This video and unofficial transcript were provided by Sen. Paul's office. Follow YAL's live coverage of this historic filibuster on Facebook and Twitter.
I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court. That Americans could be killed in a cafe in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in bowling green, Kentucky, is an abomination. It is something that should not and cannot be tolerated in our country. I don’t rise to oppose John Brennan’s nomination simply for the person. I rise today for the principle. The principle is one that as Americans we have fought long and hard for and to give up on that principle, to give up on the bill of rights, to give up on the Fifth Amendment protection that says that no person shall be held without due process, that no person shall be held for a capital offense without being indicted. This is a precious American tradition and something we should not give up on easily. They say Lewis Carroll is fiction. Alice never fell down a rabbit hole and the White Queen’s caustic judgments are not really a threat to your security. Or has America the beautiful become Alice’s wonderland? ‘No, no, said the queen. Sentence first; verdict afterwards. Stuff and nonsense, Alice said widely – loudly. The idea of having the sentence first? ‘Hold your tongue, said the queen, turning purple. I won’t, said Alice. Release the drones, said the Queen, as she shouted at the top of her voice.
Lewis Carroll is fiction, right? When I asked the President, can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer. It’s an easy question. It should have been a resounding and unequivocal, “no.” The President’s response? He hasn’t killed anyone yet. We’re supposed to be comforted by that.
The President says, I haven’t killed anyone yet. He goes on to say, and I have no intention of killing Americans. But I might. Is that enough? Are we satisfied by that? Are we so complacent with our rights that we would allow a President to say he might kill Americans? But he will judge the circumstances, he will be the sole arbiter, he will be the sole decider, he will be the executioner in chief if he sees fit. Now, some would say he would never do this. Many people give the President the – you know, they give him consideration, they say he’s a good man. I’m not arguing he’s not. What I’m arguing is that the law is there and set in place for the day when angels don’t rule government. Madison said that the restraint on government was because government will not always be run by angels. This has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with whether the President is a Democrat or a Republican. Were this a Republican President, I’d be here saying exactly the same thing. No one person, no one politician should be allowed to judge the guilt, to charge an individual, to judge the guilt of an individual and to execute an individual. It goes against everything that we fundamentally believe in our country.
This isn’t even new to our country. There’s 800 years of English law that we found our tradition upon. We founded it upon the Magna Carta from 1215. We founded it upon Morgan from Glamorgan and 725 A.D. We founded upon the Greeks and Romans who had juries. It is not enough to charge someone to say that they are guilty.
Now, some might come to this floor and they might say, “Well, what if we’re being attacked on 9/11? What if there are planes flying at the Twin Towers?” Obviously, we repel them. We repel any attack on our country.
According to BBC, Facebook is being sued for its use of the "Like" button.
It seems that Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer—a quintessential Dutch name if there ever was one—patented a "Like" button for his primitive social networking site Surfbook in 1998.
Van Der Meer passed away in 2004, leaving his patents in the hands of Rembrandt Social Media.
Tom Melsheimer, an attorney for the patent holder, said the following:
We believe Rembrandt's patents represent an important foundation of social media as we know it, and we expect a judge and jury to reach the same conclusion based on the evidence.
This case highlights the gross absurdities of the idea and system of intellectual "property," a topic that has come under increased scrutiny as of late, what with the SOPA and PIPA uproar and the infamous battle between Apple and Samsung, in which millions upon millions of dollars were spent on arguments over objects that looked alike.
This was originally printed in the Daily Tarheel (Chapel Hill, NC) on Friday, February 8, 2013. You can view the original link here.
You might have noticed that folks around Chapel Hill are paying a lot more attention to the governorship nowadays.
While I’d like to think that people heeded my advice and decided to pay more attention to state and local politics, I’m afraid it’s only because there’s an “R” after Pat McCrory’s name and many have taken up the role of “loyal opposition.”
Don’t get me wrong — I’m glad the people and the press are remaining vigilant watchdogs over an elected official. And McCrory was, of course, wrong to presume that he can, as a government official, magically determine which academic disciplines are legitimate, what jobs are needed and which “butts” should fill them.
But here’s the problem: We should be vigilant of elected officials no matter what letter comes after their name. If we truly believe in the principles we claim to live by, we should hold politicians accountable regardless of if they’re in “our” party or not.
In a Justice Department white paper recently leaked, the Obama administration provides legal justification for the killing of suspected terrorists, even American citizens, in extremely vague language.
Any high-ranking official, not just the president, has the extra-constitutional power to authorize targeted killings of those who pose an “imminent threat of violent attack against the United States.” Upon further reading, we find out that what constitutes an “imminent threat” is the possibility that maybe one day, a long time from now, the person could potentially think about posing a threat.
This is scary stuff. But it really shouldn’t surprise anyone; this is part of a trend. I haven't heard few Obama supporters utter the words “Guantanamo” and “Bay” in about four years, although the prison remains open. Any honest progressive would tell you the PATRIOT Act is an egregious attack on the Fourth Amendment, and yet this policy has quietly continued. I haven’t even mentioned the National Defense Authorization Act, TSA, or drone programs.
If the automatic budget cuts set in motion back in 2011 — known as the “sequester” — go into effect soon, as will be the case without Congressional action, people will die.
Or at least that is if the level of rhetoric to which President Obama has now lowered himself to bears any actual resemblance to reality. (Let us leave out for now that politics seldom ever really bears any resemblance to reality to begin with.)
Speaking in front of cameras Tuesday — and flanked by uniformed first responders (otherwise known to political cynics as ‘prop people’ often used for emotional, rather than rationale, appeals) — Obama warned of the following:
Emergency responders … their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded… FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go… Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.
Who, according to Obama, will be to blame for these supposedly outrageous “meat-clever”-type cuts? The usual suspects: “Congress.” Or what he really means: Those evil, rich-loving Republicans who only cater to ‘special interests.’ Never mind the minor detail that the sequester was actually the Obama administration’s idea. In fact, Obama was at one point adamant against backtracking on it. In November of 2011, he warned, “I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts — domestic and defense spending.” He added, “There will be no easy off-ramps on this one.”
But don’t sweat the details, right? Political rhetoric is much more preferred in situations like this. And none is more preferred than the rhetoric that claims this sequester actually represents ‘cuts’ — and the “meat-cleaver” kind at that! Unfortunately, in Washington-speak, most references to ‘cuts’ are really just slow-downs in the rate of projected growth.
Translation: We’re still going to spend more, just not as much as we had originally planned. Similar to as if an employee were to get a slightly smaller raise instead of larger raise, only employers usually actually have that money to spare for the slightly smaller raise.
As a key leader of the liberty movement, the FreedomWorks team would like to extend an invitation to all YAL members to join us at an exclusive leadership event in Washington, D.C March 9th-12th.
The FreedomWorks Spring Break College Summit will begin on Saturday, March 9th at 5:00 p.m. at the FreedomWorks offices and will continue with training, panel discussions, congressional office visits, breakout sessions, social events, great speakers, and more. We are also excited to include a dinner featuring Rafael Cruz — father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz — on Sunday, March 10th. It will conclude with a media event/press conference on Tuesday, March 12th.
FreedomWorks will pay for your hotel at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill as well as all meals/activities while you are here. We are also offering a $300 voucher to help cover the cost of your flight. Space is limited, so please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested in attending. College fly-in is 21+ only as there will be social events during your time with us here in DC!
“But officer, I…” Both an excuse and a shameless plea inevitably follow. They do no good, of course, and an illegitimate plastic card is snatched away.
As a college student, this is a scenario I witness all too often.
What is remarkable, though, is how often a situation such as this could occur, but doesn’t.
Fake IDs are becoming more popular on college campuses every day. Havocscope estimates that well over one million fakes exist in the United States. A University of Missouri study suggests that nearly half of all college students have used a fake ID at some point.
The prohibition of alcohol sales to those under the age of twenty-one has become a complete and utter farce. Few serious people actually support the prohibition for reasons beyond its necessity for the provision of federal highway funding; approval is even less common among those who the law seeks to supposedly “protect”—namely, those under 21.
People want to purchase alcohol. Merchants want to sell alcohol. A transaction of this sort is mutually beneficial. Why then, should anyone, especially over the age of eighteen, be denied the ability to execute such a transaction?
(For a thorough analysis of the myriad problems caused by prohibition, read Dr. Mark Thornton’s enlightening book, The Economics of Prohibition.)
Hawai'i's "Marijuana Minister" Roger Christie was arrested in Hilo, Hawai'i for possession and distribution of marijuana in July 2010, and he was held without bail or trial in Honolulu Federal Detention Center for more than two years.
Hawai'i State representative, Sam Slom (R), has submitted resolution 'SR 12' to release Roger Christie and initiate an investigation into this miscarriage of justice. Also, State Speaker of the House, Joseph Souki (D), has introduced legislation 'HB 150' to legalize recreational use of marijuana.
Young Americans for Liberty at UH-Manoa are helping the Hawaiian Libertarian Party to bring awareness around Roger Christie's case, and put pressure on elected officials to release Roger Christie and investigate why he was not allowed bail or a speedy trial for so long.
To assist in educating the public about Roger Christies's case we have created a flyer which directs people to a White House petition to release Roger Christie. We distributed hundreds of our flyers at the International Students for Liberty Conference this past weekend, with the goal of getting a flyer in the hands of John Stossel.
Please sign our petition to release Roger Christie.
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The Koch Summer Fellow Program from the Institute for Humane Studies provides opportunities to intern with a homefield advantage or head into the belly of the beast. The Koch Summer Fellow Program is the world's largest liberty focused internship program with over 100 internship positions at over 80 partner organizations across the country and in DC.
Make a difference in the lives of the people you know. Internships at think-tanks and other organizations at the state level allow you to make a local impact for liberty. At state-based organizations you'll work on the front line with local single-issue and free market advocates.
Join liberty's largest network. Make connections with people across the nation and build your future. With over 900 KSFP alumni you'll really be part of the network with the most coverage.
Partner organizations include organizations like Reason, The Institute for Justice, REACH Foundation, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Gain experience in a variety of areas ranging from policy and regulation analysis, to directly influencing legislation at the state level, to publishing articles and editorials in local papers.
The January 31 deadline is quickly approaching! Apply now.
On February 21, 2013, U.S. Congressman David Schweikert will speak to the Glendale Community College (AZ) Young Americans for Liberty chapter. Congressman Schweikert has been a great champion for liberty, during his two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, and was endorsed by the YAL PAC in his most recent election in 2012.
The event will be a part of the "Free Markets 101" project that chapters nationwide will be participating in, in order to educate students on the benefits of a free market, and debunking the myths of socialism, cronyism, and wealth redistribution.
Congressman Schweikert was recently removed from his position on the House Financial Services committee, due to his willingness to stand up to his own party, and challenge the establishment.
The event is free and open to the public, and all Arizona Young Americans for Liberty members are encouraged to attend what should be a great opportunity to hear from a man on the front lines of liberty in the U.S. Congress.
The event is being held at Glendale Community College at 6000 W. Olive Ave., in the Student Union, room 104D/E from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a Q&A following his speech.
Liberty activists often unfortunately struggle in working with other groups that might not agree 100% with everything we support. And this fact is a shame, because in order for us to realize any of our goals, we have to be able to work sometimes with those who don't share all of our goals.
Young Americans for Liberty at the University of West Florida is a very ideologically diverse group of activists. We as a club have always tried our best to reach out and integrate within the larger campus community, working alongside groups like College Republicans, College Democrats, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and others. Our campus debates were a great example of how we were able to work with other clubs in order to host exciting events that can help awaken a new political dialogue on campus.
With that fact in mind, here are the five rules we've found helpful when working with people with whom we have disagreements.
1. Be Honest
Pretty much everyone knows I'm a libertarian-leaning Republican. Other YAL members are similarly forthcoming about their views. When I attend other club meetings or work with their members, I don't make any sort of effort to hide who I am or what I believe.
Despite the unfair flak many Ron Paul Republicans have gotten throughout the past years for supposedly trying to "infiltrate" the GOP or "pretend" to be members of various establishment groups, it is important to avoid being guilty of such charges. Trying to "pull one over" on people is a bad idea. We should respect others, and we should respect our own views, enough not to try to hide what we believe.
2. Don't Be Abrasive
We've all seen (and to be honest, probably been at some point) the type: no conversation is safe, no situation immune, from this person's insatiable attempts to "educate" and convert every single person into a bumper sticker-sporting Ron Paul Rothbardian (or something). And while certainly there is quite a bit of value in strongly held beliefs and the desire to share them, if we are single-minded pursuers of political converts, we won't get very far working with others - or converting them.