Archive for the ‘Law and Disorder’ tag
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) seemingly went scorched Earth during its campaign to takedown a hidden child pornography site. Except it didn’t take the site down. It not only left it running once it discovered where it was being hosted and continued hosting the site itself but it even actively worked to upgrade the site so it could distribute more child pornography:
Under the FBI’s stewardship, Playpen membership rose by 30 percent and the number of visitors to the site increased from roughly 11,000 to 50,000 per week, assistant federal defender Peter Adolf argued in a motion to dismiss his client’s indictment. Playpen distributed 200 videos, 9,000 images and 13,000 links to child pornography while the FBI ran the site from February 20th to March 4th, Adolf said. He supported his claims with archived messages from Playpen users commenting on how well the site was running during this same timeframe.
“Government agents worked hard to upgrade the website’s capability to distribute large amounts of child pornography quickly and efficiently, resulting in more users receiving more child pornography faster than they ever did when the website was running ‘illegally,'” Adolf wrote.
How can the FBI claim it was fighting child pornography when it was not only distributing it but also working to distribute more of it? I’m sure the FBI and its apologists will claim that the ends justified the means but it’s exactly that attitude that allowed a supposed law enforcement agency to perpetrate a crime that a large portion of society finds especially heinous.
Furthermore, if the FBI isn’t punished for this what’s to stop it from setting up another child pornography site and permanently operating it in the name of fighting child pornography? What’s to stop it from partnering with child pornographers so it can increase the available content on its site so it can attract more child pornography consumers? I’m sure there are FBI apologists who will claim my insinuation is ridiculous but they would have probably told me that the FBI hosting child pornography was ridiculous just a year or two ago.
What’s the point of having a law enforcement agency that perpetrates the very crimes it’s supposed to fight?
The floods in Louisiana have received very little press coverage. This isn’t surprising since Louisiana is a poor southern state and those are undeserving of coverage according to most major media outlets. Joining major media outlets, the State has also provided precious little help so far. This has forced the members of the community to step up efforts to help one another (as they always end up having to do because the State doesn’t care about them). There’s just one problem. Most of these good Samaritans haven’t paid off the State and that makes it very angry:
NEW ORLEANS – The Good Samaritan who rescued hundreds, maybe thousands, of people during the ‘Great Flood of 2016‘ said he was not happy after a state lawmaker announced he wants to introduce legislation around future actions by citizen heroes.
Some of these citizen heroes, a loosely-organized group called the ‘Cajun Navy,’ gained national attention for their rescue efforts last week, but that attention is nowhere near the pushback lawmakers are discussing when it comes to a lawmakers proposal to require permits for citizen rescue groups.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, the State wants a piece of the action. It doesn’t care if people end up dying while you’re wasting time filling out paper work so you can pay the State for permission to help the people it’s not helping. It doesn’t even care if all of your belongings were just destroyed in a flood. If you don’t scrounge up money to pay off the State it will send men with guns to kidnap or possibly kill you.
Private prisons have been controversial. A lot of people believe that for-profit prisons are evil and that all prisons should be owned and operated by the government. Somehow people think slave labor is morally superior when the government owns the slaves. I don’t understand that mentality. A cage is a cage and a slave is a slave. Regardless of my opinion, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that it will keep all future federal slave laborers for Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR):
The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.
Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced the decision on Thursday in a memo that instructs officials to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is “reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.”
Since this announcement private prison stocks have fallen pretty hard even though most private prisons hold contracts with state or county governments:
While any reduction in the federal prison population will be welcomed by those released, their families, and by reform advocates, the majority of inmates reside in state or county facilities. Only one in eight federal inmates was in a private facility in 2015.
So this change doesn’t affect many prisoners and won’t put Corrections Corporation of America or GEO Group out of business. But the falling stock prices weren’t unexpected and I bet many of the higher ups in the DoJ as well as those in the know in Congress made a good deal of cash shorting those stocks.
There is also the question of how long this decision will last. In December of last year the DoJ announced that it would stop paying civil forfeiture money under the Equitable Sharing Program. A lot of people heralded the decision as a victory over civil forfeiture. Only a few months later the DoJ announced that it would resume those payments. It’s quite possible the DoJ will announce plans to continue using private prisons in a few months, perhaps around November 4th when everybody is distracted by the election.
One thing is certain, nothing meaningful has changed. The DoJ didn’t announce that it would stop enslaving people or that it would stop using private prisons and abolish UNICOR. It merely said it would stop handing out slave laborers to UNICOR’s competitors.
The people are starving in the paradise of central planning known as Venezuela. Starving slaves tend to be uppity slaves so the Venezuelan government has decided to attempt to secure its power by redoubling its efforts to disarm the slaves:
Venezuelan police crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square on Wednesday, as the new interior minister relaunched a long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world’s most crime-ridden countries.
Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the event marked the renewal of efforts to disarm Venezuelans, through a combination of seizures and a voluntary program to swap guns for electrical goods.
What’s rather entertaining through is the source of the slaves’ firearms:
Gangs often get weapons from the police, either by stealing them or buying them from corrupt officers, experts say.
I’m sure the police love this renewed effort since it will create more opportunities for them to sell more firearms.
Venezuela is fucked. Anybody living there should do everything in their power to get out. Things are only going to get worse as the slaves become more desperate and the government responds by becoming more tyrannical.
Here’s a heads up, everybody. If you’re planning on attending the Minnesota State Fair, and I don’t know why anybody would, be prepared for longer than usual lines to get in because every attendee is going to be treated like a criminal:
Going to the Minnesota State Fair this year? Make sure you have your ticket in hand and your bag open.
The State Fair says bags, purses, coolers and packages will now be subject to search at each of the fair’s 11 entrances. Prohibited items include weapons and fireworks but also alcoholic beverages, drones, bikes, skateboards, skates and hoverboards. Other items may also be refused at the discretion of fair management or police.
Of course this is being done under the guise of security. Realistically it’s nothing but security theater though. Searching bags won’t, for example, find any weapons being concealed on a person’s body (although that’s something they cannot legally prohibit if a person has a carry permit but the law has never stopped the State from violating people’s rights). Also notice that alcoholic beverages are prohibited, which will greatly boost the profits of the State Fair alcohol vendors. Drones, bicycles, skateboards, and hoverboards aren’t a security risk to anybody so giving officers discretion to ban them in the name of security is nonsense.
There’s something else worth noting here. The Minnesota Agriculture Society, which runs the Minnesota State Fair, is a public corporation [PDF], which is a fancy way of saying a government created and owned corporation. The Stair Fair grounds are owned by the State of Minnesota. In other words the Minnesota State Fair is a government event run by a government corporation that happens on government property. If the Bill of Rights actually meant anything these bag searches would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment since warrants aren’t being issued against each fair attendee. But the Bill of Rights, like all government laws, doesn’t actually apply to the State so it can violate your rights with impunity and if you complain it might investigate itself and determine it did nothing wrong.
When a suspect attempts to flee from the police should the officers pursue? Most people will instinctively say they should. But one has to ask whether it’s more dangerous for the police to enter into a high-speed chase with a suspect or allow the suspect to flee. Oftentimes in the zealous pursuit of suspects the police end up putting a lot of lives in danger:
More than 5,000 bystanders and passengers have been killed in police car chases since 1979, and tens of thousands more were injured as officers repeatedly pursued drivers at high speeds and in hazardous conditions, often for minor infractions, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
The bystanders and the passengers in chased cars account for nearly half of all people killed in police pursuits from 1979 through 2013, USA TODAY found. Most bystanders were killed in their own cars by a fleeing driver.
Police across the USA chase tens of thousands of people each year — usually for traffic violations or misdemeanors — often causing drivers to speed away recklessly. Recent cases show the danger of the longstanding police practice of chasing minor offenders.
5,000 people killed primarily in the pursuit of revenue from traffic violations and misdemeanors. This is especially ridiculous when you consider that ever car has a government mandated unique identifiable number bolted to the vehicle. An officer could just call in the make, model, and license plate number and wait for a safer time to deliver the citations.
Whenever somebody argues that the police do something to keep us safe we must ask whether the tactics being used by the police are more dangerous than whatever they’re supposedly combatting. Is heroine really more dangerous than no-knock raids leading to dead pets or family members? Are people who exceed the arbitrarily posted speed limit really more dangerous than having a police car with bright flashing lights on the side of the road causing chaos on the highway? If the tactics are more dangerous than the activity being policed then the police aren’t keeping anybody safe, they’re needlessly putting them in danger.
It’s nice to know there are still forces out there willing and able to challenge the State’s revenue generators. Police officers in Scotland apparently learned that demons don’t care about their truncheons or guns:
A mother and her teenage son were said to be “extremely distressed” after experiencing what the Daily Record describes as “violent and unexplained circumstances”.
The family, who live in South Lanarkshire, called police on Monday and Tuesday.
“The officers attended expecting it to be a mental health issue but they witnessed the lights going off, clothes flying across the room and the dog [the family’s pet Chihuahua] sitting on top of a hedge,” a police source said.
“The officers called their superiors, who also attended, thinking the cops were perhaps being a bit silly. But it’s being taken very seriously.”
A priest is understood to have blessed the house in Rutherglen after officers got in touch with the Catholic Church.
Perhaps I’ve been playing Doom wrong all along. Instead of slaughtering demons it may be beneficially to encourage their presence on this planet to challenge the power of the State. Granted, the demons would probably want to establish their own government but once they’ve taken care of the current governments we could exorcise them back to Hell. At this point I’m willing to entertain any ideas for eradicating statism.
Some people think that the war on drugs is about protecting the American people from the effects of drugs. Regardless of what your D.A.R.E. program officers told you in school that isn’t the case. The war on drugs is about the money and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is done pretending otherwise:
WASHINGTON — Federal drug agents regularly mine Americans’ travel information to profile people who might be ferrying money for narcotics traffickers — though they almost never use what they learn to make arrests or build criminal cases.
Instead, that targeting has helped the Drug Enforcement Administration seize a small fortune in cash.
It is a lucrative endeavor, and one that remains largely unknown outside the drug agency. DEA units assigned to patrol 15 of the nation’s busiest airports seized more than $209 million in cash from at least 5,200 people over the past decade after concluding the money was linked to drug trafficking, according to Justice Department records. Most of the money was passed on to local police departments that lend officers to assist the drug agency.
The best scams are the ones that cut everybody in on the action. Local law enforcement agencies get a cut, the DEA gets a cut, and the State gets a cut so none of them are motivated to fight against this kind of theft.
With all of the news of corruption surround the drug war it amazes me that so many Americans are still being suckered by the claim that it’s about protecting people. Using drugs certainly caries the chance of developing negative side-effects or dying. But having men with guns who are too lazy to verify an address kick in your door at oh dark thirty and shoot you is a guarantee of negative side-effects or death. And if that wasn’t enough the drug war also opens the door for rampant corruption. Police officers can blackmail drug dealers and users, steal large quantities of cash without any justification other than the quantity of cash being large, ignore laws against unreasonable searches by claiming a dog “signaled” that there were drugs in the car or house, etc.
The supposed prescription is far worse than the disease in this case. But it was never about curing the disease, it was always about milking the patient for every dime they have.
Everybody who believes in the political process necessarily believes in the death penalty. Death is the inevitable outcome of breaking one of the State’s decrees and not cooperating when armed men with guns come to kidnap you (and cooperating won’t guarantee you avoid the death penalty). However, many politicos, especially on the Democratic Party side, will say they oppose the death penalty. Hillary Clinton is not one of them:
Asked her position on capital punishment, Mrs. Clinton said she did not support abolishing the death penalty, but she did encourage the federal government to rethink it.
“We have a lot of evidence now that the death penalty has been too frequently applied, and too often in a discriminatory way,” she said. “So I think we have to take a hard look at it.”
Mrs. Clinton added, “I do not favor abolishing it, however, because I do think there are certain egregious cases that still deserve the consideration of the death penalty, but I’d like to see those be very limited and rare, as opposed to what we’ve seen in most states.”
They call her Killary for a reason.
The problem with the death penalty isn’t that it’s used too often, it’s that it exists at all. Executions performed by the State are collectivist nonsense. When the State executes somebody it does it under the auspices of justice. But the State’s justice doesn’t involve best efforts to right a wrong. Instead it involves whatever words were written on a piece of paper and voted on by a committee. Justice would require asking if killing a convicted individual would be an appropriate way to right whatever wrong he committed, not whether some suit-clad mother fuckers in a marble building said it was okay to execute somebody for violating one of their decrees.
Transporting prohibited drugs, for example, isn’t even a crime since there is no victim and even if one considers it a crime killing the transporter wouldn’t right any wrongs. But the State is willing to issue death sentences for transporting prohibited drugs. Issuing death sentences for such arbitrary reasons must be opposed entirely. Since everything the State does is arbitrary by nature allowing it to issue death sentences must be opposed entirely.
Yet another person has been killed by a police officer. This time the victim was a 73-year-old retired librarian. There was no crime, real of fictions, involved in this shooting though. Instead negligence during a citizen academy lead to live ammunition being used during a shoot, no shoot scenario:
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (AP) — A police “shoot/don’t shoot” demonstration in Florida went shockingly awry when an officer shot and killed a 73-year-old former librarian with what police said was real ammunition used by mistake at an event designed to bring police and the public together.
Authorities didn’t immediately say how a gun with a live round came to be used at Tuesday evening’s demonstration, noting blank rounds are typically used in such classes. The officer has been placed on administrative leave, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating.
“We were unaware that any live ammunition was available to the officer,” Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis said at a news conference Wednesday. “The officer involved is grief stricken. We’ve got officers assigned to him to make sure he’s psychologically stable.”
Training scenarios like this are why non-lethal ammunition such as Simunitions exist. Most training ammunition requires the use of a conversion kit that is also unable to chamber live ammunition. Why was live ammunition available to the officer? Why was he using a firearm capable of chambering live ammunition? There had to be multiple layers of people not giving a shit for this kind of death to occur.
But, perhaps, this exercise wasn’t really a shoot, no shoot scenario. Perhaps it was an exercise in investigating yourself and finding that you did nothing wrong. Either way, I doubt the officer will face the same punishment that you or I would if we negligently killed somebody.