Archive for the ‘Government Leviathan’ Category

From the Washington Times:

English: President Barack Obama addresses a jo...

. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

… under the terms of this week’s deal, Congress set a deadline instead of a dollar cap. That means debt can rise as much as Mr. Obama and Congress want it to, until the Feb. 7 deadline.

Get ready for your household to owe more in taxes. Thanks Congress. Thanks Mr. President.

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From Yahoo News:

Two former CIA employees whose Kansas home was fruitlessly searched for marijuana during a two-state drug sweep claim they were illegally targeted, possibly because they had bought indoor growing supplies to raise vegetables.

From now on all you gardeners please be careful when you go to the store because this is starting to be the norm across the United States. If you don’t believe me you could always check the case of Sergeant Corrigan and others. Before I get started into the article, I do want to give a quick history lesson concerning the 4th amendment, which seems to be heavy diluted or seldom followed by law enforcement. It states the following:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Now with this in mind back to the article, the Harte’s former CIA employees had to stand by and watch as:

… sheriff’s deputies searched their home in the upscale Kansas City suburb of Leawood last April 20 as part of Operation Constant Gardener — a sweep conducted by agencies in Kansas and Missouri that netted marijuana plants, processed marijuana, guns, growing paraphernalia and cash from several other locations…. the couple and their two children — a 7-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son — were “shocked and frightened” when deputies armed with assault rifles and wearing bulletproof vests pounded on the door of their home around 7:30 a.m. last April 20.

This type of activity is happening way too often in this country, federal officers raiding folks who produce raw milk and selling to folks who want to buy raw milk, federal officers raiding a Gibson guitar store, D.C. metro police raiding and detaining without arresting a man for owning weapons, the list goes on and now the Harte’s at the hands of multiple state and local agencies in Kansas. Oh well the 4th amendment is apparently a suggestion, to all types of governments whether they be local, state or federal.

The reason behind the raid according to the Harte’s lawsuit that is currently pending against the City of Leawood:

… the Hartes’ attorney, Cheryl Pilate, said she suspects the couple’s 1,825-square-foot split level was targeted because they had bought hydroponic equipment to grow a small number of tomatoes and squash plants in their basement. “With little or no other evidence of any illegal activity, law enforcement officers make the assumption that shoppers at the store are potential marijuana growers, even though the stores are most commonly frequented by backyard gardeners who grow organically or start seedlings indoors,” the couple’s lawsuit says.

What does the raid find? 3 tomato plants, 2 butternut squash, and 1 melon plant. A significant waste of tax payer dollars literally fishing for evidence. There was a warrant served, but as far as the Harte’s could tell there wasn’t a shred of probable cause:

During the sweep, the court filing said, the Harte’s were told they had been under surveillance for months, but the couple “know of no basis for conducting such surveillance nor do they believe such surveillance would have produced any facts supporting the issuance of a search warrant.” Harte said he built the hydroponic garden with his son a couple of years ago. He said they didn’t use the powerful light bulbs that are sometimes used to grow marijuana and that the family’s electricity usage didn’t change dramatically. Changes in utility usage can sometimes lead authorities to such operations.

Talking about going out on a limb to get a warrant, how in the world did a judge find any probable cause other than a purchase for indoor gardening equipment? I believe they were going fishing, but it seems they really didn’t do their homework on the couple in question:

The lawsuit noted Adlynn Harte, who works for a financial planning firm, and Robert Harte, who cares for the couple’s children, each were required to pass rigorous background checks for their previous jobs working for the CIA in Washington, D.C.

Oops is the operative word here. They worked for the CIA the agency of all the agencies, especially when it comes to gathering information on individuals and governments. The police were out to make an arrest and to prove that they are worth what the taxpayers are paying for, too bad for them that:

deputies “made rude comments” and implied their son was using marijuana. A drug-sniffing dog was brought in to help, but deputies ultimately left after providing a receipt stating, “No items taken.” … no one in the Harte family uses illegal drugs and no charges were filed.

Failure, that has to make the police even more angry, well I guess they should lower their standards when they go into a situation without pertinent information as they so often do, or they could actually try reading and then following the guide of the 4th amendment. The Harte’s will not know the exact reasons behind this government intrusion until the suit is settled. In the mean time Adlynn Harte had the following to say:

If this can happen to us and we are educated and have reasonable resources, how does somebody who maybe hasn’t led a perfect life supposed to be free in this country?

Good question.

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From the Washington Times May 23, 2012

Army 1st Sergeant Matthew Corrigan was woken in the middle of the night, forced out of his home, arrested, had his home ransacked, had his guns seized and was thrown in jail — where he was lost in the prison system for two weeks — all because the District refuses to recognize the meaning of the Second Amendment.

This reservist was forced out of his home, not read his Miranda rights because of the guns not registered with the City. Maybe its because his name isn’t David Gregory. This is also not the first time the DC police has gone after a US serviceman. Here is the order of events:

It all started a few hours earlier on Feb. 2, 2010, when Sgt. Corrigan called the National Veterans Crisis Hotline for advice on sleeping because of nightmares from his year training Iraqi soldiers to look for IEDs in Fallujah. Without his permission, the operator, Beth, called 911 and reported Sgt. Corrigan “has a gun and wants to kill himself….” Beth told the cops that, “The gun’s actually on his lap.” The drill sergeant told me he said nothing of the kind, and his two pistols and rifle were hidden under clothes and in closets, to avoid theft. So around midnight, the police arrived at the row house at 2408 N. Capitol Street. Over the next two hours, several emergency response team units were called to the scene, calling in many cops from home…. None of the cops’ documents indicate a threat that warranted a “barricade” and the closure of several streets to create “an outer perimeter that prohibited both traffic and pedestrian access.” With dozens of cops on the scene, they created a “staging area” two blocks away.

First of all I am hoping that “Beth” has lost her job. Corrgian expressed no intention to kill himself or hurt anyone, he asked for advice on dealing with his nightmares. Having served myself and subject to violent dreams once in a while I can understand him seeking help especially after missing 4 and 5 nights worth of sleep. MPD (Metropolitan Police Department) sure seemed a bit over zealous in preparing to talk to Corrigan, but wait, it gets better:

Around 1 a.m., the police knocked on the door of Tammie Sommons, the upstairs neighbor in the row house.  Ms. Sommons had lived there since 2008 with her three roommates and, in that time, had become a close friend of Sgt. Corrigan. She had a key to his apartment and often walked his dog Matrix. “I opened the door to this scene with three cops with guns pointed at Matt’s door,” she recalled in an interview this week. “One officer told me that Matt called a suicide hotline and was about to kill himself. I said that was impossible, he wasn’t that kind of guy. I told the police I see him every day and would know if he was suicidal.” Over the next hour, Ms. Sommons repeatedly told the police she was sure that Sgt. Corrigan was merely sleeping. She knew he took prescription sleeping pills because of repeated nightmares from his year in Iraq. The cops wouldn’t listen to her.

“I said to the police, ‘You guys are making a big mistake. He’s not what you think,’” recalled Ms. Sommons. She offered to go downstairs and clear up the situation, but the police would not let her. The officers asked her whether Sgt. Corrigan owned any guns. “I said, of course he has guns, he’s in the military,” she replied. Ms. Sommons had never seen the sergeant’s guns, but she is from a military family, in which gun ownership was the norm. She was truthful with the police because she was not aware the District requires registration of every gun.

Distrust of the citizenry? Surely not. All the SWAT team members had to do was listen to this woman talk about Corrigan and realize that maybe, just maybe they have some bad intel. Oh but that couldn’t possibly be the case, the police always have good information don’t they? They had tons of time to gather information on David Gregory and decided to not prosecute him even though it is an “important law.” It gets even better than this:

MPD told Ms. Sommons that someone had reported that there was the smell of gas coming from Sgt. Corrigan’s apartment. “I told them that there was no gas in his apartment —  it was all-electric,” she recalled. “I said if they smelled something, it’s just my roommate who was cooking chicken parmesan. Still, the police refused to accept the simpler explanation. “The cops said we needed to leave our house because Matt was going to shoot through the ceiling,” Ms. Sommons said. “They painted this picture like Rambo was downstairs and ready to blow up the place.”

At 3 a.m., the police called in an EOD unit — the bomb squad.  They brought in negotiators. They had the gas company turn off the gas line to the house.  A few minutes before 4 a.m., they started calling Sgt. Corrigan’s cell phone, but they got no answer because he turned it off before going to bed. They woke him up by calling his name on a bullhorn. He then turned on the phone and was told to surrender outside.

Wow, just wow. I honestly don’t know what to say about this at this point. Seems MPD SWAT was just looking for a scrap at this point. I can relate from my former military experiences. Now Corrigan is awake and his seeing what is outside his door:

“Matt Corrigan, We’re here to help you, Matt,” the voice said in the darkness. An experienced combat soldier, he assumed a bunker mentality and hid in the dark room.

 

He turned on his cell phone and a police detective immediately phoned and said, “Matt, don’t you think this is a good time to walk your dog?” The SWAT team outside could obviously see the 11-year old pit bull, Matrix, a rescue from dog fighting, who had been with Sgt. Corrigan since graduate school in Northern California.I’ll come to the window and show myself,” he offered on the phone. Sgt. Corrigan still didn’t know why his house was surrounded, but he knew exactly what he should do in such situations. “I’ve been on the other end of that rifle trying to get someone out,” he explained.He said that the cop on the phone answered that, “‘It’s gone beyond that now.’”

The situation has gone beyond Corrigan showing himself, most likely unarmed, unaware of exactly why a a few platoons, if not a company of SWAT is outside his home with said show of government force not explaining itself? How’s that for innocent until proven guilty?

When the police wouldn’t accept Sgt. Corrigan’s word that he was fine, he was forced to leave his home and surrender. When he stepped outside, he faced assault teams with rifles pointed at his chest. He immediately dropped to his knees, with his hands over his head. Officers in full protective gear zip-tied Sgt. Corrigan’s hands behind his back and pulled him up from his knees, forcing him into a large tactical command center called the “BEAR” which was parked at the staging area.

Although police did not read Sgt. Corrigan his Miranda rights, they questioned him inside the tactical truck.  They asked the Iraq veteran basic questions about his life from various angles to get him to admit to owning guns. He remained silent about his two handguns and one rifle, which he had not registered after moving into the city. Suddenly a police commander jumped in the truck and demanded to know where Sgt. Corrigan put his house key. He refused.

No warrant? That’s some tough luck and also Corrigan is exercising the 4th Amendment that’d be the one that protects, “against unreasonable searches and seizures, ” and the, “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects….” But it would seem that the 4th Amendment isn’t enough for this particular police commander:

“I’m not giving you the key. I’m not giving consent to enter my house,” Sgt. Corrigan recalled saying in an interview with me last week at D.C. Superior Court after the city dropped all 10 charges against him. “Then the cop said to me, ‘I don’t have time to play this constitutional bullshit with you. We’re going to break your door in, and you’re going to have to pay for a new door.’” “‘Looks like I’m buying a new door,’” Sgt. Corrigan responded.

Well played Sgt. Corrigan, well-played. You can see from the officer’s statement above just how much he desires to, “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States….” It would also seem that David Gregory doesn’t even have to think about things like this because after all, “some animals are more equal than others.” Seems Sgt. Corrigan wasn’t equal enough?

Since Sgt. Corrigan refused to permit a search of his house, the police had to break down his door. The cops, however, didn’t bother to wait for a search warrant before doing so. “They were all keyed up because they had been there and ready to go all night,” surmised Sgt. Corrgian’s attorney, Richard Gardiner. The first to enter the supposedly dangerous apartment was the Emergency Response Team, which secured the dog Matrix and gave him over to animal control, according to police reports. Only then did the EOD personnel enter to search using portable x-ray equipment.

During the “explosive threat clearing efforts,” police reported finding the sergeant’s “hazardous materials,” which included two pistols and a rifle, binoculars and ammunition. The report also details how it took the combined efforts of the police, EOD and the D.C. Fire Department to seize the  “military ammunition can that contained numerous fireworks type devices.” These were fireworks left over from the Fourth of July.

Also taken into evidence was what the police described as a “military smoke grenade” and  “military whistler device.” This smoke-screen canister and trip wire were put in Sgt. Corrigan’s rucksack in 1996 by his squad leader and had long been forgotten over the years.  EOD took custody of the smoke grenade and whistle. The rest of the the materials were handed over to the crime scene search department at 7:30 a.m.

Sgt. Corrigan checked himself into a VA hospital and stayed for 3 days. Upon his discharge he was arrested and finally read his Miranda rights. He spent 2 weeks in jail which was unusual for this type of “crime” because somehow he got “lost” in the “system.” As a result of the experience Sgt. Corrgian hired a lawyer and sued:

Sgt. Corrigan, 35, and his attorney Richard Gardiner appeared before Judge Michael Ryan at D.C. Superior Court on Monday. The District’s assistant attorney general moved to dismiss all ten charges against him – three for unregistered firearms and seven for possession of ammunition in different calibers.
 
Should have never gotten to the point where Sgt. Corrigan had to resort to litigation to clear himself after the obvious idiocy of the MPD, but then again his name wasn’t David Gregory.
 
 
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From the Office of the Governor:

The Vice President’s committee was appointed in response to the tragedy at Newtown, but very few of his recommendations have anything to do with what happened there.

“Guns require a finger to pull the trigger. The sad young man who did that in Newtown was clearly haunted by demons and no gun law could have saved the children in Sandy Hook Elementary from his terror.

“There is evil prowling in the world – it shows up in our movies, video games and online fascinations, and finds its way into vulnerable hearts and minds. As a free people, let us choose what kind of people we will be. Laws, the only redoubt of secularism, will not suffice. Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children.

“In fact, the piling on by the political left, and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally. The second amendment to the Constitution is a basic right of free people and cannot be nor will it be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president.”

Well said.

 

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From The Weekly Standard:

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to a background briefer provided by the White House, President Barack Obama is asking doctors to help deal with guns. Here’s the relevant passage:

PRESERVE THE RIGHTS OF HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO PROTECT THEIR PATIENTS AND COMMUNITIES FROM GUN VIOLENCE: We should never ask doctors and other health care providers to turn a blind eye to the risks posed by guns in the wrong hands.

Clarify that no federal law prevents health care providers from warning law enforcement authorities about threats of violence: Doctors and other mental health professionals play an important role in protecting the safety of their patients and the broader community by reporting direct and credible threats of violence to the authorities. But there is public confusion about whether federal law prohibits such reports about threats of violence. The Department of Health and Human Services is issuing a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits these reports in any way.

Protect the rights of health care providers to talk to their patients about gun safety: Doctors and other health care providers also need to be able to ask about firearms in their patients’ homes and safe storage of those firearms, especially if their patients show signs of certain mental illnesses or if they have a young child or mentally ill family member at home. Some have incorrectly claimed that language in the Affordable Care Act prohibits doctors from asking their patients about guns and gun safety. Medical groups also continue to fight against state laws attempting to ban doctors from asking these questions. The Administration will issue guidance clarifying that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit or otherwise regulate communication between doctors and patients, including about firearms.

I love how our president is so concerned about the “rights” of doctors. He is so concerned about those rights that he is ready and willing to enable doctors to gather information on individuals, that some how will not violate patient privacy laws, that sure looks like it infringes on every citizens right to bear arms. How is a doctor going to know if a family owns weapons? Is it any of that doctor’s business? I know if my doctor ask me about guns and etc. I will walk straight out of his office and find myself another doctor. Don’t get me wrong if someone’s life is in danger, a doctor does need to get involved, what the president is suggesting though is outright spying on citizens and reporting information directly to the federal government.

 

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From the Washington Times:

President Obama is using the national debate over gun violence to push for further action on his health care law…. Mr. Obama, unveiling his gun proposals Wednesday barely a month after the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn., will make it clear that his health law, known as the Affordable Care Act, allows doctors to ask patients whether they have guns in their homes, and will tell them they are able to report any threats of violence they hear to police.

Those are some of the 23 executive actions Mr. Obama plans to take whether or not Congress acts on his broader recommendations, the White House said.

Other moves including offering incentives for schools to hire police; finally naming a new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and requiring federal authorities to trace all guns recovered in their criminal investigations.

Mr. Obama also will call on his secretaries of education and health and human services to hold a national dialogue on mental health.

The entire list of the actions Mr. Obama is taking comprises:

1. Issue a presidential memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rule-making to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a presidential memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a Department of Justice report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate a new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

12. Provide law enforcement, first-responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun-safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors from asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school-resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental-health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on mental health.

 

 

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I ran across this the last couple of days on a few social media sites and I think the gentleman makes several excellent points:

545 vs. 300,000,000 People
-By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President’s proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ]

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ..

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees… We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

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