- Verizon makes a sadly hilarious response to the FCC’s “Throwback Thursday” decision to apply steam-engine-and-telegraph standards to the Internet. Get another laugh by clicking on the translation.
- Prove your identity to Microsoft or they won’t “allow” you to use their products that you’ve paid for? (H/T cat) The author’s claims about U.S. tech losses thanks to snoopery are right on. Will now be interesting to see how U.S. residents and companies route around the new FCC regulations.
- Beware of being neighborly without a permit.
- Nice infographics show what’s allowed and what’s not in the four places that have now legalized recreational cannabis.
- Jim Bovard’s tribute to Mike McNulty includes full-length versions of Mike’s most important (and heartbreaking) videos. I know nothing so far about how Mike died, but Joseph Baltar, who worked with him, left this comment.
Archive for the ‘Official thuggery, bad prosecutions, and bad law’ Category
So if you haven’t heard by now (and there’s been surprisingly little coverage), the FCC is about to v*te to regulate the Internet. ‘Cause, you know, the ‘Net is just precisely like the telephone system in the 1930s and now there are all these terrible, terrible unfair things going on like
people not being allowed to express their opinions big traditional media companies triumphing over blogs and social media … well, like something. Whatever it is, the fedgov MUST save us from it!
Not only that, but tomorrow’s big v*te will be on a 300+-page secret plan that you and I (e.g. the alleged beneficiaries of regulation) aren’t even allowed to see.
Despite three of the five FCC v*ters (ah, the magic of democracy!) being Dems, the plan may yet choke. One of the Dems is reportedly just a teensy bit restless about the whole matter. And even if the Big Five v*te themselves the authority, court challenges could drag out for years. But as usual We the Peasants have no say in the situation, one way or the other. (Did I mention ah, democracy!)
Even one of the big forces supposedly looking out for “our” side has gone over to the other side.
And (ah, justice!) they’re already regretting it, despite not quite understanding why. MtK, who sent me the link in that last paragraph noted that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has become the NRA of ‘Net freedom.
You ask for federal regulation? You support federal regulation? Then you’re shocked, simply shocked! when you get federal regulation — and it turns out it benefits the feds more than you? Oh, you pooo widdle baby! Such a surprise! Who could possibly have predicted that?
Oh wait … anybody who’s been standing on the outside watching could have predicted that. Heck, we could have predicted it even before there was such a thing as the Internet to regulate. Because that’s just the way it works.
How is it that only those who so desperately cherish their “seats at the table” during fed dealmaking (and incidentally, we’re talking to you, Mr. Gottlieb, with your notorious seat-at-the-table on Manchin-Toomey, as well as the formerly principled folks at the EFF) are somehow the only ones who can’t see the inevitable result of playing footsie under that table with the fedgov?
SIDENOTE: How is it, also, that the big gov faction always comes up with the good memes? I mean “net neutrality” and “open internet” — what kind of villain could possibly be opposed to those? Being against neutrality and openness would be like hating kittens. Never mind that “neutrality” and “openness” are just verbal Halloween costumes disguising government control. And this has been going on for a long time, clear back to when the noble slogan “one man, one v*te” was used to shift all political power from rural areas to urban centers. How come freedom never gets the good memes?
- Oh, those witty Canadians. The Syrup Trap sends up someone’s (not naming any names) notion of a proper earthquake survival kit. (H/T MJR)
- Seems Mr. Gottlieb may be forbidding anyone to post Mike Vanderboegh’s views on KABA.
- Snoozing hound dreams big dreams in magical scenes.
- Though I continue to watch the Elio with anticipation, I’ve long been suspicious of their seemingly ironclad claims: $6,800 price, 84-mpg highway, and engineered for a 5-star crash rating. They keep making these claims despite production delays, despite not even having an engine yet, and despite the fact that 5-stars is a very difficult achievement. So call me eager but skeptical. I tend to agree with this Jalopnik article from last fall. And I was wildly disappointed to learn this week that Elio Motors is seeking government money. Sigh.
- RIP Mike McNulty. He should be better remembered and more honored than he is. I had the privilege of privately screening Waco: The Rules of Engagement at his home before it was released. I was not ashamed to weep with rage over its revelations.
Was up all night feeling creaky. Not actually ill; just too sour, achy, and generally uncomfortable to sleep. Useless today. But no doubt I’ll be brilliant (or at least brilliant-er) tomorrow. Would be hard to be less brilliant.
- Lucy and Ethel speak for the U.S. Department of State
- A letter concerning Muslim toleration.
- Ronald Ritchie, felony murderer of two, still thinks his primary victim deserved what he got.
- Oscar odds. Being mostly stuck with DVDs that aren’t out yet, I’ve seen very few of these films yet; probably soon. Looking forward to The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher, Birdman, and Kill the Messenger (based on the tragic truth telling of Gary Webb, who fought the fedgov and the major media and lost). Did see and loved The Grand Budapest Hotel. Everybody says Boyhood is going to win best picture, but the weird thing is that nobody ever says anything about it except, “Wow, they took 12 years to film it.” Anybody here seen it?
- The Mountains of MIT and other images from parts east. Holy cats, people! Get with the program; it’s still 60 degrees hereabouts. What’s wrong with you guys back there?
- From A.G. in comments: the beautiful typeface caught up its designer’s mini-madness.
Young woman takes to YouTube to bemoan her total lack of government ID and ask for aid from the public. She says her parents will not help her get the government docs that will enable her to work, fly, bank, file taxes, etc..
Her F*c*b**k page, with updates.
Parents deny her assertions about them. But much moon-battery and creepitude appears to be involved.
The family seems amazingly messed up, which means a sideshow becomes the main attraction.
The real question, of course, is why anyone requires such lifelong “official” recognition from government merely to function in everyday life. That’s the gigantic, trumpeting woolly mammoth in the room that everyone’s managing to ignore.
Good luck to Alecia Faith and her family. Good luck to us all.
(H/T to D.A.)
This Saturday, February 7, open carry activists will meet at the Washington state Capitol and some of them plan to risk arrest. This is in response to fiat decrees from both the state House and Senate forbidding OC in their galleries.
They invite others along for moral support, to film events, or simply to listen to speakers (of which there is an impressive roster, including Mike Vanderboegh and Rep. Matt Shea, who has introduced a bill to repeal the ghastly Bloombergian I-594).
I’ve got complicated thoughts about this event and will not be there. But David Codrea asks us fence-sitters (and even many nay-sayers) to pony up something for the defense fund. Will do, David. And salutes to those bold enough to take the risk, even if I doubt that OC in the state house is the worthiest issue.
ADDED: Yeah, what Kevin Wilmeth says.
- Arrested for resisting arrest. When you weren’t being arrested in the first place. Even NPR is starting to notice the absurdities of the police state. (H/T PT)
- Speaking of which, Wendy McElroy posted this and it certainly bears repeating: 22 reasons not to trust police.
- Nine car models without fatalities. (When you fill up that 15-mpg SUV, you shake your head. Then you read something like this.)
- Gun banner lies are getting worse. But some libeled parties are fighting back. And some victims that the antis crave to exploit say, “Go stuff it!”
- Bovard on Holder’s lawless legacy.
- Yet more good news about Obamacare. It’s likely to make the Dems miserable in 2016. (Pity the wussy biggov Rs are the only likely beneficiary.)
- Mike will be there on Saturday.
- Happy birthday, Thomas Merton. And here are seven reasons even evangelical Christians should read him.
- Surprise, surprise. Yet another fedgov agency is operating a vast, covert, random surveillance program. Hm. Do they still sell those anti-cam sprays and films for our license plates?
- Gottlieb’s CCRKBA endorses Matt Shea’s bill to repeal I-594. And note the ringing anti-background check language! (She says, rolling her eyes.)
- I’m not linking to this CNN op-ed because it’s brilliant. On the contrary, it’s an astonishingly logic-free defense of Obamacare. I’m linking to it because it may contain one of the single most bizarre
justifications of tyrannyoxymorons ever to occupy the mind of a human being. To wit: “The ACA does not allow government to interfere in our lives; it compels government to keep us as safe and healthy as possible.” Admit it, the ability to hold both those thoughts in the same brain is an admirable feat.
- Speaking of admirable, scientists say they’ve figured out how to uncook an egg.
- Data point: not all surrender monkeys are cheese eaters.
- Sweet firearms training story: “Save a life or sneer at an idiot — your choice.” (Actually, though, I don’t know of too many people who would sneer at the woman in this tale. Lots would probably sneer at her firearm, though.)
- “Dear random, shirtless partygoer.” You know those things you always think of saying only after the fact? The ‘Net lets you say them so well.
Deadlining the next couple of days. Entertain each other; you’re very good at that. :-)
And neither does David Hardy. Who compared the revelations in the Dobyns/ATF case as being a “Watergate or worse.”
The ATF and DoJ will bury this, exactly as they tried to get (and unfortunately all-but-succeeded in getting) Fast & Furious buried.
No, I’m not expecting this audience of cynics to be “shocked, simply shocked” at what the fedgov did to agent Jay Dobyns. I even expect that some will say, “Well, he knew the kind of scum he was associating with (and I don’t mean the Hells Angels he infiltrated). He deserved whatever he got.”
So why am I posting this? Maybe I’m doing it just to drive a little traffic David’s way, since examiner.com pays by the pageview and pays so poorly their writers have to hustle views. David deserves the best.
But you know, really I’m posting it because, silly as it is, naive as it sounds, I still want to see wrongs righted. I still want to see these creeps who rule the U.S. brought to justice. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have hope. But I can’t give up the idea that there’s still at least a hope of a hope. Somewhere. A hope in the mythical power of We the People to tame and hold an “honest government.”
Okay, okay. I just slipped a gear there for a moment. Little fugue state.
Anyhow, we know from F&F that David (and Mike Vanderboegh, too) will grab onto something like this and never let it go. So whether or not real justice is ever administered, those two and others will chip-chip-chip at the crumbling facade of fedgov (and especially ATF/DoJ) legitimacy.
- I agree with Brian Keith’s fine analysis of the “carrots” and the “sticks” in the gun-rights movement. Except, of course, when one of the “carrots” actually goes over to the other side, pretends he can prevent what the enemy really wants, and collaborates by helping write tyrannical legislation.
- “The Oyster Shell Game.” The fedgov uses pseudoscience, lies, etc. to destroy a small business.
- From Ellendra in comments: have a “go to zero” month. (Kinda what I’ve been doing this month, except this family went much farther than I would. Maybe another month this summer …)
- “My Old Dead Drunk Self.” Breaking dependency not only on substances but on the conventions of “recovery.”
- The “sticks” will be converging in Olympia again on February 7.
- George Will on the harm inflicted by the growing welfare state.
- “The Doughty Swiss” and their fabulous franc.
- If you thought the Obama administration and fed ‘crats had backed off on using banks to try to shut down gun stores, think again.
- In one California city citizens take direct action to try to get justice against brutal cops.
- The emergency room: a microcosm for misplaced priorities. We see this in animal rescue/welfare work, too, in the form people who can afford pricey tattoos, cigarettes, and weekly lotto tickets and scratch cards — but “can’t” come up with $25 to keep their pets from producing endless, unhealthy litters year after year.
- In legalizing recreational cannabis, Alaska faces some unique hurdles. Well, one unique hurdle, mainly: that hurdle we all know and love so well, the fedgov.
- Fresh guacamole! Delightful video via A.G. in comments.
Yeah, I didn’t believe it, either, when I read the news on Friday.
Eric Holder — that Eric Holder — delivering a major kneecapping to America’s government-approved highway robbers?
But Radley Balko believes it. So I believe it.
Well, more or less.
No question about it, federal “ownership” of local asset forfeiture cases has enabled forfeiture abuse like nothing else and has done more for police corruption since anything but … well, the drug war itself. (You’ve got to wonder; was there every anyone associated with this scam who truly believed it wouldn’t lead to corruption and injustice?)
Having the feds standing by with open arms to “adopt” local seizures (thus allowing local cop-ops to keep most of their stolen goods for whatever purpose they wished) made state asset forfeiture reforms virtually moot. States would try to divert seized funds to schools or some other purpose, and cops would just make their cases federal and say “&^%$# you!” to their state governments. Then they’d go on grabbing whatever cash or assets they could without ever charging anybody with a crime.
Nice racket if you can pull it off! And for years, cops have.
So if Holder really means it and if it sticks, Friday’s announcement is a very big deal. But sadly not the end of non-criminal asset forfeiture.
In addition to the concerns Balko raises, I can think of a bunch more.
If one AG, on his own say-so, can end such a colossally abusive policy, there’s nothing to stop a future ‘crat from instituting another just like it — or worse. (Ah, the joys of “democracy”!)
It’s possible that those freedom-loving (and property-rights respecting) R’s newly in control of Congress will — in a fit of support-your-local-policeism — re-institute the worst aspects of asset forfeiture, and make it law, not just bureaucratic policy.
Even if the way is now open for meaningful state-level reform, it’s a good bet that not a lot of states will institute real reform (like banning asset forfeiture outside of limited criminal cases). Too often, “reform” has just meant states want to put the stolen cash into state coffers, rather than cop coffers. And while that would take away a lot of the incentive for stealing it in the first place, it’s not enough.
So yeah. There’s a lot that could go wrong here. And where government’s involved, you can bet that what can go wrong will go wrong.
Still … what happened on Friday might be the only good thing Eric Holder has ever done for freedom. So for the moment let’s be of good cheer.