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Exercise the power of the People to impeach and remove bad judges

Both the United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution make plain that American and Pennsylvania state governments derive their power from the People.

But my, oh my, have we not seen a tremendous erosion of privacy and basic individual rights and liberties over the years as government power to regulate and surveil expands. Much of this starts with local law enforcement.

Over and over again we read with amazement how some official government regulatory or law enforcement arm commits another over-reach deep into some poor citizen’s life. And then with even greater amazement we read how some judge, especially federal judges, uphold what would appear on its face to violate the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.  Here are some headlines:

“Ohio Court upholds police forced entry into private home over failure to signal at traffic light…”

“New Jersey Federal Court Upholds The FTC’s Authority To Regulate Data Security”

 

“Judge Upholds Police ‘Code of Silence’ Ruling…U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve decided Thursday decided not to toss out part of a jury’s decision that found Chicago police operated under a “code of silence,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Last month, a jury found the police department obstructed the investigation into the beating death of bartender Karolina Obrycka at the hands of off-duty police officer Anthony Abbate in 2007.

U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve decided Thursday decided not to toss out part of a jury’s decision that found Chicago police operated under a “code of silence,” according to the Chicago Tribune.”

“Police can forcibly take DNA samples during arrests, judge rules”

 

“Federal Judge Upholds Warrantless Hidden Surveillance Cameras On Private Property”

 

“Court upholds dismissal of ticket quota lawsuit”

 

“Utah Cops Arrest Teen for Recording, Judge then Orders Teen to Admit Guilt before Trial”

 

“Law-Breaking Judges Took Cases That Could Make Them Even Richer

Federal judges aren’t supposed to hear cases in which they have a financial stake. Dozens do it anyway.”

And the granddaddy of them all, a truly unbelievable case in which a federal judge recently decided the police can simply take over your home and eat your food without any reason whatsoever:

“The Nevada case of Mitchell v. City of Henderson still slogs through the Nevada Federal District Court. This case has one unusual feature. It accuses police in two cities of quartering themselves in two private houses without the consent of their owners. This would breach the Third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which deals with quartering of soldiers. The defendant city officials say police officers are not soldiers. But the Mitchells actually have a thirty-two-year-old precedent on their side. That case says one need not be an active-duty U.S. armed service member to be a “soldier” under the Constitution………………….the police in Henderson wanted to “stake out” the Mitchells’ neighbor. They forced the Mitchells (and Anthony Mitchell’s parents) out of their homes, moved in for the time of their stakeout, and helped themselves to whatever was in their refrigerators and pantries. They even arrested Anthony and Michael for obstructing the police. Those charges could not possibly stick, so the city dropped them. But the Mitchells are still suing, on every ground they could possibly cite.
The Third Amendment portion of the Mitchell complaint has been dismissed as of February 2015. The judge held that police officers are not soldiers for the purposes of the Third Amendment; he also expressed doubt that occupying the property for less than 24 hours would constitute ‘quartering’, although he did not specifically rule on that aspect.”

And so on.  You can do your own Internet search on this subject and read the stories behind these headlines and many more.  The purpose here is to call attention to the problem of judges who clearly allow unconstitutional government behavior to proceed.

And what is to be done with US Supreme Court justices who lie under oath in their nomination and confirmation hearings, in order to be confirmed, and then begin ruling exactly the opposite of what they testified to in the US Senate?

In all these instances, the People – us, the voters, taxpayers, and citizens of America – should take the necessary steps to legally remove these failed public servants from their benches.  These are no longer judges in the essential sense of the term, and they certainly no longer look out for the basic rights and liberties of the People. 

So they must be impeached or recalled.

Obama Administration bears responsibility for ambush of two cops

In Ferguson Missouri late last night, two police officers were ambushed and shot.  Both are in critical condition.

Just last week the Obama Administration’s Department of Injustice issued an outrageous, cockamamie “report” that accused the Ferguson police force of racism, despite a lack of evidence to support such a claim.  This was outgoing radical Attorney General Eric Holder’s gift to racists everywhere, who have tried to leverage every single justified police shooting into a judgment of American society at large.

Holder’s report gives succor to those who blame everyone but themselves for their problems, and it provides political cover for the Black Panther-type militarism that is sweeping large segments of America’s urban populations.  The logic of Holder’s activism is this: If the police force is so racist, then it’s no crime to go out and shoot police.

We saw the same exact dynamic and result when New York City Mayor DeBlasio accused the NYCPD of being a bunch of racists, and then two police officers were immediately ambushed and killed by a racist thug who used DeBlasio’s own words to justify his actions.

Obama has introduced radicalism into every aspect of government action.  He has filled senior government posts with people who have had a long history of militating against America as it was founded, constantly judging everyone around them, constantly harassing and accusing everyone around them, and this is just one more piece of evidence that Obama is at war with American citizens.

The blood of these two officers is on the hands of Barack Hussein Obama and Eric Holder.

My heart goes out to these two brave police officers; may they recover soon and completely.

Can the French run France?

Old French military guns are often sold here in America.  They are in like-new condition, because they were never fired and were dropped once.  Now we get to see the modern day footage of French “bravery.”  Shameful.  Real police do not run away like this.  They stand and fight, they use their car to block the bad guys.  Forgive me if this just reaffirms my perception of the French as weak hedonists.

Bad guys are on the run around Harrisburg

Toldja so.

Last year, several critical essays I wrote about PA AG Kathleen Kane were widely published, long before other people felt safe enough, I guess, to jump on the band wagon.

Kane’s incompetence and corrupt behavior were evident within a few months of her arrival in the PA Attorney General seat.  She only got worse and worse, and was on a downhill slide to the point where she has now been indicted by a grand jury.  Imagine that.

I feel vindicated.  Sadly.

Harrisburg’s top cop may go to jail, or be fined, disbarred, and barred from holding public office.  It says a lot about politics, that her Breck Girl smile and slow-motion hair tosses were enough for  her to get elected.

For the record, I believe that if Pennsylvania absolutely must have a Democrat AG, then Katie McGinty would be the right person.  McGinty is every bit as liberal and political as Kane, but Katie is also way too smart to let it show or implement it so egregiously.  So, we’d end up with a partisan professional and not the corrupt political hack we have now.  That’d be an improvement.

An even better improvement would be Ed Marsico as AG.  Ed Marsico is the stellar DA for Dauphin County, and he is so a-political that the Republican establishment has passed him over in the past.  Can you imagine, an AG who simply does the job of prosecuting bad guys?  How refreshing that would be.

On to Harrisburg City, my home town and my family’s home since at least 1745.  It’s a place I care about a lot.  We moved here from Washington, DC, to enjoy the high quality of life, easy commute, and low cost of living.  I love living in Harrisburg.

Yes, the city has problems.  OK, that is true and I think people are genuinely working to solve them, even as many of the same people have worked to exacerbate them because they stood to make money from them (think: Public Parking).  But that is another story.

Here’s a story that is just now unfolding: Harrisburg has decided to hold on to its illegal anti-gun laws.  Harrisburg City remains happily and blatantly in violation of two state laws barring any PA municipality from passing gun laws.  The city has been served notice that they may get sued over this, a costly loss because the city will have to pay money damages and legal fees to the winner.

And of course, the gun laws they have do zero to punish criminals or limit crime.  They are designed to punish law-abiding citizens and turn them into criminals, because the zealot prohibitionist crusaders pushing these laws are against guns per se.

Late last Friday night a deranged man attempted to forcefully enter my home through the front door.  He was banging away at it, working over the handle hard, and shouting at us.

My wife and kids cowered on the kitchen floor, with Viv talking with a surly 911 dispatcher (who actually yelled at me over the phone); our guests were in the basement.

I stood with a pistol pointed at the door, waiting for the guy to come barging through.  Every warning I shouted to him through the door elicited a curse-filled response and harder efforts to get through.

Even I was scared.  Someone trying that hard to break into your home is going to do damage once he gets inside.

Ten minutes later the Harrisburg police arrived and caught him, two doors up the street.  They were professional and friendly to us taxpayers, and they used force to capture the crazy man because he was violent.  I watched him fight with them and try to kick their police dog, Bo.  He had some white powder drugs on him and acted like he was insane.  Case in point here: Drugs are bad, m’kay?

Without my gun, immediately accessible, our family was a sitting duck for this guy.

We were lucky that he did not come through a ground floor window.  Sure, I would have shot and killed him had he entered our home, but who needs that?  And what about the other citizens who are neither armed nor prepared or able to defend themselves effectively against intruders?

Let’s ask the obvious question: What about “when seconds count the police are only minutes away” do you not understand, Mayor Eric Papenfuse?

Why are your illegal, ineffective gun laws more important than the safety of my family?

What makes people on the Left so cocksure about their illegal behavior? It must have something to do with the tradition of Leftist protests always being “right,” a mentality that undergirds everything they do.

We will see you in court, Mayor Papenfuse, because you may not inflict your illegal laws on the safety of my body.

Good or bad, the cops have our backs

A society without a professional police force lacks the rule of law. No rule of law? No civilization.

Are there bad cops, violent cops, corrupt cops, abusive cops, escalating cops? Of course. I’ve seen it. Central Pennsylvania Attorney Devon Jacob has seen it, and he’s a former police officer who prosecutes police brutality. Even he says the bad cops are a minuscule fraction of the overall number.

Overall and overwhelmingly, the police across the nation are the best of the citizenry. They sacrifice their safety to bring a certainty to yours. Without police like American police, there’s no America. Not as we’ve come to know it.

That’s what gets me about the anti-police attitude so common now. What, you want anarchy?

Despite the fake and misplaced rage about criminals dying at the hands of the police they attacked, there is truth to the observation that police forces are too militarized. And too many police officers are quick to escalate situations to satiate an ego in need of control. These aren’t secrets and these are issues the left and the right agree on. It’s going to get resolved professionally through the political process.

The blips on the radar screen that get our attention most are momentary deviations from the standard behavior of nearly all police officers. The extremely high standard of care that the police in every community bring to all of us is second to none.

So, how any American identifies the police as the bad guys is beyond me. It’s a sign of deep cultural decay and failure. It’s time that stopped.

Should I riot? Burn my neighborhood?

The other day a cop stepped out in front of my vehicle and motioned me to pull over.

“Explosives checkpoint,” he said, leaning into the truck cab and looking around.

“Got a driver’s license?” he asked.

Policemen stood all around, serious faces, thumbs hooked into gear belts, a dog, a strange looking machine pointed at the truck.

“Sure,” I said, digging through my Benjamin Franklin replica wallet for the ID. “Anything to help you guys.”

And I meant it, even while I did not like being pulled over for nothing. It feels like a police state.  And we hunt. The truck is full of high powered rifle rounds, shotgun shells, tools, knives. What happens if the police find these things? They’re not explosives, but in the context of their search, they might be alarming.

And consider that the bumper has NRA stickers, Don’t Tread on Me, etc. My politics might be provocative.  Who knows where that can lead.

A couple minutes later, a different officer walked over to the cab, handed me my license, and said thanks. He apologized for the inconvenience. We made chit chat about our kids, the high cost of college, and other stuff.

We parted ways on friendly terms.

Was I profiled?

Was it my pickup truck? My conservative stickers? My tough guy appearance?

Do they think I’m a “domestic terrorist”?

Should I get mad about this? Riot? Burn down my neighborhood?

I went and ate lunch. And forgot about this uncomfortable moment until now. Nope, I never took it personally

The word “tactical” – overused, kind of

By Josh First

Have you seen the word “tactical” used lately?

The word appears everywhere, and is growing in prominence across the retail world.

Although “tactical” is a word that denotes, or really connotes military tactics, and was once reserved to the sole use of the United States Military combat units or the dangerously armed forces they faced, this word now imputes some special meaning, martial ability, and toughness to anything that wears it on the label.

There are tactical knives, vests, rifles, pistols, and the many accoutrements that go with these items.  There seem to be tactical diapers, tactical coffee mugs, and tactical pens.  OK, there are to my knowledge no tactical diapers or coffee mugs, but it is true that someone will or already is onto these items.  Actually, there are tactical pens meant for self defense, but whether or not they have actual value for military tactics is a questionable claim.

For another true example of the oddly named, there are tactical shirts.  No lie, there are “tactical shirts” dedicated to more easily accessing one’s concealed pistol.

Is it really so difficult to just wear a regular old LL Bean button down short sleeve Pima cotton Oxford?  Is a shirt with confusing numbers of magnum zipper pulls in sensitive places really, truly a better shirt than the LL Bean?  Does it really make you a tougher guy or gal?  Do our combat forces wear these shirts? No?

As if it isn’t odd enough to call a shirt or a vest “tactical,” we now have tactical airguns, I kid you not.  The Crosman TR77 looks like a Star Trek photon shooter that makes bad guys vaporize painlessly, but it is claimed by its maker to have some sort of tactical application.

As if!

Air guns pack all the wallop of a good slap to the head, albeit with more concentrated force.  Certainly some shoot pellets that can penetrate your flesh, and perhaps even your temple.  But if I were a law enforcement officer engaged in a really deadly standoff with a violent, dangerous bad guy, a freakin airgun is the last thing I’d want in my hands.  My tactic in that situation would be to run away, fast.

So obviously the word “tactical” is being, ummm, stretched in meaning a bit these days.

But for whatever reason, this word increasingly resonates with the American public, and it may be a result of the hyper-militarization of our local police forces.  Plenty has been written in recent months about how the legendary bumbling Officer Barney Fife became the sinister looking, crewcut-and-armor-wearing badass kicking down grandma’s door in East Succotash, America. SWAT teams in East Succotash, America, are not necessary, and it is a serious issue, because Americans have a natural aversion to government force applied to them.

No doubt about it, America’s local police are in an arms race with…hmmmm… either themselves, far-off international military forces, or possibly, probably, you.

That’s right, there is plenty of evidence indicating that the massive investment in military grade hardware and hard attitude at the local police level is translating into a natural citizen reaction, apparently in preparation for inevitable urban combat with the very people once sworn to protect us.  And so we have an increasing “if-they-have-it, we-need-it, too,” civilian reach for all things tactical.  Tactical now seems to mean “I am ready for combat,” an American attitude that is both refreshing and alarming.

Alarming indeed.  Why are we afraid of our own local police forces?  When did that happen? And, come to think of it, why did the local Harrisburg cop try to stare me down last year, on my own street, when I cheerfully said hello to him while walking on our sidewalk with my small son in hand?  Was he employing some anti-citizen ‘tactic’?  Sure felt that way to me, the law-abiding taxpayer underwriting that guy’s paycheck and tough guy attitude.

However, instead of meeting fire with fire, and buying a black bulletproof vest with webbing and the ubiquitous variation of a skull-and-crossbones trademark label, I think I will for now reach for my ‘tactical pen’ and write about my uncomfortable encounter, thereby defeating that officer’s ungainly attempt to bring implied force into what should have been a friendly exchange between equals.

US Supreme Court decides straight forward case with weird outcomes

Fernandez v. California was decided yesterday by the US Supreme Court.  Everything about it is just…weird.

In a holding that is enraging advocates of private property rights, limited government, and citizen privacy, the Court’s conservatives were joined by two liberals to allow the police to enter a private home without a warrant, even if one resident says they cannot enter, because another resident said they could enter.

In other words, if the police get a resident of a home to grant permission to enter that home for the purpose of searching for something illegal, which the police now do not have to specify in writing, the police may enter.  What they are looking for could be unknown, or undocumented.  Maybe they are on a fishing expedition, just looking for anything they could use against the person who said they did not want the police to enter.  It seems like planting evidence would be a lot easier, now.  In any event, your home is no longer your castle, if a pissed off teenager inside decides to take out their misplaced teenage aggression against their loving parents.

Seems like a recipe for disaster.

Justice Ginsburg wrote a dissent, noting the obvious erosion in Fourth Amendment rights against illegal searches and seizures that result from holdings like this.  Ginsburg is the court’s most liberal member, an extremist who has spoken out against the US Constitution she is sworn to uphold, and an authoritarian statist who otherwise just loves, loves, loves state power over citizens.

And here’s the really weird stuff: The facts involve “illegal guns,” which in California is anything down to and including a Daisy BB gun, and documented domestic violence.

The person blocking the police from entering the home to search it was the Mr. Wife-Beating Fernandez, a scumbag who held his cringing wife prisoner under brutal circumstances.  After he was momentarily out of the picture and not a direct threat, she allowed the police to search the house, where they found the illegal guns (let’s be clear – California is on the path to making all gun ownership illegal, except by the police, which is otherwise known as a police state, a separate topic).

Thus did Mr. Macho Wife Beater get into even more and more serious trouble with the legal system, and thus did he subsequently attempt to suppress the evidence the police found, which really put him away behind bars for a while.

Ginsburg and other liberals typically trumpet the rights of domestic abuse victims, but here they are clearly ranking them beneath the rights of the gun-owning wife beater.  Weird.

Conservatives like Alito typically champion the rights of gun owners and are split 50/50 on privacy rights.  But here they are so obviously opening up the flood gates of potential abuse by police.  No warrant?  No documentation for probable cause? Husbands and wives typically cannot testify against each other, but here they are now allowed to defy one another in the family ‘castle’ so the state apparatus may enter at will.

Seems like a pretty huge detonation of American citizens’ privacy rights.  Weird.

 

Westgate Mall, Kenya….a “gun free zone”

Islamic activists attacked the Westgate Mall this week, challenging the oddly dressed and poorly equipped Kenyan police and military to take time off from beating civilians and assert armed force against armed forces.

By all accounts the attack and counter attack were a horrible mess. The Muslims racked up a dandy accounting, murdering about 65 women, children, and old men in cold blood, often challenging their victims to recite parts of the Koran to prove that they were Muslims, and thereby deserving of life.

One thing is for sure, those “gun free zones” and all the disarmed gentle people in them seem to attract a lot of crazies with guns. Westgate is the most recent, but malls, movie theatres, and schools are all similar in their distaste for legally armed civilians. Their taste for illegally armed lunatics is proving to be quite high.

Hopefully at some point, this “If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist” attitude driving the gun-free zone policy will evolve into some expression of self-preservation, which means having the ability to meet force with force.

Certain people have hero complexes. Among them are police officers who want to disarm civilians and maintain militarily armed “rapid response” teams. Problem is, when seconds count, these rapid response guys are at best minutes away. Consider also that countries where only the police have effective guns are called police states.

Want to see my rapid response team? It’s right here. I’m looking at it. It’s my trigger finger, and I would stake my life on it, and yours, long before I’d expect the cops to show up after the shooting started.

You’ve got your own rapid response team, too. Start exercising it, it might come in handy. And if it does, you can enjoy being a hero while the hero-wannabes are just starting to show up.

“Obama Cop” Tom Hyers Has Some Explaining to Do

Nick-named the “Obama Cop” because of his recent role in promoting gun control with US VP Joe Biden, York County, Springettsbury Township police chief Tom Hyers now has some big-time explaining to do.

I met Chief Hyers when we debated gun control at the WITF studio last month. Hyers was quick to promote gun control, quick to dismiss armed citizens and teachers, and quick to draw imaginary images of heroic rapid response police who bust down doors and shoot bad guys.

Strangely, Chief Hyers called my observation that, when seconds count the police are only minutes away, a “smoke screen.” It’s no smoke screen; it is a fact that the laws of physics cannot overcome. After our debate, we spent some time off camera chatting, getting to know one another, and exchanging views on gun control and culture.

Now, Chief Hyers has police officers on his force accused of using wildly excessive force. One of the officers is accused in at least two different incidents. The incidents are all on camera, and they explicitly show men in uniform out of control, sadistically hurting the defenseless citizens they are sworn to protect.

My own takeaway from this is that policemen like Hyers are super into their jobs, and we both support them and cast a wary eye. On the one hand, we admire men and women who put their lives on the line to bring order to our society, who confront dangerous humans and risk their health to do a job. On the other hand, Hyers believes too much in the power of police. He practically worships it, to the point of dismissing the effectiveness of armed citizens, a silly thing to do. When I mentioned during our debate that concealed carry holders are extremely safe and have been observed to have a lower accident rate than uniformed police, Hyers bristled and demanded to know where such ‘outrageous claims’ came from.

No wonder Chief Hyers loves gun control so much. He also knowingly employs cops who beat the heck out of innocent citizens and face no internal corrective action. Police deserve our respect, and their power deserves watchfulness. Chief Hyers is very much the face of gun control. He is a man to watch, all right…watch out, America!