Author Archive | David Seaman

Restore The Fourth Protest Organizer Speaks Out

I spoke yesterday with Restore The Fourth’s Sam Oslos, an organizer for the group’s San Francisco chapter.

The group is planning nationwide protests for the 4th of July – including major cities such as New York and San Fran – in order to oppose recent revelations that the NSA is targeting the communications of US citizens, in violation of Fourth Amendment constitutional protections.

It was a fascinating interview. Those interested in joining a protest (or starting one) in their town or city should visit restorethefourth.net. Oslos reminded me that the group is non-partisan and a “unifying cause” for those who oppose warrantless surveillance within the United States.

Restore the Fourth

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IRS ‘Training’ Agents With AR-15 Assault Rifles Congress Wanted To Ban

The NSA warrantless wiretapping program, PRISM, continues to outrage millions of Americans — but let’s not forget some other recent scandals emerging from our “public servants” in Washington, including serious allegations from the chairman of the House Homeland Security oversight subcommittee that IRS agents are now arming themselves with AR-15 “semi-automatic weapons.” Rep. Duncan claims to have seen this with his own eyes last month.

What is going on in this country? It is one thing to provide your nation’s tax agency with the legal tools necessary to collect debts owed, and another thing altogether to enforce those powers with the precise kinds of assault weapons some members of Congress had wanted to ban earlier this year.

It also recently came out that the IRS spent more than $50 million on conferences between 2010 and 2012. The frugality of these conferences has been called into question. See my take on this above.… Read the rest

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Don’t Worry About Obama Spying On You—Just Kidding, You Should Worry

article-obama-1207Ah, the sweet smell of Thursday morning outright denial-of-reality.

Yes, in a sweeping scoop from The Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald, it has been revealed that the Obama administration since at least April has been hoovering up millions of Verizon subscribers’ phone data – customers within the United States, calling other customers within the United States. Monitoring such ‘domestic only’ communications is strictly forbidden by the NSA’s mandate, but don’t worry, some hardcore Obama policy defenders on Twitter and on the cable news networks this morning have a reality distortion field… or wish they had one.

You see, according to such apologists for warrantless spying, this isn’t a big deal because a) Bush was doing it in some form also and b) it’s just ‘metadata.’

To address point A: and their point is? Weird world we live in when the best justification you can come up with is that the Mission Accomplished Guantanamo waterboarding torture war with the wrong country guy with a ranch in Crawford, Texas did it also.… Read the rest

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Interview With American Living In Turkey: ‘People Are Still Very Energized’

I spoke earlier today with “Natasha,” an American living in Istanbul, Turkey, to get her take on the recent wave of massive protests throughout Turkey — I wanted to know what initially sparked the protests, how the riot police have responded, and what the average Turk thinks of all this.

The protesting in Turkey “isn’t like the Arab Spring,” in her view, and instead reflects focused anger and disappointment over a particular politician, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan… rather than some kind of sweeping societal change.

Also, although the economic situation in Turkey sounds tough for young people, it honestly doesn’t sound much worse than the job climate that recent university graduates here in the United States face.

I asked her if she felt the protests were wrapping up at this point. “I don’t think it’s dying down at all… people are still very energized,” she replied.

Listen to our whole interview right here, she also speaks about Turkish anger over their media’s lack of coverage — and the media’s tendency to side with police forces’ official story, rather than the protesters:

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Congress To Attempt CISPA Again, Plus Horsemeat Sold As ‘Beef

Life in 2013 is starting to resemble a modern-day Upton Sinclair novel. Congress plans to re-introduce surveillance bill CISPA completely unchanged, citing recent cyberattacks. Will they take out the most worrying aspects of CISPA before trying again? Negative. As The Next Web reported, CISPA will be attempted again "in its exact previous form." Oh, and your delicious supermarket "beef" may contain up to 100% horsemeat.
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It’s A Trap! Ron Paul Warns Of McCain Immigration Plan Surveillance Implications

For those who are still quite fond of their 4th Amendment rights, Ron Paul raised the alarm over on his official Facebook page earlier today that the Senate's current immigration reform package is a civil liberties nightmare. The former Congressman and presidential candidate warned that the proposed McCain/Schumer immigration "reform" plan, as it exists now, would usher in warrantless surveillance of US citizens using drones, a de facto mandatory national ID system barring those without it from working legally, increased federal database information on US citizens, and the further erosion of our core civil rights under the guise of keeping our economy "safe" from a mostly non-existent wave of illegal immigration. Scariest paragraph of Ron Paul's post: "Harper rightly notes that E-Verify is in fact a national ID card, writing last week that, 'the system must biometrically identify everyone who works—you, me, and every working American you know. There is no way to do internal enforcement of immigration law without a biometric national identity system.'" Minority Report could be closer than we think. Open those eyes nice and wide for your iris scan, citizen!
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Military Helicopters And ‘Gunfire’ Over Miami, Houston

In today's David Seaman Hour! video segment, I talked about a report posted by ABC 13 Houston that there were, in fact, military helicopters running aggressive urban warfare exercises over parts of the city — this comes just days after disturbing social media reports of similar 'war games' in Miami. If these exercises are merely to train our troops for existing combat zones — namely, Afghanistan — what city over there resembles Houston or Miami? (Hint: None of them do.) And even if these exercises were being conducted with the utmost transparency, would this be a reasonable use of our tax dollars, at a time when millions are unemployed, our education system is falling behind, and our infrastructure is in dire need of upgrades...
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Seven Things All Americans Should Disapprove Of

A certain pro-gun rights guest on a certain British former tabloid editor’s CNN evening talk show has made it seem like all people who oppose our ever-growing federal government are a bit, well, unhinged.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and to prove that point, here are 7 scary things that all Americans should be asking our government to put the brakes on immediately.

One of the most annoying things out there at the moment—aside from late-night reverse mortgage commercials—is the false paradigm spread by some big government, big Obama Democrats that anyone who questions government corruption is an actual crazy person.

Start talking about drone strikes or Bradley Manning or the billions we spend on warrantless domestic spying, and you’re likely to get an eye roll and a “You aren’t one of those Glenn Beck people, are you?”

These big government Democrats, as utterly well-intentioned as they are (healthcare for the disadvantaged and keeping Wall Street from feasting on your young soul are noble intentions, at least in theory, if not in practice), think that having attended a “grassroots” (haha) election event for the incumbent of the most powerful elected office in the United States somehow makes them politically cool, indie hardcore, and in-the-know.… Read the rest

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