Ready For An All-New Personal Liberty Digest™?

Sometime Sunday evening, our tech team will push a button and the all-new Personal Liberty Digest™ will appear.

The redesign of the site was driven by a need to give Personal Liberty a fresh look and to make it more user-friendly for the growing number of PL enthusiasts who view the site from mobile devices. More people than ever are using mobile devices to view the Web, and that number is growing exponentially. But it was also necessary to support our ongoing desire to deliver more and better content in a whole new way.

We want to be your first stop every morning as you sit with your morning beverage and browse the news. And we want to be the place you go throughout the day to get updates on the day’s happenings.

We know that many of you spend a good portion of the day commenting on the articles and debating the issues presented. That’s great. Now, our new home page will make it easier to find the fresh content and also discern what’s trending among the readers. (I’ll explain how in more detail on Monday, once the new site is launched.)

Concealed Carry In Washington, D.C.? Only If You Can Convince The Cops

Washington, D.C. — already among the gun-freest of gun-free zones — is closing in on a new local law that would create an avenue for residents to obtain concealed carry permits. But it’s anything but a 2nd Amendment win.

In July, a U.S. district judge struck down the city’s ban on carrying handguns in public, sending city leaders scrambling to craft a law that brings D.C. into compliance with the court’s decision. Their solution won’t thrill many 2nd Amendment advocates: make the city a “may issue” zone.

What that means is anyone in Washington, D.C., who wishes to obtain a concealed carry permit for his handgun would have to demonstrate to law enforcement a rather extraordinary “need” for one: a death threat, a stalker, a history of abuse at the hands of a violent spouse.

As for everyone else? Don’t even bother applying.

Irvin B. Nathan, attorney general for the District of Columbia, attempted to explain this at a press conference on Wednesday. “Living in a high-crime area is not sufficient to establish the good cause,” he said. “Getting death threats, being the victim of domestic violence and having the threats or re-occurrence — that would be good cause. It has to be personalized. It has to be something specific.”

Somebody Should Drown Ann Coulter

Columnist Ann Coulter is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Republican establishment, notwithstanding the title of the newest book the faux conservative is hawking. She’s as evil as Karl Rove; she’s just got better packaging.

In her latest column, “Your ‘To Do’ List To Save America,” Coulter says she wants to “track you down and drown you” if you are “considering voting for the Libertarian candidate in any Senate election” this November. But if anyone deserves drowning, it’s Coulter for leading shortsighted conservative voters, enamored by her good looks and combative personality, down the path to ruin.

Coulter’s plan to save America is simple: Vote Republican. And Coulter says no one should ever challenge a sitting Republican.

“Take a moment to notice something, Republicans: No incumbent Democrat had to deal with a primary challenger this year,” Coulter writes. “That’s one reason why Democrats win more elections than their insane ideas would seem to dictate. Liberals understand that you can’t do anything if you don’t win, so Democrats don’t stage primary fights against other Democrats.”

The Left Has An ‘Extreme’ Base Of Its Own — And It’s Not Ready For Hillary

It may not be as definable as the Tea Party (or maybe it is, if only the mainstream media would harp on it constantly), but the progressive left has an ideological base that’s busy vetting potential 2016 presidential candidates. And if their early grumblings are any indication, Hillary Clinton is too “establishment” to earn their vote of confidence.

We’ve mentioned the Google group called “Gamechanger Salon” in the past; several members of the progressive online circle are bona fide members of the mainstream press. Since news of that group’s existence first appeared, some of its insiders have begun acknowledging their deliberative process to the outside world, explaining some the ideological sine qua nons that, for them, will make the difference in whether a Democratic candidate can pass the true-believing progressive’s sniff test.

Let’s put it this way: For these people, Hillary Clinton is no deep-blue Ted Cruz. She’s more like a periwinkle Chris Christie.

The Hill examined a trove of emails exchanged among members of the Gamechanger Salon group for a Thursday piece headlined “Left blasts Clinton in secret emails,” concluding from those conversations that there’s “significant dissatisfaction” among the far left with the idea of a Hillary nomination.

Is President Obama An Accomplice To Murder?

I doubt the Foley and Sotloff families foresaw this outcome. Granted, their sons, combat correspondents James Foley and Stephen Sotloff, worked as combat correspondents. So the families knew — or should have known — about the occupational hazards inherent in reporting from the “shootier” parts of the globe. Nonetheless, no parent actively imagines his own child’s demise — unless he works for Planned Parenthood or NARAL, in which case such unnatural thinking probably earns him a paycheck. But the idea of losing a son to the medieval brutality of a bloodthirsty death cult like the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) isn’t unnatural; it’s insane, especially centuries after such madness became passé in the civilized world.

Even if the Foleys and Sotloffs did consider the shocking way in which their sons met their fates, I find it highly dubious that they expected to see videos of the murders on the Internet. The digital age has made life vastly simpler, easier and even more fun. Unfortunately, the animals who slaughtered Foley and Sotloff define “fun” differently than do the Foleys, the Sotloffs or even the Obamas. Even now, following the efforts by major social media networks to scrub the ISIS murder videos from their sites, they remain available to any budding jihadi with an Internet connection and a dream.

50 Facts That Show How Far America Has Fallen In This Generation

American Flag Tattered - Public DomainWhat has happened to America?  Please show these numbers to anyone that does not believe that the United States is in decline.  It is time for all of us to humble ourselves and face the reality of what has happened to our once great nation.  For those of us that love America, it is heartbreaking to watch the foundations of our society rot and decay in thousands of different ways.  The following are 50 facts that show how far America has fallen in this generation, but the truth is that this list could have been far, far longer…

#1 According to a survey that was just conducted, only 36 percent of all Americans can name the three branches of government.

#2 Only 25 percent of all Americans know how long U.S. Senators are elected for (6 years), and only 20 percent of all Americans know how many U.S. senators there are.

#3 Even if you include same-sex couples in the numbers, the marriage rate in the United States is at a 93 year low.

#4 For the first time ever, single Americans make up more than half the U.S. population.

Does It Bother You That Boehner Probably Isn’t Going Anywhere As House Speaker?

Whatever happens to the Senate majority after November’s midterms, it’s a sure bet that the GOP House majority is untouchable. As the elections inch closer, and as Congress takes a super-early break for campaigning, it’s almost equally assured that Congressman John Boehner (R-Ohio) won’t be losing his grip on the Speaker’s gavel once the dust clears.

Boehner, fresh off a last-minute, pre-break legislative compromise that saw the funding of Obamacare, Planned Parenthood and the President’s still-evolving arms alliance with Syrian “moderates” to combat ISIS, is quietly riding a pre-election strategy of see-no-evil; do-no-evil for GOP incumbents who just want to win this fall without rocking the boat.

“House Republicans are not touting a national manifesto ahead of the midterm elections, as they did with 1994’s Contract with America,” The Washington Post observed today. “Their plan to offer a replacement for President Obama’s health-care law has fizzled.

“The sudden elevation of Boehner, 64, is surprising for a party overloaded with tea party stars and White House hopefuls. Yet in a summer of Republican unease and tumult, Boehner’s workmanlike manner and institutional standing has led to a string of successes and new-found support.”

The Dow And S&P 500 Soar To Irrational Heights – Meanwhile The Ultra-Wealthy Rush To Buy Gold Bars

Gold Bars - Public DomainDid you know that the number of gold bars being purchased by ultra-wealthy individuals has increased by 243 percent so far this year?  If stocks are just going to keep soaring, why are they doing this?  On Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 both closed at record highs once again.  It is a party that never seems to end, and there are a lot of really happy people on Wall Street these days.  But those that are discerning realize that we witnessed the exact same kind of bubble behavior during the dotcom boom and during the run up to the last financial crash in 2007.  The irrational exuberance that we are witnessing right now cannot go on forever.  And the bigger that this bubble gets, the more painful that it is going to be when it finally bursts.  Those that get out at the peaks of the market are the ones that usually end up making lots of money.  Those that ride stocks all the way up and all the way down are the ones that usually end up getting totally wiped out.

To get an idea of how irrational the markets have become, all one has to do is to look at Twitter.

The Dow And S&P 500 Soar To Irrational Heights – Meanwhile The Ultra-Wealthy Rush To Buy Gold Bars

Gold Bars - Public DomainDid you know that the number of gold bars being purchased by ultra-wealthy individuals has increased by 243 percent so far this year?  If stocks are just going to keep soaring, why are they doing this?  On Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 both closed at record highs once again.  It is a party that never seems to end, and there are a lot of really happy people on Wall Street these days.  But those that are discerning realize that we witnessed the exact same kind of bubble behavior during the dotcom boom and during the run up to the last financial crash in 2007.  The irrational exuberance that we are witnessing right now cannot go on forever.  And the bigger that this bubble gets, the more painful that it is going to be when it finally bursts.  Those that get out at the peaks of the market are the ones that usually end up making lots of money.  Those that ride stocks all the way up and all the way down are the ones that usually end up getting totally wiped out.

To get an idea of how irrational the markets have become, all one has to do is to look at Twitter.

More Stonewalling From Eric Holder To Conceal Fast And Furious Papers

The Department of Justice has filed yet another request to forestall a court order that could require the release of tens of thousands of pages’ worth of documents pertaining to the Operation Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal — a scandal that’s dogged the Obama Administration since ATF whistleblowers first approached Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) with their concerns about the secret program in early 2011.

The DOJ filed a request Monday before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, asking the court to allow the department to keep under wraps more than 60,000 pages of Fast and Furious documents until the appeals process following her ruling on whether the documents are protected under executive privilege — if it is an unfavorable one for the DOJ — has run its course.

In other words, the DOJ is asking the court to let the documents stay hidden not only while it argues they’re protected under executive privilege, but even for the duration of the inevitable appeal the department would file if Jackson decides they aren’t covered under executive privilege, as both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have maintained.

Will The NFL Finally Clean Up Its Act?

Forget the protests by angry women’s groups. Ignore all those politicians’ demands for tougher sanctions against abusers. Now the NFL must placate its most serious critics: the advertisers who have made so many players multimillionaires and so many owners billionaires.

In the previous season, advertisers spent a reported $3.9 billion to run their commercials during NFL games. At the top of the heap is Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), which has committed $1.2 billion over a six-year period to make its Bud Light the official brew of the NFL. So when the company says it is “increasingly concerned” by reports of domestic violence, you can bet the honchos in the league offices sit up and pay attention.

The maker of Budweiser and other brews issued a statement saying, “We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code.” In response, the league office replied, “We understand. We are taking action and there will be much more to come.”

Jimmy Carter’s UFO

On Sept. 18, 1973, then-Governor Jimmy Carter filed a report with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), claiming he and about a dozen others had seen an unidentified flying object outside a Lions Club meeting in Leary, Ga., at about 7:30 p.m. in 1969. The exact date of the alleged sighting is lost to memory.

By filing the report while governor, Carter became the highest-ranking government figure in the U.S. to ever report a UFO sighting.

While campaigning for president in 1976, Carter promised to encourage the government to release all documents it had on UFOs. Once elected, however, his tune changed.

As to the sighting, Carter claims he was standing outside the Lions Club when he and other witnesses spotted a red and green orb radiating in the western sky. Carter described an object that “seemed to move towards us from a distance, stop, move partially away, return, then depart. Bluish at first; then reddish — luminous — not solid. At times,” reported Carter, “it was as bright as the moon, and about as big as the moon — maybe a bit smaller. The object was luminous; not solid.” He later told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the sighting was “a very remarkable sight.”

How To Save America And Create 20 Million Jobs Instantly

Hi. I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. And do I have a plan for the Republican Party — if the Republicans want to win elections by a landslide, if they want to save the economy and if they want to create 20 million middle-class jobs almost overnight.

Back in 1994, a Contract with America won Republicans control of Congress. In my latest book, “The Murder of the Middle Class,” I lay out the Middle-Class Contract with America that will help do it again in 2014 and 2016. If only the GOP would listen, we could turn around this terrible economy, save the middle class and return America to greatness.

Republicans need to do more than be against Barack Obama. They need to present their vision and a detailed plan for how to reinvigorate the economy and create millions of high-paying, middle-class jobs. Here is the 10-point plan that can stop this long-term decline and dysfunction and once again make America’s middle class the greatest in the world. A Middle-Class Contract with America created by a small-business owner (that’s me) can do it again.

This is a common-sense contract to protect, save and serve America’s middle class. This “contract” has only three goals: Support, stimulate and reward middle-class job creation.

Court Denies Qualified Immunity For Police Who SWAT-Stormed Florida Barber Shop To Conduct Licensing ‘Inspection’

Law enforcement officers who conducted a warrantless SWAT-style raid on an Orlando barber shop, ostensibly to help inspectors conduct a routine occupational licensing exam, violated the proprietors’ 4th Amendment rights and are not protected from personal liability under the qualified immunity doctrine.

So ruled the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta on Tuesday, harshly condemning Orange County, Florida, officers for their 2010 raid of the Strictly Skillz barber shop — a staged event the court compared to “a scene right out of a Hollywood movie.” That’s how the court began its 44-page ruling:

It was a scene right out of a Hollywood movie. On August 21, 2010, after more than a month of planning, teams from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office descended on multiple target locations. They blocked the entrances and exits to the parking lots so no one could leave and no one could enter. With some team members dressed in ballistic vests and masks, and with guns drawn, the deputies rushed into their target destinations, handcuffed the stunned occupants — and demanded to see their barbers’ licenses. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office was providing muscle for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s administrative inspection of barbershops to discover licensing violations.

Nowhere To Hide As Minority Report-Style Facial Recognition Technology Spreads Across America

Eye Black And White - Public DomainWhat is our society going to look like when our faces are being tracked literally everywhere that we go?  As part of the FBI’s new Next Generation Identification System, a facial recognition database known as the Interstate Photo System will have collected 52 million of our faces by the end of 2015.  But that is only a small part of the story.  According to Edward Snowden, the NSA has been using advanced facial recognition technology for years.  In addition, as you will see below, advertising companies are starting to use Minority Report-style face scanners in their billboards and many large corporations see facial recognition technology as a tool that they can use to serve their customers better.  Someday soon it may become virtually impossible to go out in public in a major U.S. city without having your face recorded.  Is that the kind of society that we want?

To the FBI, this technology does not represent an invasion of privacy.  Rather, they are very proud of the fact that they are not going to be so dependent on fingerprinting any longer.  The FBI has been developing the Next Generation Identification System for years, and this month it was announced that it is finally fully operational

House Votes To Audit The Fed

Ron Paul tried this in 2012. Now the House of Representatives is trying again, with some Senate support from Paul’s son Rand: passing a law requiring the comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office to audit the Federal Reserve.

The House voted 333-92 today in favor of a bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), that would expose the Federal Reserve to an audit that delves further into the Fed’s monetary policymaking process and market operations than the current annual audit built into the board’s oversight. Only one Republican Congressman voted against the bill; 106 Democrats voted in favor of it also.

As he did in 2012 to advance his father’s efforts, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

Rand Paul justified the need for additional scrutiny and accountability in a lengthy January rant:

Obama Administration Begins Collecting Ethnic Data On Gun Buyers

It’s a felony to lie when you fill out ATF Form 4473, the info sheet the federal government requires prospective gun buyers to use when attempting a purchase from any federally licensed reseller. Form 4473 is required before a federal background check can commence via the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and it asks people things about themselves that the government – if it were to magically begin abiding by the Second Amendment – would not ask.

But the Obama Administration has modified the form in order to glean even more information about gun buyers – and it made the change in relative silence. Perhaps that’s why stories about outraged gun owners are just now making the rounds, even though the form was amended back in 2012.

It’s a subtle change, and one many people may not have noticed, if they’ve ever had to fill out the form more than once. Before 2012, Form 4473 asked “applicants” (an absurd term for an American citizen intending to buy a gun) to identify their race. Since 2012, the form asks for both racial and ethnic background information.

From The Washington Times, which first reported on the fresh backlash Tuesday:

Daily Read: Conservation Through Capitalism

Government conservation efforts that attempt to protect the wildlife and the environment often include business and individual regulations that create a negative economic impact. In the case of endangered species, outright bans on goods such as ivory create confusion and do little to stop poaching in the countries where a buck can still be made trading the material.

A recent Vice Media interview with New Zealand wildlife conservationist Roger Beattie offers a lesson in capitalism 101: When people have an economic incentive to protect one of Mother Nature’s gifts, they usually will.

Vice’s Soong Phoon writes:

Roger Beattie is a New Zealand wildlife magnate. He runs several enterprises: a kelp farm, an organic sheep farm, and a reserve for weka, or Maori hen. Considering his environmental pedigree after spending 14 years working in conservation, he’s the last person you’d expect to be encouraging people to eat New Zealand’s famous, beloved, and endangered native birds.