Another Reason Not To Live In Dallas

Regardless, that’s what Dallas police Chief David Brown advocated to City Council members wednesday in an effort to give his officer access to the private financial records of criminal suspects.

“This information can be used to take down these organizations — multiple drug houses, open air drug sales,” the chief said. “We can access this information.”

Brown asked the Council to let officers access private banking and financial information that’s protected under the federal Bank Secrecy Act. Brown said this information — already being collected by the feds, but tightly controlled — would help him take down local drug dealers.

Yep, Let’s not worry about the people’s rights when trying to enforce impractical drug laws.

Makes me wonder if there is an ulterior motive behind this action.

The vote lets the City enter into an agreement with the Department of the Treasury to access financial records at no cost to the city.

Brown said the arrangement will let Dallas keep drug money it seizes instead of sharing it with federal agencies.

That couldn’t possible be an ulterior motive, could it?

Positive Open Carry / LEO Interaction

Congrats not only to the Come and Take It – Texas group but the Austin Police officer !

This is how it should be.

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Now if we can get Open Carry of Handguns.

 

If You Get Gibberish Emails

You’ll know why

An Illinois-based digital artist has created a Gmail plugin that automatically adds blacklisted words to every email in an attempt to protest against online surveillance.

Ben Grosser has designed the ScareMail plugin in a way that, he says, will be ensure that even benign emails are picked up by the security filters of America’s National Security Agency.

I had thought about adding black listed words to my communications; glad someone found a way to automate the process.

Grosser’s idea takes the opposite tack to encryption tools including PGP and Silent Text, and to the IP-masking service Tor, which are designed to hide the contents of messages or the sender.

“One of the strategies used by the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) email surveillance programs is the detection of predetermined keywords. These “selectors”, as they refer to them internally, are used to identify communications by presumed terrorists,” said Grosser.

“Large collections of words have thus become codified as something to fear, as an indicator of intent. The result is a governmental surveillance machine run amok, algorithmically collecting and searching our digital communications in a futile effort to predict behaviours based on words in emails.”

ScareMail generates a chunk of text to append to the end of every email sent, containing as many selectors as possible.

The NSA could eliminate those emails from their filters if they choose though.

The plugin warns recipients by prefacing the text with the warning “Following Text Generated by ScareMail” — which would make it trivial for the NSA to ignore it in its current form.

But by doing so they increase our privacy; if enough people use this, the NSA would be overwhelmed with false positives or have to ignore large chunks of people’s communications.

“All ScareMail does is add words from the English language to emails written by users of the software. By doing so, ScareMail reveals one of the primary flaws of the NSA’s surveillance efforts: words do not equal intent.”

More accurate to say is not all words equal intent. Sometimes they do but to give up our essential liberty of free speech and privacy in the vain hope of safety is not something I’m willing to do. It isn’t something the government should be forcing people to do.

 

ScareMail is available as a plugin for Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and the source code is free for all at Github.

So folks, if you start seeing ‘scary words’ in my emails; you’ll know why.

Please join the discussion.

 

Law Enforcement Mentality

Before I get into this post, I want to make it very clear that I support law enforcement personnel in doing their job. I understand it is a dangerous job and reasonable precautions have to be taken. Where I differ is how ‘reasonable’ has been defined lately. I am not advocating any violence toward law enforcement officers; far from it. I’m trying to foster an understanding from where the average citizen sees this issue. I also completely understand that it is a minority of officers who cross the law into legal behavior. What is troubling is so many officers and agencies are pushing the boundaries of the law and seeking to create new laws that makes it easier for them to cross the line.

Ever wonder why so many police across the country in separate cities, departments and even agencies display much of the same behavior?

Part of it is because of articles like this from Policemag.com.  In article, supposedly on how to spot people carrying concealed weapons, I found this gems. (All emphasis though out mine)

 

That means that the best way to survive an encounter with an illegally armed individual is to exert complete control over everyone you stop, everyone you confront for any reason, and everyone you meet until you can confirm that they are not a threat to you.

Basic human decency and courtesy? Oh the door in the name of ‘officer safety’. Because just how can an officer confirm that someone isn’t a threat?
I understand officers wanting to go home but that does not justify them treating me as a threat until I show myself to be one.

Your job is to ensure that you always remain in a position to exert complete control at all times. In order to accomplish this you must inform all subjects involved in any stop or enforcement action that they must not move, they must keep their hands where you can see them, and they must not place their hands inside their clothing or inside any compartments for any reason unless you instruct them to do so.

And again, instant and complete obedience demanded by those hired to protect us. So once the police show up, for whatever reason, I’m supposed to become an automaton only following his/her orders?
Everyone’s seen the videos, I don’t have to post them here, of the police slamming people to the ground, on to cars or floors for the slightest reason. This writer is encouraging that behavior.

Sorry Sir but we don’t loose our rights just because an officer is on the scene. We can move, we can fidget, we can do things you don’t like. Please stop treating, stop telling every officer to treat us like we are all criminals waiting to murder you; it simply isn’t so.

It also makes sense to ask everyone you stop or challenge to tell you if they are armed with any firearms or weapons. Naturally, you should use a tone of voice befitting the circumstances at hand whenever you inform citizens of the rules of engagement and you ask if they are armed.

Rules of engagement? WOW! Law Enforcement isn’t the military; stop acting like it is. We already have a list of the “rules of engagement” — it is the Constitution (including all of the Bill of Rights) and the applicable laws !!  You don’t get to make up ‘rules’ on the spot, you don’t get to supersede the Constitution and the laws just in the name of ‘officer safety’.

This mentality of “rules of engagement” is one of the main contributors to the ‘us versus them’ attitude so prevalent among law enforcement. Look, you deal with some bad people. I get that. I also know you deal with people like me, probably more often then the ‘bad people’ — just the average citizen who is either a victim, seeking information or guilty of a minor infraction of the law (I’ve been caught speeding a few times).

Above all, listen to your instincts and be prepared to react when you perceive danger. Remember, outside of getting ambushed, cops get killed and get injured when they lose control.

And how do innocent people get killed or injured? When the police demand complete and utter control. Innocent people also get killed and injured when the law enforcement officers ‘lose control’ of their anger, their emotions, their rationality. And seems to be happening more and more often.

Think this mentality is just the author’s? How about this comment?

ERTLing007@hotmail.com @ 11/9/2007 9:12 PM

You owe it to your Family and anyone who cares about you to be prudent at all times and to never, ever let your guard down even when everything seems to be under control. If it feels weird then it probably is, so grab that bad guy and search him, secure him and keep an eye on him; he screws around, make him pay for his mistake because you’re going home tonight!!

Never mind rights, never mind due process, never mind the law, never mind the rules — make him pay for his mistakes — Holey Stinking Mackeral! Is it any wonder people are losing trust in law enforcement?

This comment really sums it up:

bk @ 6/8/2013 11:34 AM

I remember when the po-po were more concerned for citizens than for themselves. Our country is on a dangerous path that always leads to a police state.

Please join the discussion.

Proving Us Right

I’m finding the media, in their efforts at gun control, are actually having the opposite effect.
The media reports that we need gun control to stop “gun violence”  but wait:

(CNN) — Gun-related homicides and crime are “strikingly” down from 20 years ago, despite the American public’s belief that firearm crime is on the upswing, a new study said Wednesday.

Looking back 50 years, a Pew Research Center study found U.S. gun homicides rose in the 1960s, gained in the 1970s, peaked in the 1980s and the early 1990s, and then plunged and leveled out the past 20 years.

Then the media wants to portray gun owners as ‘paranoid’; always concerned about the slippery slope that doesn’t exist.

Well, maybe we aren’t.

OWINGS, MD — The father of a middle schooler in Calvert County, Md. says his 11-year-old son was suspended for 10 days for merely talking about guns on the bus ride home.

Bruce Henkelman of Huntingtown says his son, a sixth grader at Northern Middle School in Owings, was talking with friends about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre when the bus driver hauled him back to school to be questioned by the principal, Darrel Prioleau.

“The principal told me that with what happened at Sandy Hook if you say the word ‘gun’ in my school you are going to get suspended for 10 days,” Henkelman said in an interview with WMAL.com.

So what did the boy say?  According to his father, he neither threatened nor bullied anyone.

“He said, I wish I had a gun to protect everyone. He wanted to defeat the bad guys. That’s the context of what he said,” Henkelman said. “He wanted to be the hero.”

No actual firearm, no actual threat of violence, no actual discussion of harming anyone. Just talking about what thousands of law enforcement officers say; they want to protect people.
Yeah, they suspended a kid for talking about “to protect and to serve”.

But it gets even worse; not only did the 1st Amendment get trampled on; they wanted to trash the 4th.

The boy was questioned by the principal and a sheriff’s deputy, who also wanted to search the family home without a warrant, Henkelman said. “He started asking me questions about if I have firearms, and [the deputy said] he’s going to have to search my house.  Search my house?  I just wanted to know what happened.”

No search was performed, and the deputy left Henkelman’s home after the father answered questions in a four-page questionnaire issued by the Sheriff’s Office.

Search the house for what?
Haven’t we warned about warrant-less searches, haven’t we complained that the gun control efforts will lead to a loss of privacy?
Yeah, we have.

Also notice that this wasn’t just a ‘school issue’ that the principal handled; they brought in a Sheriff’s Deputy. The father and the child could have faced criminal charges.

Sorry anti-rights cultists but the media is not helping your cause as they normally do. The media is actually proving some cliches, such as “slippery slope” and “camel’s nose under the tent” exist for a reason.

And our government, at all levels, is dead set on showing just how little they respect our rights.
Now you anti-rights cultists have a choice to make;  you can either stop trying to restrict or rights or you can face the consequences of your actions.
And given the mood of a large part of the country; you might not like us when we are mad.

Please join the discussion.

President Obama – Partly Right, Totally Clueless

Many politicians are often accused of being tone deaf. I think President Obama takes it to a new level here.

President Obama is suggesting that House Republicans on the issue of gun control appear neither willing to work with him nor inclined to listen to the American public on the issue.

Well, this is where he gets part of it right — House Republicans (mostly) aren’t willing to work with him but he completely misses the part about them not listening. Look at the numbers — how many Concealed Handgun Licenses, how many firearms (of all sorts) being sold, ammunition of most self defense calibers hard to find. Yet strangely enough, many hunting calibers are still plentiful. More on that later..

“The House Republican majority is made up mostly of members who are in sharply gerrymandered districts that are very safely Republican and may not feel compelled to pay attention to broad-based public opinion, because what they’re really concerned about is the opinions of their specific Republican constituencies,” the president said in an interview with The New Republic.

Would make a joke about pots and kettles here but I would just be called racist. Is there a single district out there that isn’t ‘sharply gerrymandered’?

Obama also said he can get 50 percent of public support for many of his upcoming initiatives, but “I can’t get enough votes out of the House of Representatives to actually get something passed. … I think there is still shock on the part of some in the party that I won re-election.”

President Obama, with all due respect — Get over yourself you pompous egotistical prick! This isn’t about you, it is about the policies that have worked to disarm America for decades. Enough is enough !

And that is what you are seeing. I find it stunningly ironic that you claim earlier the public is with you but here you say you can get ’50 percent of public support’. So which is it? Is there a broad base of people pushing for gun control or is the nation almost evenly divided?

The president said he has a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that date back for generations.

He said that moving forward on the topic means understanding that the realities of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas.

Reality changes based on location? Could you publish a scientific paper on that? Yeah, that is what I thought. Just another line trying to divide the country. Funny how people in the country are worried about slow response times and I, a city dweller, am also worried about slow response times. Country folks worry about home invasion; Wow….so do I.

It is almost as if you don’t have a frakkin’ clue.

He said it’s understandable that people are protective of their family traditions when it comes to hunting so “gun-control advocates also need to do “a little more listening than they do sometimes” in the debate.

The interview appears in the Feb. 11 issue of The New Republic.

Obama also said one of the biggest factors in the gun-control debate will be how it is shaped by the media.

I absolutely agree with you on this one. The main stream media is doing all the can to demonize standard capacity magazines, modern muskets (AR-15s) and anyone who owns them.

“If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it,” he said. “I think John Boehner genuinely wanted to get a deal done, but it was hard to do in part because his caucus is more conservative probably than most Republican leaders are, and partly because he is vulnerable to attack for compromising Republican principles and working with Obama.”

Another part I think you are right….this must be a record. I do think the “Republican Leadership” is left, very left/liberal than the majority of the party. It shows in their actions over the last decades.

The president argued  that “the more left-leaning media outlets recognize that compromise is not a dirty word” and that party leaders, including Senate Majority Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, are “willing to buck the more absolutist-wing elements in our party to try to get stuff done.”

Lawdog lays the smackdown on your idea of compromise so I won’t repeat it here but I will tell you that many people are getting tired of your idea of compromise.  The main stream media can go stuff itself in their own orifices. I will note that your idea of ‘get stuff done’ seems to include trampling over the traditional rights of people. Sorry President Obama but you lost most of your credibility when you tried to link the 2nd Amendment to hunting. Read the history of this country and you’ll find out what we already know — it is about being able to stand up to people who ‘try to get stuff done’ over the objections of the people.

Has Obama himself ever fired a gun? Yes, he says, he and others shoot skeet frequently at the president’s Maryland retreat, Camp David.

Oh and just when does this happen? I thought you were too busy playing golf.

The president also said much of the challenge in Washington is to make Americans feel that national politics is indeed connected to their day-to-day realities.

“And that’s not an unjustifiable view,” he said. So everything we do combines both a legislative strategy with a broad-based communications and outreach strategy to get people engaged and involved, so that it’s not Washington over here and the rest of America over there.”

Right, you want to make me think Washington is connected to my day to day reality but you talk about Hunting instead of crime, you talk about compromise instead of mental health, you issue Executive Orders without batting an eye or worry about the consequences.

No Mr. President you aren’t connected to reality in any shape form or fashion.

Listen carefully Mr. President; you are the representative for more then 50% of the country. Many of us do not agree with you ideas, plans or executive orders for ‘gun control’ — and isn’t it amazing that not one of your ideas included arresting criminals for outstanding warrants ?

We will not sit idly by as our rights are taken from us piece by piece, compromise by compromise. Hear what I and millions of others are saying; I beg of you to listen.

Please join the discussion.

Edited to Add — by the way Mr. President, I expect to hear today that the Secret Service Details on you, your wife and children have all switched over to double barreled shotguns. After all, your expert, your vice-president has told the country that is the best weapon for protection.

Call your TX Rep, Please

And let them know how you feel about House Bill 80 — the bill would add the underlined section to current law.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTIONA1.AASection 39.03, Penal Code, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (c-1) to read as follows:
(a)A public servant acting under color of his office or employment commits an offense if he:
(1) intentionally subjects another to mistreatment or to arrest, detention, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment, or lien that he knows is unlawful;
(2) intentionally denies or impedes another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, knowing his conduct is unlawful; [or]
(3) intentionally subjects another to sexual harassment; or
(4) as part of a determination of whether to grant another person access to a publicly  accessible venue or form of  transportation, intentionally and without probable cause:
(A) touches the anus, breast, buttocks, or sexual organ of the other person, including touching through clothing;
(B) removes a child younger than 18 years of age from the physical custody or control of a parent or guardian of the child or a person standing in the stead of a parent or guardian of
the child;
(C) otherwise engages in conduct constituting an offense under Section 22.01(a)(3); or
(D) harasses, delays, coerces, threatens, intimidates, or effectively denies or conditions access to the other person because of the other person ’s refusal to consent to  (A), (B), or (C).
(c-1) For purposes of Subsection (a)(4), “public servant” includes:
(1) an officer, employee, or agent of:
(A) the United States;
(B) a branch, department, or agency of the United States; or
(C) another person acting under a contract with a branch, department, or agency of the United States to provide a security or law enforcement service; or
(2) any other person acting under color of federal law.

This is just one more area we need to push back on; let’s keep up the pressure to reduce the unconstitutional over-reach of the federal authority.

H/T to Cormac