This is exactly why people are concerned about such broad-based programs as the NSA runs without any respect for privacy. They are absolutely perfect for collecting political dirt, blackmail material, and opposition research. They suck for finding terrorists.
Rand Paul pushes legislation purporting to stop Obama's gun control
Anything Obama tries to do is already advisory only, particularly since even under this legislation it would need to infringe upon Congressional authority or the 2nd Amendment before being declared advisory (and who makes that determination exactly?), but the bit about providing a private cause of action for a lawsuit to challenge any such actions by the Obama Administration might come in very handy.
Of course, even if it gets through the Senate, Obama will veto it unless attached to something else he desperately wants.
Supreme Court denies cert to Illinois assault weapons ban challenge
What I think is going on here is that the Supreme Court does not have the votes to overturn this law, even though it should be overturned. The Heller case only got 5 votes when challenging a total ban on firearms ownership. Scalia and Thomas wanted to take the case, which means at least one of the three remaining justices who we presume to be on our side is not willing to vote to overturn an assault weapons ban. Possibly 2 or even all 3 justices. Presumably no one appointed by Obama would strike down a gun ban and the older left-wing justices all voted against Heller.
Likely we are stuck with laws like this unless we can put more gun-friendly justices on the court.
Effort to primary House Speaker Paul Ryan already underway
We got rid of ex-House-Majority-Leader Cantor by defeating him in a primary contest, and that defeat stopped amnesty in its tracks. That lead to Boehner's resignation to avoid losing a vote to retain his speakership. And now Paul Ryan is facing a primary challenge himself. The Republican establishment needs to learn that we can and will keep doing this until they start listening to us.
For most of my readers, being politically active is not just a hobby, it's a matter of basic self defense. The classic joke about the libertarian who wants to take over the government and leave you alone is one side of the coin, and the truth about the Democrat (and sometimes the Republican, but mostly the Democrat lately) who wants to take over the government and take over your life is the other side.
The problem with the secure enclaves approach that is usually taken first and foremost by government officials is that only a very few people can remain in a "secure enclave" at all times, and they do that by bringing their secure enclave with them everywhere they go. If you have an effectively unlimited budget and authority (see the President and the Secret Service) this can work reasonably well. But you obviously can't protect everyone that way, and terrorist attacks don't have to reach high-value targets to spread terror. Even if you extend your enclaves to cover "important targets" like large sporting events or concerts, it's difficult to stop an attack with a few security guards and a metal detector. You just end up shifting the starting point of the attack.
The only response to this threat that actually makes ordinary people safer in their daily lives is allowing ordinary people to carry arms in their daily lives.
Openness to public scrutiny is an important hallmark of scientific integrity. That these "scientists" are reluctant to let us see the kitchen where they cook the data suggests that we shouldn't be eating it.
First, the EPA decides it wants to regulate something new, or tighten regulations on something it already regulates.
They pay a bunch of university scientists with similar political leanings to do studies on that topic, and since the scientists agree with the EPA politically and understand how the game is played, the results support whatever the EPA is trying to regulate.
The EPA then issues new regulations and shepherds them through the public comment process by publishing propaganda on social media sites urging environmentalists to post favorable comments on their proposed regulation. These regulations are carefully calculated to get the camel's nose under the tent without invoking the obvious risks of actually bringing the whole camel into the tent.
The anti-industrial Luddite lobbying groups that claim to be environmentalists then initiate a lawsuit against the EPA, claiming that the new regulations are not strong enough. They cite the same scientific studies that the EPA originally funded.
The EPA then settles the lawsuit. The terms of the settlement require the EPA to issue tighter regulations that are difficult (being the result of a legal settlement rather than the normal process) to reverse. The EPA chooses to settle rather than fight because the EPA wanted the tighter regulations all along; it just wanted them in a way that would fly under the radar and make it difficult for Congress and the President to change (should either entity actually want to). The terms of the settlement also require the EPA to pay the legal fees of the Luddites, meaning the cost to the environmental pressure group is basically nothing. They can probably fundraise on the basis of the lawsuit, too.
The result: absurdly tight environmental standards based on junk science and environmental special interests without the involvement of the public, the Congress, or the President. Because Congress did not need to pass a law and the President did not need to sign the law, both are politically insulated from the consequences. Because the appropriate political process for changing the law was not followed, the public was not involved in the debate and is likely not even aware -- unless they follow the news closely as I do -- that the rules are being changed.
That's not how our constitutional republic is supposed to work.
Lawsuit filed over NICS checks being crosschecked with secret terror watch list
Note that they have been doing this check since 2004 and it has not stopped any terrorist attacks. The lawsuit was filed by a gun rights group (Gun Owners of America), not "suspected terrorists".
Ultimately, I suspect the courts will claim that anyone not denied by the check will have no standing to challenge it. That's the sort of dodge they have used for years to protect the "national security" programs that watch everyone and do little about it.
Amherst students protest free speech, demand reeducation camps
It's almost ironic. The liberal and progressive professors trained their students to see racism and every other ism they can think of everywhere, and to speak up about it. So when the students start to see those things on the very campus where they are being conditioned to react that way, well, those educational institutions are reaping what they sow.
But those students won't stay in college forever; they will eventually leave and enter the real world. Then we will really have a problem, because they will vote for fascism.