Losing Our Constitutional Rights

Fox News posted an article today about the Missouri couple seen defending their home from rioters on June 28th.. Although Missouri’s Castle Doctrine allows you to use deadly force to defend property, authorities acquired a warrant to search the McCloskey’s home and seized the rifle that Mark McCloskey was shown holding during the June 28 incident.

The article reports:

There was no immediate indication the McCloskeys were arrested or charged with a crime. The warrant applied only to a search for the guns, KSDK reported.

On Monday, the McCloskeys appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” and disclosed that protesters had returned to their neighborhood July 3 – but the couple was alerted in advance and hired a private security company to protect their residence.

…In the June incident, Patricia McCloskey said, the couple was startled just before dinnertime when “300 to 500 people” entered the gated community where they live.

“[They said] that they were going to kill us,” Patricia McCloskey told Hannity on Monday night. “They were going to come in there. They were going to burn down the house. They were going to be living in our house after I was dead, and they were pointing to different rooms and said, ‘That’s going to be my bedroom and that’s going to be the living room and I’m going to be taking a shower in that room’.””

The article notes:

The couple’s attorney at the time, Albert Watkins, said in a statement that the couple did not arm themselves until after they began feeling threatened.

“My clients didn’t sit on their front stoop with guns. … No firearms were on them at the time that they, were, as property owners standing in front of their home,” Watkins said at the time. “It was not until they basically were in a position of seeing and observing violence, recklessness, lawbreaking, and knowing that the police were not going to be doing anything.”

Were they supposed to just sit there and be attacked? The police were not in sight. Until the police deal with people who are not protesting peacefully but looting and rioting, Americans need to be armed to defend themselves. There was absolutely no reason to take the rifle away. Since the house has been targeted more than once by rioters, how are the McCloskeys supposed to defend themselves? Thank God they were able to hire a security group to protect their home and themselves. The seizing of the rifle not only violates their Second Amendment rights, it puts them in danger. They are lawyers, and I would love to see them sue the person responsible for the search warrant and the seizing of the rifle.

Privacy Is Now A Total Myth

Yesterday NBC News posted an article that illustrates how the surveillance state can be a problem for perfectly innocent individuals.

The article reports:

The email arrived on a Tuesday afternoon in January, startling Zachary McCoy as he prepared to leave for his job at a restaurant in Gainesville, Florida.

It was from Google’s legal investigations support team, writing to let him know that local police had demanded information related to his Google account. The company said it would release the data unless he went to court and tried to block it. He had just seven days.

“I was hit with a really deep fear,” McCoy, 30, recalled, even though he couldn’t think of anything he’d done wrong. He had an Android phone, which was linked to his Google account, and, like millions of other Americans, he used an assortment of Google products, including Gmail and YouTube. Now police seemingly wanted access to all of it.

“I didn’t know what it was about, but I knew the police wanted to get something from me,” McCoy said in a recent interview. “I was afraid I was going to get charged with something, I don’t know what.”

There was one clue.

In the notice from Google was a case number. McCoy searched for it on the Gainesville Police Department’s website, and found a one-page investigation report on the burglary of an elderly woman’s home 10 months earlier. The crime had occurred less than a mile from the home that McCoy, who had recently earned an associate degree in computer programming, shared with two others.

The article goes on to say that McCoy went to his parents, explained what was happening, and they funded a lawyer for him. McCoy was trying to figure out how he got involved in something he was totally unaware of. He began to look at his phone and realized that he was using an exercise-tracking app, RunKeeper, to record the bike rides he was taking for exercise.

The article continues:

The lawyer, Caleb Kenyon, dug around and learned that the notice had been prompted by a “geofence warrant,” a police surveillance tool that casts a virtual dragnet over crime scenes, sweeping up Google location data — drawn from users’ GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular connections — from everyone nearby.

The warrants, which have increased dramatically in the past two years, can help police find potential suspects when they have no leads. They also scoop up data from people who have nothing to do with the crime, often without their knowing ─ which Google itself has described as “a significant incursion on privacy.”

Please follow the link to read the entire article. However, the bottom line is simple–Mr. McCoy’s civil rights were violated when he was accused of a crime simply because his exercise application placed him in the neighborhood of the crime. There was no other evidence other than the illegal surveillance of his movements.

The article concludes with the outcome of the case:

On Jan. 31, Kenyon filed a motion in Alachua County civil court to render the warrant “null and void” and to block the release of any further information about McCoy, identifying him only as “John Doe.” At that point, Google had not turned over any data that identified McCoy but would have done so if Kenyon hadn’t intervened. Kenyon argued that the warrant was unconstitutional because it allowed police to conduct sweeping searches of phone data from untold numbers of people in order to find a single suspect.

That approach, Kenyon said, flipped on its head the traditional method of seeking a search warrant, in which police target a person they already suspect.

“This geofence warrant effectively blindly casts a net backwards in time hoping to ensnare a burglar,” Kenyon wrote. “This concept is akin to the plotline in many a science fiction film featuring a dystopian, fascist government.”

The filing seemed to give law enforcement authorities second thoughts about the warrant. Not long afterward, Kenyon said, a lawyer in the state attorney’s office assigned to represent the Gainesville Police Department told him there were details in the motion that led them to believe that Kenyon’s client was not the burglar. The state attorney’s office withdrew the warrant, asserting in a court filing that it was no longer necessary. The office did not respond to a request for comment.

Kenyon said that in a visit to his office, the detective acknowledged that police no longer considered his client a suspect.

On Feb. 24, Kenyon dropped his legal challenge.

The case ended well for McCoy, Kenyon said, but “the larger privacy fight will go unanswered.”

This is frightening.

This Could Happen Here

The BFD is a New Zealand newspaper. On January 20, the paper posted an article written by someone who personally experienced the consequences of New Zealand’s gun control law (the Search and Surveillance Act 2012).

The article reports:

On Thursday evening, I was just finishing up dinner with my two oldest kids. My wife was feeling unwell and feeding our four-week-old baby in bed. I had just gotten the icecream out for the kids when the doorbell rang.

I opened the door to see a number of police officers outside. They served me with a search warrant under Section 6 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012. Half a dozen armed police officers swarmed in the front door (holstered sidearms only) as several more ran around the sides of the house. They later called for more backup as the house was larger than your average state-house drug lab. I got the impression that they’d never had to raid a middle-class suburban house like mine before. Everyone on the property was detained, read their rights, and questioned separately. I opted to call a lawyer who advised me to refuse to answer any questions.

The warrant claimed they had reason to believe I was in possession of a prohibited magazine fitted to a “.22RL lever-action rifle. Blued metal, brown wooden stock.” The officer told me I had posted about it online, which I had—in my public written submission against the Firearms Amendment Act passed last year. That submission was shared on several blogs and social media. I had used the firearm as an example to prove the legislation was not targeting “military-style assault weapons” as the media, prime minister, and her cabinet repeated ad nauseum. The vast majority of firearms affected by the legislation were just like mine.

I thought nothing more of my little example to the select committee. It was no longer in my possession when the police raided my house. They departed empty-handed after turning the place inside out for ninety minutes and left me with my firearms and a visibly shaken wife who broke down in tears. Thankfully, the kids didn’t quite get what was going on—but I realised after that they had gone to bed without icecream.

For anyone like me who does not know a whole lot about guns, the article describes the rifle:

I’ve been vocal about the amnesty being a disaster, and the police were rather open about the failure of the whole process. Maybe if they stopped raiding innocent people’s houses there might have been some more good will? They implied that they’d keep having to raid the houses of people I knew until the firearm turned up. This is for an A-Category firearm, which I have no reason to believe is fitted with a prohibited magazine! Are these the kind of intimidation tactics now the norm in New Zealand? Are we going to accept this in a first-world democracy?

This is for a lever-action .22LR that’s designed to hit paper or be used to hunt bunnies. What happened to going after the “weapons designed to kill people” as the police minister Stuart Nash has claimed?

The implications of this are rather stunning. I took the photo and publicised the details about this firearm as part of the select committee process. This good-faith evidence was used by the police as a justification for their raid. Do we now live in a country where public evidence given to a select committee will be used against you to suit the political purposes of the police?

Anyone who’s publicly talked about or posted a picture of their grandfather’s little .22LR pump/lever action can get raided, as these rifles all had 10+ capacity prior to the draconian new rules. Admitting you had one a year ago is reason enough to warrant a raid on your property today.

I guess the bunnies’ lobby decided to ask the government to confiscate the weapons used against them.

On a serious note, this could easily happen in America and may be happening soon in Virginia.

One Small Step Against Terrorism

It is an open secret that Islamic supremacists operate training camps inside America. Most of the time these camps are allowed to operate without interference (I do question the wisdom of this). However, yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported on the breaking up of one of these camps.

The article reports:

A homegrown Islamic terrorist training camp was discovered in Alabama recently.

The property belongs to terrorist Siraj Wahhaj who was arrested at a camp in New Mexico.

Interesting coincidence.

ABC 3340 reported on Friday:

At first glance, it looks like an abandoned dump.

But this plot of land in Macon County, Alabama is described in an FBI search warrant as a “makeshift military-style obstacle course” belonging to a small group of terrorists led by Siraj Wahhaj who owned the property up a long dirt road but just a few miles from downtown Tuskegee.

The property, similar to another compound in New Mexico the group is now linked to where federal prosecutors say Wahhaj and four other suspects were training children to carry out deadly terror attacks on American soil.

FBI Assistant Director for the Counterterrorism Division Michael McGarrity told lawmakers on Capitol Hill there are 850 open domestic terrorism investigations, with 40% racially motivated violent extremism.

In the Alabama case the group may not have carried out an attack, but the remains of a child believed to belong to Wahhaj, who is being charged with kidnapping were also found on the property.

For other small town cases, Fuhrman (Tim Fuhrman, Former Special Agent with the FBI field office in Mobile, Alabama) says the engaged citizen is often the best defense.

Our open southern border does not help the situation. We have no idea who is entering our country or who is here. This camp in Alabama and the camp in New Mexico may only be the tip of the iceberg. Americans need to pay attention to the people around them. Where there are areas of the country that seem to be cordoned off, we need to ask questions.

 

 

It’s Good To Know What You Are Protesting Before You Protest

Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about a protest in West Oakland, California. The protest occurred last year, but the video has resurfaced this year because of the Democrat’s idea to abolish ICE. The protesters were protesting an ICE raid in their neighborhood.

The article reports:

Assuming the agents were arresting illegal immigrants, people began protesting outside of the house.

Neighbor Hadar Cohen woke up to her roommate crying, saying she didn’t know what to do. The two of them and other housemates went outside to find agents on their street. Cohen, who was holding a “No person is illegal” sign, said that agents weren’t telling the neighbors what was going on.

This is what the protesters did not know:

The raid was part of an ongoing criminal investigation of a child sex trafficking in Oakland. Investigators were executing a federal search warrant, a fact which the Oakland Police Department later confirmed.

Agents were seen taking two individuals to their cars; both had blankets covering their faces to conceal their identities.

Protestors wrote in chalk on the ground “We love our neighbors” and “Oakland PD is a disgrace,” as the agents and police officers busted up the child prostitution ring.

So the protesters were supporting the rights of child sex traffickers rather than the rights of the law enforcement agencies trying to protect the children in the area. How loony have protests become? If these protesters had known the truth, would it have mattered? Would the protests be different if any of their children had been taken by these people?

The ‘resistance’ has totally lost its way. It has been so blinded by hatred of a person that it cannot see. One of the accomplishments of the Trump administration is the ongoing battle against child pornography and human trafficking. This raid was one example of that battle, and protesters who had no idea what was going on made fools of themselves.

Why A Federal Judge Is Questioning Mueller’s Actions

I am not a lawyer. Please understand that I do not fully understand all of the nuances of what I am about to write. The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about some of the legal irregularities in the investigation being done by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

The article reports:

Today U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III appears to have caught on to an explosive issue CTH noted yesterday.  In building the case against Paul Manafort, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team used the pre-existing FISA Title-1 warrant that was originally applied to U.S. person Carter Page and the Trump campaign.

Under normal criminal investigation any search warrant or surveillance warrant would normally proceed through U.S. courts, under Title-3, where the Mueller team would need to show probable cause for a warrant.  However, by using the Title-1 warrant from the FBI counterintelligence operation, as extended by AAG Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller was able to use far more intrusive and unchecked searches and seizures for his criminal probe.

In essence, Mueller’s investigation is using methods that are not within the bounds of the law.

The article details the events in the courtroom:

“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort,” U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III told Mueller’s team. “You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.”

Further, Ellis demanded to see the unredacted “scope memo,” a document outlining the scope of the special counsel’s Russia probe that congressional Republicans have also sought. […] The Reagan-appointed judge asked Mueller’s team where they got the authority to indict Manafort on alleged crimes dating as far back as 2005.

The special counsel argues that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein granted them broad authority in his May 2, 2017 letter appointing Mueller to this investigation. But after the revelation that the team is using information from the earlier DOJ probe, Ellis said that information did not “arise” out of the special counsel probe – and therefore may not be within the scope of that investigation.

“We don’t want anyone with unfettered power,” he said.

Mueller’s team says its authorities are laid out in documents including the August 2017 scope memo – and that some powers are actually secret because they involve ongoing investigations and national security matters that cannot be publicly disclosed.

Ellis seemed amused and not persuaded.

He summed up the argument of the Special Counsel’s Office as, “We said this was what [the] investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying.”

He referenced the common exclamation from NFL announcers, saying: “C’mon man!” 

I understand the concept of a Special Prosecutor, but I feel like the office has been totally abused when it is called into play. It is time for Robert Mueller to write a summary of what he has found regarding Russian collusion during the election and shut the investigation down. He might also want to take a look at the collusion with Russia regarding the GPS Fusion documents, but somehow he seems to have overlooked those.

Do You Believe What You See Or What You Are Told

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the contrast between what is actually happening in America regarding the economic improvement the average American is experiencing and the lens the press is looking through.

The article cited some of the questioning at the White House Press Briefing yesterday:

Q Sarah, two questions. The President said yesterday he was compliant; that he turned over a million documents. If he was compliant with these investigation, why was there a search warrant needed?

SANDERS: This doesn’t have anything to do with the President, and I would refer you to Michael Cohen and his attorney. When it comes to matters of the Special Counsel and dealings with the President, we’ve been fully cooperative.

Q Okay, and the next question. With all of this turmoil, particularly this last week, has the President at any time thought about stepping down before or now?

SANDERS: No. And I think that’s an absolutely ridiculous question.

Q No, it’s not ridiculous. It’s not ridiculous.

SANDERS: I gave you two questions, April. We’re moving on.

Jordan, go ahead.

Q [By April Ryan] It is a legitimate question. It’s not ridiculous.

I am beginning to wonder if we should just do away with the daily White House press briefing. It would be nice if the press would report some of the good things that have happened under President Trump–low unemployment, lower taxes, employee bonuses because of the changes in the tax code, fewer people on food stamps, etc. Where are the questions about these things?

The Enemy Lives Among Us

I haven’t seen this story on the national news, so I am reporting it here. Fox 40 in Binghamton, New York,posted an article on June 14th that Ramadan Abdullah, a 64-year-old resident of Johnson City was arrested with 5 felony weapons charges. The man was arrested on a shoplifting charge, but police became suspicious when questioning him and obtained a search warrant to search his storage unit.

The article reports:

After discovering the stash of weapons in the storage unit, police also obtained search warrants for Abdullah’s home at 82 Ackley Ave, and another residence in Oneonta. Police say family members at both residences cooperated with police, but authorities could not comment on whether or not those family members knew about Abdullah’s collection of weapons and ammo.

…SEIZED FROM TWN. UNION STORAGE UNIT
4 loaded handguns
8 assault weapons
1 loaded shotgun
Two rifles
64 large-capacity ammunition feeding devices ( magazine, belt, or device capable of feeding more than 10 rounds)
Thousands of rounds of ammunition for rifles, pistols and assault weapons including 50 caliber armor piercing incendiary rounds, numerous firearm parts and flak jackets

Seems to be a little more than the average gun collector might have.

The Clarion Project posted an article on the arrest today.

The Clarion Project reports:

Abdullah is a longtime associate of the U.S.-based Islamist cult Muslims of America (MOA), which has been described as a terrorist organization in documents from the FBI and other agencies. A 2003 file says MOA is linked to terrorists in Pakistan, including Al-Qaeda affiliates.

The group’s headquarters is a 70-acre compound in Hancock, NY called “Islamberg.”  It is just a 50-minute drive from where Abdullah was arrested.

I think it is time to take a look at some of these compounds in America. There are a number of them scattered around the country. They need to be investigated as to who owns the land, who pays the taxes, and who pays the expenses of the compound.

 

Why We Need To Drastically Shrink The Internal Revenue Service–Not Expand It

Yesterday the Washington Times reported that someone is actually suing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Turn about is fair play! So what did the IRS do that resulted in a lawsuit.

The lawsuit charges that the IRS violated the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment states:

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 article explains:

…(IRS) agents executed a search warrant for financial data on one employee – and that led to the seizure of information on 10 million, including state judges.

The search warrant did not specify that the IRS could take medical information, UPI said. And information technology officials warned the IRS about the potential to violate medical privacy laws before agents executed the warrant, the complaint said, as reported by UPI.

“Despite knowing that these medical records were not within the scope of the warrant, defendants threatened to ‘rip’ the servers containing the medical data out of the building if IT personnel would not voluntarily hand them over,” the complaint states, UPI reported.

The article reports that the records taken could impact up to one in 25 Americans.

Meanwhile, Forbes Magazine posted an article on Friday noting:

…Obamacare dramatically expands the authority and the scope of the Internal Revenue Service. Two provisions in particular will require thousands of new IRS agents, and billions in funding, to enforce: the law’s individual mandate, forcing most Americans to buy government-approved health insurance; and its employer mandate, forcing most employers to take money out of workers’ paychecks to purchase costly health insurance on their behalf.

The IRS will be enforcing the individual mandate. We knew that. What you may not be aware of is that there are a number of exceptions to the individual mandate, and the IRS has to have a good deal of information about you to see if you are eligible for one of those exceptions–they are only collecting all of this personal information for your own good!

The law is also written in a way that forces employers with 50 or more “full-time employees” offer “minimum essential coverage” in an “affordable” manner. There are all sorts of rules and regulations surrounding this that also require the IRS to collect more information on all of us.

The article in Forbes suggests a solution:

Others are suggesting that the duty to enforce the individual and employer mandates be taken out of IRS’ hands and moved into another agency. But, to me, this doesn’t make much sense. Do we really want another government agency to have sensitive information about our incomes and our insurance policies?

The only viable solution to this problem is to repeal the employer mandate altogether, and to replace the individual mandate with something else, like a limited open enrollment period, that does not require expanding the power and the authority of the IRS.

ObamaCare will not be repealed unless it becomes an obstacle for Democrats running for office. Until the American people make it clear that they will not vote for anyone who does not support the repeal of ObamaCare, we will be stuck with it. Even then, it may take a little time for politicians to get the message. The thing to remember is that there will be a point of no return–a place where ObamaCare has so totally impacted health care in America that it cannot be repealed. Hopefully we get repeal it before we reach that point.

 

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