Christie Dead Wrong About NSA Spying

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave an impressive performance this week, glorifying the unconstitutional NSA program collecting and recording every American’s digital communication.

Standing in front of flowing waters at the Portsmouth, N.H., shipyard, Christie strongly delivered a litany of lies:

Christie: “The vast majority of Americans are not worried about the government listening in on them.”

Reality: Nearly all polls reveal the vast majority of Americans believe the NSA program of spying on Americans goes too far. The majority of Americans in most polls say they want the collection of their personal and professional digital communications to stop.

Christie: “It hasn’t happened.”

Reality: Christie is pretending we don’t understand how the program works. The NSA records and collects all digital communication and stores the millions of gigabytes for future searches. He’s not fooling anyone by pretending NSA agents aren’t actually “listening” 24/7. This is Clinton-style weasel-wording.

Christie: “What happens if we don’t catch the bad people who want to harm our country? So here’s how we catch ’em. We need to toughen our terror mechanisms to do their job.”

Reality: The NSA program has caught no domestic terrorists. None. Nada.

Christie: “Over the last couple of years our allies including Great Britain, France, Canada and Australia have announced plans to toughen their laws to better detect terrorism and extremism.”

Reality: Christie is using the liberal reasoning that “everyone else is doing it, so we should, too.” This is the foot-stomping, childish logic used to argue for a failing government-controlled national health care policy.

Christie: “This is a big debate in congress right now and courts have expressed their views.”

Reality: True. The program has been ruled “unconstitutional” by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, who said the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of metadata – simply phone records of the time and numbers called without any disclosure of content – violates privacy rights.

Judge Leon famously declared, “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval. Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.”

Christie: “Right now that debate is dominated by intellectual purists worried about theoretical abuses that have not occurred.”

Reality: The NSA’s Inspector General was compelled by Republican Charles Grassley to admit numerous agents have been caught using the NSA surveillance tools to spy on their lovers and spouses. Some resigned, some were fired, others reprimanded and demoted.

These include cases of NSA employees actually listening to their paramours’ conversations in addition to listening to recordings and reading emails. Yes, they can be doing this right now with your communications.

Christie: “If you’re an ordinary, hardworking American, this law has no effect on you..”

Reality: Unless it does.

Christie: “It could prevent the next attack from taking place and killing our fellow citizens.”

Reality: Former NSA Director Keith Alexander admitted he lied when he said surveillance data collected by the NSA program provided the initial tips to “unravel the threat stream” of 53 plots.

When presented with studies that showed no plots were uncovered by the NSA program, Alexander mewled, maybe “one or two” plots were uncovered. No, none were. Not one, not two. None.

Researchers analyzed cases involving 225 people recruited by al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups and charged in the U.S. since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The majority of cases started with traditional techniques, such as use of “informants, tips from local communities, and targeted intelligence operations.”

Bulk collection of American communications has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism and only the most marginal of impacts on preventing terrorist-related activity, such as fundraising for a terrorist group,

Christie has succeeded in differentiating himself from House Republicans who have come to recognize the program’s unconstitutionality.

He now stands with Hillary, Mitch McConnell, and Obama.

Not good company.

This commentary appeared at CagleCartoons.com.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Today We Celebrate The National Day Of Prayer And Remembrance For Mariners And People Of The Sea

The SS Savannah left Savannah, Ga., on MAY 22, 1819, and 25 days later arrived in Liverpool, England, completing the first trans-Atlantic voyage by steamship.

To pay tribute to the American Merchant Marine, President Franklin Roosevelt designated MAY 22, 1933, as NATIONAL MARITIME DAY.

Ronald Reagan commented, May 20, 1986, “When steam-powered vessels began to eclipse sailing ships in the latter part of the 19th century, it was largely the result of pioneering work by two Americans, John Fitch and Robert Fulton.”

When told of Fulton’s plan for a steam-powered engine, Napoleon Bonaparte replied, “What, sir? You would make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her decks? I pray you excuse me. I have no time to listen to such nonsense.”

In The Thorny Road of Honor, 1856, Hans Christian Anderson wrote:

We are in America, on the margin of one of the largest rivers, an innumerable crowd has gathered, for it is said that a ship is to sail against the wind and weather…

The man who thinks he can solve the problem is named Robert Fulton.

Anderson continued:

The ship begins its passage, but suddenly stops. The crowd begins to laugh…

Then suddenly…the wheels turn again…the ship continues its course…between the builder of the bridge and the earth – between Providence and the human race.

Called “the father of steam navigation,” Robert Fulton wrote about his first trip from New York City to Albany on the ship Clermont, August 7, 1807:

The power of propelling boats by steam is now fully proved.

The morning I left New York there were not perhaps thirty persons in the city who believed that the boat would ever move one mile an hour or be of the least utility; and, while we were putting off from the wharf, which was crowded with spectators, I heard a number of sarcastic remarks…

He continued:

It was the early autumn of the year 1807 that a knot of villagers was gathered on a high bluff just opposite Poughkeepsie, on the west bank of the Hudson, attracted by the appearance of a strange, dark looking craft, which was slowly making its way up the river.

Some imagined it to be a sea monster, while others did not hesitate to express their belief that it was a sign of the approaching judgment.

What seemed strange in the vessel was the…lofty and straight black smoke-pipes rising from the deck, instead of the gracefully tapered masts…

The working-beam and pistons and the slow turning and splashing of the huge and naked paddle-wheels met the astonished gaze.

The dense clouds of smoke, as they rose wave upon wave, added still more to the wonderment of the rustics.

Fulton’s statue was placed in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall by the State of Pennsylvania in 1889.

President Reagan stated, June 11, 1981, “The future has always looked bleak til people with brains and faith…found a way to make it better, people like Robert Fulton.”

Ninety percent of the world’s goods are transported by sea and the waterways.

There are approximately 1.2 million seafarers worldwide in 10,000 commercial ships and maritime vessels.

The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea is celebrated MAY 22.

Bishop J. Kevin Boland of Savannah, promoter of Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), stated:

Mariners serve the needs of human kind in quiet and unobtrusive ways. These hardworking men and women contribute to global economic vitality.

The nature of the industry requires their absence from home and family for many months without a break. Their labor and sacrifice make possible our access to the goods of the world.

On NATIONAL MARITIME DAY in Washington, D.C., 2012, Rev. Canon James D. Von Dreele, vice president of the North American Maritime Ministry Association, stated:

I am honored once again to make a presentation at this observance of the 2012 NATIONAL MARITIME DAY…

Not a ship in ancient times was launched or set out on a voyage without proper prayers…

The Bible is filled with sailing images and some of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen.

Seafarers…look for special blessings for their ships from the church…The launching of new builds requires a minister to bless the ship…

Maritime ministry got its start in America in the early 1800’s.

Earnest church clergy and laity formed missions in Boston, New York and Philadelphia, the prime ports of this nascent nation…

Their prime concerns were the religious, moral and physical well-being of seafarers.

Brought to you by AmericanMinute.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

WATCH: Is ‘Thug’ Really The New ‘N Word’? People React…

Time to put your learning hats on, because we’re going to take you through the modern Social Justice Warrior (#SJW for short) dictionary. Thug is the new “N” word, “riot” is inherently racist, and “terrorism” doesn’t actually mean… terrorism.

Yes, this is actually what people on the left believe. They protest over it, in fact. But what about average, everyday people on the street? (Not even necessarily Liberals or Conservatives. Just normal, every day people.) Do they buy into this crap? The answers may surprise you.

Don’t miss this week’s full episode of #LouderWithCrowder to hear us expand on the topic even more.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

How Obama Radically Transformed America’s Patent System

Patent law is not something most Americans are passionate about or have ever contemplated — which is exactly why the Obama White House and Congress got away with making radical changes to our time-tested traditions of protecting the fruits of entrepreneurial inventors’ labor.

It’s yet another progressive horror story of abandoning what works in the name of what’s politically trendy. For left-wing saboteurs and their Big Business GOP enablers, this means throwing our unique patent system and its constitutional underpinnings under an 18-wheeler. So-called “patent reform” proposals continue to plague Capitol Hill. But like health care “reform” and education “reform,” these government cures are worse than any purported disease.

As part of his ongoing bid to “fundamentally transform” America, President Obama signed the Orwellian-titled America Invents Act (AIA) in 2011. If truth-in-advertising laws applied to politicians who front massively complex bills that do the opposite of what they proclaim to do, these hucksters would be jailed for their patently fraudulent “reform” legislation. Co-sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the law was marketed as a job-creation vehicle that would relieve a backlog of an estimated 700,000 patent applications and crack down on patent “trolls” supposedly abusing the system through frivolous litigation against alleged infringers.

In truth, the AIA and its legislative successors are special interest boondoggles that enrich corporate lawyers, Big Business, and federal bureaucrats at the expense of the independent inventors and fledgling innovators the American patent system was created to protect and encourage.

The AIA’s primary agenda? “Harmonizing” our patent laws with the rest of the world to reward paper-pushers who are “first to file” at the patent office, instead of those who are “first to invent.” These and other measures enacted by Obama threaten to drive garage tinkerers and small inventors — the designers, engineers, and builders of American prosperity — out of the marketplace. Longtime venture capitalist Gary Lauder noted that the first-to-file system has suppressed solo and small-business innovation in Europe and Japan. “The U.S. gets 10 times the angel and venture capital of Western Europe — which recently declared an ‘innovation emergency,’” Lauder observed. “So why are we harmonizing with them? They should be harmonizing with us.”

Amen! Our founders knew that progress would come not merely at the hands of “great” inventors pioneering extraordinary breakthroughs, but also by the widespread invention and improvement of ordinary and “small” contrivances and advancements. In 1790, they created and refined a decentralized, market-based patent system that added the “fuel of interest” to the “fire of genius,” in the words of America’s only president to hold a patent, Abraham Lincoln.

Rather than denigrate the profit motive, the patent and copyright clause of the Constitution celebrates and encourages “individual effort by personal gain (as) the best way to advance public welfare through the talents of authors and inventors.”

But the European-style “first to file” now in place in America is a “forced to file” regime that incentivizes a hasty stampede to the federal patent office. In the name of global harmony, we now reward paper-pushing attorneys — whether or not they’re representing true first inventors. Instead of “streamlining” the application process and reducing paperwork backlogs, the AIA induces corporations to inundate patent examiners with incomplete placeholder applications that will inevitably need to be amended, refined, and reconsidered. This is not patent “reform.” It’s a Big Business Patent Lawyers’ Full Employment Act.

Like Obamacare, the sheer size and complexity of the AIA nullify the dubious benefits the White House and its statist lobbying pals claim it will bring. University of Virginia law professor John Duffy points out that the law is 140 pages long, “more than twice the length of the entire federal patent statute” since its last recodification in 1952. Stuffed with earmarks and bribes for the banking industry, Michigan Democrats who lobbied for a new satellite patent office in Detroit, and other well-connected cronies, the AIA’s 37 sections are intentionally complex. Its sloppy drafting will result in “cases interpreting the law going to the courts for 20 years before lawyers really know how to advise clients,” patent lawyer David Boundy predicted.

This week, yet another similar patent “reform” package that supposedly takes aim at a tiny minority of patent “trolls” (again) is being rammed through Congress. But in practice, the “Innovation Act” legislation (H.R. 9) “makes it harder for garage inventors and small businesses to protect themselves from having their inventions and ideas stolen,” inventor Louis Foreman warns, by further obstructing their ability to enforce their intellectual property rights and bring legitimate patent infringement cases to court.

Global competitors certainly pose serious external threats to America’s role as an innovation leader. But we face grave existential threats within our own borders: homegrown ignorance, apathy, and downright hostility toward the independent entrepreneurs who make America great. Real “reform” begins with the repeal of the innovation-stifling “America Invents Act” and a return to first constitutional principles that maintain a level playing field among makers and builders of all shapes and sizes.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

A Christian ‘Defense’ Of Josh Duggar

You were probably as shocked as I was to learn earlier this week that Josh Duggar had been accused of child molestation as a teenager. Since this news became public, Josh has resigned as executive director of the Family Research Council.

Josh’s actions as a 14-year-old boy were inexcusable and wrong. Josh knows that. He and his father had gone to the police at the time of the incidents, Josh and his victims received counseling, and Josh admits and accepts the consequences for his actions.

Once again, before we go any further, let us repeat: Josh was wrong.

Josh was also 14 years old. Is there a point where we say, “You messed up. You were a stupid kid. But you corrected your behavior, turned your life around, and we forgive you. Let’s move on?”

Dare I say it? Very few in the mainstream media – very few – talked about Lena Dunham’s documented molestation of her younger sister. Even less called for any type of repercussions for her actions. So it would seem such forgiveness is completely possible in today’s society. Unless, of course, you’re from a Christian conservative family. Christian conservatives aren’t allowed to mess up or make mistakes.

Earlier today, I tweeted this:

jdtweet1

I received many responses along these lines:

jdtweet2

The thing is, you guys, they do. By 17-years-old, 48% of teenagers have had sex. One out of every three teenage girls gets pregnant before the age of 20. And it doesn’t count as consent just because you’re both under 18. Twenty-six and a half percent of 15-19-year-old girls are giving birth to kids – and those are just the ones that aren’t having abortions. And 17% of those births are to unwed mothers who already have at least one other child!

Yes, Josh Duggar was wrong. Stupid, dead wrong. Wrong.

Josh admits his wrong. He’s cleaned up his act.

Is the answer to teenage failure, “OFF WITH THEIR HEAD!” because of something someone did when they were 14-years-old? Kids are stupid. Not all, but most are. Do we not have any grace whatsoever… or is it that pointing at someone else’s sin – especially if it’s someone from a family with *gasp* standards! – makes us feel better about our own?

I also tweeted this today:

jdtweet3

And got lots of this in return:

jdtweet4

Do we not understand what was happening in the “first stone” story? A woman was caught in the very act of adultery – which in Jesus’ culture was justifiably punishable by stoning. Jesus didn’t say, “If you’ve never committed adultery, pelt her now, as hard as you can!” Nope. It was if you’re without sin. Without any sin.

Sin is sin is sin. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Consequences are a different ball game. Consequences are world’s apart for lying than for murder, for example. Josh Duggar’s sin is most likely different from yours and will have different consequences – which he’s accepting – but let’s not forget that he’s a fallible human being.

I never molested any kids or shot anybody or did drugs, but guess what? I’m still a fallible human being. I’ve made mistakes. I can’t throw that “without sin” stone. Can you? Honestly?

One final thought: Do you want the world to judge you based on your teenage years, or on the person you are today? And if it’s the latter, are you willing to have the same consideration for other people… even if their last name is Duggar?

by Krystal Heath, follow her – or send her your outraged comments – on Twitter!

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth