Archive for June, 2015

The Rise of America’s Star Chamber

Yesterday, in a landmark ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage in all 50 states and, as a result, nullified the votes of over 50 million Americans who had previously voted to affirm traditional marriage.

It is difficult to comprehend the Court’s legal rationale behind its decision. After all, marriage is mentioned absolutely nowhere in the Constitution. The intent of the Fourteenth Amendment, which became the law of the land 1868, was to grant citizenship, as well as civil and legal rights, to former slaves after the Union’s victory in the Civil War. Moreover, the Tenth Amendment, which, the last time I checked, was still a part of the Bill of Rights, states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Nonetheless, the Court’s ruling on same sex marriage likely set in motion a process that would have eventually occurred vis-à-vis the democratic process. A majority of Americans, including most of the staff at SF, would have supported a measure extending such legal rights had they appeared on a ballot.

Still, the Court’s action in this case has, in essence, turned the U.S. Supreme Court into a de facto Star Chamber — a legal institution with roots in sixteenth century England that was used as a political weapon.

At least in the case of same sex marriage, SCOTUS developed a legal precedent — where none previously existed — to expand the liberties of Americans, which is a good thing. The Star Chamber mentality, however, could one day be used as a precedent to usurp constitutional liberties that actually exist, such as Second Amendment restrictions.

The way things currently stand, the Court is only one vote a way from having a left-wing majority, a transformation that might become a reality if the Democrat Party or Jeb Bush prevail in the next presidential election. Certainly, we know what type of justices the Clintons have appointed, Ginsberg and Breyer, while the Bush family has selected an activist liberal, David Souter, and the Court’s current Chief Justice, John Roberts, a jurist who apparently believes that words in the English language have no meaning.

If and when the Court moves to the left, one can easily imagine a federal lawsuit to establish a national gun registry, the first step on the slippery slope to European-style firearms confiscation.

And make no mistake about it, the same cabal of leftists — those who steadfastly claim that the nation lacks the resources or the wherewithal to identify and deport 15 million unlawful immigrants — will use this gun registry to identify, regulate, and/or eventually seize 160 million firearms. Moreover, it is not difficult to ascertain the left’s justification, including the mantra that each round discharged from a firearm emits carbon and, therefore, contributes to climate change.

So, although gay Americans now enjoy the same rights and privileges to marry the person of their choosing, it is important to keep an eye of the rise of America’s Star Chamber.
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Steve Spingola is an author and a retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective.

His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015


The Man Against the Machine: U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner Reins In the NSA

A few decades ago, one of my class instructors joked that, “If pro is the opposite of con, then Congress is the opposite of progress.” With 535 legislators with different agendas, Congress is a body that is often pulled if different directions, many of which are dominated by well-heeled special interests.

This makes Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner’s USA Freedom Act an unusual species in Washington. This legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate with large, bi-partisan support, and was then signed by President Obama.

A U.S. representative since 1979, Sensenbrenner is a leader on legal issues that affect Americans’ privacy. He is keenly aware that the powerful pull the strings vis-à-vis their well-connected hired guns — lobbyists.

With the far, neo-con right ratcheting up the rhetoric regarding the expiration of the USA Patriot Act’s bulk data collection of all Americans’ telephone records, Sensenbrenner was able to build a coalition of Democrats and liberty minded Republicans to debunk the myths being bellowed by the national security statists.

One of the myths being promulgated by the neo-cons: There is no need to worry because the NSA is simply retrieving telephone calls and the length of these calls; none of these conversations are recorded.

First, if the government possesses every telephone call placed, and couples this data with the algorithms the NSA gobbles up by archiving Americans’ e-mails, Web clicks, and posts on various social media Web sites, an intelligence analysis with an eighth grade reading level could easily draw a portrait of any individual’s life. In essence, the government knows what books we read, who we communicate with, our political beliefs, and the means by which Americans exercise their free speech rights.

Second, the NSA does record telephone calls and, anyone who says otherwise is part of the government’s noble lie. Since 9/11, the NSA has recorded trillions of telephone conversations. To learn how these programs work, I would strongly encourage readers to visit the below link:

http://www.wired.com/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/

Today, Congressman Sensenbrenner appeared on the Jay Weber Show to discuss the USA Freedom Act. To hear the podcast, please visit the below link:

http://www.newstalk1130.com/media/podcast-jay-weber-show-thejaywebershow/jay-weber-hour-2-part-1-26102606/

Any American concerned with the issue of security vs. privacy should be proud of Sensenbrenner’s accomplishment. Even the secular-progressive Milwaukee Journal Sentinel applauded this rare, bi-partisan legislation and the proposed oversight of these Orwellian government agencies:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/after-carefully-building-coalition-sensenbrenner-savors-win-b99512887z1-306069891.html

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Steve Spingola is an author, retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective, and a contributor to TNT’s Cold Justice.

His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015