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The truth shall keep us free — Edward Snowden has awakened a giant, by Andrew Napolitano (June 27, 2013)

June 28, 2013 By: admin Category: Judicial, Politics, Societal

Which is more dangerous to personal liberty in a free society: a renegade who tells an inconvenient truth about government law-breaking, or government officials who lie about what the renegade revealed?

That’s the core issue in the great public debate this summer, as Americans come to the realization that their government has concocted a system of laws violative of the natural law, profoundly repugnant to the Constitution and shrouded in secrecy.

The liberty of which I write is the right to privacy: the right to be left alone. The Framers jealously and zealously guarded this right by imposing upon government agents intentionally onerous burdens before letting them invade it.

Whatever one thinks of Snowden’s world-traveling odyssey he has awakened a giant.

They did so in the Fourth Amendment, using language that permits the government to invade that right only in the narrowest of circumstances.

The linchpin of those circumstances is “probable cause” of evidence of crime in “the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

If the government cannot tell a judge specifically what evidence of crime it is looking for and precisely from whom, a judge may not issue a search warrant, and privacy — the natural human yearning that comes from within all of us — will remain where it naturally resides, outside the government’s reach.

Congress is the chief culprit here, because it has enacted laws that have lowered the constitutional bar that the feds must meet in order for judges to issue search warrants. And it has commanded that this be done in secret.

And I mean secret.

The judges of the FISA court — the court empowered by Congress to issue search warrants on far less than probable cause, and without describing the places to be searched or the persons or things to be seized — are not permitted to retain any records of their work. They cannot use their own writing materials or carry BlackBerries or iPhones in their own courtrooms, chambers or conference rooms. They cannot retain copies of any documents they’ve signed. Only National Security Agency staffers can keep these records.

Indeed, when Edward Snowden revealed a copy of an order signed by FISA court Judge Roger Vinson — directing Verizon to turn over phone records of all of its 113,000,000 U.S. customers in direct and profound violation of the individualized probable cause commanded by the Constitution — Vinson himself did not have a copy of that order. Truly, this is the only court in the country in which the judges keep no records of their rulings.

At the same time that Vinson signed that order, NSA staffers, in compliance with their statutory obligations, told select members of Congress about it, and they, too, were sworn to secrecy. Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden was so troubled when he learned this — a terrible truth that he agreed not to reveal — that he mused aloud that the Obama administration had a radical and terrifying interpretation of certain national security statutes.

But he did more than muse about it. He asked Gen. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, who was under oath and at a public congressional hearing, whether his spies were gathering data on millions of Americans. Clapper said no. The general later acknowledged that his answer was untruthful, but he claimed it was the “least untruthful” reply he could have given. This “least untruthful” nonsense is not a recognized defense to the crime of perjury.

After we learned that the feds are spying on nearly all Americans, that they possess our texts and emails and have access to our phone conversations, Gen. Keith Alexander, who runs the NSA, was asked under oath whether his spies have the ability to read emails and listen to telephone calls. He answered, “No, we don’t have that authority.” Since the questioner — FBI agent turned Congressman Mike Rogers — was in cahoots with the general in keeping Americans in the dark about unconstitutional search warrants, there was no follow-up question. In a serious public interrogation, a committee chair interested in the truth would have directed the general to answer the question that was asked.

Since that deft and misleading act, former NSA staffers have told Fox News that the feds can read any email and listen to any phone call, and Alexander and Rogers know that. So Alexander’s “no,” just like his boss’s “no,” was a lie at worst and seriously misleading at best.

This is not an academic argument. The oath to tell the truth — “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” — also makes those who intentionally mislead Congress subject to prosecution for perjury.

President Obama is smarter than his generals. He smoothly told a friendly interviewer and while not under oath that the feds are not listening to our phone calls or reading our emails. He, of course, could not claim that they lack the ability to do so, because we all now know that he knows they can.

These Snowden revelations continue to cast light on the feds when they prefer darkness. Whatever one thinks of Snowden’s world-traveling odyssey to avoid the inhumane treatment the feds visited upon Bradley Manning, another whistleblower who exposed government treachery, he has awakened a giant.

The giant is a public that has had enough of violations of the Constitution and lies to cover them up.

The giant is fed up with menial politicians and their media allies demonizing the messenger because his message embarrasses the government by revealing that it is unworthy of caring for the Constitution.

Think about that: The very people in whose hands we have reposed the Constitution for preservation, protection, defense and enforcement have subverted it.

Snowden spoke the truth. Knowing what would likely befall him for his truthful revelations and making them nevertheless was an act of heroism and patriotism.

Thomas Paine once reminded the Framers that the highest duty of a patriot is to protect his countrymen from their government. We need patriots to do that now more than ever.

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution. His latest is “Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/06/27/truth-shall-keep-us-free/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2XUVuznBc

Bryan Cooper (San Diego)

May 21, 2013 By: Bryan Cooper Category: Politics

When I worked at Thrasher Magazine in San Francisco one of my 

bosses was a Punk Rocker, Photographer named MoFo and he 

really was a great guy but one of his moto’s was- “Question 

Authority!”  I grew up with the belief that Authority was not wrong, 

now I know better!    

Obama High-Fives IRS with $92 Million in Bonuses

 
Could the government take money from your bank account?

The IRS scandal is becoming more insane by the minute.  After the testimony on Friday from the Inspector General and the now “retiring” acting IRS Commissioner, Steven Miller, things couldn’t be more convoluted.  First of all, Obama came out and said that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had “demanded the resignation” of Miller, when in fact, Miller was due to leave his post by June of this year.  So there was no “resigning” going on, and he will leave with all of his benefits intact.  Wow!  No accountability, no answers, no penalties. Next we find out that during the four year period between 2009 and 2012 more than $92 million in bonuseswere handed out by IRS executives to thousands of tax agency employees.  These bonuses were mostly given out to managers and executives for “performance based incentives”. So let me get this straight.  These people were paid a salary by the taxpayers, and then given a bonus by the taxpayers to reward them for harassing and intimidating the taxpayers.  Ok, got it.  There are over 97,000 employees of the IRS, 16,910 of them got some sort of bonus for “a job well done”.  The largest bonus went to former IRS Commissioner Richard E. Byrd who received $60,270. Digging a little deeper we find out that Lois Lerner, the woman who told us publicly that her agency was improperly singling out conservative and other groups including religious organizations, received more than $42,000 in bonuses over that four year period.  She ADMITTED wrongdoing and yet was rewarded once again with OUR money! But the best is yet to come.  Sarah Hall Ingram who was in charge of tax-exempt organizations while the Tea Party and conservative groups were being targeted has conveniently been relocated within the IRS and now is in charge of the IRS office responsible for overseeing Obamacare.  Promoted for a job well done!  Joseph Grant, the executive who seems to be the one taking the fall for Ingram during that time is now resigning his post. He took over for Ingram when she was promoted.  During the years 2010-2012 he received three bonuses totaling $83,950 in addition to his salary of $177,000.  Job well done Joe!

Absolute

Beware of Rita Levy

July 20, 2012 By: admin Category: Judicial

It came to our attention that RITA LEVY owner at Work4Stars  in Belgium  ( http://be.linkedin.com/pub/rita-levy/a/81a/7ba  ) is not exactly the person of integrity we would like to expect. Of course, the fact that she is lawyer by profession may explain it, – but should not be an excuse.

It is interesting to note that in her Linkedin.com profile she claims over 500+ connections – yet not a single Recommendation. What does it tell you if someone knows over 500 people and not a single person  has a kind word to say about her? We recommend to stay away from this person, if you do not want to get burnt too!

Banque Cantonale de Geneve (BCGE) refuses to release money belonging to her client, because he is American citizen and lives in the United States: Is BCGE (and other Swiss banks) the ultimate “black hole” ? Can we still trust Swiss Banks?

May 18, 2012 By: admin Category: Business

This posting is a follow up to the conversations I had with BCGE now over a period of weeks. Since the issues addressed here are of bank’s corporate policy and procedural nature, hopefully this posting will find its way to the bank’s attorneys in their so called “compliance” department and to the BCGE direction. They contemptuously ignored in-person conversations with the Branch Manager as well as the email on this subject.

 

Facts:

 

For some time grandma, a Swiss citizen, saved and deposited, usually 100 Swiss francs at a time, money in a BCGE (Banque Cantonale de Geneve) Savings Account for her grandson. Now, when he graduated from college and is preparing to enter his Graduate School he would like to retire (some or all of) the money so accumulated in HIS account at BCGE.

 

He requested access to his account in order to withdraw his money. This was flatly refused by the bank on the grounds that since he is American citizen and lives in the United States, the bank cannot / will not have any direct communication with him. For the same reason, i.e. American citizen and not residing legally in Switzerland, the bank refused to give him any possibility to access HIS own money through e-banking.

 

Living literally around the corner of the BCGE branch, I, his father, asked the Branch Manager how can he, presently living in the United States, retire his money from HIS savings account. The answer I got from her was that the only way for him to access HIS money is to come to the bank in person. (The fact of American geography being slightly different from local parochial Geneva thinking seemed to be lost on the bank – or totally ignored).

 

It should be noted that the Branch Manager told me that she was going to inform the bank so-called “compliance” that very afternoon and that she would call me before the end of the day with a solution – as suggested by the bank direction and / or compliance. Week later I haven’t heard a word from her. How is that for professionalism of a Swiss banker, a BCGE Branch Manager?

 

When I suggested to the Branch Manager that he could sign an appropriate authorization (i.e. “procuration” in French) for me (and have it properly notarized in the United States) I was told me that the bank policy is that the person giving the “procuration” must be physically present in the bank. It seems, the only form of “procuration” (equivalent in this case of a “limited power of attorney”) acceptable to the bank for such an authorization to access someone else’s account resides on bank’s computer. The form has to be filled out by a bank employee, printed out and signed then and there by all the persons present in the bank and that such a form, blank or filled out and unsigned must never leave the bank.

 

A commonly used “power of attorney”, notarized in the United States, is, allegedly, not acceptable to the bank. Even as my son’s father, with his full knowledge and consent, and even with documents usually acceptable worldwide in the business environment (i.e. “power of attorney”), I am unable to assist him.

 

In summary, BCGE (Banque Cantonale de Geneve), gladly accepted deposits, but comes time of withdrawal the bank is making it really difficult, and so far impossible, to its client, to get to HIS money. Their lame explanation / “justification” being that, as consequence of the Obama Administration pressure, the Banque Cantonale de Geneve seems to have issued edict of total non-communication with anyone residing in the USA.

 

It is my opinion that a bank, and especially a Swiss bank of the stature of BCGE  should learn how to respect her clients and learn to deal with them, whoever they are and wherever in the world they may be.

 

Since over a week after the conversations no word was communicated with bank suggesting a resolution of this quagmire, I decided to spread the word on Internet and through my network of friends, acquaintances and associates, Social Media etc. informing the word of the BCGE despicable and unprofessional (Shylock-like) practices and inviting them this way not only not to trust the BCGE.

 

Parenthetically: I myself used to have a simple checking account at Credit Suisse in Lausanne since the very first days of my college studies there, October 1969. In 2010, living in California, and after being Credit Suisse client for over 40 years, I received a curt letter from the bank informing me that because of the agreements between Switzerland and the United States they were closing my account and were asking me where to wire the residual money.

 

So BCGE doesn’t seem to be alone in rather discourteous treatment of Americans. Credit Suisse was pretty unpleasant too.

 

Consequently: Please inform and warn your friends and acquaintances when and where you deem appropriate. Do not deposit your funds in BCGE

 

Comments and opinions

 

In my opinion, Banque Cantonale de Geneve (BCGE) cannot be trusted

 

Since the issues described here above are closely related to the fact that both, my son and I are American citizens and BCGE and Credit Suisse (never mind the world famous UBS giving clients names to the US authorities) bank’s practices are clearly and selectively discriminatory against American citizens, I informed Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, my California Congressman. It is he and his colleagues in the Congress that can influence the bilateral (financial) agreements between the United States and Switzerland. He should be fully informed where the extremists policies of the Obama administration pushed behavior of Swiss banks against the American citizens and inform his colleagues (including extremists like, for example, Senator Carl Levin) about the horrendously negative consequences of their myopic actions.

 

It should be stressed that the practices described here above are specific to treatment of American citizens and do not apply to other clients, Swiss or non Swiss. As I said, these practices seem to be direct consequence of the Obama administration policies. However, the Swiss bankers, BCGE, Credit Suisse and their colleagues, should be aware of the fact that the cowardly “caving-in” to the American “quasi-terrorist’ (“school-yard bully”) practices in the field of banking by the Swiss banks destroyed a trust the world used to have in Swiss institutions since foundation of Switzerland on August 1, 1291. The Swiss banks should have never, never, never caved in to Obama’s pressures! Giving-in only encourages that kind of behavior from other (European) nations (namely Germany and France). This is precisely the reason countries do not negotiate with terrorists: it shows weakness and sets precedent saying “intimidation works”.

 

It should also have been explained to Obama that the problem is NOT the destination country where the money is looking for refuge from his misguided taxation and “redistribution” “Robin Hood – like” philosophy. The countries, where people fear for their assets and seek refuge elsewhere should look at themselves. Interestingly enough, this very same observation was clearly pointed out on this subject in a recent Swiss television program with respect to France and flight of the French capital in the wake of their recent Presidential elections.

 

 

 

November 28 2011

November 29, 2011 By: admin Category: Ronnie's Humor



Just in case Batman forgets…

Directions for men.
Women can find this with no help.
OK OK

For the guy who wants to skip foreplay…
Right.

Hope there’s no imminent emergency.

Really? Not even an emergency phone?

Sounds yummy..

No words necessary.

Recruiting best in class..

I guess hygiene is important.
Same ad agency as whiskey billboard.

Do services come with happy meals?

To calm those stressed rabbits.

No-the other right!

Shhhhhh.

Another schoolboy’s dream come true…

Ah. A cogent reminder




LIVE SIMPLY…..LAUGH OFTEN….LOVE DEEPLY

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On Election Day, vote your conscience

September 12, 2011 By: Rollie Category: Everyone's entitled to my own opinion" by Roland Eyears

Let the government decide when and how we volunteer? No thanks

September 12, 2011 By: Rollie Category: Everyone's entitled to my own opinion" by Roland Eyears

Another example of the system helping crooks, hurting citizens

September 12, 2011 By: Rollie Category: Everyone's entitled to my own opinion" by Roland Eyears

We get no justice from these so-called experts

September 12, 2011 By: Rollie Category: Everyone's entitled to my own opinion" by Roland Eyears