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Is Spygate unraveling?

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Something is happening with this whole "Trump/Russia collusion" thing. It's starting to unravel and George Papadopoulos might be that thread that pulls everything apart.

Papadopoulos pled guilty to lying to federal investigators in October 2017. Lying to federal investigators is a minor process crime. You can get charged with this if you give your story twice (or more) and reword any statements, or add/forget even minor details in the statement. The plea deal to this lower charge is to avoid "more serious charges." We don't know what those "more serious charges" are because in the federal system, dropping charges after a defendant is indicted is difficult at best. The "more serious charges" are not brought to a grand jury if the defendant agrees to plead guilty to lesser charges. So, we have no idea what charges Papadopoulos were threatened with.

Anyway, his sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 7th. From what I understand, right about the time that Peter Strzok was fired from the FBI, Papadopoulos' lawyers filed a motion of discovery to see the evidence the FBI has against their client. According to Rachael Maddow, the Mueller team asked for and was granted a protective order preventing the release of this evidence to Papadopoulos and his legal team. The statement reads in part:

"Entry of a protective order restricting the use, dissemination, and disposition of discovery materials is essential to permit the United States to provide certain discovery to the defendant, which the defendant has requested in advance of his sentencing proceeding..."

This is interesting because things have come out in the past several days. While this whole thing is very complex and with multiple players, I am going to concentrate only on the events that started this ball rolling.

In May of 2016, George Papadopoulos was in a London bar and just so happened to strike up a conversation with Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat. During this conversation, Papadopoulos stated (upon prompting by Downer) that he "heard the Russians have dirt on Hillary." In June 2016, Downer reported this contact to US authorities in late June, about 6 weeks after the meeting. This event has been declared as what started the whole investigation.

It came out a couple of months ago that in April of 2016 (a month before the meeting with Downer), George Papadopoulos had a conversation with Cambridge Professor Joseph Mifsud. Here is a quote from the charging document filed by the Mueller team against Papadopoulos:

On or about April 26, 2016, the defendant Papadopoulos met the Professor [Mifsud] for breakfast at a London hotel. During this meeting, the Professor told defendant Papadopoulos that he had just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with high-level Russian government officials. The Professor told defendant Papadopoulos that on that trip he (the Professor) learned that the Russians had obtained “dirt” on then-candidate Clinton. The Professor told defendant Papadopoulos, as defendant Papadopoulos later described to the FBI, that “They [the Russians] have dirt on her”; “the Russians had emails of Clinton”; “they have thousands of emails.” [Emphasis added]

Now, based on that information, you might reasonably conclude that Mifsud could be a Russian agent of some kind. You would be wrong. Don't feel bad, that's what most people who knew about this thought as well. Evidence has surfaced in the past week that indicates Mifsud is an agent of a Western, not Russian intelligence agency. Which one is still not clear, however things are leaning toward a British intelligence agency.

Let me put it to you this way. Let's say someone you have never met before strikes up a conversation with you one day, and tells you, "Hey, I heard about some guys who want to rob a bank. Would you like to help?" Of course, most people would say "no." Then, a couple weeks later, another person asks you, "Hey, have you heard anything about a bank robbery?" When you say offhandedly, "some guy I've never met before told me about one..." At this point you're arrested and charged with "Conspiracy to Commit Robbery." It turns out both people you had conversations with were undercover police or a confidential informant of the police. In legal terms this is called ENTRAPMENT. This is where the police (or their agent) entices a person who is not intending to commit a crime to commit one.

Mifsud, an alleged Western intelligence agent, planted this bug into Papadopoulos' ear. Downer, another agent (who has direct ties with the Clintons, but I digress) pulled that information out of Papadopoulos and that was used to start the whole Trump witch hunt. With this revelation, it seems to indicate that Papadopoulos is going to withdraw his guilty plea on September 7th. If this goes to trial, some rather embarrassing facts could come to light. Facts that do not work in favor with the Mueller team, the FBI, the Justice Department or the Obama administration.

I am just speculating here. If Mifsud "pushed" this information into Papadopoulos on the orders of Mifsud's handlers (whomever he works for), that would seriously damage the relationship between the US and that country, because a friendly country caused all of this pain and heartache to happen. Let's speculate even further. Let's say a US government official asked this foreign intelligence agency to push this information to someone in the Trump campaign, namely Papadopoulos. What do you think that could mean? A senior-level Obama administration official, asking a friendly foreign intelligence agency to run an entrapment operation on Papadopoulos and by extension the Trump campaign. I would consider that a very serious allegation, wouldn't you?

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Why we aren't a Democracy

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This is what happens when you keep calling the United States a Democracy: Think the Constitution Will Save Us? Think Again.

Okay folks, words matter. Words have distinct meanings and must mean the same thing to everybody. Except for Leftists and people fooled by Leftists. In their case, words mean what they want them to mean and the same word at the beginning of a sentence can have a different meaning by the end of it.

Let's go over this. One. More. Time.

THE UNITED STATES IS A FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC.

This country is called the United States and not the United People is because the Constitution was not written by or for the People, it was written by delegates from the thirteen State governments. The Constitution was not ratified by a popular vote, it was done so by the State governments.

Here's what those words mean:

1) FEDERAL - Pertaining to or of the nature of a union of states under a central government distinct from the individual governments of the separate states.

2) CONSTITUTIONAL - A system of fundamental principles according to which a nation, state, corporation, or the like, is governed.

3) REPRESENTATIVE - Each declared district elects one person from their group to represent all of the citizens in that district in the body they are elected to.

4) REPUBLIC - A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.

When I look up Democracy, I get this: 

Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

I know I live in a Republic and not a Democracy because of this simple fact: In Memphis, TN, 63% of the population identify as "Black or African-American" and a majority of City Council members, 7 of the 13 are Black. If this were a democracy (direct or indirect), a motion could be introduced to the people as a whole or to the City Council that would read, "Starting September 5th, 2018, any person who is a legal resident of Memphis, TN can bring the head of a White person to the courthouse steps, shall receive a bounty of $50 per head."

In a Democracy, if a majority of the people voted for this (either the citizens as a whole, or their elected representatives), that bounty would be law. There would be no court to overturn it because a Democracy is "the will of the people." And until the "will of the people" changes, it is the law. In a Republic, where the rule of law applies to all and is intentionally hard to change, this would probably never happen.

So when I read the article I posted at the top of this article, my head almost exploded, which is why this is filed under Duct Tape Alert. This is the first paragraph:

Consider a few facts: Donald Trump is in the White House, despite winning almost three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. The Senate, the country’s most powerful legislative chamber, grants the same representation to Wyoming’s 579,315 residents as it does to 39,536,653 Californians. Key voting rights are denied to citizens in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other United States territories. The American government is structured by an 18th-century text that is almost impossible to change.

The Congress is a bicameral legislative body balancing the interests of the People (House) and the States (Senate). In order for a law to pass, it must advance the well-being (supposedly) of both the States and the Citizens. The House I believe is the most powerful chamber, as it controls the money of government. To balance that great power, the Senate was given many lesser things that have to do with the government itself, internally and externally. These are in the interests of the States, not the People, which is why those powers are invested in the Senate. The Constitution gave equal power in the Senate to each State (two Senators) for the declared purpose of that the larger States could not force their agendas down the throats of the smaller States.

The irony is thick in the second paragraph. First of all, they quote from Federalist #10, The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection:

For James Madison, writing in Federalist No. 10, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention” incompatible with the rights of property owners.

I guess it's a normal and expected thing for the New York Times to misquote and take out of context people they don't agree with, especially Dead Rich White Males. Here's the whole sentence that Madison wrote and they misquoted and took out of context:

A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. [emphasis mine]

Democracies are the tyranny of the majority. Because the "rule of the people" is the only measure, there can be no stability. What is the law one day can be changed the next. Republics, through the rule of law and hard processes to change those laws, actually protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

Even some liberals like Vox’s Matthew Yglesias rightly worry that the current system of governance is headed toward collapse.

I agree that the current system is headed towards collapse. However, it's through the ballooning federal government, the overspending and a whole lot more rather than the structure provided by the Constitution.

Yet whether or not the president knows it, the Constitution has long been venerated by conservative business elites like himself on the grounds that it hands them the power to fend off attempts to redistribute wealth and create new social guarantees in the interest of working people. There’s a reason we’re the only developed country without guarantees such as universal health care and paid maternity leave.

Yes, there is a reason why we don't have universal health care and paid maternity leave. It's called the #1 economy in the world at $20 Trillion GDP. This derives from  the freedom to choose to do what you want to do with your money, not the government. If we redistribute all of the money from "the rich" to the "not rich," (with the government taking "its' fare share", of course) then we will not have an economy. Because the people who own the businesses lose their money, they can't run companies. No companies, no jobs.

While preserving and expanding the Bill of Rights's incomplete safeguards of individual freedoms, we need to start working toward the establishment of a new political system that truly represents Americans.

There they go again. The Bill of Rights do not "give" Rights from the government to the People, they recognize that Man has these Rights by the nature of his Birth. Thus, the Bill of Rights clearly restrict the government from infringing on those Rights. You might want to read the Preamble for the Bill of Rights, because it says it in there.

So here's the payoff for the article, but only the intermediary objective:

Our ideal should be a strong federal government powered by a proportionally elected unicameral legislature. But intermediary steps toward that vision can be taken by abolishing the filibuster, establishing federal control over elections and developing a simpler way to amend the Constitution through national referendum.

So let's break this down:

  • Strong federal government - More power for Washington, less power for States and Citizens.
  • Proportionally elected unicameral legislature - One House, no Senate. A great way for the big bully States to force their agenda on smaller States.
  • Abolishing the filibuster - A senate procedural rule. Filibusters are stopped by a Cloture vote. The number of votes to invoke Cloture started at 2/3's (67 votes), it's now down to 60 votes and several subjects are exempt from it, namely Supreme Court nominees. This rule protects the minority party, which the Democrats are right now.
  • Federal control over elections - Elections are currently run and certified at the county level, all 3,133 of them. Yes, there are corrupt and mismanaged counties. Which would you prefer, several counties that might have "incorrect" vote tallies, or a federally run system where one person could switch a million votes to the candidate they support? Stalin is credited with saying, "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything."
  • Amend the Constitution through National Referendum - Something like California's Proposition process? Too bad the courts have overturned at least 9 of them in recent years. And remember, the Constitution was set up for the States, not the People.

This is what you need to consider. Our system is meant for long periods of deliberation, then a vote to set the direction for the next several years. when you allow for a shorter cycle subject to the transitory will of the People, nothing but chaos will result. Look at how quickly high-heeled Crocs came and went. Do you want a Constitutional Amendment that is the legal equivalent of that?

Of course, I said "intermediary objective" for a reason. I am sure that Leftists want to either abolish elections altogether, or render them moot. As a real world history lesson, if you belonged to the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, you were required to vote. If you didn't belong to the Party, you didn't vote. Each elected office had one person on the ballot you could vote for and no write-ins allowed. If that's the kind of electoral system you want, please go somewhere else.

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Why we can't have a civil discussion

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The other day it came out that Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys had a "toe-the-line" policy that no Cowboy will kneel during the National Anthem. I fully support that. It's his team, he signs the paychecks and If a player doesn't like it, he can play somewhere else. It's a free country. Or is it?

When Dak Prescott, the Quarterback for the Cowboys released this statement, Liberals went berserk:

I’d never protest during anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so. The game of football has always brought me such a peace, and I think it does the same for a lot of people – a lot of people playing the game, a lot of people watching the game, a lot of people that have any impact of the game. So when you bring such a controversy to the stadium, to the field, to the game, it takes away ... from that. It takes away from the joy and the love that football brings a lot of people. For me, I’m all about making a change and making a difference. I think this whole kneeling, and all of that, was all about just raising awareness, and the fact that we’re still talking about social injustice years later, I think we’ve gotten to that point. I think we’ve proved it. We know about social injustice. I’m up for taking a next step, whatever that step may be for action and not just kneeling.

I’ve always believed in standing up for what I believe in, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.

I find this statement to be thoughtful, full of personal emotion, a respectful recognition of other viewpoints and a call to action.

How was this regarded by Carron J. Phillips (Facebook, Twitter)? I took a screen cap of his tweet:

carron phillips 1

I have no idea why Mr. Phillips pulled that particular punch. After all, Mr Phillips and Mr. Prescott are both African-Americans, so Mr. Phillips' would have been within his prerogative to use the term "house nigger," because Blacks can use that word with Blacks. If you are not familiar with this particular pejorative, the slaves who worked in the fields did not like the slaves that worked in the house and served the Masters, because the "house niggers" received better food, slept in better conditions and didn't have to work under the hot sun in the fields all day long.

After such a Tweet, was Mr. Phillips apologetic, perhaps slightly amenable to moderating his position? Umm, no. Recalcitrant as ever, this was the follow up Tweet:

carron phillips 2

Like we have "Moore's Law" and "Godwin's Law," I thought about naming this as "Carron's law," then I realized, every radical leftist does this. If you disagree with a radical leftist, even if the difference is by 0.0001%, you will be name-called everything in the book and they will seek to destroy you. Personally, professionally and ideologically.

Then we have this incident, Candace Owens and Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA were having a quiet breakfast in public when they were without provocation attacked by about 50 Antifas. Kirk had water thrown on him. Let me make something perfectly clear, if I see someone approaching me with a glass containing a liquid and they seem intending on throwing it on me, I will ENGAGE WITH DEADLY FORCE BEFORE THEY CAN THROW IT. Why? Can you tell from 10 feet away the difference between a glass filled with water and a glass filled with hydrochloric acid? Here's a couple of pictures of the results when acid gets thrown on people. It's not pretty:

acid attackacid attack 2

With this being a possible outcome having an unknown liquid splashed on you, would you want to wait until it's on you to find out what it was? I didn't think so. If you think that anybody deserves this for any reason, you are lower than an animal.

When a response to a differing opinion is extreme epithets, personal attacks, threats of violence or actual violence, then there can be no reasoned exchange of ideas. This threat of violence and "mock violence" will escalate and inevitably lead to someone getting seriously injured or dead. And let me tell you Leftists, those of us on the Right have more guns than the police and the military. If it comes down to shooting, which I hope to God it never does, we will run out of targets (i.e. Leftists/Antifa) before we run out of ammunition.

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Government doesn't owe you shit

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It's been case law since 1856 when SCOTUS ruled in South v. Maryland that Law Enforcement has no duty to protect individual citizens. You cannot sue the police for damages if you call them for help and they do not respond in time (or at all).

One of the more brutal examples of this is Warren V. District of Columbia.

The story of the plight of disarmed D.C. residents really begins on the night of March 16, 1975, when three women, sharing a townhouse, were awakened by the sound of their door being kicked in. This was no ordinary burglary or home invasion; this was a horrific, unspeakable crime.

Two of the three roommates had rooms upstairs. They were awakened by the screaming of their friend downstairs who was being beaten, raped and sodomized by two men.

Carolyn Warren called the police and was told help was on the way. She and her other upstairs roommate watched in horror as a police car passed their home, merely slowing down. They called the police a second time. This time, there was no response at all. After an hour, hearing no sounds from the floor below, they called down to their friend, but merely alerted the rapists to their presence.

After that, all three women were forced to endure 14 unspeakable hours of sexual torture.

In essence, the government, short of a "special duty" has zero obligation to come to your aid if you are in distress. This is why the importance of having the Right to use the tools you determine necessary to defend yourself (i.e., firearms) is absolutely critical. I also spoke on this in my article The 'Why' of the Second Amendment, Part 1.

Teachers (as government workers in the public school system) are under the same non-obligation. In June 2018, a Michigan judge ruled the state has no duty to provide literacy services to children. Judge says there's no fundamental right to learn to read and write. In the "'Why' of the 2nd Amendment" article, I stated that the deputy who waited outside of the school during the Parkland school shooting had no legal requirement to enter the building and engage the shooter. His obligation was to arrest the shooter and bring him to the prosecutors. The human thing to do would have been to charge in and engage the shooter, even at the risk of his own life.

The government has no obligation to educate you. I can't say that enough. George Carlin in a rare moment said (paraphrasing), "...[those in charge] want workers who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but lack the critical thinking skills to see how bad things suck." The bad news is, the government pretty much is in charge of the People.

The decision to be literate is made by the person. No other person can force them to learn to read and write. Quite frankly, children can be taught by the parents that they don't need to learn these things, which is why if you read the article, you would find that only 44% of Detroit third-graders can read and write at their grade level. This just boggles my mind. I don't know if the parents don't care, if the children have learned helplessness from the parents and don't try, or the teachers are incompetent. Probably all three to varying degrees.

The advancement and enhancement of society in general depends on each citizen knowing as much as possible about a few things and being somewhat knowledgeable on many things. In my daily job, over 80% of my service calls are due to end-users not understanding the basics. They try to use equipment that clearly says "NOT IN SERVICE," or the screen is dark. They put documents into the wrong ports, the access cards they have to insert look like a Pringles chip and so on. One time a piece of equipment was getting removed from a site to allow for the installation of a newer unit. It was on the truck and ready to be hauled away and an end-user climbs up on the truck to use the old model. It had to be explained to the end-user that the unit on the truck would not work because it was not hooked to electrical power.

Common sense, the ability to acquire knowledge, to logically reason based on that knowledge and the ability to defend yourself are have to come from within yourself, through your own active efforts. If you let government give them to you, don't be surprised to find them not there to help you, or to be there to hurt you.

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Making sure they don't show up this time

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I have spoken before about the Muller Probe making a show when in February 2018 they indicted 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian companies, including Concord Management and Consulting, for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Oh, this is delicious and I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

These indictments clearly shows that a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. It turns out their case was so screwed up that one of the indicted entities was not even an incorporated entity (i.e., it did not exist) at the time of the alleged offenses. The fact of the matter is, these indictments were a media show to "prove" that Muller was "doing something," since the only things his team has uncovered to date were Flynn's and Papadopolous's lying to federal prosecutors, and Manafort's money laundering, which took place long before Trump was running for president. Of course, we don't have an extradition treaty with Russia, so Muller figured there is no chance that any Russians he charged would show up and his team would actually have to prosecute the case they supposedly had against them.

Then Concord Management actually showed up, demanded a speedy trial and demanded to immediately proceed to the discovery phase of the trial. In response to this, two things happened in a press conference by Rob Rosenstein on July 13th. The first was, the Mueller team has announced more indictments, this time of twelve Russian GRU (military intelligence) officers who will never show up in the US for any reason. Not only (again) do we not have an extradition treaty with Russia, the knowledge these men possess would be a security breach of the highest degree for the Russians. I am sure Putin would execute these men rather than have them set foot on US soil.

The second announcement at that press conference was that for the prosecution of Concord Management the Justice Department will now “transition responsibility for this case to our Department’s National Security Division while we await the apprehension of the defendants.” This means that this case will be buried in the Justice Department unit that deals with counterintelligence matters that do not result in public trials. So even if something does happen (which it won't), the results of that case will never see the light of day.

So now I have to ask an awkward question. If Muller and his team are there because the Justice Department can't or won't investigate, indict and prosecute crimes related to the Russian interference into the 2016 federal election, I have to ask why is he referring all of his indictments back to the Justice Department? If Mueller spent all of this time and resources to investigate and indict these people suspects, then referred the prosecution phase to the same people who wouldn't do the first two, why does he think they will execute the prosecution with enough vigor to earn a conviction?

Things that make you go "Hmmmmm....."

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Trump's Tariff War

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I believe tariffs are a bad thing. If you read Economics in One Lesson, you will learn that tariffs are a tax on incoming goods. While that was the way the government raised revenue in the 18th and 19th centuries (no income tax), from the late 19th century to today tariffs have been used to boost the cost (and thus the price to you) of foreign goods above the same goods produced domestically as a protectionist measure. This is a Bad Thing in today's global economy because we import from and export to just about every other country. There is almost no product you can purchase today where all of the components are manufactured in one country. Also, if we impose tariffs on incoming goods, there is nothing stopping the country we imported from to impose tariffs on things we ship them. In the end, no one wins because the company loses business and the consumer purchases less because the price is higher.

It's been all over the news since Trump took office about the tariffs he has imposed on the EU, China and other places. "TRADE WAR!!!!" is what all of our news outlets headlines have been.

Did you hear about this news? From CBS: Trump says U.S., EU working toward "zero" tariffs and NPR: Trump And EU Agree To Work Toward Zero Tariffs. It turns out that the EU had a tariffs on a variety of US goods.

If you had listened to Trump himself, rather than what the MSM talking heads are saying what Trump says, you would have heard Trump say he "wanted to negotiate better trade deals with other countries."

So in a trade relationship with the EU, they slapped tariffs on our goods, while we had few, if any tariffs on EU goods. So Trump equals and exceeds the tariffs on EU goods, the EU threatens to escalate their tariffs and back-and-forth several times. Then Trump meets with the EU and says, "These tariffs hurt both of us. Let's eliminate all of them. What do you think?" In a not-very-amazing move, the EU agreed. I say "not-very-amazing" because when you look at it from a global business point of view, tariffs are unquestionably A Bad Thing.

So, Trump has done a Very Good Thing. With EU tariffs on US goods gone, we should get more orders from Europe for our stuff. More orders == more demand == more jobs. Now all he has to do is rinse, wash, repeat for China.

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The integrity of law enforcement

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The most terrible power of a Law Enforcement Officer, Federal, State or Local, is the power of arrest. When an LEO arrests you, this means to their belief and knowledge, you have violated a law and you need to be held to account for that crime. This simple act and the accompanying words, "You are under arrest for..." changes people's lives. Like the Dark Side of the Force, once you start down that path, it will dominate your future life. Guilty or innocent, your finances will be ruined, your family will be disgraced and your young children will not understand why this Bad Man is taking you away from them. That's all on top of any prison time you may have to serve. If you manage to get a "not guilty" decision from the jury, you are still out thousands, if not millions of dollars spent on your defense and there will always be whispers about you. In the words of former Department of Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan after his acquittal, “What office do I go to to get my reputation back?”

The following applies to ANY warrant, be it an arrest warrant, a surveillance warrant, whatever:

The integrity of an LEO has to be beyond question. His word when he appears before a judge to ask for a warrant has to be nothing less than impeccable. The LEO swears, "The information I am about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Every piece of information use to obtain a warrant must be true. Either the LEO can produce the physical evidence, or testify that they witnessed/heard the information, or can produce the witness who made the statement. One hundred percent, nothing less. The truthful information in a warrant can't be 51%, or 67%, or 95%, not even if 99 44/100% of the evidence is true, the warrant must not be signed. To have any amount of false information in a warrant and presented as the truth to the judge, the judge will make the incorrect decision.

The reason why the word of an LEO must be impeccable is this: If the LEO is caught lying/falsifying information in a case, for whatever reason, every other case he has been involved with, not matter how tangentially, is now cast doubt on. Every case this LEO has been involved with, every person who has been convicted because of information he gathered and his testimony can now be retried. If that LEO has put 1,000 people in jail in a 30 year career, every one of those convicts can now sue the LEO and the jurisdiction that tried them. For every case he testifies in going forward, the first question any good defense lawyer will ask will be, "You lied in [this case], how can we trust and believe you now?"

Now let's get to the meat of the matter. Here is the application for a surveillance warrant presented to the FISA court to monitor Carter Page, and it's three subsequent renewals.

The "TOP SECRET/NOFORN" at the top and bottom of every page declares that there is information in this document containing information that has been classified as Top Secret. The NOFORN means that this information is not to be shown to any non-US citizen, even if they possess a TS clearance. The (U), (S), (S/NF) and so on at the beginning of every paragraph declares if that bit of information is Unclassified, Confidential, Secret, Top Secret or NOFORN.

Let's start at page 15 of the original application, with the first piece of evidence supporting why this warrant should be signed:

First, according to information provided by an FBI confidential human source (Source #1), [REDACTED] reported that Page had a [REDACTED].

Source #1, who now owns a foreign business/financial intelligence firm, was approached by an identified U.S. person, who indicated to Source #1 that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1's ties to Russia (the identified U.S. person and source #1 have a long-standing business relationship). The identified U.S. person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1's ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1's campaign.

Source #1 tasked his sub-source(s) to collect the requisite information. After Source #1 received information from the sub-source(s), described herein, Source #1 provided the information to the identified U.S. person who had hired Source #1 and to the FBI. [REDACTED]

Notwithstanding Source #1's reason for conducting the research into Candidate #1's ties to Russia, based on Source #1's previous reporting history with the FBI, whereby Source #1 provided reliable information to the FBI, the FBI believes Source #1's reporting herein to be credible. [REDACTED].

Just to make things clear, Candidate #1 is Trump, Source #1 is Christopher Steele, and the "identified U.S. person" is Daniel Jones. Who is he? A former staff person for Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA). Jones raised $50 Million to hire Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to generate this dossier. This same dossier which in January 2017 FBI Director James Comey briefed President-Elect Trump about, which was in Comey's words, "salacious and unverified."

Now, if this was an intelligence or counter-intelligence operation, indirect information given by a reliable source is considered acceptable and "actionable," meaning we can use this information to conduct the operation. Except this is a criminal investigation. For a court of law, a "dependable source" who vouches for the information they got from someone else won't cut it. Vicarious credibility (I trust Bob, who says this fact he got from someone else is true, so I believe the fact is true) does not exist in a court of law. Well, it does, but it's called hearsay and it's not admissible.

No criminal charges can be brought against anybody using any information that is discovered from Page's texts, emails or phone calls from this warrant. Because the basis of the warrant to gather that information was false, this corrupts everything derived from it. This is known as the "fruit from a poisoned tree."

Bottom line: On page 54 of the document, it reads, "I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing information regarding Carter W. Page is true and correct." Signed October [REDACTED} 2016, [REDACTED], Supervisory Special Agent Federal Bureau of Investigation. When we the people find out that the agent who signed this application, his name will be MUD.

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Conversations

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Some years ago, when the blogging thing was first taking off, here in Memphis we had blogger meets. We would get together at a restaurant and bloggers, left, right and center would discuss our politics, our struggles on the back end and all that stuff. I am kind of sad that those meets petered out.

Some of the books I am currently reading include Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals and the Communist Manifesto (Keynes, among others, are also in my queue). When Air America was broadcasting in Memphis, I would listen to it. I do these things to understand "that side" of things. I do not listen to and read things that confirm what I think, I include viewpoints that are different than mine because I want them to challenge me. I am not afraid to change my position on something when I learn something I did not know before.

And because I like quoting our Founding Fathers, let me quote Jefferson here:

jefferson opinionMany of my friends and acquaintances "lean Left," shall we say. There are several I love to have the deep, philosophical discussions on the issues of the day. There are several I want to take a mallet to in those kind of discussions and the rest we quietly agree to disagree and don't discuss politics at all. But as Tom says, I will never end a friendship over a difference of opinion. They might, I won't.

I bring this up because on one of the podcasts I listen to while driving from job to job, Dylan Marron and his podcast, Conversations With People Who Hate Me came up. His TED talk on the subject is here:

I want to sit down and have 4+ hour discussions with those who deeply disagree with me, to dig into their thoughts and beliefs, to challenge them to stand up to those beliefs. I also want them to return the favor. This is how we communicate with each other. I talk about communication in my earlier post At, To and With.

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The truth on Clinton's email server

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Okay folks, read it and weep.

Back when I had a website for my side hustle of IT services, I had an article on it where I stated that there was no way that the server for clintonmail.com was not hacked within hours of it coming on-line, considering there was no security (firewall, virus scan, etc.) running on it.

While Secretary of State, Clinton used this compromised personal server instead of the government's secure system to send and receive highly classified information. Think of it this way. You are in a high-stakes poker game, with millions of dollars on the table. If you have ever played poker or watched the World Poker Tour, you know most of what a player does is read the other players more than he does his own cards. If you're a good bluffer, you can convince a player with a stronger hand to fold, or a weaker player to go "all-in" and thus lose everything.

But what if another player knows what your cards are? Then the bluff won't work. It's one thing with a couple million dollars on the table, what if the stakes were thousands or millions dead? A nuclear exchange? Then those cards are a lot more important to keep secret. Someone had access to the objectives and capabilities of the United States in a crisis. The compromise of that information could have been devastating. The US Navy in 1942 met and defeated the Japanese fleet at Midway with a strategic advantage because we were able to read 1 word in 3 of their coded messages. Imagine if we were pushed to the edge of a nuclear exchange and the other side could read every word of our emails in real time. It would not have ended well for us.

My fears were confirmed last week during the Congressional grilling of Peter Strzok. Here is the video and partial transcript below:

[Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)]: You said earlier in this hearing you were concerned about a hostile foreign power affecting the election. Do you recall the former Intelligence Community Inspector General Chuck McCullough having an investigation into an anomaly found on Hillary Clinton’s emails?

Let me refresh your memory. The Intelligence Community Inspector General Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Rucker along with an IGIC attorney Janette McMillan to brief you and Dean Chapelle and two other FBI personnel who I won’t name at this time, about an anomaly they had found on Hillary Clinton’s emails that were going to the private unauthorized server that you were supposed to be investigating?

Strzok: I remember meeting Mr. Rucker on either one or two occasions. I do not recall the specific content or discussions.

Gohmert: Mr. Rucker reported to those of you, the four of you there, in the presence of the ICIG attorney, that they had found this anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list. It was a compartmentalized bit of information that was sending it to an unauthorized source. Do you recall that?

Strzok: Sir, I don’t.

Gohmert: He went on the explain it. And you didn’t say anything, you thanked him, you shook his hand. The problem is it was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia and from what you’ve said here, you did nothing more than nod and shake the man’s hand when you didn’t seem to be all that concerned about our national integrity of our election when it was involving Hillary Clinton. So the forensic examination was done by the ICIG — and they can document that — but you were given that information and you did nothing with it. And one of the things I found most egregious with Mr. Horowitz’s testimony, and — by the way Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call. [emphasis mine]

So it has been proven that 1) Hillary had an unsecured email server, 2) she was using to conduct high-level government business, 3) it was secretly sending 99.999% of her emails to a foreign entity unrelated to Russia (which could have been forwarding them on to Russia, no one knows at this point).

The first two bits of information were common public knowledge well before the election. The third point was speculated and assumed, but not proven until now. This email server issue is nothing short of an unmitigated disaster and Biblical-scale blunder. If you wanted this woman to be President, I am not mad at you. I am saddened that you chose to ignore glaring compromises of Clinton's character, where she felt she didn't have to follow the rules and didn't care about keeping the secrets of the United States secret. This could have led to a showdown where we would have been on the losing side.

Think about that, very carefully.

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Radicalization of Radicals

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By the nature of physics, a vehicle with the steering wheels in the back (relative to the direction the vehicle is moving) can cause the vehicle to turn sharper, in less distance and for less turning of the steering wheel. When done properly, this is a great enhancement to the control of the vehicle. Done improperly, a catastrophe can occur.

The other day, Tom Perez, who is chairman of the Democrat National Committee, said this on The Bill Press radio show:

"What's this tell you about where the Democratic Party is going today?" Press asked the DNC chair.

Perez said his daughters both texted him about their excitement over Ocasio-Cortez's win.

"Because, she really, she represents the future of our party," Perez said, complimenting the self-described Democratic socialist for running a "spirited campaign."

The future of our party. I hope that the context of Mr. Perez’s remark spoke of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was, “young, female, minority” identity politics. While Conservatives are concerned about the ideological position of a person and what their plans are if they win office, Democrats generally look to checking off demographic points. If Mr. Perez was lauding Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’ political outlook as a “Democratic Socialist,” then they (and we as a result) are in deep trouble. Because she represents the amount of radicalization for the Democrats that has increased exponentially with every generation since the 60’s.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez in her campaign promoted a “Santa Claus” government, with free single-payer health care, federally guaranteed jobs, free college education, and the abolishment of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).

If John F. Kennedy had been teleported from 1960 to 2016, he would, by his views not only been a Republican, he would have been to the Right of Trump. Think about that for a moment. The mainstream Democrat Presidential nominee in 1960, who was considered radical at the time because he was a Catholic, his views 56 years later would be considered a Right-Wing Hatemonger by the same party that they nominated to lead the country. This bellwether is why Conservatives use the term “run to the left” for Liberals and why Ronald Reagan (who was a Democrat in 1960) said in 1962, “I didn’t leave the Democrat party, the party left me.”

The radicals became radicalized in the early 2000’s, which led to the election of Obama in 2008 and his eight years in office. He was at least a borderline Socialist but never openly admitted it.

This radicalization continues its’ run to the Left today when Bernie Sanders (an openly admitted Socialist) became a viable candidate for the Democrats last bid for the White House. Of course, he never had a realistic chance going up against the Clinton Machine, but that’s beside the point. The fact-of-the-matter is, a significant number of Democrats “felt the Bern” and thought a Socialist as president was the best option for the country.

In statistics, one data point is nothing. Two data points can indicate a rough direction. With the primary win of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, and her likely election to the House (I don’t know if there is even a Republican running in that district), there will now be two Socialists in Congress. I am confident there will be three or four of them after the 2020 elections.

And then we have The New Republic, Bernie Sanders Is Not the Left.

This author makes no pretense about his views:

Sanders and his supporters have helped push the Democrats to the left, but the party has yet to truly embrace its left flank.

I suppose it’s a rhetorical question, but “why must the Democrats ‘embrace its left flank’?” If there were more than a minuscule few on the left flank, wouldn’t that then be the center? Why should the Democrats embrace the left flank and not the right flank?

A quote from the article:

…Sanders has never been a figurehead to everyone in the American left. His primary bid did draw the support of many leftists, but leftist voters in the United States aren’t spoiled for options—or at least they weren’t when Sanders launched his long-shot bid for president. That’s changing now, and it’s putting Sanders’s politics in perspective. He does not occupy the left-most band of the spectrum.

It’s certainly true that Sanders is to the left of most Democrats. But contrary to how he’s often portrayed in the media, he is not a doctrinaire leftist. His principal benefit to the left has been to mainstream certain beliefs—namely, that access to health care, education, and living wages are rights, not luxuries. But Sanders is not a revolutionary. His views aren’t even entirely consistent with democratic socialism, the political tradition he claims. It’s one thing to call for breaking up the big banks, and quite another to call for the nationalization of private industries. [emphasis mine]

When you couple the author’s call for the Democrats to “embrace their left wing,” then lament the only Socialist in the halls of DC power isn’t far enough to the left, then my statement of “radicalizing of radicals” rings true.

I can’t understand how anyone can look at the past 100 years of history and not see what has happened to the people under the rule of Socialist governments (100,000,000 dead by democide in the past century and rising every day) and say, “The Socialist system is sound, it’s just the right people weren’t in charge.”

I hate to tell these people, there never can be “the right people in charge” because a single person and especially a group of people will never have the pool of knowledge, the reasoning ability and the incorruptible character required to do the job properly. When the government owns and controls the means of production (which is the very definition of Socialism), the centralized control that is required to manage that system can never quickly enough or correctly allocate the resources at its’ disposal efficiently to meet the needs of the citizens.

We can also look at these Socialist governments and see that those in charge never truly wanted for anything. It was the poor schlubs at the bottom who starved to death eating mud pies while the ruling elite got fat.

Socialism has failed spectacularly 90% of the time it’s been tried. The other 10% are still in the process of eating themselves and haven’t gotten to the end stage yet. The Chinese are stubbornly trying to remain Communist, however since they took control of Hong Kong in 1997 and their involvement in global trade, they have been dragged kicking and screaming into a somewhat market-type economy.

Insisting Socialism works and not having a single successful example while saying all of the failed Socialist governments to date have failed because of “not the right people in charge” or “that wasn’t true Socialism” are exemplifying the adage, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” A system where a few people are in charge of most everything while everyone else is forced to work against their own self-interest is going to fail, every time it’s tried.

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Watch out for this kid

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Last week, I attended a CPAC365 forum sponsored by The American Conservative Union. It was very interesting, I got to see HUD Secretary Ben Carson speak and I almost got to interact with Art Laffer (of the Laffer Curve), however it seems he wrenched his back (he’s 80) and could not make the flight.

Someone I did meet was an 11-year-old young man who was covering the event like a reporter and was also interviewing people. His dad is his cameraman and driver, as they have traveled over 50,000 miles doing this since he was eight. His website is Phoenix Rising in America. I admire this young man because he was able to articulate what he wanted to do to his parents to a level that his dad left his job to pursue and help him in his quest. I wish him and his family all the best.

As a personal note, my son was a bit younger than this young man when I developed my mental health issues. My son showed similar potential in his own areas, however my illness cut off his promise because I was not there for my son and I have regretted that loss every day since. I try to help my now adult son, but that weight of his lost potential is a heavy albatross around my neck every day.

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A Reading of the Declaration of Independence

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I missed this yesterday. Listen to this. If this does not cause tears to come to your eyes, shivers to run up and down your body and a base anger against those who seek to oppress others, then please leave the United States for you do not belong here. This document and the words therein are truly timeless and speaks to every generation. If listening to this does not stir something within you, then you do not yearn to breathe free.

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Happy Independence Day!

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This is one of those things that need to be said every year.

I don't celebrate the 4th of July, because I don't know what is special about that date. If we celebrate the 4th of July, why don't we celebrate the 24th of August? We celebrate New Years Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. So it sticks out as a sore thumb to me as to why we celebrate July 4th and not Independence Day.

To know the history of the world, not just the United States gives you the true context and the deep significance of Independence Day. On July 4th, 1776 AD, there were several dozen countries in the world, most if not all some kind of Oligarchical Monarchy. Just to be clear, an "Oligarchical Monarchy" pertains to a monarch (King or Queen) that more or less ruled with the permission of the powerful people (lords and other nobility) of that country. The 13 colonies in America was the first time in all of recorded history that a colony had successfully fought it's way to independence from the mother country. While many other countries have been liberated from control of their mother country since then, the vast majority of these separations were with the permission of the mother country.

The men who started and led this insurrection knew that if they did not triumph in this fight for independence, those who survived the battlefield would be hung as traitors. Not a quick or elegant way to go in those times. You were not dropped in such a way as to break your neck making the death quick, you were hoisted upwards and left to strangle, slowly.

Through the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, our Founding Fathers codified a government that is ruled by the People, not the People ruled by the government. That concept was totally absurd at the time. I seriously think that kind of independence is the kind to celebrate by calling it for what it is, not just by the date.

Do not, under any circumstances wish me a "Happy 4th of July." However I will happily celebrate with you the Independence Day of the United States.

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Why Liberals are terrified right now

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With the news of Justice Kennedy retiring, Liberals are having a shit fit because Kennedy is the infamous "swing vote" that almost sides with the more Liberal judges on social issues. President Trump has been appointing strict Constitutionalists to the lower courts and there is no reason to believe that he will not continue on that path with his pending SCOTUS appointment.

This means that there will be a solid four strict Constitutionalist votes and one part-time Constitutionalist in Mr. Roberts (whom long ago I said I can never use the title "justice" with him). With the two oldest Justices being "living" Constitutionalists (Ginsberg, 85 and Breyer, 79) If Trump is re-elected, it is entirely possible he could and would fill those seats with strict Constitutionalists as well.

This, of course, has Liberals in a full on seizure mode. Why? Simply put precedents like Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges will be in great jeopardy of being overturned.

The ancestors of Liberals (crusading "do-gooders" who want to impose their morality on everyone else) pushed through the Eighteenth Amendment, the Constitution's only foray into social issues. It proved to be such a [sarcasm]wonderful success[/sarcasm] that it was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment only fourteen years later, the only Amendment to have that "honor." So these "Social Justice Warriors" turned to the courts to impose their will on the People. The reason why Abortion and SSM (same-sex marriage) are hotly fought debates across this country is because We The People didn't settle these issues, nine people wearing black robes in Washington did.

As I said in A Legacy Built on Sand, precedents like this that can be easily overturned (in this instance, "easily" is a bit understated) because someone with a different political perspective holds the office now and can undo improperly done things.

I never have been and most likely never will be in favor of any kind of direct democracy. Our Founding Fathers hated the idea of mob rule, which is why they created this government as a Constitutional Republic. That being said, there are in rare instances of large and dividing social issues like these, each State should put these issues to an "up or down" vote and make it unreviewable by the Judiciary (aka California's "Proposition XX was overturned by judges today..."). That way, the citizens of the States can decide the issue for themselves. Some States will probably vote in favor of abortion and SSM, some States "yes" on one and "no" on the other, and still other States will vote "no" on both. And just to be clear, while I am using abortion and SSM together as examples, each example needs to be treated slightly differently.

The issue of abortion pertains to the legality of performing an abortion in that State. If Arkansas does not allow abortions but Missouri does, I would not be against Arkansas pro-choice "family clinics" offering transportation to abortion clinics in Missouri where a woman could get an abortion. Hawaii may support SSM, while Montana might not. There is nothing preventing a same-sex couple from traveling from Montana to Hawaii and getting married. Under Article 4 Section 1 of the Constitution, a valid marriage certificate issued by Hawaii must be accepted by Montana. It doesn't matter if the certificate is for Mary and Mike or Richard and Randy.

And just because I'm a flexible guy on this "direct democracy" thing, we could revisit these (and other social subjects) every, say 20 years. That way if social norms change and evolve, the laws specific to these social subjects could evolve as well.

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SCOTUS 2018 Decisions

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So here are (to me) the six most important cases to roll out of this Supreme Court session. Five of these were serious dealings in favor of individual liberty and against those who wish for discretionary government control. The last one will severely hurt small businesses, no matter what.

MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP, LTD.,ET AL.v.COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION ET AL.

This was a "punt" by SCOTUS, leaving the decision about the Constitutionality of the law itself undecided. I am okay with this, because I am in favor of the feds keeping their nose out of state business unless it crosses state lines. That being said, when the state government is actively against selected (group or individual) people for whatever reason, then it becomes a SCOTUS issue.

The court found in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop in that the Colorado Civil Right Commission was openly hostile to and prejudiced against the baker. Part of the decision reads:

Held: (a) ...Indeed, while the instant enforcement proceedings were pending, the State Civil Rights Division concluded in at least three cases that a baker acted lawfully in declining to create cakes with decorations that demeaned gay persons or gay marriages. Phillips too was entitled to a neutral and respectful consideration of his claims in all the circumstances of the case.

(b) That consideration was compromised, however, by the Commission’s treatment of Phillips’ case, which showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs motivating his objection. As the record shows, some of the commissioners at the Commission’s formal, public hearings endorsed the view that religious beliefs cannot legitimately be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain, disparaged Phillips’ faith as despicable and characterized it as merely rhetorical, and compared his invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust...

Yeah, I like limiting the power and authority of unelected government bureaucrats who make up their own rules.

JANUS v. AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL 31, ET AL.

This will hurt the public-sector employee unions very badly. This is actually the second case like this one, however, the first case, FRIEDRICHS, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, ET AL. was undecided due to Justice Scalia's unexpected passing, thus making a 4-4 split. In both Janus and Friedrichs, public sector employees resented having to pay dues to a union that they didn't belong to and didn't believe in the political objectives of those unions. The unions and government in both states agreed that the unions would represent both union members and non-union members, even if the non-members didn't want the representation of the union.

The fees confiscated from paid by non-members are "fungible" money, meaning that once it is received into the general fund of the union, you cannot say one way or the other that the money was or was not spent on any actions that the non-members objected to.

I am all for collective bargaining for those who want it and individual bargaining for those who don't want collective bargaining. If the non-union members end up with a worse deal than the union members, They are free to join the union. If the non-union employees get a better package than the union because, you know, they might perform their job better and know they don't have the "protection" of the union, then the better performing teachers might jump the union ship.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FAMILY AND LIFE ADVOCATES, DBA NIFLA, ET AL. v. BECERRA, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CALIFORNIA, ET AL.

You can tell how overbearing this law is by the first sentience of the decision:

The California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act (FACT Act) was enacted to regulate crisis pregnancy centers—pro-life centers that offer pregnancy-related services. [emphasis mine]

My question is, why weren't the clinics that are pro-abortion pro-choice clinics regulated under the same act? If this law required pro-life centers to advertise free or low cost abortions, why wasn't the pro-choice centers required to advertise the pro-life options? The rabid pro-choicers will undoubtedly say, "they offer adoption or other pro-life options as part of their information package." Of course they do. I'm sure the woman is given a brochure on adoption... that's 2nd from the bottom of 18 brochures about family planning, aftereffects of abortion, etc. while being carried on a whirlwind from waiting room to recovery room. And of course, the staff would never say the words "you could give the baby up for adoption" or let the woman see the ultrasound of the fetus while assessing how best to terminate the fetus.

This is a clear case of the state government restricting the freedom of speech by requiring an organization to say/display/advertise a position and an option that is antithetical to their purpose and mission. I am very glad California was kicked to the curb. To show my ideological consistency, if this was a pro-life state that was forcing Planned Parenthood to post pro-life posters, I would be happy that PP got the nod and the states law knocked down.

TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, ET AL. v. HAWAII ET AL.

This was the case of a court actively interfering with the lawful daily business of the President. Trump enacted a 50-day hold on immigration from seven countries, Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. This list was developed by the State Department and Homeland Security under Obama. These countries were selected because either:

  • They have no functioning national government so we have no one to confirm the identity of an applicant,
  • The records of that government are unable to satisfy our government agencies as to the identity of an applicants information, or
  • They are an actively hostile foreign power and thus have reasons to issue false documents to people meant to infiltrate the US for the purposes of spying or sabotage.

Here's what the decision said:

After a 50-day period during which the State Department made diplomatic efforts to encourage foreign governments to improve their practices, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security concluded that eight countries —Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen—remained deficient. She [Acting Secretary of DHS] recommended entry restrictions for certain nationals from all of those countries but Iraq, which had a close cooperative relationship with the U. S. She also recommended including Somalia, which met the information-sharing component of the baseline standards but had other special risk factors, such as a significant terrorist presence.

I'm sorry, I don't think there's a lot of Muslims in either Venezuela or North Korea, so #MuslimBan doesn't seem to fit quite right. Also, those countries with a majority of people who practice the Muslim faith (Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen) make up less than 10% of the worlds Muslim population. Again, #MuslimBan doesn't hold up to the truth.

The lower court took into consideration the campaign statements of Candidate Trump. It looks to me that the lower court didn't adhere to the "Four Corners of the Law" standard that Judges should use for every such case before them. SCOTUS did adhere to the Four Corners principle, meaning they looked at the Presidential Proclamation that started this whole kerfluffle. The read what it said, noted the sections of the US Code in the proclamation, then read those sections of the US code and the majority (IMO, this decisionreally should have been a 9-0) concurred that the law of the land gives the President the discretionary power to enact such requirements and limit or withhold all immigration from those countries for not meeting our baseline documentation requirements.

CARPENTER v. UNITED STATES

Okay, let me make this clear. If you have a cell phone or tablet with you, that device is constantly broadcasting your location. If you're going to do something bad, don't take the cell phone/tablet that has your name on the account to where you're doing the bad thing. Carpenter was an idiot for doing this. Turn it off and leave it somewhere far away from the crime you're going to perform or have someone drive it around away from where you are while you're doing bad things.

I believe the court acted properly here in it's judgement of the location data obtained without a warrant is inadmissible in court, because no business should willingly surrender any of a customers' personal information to the government. To do so violates the trust between the company and the customer. If the police don't want to expend the manpower necessary to follow a suspect, then they should have to get a warrant.

The bad news is there is a device called a Stingray that can imitate a cell phone tower and have phones exchange their data with the Stingray, while the Stingray then passes your data to the real cell phone tower so you don't know you're being monitored. This technology has already been used by hundreds of local law-enforcement agencies thousands of times. Look for the use of these devices to increase.

The one "SCOTUS Screwup" that I saw was SOUTH DAKOTA v. WAYFAIR, INC.

This decision has kicked the whole "internet tax" debate on it's head. Up until this decision, a mail-order transaction has been free of sales taxes unless the seller has a store in the same state as the buyer. Why is that? Think of it this way. The tax structure of the county and state where I reside currently is like this:

  • State Sales tax of 7%
  • County sales tax of 2.25% on non-grocery items, up to $1,600.
  • County sales tax on groceries 0.25%
  • Then there are several suburbs who also tack on a 0.5% or 0.75%

That this means that a company with a mail-order component to their sales now has to know all those rules, the addresses of the customers who might or might not be subject to that municipality tax, plus the address of the state, county and municipal tax collection offices entitled to those taxes.

Now multiply that by 3,300, because that's approximately how many counties there are in the United States. In the end, it means that any small business (which is 80% of all businesses in the US) now has an accounting and tax-liability headache the size of Mount Everest.

As a solution, they could either sell their wares through Amazon (which already have the necessary numbers of accountants and lawyers to surmount this Everest of paperwork), they could pay a service to keep track of all of this (both of these options would cut into their already small profit margins) or as a last resort, stop selling on-line entirely.

So there you have it, four cases where the court upheld individuals First and Fourth Amendment Rights, a smack on the nose of those who seek to interfere with the legal and lawful affairs of the President as he properly discharges the duties of his Oath and Office. And last but not least, a stupid decision that will cost thousands of businesses sales and profits.

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