Category Archives: General Government Idiocy

Afternoon links

The U.S. considers sanctions against Pakistan over a $7B “peace pipeline” deal with Iran.  Such a deal threatens U.S. efforts to bring Iran to its knees for failing to prove that it is not manufacturing nuclear WMDs in a repeat of the same strategy used to start a war with Iraq.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.  Wait a sec.  Aren’t they already a nuclear state?  Surely the recent U.S. strategy of flying strategic war planes around over the peninsula will calm things down.

A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a man who stabbed his best friend ten years ago, paralyzing him, to be paralyzed himself if he can’t come up with $266,000 in compensation for his victim.

What happens to persecutors who abuse their trust and destroy people’s lives?  Nothing.

From  A Texas state trooper charged with sexually assaulting two women during a traffic stop was providing them with “customer service,” says Dale Roberts, the executive director of the Columbia Police Officers Association (CPOA) and a professor at the University of Missouri. (The CPOA is a part of the Fraternal Order of Police, one of the country’s largest police unions.)

How about an email tax as a way to fund the Postal Service?

Berkeley city councilman, Gordon Wozniak suggested a tiny tax on email in a debate on how to save their historic Allston Way post office.  And George Skelton at the L.A. Times thinks it’s an excellent idea.  He doesn’t see it as a way to save the post office so much as a way to cut down on spam.  Although, he ponders how such a tax might be used to bring happiness to people (just as all our other taxes do so well):

Or just to help replace the tax revenue lost by technology putting people out of work. That was the idea of the Canadian economist — Wozniak’s inspiration — who first raised the notion of a bit tax back in 1997 in a speech at Harvard Law School.

Yeah, just what we need is another welfare program for all the poor souls who are suffering from new technology.   By that logic, we would all be much better off if we still lived in caves.

You have to love the irony of taxing the technology that is threatening to obsolete the postal service in order to keep the postal service in business.

Wednesday Afternoon links

  • Two Texas cops indicted for illegally initiating a roadside body cavity search of two women stopped for littering.  The male officer who initiated the stop was charged with theft and the female officer who conducted the cavity search was charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of official oppression.
  • The FBI is pursuing real time Gmail spying power as top priority for 2013.  Because, if you have nothing to hide, why do you need privacy anyway?
  • Two years after being ordered to by the the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the TSA is finally initiating the public comment period required before they can set up the full body scanners they’ve already been using since 2007.
  • Cost for a one-night stay in Paris for the Vice President?  $585,000.50   More than $100,000 more than his stay in London which only cost a measly $459,338.65  So, how many federal jobs could be saved from sequester if Biden were to do what VPs are supposed to do: nothing.

If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal.
If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative.
If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate.
If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist.

“Need” now means wanting someone else’s money.
“Greed” now means wanting to keep your own.
“Compassion” is when a politician arranges the transfer.

Tuesday Afternoon links

When a cop brings a drug dog to your front door, he is conducting a search, so he better have a warrant before he does it.  So says the Supreme Court in a judgement in the case of Florida v. Jardines handed down this morning.  The fact that it was a 5 to 4 decision illustrates how tenuous your few remaining rights actually are. For more background read This Dog Can Send You to Jail.

Bitcoin is going to open an ATM in CyrpusBitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that, unlike government operated central banks, increases supply only under rigid automated rules.

The Tennessee legislature is considering a bill that would abolish the power of police to seize property without ever charging the property owner with a crime, a practice universally referred to as theft if conducted by any other entity.

Every month, 14 million people now get a disability check from the government. In Hale County, Alabama, 1 in 4 working-age adults is on disability.

A Tunisian preacher has called for a 19-year old girl who posted her topless pictures on Facebook to be “quarantined” and stoned to death before she starts “an epidemic.”  She also had the words, “My body belongs to me” written across her chest.

Only a cop could crash into a dirt bike with a squad car from behind (twice!) and then blame it on the biker, charging him with reckless endangerment.  I bet cops hate it when video, showing their blatant abuses, winds up on the internet.   The name of the biker is, of course, public, while the name of the cop is protected.

Afternoon Links

  • Fifth Circuit rules that Benedictine monks can make and sell low cost caskets in Louisiana referring to the regulation as “nonsensical”.  Up to now, state law forbade anyone except state license funeral homes from selling caskets.  You know, to protect the people.  Such a law would instantly be recognized as sleazy political corruption by anywhere except in “the land of the free”.
  • No charges will be filed against a New Jersey man who posted a picture on Facebook of his son holding “what appeared to be a military-style rifle”.  From what I’ve heard through various news sources, it’s pretty obvious the cops, acting on an anonymous tip called into a child abuse hotline, used intimidation tactics to try and get permission to search the house and record the serial numbers of his weapons.  Well, you know, anything to protect the children…
  • Kill Anything that Moves is the name of a new book about Vietnam that I just added to my Amazon wish list.  The reason you have to read numerous books about war is no other governmental activity generates so much official and mainstream media bullshit.  We will never hear the story of what the U.S. really did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Egypt, Mali, or Syria until everyone who played a role in it is dead.  By then  most of us will also be dead.
  • The “Rise of the naked female warriors“.  I wish two things.  First that they had a position I believed in and second that they weren’t always protesting in places so far from where I live.  They clearly favor using nudity and sex as a means to get attention.  But, they oppose women using nudity and sex to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.  The same story in U.S. media outlets would, of course, be edited to satisfy those who vociferously claim to be offended by nudity in order to make sure no one else can see it.
  • Obama declares that the oxymoron, Mideast Peace, is not an oxymoron just as every U.S. president since WWII has done.  Peace will remain perpetually unlikely as long as neither the Palestinian nor Israeli (or U.S.) governments would benefit from it.  Obama supports a two-state solution which is exactly one state beyond what the Israeli government is willing to agree to.

LAPD audacity knows no bounds

Last month, when LAPD was conducting a manhunt for ex-cop, Christopher Dorner, they let loose a barrage of bullets on a pickup truck similar to the one Dorner was driving.  Unfortunately, there were only two women in the truck delivering newspapers.  The two women survived the shooting, but their truck was riddled with over a hundred bullet holes.

LAPD offered to replace the truck, but the women rejected the offer when it turned out they would have to pay income tax on the truck (valued at $32,560) as if it were a gift.  And, to top it off, according to Glen Jonas, the attorney for the women, the LAPD and the Ford dealer wanted the women to pose with the new truck for a photo op.

Then there’s this little comment that will almost certainly make you blow coffee out your nose:

“It’s really sad for us because we want to help these women move on with their lives, and help them move forward with that, we just can’t get past the 1099 issue,” LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.

Those poor cops.  It’s always all about them.

After the shooting, Jonas said he was shocked by the officers’ actions. He said neither the size of the women nor the blue Toyota Tundra truck they were in matched the description of Dorner’s Nissan Titan.

Eight officers were involved in the shooting. They were assigned to non-field assignments “until the (police) chief decides otherwise.”

Typical strategy for these kinds of events is for the cops to string out the “investigation” until the public outrage dissipates and then quietly clear the officers of any wrong-doing.

As I wrote a few days ago, not all the bullets went into the truck.  They apparently sprayed the entire neighborhood with lead.

Lunch time links

  • New York Mayor Bloomgerg’s ban on large soft drinks was shot down by the New York Supreme Court, calling it “arbitrary and capricious”.  There was no explanation for what makes this particularly more “arbitrary and capricious” than about ten gazillion other nanny-state laws.
  • Which Presidents presided over the largest increases in government spending?spending





Monday morning links

  • Former SFPD crime lab tech pleads guilty to misdemeanor.  She resigned in 2009 after being caught using cocaine that came in as crime scene evidence. She thought the cocaine would help her control her drinking problem.  The scandal led to the dismissal of hundreds of drug cases.
  • West Sacramento police officer Sergio Avarez for using his authority to rape women in his patrol car.  He was put on administrative leave back in September and an investigation ensued.  the police chief says they are reviewing their procedures to see how this could have happened.
  • The U.S. Air Force is no longer reporting data on drone attacks in Afghanistan.  Reporting this data was fine when no one was paying attention, but routinely killing innocent civilians in numerous other countries seems to be drawing unwanted attention to the U.S. war-based foreign policy.
  • When a Michigan elementary school third grader brought cupcakes topped with toy soldiers to school to celebrate his birthday, the school principal removed the little figurines saying it was inappropriate and inconsiderate considering recent school tragedies.
  • Police in Garland, Texas, illegally searched a property and car without permission or a warrant.  Unfortunately, for the cops, the search was caught on surveillance cameras before one of the cops was able to twist the camera around so it pointed at the wall.  The police department is self-investigating the case, so we can rest assured justice will be done.
  • Grace Wyler at Business Insider thinks “Paul’s filibuster — and the groundswell of support for it across the conservative spectrum — was a crowning moment, signaling their reintegration into the mainstream Republican Party,”    So that’s all it takes to bring libertarians back into big government, war mongering, bible thumping, big spending, republican party?  I think not.

There are no bad people…

There are only people with a great capacity to rationalize.

Pat HedgesThis is certainly the case with the state and federal officials who joined together to crucify Charles C. Lynch, who meticulously followed state law and set up a medical marijuana dispensary in Morro Bay, California in 2006.   And no one was more enthusiastic in that crusade to destroy Lynch  than San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Pat Hedges (pictured at left).

While Lynch had the blessing of the city and repeatedly solicited guidance from the DEA on the federal ramifications of operating a dispensary under California state law,  he was still targeted by Sheriff Hedges.  Lynch was never charged under state law and Morro Bay police did not participate in the 2007 raid that started the train of events that would ultimately leave Lynch bankrupt.  But, the DEA was a willing partner in the sheriff’s campaign of against Lynch.

lynching-charlie-lynch-coverI just finished watching “The Lynching of Charlie Lynch” available in disc or streaming video from Netflix.  This documentary tells the story of a man who is, by any common sense definition, the epitome of a responsible member of the community and the absolute antithesis of a criminal.  His only crime was that he chose to follow the wrong set of conflicting laws and not a single member of the entire federal justice system had the courage or integrity to stand up and say “stop” to this vindictive little shit of a sheriff and his equally self-important buddies in the DEA.  About the only bright spot in the case was that the Judge, with no help from the Obama Justice Department, doled out the lightest prison sentence he could justify under federal mandatory sentencing requirements.

What is most disturbing about the Lynch prosecution is how clearly it illustrates the point that the federal government is willing to act completely contrary to the welfare and wishes of the population in pursuit of its own self-serving interests.   The only beneficiaries of the crusade against Lynch were members of the machine of state and most of that gain simply served to enlarge their already swollen egos.

I recommend the movie because it angers us and helps remind us that there are a lot of real casualties in the war against the drug warriors.  It’s the Charlie Lynches of the world who do the most to convince the public that the drug war is destructive and ineffective.  But it’s also the Charlie Lynches of the world who make up the wake of death and destruction left in the path of organizations like the DEA.  When it’s finally all over and the drug war is just painful memory, I wonder if we’ll ever see a monument to the fallen heroes who had the balls to challenge the mindless government automatons whose job it is to destroy other people’s lives in exchange for a weekly paycheck.

Of course, I’m sure the folks at the DEA easily manage to rationalize what they do.  Destroying people to save them probably makes perfect sense to them.

School shut down triggered by man dressed in camouflage

L’Anse Creuse High School in Harrison Township, MI, was shut down today when a man dressed in camouflage was was spotted at the school.  It turned out that the man was a former student who worked at a nearby Air National Guard base.  He was there to try and get a recommendation.

In response, the school was closed for the day and sheriff’s deputies were called in to investigate and check the building.  Students being bussed to school were diverted to a safe location away from anyone dressed in scary camouflage.  For good measure they also closed L’Anse Creuse Elementary and Middle schools.

In typical bureaucratic style, school spokeswoman Kelly Allen says “We still believe that the right decision was made by making sure our students were safe…”

I think this is exactly why today’s heavily militarized police wear Gestapo black instead of the more war-like camouflage.