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Posts Tagged ‘Civil Liberties’

Pennsylvania Kids and the Election

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

Dear friend of liberty,

I’m disappointed to tell you that two weeks ago the Pennsylvania state Senate voted to criminalize Pennsylvania’s teenagers for the very human experience of coming to terms with their sexuality.

In a move that showed more concern for what occurs in our teens’ bedrooms than for real criminals, the Senate passed legislation to criminalize underage teens for “sexting,” the electronic distribution of semi-nude, nude, or sexually explicit images.

Would you like to find out if your state senator was one of 12 senators who voted against this bill? You should then take one minute to contact your state senator and share your feelings about the vote on the sexting bill.

Incredibly, the bill, which was signed by Governor Corbett last week, even criminalizes victims of abuse. For example, a teen could produce a picture of herself or himself in a state of semi-nudity and send it to one other person, such as a dating partner. If that picture is later distributed to others against the will of the person in the photo, she is still guilty of a crime, compounding her suffering as a victim.

This is a public health issue that is best handled by parents and child development professionals, not the government and not district attorneys. Tell your state senator that you support civil liberties and Pennsylvania’s kids.

In liberty,

Andy Hoover
Legislative Director
ACLU of PA
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It’s Time for Transparency

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Why Is It The Truth-Tellers Always Get Canned?

Some news stories give me pause about whether those in government have any concern at all for the rights of the American people. The detention of Bradley Manning is one of those stories. If he did what authorities claim he did, he most certainly broke some serious laws, and for that, there should be consequences.

Regardless of his guilt or innocence, the seriousness of his actions, or whatever, one thing is clear: No American should be stashed away in the brig, under questionable conditions and treatment, without a timely day in court.

An American accused of a crime should be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This basic principle has been firmly established in our laws since the Founders, and has been hailed by Americans of all political stripes as a staple of a free society. If Bradley Manning is guilty of a crime, he will have to deal with the consequences of his actions. His guilt, however, is a matter for the judicial system. The rule of law works only as long as the government has to play by the rules set forth in the Constitution and proves its case in the judicial system. This case is no exception.

Last week, P.J. Crowley, a State Department spokesman, called Manning’s treatment, “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” Three days later, the Obama Administration asked him to step down– so much for this administration’s promise of transparency. A government spokesman who tells the truth, or even his own observation, about what the government is doing shouldn’t be the one to ‘take the fall’ for yet another embarrassing example of Federal arrogance.

We have a judicial system that works pretty well if we actually use it and make sure all have access to it. This case is no exception. If the facts and the evidence can’t stand the light of day, then we have a much bigger problem than WikiLeaks. It’s a problem that that involves a lack of transparency, too much secrecy, and a general disregard of civil liberties.

It is clear that freedom and individual rights still have to be fought for every day before an overzealous government swallows them. Sadly, the Washington insiders and political commentators in the media, whom have all been silent on this scandal, will not do it for us. We have to fight for our rights ourselves.

Good governing is simple. I practiced it for 8 years while Governor of New Mexico. Government should protect us from individuals that do us harm, but should be out of our lives otherwise.

The government should protect the value of individuals and their civil liberties. The government should not intervene in the private lives of individual citizens unnecessarily. Personal liberty and freedom from unwarranted governmental control or regulation should allow law abiding individuals to pursue their own desires as long as they are not causing harm to other people.

There should be less government, greater liberty and lasting prosperity for America.

Transforming these simple ideas into the guiding principles of government is what the Our America Initiative is all about. They are the motivation behind the fact that I have spent the past year and a half traveling to 32 states and appearing on countless news programs. And our message of truth and freedom is resonating.

This week, I am in California meeting with folks from all political persuasions – and they all agree with us that government is out of control. This weekend, I am headed back to Washington, DC, and next week on to Chicago. At every stop, heads are nodding in agreement that we can no longer stand by and watch as the government strips our freedoms, spends us into bankruptcy, and robs our potential for prosperity.

I can’t do this alone. Our America is growing every day, with more and more like-minded Americans signing up to help. But we need YOUR help to keep the momentum going. Your contribution today, of any amount, provides the resources we must have to keep spreading our message and put the pressure on Washington to get out of our daily lives.

One of my most important goals is to continue defending the rule of law and the civil liberties that you and I hold so dear. The Our America Initiative is growing every day, with more and more like-minded Americans signing up to get involved. Our message is one that needs to be heard, and there has never been a more important time for our fellow citizens to hear it.

Thank you for all of your support. It is truly humbling to know that so many people are united in defense of freedom.

Your energy and support is what motivates me every day to stand tall as a spokesman for liberty:

http://ouramericaInitiative.com/donate

In Liberty,

Gary Johnson

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How to Defeat the Patriot Act

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

How to Defeat the Patriot Act

February 9, 2010

Taking away our freedoms is not Patriotic. In fact, there is nothing more un-American.

The badly misnamed Patriot Act is not the Act of Patriots. It is the act of petty tyrants seeking more and more power and control over our country.

Now, ever so quietly, the Obama administration is working with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to sneak reauthorization of the Patriot Act through without creating a stir among liberty-minded Americans.

Well, I’m for making a stir. A BIG STIR.

How about you?

We’ve all heard the defenses. How the Patriot Act was needed to combat terrorism. How it would not be used against U.S. citizens.

How it would not be abused.

These lies have all been clearly exposed. For eight years, the American people have ignored the wisdom of our founding fathers and traded freedom for security – and as predicted, we are losing both as a result.

And now, Congress and the White House are set to reauthorize the so-called Patriot Act.

They have until the end of this month to act. Even talk about a window-dressing reform bill has stopped. The Mainstream Media, fixated on Obama and tea party rallies, doesn’t say a word about it.

Frankly, you and I know the Patriot Act should be scrapped, or at least massively re-written to block federal snoops from casting fishing nets over the lives, histories and data of hard-working Americans.

Unless you and I act today, however, this won’t happen. . .

. . . and the Patriot Act will be reauthorized for another five years or more without hardly a peep or a dissent.

The weak link for the snoop-state insiders remains the U.S. Senate — where one Big Government boondoggle after another has been bottled up or defeated.

But my contacts in the Senate say there’s not hardly a peep of opposition to the Patriot Act being heard right now. They say they are willing to fight — some even admit privately it was a mistake supporting it the first time when President Bush demanded it in the midst of the outrage following the 9/11 attacks.

But no one will take this on unless there is a shout of opposition from the American people.

That’s why I urge you to let Senator Bob Casey and Senator Arlen Specter hear from you today. Please click here to sign our Liberty Petition, demanding your senators allow the Patriot Act to expire.

If we do not stop this reauthorization, we’ll see a whole lot more of what we’ve gotten over the last eight years:

*** Federal and State law enforcement on fishing expeditions, searching telephone, email, medical, financial, and other records looking for a needle in a haystack – and abridging the freedom of law abiding citizens everywhere.

*** Warrantless searches and roving wiretaps, paying telephone providers for access to TRILLIONS of phone records and ignoring Fourth Amendment protections.

*** Broad powers for the Treasury Department and Immigrations Department to rewrite regulations, access records, and conduct proceedings in secret.

*** Holding American citizens in violation of their constitutional rights simply because someone in the government has declared them an enemy combatant.

*** Vast amounts of electronic data on virtually every American swept up by insider arrangements and purchases from phone companies, airlines and other businesses afraid to say no to a government request.
As you well know, this isn’t some conspiracy theory. This is happening all around us.

And you and I can help put a stop to it today.

One of the most egregious abuses of the Constitution, using the Patriot Act as its basis, is so-called National Security letters, used commonly by the FBI.

It has been estimated that the FBI has used these NSLs – which allow access to records WITHOUT any court or search warrant – at least 50,000 times since 2001.

Just one example, noted in BusinessWeek in 2005, showed that the FBI had issued tens of thousands of NSLs and had obtained one million financial, credit, employment, and health records from the customers of targeted Las Vegas businesses. Selected businesses included casinos, storage warehouses and car rental agencies.

And that’s just one case.

Our federal government is out of control, and every day we see it attempting to abridge more of our constitutional rights.

We know they’d take away our Second Amendment rights in a heartbeat if they could, and we must also remain vigilant to this threat.

They’re spending us and our children into poverty, with crushing trillion dollar deficits.

And they’re allowing the out of control Fed to ruin the dollar and push forward toward the collapse of our currency and way of life.

All of these are vital fights.

But none are more critical at the moment than taking back our freedoms from the statists and power-hungry federal thugs who use the Patriot Act to dig into every aspect of American lives under the false pretense of making us safer.

We cannot be a free nation and have this un-American law on the books.

Liberty-minded Americans from the left and the right are outraged. But outrage alone won’t be enough. Every single one of us must take action today.

Campaign for Liberty has a three point plan to get as many senators as possible to vote against the Patriot Act:

** Your Petitions, and hundreds of thousands like them, will be delivered to the Senate, showing the tidal wave of opposition to the Patriot Act. You can sign by clicking HERE.

** Editorials and Op-Eds across the country to help swing the tide of public opinion to oppose this dangerous abuse of power.

** TV and Radio Ads in targeted states. As you may recall, our program has helped keep Socialized medicine from becoming a reality.
Public pressure works. Think of the agenda items that are stalled in Congress in no small part due to pressure from outraged citizens. Socialized Medicine. Big Labor’s Card Check. Gun grabbing bills. You name it; we’re beating it back.

The time is now to turn our attention to stopping the Patriot Act in its tracks.

The issue already became hot enough that the Senate could only muster a 60 day extension of the bill because of the threat of a Senate filibuster back in December. But now the politicians think all is clear. There is silence on this issue.

Well, I think it’s time for them to hear us loud and clear.

Remember, the statists need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. We can and must win this fight.

Please join us and help Campaign for Liberty win this fight by signing your Petition and by making a contribution today.

In Liberty,

John Tate
President

P.S.: If you and I don’t take the lead, I’m certain the Patriot Act will be renewed, and we will continue to have our freedom and our private information taken away by our government.

You and I need to shine a bright spotlight on what Congress hopes will be a quiet fight.

Please help Campaign for Liberty wage this fight today by signing your Liberty Petition and by making a contribution to Campaign for Liberty if you can.

Campaign for Liberty

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The Very Busy Politicians in Washington DC

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Texas Straight Talk – A weekly column
Rep. Ron Paul (R) – TX 14

With a faltering economy, multiple wars, and the approaching demise of the dollar’s reserve status, there are more than enough problems to keep politicians in Washington working day and night. In between handing out cash for clunkers and nationalizing healthcare, the administration is busy sending more troops overseas, escalating existing wars, and seeking out excuses to start new wars. Congress is working on “urgent” legislation to address crises like healthcare reform and climate change. The reforms are so very urgent that legislation must pass swiftly with no time to read the bills even though the new laws wouldn’t take effect for several years! Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is busy dealing with our dollar crisis by printing up more dollars.

Yes, there certainly is a lot for Washington to do these days. Most, if not all, of what Washington is doing however, is more of what created the problems in the first place. Capitol Hill is filled with politicians running around putting out fires – but with gasoline. The truth is that all these fires keep so many powerful people employed and wealthy that it is not truly in many decision makers’ interests to be very effective problem-solvers. If Washington ran out of problems, think how many lobbyists would be out of a job, and how many special interest groups would just disband? Sadly, whatever is bad for the greater economy is good for the economy and job market in DC.

Of course, no form of government, not even one that respected its Constitutional restraints, would magically create a problem-free society. The question is: how should a society deal with its problems? The form of government that our founders envisioned, in which the federal government was strictly constrained by the Constitution, allows private citizens and communities to solve their own problems. The role of the government should be to protect contracts, punish fraud and violence through appropriate laws, law enforcement and the courts. Not a whole lot of laws or bureaucrats are really necessary to work on just that. Instead, new laws are constantly needed to fix the problems that previous unconstitutional laws created. We have ended up with an incomprehensible maze of laws and regulations that severely constrains the people and expands the government – the exact opposite of what our founders intended.

This is all because the Constitution is treated like a suggestion manual instead of the supreme law of the land. Under the Constitution, politicians’ hands are supposed to be tied in most of the areas they involve themselves in today. But somewhere along the line, politicians stepped out of Constitutional bounds and started pretending to solve our problems for us. All we have to show for it is more problems.

Today, Washington politicians can busily “solve” one problem, knowing that unintended consequences from that “solution” will keep them and their friends all very busy tomorrow. The people are ultimately left suffocating under the burden of Washington’s helping hands. It is coming to a point where our economy, our dollar, and indeed, the rest of the world have had about all the help from Washington that they can stand. The United States is headed the way of Rome and the Soviet Union, for the same reasons, unless we reverse the trend.

I continue to hope that enough Americans will realize that the true strength of our country doesn’t come from Washington, but rather the limitations placed on government in the Constitution. We must resolve to reverse the destructive course that we are on and then never again let big government problem-solving take over our lives and our country.

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