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

Tag Archives: Liberty

Pressure Building to Pass National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Law

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 18, 2015:

Official portrait of Congressman (R-IN).

Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)

 

In February when Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) reintroduced his Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced an identical one in the Senate. Stutzman touted his bill:

Americans enjoy a natural right to self-defense preserved by the Second Amendment. This federally guaranteed liberty should not be forfeited when state lines are crossed.

Unfortunately, this fundamental right has been under attack from the anti-gun lobby on both the federal and state levels. This bill preserves the right to keep and bear arms for law-abiding citizens while respecting the roles and responsibilities of state legislatures.

Promoters such as the pro-Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America (GOA) are urging their members to press for passage:

If you have a concealed carry permit — or if you come from a freedom-loving “constitutional carry” state that doesn’t require one! — you should be able to carry anywhere in the country without fear of losing your constitutional rights [just] because of where you are.

They go further to remind their members of what happened two years ago when Shaneen Allen, a Pennsylvania resident traveling by car in New Jersey, was stopped for a minor traffic violation. Thinking that her Pennsylvania concealed carry permit was valid in New Jersey, she

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Who Is Bernie Sanders?

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 1, 2015: 

In his remarks announcing his decision to campaign for the Democrat Party’s presidential nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (shown) fired a warning shot at those either disparaging or belittling his intentions:

People should not underestimate me. I’ve run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates…. [My] message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country.

Polls show Sanders running more than 50 points behind Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton while journalists have emphasized his inability to raise large amounts of cash for his campaign. Others have said he has little name recognition outside of Vermont, and that his stage presence lacks Hillary’s practiced homilies and faux sincerity. Even the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Sanders isn’t going to be president,” claiming that he only wants to redirect the political conversation more to the left, forcing Clinton to clarify stands about which she has been both opaque and obtuse.

Observers should know that Sanders has been

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The Freedom Fight’s First Premise Proven in New Jersey

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 25, 2015: 

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peal...

For decades it’s been an article of faith among those involved in the freedom fight that Jefferson was right: “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people [for] they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

The decision by New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie to sign a bill into law that prohibits the continued militarization of local police departments through free gifts of unneeded hardware from Iraq and Afghanistan unless approved by local authorities is simply the end result of years – no, decades – of efforts by many to educate citizens about the dangers such militarization is to their freedom. The fact that the bill passed both houses unanimously just made it easier for Christie to do so.

New Jersey is only the first. Even stronger bills are pending in

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Atheist Group Fails Again to Remove “Under God” from the Pledge

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 9, 2015:

SECOND GRADERS PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE IN ROCKPORT E...

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty rejoiced over the decision of a New Jersey Superior Court last week to keep the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

This is the fifth time the Fund has successfully defended against attacks from groups such as the American Humanist Association (AHA) from demanding that the Pledge either be removed from public school classrooms, or that the offending words be removed from the Pledge.

Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel for the Becket Fund, noted:

“God” is not a dirty word. The Pledge of Allegiance isn’t a prayer, and reciting it doesn’t magically create an official state religion. The Pledge — in the tradition of Washington’s Farewell Address or Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address — is not a prayer to God but a

statement of who we are as a nation. Dissenters have every right to sit out the Pledge, but they can’t silence everyone else.

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FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules are ObamaCare for the Internet

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 6, 2015:

If the real intentions behind the benign phrase “net neutrality” were truly exposed, the conversation would be very short. As Will Durant noted in his The Story of Philosophy:

“If you wish to converse with me,” said Voltaire, “define your terms.” How many debates would have been deflated into a paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms! This is the alpha and omega of logic, the heart and soul of it, that every important term in serious discourse shall be subjected to the strictest scrutiny and definition. It is difficult, and ruthlessly tests the mind; but once done it is half of any task.

Opponents in the freedom fight have for years used obfuscation and false front words to advance their cause, but none more effectively than its term “net neutrality.” How could anyone object to that?

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Modest Government Retrenchment Called “Dramatic”

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Saturday, January 31, 2015:

Logo of the United States Federal Deposit Insu...

Kelsey Harkness, a journalist at The Daily Signal, let her enthusiasm for modest retrenchments at the FDIC override her good judgment, calling them “dramatic.” She was referring to the measures the chairman and the vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) promised to make in their efforts to enforce Operation Choke Point. In a phone conversation she had with Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer on Wednesday morning, she heard him say:

We’re very pleased they’ve acknowledged their wrongdoing and they’ve accept our suggestions to put in place measures to stop this activity.

What suggestions, exactly?

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A Billion Dollars to Elect Good Conservatives?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Thursday, January 29, 2015:

The assumption behind raising and spending a billion dollars, as the Koch brothers Charles and David seem to support, is that with enough money, enough grassroots action, and sufficiently elegant voter software, election successes like that of last November can be repeated in 2016. This past weekend, Freedom Partners, the Koch’s equivalent to a chamber of commerce for wealthy conservatives (each of its 200 members pays a minimum of $100,000 in annual dues), announced at its Palm Springs winter meeting that it was going to raise $900 million to pour into the upcoming presidential election.

Part of the money would go into advertising,

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New York Times Declares Victory in Release of Alan Gross

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 17, 2014: 

In its 2,000-word summary of the machinations involved in the 18-month-long effort to obtain the release of American citizen Alan Gross (pictured above with his wife) from his filthy Cuban jail cell, the New York Times once again revealed not only its partisan efforts to legitimize the Castro regime but also its intimate familiarity with and support of all the pieces and parts and participants involved in the release of Gross.

The New York Times, of course, has a pro-communist legacy dating back to before the days of Castro’s takeover of that unhappy island in 1959. At that time, the Times’ chief communist apologist,

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Washington State Pro-Gun Rally Draws Thousands

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 15, 2014:

Glock model 22 (.40 S&W) in the new olive drab...

Glock model 22 (.40 S&W) in the new olive drab frame (with magazine)

Local media in Olympia, Washington, covered Gavin Seim’s “We Will Not Comply” pro-gun rally extensively, including interviews with some of Seim’s speakers and footage of him and some supporters burning their concealed weapons permits following the rally. 

Nationally, Seim’s rally never happened. The mainstream media was too busy reporting on Al Sharpton’s ramping up of protesters’ anger at the shooting of Michael Brown and Eric Garner instead. 

Between 1,000 and 3,000 showed up at Seim’s rally at the state capitol to protest passage of Initiative 594 which, among other restrictions, now requires gun owners to obtain a background check before transferring a handgun to another party. At the moment the law became effective at midnight, December 4, a You-Tube aggregator called “LaughingAtLiberals” (LAL) posted a video showing just such a transfer taking place — a Glock 22 for a fistful of dollars — without the now-requisite background check. 

This deliberate act of non-compliance was enough for David Codrea, a field editor for GUNS Magazine who covered the event, to prove that Initiative 594 (i594) would have no effect on transfers among criminals who routinely defy such laws: 

Showing [that these transfers] can be done without repercussions as a staged act of civil disobedience demonstrates that the entire justification behind i594 — “making sure that firearms don’t get into the hands of dangerous people” — is a premise unsupported by reality. 

This is Seim’s entire premise. On his own website, Seim describes himself as a small business owner, a Christian, and a father. He’s also “a passionate activist who believes in American values and knows that liberty is not the fringe. It’s the foundation.” 

That’s not what the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) thinks. On SPLC’s “Hatewatch” column, David Neiwert gave his thoughts on Seim’s purposes behind organizing the “We Will Not Comply” rally: “Gavin Seim believes that it’s self-evident that Washington state’s recently approved gun-control initiative is unconstitutional, which in turn means that the state’s citizens don’t have to obey [it].” 

Seim, at his rally website, explains his real motivation: 

On November 4, 2014 a piece of legislation called i594 passed in Washington State. It will make so much as handing a gun to a friend a felony. While this started here in Washington, it was funded by big out-of-state money…. We will stand for the liberty of our children. We’re not waiting for politicians, judges or lawyers. Our birthright is NOT to be touched. We gather and we will affirm that liberty…. 

 

We will buy and sell guns from whom we please, we will not submit to background checks, we will not give up our rights, WE WILL NOT Comply. 

For Dave Workman, senior editor at TheGunMag.com and communications director for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Seim’s rally proved at least two points: It could be peaceful, and the mere presence of firearms doesn’t result in increased crime. According to Workman, 

[At the rally nobody] stopped traffic, smashed windows or clashed with the police. Nobody was arrested. Nobody got hurt. A handful of people … burned their concealed pistol licenses…. 

 

[Seim’s rally] showed that Evergreen State gun owners can hold peaceful events where guns are galore. Years of rhetoric from gun prohibitionists has suggested otherwise, that lots of people with guns is a recipe for disaster. 

Firebrand Mike Vanderboegh, one of Seim’s rally speakers, called it a victory and a blueprint for other rallies in other venues in the future: 

Olympia was a carefully-thought-out, brilliantly-conceived, flawlessly executed deliberate backhand to the same ginning bunch of constitutional thieves. Olympia provides a textbook case for other states to resist their own petty dictators…. 

 

They created a new paradigm. And at the end of it they were praised by the state police for their competence and their flawless execution of a brilliant plan. 

The couple thousand people who showed up in the fog and the cold on Saturday at the capitol of a state with a population of seven million might, on its face, merit little attention from the national media. But it’s good to remember our Republic’s humble beginnings. As noted by another firebrand, Samuel Adams, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in the minds of men.”

Colorado State House Candidate Receives no Help from GOP, Destroys Democrat Opponent Anyway

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 12, 2014:

English: Great Seal of the State of Colorado

Great Seal of the State of Colorado

Gordon Klingenschmitt, the Navy Chaplain who was fired for praying in Jesus’ name while wearing his uniform, is used to abuse. He had to withstand attacks from the far-left LGBT gang and a complete and utter lack of support from establishment Republicans in Colorado.

But it didn’t matter. Relying on volunteers and modest financial support from friends and supporters, Klingenschmitt blew away his Democrat opponent in last Tuesday’s mid-term election, 70 percent to 30 percent, and will be sworn in as Colorado House District 15’s representative in January.

A modest, humble, and unimpressive-looking man, Klingenschmitt revealed his true character when confronted with Navy rules that abrogated his First Amendment rights. He chose the latter, and paid the price,

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The Dangers Lurking in the Upcoming Lame Duck Congress

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 6, 2014:

In anticipation of the Republican sweep in the elections on Tuesday, Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in September warning him not to offer any significant legislation during the lame duck session following the elections. Knowing Reid, they presumed the worst from him:

Presumably, a lame duck session would be used [by you] to try to pass partisan, unpopular bills in November or December that might be indefensible before the … election….

 

Deliberately planning to reconvene the Senate in a lame-duck session to address major new legislation would subvert the will of the American people, lessen accountability and do lasting damage to the dignity and integrity of this body’s proceedings.

Libertarian economist Donald Boudreaux no doubt thinks Lee and Cruz have understated the danger:

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Pastors Preaching Politics: Still No Word From IRS

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 4, 2014: 

English: Anti-United States Internal Revenue S...

The Alliance Defending Freedom’s invitation to pastors to exercise their First Amendment rights by speaking truth to power — and offering political advice and counsel to their flocks from their pulpits — has taken on a life of its own. Sunday, October 7 was designated by the ADF as Pulpit Freedom Sunday, during which it encouraged pastors to “use [their] sermon[s] to apply Scripture to the stated positions of [political] candidates.”

It noted that a “pastor has a constitutional right to apply Scripture and Church teaching to every area of life, including the area of candidates and elections.”

The ADF is clearly hoping that these pokes in the eye of the IRS will provoke a response, yet to date

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Sissel Lawsuit Threatens ObamaCare

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 8, 2014: 

After losing an appeal before a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals in Sissel v. US Department of Health and Human Services, the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed a petition for a full rehearing — called “en banc” — on Monday. Sissel claims that the Origination Clause — Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution — was violated at the very birth of ObamaCare (also called ACA, the Affordable Care Act), and since the Supreme Court ruled in NFIB v. Sibelius that the ObamaCare fines are not penalties but taxes, ObamaCare itself must be ruled unconstitutional.

Nearly 100 lawsuits challenging ObamaCare have been filed since it was passed back in March 2010, but only five now present serious threats to its legal existence, the Sissel case being the one with the most teeth. It was originally brought by

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Obama’s Poll Numbers Continue to Drop

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 17, 2014:

English: In January 2009, President of the Uni...

In January 2009, President of the United States of America, George W. Bush invited then President-Elect Barack Obama and former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter for a Meeting and Lunch at The White House.

With the midterm elections less than seven weeks away, pollsters are coming out of the woodwork expressing their opinions on the outcome on November 4. The latest CBS News/New York Times poll, focusing on President Obama’s handling of the ISIS crisis and terrorism and foreign policy in general, shows him not only setting new personal lows, but lows never before recorded by the survey:

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Overzealous Consumer Agency Picks Fight with Wrong Guy

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 8, 2014:

English: A constructed NeoCube.

A Neocube constructed with Zen Magnets

In its zeal to proclaim that everything is inherently dangerous and therefore illegal, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – the Goliath in this story – has just run into its David. Shihan Qu, the 27-year-old founder of Zen Magnets, notified the agency that he wasn’t going to take it anymore through a letter on his company’s website:

Take this as official notice that Zen Magnets LLC is going All-in.… We will not settle for any sort of stop-sale of magnets that are perfectly safe when not misused….

We vow to continue this legal, awareness, and lobbying battle until our very last drop of cash-flow blood. We will combat CPSC’s magnet prohibition until triumph, or until a glorious death of insolvency on the legal battlefield….

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Leahy Offers Weak Bill to Curb NSA Eavesdropping on Americans

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 30, 2014:

English: Official photo of Senator Patrick Lea...

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

On Tuesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (shown, D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced his version of the USA Freedom Act intended to strengthen a similar bill passed by the House last May. It’s scarcely an improvement and likely won’t be taken up before November, if at all in this congress.

But Leahy was optimistic nonetheless, saying that his bill, if enacted, “would represent the most significant reform of government surveillance authorities since … the USA Patriot Act 13 years ago.” That was easy for this hard-left Democrat to say, as there has been no reform of the unconstitutional Patriot Act since it was passed. In fact, without revelations provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, even these modest “reforms” would never have been presented. Without Snowden, the NSA would have continued collecting every last piece of communications data it could and storing it for future reference at one or more of its vast collection facilities around the country. Since the bill was presented so late in this Congress, it is virtually certain no action will be taken on it.

The House bill that was passed back in May was so full of loopholes and modifications by last minute amendments as to make the effort essentially ludicrous. Although offered jointly in October 2013 by Leahy and his House counterpart, Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin (the author of the Patriot Act), only the House bill ever saw the light of day. At the time, Sensenbrenner expressed great hopes for his bill:

Following 9/11, the USA Patriot Act … has helped keep Americans safe by ensuring information is shared among those responsible for defending our country and by enhancing the tools the intelligence community needs to identify and track terrorists.

But somewhere along the way, the balance between security and privacy was lost…. Washington must regain Americans’ trust in their government. The USA Freedom Act [I am offering] is an essential first step.

That first step was more like a stumble. Under the bill, according to The Guardian, “the government will still be able to collect phone data on Americans, pending a judge’s individualized order based on ‘reasonable articulable suspicion’ — the standard preferred by the NSA (National Security Agency) — of wrongdoing.” This is a far cry from the “probable cause” requirement demanded in the Fourth Amendment, but that’s only the beginning.

The bill purports to modify Section 715 of the Patriot Act while saying nothing about Section 702, which allows worldwide surveillance by the NSA. The bill allows for the continuous collection of Americans’ telephone records, according to the Open Technology Institute. Most grievously, the bill extended the Patriot Act until December of 2017.

Once the House passed its USA Freedom Act, 303 to 121, those opposed, including Republicans Darrell Issa, Ted Poe, and Raul Labrador and Democrat Zoe Lofgren expressed their disappointment with it. Said Lofgren, “[This] bill will actually not end bulk collection, regrettably.” It shifts collection responsibilities from the NSA to the telephone companies to which the NSA has virtually unlimited access, so it’s a cosmetic change only. The bill requires the NSA to get permission from the FISA Court, but FISA is not known for having a high regard for the freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights.

When Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) saw what the House had wrought, he said he was “gravely concerned that the changes that have been made to the House version of this bill have watered it down so far that it fails to protect Americans from suspicionless mass surveillance.”

Not surprisingly, the White House endorsed the watered-down version of the bill:

The Administration strongly supports … the USA Freedom Act…. The Administration applauds and appreciates the strong bipartisan effort that led to the formulation of this bill, which heeds the President’s call on this important issue.

The bill ensures our intelligence and law enforcement professionals have the authorities they need to protect the Nation, while further ensuring that individuals’ privacy is appropriately protected.

Especially grievous is the power that continues to be granted to the so-called FISA “court.” This is the secret court that first came to light when Edward Snowden in 2013 leaked a top-secret order issued by the court requiring a subsidiary of Verizon to provide a daily, on-going feed of all call detail records — including those for domestic calls — to the NSA. As Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School, explained,

The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long as they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to agree. This isn’t the rule of law. This is a coup d’etat.

Leahy’s bill allegedly will tighten up the House bill somewhat, creating a “special advocate” for liberty at the FISA courts, and limiting the NSA from vacuuming up data from an entire zip code or all the records from a communications service provider. It also declassifies some of those FISA court orders which have remained sealed and protected from public view. In its tentative support for Leahy’s new offering, Nadia Kayyall of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), said,

The legislation may not completely end suspicionless surveillance … it allows the NSA to get a second set of records (a second “hop”) with an undefined “direct connection” to the first specific selection term.

Because the “direct connection” standard is vague, the government may seek to construe that phrase to mean less than reasonable suspicion.

Translation: The NSA, under Leahy’s new stronger, tighter, more restrictive language, may continue to do whatever it pleases in collecting and storing for later use all private communications from Americans.

Leahy’s bill will probably never see the light of day in this congress and will have to be reintroduced in the next session if anything is to be done to rein in the NSA’s collection of data. In the meantime, the NSA’s vacuuming of innocent Americans’ private communication continues unabated.

 

 

D’Souza Should have Named it America: Imagine a World Without Zinn and Alinsky

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 23, 2014:

Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky

After viewing the movie and reading the book entitled America: Imagine a World without Her, one is inclined to suggest a new title. For starters, D’Souza, the author and producer of his first film 2016: Obama’s America, never explains what the world would look like without America’s presence. That is left up to the reader and viewer. He starts off badly, as well, naming his first chapter Suicide of Nation. This presumes that American citizens are doing themselves in deliberately, with malice aforethought.

But, as D’Souza shortly points out, that is hardly the case. There are evil forces afoot attempting to

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Pushback Against Operation Choke Point Gains Momentum

 

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 15, 2014:

 

Choking - 365 Day 59

The secret initiative that began as Operation Choke Point (OCP) in March 2013 is now beginning to meet not only with massive unfavorable publicity but also congressional pushback. Three hearings by House committees this week are indicative of the mounting outrage OCP has generated.

Just months into his first term, President Obama launched “Operation Broken Trust” under an executive order, creating the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, seeking to “root out and expose” various investment scams that cropped up at the start of the Great Recession. It has now morphed into a gigantic interagency behemoth involving the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the U.S. Secret Service.

“Mission creep” inevitably set in, and the scope of the investigative attention expanded greatly to include

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House Passes bill to Increase Funding for Background Checks

Seal of the National Crime Information Center ...

Seal of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), USA. — “Servicing Our Citizens” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Late last Thursday the House voted, 260-145, to increase federal grant money to states to improve their reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. It was a textbook case of revolutionary parliamentarianism at work.

Less than one week after the Isla Vista, California, shootings which left seven people dead and 13 wounded, the House voted to increase funding by $19.5 million to assist the states in their data collection and entry into the federal gun registry system. It was all for good reasons, according to Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who helped sponsor the amendment:

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Review of “No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald, the facilitator in bringing to light Edward Snowden’s staggering revelations over the NSA’s surveillance of Americans, titled his book from a comment made by Senator Frank Church back in 1975. As head of the U.S. Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence Activities, Church said:

The United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables [them] to monitor the messages that go through the air…

That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left. Such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter.

There would be no place to hide.

Greenwald opens his book as if it were a John Grisham thriller,

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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.