Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Rights Advocates Alarmed by US Spy Agency’s Purchase of Warrantless Phone Location Data, by Brett Wilkins

Edward Snowden was the first to alert us that this type of thing was going on. Too bad Trump didn’t pardon him. From Brett Wilkins at commondreams.org:

“Congress must end this lawless practice and require the government to get a warrant for our location data, regardless of its source.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington,DC on May 5, 2020. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) says he will introduce legislation—the Fourth Amendment Is Not for Sale Act—which would prohibit government agencies from buying personal information from data brokers. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AFP via Getty Images)

Digital rights advocates reacted with alarm to a report published Friday detailing how Defense Intelligence Agency analysts in recent years bought databases of U.S. smartphone location data without first obtaining warrants.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is part of the Department of Defense and is tasked with informing military and civilian policymakers about the activities and intentions of foreign governments and nonstate actors.

The new revelation, first reported by the New York Times, initially came in the form of DIA responses to questions from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) regarding the agency’s warrantless purchase of commercial location data generated by phones both inside and outside of the United States.

Wyden asked the DIA to clarify its interpretation of Carpenter v. United States, a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision barring law enforcement agencies from requesting personal location information from a cellphone company without first obtaining a search warrant from a judge.

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Confessions of a Deprogrammed Trump Supporter, by Matthew Ehret

A Trump penitent confesses his sins. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:

As many people are aware, CNN recently aired a wonderful interview by former Moonie-turned-cult-deprogrammer Steve Hassan giving advice to Americans wishing to deprogram their MAGA-hat wearing loved ones, now that the age of Trump is coming to an end.

I was fortunate enough to have read Hassan’s book and had the loving scrub-brush of truth wash my brain of all of its formerly pro-Trump sympathies and can honestly say that I am most certainly better off for having left those old delusions in the past.

For one thing, I used to enjoy my right to free speech… but thanks to the terrible events of January 6, 2021 that left 3 people dead, horned Q supporters doing photo ops for media, pro-Trump rioters let into the capitol building by guards, and busloads of conspicuous violent figures whom some say were “provocateurs” (whatever that means), I have come to realize that I was all wrong. Free speech is actually very dangerous. Words we took for granted like “patriot”, “nationalism”, or “vote fraud” are actually very racist and using them is a sure fire sign that you might be a domestic terrorist. At any rate, using them should at least be enough to get someone banned from social media and put under surveillance.

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The Disuniting of America Is Now Inevitable Under Joe Biden and the Radical Left, by Robert Bridge

The Corruptocracy is going to try to recreate the reality that has prevailed since at least the Bush the Elder administration. The question is, will reality cooperate? From Robert Bridge at strategic-culture.org:

Joe Biden will ram through warped liberal social experiments masquerading as credible, time-tested programs designed to stabilize the nation.

It was a stark image never before seen in Washington, DC, and one that bodes ill for the future prospects of the country. A locked down capital ringed in barbed wire, with 25,000 troops encompassing the Capitol building, provided a surreal backdrop to Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th POTUS.

The excuse Democrats have provided for turning the ‘citadel of democracy’ into a maximum security prison is not due to a growing distrust with the electoral process. Nor was it blamed on the spectacle of the mainstream media and Big Tech silencing the voices of exactly one half of the U.S. electorate – up to and including that of the now former president, Donald J. Trump. No, to suggest such irrational things would attract howls of ‘conspiracy theory’ from the liberal gallery.

Thankfully, we have Silicon Valley fact checkers and corporate media commentators to lead us to the valley of truth, which informs us that all those Trump “insurgents” who invaded the Capitol building on January 6th were motivated by pure evil intentions rooted in racism, sedition and white supremacist ideology. And as Hillary Clinton suggested during an off-the-rails interview with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Trump and his motley crew of deplorables may have taken their marching orders from none other than Vladimir Putin himself. Who needs fiction writers these days when we have the Democratic Party?

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The Borg: A Zombie Nation of Confined Corpses Convulsing in a Matrix, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

Is Trump a traitor the cause he espoused but so often disappointed? From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

The decline of a superpower does not happen overnight. Nor was America’s fall a result of random chance. The nation was purposely dismantled and what we recently witnessed were the death convulsions. To be sure, nothing was left to chance – even in the throes of the U.S. Constitution’s final death rattle. The coup de grâce came as the result of a planned deception so large, it was fitting for the end of a superpower. The plan successfully led the last bastions of resistance to global tyranny as lambs to the slaughter. Just as Trump called his sheep to the nation’s capital to become scapegoats for a new war on terror, the Q-anon operation likely assisted in the collection of their IP addresses.

Certainly, the evidence of recent history proves Trump and Q-anon were counter-intelligence operations. In retrospect, we should NOT have been surprised because the Marxists have implemented similar methods before:

Operation Trust (операция “Трест”) was a counterintelligence operation of the State Political Directorate (GPU) of the Soviet Union. The operation, which was set up by GPU’s predecessor Cheka, ran from 1921 to 1926, set up a fake anti-Bolshevik resistance organization, “Monarchist Union of Central Russia”, MUCR (Монархическое объединение Центральной России, МОЦР), in order to help the OGPU identify real monarchists and anti-Bolsheviks.

And, yet, still, many of Trump’s supporters believe the United States military took command of the nation on January 20, 2021. This is because Biden had to be inaugurated before The Plan to Save America could be completed. They believe the stolen election scenario had to completely play out and that was what Trump meant when he said the next administration would take over at noon on the day of Biden’s inauguration.

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The Road Ahead, by The Zman

We are the new resistance, and every little bit helps. From The Zman at theburningplatform.com:

Up until this moment in time, the vast majority of right-wing people operated from the assumption that they were in the majority. They were part of the silent majority that did not make a racket in the streets. The Left and their associated riffraff went out into the street and bellowed like lunatics because they never had the numbers. They had to be loud and intimidating in order to get their way. When they went too far, then the great silent majority would awaken and put them in their place.

They also operated under the assumption that numbers still mattered. If the majority got motivated and turned up to vote, they would win the election and that would make a difference to the politicians. Right-wing politics was all about mobilizing the voters and winning a majority. They did not have to worry about changing minds. They had to focus on getting the word out so the majority would turnout. It was the Left that focused on convincing people into going along with their schemes.

This not only applied to elections, but to all areas of politics. The expression “go woke and go broke” is rooted in the assumption that business has to respect the customer or face the wrath of the marketplace. If management takes to Twitter pushing left-wing nonsense, it was assumed they would pay for it. A television program that decided to offend its viewers would see its ratings decline. Right-wingers were the majority, and they were operating in a political marketplace.

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Clarity in Trump’s Wake, by Angelo Codevilla

At least we know what we’re up against. From Angelo Codevilla at amgreatness.com:

The United States of America is now a classic oligarchy. The clarity that it has brought to our situation by recognizing this fact is its only virtue.

“Either the Constitution matters and must be followed . . . or it is simply a piece of parchment on display at the National Archives.”
— Texas v. Pennsylvania et al.

Texas v. Pennsylvania et al. did not deny setting rules for the 2020 election contrary to the Constitution. On December 10, 2020, the Supreme Court discounted that. By refusing to interfere as America’s ruling oligarchy serves itself, the court archived what remained of the American republic’s system of equal justice. That much is clear.

In 2021, the laws, customs, and habits of the heart that had defined the American republic since the 18th century are things of the past. Americans’ movements and interactions are under strictures for which no one ever voted. Government disarticulated society by penalizing ordinary social intercourse and precluding the rise of spontaneous opinion therefrom. Together with corporate America, it smothers minds through the mass and social media with relentless, pervasive, identical, and ever-evolving directives. In that way, these oligarchs have proclaimed themselves the arbiters of truth, entitled and obliged to censor whoever disagrees with them as systemically racist, adepts of conspiracy theories.

Corporations, and the government itself, require employees to attend meetings personally to acknowledge their guilt. They solicit mutual accusations. While violent felons are released from prison, anyone may be fired or otherwise have his life wrecked for questioning government/corporate sentiment. Today’s rulers don’t try to convince. They demand obedience, and they punish.

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The No Fly List: More Dangerous Than the Capitol Rioters, by Thomas Knapp

They’ve got all sorts of reasons for putting you on the No Fly list, and they’re always looking for more. From Thomas Knapp at antiwar.com:

As I write this, the Capitol Hill riot of January 6 is enjoying its extended 15 minutes of fame, complete with straight-faced comparisons to December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001.

In hindsight, it will hopefully (and hopefully quickly) shrink to its real-life proportions: A few thousand hysterical Donald Trump supporters, and likely at most a few dozen truly dangerous thugs, protested against what they claimed was a stolen election. Then they stormed and vandalized a building, scared some politicians, and killed a cop (who turned out to be a Trump supporter himself).

No, it wasn’t pretty. Neither was the March 1, 1954 attack on the Capitol in which Puerto Rican nationalists shot and wounded five members of Congress, or Frank Eugene Corder’s September 12, 1994 suicide by plane on the White House’s south lawn. Last time I checked, those dates were no more occasions of somber remembrance than January 6 is likely to become. In the grand scheme of things, they were all teapot tempests.

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Market Weekly: What Happens After ‘The Churn?’ by Tom Luongo

Someday soon markets are going to realize how bad a Biden presidency is going to be. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

If you’re a fan of The Expanse (and if you aren’t you should be) you’ll be familiar with the term The Churn. The Churn is the controlling idea for Amos Burton, whose only defining ethos is survival.

Simply put, The Churn is that moment when, “the rules of the game change.” Which game?

Amos: The only game. Survival. When the jungle tears itself down and builds itself into something new. Guys like you and me, we end up dead. Doesn’t really mean anything. Or, if we happen to live through it, well that doesn’t mean anything either.

Embedded in Amos’ idea of The Churn, however, is that while the rules change society itself keeps on keeping on. So many people right now are trying to analyze the political situation in terms of The Churn, the normal ebb and flow of who has the upper hand in the power struggle.

The impeachment idiocy on Capitol Hill is your prime example of this. Petty bureaucrats like Pelosi and Schumer are still thinking in terms of their political futures, the normal rules for using leverage to secure their Party’s future.

Mitch McConnell still thinks playing the role of controlled opposition will keep the fundraising up for the mid-terms. Nikki Haley is already texting people for money for her 2024 bid as the magic GOP brown woman who will save the party after ousting the demon Trump.

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Big Tech, Big Brother and the End of Free Speech, by Frank Miele

Do you now or have you ever supported Donald Trump? Will that be the new McCarthyite question that will cost people their reputations, jobs, and freedom? From Frank Miele at realclearpolitics.com:

In George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” members of the Outer Party of Oceania engage in the Two Minutes Hate ritual against Emmanuel Goldstein, who is supposed to be the enemy of the people but may actually just be a fabricated symbol to distract the people from their real enemy — Big Brother.

In Nancy Pelosi’s “Twenty Twenty-One,” members of the Democratic Party engage in the Two Hours Hate against Donald Trump, who is supposed to be the enemy of the people, but may actually just be a fabricated symbol to distract the people from their real enemy — Big Tech.

Two hours of hate — er, debate — was held in the House of Representatives last Wednesday for the avowed purpose of removing a president of the United States. That’s all it took. Two hours. That should tell you everything you need to know about the state of democracy in our country.

More time is routinely spent on picking wallpaper. But let’s face it, most families wouldn’t trust Congress to pick out wallpaper for their living room, so why should we trust these self-appointed moral arbiters to pick our president?

Well, we don’t. Not all of us.

Rep. Doug LaMalfa, a Republican representative from California, put it plainly in his 90-second speech when he said the “second annual impeachment” of Donald Trump “isn’t really about actual words spoken at a rally. No, this is all about the unbridled hatred of this president [by Democrats]. You use any extreme language and any process to oppose the core of what he has really fought for. You hate him because he is pro-life, the strongest ever. You hate him for fighting for the freedom of religion. … You hate him for Israel. You hate him for defending our borders. … You hate him for putting America first.”

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The Moronic Firing of Will Wilkinson Illustrates Why Fear and Bad Faith Mob Demands Reign Supreme, by Glenn Greenwald

Leftists shouldn’t assume that they’ll never be victims of cancel culture, which is ultimately vicious and indiscriminate. From Glenn Greenwald at greeenwald.substack.com:

In the prevailing climate, the rational choice is to avoid social scorn and ostracization no matter how baseless the grievances one must appease.

 
Will Wilkinson, who worked until Monday at the Niskanen Center think tank and as a Contributing Writer at The New York Times (Twitter)

Will Wilkinson is about as mainstream and conventional a thinker as one can find, and is unfailingly civil and restrained in his rhetoric. But yesterday, he was fired by the technocratic centrist think tank for which he worked, the Niskanen Center, and appears on the verge of being fired as well by The New York Times, where he is a contributing writer. This multi-pronged retribution is due to a single tweet that was obviously satirical and sarcastic and for which he abjectly apologized. But no matter: the tweet has been purposely distorted into something malevolent and the prevailing repressive climate weaponized it against him.

Neither Wilkinson nor his tweet are particularly interesting. What merits attention here is the now-pervasive climate that fostered this tawdry episode, and which has unjustly destroyed countless reputations and careers with no sign of slowing down.

During the Bush and Obama years, Wilkinson worked at the libertarian CATO Institute but, even then, he was not much of a libertarian. As he himself explained, he is far more of a standard-issue neoliberal that one finds everywhere throughout DC think tanks, the op-ed pages of large newspapers, and the green rooms of CNN, just with a bit wonkier style of expression and a few vague libertarian gestures on some isolated issues. That self-description was in 2012, and he since then has become even more of a standard liberal during the Trump era, which is why the Paper of Record made him a contributor opinion writer where he published articles under such bold and groundbreaking headlines as “Trump Has Disqualified Himself From Running in 2020.”

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