Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Basically Drudge’s big stories of the day, but today the FCC chair refused to testify before congress about net neutrality, The Hill looks at the new arbitrary ability for the FCC to impose internet regulations and asks if it’s outright lawless, and the lefty “Electronic Frontier Foundation” suddenly realizes that big government might not be the best thing to have on an internet that’s supposed to be free.

There are several problems with this approach.  First, it suggests that the FCC believes it has broad authority to pursue any number of practices—hardly the narrow, light-touch approach we need to protect the open Internet. Second, we worry that this rule will be extremely expensive in practice, because anyone wanting to bring a complaint will be hard-pressed to predict whether they will succeed. For example, how will the Commission determine “industry best standards and practices”? As a practical matter, it is likely that only companies that can afford years of litigation to answer these questions will be able to rely on the rule at all. Third, a multi-factor test gives the FCC an awful lot of discretion, potentially giving an unfair advantage to parties with insider influence.

A leftist push for more control really might mean cronyism for their politically aligned friends?  Naw… you don’t say.

The internet will grind to stagnating European halt.

In a joint column, Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai and Federal Election Commission member Lee Goodman, leveled the boom on the Obama-favored regulations, essentially charging that it will muck up the freedom the nation has come to expect from the Internet. …

“These Internet regulations will deter broadband deployment, depress network investment and slow broadband speeds. How do we know? Compare Europe, which has long had utility-style regulations, with the United States, which has embraced a light-touch regulatory model. Broadband speeds in the United States, both wired and wireless, are significantly faster than those in Europe. Broadband investment in the United States is several multiples that of Europe. And broadband’s reach is much wider in the United States, despite its much lower population density,” the two wrote. …

“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.”

I’d file this entirely under the part of the cycle of the anointed being wrong where Thomas Sowell says “the critics’ concerns are dismissed”… which comes right before the “solution” is implemented and causes the exact problems the critics fortold.

There is always the inexorable push by leftists for more controlIt’s what they do.  It’s all they do.

This is a long march for them, and they will always be working to take your rights away.  That’s their focus, their reason, their essence, and their firm belief.  Any means necessary, any backdoor way, any subtle move, any overt move.

More Jersey Injustice

Posted: February 17, 2015 by ShortTimer in Government, Guns, Second Amendment, Tyranny
Tags:

Among other places, via HotAir, from NRA News:

Shades of Shaneen Allen’s tribulations in Jersey.

This kind of thing is just a reminder that Chris Christie is not a viable candidate for anything outside of New Jersey.

We’ve heard about the UN Arms Trade Treaty for months (if not years) by now, and it’s almost a given that it will never be ratified by the US Senate, because it includes plenty of rules that are anathema to the Second Amendment.  But it was passed through the UN and enacts at Christmas:

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is set to take effect on Christmas Eve. Though the United States delegation to the U.N. has supported the treaty, it has very little chance of being ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. But there is still reason for concern, said Catherine Mortensen, spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association.

“We are worried about an end-run around Congress,”  Mortensen told TheBlaze. “Barack Obama or a future anti-gun president could use ATT and international norms compliance to rationalize enacting gun control policies through executive actions, especially in the import and export realms.”

“Even now, with an existing appropriations rider prohibiting action to implement the treaty unless it is approved by Congress, administration officials are publicly professing support for international efforts to bring the treaty into effect. That’s outrageous,” she added.

The U.N. General Assembly adopted the treaty in April 2013 with a vote of 154 to 3. The State Department points out that only Iran, Syria and North Korea opposed it.

That thing about Iran, Syria, and North Korea opposing it is used by the current administration to portray those who object to it as extreme.  Except there are plenty of nations who are “for” it who later didn’t sign it, didn’t ratify it, or will ignore it just like other treaties.

The better news on the treaty is more recent, via CNS News:

(CNSNews.com) – As United Nations officials welcome the Christmas Eve entry into force of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), its progress in the U.S. remains hampered by significant Senate opposition and funding prohibitions included in appropriations legislation.

Most recently, the omnibus government funding bill passed by the Congress earlier this month contained new prohibitions on the administration using any funds to implement the conventional arms treaty. Under U.N. procedures the U.S. would be liable for 22 percent of the budget for the ATT secretariat, the body that will oversee its implementation.

It’s nice to know we’re at least not paying for it.

It’s especially nice since the UN’s attempts at gun control usually end up murdering lots of people.

And like was suspected about those who opposed the treaty – the question is who else didn’t sign or didn’t care – note the story says “among the non-signatories”, not “this is a comprehensive list of all the non-signatories”.

When the U.N. General Assembly adopted the ATT in April 2013 only three member-states voted against it: Iran, Syria and North Korea.

But the list of nations that have not signed the treaty is far longer, and includes some of the world’s more controversial regimes. Among the non-signatories are Russia (the world’s second biggest arms exporter, after the U.S.), China (the fifth biggest), Cuba, Ecuador, India, Iran, Iraq, Nicaragua, North Korea, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela and Vietnam.

The effect of active and powerful restriction on small arms trade could mean major problems for recreational shooters in any free state as imported ammunition tends to be cheaper than domestic.  Banning importation of cheap foreign ammunition through auspices of the ATT would be a way to impose a financial burden and barrier to entry into recreational shooting, and thus to harm gun culture.  For those who believe in citizen disarmament, it’s a feature.

Meanwhile, the EPA found itself blocked from banning lead ammunition.  Again, lead ammo is cheaper, and with regards to hunting ammunition, it performs very well and replacement ammunition is often very expensive.

A federal appeals court denied a lawsuit Tuesday by environmental groups that the EPA must use the Toxic Substances Control Act regulate lead used in shells and cartridges.

“We agree with EPA that it lacks statutory authority to regulate the type of spent bullets and shot identified in the environmental groups’ petition,” Judge David Tatel wrote for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Note who’s suing and how.  Environmental groups are suing the EPA to act (often environmental groups getting money from the EPA or other part of govt).  This is something the environmental movement has done for quite a while, and often hand-in-hand with the EPA.  They sue the EPA for the new rule they want, the EPA settles with the group, or gets a judge to rule in favor of the new regulation, and the EPA can just go out and make it happen.

And finally, the Obama amnesty was ruled an overreach by a federal judge in PA.  I’ve been writing about how Obama will push for amnesty for illegal aliens for a long time, and since he just up and did it with his “executive actions”, that’s about when I stopped posting so much.  Doesn’t feel critical to write about this stuff when it’s all over the news everywhere.  If you’ve been reading here, or you’re remotely paying attention, you’ve seen it, heard it, and you’re mad about it.  I yelled “fire!” for a long time, and now there’s a massive conflagration.

>Lame Duck "Immigration Reform" - Amnesty

There’s only so many times I could post that pic from The People’s Cube.  And then he just did it.

Except that judge in Western Pennsylvania has said that he can’t do it:

A federal judge Tuesday ruled parts of President Obama’s deportation amnesty to be unconstitutional, with a scathing memo dismantling the White House’s legal reasoning and arguing that Mr. Obama tried to steal Congress’ lawmaking powers.

The ruling doesn’t invalidate the policy immediately because it was part of a case over a single illegal immigrant’s deportation, but it could serve as a road map for other federal judges who are considering direct challenges to the president’s policy.

Judge Arthur J. Schwab, sitting in the Western District of Pennsylvania, said Mr. Obama has some discretion in how to enforce laws, but by setting out a comprehensive system to grant tentative legal status to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants, the president has strayed into trying to write the laws, which is a power reserved for Congress.

Part of the issue was also that the method by which Obama did it was through “prosecutorial discretion”.  That’s supposed to mean that an individual prosecutor can look at an individual case and choose whether or not to go forward with charges.  It does not mean that 5-10 million crimes can simply be ignored and that an entire statute can be mandated to be ignored by the executive branch.

“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore is unconstitutional,” Judge Schwab wrote.

Immigrant rights advocates said the ruling was a shocking overstep of the court’s authority. Indeed, the Obama administration has argued in federal court in Washington that judges have no power to review the president’s decision-making.

Illegal alien supporters, not “immigrant rights advocates”.  Every legal immigrant who sees 5-10 million people cutting in line is apoplectic over this.

The White House defends the policy as a reasonable use of Mr. Obama’s powers to set priorities for enforcing laws, and to stop the breakup of families because of deportation.

Meanwhile, there are millions of US citizens in prisons and jails for various reasons whose families are broken up.  There are millions of families broken up by government policies that favor broken homes as well.  No tears are shed for them, no hearts bleed for them.

Joyce R. Branda, the acting assistant attorney general who is leading the case, argued that Congress has provided too little money and the administration can deport fewer than 400,000 immigrants a year out of the total population of more than 11 million.

Ms. Branda said given that, it makes sense for Mr. Obama to set priorities, including proactively telling millions of illegal immigrants that they are in no danger of being kicked out. That policy allows immigration agents to focus on the other illegal immigrants whom the president deems serious cases, or on those crossing the border this year and beyond.

When Obama’s DACA amnesty crap started, there were rallies of illegal aliens in major cities.  Immigration officials could drive there with buses and start loading them up.

When the surge of illegal alien minors happened over this last year – because of Obama’s pro-illegal alien policies – immigration officials were driving buses into major cities and dropping off illegals downtown.  Those same illegals could’ve been handed back to the nation that facilitated their passage, but they weren’t.  They were dropped off with “walking papers” for court dates they would never attend, and told they wouldn’t be deported because “families”.

Branda is a lying shill.  In the years of the Obama administration, we’ve seen ICE agents called terrorists by the president, and ICE agents sue to be able to do their jobs because they’re told to break the law.

Obama’s banking on the idea that no one will ever do away with his illegal dictatorial unilateral executive amnesty.  The idea is that it would be politically horrible to “tear apart immigrant families”… which is sort of like waking up to find a family of criminals tearing open your Christmas presents and then them screaming how horrible it would be if you took your children’s presents that the illegals stole out of their children’s hands, and if you kicked them out of your house since it’s cold outside, or had them all arrested for breaking and entering.

To the mush-brained, it makes you seem heartless, but they’re just criminal invaders, thieves and criminal squatters in your house.

And the worst part is that all they would’ve had to do was ask if they wanted to come in.  America is not uninviting.

So anyway, Merry Christmas.  Despite all the lumps of coal we’ve gotten this year (including a crapton of new regulations for the new year we don’t know about), at least there are a few positives.

A lot of points for Republicans to keep in mind for the next two years.

There have been about a dozen stories I’ve been meaning to write about before the election, but alas, life gets in the way.

So here’s just a roundup of the voter fraud stories that lead us up to the 2014 midterms.

From Daily Caller, La Raza is disseminating info on places to vote with ID, so illegals can vote.  And make no mistake about it – illegal aliens are voting in US elections.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, if you’re voting for the R… you’re gonna vote for the D anyway.  “Calibration error” is even more hokey than “pregnant chad”.

And in Colorado, you can vote for your friends, or your neighbors, or whoever’s ballot you can acquire.  Ballot harvesting, they call it.

While it’s legal to give your ballot to someone else — one person may turn in up to 10 ballots — election watchers worry that the practice is ripe for abuse.

“These are totally unauthorized people coming to the door and gathering ballots and doing whatever they want to them,” said Marilyn Marks, president of the Aspen-based Citizen Center, which focuses on election integrity.

“If I have collected your ballot, I could do the honest thing and put it in the mail for you, or take it to the clerk’s office and drop it off — or I could look inside, open it gently, see how you voted, and if I didn’t like it, I could make some changes,” said Ms. Marks. “Or the other thing I could do, if I don’t like the way you’re voting, I could throw your ballot in the trash can.”

In a Denver Post op-ed, Ms. Marks urged voters not to turn over their ballots to strangers. Secretary of State Scott Gessler has asked voters to give their ballots only to people they know, and to verify afterward that their ballot was received on GoVoteColorado.com.

Still, Mr. Gessler, a Republican, has made it clear that he’s not thrilled with the new voting law, the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act, which passed the Democrat-controlled legislature in 2013 with no Republican votes.

A law that makes voter fraud easier that was passed with only Democrat support?  Naw… couldn’t be.  They’ve told us there’s no impropriety there.

Ballot harvesting is actually a pretty common tactic for the left.

A Republican party official in the largest county in Arizona says surveillance tape shows a progressive Hispanic activist blatantly and openly engaging in vote fraud.

Between 12:54 and 1:04, LaFaro said, he observed a man wearing a “Citizens for a Better Arizona” T-shirt loudly drop a box containing hundreds of early-voting ballots on a table.

Citizens for a Better Arizona is a progressive group.

The man then began “stuffing the ballot box,” LaFaro said. “I watched in amazement.”

There’s more to the story at the link, but there’s also video.

But he’s not engaging in voter fraud… he’s probably just helping the 164-year-olds who can’t walk to the voting booth.

Of course, it’s not really a big deal anyway – according to the poll workers, as videod by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas:

And meanwhile, in North Carolina, the same contempt for the integrity of the voting system is shown.

North Carolina election officials repeatedly offered ballots last week to an impostor who arrived at polling places with the names and addresses of ‘inactive’ voters who hadn’t participated in elections for many years.

No fraudulent votes were actually cast: It was the latest undercover video sting from conservative activist James O’Keefe, whose filmmaking résumé reads like a target list of liberal causes.  …

Now O’Keefe has strolled into more than 20 voting precincts in Raleigh, Durham and Greensboro, N.C., proffering the names of people who seldom vote in order to test the integrity of the election process. It seems to have failed on a massive scale.

‘I just sign this and then I can vote?’ he asked one poll worker. ‘Yep,’ came the reply.

Don’t worry, though… Democrats have assured us there is no voter fraud.

Baghdad Bob

Sharyl Attkisson, for those who don’t know of her, is an old-school journalist.  She finds a story and she pursues it, and no amount of political rhetoric and denials will dissuade her if she has a story.

She pursued Fast and Furious, Solyndra, Benghazi, just to name a few – and all because there are stories there that a good reporter would want exposed.  And they’re also stories that the Obama administration does not want exposed, because despite most of the media acting as a propaganda arm of the Democrat party, ultimately some people will hear and listen when they hear the truth – especially in contrast with handwaving and absurd denials.

sharyl attkisson

Her computers were hacked by some shadowy most-likely-government entity a while back.  I remember it coming up last year and writing about it thenTwice last year, in fact.

Now she’s got a book out and she’s elaborating.  The people in her story are mostly written about under pseudonyms for their own safety.

She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources.

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

That “laying the groundwork for possible charges” is because someone buried classified documents deep in her computer.

Next big moment: Attkisson gets her computer checked out by someone identified as “Number One,” who’s described as a “confidential source inside the government.” A climactic meeting takes place at a McDonald’s outlet at which Attkisson and “Number One” “look around” for possibly suspicious things. Finding nothing, they talk. “First just let me say again I’m shocked. Flabbergasted. All of us are. This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America.” That’s all coming from “Number One.”

The breaches on Attkisson’s computer, says this source, are coming from a “sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, or the National Security Agency (NSA).” Attkisson learns from “Number One” that one intrusion was launched from the WiFi at a Ritz Carlton Hotel and the “intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool.”

To round out the revelations of “Number One,” he informs Attkisson that he’d found three classified documents deep inside her operating system, such that she’d never know they were even there. “Why? To frame me?” Attkisson asks in the book.

Media meta-reporter Erik Wemple (who’s so impressively attuned to everything news about news that he even asked me a few questions once) wrote several pieces on Attkisson’s encounters with electronic surveillance.

The first discusses computer intrusions as “worse than anything Nixon ever did”, and introduces us to “Jeff”, “Number One” and “Jerry Patel”, all of which are pseudonyms for various computer experts.  And in the first and into the second, we’re introduced to Don Allison of KoreLogic, who also diagnosed Attkisson’s computer, and is not protected by a pseudonym, but is behind a nondisclosure agreement for the time being.

And then there’s Wemple’s third piece, which talks about the strange case of a “spare” wire.

…By November 2012, writes Attkisson, disruptions on her home phone line were so frequent as to render it unusable: “I call home from my mobile phone and it rings on my end, but not at the house. Or it rings at home once but when my husband or daughter answers, they just hear a dial tone. At the same time, on my end, it keeps ringing and then connects somewhere, just not at my house. Sometimes, when my call connects to that mystery-place-that’s-not-my-house, I hear an electronic sounding buzz,” reads one passage in “Stonewalled.” She also alleges that her television set “spontaneously jitters, mutes, and freeze-frames.” The home alarm, too, “sounds at a different time every night” and when she checks with the alarm system, it indicates that there’s “trouble with the phone line.”

Phone, TV and computer service chez Attkisson all run on Verizon’s FiOS service. “Jeff” asks to inspect the exterior of the house in a check for anything suspicious. He finds a “stray cable dangling from the FiOS box attached to the brick wall on the outside of my house. It doesn’t belong.” “Jeff” says the cable in question is an “extra” fiber-optic line that could be used to download data and then send it off to another spot.

Attkisson takes a picture of the cable. Then she calls Verizon, which tells her that it’s not something they would have installed; they refer her to law enforcement. Attkisson doesn’t feel its a matter for the cops, and in any case Verizon calls back to say that they want to have a look for themselves as soon as possible — on New Year’s Day, no less. “Yeah, that shouldn’t be there,” the Verizon technician tells Attkisson.

Attkisson is a sensible, common sense reporter who follows leads to write reports of real life events.  She is neither Kolchak nor Mulder.

At one point, Attkisson gets a visit from pseudonymous “Terry,” who has “connections to the three-letter agencies.” “Stonewalled” takes it from here:

Terry tells me of a conversation he’d had with my husband back in 2011. He’d noticed a white utility truck parked up the street by a pond. “I didn’t like that. I didn’t like it at all,” he tells me now, shaking his head. . . . “I didn’t like it because I recognized the type of truck and the type of antennae it had. And if you look” — he points up the street — “there’s a direct line of sight from where it was parked to your house.” My husband, who once worked in law enforcement intelligence, had on several occasions in the past couple of years mentioned the presence of nondescript utility trucks parked in our neighborhood — trucks that were working on no known utility projects. Neighbors noticed, too. Ours is a small community filled with people who pay attention to such things. Some of them worked for the three-letter agencies.”

That’s the kind of thing that would make other reporters at least a tad intimidated, if not a bit paranoid.  Of course, if she lives in a neighborhood full of cops and retired spooks, this might be the amateur hour Obama G-men trainees trying to stake out people whose lives are Tom Clancy novels.

Jazz Shaw and Mary Katherine Ham have been following the story at HotAir as well, with their own opinions on the hacking and journalistic intimidation, as well as reminding us of James Rosen’s encounter with the Obama administration.

My feelings remain much the same as they did last time.

Maybe it’s as a result of too much X-Files, Shadowrun and Project Twilight in the 90s, but I find this government spying stuff is damn creepy.  From the NSA’s massive computer and phone data mining to electronically targeting reporters, it’s like 90s conspiracy-themed entertainment has become 2009-present reality.

I’m sure there’s a pop-culture scholarly way to compare Nowhere Man and The Net to current events, but it’s less fun than it is disturbing when you think about it for too long – even if Attkisson and her three-letter agency neighbors are precisely the kind of people who are adept at navigating that kind of world.