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NSA spying worse thanks to help from AT&T

Do you remember Edward Snowden? He’s the former CIA contractor who exposed Patriot Act abuses by the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 where they were spying on our electronic communications without a warrant. Do you remember how outraged Republicans like Rep. Peter King, Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were after the revelations; not at the NSA, but at Snowden for letting America know about the disregard of our constitutional rights? And do you remember how we were told by many of these same Republicans that the NSA wasn’t actually listening to our calls or reading our emails? Well, guess what… National Security Agency documents recently provided to the New York Times and ProPublica by Snowden reveal that AT&T has provided valuable assistance to the NSA that enhanced the agency’s ability to spy on Internet traffic. The NYT and ProPublica (an independent non-profit newsroom) jointly reviewed the documents supplied by Snowden and published their findings simultaneously. The most significant finding expanded on what has long been known — that American telecommunications companies have worked closely with the NSA. The agency’s relationship with AT&T, however, is considered unique and especially productive. One of the source documents reviewed by the […]

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If You Can’t Spell Vote, Should You Be Allowed To?

Shouldn’t all voters possess that same rudimentary knowledge of the Constitution and our federal system of government as naturalized citizens? Why not require all citizens to pass the same civics exam as immigrants have to pass if they want to join the voter rolls? Our naturalization laws require all legal immigrants seeking to become citizens to pass a civics exam before joining the ranks of two hundred million other voters— and the exam is administered in English. They can remain legal immigrants forever without becoming naturalized citizens, and many do, but if they want to vote they have to pass a civics exam as part of the naturalization process. So, in a similar vein, we should say to natural-born citizens, you can be a citizen forever and enjoy all the rights and privileges of citizenship, but if you want to be a voter, if you want to choose the officials who make laws and decide on war and peace, you have to pass a simple civics exam. This proposal is blatantly “pro-immigrant”: it says native-born citizens should live up to the same expectations we have for new citizens. What’s wrong with that? Of course, if implemented this proposal will not […]

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VA retreats on threat to take veteran’s guns – but it’s not over

Yesterday I shared with you the story of John Arnold, a veteran who had been advised by the Veterans Administration that he was no longer entitled to his Second Amendment rights because he used a fiduciary to handle his financial affairs, which in the world of today’s VA means you are likely suffering from dementia. Fortunately for Mr. Arnold, after a rally was organized by Idaho State Representative Heather Scott and supported by his community and the local sheriff, the VA retreated from their assault on his constitutional rights. But that doesn’t mean the battle is over, nor that it won’t happen again. Even though they retreated, a spokesman, Bryan Holt, confirmed that this is pretty much standard operating procedure for today’s Veterans Administration: “This does happen sometimes, where the VA sends out a letter, especially if a veteran has dementia … and a fiduciary has to be appointed to manage finances like a pension and income. You wouldn’t want that person to be in possession of a gun.” By their own admission they have become a sort of Judge Dredd—empowered to summarily arrest, convict, sentence, and execute—ignoring the ban against illegal search and seizure (Fourth Amendment), the requirement of […]

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First grandma, now veterans – Obama’s latest attempt to seize our guns

On August 6, residents of Bonner County lined up outside the Priest River, Idaho home of veteran John Arnold in order to prevent the Veterans Administration (VA) from taking away his guns. Arnold had received a letter from the VA informing him that he was no longer fit to own a gun due to the fact that he requires the use of a fiduciary (a third party) to handle his finances, which is one of the indicators the VA uses to determine who is or isn’t mentally competent to own a firearm. A local TV station (KREM 2) reported that an inspector was to go to Arnold’s home to complete an inspection and seize his guns. Roughly “100 people” showed up to stop any such seizure, including Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler, who had this to say about his presence at the protest: “I took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and uphold the laws of Idaho. This seemed appropriate to show my support. I was going to make sure Mr. Arnold’s rights weren’t going to be breached.” This latest attempt by the federal government to seize the guns of regular Americans comes after a story I posted a […]

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Are we a nation gone under?

Do you believe in a political solution to the problems our country faces? Are you convinced that if we just had the right person in the White House we would change back to a moral society? Do you even care about morals? What exactly do we stand for as a nation, as a people, as a society and as a community? I ask these questions because over the past week I have become more and more dejected about the current state of America. We have gone from being the descendants of men who founded the country by allowing God govern their decisions, to a mass of people in 2015 who can’t even place Christ above their iPhone. Before you tune me out because I keep God in the equation, answer me this: do you believe in the right defend yourself and your family? Do you believe in the importance of governing self and family as the first level of governance? Are private property rights essential to you? Do you believe the government was established to ensure your protection to life? Well, these are all Biblical principles, and I’m certain the majority of Americans believe in these truths even if they […]

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The GOP Debate – Miserable Irrelevancy

Seventeen GOP candidates for president of the United States paraded in front of us in Cleveland on August 6th. The establishment media crowed enthusiastically to the viewers about the import of this gathering to our lives as Americans. Chris Wallace and his fellow questioners milked the affair for all the drama they could squeeze from it. Unfortunately this two-tiered debate was just one more exercise in the miserable irrelevancy of the media’s handling of “political affairs” in America today. With each passing year the nation drifts deeper into economic ineptitude, a macabre government intervenes further into all the nooks and crannies of our lives, and our culture sinks relentlessly into an abysmal preoccupation with gays, transsexuals, drug addicts, and other sundry oddities of life. Decadence and despotism loom all around us. There are scores of monumental issues that need to be discussed today openly and fervently by our media. But instead we got irrelevancy and default on the real problems that our country and culture face. Why were not the following paramount issues presented to the candidates in depth? 1) States’ rights versus Washington power. We as a nation were formed under the concept of “federalism,” which means that all […]

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