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New Executive Order: “Obama Has Just Given Himself the Authority to Seize Your Assets”

New Executive Order: “Obama Has Just Given Himself the Authority to Seize Your Assets”.

Mac Slavo
March 19th, 2014
SHTFplan.com

shredding-the-constitution

On Monday the U.S. government took steps to seize the US-based assets of Russian lawmakers and anyone else that the US government deemed complicit in supporting the Crimean secession movement.

We’ve seen the U.S. government do this in countless cases surrounding drug and financial crimes, and sometimes even against foreign leaders like Saddam Hussein and Manuel Noriega.

What makes this particular instance so unprecedented and terrifying is that President Obama went so far as to issue a new Executive Order to give himself the authorization to do so, because the laws of the United States are such that our government is not allowed to simply take someone’s bank assets, home or business without due process.

Here’s the kicker.

The new Executive Order doesn’t just apply to just Russians or foreigners. It gets blanket coverage, so even American citizens could now face asset forfeiture if their actions are deemed to be “contributing to the situation in the Ukraine.”

Be careful what you say. Be careful what you write. President Obama has just given himself the authority to seize your assets.

According to the president’s recent Executive Order, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine” (first reported by WND’s Aaron Klein), the provisions for seizure of property extend to “any United States person.” That means “any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.”

Via: The Ron Paul Institute

Like most Executive Orders and government legalese, the definitions for why an individual would have their assets seized under this directive are extremely broad and they could, for all intents and purposes, be used against anyone who supports Russian interests, or simply argues against those of the United States.

You can read the full Executive Order at the White House web site. The key points are noted below:

All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person (including any foreign branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:

(i) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following:

(A) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine;

(B) actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; or

(C) misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine

This new Executive Order has crossed a very dangerous line. It’s one that turns the notions of property rights and due process upside down by effectively bypassing the U.S. Constitution.

While we’re sure the President and his staff would argue that such a law would never be used against Americans who are protected by free speech, the fact is that the Executive Branch now believes it has the self-manifested authority to target any individual who engages in activities that undermine US interests abroad or at home.

If a President of the United States believes he has the authority to make it illegal for you to provide support to Russia by way of political commentary, charitable donations or other methods, could he also use similar directives to push forward other agendas?

President Obama has already re-authorized an E.O. giving him the ability to seizefarms, food, processing plants, energy resources, transportation, and skilled laborers during national emergency.

The next Executive Order could come in the form of restrictions on firearms advocacy or target those who speak out against policies like government mandated health care. All it would take is the declaration of a national emergency and they can essentially do as they please.

Is it prudent to give a single person the ability to force such actions down the throats of the American people without Congressional oversight or Judicial review?

New Executive Order: "Obama Has Just Given Himself the Authority to Seize Your Assets"

New Executive Order: “Obama Has Just Given Himself the Authority to Seize Your Assets”.

Mac Slavo
March 19th, 2014
SHTFplan.com

shredding-the-constitution

On Monday the U.S. government took steps to seize the US-based assets of Russian lawmakers and anyone else that the US government deemed complicit in supporting the Crimean secession movement.

We’ve seen the U.S. government do this in countless cases surrounding drug and financial crimes, and sometimes even against foreign leaders like Saddam Hussein and Manuel Noriega.

What makes this particular instance so unprecedented and terrifying is that President Obama went so far as to issue a new Executive Order to give himself the authorization to do so, because the laws of the United States are such that our government is not allowed to simply take someone’s bank assets, home or business without due process.

Here’s the kicker.

The new Executive Order doesn’t just apply to just Russians or foreigners. It gets blanket coverage, so even American citizens could now face asset forfeiture if their actions are deemed to be “contributing to the situation in the Ukraine.”

Be careful what you say. Be careful what you write. President Obama has just given himself the authority to seize your assets.

According to the president’s recent Executive Order, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine” (first reported by WND’s Aaron Klein), the provisions for seizure of property extend to “any United States person.” That means “any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.”

Via: The Ron Paul Institute

Like most Executive Orders and government legalese, the definitions for why an individual would have their assets seized under this directive are extremely broad and they could, for all intents and purposes, be used against anyone who supports Russian interests, or simply argues against those of the United States.

You can read the full Executive Order at the White House web site. The key points are noted below:

All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person (including any foreign branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:

(i) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following:

(A) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine;

(B) actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; or

(C) misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine

This new Executive Order has crossed a very dangerous line. It’s one that turns the notions of property rights and due process upside down by effectively bypassing the U.S. Constitution.

While we’re sure the President and his staff would argue that such a law would never be used against Americans who are protected by free speech, the fact is that the Executive Branch now believes it has the self-manifested authority to target any individual who engages in activities that undermine US interests abroad or at home.

If a President of the United States believes he has the authority to make it illegal for you to provide support to Russia by way of political commentary, charitable donations or other methods, could he also use similar directives to push forward other agendas?

President Obama has already re-authorized an E.O. giving him the ability to seizefarms, food, processing plants, energy resources, transportation, and skilled laborers during national emergency.

The next Executive Order could come in the form of restrictions on firearms advocacy or target those who speak out against policies like government mandated health care. All it would take is the declaration of a national emergency and they can essentially do as they please.

Is it prudent to give a single person the ability to force such actions down the throats of the American people without Congressional oversight or Judicial review?

This pretty much sums up the sad state of the US Constitution

This pretty much sums up the sad state of the US Constitution.

US Constitution

March 14, 2014
Ambergris Caye, Belize

My research team recently passed along a piece of legislation they were looking at called the “ENFORCE the Law Act of 2014.”

It immediately piqued my interest… because anytime you see all CAPS in government documents, it signifies some absurd acronym. And the ‘ENFORCE the Law Act’ did not disappoint.

ENFORCE stands for “Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments”.

And the stated objective of the legislation is “to protect the separation of powers in the Constitution of the United States by ensuring that the President takes care that the laws be faithfully executed. . .”

The bill goes on with specific language to authorize Congress bringing civil legal action against the President of the United States, or any cabinet secretary, for implementing some rule or executive order that does not conform with Article II of the Constitution.

This pretty much sums up the sad state of affairs in the Land of the Free.

When Congress has to pass a new law just to get the President of the United States to, you know, follow the Constitution that he swore to ‘support and defend’, you can be certain that the system has become broken beyond all repair.

This isn’t a commentary on the current POTUS; the disturbing trend of rapidly expanding executive abuse has been increasing for years.

It has nothing to do with Mr. Obama, or Mr. Bush before him, or future Presidents that will continue to expand their offices.

It’s the system itself that is fundamentally flawed. The model is simply no longer valid. Having an election and voting in a new commander-in-chief won’t fix the problem. All you’re doing is changing the players. It’s time to change the game.

1946 Archive Film Proves Despotism Has Taken over America | Truthstream Media

1946 Archive Film Proves Despotism Has Taken over America | Truthstream Media.

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image_pdfimage_print

(Truthstream Media.com)

The Declaration of Independence boldly states:

“When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Thomas Jefferson, writing on behalf of the independent-minded colonists in 1776, backed up the Declaration’s conclusion with numerous examples of British tyranny, stating: “To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

Compare them to the United States and global system we live under today.

Are we now free? Examine the balance of power between individuals, endowed with natural rights by God, and government, Constitutionally bound to only limited powers, as well as the leading corporations of the private sector.

A 1946 national archive film released by Encyclopedia Britannica titled “Despotism” outlines several yardsticks for measuring the balance of power of a free society and that of an outright a despotism, according to scales of respect, power, economic distribution and information. Concentrated power and wealth, centralized information and monopolistic or oligopolistic control in any one of these areas tends to negatively affect the others, and renders freedom a mere illusion.

“Look beyond fine words and noble phrases,” the analyst in the archive film warns. The rhetoric of freedom in America or anywhere else on planet Earth is irrelevant if the power, wealth and opportunity resides in the hands of just a few, or worse a single entity. By any yardstick, society today is very far gone; the once free United States of America is far down the path of dictatorship, though it keeps wrapped in the stars and stripes of the flag and the lofty words of its founding ideals.

Now what? It is the duty of free people to seek and demand a better society once again.

Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton

Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton created Truthstream Media.com as an outlet to examine the news, uncover the deceptions, pierce through the fabric of illusions, know the real enemy, unshackle from the system, and begin to imagine the path towards taking back our lives, one step at a time, so that one day we might truly be free…

Supreme Court Rules Police May Search A Home Without Obtaining A Warrant | Zero Hedge

Supreme Court Rules Police May Search A Home Without Obtaining A Warrant | Zero Hedge.

If the most disturbing, if underreported, news from yesterday, was Obama’s “modification” of NSA capabilities, which contrary to his earlier promises, was just granted even greater powers as phone recording will now be stored for even longer than previously, then this latest development from the Supreme Court – one which some could argue just voided the Fourth amendment – is even more shocking. RT reports that the US Supreme Court has ruled that police may search a home without obtaining a warrant despite the objection of one occupant if that occupant has been removed from the premises. With its 6 to 3 decision in Fernandez v. California on Tuesday, the Court sided with law enforcement’s ability to conduct warrantless searches after restricting police powers with its 2006 decision on a similar case.

From RT:

In 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department sought suspect Walter Fernandez, believed to have stabbed someone in a violent gang robbery. When police first arrived at the suspect’s home, they heard yelling and screaming before Fernandez’s live-in girlfriend Roxanne Rojas answered the door, appearing “freshly bruised and bloody,” and with an infant in hand, according to argument recap by SCOTUSblog.

 

Fernandez was spotted by police, and said, “Get out. I know my rights. You can’t come in.” Yet police arrested him on charges of domestic violence. Later, once Fernandez was out of the home, police asked Rojas for permission to conduct a search, which yielded evidence implicating Fernandez in the robbery.

Probable cause or probable loss of all civil rights?

The Court’s decision justified the police actions, with Justice Samuel Alito writing the majority’s position.

 

“A warrantless consent search is reasonable and thus consistent with the Fourth Amendment irrespective of the availability of a warrant,” Alito wrote. He added that “denying someone in Rojas’ position the right to allow the police to enter her home would also show disrespect for her independence.”

 

Alito was joined in the majority by Justices Breyer, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas.

 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – joined in the minority by Justices Kagan and Sotomayor, marking a gender divide among the Justices in the case – wrote the dissenting opinion, calling the decision a blow to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

 

“Instead of adhering to the warrant requirement,” Ginsburg wrote, “today’s decision tells the police they may dodge it, nevermind ample time to secure the approval of a neutral magistrate.” Tuesday’s ruling, she added, “shrinks to petite size our holding in Georgia v. Randolph.”

 

Georgia v. Randolph was a similar case the Supreme Court addressed in 2006, in which a domestic violence suspect would not allow police to enter his home, though his wife did offer police consent. The police ultimately entered the home. The Court ruled in the case that the man’s refusal while being present in the home should have kept authorizes from entering.

 

A physically present inhabitant’s express refusal of consent to a police search [of his home] is dispositive as to him, regardless of the consent of a fellow occupant,” the majority ruled in that case.

 

In addressing Randolph in the majority opinion, Alito wrote that the difference between that case and Fernandez was the physical presence of the suspect.

 

“Our opinion in Randolph took great pains to emphasize that its holding was limited to situations in which the objecting occupant is physically present,” he wrote.

 

“We therefore refuse to extend Randolph to the very different situation in this case, where consent was provided by an abused woman well after her male partner had been removed from the apartment they shared.”

 

Prior to Randolph and Fernandez, the Court ruled in the 1974 case United States v. Matlock that any one of the co-tenants in a home can consent to a police search of the premises.

Well there goes the fourth amen… oh look, over there: it’s another all time high in the S&P 500. On paper, those who hold stocks have never been richer. Everyone else, barricade your doors, and the police come knocking, don’t even bother answering – they will come in anyway. And also prepare your guns for return to the government: that particular “constitutional” amendment is the next to go.

Is a Policy a Law? Is Murder Murder? Washington’s Blog

Is a Policy a Law? Is Murder Murder? Washington’s Blog.

From the Associated Press:

“An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.”

Notice those words: “legally” and “policy.”  No longer does U.S. media make a distinction between the two.  Under George W. Bush, detention without trial, torture, murder, warrantless spying, and secret missile strikes were illegal.  Under Obama they are policy.  And policy makes them “legal” under the modified Nixonian understanding that if the President does it as a policy then it is legal.

Under the U.S. Constitution, the laws of the nations in which drone murders take place, treaties to which the U.S. is party, international law, and U.S. statutory law, murdering people remains illegal, despite being policy, just as it was illegal under the less strict policy of some months back.  The policy was made stricter in order to bring it into closer compliance with the law, of course — though it comes nowhere close — and yet the previous policy remains somehow “legal,” too, despite having not been strict enough.

Under that previous policy, thousands of people, including at least four U.S. citizens, have been blown to bits with missiles. President Obama gave a speech last year in which he attempted to justify one of those four U.S. deaths on the basis of evidence he claimed to have but would not reveal. He made no attempt to justify the other three.

The new policy remains that the president can murder anyone, anywhere, along with whoever is near them, but must express angst if the person targeted is a U.S. citizen.

The idea that such lunacy can have anything to do with law is facilitated by human rights groups’ and the United Nations’ and international lawyers’ deference to the White House, which has been carried to the extreme of establishing a consensus that we cannot know whether a drone murder was legal or not unless the president reveals his reasoning, intention, motivation, and the details of the particular murder.

No other possible criminal receives this treatment. When the police read you your rights, you are not entitled to object: “Put those handcuffs away, sir! I have a written policy justifying everything I did, and I refuse to show it to you. Therefore you have no grounds to know for certain that my justification is as insane and twisted as you might imagine it to be based merely on what I’ve done! Away with you, sir!”

The loss of a coherent conception of law is a grievous one, but that’s not all that’s at stake here.

Numerous top U.S. officials routinely admit that our drone wars in the Middle East and Africa are creating more enemies than they kill.  General Stanley McChrystal, then commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan said in June 2010 that “for every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies.” Veterans of U.S. kill teams in Iraq and Afghanistan interviewed in Jeremy Scahill’s book and film Dirty Wars said that whenever they worked their way through a list of people to kill, they were handed a larger list; the list grew as a result of working their way through it.  The wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and the abuses of prisoners during them, became major recruiting tools for anti-U.S. terrorism. In 2006, U.S. intelligence agencies produced a National Intelligence Estimate that reached just that conclusion.

We are shredding the very concept of the rule of law in order to pursue a policy that endangers us, even as it helps to justify the erosion of our civil liberties, to damage the natural environment, and toimpoverish us, as it kills many innocent people.  Maybe they’ve secretly got drones doing the thinking as well as the killing.

Executive Orders: Carving a Path to Dictatorship? ; NorthWestLibertyNews.com

Executive Orders: Carving a Path to Dictatorship? > NorthWestLibertyNews.com.

Loosely Constitutional, do Executive Orders give too much power to one man?

February 6, 2014               by James White               NorthWest Liberty News

    Executive Orders (EO), issued by the current sitting US President at the time, are nothing new to America.  In fact, our first President, George Washington, issued 8 of them during his presidency.  From my research, it is generally understood that EO’s stem from two areas of the US Constitution; and both references that substantiate EO’s are fairly weak.  As one website explains:

Presidents have been issuing executive orders since 1789 even though the Constitution does not explicitly give them the right to do so. However, vague wording in Article II Section 1 and Article II Section 2 gives the president this privilege. Executive orders also include National Security directives and Homeland Security Presidential Directives.

A well-referenced Wikipedia entry further illustrates the point:

Although there is no constitutional provision nor statute that explicitly permits executive orders, there is a vague grant of “executive power” given in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution, and furthered by the declaration “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” made in Article II, Section 3,Clause 5. Most executive orders use these Constitutional reasonings as the authorization allowing for their issuance to be justified as part of the President’s sworn duties,[2] the intent being to help direct officers of the U.S. Executive carry out their delegated duties as well as the normal operations of the federal government: the consequence of failing to comply possibly being the removal from office.[3]

Throughout history, EO’s have been responsible, at times, for drastically altering the lives of the American populace.  Perhaps the most heinous example being EO 9066, issued by Franklin D. Roosevelt, which was ultimately responsible for the internment of more than 60,000 American citizens of Japanese descent, and over 10,000 of German and Italian ancestry. That seems like a lot of power in the hands of one man and his administration.  Unfortunately, it seems that the use of EO’s are set to increase, further eroding the Constitutional principles that this nation was founded upon.

In a recent article published by the Daily Caller, Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has promised to give Obama a number of EO’s to sign. In fact, stating that EO’s should be number one on the agenda for her newly formed Full Employment Caucus.  To give you an example of how Obama has used this extraordinary power in the past, one only needs to look here.  In this case Obama exercised Executive Privilege, but it really amounts to a de facto Executive Order.  The abuse of EO’s, by this administration, is particularly alarming when one discovers Obama’s history of deceit.

Are EO’s leading our nation into bondage?  I suppose that is for each one of us to decide.  I do know, however, whenever a president of any nation can rule, by fiat, that their actions are protected by the very office that they serve, that nation is on a slippery slope to dictatorship.  Allow me to leave you with the words of one of our greatest Founding Fathers:

“Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day. But a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (administrations), too plainly proves a deliberate systematic plan of reducing us to slavery.” – Thomas Jefferson

It’s Revocation or Revolution | project chesapeake

It’s Revocation or Revolution | project chesapeake.

By: Tom Chatham

The core of all the financial and moral damage done to the U.S. over the past few decades can be traced back to the abuse of federal powers by government officials at all levels. Government has slowly usurped the constitution by adding and interpreting powers it never had. The lack of education by recent generations has allowed this transformation to occur right in plain sight with little or no outcry. The government has enabled this complicity by the population by literally buying it. The sale of freedom and personal rights was never so cheaply bought.

The money changers and printers of false prosperity have stolen the physical wealth of the nation for decades and the end is in sight. The wealth many think they have will soon be revealed for the illusion it is. The savings of a nation have already been looted and now resides in the possession of others. The destruction of financial records and savings accounts will be the conclusion of this grand show of manipulation and outright theft.

The result will be unmitigated chaos and destruction as a nation of soft malcontents loses all of the distractions that keep them quiet and controlled. The masses will suddenly rush into the streets to acquire the things they need and no longer can afford. The final act of treason will be the elimination of the constitution and its protections as government seizes total control under the guise of saving the nation from itself. Most of the people will fall to their knees and hail it as a great event as government assumes the role of caring uncle.

A ruling body, regardless of the type , only has the power allowed to it by the people under its control. Even the threat of force will only carry a tyranny so far. When the people finally say no more, that effectively begins the reduction of the rulers ability to fully control a nation. Control is only possible when the majority comply and the rest can be coerced by the amount of force available to the ruler.

In the case of the U.S. the people must first come to the revelation that they have the power to revoke government power just by saying no. When the populace decides to revoke the legislative power granted to the federal government the federal power will then be limited to the amount of physical force it can project on the population. The current buildup of federal agencies is clearly a sign the federals know this eventuality will soon come to pass and they are preparing for it. If the people speak out in a unified voice before the preparations are complete the federals will have limited options. If the people do not voice their opinions in time there will only be one option left to them to restore the constitutional protections that is their birthright.

Unfortunately, the current disposition of the masses indicate that any collective act against government overreach is unlikely until it is too late leaving the final option to be utilized.

If revolution comes it will be born in the dark of night with a crash of the door as federals attempt to force their way into your home. Those that present the greatest threat to federal authority will be the first on the battlefield as they awake to the sound of a thundering hoard bearing down on them as they attempt to protect their families. These first few martars will be the alarm that activates the prepared masses for a long and bloody revolt.

The federals will likely take down the communications ability of the masses prior to military engagement to prevent the dissemination of information over long distances. Any type of grid failure or EMP type attack should be viewed as just such a signal to act.

The revocation of federal power at the state or county level is the only option to rebuke the federal position of lawlessness in a peaceful way. As a last line of defense, county governments revoking federal authority in their jurisdictions must be able to project sufficient force to back up their actions. A sufficient number of county governments revoking federal power will form the nucleus of a future resistance that will either grow to overwhelm federal control or succumb to federal forces and never rise again. The more territory a resistance element holds, the more federal forces it will take to subdue that area. The only way to remove federal control permanently is to force them to use more forces than they have, depleting their pool of manpower while eventually removing corrupt officials from office.

The tea party has noble goals but the attempt to replace federal officials is a futile gesture at this point. The federal levers of control have already been bought and paid for by those that are truly in control. The best that true patriots can do is to take back the nation one county at a time by installing a constitutional sheriff and county officials in local elections. Once enough counties are controlled the state level can be pursued. The majority of the population that sold itself into serfdom will resist any changes until they suffer sufficient pain and deprivation to make them want a change. This is the battle patriots are now fighting with various levels of success.

There is always a peaceful way to resolve most situations but that window is rapidly closing. Bismark may have been right. The great questions of the day will be answered not with speeches or majority votes, but by blood and iron.

Elected Despotism | Judicial Watch

Elected Despotism | Judicial Watch.

On Tuesday night, January 28, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address. After experiencing the shenanigans over the last five years, nothing said in the speech surprised me. I saw the same defiance and arrogance – the same disregard for the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution – that have characterized the Obama years from day one.

But when I read through the media’s post-game analysis, I could not help but think: What speech were they watching!?

Consider The Hill newspaper, which commended the president for his “genial tone” and for “praising” some of his “long-time foes.” The speech was “less partisan and pointed than many expected,” The Hill reported.

Yes, Obama tossed out a few bones to the Republican leadership. But does this indicate a policy shift toward reason and respect for the rule of law? No, it does not.

And does it really matter if the president uses his polite words when he describes how he is going to continue to completely undermine the U.S. Constitution? Not to most Americans.

As The Hill described: “Obama promised to unleash a torrent of new executive actions.” In the president’s own words [Emphasis added]:

“What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require congressional action, and I’m eager to work with all of you.”

“But America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Let’s make this a year of action. That’s what most Americans want: for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations.”

All this follows President Obama’s thinly veiled threat issued earlier this month prior to a cabinet meeting: “I have a pen and I have a phone,” the president said, noting that he would not wait for Congress to act.

(By the way, that “year of action” sounds like a Marxist revolutionary dog whistle to me.)

Perhaps the best spin on the president’s imperialistic speech came from Politico:  “Obama didn’t entirely ignore Congress.” [Emphasis added.]

Oh, well that’s a comfort.

Folks, do you see the emptiness in President Obama’s expressed willingness to “work with Congress?” What kind of negotiation can there be when the president has stated that he will act unilaterally if he doesn’t get his way?

And “genial tone” notwithstanding, we don’t have to pay much attention to what Barack Obama says anymore, except to ascertain threats to the Constitution and the rule of law. After an endless stream of broken promises, he has no credibility left. We simply must look at what Barack Obama has done.

Let’s take just one example: Congress, with the full support of the American people, rebuffed the president’s illegal alien amnesty legislative initiatives. After attempts to “work with Congress” failed, Obama implemented amnesty via executive fiat.  Sure, he dressed it up in bureaucratic-speak, “selective deportation,” “deferred action,” etc., but at the end of the day, illegal aliens were allowed to stay in the country despite living here in defiance of the law, some of them dangerous criminals.

Then stealth amnesty became official Obama policy. And now it might just become the law of the land, if press reports about the Republican Party’s plans to cave on the issue are to be believed.

Here’s another example:  On January 16 alone, President Obama signed 23 executive orders designed, as Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), stated to “poke holes in the Second Amendment.”  Reuter’s called it the “biggest gun control push in generations.” And Congress had no say in the matter.

This is the “Chicago Way.” And we are about to see it run rampant in Washington over the next three years on every issue under the sun. That’s the message I get from the president’s speech and the president’s “executive actions.”

When it comes to encapsulating the danger Barack Obama and the Chicago Way represents to our country and our way of life, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) put it best in an opinion column he penned for The Wall Street Journal:  “Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the president’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.”  (This is a worthwhile read, so take a look if you have the time.)

Let me close with this. The president has called for a “year of action.” So let’s give him what he’s asking for.  Let’s not simply complain about the corruption and lawlessness. Let’s take every single action we can to confront the Obama threat to our Constitution. You see, this is what I love so much about the work we do at Judicial Watch.  We refuse to serve as spectators to the country’s demise under this president, or any president. We take action.  We file lawsuits. We investigate. We publicize the results of our work. In a word, we are relentless.

Will you join us in our pursuit of justice against Obama corruption?  Please click here if that’s a yes!

Judicial Watch Challenges Obama Administration’s Attack on Religious Freedom with High Court Brief

The monstrosity that is Obamacare is offensive for too many reasons to count. I’ve detailed many of them in this space. From the mandate to purchase insurance, to the taxpayer dollars used to fund Obamacare propaganda, to the numerous times the president has rewritten his own law in furtherance of his political interests – and in defiance, I might add, of the limits to his power as articulated in the U.S. Constitution.

But among all of these offenses, one that many Americans find most objectionable is the provision of the law that requires employers to provide contraceptive and abortifacient services for women – a provision that is now under consideration by the nation’s High Court. Judicial Watch jumped into the legal fray this week by filing a Supreme Court amicus curiae brief.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court ruled just days ago that a group of Colorado nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, could have a temporary reprieve from the contraception mandate while they fight the law in court. But what if you are a for-profit company that also objects to contraception due to religious beliefs? No such luck. This administration thinks business owners aren’t protected by the First Amendment.

And that’s what happened to Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain with 588 stores nationwide as well as an online presence. The beliefs of this company are clear: life begins at conception. And yet, under Obamacare, this company would be forced to provide contraception and abortifacients in violation of these religious beliefs.

This flagrant violation of religious freedom is the reason the company is fighting the law in court, reaching all the way to the Supreme Court. (Fox News reports that there are at least 40 other lawsuits from other companies challenging the law.)

And it’s the reason why we are right there with them.

As JW makes clear in its Supreme Court brief, the Obama administration is in clear violation of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which, in accordance with the First Amendment protection of the free exercise of religion, prohibits the federal government from substantially burdening religious exercise without compelling justification.

Terming the Department of Health & Human Service’s (HHS) mandate an “unprecedented grab for power,” the Judicial Watch’s amicusbrief argues:

The challenged regulation … is not simply the consequence of poor political choices; it is the product of a dangerous entanglement of Congress and an Executive agency that ultimately tramples on religious liberties.

In an unprecedented grab for power, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has not only unilaterally authored, enacted, and changed the contraceptive mandate, but it now seeks to redefine a separate act of Congress – the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – to preserve its power grab. This simply cannot stand.

We also argue that the owners of Hobby Lobby and other businesses should not have to choose between “fidelity to [their] faith or the imposition of unimaginable fines.” The brief also reminds the Court of James Madison’s words in the Federalist Papers:  “an elective despotism was not the government we fought for.”

JW hopes the Supreme Court upholds the lower court ruling in this case. In June 2013, Hobby Lobby won a victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, resulting in the Obama administration petitioning the Supreme Court to review the case. The Supreme Court agreed to review the Hobby Lobby case in November, and is expected to begin hearing oral arguments in March with a ruling by late June.

Here’s a statement I offered to the press in connection with the filing of our brief:

What is at stake in this case is the First Amendment right to religious freedom. It is a pivotal battle in the Obama administration’s War on Religion. This Obama assault, through Obamacare, on the Christian Church is without modern precedent. To force Americans to violate their consciences or lose their livelihoods must be met with strenuous resistance by the Supreme Court. James Madison’s warning against “elective despotism” could not be more apt in describing the crisis caused by this Obama administration anti-Christian policy.

Now as this case works towards ultimate resolution in June, members of Congress are also weighing in with dueling briefs.  This week 19 Democratic Senators filed a brief “arguing that ‘secular’ businesses should not be exempt from the mandate,” reports Fox News. (We’ve already countered that argument.)

Some Senate Republicans, meanwhile, have a different view: “The ability to practice the faith we choose is one of our great constitutional rights. The Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate stomps on that right,” Sen. David Vitter said in a statement as he joined Ted Cruz, R-Texas; John Cornyn, R-Texas; and Mike Lee, R-Utah in filing a brief of their own.

Folks, this threat to our God-given liberties is happening because lawless leftists in the Obama administration have seized control of our healthcare, leaving personal health decisions in the hands of Washington politicians and bureaucratic committees.

The Supreme Court should rule by June.

Judicial Watch Fights Cover-Up of “Air Obama” Taxpayer-Funded Vacations

I close this week with more news from Judicial Watch’s investigation of “Air Obama.”

Many Americans have been forced to put their own vacation plans on hold due to a sputtering economy.  A recent Harris poll indicated that 34% of Americans have held back on travel because they are worried about the bleak economic outlook.

But the sacrifices of the American people notwithstanding, the First Family seems to have no trouble asking taxpayers to foot the bill for their lavish vacations. I’ve documented some of these trips in previous Weekly Updates, most recently just last week, when I reported that a JW investigation showed that Obama/Biden President’s Day vacations cost taxpayers $295,437.

This week, I report to you that JW has amped up its investigations of “Air Obama,” filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Defense to obtain records detailing the amount of government funds spent on seven separate lavish trips taken by Barack Obama and the Obama family throughout 2013.

The Secret Service Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, pursuant to a series of FOIA requests from June to August 2013, seeksinformation from the Secret Service about “the use of U.S. Government funds to provide security and other services” to:

  • “First Lady Michelle Obama, Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, and any companions on a June 2013 trip to Ireland.”
  • “President Barack Obama and any companions on a June – July 2013 trip to Africa.”
  • “First Lady Michelle Obama and any companions on a Summer 2012 trip to London, England for the Olympics.”
  • “President Barack Obama and any companions on a December 2012 trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.”
  • “President Barack Obama and any companions on an August 2013 trip to California.”
  • “President Barack Obama and any companions on an August 2013 trip to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.”

The Secret Service failed to substantively respond to these FOIA requests, and has effectively shut down Judicial Watch’s inquiries about First Family travel.

On January 13, Judicial Watch filed a separate FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense seeking further “records concerningFirst Lady Michelle Obama’s June 2013 trip to Ireland.”

Let’s take these trips one by one to cover what we know so far according to press reports.

  • With the Ireland trip, after a brief stop in Belfast, where the President was taking part in a G-8 summit, the First Lady departed on her own, apparently aboard Air Force Two, for her side trip to Dublin. According to WashingtonDossier.comthough the White House claimed the trip was for diplomatic purposes the itinerary showed, “She and her daughters will visit the Trinity College library to explore President Obama’s Irish family roots, attend a performance by the world-famous Riverdance troupe, and visit the Wicklow Mountains national forest.”
  • In a June, 2013, article, on Michelle Obama’s trip to Ireland, the Washington Times reported, “The cost of the two-day trip in Ireland and Northern Ireland has been estimated at around $5 million. U.S. taxpayers pay the cost of the first family’s travel.” The Times reported that the First Lady stayed at a $3,300-per-night hotel suite in Dublin and enjoyed a “typical Irish lunch” with U2 frontman Bono.”
  • In June, 2013 Fox News reported that the President Obama’s July trip to Africa “with the first family tagging along,” was projected to cost taxpayers an estimated $100 million. According to a confidential planning document obtained by the Washington Post, “Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bullet­proof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts, giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace, so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.”
  • According to Examiner.com , on First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2012 trip to the London Olympics, she “was seen taking shopping sprees through London and sporting a $6,800 jacket to a reception, on a trip paid with taxpayer funds.” In January, 2012, Judicial Watch obtained records from the Department of Defense revealing that the Obama’s 2009 trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, in a failed effort to secure the 2016 Olympics for the city of Chicago, cost in excess of $467,175.
  • Barack Obama’s vacations to Honolulu, Hawaii, have been estimated by the Hawaii Reporterto cost the taxpayers an annual average of $4 million. But, according to WashingtonDossier.com, the 2012 Hawaii vacation may have cost even more: “This year, Obama returned from Hawaii to complete a deal on the Fiscal Cliff and then jetted back to Honolulu, where he is now engaged in Part 2 of his vacation. The second roundtrip flight added about $3.24 million to the tab this time, bringing the cost of the 2012-1013 vacation to well over $7 million.” The White House has failed to provide exact figures.
  • While the total cost of Barack Obama’s August, 2013 trip to California, where he appeared on The Tonight Show, is still being withheld, the Washington Timesreported, “At $180,000 per flight hour to operate the presidential aircraft, the trip cost taxpayers more than $1.8 million just for the flying time to California and back. That doesn’t include two 50-minute flights in California on Marine One, the presidential helicopter; or the cost of lodging dozens of White House staffers and Secret Service agents overnight, or the cost of 20-vehicle motorcades at the various stops.”
  • In August, 2013, the Obama family vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where, according to U.S. News & World Report, “At a time when many more cash-strapped Americans are stuck at home instead of vacationing at the beach, President Obama next week will lead an entourage of several dozens to exclusive Martha’s Vineyard island at a cost of millions to taxpayers.”

No wonder these records have been so difficult to come by! These trips are an utter embarrassment for certain, but this is no reason to withhold information from the American people. Quite the contrary. The more shameful the behavior the greater the need for transparency. But that’s not what we’re seeing out of this administration.

The Obama administration is in cover-up mode on the costs of the Obamas’ travel. The Secret Service has, in contemptuous violation of law, simply stopped answering our FOIA inquiries. It seems that our “king” does not want taxpayers to know how much he’s spending on his unnecessary travel.

It’s been this way from the very beginning. JW began investigating these Obama trips dating back to the newly minted First Couple’s “date night” in New York. We’ve had to scratch and claw to get the records. And thanks to the diligence of our investigation and legal teams, we’ve been more successful than anyone else exposing these trip costs.

Click here to see for yourself all that we’ve uncovered.

But now the Obama administration, evidently tired of being called out on the Obamas’ excesses, is trying to shut down our inquiries by violating the Freedom of Information Act.

Now the Obama gang is going to have to answer to the courts.

Until next week…

» Household Gun Ownership Surges In 40 Year Trend Reversal Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!

» Household Gun Ownership Surges In 40 Year Trend Reversal Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

 

Steve Watson
Infowars.com
January 10, 2014

The number of households owning guns in 2013 has surged to 39 percent, a five point increase on 2012 figures, and signaling that a general decline in gun ownership may be reversing.

A survey by The Economist and YouGov found that almost 4 in every 10 US households now have guns. A slim majority of 56 percent say they do not keep guns at home.

The poll found that 30 percent of households with guns identify as Democrat, while 49 percent say they are Republican.

Gun sales hit new records in 2013

Gun control proponents have routinely argued that a large increase in gun sales in recent years is not a reliable indicator of increasing gun ownership popularity, because the same individuals may be buying multiple firearms. These latest figures, however, are more difficult to dispute.

Indeed, the aggressive push for increased gun control by the government in the last year, seems to have been the driving force for actually increasing gun ownership among American households.

According to the General Social Survey, the leading societal trends data source in the US, household gun ownership has been in decline for four decades. In the 1970s gun ownership was at 50 percent, falling slightly to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s, and down to 35 percent in the last decade. In 2012, the figure was at 34 percent, meaning that the general trend has been halted and reversed.

The real trend of gun ownership has not gone unnoticed by investors, with stocks in gun companies soaring. According to The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, “those who bought [stock in] Smith & Wesson in the aftermath of [the heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary] have made profits of more than 60 percent.”

Those who bought Sturm, Ruger & Co. stock have made profits of “nearly 80 percent.” These investments beat “the overall stock market by more than two-to-one.” the report notes, concluding that “Gun control is dead as an issue.”

The latest Economist and YouGov poll also found that more Americans believe it very unlikely (31%), or somewhat unlikely (27%) that new gun control measures will pass, than those who believe it very likely (10%) or somewhat likely (24%).

When asked whether gun control laws should be made more strict, 48 percent said yes, while a total of 49 percent said there should be no change or that gun laws should be made less strict.

Gun proponents and pro Second Amendment rights groups believe that crime statistics often cited by the government have been spun to suit the Obama administration’s crack down on gun ownership.

As Alex explains in the following clips, more accurate figures can be garnered from the FBI’s analysis, which concludes that increased gun control directly correlates with more gun related crime, as more individuals are left unarmed and defenseless.

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

 

 

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