Source: Only President Could Have Given Stand Down Order During Benghazi Attack – May 8, 2013 by Tim Brown
A little over a month after the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, that left four Americans dead, then CIA Director David Petraeus denied that the CIA issued any type of stand down orders to those requesting to assist in Benghazi, leaving only one person that could have given such an order. This came as it was revealed that there were people on the ground with targets painted and air support overhead and the strike was called off. Even former House Speaker Newt Gingrich claimed that that it was rumored that emails from the National Security Adviser’s office told a counterterrorism group to sand down (by the way, this would be part of the reason for the piece yesterday on Ben Rhodes). Now Breitbart is reporting that a source with intimate information about what took place on the ground in Benghazi on the night the U.S. Consulate and the CIA annex was attacked by terrorists is confirming that only the President of the United States, or someone acting on his authority, could have prevented Special Forces from helping the Americans who were under assault.
Kerry Picket writes,
According to the source, when the attack on the Consulate occurred, a specific chain of command to gain verbal permission to move special-forces in must have occurred. SOCAFRICA commander Lieutenant Col. Gibson would have contacted a desk officer at the time, asking for that permission. That desk officer would have called Marine Corps Col. George Bristol, then in command of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara. From there, Bristol would have made contact with Rear Admiral Brian Losey, then Commander of Special Operations Command Africa. Losey would have contacted four-star General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. AFRICOM at the time. “Ham answers directly to the President of the United States,” said the source. It wasn’t a low-level bureaucrat making the call, the source adamantly added. We know that Barack Obama sent a letter to Congress indicating that he did not make a singled phone call on September 11, 2012. However, just days later, Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama called then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at approximately 10pm EST.
In fact, Carney told reporters, “Like every president before him, he has a national security adviser and deputy national security adviser. He was in regular communication with his national security team directly, through them, and spoke with the secretary of state at approximately 10 p.m. He called her to get an update on the situation.” Again, Obama was being coached by his national security team, which includes national security deputy Ben Rhodes.
Pickett says that the source explained, “I have a hard time thinking it was Hillary alone. Hillary may have tried to circumvent the counterterrorism board and deal with this. I think in order for her to tell General Ham, ‘No, you’re not going to get involved,’ she would have had to talk to the president. The president would have had to say, ‘No, take your commands from Hillary.’ He would have had said something, because Ham does not work for the Department of State; he works directly for the president.” Today we will begin getting some answers as whistleblowers in the Benghazi scandal, Mark I. Thompson, Gregory Hicks, and Eric Nordstrom, begin their testimony before Congress.
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I’d like to think that the highest authority in a foreign country (unless subverted by local governments) us the Ambssador who should also oversee any military operations. Even here, Ambassadors should have term limits THOUGH the departing Ambassador should remain to guide the new Ambassador if not too old. This way a small community of former Ambassadors could communicate with themselves and warn of any ‘problems’. Any landing army would then have this group who should have powers of the President WITHIN that country at any rate with the commanding officer reporting to the top brass in USA rather than the CIVILIAN president who by separation of powers consideration, should not be the ‘Supreme Commander’ of the forces as well. Once Congress and President decides to invade, the top brass takes over all military operations to achieve any goals set by the civvies and guided by the current Ambassadors and grouping of ex-Ambassadors. As for this case, Obama was in no position to give any orders being too far away and not specialising in that region much less serving in that region at all. Even if Obama did have the authority, the people in command and familiar with the situation there however are better qualified, even if they may not have that authority.
This way cult of personality is diluted, this way some form of democracy and separation of powers is aided. The President should be a go between and facilitator more than anything else, so by consideration that the President did not give the stand down order might indicate either indecisiveness OR democracy and separation of powers with others in the administration influencing the President’s decision though this should be part of law rather than at the President’s dispensation. The proceedings should be made available to the public AFTER the war is over or each area in conflict is resolved so that transparency can occur and the citizen at large not just plutocrats and military suppliers have access to what happens. Every dollar and cent spent on war is from the taxpayers after all.
Russia’s Gray Cardinal Slips Away Into The Shadows : Then-Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov (left) is seen in February 2012 with Vladimir Putin, who was prime minister at the time, at a meeting on higher education in the Siberian city of Kurgan. – by Tom Balmforth – May 09, 2013
MOSCOW — Vladislav Surkov was known as the Kremlin’s gray cardinal — feared in the corridors of power and despised by the opposition. But the Russian deputy prime minister’s surprise resignation on May 8 has them worried.
Surkov’s departure, observers say, signals the rising power of hard-line factions, the “siloviki,” who have zealously prosecuted the crackdown on the opposition since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency.
The resignation of the once-hugely influential Surkov, observers say, is a major scalp in the belt of the siloviki and confirms a shift to a more hard-nosed ruling style cementing under Putin.
“This is an alarming signal, and it means that the siloviki have got the upper hand,” human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov told Interfax.
Some opposition figures, too, have greeted Surkov’s departure with alarm. Former Deputy Prime Minister and opposition politician Boris Nemtsov on May 8 portrayed it as the outcome of a battle between competing visions of Russia. He said the authorities “forced Surkov to quit, placing their bets entirely on the silovik structures.”
“There was a conflict between two styles of maintaining power,” he said. “Some thought that power had to be maintained by force, while Surkov thought that carrying out political manipulations and trickery was more effective than putting people in jail.”
To be sure, the shift toward a more hard-line style of rule was already well under way. It began in December 2011 when the political system that Surkov was credited with constructing appeared to wobble as allegations of parliamentary election fraud brought thousands onto the streets of Moscow, starting a phase of unprecedented anti-Kremlin protests.
Putin soon moved Surkov out of the Kremlin administration in a move widely seen as a demotion. Surkov was later given the post of deputy prime minister in the Dmitry Medvedev cabinet and was replaced in the Kremlin administration by his longtime rival Vyacheslav Volodin, who is associated with the siloviki clan.
Speaking to RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Vladimir Pribylovsky said that the accession of Volodin and the demise of Surkov, who was so instrumental in Putin’s first two terms, signal an ideological shift.
“Surkov used softer, indirect methods to twist arms and manage democracy,” Pribylovsky said. “Volodin represents harder methods. It’s always a fight for power and financial flows. But in this case there is the hint of something ideological — [a shift] from the softer methods of rule and propaganda to the more tough and direct.”
Surkov’s departure — or, as many believe, “ouster” — comes at a time of raging infighting between the ruling elites.
Officially, Surkov quit after failing to implement a raft of presidential decrees that Putin issued one year ago. But leading political analysts were skeptical of this explanation. They pointed instead to Surkov’s struggle with the powerful Investigative Committee, which spilled into the public domain spectacularly last week.
Speaking on a trip to London, Surkov issued a rare public attack on the Investigative Committee, an agency modeled after the FBI that reports directly to the Kremlin, for pressing a corruption probe into the Skolkovo innovation hub that Surkov was overseeing.
Aleksei Makarkin of the Center for Political Technology told “Izvestia” that Surkov opted to quit after realizing that further work in his post had “no prospects” given mounting pressure from rival elite power brokers. “Vladislav Surkov had tense relations with the Investigative Committee,” Makarkin said. “He who has the president’s ear has the last laugh. And [Putin] is on the side of the Investigative Committee.”
In the last year the Investigative Committee has been on the front line of the crackdown on the opposition, for instance launching multiple criminal cases against anticorruption blogger Aleksei Navalny. It has also charged more than two dozen activists with “mass disorder” for the violence that broke out on Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012 as Putin returned to the Kremlin.
“Forbes Russia” provided another theory for Surkov’s departure. On May 9, it quoted sources in the government alleging that Volodin and Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov were behind the investigation into Skolkovo, Medvedev’s personal innovation project. On April 18, a criminal investigation was launched after a Skolkovo official was alleged to have paid opposition parliamentarian Ilya Ponomaryov, who has attended anti-Putin protests, $750,000 for lectures. The sources told “Forbes” that Surkov’s removal was the “latest episode” in the saga.
‘End Of An Era’
Whatever the case, Surkov’s demise is likely to intensify speculation that more ministers could be fired and that Medvedev himself could be sacked.
Gleb Cherkasov, editor in chief of the influential “Kommersant” daily, says Surkov’s resignation from the Medvedev cabinet at the very least lands a major blow to the prime minister.
“Surkov the person was a brand. He was himself a brand and he strengthened any job that he took on,” Cherkasov said. “It follows that his departure from the Medvedev government is a very serious blow to the weight of personnel. In the end, there are not many people in the country who have political and economic experience. There is a lot less remaining in Medvedev’s government than there was before this [episode].”
Once touted the third-most influential man in Russia, Surkov gained notoriety as the architect of Russia’s “sovereign” or “managed” version of democracy — a term that critics say describes a system of rule with only the trappings of democratic political process.
An advertising whiz kid who trained as a theater director, the 48-year-old Surkov was credited with micromanaging Russian politics in his post of first deputy chief of staff in charge of domestic politics.
He was famously dubbed the Kremlin’s “puppet master” by tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, who on May 8 called Surkov’s departure the “end of an era.”
“Surkov’s sacking has brought an end to the era of ‘managed democracy.'” Prokhorov wrote on his blog on May 8: “Whether you liked that era or not, Vladislav Surkov was clearly its starkest representative.”
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England’s Phenotype and NMP (Neuromedia-Programming) weapon against Putin and Russia. Putin did well personally to remove Surkov BUT democracy takes a hit again. English influence may not necessarily be more democratic but thats what too many 1st world countries use as a weapon. A nation is not owned by a few, but this English subversion is no better. Combined the whole Russian situation is worse.
Three popes at Vatican as Francis welcomes head of Egypt’s Copts – by Alessandro Speciale| Religion News Service
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Friday (May 10) met with Pope Tawadros II, head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, an encounter that brought the number of popes within the Vatican walls to three this week.
Benedict XVI, the emeritus pope, returned to the Vatican on May 2, two months after his resignation, while Tawadros is only the second Coptic pope to visit the Vatican, after the historic visit of Pope Shenouda III to Pope Paul VI in 1973.
Tawadros — on his first foreign trip since he was elected in November — is staying at the Vatican’s guesthouse where Pope Francis is also living. Benedict is now living in a revamped convent a 5-minute walk away, but there were no plans for the two men to meet.
During his stay, the Coptic pope will meet with the heads of various Vatican departments as well as with the Coptic community in Italy.
Francis, 76, and Tawadros, 60, talked in private for 15 minutes and then held a joint prayer service in the Vatican’s Redemptoris Mater chapel. The Catholic pope was dressed in the traditional white cassock while the Coptic pope wore a long black robe. In their public remarks, they addressed each other as “Your Holiness.”
Copts, who trace the origin of their church to the evangelist Saint Mark in the first century, make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population, while Catholics are a much smaller minority.
Since the Arab Spring revolution that overthrew Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, both Christian communities have been the target of increasing violence as Egypt’s political crisis fueled social instability.
In their public speeches, the two Christian leaders didn’t refer explicitly to the increasing number of sectarian attacks against Christian churches in Egypt.
But Francis did talk about an “ecumenism of suffering” among Christians. He added that in the “broader context of society and relations between Christians and non-Christians … from hard suffering can blossom forth forgiveness and reconciliation and peace.”
In the joint prayer service, the two popes prayed for “all countries and communities which are victims of conflict and violence” and for “peace and harmony without discrimination and injustice.”
Since his election last November, Tawadros has sought closer relations among Egypt’s Christians and has promoted the creation of the first Council of Christian Churches in the country.
In his speech on Friday, Tawadros invited Pope Francis to visit Egypt. But an official invitation from the Egyptian government would be required for the trip to take place.
The Coptic Church is the largest Christian community in the Middle East. Tawadros has harshly criticized the Muslim Brotherhood-led government that rules Egypt, accusing president Mohamad Morsi of neglecting the plight of the country’s religious minorities.
Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.
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There would be 5 Popes if the COE’s ‘King’ (that would be Charles) and Russia’s Orthodox Church ‘Patriarch’ Kiril are considered ‘Popes’. So whos the ‘Overpope’? Overlord Damaskinos? The Vamps and Goths can only hope lol . . .
One Hundred Articles of Impeachment Against Obama – submitted by SadInAmerica on Tue, 05/07/2013 – 11:39pm.
There is a growing groundswell within American Republican and Tea Party ranks that impeachment proceedings should be initiated against President Obama on a whole list of violations of the Constitution and the War Powers Act. ~ Peter Paton
Congressmen Allen West of Florida (R-Florida) and Darrell Issa (R- California) have consistently and loudly criticized the president for overstepping the political mark and bypassing Congress’s approval on a whole range of dubious policies and issues: and the recent Obama attack on the Supreme Court of Justice and the Russian ” Open Mic ” gaffe on National Security, leads to one question…
Is Barack Obama making his own case for impeachment? Obama did not become the Democratic nominee for President without the help of several leaders of the Democratic Party who knew that he was not eligible for office
Listed below are the One Hundred Articles of Impeachment.
1. Appointment of a “shadow government” of some 35+ individuals termed “czars” who are not confirmed by the Senate and respond only to the president, yet have overarching regulatory powers – a clear violation of the separation of powers concept. Obama bypassed the Senate with many of his appointments of over 35 “czars.”
2. No congressional support for Libyan action (violation of the War Powers Act ). Obama lied to the American people when he said that there were no US troops on the ground in Libya and then later said they were only “logistical troops.” Obama violated the War Powers Act of 1973 by conducting a war against Libya without Congressional authorization.
3. Betraying of allies ( Israel and Great Britain. Obama has placed the security of our most trusted ally in the Middle East, Israel, in danger while increasing funding to the Palestinian Authority (Fatah, just another Islamic terrorist group) whilst they have enjoined a reconciliation pact with long-standing terrorist group Hamas and the disclosure of British nuclear secrets to the Russians in the Start Treaty. Obama gave missile codes to British Trident missiles to Russia.
4. Backdoor implementation of the DREAM Act which would grant 22 million illegals amnesty. Obama passed the Dream Act through an executive order, bypassing Congress again. DREAM is: Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors
5. Telegraphing troop reductions to enemies – against the consult of his experienced field commanders – while embracing negotiations with our enemy, the Taliban, and recognizing another, the Muslim Brotherhood.
6. Betrayal of Arizona. Obama brought a federal lawsuit against a sovereign state, Arizona, seeking to protect its citizens from this threat of mass illegal immigration
7. Obama’s Failure to enforce U.S. law, the Defense of Marriage Act. He’s stripped America of its moral base by his support for homosexuality and the attack on marriage between a man and a women Obama allows the DOJ to refuse to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.
8. Support of an inept and incompetent attorney general who has failed to prosecute voter intimidation cases (New Black Panther Party), initiated a dangerous gun-smuggling program (Operation Fast and Furious) – which resulted in deaths to one of our own law enforcement agents.
Obama allowed Operation Fast and Furious to occur, which allowed hundreds of Mexican nationals and Border Agent Brian Terry to be murdered with illegal arms given out by the ATF and DOJ.
9. Increasing the regulatory burden on American business through bypassing the legislative process with his executive branch agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.
10. Failure to take the steps necessary to secure our borders and stem the flow of illegal immigration, termed as “repel invasions” in our United States Constitution in Article 1, Section 8 and Article 4, Section 4.
Obama has failed to defend US soil in Arizona as Mexican troops bring illegals and drugs into the USA, crossing the border doing so. This is a direct violation of Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution.
11. Inappropriately commanding the release of strategic oil reserves and providing Brazil $2 billion for its offshore oil exploration.
12. Illegally soliciting funds from within the White House ($5 dinner video fundraiser). The unalienable rights endowed to us by the Creator; life, liberty, and the pursuit (not guarantee) of happiness – are being threatened by the Obama administration.
This current government has abridged the consent of the governed and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends. It is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.
13. Taking on the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review with a preemptive striking against justices who might contemplate an unfavorable ruling on ObamaCare.
14. ”Open Mic ” gaffe in which he explained Russian President Dimitri Medvedev that he’d have more “flexibility” to sacrifice American security after his re-election
15. Occidental College Transcripts Reveals Obama Claimed Foreign Citizenship to Get Scholarship? http://tinyurl.com/czldzx8
16. Obama’s secret back channel Nuclear deal with Iran, a sworn enemy of America and our Allies
17. Obama’s offer of a seat at the table for our avowed enemy the Taliban
18. Barack Hussein Obama’s Ineligibility to be POTUS because he was born in Kenya
19. Obama and his Administration leaking previously classified information about our intelligence communities’ efforts to slow down Iran’s march to nuclear weaponry.
20. Obama destabilized Western Ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, and allowed the Militant and Anti West Muslim Brotherhood to take over the Egyptian Regime, posing a mortal threat to our Ally Israel and our own Western assets and interests in the region. Obama instigated a revolution in Egypt against an ally in the War on Terror.
21. Obama has appointed Muslim Brotherhood advisers, enemies of the State, to the White House. Aid and comfort to the Muslim Brotherhood is TREASON per Article 3 Sec III of the US Constitution.. http://tinyurl.com/3x88l2s
22. Obama bypassing Congress again by Executive Decree to allow Illegal Immigrants to remain and vote in America for partisan electoral purposes and reasons.
23. Obama selling citizenship to criminals in direct opposition to Federal Law.
24. Obama admin assisted Egypt in remilitarizing the Sinai, “something forbidden by the Camp David Accords” http://is.gd/nDwdbl
25. Obama has attempted to compel religious institutions to pay for abortion services — a clear violation of First Amendment rights
26. Obama apologizing on 9/11 day to our sworn Islamist enemies, the Salafists, the same day these terrorists massacred the American Ambassador and three other American officials in the Benghazi Embassy, Libya. and ramsacked and looted the Cairo Embassy in Egypt.
27. Obama spending billions in aid on America´s enemies, while disregarding the needs of the US.
28. Obama is directly responsible for the many wars and murders of Christians in the Middle East
29. Obama has financially ruined this country, and his actions are leading to the demise of the dollar. President Obama is either an idiot or he is purposely trying to destroy the American economy.
30. Obama is hollowing out our military, and destroying our intelligence gathering capability.
31. Obama, aka Barry Soetoro deliberately concealed his true illegal background to be POTUS, TRUTH out: why #Obama records sealed FOREIGN student ID http://twitpic.com/aufduf Can we trust Pres. who games system – lies
32. Criminal cover up by the White House over BengaziGate, where four Americans, including Ambassador Stevens were murdered by Islamic Extremists.
33. #CANDYGATE Collusion with CNN Moderator Candy Crowley at the 2nd Debate to cover up BengaziGate The Candy-Obama Controversy : Get the Transcript’ http://amsp.ec/1P1Dyy
34. Obama’s Illegal Foreign Campaign money.
35. Obama Administration defining the Fort Hood Terrorist Act as a Workplace Accident, which gave succour and comfort to our enemies.
36. The Border-gate arms deal offense that resulted in the death of a border patrol agent as well as numerous innocent Mexican civilians.
37. Suspected organized and widespread election fraud engineered by Agents of the Obama Regime at the November 6th Presidential Election.
38. Obama and unrepentant terrorist William Ayers misappropriated over 300 million dollars in donations meant for the education of Chicago’s minority students. They routed the money to Obama’s community activist buddies who then tried to turn the students in radicals. The program was a total failure.
39. Obama, as an Illinois State Senator, redirected tens of millions in Illinois tax dollars to Valerie Jarrett and Tony Rezko, to provide housing for low income families. They returned the favor with political donations. The housing units were built with cheap materials and labor and are uninhabitable after a mere 10 years of use.
40. Obama accepted millions in illegal campaign contributions from foreign credit cards after the credit card filters used to screen out foreign money, was switched off. This also allowed domestic donors, who were over the legal limit, to contribute more.
41. Obama attempted to move control of the Census Bureau from the Commerce Department to the White House, to be managed by then Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel.
42. Obama had provided under the radar amnesty to illegal immigrants by allowing ICE Director John Morton to prohibit ICE officers from enforcing US immigration laws.
43. Obama allowed USAG Holder to ignore the violation of US immigration laws in the sanctuary cities, i.e.,San Francisco, etc.
44. Obama illegally fired the IG Walpin for investigating Obama’s buddy, Mayor Kevin Johnson (Sacramento), for fraud (850K) with AmeriCorps.
45. Obama is in contempt of Federal court for his illegal oil drilling moratorium in the Gulf…
46. Obama spent a month as the UN Security Council Chair in 2009, which raises the question of his conflict of interest between the US and the UN. This is also likely a violation of his Oath of Office as the UN conflicts with our Constitution on many levels, i.e., LOST, UN Small Arms ban, etc.
47. Obama signed an EO in December 2009 that allows Interpol to operate in the US without oversight by Congress, courts, FBI, or local law enforcement.
48. Obama and SecState Clinton misappropriated, er, used $23 million in US taxpayer funds to help Obama’s homeland of Kenya move to a communist nation where the freedom of speech, private property rights, and other rights are subservient to “social justice”.
This includes the fact that the Kenyan constitution adopted Sharia Law, which violates the basic human rights of women.
49. Obama was likely involved with then Governor Rod Blagojevich to try and sell his Illinois Senate seat, i.e., pay to play. Jesse Jackson Jr is under investigation for it and it appears that Valerie Jarrett might also have been involved.
50. Obama ran a website that asked Americans to report on other Americans, in the area of ObamaKare, using whitehouse.gov and taxpayer money to do so. He repeated this with AttackWatch.
51. Obama got onto the Indiana ballot through voter fraud in 2008.
52. Obama sealed all of his records that would show that he is possibly an illegal president, that he is feloniously using a false SSN, that his draft registration number is false, that his Fulbright award was falsely awarded as Obama claimed foreign student status, and that his student aid was falsely obtained.
53. Obama violated the Constitution by firing the GM CEO.
54. Obama violated bankruptcy laws by forcing GM bondholders to accept millions of dollars in losses of money that they were legally entitled to.
55. Obama violated bankruptcy laws by awarding the UAW with a share of GM and Chrysler during their bankruptcy proceedings.
56. Obama bought votes for ObamaKare with acts like, “Cornhusker Kickback”, “Louisiana Purchase” and the DoI increasing water allocations toCalifornia’sCentral Valley. This brought in the votes of Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa, both Democrat holdouts.
57. Obama lied about Americans being able to keep their healthcare coverage if they wanted to. ObamaKare is already forcing them out of their current coverage.
58. Obama attempted to bribe Joe Sestak with a job offer in order to get him to drop out of the Senate race against Arlen Specter.
59. Obama bypassed Congress and told the EPA to set carbon emission standards.
60. Obama forced BP to pony up a $20 billion slush fund to compensate Gulf Coast businesses and residents affected by the BP oil spill. It was administered by one of Obama’s political appointees and there is NO Congressional oversight.
61. Obama did nothing to Holder (abetted a felony) when Holder refused to prosecute two New Black Panther Party members for brandishing weapons in front of a voting location in Filthadelphia. A direct violation of the voters Civil Rights.
62. Obama bypassed the Senate with a recess appointment of Donald Berwick as the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Violates policy.
63. Obama illegally fired Sherry Sherrod from the USDA over remarks she made at an NAACP meeting in March 2010. He violated her due process.
64. Obama violated contractual law when his regime cancelled 77 oil field development contracts previously approved by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, under Bush 43’s administration. This keeps us from extracting from 2-3 TRILLION barrels of oil.
65. Obama used the DHS to determine the political affiliation of Americans making FOIA requests about the Regime. This led to requests being stalled, lost, etc.
66. Obama acted in April 2009, at the G20 meeting, to expand the Special Drawing Rights, that now gives the IMF more control over the US economy.
67. Obama issued an EO on July 12, 2011, attempting to restrict the Second Amendment rights of US citizens in Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona.
68. Obama’s allowed the FCC to assume authority over the internet, in direct violation of a federal appeals court that DENIED the commission that authority. In December, the FCC voted and passed the first federal regulations on internet traffic.
69. Obama allows the DHS/TSA to routinely violate the 4th/5th Amendment rights of Americans at airports, train stations, and VIPER checkpoints.
70. Obama allows the DOJ in 2009 to stop enforcing federal drug laws in regards to marijuana.
71. Obama attempted to bypass Congress and raise the Debt Ceiling by “reinterpreting” the 14th Amendment.
72. Obama just bypassed the Senate AGAIN by appointing Richard Cordray to a new unconstitutional agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Violates policy.
73. Obama deprived the due process of two U.S.citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, by assassinating them via a CIA drone attack in Yemen on Sept. 30, 2011. This also raises the question of an act of war against Yemen for firing into a sovereign nation. Obama said in 2008:
“No. I reject the Bush Administration’s claim that the President has plenary authority under the U.S. Constitution to detainU.S.citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.”
74. Obama allowed Education Secretary Arne Duncan to grant waivers to No Child Left Behind however, this is a law enacted by Congress and neither Obama nor Duncan have the authority to authorize that.
75. Obama allowed the bailouts to grant money without the authority to do so. “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7U.S.Constitution
76. Obama allowed Operation Castaway to occur, which allowed firearms laws to be broken through coercion of legal gun dealers.
77. Obama bypassed the Senate to appoint three people to the National Labor Relations Board. (Naturally, they’ll all be Obomobots) Violates policy.
78. Obama twenty three illegal Executive Orders to impose a Gun Grab, which is a direct violation of the Second Amendment.
79. Providing aid and comfort to the enemy by announcing the date for unilateral withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Thereby providing the impetus for the escalation of the green on blue attacks
80. Obama by announcing the date for unilateral withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, thereby triggered the disintegration of the green respect that had been a goal of the training mission.
81. Obama deliberately interfering in the elections of our chief ally in the Middle East, Israel to try and influence the result.
82. Obama supplying the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt with F16 Jets and 220 Abram Tanks, sworn enemies of the USA and our Chief Ally Israel.
83. Obama nominating a Muslim John Brennan to be Director of the CIA,when America is at War with Radical Islamic Terrorists.
84. Obama nominating Chuck Hagel, a sworn enemy of our Chief Ally Israel, to be Secretary of Defense
85. Obama and Holder breaking Constitutional Law, by introducing Drone attacks on Americans.
86. Obama is using his Executive Decree to allow 80,000 Muslims to enter America next year, and 100,000 Muslims for the next five years.
87. The Obama administration failed to enforce a century-old law meant to prevent immigrants from taking root in the U.S. only to live on the government dole
88. The Obama administration’s release of hundreds and potentially thousands of illegal-alien criminals from U.S. detention centers
89. The sequester is actually a plot by Obama to cut defense spending and transfer money to “ACORN-like” groups that would help elect Democratic candidates.
90. The Obama administration’s allegedly revealing his political opponents’ private tax information to the media.
91. Obama allowing the third Saudi Bomber in Boston be deported to Saudi Arabia – Arch Terrorist Osama Bin Laden’s son
92. Obama Will Not Charge Boston Jihad Bombers as Enemy Combatants
93. White House Link to Illegal Taping of Sen. McConnell
94. Allowing Islamic Terror Group the Taliban to flourish and operate on American soil.
95. The Obama Government has been caught promoting the delivery of taxpayer-funded welfare benefits to foreigners – “These disclosures further confirm the fact that the Obama administration cannot be trusted to protect our borders or enforce our immigration laws. And the coordination with a foreign government to attack the policies of an American state is contemptible,”
96. Agents of the Obama Regime conspired in 2008 to get Obama’s name illegally put on the Indiana Primary Ballot.
97. Obama Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Involved In Massive Vote Fraud Scandal? http://j.mp/15QrBsb
98. TREASON…Obama Government Hired Al Qaeda to Defend the Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi?
99. Obama Military Considers Stopping Christians from Proselytizing
100. Obama and SecState Clinton’s efforts to bring the US under the UN’s Small Arms Treaty are direct violations of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.
UNKNOWN: How many exact other violations of his Oath of Office.
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Updates as needed…
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Many are applicable only at the assent of the private person or company. Others are diplomacy based and foreign assenting (unilateral to the point where a country is militarily weak to not prevent if that country wanted to) though public reports would help. Migration issues or firings of functionaries might have an occult agenda or reason that could make or break the USA (with the power mongers and self serving politicians specifically hiring or nepotising via name or other casual links unnoticeable to most citizens unless particularly studied in these agendas), which is why USA adoption of citizens is now banned by Russia. Food named functionaries and the number thereof in an administration is a sign of hiding things. All mispelled and other language referebnce to food in names should be noted. The more inrentionally these people are left out of the government, the spiritually cleaner and less Orwellian the government is. Currency or economic actions that appear destructive MUST be taken in amanner that understands MONEY DEOS NOT EXIST but geopolitics does. There is no such thing as economy either but they need to keep the sheeple in contorol so rather than distribute unused state land or national wealth in tehe form of plantations or minerals or lands that are fertile, they prefer to play such games.
The writer seems like a well meaning redneck enmired in the idea of being human or that the laws of physics are all that make up Earth. That is not the case and every word spoken or action done has some system or underlying effect. Thinking like redneck here will only stagnate ‘reality’, which is far more than birthday parties, graduations, high school graduations, weddings, births, education loans (education should be free), bad laws, refusal to distribute unused state land, allowing billionaire plutocrats to hold 99% of the wealth of the country, not amending abusive laws etc etc..
But the sheeple cannot conceive this well and like frightened animals startled running off into the forest when a car is started up or a computer goes on, the same rednecks or even white collars are being handles with kid gloves of relgion, an urbanscape, a sense of society and civilisation where there really isnt anything except self preservation and ‘getting along’ because the police and army are there. The types of people beyond this would not be a danger without the police and army. BUT without? And at the same time, negative freedoms are sacrificed where the most retarde 3rd world countries are. They impose religion, sexual orientation oppression if 3rd world, or orwellian law and dress codes blanketwise rather than piecemeal if 2nd world, and in the 1st world you can get as much freedom as government oversight (there us technocracy when this haooens, where minds I suspect are mapped and tagged and watched at all turns) though even then zoning laws oppress and necessitate people having as much space as possible to express themselves etc.. To ensure progress they create all kinds of wars and false flags and legal snarl ups to keep the people occupied than THINKING. There is no need to work, there is no currency, there are no limits to whar a person should and can think. learn to leave the land and consider seasteading to ‘be self’, rednecks. A redneck view of reality is too small and satisfaction too easy to achieve being so limited in scope, and is a symptom of society’s limiting enforcement.
Scorecard: How Many Rights Have Americans REALLY Lost? – by WashingtonsBlog – February 21, 2013
How Many Constitutional Freedoms Do We Still Have? (Painting by Anthony Freda: http://www.AnthonyFreda.com)
Preface: While a lot of people talk about the loss of our Constitutional liberties, people usually speak in a vague, generalized manner … or focus on only one issue and ignore the rest.
This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right.
The 1st Amendment protects speech, religion, assembly and the press:
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.
However, the government is arresting those speaking out … and violently crushing peaceful assemblies which attempt to petition the government for redress.
A federal judge found that the law allowing indefinite detention of Americans without due process has a “chilling effect” on free speech. And see this and this.
There are also enacted laws allowing the secret service to arrest anyone protesting near the president or other designated folks (that might explain incidents like this).
The threat of being labeled a terrorist for exercising our First Amendment rights certainly violates the First Amendment. The government is using laws to crush dissent, and it’s gotten so bad that even U.S. Supreme Court justices are saying that we are descending into tyranny.
For example, the following actions may get an American citizen living on U.S. soil labeled as a “suspected terrorist” today:
Being young (if you live near a battle zone, you are fair game; and see this)
Using social media
Reporting or doing journalism
Speaking out against government policies
Protesting anything (such as participating in the “Occupy” movement)
Questioning war (even though war reduces our national security; and see this)
Criticizing the government’s targeting of innocent civilians with drones (although killing innocent civilians with drones is one of the main things which increases terrorism. And see this)
Asking questions about pollution (even at a public Congressional hearing?)
Paying cash at an Internet cafe
Asking questions about Wall Street shenanigans
Creating alternative currencies
Stocking up on more than 7 days of food (even though all Mormons are taught to stockpile food, and most Hawaiians store up on extra food)
Having bumper stickers saying things like “Know Your Rights Or Lose Them”
Investigating factory farming
Infringing a copyright
Taking pictures or videos
Talking to police officers
Wearing a hoodie
Driving a van
Writing on a piece of paper
(Not having a Facebook account may soon be added)
And holding the following beliefs may also be considered grounds for suspected terrorism:
Being frustrated with “mainstream ideologies”
Valuing online privacy
Supporting Ron Paul or being a libertarian
Liking the Founding Fathers
Being a Christian
Being anti-tax, anti-regulation or for the gold standard
Being “reverent of individual liberty”
“Believe in conspiracy theories”
“A belief that one’s personal and/or national “way of life” is under attack”
“Impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists)”
“Insert religion into the political sphere”
“Those who seek to politicize religion”
“Supported political movements for autonomy”
“Suspicious of centralized federal authority”
“Fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”
“A belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in … survivalism”
Opposing genetically engineered food
Of course, Muslims are more or less subject to a separate system of justice in America.
And 1st Amendment rights are especially chilled when power has become so concentrated that the same agency which spies on all Americans also decides who should be assassinated.
The 2nd Amendment states:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Gun control and gun rights advocates obviously have very different views about whether guns are a force for violence or for good.
But even a top liberal Constitutional law expert reluctantly admits that the right to own a gun is as important a Constitutional right as freedom of speech or religion:
Like many academics, I was happy to blissfully ignore the Second Amendment. It did not fit neatly into my socially liberal agenda.
It is hard to read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to be an individual right. It is true that the amendment begins with a reference to militias: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Accordingly, it is argued, this amendment protects the right of the militia to bear arms, not the individual.
Yet, if true, the Second Amendment would be effectively declared a defunct provision. The National Guard is not a true militia in the sense of the Second Amendment and, since the District and others believe governments can ban guns entirely, the Second Amendment would be read out of existence.
More important, the mere reference to a purpose of the Second Amendment does not alter the fact that an individual right is created. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is stated in the same way as the right to free speech or free press. The statement of a purpose was intended to reaffirm the power of the states and the people against the central government. At the time, many feared the federal government and its national army. Gun ownership was viewed as a deterrent against abuse by the government, which would be less likely to mess with a well-armed populace.
Considering the Framers and their own traditions of hunting and self-defense, it is clear that they would have viewed such ownership as an individual right — consistent with the plain meaning of the amendment.
None of this is easy for someone raised to believe that the Second Amendment was the dividing line between the enlightenment and the dark ages of American culture. Yet, it is time to honestly reconsider this amendment and admit that … here’s the really hard part … the NRA may have been right. This does not mean that Charlton Heston is the new Rosa Parks or that no restrictions can be placed on gun ownership. But it does appear that gun ownership was made a protected right by the Framers and, while we might not celebrate it, it is time that we recognize it.
The gun control debate – including which weapons and magazines are banned – is still in flux …
The 3rd Amendment prohibits the government forcing people to house soldiers:
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Hey … we’re still honoring one of the Amendments! Score one for We the People!
In America, Journalists Are Considered Terrorists
Painting by Anthony Freda: http://www.AnthonyFreda.com.
The 4th Amendment prevents unlawful search and seizure:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
But the government is flying drones over the American homeland to spy on us.
Senator Rand Paul correctly notes:
The domestic use of drones to spy on Americans clearly violates the Fourth Amendment and limits our rights to personal privacy.
Paul introduced a bill to “protect individual privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles commonly called drones.”
Emptywheel notes in a post entitled “The OTHER Assault on the Fourth Amendment in the NDAA? Drones at Your Airport?”:
As the map above makes clear–taken from this 2010 report–DOD [the Department of Defense] plans to have drones all over the country by 2015.
Many police departments are also using drones to spy on us. As the Hill reported:
At least 13 state and local police agencies around the country have used drones in the field or in training, according to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, an industry trade group. The Federal Aviation Administration has predicted that by the end of the decade, 30,000 commercial and government drones could be flying over U.S. skies.
“Drones should only be used if subject to a powerful framework that regulates their use in order to avoid abuse and invasions of privacy,” Chris Calabrese, a legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said during a congressional forum in Texas last month.
He argued police should only fly drones over private property if they have a warrant, information collected with drones should be promptly destroyed when it’s no longer needed and domestic drones should not carry any weapons.
He argued that drones pose a more serious threat to privacy than helicopters because they are cheaper to use and can hover in the sky for longer periods of time.
A congressional report earlier this year predicted that drones could soon be equipped with technologies to identify faces or track people based on their height, age, gender and skin color.
Even without drones, Americans are the most spied on people in world history:
The American government is collecting and storing virtually every phone call, purchases, email, text message, internet searches, social media communications, health information, employment history, travel and student records, and virtually all other information of every American. [And see this.]
Some also claim that the government is also using facial recognition software and surveillance cameras to track where everyone is going. Moreover, cell towers track where your phone is at any moment, and the major cell carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requests for cell phone locations and other data in 2011. (And – given that your smartphone routinely sends your location information back to Apple or Google – it would be child’s play for the government to track your location that way.) Your iPhone, or other brand of smartphone is spying on virtually everything you do (ProPublica notes: “That’s No Phone. That’s My Tracker“).
As the top spy chief at the U.S. National Security Agency explained this week, the American government is collecting some 100 billion 1,000-character emails per day, and 20 trillion communications of all types per year.
He says that the government has collected all of the communications of congressional leaders, generals and everyone else in the U.S. for the last 10 years.
He further explains that he set up the NSA’s system so that all of the information would automatically be encrypted, so that the government had to obtain a search warrant based upon probably cause before a particular suspect’s communications could be decrypted. [He specifically did this to comply with the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure.] But the NSA now collects all data in an unencrypted form, so that no probable cause is needed to view any citizen’s information. He says that it is actually cheaper and easier to store the data in an encrypted format: so the government’s current system is being done for political – not practical – purposes.
He says that if anyone gets on the government’s “enemies list”, then the stored information will be used to target them. Specifically, he notes that if the government decides it doesn’t like someone, it analyzes all of the data it has collected on that person and his or her associates over the last 10 years to build a case against him.
Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations….
The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases ….
The IP audio-video systems can be accessed remotely via a built-in web server (.pdf), and can be combined with GPS data to track the movement of buses and passengers throughout the city.
The systems use cables or WiFi to pair audio conversations with camera images in order to produce synchronous recordings. Audio and video can be monitored in real-time, but are also stored onboard in blackbox-like devices, generally for 30 days, for later retrieval. Four to six cameras with mics are generally installed throughout a bus, including one near the driver and one on the exterior of the bus.
Privacy and security expert Ashkan Soltani told the Daily that the audio could easily be coupled with facial recognition systems or audio recognition technology to identify passengers caught on the recordings.
Street lights that can spy installed in some American cities
America welcomes a new brand of smart street lightning systems: energy-efficient, long-lasting, complete with LED screens to show ads. They can also spy on citizens in a way George Orwell would not have imagined in his worst nightmare.
With a price tag of $3,000+ apiece, according to an ABC report, the street lights are now being rolled out in Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh, and may soon mushroom all across the country.
Part of the Intellistreets systems made by the company Illuminating Concepts, they have a number of “homeland security applications” attached.
Each has a microprocessor “essentially similar to an iPhone,” capable of wireless communication. Each can capture images and count people for the police through a digital camera, record conversations of passers-by and even give voice commands thanks to a built-in speaker.
Ron Harwood, president and founder of Illuminating Concepts, says he eyed the creation of such a system after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Hurricane Katrina disaster. He is “working with Homeland Security” to deliver his dream of making people “more informed and safer.”
Fox news notes that the government is insisting that “black boxes” be installed in cars to track your location.
The TSA has moved way past airports, trains and sports stadiums, and is deploying mobile scanners to spy on people all over the place. This means that traveling within the United States is no longer a private affair. (And they’re probably bluffing, but the Department of Homeland Security claims they will soon be able to know your adrenaline level, what you ate for breakfast and what you’re thinking … from 164 feet away.)
And Verizon has applied for a patent that would allow your television to track what you are doing, who you are with, what objects you’re holding, and what type of mood you’re in. Given Verizon and other major carriers responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requests for cell phone locations and other data in 2011, such information would not be kept private. (And some folks could be spying on you through your tv using existing technology.)
Of course, widespread spying on Americans began before 9/11 (confirmed here and here. And see this). So the whole “post-9/11 reality” argument falls flat.
And the spying isn’t being done to keep us safe … but to crush dissent and to smear people who uncover unflattering this about the government … and to help the too big to fail businesses compete against smaller businesses (and here).
In addition, the ACLU published a map in 2006 showing that nearly two-thirds of the American public – 197.4 million people – live within a “constitution-free zone” within 100 miles of land and coastal borders:
The ACLU explained:
Normally under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the American people are not generally subject to random and arbitrary stops and searches.
The border, however, has always been an exception. There, the longstanding view is that the normal rules do not apply. For example the authorities do not need a warrant or probable cause to conduct a “routine search.”
But what is “the border”? According to the government, it is a 100-mile wide strip that wraps around the “external boundary” of the United States.
As a result of this claimed authority, individuals who are far away from the border, American citizens traveling from one place in America to another, are being stopped and harassed in ways that our Constitution does not permit.
Border Patrol has been setting up checkpoints inland — on highways in states such as California, Texas and Arizona, and at ferry terminals in Washington State. Typically, the agents ask drivers and passengers about their citizenship. Unfortunately, our courts so far have permitted these kinds of checkpoints – legally speaking, they are “administrative” stops that are permitted only for the specific purpose of protecting the nation’s borders. They cannot become general drug-search or other law enforcement efforts.
However, these stops by Border Patrol agents are not remaining confined to that border security purpose. On the roads of California and elsewhere in the nation – places far removed from the actual border – agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing.
The bottom line is that the extraordinary authorities that the government possesses at the border are spilling into regular American streets.
Computer World reports today:
Border agents don’t need probable cause and they don’t need a stinking warrant since they don’t need to prove any reasonable suspicion first. Nor, sadly, do two out of three people have First Amendment protection; it is as if DHS has voided those Constitutional amendments and protections they provide to nearly 200 million Americans.
Don’t be silly by thinking this means only if you are physically trying to cross the international border. As we saw when discussing the DEA using license plate readers and data-mining to track Americans movements, the U.S. “border” stretches out 100 miles beyond the true border. Godfather Politics added:
But wait, it gets even better! If you live anywhere in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey or Rhode Island, DHS says the search zones encompass the entire state.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have a “longstanding constitutional and statutory authority permitting suspicionless and warrantless searches of merchandise at the border and its functional equivalent.” This applies to electronic devices, according to the recent CLCR “Border Searches of Electronic Devices” executive summary [PDF]:
The overall authority to conduct border searches without suspicion or warrant is clear and longstanding, and courts have not treated searches of electronic devices any differently than searches of other objects. We conclude that CBP’s and ICE’s current border search policies comply with the Fourth Amendment. We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits. However, we do think that recording more information about why searches are performed would help managers and leadership supervise the use of border search authority, and this is what we recommended; CBP has agreed and has implemented this change beginning in FY2012.
Some critics argue that a heightened level of suspicion should be required before officers search laptop computers in order to avoid chilling First Amendment rights. However, we conclude that the laptop border searches allowed under the ICE and CBP Directives do not violate travelers’ First Amendment rights.
The ACLU said, Wait one darn minute! Hello, what happened to the Constitution? Where is the rest of CLCR report on the “policy of combing through and sometimes confiscating travelers’ laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices—even when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing?” DHS maintains it is not violating our constitutional rights, so the ACLU said:
If it’s true that our rights are safe and that DHS is doing all the things it needs to do to safeguard them, then why won’t it show us the results of its assessment? And why would it be legitimate to keep a report about the impact of a policy on the public’s rights hidden from the very public being affected?
As ChristianPost wrote, “Your constitutional rights have been repealed in ten states. No, this isn’t a joke. It is not exaggeration or hyperbole. If you are in ten states in the United States, your some of your rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights have been made null and void.”
The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the entire DHS report about suspicionless and warrantless “border” searches of electronic devices. ACLU attorney Catherine Crump said “We hope to establish that the Department of Homeland Security can’t simply assert that its practices are legitimate without showing us the evidence, and to make it clear that the government’s own analyses of how our fundamental rights apply to new technologies should be openly accessible to the public for review and debate.”
Meanwhile, the EFF has tips to protect yourself and your devices against border searches. If you think you know all about it, then you might try testing your knowledge with a defending privacy at the U.S. border quiz.
Wired pointed out in 2008 that the courts have routinely upheld such constitution-free zones:
Federal agents at the border do not need any reason to search through travelers’ laptops, cell phones or digital cameras for evidence of crimes, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, extending the government’s power to look through belongings like suitcases at the border to electronics.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the government, finding that the so-called border exception to the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches applied not just to suitcases and papers, but also to electronics.
Travelers should be aware that anything on their mobile devices can be searched by government agents, who may also seize the devices and keep them for weeks or months. When in doubt, think about whether online storage or encryption might be tools you should use to prevent the feds from rummaging through your journal, your company’s confidential business plans or naked pictures of you and your-of-age partner in adult fun.
Paintings by Anthony Freda: http://www.AnthonyFreda.com.
The 5th Amendment addresses due process of law, eminent domain, double jeopardy and grand jury:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
But the American government has shredded the 5th Amendment by subjecting us to indefinite detention and taking away our due process rights.
The government claims the right to assassinate or indefinitely detain any American citizen on U.S. citizen without any due process. And see this.
As such, the government is certainly depriving people of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
There are additional corruptions of 5th Amendment rights – such as property being taken for private purposes.
The percentage of prosecutions in which a defendant is denied a grand jury is difficult to gauge, as there is so much secrecy surrounding many terrorism trials.
Protection against being tried twice for the same crime after being found innocent (“double jeopardy”) seems to be intact.
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Alot of the above would be selectively applied. But where sometimes some issues are personal or antidemocratic is what the writer appears to fear. To save red tape is good. But to allow challenge AFTER being arrested and what not and being able to demand equitabel compensation will be the acid test. This looks bad but if term limits and all sorts of checks and balances are present the above should be ok. Secular people should be preferred employeees of ALL corps as well as the govt. The religous tend gain too much puropose or pleasure to proseltytize and cannot be the best employees. For example would any different faithed person like their food prayed over or being prepared by people who would be fighting on the battlefield in their spare time?
Why We Do Not Recommend Using Marijuana – by Matt Browning
The reality of marijuana is that it alters your perception of reality. If you alter something what are you doing? You’re changing it. Sometimes that may be what a person needs, many times it is not. Marijuana is a teacher plant that has several medicinal benefits, but when it is used for recreation or becomes dependent upon rather than worked with for the proper reasons it can have debilitating consequences.
As with any medicinal teacher plant, it has the ability to assist with correcting imbalances in an individual, but just like any other medicine it should only be used to show the individual or the individuals body the proper way to be operating without the present imbalance. Then the individual or their body should take the information and apply it to its way of operating and continue to produce the balanced effect on their own. This is the proper way to use medicines and not become dependent upon
When you are dependent upon something, who has the power? You or the thing you are dependent upon? The thing you’re dependent on does because you believe you need it. Anything you become dependent on begins to dissipate your power, making you weaker, more imbalanced. So in the case of continual use of medicines the very thing that you were using to help with an imbalance actually begins to cause more imbalance over time. The body has the ability to correct any imbalance, but you have to be willing to research and understand it and then look at what is causing the imbalance. If a medicine is the best solution to correct the imbalance then study the medicine and understand how it corrects the imbalance. Then look at yourself and apply those characteristics to your self through whatever healthy means available, whether it be diet or exercise or thoughts or change in environment or anything else.
Continual or excessive temporary use of marijuana causes tears or holes in a persons etheric field. Your etheric field is basically a field of energy that surrounds your physical body. It is sometimes referred to as the aura, though when the aura is perceived by people it is not exactly the etheric field, or at least not the whole of it. The aura is more like an energetic reflection. The aura is actually the refraction of the light waves of the persons emotions they have or feelings that make up their being.
This is why it is usually described by a color. Those colors correspond to whatever emotions the person is experiencing or whatever underlying feelings make up their being. To most people the etheric field is invisible to the naked eye. Your etheric field is involved in recreating or displaying the reality you perceive or experience.
First it is important to understand that everything is energy and that energy exists in the form of sound and light waves. Those waves are filled with information. That information, once translated, is what makes up our perception of reality. Think of it like a television. The media station transmits information in the form of radio waves. Your television takes these radio waves and its trans-receiver translates the information within the waves and projects it into an image that you see and experience on the screen. This is how your etheric field works as well. It is your trans-receiver. Information contained in light and sound waves is translated by being refracted back to us as it enters into our etheric field.The refracting of the light and sound waves is what translates the information stored in them into what we perceive as our realities. If there are tears or holes in our etheric field then the sound and light waves are refracted at an untrue angle causing an individual to not get the complete and pure form of the information. Basically causing a fragment or distortion of the information. The information is skewed from its true form and mis-translated. This is primarily experienced in one of two ways.
The first is by creating complacency or stagnation. The information is buffered so the intensity, urgency, or severity isn’t truly experienced. For example a guy may be in a relationship where his partner is shagging all the neighbors, he works at a job that is robbing him of his life force, doesn’t pay squat, and the employers walk all over him, and he struggles each month to keep the utilities on and he’s constantly spending any extra money just to keep his car running. Normally these would be signs that some changes need to take place in his life, but a few minutes each day with Mary Jane and things don’t seem as bad as they really are. The guy starts thinking “well there’s always tomorrow to start working on these issues and at least I have heat and shelter, and at least I have a job and a car, and at least I have a partner to share this miserable existence with. Things could be a lot worse, and at least I have all these things and this wonderful bag of weed here to keep me realizing just how lucky I am.” So the man doesn’t see the true nature or severity of the information coming in and becomes stagnant and complacent. Never growing or evolving beyond an “it could be worse” existence.
The second is the way the information gets mis-translated from this fragmentation or distortion is by over enhancing the information. Talk to someone who uses or has used marijuana on a daily or very frequent basis and they will most likely tell you that they used or use it because it makes everything better. Music sounds better, jokes are funnier, physical sensations feel better, and definitely food tastes better. Now you might be saying that doesn’t sound so bad, but the truth is it is an illusion. It also enhances emotional reactions and fear as well. This may be in the form of paranoia, anxiety, anger, sadness, negativity, or many other undesirable feelings. These are all caused by imbalances. The illusion is created because only part of the information is translated and focused on. The other part of the information or code that hits the etheric field that isn’t being translated (because it isn’t refracted properly due to the tares and holes) gets replaced by a replication of the information that actually does get refracted, but now that information has doubled so it is twice as intense. That’s great if the information coming in is “that tastes good, that feels good, that is funny, that sounds incredible, that smells delightful,” but if the information coming in is something that is a warning or negative, then it gets enhanced. Either way it is a translation of information that is lacking in some of the information and excessive in other parts of it. That is an illusion, a mis-translation.
Even if a person starts to look at their amount of marijuana use, they will most likely not be able to perceive it accurately because the information that they are perceiving about it is being refracted improperly as well and is probably telling them they don’t use that often or when they do it is a small amount or that they don’t use as much as so and so or “hey. its not like I’m Tommy Chong”.
Marijuana is a sticky thing that traps, literally. The THC crystals which are what produce the psychoactive properties of the plant are extremely sticky. This is so that the plant can keep the things it wants out while also trapping the male seed floating in the air so that it can reproduce and continue its existence. This is symbolic of what it does to people – doesn’t allow all of the information in, and traps the user into a perpetual state of stagnation, not growing, like a stone; gives another meaning to being stoned. If a person is wanting to have a deeper understanding of reality then it would be better to skip the puff puff and just do the pass instead.
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One wonders if these plants are simply species of ordinary plants that are doused with psychoactive substances taht are synthetic to cause such effects. Is there any way to test of the substace occurs naturally or someone soaks the grund with the substance? Why should we not legalize in law to we grow our own? And by reports, the effect of home grown are different or even plain bad. Is that real or false?
Israel equalizes military service for male, female soldiers (Xinhua) 08:45, May 07, 2013
JERUSALEM, May 6 (Xinhua) — Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’ alon approved on Monday on equalizing the period of compulsory military service for male and female soldiers.
According to a plan, which was originally proposed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, the military service of men will be shortened by four months as of July 2015, said a statement released by the minister’s chambers.
Under the plan, both male and female soldiers will serve 32 months instead of three years for men and two years for women.
“The reason for this move stems from operational needs as well as understanding of the trend and the national need for equality in military service,” the Defense Ministry’s statement read.
However, the plan would not include combat soldiers and those serving in special roles, which will serve three years and get higher compensation fees.
According to calculations conducted by the Finance Ministry, the planned move would save the treasury NIS 1.5 billion (0.42 billion U.S. dollars).
The plan, which should be finally approved by the cabinet, is another step further in transforming the Israeli army to a professional one, according to the statement.
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Abstention options are a Human Right. I hope Israel would allow Israeli citizens to be able to make a choice.
Japan army ‘ran’ sex slavery racket – 14:24, July 04, 2007
Forcing women to become sex slaves was a crime organized by the Japanese military during Japan’s invasion of China in the 1930s and 1940s, according to an investigative report published yesterday.
The first report by the Investigative Committee on Former Chinese “Comfort Women”, co-founded by All China Lawyers’ Association (ACLA) and China Legal Aid Foundation, traced 17 more survivors besides the ones who have already sued the Japanese government.
During its probe from September 2006 to March 2007, the committee found 14 of the 17 survivors were less than 18 when they were forced to become “comfort women”, with the youngest being just 12.
Sixteen of the newly identified women were from North China’s Shanxi Province and one from South China’s Hainan Province, said the report posted on ACLA’s website. The committee focused on five counties in Shanxi, two in Hainan and six in Yunnan.
Kang Jian, one of the lawyers behind the investigation, interviewed all the 17 survivors. “Now they are all in their 70s or 80s but they still suffer from serious mental and physical trauma,” he said.
The Japanese army even tortured these “comfort women” by slashing them with knives or burning their faces with cigarettes.
“Many of them have no children and live in poverty. They told me their biggest wish was to get an apology and compensation from the Japanese government,” Kang said.
But Tokyo has refused to pay direct compensation to any of the estimated 200,000 women, mostly Asian, saying all claims had been settled by subsequent peace treaties.
In April, Japan’s top court rejected compensation claims of two Chinese women forced into the military brothels.
“Japanese courts have dismissed three Chinese ‘comfort women’s’ lawsuits, while the fourth is going on,” Kang said. “We carried out the investigations in a way that the documentation would help the court case.”
The committee also released photographs of six Japanese officers’ confessing about how they had “arrested” Chinese women and set up military brothels. Even a temple at Tengchong County in Yunnan Province was turned into a Japanese army brothel.
The “comfort women” practise lasted at least 16 years in China, the report said.
Su Zhiliang, director of the research center on “comfort women” in Shanghai Normal University, said more than 200,000 Chinese women were forced to become “comfort women” and over 75 percent of them were tortured to death.
“It’s a shame that the Japanese government has rejected compensation pleas because the regulations and certificates show that the Japanese army and its government had forced women into prostitution,” Su said. “In Hainan alone, there were 67 military brothels; there were more than 158 in Shanghai.”
Source: China Daily
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Maybe Japans should just compensate with that useless fiat scrip. Meanwhile do point to and promote the 1% voluntary comfort women who were actually at Comfort Stations of their own voilition.
China calls for political dialogue in Syria (Xinhua) 20:15, May 07, 2013
BEIJING, May 7 (Xinhua) — China calls for all relevant parties in Syria to launch political dialogue and carry out political transition as soon as possible, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday.
In response to a media request for China’s take on the current situation in Syria at a regular press briefing, Hua said that China pays close attention to the development of the situation and believes a political solution is the only correct way for solving Syrian crisis.
She said China also calls for all relevant sides to earnestly respect Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity, remain restrained, avoid any actions that might escalate the tension and play a responsible and constructive role in solving Syrian issue through political means.
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Note that the Palestine/Israel double presence, could be a sort of double team maneuver targetting polytheism by sucking in China into wars or diplomatic activities never intended to succeed as both sides play hegelian dialectic with China and tie up China’s resources and manpower. Either below Article 9 confirms this is indeed a Monotheism oriented issue (Hawking being secular and scientific – or pissed at being used in Israel or Islam inspired Orwellian MSM for making moi wonder if Stephen is ‘not real’ but an empty shell puppet posing as a person – which could still be true – any synthetic speaker could be put inside a human seeming android who is deemed ‘paraplegic’, removing the need for nice technology that simulates a person) or an attempt by the West to further mix things up, very cleverly – against China (i.e. lets have Stephen Hawkings or some technocrat, financiar etc.. say some crap and confuse the Chinese etc..)! Israel and Islam may be ‘magical’ but certainly an evil or limited sort of Monotheism centred reality, while staid and reality bound China should know that to remain silent about greater aspirations and greater realities beyond man’s perception, is to be swept by the stream of fate decided by others who dare to ‘dream’. There is a thread of reality already for China to apply (won’t say which) and no other as powerful as of now, use that or be subsidiary to Monotheist limits to vision or reality, or dead science bereft of ‘magic’ (which is a form of ‘anti-physics’ mindset that can manufest telekinesis etc..).
Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel – by Harriet Sherwood and Matthew Kalman in Jerusalem – The Guardian, Wednesday 8 May 2013
Physicist pulls out of conference hosted by president Shimon Peres in protest at treatment of Palestinians
A statement published with Stephen Hawking’s approval said his withdrawal was based on advice from academic contacts in Palestine. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA
Professor Stephen Hawking is backing the academic boycott of Israel by pulling out of a conference hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem as a protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Hawking, 71, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, had accepted an invitation to headline the fifth annual president’s conference, Facing Tomorrow, in June, which features major international personalities, attracts thousands of participants and this year will celebrate Peres’s 90th birthday.
Hawking is in very poor health, but last week he wrote a brief letter to the Israeli president to say he had changed his mind. He has not announced his decision publicly, but a statement published by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine with Hawking’s approval described it as “his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there”.
Hawking’s decision marks another victory in the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions targeting Israeli academic institutions.
In April the Teachers’ Union of Ireland became the first lecturers’ association in Europe to call for an academic boycott of Israel, and in the United States members of the Association for Asian American Studies voted to support a boycott, the first national academic group to do so.
In the four weeks since Hawking’s participation in the Jerusalem event was announced, he has been bombarded with messages from Britain and abroad as part of an intense campaign by boycott supporters trying to persuade him to change his mind. In the end, Hawking told friends, he decided to follow the advice of Palestinian colleagues who unanimously agreed that he should not attend.
Hawking’s decision met with abusive responses on Facebook, with many commentators focusing on his physical condition, and some accusing him of antisemitism.
By participating in the boycott, Hawking joins a small but growing list of British personalities who have turned down invitations to visit Israel, including Elvis Costello, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Annie Lennox and Mike Leigh.
However, many artists, writers and academics have defied and even denounced the boycott, calling it ineffective and selective. Ian McEwan, who was awarded the Jerusalem Prize in 2011, responded to critics by saying: “If I only went to countries that I approve of, I probably would never get out of bed … It’s not great if everyone stops talking.”
Noam Chomsky, a prominent supporter of the Palestinian cause, has said that he supports the “boycott and divestment of firms that are carrying out operations in the occupied territories” but that a general boycott of Israel is “a gift to Israeli hardliners and their American supporters”.
Hawking has visited Israel four times in the past. Most recently, in 2006, he delivered public lectures at Israeli and Palestinian universities as the guest of the British embassy in Tel Aviv. At the time, he said he was “looking forward to coming out to Israel and the Palestinian territories and excited about meeting both Israeli and Palestinian scientists”.
Since then, his attitude to Israel appears to have hardened. In 2009, Hawking denounced Israel’s three-week attack on Gaza, telling Riz Khan on Al-Jazeera that Israel’s response to rocket fire from Gaza was “plain out of proportion … The situation is like that of South Africa before 1990 and cannot continue.”
Israel Maimon, chairman of the presidential conference said: “This decision is outrageous and wrong.
“The use of an academic boycott against Israel is outrageous and improper, particularly for those to whom the spirit of liberty is the basis of the human and academic mission. Israel is a democracy in which everyone can express their opinion, whatever it may be. A boycott decision is incompatible with open democratic discourse.”
In 2011, the Israeli parliament passed a law making a boycott call by an individual or organisation a civil offence which can result in compensation liable to be paid regardless of actual damage caused. It defined a boycott as “deliberately avoiding economic, cultural or academic ties with another person or another factor only because of his ties with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage”.
• This article was amended on 8 May 2013. The original described Hawking as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He stepped down in 2009.
Obama: North Korea’s crisis-for-concession days ‘over’ – 7 May 2013 Last updated at 20:55 GMT
President Obama: North Korea will no longer be rewarded for provocative behaviour
North Korea will no longer be rewarded for provocative behaviour, US President Barack Obama has said at a joint news conference with South Korea’s leader.
Flanked by President Park Geun-hye, Mr Obama told a White House briefing North Korea was more isolated than ever.
Ms Park is on her first foreign trip since taking office in February.
Ahead of their meeting, US officials said North Korea had moved two medium-range missiles from a coastal launch site, lowering tensions.
Continue reading the main story
The international community must consistently send the message with one voice, to tell them… that they have no choice but to change”
Park Geun-hye President, South Korea
“The days when North Korea could create a crisis and elicit concessions, those days are over,” Mr Obama told Tuesday’s briefing after meeting privately with Ms Park in the Oval Office.
He added: “President Park and myself very much share the view that we are going to maintain a strong deterrent, we’re not going to reward provocative behaviour, but we remain open to the prospect of North Korea taking a peaceful path.
“So far, at least, we haven’t seen actions on the part of the North Koreans that would indicate they’re prepared to move in a different direction,” he said.
The visit by Ms Park, South Korea’s first female president, came as the US and South Korea mark 60 years of their military alliance.
Ms Park said her country would not tolerate what she called North Korean aggression and escalation.
“Instead of just hoping to see North Korea change, the international community must consistently send the message with one voice, to tell them and communicate to them that they have no choice but to change,” she said.
Pyongyang was believed to have been preparing for a missile launch last month, having threatened attacks in the region.
The threats followed tough new UN sanctions imposed on North Korea in March after its third nuclear test.
North Korea has also been angered by wide-ranging annual US-South Korea military drills, which ended a week ago.
Meanwhile, the state-owned Bank of China said it was halting transactions from North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank on Tuesday.
It is thought to be the first time that a Chinese entity has made a move against North Korean interests following the recent tension.
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Holding live drills which are provocative actions in themselves, makes USA and South Korea obligated to ‘reward’ North Korea for provocative actions. But if USA and South Korea are not doing military drills, I doubt North korea would behave as recently provoking or even dare. Lead by example or feel ‘reciprocity’, don’t bully. That regionally, North Korea knows Russia and China secretly approve of any attacks on such military drills with viewed as ASEAN loyaty ambiguous South Korea, with Japan the obvious bad guy in WW2 who has yet to even properly apologize.
Who threw the first punch? Nations have memories spanning centuries and by that Japan is but a colony of China while North Korea is still stinging from WW2 with no properly applied apologies from invading USA at that time which were beaten off by WW2 China. This mean as far as North Korea is concerned, USA still owes North Korea and has no business conducting military drills after invading WW2 Korea. As for nukes, north Korea probably views these as weapons of last resort and their right to keep though by any logic not to throw a first punch with. This is like 2nd amandment and USA cannot fairly demand North korea disarm nukes, while keeping nukes. Lead by example!
Horror as bear on a bike EATS a monkey at the end of sick circus cycle race – by Becky Evans – PUBLISHED: 14:41 GMT, 7 May 2013 | UPDATED: 19:43 GMT, 7 May 2013
A monkey was mauled by a bear after a disturbing circus stunt went wrong.
A video has emerged online of two monkeys and a black bear being forced to ride bicycles around a track in front of a large crowd.
After two laps of the track, one of the monkeys crash and the bear then attacks it as it lies stuck under the bicycle.
The two monkeys and the bear are put on the bikes before being shooed off by staff holding sticks
Crowds can be heard cheering and laughing as the animals ride around the small arena
The gruesome video is believed to have been shot at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, in China, which has hit the headlines in the past for its ‘Wild Animal Olympics’.
In the video, the audience can be heard cheering and laughing as the animals are sent riding around the small arena.
Circus workers holding sticks push the small bikes off but after a few seconds one monkey and the bear crash.
Staff can be seen desperately trying to force the bear off as it grabs the small monkey in its mouth.
At one stage three workers, dressed in brightly coloured costumes, try to wrestle the bear away, while another leads the second monkey away.
Bear mauls a monkey during ‘bike race’ at Shanghai Wild Park
The animals crash into one another after one of the monkeys falls from its bike after about two laps
The animals crash into one another after one of the monkeys falls from its bike after about two laps
Campaign group Animals Asia said it has previously documented cheetahs, lions, tigers, bears, chimpanzees and an elephant being forced to perform in the ‘Wild Animal Olympics’.
It is not clear when the latest video was taken but Shanghai Wild Animal Park said in 2006 that the Olympic event had been scrapped following complaints and ‘out of consideration for the safety of our visitors.’
Stunts in the show had included making bears box one another and ride bicycles, kangaroos boxing humans and monkeys lifting weights.
Visitors to the park can also pay to have their picture taken with the big cats and other animals.
Animals Asia said some of the creatures had also been declawed.
China Tour Online’s website said the park ‘offers animal performances, showing the charm and skill of the animals and their gift in performing.’
The bear then attacks the animal lying under the bike in front of the shocked animal park crowd
Despite the frantic efforts of the zoo staff who hit the bear with sticks, it continues to maul the monkey
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How much compensation do the animals get? ALSO do the animals get to be with their own species in a natural setting? HOLIDAYS and off days. Nature did not put animals in this world to let them be trapped and enslaved in this manner. The bear probably was too fearful to attack the trainers BUT took out frustration on the monkeys instead. Better release the animals and if the shows really are to go on, better make sure that the animals spend more time relaxing and being themselves than working. The Chinese need to develop empathy and conside the unnaural factor as well as the holiday factor. I doubt the animals would want to cycle at all if they had their way.
Shadow threatens anti-trafficker’s greatest moment – by Leif Coorlim, CNN – May 10, 2013 — Updated 1947 GMT (0347 HKT)
Cecilia Flores-Oebanda is presented with The World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child by Sweden’s Queen Silvia on April 28, 2011. Cecilia Flores-Oebanda is presented with The World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child by Sweden’s Queen Silvia on April 28, 2011.
Former rebel fighter becomes anti-trafficking icon
Cecilia Flores-Oebanda rescues child sex slaves from traffickers
She says her organization has helped more than 70,000 people
But allegations of fraud — which she denies –are threatening her life’s work
Manila, Philippines (CNN) — Cecilia Flores-Oebanda has spent her life fighting — as a child for some education, as a teen rebel against a dictator, and for more than 20 years against human traffickers.
Through it all are the constants; persistence and determination.
Oebanda has become the face of the Philippines anti-trafficking movement — a woman who has the ear of the administration and the friendship of many royals and philanthropists around the globe.
But now she is fighting a battle that could truly ruin her. Fraud allegations made by Philippine investigators threaten to destroy her reputation and the anti-trafficking organization she’s run for more than two decades.
When we first met Oebanda, she was lockstep with Philippine federal agents as they boarded ships and burst into the homes of suspected human traffickers.
Those agents are with the same bureau now raiding her organization’s offices and charging her with illegal activity.
Pacquiao outside the ring Pacquiao outside the ring
During two years of filming there were plenty of highs — including a joyous Oebanda dancing on stage in front of 10,000 supporters and rescued girls with renewed hope for their future now that they’d been freed from the clutches of human traffickers.
Less than a year later, she gave a speech to a nearly empty theater.
Oebanda crucially managed to befriend the Philippines’ biggest star, world famous boxer and congressman, Manny Pacquiao. She convinced him to become an active supporter in the fight against modern-day slavery.
Read how Pacquaio helped change trafficking laws
There are photos of her warmly shaking hands and rubbing shoulders with dignitaries like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and the queens of Sweden and Spain.
But by the time we left Manila for the last time, many of the agencies she’d relied on for years had frozen their funding of her organization, the Visayan Forum Foundation.
Oebanda’s story goes far beyond those snapshots with the rich and famous. The oldest daughter of 12 siblings, she began working as a 5-year-old and would sit in the back of her class, smelling of the fish she had sold, and the trash she had sifted through.
As a young mother, she fought for the survival of her two children, whom she gave birth to while in a squalid prison cell as a captured enemy of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.
Years later, as the executive director of an acclaimed charity, she would build a gleaming new safe house for children victimized by human traffickers. The money for the building came from J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.
The transformation from rebel commander to leader of an anti-trafficking organization is not as stark as it may first appear.
Oebanda says in both cases she’s considered herself a freedom fighter and she was motivated to protect young women and children from exploitation as a way to honor her comrades who died in the jungle while trying to save her and her unborn son.
In 1982, Oebanda was a rebel commander who had spent five years fighting the Marcos military.
Child advocate wants Pacquiao’s help
Government: 100,000 sex workers are kids
Ride-along on a human trafficking raid
At 16, she had quit school and fled into the jungles of Negros, Philippines to join the rebels.
As Commander Liway, she led a unit of the New People’s Army against the Marcos regime but the pregnant Oebanda was about to be captured.
“I can still vividly remember it, suddenly, one of my comrades shouted there are enemies coming. They said around 100 of them. Because of that, we [were] unprepared. We don’t have any plans how to escape as a group,” Oebanda tells CNN.
She was eight months pregnant and surrounded in the mountains with her husband and a small band of students and revolutionaries.
Government soldiers rained bullets and grenades at her position.
Three comrades died trying to protect her.
“This is very painful, you know. And because of that, it really hit in my core that I hate myself being alive and make this young man sacrifice for me to live.”
After her capture, Oebanda was taken to a prison on another island where she spent the next four years in a squalid room for political prisoners.
In that time, she gave birth to two children, a son, Kip, and daughter, Malaya. Shortly after their release in 1986, Oebanda and her husband would part ways.
Five years later, she would found a small grassroots organization to help women and children working as domestic servants.
The Visayan Forum Foundation would grow to become an internationally recognized charity and provide services to more than 70,000 victims or potential victims of human trafficking.
When Oebanda and her husband were released, after the 1986 Edsa ‘People Power’ Revolution ousted Marcos, she was reunited with her first son and soon after gave birth to a fourth child.
The determination which allowed her to join the rebels and saw her through prison, was now focused on creating a new organization, the Visayan Forum Foundation, which would one day become an internationally acclaimed force to stop human trafficking.
Click here to get full infographic on human trafficking in the Philippines
When we first met Oebanda, morning light was streaming through the sheer curtains at a halfway house for human trafficking victims near Manila’s North Harbor port.
Oebanda and her staff were busy making phone calls and preparing the paperwork needed after a possible raid.
“Every day I wake up grateful for the opportunity to live and every person that I rescued and help — I honor them. I see the sacrifice through me. And I see myself to save others. So it’s like I am paying them while serving others. In rescuing girls and giving their life back and I hope that they enjoy. I give justice to those three great men.”
Overnight, the Philippine coast guard reported three possible trafficking victims on board a passenger ferry heading to Manila.
Visayan investigators position themselves on the dock and wait for a signal from the officers on board to start their raid.
A hand signal sets the operation into motion.
Oebanda visits site where she was jailed
Oebanda: Deadly ambush changed my life
When the team arrives in a dining area, they find three groups of adults and children surrounded by armed officers. The Visayan Forum staff immediately starts work.
“Our people are trained to ask questions, we are trained how to spot. We try to share if the information given to one group is the same, is consistent to the information given to other people.”
After a few moments, the task force is confident that two groups are just families traveling together on vacation.
But the third group, made up of a man and a woman traveling with four teenage girls, bears the hallmarks of human trafficking.
“The group actually shows a lot of red flags for possible trafficking victims. The lady in the middle is actually giving them instructions, what kind of jobs they have, what are they going to do, where are they going,” says Oebanda.
The four girls will be escorted to the halfway house for physical examinations and counseling.
The suspects are heading to jail.
“Some of the kids that we rescue may be alive outside but they are actually nothing inside. They are dying inside.”
To see how those children are reborn, we visited the Visayan Forum’s Center of Hope. About two dozen girls and young women live at the center permanently.
Read how trafficked girls endure degrading acts
We spoke to several, including three girls whose stories are heartbreaking.
Pacquiao in training Pacquiao in training
When they were nine-years-old, a neighbor lured them into a room with a computer and an internet connection.
He made the girls take off their clothes and dance for a man at the other end of a chat room.
After that, it was whatever disgusting acts the cyber customer asked for. Oebanda helped coax details of their abuse.
The first girl said: “Sometimes we had to urinate.”
The second added: “The urine is mixed with juice as a drink.”
Oebanda asked: “Who drinks it? You?”
The first girl replied: “Yes, we drink it.”
“That’s appalling. What a beast!” Oebanda replied.
The first girl continued: “That’s what the American client wants. He demands that anyone who feels like urinating should do so, but that he wants that we show it in front of the camera.”
Oebanda told CNN: “The first time they do that they were already warned not to tell anybody. He said that you are already committing a crime and if you refuse to do it again, I will come and hurt you.
“Sometimes we just don’t understand why one of the kids suddenly gets sick, and she always vomits. Our psychologist said it’s because she remembers what these guys on the Internet asked her to do and she was forced to do it. Every time she was forced to do it, she vomits.
“Even though they are in America, we can still track them down and bring them to justice. I know this is really a hard fight for all of us, but we need help also from America. We also need help from the people there to stop this trade. We need to stop this demand. This is really too much.”
Read what happened on a night undercover in Manila’s red light district
For six years, the Visayan Forum did get help from America in the form of grant aid from the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID.
On the U.S. government’s website it lists Visayan Forum Foundation (VFF) as a recipient of $2.1 million.
The money was earmarked to expand Visayan’s trafficking task force — the PORT project — and supporting halfway houses across the Philippines.
And Oebanda was certainly a darling of U.S. administrations. She received the U.S. Department of Labor’s first-ever “Iqbal Masih” award for the elimination of child labor. In 2008, Oebanda was named by the U.S. Department of State as one of its “Heroes Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery.”
But on August 31, 2012, the life and work Oebanda knew came crashing down.
Agents with the National Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant, raiding Visayan Forum’s office. They removed more than 30 boxes of documents and laptops, evidence which they said would prove that Visayan Forum employees had willfully attempted to divert funds and cover it up.
Among the allegations listed in a report prepared by the Philippine NBI :
Visayan Forum reported 664 beneficiaries in the halfway house in Matnog, Sorsogon from April 2005 to March 2006, when there were none.
Social workers were instructed to receive more than double the amount needed to run their program, then return the money to the Visayan Forum’s bank account.
Thirty names on the Visayan Forum payroll registry do not have any data filed in its employment records.
Questionable cash advances to the tune of more than $51,405.71.
Oebanda had instructed her employees to falsify documents.
During the ongoing investigation, more than 80 percent of the employees have resigned or been let go. Visayan Forum’s work rescuing trafficking children has come to a standstill.
Renoir Baldovino, of NBI’S Anti-Graft Division, said: “The former bookkeeper of the Visayan Forum gave us information that disbursements — 70% of disbursements — by Visayan Forum were supported by fake official receipts and manufactured receipts, contracts — fake contracts — to enable them to liquidate cash advances.”
Baldovino said: “I don’t believe it was a matter of not keeping the books accurately. There was an intention really to siphon off the money for personal purposes.”
The information provided to CNN appears damning. The 15-page report contains more than 85 points of evidence, most of it provided in sworn affidavits from a number of former employees.
The NBI says it interviewed more than 20 former and present Visayan Forum employees.
Oebanda denies any wrongdoing, but acknowledges administrative shortcomings in her organization. She is now desperately trying to provide explanations for these allegations. She insists the allegations stem from poor bookkeeping and operating in an environment where asking for a receipt is sometimes impossible — while at the same time having to meet U.S. accounting standards.
She says: “It’s a big lie. Let’s look at facts. If you look at their own audit findings, most all of their concerns are procedural which they disallowed. … We admit that these procedures internally could have been done better, but to say that the amount was stolen are unfounded. We are offended that there was lack of due process and the rush to judgment.”
Oebanda added the publicity around the allegations had already harmed her work. She said it was vital Visayan be allowed to explain its side of the story.
USAID would not comment on the case. Gloria Steele, USAID’s mission director in the Philippines, said the agency would continue to support the fight against human trafficking and that USAID is in touch with other anti-trafficking groups.
“We all think we are indispensable. But no one is. Truly,” Steele said. “I think always when there is a vacuum, it will always be filled. I think that’s the law of nature and a lot of groups are coming and providing the assistance that’s needed.”
To date no charges have been filed and Oebanda also refuses to rule-out that it could have been a set-up by forces who wanted to see the Visayan Forum go away.
Oebanda is now fighting to keep her organization afloat in an ocean of paperwork. “Look at this. We are drowning with all these receipts,” she said.
“There are children and women the Visayan Forum is supposed to help. Every day that we are upset in the field, every day that we are not in the port, we are losing children. We are losing women to the traffickers and we don’t know what happened to them and that makes me really so, so mad.”
How much longer Oebanda will be able to continue fighting, and whether she will be able to return to the ports to rescue victims, will be up to the Philippines’ judicial system.
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
From both sides, the sex tourists AND the ‘save trafficked women’ workers, Phillipines is getting massive funds in that who knows funds smuggling or even harmful drug distribution operations (there are also NON-harmful drugs that shoukld ebe legalized for recreation – again with price controls) that harm the world. The above issue was realised by the tourist funders and that is why the entire funding ended. This is like a fale flag bombing that oppressive laws are written into after. Most of the women on Phillipines are likely consensual and indulging adult appetites as well as getting a nice stash of funds to retire by but wanting to be ‘moral’, which is a bit more pretentious than the Thai situation, where they don’t use the humanitarian angle to make money (actually they use Buddhism instead but thats another story), and any foolish but good hearted folk getting pulled into the mess can expect alot of pretend ‘trafficked’ women who will pretend to cry or what not if caught to avoid any charges where sex work is illegal in law (LEGALISE adult industries to stop all this pretentiousness!) and perhaps if lucky get married to the better social conditions overseas, or go right back to the sex trade after the faux raid (designed to make the cops look good and collect protection money unpaid?).
This is an elaborate false marriage agency and reverse humanitarism trap feeding off the people who actually care. Many of these sex workers are alright with sex work but some are pretentious enough to not want to be upfront about their lives. Well sex workers should know they **cannot have everything** and must CHOOSE. A life of poverty and respect, or a life of pleasure, much youthful enjoyment and easy money but less respect and less social climbing chances due to natural stratification of society and moral mores. The worst are the parasites that gather around these exchanges like the Visayan Forum (from the drop in donation that is not affecting other bona fide humanitarian outfits). Out of a handful of top agencies a few will go bad or are from bad beginnings. In this case the ‘oe’ factor AND ‘the Visyas’ entity have been parasited off and should be restored as the Visayan Forum is dismantled. Good work and keep being alert! This is the caste pollution the Brahmins are aware off, but even then too many Brahmins do not have proper spiritual lineage either (and that again is another story with teh ‘Spiritual Industry’ overproliferating in many coutries from ‘Haj Tours’ to all kinds of Gurus amounting to psychological manipulation of people unable to find a purpose in life or into the esoteric stuff for kicks – yeah if you do head stands and pray ‘Om’ X-times you will ‘see God’ or what not – which is probably neurotech inspired guinea-pigging by advanced agencies like CIA/FBI/Psychiatric testing of new drugs, testing neurotech on populace who are seeking ‘weirdness’ which such medications or beams applied to heads at distance can cause etc. etc..) . . .
Lots of stories for CNN to investigate if not in cahoots huh? Meanwhile RLDs should only be designated in suitable areas (i.e. not near schools or residences or places of worship).
Undercover journalists trawl Manila’s seedy red light district – by Leif Coorlim, CNN – May 9, 2013 — Updated 1559 GMT (2359 HKT)
In Manila’s unofficial red light district, scantily-clad young girls are everywhere
CNN undercover reporters asked to choose from a line up of girls
Police and anti-traffickers say sex industry is major destination for trafficked girls
Some estimates say up to 100,000 children are trafficked into the Philippines’ sex trade
Manila, Philippines (CNN) — Bolly is working the streets, watching clubbers spill from one bar to the next when he spots his next mark — two westerners in one of Manila’s most notorious areas.
It’s a little after 10pm when Bolly sees me and my cameraman — though he doesn’t have a camera visible with us on this night — rolling out of a sports bar known for its bounty of women offering ‘companionship’ in Edsa, Manila’s unofficial red light district. He strides over quickly, waving a little white flier in our faces.
The street is teeming with people after an evening rain. Pedestrians dodge neon-bathed puddles while darting behind and between passing cars.
On the sidewalk, several homeless families have bedded down on cardboard for the night. On the block ahead, we see teams of girls in tight-fitting cocktail dresses and school girl uniforms standing in front of karaoke bars, calling out to western businessmen to come inside and join them for a little fun.
Ride-along on a human trafficking raid
Anti-trafficker attracts power brokers Anti-trafficker attracts power brokers
“Hello friends. Where are you going?” Bolly says. “I know where there lots of girls. Cheap drinks. This way,” he says, thrusting the pamphlet into our hands. Bolly is a recruiter for a number of nightclubs in the area.
“We are looking for young, pretty girls” my cameraman asks, playing the part. “Where can we find them?”
Bolly grins broadly. “OK. I take you.”
We make small talk as Bolly happily walks us the several blocks to the first bar.
My photographer and I don’t tell our new friend that we’re actually working at the moment; on the lookout for evidence of forced prostitution or children being sold for sex. It’s part of the two year-long investigation CNN embarked on as part of its Freedom Project, an initiative to help the battle against modern-day slavery.
It’s estimated 800,000 people are involved in prostitution in the Philippines. The government and NGO estimates on the number of women trafficked range from 300,000 to 400,000 and the number of children trafficked range from 60,000 to 100,000.
Click here to get full infographic on human trafficking in the Philippines
We follow Bolly down the street, until we come upon a little door guarded by a large bouncer. He opens the door and our eyes struggle to accept the flood of pink fluorescent light bathing the room. Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” blares from unseen speakers.
Along the wall a dozen girls seated in a row stare at the newcomers. A few wave hello, most look bored. They’re not drinking. Not really even talking. Just sitting and waiting to be selected.
A few red plastic tables are scattered around the room, each decorated by a single man sitting and drinking.
One man has a girl he’s chosen sitting beside him. She’s kissing the lobe of his ear. There are no empty tables left, so the manager puts us on the side of the L-side couch, opposite the girls. It feels a little like it’s an adolescent school dance, with everyone waiting for someone else to make the first move.
I struggle for a place to look away from the gaze of the girls and cast my eyes to the ground. A cockroach skitters around the legs of the tables and chairs and patrons’ feet. The manager is behind the bar, getting us beers. She sees me looking at the cockroach and laughs from across the room. “Our pet,” she says.
Pacquiao outside the ring Pacquiao outside the ring
Pacquiao in training Pacquiao in training
The girls giggle, somewhat embarrassed. I force a smile, but another patron, who hadn’t heard the quip gets up from his chair and smashed his shoe down on the husky insect.
The girls groan and the manager pretends to cry. This is too weird. Time to go. My photographer and I race through our San Miguel Lights and leave.
Bolly is there outside the door. He leads us through a labyrinth of roads and alleys. Fifteen minutes later, near the Manila port, we arrive at a strip club.
We’re seated near the front of the stage, where two girls sway in a bored dance. This time instead of the girls sitting in a line, the manager brings them to us.
More than a dozen girls in skimpy cocktail dresses line up in front of us. The manager shines a flashlight across each of their faces. He tells us to select one.
“No, that’s okay. I don’t want one,” my photographer says.
In the back, smaller than the others, I see a young girl, hiding behind the others. I can’t tell if she’s frightened or uninterested. “Her.”
The other girls part way. She hesitantly makes her way to sit beside me. She orders an ice tea. When the bill arrives, we’ll find out it cost us $22. How old are you? I ask “18,” she says.
“Really? You look younger.” She doesn’t budge. “18,”
“Do you like working here?” She looks forlornly at the stage. “Yes.”
How long have you been working? “Three months.”
Despite our best efforts, she has no interest in giving up information to two white strangers.
Read what girls rescued from trafficking say
We decide to leave and end up getting into an argument with the manager. The bill for two beers and an iced tea comes to $83 dollars.
But carrying undercover camera equipment, and because of the size and number of security guards, we only offer a half-hearted protest.
We would go to several other bars and speak to a number of women working in the sex industry.
Some seemed to enjoy their work, but most said it was a sort of last resort. They had children at home they have to feed and they hadn’t been able to find any other work.
Still, it’s important to note, no one we spoke with said they were being forced to do this work by another person despite our suspicions and their youthful looks.
Often, skeptics of the modern slavery issue will point to a story like this as proof that it doesn’t exist, or that the problem is overblown.
But the absence of evidence is not evidence of its absence and the simple fact is; it is very hard to get deep enough into an underground criminal culture to find evidence of trafficking, especially in a single night.
It’s equally difficult to convince a person who may be in that situation that it is safe and wise to speak openly with a foreigner.
In filming the documentary, “The Fighters,” we witnessed the hard work of the Filipino government’s Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, honest police officers and anti-slavery organizations like the Visayan Forum and International Justice Mission.
They are working to ensure that jaunts like the one we attempted aren’t successful, not only for a night, but for good.
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Total ripoff. $83 dollars for a few drinks? This is far more than what some poorer paid pinoys get for their entire month in salaries. As for the workers probably they are charging more than this? IMHO there is no trafficking here, but an elaborate setup with parasitic pretend anti-trafficking organisations to fleece even more money when the prices are already overpriced. Drinks and sexual servoces should not exceed more than 3 times annual average wage for an average number of customers a night. If you see any of these gold diggers asking for more than National Annual Average wage for a session of sex in Phillipines (calculated on a 30 customer a month base – btw reported average income was P17,200 and average expenditure was P14,700 in 2009 (17,200.00 PHP = 418.491 USD – ), they are ripping you off. Somethign like that should be no more than USD40 for 3 times average daily wage for the better looking sex workers, or for the average no more than USD16 per session. Why should a blue collar worker be valued less in society for ‘real labour’ (adult work is a free thing in many respects but laziness does not entitle taking so much) as opposed to something much like a leisure activity?
Importante! Tourists should not be over-charged in this manner (yes there are no tribunals for adult industy work in the Phillipines yet, we need proper legalisation and licensing of sex work is applicable in the Phillipines or the rest of the world where the same problems occur) and a boycott of all overcharging sex workers (adult workers can”t earn more than mid level white collar workers to be fair) should be applied, no reasonable person would want to raise the earning levels of sex workers above that of blue collar workers (this will indeed destriy society where sex workers have better lives than blue collar workers when both are socially at the same level actually – refusing to legalise is actually giving the underworld a monopoly on adult industry rackets rather than making the whole thing into a general form of affordable price controlled entertainment) . . . ESPECIALLY when sex is equally entertaining to the sex worker who is not trafficked and there consensually, preferably licensed.
The commissions by greedy pimps and madams or owners of drinking establishments could be partly the cause, bur should never be more than 10% of what a sex worker is paid. Why 10% only? Well consider that a real estate agent only gets 2% at very most of a transaction for all that running around and red tape, so 10% is 5 times the amount and considering that the manager who might have a stable of 10s of sex workers and does nothing but acts mainly as a momentary go between that does not even need to produce a receipt in countries that have not yet legalized adult industry work, this 10% is really excessive and the earnings of a Pimp or Madam which should be no more than 10 times the annual average wage (this is not supposed to be a profession to become rich by and should not be overpaid, lets be fair to the professionals who need to pay for degrees and take loans as well as study for years to earn the same amount – these people don’t need to be placed above the really hard working middle classes AND YET the same adult industry should not be discriminated against by having no legal status or being sidelined or moralised against etc.. – society should be secular and make sure all are included yet applying Consumer Rights like price controls for essential goods, in this case adult services. Don’t be a stupido foreign customers! Sex work and sexual fulfillment are a human right but when prices are at these levels in a country where regular workers get 10 times less, a Consumer Tribunal should be where these girls are sent, and that is AFTER a country legelizes Aduklt Industry avenues as well.
Few of us who do not want to emotionally commit to relationships, or do not want to or are unable to commit financially to marriages, are disciplined enough to not mind waiting for such systems to formalise or will even propagate the same systems 9thoguh hardly any red blooded youth tend to be able to do this), while being branded immoral or considered insane by the psychiatric establishment for decades because we are GOOD CITIZENS who do not desreve to have moralists spiritually attacking us and psychiatrists drugging us into oblivion because our demographic is unable to generally convey what I wrote here and fundos happen to be in government. IDIOTA!
Rotten and pocket boroughs – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A rotten, decayed, or pocket borough was a parliamentary borough or constituency in the United Kingdom that had a very small electorate and could be used by a patron to gain undue and unrepresentative influence within the Unreformed House of Commons.
A rotten borough was an election borough with a very tiny population, often small enough that voters could be personally bribed. These boroughs had often been assigned representation when they were large cities, but the borough boundaries were never updated as the town’s population declined. For example, in the 12th century Old Sarum had been a busy cathedral city but was abandoned when Salisbury was founded nearby; despite this, Old Sarum retained its two members. Many such rotten boroughs were controlled by peers who gave the seats to their sons, other relations or friends; they had additional influence in Parliament because they held seats themselves in the House of Lords.
Pocket boroughs were boroughs that could effectively be controlled by a single person who owned most of the land in the borough. As there was no secret ballot at the time, the landowner could evict residents who did not vote for the person he wanted.
By the 19th century there were moves toward reform and this political movement was eventually successful, culminating in the Reform Act 1832, which disfranchised the 57 rotten boroughs and redistributed representation in Parliament to new major population centres. The Ballot Act of 1872 enacted a secret ballot, making vote bribery impractical as there is no way of knowing for certain how an individual has voted.
A “borough” was a town that possessed a Royal charter giving it the right to elect two members (known as burgesses) to the House of Commons. It was unusual for such a borough to change its boundaries as the town or city it was based on expanded, so that in time the borough and the town were no longer identical in area. The true rotten borough was a borough with a very small electorate.
Typically, rotten boroughs had gained representation in parliament when they were flourishing centres with a substantial population, but had become depopulated or even deserted over the centuries. Some had once been important places or had played a major role in England’s history, but had fallen into insignificance.
For centuries, constituencies electing members to the House of Commons did not change to reflect population shifts, and in some places the number of electors became so few that they could be bribed. A member of Parliament for one borough might represent only a few people, whereas some large population centres were poorly represented. Manchester, for example, was part of the larger constituency of Lancashire and did not elect members separately until 1832. Examples of rotten boroughs include the following:
Old Sarum in Wiltshire had 3 houses and 7 voters
East Looe in Cornwall had 167 houses and 38 voters
Dunwich in Suffolk had 44 houses and 32 voters (most of this formerly prosperous town having fallen into the sea)
Plympton Erle in Devon had 182 houses and 40 voters
Gatton in Surrey had 23 houses and 7 voters
Newtown on the Isle of Wight had 14 houses and 23 voters
Bramber in West Sussex had 35 houses and 20 voters
Callington in Cornwall had 225 houses and 42 voters
Each of these boroughs could elect two members of the Commons. By the time of the 1831 general election, out of 406 elected members, 152 were chosen by fewer than 100 voters, and 88 by fewer than 50 voters each.
Many such rotten boroughs were controlled by peers who gave the seats to their sons, other relations, or friends, thus having influence in the House of Commons while also holding seats themselves in the House of Lords. Prior to being awarded a peerage, Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, served in the Irish House of Commons as a Member for the rotten borough of Trim in County Meath. A common expression referring to such a situation was that “Mr. So-and-so had been elected on Lord This-and-that’s interest”.
There were also boroughs who were dependent not on a particular patron but rather on the Treasury or Admiralty and thus returned the candidates nominated by the ministers in charge of those departments.
Such boroughs existed for centuries. The term rotten borough only came into usage in the 18th century, the qualification “rotten” suggesting both “corrupt” and “in decline for a very long time”.
Reform In the 19th century, there were moves toward reform, which broadly meant ending the over-representation of boroughs with few electors. This political movement had a major success in the Reform Act 1832, which redelineated (disenfrancised) the 57 rotten boroughs listed below and redistributed representation in Parliament to new major population centres and to places with significant industries.
Aldborough, North Riding of Yorkshire
Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire
Boroughbridge, North Riding of Yorkshire
Castle Rising, Norfolk
Corfe Castle, Dorset
East Grinstead, Sussex
East Looe, Cornwall
Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire
Hedon, East Riding of Yorkshire
Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire
Milborne Port, Somerset
Mitchell, or St Michael’s, Cornwall
New Romney, Kent
Newtown, Isle of Wight
Old Sarum, Wiltshire
Plympton Erle, Devon
St Germans, Cornwall
St Mawes, Cornwall
West Looe, Cornwall
Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire
Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
The Ballot Act of 1872 introduced the secret ballot, which greatly hindered patrons from controlling elections by preventing them from knowing how an elector had voted. At the same time, the practice of paying or entertaining voters (“treating”) was outlawed, and election expenses fell dramatically.
A closely related term for an undemocratic constituency is pocket borough – a constituency with a small enough electorate to be under the effective control (or in the pocket) of one major landowner.
In some boroughs, while not “rotten”, parliamentary representation was in the control of one or more “patrons” who, by owning burgage tenements, had the power to decide elections, as their tenants had to vote publicly and dared not defy their landlords. Such patronage flourished before the mid-19th century, chiefly because there was no secret ballot. Some rich individuals controlled several boroughs–the Duke of Newcastle is said to have had seven boroughs “in his pocket”. The representative of a pocket borough was often the same person who owned the land, and for this reason they were also referred to as proprietarial boroughs.
Pocket boroughs were seen by their 19th century owners as a valuable method of ensuring the representation of the landed interest in the House of Commons.
Pocket boroughs were finally abolished by the Reform Act of 1867. This considerably extended the borough franchise and established the principle that each parliamentary constituency should hold roughly the same number of electors. A Boundary Commission was set up by subsequent Acts of Parliament to maintain this principle as population movements continued.
Rotten boroughs were defended by the successive Tory governments of 1807-1830 – a substantial number of Tory constituencies lay in rotten and pocket boroughs. During this period they came under criticism from prominent figures such as Tom Paine and William Cobbett.
It was argued during the time period that rotten boroughs provided stability and were a means for promising young politicians to enter parliament, with William Pitt the Elder being cited as a key example. Members of Parliament (MPs), who were generally in favour of the boroughs, claimed they should be kept as Britain had undergone periods of prosperity under the system.
Because British colonists in the West Indies and on the Indian subcontinent were not represented at Westminster officially, these groups often claimed that rotten boroughs provided opportunities for virtual representation in parliament for colonial interest groups.
Politicians such as Spencer Perceval asked the nation to look at the system as a whole, saying that if rotten boroughs were discarded, the whole system was liable to collapse.
The magazine Private Eye has a column entitled ‘Rotten Boroughs’, which lists stories of municipal wrongdoing; borough is used here in its usual sense of a local district rather than a parliamentary constituency.
In his book The Age of Consent, George Monbiot compared small island states with one vote in the U.N. General Assembly to “rotten boroughs”.
In the satirical novel Melincourt, or Sir Oran Haut-Ton (1817) by Thomas Love Peacock, an orang-utan named Sir Oran Haut-ton is elected to parliament by the “ancient and honourable borough of Onevote”. The election of Sir Oran forms part of the hero’s plan to persuade civilisation to share his belief that orang-utans are a race of human beings who merely lack the power of speech. “The borough of Onevote stood in the middle of a heath, and consisted of a solitary farm, of which the land was so poor and intractable, that it would not have been worth the while of any human being to cultivate it, had not the Duke of Rottenburgh found it very well worth his while to pay his tenant for living there, to keep the honourable borough in existence.” The single voter of the borough is Mr Christopher Corporate, who elects two MPs, each of whom “can only be considered as the representative of half of him”.
In the parliamentary novels of Anthony Trollope rotten boroughs are a recurring theme. John Grey, Phineas Finn, and Lord Silverbridge are all elected by rotten boroughs.
In Chapter 7 of the novel Vanity Fair, author William Makepeace Thackeray introduces the fictitious borough of “Queen’s Crawley,” so named in honor of a stopover in the small Hampshire town of Crawley by Queen Elizabeth I, who being delighted by the quality of the local beer instantly raised the small town of Crawley into a borough, giving it two members in Parliament. At the time of the story, in the early 19th century, the place had lost population, so that it was “come down to that condition of borough which used to be denominated rotten.”
In Gilbert and Sullivan’s Savoy opera, HMS Pinafore, Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty, boasts that ‘I grew so rich that I was sent/by a Pocket Borough into Parliament’
Rotten Borough was a controversial story published by Oliver Anderson under the pen name Julian Pine in 1937, republished in 1989.
In Diana Wynne Jones’ 2003 book “The Merlin Conspiracy” Old Sarum features as a character, with one line being “I’m a rotten borough, I am.”
In the Aubrey–Maturin series of seafaring tales, the pocket borough of Milport (also known as Milford) is initially held by General Aubrey, the father of protagonist Jack Aubrey. In the twelfth novel in the series, The Letter of Marque, Jack’s father dies and the seat is offered to Jack himself by his cousin Edward Norton, the “owner” of the borough. The borough has just seventeen electors, all of whom are tenants of Mr Norton.
In the first novel of George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman series, the eponymous antihero, Harry Flashman, mentions that his father, Sir Buckley Flashman, had been in Parliament, but “they did for him at Reform,” implying that the elder Flashman’s seat was in a rotten or pocket borough.
In the episode Dish and Dishonesty of the BBC television comedy Blackadder the Third, Edmund Blackadder attempts to bolster the support of the Prince Regent in Parliament by getting the incompetent Baldrick elected to the rotten borough of Dunny-on-the-Wold. This was easily accomplished with a result of 16,472 to nil, even though the constituency had only one voter (Blackadder himself).
In the video game, Assassin’s Creed III pocket and rotten boroughs are briefly mentioned in a database entry entitled “Pocket Boroughs”, and Old Sarum is mentioned as one of the worst examples of a pocket borough. In the game, shortly before the Boston Massacre an NPC can be heard speaking to a group of peolpe on the colonies lack of representation in Parliament and lists several rotten boroughs including Old Sarum.
“[Borough representation is] the rotten part of the constitution.” — William Pitt the Elder
“The county of Yorkshire, which contains near a million souls, sends two county members; and so does the county of Rutland which contains not a hundredth part of that number. The town of Old Sarum, which contains not three houses, sends two members; and the town of Manchester, which contains upwards of sixty thousand souls, is not admitted to send any. Is there any principle in these things?” Tom Paine, from Rights of Man, 1791
From H.M.S. Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan:
Sir Joseph Porter: I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough into Parliament.
I always voted at my party’s call,
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.
Chorus: And he never thought of thinking for himself at all.
Sir Joseph: I thought so little, they rewarded me
By making me the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee!
From Iolanthe by Gilbert and Sullivan:
Fairy Queen: Let me see. I’ve a borough or two at my disposal. Would you like to go into Parliament?
From The Letter of Marque by Patrick O’Brian
‘Could you not spend an afternoon at Milport, to meet the electors? There are not many of them, and those few are all my tenants, so it is no more than a formality; but there is a certain decency to be kept up. The writ will be issued very soon.’
The Borough of Queen’s Crawley in Thackeray’s Vanity Fair is a rotten borough eliminated by the Reform Act of 1832:
When Colonel Dobbin quitted the service, which he did immediately after his marriage, he rented a pretty country place in Hampshire, not far from Queen’s Crawley, where, after the passing of the Reform Bill, Sir Pitt and his family constantly resided now. All idea of a peerage was out of the question, the baronet’s two seats in Parliament being lost. He was both out of pocket and out of spirits by that catastrophe, failed in his health, and prophesied the speedy ruin of the Empire.
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The world’s five smallest sovereign states: Vatican City, Monaco, Nauru, Tuvalu and San Marino, shown in the same scale for size comparison
This article is about political geography. For the specific configuration of particles of a material in statistical mechanics, see microstate (statistical mechanics).
Not to be confused with micronation.
A microstate or ministate is a sovereign state having a very small population or very small land area, but usually both. Some examples include Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Nauru, Singapore and Vatican City.
The smallest fully sovereign microstate is Vatican City, with 836 citizens as of July 2012 and an area of only 0.44 km².
Microstates are distinct from micronations, which are not recognized as sovereign states. Special territories without full sovereignty, such as the British Crown Dependencies, The Chinese Special Administrative Regions and overseas territories of Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom, are also not considered microstates.
1 List of sovereign nations with a non-sea area less than 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi)
2 List of sovereign nations with fewer than 500,000 people
3 Historical anomalies and aspirant states
4 See also
List of sovereign nations with a non-sea area less than 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi)
Microstates show in dots
Map of microstates bordering the European Union.
Sovereign states with a non-sea area less than 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi).
Rank Country / Territory Area (km²/sqmi) Region
1 Vatican City Vatican City 0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi) Europe
2 Monaco Monaco 1.95 km2 (0.75 sq mi) Europe
3 Nauru Nauru 21 km2 (8 sq mi) Oceania
4 Tuvalu Tuvalu 26 km2 (10 sq mi) Oceania
5 San Marino San Marino 61 km2 (24 sq mi) Europe
6 Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 160 km2 (62 sq mi) Europe
7 Marshall Islands Marshall Islands 181 km2 (70 sq mi) Oceania
8 Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis 261 km2 (101 sq mi) Caribbean
9 Maldives Maldives 300 km2 (116 sq mi) Asia – Indian Ocean
10 Malta Malta 316 km2 (122 sq mi) Europe – Mediterranean Sea
11 Grenada Grenada 344 km2 (133 sq mi) Caribbean
12 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 389 km2 (150 sq mi) Caribbean
13 Barbados Barbados 430 km2 (166 sq mi) Caribbean
14 Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda 443 km2 (171 sq mi) Caribbean
15 Seychelles Seychelles 455 km2 (176 sq mi) Africa – Indian Ocean
16 Palau Palau 459 km2 (177 sq mi) Oceania
17 Andorra Andorra 468 km2 (181 sq mi) Europe
18 Saint Lucia Saint Lucia 616 km2 (238 sq mi) Caribbean
19 Federated States of Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia 702 km2 (271 sq mi) Oceania
20 Singapore Singapore 714 km2 (276 sq mi) Asia
21 Tonga Tonga 747 km2 (288 sq mi) Oceania
22 Dominica Dominica 751 km2 (290 sq mi) Caribbean
23 Bahrain Bahrain 765 km2 (295 sq mi) Asia – Persian Gulf
24 Kiribati Kiribati 811 km2 (313 sq mi) Oceania
25 São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe 964 km2 (372 sq mi) Africa – Atlantic Ocean
List of sovereign nations with fewer than 500,000 people
Sovereign states with fewer than 500,000 people by latest national statistics or CIA Factbook estimate 2012.
Rank Country/territory/entity Population % of world population Region
1 Vatican City 836 0% Europe
2 Nauru 9,947 0.0001% Oceania
3 Tuvalu 11,126 0.0002% Oceania
4 Palau 18,324 0.0003% Oceania
5 San Marino 33,461 0.0005% Europe
6 Monaco 36,371 0.0005% Europe
7 Liechtenstein 36,476 0.0005% Europe
8 Saint Kitts and Nevis 50,726 0.0007% Caribbean
9 Marshall Islands 68,480 0.001% Oceania
10 Dominica 69,017 0.001% Caribbean
11 Andorra 84,082 0.0012% Europe
12 Antigua and Barbuda 85,903 0.0012% Caribbean
13 Seychelles 89,188 0.001% Africa – Indian Ocean
14 Kiribati 100,743 0.002% Oceania
15 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 103,869 0.002% Caribbean
16 Tonga 105,916 0.002% Oceania
17 Federated States of Micronesia 106,836 0.002% Oceania
18 Grenada 108,419 0.002% Caribbean
19 Saint Lucia 161,557 0.002% Caribbean
20 São Tomé and Príncipe 179,506 0.002% Africa – Atlantic Ocean
21 Samoa 193,161 0.003% Oceania
22 Vanuatu 224,564 0.003% Oceania
23 Barbados 286,705 0.004% Caribbean
24 Iceland 311,058 0.005% Europe
25 Bahamas 313,312 0.005% Caribbean
26 Belize 321,115 0.005% Central America
27 Maldives 394,999 0.006% Asia – Indian Ocean
28 Brunei 401,890 0.006% Asia
29 Malta 408,333 0.006% Europe – Mediterranean Sea
Historical anomalies and aspirant states
A small number of microstates are founded on historical anomalies or eccentric interpretations of law. These types of microstates are usually located on small (usually disputed) territorial enclaves, generate limited economic activity founded on tourism and philatelic and numismatic sales, and are tolerated or ignored by the nations from which they claim to have seceded.
One example is the Republic of Indian Stream, now the town of Pittsburg, New Hampshire—a geographic anomaly left unresolved by the Treaty of Paris that ended the U.S. Revolutionary War, and claimed by both the U.S. and Canada. Between 1832 and 1835, the area’s residents refused to acknowledge either claimant.
Another example is the Cospaia Republic, which became independent through a treaty error and survived from 1440 to 1826. Its independence made it important in the introduction of tobacco cultivation to Italy.
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
All microstates are the ‘Rotten Borough’s within the UN, very dangerous as the representation of microstates hold from 10% to 30% of 222 votes at the UN and NAM. Fortunately the Security Council which only has 5 countries, does not have a single microstate, although the number of countries wrongly excluded from the security council could be up to 10% of votes (i.e. 22 nations qualify to sit at the Security Council) at the UN which are of course not microstates.
Suggest that microstates be entitled only to a single collective vote at the UN in a bloc of 50 million citizens from like minded nations, as some microstates have large populations which tends to further confound the concept of representation as opposed to land mass size with the large sized nations naturally having rights better than that based on population which is a liability and creates food dependency and consumption rather than contributing production and being part of the contributors of materials and food rather than consumers. Smaller nations tend to corruption as they are heavily reliant on the non-existent electronic fiat currency system as opposed to REAL GOODS or REAL LABOUR producing nations.