Author Archives: Dave Krueger

Friday Links

  • A frightened college student tried to drive off when a group of men swarmed her car as she was leaving a state ABC store.  It turned out that the six men were plan clothes ABC agents who mistook the bottled water she bought for beer.  Just another case of cops behaving like what they are, just another gang of thugs that sees the public as the enemy.  The student now faces felony charges, even though she was not doing anything illegal when she was accosted by the agents.  [UPDATE]  See Radley Balko’s article about this incident here.
  • A Wisconsin woman has been awarded a settlement of $143,500 after Lawrence County child welfare department and Jameson Hospital seized her newborn child in response to a false positive drug test triggered by a poppy seed bagel.   Of course, they were simply following the due process exemption granted by the Constitution whenever a child is involved…
  • Henderson, Nevada cops arrested a man and his adult son when they refused to allow their houses to be occupied by cops to observe a neighboring house as part of a domestic abuse investigation.  When the family refused to let the cops in, they broke down the door and pepper-balled him (as well as the family dog, of course).  They spent nine hours in jail before making bail.  The charges were eventually dismissed with prejudice.  The family is suing city and police officials of the cities of Henderson and North Las Vegas.  Of course, if they win, it’s unlikely anything will happen to the officials and the taxpayers will get stuck with the bill.  I have blogged about the idiots at Henderson, NV PD before.
  • Video of a St. Louis cops striking a handcuffed teenager during an arrest has been released to the public after the officer was acquitted of an assault charge.  The video was never shown at trial for legal reasons.  While cops involved in shootings aren’t supposed to be involved with processing suspects, the supervisor didn’t interfere in this case.  The teen was never charged with a crime.  Meanwhile, the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association wants the cops reinstated.  The whole case reeks of incompetence.  The unprovoked assault takes place at about the 12 second mark in the video below:

Abuse of police power, Hawthorne, California style

A man records cops in Hawthone, California.  Note that the man is not even close to the cops but cops don’t like being recorded. And because cops are basically permitted to abuse their powers without fear of consequences, they decide to arrest the guy.  Unfortunately, the guy’s dog gets upset and escapes the car upon which the cops decide to shoot the dog repeatedly.

WARNING: If you don’t want to be upset by the sight of a dog being senselessly and brutally murdered by Gang in Blue (who will undoubtedly be cleared of any wrongdoing), don’t watch the video.

As for the shooter, I hope he rests comfortably knowing that, because of his childish temper and galactic sized ego, a creature of far more significance in the universe than he will ever be, is dead.

[UPDATE 7/3/13] has some further information about this event.  It seems the dog owner has a history with police and police claim they approached him because he was playing his car stereo too loud.

ISPs and your privacy

Comcast is providing their customers with a free modem upgade to take advantage of their higher speed services.  I just received the new modem kit and am getting ready to install it.  I think it’s telling that installation instructions (largely illustrations) consists of four pages including the cover.  The privacy notice they sent is 9 nearly marginless pages of fine print legalese followed by a 26-page residential services “agreement”.

When it comes to government invasions of privacy, I don’t think Comcast would be any more likely than AT&T and Verizon to push back.  Telecom companies are too dependent on government contracts, favors, and collusion to make waves.   As they readily proved during the Bush administration, they will be more than willing to piss on the Constitution at the government’s bequest.  Now that immunity from prosecution is part of the law, what few worries they might have had have been completely neutralized.

[Update]   I now have the new modem up and running.  Encryption is being proposed as the only effective remedy for Big Brother’s interception of all of our private communications.  In response to that, it is expected that endpoint access is only way the government could defeat encryption, by accessing data on your computer before encryption or after decryption.  Since the modem connects directly to your computer or home network, it would be a logical point for the NSA to institute endpoint access technology.  That the NSA would partner with ISPs, equipment manufacturers, and operating system suppliers to pursue this route is pure speculation. But, I did point my modem toward the wall just in case there is a video camera installed in it…

Good leaks and bad leaks

Chris Hayes imparts an astute and irrefutable observation about how the establishment media and their buddies in government treat leaks that government wants us to hear versus those it doesn’t.  While I rarely agree with MSNBC perspectives, this commentary is excellent,  You won’t be disappointed.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sanitizing the news in the “land of the free”

I haven’t really been closely following the trial of George Zimmerman, but it’s hard to get away from it when it consumes so much establishment media bandwidth.

I’m sure the story coming out through the testimony is detailed and consuming for many people, but what struck me most was the fact that during the testimony, the sound kept dropping out on my TV.  I was basically watching a bobbing head silently mouthing words.  It actually took me several seconds to figure out that this was the network silencing the words they didn’t want their audience to hear.

CNN was blocking all the naughty language so it wouldn’t offend sensitive listeners, permanently traumatizing them.  So, here we have a trial of a man accused of intentionally gunning down an innocent 17-year-old kid in cold blood, but the story is dumbed down for the least common denominator in the audience.  CNN, as well as other cable stations covering the story, are essentially filtering the testimony because they believe their audience is too timid to be faced with something so brutal as the profanity and racial slurs that were spoken in the course of a fucking  homicide for Christ’s sake!

To me, this is not only insulting, it shows a stunningly misdirected grasp of the character, integrity, and maturity of the audience they claim to serve.  You can’t help but wonder if they feel compelled to shield their audience from course language, what other raw truth do they feel called on to “protect” Americans from?

This is one reason why alternative news outlets have been catching on so quickly.  While they haven’t been able to break into the one-size-fits-all establishment controlled broadcast and cable media, alternative news sources have flourished on the web.  If you want to get the raw data, you have to go to the web because the establishment media in the U.S. doesn’t think you can handle it.

When the Zimmerman trial started with the opening statements, it was all the cable news networks could talk about.  The entire day, they kept repeating the first few words out of the prosecutor’s mouth followed with discussion and experts weighing in on the startling impact of those words, almost as if the trial was already won.  And yet the audience never got to hear the words because they needed to be protected.   For anyone with a brain capable of questioning the merit of TV news coverage, this goes past laughable and ridiculous right out into the the far reaches of the Twilight Zone.

If you want to hear those words, where do you go?  Youtube. Specifically at 34:28.

Americans, even when speaking among adults, have established code words like “the F-word” or “the N-word” to be used as substitutes in conversation.  Even in a discussion about the words themselves, we cannot come right out and actually utter them.  This is lunacy.

For the most part, civil society has quit making any distinction between the context of a word and the mere arrangement of it’s letters.  The simple arrangement of the letters, F-U-C-K, has been condemned, which makes no more sense than condemning the color blue.

In the court room, the jurors get to hear it all because someone’s future hangs in the balance.  The court, doesn’t shield the jury from some of the evidence and then tell them to judge the facts.  (Well, actually they do, but that’s a different subject.)

I fail to understand why most people don’t reject establishment news outright.  Considering their low regard for their audiences, turning on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, network news, and almost all local news stations is not much more than an exercise in self flagellation because these programs make it so obvious how stupid they think you are.

Combine the disdain that establishment media has toward the American public with it’s heavily vested interest in the statist quo and ignorance is an unavoidable consequence for anyone who relies heavily on them to learn about what’s going on in the world.

[update]  I’m a fan of the Discovery Channel’s show called Mythbusters.  During the commercials they advertise their new reality show called Naked and Afraid.  This is show about survivalist experts turned loose in the wild with no clothes.  But, because nudity is taboo in the U.S., the video is strategically blurred to avoid threatening the sensibilities of an audience steeped in a culture that defines nudity as shameful.  This has to rank pretty high on the list of stupid things on TV.

Despite that fact that senior editors Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie “fucking hate each other”, Reason magazine celebrates its 45th anniversary.

From Fishbowl DC:

Put them in the same air space and you’re likely to hear them discuss their persisting feelings of blind rage for each other. Without even a trace of a smile, Gillespie, dressed head to toe in his signature black frock, explains the dynamic between the two. “We have a tight relationship that usually ends in physical violence,” he says.

When I first discovered Reason magazine, I was stunned that it appeared so physically equal to popular magazines like Time and Newsweek.  A blind person would never be able to tell the difference.  Our local library had it on the same shelf with those other well known journalistic publications. It was available in the same book stores as if it were just as significant as all the other periodicals out there.  What the fuck was happening?  Reason is libertarian.  Libertarians are known to be fringe radicals, for Christ’s sake.  And yet this publication made us look normal and respectable.

Reason, almost single handedly, brought mainstream respectably to the libertarian movement by creating a magazine equal to or better than other highly popular periodical news publications.  By earning membership to that club, they brought libertarianism into the mainstream national conversation.  How do we know that?  Because libertarians have finally achieved enough prominence to garner establishment press attention and animus.  Celebrities as divergent as Glenn Beck and Bill Maher have both called themselves libertarian on some issues.  Libertarians have now become a legitimate team in the sport of political discourse.

It is utterly (yes, utterly!) impossible to overstate how important Reason Magazine has been to the libertarian cause.  So, happy 45th anniversary Reason Magazine and thank you for all you’ve done.

How can you tell if a cop is lying?

His (or her) lips are moving.  Unfortunately, they usually get away with it unless they are caught on video.  And even then they often get away with it.


El Monte police Capt. Dan Buehler said the officers had an appointment to meet with Luu and Nguyen about 3:30 p.m., but were delayed and ended up arriving about 4:30 p.m.

“They did go up to the front (gate),” the captain said. “There was a beware of dog sign of the gate. They did what we always do as police officers. They shook the gate. They didn’t see any dogs.”

“They looked for any signs of dogs — chew toys, dog mess, what have you,” Buehler said, adding that they entered the yard after not seeing anything indicating a dog was present.

“They walked up to the porch. They rang the doorbell. They knocked on the door. That’s when the first dog came around the house,” he said.

Now watch the video of the cops entering the yard.

kiki_familyphotoSo, if the cops are lying about their entrance unto the property, why would anyone believe their story about why they shot the beautiful 2 year old German shepherd named Kiki whose only crime was being in her own fenced in yard marked behind a gate with a huge sign (impossible to miss) that clearly indicated there was a dog there?

The picture to the left is Kiki after being shot.  She was taken to the vet, but had to be euthanized.

The story the officers tell differs from the home owner’s account in other ways, too.

Luu said she asked the officer why she shot the dog, and why they officers simply entered the yard without calling on the phone.

Luu said the officer responded that she did not see the “beware of dog” signs, and that she did try to reach the family by phone, though Luu said she received no such phone call.

Luu said she told the officers that her dog, which was lying wounded in the backyard and vomiting blood, needed medical attention. An officer responded that the dog was okay.

Before the animal was treated, officers demanded to see license documents not only for the wounded dog, but for the family’s other dogs, Nguyen’s sister Anna Nguyen said.

Read the whole story here.

Cop Culture


Radley Balko has an article up on HuffPo about what cop T-shirts say about cop culture.

This exemplifies the us-against-them mentality that permeates law enforcement at all levels in the U.S.  Instead of serving and protecting, people have become the enemy.  Add to that the fact that cops are rarely even disciplined for breaking the same laws they enforce against ordinary citizens with such zeal and it becomes pretty obvious that law enforcement, and government in general, have become a privileged class in America.

Go read Radley’s article and look at all the other pictures.

New York finds new uses for anti-terrorism surveillance

New York’s Big Brother surveillance systems justified through fear-mongering after the 9/11 attacks and funded with federal anti-terrorism dollars is now being used to target ordinary crime.  After the 9/11 attacks, governments at all levels helped fuel the hysteria by pouring fear-mongering fuel on an already chaotic and uncertain situation.  Federal, state, and local officials helped racket up the panic and leverage off of public fear in order to acquire more government police powers.  Almost universally, it was claimed that the new powers would be used to fight terrorism and would not be used to bypass protections that ordinary citizens are guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.  Those promises immediately became more and more watered down to the point where they are now forgotten.

New York City police now have access to some 6000 surveillance cameras and 120 license plate readers with plans to more than double that number.  The courts have declared that attaching a GPS locator to someone’s car without a warrant constitutes a violation of their 4th Amendment rights, being able to track their position using license plate readers essentially guts that ruling.

Now, New York has openly stated that the technology that Americans tolerated as a necessary evil to fight terrorism is being turned on New York residents for purposes having absolutely nothing to do with terrorism.  New York has established a reputation for dragnet style tactics where they simply dispense with 4th Amendment protections conducting wholesale searches of people on the street in hopes of catching them doing something they’re no supposed to be doing.  Imagine an expansion of that strategy to encompass all the new technological tools developed and installed under the excuse that they were needed to fight terrorism.

This reminds me of the trend of local law enforcement agencies to acquire military equipment for ordinary policing.  Even tiny towns now have SWAT teams and armored vehicles.  Once a department has that equipment, they’re going to find a use for it and, as a result, storm trooper style raids are routinely used to serve warrants on non-violent offenders.

Expanding power and surveillance available to police departments notorious for abusing existing powers can only lead to even more abuse.

FBI wants to fine companies that resist internet snooping

From the WaPo:

A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Face­book and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the effort.

Driven by FBI concerns that it is unable to tap the Internet communications of terrorists and other criminals, the task force’s proposal would penalize companies that failed to heed wiretap orders — court authorizations for the government to intercept suspects’ communications.

Some companies have been able to resist FBI wiretap orders simply by complaining that they don’t have the means available to easily collect the data.  The FBI doesn’t like that answer.  Apparently, they think internet companies have a responsibility to design their networks and equipment in a way that facilitates easily passing subscriber’s private communications over to the feds.  To encourage them to do this, they want to impose escalating fines on companies that drag their feet.

Instead of setting rules that dictate how the wiretap capability must be built, the proposal would let companies develop the solutions as long as those solutions yielded the needed data. That flexibility was seen as inevitable by those crafting the proposal, given the range of technology companies that might receive wiretap orders. Smaller companies would be exempt from the fines.

How thoughtful of them.  They could tell them exactly how they need to do it, but instead they’re being nice guys and letting companies figure it out for themselves.  Of course, if the government take a heavy-handed approach, it could possibly generate a negative public response.  In other words, government officials are never a “nice guys”.  They are always thinking about themselves.