You Have The Right to Remain Silent: Thoughts on How Social Media is Changing the Meaning of Privacy in Court

By M.E. Strayhorne

November 27, 2017

“You have the right to remain silent and anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law.” This includes anything you say or do before or after your arrest, depending on the effectiveness of attorneys and at the discretion of the judge when deciding to sustain or overrule any objections to evidence offered in court of your statements and actions.

Your 4th Amendment and 5th Amendment rights are at risk with the decision of this case. Your Twitter and Facebook feeds could be used against you and the outcome of this case speaks to that possibility. (Supreme Court takes on major Fourth Amendment case, accessed 11/29/2017 from CNN via Twitter).

The rules relating to jury selection and sequestration need reform with the advent of the internet and widespread access to social media. Your Twitter feed, your online commentary, your Facebook posts are all searchable. You have limited options to protect your privacy; however, your fourth amendment rights do not always protect any accounts managed by third party providers.

What does this mean? It means your Twitter feed and your Facebook posts can be subpoenaed, if relevant, and used against you in a court of law.

Where does the danger lie? You conduct yourself civilly online, you should be fine.

What happens if you find yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time? Or the unfortunate target of a false allegation of sexual harassment by a disgruntled former lover? Suddenly, your words online can take on a whole new meaning.

As allegations continue to pile up against high profile figures, students of future law and power are watching and learning how to extort, intimidate and threaten.

So, what is the knee jerk response? Self-censorship out of fear. Take a look at this article for more on self-censorship and surveillance.

Our Inevitable Descent into Censorship: A story that begins with surveillance

#censorship #surveillance

© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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A Plea to the Conscience of All Present in these United States of America & The Inalienable Right to the Pursuit of Happiness

To all people within the borders of these United States of America and it’s territories:

We are all afraid. Everyone in the World right now is afraid. America is afraid. The leadership. The people. Our allies. Our enemies.

We are all afraid and confused. And that is ok. Fear is a natural response to stimulus and we are over stimulated. Technology and economic necessity have led us to consume more than we can sustain. We have reached critical mass and we don’t know how to adjust and, yet, we cannot carry on this way. If there is one thing we can all agree on it is if there is a will, there is a way.

We are scared because we realize now that we have a lot of problems. And like any over-achieving perfectionist, that is frightening.

The truth is: having problems in no way degrades our American exceptionalism.

To remain exceptional, we must grow. To grow, we must survive. To survive, we must adapt. To adapt, we must learn. To be exceptional, we must embrace the positive and negative experiences of learning. The time has come to accept our mistakes, embrace our current limitations, assess and combine our collective talents and resources and find a way to build a sustainable future of American exceptionalism that embraces our individuality and our collective identity as Americans.

This is not an economic or political treatise I put forth before you, but instead a declaration of collective American identity and purpose that exists for the purpose of cultivating peace and collaborative communities within our nation, respecting with utmost importance the promise of individual liberty, identity, creativity, ingenuity, and, most critically, privacy.

We must accept difficult realities. We must make difficult decisions. The fear is the worst part and we can overcome it. We can learn from it. Give yourself the time and the space to do this and you will achieve this grace. Boundaries means protecting this need for yourself and this is an inalienable right. This my lovely Americans, is what is meant by the pursuit of happiness.

First, please, take a moment to yourself right now and breathe. Put the phone down and take a moment for yourself. This will be an exercise in setting your first boundary with technology and it is a gift from me to you. These words will remain intact when you return.

I hope you’ve accepted my offering and it helped lighten a burden on you. I am about to offer you heavy insights and I do so with the acceptance in knowing you can walk away from this message and never return any time you want.

We are a world of emotional beings grappling with technological advances that stimulate our senses far beyond our emotional evolutionary capacities at present. It is time to set some boundaries so we can process this new world in positive ways and adapt to this new reality before we lose total control to the whims of the few.

Humans have an exceptional capacity for adaptation and we have the potential to heal beyond the pain if we are given the space to do so.

The most important truth each of us will not forget during this time of fear and struggle: 

I am an individual human being capable of love and deserving of love.

If anyone threatens this reality, you stand your ground.   No man or woman has a right to redefine your feelings, your perception or your self-worth for ANY reason.

Currently, our news media bombards our over-sugared, heavily-salted, opiated brains 24-7 with repeated images of violence and sensory assaults.  Ask yourself why.

As if the sensory bombardment is not enough, the content is demoralizing to say the least. Not only are we being force-fed the embarrassing and petty antics of the political leadership for the world to see, we are also reliving the wounds of our conflicted history over racial divisions which have been unequivocally weaponized against us.  Pain exists on all sides and the wounds are still healing.

This is a form of social warfare to create domestic disarray and distraction. It is a novice warfare tactic to weaken our strength as an isolated and unified nation. And for what? To sell products? To gain votes? To obtain donations? To gain tweets? For ratings? For applause? Just because?  Maybe it is just a fear response.

It is time for us to stop kneeling for our causes and start standing united as self-actualized Americans, capable of combining our positive intentions, traditions, good works, passions, and pursuits to give rise to the glory of the nation our mentors and heroes hoped they would inspire in us to believe our country could be. 

This was the American Dream and it is up to each generation to make it a reality.
In an act of clarity, I declare that I am an American. I wish to invite anyone who has sought to be a part of this dream to please embrace and help cultivate a positive spirit within our communities. Diversity and community is a major part of our identity.

I am sorry for the pain caused in the past. It is a regret that is a fundamental truth of who I am and who we Americans are as a people, emblazoned on us by our recent history and a fundamental truth of who I am emblazoned on me because of the color of my skin. 

I was born having to accept that I am a member of a race in a country that engaged in atrocities. I accept this truth with a heavy heart and a drive to understand how to overcome the potential resurrection of past indignities.

I accept that I am a member of a species that still engages in atrocities against other memebers of my own species and against other species.  I am first filled with hoplessness, then anger, then resignation and finally a rational pursuit to end it–and it starts with me, with each of us.

I am flawed.  I make mistakes.  All of us do.  This is a burden of the human condition.

I must also admit my feelings of confusion and feeling overwhelmed and scared for my own safety sometimes when my heart urges me to intervene. I must face myself and my creator with these truths on my conscience, as we are all inevitably destined. That in and of itself is a source of pain and fear we all share. Perhaps, it is our actions in accordance with our conscience, regardless of success or failure, where we ultimately will find a state of grace. As an adult, I still dont know.  

When I don’t know how to proceed, my heart does not harden, instead it opens by my choice to acknowledge. Sometimes, I choose to engage. Other times, I choose to take space to reflect on my feelings further and on how to move forward. The answer is a manifest destiny where the will exists.

As a child and as an adult, a sense of unimaginable helplessness fills my heart when I am ineffective. As a child when you see an injustice against the lives of others–you look at family, at friends, at people you know, at strangers, at animals and can never imagine hurting any of them for any reason and you see someone else do it–do you remember what you felt like seeing that as a child? It was confusing. It was scary. It hurt.

You try to figure out how to make it right. Time passes and wounds heal on the outside, yet we are left marching to the best of the status quo, but you arent at peace. An emptiness that I personally associate with helplessness creeps in and begins to consume me until its inevitable metamorphasis into anger and rage when I resent that I cannot undo the past. I cannot prevent the injustices in the world. I cannot control anyone or anything at all. The feeling makes me sick sitting here writing this. It makes me angry.

But now I know why and now I know it can be transformed, because I know I alone do have the power of I.  Nobody in this world will ever have this right over me–I have the power to change myself; to decide to rage against rage. They say two wrongs dont make a right? Well, then I will negate it all together until I am left in a state of tabula rasa.

Sometimes, dearest friends, all we can do is provide comfort after the process of another leaves damage behind. Unfortunately, as much as we want to help, we are not equipped to emotionally understand the situation at times.  This could lead to misunderstand and hurt feelings.

Sometimes, if we are strong enough, we can realize our own pain, accept it even when nobody else can or will; love ourselves because we all deserve love and stop ourselves from hurting someone else.  Sometimes, we become hurt and begin to feel broken too. Now you have two problems and no solution.

Take comfort in knowing we all share the same frustrating fate of mind.  It is the process of learning and growing.  Of adapting.  

The pursuit of happiness is taking the time and space you need to reflect, regroup and heal so you can love yourself and extend that love to others when you are ready.  When we deny ourselves love and healing, we hurt ourselves and it hurts everyone around us. And no money, power play or distraction in the world will replace the love we deny ourselves.

The recent social unrest and divisiveness reported in the news media and on social media triggered an array of emotional responses, which can be very destruction and provocative. This set up a red flag for me. Why was I so heated? So depressed? So provoked?

It took me some time, but it occurred to me that establishing boundaries with media to give myself time to grapple with this strange and sudden eruption of emotions I’d never even knew existed within me was critical. I felt, I identified, and I learned. The key is taking the space you need to do this in private and in your own time. Easier said than done, right? Well, we make time to make money. It’s time we make time for this above all else.

Whether negative or positive in a subjective setting, all thoughts and all emotions are valid when considered in the privacy of our own mind with some caveats.

Just because we think it or think it is right, does not mean we should act upon it. Nor does it mean what we think even has a basis in objective reality. Nor does everything we think need be published beyond our own minds to have existed or be relevant. The individual mind is entitled to its own deliberative process. Simply put, if you think it, it has manifested in some way. many meYou decide to give it importance and acting upon it is not required to give be it importance. And, finally, it is always best to think before we speak and sometimes it’s best not to speak, write or push post/send at all.

The validity of ideas shared in objective reality (meaning shared in a world outside our own minds) must follow rules. These rules are the rules of politics, social cues, morality, ethics, rhetoric, law, mathematics, linguistics, science, music, logic, fine arts, and so on. This is why communication becomes so convoluted and why taking time to process (feel and think about) what we see and hear is so important.

It is important to take the time to feel and think without negatively impacting others, creating and perpetuating more pain. You then must acknowledge your emotions and thoughts, give yourself the space to reflect and understand why you feel them. Only then will you be able to move forward in a rational way that does not perpetuate the pain and violence that is being used to tear us all apart. We must stand strong by holding fast to a dedication to establish boundaries and give ourselves the time and space to be rationale.

What does technology, emotional intelligence and being American have anything to do with each other?

As an American, I am witnessing the greatest nation on Earth hurting at a time when we are supposed to be enjoying the fruits of great innovations in technology and centuries of progress made in unifying the American society into an exceptional unified nation of diverse individuals with boundless potential, strength and solidarity.

As an American historian, to be confused by the current state of affairs means something has gone terribly wrong and not because of the track we were on, but for some unforeseen, unnatural reason that has not been unveiled yet.

Representations of American pride have recently been morphed into some Franskenstein of hate monster designed to poison and confuse the American identity.

If this is being done as a campaign to demoralise and crumble the American identity and waken our nation, this is not an act of war; it is an act against humanity. We are talking about a national and cultural genocide.

To cover all bases, I will make this warning to whomever is meddling with the balance of order in the United States of America and Western European Nations and I will speak in a language I’m sure you will understand, sir:

You are meddling with the primal forces of nature, sir, and you will atone.

Technology and media have, unfortunately, become the weapons of mass destruction, in general, and they have by their very natures capitalized on confusion over this and it’s time for us as individuals–united in solidarity–to put up much needed boundaries and begin to decide our fate in this reality.

It is time to say in one collective, unwavering and resounding voice : “No more.”

Nobody has a right to make windows into our hearts and souls, to define what our thoughts or feelings mean. That is exclusively and fundamentaly our individual rights as human beings. THAT is what our American Constitution aims to protect.

If you are in my country by an act of will or birth,

if you want to be here,

if you want to help me create a unified American identity,

free of the divisive nature of identity politics,

to simply be a self-actualized and willful collective, unified force of human potential,

ready to make a cultural contribution to America based on what you know from where or however you know it,

then let us combine knowledge and will and enjoy a community of diverse knowledge, skills, art.

And let us simply call ourselves: Americans

Let us all combine our cultures into one American identity and make it our own.

I thought–I hoped that was where we were headed before all this identity politics appeared. Growing up, I may not have known where some of the traditions, foods, dances, or other contributions came from that made being American so great, but they became American and I was proud to call myself American because of those contributions as part of our culture. I want that back. I want the cultural diversity to be American again.

This is not about cultural appropriation, it is about cultural contribution to cultivate a single community under the freedom and faith of our chosen creator.

Here is a plea to the conscience of the political establishment of the United States. We are ALL Americans. You are all educated. Identity politics is ripping apart our country. Just STOP. It’s not about campaign dollars. It’s about all of us surviving this assault on our united American identity. We are in serious crisis!

It is time to bury the hatchet and find a way to turn the dial down. Things are getting out of hand and we are letting foreign dangers storm the gates in the darkness of confusion and distraction. I assure you, if you do not stand for America united, we will all be kneeling.

Revolutions are inconvenient, they are brutal and they are unforgiving. There will be no justice. There will be no logic.

Setting the now over-complicated language of the founding documents aside for a moment, please let us change perspective and think for a moment that we are seeking refuge, that we were all once refugees from danger and we hope to find a new home, a place of safety. Our nation is that place and it is in danger.

What do we want that place to be? What do want in our hearts to believe when we step foot on that soil? What will be that American dream?

Now, read or reread the words from the Statue of Liberty again until you get it. You show me another nation on Earth that you feel safe with that promise?

The New Colossus

Emma Lazarus
November 2, 1883

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

(The New Colossus, reposted here and available at https://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/historyculture/colossus.htm, written by Emma Lazarus, November 2, 1883)

**This is the poem that appears on the Statue of Liberty and in NO WAY WHATSOEVER was intended to be or in this context or on this site is to be affiliated with Nazi Germany or the Wolfenstein Video Game franchise.***

© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Pledge for All Americans

As an American within the borders of these United States or within the borders of our protected borders of our territories or those of our allied nations, with an honest and wholehearted intent, you commit to honor and respect our laws as they stand until amended or revoked, to protect our citizens, to the best of your abilities, to protect the health and well-being of our citizens and yourself from all known and present dangers, imminent and perceivable, foreign and domestic, and to help maintain the peace and dignity of every man, woman, child and creature within our borders in a manner that allows you to face your creator with a full an honest heart and a head held high.  To this you solemnly swear.

It’s a tall order, but it is also the closest thing you’ll find to an honest goal that included Americans, existing citizens and those aspiring to be citizens.

Constitutions should be based on high, yet practical aspirations and goals we can achieve that provides for a broader understanding of what it means to be American, not to be limited to just “citizens,” but also residents awaiting citizenship status.  This is a pledge of allegiance for all people within our borders who wish to identify as Americans and who are citizens and wish to seek citizenship as Americans.  I’m beginning to understand the issue now, I hope.

My apologies, my fellow American, very frustrated, aspiring-to-be citizens.

#MAGA #PLEDGE #USA #Immigration

Published October 9, 2017 by M.E. Strayhorne 

© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Obama Era:  Democracy Died in almost every Dark Shadow of the Obama White House.  The outrage?  Like Obama, hiding behind the protective skirts of female scapegoats and political correctness.

By Mary Strayhorne, LL.M.

Let’s face it, an attack on Obama is an attack on the African-American legacy and women–at least, that is how it appears.  And the American people have had enough, as the majority of the electorate and electoral college pronounced.

To all those who voted for Hillary–well, as she still has not learned in her golden years:  Life entitles us to nothing.

Lies, corruption, and sticking it the American people is a favorite pastime for Obama and the contemporary political institutions in general.  In this little post, I gather some news tidbits just in the Obama administration, for now.  Don’t fret, I’ll be calling out the others in time.

Thanks to an overwhelming fear by pretty much everyone to criticisize or offend the legacy of the first African-American President, here lie the remnants of the Obama administration, so quickly dismissed and forgotten in the wake of NFL kneeling.  

At first I thought the fear was to avoid appearing “racist”–now, I’m beginning to think it’s out of fear of being bullied and blacklisted by fascist thugs with masks and security clearances.  Time will tell.
The coup d’etat is underway and our generation has a front row seat until the realization provokes us to prosecute the offenders…let’s begin.

Obama Lies, Generally.  Outrage?  Meh…

Obama’s biggest whoppers | The Washington Post.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/01/19/obamas-biggest-whoppers/?utm_term=.07de62fc467c

Obama’s second term: A timeline | TheHill. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/246801-obamas-second-term-a-timeline

Top 10 Obama Administration Scandals (VIDEOS) | The Federalist Papers. http://thefederalistpapers.org/us/top-10-obama-administration-scandals-videos

Issa says Obama administration is ‘one of most corrupt’ | The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/02/AR2011010201493.html

Obama Scapegoats Lois Lerner, laughs all the way through his second term; Lerner, though admittedly guilty for her involvement NOT prosecuted.  Outrage?  None.

IRS Targeting Scandal: Citizens United, Lois Lerner And The $20M Tax Saga That Won’t Go Away | Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2016/06/24/irs-targeting-scandal-citizens-united-lois-lerner-and-the-20m-tax-saga-that-wont-go-away/?s=trending#579ced8bcd1f

IRS Officials Misled Congress, Public | FactCheck.org. http://www.factcheck.org/2013/05/irs-officials-misled-congress-public/

Obama Foreign Policy Kills Hundreds.  Outrage?  Nope, finger pointing, tries to fully-scapegoat Hillary.  She laughs it off, runs for President!  Outrage?  Anyone?  Nope!

Obama’s Embrace of Drone Strikes Will Be a Lasting Legacy | NYTimes.com. https://mobile.nytimes.com/redirect?to-mobile=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2Froomfordebate%2F2016%2F01%2F12%2Freflecting-on-obamas-presidency%2Fobamas-embrace-of-drone-strikes-will-be-a-lasting-legacy%3Freferer%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

Benghazi Blackout: How the Big Three Networks Have Censored or Spun Obama’s Deadly Foreign Policy Failure | Fox Nation. http://nation.foxnews.com/2013/09/10/benghazi-blackout-how-big-three-networks-have-censored-or-spun-obamas-deadly-foreign

Obama hides behind yet another woman’s skirt, Susan Rice–and she still has a security clearance!  Under Trump?  But, how could that be???

The Real Reason McMaster Let Susan Rice Keep Her Security Clearance | The Weekly Standard. http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-real-reason-mcmaster-let-susan-rice-keep-her-security-clearance/article/2009158

Samantha Power And Susan Rice: The Apparent Gruesome Twosome In The Unmasking Of Americans | Town Hall – Matt Vespa. https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/09/21/samantha-power-and-susan-rice-the-apparent-gruesome-twosome-in-the-unmasking-of-n2384409

And, for good measure:

Clinton Scandals through the years

Clinton scandals through the years | CNN Politics. http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/22/politics/gallery/clinton-scandals-through-the-years/index.html

Don’t believe everything you read, question everything you hear, cite your sources…the rest, is history and only time will tell.

Photo of Newsweek cover – courtesy of ethoslogopath.com

© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Managing Expectations: How to lead when everyone thinks they are the messiah–the chosen hero of their own stories.

By Mary E. Strayhorne, LL.M.
August 25, 2017 1:09 p.m. EST

With a generation of people who have all been given a trophy, nobody is a leader anymore. There are only supporters and detractors. Trust no one; just weigh the cost versus the benefit of acknowledging talent. Trust is not about expecting good outcomes, there are no value judgments; trust is about confidence in your expectations.  

Trust is knowing a person enough to predict their actions and reactions–including how they will stab you in the back when it comes time. A real leader plays in the ring with everyone and has the intellectual and emotional capacity to accept dedication and betrayals, take stock in all available resources versus resources needed, and prepare for as many outcomes as are likely to manifest.  

A natural born and effective leader is a realist who recognizes potentiality all available resources, acknowledges it, remembers it, cultivates it and then capitalizes on it when opportunities arise.

#leadership #trust

© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Inconvenient Truth of Charlottesville & the Civil Disobedience Plaguing America’s Identity

By Mary Strayhorne 

August 17, 2017

The Distinction Between President Trump’s response and citizen Barack Obama’s Response to Charlottesville

Obama’s duty to represent ALL Americans was concluded with Trump’s Inauguration. He is a civilian and can condemn freely who he chooses, American or not. Trump as president has a duty to uphold the law. To condemn ANY American individual could be considered unconstitutional if it leads to a deprivation of rights protected under the Constitution. In some ways, it could have the same affect as a Bill of Attainder, prohibited under the Constitution under Article I.  

Trump is being tested and baited by his detractors. They want to find him unfit to serve or have him impeached.  

Trump upheld the Constitution, per his oath, with his initial response to the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, August 12.  The detractors are wasting everyone’s time. And if you doubt the whole Charlottesville fracas was staged, read the court filings leading up to the event. The hate groups were intentionally diverted to confront counter-protestors. Until you read the facts, you spout propaganda.  

See for yourself; read the supporting court filings linked on the bottom:

 http://www.nbc29.com/story/36115819/judge-grants-injunction-jason-kessler-can-have-unite-the-right-rally-at-emancipation-park

Misunderstanding and ‘intellectual cowardice’ are to blame for this Trump-Charlottesville debacle. The problem with free speech now a days is that some key messages (the entire story, all facts) are being muffled by a crowd of too many voices, as astutely stated by a guest on NPR a few years back regarding the current state of the free speech movement.

Apolitical people attended the protest for reasons in no way related to race-related politics. Historic preservation of the struggles of this nation, good and bad, is essential so we as Americans of all races can take stock of how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go to achieve national unity. Censorship comes in many forms; silence can be achieved in many ways.

Fight #FascistCoupTactics #Charlottesville #MAGA

© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Founders Intent with Respect to the Electoral College

A response to Lawrence Lessig’s article, “The Constitution lets the electoral college choose the winner. They should choose Clinton.” (24 Nov 2016 Washington Post).  Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Harvard Law School and the author of “Republic, Lost: Version 2.0.” In 2015, he was a candidate in the Democratic presidential primary.

Lessig limited his argument on two major points:

  1. The founders intended the electoral college to be a circuit breaker, yes, but to prevent the mob mentality of a minority of states with greater population concentrations forcing ideology on the majority of states.
  1. Clinton has been subject of many investigations and scandals over the years, including being up for potential indictment during the campaign for her actions holding public office, which, if followed through during her presidency, she’d be impeached, like Nixon….effectively a disqualification.  Trump has not been indicted, nor was their any pending indictable offenses.

“it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.”

Perhaps, there should be an amendment to the constitution that disqualifies a candidate under investigation for alleged indictable crimes carried out while holding public office.  The reason being that even if they do get into office, they may be impeached anyway and, if not, they certainly hold a powerful position to actually curb investigative activities during their term or give the appearance of impropriety.  A long held principle in the law is that a judge must recuse himself to avoid the look of impropriety in the interest of justice.  Why should the executor of the law (or even legislators and administrators also) not be held to the same standard?

From Federalist 68 on the electoral college:

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