civil liberties

Was it all worth it?

As every last soul has surely heard by now, Osama bin Laden is dead.  Finally located and taken out by American special forces, the death of bin Laden marks a significant moment for America.  The occasion was marked by numerous celebrations and expressions of profound relief and satisfaction, coupled with a harsh brushing of the wounds left by 9/11.  Whether it helps Obama’s political fortunes is yet to be seen, but it surely has raised Americans’ spirits.

But one question still remains in the minds of many - were the sacrifices we have made up to this point worth it?  Over the past nine years Americans have had their privacy invaded, their values called into question, and their coffers tapped to fund two wars expensive in both treasure and blood.  We’ve certainly engaged in some ugly practices in our anger over what bin Laden did to us on that fall day in 2001.  Your average citizen may never know the true extent of the things done in the name of fighting terrorism.

It’s clear to me then that we have paid an immense price for this victory, one that is hard to justify in retrospect.  It’s hard to look at the way our lives have profoundly changed and not say that, despite the fact that his life ended at the point of an American rifle, Osama bin Laden will go down as a victor.  His actions have altered the American landscape permanently and have led us to do things that we ought be ashamed of.

Podcast: Liberty Candidate - John Dennis (California’s 8th District)

Continuing our “Liberty Candidate Series” of interviews, Jason and Brett talk with John Dennis, discussing his opponent, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, liberty in San Francisco, and his candidacy.  Dennis is a “Pro-Liberty” Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in California’s 8th Congressional District.

This special edition podcast is the fifth in a series devoted to showcasing liberty candidates nationwide.  Dennis talks about his liberty-focused campaign against the Speaker of the House in California.

You can download the podcast here. The introduction music is “Silence is Violence” by the always lovely Aimee Allen.

You can subscribe to the RSS of JUST our podcasts here, or you can find our podcasts on iTunes here.

Podcast: Liberty Candidate - Jake Towne (Pennsylvania’s 15th District)

Continuing the Liberty Candidate Series, Brett interviews Jake Towne, discussing his campaign, positions on issues, and his candidacy.  Towne is running for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District as an unaffiliated candidate.

This special edition podcast is the fourth in a series devoted to showcasing liberty candidates nationwide.  Towne talks about his fiscal economics-driven campaign against an incumbent Republican in Pennsylvania (in a seat previously held by Pat Toomey).

You can download the podcast here. The introduction music is “Silence is Violence” by the always lovely Aimee Allen.

You can subscribe to the RSS of JUST our podcasts here, or you can find our podcasts on iTunes here.

Campaign for Liberty Staffer Questioned by TSA for Carrying Cash

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Campaign for Liberty staffer, Steve Bierfeldt, tells his story about being detained by the TSA and police because of the amount of cash he was carrying on him, and why the MIAC report factored into his decision to tread carefully while answering questions.

H/T: Matt Chancey

Spoof: Big Brother Helps You Order a Pizza

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Ok, so it’s not really this bad… yet.  But if the incremental intrusions into our privacy aren’t stopped, a phone call like this isn’t so far-fetched for our future.

Peter Schiff: Why the Meltdown Should Have Surprised No One

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Naturally a recurrent theme of this lecture was monetary policy, specifically having to do with the dollar’s spiral toward hyper-inflation in the midst of the current economic collapse.  Schiff stressed that sooner than later the rest of the world, more importantly those still buying our debt would wise up to our inability to repay those fiscal obligations.  He told a short story about a wily old man in a certain neighborhood who had hoodwinked the neighborhood kids into vying for the job of painting his fence.  He related the metaphor by surmising, “We’ve got the world painting our fences, as if they don’t have their own fences to paint.”  Essentially, he said the way it is now, we get all the stuff and they only get the jobs.  He then fittingly asked, “What good are jobs without stuff?”  In short, we are barreling straight toward a currency crisis.

Justin Amash: Young people have lost trust in government

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) is not your ordinary Republican. While most of his colleagues are interested in preserving the status quo, he has focused his efforts on transparency in government and protecting individual liberty.

Amash, 33, posts an explanation of every single vote he casts on his Facebook page, a practice he started when he served as a state legislator in Michigan. He has been one of the most consistent fiscal conservatives in the House of Representatives and has emerged as one of the fiercest critics of the National Security Agency.

The libertarian-leaning Michigan Republican’s principled stands have often rattled the political establishment, which he wears as a badge of honor. In fact, his constituents in Michigan’s Third Congressional District have responded positively to his independence and willingness to speak out against House Republican leaders when they’re not backing up their rhetoric with bold action.

But Amash’s principled stands have motivated the establishment to recruit a primary challenger to run against him. His popularity both inside and outside in the district, however, has served him well.

The “Rebel Alliance,” what Amash calls his supporters, has stood strong behind him. He hauled in impressive $518,776 in the fourth quarter of 2013, of which $497,968 came from individual contributors. He raised $42,412.99 in a one-day money bomb event last week.

Skeptical Millennials Are Not Embracing Either Party, Says Study

Young voters have never been so mistrustful of government.

A study sponsored by the moderate Democratic think tank Third Way that was carried out by political scientist Michelle Diggles, looked into our generation to develop a sociological profile of Millennials.

The goal was to develop this profile and project how current attitudinal trends might shape politics in the years ahead of us. According to the results, both the Democratic and Republican parties could be suffering soon because of the pragmatism of Millennials.

While then senator Barack Obama was awarded by Millennials in 2008, the study shows that his popularity with young voters withered in 2012, mostly because they are disillusioned after learning Obama failed to meet the promises that got him elected in the first place. This could be an indicator that this generation, more than any other generation in history, is skeptical of politics and power players in general.

While this shift may seem positive for the GOP at first glance, researchers warn that recent political disappointments could also translate into resentment toward the Republican Party. Millenials are often socially tolerant, which could put the GOP in disadvantage if it fails to pick up the beat and back candidates that take a strong stand when it comes to personal liberties.

According to the study:

The hypocrisy of Dianne Feinstein

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) spoke out yesterday morning about the accusations that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had accessed committee staffers’ computers. In a 40-plus minute speech, Feinstein accused the agency of removing documents related to its investigation into the agency’s Bush-era detention and interrogation programs and intimidation:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that the situation amounted to an attempted intimidation of congressional investigators, adding: “I am not taking it lightly.”

She confirmed that an internal agency investigation of the action has been referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution. And she accused the CIA of violating the Fourth Amendment, various federal laws and a presidential executive order that bars the agency from conducting domestic searches and surveillance.

She has sought an apology and recognition that the CIA search of the committee’s computers was inappropriate, but said: “I have received neither.”

Rand Paul talks CPAC straw poll win, young people on Fox News Sunday

Rand Paul on Fox News Sunday

Fresh off a successful weekend at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) joined Fox News Sunday to talk about his straw poll victory and young voters’ disenfranchisement with President Barack Obama.

“[T]he one thing about CPAC it’s just chock full of young people,” Paul told host Chris Wallace. “There are young people everywhere, and I think young people, their lives sort of rotate, and, you know, disseminate.”

“Everything goes out through their cell phone and they are very aware of their privacy,” he continued, “and they don’t think when the government tells them that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t protect your cell phone, doesn’t protect your records, they don’t accept that, so I think not only conservative young people from colleges and high school, I think young people across the country are fed up with the government that says, ‘Hey, the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to your records, doesn’t apply to your cell phone.’”

 
 


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