Ed. Note: The US is so far down the list that we had to shrink the screen down to 25% to get this screen shot and even then we were unable to capture the top seven nations . They are Finland , Norway , Denmark , Netherlands , Sweden , New Zealand and Austria . Click the image for all of the details.
” The U.S. plummeted to a dismal 49th place on the Reporters Without Borders annual Press Freedom Index, marking the country’s second lowest ranking since the list was created in 2002 and its lowest since 2006. Other countries ranked in the 40s and 50s include Haiti, Mongolia, and Chile.
The index cited “judicial harassment” of New York Times reporter James Risen, the arbitrary arrest of at least 15 journalists during the Ferguson, Missouri clashes, and the fact that U.S. journalists are still not legally entitled to protect sources who reveal confidential information about their work.
The U.S.’s slip in press freedom rankings mirrors its seven-place drop in Freedom House’s Global Press Freedom Index from 2013-2014, though the country still ranks among the 14 percent of countries whose press is classified as “free” in the latter scale.
Reality may be even worse than the rankings suggest. Legal protections for the press have only eroded since the 2006 trough year when the Bush Administration threatened to prosecute Risen for publishing stories chronicling warrantless wiretapping of citizens’ phone calls.
Since the Obama Administration took power, it has used the Espionage Act to prosecute data leakers a record seven times—more than every other president combined in the law’s nearly 100-year history—a Fox News journalist has been spied on by the Justice Department under the justification that he’s a criminal conspirator, Wikileaks creator Julian Assange has been declared “a hi-tech terrorist,” and the Supreme Court refused to overturn a lower court ruling against Risen stating that the First Amendment doesn’t protect him from refusing to testify about a whistleblower that allegedly leaked classified information about the CIA’s efforts to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.
Reports from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald even suggest that media outlets routinely vet their articles with government officials before publishing them.”
By way of comparison , in 2009 when Obama took office the US was ranked in a tie with the UK for 21st place by Reporters Without Borders (again , click the image for the details) :
Reason has more on this “Change” we can believe in …
” The 14-page opinion issued by the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that the “ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity.”
The ruling comes in response to a case where John Swartz and his wife Judy Mayton-Swartz were forced to bring suit against two police officers who arrested Swartz back in May of 2006. The arrest was made simply as a result of John Swartz flipping off the officer who was using a radar device at an intersection in St. Johnsville, New York.
Swartz was charged with “disorderly conduct,” the common way that officers charge people when they have not committed any crime. “
Click pic to go to video
” The city of Orlando has agreed to pay $15,000 to a man who was jailed and had a cell phone pulled from his hand by a police officer because he video-recorded officers arresting another man who was calling for help.
Alberto Troche, 26, of Orlando, sued the city and Officer Peter Delio in March in Orlando federal court, accusing them of violating his civil rights.
Troche and the city agreed to a $15,000 settlement several weeks ago, according to federal court records.
Now, his lawyers have asked a U.S. magistrate to make the city pay another $44,000 for the hours they worked on the case.
The Orlando Police Department has also changed its policies on how to handle people who video-record them in action, said Troche’s attorney, J Marc Jones.
Officers may not order members of the public to stop video-recording them or arrest or try to stop them, so long as they are in a public place, have not crossed a police line and are not interfering, according to a policy directive signed by Police Chief John Mina two months after Troche filed suit.
Officers also may not demand that a person recording them identify themselves, may not demand to know why they are making the recording and may not intentionally block or obstruct their camera, according to the directive.
” A bystander has the right under the First Amendment to observe and record … (police officers) in public discharge their duties,” the directive says.”
” What happens in public isn’t afforded an expectation of privacy — unless you’re the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS is all about shutting down people taking photos in, around or of public structures. According to the many piles of useless paperwork compiled by the many useless Fusion Centers, the most effective terrorist weapon is any device that captures still images or video.
The nation is loaded with phone-wielding terrorists. But thanks to the swift corrective action applied by a former Secret Service agent and the multi-billion dollar agency, guests at the Drury Park Plaza Hotel in Chesterfield, Missouri, are safe from the terrorist activity of 28-year-old US Navy veteran (and now, former hotel Houseman) Mark Paffrath.
Mark says that on Thursday after work he snapped 2 photographs and a short video of several dozen Homeland Security vehicles in the parking garage. He then uploaded them to his Facebook page. In his post he writes “why are all the cop cars here…I wonder if it has anything to do with Ferguson”, he also included the hashtags #Ferguson #NoJusticeNoPeace.
Hooray for the First Amendment! … oh, wait.
On Friday, shortly after arriving to work at the Drury Plaza Hotel, Mark stated that he was called to the office of Jeff Baker, the General Manager. Upon arriving Mr. Baker advised Mark that he needed to remove the photos and video from Facebook. Mark immediately complied and removed the post. Mark then continued and finished his shift.
A private company decides to insert itself into a situation where no one — not even the DHS — needed to step in. Having achieved its goal of suppression, one would think the story ends here. But it doesn’t.”
” Weapons retailers in California are suing the state over a ban on the display of images of handguns – even the word “handgun” – in what the business owners say is a violation of the First Amendment.
The complaint brought by Calguns Foundation and others is on behalf of Tracy Rifle and Pistol LLC, Michael Baryla, Ten Percent Firearms, Wesley Morris, Sacramento Black Rifle Inc., Robert Adams, Prk Arms Inc. and Jeffrey Mullen.
Named as defendants are Attorney General Kamala Harris and Stephen Lindley of the state Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms.
The case isn’t over the right to own guns, which is protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
It’s over the images. The word.
The state bans gun stores from putting up signs telling customers they sell handguns. Images of and descriptions of rifles and shotguns are fine with the state.
“ I am one of the most heavily regulated and inspected businesses in existence, but it’s still illegal for me to show customers that I sell handguns until after they walk in the door,” said Baryla, who owns Tracy Rifle and Pistol.”
” Last month, the Forest Service proposed a regulation that would require permits costing as much as $1500 to take photographs or film on Forest Service land. The public response has been overwhelmingly negative [I tried but couldn’t make the sentence long enough for all the criticism…]. To put this simply enough that a Forest Service bureaucrat can understand it, the First Amendment doesn’t allow the government to forbid speech in public places, to regulate the content of that speech, to subject speech to an arbitrary preclearance process, or to condition a government benefit on waiving the right to free speech. Somehow the Forest Service managed to do all of this in a single proposal.
The proposal would require a permit for any “commercial” filming, which is broadly defined as any sound or video recording that could generate income and uses models, sets, or props. Say, for example, a nonprofit filmed a video in the forest that might generate donations [*cough* hint *cough*]:
This video would require Forest Service approval, even though the filming took place in a public place and had no adverse impact on the environment.
The regulation also prohibits unpermitted still photography if it uses models, sets, or props or causes any administrative inconvenience for the Forest Service (although it’s not clear why the permit regime isn’t itself an administrative inconvenience).”
” The American people are low-information voters.
But their lack of information doesn’t just apply to the candidates they vote for or the issues that are important to them; it also applies to some of the most basic founding principles of this country — up to and including the First Amendment.
The First Amendment Center has conducted yearly studies asking people their opinions of certain freedoms and how far they extend. But before they get to that point, they ask people to simply name the freedoms enumerated in the First Amendment.
The results, as the below (see above) chart shows, are somewhere between depressing and less-than-inspiring.”
It comes as no surprise that the more the State spends on “education” the less informed our youth become . For two generations the education system has been moving away from basic history and civics and into all of the touchy-feely , propaganda that serves to minimize the accomplishments of our forebearers and the individual and consolidate the belief in the all-powerful State , all with the help of our compliant “watchdogs” in the media …
The State and their media lackies are proceeding with a systematic curriculum of misinformation designed with the specific intention of making the “common folk” forget about their basic rights under the Constitution and allow power to be usurped and aggregated in the hands of the politicians and the bureaucrats , all in the name of the “public good” .
” Brooks Hamby, a senior at BUHS, had his speech denied three times by the high school administration for expressing his Christian faith.”
” Two Long Island high school students have been suspended for allegedly bringing a Confederate flag to school.
Brother Gary Cregan, principal of St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, said the two seniors walked in with a Confederate flag draped around their shoulders during an after-hours sporting event at the school.
The students were initially suspended for 10 days, but Cregan decided Tuesday they won’t be allowed back, Brown reported.
Cregan wrote a letter to parents saying the use of any symbols “designed to revive past injustices or to inflame discrimination or racial intolerance, is completely unacceptable and profoundly offensive,” Newsday reported.
The students haven’t explained why they did it. St. Anthony’s is a private Catholic school and isn’t bound by the First Amendment right to free speech.
Still, the New York Civil Liberties Union said all people should be able to express their views freely, even the offensive ones.
“ Our motto is more speech, not censorship or punishment,” NYCLU director Donna Lieberman told Brown. “Helping children understand the impact of this patently offensive expressive activity.” “
Published on Mar 15, 2014
” The Constitution provides protections for those who want to document the government through photography; in fact, it is one tool citizens have to hold the government accountable. So if you want to photograph law-enforcement officials, what can you do? What can’t you do? RT’s Perianne Boring takes a look at people’s rights when it comes to photographing or recording police in public places.”
” A high school student in upstate New York was suspended for wearing an NRA T-shirt that touted the second amendment after he refused to turn it inside out or cover the words with duct tape.
Shane Kinney, a 16-year-old sophomore from Grand Island, located between Niagara Falls and Buffalo, said he served a one-day, in-school suspension Monday after he refused last Friday to turn his T-shirt inside out at the request of the vice principal at Grand Island High School. The shirt was emblazoned with the NRA logo and the words, “2nd Amendment Shall not be Infringed” across the back.
“ Mr. Lauria [the vice principal] told me I had to either turn the shirt inside out or put duct tape over the words,” Shane Kinney told FoxNews.com. “I told them that I wasn’t going to do it. I had to sit in the suspension room and eat lunch alone until my father brought me a new shirt to school.” “
In Light Of The Ongoing Constitutional Crisis In Connecticut We Thought This Article Deserved Reviewing
” As we look back on the horrors of the dictatorships and autocracies of the past, one particular question consistently arises; how was it possible for the common men of these eras to NOT notice what was happening around them? How could they have stood as statues unaware or uncaring as their cultures were overrun by fascism, communism, collectivism, and elitism? Of course, we have the advantage of hindsight, and are able to research and examine the misdeeds of the past at our leisure. Unfortunately, such hindsight does not necessarily shield us from the long cast shadow of tyranny in our own day. For that, the increasingly uncommon gift of foresight is required…
At bottom, the success of despotic governments and Big Brother societies hinges upon a certain number of political, financial, and cultural developments. The first of which is an unwillingness in the general populace to secure and defend their own freedoms, making them completely reliant on corrupt establishment leadership. For totalitarianism to take hold, the masses must not only neglect the plight of their country, and the plight of others, but also be completely uninformed of the inherent indirect threats to their personal safety. They must abandon all responsibility for their destinies, and lose all respect for their own humanity. They must, indeed, become domesticated and mindless herd animals without regard for anything except their fleeting momentary desires for entertainment and short term survival. For a lumbering bloodthirsty behemoth to actually sneak up on you, you have to be pretty damnably oblivious.
The prevalence of apathy and ignorance sets the stage for the slow and highly deliberate process of centralization. Once dishonest governments accomplish an atmosphere of inaction and condition a sense of frailty within the citizenry, the sky is truly the limit. However, a murderous power-monger’s day is never quite done. In my recent article ‘The Essential Rules of Liberty’ we explored the fundamentally unassailable actions and mental preparations required to ensure the continuance of a free society. In this article, let’s examine the frequently wielded tools of tyrants in their invariably insane quests for total control… “
Rule #1: Keep Them Afraid
Rule #2: Keep Them Isolated
Rule #3: Keep Them Desperate
Rule #4: Send Out The Jackboots
Rule #6: Encourage Citizen Spies
Rule #7: Make Them Accept The Unacceptable
We’ve added the links above to provide examples of what we believe demonstrates that all of the writer’s 7 rules are coming to be but they should be read as an adjunct to the article and not in place of it .
Read the whole article here and decide for yourself how far along with this process we are .
” The Obama Administration’s Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is poised to place government monitors in newsrooms across the country in an absurdly draconian attempt to intimidate and control the media.
Before you dismiss this assertion as utterly preposterous (we all know how that turned out when the Tea Party complained that it was being targeted by the IRS), this bombshell of an accusation comes from an actual FCC Commissioner.
Commissioner Ajit Pai reveals a brand new Obama Administration program that he fears could be used in “pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.”
As Commissioner Pai explains in the Wall Street Journal:
Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.
The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”
In fact, the FCC is now expanding the bounds of regulatory powers to include newspapers, which it has absolutely no authority over, in its new government monitoring program.”
Read more on this unbelievable display of chutzpah by our “Constitutional law” professor president at ACLJ. If the story wasn’t so chilling in it’s blatant disregard for constitutionally protected press freedoms one could almost laugh at the irony and sense of schadenfreude towards a press that has voluntarily been the government’s water-carrier for years now being subject to direct Statist intervention .
The ACLJ has started a petition to demand an end to this unconstitutional assault on freedom of the press which you can sign here .
” The woman, Brandy Berning, was pulled over by Broward Sheriff Deputy William O’Brien after driving in the carpool lane on Interstate 95.
Berning immediately pulled out her cellphone and began audio recording the encounter, informing O’Brien several moments after he arrived to her driver side door.
“ Oh, I forgot to tell you I was recording our conversation,” Berning says.
Although Florida currently has a two-party consent law, which dictates that both parties must consent to being recorded, the supreme court has upheld that police officers do not have an expectation of privacy while working in public, therefore can be recorded without prior approval.
“ Ok, well I have to tell you that you’ve just committed a felony,” O’Brien says.
Confused at the false claim, Berning barely has time to react as the deputy begins demanding the phone, now heading towards the passenger side door.
“ You are committing a felony. Hand me the phone,” O’Brien says.
Berning can be heard demanding O’Brien leave her vehicle as the deputy climbs in and begins physically attempting to take the device.
“ I know the law better than you, believe me,” O’Brien says as Berning refuses to comply.”
Apparently Deputy O’Brien does not know the law better than Ms Berning and after assaulting her over the “felony” recording “crime” he didn’t even charge her for it …
Brandy Nicole Berning
Brandy Nicole Berning” Charge(s)RESIST OFFICER-OBSTRUCT WITHOUT VIOLENCE
IMPROPER CHANGE OF LANESArrest/Booking DateArrested: 03/21/2013 – 47 weeks 6 days agoBooking ID
Name: Brandy Nicole Berning
Date of Birth: –/–/—
Race: WhiteGender: FemaleHeight (ft): 5′ 5″Height (cm): 165 cmWeight: 115 lbs.Hair Color: BrownEye Color: Green
Booking ID: 501301882Date of Arrest: 03/21/2013Age when Arrested: 32Arresting Agency: Broward Sheriff’s Office
Charge Desc: 1Charge Description: RESIST OFFICER-OBSTRUCT WITHOUT VIOLENCECharge Bond: 100.00Charge Bond USD: $100.00 USD Convert CurrencyCharge Desc: 2Charge Description: IMPROPER CHANGE OF LANESCharge Bond: 0.00Charge Desc: 3Charge Description: IMPROPER USE HOV LANECharge Bond: 0.00Charge Desc: 4Charge Description: PERS/INJ/PROT/INS REQUIRECharge Bond: 0.00Charge Desc: 5Charge Description: FAIL TO DISPLAY VEH REGCharge Bond: 0.00
All persons listed on this site are innocent till proven guilty. This information does NOT constitute a criminal record/history, and may not be interpreted as such. Information provided herein may not be relied upon for any type of legal action. This information is provided as a convenience to the general public and therefore no warranty is expressed or implied as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of any information obtained through the use of this service.
This information was or is current at or around the time of publishing. Any new information, i.e. new charges, dropped charges, etc.., please contact the appropriate State or County records dept.”
After enduring a night in jail the Sheriff’s office had second thoughts .
” After being forced to spend the night in jail, all of Berning’s charges were quietly dropped, giving more credibility to the idea that O’Brien’s only goal was illegal intimidation. Berning has now filed suit against the Broward Sheriff’s Department.”
The lawsuit is in the works. Read more at StoryLeak
” An article yesterday in the Washington Post disclosed the NSA’s massive cell phone location program. The program, codenamed CO-TRAVELER, is designed to track who meets with whom and covers everyone who carries a cell phone, all around the world.
With neither public debate nor court authorization, CO-TRAVELER collects billions of records daily of cell phone user location information. It maps the relationships of cell phone users across global mobile network cables, gathering data about who you are physically with and how often your movements intersect with other cell phone users. The program even tracks when your phone is turned on or off.”
” The trillions of collected records, which add up to twice the amount of data in the Library of Congress’ print collection, are saved and stored in the NSA’s mammoth database called FASCIA. While allegedly aimed at foreigners and mobile phones overseas, the NSA admits that it has “incidentally” collected location information on U.S. persons.
CO-TRAVELER ignores fundamental values in the Constitution the NSA has sworn to uphold, including the right against unreasonable search and seizure as well as freedom of association. Thinking globally, the program disregards international human rights law, which is currently in the process of being reaffirmed in a draft resolution by the UN General Assembly.”
2 + 2 = 5
” Guns & Ammo magazine has apologized for running a column opining that regulating the Second Amendment is not an infringement on gun owners’ rights.
“I thought it would generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights,” wrote contrite Jim Bequette, the magazine’s editor. “I miscalculated, pure and simple. I was wrong, and I ask your forgiveness.”
The publication has also fired the column’s writer, Dick Metcalf, a long-time editor at the firearm enthusiast magazine, which enjoys a circulation of 416,224, according to Alliance for Audited Media.
After the piece ran, Guns & Ammo came under fire from angry readers, besieging the magazine’s Facebook page.
Metcalf took the position that regulation does not equate to an infringement to bear arms, arguing that all constitutional rights are rightly regulated.”
We have to admit that we are having some reservations about the firing of Dick Metcalf . Their are no more stalwart supporters of the 2nd Amendment than the staff here at YouViewed and we must admit that when we initially came across his column our first thought was , to put it bluntly : “Gee , We hope they fire his **s” .
Unfortunately now that the deed is done , we can’t help but feel that in the process of firing a long-time associate for expressing a dissenting opinion we are becoming no different than our opponent . This is what the progressives do to the dissenters in their ranks , even as they proclaim from on high their undying devotion to “tolerance” .
We prefer to believe that we are made of different stock , yet just how “tolerant” are we ? Make no mistake , we agree with nothing about the regulation that Metcalf was advocating , but at the same we’re not so sure that we agree with the regulation of Mr Metcalf’s opinion either . They say the “2nd Amendment protects the 1st “… but is not the reverse equally true when properly employed ?
Perhaps the man needed to go and under no circumstances would we presume to tell any businessman how to run his affairs , yet this whole incident has forced us to consider anew the plight of the right … Do we have to become the enemy to defeat him ?
” Planning on flying anywhere for the holidays? If you owe back taxes, are a frequent flyer, or own a blog that is critical of the government, you might want to rethink your plans. Under the radar in October, the TSA tightened their screening guide lines to include these in their “screenings”. In fact they want a full background check.
The procedure has been in place but was not activated until recently. The TSA released the screening regulations in order to comply with government requirements. The new regulations put some of the data collection of the National Security Administration (NSA) scrutiny to shame. As usual the details of the new provisions were never announced to the public.
So what are the things they are looking in to? Here is a quick list from TSA and the New York Times.
- private employment information to include who you work for
- vehicle registrations
- travel history
- property ownership records and what property you claim
- physical characteristics
- tax identification numbers and tax history
- past travel itineraries
- law enforcement information
- “intelligence” information (the key word list used by the NSA)
- passport numbers
- frequent flier information
- other “identifiers” linked to DHS databases (including web history and information, critical speaking of the government)
It has gotten so far out of hand that people came to the New York Times to get the information out.
I think the best way to look at it is as a pre-crime assessment every time you fly,” said Edward Hasbrouck, a consultant to the Identity Project, one of the groups that oppose the prescreening initiatives. “The default will be the highest, most intrusive level of search, and anything less will be conditioned on providing some additional information in some fashion.” “
This is wrong on so many levels that we don’t even know where to start .
Agent Jaime Zapata
Agent Brian Terry
” The frenzy over “Operation Fast and Furious” has been hard to avoid. It’s been the subject of a massive DOJ report, Congressional hearings, contempt votes, subpoena fights in federal court, and relentless media scrutiny. But if there’s one telling the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) would love to rectify, it’s the “thoughtcrime” account of Agent John Dodson, one of the ATF insiders who helped bring the operation to public light.
The ACLU sent a letter today to the ATF, which has refused to allow Agent Dodson to publish a manuscript about Fast and Furious. Our letter explains why the denial violates his First Amendment rights, and undermines the importance that whistleblowers and public employee speech play in revealing wrongdoing and contributing to public debate.
If “Fast and Furious” makes you think of Vin Diesel, and “gunwalking” of vigorous calisthenics, let’s back up a bit. The Phoenix field division of the ATF launched a gun smuggling investigation in late 2009, in which they deliberately let straw buyers get their hands on assault rifles, which agents hoped to follow south to their ultimate consumers – drug traffickers in Mexico. But the ATF lost track of some 2,000 weapons, later implicated in hundreds of murders in Mexico.
Foregoing redactions, they nixed his entire manuscript. Claiming a right to refuse publication requests “for any reason” (the ATF’s emphasis), the ATF explained to Agent Dodson that his book would have “a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix [Field Division] and would have a detrimental [sic] effect on our relationships with DEA and FBI.” Agent Dodson doesn’t deny that his book could add to the ATF scrutiny, or even its three-year streak of bad press as a result of the affair. But these reasons just don’t cut it when it comes to a whistleblower’s right to speak – and the public’s right to hear what he has to say.
We decided to send the ATF a friendly reminder that we don’t lose our rights to speak, write, and teach when we accept government employment. “
Some of the guns
Some of the victims
” Rod MacIver received a faulty ticket in December which lead him to suing the small Vermont town of Shelburne. He arrived at court to fight the complaint but the judge in small claims court had to postpone the hearing. The police officers who were defending themselves were advised by their attorney to skip the court date and go to a local coffee shop instead. Now the ACLU has gotten involved and slapped the town with twin federal civil rights cases.
The ACLU believes that the officers violated MacIver’s Fourth Amendment rights in pulling him over for no reason and his First Amendment rights when the officer told him to “shut up or get ticketed”. Police initially argued that their video showed a violation, but then conceded later he was wrong and the man apparently committed no crime. Now the police are left to fight off MacIver and the ACLU.”