Continuing the March to Fascism: Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban

An amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences is being inserted into the latest defense authorization bill, BuzzFeed has learned.

The amendment would “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda material produced by the State Department and the Pentagon, according to the summary of the law at the House Rules Committee’s official website.

The tweak to the bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts—the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns.

via Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban.

Under Asset Forfeiture Law, Wisconsin Cops Confiscate Families’ Bail Money

When the Brown County, Wis., Drug Task Force arrested her son Joel last February, Beverly Greer started piecing together his bail.

She used part of her disability payment and her tax return. Joel Greer’s wife also chipped in, as did his brother and two sisters. On Feb. 29, a judge set Greer’s bail at $7,500, and his mother called the Brown County jail to see where and how she could get him out. "The police specifically told us to bring cash," Greer says. "Not a cashier’s check or a credit card. They said cash."

So Greer and her family visited a series of ATMs, and on March 1, she brought the money to the jail, thinking she’d be taking Joel Greer home. But she left without her money, or her son.

Instead jail officials called in the same Drug Task Force that arrested Greer. A drug-sniffing dog inspected the Greers’ cash, and about a half-hour later, Beverly Greer said, a police officer told her the dog had alerted to the presence of narcotics on the bills — and that the police department would be confiscating the bail money.

"I told them the money had just come from the bank," Beverly Greer says. "We had just taken it out. If the money had drugs on it, then they should go seize all the money at the bank, too. I just don’t understand how they could do that."

via Under Asset Forfeiture Law, Wisconsin Cops Confiscate Families’ Bail Money.

Open Office Plans: Bad For Privacy and Meaningful Conversation

The original rationale for the open-plan office, aside from saving space and money, was to foster communication among workers, the better to coax them to collaborate and innovate. But it turned out that too much communication sometimes had the opposite effect: a loss of privacy, plus the urgent desire to throttle one’s neighbor.

“Many studies show that people have shorter and more superficial conversations in open offices because they’re self-conscious about being overheard,” said Anne-Laure Fayard, a professor of management at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University who has studied open offices. “Everyone is still experimenting with ways to balance the need for collaboration and the need for privacy.”

Take Mr. Udeshi’s office, at the N.Y.U.-Poly business incubator, a SoHo loft with dozens of start-up companies housed in low cubicles. The entrepreneurs there say they sometimes get useful ideas from overheard conversations but also find themselves retreating to a bathroom or a broom closet for private chats. When they have to discuss a delicate matter with someone sitting next to them, they often use e-mail or instant messaging.

“You talk to more people in an open office, but I think you have fewer meaningful conversations,” said Jonathan McClelland, an energy consultant working in the loft. “You end up getting interrupted a lot by people’s random thoughts.”

via From Cubicles, Cry for Quiet Pierces Office Buzz – NYTimes.com.

Invisible Bank Runs

We have entered the age of the invisible bank run and are waiting for the first virtual panic.

An invisible bank run is a hard thing to watch; not only is it less telegenic than the old-fashioned kind, one relies on numbers from official government agencies for statistics. How much money left the banking system today? How many banks need emergency liquidity to meet the tide of withdrawals? In the old days, reporters could and did watch lines form outside the banks and watch the armored trucks arrive with cash. These days it is happening anonymously and you only know what they tell you.

They are very unlikely to tell you the truth. Officials lie like rats in times of financial panic; they do it out of a sense of duty. They will insist that a given country will never leave the euro until the moment that it does; they will say that a deposit freeze is unthinkable until they announce that they’ve done it; they will tell you a bank is rock solid until the moment they padlock its doors. This is all for your own good, of course. They don’t want you to panic — and they want to make sure that your money is trapped when they take it away or turn it from gold into straw.

Emphasis mine. Via Ratcheting Up The Crisis In Europe | Via Meadia.

Gay Marriage, Like All Marriage, Not Worth Celebrating – Reason.com

The idea that the state should promote, sanction, and regulate monogamous relationships gained currency in the 16th century as a reaction to Europe’s first sexual revolution. Public, group, and what we now call homosexual sex were commonplace, prostitution was rampant and generally unpunished, pornographic books and pamphlets were widely popular, and laws against adultery and divorce went unenforced. Martin Luther and other leaders of the Protestant Reformation seized upon marriage as a means though which to curb unchristian freedoms and bring about social order. 

On this side of the Atlantic, shortly after the ratification of the Constitution, the newly-formed states, acting in their own professed self-interest, enacted laws that made it more difficult to end marriages. Typical was the view of Georgia state legislators, who in 1802 responded to their inability to stop the “dissolution of contracts founded on the most binding and sacred obligations” by drafting a law regulating divorce. According to the lawmakers, the “dissolution [of a marriage] ought not to be dependent on private will, but should require legislative interference; inasmuch as the republic is deeply interested in the private business of its citizens.”

Other state governments followed that lead. By the end of the 19th century it was nearly impossible in all the states to dissolve a marriage unless one upheld what one historian has called “ideal spousal behavior” and one’s spouse was adulterous, sexually dysfunctional, or chronically absent. No longer could an unhappy wife or husband simply walk away from a marriage.

Dissolving a marriage became slightly less onerous in the 20th century, thanks largely to the aforementioned counter-cultural left, but the institution’s state-sanctioned moral apparatus continued to keep most of us from pursuing our individual desires. As of the most recent count [pdf], 48 percent of married couples are willing to pay lawyers bundles of cash to disentangle from relationships they no longer see as serving their interests. Even today, we pay dearly for that option, not just in legal fees but also from the stigma of having “failed” at what all good Americans are expected to do.

So let us say to our gay brothers and sisters fighting for the “freedom to marry,” who once led the fight for freedom from marriage: be careful what you wish for—you’ll probably get it.

via Gay Marriage, Like All Marriage, Not Worth Celebrating – Reason.com.

This Is Not How A Free Society Treats People

This is where Eduardo Saverin comes in. The Facebook co-founder, who finds himself a few billion dollars richer this week, recently renounced his US citizenship. And, to the intelligentsia, it’s not ‘fair’.

‘Saverin needs to pay his fair share! He owes America more,’ they whine, completely ignorant that the 30-year old is already forking over a $500+ million exit tax which may end up in the billions.

Apparently it’s not good enough that the company Saverin co-founded has created tens of thousands of jobs, spawned entire industries, and produced oodles of new millionaires. Oh yeah, it’s also made things damn easy for the CIA, NSA, and FBI. You’d think Uncle Sam would pin a medal on his chest.

But no. Saverin left behind a lot of value and decided to move on to greener pastures in Singapore. Now the do-gooders in Congress are cooking up new legislation the EX-PATRIOT Act designed to permanently bar ‘renunciants’ like Saverin from re-entering the United States.

It’s interesting that, rather than change their ways of doing business and introducing legislation that provides incentives for productive people to come here and stay here, they maintain policies that chase people away, and introduce new ones to lock the door after they’re gone.

via Guest Post: Regardless Of What The Propaganda Says, This Is Not How A Free Society Treats People | ZeroHedge.

Policeman Takes $22K From Innocent Driver

Reby was driving down Interstate 40, heading west through Putnam County, when he was stopped for speeding.

A Monterey police officer wanted to know if he was carrying any large amounts of cash.

"I said, ‘Around $20,000,’" he recalled. "Then, at the point, he said, ‘Do you mind if I search your vehicle?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t mind.’ I certainly didn’t feel I was doing anything wrong. It was my money."

That’s when Officer Larry Bates confiscated the cash based on his suspicion that it was drug money.

"Why didn’t you arrest him?" we asked Bates.

"Because he hadn’t committed a criminal law," the officer answered.

Bates said the amount of money and the way it was packed gave him reason to be suspicious.

"The safest place to put your money if it’s legitimate is in a bank account," he explained. "He stated he had two. I would put it in a bank account. It draws interest and it’s safer."

"But it’s not illegal to carry cash," we noted.

"No, it’s not illegal to carry cash," Bates said. "Again, it’s what the cash is being used for to facilitate or what it is being utilized for."

NewsChannel 5 Investigates noted, "But you had no proof that money was being used for drug trafficking, correct? No proof?"

"And he couldn’t prove it was legitimate," Bates insisted.

Say it with me, everyone: “Officer, I do not consent to searches.” The fact that you have done nothing wrong does not mean the cops cannot take your stuff. Via Man Loses $22,000 In New ‘Policing For Profit’ Case – NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports.

TSA Gropes Henry Kissinger

Kissinger, who was in a wheelchair, was told by a TSA agent that he needed to be searched.

“He stood with his suit jacket off, and he was wearing suspenders,” freelance reporter Matthew Cole told the Post. “They gave him the full pat-down. None of the agents seemed to know who he was.” Cole added that Kissinger was given “the full Monty” search.

Kissinger negotiated the Paris Peace Accords which helped bring an end to the Vietnam War.

New dpeths. Via TSA Agents Conduct ‘Full Monty’ Pat-Down On Henry Kissinger « CBS DC.

‘Justice for Trayvon’: 15 Whites Beaten By Gangs of Black Thugs… So Far

The assaults on a pair of Virginian-Pilot reporters in Norfolk, Va., two weeks ago at the hands of 30 black youths, reported for the first time Tuesday, are the latest in a series of attacks driven by a warped sense of racial vigilantism hiding behind calls of “Justice for Trayvon.” At least 15 whites have been beaten not just with fists, but with potentially deadly weapons including hammers and lengths of chain. Many of the victims have been hospitalized, some may never fully recover, and one lingers on the verge of death.

So let me get this right: a “white Hispanic” who has a black heritage, who shoots a black kid (allegedly in self-defense), is national news for weeks on a specious assumption of racism; black folk beating up white folk explicitly because of their skin color in response is no news at all. Got it. PJ Media » ‘Justice for Trayvon’: 15 Whites Beaten By Gangs of Black Thugs… So Far.

5 Reasons Why Conservatives Should Root For a Romney Defeat

Four: If Romney wins this election, odds are he’ll automatically be the Republican nominee in 2016. Regardless of whether he wins then, this will effectively kill all prospects for putting a more serious Republican reformer (such as Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan) in the White House until 2020 or 2024. It might be far better to swallow hard and accept another Obama term to keep the path clear for a Republican more likely to deal with our fiscal and political dysfunction, rather than elect President Romney and block that possibility for another generation.

Five: The GOP is in a state of intellectual flux, illustrated perfectly by the ideological heterodoxy of its presidential field. Various strains representing different interests are fighting for the soul of the GOP: The neocons are duking it out with anti-war Paulistas. Social moderates are trying to wrest some space from pro-life religious conservatives. Deficits and debt worry everyone, but there is no consensus on entitlement reform. The GOP allegedly stands for the free market—but it has yet to figure out whether Bush’s financial bailout was right or wrong.

via 5 Reasons Why Conservatives Should Root For a Romney Defeat – Reason.com.