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Adam Dick

Ron Paul Rewind: Oppose PATRIOT Act Renewal, Respect the Fourth Amendment

On February 8, 2011, then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) spoke against renewing what he termed “the three worst parts” of the USA PATRIOT Act during a US House of Representatives debate over legislation that would do just that. The provisions, without congressional action, were set to sunset — cease being United States law. Paul’s side lost that evening. But, liberty-restricting provisions of the PATRIOT Act, including section 215, are set to automatically sunset on June 1 unless the Congress again passes legislation to extend them. If the so-called “do-nothing Congress” would just live up to that label in regard to this matter, advocates for liberty would have something to cheer about come June.
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Andrew Napolitano on Unjustifiable Killings of Americans in Baltimore and Overseas

You can hear a high level of outrage in the voice of Judge Andrew Napolitano when he discusses on the Alan Colmes Show on Tuesday the death of an American in police custody in Baltimore, Maryland and the use of United States drones to kill three more Americans overseas. Napolitano expresses outrage regarding the killings themselves, as well as processes followed in the Baltimore and US governments that facilitate such killings and hide their details.

Regarding the death of Freddie Gray that has led to ongoing tension in Baltimore, Napolitano and host Alan Colmes engage in the following exchange:
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Ron Paul: End the Fed that Funds Perpetual War and Puts War Profiteers on the Gravy Train

Speaking April 11 in Austin at the University of Texas, former presidential candidate and United States House of Representatives member Ron Paul stressed the importance of ending the Federal Reserve. In particular, Paul explains how the Fed allows the US to pursue “perpetual war” and to put war profiteers in the military-industrial complex “on the gravy train.”
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Kansas One-Ups Texas by Adopting Concealed Carry without Classes, Fees, or a Surveillance Database

Many people perceive Texas as a bastion of rugged individualism and minimal government. Kansas not so much so. This month both states’ governments are moving toward implementing laws removing some restrictions on people carrying handguns. Yet only Kansas is doing so without requiring an individual to take a course, pay a fee, and put his personal information into a government database — perfect for facilitating surveillance — before being able to legally carry a handgun.

On April 2, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law SB 45. The bill legalizes the carrying of concealed handguns by many people in Kansas without the requirement that they first pay a fee, take a class, obtain a permit, or provide personal information for inclusion in a government database.
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VA Sending Veterans’ Mental Health Information to the FBI to Aid Gun Restrictions

A February 2012 memorandum of understanding between the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) lays out a process pursuant to which the VA has been regularly sending to the FBI mental health information about VA patients. So reports Patrick Howley at the Daily Caller on Tuesday. The mental health information transferred is intended to aid the FBI in adding individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) list of individuals restricted from owning or possessing guns.
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Don’t Take Our Raisins! An Introduction to American Takings Law

With the United States Supreme Court hearing oral arguments Wednesday in Horne v. Department of Agriculture — a case concerning the application of the US Constitution’s Fifth Amendment Takings Clause to raisin farmers, it seems an appropriate time to review some of the basics of American takings, or eminent domain, law.
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Ending Vaccination Mandate Exemptions in Australia and the US

Under a new government policy announced by Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott, many Australian families are respectively facing the denial of thousands of dollars in welfare and tax benefits over a year’s time because their children have not received all the vaccinations listed on a government schedule. Meanwhile, in America, recently developed pro-mandate momentum threatens to end the most commonly used exemptions families claim to exempt children from mandatory vaccinations.

The new Australian policy cuts welfare and tax benefits if parents rely on a conscientious objection — often referred to as a philosophical objection in America — to deviate from the government’s vaccination schedule. While the conscientious objection option has been available to parents generally, the religious and medical exemptions that may still be asserted under the new policy are only available to a subset of families.
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Gov. Charlie Baker Applauds US Government Circumventing State Law to Execute Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Massachusetts does not have a death penalty. It has not had one for over thirty years — since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 1984 that the state’s death penalty violated the state constitution. Yet, we have the spectacle of Charlie Baker, the state’s Republican governor, proclaiming on Wednesday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who a United States district court trial jury had that day found guilty of counts related to the Boston Marathon bombing, should be executed in contravention of Massachusetts law.

Executing Tsarnaev is an option only because the United States Department of Justice decided to prosecute him in the US court system. Had that decision to intervene not been made, prosecution would have surely been pursued in the Massachusetts state court system where Tsarnaev would face incarceration upon a guilty verdict, but not execution.
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How the War on Drugs Facilitated the Global War on Terrorism

When President George W. Bush announced the Global War on Terrorism in 2001 he did not have to start his war from scratch. Instead, the development of the United States government’s war on drugs that President Richard Nixon announced forty years earlier facilitated much of Bush’s new war. Two revelations this week provide new examples of the linkage between the two wars.

First, Brad Heath reported Wednesday at USA Today that from 1992 through 2013 the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) collected calling records of “virtually all” phone calls from America to a long list of countries. At the list’s peak size, bulk collection was undertaken on calls between the US and over 100 countries. Countries that the article notes were on the list at “one time or another” include most countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, as well as Canada, Mexico, Italy, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and other countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
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