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10301  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: May 13, 2010, 10:16:32 PM
I don't dispute that point, I just disagree with citing quotes from the founders as if they are holy verses. I doubt they intended them to be taken as such.
10302  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2010, 03:49:50 PM
So exactly what is your policy suggestion for search warrants?

I'll bet a keg of Guinness that next year and the year after that tactical teams are still shooting the occasional dog and even kicking in the wrong door every so often to serve search warrant.

I quoted Radly Balko from the article you posted and then showed how he deliberately placed confidential informant in with anonymous informant for propaganda purposes. Either that, of he knows less on the topic than anyone who read this thread and half-way paid attention. Either scenario does not lend credibility to his writing on the topic. Call that an ad hominem if you want.
10303  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: May 13, 2010, 03:22:03 PM
No, I am placing ideas expressed by TJ in the proper context. He was a flesh and blood human with flaws and a lack of insight demonstrated by his ownership of slaves while advocating ideals of freedom. The constitution wasn't delivered on tablets from a burning bush, and no matter how much hemp might have been consumed by the founding fathers, I doubt very much they could envision issues related to search and seizure for the US in 2010.

This does not mean that I endorse that the constitution means what ever the agenda is for a left wing jurist's personal political viewpoints at any given moment. Rather than worshipping idols with feet of clay, understand that the big picture is the balance between the greater good and individual freedoms based on pragmatic realism, not ivory tower dreams of a golden past that never was.
10304  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: May 13, 2010, 02:41:11 PM
10305  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: May 13, 2010, 02:38:30 PM
It's not a liberal tactic to point out the flaws in individuals such as the slave owning founding fathers. So then if TJ wasn't screwing his slaves, then the slavery bit isn't that big of a deal?
10306  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: May 13, 2010, 01:21:12 PM
TJ's rant would carry a bit more weight if he hadn't written this in between trips to the slaves' quarters. Where does fcuking your slaves fall into the continuum of despotism?
10307  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2010, 01:15:22 PM
"In many other cases, such raids transpire based on little more than a tip from an anonymous or confidential informant."

Ok, first of all, there is a big difference between an anonymous and a confidential informant. I'm sure Mr. Balko understands the difference, but he doesn't want the truth to get in the way of stirring the the uninformed into a hysterical froth.

I know that reading all the real case law and police procedure I post isn't nearly as satisfying as getting upset that the hemp that our first president grew is now geting sad-faced doggies shot, but if you want to make a reasoned arguement you're going to have to employ logic rather than waving bloody dog collars.

Ok good info on CIs:

Now on using anonymous informant for a search warrant:

Intended for police training, this report summarizes the facts and reasoning that led to an appellate court decision that a court was not justified in issuing a search warrant based solely on information provided by an anonymous informant to a law enforcement officer.

10308  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2010, 12:08:53 PM
I think the concept of intercepting everyone's electronic correspondences is fundamentally un-American. I think the idea of police forces kicking in citizens doors more than 100 times a day in the name of the WOD is fundamentally un-American.

**These are your opinions, however you are in the minority.**

The Founders were quite clear in their feelings on these matters--see the Federalist Papers et al--and I so have little sympathy for arguments that go "that's the way it is and a judge signed the paper so deal with it."

**THe 4th amd. says No UNREASONABLE search and seizure, not No search and seizure. **

Something every bit as wrong as BHO's appropriation of the healthcare system has occurred, and if you are unable to see it no amount of keyboarding on my end is going to change that.

Do you have a source for your ad hominem attacks on Balko? His pieces appear well documented, his stats are sourced, the incidents he speaks to are easily found; is there some piece of information out there I'm missing that would taint him as a source? I've already mentioned the case of the local Mayor who had his two friendly, fleeing dogs shot by SWAT as part of an abject intelligence failure and raid; the viral nature of the video certainly ought to give you an idea what American citizens think of this use of force, and if these raids are indeed occurring at a rate of up to 150 per day isn't it appropriate for citizens to weigh the benefits and costs and then speak accordingly? Or is there nothing to see here and we should just move along and perhaps reinforce our doors?

I've never seen anything from Balko that wasn't hysterical misinformation. Oh my, the widdle puppies got shot! Sad eyes...... cry
10309  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Kagan on: May 13, 2010, 11:20:21 AM
When did Matthew Broderick gain so much weight? Just asking.....
10310  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2010, 11:17:27 AM
It appears that a dealable amount wasn't found, however this does not mean that they were not there earlier. Dealer implies that the drugs are being sold. A search warrant was issued by a judge, who obviously found there was probable cause to believe there was evidence of a crime to be seized at the residence. Pardon the officers serving a search warrant for not wanting to be a pit bull's chew toy. Shooting an aggressive dog is quite reasonable and to be expected under those circumstances.

So, when G. Washington grew hemp, was it legal? Yes.

Has any court anywhere ruled that drug laws are unconstitutional? No.

Can you offer any evidence that the search warrant in Radly Balko's little propaganda piece was unlawful or unconstitutional? You may not like drug laws or tactical teams and search warrants, but the general public does, so I guess you'll just have to adjust to the concept.

10311  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2010, 09:08:55 AM
10312  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2010, 09:02:22 AM
I don't mind the seizure of assets, but it should only happen after a conviction. It should never happen with charges not being filed.
10313  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2010, 08:57:56 AM

Search Warrants (podcast transcript)Miller:    We’re back.  This is Tim Miller and Jennifer Solari.  We’re making some progress don’t you think, Jenna?

Solari:    I think so.

Miller:     Ah, we’ve explained that a government intrusion into a place where one has a reasonable expectation of privacy triggers the 4th Amendment, and that once triggered, the search has to be reasonable and to be reasonable the courts are typically going to require probable cause supporting a warrant.  Now Jenna you did an excellent job explaining probable cause.

Solari:    Thanks.

Miller:    Now I’m going to ask what’s a search warrant?

Solari:    In a nut shell, it’s judicial permission to search a particular place for specific evidence of a crime.

Miller:    Who can issue one?

Solari:    Federal judges or state court judges of record, as long as they’re neutral and detached.  And, when I say neutral and detached, I mean they’re just not partial to either side. 

Federal judges obviously can issue warrants and there are magistrate judges, district court judges, appellate court judges and of course we have justices of the Supreme Court.  I really don’t envision too many agents knocking on the doors of the Supreme Court to get a warrant.  For the most part, they’re going to be dealing with federal magistrate judges and as I stated state court judges of record can also issue warrants. 

I’m doubt a whole lot of federal agents use state court judges of record, but I would imagine that it probably comes into play when we have people, say working for Bureau of Land Management, where they may be a single agent by him or herself, way out in the wilderness, and they just don’t have easy access to a federal court.  Whether a court is a  court of record, a state court of record, is determined by state law, but an essential feature of that is a permanent record - a record of proceedings be kept and be made in that state court.  That’s what makes it a court of record.

Miller:      Sounds to me like most federal agents are going to be going before federal judges.  Do you agree?

Solari:    That’s right and for the most part; it’s going to be a magistrate court judge.

Miller:    Federal magistrate?

Solari:    Yes.

Miller:    Do the judges have any kind of jurisdictional limits?

Solari:    Yes; since federal search warrants can be issued by federal judges, or again from a judge in the state court of record.  They’re issued to search for and seize a person or property located within that judge’s district.  So, with a few limited exceptions, the person to be searched, or the place to be searched has to be found within that judge’s district.

Miller:    What district does Georgia fall into?

Solari:    First, federal districts don’t cross state lines.  Each state consists of one or more districts.  Kansas is only a single district.  Georgia has three districts - the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia.

Miller:    Suppose an agent wanted to search a house here in Brunswick, Georgia; where would the agent go for a search warrant?

Solari:    Well, since Brunswick is in the Southern District of Georgia, the agent would go to a federal magistrate within the Southern District.

Miller:    Makes sense.

Solari:    Mmmhmm

Miller:    What if the person or thing to be searched moved outside of the district before the search?

Solari:    Well as long as the place to be searched is within the judge’s district when the warrant’s issued, the warrant can still be executed outside the district if that item or place happens to move.

Miller:    Are there any exceptions to these jurisdiction requirements?

Solari:    A couple.  Nation wide warrants are authorized in certain cases.  Say for instance terrorist activities occur within a certain district; the judge in that district can issue a warrant that’s good in any other district, as long as some of those terrorist activities took place in that judge’s district.  Also, in cases of stored electronic communications, nation wide search warrants are possible by a judge with jurisdiction over the offense that’s involved.

Miller:    Now we talked about this before when we were talking about probable cause; but, how does an agent get a search warrant?

Solari:    With a search warrant application; and, again that application consists of three primary pieces of information.  The agent has to set forth where he or she wants to search.  We have to particularly describe the place to be searched to a reasonable certainty. 

The agent has to set forth what he wants to search for.  Again, with particularity so we know what the agent’s authorized to search for and seize. 

And, of course, probable cause.  This is the meat of the application describing the facts that support probable cause.  It shows that the things to be searched for are located in the place to be searched.

Miller:    Now let’s, let’s talk a little bit about each of these three parts.  How does the agent describe the place to be searched?

Solari:    Well, first let’s talk about where the requirement comes from.  The 4th Amendment actually states that no warrant shall issue without a particular description describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. So agents have to describe the place with reasonable certainty.  I’d like to explain that.  Let’s say, someone’s not involved in your operation at all.  You’re running a case and you’ve obtained a warrant from the court, but for some reason you and your team can’t execute it that day.  You need someone else to come in and do it for you.  That person should be able to pick up your warrant and based on your description of that place, they should be able to get to that place and identify it to a reasonable certainty - so they know they’re at the right place when they execute that warrant.

Miller:    So somebody’s given directions to a party before, he ought to accomplish this task.  Don’t you think?

Solari:    I think so.

Miller:    What can agents search for?

Solari:    Well you can find that list in Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures 41C.  There’s a laundry list of things like evidence of a crime, and that seems like it includes just about anything, but let me give you a for instance. 

Bloody clothes would be evidence of a crime if you suspect someone of an assault, rape, or murder.  We can also search for contraband and by that, I mean stuff that’s illegal to possess, like drugs, explosives, or child pornography; just unlawful to possess in of themselves.  We can search for fruits of a crime, so the fruits of a larceny maybe a stolen t.v. set or something else that was stole from a premises.  We can search for instruments of crime, things that were used in the offense, like the gun used in the bank robbery, or we can search for a person to be arrested or a person who is being illegally held. 

Miller:    I guess that agents also have to be pretty careful about how they describe those things, don’t they?

Solari:    Yes.  Again, the 4th Amendment requires that the things to be seized be described with particularity, which makes sense.  The particularity requirement makes sure that a search is confined in its scope to the particular described evidence that relates to the crime for which the agent demonstrated probable cause.  So if the agent’s looking for contraband, then he has to tell the magistrate what kind of contraband  You can’t just say contraband or items illegally possessed.  You have to be specific and say for instance marijuana.  If the agent is looking for a stolen TV set, or the gun that was used in the robbery, he has to describe those items and if possible give the make, model or even a serial number if one is available.

Miller:    Now the third piece of this puzzle is that probable cause affidavit.  Now we discussed this a little bit earlier when we talked about probable cause.  Ah, can you reiterate a little bit?

Solari:    Sure.  The affidavit establishes, or should establish a nexus between those items you’re looking for - the evidence you’re seeking - and the place that you want to search. The standard proof again is probable cause - facts that would lead a person of reasonable caution to believe that that search is going to reveal specific evidence of the crime that you suspect. So, factors to consider in determining whether you satisfied that nexus requirement would be direct observations. 

Suppose an informant with a reliable track record tells you that he saw narcotics in the suspect’s home.  So there we have a nexus between possession of illegal narcotics and the suspect’s home.  The nature of the crime and the items sought. 

We talked before about the sale of counterfeit currency.  It’s only natural to think that if a person has something of high value, they are probably going to secure it in their home.  Sometimes agents have to rely on inferences rather than a direct observation.  Umm and we have to be mindful also so that the information can’t be stale, and this probably comes into play most often with drug offenses. 

If your informant came to you and said he saw narcotic in the suspects home, the very next question you probably need to ask is “when?.”  If this was six months ago, narcotics  might not be there any longer.  The information is stale.  The age of the information is going to be a critical factor in determining probable cause, depending on the item that you’re looking for.

Miller:    Okay, thanks.  I tell ya, let’s take a break and when we come back, we’ll talk about how these warrants must be executed.  You know like who can execute them, the method of entry, locations that can be searched, durations of search, and the need to inventory what’s taken.

Solari:    All right.
10314  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: May 13, 2010, 08:46:44 AM
You still have to establish a nexus between the fund raising and the terrorist act. The Animal Liberation Front may bomb a research lab, but this doesn't mean you can then arrest everyone who doesn't like testing on animals. You could however pursue both the bombers and those that provided the funds for the bombing, if the funds were given knowing they would allow for a terrorist act to be committed.
10315  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2010, 08:40:13 AM

Although the above is Cali. specific, most all of applies to other states as well.
10316  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 12, 2010, 11:06:21 PM
Drug dealers present potentially serious threats. Using a tactical team is entirely reasonable to serve a search warrant. As usual, Radly Balko fills his writing with misinformation, if not outright lies.
10317  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 12, 2010, 08:40:15 PM
May 12, 2010

Depression 2010?
By Robert Samuelson

WASHINGTON -- It is now conventional wisdom that the world has avoided a second Great Depression. Governments and the economists who advise them learned the lessons of the 1930s. When the gravity of the financial crisis became apparent in late 2008, the response was swift and aggressive. Central banks like the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank dropped interest rates and lent liberally to threatened financial institutions and rattled investors. The United States and many countries approved "stimulus" programs of tax cuts and additional spending. Panic was halted. A downward spiral of falling private spending and rising unemployment was reversed. The resulting economic slump was awful. But it was not another Great Depression. The worst has passed.

Or has it? Greece's plight challenges this optimistic interpretation. It implies that celebration is premature and that the economic crisis has moved into a new phase: one dominated by the huge debt burdens of governments in advanced societies. Comparisons with the Great Depression remain relevant -- and unsettling. Now, as then, we may be prisoners of deep and poorly understood changes to the world economic system.
10318  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Shazad and the pre-911 paradigm on: May 12, 2010, 08:33:21 PM
Question presented:  What of Glenn Beck's hypothetical last night in the context of the Kagan nomination and her statement in support of treating someone accused of raising money for AQ as an enemy combatant:  What if another Timothy McVeigh strikes?  Can the State use what Mukasey describes below to go after those of us who actively support the 912 movement/the Tea Party?

Unless you knowingly raise money for the Timothy McVeigh or a terrorist group that espouses your ideals, there isn't anything illegal in lawful political speech.
10319  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 10, 2010, 12:19:21 AM

Read it all.
10320  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: May 06, 2010, 10:41:51 AM
Armed citizens can't do much regarding IEDs, can they?
10321  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: May 06, 2010, 08:57:49 AM
You can deprive a person of their rights, but only through due process.

This differs from engaging an enemy on a battlefield. When the Marines waded onto Iwo Jima, they were not serving a search warrant on the Japanese bases on the island and placing the Japanese troops under arrest.

Placing a person on a watchlist is a law enforcement tool for internal use. Placing a person on a watchlist does not remove their core constitutional rights. Until you establish probable cause for an arrest, and it's upheld by judicial review, you cannot deprive them of freedoms.
10322  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: May 06, 2010, 08:48:24 AM
So, my question is to the libertarians is, should law enforcement have intelligence units and U/C officers?

What is the libertarian model for counterterrorism?
10323  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 04, 2010, 04:49:26 PM
There are still administrative costs related to storage, audits. I know banks already have to hire staff just to meet current financial reporting statutes. In the big picture, the feds or other LE can already pick apart your financial transactions without much effort anyway.
10324  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: May 04, 2010, 04:34:56 PM

Hey, I've got a good idea! Let's elect someone to the presidency that wouldn't survive vetting for even a low level security clearance. What's the worst that could happen?
10325  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 04, 2010, 03:59:33 PM
The PA. ad is silly.

The 2nd is a real issue, especially with the costs involved in archiving the data, which we all get to foot the bill for.
10326  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: May 04, 2010, 05:56:17 AM
The headline to the story should read "Obama gives classified information to enemies".
10327  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: May 04, 2010, 12:36:07 AM

Pakistan Émigré in Connecticut Arrested as Times Square Bomber
FBI Says Faisal Shahzad Bought Vehicle That Carried Bomb on April 24, After Trip to Pakistan
May 4, 2010
FBI has arrested a 30-year old Bridgeport, Connecticut man in connection with the failed attempt to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square, federal authorities told late Monday night.

**Angry Buddhist? Fundamentalist Christian? Tea Party member?**
10328  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 03, 2010, 03:53:18 PM

Persons of interest.
10329  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 03, 2010, 03:45:23 PM

Two men hunted over Times Square car bomb
Police investigating a failed attempt to detonate a car bomb in Times Square are hunting two men filmed acting suspiciously at the scene.
By Tom Leonard in New York
Published: 7:04PM BST 03 May 2010

Link to this video They released security camera footage shot just after the car was abandoned with its engine running and hazard lights flashing.

It showed a white man in his 40s stopping in the street near the car, looking around and taking off his dark shirt, revealing a red one underneath.

 Stuffing the shirt into a bag, the man glanced back towards the now smoking car and he walked off in the opposite direction.

Raymond Kelly, the chief of New York's police, said the man was acting in a "furtive" manner.

Investigators were also expected to release another videotape, shot by a tourist, which was expected to show a man running north on Broadway away from the area.
10330  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 03, 2010, 03:38:35 PM

Officials increasingly see international link in Times Square bomb attempt

By Spencer S. Hsu, Anne E. Kornblut And Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 3, 2010; 3:52 PM

The failed car bombing in Times Square increasingly appears to have been coordinated by more than one person in a plot with international links, Obama administration officials said Tuesday.

The disclosure, while tentative, came as the White House intensified its focus on the Saturday incident in New York City, in which explosives inside a Nissan Pathfinder were set ablaze but failed to detonate at the tourist-crowded corner of Broadway and 45th Street.
10331  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 03, 2010, 11:18:30 AM

Note the last page.
10332  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 03, 2010, 10:25:44 AM

Climate of violence, right?
10333  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 03, 2010, 10:20:35 AM

10334  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 03, 2010, 09:56:45 AM

Just made those calls.
10335  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 03, 2010, 09:18:45 AM
From the AP:

Investigators were also looking to speak with a man in his 40s videotaped shedding his shirt near the sport utility vehicle where the bomb was found.

The surveillance video, made public late Sunday, shows an unidentified white man apparently in his 40s slipping down Shubert Alley and taking off his shirt, revealing another underneath. In the same clip, he's seen looking back in the direction of the smoking vehicle and furtively putting the first shirt in a bag.

The NYPD and FBI also were examining "hundreds of hours" of security videotape from around Times Square.

Police said the crude gasoline-and-propane bomb could have produced "a significant fireball" and sprayed shrapnel and metal parts with enough force to kill pedestrians and knock out windows. The SUV was parked on one of America's busiest streets, lined with Broadway theaters and restaurants and full of people out on a Saturday night.

10336  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: May 03, 2010, 09:05:44 AM

Not the worst, by far.
10337  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 03, 2010, 08:44:40 AM
Believe me, this is not the only avenue they are looking at. A lot of detective are running down leads from about every conceivable angle aside from this video.
10338  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: May 03, 2010, 08:39:55 AM

Technology like this would be nice.
10339  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 03, 2010, 08:24:28 AM
If he's arrested before he can build a better bomb, it will prevent a crime and save lives.
10340  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: May 03, 2010, 08:00:25 AM
Oil spills suck. Not having oil and gasoline sucks worse. I'm not sure if more could have been done to prevent or mitigate the spill as it's way outside my knowledge base.
10341  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 03, 2010, 07:46:15 AM
Generally, you can't do much with most video footage as fas as enhancement. You end up with bigger pixels, in most cases. However, given the number of various cameras this individual had to pass by, I'm willing to bet we'll have a good idea of what he looks like, if not who he is soon. It may also ID any accomplices, if any.
10342  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / 3 cheers for surveillance cameras! on: May 03, 2010, 06:49:44 AM

Authorities were examining security cameras and other evidence to see if they could identify a possible suspect or motive -- and already had located video of the car being driven to the scene.

"Right now, we have no evidence that this was anything but a one-off" attack, Napolitano told "This Week" this morning.

"Tape is being reviewed and additional forensics are being done in addition to that," she added. "Times Square, I think, now is safe."
10343  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: May 02, 2010, 04:24:29 PM

Times Square car bomb: police investigate South Park link

Police in New York are investigating whether a car bomb in Times Square was targeted on the makers of South Park over a controversial depiction of the Prophet Mohammed.
10344  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Knife Talk - Reviews and Rants on: May 02, 2010, 04:06:01 PM
DAs are political animals and tend to react along political lines. The DA has a lot of discretion in filing charges or not, or emplaneling a grand jury to review a use of force by a LEO or citizen. An identical shooting that might get you a commendation in Rope and Ride, Texas could get you indicted in Berkely, CA. Your appearance, and the appearance of the weapon you use and the perceptions that engenders in the public and especially a jury can make all the difference in the world.

Note how in some places in the US, so called "assault weapons" are outlawed, despite the fact that flash hiders, pistol grips and bayonet lugs are cosmetic rather than real issues. I have yet to find an incident of a drive by bayoneting, but some laws have been made to forbid such things because of public perceptions of them.

Even if you are an orthodox jew, I wouldn't carry a WWII era Walther with a German proof stamp for defensive purposes. You might be very proud of your custom 1911, but leave "Kill them all, let god sort them out"  off the engraving on the slide, or the mother of pearl grips with the Punisher skull logo.

Ideally, ye,s the use of force should be judged strictly on the merits of the case alone, unfortunately perception and politics can and do factor in to how the case is handled in the criminal and civil courts.
10345  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Knife Talk - Reviews and Rants on: May 02, 2010, 08:53:40 AM
In places like the PRK, it's sound advice. Not as important in free states.

Good luck on LASD, Maxx. It's one of the best agencies in the US, IMHO.
10346  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Knife Talk - Reviews and Rants on: May 01, 2010, 09:12:51 AM
I'm a big fan of Cold Steel knives.
10347  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 01, 2010, 09:11:21 AM

Just shooting the cops Americans won't shoot.....
10348  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 30, 2010, 09:23:22 AM
If I make a traffic stop, and I have to say "Tiene liciencia" "Dame sus identificacion" because "No hablo englais", this is what we call "a clue".
10349  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 29, 2010, 08:47:43 PM

Arizona and 'Lawful Contact'   [Andy McCarthy]

My column this morning is about the Arizona immigration law and attempts to make the point (among other points) that the state law is a measured response to a serious economic, social, and law enforcement problem. As I detail, the powers invoked by the statute are tiny compared to the federal government's border enforcement powers, which are not subject to any of the usual protections of the Fourth Amendment's warrant clause.

Contrary to the hysterical charges of racism being leveled at the statute, it does not permit a no-holds-barred inquisition of Hispanic people. Indeed, the state law demands more of police than federal law. To begin with, there is to be no inquiry about a person's immigration status unless the "contact" between the police officer and the person is "lawful" in the first instance.

There are three relevant gradations of contact between a police officer and a person: non-custodial, brief detention, and arrest. The non-custodial context refers generally to any incidental interaction between a police officer and an individual — including those initiated by the individual. A police officer does not need suspicion in order to ask a person a question, but the person is not required to answer and the officer has no lawful authority to detain a person, even fleetingly, absent "reasonable suspicion."

Brief detentions are known in the law as "Terry stops" — thanks to the famous Supreme Court case of Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). Under Terry, a police officer may only detain a person if the officer has reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity. This standard is not met by a hunch or a generalized suspicion — a cop who says to himself, "Those look like Mexicans, they must be up to no good," does not make the grade. Instead, the officer must be able to articulate specific facts which, together with the logical inference to be drawn from those facts, reasonably suggest that criminal activity has occurred or is imminent. Courts are deferential to the judgment of police officers — the standard is not what any person would think of the facts observed but what an experienced cop acting reasonably and responsibly would think. But there must be specific, describable indicia of criminal activity.

The permissible duration of a Terry stop depends on the circumstances. The Supreme Court has not set in stone some magic moment where a brief detention evolves into an arrest. But arrest happens when the detention has become police custody. At that point, the officer must have probable cause that a crime has been or is being committed.

So the Arizona immigration law does not allow the police officer to have contact with the person unless the contact is lawful. This means if even the briefest detention is involved, the police officer must have reasonable suspicion that some crime has been or is being committed. Absent that, the officer is not permitted to stop the person.

Now, why do I say the Arizona law is more restrictive of police than is federal law? Well, the Supreme Court has held that one common rationale for a permissible Terry stop is to ascertain the identity of the person who is detained. That is, federal law would probably permit an inquiry into citizenship as a part of establishing who the detainee is — again, as long as the officer had a good reason for detaining the person in the first place.

The Arizona law, by contrast, does not give a cop this latitude. Instead, the officer is permitted to attempt to determine the person's immigration status only if, in addition to the initial contact being lawful, there also exists specific "reasonable suspicion that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States." As I noted above, our Fourth Amendment jurisprudence teaches that reasonable suspicion requires specific, articulable facts — not a hunch or generalized suspicion. Thus, the Arizona law requires that there be reasonable suspicion for both the initial stop (e.g., the police officer observed erratic driving and concluded the person might be intoxicated) and for pursuing a line of inquiry about whether the person is an illegal alien.

Two more principles are instructive here. The first involves the complaint that this law may result in a person's being found to be an illegal alien even if the reason the police officer stops him has nothing to do with his immigration status. So what? If the police stop you because you are driving erratically and they find an illegal gun in your car, you may be prosecuted for possession of the gun — the fact that the cops weren't looking for a gun is irrelevant. Ditto if police get a warrant to search your home for stolen appliances and, while lawfully searching, find a bag of cocaine — you can be charged for violating the drug laws even though that is not what the warrant allowed the police to look for. The question is not what the police were expecting to find; it is whether they were lawfully conducting a search in the first place.

Second, all of the above takes place within the context of the the civil rights laws. Under Section 1983 of Title 42, United States Code, state law enforcement officers may be sued if they deprive a person of any rights, privileges or immunities to which the Constitution entitles him. Police officers who enforce the law in bad faith, who harrass people without a reasonable basis to believe a crime has been or is about to be committed, are liable to civil suit. The legal, financial, and professional consequences of violating the civil rights laws can be very damaging.

As I indicated in my column, I agree with Byron: The people who are complaining about this law almost certainly either have not read it or are demagogues who would make the same absurd claims no matter what they law said.

10350  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 28, 2010, 10:51:58 PM
**I like every point here.**

April 27th, 2010 11:41 am
How Could They Do That in Arizona!The Arizona Hysteria

Racist! Nativist! Profiler! Xenophobe!

Write or say anything about illegal immigration, and one should expect to be called all of that and more—even if a strong supporter of legal immigration. Illegal alien becomes undocumented worker. Anti-immigrant replaces anti-illegal-immigration. “Comprehensive” is a euphemism for amnesty. Triangulation abounds. A fiery op-ed grandstands and deplores the Arizona law, but offers no guidance about illegal immigration — and blames the employer for doing something that the ethnic lobby in fact welcomes.

Nevertheless, here it goes from a supporter of legal immigration: how are we to make sense of the current Arizona debate? One should show concern about some elements of the law, but only in the context of the desperation of the citizens of Arizona. And one should show some skepticism concerning mounting liberal anguish, so often expressed by those whose daily lives are completely unaffected by the revolutionary demographic, cultural, and legal transformations occurring in the American Southwest.

As I understand the opposition to the recent Arizona law, it boils down to something like the following: the federal government’s past decision not to enforce its own law should always trump the state’s right to honor it. That raises interesting questions: Does the state contravene federal authority by exercising it? If the federal government does not protect the borders of a state, does the state have a right to do it itself? The federal government has seemed in the past to be saying that if one circumvented a federal law, and was known to have circumvented federal law with recognized impunity, then there was no longer a law to be enforced.

A Losing Political Issue

The politics of illegal immigration are a losing proposition for liberals (one can see that in the resort to euphemism), even if they don’t quite see it that way. Here are ten considerations why.

Law?—What Law?

First, there is the simplicity of the argument. One either wishes or does not wish existing law to be enforced. If the answer is no, and citizens can pick and chose which laws they would like to obey, in theory why should we have to pay taxes or respect the speed limit? Note that liberal Democrats do not suggest that we overturn immigration law and de jure open the border — only that we continue to do that de facto. Confusion between legal and illegal immigration is essential for the open borders argument, since  a proper distinction between the two makes the present policy  indefensible—especially since it discriminates against those waiting in line to come to America legally (e.g., somehow our attention is turned to the illegal alien’s plight and not the burdensome paperwork and government obstacles that the dutiful legal immigrant must face).

Why Wave the Flag of the Country I Don’t Wish to Return To?

Second, often the protests against enforcement of immigration law are strangely couched within a general climate of anger at the U.S. government (and/or the American people) for some such illiberal transgression (review the placards, flags, etc. at May Day immigration rallies). Fairly or not, the anger at the U.S. and the nostalgia for Mexico distill into the absurd, something like either “I am furious at the country I insist on staying in, and fond of the country I most certainly do not wish to return to” or “I am angry at you so you better let angry me stay with you!” Such mixed messages confuse the electorate. As in the case with the Palestinians, there is an effort to graft a foreign policy issue (protecting an international border) onto domestic identity politics, to inject an inflammatory race/class element into the debate by creating oppressors, victims, and grievances along racial divides.

Big Brother Mexico?

Third, Mexico is no help. Now it weighs in with all sorts of moral censure for Arizonians — this from a corrupt government whose very policies are predicated on exporting a million indigenous people a year, while it seeks to lure wealthy “gringos” to invest in second-homes in Baja. The absence of millions from Oaxaca or Chiapas ensures billions in remittances, less expenditures for social services, and fewer dissident citizens. But the construct of Mexico as the concerned parent of its own lost children is by now so implausible that even its sympathizers do not take it seriously. Mexico has lost all credibility on these issues, expressing concern for its own citizens only when they seem to have crossed the border — and left Mexico.

It’s Not a Race Issue

Fourth, there really is a new popular groundswell to close the borders. Most against illegal immigration, especially in the case of minorities and Mexican-American citizens, keep rather mum about their feelings. But that silence should not be interpreted as antagonism to enforcing the law. Many minorities realize that the greatest hindrance to a natural rise in wages for entry level jobs has been the option for an employer to hire illegal aliens, who, at least in their 20s and 30s, will work harder for less pay with fewer complaints (when sick, or disabled, or elderly, the worker is directed by the employer to the social services agencies and replaced by someone younger as a new cycle of exploitation begins). In this context, the old race card is less effective. The general population is beginning to see not that Americans (of all races who oppose illegal immigration) are racist, but that the open borders movement has itself a racially chauvinistic theme to it, albeit articulated honestly only on university campuses and in Chicano-Latino departments, as a sort of “payback” for the Mexican War, where redress for “lost” land is finally to be had through demography.

Bad Times

Fifth, we are in a deep recession, in which the jobs that for so long seemed unappealing to American citizens are now not all that unappealing. The interior of California suffers from 20% Depression-style unemployment; many of the jobless are first and second-generation Mexican-Americans, who would have some leverage with employers if there were not an alternative illegal labor poll.

A Fence—How Quaint!

Sixth, the so-called unworkable fence mostly works; it either keeps border crossers out or diverts them to unfenced areas. (There is a reason why Obama has ordered its completion tabled). It used to be sophisticated wisdom to tsk-tsk something as reductive as walls, usually by adducing the theory that if an occasional alien made it over or under a wall, then it was of no utility, without acknowledging the fence’s effectiveness in deterring most would-be crossers. But where the fence has gone up, crossings have gone down; and where it is not yet completed crossings have increased.

One Big Travel Advisory?

Seventh, Mexico is now more violent than Iraq. The unrest is spilling across the borders. The old shrill argument that criminals, drug smugglers, and violence in general are spreading into the American southwest from Mexico is not longer quite so shrill.

11 Million—Then, Now, Forever?

Eighth, the numbers are cumulative. We talked of “eleven million illegal aliens” in 2001, and still talk of “eleven million illegal aliens” in 2010. In fact, most suspect that there is more likely somewhere between 12 and 20 million. (Do the math of annual arrivals and add them to the existing pool, factoring in voluntary and coerced deportations).

Money for Mexico?

Ninth, we are at last turning to the issue of remittances: How can expatriates send back some $20-30 billion in remittances, if they are impoverished and in need of extensive entitlements and subsidies to cushion the harshness of life in America? Do those lost billions hurt the U.S. economy? Are they a indirect subsidy for Mexico City? Were such funds ever taxed completely or off-the-books cash income? Remittances are Mexico’s second largest source of foreign exchange; that it comes so often off the sweat of minimum-wage workers seems especially ironic, given Mexico’s protestations about human rights.

The California Canary

Tenth, California’s meltdown is instructive. If about half the nation’s illegal aliens reside in the state, and its problems are in at least in some part attributable to soaring costs in educating hundreds of thousands of non-English-speaking students, a growing number of aliens in prison and the criminal justice system, real problems of collecting off-the-books income and payroll taxes, expanding entitlements, and unsustainable social services, do we wish to avoid its model?

The Law’s a Mess?

The enforcement of the law, such as it is, has become Byzantine: illegal aliens in California pay a third of the college tuition as non-resident citizens; police routinely inquire about all sorts of possible criminal behavior — except the violation of federal immigration statutes. Past, once-and-for-all, final, absolutely-no-more amnesties encourage more illegal entries on the expectation of more such no-more amnesties.

Bottom line. I can understand the liberal desire for open borders. For some, it is genuine humanitarianism — that the U.S. is wealthy enough to absorb a quarter of the impoverished population of Mexico. For others, it is policy by anecdote: helping a long-employed nanny with a car payment or a loyal gardener with a legal matter by extension translates into support for de facto open borders. I have met over the years literally hundreds of Bay Area residents who have assured me that because they have developed a close relationship with Juan, their lawn mower, by extension everyone in nearby Redwood City — which they do not frequent and keep their children away from — ipso facto is like Juan and thus should be given amnesty.

On the political side, Democrats clearly welcome new voting constituents. Illegal aliens becoming citizens, at least for a generation or so, translates into more entitlements and a larger government to administer.  (Note how there is not a liberal outcry that we do not let in enough computer programers from India, small businessmen from France and Germany, or doctors from Korea).  Then there is the gerrymandering of the American Southwest to reflect new demographic realities, and the pipe-dream of a salad bowl of unassimilated peoples in need of a paternalistic liberal technocratic governing class — all that apparently is worth the firestorm of trying to ram through something so unpopular as “comprehensive” reform.

Not Quite So Easy

Do conservatives have the winning argument? For now yes — simply close the border , fine employers of illegal aliens, and allow the pool of aliens to become static. Fining employers both stops illegal immigration and is sometimes cheered on by the Left, as if the worker has no culpability for breaking the law (e.g., a liberal can damn unscrupulous employers and thereby oppose illegal immigration without confronting the La Raza bloc). Some will marry citizens. Some will voluntarily return to Mexico. Some will be picked up through the normal government vigilance we all face — traffic infractions, necessary court appearances, interaction with state agencies. And while we argue over the policy concerning the remaining majority of illegal aliens and such contentious issues as green-cards, guest workers, and so-called earned citizenship, the pool at least in theory shrinks.

Yet if I were a Republican policy-maker I would be very wary of mass deportations. A gradualist approach, clearly delineated, is preferable, in which those who have been here five years (to pick an arbitrary number), are gainfully employed, and are free of a criminal record should have some avenue for applying for citizenship (one can fight it out whether they should pay a fine, stay or return to Mexico in the process, and get/not get preference over new applicants.)

Again, one should avoid immediate, mass deportations (it would resemble something catastrophic like the Pakistani-Indian exchanges of the late 1940s), and yet not reward the breaking of federal law. Good luck with that.

Finally, legal immigration should be reformed and reflect new realities. Millions of highly educated and skilled foreigners from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe are dying to enter the U.S. Rather than base immigration criteria on anchor children, accidental birth in the U.S. without concern for legality, and family ties, we need at least in part to start giving preference to those of all races and nationalities who will come with critical skills, and in turn rely less on the social service entitlement industry. They should come from as many diverse places as possible to prevent the sort of focused ethnic tribalism and chauvinism we have seen in the case of Mexico’s cynicism.
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