WHY IS GOVERNMENT STOCKPILING GUNS, AMMO?

gov-stock-pile-of-ammo-guns

WND EXCLUSIVE:

Is the U.S. government getting ready for a war we don’t know about?

And, if that’s why Washington is stockpiling massive amounts of ammunition (hollow points, by the way), why is Homeland Security doing the buying instead of the Defense Department?

I have some theories.

Many of you will remember a story I broke a long time ago – about presidential candidate Barack Obama’s little-noticed announcement that, if elected in 2008, he wanted to create a “civilian national security force” as big, as strong and as well-funded as the Defense Department.

Here’s what he actually said at a campaign stop in Colorado July 2, 2008: “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

Could what we see happening now in the Department of Homeland Security be the beginning of Obama’s dream and our constitutional nightmare?

We’ve learned more about Obama’s vision since then. Maybe it’s time for a review:

  • He made the campaign promise to build this $439 billion domestic army, but all references to the initiative were inexplicably deleted from the copy of his speech posted on his website while others mysteriously disappeared from transcripts of the speech distributed by the campaign. That was strange – and ominous.
  • At the time, I had never heard anyone use the phrase “civilian national security force” before. But I did a little homework and found out where it originated. It was first proposed by then Bush administration Defense Secretary Robert Gates. On that basis alone, I accurately predicted that, if elected, Obama would name Gates as his own defense secretary. Needless to say, when that appointment came to pass, no media outlet bothered to interview me about my foresight.
  • Still during the campaign of 2008, I suggested that what Obama had in mind might be something very sinister indeed – perhaps “some kind of domestic Big Brother program.”

We never heard another mention of Obama’s “civilian national security force” again. Not in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 or 2012.

But that brings us up to 2013 and the highly unusual stockpiling of firearms and ammo by Homeland Security – firearms and ammo that Obama would like to deny to ordinary citizens who are not members of his domestic army.

Well, I hate to say it, but I may have predicted this, too.

In a Halloween column last fall, I stated that, if re-elected, Obama would “declare a full-scale war on his domestic opposition.”

I wasn’t joking. I was deadly serious – so serious, in fact, that I did something I pledged I would never do: Vote for Mitt Romney. It was a matter of self-defense and self-preservation. I said then that a second term of Obama might mean we would never see another free and fair election in America. (I’m not even sure we saw one in 2012.) I suggested due process would go the way of the horse and buggy. I said I expected Obama would move to shut down or destroy all independent media. I even speculated that his biggest critics would eventually be rounded up in the name of national security.

Think about it.

Why does the civilian Department of Homeland Security need billions of rounds of ammunition?

This is the agency that is responsible for policing the border. But it doesn’t.

This is the agency that is responsible for catching terrorists. But it doesn’t.

So why does Homeland Security need so many weapons and enough hollow-point rounds to plug every American six times?

Maybe this is the “civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the Defense Department.

These words – “civilian national security force” – have haunted me ever since I first read them.

Obama has never explained what he meant.

He’s never been called to account for that remark.

Doesn’t this sound like police-state talk to you?

The U.S. Army alone has nearly 500,000 troops. That doesn’t count reserves or National Guard. In 2007, the U.S. defense budget was $439 billion. No one knows what the budget is today because Congress stopped passing budgets when Obama took office.

Is Obama serious about creating some kind of domestic security force bigger and more expensive than that? Is this part of his second-term agenda?

He has also set up, as I have reported, a new homeland security bureaucracy to operate under his own direction.

I think it’s worth recalling here that just over a year ago both houses of Congress unwisely passed the defense reauthorization bill that killed the concept of habeas corpus – legislation that authorized the president to use the U.S. military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial.

That legislation would empower a lame-duck Obama to use all of the power of the federal government – constitutional and unconstitutional – to target his political enemies.

If any Republican, conservative, independent journalist, pro-life activist, returning veteran, gun-rights activist, constitutionalist, Bible believer or critic of Obama thinks they will be safe in a second term under this would-be despot, they had better think again – real fast.

The “civilian national security force” is not here to protect any of them. It’s here to destroy the opposition. It’s here to destroy liberty. It’s here to destroy the Constitution.
source

Advertisements

Obama preparing country for coup against Constitution

we the people

During his October 3rd radio broadcast, conservative host and author Mark Levin warned his listeners that President Obama is moving beyond the current partial government shutdown and on to the debt ceiling. As he campaigns against Republicans, Obama is creating fear among those on government support programs and even in the financial markets, that Tea Party “extremists” will allow the government to “default,” paving the way for low-information Americans to support him as he bypasses Congress and unilaterally takes control of the country’s economy:

Default, default, default…why is he saying that? Just to scare people? Well, that’s part of it, obviously. But, it’s more than that, ladies and gentlemen. Barack Obama is plotting, that if he can’t get what he wants out of the House Republicans, that if he can’t get his Plan A, and get Boehner and the Republicans to buckle – not just on the Continuing Resolution – but on the debt ceiling, then he’s got his Plan B.

His Plan B is the most egregious attack on our Constitution by a President, not just in modern history, but in all our history, if, in fact, he unleashes it…

Levin said that, urged on by Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Bill Clinton, Obama is primed to bypass Congress, “to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally as President of the United States, using the 14th Amendment as a fig leaf, to seize from Congress the power of the purse.”

Observing that Obama is already calling for liberal ideologues and academics to provide cover for his plan, Levin noted a recent New York Times op-ed by Henry J. Aaron, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, who point-blank recommends that Obama should “ignore the debt ceiling,” since doing so is the “least bad” law for him to break.

Under the dubious premise that the United States will default on its debts, and thereby incur a “full-blown constitutional crisis,” should the debt ceiling not be raised, Aaron writes that he agrees with Columbia Law professors Neil H. Buchanan and Michael C. Dorf whoargued that Obama’s disregard of the debt ceiling would be less incriminating than placing the nation in “default.” Aaron primes the courts as well for the ultimate plan:

In this case, the consequences are so overwhelmingly on one side that they cannot be ignored by the president and should not be ignored by the courts. If the debt ceiling is not increased, the president should disregard it, and honor spending and tax legislation.

A decision to cut spending enough to avoid borrowing would instantaneously slash outlays by approximately $600 billion a year. Cutting payments to veterans, Social Security benefits and interest on the national debt by half would just about do the job. But such cuts would not only illegally betray promises to veterans, the elderly and disabled and bondholders; they would destroy the credit standing of the United States and boost borrowing costs on the nation’s $12 trillion publicly held debt.

As Romina Boccia at the Heritage Foundation wrote recently, however, refusing an immediate hike in the debt limit does not automatically translate into the “crisis” that Obama and his supporters would like Americans to embrace:

If Congress does not raise the debt limit by mid-October, the Treasury would not necessarily default on debt obligations. Even while cash-strapped, the Treasury can reasonably be expected to prioritize principal and interest payments on the national debt, protecting the full faith and credit of the United States above all other spending. It is almost impossible to conceive that the Treasury and the President would choose to default on debt obligations because doing so would have damaging economic consequences.

Cuts in discretionary spending and reform of entitlement programs – beginning with the repeal of ObamaCare, yet a new entitlement – are the ways Congress can place the nation’s budget on a path to balance, says Boccia.

Aaron, however, using a frame of reference that asserts the U.S. is currently in an “economic recovery,” writes that spending cuts cannot be made because it is simply too difficult to decide which programs or education grants to limit.

“No matter how the cuts might be distributed, they would, if sustained for more than a very brief period, kill the economic recovery and cause unemployment to return quickly to double digits,” he writes.

In the end, Levin asserts, Obama is already campaigning and priming the country for his coup of the Constitution, the ultimate “fundamental transformation” of the nation as he has promised:

So, it is he who is prepared to extort and blackmail in ways that most of you, and most of my colleagues in this business can’t even imagine, or don’t even understand. And, if the President of the United States unilaterally lifts the debt ceiling, you can kiss the core functions of Congress goodbye, you can kiss this Republic goodbye, once and for all. And, then, I think, the focus can be on the Liberty Amendments.

source

Federal Reserve Says Banks Need to Brace For Economic Impact

The-US-Federal-Reserve-II-A1xxx

The Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) warned financial institutions to reserve on-hand cash, government bonds and all highly rated assets to survive a severe economic “downturn”.

The FRB outlined essential “liquidity” requirements to ensure that cash can be assessed in an instant.

Those financial institutions with more than $250 billion in assets on the books are now required to hold those cash reserves to fund banking operations for 30 days during severe market “stress”.

Smaller banks with an estimated $50 million in worth are expected to have that much in in-house accounting to survive for 21 days.

Banks are being subject to international standards as disseminated by the Bank for International Standards (BIS).

Ben Bernanke, chair of the FRB said: “Liquidity is essential to a bank’s viability and central to the smooth functioning of the financial system. [The new regime] would foster a more resilient and safer financial system in conjunction with other reforms.”

Last January the BIS and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervisors (BCBS) has applied the underlying pressure on US banks to liquidate to appease global markets. The American taxpayer is picking up the tab for this turn of events. BIS is giving these banks until 2019 to comply with their new rules. Capital to prop up the banks will be needed while they liquidate assets such as bonds, mortgages, loans and stock shares.

Consequences of the liquidation have been evidenced in governmental austerity and movement toward sovereign debt by the technocrats. Any asset assessed by Basel can and is being used as collateral of the banksters in an anything goes temperament while the squandering of wealth continues.

BIS has used the scheme of forcing capital from the banks to control the measures taken globally. International banking constraints mandated in these new rules are putting more control into the hands of “shadow banks” where supervision is unheard of.

Michel Barnier, commissioner of BIS, stated that the Basel Committee has “revised liquidity coverage ratio and the gradual approach for its phasing-in by clearly defined dates. This is significant progress which addresses issues already raised by the European Commission. We now need to make full use of the observation period, and learn from the reports that the European Banking Authority will prepare on the results of the observation period, before formally implementing in 2015 the liquidity coverage ratio under EU law in line with the Basel standards.”

Liquidity is seen by the technocrats as a necessity for “the stability of banks as well as for their role in supporting wider economic recovery.”

At a time when the introduction of a global currency to replace all fiat across the globe is at hand, it makes perfect sense that the technocrats are positioning themselves to control the central banks as offshoot branches of their operation. At the head of this monster, the BIS sets the tone and directs the banksters with limitations and orders.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is setting the stage of a complete financial collapse of fiat currencies across the globe. Joining in the scheme are other technocratic institutions such as the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank.

Under the guise of preventing a system failure during the global financial crisis, there will be “an extension of the existing temporary US dollar liquidity swap arrangements until February, 1 2014.” This action allows the central bankers to liquidate currencies under their jurisdiction “should market conditions so warrant.” Under this plan, euros backed by nothing can continue to pour into the system throughout the Eurozone “in addition to the existing liquidity-providing operations” in the US. This liquidation will take place “until further notice.”

The UN has proposed a complete overhaul in the report entitled, “Adapting the International Monetary System to Face 21st Century Challenges”.

They call for a “more intense debate on and reforms to the international monetary system imply that the current system is unable to respond appropriately and adequately to challenges that have appeared, or become more acute, in recent years. This paper focuses on four such challenges: ensuring an orderly exit from global imbalances, facilitating more complementary adjustments between surplus and deficit countries without recessionary impacts, better supporting international trade by reducing currency volatility and better providing development and climate finance. After describing them, it proposes reforms to enable the international monetary system to better respond to these challenges.”

They recommend movement toward a global currency that will replace all current currencies. Revaluation will be accessed and the worth of money would redistribute with oversight of the IMF, WTO and ultimately the UN.

source: occupycorporatism

Snowden: No US Call Made ‘without leaving a record with the NSA’

cell_phone_nsa_2_610x344_610x344

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on Thursday disputed Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) claim that the government’s phone record collection program is not “surveillance.”

“Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA’s hands,” Snowden said in a statement Thursday.

“Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They’re wrong.”

Snowden didn’t mention Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, by name, but she has said repeatedly that the NSA’s program to collect records on all U.S. phone calls is not a surveillance program.

“The call-records program is not surveillance,” she wrote in an op-ed in USA Today this week. “It does not collect the content of any communication, nor do the records include names or locations.”

She said the NSA only collects phone numbers, call times and call durations.

“The Supreme Court has held this ‘metadata’ is not protected under the Fourth Amendment,” Feinstein wrote, referring to the court’s 1972 decision in Smith v. Maryland.

The existence of the phone record collection program was one the most controversial revelations from Snowden’s leaks earlier this year. Many lawmakers, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), have expressed outrage that the NSA is collecting records on millions of Americans not under any suspicion of wrongdoing.

Snowden provided his statement to the American Civil Liberties Union to promote a rally the group is holding on Saturday along with other civil liberties groups in Washington.

“Now it’s time for the government to learn from us,” said Snowden, who is currently living in Russia.

source

BREAKING NEWS: NSA site down due to alleged DDoS attack

NSA site down due to alleged DDoS attack

 xx
Screenshot from nsa.gov

Screenshot from nsa.gov

The website for the United States National Security Agency suddenly went offline Friday.

NSA.gov has been unavailable globally as of late Friday afternoon, and Twitter accounts belonging to people loosely affiliated with the Anonymous hacktivism movement have suggested they are responsible.

Twitter users @AnonymousOwn3r and @TruthIzSexy both were quick to comment on the matter, and implied that a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS, may have been waged as an act of protest against the NSA

Allegations that those users participated in the DDoS — a method of over-loading a website with too much traffic — are currently unverified, and @AnonymousOwn3r has previously taken credit for downing websites in a similar fashion, although those claims have been largely contested.

The crippling of NSA.gov comes amid a series of damning national security documents that have been disclosed without authorization by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. The revelations in the leaked documents have impassioned people around the globe outraged by evidence of widespread surveillance operated by the NSA, and a massive “Stop Watching Us” rally is scheduled for Saturday in Washington, DC.

DDoS attacks are illegal in the United States under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA, and two cases are currently underway in California and Virginia in which federal judges are weighing in on instances in which members of Anonymous allegedly used the technique to take down an array of sites during anti-copyright campaigns waged by the group in 2010 and 2011. In those cases, so-called hacktivsits are reported to have conspired together to send immense loads of traffic to targeted websites, rendering them inaccessible due to the overload.

source: RT

Pentagon Official: Obama Is Purging Military Commanders

121110_petraeus_obama_ap_605

Nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the Obama administration this year, leading to speculation by active and retired members of the military that a purge of its commanders is underway.

Retired generals and current senior commanders that have spoken with TheBlaze say the administration is not only purging the military of commanders they don’t agree with, but is striking fear in the hearts of those still serving.

The timing comes as the five branches of the U.S. armed forces are reducing staff due to budget cuts, and as U.S. troops are expected to withdraw from Afghanistan next year.

“I think they’re using the opportunity of the shrinkage of the military to get rid of people that don’t agree with them or not tow the party line. Remember, as (former White House chief of staff) Rahm Emanuel said, never waste a crisis,” a senior retired general told TheBlaze on the condition of anonymity because he still provide services to the government and fears possible retribution.

“Even as a retired general, it’s still possible for the administration to make life miserable for us. If we’re working with the government or have contracts, they can just rip that out from under us,” he said.

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, said the White House fails to take action or investigate its own, but finds it easy to fire military commanders “who have given their lives for their country.”

“Obama will not purge a civilian or political appointee because they have bought into Obama’s ideology,” Vallely said. “The White House protects their own. That’s why they stalled on the investigation into fast and furious, Benghazi and Obamacare. He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”

A Pentagon official who asked to remain nameless because they were not authorized to speak on the matter said even “young officers, down through the ranks have been told not to talk about Obama or the politics of the White House. They are purging everyone and if you want to keep your job — just keep your mouth shut.

THE NINE MILITARY COMMANDERS FIRED THIS YEAR BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

Blaze Sources: Obama Purging Military Commanders

Gen. Carter Hamm, Army

Served as head of the United States African Command during the bloodshed in Benghazi, Libya when four American citizens, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens and two retired Navy Seals, were murdered by militants on Sept. 11, 2012. Senior military officials told TheBlaze Hamm was extremely critical of the Obama administration, including when reinforcements were not sent to help the U.S. citizens under attack in Benghazi. Hamm “resigned and retired” in April 2013.

Blaze Sources: Obama Purging Military Commanders

Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette, Navy

Commander of Carrier Strike Group Three. He recently served as deputy commander of the U.S. Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command. He was in charge of Air Craft Carriers in the Mediterranean Sea the night of the Benghazi assault on Sept. 11, 2012. Under testimony, he told Congress there may not have been time to get the flight crews to Benghazi, but left the door open when he told Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) under cross-examination that he could have launched aircraft to the destination. He was later accused of using profanity in a public setting and making at least two racially insensitive comments. While he was cleared of any criminal violations under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he still faced administrative penalties that have ended his career.

Blaze Sources: Obama Purging Military Commanders

Maj. Gen. Ralph Baker, Army

Major General Baker served as commander of the Joint Task Force-Horn at Camp Lamar in Djibouti, Africa. According to several military officials who spoke to TheBlaze, he was also involved in some aspect with the Benghazi incident Sept. 11, 2012. He was relieved of command and fired for allegedly groping a civilian, but no assault charges or sexual misconduct charges were filed with military JAG officials.

Blaze Sources: Obama Purging Military Commanders

Brigadier Gen. Bryan Roberts, Army

General Roberts took command of Fort Jackson in 2011. He was considered a rising star in his field and served in Iraq during his service as the commanding officer of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. He was the deputy commanding general of the United States Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky. He was relieved of duty and fired for adultery — still on the books in the United States Code of Military Justice but rarely since President Bill Clinton’s indiscretions.

Blaze Sources: Obama Purging Military Commanders

Maj. Gen. Gregg A. Sturdevant, Marine Corps

Director of Strategic Planning and Policy for the U.S. Pacific Command and commander of the aviation wing at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. He was a highly-decorated Marine with two Naval and Marine Commendations, two Naval and Marine Good Conduct medals, as well as the Air Medal with a gold star. He was one of two commanding officers suddenly relieved of command and fired from the military for failure to use proper force protection at the camp after 15 Taliban fighters attacked Camp Bastion on Sept. 14, 2012, resulting in the deaths of Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible, 40, and Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell, 27.

Blaze Sources: Obama Purging Military Commanders

Maj. Gen. Charles M.M. Gurganus, Marine Corps

Regional commander in the Southwest and I Marine Expeditionary Force in Afghanistan. Highly decorated with a Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit with Valor, and three Meritorious Service Commendations. According to several military officials, Gurganus questioned having to use Afghan security patrols alongside American patrols after two officers were executed at their desk and a platoon was lead into an ambush on the front lines.

Blaze Sources: Obama Purging Military Commanders

Lt. Gen. David Holmes Huntoon Jr, Army

Served as the 58th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He graduated from the same academy in 1973 and had served in Senior Planning and Education Services through the majority of his career. He was “censored” for “an investigation” into an “improper relationship” according to the Department of Defense. Nothing was released to the nature of the improper relationship. Nothing was even mentioned if an actual investigation even took place.

Blaze Sources: Obama Purging Military Commanders

Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, Navy

Deputy Commander of the United States Strategic Command. He was commander of the Submarine Group Trident, Submarine Group 9 and Submarine Group 10, where every single one of the 18 Nuclear Submarines with Nuclear Trident Missiles of those three groups were in his command. This commander earned six Legions of Merit, Two Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, and several other medals and ribbons. He is under criminal investigation for the alleged use of counterfeit gambling chips, while playing a poker game at a western Iowa casino.

Blaze Sources: Obama Purging Military Commanders

Major Gen. Michael Carey, Air Force

Commander 20th Air Force in charge of 9,600 people and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles at three operational wings and served in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Carry was fired October 11, 2013, for “personal misbehavior,” according to ABC News. Pentagon and Air Force senior officials have remained relatively tight-lipped about Carry’s firing.

source

Americans Have Lost VIRTUALLY ALL of Our Constitutional Rights

https://i2.wp.com/www.theispot.com/images/source/FredaLibertyUpended1.jpg 
Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right.  (This is an updated version of an essay we wrote in February.  Unfortunately, a lot of information has come out since then.)

First Amendment

The 1st Amendment protects speech, religion, assembly and the press:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Supreme Court has also interpreted the First Amendment as protecting freedom of association.
However, the government is arresting those speaking out … and violently crushing peaceful assemblies which attempt to petition the government for redress.
A federal judge found that the law allowing indefinite detention of Americans without due process has a “chilling effect” on free speech. And see this and this.
There are also enacted laws allowing the secret service to arrest anyone protesting near the president or other designated folks (that might explain incidents like this).
Mass spying by the NSA violates our freedom of association.
The threat of being labeled a terrorist for exercising our First Amendment rights certainly violates the First Amendment. The government is using laws to crush dissent, and it’s gotten so bad that even U.S. Supreme Court justices are saying that we are descending into tyranny.

For example, the following actions may get an American citizen living on U.S. soil labeled as a “suspected terrorist” today:

And holding the following beliefs may also be considered grounds for suspected terrorism:

Of course, Muslims are more or less subject to a separate system of justice in America.
And 1st Amendment rights are especially chilled when power has become so concentrated that the same agency which spies on all Americans also decides who should be assassinated.

Second Amendment

The 2nd Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Gun control and gun rights advocates obviously have very different views about whether guns are a force for violence or for good.
But even a top liberal Constitutional law expert reluctantly admits that the right to own a gun is as important a Constitutional right as freedom of speech or religion:

Like many academics, I was happy to blissfully ignore the Second Amendment. It did not fit neatly into my socially liberal agenda.

***

It is hard to read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to be an individual right. It is true that the amendment begins with a reference to militias: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Accordingly, it is argued, this amendment protects the right of the militia to bear arms, not the individual.

Yet, if true, the Second Amendment would be effectively declared a defunct provision. The National Guard is not a true militia in the sense of the Second Amendment and, since the District and others believe governments can ban guns entirely, the Second Amendment would be read out of existence.

***

More important, the mere reference to a purpose of the Second Amendment does not alter the fact that an individual right is created. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is stated in the same way as the right to free speech or free press. The statement of a purpose was intended to reaffirm the power of the states and the people against the central government. At the time, many feared the federal government and its national army. Gun ownership was viewed as a deterrent against abuse by the government, which would be less likely to mess with a well-armed populace.

Considering the Framers and their own traditions of hunting and self-defense, it is clear that they would have viewed such ownership as an individual right — consistent with the plain meaning of the amendment.

None of this is easy for someone raised to believe that the Second Amendment was the dividing line between the enlightenment and the dark ages of American culture. Yet, it is time to honestly reconsider this amendment and admit that … here’s the really hard part … the NRA may have been right.This does not mean that Charlton Heston is the new Rosa Parks or that no restrictions can be placed on gun ownership. But it does appear that gun ownership was made a protected right by the Framers and, while we might not celebrate it, it is time that we recognize it.

The gun control debate – including which weapons and magazines are banned – is still in flux …

Third Amendment

The 3rd Amendment prohibits the government forcing people to house soldiers:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

While a recent lawsuit by a Nevada family – covered by (Mother JonesFox News and Courthouse News – alleges violation of the Third Amendment, this appears to be an isolated incident and an aberration.
So we’ll count this as an Amendment which is still being honored! Score one for We the People!

 In America, Journalists Are Considered Terrorists
Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com.

Fourth Amendment

The 4th Amendment prevents unlawful search and seizure:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

But the government is spying on everything we do … without any real benefit or justification.
Indeed, experts say that the type of spying being carried out by the NSA and other agencies is exactly the kind of thing which King George imposed on the American colonists … which led to the Revolutionary War.
And many Constitutional experts – such as Jonathan Turley – think that the police went too far in Boston with lockdowns and involuntary door-to-door searches.


Paintings by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com.

Fifth Amendment

The 5th Amendment addresses due process of law, eminent domain, double jeopardy and grand jury:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

But the American government has shredded the 5th Amendment by subjecting us to indefinite detention and taking away our due process rights.
The government claims the right to assassinate or indefinitely detain any American citizen on U.S. citizen without any due process. And see this.
As such, the government is certainly depriving people of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
There are additional corruptions of 5th Amendment rights – such as property being taken for private purposes.
The percentage of prosecutions in which a defendant is denied a grand jury is difficult to gauge, as there is so much secrecy surrounding many terrorism trials.
Protection against being tried twice for the same crime after being found innocent (“double jeopardy”) seems to be intact.  Hey … that’s two Constitutional rights which are still intact!

HUNG LIBERTY (NYSE)Image by William Banzai

Sixth Amendment

The 6th Amendment guarantees the right to hear the criminal charges levied against us and to be able to confront the witnesses who have testified against us, as well as speedy criminal trials, and a public defender for those who cannot hire an attorney:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to beconfronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Subjecting people to indefinite detention or assassination obviously violates the 6th Amendment right to a jury trial. In both cases, the defendants is “disposed of” without ever receiving a trial … and often without ever hearing the charges against them.
More and more commonly, the government prosecutes cases based upon “secret evidence” that they don’t show to the defendant … or sometimes even the judge hearing the case.
The government uses “secret evidence” to spy on Americans, prosecute leaking or terrorism charges (even against U.S. soldiers) and even assassinate people. And see thisand this.
Secret witnesses are being used in some cases. And sometimes lawyers are not even allowed to read their own briefs.
Indeed, even the laws themselves are now starting to be kept secret. And it’s about to get a lot worse.
True – when defendants are afforded a jury trial – they are provided with assistance of counsel. However, the austerity caused by redistribution of wealth to the super-elite is causing severe budget cuts to the courts and the public defenders’ offices nationwide.
Moreover, there are two systems of justice in America … one for the big banks and other fatcats, and one for everyone else. The government made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, even though fraud is the main business model adopted by Wall Street. Indeed, the biggest financial crime in world history, the largest insider trading scandal of all time, illegal raiding of customer accounts and blatant financing of drug cartels and terrorists have all been committed recently without any real criminal prosecution or jail time.
On the other hand, government prosecutors are using the legal system to crush dissent and to silence whistleblowers.
And some of the nation’s most powerful judges have lost their independence … and are in bed with the powers-that-be.

Seventh Amendment

The 7th Amendment guarantees trial by jury in federal court for civil cases:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

As far as we know, this right is still being respected (that’s three rights still being followed).
However – as noted above – the austerity caused by redistribution of wealth to the super-elite is causing severe budget cuts to the courts, resulting in the wheels of justice slowing down considerably.

Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

Eighth Amendment

The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Indefinite detention and assassination are obviously cruel and unusual punishment.
The widespread system of torture carried out in the last 10 years – with the help of other countries – violates the 8th Amendment. Many want to bring it back … or at leastjustify its past use.
While Justice Scalia disingenuously argues that torture does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment because it is meant to produce information – not punish – he’s wrong. It’s not only cruel and unusual … it is technically a form of terrorism.
And government whistleblowers are being cruelly and unusually punished with unduly harsh sentences meant to intimidate anyone else from speaking out.

Ninth Amendment

The 9th Amendment provides that people have other rights, even if they aren’t specifically listed in the Constitution:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

We can debate what our inherent rights as human beings are. I believe they include the right to a level playing field, and access to non-toxic food and water. You may disagree.
But everyone agrees that the government should not actively encourage fraud and manipulation. However, the government – through its malignant, symbiotic relation with big corporations – is interfering with our aspirations for economic freedomsafe food and water (instead of arsenic-laden, genetically engineered junk), freedom from undue health hazards such as irradiation due to government support of archaic nuclear power designs, and a level playing field (as opposed to our crony capitalist system in which the little guy has no shot due to redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the super-elite, and government support of white collar criminals).
By working hand-in-glove with giant corporations to defraud us into paying for a lower quality of life, the government is trampling our basic rights as human beings.

Tenth Amendment

The 10th Amendment provides that powers not specifically given to the Federal government are reserved to the states or individual:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Two of the central principles of America’s Founding Fathers are:

(1) The government is created and empowered with the consent of the people
and

(2) Separation of powers

Today, most Americans believe that the government is threatening – rather than protecting – freedom.  We’ve become more afraid of our government than of terrorists, and believe that the government is no longer acting with the “consent of the governed“.
And the federal government is trampling the separation of powers by stepping on the toes of the states and the people. For example, former head S&L prosecutor Bill Black – now a professor of law and economics – notes:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the resident examiners and regional staff of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency [both] competed to weaken federal regulation and aggressively used the preemption doctrine to try to prevent state investigations of and actions against fraudulent mortgage lenders.

Indeed, the federal government is doing everything it can to stick its nose into every aspect of our lives … and act like Big Brother.
Conclusion: While a few of the liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights still exist, the vast majority are under heavy assault.

Other Constitutional Provisions … and The Declaration of Independence

In addition to the trampling of the Bill of Rights, the government has also trashed the separation of powers enshrined in the main body of the Constitution.
The government is also engaging in activities which the Founding Fathers fought against, such as taxation without representation (here and here), cronyismdeference to central banks, etc.
As thethe preamble to the Declaration of Independence shows, the American government is still carrying out many of the acts the Founding Fathers found most offensive:

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. [Background]

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. [Background herehere and here]

***

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: [Background]

***

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences [Background]

***

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. [Background]

***

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

source

China’s Largest Conglomerate Buys Building Housing JPMorgan’s Gold Vault

576px-WTM_by_official-ly_cool_100kkkk

In what is the most remarkable news of the day, which has so far passed very quietly under the radar, Fosun International, China’s largest private-owned conglomerate which invests in commodities, properties and pharmaceuticals also known as “Shanghai’s Hutchison Whampoa”, announced in a statement filed just as quietly with the Hong Kong stock exchange, that it had purchased JPM’s iconic former headquarters, the tower built by none other than David Rockefeller, at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza for a measly $725 million.

Here is Bloomberg described the transaction:

Over the past year, other Chinese developers and wealthy investors have been buying real estate in the U.S.

China Vanke Co., the biggest home builder listed in mainland China, said in February it joined a residential real estate venture in San Francisco. The families of Zhang Xin, co-founder of Soho China Ltd. (410), the biggest developer in Beijing’s central business district, and Brazilian banking billionaire Moise Safra this year bought a 40 percent stake in New York’s General Motors Building.

The landmark 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft and built in the 1950s, was once the headquarters of Chase Manhattan Bank. Rockefeller, as head of the bank’s building committee, selected the site and oversaw its construction.

JPMorgan intends to relocate about 4,000 employees, most of the people who work in the 60-story skyscraper, to other New York locations, Brian Marchiony, a spokesman, said in August. JPMorgan occupies about half of its space.

None of this is particularly newsworthy What is, however, is what Zero Hedge exclusively reported back in March, namely that the very same former JPM HQ at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza is also the building that houses the firm’s commercial gold vault: incidentally, the largest in the world.

Recall:

What do we know about 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza. Well, aside from the fact that the 60-story structure, built in the 1950s, was the headquarters of the once-legendary Chase Manhattan corporation, and which when it was built was the world’s sixth tallest building, not much.

So we set off to learn more.

To learn more, we first went to the motherlode: the Landmarks Preservation Commission, whose report on 1 CMP describes everyone one wants to know about this building and then much more, such as that:

One Chase Manhattan Plaza combines three main components: a 60-story tower, a 2½ acre plaza, and a 6-story base, of which 5 floors are beneath grade.

So the old Chase HQ, once the stomping grounds of one David Rockefeller, and soon to be the other half of JPMorgan Chase, has 5 sub-basements, just like the NY Fed…

Reading on:

Excavations, said to be the largest in New York City history, reached a depth of 90 feet

Or, about the same depth as the bottom-most sub-basement under the NY Fed…

But then we hit the jackpot:

Originally constructed with white marble terrazzo paving and enclosed by a solid parapet of white marble travertine that was personally selected by Bunshaft in Tivoli, Italy, the L-shaped plaza levels the sloping site and conceals six floors of operations that would have been difficult to fit into a single floor of the tower, including an auditorium seating 800 [and] the world’s largest bank vault.

And there you have it: the JPM vault, recommissioned to become a commercial vault, just happens to also be the “world’s largest bank vault.”

Digging some more into the curious nature of this biggest bank vault in the world, we learn the following, courtesy of a freely available book written by one of the architects:

On the lowest level was the vault, which rested directly on the rock – the “largest bank vault in the world, longer than a football field.” It was anchored to the bedrock with steel rods. This was to prevent the watertight, concrete structure from floating to the surface like a huge bubble in the event that an atomic bomb falling in the bay would blow away the building and flood the area.

In other words, the world’s biggest bank vault, that belonging to the private Chase Manhattan empire, and then, to JPMorgan, was so safe, the creators even had a plan of action should it sustain a near-direct hit from a nuclear bomb, and suffer epic flooding (such as that from Hurricane Sandy).

So, what the real news of today is not that JPM is selling its gold vault, we knew that two months ago, or that it is outright looking to exit the physical commodities business, that too was pre-announcedWhat is extremely notable is that in one very quiet transaction, China just acquired the building that houses the world’s largest gold vault.

Why? We don’t know. We do know that China’s gross gold imports from Hong Kong alone have amounted to over 2000 tons in the past two years. This excludes imports from other sources, and certainly internal gold mining and production.

One guess: China has decided it has its fill of domestically held gold and is starting to acquire gold warehouses in the banking capitals of the world.

For now the reason why is unclear but we are confident the answer will present itself shortly.

source

MAJOR NEWS: CHASE Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals…

Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending international wire transfers from November 17 onwards, prompting speculation that the bank is preparing for a looming financial crisis in the United States.

Numerous business customers with Chase BusinessSelect Checking and Chase BusinessClassic accounts have received letters over the past week informing them that cash activity (both deposits and withdrawals) will be limited to a $ 50,000 total per statement cycle from November 17 onwards.

The letter reads;

Dear Business Customer,

Starting November 17, 2013:

– You will no longer be able to send international wire transfers. You will still be able to send domestic wires and receive both domestic and international wires. We’ll cancel any international wire transfers, including reccurring ones, you scheduled to be sent after this date.

– Your cash activity limit for these accounts(s) will be $ 50,000 per statement cycle, per account. Cash activity is the combined total of cash deposits made at branches, night drops and ATMs and cash withdrawals made at branches (including purchases of money orders) and ATMs.

These changes will help us more effectively manage the risks involved with these types of transactions.

Another letter (PDF) received by Peak to Peak Charter School, a college in Colorado, states that the option to send both international and domestic wire transfers has been withdrawn from Chase business savings account holders.

Shortly after we posted this story, other Chase business customers confirmed they had also received similar or identical letters.

“I’m a Chase customer with both of the type accounts mentioned and got the letter posted,” wrote one.

“I have been a loyal customer of Chase for 11 years and I received the letter for my business and when I called about this I was told basically piss off and find another bank!” added another.

Chase is obviously very keen to make it hard for their customers to have any kind of control over their savings and is trying to prevent them from sending dollars abroad, prompting concerns that Cyprus-style account gouging could occur in America.

The move to limit deposits and withdrawals while banning international wire transfers altogether is a bizarre policy and will cripple many small and medium-sized businesses with Chase accounts. Buying stock from abroad in any kind of quantity will now become impossible for many companies, while paying employees will also be a headache.

Why has Chase announced such a ludicrous and restrictive policy change and is it related to the potential for a US debt default?

Speculation is rife that the bank is preparing for some kind of economic crisis by “locking down” its customers’ money. Although most still expect a deal to be struck to prevent a US debt default, its impact would “shake financial markets to a degree not seen since the Great Depression,” according to experts.

Others fear the move to restrict international wire transfers is part of a plan to protect against a near-future collapse of the US dollar.

Whatever the truth behind the policy change, Chase really needs to publicly explain its reasoning in order to quell the speculation.

The bank’s reputation was already under scrutiny after an incident earlier this year where Chase Bank customers across the country attempted to withdraw cash from ATMs only to see that their account balance had been reduced to zero. The problem, which Chase attributed to a technical glitch, lasted for hours before it was fixed, prompting panic from some customers.

Earlier this month it was also reported that two of the biggest banks in America were stuffing their ATMs with 20-30 per cent more cash than usual in order to head off a potential bank run if the US defaults on its debt.

The image below shows another example of a Chase business customer receiving the same letter.

source

The Shut Down Shuts Down And Obama Get’s His Way

us-capitol-building-and-reflecting-pool-at-fall-night-3-val-black-russian-tourchinxxxx

The Senate is ending the government shutdown. By the time you read this, the Senate will likely have voted on a bill to fund the government through January 15 of next year and to raise the Federal debt limit until February 7. The only GOP “win” in the Senate bill involves new requirements that Obamacare buyers seeking government subsidies must prove their qualifications by demonstrating low income.

With a House vote expected later in the evening, President Barack Obama is expected to sign off on the bill before the Thursday debt limit “deadline,” as forecast by the U.S. Treasury.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is not expected to delay or attempt to amend whatever the Senate is passing. “We fought the good fight; we just didn’t win,” he said Wednesday on a Cincinnati radio show. “There’s no reason for our members to vote ‘no’ today,” he said later.

Boehner’s full capitulation comes just a day after House Republicans attempted to counter the Senate bill by cobbling together their own last-minute plan before realizing the votes to see it through simply weren’t there.

Even Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who had stood firm against the debt limit deal unless Congress voted to defund Obamacare, stood aside Wednesday to allow the Senate to expedite a vote – even though   Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cannot bring the measure before the full Senate for consideration today without unanimous consent.

Judging from conservative comments across the internet, there’s a great deal of ambivalence among Republicans as to whether Cruz is to be praised or blamed for his role in the shutdown debate – including Wednesday’s go-along.

On one hand, Cruz mobilized whatever conservative support might have been latent among Congressional GOP leaders and their constituents. He did strike early and often – when tapping into public opinion to defund Obamacare and pressuring Congress to listen to the people’s will would have mattered. He had little GOP support, as the ensuing weeks proved.

On the other hand, there’s no denying that Cruz kept up his tough talk while dialing down his walk, once it became clear that he and Mike Lee (and maybe Rand Paul) were becoming an increasingly isolated three-man army within their own party’s Senate bloc. He or Lee or anyone could filibuster today’s Senate vote and bide more time for leveraged compromise, if leveraged compromise were in the offing.

But the majority of spineless Senate Republicans simply wouldn’t sit at Cruz’ table. A unified pushback against the Democrats never stood a chance of coming together from the balkanized ranks of Republican Senators.

And it’s important to remember there’s little gain in vilifying the few Congressmen who put up a principled fight, when the entire charade was perpetrated from the far left. If Obama and Reid and lock-step Democrats weren’t hell-bent on borrowing more money – Obamacare concessions be damned – there would never have been a fight between the GOP-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate in the first place.

Instead, we’re on track to make debt-ceiling history once again. Now that Obama and the Dems have carte blanche, we should be ticking past the $17 trillion threshold any day now.

source