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This article is mis-titled.

TALLAHASSEE — The case against Tadrae McKenzie looked like an easy win for prosecutors. He and two buddies robbed a small-time pot dealer of $130 worth of weed using BB guns. Under Florida law, that was robbery with a deadly weapon, with a sentence of at least four years in prison.

But before trial, his defense team detected investigators’ use of a secret surveillance tool, one that raises significant privacy concerns. In an unprecedented move, a state judge ordered the police to show the device — a cell-tower simulator sometimes called a StingRay — to the attorneys.

Rather than show the equipment, the state offered McKenzie a plea bargain.

The article goes on to talk about a "confidentiality agreement" between the FBI and local authorities with relationship to this gear and how it works.  However, that article misses the point.

In the United States, along with most other nations, you must be licensed to emit RF (radio) energy in most cases.  There are specific exemptions for certain bands within certain requirements, which is why you can buy a WiFi "hotspot" over the counter and use it without a license, along with your computer that talks to it.

Your cellphone has to be tested and approved to comply with the limits of radio emissions, including personal safety limits.  Modifying that device, as it operates on a licensed band, is explicitly illegal.  Likewise, the cell tower transmitter must be and is licensed to the carrier, who has specific authorization to use the frequency bands they are using -- and in fact they paid for access to those bands.

A government agency is not immune from these requirements and as such operation of such a "StingRay" device by a federal, state or local law enforcement agency without said license or the explicit permission and involvement of the license-holder, including verification of its operation within legal limits regarding power level, splatter and interference with others is explicitly illegal.

We must not permit this sort of lawless behavior by so-called "law enforcement"; it makes a mockery of their oath to uphold the law and in fact renders them criminals on their own!  As such their remit to allegedly "enforce the law" evaporates the minute such an intentional act takes place.

When will you wake up, America, and demand that this crap stop?

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Oh boy....

One of the worst days of Douglas Dendinger’s life began with him handing an envelope to a police officer.

In order to help out his family and earn a quick $50, Dendinger agreed to act as a process server, giving a brutality lawsuit filed by his nephew to Chad Cassard as the former Bogalusa police officer exited the Washington Parish Courthouse.

The handoff went smoothly, but Dendinger said the reaction from Cassard, and a group of officers and attorneys clustered around him, turned his life upside down.

What happened next was an entirely-fabricated claim that he had assaulted the officer in question including several intentional acts of perjury by other persons there, many of them probably law enforcement officers as well.

The victim, fortunately, asked his wife and nephew to video the original act.  This video, it turns out, winds up being the only reason this guy is not facing decades in prison.

So here's the question raised in the Post, and by myself as well: Why aren't all the law enforcement officers who filed false reports still on the job and not facing felony charges?  Why aren't the witnesses facing felony charges?  Why aren't the attorneys who filed false reports, specifically the prosecuting attorneys, facing charges and disbarment?

These people all conspired together to try to railroad this man.  While I suspect he will win in his civil rights lawsuit the taxpayers will get that bill.

No folks, this is not good enough.  You or I would be staring down a racketeering prosecution if we tried this and facing decades in prison.

This crap must stop and everyone involved must do hard prison time.  If they don't then there is no reason for anyone to respect the so-called law because it is not in fact anything more than armed thuggery.

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Cry me a river, so-called "Conservatives".....

This spring will mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, the landmark agreement by King John of England at Runnymede ceding certain rights to rebel barons. Liberty will have another chance to shine on Wednesday when the Supreme Court hears a case with momentous implications about another sort of executive power. In this instance, though, it is the rebels who have the royal name: King v. Burwell raises questions about how President Obama has enforced the ObamaCare law—or, more precisely, modified, delayed and suspended it.

This will be the third challenge to the Affordable Care Act to reach the court. But King is different. The law’s constitutionality was challenged in NFIB v. Sebelius, 2012, and the way certain regulations burden particular types of plaintiffs was addressed by Burwell v. Hobby Lobby last year. Now comes King, challenging the administration’s implementation of the law.

Yes, I know.

And yes, I also know the facts on this, since I'm one of the few who claims to be a journalist that actually read the damn bill before it was passed.  Yes, all of it.  Every page.

Here's the problem -- the Roberts court, despite the clear intent in the law and the Congressional Recordheld the mandate and penalty constitutional as a tax.  The problem of course is that the Congressional Record and law itself said it wasn't a tax, specifically because it wasn't legally able to be one as it was a direct tax and that's Unconstitutional unless apportioned.  In other words you can't lay a direct tax that varies by person and circumstance (you can predicated on count, e.g. "per head"); to do so you'd need to amend the Constitution first.

An excise (tax on an activity) can be laid, but there was no way to read that into the refusal to take an action.  So Congress didn't, but then Roberts rewrote the law to make it so.

In doing so he blatantly violated the Constitution -- the highest law in the land.  Not only that, the law he left us with is blatantly unconstitutional.

This isn't the first time the USSC has done such a thing, it's just the latest.  Previous incarnations of this sort of horsecrap are found all the way back to Wickard .v. Filburn, and probably before. The fact of the matter is that such a decision makes no law, it creates no office and it has no force.  The US Supreme Court may be entitled (so it claims) to interpret the Constitution but it cannot rewrite statute on its own initiative.

Yet it did, and we sat for it.  We permitted it.  Those same black-robed bastards sit in that building today, despite having committed an egregious, in-your-face violation of their oath of office and the law.

So now you wish to complain about a mere implementation detail?

Where the hell were you when the original decision came down?  And where have you been since?  You have no argument to make at this point; once you cede to an entity that blatantly, openly and notoriously ignores the law you lose the right to complain about further violations of same.

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These allegationsif true, underline a point I've made for a long time here in these pages: Corporations cannot be effectively "fined" since they can pass through the fine to others.  Only people (and partnerships, where direct liability exists) can be fined.

But Lee said he was mystified when Intuit repeatedly refused to adopt some basic policies that would make it more costly and complicated for fraudsters to abuse the company’s service for tax refund fraud, such as blocking the re-use of the same Social Security number across a certain number of TurboTax accounts, or preventing the same account from filing more than a small number of tax returns.

“If I sign up for an account and file tax refund requests on 100 people who are not me, it’s obviously fraud,” Lee said in an interview with KrebsOnSecurity. “We found literally millions of accounts that were 100 percent used only for fraud. But management explicitly forbade us from either flagging the accounts as fraudulent, or turning off those accounts.”

Here's the basic problem:

If you intend to rob a bank, hail a taxi and when you get into the cab tell the driver "here's a $20; take me to the bank so I can rob it", the cab driver goes to prison as an accessory before (and/or after) the fact to the crime you commit.  The same applies if the driver discerns, through his own internal security processes (e.g. he has a metal detector or camera and detects that you have a gun, and sees your hand-written hold-up note) that you're going to said bank to rob it and he knowingly facilitates your crime.

But -- if you are a corporation, and through your own internal processes detect that someone is nearly-certain to commit a crime, there is no criminal charge leveled even though your acts as a corporation facilitate or even are necessary for said crime to be committed.

We saw this during the financial blow-up.  Banks knowingly gave loans to people who lied about their incomes and they knew they were lying.  A person who claims to have $80,000 a year of income but works as a line cook at McDonalds is either lying or selling crack on the side.  Either way they're breaking the law and the bank that processes the app anyway, knowing this is making money facilitating the crime.  Then they made even more money selling knowingly bogus loans on to third parties.

Yet there were exactly zero criminal charges laid against these banks.  At worst there were "civil settlements" -- fines -- which are worthless as both a punishment and deterrent, since the corporation can simply pass that cost on to shareholders, customers or both.

The individuals who made the decisions were rewarded with bonuses, the officers and directors were not held accountable personally to any degree whatsoever and if and when penalties (which were rare) actually got assessed someone else paid them.

In the older days of partnerships for investment banks this didn't happen because the partners were personally liable for any fines assessed.  It came directly out of their pocket (and such could not be avoided due to the legal structure of the firm) and thus there was a hell of an incentive not to do things like that.  The problems arose immediately and durably as soon as these firms converted to "public" ownership.

But that problem didn't have to arise, just as it doesn't here.  The reason is criminal liability, which can attach not only to corporations but also to individual officers and directors.

Start charging the people responsible with being an accessory to the crime itself and this crap stops immediately.

Why isn't this done?

That's simple: There is no demand by you, as Americans, that it does.

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