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The Havoc That Trump Wreaks

donald trump 008By George Will

Every sulfurous belch from the molten interior of the volcanic Trump phenomenon injures the chances of a Republican presidency. After Donald Trump finishes plastering a snarling face on conservatism, any Republican nominee will face a dauntingly steep climb to reach even the paltry numbers that doomed Mitt Romney.

It is perhaps quixotic to try to distract Trump’s supporters with facts, which their leader, who is no stickler for dignity, considers beneath him. Still, consider these:

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Listen to LWRN on YouTube

Beginning this week we are archiving most of our LWRN produced programs on YouTube so you and your friends can enjoy past episodes. We are placing currently produced program there at the moment but we intend to post older programs there eventually. Just click on the YouTube image at the left and you will be taken to our YouTube page. Enjoy.

Rand Paul is Finished!

...the Rand Paul that we were all hoping for – someone who would stand up to the War Party and refute their propaganda – is no more, if he ever existed in the first place. Instead of refuting the lies he’s joining in the telling of them – and in doing so, he’s crossed the Rubicon as far as libertarians and all those who oppose war with Iran are concerned.

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In the Washington elite, you never have to say you’re sorry

The United States already has by far the per capita largest prison population of any developed country but I am probably one of the few Americans who on this Independence Day would like to see a lot more people in prison, mostly drawn from politicians and senior bureaucrats who have long believed that their status makes them untouchable, giving them license to steal and even to kill. The sad fact is that while whistleblowers have been imprisoned for revealing government criminality, no one in the federal bureaucracy has ever actually been punished for the crimes of torture, kidnapping and assassination committed during the George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama presidencies.

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Baltimore Mayor: “We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”

Baltimore has erupted in chaos ever since Freddie Gray died in police custody after being arrested on drug suspicions.  It’d gotten so bad that the violent rioters protesters exercising their first amendment rights were so passionately violently rioting exercising their first amendment rights, people weren’t allowed to leave the Orioles/Red Sox game… because of all the violent rioting free speech that was going on outside.

Thankfully, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake held a news conference to urge calm…

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Why we need journalists and readers who understand when they are being fed propaganda

Editor: The following article illustrates the kind of shoddy writing that passes for journalism today.

or Questions About Sunday Times Snowden Story

The Sunday Times has a front page story out today claiming that the Chinese and Russian governments have somehow managed to obtain National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden's trove of documents. The story is sourced from anonymous UK government officials who make a series of significant allegations, unfortunately backed up with zero evidence. It's worth going through some of the key points of the story to cast some critical scrutiny on the central claims and to raise a few questions about them:

1) "RUSSIA and China have cracked the top-secret cache of files stolen by the fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden...according to senior officials in Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services."

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Why You Should Assert Your Rights

The following was from a recent email communication from Steve Silverman of Flex Your Rights.

On Tuesday the Court held in Rodriguez v. U.S. that suspects cannot be detained beyond the scope of a routine traffic stop for the sole purpose of performing a dog sniff. The 6-3 ruling is indeed a big win for the 4th Amendment. But our old friend and former-Flex Associate Director Scott Morgan emailed me a note about why this ruling is particularly special.

Hey Steve,

Great ruling today! Of course, everyone's going to talk about the rarity of the Court upholding the 4th Amendment these days. What I noticed (and hope more people see) is that this case only happened because the suspect asserted his rights by refusing the dog sniff. It's a point I used to make frequently in the Flex Blog that SCOTUS rulings limiting 4th Amendment protections tend to arise from situations where the suspect did not assert their rights (e.g. Florida v. Bostick). Yet here's a case where the suspect did flex their rights, and look at the outcome! If anyone wonders how asserting your rights makes a difference, well ... here you go.

Cheers,
Scott 

Great point, Scott! Anytime suspects fail to clearly invoke their 4th Amendment rights, their defense is confined to the more difficult path of articulating other procedural 4th Amendment violations. Because of the relative weakness of such arguments, courts will often find that police acted in “good faith” by executing a search they believed to be lawful. This sets bad precedent expanding the scope of legal police searches.

However, when citizens clearly assert their rights, they empower the courts to rule in their favor by setting a higher evidentiary standard necessary to override their refusal. In other words, there’s a greater likelihood for a 4th Amendment victory – which is likely to set good precedent limiting the scope of legal police searches.

I don’t know if Dennys Rodriguez has seen our videos, but when police asked him to wait around until a drug dog could sniff his vehicle, he correctly refused. If more citizens are empowered to do the same – we’ll get better cases, better rulings, and a stronger 4th Amendment.

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