Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Constitution

Allen Stanford’s Ponzi Scheme a Study on Regulatory Capture

Allen Stanford, former chairman of the Stanford Financial Group of Companies, was convicted on Tuesday on 13 counts of fraud, conspiracy, obstructing justice, violating U.S. securities laws—for operating a Ponzi scheme. Sentencing is scheduled for June, which could result in Stanford remaining behind bars for at least another 20 years.

The scheme, valued at $7 billion at its zenith, has only $300 million in various accounts. Another jury has just ruled these accounts may be seized for potential customer restitution.

The Ponzi scheme was elegantly simple. Stanford’s offshore bank in the British overseas territoryof Montserrat was closed down for “irregularities” in the mid-1980s so he moved it to Antig

English: Sailing in Antigua Deutsch: Segeln au...

ua where he ingratiated himself, using investors’ money, with the local government by lending it millions of dollars and building government administration offices and a hospital. Meanwhile his investors were fooled into thinking they were buying ultra-safe Certificates of Deposit paying above-market rates of interest. His influence went way beyond the local government, however, with regular, sometimes daily, flights of U.S. Senators and Congressmen coming to Antigua to partake of Stanford’s generosity and enjoy his lavish parties. As Mikeda Mikel, the owner of a private jet company in Antigua explained: “They were partying on yachts in an exclusive resort, and when you have US politicians supporting a man like Mr. Stanford on an island as small as Antigua…if you had any doubts before [about his honesty] they go out the window. America has sanctioned him [therefore] he’s good to go.”

By investing in regulatory “protection,” Stanford was able to live for years on his investors’ capital without being disturbed by annoying questions into how he could pay such generous dividends to his clients. As Gaston Browne, chairman of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP), which was in power during Sanford’s heyday, said: 

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Modest Temporary Free Speech Victory in Cigarette Pack Pictures Ruling

Marlboro Cigarettes

On Wednesday U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled in favor of five tobacco companies protesting requirements by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have them put on their cigarette packs graphic images of the consequences of smoking.

At issue was the right of free speech guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…” When Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA) in June of 2009, it gave regulatory authority over tobacco products to the FDA, requiring it to develop a new tobacco-regulation center.

The newly created center was only too happy to spell out the “rules” tobacco companies must now follow in its advertising, including images and statements on cigarette packs. When horrific images were required to be placed on packs, five tobacco companies sued, claiming infringement on their First Amendment free speech rights. Judge Leon agreed.

The companies argued that the images go way beyond the simple conveying of facts to the consumer but reach into actual forced advocacy of a government position, turning the companies’ advertising into billboards for government policy. The judge wrote that those images “were neither designed to protect the consumer from confusion or deception, nor to increase

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Obama’s Birth Certificate a Forgery says “Cold Case Posse”

English: This is the long form birth certifica...

The “Cold Case Posse” of Maricopa County, Arizonahas concluded it has “probable cause” that the President’s birth certificate released by the White House last April is “a computer-generated” forgery.

Made up of three retirement law enforcement officers and two lawyers with law enforcement experience who were appointed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio back in September, the posse is privately funded through a non-profit organization. At its press conference on Thursday, the posse released five videos that explored in detail how the forgery was made. Additionally, the posse has identified “at least one person of interest” in the alleged forgery.

The posse interviewed dozens of witnesses, examined hundreds of documents, and took “numerous” sworn statements from witnesses “around the world.” The posse concluded, according to Mike Zullo, its lead investigator, that the State of Hawaii’s Department of Health has “engaged in a systematic effort to hide from public inspection any original 1961 birth records it may have in its possession.” He added:

Officers of the Hawaii Department of Health and various elected Hawaiian public officials may have intentionally obscured 1961 birth records and procedures to avoid having to release to public inspection and to the examination of court-authorized forensic examiners any original Obama 1961 birth records [that department] may have.

After the birth certificate released by the White House last April was analyzed, the posse reported that “the evidence contained in the computer-generated PDF file released by the White House as well as important deficiencies in the Hawaii process of certifying the long-form birth certificate establish probable cause that a forgery has been committed.”

Two crimes were committed, according to the posse. First, someone in the White House

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“Sovereign Citizen Movement” Continues to Attract Attention

66ème Festival du Cinéma de Venise (Mostra), 8...

Film star Wesley Snipes (One Night StandBlade) is scheduled for release from federal prison on July 19, 2013, 31 months after being incarcerated for failure to file his income-tax returns.

During his trial several other charges against him were dismissed including attempts to use the 861 argument, a claim that section 861 of the tax code exempts certain activities from the income tax and that is used unsuccessfully by tax protesters to avoid paying income taxes, as well as fraudulent attempts to obtain income-tax refunds from the IRS—Snipes referred to himself as “a non-resident alien” despite the fact that he is a U.S.-born citizen.

These are some of the tools the “sovereign citizen movement” (SCM) teaches in its quest to free members from various onerous and perceived unconstitutional laws and to declare themselves independent of the government. They take the position that they are “answerable only to common law” and therefore are not subject to any statutes at the federal, state, or municipal levels. They do not officially recognize U.S. currency and declare themselves to be “free of any legal constraints.” One of those restraints is the obligation to pay income taxes, which they consider to be illegitimate, hence the failed “861 argument” in the Snipes case.

A few of the estimated 100,000-300,000 “members” occasionally go off the deep end and when confronted with reality, use threats of force and even violence in defense of their beliefs. According to the Los Angeles Times, Shawn Rice was a “sovereign citizen” who, upon being served a warrant for money-laundering, strapped on a bulletproof vest, armed himself, and then barricaded himself in his home in Seligman, Arizona. He was arrested after a 10-hour standoff and now is awaiting trial.

Several recent clashes, some of them fatal, have raised concerns within the FBI, which is now focusing on SCM members, along with the

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Appeals Court Refuses to Rule on Laptop Encryption Case

English: Gavel

When Ramona Fricosu’s attorney, Phil DuBois, promised to appeal a lower court’s ruling that she be forced to open encrypted files that may have incriminating data in them and assist the prosecution’s case against her, he never expected the appeals court to deny the appeal until after she had complied with the lower court’s demands.

But on Tuesday, February 21, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver did just that. It said that the defendant in a real estate scam must provide the prosecution with the data from encrypted files on her laptop computer, possibly containing incriminating evidence against her, before they would hear the appeal. In essence, she may be proven guilty long before she has a chance to be proven innocent by invoking protections under the Fifth Amendment. Said DuBois, this establishes “a very dangerous precedent that a person may be forced to assist in her prosecution in a way the law has not seen before.”

In order for the appeal to proceed, Ramona Fricosu would be compelled to meet with federal agents who will then wait until she opens the encrypted files, copies the contents onto an unencrypted disk, and hands it over.

The judge sidestepped the real issue by claiming that she was supplying only the key to the “vault” where the information was kept rather than the encryption password that she keeps in her mind. DuBois initially claimed, to no avail, that the password in her mind was protected by

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Thousands of Criminal Attacks Thwarted by Armed Citizens

English: Houston Gun show at the George R. Bro...

According to the authors of Cato Institute’s recently released study on how often guns are used by citizens to prevent crime, “tens of thousands of crimes are prevented each year by ordinary citizens with guns.” In a study of more than 5,000 news reports over an eight-year period, Clayton Cramer and David Burnett showed that the mere presence of an armed citizen thwarts many crimes, even beyond those that are reported by the police and subsequently printed in the newspaper.

Questions the study was designed to answer were, “When ordinary Americans use guns in self-defense, what is the nature of that use? How frequently do these events occur and what are the consequences?”

Of the 5,000 incidents reported between October 2003 and November 2011, 488 involved home burglaries along with another 1,227 incidents where intruders fled when confronted by armed inhabitants. Another 34 concerned pizza delivery drivers defending themselves, along with 172 animal attacks. Concerns about an attacker taking a gun away from an armed victim were proven invalid, with 227 incidents reported where the intended victim disarmed his attacker, while just 11 attackers disarmed his victim. Twenty-five rapes were avoided by armed victims. Two hundred and one attacks were neutralized by armed senior citizens (over age 65, according to the authors).

The study also put into perspective the number of accidental shootings that were reported to the papers in that eight-year period. Although the Centers for Disease Control reported 535 accidental shootings in 2006, the authors found only

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The Clock is Ticking on Obama’s Eligibility

Barack Obama’s last California visit, Silicon ...

Attorney Van Irion of the Liberty Legal Foundation (LLF) filed an appeal to a Georgia superior court to review and overturn the decision by Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp to keep Barack Obama’s name on the state’s 2012 primary ballot. Irion claimed that Kemp’s decision was based on a faulty ruling by administration law Judge Michael Mahili who threw out testimonies presented by Irion and two other attorneys in a hearing on January 26th.

At issue is whether Obama is a “natural born citizen” as required under the Constitution to qualify to run for the office of president. Georgia law requires that “every candidate for federal office…shall meet the constitutional and statutory qualifications for holding [that] office…”

In his appeal Irion claimed that Mahili failed to follow procedures properly, and attempted to make a judgment on the facts presented rather than certifying them. Irion said that when he pressed Mahili for a response, Mahili stepped aside, saying that

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Foreclosure Settlement Bails Out the Big Banks

English: Wells Fargo Center

The report from The New York Times on Wednesday about the foreclosure settlement reached between five big banks and 49 states’ attorneys general made it appear that justice was being served. The $26 billion to be paid out to some 2 million homeowners (former and current) “could provide relief” to them under the terms of the settlement. It would also remove a cloud of uncertainty from the banks’ liability and might help in “halting the housing market’s downward slide.”

States’ attorneys general started an investigation in the fall of 2010 into the mortgage servicing industry when it was discovered that homeowners were being evicted or penalized through improper, incorrect or false paperwork emanating from Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Ally Financial (formerly GMAC) with the help of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS).

Over the 14-month investigation the scope broadened and deepened as the extent of the costs and fraudulent abuses was revealed. The settlement means that, on the surface, the money will go to help homeowners affected by the fraud. A million homeowners can expect to have their existing mortgages reduced or their interest rates reduced. Another 750,000 former homeowners will receive, over the next three years, checks estimated to be about $2,000.

The size of the settlement fades into insignificance in light of the fact that there are more than

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How Leviathan Works: FDA to Regulate Medical Apps

The press release issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which operates under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), on July 19, 2011, signaled the beginning of its regulatory process, this time concerning “mobile medical apps.” The announcement made it plain that such regulation certainly fell under its jurisdiction, as if declaring it made it so: “The use of mobile medical apps on smart phones and tablets is revolutionizing health care delivery,” according to Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Our draft approach calls for oversight of only those mobile medical apps that present the greatest risk to patients when they don’t work as intended.”

Beginning its existence in 1927 as the Food, Drug, and Insecticide organization (becoming the Food and Drug Administration in 1930), a significant expansion of the FDA’s reach sprang from the elixir sulfanilamide disaster which resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people in 1937. Under the Roosevelt administration this was an opportunity to be seized, and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) was passed in 1938 under which Congress “gave authority” to the Food and Drug Administration to oversee the safety of food, drugs, and cosmetics.

The July 19 announcement allayed concerns that the FDA was going to regulate every app somehow related to food, or drugs, or cosmetics. The press release said the agency would attempt to regulate only “a small subset of mobile medical apps that impact or may impact the performance or functionality of currently regulated medical devices.” These would include, initially at least: 

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Courts and Dept of Justice Agree: Videotaping Police is OK

March 3, 1991: Rodney King being beaten by LAP...

Ken Paulsen, president and CEO of the First Amendment Centerwrote in USA Today that “just as police officers use technology to watch citizens, including patrol car cameras, traffic light cameras and radar to track speeding, the public [also] has a right to monitor the work of officers on the public payroll.”

Perhaps the most memorable and life-altering event in the history of citizens recording police behavior was that moment on the evening of March 3, 1991, when George Halliday, using his Sony video recorder, taped the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles. By the time the dust had settled, two of the four officers charged in the beating were found guilty, 53 people were dead, 2,383 people were injured, more than 7,000 fires had been set, 3,100 business establishments had been damaged or destroyed, $1 billion in losses had been sustained, and police behavior was permanently altered.

As Joel Rubin noted in his article commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King incident in the Los Angeles Times

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Regulatory Agencies Continue to Slow the Economy

English: The western front of the United State...

In a recent editorial entitled “Regulation without Representation,” Investors Business Daily pointed out that a new federal rule or regulation is published every two hours, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But most of them escape the notice of Congress. Congress itself passes fewer than 200 in each session, the rest are promulgated by agencies in the Executive Branch in contravention of explicit instructions in the Constitution. In a landmark study prepared for the Small Business Administration (SBA), Nicole and Mark Crain (pictured at left), economists at Lafayette College, counted the cost and concluded that regulations cost the American economy more than half the federal budget and even more than the annual deficit: an astounding $1.75 trillion annually. And most of those costs land squarely on small businesses with fewer than 20 employees — the very engine that drives the economy, or doesn’t. According to the authors, the regulatory burden on a small business in 2008 exceeded $10,000 per employee! When that burden is translated into the burden on the ultimate consuming household — recognizing that all costs are ultimately paid by the consumer, directly or indirectly — the burden exceeds $15,000 a year. And that is using data from 2008. When the total federal burden, both regulatory and fiscal, is calculated, the average household in America is saddled with costs approaching $40,000 a year. Here is how such regulation works: Administrative law, according to Wikipedia “exists because the Congress often grants broad authority to Executive branch agencies to interpret the statutes…which the agencies are entrusted with enforcing.” Wiki explains:

Congress may be too busy, congested, or gridlocked to micromanage the jurisdiction of those agencies by writing statues that cover every possible detail, or Congress may determine that the technical specialists at the agency are best equipped to develop detailed applications of statutes to particular facts as they arise.

And that is crux of the matter. Under the Constitution (Article I, Section 1), “all legislative powers herein contained shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Nowhere is power granted in the Constitution for said Congress to “grant broad authority to Executive branch agencies,” but there it is: an entire Fourth Branch of government that has sprung up out of

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Ga. Court Rules Obama Eligible to Run; Appeal Slated

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

Following the hearing on January 26, and after reviewing briefs presented on behalf of plaintiffs alleging that Barack Obama is not a “natural born citizen” under the Constitution and therefore ineligible to run for President in the state of Georgia, administrative hearing Judge Michael Malihi rejected those allegations.

He tossed the allegations presented by lawyer Orly Taitz that Obama fraudulently obtained social security numbers, forged his Hawaiian birth certificate, and did not “otherwise possess valid U.S. identification papers,” holding that the witnesses whom Taitz presented were neither “reliable” nor of any “probative” value (evidence that is useful to prove something important in a court of law), and found their “testimony…to be…wholly insufficient to support [Taitz’s] allegations.”

The judge had a little more trouble dispensing with the allegations brought by the Liberty Legal Foundation that Obama is not a natural born citizen under Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution. Noting that a proper definition of “natural born citizen” has been the source of much debate and at least two Supreme Court decisions, the judge finally decided that an Indiana Court of Appeals in 2009 had

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Oklahoma’s Constitutional Amendment Would Pit Taxpayers Against Unions

Oklahoma State Capitol

When Oklahoma State Senator David Holt discovered that Oklahoma was ranked the “most anti-taxpayer state in the southern United States” by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), he decided to propose amending the state’s constitution to stop the unions’ gravy train of collective bargaining contracts without taxpayer approval. His amendment says nothing about unions or collective bargaining. All he did was explain, in his press release, that if the amendment were passed, the constitution would allow local taxpayers to approve all spending of their tax dollars by local authorities for any purpose. He stated:

Oklahoma’s Constitution already makes it very difficult to raise taxes, and that’s a good thing. But every new tax starts with a new expense, and the Oklahoma Constitution, remarkably, does not give taxpayers or their local elected representatives the absolute power to spend tax dollars.

There are dozens of examples in recent years of local taxpayers being forced to take on new financial obligations, not only without the consent of either the taxpayers or their representatives, but actually over their objections.

And though he never mentions unions or dues extracted from union members’ paychecks to be spent for political purposes or benefits or pensions or job security—they are his target. Because of collective bargaining agreements, unions have routinely overridden

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ObamaCare Advisers Predict Death of Health Insurance Companies

The Rainmaker

Two advisers to the Obama administration during the creation of the law known as ObamaCare exposed in the New York Times on Wednesday one of the predictable consequences of that law: the end of health insurance companies in America.

Authors Ezekiel Emanuel and Jeffrey Liebman then reviewed all the ways that the new “accountable care organizations” will allegedly improve the delivery of healthcare after those greedy, nasty, selfish, profit-seeking insurance companies are out of the way. The article is so filled with misstatements, half-truths, and just plain lies that only a few of the more egregious ones can be addressed here:

Health insurance companies usually…provide insurance; they take a premium and assume financial responsibility for paying the bills. But the amount of risk sharing that is accomplished is limited because the insurance companies charge premiums that vary, depending upon the health of an individual or a group…. [They] use their data and market power to identify healthy people to cover and unhealthy people to exclude from coverage.

Correction: Health insurance companies, in a free and open market, provide insurance by contracting with individuals or groups to provide a service: coverage according to that contract. Premiums are charged according to the best estimate those companies make about what it will cost for them to provide the coverage. They do not “take” premiums by force, but try to

Anti-Gun Group to Boycott Starbucks on Valentine’s Day

English: Starbucks at West Coast Plaza, Singapore

Elliot Fineman, CEO of the National Gun Victims Action Council (NGAC) announced last Monday that its members will boycott Starbucks starting on St. Valentine’s Day to protest the company’s resistance to demands that they cease serving customers who may be carrying weapons, open or concealed. Its purpose, according to Fineman, is “to eliminate the risk of guns in public places and ultimately to bring sane gun laws to the U.S.” Fineman claims that his group is “a network of 14 million gun victims” and that his boycott is being supported by the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, the United Church of Christ, the Fellowship of Reconciliation along with other secular groups that also support the anti-gun movement. Fineman said:

Starbucks allowing guns to be carried in thousands of their stores significantly increases everyone’s risk of being a victim of gun violence. Open and concealed carry are among the reasons there are 12,000 gun homicides each year in the U.S. If we had England’s gun laws we would expect 375 gun homicides each year—97% less than we have. England’s gun laws are based on protecting public safety, ours on maximizing sales for the gun industry…

Our boycott will reduce Starbucks’ stock price by an amount no rational company would allow.

It was two years ago that the Brady Campaign launched a similar boycott of Starbucks that “failed miserably” according to Dave Stockman, senior editor of Gun Week. Noted Stockman: “Starbucks made it plain in 2010…that it [would] abide by local and state laws and [would] not discriminate against a certain class of customers. Many open carry advocates began

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Tennessee Lawmaker Breaks Law He Wrote

P-64 (pistol)

When Curry Todd was arrested last October for driving under the influence, he unknowingly set off a string of consequences, some predictable, that continue to resonate today.

Todd, a former Memphis police officer, is a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives and was, until a few days after his arrest, the state chairman of the influential State and Local Government Committee. His arrest warrant stated that at about 10:50 p.m. on the evening of October 11 he was pulled over by Officer Knaggs: “Upon exit from the vehicle, the subject was extremely unsteady on his feet…. The subject demonstrated numerous indicators of his impairment…(almost falling down at times). His speech was slurred, his eyes were red, watery and bloodshot and he had an obvious odor of alcohol about his person and on his breath as he spoke, all indicative of his intoxicated state.” The warrant continued:

In addition it was learned that this subject was in possession of a loaded Smith & Wesson 38 Special that was discovered in a holster stuffed in between the driver seat and the center console.

The subject was obviously very impaired and not in any condition to be carrying a loaded handgun.

When it was also discovered that Curry was the sponsor of a bill in 2009 that eventually became law allowing persons with concealed weapons permits to bring their weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol provided that they themselves don’t drink, the roof fell in. 

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Obama Ignores Challenge to His Presidential Eligibility in Georgia

With his family by his side, Barack Obama is s...

After two hours of hearing from plaintiffs challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility to run for the office of President in 2012, Judge Michael Malihi for the Office of State Administrative Hearings for the State of Georgia asked them to file briefs with him on their positions no later than Sunday, February 5. The complaints originated on October 25 of last year with a lawsuit filed by the Liberty Legal Foundation (LLF) requesting an injunction against the Democratic Party that would prohibit the party from certifying that Obama is constitutionally qualified to run for office in 2012. Without that certification, says the foundation, Obama’s name would not appear on any ballot in the general election. The case has nothing to do with Obama’s birth certificate or his place of birth or how many Social Security numbers he may have. As noted by LLF,

These issues are completely irrelevant to our argument. [Our] lawsuit simply points out that the Supreme Court has defined “natural-born citizen” as a person born to two parents who were both U.S. citizens at the time of the natural-born citizen’s birth. Obama’s father was never a U.S. citizen. Therefore, Obama can never be a natural-born citizen. His place of birth is irrelevant.

Article II, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution reads, in part: “No person except a natural born citizen…shall be eligible to the office of President.” Since the only entity responsible for vetting a candidate’s qualifications to hold office is the political party that nominates the candidate, LLF chose to sue the Democratic Party and thus “we…avoid taking on any state or federal government.” And Georgia has a state law that requires that “every candidate for federal office shall meet the constitutional and statutory qualifications for holding the office being sought.” The Supreme Court’s 1875 Minor v. Happersett ruling stated: 

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Drones: Newest Tool of the Surveillance State

English: Air Force officials are seeking volun...

Evidence that New York City is considering using drones to keep an eye on its citizens is growing, according to Don Dahler of New York’s CBS Channel 2. Dahler quoted an email it obtained indicating that a detective in the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism division asked the Federal Aviation Administration “about the use of unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] as a law enforcement tool.”

Dahler noted that NYPD commissioner Joe Kelly suggested that drones would be useful: “In an extreme situation, you would [then] have some means to take down a plane.” A spokesman for the NYPD admitted that “We’re always looking at technology. Drones aren’t that exotic anymore. Brookstone sells them. We’ve looked at them but haven’t tested or deployed any [yet].”

A retired officer from the department said that the use of drones would help protect the police from physical danger: “Not only would it be a form of surveillance gathering to protect the public, it also in many respects removes the officers…from harm’s way.”

UAVs, or drones, have benefitted enormously from advances in technology. Increasingly used in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to target terrorists, drones can take photographs of license plates and citizens’ faces from elevations of 10,000 feet. They are essentially silent and can be maneuvered by the operator located miles away in a small government cubicle. They can fly at night and take pictures using infrared and ultra-violet technology. They can stay in the air up to 20 hours at a stretch, with improvements using solar panels likely to extend such operations around the clock. The drones’ technology can see through dust storms and roofs and walls of buildings, and even below the earth’s surface. In other words, drones’ capabilities mean there is no place to hide.

This capability extends the reach of the surveillance state even beyond the

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Judge Rules Americans Can Be Forced to Testify Against Themselves

MSI laptop computer

Judge Robert Blackburn of the U.S. District Court of Colorado ruled on Monday that a defendant must decrypt her laptop computer so that prosecutors can open the files containing data they need to complete building their case against her.

On May 14, 2010, the federal government executed search warrants at the home of Ramona Fricosu in Peyton, Colorado, looking for evidence in a case involving bank fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering as part of a real estate scam in which she and a partner were allegedly involved. During the search they removed a laptop computer which was encrypted with PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) software. When attempts by the government to open the files failed, they asked her to open the files for them. Following advice from her attorney, Phil DuBois, she turned them down, claiming protection under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

DuBois says that the final deposition of the case will have a major impact on individual privacy in the digital age: The defendant can’t be obligated to help the government interpret those files which could be used against her in court.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, say that inability to obtain data from encrypted files would “harm the public interest” by allowing potential criminals to hide evidence that would defeat their efforts to prosecute them.

In the Fricosu case, the prosecutors claim that

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World Economic Forum in Switzerland: Global Elites Celebrating Hypocrisy

Davos, Switzelrand, Klaus Schwab, Founder and ...

Global elites—many of the 2,500 of them billionaires—are spending a few days in Davos, Switzerland, attending the World Economic Forum (WEF), a group founded in 1971 “committed to improving the state of the world.”

The state of the world doesn’t appear too rosy. The recent downgrades of major economies, the clamor over perceived income inequality, the crisis in the Eurozone, and other concerns are weighing heavily on the participants. Vikas Oberoi, chairman of India’s second-largest real estate developer, observed, “Many who will be in Davos are the people being blamed for economic inequalities. I hope it’s not just about glamour and people having a big party.” Azim Premji, chairman of India’s third-largest software company, was equally somber: “We have seen in 2011 what ignoring this aspect can result in. If we don’t take cognizance of it and try to solve this problem, it can create a chaotic upheaval globally.”

Not just the movers and shakers were expressing concern, either. Mainstream economists were of one mind about the world economy, agreeing with the downbeat report from the International Monetary Fund on January 24 which reduced its economic growth outlook for 2012 significantly, predicting at least a “mild recession” in Europe and the rest of the world to slow further from its current tepid pace.

Carmen Reinhart of the Peterson Institute for International Economics agreed that there will be a “serious economic crunch [with] another sub-par year of stubbornly high unemployment, weak growth and delayed recovery in general in all the advanced economies.” Professor Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University, also on the roster of attendees, said that the IMF might be underestimating the projected difficulties and that the crisis will be “all the worse because of the weakness of appropriate government response.”

Manpower CEO Jeff Joerres admitted, “Twelve months ago we were all looking forward to a pretty good 2011. Twelve months later, here we are in a completely different world.” That was the tone set by the founder of the WEF, Klaus Schwab, in his opening remarks. The problem is that capitalism, according to Schwab, is failing and that

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.