Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Travis County (Austin) TX DA gets 45 day jail sentence.

The District Attorney for Travis Cty (Austin) TX was sentenced to 45 days in jail. Seems harsh for a first-time offender.  However,  her immediate post-arrest conduct was irresponsible, at best. .  As is often the case,  recent, post-arrest conduct has been exemplary. She is not currently planning on resigning.  Don't these people have any sense of integrity?  She should resign.

Monday, April 22, 2013

No Miranda Warmings for (alleged) Boston Marathon Bomber

In a controversial decision, the feds have decided that the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing will not get Mirands warning.  They rely on the " public safety" exception.  Whether or not this is such a case is open for debate as there is no evidence of bombs elsewhere. Further, such questioning must be limited to public safety issues, not direct questions about the crimes.  However, if anything incriminating comes out in answers to these questions, it is admissible.  With a gunshot wound to the throat and his medical consdition, it may be a while before interrogation can take place.  Further, if he gets an attorney before interrogation starts, that attorney almost assuredly will advise against saying anything--Miranda warnings or not.   This may turn out to be a moot issue.

Surprise: Boston bombing suspects did not have gun licenses, could not legally have purchased handguns

I know it may be hard for some to believe, but these (alleged) criminals wantonly failed to follow state and federal law on firearms. If we only had more laws, these folks would have been deterred from carrying and using guns during their murderous spree.

Female TX DPS trooper indicted for sexual assault for outrageous body cavity search.

If there wasn't a video and an indictment, I'd say this can't possible be true. There is absolutely no justification for these 2 body-cavity searches by the side of the road.  How did this officer think she was going to get away with this.  Video included.  The full, unedited video is here.  Notice there appears to have been no glove change and one victim clearly indicates that she has been violated both vaginally and anally.  Also unbelievable is that the male trooper appears to be an accomplice.  Finally, not only are these two cops sociopathic, they are also stupid.   Why do this in front of the car camera? Did they think the agency would cover for them? What kind of folks is DPS hiring and allowing to go out on patrol? Any you wonder why some people don't trust governments.  Stay tuned.

Cops surveyed on gun control, gun rights, etc.

In contrast to police chiefs who are usually beholden to Mayors who tend to be anit-gun (e.g. NYC's Bloomberg), ordinary cops are more free to be open-minded. They are the ones on the front lines.See this survey's results.

New fedeal rule on military response to civil disturbances.

FWIW: food for thought.  Why now? 


from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Volume 2013, Issue No. 38

April 16, 2013

Secrecy News Blog: http://blogs.fas.org/secrecy/


In last Friday's Federal Register the Department of Defense published a final rule on Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies. The rule specifies and defines the support that DoD may provide to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, "including responses to civil disturbances."

"The President is authorized by the Constitution and laws of the United States to employ the Armed Forces of the United States to suppress insurrections, rebellions, and domestic violence under various conditions and circumstances," the new rule states.

"Planning and preparedness by the Federal Government, including the Department of Defense, for civil disturbances is important due to the potential severity of the consequences of such events for the Nation and the population. The employment of Federal military forces to control civil disturbances shall only occur in a specified civil jurisdiction under specific circumstances as authorized by the President, normally through issuance of an Executive order or other Presidential directive authorizing and directing the Secretary of Defense to provide for the restoration of law and order in a specific State or locality."

The new rule, which forms part of the Code of Federal Regulations, is almost identical to DoD Instruction 3025.21 on "Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies" that was issued on February 27, 2013 (noted by Public Intelligence on April 11)."

Thanks to John Newsome for the link.

Lack of First Amendment Protection for Second Amendment Advocacy.

Much of higher ed and public schools are infected with anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment and anti-freedom of speech on topics inconsistent with left-wing political correctness. The FIRE website lists many such incidents in higher ed.This website is a must for anyone interested in First Amendment rights on college campuses) Here is a specific example.This 8th grader was arrested and suspended.  It appears to be me that his First Amendment rights were violated.   There are a number of other of public school exmaples.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bill Maher: "The Second Amendment is Bullshit"

More anti-civil liberties authoritarianism from the Left. I wonder what's next in the Bill of Rights to be dismissed as BS?  This kind of talk only polarizes the nation and, for better or worse, drives more people who care about civil liberties into the NRA. This kind of talk only strenthens the beliefs of many that they cannot trust government to respect their constitutional rights.  At least Maher has the courage to say what many of the Left think but lack the courage to say. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Predicting student dangerousness

Can/higher ed predict which students will be dangerous on campus?  This study suggests, preliminarily, that the answer is no.  However more rigorous research with more variable needs to  be conducted.  Perhaps surprisingly, this study also notes:

"According to a national survey in 2010, more than 60 percent of colleges consider applicants' criminal histories in admissions decisions, but only half of those colleges have formal policies on how to do so, and only 38 percent of admissions staffs receive training on interpreting criminal records."

These kinds of sloppy policies and procedures only invite lawsuits.  Sometimes I wonder about the leadership at some of these places. 

4th Amend Victory at Supreme Court

Although the 4th Amend., the exclusionary rule and civil remedies against police for 4th Amend. violations have taken some big hits in the Roberts Court, there are some victories.



569 U.S.___ (2013

Decided April 17, 2013

SYLLABUS (edited)

Respondent McNeely was stopped by a Missouri police officer for speeding and crossing the centerline. After declining to take a breath test to measure his blood alcohol concentration (BAC), he was arrested and taken to a nearby hospital for blood testing. The officer never attempted to secure a search warrant. McNeely refused to consent to the blood test, but the officer directed a lab technician to take a sample. McNeely’s BAC tested well above the legal limit, and he was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). He moved to suppress the blood test result, arguing that taking his blood without a warrant violated his Fourth Amendment rights. The trial court agreed, concluding that the exigency exception to the warrant requirement did not apply because, apart from the fact that McNeely’s blood alcohol was dissipating, no circumstances suggested that the officer faced an emergency. The State Supreme Court affirmed, relying on Schmerber v. California, 384 U. S. 757, 86 S. Ct. 1826, 16 L. Ed. 2d 908, in which this Court upheld a DWI suspect’s warrantless blood test where the officer “might reasonably have believed that he was confronted [*2] with an emergency, in which the delay necessary to obtain a warrant, under the circumstances, threatened ‘the destruction of evidence,’” id., at 770, 86 S. Ct. 1826, 16 L. Ed. 2d 90. This case, the state supreme court found, involved a routine DWI investigation where no factors other than the natural dissipation of blood alcohol suggested that there was an emergency, and, thus, the nonconsensual warrantless test violated McNeely’s right to be free from unreasonable searches of his person. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed.

Held: The judgment is affirmed.

358 S. W. 3d 65, affirmed.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II-A, II-B, and IV, concluding that in drunk-driving investigations, the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant. Pp. 4-13, 20-23.

(a) The principle that a warrantless search of the person is reasonable only if it falls within a recognized exception, see, e.g., United States v. Robinson, 414 U. S. 218, 224, 94 S. Ct. 467, 38 L. Ed. 2d 427, applies here, where the search involved a compelled physical intrusion beneath McNeely’s skin and into his veins to obtain a blood sample to use as evidence in a criminal investigation. [*3] One recognized exception “applies when ‘ “the exigencies of the situation” make the needs of law enforcement so compelling that [a] warrantless search is objectively reasonable.’” Kentucky v. King, 563 U. S. ___, ___, 131 S. Ct. 1849, 179 L. Ed. 2d 865. This Court looks to the totality of circumstances in determining whether an exigency exits. See Brigham City v. Stuart, 547 U. S. 398, 406, 126 S. Ct. 1943, 164 L. Ed. 2d 650. Applying this approach in Schmerber, the Court found a warrantless blood test reasonable after considering all of the facts and circumstances of that case and carefully basing its holding on those specific facts, including that alcohol levels decline after drinking stops and that testing was delayed while officers transported the injured suspect to the hospital and investigated the accident scene. Pp. 4-8.

(b) The State nonetheless seeks a per se rule, contending that exigent circumstances necessarily exist when an officer has probable cause to believe a person has been driving under the influence of alcohol because BAC evidence is inherently evanescent. Though a person’s blood alcohol level declines until the alcohol is eliminated, it does not follow that the Court should depart from careful case-by-case assessment of exigency. When [*4] officers in drunk-driving investigations can reasonably obtain a warrant before having a blood sample drawn without significantly undermining the efficacy of the search, the Fourth Amendment mandates that they do so. See McDonald v. United States, 335 U. S. 451, 456, 69 S. Ct. 191, 93 L. Ed. 153. Circumstances may make obtaining a warrant impractical such that the alcohol’s dissipation will support an exigency, but that is a reason to decide each case on its facts, as in Schmerber, not to accept the “considerable overgeneralization” that a per se rule would reflect, Richards v. Wisconsin, 520 U. S. 385, 393, 117 S. Ct. 1416, 137 L. Ed. 2d 615. Blood testing is different in critical respects from other destruction-of-evidence cases. Unlike a situation where, e.g., a suspect has control over easily disposable evidence, see Cupp v. Murphy, 412 U. S. 291, 296, 93 S. Ct. 2000, 36 L. Ed. 2d 900, BAC evidence naturally dissipates in a gradual and relatively predictable manner. Moreover, because an officer must typically take a DWI suspect to a medical facility and obtain a trained medical professional’s assistance before having a blood test conducted, some delay between the time of the arrest or accident and time of the test is inevitable regardless of whether a warrant is obtained. The [*5] State’s rule also fails to account for advances in the 47 years since Schmerber was decided that allow for the more expeditious processing of warrant applications, particularly in contexts like drunk-driving investigations where the evidence supporting probable cause is simple. The natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood may support an exigency finding in a specific case, as it did in Schmerber, but it does not do so categorically. Pp. 8-13.

(c) Because the State sought a per se rule here, it did not argue that there were exigent circumstances in this particular case. The arguments and the record thus do not provide the Court with an adequate framework for a detailed discussion of all the relevant factors that can be taken into account in determining the reasonableness of acting without a warrant. It suffices to say that the metabolization of alcohol in the bloodstream and the ensuing loss of evidence are among the factors that must be considered in deciding whether a warrant is required. Pp. 20-23."

JUDGES: SOTOMAYOR, J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II-A, II-B, and IV, in which SCALIA, KENNEDY, GINSBURG, and KAGAN, JJ., joined, and an opinion with respect to Parts II-C and III, in which SCALIA, GINSBURG, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. KENNEDY, J., filed an opinion concurring in part. ROBERTS, C. J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which BREYER and ALITO, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another Attack on the 2nd Amend from the Authoritarian Left

This genius appears to be blaming the 2nd amendment for violence in our society and the Boston bombing.  I wonder what he'll blame on the First Amendment.  This is the kind of mentality that endangers civil liberties and a free society.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act back on burner?

The federal national right to carry reciprocity act died when it was filibustered in the Senate.  Many of these who voted against ending the filibuster on that bill complained about filibustering about new gun control proposals. Hypocrisy is rampant on Capitol Hill.  (The rule is good for us but bad when used by our opponents.)  However, there is a chance national right to carry may be added to gun control bills in the Senate  Stay tuned! 

Insane Spending by Congress

Why do American voters and taxpayers put up with this from our Congress? This quote  isfrom Time Magazine (which usually leans left). Perhaps it’s time people and the left-leaning media stop demonizing the Tea Party and start listening a little.  Perhaps those concerned about economic inequality need to look at how these programs contribute to that problem, and then go after them.

“Some federal largesse--tax breaks for NASCAR racetracks ($40 million) and subsidies for rum distilleries ($172 million) and rural airports ($200 million)--is just silly. There's no reason my poker buddies should be able to deduct the gambling losses I inflict on them once a month. (Just kidding, guys!)

The silliest handouts that brighten my morning are the boondoggles that funnel billions to America's cotton and grain farmers and maybe knock a few cents off the price of my T-shirts and my kids' breakfast waffles. Uncle Sam sends at least $15 billion every year to farmers and agribusinesses in the form of grants, loans, crop insurance and other goodies.”

The farm lobby is so omnipotent in Washington that when the World Trade Organization ruled that U.S. handouts give our cotton farmers an unfair advantage over Brazil, the U.S. cut a deal to shovel $147 million a year to Brazilian cotton farmers rather than kick our own farmers off the dole. Our food and clothing may seem cheap, but, oh, we pay for them.”

[Let’s go over this again: U.S. Taxpayers gave, and will give, Brazilian cotton farmers $147 per year so we can keep on giving millions to American cotton farmers? This is INSANE]

TIH: 4/16


On April 16, 2007, a student killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., before taking his own life in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

Comment:One could surmise that had there been some alert people legally carrying concealed handguns, the death toll might have been less.

The House ethics committee listed 303 current and former lawmakers who had overdrawn their House bank accounts.

Comment:  One incident in a history of scandal and outrage after scandal and outrage, yet Congress never gets cleaned up. Why is this?  Perhaps because they are very good at distracting the public and media  with hot-button issues and make-believe solutions.

U.S. Supreme Court again Passes on a 2nd Amend Case

Many are frustrated by the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to accept cases that will clarify the law on the Second Amendment.  This case (Kachalsky v. Cacace) would have given the Court the opportunity to clarify the law on "bearing" weapons for defensive purposes outside the home and licensing for carry outside the home.  Disagreements between Courts of Appeals on important points of law, often trigger Supreme Court review.  None have so far.  At some point, such delays become inexcusable and a dereliction of duty.

Another sickening rape case

With advent of new media and communications, many rape victims are victimized at least twice.  The attack and then the electronic humiliation. In this case, photos and texts circulated after the attack on a 15-year old who passed out drunk.  At least one offender wrote on the girl's body with a marker.  These types of incidents seem to becoming a trend (e.g. Steubenville, OH).  Rape has been around forever, but where have society and the parents of young men gone wrong?

Abortion Clinic Prosecutions

The charges involve death of a woman and alleged killing of babies allegedly born alive.

Assassination attempt on "America's toughest Sheriff"

Authorities say a package addressed to controversial AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio would have exloded when opened.

New W. TX border crossing

In this age of heightened border and anti-terrorism security, you wouldn't expect the re-opening of an old, closed border crossing to Mexico.  This one is in Big Bend National Park in Texas.

TX bill to prevent convicting the Innocent

The Texas Senate passed the "Michael Morton Act," which is designed to try to help prevent conviction of the innocent.  The act is named after a Texas man who served 35 years in prison for a murdre he did not commit.  Let's hope this bill becomes law.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

For perhaps obvious reasons, government does not collect, compile and publish comprehensive data on police misconduct.  The Cato Institute's "National Police Misconduct Reporting Project,"  attempts to deal with this gap.

I cannot comment one way or the other on the accuracy of their data. However, some caveats are in order: (1) a police officer who is arrested is entitled to the presumption of innocence, like all suspects.  An arrest is not proof of guilt. (2) The media always tend to focus on the bad side of human behavior (e.g. "if it bleeds, it leads"). (3) the corrupt cop is no more representative of the profession than the murdering gun owner is represenative of gun owners in general. (4) Does anyone know of a website on the good things that happen in policing?

Friday, April 05, 2013

Another law enforcement officer murdered.

This officer was shot and killed inside police HQ under mysterious circumstances. Let's hope this and the other recent killings aren't some kind of epidemic starting. RIP>

Thursday, April 04, 2013

W.Va. Sheriff Murdered. Some kind of murderous trend underway?

A W.Va. Sheriff was murdered outside the county courthouse. Given the murders of two Texas prosecutors not too long ago, one has to wonder if this is just a coincidence or some kind of pattern/trend.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

List of on-line encyclopedias

Here's a list of on-line encyclopedias from Wikipedia that may help you with your thoughts or research.

Are you Libertarian? Try some of these tests/quizzes

This site has a number of interesting short tests/quizzes to help you determine if you lean libertarian, conservative, liberal, etc. It also included the interesting "Nolan Chart."
Check it out!

Gun Rights org. with a slightly different slant.

"The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights is the only worldwide political action group focusing on the human right to keep and bear arms. Founded in 2010, IAPCAR has grown to 24 major gun-rights organizations and conducts operations designed to inform the public and promote the right of self-defense and gun-ownership."
As many of you know, the Left and the heavily left-leaning United Nations have pretty much hijacked the Human Rights Movement.  Many deny that there is a human right to self-defense or a right to have arms for self-defense.   It's good to see someone responding to this situation.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Surprise: Cameras at the Supreme Court

In a surprising move, Chief Justice Roberts announced that cameras will be allowed at the Supreme Court.  It looks like the Court will be moving high-tech.  However, don't expect conferences to be televised.  Television will probably be limited to oral argument and delivery of decisions.  With TV we may start getting a little more out of Justice Thomas who rarely speaks at oral arguments.  Although it may encourage some Justices to grandstand, public ignorance about the Court and its Justices justifies at least giving it a try.

TIH: 3/31

Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday.

On March 31, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson made a surprise announcement that he would not run for re-election.

[Personal note:  I remember this evening speech very well.  I was a drafted GI in Uncle Sam's Army.  I and a bunch of GI's in my unit were clustered around a small, black and white TV.  The purpose of the speech was not announced in advance and we, like much of the country, were hoping for some word about a settlement, cease-fire or somehing along that line.  Like many we were crushed that that it appeared no news end was in sight.  I think many of us, were fed-up with Johnson and realized we had been conned by the Tonkin Gulf  resolution and Johnson's "light at the endo fthe tunnel"  other promises, into a war that made no sense and seemed to go on longer than anyone had anticipated]


The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that coma patient Karen Anne Quinlan could be disconnected from her respirator. (Quinlan remained comatose and died in 1985.)


Singer Selena, 23, was shot to death in Corpus Christi, Texas, by the founder of her fan club.


Four New York City police officers were charged with murder for killing Amadou Diallo, an unarmed African immigrant, in a hail of bullets. (They were acquited in 2000.)


Terri Schiavo died at a hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla., 13 days after her feeding tube was removed in a wrenching right-to-die dispute.

Maryland Abolishes Death Penalty: Trend Continues

Continuing the recent trend, Maryland has abolished its death penalty.  Given the serious flaws in our CJ system and the execution of numerous persons who were exonerated after or or near execution, I applaud this trend.  If you can't fix the system, then get rid of it. 
For an excellent book on the subject of innocent people being  see, "Convicting the Innocent" by Brandon L. Garret (2011) and "Prosecution "Complex:  America's Race to Convict and Its Impact on the Innocent," by Daniel S. Medwed, 2012.  For a very readable non-fiction case study by John Grisham see "The Innocent Man:  Murder and Injustice in a small town," (2006, paperback, 2012).

2nd TX prosecutor Slain

The D.A. and one of his assistants from the same county in TX were murdered in separate incidents in a period of about two months apart.  In this latest incident, the D.A.'s wife was also murdered.  Authorities are looking to see if there is some tie-in with the recent slaying of Colorado's prison director.  Suspicion has fallen on a white supremacist gang.  Of course, like everyone,  even they are entitled to the presumption of innocence.

Obama bobs and weaves on campaign funding

President Obama's positions on campaign funding have shifted markedly since his first inauguration.  Although criticizing the Supreme Court's decision in Citizen's United, he jumped on the new bandwagon.  Two tidbits from this on-line/subscriber only Time article:
"President Obama's handling of money in politics has shifted over the years." Further:  "2013 Inauguration:  Obama dropped the restrictions on corporate donations and the limits on checks and did not voluntarily disclosed amounts.  Donors included Centene Corp., Microsoft and AT&T."  Obama's aides support the bobbing and weaving.  Time writes: " And for the moment, backed by big money, they still believe."

Of course, there's nothing new in win-at-any-cost politics and broken promises. More rampant hypocrisy and a scarcity of integrity from the newest White House occupant.  I guess big money only has a corrupting effect on the Pres. enemies.  I suppose Centene, Microsoft and AT&T donated because they know it will make the country better (LOL). Of course, the true-believers, naively hope  that Obama will somehow rise above and defend these moves.  Dream on!  All the promises of "change" in presidential politics seem like a long-forgotten dream.  It's business as usual in the White House. 

If you subscribe to Time, the link is

If not, it's pages 14-15 in the  March 18, 2013 Time.