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Libertarians and Quarantine

SaysUncle asks how that works. The comments answer the question pretty well, but I wanted to add my take and an even more interesting question.

First, I see people with dangerous diseases as active threats to the people around them. If you have Ebola, and you are out in public, you are a threat to those around you and they are allowed to respond with force, preferably a mandatory and monitored quarantine, but escalating if necessary. That doesn't mean you can be held incommunicado or denied other rights.

The more interesting question for me is what do you do about the asymptomatic carrier case? Supposedly a very small percentage of people who catch Ebola never show symptoms, but are contagious and can spread the disease. (No, I have no idea how that works medically). Are these people basically doomed to life in quarantine?

2014-10-20 12:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Testimoney on DC's proposed concealed carry law

It's one of the litigants in Heller and Palmer, and he does an excellent job explaining why "may someday eventually possibly consider issuing a license to someone we really like" doesn't respect anyone's second amendment rights. Instead, it turns those rights into a privilege held by those with political connections.

2014-10-20 11:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

International agreements seeking to invade privacy to enforce copyright

Draft rules under negotiation would impose on Internet service providers a legal obligation to fight against online copyright infringement. This obligation is embodied in several provisions, which would require, for example, ISPs to communicate to their users any supposed infringement committed through their accounts, take down from the Internet information that supposedly infringes on copyright, and collect information that allows identification of users that supposedly have infringed the law.

If we actually had two political parties instead of one ruling class, one of the parties would be opposing this stuff.

2014-10-20 10:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Worst-Case scenarios

Or, 6 reasons why the authorities don't really have everything under control.

2014-10-20 09:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Anti-Obamacare video producer audited by IRS

If I remember correctly, the IRS inspector general's targeting report found that people associated with conservative/tea party groups had a chance of being audited roughly 10 times that of the general population.

2014-10-19 16:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

What's the problem with money in politics?

2014-10-19 16:07:40.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hazmat crews respond to Houston death

A woman died Thursday night after recently traveling to Nigeria. Crews responded to the scene in hazmat suits. Again, it may be a false alarm -- Nigeria has not reported an Ebola case for more than 21 days -- but we know Ebola can incubate for significantly longer than that in some unusual cases, and if this person died of Ebola, we can tack on her own incubation period to that as well some amount of time showing symptoms before dying.

2014-10-18 18:04:56.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Oregon Senator Merkley linked to IRS targeting

If you live in Oregon, you can vote him out in a few weeks.

2014-10-18 15:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Kim's Story

2014-10-18 09:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another potential Ebola patient in Dallas

They screened positive (ie, had symptoms and risk factors, which could be travel to West Africa or contact with existing Ebola patients) but have not yet gotten test results.

Might be a false alarm. Might not be.

2014-10-17 15:27:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama plans to let foreign Ebola patients into US for treatment

Judicial Watch has an excellent track record for accurately exposing information the Obama administration wants kept quiet, but this is their biggest scoop yet:

Judicial Watch has learned that the Obama administration is actively formulating plans to admit Ebola-infected non-U.S. citizens into the United States for treatment. Specifically, the goal of the administration is to bring Ebola patients into the United States for treatment within the first days of diagnosis.

It is unclear who would bear the high costs of transporting and treating non-citizen Ebola patients. The plans include special waivers of laws and regulations that ban the admission of non-citizens with a communicable disease as dangerous as Ebola.

One source tells us that the Obama administration is keeping this plan secret from Congress. The source is concerned that the proposal is illegal; endangers the public health and welfare; and should require the approval of Congress.

Quoting the whole thing, because BOMBSHELL NEWS. Congress must act to block this immediately.

2014-10-17 15:02:44.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Possible three-way race shaping up in South Dakota

If Pressler, a former Republican Senator currently running as an independent, can win a three way race he will change the political calculus for 2016 nationwide.

2014-10-17 14:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Prosecutors claim stand-your-ground does not apply to domestic violence

In their hatred for SYG, South Carolina Prosecutors have no qualms in sending Women’s Rights 40 years in the past. To demand that a woman should sustain injury or death trying to retreat from an abusive partner because your butt is full of legal boils against a law that protects the innocent and tie your hands when you are trying to be an idiot is beyond contempt.

Why should anyone defending themselves be required to retreat from their home?

2014-10-17 13:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Fast and Furious gun linked to criminal attack that injured two victims

Judicial Watch today announced that, based on information uncovered through a Judicial Watch public records lawsuit against the City of Phoenix, the U.S. Congress has confirmed that an AK 47 rifle used in a July 29, 2013, gang-style assault on an apartment building that left two people wounded was part of the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) Operation Fast and Furious gunrunning program.

Read the whole thing, and mark October 22nd on your calendar, because that's when the list of documents withheld from the public under Holder's claim of executive privilege will be released.

Sharyl Attkisson has leaked documents.

UPDATE: Breitbart is reporting that Holder's top deputy has resigned due to the leaked Fast and Furious documents.

2014-10-17 12:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Most transparent administration ever is also most prosecutorial of leaks

Up until Obama's "most transparent administration", and throughout the entire history of the USA, national security leakers had received a total of 24 months of jail time. There are many more cases pending.

More jail time for leaks than all previous administrations combined. Also, more deficit spending than all previous administrations combined. This has certainly been a historic presidency... And there are two years left.

2014-10-17 11:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

It's time for the CDC director to resign

A man on a flight from Nigeria to New York died after vomiting in his seat. They say he died of a heart attack, but that's certainly one way Ebola can kill you. The CDC examined the body on the scene and said that the person did not have Ebola... but the test takes hours to run, not counting transport time to a lab.

Flights from Ebola-stricken countries have not been banned, and the CDC director will not say if the directive to keep the flights coming came from the White House. Idiots with clipboards but no protective gear fly with known Ebola patients.

The second Texas nurse with Ebola is now known to have been ill earlier than first suspected, adding at least 138 people to the list of potential carriers. The airline continued to fly the potentially contaminated plane, bringing the total number of potentially exposed passengers to 800. And there appears to be an unidentified mystery patient being treated at the same hospital the nurse was just transported to.

Some health care workers exposed to Ebola treating Duncan are still working. The President has already sent 3000 soldiers to Africa, where they will be exposed to Ebola patients, and is now calling up the reserves for the same mission. The person who handled Patient Zero's blood samples for testing is showing Ebola symptoms while on a cruise ship! Her husband is also on the cruise, and also showing symptoms. There are almost five thousand people on that ship, probably many of them Americans who will return from their vacations to widely dispersed locations.

This is insane.

The Obama administration has not followed the CDC recommendations on Ebola from 2008.

CNN has published a editorial calling for the CDC director to resign, as are some Republican House members.

2014-10-17 10:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reminder: CDC is spending money on gun control again

Michelle Malkin:

Video games and TV violence. At Obama’s behest, in the wake of high-profile school shootings, the CDC scored $10 million last year to study violent video games and media images, as well as to assess “existing strategies for preventing gun violence and identifying the most pressing research questions, with the greatest potential public health impact.” Whatever that means. Why is this the CDC’s business?

She links to (but the link is broken) the White House plan to resurrect gun control as an important issue, which includes this specific language:

Conduct research on the causes and prevention of gun violence, including links between video games, media images, and violence: The President is issuing a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control and scientific agencies to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence. It is based on legal analysis that concludes such research is not prohibited by any appropriations language. The CDC will start immediately by assessing existing strategies for preventing gun violence and identifying the most pressing research questions, with the greatest potential public health impact. And the Administration is calling on Congress to provide $10 million for the CDC to conduct further research, including investigating the relationship between video games, media images, and violence.

This is in violation of the Congressional ban on the CDC spending money on gun control advocacy, and now it looks really, really stupid, because the Center for Disease Control is unable to do it's job of controlling infectious and deadly diseases.

They had one job.

2014-10-17 09:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

But Bush lied about WMD!

Chemical weapons produced at the Al Muthanna facility, which Isis today seized, are believed to have included mustard gas, Sarin, Tabun, and VX.

Because, of course, Iraq DID have WMD. Even the New York Times admits it now. The question was whether he had nukes (probably not), a nuclear program (active or not), or the capacity to reactivate his known chemical weapons program on short notice (probably).

I've recently shared my office at work with an intern whose living memories barely reach back to the beginning of the Second Iraq War (never mind the First Iraq War). The only thing most people know about the Second Iraq War is that "Bush lied, people died." They don't know why we went in (other than "something about 9/11") or what conditions were like there before we did. If they even know there was a war in Iraq before this one, they know it as a paragraph in a history book that the teacher skipped.

Here is some information about what our soldiers found in Iraq:

From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule... In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

So, yes, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Chemical weapons, which were -- for whatever reason -- not disclosed to the public once found. It would be amusing, were it not so serious, to watch the New York Times attacking President Bush for not disclosing the fact that he found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after they spent years attacking Bush for lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

I was going to lay out why we went to war in Iraq in this post, but Ace of Spaces beat me to it.

It's scary that there are voting-age people today who don't remember these things.

2014-10-16 15:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Cato disappoints me on birth control mandates

Cato is posting an argument about religion and government that fails to handle the opposing arguments with even a modicum of respect or honesty. This both offends and disappoints me, so I feel I must respond. This post is responding to a variety of claims related to birth control mandates and religious exemptions thereto.

(Read More...)

2014-10-16 14:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The proper role of the US military

This isn't quite right:

President Obola’s basic thesis is that the US military should be a charitable organization, sacrificing itself to save lives in foreign countries. Most Americans, on the other hand, think that the proper role of the military is to sacrifice itself to save American lives.

I think the proper role of the US military is to make the other guy sacrifice himself trying and failing to take American lives.

2014-10-16 10:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Moms Demand still lying about guns

This is astoundingly, willfully, egregiously dishonest. Every single thing that Dmitry Smirnov did was already flatly illegal. He didn’t utilize any “loopholes”; he didn’t benefit from any ambiguities or exceptions in the law; he wasn’t freed up by a lack of “common sense” prohibitions. He just broke the existing rules.

Laws don't stop people from breaking them. Nothing can do that. Laws allow us to punish people after the fact.

2014-10-16 09:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A second Texas healthcare worker with Ebola

Earlier today, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced that a second healthcare worker had tested positive for Ebola virus infection. The individual had also worked at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and cared for the first person diagnosed within the US, Thomas Eric Duncan. The fact that two caregivers were infected gives credence to suggestions that the hospital lacked either sufficient procedures to prevent contamination, or sufficient training in them.

This is the problem inherent in the 76-to-1 ratio I talked about yesterday. Each person coming into contact with the Ebola patient is at risk of infection, whether by insufficient protocol measures or error following the protocol (and for practical purposes, both). Putting 76 people at risk to maybe save one is not sustainable risk. That part of the protocol needs to be fixed, pronto.

Oh, and she flew to Cleveland and back the day before showing symptoms.

2014-10-15 15:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama cancels political travel to deal with Ebola

AP is reporting it, so I won't bother quoting.

I don't think one more healthcare worker testing positive is enough to get Obama off his political game. I think there are more suspected cases that aren't being announced.

2014-10-15 14:15:29.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lott sums up the errors in Bloomberg's statistics

With all the hundreds of millions of dollars that Michael Bloomberg is poring into pushing gun control, you would think that he could hire some fact-checkers. But possibly he doesn’t care. Maybe all he really wants is anti-gun propaganda.

Read the whole thing.

2014-10-15 14:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Now this is getting absurd

Anita Sarkeesian, recently famous for being on the feminist side of GamerGate (whether you think that's the right side to be on or not is up to you), has canceled a speech she was supposed to give at Utah State University. She supposedly received a death threat, and then:

USU officials initially responded to the Standard Examiner's report by claiming the speech would go on as planned by the school's Center For Women And Gender, complete with security precautions like not allowing backpacks into the venue. However, that changed with USU's announcement later that day claiming that Sarkeesian herself canceled her appearance after learning that "if a person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to have it at the venue."

I'm a bit of a gamer, but my take on gaming and feminism is pretty much live and let live. Games are about having fun, not being preached at. That said, I obviously don't support death threats, and I particularly don't like the implication here that Sarkeesian is afraid that someone with a concealed-carry permit -- which, remember, means someone with no criminal history -- represents enough of a threat to cancel her appearance.

Frankly, that's offensive. Anyone who wanted to actually harm her, or anyone else, would not be restrained by a law requiring them to get a license to bring their firearm. Anyone actually carrying legally at the event would be more likely to help her than harm her. So far, though, that's fairly typical anti-gun bigotry.

It gets a little more serious once you start talking about actual, received threats. Particularly multiple threats:

Sarkeesian took to her Twitter account to confirm that cancellation, stating "police wouldn't take steps to prevent concealed firearms at the event" and "requested pat downs or metal detectors after mass shooting threat, but because of Utah's open carry laws, police wouldn’t do firearm searches." As Sarkeesian noted earlier, this speaking event would have been the third in which she had been anonymously threatened with violence in an attempt to prevent her from speaking.

Yeah, about those multiple death threats on twitter: there's a good chance at least some of them were faked, though the jury is still out on that.

The thing is, real death threats are no laughing matter. And Anita is basically pointing her finger at millions of honest, law-abiding citizens with concealed-carry permits and blaming them for her decision not to give her speech, not to mention for threatening her. That's not OK, even if the threat is real. It's really not OK if she made up the threat. I don't know if she did or not, but I know that I'm really tired of the firearms community being used as a political punching bag.

Since these threats were reportedly made by email, there should be a trail. I hope that the police examine those emails closely. First, to determine if they really are serious death threats, and not someone with an opinion that Sarkeesian doesn't approve of. And second, to determine who sent them.

Just in case.

UPDATE: Stacy McCain writes on the topic, and he has a link to what purports to be the email threat. No headers, of course. Headers could be independently investigated.

2014-10-15 13:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Patterico wrestles with the Consent of the Governed

He reaches, eventually, the same conclusion I did when I cast my first vote for the Libertarian candidate for president: the federal government of the United States is not a legitimate constitutional government, and has not been since Wickard v Filburn (1942) at least. Obama's presidency has made obvious what was previously hidden even from the most politically aware citizens.

Now that more people are beginning to identify the problem, the question is what do we do about it?

(Read More...)

2014-10-15 12:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Using the tax code to suppress freedom of speech

The controversy swirling around the IRS has presumably put the kibosh on the IRS suppressing political speech, but the city government of Houston is taking up the slack by demanding pastors provide copies of their sermons and internal communications on homosexuality, gender identity, or the city's openly lesbian mayor.

This sounds like a way to identify, intimidate, and harass political opposition.

2014-10-15 11:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama floating Tom Perez as a replacement for Holder

There are a lot of reasons why Perez will be just as bad as Holder. But that shouldn't come as a surprise.

It's clear that anyone Obama picks as Holder's replacement needs to fulfill certain basic criteria. They need to:

It appears that Perez will do just fine by those criteria.

2014-10-15 10:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Cato disappoints me on Gay Marriage

Cato is posting an argument about religion and government that fails to handle the opposing arguments with even a modicum of respect or honesty. This both offends and disappoints me, so I feel I must respond. This post is responding to the claim that there are no secular arguments against gay marriage by presenting a variety of those arguments. It does not attempt to be a comprehensive list, nor does it mean I agree with the argument cited. Generally my position on the issue starts and ends with "The legislature of each state should work out a compromise." However, people who try to win arguments by misrepresenting the other side offend me.

(Read More...)

2014-10-15 09:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A 76-to-1 ratio

The CDC announced Tuesday that 76 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital were involved in the care of Thomas Eric Duncan after he was hospitalized, including a nurse now being treated for the same Ebola virus that killed the Liberian man who was visiting Dallas.

That's the number of medical staff potentially exposed to Ebola in the course of treating one patient with the disease. And it's frankly insane.

Everyone who provides care for an Ebola patient is potentially at risk of becoming an Ebola patient themselves. Even if the chance of infection is low on an individual basis, if you give the virus enough chances it will jump the barriers through sheer bad luck if nothing else.

If we are going to successfully contain the disease in a significant breakout, we need to minimize the number of people exposed. I suggest asking for one or two volunteers per patient and providing significant financial rewards for those willing to treat Ebola patients, while keeping support staff -- particularly doctors and experts -- very, very far away from the actual patient.

Frieden said as a result of the current situation, the CDC was setting up an Ebola response team for hospitals with Ebola patients, and has vowed to put a team on the ground anywhere in the United States "within hours."

This could also be a disaster. Sure, it might help to get experts on the scene, but it doesn't help if those experts are then exposed to the disease themselves and die from it.

UPDATE: And yes, cost is also an issue, though single patients over a short time period are probably manageable.

2014-10-14 18:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trust deficit

Among the problems the Census Bureau faces in getting Americans to answer questions, complained an official in a presentation last week, is that Americans consider nosy questions a threat to their privacy, especially when posed by a government they distrust. The solution? Favor the "stick" above "carrot" when mailing out questionnaires for the American Community Survey. Specifically, the official recommended emphasizing legal consequences for people who don't cough up desired data.

When officials speak in this way, it is clear that they no longer serve the public.

2014-10-14 13:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

People on welfare vote for more welfare

Take a quick look at how welfare dependency in Brazil correlates with election results there, and then consider how we can deal with the same problem in the United States. Spoiler: There's not really a good answer once you concede that government can take money from one person and give it to another.

2014-10-13 14:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Will they tell us when third-generation Ebola infections appear?

First, Ebola would burn out in Africa soon enough. Then, there was only an extremely remote chance that Ebola would break out of Africa into the western world. Then there was almost no chance that Ebola would evade airline screening procedures and come to America. Then, even if Ebola did somehow, by some miracle, make it to America, we would catch it before it did any damage. Then, we absolutely know how to stop Ebola from spreading. (Note: this involves a miracle that includes perfect humans in perfectly designed systems using perfectly unfailing equipment and procedures). And now, well, the possibility of an African-style Ebola outbreak in America, with millions of infections, remains “extremely remote.” I personally think that what is really “extremely remote” is that the situation is as under control as they keep telling us it is. I wonder what they’ll tell us when third generation infections start popping up?

Stupid question. They won't tell us when those infections appear at all.

2014-10-13 13:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

CDC claiming that travel ban would increase risk to the US

They aren't even bothering to come up with plausible lies anymore. Obama wants this virus in the US so we will be forced to dedicate research resources to treating it.

2014-10-13 12:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Union pressure tactics

UAW Local 31 dedicates an entire page of its website to listing the names and work stations of employees who have opted to exercise their rights not to be in the union. UAW Local 31 lists nearly 30 workers at the Fairfax, Kansas GM plant who are not in the union. The “Scab List” is published under the union website’s “Important Information” section.

And what will union thugs do with such a list? Use it to target those on it for harassment, intimidation, and potential violence, of course.

2014-10-13 11:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

CDC director's confidence appears badly shaken

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told a top-level forum in Washington, D.C., that the Ebola outbreak is unlike anything he’s seen since the AIDS epidemic.

Funny, up until now, he was saying that he had everything under control. I wonder what changed?

2014-10-13 10:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Unemployment numbers are being faked

A liberal friend who shall remain anonymous has written to me explaining that the New York Times says the economy added 250K jobs in September, as if this was good news. What the New York Times did not tell you is that we lost 315K people out of the labor force that month.

Unfortunately, since the White House took direct control of the Census Bureau (which conducts the surveys that go into the employment reports), the employment reports are a pack of lies.

To get an idea of the real situation, look at the workforce participation rate, and compare it to historical rates. Then, realize that the unemployment numbers only count the people who are looking for work -- and that the Census Bureau surveys that determine whether people are looking for work or not are controlled by the White House -- and you realize that the people who should be counted as unemployed are instead being classified as having "left the workforce", perhaps because they are too depressed about not being able to find a job to try searching for one. Or maybe food stamps and welfare without work requirements are making more people choose funemployment at the expense of those of us still willing to work for a living.

And when you're done with all that, realize that the 5.9% unemployment that the Obama administration is bragging out is the lowest number since July 2008...

2014-10-13 09:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Alison Grimes is lying to get elected

She says she supports the coal industry in her ads, but her campaign staffers are confident she's lying about that.

With James O'Keefe on her tail, she had better start tap-dancing quick.

2014-10-12 13:12:43.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

You're not a liberal!

2014-10-11 12:17:02.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Deputy Sheriff tests negative for Ebola, treated for unidentified virus

Story here, from which I have extracted the relevant quotes concerning the deputy:

The Dallas County Sheriff's deputy who had some symptoms of Ebola said he broke down crying when the negative test results came in... But ultimately he was diagnosed with an unidentified viral infection and given morphine to help the pain. He should be back at work on Wednesday.

Contrast that with the treatment given to the US Patient Zero:

According to the medical records provided to The A.P., Mr. Duncan reported severe pain — rating it an eight on a scale of 10. Doctors gave him CT scans to rule out appendicitis, stroke and numerous other serious ailments. Ultimately, he was prescribed antibiotics and told to take Tylenol, then he returned to the apartment where he was staying with a Dallas woman and three other people.

So, severe pain -- severe enough to require morphine, which is pretty damned severe. An "unidentified viral infection". Sent home with antibiotics.

He's now giving press conferences saying everything is ok and he tested negative. But some tests can present false negatives. And what's the incubation period of Ebola?

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people infected by the virus can begin showing symptoms of Ebola eight to 10 days after exposure. Duncan first sought care at a hospital emergency room on Sept. 25 and was admitted three days later.

The timing on the deputy is right for Ebola. The symptoms match those of the person he had contact with.

Bottom line: I wouldn't be surprised if we see him in the news again.

2014-10-10 17:32:47.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Can we use the 4th Amendment against the IRS?

The Washington Times thinks we can, but is calling for Congress to pass legislation to enable it. If the 4th Amendment needed enabling legislation, it wouldn't be very effective... but the basic proposal is sound: prohibit audits by the IRS, inspections by the EPA, and so forth, unless the agency can present probable cause that a crime was committed to a judge and get a warrant signed.

It won't be enough to prevent abuse. Just look at the warrants that get signed today in the drug war. But it will be better than the current situation, so it's worth a try.

2014-10-09 16:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Since destroying hard drives worked so well for the IRS...

... the Environmental Protection Agency is now telling a judge that a hardware malfunction may have resulted in the loss of information requested by the House for an investigation. They are also claiming that the records of text messages sent by the head of the agency weren't actually required to be retained as federal records, something that Lois Lerner also asked about when she learned about Congressional investigations into her activities.

If these people were just doing their jobs honestly, they wouldn't be so worried about hiding their records from Congress.

2014-10-09 15:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reminder: the NSA is spying on us on lying about it in court

For example, if the NSA, while unconstitutionally listening to the conversations of Americans hoping to hear about plots to harm other Americans (it has revealed no such plots from among the trillions of private conversations it has monitored since 2005), comes across evidence of a bank robbery, the NSA will pass that evidence on to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The NSA routinely does this notwithstanding representations to the FISA court that authorizes its spying that it is not in the business of gathering evidence in criminal cases.

This is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. Why won't the courts or Congress act to stop it? Probably because Congress and the courts are composed of people who have embarrassing emails in their closets.

2014-10-09 14:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another sign that we are living in a police state

A Rasmussen poll reports that 70% of the population oppose police seizure of property without a criminal conviction... yet that practice remains in effect across the whole country.

2014-10-08 17:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Second Ebola patient in Dallas

The story is still developing, but it sounds like someone who entered the quarantined apartment without wearing protective gear caught the disease.

2014-10-08 16:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch: 4 ISIS terrorists arrested in Texas

Islamic terrorists have entered the United States through the Mexican border and Homeland Security sources tell Judicial Watch that four have been apprehended in the last 36 hours by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety in McAllen and Pharr.

It's long past time we closed the border. We can argue about what the legal process should be, but it should be a legal process not a smuggling process. And that legal process should include steps like "Don't allow terrorists or those with contagious diseases (like, say, Ebola) into the country."

The administration wants this suppressed because an actual terrorist threat would hurt his party in the elections.

2014-10-08 14:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gura files motion to block new DC gun law

The basic claim is that the 2nd Amendment does not allow for the city to require a justification for issuing a license to carry a concealed firearm. If successful, it would effectively require DC to write a shall-issue carry law rather than the current may-issue law they are proposing.

2014-10-08 09:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Campaign finance laws bite Democrats too

A campaign staffer for Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Martha Coakley is listed as a contact on press releases for Mass NOW ripping GOP rival Charlie Baker in an apparent conflict experts say could violate state and federal laws barring nonprofits from coordinating with political campaigns.

There are a couple points to be made here.

First, participating in the political process should not require lawyers and a ton of bureaucratic red tape.

Second, Democrats who support campaign finance restrictions are regularly caught violating them. It's almost as if they trust the IRS and the FEC (and oh by the way, Lerner has worked at high positions in both agencies) to rule against their opponents and ignore their own issues.

2014-10-07 18:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

EPIC files FOIA lawsuit over CIA's Senate spying

Interestingly enough, the details being sought in the lawsuit are related to the CIA's effort to spy on, or perhaps remove information from, Senate computers being used to put together the Senate's report on the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques. The Senate report has itself been delayed until late October, just before the election.

It's also worth noting that getting ANY information out of this administration seems to require not only a FOIA request but a lawsuit over it.

2014-10-07 17:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

New IG report exposes IRS coverup of FOIA requests

When the IRS scandal broke, it sparked a lot of public interest in the behavior of the agency. Judicial Watch's FOIA requests have been successful, but mostly because they have been willing to go to court to enforce them. Ordinary people without the money to take a federal agency to court have had less success with their requests:

A review of the Internal Revenue Service's compliance with the Freedom of Information Act found the agency intentionally withheld or failed to "adequately search" for requested information in hundreds of cases.

In others, the IRS released more than it was authorized, dispensing "sensitive taxpayer information," including individuals' bank records.

This is not just "accidentally" losing information due to "hard drive failures", this is actually denying that responsive information exists. And one of the things they are denying is an investigation into illegal access to the tax records of the Koch brothers.

The full report is available.

2014-10-07 16:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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