US Police Have Killed Over 5,000 Civilians Since 9/11

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Statistically speaking, Americans should be more fearful of the local cops than “terrorists.”

Members of a police anti-terrorism team exercise on Thursday, March 13, 2003. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Though Americans commonly believe law enforcement’s role in society is to protect them and ensure peace and stability within the community, the sad reality is that police departments are often more focused on enforcing laws, making arrests and issuing citations. As a result of this as well as an increase in militarized policing techniques, Americans are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist, estimates a Washington’s Blog report based on official statistical data.

Though the U.S. government does not have a database collecting information about the total number of police involved shootings each year, it’s estimated that between 500 and 1,000 Americans are killed by police officers each year. Since 9/11, about 5,000 Americans have been killed by U.S. police officers, which is almost equivalent to the number of U.S. soldiers who have been killed in the line of duty in Iraq.

Because individual police departments are not required to submit information regarding the use of deadly force by its officers, some bloggers have taken it upon themselves to aggregate that data. Wikipedia also has a list of “justifiable homicides” in the U.S., which was created by documenting publicized deaths.

Mike Prysner, one of the local directors of the Los Angeles chapter for ANSWER — an advocacy group that asks the public to Act Now to Stop War and End Racism — told Mint Press News earlier this year that the “epidemic” of police harassment and violence is a nationwide issue.

He said groups like ANSWER are trying to hold officers accountable for abuse of power. “[Police brutality] has been an issue for a very long time,” Prysner said, explaining that in May, 13 people were killed in Southern California by police.

As Mint Press News previously reported, each year there are thousands of claims of police misconduct. According to the CATO Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, in 2010 there were 4,861 unique reports of police misconduct involving 6,613 sworn officers and 6,826 alleged victims.

Most of those allegations of police brutality involved officers who punched or hit victims with batons, but about one-quarter of the reported cases involved firearms or stun guns.

 Racist policing

A big element in the police killings, Prysner says, is racism. “A big majority of those killed are Latinos and Black people,” while the police officers are mostly White, he said. “It’s a badge of honor to shoot gang members so [the police] go out and shoot people who look like gang members,” Prysner argued, giving the example of 34-year-old Rigoberto Arceo, who was killed by police on May 11.

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, Arceo, who was a biomedical technician at St. Francis Medical Center, was shot and killed after getting out of his sister’s van. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says Arceo “advanced on the deputy and attempted to take the deputy’s gun.” However, Arceo’s sister and 53-year-old Armando Garcia — who was barbecuing in his yard when the incident happened — say that Arceo had his hands above his head the entire time.

Prysner is not alone in his assertion that race is a major factor in officer-related violence. This past May, a study from the the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, an anti-racist activist organization, found that police officers, security guards or self-appointed vigilantes killed at least 313 Black people in 2012 — meaning one Black person was killed in the U.S. by law enforcement roughly every 28 hours.

Prysner said the relationship between police departments and community members needs to change and that when police shoot an unarmed person with their arms in the air over their head, the officer should be punished.

Culture of misconduct

“You cannot have a police force that is investigating and punishing itself,” Prysner said, adding that taxpayer money should be invested into the community instead of given to police to buy more guns, assault rifles and body armor.

Dissatisfied with police departments’ internal review policies, some citizens have formed volunteer police watch groups to prevent the so-called “Blue Code of Silence” effect and encourage police officers to speak out against misconduct occurring within their department.

As Mint Press News previously reported, a report released earlier this year found that of the 439 cases of police misconduct that then had been brought before the Minneapolis’s year-old misconduct review board, not one of the police officers involved has been disciplined.

Although the city of Minneapolis spent $14 million in payouts for alleged police misconduct between 2006 and 2012, despite the fact that the Minneapolis Police Department often concluded that the officers involved in those cases did nothing wrong.

Other departments have begun banning equipment such as Tasers, but those decisions were likely more about protecting the individual departments from lawsuits than ensuring that officers are not equipped with weapons that cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries when used.

To ensure officers are properly educated on how to use their weapons and are aware of police ethics, conflict resolution and varying cultures within a community, police departments have historically held training programs for all officers. But due to tighter budgets and a shift in priorities, many departments have not provided the proper continuing education training programs for their officers.

Charles Ramsey, president of both the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Police Executive Research Forum, called that a big mistake, explaining that it is essential officers are trained and prepared for high-stress situations:

“Not everybody is going to be able to make those kinds of good decisions under pressure, but I do think that the more reality-based training that we provide, the more we put people in stressful situations to make them respond and make them react.”

GI Joe replaces Carl Winslow

In order to help local police officers protect themselves while fighting the largely unsuccessful War on Drugs, the federal government passed legislation in 1994 allowing the Pentagon to donate surplus military equipment from the Cold War to local police departments. Meaning that “weaponry designed for use on a foreign battlefield has been handed over for use on American streets … against American citizens.”

So while the U.S. military fights the War on Terror abroad, local police departments are fighting another war at home with some of the same equipment as U.S. troops, and protocol that largely favors officers in such tactics as no-knock raids.

Radley Balko, author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” wrote in the Wall Street Journal in August:

“Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier.

“Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.”

As Mint Press News previously reported, statistics from an FBI report released in September reveal that a person is arrested on marijuana-related charges in the U.S. every 48 seconds, on average — most were for simple possession charges.

According to the FBI’s report, there were more arrests for marijuana possession than for the violent crimes of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — 658,231 compared with 521,196 arrests.

While groups that advocate against police brutality recognize and believe that law enforcement officials should be protected while on duty, many say that local police officers do not need to wear body armor, Kevlar helmets and tactical equipment vests — all while carrying assault weapons.

“We want the police to keep up with the latest technology. That’s critical,” American Civil Liberties Union senior counsel Kara Dansky said. “But policing should be about protection, not combat.”

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, there are more than 900,000sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. In 2012, 120 officers were killed in the line of duty. The deadliest day in law enforcement history was reportedly Sept. 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed.

Despite far fewer officers dying in the line of duty compared with American citizens, police departments are not only increasing their use of protective and highly volatile gear, but are increasingly setting aside a portion of their budget to invest in new technology such as drones, night vision goggles, remote robots, surveillance cameras, license plate readers and armored vehicles that amount to unarmed tanks.

Though some officers are on board with the increased militarization and attend conferences such as the annual Urban Shield event, others have expressed concern with the direction the profession is heading.

For example, former Arizona police officer Jon W. McBride said police concerns about being “outgunned” were likely a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” He added that “if not expressly prohibited, police managers will continually push the arms race,” because “their professional literature is predominately [sic] based on the acquiring and use of newer weapons and more aggressive techniques to physically overwhelm the public. In many cases, however, this is the opposite of smart policing.”

“Coupled with the paramilitary design of the police bureaucracy itself, the police give in to what is already a serious problem in the ranks: the belief that the increasing use of power against a citizen is always justified no matter the violation. The police don’t understand that in many instances they are the cause of the escalation and bear more responsibility during an adverse outcome.

“The suspects I encountered as a former police officer and federal agent in nearly all cases granted permission for me to search their property when asked, often despite unconcealed contraband. Now, instead of making a simple request of a violator, many in law enforcement seem to take a more difficult and confrontational path, fearing personal risk. In many circumstances they inflame the citizens they are engaging, thereby needlessly putting themselves in real and increased jeopardy.”

Another former police officer who wished to remain anonymous agreed with McBride and told Balko,

“American policing really needs to return to a more traditional role of cops keeping the peace; getting out of police cars, talking to people, and not being prone to overreaction with the use of firearms, tasers, or pepper spray. … Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in more than my share tussles and certainly appreciate the dangers of police work, but as Joseph Wambaugh famously said, the real danger is psychological, not physical.”

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Court Says Dad ‘unfit parent for refusing son McDonald’s’

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We are seriously living in the Twilight Zone. How are we letting this kind of thing happen to our once exceptional nation. This article below is from the NYPost.

A Manhattan dad is not lovin’ McDonald’s right now.

Attorney David Schorr slapped a court-appointed shrink with a defamation lawsuit for telling the judge deciding a custody battle with his estranged wife that he was an unfit parent — for refusing to take his son to the fast food joint for dinner.

“You’d think it was sexual molestation,” Schorr, 43, told The Post Thursday. “I am just floored by it.”

Schorr says in his Manhattan Supreme Court suit that E. 97th Street psychiatrist Marilyn Schiller filed a report saying he was “wholly incapable of taking care of his son” and should be denied his weekend visitation over the greasy burger ban.

Schorr, a corporate attorney turned consultant with degrees from NYU and Oxford University, had planned to take his 4-year-old son to their usual restaurant, the Corner Café on Third Avenue, for his weekly Tuesday night visitation last week.

But the boy threw a temper tantrum and demanded McDonald’s. So he gave his son an ultimatum: dinner anywhere other than McDonald’s — or no dinner.

“The child, stubborn as a mule, chose the ‘no dinner’ option,” the disgruntled dad says in the suit.

“It was just a standoff. I’m kicking myself mightily,” Schorr said.

“I wish I had taken him to McDonalds, but you get nervous about rewarding bad behavior. I was concerned. I think it was a 1950s equivalent of sending your child to bed without dinner. That’s maybe the worst thing you can say about it,” he said.

Adding insult to injury, he said: “My wife immediately took him to McDonalds.”

Upon reflection, Schorr said he should have remembered that mother knows best.

“The first thing I did was I questioned myself,” he recalled.

“Had I done something wrong? I did what any 43-year-old Jewish man would do — I told my mother. I said, ‘My God, did I do something wrong here?’

“Even my mother, the strictest mother in the world, said, ‘Why didn’t you just take him to McDonalds? What were you thinking? You know that this is a divorce situation.’”

Before dropping his son off at his wife’s E. 84th Street building, Schorr says he tried to make light of the situation by horsing around with him and trying one last time to change his mind about dinner.

But the son apparently tattled on his dad and his wife flipped out and called the shrink, according to the suit.

Schorr claims that Dr. Schiller only interviewed the child and his mother and never asked for his side of the story before telling the court she was gravely concerned about Schorr’s parenting.

Bari Yunis Schorr sued her husband for a divorce in 2011, just four years after they married in a lavish ceremony at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan.

She recently filed motions asking the judge to punish her husband for flouting court orders and for a judgment on nonpayment of child support.

Her attorney, Louis I. Newman, declined to comment on the McDonald’s matter.

“It’s a litigation between Mr. Schorr and Mrs. Schiller,” Newman said.

In the past two and a half years that he has had partial custody of his son their time together “has run smoothly without incident” save a scraped knee, Schorr insists in the suit.

He wants the shrink to return the $2,750 he paid for the evaluation.

Dr. Schiller told the Post she could not comment on the details of the incident. She only sad, “I am conducting a forensic evaluation on this matter. I will be issuing a confidential report to the court and the matter will be tried by the court.”

The custody trial resumes in December when the judge will ultimately decide if Schorr is fit to parent his son.

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School Test Teaches Kids: “Commands Of Government Officials Must Be Obeyed By All”

OBEY-YOUR-GOVERNMENT-TRUTHCHANNEL

A parent of a ten year old was shocked to discover a grammar and writing test paper that their child brought home from school reads more like document from an authoritarian country such as China.

The parent sent a portion of the test paper to Infowars, revealing that it contains sentences such as “The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.”

The paper uses such sentences and asks school children to replace certain words in order to make the sentence contain a possessive noun.

Others within the paper include:

“The job of a president is not easy.”

“He makes sure the laws of the country are fair”

“The wants of an individual are less important than the needs of a nation”

Here is the portion of the paper Infowars received:

Upon further investigation it appears that the paper is part of a set produced by Pearson Education, a global corporation that provides education publishing and assessment services to schools in the US and the rest of the world. Pearson is the world’s largest for-profit education business.

The particular sentence about everyone obeying government commands appears in other Pearson papers, such as this fifth grade grammar test.

According to the company’s Wikipedia page and its website, Pearson owns leading educational media brands including Addison–Wesley, BBC Active, Bug Club, eCollege, Fronter, Longman, MyEnglishLab, Penguin Readers, Prentice Hall, Poptropica and Financial Times Press. Pearson is part of Pearson PLC, which also owns Penguin Books and the Financial Times.

In 2010, Pearson also negotiated a 5 year, $32 million, contract with the New York State Department of Education to design tests for students in grades 4-8.

Some have criticized the company’s test papers. Last year papers designed for NYSED were found to contain over 30 errors. Writing for the New York Times, Gail Collins noted:

“We have turned school testing into a huge corporate profit center, led by Pearson, for whom $32 million is actually pretty small potatoes. Pearson has a five-year testing contract with Texas that’s costing the state taxpayers nearly half-a-billion dollars.”

Collins outlines the fact that Pearson is being contracted under the controversial No Child Left Behind program set up by the government in 2001:

“This is the part of education reform nobody told you about. You heard about accountability, and choice, and innovation. But when No Child Left Behind was passed 11 years ago, do you recall anybody mentioning that it would provide monster profits for the private business sector?”

Collins continues:

“[Pearson’s] lobbyists include the guy who served as the top White House liaison with Congress on drafting the No Child law. It has its own nonprofit foundation that sends state education commissioners on free trips overseas to contemplate school reform.”

Ah… all becomes clear. Government contracted education papers telling children that they must obey the commands of the government. Nice.

Along with enforcing government mandated rules such as banning packed lunches, this will be seen by many as yet another example of how the nanny state is encroaching via the public education system.

It’s a concept also being promoted by the mass media. Earlier this year, MSNBC ran a segment pushing the notion that kids belong to the “collective,” and that the “idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families” should be eliminated.

These revelations also remind one of Common Core, federally mandated education principles, which are effectively dumbing down students by standardizing education across the board and shutting out diversity in teaching.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Evil Plans For You – NWO, Martial Law, FEMA Death Camps

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There exists a secretive elite, that consists of perhaps twelve men at the very top, who rule the world through banking and international finance. Publicly these men pretend to be humanists, but secretly they have to chosen to worship Lucifer. They are now in the process of the final take over, where they will bring in a one world government and one world economic system, which will be coming soon. Their primary means of achieving this goal is through control of the economy and through scientific mind control, dumbing down the general public making them submissive and slow kill weapons such as putting fluoride in the water systems, GMO in our food, lethal vaccines and Chemtrails in the sky. They want the majority of people totally dependent on the government so when they have you so dependent on them for everything they can take it away and destroy you. Divide and conquer is their main tool where they get the public to turn on each other or petty differences and manufactured fake racism.

These authoritarians tell us that the founding fathers would not be welcome in today’s military, loving freedom, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights makes you an extremist. They tell you that your children belong to the State, you have no parental rights. The new common core curriculum teaches that 2 + 2 = 5. We live in a total police state where you are being watched in everything you do, cameras everywhere, in your appliances as stated David Petraeus which was covered by Wired.com, NSA is spying on you and your every keystroke.  Anyone who is a free thinker is dangerous to them.

In the United States, the primary evidence for the success of their mind control operation is the fact that the thinking, belief systems, morality, behavior and religious beliefs of the average American have radically changed in just a few short decades. The elites have perfected social engineering to such an extent that they have now indoctrinated several generations of Americans into being anti-Christian, anti-American and Marxist in their belief systems.

The stealthy nature of their strategy has developed politicians at the highest level who are programmed like Manchurian candidates with synthetic personalities and they have developed Manchurian actors and entertainers as well. They own and control the main stream media, influence you through movies and television.

Once they break us down into total submission and their controlled total depression that is looming they will enforce Martial Law on the public to disarm gun owners and take them to their “Interment camps” a.k.a. FEMA CAMPS. Your either with them or with the terrorists as President Bush once said. In this video I show you how their continuity of government plan, NWO and Martial Law has been in the works for decades giving you proof straight from the horses mouth and I provide the documents as well. One great example of their total criminal Martial Law is from Katrina. They didn’t go to the looting and rioting, they went to the wealthy class homes and raided them for their diamonds and anything worth money, and for their guns. There were some I have been told who wouldn’t give up their guns they killed them.

 

Sixth Grade Assignment: Destroy the Bill of Rights

Students are told that the Bill of Rights is “outdated” and must be “revised”

Sixth graders at the Bryant School District in Arkansas were given an assignment to “revise” the “outdated” Bill of Rights by deleting and replacing two amendments, using the “War on Terror” and the Patriot Act as a guide.

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The worksheet, which is the first Constitutional assignment of the school year, tells students that they will be on a “National Revised Bill of Rights Task Force” who will “prioritize, prune, and add amendments” for a “Revised Bill of Rights.”

“The government of the United States is currently revisiting the Bill of Rights,” the assignment states. “They have determined that it is outdated and may not remain in its current form any longer.”

The assignment assumes that our birthrights are not our property which we inherently own as human beings but are rather privileges granted to us by the state after being decided upon by a central planning committee.

Instead of teaching that the Bill of Rights merely recognizes the rights that we ALREADY have regardless of any government erected upon us, the teachers would rather instill the idea that the State is God into the minds of our youth.

As the history of the world has shown throughout the ages, people who don’t defend their rights will be enslaved.

This assignment, however, conditions children into believing that they are already slaves to the state and should be thankful of the “rights” the majority grants them.

The scenario of the assignment also ignores Article Five of the Constitution, which describes the actual process of proposing and ratifying amendments.

A parent of a girl in the class, Lela Spears, said that this was the first assignment given to the class dealing with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

“When I asked my child what the assignment was to teach her she had no idea, Only that she was TOLD to do it.” Spears said as reported by Justin King. “I believe that, with the wording of the assignment, many children will think that the Bill of Rights is amended and can be changed by a ‘special’ committee instead of an act of Congress.”

Below is the assignment’s introduction in full:

There has been a lot of controversy lately surrounding the War on Terror. Many feel as though The Patriot Act is infringing upon our privacy and other individual liberties, while others feel protected by it. The government of the United States is currently revisiting the Bill of Rights. They have determined that it is outdated and may not remain in its current form any longer. Their aim is to ensure that our personal civil liberties and the pursuit of happiness remain guarded in the 21st century. The government has asked for input from experts on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. You have been selected to participate on the National Revised Bill of Rights (NRBR) Task Force. You will be working in a small team with others who may or may not share your values and opinions. You have been charged with the task of revisiting and editing the Bill of Rights. More specifically, you will need to prioritize, prune, and add amendments and then turn your ideas into a Revised Bill of Rights. Your team’s proposal will be submitted in its final form as a persuasive presentation to Mrs. Knight and associates. She and her associates have been given the important charge of judging the proposals based on valid arguments demonstrated by its authors during the presentation.

This isn’t the first attack on the Bill of Rights in the public school system.

Last month, school textbook authors inaccurately defined the Second Amendment as “the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia.”

This trend will continue as the federal government consolidates its control over the minds of children through the Common Core curriculum.

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Grand Canyon Park Police Arrest Visitors – Protestors Rally

National Park Police now patrolling the canyon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

The marvelous Grand Canyon National Park, which is considered one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World,” has been closed for over a week now due to the government shutdown. Locals, whose livelihood’s depend on the revenue generated from the National Park, have had enough and are speaking out through organized protests.

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Yesterday, a group of 100 residents, business owners and international tourists gathered for a march in protest of the National Park closing. A local food bank assisted the protest by providing more than 600 food boxes for workers that have lost wages during the financial fiasco.

What’s even more appalling than the government purposely inflicting economic suffering on undeserving Americans, is that the Obama administration has aggressively ordered the National Park Police to “make life as difficult as they can for people.”

This was illustrated through the arrest of Vietnam veterans at the NYC Memorial, and the harassment of WWII veterans in the National Mall. The government even employed National Seashore officials to run fisherman out of the waterways near the Padre Island National Seashore with security boats.

A total of 21 citations have been issued to people for entering the Grand Canyon, all of which require a federal court appearance, even if the charges are dropped. As if it can’t get any more outrageous, the National Park has ramped up security and is currently monitoring the park around the clock!

Park officials have been ordered to patrol the Grand Canyon 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a measure that’s obviously not cheap.

The Grand Canyon, arguably one of the most popular National Parks in the U.S., financially depends on October’s revenue, as it’s considered the peak season for tourism, typically hosting 18,000 visitors throughout the month.

Grand Canyon Chief Ranger, Bill Wright, estimates that local businesses are losing $200,000 a day in revenue and approximately $8,000 in daily sales tax. It’s an “economic disaster,” said Wright.

The National Parks Conservation Association estimates that over the last two Octobers, Ariz. has generated an average of $2.7 million daily throughout their 24 national parks, and an average of $1.2 million a day at the Grand Canyon alone.

Over 2,000 employees have been left without work after the park closed last week, forcing many to search for new jobs.

In the mid-1990s, the park was reopened during a previous government shutdown using private and public monies, but this time the feds have rejected Gov. Jan Brewer’s request to reopen, despite the city council approving $200,000, and local businesses pledging $150,000 towards funding for a reopening.

Even the park’s website has been closed, citing it inoperable due to the government shutdown.

The establishment is seemingly expending more resources on employing security to keep people out, than it would cost to remain open, especially with the $350,000 that’s been offered up by the community.

Locals argue that minimally, the park could remain at least partially open.

Unlike park service employees, local businesses and park concession staff will not be eligible for possible back-pay from federal furlough. For them, the economical impact is permanent.

See below for a local news clip featuring the protesters.

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School apologizes for ‘Nazi’ writing assignment

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The Albany school district is embroiled in controversy after a teacher assigned this assignment to students that requires them to write an essay that proves the writer is loyal to the German Nazi’s and that “Jews are evil and the source of our problems.”

Think like a Nazi, the assignment required students. Argue why Jews are evil.

Students in some Albany High School English classes were asked this week as part of a persuasive writing assignment to make an abhorrent argument: “You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!”

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Students were asked to watch and read Nazi propaganda, then pretend their teacher was a Nazi government official who needed to be convinced of their loyalty. In five paragraphs, they were required to prove that Jews were the source of Germany’s problems.

The exercise was intended to challenge students to formulate a persuasive argument and was given to three classes, Albany Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard said. She said the assignment should have been worded differently.

“I would apologize to our families,” she said. “I don’t believe there was malice or intent to cause any insensitivities to our families of Jewish faith.”

One-third of the students refused to complete the assignment, she said.

Vanden Wyngaard said the exercise reflects the type of writing expected of students under the new Common Core curriculum, the tough new academic standards that require more sophisticated writing. Such assignments attempt to connect English with history and social studies.

She said she understood the academic intent of the assignment — to make an argument based only on limited information at hand. Still, she acknowledged that it was worded in a very offensive manner. She did not identify the English teacher or discuss whether the educator faced any discipline.

Students were asked to make a rhetorical argument, drawing on previous lessons in crafting an opinion.

To help with their writing, they were required to incorporate the elements of an argument identified by Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher. Students had to look up the definitions of “Logos” (persuasion by reasoning), “Pathos” (persuasion by emotional appeal) and “Ethos” (persuasion by the author’s character) and choose one of those argument styles before writing.

Other ill-considered teacher assignments have made national news this year.

In February, a Manhattan teacher caused an uproar after fourth-graders were given a math problem based on how many daily whippings a slave received.

In January, Georgia educators attempted to teach division to elementary school students by asking how many beatings per day former slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass received.

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