The New Guy Sounds a Lot Like the Old Guy

Wow more change from the administration that’s been promising it since their campaign. In a move to reverse the Bush administration’s unconstitutional warrentless wire tapping law the Obama administration is repealing the law.

Oh wait sorry that’s only in the magical land of make believe. Since Mr. Rogers is dead we can’t go there anymore and hence we have to deal with reality. The new administration is sounding incredibly like the old one time and time again. Now Attorney General Eric Holder is saying the San Francisco lawsuit against warrantless wiretapping needs to be stopped in the name of national security. And with logic like this how can we argue:

In making the argument, the Obama administration agreed with the Bush administration’s position on the case but insists it came to the decision differently. A civil liberties group criticized the move Friday as a retreat from promises President Barack Obama made as a candidate.

Wait Obama isn’t keeping promises he made? By God he must be a, wait for it, politician. Holy crap it’s almost like you can’t trust these guys. I’m just waiting for Obama’s supporters who were against Bush on these very topics to justify what the current administration is doing. After all it’s OK, they came to the conclusion differently.

More British Tyranny

Oh Britain when will you ever learn. My friend sent me this article via old school e-mail (Yup no Twitter here). Well the British police decided to rip open and confiscate the contents of over 6,000 safety deposit boxes in a mad rush to find drugs and *GASP* guns.

I’m not going to spend time analyzing this as most of you are probably capable but I’m going to pull out some choice quotes:

A semi-automatic Glock 9mm, the weapon of choice for British gangsters, was lodged in Box 1653 at the Hampstead depository, rented by 44-year-old Gavin Leon, who was jailed for five years last March.

Wow I’m actually impressed, British gangsters have much better taste then those in the United States. Here gangsters usually haul around Hi-Points and Jennings as their gun of choice. I’m glad to see not every country’s criminals have the same lack of taste and sophistication. Next up:

However, by talking to scores of box-holders, none of whom have spoken before, Live has uncovered a different version of Operation Rize, one that shows how the vast majority of those caught up in the raids were innocent. They have had their lives turned upside down over the past 17 months. Many have struggled to recoup their money and possessions, been forced into legal trench warfare with police lawyers and told they must prove how they came by the contents of their boxes.

That’s right the police went in, stole the contents of every safety deposit box, and it’s the burden of those who were stolen from to prove they own what was in those boxes. That must have been one fucking general warrant. I’m guessing the description of the person was something along the lines of, “Human being between 3′ and 7′ tall weighing between 50 to 700 pounds. Skin may be white, black, red, yellow, or indigo.” And the description of the evidence must have read, “Any item in the possession of the suspect or being held in a place rented or leased by the suspect.” Seriously what the fuck? But that’s not all:

Mark Richardson, a former military intelligence officer and now a forensic accountant, who has been employed by several box-holders to explain their wealth, told us: ‘We had to get one family’s diamonds carbon-dated at great expense to demonstrate to the police that they had been cut in the Thirties, which tallied with their story of fleeing Germany before World War II.’

Yup guilty until proven innocent. “What’s that? Oh you say this diamond that we found in YOUR safety deposit box is in fact YOUR’S? Prove it.” I would assume that having an expensive item in a safety deposit box under your name would qualify as proof enough, just a thought. What else do we have? Well this:

Lawyer Sara Teasdale, of City practice Roiter Zucker, whose client had kept more than £900,000 in his box at the vaults in Edgware as cash flow for his business leasing black cabs, said: ‘The police are “deep-pocketing” – hauling people through a protracted legal process that they know is so costly that most will roll over.’

Not surprising. I’m sure the police get to keep anything that isn’t claimed, hence there is a conflict of interest there. The police are supposed to uphold the law but will try to fuck over people they stole from to keep the goods.

Anyways you get the idea. If you have heart pressure problems I’d advise not reading the article. The same goes if you have an allergic reaction to fascism.

Very Convenient

So provisions in the illegal PATRIOT Act are up for renewal and all of the sudden terrorists are being found left and right here in America. In fact two people in Chicago have been arrested under suspicion of terrorism. It’s almost like law enforcement wants to give our leaders a reason to renew provisions in a law that hasn’t done shit to fight terror but certainly did a great job at shitting on our rights.

Mandatory Services Equal Money

Walls of the City points out a little fact involving supply and demand. Apparently some federally licensed gun dealers are all for abolishing private sales between individuals (the anti-gun lobby coins this the “gun show loophole” even those it has nothing to do with gun shows or loopholes). Why would an FFL holder do such a thing? Aren’t they in the fight for the second amendment?

Well think about the service they provide. Think about it. If you haven’t come to the answer yet hit the link and read the post.

How can Anybody Take CNN Seriously After This

Wow CNN really are stretching to protect their Obamessiah from criticism. Apparently Saturday Night Live did a sketch portraying Obama in the light of an incompetent president. Although I do agree with that sentiment the honest to God’s truth is Saturday Night Life does this for a living. Political satire is something people generally enjoy. Well CNN decided to fact check the skit.

Why is it when a show based entirely around satire makes fun of the Obamessiah CNN will do fact checking but when the Brady Campaign spews out bullshit about gun shows being places where criminals can easily access firearms CNN fails to attempt any fact checking?

The Only Ones Hard at Work

Another story showing how the police force are the only citizens responsible enough to be the bastions of society. During a drug raid several police officers decided that they would play on a Wii while their comrade did the actual work of arresting, searching, and collecting evidence.

Why do I bring this up? Is it because of have a beef with police officers? No not at all. I respect police officers and the job they perform. But when somebody fucks up they should be called out on it. Police, like everybody else, are citizens and are no more enabled than the rest of society. Yet some people feel that we should give police the sole responsibility to protect the lives of the citizenry of the United States. They justify their feeling by saying police go through rigorous training and therefore are more responsible and less prone to fucking up than the rest of us. Videos like this prove otherwise.

Anniversary of 9/11

I really can’t pass on mentioning today is the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. I’d like to take this time to remember those who died in the attacks, those who fought the terrorists and prevented another plane from killing even more people, and mention a few things.

Since 9/11 security theatre has been ever expanding. The people in the government has used the attack to throw more and more personal rights away. Our representatives, senators, and presidents used this tragedy to strip more and more of our personal liberties in the name of “security.” Now don’t get me wrong I’m not a truther but I will freely admit our government’s reaction to the attacks has established nothing that could secure us from further attacks. Let’s look at what has happened since 9/11 shall we?

1. The passing of the PATRIOT Act.

2. The banning of most liquids on air planes.

3. The banning of carrying anything that could be construed as a potential sharp or pointy weapon. Except knitting needles of course.

4. Gitmo was used to place prisoners somewhere where they didn’t get a fair hearing and trial.

5. We now require United State’s citizens to have a passport before traveling to Canada.

6. The secret “no fly” list.

7. A bill presented to prevent people on the secret “no fly” list from purchasing firearms.

8. “Random” further interrogation by TSA agents simply because you’re a person of muslim decent or a randomly selected sucker used to show the TSA isn’t racially profiling.

9. Warrantless wiretapping.

10. Trying to get a system of national ID cards passed under the names of REAL ID and now PASS ID.

Really is this how we want to honor those who died in the attacks by destroying the thing this country once stood for above all else, liberty? Let’s remember and honor those who died 8 years ago today by voting out those who used those deaths to pass their personal agendas and repealing those laws that not only go against our constitution but against personal liberty as well.

London’s Cameras not Working so Well

A the United Kingdom land of the oppressed and observed. There isn’t really anywhere you can go without being on some CCTV camera, especially in London. Their government is always spouting how critical all these camera are to the security of it’s citizens. So how critical are they? The metric I believe would be the number of crimes solved using these camera. In thatt case they are a miserable failure. From Bruce Schneier’s blog comes a story about how effective those cameras are. Well the rate isn’t so hot.

The cameras in London are responsible for helping solve one crime for every 1,000 cameras. Of course that means the cost to solve each crime is astronomical, in fact it’s about £20,000 per crime.

At that price you can almost hire one new constable for each camera. With the added benefit of each constable being a mobile unit that can respond to a crime, as opposed to a camera which can only passively watch, you also increase the number of jobs which will help unemployment numbers.

London really needs to look at their cost to benefit ratio on these cameras and come up with a better solution than spying on it’s citizens 24 hours a day every day.

More on Consumer Product Safety Act

Remember my post a while back about many children’s books being banned due to poorly worded points in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act? Well via View From the Porch we have another story of government abuse using this act.

Federal agents are visiting garage sales looking for children’s toys that could fall under the above mentioned act. From the article:

The initiative, which targets toys and other products for children, enforces a new provision that makes it a crime to resell anything that’s been recalled by its manufacturer.

That’s right not only are objects made primarily for children that contain lead banned but any product that has been recalled by its manufacturer is also banned. Of course who here knows what products they own have been recalled? With the rare exception of some items like automobiles most products aren’t tied to the person who bought them and hence manufacturers can’t contact people who have bought their product when they do a recall.

Further Research

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. (PDF)