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Second Amendment – lawbrain.com

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on Second Amendment – lawbrain.com
May 192016
 

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment, a provision of the U.S. Constitution, was ratified on December 15, 1791, forming what is known as the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution[1] reads:

The subject matter and unusual phrasing of this amendment led to much controversy and analysis, especially in the last half of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, the meaning and scope of the amendment have long been decided by the Supreme Court.

Firearms played an important part in the colonization of America. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, European colonists relied heavily on firearms to take land away from Native Americans and repel attacks by Native Americans and Europeans. Around the time of the Revolutionary War, male citizens were required to own firearms for fighting against the British forces. Firearms were also used in hunting.

In June 1776, one month before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Virginia became the first colony to adopt a state constitution. In this document, the state of Virginia pronounced that “a well regulated Militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State.” After the colonies declared their independence from England, other states began to include the right to bear arms in their constitution. Pennsylvania, for example, declared that

The wording of clauses about bearing arms in late-eighteenth-century state constitutions varied. Some states asserted that bearing arms was a “right” of the people, whereas others called it a “duty” of every able-bodied man in the defense of society.

Pennsylvania was not alone in its express discouragement of a standing (professional) army. Many of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution rejected standing armies, preferring instead the model of a citizen army, equipped with weapons and prepared for defense. According to Framers such as Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts and George Mason of Virginia a standing army was susceptible to tyrannical use by a power-hungry government.

At the first session of Congress in March 1789, the Second Amendment was submitted as a counterweight to the federal powers of Congress and the president. According to constitutional theorists, the Framers who feared a central government extracted the amendment as a compromise from those in favor of centralized authority over the states. The Revolutionary War had, after all, been fought in large part by a citizen army against the standing armies of England.

The precise wording of the amendment was changed two times before the U.S. Senate finally cast it in its present form. As with many of the amendments, the exact wording proved critical to its interpretation.

In 1791 a majority of states ratified the Bill of Rights, which included the Second Amendment. In its final form, the amendment presented a challenge to interpreters. It was the only amendment with an opening clause that appeared to state its purpose. The amendment even had defective punctuation; the comma before shall seemed grammatically unnecessary.

Legal scholars do not agree about this comma. Some have argued that it was intentional and that it was intended to make militia the subject of the sentence. According to these theorists, the operative words of the amendment are “[a] well regulated Militia shall not be infringed.” Others have argued that the comma was a mistake, and that the operative words of the sentence are “the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.” Under this reading, the first part of the sentence is the rationale for the absolute, personal right of the people to own firearms. Indeed, the historical backdrophighlighted by a general disdain for professional armieswould seem to support this theory.

Some observers argue further that the Second Amendment grants the right of insurrection. According to these theorists, the Second Amendment was designed to allow citizens to rebel against the government. Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying that “a little rebellion every now and then is a good thing.”

Prior to the courts ruling in Heller v. District of Columbia[2], 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008)(see infra), the Supreme Court had made the ultimate determination of the Constitution’s meaning, and it defined the amendment as simply granting to the states the right to maintain a militia separate from federally controlled militias. This interpretation first came in United States v. Cruikshank,[3] 92 U.S. 542, 23 L. Ed. 588 (1875). In Cruikshank, approximately one hundred persons were tried jointly in a Louisiana federal court with felonies in connection with an April 13, 1873, assault on two AfricanAmerican men. One of the criminal counts charged that the mob intended to hinder the right of the two men to bear arms. The defendants were convicted by a jury, but the circuit court arrested the judgment, effectively overturning the verdict. In affirming that decision, the Supreme Court declared that “the second amendment means no more than that [the right to bear arms] shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government.”

In Presser v. Illinois,[4] 116 U.S. 252, 6 S. Ct. 580, 29 L. Ed. 615 (1886), Herman Presser was charged in Illinois state court with parading and drilling an unauthorized militia in the streets of Chicago in December 1879, in violation of certain sections of the Illinois Military Code. One of the sections in question prohibited the organization, drilling, operation, and parading of militias other than U.S. troops or the regular organized volunteer militia of the state. Presser was tried by the judge, convicted, and ordered to pay a fine of $10.

On appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Presser argued, in part, that the charges violated his Second Amendment right to bear arms. The Court disagreed and upheld Presser’s conviction. The Court cited Cruikshank for the proposition that the Second Amendment means only that the federal government may not infringe on the right of states to form their own militias. This meant that the Illinois state law forbidding citizen militias was not unconstitutional. However, in its opinion, the Court in Presser delivered a reading of the Second Amendment that seemed to suggest an absolute right of persons to bear arms: “It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States,” and “states cannot prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms.”

Despite this generous language, the Court refused to incorporate the Second Amendment into the Fourteenth Amendment. Under the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, passed in 1868, states may not abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States. The privileges and immunities of citizens are listed in the Bill of Rights, of which the Second Amendment is part. Presser had argued that states may not, by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment, abridge the right to bear arms. The Court refused to accept the argument that the right to bear arms is a personal right of the people. According to the Court, “The right to drill or parade with arms, without, and independent of, an act of congress or law of the state authorizing the same, is not an attribute of national citizenship.”

The Presser opinion is best understood in its historical context. The Northern states and the federal government had just fought the Civil War against Southern militias unauthorized by the federal government. After this ordeal, the Supreme Court was in no mood to accept an expansive right to bear arms. At the same time, the Court was sensitive to the subject of federal encroachment on states’ rights.

Several decades later, the Supreme Court ignored the contradictory language in Presser and cemented a limited reading of the Second Amendment. In United States v. Miller,[5] 307 U.S. 174, 59 S. Ct. 816, 83 L. Ed. 1206 (1939), defendants Jack Miller and Frank Layton were charged in federal court with unlawful transportation of firearms in violation of certain sections of the National Firearms Act of June 26, 1934 (ch. 757, 48 Stat. 12361240 [26 U.S.C.A. 1132 et seq.]). Specifically, Miller and Layton had transported shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches long, without the registration required under the act.

The district court dismissed the indictment, holding that the act violated the Second Amendment. The United States appealed. The Supreme Court reversed the decision and sent the case back to the trial court. The Supreme Court stated that the Second Amendment was fashioned “to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of militia forces.”

The Miller opinion confirmed the restrictive language of Presser and solidified a narrow reading of the Second Amendment. According to the Court in Miller, the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to own a firearm unless the possession or use of the firearm has “a reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.”

However, in Heller v. District of Columbia, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008), the Supreme Court reviewed a case where D.C. residents challenged an ordinace which banned the possession of handguns. The Supreme Court held that the constitution protects the right of individuals to possess a firearm.

The legislative measures that inspire most Second Amendment discussions are gun control laws. Since the mid-nineteenth century, state legislatures have been passing laws that infringe a perceived right to bear arms. Congress has also asserted the power to regulate firearms. No law regulating firearms has ever been struck down by the Supreme Court as a violation of the Second Amendment.

Historically, the academic community has largely ignored the Second Amendment. However, gun control laws have turned many laypersons into scholars of the Second Amendment’s history. The arguments for a broader interpretation are many and varied. Most center on the original intent of the Framers. Some emphasize that the Second Amendment should be interpreted as granting an unconditional personal right to bear arms for defensive and sporting purposes. Others adhere to an insurrection theory, under which the Second Amendment not only grants the personal right to bear arms, it gives citizens the right to rebel against a government perceived as tyrannical.

In response to these arguments, supporters of the prevailing Second Amendment interpretation maintain that any right to bear arms should be secondary to concerns for public safety. They also point out that other provisions in the Constitution grant power to Congress to quell insurrections, thus contradicting the insurrection theory. Lastly, they argue that the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with a changing society and that the destructive capability of semiautomatic and automatic firearms was not envisioned by the Framers.

In response to the last argument, critics maintain that because such firearms exist, it should be legal to use them against violent criminals who are themselves wielding such weapons.

In the 2000s, federal courts continue to revisit the scope and detail of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. In particular federal courts have recast much of the debate as one over whether the Second Amendment protects a “collective” right or an “individual” right to bear arms. If the Second Amendment protects only a collective right, then only states would have the power to bring a legal action to enforce it and only for the purpose of maintaining a “well-regulated militia.” If the Second Amendment protects only an individual right to bear arms, then only individuals could bring suit to challenge gun-control laws that curb their liberty to buy, sell, own, or possess firearms and other guns.

Not surprisingly, courts are conflicted over how to resolve this debate. In United States v. Emerson,[6][7] 270 F.3d 203 (5th Cir. 2001), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that the original intent of the Founding Fathers supported an individual-rights interpretation of the Second Amendment, while the Ninth Circuit came to the opposite conclusion in Nordyke v. King,[8] 319 F.3d 1185 (9th Cir. 2003). Although no court has concluded that the original intent underlying the Second Amendment supports a claim for both an individual- and a collective rights based interpretation of the right to bear arms, the compelling historical arguments marshaled on both sides of the debate would suggest that another court faced with the same debate may reach such a conclusion.

Becker, Edward R. 1997. “The Second Amendment and Other Federal Constitutional Rights of the Private Militia.” Montana Law Review 58 (winter).

Bogus, Carl T., ed. 2000. The Second Amendment in Law and History: Historians and Constitutional Scholars on the Right to Bear Arms. New York: New Press.

Dolan, Edward F., and Margaret M. Scariano. 1994. Guns in the United States. New York: Watts.

Dunlap, Charles J., Jr. 1995. “Revolt of the Masses: Armed Civilians and the Insurrectionary Theory of the Second Amendment.” Tennessee Law Review 62 (spring).

Hanson, Freya Ottem. 1998. The Second Amendment: The Right to Own Guns. Springfield, N.J.: Enslow.

Hook, Donald D. 1992. Gun Control: The Continuing Debate. Washington, D.C.: Second Amendment Foundation.

Hoppin, Jason. 2003. “Ninth Circuit Upholds Controversial Ruling on Second Amendment.” Legal Intelligencer (May 8).

. 2003. “Second Amendment Fight Steals Show in Gun Ban Case: Panel Enters Fray over Individual Rights.” San Francisco Recorder (February 19).

McAffee, Thomas B. 1997. “Constitutional Limits on Regulating Private Militia Groups.” Montana Law Review 58 (winter).

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Is Facebook protected under the First Amendment? – May. 12, 2016

 Misc  Comments Off on Is Facebook protected under the First Amendment? – May. 12, 2016
May 172016
 

“If Facebook ignores this request they could receive a subpoena, so I suspect they will cooperate,” said Stephen Strauss, a former journalist who is now an attorney at Bryan Cave specializing in First Amendment issues.

He was referring to a letter sent by Senator John Thune to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeking an explanation of how Trending stories are selected and whether any conservative stories were taken out of the list or liberal leaning stories were inserted.

Joe Larsen of Sedgwick Law agrees that it would be risky for Facebook to ignore the request.

“That’s just not a good idea, even where… I can see no clear legal basis for Senator Thune’s request,” Larsen said. “I expect Facebook will provide quite a bit of information.”

Related: Did Facebook suppress conservative news?

One piece of what Thune is seeking was revealed Thursday when The Guardian published Facebook’s manual for people who manage the Trending topics feature. Facebook confirmed the veracity of the 20 page document, which reveals that there is a lot of human decision making in choosing the stories on top of what the company’s algorithms suggest. The manual includes when stories can be “injected” into the Trending topics list.

The controversy began on Monday when Gizmodo published a report with anonymous allegations that former contractors had ignored Facebook’s algorithms for its Trending topics section and that links to conservative news stories were “routinely” suppressed.

Thune demanded to know exactly how Facebook decides what news stories to publish and to see a list of all the stories that were previously not distributed or manually inserted into Trending topics.

As a platform that’s used by over 222 million people in the United States, the company is able to influence the perceptions of a large chunk of the U.S. population, Thune said.

Facebook has denied that anyone improperly tinkered with the list or that they were instructed to do so. A company spokesman said, “We have received Sen. Thune’s request for more information about how Trending Topics works, and look forward to addressing his questions.”

Related: Facebook’s ‘trending topics’ spark debate

According to Strauss, Thune’s request was legitimate.

“I think that this situation is different than an inquiry into a news organization’s content,” he said. “In this case Facebook has a ‘trending’ feature, and Facebook affirmatively stated particular standards for this ‘trending’ feature, and now there is some question as to the veracity of those representations.”

Mark Bailen, a media attorney at BakerHostetler, disagrees. He argues that Facebook has the same right to distribute the news “without interference from the government” as any company or individual.

“It’s well established that the government has no role in dictating what is newsworthy,” said Bailen. “The idea that the government is going back and looking into and investigating [Facebook’s activities in distributing the news] conflicts with decades of jurisprudence under the First Amendment.”

Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment attorney, compares Thune’s request to one issued by Congress in the 1970s when politicians sought to require CBS to turn over outtakes of a controversial CBS documentary, “The Selling of the Pentagon.” The network refused and eventually the inquiry was dropped.

“It was an example of a news organization that was prepared to take great risks to defend its editorial independence,” said Abrams.

Related: Senate demands answers from Facebook

“I don’t mean to suggest that Facebook must remain silent when it is under attack. But it should take care not to cede its own hard won authority about what articles to cite or recommend to Congress.”

One issue about this controversy that troubles some is the way that Facebook depicts its role in selecting what news is shown.

“It has always represented itself as an unbiased aggregator of news on its trending site,” according to Larsen. “That is, Facebook says it doesn’t have an editorial position.”

After the Gizmodo report was published, Facebook Trending manager Tom Stocky wrote that the company has “rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality.”

Those guidelines don’t allow reviewers to suppress or prioritize political perspectives or media outlets, he says. And these are the guidelines that Thune and others want to know more about.

The company’s official description of the feature is simply: “a list of topics and hashtags that have recently spiked in popularity on Facebook. This list is personalized based on a number of factors, including Pages you’ve liked, your location and what’s trending across Facebook.”

Until the Gizmodo report, many people weren’t aware that Facebook had a team to oversee the Trending Topics feature.

Suzy Fulton, a technology lawyer said that it’s possible someone might sue Facebook based on fraud or deceptive practices — but it would be hard to see what the damages would be, “even assuming you have a valid claim to begin with.”

“We are certainly a litigious society,” she said. “[But] you can opt out, you can go to Fox or some other conservative news media for your news if you feel Facebook is not telling the right story on its Trending Topics.”

CNNMoney (New York) First published May 12, 2016: 1:58 PM ET

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Is Facebook protected under the First Amendment? – May. 12, 2016

Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution – Simple …

 Fifth Amendment  Comments Off on Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution – Simple …
May 072016
 

Created on December 15, 1791, the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights. This amendment establishes a number of legal rights that apply to both civil and criminal proceedings.[1] It contains several clauses: It guarantees the right to a grand jury. It forbids double jeopardy (being tried again for the same crime after an acquittal).[1] It protects a person against self-incrimination (being a witness against himself).[1] This is often called “Pleading the Fifth”. The Fifth Amendment requires due process in any case where a citizen may be deprived of “life, liberty, or property”.[1] Any time the government takes private property for public use, the owner must be compensated.[1]

The language of the Fifth Amendmend is:

The Fifth Amendment requires the use of grand juries by the federal legal system for all capital and “infamous crimes” (cases involving treason, certain felonies or gross moral turpitude[3]).[4] Grand juries trace their roots back to the Assize of Clarendon, an enactment by Henry II of England in 1166. It called for “the oath of *twelve men from every hundred and four men from every vill” to meet and decide who was guilty of robbery, theft or murder.[5] It was the early ancestor of the jury system and of the grand jury. The United Kingdom abolished grand juries in 1933.[6] Many of their former colonies including Canada, Australia and New Zealand have also stopped using them.[6] The United States is one of the few remaining countries that uses the grand jury.

The Double Jeopardy clause in the Fifth Amendment forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges in the same case following a legitimate acquittal or conviction. In common law countries, a defendant may enter a peremptory plea of autrefois acquit or autrefois convict (autrefois means “in the past” in French).[7] It means if the defendant has been acquitted or convicted of the same offence and cannot be retried under the principle of double jeopardy.[1] The original intent of the clause is to prevent an individual to go through a number of prosecutions for the same act until the prosecutor gets a conviction.[1]

In a criminal prosecution, under the Fifth Amendment, a person has the right to refuse to incriminate himself (or herself).[1] No person is required to give information that could be used against him. This is also called “taking the Fifth” or more commonly “pleading the Fifth.”[8] The intent of this clause is to prevent the government from making a person confess under oath.[a] A person may not refuse to answer any relevant question under oath unless the answer would incriminate him. If the answer to a question on the witness stand could be used to convict that person of a crime, he can assert his Fifth Amendment rights.[8]

The authors of the Fifth Amendment intended the provisions in it apply only to the federal government.[10] Since 1925, under the incorporation doctrine, most provisions of the Bill of Rights now also apply to the state and local governments. Since the landmark decision Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), when they arrest someone, police are required to include the “right to remain silent” as part of the legal Miranda warning (the wording may vary).[11]

The Due Process clause guarantees every person a fair, just and orderly legal proceeding. The Fifth Amendment applies to the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, among other provisions, forbids states from denying anyone their life, their liberty or their property without due process of law[12] So the Fourteenth Amendment expands the Due Process clause of the Fifth Amendment to apply to the states. Due process means the government must follow the law and not violate any parts of it.[13] An example of violating due process is when a judge shows bias against the defendant in a trial.[13] Another example is when the prosecution fails to disclose information to the defense that would show the defendant is not guilty of the crime. [13]

The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment states “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.”[14] The Fifth Amendment restricts only the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment extended this clause to include actions taken by State and local governments.[14] Whenever the government wants to buy property for public use, they make an offer to the owner. If the owner does not want to sell the property, the government can take them to court and exercise a power called eminent domain.[14] The name comes from the Latin term dominium eminens (meaning supreme lordship). The court then condemns the property (meaning say it can no longer be occupied by people). This allows the government to take over the property, but must pay “just compensation” to the owner. In other words, the government body must pay what the property is worth.[14]

A case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), was decided in favor of allowing the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner.[15] The court upheld the city of New London, Connecticut’s proposed use of the petitioner’s private property qualifies as a “public use” fell within the meaning of the Takings Clause.[15] The city felt the property was in poor condition and the new owner would improve it. This extension of the Takings Clause has been very controversal.[b]

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Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution – Simple …

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Liberty, NC | A Great Place to Live.

 Liberty  Comments Off on Liberty, NC | A Great Place to Live.
Apr 302016
 

In ancient times, public toilets were just that, public, communal. Like a town square, large stone benches with holes in thelatrine satover running water that flowed beneath. Men and women sat side by side having conversations and taking care of business. These days it’s all a private affair, so much so that I cannot recall the last time (in this country)I’ve been in a toilet without partitioned stalls and locking doors. So I’m confused as to why the Governor McCrory felt the need to pass HB2 and more to the point, why Randolph County felt it necessary to publically support the measure? The only answer is hate and fear.

Even more interesting is the Courier Tribune ran a non-scientific public opinion poll of Randolph County citizens showing that the respondents were against HB2.This means that Randolph County Government literally voted to support a measure thatwas entirely superfluousand did so against the opinion of its constituents. This despite there has never been a single instance of a need for this law in Randolph County, and the absolute silliness of all this as it’s completely unenforceable and will be completely ignored.

If anything will come of this measure it’s hostility. Hostility not towardsLGBT people (though it definitely could)but hostility towards non-LGBT individuals,those who don’t conform to traditional gender stereotypes. How long before ambiguity leads to confrontation? How long before someone takes HB2 into their own hands and it leads to violence? Violence against these same women and men that HB2 purports to protect.

If this law was aimed at other minorities we would call it racism. If it was aimed at foreigners we would call it xenophobic and it’s important to remember that the words and expressions of local government who support HB2 is nothing short of hate speech. Unlike the U.S., hate speech is largely been criminalized in Europe thanks to a 2008 European Union decision. What’s that got to do with little Randolph County? Why are companies pulling out of North Carolina? Because almost every multi-national corporation currently operating in this great state of ours, which also operates within countries that fall under the European Union framework are at risk of being in violation the 2008 decision should they be forced to implement HB2. The higher legal standard applies.Even with regard to U.S. law, the possibility for a lawsuit due to violence or a hostile workplace is enough to send companies running.

In all honesty,they should. Run away from this placeuntil it’s inclusive to people of all gender, race and religious beliefs.This is totalitarianism at its worst. It’s hateful, wrong and morally repulsive.

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Liberty, NC | A Great Place to Live.

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4th Amendment – Revolutionary War and Beyond

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on 4th Amendment – Revolutionary War and Beyond
Apr 122016
 

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The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution was added as part of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791. It deals with protecting people from the searching of their homes and private property without properly executed search warrants. The 4th Amendment reads like this:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The 4th Amendment requires that in order for a government official, such as a police officer, to search a person’s home, business, papers, bank accounts, computer or other personal items, in most cases, he must obtain a search warrant signed by the proper authority, which usually means by a judge.

In order for a warrant to be issued, someone must affirm to the judge that he has a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed and that by searching the premises of a particular location, he believes he will find evidence that will verify the crime. The person submitting this information to the judge is usually a police officer. The police officer does not have to be correct in his assumption, he just has to have a reasonable belief that searching someone’s private property will yield evidence of the crime.

The judge then reviews the information and if he also believes the information the officer has submitted shows probable cause, he will issue the warrant. In order for the warrant to be good, it must identify the place and the particular items or persons that are to be seized if they are found. A warrant is not a general order that can be used to search for anything, anywhere the officer wants. In order for the warrant to be in compliance with the 4th Amendment, the warrant must be very specific about what is being looked for and where the officer can look for it.

The 4th Amendment idea that citizens should be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures goes back far into English history. In 1604, in the famous Semayne’s Case, the Judge, Sir Edward Coke, first identified this right. He ruled that, “The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose.”

In this case, it was determined that subjects of the kingdom had the right to be protected from searches and seizures that were unlawfully conducted, even if they were conducted by the king’s representatives. The case also recognized that lawfully conducted searches and seizures were acceptable. This case established a precedent that has remained a part of English law ever since.

The most famous English case dealing with the right to freedom from illegal search and seizure is called Entick vs. Carrington, 1765. In this case, royal representatives had broken into the private home of John Entick in search of material that was critical of the king and his policies. In the process, they broke into locked boxes and desks and confiscated many papers, charts, pamphlets, etc. The officers were acting on the orders of Lord Halifax.

During the trial, Entick charged that the entire search and seizure had been unlawfully conducted, and the Court agreed. The Court said that Lord Halifax had no standing to issue the order to search the premises, that probable cause that a crime had been committed had not been demonstrated and that the warrant allowed a general confiscation of anything the officers found, not specifying exactly what they were to look for or could seize. In addition, there were no records kept of what the officers seized.

Click to enlarge

Charles Pratt, Lord Camden

This ruling essentially declared that the government was not allowed to do anything that was not specified by law. It required the search and seizure be carried out according to the law. It also established that the right to be able to protect one’s private property was an important right to be safeguarded by the government. In his ruling, Lord Camden, the Chief Justice made this famous statement:

“The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property. That right is preserved sacred and incommunicable in all instances, where it has not been taken away or abridged by some public law for the good of the whole. The cases where this right of property is set aside by private law, are various. Distresses, executions, forfeitures, taxes etc are all of this description; wherein every man by common consent gives up that right, for the sake of justice and the general good. By the laws of England, every invasion of private property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass. No man can set his foot upon my ground without my license, but he is liable to an action, though the damage be nothing; which is proved by every declaration in trespass, where the defendant is called upon to answer for bruising the grass and even treading upon the soil. If he admits the fact, he is bound to show by way of justification, that some positive law has empowered or excused him. The justification is submitted to the judges, who are to look into the books; and if such a justification can be maintained by the text of the statute law, or by the principles of common law. If no excuse can be found or produced, the silence of the books is an authority against the defendant, and the plaintiff must have judgment.”

In 1886, in a case called Boyd vs. United States, the Supreme Court of the United States referred to Entick vs. Carrington as a “great judgment,” “one of the landmarks of English liberty” and “one of the permanent monuments of the British Constitution.” This established the Entick decision as a guide to understanding what the Founding Fathers meant concerning search and seizure laws when they wrote the 4th Amendment.

The British government generally looked at the American colonies as a money making enterprise. Consequently, they passed many revenue collection bills aimed at generating as much money from the colonists as possible. The colonists naturally resented this and engaged in substantial smuggling operations in order to get around the customs taxes imposed by the British government. You can learn more about these and other causes of the American Revolution here.

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King George III

In response to the widespread smuggling, Parliament and the King began to use “writs of assistance,” legal search warrants that were very broad and general in their scope. Customs agents could obtain a writ of assistance to search any property they believed might contain contraband goods. They could enter someone’s property with no notice and without any reason given. Tax collectors could interrogate anyone about their use of customed goods and require the cooperation of any citizen. Searches and seizures of private property based on very general warrants became an epidemic in colonial America.

In response to this, the Massachusetts legislature passed search and seizure laws in 1756 outlawing the use of general warrants. This created a great deal of friction between the Royal Governor and the people of Massachusetts until the death of King George II in 1760. Writs of assistance by law were good until 6 months after the death of the king who issued them. This meant that the Royal Governor had to have new writs of assistance issued by the new king.

Click to enlarge

James Otis

by Joseph Blackburn

James Otis, a Boston lawyer, had recently been appointed Advocate General of the Admiralty Court, which meant he was essentially the top lawyer for the Crown in the colony. In this position, Otis was required to defend the use of writs of assistance by the government. He strongly objected to these arbitrary searches and seizures of private property and consequently resigned his position. Instead, he became the lawyer for a group of over 50 merchants who sued the government claiming that the writs of assistance were unjust.

James Otis represented these merchants for free. His speech condemning British policies, including writs of assistance and general search warrants, was so powerful and eloquent, that it was heard of throughout the colonies and catapulted him to a place of leadership in the swelling tide of disillusionment toward Great Britain.

Future President, John Adams, who was 25 at the time, was sitting in the courtroom and heard Otis’ famous speech that day. Later he said:

“The child independence was then and there born, every man of an immense crowded audience appeared to me to go away as I did, ready to take arms against writs of assistance.”

He viewed Otis’ speech “as the spark in which originated the American Revolution.”

Later, in 1776, George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was a document on which Thomas Jefferson relied heavily when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, included prohibitions against general warrants that did not specify probable cause or exactly what was to be searched for. The passage of the Virginia Declaration of Rights dealing with general warrants reads like this:

“That general warrants, whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive and ought not to be granted.”

You can read the Virginia Declaration of Rights here and you can read the Declaration of Independence here. You can also read more about how Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence here.

Once the Constitution was written, each state held a convention to debate its worth. Many people opposed the Constitution because they thought it gave the federal government too much power at the expense of the states and of individual rights. Those opposing the Constitution were known as anti-Federalists. They were led by such men as Patrick Henry, George Mason and Elbridge Gerry.

The anti-Federalists were concerned that the federal government would trample on the rights of individual citizens. They believed the Constitution did not specify clearly enough which rights of individuals were protected from government interference. Some of them called for the addition of a bill of rights to the Constitution, which would specify exactly which rights of the citizens were protected.

Those who were in support of the Constitution were known as Federalists because they did support a strong federal government. The Federalists were led by such men as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams and George Washington.

In order to convince enough anti-Federalists to support the Constitution to pass it and have it go into effect, the Federalists made a promise that if the anti-Federalists would vote to accept the Constitution, the First Congress would address their concerns by adding a bill of rights to it. This promise succeeded in persuading enough anti-Federalists to support the Constitution that it passed and became law. It also ensured that the Founders concerns about illegal searches and seizures would eventually become law embodied in the 4th Amendment.

On June 8, 1789, James Madison kept the promise of the Federalists by proposing to the First Congress twenty amendments to be added to the Constitution. You can read James Madison’s June 8, 1789 speech here.

One of these amendments, that dealt with search and seizure laws, eventually became what we know as the 4th Amendment. Congress approved twelve of the amendments suggested by Madison on September 25, 1789 and ten of those were eventually ratified by the states. The First Ten Amendments, also known as the Bill of Rights, became law on December 15, 1791. You can read more about the History of the Bill of Rights here.

The 4th Amendment only applied originally to the federal government, but through the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court has now applied most parts of the Bill of Rights to state and local governments as well.

The 4th Amendment only provides protection from illegal search and seizure by government officials, not by private citizens. So, if an employer unreasonably searched your possessions at work, the 4th Amendment would not have been violated.

There are certain exceptions to the 4th Amendment right to have a properly executed search warrant issued before a search or seizure of private property can be conducted. The Supreme Court has ruled that, for example, a police officer may conduct a pat down search of someone he has observed engaging in suspicious behavior, if he has reasonable suspicion that some crime is being committed. Also, if a police officer observes someone committing a crime, or believes that he has probable cause to suspect someone has committed a crime, he may arrest the person without a warrant.

There are a number of other exceptions to the 4th Amendment warrant rule:

Supreme Court of the United States

In general, any evidence that is obtained in an illegal search and seizure is not admissible in court by the prosecution in a criminal defendant’s trial. This is known as the 4th Amendment Exclusionary Rule because evidence obtained in this manner is excluded from the trial. The Supreme Court established this rule in a case called Weeks vs. United States, 1914. Before that time, any evidence, even if it was gathered in an illegal search and seizure, was admissible in court.

There are some exceptions to the 4th Amendment Exclusionary Rule. For example, Grand Juries may use illegally obtained evidence to question witnesses. The method of gathering the evidence can be challenged later if the defendant is charged. Evidence gathered in good faith by an officer can be used in court. This means that if an officer is following the directions of a warrant that is faulty, not realizing that it is faulty, the evidence may be used.

Evidence obtained through illegal search and seizure can also be used in the following circumstances:

Read about some of the most interesting and significant Fourth Amendment Court cases here.

Preamble to the Bill of Rights Learn about the 1st Amendment here. Learn about the 2nd Amendment here. Learn about the 3rd Amendment here. Learn about the 4th Amendment here. Learn about the 5th Amendment here. Learn about the 6th Amendment here. Learn about the 7th Amendment here. Learn about the 8th Amendment here. Learn about the 9th Amendment here. Learn about the 10th Amendment here.

Read the Bill of Rights here.

Learn more about theBill of Rightswith the following articles:

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Zeitgeist (film series) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Zeitgeist Movement  Comments Off on Zeitgeist (film series) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mar 262016
 

Zeitgeist: The Movie is a documentary film with two sequels: Zeitgeist: Addendum and Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, presenting a number of conspiracy theories and proposals for broad social and economic changes. Peter Joseph created all three films.[1]

Release dates

Running time

Zeitgeist: The Movie is a 2007 documentary-style film by Peter Joseph presenting a number of conspiracy theories.[2] The film disputes the historicity of Jesus (the Christ myth theory) and claims that the September 11 attacks in 2001 were pre-arranged by New World Order forces,[3] and claims that bankers manipulate world events.[4] In Zeitgeist, it is claimed that the Federal Reserve was behind several wars and manipulates the American public for a One World Government or “New World Order”.[3][4][5]

The Zeitgeist film, according to writer Paul Constant, is “based solely on anecdotal evidence, it’s probably drawing more people into the Truth movement than anything else”.[3]Jay Kinney questioned the accuracy of its claims and the quality of its arguments, describing it as agitprop and propaganda.[6]

Released online on June 18, 2007, it soon received tens of millions of views on Google Video, YouTube, and Vimeo.[7] The film assembles archival footage, animations and narration into ‘a kind of primer on conspiracies’.[4]

According to Peter Joseph, the original Zeitgeist was not presented in a film format, but was a “performance piece consisting of a vaudevillian, multimedia style event using recorded music, live instruments, and video”. Zeitgeist, the first movie of the trilogy, has been described as a pseudo-expos of the international monetary system. The expos theme runs through both its sequels, according to Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates. Many of the themes of Zeitgeist are sourced to two books: The Creature From Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin, a member of the John Birch Society, and The Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins.[7]

The film starts with animated visualizations, film segments and stock footage, a cartoon and audio quotes about spirituality by Chgyam Trungpa Rinpoche, then shots of war, explosions, and the September 11 attacks. Then the film’s title screen is given. The introduction ends with a portion of a George Carlin monologue on religion accompanied by an animated cartoon. The rest of the film is in three parts with narration by Peter Joseph.[3]

Part I questions religions as being god-given stories, asserting that the Christian religion is mainly derived from other religions, astronomical assertions, astrological myths, and other traditions, which in turn were derived from other traditions. In furtherance of the Jesus myth hypothesis, this part claims that the historical Jesus is a literary and astrological hybrid, nurtured by political forces and opportunists.[3]

Part II alleges that the 9/11 attacks were either orchestrated or allowed to happen by elements within the United States government; the government’s purpose, it alleges, was to generate mass fear, initiate and justify the War on Terror, provide a pretext for the curtailment of civil liberties, and produce economic gain. It asserts that the U.S. government had advance knowledge of the attacks, that the military deliberately allowed the planes to reach their targets, and that World Trade Center buildings 1, 2, and 7 underwent a controlled demolition.[3]

Part III states that the Federal Reserve System is controlled by a small cabal of international bankers who conspire to create global calamities to enrich themselves.[4] Three wars involving the United States during the twentieth century are highlighted as part of this alleged agenda, started by specifically engineered events, including the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. The film asserts that such wars serve to sustain conflict in general and force the U.S. government to borrow money, thereby increasing the profits of the international bankers. The film also states that the Federal Income Tax is illegal.[3]

This segment also alleges a secret agreement to merge the United States, Canada and Mexico into a North American Union as a step toward the creation of a single world government. The film speculates that under such a government, every human could be implanted with an RFID chip to monitor individual activity and suppress dissent.

The newspaper The Arizona Republic described Zeitgeist: The Movie as “a bramble of conspiracy theories involving Sept. 11, the international monetary system, and Christianity” saying also that the movie trailer states that “there are people guiding your life and you don’t even know it”.[8]

A review in The Irish Times wrote that “these are surreal perversions of genuine issues and debates, and they tarnish all criticism of faith, the Bush administration, and globalizationthere are more than enough factual injustices in this world to be going around without having to invent fictional ones”.[9]

Ivor Tossell in the Globe and Mail cited it as an example of how modern conspiracy theories are promulgated, though he praised its effectiveness:

“The film is an interesting object lesson on how conspiracy theories get to be so popular…. It’s a driven, if uneven, piece of propaganda, a marvel of tight editing and fuzzy thinking. Its on-camera sources are mostly conspiracy theorists, co-mingled with selective eyewitness accounts, drawn from archival footage and often taken out of context. It derides the media as a pawn of the International Bankers, but produces media reports for credibility when convenient. The film ignores expert opinion, except the handful of experts who agree with it. And yet, it’s compelling. It shamelessly ploughs forward, connecting dots with an earnest certainty that makes you want to give it an A for effort.”[4]

Filipe Feio, reflecting upon the film’s Internet popularity in Dirio de Notcias, stated that “[f]iction or not, Zeitgeist: The Movie threatens to become the champion of conspiracy theories of today”.[10]

Michael Shermer, founder of the Skeptics Society, mentioned Zeitgeist in an article in Scientific American on skepticism in the age of mass media and the postmodern belief in the relativism of truth. He argues that this belief, coupled with a “clicker culture of mass media,” results in a multitude of various truth claims packaged in “infotainment units”, in the form of films such as Zeitgeist and Loose Change.[11]

Jane Chapman, a film producer and reader in media studies at the University of Lincoln, called Zeitgeist “a fast-paced assemblage of agitprop,” an example of unethical film-making.[12] She accuses Peter Joseph of “implicit deception” through the use of standard film-making propaganda techniques. While parts of the film are, she says, “comically” self-defeating, the nature of “twisted evidence” and use of Madrid bomb footage to imply it is of the London bombings amount to ethical abuse in sourcing. In later versions of the film a subtitle is added to this footage identifying it as from the Madrid bombings.[citation needed] She finishes her analysis with the comment: “Thus, legitimate questions about what happened on 9/11, and about corruption in religious and financial organizations, are all undermined by the film’s determined effort to maximize an emotional response at the expense of reasoned argument.”

Alex Jones, American radio host, prominent conspiracy theorist and executive producer of Loose Change, stated that film segments of Zeitgeist are taken directly from his documentary Terrorstorm, and that he supports “90 percent” of the film.[13]

Skeptic magazine’s Tim Callahan, criticizing the first part of the film (on the origins of Christianity), wrote that “some of what it asserts is true. Unfortunately, this material is liberallyand sloppilymixed with material that is only partially true and much that is plainly and simply bogus.”[14]

Chris Forbes, Senior lecturer in Ancient History of Macquarie University and member of the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney, severely criticized Part I of the film, stating that it has no basis in serious scholarship or ancient sources, and that it relies on amateur sources that recycle frivolous ideas from one another, rather than serious academic sources, commenting that “[i]t is extraordinary how many claims it makes which are simply not true”.[15] Similar conclusions were reached by Dr. Mark Foreman of Liberty University.[16]

Paul Constant writing in Seattle newspaper The Stranger characterized the film as “fiction couched in a few facts”.[3] Of the religious critique in the film he said: “First the film destroys the idea of God, and then, through the lens of 9/11, it introduces a sort of new Bizarro God. Instead of an omnipotent, omniscient being who loves you and has inspired a variety of organized religions, there is an omnipotent, omniscient organization of ruthless beings who hate you and want to take your rights away, if not throw you in a work camp forever.”[3]

In Tablet Magazine, journalist Michelle Goldberg criticized Zeitgeist: The Movie as being “steeped in far-right, isolationist, and covertly anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” and she went on to write that the film borrows from the work of Eustace Mullins, Lyndon LaRouche, and radio host Alex Jones, and that it portrays a cabal of international bankers purportedly ruling the world.[7] In an interview with TheMarker, Joseph stated that while the film does mention bankers it does not seek to place blame on any individual or group of individuals. He argues they are merely a product of a socioeconomic system in need of change.[17]

Chip Berlet writes that the 9/11 conspiracy theories “are bait used to attract viewers from the 9/11 truth movement and others who embrace conspiracist thinking to the idiosyncratic antireligion views of the videographer and the world of right-wing antisemitic theories of a global banking conspiracy”.[18]

According to Jay Kinney:

“At other times, Zeitgeist engages in willful confusion by showing TV screen shots of network or cable news with voice-overs from unidentified people not associated with the news programs. If one weren’t paying close attention, the effect would be to confer the status and authority of TV news upon the words being spoken. Even when quotes or sound bites are attributed to a source, there’s no way to tell if they are quoted correctly or in context.”[6]

In June 2013, Peter Joseph directed the music video for “God Is Dead?” by Black Sabbath, using extensive imagery from Zeitgeist: The Movie and its sequels.[19]

Release dates

Running time

Zeitgeist: Addendum is a 2008 documentary-style film produced and directed by Peter Joseph, and is a sequel to the 2007 film, Zeitgeist: The Movie. It premiered at the 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival in Los Angeles, California on October 2, 2008.

The film begins and ends with excerpts from a speech by Jiddu Krishnamurti. The remainder of the film is narrated by Peter Joseph and divided into four parts, which are prefaced by on-screen quotations from Krishnamurti, John Adams, Bernard Lietaer, and Thomas Paine, respectively.

Part I covers the process of fractional-reserve banking as illustrated in Modern Money Mechanics, by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The film suggests that society is manipulated into economic slavery through debt-based monetary policies by requiring individuals to submit for employment in order to pay off their debt.

Part II has an interview with John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, who says he was involved in the subjugation of Latin American economies by multinational corporations and the United States government, including involvement in the overthrow of Latin American heads-of-state. Perkins sees the US as a corporatocracy, in which maximization of profits is the first priority.

Part III introduces futurist Jacque Fresco and The Venus Project and asserts a need to move away from current socioeconomic paradigms. Fresco states that capitalism perpetuates the conditions it claims to address, as problems are only solved if there is money to be made. The film looks at Fresco’s proposal of a resource-based economy, which puts environmental friendliness, sustainability and abundance as fundamental societal goals. He goes on to discuss technology which he sees as the primary driver of human advancement, and he describes politics as being unable to solve any problems.

Part IV suggests that the primary reason for what the film sees as society’s social values (“warfare, corruption, oppressive laws, social stratification, irrelevant superstitions, environmental destruction, and a despotic, socially indifferent, profit oriented ruling class”) is a collective ignorance of “the emergent and symbiotic aspects of natural law”. The film advocates the following actions for achieving social change: boycotting of the most powerful banks in the Federal Reserve System, the major news networks, the military, energy corporations, all political systems; and joining, and supporting The Zeitgeist Movement.

Zeitgeist: Addendum won the 2008 Artivist Film Festival’s award for best feature (“Artivist Spirit” category).[20]

Originally, the film was uploaded-released on Google video. The current video posting on YouTube surpassed 5,000,000 views by late 2013.[21]

Alan Feuer of The New York Times noted that while the previous film was famous for its alleging that the attacks of September 11 were an inside job, the second installment “was all but empty of such conspiratorial notions, directing its rhetoric and high production values toward posing a replacement for the evils of the banking system and a perilous economy of scarcity and debt”.[22]

Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007) started the chain of events leading to the introduction of the Zeitgeist movement.[7] The group advocates transition from the global money-based economic system to a post-scarcity economy or resource-based economy. VC Reporter’s Shane Cohn summarized the movement’s charter as: “Our greatest social problems are the direct results of our economic system”.[23] Joseph created a political movement that, according to The Daily Telegraph, dismisses historic religious concepts as misleading and embraces a version of sustainable ecological concepts and scientific administration of society.[24] The group describes the current socioeconomic system as structurally corrupt and inefficient in the use of resources.[22][25]

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward is the third installment in Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist film trilogy. The film premiered at the JACC Theater in Los Angeles on January 15, 2011 at the Artivist Film Festival,[26] was released in theaters and online. As of November 2014, the film has over 23 million views on YouTube.[27] The film is arranged into four parts. Each part contains interviews, narration and animated sequences.[28]

Release dates

Running time

The film begins with an animated sequence narrated by Jacque Fresco. He describes his adolescent life and his discontinuation of public education at the age of 14 and describes his early life influences.

Part I: Human Nature

Human behavior and the nature vs. nurture debate is discussed, which Robert Sapolsky refers to as a “false dichotomy.” Disease, criminal activity, and addictions are also discussed. The overall conclusion of Part I is that social environment and cultural conditioning play a large part in shaping human behavior.

Part II: Social Pathology

John Locke and Adam Smith are discussed in regard to modern economics. The film critically questions the economic need for private property, money, and the inherent inequality between agents in the system. Also seen critically is the need for cyclical consumption in order to maintain market share, resulting in wasted resources and planned obsolescence. According to the movie, the current monetary system will result in default or hyperinflation at some future time.

Part III: Project Earth

As with Zeitgeist: Addendum, the film presents a “resource-based economy” as advocated by Jacque Fresco discussing how human civilization could start from a new beginning in relation to resource types, locations, quantities, to satisfy human demands; track the consumption and depletion of resources to regulate human demands and maintain the condition of the environment.

Part IV: Rise

The current worldwide situation is described as disastrous. A case is presented that pollution, deforestation, climate change, overpopulation, and warfare are all created and perpetuated by the socioeconomic system. Various poverty statistics are shown that suggest a progressive worsening of world culture.

The final scene of the film shows a partial view of earth from space, followed by a sequence of superimposed statements; “This is your world”, “This is our world”, and “The revolution is now”.

List of Interviewees

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward received “Best Political Documentary” in 2011 from the Action on Film International Film Festival.[29]

A review in the The Socialist Standard regarding production values said the film had a “well-rounded feel”. In terms of content they criticized the “shaky economic analysis” contained in the second part of the film, said that Karl Marx had already undertaken a more scientific analysis, and that, “despite these false beginnings the analysis is at least on the right track”. Regarding transition to the new system proposed in the film, the review critically noted that in the film “there is no mention of how to get from here to there”.[30]

Fouad Al-Noor in Wessex Scene said that the film was more focused on solutions than the previous film, and commented that while there are controversial elements, he challenged those using labels to describe the film to watch the films.[31]

In her article, published in Tablet Magazine, Michelle Goldberg described the film as “silly enough that at times [she] suspected it was [a] satire about new-age techno-utopianism instead of an example of it”.[7]

Links to related articles

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Zeitgeist (film series) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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First Amendment (U.S. Constitution) – The New York Times

 Misc  Comments Off on First Amendment (U.S. Constitution) – The New York Times
Mar 192016
 

Latest Articles

Arguments in the jury trial start Monday in a case the celebrity wrestler says is about privacy, but the defendant, Gawker, argues is about the First Amendment.

By ERIK ECKHOLM

The state is one of eight that are considering blanket legal protection for discrimination on religious grounds. Its bill is one of the most alarming.

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

The company, in its fight with the F.B.I., is defending its phones on grounds that its code represents free speech, and there is some precedent.

By STEVE LOHR

Crisis pregnancy centers in California are in a battle with the state over a new law requiring them to post a notice that free or low-cost abortion care is available.

By ERIK ECKHOLM

A judges order to release secret documents raises questions about how much involvement courts should have over settlements related to corporate wrongdoing.

By PETER J. HENNING

Mr. Kennedy defended John Gotti Sr., Huey P. Newton and Timothy Leary and won freedom for Jean S. Harris, who killed the Scarsdale Diet doctor.

By SAM ROBERTS

In recent years, the Supreme Court has waved the First Amendment banner ever higher to undermine long-accepted governmental regulatory authority.

By LINDA GREENHOUSE

In a California case, the justices are considering whether government workers who choose not to join a union may still be required to pay for collective bargaining.

By ADAM LIPTAK

A federal judge has warned that prosecutors may be going too far when they ask witnesses to keep quiet about receiving a subpoena.

By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD

Some legal scholars are asking whether it is time to reconsider the clear and present danger standard for curbing the freedom of speech.

By ERIK ECKHOLM

A federal appeals court, in a case involving an Asian-American dance-rock band, struck down part of a law that let the government reject trademarks it deemed offensive or disparaging to others.

By RICHARD SANDOMIR

An array of leading hip-hop artists, including T.I., Big Boi and Killer Mike, filed a Supreme Court brief in support of a high school student punished for posting a rap song that drew attention to complaints about sexual harassment.

The Alabama lawyer opposed The New York Times in a case that resulted in a Supreme Court decision establishing greater leeway for criticism of government officials and other public figures.

By BRUCE WEBER

On university campuses, First Amendment rights are colliding with inclusivity.

By NICHOLAS KRISTOF

Religious Arbitration Used for Secular Disputes | Soros Withdraws $490 Million From Janus Capital

A University of Michigan professor writes that many see this as yet another way the First Amendment is being hijacked.

A new class-action lawsuit says that New York City has a policy and a history of violating protesters constitutional rights.

Congressional Republicans are pushing a bill that would deliberately warp the bedrock principle of religious freedom under the Constitution.

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

As a county clerk, Kim Davis is required to issue marriage licenses to anyone who may legally get married, which includes same-sex couples.

By JESSE WEGMAN

An appeals court upheld restrictions on protesters First Amendment rights to gather and wave signs on the plaza in front of the Supreme Court.

By JACKIE CALMES

Arguments in the jury trial start Monday in a case the celebrity wrestler says is about privacy, but the defendant, Gawker, argues is about the First Amendment.

By ERIK ECKHOLM

The state is one of eight that are considering blanket legal protection for discrimination on religious grounds. Its bill is one of the most alarming.

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

The company, in its fight with the F.B.I., is defending its phones on grounds that its code represents free speech, and there is some precedent.

By STEVE LOHR

Crisis pregnancy centers in California are in a battle with the state over a new law requiring them to post a notice that free or low-cost abortion care is available.

By ERIK ECKHOLM

A judges order to release secret documents raises questions about how much involvement courts should have over settlements related to corporate wrongdoing.

By PETER J. HENNING

Mr. Kennedy defended John Gotti Sr., Huey P. Newton and Timothy Leary and won freedom for Jean S. Harris, who killed the Scarsdale Diet doctor.

By SAM ROBERTS

In recent years, the Supreme Court has waved the First Amendment banner ever higher to undermine long-accepted governmental regulatory authority.

By LINDA GREENHOUSE

In a California case, the justices are considering whether government workers who choose not to join a union may still be required to pay for collective bargaining.

By ADAM LIPTAK

A federal judge has warned that prosecutors may be going too far when they ask witnesses to keep quiet about receiving a subpoena.

By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD

Some legal scholars are asking whether it is time to reconsider the clear and present danger standard for curbing the freedom of speech.

By ERIK ECKHOLM

A federal appeals court, in a case involving an Asian-American dance-rock band, struck down part of a law that let the government reject trademarks it deemed offensive or disparaging to others.

By RICHARD SANDOMIR

An array of leading hip-hop artists, including T.I., Big Boi and Killer Mike, filed a Supreme Court brief in support of a high school student punished for posting a rap song that drew attention to complaints about sexual harassment.

The Alabama lawyer opposed The New York Times in a case that resulted in a Supreme Court decision establishing greater leeway for criticism of government officials and other public figures.

By BRUCE WEBER

On university campuses, First Amendment rights are colliding with inclusivity.

By NICHOLAS KRISTOF

Religious Arbitration Used for Secular Disputes | Soros Withdraws $490 Million From Janus Capital

A University of Michigan professor writes that many see this as yet another way the First Amendment is being hijacked.

A new class-action lawsuit says that New York City has a policy and a history of violating protesters constitutional rights.

Congressional Republicans are pushing a bill that would deliberately warp the bedrock principle of religious freedom under the Constitution.

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

As a county clerk, Kim Davis is required to issue marriage licenses to anyone who may legally get married, which includes same-sex couples.

By JESSE WEGMAN

An appeals court upheld restrictions on protesters First Amendment rights to gather and wave signs on the plaza in front of the Supreme Court.

By JACKIE CALMES

See more here:
First Amendment (U.S. Constitution) – The New York Times

What’s wrong with libertarianism – Zompist.com

 Misc  Comments Off on What’s wrong with libertarianism – Zompist.com
Mar 172016
 

“That perfect liberty they sigh for– the liberty of making slaves of other people– Jefferson never thought of; their own father never thought of; they never thought of themselves, a year ago.” — Abraham Lincoln

Apparently someone’s curse worked: we live in interesting times, and among other consequences, for no good reason we have a surplus of libertarians. With this article I hope to help keep the demand low, or at least to explain to libertarian correspondents why they don’t impress me with comments like “You sure love letting people steal your money!”

This article has been rewritten, for two reasons. First, the original article had sidebars to address common objections. From several people’s reactions, it seems that they never read these. They’re now incorporated into the text.

Second, and more importantly, many people who call themselves libertarians didn’t recognize themselves in the description. There are libertarians and libertarians, and sometimes different camps despise each other– or don’t seem to be aware of each other.

If you–

…then this page isn’t really addressed to you. You’re probably more of what I’d call a small-government conservative; and if you voted against Bush, we can probably get along just fine.

On the other hand, you might want to stick around to see what your more fundamentalist colleagues are saying.

Libertarianism strikes me as if someone (let’s call her “Ayn Rand”) sat down to create the Un-Communism. Thus:

Does this sound exaggerated? Let’s listen to Murray Rothbard:

Or here’s Lew Rockwell on Rothbard (emphasis mine):

Thomas DiLorenzo on worker activism: “[L]abor unions [pursue] policies which impede the very institutions of capitalism that are the cause of their own prosperity.” Or Ludwig von Mises: “What is today euphemistically called the right to strike is in fact the right of striking workers, by recourse to violence, to prevent people who want to work from working.” (Employer violence is apparently acceptable.) The Libertarian Party platform explains that workers have no right to protest drug tests, and supports the return of child labor.

On Nietzsche, as one of my correspondents puts it, some libertarians love Nietzsche; others have read him. (Though I would respond that some people idolize executives; others have worked for them.) Nonetheless, I think the Nietzschean atmosphere of burning rejection of conventional morality, exaltation of the will to power, and scorn for womanish Christian compassion for the masses, is part of the roots of libertarianism. It’s unmistakable in Ayn Rand.

The more important point, however, is that the capitalist is the ber-villain for communists, and a glorious hero for libertarians; that property is “theft” for the communists, and a “natural right” for libertarians. These dovetail a little too closely for coincidence. It’s natural enough, when a basic element of society is attacked as an evil, for its defenders to counter-attack by elevating it into a principle.

As we should have learned from the history of communism and fascism, however, contradiction is no guarantee of truth; it can lead one into an opposite error instead. And many who rejected communism nonetheless remained zealots. People who leave one ideological extreme usually end up at the other, either quickly (David Horowitz) or slowly (Mario Vargas Llosa). If you’re the sort of person who likes absolutes, you want them even if all your other convictions change.

The methodology isn’t much different either: oppose the obvious evils of the world with a fairy tale. The communist of 1910 couldn’t point to a single real-world instance of his utopia; neither can the present-day libertarian. Yet they’re unshakeable in their conviction that it can and must happen.

Academic libertarians love abstract, fact-free arguments– often, justifications for why property is an absolute right. As a random example, from one James Craig Green:

Examples of natural property in land and water resources have already been given, but deserve more detail. An illustration of how this would be accomplished is a farm with irrigation ditches to grow crops in dry western states. To appropriate unowned natural resources, a settler used his labor to clear the land and dug ditches to carry water from a river for irrigation. Crops were planted, buildings were constructed, and the property thus created was protected by the owner from aggression or the later claims of others. This process was a legitimate creation of property.

The first paragraph is pure fantasy, and is simply untrue as a portrait of “primitive tribes”, which are generally extremely collectivist by American standards. The second sounds good precisely because it leaves out all the actual facts of American history: the settlers’ land was not “unowned” but stolen from the Indians by state conquest (and much of it stolen from the Mexicans as well); the lands were granted to the settlers by government; the communities were linked to the national economy by railroads founded by government grant; the crops were adapted to local conditions by land grant colleges.

Thanks to my essay on taxes, I routinely get mail featuring impassioned harangues which never once mention a real-world fact– or which simply make up the statistics they want.

This sort of balls-out aggressivity probably wins points at parties, where no one is going to take down an almanac and check their figures; but to me it’s a cardinal sin. If someone has an answer for everything, advocates changes which have never been tried, and presents dishonest evidence, he’s a crackpot. If a man has no doubts, it’s because his hypothesis is unfalsifiable.

Distaste for facts isn’t merely a habit of a few Internet cranks; it’s actually libertarian doctrine, the foundation of the ‘Austrian school’. Here’s Ludwig von Mises in Epistemological Problems of Economics:

The ‘other sources’ turn out to be armchair ruminations on how things must be. It’s true enough that economics is not physics; but that’s not warrant to turn our backs on the methods of science and return to scholastic speculation. Economics should always move in the direction of science, experiment, and falsifiability. If it were really true that it cannot, then no one, including the libertarians, would be entitled to strong belief in any economic program.

Some people aren’t much bothered by libertarianism’s lack of real-world success. After all, they argue, if no one tried anything new, nothing would ever change.

In fact, I’m all for experimentation; that’s how we learn. Create a libertarian state. But run it as a proper experiment. Start small-scale. Establish exactly how your claims will be tested: per capita income? median income? life expectancy? property value? surveys on happiness? Set up a control: e.g. begin with two communities as close as we can get them in size, initial wealth, resources, and culture, one following liberalism, one following libertarianism. Abide by the results– no changing the goalposts if the liberals happen to “win”.

I’m even willing to look at partial tests. If an ideology is really better than others at producing general prosperity, then following it partially should produce partially better results. Jonathan Kwitny suggested comparing a partly socialist system (e.g. Tanzania) to a partly capitalist one (e.g. Kenya). (Kenya looked a lot better.) If the tests are partial, of course, we’ll want more of them; but human experience is pretty broad.

It’s the libertarians, not me, who stand in the way of such accountability. If I point out examples of nations partially following libertarian views– we’ll get to this below– I’m told that they don’t count: only Pure Real Libertarianism Of My Own Camp can be tested.

Again, all-or-nothing thinking generally goes with intellectual fraud. If a system is untestable, it’s because its proponents fear testing. By contrast, I’m confident enough in liberal and scientific values that I’m happy to see even partial adoption. Even a little freedom is better than dictatorship. Even a little science is better than ideology.

An untested political system unfortunately has great rhetorical appeal. Since we can’t see it in action, we can’t point out its obvious faults, while the ideologue can be caustic about everything that has actually been tried, and which has inevitably fallen short of perfection. Perhaps that’s why Dave Barry and Trey Parker are libertarians. But I’d rather vote for a politician who’s shown that his programs work in the real world than for a humorist, however amusing.

At this point some libertarian readers are pumping their hands in the air like a piston, anxious to explain that their ideal isn’t Rothbard or von Mises or Hayek, but the Founding Fathers.

Nice try. Everybody wants the Founders on their side; but it was a different country back then– 95% agricultural, low density, highly homogenous, primitive in technology– and modern libertarianism simply doesn’t apply. (The OED’s citations of the word for the time are all theological.)

All American political movements have their roots in the 1700s– indeed, in the winning side, since Loyalist opinion essentially disappeared. We are all– liberals, conservatives, libertarians– against the Georgian monarchy and for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You can certainly find places where one Founder or another rants against government; you can find other places where one Founder or another rants against rebellion, anarchy, and the opponents of federalism. Sometimes the same Founder can be quoted on both sides. They were a mixed bunch, and lived long enough lives to encounter different situations.

The Constitution is above all a definition of a strengthened government, and the Federalist Papers are an extended argument for it. The Founders negotiated a balance between a government that was arbitrary and coercive (their experience as British colonial subjects) and one that was powerless and divided (the failed Articles of Confederation).

The Founders didn’t anticipate the New Deal– there was no need for them to– but they were as quick to resort to the resources of the state as any modern liberal. Ben Franklin, for instance, played the Pennsylvania legislature like a violin– using it to fund a hospital he wanted to establish, for instance. Obviously he had no qualms about using state power to do good social works.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Founders’ words were nobler than their deeds. Most were quite comfortable with slave-owning, for instance. No one worried about women’s consent to be governed. Washington’s own administration made it a crime to criticize the government. And as Robert Allen Rutland reminds us,

The process of giving life to our constitutional rights has largely been the work of liberals. On the greatest fight of all, to treat blacks as human beings, libertarians supported the other side.

Crackpots are usually harmless; how about the Libertarian Party?

In itself, I’m afraid, it’s nothing but a footnote. It gets no more than 1% of the vote– a showing that’s been surpassed historically by the Anti-Masonic Party, the Greenbacks, the Prohibition Party, the Socialists, the Greens, and whatever John Anderson was. If that was all it was, I wouldn’t bother to devote pages and rants to it. I’m all for the expression of pure eccentricity in politics; I like the Brits’ Monster Raving Looney Party even better.

Why are libertarian ideas important? Because of their influence on the Republican Party. They form the ideological basis for the Reagan/Gingrich/Bush revolution. The Republicans have taken the libertarian “Government is Bad” horse and ridden far with it:

Maybe this use of their ideas is appalling to ‘Real Libertarians’… well, it’s an appalling world sometimes. Is it fair to communism that everyone thinks its Leninist manifestation is the only possible one? Do you think I’m happy to have national representatives like Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry?

At least some libertarians have understood the connection. Rothbard again, writing in 1994:

Can you smell the compromise here? Hold your nose and vote for the Repubs, boys. But then don’t pretend to be uninvolved when the Republicans start making a mockery of limited government.

There’s a deeper lesson here, and it’s part of why I don’t buy libertarian portraits of the future utopia. Movements out of power are always anti-authoritarian; it’s no guarantee that they’ll stay that way. Communists before 1917 promised the withering away of the state. Fascists out of power sounded something like socialists. The Republicans were big on term limits when they could be used to unseat Democrats; they say nothing about them today. If you don’t think it can happen to you, you’re not being honest about human nature and human history.

The Libertarian Party has a cute little test that purports to divide American politics into four quadrants. There’s the economic dimension (where libertarians ally with conservatives) and the social dimension (where libertarians ally with liberals).

I think the diagram is seriously misleading, because visually it gives equal importance to both dimensions. And when the rubber hits the road, libertarians almost always go with the economic dimension.

The libertarian philosopher always starts with property rights. Libertarianism arose in opposition to the New Deal, not to Prohibition. The libertarian voter is chiefly exercised over taxes, regulation, and social programs; the libertarian wing of the Republican party has, for forty years, gone along with the war on drugs, corporate welfare, establishment of dictatorships abroad, and an alliance with theocrats. Christian libertarians like Ron Paul want God in the public schools and are happy to have the government forbid abortion and gay marriage. I never saw the libertarians objecting to Bush Sr. mocking the protection of civil rights, or to Ken Starr’s government inquiry into politicians’ sex lives. On the Cato Institute’s list of recent books, I count 1 of 19 dealing with an issue on which libertarians and liberals tend to agree, and that was on foreign policy (specifically, the Iraq war).

If this is changing, as Bush’s never-ending “War on Terror” expands the powers of government, demonizes dissent, and enmeshes the country in military crusades and nation-building, as the Republicans push to remove the checks and balances that remain in our government system– if libertarians come to realize that Republicans and not Democrats are the greater threat to liberty– I’d be delighted.

But for that, you know, you have to vote against Bush. A belief in social liberties means little if you vote for a party that clearly intends to restrict them.

For the purposes of my critique, however, the social side of libertarianism is irrelevant. A libertarian and I might actually agree to legalize drugs, let people marry whoever they like, and repeal the Patriot Act. But this has nothing to do with whether robber baron capitalism is a good thing.

The libertarianism that has any effect in the world, then, has nothing to do with social liberty, and everything to do with removing all restrictions on business. So what’s wrong with that?

Let’s look at some cases that came within spitting distance of the libertarian ideal. Some libertarians won’t like these, because they are not Spotless Instances of the Free Utopia; but as I’ve said, nothing is proved by science fiction. If complete economic freedom and absence of government is a cure-all, partial economic freedom and limited government should be a cure-some.

At the turn of the 20th century, business could do what it wanted– and it did. The result was robber barons, monopolistic gouging, management thugs attacking union organizers, filth in our food, a punishing business cycle, slavery and racial oppression, starvation among the elderly, gunboat diplomacy in support of business interests.

The New Deal itself was a response to crisis (though by no means an unprecedented one; it wasn’t much worse than the Gilded Age depressions). A quarter of the population was out of work. Five thousand banks failed, destroying the savings of 9 million families. Steel plants were operating at 12% capacity. Banks foreclosed on a quarter of Mississippi’s land. Wall Street was discredited by insider trading and collusion with banks at the expense of investors. Farmers were breaking out into open revolt; miners and jobless city workers were rioting.

Don’t think, by the way, that if governments don’t provide gunboats, no one else will. Corporations will build their own military if necessary: the East Indies Company did; Leopold did in the Congo; management did when fighting with labor.

Or take Russia in the decade after the fall of Communism, as advised by free-market absolutists like Jeffrey Sachs. Russian GDP declined 50% in five years. The elite grabbed the assets they could and shuffled them out of Russia so fast that IMF loans couldn’t compensate. In 1994 alone, 600 businessmen, journalists, and politicians were murdered by gangsters. Russia lacked a working road system, a banking system, anti-monopoly regulation, effective law enforcement, or any sort of safety net for the elderly and the jobless. Inflation reached 2250% in 1992. Central government authority effectively disappeared in many regions.

By the way, Russia is the answer to those testosterone-poisoned folks who think that guns will prevent oppression. The mafia will always outgun you.

Today’s Russia is moving back toward authoritarianism under Putin. Again, this should dismay libertarians: apparently, given a little freedom, many people will demand less. You’d better be careful about setting up that utopia; ten years further on it may be taken over by authoritarians.

Or consider the darling of many an ’80s conservative: Pinochet’s Chile, installed by Nixon, praised by Jeanne Kirkpatrick, George Bush, and Paul Johnson. In twenty years, foreign debt quadrupled, natural resources were wasted, universal health care was abandoned (leading to epidemics of typhoid fever and hepatitis), unions were outlawed, military spending rose (for what? who the hell is going to attack Chile?), social security was “privatized” (with predictable results: ever-increasing government bailouts) and the poverty rate doubled, from 20% to 41%. Chile’s growth rate from 1974 to 1982 was 1.5%; the Latin American average was 4.3%.

Pinochet was a dicator, of course, which makes some libertarians feel that they have nothing to learn here. Somehow Chile’s experience (say) privatizing social security can tell us nothing about privatizing social security here, because Pinochet was a dictator. Presumably if you set up a business in Chile, the laws of supply and demand and perhaps those of gravity wouldn’t apply, because Pinochet was a dictator.

When it’s convenient, libertarians even trumpet their association with Chile’s “free market” policies; self-gov.org (originators of that cute quiz) includes a page celebrating Milton Friedman, self-proclaimed libertarian, who helped form and advise the group of University of Chicago professors and graduates who implemented Pinochet’s policies. The Cato Institute even named a prize for “Advancing Liberty” after this benefactor of the Chilean dictatorship.

The newest testing ground for laissez-faire is present-day America, from Ronald Reagan on.

Remove the New Deal, and the pre-New Deal evils clamor to return. Reagan removed the right to strike; companies now fire strikers, outsource high-wage jobs and replace them with dead-end near-minimum-wage service jobs. Middle-class wages are stagnating– or plummeting, if you consider that working hours are rising. Companies are rushing to reestablish child labor in the Third World.

Under liberalism, productivity increases benefited all classes– poverty rates declined from over 30% to under 10% in the thirty years after World War II, while the economy more than quadrupled in size.

In the current libertarian climate, productivity gains only go to the already well-off. Here’s the percentage of US national income received by certain percentiles of the population, as reported by the IRS:

This should put some perspective on libertarian whining about high taxes and how we’re destroying incentives for the oppressed businessman. The wealthiest 1% of the population doubled their share of the pie in just 15 years. In 1973, CEOs earned 45 times the pay of an average employee (about twice the multipler in Japan); today it’s 500 times.

Thirty years ago, managers accepted that they operated as much for their workers, consumers, and neighbors as for themselves. Some economists (notably Michael Jensen and William Meckling) decided that the only stakeholders that mattered were the stock owners– and that management would be more accountable if they were given massive amounts of stock. Not surprisingly, CEOs managed to get the stock without the accountability– they’re obscenely well paid whether the company does well or it tanks– and the obsession with stock price led to mass layoffs, short-term thinking, and the financial dishonesty at WorldCom, Enron, Adelphia, HealthSouth, and elsewhere.

The nature of our economic system has changed in the last quarter-century, and people haven’t understood it yet. People over 30 or so grew up in an environment where the rich got more, but everyone prospered. When productivity went up, the rich got richer– we’re not goddamn communists, after all– but everybody’s income increased.

If you were part of the World War II generation, the reality was that you had access to subsidized education and housing, you lived better every year, and you were almost unimaginably better off than your parents.

We were a middle-class nation, perhaps the first nation in history where the majority of the people were comfortable. This infuriated the communists (this wasn’t supposed to happen). The primeval libertarians who cranky about it as well, but the rich had little reason to complain– they were better off than ever before, too.

Conservatives– nurtured by libertarian ideas– have managed to change all that. When productivity rises, the rich now keep the gains; the middle class barely stays where it is; the poor get poorer. We have a ways to go before we become a Third World country, but the model is clear. The goal is an impoverished majority, and a super-rich minority with no effective limitations on its power or earnings. We’ll exchange the prosperity of 1950s America for that of 1980s Brazil.

Despite the intelligence of many of its supporters, libertarianism is an instance of the simplest (and therefore silliest) type of politics: the single-villain ideology. Everything is blamed on the government. (One libertarian, for instance, reading my list of the evils of laissez-faire above, ignored everything but “gunboats”. It’s like Gary Larson’s cartoon of “What dogs understand”, with the dog’s name replaced with “government”.)

The advantage of single-villain ideologies is obvious: in any given situation you never have to think hard to find out the culprit. The disadvantages, however, are worse: you can’t see your primary target clearly– hatred is a pair of dark glasses– and you can’t see the problems with anything else.

It’s a habit of mind that renders libertarianism unfalsifiable, and thus irrelevant to the world. Everything gets blamed on one institution; and because we have no real-world example where that agency is absent, the claims can’t be tested.

Not being a libertarian doesn’t mean loving the state; it means accepting complexity. The real world is a monstrously complicated place; there’s not just one thing wrong with it, nor just one thing that can be changed to fix it. Things like prosperity and freedom don’t have one cause; they’re a balancing act.

Here’s an alternative theory for you: original sin. People will mess things up, whether by stupidity or by active malice. There is no magical class of people (e.g. “government”) who can be removed to produce utopia. Any institution is liable to failure, or active criminality. Put anyone in power– whether it’s communists or engineers or businessmen– and they will abuse it.

Does this mean things are hopeless? Of course not; it just means that we have to let all institutions balance each other. Government, opposition parties, business, the media, unions, churches, universities, non-government organizations, all watch over each other. Power is distributed as widely as possible to prevent any one institution from monopolizing and abusing it. It’s not always a pretty solution, and it can be frustratingly slow and inefficient, but it works better than any alternative I know of.

Markets are very good at some things, like deciding what to produce and distributing it. But unrestricted markets don’t produce general prosperity, and lawless business can and will abuse its power. Examples can be multiplied ad nauseam: read some history– or the newspaper.

Libertarian responses to such lists are beyond amazing.

Slavery is another example: though some hoped that the market would eventually make it unprofitable, it sure was taking its time, and neither the slave nor the abolitionist had any non-governmental leverage over the slaveowners.

(Libertarians usually claim to oppose slavery… but that’s awfully easy to say on this side of Civil War and the civil rights movement. The slaveowners thought they were defending their sacred rights to property and self-government.)

And those are the better responses. Often enough the only response is explain how nothing bad can happen in the libertarian utopia. But libertarian dogma can’t be buttressed by libertarian doctrine– that’s begging the question.

Or it’s simply denied that these things are problems. One correspondent suggested that the poor shouldn’t “complain” about not getting loans– “I wouldn’t make a loan if I didn’t think I’d get paid back.” This is not only hard-hearted but ignorant. Who says the poor are bad credit risks? It often takes prodding from community organizations, but banks can serve low-income areas well– both making money and fostering home ownership. Institutions like the Grameen Bank have found that micro-loans work very well, and are profitable, in the poorest countries on Earth, such as Bangladesh.

A proven solution to most of these ills is liberalism. For fifty years liberals governed this country, generating unprecedented prosperity, and making this the first solidly middle-class nation.

If you want prosperity for the many– and why should the many support any other goal?– you need a balance between government and business. For this you need several things:

Perhaps the most communicable libertarian meme– and one of the most mischievous– is the attempt to paint taxation as theft.

First, it’s dishonest. Most libertarians theoretically accept government for defense and law enforcement. (There are some absolutists who don’t even believe in national defense; I guess they want to have a libertarian utopia for awhile, then hand it over to foreign invaders.)

Now, national defense and law enforcement cost money: about 22% of the 2002 budget– 33% of the non-social-security budget. You can’t swallow that and maintain that all taxes are bad. At least the cost of those functions is not “your money”; it’s a legitimate charge for necessary services.

Americans enjoy the fruits of public scientific research, a well-educated job force, highways and airports, clean food, honest labelling, Social Security, unemployment insurance, trustworthy banks, national parks. Libertarianism has encouraged the peculiarly American delusion that these things come for free. It makes a philosophy out of biting the hand that feeds you.

Second, it leads directly to George Bush’s financial irresponsibility. Would a libertarian urge his family or his software company or his gun club to spend twice what it takes in? When libertarians maintain that irresponsibility among the poor is such a bad thing, why is it OK in the government?

It’s no excuse to claim that libertarians didn’t want the government to increase spending, as Bush has done. As you judge others, so shall you be judged. Libertarians want to judge liberalism not by its goals (e.g. helping poor children) but by its alleged effects (e.g. teen pregnancy). The easiest things in the world for a politician to do are to lower taxes and raise spending. By attacking the very concept of taxation, libertarians help politicians– and the public– to indulge their worst impulses.

Finally, it hides dependence on the government. The economic powerhouse of the US is still the Midwest, the Northeast, and California– largely liberal Democratic areas. As Dean Lacy has pointed out, over the last decade, the blue states of 2004 paid $1.4 trillion more in federal taxes than they received, while red states received $800 billion more than they paid.

Red state morality isn’t just to be irresponsible with the money they pay as taxes; it’s to be irresponsible with other people’s money. It’s protesting the concept of getting an allowance by stealing the other kids’ money.

Ultimately, my objection to libertarianism is moral. Arguing across moral gulfs is usually ineffective; but we should at least be clear about what our moral differences are.

First, the worship of the already successful and the disdain for the powerless is essentially the morality of a thug. Money and property should not be privileged above everything else– love, humanity, justice.

(And let’s not forget that lurid fascination with firepower– seen in ESR, Ron Paul, Heinlein and Van Vogt, Advocates for Self-Government’s president Sharon Harris, the Cato Institute, Lew Rockwell’s site, and the Mises Institute.)

I wish I could convince libertarians that the extremely wealthy don’t need them as their unpaid advocates. Power and wealth don’t need a cheering section; they are– by definition– not an oppressed class which needs our help. Power and wealth can take care of themselves. It’s the poor and the defenseless who need aid and advocates.

The libertarians reminds me of G.K. Chesterton’s description of people who are so eager to attack a hated ideology that they will destroy their own furniture to make sticks to beat it with. James Craig Green again:

Here’s a very different moral point of view: Jimmy Carter describing why he builds houses with Habitat for Humanity:

Is this “confused hysteria”? No, it’s common human decency. It’s sad when people have to twist themselves into knots to malign the human desire (and the Biblical command) to help one’s neighbor.

Second, it’s the philosophy of a snotty teen, someone who’s read too much Heinlein, absorbed the sordid notion that an intellectual elite should rule the subhuman masses, and convinced himself that reading a few bad novels qualifies him as a member of the elite.

Third, and perhaps most common, it’s the worldview of a provincial narcissist. As I’ve observed in my overview of the 20th century, liberalism won its battles so thoroughly that people have forgotten why those battles were fought.

Read the original:
What’s wrong with libertarianism – Zompist.com

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Annenberg Classroom – Fourth Amendment

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on Annenberg Classroom – Fourth Amendment
Mar 102016
 

Fourth Amendment – The Text The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fourth Amendment – The Meaning Protection against Unreasonable Search and Seizure: The Fourth Amendment protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures by government officials. A search can mean everything from a frisking by a police officer to a blood test to a search of an individuals home or car. A seizure occurs when the government takes control of an individual or something in his or her possession. Items that are seized often are used as evidence when the individual is charged with a crime.

The Fourth Amendment imposes certain limitations on police investigating a crime and prevents the use of illegally obtained evidence at trial. But it does not restrict all searches. For example, courts have ruled that school officials may search school lockers and require that students who participate in extracurricular activities undergo random drug testing.

See original here:
Annenberg Classroom – Fourth Amendment

Top Ten Illuminati Symbols | Illuminati Rex

 Illuminati  Comments Off on Top Ten Illuminati Symbols | Illuminati Rex
Feb 242016
 

Top Ten Illuminati Symbols The Illuminati loves taunting the Profane by putting their symbols in plain sight for all to see. Only the Illuminati insiders are privy to the symbols true meaning. Symbols of the Illuminati are present on our currencies, and are plastered all over our television, movies and newspapers.

The All-Seeing Eye or the Eye of Providence is the preeminent symbol and most widely recognized symbol of the Illuminati.

The All-Seeing Eye as seen on the United States one dollar note.

The All-Seeing Eye was added to the original design of the Great Seal of the United States in 1776 by Pierre Eugne Du Simitire and remained on the Seal with the addition of an unfinished pyramid (see Illuminati symbol #2) when it was finally adopted in 1782. In 1935 the Great Seal was added to the $1 dollar note, the most widely circulated note on the planet, by President and Freemason Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Links to the Illuminati: To conspiracy theorists, the all-seeing eye represents the Eye of Lucifer. The Eye can see all and oversees its minions which are represented by the individual bricks of the pyramid. The 13 steps of the pyramid represent the 13 Illuminati Bloodlines which collectively rule over the planet. The year 1776 represent the founding of the Bavarian Illuminati by Adam Weishaupt.

US Government: The Eye is a representation of God who favors the prosperity of the United States. It is positioned above an unfinished pyramid representing the future growth of the United States. The 13 steps of the pyramid represent the original thirteen states. The year 1776 represent the birth of the United States.

Links to the Bavarian Illuminati: There is no evidence that the Bavarian Illuminati used the eye in any of its rituals. However, they used the point within a circle, circled dot, circumpunct, or circle with a point at its centre a () to represent the Order.

Links to Freemasonry: The Master Mason learns that the All Seeing Eye represents the Great Architect of the Universe (GAOTU) who watches and sees everything and will judge us according to our works.

The Freemasons also use the symbol. In Arcana of Masonry (p. 188), Masonic Historian Albert Churchward writes:

The point in the centre of a Circle is equal to the point at the tip of the Triangle, and this Glyph is equivalent to the Eye; the two are synonymous.

Other secret societies: In the Order of the Golden Dawn the represents Kether.

Masonic Vice-President Henry A. Wallace and Masonic President FDR added the pyramid to the dollar bill in 1935

All-Seeing Eye on the CBS logo

Original design for the Great Seal of the United States

Masonic tracing board, Germany 1770

The Illuminati Elite is represented by the capstone of the pyramid and the Profane by the stones.

The pyramid represents the top-down command structure of the Illuminati with the Illuminati plutocrats at the top and the peons at the bottom.

Links to the Illuminati: In Illuminati conspiracy theories the presence of a pyramid usually represents the top-down command structure of the Illuminati rulers of the universe. The theory has become more mainstream following the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement who refer to the rulers as the One Percent.

Links to the Bavarian Illuminati: The pyramid was featured prominently at Minerval Assemblies of the Bavarian Illuminati. A carpet was laid out on the rooms floor featuring a Pyramid flanked on either side by the letters D and P on each of its side. (Deo Proximo God is near) There are stones scattered at the pyramids base.

The unfinished pyramid signifies that the goals of the Most Serene Order of the Illuminati are still incomplete. By working together, the Illuminati is able to make great strides towards completing their task for the glory of the Grand Architect.

Links to Freemasonry: The George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Virginia is capped by a seven steps pyramid. The House of the Temple, the Headquarters for the Supreme Council of the southern jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Masonry is also capped by an unfinished pyramid.

Bavarian Illuminati pyramid vs. Great Seal pyramid

HW Bushs pet pyramid

Being There movie

Step pyramid surmounting George Washington Masonic National Memorial

DARPAs Information Awareness Office

Grave of Charles Taze Russell, Founder of the Jehovahs Witnesses

The owl was the symbol for Minerva, the goddess of wisdom. The Enlightened Ones see themselves as the wise rulers of the planet.

Owl at the Bohemian Grove

Links to the Illuminati: The Bohemian Grove, an exclusive elite 2,700-acre encampment situated in the Redwood forest of northern California features an owl on its logo. The planning meeting for the ultra-secret Manhattan Project is also rumored to have taken place at the Grove. It is also where Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan worked out a deal on who would run for President of the United States.

Owl on Dollar bill?

Bohemian Grove Napkin

Druid with Owl painting at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial

Justin Bieber Illuminati Minerval?

Illuminati Minerval Owl

Frost Bank Tower Austin, Texas

Links to the Bavarian Illuminati: The owl is an important symbol for Illuminati Minerval. The owl was a symbol of Pallas Athena and represented wisdom and vigilance. The owl was also included on the Illuminati Minerval and Illuminati Minor medallions.

The eternal flame is a powerful symbol of the Enlightenment.

The Statue of LIberty

Links to the Illuminati: Illuminati researcher Dr. Stan Monteith claims that the Statue of Liberty is the pagan goddess Semiramis, the whore of Babylon a homewrecker and a harlot. She represents the destruction of the Old World Order and the creation of the New World Order.

Illuminati researcher Mark Dice claims that the Statue of Liberty is an Illuminati symbol. The statues radiant crowns rays are a symbol of the sun or Enlightenment. The Enlightenment represents Lucifer, the torch bearer.

The Olympic Flame torch rally was first introduced by the Nazis for the 1936 Olympics. Prometheus gave fire (knowledge) to humans. For this transgression, the King of the Gods, Zeus punished Prometheus to have is liver eaten for eternity by an eagle.

Links to the Bavarian Illuminati: Weishaupt was aroused by Zoroastrianism and philosophies of the ancient Parsees. He planned to use fire allegories in the symbols and rituals of the higher degrees of the Illuminati. The color red is prominent in the higher degrees of Illuminati Priest and Illuminati Regent.

Links to Freemasonry: The Statue of Liberty was designed by Freemason Frederic Bartholdi.

The name Lucifer literally means bringer of light.

Statue of Liberty

Columbia Pictures logo

Olympic Torch

Rockefellers Standard Oil

Prometheus at Rockefeller Plaza

The Illuminati and the practice and promotion of black magic

The Pentagram with Baphomets head at its center

Aka: Sigil of Baphomet, (two points up)

The name Baphomet first appeared as a pagan idol in the trial transcripts of the Knights Templar by the Inquisition.

The pentagram was originally a protection charm against demons. The inverted pentagram came to have its own distinctive meaning as a sign of evil especially after the publication of famed French occultist Lvi liphas publication of Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual in 1854:

A reversed pentagram, with two points projecting upwards, is a symbol of evil and attracts sinister forces because it overturns the proper order of things and demonstrates the triumph of matter over spirit. It is the goat of lust attacking the heavens with its horns, a sign execrated by initiates.

Links to the Illuminati: George Washington and Thomas Jefferson appointed French-born freemason Pierre Charles LEnfant to design Washington D.C. A pentagram is clearly visible in the street layout leading many to speculate whether or not LEnfant deliberately inserted Masonic symbols.

However, the pentagram is not complete. Rhode Island Avenue does not connect with Pennsylvania Avenue, leaving the pentagram incomplete. Freemasons often point to this as proof that the streets of Washington DC are not Masonic. If the masons are all powerful architects, why cant they get a pentagram right? The answer might be found in the wrings of Illuminatus Johann Goethe (nom de guerre: Abaris) and famous author of Faust:

Mephistopheles: I must confess, my stepping oer Thy threshold a slight hindrance doth impede; The wizard-foot doth me retain.

Faust: The pentagram thy peace doth mar? To me, thou son of hell, explain, How camest thou in, if this thine exit bar? Could such a spirit aught ensnare?

Mephistopheles: Observe it well, it is not drawn with care, One of the angles, that which points without, Is, as thou seest, not quite closed.

Links to the Bavarian Illuminati: The Illuminati did not use the pentagram in its ceremonies.

Links to Freemasonry: The Order of the Eastern Star a female Masonic organization for wives and family of Freemasons uses the pentagram with two points up as its emblem.

Order of the Eastern Star

Ke$ha Die Young

Streets of Washington, D.C.

Washington posing Baphomet-style (As above, so below)

The Illuminati, the number of the Beast and the Anti-Christ.

six hundred sixty-six

Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

~ Revelation 13: 18 New King James Version (NKJV)

Links to the Illuminati: The number of the Beast is associated with the Anti-Christ who would eventually take helm of the Illuminati as he brings forth the New World Order. The music industry is a prime recruiting ground for the Illuminati. Illuminated musicians incorporate Illuminati symbolism in their work as a nudge to their Illuminati handlers.

The 666 numerals can also be found in corporate logos such as Taco Bell, Google Chrome and Vodafone. When AT&T changed the name of one of its subsidiaries to Lucent Technologies, Illuminati symbolism researcher Texe Marrs was quick to point out the new names similarity with Lucifer, and asked:

But, does AT&Ts new baby have horns? Does the name Lucent have any link to the name Lucifer? Could it be that, as one writer has suggested, Lucent stands for Lucifers Enterprise?

~ Texe Marrs, PROJECT L.U.C.I.D., 1996

Links to the Bavarian Illuminati: Only deists and atheists could hope to reach the higher mystery degrees of the Illuminati. As such, they would have regarded Satan as a mythological figure.

Links to Freemasonry:

Lucifer, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable, blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish souls? Doubt it not!

~ Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma

Note: Fear of the number 666 is called hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. There will be a test.

Barcode/UPC 666

Monster Energy Drink 666

Vodafone 666 or KKK

Walt Disney 666

Google Chrome 666

A symbol of mortality and the Illuminatis mark on the Skulls and Bones

Skull reminds young initiates of their own mortality

Links to the Illuminati: The Skull and Bones is an elite fraternity at Yale University, a prestigious American university. Their headquarters is known as the Tomb. Theres a painting of skulls with the quote:

Who was the fool, who the wise man, beggar or king? Whether poor or rich, alls the same in death.

Wer war der Thor, wer Weiser, Bettler oder Kaiser? Ob Arm, ob Reich, im Tode gleich.

Links to the Bavarian Illuminati: The Illuminati Regent or Illuminati Prince initiation rituals consisted of three rooms which the initiate had to visit in succession. In the first room the candidate would find a skeleton with a sword and a crown at its feet. The candidate would then be asked if the bones were the bones of a king, a nobleman or a beggar. As in the Order of the Skull and Bones, the scene intended to make the candidate reflect on his own mortality.

Links to Freemasonry: The Master Mason carpet features a skull to remind the initiate of his own mortality, just as in the Illuminati and in the Skull and Bones.

Fools and Kings

Skull and Bones, 1948 The grandfather clock is always set at 8 oclock

Master Mason Tracingboard

Snakes, Dragons and Serpents and the lure of forbidden knowledge

Serpent from the Book of Genesis

The snake or serpent one of the most ancient symbols used in myths and was widely used throughout the world. They often act as guardians, such as the statue of Draco guarding the entrance of The City of London.

Snakes are identified with forbidden wisdom or knowledge as in the serpent in the Garden of Eden from Genesis.

Being poisonous, and generally dangerous to humans, the snake symbol is commonly used in western culture as a representation of evil.

Continued here:
Top Ten Illuminati Symbols | Illuminati Rex

Debate Topic: Eugenics | Debate.org

 Eugenics  Comments Off on Debate Topic: Eugenics | Debate.org
Feb 232016
 

+In Regards To Noncoding DNA+ My opponent states that noncoding DNA has the functions of “1. Regulation of gene expression during development 2. Enhancers for transcription of proximal genes 3. Silencers for suppression of transcription of proximal genes 4. Regulate translation of proteins” Would these also not be simplified? These introns have the “function” of marking DNA, but with an extremely bulky price. Markers for DNA could be extremely more simple just by taking out the large, unused middle section of these DNA strains. With this loss, cell division would be exponentially faster (because DNA replication uses a large portion of that time) and would allow for less errors to occur in transcoding (which could stem the cause of diseases, mental and physical).

+In Regards To Human Vices+ I guess this is also a debatable topic, but I would say that vices come from faulty mental processes, correct? These mental processes are controlled by the brain and the nerves that process information. I would say that faulty mental processes would stem from a bad interpretation of the result of the actions of the individual or from a cloudy interpretation of the facts in which the body is given a faulty signal. Addictions could become regulated as understanding of the genetic implications in the nervous system becomes evident. Since addictions are a result of dependence on that substance or the substantial release of dopamine in an action. You could effect the reasons the body produces dopamine and instead make such vices extremely unpleasant for the individual in question. (I understand that this is a bit far into the field of theoretics like a lot of my claims)

+In Regards To Social and Pragmatic Concerns+ In concern of genetic liability, I agree with my opponent. If the geneticists ruin a child’s life, then I believe that that geneticist is liable. However, I have two points. One is that you assuming that the mistake would be permanent. It is a known fact that viruses can be used in genetic engineering, as they essentially carry and inject DNA into all of the cells in the body. With a bit of research (and a lot less than would be required to make eugenics a reality), we could manipulate the DNA the virus injects and the cells it targets. With differentiation, the cells that would harm the child would usually (except in case of severe genetic butchering) be in a specific targeted area. The fixing of the mistakes would be simple. Also, I am saying that by the time any human trials would be performed, the genetic manipulation process would be perfected to an intense degree (as perfection would be needed to dare risk the life of a human for enhancing purposes). In concern of discrimination, I believe my opponent misinterpreted what I said. I was saying that the extent of discrimination wouldn’t be increased, and would probably decrease. As with ignorance, comes discrimination (possibly another debatable topic). Eugenetically-induced humans would be far from ignorant as their brain capacity would be increased and knowledge could probably even be implanted. In regards to the disruption of natural selection, Eugenetics would just speed up the evolutionary process. Think for a second about what sets humans apart. I would say it is self-evolution. We have the unique ability to use tools to our desires and ends. Eugenics would just be an extension of this gift to an even greater degree. And, you must consider that other species are adapting too. Soon, we will be superseded by another species, if we don’t learn how to directly evolve ourselves and keep ahead of any evolutionary flow.

+In Regards to Population Growth+ In concern of overcrowding Earth, I must point towards the space program. By the time we have advanced science to the point of eugenics becoming a reality, do you not think we will have advanced to the point of terraforming Mars (which I must say is already an endeavor which we started planning). There is lots of space in the galaxy that is sustainable for human growth. Already sciences have pinpointed lots of exoplanets that have a possibility of sustaining life.

+In Regards to Interfering with Nature+ I have two points to make. The first is that survival of the fittest (nature’s law) states, simply that the best survive. So, Eugenics would be the purest form of this law. We would literally be making ourselves the best that could ever possibly live, which is what human nature dictates us to try to do. The second is that the reason we take a backseat to nature is because we don’t understand it very deeply. We don’t understand most of the systems that occur in nature so we simply say “Don’t mess with Nature.” But once you realize and understand nature to a far degree, you can tame Nature. In the time Eugenics could be possible, it is also the time that ecology would be a very complete science and provide a deep understanding into Nature and our irrational fear of it.

+In Regards to Monetary Concern+ On the topic of monetary concern, I will simply allude to a television or a computer. When they first came out, they were inefficient and extremely pricey. As time went on (and not much time), more and more people got them in their homes. Now, if you ask a group of kids who have a tv or computer in their house, a lot more than a few will raise their hands. My opponent made a fantastic point about the taxing of eugenics as a public good, and I completely agree with him. However, if it became a consumer item, it would spread and become cheaper in order to increase the clientele, until the process is entirely common.

+In Regards to an Allusion to Crude, Immoral Eugenics+ The eugenics my opponent talks about that occured in Japan, Germany, and in the Buck v. Bell trial are extremely crude, deformed forms of what I am referring to. So much, in fact, that I believe that the process should take a different term. The crude eugenics he refers were the butchering and erasing of people with physical or mental hindrances or, more commonly, because of their race. My plan would kill no one, and holds infinite promise.

+In Conclusion+ In conclusion, I would like to state that this process holds so many promises. So many problems would be solved that the ones described here almost seem trivial. However, they are important problems. I believe Con is clouded in his views. he is scared of change and what it brings with it, but I say that not only is change healthy, but it is essential to life as we know it. This is not an atrocity. Eugenics would be perfected in the laboratory over many years. Animal trials will be done and human tissues will be tested. This process is not gruesome and shouldn’t be thought of that way. Eugenics is the next step in the evolutionary chain. The question is, are you going to be part of the next generation of humans or are you going to become extinct?

In Round 2, PRO postulates that “DNA could be extremely more simple just by taking out the large, unused middle section of these DNA strains. With this loss, cell division would be exponentially faster (because DNA replication uses a large portion of that time) and would allow for less errors to occur in transcoding.” Of course, that is all theoretical, just as it was theoretical that junk DNA was junk.

The science is in, and within the so-called junk DNA, transposons arrange and influence thousand of strands of DNA, as a kind of cut and paste function that NATURALLY occurs, and it’s importance is immeasurable. I find PRO’s theories on removing non-coding DNA dangerous, as he lacks both the credentials and the wherewithal to be making assertions like this. “Junk DNA” is not junk, and removing large segments of DNA would obviously have deleterious effects. [1][2][3]

PRO proceeds to graciously answer my request for how he proposes to rid the world of human vice. Again, however, PRO does not offer anything beyond his own theoretical musings, with zero scientific justification to back them up, as he oversimplifies human vice and overstates the role of genes. What we refer to as “vice,” and how it all happens, is a complex ballet between nature and nurture in tandem with one another.

Some of the most compelling studies to conclude that nurture is as important as nature comes from separated hereditary twin research. Twin studies have been made to determine whether hereditary is the leading factor, or if it’s the environment. The results have shown that it’s basically an even amount of influence on a person. Separated twins often share common interests in food, struggle or succeed in math, have natural athleticism, and have similarities in temperament, tempo, and ways of doing things. The effects of nurture, however, show their working habits, and thoughts; whereas one twin might be liberal, the other conservative. How they view and respond to the world, however, reflects more upon how they were raised. Consequently, this is what affects serial killers and other crimes of ill-repute more than nature. They had similarities due to heredity, but they often have marked differences because they grew up in two very different environments.

Life isn’t as simple as DNA, lest humans are merely a sum of their parts. I doubt very seriously that if we were to take one of PRO’s perfect humans who have allegedly been genetically rid of vice, and tortured them for the first 10 years of their life, that they would be well adjusted human beings. They’d be homicidal like anyone else. Our external experiences are equally as important as our genetic makeup. [4]

The next portion of the debate focuses on liability of researchers who genetically alter a zygote. I had previously asked if they would be held accountable for any mistakes made when, say, they attempted to make one of PRO’s superhuman with deformities. PRO thinks that, however, we can simply go back and make changes like we’re changing oil or changing out a tire. That is science fiction. You can’t just sit somebody down in a chair and change their DNA, that would be absurd. The whole eugenic process must occur on the zygote level, that is, an inseminated ovum is extracted from a mother’s womb and researchers study the genome and tweak it, a priori, not posteriori. Of course, even that is a gross oversimplification of the process, but PRO’s insinuation that we can correct problems later is based on pure fantasy.

At most we can do is something known as “gene therapy,” which on a very limited basis, inserts healthy genes in to diseased ones. Gene therapy has not yet been approved because it is in the clinical stages.

PRO further postulates, in regards to my point of rampant population growth, that In concern of overcrowding Earth, I must point towards the space program.” And so we see PRO using another science fiction to cover the other. There are no definitive plans for humans to move to the moon, Mars, or anywhere else in the solar system. Just because NASA entertains the theoretical possibility does not mean that one can rely on that as an answer to a troubling concern. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a non-answer to my legitimate question. I trust the reader will render the same judgment.

In regards to nature, he made the following comment: “But once you realize and understand nature to a far degree, you can tame Nature” PRO seems to think that humans can and should control nature, simply because humans are intelligent. Everything on planet earth seems to be at his disposal for manipulation. What about nature is there to “tame” anyhow? There is no right or wrong with nature, it just is. Humans, continually altering nature, are constantly endagnering the very nature we need to survive and share a symbiotic relationship with. Global warming and nuclear holcausts are just two examples of how anthropogenic efforts intended to help us, end up hurting ourselves and nature.

PRO then assures me that his version of eugenics is nothing like what occurred in Germany, Japan, or in America with Buck v. Bell. He states that those people were viewed as hindrances, which is why they wanted to eradicate them. But is this not what PRO wants too? Does he not desire a race of people without weakness? His first post in Round 1 makes it clear that he does in fact want a world free from the ills of society. Sure, PRO may not desire to kill the sick and the lame, but the slippery slope of eugenics is that it’s thus far been the reality. He may not want that, but who’s to say that his protege won’t? Or the government?

We must remember that all of the atrocities I pointed were foisted on us under the pretense of benefiting society. At what cost? Genocide? Discrimination? The fact that the only recorded cases of eugenic programs focused on these makes it more than relevant to question the future of it. I don’t think that is being overly-paranoid.

=== FINAL CONCLUSION ===

To be fair, I do understand the world that PRO wants. I certainly do not believe that he has any malicious intent, and as I stated earlier, I appreciate his enthusiasm and interest in science. His candor on the matter is much appreciated as well. Be that as it may, what troubles me is the lack of substance put forth to some of my legitimate concerns. I do not feel that PRO properly addressed my fiscal concerns, the bio-ethical concern, the over-population concern, the penchant to manipulate nature, or any other argument I set forth. PRO claims that I am scared of change, but this is simply not true.

All scientific efforts are in the interest of improvement, which I do not have a problem with, provided it is carefully dissected and we do not run in to it headlong with reckless abandonment. PRO simply wants humans to take the reigns as nature itself, making a grandiose claim that eugenics is the next evolutionary step. Evolution, in case any forgot, is an unguided process. The very act of manipulating nature to achieve selfish ends is the non-epitome of evolution. If that’s not playing God, then I don’t what is. To be so arrogant to think that one can usurp nature is playing the fool. It is a dangerous prospect that has already proved its self-destruction.

In closing, I want to again thank my opponent for such an interesting and provocative debate. I think he has a bright future at DDO, but nonetheless I think I have created a strong case of reasonable doubt. I trust the voter will see how I refuted his points.

For this reason, sensible voters votes CON! Resolution negated.

=== SOURCES ===

1. http://www.sciencedaily.com… 2. http://www.sciencedaily.com… 3. http://www.sciencedaily.com… 4. http://wilderdom.com…

See the original post here:
Debate Topic: Eugenics | Debate.org

The Rutherford Institute :: Free Speech

 Free Speech  Comments Off on The Rutherford Institute :: Free Speech
Feb 212016
 

Defending this fundamental right of free expression is a central theme of The Rutherford Institutes work because we believe that all other liberties spring forth from this right.

The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the opportunity to freely express themselves. This fundamental freedom includes the right to distribute literature and discuss a multitude of viewseven views distasteful to most people. It also protects the right of the people to engage in lawful picketing and the right to peaceably assemble. It is critical that a free society value and honor a free marketplace of ideas, a diversity of opinion, and free expression. Without free expression, no democratic society would be possible.

It is for these reasons that The Rutherford Institute is dedicated to preserving these fundamental rights for all Americans. The Institute responds to hundreds of complaints of free speech violations each year. From environmental activists peaceably protesting on public property to preachers relaying their message in a public forum, The Rutherford Institute believes that all people, regardless of their personal beliefs, are entitled to speak freely.

Free Speech Double Standard: Rutherford Institute Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Declare Unconstitutional Its Own Ban on Expressive Activity on Plaza

First Amendment Victory: Appeals Court Rejects Government Attempt to Deny Trademarks for Names That Might Cause Offense, e.g., ‘The Slants’

Rutherford Responds: City Officials, Police Ask Federal Court to Dismiss First Amendment Lawsuit Over Violation of Street Preachers Free Speech Rights

‘Government Cannot Discriminate Against Offensive Speech’: Rutherford Institute Argues for First Amendment Protection for Redskins’ Name

Federal Appeals Court Refuses to Reconsider Decision Upholding 60-Year-Old Ban on Expressive Activity on U.S. Supreme Court Plaza

The Rutherford Institutes petition for review in Clary v. Virginia DMV

Rutherford Institute Challenges Virginia Over Its Cancellation, Revocation and Recall of License Plates Displaying the Confederate Flag

The Right to Tell the Government to Go to Hell: Free Speech in an Age of Government Bullies, Corporate Censors and Compliant Citizens

Fear of the Walking Dead: The American Police State Takes Aim

Sheep Led to the Slaughter: The Muzzling of Free Speech in America

The Emergence of Orwellian Newspeak and the Death of Free Speech

Free Speech, Facebook and the NSA: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

An Unbearable and Choking Hell: The Loss of Our Freedoms in the Wake of 9/11

Free Speech, RIP: A Relic of the American Past

Voter ID Laws: Silencing the American People

Criminalizing Free Speech: Is This What Democracy Looks Like?

Read more here:
The Rutherford Institute :: Free Speech

Internet Free Speech – American Civil Liberties Union

 Free Speech  Comments Off on Internet Free Speech – American Civil Liberties Union
Feb 212016
 

The digital revolution has produced the most diverse, participatory, and amplified communications medium humans have ever had: the Internet. The ACLU believes in an uncensored Internet, a vast free-speech zone deserving at least as much First Amendment protection as that afforded to traditional media such as books, newspapers, and magazines.

The ACLU has been at the forefront of protecting online freedom of expression in its myriad forms. We brought the first case in which the U.S. Supreme Court declared speech on the Internet equally worthy of the First Amendments historical protections. In that case, Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, the Supreme Court held that the government can no more restrict a persons access to words or images on the Internet than it can snatch a book out of someones hands or cover up a nude statue in a museum.

But that principle has not prevented constant new threats to Internet free speech. The ACLU remains vigilant against laws or policies that create new decency restrictions for online content, limit minors access to information, or allow the unmasking of anonymous speakers without careful court scrutiny.

See original here:
Internet Free Speech – American Civil Liberties Union

NSA ARC Business Registration

 NSA  Comments Off on NSA ARC Business Registration
Feb 172016
 

Welcome to the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) Business Registry, sponsored by the Acquisition Resource Center (ARC). We have established this service so that vendors can register for possible future business opportunities with NSA and other Intelligence Community Agencies (IC). We encourage you to tell us about your organization and its capabilities so we can contact you for any future acquisition that would suit your products and services. Please do not submit any information that you consider proprietary, as the government currently will not protect information so provided. By registering in this database, you will receive notification of specific NSA/IC acquisition efforts, Broad Area Announcements (BAA) and Requests for Information (RFI). This Web-based tool is the front door for business opportunities with NSA and the IC. We look forward to learning more about your business.

The information contained in the ARC Business Registry is intended solely to advise the government, cleared vendors, and prospective vendors of the possible sources of supplies and services to be acquired by NSA/IC and to establish a single database for the dissemination to vendors of certain current and future NSA/IC acquisition information. Any government generated e-mails or internet announcements may simply advise a vendor to visit the ARC located in Hanover, Maryland or to contact the Agency concerning a particular unclassified acquisition. The messages will all have a return address of nsaarc@nsaarc.net, where more details related to the announcement will be available.

Click here to visit ARCnet with a valid PKI certificate.

Click here to visit ARCnet without a PKI certificate.

Continued here:
NSA ARC Business Registration

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Digital Duplications and the Fourth Amendment – Digital …

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on Digital Duplications and the Fourth Amendment – Digital …
Feb 152016
 

Introduction

The explosive growth of digital data in the twenty-first century has been both a boon and a curse for law enforcement. On one hand this growth has heralded a golden age of surveillance owing to the massive amount of information that is available about actual and potential lawbreakers,1E.g., Peter Swire, The Golden Age of Surveillance, Slate (July 15, 2015, 4:12 PM), http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2015/07/encryption_back_doors_aren_t_necessary_we_re_already_in_a_golden_age_of.html [http://perma.cc/957N-QFL4]. but on the other hand the government now has that much more data to sort through. To search this ever-expanding haystack, the government has adopted various techniques, including algorithmic queries. But in order to apply these queries to search for the needle the government must first collect the hay. One technique that law enforcement has adopted is to take mirror images of digital data for later off-site review.

A persistent question, though, is how the Fourth Amendment applies to both the initial act of duplicating digital data and the continued retention of that data. It goes without saying that the drafters of the Fourth Amendment did not contemplate its application to the digital era. And Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, accordingly, has long since departed from a strict originalist understanding. Beginning with Katz v. United States,2 389 U.S. 347 (1967). the Supreme Court adapted [t]he right of the people to be secure …against unreasonable searches and seizures3U.S. Const. amend. IV. to cover modern technological developments by finding such a violation when the government surreptitiously recorded a phone conversation in a public phone booth.4See Katz, 389 U.S. at 359.

Since then, the Court has considered the Fourth Amendments application to a variety of new technologies ranging from airplane surveillance to thermal imaging.5 See, e.g., United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705 (1984) (radio tracking); California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207 (1986) (airplane surveillance); Florida v. Riley, 488 U.S. 445 (1989) (helicopter surveillance); Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001) (thermal imaging); United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012) (GPS tracking); Maryland v. King, 133 S. Ct. 1958 (2013) (DNA swabs); Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473 (2014) (cell phones). In Riley v. California,6 134 S. Ct. 2473. for example, the Supreme Court analyzed the application of the Fourth Amendment to searches of a cell phone seized incident to arrest. Noting that modern cell phones contain vast troves of personal information, far beyond what one historically could keep in ones pocket, the Court found that the rationale for the search-incident-to-arrest exception to the warrant requirement did not extend to a cell phones digital contents.7Id. at 249495.

This Note attempts to address a narrow question in modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence: should government duplication and retention of electronically stored information be characterized under the Fourth Amendment as a search, as a seizure, as both, or as neither?8 Although this Note does explore Fourth Amendment reasonableness balancing as applied to duplication and retention in Part IV, its primary focus is on the predicate question of whether a search or seizure has even occurred. Duplication and retention arise in many contexts.9 For example, many warrants include temporary seizure provisions that require the government to return seized items after a certain period of time. The government could potentially make a copy of any hard drives seized and retain the copy beyond the warrant period. See, e.g., United States v. Ganias, 755 F.3d 125 (2d Cir. 2014) (finding such conduct a seizure of the data and applying the exclusionary rule), rehg en banc granted, 791 F.3d 290 (2d Cir. 2015); cf. United States v. Cote, 72 M.J. 41 (C.A.A.F. 2013) (applying exclusionary rule to exclude evidence obtained from an original hard drive retained beyond the authorized period). Additionally, the technology certainly exists to enable the government to remotely access computers connected to the Internet, potentially allowing remote copying without requiring a physical trespass. Cf. United States v. Gorshkov, No. CR00-550C, 2001 WL 1024026 (W.D. Wash. May 23, 2001). But somewhat shockingly, it is not entirely settled that the government conducts either a search or a seizure when it makes a copy of locally stored data,10 Under current law, information shared with third parties (such as with cloud storage) may lose the veneer of privacy and thus is no longer protected by the Fourth Amendment. See Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 743 (1979). This Note focuses on locally stored data for simplicity, but the Court in Riley suggested that the Fourth Amendment protections would apply equally to data stored in the cloud, see 134 S. Ct. at 2491; see also Jones, 132 S. Ct. at 957 (Sotomayor, J., concurring) (noting that the third-party doctrine is ill suited to the digital age); Daniel J. Solove, Digital Dossiers and the Dissipation of Fourth Amendment Privacy, 75 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1083 (2002) (warning against rigid application of this rule in the digital era). and then retains that data without further reviewing it.11 Later review by a government agent would most likely constitute a search. However, because the items being searched are duplicates in government possession, not originals, even this issue may not be fully settled. See Orin S. Kerr, Searches and Seizures in a Digital World, 119 Harv. L. Rev. 531, 56265 (2005). As Justice Sotomayor worries, [t]he Government can store such records and efficiently mine them for information years into the future.12Jones, 132 S. Ct. at 95556 (Sotomayor, J., concurring).

One technique the government has adopted to address the growth of relevant data, a technique which some courts have blessed, is to take a mirror image of a hard drive (or other data repository) on site, leave the original with the owner, and then perform the search off-site at a later time.13 See, e.g., Ganias, 755 F.3d at 135 ([T]he creation of mirror images for offsite review is constitutionally permissible in most instances ….); United States v. Veloz, No. 12-10264, 2015 WL 3540808, at *5 (D. Mass. June 4, 2015); cf. United States v. Tamura, 694 F.2d 591, 59596 (9th Cir. 1982) (noting that off-site review may be appropriate subject to prior approval by a magistrate when on-site review is infeasible). A mirror image is an exact duplicate of the original data, which investigators can then access in a read-only state to avoid altering the data in even the smallest way.14See Scott Carlson, New Challenges for Digital Forensics Experts and the Attorneys Who Work with Them, in Understanding the Legal Issues of Computer Forensics 17, 1920 (2013), 2013 WL 3759817, at *2 (discussing digital forensics procedures). This approach allows the search to proceed with minimal interference in the data owners work or life, since the owner retains the originals. The investigators, for their part, are able to work in their own offices, under their own time constraints. And, because the data was copied exactly and remains unaltered, it is easily authenticated and used as evidence.15See Recent Case, 128 Harv. L. Rev. 743, 74849 (2014) (describing authentication process).

At first blush, it is unclear how mirror-imaging fits into the constitutional landscape. The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.16U.S. Const. amend. IV. As the Court recently reiterated in Riley, the ultimate touchstone of the Fourth Amendment is reasonableness.17 Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2482 (2014) (quoting Brigham City v. Stuart, 547 U.S. 398, 403 (2006)). However, the government can avoid even that standard if its actions constitute neither a search nor a seizure a prerequisite to Fourth Amendment scrutiny.18 For example, using a trained canine to sniff the exterior of a bag for drugs is not subject to any reasonableness analysis because the Supreme Court has held that such an action is neither a search nor a seizure. See United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 707 (1983); see also Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 409 (2005) (finding that a canine sniff of car stopped for a traffic violation was not a search). But see Florida v. Jardines, 133 S. Ct. 1409, 141718 (2013) (finding a canine sniff on the front porch of home was a search). The mirror-image approach thus raises the question of whether duplication and retention constitutes a search or seizure subject to Fourth Amendment reasonableness requirements.

Answering that question requires determining whether duplication either (a) violates the individuals reasonable expectation of privacy, or (b) interferes with the individuals possessory interest in the information.19See United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109, 113 (1984). This Note assumes that the individual has an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy without which no search occurs. The caselaw offers no conclusive answers. Indeed, until very recently, it tended to suggest that the Fourth Amendment had no application to duplication because it is neither a search nor a seizure. If the government just copies the data, without looking at it, then there is no invasion of privacy. If the data owner retains the original, then there is no intrusion on possessory interests. These answers, though, seem both unsatisfying and instinctively wrong.

Some courts and commentators have suggested that such duplication should be considered a seizure because it interferes with the individuals right to delete data20See Paul Ohm, The Fourth Amendment Right to Delete, 119 Harv. L. Rev. F. 10 (2005). or right to exclude others from data.21See United States v. Ganias, 755 F.3d 125, 137 (2d Cir. 2014), rehg en banc granted, 791 F.3d 290 (2d Cir. 2015); Mark Taticchi, Note, Redefining Possessory Interests: Perfect Copies of Information as Fourth Amendment Seizures, 78 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 476 (2010). Others have argued that it is a seizure if it freezes evidence for later review rather than as a memory aid.22See Orin S. Kerr, Fourth Amendment Seizures of Computer Data, 119 Yale L.J. 700, 71415 (2010). While such conceptions subject duplication of electronic data to Fourth Amendment scrutiny, they do so by shoehorning the process into existing precedent on seizures. But the problem with government duplication is not easily conceived of as interference with possessory interests, since the data owner not only retains unfettered rights to the original, but also may not have exclusive rights over much of the data in the first instance. Accordingly, it makes little sense to label such conduct as a seizure.

Instead, this Note proposes, courts should focus on the privacy interests at stake in duplication of that information, and whether government duplication and retention of an individuals private data violates that expectation, and is therefore a search. Privacy, often defined as control over personal information,23See infra section III.A, pp. 105963. is clearly infringed when the government duplicates that information, thus depriving the data owner of control. Viewing duplication as a search would avoid some of the complications that arise from characterizing it as a seizure, such as whether the data owner does in fact have a right to exclusive possession of the particular data.

Part I explores the doctrine surrounding searches and seizures in general terms and examines some background cases analogous to the digital duplication context. Part II considers the arguments advanced by some courts and commentators that digital duplication is properly conceived as a seizure. In Part III, the Note shows why the doctrine supports viewing duplication as a search. Part IV examines some of the consequences that arise from the proposed recharacterization.

Fourth Amendment jurisprudence has been adapted to new technology many times throughout its history.24 See generally Orin S. Kerr, The Fourth Amendment and New Technologies: Constitutional Myths and the Case for Caution, 102 Mich. L. Rev. 801 (2004) (discussing the shifts in the jurisprudence in response to new technologies). As the government has acquired new methods for collecting evidence, courts have adjusted the test for what constitutes a violation.25 Professor Orin Kerr calls this the equilibrium approach to the Fourth Amendment, wherein the Court tries to maintain the status quo between cops and robbers. See Orin S. Kerr, An Equilibrium-Adjustment Theory of the Fourth Amendment, 125 Harv. L. Rev. 476, 486 (2011). Most significantly, in Katz, the Court moved beyond its prior trespass inquiry to bring a listening device on a public phone booth within the Fourth Amendments ambit.26 Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 353 (1967). In several recent cases, the Court, led by Justice Scalia, has revived the trespass inquiry as an additional test for Fourth Amendment violations. See, e.g., United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945, 953 (2012). Kerr has suggested that, contra Jones, there was no trespass test before Katz. See Orin S. Kerr, The Curious History of Fourth Amendment Searches, 2012 Sup. Ct. Rev. 67, 68. In Kyllo v. United States,27 533 U.S. 27 (2001). the Court ruled that the government searched a home when, from a car on a public way, it used thermal imaging to measure the heat given off from the roof of a home.28Id. at 30, 40. In Riley, the Court imposed strict limitations on the circumstances under which a police officer could search a cell phone incident to arrest.29 Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2495 (2014). But there is little Supreme Court guidance on applying the Fourth Amendment to duplications, and lower courts have had to analogize from old caselaw of questionable relevance in the modern context. Consequently, earlier cases tended to find that duplication constituted neither a search nor a seizure. More recently, however, that trend has reversed itself, and courts have begun to apply Fourth Amendment scrutiny to duplications of digital data.

A. Search or Seizure

The Fourth Amendment regulates both searches and seizures. These are two discrete government actions, each of which is independently subjected to the Constitutions reasonableness requirement. In United States v. Jacobsen,30 466 U.S. 109 (1984). the Court defined a seizure as some meaningful interference with an individuals possessory interests in the property.31Id. at 113. A seizure threatens the individuals interest in retaining possession of property32 Texas v. Brown, 460 U.S. 730, 747 (1983) (Stevens, J., concurring in the judgment); see also United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 716 (1983) (Brennan, J., concurring in the result). and contemplates a forcible dispossession of the owner.33 Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 76 (1906), overruled in part by Murphy v. Waterfront Commn, 378 U.S. 52 (1964).

Jacobsen also defined a search: a search occurs when an expectation of privacy that society is prepared to consider reasonable is infringed.34 466 U.S. at 113. This definition builds on Justice Harlans concurrence in Katz.35See 389 U.S. 347, 361 (1967) (Harlan, J., concurring). Katz unquestionably elevated the importance of privacy to the Fourth Amendment inquiry, and indeed, until United States v. Jones,36 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012). privacy seemed to have attained status as not only the primary but perhaps the exclusive focus of Fourth Amendment search analysis.37Jones renewed the focus on property rights, but as that case illustrates, the property-driven analysis had never been entirely displaced. See, e.g., Soldal v. Cook County, 506 U.S. 56, 62 (1992) ([O]ur cases unmistakably hold that the [Fourth] Amendment protects property as well as privacy.). Although this primacy has been criticized by commentators, there are strong reasons for maintaining a focus on privacy.38 See generally Christopher Slobogin, A Defense of Privacy as the Central Value Protected by the Fourth Amendments Prohibition on Unreasonable Searches, 48 Tex. Tech L. Rev. (forthcoming 2016) (rebutting criticisms of the significance of privacy in Fourth Amendment analysis). In any event, even after Jones, privacy is plainly a part of the search inquiry. If the government has infringed a reasonable expectation of privacy, then it has conducted a search.

But privacy defies easy definition.39 See, e.g., Daniel J. Solove, Understanding Privacy 1011 (2008) (proposing sixteen categories of privacy); see also David Alan Sklansky, Too Much Information: How Not to Think About Privacy and the Fourth Amendment, 102 Calif. L. Rev. 1069, 1113 (2014) (defining privacy as a type of refuge from the government). In general, though, courts and commentators have come to view privacy as determining for oneself when, how and to whom personal information will be disclosed.40 Natl Cable & Telecomms. Assn v. FCC, 555 F.3d 996, 1001 (D.C. Cir. 2009). Privacy is an individuals control of information concerning his or her person.41 U.S. Dept of Justice v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749, 763 (1989). This definition dates back at least to Professor Alan Westins seminal work, published the same year Katz was decided.42See Alan F. Westin, Privacy and Freedom 7 (1967) (defining privacy as the claim of individuals, groups, or institutions to determine for themselves when, how, and to what extent information about them is communicated to others). Westins definition has gained traction in Fourth Amendment scholarship.43See Sklansky, supra note 39, at 108384 (describing the dominance of Westins definition in modern academic discourse); see also Harold J. Krent, Of Diaries and Data Banks: Use Restrictions Under the Fourth Amendment, 74 Tex. L. Rev. 49, 51 (1995). Left to debate, of course, is what information is personal and thus private. But so defined, it seems natural to say that an individual has an expectation that she will retain control over the information contained in her data storage device. Whether the expectation is reasonable is illuminated by reference to real and personal property law and societal understandings.44See Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 144 n.12 (1978).

A few examples serve to illustrate the dichotomy between searches and seizures. As noted, a seizure occurs when the government meaningfully interferes with an individuals possessory interests.45See United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109, 113 (1984). If a police officer takes your phone away from you, then that officer has seized your phone. A court reviewing that action would then ask whether that seizure was reasonable within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.46 See, e.g., United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 70910 (1983). A search, on the other hand, occurs when the government violates an individuals actual and reasonable expectation of privacy.47See Jacobsen, 466 U.S. at 113; Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 361 (1967) (Harlan, J., concurring); see also Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 740 (1979) (adopting Justice Harlans approach from Katz). Thus, if a police officer looks at your phones contents, such as your contacts list or stored videos, that officer has searched your phone because he has interfered with your control over the personal information contained within. The reviewing court would ask whether that search was reasonable which, as Riley emphasized, generally means pursuant to a warrant.48 Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2495 (2014). If an officer takes your phone from you and then looks at the photos on it, that officer has seized and then searched your phone. By contrast, when the police officer watches you talking on your phone as you walk down Main Street, he has conducted neither a search nor a seizure.49See United States v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276, 28182 (1983). No reasonable expectation of privacy has been invaded by the officers observations of you in public, and the officers action in no way interferes with your possession of your phone. That action, then, is never subjected to Fourth Amendment reasonableness analysis.50 See, e.g., Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 40810 (2005) (declining to consider the reasonableness of a dog sniff after concluding that the dog sniff was not itself a search).

B. Early Duplication Cases

Arizona v. Hicks51 480 U.S. 321 (1987). concerned duplication but is far removed from the digital context: While searching an apartment for the source of an errant gunshot, a police officer noticed some high-end stereo equipment that he suspected might be stolen and recorded the serial number to check against a police database of stolen equipment.52Id. at 323. The Court quickly discarded the argument that recording the serial number constituted a seizure. The recording did not meaningfully interfere with the defendants possessory interest in the information; because the officer did not confiscate the stereo, he had not interfered with the defendants possession of either the stereo or the serial number.53Id. at 324. The Court nonetheless affirmed the exclusion of the evidence, holding that moving the stereo to reveal the serial number constituted a search, which was unreasonable given the lack of probable cause. Id. at 328.

Some lower courts have also considered duplication in other nondigital contexts, such as photocopies and photographs. Several cases, for example, suggest that photocopying is not a seizure.54See, e.g., United States v. Thomas, 613 F.2d 787, 793 (10th Cir. 1980) (The agents act of photocopying …was not a seizure. A seizure is a taking of property.). But in 2001, in United States v. Gorshkov,55 No. CR00-550C, 2001 WL 1024026 (W.D. Wash. May 23, 2001). the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington addressed head-on the issue of copying digital information. The FBI had obtained the defendants password through a sting operation, and then used the password to remotely access the defendants server.56Id. at *1. Because they feared that the defendants accomplices might delete the information on the server, the FBI remotely copied the information without reviewing it before applying for or obtaining a warrant.57Id. The court ruled that this did not constitute a seizure, noting that the remote copying had absolutely no impact on possessory interests because it did not prevent others from accessing the data.58Id. at *3. The Gorshkov court further noted that the Fourth Amendment did not apply because the defendant was a foreign national whose server was located overseas, id., and that, even if the copying did constitute a search or seizure, it was a reasonable one, id. at *4. In the context of copying the contents of a cell phone temporarily seized incident to arrest, or of imaging a hard drive pursuant to a warrant authorizing seizure of the original, the question may be even clearer59 The Gorshkov court held an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the copying had prevented access by other users. See id. at *3 n.1; see also In re United States, 665 F. Supp. 2d 1210, 1222 (D. Or. 2009) ([T]here was no …meaningful interference due to the nature of electronic information, which can be accessed from multiple locations, by multiple people, simultaneously.). because the original has already been legitimately seized and the owners possession is already precluded.

Gorshkov was not without its detractors, as commentators recognized the potential scope of the Hicks rule if applied to digital duplications. If the government can make duplicates without implicating the Fourth Amendment, it could copy all of our files, which might contain a cache of sensitive personal information,60 Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2490 (2014). and then efficiently mine them for information years into the future.61United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945, 956 (2012) (Sotomayor, J., concurring).

To fit digital duplications into the Fourth Amendment, some have suggested characterizing duplication and retention as a seizure, relying on property notions of exclusive ownership. Several courts that considered the matter subsequently were similarly unpersuaded by Gorshkovs reasoning, and have considered duplication to be a seizure.

A. The Possessory Rights Argument

Given that there are seemingly greater privacy implications than possessory implications to duplication, it seems strange that the prevailing view is to consider duplications as seizures. But several academic commentators have convincingly focused the arguments on possessory interests by emphasizing application of traditional property concepts to information. Some have looked at how the act of copying interferes with use of the information, and others at how the government might use the information.

Professor Orin Kerr who initially argued that the faithful application of the Hicks rule precluded classifying data duplication generally as a seizure62See Kerr, supra note 11, at 56061. has distinguished between copying-as-freezing (a seizure) and copying-as-an-aid-to-memory (not a seizure).63See Kerr, supra note 22, at 71418. Kerr focuses on the purpose of a seizure to secure evidence for later use to distinguish between copies made for different purposes.64Id. at 710. If data had already been exposed to an agent, then a duplicate of it was just made to aid that agents memory, and was therefore not a seizure.65See id. at 71415. This understanding preserves the rule of Hicks because the officer there had already seen the serial number when he wrote it down.66Id. at 716.

Professors Susan Brenner and Barbara Frederiksen have made two arguments in favor of characterizing duplication as a seizure.67See Susan W. Brenner & Barbara A. Frederiksen, Computer Searches and Seizures: Some Unresolved Issues, 8 Mich. Telecomm. & Tech. L. Rev. 39, 11113 (2002). First, as Kerr later argued, they note that copying data on a computer, unlike duplications of other mediums, interferes with the access and functioning of the computer, however briefly, during that process.68Id. at 112. Second, they argue that the majority opinion in Katz recognized that information can be seized when it characterized the recording of the conversation as a seizure.69Id. at 111 (citing Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967)). Note, however, that the majority opinion is not so clear: although the Court referred to the recording as a search and seizure, it was using the conjunctive term, explicitly quoting the Fourth Amendment itself, to express generally that it fell within the ambit of the Fourth Amendment. See Katz, 389 U.S. at 353. Copying data, even though it leaves the original intact, deprives the owner of something of value and interferes with exclusive use and possession, just as the theft of data does.70 Brenner & Frederiksen, supra note 67, at 112 n.236.

Brenner and Frederiksens first point hasnt gained much traction,71 Ohm has criticized such a limited understanding because, as technology advances, this interference will become less and less. See Ohm, supra note 20, at 17. but several commentators have elaborated on the second. Professor Paul Ohm offers a narrower possessory interest that is infringed by duplication: the right to delete.72See id. As Ohm later elaborated, this right to delete derives from the traditional property right to destroy. See Paul Ohm, The Olmsteadian Seizure Clause: The Fourth Amendment and the Seizure of Intangible Property, 2008 Stan. Tech. L. Rev. 2, 6263, https://journals.law.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/stanford-technology-law-review/online/ohm-olmsteadian-seizure-clause.pdf [http://perma.cc/Q3VN-ZWM6]. Ohm argues that this right attaches to digital data, but that it did not apply in Hicks because that right evaporated once the serial number was in plain view.73 Ohm, supra note 20, at 16. Mark Taticchi argues that the concept of exclusive possession renders exact duplicates a seizure.74See Taticchi, supra note 21, at 496. Taticchi notes that the right to exclude others from data should be limited to exact duplicates, and not extend to summaries or memories, because the degree of interference with exclusive possession is smaller, and a rule applying to notes and memories would be too socially costly and difficult to administer.75Id. at 497.

Although several courts have concluded that duplication is a seizure, few have relied on any explicit possessory-interest analysis. In United States v. Jefferson,76 571 F. Supp. 2d 696 (E.D. Va. 2008). the court found that taking high-resolution photographs of the defendants documents outside the scope of the initial warrant constituted a seizure of the information in those documents.77Id. at 704. The court emphasized that the defendants interests extended to the data contained within the documents, not just the physical documents themselves, and that the photographs interfered with sole possession of that information.78Id. at 70203. In United States v. Metter,79 860 F. Supp. 2d 205 (E.D.N.Y. 2012). the court noted that government possession of an imaged hard drive presents the same privacy concerns as would the governments retention of the original communications,80Id. at 212. and found that the fifteen-month retention of the duplicate was an unreasonable seizure.81Id. In United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc.,82 621 F.3d 1162 (9th Cir. 2010) (en banc). the Ninth Circuit affirmed three lower-court orders requiring the United States to return duplicates of information that were made during the execution of a search warrant but that were outside the scope of the original warrant.83See id. at 116667, 1178 (per curiam). The court referred to the information as seized data84E.g., id. at 1168. and seized materials.85E.g., id. at 1169. Although it did not offer any real analysis for why the duplication amounted to a seizure, the court plainly thought it did.86 Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41, the provision at issue, treats seizing and copying as separate concepts. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(e)(2)(B) (A warrant …may authorize …seizure or copying of electronically stored information. (emphasis added)).

Recently, in United States v. Ganias,87 755 F.3d 125 (2d Cir. 2014), rehg en banc granted, 791 F.3d 290 (2d Cir. 2015). In its brief for the en banc hearing, the government conceded, [f]or purposes of this appeal, that the mirror-imaging constituted a seizure. Brief on Rehearing En Banc for the United States at 17 n.7, Ganias, No. 12-240 (2d Cir. Aug. 28, 2015), 2015 WL 5112418, at *17 n.7. a panel of the Second Circuit adopted the right to exclusive possession argument. In executing a warrant to search an accountants computer for evidence of his clients potential fraud, investigators imaged three hard drives, which also contained the accountants private files.88Ganias, 755 F.3d at 128. Two-and-a-half years later, the investigators obtained a second warrant to search those same files for evidence of the accountants own wrongdoing in a wholly separate crime.89Id. at 130. The accountant, now a defendant, argued that the lengthy retention of his files that were not responsive to the initial warrant constituted an unreasonable seizure even though he retained (and had since destroyed) the originals.90Id. at 13031. The Second Circuit agreed, finding that the defendants possessory interests included the exclusive control over [his] files and that the governments retention of the duplicate meaningfully interfered with that interest and was thus a seizure.91Id. at 137. Because the government retained that data for so long without adequate justification, the seizure was unreasonable.92Id. at 13738. The court did not specify at what point it became unreasonable and noted (with skepticism) that the government might have had legitimate interests in retaining the data, such as for authentication of the hard drive.93Id. at 139. And although the court seemed to emphasize the prolonged period for which the government retained the data, its holding narrowed the importance of that factor by focusing on the use of the retained data for evidence in a future criminal investigation.94Id. at 138. One might expect the legitimate governmental interest in accessing evidence to prosecute a crime to be categorically greater than the interest in authenticating a hard drive in another case. See infra section IV.A, pp. 106466.

B. Why This Might Be Wrong

While this possessory-interest analysis does subject duplication and retention to Fourth Amendment scrutiny, it is a curious way to do it. After all, a seizure does not occur based on every interference with possessory interests, but only upon a meaningful interference.95 United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109, 113 (1984). If the individual retains the original copy, unaltered, and is free to use (or destroy) that copy as he sees fit, is the impingement on possessory interests (assuming there is one) meaningful? Given the multitude of cases where courts have found either no seizure or else a de minimis seizure when interference with possessory interests was marginal,96 See, e.g., id. at 125 (holding that permanent destruction of small portion of property for drug testing a de minimis intrusion on possessory interest and thus a reasonable seizure); cf. United States v. Mendenhall, 446 U.S. 544, 554 (1980) (suggesting that some limited physical contact might not constitute a seizure); Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 106, 111 (1977) (per curiam) (concluding that intrusion on liberty in asking lawfully stopped driver to get out of car is de minimis). it seems tenuous to argue that this infringement which has no impact on the users own experience with his data is a sufficient interference either to implicate the Fourth Amendment in the first place or ever to be found unreasonable.

Perhaps one reason duplication nonetheless seems to be a seizure is that, after duplication, the government itself now possesses something that it did not possess before. That is, if the government exerts dominion and control97Jacobsen, 466 U.S. at 120. over something, it must have seized it. But this focus on the government is divorced from the doctrine as laid out in Jacobsen, which teaches to assess the infringement on the individuals possession, not the governments gain. Therefore, in order to classify duplication as a seizure, the focus must be on the individuals right to exclusive possession of that which has been duplicated.

With tangible property, duplication would rarely amount to a seizure. If the government makes a duplicate of a coffee mug, one would be hard pressed to say that it infringed on anyones possession of the coffee mug. After all, youre still able to look at it, drink from it, or even destroy it as you see fit.98 Paul Ohm believes otherwise. He suggests that if the government used a Star Trek replicator on steroids to duplicate an entire house and all of its contents, but locked the resulting duplicate in a warehouse without examining it, a court would hold that it was a seizure but not a search. Ohm, supra note 20, at 17; see also id. at 1718. Perhaps this characteristic would be different in the context of intangible property. But except for certain trade secrets or other intangible commercial property, digital data is a nonrivalrous good.99See Adam D. Moore, A Lockean Theory of Intellectual Property Revisited, 49 San Diego L. Rev. 1069, 1091 (2012). A nonrivalrous good is one whose use by others does not reduce the value of the good. See, e.g., Brett M. Frischmann, An Economic Theory of Infrastructure and Commons Management, 89 Minn. L. Rev. 917, 942 (2005). In most instances, the possession of data by another will not undermine the original owners use or enjoyment. Of still more concern is that a data owner might not even have a right to exclusive possession of all the information on her hard drive, such as digital copies of movies, books, and music. If you have a copy of Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged on your hard drive, you have no right to exclusive possession of that books contents. If the government buys its own copy, its ownership in no way infringes on your possession. And if instead it just duplicates your copy, your possession is similarly uninfringed.

If there is no right to exclusive possession, then there is no infringement, and accordingly no seizure, at least as to that information. The right to delete or exclude would not extend to this type of data because it doesnt really belong to the individual. The government should not be able to duplicate an individuals home library to see what books she is reading just because she has no right to exclusive possession of the contents of those books. But the seizure analysis that courts are starting to adopt seems to suggest just such a result.

Focusing on the right to exclude also suggests that individuals might retain that right even after sharing their data publicly. The right to destroy and the right to exclude do not evaporate just because an owner grants temporary access to his property.100Recall Ohms argument that Hicks was rightly decided because the defendants right to delete evaporated upon exposure to the officer. See supra p. 105455. Conceptualizing data retention as a seizure, then, might mean that the government could not retain copies of publicly released information, such as blog posts. Thus, because a blogger often retains ownership over his posts, he presumably could choose to delete the post, and could similarly request that the government delete its copies as well. The owner of the data would assert his right to exclusive possession, and the government intrusion on that right would accordingly render the duplication a seizure.101Though, the seizure might be reasonable: a court might consider the possessory interest weakened by the fact that the data had previously been widely shared. Such an understanding might well mean that the government could not collect and retain data posted publicly unless it first obtained a warrant. But such a rule, however sensible, is inconsistent with the understanding that the police can observe and record what takes place in public without implicating the Fourth Amendment.102 United States v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276, 28182 (1983). This rule would apply similarly to a conversation in a public place: if recording that conversation counts as seizing it because the speaker has a right to exclude others from the information relayed, then the government presumptively needs a warrant to record it, even though the speaker has no reasonable expectation of privacy.

This analysis is not conclusive: a court might say that an individual gives up the right to exclude once he shares the data publicly, just as a court would say that the individual has given up any reasonable expectation of privacy by sharing his information.103See infra section IV.C, p. 1067. But property law questions of these types might arise over and over again,104 One district court found that an individual had no possessory interest in metadata held by a third party, and accordingly found the data was not seized when the government copied it. See Klayman v. Obama, 957 F. Supp. 2d 1, 30 n.41 (D.D.C. 2013), vacated and remanded, 880 F.3d 559 (D.C. Cir. 2015). As another example, the government argued in Kyllo v. United States that the defendant had abandoned the heat emanating from the home. See Transcript of Oral Argument at 47, Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001) (No. 99-8508), http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/99-8508.pdf [http://perma.cc/52MA-NKP5]; Sarilyn E. Hardee, Note, Why the United States Supreme Courts Ruling in Kyllo v. United States Is Not the Final Word on the Constitutionality of Thermal Imaging, 24 Campbell L. Rev. 53, 61 (2001). and a court would have to consider whether, as to the particular information at issue, the individual actually has a right to exclusive possession.

It may well be that duplications of certain data are seizures, but because the greater concern with duplications is the privacy violation, and because the seizure analysis might not cover all data, it makes more sense to identify duplication as a search. But duplication without actual review is not obviously a search after all, if no person reviews the documents then perhaps there has been no invasion.105 See, e.g., Susan Brenner, Copying as a Seizure (Again), CYB3RCRIM3 (July 15, 2009, 6:31 AM), http://cyb3rcrim3.blogspot.com/2009/07/copying-as-seizure-again.html [http://perma.cc/8YJS-PPGD] (arguing that while defensible arguments support conceptualizing duplication as a search, they stretch the word search too far). The Second Circuit, in the metadata context, adopted a similar view without elaboration. See ACLU v. Clapper, 785 F.3d 787, 801 (2d Cir. 2015) (suggesting that metadata collection should be characterized as a seizure of data, rather than a search). As Ohm argues, the government has a reasonable argument that when it seals the collected data [after duplication], it stops short of invading or intruding on the data owners privacy.106 Ohm, supra note 72, 53. True enough, but the government also has a reasonable argument that when it leaves the original intact and in the owners possession, it stops short of interfering with the owners possessory interests. This is not to discard the critique entirely, but merely to emphasize that courts are in uncharted waters here and can draw the lines where they make the most sense.

A. Privacy and Duplications

Courts clearly recognize that it is privacy that is at stake in duplication,107 Even the courts that conclude that duplication is a seizure emphasize the privacy interests at stake. For example, in Ganias, the Second Circuit panel characterized its challenge as adapt[ing] traditional Fourth Amendment concepts to the modern era [b]ecause the degree of privacy secured to citizens by the Fourth Amendment has been impacted by the advance of technology. United States v. Ganias, 755 F.3d 125, 134 (2d Cir. 2014), rehg en banc granted, 791 F.3d 290 (2d Cir. 2015). In Metter, the court emphasized that a data owner has identical privacy concerns with the governments retention of the imaged document. United States v. Metter, 860 F. Supp. 2d 205, 212 (E.D.N.Y. 2012). And in Jefferson, the court noted that the Fourth Amendment privacy interest extends…to the information itself, United States v. Jefferson, 571 F. Supp. 2d 696, 702 (E.D. Va. 2008), and that taking notes or photographs necessarily diminishes the privacy value of information once privately-held, id. at 703. which probably follows most peoples intuition: we dont want the government to have copies of our files because we dont trust it not to read them. It therefore seems more natural to conceptualize duplication as an invasion of privacy and therefore a search than as an invasion of possessory interests. And, despite some lower courts characterization of duplication as a seizure, the Courts doctrine strongly suggests that duplication is indeed a search. Recall that, under Katz (as filtered through the years), a search is an action that violates an individuals reasonable expectation of privacy.108 Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 360 (1967) (Harlan, J., concurring); see also United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109, 113 (1984). Accepting Westins definition of privacy as control over information,109Westin, supra note 42, at 7. it is an easy step to say that duplication interferes with an individuals reasonable expectation of control over personal information.

Given the focus in Jefferson, Metter, and Ganias on privacy, the conclusion in those cases that duplication was a seizure is somewhat surprising. Indeed, the Ganias panel, for example, parroted Westins definition of privacy when it proclaimed that the retention was an interference with the owners control over [his] files.110Ganias, 755 F.3d at 137. These cases nonetheless found an infringement on property rights, and then concluded that a seizure had occurred. But searches are often defined in relation to property law. And as the Court elaborated in Rakas v. Illinois,111 439 U.S. 128 (1978). the fact that an individual can exclude others strongly suggests that the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.112See id. at 149; see also id. at 143 n.12. This conception is consistent with Justice Harlans discussion in Katz, which recognized that although the decision departed from the original trespass inquiry, it ultimately concluded by reference to places.113Katz, 389 U.S. at 361 (Harlan, J., concurring); see also Peter Winn, Katz and the Origins of the Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Test, 40 McGeorge L. Rev. 1, 8 (2009). Thus, a court having recognized the privacy interests at stake then might, and indeed should, consider whether tenets of property law suggest that an individual would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that context.114 See, e.g., Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170, 183 (1984) (The existence of a property right is but one element in determining whether expectations of privacy are legitimate.). The Courts second test for whether or not a search has occurred, advanced in United States v. Jones115 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012). and Florida v. Jardines,116 133 S. Ct. 1409 (2013). asks whether the Government obtain[ed] information by physically intruding on persons, houses, papers, or effects.117Id. at 1414 (quoting Jones, 132 S. Ct. at 950 n.3). In Jones, Justice Scalia applied founding-era trespass principles to the governments placement of a GPS device on a defendants car to classify it as a search.118Jones, 132 S. Ct. at 94950, 953. This reasoning promotes the underlying purpose of the Fourth Amendment search restrictions, to protect the right of the people to be secure, to protect, that is, individual privacy. Property law principles, then, can operate as a shortcut for determining whether an invasion of privacy a search has occurred.

In Ganias, for example, the panel focused on the infringement of the individuals right to exclude others from his property. But this infringement does not necessarily result in the action being a seizure. In Jones, the Court did not find that the government had seized the defendants car by placing a GPS tracker on it even though this interfered with the defendants right to exclude others from his property.119See id. at 949; id. at 958 (Alito, J., concurring in the judgment) (The Court does not contend that there was a seizure.). Instead, the Court viewed violation of the right to exclude as evidence to support its conclusion that a search had occurred.120Id. at 949 (majority opinion). In the digital context, then, the property law analogues are useful in determining whether a search occurred, either under the trespass test121See Jardines, 133 S. Ct. at 1414 (noting that a search occurs when government obtains information by invading a constitutionally protected place (quoting Jones, 132 S. Ct. at 950 n.3)). or because they illuminate the reasonableness of expectation of privacy.122See Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 149 (1978).

There are two complications to this conception, however. First, in United States v. Karo,123 468 U.S. 705 (1984). the Supreme Court explicitly rejected the notion that potential, as opposed to actual, invasions of privacy constitute searches for purposes of the Fourth Amendment.124Id. at 712. Second, if duplication of data is an invasion of privacy because of the potential that the government will read it, then many actions currently classified as seizures also become searches. If the government seizes a filing cabinet without opening it, for example, then risks to the privacy of the cabinets contents still attach. These hurdles should be cleared, though, by recognition that duplication does not just risk violation, but is in fact itself a violation of privacy, because duplication inherently reduces ones ability to control her information.

In Karo, the police had given to the defendant a can of ether containing a hidden tracking device.125Id. at 708. The Court ruled that this delivery did not constitute a search because the beeper was unmonitored at that time.126Id. at 712. Kerr argues that this holding indicates that a search has not occurred until the data is observed by an actual person.127See Kerr, supra note 11, at 554. But additional language in Karo calls this conclusion into question: It is the exploitation of technological advances that implicates the Fourth Amendment, not their mere existence.128Karo, 468 U.S. at 712. Indeed, what the Court meant by unmonitored was not that no one was actually reviewing the data at that time, but rather that the device was not passing any information to the police.129Id. (noting that the beeper conveyed no information that Karo wished to keep private, for it conveyed no information at all). The Court did not address, for example, the governments recording location data and then viewing it later. In that situation, the government would have been exploiting the technology immediately, even if an actual person did not immediately review it. As soon as the data personal information about movements is recorded, the individual has lost control over that information.

Similarly, in Kyllo, the Court ruled that a police officer who had used a thermal imager to measure heat radiating from a house had performed a search.130 Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27, 40 (2001). But if the technology had not immediately relayed that information to the officer if the officer had needed to return to the station to analyze the data collected the search would still have occurred upon collection rather than review. Once the data is recorded, the information is beyond the control of the data owner.

These situations are analogous to digital duplication in that the invasion of privacy happens at the time of collection or duplication, not only upon later review. Duplication of private information is an active though often automated process, done at the direction of the government agent. A duplication is itself an exploitation of [a] technological advance[].131Karo, 468 U.S. at 712. Relying on the analogy of the government digitally rooting around illustrates some of the problems with extending nondigital concepts to the digital world. See Brenner, supra note 105. Although the idea is appealing, the results are less so. Cf. Tron (Walt Disney Productions 1982).

By contrast, when the government seizes a filing cabinet,132Cf. United States v. Chadwick, 433 U.S. 1 (1977) (finding that police needed a warrant to open search a lawfully seized footlocker). it has not yet directed anything at the information within. This may mean that seizing a filing cabinet is not also a search of its contents. Only when the government directs its technology at an individuals private information does it invade that individuals reasonable expectation of privacy and accordingly perform a search. On the other hand, perhaps we should consider the seizure of a filing cabinet as also a search of its contents this action plainly should be subject to Fourth Amendment review, and there is no pressing reason to reject a belt and suspenders approach when both privacy and possessory interests are infringed. Thus, neither the Courts seemingly limiting language in Karo that potential invasions do not implicate the Fourth Amendment nor the implication that certain seizures may also be searches undermines the classification of duplications as searches.

B. Retention

One might, then, view the act of duplication as a search, and duplication and subsequent retention as a search and seizure.133Cf. Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 354 (1967) (characterizing the recording and listening to of private conversations as a search and seizure (emphasis added)); Berger v. New York, 388 U.S. 41, 54 (1967) (same). This approach seems natural because, if the government possesses something, it must have seized it. But, as mentioned above, such logic reverses the Fourth Amendment seizure inquiry, which focuses not on whether the government possesses something, but rather on whether the governments action was a meaningful interference with an individuals possessory interests.134 United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109, 113 (1984). Thus, it is at least ambiguous whether retention constitutes a seizure.135See supra section II.B, pp. 105659.

But retention likely is a search. In Klayman v. Obama,136 957 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2013), vacated and remanded, 800 F.3d 559 (D.C. Cir. 2015). for example, the district court held that bulk metadata collection efforts constituted a search.137Id. at 32. While several factors contributed to the courts conclusion, the retention of data was itself considered a part of the Fourth Amendment search.138 The court found that the plaintiffs had no possessory interest in metadata held by a third party, and accordingly found no seizure. See id. at 30 n.41. This result illustrates the limits of the possessory interest framework discussed above in section II.B. The court ordered the government not to stop its analysis of the data, but rather to destroy any such metadata in its possession.139Id. at 43. The retention is itself an ongoing violation of privacy in fact, copying without retention is not much of a violation of privacy at all.140 Though it may still be a search, duplication without retention is probably de minimis or otherwise reasonable. See infra, section IV.B, pp. 106667.

One feature of Fourth Amendment search jurisprudence is the inability, once a search is completed, to revoke consent.141See, e.g., United States v. Lattimore, 87 F.3d 647, 65152 (4th Cir. 1996). Thus, if an individual consents to duplication of his data, he may not be able to revoke that consent once the copying is complete.142 The same would result if the initial copying were authorized by warrant or a warrant exception: if the search ends when the copying is complete, the government would need no further justification for retaining the data. This anomaly makes viewing data retention as a seizure appealing to civil libertarians because such a conception would allow the data owner to rescind consent and recover sole possession of her data at any time.143See Taticchi, supra note 21, at 48384. But because copying and continued retention of the data each interfere with control over personal information, each is a search. When consent is revoked, therefore, the ongoing retention must end.

On the other hand, if duplication is a seizure because it interferes with the right to delete144See Ohm, supra note 20, at 1112; Ohm, supra note 72, 6167. or exclusive possession,145See United States v. Ganias, 755 F.3d 125, 137 (2d Cir. 2014), rehg en banc granted, 791 F.3d 290 (2d Cir. 2015); see also Taticchi, supra note 21, at 496. then the protection would not extend to information the individual doesnt own. Movies, for example, to which the hard drive owner has no right to exclusive possession, might be excluded from any seizure analysis.146See supra pp. 105758. Yet even if an individual has no claim to exclusive ownership, she does have a privacy interest in her files including keeping private the information that reveals what movies, music, or books she owns. By viewing data retention as a search instead of a seizure, the individual can demand deletion because she retains a reasonable expectation of privacy in that information, whether or not she owns it.

Because privacy refers to an individuals control over information, and retention interferes with that control, retention is an invasion of privacy, and thus a search. The consequence of the government possessing a copy is exactly the same: a loss of control over the data.

Several consequences flow from identifying duplication and retention as a search, rather than a seizure. For example, as discussed above, consent, and more particularly the right to revoke consent, plays a different role in searches than in seizures. In addition, the different nature of government intrusion affects both the reasonableness analysis and the de minimis analysis. Finally, classifying duplication as a search has different implications for data that has been shared publicly. This Part examines these additional consequences in turn.

A. Duplications and Reasonableness

The Fourth Amendment prohibits only unreasonable searches and seizures. Duplicating information might be a search, but that conclusion does not necessarily render the action a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Rather, it merely subjects the action to Fourth Amendment reasonableness analysis. The reasonableness of a search is determined by weighing the degree to which it intrudes upon an individuals privacy against the degree to which it is needed for the promotion of legitimate governmental interests.147 Wyoming v. Houghton, 526 U.S. 295, 300 (1999).

Because the privacy interest violated can vary with the governments use of the data, courts can more easily conduct reasonableness balancing when the government asserts a need for the data for some purpose other than as evidence. Recall that in Ganias the government argued it might need to retain nonresponsive data for authentication purposes.148See Ganias, 755 F.3d at 139. If retention of data is a seizure, then the individuals interest is binary: her right to delete or exclude is fully infringed regardless of the purpose for which the government retains her data. The individual-interest side of the balance varies only with the length of time of the infringement.149See United States v. LaFrance, 879 F.2d 1, 6 (1st Cir. 1989). As that court noted, the nature and extent of the intrusion matter as well. Id. (quoting United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 705 (1983)). But in the duplication-as-seizure context, that nature is already defined as the infringement on the right to exclude or delete, and thus the intrusiveness of the duplication, conceived as a seizure, varies only with the length of time of the infringement. Thus, in Ganias, for example, the individuals side of the balance contained only the right to exclusive possession infringed by ongoing retention, regardless of what the government did with the data: whether the government used the data for authentication, as evidence in the initial contract fraud prosecution, or as evidence in the subsequent tax fraud prosecution, the infringement on Ganiass possessory interests was the same.

If the retention is a search, however, then the individuals interest more naturally varies with the governments use of the data. Thus, a court could recognize the data retention as a search, but find that it is reasonable so long as it is for the limited purpose of authentication. Retention for any other purpose might be unreasonable because of the correspondingly greater infringement on privacy interests, and thus any evidence obtained from an unreasonable use of the duplicated data could be subject to the exclusionary rule.150Cf. Ganias, 755 F.3d at 14041 (applying exclusionary rule to unreasonable seizure of data).

In Riley, the government argued that it might need to search a cell phone immediately out of concern that the data could be remotely deleted.151 Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2486 (2014). The Court was unconvinced, citing the availability of technology that could stop remote deletion.152Id. at 2487. Another approach to the deletion concern might be digital duplication of the phones contents. Under the analysis laid out in this Note, this duplication would plainly be a search. But the flexibility of the search reasonableness analysis applies with equal force here. Merely copying a phone to preserve it from remote wiping, pursuant to the exigent circumstance of imminent deletion, might be a reasonable search. Because the invasion of privacy is less than when the officer actually examines the phones contents, the governments countervailing interest in preserving the data might render the action reasonable. But the extent of the interference with privacy also varies, like a seizure, with the length of time of the interference. The longer the information is out of the individuals control, the greater the interference. Thus, at a certain point, the warrantless retention of the copy would become unreasonable.

Of course, classifying duplication as a search, rather than as a seizure, may not affect the ultimate outcome of the reasonableness analysis in this context. If duplication is a seizure because it interferes with the right to exclusive possession, it may still be reasonable to make a seizure to prevent remote wiping. The key difference, though, is that the infringement on exclusive possession varies only with the length of the infringement. In a close case, what the government does with the duplicated data that it has reasonably seized does not affect the reasonableness of the seizure. Once the government interests overcome the invasion of the right to exclusive possession, any subsequent action doesnt alter this fundamental balancing.153 Orin Kerr presents a slightly different take, at least in the context of subsequent searches of nonresponsive data, as occurred in both Ganias and CDT. See Orin S. Kerr, Executing Warrants for Digital Evidence: The Case for Use Restrictions on Nonresponsive Data, 48 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 2932 (forthcoming 2016). Kerr argues that the subsequent use of nonresponsive data obtained in the execution of an initial warrant converts that first warrant into a general warrant. Id. at 31. He does not apply the traditional reasonableness balancing test, but instead relies on the Warrant Clause. See U.S. Const. amend. IV ([N]o Warrants shall issue, but …particularly describing the …things to be seized.).

B. De Minimis Searches

As Kerr explains, a computer, in the course of its normal function, must make copies for internal use. If this internal duplication is a search, it would presumptively require a warrant.154See Kerr, supra note 11, at 551. But preexisting concepts in search jurisprudence mitigate this concern. The copying that is intrinsic to computer use could be conceived of as a de minimis violation that is either no intrusion at all, or such a minor violation that it is presumptively reasonable.155Cf. Jeffrey Brown, How Much Is Too Much? The Application of the De Minimis Doctrine to the Fourth Amendment, 82 Miss. L.J. 1097, 1109 (2012). Because such internal copying is temporary, never subject to the computer users control, and never even at risk of exposure, it can easily be considered de minimis. If it interferes with the data owners control over his information, this interference is small and temporary. This type of copying, even if it should be considered a search insofar as it is directed at private information, is a reasonable search given the low level of violation and its necessity to the operation of a computer. The same analysis might also apply, of course, in the seizure context: the impingement on the right to exclude is so temporary that it may be a de minimis seizure.

C. Publicized Information

As discussed above in section II.B, classifying duplication and retention as a seizure might mean that the government could not retain copies of publicly released information, such as blog posts. By viewing data duplication and retention as searches, though, the government could retain publicly posted information without a warrant. This is so because, by posting them in a public forum, the blogger loses any reasonable expectation of privacy.156Cf. Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967) (What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection.). That is, by sharing the information with the world, the individual gave up control. To obtain this information from the Internet, the government need not commit any violations of property law, such as trespass, which might otherwise suggest that the data owner retained a reasonable expectation of privacy. Thus, collection of such data would not constitute a search at all and would not be subject to the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. While there might be reasons to limit broad electronic trawling of the public Internet, they cannot be located in the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment protects people from two things: unreasonable seizures and unreasonable searches. It is important to recognize these as distinct protections lest the value of the protections deteriorate. A seizure is best viewed as a dispossession of property, and a search as an invasion of privacy. There may well be times when these two overlap, and often a seizure will include risks to privacy. Viewing collection of data only as a seizure would dramatically reduce the Fourth Amendments protections over vast amounts of personal, private information in which the individual may have no cognizable property interests. The government could conceivably collect private information that does not have a property component such as the heat signatures in Kyllo or the titles of the books in private libraries with impunity as long as it doesnt review the data. Instead, we should recognize these invasions of privacy, reviewed by a government agent or not, for what they are: Fourth Amendment searches.

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CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Nihilism – New Advent

 Nihilism  Comments Off on CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Nihilism – New Advent
Feb 122016
 

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The term was first used by Turgeniev in his novel, “Fathers and Sons” (in “Russkij Vestnik”, Feb., 1862): a Nihilist is one who bows to no authority and accepts no doctrine, however widespread, that is not supported by proof.

The nihilist theory was formulated by Cernysevskij in his novel “Cto delat” (What shall be done, 1862-64), which forecasts a new social order constructed on the ruins of the old. But essentially, Nihilism was a reaction against the abuses of Russian absolutism; it originated with the first secret political society in Russia founded by Pestel (1817), and its first effort was the military revolt of the Decembrists (14 Dec., 1825). Nicholas I crushed the uprising, sent its leaders to the scaffold and one hundred and sixteen participants to Siberia. The spread (1830) of certain philosophical doctrines (Hegel, Saint Simon , Fourier ) brought numerous recruits to Nihilism, especially in the universities; and, in many of the cities, societies were organized to combat absolutism and introduce constitutional government.

Its apostles were Alexander Herzen (1812-70) and Michael Bakunin (1814-76), both of noble birth. The former, arrested (1832) as a partisan of liberal ideas, was imprisoned for eight months, deported, pardoned (1840), resided in Moscow till 1847 when he migrated to London and there founded (1857) the weekly periodical , “Kolokol” (Bell), and later “The Polar Star”. The “Kolokol” published Russian political secrets and denunciations of the Government; and, in spite of the police, made its way into Russia to spread revolutionary ideas. Herzen, inspired by Hegel and Feurbach, proclaimed the destruction of the existing order; but he did not advocate violent measures. Hence his younger followers wearied of him; and on the other hand his defense of the Poles during the insurrection of 1863 alienated many of his Russian sympathizers. The “Kolokol” went out of existence in 1868 and Herzen died two years later. Bakunin was extreme in his revolutionary theories. In the first number of “L’Alliance Internationale de la Dmocratie Socialiste” founded by him in 1869, he openly professed Atheism and called for the abolition of marriage, property, and of all social and religious institutions. His advice, given in his “Revolutionary Catechism”, was: “Be severe to yourself and severe to others. Suppress the sentiments of relationship , friendship, love, and gratitude. Have only one pleasure, one joy, one reward the triumph of the revolution. Night and day, have only one thought, the destruction of everything without pity. Be ready to die and ready to kill any one who opposes the triumph of your revolt.” Bakunin thus opened the way to nihilistic terrorism.

It began with the formation (1861-62) of secret societies, the members of which devoted their lives and fortunes to the dissemination of revolutionary ideas. Many of these agitators, educated at Zurich, Switzerland, returned to Russia and gave Nihilism the support of trained intelligence . Prominent among them were Sergius Necaev, master of a parochial school in St. Petersburg, who was in constant communication with nihilist centers in various cities, and Sergius Kovalin who established thirteen associations in Cernigor. These societies took their names from their founders the Malikovcy, Lavrists, Bakunists, etc. They enrolled seminarists , university students, and young women. Among the working men the propaganda was conducted in part through free schools. The promoters engaged in humble trades as weavers, blacksmiths, and carpenters, and in their shops inculcated nihilist doctrine. The peasantry was reached by writings, speeches, schools, and personal intercourse. Even the nobles shared in this work, e.g., Prince Peter Krapotkin , who, under the pseudonym of Borodin, held conferences with workingmen. As secondary centres, taverns and shops served as meeting places, depositories of prohibited books, and, in case of need, as places of refuge. Though without a central organization the movement spread throughout Russia, notably in the region of the Volga and in that of the Dnieper where it gained adherents among the Cossacks. The women in particular displayed energy and self sacrifice in their zeal for the cause. Many were highly cultured and some belonged to the nobility or higher classes, e.g., Natalia Armfeld, Barbara Batiukova, Sofia von Herzfeld, Sofia Perovakaja. They co-operated more especially through the schools.

The propaganda of the press was at first conducted from foreign parts: London, Geneva, Zurich. In this latter city there were two printing offices, established in 1873, where the students published the works of Lavrov and of Bakunin. The first secret printing office in Russia, founded at St. Petersburg in 1861, published four numbers of the Velikoruss. At the same time there came to Russia, from London, copies of the “Proclamation to the New Generation ” (Kmolodomu pokolkniju) and “Young Russia” (Molodaja Rosija), which was published in the following year. In 1862, another secret printing office, established at Moscow, published the recital of the revolt of 14 December, 1825, written by Ogarev. In 1862, another secret press at St. Petersburg published revolutionary proclamations for officers of the army; and in 1863, there were published in the same city a few copies of the daily Papers, “Svoboda” (Liberty) and “Zemlja i Volja” (The Earth and Liberty); the latter continued to be published in 1878 and 1879, under the editorship, at first, of Marco Natanson, and later of the student, Alexander Mihailov, one of the ablest organizers of Nihilism. In 1866, a student of Kazan, Elpidin, published two numbers of the “Podpolnoe Slovo”, which was succeeded by the daily paper, the “Sovremennost” (The Contemporary), and later, by the “Narodnoe Delo” (The National Interest), which was published (1868-70), to disseminate the ideas of Bakunin. Two numbers of the “Narodnaja Rasprava” (The Tribunal of Reason) were published in 1870, at St. Petersburg and at Moscow. In 1873, appeared the “Vpred” (Forward!), one of the most esteemed periodicals of Nihilism, having salient socialistic tendencies. A volume of it appeared each year. In 1875-76, there was connected with the “Vpred”, a small bi-monthly supplement, which was under the direction of Lavrov until 1876, when it passed under the editorship of Smironv, and went out of existence in the same year. It attacked theological and religious ideas, proclaiming the equality of rights, freedom of association, and justice for the proletariat. At Geneva , in 1875 and 1876, the “Rabotnik” (The Workman ) was published, which was edited in the style of the people; the “Nabat” (The Tocsin) appeared in 1875, directed by Thacev; the “Narodnaja Volja” (The Will of the People), in 1879, and the “Cernyi Peredel”, in 1880, were published in St. Petersburg. There was no fixed date for any of these papers, and their contents consisted, more especially, of proclamations, of letters from revolutionists, and at times, of sentences of the Executive Committees . These printing offices also produced books and pamphlets and Russian translations of the works of Lassalle, Marx, Proudhon, and Bchner. A government stenographer, Myskin , in 1870, established a printing office, through which several of Lassalle’s works were published; while many pamphlets were published by the Zemlja i Volja Committee and by the Free Russian Printing Office. Some of the pamphlets were published under titles like those of the books for children, for example, “Deduska Egor” (Grandfather Egor), Mitiuska”, Stories for the Workingmen , and others, in which the exploitation of the people was deplored, and the immunity of capitalists assailed. Again, some publications were printed in popular, as well as in cultured, language; and, in order to allure the peasants these pamphlets appeared at times, under such titles as “The Satiate and the Hungry”; “How Our Country Is No Longer Ours”. But all this propaganda, which required considerable energy and sacrifice, did not produce satisfactory results. Nihilism did not penetrate the masses; its enthusiastic apostles committed acts of imprudence that drew upon them the ferocious reprisals of the Government; the peasants had not faith in the preachings of those teachers, whom, at times, they regarded as government spies, and whom, at times, they denounced . The books and pamphlets that were distributed among the country people often fell into the hands of the cinovniki (government employees), or of the popes. Very few of the peasants knew how to read. Accordingly, Nihilism had true adherents only among students of the universities and higher schools, and among the middle classes. The peasants and workmen did not understand its ideals of destruction and of social revolution.

Propagation of ideas was soon followed by violence: 4 April, 1866, Tsar Alexander II narrowly escaped the shot fired by Demetrius Karakozov, and in consequence took severe measures (rescript of 23 May, 1866) against the revolution, making the universities and the press objects of special vigilance. To avoid detection and spying, the Nihilists formed a Central Executive Committee whose sentences of death were executed by “punishers”. Sub-committees of from five to ten members were also organized and statutes (12 articles) drawn up. The applicant for admission was required to consecrate his life to the cause, sever ties of family and friendship, and observe absolute secrecy. Disobedience to the head of the association was punishable with death. The Government, in turn, enacted stringent laws against secret societies and brought hundreds before the tribunals. A notable instance was the trial, at St. Petersburg in October, 1877, of 193 persons: 94 went free, 36 were sent to Siberia ; the others received light sentences . One of the accused, Myskin by name, who in addressing the judges had characterized the procedure as “an abominable comedy”, was condemned to ten years of penal servitude. Another sensational trial (April, 1878) was that of Vera Sassulio, who had attempted to murder General Frepov, chief of police of St. Petersburg . Her acquittal was frantically applauded and she found a refuge in Switzerland. Among the deeds of violence committed by Nihilists may be mentioned the assassination of General Mezencev (4 Aug., 1878) and Prince Krapotkin (1879). These events were followed by new repressive measures on the part of the Government and by numerous executions. The Nihilists, however, continued their work, held a congress at Lipeck in 1879, and (26 Aug.) condemned Alexander II to death. An attempt to wreck the train on which the Tsar was returning to St. Petersburg proved abortive. Another attack on his life was made by Halturin, 5 Feb., 1880. He was slain on 1 March 1881, by a bomb, thrown by Grineveckij. Six conspirators, among them Sofia Perovskaja, were tried and executed. On 14 March, the Zemlja i Volja society issued a proclamation inciting the peasants to rise , while the Executive Committee wrote to Alexander III denouncing the abuses of the bureaucracy and demanding political amnesty, national representation, and civil liberty.

The reign of Alexander III was guided by the dictates of a reaction, due in great measure to the counsels of Constantine Pobedonoscev, procurator general of the Holy Synod. And Nihilism, which seemed to reach its apogee in the death of Alexander II, saw its eclipse. Its theories were too radical to gain proselytes among the people. Its assaults were repeated; on 20 March, 1882, General Strelnikov was assassinated at Odessa; and Colonel Sudezkin on the 28th of December, 1883; in 1887, an attempt against the life of the tsar was unsuccessful; in 1890, a conspiracy against the tsar was discovered at Paris; but these crimes were the work of the revolution in Russia, rather than of the Nihilists. The crimes that reddened the soil of Russia with blood in constitutional times are due to the revolution of 1905-07. But the Nihilism, that, as a doctrinal system, proclaimed the destruction of the old Russia, to establish the foundations of a new Russia, may be said to have disappeared; it became fused with Anarchism and Socialism , and therefore, the history of the crimes that were multiplied from 1905 on are a chapter in the history of political upheavals in Russia, and not in the history of Nihilism.

APA citation. Palmieri, A. (1911). Nihilism. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11074a.htm

MLA citation. Palmieri, Aurelio. “Nihilism.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. .

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Bob Mathewson.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is webmaster at newadvent.org. Regrettably, I can’t reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.

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CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Nihilism – New Advent

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First Amendment Activities | United States Courts

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Jan 312016
 

Apply landmark Supreme Court cases to contemporary scenarios related to the five pillars of the First Amendment and your rights to freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.”First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Cox v. New Hampshire Protests and freedom to assemble

Elonis v. U.S. Facebook and free speech

Engel v. Vitale Prayer in schools and freedom of religion

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier Student newspapers and free speech

Morse v. Frederick School-sponsored events and free speech

Snyder v. Phelps Public concerns, private matters, and free speech

Texas v. Johnson Flag burning and free speech

U.S. v. Alvarez Lies and free speech

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Fourth Amendment – Kids | Laws.com

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Jan 292016
 

A Guide to the Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment, or Amendment IV of the United States Constitution is the section of the Bill of Rights that protects people from being searched or having their things taken away from them without any good reason. If the government or any law enforcement official wants to do that, he or she must have a very good reason to do that and must get permission to perform the search from a judge. The fourth amendment was introduced into the Constitution of the United States as a part of the Bill of Rights on September 5, 1789 and was ratified or voted four by three fourths of the states on December 15, 1791.

The Text of the Fourth Amendment

The text of the Fourth Amendment which is found in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights is the following:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

History of the Third Amendment

In Colonial America, laws were written in order to help the English earn money on customs. The justices of the peace would do this by writing general warrants, which allowed general search and seizure to happen. Massachusetts wrote a law in 1756 that banned these warrants, because tax collectors were abusing their powers by searching the colonists homes for illegal goods. These general warrants allowed any messenger or officer to search a suspected place without any evidence. It also allowed them to seize people without even saying what they did wrong or showing evidence of their wrongdoings. Virginia also banned the use of general warrants later due to other fears. These actions later led to the addition of the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

The Fourth Amendment Today

Today, the Fourth Amendment means that in order for a police officer to search and arrest someone, he or she will need to get permission or a warrant to do so from a judge. In order to get a warrant, the police officer must have evidence or probable cause that supports it. The police officer, or whoever has the evidence, must swear that it is true to his or her knowledge.

Facts About the Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment applies to the government, but not any searches done by organizations or people who are not doing it for the government.

Some searches can be done without a warrant without breaking the law, like when there is a good reason to think that a crime is happening.

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Spratly Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jan 242016
 

The Spratly Islands (Chinese: ; pinyin: Nnsh Qndo, Malay: Kepulauan Spratly, Tagalog: Kapuluan ng Kalayaan,[8]Vietnamese: Qun o Trng Sa) are a disputed group of more than 750 reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands in the South China Sea.[9] The archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Vietnam. Named after the 19th-century British whaling captain Richard Spratly who sighted Spratly Island in 1843, the islands contain approximately 4km2 (1.5sq mi) of land area spread over a vast area of more than 425,000km2 (164,000sq mi).

The Spratlys are one of the major archipelagos in the South China Sea that comprise more than 30,000 islands and reefs, and which complicate governance and economics in this part of Southeast Asia due to their location in strategic shipping lanes. The islands have no indigenous inhabitants, but offer rich fishing grounds and may contain significant oil and natural gas reserves.[10][11] and as such are important to the claimants in their attempts to establish international boundaries.

The area northeast of the Spratlys is known to mariners as Dangerous Ground and is characterized by its many low islands, sunken reefs, and atolls with coral often rising abruptly from ocean depths greater than 1,000 metres (3,300ft) – all of which makes the area dangerous for navigation.

In addition to various territorial claims, some of the features have civilian settlements, but of the approximately 45 islands, reefs, cays and other features that are occupied all contain structures that are occupied by military forces (from China (PRC), Taiwan (ROC), Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia). Additionally, Brunei has claimed (but does not occupy) an exclusive economic zone in the southeastern part of the Spratlys, which includes the Louisa Reef. These claims and occupations have led to escalating tensions between these countries over the status and “ownership” of the islands.

The Spratly Islands contain almost no significant arable land, have no indigenous inhabitants, and very few of the islands have a permanent drinkable water supply. Natural resources include fish and guano, as well as the possible potential of oil and natural gas reserves.[12]Economic activity has included commercial fishing, shipping, guano mining, and more recently, tourism.

The Spratlys are located near several primary shipping lanes.

The Spratly Islands consist of reefs, banks and shoals that consist of biogenic carbonate. These accumulations of biogenic carbonate lie upon the higher crests of major submarine ridges that are uplifted fault blocks known by geologists as horsts. These horsts are part of a series of parallel and en echelon, half-grabens and rotated fault-blocks. The long axes of the horsts, rotated fault blocks and half-grabens form well-defined linear trends that lie parallel to magnetic anomalies exhibited by the oceanic crust of the adjacent South China Sea. The horsts, rotated fault blocks, and the rock forming the bottoms of associated grabens consist of stretched and subsided continental crust that is composed of Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous strata that include calc-alkalic extrusive igneous rocks, intermediate to acid intrusive igneous rocks, sandstones, siltstones, dark-green claystones, and metamorphic rocks that include biotite-muscovite-feldspar-quartz migmatites and garnet-mica schists.[13][14][15]

The dismemberment and subsidence of continental crust into horsts, rotated fault blocks and half-grabens that underlie the Spratly Islands and surrounding sea bottom occurred in 2 distinct periods. They occurred as the result of the tectonic stretching of continental crust along underlying deeply rooted detachment faults. During the Late Cretaceous and Early Oligocene, the earliest period of tectonic stretching of continental crust and formation of horsts, half-grabens, and rotated fault-blocks occurred in association the rifting and later sea-floor spreading that created the South China Sea. During the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene additional stretching and block faulting of continental crust occurred within the Spratly Islands and adjacent Dangerous Ground. During and after this period of tectonic activity, corals and other marine life colonised the crests of the horsts and other ridges that lay in shallow water. The remains of these organisms accumulated over time as biogenic carbonates that comprise the current day reefs, shoals and cays of the Spratly Islands. Starting with their formation in Late Cretaceous, fine-grained organic-rich marine sediments accumulated within the numerous submarine half-grabens that underlie sea bottom within the Dangerous Ground region.[13][14][15]

The geological surveys show localised areas within the Spratly Islands region are favourable for the accumulation of economic oil and gas reserves. They include thick sequences of Cenozoic sediments east of the Spratly Islands. Southeast and west of them, there also exist thick accumulations of sediments that possibly might contain economic oil and gas reserves lie closer to the Spratly Islands.[10][16]

In some cays in the Spratly Islands, the sand and pebble sediments form the beaches and spits around the island. Under the influence of the dominant wind direction, which changes seasonally, these sediments move around the island to change the shape and size of the island. For example, Spratly Island is larger during the northeast monsoon, (about 700 300 meters), and smaller during the southwest monsoon (approximately 650 320 meters).[17]

Some islands may contain fresh groundwater fed by rain. Groundwater levels fluctuate during the day with the rhythm of the tides.[18]

Phosphates from bird faeces (guano) are mainly concentrated in the beach rocks by the way of exchange-endosmosis. The principal minerals bearing phosphate are podolite, lewistonite and dehonite.[19]

Coral reefs are the predominant structures of these islands; the Spratly group contains over 600 coral reefs in total.[9] In April 2015 the New York Times reported that China were using “scores of dredgers” to convert Fiery Cross Reef and several other reefs into military facilities (runways, etc.).[20][21]

Little vegetation grows on these islands, which are subject to intense monsoons. Larger islands are capable of supporting tropical forest, scrub forest, coastal scrub and grasses. It is difficult to determine which species have been introduced or cultivated by humans. Taiping Island (Itu Aba) was reportedly covered with shrubs, coconut, and mangroves in 1938; pineapple was also cultivated there when it was profitable. Other accounts mention papaya, banana, palm, and even white peach trees growing on one island. A few islands that have been developed as small tourist resorts had soil and trees brought in and planted where there was none.[9]

A total of 2,927 marine species have been recorded in the Spratly Sea, including 776 benthic species, 382 species of hard coral, 524 species of marine fish, 262 species of algae and sea grass, 35 species of seabirds, 20 species of marine mammals and sea turtles, etc.[22]

Terrestrial vegetation in the islands includes 103 species of vascular plants of magnolia branches (Magnoliophyta) of 39 families and 79 genera.[22]

The islands that do have vegetation provide important habitats for many seabirds and sea turtles.[9]

Both the green turtle (Chelonia mydas, endangered) and the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata, critically endangered) formerly occurred in numbers sufficient to support commercial exploitation. These species reportedly continue to nest even on islands inhabited by military personnel (such as Pratas) to some extent, though it is believed that their numbers have declined.[9]

Seabirds use the islands for resting, breeding, and wintering sites. Species found here include: streaked shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas), brown booby (Sula leucogaster), red-footed booby (S. sula), great crested tern (Sterna bergii), and white tern (Gygis alba). Little information is available regarding the current status of the islands’ seabird populations, though it is likely that birds may divert nesting sites to smaller, less disturbed islands. Bird eggs cover the majority of Song Tu, a small island in the eastern Danger Zone.[9]

This ecoregion is still largely a mystery. Scientists have focused their research on the marine environment, while the ecology of the terrestrial environment remains relatively unknown.[9]

Political instability, tourism and the increasing industrialisation of neighbouring countries has led to serious disruption of native flora and fauna, over-exploitation of natural resources, and environmental pollution. Disruption of nesting areas by human activity and/or by introduced animals, such as dogs, has reduced the number of turtles nesting on the islands. Sea turtles are also slaughtered for food on a significant scale. The sea turtle is a symbol of longevity in Chinese culture and at times the military personnel are given orders to protect the turtles.[9]

Heavy commercial fishing in the region incurs other problems. Although it has been outlawed, fishing methods continue to include the use of bottom trawlers fitted with chain rollers. In addition, during a recent[timeframe?] routine patrols[by whom?], more than 200kg of Potassium cyanide solution was confiscated from fishermen who had been using it for fish poisoning. These activities have a devastating impact on local marine organisms and coral reefs.[9]

Some interest has been taken[by whom?] in regard to conservation of these[which?] island ecosystems. J.W. McManus[who?] has explored the possibilities of designating portions of the Spratly Islands as a marine park. One region of the Spratly Archipelago, named Truong Sa, was proposed by Vietnam’s Ministry of Science, Technology, and the Environment (MOSTE) as a future protected area. The site, with an area of 160km2 (62sq mi), is currently managed by the Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee of Vietnam.[9]

Military groups in the Spratlys have engaged in environmentally damaging activities such as shooting turtles and seabirds, raiding nests and fishing with explosives. The collection of rare medicinal plants, collecting of wood, and hunting for the wildlife trade are common threats to the biodiversity of the entire region, including these islands. Coral habitats are threatened by pollution, over-exploitation of fish and invertebrates, and the use of explosives and poisons as fishing techniques.[9]

Chinese texts of the 12th century record these islands being a part of Chinese territory and that they had earlier (206BC) been used as fishing grounds during the Han dynasty.[23][not in citation given] Further records show the islands as inhabited at various times in history by Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen, and during the second world war by troops from French Indochina and Japan.[24][25][26] However, there were no large settlements on these islands until 1956, when Filipino adventurer Toms Cloma, Sr., decided to “claim” a part of Spratly islands as his own, naming it the “Free Territory of Freedomland”.[27]

Evidence of man’s presence in the region extends back nearly 50,000 years at Tabon Caves on Palawan. Therefore, it is difficult to say when man first came upon this island group. Within historical times, several groups may have passed through or occupied the islands. Between 600BCE to 3BCE there was an East to West migration by members of the seafairing Sa Hunh culture. This may have led them through the Spratly Islands on their way to Vietnam. These migrants were the forebears of the Cham people that founded the Old Champa empire that ruled what was known for centuries as the Champa Sea.[28][29]

In the Song Dynasty work Zhu fan zhi by Zhao Rugua, the name “Thousand Li Stretch of Sands” (Qianli Changsha , ) and the “Ten-Thousand Li of Stone Pools/Beds” (Wanli Shitang , or Wanli Shichuang ) were given, interpreted by some to refer to Paracel and Spratly respectively.[30]Wanli Shitang is also recorded in the History of Yuan to have been explored by the Chinese during the Yuan dynasty and may have been considered by them to have been within their national boundaries.[31][32][33] They are also referenced, sometimes with different names, in the Ming dynasty.[34] When the Ming Dynasty collapsed, the Qing dynasty continued to include the territory in maps compiled in 1724,[35] 1755,[36] 1767,[37] 1810,[38] and 1817.[39]

A Vietnamese map from 1834 also combines the Spratly and Paracel Islands into one region known as “Vn L Trng Sa”[citation needed], a feature commonly incorporated into maps of the era () that is, a combination of half of the 2 aforementioned Chinese island names, “Wanli” and “Changsha”.[40] According to Hanoi, Vietnamese maps record Bi Ct Vng (Golden Sandbanks, referring to both the Spratly and Paracel Islands), which lay near the coast of the central Vietnam, as early as 1838.[41] In Ph Bin Tp Lc (The Frontier Chronicles) by scholar L Qu n, both Hong Sa and Trng Sa were defined as belonging to the Qung Ngi District. He described it as where sea products and shipwrecked cargoes were available to be collected. Vietnamese text written in the 17th century referenced government-sponsored economic activities during the L dynasty, 200years earlier. The Vietnamese government conducted several geographical surveys of the islands in the 18th century.[41]

Despite the fact that China and Vietnam both made a claim to these territories simultaneously, at the time, neither side was aware that its neighbour had already charted and made claims to the same stretch of islands.[41]

The islands were sporadically visited throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries by mariners from different European powers (including Richard Spratly, after whom the island group derives its most recognisable English name).[42] However, these nations showed little interest in the islands.

In the 1950s, a group of individuals claimed sovereignty over the islands in the name of Morton F. Meads, supposedly an American descendant of a British naval captain who gave his name to Meads Island (Itu Aba) in the 1870s. In an affidavit made in 1971, the group claimed to represent the Kingdom of Humanity/Republic of Morac-Songhrati-Meads,[43] which they asserted was in turn the successor entity for a supposed Kingdom of Humanity established between the two world wars on Meads Island, allegedly by the son of the British captain. This claim to this would-be micronation fell dormant after 1972, when several members of the group drowned in a typhoon.[44][45][46][47]

In 1883, German boats surveyed the Spratly and the Paracel Islands but eventually withdrew the survey, after receiving protests from the Guangdong government representing the Qing dynasty. Many European maps before the 20th century do not even mention this region.[48]

The following are political divisions for the Spratly Islands claimed by various area nations (in alphabetical order):

In the 19th century, Europeans found that Chinese fishermen from Hainan annually sojourned on the Spratly islands for part of the year, while in 1877 it was the British who launched the first modern legal claims to the Spratlys.[51][52]

When the Spratlys and Paracels were being surveyed by Germany in 1883, China issued protests against them. The 1887 Chinese-Vietnamese Boundary convention signed between France and China after the Sino-French War said that China was the owner of the Spratly and Paracel islands.[53][54] China sent naval forces on inspection tours in 1902 and 1907 and placed flags and markers on the islands. The Qing dynasty’s successor state, the Republic of China, claimed the Spratly and Paracel islands under the jurisdiction of Hainan.[54]

In 1933, France asserted its claims to the Spratly and Paracel Islands[55] on behalf of its then-colony Vietnam.[56] It occupied a number of the Spratly Islands, including Taiping Island, built weather stations on two of the islands, and administered them as part of French Indochina. This occupation was protested by the Republic of China (ROC) government because France admitted finding Chinese fishermen there when French warships visited nine of the islands.[57] In 1935, the ROC government also announced a sovereignty claim on the Spratly Islands. Japan occupied some of the islands in 1939 during World War II, and it used the islands as a submarine base for the occupation of Southeast Asia. During the Japanese occupation, these islands were called Shinnan Shoto (), literally the New Southern Islands, and together with the Paracel Islands (), they were put under the governance of the Japanese colonial authority in Taiwan.

Japan occupied the Paracels and the Spratlys from February 1939 to August 1945.[58] Japan administered the Spratlys via Taiwan’s jurisdiction and the Paracels via Hainan’s jurisdiction.[51] Parts of the Paracels and Spratlys were occupied by Republic of China after the 1945 surrender of Japan,[59] since the Allied powers assigned the Republic of China to receive Japanese surrenders in that area,[54] however no successor was named to the islands.[59]

In November 1946, the ROC sent naval ships to take control of the islands after the surrender of Japan.[58] It had chosen the largest and perhaps the only inhabitable island, Taiping Island, as its base, and it renamed the island under the name of the naval vessel as Taiping. Also following the defeat of Japan at the end of World War II, the ROC re-claimed the entirety of the Spratly Islands (including Taiping Island) after accepting the Japanese surrender of the islands based on the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations. The Republic of China then garrisoned Itu Aba (Taiping) island in 1946 and posted Chinese flags and markers on it along with Woody island in the Paracels. France tried, but failed, to make them leave Woody island.[51] The aim of the Republic of China was to block the French claims.[54][60] The Republic of China drew up the map showing the U-shaped claim on the entire South China Sea, showing the Spratly and Paracels in Chinese territory, in 1947.[54] Japan had renounced all claims to the islands in the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty together with the Paracels, Pratas and other islands captured from the Chinese, and upon these declarations, the government of the Republic of China reasserted its claim to the islands. The KMT force of the ROC government withdrew from most of the Spratly and Paracel Islands after they retreated to Taiwan from the opposing Communist Party of China due to their losses in the Chinese Civil War and the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949.[56] The ROC quietly withdrew troops from Taiping Island in 1950, but then reinstated them in 1956 in response to Toms Cloma’s sudden claim to the island as part of Freedomland.[61] As of 2013[update], Taiping Island is administered by the ROC.[62]

After pulling out its garrison in 1950 when the Republic of China evacuated to Taiwan, when the Filipino Tomas Cloma uprooted an ROC flag on Itu Aba laid claim to the Spratlys and, the Republic of China (now Taiwan) again regarrisoned Itu Aba on 1956.[63] In 1946, the Americans reminded the Philippines at its independence that the Spratlys was not Philippine territory, both to not anger Chiang Kai-shek in China and because the Spratlys were not part of the Philippines per the 1898 treaty Spain signed with America.[51] The Philippines then claimed the Spratlys in 1971 under President Marcos, after Taiwanese troops attacked and shot at a Philippine fishing boat on Itu Aba.[64]

Taiwan’s garrison from 19461950 and 1956-now on Itu Aba represents an “effective occupation” of the Spratlys.[64][65] China established a coastal defence system against Japanese pirates or smugglers.[66]

North Vietnam recognised China’s claims on the Paracels and Spratlys during the Vietnam War as it was being supported by China. Only after winning the war and conquering South Vietnam did North Vietnam retract its recognition and admitted it recognised them as part of China to receive aid from China in fighting the Americans.[67]

In 1988, the Vietnamese and Chinese navies engaged in a skirmish in the area of Johnson South Reef (also called Yongshu reef in China and Mabini reef in Philippines).[68]

Under President Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan stated that “legally, historically, geographically, or in reality”, all of the South China Sea and Spratly islands were Taiwan’s territory and under Taiwanese sovereignty, and denounced actions undertaken there by Malaysia and the Philippines, in a statement on 13 July 1999 released by the foreign ministry of Taiwan.[69] Taiwan and China’s claims “mirror” each other; during international talks involving the Spratly islands, China and Taiwan have cooperated with each other since both have the same claims.[64][70]

It was unclear whether France continued its claim to the islands after WWII, since none of the islands, other than Taiping Island, was habitable. The South Vietnamese government took over the Trng Sa administration after the defeat of the French at the end of the First Indochina War. In 1958, the PRC issued a declaration defining its territorial waters that encompassed the Spratly Islands. North Vietnam’s prime minister, Phm Vn ng, sent a formal note to Zhou Enlai, stating that the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) respected the Chinese decision regarding the 12nmi (22km; 14mi) limit of territorial waters.[71] While accepting the 12-nmi principal with respect to territorial waters, the letter did not actually address the issue of defining actual territorial boundaries.

In 1999, a Philippine navy ship (Number 57 – BRP Sierra Madre) was purposely run aground near Second Thomas Shoal to enable establishment of an outpost. As of 2014[update] it had not been removed, and Filipino troops have been stationed aboard since the grounding.[72][73]

Taiwan and China are largely strategically aligned on the Spratly islands issue, since they both claim exactly the same area, so Taiwan’s control of Itu Aba (Taiping) island is viewed as an extension of China’s claim.[53] Taiwan and China both claim the entire island chain, while all the other claimaints only claim portions of them. China has proposed co-operation with Taiwan against all the other countries claiming the islands. Taiwanese lawmakers have demanded that Taiwan fortify Itu Aba (Taiping) island with weapons to defend against the Vietnamese, and both China and Taiwanese NGOs have pressured Taiwan to expand Taiwan’s military capabilities on the island, which played a role in Taiwan expanding the island’s runway in 2012.[74] China has urged Taiwan to co-operate and offered Taiwan a share in oil and gas resources while shutting out all the other rival claimaints. Taiwanese lawmakers have complained about repeated Vietnamese aggression and trespassing on Taiwan’s Itu Aba (Taiping), and Taiwan has started viewing Vietnam as an enemy over the Spratly Islands, not China.[75] Taiwan’s state run oil company CPC Corp’s board director Chiu Yi has called Vietnam as the “greatest threat” to Taiwan.[74] Taiwan’s airstrip on Taiping has irritated Vietnam.[76] China views Taiwan’s expansion of its military and airstrip on Taiping as benefiting China’s position against the other rival claimaints from southeast Asian countries.[65] China’s claims to the Spratlys benefit from legal weight because of Taiwan’s presence on Itu Aba, while America on the other hand has regularly ignored Taiwan’s claims in the South China Sea and does not include Taiwan in any talks on dispute resolution for the area.[77]

Taiwan performed live fire military exercises on Taiping island in September 2012; reports said that Vietnam was explicitly named by the Taiwanese military as the “imaginary enemy” in the drill. Vietnam protested against the exercises as violation of its territory and “voiced anger”, demanding that Taiwan stop the drill. Among the inspectors of the live fire drill were Taiwanese national legislators, adding to the tensions.[78]

On 23 May 2011, the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, warned visiting Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie of a possible arms race in the region if tensions worsened over disputes in the South China Sea. Aquino said he told Liang in their meeting that this could happen if there were more encounters in the disputed and potentially oil-rich Spratly Islands.[79]

In May 2011, Chinese patrol boats attacked 2 Vietnamese oil exploration ships near the Spratly Islands.[80] Also in May 2011, Chinese naval vessels opened fire on Vietnamese fishing vessels operating off East London Reef (Da Dong). The 3 Chinese military vessels were numbered 989, 27 and 28, and they showed up with a small group of Chinese fishing vessels. Another Vietnamese fishing vessel was fired on near Fiery Cross Reef (Chu Thap). The Chief Commander of Border Guards in Phu Yen Province, Vietnam reported that a total of 4 Vietnamese vessels were fired upon by Chinese naval vessels.[verification needed] These incidents involving Chinese forces sparked mass protests in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City,[81] and in various Vietnamese communities in the West (namely in the US state of California and in Paris) over attacks on Vietnamese citizens and the intrusion into what Vietnam claimed was part of its territory.[82]

In June 2011, the Philippines began officially referring to the South China Sea as the “West Philippine Sea” and the Reed Bank as “Recto Bank”.[83][84]

In July 2012, the National Assembly of Vietnam passed a law demarcating Vietnamese sea borders to include the Spratly and Paracel Islands.[85][86]

In 2010, it was reported that the former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad believed Malaysia could profit from China’s economic growth through co-operation with China,[87] and said that China “was not a threat to anyone and was not worried about aggression from China”, as well accusing the United States of provoking China and trying to turn China’s neighbours against China.[88] Malaysia displayed no concern over China conducting a military exercise at James Shoal in March 2013.[89] Malaysia also suggested that it might work with China with Malaysian Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein saying that Malaysia had no problem with China patrolling the South China Sea, and telling ASEAN, America, and Japan that “Just because you have enemies, doesn’t mean your enemies are my enemies”.[90] However, until present Malaysia still maintained a balance relations with the countries involved in this dispute.[91] But since China has start enroaching its territorial waters,[92] Malaysia has become active in condemning China.[93][94]

The editorial of the Taiwanese news website “Want China Times” accused America for being behind the May 2014 flareup in the South China Sea, saying that Vietnam rammed a Chinese vessel on 2 May over an oil rig drilling platform and the Philippines detained 11 Chinese fishermens occurred because of Obama’s visit to the region and that they were incited by America “behind the scenes”. “Want China Times” claimed America ordered Vietnam on 7 May to complain about the drilling platform, and noted that a joint military exercise was happening at this time between the Philippines and America, and also noted that the American “New York Times” newspaper supported Vietnam.[95]

In a series of news stories on 16 April 2015, it was revealed, through photos taken by Airbus Group, that China had been building an airstrip on Fiery Cross Reef, one of the southern islands. The 10,000-foot-long (3,048m) runway covers a significant portion of the island, and is viewed as a possible strategic threat to other countries with claims to the islands, such as Vietnam and the Philippines.

Various factions of the Muslim Moro people are waging a war for independence against the Philippines. The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) of Nur Misuari declared its support for China against the Philippines in the South China Sea dispute, calling both China and the Moro people as victims of Philippine colonialism, and noting China’s history of friendly relations with the Sultanate of Sulu in the region.[96] The MNLF also denounced America’s assistance to the Philippines in their colonization of the Moro people in addition to denouncing the Philippines claims to the islands disputed with China, and denouncing America for siding with the Philippines in the dispute, noting that in 1988 China “punished” Vietnam for attempting to set up a military presence on the disputed islands, and noting that the Moros and China maintained peaceful relations, while on the other hand the Moros had to resist other colonial powers, having to fight the Spanish, fight the Americans, and fight the Japanese, in addition to fighting the Philippines.[97]

While the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a peace deal with the Philippines, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) did not and renewed armed resistance against Philippine rule in Zamboanga; on September 15, 2013, in response to the MNLF’s fighting against the Philippine Army, the New York Times published an article crediting every Philippine government for having struggled to bring peace to the Muslims of Mindanao since 1946 when it became independent and claimed that it is the belief of the Muslims that they are being subjected to oppression and exploitation by the Christians that is the problem which is causing the conflict and the newspaper also claimed that the conflict stretched back to 1899 when Moro insurrectionists were quelled by the American army.[98] On January 26, 2014 the New York Times published another article claiming that “every Philippine government” has “struggled to bring peace to Mindanao” and claimed that reports of exploitation and oppression by the Filipino Christians originated from what Muslims “say” and the newspaper also praised President Benigno S. Aquino III’s “landmark peace deal” with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).[99] The New York Times labelled Moro fighters as “Muslim-led groups” and as “violent”.[100] The New York Times blamed “Islamic extremist groups” for carrying out attacks in the Philippines.[101] The New York Times editorial board endorsed Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s planned peace deal and the passage of “Bangsamoro Basic Law”, blaming the “Muslim insurgency” for causing trouble to the “largely Catholic country”.[102] The New York Times claimed that “Islamic militants” were fighting the Philippine military.[103]

The New York Times claimed the peace deal between the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) “seeks to bring prosperity to the restive south and weaken the appeal of the extremist groups”, and linked the winding down of an American military counterterrorism operation to increased American military cooperation with the Philippines against China.[104] The New York Times hailed Mr Aquino’s “peace agreement” as an “accomplishment” as it reported on Aquino raising the “alarm” on China in the South China Sea.[105] The New York Times editorial board published an article siding with the Philippines against China in the South China Sea dispute and supporting the Philippines actions against China.[106][107] The New York Times editorial board endorsed aggressive American military action against China in the South China Sea.[108][109]

American and Filipino forces launched a joint operation against the Moros in the Mamasapano clash, in which Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters manage to kill 44 Filipino police commandos and caused massive blow back for the botched raid, putting a decisive halt to American plans for its Asia military “pivot” in the Philippines.[110] Moros have reported that 4 caucasian-looking (American) soldiers were killed in the Mamasapano clash along with the 44 Filipinos.[111]

The Moro National Liberation Front published an open letter to the United States President Barack Hussein Obama and demanded to know why America is supporting Philippine colonialism against the Moro Muslim people and the Filipino “war of genocide” and atrocities against Moros, reminding Obama that the Moro people have resisted and fought against the atrocities of Filipino, Japanese, American, and Spanish invaders, and reminding Obama of past war crimes also committed by American troops against Moro women and children like the Moro Crater massacre at Bud Dajo.[112]

The Moro National Liberation Front accused the Philippines, Japan, America, and Spain of conspiring against the Moros and recounted their invasions, imperialism, and atrocities against the Moros and demanded that they end the current colonization against the Moro people, the MNLF recounted that the Spanish were greedy colonizers, that the Americans committed massacres of Moro children and women at Mount Bagsak and Bud Dajo, and that the Japanese “exhibited tyranny, cruelty and inhumanity at its lowest level”, and “had to suffer their worst defeat and highest death mortality at the hands of the Bangsamoro freedom fighters”, demanding an apology from Japan for crimes committed against the Moros.[113]

The Moro National Liberation Front questioned the humanity and morality of the Philippines, Japan, America, and Spain, noting that they have done nothing to end the colonialism and war inflicted upon the Moros and reminded them that they have resisted and fought against Japanese, American, and Spanish atrocities and war crimes while the Filipinos bent over, capitulated and submitted to the invaders, the MNLF brought up the massacre committed by American troops at Bud Dajo against Moro women and children and boasted that compared to the Japanese casualty rate in the Visayas and Luzon, the amount of Japanese imperialists slaughtered by the Moro freedom fighters was greater by the thousands and that there was no capitulation like the “Fall of Bataan” to the Japanese by the Moros while the Luzon Filipinos submitted.[114] The MNLF said that the Japanese, American, and Spanish cruelty has been continued by Filipino rule.[115]

Japanese scholar Taoka Shunji criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for trying to falsely portray China as a threat to Japan and that it was invading its neighbors like the Philippines, and pointed out that the Spratly islands were not part of the Philippines when the US acquired the Philippines from Spain in the Treaty of Paris in 1898, and the Japanese ruled Taiwan itself had annexed the Spratly islands in 1938 and the US ruled Philippines did not challenge the move and never asserted that it was their territory, he also pointed out that other countries did not need to do full land reclamation since they already control islands and that the reason China engaged in extensive land reclamation is because they needed it to build airfields since China only has control over reefs.[116]

Champa historically had a large presence in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese broke Champa’s power in an invasion of Champa in 1471, and then finally conquered the last remnants of the Cham people in an invasion in 1832. A Cham named Katip Suma who received Islamic education in Kelantan declared a Jihad against the Vietnamese, and fighting continued until the Vietnamese crushed the remnants of the resistance in 1835. The Cham organisation Front de Libration du Champa was part of the United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races, which waged war against the Vietnamese for independence in the Vietnam War along with the Montagnard and Khmer Krom minorities. The last remaining FULRO insurgents surrendered to the United Nations in 1992. Vietnam has settled over a million ethnic Vietnamese on Montagnard lands in the Central Highlands. The Montagnard staged a massive protest against the Vietnamese in 2001, which led to the Vietnamese to forcefully crush the uprising and seal the entire area off to foreigners.

The Vietnamese government fears that evidence of Champa’s influence over the disputed area in the South China Sea would bring attention to human rights violations and killings of ethnic minorities in Vietnam such as in the 2001 and 2004 uprisings, and lead to the issue of Cham autonomy being brought into the dispute, since the Vietnamese conquered the Hindu and Muslim Cham people in a war in 1832, and the Vietnamese continue to destroy evidence of Cham culture and artefacts left behind, plundering or building on top of Cham temples, building farms over them, banning Cham religious practices, and omitting references to the destroyed Cham capital of Song Luy in the 1832 invasion in history books and tourist guides. The situation of Cham compared to ethnic Vietnamese is substandard, lacking water and electricity and living in houses made out of mud.[117]

The Cham in Vietnam are only recognised as a minority, and not as an indigenous people by the Vietnamese government despite being indigenous to the region. Both Hindu and Muslim Chams have experienced religious and ethnic persecution and restrictions on their faith under the current Vietnamese government, with the Vietnamese state confisticating Cham property and forbidding Cham from observing their religious beliefs. Hindu temples were turned into tourist sites against the wishes of the Cham Hindus. In 2010 and 2013 several incidents occurred in Thnh Tn and Phc Nhn villages where Cham were murdered by Vietnamese. In 2012, Vietnamese police in Chau Giang village stormed into a Cham Mosque, stole the electric generator, and also raped Cham girls.[118] Cham Muslims in the Mekong Delta have also been economically marginalised and pushed into poverty by Vietnamese policies, with ethnic Vietnamese Kinh settling on majority Cham land with state support, and religious practices of minorities have been targeted for elimination by the Vietnamese government.[119]

In 2005, a cellular phone base station was erected by the Philippines’ Smart Communications on Pag-asa Island.[122]

On 18 May 2011, China Mobile announced that its mobile phone coverage has expanded to the Spratly Islands. The extended coverage would allow soldiers stationed on the islands, fishermen, and merchant vessels within the area to use mobile services, and can also provide assistance during storms and sea rescues. The service network deployment over the islands took nearly one year.[123]

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Definition of Rationalism – kosmicki.com

 Rationalism  Comments Off on Definition of Rationalism – kosmicki.com
Jan 182016
 

Rationalism is the term used to describe writers and philosophers who privilege scientific reason and logical thought over and above everything else. The Rationalists in America were very much influenced by the Enlightenment that was happening in the 18th century in Europe. However, unlike the Enlightenments great thinkers and philosophers, the Founding Fathers of America attempted to put the philosophy of the Enlightenment to actual use. This is most likely directly related to the fact that American Rationalists evolved out of the tradition of Puritanism, not the class structure and Feudalism of Europe.

Rationalism is based on the concepts of logic and scientific reasoning, but the Rationalists themselves were not scientists as we think of the term. Science in the 18th century was not a profession it was a hobby. Wealthier Americans who had gone to the universities went back to their homes and began to categorize the flora and fauna of their home regions. Not because they were biologists, but because somebody had to do it, and it might as well be them.

Most American science was based on figuring out how to do things more efficiently (and profitably). Rationalists used the scientific method of identifying the problem, hypothesizing a solution, and testing the hypotheses until you reach a satisfactory conclusion. Benjamin Franklin became one of Americas great scientists, but almost everything that he invented (bifocals, lightning rods, Franklin stoves, etc) were designed to solve specific problems. He was not just puttering around or doing experiments willy-nilly.

One side effect of rationalism was that it led to questioning of everything. Instead of following tradition simply because it had always been done that way, rationalists questioned the traditions and made the necessary changes based on what they observed. Thus, because of the rationalist worldview, instead of automatically setting up a government like every other government in Europe, the Founding Fathers asked what sort of government made the most logical sense.

One other significant element of rationalism is their view of religion. As is often pointed out in church/state discussions today, the Founding Fathers made reference to God on a regular basis. However, their view of God and religion was NOT the same as the Puritans. The vast majority of the Founding Fathers and other leading Rationalists were Deists. They believed in God, but it was not a God who was involved in human affairs. The metaphor that was commonly used was the God was like a Clockmaker who had made the universe, wound it up, and was letting it wind down. By referencing God, they were referencing the very notion of a rational, planned universe. Mans role was to try to make proper use of what God had created, whether it be in political structures, daily life, or even scientific observation. Studying the world scientifically wasnt in defiance of religion, it was to better understand what God had created.

This is just a very simple beginning explanation of Puritanism. Check out these websites if you want to know more:

http://abcnews.go.com/America/classroom/1.html

http://www.mesquitereview.com/mr28-5.html

http://www.vernonjohns.org/vernjohns/sthfrnkl.html

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Definition of Rationalism – kosmicki.com




Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution