Court rules we have no right to not be robbed by police

Posted on: Tue, 09/24/2019 - 23:45 By: Tom Swiss
Cartoon of police

You might think that if police stole your stuff, you'd have some legal recourse.

But the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled otherwise.

Via Forbes:

While exercising a search warrant in 2013, Fresno police raided and seized $50,000 from Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian, two businessmen suspected of illegal gambling (neither was ever criminally charged). Worse, the two claimed that police actually grabbed $151,000 in cash and $125,000 in rare coins, and “stole the difference” above what was reported on the inventory sheet. Critically, the $225,000 that was allegedly stolen wasn’t included on the inventory report for seized property or booked into evidence.

Arguing that the alleged stealing violated their constitutional rights, Jessop and Ashjian sued...

Clinton corruption got donor on to International Security Advisory Board

Posted on: Fri, 06/10/2016 - 15:57 By: Tom Swiss

Straight-up corruption gets scumbag trader (sorry, but high-frequency traders should be strung up by their thumbs, they are parasitic gamblers who contribute nothing) a nice government job for which he has no qualifications.

How Clinton Donor Got on Sensitive Intelligence Board (ABC News)

A prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates and contributor to the Clinton Foundation, who later traveled with Bill Clinton on a trip to Africa, Rajiv K. Fernando’s only known qualification for a seat on the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) was his technological know-how. The Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues.

The Clinton record on race is horrible
Tom Swiss Wed, 02/10/2016 - 12:49

So far, Hillary Clinton has been able to count on the support of African-American voters. But that support is founded on inaccurate perceptions of Bill Clinton's record. If Sanders supporters are able to get the facts out, her support there will crumble and the Dems will nominate Sanders; if not, she may take the nomination and remove any reason for progressives to stay in the party, hastening its well-overdue collapse. Going to be interesting either way. Get your marshmallows ready to roast over the flaming wreckage of the American political system as we know it...

Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote (The Nation)

What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization, and the disappearance of work?

No. Quite the opposite.

A sympathetic backgrounder on the Malheur NWR protest

Posted on: Sun, 01/03/2016 - 13:00 By: Tom Swiss

I have near zero sympathy for ranchers; their business is built on exploiting public land -- land that belongs to all of us, not just to residents of one state. It's built on externalizing costs and is incompatible with ecological sustainability. Animal agriculture is going to have to go extinct the same way coal mining is, that's just the fact.

And this backgrounder is from an obviously far-right web site, take the details with salt. And the comments section is the usual hive of scum and villainy.

On the other hand, even when people's way of making a living is destructive to the ecosystem, you can't take it away without transitional plans. And I have little tolerance for overreach by federal bureaucracies or for the constant aggressive expansion of federal power into the lives of citizens. Once you understand the evils of our national drug policy -- and I mean "evils" quite literally, there are few things in this world to which that term is more accurately applied -- you never look at government power and criminal justice the same way again.

The very important takeaway here is this: two men, almost certainly over-charged as is the standard federal practice these days, already did their time as convicted and sentenced. The feds, in apparent violation of the double jeopardy and cruel and unusual punishment clauses, have decided they need to be put back in jail for more time on those same charges.

That authoritarian overreach justifies some disruptive protesting, so long as no aggressive violence is used. It is of a piece with broader concerns about criminal justice reform. It's a shame that just as this far-right website doesn't grasp that, and has a whole section dedicated to slandering and vilifying African-American victims of state violence, many progressives and folks on what's left of the American left will not get the point either.

Full Story on What's Going on In Oregon - Militia Take Over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge In Protest to Hammond Family Persecution... (The Last Refuge)

By the 1970’s nearly all the ranches adjacent to the Blitzen Valley were purchased by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and added to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge covers over 187,000 acres and stretches over 45 miles long and 37 miles wide. The expansion of the refuge grew and surrounds to the Hammond’s ranch. Being approached many times by the FWS, the Hammonds refused to sell. Other ranchers also choose not to sell.


(a4) By the 1990’s the Hammonds were one of the very few ranchers that still owned private property adjacent to the refuge....

Islamophobia is letting the terrorists win

Posted on: Fri, 12/04/2015 - 15:25 By: Tom Swiss

Naval Reserve officer and Naval War College instructor Haider Ali Hussein on how to deny victory to DAESH:

Don’t Make San Bernardino a Victory for ISIS (www.nytimes.com)

If we don’t want to play into the hands of Islamic State propaganda that America is at war with Islam, we must stand up against Islamophobia.

In the latest edition of the Islamic State magazine Dabiq, which glorifies the Paris attacks, a recruiter makes a telling pitch. He writes that a Muslim in the West is “a stranger amongst Christians and liberals … fornicators and sodomites … drunkards and druggies,” and must come to the Islamic State to avoid sleeping “every night with a knife or pistol … fearing an overnight or early morning raid on his home.”

The Islamic State wants every American Muslim to feel alienated. Its false utopia rests on the warped dream that the estimated three million American Muslims will believe they can no longer live, thrive and worship in peace in America. We must not let that happen, even while we remain vigilant about the few American Muslims who wish us harm.

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