Rigging the Trial

The trial of Ammon Bundy and six of his cohorts is ramping up. Their crime, for those unfamiliar with the case, occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. But it’s already obvious that the trail is a formality and the verdict is predetermined as the judge is rigging the trail:

The judge also said she intends to question each juror on whether they were handed a flier outside court about jury nullification, and to instruct them that they must follow the law even if they disagree with it. Judge Brown said deputy U.S. marshals indicated there may be people outside court distributing such fliers.

Regardless of what you think about the occupation itself, the fact that the judge is telling jurors that they can’t exercise their rights should be concerning. It goes against the very purpose of having jury trials and all but guarantees a guilty verdict for Bundy and his buddies.

If you research how juries work you will learn that they don’t have to rule based on the written law. A jury isn’t punished regardless of its ruling or the reason behind that ruling. If a jury rules against the written law that’s entirely acceptable. The lack of punishment for juries was deliberate and was meant to act as a check against erroneous laws. But more and more courts are applying pressure to juries to rule in the “right” way. As this pressure increases jury trials will shift away from being a mechanism of determining actual fault and towards being mere legal formalities. As that shift continues one of the last avenues of saving people from the depravities of the State will be lost.

I won’t be surprised if we see a day where juries that rule the “wrong” way are punished. Perhaps in the near future jurors will be told what the “right” verdict is by the judge and any jurors who rule otherwise will be held in contempt of court.

A Bit of Rare Common Sense

Although it’s exceedingly rare these days sometimes you do see a bit of common sense show itself in the courts. Back in 2014 Alyssa Drescher was expelled from school because she had forgotten about a small pocket knife in her purse. Over two years later the Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that mere possession of a weapon (except for firearms because they’re extra evil) is not enough to expel a student. For such a punishment to be delivered the school must also demonstrate that a student had malicious intent:

With school starting in many Minnesota districts Tuesday, administrators around the state are facing a new legal landscape. A Minnesota Supreme Court ruling will likely change the way administrators discipline students caught with weapons.

Under the court decision, schools will have to investigate the student’s intent when weapons that aren’t firearms show up in school.

This is the way it should always be. Weapons are inanimate objects and therefore their mere presence isn’t dangerous. What makes a weapon dangerous is the intent of the user. A good person with a gun isn’t a threat to anybody. An evil person is a just as much of a threat with a gun as with an automobile. Good people aren’t going to hurt others and evil people will find a way to hurt others.

Until today all schools were under the tyranny of zero tolerance policies. I hope this court ruling is the first step in the complete eradication of zero tolerance.


Scott Adams may have described civil forfeiture better than anybody:


Just change out the text slightly. In the first panel Dogbert could say, “I’ve declared a law that allows cops to steal property if they can claim it might be tied to a drug crime.” In the second panel he could say, “When the cops seize the property we’ll put the burden of proving it wasn’t tied to a drug crime on the owner.” The third panel can be left unchanged.

The Wyoming Supreme Court recently refused to hear an appeal of a man who had $470,000 stolen from him under civil forfeiture laws without even being charged with a crime:

CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal from a man who contends it was unconstitutional for the state to seize $470,000 in cash from him and then seek to forfeit it on the grounds that it was drug money, all without charging him with a crime.

How can the State claim the money is related to a drug crime if it doesn’t even have enough evidence to charge him? That’s a trick question. Civil forfeiture laws have nothing to do with fighting verboten drugs. The laws are about one thing: giving the State yet another legal justification for stealing your wealth.

What about your constitutional rights? The government can’t just steal your money, right? That’s unreasonable search and seizure, is it not? George Carlin probably illustrated constitutional rights the best:

Now, if you think you do have rights, I have one last assignment for ya. Next time you’re at the computer get on the Internet, go to Wikipedia. When you get to Wikipedia, in the search field for Wikipedia, i want to type in, “Japanese-Americans 1942” and you’ll find out all about your precious fucking rights. Alright. You know about it.

In 1942 there were 110,000 Japanese-American citizens, in good standing, law abiding people, who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That’s all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers, no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had was…right this way! Into the internment camps.

The Bill of Rights sounds like a wonderful idea on paper but that’s the only place it exists, on paper. Unfortunately the very Constitution that supposedly guarantees you your rights also gives a monopoly on law to the State. So the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, means whatever the fuck the State says it means. If you don’t agree you can take it up with the law enforcers who will tell you that they’re “only doing their jobs” as they beat your with a truncheon for refusing to surrender your cash on constitutional grounds.

Proof that the Islamic State is a Government

People continue to refer to the Islamic State (IS) as a terrorist group but it really should be referred to as a state at this point. Granted, there is precious little that separate a terrorist group from a state. The only appreciable differences a state manages to hold a near monopoly on violence within a controlled territory for an extended period of time. That monopoly gives the state the power to issue arbitrary and conflicting decrees. IS is now to the point where it can do exactly that:

The Islamic State group has reportedly banned women from wearing a burka, a veil that covers the entire face, as a security precaution in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The alleged new rule is striking in part because the militant group also known as ISIS has beaten and killed women in the past for refusing to wear the conservative garment.

I wonder if the French government and Gary “Ban the Burqa” Johnson will express support for IS now.

Islamophobes of all sorts but neocons especially have been jumping for joy because of this decree. In their minds it proves that the practices of Islam are so dangerous that even IS can’t live with them. In reality IS has about as much to do with Islam as most Christian kingdoms of Europe had to do with Christianity. Religion is just the justification for seizing power just as the struggle of the proletariat was the justification used by the Bolsheviks. But the justification a government uses for existing is never the actual goal. Now that power has been seized IS is acting like any other government that has obtained power by tossing aside its justification for existing and focusing on maintaining its power instead. Maintaining that power comes in the form of issuing decrees that are contradictory to is original mission statement. Anybody who believes this particular arbitrary decree invalidates IS as an organization should take a close look at their own government because it does exactly the same thing for exactly the same reason.

Simultaneously an Adult and a Minor

The legal system we suffer under in the United States is nothing more than a long list of arbitrary decrees written by men in suits in marble buildings. There is no logic to it and it often contradicts itself. Take this case for example:

A North Carolina 17-year-old caught in a sexting scandal faces charges of sexually exploiting a minor that could land him in jail for up to 10 years, since the law considers him an adult. But one of the minors he supposedly exploited is himself­—which raises an obvious question: how can a teen be old enough to face adult felony charges, but not old enough to keep a nude picture of himself on his phone?

Unfortunately, that’s the Kafka-esque nightmare in which Fayetteville-area high schooler Cormega Copening finds himself after exchanging private nude photos with his girlfriend—with whom he is legally allowed to have sex, but not to sext.

He’s 17-years-old, which puts him in an odd gray area in regards to his status. On the one hand he’s legally considered a minor and therefore cannot possess pictures of his naked self because that’s legally child pornography. He can have sex with another minor though without it being considered statutory rape. Unfortunately for him he was in possession of pictures of his naked self and the girl he was legally having sex with and is close enough to being an adult that he can be tried as one. If you can find any logic in this paragraph please feel free to explain it to me because I can’t wrap my brain around this.

This is yet another demonstration of the fact that we don’t have a justice system, we have a legal system. Justice can only be delivered if somebody has been wronged. Possessing naked pictures of yourself wrongs nobody just as consensually exchanging naked pictures harms nobody. There is no justice to be delivered in this case because there is no victim. But the law states what he is doing is wrong and the law doesn’t give a damn if victims exist or not. The only thing that matters under a system such as ours are the words written by the politicians.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

I used the long to finish up Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. If you enjoyed the gameplay of Human Revolution you’ll enjoy the gameplay in Mankind Divided as it’s basically the last game plus more. In that regard I really enjoyed playing through Mankind Divided. However, the ending can best be summed up by Pickles:

We got you your favorite thing, disappointment!

There are going to be some minor spoilers here so if you haven’t finished the game you should stop reading unless you want an idea about what happens. The end of the gaming involves you saving some people and fighting an end boss. What makes the ending disappointing is that it leaves a lot of story threads unresolved and it feels far less epic in scale than the last game. When I finished the final boss I thought I was maybe at the halfway point until a notification popped up alerting me than I had unlocked New Game+ mode.

If you’ve played a Deus Ex game you know that it delves into some serious conspiracy theory shit. The Illuminati are trying to control humanity and I expected this would be the game where Majestic 12 would split off from the Illuminati. Instead the Illuminati only really appears in a handful of cutscenes and the plot is rather mundane. They want to turn the world against augmented humans and… that’s about it. To that end they’ve invented a new poison, which is talked up into being much more interesting than it turns out to be, and send a big augmented dude with a bunch of bombs to perform acts of terror. The big guy is the end boss even though he feels like a midway boss if you’re comparing him to most Deux Ex games. Likewise, after fighting him you expect the actual Illuminati plot to be unveiled but instead the game just kind of ends.

So Mankind Divided is a really fun game that suffers from a very lackluster plot and an ending that leaves a lot unresolved. At $60 I don’t feel that the game was worth it, especially since Square Enix forced the Eidos crew to shoehorn a microtransaction system into the game (fortunately that doesn’t ruin the balance of the game, you can get through the entire game easily without having to buy anything from the online store). If you’re thinking about picking this game up my advice is to either wait for it to drop in price (I’d say it’s worth $30) or at least wait for the Director’s Cut or whatever they’re going to call the edition that includes everything you’ll end up paying extra for in the form of paid downloadable content (which seems to be stuff that was purposely removed from the main game just so it could be sold for more money).

Federal Court Rules Medical Cannabis Users Have No Right to Defend Themselves

In addition to the massive increase in government violence, another side-effect of the war on drugs is the stripping of so-called rights. Under United States law, a person in possession of verboten substances cannot legally exercise their Second Amendment privilege. Some people have asked whether or not cannabis users who have been given permission to treat their medical condition by the State are an exception to that rule. A federal court recently ruled that they’re not:

A federal ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana card holders does not violate the Second Amendment, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals applies to the nine Western states that fall under the court’s jurisdiction, including California, Washington and Oregon.

It came in a lawsuit filed by S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada woman who said she tried to buy a firearm for self-defense in 2011 after obtaining a medical marijuana card. The gun store refused, citing the federal rule banning the sale of firearms to illegal drug users.

This ruling is ridiculous for two reasons.

First, this ruling is really stating is that people suffering from certain medical conditions have no right to self-defense. If, for example, you suffer from chronic pain and have only had success treating it with cannabis the State has declared your life so lacking in value that it’s not even worth protecting.

Second, this ruling also declares that your gun ownership privileges can be revoked without due process:

Wilson said she was not a marijuana user, but obtained the card in part as an expression of support for marijuana legalization.


The 9th Circuit in its 3-0 decision said it was reasonable for federal regulators to assume a medical marijuana card holder was more likely to use the drug.

According to the federal court it’s reasonable for federal regulators to assume holders of medical cannabis cards are using cannabis. The key point here is the word assume. Federal regulators don’t have to actually prove that you’ve broken federal prohibition laws to strip you of your gun ownership privileges. It merely has to assume you’ve broken the prohibition. Gun rights activists should be flipping their shit about this because it’s the exact same logic used by people demanding that anybody on the terrorist watch lists be prohibited from owning firearms. No due process is necessary for the State to declare your gun ownership privileges null and void.

Robert Anton Wilson founded the Guns and Dope Party under the premise that if you could get all of the gun nuts and all of the drop smokers united together you’d have a majority of voters. The downside is that the gun nuts tend to not like the dope smokers and vice versa. But the two groups really should be united because they’re fighting the same battle, which is the battle over who owns you. Both the gun nuts and the dope smokers are, whether they know it or not, arguing for self-ownership. The right of self-ownership necessarily requires the right to defend yourself, which the gun nuts are fighting for, and the right to put whatever you please into your body, which the dope smokers are fighting for. If these two groups would unite to tell all of the prohibitionists to go fuck themselves we might see some positive change in this forsaken police state of a nation.

DEA Decides to Generate More Revenue

While the government claims the war on drugs is being waged to protect the people, anybody with a brain realizes that it’s about generating revenue. Many of the drugs prohibited by the war, such as cannabis, are far less dangerous than the drugs that remain legal, such as alcohol. However, the war on drugs has opened the door for civil forfeiture, an exponential increase in slave labor, widespread surveillance, and heavily armed revenue generators law enforcers.

New drugs are being added to the prohibited list every year. Each one of those new drugs is another opportunity for the State to steal more wealth and kidnap more slave laborers. This year the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) wants to add kratom to Schedule I:

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is moving to place the herbal supplement kratom on its list of Schedule I drugs, effectively banning a naturally occurring psychoactive substance that some say holds promise as a therapy for opioid addiction.

The DEA, in a notice published in the Federal Register this week, said it wants to include two active kratom ingredients in its most restrictive classification of drugs with high potential for abuse and no known medical benefit, signaling that the government considers the plant as dangerous as heroin. The scheduling move would last for two years, with a possible extension of an additional year, and would go into effect at the end of September.

Kratom, like cannabis, is a plant, not some chemical concoction that has to be synthesized. This means that the DEA is effectively waging another war on nature. The advantage of this, to the DEA, is that it can’t win a war against nature so the struggle against the kratom menace would be a perpetual revenue stream for the agency. Also like cannabis, kratom is used medicinally:

Kratom is made from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, a Southeast Asian tree related to coffee, and has been consumed in Asia for millennia, typically as a tea or powder. The herb contains alkaloids that appear to activate opioid receptors in the brain and reduce pain. Although most opioids have sedative qualities, low to moderate doses of kratom serve as a mild stimulant.

The advantage of targeting a medicinal plant is that people who use kratom to treat their pain are likely to ignore the prohibition so they can continue living a less painful existence. That means the DEA has a good pool of victims it can exploit for cash and slave labor.

Of course the DEA is citing the usual crap about addiction, health effects, etc. However, all of those things apply to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs that aren’t prohibited. Furthermore, Asian countries have been using kratom for ages to no widespread negative effect. And even if kratom has serious side-effects they’re far less deadly than law enforcers burning babies with flashbang grenades, shooting family pets, and beating people to within an inch of their lives.

Don’t Mess with Elves

Iceland is one of those countries on my list of places I’d consider moving to. The island has a strong history of statelessness, which still influences their society today in the fact that the Icelandic government is one of the less psychopathic governments in the world. Violent crime, whether it be perpetrated by a private or government individual, is very rare. And best of all, the elves on the island keep people in check:

Reykjavik (AFP) – Iceland has been forced to bow to pressure from elves and uncover a supposedly enchanted elfin rock after highway workers accidentally buried it — infuriating the mythical creatures, reports said Tuesday.

The angry elves were suspected of causing a series of mishaps after the rock was covered over when workers cleared away the debris from a landslide, the Morgunbladid daily reported.

This isn’t the first time elves have thrown a monkey wrench into the State’s mechanisms. The elves have been fucking with the island’s highway department since the 1930s. I have to say, living on an island where the government is actually wary of something would be pretty nice.

Have a Plan to Kill Everybody You Meet

Carrying a firearm is akin to wearing a seatbelt. You don’t know if you’re ever going to need it but it’s far better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. There’s no way to predict when you’ll get into an automobile accident and there is no way to predict where or when you’ll be attacked or by whom.

This story highlights that:

Police say 53-year-old Michael Leroy Deyo and the victim worked together at the same Goodwill store since Deyo was hired in June.

On that Thursday afternoon, Deyo invited the victim to the barbecue, but when she arrived she was the only one there. Deyo told her it was going to be a surprise party, according to the criminal complaint.

The victim said they ate and talked, and after they were done eating Deyo said he was going to check the apartment unit across the hall, where he said the party was taking place.

He then asked the victim if she wanted to check the room with him, and she agreed. She said there was no one in the room, the lights were off and it appeared to be a utility room.

The woman said she “did not feel right about the situation” and grabbed her purse to leave. When she opened the door, Deyo grabbed her and forced her back into the apartment, putting his hand over her mouth, according to the criminal complaint.

The victim struggled with Deyo, kicking him in the groin and punching him. She said she grabbed a glass coffee pot and hit him in the head with it, according to the charges.

The victim said Deyo pinned her to the ground and said, “Stop screaming or I’ll kill you.” The victim said she was afraid she was going to die, so she became quiet while he kissed her.

A barbecue a coworker invited you to is generally not the kind of situation where you would expect to have to defend yourself but it can be. James Mattis was the one who said, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” It’s solid advice so long as you follow the spirit of it rather than take it literally. You don’t need to develop a detailed plan for killing everybody you meet but it’s smart to have a strategy as your default if someone tries to attack you and train in until it becomes almost instinctual. That way if you’re taken by surprise you will have an automatic go-to strategy to defend yourself. While a default strategy is a personal decision I strongly suggest carrying a firearm so your default strategy address armed assailants.

You can’t predict when or where, or by whom you may be attacked but you can have a plan of action that will increase your odds of survival.