In the months since Edward Snowden revealed the nature and extent of the spying that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been perpetrating upon Americans and foreigners, some of the NSA’s most troublesome behavior has not been a part of the public debate. This behavior constitutes the government’s assaults on the American legal system. Those assaults have been conducted thus far on two fronts, one of which is aimed at lawyers who represent foreign entities here in America, and the other is aimed at lawyers who represent criminal defendants against whom evidence has been obtained unlawfully and presented in court untruthfully.
Investigative reporters at The New York Times recently discovered that the NSA has been listening to the telephone conversations between lawyers at a highly regarded Chicago law firm and their clients in Indonesia. The firm, Mayer Brown, has remained publicly silent about the revelations, as has its client, the government of Indonesia. But it is well known that Mayer Brown represents the government of Indonesia concerning trade regulations that govern exports of cigarettes and shrimp to the U.S. The lawyers on the other side of the bargaining table from Mayer Brown work for the federal government, which also employs, of course, the NSA.
There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates on its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. 
During the last five years, the news media have been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. On one level, the critique is self-evident: in the domain that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the Civil War.
TEHRAN (FNA)- The United States in a shocking move removed the leader of the Al-Qaeda’s main militant group in Syria, the Al-Nusra Front, from its blacklist of most wanted terrorist organizations.
The US Justice Department removed Abu Mohammad al-Julani, head of the al-Nusra Front, the branch of Al-Qaeda fighting against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, from its most wanted terrorist list, the report said, press tv reported.
That’s right, a city of less than a quarter million owns a rolling death machine complete with a machine gun turret on top. What the hell would they need that for?
Here’s another shot of the armored monster.
The Salinas Police Department made its new armored rescue vehicle available for public viewing on Tuesday in front of City Hall. Police said the ARV, acquired and customized at very low cost to the city, will provide protection and rescue capabilities to officers and civilians in high-risk situations. (The Californian)
The vehicle was obtained through the US government’s 1033 program established as a means of reallocating government equipment for use by law enforcement.
Kung Fu Quip has more on the militarization of police forces.
A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that school officials in northern California did not violate students’ First Amendment rights by forcing them to remove clothing displaying the U.S. flag on Cinco de Mayo, for fear it would provoke a violent reaction from Hispanic classmates.
“School officials anticipated violence or substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities, and their response was tailored to the circumstances,” Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote in the opinion for the three-judge Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel. “As a consequence, we conclude that school officials did not violate the students’ rights to freedom of expression, due process, or equal protection.” […]
“School officials have greater constitutional latitude to suppress student speech than to punish it,” McKeown wrote, adding that “officials did not enforce a blanket ban on American flag apparel, but instead allowed two students to return to class when it became clear that their shirts were unlikely to make them targets of violence. The school distinguished among the students based on the perceived threat level, and did not embargo all flag-related clothing.”
The school has a history of racial tension, which the court took into account.
Purdue University, which once defended the right of a private speaker to blaspheme Jesus, has banned an alumni donor from using the word “God” on a plaque because it might offend someone.
Dr. Michael McCracken and his wife made a $12,500 pledge to the university’s school of mechanical engineering. In return, Purdue, a large public university in Indiana, offered the McCrackens the opportunity to name a small conference room in a lab building. They were also invited to supply language for a plaque that would be installed in the room.
McCracken chose to name the room after his father, Dr. William McCracken, who graduated from Purdue with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, and his mother Glenda, who died recently.
The plaque was inscribed with the following message:
“To those who seek to better the world through the understanding of God’s physical laws and innovation of practical solutions. In honor of Dr. William ‘Ed’ and Glenda McCracken.”
McCracken says the university had rejected the message because it amounted to an “impermissible government endorsement of religion.” He was stunned.
For those of you who don’t know, Tim Wilson died yesterday in Nashville, TN of a heart attack. Tim was someone who could always make me laugh even I was at the breaking point due to this current administration.
I had the chance to see him in live a few years ago and it was well worth it. From all of us here, we would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Tim’s family for he will be missed.
Here’s to you Tim.
Threats and intimidation have become the hallmark traits of America’s first dictator – our lawless President. This week, Obama held a meeting with governors from across the country. He was there to play Marxist hardball and to make it clear he did not trust the governors – especially GOP governors.
To say I am disappointed in Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, who also chairs the NGA, is to make a major understatement. Disappointed, but not surprised. Her weak, watered down criticism of Obama left much to be desired. She needs to be replaced in Oklahoma by a steel-spined Constitutional conservative and a move is afoot in the state to do just that. Here’s to it succeeding. I have no patience for a conservative who wants to please the Progressives. Fallin treads very close to being one herself.
The meeting itself was a non-stop slap down by Obama refusing anything the GOP leaders offered. He set a much more aggressive tone, indicating that he had the power and could do whatever the hell he pleased. The chilling veiled threats were the norm for Obama – just ask Rick Perry and Nikki Haley:
Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, testified before the US Senate that there was no evidence of man-made global warming. Moore added that the Earth is in an unusually cold period and could use some warming.
Moore made similar comments in 2011 adding that he left Greenpeace because it became too radical.
There is no scientific evidence that human activity is causing the planet to warm, according to Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, who testified in front of a Senate committee on Tuesday.
Moore argued that the current argument that the burning of fossil fuels is driving global warming over the past century lacks scientific evidence. He added that the Earth is in an unusually cold period and some warming would be a good thing.
“There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years,” according to Moore’s prepared testimony. “Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species.”
If you’ve been following the crisis in Connecticut, you’re well aware that thousands and thousands of state residents who went to bed law-abiding, and woke up a felon. Gov. Malloy continues to press his states approximately 100K plus residents who have refused to register their so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines. Quite recently I wrote an open letter to the Governor, and it’s very obvious it’s fallen on deaf ears.
Connecticut is now sending out the first batch of 100 plus letters to law-abiding gun owners. In the largest act of civil disobedience CT has ever seen, it appears that the state is now giving gun owners an ultimatum. “Lose the guns or go to jail!” It’s very disheartening that a state Governor is willing to risk starting the next American Revolution to force compliance with an unconstitutional law.