Thursday, July 20, 2017

Drone Alone

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
-The Fourth Amendment

 I saw a mildly disturbing news story on Fox this AM, which is to say, slightly horrified with a soupçon of ambivalence. The story, online as UAV spots stolen construction equipment in Cecil County, tells of a successful, multi agency apprehension of the perpetrator of at least a tri-state crime spree. Stolen goods recovered during this operation amounted to $394,000. Not chump change. Much of the property has been returned to its rightful owners. No problems there!

The ambivalence comes from the fact that while I'm glad this guy was caught and hopefully prosecuted to the full extent of the law, what bugs me is the sequence of events that lead to their arrest. The New Jersey State Police had a suspect. The suspect's domicile was not visible from the road. A warrant was obtained on the basis of evidence produced by a UAV overfly of the property, but what gave them the right to do that? Turns out that much of the stolen goods were stashed behind a barn, or big shed. My question is: What's the difference between flying a drone over the barn and simply sending an officer in to walk around the barn for a look see?

Well, sending an officer in without a warrant to search for stolen goods is an illegal search. Any evidence he found of wrong doing would be thrown out of court as "fruit of the poisoned tree". Now, suppose I just dangle him from a crane or a helicopter and swing him around the backside of the barn. Better? His feet never touched the ground! Problem solved!!

Is the Fourth Amendment mitigated by the fact that the aircraft was unmanned? Or does the fact that an operator is at the controls, looking through the camera make that point moot? Had the overflight been accidental, I can see the evidence being totally admissible. Next time, throw some tarps over the stolen goods, knucklehead! But the drone was flying over the property specifically because there was a "suspect", yet without enough evidence or probable cause to obtain a warrant. You see my dilemma here? If you're in your helicopter using your Forward Looking Infra Red because there's a lost child in the woods, and happen across a marijuana hothouse, that's one thing. But isn't warrantless unmanned electronic eavesdropping going just a bit too far? At what point does this become an "unreasonable search"?

The fact that law enforcement did not enter the property without first obtaining a warrant means they recognized that one was necessary. Although I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, it seems to me that the use of a drone was a mere legal fiction to provide probable cause for the warrant.

If I were on this guy's legal team, I would beat the Fourth Amendment like a rented mule! Still, I'm glad law enforcement put an end to this crime spree. I just wish they'd found a better way to do it.

Thus, the ambivalence.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Xavier Seen Such a Dishonest California Politician?


Californians aren't braindead, although you'd never know it from the quality of public officials they send to Sacramento year after year. And here's proof of it: liberal California politicians have to lie constantly to maintain their power, lest the common people they so disdain rise up against them. Case in point:

There is a ballot initiative coming up for a vote soon to repeal the onerous added gasoline tax to be added in November. The tax would add an additional twelve cents a gallon to gasoline that is already the highest priced in the nation. Fine. Let the voters decide. That's the democratic way isn't it? Let informed voters made the decision. It's that whole "informed" part that Democrat pols don't trust you with.

The office of the top law enforcement official in the state, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, D-Ishonest, is responsible for writing the official summary of the ballot measure, which is supposed to be an impartial description of the measure. (Stop laughing!) Becerra, who, had he been around when the saying "Crooked as a dog's hind leg"was written, might have been the maxim maker's model.

AG Becerra wrote the summary of a repeal of a regressive tax measure (minorities and poor hardest hit) without managing to use either the word "tax" or "fee" to describe it. In fact, it is so egregious that he is being sued because of it. Republican Travis Allen, remarkably a Republican, is suing Becerra for misrepresenting the initiative, casting it as an effort to, and I quote, "eliminate recently enacted road repair and transportation funding". The bastards!! The money fairies brought Californians cash to repair their roads, and some big meanies are trying to take it away from us!

And by "us", of course, he means the State Government, and the magic money fairies are you, every time you fill up your gas tank.

The stakes are high. The 43%, twelve cent a gallon hike in taxes, and the twenty cent a gallon hike in diesel fuel are expected to bring in $5 Billion (with a "B") a year. And as far as regressive taxes on the poor, this one has a double whammy, because everything you buy in the stores comes in on a truck. Your groceries, hardware, clothing, shoes, even your Amazon order, is transported at least in part by a truck or series of trucks. If the cost of fuel goes up, the prices of all those goods must go up at least incrementally. So in addition to paying more in gas to go to work, or to the store, or on vacation, you'll be paying more for everything you buy. Everything. You'll then find it harder to make ends meet and put food on the table and all the Democrat politicians will tell you it's those evil corporations that are stealing you blind. Right.

So, even though most of California's reputation is well deserved, remember this: we're not all braindead out here, and the politicians even have to lie to the ones who are to keep themselves in power.

Flowing Curves Of Beauty


“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”




Saturday, July 15, 2017

Another Magnificent Bastard

Ever since November 9, 2016 we have been inundated with a media clinging to the Russian collusion theory that goes way beyond the bounds of rationality.  It must be true, even if it isn't.  This week they think they’ve found the smoking gun in Donald Trump, Jr.  Next week it will be something else.  None of it, in the final analysis, has anything to do with actual collusion.
Enter Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA).  Brat stunned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014 in the Republican primary going on to win a seat in Congress.
On Friday, Brat was being interviewed by CNN’s justice correspondent Pamela Brown.  Her first question to Brat, “Nancy Pelosi just said that Republicans are enablers.”
Noting Democrats want to impeach the President without any evidence of criminal wrongdoing Brat said, “What you gotta do is just name the statute that’s been violated.  Democrats are upset that Trump won the election and so they’ve been saying ‘impeach, impeach’ since day one.  My Senators from Virginia are getting apoplectic,” Brat argued. “Mark Warner’s seeing smoke everywhere he goes like he’s in a Cheech and Chong movie and [Tim] Kaine now thinks the son is worse than Benedict Arnold.”
“There’s collusion everywhere but the question is whether a statue has been violated,” Brat declared.  “There’s collusion between CNN and the DCCC and the Washington Post and I don’t complain about that–it’s not illegal.  I think it’s unethical but it’s not illegal.”

Friday, July 14, 2017

Special Counsel Robert Mueller Won’t Last Another 100 Days

The staff at Lawnewz made an extraordinary prediction earlier today.  It was so extraordinary Nick Givas went to press with the story at 4:44 PM for The Daily Caller.
The piece begins with what everyone clearly understands─President Trump is extremely unhappy with the protracted Russia investigation referring to it on Twitter at least a dozen times as a “witch hunt”.
The investigation has taken a decidedly more perilous and personal turn for the President. And that’s exactly why Lawnewz believes it won’t be longer than 100 days before Trump pulls the trigger on firing Mueller.  As information continues to seep out about the work Mueller is doing and the subpoenas start coming, we believe the President will be increasingly frustrated and the administration will undoubtedly continue to seek to undermine Mueller’s credibility. And let’s be clear, by any objective standard Mueller is an unassailable, apolitical public servant.
Many are saying there is no way the Administration would risk the fallout from having Mueller fired. And, as investigators are now reportedly probing Jared Kushner‘s role in potentially helping to direct a Russian operation targeting voters with fake news about Hillary, and as the specter of obstruction of justice in connection with firing FBI Director Comey hangs over the President and his Administration, we believe it now more likely than not Trump will decide that Mueller must go.
Among the reasons the Administration will likely cite:
– Mueller’s friendship with Comey
– Some yet to be discovered bias on the part of Mueller and his team
– The cost of the investigation
– The need to focus on “more important” issues
The legal website was careful to add, “Trump nor anyone in his Administration is guilty of any crime.  That is for the Special Counsel to decide.”

Game of Thrones: Libertarian Edition

Two Conjoined Twins, An Ex-KGB Spy And A Circus Bear

NBC and The Associated Press are cocksure they’ve got the nails necessary to crucify President Trump and Donald Jr.
The Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. and others on the Trump team after a promise of compromising material on Hillary Clinton was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist—a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, NBC News has learned. 
The lobbyist, who denies any current ties to Russian spy agencies, accompanied the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by Donald Trump Jr.; Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law; and Paul Manafort, former chairman of the Trump campaign. 
The Russian-born American lobbyist served in the Soviet military and emigrated to the U.S., where he holds dual citizenship. 
The Associated Press identified the lobbyist as Rinat Akhmetshin, and said he acknowledged attending the meeting, though he said it was not substantive. “I never thought this would be such a big deal, to be honest,” he told the AP. 
The presence at the meeting of Akhmetshin is likely to be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller and the House and Senate panels investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is pursuing information on Akhmetshin charging he had been working with Fusion GPS, the oppo research firm hired by Democrats to research and write an “intelligence report” senior members of the Obama Administration widely circulated in pushing the narrative of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

Live Streaming 2017 Bastille Day Parade

This event has concluded.

Bastille Day 2017: Un Américain À Paris

For the French, this year's Bastille Day has an additional poignancy as the first anniversary of one of the deadliest radical Islamist terror attacks of the past few years.
The national holiday marks the storming on July 14, 1789, of the Bastille. The taking of the Bastille was a catalyst for the French Revolution. Since 1880, the signal event of Bastille Day has been the military parade down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe.  This year America is the national guest of honor and the parade will be led for the first time by US troops.
According to Robert Sisk at Military.com, “About 200 troops from US European Command will have the honor of leading the parade to mark the centennial of the US entry into World War I in 1917. The US Air Force Thunderbirds and an F-22 Raptor will also conduct a flyover of the parade.
"France stood with us during the American Revolution, and that strategic partnership endures today," Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, EuCom commander and NATO supreme commander, said in a statement.
"On behalf of the 60,000 service members standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the French to ensure Europe is whole, free and at peace, we are honored to lead the Bastille Day Parade and help celebrate French independence," he said.
"During the centennial of America's entry into World War I, we commemorate America's sons and daughters who defended peace─many of them descendants of European immigrants who came to America seeking freedom, opportunity and a better life," Scaparrotti said.
"Amidst the horrors of war, over four million Americans served in World War I and more than 100,000 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice," he said.
The troops participating in the parade will include soldiers from the Army's 1st Infantry Division, which was the first unit to enter France in World War I.  Other units participating will be the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade; the Army's 10th Mountain Division; US Army Europe's 7th Army Training Command; sailors from US Naval Forces Europe; airmen from US Air Forces Europe; and Marines from U.S. Marine Forces Europe.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

CNN’s Poppy Harlow Abuses The Privilege Of Being Stupid

President Trump is in France at the behest of President Emmanuel Macron to celebrate Bastille Day. 
When I read the headline at The Daily Caller I could hardly believe what I saw.  I was subsequently stunned at the weapons-grade stupidity that followed in the embedded video on their website.
After arriving at Les Invalides, the site of Napoleon’s tomb, Macron guided President Trump through the archway where a French military band played a beautiful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.
CNN anchor Poppy Harlow, a graduate of Columbia University, did not recognize her own country’s national anthem.
In the video Poppy, bless her heart, said “Let’s just listen in to the French national anthem for a moment.”
You can hear whispering in the background after several seconds go by in which a producer corrected her gaffe.  With a chuckle she added, “The US─American national anthem─I should say.  Let’s listen.”
Dayum.  How ignorant do you have to be to work at this laughingstock network?  The Star Spangled Banner had already begun playing.  How the hell does an American citizen not recognize their own national anthem?  President Trump had placed his hand over his heart while Macron stood with his hands by his side.  That should have been her first clue.
UPDATE:  Welcome readers of Larwyn’s Linx and a special thanks to Doug Ross for linking to this post.
 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nothing Is Proven Yet

After news of an email chain between Donald Trump Jr. and a British go-between was disclosed by The New York Times, viewers on CNN were told this is the long-awaited “smoking gun” on Trump/Russia collusion.
Trump Jr. was told by a business acquaintance that a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had information implicating Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee in illegal foreign campaign contributions from Russia.
Jonathan Turley writing for The Hill believes President Trump’s eldest son “fell for a classic bait-and-switch.  Veselnitskaya was representing people seeking to lift the adoption ban and it was certainly amateur hour in Trump Tower.  If this is the best the Russians can do as their big play, we have little to worry about.”
“It is common for foreign governments to withhold or take actions to influence elections in other countries. Information is often shared through various channels during elections from lobbyists, non-government organizations, and government officials. This includes former Clinton aide Alexandra Chalupa, who allegedly worked with Ukrainian government officials and journalists to come up with dirt on Trump and Manafort,” Turley continued.
The game the media is playing is dangerous.  It is effective.  If you keep your attention on the news of the day, it is easy to become disillusioned, disappointed and even depressed.  This is what journos want.
Donald Trump has defiled the office of the President of the United States!  He must resign!  We must impeach.  We must resist!
Charles Hurt (whom I love) opined in his piece in The Washington Times, “The Clintons would NEVER search for dirt against a political opponent.  Just ask Bernie Sanders, Vince Foster or Barack Obama.  Or Monica Lewinsky!  And if they ever did accidentally stumble upon the dirt of an opponent, the Clintons would be TOTALLY forthcoming about it when asked about it. It is the Clinton way. Just ask Ken Starr.  And, famously, President Obama would never stoop so low as to allow the world’s most powerful espionage apparatus to spy on his political opponents—except for all the times he did. In the past year. That we know about.”
The pull quote from Hurt’s piece is worth remembering from this point forward:
“This whole hyperventilating media drive-by investigation is nothing more than pure hysteria, the phantom pain from having lost everything—when you were so, so certain that you would win everything.”
The American people are wise to the game being played. Their trust in the legacy media, an arm of the DNC, has been lost and likely will never be regained.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

With Apologies to Monty Python...


"Tis but a scratch!"

Hey CNN, We’re Flooding The Internet With Memes About You

CNN may have had the worst week in Washington according to Peter Hasson, Associate Editor, at The Daily Caller.
The network’s rough week started on Sunday when President Trump jumpstarted one helluva hullabaloo by tweeting a short video showing him body-slamming the CNN logo. The tweet was met with widespread condemnation in the media and the video was shown over and over again on national television.  Hee. Hee.
If you have a few moments, please visit Politopinion to see the entries thus far.  We hope you will make them go viral in an effort to counter the insufferable corporate blackmail we witnessed this week from CNN.
My entry can be found here.  It’s No. 53.  Have fun with them and help us promote free speech.

President Trump VS Fake News CNN Meme Contest

When CNN decided they would become the Speech Police, the Intertoobs began to fight back against the laughingstock cable news network.

All the Howard Beales out there in the conservative blogosphere are railing against the wanton depravity of fake news emanating from CNN:  “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

If you’re a ‘chopper, a video or a GIF creator here’s your chance to earn some serious moola.  Visit Politopinion.com for instructions on how to enter your submissions in the President Trump vs. Fake News CNN Meme Contest.

Good luck contestants.  And a heartfelt thanks to Mr. Pinko at Politopinion.com and to Conservative Treehouse for hosting this deliciously cathartic contest.

Friday, July 7, 2017

CNN: The Most Busted Name In News

CNN’s editor-at-large, Chris Cillizza, screamed on Twitter yesterday after a video circulated online showing Poland’s First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda appearing to walk past President Trump’s outstretched hand to shake Melania’s instead.
Trump and Melania were on stage with their Polish counterparts, Agata and her husband, President Andrzej Duda, in Warsaw for official photographs when the footage was filmed.
The problem for Cillizza:  the longer cut of the video shows the so-called “snub” was little more than unfortunate timing.
President Duda angrily came to the defense of his wife tweeting: 
Cillizza recanted in later tweets, saying he “laughed” at the video, but that “there probably wasn't an intent. I think Trump was out of her line of sight.”  He added: “It was a funny video of a misunderstanding!  Nothing more!  The same thing has happened to me a billion times!”
T. Becket Adams succinctly pointed out, “Here’s a friendly tip:  Coming across as a girl who is welcoming the Beatles on their first visit to the United States is a very bad and unprofessional look for supposedly professional media commentators.  Try a little dignity please.”
Adams continued, “It would be awesome if we didn’t have to Zapruder the news cycle because reporters can’t keep it together long enough to figure out the truth of certain events.  Can we please just have a little bit more restraint?”

UPDATE:  Welcome readers of The Pirate’s Cove.  Thank you Admiral for linking to this post.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Internet Putting the Squeeze on CNN


...for threatening to publicly expose identity of Trump/CNN body slam GIF'er

Shoveling Manure

America just celebrated its Independence Day.  Thomas Jefferson warned, “The press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood.”

There was a time when journalists were trusted and admired.  All that has changed.  Most of what you read, watch and listen to is distorted by intentional bias and hostility toward a president the media loathes and toward the voters who saw in him a man who pledged to make America great again; someone who would unwind Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America.

On Monday, NBC’s Matt Bradley accused President Trump of using critically ill Charlie Gard’s parents’ grief as a political prop.
Bradley suggested that there may be a more sinister motive to Trump’s tweet.  “Now, depending on how you see this, depending really on your impressions of Mr. Trump beforehand, you could either decide that this is the president selflessly stepping in to help grieving parents who are experiencing a terrible, wrenching pain and a baby who has a very rare, very difficult to treat illness or you could decide that this was the president trying to use the grief of two parents and a small baby for political gain and weighing into a situation that was very much a national and European issue and not one we would expect anything from an American politician.  But again, it all depends on how you look at it,” said Bradley.

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces increasing pressure to intervene after President Trump and Pope Francis gave their support as doctors prepare to turn off little Charlie’s life support. 
The Vatican said the Pope “is following with affection and sadness the case of little Charlie Gard and expresses his closeness to his parents. For this he prays that their wish to accompany and treat their child until the end is not neglected.”

Legacy media outlets have been reduced to mere caricatures having been exposed as unprofessional, dishonest and vulgar.

Thomas Paine, often called “The Father of the American Revolution” and author of the pamphlet Common Sense noted, “Our greatest enemies, the ones we must fight most often, are within.”

From the vulgar voices of Anderson Cooper, Chris Matthews, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher to the assassination porn of Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Kathy Griffin or Shakespeare in the Park, President Trump was right when he tweeted: 

Monday, July 3, 2017

You Magnificent Bastard

It would be hard to find someone who is not familiar with the 2012 report by The Boston Globe regarding Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s failure to furnish any tribal documentation or genealogical evidence of her Native American heritage.

The Globe reported that Warren identified herself as Native American to Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, when she taught at both schools, in order to use her "minority status" as a way to further her career.

Entrepreneur, MIT graduate and Republican candidate V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai announced in February he would be running for the US Senate seat currently held by Pocahontas.

Last week, Ayyadurai—who proudly refers to himself as a "real Indian"—threw a jab at Warren by sending her an all-expenses-paid DNA test kit from 23&Me.  Clearly unamused, Pocahontas refused the challenger’s gift.

Flowing Curves Of Beauty

All men hate to hear "We need to talk about our relationship."  
These seven words struck fear in the heart of even General Schwarzkopf. 




Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Dumbest Human Being In Congress

At some point in everyone’s life we are saddled with a burden.  The citizens of Texas’s 18th Congressional District have been saddled with Sheila Jackson Lee since 1995.

Jackson Lee is the undisputed poster child for utter stupidity.  Three years ago she suggested to congressional colleagues the US Constitution was 400 years old.  The Washington Times noted her remarks.  “Maybe I should offer a good thanks to the distinguished members of the majority, the Republicans, my chairman and others, for giving us an opportunity to have a deliberative constitutional discussion that reinforces the sanctity of this nation and how well it is that we have lasted some 400 years, operating under a Constitution that clearly defines what is constitutional and what it is not.”

(The US Constitution was formally adopted on Sept. 17, 1787 and ratified on June 21, 1788.)

The graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia Law School has a cascade of gaffes.  The one I find particularly laughable goes back to her second year as a congresswoman.  It was 1997.  Lee was visiting the Mars Pathfinder Operations Center.  While there, Ms. Lee asked if the Pathfinder had succeeded in taking photographs of the American flag planted on Mars by Neil Armstrong in 1969.  Of course, Armstrong planted the flag on the Moon.

On Friday, Lee vehemently declared her intention to get rid of President Trump for failing to act quickly enough to counteract Russian’s election meddling and framed the president’s most recent Tweets as a step backward in the long march toward equality for women.

Blustering before Fox Business TV cameras, the Texas Democrat asserted the 25th Amendment “lets Congress remove incompetent presidents."

"Let me just explain. The 25th Amendment is utilized when a president is perceived to be incompetent or unable to do his or her job.  He is incompatible with the office and the leadership of this country," she said. "And yes, the idea that his continuous assault on women only compounds the fact that I would ask him, it's a job that he does not seemingly like, he needs to resign."
The very definition of incompetence is a congresswoman who believes the Constitution is 400 years old and Neil Armstrong planted the American flag on Mars.  She’s an embarrassment right along with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) who expressed concern in 2010 that stationing 8,000 Marines on the island of Guam would cause the small island to “tip over and capsize.” 

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