"I've said that fixing our broken immigration system is a top priority," he said. "I will introduce legislation in the first year to get that
done. I think we have talked about it long enough."
And in the aftermath of December's deadly elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the president vowed to put his "full weight" behind the gun
violence recommendations he asked Vice President Joe Biden to generate.
"Will there be resistance? Absolutely there will be resistance," the president told NBC's David Gregory. "And the question then becomes whether we
are actually shook up enough by what happened here that it does not just become another one of these routine episodes where it gets a lot of attention
for a couple of weeks and then it drifts away. It certainly won't feel like that to me. This is something that was the worst day of my presidency.
And it's not something that I want to see repeated."
Boiling a Frog
If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to jump out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and
turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one
of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.
Snopes.com says this is not true for frogs, but metaphorically it seems to be true for humans.
First a brief bit of history.
During World War I, Congress passed the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918. The laws imposed fines, jail sentences, or both for
interfering with the draft, obstructing the sale of war bonds, or saying anything disloyal, profane, or abusive about the government or the war
effort.(1st Amendment) These laws, upheld by the Supreme Court, resulted in 6,000 arrests and 1,500 convictions for antiwar activities. The laws
targeted people on the left, such as Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs, who was imprisoned, and Emma Goldman, who was jailed and deported. The arrests
of 1917 reflected wartime concerns about dissent as well as opposition toward the Russian Revolution of 1917.
The 1938 congressional resolution creating the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) authorized the committee to investigate the extent, the
character, and the objects of un-American propaganda within the United States. Created on a temporary basis in 1938 to monitor the activities of
foreign agents, it was made a standing committee of the House in 1945.
The HUAC became less active in the 1960s; its name was changed to the Committee on Internal Security in 1969, and it was abolished in 1975.
Essentially this department was resurrected in 2001 as the Office of Homeland Security.
I have broken this down by Amendment to see what rights we actually have left.
I find that the biggest offenders to the Constitution are the USA PATRIOT Act and the NDAA. This is not comprehensive, as there are simply too many
Congressional Acts and Executive Orders to list them all and to break them all down to the individual Amendments that they affect.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the RICO Act or simply RICO PDF
The PATRIOT Act PDF
The official title of the USA PATRIOT Act is "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct
Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001."
National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 NDAA PDF
First ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
Excerpts are from the following References.
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 a redress of grievances.
On 17 April 1990, the Supreme Court ruled that Native Americans do not have a Constitutional right to use peyote during their religious ceremonies.
Claiming that radio frequencies are a limited resource, the government tells broadcasters what to say (such as news and public and local service
programming) and what not to say. This includes prohibitions on obscenity, as defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The right to assemble peaceably is no longer free—you have to get a permit.
House Resolution 4079, the National Drug and Crime Emergency Act, tries to modify the right to habeas corpus. It sets time limits on the right of
people in custody to petition for redress and also limits the courts in which such an appeal may be heard. And on 5 March 1990, the Supreme Court
limited the ability of state prison inmates to obtain Federal court review of their convictions and sentences. By ruling that prisoners cannot make
appeals based on favorable court rulings issued in other cases since their own convictions, the Supreme Court permitted states to execute people even
though their death sentences would not be permitted today in light of subsequent rulings. If a state imposed a death sentence in "good faith," but
it turns out the state was mistaken, the Supreme Court has given the okay to refusing to hear the prisoner's petition for redress of grievances. The
defendant will be killed even though the state made a mistake.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
This amendment is so often challenged that the movement has its own name: Gun Control.
It is no longer a Right; you have to get a permit.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed
This amendment is fairly clean so far.
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 RICO law is making a mockery of the right to be secure from seizure.
The NDAA violates the Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
People under inquiry by the NDAA are tried under a military tribunal instead of a judicial court.
The Patriot Act rips this amendment right out of the constitution. The government can do warrantless searches without even informing the property
owner they were there. No probable cause needs to be proved, no oath taken, and no limit to what can be searched or seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases
arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for
the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be
deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The RICO law again violates property rights.
There is NO due process under the Patriot Act.
NDAA also eliminates the safeguards from double jeopardy and self-incrimination.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein
the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the
Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
NDAA violates Trial by jury and rights of the accused; Confrontation Clause, speedy trial, public trial, right to counsel
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried
by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, failure to demand a trial by jury in time constitutes a waiver of the right.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The right to travel, including travel abroad across borders in either direction and travel within the country is considered fundamental. The Federal
government limits travel to Cuba and other countries, and states establish roadblocks to question and examine citizens. Many states have what are
known as Stop and Identify laws.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to
Today, this protection has eroded. The Federal government exercises much power through purse strings, by taking money from the people and corporations
within the states and refusing to return it unless states conform to Federal rules. By controlling money, the Federal government coerces obedience
from the states in setting speed limits, defining crimes, and setting criminal sentences and penalties. In 1984, Reagan signed a law ordering millions
of dollars withheld from states not raising their drinking age to 21.
The NDAA attempts to justify abridging the bill of rights on the theory that rights are suspended in a time of war, and the entire Unites States is a
battlefield in the War on Terror.
The NDAA negates fundamental American values. The language grants presidents extra-judicial powers, bypassing constitutional checks and balances, in
effect declaring Martial Law in the U.S. and its territories.
Regardless of whether or not these laws are interpreted as applying to U.S. citizens, by specifically targeting foreign nationals, the NDAA violates
the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees that all people be treated the same under the law. Therefore, this law is
Repeatedly since 1917 and especially since 2001 with the Patriot Act, the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), and now the NDAA of 2012 our
Federal Public Servants have eroded, piece by piece, many of our constitutional rights. It is up to the American people to stop this unrestrained
growth of the Federal Government.
Americans could begin by actively and vocally dissenting against laws that violate their Constitutional rights. Passive Resistance, Marches, are a few
ways writing to your Representatives, Congress and Governors are others.