10 Reasons The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free

In case you had any doubts – This is not the America we grew up in Fifty years ago…

JONATHAN TURLEY

Below is today’s column in the Sunday Washington Post.  The column addresses how the continued rollbacks on civil liberties in the United States conflicts with the view of the country as the land of the free.  If we are going to adopt Chinese legal principles, we should at least have the integrity to adopt one Chinese proverb: “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.”  We seem as a country to be in denial as to the implications of these laws and policies.  Whether we are viewed as a free country with authoritarian inclinations or an authoritarian nation with free aspirations (or some other hybrid definition), we are clearly not what we once were. [Update: in addition to the column below, a later column in the Washington Post explores more closely the loss of free speech rights in the West].

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Those Who Trade Liberty for Security Deserve Neither Liberty nor Security- B.Franklin

We are rapidly becoming an Orwellian Surveillance State, where the Government ignores the express fact that it was always intended to be a Limited Government with very specific enumerated rights; while all other rights are either delegated to the States (which should have been significantly limited after the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of Equal Protection) or expressly belong to “The People” (which SCOTUS has made clear means individuals).

The Government rides roughshod over the basic fundamental civil rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights (& further amendments) and the 4th Amendment’s clear and unambiguous requirements for having a Judge issue a Warrant or even having express “Reasonable Cause” before any search by Government or its Agents or Representatives may take place of an individual’s person, papers or property (or their modern technical equivalents).

Any error or ambiguity should always fall to the side of greater protections for Civil Liberties and not to the further erosion of those Liberties and the protections of our collective Rights as expressly protected by the Consumer (including the Penumbra) – even at the expense of the enforcement of laws or any individual criminal matter.

The Constitution & it’s Bill of Rights are the Supreme (highest) Law in the Land, and every Government official & member of the Military takes an Oath to Preserve, Defend and Protect the Constitution which includes the Rights gathered therein from “All Enemies, Foreign or Domestic“. Thus the very first duty of every member of both the Government & Military is to protect & defend the liberties and the civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution- period. It is not to uphold other laws first, nor to protect the physical safety of individuals – no, it is to first protect their freedom & liberty.

The circumvention of the requirements for warrants before searches, against unreasonable search or seizure, against self incrimination, Et Al violates this duty to first preserve, defend & protect the Constitution and the Rights guaranteed within it; thus they should simply not be permitted.

Yet, routinely now, the Government, its Agencies and Agents circumvent those requirements and use technology to illegally track & monitor people or to illegally search their papers and/or property (whether it’s using GPS or cell tower locations to track individuals, the use of meta-data to monitor a person’s communications and their associations, or the use of data collected & maintained by Internet Service Providers, Social Media sites or other Websites to intrude upon the privacy of their Customers & Users)Simply because they have a new capability to monitor and invade a person’s reasonable privacy utilizing new & poorly protected technological capabilities does not mean they should be permitted to use that new capability in an abuse of Government Power to circumvent the protections of a Person’s Civil Rights.We must become outraged and not permit this, or all of our Freedom(s), all of our Liberty, all of our Protected Civil Rights are doomed.

We will all increasingly become serfs and thralls to our own ever more totalitarian Government & the power hungry autocratic thugs who will increasingly be running it.

Supreme Court Cases further Endanger Liberty & Privacy in the United States

An unconstitutional abuse running rampant and turning otherwise good police officers into armed robbers with a badge. They have no fear of their administrations finding out, because their departments are the ones encouraging them to do more seizures!!

Sidebar: Civil Forfeiture and the Temptation to Seize – Institute for Justice

http://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit/grading-state-federal-civil-forfeiture-laws/civil-forfeiture-and-the-temptation-to-seize/

Our Representatives in our Democratically Elected Representative Republic have a systemic disease – virtually all of them now have vastly misplaced priorities; Their typical priorities now seem to be:

1) The Demands of their Party
2) The requests of their Corporate Donors & Generates more Donations
3) What looks good in media & is responsive to the major polls, helps with their next reelection campaign
4) The process of dealmaking & wheeling & dealing, trading legislative favors.
5) The governance of the country.
6) The needs of their business constituents
7) The needs of their individual constituents, especially the influential and politically connected ones within their community.

The fact that the individual constituent is last on this list is the opposite of how the founders intended our representative republic to work. The fact that they place party over country is akin to treason, since the Republican Party is not much different than the allegiance to a foreign power in that it does not place US & Governance first.

In this light – with partisanship overruling common sense and patriotism, with the fact that Republicans are defending even the most egregious and well, stupid, behavior by an elected president that seems determined to destroy the hard won network of alliances and trade relationships that help keep the United States firmly straddled atop the peak of the free world. His short sighted thinking & ideas that sound good after a couple of beers in a bar, but when executed in the complex, real world, where there are both easily predicted and unforeseen unintended consequences that always crop up are, and will serve to permanently damage America’s tactical & strategic military, economic, and diplomatic world interests.

His worldwide business ties, which are not fully known or understood – provide a wealth of conflicts of interests, and myriad of conflicting motivations which have never been revealed – much less understood; while his propensity to lie more often than he tells the truth mean we can not believe anything he says about these business ties and conflicts – and of course – he continues to hide those tax returns.

So, while Republicans continue to blindly defend this, putting party over country – they have no credibility to investigate, but neither do democrats, because they would be equally blind on a witch hunt. An independent prosecutor is the only solution.

https://twitter.com/thehill/status/844926236271038465