In 2007, the U.S. attorney’s office seemed on track to charge Palm Beach billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in a sweeping indictment, accusing him of running a ring to pay underage girls for his sexual pleasure. But the office’s leader, Alex Acosta, retreated from what appeared to be a strong federal prosecution, bolstered with 40 female victims, and opted to let the state attorney charge Epstein in a streamlined prostitution case involving minors. The bruising negotiations between Acosta’s office and Epstein’s defense team ended with the U.S. attorney’s decision not to present the 53-page indictment to a federal grand jury.
While few have noticed, U.S. airport security workers long had the option of using five different types of physical pat-downs at the screening line. Now those options have been eliminated and replaced with a single universal approach. This time, you will notice.
A tidal wave of new bills has flooded 35 states in the U.S., threatening to either limit or completely eradicate vaccine exemptions. Clearly health freedom and informed consent is undergoing full frontal assault right now. Please read, share, and take action accordingly.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has stopped accepting Freedom of Information Act requests by email. The agency wants requesters to use fax, standard mail, or the agency’s online portal to make things on their end more efficient. But, FOIA advocates say this puts a lot of burden on the requester.
President Donald Trump is seeking what he called a “historic” increase in defense spending, but ran into immediate opposition from Republicans in Congress who must approve his plan and said it was not enough to meet the military’s needs. The proposed rise in the Pentagon budget to $603 billion comes as the United States has wound down major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and remains the world’s strongest military power.
We’re all used to having to identify ourselves as we enter a country. It is the only way we can hope to have any attempt at a secure border. But, so-called “exit controls,” where documents are checked as travelers are leaving the country, were popularized last century by Nazi Germany as a great way to ensure that they could control, round up, and exterminate the Jews and other “undesirables.”
In the days following the 2016 election, there were already worrying signs that the Trump administration didn’t merely view the War on Drugs as a useful source of rhetoric to please some Conservatives. With the appointment of Jeff Sessions — who appears to be a true believer in the War on Drugs — the threat to federalism, states’s rights, and local control was all too real. The fears continue to be stoked by the administration itself, and yesterday White House spokesman Sean Spicer announcing that “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of [federal law against marijuana].”
When most people imagine their golden years, they don’t envision spending the last decades of their life in a federal prison, but for 56-year-old Samuel Girod, that threat is very real — thanks to the FDA. Girod is facing 68 years in jail for the simple crime of creating his own all-natural homemade products. Father to 12 and grandfather to 25, Girod has been facing a 12-count indictment since 2015.
For some 15 years, airport security has become steadily more invasive. There are ever more checkpoints, ever more requests for documents as you make your way from the airport entrance to the airplane. Passengers adapt to the new changes as they come. But my latest flight to Mexico, originating in Atlanta, presented all passengers with something I had never seen before.
When the DC Madam closed up shop and put her house up for sale, some Washington power players got spooked. They brought charges against her so she gave her phone logs to the media for safekeeping. That was her first mistake…
People are cheerleading for the same oppressive state that created the problems to begin with. In the name of immigration control we are now entering an even bigger “papers please” police state which will threaten everyone’s civil liberties. And then there’s Jeff Sessions and his support for the ongoing failure called the Drug War and its attendant for-profit prison system. Of course, always in the background is more war on the horizon.
I’m not new to writing about political issues. I spent pretty much the entirety of the Obama administration pointing out his disdain of transparency, his refusal to challenge the rich and powerful even after they inflicted significant harm on the American public, and his dangerous expansion of militarism across the globe. Over the course of those eight years, I solidified and refined my views on a wide variety of issues that are important to me. Though I’ve been extremely troubled by the people Trump has decided to surround himself with, and the fact he’s essentially outsourced his economic policy to the boys at vampire squid Goldman Sachs, I’ve held off on my harshest criticism while waiting to see where he comes down on a wider variety of issues. At this point, I think I’ve seen enough.
As if this place wasn’t already a ‘papers please’ police state enough, now White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has announced that Trump’s Administration is about to ramp up the failed drug war against cannabis on the same day that Attorney General Jeff Sessions (referred to as a “drug war dinosaur” for his stance on marijuana) reversed the plan to phase out the human rights horrors that are private prisons… all on the same day.