The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 Civil Liberties ItemsEntire Archive
Amid the bad news this summer of racial tensions in Charlottesville and biblical-like floods in Houston and preening saber rattling between Pyongyang and Washington, a dangerous below-the-radar trend has been developing about which all who believe that the Constitution means what it says should be concerned. It is the reckless influence upon local law enforcement... Read More
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently ordered the Justice Department to increase the use of civil asset forfeiture, thus once again endorsing an unconstitutional, authoritarian, and increasingly unpopular policy. Civil asset forfeiture, which should be called civil asset theft, is the practice of seizing property believed to be involved in a crime. The government keeps the... Read More
What if the federal government captures in real time the contents of every telephone call, email and text message and all the fiber-optic data generated by every person and entity in the United States 24/7/365? What if this mass surveillance was never authorized by any federal law? What if this mass surveillance has come about... Read More
boot-camp
Made in Israel?
The horrific execution by police of an Australian woman in her pajamas that took place last week in Minneapolis has again produced a torrent of criticism over killings initiated by law enforcement in situations in which the officers are in no way threatened. America has always been a violent place relative to much of the... Read More
He had lugged the 50 lb. bag of Milorganite into the garden in order to discover, as on many prior occasions, that he had nothing with which to open it. He blamed this on the war on terror and the TSA. As a youth he, as did every boy, had a pocket knife. Always. It... Read More
As Independence Day comes around again we should spend a few moments between barbecue and fireworks to think about the meaning of independence. The colonists who rebelled against the British Crown were, among other things, unhappy about taxation. Yet, as economist Gary North points out, the total burden of British imperial taxation was about one-to-two... Read More
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The man was perceptive. Amalgamation of the states under a central government has led to exactly the effects foreseen by General Lee. In, say, 1950, to an appreciable though imperfect extent America resembled a confederacy. Different regions of the America had little contact with each other, and almost no influence over one another. The federal... Read More
Given the unbelievable amount of preposterous neo-McCarthyite hysteria that the corporate-owned media has been pumping out in a last-ditch effort to convince the public that Donald Trump is a Russian operative, you might have missed the revolting videoof a TSA officer at the Dallas Forth Worth Airport extensively groping a 13 year-old boy as his... Read More
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Getting What We Really Don’t Want
As a society crumbles, as bitter divisions grow and disorder spreads and nothing seems to work, anger comes and people begin to want a man who will say “Enough!” and slap down the malefactors–by any means necessary. A man who will make the trains run on time. A man who will make it safe to... Read More
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The danger lies in what might be coming next
The WikiLeaks exposure of thousands of documents relating to the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) hacking program, which was expanded dramatically under President Barack Obama between 2013 and 2016, has created something of a panic in the users of cell phones, online computers and even for smart television viewers. The documents describe “more than a thousand... Read More
"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion." -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson Is flag burning protected speech? This old issue returned front and center earlier this... Read More
The Lesson Not Drawn From Post-9/11 Government Overreach
One vivid image of the historical relationship between government power and individual liberties in America has long been the swing of the pendulum. It catches the nature of the perpetually changing balance between the two. When it comes to terrorism and civil liberties after 9/11, that pendulum swung strongly toward the power side of the... Read More
"No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..." -- Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The clash in American history between liberty and safety is as old as the republic itself. As far back as 1798, notwithstanding the lofty goals and individualistic values of the Declaration of... Read More
This summer, we have all witnessed the heavy hand of government intervening in the freedom of speech, as the behavior of the Secret Service at both the Republican convention in Cleveland and the Democratic convention in Philadelphia was troubling and unconstitutional. Though the First Amendment was originally written only to restrain Congress ("Congress shall make... Read More
This Is How They Protect Us! The Latest TSA Horror “These people think they are God. They think they can do anything they want.” A partially blind, partially deaf young woman returning home from treatment for a brain tumor was brutally smashed to the ground by goon tug TSA “security” while her mother, a nurse,... Read More
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The people in the government who want to control our personal choices are the enemies of freedom. And the enemies of freedom can be very clever and seductive. Last week, these folks, manifesting their lust to keep us dependent upon the government by rejecting the natural right to self-defense, coined a clever phrase: "No fly,... Read More
Would all of our lives be safer if the government could break down all the doors it wishes, listen to all the conversations it could find and read whatever emails and text messages it could acquire? Perhaps. But who would want to live in such a society? To prevent that from happening here, the Framers... Read More
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An address delivered to the Libertarian Party of Florida on March 23, 2016 in Destin, Florida
To answer the question that is the title, we have to know of what the US consists. Is it an ethnic group, a collection of buildings and resources, a land mass with boundaries, or is it the Constitution. Clearly what differentiates the US from other countries is the US Constitution. The Constitution defines us as... Read More
During her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch admitted that she asked the FBI to examine whether the federal government should take legal action against so-called climate change deniers. Attorney General Lynch is not responding to any criminal acts committed by climate change skeptics. Instead, she is responding to... Read More
The United States Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended mandatory depression screening for all Americans. The task force wants to force health insurance companies to pay for the screening. Basic economics, as well as the Obamacare disaster, should have shown this task force that government health insurance mandates harm Americans. Government health insurance mandates raise... Read More
The nation's attention turned to Oregon this week when a group calling itself Citizens for Constitutional Freedom seized control of part of a federal wildlife refuge. The citizens were protesting the harsh sentences given to members of the Hammond ranching family. The Hammonds were accused of allowing fires set on their property to spread onto... Read More
My work documenting how the law was lost began about a quarter of a century ago. A close friend and distinguished attorney, Dean Booth, first brought to my attention the erosion of the legal principles on which rests the rule of law in the United States. My columns on the subject got the attention of... Read More
The tragedy in Paris last Friday has regrettably been employed as a catalyst for renewed calls by governments in western Europe and even in the United States for more curtailment of personal liberties. Those who accept the trade of liberty for safety have argued in favor of less liberty. They want government to have more... Read More
America’s descent into totalitarian violence is accelerating. Like the Bush regime, the Obama regime has a penchant for rewarding Justice (sic) Department officials who trample all over the US Constitution. Last year America’s First Black President nominated David Barron to be a judge on the First US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. Barron is... Read More
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Last week, Retired General Wesley Clark, who was NATO commander during the US bombing of Serbia, proposed that “disloyal Americans” be sent to internment camps for the “duration of the conflict.” Discussing the recent military base shootings in Chattanooga, TN, in which five US service members were killed, Clark recalled the internment of American citizens... Read More
Once-defeated domestic anti-terrorism legislation is being quietly revived in Congress this week
Back in October 2007, the House of Representatives passed The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act by an overwhelming 405 to 6 vote. The bill would have created and empowered a Congressional commission to hold hearings nationwide, conduct investigations, and propose new legislation to deal with the threat posed by various groups designated as... Read More
The tragedy of a mass murder in Charleston, S.C., last week, obviously motivated by racial hatred, has raised anew the issue of the lawfulness of the State expressing an opinion by flying a Confederate flag at the Statehouse, and the constitutionality of the use of the First Amendment to protect hate speech and hate groups.... Read More
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The military and police have become two sides of the same coin
Inevitably the debate over issues that relate to both national security and domestic law enforcement often become mired down in wrangling over legal or constitutional niceties, which the public has difficulty in following as it fixates instead on the latest twist in the Bruce Jenner saga. That means that the punditry and media concentrate on... Read More
Monday, June 15, 2015, is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. In his book, Magna Carta, J.C. Holt, professor of medieval history, University of Cambridge, notes that three of the chapters of this ancient document still stand on the English Stature Book and that so much of what survives of the Great Charter is “concerned... Read More
In their continuous efforts to create the impression that the government is doing something to keep Americans safe, politicians in Washington have misled and lied to the public. They have violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution. They have created a false sense of security. And they have dispatched and re-dispatched 60,000 federal agents to... Read More
Apologists for the National Security Agency (NSA) point to the arrest of David Coleman Headley as an example of how warrantless mass surveillance is necessary to catch terrorists. Headley played a major role in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack that killed 166 people. While few would argue that bringing someone like Headley to justice is... Read More
Does the FBI manifest fidelity, bravery and integrity, or does it cut constitutional corners in order to incriminate? Can the FBI cut the cable television lines to your house and then show up pretending to be the cable guy and install listening devices? Can FBI agents and technicians testify falsely and cause the innocent to... Read More
This week the Justice Department announced it would not charge former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress. Some members of Congress requested that Lerner be charged with contempt after she refused to testify at a congressional hearing investigating her role in denying or delaying the applications for tax-exempt status of... Read More
John W. Whitehead is a constitutional attorney. As head of the Rutherford Institute he is actively involved in defending our civil liberties. Being actively involved in legal cases, he experiences first hand the transformation of law from a shield of the American people into a weapon in the hands of the government. American civil liberty... Read More
Machine Guns, MRAPs, Surveillance, Drones, Permanent War, and a Permanent Election Campaign
I never fail to be amazed -- and that’s undoubtedly my failing. I mean, if you retain a capacity for wonder you can still be awed by a sunset, but should you really be shocked that the sun is once again sinking in the West? Maybe not. The occasion for such reflections: machine guns in... Read More
Convicted under the kangaroo court conditions of the Espionage Act, Jeffrey Sterling never had a chance
The Obama administration is gloating over the recent conviction of Jeffrey Sterling in an Alexandria, Va. federal court for allegedly leaking details of a secret government program called Operation Merlin that was intended to damage Iran’s nuclear program. Attorney General Eric Holder described the verdict as “…a just and appropriate outcome. The defendant’s unauthorized disclosures... Read More
Anyone paying attention knows that 9/11 has been used to create a police/warfare state. Years ago NSA official William Binney warned Americans about the universal spying by the National Security Agency, to little effect. Recently Edward Snowden proved the all-inclusive NSA spying by releasing spy documents, enough of which have been made available by Glenn... Read More
Barrett Brown, Kathy Kelly, and Bonny Mahoney are the kind of people who are imprisoned in America. It is not the perjurers and liars, the torturers, war criminals and mass murderers. It is the good people who peacefully protest the crimes of those who control the US government and its policies. Since around 1990 I... Read More
While the Western world was watching and grieving over the slaughter in Paris last week, and my colleagues in the media were fomenting a meaningless debate about whether President Obama should have gone to Paris to participate in a televised parade, the feds took advantage of that diversion to reveal even more incursions into our... Read More
If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege. It didn’t happen overnight. It took... Read More
When the government is waving at us with its right hand, so to speak, it is the government's left hand that we should be watching. Just as a magician draws your attention to what he wants you to see so you will not observe how his trick is performed, last week presented a textbook example... Read More
Eric Garner was doing nothing naturally illicit when he was tackled and placed in the chokehold that killed him. It can be argued, if anything, that Garner was being entrepreneurial. He had been trading untaxed cigarettes in defiance of the state's "slave patrol" and "Comrade" Andrew Cuomo's "Cigarette Strike Force," in the words of liberty's... Read More
What if the government is designed to perpetuate itself? What if the real levers of governmental power are pulled by agents and diplomats and bureaucrats behind the scenes? What if they stay in power no matter who is elected president or which major political party controls Congress? What if the frequent public displays of adversity... Read More
On Fox News' "The Five," one female host energetically involved in genuflecting to George Bush turned to another, a former prosecutor and lingerie model, to solicit her "constitutional take"—those are shudder quotes—on President Barack Obama's impending executive amnesty. A better constitutional authority on presidential powers than Kimberly G-string is Jonathan Turley, professor of law at... Read More
Within hours of realizing that his party lost control of the U.S. Senate last week, President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch, the chief federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, N.Y., and an outstanding and apolitical professional, to be the next attorney general. The current attorney general, Eric Holder, resigned last month. Lynch is sure to be confirmed by... Read More
Because of the way the news business works, I am writing this column before the close of the polls in the so-called midterm elections, and hence as I write, I do not know their outcome. Will the Republicans or the Democrats control the U.S. Senate for the next two years? Will it make a difference?... Read More
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A Shadow Form of National ID
When Wiley Gill opened up, no one was there. Suddenly, two police officers appeared, their guns drawn, yelling, “Chico Police Department.” “I had tunnel vision,” Gill said, “The only thing I could see was their guns.” After telling him to step outside with his hands in the air, the officers lowered their guns and explained.... Read More
In the years following the adoption of the Constitution, before he was Secretary of State under President Thomas Jefferson and then president himself, James Madison, who wrote the Constitution, was a member of the House of Representatives. During that period of his life, he gave illuminating speeches and wrote elegant essays and letters about human... Read More
Earlier this week, FBI Director James Comey gave an interview to "60 Minutes" during which he revealed a flawed understanding of personal freedom. He rightly distinguished what FBI agents do in their investigations of federal crimes from what the NSA does in its intelligence gathering, when the two federal agencies are looking for non-public data.... Read More
While the political commentators in the nation's capital are wrapped up in the debate over what to do about ISIS, and as one third of the Senate and nearly all members of the House campaign for re-election, the president's spies continue to capture massive amounts of personal information about hundreds of millions of us and... Read More
PastClassics
A simple remedy for income stagnation
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. -- March 3, 2007
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored