Ted Cruz lists his top priorities: #1 Repeal Obamacare, #2 Abolish the IRS

This is why we love Ted Cruz around here.  Not only does he talk the talk, but his record as a Senator and previously as the Attorney General of Texas, he has proven himself a man of action.  

Here’s his full speech from CPAC:

I love this bit from the question and answer portion at the end.

Sean Hannity of Fox News asked Cruz what his top five agenda items are for the country.

“Number one,” said Cruz. “Repeal every blasted word of Obamacare.”

“Number two, abolish the IRS, take all 125,000 IRS agents and put them on our southern border,” said the senator. “Number three, stop the out of control regulators at the EPA and the alphabet soup of Washington. Number four, defend our constitutional rights - all of them, and number five, restore America’s leadership in the world as a shining city on a hill.”

The only thing I quibble with here is his order.  #1 is defending the Constitutional rights of the American people, and everything else falls into place.  #2 is abolishing the IRS, and everything else he said will fall into place afterwards.  

But yes, Ted, we love where your head is at.

The Case of Mike Brown: Logic-Wise

More posts will be made but here is my rant to just get all this out of my head.

TL;DR Version:

[Even if Brown was a rabid undead zombie who randomly attacked Wilson who then saved all of humanity by killing him, the Ferguson police force still has a lot to answer for when it comes to constitutional rights violations and Wilson is still a shitty cop who should be fired.]

LONG VERSION:

Let’s pretend for a moment we live in a world where police always tell the truth 100% of the time and Darren Wilson’s series of events is accurate.

LETS PRETEND.

Lets ignore what Darren Wilson would have had to say to Mike Brown in order to get the collage bound teenager angry enough to think he could attack an armed officer and get away with it.

LETS IGNORE THAT

And pretend he was just so fucked up on bath salts he didn’t know what he was doing at all.

LETS PRETEND Wilson was sitting in his car, quietly listening to Beyonce when the “Demonic” ((his words)) Mike Brown showed up and just attacked him out of nowhere.

LETS PRETEND that after being SO BRUTALLY ASSAULTED (that it actually made his poor widdle cheek pink! Even 4 whole hours after the assault, I’ve done BDSM I know it wouldn’t have been that colour after that much time BUT LETS PRETEND!!!!!) Wilson exited his car to the fleeing Brown, pulled out his gun (which he had not tried to take out earlier to threaten Brown with, but Brown had been trying to pull from his holster) yelled “STOP OR I’LL SHOOT” as is legally required of him to say and instead of stopping, the already enraged Brown spun around like a top and ran at Wilson.

LETS EVEN PRETEND that the non-athletic Brown made it 200 feet away before turning and running at Wilson upon which he fired (and not before) which is why he was 153 feet away when he died, clearing 50 feet BACK all while being fired upon, and after taking some shorts to the torso (As Wilson is supposed to be shooting there) Wilson concluded Brown was a zombie, and did the two head shots.

HELL Lets even pretend Brown WAS a rage filled Zombie.

THIS STILL DOESN’T EXPLAIN

-Why Wilson did not file a police report.
-Why the officers who were supposed to interview Wilson to gather evidence of the shooting did not file police reports, or record the interview, or write it down.
-Why the medical examiner the first time around didn’t file his report, or take pictures, or write anything down.
-Why no one took anyone’s statements the day of the incident and not until they came under media fire did the police even pretend to do their job.
-Why Wilson continues to lie about how far away Brown was to the public (but is willing to tell the truth before a jury where he’d get instantly slapped with jail time if those lies were caught)
-Why the prosecutor for this case is the same guy who started the legal defense fund for Wilson. (I’m not even kidding, how the fuck is that a thing?)

But hey LETS PRETEND FOR A FUCKING SECOND HERE that all of these answers have logical and reasonable explanations (Maybe Brown WAS a zombie and they opted to file nothing because they all knew how crazy it was, or there have been zombie attacks in the USA for years and this is just secret government protocol to prevent panic.)

Police shot the unarmed Dillon Taylor from Utah which is a very comparable case. Why is it that we’re not hearing about this nearly as much? Well…

The case of Taylor is more clear cut which is why it’s not getting attention because
1) The officer was wearing a body camera
2) The officer filed a report
3) The officer waited for backup before confronting the suspect
4) The officer called in the interaction before interacting AS HE’S SUPPOSED TO.
5) The officer was informed before the altercation took place that the suspect was armed (this was false but there is a 911 call that claims the suspects were armed)
6) Two torso shots were fired.

All of this is mirror opposite to Browns case where there’s no camera, no report, no backup, no calls on the radio, no potential crime that had been called in that Wilson was aware of and there were 6 shorts fired with two to the HEAD.

People are still understandably mad there will be no charges there but as far as an incident goes, the death of Taylor at least follows protocol. And unfortunately protocol in the case of a shooting is all that matters.

WILSON DID NOT FOLLOW PROTOCOL.

Had he followed Protocol then most people would be ignoring this. He couldn’t even do the most basic level of his job (which brings into question every incident he’s been involved in and every piece of paperwork he has ever done)

But LETS EVEN IGNORE THAT!!!

This still doesn’t explain the level of militaristic force that came out when people were protesting the shooting. You shoot someone, people will protest, it doesn’t matter who you shoot, people protest all the time, it’s one of those things that supposed to make America “The land of the free” this is LITERALLY the reason American’s use to justify going to other countries and killing people “Because FREEDOM.” 

In the case of Taylor the people DID PROTEST, but why are we not hearing about their protest? Because the people protested, the media recorded it, NOTHING HAPPENED, everyone went home. It wasn’t that their protest was calmer, or smaller, or less “Protest-y” it was that police didn’t show up to the protest and try to disperse it, it’s that police didn’t show up in full riot gear with a TANK and demand they all went home.

Police came in regular uniform, walked alongside the protestors, after a day or two of NOTHING HAPPENING other than angry sign waving, everyone WENT HOME.

Whereas in Ferguson…

THE PEOPLE’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS WERE VIOLATED RIGHT OFF THE BAT.

Even if we pretend that Brown was a zombie and Wilson was a saviour of humanity by stopping Brown’s potential murderous and infectious rampage the people were prevented from gathering, the media was prevented from gathering and reporting and AMERICAN CITIZENS were ATTACKED by Militarized Police using chemical warfare.

CITIZENS ATTACKED for exercising their CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

And this isn’t a “MAYBE” its a FACT. According to a judge in a legal ruling protestors and media’s rights have been violated again and again in Ferguson.


So even if we ignore everything that has everything to do with the actual fucking case. The police are STILL in the wrong which is why it makes it such a big deal

In the American Pledge of Allegiance every citizen promises themselves to uphold liberty and justice, EVERY CITIZEN Pledges their respect to uphold that which makes the United States of America the Republic it Is. What BINDS the USA as being a Republic is the Constitution.

It is every Citizens solemn duty and oath to uphold that Constitution and to rally and fight against anyone who tries to violate it. Any Citizen of the USA who is NOT out there fighting right now, who isn’t on the most basic level siding with the protestors is the definition of a detractor from everything that it means to be allied with the USA. And those officers on the ground who are violating the constitution, they are the definition of Terrorists.

This is why I don’t fucking give a shit what your opinion of the Brown case is. Because the whole reason this is getting attention, the whole reason we need to care is massive. It’s massive because Black lives matter, it’s massive because the world is watching and it’s massive because all that it means to be American is on the line.

Don't You Dare Say You're For 'Freedom' If You're Against Marriage Equality

Don’t You Dare Say You’re For ‘Freedom’ If You’re Against Marriage Equality

Freedom — the favorite words of conservatives far and wide, but what does it mean… to them?

It seems these folks, predominantly white, Christian, heterosexual, seemingly fundamentalist individuals see “freedom” as a word for them, but when it comes to anyone else that doesn’t fit their mold — not so much.

They attribute “freedom” as something that has been given to them:

  • The freedom to write…

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Eric Holder quietly expands ATFs power to seize private property

You may have heard some buzz over the last few months about the practice of “civil asset forfeiture” by law enforcement.  Basically, asset forfeiture is a fancy way of saying that police steal private property without any kind of criminal conviction.  The practice is wholly unconstitutional, but that doesn’t matter to anybody in the Obama administration.  

Eric Holder just expanded ATF’s power to take private property without due process. 

from Cato:

A quick glance at the Federal Register (Vol. 80, No. 37, p. 9987-88) today reveals that Attorney General Eric Holder, who earned cautious praise last month for a small reform to the federal equitable sharing program, has now delegated authority to the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to seize and “administratively forfeit” property involved in suspected drug offenses.  Holder temporarily delegated this authority to the ATF on a trial basis in 2013, and today made the delegation permanent while lauding the ATF for seizing more than $19.3 million from Americans during the trial period.

Historically, when the ATF uncovered contraband subject to forfeiture under drug statutes, it was required to either refer the property to the DEA for administrative forfeiture proceedings or to a U.S. Attorney in order to initiate a judicial forfeiture action.  Under today’s change, the ATF will now be authorized to seize property related to alleged drug offenses and initiate administrative forfeiture proceedings all on its own.

The DOJ claims this rule change doesn’t affect individual rights (and was thus exempt from the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act) and that the change is simply an effort to streamline the federal government’s forfeiture process.  Those who now stand more likely to have their property taken without even a criminal charge may beg to differ.

Further, the department claims that forcing the ATF to go through a judicial process in order to seize property requires too much time and money.  Whereas an “uncontested administrative forfeiture can be perfected in 60-90 days for minimal cost […] the costs associated with judicial forfeiture can amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars and the judicial process generally can take anywhere from 6 months to years.”  In other words, affording judicial process to Americans suspected of engaging in criminal activity takes too long and costs too much.

read the rest

Obama’s nominee to replace Eric Holder is no stranger to civil asset forfeiture either.  She made a career out of taking other people’s stuff in New York. Loretta Lynch’s office alone is responsible for nearly $1 Billion in seized private property.   

3

Saw some shit going down, so I pulled over to film it. Luckily, nothing came of it. No tales of brutality, or triumphs of constitutional rights. Just some cops doing their job and respecting my rights to record them.

Officer: “What are you doing sir?”
Me: “Recording this interaction.”
Officer: “Okay cool. Just do me a favor and stay back about ten feet. You can record as long as you don’t interfere.”

I now have fifteen minutes worth of boring public intoxication footage. Oh well. Still important.

VIDEO: Tumblr CEO David Karp demonstrates utter cluelessness about net neutrality

If you’ve been on Tumblr at all in the last couple of weeks, it’s been hard to miss the glaring “Save the Internet” buttons in the sidebar.  Tumblr has been flexing all of its muscle to advocate for the FCC to regulate the internet through so-called “Net Neutrality.”  

Yesterday, Tumblr’s CEO David Karp appeared on CNBC to argue for government regulation of the internet.  Once he opened his mouth, it became abundantly clear that Karp has no clue what he’s talking about, leaving the CNBC panel utterly flabbergasted.  At times, Karp had to pause for what seemed like an eternity to say, “Uuuuuuuh, uh,  I confess…not my area of expertise.”

here’s the video:

Okay, let’s break this down point by point, shall we?

Karp says ATT’s CEO is lying that regulating the internet as a utility will make it unprofitable to continue investing in infrastructure.

As Becky Quick pointed out in the interview, ATT has the largest financial investment in network infrastructure in America.  That’s not a talking point, it’s a fact. ATT spent $23.2 billion last year improving its network, but already the company has paused plans to expand its fiberoptic network (and gigabit internet service to compete with Google Fiber) and slowed its future captial expenditures. 

As the panel points out, the reason there isn’t more competition in the ISP market is that it’s really, really expensive to bring internet service to a consumer’s door.  Adding government regulation on top of an already expensive industry can only slow down future advancements; there is no way around that fact.  

Karp seems utterly clueless about how internet gets from the ISP to his door, and he even admits it’s “not his area of expertise” when pressed on it.  He said, “It’s just been disproven” that ATT and other ISPs will slow their network buildout, but he was unable to offer any such proof, even though the panel begged him to do so.  

Karp went so far as to say that ATT CEO Randall Stephenson will “absolutely” continue to spend money on internet infrastructure, even "if he can’t recoup his investment."  That is utter madness right there!

Karp: “There’s a tremendous amount of artificial throttling going on right now.”

Karp was unable to point to a single current example of ISPs throttling internet service.  The best he was able to come up with were examples from five years ago that are completely irrelevant today.  Again, the panel pushed him on this point, but Karp kept retreating back to 2010.  In the tech world, five years ago might as well be a different industrial age. 

Karp’s inability to point to a current need for “net neutrality” regulations prove the point we made in our open letter to Tumblr: “net neutrality” is a solution to a problem that is purely hypothetical.  

Even if there were a “tremendous amount of artificial throttling going on right now,” Karp also fails to give a single reason why a private company should be banned by the government from prioritizing its network.  Again, Becky Quick points out that a massive percentage of internet bandwidth is taken up by companies like Netflix, and people who don’t use that service are subsidizing those who do.  The way the industry is currently set up allowed ISPs and Netflix the flexibility to come up with a solution for this problem, but net neutrality would prohibit such solutions, even temporary ones, in the future.  It leaves ISPs and companies in need of large amounts of bandwidth to survive with their hands completely tied, unable to negotiate a private contract between them.

Karp thinks Net Neutrality is just like the Bill of Rights

Good grief!  At this point, it was hard to keep watching this nonsense!

Karp points to the Bill of Rights as an example of “heavy handed government regulation” working out as a good thing.  Except that the Bill of Rights is no such thing at all.  The Bill of Rights sets boundaries on what the government can do, not on the individuals in America or the private companies that they form.  The Bill of Rights was designed to protect American citizens from government regulation! It does the very opposite thing Karp thinks it does.  

Net Neutrality, on the other hand, allows the government to forcibly regulate private companies and tell them what they can or can’t do.  The Bill of Rights was ratified by a 2/3s majority in the Senate.  Net Neutrality is being voted on behind closed doors without allowing the public to even read the rules first.  

Again, the Bill of Rights is 1 page that tells the Federal Government what it can’t do.  Net Neutrality is 332 pages (that you’re not allowed to read) of the Federal Government telling you what you can’t do.

Karp believes Title 2 Regulation is just peachy!

Except that Karp doesn’t even address the panel’s concerns at all about regulating the internet under a law that was passed in 1934.  He doesn’t make a single point about Title 2 and just goes right back into hypotheticals about “throttling and blocking” and ISPs “trying to take it off the rails.”  His answer is completely incoherent. 


We can learn something from David Karp’s interview.  The people who beg for government to have more control over individuals and industries either stand to personally benefit from it or they’re utterly clueless.  Karp probably fits more into the second category.  I’m not saying Karp isn’t a smart guy.  He clearly is.  However, his “area of expertise” is web development, not deciding what the government should and shouldn’t regulate.  Sadly, in the Net Neutrality debate, Karp allowed himself to be made a pawn in someone else’s game.

National Archives Clearly Stored Constitution In Three-Ring Binder

While we’re thrilled to have made theonion, don’t take their word for it — come see the Constitution for yourself if you’re in DC this holiday season!

(Plus there are only a few weeks left to see the current special exhibit  Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures before it closes on January 5, 2015!)

Feds: the 4th Amendment doesn't apply to your emails more than 180 days old

According to the Federal Government, your 4th Amendment right to privacy doesn’t apply to any electronic communications over 180 days old. This includes your email and text messages.  

from McClatchy:

If you’ve been remiss in cleaning out your email in-box, here’s some incentive: The federal government can read any emails that are more than six months old without a warrant.
Little known to most Americans, ambiguous language in a communications law passed in 1986 extends Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure only to electronic communications sent or received fewer than 180 days ago.
The language, known as the “180-day rule,” allows government officials to treat any emails, text messages or documents stored on remote servers – popularly known as the cloud – as “abandoned” and therefore accessible using administrative subpoena power, a tactic that critics say circumvents due process.
As you rush to purge your Gmail and Dropbox accounts, however, be forewarned that even deleted files still could be fair game as long as copies exist on a third-party server somewhere.
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 was written at a time when most people did not have email accounts, said Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas, who is leading efforts in the House of Representatives to update the law.
“The government is essentially using an arcane loophole to breach the privacy rights of Americans,” Yoder said. “They couldn’t kick down your door and seize the documents on your desk, but they could send a request to Google and ask for all the documents that are in your Gmail account. And I don’t think Americans believe that the Constitution ends with the invention of the Internet.”
Bipartisan legislation introduced earlier this month by Yoder and Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat, would require government agencies and law enforcement officials to obtain a search warrant based on probable cause.

read the rest

Opposition to things like this should be bipartisan.  In fact, it should be virtually universal.  

Nationalism and patriotism are incredibly fucking stupid.

You were born in a certain place? OBVIOUSLY that makes it the best place in the world, right? Kinda sounds like religion. You were born into a certain religion, so it OBVIOUSLY makes it the right one.

And Americans are some of the worst. Especially since it’s a country built on land thievery, mass genocide, racism, slavery, sexism, and witch hunts.

I am not a proud American. I’ll burn your fucking flag just to watch you throw a temper tantrum.

Nationalism and patriotism kills people. Nationalism and patriotism separates people. Nationalism and patriotism is saying “My dick is bigger than yours because I live in _____ country and you don’t.”

Fuck your flag. Destroy all borders.