Any idea what may come next?
Anyone think they may want to use this in order to place restraints on all of us regarding the internet? I would not put it past our government.
Archive for January, 2013
Tags: America, Cops on Patrol, criminals, Fourth Amendment Rights, Protect and Serve, USA
Today, I received an email from the Rutherford Institute, specifically John Whitehead. In it was a great, yet scary, post about what OUR police officers are up to as they protect and serve. It contains graphic descriptions of what is done to American citizens, and in absolute violation of our Fourth Ammendment rights against unlawful search and seizure. If you’ve got the stomach for it, please read. If not, buck up and read, as this stuff IS important!
Special thanks to John Whitehead for granting his permission for me to repost:
Invasion of the Body Searchers: The Loss of Bodily Integrity in an Emerging Police State
January 14, 2013 By John W. Whitehead
“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official. The framers would be appalled.”—Herman Schwartz, The Nation
If you want a recipe for disaster, take police officers hyped up on their own authority and the power of the badge, throw in a few court rulings suggesting that security takes precedence over individual rights, set it against a backdrop of endless wars and militarized law enforcement, and then add to the mix a populace distracted by entertainment, out of touch with the workings of their government, and more inclined to let a few sorry souls suffer injustice than to challenge the status quo.
The resulting concoction, I can promise you, will be a messy, noxious stew unfit for consumption, miserable to digest and with after-effects that will leave you reeling and clutching your stomach in dismay. Such is the nature of life in the emerging police state that is America today, where roadside police stops have devolved into government-sanctioned exercises in humiliation and degradation with a complete disregard for privacy and human dignity.
Consider, for example, what happened to 38-year-old Angel Dobbs and her 24-year-old niece, Ashley, who were pulled over by a Texas state trooper on July 13, 2012, allegedly for flicking cigarette butts out of the car window. First, the trooper berated the women for littering on the highway. Then, insisting that he smelled marijuana, he proceeded to interrogate them and search the car. Despite the fact that both women denied smoking or possessing any marijuana, the police officer then called in a female trooper, who carried out a roadside cavity search, sticking her fingers into the older woman’s anus and vagina, then performing the same procedure on the younger woman, wearing the same pair of gloves. No marijuana was found.
Leila Tarantino was allegedly subjected to two roadside strip searches in plain view of passing traffic during a routine traffic stop, while her two children—ages 1 and 4—waited inside her car. During the second strip search, presumably in an effort to ferret out drugs, a female officer “forcibly removed” a tampon from Tarantino’s body. No contraband or anything illegal was found.
Meanwhile, four Milwaukee police officers have been charged with carrying out rectal searches of suspects on the street and in police district stations over the course of several years. One of the officers is accused of conducting searches of men’s anal and scrotal areas, often inserting his fingers into their rectums and leaving some of his victims with bleeding rectums. Half-way across the country, the city of Oakland, California, has agreed to pay $4.6 million to 39 men who had their pants pulled down by police on city streets between 2002 and 2009.
And then there’s the increasingly popular practice of doing blood draws at DUI checkpoints, where drivers who refuse a breathalyzer test find themselves subjected to forcible blood extractions to test for alcohol levels. Police in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, actually had a registered nurse and an assistant district attorney on hand “to help streamline the ‘blood draw’ warrants and collect blood samples from suspected impaired drivers” at one exercise in holiday drunk driving enforcement. A similar case, Missouri v. McNeely, which deals with a driver who failed a sobriety test, then refused a breathalyzer test and was subjected to a warrantless blood draw, is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Of course, the issue being debated in McNeely is not so much whether the government can forcibly take your blood but whether it can do so without a warrant. As important as the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement may be, it’s scant comfort in the face of a societal acceptance of roadside stops where blood is being drawn and cavity searches are being carried out.
No matter which way the Supreme Court rules in Missouri v. McNeely, it will do little to rein in this runaway police state of ours. Indeed, as we have seen repeatedly, by the time a case arrives before the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s almost too late for any real change to take place, especially when it’s a matter of government abuse. More often than not, during the course of however many years it takes for a case to make its way through the courts, the particular violations being challenged have already been accepted by the citizenry as part of the government’s modus operandi.
Such was the case with Florence v. Bd. of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, which attempted to challenge the practice of forcible strip searches by government officials, namely jail wardens. Albert Florence, an African-American man in his mid-thirties, was on his way to Sunday dinner in 2005 when his then-pregnant wife, who was driving, was pulled over by a New Jersey State Police trooper. Asked to show his ID, Florence soon found himself handcuffed, erroneously arrested for failing to pay a traffic fine, and forced to submit to two egregious strip and visual body-cavity searches at two different county jails. After spending six days in jail, Florence was finally able to prove his innocence. Outraged, Florence sued the jail officials who had needlessly degraded his bodily integrity.
It took seven years for Florence’s case to make it to the Supreme Court, and a year later, in April 2012, the Court handed down a 5-4 ruling which struck a blow to any long-standing protections against blanket strip searches, declaring that any person who is arrested and processed at a jail house, regardless of the severity of his or her offense (i.e., they can be guilty of nothing more than a minor traffic offense), can be subjected to a strip search by police or jail officials without reasonable suspicion that the arrestee is carrying a weapon or contraband.
However, all the while Florence was making its way through the courts, law enforcement officials were playing fast and loose with the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on searches and seizures, especially as it relates to violations of bodily integrity and roadside strip searches. Examples of minor infractions which have resulted in strip searches include: individuals arrested for driving with a noisy muffler, driving with an inoperable headlight, failing to use a turn signal, riding a bicycle without an audible bell, making an improper left turn, engaging in an antiwar demonstration (the individual searched was a nun, a Sister of Divine Providence for 50 years). Police have also carried out strip searches for passing a bad check, dog leash violations, filing a false police report, failing to produce a driver’s license after making an illegal left turn, having outstanding parking tickets, and public intoxication. A failure to pay child support could also result in a strip search.
This brings us to the present moment where we find ourselves hapless, helpless passengers in a runaway car hurtling down the road toward a police state, and the only hope of salvation rests with the Supreme Court, which is little hope at all when you consider that the Court has, in recent years alone, given a green light to all manner of police abuses, including the tasering of a pregnant woman for failing to sign a speeding ticket.
It must be remembered that the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was intended to protect the citizenry from being subjected to “unreasonable searches and seizures” by government agents. While the literal purpose of the amendment is to protect our property and our bodies from unwarranted government intrusion, the moral intention behind it is to protect our human dignity. Unfortunately, the rights supposedly guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment have been steadily eroded over the past few decades. Court rulings justifying invasive strip searches as well as Americans’ continued deference to the dictates of achieving total security have left us literally stranded on the side of the road, grasping for dignity.
And, if all of that doesn’t make you sick, I really don’t know what would.
Tags: Israel, Israhell, murders, Op Pillar of Cloud, Zionism
The hardest thing: Palestinian parents speak of their children killed by Israeli bombings
*** Note: Cross-posted via The Ugly Truth, Crescent and Cross
It’s time we created a full LIST of the dead, since the day the USA decided it’s okay for these murders to be done and ignored. The HOLOCAUST of Arab and Muslim people, including children, all over the Middle-East, is not okay with me. It should not be okay with YOU. Please check out, The Ugly Truth, to read more. Thank you. ***
During the Nov 2012 Israeli attacks on Gaza, 182 Palestinians were killed, according to the World Health Organization’s Dec 2012 report, among whom 47 were children, including 16 under 5 years old. Another 1399 Palestinians were injured, most of them with multiple injuries.It is only four years after Israel’s last major assault on Gaza, which killed over 1450 including those who died of their injuries, and injured over 5000. Then there are the random Israeli attacks throughout the years, leaving injured suffering even years later.And there were the under-reported attacks in the week preceding the Nov 14 attacks: the Nov 8 killing of 13 year old Ahmed Abu Daqqa as he played football, the Nov 10 killing of Mohammed Harara (16) and Ahmed Harara (17) as they played football, the subsequent killings of Ahmed Al- Dirdissawi (18) and Matar Abu al-‘Ata (19) when they rushed to the scene of the Harara killings (source: PCHR).Every December and January, I remember the victims of the 2008-2009 massacre, particularly some of the harder incidents ofburning to death from white phosphorous bombing, or point blank shootings of loved ones. All ages suffered, although we tend to pick up on the children. Somehow their murders, their maimings, their imprisonme
Tags: America, American Jews, Israel, Jews, USA
Pressed from The Ugly Truth
Will 2013 be the Year American Jews Secede from Israel?
If American Jews think that what is being done in their name is self-destructive, oppressive, blockheaded and wrong, it stands to reason they would want it to stop.
ed note–generally I find Burston’s ideas tolerable, as he does not have that mad dog disposition that seems to go hand in hand with organized Jewish interests.
HOWEVER, the real question that Burston & co need to be asking here is not whether there is going to be a mass secession from Israel on the part of American (and worldwide, for that matter) Jews, but rather there is going to be a secession from JUDAISM.
Israel, Zionism and all their siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc, all spring forth from one common well, and it is JUDAISM. It has been the source of conflict the VERY MOMENT it was put into practice thousands of years ago and remains so today.
Until there are more Gilad Atzmons out there willing to have this discussion, the Jewish problem–affecting both Jew and Gentile alike–will continue on until the consummation of the world takes place.
By Bradley Burston
One day in the future, when it all comes horribly down, will Israelis finally realize that there were warning signs all along?
More to the point of the ultimate survival of Israel, could it be that when the real alarm sounds, when the genuine danger impends, Israelis won’t hear a thing?
The answers may lie in how Israelis react to the canary in the coal mine, their forward recon unit in the world, the American Jewish community.
In fact, as the new year dawns, there are mounting signs that 2013 may be the year in which U.S. Jews – in the main, liberal in outlook, committed to tolerance, pluralism, and a vigorous, sincere pursuit of peace – effectively secede from this state of Israel.
They remain committed to supporting the existence of an Israel which balances Israeli and Jewish culture with respect for minority rights, democratic values. They will stay active in promoting the welfare of Israel’s disadvantaged.
But many American Jews are already distancing themselves in word and deed from a government it sees as arrogant and short-sighted, enslaved to a runaway train of settlement, dismissive of the rights of Palestinians and other non-Jews, cold to the concerns of a sinking middle class and the drowning disadvantaged, contemptuous of the concerns of the larger Jewish world.
The catalysts: settlement expansion – especially as it strikes at Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects and mocks Washington – and backhanded insensitivity to the rights and ritual of non-Orthodox Jews.
In recent weeks, some of Israel’s most influential defenders in the States have warned of hardline Israeli policies and parties which could lead “to the destruction (the self-destruction) of Israel” (Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic), and “national suicide” (Thomas Friedman).
Israeli leaders lent them not so much as a deaf ear. Nothing.
Even when the issue touches directly on the religious concerns of American Jewry, the government’s response is as dismissive and condescending as it is dishonest.
Last week, waking, years in arrears, to discover that U.S. Jews are appalled by continuing arrests for violating Orthodox-ordered prohibitions on women praying aloud and wearing prayer shawls by the Western Wall, the prime minister appointed Natan Sharansky to look into the matter.
Within hours, however, the Prime Minister’s Office rushed out a message aimed at Israelis, indicating that the appointment was largely a charade.
“There are no changes in prayer arrangements at the Western Wall and no committee has been established,” Netanyahu’s office was quoted as saying.
There are Israelis who will do anything not to be reminded that American support, anchored by U.S. Jewry, is the strategic asset which makes all other strategic assets possible. The 2012 election, after all, saw prominent members of the ruling Likud-Beiteinu, notably Knesset Deputy Speaker Danny Danon, actively campaigning for the defeat of President Obama.
But that was then.
Now, as Israel’s election campaign nears its home stretch, the heavily favored Likud-Beiteinu party, which encompasses the principal authors of nearly all of the anti-democratic legislation of the last four years, offers fresh voices and perilous new avenues for alienating American Jews from Israel.
There is, for example, Moshe Feiglin, who will enter the Knesset following the January 22 election. Something of his political philosophy can be gleaned from a 2004 article on radical settlers, in which Feiglin spoke to Goldberg, then writing in the New Yorker:
“Why should non-Jews have a say in the policy of a Jewish state?” Feiglin said to me. “For two thousand years, Jews dreamed of a Jewish state, not a democratic state. Democracy should serve the values of the state, not destroy them.” In any case, Feiglin said, “You can’t teach a monkey to speak and you can’t teach an Arab to be democratic. You’re dealing with a culture of thieves and robbers. Muhammad, their prophet, was a robber and a killer and a liar. The Arab destroys everything he touches.”
Then there is political novice Yair Shamir, catapulted from nowhere to the very upper level of Likud-Beiteinu, thanks in part to his late father’s prime ministerial heritage of having warred with then-president George H.W. Bush over the issue of settlement construction.
Last week, an opinion piece by Yair Shamir was headlined, “In Israel-US relations, settlements are entirely beside the point.”
Wrong. As his father once inadvertently proved.
But candidate Shamir went further. Taking up where Danon left off, Shamir attacked Obama’s nomination of John Kerry as secretary of state – over settlements. In essence, Shamir made acquiescence to settlement construction a condition of Israel-U.S. ties: “Many are liable to feel that his nomination will deter Israel from implementing its decision to build thousands of apartments in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and will be viewed as an obstacle to Israel-U.S. relations.”
American Jews want to know what is being done in their name. In the name of Judaism. And if they think that it is self-destructive, oppressive, blockheaded and wrong, it stands to reason they would want it to stop.
American Jews are tiring of being told that opposing Israel’s policies puts Israelis in danger. Blackmail is not persuasion. If the hard right is so certain that it can get along without American Jewish support, it may all too soon get the chance to find out.