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Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline

This is hardly a surprise, but it's worth noting anyway.

2015-02-26 12:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IPCC chairman resigns amid sex scandal, describes climate change as his religion

No Frakking ConsensusRajendra Pachauri resigned as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today. "For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma."

Religion and science do not mix. You would think this would be obvious to the Left, which often claims "scientific" support for their policies. The truth, however, is that for the left, their policies are not scientific at all but religious in nature. That is why no amount of evidence to the contrary will stop a liberal yelling about global warming climate change.

2015-02-26 11:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why Officer Friendly is out to get you

Free Thought Project via Shall Not Be Questioned“I have a method for getting people off the street that should not be there. Mouthy drivers, street lawyers, assholes and just anyone else trying to make my job difficult. Under my floor mat, I keep a small plastic dime baggie with Cocaine in residue. Since it’s just residue, if it is ever found during a search of my car like during an inspection, it’s easy enough to explain. It must have stuck to my foot while walking through San Castle. Anyways, no one’s going to question an empty baggie. The residue is the key because you can fully charge some asshole with possession of cocaine, heroin, or whatever just with the residue. How to get it done? “I asked Mr. DOE for his identification. And he pulled out his wallet, I observed a small plastic baggie fall out of his pocket…” You get the idea. easy, right? Best part is, those baggies can be found lots of places so you can always be ready. Don’t forget to wipe the baggie on the person’s skin after you arrest them because you want their DNA on the bag if they say you planted it or fight it in court.”

This sort of thing is absolutely corrosive to the rule of law. There's a lot more at the first link. It's casual, it's pervasive, and it's basically impossible to challenge in court.

2015-02-26 10:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

White House refuses to cooperate with IRS probe

Washington TimesThe White House told Congress last week it refused to dig into its computers for emails that could shed light on what kinds of private taxpayer information the IRS shares with President Obama’s top aides, assuring Congress that the IRS will address the issue — eventually.

At this point, the White House is just running out the clock; they are hoping that they can delay any actual discoveries of damaging evidence linking the White House to the IRS scandal until Obama is out of office and a new President has arrived. Unfortunately, it's been an effective strategy so far. There is important circumstantial evidence that the White House has used its power -- perhaps unwisely granted, but legal -- to access taxpayer records for political purposes. But even those requests have legal channels that must be followed:
HeadlinesAny official requests for private taxpayer information made by the White House are supposed to be personally signed by the president, and Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation is then supposed to be notified of the request. The JCT issues an annual report on all requests for IRS information, and those reports don't show any such requests from the president during Obama's time in office.

If, in fact, there was nothing embarrassing to find in the White House correspondence with the IRS -- as suggested by the lack of any requested records in the reports -- then why not release them and say so? The refusal to cooperate with Congress, at all, on this matter suggests that the White House has something to hide.

2015-02-26 09:01:30.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Emily carries her gun

Congratulations are in order for Emily Miller, who has received her approved application for a license to carry a concealed firearm in DC. It took a long time and a lot of public pressure from the courts and the public to get to this point. Emily has done a stellar job reporting on the process and drawing much needed attention to how horrible it was. It's still not great; the process is may-issue and the police require documented "special dangers" and a 90-day delay, plus excessive permit costs and 18 hours of training. But we probably wouldn't have gotten even this far without Emily or someone like her directing the sunlight to scatter the cockroaches.

2015-02-25 15:09:37.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Waffling on government accountability

Daily CallerFederal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday again declined to publicly release his aggressive net neutrality proposal prior to a vote.

This is despite the fact that the process of adopting such rules — which line up perfectly with those called for by President Obama in 2014 — was described as “irresponsible” by Sen. Obama in 2007.

As we have found, the popular and common-sense policies supported by Senator Obama are often strongly opposed by President Obama. Particularly when those policies involve government transparency and accountability. Gosh, I wonder what might have happened to change his opinion?

2015-02-25 12:01:30.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More gun control in Washington State

Shall Not Be QuestionedAnother gun control bill has passed out of committee in the Washington Legislature. If I were a gun owner in Washington, I’d print out this bill and roll it up. Go find yourself a gun owner who voted for I-594 because it sounded “reasonable,” and hit them on the nose with this bill and firmly say, “No!”

Each slice of reasonable gun control they ask you to accept is just a small part of the whole sausage, and you're not going to like where they want to put it.

2015-02-25 11:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Illegal Aliens planning to vote



This is why the Democrats push for illegal immigration so hard. It's about votes. Not American votes, but illegal foreign votes. And the Republicans aren't very enthusiastic about fighting it either.

Rule of LawFlorida Governor Rick Scott has opened the door to illegal aliens voting in Florida elections. He has decided that Florida will not appeal a ruling that limited the state’s ability to remove illegal aliens and non-citizens from Florida’s voter rolls. Even Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi opposes Scott’s abandonment of the appeal.

The combination is deadly to a country that once had free and fair elections. As for why he did it, well, I suspect we can add Rick Scott to the list of politicians being blackmailed by Barack Obama's NSA surveillance program.

2015-02-25 10:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Patterico Free Speech Pledge

PattericoFEC regulation of Internet speech literally means that the government could tell you to stop blogging or commenting in support of a presidential candidate. Your comment in support of Ted Cruz is like spending money to support Ted Cruz, goes the argument. Your comment is worth x dollars, you see, and you’re allowed only y dollars this election cycle.

They may not go that far down the road. Maybe they’ll “only” require you to fill out a disclosure form each time you comment. Why, certainly, sir, you may have your free speech. All we ask is that your criticism of Hillary Clinton’s latest lie be disclosed as a contribution to Ted Cruz. Each time you leave a comment, simply fill out Form DS 27 b-6. Don’t forget to fill out all five pages and sign under penalty of perjury on page six! Please remember that a separate 27 b stroke 6 form will be required for each comment critical of Ms. Clinton.

Nothing the government wants to do with the internet is likely to make it better. Instead, the government will issue rules: rules for what you can't do, rules for what you must ask permission to do, rules for what you must do.

To date, the internet has been successful mainly because the only real rules are the informal social rules that organically develop within communities. It's impossible to punch someone in the face over the internet, and the internet version of violent crime, cracking into someone else's server, is still illegal; as are financial crimes such as fraud. Everything else is basically free speech. Government control is both unnecessary and counterproductive.

Washington Examiner“Internet freedom works. It is difficult to imagine where we would be today had the government micromanaged the Internet for the past two decades as it does Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service. Neither of us wants to find out where the Internet will be two decades from now if the federal government tightens its regulatory grip. We don’t need to shift control of the Internet to bureaucracies in Washington. Let’s leave the power where it belongs — with the American people. When it comes to Americans’ ability to access online content or offer political speech online, there isn’t anything broken for the government to “fix.” To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan, Internet regulation isn’t the solution to a problem. Internet regulation is the problem.”

2015-02-25 09:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FedEx refusing to ship Defense Distributed's CNC mill

Ars TechnicaDefense Distributed, the group that pioneered 3D printed firearms in 2013, informed its customers on Tuesday that FedEx has refused to ship the company’s latest product, a computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) mill—dubbed the "Ghost Gunner."

This could be the result of pressure ala Operation Chokepoint, or a simple misunderstanding of the regulations related to shipping firearms. For all practical purposes, the Ghost Gunner is a legal product, nothing more than a packaged manufacturing tool. There should be no problems shipping it; it's certainly not a firearm itself.

Defense Distributed's Wilson via Ars Technica"Now FedEx has told me that they will NOT ship my product at all, and though they will not give me a reason in writing, they have told Wired.com that it is because my machine allows an individual to make a gun.

I will find another way to ship the machine. I emailed today because I feel you should know that FedEx is uncomfortable with the constitutionally protected right to make a rifle free from government surveillance. They may cater to the firearms industry, but they have a specific antipathy to the non-commercial acquisition of firearms."

I'm beginning to wonder if Obama's plan for his last two years in office is to implement gun control by stealth and regulation.

2015-02-24 16:14:51.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Just a reminder...

Gateway PunditA gunman shot dead eight people at a Czech restaurant today in Uhersky Brod. Local officials say the gunman was a deranged individual.

European countries have mass shootings, despite licensing and registration laws significantly stronger than those in (most of) the United States:

2015-02-24 11:14:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A gentle reminder this tax season...

... that no one has gone to prison for using the IRS as political attack dogs.

2015-02-23 10:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Security problems at healthcare.gov even worse than expected

PJMediaAn Associated Press story revealed last month that the federal government had authorized as many as 50 private companies, including Google, Twitter and Facebook, to track and record healthcare.gov users’ information...“The use of 50 companies to perform data mining is digital overkill and puts the [privacy and online security] of consumers at significant risk,” said Wright, who testified at the joint hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s Research and Technology, and Oversight subcommittees.

Given the sensitivity of the medical and financial information dealt with on the website, any data-sharing agreements beyond those strictly necessary for the site to function are questionable. It might be understandable to share visitor data with a single site to provide anonymous visitor metrics as many websites do; but this goes well beyond that data, and there can be no legitimate purposes for sharing private data with so many different companies.

I can tell you this: it has nothing to do with improving the user's experience. One metrics agreement would be more than sufficient for that.

2015-02-23 09:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Brass Tacks on immigration

2015-02-22 12:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Win some, lose some

It looks like we lost a Florida concealed-carry case.

2015-02-22 11:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

It's not that they don't want guns...

Quote of the DayThat country needs some actual leadership to remove the guns and violence. Let the retards revolt and shoot them down with the very weapons they love so much and save countles innocent lives for the future.

... it's that they don't want you to have guns, in order to make sure that you can be exterminated efficiently.

2015-02-22 10:01:47.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Should Obama ignore the federal courts?

Rasmussen via Daily PunditThe latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 26% of Likely U.S. Voters think the president should have the right to ignore federal court rulings if they are standing in the way of actions he feels are important for the country. Sixty percent (60%) disagree and say the president should not have the right to ignore the courts. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Does the survey question wording differentiate "Likely U.S. voters" from "illegal aliens with no right to vote who plan to vote anyway"?

Thought not.

Rasmussen via Daily PunditBut perhaps more unsettling to supporters of constitutional checks and balances is the finding that 43% of Democrats believe the president should have the right to ignore the courts. Only 35% of voters in President Obama’s party disagree, compared to 81% of Republicans and 67% of voters not affiliated with either major party.

For my Democrat readers (yes, all one or two of them): do you support this?

2015-02-22 09:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

When we have to go to the British press to get American news...

Daily Mail'I'm proud of the fact that basically you have had an administration in place for six years in which there hasn’t been a major scandal,' Axelrod said. 'And I think that says a lot about the ethical strictures of this administration.'

The rest of the story, after reporting on the audience reaction ("a chorus of laughs") was a detailed list of Obama scandals, with video, including:

1) Executive Amnesty
2) IRS targeting
3) Benghazi
4) Fast and Furious
5) NSA surveillance
6) Failing to shut down Guatanimo Bay as promised
7) Deserter-for-5-terrorists-plus-cash prisoner swap
8) Statue of Liberty flyby
9) Solyndra, "green energy" loans as campaign payoffs
10) VA health care failures, and coverups of the health care failures
11) Gruber's "American people are stupid" videos
12) "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan"
13) Botched rollout of Obamacare website (and the back end is still broken)
14) Lerner's destruction of emails relevant to IRS targeting
15) Koskinen's coverup of Lerner's destruction of targeting emails
16) Assertion of executive privilege for emails to Holder's wife
17) Star Trek tax videos
18) Spying on the press
19) Prosecuting the press
20) EPA officials hiding emails
21) Geithner's tax errors ... and his appointment as treasury secretary
22) Recess appointments, overturned by the Supreme Court 9-0

Yeah. No major scandals that the press covered properly.

2015-02-21 12:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Supreme Court to decide DNA residue case

Ars Technica"As human beings, we shed hundreds of thousands of skin and hair cells daily, with each cell containing information about who we are, where we come from, and who we will be," said Jennifer Lynch, a senior EFF staff attorney. "The court must recognize that allowing police the limitless ability to collect and search genetic material will usher in a future where DNA may be collected from any person at any time, entered into and checked against DNA databases, and used to conduct pervasive surveillance."

It seems to me that a warrant for DNA analysis should be necessary before it is collected. The same for fingerprints, though I know that isn't current policy. The warrant requirement means that police cannot simply conduct a DNA/fingerprint dragnet through a whole neighborhood or a victim's friends and associates at random. They should need to develop a case for a specific individual first.

Once you are convicted, however, you go into the database so future criminal activity can be detected more easily.

2015-02-21 11:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Actions speak louder than words

In an update to my post on the federal court in Texas that issued a restraining order barring the Department of Homeland Security from implementing Obama's executive amnesty, I said that the director of that organization had announced that he would abide by the order.

It seems I spoke too soon.

Judicial WatchThough a federal court has blocked President Obama’s amnesty order the administration continues working behind the scenes to quickly award multi-million-dollar contracts to firms that can expeditiously process millions of illegal immigrants, a government source has alerted Judicial Watch.

This is actually consistent with earlier reports that the Obama administration has for the last 6 years been issuing more work permits and green cards than allowed by law.

What does this mean?

It means that the administration is determined to make immigration a fait accompli, gambling that possession of a work permit or a green card is 9/10ths of the law and that courts won't undertake to decide which to take away once granted. By the time Obama leaves office, the courts will be faced with millions of people holding work permits, green cards, and other documents officially issued by the government in contravention of the law.

How can a court, an employer, a police officer possibly be expected to determine whether such a document is legitimate or not?

The result -- the intended result -- will be chaos and amnesty.

2015-02-21 10:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Wow

Firehand has an example of nuclear-grade stupidity.

2015-02-21 09:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Stay requested in Mance v Holder, the interstate handgun sales ban case

Traction ControlDefendants respectfully move for a stay of the Court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order dated February 11, 2015 [ECF No. 40] for 60 days, in order to allow adequate time for the government to determine whether to appeal the Court’s decision and, if so, whether to seek a stay pending appeal. The determination whether to appeal is entrusted by regulation to the Solicitor General of the United States.

This sort of temporary stay is granted routinely when requested in a case like this. Certainly the BATFE is likely to take more than that time to update regulations and issue guidance to FFLs if they choose not to appeal, and frankly, I expect that they will decide to appeal and a stay will be granted pending the final resolution of that appeal.

What all that means is that, if this stay is granted, it doesn't mean much. A right delayed may be a right denied, but there's nearly half a century of status quo here. Large apple carts tip over slowly.

2015-02-20 11:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

New York legislators proposes complete ban on machetes

New York Daily NewsThe sale of machetes should be outlawed after several recent attacks, a Queens pol said Wednesday. State Sen. Tony Avella plans to introduce a bill to ban the possession of the scary blades in New York. “The fact that anyone can easily purchase this potentially lethal tool is just crazy,” he said.

Note that it's already illegal to actually carry a machete, along with any other knife longer than 4 inches. Before long they will be banning kitchen knives and insisting on rounded tips to prevent stabbings.

You can't fix criminals by banning their tools. They will just use different tools.

2015-02-20 10:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Does government licensing of professions improve quality?

A friend of mine regularly argues for government necessity based upon such things as food safety; claiming that the private sector combined with the court system could not, or would not, regulate itself to the point that eating out at a local restaurant would be safe.

The obvious counterarguments are:

1) Existing examples of private food preparation licensing (eg, kosher food can be certified through a number of organizations);
2) The obvious logical point that restaurants which poison their customers will rapidly go out of business as customers do not return due to sickness, death, aversion conditioning, or reputation damage;
3) Government regulatory agencies would not actually make the food any safer.

On point three, a recent study on opticians concluded that government licensing doesn't make those services any safer, though it does make them more expensive.

Daily Caller
On both measures, they find that premiums are almost exactly the same regardless of whether a state requires licensing of opticians, indicating that insurance companies “do not appear to consider a lack of licensing a risk factor.”

Their findings are further borne out by the outlying case of Texas, which has no licensing requirements for opticians but does offer certification, without which an optician can still ply their trade, but is not allowed to use a professional title.

Granted, this is somewhat thin gruel, since it's basically drawing large conclusions from the small, individual conclusions of the national insurance market. Still, the logical train is sound.

2015-02-20 09:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another Gun Control Act provision unConstitutional

Firearms Policy Coalition via Joe HuffmanIn the decision released today, Middle District of Pennsylvania Judge William W. Caldwell ultimately held that “Plaintiff [Julio Suarez] has established that his background and circumstances place him outside of the intended scope § 922(g)(1), and therefore the application of [18 U.S.C.] § 922(g)(1) violates Plaintiff’s Second Amendment protections.”


Another victory for Alan Gura, this case is an as-applied challenge to the felon-in-possession rules. The plaintiff is an individual who was convicted of a misdemeanor for unlicensed carry of a handgun in Maryland; because that particular crime in that particular state carries a possible penalty of between 30 days (minimum) and 3 years (maximum), federal law counts it as a felony and bars firearms possession by those convicted of it.

But, crucially, the plaintiff in this case demonstrated that he was not a dangerous criminal, and barring him from firearms ownership for life violates the 2nd Amendment.

The decision comes on the heels of another Gura victory, striking down the prohibition on out-of-state handgun sales in the same 1968 Act.

People said the earlier decision was a big deal. This one is far, far bigger. Fundamentally, it says the state cannot simply bar people convicted of crimes from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights; it can probably still do so for serious and recent crimes, but those who are neither violent nor habitual criminals now have recourse through the courts if they wish to possess the tools of self-defense.

It's also worth noting that the crime which barred the plaintiff from possessing firearms was itself a victimless, non-violent licensing issue in a state which makes licenses for carrying a concealed firearm difficult to obtain.

The anti-rights folks will probably attack this decision as allowing criminals to possess firearms. It's more appropriate to say that this ruling blocks states from criminalizing the public exercise of your 2nd Amendment rights in order to deny those rights, both public and private, to you forever.

Read the full decision.

2015-02-19 12:33:27.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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