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First court rules Obama's amnesty is unConstitutional

I predict that this court will not be the last.

2014-12-17 11:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Verizon wants to charge you for encryption with a government back door

"Cellcrypt and Verizon both say that law enforcement agencies will be able to access communications that take place over Voice Cypher, so long as they're able to prove that there's a legitimate law enforcement reason for doing so. Seth Polansky, Cellcrypt's vice president for North America, disputes the idea that building technology to allow wiretapping is a security risk. "It's only creating a weakness for government agencies," he says. "Just because a government access option exists, it doesn't mean other companies can access it."

If you put in a back door, it's not encryption anymore. It's just security theater.

2014-12-16 16:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Jeb Bush is actively exploring running for President

Let me save him some trouble. I will not vote for him -- not in the primary, not in the general. I would not even if I supported his positions on issues, which I do not. The presidency is not a dynasty.

2014-12-16 14:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Virginia attorney general flirting with tax-exempt abuse

A Virginia-based conservative group filed a federal First Amendment lawsuit this week accusing California Attorney General Kamala Harris of engaging in the kind of activity that was the subject of the recent scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service. Are state officials trying to chill the speech of conservative nonprofits?

When Obama got caught doing it, Congress held hearings and imposed no consequences. The media seems to be assuming the IRS stopped the abuse when they were caught, but we have no proof of that. So why wouldn't states run by Democrats pick up the slack?

2014-12-16 13:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Drudge says NSA has dirt on Boehner

It wouldn't surprise me a bit. John Roberts, too.

2014-12-16 12:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Remember when they told you illegal immigrants wouldn't get Obamacare?

Well, now we might view that as a benefit. But all those people Obama just legalized by executive memo? They are now eligible.

2014-12-16 11:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Washington State gets their I-594 protest on

A lot of people aren't going to comply.

2014-12-16 10:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Understanding the real motives

When a school principal threatens an elementary school student with a 168-day suspension because of a spent shell casing, we should understand that it's not because the principal thinks there is any real danger. Any adult understands that a single shell casing does not a school shooting make -- not without a bullet, gunpowder, and a gun from which to fire it. Even a single live cartridge is no more dangerous by itself than a firework -- and one that is somewhat difficult to set off at that.

The reason the principal left a child in tears had nothing to do with ignorance or fear. It was deliberate behavior modification -- aversion therapy.

2014-12-16 09:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

New governor of Virginia calling for gun control

Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday will call for a package of gun restrictions in Virginia, including a renewal of the state’s one-a-month limit on handgun purchases and a requirement that buyers at gun shows undergo background checks.

The ballot measure in Washington State has made them think that gun control is a winning political issue. It's up to us to make sure they are wrong.

2014-12-15 18:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senate to vote on anti-gun Surgeon General nominee this week

Reid is evidently trying to make the most of his remaining time as Majority Leader. Murthy cleared a procedural vote on Saturday by a vote of 52-40 that allows his nomination to come to a vote. Voting in favor of bringing his nomination to a vote include so-called pro-Second Amendment lame duck Democrats Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Begich (D-AK). It is interesting to see how being a lame duck brings out their true colors.

Reid is rushing the nomination through in the lame-duck, no-filibuster Senate.

Some people are blaming this on Cruz's attempt to block the cromnibus by raising a Constitutional point of order. They should stop with the circular firing squad already. Reid was going to ram through as many nominees as he could, secret deal or no secret deal.

UPDATE: Confirmed.

2014-12-15 17:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The strategy behind Cause of Actions' IRS FOIA request

There's some interesting background information in this article about how Cause of Action got the IRS to admit to holding records regarding improper access to taxpayer information. No news on how the case will proceed yet, though:

For now, CoA is evaluating how it will proceed with its fight. Although the IRS is still withholding the records of the access it provided to parties interested in private taxpayer information, the judge’s order establishes a precedent: What’s included in those recordss can be released. But the group isn’t aiming to get anyone fired or fan the flames of scandal. “We want nothing more than for these documents to reveal that there was no 6103 information going to the president,” he says. “It is not good for this country, for the American people to think that 6103 information is being disclosed to the White House.”

Hopefully, the judge will be willing to enforce his order in some way. How, I don't know.

2014-12-15 16:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


Southhampton cops searched her and found a legally owned rifle that she was transporting from a nearby rifle range. She contends a deputy sheriff arrived on the scene later and said to her, “I bet you are one of those Tea Party people.” When Genovese said she’s gone to Tea Party rallies, he allegedly said, “You’re a real right-winger, aren’t you?” and “You are a ‘Teabagger’” and then added that she’d be arrested for terrorism to make an example of other “right wingers.”

This sort of "tolerance" qualifies as a civil rights violation worth $1.2 million.

2014-12-15 15:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hearings solve nothing

Press attention to the IRS scandal is welcome, but the proposed solution is nonsense:

When President Obama took office, he swore that his would be “the most transparent” presidency in history, but his administration’s hostility regarding actual transparency, as well as the free press, remains alarming and unacceptable. All of the requested IRS records need to be made public, and if the Obama administration and the IRS won’t do it, then the Republican-led Congress needs to push for hearings to get to the bottom of the matter.

The Republicans in the House have been holding hearings for over a year. The IRS has stalled and stonewalled and now outright defied a court order requiring that emails related to this scandal be released. More hearings will produce only more defiance. Congress must refuse to fund the IRS and the DOJ -- at all, period, end, no salaries paid, nothing -- until all relevant emails are produced.

And to help that process along, they should ask their sergeant at arms to personally fetch the physical devices on which the records are stored for forensic analysis. Armed.

2014-12-15 14:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama and the concept of presidential approval ratings

Hot Air has a lengthy post talking about Obama's approval ratings in the latest Fox News poll. They are all about how doomy and gloomy it is.

What they don't get is that Obama doesn't care about his approval rating anymore. As he once told Putin via messenger boy, he will have more flexibility after his election. Well, he ran for re-election in 2012 and he won. He lost, big, in 2014... but not personally, just a lot of Congressional support. He's still in office for another two years. And Obama is not about government for the people, by the people. He knows what the American people deserve, and now that he doesn't have to pretend to like them and care about their opinions, he's going to give it to us as hard as he can. He doesn't even care about impeachment threats; partially because even a 54-46 Republican Senate majority won't convict him of anything, but mostly because he doesn't want to be president anymore.

He ran for office to "fundamentally transform" America. He wanted to punish his enemies, the "bitter clingers" to their guns and their religion. And now that America has seen his true colors and rejected him, he will do his utmost, in the time he has left, to punish us.

2014-12-15 13:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Looks like the cromnibus bill also authorizes the NSA's data collection

... where previously it was authorized by a presidential finding and a sketchy reading of statutes, it will now be authorized by law -- if the cromnibus passes the Senate. More details here.

If you think that just voting for Republicans will change anything, you're deluding yourself.

If we want to fix this, we need to do two things:

1) Challenge and defeat the Republican party leadership, even if it means voting for the Democrats should they survive the primary. Kicking the leadership out sends a message and opens the field.

2) Push for our issues -- balanced budgets, term limits, spying limits, and whatever else seems necessary -- via Article V convention. We simply won't get reform from DC on those issues.

Otherwise, we're going to Grubered by both sides:

The bill unleashes a blizzard of new dictates regarding marijuana in Washington, D.C., bread in school cafeterias, sleepy truckers, portrait painting in federal offices, reckless speculation by federally-insured banks, campaign contributions from rich folks, lecherous congressional aides, and dozens of other subjects. Both conservatives and liberals are outraged at provisions popped into the bill with no warning or public hearing. But congressmen believe they are entitled to rule regardless. North Carolina Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger captured that mindset perfectly when he declared shortly before the vote: "Let's go govern."

And we'll get it crammed into legislation that isn't even available to read before being voted on. Even Obamacare went through a process of public discussion, even if final passage relied on parliamentary tricks and legislative bribes.

2014-12-15 12:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Campus Carry in Florida

Please help pass Florida House Bill 4005 and Senate Bill 176 by calling, emailing, and/or writing your senator or representative and expressing your support for self-defense on campus. Too many lives have been lost because of the illusion of safety and security associated with "gun-free zones".

Read the whole thing.

2014-12-15 11:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Redistribution of wealth from citizens to illegal immigrants

President Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration will make hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million, illegal immigrants eligible for federal transfer payments. That will be done primarily through two widely used programs — the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, and the Additional Child Tax Credit, or ACTC.

As it turns out, those two programs are already among the most corrupt and fraud-ridden in the entire federal government. A newly-released report from the inspector general of the Internal Revenue Service confirms that the EITC is plagued by fraud (which was already well known) and also reveals for the first time that the ACTC is even worse.

A lot of this sort of fraud was happening before Obama's policy change, of course. Now, undoubtedly a lot more will be happening.

2014-12-15 10:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

This explains a lot

If, however your amygdala is not acclimated to adversity, then you will not be able to find a solution stored in your amygdala, and you will feel helpless. Once you are helpless, and your amygdala is applying aversive stimulus to drive you to take action, your focus will direct itself to making others solve your problems for you. Then, rather than fixing your problems yourself, you will focus on making everyone else miserable, in the hopes that to alleviate their misery they will solve your problem for you. Suddenly you are laying down in the middle of a freeway, basically telling other people that unless they fight your enemies for you and fix your problems on your behalf, you will stop traffic, and prevent them from getting home.

The combination of learned helplessness and unhappiness drives the left to protest and generally make the lives of other people miserable. Why? So that those more competent people will solve their problems just to make the protester shut up.

2014-12-15 09:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gowdy questions Gruber

2014-12-15 00:59:54.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gruber refuses to provide his Obamacare work product to Congress

2014-12-14 16:32:57.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gruber refuses to disclose the money he made off the stupidity of the American voter

2014-12-13 16:29:18.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS Poll: 70% want more investigation, 63% think admin hiding its role

Seventy percent say the IRS investigation should last until “someone is held accountable.” That’s down from a high of 78 percent in June 2013. About one in five thinks it is time to move on (22 percent).

When 70% is down from the last poll, you have a remarkable level of agreement among the American people. I'm curious why those 8% changed their minds; did the election convince them people were being held accountable, or did the administration decision to withhold documents convince them accountability was impossible?

The new poll also asked why the White House is refusing to release thousands of pages of documents related to the IRS targeting. By nearly three-to-one people think it’s because the administration wants to keep its role in the scandal secret (63 percent) rather than to keep taxpayer information confidential (22 percent).

Either way, the people aren't buying White House excuses for refusing to release the information. Not even Democrats:

Even Democrats are more likely to say the Obama White House is withholding documents to hide its involvement (45 percent) rather than to protect taxpayers (35 percent). Another 20 percent is unsure.

Actually, I suspect those 20% are refusing to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate them.

2014-12-12 18:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

No matter how forthright his delivery...

At the end of an article discussing the recent release of 2 pages of email contacts between Lois Lerner and the DoJ concerning targeting of tax-exempt organizations, the author concludes with:

Yet it is getting harder and harder to simply accept President Obama’s ‘no smidgen of corruption’ remark made to Fox News in February, no matter how sincere and forthright his delivery.

I think this statement unintentionally reveals more than the author intended about the establishment and how they operate. You see, no normal, sane person would look at whether a statement such as President Obama made to the Fox News (and thus the nation) in defense of the IRS's conduct was made with "sincere and forthright delivery". The delivery of such a statement is immaterial to its factual accuracy. Reasonable people look at the evidence.

And the evidence is what the establishment has gone to great lengths to try to hide from us, including in this latest release of 2 pages of information to Judicial Watch... 2 pages out of a total of 832 responsive pages.

2014-12-12 17:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

“I think certainly we need to tighten the federal budget where appropriate,” he said. “One of the things that could be early on is to basically audit every federal agency in terms of their programs and have them re-justify programs.”

If the Republican party continues to ignore their base, who have been pushing for fiscal responsibility for almost a decade now without being heard, the Democrats may try to claim those voters.

2014-12-12 16:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Washington Post reporting on Pew gun control poll

What's most striking in Pew's new data is that views have shifted more in favor of gun rights since then among nearly every demographic group, including women, blacks, city-dwellers, parents, college graduates, millennials and independents. The two groups that haven't budged? Hispanics and liberal Democrats.

It's surprising because normally you would expect a paper like the Washington Post to ignore or downplay the news that support for gun control is dropping like a rock.

2014-12-12 15:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Was the White House pushing the UVA rape hoax?

Rape is not generally my preferred topic of discussion. My interest in rape, and particularly college policies on rape, is pretty much limited to suggesting schools allow adult students without criminal records to carry defensive firearms and avoid getting blackout-drunk with people who might take advantage of them. But when fabricated stories about fraternities gang-raping students are presented to the nation as facts on which legislation should be based upon, I think that's worth calling out:

I’d also like to know how much coordination there was among folks at UVA — Emily Renda worked in UVA President Teresa Sullivan’s office, and on the White House “It’s On Us” campus rape group, and I believe was the one who told Erdely about Jackie’s case — and Rolling Stone, and the White House, and Sens. Gillibrand and McCaskill. Perhaps someone will ask them, or submit a FOIA request to the White House and a state FOIA to President Sullivan’s office. Conveniently, McCaskill and Gillibrand aren’t subject to FOIA, but that doesn’t stop intrepid reporters from asking them.

Glenn asks whether the White House was pushing the story. I don't know, but I would want to know whether any politician was pushing the story. This same "journalist" has published stories about rape that actually resulted in legislation before, according to Instapundit. The same politicians -- Senator McCaskill, particularly -- introduced legislation purporting to address the UVA rape after this story was published.

Deceiving the public in order to look good passing needless legislation to address a non-existent problem that you created by lying to the public is despicable.

As for the credibility of the original rape story, it's pretty much completely shot. I haven't, and won't, follow that blow-by-blow. But I feel it's worth pointing out that the author of the story not only shared a journalism class with Stephen Glass (who was later famously fired for making up stories), he brought her up on disciplinary measures for making up stories.


2014-12-12 14:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obstruction of Justice

A 36-year-old Baltimore woman claims she was tased by police and arrested while filming the arrest of a man with her mobile phone, according to a lawsuit to be served on the Baltimore City Police Department as early as Thursday... Police erased the 135-second recording from the woman's phone, but it was recovered from her cloud account, according to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City lawsuit (PDF), which seeks $7 million.

I'm not sure about $7 million here, but if the police deleted her cell phone video, they should at a minimum never work as police officers again -- and ideally spend some time in jail for destruction of evidence. These are personal crimes, and the officers involved need to be punished personally if guilty. Having the taxpayers pay a settlement to the victim is only half of the solution.

Note to police: This sort of thing is why you're not officer friendly anymore.

2014-12-12 13:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


... tell me again about how Al-Qaeda is on the run. But since there's a Democrat in office who wants to flee from terror, the US media won't bother reporting on this.

2014-12-12 12:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Campaign finance rules change in omnibus budget legislation

A massive expansion of party fundraising slipped into a congressional budget deal this week would fundamentally alter how money flows into political campaigns, providing parties with new muscle to try to wrest power back from independent groups.

If this is supposed to be "emergency" legislation to fund the government, why are significant changes to campaign finance rules being slipped into the bill without public debate? Clearly, the Republican establishment wants to clear the way for huge political spending by their wealthy funders in order to crush future challenges by tea party type candidates.

I'm not necessarily going to say that these changes are right or wrong; I'm generally opposed to most campaign finance regulations that implicate free speech. However, if there is going to be a change, that change should be debated publicly rather than slipped into an omnibus continuing resolution under cover of night before Christmas.

Between this, the secret removal of the anti-NSA backdoor legislation, and the funding of Obama's amnesty and Obamacare, I'm going to urge my representatives to vote down the omnibus bill.

2014-12-11 14:05:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

No-backdoor legislation dropped from omnibus funding bill

"Thus far, Congress has failed to rein in the Administration's surveillance authorities and protect Americans' civil liberties. Nevertheless, the Massie-Sensenbrenner-Lofgren amendment established an important record in the full House of Representatives—an overwhelming majority will no longer tolerate the status quo. Unwarranted and backdoor surveillance is untenable, and as Congress turns to address a multitude of expiring surveillance programs in the 114th Congress, the House will not allow unwarranted surveillance without meaningful reform. The Secure Data Act defends Americans' constitutional rights and is an important next step in closing backdoor surveillance and rebuilding public trust in our intelligence agencies."

The House passed it 293-123, but then House leadership dropped it from the omnibus bill with neither publicity nor explanation. If I had to guess, I'd guess Obama contacted the House leadership and issued a private veto threat, which means under his administration the NSA has and is actively using back doors.

2014-12-11 12:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Dems to try for universal background checks in new Congress

A handful of Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday they plan to push once again for universal background checks on all gun sales in the new Congress, even though they recognize it will be an uphill battle with Republicans taking majority control.

Most of the people calling for the legislation are from Connecticut. With Republicans in control of both the House and the Senate, chances of passage seem low.

2014-12-11 10:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Applying broken windows theory to the police

I'd never thought about police abuses in quite this way before. But it seems to me that the reforms implied by applying broken-windows theory to police officers are very similar to many of the policy changes that critics of policing have lately been advocating. How to consistently punish police officers at the first sign of disordered behavior? Record their interactions to a cloud server that they do not control. Assign independent prosecutors to handle cases of unlawful behavior. And end the practice of arbitrators reversing punishments given to misbehaving cops.

Read the whole thing,

2014-12-11 09:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bloomberg buys a Nevada background check petition

Activists have secured enough petition signatures to send a measure that would tighten Nevada’s gun purchase background laws to the state legislature and, if lawmakers don’t act, to the ballot for voters to decide on.

We need to stop this in Nevada if we can. Once Bloomberg starts to look like he has inertia via this method, other states will fall in line, especially if ballot measures pass.

Hat tip to Alphecca for the story.

2014-12-10 15:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Anti-gun surgeon general nominee likely to get a vote

Senate Democrats are "likely" to give anti-gun Surgeon General nominee Vivek Murthy a confirmation vote before they lose control of the Senate at year's end.

Getting a vote doesn't mean he'll actually be confirmed, but his chances are probably better now then under a majority-Republican Senate.

Murthy's qualifications for office appear to amount to a medical degree that he hasn't actually used much, his support for Obama, and his conviction that gun violence is a public health issue rather than a criminal law issue.

Breitbart thinks the confirmation vote could come as early as tomorrow (December 11th), so contacting your Senator may be a good idea. Of course, you may have already voted out your Senator, in which case they might as well give the voters who kicked them out of office the finger as they leave.

2014-12-10 14:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch finds evidence of Lerner-DOJ contact in 2010

Judicial Watch today released internal Department of Justice (DOJ) documents revealing that former IRS official Lois Lerner had been in contact with DOJ officials about the possible criminal prosecution of tax-exempt entities two full years before what the IRS conceded was its “absolutely inappropriate” 2012 targeting of the organizations. According to the newly obtained documents, Lerner met with top Obama DOJ Election Crimes Branch officials as early as October 2010.

Read the whole thing, but here's the dramatic summary:

“These new documents dramatically show how the Justice Department is up to its neck in the IRS scandal and can’t be trusted to investigate crimes associated with the IRS abuses that targeted Obama’s critics. And it is of particular concern that the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, which would ordinarily investigate the IRS abuses, is now implicated in the IRS crimes. No wonder the Department of Justice under Eric Holder has done no serious investigation of the Obama IRS scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is shameful how Establishment Washington has let slide by Obama’s abuse of the IRS and the Justice Department. Only as a result of Judicial Watch’s independent investigations did the American people learn about the IRS-DOJ prosecution discussions of Obama’s political enemies and how the IRS sent, in violation of law, confidential taxpayer information to the FBI and DOJ in 2010. Richard Nixon was impeached for less.”

The DoJ cannot be trusted to investigate this because the DoJ was involved in it. And we still have no testimony about the "secret project" that Lerner was involved in gathering data for. Note also that the DoJ withheld more than 800 documents, citing the deliberative process privilege (a limited form of executive privilege that does NOT protect evidence of criminal activity) and taxpayer privacy (which is rather ironic in itself).

2014-12-10 13:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Legal Insurrection wins FOIA suit over David Gregory magazine ban

In the Gregory case, NBC News was warned by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department that possession of the magazine was illegal, and that NBC News should use a photo not the real thing, but NBC News ignored the warning and used it on Meet the Press.

Read the whole thing. No documents yet, though.

2014-12-10 12:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The stupidity of the American voter

According to Hot Air, a pro-Landrieu flier claims that if Landrieu loses her runoff Senate race (which, in fact, she did lose -- by 17 points or so), then her constituents will no longer have access to:

The truth, of course, is that none of those depend upon whether Landreiu is re-elected to the Senate. Witness the fact that she has not been re-elected, and all of those benefits remain in place. They don't even depend on Democratic control of the Senate; in fact, most of them survived the Bush Presidency, for 3/4ths of which the Republicans controlled all three branches of government yet did not block any of those programs.

No matter how much it would please me if they had.

2014-12-10 11:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Omnibus spending bill funds amnesty, provides $1B in migrant aid

The GOP’s draft 2015 “omnibus” spending bill reportedly includes $948 million to help poor and unskilled Central American migrants establish themselves in the United States, but includes no effective restrictions on President Barack Obama’s plan to provide work permits and tax payments to millions of resident illegal immigrants.

That new spending works out to $16,928 for each of the 56,000 youths, young adults and children who crossed the border during the 12 months up to October 2014.

Vote for a Democract, get amnesty. Vote for a Republican, get amnesty.

But the people don't want amnesty. Who do they vote for then?

UPDATE: Thanks to SaysUncle for the link. You may also be interested to know that the cromnibus legislation being pushed by the Republican leadership had the anti-NSA-backdoor legislation stripped out in secret and makes secret changes to campaign finance rules to allow parties to collect more donations.

UPDATE 2: It passed, with the following commentary:

Conservative Republicans, meanwhile, opposed the bill for not doing more to curtail President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. While 162 Republicans voted for the bill, 67 rejected it... The bill’s passage, as a result, was a remarkable victory for both Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama, who were able to cobble together the votes for passage.

Aren't those two supposed to be on different sides? Anyways, on to the Senate.

2014-12-10 10:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Illinois about to outlaw recording police officers, again

They had outlawed it previously, but their courts struck it down. Now, there is a piece of legislation sitting on their governor's desk that outlaws recording any conversation in which there is an expectation of privacy. The penalty is three years for recording an ordinary citizen, and 4 years for recording police.

How you tell whether there is an expectation of privacy is not specified.

However, it's clear that the people do not have an expectation of privacy from the police under this law:

This little nugget is also included in this legislation: With permission of a state’s attorney, not a judge, police could legally eavesdrop on individuals for up to 24 hours without a warrant while investigating such serious crimes as murder, sexual assault or kidnapping.

Somehow, I don't think this one will pass Constitutional muster either.

Why are police allergic to the simple requirement that they get permission from a judge before spying on people?

2014-12-10 09:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Voluntary police searches for guns

Alphecca points to a program where the police are offering to search your home for guns voluntarily and confiscate any that they find. It seems like a really strange idea, at least at first. But then you think about it a little more...

Saysuncle wonders how long it will be before someone comes forward saying that they didn't actually agree to the "voluntary" check?

Personally, I think the target for that campaign is parents with teenage children they are worried might be involved in crime, as well as the girlfriends of those living the criminal lifestyle who may have small children. People who are in relationships with the sort of person who might hide a gun they aren't supposed to have in a house they don't own, but do live in sometimes.

I will say that it's a monumentally stupid idea.

2014-12-09 12:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Good is evil, black is white...

... and communism is anarchy, according to a self-described anarchist who is under the impression that "In an Anarchist society, the commune would decide any laws, so if the general population decided no guns, then no guns".

Anarchy means no government -- and thus, no laws. Every man for him or herself. No laws against guns, no laws against rape, no laws against murder. This is obviously not optimal, which is why I am a libertarian rather than an anarchist.

2014-12-09 11:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Looks like Austin needs a new police chief

“Folks, let me tell you what keeps me up at night, it’s these guys. It’s these homegrown extremists that are lone wolves, that are mad at the world, that are angry. And that’s why it’s important for us as Americans to know our neighbors, know our families. Tell somebody. If you know somebody that’s acting with a lot of hatred towards a particular group especially if you know somebody who’s a gun enthusiast or they’re armed with this type of fire arms and they’re showing any type of propensity for hatred, doesn’t mean that we’re going to go and take them to jail, but we might want to vet these people. He may well be alive today had we had the opportunity to do that."

We'll have a tough time getting that past the hippie vote, though, even when the current officeholder is stupid enough to admit that he wants to vet gun owners.

2014-12-09 10:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mark Morford is a bigot

Alphecca calls Mark Morford an idiot, because Morford said this about the "typical gun owner":

You’re a scared white person, almost certainly male. You do not live in a major city, or near a university or intellectual hub of any note, nor have you ever traveled very far from your home town, much less out of state or anywhere further than, say, Mexico. Once. And that was enough.

You do not read complicated books. You do not like new or weird things. You watch lots of TV, mostly Fox News, which rejoices in showing you endless images of angry foreigners and minorities in pain: tear gas explosions, fights in the streets, looting, this time involving sad, small-town black people in Ferguson, all of them protesting the acquittal of that murderous white cop.

Morford is almost certainly an idiot (apparently he is the one who coined the term "lightbringer" for Obama), but the proper description for what he wrote above is "bigot".

2014-12-09 09:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Los Angeles is burning

Each time something like this happens, the more I am reminded of the Reichstag Fire.

2014-12-08 14:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Is privacy overvalued?

"I think privacy is actually overvalued," Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit told a conference on privacy and cybercrime in Washington, D.C.""If the NSA wants to vacuum all the trillions of bits of information that are crawling through the electronic worldwide networks, I think that’s fine."

Congress should limit the spy agency's use of the data it collects, Posner said, but not limit its ability to collect it during sweeps and searches.

Since that would be a violation of the Constitution he swore to defend, can we just impeach him now?

2014-12-08 13:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Attkisson sues the DoJ over FOIA request for information about her

On Nov. 19, I filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) lawsuit against the Department of Justice, which oversees the F.B.I.. For over a year, I had been pursuing public information that the F.B.I. holds—about me. Something any U.S. citizen has the right to do.

Once again, they have something to hide.

2014-12-08 12:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama's immigration power play

Put aside, for a moment, whether you agree with amnesty as good policy or not. Consider what the Constitution has to say about the power of the purse:

“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”
— U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 7, clause 1

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”
— U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 9, clause 7

Combine that with the report that Homeland Security is already hiring a thousand people and securing office space for them.

“USCIS is taking steps to open a new operational center in Crystal City, a neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, to accommodate about 1,000 full-time, permanent federal and contract employees in a variety of positions and grade levels,” the agency said in an internal email to employees on Monday. “The initial workload will include cases filed as a result of the executive actions on immigration announced on Nov. 20, 2014.”

Arguably, the president has the authority to decline to prosecute individuals, and taken to an extreme, he can perhaps decline to prosecute entire classes of offense as a matter of prosecutorial discretion. However, the President has no authority to hire people, pay them salaries, purchase office space, issue identification documents and work permits, or any of the other positive actions he is clearly taking in support of his executive action.

Why not? Because no money has been allocated for those tasks. No money could possibly be allocated for those tasks, because those tasks did not exist prior to Obama's executive order.

Obama's executive order on immigration is thus doubly in violation of the Constitution, and not only our Constitution, but a legal tradition that stretches back to the English parliament and the Magna Carta, and before that to Rome.

2014-12-08 11:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A position statement on Garner

I haven't had much to say about this case because I've lacked the time to delve into the details and make an informed judgment. But from what I have seen, I think I can endorse this.

Also worth noting:

The district attorney who brought the officer who killed Eric Garner in to the grand jury left off the possibility for the jury to indict the officer with reckless endangerment. They were only presented the options of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

I don't think there was any racism or criminal intent involved. I think the arrest itself was lawful. The important questions for me are: whether the officers involved basically didn't give a shit about the person they were attempting to arrest claiming he couldn't breathe, and whether it makes sense for selling a single untaxed cigarette to be a crime worthy of forceful arrest.

Yes, I know the officers wouldn't necessarily know that Garner had a variety of medical conditions putting him at high risk. But if they are taking him into custody, they also have a responsibility to do so as far as possible without harming him. And believe me, anyone who is pinned on the ground, being choked, and finds himself unable to breathe is going to struggle no matter how many times police tell him to stop resisting.

And I think that our founding fathers fought an armed revolution against a government attempting to impose a much smaller tax upon tea.

2014-12-08 10:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Legislation introduced to prevent gov-mandated backdoors

There's no current mandate requiring backdoors, but Wyden's bill would shut down law enforcement's continued efforts to get that access. The bill itself [PDF] is just two pages long, and a fact sheet [PDF] is also available.

The first part of that sentence isn't entirely accurate. The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (dating back to 1994) requires that companies be able to support law enforcement surveillance. That act applied to cell phones at the time... and may still. But it also applies to communications, not decrypting the storage area of what has become a handheld computer.

The legislation, however, is quite welcome. Thank you, Senator Wyden.

2014-12-08 09:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More on Obamacare

2014-12-07 20:32:19.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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