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10851  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / FBI terrorism stings on: October 10, 2010, 03:36:08 PM
**Should law enforcement engage in proactive terrorism investigations or wait to do post-blast investigations?**

http://abcnews.go.com/US/fbi-arrests-terrorists-sting-operations-dallas-springfield/story?id=8666300

The FBI concluded two sting operations in the last two days that culminated with the arrests of a pair of terrorism suspects who believed they would be blowing up buildings in Dallas and Springfield, Ill.

Although not connected, officials say the FBI and Justice Department had to coordinate the timing of the two cases so that arrests would not cause suspects to get cold feet with their intention to conduct their operations.

Today, shortly after noon in Dallas, FBI agents swooped in on Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, who allegedly placed what he believed to be explosives in a car bomb near Fountain Place in downtown Dallas. Smadi, 19, a resident of Italy, Texas, is a citizen of Jordan and was in the U.S. illegally.

FBI agents became aware of Smadi on Internet chat rooms. According to an FBI affidavit filed by Thomas Petrokowski, head of a counterterrorism squad in the FBI's Dallas field office, "Smadi stood out, based on his vehement intention to actually conduct terror attacks in the United States."

Just 24 hours earlier, FBI agents in Springfield, Ill., arrested and charged Michael Finton with attempted murder, after he planted what he thought was a one-ton bomb outside Springfield's federal courthouse. Finton, aka Talib Islam, drove a van that he believed was carrying nearly a ton of explosives and parked it in front of the courthouse. Then, the FBI says, Finton "got out of the van," according to court documents and jumped into another car and dialed a cell phone to remotely detonate the bomb.

Finton's arrest was a sting operation, the explosives were fake. Finton was arrested and has been appointed a lawyer from the federal defenders office in Springfield. In Washington Thursday, David Kris, the assistant attorney general for the National Security Divsion, said of Finton's case, "Fortunately, a coordinated undercover law enforcement effort was able to thwart his efforts and ensure no one was harmed,"

Suspect Monitored on Internet Vowing Attacks

On chat rooms and jihadist Internet forums, Smadi consistently stated his commitment to attacks and violent jihad. According to the affidavit, after Smadi repeated these comments, an FBI undercover employee made contact with the young Jordanian and had about 10 communications with him. "During those interactions, Smadi made clear his intention to serve as a solider for [Osama] bin Laden and [al Qaeda], and to conduct violent jihad," according to the FBI affidavit.
10852  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 10, 2010, 03:23:49 PM
http://volokh.com/2009/12/13/does-the-fourth-amendment-prohibit-warrantless-gps-surveillance/

IV. Why the Knotts/Karo Line Is a Reasonable One

Some readers may be thinking, “But wait, Knotts is wrong!” As a result, they may want the courts to do anything that helps limit Knotts or even plant the seeds of its overruling. That raises the more fundamental question of whether the future Supreme Court should stick with Knotts/Karo or adopt a different rule.

To answer this, it help to see Knotts and Karo as examples of a recurring question of Fourth Amendment law: How to adapt the inside/outside distinction in light of new technologies? As I argue in this article, the inside/outside distinction is the basic building block of the Fourth Amendment. Surveillance of open spaces does not trigger the Fourth Amendment, while surveillance that breaks into enclosed spaces does. This dividing line ordinarily gives the government the power to investigate open spaces but not enclosed ones. The key question is how or whether to apply this line when technology changes: If technology allows greater surveillance, should the Supreme Court move the Fourth Amendment line accordingly? Karo and Knotts update the old line in a way that retains the basic inside/outside distinction. The cases look to whether the information collected reveals information about the inside of the home or what is happening outside, treating the locating device as a virtual person who either enters the home or stays outside it.

I think that’s a reasonable choice, as it aims for technology neutrality. It’s the basic approach I advocate in applying the Fourth Amendment to the Internet. It’s not perfect, of course. In my view, it should also be supplemented by statutory privacy laws to regulate the use of GPS devices, much like existing statutory privacy law presently regulates location information for cell phones. Statutory privacy laws have the advantage of flexibility: They could adopt a mid-level standard such as “reasonable suspicion” to regulate GPS surveillance and deter abuses, something that is much harder to get from the Fourth Amendment (which ordinarily requires a warrant).

Finally, if you reject Knotts and the inside/outside line, you need to come up with a replacement. It’s easy to say that you think the Fourth Amendment should regulate GPS surveillance. But it’s much harder to come up with a general view as to how the Fourth Amendment should regulate public surveillance and then situate the case of GPS within it. It’s not impossible, but it’s much harder. It’s especially difficult for a group of Justices to agree on another line that could operate with a reasonable degree of clarity in a range of cases over time. So while Knotts/Karo do not provide the only line the Court could follow, I think they do offer a reasonable one.
10853  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 10, 2010, 03:11:59 PM
Law enforcement officers are empowered to do things that others are not. A non-LEO cannot serve a search warrant/arrest warrant or obtain a title III warrant to wiretap a suspects phone or drive a vehicle far in excess of posted limits legally.
10854  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 10, 2010, 01:13:08 AM
http://www.fletc.gov/training/programs/legal-division/podcasts/hot-issues-podcasts/hot-issues-transcripts/gps-tracking-transcript.html

Miller: How else might GPS be help to a law enforcement officer? I mean, could they track people with it?

Hodges: Yeah, and I think that’s the thrusts of where we want to go. And here’s how tracking works. Officers can take a GPS receiver and covertly attach it to a vehicle. The receiver is set up to at particular, pre-set, pre-determined intervals. It calculates its location and remembers it. That data is recorded and then later on the officers can download that information from the device, put it on a computer and display when and where the vehicle was. It can even show a vehicles particular route, speed and the life.

More sophisticated installations are going to have equipment that will immediately translate the location through a cell phone on another wireless connection and officers can stand back and live track the vehicle either through a notebook computer that receives a cell phone signal or I’ve seen set ups where officers back in their offices or maybe even cross country can all track the same vehicle at the same time and we call that live tracking.

Miller: It’s got to have some limitations; it can’t be all perfect.

Hodges: Nothings perfect and there are both technical and some legal implications. Now obviously the departments are going to have to obtain the equipment and I recommend that they get proper training from the manufacture on how to use it. There’s also a course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center called the Covert Electronic Tracking Program and you can go to the same FLETC website without the legal part and you can sign up for that course or get information about it.

Another limitation with GPS is that current technology requires that satellite antenna or the GPS satellite antenna be exposed, so it’s able to see the sky. If it can’t see the sky, it can’t get a satellite signal. If the receiver, or more accurately, if the receiver antenna’s at a place where it can’t do that like a parking garage or a heavily forested area then GPS won’t work or if it does it’s going to be severally limited.

Miller: There’s also there’s got to be some legal implications.

Hodges: There always is. It’s our friend the 4th Amendment that comes back again. It’s all about REP, reasonable expectations of privacy. I think the easiest way to look at this is to have somebody who wants to do a GPS installation and use it for tracking, that officer should ask himself or herself three questions. First, do I need to intrude into a REP area to get to the vehicle to install the equipment? Second question is do I need to intrude into the vehicle’s REP to install the equipment? And the third question is will the officer be tracking a vehicle as it moves into a REP area? So, if the answer to any of those three questions is yes, then we are going to need a warrant. If the answer to all three of those questions is no, then we don’t need a warrant.

Before we get too far into the details, let me say that this Podcast deals with federal law. State law can differ and some of the differences are outlined in that webpage article that we talked about earlier.

Miller: Well let’s take a look at that first question, location of the vehicle at the time of the installation. Tell me a little bit about that.

Hodges: Well you and Jenna Solari have covered this already in your 4th Amendment Podcast series. And the way it goes is this; if the vehicle is located in an area where there’s REP, such as on a curtilage, the officers are going to need a warrant to get into the REP area to install the equipment. On the other hand, if the vehicle is parked out on a public road, a parking garage or even a road in a gated community there is no intrusion into REP to get that to the um vehicle.

I would add that most federal cases hold that there is no REP in ordinary driveways leading up to a residence, but I would certainly recommend an officers speak to their AUSA before doing an warrant less installation on a vehicle that’s parked in an owners driveway.

Miller: Okay, let’s look at that second question, now REP on the vehicle.

Hodges: Right. In some cases all the GPS tracking equipment can be installed on the exterior of the vehicle and we’re not having to intrude in the vehicle’s interior or the trunk or taping into the vehicle’s wiring. In that case there is no intrusion into a REP area because there’s no REP as to the exterior of a vehicle. If officers do have to go into interior of the vehicle or the trunk or tap into the vehicle’s wiring, they we are going to have an intrusion into a REP area and then a warrant is going to be required.

Miller: Now you told me that you can use this GPS system to actually track the vehicle. Correct?

Hodges: That’s right.

Miller: Talk to me about this, this third issue location of the vehicle in terms of where it might move.

Hodges: Now, federal law does not require a warrant to GPS monitor a vehicle as it moves over public roads and highways. If you are going to go tracking in public roads or highways I should say if you’re going to track in a REP area then a warrant is required. Usually this last factor isn’t very important in GPS tracking and that’s because GPS doesn’t work indoors and most REP areas for a vehicle is going to be in some covered area like a garage or a large warehouse complex. If you get into RF tracking that would be a different matter but we’re not talking about RF tracking today, we’re just talking about GPS.

Miller: Okay, you covered a lot of information. Can you, can you review these three questions please?

Hodges: Yep, I think that’s a good idea. First question is do I need to intrude into a REP area to get to the vehicle to install the equipment? Second, do I need to intrude into the vehicle’s REP to install the equipment; and third, will the officer be tracking the vehicle as it moves into a REP area? And again the math on this is pretty simple. If the answer to all of the questions is no, then under federal law I don’t need a warrant. If the answer to any of the three questions is yes, then I am going to going to need a warrant.

Miller: Hey, does Title III wire taps have anything to do with this tracking device?

Hodges: Tim, it doesn’t. In fact, Title III specifically excludes tracking devices from its coverage.
10855  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 09, 2010, 08:30:28 PM
So how will this all play out?
10856  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 09, 2010, 12:57:02 PM
Can you remember when California was a place people wanted to move to rather than escape from?
10857  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Coming of the Fourth American Republic on: October 09, 2010, 11:50:06 AM
http://www.american.com/archive/2009/april-2009/the-coming-of-the-fourth-american-republic/

Long and very much worth reading.
10858  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: October 09, 2010, 11:42:39 AM
Civilian trials for terrorists failing? Gee, who could have seen this coming??
10859  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: October 09, 2010, 10:29:34 AM
Obama and the dems move us another step towards being a banana republic.
10860  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 09, 2010, 10:01:01 AM
Agreed.
10861  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / An Inevitable Slide for Americans’ Standard of Living on: October 09, 2010, 09:44:40 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/business/08views.html?_r=1&src=busln

America’s standard of living could turn out to be the main casualty of the debt crisis. For a decade, the middle class made up for stagnant incomes by getting ever deeper into debt. Without housing wealth to tap, a bout of inflation is one of the few alternatives to a decade of austerity.
10862  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: October 09, 2010, 09:35:01 AM
The consequences from the U.N. or the Obama Administration will be what?

**The same China faces for seizing Japanese islands. The same Iran faces for building nuclear weapons to use on Israel and the US.**
10863  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 08, 2010, 09:55:49 PM
Barack Obama has awakened a sleeping nation
Gary Hubbell
Aspen Times Weekly


Barack Obama is the best thing that has happened to America in the last 100 years. Truly, he is the savior of America's future. He is the best thing ever.

Despite the fact that he has some of the lowest approval ratings among recent presidents, history will see Barack Obama as the source of America's resurrection. Barack Obama has plunged the country into levels of debt that we could not have previously imagined; his efforts to nationalize health care have been met with fierce resistance nationwide; TARP bailouts and stimulus spending have shown little positive effect on the national economy; unemployment is unacceptably high and looks to remain that way for most of a decade; legacy entitlement programs have ballooned to unsustainable levels, and there is a seething anger in the populace.

That's why Barack Obama is such a good thing for America.

**Read it all!**


http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20100228/ASPENWEEKLY/100229854
10864  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 08, 2010, 08:47:07 PM
http://americansecurityproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Foiled-Plots.pdf

Key Findings
There is no silver bullet for thwarting terrorist attacks. Few of the terror plots thwarted after 9/11 were disrupted using a single, clearly identifiable method. Many of the plots were discovered through a combination of happenstance, allowing authorities to take advantage of what were, in essence, lucky breaks; diligent police work; foreign law enforcement cooperation; civilian-provided intelligence; and other means, none of which can be clearly identified as having been the most critical to thwarting an attack. Since it is difficult to determine objectively what has prevented terrorist attacks since 9/11, attempts to state definitively which piece of information or counterterrorism measure led to the disruption of a given terrorist network or plot must be treated with a degree of skepticism.
Post-9/11 counterterrorism measures—including the PATRIOT Act and amended FISA surveillance provisions, unlawful combatant designations, indefinite detentions, and the use of torture techniques—have been instrumental in thwarting attacks in only a small number of cases. There has been considerable speculation that post-9/11 counterterrorism provisions have been instrumental in preventing many or all of the terrorist attacks thwarted since 9/11.3 This report finds,

however, that the law enforcement techniques, detention and interrogation procedures, and legislative measures adopted after 9/11 demonstrably contributed to thwarting attacks in only five cases, or less than one-sixth of the total number of foiled attacks. The fact that intelligence and law enforcement officials often closely guard specific details of counterterrorism investigations makes it impossible to definitively claim that the use of techniques and legal provisions enacted after 9/11 has not contributed significantly to a larger number of post-9/11 counterterrorism successes. It is also critical to note, however, that there has been little clear evidence demonstrating that they have. In March 2009, for example, FBI director Robert Mueller stated that roving wiretaps had been obtained 147 times after 9/11.4 However, authorities identified roving wiretaps as having been used to disrupt only one terrorist plot.

Counterterrorism investigations leading to thwarted attacks have drawn heavily on traditional law enforcement techniques. A plurality of the post-9/11 terrorist plots were disrupted using traditional law enforcement techniques—specifically physical surveillance, undercover agents, and confidential informants—to obtain information on terror suspects and their attack plans. Though in some cases these techniques have been modified to take into account new developments in communication technology (e.g., monitoring internet chat rooms and jihadist websites), the techniques employed in the majority of thwarted attacks have been in keeping with those used in criminal investigations before 9/11.

Citizens’ vigilance and luck have played a fairly significant role in thwarting attacks. In approximately 21% of the cases examined, civilians’ proactive involvement (either through direct action or provision of intelligence) and simple happenstance that worked to the authorities’ advantage were significant factors in plots being discovered or disrupted. This does not suggest that direct or indirect civilian action can or should be relied upon as a means of thwarting attacks. Nor does it imply that successful counterterrorism is primarily a matter of luck. It does, however, underscore the complex range of factors and circumstances that contribute to preventing attacks and the danger inherent in uncritically reducing counterterrorism successes to an explicit validation of any one policy or tool.

International cooperation remains vital. In several cases foreign intelligence and law enforcement cooperation—including the provision of intelligence and making arrests—was instrumental in dismantling terror plots. Though this is hardly a new phenomenon, Umar Farouk Abdumutallab’s use of international transfer points to reach his final attack site highlights the increasing importance of international cooperation when terrorist conspirators live, plan, and operate in multiple international jurisdictions where the United States might have a limited presence or reach. Cooperation has also become especially important in light of the fact that terrorists increasingly conspire to attack targets in the United States and abroad simultaneously, as with the attempted liquid explosives attack and Dhiren Barot’s multiple international plots. This trend underscores the importance of making real-time communication and deconfliction of national and agency priorities paramount.
10865  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 08, 2010, 08:25:49 PM
The president's new plan for Afghanistan:

1. Cut and run.

2. HuhHuhHuhHuh

3. PROFIT!!!!!
10866  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 08, 2010, 08:22:33 PM
Doug,

A lot of seriously bad people get arrested as the result of traffic stops for very minor traffic offenses. If you look at the stats for wanted felons arrested every year, state troopers tend to have the highest rates. Not because of special units that chase wanted felons, but sheer numbers of traffic stops. The more contacts, the better your odds of grabbing someone who really needs to go into custody. Dirtbags tend to not maintain their cars, stolen vehicles often have certain tell-tale signs as well. So living in a place where the local cops do lots of traffic tends to deter the criminal element from that area.
10867  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: We the unorganized militia on: October 08, 2010, 08:06:27 PM
An armed and trainedpopulation can make a big difference.
10868  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: We the unorganized militia on: October 08, 2010, 07:55:19 PM
Note that Mumbai type attacks have been tried many times in Israel. Aside from the schoolchildren at Ma'alot, it's hasn't turned out well for the hajis.
10869  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 08, 2010, 07:50:30 PM
I can tell you that as someone that has spent the vast majority of my adult life working in some aspect of the criminal justice system, the vast majority of men and women in law enforcement are good people who go out to do the right thing for the right reasons.
10870  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion on: October 08, 2010, 07:46:14 PM
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/01/iraqi-sufis-donate-to-hamas-boast-of-jihad-activity-in-iraq.html


Iraqi Sufis donate to Hamas, boast of jihad activity in Iraq

MasaalClearVictory.jpg
Sufis applaud Hamas' jihad

Many times over the years, when I have pointed out that all the orthodox Islamic sects and schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach the necessity to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers, people have countered by invoking the Sufis, whom they believe to be entirely peaceful and devoted to a wholly spiritualized form of Islam.

Unfortunately, this is not the case, and has never been the case, as Andrew Bostom showed here: Sufis from al-Ghazali to the present day have taught the necessity of jihad warfare, and have participated in that warfare. Here is more evidence: Iraqi representatives of the Naqshabandi Sufi order meet with Khaled Mashaal of Hamas, praise his jihad, donate jewelry to him, and boast of their own jihad attacks against Americans in Iraq.

"Hamas Leader Khaled Mash’al Meets with Iraqi Terrorists and Accepts Their Women’s Gold," from MEMRI, January 22 (thanks to Andrew Bostom):
10871  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 08, 2010, 05:03:46 PM
The reason we know that some FBI agents haven't complied with the required documentation in some cases? Because the DOJ OIG investigated and published it's findings. I'm pretty sure that's what you would call oversight.

Exactly what surveillance tools are you objecting to?

The FBI works lots of public corruption cases. If there are indications of corrupt law enforcement agencies, they often get lots of attention from the feds. The NOPD springs to mind as an example.

Radley Balko uses inflammitory press clippings in the same way gun control groups do. Ohhhh, that gun is an "assault rifle" because it has a flash hider and folding stock! Oh, that Mini-14 is ok because it has a wooden stock. There is no legal difference between a LEO in a class b uniform, BDUs and external vest or "soft clothes". Graham v. Connor is still the legal standard for the use of force, no matter what a LEO is wearing or what use of force tools are used.

10872  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Better than a bearded marxist on: October 08, 2010, 04:22:17 PM
http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2010/10/08/seriously-ii-odonnell-foe-bearded-marxist-checks-all-the-blocks/

Even with all of her considerable flaws, O'Donnell is still better than her opponent.
10873  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Stretching on: October 08, 2010, 04:01:33 PM
I've found doing "bridges" has helped my lower back pain quite a bit.
10874  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 08, 2010, 01:49:28 PM
http://patterico.com/2009/07/29/balko-utterly-demolishes-a-few-arguments-that-jack-dunphy-and-i-never-made/

Oh look, Radley Balko not letting the truth get in the way of his agenda. Shocking.
10875  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 08, 2010, 01:23:54 PM
It's easy to confuse one A-hole with another.....  wink
10876  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 08, 2010, 12:04:44 PM
Ayers, not Alinsky. Right?
10877  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 08, 2010, 11:59:34 AM
You can't un-invent technology. If a government is oppressive, exactly how will some law or policy regarding the use of technology stop it from doing so?



Yet one doesn't have to look too hard to find instances where investigated information leads to an incorrect door being kicked in.


And there are civil and criminal liabilities related to the incorrect door being kicked in. Aside from the structural disincentives already present, what else would you do? To have a rule of law, laws must be enforced.



Others disagree. List members are invited to make up their own minds viewing the data shown here: http://www.cato.org/raidmap/


Note that the website you link to is the creation of Radley Balko, who will not let the truth get in the way of his anti-law enforcement agenda.

Or don't municipalities regularly pay out for wrongful deaths and injuries resulting from police activity?

In our litigious society, it's often the strategy to pay to settle suits rather than litigate them, no matter how much the suit might lack merit.




10878  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Exotic concepts like "rule of law" on: October 08, 2010, 11:29:08 AM
http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/10/times_and_tea_party

LATE last week, New York Times reporter Kate Zernike noted  that many tea partiers, often at Glenn Beck's urging, have availed themselves of several classic texts, including F.A. Hayek's 1943 blockbuster "The Road to Serfdom"—surely one of the most influential political tracts of the last century. Ms Zernike, however, appears somewhat out of her element handling this sort of exotica. She writes:

    Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, alluded to “The Road to Serfdom” in introducing his economic “Roadmap for America’s Future,” which many other Republicans have embraced. Ron Johnson, who entered politics through a Tea Party meeting and is now the Republican nominee for Senate in Wisconsin, asserted that the $20 billion escrow fund that the Obama administration forced BP to set up to pay damages from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill circumvented “the rule of law,” Hayek’s term for the unwritten code that prohibits the government from interfering with the pursuit of “personal ends and desires.”

It's the last sentence that has me in stitches. Have you heard of this peculiar thing some call "the rule of law"? To be fair, Mr Hayek did eventually develop a distinctive conception of the rule of law, but it's not that distinctive, and the idea of "an unwritten code" certainly isn't part of it. Mr Hayek's late-period thought on cultural evolution did emphasise the heavy reliance of successful societies on unwritten and often inarticulable norms of behaviour, and our culture's will to uphold the ideals of the rule of law flows in large part from our unwrittern cultural endowment,  but the idea of an unwritten code is pretty much the opposite of what Hayek had in mind when it came to the rule of law.

Perhaps Ms Zernike missed the chapter titled "Planning and the Rule of Law" as she read "The Road to Serfdom" in preparation for this article. There, Hayek draws out the difference between "a free country" and "a country under arbitrary government". A country counts as free only if its government is bound by the rule of law, which, according to Hayek, "means that government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand". Typically, these rules, once fixed, are written down and then published through official state organs. The idea is that politically-determined rules need to be relatively fixed and publicly known in order to create a stable and certain framework in which individual planning and complex social coordination can flourish. The goal of replacing arbitrary government with the rule of law implies for Hayek, among other things, that executive discretion ought to be reduced "as much as possible".

As far as I can tell, Ron Johnson, the Republican Senate candidate from Wisconsin, hit the nail on the head when he identified the Obama administration's demand that BP set up an escrow fund as an instance of arbitrary government at odds with the rule of law. The issue here is not whether requiring such an account was a good idea. It probably was. The question is whether the executive branch, in issuing this demand, acted according to general legal rules already in place, or if it ignored established procedure and simply exercised power without prior authorisation in a manner unconstrained by known rules. One can ask similar questions about the Wall Street bail-outs, the partial nationalisation of General Motors, and the growing list of new executive powers claimed under the Bush and Obama administrations.
10879  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rogt/milt on: October 08, 2010, 11:25:12 AM
How's the socialism work out for you?

Thank you Denny for firsthand accounts.  The whole Chavez story is very sad for the people.  I hope you will tell us what you think the U.S. can do to help; I assume it is nothing.  Here we seem to be headed down a similar road.  Now we have an uprising, the tea party, and maybe a shift in one body of congress.  After that I fear we will head further down the same road, what you call 21st century socialism, forced redistributionism and a dismantling of the freedoms and pillars that used to make this a great place.


The only thing I wish from America would be for Obama and various Democrats and Hollywood types to stop backing Chavez. Unfortunately, Socialism is a world wide movement. They don't deny it, on the contrary, that is one more way they seek power. Not only that, they have co-opted the UN

Quote
On 20 September the Socialist International held the annual meeting of its Presidium with the participation of Heads of State and Government at the United Nations Headquarters.

http://www.socialistinternational.org/viewArticle.cfm?ArticleID=2072


XXI Century Socialism is the official Chavez slogan for his movement. He has publicly called himself a Marxist.

Countries have to relearn forgotten principles. America in great measure has discarded the principles of the Founding Fathers but maybe through the Tea Party movement, a true grass roots movement, there will be a revival of these principles. Yes, there are a lot of similarities between Chavez and Obama. The one big difference is that Chavez was able to rewrite the Constitution and to rearrange all the forces in Venezuela so as to take absolute control of the country. He has also committed treason by letting Cuba run the place. He even forced the Armed Forces to adopt the Cuban slogan: "Patria, Socialism o Muerte"  (Homeland, Socialism or Death).

Denny Schlesinger
 





10880  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 08, 2010, 11:14:22 AM
Jones wants out before he's forever tainted by us handing a big win to the global jihad in Afghanistan.
10881  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 08, 2010, 10:42:32 AM
All the screams from the left indicate just how accurate D'souza really is in his analysis.
10882  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / VERY relevant today on: October 08, 2010, 10:19:08 AM
http://claytonecramer.blogspot.com/2010/10/if-you-want-to-understand-what-makes.html


If You Want To Understand What Makes This Recession Continue
Ask the authors of Federalist 62.  First, the problem of the health care reform bill that came to 2700 pages:

    It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

The following paragraph explains why people like George Soros always back Democrats:

    Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue, or in any way affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch the change, and can trace its consequences; a harvest, reared not by themselves, but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the few, not for the many.

And why employers are reluctant to hire right now:

    In another point of view, great injury results from an unstable government. The want of confidence in the public councils damps every useful undertaking, the success and profit of which may depend on a continuance of existing arrangements. What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not but that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed? What farmer or manufacturer will lay himself out for the encouragement given to any particular cultivation or establishment, when he can have no assurance that his preparatory labors and advances will not render him a victim to an inconstant government? In a word, no great improvement or laudable enterprise can go forward which requires the auspices of a steady system of national policy.

The things you find, preparing for class!
10883  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Marriage and Family on: October 08, 2010, 09:43:24 AM
I remember reading a study that found children that were without a father because of his death were psychologically/emotionally better off than children of divorce. Look at prison populations and you'll find that the vast majority of inmates grew up without fathers.
10884  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 'stach-tastic! on: October 07, 2010, 10:06:25 PM
http://townhall.com/columnists/GuyBenson/2010/10/07/john_bolton_2012/page/full/

“Who was our last moustached president?” I ask John Bolton as we chat in his American Enterprise Institute office in downtown Washington, DC. “Taft,” he responds without hesitation, “And the last candidate was [Thomas] Dewey—not a comparison I’m excited about.” With a twinkle in his eye, he deadpans, “I think the American people would say it’s a complete non-issue.” The former US Ambassador to the United Nations may be willing to joke about his trademark facial hair, but as the 2012 election cycle looms, he sounds like a man who is seriously evaluating his own presidential aspirations.

Up to this point, Bolton has merely piqued the chattering class’ interest by refusing to foreclose the possibility of a presidential bid in a recent Daily Caller profile piece, and again during a Fox Business Network interview. Citing his chief priority of ensuring Republican gains in the 2010 midterm election, Bolton still won’t say if he’s planning to toss his hat into the ring, but now at least allows that he is “thinking about it very seriously”—a fairly significant rhetorical step toward to taking the plunge. It isn’t a new consideration either, he says. “I’ve been thinking about this really since it became clear early in the Obama administration that [the president’s] national security policy would be as bad as we feared it would be.”

Although Bolton denies he’s doing any heavy groundwork to set up a 2012 campaign, he’s not sitting still either. “What I am doing is talking to people who are experts on presidential campaigns because I’ve never run for elective office before,” he explains, before parenthetically pointing out that he is familiar with campaign finance law by dint of his work on the landmark 1976 Supreme Court case Buckley v. Valeo. I ask if he’s planning any trips to Iowa in the relatively near future, a question that he adroitly sidesteps with a chuckle and a change of subject.

If anyone doubts Bolton’s ability to withstand the rigors of a presidential bid, they ought to look no further than his grueling daily regimen. The 61-year-old Yale graduate wakes up every morning at 4 to read newspapers from across the globe, write, and prepare for media appearances and speeches. By the time most Americans slog into work, Bolton has already been absorbing information and generating content for five hours. As someone who requires very little sleep to function at a high level, Bolton finds the very early morning to be an especially productive period in his day because “the phone doesn’t ring at that time.” According to colleagues, Bolton also possesses a near-photographic memory, a quality he denies. “I wouldn’t go that far,” he says, chalking up his ability to retain enormous amounts of information to his training as a litigator.
10885  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: October 07, 2010, 03:00:54 PM
Doug,

As a foreclosure buyer, what happens if the real estate market never comes back? It's my opinion that indeed we are no where near the market floor, and that once the floor is found, the market will remain there for decades to come.
10886  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 07, 2010, 01:54:35 PM
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/obama-and-ben-bernanke-have-us-facing-the-abyss/?singlepage=true

If the congressional midterms, gubernatorial races, and various state and local electoral contests result in the large-scale repudiation of the left so many are expecting, it will represent only the barest of beginnings towards a genuine long-term national economic recovery.

Only now is it beginning to dawn on many American just how deep our short-term and long-term holes really are. Many others, including politicians who appear to be on their way to key positions after the elections, still don’t seem to get it. This column will focus on the near-term economy — because if we don’t get a handle on a quickly mushrooming mess, and soon, there may not be a long-term.

This nation’s government just completed its second fiscal year with deficits of well over a trillion dollars, a number that was unthinkable just two years ago. Despite claims to the contrary, true cash flow from federal government operations during fiscal 2010 was more negative than the previous year. It only looks better because of increased receipts from the Federal Reserve (more on that in a bit) and cleverly manipulated non-cash accounting entries that arbitrarily and artificially reduced this year’s reported outlays. Net tax collections are still about 20% below where they were two years ago, and are only showing bare signs of turning upward.
10887  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: October 07, 2010, 01:08:33 PM
Doug,

Concerns about oaths of office, the constitution and free markets are soooooo pre-1/2009. Obama promised to fundamentally transform the country, this is it. Enjoy!
10888  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: October 07, 2010, 11:46:05 AM
When the collapse comes, it'll happen faster than most imagine possible. If I owned a home in SoCal, I'd see it for whatever I could get for it and get out now.....
10889  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: October 06, 2010, 10:26:29 PM
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125427225

Journalist Charles Bowden, who details a city in collapse in his new book about Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, says that at first glimpse the border town looks like a flat tapestry of one-story buildings.

"It can be an illusion at first," he tells NPR's Mary Louise Kelly. "You'll see an Applebee's; you'll see a Radisson, a Denny's. You'll think everything's all right.

"What you don't see until you look closely is 100,000 people who've lost their factory jobs; 40 percent of the businesses have folded in the last year; 25 percent of the houses have been abandoned. And, of course, there's the killings," he says.

The killings are the focus of Bowden's new book, Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields. Most recently, the city was in the news after three people associated with the U.S. consulate were gunned down and killed.

But the reality is that on most days killings in Juarez don't make the front page. They've become, as Bowden has called it, "part of the ordinary noise of life."

Bowden says a recent study in Chihuahua state, in which Juarez is the largest city, found that 40 percent of young males harbored the ambition to become contract killers. He says half of any young man's peer group will be neither in school nor employed.

The drug industry makes $30 billion to $50 billion a year and is second only to petroleum among Mexico's lucrative exports.
10890  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Victor Perez: Hero on: October 06, 2010, 09:27:12 PM
http://www.examiner.com/sf-in-san-francisco/hero-victor-perez-saved-kidnapped-girl-from-gregorio-gonzalez-fresno-police-say

Hero Victor Perez saved kidnapped girl from Gregorio Gonzalez, Fresno Police said

Fresno, California, police say an alert and courageous man, Victor Perez, rescued an 8-year-old girl Tuesday morning after she was kidnapped the night before.

Police say the suspect, Gregorio Gonzalez, 24, kidnapped and molested the little girl. They say he was a gang member.

The girl was held captive for 12-hours before she was rescued.

Police showed surveillance video of Gonzalez’s truck on the media and that ultimately led to his capture and the girl’s rescue.

Perez recognized the truck from news reports and used his own car to cut off Gonzalez. Perez told KFSN-TV that it took him four tries before he was able to stop the truck

Perez said,  "At first, I didn't know if it was him or not but when he took off, I kept up with him and I cut him off three times until I caught up with him here. And I told him, that ain't your little girl man."

Gonzalez pushed the girl out of his truck and took off, Perez said. He called police while he stayed with the girl. About 40 minutes later, the California Highway Patrol later spotted the Gonzalez’s truck and arrested him without incident.

Fresno police say that in about 90% of similar cases, children are killed by their kidnappers within 24 hours.
10891  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Staff Sgt Robert J. Miller, CMH on: October 06, 2010, 08:50:52 PM
http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/miller/battlescape.html

An American warrior's heroic last stand. Never forget.
10892  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: October 06, 2010, 08:37:02 PM
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/04/14/92181/in-mexicos-murder-capital-residents.html

Ciudad Juarez, the sprawling Mexican metropolis of 1.3 million people across the border from El Paso, Texas, is Murder City, probably the most dangerous city in the world outside a declared war zone.

Already this year, 686 people have been murdered here. Residents hunker in trepidation. Most answer cell phone calls only from people they know to avoid random extortion attempts. Instead of going out on the town, they hold private parties — and only with close friends.

Those residents who can afford to leave have left.

"The exodus is dramatic," said Gustavo de la Rosa, the local ombudsman for the Chihuahua State human rights commission. "There are at least 20,000 abandoned houses, and maybe up to 30,000."

Americans have reason to be concerned, too. The U.S. does about $1 billion a day of trade with Mexico, and nearly one-sixth of that trade goes through the Juarez-El Paso region.

Crime in Juarez also threatens to bleed across the border. Criminal gangs working for drug cartels already operate on both sides of the border, and in a sign of the growing risks, on March 13 gunmen killed three people linked to the U.S. consulate in Juarez. The sky-high murder rate is driven by two rival groups — the Juarez cartel and the Sinaloa cartel — and their battle for control of drug smuggling into the U.S.


Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/04/14/92181/in-mexicos-murder-capital-residents.html#ixzz11dIDBNPY
10893  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 06, 2010, 06:36:58 PM
At this point, the country is like a seriously injured person with a severed femoral artery. This Nov. is our chance to apply the tourniquet. 2012 is when we can begin to address the rest of the trauma.
10894  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: October 06, 2010, 05:54:48 PM
Smartest martial arts board on the planet!
10895  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton prepares to jump from the SS Obamatanic on: October 06, 2010, 05:47:11 PM


I would guess than it is no coincidence her army of hacks are now throwing the Bamster_Billary ticket idea for 2012 into the trial balloon arena.


My thoughts exactly.
10896  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: October 06, 2010, 11:06:29 AM
There is nothing stopping anyone who wishes to voluntarily write a check to the federal or state governments from doing so.

https://www.pay.gov/paygov/forms/formInstance.html?agencyFormId=23779454
10897  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar and American Freedom on: October 06, 2010, 10:43:39 AM
Yup. Part of the PLA's "Assassin's Mace" military doctrine.


http://blogs.forbes.com/jedbabbin/2010/09/24/the-cyberwar-surge/

According to the Pentagon’s 2007 Report on Chinese Military Power, “In 2005, the PLA began to incorporate offensive [Computer Network Operations] into its exercises, primarily in first strikes against enemy networks.”

Chinese military doctrine now includes what they call “assassin’s mace” (sha shou jian) programs which are asymmetric warfare strategies devised to take advantage of Chinese advantages in technology against vulnerabilities of potential adversaries. Cyberwar is first among equals among the assassin’s mace programs.
10898  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 06, 2010, 09:51:20 AM
As stated repeatedly, I have no problem with "retail" policing, that is policing where probable cause goes before a judge, a warrant is issued, terms abided by, and so on. What I object to is wholesale privacy invasions such as tracking locational data, data mining, camera surveillance, etc. where harvested data is put together to establish probable cause rather than some prerequisite act being required to enable the invasions of privacy outlined above.

**Crimes, especially ongoing criminal conspiracies are often covertly structured to avoid scrutiny. By your standard, unless the mafia is leaving a body in your front yard, they should be ignored by law enforcement. Right?**

As to the scenario that's lead to this thread, I expect you are acquainted with instances where information provided by a snitch has proved to be false;

**Yes, which is why you INVESTIGATE any allegations made of criminal acts. This is why you are required to corroborate the information given by an informant and seek evidence of criminal acts to be presented to a judge to obtain a search/arrest warrant.**

 your pal Radley Balko has documented **You mean distorted/exaggerated/falsified**


a lot of instances where incorrect or overstated drug "tips" have lead to shooting injuries and deaths. Information, moreover, can also be wrong with no malevolent intent involved.

**Again, this is why you INVESTIGATE. People do supply incorrect information to police, sometimes with ill intent, sometimes by honest error. Either way, as as a LEO, you are morally/legally/ethically required to perform an investigation in a fair and impartial manner, which will ultimately be strictly scrutinized by a judge and jury.**

It really ought to take more that a few whispers to subject an American citizen to the kinds of scrutiny that can be unleashed these days

**It does. People that knowingly provide false information to law enforcement are usually criminally charged themselves. Major case investigations are costly in time, money and resources and all these are in especially short supply these days. They aren't undertaken lightly, and certainly not without corroboration of the initial complaint.**


, and it scares me greatly that the closeted Marxists at the helm today have access to surveillance tools that have been shown to have been casually applied by others.
10899  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: October 06, 2010, 09:14:41 AM
Paul Krugman is the very embodiment of intellectual dishonesty.
10900  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: October 06, 2010, 08:19:05 AM
I would tend to think that a business that forbids it's employees from using lawful self defense would then take on liability for any victimization they might suffer as the result of the policy. I'm not aware of any caselaw to that effect, however.
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