A little humor about the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage

Posted on June 29th, 2015 in General,Religion by Robert Miller

Republican Pundits whose mission is to insure that a Democrat will be elected to the White House in 2016

When Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee learned about the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, they remarked “We will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court on which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.” Sen. Ted Cruz also called on Americans to ignore the SCOTUS ruling. Well Juan Cole consulted with the Bible and discovered that it contains numerous references to marriages that do not conform to the one man one woman definition assumed by Ted Cruze, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. As one example Solomon kept 300 concubines as sex slaves in addition to 700 wives. Clearly, neither Rick, nor Mike nor Ted know what’s in their own Bible.

RFM

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Are we free from the unconstitutional PATRIOT Act?

Posted on June 2nd, 2015 in Government,Politics by Robert Miller
Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

Last Monday morning, the PATRIOT Act expired. Whether we will see it reinstated or not should be of concern to all of us. The PATRIOT Act was/is unconstitutional. Juan Cole has an excellent article on this issue that is worth a read, yesterday and today. Having obtained information from Representative Conyers (D-MI), who told him that the Patriot Act was handed to Congressmen/women late in the afternoon; it was brought up for a vote the following day, with very few members of congress even knowing what was in the bill. The bill itself was 1100 pages, meaning that it was a “pre-existing conspiracy.” It was not about curbing terrorism but was everything about eliminating the Fourth Amendment to our constitution which was enacted to ensure that the abuses that occurred under the crown would not continue in the Republic. In 2001 the PATRIOT Act abrogated the Fourth Amendment, which used to say “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.”

  • From Juan Coles article: “Section 213 of the unconstitutional Patriot Act allowed “sneak and peak” searches, where law enforcement did not even tell the suspect that his or her premises were being searched. Only 0.5 % of searches conducted with these secret warrants involved terrorism. Mostly, they have been used in the “war on drugs.” That “war” is, in turn, likely an attempt by liquor companies and pharmaceuticals to make pot and other recreational drugs expensive and hard to get, so as to cut down on competition.”
  • “All that is not to mention Section 215, which has a secret interpretation inside the FBI that differs from that of the congressmen who authored the act and passed it. (Sen. Ron Wyden found out about this but was prevented by the PATRIOT Act from revealing it to the public!) We know from the Snowden revelations that this law and some executive orders are used to authorize absolutely outrageous warrantless snooping into the affairs of millions of Americans. If you know who someone calls and for how long, and where they are when they do it, you can figure out all sorts of things about him or her. Does she call an abortion clinic? Does he call a venture capitalist? Do public officials have any vices as revealed by their calls? Of course, the National Security Agency goes way beyond just collecting and storing Americans’ call records. With British help, it scoops up the text of emails and phone audio files, i.e. it gets substance and not just metadata. But the metadata would tell them a lot.
  • We also now know that the metadata is shared with the Drug Enforcement Agency, which uses it to prosecute drug dealers but routinely lies to judges about how the case developed. While it is hard to sympathize with drug dealers, whenever law enforcement acts unconstitutionally and illegally, it harms us all.

We ought to extend our appreciation to Rand Paul, whose insistence derailed the PATRIOT Act and by doing so, helped restore the Fourth Amendment. Whether this odious act will be restored in the coming days is something that should concern all of us.

Most of all, we should thank Edward Snowden who revealed the nature of the massive surveillance program to which we as citizens were being exposed. He is a true whistle blower and deserves to be treated as such.

RFM

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