Progress

Utah cop who became internet-famous for dragging a nurse, kicking and screaming, from a hospital after she did precisely the job she was supposed to do, and was told to do by her chain of management, is now an ex-cop:

The officer, Detective Jeff Payne, was seen on film dragging a crying nurse out of the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City after she prevented law enforcement from taking blood from an unconscious patient.

The nurse, Alex Wubbels, told officers they needed a warrant, the patient’s consent or for police to arrest the patient in order to draw blood.

Payne told Wubbels he would “leave with blood in vials or body in tow” before placing her in handcuffs and dragging her out of the hospital.

So there’s the take-away:  if government oversteps its just authority and oppresses the living crap out of you, all you need is an epic tsunami of social-media revulsion to maybe, eventually, get some justice.

Feeling better?

“The Government Is Not Coming For Your Guns”

Unless they want to.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp signed an emergency order allowing the seizure of private guns, ammunition, explosives and property the National Guard may need to respond to Hurricane Irma.
Do You Think This Emergency Order Is Unconstitutional?
Mapp signed the order Monday in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The order allows the Adjutant General of the Virgin Islands to seize private property they believe necessary to protect the islands, subject to approval by the territory’s Justice Department.

I’m feeling pretty good about supporting the 2015 bill that bars the Minnesota state government from doing any such thing.

Want To Make A Nation Of Fundamentally Law-Abiding, Pro-Police People Trust Cops Less Than Journalists Or Used Car Dealers?

To:  Salt Lake City PD
From:  Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re:  Officer Himmler

Dear SLCPD,

If this piece of walking garbage with a badge…:

…is still working for the SLCPD, you are flirting with forfeiting any legitimacy as a “law enforcement” organization.

And don’t respond with “do you think you could do his job?”   I, the law-abiding citizen, hire him to do a job, and part of the job is not violating the civil rights of my fellow citizens!

This is not a feudal kingdom, and police aren’t knights to whom citizens must bow and scrape like peasants.  Some cops seem to have a hard time with that.   It’s gotta stop.

Policies Matter

Not so long ago, a not overly bright person on a community forum called me a “racist” for asking “what does Black Life Matter” actually want?”

One might wonder if BLM is “racist” for finally answering my question.

Thing is, their ideas aren’t entirely wrong:

1. End “broken windows” policing, which aggressively polices minor crimes in an attempt to stop larger ones.

Broken windows policing has always been controversial.  But it’s worked; it was a key element in turning New York from a crime-sodden wasteland in 1975 to one of the safer cities in America in 2005.

It did lean hard on “communities of color” – because some of those communities have had all sorts of problems, both “broken windows” and crime.  We can debate the reasons for that – and a lot of African-Americans disagree with BLM on that; it’s usually they who are asking for more, and more integrated, police presence in their communities.

Is it possible to get good policing in a trouble community without impacting those, in the community, who are trouble?

2. Use community oversight for misconduct rather than having the police department decide what consequences officers should face.

I don’t disagree in principle:  groups investigating themselves never works.

But community review boards, especially in Democrat-run cities where most police problems are, inevitably turn into political footballs.

Better idea?  Make police carry individual liability insurance.  It’ll have the same effect it has on drivers; it’ll show us who the “bad” ones are, and fast.

3. Make standards for reporting police use of deadly force.

Excellent idea.

4. Independently investigate and prosecute police misconduct.

This would seem to make good common sense.

5. Have the racial makeup of police departments reflect the communities they serve.

A passable-sounding idea in principle; very hard to carry out in practice; if applicants for police service reflect the larger American community – 12% Latino, 11% black, 2% Asian, 75% white – what is “the community” supposed to do?  Assign cops to precincts on the basis of race?

Is it a good idea, though?  If our idea of “justice” is “bean-counting based on skin color”, then haven’t we really lost?

6. Require officers to wear body cameras.

Fine idea in practice, and I support it in principle.

The devil is in the details.  Can we allow officers to turn off their cameras?  Do you want officers stopping at Superamerica to take a dump preserved on the public record?

I’m not asking to be funny or gross.  If you allow officers to turn off the camera for purposes of bodily functions, then you create an opportunity – several, in fact.  Unethical officers will use that facility.   Bureaucrats will create more rules and procedures around cameras, which’ll take more time away from policing.

I’m in favor, but with questions.

7. Provide more training for police officers.

Not a bad idea, provided the “training” is useful.

8. End for-profit policing practices.

We’re talking about civil forfeiture, and even if the other nine proposals had been complete hogwash, this alone would be worth it.  Using funds from “crimes” that haven’t even gone to trial should be stopped, now.

9. End the police use of military equipment.

I’ll meet ’em halfway on this.   The hero gear gets way too much of a workout.  When you have armored cars and police in full battle rattle knocking down doors to serve warrants for non-violent crimes – pot dealers, people who owe the city money, that kind of thing – that does kinda send a message about what you think about “a community”.

10. Implement police union contracts that hold officers accountable for misconduct.

Now that is going to be interesting to see out in practice.

BLM’s got a few useful ideas.  Where they go wrong is in relying on politics and politicians to do the reforming for them.

Opportunity For Improvement

Police overreach; it’s not just for black people anymore:

In 2014, for the first time ever, law enforcement officers took more property from American citizens than burglars did. Martin Armstrong pointed this out at his blog, Armstrong Economics, last week.

Officers can take cash and property from people without convicting or even charging them with a crime — yes, really! — through the highly controversial practice known as civil asset forfeiture. Last year, according to the Institute for Justice, the Treasury and Justice departments deposited more than $5 billion into their respective asset forfeiture funds. That same year, the FBI reports that burglary losses topped out at $3.5 billion.

The WaPo’s Christopher Ingraham notes that on the one hand, the figure is a little misleading for two reasons:  the “burglary” figure counts only rigidly-defined burglaries, and ignores a variety of other larcenies and thefts (which, together, add up to double what the cops take), and the cops don’t keep it all.

But even counting only what they keep from burglaries, they still siphoned 50% more out of the economy than burglars did.

And that includes an awful lot of people never convicted of any crime.

Taking property without a conviction is something that needs to stop.

Wrong About Rights

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals want to strip gun rights from people on the No Fly List.  The only civil rights group standing up for the constitutional rights of citizens is the National Rifle Association.

 But wait, didn’t the ACLU also object?  Sort of.  The ACLU objects to using the No Fly List in its present form to deny civil rights.  If there was an easier way to get your name off the list, the ACLU would be fine with using it to block gun purchases.

 That idea flips constitutional law on its head.  The Founders explained in the Declaration of Independence that Rights come from God, not from government.  The Constitution exists to protect our Rights from the government.  Therefore, the government should not have the power to arbitrarily take away Rights and then allow citizens to beg to get them back (ACLU version).  The government should bear the burden of proving why the citizen’s Rights should be taken away BEFORE the Rights are taken (NRA version).

 To see how absurd the ACLU’s plan is, try substituting other rights.  “Journalists on the No Truth List are forbidden to publish anything bad about Hillary Clinton.  But you can request a special waiver to get off the list.”   Or how about “Women on the No Fetus List are forbidden to get an abortion.  But you can submit an application to get your name removed from the list.”  Can you imagine the ACLU’s response?

 Justice Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion to the new Whole Women’s Health abortion case, saying: “ . . . our Constitution renounces the notion that come constitutional rights are more equal than others.”  Too bad it’s only a dissent; the country would be better off if more people believed that.

 Joe Doakes

The big problem is that a majority of Americans have no idea what a “right” is.

And To The Banana Republic For Which It Stands

While our professional ninny class was jabbering about the Second Amendment (almost entirely to try to gin up enthusiasm for a geriatric white woman this November), America actually, quietly, and with the nodding approval of an ignorant majority, became an actual police state.

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that evidence found by police officers after illegal stops may be used in court if the officers conducted their searches after learning that the defendants had outstanding arrest warrants.

The Fourth Amendment is as near-death today as the Second was thirty years ago, and for pretty much the same reasons; political expediency.

We, the people, brought the Second back to life. Who’s going to do it for the Fourth?

UPDATE:  The more I read about the actual case, Utah v. Strieff, the more nuance I see in the majority decision.

Which doesn’t change the fact that the Fourth Amendment has been beaten to a pulp this past 50 years.

Giving Up Freedom For Security…

France’s “state of emergency” is trampling whatever civil liberties the French may have actually thought they had.

Which, on the one hand, highlights what a different place the US is – where fundamental human rights are endowed by our creator, not an allowance from a benificent state (although big government has been leaching that away for decades, too).

And on the other, shows how fragile the freedoms are that we take for granted.

It also shows why the most important piece of gun legislation signed by Governor Dayton this past session was the law barring the State from confiscating legal guns during a “state of emergency”.

The Wrong Target

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals want to repeal the Second Amendment to stop gun violence. Seems to me the better solution is to repeal the Fourth Amendment.

If cops can stop-and-frisk anybody at any time for any reason or no reason, then there is no worry about racial profiling so cops can take guns away from the 8% of the population that commits 50% of the murders: young Black men in dangerous neighborhoods.

If cops can kick down any door at any time for any reason, they can disarm drug dealers who use firearms as tools of the trade, to defend their profits and kill poachers on their turf.

And if cops get a report about 20-something losers with a grudge, they can swoop in to take firearms before the next school shooting begins.

Why should anything about you be private from the government?  If you’re not doing anything wrong, you’ve got nothing to hide, right?

Joe Doakes

Heather? Jane?  Joan?

Rep. Norton?

I’d love to get their response…

The Improper Wiring That Dare Not Speak It’s Name

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Guy who’s nuts shoots up his own apartment and sets fire to it.

Another guy who can legally own guns because he wasn’t committed.  The judge let him go.

The problem isn’t guns.  The problem is nuts.  The civil commitment laws make it nearly impossible to put away nuts where they’re unable to obtain guns.  If it were easier to obtain civil commitment, there’d be fewer of these incidents and less work for ACLU lawyers . . . a win-win!

Joe doakes

True.

Which is why it’ll never happen.

 

Open Letter To Governor Scott Walker

To:  Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconson and current #1 on my short list for President in 2016
From:  Mitch Berg, Irate Peasant
Re:  The Evil In Your State

Governor Walker,

As you are aware – since it’s been used against you – your state has a cranny in its law that allows prosecutors (inevitably “progressives”) to use the police to simultaneously harass and gag the subjects of their politically-motivated “investigations” (inevitably conservatives and tea-partiers).

For the family of “Rachel” (not her real name), the ordeal began before dawn — with the same loud, insistent knocking. Still in her pajamas, Rachel answered the door and saw uniformed police, poised to enter her home. When Rachel asked to wake her children herself, the officer insisted on walking into their rooms. The kids woke to an armed officer, standing near their beds. TOP STORY: Ted Cruz Defends His Defense of the Second Amendment The entire family was herded into one room, and there they watched as the police carried off their personal possessions, including items that had nothing to do with the subject of the search warrant — even her daughter’s computer.

And for a  nice, Stalinist tinge to the whole thing?

And, yes, there were the warnings. Don’t call your lawyer. Don’t talk to anyone about this. Don’t tell your friends. The kids watched — alarmed — as the school bus drove by, with the students inside watching the spectacle of uniformed police surrounding the house, carrying out the family’s belongings. Yet they were told they couldn’t tell anyone at school. They, too, had to remain silent.

Governor Walker – if you want to seize the “liberty” high ground from Rand Paul, I urge you to use the full weight of your office against the public officials responsible for these Stalinist atrocities.

Your state’s “progressive” thugs in suits are doing Orwell proud:

  For dozens of conservatives, the years since Scott Walker’s first election as governor of Wisconsin transformed the state — known for pro-football championships, good cheese, and a population with a reputation for being unfailingly polite — into a place where conservatives have faced early-morning raids, multi-year secretive criminal investigations, slanderous and selective leaks to sympathetic media, and intrusive electronic snooping. Yes, Wisconsin…was giving birth to a new progressive idea, the use of law enforcement as a political instrument, as a weapon to attempt to undo election results, shame opponents, and ruin lives.

Oh, the court system is wending its leisurely way toward a decision, surely enough:

The first ruling, from the Wisconsin supreme court, could halt the investigations for good, in part by declaring that the “misconduct” being investigated isn’t misconduct at all but the simple exercise of First Amendment rights. The second ruling, from the United States Supreme Court, could grant review on a federal lawsuit brought by Wisconsin political activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth, the first conservatives to challenge the investigations head-on. If the Court grants review, it could not only halt the investigations but also begin the process of holding accountable those public officials who have so abused their powers. 

I’m going to hope and pray – and maybe find something more tangible to do – that the courts involved haven’t given in to complete madness, and that this whole criminal enterprise is exposed, humiliated and obliterated.

And so, Governor Walker, I’ll ask you this:  if the courts rule against the scumbag prosecutors (and if they don’t, I truly despair for the Republic), I’d like to urge you to make examples of these pieces of human garbage.  Arrest them in no-knock raids early in the morning; haul them out of their houses, in their underwear, in front of news cameras (and if Wisconsin’s chickensh*t liberal major media won’t cover it, give the conservative alt-media a call).  Have the trials on camera.   If they’re found guilty – and they’d best be – then stick them in the most maximum of maximum security.

Because if there’s anything worse than breaking the law, it’s perverting it.  And the sooner America’s Brahmins, the Prosecutor class in “progressive” cities, get the message – and the more brutally it’s rammed home until they do – the sooner this country can maybe start achieving some of that “Freedom” and “Liberty” mumbo jumbo.

That is all.

Orwell Would Puke…

,,,at this proposal, from the usual assortment of Metrocrat hamsters.  It may be the worst anti-gun bill, and the most toxic attack on civil liberty, in recent years.

It would essentially allow any cop or domestic violence victim to claim you brandished a firearm and have the authorities remove all firearms from your house and person.

Without even a hint of due process.

I say again; without even a plaintive whiff of due process.

Now, this bill is DOA in the House; Tony Cornish, a legislator who makes Ted Nugent look like Oprah Winfrey on Second Amendment issues, is chair of the Public Safety Committee; the DFL may as well deliver the bill directly to the paper shredder.

So why do it at all?

Politics:  Because Ron “Did You Know I Went To Harvard?” Latz is running the show in the Senate public safety committee, so it’s pretty much guaranteed a floor vote.  Which means a bunch of GOP senators will be on the record with “no” votes, which will be dutifully relayed during the 2016 campaign as “Senator X voted to give firearms to domestic abusers and people who threatened cops!” by the Alliance for a “Better” Minnesota.

That’s my two cents worth, of course; I have no doubt that Ron Latz would love to send SWAT teams to the home of every law-abiding gun owner on principle, but the political realities don’t support it right now.

We’ll keep you posted.

UPDATE: GOCRA is taking this bill very seriously, and so should you:

Everyone has moments in life where things seem hopeless. A death in the family, a job loss, PTSD from military service, a divorce… Responsible gun owners know that a doctor or psychologist can help. But this bill would encourage doctors to trick you into signing away your rights!

Imagine: there you are. You’re hurting. You go see a professional. He listens, then says he can help. He gives you a pile of forms to sign. Buried among them is a form created by this bill — one that puts you on the NICS no-buy list. “Voluntarily.”

Call your legislator. Tell them this bill needs to be killed with fire.

The American Gulag

So according to the UK Guardian, the City of Chicago runs its own private Lyubyanka:

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.

If it’s confirmed that the Chicago Police have been pelting the Fourth Amendment with rocks and offal – then :

  • It’s time to send US troops to liberate Chicago, and
  • it makes perfect sense that it’s in a Democrat-controlled city.

Much as I love Chicago, I won’t spend another tourist dollar there until those responsible for Homan Square are frog-walked out of their offices and put into Federal custody.

And it’ll be interesting to see what other such places pop up around the country.

Continue reading

Ron Latz: Big Brother

Last week, Senator Ron “I went to Harvard – I bet you didn’t go to Harvard, did you?” Latz tabled Senator Petersen’s digital privacy bill, likely killing it for the rest of the session.

And yesterday?

For the third consecutive session, lawmakers have sparred over whether LPR “hits” on innocent people should be deleted immediately—what privacy advocates want, or kept for 90 days– what law enforcement wants.

This session, a 90-day retention bill sponsored by Sen Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, over protests from Sen. Branden Petersen, R-Andover, who authored a competing bill arguing for zero retention. While the committee opted not to move forward with Petersen’s bill, Latz’s bill headed to the Senate floor for a vote.

In other words, Sen. Ron “we are all created equal, but some of us are more equal than others” Latz, who also led last sessions push to create a paper trail on all firearms purchases, wants to keep a 90 day record of everywhere everyone has been in a car.

Let’s let that sink in for a little bit; the DFL jammed down legislation that puts the state in charge of all of your personal and health data; they tried their darndest to register the movement of every firearm in the state; they successfully defended one was electronic surveillance; and now, thanks to Sen. Latz, they will have a 90 day record of your travels.

NOD TO POLITICAL REALITY:  It’s entirely possible that Latz has submitted the “90 day retention” bill as  a sop to his police and prosecutor organization benefactors; that he referred it to the Transportation committee to so it gets tabled without Latz’s fingerprints on it; that he’s playing both sides.

I don’t care.

If Senator X submitted a bill calling for the sterilization of black males to fight crime, even at the behest of a big contributor, even knowing that his political maneuvering was going to see that it went nowhere, it’d still be a loathsome bill.

And so is this one.

Juxtaposition

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Technology to track citizens is a Good Thing because cops can find suspects (and also make some nice coin selling license plate data).

Technology to track cops is a Bad Thing because ordinary citizens can find speed traps (and thereby save some nice coin on speeding tickets).

Cops want dash-board cameras to film encounters with citizens, but don’t want citizens to film encounters with cops.

Cops should be allowed to use guns for self-defense, but citizens shouldn’t.

Cops are Government Agents; Government Agents analyze every problem as a power-struggle between Us and Them; and Government Agents always come to the same conclusion: heads they win, tails we lose. That’s one reason the Founders insisted on the right to keep and bear arms – so ordinary citizens could resist the enemies of freedom, foreign AND domestic.

Joe Doakes

And if our founding fathers had known about ubiquitous video and open source cryptography, then put those in the constitution, as well.

A Limit Too Far

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Paul Mirengoff, writing at Powerline, says we need the government to spy on us now, more than ever.

He echoes Speaker of the House John Boehner’s reasoning that people don’t need to be secure in their persons, papers and effects: if they’re innocent, they have nothing to hide.

That whole Fourth Amendment thing was just a big mistake.

You can trust the government to spy on you responsibly.

Totally.

Joe Doakes

Thats something some conservatives get terribly, terribly wrong.

Open Letter To The New GOP Majorities

To:  New GOP Majorities in the MN House and US Congress
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Agenda

All,

Want something to show you’re serious about getting the boot of government off of innocent citizens’ necks? 

Reform civil-forfeiture laws.  Now. 

Including, preferably, eradicating laws that allow corrupt pettifoggers to run rackets with the blessing of “the law”. 

Do it now, so we can see who the real enemies are. 

That is all.

“The Most Dictatorial President We’ve Ever Had”

Watch this video starring Ted Nugent, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage, in which President Obama is called…well, exactly that.

UPDATE:  I lied.  It’s not Nugent, Hannity and Savage.  It’s Nat Hentoff, liberal civil libertarian and godfather of the ACLU.  He’s a liberal – but he has been committed enough to actual civil liberty over the decades that he’s even pissed liberals off at him…

On Your Own

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This legal analysis is interesting because it starts from the basic assumption that the police have NO obligation to protect citizens from crime. The police create an obligation to protect you only if they go out of their way to make the situation worse than it was before they intervened.
The obvious implication of this “no obligation” ruling – coupled with the Supreme Court’s holding that individuals have a Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms for self-defense – is that the fundamental legal principle of public security in American law is . . . you’re on your own.
Which Conservatives have known all along, but it’s nice to see the Courts spell it out so clearly for us. Now, Liberals, do you have any questions?
Joe Doakes

I’m gonna guess “no”.

Leading By Example

A New Jersey cop responds to a citizen’s allegations about his First and Fourth Amendment rights being violated:

“I’ve made you objections (sic) about what’s going on at the shelter over there,” [an animal rights activist] told the cop. “My 1st and 4th Amendment rights were violated – my civil rights were violated…”
The Helmetta police officer replied, “Obama just decimated the freakin’ Constitution, so I don’t give a damn. If he doesn’t follow the Constitution, we don’t have to.”

Just a crabby cop having a bad day and picking a lame excuse?

Perhaps.

But our founding fathers understood better than our generation does that freedom only survives when “the authorities” respect the idea. 

And to too many of them, it’s just not there.  Continue reading