Massachusetts High Court Disallows ‘I Smell Pot’ Car Searches

In a move to disallow police to manufacture probable cause for an automobile search by claiming they detect the scent of marijuana, the Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled that the smell of pot is not enough for an officer to violate drivers’ privacy.

A series of rulings issued by the court Friday stem from the case of Antonio L. Pacheco, who had his car, which was parked in a handicap spot, searched after a state trooper said he detected the scent of marijuana. The search yielded a small bag with less than 1 ounce of pot on the floor mat behind the passenger seat and a handgun in the car’s trunk.

Because the State decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in 2008, prosecutors attempted to slap Pacheco with a distribution charge, punishable by two years’ imprisonment, arguing that the man had shared pot with his passengers.

“An officer smelling freshly burnt marijuana inside a stopped vehicle, and an occupant surrendering a noncriminal amount of marijuana, did not, without more, support probable cause to believe that a criminal amount of marijuana would be found in the vehicle,” Justice Fernande R.V. Duffly writes in the high court ruling. “Absent articulable facts supporting a belief that any occupant of the vehicle possessed a criminal amount of marijuana, the search was not justified by the need to search for contraband.”

Joe Biden Describes 2nd Amendment Supporters as ‘Black Helicopter Crowd’

Disagreeing with the policies of the current Presidential Administration makes you an insane conspiracy theorist, at least according to Vice President Joe Biden.





“Kinda scary man, the black helicopter crowd is really upset,” Biden said of people opposed to universal background checks during an anti-gun speech at the White House.

The Vice President went on to suggest that it is idiotic to believe that governments would oppress their people.

“No way that Uncle Sam can go find out whether you own a gun because we’re about to really take away all your rights and you’re not going to be able to defend yourself and we’re going to swoop down with Special Forces folks and gather up every gun in America,” Biden mocked. “It’s bizarre. But that’s what’s being sold out there.”

HT: The Examiner

Military Aid To Somalia, Dead Camel, Korean Attack And Southern Man Don’t Need Paisley Critics Around Anyhow: Tuesday Morning News Roundup 4-9-2013

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 Hermit Kingdom could be set to fire a missile from its eastern coast as early as tomorrow.
  • A camel presented to French president François Hollande as a gift in Mali has been eaten by locals.
  • And France plans to reduce its 4,000-strong military presence in Mali by the end of this month but will likely keep a combat force in Mali to support a future U.N. peacekeeping mission.
  • Country music’s Brad Paisley is being vilified for what appears to be a sincere attempt to address racial tensions in the South with his song “Accidental Racist.” It seems the critics who find everything white people do as racist are more in tune with Neil Young’s old song “Southern Man.”


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

Presidential Administration Kills 11 More Children

The current Presidential Administration evidently has a great deal in common with the Taliban when it comes to furthering agendas on the graves of dead children.

Rounding out one of the bloodiest weeks in the 12-year Afghan war, fighting between U.S.-backed Afghan forces and Taliban militants on Saturday left 11 Afghan children dead following a U.S. airstrike attempting to annihilate militants hiding in a remote residential area. The children were all between 1 and 12 years old.

children
Eleven Afghan children were killed in a drone strike Saturday. /SCREENSHOT

According to reports, officials claim that six militants were also killed in the drone strike.

As the U.S. government continues to pump taxpayer money into a war effort in Afghanistan that has been unsuccessful by most accounts, some estimate that an average of 4.8 children die each day in the country as a consequence of ongoing conflict. In Pakistan, where the United States carries out clandestine drone strikes in an effort to eradicate militants, child death tolls directly-related to the strikes hover around 200.

During a vigil for victims of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., President Barack Obama had this to say about protecting innocent children:

Since I’ve been President, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by a mass shooting. The fourth time we’ve hugged survivors. The fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims. And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across America — victims whose — much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The news of the most recent child deaths in Afghanistan makes it hard not to wonder: Does the President’s logic about the tragedy of children becoming the victims of brutal and terrifying murders at the hands of misguided madmen not apply when the goal is not taking away Americans’ rights, but rather continuing the government’s perpetual war?

ATF Wants To Know Everything About You

The Federal government has already made great strides in ensuring that anonymity is a thing of the past with massive data-collection-and-storage facilities like fusion centers and a post-9/11 American legal structure that makes government’s ability to spy on citizens easier than ever.

And American citizens, for their part, have willingly placed themselves in a position to be spied upon with relative ease via addiction to social networking and reliance on technology that provides unprecedented convenience.

Unfortunately, for all of the joy of being instantly able to contact old friends or keep in touch with busy grandchildren on social networks or the benefits that come from always having a phone on hand that doubles as a computer, Americans pay a high price: There is no such thing as privacy. And even if you refrain from using the aforementioned technologies, someone you know has likely already unwittingly provided the surveillance state with enough information to include you in the dragnet.

A recent notice posted on the website of the Federal Business Opportunities reveals that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives  is currently seeking help putting together a “massive online data repository system.” The system, to be operated by the ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII) for at least five years, would enable the agency to conduct ongoing automated searches and find links between people by scouring “structured and unstructured data.”

ATF officials are looking for a company capable of setting up a computer program that would compile databases of financial data, online information, vehicle registration records, phone numbers, addresses and all other manner of potentially identifying information in order to provide detailed records on American citizens searchable with just a few keywords. Using information gathered from social networks and other sources of publicly available data, the agency also wishes to be able to automatically establish connections between an individual and his family members, business associates and acquaintances without having to search more than one source.

While Federal agents can generally locate the aforementioned information using current investigative resources, the ATF says the database system it wants to implement allows it “quickly respond to problems, threats, etc.” spending as few man-hours on old-school detective work as possible.

That means ATF will be able to conduct no-knock raids, like that carried out against YouTube sensation Kyle Myers of the FPS Russia gun enthusiast channel, on more Americans and faster than ever before.

‘White House Optimist’ Joe Biden Calls For New World Order

A video of Vice President Joe Biden went viral (yet again) when he used the phrase “New World Order” in his speech to the Export-Import bank last week. But, in context, Biden wasn’t calling for action in the sinister “globalist agenda to create a one world system of government in his speech” as many conspiracy theorists assumed given the short clip making its rounds on the Internet.

Here’s a short excerpt of the Vice President’s remarks:

The task we have now is to actually create a new world order. Because the global order is changing again, and the institutions that have worked so well in the post-World War II era for decades, they need to be strengthened, and some have to be changed. So we have to do what we do best, we have to lead. We have to lead. We have to update the global rules of the road. We have to do it in a way that maximize benefits for everyone, because obviously, it’s overwhelmingly in our interest, this is not a zero sum game, it’s overwhelmingly in our interest that China prosper, that Mongolia prosper, that nations big and large, east and west, in Latin America and in Africa, prosper, because you know that old expression, they asked Willie Sutton why he robbed banks, he said ‘that’s where the money is.’ We want everybody to have a little money to make sure they can buy American products. So the paradox — so we don’t view, the President and I and Fred [Hochberg, President of the Export-Import Bank], we don’t view economic growth as a zero sum game here, that somehow we grow and it’s not in our interests if other powers grow as well. That’s the paradox of this new global order. So much of our success depends on the success of those with whom we compete.

While one probably shouldn’t read Biden’s remarks as a call for one world government, you can be sure of one thing: It was a full endorsement of continued American interventionist foreign policy complete with pumping American taxpayer money into foreign nations as well as unConstitutional military adventurism.  Basically, it sounds like Biden and company just want to double down in all of the areas the United States has screwed up in the past 70 or so years.

Here’s the entire speech:

 

 

 

Obama: My Budget Doesn’t Spend Beyond Our Means

How do you define spending beyond your means?

Most people would agree that spending beyond one’s means would entail spending more money than they make. But not President Barack Obama, who had this to say in an address to the American people on Saturday concerning his unbalanced budget proposal:

It’s a budget that doesn’t spend beyond our means, and it’s a budget that doesn’t make harsh and unnecessary cuts that only serve to slow our economy. We’ll keep our promise to an aging generation by shoring up Medicare, and we’ll keep our promise to the next generation by investing in the fundamentals that always made America strong–manufacturing, innovation, energy and education.

White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer acknowledged last Wednesday that the Obama budget proposal would not balance now or at any point in the future. But Pfeiffer says it will put the United States on a path to deficit reduction.

Deficit spending is beyond-our-means spending.

PETA Wants Drones To Spy On Hunters

Even though People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals lacks the resources to find homes for thousands of animals it rescues and subsequently slaughters each year, the animal rights activist organization says it will purchase drones to “stalk” hunters.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the group says it “soon have some impressive new weapons at its disposal to combat those who gun down deer and doves” because they are “shopping for one or more drone aircraft with which to monitor those who are out in the woods with death on their minds.”

The group is reportedly looking to purchase a CineStar Octocopter, which is capable of carrying a DSLR camera or a smaller camera on longer flights.

“The talk is usually about drones being used as killing machines, but PETA drones will be used to save lives,” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a statement.

The organization is currently looking to get Federal Aviation Administration approval for its missions and only revealed that some of the flights may occur in the Northeast this fall.

The video below shows what happened when another animal activist group tried a similar scheme:

 

Wikileaks Leaks, Iron Lady Dies, Kim Jong-Un’s Aunt Running The Show And Angry Fliers: Monday Morning News Roundup 4-8-2013

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.

  • Wikileaks has dumped another 1.7 million documents. Most of them are diplomatic records covering the period from the beginning of 1973 to the end of 1976, covering a variety of diplomatic traffic and including cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence.

 

  • Britain’s first and only female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, died peacefully in London today at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke.

 

  • It’s getting harder and harder for readers to distinguish editorial content from marketing pitches, as advertisers pay to have sponsored stories published more than ever before.

 

  • The aunt of Kim Jong-un has been credited with being the driving force behind the rise of the Supreme Leader of North Korea.

 

  • Traveling by airplane is ticking off a remarkable amount of people, as airlines more frequently treat their passengers like cattle.

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

Libertarian-Leaning Newcomers And ‘Bible-Thumpers’ Fearing ‘Secular Tyranny’ In GOP Tug Of War

There has been a great deal of talk in recent months of a new Republican Party that would embrace more libertarian policy positions in its greater platform in return for the ability to gain legislative control over American fiscal policy. With the prospect of GOP politicians and pundits embracing certain “live and let live” attitudes toward some social policy issues, consternation is growing among members of a party that embraced the religious right’s morality-based legislative agenda decades ago.

Last week, former House Speaker and failed GOP Presidential contender Newt Gingrich warned The National Review Online that a wave of “secular tyranny” was on its way to the United States.

“The great danger is that you’re going to see a real drive to outlaw and limit Christianity,” he told National Review. “It’s okay to be Christian as long as you’re not really Christian. It’s a very serious problem.

“You can’t actually have an adoption service that’s run by Catholics unless they’re willing to be not Catholic,” Gingrich continued, referencing Catholic adoption organizations shuttered for refusing gay couples adoptions.

“That should bother people,” he said. “You’re now beginning to see a secular tyranny begin to set in that is very dangerous, and we need to have a national debate about it.”

Gingrich’s alarmist warning came on the heels of conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly’s criticism that Americans opposed to gay marriage have done little more than “thump the Bible” in trying to make a case against homosexual nuptials.

O’Reilly went on to suggest that conservatives could make a stronger Constitutional argument with regard to the topic:

Anti-gay marriage forces, “forces” not individuals “forces”, have not seized upon one central persuasive argument like the human DNA component. And so those who oppose gay marriage are scattered all over the place and many of them are using the bible as their basis to reject homosexuals nuptials. That’s a loser all day every day in our secular court system which I believe is largely hostile to religious expression.

Now, there is a strong argument against gay marriage; that it expands marriage opportunity to just one group, gay people. That excludes all others who may want to marry under different circumstances. Also traditional marriage has been a societal stabilizer and in many states it’s favored by the majority of the folks.

So if you grant homosexuals civil union status, whereby they get the legal rights of marriage, then the states should decide the nuptials issues for themselves. Bottom line the federal government has no Constitutional authority to impose gay marriage on the nation. Now, that is a strong argument.

The gay marriage debate is highlighting the emergence of a broader rift in the GOP, as the distance grows between conservatives with more Constitution-based legislative stances and those who fear “secular tyranny” that a more libertarian GOP could presumably enable.

And some Republicans remain hell-bent on resisting any ideological fluctuation that would take the GOP in a more libertarian direction in response to perception that young voters, minorities and women are turned off by GOP social stances and rhetoric. Among those decrying any move away from GOP social conservatism are two failed GOP Presidential contenders: former Senator Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Governor-turned-pundit Mike Huckabee.

“Look, the Republican Party isn’t going to change,” Santorum said in an interview. “If we do change, we’ll be the Whig Party.”

He continued, “We’re not the Libertarian Party, we’re the Republican Party.”

The former Pennsylvania Senator, however, doesn’t have a record that sits well with many conservatives whose biggest worries are economic in nature. His legislative record is rife with strong union support (which he cleverly said was due to States’ rights issues when he flip-flopped on the national stage) and a penchant for earmarks.

Huckabee, for his part, believes just the opposite of the idea that GOP social conservatism turned off voters who otherwise would embrace the Party for sane fiscal policy in the past two Presidential elections.

“The last two presidential elections, we had more moderate candidates, so if anything a lot of conservatives went to the polls reluctantly or just didn’t go at all,” said Huckabee. “If all of the evangelicals had showed up, it may have made a difference.”