“Top Ten Reasons” Column Makes The Top Ten Articles of 2012

eurocuptrophy80mm2008I am delighted to report that one of my civil liberties columns was selected as one of the top ten articles in the Washington Post’s Outlook Section for 2012. The article entitled the “Ten Reasons the U.S. Is No Longer The Land of the Free,” continues to generate commentary, which is gratifying. Indeed, the success of the column gives hope that there are enough of us out there who care about the decline of civil liberties in this country.

While we have had a reduction of civil liberties and free speech in recent years, there remains a core of civil libertarians in this country and abroad who remain vigilant and vocal. The key is to continue to reach out to other citizens to educate and hopefully motivate them to action.

Much thanks to the Washington Post for the recognition of the piece.

22 thoughts on ““Top Ten Reasons” Column Makes The Top Ten Articles of 2012”

  1. On the “World Bank”: The REAL world central bank is the Bank for International Settlements of Basel, Switzerland, Mexico City and Hong Kong, China.
    From the website of bis.org:
    “The mission of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in those areas and to act as a bank for central banks.”
    A bank for [national] central banks is the world central bank, even if not all nations’ central banks are members.

  2. A topic which JT might consider centers on the refusal of state appellate courts to apply a federal constitutional jurisprudence in criminal cases on a sufficiency of the evidence challenge. If a defendant is convicted in a federal court he will receive a review of the conviction based upon the premises laid out in the Timothy Leary case. If a federal court reviews a state court conviction on the sufficiency of the evidence challenge a federal court or court of appeals will apply Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (1979). Those two Supreme Court cases require that for a conviction to stand on appeal that all of the elements of the crime be proven beyond a reasonble doubt. On appeal the review is not whether some reasonable juror might have found proof beyond a reasonable doubt on the issue, say of whether the defendant was at the crime scene where the victim got strangled and strangled the victim. But whether the reviewing court found those facts to have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    State courts ignore the Jackson v. Virginia case. States like Missouri, former slave states, are proud that they dont follow federal jurisprudence. They are proud to make up their own jurisprudence. Americans are thus deprived of their rights to a fair trial, under due process of law, as secured by the 14th Amendment, to defendants charged with crimes in state courts. .

    Repudiation of the 14th Amendment has an historical basis and a thread that runs down from 1865 to this date, particularly in former slave states that brag about being “Unreconstructed”. The 13th Amendment freed slaves, the 15th gave ALL citizens the right to vote (poor white trash as well as Blacks) and the 14th Amendment made all citizens equal and subject to the human rights protections in a criminal setting of the right to a fair trial, due process of law, equal protection of law.

    Some states like Missouri indugled in folllowing federal jurisprudence for a short period which began with Warren Hearnes appointees on the Missouri Supreme Court and ended totally with RepubliCons in 2008 in the case of State v. Samuel Freeman. That case is illustirative of the issue. The Southern District Court of Appeals reversed Freeman’s conviction and indulged in an analysis of Jackson v. Virginia and U.S. v. Leary. A nice full analysis. The Missouri Supreme Court in a unanimous decision reversed, did not discuss federal jurisprudence and imposed a review doctrine which can best be described as “we know it when we see it”. If one reads the two cases then one will see the problem squarely.

    Here is a portion of the Concurrence in U.S. v. Leary, 395 U.S. 6 (1969) by Justice Hugo Black:
    “The trial court in this case charged the jury that proof that petitioner merely had possession of marihuana was sufficient to authorize a finding that he knew it had been imported or brought into the United States contrary to law. It is clear beyond doubt that the fact of possession alone is not enough to support an inference that the possessor knew it had been imported. Congress has no more constitutional power to tell a jury it can convict upon any such forced and baseless inference than it has power to tell juries they can convict a defendant of a crime without any evidence at all from which an inference of guilt could be drawn. See Thompson v. Louisville, 362 U.S. 199, 80 S.Ct. 624, 4 L.Ed.2d 654 (1960). Under our system of separation of powers, Congress is just as incompetent to instruct the judge and jury in an American court what evidence is enough for conviction as the courts are to tell the Congress what policies it must adopt in writing criminal laws. The congressional presumption, therefore, violates the constitutional right of a defendant to be tried by jury in a court set up in accordance with the commands of the Constitution. It clearly deprives a defendant of his right not to be convicted and punished for a crime without*56 due process of law, that is, in a federal case, a trial before an independent judge, after an indictment by grand jury, with representation by counsel, an opportunity to summon witnesses in his behalf, and an opportunity to confront the witnesses against him. This right to a full-fledged trial in a court of law is guaranteed to every defendant by Article III of the Constitution, in the Sixth Amendment, and by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments’ promises that no person shall be deprived of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law-that is A trial according to the law of the land, both constitutional and statutory.”

    Here are the cites to Freeman: 269 S.W.3rd 422 (Mo.Sup. 2008).

    Several states are Unreconstructed. How about your state fellow commenters?

    Please make this a topic this year. Before the Roberts court repeals Jackson and Leary and the 14th Amendment is relegated to the dustbin of history.

  3. Excuse me if I distract but more on defense of civil rights.
    I can’t attest to the correctness(?) of this source. Their name makes me think that they are another front for rightwingers.
    But the topics are interesting:
    Weekly updates from the Natural Rights Foundation.org
    •DHS Preparing for Civil War? Economic Collapse? Both?
    •Freedom of the Press? Not in America
    •The REAL Price of Freedom

  4. Great to be a source, dear Professor with access to the range of the Washington Post. No small achievement and clearly prize winning. This hopefully in copycat fashion will spread to other newspapers. That is foolish to think will happen, for reasons I won’t take up now.

    Amazing that the Professor still believes that words will help. Triple AAA for trying and so eloquently.

    As for resistance I have commented on the futility of that today to Darren in a cordial discussion. Will take advantage of this blog and crosspost it here.

    All I will say now is remember the drones, the poison gas which Saddam used to wipe out villages and our murderous pursuit of “resistance” in Iraq.

    So expect no quarter.

  5. This is wonderful news. That was a great article that had “legs” as they say as we could tell from the comments that kept coming in over time.

  6. To add to my comment above, consider that another post of JT today deals with a suit against World Bank, a case where he is lead co-counsel.

    The case is about World Bank and mass arrests of demonstrators, obstruction of justice, and those things psychopathic bankers consider to be normal.

    But to add some serious money to the discussion, and why banks, protests, and military action within the U.S.eh? are relevant to JT’s column, consider this:

    Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful of billionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast.

    Warren Buffett … is dumping shares at an alarming rate Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway … has been drastically reducing his exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. Berkshire sold … shares … in “consumer product stocks” … billionaire John Paulson … is clearing out of U.S. stocks too … dumped its entire position in discount retailer Family Dollar and consumer-goods maker Sara Lee … billionaire George Soros recently sold nearly all of his bank stocks, including shares of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs. Between the three banks, Soros sold more than a million shares.

    So why are these billionaires dumping their shares of U.S. companies?

    (Billionaires Dumping Stocks, Economist Knows Why). The piece goes on to say there is an expectation of a very serious “adjustment” coming to the stock market.

    Whether the stock market crash expectation is true or not, the fact that they are selling is true.

    And it has to do with the ability of consumers to buy stuff, which is indicative of a plutonomy where the middle class is damaged and therefore cannot do normative consumer spending.

    The military has evidently seen this coming, as have the banks, for longer than we middle class folk tend to keep it in mind.

    They see something coming bad enough that they have to turn loose the military on people who are protesting economic calamities?

    And the people see something coming that causes a great surge in gun purchases?

    Sounds like the two sides are not communicating doesn’t it?

  7. It is always well received when people like JT see through the smoke and mirrors, and are even allowed to write about it in the mainstream media.

    Those who can be convinced with evidence together with discourse about that evidence, and then try to change the way things are, even by concerted effort, are laboring in the old ways.

    The old ways that did not prevent what has happened, and what continues to happen, as JT wrote about in his top ten article.

    I am reminded of Einstein’s mention of doing the same thing over and over again but each time expecting a different result.

    The surge in gun sales following the drumbeat of recent talk about gun control, in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, is an indicator that many people are aware of the intentions of the state and federal governmental powers that be.

    That is not a mysterious reaction, but what is perplexing is trying to figure out the real why, the real motive the powers that be have that would make them want to do the things they are doing, even when they make public declarations that offer at least one answer:

    New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent

    It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves – was coordinated with the big banks themselves.

    A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks.

    “Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the War College report.

    The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S.

    (The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy – 8). Those quotes are out in the mainstream media just like JT’s column was.

    Like Chomsky says, “it takes genius not to see it.”

  8. “Top Ten Reasons” Column Makes The Top Ten Articles of 2012

    Heartening. Thank you.

  9. “The key is to continue to reach out to other citizens to educate and hopefully motivate them to action.”

    Certainly it is useful for more people to be educated and hopefully motivated to action. But, I’m skeptical that education and motivation are sufficient. Just like any other group of people, organization leverages education and motivation into greater power. I suspect that joining civil liberty groups and channeling action through them may be much more effective than lots of individual conduct.

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