Soldiers need more Free-Speech

The right to say what you want, without fear of government or societal persecution is so great of importance that our founders listed it as our very first amendment. For when ideas, whether good or evil, are suppressed, society cannot engage in a progressive evolution. When people fear to utter a word, whether it be written or spoken, the world begins to become a quiet, cold, and gray place to live in. The feeling of having your thoughts trapped inside of your head with no legal way to escape is akin to a sort of mental prison.

Many Americans falsely believe that “free speech” protects us in a way that allows us to say anything we want, so long it doesn’t involve a threat of violence. While I wish this was the case, it is not. Under the Smith Act of 1940, it is illegal for any American citizen to express sympathetic communist viewpoints. Under the National Defense Authorization Act, passed under the Obama administration, anyone who is merely “suspected” of having terrorist sympathies, can be detained without a trial. These are very vague parameters which can easily be applied to silence social dissent.

Those who serve in the military have it even worse. If you are a private citizen, and you make a Facebook post about the president being “incompetent” or “unqualified”, the FBI isn’t likely to show up at your door. However, if you are serving in the military, such a simple statement can likely have you standing before a judge in a court martial hearing. In a court martial setting under military jurisdictions, there are typically no requirements for a jury, making the case that much more difficult to fight.

You would think that those who are literally putting their lives on the line to defend our nation and carrying out the orders of congress, would have more right than anyone to criticize the commander in chief and/or the orders given to him/her. But, the reality is, soldiers are expected to follow orders, show support for the commander in chief, and to keep their mouth shut if they disagree.

Article 88 of the U.C.M.J, 10 U.S.C. 888, makes it a crime for a commissioned military officer to use contemptuous words against the President and Congress, among others. The Department of Defense has also expanded this rule to include all military enlisted personnel (DOD Directive 1344.10).

These rules have a practical rationale for the fact that a soldier’s ability to criticize a mission could destroy his unit’s morale. While this is a noteworthy rationale, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the opinions of our men and women in uniform should matter a lot more than they currently do. If we are going to limit their ability to publicly criticize a mission or leader, should we not at least require that our congress, president, and commanding officers consult with our enlisted members in regards to input on whether or not missions should be pursued? Perhaps we should hold a yearly caucus where servicemen and women can express their opinions regarding missions and operations.

Many jurisdictions have implemented an on base “public forum” that is only visible to other military personnel whereas enlisted members have the chance to fully express their thoughts without fear of punishment. This is a step in the right direction. However, when you consider that the United States has not had a properly declared war by congress since WWII, we soon realize that there is a major problem with how our soldiers are treated as mere pawns on a chess board when we should consider them as individual human lives, only sending them to war if absolutely necessary.

Our law makers need a huge reality check in terms of civilian vs military life. Unmarried soldiers are expected to live celibate lives in the barracks whereas they have no freedom of speech; Talk about having pent up rage! Perhaps its all apart of the plan to make them better fighters. Who knows!? Regardless, I will exercise my free speech by saying, its about time we start humanizing our soldiers instead of viewing them as mere pieces of flesh covered expendable “equipment”.

-Randell Stroud

Nalini-Global

Is hate-speech considered Free-Speech?

 

On October 28th, 2017, a rally will be held in Shelbyville,Tn. The rally is called, “White Lives Matter” lead by a group of White Nationalists. An event that I want no part of. Being a Tennessean myself, I know the history of my state very well. Tennessee,Georgia, and Alabama are cradles for The Ku Klux Klan, a group that has very much weakened in the last 50 years, yet, some racial sentiments from their heyday still live on in rural areas.

While the south has progressed quite a bit over the last few decades, there are still remnant of racial tensions.  After several incidents involving white police officers killing unarmed black citizens, a group known as “Black Lives Matter”, has began to emerge. The decentralized group plans to counter protest the rally in Shelbyville. The rise of white nationalism has grown since the election of Donald Trump who espouses populist ideals.  Black Lives Matter groups want to bring awareness around minorities who are targeted by police, treated unfairly in the justice system, and other problems that go ignored in their communities.

The “White Lives Matter” activists claim that police officers killing white citizens are being ignored in the media, and the constant accusations of racism against them (i.e. playing the race card), and their disdain for “Political Correctness”, is why they are speaking out. White Lives Matter claim that they are tired of being “scapegoats” for media induced race wars.

These statements do not sound extremely controversial. However, among these groups exists a more sinister wing.  The same can be said of the Black Lives Matter movement. In both movements, we see disturbing trends. On the far right, we have Neo-Nazis, skinheads, and the KKK. On the far left, we have Antifa, Black Separatists, and Neo-Anarchists. On both ends of the spectrum, violence, bigotry,  and hateful comments are often dispersed.  Extreme opinions on both the left and the right are resulting in 1960s styled race-wars. It is truly sad to see.

Accusations of “hate-speech” have been numerous in recent years. With the rise of legalized gay marriage, transgender activism, and race riots, the label of “hate speech” is often seen in the media.  Many even advocate that “hate-speech” should be illegal. Protesters on the left can be seen holding signs saying, “Hate-speech is not Free-Speech”. 

Hate-Speech, as commonly defined, is any sort of slur or comment that demeans someone based on their race, religion, gender, or nationality.  But, is hate-speech considered free-speech?”

Yes and no.

Under the Constitution of the United States,  citizens are guaranteed the right to express grievances. There is no stipulations in the constitution as to what those grievances may be. In many instances, grievances are not always agreed upon. My grievance may be to support abortion, whereas another may consider it offensive, thus deeming it as “hate-speech”, since, in the mind of a pro-lifer, I would be advocating for something offensive to their religion.

The gray area of what is “hate speech” is very hazy. Free-Speech has been suppressed many times in American history. The Smith Act of 1940 , made it illegal for American citizens to openly support Communism or Socialism publicly during both World Wars, yet many people today support those policies without fear.

However, generally, as I understand how liberty and freedom works, is quite simple.

A man or woman has the right to say and/or believe whatever they want so long as their words are not encouraging criminal acts such as murder, theft, or vandalism.  From a civil standpoint, this would also include libel and slander.  Under the Civil Rights Act, this also expands into the work-place applicable to employers hiring employees without considering their race, gender, or religion.

If your words are not encouraging violence, libel, slander, or mayhem, then the Constitution supports your right to say whatever you desire, no matter how ridiculous it may be. If a man were standing on a public sidewalk holding a sign that said, “I hate White people”. Would I be offended? yes! Would I be upset? Yes. Would I organize a counter-protest? Very likely.  Would I ask that his action be made illegal? No.

In some situations, the ability to say controversial things sparks debate, communication, and growth.  The 1st amendment of the Constitution was not designed so that we may talk about the weather, it was designed so that people could say very controversial things outside of the norm of society without fear of suppression.

It is a very slippery slope. In fact, under the Patriot Act and the NDAA , free speech is suppressed. Under these laws, anyone who supports terrorism, even verbally, can be detained without a trial and/or placed on a watchlist effectively having their passports revoked.  It sounds good in theory, until you realize that it is very ambiguous. Let’s say I post on Facebook, “I hate paying taxes!”.  Under the Patriot Act, some controller from a far away office could legally monitor that comment and place me on a watchlist saying that I am advocating “anti-government” rhetoric.  It seems far fetched, but it is actually happening and has happened to many people.

Soon, our political leaders will be able to silence anyone so long as they use buzzwords like: Terrorism. Racist. Homophobic. Islamphobe. Bigot.  We see it all the time in politics. When Barack Obama was president, I was often called “racist” anytime I criticized him, even though my criticisms were always towards his policies and not his race, the accuser didn’t care, because my skin did not match theirs. On the flip side, when I criticize President Trump, the far-right accuses me of being an undercover “Antifa” member or a “liberal”.  Some could argue that such accusations could be illegal under “libel” and “slander”, since these are attacks on my personal character/reputation. General comments made towards society and public officials are absolutely protected under the 1st amendment.

I am non-partisan and I am not easily offended, so, I let those comments roll off my shoulders, however, the point is made…

Do we truly live in a society that is only able to criticize those who look exactly like us? I may catch a lot of flack for saying this, but, I believe that a man or woman should legally be allowed to utter any comment that does not command a criminal or libelous act. If they are general comments made and they do not instruct murder,theft,vandalism,libel, or slander, then the person/group should either be left alone, or, if you disagree, you should peacefully counter-protest that individual or group.

If a protester is advocating for murder or destruction, the protester should not be counter-protested, but rather, you should call the police and have them thrown in jail because they are guilty of conspiracy.  If a Neo-Nazi shouts into the streets, “I am going to kill all black people.”  This is not free-speech. He is openly expressing his intent to murder anyone who has black skin. The police should be called.  However, if that same Neo-Nazi exclaims, “We shouldn’t allow foreigners to immigrate into the US”,  his words are extremely unintelligent, but they are not illegal.

The fact that the Neo-Nazi is even allowed to say this will spark a debate. Debates are very necessary for human evolution. The only way we can remove stupidity is to allow for stupidity to rear its ugly head so that we may publicly shame it.

Free-Speech is often confused with “popular speech”.  Just because a speaker isn’t saying something that is widely accepted, doesn’t automatically mean that he/she should be locked in jail, castrated, or charged with a felony.

Are racists idiots? Yes

Should we fear all Muslims? No

Should we care whether or not Gay people get married? No, that’s their business.

Should we assume that anyone who doesn’t agree with us is racist? No

These are my opinions, but many may disagree. And they should have the right to. 

In the words of a great philosopher….

 “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall

 

On October 28th, 2017,  Black Lives Matter will counter protest the “White Lives Matter” rally in shelbyville.  The Constitution says that both groups are allow to commence in their activities. Both groups are legally protected.  If violence, vandalism, libel, or slander is used during these rallies by either side, then you can expect arrests to be made. The judge will not care if you are a Liberal, Conservative, or whatever. If you do the crime you must do the time.

If the judge or jury issues what is perceived as an unfair verdict, the public has every right to protest, boycott, counter-sue the state, and/or express their grievances towards that also.

It’s time we get back to the basics and read a little “Common Sense.”

I’m sure Benjamin Franklin would agree.

Nalini-Global

2017

Randell Stroud

Brave Utah Nurse Defends 4th Amendment from Police

Utah Nurse, Alex Wubbels, has been all over the headlines recently after an altercation between her and Utah police was posted online and went viral.  The incident happened July 26, when a car crash victim was admitted to the University of Utah Hospital burn unit; he was in a coma. Though the man was not a suspect in the wreck, which killed the other driver, police asked for his blood to be drawn.

According to CNN reports:

-“Wubbels, the charge nurse in the burn unit, presented the officers with a printout of hospital policy on drawing blood and said their request did not meet the criteria. Hospital policy specified police needed either a judge’s order or the patient’s consent, or the patient needed to be under arrest, before obtaining a blood sample.
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Salt Lake City Mayor,Jackie Biskupski ,said Wednesday the officers violated several city and department policies, including those pertaining to arrests, ethics and officer conduct. The officers have 20 days to respond to the results of the internal investigation, after which Chief Mike Brown will determine what employment action should be taken. The police department said it had no comment on the report. “
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Video shows Utah nurse arrested on the job
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Detective Jeff Payne eventually grabbed Nurse Wubbels when she demanded a search warrant before allowing the patient’s blood to be drawn. She was then arrested as the altercation became more aggressive on part of the officers involved. Payne and the other officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. As a Libertarian, and staunch supporter of constitutional law, let us examine exactly why Alex Wubbels is a hero, from both a legal and moral standard.
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Legally, Wubbels was defending not only her company hospital policy, but the 4th amendment of the United States Constitution, the supreme law of the land.  The 4th amendment of the Constitution reads as follows:
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“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
 :
In this particular situation, the police are attempting to seize a man’s blood. Is blood considered personal property? Well, if we analyze any basic traffic stop, an officer who wants to seize a vehicle or any contents inside the vehicle, must first obtain the owner’s voluntary consent or obtain a certified judicial search warrant with probable cause established. If vehicles are considered personal property, it is easy to imagine that blood is the ultimate definition of personal property, a substance that is literally manufactured by our own bodies.   In 2013, the Supreme Court decided in Missouri v. McNeely ,  that the harvesting of blood in regards to a police investigation did require consent and/or a warrant.
Honestly, how would any of us feel if an officer could just walk up to us and say, “You look a little buzzed, roll up your sleeze, im drawing your blood now.” In 2015, the Tennessee Highway Patrol did just that with their  controversial “No refusal DUI checkpoint stops”, that were met with harsh criticism by civil liberties activists. Many even disobeyed and fought the constitutionality of such checkpoints. Regardless, search warrants were still issued during most of those check point stops.
A warrant creates a necessary roadblock between police and arbitrary abuse of power. It creates one last opportunity for a judge to look at the situation and say, “This officer doesn’t have the right to do this”,  or “This officer has the right”.  While many judges often distribute search warrants arbitrarily and unfairly, atleast it creates a small deterrence for officers to easily abuse their authority. And this is exactly why the founders drafted the 4th amendment the way they did. They were sick of the British walking into their houses and confiscating their good without any regard or debate of legalities.
This Utah nurse not only made a stand for the Constitution but also for human rights. The victim at hand was not accused of any crime  and the officers had no legal authority to take his property; i.e. his blood.  If the 4th amendment did not apply to our blood, it could create an opportunity for blood harvesting, experimentation, and all sorts of deadly scenarios.
In my Shadow Report,  Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform , I address the problem of “policing for profit”, whereas police departments often seize properties illegally, only to turn around and sell those items to profit their departments.  Civil asset Forfeiture is a huge concern all across this nation. I could only imagine if a market for blood was opened up to private corporations. It would create another fascist relationship between big pharma and big government.
Kudos to Alex Wubbels for defending life, liberty, and the 4th amendment of our Constitution.  It is a sad day in this country when a nurse is doing more to protect the 4th amendment than our elected congress members who passed laws like the Patriot Act which undermine the 4th amendment.
Maybe Ms.Wubbels should act as a Constitutional consultant to our Republican and Democratic leaders on what it means to strictly adhere to the founding principles of this nation which lead to the rise of what used to be known as— “The most free nation on Earth. “
I look forward to seeing Ms.Wubbels attain justice for the abuse she suffered protecting our beloved bill of rights.  She is a true role model to girls,boys,women, and men residing in this great nation of the United States and elsewhere.
Godspeed.
Nalini-Global
2017

Kentucky Police Department tests the 4th Amendment

To: Paducah Police Chief, Brandon Barnhill-  bbarnhill@paducahky.gov

From: Nalini-Global- Naliniglobal@yahoo.com 

The Paducah Police Department of Kentucky has recently launched a new initiative known as the, “Lock it or Lose it” campaign. Officers will now be encouraged to conduct sweeps around the city to check vehicles parked on public property, to see if they are properly locked and/or if valuables are in plain-view. If the vehicle is found to be unlocked and unattended by the owner, the officer will run the license plate and make attempts to reach the owner of the vehicle by telephone. If the officer cannot make contact, the officer will place a door hanger on the owner’s registered home address linked to the license plate. The informational door hanger will contain a warning to keep their vehicle properly locked up.

Officers who come across vehicles that are properly locked, will leave a “Thank you” card on the windshield of the vehicle. On the back of the card, a survey can be completed and mailed to the Paducah Police Department. Those who fill out the survey are automatically entered into a drawing contest to win prizes.  Officer Christopher Fearon recently spoke on a local Television program called “The Paducah View“, promoting the initiative stating that , “….Paducah is a safe town to live in, and sometimes people gain a false sense of security because of that.”   The initiative is not a nation-wide federal mandate, however, other cities and states have launched similar programs such as the “Lock it or Lose it” program launched in Lakeland,Florida last year. The Lakeland Police Department uses even more invasive tactics such as placing a bright orange cone on the top of an unlocked vehicle and leaving “lock it or leave it” brochures inside of the vehicle in order to send a “wake up” message to the car owner to lock up his/her valuables.

According to an article written by the West Kentucky Star, Officer Fearon states that, “……the Paducah Police Department will not leave warning hangers on the car itself nor will they open the car doors.” However, there is a million dollar question that comes with such a statement.

How can you know if a car is unlocked unless you try to open it?

On the surface, such a program may seem innocent or even well-intended. To be honest, it probably is well intended. Some may jump to conspiracy theories about, “Big Brother is Watching”, or claim that there is some secret agenda, yet, I believe it is simply a plan that is not well-thought out albeit well intended.

I have two problems with this initiative.

  1. A potential breach of the 4th Amendment
  2.  An abuse of power 

For an officer to make contact with a person or his property, there generally has to be “probable cause” or “Reasonable Suspicion”. “Probable cause” is a principle that is highly debated, especially with practices such as the “Terry Stop” being the norm these days.  A “Terry Stop”, is more a less an officer’s legal right to stop someone for questioning if the subject is doing something “suspicious” but is not engaging in a blatant activity that warrants probable cause for arrest or seizure of property.

Looking at the “Lock it or Lose It” program, I can see many pitfalls with this well-intended program.

Under the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution, a private individual has the right to be secure in his possessions and maintain his privacy. This includes his home, his personal belongings, his e-mails, text messages, and yes……his vehicle! If an officer wants to enter the home of a citizen, search a vehicle, or seize property, he must obtain a warrant signed from a judge or the subject must voluntarily consent.

If an officer routinely approached your house, unwarranted, and began to “jiggle” the locks on your door to make sure they are “secured”, would you feel safer or violated? If your answer is “violated”, then you are probably not a supporter of this initiative. Or at least you shouldn’t be.   In order for an officer to determine whether or not a vehicle is locked, unless the door is left wide-open, the officer will have to physically attempt to open the door of the vehicle. The Paducah Police Department claims that they will not open doors, but how else could they test whether or not a car door is locked?

If this program becomes the norm around the nation, citizens will begin to develop a false-sense of trust for law enforcement officers who “check” their locks. While I believe most officers have good hearts and truly want to protect their communities, who is to say that this program wouldn’t be alluring to an officer who may be inclined to use this program to conduct full on searches or to plant evidence illegally? This type of program could create a curtain for abuse of power and make it easier for law enforcement to target citizens or to obtain an arrest and/or conviction.

If my car is stolen, or my valuables are taken because of my own negligence, I have no one to blame but myself and the person who lacks the moral aptitude to refrain from stealing.  Our local police are already burdened with investigators looking to track down murderers, pedophiles, rapists, and other violent criminals.  We cannot expect law enforcement to protect us 24/7 unless we all agreed to live in a militarized police-state where our every action, thought, and movement were all being recorded or monitored.

With the rise of the TSA, Terrorist threats and the controversy surrounding the “NSA Spy Program” leaked by former intelligence officer Edward Snowden, many Americans look at this program with the same question that has plagued us all since September 11th, 2001.

“How do we balance security while respecting our individual liberty and privacy?”

The police and military have a job to do. Their #1 duty is to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of their fellow residents and citizens. Their job is not to make sure we button up our shirts correctly, brush our teeth every morning, or lock our cars when we run inside the grocery store to purchase a loaf of bread.

Not only is this program disrespecting the 4th amendment of the Constitution, but it is also creating unnecessary, “Busy Work” for police officers who could be applying their time and resources towards tackling and solving crimes that are actually taking place or have already taken place.  From a tax burden issue, who will pay for these informational cards to be printed up? What will be the administrative cost of this program a year from now?  How many man hours will be dedicated to this program? These, among other issues, certainly need to be addressed before further implementation of this program continues.

What are your thoughts? Should the program be discontinued, altered, or do you see it as perfectly innocent?

Let me know at, NaliniGlobal@yahoo.com

Thank you,

With love and honor

Randell D Stroud,

Founder of Nalini-Global

2017

(To be Submitted)