Category: The Law

Pollard to go Free

Jonathan Pollard is going to be paroled:

In July 2014, after Jonathan J. Pollard had served 29 years of a life sentence for spying on behalf of Israel, his hopes for freedom were thwarted when a federal panel denied his request for parole.

But that hearing set in motion an intense scramble by lawyers for Mr. Pollard to ensure a different result a year later, when he would be eligible for parole after serving 30 years. They wrote letters, cited statistics and introduced evidence that their client met two legal standards for parole: that he had behaved well in prison, and that he posed no threat of returning to a life of espionage.

On Tuesday, the effort finally succeeded, as the United States Parole Commission announced that Mr. Pollard, 60, met the legal standards and would be released just before Thanksgiving.

On the strict letter of the law, they were correct. However, the government have objected to it and apparently has not. The official reason is that Pollard is no longer a threat and is in poor health. The rumored reason is that it is to smooth over relations with Israel after the Iran deal (although this appears very unlikely to work).

My position on Pollard has brought me into conflict with some people, including many fellow Jews. I think his sentence was entirely justified. The excuse that he only sold secrets “to our ally” did not impress me. As I have noted many times, even our allies have different interests from us. We keep secrets from them; they keep secrets from us. We spy on them; they spy on us. There’s nothing shameful about that. Pursuing the interests of one’s country is a leader’s job. There’s nothing wrong with Israel spying on us or paying one of our citizens for secrets. But there is something wrong with that citizens selling them. That’s called treason.

And Doug Mataconis reminds us that Pollard’s spying was far from benign:

When Pollard was first sentenced in 1985, for example, then Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger penned a blistering letter to the Judge, some of which classified, in which he laid forth the manner in which Pollard’s actions had endangered American national security. For example, while it wasn’t widely reported at the time, it became known to the United States that the Israelis had used some of the information Pollard had provided to them to trade with the Soviet Union for the safe release of Jews living in the USSR, thus handing vital American intelligence to our principal adversary at the time. Additionally, over the years other leaders in the U.S. intelligence community made it known that Pollard had also offered to sell classified information to three other nations other than Israel, an accusation which certainly makes him a far less sympathetic figure. The antipathy toward Pollard was so high at one point that in 1998, then CIA Director George Tenant threatened to resign if he was released.

As someone who is against massive prison sentences for all but the worst criminals, I suppose I should be OK with this. Pollard is in failing health and it’s not like he’s going to start spying again. But if we are to release Pollard, it’s not a victory. It’s the end of a sad saga that began when Pollard decided to betray his country.

How sad things are…

Rasmussen has a poll that asked people if they bought Obama’s most recent attempt to hide the fact that under his administration the IRS conveniently targeted his political opponents right before an election, and the sad thing is that the result was that only 52% of likely US voters believe that this was highly illegal and a directed political attack. I suspect that amongst the democrat voting block there are two issues that drive this number. The first that these democrat voters are predominantly low information voters: they get their news from comedians or DNC apparatchiks like the NYT or PSMNBC, which pretend to be doing unbiased news, but are nothing but shills for the DNC. But I suspect that there is also a large block that know this was illegal and a dangerous abuse of power they would never, ever, have gone along with, but they don’t care to admit that now, because it benefited their guy and their side.

These idiots are the ones that make totalitarian systems possible. They are fine with abuses of power and law breaking as long as it is done by their guys – explained away as a necessary evil in their battle against the enemy – and never figure out that eventually they will be in the line of fire themselves until it is too late. One can forgive the low information voter. After all, stupid is as stupid does. But willfully ignoring criminal activity is another thing. And during the Obama term we sure as hell have seen some unbelievable abuses of power. From this IRS scandal to the things going on in the ME (Benghazi. Iran deal, and more), to the attack on Walker Hal posted about, these people have shown they operate like a criminal syndicate. And we as a country are all suffering for it. When the rule of law crumbles as it is doing now, sooner than later, you will get those that decide to take the law into their own hands.

Walker Vindicated … Again

Color me surprised:

Dealing Gov. Scott Walker a victory just as his presidential campaign gets underway, the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a sweeping decision Thursday ruled the governor’s campaign and conservative groups had not violated campaign finance laws.

The ruling means the end of the investigation, which has been stalled for 18 months after a lower court judge determined no laws were violated even if Walker’s campaign and the groups had worked together as prosecutors believe.

This is the infamous “John Doe” investigation where government agents basically had an ongoing far-reaching investigation that involved, essentially, harassing Walker’s supporters and any other conservatives within reach with midnight raids, gag orders and endless investigation:

In international law, the Western world has become familiar with a concept called “lawfare,” a process whereby rogue regimes or organizations abuse legal doctrines and processes to accomplish through sheer harassment and attrition what can’t be accomplished through legitimate diplomatic means. The Palestinian Authority and its defenders have become adept at lawfare, putting Israel under increasing pressure before the U.N. and other international bodies. The John Doe investigations are a form of domestic lawfare, and our constitutional system is ill equipped to handle it. Federal courts rarely intervene in state judicial proceedings, state officials rarely lose their array of official immunities for the consequences of their misconduct, and violations of First Amendment freedoms rarely result in meaningful monetary damages for the victims.

Investigators would conduct armed police raids on the houses of Wisconsin conservatives. They seized computers, phones and as many documents as they could get their hands on. They then issued gag orders preventing the targets their neighbors what was going on. All this because of supposed violation of campaign finance laws; laws we now know were not broken.

You can read more from the WSJ:

For the past few days, I’ve been talking to the targets of the task force of Milwaukee Democratic prosecutors, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz. Their experiences, on the record here for the first time, reveal the nasty political sweep of an investigation that invaded privacy with surveillance of email accounts, raided homes with armed law enforcement, and swarmed individuals with subpoenas demanding tens of thousands of documents while insisting on secrecy.

Gabriel Malor shows just how empty this investigation was:

The theory of the prosecutor’s case was that conservative groups had illegally coordinated with candidates for office by means of issue advocacy. Applying well-settled principles of election law, the Wisconsin high court holds that this goes too far because “[d]iscussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because the issues may also be pertinent in an election.” The courts have long treated express advocacy—that is, speech directly supporting a candidate for election—as wholly separate from issue advocacy—that is, speech about political issues. The court explains that, insofar as the Wisconsin statute purports to regulate issue advocacy the way that it does express advocacy, it is overbroad and vague under both the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Wisconsin’s own Article 1, Section 3.

Read the whole thing. The judges were brutal on the prosecutors saying their investigation was “unsupported by reason” and “employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing”. This isn’t just saying there’s no evidence; this is saying the investigation was a complete travesty designed entirely to harass Wisconsin conservatives.

The Democrats had a lot riding on this. Just a few months ago, they were writing smug posts on how the John Doe investigation was going to crush Walker’s Presidential campaign. Now the investigation is in ruins, their slimy tactics open for the world to see.

I am honestly amazed by what we’ve seen in Wisconsin. Vicious election fights. Recall elections. The legislature fleeing the state. An aggressive intrusive useless investigation from the people who’ve spent the last decade vilifying Ken Starr for his “politicized investigations” that … um … produced thirty felony convictions.

And all of this just to get one governor. What the heck?

How Social Justice systems always play out

Chavez fooled enough people in his country to go along with the usual redistributive nonsense that SJW, capitalizing on the envy and greed of those that for whatever reason feel their existence justifies their needs, peddle to grab power. he’s now dead, and his social experiment, resulting in one failure after another, has come to ,a href=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/venezuela/11754156/Venezuelan-farmers-ordered-to-hand-over-produce-to-state.html” target=”_new”>this:

Venezuela’s embattled government has taken the drastic step of forcing food producers to sell their produce to the state, in a bid to counter the ever-worsening shortages.

Farmers and manufacturers who produce milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour have been told to supply between 30 per cent and 100 per cent of their products to the state stores. Shortages, rationing and queues outside supermarkets have become a way of life for Venezuelans, as their isolated country battles against rigid currency controls and a shortage of US dollars – making it difficult for Venezuelans to find imported goods.

Pablo Baraybar, president of the Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber, said that the order was illogical, and damaging to Venezuelan consumers.

“Taking products from the supermarkets and shops to hand them over to the state network doesn’t help in any way,” he said. “And problems like speculating will only get worse, because the foods will be concentrated precisely in the areas where the resellers go.

There is power in this approach, Pablo. This move by the Venezuelan government may not make sense to someone that genuinely wants to let the market figure this stuff out, but it makes perfect sense if you look at it from the stand that the government can grandstand and pretend they are doing it to help, but then use it to control people. And collectivism, despite the bullshit you get sold by the SJW, is all about control. The power to punish those that you deem to have violated whatever arbitrary line you have drawn and to keep the others in line out of fear is central to the command economy politics of collectivism.

Be it hard core communism, the state owned socialism of Franco and the Nazi party, the crony-capitalism socialism of the west, or anything in between, the system can’t survive without the state’s ability to control and punish dissent. The end result, when you run out of other people’s money is the rationing of basic necessities – from toilet paper to soap – and the government confiscating the production of labor, like in this case, leading to a drastic decline in productivity across the board. After all, who wants to work hard to get the same reward as the people that do absolutely nothing?

This is what the social revolution will always play out as. Ask the Greeks how close they are to just this.

Sandra Bland

The big news this week is the arrest and subsequent death of Sandra Bland. An activist soon to start a job at Prairie View A&M, she was arrested after being pulled over for failing to signal a turn, then found dead in her cell. Her death was ruled a suicide but is now being investigated as a murder

Yesterday, dash cam footage was released. In it, Bland is told to put out her cigarette by the officer. When she refuses, the situation escalates almost immediately as the officer orders out of the car, threatens her with a taser and arrests her. There is then a confrontation off camera where the officer says she assaulted him, which was the reason she went to jail (although she was arrested before the assault).

A lot of things to unpack here.

First, was the officer within his power to order her out of the car? Jacob Sullum goes over the legal issues and the answer is “maybe”.

Based on their comments in the video, Encinia and Bland clearly agreed that the escalation from warning to arrest was ridiculous, but they had diametrically opposed views of who was to blame. If only Bland had been more respectful and cooperative, Encinia thought, she could have been on her way. If only Encinia had not been so determined to assert his authority for its own sake, Bland thought, he never would have forced her out of the car, let alone handcuffed her and knocked her down.

Second, I keep thinking of what Radley Balko often says about police shootings: even if the shooting itself was justified, there were often errors and bad decisions leading up to that point. Even if arresting Bland for assaulting an officer was justified, the decisions leading up to that are questionable at best. I think that pulling Bland out of her car, threatening her with a taser and arresting her was a bit of an over-reaction to someone for talking back (mildly at first, but becoming more confrontational as the arrest proceeds as she yells at him and calls him “a pussy”).

Finally, there is the big issue of the circumstances of Bland’s death. All indications are that Bland was not the kind to kill herself and I think a full and thorough investigation is warranted. We’ve had a few of these incidents, including at least two incidents were a person who had been searched, handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car supposedly found a gun and shot himself to death.

That having been said … we should be prepared if it turns out that she did indeed kill herself. Suicides tend to be impulsive and Bland’s family wouldn’t be the first to be shocked by a unexpected suicide. Last year, we were told over and over again that there was no way Michael Brown would attack a police officer and then charge into gunfire. The argument convinced me to be skeptical of the officer’s version of events. But it turned out to be the truth. Sometimes people do stupid, irrational and tragic things.

So, yes, let’s investigate the death. And let’s also ask questions about why a routine traffic stop ended in an arrest. And let’s accept the answers, whatever they are.

The Nanny State Strikes Again

Every time I think we’ve reached a new low with people freaking out about kids, we manage to break through the bottom of the barrel:

Laura Browder said she had her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son with her at Memorial City Mall for a job interview because she didn’t have enough time to line up child care. Browder sat her children down inside the food court near a McDonald’s and went to her interview, she said. The interview wasn’t for a job at the mall, but the food court was a meeting ground for each party.

Browder said she wasn’t more than 30 feet away from her children at any point and they were always in her line of sight. After Browder returned to her children, a police officer was on scene and arrested her.

The arrest came moments after Browder had accepted a job. She said she’s unsure how her arrest that day will affect her opportunity with that job.

CPS officials said they’re still in the early stages of their investigation, but added they could offer services to help Browder find suitable daycare.

This isn’t just ridiculous, it’s cruel. This is a single mother going to college trying to get a job. I’d be a bit nervous about leaving a 6-year-old and a toddler by themselves as way, but arresting her and charging her with abandonment is just absurd. Maybe there’s more to the story, but the information we have now makes it seem like an absurd over-reaction.

What could go wrong?

I am not surprised to hear that the crime syndicate running the country right now is basically collecting information on the serfs, and absolutely not surprised the emphasis on race is there. After all, the grief mongers have an election coming soon and running on the disastrous record of the last 7 years is not an option. Money quote:

A key part of President Obama’s legacy will be the fed’s unprecedented collection of sensitive data on Americans by race. The government is prying into our most personal information at the most local levels, all for the purpose of “racial and economic justice.”

Unbeknown to most Americans, Obama’s racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document “inequalities” between minorities and whites.

This Orwellian-style stockpile of statistics includes a vast and permanent network of discrimination databases, which Obama already is using to make “disparate impact” cases against: banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds.

Big Brother Barack wants the databases operational before he leaves office, and much of the data in them will be posted online.

So civil-rights attorneys and urban activist groups will be able to exploit them to show patterns of “racial disparities” and “segregation,” even if no other evidence of discrimination exists.

Funny this, because the last 3 months have I have experienced 3 scenarios where when prompted I told the people I wouldn’t disclose my race or didn’t want them to note it, and met with huge resistance. My dental assistant was flabbergasted that I wouldn’t let her note my race on the reams of paperwork the government demands be filled (one other question asked was if I owned fire arms and I told her the answer was “fuck off, slavers”). The two people that called me with their surveys – both of them with clear agendas – also were insistent that I provide race information. I refused. Adamantly. They were not happy.

Considering the agenda, I am not surprised they want to collect this. Considering their other corrupt activities, I have no doubt this will also be mishandled and presented in whatever way will benefit the social justice warrior class. But have no doubt that they will find a way to abuse this. That is the legacy of this band of thieves, after all.

As if we needed more proof..

The world is experiencing a destructive collapse of the “Print, borrow & tax so we can spend more than we have to buy votes” mentality. This progressive idea that you government can control and drive economies has been destroying economies ranging from Greece – which again gets an extension to a certain doom that can simply not be avoided because eventually even Germany will be out of money – to that of China where the games to make a centrally planned economy look like something that can work, to examples here at home in the US itself. States like Illinois and California, bastions of liberalism and wholly owned democrat entities, are not just collapsing under the weight of their idiotic beliefs that they can simply continue to fleece the productive to buy votes from what amounts to a large portion of people – many of them illegal citizens – that now just vote for a living.

Nowhere is the destructive nation of the progressive way of doing things more evident than at municipal level. Cities like Detroit, Washington D.C, Chicago, Baltimore, and so on, are basically imploding under the weight of stupid ideas and government. The sad thing is that one city that was almost spared that fate, because the voters wizened up and got rid of the democrat cabal that was raping the productive and basically making the place a shithole, is now back on track to implode under the weight of the progressive nature’s stupidity. Yeah, this article deals with minutia, but that’s actually the problem. Its a whole bunch of small things that look like they are not really important that all come together to make a big picture.

And while the democrat controlled city’s representatives are wasting time arguing about if you should be allowed to piss on the streets or not, they are busy wrecking everything else by basically destroying the goose that laid the golden egg. Heinlein had it right when he pointed out that in general assholes will never appreciate the fact that it is a few people that do all the things that make life good and easy for the rest of us. He was also dead on that instead of showing gratitude the masses would actually despise these people that brought them economic progress. As he posited, they will turn on the productive – out of nothing more than envy, jealousy, and greed – and run them out of town. Then as things indubitably collapse, the dickheads that did this will call it bad luck.

We have the most inept and craven political class in my entire lifetime. These credentialed shitbags grew up in a system, imposed on us by the progressive movement that rewarded the behavior they excelled at: talking out of both sides of their mouths while never accomplishing anything of value. It’s the “everyone gets a trophy” generation showing us what we have wrought. That is why these people, once they left the cocoon of the corrupting school system that indoctrinates and rewards these idiotic and destructive beliefs, chose to go into government. It is the only place where massive ineptitude, delusions of one’s own abilities and achievements, and a complete lack of understanding of how economics or human nature make the real world work, constantly rewards failure. It’s where people that wouldn’t amount to anything but store clerks, despite all their supposed education, can steal from the productive and indulge their complexes.

NYC, like too many places in this country, are being run by people that have profited from a system that rewards cronyism and ineptitude, punishing the productive in the process, and growing the number of government tit suckers. It is no surprise that all it took was a couple of progressive mayors to set the place back on a fast track to implosion. Obama promised he would fundamentally change the country, and he is doing the same thing DeBlasio is doing to NYC. And many progressives think this is all a good thing because they despise the very country that has played the role of the producer in Heinlein’s quote for doing so. The wreckers are in charge, and they are doing what they are good at.

My electricity bill is again going to go up due to stupidity

On the last day of June, the SCOTUS struck down the ludicrous mercury regulations the EPA put together and did so because the whole think stunk and provided no information about the cost. Obama, to show them he is the emperor, issued more ridiculously stupid and horribly costly renewable energy fantasy promises. This fucking guy lives in his own stupid reality. At a time where technical people like
Bill Gates explain why everything points to current renewable energy not being viable, Obama doubles down on the stupid. And Gates is not alone to make that argument: Google, a lefty company if ever anything, agreed with him that current renewable energy technology doesn’t cut it. I have made this point myself. Solar, which was too costly and simply too unreliable and inefficient when Jimmy Carter promised to make us use only that in the late 70s has not come much further in the 4 decades since. Wind is an even bigger joke. The cost vs. return for these technologies not only make them prohibitive, but they are ludicrous and stand in the way of viable technologies (like nuclear).

My electrical bill has all but doubled since Obama took office. My consumption has almost been halved. I am almost paying four times as much as I used to per kWh since Obama put his idiotic ideas into motion, and the only people to make like bandits are those connected to the Obama administration that not only receive massive tax payer subsidized funding and breaks, but benefit from stupid shit like this promise by Obama that forces people being squeezed dry but without the knowledge to know they are being hoodwinked, into giving them even more of their money.

Heck, I now even have some new tax that cock gobbler Maloy socked on those of us not sucking at the government’s teat that takes more of my money to help those unable to pay their bill do so. I bet you none of these people I am now “helping” are trying to either reduce their consumption or dependency on this abusive industry that has so enriched collectivists that pretend they are fighting a noble fight against world destroying evil brown energy. Worse yet, unless I do what one of the government approved scams that line the pocket of supporters of these ludicrous and inefficient technologies peddle, I must not only remain on their grid, but accept the ass fucking they send my way every month, and thank them for it too. At this point I am sure I can come up with alternatives that don’t enrich these evil fucks and cost me less. But they will throw my ass in jail for daring to fight their monopoly.

Why are we letting these people run the show, huh? Greece is showing us where this always ends. And China is going to one up them and really fuck up things. There is not enough “Other people’s money” to let the leftists do what they want. No, not make things better, but fleece the productive while throwing scraps to the unproductive for their envious support. The left loves to pretend that the robber barons are in the party they oppose, but reality doesn’t bear that out. I can’t wait for Iran to get the bomb and start WWIII already. Nothing will end the stupidity of liberalism short of a global cataclysm that finally forces mankind to abandon socialism and the other beliefs the left holds dear. We need a mega dose of harsh reality to cure humanity of this mental disorder.

If this had happened with a republican president that had an enemies list…

As usual a complicit media just lets the criminals running our government tell blatant lies and show no curiosity or desire to get to the truth. At this point it is a given that the IRS was ordered to target conservatives by the WH – and only fucking liars will pretend otherwise – but the criminals have been beyond efficient at hiding the level of criminal activity the Obama administration has gotten away with because of media treatment of this abuse of power:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Investigators are blaming mistakes by IRS employees — not a criminal conspiracy — for the loss of thousands of emails related to the tax agency’s tea party scandal.

IRS workers erased 422 computer backup tapes that “most likely” contained as many as 24,000 emails to and from former IRS official Lois Lerner, who has emerged as a central figure in congressional investigations, according to IRS’s inspector general.

The workers erased the tapes a month after IRS officials discovered that an untold number of Lerner’s emails were lost. The IG says the workers were unaware of a year-old directive not to destroy email backup tapes.

J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, is scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Oversight Committee about his investigation into the emails. The Associated Press obtained a copy of his prepared testimony.

George says his investigation “did not uncover evidence that the erasure was done in furtherance of an effort to destroy evidence or conceal information from Congress and/or law enforcement.”

No, they are not just reporting news and not speculating here. They are covering for these crooks. We all know that the level of incompetence of the politically motivated bureaucratic monster that has been dragging this country into the abyss for a few decades now has reached absolutely new levels of low during this criminal administration, but not even I – someone that expects nothing but mendacity and stupidity from these people – can believe this level of stupid and ineptness is responsible for the bold faced claims nobody would otherwise accept. As the title of post asks: do you think that anyone, especially in the media, would have accepted this ridiculous answer to what was obviously another attempt at a coverup?

Why no questions and answers about who conducted the investigation and what evidence they used to present this ludicrous argument? And how likely would one be to accept this conclusion when you find out it was neither an independent or honest investigation, but some other insiders beholden to the crooks in charge that couldn’t find anything. Shit, I bet if the evidence was dropped in their lap they would manage to misplace it or lose it. Because that’s how they have been doing things.

Maybe we should ask the Chinese what their hack produced about the various Obama administration criminal activities. Then again, with Obama and the people following him being this corrupt, destructive, and profitable to China, they might just feel compelled to lie to keep him in charge for as long as it takes them to take over the world.

Still, the revelation that computer tapes were erased after officials knew about the lost emails is likely to fuel conspiracy theories among conservatives who say the IRS has obstructed investigations into the scandal.

Nixon was unavailable for comment, and George Bush was caught laughing because so many of the people that called him stupid are now bending over and grabbing their ankles trying to provide cover for the stupid criminals now in charge. Can you imagine the media making this sort of excuse for a republican president if the IRS, after attacking his political enemies and being caught & investigated, decided to erase evidence? I normally would go into my rant about how I told you Obama would make mediocre Boosh look like a fucking awesome president, and how stupid and destructive leftists and what they believe and do are, but at this point, after all this damage and destruction, there is not even joy in that.