Archive for the ‘Tyranny’ Category

It’s interesting to watch the left try to figure this out.  Over at Daily Beast, there’s a somewhat bizarre piece about the prosecutor and the legality of Freddie Gray’s knife.

The weapon police described is definitely illegal—so why did Marilyn Mosby say it wasn’t? The answer hinges on a single spring.

So the man goes to jail or goes free, lives or dies, according to whether or not his knife has a spring in it?

Larry Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, believes Gray’s knife could make or break Mosby’s case.

“I think it makes a lot of difference if the arrest was legal,” Kobilinsky said. “If they took him into custody and had reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed, then they acted reasonably in restraining him and taking him to jail.”

Furthermore, by saying the arrest was illegal, Mosby has made the case to the public that cops should have never begun what ended with Gray’s death. Cops surely had no right to kill Freddie Gray, but they may have had the right to arrest him. All of that—and what happens next in Baltimore—may now hinge on a single spring.

Freddie Gray had a substantial criminal history, and running when you see the police is something that may draw police attention, but he was arrested and ultimately ended up dead – whether due to trying to injure himself in the back of the police van in order to serve time in a hospital rather than jail, or malfeasance or murder on the cops part – because of a cutting tool that’s been around for thousands of years.

It’s a knife.  Who cares how it opens?

(Also a minor note in the Daily Beast piece – cops do not have a “right” to arrest.  They have an authority to arrest.  A right is intrinsic, God-given or nature-given, and inherent to free men, an authority is derived from the state’s power.)

From KnifeRights:

While it is theoretically possible that without the presence of a knife in his pocket, Gray might have been arrested on some other trumped-up charge, it is clear that the presence of a knife was used as the actual basis for the arrest, and the practice has unfortunately become a common one.

Thousands of law-abiding citizens are regularly harassed and arrested for nothing more than carrying this basic tool, and that is unacceptable. Knife Rights is committed to forging a Sharper Future by passing knife law preemption and removing all restrictions on the lawful carry of knives. Those who misuse any tool (knife or otherwise) in the commission of a crime should be severely punished, but law-abiding citizens who possess knives should be left alone.

If Freddie Gray was out on his streetcorner dealing drugs (and discussion of repeal of drug prohibition is another question), then why wasn’t he arrested for that?  If he was out conspiring with other known criminals to conduct some crime, why wasn’t he arrested for conspiracy for that attempted crime?

When the arrest is “he had an illegal knife”… I’d be curious to know why that knife was illegal?  Also, with the thousands of incomprehensible laws on the books making mens rea for any crime a real stretch, did he know that knife was illegal?

And how is a ban on a sharp piece of metal Constitutional?  And how is a conviction for carrying a sharp piece of metal ever upheld as Constitutional?

Knife laws are often even worse than gun laws, because people just know to avoid certain states when it comes to guns.  People don’t know that some municipality decided to ban carrying of a pocketknife because some pants-wetting progressive statist in the 1950s saw “West Side Story” and decided they needed a way to arrest those ethnic hoodlums.

The left does want to see everyone defenseless, and would agree with draconian Sword Hunts in order to render people defenseless, but for those people who don’t believe in being dominated by an all-powerful state, why would you want anyone chased down, arrested, sent to prison or possibly killed because they have a sharp piece of metal in their pocket that opens with a spring?

Why is Freddie Gray dead over something that’s legal in so many other states?

And why is the left so infuriated over an arrest for knife control laws they support and the resulting death in police custody in a leftist state that has the kinds of leftist knife (and gun) control laws they want to inflict on everyone?  They got the government they wanted to make.  They got the knife from his cold dead hands.

As an addendum, there are a handful of people who are coming around to seeing that the roots and the effects of knife control laws are racist (just like gun control laws).  Despite the story being from inherently biased Bloomberg:

“I don’t see knives posing that big of a danger to the public,” Representative Harold Dutton Jr., who sponsored the bill, said in an interview. “Now that we’re going to let everybody have a gun, I think we ought to set knives free.”

Dutton, a black Democrat from Houston, sees knife laws as a threat to civil rights.

“It is another one of those things that helps establish probable cause for a policeman to stop you,” he said.

Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old Baltimore man whose April death in police custody ignited riots, was arrested after police said they noticed a knife inside his pants.

Guns or knives in this case are just the same – they’re tools and also individual arms for any uses that don’t infringe on someone else’s life, rights, property or person.  Frankly it’s insane that the state’s enforcers could send you to prison for decades for the “crime” of owning them, or that you could end up dead in police custody arrested for a knife that might have had a spring in it, and even more insane that there are people who still support and advocate eliminating the rights of the citizenry to own those tools at all.

The argument is frequently heard that “if those weapons exist in people’s hands they will hurt someone”, which is both absurd and as ridiculous as the “if it saves one child’s life” plea for more tyranny.  Regardless of anything else involved in the case and his past history, Freddie Gray is dead because some hand-wringing leftist demanded he be sacrificed for their world where only the police and the state have weapons – the very institutions that killed Freddie Gray.

Lives only matter to the progressive left when it’s convenient – doesn’t matter the gender, age, creed, background or color they are.

From the Washington Examiner:

Legal and illegal immigrants will hit a record high of 51 million in just eight years and eventually account for an astounding 82 percent of all population growth in America, according to new U.S. Census figures.

If it weren’t for the illegal aliens there, that might not be such a big deal.  If it weren’t for the “legal” immigrants who are just illegal aliens with unconstitutional executive actions applied to them, it also might not be such a big deal.  People coming to the US because they want to be Americans and embrace American principles is a good thing… but millions upon millions of them are simply not – and millions upon millions of them are being targeted as political fodder.

They’re being imported as future lifetime Democrat voters.

President Obama’s amnesty by edict has always been about adding new Democrats to the voter rolls, and recent action by the Department of Homeland Security provides further proof. Sources at the Department of Homeland Security report to PJ Media that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is reallocating significant resources away from a computer system — the “Electronic Immigration System” — to sending letters to all 9,000,000 green card holders urging them to naturalize prior to the 2016 election.

This effort is part of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.”

Naturalization plus mobilization is the explicit aim of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.” Multiple sources at DHS confirm that political appointees are prioritizing naturalization ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Empirical voting patterns among immigrants from minority communities demonstrate that these new voters will overwhelmingly vote for Democrat candidates.  If the empirical rates of support for Democrats continued among these newly naturalized minority voters, Democrats could enjoy an electoral net benefit of millions of new voters in the 2016 presidential election.

Other DHS sources report that racial interest groups such as La Raza (translated to “The Race”) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association have been playing a central and influential role in rewriting the administration’s immigration policies — both the public policies as well as internal and largely unseen guidelines.

These aren’t people coming in because they want to be your friends and neighbors.  They’re being recruited as the left seeks to displace Americans in favor of aliens who will blindly support leftist policies.

It is part of their plan.

And lastly:

Once the soil has been prepared, the seedlings will arrive. And the seedlings, according to those planning the changes for your city or town, need to be nurtured and cultivated into healthy communities of their own. They will eventually be fully “integrated,” meaning they are firmly established and able to grow within their host community, eventually overtaking the host.

The plans to transform America through immigration, as spelled out in the new White House report, involves almost every government agency working in tandem with community organizers from immigrant-rights groups like National Council for La Raza and the National Partnership for New Americans. The White House task force is headed by Cecilia Munoz, former top executive with La Raza and now Obama’s top domestic policy adviser.

Top executive with the racist organization “The Race” is now his top policy adviser.  Read it again a few times until it sinks in if you need to.

The report is chock full of programs, goals, plans and strategies to build welcoming “receiving communities” and give immigrants all they need to prosper economically, linguistically and politically.

The document is permeated with Orwellian euphemisms, starting with the title, “Strengthening Communities by Welcoming all Residents,” and continuing with its declaration of the “economic benefits of immigrant and refugee integration.”

Critics argue the plan will do the exact opposite, weakening stable communities by delivering a steady dose of low-skilled immigrants who will place a burden on schools and social services. The new arrivals are likely to be seen working as hotel maids, toiling in meat-packing plants, as cashiers at big-box stores, dishwashers or other low-wage jobs that require food stamps, subsidized housing and other forms of government assistance.

Judicial Watch, the Washington, D.C.-based government watchdog organization, predicted Wednesday that cities and counties will be “strong-armed into participating in this immigrant welcoming effort.”

This is also why there are major fights in the courts about illegal aliens, and why deportations of illegals are halted by the Obama administration.  If you can just get them to stay long enough, you can force integration of communities that simply don’t belong – and then you can argue “we can’t deport them” – and thus fundamental transformation of the voting populace is complete.

Democrats become the power, Republicans never again win any election but regional ones, and mindless illiterate illegals who don’t speak the language will be taken by bus from polling station to polling station until the Democrats win.

Cloward and Piven implodes the nation, Democrats win in perpetuity, redistribution commences, the left applauds itself as it destroys the evil that is America, yay for socialism.

Shaneen Allen, for those who missed her story last year, is a single mom from Pennsylvania who’d been robbed twice and went out to get a concealed carry permit, then made the mistake of going to New Jersey.  She made the further mistake of being pulled over and volunteering that she had her carry pistol with her (which in about 30 other states would’ve been met with a shrug) and thus was arrested and charged with having a gun and ammunition, because the 2nd Amendment is null and void in New Jersey.

shaneen allen pa nj

Now, 8 months later, Chris Christie has given her a pardon.

During that 8 months, she spent 40 days in jail unable to make bail, had to ask for all kinds of help with her kids, lost her job, and was facing felony charges not just for having a gun but for each round of ammunition.  It took 8 months of nationwide support to get a woman who’s practically the poster girl for concealed carry “free”… and meanwhile she had 8 months of her life lost and destroyed due to New Jersey’s tyrannical rule.

There is no right to keep and bear arms in New Jersey.

Chris Christie waited 8 months until her case could be used as a way to skewer him nationally if he decided to make a presidential run.  He has no concern for a good citizen who’s exercising their Constitutional rights, jumping through hoops to do so, and doing so in order to protect self and family, and nor do many of the people of his state.

Just for a reminder on where Chris Christie stands on guns… remember he campaigned on taking away citizens’ rights.

ChrisChristieOnGuns

Just think of 8 months of waiting to see if you’ll go to prison as a felon for something that’s legal a few miles away, and legal across almost all of the US.

This was a political pardon.  Good for her that Christie decided to run for president.  Bad for us that he’s deciding to run.  The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed… doesn’t exactly jive with “you will go to prison in NJ for a felony first your gun that’s legal in your state and then for additional felonies for every round of ammunition and yet another felony because bearing arms is wholly illegal in NJ”.

Christie may be useful when he’s facing off against public sector unions, but that’s sort of like saying Stalin was useful when he fought against instead of with the Axis powers for a couple years.

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.

Two More Gas Tax Opinions

Posted: January 28, 2015 by ShortTimer in Energy, Tax, taxes, Tyranny

The first via The Federalist:

You can understand it only if you understand that in some minds there is a constant imperative for the expansion of government. The only question they ask is whether they can get away with it. When gas prices are low, they think they can, so that is what they advocate.

That summarizes the whole argument for.

The second is Charles Krauthammer’s opinion piece advocating a gas tax, titled “Raise the Gas Tax.  A Lot.

For 32 years I’ve been advocating a major tax on petroleum. I’ve got as much chance this time around as did Don Quixote with windmills. But I shall tilt my lance once more.

The only time you can even think of proposing a gas tax increase is when oil prices are at rock bottom.

32 years of advocating for a tax that no driver wants.  He’s got a much better chance that Don Quixote, because things like the gas tax end up with “bipartisan support” of big government activists on both the left and the right.

The hike should not be 10 cents but $1. And the proceeds should not be spent by, or even entrusted to, the government. They should be immediately and entirely returned to the consumer by means of a cut in the Social Security tax.

And that’s where Krauthammer’s entire idea fails.  “We’ll raise one tax so we can drop another” will never, ever, ever happen.  The first tax will be raised, the second will never go away.

The rest of his math is based on “savings” to an “average driver” that probably makes sense to someone from the east coast or DC who only has to drive a few minutes to work if at all (in Krauthammer’s particular case, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t drive anymore at all).  It’s a massive burden on people who live in geographically larger states.

It’s win-win. Employment taxes are a drag on job creation. Reducing them not only promotes growth but advances fairness, FICA being a regressive tax that hits the middle and working classes far more than the rich.

So “fairness” is to tax the provinces while the capital feasts?  Also, when has the tax system ever been about “fairness”?  If that were the case, we should get rid of all “sin” excise taxes right now, because those are made to modify behavior based on government using force to manipulate the economy.

A $1 gas tax increase would constrain oil consumption in two ways. In the short run, by curbing driving. In the long run, by altering car-buying habits. A return to gas-guzzling land yachts occurs every time gasoline prices plunge. A high gas tax encourages demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Constrained U.S. consumption — combined with already huge increases in U.S. production — would continue to apply enormous downward pressure on oil prices.

A tax is the best way to improve fuel efficiency. Today we do it through rigid regulations, the so-called CAFE standards imposed on carmakers. They are forced to manufacture acres of unsellable cars in order to meet an arbitrary, bureaucratic “fleet” gas-consumption average.

This is nuts. If you simply set a higher price point for gasoline, buyers will do the sorting on their own, choosing fuel efficiency just as they do when the world price is high. The beauty of the tax — as a substitute for a high world price — is that the incentive for fuel efficiency remains…

His FICA argument is nonsense because no tax cut will be passed.

His “altering car-buying habits” argument only works if you accept the basic premise – that people need to be forced to not buy “gas-guzzling land yachts”.

Also, there’s already a tax on buying anything that doesn’t meet an arbitrary, bureaucratic “gas guzzler” gas consumption decision:

Not that welfare recipients would be buying a Shelby.

Krauthammer’s argument is that we need to raise taxes to punish the consumer even more for personal decisions that Krauthammer’s decided are bad decisions.  Yay big government.

And finally, lower consumption reduces pollution and greenhouse gases. The reduction of traditional pollutants, though relatively minor, is an undeniable gain. And even for global warming skeptics, there’s no reason not to welcome a benign measure that induces prudential reductions in CO2 emissions.

Except it’s not a benign measure.  The power to tax is the power to destroy.  This is a tool to force people into what DC wants you to drive, not what you want to drive.  Their reasons hinge on the idea that you need to be coerced into their worldview.

If given the choice between a work truck that gets 12 mpg and one that gets 30 mpg, where all other features are the same, a business or an individual will take the one that gets higher mpg because it already benefits them.  Doesn’t matter if it’s $4/gallon or $2/gallon.  If given the choice between a performace car that gets 15 mpg and one that gets 35 mpg, other factors being the same, they’ll take the one that gets 35.  It still benefits them.

Some DC thug hitting them with yet another tax to tell them what to buy is only a good idea if you’re in favor of the DC thug hitting them with another tax.

Sorry, Chuck, the reason why people oppose it is because they understand it.

You know something is up when NBC’s Saturday Night Live knows something is wrong with the political process espoused by the Obama Administration.

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.