Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Liberty Sentry will no longer be updated

It is with little regret that I will be shutting down this blog. To be honest, I need to take a break from the day-to-day political grind, especially when it comes to the insanity that has consumed Washington, D.C. It has been said that all politics is local, and I plan on giving more coverage to local issues on my page at Examiner.com.

Blogging has been a convenient way to vent some steam, but I want it to be both edifying and fun. That is why I will be devoting more time to my other blogs, Lemon Harangue Pie and The Contemporary Calvinist.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

D.C. expanding public surveillance camera net

(Washington Examiner) - Big Brother may already be watching you in the District, and he will soon have a lot more eyes trained in your direction.

The city's homeland security agency is planning to add thousands of security cameras from private businesses around the nation's capital and the Metro system to the thousands of electronic eyes that authorities are already monitoring 24/7.

(Full story)

Army suicides at Fort Hood hit record mark

(MySanAntonio.com) - Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Eugene Giger was a “tall quiet Texan” even after his wife filed for divorce while he was in Iraq, his mom says.

Still, he was devastated.

“The only thing that I know is when she sued for divorce, she charged him with $2,000-a-month child support and insisted that he pay half of the house,” said Helen Giger, 71, of Chandler, east of Dallas. “And by the time she got through charging him with various things, he had very little money left over, not even hardly enough to pay for his rent.”

Authorities found Giger, 42, of Houston dead in his apartment near Fort Hood, hanging by necktie. He was one of at least 22 GIs from the post to commit suicide in 2010.

(Full story)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Man loses guns and gun license due to blog about Tucson shooting

ARLINGTON, Mass. (CBS) - A blog threatening members of Congress in the wake of the Tucson, Arizona shooting has prompted Arlington police to temporarily suspend the firearms license of an Arlington man.

It was the headline "1 down and 534 to go" that caught the attention. "One" refers to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in the rampage, while 534 refers to the other members of the U.S. House and Senate.

Police are investigating the "suitability" of 39-year-old Travis Corcoran to have a firearms license.

(Full story)

Virginia teen detained in Kuwait sues U.S. over no-fly list

(Washington Examiner) - A Northern Virginia teenager detained in Kuwait is suing the U.S. government, saying officials violated his rights by apparently placing him on the no-fly list without reason.

Gulet Mohamed, 19, claims in the suit that he was detained in Kuwait in December at the request of U.S. authorities. The lawsuit says Mohamed, an Alexandria resident, was beaten, tortured and interrogated by Kuwaiti authorities about his prior travels in Yemen and Somalia.

Mohamed was taken into custody in Kuwait when he tried to renew his visa at the Kuwait International Airport on Dec. 20. He claims in the suit that he was tortured for more than week, then taken to a deportation facility. When Mohamed tried to board a flight to the United States on Sunday, the lawsuit says, he was not allowed onto the plane.

(Full story)

Survey: U.S. doctors fear health care reform

(Reuters) - Nearly two-thirds of U.S. doctors surveyed fear healthcare reform could worsen care for patients, by flooding their offices and hurting income, according to a Thomson Reuters survey released Tuesday.

The survey of more than 2,900 doctors found many predict the legislation will force them to work harder for less money.

"When asked about the quality of healthcare in the U.S. over the next five years, 65 percent of the doctors believed it would deteriorate with only 18 percent predicting it would improve," Thomson Reuters, parent company of Reuters, said in a statement.

(Full story)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Man to stand trial for defying TSA agents

(KOB Eyewitness News 4) - A Seattle man’s trial in Albuquerque on charges of making trouble at an airport security checkpoint is getting attention from civil liberties groups all over the country.

Phil Mocek was arrested at the Albuquerque Sunport in November of 2009 after he refused to show I.D. to TSA officers at the security checkpoint. Police say Mocek became disruptive. They arrested him and charged him with disorderly conduct, refusing to obey an officer, criminal trespassing, and concealing his identity. After many delays, his trial in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court was scheduled to begin this morning, but the judge ordered it postponed until January 20.

(Full story)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Feds threaten to sue states over union laws

WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Labor Relations Board on Friday threatened to sue Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah over constitutional amendments guaranteeing workers the right to a secret ballot in union elections.

The agency's acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, said the amendments conflict with federal law, which gives employers the option of recognizing a union if a majority of workers sign cards that support unionizing.

(Full story)

9-year-old boy ruled a threat by U.S. immigration

(The Telegraph) - Civil servants Kathy and Edward Francis planned to surprise their grandson Micah Strachan with the holiday of a lifetime to Florida in February.

They were only going to tell Micah about it when they took him to the airport on February 19 for the flight to the U.S.

They had already spent more than £1,500 on plane tickets and had been organising the trip for months.

But this week U.S. Embassy officials denied the schoolboy a visa to enter the U.S.

They said there was a risk he would not leave the U.S. at the end of his holiday and refused his application under Section 214 (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

(Full story)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Obama's hypocritical memorial speech for Arizona shooting victims

Right now, President Obama is speaking at a memorial service for those slain in the recent Arizona shootings. He is going on about how we should all work together, build a better America, teach our children well, blah, blah, blah.

Keep in mind that this is a man whose military endeavors have resulted in the deaths of thousands of Middle Eastern men, women, and children. This is a president who has claimed the right to assassinate any American citizen he considers to be dangerous. He continues to support the right of women to murder their unborn children. And yet his empty rhetoric is still able to pull people out of their seats with gratuitous standing ovations. There is something seriously wrong with this country.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Education board to vote on middle school drugs tests

BELVIDERE, N.J. (CBS 2) - A proposal to conduct random drug tests of young students in one New Jersey town is raising some eyebrows.

Students at Belvidere Elementary School could be adding drug testing to their list of lessons when they move into middle school.

The Board of Education will vote Wednesday on a plan to randomly test sixth, seventh and eighth graders to see if they are under the influence of drugs. School administrators said they were confident the proposal would pass.

(Full story)

GOP congressman wants to ban 2nd Amendment around government officials

(Huffington Post) - Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, is planning to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official, according to a person familiar with the congressman's intentions.

King is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. The proposed law follows the Saturday shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and a federal judge that left six dead, including the judge, and 14 wounded.

(Full story)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

U.S. orders Twitter to hand over WikiLeaks records

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. court has ordered Twitter to hand over details of the accounts of WikiLeaks and several supporters as part of a criminal investigation into the release of hundreds of thousands of confidential documents.

The December 14 subpoena obtained by the Department of Justice and published by online magazine Salon.com on Friday said the records sought from the microblogging website were "relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation."

(Full story)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Botched drug raid ends in death of grandfather

The latest casualty in the "war on drugs" is Eurie Stamps, a 68-year-old grandfather of 12. He was shot and killed yesterday in in Framingham, Massachusetts, during the execution of an early-morning search warrant. Two 20-year-old men were arrested on drug charges during the raid.

As usual, the official statement from the police department danced around the details: "During the service of the search warrant Mr. Eurie Stamps was tragically and fatally struck by a bullet which was discharged from a SWAT officer's rifle. Despite immediate intervention by tactical medics, he died at the scene." Why not just state what actually happened, that an innocent grandfather was gunned down in cold blood by a trigger-happy cop?

It seems to me responsible police surveillance would entail tracking a suspect and waiting until he or she was away from innocent bystanders before moving in for the arrest. But, then again, simply arresting the bad guy isn't the goal. These midnight, no-knock, Stasi-like raids are an effective and fearful show of force, and anyone getting in the way is considered collateral damage.

Billion-dollar spy center being built in Utah.

CAMP WILLIAMS (Desert News) - Today's groundbreaking for a $1.5 billion National Security Agency data center is being billed as important in the short term for construction jobs and important in the long term for Utah's reputation as a technology center.

"This will bring 5,000 to 10,000 new jobs during its construction and development phase," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said on Wednesday. "Once completed, it will support 100 to 200 permanent high-paid employees."

Officially named the Utah Data Center, the facility's role in aggregating and verifying dizzying volumes of data for the intelligence community has already earned it the nickname "Spy Center." Its really long moniker is the Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative Data Center — the first in the nation's intelligence community.

(Full story)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What it means to "regulate commerce"

by P.A. Madison (The Federalist Blog) - The federal government for years has claimed expansive powers under the authority to regulate commerce, so much, that the most innocent private activity can now come under federal control simply because it can be viewed as having an influence on "interstate commerce" (such as the wheat in your bread having come from another State). In the 1960s, Congress claimed the authority to ban discrimination in employment, public accommodations and more through the power to regulate commerce under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi issued a press release in September of 2009 that read, in part: "[T]he Constitution gives Congress broad power to regulate activities that have an effect on interstate commerce. Congress has used this authority to regulate many aspects of American life, from labor relations to education to health care to agricultural production. Since virtually every aspect of the heath care system has an effect on interstate commerce, the power of Congress to regulate health care is essentially unlimited."

Such an assertion ignores, as the evidence below will show, that the regulation of commerce by design deals solely with duties and imposts on the intercourse of trade between Nations or States, which in return had absolutely nothing to do with regulating internal industries, labor or transactions. As Thomas Jefferson put it: "To make a thing which may be bought and sold is not to prescribe regulations for buying and selling. Besides, if this were an exercise of the power of regulating commerce, it would be void, as extending as much to the internal commerce of every state, as to its external."

(Full article)

Monday, January 3, 2011

DEA, an unelected, non-legislative agency, bans 'fake pot' products

WASHINGTON (USA Today) - The DEA used its emergency powers Wednesday to ban K2 and other "fake pot" products that mimic the effects of marijuana.

The action by the Drug Enforcement Administration makes it illegal to possess or sell the five chemicals used to make the products for at least one year. The agency and the Department of Health and Human Services will determine whether the chemicals should be permanently added to the federal list of controlled substances considered unsafe, highly abused and without medical use.

(Full story)