RCLP Chair to Address Pasadena Libertarians

Gene Berkman, Chair of the Riverside County Libertarian Party is scheduled to speak to the Pasadena Libertarian Group on Wednesday, September 11, 2013. Mr Berkman, long-time bookseller, will speak about “Renaissance Books – Promoting Freedom since 1984.”

The Pasadena Libertarian Group will meet at Panera Restaurant, located @ 3521 E. Foothill Blvd, in Pasadena. The meeting will take place from 7:00PM to 9:00PM, and may include other local libertarian business.

Gene Berkman founded Renaissance Book Shop in Riverside in 1983, specializing in history, philosophy, science and economics, with a large selection of science fiction. Renaissance Book Shop has always had a libertarian focus, and has served as a center of libertarian activism.

Since 1983, Renaissance Book Shop has relocated several times, and is now in its biggest location @ 3772 Elizabeth Street in Riverside, California. In late May, the Riverside Press Enterprise profiled Renaissance Book Shop on the front page of the business section. You can read the profile @ http://www.pe.com/business/local-profiles-headlines/20130522-retail-independent-riverside-bookstore-stays-the-course.ece

Salon exposes “The NSA-DEA police state tango”

So the paranoid hippie pot dealer you knew in college was right all along: The feds really were after him. In the latest post-Snowden bombshell about the extent and consequences of government spying, we learned from Reuters reporters this week that a secret branch of the DEA called the Special Operations Division – so secret that nearly everything about it is classified, including the size of its budget and the location of its office — has been using the immense pools of data collected by the NSA, CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies to go after American citizens for ordinary drug crimes. Law enforcement agencies, meanwhile, have been coached to conceal the existence of the program and the source of the information by creating what’s called a “parallel construction,” a fake or misleading trail of evidence. So no one in the court system – not the defendant or the defense attorney, not even the prosecutor or the judge – can ever trace the case back to its true origins.

On one hand, we all knew more revelations were coming, and the idea that the government would go after drug suspects with the same dubious extrajudicial methods used to pursue terrorism suspects is a classic and not terribly surprising example of mission creep. Both groups have been held up as bogeymen for years, in order to scare the public into accepting ever nastier and more repressive laws. This gives government officials another chance to talk to us in their stern grown-up voices about how this isn’t civics class, and sometimes they have to bend the rules to catch Really Bad People.

On the other hand, this is a genuinely sinister turn of events with a whiff of science-fiction nightmare, one that has sounded loud alarm bells for many people in the mainstream legal world.Full report by Andrew O’Hehir @ Salon http://www.salon.com/2013/08/10/the_nsa_dea_police_state_tango/singleton/

Kelly Vlahos:”The Right Rallies to Edward Snowden”

A funny thing happened between Hong Kong and Russia: Edward Snowden, teller of National Security Agency secrets and American dissident at large, started to become a conservative hero.

“Support for Snowden is actually consistent with the tradition of American conservatism,” declares Craig Shirley, a longtime conservative political consultant in Washington and author of three Ronald Reagan biographies. After 30 years at the game, he’s not shy about calling things big.

“I think Snowden might end up being the John Brown of the 21st Century—reviled and unpopular but unleashing a debate that led to the rebirth of freedom,” Shirley told TAC, referring to the abolitionist who was hanged for treason for initiating an armed insurrection against the U.S. government over slavery.

Complete article by Kelly Vlahos @ The American Conservative http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-right-rallies-to-edward-snowden/

Napolitano:”Justin Amash Leads Liberty’s Backlash”

“Last week, Justin Amash, the two-term libertarian Republican congressman from Michigan, joined with John Conyers, the 25-term liberal Democratic congressman from the same state, to offer an amendment to legislation funding the National Security Agency (NSA). If enacted, the Amash-Conyers amendment would have forced the government’s domestic spies when seeking search warrants to capture Americans’ phone calls, texts and emails first to identify their targets and produce evidence of their terror-related activities before a judge may issue a warrant. The support they garnered had a surprising result that stunned the Washington establishment.”

“It almost passed.”

“The final vote, in which the Amash-Conyers amendment was defeated by 205 to 217, was delayed for a few hours by the House Republican leadership, which opposed the measure. The Republican leadership team, in conjunction with President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, needed more time for arm-twisting so as to avoid a humiliating loss.”

“But the House rank-and-file did succeed in sending a message to the big-government types in both parties: Nearly half of the House of Representatives has had enough of government spying and then lying about it, and understands that spying on every American simply cannot withstand minimal scrutiny or basic constitutional analysis.”

Full article by Judge Napolitano @ Reason http://reason.com/archives/2013/08/01/rep-amash-leads-libertys-backlash