A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Corruption Corner’ Category

Marijuana You Say? Case Dismissed!

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Do you remember the Dallas law enforcers that went to Botham Jean’s apartment to plant, err, find evidence to assassinate his character? This is probably going to come as a shock but they found something:

One of the warrants became a public record Thursday afternoon when it was returned to the judge who signed it. It was shortly after Jean’s funeral had ended. It listed several items found in Jean’s apartment, including a small amount of marijuana.

I can see the courtroom now. The officer’s defense attorney mentions that the search warrant resulted in the discovery of marijuana. The judge says, “Marijuana you say?” He then taps his gavel and says, “Case dismissed!”

Truth be told, the discovery of marijuana is irrelevant to the case at hand. Even if Officer Guyger was aware that Jean was in possession of cannabis, she had no warrant to enter the premise. Without a warrant or an invitation, which she never claimed to be given, she was in his dwelling unlawfully. But I’m sure the discovery of cannabis will give all of the boot lickers their much needed reason to defend Officer Guyger’s actions and that’s what the warrant was all about, assassinating Jean’s character.

Creating Justification After the Fact

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Most of you have probably heard about Officer Amber Guyger, the Dallas law enforcer who entered Botham Jean’s apartment and summarily executed him. When I first heard about the story, Guyger was enjoying a paid vacation. That vacation ended when she was arrested after the story had spread across the Internet. However, she was still granted the professional courtesy of receiving a few days to craft her story. Even with a few days her story was pretty feeble though. She claimed that she mistook the man’s apartment for her own (apparently black men have a magical power where they can quickly remove all of your furnishings from an apartment and replace them with new furnishings) and only shot Jean after he failed to respond to verbal commands.

Now it appears as thought the department is extending a bit more professional courtesy by helping Guyger’s defense team find some kind of evidence with which to smear Jean’s character:

Now KXAS reports that the day after the shooting, a Dallas Police Department investigator obtained a warrant to search Jean’s apartment. The warrant, signed by 292nd District Court Judge Brandon Birmingham, says the police intended to look for “any contraband, such as narcotics,” that could “constitute[e] evidence of a criminal offense.”

If I entered another person’s apartment and gunned them down, I highly doubt that the local police department would extend me the courtesies of giving me a few days to craft my story and searching my victim’s apartment for evidence that could help my defense lawyer smear them. Those levels of courtesy are only granted to members of the brotherhood.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 13th, 2018 at 11:00 am

The Privilege of Power

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I would like you to read this story and ask yourself, what do you think would happen to you if you were in Ryan Haass’ position:

On Sunday, Feb. 11 after leaving the Tippy Canoes bar in Osceola, Wis., Haass drove off the road and abandoned his car in a ditch. He left the scene of the accident and later claimed he continued drinking at home.

Surveillance video from the bar in Osceola, obtained by the FOX 9 Investigators, shows Haass spent the afternoon drinking, consuming at least three beers and four Long Island iced teas.

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When the officer asked Haass what he was drinking, he said, “Hey, stop there. I know why you are asking these questions and I’m not saying any more.”

When the officer asked Haas to perform a field sobriety test, he refused and said, “What is the point? I will not perform the test. Now what are you going to do?”

Osceola Police Chief Ron Pedrys was monitoring the situation that night and told Fox 9 that without a field sobriety test, the officer did not have probable cause to arrest Haass.

In this age where drunk driving is probably considered the same as murder to most people, how did Haass manage to get away with this? Why wasn’t he arrested and taken to the station to be blood tested when he refused to perform a field sobriety test? Because Haass happens to be a law enforcer himself.

Power comes with privileges such as professional courtesy. Law enforcers often extend a great deal of courtesy to each other that they won’t extend to regular schmucks like you and me. If one officer pulls another over for speeding, they’ll often pretend that the situation never occurred. If one officer finds that another is in possession of illegal narcotics, they’ll often pretend that they didn’t see anything. And if one officer suspects that another was driving while intoxicated, they often won’t force a sobriety or blood test.

Rules are for little people, not the king’s men.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 7th, 2018 at 10:30 am

California Gives Bureaucrats More Leeway to Impost Pretrial Punishment

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Bail is an old concept that allows individuals accused of a crime to avoid the pretrial punishment of rotting in a cage. The idea is that an individual hands over a substantial stake (along with travel documents such as passports) that will be returned when they show up for their trial date. Simple enough, right? Not so much. Since bail is set by bureaucrats of the court, a court that wants to punish somebody who hasn’t yet been found guilty of a crime can do so by setting a suspect’s bail absurdly high. The government of California decided that this practice was unfair and chose to eradicate it. However, as is always the case with government, there’s a catch:

California will end the cash bail system in a sweeping reform for the state. Rather than requiring defendants to pay in order to be released before trial, their release will hinge on an assessment of their risk to public safety.

“Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement.

By rich and poor being treated fairly, Governor Brown means they will all have their fate solely in the hands of a board of bureaucrats. In other words, nothing has changed. Now, instead of setting bail absurdly high, bureaucrats of the court merely need to claim that an individual is too dangerous to be allowed to roam free if they want to punish them before their trail.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 5th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Creating New Definitions

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I’ve often heard people say “words have meanings” when they believe somebody is using a word incorrectly (especially in a debate). It’s true, words do have meanings. Unfortunately, many words have multiple meanings. What makes this matter even more complicated is that words often have different meanings when used in a legal context. For example, a monopoly is generally considered an entity that operates without competition. However, according to the Fascist Communications Club (FCC) and a court that backed it, an entity that operates without competition isn’t necessarily a monopoly:

An appeals court has upheld a Federal Communications Commission ruling that broadband markets can be competitive even when there is only one Internet provider.

The real tragedy here isn’t that the FCC and a court have decided that the absence of competition is a competitive market, it’s the fact that the ruling backs a regulatory environment that the government created.

The lack of competition in the Internet Service Provider (ISP) market isn’t due to market phenomenon, it’s due to regulations put in place by government officials to protect their favored ISPs from competition. But nobody (besides government officials and monopolists) likes monopolies so in order to appeal to the stupid sheep that continue to vote for them, government officials have had to create a new definition of monopoly that allows them to grant monopolies without actually calling the companies that receive their grants monopolists. It’s a complicated business. You should probably just pick up the newest version of the Newspeak dictionary and learn the new definitions and roll with them.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 4th, 2018 at 10:30 am

The Justice System at Work

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What happens when a secret compound is discovered where kids are being held against their will, abused, neglected, and training to shoot up schools? The responsible parties are allowed to walk because the government prosecution team couldn’t be bothered to schedule an appointment:

Two judges dismissed charges Wednesday against the defendants in the New Mexico compound case that has drawn headlines for weeks for its lurid and racially charged details, in a major blow to the prosecution.

Judge Emilio Chavez said that he had no choice but to release the three defendants, Lucas Morton, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah A. Wahhaj, because the office of District Attorney Donald Gallegos failed to schedule a court hearing to prove they had probable cause for their arrest within 10 days, as state rules stipulate, according to court representatives and defense lawyers.

I’m generally not a conspiratorial minded individual but in this case I wouldn’t be surprised if District Attorney Gallegos received a phone call from an agent of a federal three letter agency who informed him that the individuals his people arrested were federal assets (either as part of an idiotic federal law enforcement operation or an equally idiotic foreign proxy war, not that Gallegos would have been told either way) and that the case against them needs to be mishandled (because the story gained too much press for the charges to merely be dropped). It seems extremely unlikely to me that a district attorney would fumble the opportunity to make a name for himself by going after reviled criminals who received wall-to-wall national media coverage.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 30th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Taking a Plea Bargain Doesn’t Imply Guilt

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Reality Winner, who has a rather unfortunate name considering her current circumstances, has plead guilty to alerting the public to surveillance being perpetrated against them by the National Security Administration (NSA):

A former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who admitted passing secret information to the media has been sentenced to more than five years.

Reality Winner, 26, had faced up to 10 years in prison, but this was reduced to 63 months under a plea deal.

I won’t use the word guilty in her case because I think that it’s time to admit that if somebody is found “guilty” because they took a plea bargain, they probably only admitted guilt because they were under duress and since no trial occurred, they weren’t proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Imagine being trapped in a similar situation. Say a prosecutor is threatening you with 10 years in prison if you’re found guilty by a legal system that is heavily stacked against you. However, the prosecutor is willing to cut you a deal. If you make their life easier by admitting guilt, you will only suffer five years in prison. Can you say for certain that you would choose to take your case to court?

Spend a bit of time really considering the scenario. The court where your case will be tried is part of the same government that you’re accused of wronging. The judge who will preside over your case is also an employee of that government. The prosecution will try to get any jurors who might be sympathetic to your cause removed from the pool and the judge will then lie to the jurors by instructing them that they must rule on the letter of the law. Oh, and the agency that you’re accused of wronging controls one of the world’s largest surveillance apparatuses and there is no telling how much information they have about you (this is especially important because the reason you’re accused of wrongdoing is that you were trying to inform the public about the agency’s illegal use of its surveillance powers). It’s easy to see why an accused individual might consider that an unwinnable situation.

People take plea bargains all the time because they look at situations like this and realize that their chances of winning are almost nonexistent, not because they’re actually guilty of the crimes they’re accused of perpetrating.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 28th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Rules Are for Thee, Not for Me

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Remember those denial of service attacks that the Fascist Communications Club (FCC) reported were targeting it? It turns out that they never happened. That’s right, the FCC lied to congress. So wrathful retribution must be at hand, right? Congress will make an example of the FCC to ensure no other government agency lies to it in the future, right? Not so much. The reason the FCC had the guts to lie is the same reason every government agency has no fear of lying, the government isn’t in the habit of prosecuting its own:

Despite lies to Congress, US attorney declined to prosecute any FCC employees.

As the classic line usually said in regards to law enforcement goes, we investigated ourselves and found that we did nothing wrong.

The biggest weakness in the theory that checks and balances existing within the government is that the system as described is a huge conflict of interest. Congress relies on the FCC to enforce its laws governing communications. Going against the FCC may cause those laws, many of which are very lucrative for the federal government, to go unenforced. Disciplining the FCC might also upset other law enforcement agencies, which may cause them to stop enforcing or only poorly enforce Congress’ laws. Congress has no interest in possibly upsetting its major revenue generators.

There are no checks or balances in government. Government is a circlejerk.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 9th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Without Government Who Would Artificially Increase the Cost of Healthcare

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Advocates of government monopolized healthcare (they usually call it “national” or “universal” healthcare) argue that their favored system is necessary because market actors have an incentive to constantly increase the cost of healthcare. The opposite is true. Market actors have an incentive to provide cheaper and more effective services because doing so will attract new customers by both attracting customers who formerly couldn’t afford their services and siphoning customers away from their competitors. However, government has an incentive to increase healthcare costs because doing so protects its favored providers:

Dr. Gajendra Singh walked out of his local hospital’s outpatient department last year, having been told an ultrasound for some vague abdominal pain he was feeling would cost $1,200 or so, and decided enough was enough. If he was balking at the price of a routine medical scan, what must people who weren’t well-paid medical professionals be thinking?

The India-born surgeon decided he would open his own imaging center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and charge a lot less. Singh launched his business in August and decided to post his prices, as low as $500 for an MRI, on a banner outside the office building and on his website.

There was just one barrier to fully realizing his vision: a North Carolina law that he and his lawyers argue essentially gives hospitals a monopoly over MRI scans and other services.

In all fairness to the politicians of North Carolina, I’m sure the hospitals in the state paid them a tremendous amount of money to buy such a favor.

The reason healthcare in the United States is so costly is because the government has inserted itself more and more into the healthcare market. Medical products cannot be released without obtaining approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which demands a princely sum before one can receive approval. Drugs that used to be over-the-counter now require people to first pay a doctor to write a prescription before acquiring them. Government protected monopolies in the form of patents allow drug companies to charge whatever price they want because they have no fear of competitors offering a cheaper alternative. And stories like this, where new market actors are crushed by bureaucrats in order to protect their favored healthcare providers, are rampant.

When something is causing a problem, more of it isn’t going to alleviate that problem. Government is the reason healthcare in the United States is so expensive. Handing the government a complete monopoly over healthcare isn’t going to alleviate that problem.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 3rd, 2018 at 10:30 am

You Live in a Police State

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When people think of police states they get an image of jackbooted thugs performing nightly raids in every neighborhood for the purpose of disappearing seemingly random citizens. Because of that image most people fail to recognize a real police state when they’re living in one. A real police state is far more subtle. It is a state where the government reserves for itself the right to harass anybody for entirely arbitrary reasons:

If you fall asleep or use the bathroom during your next flight, those incriminating facts could be added to your federal dossier. Likewise, if you use your laptop or look at noisy children seated nearby with a “cold, penetrating stare,” that may be included on your permanent record. If you fidget, sweat or have “strong body odor” — BOOM! the feds are onto you.

[…]

Anyone who has recently traveled to Turkey can apparently be put on the list — as well as people “possibly affiliated” with someone on a terrorist watchlist (which contains more than a million names). The program is so slipshod that it has targeted at least one airline flight attendant and a federal law enforcement agent.

After a person makes the Quiet Skies list, a TSA air marshal team is placed on his next flight. Marshals receive “a file containing a photo and basic information” and carefully note whether the suspect’s “appearance was different from information provided” — such as whether he has “gained weight,” is “balding” or “graying,” has a beard or “visible tattoos” (bad news for Juggalo fans of the Insane Clown Posse). Marshals record and report any “significant derogatory information” on suspects.

The key to a police state is that just because the government reserves for itself the right to harass anybody for entirely arbitrary reasons doesn’t mean it will choose to harass everybody or even a majority of people. Usually a police state will choose to harass only a small percentage of people, which allows the majority of people to believe that they don’t live in a police state because they’ve never been harassed.

The United States is a police state. The government has established a system of laws so complete that it is impossible not to be in violation of the law. Moreover, the government grants its agencies a great deal of free reign. The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) can surveil any air traveler for any arbitrary reason, including them somehow being associated with one of a million individuals on a secret list, and there is no way to know what the result of that surveillance is because the TSA has long had the power to add people to secret lists of people who it has the right to harass. But since most air travelers won’t suffer consequences from this practice, they will continue to be oblivious to the fact that they live in a police state.