BREAKING NEWS: Obama, EPA Lose MAJOR Property Rights Case At Supreme Court

Obama, EPA Lose Major Property Rights Case At Supreme Court

Homeowners and landowners won a major victory over the EPA and the Obama administration Tuesday when the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that property owners have the right to challenge, in federal court, efforts to use the Clean Water Act to restrict land use.

The court ruled that property owners can go directly to court if the US Army Corps of Engineers says the land falls under Clean Water Act restrictions.

The Obama administration had argued that property owners must wait to sue until they are denied a permit – a lengthy bureaucratic process which could take years.

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“If that were correct, the Act’s ominous reach would again be unchecked by the limited relief the Court allows today,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote of the federal government’s argument.

The justices, in an 8-0 decision, ruled that Hawkes Company, which mines peat in Minnesota, has the right to file a suit challenging a Corps of Engineers decision not to grant a permit to dig peat on the property. The Corp ruled that the area was part of the “water of the US.”

“They may proceed without a permit and argue in a Government enforcement action that a permit was not required, or they may complete the permit process and then seek judicial review, which, the Corps suggests, is what Congress envisioned,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote of Hawkes.

The Corps argued that it had the right to stop Hawkes from digging peat because it was mining in wetlands on a tributary of a river.

If Hawkes Company proceeds without a permit or court ruling on its side, it would be subject to fines as high as $37,500 a day.

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The Senate’s New ‘Give the NSA All Your Private Info’ Bill Would Make George Orwell Blush

The government needs—nay, it deserves—completely unfettered access to your personal information, because cybersecurity
The Senate's New 'Give the NSA All Your Private Info' Bill Would Make George Orwell Blush

by Charles P. Pierce | Esquire.com | October 30, 2015


​While nobody was watching, the Senate a couple of days ago passed something called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which passed at least partly because if you say “Cyber warfare, boogedy-boogedy!” around nervous legislators these days, they’ll pass a bill agreeing to have the NSA plant microchips in their spleens. The bill passed by one of those bipartisan majorities so beloved by Beltway pundits, 74-21. Now it goes to conference, and its final passage may be stalled because of the currently fluid state of the House Republican leadership.

In the Senate, Ron Wyden of Oregon really went to the mattresses over this bill, proposing a slew of privacy-related amendments that barely failed, but that failed nonetheless. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Dianne Feinstein was the principal Democratic senator whipping support for the bill and, make no mistake, this is a truly awful law. In brief, it not only opens the door to increased trawling through the lives of American citizens by the intelligence community, in many cases, it mandates it.

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Petition: Stop the ‘DARK Act’ that Would Make GMO Labeling Illegal!

Don’t let GMO labeling be illegalized
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Anthony Gucciardi
by Anthony Gucciardi
Posted on July 24, 2015

Statewide GMO labeling may soon become illegal in the United States if the Senate passes the ‘DARK Act,’ which is formally known as the ‘Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.’ We need your help to make it so this bill doesn’t become law.

The House of Representatives has already voted to pass the DARK Act, and there is little time left to sound the alarm before the Senate votes on the legislation.

We’re talking about a bill that was drafted up by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), and pushed on us by all the usual suspects. All the ones who are afraid of you actually knowing what’s in your food. Because even if you don’t care about the genetic alteration of your food, you most certainly should be concerned as to whether or not it has been doused in Monsanto’s cancer-linked herbicides.

As Reuters reports:

“The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a hotly debated measure that blocks any mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically engineered crops, including pre-empting a state law set to take effect next year in Vermont… Opponents countered that 64 other countries require labeling of GMO foods, the science on safety is mixed, and consumers have a right to know if their food is made with GMOs.”

We need your help in protecting our food rights. Please sign the petition below to let your voice be heard and share this with your friends and family. Obama promised in 2007 to label GMOs, and now GMO labeling may be buried deeper than ever.

We believe that we DO have a right to know what’s in our food. Let’s stop the DARK Act now before it becomes a law, and tell the Senate ‘NO’ on the DARK Act!

Stop The ‘DARK Act’ That Would Make GMO Labeling Illegal

CLICK HERE TO SIGN PETITION

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Facebook Censors Post Revealing Secret Bill to Ban GMO Labeling

Social media giant suppresses spread of information on damning legislation
Facebook Censors Post Revealing Secret Bill to Ban GMO Labeling

by Adan Salazar & Anthony Gucciardi | Infowars.com | July 17, 2015


Facebook is actively censoring shares of an article regarding a federal bill aiming to ban GMO food labeling.

Multiple users of the social media platform are finding themselves unable to share an article entitled, “This New Bill Could Ban GMO Labeling For Good,” which discusses H.R. 1599 – a bill known as the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.”

Instead of allowing immediate shares, Facebook prompts users with an error that reads, “This message contains content that has been blocked by our security systems,” according to a screen capture provided by author Anthony Gucciardi.

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Other users are required to answer “security check” questions in order to share the article after a message prompt reads, “It looks like a link that you’re sharing might be unsafe.”

sec-check1

The official March Against Monsanto Facebook page is also filled with comments from people who say they were initially prevented from sharing the story.

Infowars.com mirrored the article, and was also prevented from sharing it on their Facebook page.

aj-share

The apparently-controversial report, posted yesterday to NaturalSociety.com and published on Infowars.com as a featured story, breaks down how the bill, sponsored by Monsanto supporter Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), could soon ban all mandatory GMO labeling in the US.

“More precisely, it has been dubbed to be the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ on steroids,Gucciardi states in the article, describing how the bill “was drafted up by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), and pushed on us by all the usual suspects. All the ones who are afraid of you actually knowing what’s in your food.”According to Gucciardi, Facebook’s efforts to prevent the spread of information represents a sinister suppression of ideas, and only serves to magnify the importance of the article.

“We’ve seen thousands of reports regarding the censorship of content by Facebook and others regarding the TPP, Monsanto, and similar topics,” says Gucciardi.

“The bottom line here is that this article is being blocked across numerous platforms under the guise of a ‘security’ threat, when we know full well that these sites are perfectly safe.

“This content blocking only further acts to highlight the powerful message behind the secretive bill being put forth by congress to ban GMO labeling and dismantle the opposition against Monsanto.”

BREAKING: Police Seize 6 Children Simply Because Family Was Camping

Stock photo

A Michigan family which had dreams of camping during the summer in the great outdoors was horrified when state officials seized their six children simply because they were temporarily living in tents, Off The Grid News has learned.

The nightmare experience for Christopher and Antonia Hernandez began May 19 when Otsego County sheriff deputies and a CPS official took their children, and ended June 10 when their children were returned after the parents won a court ruling based on the fact the mother and children are eligible for enrollment in the Tlingit Native American tribe. The federal Indian Child Welfare Act makes it more difficult for state officials to separate Native American families. Michigan has a similar state law.

If the family had not had the Tlingit link, the case still would be ongoing, with the children still in foster care.

But the removal never should have taken place, Christopher and Antonia told Off The Grid News, which has read the court documents – one of which criticizes the family for not having electricity or a water source. The family was near a state park and had purchased a pass to shower and bathe there. The parents also had a generator.

They had been living in the tents for nine days when police arrived.

“The government has tried to standardize what a home is and what a home must have, without consideration for if the children’s needs are being met or not,” Christopher and Antonia said in a joint statement. “This was not a case of neglect, but a case of the government telling us how we have to raise our children — that we must have running water, we must have electricity and we can’t stay in a tent for the summer. To the government it makes no difference if the children are happy and healthy. We need to conform to their idea of normal or they can take your children away.

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They added, “Taking children from families needs to be limited to clear cases of neglect and abuse. It should be every parent’s right to raise their children as they see fit, unless the government can prove that what the parent is doing is actually harming the child.”

The children, ages seven months, 2, 4, 6, 15 and 17, had been living in the three tents – two of which were large nine-person tents – when the controversy began.

“Our family decided to go camping for the summer to a 10-acre property we are buying,” Antonia said, noting they do own a house. “We had intended to stay the summer while we finalized plans on what we were going to do with our lives. We cannot say we would have stayed the whole summer due to the fact Christopher is donating a kidney to his mother and we may have been called home to do the surgery at any point. If this were to happen we planned to return home for the duration of the surgery and the recovery period however long that was.”

The parents simply “wanted our children to experience the outdoors” – and perhaps see if they wanted to live off-grid permanently.

The Hernandez family

“We purchased several chickens, a couple of turkey and a couple of ducks so we could try and provide a portion of our food needs,” Antonia said. “… We set up one tent as storage for our tools, as I do a lot of woodworking. Another tent was set up as a closet to house our clothes and diapers, etc. As you can imagine, with six children we have a lot of clothes and other miscellaneous items. Our third tent was set up as a kitchen.”

The family also had:

  • A natural gas stove the parents converted to propane for cooking food and heating water.
  • Six five-gallon containers of water they refilled at the local Walmart. They also were collecting rainwater.
  • Several solar lights.
  • A generator.

On May 19, the parents left the property to do laundry at a laundromat, as well as to buy food and some fencing for the animals. The younger children were left in the care of their 15-year-old son, who is nearly 16.

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“When we arrived back, the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department was at the property claiming to have received a report of squatters on the land,” Antonia said. “We provided documentation of our right to be on the land, which was verified the next day by the land owner.”

A CPS representative also was on the property, and had concerns about the living conditions. CPS made four allegations, according to the official court document:

  • The family was not in a “stable living environment.”
  • The family had no electricity or water source, and was using kerosene as a means of heat.
  • The children were playing in the woods, cared for by a 15 year old.
  • The youngest child had a diaper rash.
  • The 17-year-old girl, who has Cerebral Palsy, was cold.

Antonia told Off The Grid News she knew of the diaper rash and it had been healing. The 17-year-old girl had a temperature of 96, but Antonia said this was after sheriff deputies and CPS “had the tent flap completely open for at least an hour and a half.” When she was admitted to the hospital it was 97.7.

“I witnessed her without covers for at least part of that time,” Antonia said. “I was told by her case worker that the doctor who examined her said she was very well taken care of.”

As for the children playing outside in the cold, “none of the children were displaying any signs of being cold — shivering or teeth chattering. As a matter of fact, they kept taking off their coats, which to me indicates that they were not cold.”

None of the allegations, he said, warranted removal of the children.

“We were given no other option to either return to the house we own or to obtain a hotel room until we could go to court,” she said. “By law, they are required to a reasonable effort to prevent or eliminate the need for removal as required by law.”

The case is now closed, and with their children back in their care, the parents have decided not to return to the property.

“It is a sad that they were out of our care for 21 days because we were camping,” she said.

Video: Rand Paul Declares “Big Victory” For Privacy

Obama ‘will be rebuked’

by Steve Watson | InfoWars | June 1, 2015


Fresh from his Senate floor battle to let the Patriot Act expire, Rand Paul has declared a major victory for privacy and said that although the government’s spying powers may only be delayed for a few days, it is the start of a huge rebuke of the president’s illegal actions.

I think we’re winning,” Paul noted in a Fox News appearance Monday. “The president will be rebuked and the president will no longer be able to illegally collect our records all the time, so I think it’s a big victory for privacy.” he added.

The Senator will now turn his attentions to campaigning for real reform, rather than allowing the so called USA Freedom Act to pass without alteration. The legislation as it stands would extend powers for the U.S. government to use snooping tactics such as wiretaps.

Paul stood firm, despite being under attack from those within his own party, with some even calling him “the worst” of the GOP.

“Nobody really questions my sincerity with my support and defense of the Fourth Amendment and the Bill of Rights.” Paul stated

“And those who do are just simply, you know, trying to make the debate into a tawdry debate and trying to use personal innuendo, which I think is really beneath all of us and we ought to have a better debate on the facts,” he said.

Paul was lambasted by critics for suggesting on the Senate floor that some of his colleagues secretly wanted a terror attack to occur so they could blame him for standing up against The Patriot Act.

“People here in town think I’m making a huge mistake. Some of them, I think, secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me.” Paul said on the floor.

“One of the people in the media the other day came up to me and said, ‘Oh, when there’s a great attack, aren’t you going to feel guilty that you caused this great attack?’ ” Paul also stated.

When asked about those remarks, the Senator took a measured stance, suggesting that there is an abundance of fear and propaganda being used to sway the American public on the matter.

“I think sometimes going after people’s motives and impugning people’s motives is a mistake and in the heat of battle I think sometimes hyperbole can get the better of all of us,” he said.

“I think the general idea that people use fear, and I think they do use fear — they act as if we can’t collect any records. … I think we need to have an intelligent debate, and sometimes hyperbole gets the better of us, I think’s the best way to put it.”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke many of the Edward Snowden leaks, reiterated Paul’s sentiments, noting that the mainstream media is as much to blame for spreading fear.

“American media outlets should really be ashamed of themselves the way they do that. I mean, supposedly the lesson that large American media outlets learned from their role in selling the Iraq war to the public was, ‘Oh, we’re not going to allow government officials to prop propagandize the public anymore. we’re going to put their names on things and have them be held accountable.’ Yet this all turned out to be a complete scam.” Greenwald noted in an interview.

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“If you turn on any major cable network, including the one we’re on unfortunately, or read any large American newspaper you constantly see reporters giving anonymity to the people they’re supposedly serving as watchdogs over in order to scare the public.” Greenwald added.

Meanwhile, CIA Director John Brennan ramped up the fear factor by telling CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that “terrorist elements” are watching what the U.S. does regarding the Patriot Act. Brennan added the claim that most Americans expect protection from the government.

http://www.mrctv.org/embed/136149

“I think terrorist elements have watched very carefully what has happened here in the United States. Whether or not it’s disclosures of classified information, or whether it’s changes in the law and policies, they’re looking for the seams to operate within,” Brennan warned.

—————————————————————-

Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

Video: Rand Paul Speaks Out Against the PATRIOT Act

“I don’t think the American people are going to take it anymore”
Video: Rand Paul Speaks Out Against the PATRIOT Act

by Infowars.com | May 31, 2015


“Are we going to so blithely give up our freedom?” Rand Paul asked on the Senate floor Sunday.

“Are we going to so blindly go along and take it?”

“I’m not going to take it anymore,” he added. “I don’t think the American people are going to take it anymore.”

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FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act
FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

Image Credits: Dave Newman / Flickr.

by Washington Times | Maggie Ybarra | May 22, 2015


FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.

Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations.

The FBI did finally come up with procedures to try to minimize the information it was gathering on nontargets, but it took far too long, Mr. Horowitz said in the 77-page report, which comes just as Congress is trying to decide whether to extend, rewrite or entirely nix Section 215.

Backers say the Patriot Act powers are critical and must be kept intact, particularly with the spread of the threat from terrorists. But opponents have doubted the efficacy of Section 215, particularly when it’s used to justify bulk data collection such as in the case of the National Security Agency’s phone metadata program, revealed in leaks from former government contractor Edward Snowden.

Full article here

Why are People Celebrating? USA FREEDOM Act is a Big Win for the NSA- Not Civil Liberties

The real winners were actually the NSA
Why are People Celebrating? USA FREEDOM Act is a Big Win for the NSA- Not Civil Liberties

by Free Thought Project | Jay Syrmopoulos | May 16, 2015


Washington, D.C. – The passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, by the U.S. House, has been touted by some as a huge win for civil liberties. Surprisingly, the real winners were actually the NSA.

“What no one wants to say out loud is that this is a big win for the NSA, and a huge nothing burger for the privacy community,” said a former senior intelligence office, while speaking to The Daily Beast.

The bill doesn’t actually end or suspend the phone records program, but simply requires phone companies to hold onto these records rather than the NSA.

Additionally, under this bill the NSA will now get cell phone records in addition to the landline call records. Under the current collection regime, only landline call records are kept.

“The NSA is coming out of this unscathed,” Joel Brenner, the NSA’s former inspector general, told The Daily Beast. “I think no one thought it was in the realm of the possible before this bill.”

The irony is that this is exactly what former NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander had wanted to implement previously, but the idea was shelved due to the extreme unlikeliness of Congress being willing to pass such legislation.

“The USA Freedom Act”—the supposed reining in of the NSA—“was literally born from Alexander,” the former official said.

In essence the NSA got exactly what it wanted.

So keep in mind that you will read all sorts of stories and headlines about how the latest USA FREEDOM Act ends “bulk” collection.

It doesn’t!

In fact, the bill expressly authorizes, for the first time, the NSA, FBI, and other government agencies to unconstitutionally collect data in bulk on potentially millions of law-abiding Americans.

Keep in mind that just last week the U.S. Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit ruled that citizens have no expectation of privacy when it comes to records held by a third party, such as a cellphone company.

Because the private data was in the possession of the carrier, the court ruled that it does not belong to individual customer, but instead the carrier.

By this logic, the state claims the right to be able to sift through your medical records, personal financial data, Dropbox files and anything else that is not stored directly on your private property.

Here’s a full statement from Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich), the sponsor of the original USA FREEDOM Act from the 113th Congress in 2013, on why he voted no on this current manifestation/retardation of the USA FREEDOM Act:

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the bulk telephone metadata program run by the National Security Agency (NSA) is not authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act and is thus unlawful. The ruling is a big win for privacy and civil liberties advocates who have long argued that Section 215 clearly does not contemplate the type of mass collection we now know is occurring. But the win will be short-lived if H.R. 2048, the latest version of the USA FREEDOM Act that’s scheduled to be considered by the House of Representatives this afternoon, becomes law.

Section 215 authorizes the government to collect records and other “tangible things” that are “relevant” to a terrorism or foreign intelligence investigation. To support the bulk collection of data pertaining to millions of law-abiding Americans, the government has effectively claimed that all records everywhere are potentially relevant to a current or future investigation, and thus all records are fair game for collection. In its ruling, the Second Circuit had little choice but to reject the government’s broad interpretation of “relevant,” given that the rest of the statute gives no indication Congress ever contemplated collection on such a mass scale.

So far, so good.

But H.R. 2048 threatens to undo much of the progress resulting from the Second Circuit’s opinion. The bill’s sponsors, and unfortunately some outside advocacy groups, wrongly claim that H.R. 2048 ends “bulk” collection. It’s true that the bill ends the phone dragnet as we currently know it—by having the phone companies themselves hold, search, and analyze certain data at the request of the government, which is worse in many ways given the broader set of data the companies hold—but H.R. 2048 actually expands the statutory basis for the large-scale collection of most data.

H.R. 2048 does this by authorizing the government to order the production of records based upon a “specific selection term” (i.e., like a search term used in a search engine). The records sought still must be relevant to an investigation, so it’s possible the court’s ruling will continue to restrain the government in some fashion. But it’s more likely a court looking at H.R. 2048’s language will see the “specific selection term” as defining the outer limits of what Congress considers acceptably “relevant” under Section 215.

Indeed, the Second Circuit encouraged Congress in reforming Section 215 to make a “congressional judgment as to what is ‘reasonable’ under current circumstances.” Unfortunately, “specific selection term” is defined so broadly under the bill as to have little effect on narrowing the scope of items the government may obtain through a 215 order.

A “specific selection term” may be a specific person (including a corporation, such as Western Union), account, address, or personal device, but it also may be “any other specific identifier,” and the bill expressly contemplates using geographic regions or communication service providers (such as Verizon) to define the records sought, so long as it’s not the only identifier used as part of the specific selection term. In other words, the bill doesn’t let the government require Verizon to turn over all its records without limitation, but nothing appears to prevent the government from requiring Verizon to turn over all its records for all its customers in the state of New York. Only a politician or bureaucrat wouldn’t call that “bulk.”

H.R. 2048 gives our intelligence agencies, for the first time, statutory authority to collect Americans’ data in bulk. In light of the Second Circuit’s opinion that the NSA has been collecting our information in bulk without statutory authority for all this time, it would be a devastating misstep for Congress to pass a bill that codifies that bulk collection and likely ensures no future court will ever again be positioned to rule against the government for over-collecting on statutory grounds.

H.R. 2048 falls woefully short of reining in the mass collection of Americans’ data, and it takes us a step in the wrong direction by specifically authorizing such collection in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Americans, and members of Congress, should demand that Congress instead pass the original, bipartisan version of the USA FREEDOM Act from 2013, which strengthened—not weakened—Section 215’s relevance standard to end bulk collection, while still allowing the government the flexibility it needs to pursue genuine threats against the United States.

This bait and switch of the American people is a farce and shows the weakness of our system. The original USA FREEDOM Act was introduced as means of reigning in the domestic spying apparatus, by Rep. Amash in 2013. In 2015, that name has been co-opted with a piece of legislation that codifies the legal reasoning for domestic spying by the NSA and their cronies in Congress.

The bill now moves on to the U.S. Senate.

If you think domestic spying is bad for America call your Senator and tell them to vote NO on the USA FREEDOM Act! Please share this crucial information with your friends, as the propaganda surrounding this legislation is strong and we need the truth to be revealed!!

Rand Paul Plans To Filibuster Patriot Act

“I’m going to lead the charge in the next couple of weeks as the Patriot Act comes forward”
Rand Paul Plans To Filibuster Patriot Act

by Igor Bobic | Huffington Post | May 12, 2015


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said this week that he intends to mount a fight against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, the post-Sept. 11 law that gives the National Security Agency much of its authority to conduct surveillance programs.

“I’m going to lead the charge in the next couple of weeks as the Patriot Act comes forward. We will be filibustering. We will be trying to stop it. We are not going to let them run over us,” Paul told the New Hampshire Union Leader on Monday.

The Patriot Act expires June 1, but Congress must effectively renew the law by May 22nd because of a scheduled weeklong break. Paul, a civil libertarian who hopes to capture the 2016 Republican nomination for president, has consistently spoken against reauthorizing the law, going so far as to oppose a 2014 bill that would have ended controversial NSA phone record collection because it left the government’s broad authority to conduct surveillance intact.

It’s unclear whether Paul plans to vote to block reauthorizing the surveillance law, or whether he intends to mount a traditional “talking” filibuster that would eat up valuable time on the Senate floor. A request with the senator’s spokesperson for more details was not immediately returned.

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