There was a time in the US when we were told that the government couldn't open our mail without a real warrant based upon real probable cause. Now they don't even hide it that the Constitution is looked upon as no more important than toilet paper.
The US Court will ignore the Constitution just like flushing it down with excrement. The judge washes his/her hands, turns out the light, and leaves without giving it another thought. Meanwhile, his blasÃ© attitude about civil liberties and due process is causing the whole nation to hemorrhage. Will it be to death, or will we fix this mess?
As far as I'm concerned, it's grounds for impeachment and removal. I don't look to have such judges punished, but the mundane, secular law calls for enforcing the privacy laws the most important of which is the requirement for a warrant that is neither a rubber stamp nor issued by a secret court and especially isn't some mere so-called National Security Letter from the FBI or some other agency demanding the content of our communications and claiming the power to gag the letter's recipient. Are people still being given such letters and falling for them? I hope not.
Now, it is my understanding that the info being sought was for data that was not the actual content of the communications, but even that we talked to someone should be private information that should only be given up where there is probable cause. In this case, there is not probable cause.
The reason for this is to preclude government abuse. History is replete with government abusing authority.
WikiLeaks was a publisher at the time of this fishing expedition against it. WikiLeaks was/is targeted by fascistic elements within the US government because WikiLeaks exposed literal war crimes. Of course, the attacks on both Afghanistan and Iraq were technically illegal. We all know that huge deliberate lies were told by the Bush-43 neocons, including George W. Bush, who even admitted that he authorized torture (waterboarding, which America said was reason to execute Japanese soldiers in WWII -- how times change when the neocons are doing what the Japanese did).
So, WikiLeaks was acting as a free press (protected under the First and Fourth Amendments of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution and various international laws) and was exposing US government illegalities, which is proper and legal behavior for a free press, which being free need pass no litmus test.
Every blog on the Internet is a free press under the First Amendment. This blog has as much right to full protection as a free press as the New York Times or Washington Post. It also has the added protection of being a religion-based blog. It doesn't matter that this blog covers many areas that many people might not view as religious matters. How the world is being run is a religious matter in my religion, and there's nothing anyone can do about that because my God defines my religion as my God moves me.
Birgitta Jonsdottir, Jacob Appelbaum, and Rop Gonggrijp, were involved with WikiLeaks in a completely legal endeavor. Their communications with via various social and other media should remain private from the government for the reason I've cited: protection against government abuse.
Ruling Allows U.S. Government Warrantless Access to Users' Data
San Francisco - A district court judge in Virginia ruled against online privacy today, allowing U.S federal investigators to collect private records of three Twitter users as part of its investigation related to Wikileaks. The judge also blocked the users' attempt to discover whether other Internet companies have been ordered to turn their data over to the government.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represent Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir in this case. Jonsdottir has appealed an earlier ruling with fellow Twitter users Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp.
"With this decision, the court is telling all users of online tools hosted in the U.S. that the U.S. government will have secret access to their data," said Jonsdottir. "People around the world will take note, and since they can easily move their data to companies who host it in locations that better protect their privacy than the U.S. does, I expect that many will do so. I am very disappointed in today's ruling because it is a huge backward step for the United States' legacy of freedom of expression and the right to privacy."
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
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.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)