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Monday, November 28, 2016

USA - MRF Update on Proposed Policy on Autonomous Vehicles.

OFF THE WIRE
For Immediate Release
November 21, 2016
Motorcycle Riders Foundation Responds to NHTSA’s
Proposed Policy on Autonomous Vehicles

WASHINGTON, DC –Today, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation filed official comments with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding a proposed policy and guidance surrounding automated vehicles or self-driving cars.Released in September, the long-awaited guidance from the Agency was a first step in attempting to regulate this burgeoning technology. The guidance included a model policy for states to better understand how such vehicles are tested and used on the road as well as a recommended 15-point safety assessment for manufacturers to follow to ensure autonomous vehicles are safely designed,developed, tested and deployed. 
Generally,the guidance was accepted as a positive first step, but very quickly opposing sides materialized with differing views on non-mandatory guidelines versus regulations, the scope of the federal government and effect on preemption for those states that have already begun to address the vehicles in state law, and general concerns over how to ensure safety within a technology that is so rapidly evolving. 
Representing the voice of the millions of street motorcyclists in the U.S., the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) thoroughly reviewed the proposed policies as well as attended Agency workshops, congressional hearings and other forums to better understand how this technology and these policies would consider and ensure the safety of motorcyclists on the road. The organization’s thoughts are captured in extensive comments filed with the Agency, which can be viewed by clicking on the below link: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2016-0090-0001.
In short, the comments indicate that while the MRF recognizes the potential that these vehicles may offer in regards to improving road safety, other sections made clear that, “any guidelines, procedures, or regulations promulgated, are considerate and inclusive of all road users, specifically motorcyclists.” The comments centered around four main points including implementing an enforceable requirement for automakers to have robust testing when it comes to motorcycle recognition and responsiveness,ensuring that safeguards surrounding cyber security have strong standards,thoughts and considerations regarding liability in crashes with self-driving vehicles, and general concerns about the scope and enforceability of the policy as well as the need to define a clear role between states and the federal government.
With over 10 million registered motorcycles on the nation’s roads, the MRF insists that this group is an important stakeholder that is often overlooked when it comes to driverless vehicles. The MRF is working to ensure that bikers across the nation not be overlooked; they recently nominated a well-known motorcycle rights’ activist to serve on a newly established Council at the Department of Transportation that will help advise the Secretary of Transportation on this issue. There has been no indication yet that the nomination has been accepted,but the MRF insists that it will remain vigilant in ensuring bikers have a seat at the table when it comes to automated vehicles.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

USA - A Checkpoint Primer

OFF THE WIRE
agingrebel.com
The Fourth Amendment  states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The paragraph seems straight forward enough and courts have ruled that to detain a person is to “seize” him. So if you are stopped and detained you are seized and your seizure must be reasonable. But there is also a significant body of case law that authorizes police to set up roadblocks and detain drivers and riders in states that do not have laws forbidding checkpoints and roadblocks.
Here is a brief primer on how the meaning of how the meaning of reasonable has evolved.

People v. De la Torre

The grandfather of all roadblock court decisions is a California appeals court case from 1967 titled People v. De la Torre. The California legislature passed a law, Vehicle code 2814, which said: “Every driver of a passenger vehicle shall stop and submit the vehicle to an inspection of the mechanical condition and equipment of the vehicle at any location where members of the California Highway Patrol are conducting tests and inspections of passenger vehicles and when signs are displayed requiring such stop.”
Fernando De la Torre was out on a Saturday night. He was tipsy and he was arrested for driving under the influence. He was convicted  and he appealed on the grounds that the traffic stop was an unconstitutional dragnet. The stop was, in fact, a defacto sobriety checkpoint. A lower court agreed with De la Torre and dismissed his case.
The state appealed and the appeals court ruled ‘‘Upon holding Vehicle Code section 28141 unconstitutional on its face the trial court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss the action. Thus our task is strictly limited. We are not called upon to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant, nor whether the Vehicle Code section was being used as a subterfuge by the police, nor whether an otherwise constitutional statute was being unconstitutionally applied to this defendant. We determine and hold only that Vehicle Code section 2814 properly used in accordance with the in¬tent of the Legislature expressed therein is constitutional.”
That obscure, state court decision was the hole in the dike

United States v. Martinez-Fuerte

The leak became noticeable in a U.S. Supreme Court case titled United States v. Martinez-Fuerte. Martinez-Fuente was stopped at a border patrol checkpoint on the San Diego Freeway in San Clemente, California. The checkpoint is about 73 miles north of the Mexican border and it is still there. Legally the Border Patrol is authorized to conduct searches in a border zone that extends 100 miles inland from international borders and at virtual borders, like international airports, no matter where they might be. The defendant was transporting two Mexican nationals north to Los Angeles. They admitted they were in the country illegally and he was charged with two counts of illegally transporting aliens.
Martinez-Fuente wanted his passengers statements suppressed. The Supreme Court ruled seven to two that the checkpoint did not violate the fourth amendment because it wouldn’t be practical to get search warrants for all the cars that passed through the checkpoint and that the inconvenience to motorist was “minimal.” It is legal, under Martinez Fuerte, to use profiling and to detain someone for further questioning because they look suspicious.

Delaware v. Prouse

Both of the above cases, were cited in 1979s Supreme Court decision, Delaware v. Prouse. In Prouse, the Court ruled that police could stop anybody for any reason as long as they treated everybody equally and did not arbitrarily decide to stop some people and let others continue on their way. It was a curious decision and it referenced People v. De la Torre, the California decision from a dozen years before. Justice Byron “Whizzer” White, a former All American football player, cautioned that “people are not shorn of all Fourth Amendment protection when they step from the sidewalks into their automobiles.” And then he wrote it would be alright to stop people and check their vehicle registrations at a “checkpoint,” like the one that caught De la Torre driving drunk. Police couldn’t set up sobriety checkpoints but they could stop you, make you roll down your window and hand over your papers.
The state had the right, the court ruled, to enforce roadblocks that promoted traffic safety as long as they didn’t search the stopped vehicles without probable cause.

Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz

The Court decided that sobriety checkpoints were legal in 1990 in a case titled Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz.
Michigan had started setting up roadblocks to catch drunk drivers. Drivers had to stop, roll down their windows and converse with police. If the cop smelled alcohol or detected slurred words or some other impairment, the driver could be detained and given a field sobriety test.
Justice John Paul Stevens thought that stopping 126 cars to find two drunk drivers was unreasonable but the rest of the court disagreed. Most of the court sought a balance between the rights of citizens to be let alone and the “interest” of government. The Court decided that the Michigan State Police had a preexisting “substantial government interest,” that the impact on sober drivers was “negligible” and that a brief interrogation to try to find reasonable suspicion of driving drunk was not unconstitutional.

City of Indianapolis v. Edmond

The Supreme Court took another look at checkpoints in 2000 in City of Indianapolis v. Edmond.
That case finally put a limit on what police could do at checkpoints. In a nutshell, that decision said that after De la Torre, Martinez-Fuerte, Prouse and Sitz the police could stop you, compel you to produce your papers, make you talk to them and even profile you based on your appearance or other intangible factors but they couldn’t greet everybody with a drug sniffing dog.
That was the bright and shining line between freedom and tyranny. On the free side of the line they couldn’t greet you with a drug sniffing wonder dog, which, as everyone knows, only “alerts” if you are actually in possession of drugs. On the free side of the line they can’t so that to you unless you are at a border crossing. Or in an airport.
The way American police get around Edmond is by putting up signs that say “Drug Checkpoint Ahead.” If you voluntarily pull over they can ask to search your car. Legally, there is no checkpoint, just a sign. You don’t have to consent to a search. You don’t have to roll down your window or talk to police. You don’t even have to stop but most people think they do. And if you make an illegal U-turn or you throw something away they can stop you for that. And, then they can contrive to have a dog sniff you.
You might have to explain all this to your public defender sometime.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Final Solution For Bikers

OFF THE WIRE
agingrebel.com
Yesterday the German Bundestag passed legislation that will allow Germany’s federal government to prosecute and pursue forfeiture actions against motorcycle clubs – Germany calls them rockergrupen. The new legislation probably signals a refinement in the German war on bikers.
The Federal Republic of Germany is comprised of 16 states. Since     1871, when Germany became a politically unified nation rather than a culturally unified but politically divided nation, police power has traditionally been reserved to the various German states. The one exception was the Nazi era, when police power was centralized. After Germany was reunified in 1990, most police power continued to reside with the states. The duties of federal police in Germany have been largely limited to securing the country’s borders. And, since the advent of the European Union, which effectively eliminated national borders in Europe, the federal police have been mostly delegated to policing airports and trains.
In the United States investigations and prosecutions of motorcycle clubs are always directed by the Department of Justice and by federal police forces like the ATF, the FBI, the DEA and the Department of Homeland Security.

National Menace

But in Germany, for example, the German state of Berlin banned wearing the Hells Angels patch in May 2014; the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia banned insignia associated with both the Hells Angels and the Bandidos a couple of months later; and an incident in which two Mongols were allegedly shot by Hells Angels in Hamburg last December was investigated by police there.
A German appeals court recently overturned the German patch bans. The new national legislation was introduced after prosecutors in Hamburg dropped their appeal of that decision.
Germany has seen motorcycle clubs as a national menace for more than three decades but has been unable to eliminate them. As Wolfgang Dick, a reporter for German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, put it four years ago: “The main problem is that many members of motorcycle gangs – mostly men aged 40 to 50 with a good education – have regular jobs. They live in inconspicuous small houses with neat gardens. They are well connected and have a strict, self-imposed code of honor.”
“Because of that, we don’t receive any testimony,” anti-biker zealot Frank Schleiden told the television reporter. “Aggrieved gang members never betray the perpetrators. The gangs shut themselves off completely and sort things out between themselves.”
But Federal German Police, instigated by American federal police, have been chomping at the bit to get in on the action. After the 2014 Berlin ban, AndrĂ© Schulz, who is the director of Germany’s Association of Criminal Police, told Speigel “that a nationwide phenomenon like biker gangs…needs to be…centrally investigated.” Today Germany is a step closer to doing that.




Friday, November 11, 2016

“Donald Trump’s Contract With The American Voter: My 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again.”

OFF THE WIRE

Six measures to clean up the
corruption and special interest
collusion in Washington, DC:

FIRST
, propose a constitutional amendment to
impose term limits on all members of Congress.

SECOND
, a hiring freeze on all federal employees
to reduce the federal workforce through attrition
(exempting military, public safety, and public health).

THIRD
, a requirement that for every new federal regulation,
two existing regulations must be eliminated.

FOURTH
, a fi ve-year ban on White House and
Congressional offi  cials becoming lobbyists after they
leave government service.

FIFTH
, a lifetime ban on White House offi  cials lobbying
on behalf of a foreign government.

SIXTH
, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising
money for American elections.
Seven actions to protect
American workers:

FIRST
, I will announce my intention to renegotiate
NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205.

SECOND
, I will announce our withdrawal from the
Trans-Pacifi c Partnership.

THIRD
, I will direct the Secretary of the Treasury to label
China a currency manipulator.

FOURTH
, I will direct the Secretary of
Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to
identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly
impact American workers and direct them to
use every tool under American and international
law to end those abuses immediately.

FIFTH
, I will lift the restrictions on the
production of
$50 trillion dollars’ worth of
job-producing American energy
reserves,
including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.

SIXTH
, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital
energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline,
to move forward.

SEVENTH
, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate
change programs and use the money to fi x America’s
water and environmental infrastructure.
Five actions to restore security
and the constitutional rule of law:

FIRST
, cancel every unconstitutional executive action,
memorandum and order issued by President Obama.

SECOND
, begin the process of selecting a replacement
for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list,
who will uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution.

THIRD
, cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities.

FOURTH
, begin removing the more than two million
criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel
visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back.

FIFTH
, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions
where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people
coming into our country will be considered “extreme vetting.”

I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures
and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:

Middle Class Tax Relief and
Simplification Act
An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year
and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive
tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade
reform, regulatory relief and lifting the restrictions on
American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the
middle class. A middle-class family with two children will get
a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced
from seven to three, and tax forms will likewise be greatly
simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35%
to 15%, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate
money overseas can now be brought back at a 10% rate.
End the Offshoring Act
Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off
their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship
their products back to the U.S. tax-free.
American Energy and
Infrastructure Act
Leverages public-private partnerships, and private
investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in
infrastructure investment over ten years. It is revenue neutral.
School Choice and Education
Opportunity Act
Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send
their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or
home school of their choice. Ends Common Core and brings
education supervision to local communities. It expands
vocational and technical education, and makes two- and four-
year college more affordable.
Repeal and Replace
Obamacare Act
Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings
Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across
state lines and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms
will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are
over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want
to speed the approval of life-saving medications.
Affordable Childcare and
Eldercare Act
Allows Americans to deduct childcare and eldercare
from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-site
childcare services and creates tax-free dependent care
savings accounts for both young and elderly dependents,
with matching contributions for low-income families.
End Illegal Immigration Act
Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern
border with the full understanding that the country of
Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost
of such wall; establishes a two-year mandatory minimum
federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after
a previous deportation, and a five-year mandatory minimum
federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering for those
with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions
or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to
enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs
are offered to American workers first.
Restoring Community Safety Act
Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating
a task force on violent crime and increasing funding for
programs that train and assist local police; increases
resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal
prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent
offenders behind bars.
Restoring National Security Act
Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester
and expanding military investment; provides veterans
with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend
the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital
infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening
procedures for immigration to ensure those who are
admitted to our country support our people and our values.
Clean Up Corruption in
Washington Act
Enacts new ethics reforms to drain the swamp and reduce
the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.
I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures
and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:
On November 8th, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity
to our economy, security to our communities and honesty to our government.
This is my pledge to you.
And if we follow these steps, we will once more have a government of, by and for the people..
I wil

babe of the day

After Motorcycles

OFF THE WIRE
agingrebel.com
Best figures indicate that last year, 5010 motorcyclists died on American roads.
That represented about 13 percent of all traffic deaths; which was a slight percentage decrease over the previous two years when motorcycle fatalities amounted to about 14 percent of all traffic deaths.
According to the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System 424 more bikers died last year than in 2014. Exact statistics are difficult to find but the National Safety Council loudly thinks that 38.300 people died on the roads last year and “4.4 million were seriously injured.” In 2002 43.500 people died on the roads and 3,270 of them were motorcyclists. And, at the risk of overloading readers with numbers, it might lend context to know that in 1990, 44,599 people died in highway accidents and 3,244 of them were sitting on motorcycles.
All of that, undeniably, represents far too many buckets of blood. So yesterday a coalition of concerned bureaucracies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Safety Council announced the launching of a hot air balloon called the “Road to Zero Initiative” which proposes to end all road fatalities within 30 years.

Creamy Filling

From far off, the idea tastes great. The devil is in the smooth, creamy filling. As Wayne Allard, who is vice president of government relations for the American Motorcyclist Association, noticed in a press release yesterday, “During the announcement of this major initiative, no mention was made of motorcycles or motorcyclists, even though the safety of other vulnerable road users – including pedestrians, bicyclists, even joggers – was specifically highlighted.”
Wonder why? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? Raise your hands when you get it.
Don’t panic if you are quick. So far this initiative only has $3 million with which to experiment. Initially, your federal government hopes to increase seat belt use, install rumble strips, develop more effective ways to spy on truck drivers and keep them from speeding.  The Road to Zero Initiative will also implement “behavior change campaigns” and support “data driven enforcement.”
The strategies enclosed in quotes may need some explanation.

Behavior Change Campaign

A behavior change campaign is a propaganda blitz that is something more than standard public service announcements. Like, imagine a commercial that starts with sunny film footage of a Bobo, a member of the bohemian bourgeoisie – Harley-Davidson’s emerging core demographic – sedately riding a Harley Street 500 to the grocery store while a voice over announcer intones: “Brad Brandywine, a beloved husband, father, raconteur and philanthropist should have lived!”
Next, a stripper in a darkened club explains: “He helped me pay off my student loans.”
Then several, small, multicultural children weep: “He bought us a dog.”
After a quick edit, viewers see a very angry pitbull going: “Snarl. Muff! Fuff! Bark! Bark!”
That is quickly followed by a medium wide shot of many grieving people intercut with a lock off of a mangled Harley-Davidson Street 500 spotted with either red paint or blood: “But he had to get on that damn motorcycle!”
Concerned policemen: “Motorcycle!”
Doctor: “Bad!”
Then quick cuts of many, pretty, stupid, television newz casters saying: “motorcycle…bad…motorcycle…risk…motorcycle…stupid risk…motorcycle…common sense…motorcycle.”
Imagine you, your woman, your children, your dog and your elderly parents all seeing that 400 times a day. A behavior change campaign bombards everybody with a television, a computer, a tablet or a smart phone with many messages like that.

DDACTS

Data driven enforcement would be the bastard child of  “Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS)” which  “is a law enforcement operational model supported by a partnership among the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and two agencies of the Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Justice.”
“Using geo-mapping to identify “hot spots” – areas of high incidence of crimes and crashes – DDACTS uses targeted traffic enforcement strategies that play two roles in fighting crime and reducing crashes and traffic violations. The model responds to the competing demands for police services that law enforcement executives face every day.”
The government boilerplate seems to be an oblique way of saying “more speed traps,” “more sobriety checkpoints near entertainment districts,” and “more courtesy motorcycle safety inspections.” It might mean more business for the companies that make, install and monitor traffic enforcement cameras.

HAVs

The heart of the plan to end all traffic deaths is the proliferation of self driving cars and trucks. Towards the goal of keeping everything the government does as obtuse as possible, the U.S. Department of Transportation calls them “Highly Automated Vehicles” or “HAVs.”
HAVs, get used to hearing that, will eliminate crashes caused by fallible humans who drink and drive, exceed the posted speed limit, talk on the phone and glance at the Google map on the little television screen built into their dashboard. Don’t blame Google. Google is working on its own autonomous vehicle. Blame human beings.
The AMA seems to be the only organization in America which has questions about this inevitable march of progress that will transform America into a risk-free Borg hive.

AMA

In yesterday’s testy press release, the AMA’s Allard said, “The questions we have for the coalition and the DOT are ‘Was the exclusion of motorcycles intentional?’ and ‘Is a ban on motorcycles part of the plan to get to zero road deaths? It is hard to imagine how you could eliminate all human decision making from the operation of a vehicle, especially a motorcycle. If autonomous motorcycles were ever developed, no one would ride them. We also are particularly concerned that highly automated vehicles are not being developed in a manner that takes into account the detection of motorcycles.”
“Motorcyclists should have been included in this project from the beginning, either through direct interaction with the AMA or through the Motorcycle Advisory Council,” the AMA groused. “Let’s not let another moment slip by without considering the safety of this important segment of road users and taking steps to secure the future of this popular form of transportation.”
Virtually all national print-news outlets covered the announcement of the “Road to Zero Initiative.” None of them seemed to care what motorcyclists thought about it. It wasn’t much of a TV story. At least not yet. Not until it’s time to introduce America to poor Brad Brandywine.







Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump Day Two

OFF THE WIRE
During his campaign for President, Donald John Trump actively sought the support of outlaw bikers and, much more importantly, the support of people who identify to some extent with outlaw bikers, which at last glance amounted to about 59,704,886 of your fellow Americans.
As we previously remarked, Nothing better represents the traditional American values of independence, self-sufficiency, courage, anti-authoritarianism, liberty,  blood lust and the unhindered pursuit of putting food in your baby girl’s belly by any goddamn means necessary than a biker on a V-Twin motorcycle – preferably a biker on a Harley with forward controls and ape hanger handlebars. And bare arms. And a little, American flag decal. And a Bowie knife. And a couple of tattoos.”

Love Bikers

Last April, a noisy group called Bikers for Trump appeared and then sometime during the Republican Convention in Cleveland, they disappeared like Brigadoon.
In May, Trump spoke at the annual Rolling Thunder rally in Washington,. “Look at all these bikers,” Trump said, standing in front of a statue of the President who presided over the nation’s most horrific war, a stone’s throw from the sunken, black chevron which commemorates the lost and the haunted of a war Trump used his father’s wealth to avoid. “Do we love the bikers? Yes. We love the bikers.”
On August 13, Ralph Hubert “Sonny” Barger, the grey eminence of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and the current incarnation of Daniel Boone, Hawkeye and Wyatt Earp, wrote “I for one, am voting for Trump, because it’s time to change.”
For the last two days very many Americans who ride motorcycles and who do not ride motorcycles but who feel alienated from and picked on by their government and its agents and who feel misunderstood by and slandered by the American media establishment have basked in Trump’s victory as if it was their own. But it may not be.

Restoring Community Safety

Trump relied through most of the campaign on his blunt and iconoclastic style which was soaked with attitude and dry of specifics. Starting yesterday with a report by National Public Radio that has been copied by a thousand or so news outlets so far, reporters have been wondering what Trump might accomplish in his first hundred days. All of the reports have relied on a speech Trump gave about two weeks ago in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and a document released at the same time titled “Donald Trump’s Contract With The American Voter: My 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again.”
Among the ten pieces of legislation President Trump intends to “introduce…and fight for.” Is the “Restoring Community Safety Act (which) reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.”
Nobody knows what that means yet because the “Restoring Community Safety Act” doesn’t appear to have actually been written yet. But it is possible to make some educated guesses.

Police Militarization

First off, Trump seems likely to reverse the half-hearted limits on police militar-ization President Obama suggested last June.
Many readers here are already aware of the concept of extrajudicial punishment by way of Swat raid in service of an indicia warrant issued by a divorce judge under exigent circumstances in the middle of the night.
Radley Balko of The Washington Post has covered the subject extensively and even published a book titled The Rise Of The Warrior Cop in 2013. Balko wondered: “How did we get here? How did we evolve from a country whose founding statesmen were adamant about the dangers of armed, standing government forces – a country that enshrined the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights and revered and protected the age-old notion that the home is a place of privacy and sanctuary – to a country where it has become acceptable for armed government agents dressed in battle garb to storm private homes in the middle of the night – not to apprehend violent fugitives or thwart terrorist attacks, but to enforce laws against nonviolent, consensual activities.”
In 2014 the American Civil Liberties Union issued a report called War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing. The ACLU protested: “Across the country, heavily armed Special Weapons and Tactics teams are forcing their way into people’s homes in the middle of the night, often deploying explosive devices such as flashbang grenades to temporarily blind and deafen residents, simply to serve a search warrant on the suspicion that someone may be in possession of a small amount of drugs. Neighborhoods are not war zones, and our police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies.”
Police militarization has been going on for a quarter century. It is almost entirely funded by the federal government, and the limits Obama enforced seemed modest. No tanks. No artillery. No heavy machine guns larger than .50 caliber. But police forces across the country immediately protested being “handcuffed” in the great crusade against reefer and dissent.
Obama saw police militarization are a matter that resulted from giving police military weapons. The problem is that ship has sailed. Police militarization is now a mindset. Whether Trump embraces that mindset or not remains to be seen. But yesterday the website PoliceOne.com noticed: “Trump has gone out of his way to demonstrate support for law enforcement throughout his presidential campaign. He has been photographed and videotaped on numerous occasions shaking hands with officers assigned to his protection detail. Officers have, in turn, overwhelmingly thrown their support to the president-elect, with the National FOP and myriad other police organizations endorsing the candidate in the run-up to Election Day.”
So there is some possibility that Trump and the warrior cops might be on the same wavelength.

Money

Secondly, based on Trump’s rhetoric and the way federal police bureaucracies work, expect a new offensive against motorcycle clubs and other fringe groups like militias and wacky religions.
Federal crime fighting works exactly opposite of how most people think it works. First the federal cops get the money and then they invent a way to justify getting more. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and  Explosives used to police fireworks, untaxed cigarettes and moonshine. But the Bureau found it could get millions more by promising to fight “violent motorcycle gangs.” Most readers here know what happened next – expensive undercover operations. Motorcycle clubs were easy to infiltrate because they were mostly based on the idea of brotherhood. They were easy to criminalize because the undercover agents always offer to buy drugs and guns for ridiculous prices. So men literally go to gun stores to buy guns to illegally sell to an undercover agent for twice the price because it is easy money. And then they go to prison. And the ATF brags about its numbers.
The classic scam is the “guerilla street theater” drug deal. Men who need money are offered $1,000 by a trusted friend to provide a couple hours of “security” at some sort of meeting. They go to a desert airstrip. They are handed guns and bullet proof vests. A light plane flies in loaded with cocaine. While they watch their trusted friend unloads the cocaine and hands the “drug dealer” a suitcase of cash. They take the money and live and let live. Then the trusted friend turn out to be an undercover agent who has been paid $200,000 a year for years to ingratiate himself to his targets. He has handlers and a chase team. The plane is a government plane. The cash is government cash, The cocaine is government cocaine. The government spends $60 million to indict, incarcerate, try and incarcerate again something like ten guys. Everybody gets paid – the informants, the chase team, the analysts, the Marshals, the prison guards, the judges, the guys who clean the bathrooms at the palatial federal courthouse.
The root of this official evil is enormous amounts of money to fight contrived crimes.
Trump vows to open the spigots on the money pipes.

John W. Terry

Finally, Trump is a great believer in something called “Stop and Frisk” which, in practice, means authorizing police to search anybody in public at any time for any reason.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal on September 27, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who will probably be the next Attorney General, wrote: “Stop and frisk is based on an 8-1 decision of the Supreme Court, Terry v. Ohio. That ruling hasn’t been overturned or even modified by the court since it was handed down in 1968. Stop and frisk is constitutional and the law of the land. The majority opinion, written by then-Chief Justice Earl Warren, approved the constitutionality of stopping a suspect if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed, or was about to commit, a crime. If the officer also has a reasonable suspicion the person is armed, he can conduct a pat-down—that is, a frisk—of a person’s outer clothing.”
The important words in this quote are “Stop and frisk is based on;” as the rocket ship is based on the hot air balloon.
These meet and greets used to be called Terry stops and the idea behind them was that if a police detective investigating a crime reasonably feared that the person he was questioning was armed, he could cursorily pat that suspect’s outer clothing to reassure himself that the suspect wasn’t about to shoot or stab him. A policeman’s reasonable fear of harm was always the rationale for this exception to the Fourth Amendment. Two years before John W. Terry lost his final appeal, in a case titled Schmerber v. California, Justice William Brennan had written, “The overriding function of the Fourth Amendment is to protect personal privacy and dignity against unwarranted intrusion by the State.”
Trump’s comprehension of Stop and Frisk is basic – he seems to interpret it as a police right and he argued on its behalf during the first Presidential Debate. The practice became part of regular policing in New York City until it was discouraged by a federal judge. Trump calls her “a very against-police judge.”

Stop And Frisk

The judge was Shira Scheindlin.  The class action case was titled Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al. Scheindlin ruled that the way New York conducted Terry stops was unconstitutional. She wrote that the city had: “received both actual and constructive notice since at least 1999 of widespread Fourth Amendment violations occurring as a result of the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices. Despite this notice, they deliberately maintained and even escalated policies and practices that predictably resulted in even more widespread Fourth Amendment violations…. The NYPD has repeatedly turned a blind eye to clear evidence of unconstitutional stops and frisks.”
New York cops did not search people they were interrogating to protect themselves. In New York, cops searched for loose joints. The most common reason for initiating a search was “furtive movement.”
In 2011, New York police stopped and searched about 686,000 people. About 0.13 percent of them were found to be in possession of a gun – which according to the Terry decision, is the whole point of the search. Fifteen percent were found to be in possession of marijuana. Forty-seven thousand women were stopped and searched. Fifty-nine of them were found to be carrying a weapon but the stops resulted in about 3,900 arrests of women for other violations of the law.
Stop and Frisk as a police tactic has spread throughout the nation. It has become a way to interrogate people without cause, record their personal data and feed it into the supercomputers of the fusion centers network. Police in Florida have been accused of “Stop and Spit,” which uses the Terry exception to collect DNA from people the police decide to stop.

Chicago

Trump thinks Stop And Frisk will bring down the murder rate in Chicago, for example. Through August, there were 474 murders in Chicago and an additional 2,358 people were shot but survived. And the city already stops and frisks people in compliance with the Terry decision. But Trump thinks Chicago police should be encouraged to be more aggressive. In an interview with Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy in September Trump said:
(Police Commissioner of the City of New York) “Ray Kelly did a great job, and New York was not in a Chicago situation, but it was really in trouble. It was in bad shape, crime-wise. And with all the shootings and everything in it, it really, they – Rudy Giuliani did a great job as mayor, and they really straightened things out with stop and frisk, and it was used further by the next mayor, Bloomberg. Now, they just – recently, not so recently, but fairly recently they stopped it. But stop and frisk worked. We had tremendous shootings, numbers of shootings. Now Chicago is out of control. I was really referring to Chicago with stop and frisk. They asked me about Chicago and I was talking about stop and frisk for Chicago, where you had 3,000 shootings so far. Three thousand from January 1. Obviously you can’t let the system go the way it’s going, but I suggested stop and frisk and some people think that’s a great idea and some people probably don’t like it, but when you have 3,000 people shot and so many people dying, it’s worse than some of the places we’re hearing about like Afghanistan, you know, the war-torn nations. It’s more dangerous.”
“I think Chicago needs stop and frisk. People can criticize me for that or people can say whatever they want, but they asked me about Chicago and I think stop and frisk with good, strong law and order, but you have to do something, can’t continue the way it’s going.”
“How it’s not being used in Chicago,” in compliance with Terry v. Ohio, “ is – to be honest with you, it’s quite unbelievable, and you know the police, the local police, they know who has a gun who shouldn’t be having a gun. They understand that.”






BABE OF THE DAY

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Tuesday, November 1, 2016