IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Obama: ‘Congress works just as it is supposed to and THAT pisses me off.’

So Barry, what you are saying is, you do not like the Will Of The People?  Get used to it, its going to be a long 2 years.

“He thought that when I got to Washington I could bring people together and make them work more effectively, and the fact of the matter is that Washington is still gridlocked and still seems obsessed with the short-term and the next election instead of the next generation,” Obama said. “And on that issue, I had to tell him, `You’re right. I am frustrated and you have every right to be frustrated because Congress doesn’t work the way it should.’

via News from The Associated Press.

IRS to Congress: Fuck Off

That letter, led by Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, said a review was “appropriate” given that this money was accepted and not reported while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of state.
In response, the IRS sent Blackburn a form letter, which Blackburn received late Wednesday. The letter thanked her for submitting the request, and said the IRS has an “ongoing examination program” to ensure tax-exempt groups comply with tax law.
“The information you submitted will be considered in this program,” it said. The letter was from Margaret Von Lienen, director of exempt organizations examinations, but she didn’t sign it.

via IRS sends Congress unsigned form letter to brush off demands for Clinton Foundation investigation | WashingtonExaminer.com.

EPA to certain news media: “Fuck You!”

The Environmental Protection Agency excluded several news outlets and reporters who regularly cover the agency from a press briefing and announcement regarding its release of a regulation that expands its jurisdiction over waterways.
The Washington Examiner, as well as publications such as U.S. News and World Report and the Alaska Dispatch-News, were not sent an email at about 7:15 a.m. informing a wide range of reporters and news organizations of the impending Waters of the United States rule. Those reporters also received a later email sent around 9 a.m. that included a blog post from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary for the Army for Civil Works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

via EPA shuts out Examiner, others from water rule announcement | WashingtonExaminer.com.

Leaving the Church of Environmentalism

That is why the predictions made by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and all the others based on computer models are, by definition, worthless. Computer models cannot predict anything about the vast chaotic global climate system. Even today, meteorologists are mystified by the actions of clouds which can form and disappear in minutes.
It’s useful to keep in mind that climate is measured in centuries, while the weather is reported as what is occurring today and forecast, at best, for no more than a week. Weather records are maintained for purposes of comparison and within the larger context of determining the Earth’s climate cycles. Like those in the past, the present cooling cycle is based on a comparable one of the Sun that is producing lower levels of radiation. You don’t need a Ph.D. in meteorology to understand this.
Carlin does not hesitate to excoriate the blather put forth by the alarmists; particularly their claims that the weather is affected in any significant fashion by human activity and development in particular. “There is simply no evidence thus far that the normal activities of man have or will result in catastrophic outcomes for either man or nature.”

Click forth and read all.

via Leaving the Church of Environmentalism | Watts Up With That?.

FBI says search warrants not needed to use “stingrays” in public (con’d)

Update: San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department doesn’t tell judges it’s using spy device (Stingray)

The sheriff in San Bernardino County—east of Los Angeles County—has deployed a stingray hundreds of times without a warrant, and under questionable judicial authority.

In response to a public records request, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department (SBSD) sent Ars, among other outlets, a rare example of a template for a “pen register and trap and trace order” application. (In the letter, county lawyers claimed this was a warrant application template, when it clearly is not.) The SBSD is the law enforcement agency for the entire county, the 12th-most populous county in the United States, and the fifth-most populous in California.

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This template application, surprisingly, cites no legal authority on which to base its activities. The SBSD did not respond to Ars’ request for comment.
“This is astonishing because it suggests the absence of legal authorization (because if there were clear legal authorization you can bet the government would be citing it),” Fred Cate, a law professor at Indiana University, told Ars by e-mail.
“Alternatively, it might suggest that the government just doesn’t care about legal authorization. Either interpretation is profoundly troubling,” he said.
The documents sent to Ars by the SBSD’s county attorneys also show that since acquiring a stingray in late 2012, the agency has used it 303 times between January 1, 2014 and May 7, 2015.

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The template is likely to mislead judges who receive applications based on it because it gives no indication that the Sheriff’s Department intends to use a stingray,” he wrote by e-mail.
“We have seen similarly misleading applications submitted to judges by police departments across the country,” he continued. “Judges have no hope of ensuring that use of stingrays complies with the Fourth Amendment if they are kept in the dark about law enforcement’s intent to use a stingray. When police hide the ball from judges, our justice system cannot ensure justice.”

Update: Baltimore Police Spying On Cellphones And Hiding It

A detective’s court testimony Monday revealed that Baltimore law enforcement is spying on residents at an incredible rate without a warrant — and doing their best to hide it.
Detective Michael Dressel testified that Baltimore law enforcement have used “sting rays”–devices that can track personal cell phone data and location–without court orders, The Baltimore Sun reports. Police said they have used sting rays 4,300 more than times since 2007.
“This is scandalous,” Tim Lynch, the Cato Institute’s Director for the Project on Criminal Justice, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Police agencies have misled the public about how the stingray devices have been used and how often. We need to find out what has been happening in other cities around the country. FBI officials and police chiefs need to come clean about this.”

Update: NYCLU releases details of EC Sheriff’s cell phone spying

The NYCLU says documents show the sheriff’s office has a confidentiality agreement with the FBI that allows it to maintain almost total secrecy over the records for this device, including that the FBI can request the sheriff’s office dismiss criminal prosecutions rather than risk compromising the secrecy of how the Stingray is used.]
“Stingrays are an advanced surveillance technology that can sweep up very private information, including information on innocent people,” said NYCLU Western Region Director John Curr III. “If the FBI can command the Sheriff’s Office to dismiss criminal cases to protect its secret stingrays, it is not clear how the $350,000 we are spending on stingray equipment is keeping the people of Buffalo safer.”

Update: NYT catches up on Stingray

A powerful new surveillance tool being adopted by police departments across the country comes with an unusual requirement: To buy it, law enforcement officials must sign a nondisclosure agreement preventing them from saying almost anything about the technology.
Any disclosure about the technology, which tracks cellphones and is often called StingRay, could allow criminals and terrorists to circumvent it, the F.B.I. has said in an affidavit. But the tool is adopted in such secrecy that communities are not always sure what they are buying or whether the technology could raise serious privacy concerns.
The confidentiality has elevated the stakes in a longstanding debate about the public disclosure of government practices versus law enforcement’s desire to keep its methods confidential. While companies routinely require nondisclosure agreements for technical products, legal experts say these agreements raise questions and are unusual given the privacy and even constitutional issues at stake.

Update: WaPost wakes up on Stingray

The Tallahassee police have used the StingRay or a similar device in 250 investigations over a six-year period from mid-2007 through early 2014, according to a list of cases compiled by the Tallahassee Police Department and provided to the American Civil Liberties Union.
That’s 40 or so instances a year in a city of 290,000, a surprisingly high rate given that the StingRay’s manufacturer, Harris Corp., has told the Federal Communications Commission that the device is used only in emergencies. At least 48 state and local law enforcement agencies in 20 states and the District of Columbia have bought the devices, according to the ACLU.
The secrecy surrounding the device’s use has begun to prompt a backlash in cities across the country. In Baltimore, a judge is pushing back against the refusal of police to answer questions while testifying. In Charlotte, N.C., following a newspaper investigation, the state’s attorney is reviewing whether prosecutors illegally withheld information about the device’s use from defendants.
In Tacoma, Wash., after a separate newspaper investigation found that judges in almost 200 cases had no idea they were issuing orders for the StingRay, the court set new rules requiring police to disclose the tool’s use. The state legislature is weighing a bill to regulate police use of the equipment.

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The bureau’s position on Americans’ privacy isn’t surprising. The Obama Administration has repeatedly maintained that the public has no privacy in public places. It began making that argument as early as 2010, when it told a federal appeals court that the authorities should be allowed to affix GPS devices on vehicles and track a suspect’s every move without court authorization. The Supreme Court, however, eventually ruled that warrants are required. What’s more, the administration has argued that placing a webcam with pan-and-zoom capabilities on a utility pole to spy on a suspect at his or her residence was no different from a police officer’s observation from the public right-of-way. A federal judge last month disagreed with the government’s position, tossing evidence gathered by the webcam that was operated from afar.

In their letter, Leahy and Grassley complained that little is known about how stingrays, also known as ISMI catchers, are used by law enforcement agencies. The Harris Corp., a maker of the devices from Florida, includes non-disclosure clauses with buyers. Baltimore authorities cited a non-disclosure agreement to a judge in November as their grounds for refusing to say how they tracked a suspect’s mobile phone. They eventually dropped charges rather than disclose their techniques. Further, sometimes the authorities simply lie to judges about their use or undertake other underhanded methods to prevent the public from knowing that the cell-site simulators are being used.

via FBI says search warrants not needed to use “stingrays” in public places | Ars Technica.

3D Printed Guns are for Jay-Vee. Major Leagues will print their own jet-powered Cruise Missiles

GE fires up fully 3D-printed jet engine

3D printed jet engineThe 1-foot long by 8-inch tall (30 by 20 cm) engine was built at GE Aviation’s Additive Development Center outside Cincinnati as a side project. The result of several years’ work, the purpose was to test the printing technology. It’s not the first 3D-printed jet engine, but it has been fired and revved up to 33,000 RPM.
GE says that the simplified design was necessary because building anything like a conventional commercial engine is beyond the present technology’s state of the art. The team therefore chose a design created for remote control model planes, which was modified for Direct Laser Metal Melting (DLMM) printing

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3D-printed UAV can go from not existing to flying within 24 hours

Engineers at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC), however, have taken things a step farther. They’ve made a 3D-printed UAV airframe that’s designed to minimize the amount of material needed in its construction, and that can be printed and in the air within a single day.

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ArduPilot Autopilot Suite

Point-and-click programming/configuration gets you up and operating without hassle
Multiple command modes: Acro, Stabilize, Loiter, Alt-hold, Return To Launchpoint, Land, Simple, Guided, Position, Circle, Follow Me, GeoFence, and Auto (which runs fully scripted missions using GPS waypoints)

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Insanity by the Press (CNN could do hours each week on the horrors of home-made, jet powered, cruise missiles) and faster a knee-jerk from Politicians than a cash donation in a plain envelope.

Liberator Gun, Software Creator Sues State Department

Wilson has tried to keep on the right side of ITAR law. He’s asked them in at least 10 separate official requests to tell him if his original Liberator plans actually fall under its jurisdiction. He’s also inquired if if his current main project, the “Ghost Gunner,” a home CNC mill which allows individuals to make metal AR-15 lower receivers at home without serial numbers, falls under ITAR. (Such a request is known as a “commodity jurisdiction” request.)

Their answer, if I’m reading the suit correctly, is that the hardware does not but that software does. The suit details at length a confusing series of bureaucratic buck-passing from the ITAR people that makes it very hard for Wilson and Defense Distributed to know whether their planned activities will bring criminal punishment down on them.

Wilson said in a phone interview this morning that he’s trying to get all Ghost Gunner customers to affirm that they are U.S. citizens, since he fears if he sells one to a non-citizen (which could constitute “export”) he just might run afoul of ITAR.

 

via Cody Wilson Sues State Department Over Threats About Spreading Digital Gun-Making Files – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

US lawmaker calls on UAV industry to increase lobbying

AUVSI: US lawmaker calls on UAV industry to increase lobbying

[Translation: ‘Give us some money if you want to play.’]

“You’re from all over the country,” LoBiondo told the opening of the general session at AUVSI on 6 May. “Get to know your member of Congress. Give them real-world applications. Explain the stories of issues that will save lives… that are unfolding every day.”

‘Hey we gotta’ eat, you know.  As Bubba said quite well recently, “We have to pay our bills.” and it’s expensive running a re-election campaign.  You know what I mean.  Nice Industry you got started there, be a shame if some regulatory ‘thing’ happens.  Tu capisci?’

via: Thrust&PropWash

GH Reynolds: Federalized Police-Caring of the IRS, Efficiency of TSA, Openness of the EPA

There are (at least) two problems with this approach. The first is that federal law enforcement, especially in recent years, hasn’t exactly been a haven of cool professionalism. The second is that no law enforcement agency is very good at policing itself, meaning that a national police force is likely to be less accountable, not more.

Click forth and read all:

via Want a lawless police force? Federalize it: Column.

“That’s right sir. 30 city and 42 highway and 5-10 years in the penitentiary for changing your owns spark plugs “

Dear Car Companies: This is NOT a Good “Features and Benefits” Point

These 12 car companies are lobbying hard to make working on the electrical and computer components of your own car illegal. General Motors has told the Copyright Office that proponents of copyright reform mistakenly “conflate ownership of a vehicle with ownership of the underlying computer software in a vehicle.”
General Motors also says that your car qualifies as a “mobile computing device.” Tinkering with it, therefore, could be a copyright violation because although you do own your car, you do not own the computer code inside it. Jail-breaking your iPad is currently illegal for the same reason. By the way, jail-breaking your iPhone is still legal; it’s just one more example of a government regulation that is full of double standards.

Get. Bent.

via 12 big car companies are trying to make working on your own car illegal – Watchdog.org.

Oops: Baltimore PD Used as Positive Example in Obama Federal Policing Report

From: Interim Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. -March 2015

1.2 RECOMMENDATION: Law enforcement agencies should acknowledge the role of policing in past and present injustice and discrimination and how it is a hurdle to the promotion of community trust.

[Snide aside: “Tell how you have been bad and tell us how you will be good.”]

At one listening session, a panel of police chiefs described what they had been doing in recent years to recognize and own the history and to change the culture within both the police forces and the communities.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts described the process in his city:

The process started with the commissioning of a study to evaluate the police department and the community’s views of the agency . . . . The review uncovered broken policies, outdated procedures, outmoded technology, and operating norms that put officers at odds with the community they are meant to serve. It was clear that dramatic and dynamic change was needed.

Ultimately, the Baltimore police created the Professional Standards and Accountability Bureau, tasked with rooting out corruption, holding officers accountable, and implementing national best practices for polices and training. New department heads were appointed and a use of force review structure based on the Las Vegas model was implemented. “These were critical infrastructure changes centered on the need to improve the internal systems that would build accountability and transparency, inside and outside the organization,” noted Commissioner Batts.

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Oops.

The Sky IS Falling (again)

Time Magazine June 24, 1974:

As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

Telltale signs are everywhere—from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest. Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data.

RSA president: ‘the need for intelligence shouldn’t slow down the use of encryption’

In an interview with IDG News Service, Amit Yoran, president of RSA, also rejected calls by U.S. intelligence chiefs for industry to tread carefully in deploying more encryption in case it cuts off their ability to eavesdrop on communications by suspected criminals.
“The government is not the answer here,” he said, when asked about White House proposals for sharing of cybersecurity information. Despite the growing severity of attacks and a feeling that the government should “do something,” the issue is best left to private companies, because they are the ones developing networks and the technology that defends them, he said.
“Nobody is going to say information sharing is bad, but I’ve yet to see what is being asked to share by whom, for what purpose, to which parties, how will it be protected, how will it be used and then what is the value proposition back for sharing information,” Yoran said.
Instead, he said the government might better help by sharing some of its own threat intelligence with the private sector.

Good. Better ideas on CS will come from the private sector.

via RSA president questions government role in cybersecurity | Computerworld.

Iran to US Senate and House: STFU, Obama is in Charge Not You Jokes

In a set of blustery and self-righteous remarks, Iran’s top diplomat assured the crowd at New York University that President Barack Obama would be compelled to stop enforcing sanctions only days after any nuclear agreement was signed and would have to figure out how to lift congressional sanctions on Iran within weeks, no matter what Congress has to say about it. He also said that any future president, even a Republican, would be compelled to stick that agreement.
Zarif also took several shots at the U.S. Senate, just as it debated amendments to a bill designed to slow the lifting of sanctions against Iran and give Congress an oversight role on the deal.

via Iran’s Zarif Says Congress Can’t Stop Obama – Bloomberg View.

Police Departments Have a Pre-Tailhook Mentality and That Must Change (con’d)

Update: A defense attorney uncovers a brazen scheme to manipulate evidence, and prosecutors and police finally get caught.

For city/state/federal prosecutors the change must be their mindset of ‘win at all cost’.  The law is not a game to keep score and further your career. “

Prosecutorial and police misconduct are often dismissed as just a few bad apples doing a few bad apple-ish things. But what happens when it’s entrenched and systemic and goes unchecked for years? That looks to be the case in Orange County, California, where the situation got so completely out of hand this spring that Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals issued an order disqualifying the entire Orange County District Attorney’s Office (that’s all 250 prosecutors) from continuing to prosecute a major death penalty case.

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In an explosive moment following a hearing last year, Sanders revealed that the Orange County Sheriffs Department has maintained a massive, secret, 25-year-old computerized record-keeping system called TRED. These TRED documents were full of potentially exculpatory data, but the agency officials had systematically refused to turn any of them over, or even acknowledge their very existence, to defense counsel.

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What is this ‘mentality’?  Without bogging down into the history of US Naval Aviation’s (needed) ‘Come To Jesus Meeting’, US Carrier Pilots had developed a sense of entitlement:  That they were an elite, small cadre, with command-inspired esprit-de-corps, doing a dangerous job, fighting for justice against the bad guys, that the officer on the line ‘knew what was going on’ and how to do the job.  “Old-guys” ‘flying desks’ did not know what was really happening.

Outside advice and unwanted intrusions to the units were dismissed and discounted.  Officers of the line banded together with unofficial codes of conduct to protect the group.  These ideas and actions are corrosive and the Navy instituted a systemic change, to correct these problems.

We should be ecstatic there is not a single-point National Police Command that would bring change to police forces like the Navy/DoD was able to enact.  This would be a very different country with a singular police command and I never want to see that happen in the United States.  Using the word “Police” is referring to all US law enforcement agencies—Federal, State, Local.  As seen in the news lately Federal enforcement are having internal problems with discipline and integrity.  This is not an indictment of all officers, agents, departments, and agencies.  This is a general public perceptions and public relations problem.

How will change come to:

  • 12,501 local police departments
  • 3,063 sheriffs’ offices
  • 50 primary state law enforcement agencies
  • 1,733 special jurisdiction agencies
  • 683 other agencies, primarily county constable offices in Texas.

Except for the Feds, it will not and cannot come from Washington.  ‘Proclamations from High’ would be in form of a written notice/paper that would be read, acknowledged and initialed by each officer, placed in their admin jacket and promptly forgotten.  Even for the Federal agencies the same boilerplate would be followed/filed/forgotten.

How to make the changes to all these departments?

On the city/town level the city leaders have to change their mindset of using police officers as revenue generators/tax collectors for city coffers.  This is not just a small town issue of parking tickets, expired plates, licenses.  Teaming with federal agencies allows agencies to ‘arrest’ someone’s money (and split it 80/20 with the Feds) declare the monies/property guilty, hold an administrative hearing, find the property guilty and take it.  Even without the properties’ owner being charged with a crime.  This creates a perverse incentive for the cities to continue to act in this repugnant (to the Constitution) manner.  If your city budget will not support all of those AFSCME administrative drones it is time to cut back on ‘guaranteed’ city jobs.

Taxpayers, this is where your say (vote) comes in to play.  It is time to pay attention to the bloat in the Courthouse.  With less ‘professional administrators’ to support, funding for policing duties and efforts can be adjusted to concentrate on front-line safety-of-the-public issues.

For city/state/federal prosecutors the change must be their mindset of ‘win at all cost’.  The law is not a game to keep score and further your career.  This leads to unsaid collusion with officers to NOT “tell the truth, the whole truth, so help me god.”  The must win mentality is destructive, causing prosecutors to expect (if not demand) that the police always be on the side of the state.

For police departments and Field Office levels the change will only come though committed Leadership.  Not though any management principals—Leadership.  There is a difference and it does matter.  These leaders must obligate themselves to changing the mindset of the officers they command.  If the command hierarchy will not change, the city/town/taxpayers must demand new leadership.

Once the institutional conversion begins it will take consistent actions and words to make the officers on the line understand that the old order of business is not acceptable.  Individual officers should not have to be afraid of speaking out to curtail egregious and illegal behaviors.  Even as simple as, ‘The guy is in handcuffs you should stop hitting him now.’ These ideas of common sense, of restraint when danger to the officer(s) is no longer a factor, are missing from many police departments.  The impression to the pubic of, “I don’t take no lip, with this cannon on my hip.” has to end.  Yes it is a cliché, but generalizations do not appear out of a vacuum.

Not demanding change to these problems, though leadership, will cost the taxpayer’s money; directly, though lawsuits against rogue officers/Departments and indirectly from mob violence and riots.  Cities, States and Federal law enforcement that do not effect these much needed changes in leadership will find their officers continuing to act in a manner that is detrimental to the public good and public opinion.

If your citizens do not support the police, are afraid of the police, and do not respect the police–officers on the line will continue to think “Us vs. Them” and will not support, respect and defend the constitutional rights of the citizens.

Senator Paul, please call your office: Ex-Im Bank Fraud

Siemens exported three dozen wind turbines to two Peruvian wind farms in 2014, and the U.S. Export-Import Bank provided $65 million in taxpayer financing, because all of the blades and some of the nacelles (the gear mechanisms inside the towers) were manufactured in the U.S. This subsidy won Ex-Im’s “Deal of the Year” presented this week at Ex-Im’s annual conference.

But the timing of this deal was odd, and it highlights a hole in the arguments made by the agency and its defenders. Here’s the thing: Siemens had already completed the sale to both wind farms, months before Ex-Im approved the loan.

via Export-Import Bank’s ‘Deal of the Year’ subsidized a sale that had already been made | WashingtonExaminer.com.

Virginia and North Dakota Wrestle with Restrictions on Drones

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) has signed legislation that drastically reduces the ability of police departments in his state to use drones for surveillance.
It also makes it clear that drones should never be equipped with weapons, used for private surveillance, or to keep an eye on people speaking or holding rallies in public.
North Dakota is not the only state to be embroiled in a discussion over the use of drones to spy on its citizens.
But in North Dakota, the debate has been about more than the protection of privacy. Economic development and jobs were factors just as, if not more, important than constitutional concerns.
The North Dakota Legislature and Gov. Dalrymple agreed on legislation limiting the use of drones in mid-April. This was not a debate quickly settled.
It took the legislature in Bismarck more than two years to do this deal, in part because the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department has been relying on the use of drones in its surveillance operations.

via Virginia and North Dakota Wrestle with Restrictions on Drones | PJ Media.