When @EFF Is Needed Most, There’s Nate Cardozo

At a time when government seeks nothing more than to infiltrate our digital world without any impediment, a group that will stand up and fight against the government where individuals cannot is critical.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the EFF, is such a group.

Its motto is “defending your rights in a digital world.” This is certainly a digital world, and we could certainly use someone defending our rights. Like any cause group, we may not always agree with its positions, but we can appreciate that it exists and resists the government’s efforts.

Which makes this all the more sad, because the significance is two-fold. The first is that groups are great, but their efforts are in the hands of the person entrusted with the protection of our rights. The second is the need to believe that the group stands for the cause it claims to stand for, and its mission is embraced by those who serve in the group’s name.   Continue reading

Hate Guns Enough And Any Argument Makes Sense (Update)

In response to the mass murder in Orlando, muskets were eliminated from the performance of Hamilton at the Tony awards.  Whether this made a difference or was merely an opportune gesture of support is unclear. But whoever made the decision was entitled to do so. That muskets were part of the birth of a nation, that Hamilton was killed by a gun shot by Aaron Burr in a duel, however, is historical fact. Optics can’t change history, even if feelings are at risk.

The New York Times has been a desperate supporter of gun control, and after every tragedy where a gun is used, promotes its position. Like the Hamilton folks, it’s entitled to its position. That the editorial board is sincere in its belief that guns are an epidemic that must be stopped is beyond question. Having discussed this with some folks there, I know them to be sincere and passionate, all with the best of intentions.

But to reach the overarching goal of limiting, if not eradicating guns, there is a willingness to turn a blind eye to reason and law. Worse still, they are prepared to sacrifice other rights to curtail the hated Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The sacrifice of rights that aren’t on the front burner for those that are has become a fairly common theme at a time when critical thought has given way to the strongest feeling of the moment. Continue reading

The Price of Protection For An Underage Oakland Prostitute

The official reason for Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent’s resignation was “personal reasons.”  Personal? Well, that’s an understatement.

At this morning’s press conference announcing the departure of Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent, Mayor Libby Schaaf and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth told a room full of reporters that Whent was resigning for “personal reasons.” The mayor said it had nothing to do with a scandal involving rookie police officers who sexually exploited a minor, or the suspicious death of a police officer’s wife and his subsequent suicide.

“I’m extremely angry about the alleged misconduct in this department,” Schaaf said.

In the scheme of things that are expected of a mayor, extreme anger doesn’t make the list. How about competent management? How about knowing what’s going on within your administration? How about not having your cops on the public dole engaging in crime, in a protection scheme, and with a 17-year-old girl?

Celeste Guap was a prostitute in East Oakland, who was saved by a cop when her pimp chased her down the street. Good cop? Bad cop. Continue reading

Cuomo At The Social Justice Intersection

New York Governor Andy Cuomo was the darling of the social justice warriors when, by executive fiat, he imposed affirmative consent on the state college campuses.  That he did so in lieu of law, by executive order, disturbed them not in the least. Cuomo issued another executive order, and this time it’s gotten their panties in a twist. What’s different?

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York ordered agencies under his control on Sunday to divest themselves of companies and organizations aligned with a Palestinian-backed boycott movement against Israel.

Wading into a delicate international issue, Mr. Cuomo set executive-branch and other state entities in opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or B.D.S., which has grown in popularity in some quarters of the United States and elsewhere, alarming Jewish leaders who fear its toll on Israel’s international image and economy.

The B.D.S. movement is relatively unknown outside of academia. It’s one of the generic irrational choices made by SJWs, wrapped up under the category of “justice,” because the clueless but deeply passionate, for reasons unknown, have decided that their team should be on the side of the Palestinians and against Israel.  As with almost all SJW ideas of justice, it’s all passion, no thought. Continue reading

He Quit Twitter (And You Can Too!)

Note: Yes, another twitter post, but it’s not my fault (of course it is; no one makes me write about something I don’t want to write about, but since everyone makes excuses about how their volitional acts these days aren’t their fault, why not me?).

The New York Times Washington Deputy Bureau Chief, Jonathan Weisman, explains his decision to leave the twitters, and his 35,000 followers, behind.

The beginning of my end with Twitter came with both a frowny face emoticon from Ari Isaacman Bevacqua, one of The Times’s audience development experts, and a boilerplate email from Twitter:

“We reviewed the account and content reported and are unable to take action given that we could not determine a clear violation of the Twitter Rules (https://twitter.com/rules) surrounding abusive behavior.”

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Magnitudes of Pain And The Third-Party Doctrine

It’s painful to pass up an opportunity to slam the Drug Enforcement Agency for overreach, for impropriety, for ignoring the constitutional rights of Americans.  But then, how can it be blamed when mindless newspaper editorials cry sad tears? How can the DEA be blamed for doing what the law allows?  Damn, this hurts.

Christopher Moraff writes about the DEA’s latest dive into people’s private lives.

The DEA has claimed for years that under federal law it has the authority to access [Oregon’s] Prescription Drug Monitor Program database using only an “administrative subpoena.” These are unilaterally issued orders that do not require a showing of probable cause before a court, like what’s required to obtain a warrant.

Oregon has fought the DEA’s efforts, and won in the district court.  Continue reading

Male In The Middle

A “situation” happens, cops are called and they arrive at the scene.  At that moment, they have to figure out why they’re there, what is happening, who is at fault.  Sure, some instances are pretty obvious, such as one body lying dead on the ground, but the majority of calls are for less significant offenses, more amorphous situations.

This puts a huge amount of discretion and burden on the cop’s plate. He can do two things. The first is engage in the heavy burden of thinking. The second is the far easier task of assumption, going with whatever strikes the cop as the more likely scenario. The former involves investigation and, god forbid, effort. The latter only requires prejudice and the idiot’s love of “common sense,” the knee-jerk adoption of belief without reason.

Gatney Yaw learned this at a gas station in South Houston.

He didn’t want to talk and drive, he said, but just as he was about to finish the call, someone came over to his window and started asking him about money, as KTRK first reported this week. He tried to shoo the person away—but before the woman would leave, another woman came around to his passenger window and sneakily grabbed Yaw’s keys out of the ignition while he wasn’t looking, he said. Yaw got out of the car, chasing the woman, who started essentially playing monkey-in-the-middle with Yaw’s keys with two other people. One of them put the keys in her purse, and Yaw grabbed her, trying to pull her purse away. Continue reading

North Carolina Rejects Cyberbullying Law As Unconstitutional

No matter how many times agenda-driven lawprofs cried that the First Amendment didn’t protect speech that made people sad, and mean curmudgeon lawyers replied bullshit, there was little question that eventually, the vague laws enacted to protect feelings from harsh words would reach the courts and their constitutionality would be determined.  That happened in North Carolina, where the state’s cyberbullying law was considered in State v. Bishop.

As was the case in New York, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that the law failed.

As one would expect, the facts are nasty and reflect the sort of hateful conduct that makes one wonder what is wrong with people.

During the 2011-2012 school year, defendant and Dillion Price were students at Southern Alamance High School. Starting in the fall of 2011, some of Price’s classmates began to post negative pictures and comments about Price on Facebook, including on Price’s own Facebook page. In September 2011, a male classmate posted on Facebook a screenshot of a sexually themed text message Price had inadvertently sent him. Below that post, several individuals commented, including Price and defendant. Price accused the posting student of altering or falsifying the screenshot and threatened to fight him over the matter; defendant commented that the text was “excessively homoerotic” and accused others of being “defensive” and “pathetic for taking the [I]nternet so seriously.”

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When The First Amendment Isn’t A Clearly Established Right

Daniel McGowan made three mistakes. The first landed him in federal prison. The second landed him in SHU, the kinder, gentler name of Special Housing Unit because solitary confinement sounds too unpleasant. The third was thinking that just because he was a federal prisoner, he still had constitutional rights. The Second Circuit put that notion to an end.

Via Cristian Farias at the Huff Post:

Daniel McGowan, an environmental activist whose prosecution for “eco terrorism” was the subject of an award-winning film, was finishing his seven-year term at a Brooklyn halfway house when he wrote a HuffPost blog post that contained details about a secretive prison where he had spent years in isolation.

There was nothing particularly revealing about what he wrote: Much of it had been made public in an ongoing civil rights lawsuit he and other low-risk prisoners filed in federal court in Washington challenging their placement there, for no other reason than their political views or who they are.

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Lawyer Fashionista: Tee Time Is Cop-Tastic!

Yes, it’s been a while since last I lorded my exemplary good taste in legal sartorial splendor over you losers who wear suits without vents and shoes with square toes. But the time is ripe for the return of my sound advice, because I know how much you care about casual wear to fill your work/life balance wardrobe.

Yes, this is about the beloved tee. T-shirts matter, and nothing matters more than to use a tee for virtue signalling, and there is no greater signal of virtue than to don the gang colors of law enforcement.  But, but, but, you ask, where can I find such a glorious shirt?  The hero t-shirt club, of course.


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New York’s Prosecutors Agree, We’re Special

The idea of an official commission to investigate prosecutorial misconduct would hardly seem like a threat to life as we know it.  It will no doubt be staffed by the usual suspects, the blue ribbon types who speak in moderated tones and have a proven facility to make excuses and rationalizations for impropriety whenever possible. Like the Civilian Complaint Review Board types, who quickly become co-opted into officialdom.

That prosecutors who engage in impropriety have to already endure stern lectures in the rare instance when they’re caught is bad enough. And if they do it again, well, then they have to endure another stern lecture. That will show ’em.

And so, the idea of a state prosecutorial misconduct commission to address impropriety received a less-than-loving embrace from . . . prosecutors.

District attorneys made an 11th-hour appeal to state legislators Wednesday to oppose the creation of a commission to investigate complaints about overzealous or unethical prosecutors and recommend sanctions, including possible removal from office.

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Judge Aaron Persky And The Hypocrites’ Revenge

It’s different.  There is no explanation, no rational justification for why it’s any different than a murder, or any other battery, or, frankly, any malum in se offense, but that doesn’t stop the self-serving hypocrites from trying.  The vapidity of the claim was obvious in Stanford professor Estelle Freedman’s op-ed on the Brock Turner case and the need to change the legal system’s view of rape and sexual assault:

But Judge Persky’s fate, whatever it is, may be less important than the reaction ignited by his sentencing. The energies unleashed by this case present a potential to reframe the issue of rape. What we need is a sustained critique of unequal privilege before the law and a true understanding of the deep and lasting damage that sexual assault exacts on its victims and their families.

Feel it? Feel that “deep and lasting damage”?  No mention of the deep and lasting damage of a murder. Not of a beating. Just sexual assault, which is different because, something, something, it just is. Continue reading