Sea of Noise

Thu, 26 Jun 2008

Supreme Court Strikes Down DC Handgun Ban

Today is a good day for the Constitution (though the fight isn't over yet)...

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Mon, 29 Jan 2007

Supreme Court Declines to Review Gilmore v. Gonzales

John Gilmore's petition for writ of certiorari in Gilmore v. Gonzales was denied by the Supreme Court today.

Do you remember when we were busy fighting the Soviets, because they were going to take over the world with their immoral system under which citizens could be arrested under secret laws and held indefinitely without trial? Nah, neither do I.

More coverage here.

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Fri, 09 Jun 2006

Is the "PATRIOT" Act Just a Red Herring, Then?


After the September 11, 2001, attacks, Bush authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on people inside the United States without the court approval usually required for domestic spying:

For several years after the presidential order was signed in 2002, the super-secret intelligence agency monitored the international telephone calls and e-mails of hundreds of people inside the country to search for evidence of terrorist activity, the [New York] Times said in an article on its Web site. ... While many details about the program remain secret, officials familiar with it said the NSA eavesdropped without warrants on up to 500 people in the United States at any given time, the newspaper reported.

So, who needs the so-called "PATRIOT" Act when the government spys on citizens without a warrant whenever it pleases?

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Thu, 16 Dec 2004

John Perry Barlow Busted, Fights Back

John Perry Barlow got busted at the airport for ("allegedly") carrying a small quantity of drugs in the depths of his suitcase. He's fighting back. Good for you, man!

Now the more authoritarian among you might say that if these searches reveal other, non-terror-related, criminal activity, then so much the better. The 4th Amendment should provide no sanctuary for the guilty, whatever their crimes. But randomly searching people's homes against the possibility that someone might have a bio-warfare lab in his basement would reveal a lot of criminal activity. And it is certainly true that such searches would reduce the possibility of anthrax attacks and enhance public safety. Still, I doubt you're ready to go there. Yet. Given a few exotic outbreaks, you might be. Should that day come, would you still believe such searches should not be precisely limited? This may seem hyperbolic, and of course it is, but it's actually a fairly short conceptual distance away from what's going on in the nation's airports at present.

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Fri, 03 Sep 2004

With Diagnosis and Pharmaceuticals For All

If you get out of line, we can always slap you down with the Patriot Act, but wouldn't it be great if we could medicate you and nip your rebellion in the bud? If "New Freedom Initiative" isn't doublespeak, I don't what is...

The New Freedom Initiative proposes to screen every American, including you, for mental illness. To this end, the president established a New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, to study the nation's mental health delivery service and make a report. It's interesting to note that many on the staff appointed to the Commission have served on the advisory boards of some of the nation's largest drug companies.

[via xauenmurph]

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Tue, 10 Aug 2004

MetaFilter on Forfeiture

The DOJ tried to withdraw some documents related to forfeiture procedure (they backed down) and it actually prompted a very informative discussion over at MetaFilter. Just goes to show that anything can happen.

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Sat, 22 Nov 2003

And Then There Were None

Eric Frank Russell's "And Then There Were None" is a short story from 1951 about "the mightiest weapon ever thought up by the mind of man". If you enjoyed the classic sci-fi TV series The Prisoner or Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, you'll like this one, too.

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