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Camus testifies: Missing tapes received in two weeks

Sat Feb 28 14:17:33 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Jordan testifies: 424 more tapes found

2015-02-28 14:17:27.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More details about Stringray use in Florida

Ars Technica“Basically, as we’ve said many times before, these documents confirm our worst fears about the use of stingray technologies: police are deploying them routinely in mundane cases while being less than forthright with the courts about what exactly they’re doing,” he wrote.

Judges should probably be asking more questions about warrants they are being asked to sign, and checking the results afterwards to make sure the results match what they thought they were authorizing.

2015-02-28 12:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FCC chairman refuses to testify before Congress on internet regulation

Sharyl AttkissonFCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is refusing to testify before Congress ahead of a vote tomorrow regarding new regulation of the Internet.

This administration, having lost the support of the people and having lost control of Congress, now thinks it is accountable to no one.

2015-02-28 11:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lerner received $129300 in bonuses for her work targeting the tea party

Gateway PunditFormer IRS official Lois Lerner received $129,300 in bonuses between 2010 and 2013, records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show. They rewarded her for her accomplishments.

That's not counting her retirement benefits or months of paid vacation "suspension with pay".

2015-02-28 10:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The internet isn't broken, but the FCC wants to fix it

Chicago TribuneThe great irony here is that the Internet isn't broken, and we don't need the president's plan to "fix" it. Quite the opposite.

The problem Obama is trying to fix is that the internet allows news to get out to the people around his censors and intimidation machine. The problem they are using as a stalking horse is entirely made up:

Silicon GreybeardWhen I wrote my first piece on the coming Net Neutrality laws in 2010, I said it was a solution in search of a problem, and I still maintain that. There is one case on record, ONE, of one service (Netflix) being throttled back by one ISP. I've heard that one service was using almost 33% of the ISP's bandwidth, so it made sense to charge them more. That was renegotiated and settled acceptably to all parties.

Note that the FCC regulation, not law, he was talking about was struck down by a court challenge last year. Notice that it took 4 years. Notice that Obama only has two years left in his term. The game plan is simple. Regulate the Internet. Reward your friends. Punish your enemies. Drag things out in the courts. By the time the courts have a final ruling that says you can't do what you spent the last four years doing, you will be out of office and it will be someone else's problem. If you did it right, some other Democrat's problem.

2015-02-28 09:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Smoking Gun Lerner Email?

... no, Lois, you're right; we don't believe you.

2015-02-27 13:46:12.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Joe Biden beats Elizabeth Warren

No, no, not like that:
Gun Politics NY“… [Hillary] Clinton also remains dominant in the Democratic primary field. 54% of the party’s voters want her to be their candidate to 16% for Joe Biden, 12% for Elizabeth Warren, 5% for Bernie Sanders, 2% for Jim Webb, and 1% for Martin O’Malley. If Biden and Warren don’t end up making the race Sanders appears to have a little bit of separation from the bottom tier that could make him Clinton’s leading rival …”

I don't know whether to be impressed that Joe Biden, the creepy uncle of a Democratic party filled with creeps, is out in front of Elizabeth Warren, the great anti-Hillary hope... or to be impressed that Warren is only 4% behind sitting-vice-president Joe Biden.

2015-02-27 12:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Food for thought

Union LeaderBoys today aren’t fundamentally different than the boys of 150 years ago. Yet today, they’re confined to classrooms, expected to remain still for the majority of the day, and barely allowed to tackle meaningful labor or the real world until they reach the magical age of 18. Is it any wonder our boys are struggling?

I don't usually have much to say about education, but I think this deserves pointing out. Our educational system and culture of helicopter parenting is doing a lot of damage, and we're not going to see the results for years to come. It's been quite a while since I was in school, and things seem to have only gotten worse since then; I remember struggling with similar issues myself and I can't imagine how much harder it must be now.

Solutions? None, really; other than making it economically feasible for schools to experiment and parents to choose which schools to send their children to. The state-supported near-monopoly on education must be broken.

2015-02-27 11:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clintons turned State Department into a foreign money racket

Judicial Watch“How the Obama State Department waived hundreds of ethical conflicts that allowed the Clintons and their businesses to accept money from foreign entities and corporations seeking influence boggles the mind,” said Fitton, adding, “That former President Clinton trotted the globe collecting huge speaking fees while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy is an outrage."

Well, she was dead broke when she left the White House, after all. She has to make that money back somehow, right?

2015-02-27 10:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Democrats may be ready to blink on FCC Internet rules

The HillA Democrat on the Federal Communications Commission wants to see changes that could narrow the scope of new net neutrality rules set for a vote on Thursday. Mignon Clyburn, one of three Democrats on the FCC, has asked Chairman Tom Wheeler to roll back some of his provisions before the full commission votes on them, FCC officials said. The request — which Wheeler has yet to respond to — puts the chairman in the awkward position of having to either roll back his proposals, or defend the tough rules and convince Clyburn to back down.

It doesn't appear that the suddenly-recalcitrant individual is asking for a large change, but it's a significant step back from being prepared to ram the existing proposal down the nation's throat.

UPDATE: They did not blink.
Daily CallerThe Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted 3-2 in favor of adopting Chairman Tom Wheeler’s net neutrality plan, establishing the most broad authority to regulate Internet service providers ever proposed.

They have still not released the regulations publicly even after voting for them. And this is supposed to be a free country?

2015-02-27 09:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Criminal investigation of Lerner's missing emails underway

Washington TimesThe IRS’s inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner’s emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency’s chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed.

Looks like they found 744 backup tapes pretty much right away, and recently located another 424. And "there is potential criminal activity." On one level that's simple common sense, but when the person running the investigation says it, it usually means that potential is actually being looked into.

It's not just the case of the mysteriously missing hard drives, either. The IG was able to locate the backup tapes within two weeks of starting to look for them, despite Koskinen testifying that the tapes were destroyed. That could qualify as criminal based on perjury or based on refusing to provide them to Congress. Plus there is the canceled backup contract. That's a lot of coincidences all at once.

It's good that someone appears to be taking this seriously.

2015-02-26 23:12:23.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline

This is hardly a surprise, but it's worth noting anyway.

2015-02-26 12:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IPCC chairman resigns amid sex scandal, describes climate change as his religion

No Frakking ConsensusRajendra Pachauri resigned as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today. "For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma."

Religion and science do not mix. You would think this would be obvious to the Left, which often claims "scientific" support for their policies. The truth, however, is that for the left, their policies are not scientific at all but religious in nature. That is why no amount of evidence to the contrary will stop a liberal yelling about global warming climate change.

2015-02-26 11:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why Officer Friendly is out to get you

Free Thought Project via Shall Not Be Questioned“I have a method for getting people off the street that should not be there. Mouthy drivers, street lawyers, assholes and just anyone else trying to make my job difficult. Under my floor mat, I keep a small plastic dime baggie with Cocaine in residue. Since it’s just residue, if it is ever found during a search of my car like during an inspection, it’s easy enough to explain. It must have stuck to my foot while walking through San Castle. Anyways, no one’s going to question an empty baggie. The residue is the key because you can fully charge some asshole with possession of cocaine, heroin, or whatever just with the residue. How to get it done? “I asked Mr. DOE for his identification. And he pulled out his wallet, I observed a small plastic baggie fall out of his pocket…” You get the idea. easy, right? Best part is, those baggies can be found lots of places so you can always be ready. Don’t forget to wipe the baggie on the person’s skin after you arrest them because you want their DNA on the bag if they say you planted it or fight it in court.”

This sort of thing is absolutely corrosive to the rule of law. There's a lot more at the first link. It's casual, it's pervasive, and it's basically impossible to challenge in court.

2015-02-26 10:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

White House refuses to cooperate with IRS probe

Washington TimesThe White House told Congress last week it refused to dig into its computers for emails that could shed light on what kinds of private taxpayer information the IRS shares with President Obama’s top aides, assuring Congress that the IRS will address the issue — eventually.

At this point, the White House is just running out the clock; they are hoping that they can delay any actual discoveries of damaging evidence linking the White House to the IRS scandal until Obama is out of office and a new President has arrived. Unfortunately, it's been an effective strategy so far. There is important circumstantial evidence that the White House has used its power -- perhaps unwisely granted, but legal -- to access taxpayer records for political purposes. But even those requests have legal channels that must be followed:
HeadlinesAny official requests for private taxpayer information made by the White House are supposed to be personally signed by the president, and Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation is then supposed to be notified of the request. The JCT issues an annual report on all requests for IRS information, and those reports don't show any such requests from the president during Obama's time in office.

If, in fact, there was nothing embarrassing to find in the White House correspondence with the IRS -- as suggested by the lack of any requested records in the reports -- then why not release them and say so? The refusal to cooperate with Congress, at all, on this matter suggests that the White House has something to hide.

2015-02-26 09:01:30.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Emily carries her gun

Congratulations are in order for Emily Miller, who has received her approved application for a license to carry a concealed firearm in DC. It took a long time and a lot of public pressure from the courts and the public to get to this point. Emily has done a stellar job reporting on the process and drawing much needed attention to how horrible it was. It's still not great; the process is may-issue and the police require documented "special dangers" and a 90-day delay, plus excessive permit costs and 18 hours of training. But we probably wouldn't have gotten even this far without Emily or someone like her directing the sunlight to scatter the cockroaches.

2015-02-25 15:09:37.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Waffling on government accountability

Daily CallerFederal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday again declined to publicly release his aggressive net neutrality proposal prior to a vote.

This is despite the fact that the process of adopting such rules — which line up perfectly with those called for by President Obama in 2014 — was described as “irresponsible” by Sen. Obama in 2007.

As we have found, the popular and common-sense policies supported by Senator Obama are often strongly opposed by President Obama. Particularly when those policies involve government transparency and accountability. Gosh, I wonder what might have happened to change his opinion?

2015-02-25 12:01:30.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More gun control in Washington State

Shall Not Be QuestionedAnother gun control bill has passed out of committee in the Washington Legislature. If I were a gun owner in Washington, I’d print out this bill and roll it up. Go find yourself a gun owner who voted for I-594 because it sounded “reasonable,” and hit them on the nose with this bill and firmly say, “No!”

Each slice of reasonable gun control they ask you to accept is just a small part of the whole sausage, and you're not going to like where they want to put it.

2015-02-25 11:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Illegal Aliens planning to vote

This is why the Democrats push for illegal immigration so hard. It's about votes. Not American votes, but illegal foreign votes. And the Republicans aren't very enthusiastic about fighting it either.

Rule of LawFlorida Governor Rick Scott has opened the door to illegal aliens voting in Florida elections. He has decided that Florida will not appeal a ruling that limited the state’s ability to remove illegal aliens and non-citizens from Florida’s voter rolls. Even Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi opposes Scott’s abandonment of the appeal.

The combination is deadly to a country that once had free and fair elections. As for why he did it, well, I suspect we can add Rick Scott to the list of politicians being blackmailed by Barack Obama's NSA surveillance program.

2015-02-25 10:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Patterico Free Speech Pledge

PattericoFEC regulation of Internet speech literally means that the government could tell you to stop blogging or commenting in support of a presidential candidate. Your comment in support of Ted Cruz is like spending money to support Ted Cruz, goes the argument. Your comment is worth x dollars, you see, and you’re allowed only y dollars this election cycle.

They may not go that far down the road. Maybe they’ll “only” require you to fill out a disclosure form each time you comment. Why, certainly, sir, you may have your free speech. All we ask is that your criticism of Hillary Clinton’s latest lie be disclosed as a contribution to Ted Cruz. Each time you leave a comment, simply fill out Form DS 27 b-6. Don’t forget to fill out all five pages and sign under penalty of perjury on page six! Please remember that a separate 27 b stroke 6 form will be required for each comment critical of Ms. Clinton.

Nothing the government wants to do with the internet is likely to make it better. Instead, the government will issue rules: rules for what you can't do, rules for what you must ask permission to do, rules for what you must do.

To date, the internet has been successful mainly because the only real rules are the informal social rules that organically develop within communities. It's impossible to punch someone in the face over the internet, and the internet version of violent crime, cracking into someone else's server, is still illegal; as are financial crimes such as fraud. Everything else is basically free speech. Government control is both unnecessary and counterproductive.

Washington Examiner“Internet freedom works. It is difficult to imagine where we would be today had the government micromanaged the Internet for the past two decades as it does Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service. Neither of us wants to find out where the Internet will be two decades from now if the federal government tightens its regulatory grip. We don’t need to shift control of the Internet to bureaucracies in Washington. Let’s leave the power where it belongs — with the American people. When it comes to Americans’ ability to access online content or offer political speech online, there isn’t anything broken for the government to “fix.” To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan, Internet regulation isn’t the solution to a problem. Internet regulation is the problem.”

2015-02-25 09:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FedEx refusing to ship Defense Distributed's CNC mill

Ars TechnicaDefense Distributed, the group that pioneered 3D printed firearms in 2013, informed its customers on Tuesday that FedEx has refused to ship the company’s latest product, a computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) mill—dubbed the "Ghost Gunner."

This could be the result of pressure ala Operation Chokepoint, or a simple misunderstanding of the regulations related to shipping firearms. For all practical purposes, the Ghost Gunner is a legal product, nothing more than a packaged manufacturing tool. There should be no problems shipping it; it's certainly not a firearm itself.

Defense Distributed's Wilson via Ars Technica"Now FedEx has told me that they will NOT ship my product at all, and though they will not give me a reason in writing, they have told that it is because my machine allows an individual to make a gun.

I will find another way to ship the machine. I emailed today because I feel you should know that FedEx is uncomfortable with the constitutionally protected right to make a rifle free from government surveillance. They may cater to the firearms industry, but they have a specific antipathy to the non-commercial acquisition of firearms."

I'm beginning to wonder if Obama's plan for his last two years in office is to implement gun control by stealth and regulation.

UPDATE: Thanks to saysuncle for the link. More details on the story at Wired.

2015-02-24 16:14:51.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Just a reminder...

Gateway PunditA gunman shot dead eight people at a Czech restaurant today in Uhersky Brod. Local officials say the gunman was a deranged individual.

European countries have mass shootings, despite licensing and registration laws significantly stronger than those in (most of) the United States:

2015-02-24 11:14:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A gentle reminder this tax season...

... that no one has gone to prison for using the IRS as political attack dogs.

2015-02-23 10:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Security problems at even worse than expected

PJMediaAn Associated Press story revealed last month that the federal government had authorized as many as 50 private companies, including Google, Twitter and Facebook, to track and record users’ information...“The use of 50 companies to perform data mining is digital overkill and puts the [privacy and online security] of consumers at significant risk,” said Wright, who testified at the joint hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s Research and Technology, and Oversight subcommittees.

Given the sensitivity of the medical and financial information dealt with on the website, any data-sharing agreements beyond those strictly necessary for the site to function are questionable. It might be understandable to share visitor data with a single site to provide anonymous visitor metrics as many websites do; but this goes well beyond that data, and there can be no legitimate purposes for sharing private data with so many different companies.

I can tell you this: it has nothing to do with improving the user's experience. One metrics agreement would be more than sufficient for that.

2015-02-23 09:01:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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