March 2015 Archives
Maybe American Millennials could get some tips from Kataguiri, Brazil's new libertarian superstar, who in turn seems to have been inspired by the older American Tea Partiers.
"What Lula and Dilma have done shouldn't just result in their being banned from politics. It should result in them being in jail!" Kim Kataguiri yelled, denouncing Rousseff and her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The March 15 demonstration was the largest Sao Paulo had seen in more than three decades, since 1984 protests demanding democratic elections after a long dictatorship.
But more surprising than the crowd of more than 200,000, according to the Datafolha polling and statistics agency, was the fact it was being led by Kataguiri, a skinny, 19-year-old college dropout, and other young Brazilian activists inspired by libertarianism and conservative free-market ideals.
It's encouraging that it's not only the far-left that can use modern technology to organize and publicize.
This is a very small unit, but if it signals a trend then we are witnessing a significant challenge to the Westphalian nation-state system we've enjoyed since 1648. Up till now only Muslims have been organizing for violence outside the control of a recognized nation, but now Christians are getting into the game. We get so comfortable with the lines on the map that we're apt to forget that the lines are human constructs with no inherent meaning.
An eight-strong team of former British Army soldiers is preparing to leave Britain to join the fight against Islamic State in Syria, the Standard can reveal.
The team are training to fight as a single volunteer unit alongside the Kurdish militias on the front line in northern Syria.
Images on social media show members of the group posing in combat fatigues and clutching high powered assault rifles on a training exercise in Europe.
The caption to one image of a soldier with a machine gun reads: "Bad news delivery system, if you're ISIS!"
The former soldiers are believed to include a number who have Special Forces training.
It bears repeating: never consent to a search. If the authorities have a legitimate cause to search you they won't need to ask first. If they ask, always say no. Then ask if you're under arrest, and if not then walk away. Don't say anything else.
In a cold consent encounter, a person is stopped if an agent thinks that person's behavior fits a drug courier profile. Or an agent can stop a person cold "based on no particular behavior," according to the Inspector General report. The agent then asks people they have stopped for consent to question them and sometimes to search their possessions as well. By gaining consent, law enforcement officers can bypass the need for a warrant. ...
Moreover, agents can seize cash they find during a cold consent encounter. According to data analysis conducted by the Institute for Justice, half of all DEA cash seizures from 2009 to 2013 were under $10,000. Thanks to civil forfeiture laws, law enforcement can take cash and other valuable property, based on an officer's often subjective determination of probable cause, even from those who have not been charged with a crime. ...
Disturbingly, the Inspector General found that DEA interdiction task force groups have been seizing cash from travelers and then urging them to sign forms disclaiming their own cash and "waiving their rights." In one cold consent encounter, DEA agents stopped another African-American woman in part because she was "pacing nervously" before boarding her flight. After gaining her consent, the agents searched her luggage and found $8,000.
A drug dog then alerted to the cash, and the DEA seized it. However, the Inspector General report did not state if any drugs were actually found or if the woman was ever charged with or convicted of a crime in connection with the seizure. Not to mention that most U.S. currency in circulation has been exposed to drugs.
(HT: Simple Justice.)
Apparently it's protocol for departing State Department employees to hand over all their work emails when their employment ends, and they attest that they've done so using a standard separation agreement. I've seen similar documents in private industry. So, did Mrs. Clinton sign such an attestation when left the State Department in 2013?
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, like all departing federal employees, was required to fill out and sign a separation statement affirming that she had turned over all classified and other government documents, including all emails dealing with official business.
Fox News Megyn Kelly reported Wednesday evening on the requirement and that a spokesman for Clinton had not responded to a request for comment, including an explanation of when the former chief U.S. diplomat signed the mandatory separation agreement or, if she didn't, why didn't she.
The Washington Examiner also asked Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill for comment late Wednesday but had received no response from him early Thursday. Clinton did not respond when asked about the issue earlier this week by the Associated Press.
If Mrs. Clinton didn't sign such a separation agreement, why not? I'm sure an FOIA request has already been submitted to retrieve this document, if it exists.
If she did sign such an attestation but failed to turn over her email, then she broke the law and could face serious penalties, including jail time.
Many people find it hard to believe that Hillary Clinton's home-brew email server hosted zero emails containing classified or foreign government information. She was America's top diplomat, and nothing she sent or received was classified?
Mrs. Clinton insisted that she kept classified information out of her email, as the law required. Storing classified information in a personal, nongovernment email account on a private computer server, like the one at Mrs. Clinton's home, would be a violation of secrecy laws.
And relations with other countries are particularly subject to secrecy claims. "Foreign government information" -- information received from another government with the expectation that it will be held in confidence -- is an official category of classified information in secrecy regulations.
A former senior State Department official who served before the Obama administration said that while it was hard to be certain, it seemed unlikely that classified information could be kept out of the more than 30,000 emails that Mrs. Clinton's staff identified as involving government business.
"I would assume that more than 50 percent of what the secretary of state dealt with was classified," said the former official, who would speak only on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to seem ungracious to Mrs. Clinton. "Was every single email of the secretary of state completely unclassified? Maybe, but it's hard to imagine."
She also deleted tens of thousands of emails, at her own discretion.
Mrs. Clinton said she turned over some 30,490 emails to the State Department in December, nearly two years after leaving office. But she said she had deleted nearly 32,000 others
Mrs. Clinton claims that her decision to use a private email server located in her own residence was purely for convenience. In what world can you not check two email accounts from the same device? Couldn't she have used a government mobile device to check her personal email?
"I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two," she explained. She asked, in effect, that voters trust that she was disclosing more of them than she needed to -- and even to credit her with an unusual degree of transparency.
Paul Mirengoff derides Mrs. Clinton for putting her convenience ahead of national security.
Even if one takes Clinton's explanation at face value, we must conclude that she placed her desire not to carry two devices ahead of Obama administration policy and the security interests of the United States. Whether or not Clinton's email system was breached, Clinton's use of her own server increased the likelihood of such a breach.
It's characteristic of Clinton that she would ignore rules and best practices for her own convenience. Simply put, she thinks she's better than everyone else and thus above the rules.
Dan McLaughlin has the tweet of the day.
(HT: Glenn Reynolds.)
Hillary Clinton is promising a press conference after she attends an event at the United Nations; Ashe Schow has 18 questions worth asking Mrs. Clinton, and they aren't all about her email.
Scotland Yard is advising homeowners to install security cameras in their homes "at eye level" to capture images of burglars and help police catch them using facial recognition technology.
Homeowners should consider fitting CCTV to trap burglars, the country's most senior police officer declared yesterday.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said police forces needed more crime scene footage to match against their 12million images of suspects and offenders.
And he called on families and businesses to install cameras at eye level - to exploit advances in facial recognition technology.
If you're living in a free country, buy a gun.
The New York Times broke the news about Hillary Clinton's secret, private email server that she used "exclusively" while secretary of state, but now the paper is poo-pooing the suggestion that this revelation could affect her chances to win the presidency in 2016.
The actual public response to the controversy is likely to be a combination of apathy and partisanship. Few Americans are paying attention to any aspect of the campaign at this point. Those who do notice will most likely divide largely along partisan lines, with Democrats interpreting her actions more charitably, especially once they see Republicans attacking Mrs. Clinton on the issue.
Any significant political costs are also likely to be fleeting because the revelations came so early in the campaign cycle. It is hard to believe that a lack of transparency in Mrs. Clinton's use of email will have a significant effect on a general election that will be held some 20 months from now. As the political scientist John Sides wrote on Twitter, "In October 2016, no persuadable voter will be thinking about Hillary Clinton's email account." It's equally implausible that this revelation will draw a second top-tier candidate into the race for the Democratic nomination given the advantages Mrs. Clinton retains over possible rivals like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.
I'm certainly rooting against Hillary, so maybe I'm biased, but I'm not so sure of Brendan Nyhan's conclusion. Some thoughts:
- Americans understand email. Every email user will cringe if you suggest that their email history might be made publicly available. So they will wonder: why was Hillary hiding her work email? What's on there that she doesn't want anyone to see?
- Hillary apparently fired the ambassador to Kenya in 2012 for using private email and in 2007 attacked Bush administration officials for using private email.
- There's no way to know if everything was turned over to the State Department. Just trust her?
- What if her private email server was hacked, and we just don't know it yet?
- With the Clintons there's a never-ending drip, drip, drip of scandal. "Emailgate" or "Servergate" or whatever this gets called won't be the last.
- It's true that "in October 2016, no persuadable voter" will care about the email... but how many formerly persuadable voters will have turned against Hillary before that point?
Should the punishment for intentionally false accusations match the punishment of the accused crime? (Ugh, that's a hard sentence to frame.) This mind-blowing story about several police officers and prosecutors falsely prosecuting an innocent man for assault is an appalling test case.
But here's my question: Why aren't the seven witnesses to Dendinger's nonexistent assault on Cassard already facing felony charges? Why are all but one of the cops who filed false reports still wearing badges and collecting paychecks? Why aren't the attorneys who filed false reports facing disbarment? Dendinger's prosecutors both filed false reports, then prosecuted Dendinger based on the reports they knew were false. They should be looking for new careers -- after they get out of jail.
If a group of regular citizens had pulled this on someone, they'd all likely be facing criminal conspiracy charges on top of the perjury and other charges. So why aren't these cops and prosecutors?
I could be wrong, but my guess is that they'll all be let off due to "professional courtesy" or some sort of exercise of prosecutorial discretion. And so the people who ought to be held to a higher standard than the rest of us will once again be held to a lower one.
Intentionally false accusations should be punished severely and should never be forgotten by the legal system.
I love this idea -- the federal government is already involved with accrediting colleges, so why not create a National University that accredits courses and offer degrees? There's a plethora of great online courses, but none of the universities who created them are willing to offer online degrees because they don't want to dilute their brands or lose out on tuition money.
That's where the federal government comes in. With some authorizing language from Congress and a small, one-time start-up budget, the U.S. Department of Education could create a nonprofit, bipartisan organization with only two missions: approving courses and granting degrees.
Don't worry, federal bureaucrats won't be in charge of academic matters. Instead, National U. would hire teams of leading scholars to evaluate and approve courses. Some of the decisions shouldn't be difficult. ...
National U. would also map out which courses students need to take to earn an associate or bachelor's degree. This won't be difficult, since existing colleges have already established a standard set of requirements: a certain number of approved lower- and upper-division courses, plus an approved sequence in an academic major, adding up to 60 or 120 credits. Once students complete the credits, National U. will grant them a degree.
While many of the courses will be free, students will bear small costs for taking exams through secure online channels or in-person testing facilities. (Textbooks will be free and open-source). Students will also pay a modest fee of a few hundred dollars for the degree itself, enough to defray the operating costs of National U.
When my six-year-old goes to college I bet it will look a lot different than it does now.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed Monday that President Obama is "very interested" in the idea of raising taxes through unitlateral executive action.
"The president certainly has not indicated any reticence in using his executive authority to try and advance an agenda that benefits middle class Americans," Earnest said in response to a question about Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) calling on Obama to raise more than $100 billion in taxes through IRS executive action.
King Obama should learn some history.
Here is why I believe I am a Christian: I believe I have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior. I believe in the grace offered by the Resurrection. I believe that whatever spiritual rewards I may reap come directly from trying to live the example set by Christ. Whether or not I succeed in living up to that example is primarily between Him and me.
My understanding of Christianity is that it doesn't require me to prove my faith to anyone on this plane of existence. It is about a direct relationship with the divine and freely offered salvation. That's one of the reasons that when my generic "There must be something out there" gut feeling blossomed into a desire for a personal connection to that "something," it was Christianity that I choose to explore. They'll let anyone in.
To be clear, I don't just believe in God. I am a Christian. Decades of mass culture New Ageism has fluffed up "belief in God" into a spiritual buffet, a holy catch-all for those who want to cover all the numbers: Pascal's wager as a roulette wheel and not a coin toss. Me, I'm going all in with Jesus. It's not just that the payoff could be tremendous--it already has been! The only cost is the judgment that comes from others, from telling people that my belief has a specific shape, with its own human legacy of both shame and triumph.
This makes my day! There's almost nothing I like more than reading about people coming to Christ.