Monthly Archives: February 2012

We’re All Lawbreakers Now

Podcast with Lew Rockwell

If I’m not using any of these “services” do I still have to pay for them?

From npr:

Thanks For Paying Taxes. Here’s A Receipt

Taxpayers should get a receipt so they know what they’re paying for, a think tank called Third Way argues in a new paper.

Here’s a sample from the group. It includes federal income tax and FICA, which funds Medicare and Social Security. Details are here.

Abortion’s Slippery Slope

From PrisonPlanet.com:

Ethicists Argue Killing Newborn Babies Should Be Allowed

Shocking reminder that eugenicist beliefs underpin medical establishment

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics argues that abortion should be extended to make the killing of newborn babies permissible, even if the baby is perfectly healthy, in a shocking example of how the medical establishment is still dominated by a eugenicist mindset.

Ethicists Argue Killing Newborn Babies Should Be Allowed Newborn baby 006

The paper is authored by Alberto Giubilini of Monash University in Melbourne and Francesca Minerva at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne.

The authors argue that “both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons,” and that because abortion is allowed even when there is no problem with the fetus’ health, “killing a newborn should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”

“The fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant,” the authors claim, arguing that adoption is not a reasonable counter-argument because the parents of the baby might be economically or psychologically burdened the process and the mother may “suffer psychological distress”. How the mother could not also “suffer psychological distress” by having her newborn baby killed is not explained.

“Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal,” the authors write.

The practice of infanticide has its origins in barbaric eras of ancient history, but it is still common is many areas of the world today, including China where the one child policy allied with the social pressure to have boys has resulted in a massive imbalance in the population. Studies have found that 40 million girls are ‘missing’ in China as a result of gender-selective abortion and infanticide. In India, there are 50 million less females for the same reasons.

In Pakistan, over 1000 babies a year are the victims of infanticide, which is rarely punished.

Matthew Archbold of the National Catholic Register explains how the legalization of infanticide, killing newborn babies, is the logical conclusion of the starting point of the argument, which is that the fetus is not human and has no right to live.

“The second we allow ourselves to become the arbiters of who is human and who isn’t, this is the calamitous yet inevitable end. Once you say all human life is not sacred, the rest is just drawing random lines in the sand,” he writes.

Respected bioethicist Wesley J. Smith notes that the debate surrounding “the right to dehydrate the persistently unconscious,” which eventually led to events like the Terri Schiavo case, started with articles in bioethics and medical journals.

“Or to put it another way, too often bioethics, isn’t. On the other hand, to be fair, the ancient Romans exposed inconvenient infants on hills. These authors may want to take us back to those crass values, but I assume they would urge a quicker death,” he writes.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

Uncle Sam, Global Gangster

From LewRockwell.com:

by Tom Engelhardt

If all goes as planned, it will be the happiest of wartimes in the U.S.A. Only the best of news, the killing of the baddest of the evildoers, will ever filter back to our world.

After all, American war is heading for the “shadows” in a big way. As news articles have recently made clear, the tip of the Obama administration’s global spear will increasingly be shaped from the ever-growing ranks of U.S. special operations forces. They are so secretive that they don’t like their operatives to be named, so covert that they instruct their members, as Spencer Ackerman of Wired’s Danger Room blog notes, “not to write down important information, lest it be vulnerable to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.” By now, they are also a force that, in any meaningful sense, is unaccountable for its actions.

Although the special ops crew (66,000 people in all) exist on our tax dollars, we’re really not supposed to know anything about what they’re doing – unless, of course, they choose the publicity venue themselves, whether in Pakistan knocking off Osama bin Laden or parachuting onto Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard to promote Act of Valor. In case you somehow missed the ads, that’s the new film about “real terrorist threats based on true stories starring actual Navy SEALs.” (No names in the credits please!)

Of course, those elite SEAL teams are johnnies-come-lately when compared to their no less secretive “teammates” in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia – our ever increasing armada of drones. Those robotic warriors of the air (or at least their fantasy doppelgangers) were, of course, pre-celebrated – after a fashion – in the Terminator movies. In Washington’s global battle zones, what’s called our “traditional combat role” – think big invasions, occupations, counterinsurgency – is going, going, gone with the wind, even evidently in Afghanistan by 2013. War American-style is instead being inherited by secretive teams of men and machines, both hunter-killers who specialize in assassination operations, and both of whom, as presented to Americans, just couldn’t be sexier.

And we’ll all be just so happy – as a recent poll indicates we are – with our robotic warriors and their shadowy special ops teammates, if with nothing else in our fraying world. They present such an alluring image of the no-pain, all-gain battlefield and are undoubtedly a relief for many Americans, distinctly tired – so the polls also tell us – of wars that aren’t covert and don’t work. So who even notices that, as Andrew Bacevich, bestselling author and (most recently) editor of The Short American Century: A Postmortem, points out, we’re being plunged into a real-life war novel that has no plot and no end. How post-modern! How disastrous, if only we have the patience to wait! (To catch Timothy MacBain’s latest Tomcast audio interview in which Bacevich discusses the changing face of the Gobal War on Terror, click here, or download it to your iPod here.) ~ Tom

Goodbye, First Amendment: ‘Trespass Bill’ will make protest illegal

From RT:

Just when you thought the government couldn’t ruin the First Amendment any further: The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.

The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn’t already on the books. The wording in the bill, however, extends to allow the government to go after much more than tourists that transverse the wrought iron White House fence.

Under the act, the government is also given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country.

Under current law, White House trespassers are prosecuted under a local ordinance, a Washington, DC legislation that can bring misdemeanor charges for anyone trying to get close to the president without authorization. Under H.R. 347, a federal law will formally be applied to such instances, but will also allow the government to bring charges to protesters, demonstrators and activists at political events and other outings across America.

The new legislation allows prosecutors to charge anyone who enters a building without permission or with the intent to disrupt a government function with a federal offense if Secret Service is on the scene, but the law stretches to include not just the president’s palatial Pennsylvania Avenue home. Under the law, any building or grounds where the president is visiting — even temporarily — is covered, as is any building or grounds “restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance.”

It’s not just the president who would be spared from protesters, either.

Covered under the bill is any person protected by the Secret Service. Although such protection isn’t extended to just everybody, making it a federal offense to even accidently disrupt an event attended by a person with such status essentially crushes whatever currently remains of the right to assemble and peacefully protest.

Hours after the act passed, presidential candidate Rick Santorum was granted Secret Service protection. For the American protester, this indeed means that glitter-bombing the former Pennsylvania senator is officially a very big no-no, but it doesn’t stop with just him. Santorum’s coverage under the Secret Service began on Tuesday, but fellow GOP hopeful Mitt Romney has already been receiving such security. A campaign aide who asked not to be identified confirmed last week to CBS News that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has sought Secret Service protection as well. Even former contender Herman Cain received the armed protection treatment when he was still in the running for the Republican Party nod.

In the text of the act, the law is allowed to be used against anyone who knowingly enters or remains in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so, but those grounds are considered any area where someone — rather it’s President Obama, Senator Santorum or Governor Romney — will be temporarily visiting, whether or not the public is even made aware. Entering such a facility is thus outlawed, as is disrupting the orderly conduct of “official functions,” engaging in disorderly conduct “within such proximity to” the event or acting violent to anyone, anywhere near the premises. Under that verbiage, that means a peaceful protest outside a candidate’s concession speech would be a federal offense, but those occurrences covered as special event of national significance don’t just stop there, either. And neither does the list of covered persons that receive protection.

Outside of the current presidential race, the Secret Service is responsible for guarding an array of politicians, even those from outside America. George W Bush is granted protection until ten years after his administration ended, or 2019, and every living president before him is eligible for life-time, federally funded coverage. Visiting heads of state are extended an offer too, and the events sanctioned as those of national significance — a decision that is left up to the US Department of Homeland Security — extends to more than the obvious. While presidential inaugurations and meeting of foreign dignitaries are awarded the title, nearly three dozen events in all have been considered a National Special Security Event (NSSE) since the term was created under President Clinton. Among past events on the DHS-sanctioned NSSE list are Super Bowl XXXVI, the funerals of Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, most State of the Union addresses and the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

With Secret Service protection awarded to visiting dignitaries, this also means, for instance, that the federal government could consider a demonstration against any foreign president on American soil as a violation of federal law, as long as it could be considered disruptive to whatever function is occurring.

When thousands of protesters are expected to descend on Chicago this spring for the 2012 G8 and NATO summits, they will also be approaching the grounds of a National Special Security Event. That means disruptive activity, to whichever court has to consider it, will be a federal offense under the act.

And don’t forget if you intend on fighting such charges, you might not be able to rely on evidence of your own. In the state of Illinois, videotaping the police, under current law, brings criminals charges. Don’t fret. It’s not like the country will really try to enforce it — right?

On the bright side, does this mean that the law could apply to law enforcement officers reprimanded for using excessive force on protesters at political events? Probably. Of course, some fear that the act is being created just to keep those demonstrations from ever occuring, and given the vague language on par with the loose definition of a “terrorist” under the NDAA, if passed this act is expected to do a lot more harm to the First Amendment than good.

United States Representative Justin Amash (MI-03) was one of only three lawmakers to vote against the act when it appeared in the House late Monday. Explaining his take on the act through his official Facebook account on Tuesday, Rep. Amash writes, “The bill expands current law to make it a crime to enter or remain in an area where an official is visiting even if the person does not know it’s illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect it’s illegal.”

“Some government officials may need extraordinary protection to ensure their safety. But criminalizing legitimate First Amendment activity — even if that activity is annoying to those government officials — violates our rights,” adds the representative.

Now that the act has overwhelmingly made it through the House, the next set of hands to sift through its pages could very well be President Barack Obama; the US Senate had already passed the bill back on February 6. Less than two months ago, the president approved the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, essentially suspending habeas corpus from American citizens. Could the next order out of the Executive Branch be revoking some of the Bill of Rights? Only if you consider the part about being able to assemble a staple of the First Amendment, really. Don’t worry, though. Obama was, after all, a constitutional law professor. When he signed the NDAA on December 31, he accompanied his signature with a signing statement that let Americans know that, just because he authorized the indefinite detention of Americans didn’t mean he thought it was right.

Should President Obama suspend the right to assemble, Americans might expect another apology to accompany it in which the commander-in-chief condemns the very act he authorizes. If you disagree with such a decision, however, don’t take it to the White House. Sixteen-hundred Pennsylvania Avenue and the vicinity is, of course, covered under this act.

Illegal Everything

Great video from John Stossel:
http://youtu.be/OuIahM4mB-8

Sophie Scholl: Heroine of Liberty

Sophie Scholl, a true heroine of liberty, beheaded at the age of 21.

From Wikipedia:

Sophia Magdalena Scholl[1][2] (9 May 1921 – 22 February 1943) was a German student, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany. She was convicted of high treason after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich with her brother Hans. As a result, they were both executed by guillotine.

Since the 1970s, Scholl has been celebrated as one of the great German heroes who actively opposed the Third Reich during the Second World War.

I recommend reading the full Wikipedia entry and watching the movie Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (available for instant viewing at Netflix.com). A tribute video with scenes from the movie is linked below:

Sophie Scholl Tribute Video