Category: Civil Liberties

Some Final Lochte Thoughts

The basically whole lot of nothing scandal is over, so now NBC doesn’t have to waste anymore air time on those bad boy Americans and can now just loop Usain Bolt clips over and over and over again like they have been doing all week. Re: the robbery and the aftermath (I am still calling it a robbery because it had all the elements of a robbery) I think the way it was handled was just terrible. More on that in a moment but first I want to spend a few moments trashing NBC. I know that they spent a boatload of dough getting the rights to broadcast and I know ratings are way down (look at all the empty seats in the venues)but after the first few days I can’t watch it anymore as aired. I tape the broadcasts, then blow through all the commercials and fluff, leaving me about 40 minutes worth of actual watchable content out of the 4 hours aired each night. The typical pattern is thus; let Bob Costas bluster for a few minutes, show about 2 minutes of actual competition, go to about 5 minutes worth of commercials, then come back with the 6000th airing of Usian Bolt winning a medal. This pattern has not varied. I have read many complaints about NBC touching all these bases. I can’t really say their avarice has cost them my viewership since I never watch them in the first place.

Now that we have believable testimony on what actually transpired that night, I am outraged at how our guys were treated. I watched that Rio press conference and I did not believe very much of what was said, mainly because of the source. All those stories you read about corrupt Mexican cops, the same stories are told about the Rio police.The whole press conference revolved around what the officials said the swimmers supposedly (?) told them. There was no audio from any of the cameras and large gaps where we don’t know what happened at all. I wanted to hear what the swimmers said away from the threat of sitting in a stank filled jail cell. Now we know.

Let’s look at some of the inconsistencies;

The press conference said there was only one security guard (off duty Rio police officer), now we know there were 2. They said a bathroom mirror was trashed but Bentz said it was an outside metal wall frame. They said the guard was there to insure that the swimmers did not leave and waited for the police, yet as soon as the guards took their money, the swimmers were released. Factor in the language barrier (how did the swimmers know they worked for the gas station, did they work for the gas station or were they just off duty cops looking to take off some Americans, did they tell the swimmers to wait for the police, what happened during those camera laps?)

No doubt once released they just wanted to get back to their rooms and forget about the whole affair. And if not for Lochte’s big mouth the next day, talking to a reporter about the incident, that would have been the end of it. No police report was filed, the police only heard about it through social media. Yet, they got a judge to issue an arrest order to pull 2 of the swimmers off of their flight to go home, talk about judicial overreach (where was our State Dept. in all this and why didn’t they file a formal protest and demand an apology for this gross act of overreach?) The police had no right to either take them off the plane or detain them in any manner, all on the word of some drunken swimmer talking to a reporter?

Back to the robbery angle. We don’t know what was actually said (or implied since there was a language barrier) at the gas station. 2 guys approached them with badges and pointed guns demanding money (not a specific amount, mind you, to pay for any damages, no, they wanted whatever the swimmers had in their wallets), then when the money was paid the swimmers were allowed to leave. No reporter at the press conference pushed this issue, if the guns were drawn to make sure the swimmers did not leave until the cops arrived, why were they allowed to leave once money changed hands?

Even though most of what Lochte said could be true, the MSM back home has just crucified him, lying Lochte. You would think he sodomized a local alter boy, for everything that has been written about him. He certainly should shoulder much of the blame, acting like a douche at the gas station then yammering about it the next day, but as usual with these sort of events, there is enough blame to go around for both sides.

Not only were the other 3 swimmers illegally detained (who knows what went on in that interrogation room, and no doubt our State Dept. has contacted all of them with warnings to not say anything to the press detrimental to harmonious Brazil/American relations, e.g. if they threatened you or coerced you into saying something against your will, keep it to yourself), but one of them had to pay 11 grand just to leave the country. Yep, just like the Mexican cops.

Thank God no underage hookers were filmed spilling out of that taxi at the gas station. And Lochte will be hurt financially for this little bit of indiscretion re: endorsements but the Rio cops could have handled this much better. A simple statement of ,”We are not aware of any robbery that took place at that gas station that night. Until the American swimmers contact us to make a formal report, no action on our part is required. We do not act on social media reports, thank you”. That would have worked just fine.

The Baltimore Mess

As you may have read, the final charges were dismissed in the Freddie Gray case a few weeks ago, after the first four trials ended in acquittal. What strikes me about the Freddie Gray case is the staggering incompetence of the prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby. In Freddie Gray, we had a man who had not committed a crime, was bound up and tossed in the back of the van and emerged with his neck fatally broken. You would think you could at least get something out of that. But through a series of blunders — concealing exculpatory evidence, overcharging (murder instead of negligent homicide or manslaughter) and other incompetent idiocies, Mosby got nothing. Well, she got her face on TV, which seems to be what mattered most to her.

Mosby is running around insisting that if she’d only had a jury trial, she would have won (ignoring that the first jury deadlocked). She’s wrong:

A prosecutor who evaluates cases based on evidence and appropriately applied laws is actually charged with seeking convictions over justice, not the other way around. Mosby admitted to the nation she was not looking for convictions. The only other explanation was that she was looking to appease the angry citizens of Baltimore.

That would seem noble, except it’s not. Prosecutors have a serious job that comes with serious power. And the way they wield that power is extremely important. Politics and criminal law don’t mix well. That’s been on full display as Mosby’s prosecutors keep spinning wilder legal theories and, not surprisingly, keep getting handed acquittals.

The larger pity of this is that the acquittal overshadows some very serious problems in the Baltimore PD. The Justice Department recently issued the results of its investigation in the BPD. Balko, who calls the DOJ report “the worst I’ve ever seen” goes through it point-by-point. BPD has been told to make large numbers of stops and arrests, regardless of whether someone is committing a crime or not. Unsurprisingly, these arrests are concentrated in a handful of poor black neighborhoods. People are frequently detained, questioned and searched without probable cause (95% of them turn out to have no contraband or outstanding warrants). People have been strip-searched in public without probable cause, arrested without probable cause, made to “justify” their presence in public areas. Of thousands of complaint of excessive force, only a tiny number were investigated and only one resulted in discipline. BPD officers are routinely instructed to use excessive force, including being told to point their guns at people in non-violent situations to exert control.

This passage in particular is just jaw-dropping.

During a ride-along with Justice Department officials, a BPD sergeant instructed a patrol officer to stop a group of young African-American males on a street corner, question them, and order them to disperse. When the patrol officer protested that he had no valid reason to stop the group, the sergeant replied “Then make something up.”

Just so we’re clear, the sergeant not only instructed a subordinate to violate the men’s constitutional rights by concocting a lie, he did so while knowingly in the presence of DOJ monitors. That’s some serious cultural and institutional rot. In another incident, the report describes how several officers detained a man whose only offense was to be in a “high-crime area” with his hands in his pockets. (The DOJ report notes that it happened to be a cold January morning.) After repeated questioning, the officers found a (perfectly legal) kitchen knife in his possession. They then illegally arrested him. When he resisted, they beat and Tased him to the point that he needed medical care. He was never charged with a crime. In his report, the supervising sergeant praised the officers for their “great restraint and professionalism.”

Notorious police-state bootlicker Heather MacDonald posted a response that basically ignored everything in the report. It amounts to, “well, most crimes are committed by black people.” That’s true, but it does not justify routinely detaining, searching, arresting and harassing black people. It does not make standing on a corner being black probable cause. It does not justify ignoring almost all complaints of police brutality and misconduct. This is not either-or. It is perfectly reasonable to note that black people commit an astonishingly high proportion of crimes and that the BPD is engaging in astonishing unconstitutional practices that are tinged with racial bias.

One of the things we have seen is that when riots erupt, there is often a history. That does not justify the riots, obviously, since the riots only do more damage to the community and discredit the cause. But the Rodney King riots erupted after years of complaints about Darryl Gates’ LAPD. The Ferguson riots erupted after years of the city sustaining its unsustainable budget by fining and ticketing the shit out of its black citizenry. This report shows that the Baltimore riots erupted in a city engaging in incredibly aggressive policing that makes its citizens feel under siege.

Balko:

I can’t imagine what it must be like to get stopped by the police 20 or more times every year — to be arrested and jailed for nothing at all, to be stripped nude and searched in public for a traffic offense, or to be told it’s basically illegal for me to merely exist in public. I can’t imagine trying to have a life under those conditions, to raise kids, to just function as a human being — much less rise above my surroundings. I suppose defenders of these tactics will say that black neighborhoods are disproportionately targeted because that’s where most of the crime takes place. I don’t doubt that may be true. But your constitutional rights aren’t determined by the behavior of people who look like you, or by the behavior of the people who live in your neighborhood. Neither should the dignity and humanity afforded to you by the people who are supposed to be protecting you.

This, of course, only makes the riots all the more tragic. Peaceful demonstrations would have done a better job of highlighting these problems without alienating everyone*. But the violence doesn’t change the reality that BPD has a serious problem in its policing.

(*Possibly. The might also, as we’ve seen in several cities, provoked a militarized response anyway.)

Don’t Tread on My Safe Space

Huh? The EEOC has officially ruled that wearing a hat with the Gadsden flag could constitute racial harassment:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, among its other functions, decides “hostile work environment” harassment claims brought against federal agencies. In doing so, it applies the same legal rules that courts apply to private employers, and that the EEOC follows in deciding whether to sue private employers. The EEOC has already ruled that coworkers’ wearing Confederate flag T-shirts can be punishable harassment (a decision that I think is incorrect); and, unsurprisingly, this is extending to other political speech as well.

From the decision:

Complainant stated that he found the cap to be racially offensive to African Americans because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, a “slave trader & owner of slaves.”

After a thorough review of the record, it is clear that the Gadsden Flag originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context. Moreover, it is clear that the flag and its slogan have been used to express various non-racial sentiments, such as when it is used in the modern Tea Party political movement, guns rights activism, patriotic displays, and by the military.

However, whatever the historic origins and meaning of the symbol, it also has since been sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts. For example, in June 2014, assailants with connections to white supremacist groups draped the bodies of two murdered police officers with the Gadsden flag during their Las Vegas, Nevada shooting spree … Additionally, in 2014, African-American New Haven firefighters complained about the presence of the Gadsden flag in the workplace on the basis that the symbol was racially insensitive.

Read Volokh’s post where he breaks down the legal implications and logic. Note that the EEOC didn’t find that the Gadsden flag is offensive, just that a complaint alleging so can proceed. But look at the twisted logic of their decision: it doesn’t matter what the flag actually represents; it matters what someone feels it represents. By that logic, if I decide that Barack Obama’s face is anti-semitic and can produce evidence of anti-semites walking around with picture of Obama, I could petition to have his likeness removed from my workplace. It’s called a “chilling effect” and it’s not a figment of our imagination.

Say someone wears “Trump/Pence 2016” gear in the workplace, or displays a bumper sticker on his car in the work parking lot, or displays such a sign on his cubicle wall, or just says on some occasions that he’s voting for Trump. He doesn’t say any racial or religious slurs about Hispanics or Muslims, and doesn’t even express any anti-Hispanic or anti-Muslim views (though even such views, I think, should be protected by the First Amendment against the threat of government-imposed liability).

But in “context,” a coworker complains, such speech conveys a message “tinged” with racial or religious hostility, or is racially or religiously “insensitive.” The coworker threatens to sue. Again, say you are an employer facing such a threat. Would you feel pressured by the risk of liability to restrict the pro-Trump speech?

We don’t have to imagine. As I documented a few months ago, universities around the country are already arguing that Trump signs are racially offensive and can be restricted or banned. The EEOC is opening the door to a slew of lawsuits and threatened lawsuits anytime someone is offended by something at work.

You want to know why Trump, despite being a giant horse’s ass, has as much support as he does? Shit like this is why. We are slowly establishing a Baby’s Veto over free speech, letting the most sensitive, paranoid and delusional people dictate what the rest of us can utter, lest we “offend” their delicate sensibilities. It’s insanity. And it will not end until we go through life in slate gray uniforms never expressing an opinion lest someone get “offended”.

I could say “I told you so” but even that feels hollow after the destruction wrought by these idiots

Frankly, I am left wondering if the people that write articles like this one actually are this dense and don’t get that what Obama promised was exactly what he delivered on. Only a fucking idiot fell for that “Hope and Change” shit, and those of us that pointed out what we would get was many people hoping they would get to keep some change – an expression of getting fleeced/robbed by the vote buying crooks that due to their lack of ability to produce anything of value make a living from ripping those that do off – from these crooks, are only surprised that the idiots that fell for it still don’t realize why it was obvious to us that this is exactly how things would play out. We got an unvetted, inept, and idiotic narcissist marxist islamist that talked a mean talk but whose only track record was “community organizing” as our POTUS because the assholes in the media that are bought and paid for by the DNC managed to bamboozle enough mental lightweights to tip the voting in favor of the party of “Free shit”.

The left sold Obama as the second coming. After 8 years of Boosh and all that pent up anger people were convinced they needed a change. That anger existed primarily because Boosh not only managed to prevent Al Gore from using an army of lawyers and every dirty trick in the book to steal the 2000 election, but then ended up dealing with the War on Terror, which everyone knew would have just been politicized by the left to push more stupid shit. Just look at how Bill Clinton whined that it happened under Boosh and not him, depriving him of that political opportunity to grand stand, or how Obama has handled the aftermath of the war fought by Boosh. In hindsight, Iraq having been a bad miscalculation, with the expensive and bloody victory pissed away by the next administration, along with Afghanistan which was the only moral war unit Obama was in charge when only the wars started by Obama would be moral, one can say we should have avoided that conflict. But the truth is that the left wanted to make sure America lost for daring to fight back instead of accepting the role of the bad perp the left believes it is, and they did everything they could to made that happen. Boosh was called a warmongering madman, and the usual credentialed elitist scumbags all pretended the reason everything was fucked up was because he actually decided to make a weak stand to a murderous ideology hell bent on enslaving the globe and to a plethora of leftist thugs across the globe.

In marched Obama, whom his PR team told us would not only fix everything and make America loved again, but stop the rising of the oceans, and usher in peace on earth. Now, 8 years later the United States, and the world in general, are all in absolute disarray. Things – across the board – are far worse. Where to start? The list of items to back up this claim is just so long, with so many egregious and downright horrendous failures and abuses, that it boggles the mind. The one thing I can say is that even I couldn’t imagine these people would be this inept and destructive as they have proven to be, showing this much disdain for the American people they are supposed to be representing, while tearing everything down, leaving chaos and pain in their wake.Be it economic policy, foreign policy, or simple things as upholding the law, they not only failed, and failed bad, but did so in ways that set new standards for how low things could go. Basically we had a bunch of amateur checker players that bought into the delusion spread by the media that they were capable geniuses trying to outsmart others that compared to them would have to be ranked as chess champions. And the constant lying, man. Bear with me.

The islamists which had been taking an ass whooping under simpleminded Boosh, despite attempts from the left to aid and abet the enemy during the Boosh years, are now not only spreading their cause and winning, but Obama and his people can’t even admit that even if we don’t want to be at war witht hem, they sure as hell are at war with us. I don’t have to elaborate. Look at the news. Not a week goes by without some scumbag murdering people in the name of that evil cult. This cancer has only gotten stronger. And taken as a whole, I admit that the only strategy I see from this administration is actions that helped make that the case. Obama has started more wars, excuse me, kinetic actions, not one of them resulting in anything but abysmal failure for us and an escalation of the problems, but we keep getting told by idiots that Boosh was the warmongering asshole. You do remember Libya and Syria, right? Hillary and her buddies sure do. They made big money, left a US ambassador out there to be murdered – an act of war – because they were worried about an election, then lied about what happened to advance an agenda. I would not be surprised to find out ISIS was a child of the Obama admin that basically turned on its master.

And the failures don’t stop with the disastrous handling of the war that the islamist have brought to the crumbling western world. From Russia – remember the rest button from Staples Hillary used as a prop to fix thingsto China, to Europe, our enemies all are in a better position to screw us over, while our allies all have reason to be weary of the US because of backstabbery on a Machiavellian level perpetrated by this administration. They managed to be outplayed by Putin and countless others from multiple players in China to Iran, always focusing on the political ramifications at the voting booth instead of the political ramification on the global scale. Iran will build a nuke and likely start a nuclear war in the Middle East in the next decade, and I bet the left blames the next president for that – especially if it is not a democrat – while North Korea has continued to be more and more aggressive (yes, Boosh dropped the ball there). And man did the Obama admin set a new record for using the agents of government against political enemies both at home and abroad. For example, this administration used tax payer money to pursue a personal vendetta against Nethanyahu whom they wanted to fuck over because he called them on their ineptitude and lies, not just about Iran, but in general. At home they fucked over anyone that dared point out they were basically going to let Iran build a nuke. And there are countless other stories like that, many not even told by a media that went into overdrive playing damage control for these buffoons. Yet, we still have to hear that Boosh was the inept politician and cowboy, while I just saw a misleading commercial about how awesome Hillary was as the SEC-STATE of the most inept administration in my lifetime was, despite the reality, and that we should now make her president!

Domestically this administration set new records for abuses and down right criminal activity. Nixon is spinning in his grave because the scumbags in this administration actually used every agency of the government, from the IRS, to the DOJ, to the EPA, and so on, to target enemies of the Obama administration. And they got away with it because of a complicit media populated by DNC operatives with bylines. Heck, the FBI just let Hilary walk on a slam dunk case that would have been a one-and-done under the very espionage act that the Obama administration used more than all previous administrations combined, to punish anyone that dared to whistle blow on the breadth and dept of criminality in what Americans were promised would be the most ethical and transparent administration evah! (Another bullshit slogan that turned out to be the exact opposite of the lies).

Our economy is in shambles. After these crooks ripped us of to the tune of trillions, be it through their shovel-ready prokulous projects or the money pissed away buying votes from those that vote for a living, all while cock-blocking every and all real job creating opportunities. The rich have gotten richer than ever, the pool of people sucking at the government’s teats has set new records, we now have the lowest percentage of worker participation since the thirties, if not in the history of the country, the middle class has been ass raped, our healthcare system is in disarray and unraveling after Obamacare finally got to do its thing and Obama threatens to veto those that want to stop the train wreck, the economic future looks bleak, and their solution is to make life worse for us so their rich buddies that stand to make a ton of money from these schemes and scams or hippies that worship Gaia, can all signal their social justice virtuousness. And Obama’s plan for the future, that fundamental change to America he promised, comes in the form of an invasion from the rejects of South America.

I can go on and on, but you get my drift. Those of us that know better know how bad things are and why. Those that don’t want to admit they bet on the wrong horse or are so ideologically blinded that nothing will convince them otherwise, will find fault with me pointing their hypocrisy out. The fact is that Obama has managed to make Carter look like a decent president, and until Obama, Carter was hands down the worst president of my lifetime. Obama’s PR team and his narcissistic nature wrote a lot of checks that he simply couldn’t cash. These people have no problem telling lies and abusing power. Remember that when you wonder how someone like Trump could end up the presidential candidate opposing the only other person in politics that I think is even more inept, corrupt, and dangerous than Obama.

Should I Join The NRA?

I’m a big advocate for putting your money behind the causes you care about. Different from the charities that that you support some political/social causes need money for advertising to put the word out and rally like minded folks. Not shopping at Target, refusing to give HBO a dime of my money, eating at Chick fil A, whatever I can do without sacrificing too much comfort and convenience, I’m there.

The Second Amendment is the most at risk freedom we have today. That senile old bat Ruth B. Ginsburg, while sullying the good name of the Supreme Court and violating
the basic canons of the judiciary by attacking Trump, she did provide us with the progressive dream target sheet. Number one on that list was overturning Heller, a close second was Citizens United. Her views are simple, the Second Amendment only applies to a “well regulated militia” and not to private citizens. One or two more like minded loons on the bench and we will all be criminals for possessing firearms.

Some of the best commercials of late are those put out by the NRA. The Dana Loesch one from last year was great. They came out with 2 more this week, take a look;

and

Damn!!!

OK, I don’t hunt, I don’t go to the range regularly (haven’t fired a gun since I retired 9 years ago) and I don’t buy new guns on a regular basis. There about 3 handguns in my house, handy if a violent attacker broke in, I am not a big gun user.

But I do understand how basic the Second Amendment is to our history, our heritage and our way of life, and it is a freedom I value even though I do not exercise that right regularly.

I’m thinking of joining the NRA because they need my support and my dollars. No, I probably don’t support all of their ideas. I like background checks and the ability to track bought weapons but I don’t like this freedom rescinded just because you are on some dopey government list. I would like to see these commercials aired on all TV stations at all hours because their message is important. A free T shirt thrown in might seal the deal but I could live with just an assuaged conscience. Any other perks worth noting?

Some facts about police shootings

Here’s some hard data from 2015:
 
50% of all fatal shootings by police were white victims. 26% were black. However, statistics are a funny thing, and context often matters in social statistics.
 
When you adjust for demographics vs. geography, cops shoot and kill black suspects at a rate of 3 to 1 in urban neighborhoods with a predominantly black population. Furthermore, while black men make up 6% of the US population, they make up 40% of fatal police shootings. Most of them, regardless of race, were armed. 4% of the fatal shootings of black men by police involved an unarmed victim. 25% of the fatalities demonstrated clear signs of or had a history of mental illness. Suspects are OVERWHELMINGLY male.If you want, you can adjust for crime statistics but it doesn’t clarify anything. Black people make up 28% of all crime where an arrest was made. The specific number isn’t available at that link, but you have to assume some of those were women. If you remove them entirely, the fact that black men still account for 40% of fatal police shootings really jumps out as a problem.

 
If you are using these statistics to try to make an argument and someone else is using them to oppose you, it’s possible that you are both right and/or both wrong, depending on how you are using the numbers.
 
You can run all sorts of analysis on the 2015 data here. This list is probably the most complete set of data available for 2015, although it may not be perfectly inclusive. You don’t need anyone’s interpretation. You can just look at the facts for yourself. There is a problem with cops shooting black men at a disproportionate rate, and admitting that fact should transcend social and political lines.The real question is how do we make make everyone safer by de-escalating the current tensions? I personally think cameras are a great start. Everyone should film everything, and that includes police with body cams. Let’s keep everything on the record, all the time.

Thus dies democracy

If you had any doubt that the inept, corrupt, and totally evil credentialed aristocracy that today pretends to run the western world could hold its laws, its system of government, and its very people in more contempt than it does, just read about how they have again proven that they consider themselves above the law that they would use to crucify us peons, as Hillary gets away with a crime none of us would survive:

FBI Director James Comey announced Tuesday that the FBI will not recommend federal prosecution of Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server to store what turned out to be thousands of classified documents in her emails.

The U.S. Justice Department has the final say, but Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last week that she ‘fully expects’ to act on whatever the FBI recommends. The FBI doesn’t expect any criminal charges to result, Comey said.

‘We are expressing to the Department of Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case,’ he said.
‘In looking back into our investigations into the mishandling or the removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts.’

Just WOW!. Comney has basically made the case that someone that compromised national security, and broke laws that have destroyed other people for far less, gets off because she is part of the inner circle that fancies itself above these laws and thus gets a pass. I have for a long time held the legal system in contempt and have wondered if I would trust it to be fair if I were up against it. I now have the clearest answer possible to that question, and it is a resounding “Not a fucking chance”. And the fucking idiots wonder why we had the Brexit vote or the rise of Donald Trump in the US, whom by the way proceeded to say exactly what people like me have said repeatedly about this case:

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired back almost immediately on Twitter.

‘The system is rigged,’ he wrote. ‘General Petraeus got in trouble for far less. Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment.’

‘FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem,’ a second tweet read.

As Trump points out, Petraeus got fucked over by this very administration of all things, which used a far lower bar to to throw the full weight of the law at him and make sure he would never be able to run for political office or pose the threat they perceived in him, after they made him a criminal and a security issue. Note that Obama’ administration has set new records for using the espionage act against its enemies. Yet Hillary does far worse and Comney comes back and gives us the following shit:

‘Although we did not find clear evidence that sec Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws,’ Comey said, ‘there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.’

Comey said the FBI determined that before Clinton deleted tens of thousands of her ‘personal’ emails, her attorneys deleted several work-related messages. The lawyers didn’t read them all but searched keywords to determine which of them might qualify as government records.

But despite her incomplete submission to the State Department, he said, ‘we found no evidence that any of the additional work related emails were intentionally deleted.’
Comey acknowledged that rank-and-file government employees might not receive a clean legal bill of health in similar circumstances, and might also have their security clearances revoked.

‘This is not to suggest that in similar circumstances a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions, but that’s not what we’re deciding now,’ he said.

And, he insisted, ‘all the cases prosecuted’ in other instances of mishandling classified files ‘involved some combination of clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information or vast quantities of information exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct or indications of disloyalty to the United States or efforts to obstruct justice.’

Since when was ignorance of the law an excuse to be let off the hook? Ask yourself if a normal citizen, or better yet republican politician, after the revelations we have of abuses of power, would have been allowed to be given a pass while a republican held the White House. Ask yourself if They would be given a pass while running for the highest office in the land, especially if they had made the idiotic argument that they not only broke the law but helped our enemies spy on us and compromise our efforts around the globe, while using the excuse that it was their incompetence that allowed it to happen, and not a willful disrespect for the legalities that would have maybe exposed the nefarious and criminal activities they were involved in and decided were only possible to hide by not following the law that would prevent the very things we got. Ask yourself if the media and the corrupt left would ever have resorted to contorting themselves into pretzels to excuse the inexcusable.

Remember that the revolution we celebrated just yesterday on the 4th of July had everything to do with people feeling their rulers basically held them in contempt and had a legal system they felt themselves above. Have no doubt that our credentialed political class no longer serves anyone but their own interests and needs. We now have had our legal system bless the criminal activities of a woman that has sold access to her and her influence to any taker with enough money, including foreign powers, as nothing but carelessness. This women, if she wins what is sure to be a rigged election, will then not only get the ability to sell more of us out, but be in a spot where they can blackmail her.

I guess we deserve these people as our leaders, considering how far we have fallen and how much we have let them get away with. When this ends badly, we shouldn’t blame anyone but ourselves for letting this happen. A bunch of credentialed buffoons that have sold us down the river and basically given up all pretense of doing what they do for any other reason but to enrich themselves now run the western world, and we are all going to pay for that. Tragic.

If you didn’t know that it was pretend, then stuff like this should clarify it

Never forget that the left is about tyranny. Sure they love to pretend to like democracy, but that is when things go their way. As soon as that doesn’t happen, then you get stuff like this (which was previously titled like this):

Since British voters elected on Thursday to leave the European Union, signs have quickly emerged of the flaws in holding a referendum on such a messy, massive, far-reaching decision.

Politicians responsible for explaining what’s at stake have admitted they may have fudged some of the consequences. Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party, acknowledged Friday merely an hour after the election was called that one of the Leave campaign’s key promises to voters was inaccurate. Brexit backers pledged that money the U.K. currently sends to the E.U. — supposedly £350 million ($462 million) a week — would go to the country’s national health system instead. Former London mayor Boris Johnson even drove around Britain in a bus blaring that message.

On Friday, Farage called that claim a “mistake.” (Kudos to the incredulous TV reporter who then followed up: “Do you think there are other things people will wake up this morning and find out aren’t going to happen as a result of voting this way?”)

Oh, the article goes on to pretend these scumbag tyrannical leftists have a good reason to say that in general the unwashed masses that these masters are sure are not as smart as they are (reference here, shouldn’t be allowed to make choices the globalist leftist movement doesn’t like, but that’s bullshit. Most of the negative consequences we are seeing to this exit vote are simply retaliatory measures by pissed nanny staters that want to punish the plebes for daring to defy their aristocracy’s hold on power.

The grand message here by the political aristocracy and their scumbag lackeys in the media is that these plebes that voted “No” know not what’s better for them, unlike the political globalist masters. You fucking inbred morons are motivated by the usual nefarious reasons – racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and so on – while they, the enlightened masters, see beyond all that. The fact that the voters point out they basically decided these masters had gotten too corrupt and felt no accountability to the people they represented is just pap. Democracy is doing what the marxist-globalist left wants. Don’t take my word for it:

All of this was, perhaps, predictable, as some political scientists and historians have warned that a simple yes-or-no public referendum can be a terrible way to make a decision with such complex repercussions. The process looks like direct democracy in its purest form, and it was celebrated as such by many Leave campaigners after the vote. But David A. Bell, a Princeton historian writing in The New Republic four years ago as Greece was preparing for a referendum on its bailout, argues that the result of referendums is much more often anti-democratic.

Methinks these people don’t realize the actual meaning of what the word democracy means. It simply is the rule of the masses, the decision they make being good or not according to whomever, having no impact on that choice. Democracy can be just as tyrannical as anything else, but never as tyrannical as what a ruling class that holds disdain for the people it rules and simply makes decisions that primarily benefit that ruling class way too often at the expense of the masses, which is why the forefathers of the US opted for a Representative Republic. Making a choice that the marxist-globalist left dislikes, for whatever reason and irrespective of whatever justification that the anyone would want to present as justification for claiming otherwise, doesn’t make that vote undemocratic as these mouth pieces of the tyrannical leftist cabal want you to believe. If they had “miscounted” the vote, like they did or continue to do in the greatest bastions of practical implementations of the systems of government favored by the left, or just outright disregarded the outcome of such a vote, which is exactly what I see the anti-brexit types are planning to do, then we would have something that is undemocratic.

The whole feel of this idiotic article is that the people that voted against what their masters and betters want, just don’t know what’s good for them. And the orchestrated campaign to cause as much pain as possible to all, the intended consequence being to make sure that nobody does anything like this again, as well as the call for a do-over are really what one could potentially label undemocratic. Basically we have another famous “Too big to fail” moment, like we had back in 2008, when the wholly rotten and totally broken US homeownership lending industry regulated to push perverse incentives that defied the laws of economics and human nature, going on here too. Do not defy the masters in Brussels and their plans, or else.

The globalists have corrupted the idea of a globalized planet brought together by economic and human interest by creating bloated beasts that rob the people of their freedoms and simply serve to enrich the political masters and the few they allow to come along, and are screwing us all over. People shouldn’t be deciding things simply on how much free shit the masters promise them, always shit taken from others, and those that are being fleeced shouldn’t be villainized when they point out that their masters have not just failed them, but are ripping them off and fucking them over. Have no doubt that this vote, despite of the stories being told now, was one to protest the disconnected masters and the fact that they no longer even care to pretend they hold the very people they are supposed to be serving in contempt. And this rebellion against their will and direction, by what these masters see as uneducated morons that are beneath them, is what pisses these scumbags in power the most.

Can it get even more rediculous?

If you have any doubt that the Obama administration, reluctantly or otherwise, is protecting that criminal Hillary Clinton from being indicted for breaking the law and basically allowing nations with hostile intentions to the US to use her setup as a doorway to hack our government, then read this latest revelation in this saga:

Documents recently obtained by the conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch show that in December 2010, then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff were having difficulty communicating with State Department officials by e-mail because spam filters were blocking their messages. To fix the problem, State Department IT turned the filters off—potentially exposing State’s employees to phishing attacks and other malicious e-mails.

The mail problems prompted Clinton Chief of Staff Huma Abedin to suggest to Clinton, “We should talk about putting you on State e-mail or releasing your e-mail address to the department so you are not going to spam.” Clinton replied, “Let’s get [a] separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal [e-mail] being accessible.”

The mail filter system—Trend Micro’s ScanMail for Exchange 8—was apparently causing some messages from Clinton’s private server (Clintonemail.com) to not be delivered. Some were “bounced;” others were accepted by the server but were quarantined and never delivered to the recipient. According to the e-mail thread published yesterday by Judicial Watch, State’s IT team turned off both spam and antivirus filters on two “bridgehead” mail relay servers while waiting for a fix from Trend Micro.

There was some doubt about whether Trend Micro would address the issue before State performed an upgrade to the latest version of the mail filtering software. “I am not confident Trend Micro will provide an update for SMEX 8,” wrote one member of State’s IT team, Trey Jammes. “That is two revs behind their current offering, SMEX 10, and they are pushing us to go to that (currently in pilot), and they have never not yet been able to deliver a fool-proof solution for a problem that has been around for at least 2 years. Unfortunately, we have seen similar problems with SMEX 10… I don’t think we have seen that problem with SMEX 10 when running without the anti-spam piece.”

A State Department contractor support tech confirmed that two filters needed to be shut off in order to temporarily fix the problem—a measure that State’s IT team took with some trepidation, because the filters had “blocked malicious content in the recent past.”

It’s not clear from the thread that the issue was ever satisfactorily resolved, either with SMEX 8 or SMEX 10. But State’s unclassified e-mail system has been repeatedly breached by attackers. An attack purported to have been staged by Russian hackers caused the department to briefly shut down all its unclassified e-mail systems in 2014 but persisted within State’s network for more than a year afterward. Then Iranians spear-phished State employees in 2015, breaching the e-mail system again.

And those are the attacks we know of or they are willing to talk about. The FBI is pissed beyond belief with the amount of shit that got compromised and the amount of bad actors that got in, to the point that their director has refused stand down orders from the complicit WH. Think hard about this. We are in a country where a criminal that shouldn’t be allowed a security clearance of any kind not only still remains at large and is running for the highest office in the land, but is because of the blatant need to keep lying about what she did or ordered her minions to do, a prime candidate for blackmail by hostile agents of all sorts.

Can anyone seriously say that if this person was a republican, that they, and for that matter a sitting president that provided them cover for fear of what it would show about how inept and down right criminal their agency has been, would not be making license plates wearing an orange jump suit by now after a media firestorm and the opposition party basically going balisitic?

Yeah, I didn’t think so either, but this is the age of the credentialed democrat political aristocracy and that fundamental change Obama promissed us. Get used to being fucked over royally by people that think they are not just above the law, but that the law exists to go after their political enemies and anyone that stands in their way.

Silencing Science

Again, before we get into this, here is where I am coming from: global warming is real; we are almost certainly causing it; it is very likely to be bad; proposed liberal solutions are terrible and often counterproductive.

To wit:

A landmark bill allowing for the prosecution of climate change dissent effectively died Thursday after the California Senate failed to take it up before the deadline.

Senate Bill 1161, or the California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016, would have authorized prosecutors to sue fossil fuel companies, think tanks and others that have “deceived or misled the public on the risks of climate change.”

The measure, which cleared two Senate committees, provided a four-year window in the statute of limitations on violations of the state’s Unfair Competition Law, allowing legal action to be brought until Jan. 1 on charges of climate change “fraud” extending back indefinitely.

“This bill explicitly authorizes district attorneys and the Attorney General to pursue UCL claims alleging that a business or organization has directly or indirectly engaged in unfair competition with respect to scientific evidence regarding the existence, extent, or current or future impacts of anthropogenic induced climate change,” said the state Senate Rules Committee’s floor analysis of the bill.

No no no no no no no no no no no NO NO NO! Bad legislature! Bad, bad legislature. Go sit in a corner and think about what you almost did.

I’m not going to mince words: this bill was (and probably will be again) a totalitarian piece of shit. It would have opened up climate skeptics to lawsuits because of their speech and opinions (keeping in mind that “climate skeptics” is class that often includes me because I oppose liberal solutions to global warming). Not only that, it would have extended that liability back for 30 years, allowing climate skeptics to be sued for statements they made when the science was way less certain.

Not only is the bill an attack on the First Amendment, it’s an attack on science. Science benefits from criticism, even criticism from cranks. In the case of climate science, methodology has been improved and data made more readily available to the public in response to skeptics. This has made the case that global warming is real stronger.

I understand where this is coming from. Climate scientists have found themselves the targets of a massive disinformation campaign. Garbage climate memes (polar ice caps are growing! Global cooling! It’s the sun!) proliferate no matter how often and how thoroughly they are debunked. In many cases, it’s gotten personal with online attacks and death threats.

But as Megan McArdle pointed out, fighting fire with fire isn’t helping:

There is a huge range of possible beliefs that go into assessing the various complicated theories about how the climate works, and the global-warming predictions generated by those theories range from “could well be catastrophic” to “probably not a big deal.” I know very smart, well-informed, decent people who fall at either end of the spectrum, and others who are somewhere in between. Then there are folks like me who aren’t sure enough to make a prediction, but are very sure we wouldn’t like to find out, too late, that the answer is “oops, catastrophic.”

These are not differences that can be resolved by name calling. Nor has the presumed object of this name calling — to delegitimize thoughtful opposition, and thereby increase the consensus in favor of desired policy proposals — been a notable political success, at least in the U.S. It has certainly rallied the tribe, and produced a lot of patronizing talk about science by people who aren’t actually all that familiar with the underlying scientific questions. Other than that, we remain pretty much where we were 25 years ago: holding summits, followed by the dismayed realization that we haven’t, you know, really done all that much except burn a lot of hydrocarbons flying people to summits. Maybe last year’s Paris talks will turn out to be the actual moment when things started to change — but having spent the last 15 years as a reporter listening to people tell me that no, really, we’re about to turn the corner, I retain a bit of skepticism.

(McArdle, who thinks global warming is real and we should take action just in case it turns out be very bad, was immediately branded a Koch shill and a denialist for having the temerity to suggest that calling every heretic a Koch shill and a denialist wasn’t a great way to promote science. So, yeah. She also links Warren Meyer’s outstanding series of posts on why is a “lukewarmer”. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he has a very good grasp of the science and makes the case for a conservative set of policies to address global warming.)

This is long past being absurd and going into territory that’s outright dangerous. We have Attorneys General investigating “denialists”. We have cartoons depicting violence against “denialists”. We now have a legislature trying to effectively silence “denialists” by gutting the First Amendment. Global warming is becoming less of a science/policy issue and more of a Culture War issue and we really can’t afford that.

Enough. It’s tiring, I know. But the only way to fight bad speech is with good speech. That has always been the case, it is currentlty the case and it always will be the case. If the global warming alarmists want to make some progress, decoupling the science case that global warming is real from the political case that we must do X, Y and Z would be far more beneficial than passing blatantly unconstitutional law to try to shut people up. You’ll get a lot more people to talk about global warming if talking about global warming doesn’t necessarily mean giving government even more power over our lives.

Update: In related news, Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order to boycott businesses that boycott Israel. I support Israel. I think the boycott business is ridiculous. I think a government moving against boycotters is a horrific intrusion on free speech and free association.