Nanny Bloomberg sticking his nose in the Old Dominion’s business… again.

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Readers of this blog are familiar with our opinion of “former Republican” Stalinist yankee lawn gnome and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (Summary: it ain’t good.) He’s spending close to $2 million trying to defeat Ken Cuccinelli, the pro-liberty, pro-gun, RLCVA-endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate this year, due to his having the audacity to stand against the Gnome’s plans to eventually disarm us all. That’s bad enough. But to make matters worse, now, he’s pouring in over $1 million to defeat pro-liberty, pro-gun, RLCVA-endorsed Republican attorney general candidate Mark Obenshain, for the same reasons.

I have had more than enough of this clown interfering in Virginia politics. From trying to ban large size sugary beverages to his ceaseless assault on our Second Amendment-guaranteed liberties, the Gnome is wrong on practically every single public policy issue of any consequence. It’s bad enough that he may succeed in making Terry McAuliffe, a contemptible human being if ever there was one, the next governor of the Old Dominion, but he’s now trying to help Mark Herring, a standard issue anti-gun Democrat state senator, come from behind to defeat Obenshain. Folks, I’ve had occasion to meet Mark Obenshain a bunch of times during the campaign. We don’t agree on every single thing, just as I don’t with Ken Cuccinelli, Rand Paul or anyone else. That said, he’s honest, forthright, down to earth, and actually listens when you talk with him. He understands the value of personal liberty, and that it’s actually possible to respect it while simultaneously doing the job of enforcing the law. He knows who he is, what he believes, and why he believes it, and is actually dedicated to public service in the finest traditions of our Commonwealth. He’s also the only statewide candidate of the seven out there to have run a relentlessly positive, upbeat, issues-based campaign. He’s actually focused on why he wants to be Attorney General and what he’ll do with the job when he gets it.

We cannot simply stand by and permit anti-liberty out-of-state influences like the Gnome to have this kind of impact unopposed. To that end, I’ll just share the image from Mark’s campaign that came out earlier today (click on it) and you’ll know what to do:

ObenshainVs.TheGnome

And get out on Tuesday, November 5th, and VOTE VOTE VOTE for Mark Obenshain… and Ken Cuccinelli. Talk to everyone you know who’s undecided. Convince them, and do what you can to make sure THEY get out to support Ken and Mark.

And as for Michael Bloomberg, he needs to get lost and stay there, permanently. People like him have made places like NYC and most of the Northeast into what it is today. Let’s not allow them to do the same to Virginia.

A mistrial in the Grisham case

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As many of you will remember, an acquaintance of mine was arrested by police a few months ago for lawfully carrying his AR-15 rifle on a hike with his son. CJ Grisham was doing nothing illegal. He threatened no one. He was on a peaceful hike with his kid, when some hysterical twit saw the rifle and shat her underpants, leading to a police call.

What ensued was an arrest, recorded by CJ’s son, in which the statist fatass dressed in uniform tells him people don’t care what the law is, admits he knows Grisham was doing nothing illegal and accuses him of “rudely” asserting his rights. He also grabbed the rifle. He didn’t ask CJ to put it down or hand it over. He grabbed it.

Lovely, right?

Well, they attempted to charge CJ with an assorted ton of crap, including disorderly conduct displaying a firearm and interfering with the duties of a “peace officer,” after they figured out they couldn’t charge him with the former. There was also the spurious accusation of walking on the wrong side of the road.

The complaint went through three amendments of the charges, starting with resisting arrest, then changed to a violation of the disorderly conduct statute – rude display of a weapon in a manner calculated to cause alarm – and ended with the charge of interfering with a public official as he was trying to perform his appointed duty, that of disarming a soldier loudly protesting the loss of his weapon to a police officer unwilling to acknowledge that he could legally possess a firearm though he has a concealed carry permit for handguns.

CJ chose to go to trial rather than set a negative precedent of being bullied into admitting a crime he did not commit, and on Friday, the judge declared a mistrial, after a jury of 6 could not agree on a verdict after two days of deliberations.

{Defense Attorney Blue] Rannefeld said the length of time the jury deliberated showed that Grisham committed no crime.

“We went out there to do a 10-mile hike,” Grisham said at a post-verdict news conference. “There wasn’t any law broken.”

Grisham said he has no plans to accept any plea offers in order to avoid a second, third or fourth trial.

“I will go through this as many times as the county wants,” Grisham said. “I will fight for liberty and freedom.”

Rannefeld said he hopes the issue of being able to openly carry a rifle or shotgun, which is not strictly prohibited under Texas law nor explicitly allowed, will be clarified by the Legislature.

The case is scheduled to be retried next month on November 18. I’m having a hard time believing that this prosecutor would continue wasting taxpayer dollars on a case where no crime was committed just to assert his AUTHORITAH! in the matter. But I don’t suppose I should be surprised. A misdemeanor turned into a high profile case such as this would be a nasty little black mark on his record of statist prosecution.

I also find it instructive that the jury was deadlocked 5-1 in favor of CJ Grisham’s innocence. One juror hung the jury. One juror who I believe was so obviously biased and disgustingly anti-Second Amendment that it would vote to convict an innocent man and destroy his military career just to support its political views!

Because having watched the video of the arrest, I cannot believe anyone with half a brain cell would vote to convict CJ Grisham!

Nonetheless, one juror apparently decided this was the case in which it would exert its political muscle, and while I hope that the prosecutor will just give it up, I have a feeling this particular prosecutor is an authoritarian swine that will keep going.

Good luck, CJ! We’re all pulling for you, for your family, for our freedoms and for our system of justice!

Some Tyranny for your Wednesday Night

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CJ Grisham posted this on his Facebook page tonight. I’m pretty appalled.

One of our founding members, Murdoch, has just been arrested and booked for “criminal trespass” and “weapon in a prohibited area” in McCallen, Texas. He was on public property. He went to the police station to inform them that he was going to take a picture with his rifle in front of the police department as we have done in several other cities around the state. They immediately and illegally searched him and confiscated his legally possessed K-bar (only 5 1/4 inches long) and told him to leave, which he did. He then decided to return to file a formal complaint and called the police department to let them know he was coming back to do so. When he arrived at the police station, officers immediately drew on him, forced him to the ground, and arrested him. HE NEVER ONCE OPENLY CARRIED HIS FIREARM; IT WAS IN HIS TRUCK THE ENTIRE TIME. He will be at the McCallen jail overnight and then is getting transferred to County in the morning.

I will remind you that CJ is the man who was arrested and charged for legally carrying a rifle while hiking with his son a few months ago.

Since then, he has dedicated himself to educating Texans about their rights and fighting for our Second Amendment by starting an organization dedicated to doing just that in Texas. Check out Open Carry Texas after you’re done being appalled by the open display of hostility toward the populace by its public servants.

In this case, I’d be curious to know why in the world the police would draw on an unarmed man, force him to the ground and arrest him? For what? Why?

He was not carrying his firearm and alarmed no one – other than the petty, pathetic tyrants in uniforms who were obviously alarmed at the thought that a formal complaint would be filed against them for being authoritarian shitwads.

CJ has asked everyone who is in the area and anyone willing to come down to support a rally at the police station at noon on Saturday.

We need as many people as we can muster to rally at the McCallen Police Department at noon on Saturday to put the police department there on notice that our rights will not be infringed. I will create an event page and share in both forums. I know this is way out of the way, but if we don’t stand up where we can, we have no business being here.

THIS IS WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD. THIS IS WHAT WE DO. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO SIT IDLY BY.

If you’d like to contact the police department, here is their contact information:

Police Department
1601 N. Bicentennial Blvd.
McAllen, TX 78501 (Map)

Phone: (956) 681-2000

Do it, and spread the word, people!

 

Shouldn’t There be Some Requirement that Congresscritters Know a Little American History?

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Because otherwise, they sound like this bag of wadded up dick.

During a May appearance on Rachel Maddow Lean Forward Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said gun rights are not “God-given” and any claim that the Founding Fathers wanted U.S. citizens armed so they could repel a tyranny “is insane.”

As an atheist, I couldn’t care less what some drooling douchetard from Connecticut thinks was in the Almighty’s brain! But to claim that as a living entity, you have no right to defend yourself with the most effective tool on the market today is not just absurd, it’s cruel and inhumane.

But Murphy is a leftard, so it’s par for the course.

Murphy’s second claim is equally absurd.  The claim that the Founders wanted an armed citizenry to repel tyranny is “insane.” Yeah. Except for that long list of quotes and writings that clearly state just that.

Including Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist 28:

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power became usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions or districts, of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defence. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.

And the lengthy list of Founders’ quotes on the George Mason University’s website, to include:

“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”
–Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

“Whereas civil-rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
— Tench Coxe, in Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.”
–Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).

In other words, Chris Murphy apparently didn’t take any history classes at Williams College.

Or, he simply partied through his basic American history requirements.

Uh… what?

1 Comment

Bloomberg is reaching hard up his own ass for this particular bit of retardery.

You see, New York’s crime problem is not the fault of the criminals.

It’s not the fault of the justice system.

It’s not even the fault of the eeeeeeeeevil guns, or Internets or violent video games.

Nor is it the fact that New York is an epic FAIL when it comes to actually prosecuting federal gun control violations.

No.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg blames Virginia and several other southern state’s for the Big Apple’s gun crimes — so now he’s set his Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ sights on the Deep South for a Second Amendment crackdown.

“Despite all we do to keep our city safe, we’re increasingly at the mercy of weak national gun laws and weak gun laws in other states,” Mr. Bloomberg said, according to The New York Post. “We have been attacking this problem from every angle, but we cannot do it alone.”

 He cited Virginia as about the worst, in terms of allowing guns to flow into New York.

I guess the “stop and violate frisk” program isn’t working out so well?

Or the prosecution of people who fail to navigate the huge bureaucratic maze made up of red tape and bullshit in order to be “allowed” to exercise their rights?

Nope, none of those measures are working because… VIRGINIA!

In 2011, guns from Virginia were involved in 322 violent incidents, he said, The New York Post reported. He also said that guns from states other than New York were used to commit 90 percent of the city’s crimes in 2011 – and that’s up from 85 percent in 2009.

That’s what we call “basic economics” shitbag. For other references see “Prohibition” and “Drug war.”

So Let’s Say It Was a Mistake…

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Let’s say that the government accidentally and mistakenly mined data on millions of Americans. Let’s say they meant to focus on some suspects in foreign intelligence cases but wound up targeting innocent citizens suspected of nothing and accessing their telephone and email communications. That’s exactly what officials are claiming transpired when NSA “mistakenly” intercepted communications of innocent Americans.

Ret. Adm. Dennis Blair, who served as President Obama’s DNI in 2009 and 2010, told NBC News that, in one instance in 2009, analysts entered a phone number into agency computers and “put one digit wrong,” and mined a large volume of information about Americans with no connection to terror. The matter was reported to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose judges required that all the data be destroyed, he said.

Another former senior official, who asked not to be identified, confirmed Blair’s recollection and said the incident created serious problems for the Justice Department, which represents the NSA before the federal judges on the secret court.

This is one of the problems of allowing the government to snoop as they do.

Let’s assume that this time it was a mistake. Thousands of people have had their privacy compromised, and we knew nothing about it until this fiasco was made public by the Guardian a few days ago.

Let’s assume the government’s intentions were nothing but pure – to protect this nation from another devastating terrorist attack by using the best tools at its disposal.

The problem is it happened, and it can happen again.

It can happen by mistake – through a mistyped digit – allowing government to snoop on innocent people.

It can happen intentionally – through one bureaucrat’s desire to snoop on a paramour who hasn’t paid enough attention to him – allowing government to snoop on an innocent person and find out with whom he or she may be involved, in order to allow one bureaucrat access to the object of his or her “affection.”

It can happen intentionally – through a directive from Washington, as a way to target political opponents or groups – allowing government to snoop on an innocent person or group, allowing politicians to gather data on adversaries and shut them up.

Do you see the common thread here?

Allowing the government such power endangers all of our rights – whether through an inadvertent mistake or intentional abuse – allows the potential for serious compromises and violations of our rights and freedoms as Americans.

And that is distinctly UNAmerican.

Got Verizon?

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Share everything.

Today America woke up to find out that if they are a Verizon customer, their phone records are being collected on a daily basis and indiscriminately sent over to the NSA. They may not have done anything wrong, but that does not matter.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.

It is no secret that I wasn’t thrilled with the passage of the Patriot Act under Bush and the government powers it broadened. I fully understand the need to protect this nation, and I am acutely aware of the national security threats we face every day.  But it was one of those monsters very few legislators had the time or the inclination to read. They just wanted to look like they were doing something, and that something ushered in a slow, systematic erosion of our rights. And obscenely, the Bush administration had publicly expressed its opinion that individual rights are to be sacrificed at the altar of “national security.”

The Bush administration made no secret of its hopes that the Patriot Act would be broadly interpreted by the judiciary branch. In a letter to Senators Bob Graham, Orrin Hatch, Patrick Leahy, and Richard Shelby, Assistant Attorney General Daniel J. Bryant had the unmitigated goal to state:
 
The courts have observed that even the use of deadly force is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment if used in self-defense or to protect others… Here, for Fourth Amendment purposes, the right to self-defense is not that of an individual, but that of the nation and its citizens… If the government’s heightened interest in self-defense justifies the use of deadly force, then it certainly would also justify warrantless searches.

The majority of the Patriot Act was vaguely innocuous. It provided for more resources for our intelligence community, promoted information sharing, etc. But a few of the sections of this act were odious in nature, and were a precursor to what we are seeing today.

Prior to the September 11th attacks, a wiretap order targeted toward a specific person or group was confined to a particular computer or telephone.  This is no longer the case. The new law allows a court to issue an order that is valid anywhere in the U.S.  that is it may “rove” wherever a target goes, including a public library. Additionally, roving wiretaps and pen trap orders to include searches performed on the internet and keywords typed into browsers.

Under Section 216, a law enforcement agent or a government attorney can get a pen register, which records the telephone number of an outgoing call, or trap and trace order, which records the source of an incoming telephone call. To get such an order, the agent must simply certify to a judge that the information to be obtained is “relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation.”According to case law, information about who sent an email to whom and when holds no reasonable expectation of privacy  much like the address blocks on a regular envelope or telephone numbers, which are necessarily provided to the telephone companies in order to complete a call. Much like the outside of an envelope, or a telephone number that’s dialed, envelope information on emails isn’t protected by constitutional privacy expectations.

However, this is where the constitutional challenges arise. While the sender of a letter can reasonably expect that the contents of a sealed letter will be private, unless no envelope is provided with the address block on the letter serving as an address device for the post office, and while a caller can reasonably expect that the content of his telephone conversation can be private, unless it’s transmitted over public airwavesbecause the content of email messages is invariably contained on the same “page” as the “envelope information”, the courts could reasonably rule that the content of an email message is not constitutionally protected.

The Patriot Act also allowed law enforcement to share information with the intelligence community (CIA, NSA, etc.), and  there’s no judicial review requirement to share wiretap and grand jury information, which effectively allows these intelligence agencies to keep tabs on ordinary citizens under the guise of “national security.”

So here we are…

These days, the FISA ruling has forced Verizon to hand over telephone records to the NSA, including communications between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”

The standard for FISA approval is actually lower than regular courts, which require probable cause to grant a warrant in a criminal matter, and originally FISA warrants were only supposed to be used for those suspected of acting on behalf of a foreign power. Prior to the passage of the Patriot Act, FISA’s lax standards could only be applied if the actual purpose of the surveillance was the gathering of foreign intelligence. But Section 218 of the bill relaxed that standard to apply to a domestic criminal investigation if the gathering of foreign intelligence information merely constitutes a significant purpose of the surveillance. Not so much anymore.

Information is being collected on every Verizon customer in bulk – without reasonable suspicion of any individual or set of individuals and no specific target.

I fully admit there are things we don’t know. Maybe there is a specific target buried in all that data. But to collect intelligence on millions of American citizens looking for a needle in a haystack sounds like an egregious abuse of power to me.

I also doubt NSA employees are sitting around giggling at the phone sex you had with your significant other last night. Frankly, they have bigger things to worry about.

But if the government is capable of forcing a company to hand over your private information, it also has the power to use that information against you. It knows with whom you’re having conversations and for how long. Corrupt government bureaucrats can now not only target you – and any person that opposes their agenda – but also that person’s friends and family. Suspicion by association.

I don’t trust the government to have that information at its disposal. Do you?

ADDING SOME IRONY: George Orwell’s “1984” was published 64 years ago today.

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