Spurned By SCOTUS, Feds Still Pushing For Warrantless GPS Car Stalking

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court smacked down an argument by the Administration of President Barack Obama claiming police weren’t “searching” criminal suspects when they secretly planted GPS tracking devices on their vehicles and monitored their comings and goings.

The court didn’t opine on whether that kind of secret GPS surveillance can be done only after police have obtained a search warrant or whether it could proceed simply from cops’ developing of probable cause.

But by telling the Department of Justice (DOJ) that law enforcement agencies must regard GPS stalking as an equivalent to other types of traditional police searches, it did ensure that future convictions based on secret GPS surveillance would have a heck of a time surviving legal challenges until laws concerning the technology had set clear boundaries for what the cops can and can’t do with GPS — and at what stage of an investigation they can do it.

With that legal mystery yet to be solved, parties are taking sides in arguments this week before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. There’s the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is appealing a portion of the SCOTUS ruling on behalf of the criminal suspects in the original case. Then there’s the Obama Administration and Attorney General Eric Holder. Can you guess which side they’re on?

The DOJ is staking out as much territory for warrantless law enforcement officer power as it can.

The Obama Administration is now arguing that using GPS data to watch the comings and goings of anyone police deem suspicious, 24 hours a day, for days on end, doesn’t infringe the 4th Amendment’s assurance that people have a right to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

The collateral assurance, that “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,” also shouldn’t apply to GPS searches, the DOJ argues.

What’s the basis?

U.S. attorneys are invoking the “automobile exception” to 4th Amendment limitations on warrantless searches and seizures. A precedent rule that’s stood since the rum-running Prohibition era, the automobile exception essentially has allowed cops, provoked by evidence thought to be present in the car at the time they develop probable cause, to go ahead and conduct a search, without a warrant, before a suspect might flee their jurisdiction with contraband in tow.

The ACLU says that’s B.S.; that Obama’s legal goons pretty much know they’re comparing apples with oranges; that secretly watching someone’s every coming and going is exactly the opposite of pulling someone over because he’s believed, either in that moment or through the issuance of a search warrant, to be transporting something illegal.

To apply the automobile exception to GPS searches, as the government urges, would be to radically expand the doctrine. The exception permits stops of moving vehicles upon probable cause and searches of a car for contraband and evidence of crime, not tracking of its driver and passengers. Put otherwise: The automobile exception is about preventing contraband and evidence of crime from absconding; GPS searches are about tracking individual persons as they go about their business.

Thus, the primary justification for the automobile exception, the exigency created when physical evidence of crime might disappear, is wholly absent in the GPS context…

…The overwhelming majority of GPS searches involve no such risk of destruction or removal of evidence. Rather, they involve surreptitious attachment in the dead of night and extended remote monitoring, the very antithesis of exigency. To be sure, in cases of actual exigency, for example, where police have both probable cause to believe that a vehicle contains contraband or evidence of criminal activity and good reason to believe that the vehicle might disappear before a warrant can be obtained, no warrant will be required for the initial attachment.

In the 2011 case (the one that smacked down the Obama Administration’s argument that GPS tracking isn’t a “search” as defined by the 4th Amendment), the justices observed that government GPS stalking could “suddenly produce what sounds like 1984” and that, “If you [the U.S.] win this case then there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States.”

A U.S. attorney in that case told the court there was no reason why the Feds couldn’t secretly put GPS trackers on each Supreme Court justice’s car — or on an overcoat — and watch every public move they made.

Massachusetts School Mimics Welfare State By Leveling Playing Field For Kids

Schools aiming to prepare kids for life in entitlement-drunk America might want to start emulating Ipswich Middle School in Massachusetts.

According to FOX News, the school’s principal canceled this year’s Honors Night, an annual even recognizing the achievements of its hardworking and high-performing students.

The reason? It could lead to hurt feelings. The last thing kids who haven’t excelled want to see is kids who did excel being honored for it.

“The Honors Night, which can be a great sense of pride for the recipients’ families, can also be devastating to a child who has worked extremely hard in a difficult class but who, despite growth, has not been able to maintain a high grade point average,” explained principal David Fabrizio.

That sort of regressive compassion should serve the lowest common denominator among the schools’ student body well into adulthood, as long as America’s expanding safety net keeps snatching away what’s left of the incentive for its citizens to attain individual success.

Massachusetts School Mimics Welfare State By Leveling Playing Field For Kids

Schools aiming to prepare kids for life in entitlement-drunk America might want to start emulating Ipswich Middle School in Massachusetts.

According to FOX News,the school’s principal canceled this year’s Honors Night, an annual even recognizing the achievements of its hardworking and high-performing students.

The reason? It could lead to hurt feelings. The last thing kids who haven’t excelled want to see is kids who did excel being honored for it.

“The Honors Night, which can be a great sense of pride for the recipients’ families, can also be devastating to a child who has worked extremely hard in a difficult class but who, despite growth, has not been able to maintain a high grade point average,” explained principal David Fabrizio.

That sort of regressive compassion should serve the lowest common denominator among the schools’ student body well into adulthood, as long as America’s expanding safety net keeps snatching away what’s left of the incentive for its citizens to attain individual success.

UPDATE: Colorado Governor Signs Gun Control Measures Into Law

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has gone forward with his pledge to sign three pieces of controversial gun control legislation.

The Denver Post reported Hickenlooper signed the bills, approved by the State Legislature, Wednesday morning.

The move has outraged Republican legislators in Colorado, not only for its infringement on 2nd Amendment powers, but also because it may represent the start of an aggressive liberal agenda push on a number of hot-button issues yet to be tackled throughout the remainder of the State’s 2013 legislative session.

Major gun accessory manufacturer Magpul, which has operated in Colorado since 1999, is already getting out of Dodge, saying it won’t do businesses in a State that allows only its cops — not its residents — to own the products it manufactures.

Major Colorado Gun Company Making Good On Threat To Leave If Governor Approves Gun Grab

Colorado-based Magpul, a manufacturer of gun accessories like grips, mounts, sights and magazines, is evidently making good on its pledge to move its operations out of the State if a ban on magazine capacity and other 2nd Amendment infractions is approved by the Legislature and Governor.

The new laws — three separate bills limiting magazine size to 15 rounds, requiring all gun buyers to undergo universal background checks and then requiring them to pay for the privilege — all moved through the State Legislature last week; Governor John Hickenlooper has publicly said he’ll sign each of them into law today.

From the beginning of Colorado’s romance with gun control, Magpul has said it can’t continue to operate in a State that denies its residents the power to own and use its products, even as law enforcement officers remain exempt from the ban.

Likewise, the 14-year-old company has said it’s wrong for Colorado to welcome the tax revenues its estimated $85 million in annual revenues brings in, as well as hundreds of jobs, while hypocritically forcing it to do business outside the State in order to remain viable.

So on Monday, Magpul told its Facebook followers that it had seen enough:

We have said all along that based on the legal problems and uncertainties in the bill, as well as general principle, we will have no choice but to leave if the Governor signs this into law. We will start our transition out of the state almost immediately, and we will prioritize moving magazine manufacturing operations first. We expect the first PMAGs to be made outside CO within 30 days of the signing, with the rest to follow in phases. We will likely become a multi-state operation as a result of this move, and not all locations have been selected. We have made some initial contacts and evaluated a list of new potential locations for additional manufacturing and the new company headquarters, and we will begin talks with various state representatives in earnest if the Governor indeed signs this legislation. Although we are agile for a company of our size, it is still a significant footprint, and we will perform this move in a manner that is best for the company and our employees.

It is disappointing to us that money and a social agenda from outside the state have apparently penetrated the American West to control our legislature and Governor, but we feel confident that Colorado residents can still take the state back through recalls, ballot initiatives, and the 2014 election to undo these wrongs against responsible Citizens.

The company has had no shortage of out-of-State relocation invites from elected officials who respect the Constitutional powers of individual gun ownership. There’s Pennsylvania, Wyoming, South Carolina, Texas — and the list goes on.

The company’s stance has earned it a huge boost from individual gun owners as well. And at least two sheriffs in Colorado have said they won’t enforce the laws.

Pot And Guns: Will Obama Administration Deal Equally With States That Defy Him?

Will The Administration of President Barack Obama turn the same blind eye toward State laws defiant of possible Federal gun-grabbing laws as it has thus far with States that have legalized recreational marijuana?

If the Fix Gun Checks Act (each of which moved through the Senate Judiciary Committee last week) actually wins Congressional approval and become law, most types of private gun purchases would be illegal under Federal law, as is recreational pot.

States that have approved recreational weed smoking and those whose legislatures have, or soon will, approve laws preserving Constitutional gun ownership would then stand, equally, in defiance of the law of the land.

But, as CNS News points out in an interesting weekend piece, it’s difficult to imagine that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) would stay on the sidelines when it comes to guns — even though it has done the same when it comes to marijuana.

A particularly interesting test case could happen in the State of Washington, whose residents approved private marijuana use late last year. Obama himself famously said his Administration has “bigger fish to fry” than to go after Washington and other States where pot has been or soon may be made legal.

But Washington’s Legislature is currently considering a bill that would make any future Federal ban on semiautomatic weapons or magazines, as well as forced gun registration, “unenforceable” throughout the State.

It’s unlikely that Senate Democrats’ gun grabbing proposals will pass through Congress in their present form.

But if they do, the DOJ would be inviting massive ridicule, as well as legal action from every side, if it swoops in to make sure States adhere to the Federal gun ban while letting them slide on permitting their citizens’ enjoyment of good old Mary Jane, which is still a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

ICE Admits Many Jailed Illegals Were DUI Repeat Offenders

The recent flap over the release of more than 2,000 illegal immigrants from U.S. custody only worsened this week after the head of the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed that many of those let go may have been DUI convicts.

In a hearing Tuesday, ICE director John Morton heard an earful from Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who pointedly asked Morton whether ICE had released “recidivist drunk drivers.”

Morton said “yes,” there had been “many individuals who had [repeat] DUI offenses” set free following budget cuts forced upon his agency by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

See the unperturbed Morton take it on the chin in this video:

Cyprus Bank Larceny Is Contagious, Pay-Per (Paper) View In Cali, Maher Leans Right On Taxing The Rich, Thousands Wait To Buy Ammo (In Cali), TSA Makes Marine Amputee Take His Legs Off: Tuesday Morning News Roundup 3-19-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.

  • If California’s State court administration gets it way, you’ll have to pay twice (once in taxes, then again via a $10 fee) for something that’s already yours: public records.


  • Wealthy liberal mouthpiece Bill Maher, an alleged comedian, ain’t so keen on California’s regressive tax structure. He told fellow Lefties “you could lose me” over his 50 percent-plus tax bracket.


  • Cyprus’ bailout scheme to rip off bank depositors apparently has fans: other socialist governments. How much faith do we still have in the FDIC?


  • More from Cali: Thousands of gun owners queued up for hours in Sacramento to buy ammo at a weekend gun show because, they said, the State’s gun laws don’t inspire confidence that bullets for regular folks will always be around.


  • It’s like fish in a barrel, these constant TSA nightmare stories. This time, TSA inspectors are under fire for humiliating a U.S. Marine amputee who lost his legs in an IED explosion. They. Made. Him. Take. His. Legs. Off.

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.


Sequester ‘Cuts’ Furlough USDA Meat Inspectors, Protect Food Stamps

Senate Democrats in charge of the budget process won Round One over their GOP counterparts last week in the battle over how to implement sequestration’s spending “cuts,” offering up the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an illustration of just how severely a tiny reduction in Federal spending is supposed to harm real Americans.

Over the vocal objection of Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee, Democrats folded into their budget plan an ongoing agreement with Mexico to fund a USDA-led campaign to raise awareness among legal, non-citizen immigrants over how to access food stamps once they’ve entered  the United States.

But while the George W. Bush-era food stamp promotion made it into the Senate budget proposal, threatened cutbacks on USDA meat inspectors’ man-hours stayed on the chopping block.

While that kind of prioritizing may seem absurd, the real absurdity of the whole sequestration flap is the extent to which the spending cuts — wherever they’re made — are anything but dire.

Reuters reported last week the USDA should have no trouble ensuring that all beef and poultry in the U.S. will continue to undergo inspection, with furloughs likely beginning in July and consisting of 11 non-consecutive furlough days on which all U.S. meat inspectors stay home.

Earlier reports that sequestration threatened to hobble poultry and livestock processors and cause meat shortages across the country appear either to have been exaggerated or simply inaccurate.

While that kind of downtime is no longer expected to make much of a ruckus in the marketplace, Republican critics believe the furloughs still look far too punitive toward more than 9,000 food safety employees to reflect what’s supposed to be a mere 5 percent cut in spending across Federal agencies.

House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) criticized U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week for using furloughs as a first, instead of last, cost-saving resort.

“I do not agree with the position that the secretary has staked out on this issue while traveling around the country with his sky-is-falling mantra,” he said.

Aderholt also pointed out the Food Safety and Inspection Service had seen its budget grow by about $75 million a year for the past five years, whereas the projected “cut” in spending this year would amount to only $54.8 million.

GOP Requires ‘Drastic Change’ To Remain Nationally Relevant, Says RNC Chair

The Republican National Committee (RNC) issued a lengthy report Monday strongly criticizing the party’s inability in recent elections to reach outside an increasingly homogenous and single-minded core of traditional voters.

Essentially telling party members they need to learn how to stop preaching to the choir, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said the GOP “needs to stop talking to itself,” according to The Hill.

“We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.”

The report, which Priebus also presented to the National Press Corps, is intended to retool the perception that the GOP is intransigent in accommodating younger voters who may not share the old guard’s views on social issues. Priebus ascribed Republican Congressional and Presidential candidates’ failings during the 2012 election season as a function of several factors, including the inflexible platform behind many campaigns. Many would have fared better, he argued, if they had followed the more populist and grass-roots campaign strategy that elected many of their counterparts to state gubernatorial seats.

“The GOP today is a tale of two parties. One of them, the gubernatorial wing, is growing and successful. The other, the federal wing, is increasingly marginalizing itself, and unless changes are made, it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another presidential election in the near future,” the reports states. “Public perception of the party is at record lows. Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the party represents, and many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country. When someone rolls their eyes at us, they are not likely to open their ears to us.”

The report indicates a key part of the RNC’s future strategy will require embracing the libertarian elements that Priebus himself eschewed at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

The RNC alienated supporters of Ron Paul in effectively marginalizing Paul’s 2012 campaign, but the recent popularity of Rand Paul’s smaller-government message has evidently resonated with Priebus.

The Washington Examiner quoted Priebus at last week’s CPAC event saying the party needs to embrace the “new generation” of young Republicans, even though their adherence to the party’s traditionally conservative social platform hasn’t jibed with party faithful in the past.

“I, for one, praise this new generation of liberty-minded Republicans. Just by speaking out, they got the attention and support of people who don’t vote for us,” he said.

Read the full text of Priebus’ vision for the GOP or watch the hour-long speech on C-SPAN.

That Whole ‘Wacko Birds’ Thing? My Bad, Says John McCain

Grudgingly conceding that Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.), had all won their Congressional elections by popular vote, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) went on to tell Huffington Post on March 7:

I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone. I think it can be harmful if there is a belief among the American people that those people are reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans. They’re not.

Fast-forward a week. McCain found himself and his fellow RINOs on the outside looking in at the potential future of the GOP, as Paul and the new group of Republican Congressmen seized the momentum — all the while keeping their message not on internal party squabbles, but on those Americans eager for government to shrink into its appropriate role.

By Day One at CPAC, even McCain could see that relegating the surging “wacko bird” libertarian movement within his old-school GOP had been a strategic misstep, so he found himself on TV, eating a little… crow.

“In an interview I said that Sen. Cruz and Sen. Paul were ‘wacko birds,’” McCain told FOX News Friday. “That was inappropriate and I apologize to them for saying that, and I respect them both. I respect what they stand for and what they believe in. They both made an impact…in the United States Senate.”

Even though McCain appears not to have included Amash in his apology, that likely isn’t hurting the 32 year-old Congressman. He quickly co-opted the “wacko bird” appellation last week, using it as a badge of honor on his Twitter account.

10 Years Of Bloomberg Has Doubled Number Of NYC Residents On Food Stamps

The nanny mayor of New York City has managed to dramatically expand the liberal entitlement base — that is, the number of people who look to government as a providing parent — since taking office in 2002.

In the 10 years Michael Bloomberg has run the city, the number of New Yorkers receiving food stamps has more than doubled, according to a report by the New York Post.

By the numbers, that means a jump in city food stamp enrollment from 800,000 at the end of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s term in office to 1.8 million last year. A corollary figure, the number of New Yorkers receiving welfare-to-work and other public assistance, declined slightly over the same period from roughly 450,000 to just less than 400,000.

In 2002, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) — the Federal program to assist the elderly, blind or disabled — was by far the biggest (and, arguably, the most justified) entitlement program used by New Yorkers, shelling out $3.01 billion in income subsidies. At the time, food stamp use in the five boroughs amounted to $1.28 billion.

Now, the city’s residents avail themselves of more than $3.4 billion in food stamps, a number that far exceeds the $2.9 billion (down from 2002) devoted to SSI benefits last year.

Chalk it up to aggressive recruiting.

“IBO spokesman Doug Turetsky cited more aggressive outreach to enroll eligible recipients by the Bloomberg administration, in comparison to his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani,” the Post reports.

Although Bloomberg is in his final term as mayor, his policy ambitions are national in scope; and the liberal agenda needs to increase the largesse of free stuff if it wants to continue cultivating its idiot power base.

But as the nanny giveth, so doth the nanny take away — or tries to. Just because Bloomberg may have swollen the food stamp registry in New York doesn’t mean he cares little for his morons’ health. He was incensed when the Feds — whom he generally regards as good, good friends — smacked down his 2011 proposal to ban the use of food stamps for soda purchases.

It’s not going to let up. In his last, lame-duck term, expect Bloomberg to start cashing in his good will with the freeloaders he’s helped suckle. They, along with sane New Yorkers, will all be poorer once it’s over.

New York Gun Grabbing Law Yields First Arrest

The first poor soul unfortunate enough to be snared in the enforcement dragnet of New York’s unConstitutional gun control law faces Class D felony charges for selling what are now “illegal” weapons.

Benjamin Wassell of Silver Creek, N.Y., was arrested after he allegedly sold two semi-automatic rifles and 300 rounds of ammunition to an undercover officer in January and again the following month.

One of the rifles, a DelTon DTI-15, was equipped with a pistol grip and bayonet mount, making it an illegal “assault weapon” under the new law.

According to The Associated Press, the undercover officer playing the buyer’s role had confessed to Wassell before the transaction that he had a felony on his record. Felons aren’t allowed to own firearms under Federal law.

If he’s found guilty, Wassell could spend up to seven years in prison. WBNG quoted a triumphant State police superintendent Joseph D’Amico, who claimed the arrest serves as an example of how New York’s draconian gun laws are already making its residents safer:

The defendant is accused of illegally selling assault weapons not once, but twice. Add to that, he was willing to sell to someone without knowing anything about their background, and it’s exactly the type of dangerous and illegal activity that can lead to more gun violence in our communities. Once again, our partnership with the Attorney General’s office has resulted in taking a dangerous criminal off the streets.

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo led the rush to sign the State’s “NY SAFE” Act into law in January, weeks after a mass killing in neighboring Connecticut brought the topic to the top of the nationwide liberal agenda.

Among many other restrictions, the law bans high-capacity magazines, creates a registry for pre-existing owners of assault weapons, requires psychiatrists to report patients whom they feel to be a threat and increases sentences for crimes in which a gun is used.

CPAC Friday, Nanny Lawmakers Left And Right, Capitalism Is A Crime, Eyes On Manhattan, Pelosi Wants A Balanced Budget — When She’s Dead: Friday Morning News Roundup 3-15-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.

  • Day Two of CPAC may bring out a fundamental challenge for the GOP’s platform setters: Can we drop the social conservatism talk and expand our base, or do we stick to the old script?


  • Reason just put up a devastating article explaining how the liberty-snatching puritanism of right-wingers who legislate morality is driven by the same evil, meddling attitude as that of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his liberal nanny state.


  • If he thinks making money is a crime, why doesn’t Michael Moore turn himself in? Is it because jail doesn’t look like this?


  • The license plate of every car driving into Manhattan will soon be scanned by sensors and cameras. Behave!


  • House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) agrees with her buddy, Barack Obama, that a balanced budget and the National Debt could maybe, sort of, one day become a problem: Someone else’s problem. She’d like to achieve a balanced Federal budget “in a number of decades.”


Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.




‘Pure Intimidation’: Biden Press Secretary Apologizes After Staffer Goes Gestapo On Journalism Student

Joe Biden has issued an apology through his press secretary following an ugly incident in which a credentialed journalism student was rousted to surrender photos he had taken of the Vice President at a domestic violence speaking engagement in Rockville, Md.

Jeremy Barr, a student journalist attending the Tuesday event, was there on behalf of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, covering featured speakers including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Biden.

Barr was reporting for the university’s award-winning, student-run Capital News Service; and he had received full clearance to cover the talks.

But after Barr (along with others in the general audience) took some iPhone pictures, Biden staffer Dana Rosenzweig confronted him and began putting the clamps down.

Barr had sat inadvertently in an area of the venue not designated for the press, although he observed that there was no obvious demarcation separating regular guests from those there to cover the event. At any rate, it was one of the staffers who directed the badge-wearing journalist to take his seat among the general audience in the first place. Also, the law allows anyone — regular citizens or members of the press — to take pictures of government leaders in public.

[The staffer] asked, “Did you take any photos during the event?” Barr said. He told the staffer, yes, he had taken a few photos.

She said, “I need to see your camera right now.” Barr said. The staffer called Barr’s presence in the non-press area an “unfair advantage” over the other members of the media at the event.

The staffer then requested to watch as Barr deleted the photos from his camera to ensure his compliance, Barr said.

After deleting the photos from the camera, the staffer asked Barr to show her his iPhone to make sure no photos were saved. Barr complied.

“I assumed that I’d violated a protocol,” Barr said. “I gave her the benefit of the doubt that she was following proper procedures.”

Barr was then asked to wait while the staffer contacted her supervisor. After approximately 10 minutes of waiting, the staffer made contact with her supervisor, apologized to Barr for the delay and permitted him to leave the venue.

Journalism School Dean Lucy Daglish went full Doberman in a letter to Biden’s press secretary that same day, saying Rosenzweig’s behavior was “pure intimidation” and a violation of every citizen’s 1st Amendment principles — one that wouldn’t have been out of place in a “third-world country where police-state style media censorship is expected.”

Biden press secretary Kendra Barkoff refused an interview with Capital News Service, but phoned both Daglish and Barr separately to apologize after Daglish filed a formal complaint.

Barr told the university newspaper he was glad the matter had been resolved. Daglish noted Barr has a right, under the law, to sue if he chooses.

“This was pure intimidation,” Dalglish said, adding that “it’s clear from the circumstance that the journalist did nothing wrong.”

GOP Says Congressional Democrats’ New Budget Would Jack Federal Spending 62 Percent In 10 Years

Senate Republicans have wasted no time in dismantling the budget proposed Wednesday by the Democrat-led Senate Budget Committee. The Republican arm of the same committee released a series of graphics on its website showing what the Democrats’ proposal would do to Federal spending if projected across a 10-year span.

Of particular interest are three charts, the first of which demonstrates how the proposal would more than double Federal spending from where it stood only six years ago, from $2.7 trillion in 2007 to a projected $5.7 trillion in 2023:

10 year increase

More interesting is where the Democrats’ budget allocates the additional spending: entitlements. Under the plan, annual welfare entitlements would grow from their present mark of just under $800 billion to roughly $1.4 trillion in 2022, crossing the trillion-dollar threshold in a matter of only three years:

welfare spending

Finally, the Democrats’ proposed budget nullifies any perceived “deficit reductions” achieved through “sequestration” by means of $1.6 trillion in new taxes, just in 2013, setting a pace that would bloat entitlement-driven Federal spending by $8.6 trillion over the course of the next decade.

spending increase

As of this moment, that’s more than half the standing U.S. National debt — in its entirety.

Fair play, if you can call it that: For their part, the Democrats claim their plan “only” raises $975 billion over the next decade. Whether you buy the GOP’s interpretation or the Democrats’ spin, under any scenario it means accelerated spending that, if left in place, would obliterate any hope of ever balancing the budget — to say nothing of reducing the National debt.

States’ Differing Attitudes On 2nd Amendment Yield Two Self-Defense Stories With Very Different Results

In Alabama, an Average Joe likely won’t face charges for standing his ground after killing an intruder this week in self-defense.

But a millionaire businessman in New York City could spend three years in jail simply for pointing an unlicensed gun at a man who broke into his home in January.

Police in Albertville, a small North Alabama town, said a local homeowner probably won’t face charges for shooting and killing an intruder who picked the wrong time to break into one of the shooter’s vacant rental properties Tuesday.

The Sand Mountain Reporter said the unnamed homeowner killed the (also unnamed) intruder after the intruder allegedly broke into the house while its owner and a friend were inside checking on the property. The homeowner himself called 911 immediately after he shot the burglar.

Albertville Assistant Police Chief Jamie Smith told WHNT that, since a person was killed, police investigators must automatically review the case before a grand jury — although he expects there won’t be an indictment.

“We are in the early stages of the investigation, but right now we’re treating it as a burglary and the homeowner defending his property,” Smith said. “I’m sure at the time he felt he was in danger, so he took what action he thought he needed to take at the time to protect himself…You can back away from anything, but home is as far backwards as you can go. At what point do you leave your house to let them have it? If that’s even a question, and in my mind, it wouldn’t be.”

Meanwhile, George Bardwil, a 60-year-old New York man who heads a century-old family business, had to plead not guilty Wednesday to illegal gun possession after aiming a .40 caliber pistol at a man who broke into his Manhattan apartment.

Pointing the gun, which was registered to Bardwil’s bodyguard and kept safe in a secured box at the apartment, produced the desired effect: The intruder fled.

Like the Alabama homeowner, Bardwil immediately called 911 when the incident was over; but that didn’t quite produce the desired effect. The police came. Bardwil, who likely thought he was fortunate to be in a position to afford a security system, played back the entire incident for the cops from footage his cameras had captured.

They arrested him on suspicion of possessing an illegal gun.

In addition to having gun control laws farther afoul of Constitutional intent than almost any other State, New York is one of six States also considered to have weak self-defense laws.

Alabama and more than 20 other States have “stand your ground” laws intended to guarantee citizens they won’t face prosecution if circumstances require they use lethal force against an attacker — no matter where the attack occurs. Several other States have weaker, so-called “castle” laws, which apply to residents inside a home who use force to fend off invaders.

CPAC Off And Running, Bill Gates Wants To King Obama, Fracking’s Fine, Doctors Scale Down To Dodge Obamacare, North Korea Spin Vid Funniest Thing You’ll See All Day: Thursday Morning News Roundup 3-14-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.

  • The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicks off today. Here are five political storylines to follow as the Right convenes in the hope of putting a face on its future.
  • America’s second-richest man (that’s Bill Gates) wishes we could go all Euro and give President Barack Obama “slightly more power” like they do in the mother country. This guy’s a capitalist?
  • A small but vocal cadre of environmentalists are holding up one of America’s biggest potential energy boons, and it’s time they shut the frack up.
  • Guess who hates Obamacare? Doctors.
  • A North Korean propaganda video portrays the U.S. as a pretty, well, North Korea-like place. The video tells viewers that Americans eat snow, shoot children, sit unfazed among their many shrouded dead friends and eat city birds to stay alive. Is this a hoax?

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Paul Tells Young People GOP Needs Their Reform

Rand Paul said what many young fiscal conservatives have been thinking for a long, long time in a Wednesday post at Policymic.

In it, Paul asserted the GOP must get its hands out of the social legislation game and get back to its conservative roots on fiscal policy. It must end entitlements and unencumber Federal obligations — and the required taxation — to fund them. It must demarcate a clear line between a military State and a police State, and it must sensibly defend American interests against outside threat without continuing to commit American resources to interventionist foreign policies.

In a nutshell, he said, tomorrow’s GOP must field new candidates who aren’t interested in legislating morality and who instead focus on transferring back to States many of the powers the Federal government has stolen. As for the Feds? Do the job the Founders gave you and then back off.

That’s a direct path to many literate young Americans’ political hearts.

“[W]e do need a Republican Party that addresses the concerns of young people. We need a different kind of GOP, a party that speaks to the rising generation, who may have unique interests and concerns,” Paul wrote.

By implication, Paul argued that young conservatives — even young Republicans who may themselves hold conservative moral beliefs — are tired of Republican busybodies concerned with making laws that affect the Constitutionally protected powers of individuals to make those same decisions on their own:

I believe a Republican Party that is more tolerant and dedicated to keeping the government out of people’s lives as much as possible would be more appealing to the rising generation. We have a nation of 300 million people who all harbor very different opinions on various policies. We have a Constitution that allows, even requires, many of these decisions to be made at the state and local level, which could accommodate the diversity of opinion in this country. Most young people I encounter simply have no desire to tell other people what to do or how to live.

The posting, titled “I Filibustered To Defend The Millennials,” wasn’t addressed directly only to young people. Speaking of young voters in the third person, Paul instead managed to send them — and old-guard Congressional RINOs — the message that America’s political demographics aren’t being served by the leadership offered at the top of the existing two-party system. He argued that the mood of young Americans now represents, perhaps, the most important indicator of how his party will earn its future success:

There are blue parts of the country where Republicans haven’t fared well, and yes, a more libertarian-Republican might be able to start winning in those areas. The youth vote could play an integral part in this.

Young Americans — conservative, libertarian, independent — are as fed up with big government as their parents and grandparents. A Republican Party willing to address their unique concerns could build a new majority that might finally turn this country around.

The Two Michaels (Bloomberg and Moore): Fixation On Gun Control Can Come From Dark Places

No one can see into another’s heart, so it’s not right to say that Michael Bloomberg was waiting, with enthusiasm, for another mass shooting to claim American lives.

But after last summer’s Aurora, Colo., movie theater murders, the New York mayor had an anti-gun PR plan in place and ready to go live when the next mad-gunman killing sensation hit TV screens.

There’s a pathology to the eagerness with which gun control advocates fixate on mass killings and their scarlet horror; the spear-tipped acuity of their nauseating pain; the total Grand Guignol of it all, so pornographic in its theatrical celebration of electrifying, lurid violence.

Michael Moore bathes his own imagination in the blood of innocents in his March 13 reverie over what an AR-15 blast will do to the chest of a small child:

As horrifying as this is, there’s more; much more. Dr. Cyril Wecht, past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, told me this:

The kind of ammunition used by the Newtown killer would have produced very extensive, severe and mutilating injuries of the head and face in these small victims. Depending on the number of shots striking a child’s head, substantial portions of the head would be literally blasted away. The underlying brain tissue would be extensively lacerated with portions of hemorrhagic brain tissue protruding through the fractured calvarium and basilar skull, some of which would remain on portions of the face…actual physical identification of each child would have been extremely difficult, and in many instances impossible, even by the parents of any particular child.

We also know this, according to Dr. Wecht:

In one case, the parents have commented publicly upon the damage to their child, reporting that his chin and left hand were missing. Most probably, this child had brought his hand up to his face in shock and for protection and had the hand blasted away along with the lower part of his face.

Veronique Pozner, the mother of Noah, the six-year-old boy described by Dr. Wecht, insisted that the Governor of Connecticut look at Noah in an open casket. “I needed it to be real to him,” she said. The Governor wept.

Like so many zealots who forget that spectacular and unjust violence is, and always had been, endemic to humanity, Moore wants the public to see what his eyes — apparently recently opened to an age-old grief — have seen. Why? Because he believes such a visual feast will effect a mass epiphany of public opinion over the Evil Guns Do; one he longs for — since, he naively predicts, it would cause everyone, in an instant, to revile the National Rifle Association.

One who harbors the requisite zeal to share such vividly macabre reality-fantasies would understandably find emotional allies among the activists who picket abortion clinics with their colorful, bloody posters.

But not all gun grabbers who awkwardly fetishize their hated weapons fixate on the viscera.

A piece in the New York Observer indicates Bloomberg’s pathological obsession over guns in society is of a different, more obsessive-compulsive kind: He’s driven by numbers.

In his years building the business empire that made him a billionaire, Mr. Bloomberg developed a unique fluency for numbers and learned to view the world through a statistical prism. Multiple people close to Mr. Bloomberg have said that the figure he’s most preoccupied with is the number people in his city who die of preventable causes. This obsession with bringing down the death rate has driven the mayor’s notorious crusades against smoking and sugar, and according to John Feinblatt, the mayor’s chief adviser, it was a major factor behind his decision to step into the national gun control debate several years ago…

… Mr. Bloomberg’s anti-gun battle plan would be driven by data and paid for largely with the mayor’s vast personal fortune, allowing him to fuel the national conversation on gun control. Mr. Wolfson said this strategy “didn’t really crystallize until after Aurora” and stemmed from the mayor’s “real disappointment with the lack of focus last fall on this issue and the sense that the NRA had the field to itself.”

Like all liberal crusaders for social equality, Moore sees only the momentary poignancy and pathos of violent impact, too great a simpleton to see the scale of violence, over much time and in many places, that proceeds from the oppressiveness of liberal policy.

He sees only the individual tyranny of a fist to the face, a bullet to the heart. He is a fool. He does not see the slow, insidious tyranny of the coiling constrictor’s slow crush; of the State’s sterile, incremental co-opting of its free people’s self-will. Forgive him.

Bloomberg’s absurd obsession with such an unmovable stat — “preventable death” — is equally naïve. The mayor’s preoccupation with chasing down a number that relies so heavily on the bending of human nature explains why his policies on soft drinks, guns, cigarettes and painkillers take the legislative end-run approach. Forestalling the Reaper with legislative fiat requires a Nero-like hubris and a megalomaniacal madness. Forgive him.

Historical figures who’ve set their obsessive sights on some elusive Teumessian Fox running through their own minds typically don’t fare so well. They also, typically, make life — and death — very hard for many others. Forgive them.

That men such as these still inspire loyalty from citizen constituencies, that there are a sufficient number of moron followers who surrender up their powers in exchange for the suffocating lie of protection from mankind — it is an amazement, during this so-called Information Age.

For that, there’s no excuse.

Whose Dream? Hillary And Michelle Get Early Buzz As 2016 Liberal ‘Dream Ticket’

The talk is out there: Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama could pair up for a run at the Democratic Presidential nomination for the 2016 election season.

The scenario places Hillary in the POTUS role, with Barack’s wife pulling the veep ticket.

A former Bill Clinton Administration staffer called the potential pairing a “dream ticket,” according to the Washington Examiner.

“All due respect for President Obama and Vice President Biden, but that would truly be a dream team for America,” former Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney said.

Hillary Clinton has already been a likely candidate and has greater popularity — and fundraising power — than near competitor (and current Vice President) Joe Biden. But the Examiner reports Democrats are beginning to see dollar signs as campaign talk heats up, and there’s no better Liberal fundraising combination than two former first ladies with massive built-in bases taking a shot at the White House.

Obama’s New Approach Shows Foundering Clout And Zero Change

What is going on with the President’s main mouthpiece?

A column in The Washington Post relates that, since the beginning of March, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has found a new tactic for handling any press corps questions that aspire to any semblance of incisiveness: The petulant PR hack simply tells reporters they don’t know how to ask questions.

Over the past two weeks, the report notes, Carney has done the following:

  • Told the AP’s Jim Kuhnhenn he was “misrepresenting the group” when asked whether President Barack Obama’s new, friendlier approach to the press was ill-timed to coincide with the President’s recent address to Organizing For Action, the Democrat-affiliated social welfare program that’s evolved from Obama’s first-term campaign.
  • Told veteran NPR correspondent Mara Liasson that her question on the President’s forthcoming budget “makes me think that you’re still working on a typewriter or something.”
  • Told Ann Compton of ABC News that she didn’t possess an adequate understanding of why the President had met with Congressional delegates last week.
  • Told Bill Plante of CBS News: “Bill, how long have you been covering Washington? Has there ever been a Presidential budget that was enacted, word for word, into law?” Plante, who’s been with CBS since 1964, had deigned to ask when the President would come forward with a budget — not exactly a shot across the bow.
  • Another reporter interrupted to point out that the President never times his budget proposal to follow the House and Senate versions. “Well, I disagree with that,” Carney said.

A McClatchy poll and analysis this week ties the President’s evaporating approval rating to the drying up of his political capital. That’s a reasonable conclusion.

The still-young first year of Obama’s second term has so far seen the President outrage gun owners and local governments who still value the 2nd Amendment; lie about who’s responsible for sequestration, the severity of its effects, and his own role in artificially and selectively emphasizing the “pain” of all the spending cutbacks; and get a good, old-fashioned humiliatin’ — hemming and hawing over his Administration’s drone policy while Rand Paul emerged as a strengthening voice to challenge liberals from the right.

It’s been a rough go for the President. Tuesday saw yet another attempt at analyzing where the President’s PR strategy is headed, with the National Journal opining that Obama’s dwindling political clout is forcing him — at least for the moment — to abandon one the sacred Saul Alinsky tactics to which he’s adhered through four years of obfuscation and intellectually bankrupt doublespeak: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” In its place is a supposedly kinder, gentler Obama Administration; one that courts Republicans — or at least RINO Republicans — and purports to give the beleaguered White House press corps more access.

But the President’s ivory-tower condescension has had its trickle-down effect, and staffers don’t just unlearn their long-taught instincts.

Just ask Carney, and then prepare to duck.

‘I Didn’t Want To Shoot Him, But I Had To,’ Says 81-Year-Old Thug Target

An elderly Florida man was carrying his legal .38 caliber revolver in his vehicle Sunday evening when a robber with a criminal past decided he’d make an easy target.

But James Stevens of Ocala wasn’t an easy target, because he had the means to defend himself.

“I didn’t want to shoot him, but I had to. I shot him,” Stevens told Marion County Sheriff’s deputies after being confronted by his alleged would-be attacker, 28-year-old Lonnie Lorenza Hollingsworth Jr.

According to deputies’ reports, Stevens said the alleged perp tailed him for about 20 minutes in a vehicle as Stevens drove toward his home. Not wanting to lead someone with possible evil intent directly to his house, Stevens said he instead chose to pull over in a field and see if, just maybe, he was letting his suspicion get the better of him. Maybe it was just coincidence that a 2010 Kia had been tailing him for nearly half an hour.

It wasn’t coincidence. When Stevens pulled over, the Kia pulled over, too. A man, Hollingsworth, allegedly got out. Stevens told the cops that Hollingsworth demanded “everything you got.”

Well, he got it. Deputies discovered four of the gun’s chambers had been emptied. Hollingsworth was shot once in the abdomen. Residents nearby called the shooting in under the presumption that Hollingsworth, now lying motionless in the same field where he’d evidently hoped to take advantage of an old man, had already died. He was instead taken to an Ocala hospital where he was listed in critical condition.

Although unarmed during the alleged robbery attempt, local reports reveal Hollingsworth to have had numerous prior encounters with law enforcement, including a 2008 conviction for altering the serial number on a firearm.

Stevens was not charged in the self-defense shooting. No word on how Hollingsworth’s hospital bill will be paid.