmail, iCloud, and the rest.

To get the same features with Lavabit that you could get for free elsewhere, customers were paying for something other than account size. As far as I can tell, all that Lavabit was offering to its 350,000 plus customers was that it would not allow the government access to its servers for the purpose of reading its customers’ e-mail.

What’s scary: “I am unaware of any situation in which a service provider chose to shut down rather than comply with a court order they felt violated the Constitution,” said an electronic privacy lawyer quoted in the article. In other words, EVERYONE ALREADY COMPLIES.

What’s more scary: “government-imposed restrictions prevented” the Lavasoft founder from explaining why he felt he had to shut down. In other words, the FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS OF A PRIVATE CITIZEN are being violated.

Terrorism is just the smoke and mirrors. This information is already being used for other things. It’s all fruit of the poisonous tree, but even that is unimportant now when we pay for the poisonous fruit and keep it in our pocket.

Husband shops on-line for backpacks…

…while his wife uses the computer to find out about pressure cookers. Result: a visit from the police to see if they’re terrorists. Law enforcement identified themselves as the “joint terrorism task force”. From the article: “One hundred times a week, groups of six armed men drive to houses in three black SUVs, conducting consented-if-casual searches of the property perhaps in part because of things people looked up online. But the NSA doesn’t collect data on Americans, so this certainly won’t happen to you.”

Be aware: you are now a suspect if you’re even curious — if you’re thinking — about something criminal and look it up on-line. You’re a potential terrorist if two innocuous searches strung together might create a scintilla of suspicion for law enforcement, even if every likely and plausible explanation points against you being an actual suspect. “Probable cause” for conducting a warrantless search is as simple as two unrelated google searches. How long before law enforcement knocks at your door (or knocks your door down) because you watch a lot of crime drama and shows like “Breaking Bad” or “Dexter”, or because of what’s in your Netflix queue?

We’re beginning to see what a police state looks like, and it even involves what you’re thinking: this April, the Obama administration hired a senior policy advisor at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, who prepared a document for the administration which “describes possible methods of influencing Americans’ behavior.” [To be fair, the document is not about law enforcement per se; it’s about things like “encouraging” people to pay their taxes or buy the right light bulb. “Encouraging” appears to be euphemism for coercing by threat of fine or other penalty].

We are being conditioned to accept that it’s perfectly normal for police to come knocking (or knocking down), and when that happens, we should forgo our right to remain silent, our right to have an attorney present, our right not to be unreasonably detained, our right not to have law enforcement enter our homes without a warrant, if we want to avoid further trouble.

This is NOT a Republican vs. Democrat, political ideology issue. This is about the fact that we have a Ruling Class looking to expand the militarization of police in order to keep ordinary folks like you and me in line. The Constitution? What’s that?

UPDATE: Netflix is unveiling “user profiles”. I might be prescient.

Constitutional? Of course!

Because our chief constitutional right is feeling safe. That’s what matters most, even more than actually being safe. In fact, we’ll exchange all of our other constitutional rights for our right to feel safe, even if it means turning every American citizen into a suspected terrorist and using taxpayers’ money to spy on law-abiding taxpayers (i.e., terrorists). Because you know that Facebook is just a big terrorist networking site and Twitter is just terrorist Morse code and e-mail is electronic terrorist carrier pigeon.

That word — “terrorist” — really begins to lose meaning when it’s applied so loosely, but we must lock up terrorists forever — wherever and whoever they are — because terrorists violate my constitutionally-protected right to feel safe.

And I feel very safe, because I trust that the government can infallibly determine the difference between citizen suspects and terrorists, and they would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, think that I am anything but a citizen. They certainly got it right with the Japanese internment. They did a stellar job driving out the reds with the help of Joe McCarthy. They really know which rebel force or potential dictator to support in all the third-world countries we’ve helped.

Besides, we’d know which lists we’re on, because we can fully trust the government, because the government is totally forthcoming about its lists, right?

Huh?! Where am I? The Planet of Dystopia?

If I’m dreaming, please wake me up:

Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords – “Secret demands mark escalation in Internet surveillance by the federal government through gaining access to user passwords, which are typically stored in encrypted form.” [NSA PRISM program now obsolete. Now it’s just low-level computer nerds, cheetos, and a master password list. Or maybe that’s what it always was. Either way, I feel much safer.]

Planned Parenthood Will Run Federal Data Hub With Private Patient Info – “‘Planned Parenthood is among the long list of…organizations that are expected to receive taxpayer-funded navigator grants. The navigator grants would further enable Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, to continue its misuse of taxpayer dollars to [supplement] their big abortion business,’ said Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), who says she wants to eliminate the navigator program — for which $54 million in funds will be made available — even without a Planned Parenthood link because it’s ‘ripe for fraud and abuse’, violations of privacy and identity theft.” [Great. So Roe v. Wade manufactured a so-called “right to privacy” which supersedes the rights of millions of unborn babies to live, but now Planned Parenthood is a de facto arm of government and gets to violate anyone’s actual privacy rights by having access to their personal medical records.]

Government Caught Paying Protesters After Trayvon Martin Shooting To Create Racial Division – “Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained documents in response to local, state, and federal records requests revealing that a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman.” [Government takes another page from Planned Parenthood’s playbook — paid protesters — in order to fan the flames of racial tension.]

Catholic Relief Services distributes abortifacients in Madagascar: on-the-ground investigation – “The Population Research Institute issued the first of a series of reports this afternoon after they sent an investigator to Madagascar for a month to interview officials and witness the Catholic agency’s work first-hand. According to PRI’s report, the Catholic agency employs over 250 community health workers in the country who distribute contraceptives ‘under the name of Catholic Relief Services.'” [Please, please, please, someone PLEASE disprove this story.]