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friendly_iconoclast

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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 10,883

Journal Archives

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Department of Justice launches probe into ATF storefront stings"

http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/department-of-justice-launches-probe-into-atf-storefront-stings-b99209920z1-246360711.html

Department of Justice launches probe into ATF storefront stings
By John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge of the Journal Sentinel
Feb. 20, 2014

The U.S. Department of Justice inspector general announced Thursday he has launched an investigation into storefront stings, in the wake of a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation that exposed foul-ups and failures in undercover government operations across the country.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz already was investigating flaws in the ATF's Operation Fearless in Milwaukee as part of a review of reforms enacted following the agency's botched Operation Fast and Furious...

...In a statement Thursday, Horowitz said he has started a separate investigation that will focus just on storefront stings. The announcement comes after the Journal Sentinel investigation in December found problems that were uncovered in Milwaukee had occurred in stings across the country, from Pensacola, Fla., to Portland, Ore.

The news organization's investigation found the ATF used mentally disabled people to promote operations and then arrested them for their work; opened storefronts close to schools and churches, increasing arrest numbers and penalties; and attracted juveniles with free video games and alcohol.


Which were detailed here:

http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/atf-uses-rogue-tactics-in-storefront-stings-across-the-nation-b99146765z1-234916641.html

ATF uses rogue tactics in storefront stings across nation

Documents, interviews show agents employed tactics similar to those used in Milwaukee



Matt Groening illustrated the mindset perfectly:










Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Feb 26, 2014, 07:49 PM (0 replies)

"(S)cent of hypocrisy"? More like an overwhelming stench:

From their own words:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002610288

I shouldn't need to carry a passport to visit Arizona and Alabama (re: Immigration laws)


http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014235953#post11

CreekDog (39,780 posts)
11. No, DL is not enough, my DL was granted without a birth certificate

as was that of many of my friends here in California.

there are still states that don't require birth certificates or proof of citizenship to get a DL.

the Arizona law doesn't count these states' DLs as adequate.

in other words, to avoid being detained, an American citizen needs to carry a Passport and/or Birth Certificate because of the stupidest law in the USA, which Arizona has now.



http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=611694


http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014305858#post12

you grow a little pot in your house, i don't have an issue with that


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Feb 20, 2014, 12:28 AM (1 replies)

Gun Club for Liberals: The Un-NRA

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=22557321


Gun Club for Liberals: The Un-NRA
Feb. 18, 2014
By ALAN FARNHAM

Gun owner and Second Amendment advocate Marlene Hoeber isn't your typical member of the National Rifle Association. In fact, she isn't a member of the NRA at all.

The Oakland, Calif., laboratory equipment mechanic regularly visits firing ranges, where, along with other members of her gun club, she shoots a variety of weapons. "Guns are fun to play with," she says. She even makes her own ammunition.

She has no use, however, for the NRA's conservative political agenda. By her own description, Hoeber is a feisty, liberal, transgender, tattooed, queer, activist feminist.

She belongs instead to another gun advocacy group entirely--The Liberal Gun Club--whose membership ranges, she says, "from socialists, to anarchists who can quote Marx, to Reagan Democrats."


The LGC will even sell you an AR-15 lower receiver:



(now THAT will give the self-appointed zampolits a case of the fantods!)


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 06:09 PM (63 replies)

Ninth Circuit strikes California’s restrictive rule against licensed carry of handguns

Source: Washington Post

The Ninth Circuit’s decision in Peruta v. San Diego, released minutes ago, affirms the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for lawful protection in public.

California law has a process for applying for a permit to carry a handgun for protection in public, with requirements for safety training, a background check, and so on. These requirements were not challenged. The statute also requires that the applicant have “good cause,” which was interpreted by San Diego County to mean that the applicant is faced with current specific threats. (Not all California counties have this narrow interpretation.) The Ninth Circuit, in a 2-1 opinion written by Judge O’Scannlain, ruled that Peruta was entitled to Summary Judgement, because the “good cause” provision violates the Second Amendment.

The Court ruled that a government may specify what mode of carrying to allow (open or concealed), but a government may not make it impossible for the vast majority of Californians to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms...

...As Heller had observed, there are many 19th century cases which say that a state may ban concealed carry so long as open carry is still allowed. California might have been able to do the same. But it is unconstitutional to prohibit carrying in every mode: “the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”


Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/02/13/ninth-circuit-strikes-californias-restrictive-rule-against-licensed-carry-of-handguns/



The author points out further on in the article that there is now a well-developed "circuit split"
amongst variois US circuit courts. My guess is that this will end up in the Supreme Court
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Feb 13, 2014, 07:21 PM (6 replies)

Associates defend man who had gun in school (SAFE Act advocate)

http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/buffalo-public-schools/associates-defend-man-who-had-gun-in-school-20140207


Associates defend man who had gun in school

Say he made honest mistake in incident prompting school lockdown

By Jane Kwiatkowski | News Staff Reporter , Lou Michel | News Staff Reporter ,
Tiffany Lankes | News Staff Reporter | @TiffanyLankes

on February 7, 2014 - 8:40 PM
updated February 8, 2014 at 12:32 AM


Dwayne Ferguson spent more than a decade advocating for nonviolence and peace in the streets of Buffalo.

He was a well-known face in the movement for the SAFE Act, the state law that made carrying a gun on school property a felony. He was also a familiar presence in the hallways of the city’s Harvey Austin Elementary School, where he worked in the after-school program and mentored students.

No one imagined that on Thursday he would show up at the school in possession of a gun, touching off an hours-long lockdown, search and ultimately his arrest on two felony charges.

Ferguson, 52, told WGRZ-TV that he frequently carries the gun, for which he has a permit, and did not realize he had it on him when he went to the school as part of the mentoring program...


Ferguson should practice what he preaches and plead guilty to the felony he committed.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Feb 10, 2014, 04:15 AM (17 replies)

The terrifying surveillance case of Brandon Mayfield

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/2/the-terrifying-surveillancecaseofbrandonmayfield.html


During a live Web chat in late January, National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden explained one of the least discussed dangers of bulk collection. By indiscriminately sweeping up the call records and the international communications of Americans, the government has the ability to engage in retroactive investigation, or mining the historical data of targets for any evidence of suspicious, illegal or simply embarrassing activities. It is a disturbing capability that should make even those fully convinced of their own propriety to think twice before uttering out loud, “What do I have to fear if I have nothing to hide?”

But there’s another danger that Snowden didn’t mention that’s inherent in the government’s having easy access to the voluminous data we produce every day: It can imply guilt where there is none. When investigators have mountains of data on a particular target, it’s easy to see only the data points that confirm their theories — especially in counterterrorism investigations when the stakes are so high — while ignoring or downplaying the rest. There doesn’t have to be any particular malice on the part of investigators or analysts, although prejudice no doubt comes into play, just circumstantial evidence and the dangerous belief in their intuition. Social scientists refer to this phenomenon as confirmation bias, and when people are confronted with data overload, it’s much easier to weave the data into a narrative that substantiates what they already believe. Criminologist D. Kim Rossmo, a retired detective inspector of the Vancouver Police Department, was so concerned about confirmation bias and the investigative failures it causes that he warned police officers in Police Chief magazine to always be on guard against it. “The components of confirmation bias,” he wrote, “include failure to seek evidence that would disprove the theory, not utilizing such evidence if found, refusing to consider alternative hypotheses and not evaluating evidence diagnosticity.”...


....On March 11, 2004, Al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists coordinated a massive bombing of the Madrid commuter train system during the morning rush hour, killing 193 people and wounding approximately 1,800. Two latent fingerprints recovered during the investigation on a bag of detonators by the Spanish National Police (SNP) were shared with the FBI through Interpol. When the prints were run through the bureau’s database, it returned 20 possible matches for one of the fingerprints, one of whom was Brandon Mayfield. A former U.S. Army platoon leader, Mayfield was now an attorney specializing in child custody, divorce and immigration law in Portland, Ore. His prints were in the FBI system because of Mayfield’s military service as well as an arrest two decades earlier because of a misunderstanding. The charges were later dropped.

Despite finding that Mayfield’s print was not an identical match to the print left on the bag of detonators, FBI fingerprint examiners rationalized away the differences, according to a report by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Under the one discrepancy rule, the FBI lab should have concluded Mayfield did not leave the print found in Madrid — a conclusion the SNP reached and repeatedly communicated to the FBI. The FBI’s Portland field office, however, used that fingerprint match to begin digging into Mayfield’s background. Certain details of the attorney’s life convinced the agents that they had their man. Mayfield had converted to Islam after meeting his wife, an Egyptian. He had represented one of the Portland Seven, a group of men who tried to travel to Afghanistan to fight for al Qaeda and the Taliban against U.S. and coalition forces in a child custody case. He also worshipped at the same mosque as the militants. In the aftermath of 9/11, these innocent associations and relationships, however tangential, were transformed by investigators into evidence that Mayfield wasn’t a civic-minded American, but a bloodthirsty terrorist intent on destroying the West.


For the 'tl;dr' crowd: It wasn't his fingerprint, and he had nothing to do with the bombings

The declassified FBI report about this entire fiasco can be read here:

http://www.justice.gov/oig/special/s0601/exec.pdf
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:18 PM (3 replies)

Note, please, that the OP elided this small detail from the linked article:

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/ci_25052378/report-mass-needs-tighten-up-its-gun-laws

Massachusetts law currently allows both a Class A and a Class B license. The Class B license allows an individual to carry a non-large-capacity firearm, and that firearm may not be concealed. The Class A License allows the licensee to carry a concealed firearm for protection.

The report said that since Massachusetts is not a state where gun owners routinely carry their firearms in the open, the state should eliminate the Class B license.


Explained rather more succintly in the Boston Globe:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/02/03/panel-recommends-that-mass-tighten-gun-laws/YNPQ2JTQtAjoqR9rWHbK2M/story.html

The panel members said they also learned that current law gives too much discretion to police chiefs to deny gun licenses to “unsuitable persons,” so they recommended that the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association help develop a tighter definition for that term.

For the most part, police chiefs invoke the “unsuitable persons’’ language to deny licenses for handguns. The panel recommended that police chiefs be allowed to apply that standard to buyers of rifles and shotguns, who are exempt.


Umm, not just no, but HELL NO. This approach was recently deemed unconstitutional in Illinois,
so if this is tried here in Mass it will certainly be challenged in Federal court- the Second Amendment
Foundation and/or the Gun Owners Action League will see to that.

They may very well win. I certainly hope so- 'may issue' laws violate both the Second and
Fourteenth Amendments.

A Class A license requires the approval of police. Eliminating Class B licenses would mean
that all gun purchases will be at the whim of a politician with a badge.














Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 09:17 PM (2 replies)

I'll work with anyone who explicitly renounces gun Prohibition...

...whether it is of the complete or 'gradualist' sorts advocated in these threads:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024383782

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=136130


BTW, I believe the rise of the Prohibitionist wing of the gun control movement explains
why this:

http://americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/

gets comparitively little time here at DU- Gabby Giffords is a gun owner
and is merely tolerated by her so-called "allies"




Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Jan 27, 2014, 06:51 PM (20 replies)

Rahinah Ibrahim Wins No-Fly List Ruling: Muslim Woman Contests Controversial Program

Source: Huffington Post

(RNS) A Muslim woman now living in Malaysia struck a blow to the U.S. government’s “no-fly list” when a federal judge ruled Tuesday (Jan. 14) that the government violated her due process rights by putting her on the list without telling her why.

Muslims and civil rights advocates say the no-fly list disproportionately targets Muslims, and they hope the ruling will force the government to become more transparent about the highly secretive program.

“Justice has finally been done for an innocent woman who was wrongly ensnared in the government’s flawed watch listing system,” Elizabeth Pipkin, a lawyer representing Rahinah Ibrahim, said in a statement.

Ibrahim, 48, a mother of four with a doctorate from Stanford University, was waiting to board a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii en route to Malaysia in 2005 but was told she was on the no-fly list. She was eventually cleared to fly to Malaysia, but her visa was revoked soon afterward and she could not return to Stanford. She was never told why she was put on the list, and in 2006 she sued the government to find out.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/16/rahinah-ibrahim-no-fly-list_n_4612076.html?utm_hp_ref=religion



Good. Brazil was supposed to be satire, not a manual for statecraft...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Jan 16, 2014, 09:47 PM (2 replies)

Repost from GD: ..."Mass Shootings in America: Moving Beyond Newtown"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024335763


http://hsx.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/11/27/1088767913510297.full.pdf+html

My favorite paragraph:

Myth: Mass Shootings Are on the Rise
The recent carnages in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; and elsewhere have
compelled many observers to examine the possible reasons behind the rise in mass
murder. The New York Times columnist David Brooks noted the number of schizophrenics going untreated (Brooks, 2012). Former President Bill Clinton and other guncontrol advocates have pointed to the expiration of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban as the culprit, while gun-rights proponents have argued that the body counts would be lower were more Americans armed and ready to overtake an active shooter.
There is, however, one not-so-tiny flaw in all the various theories and speculations for the presumed increase in mass shootings: Mass shootings have not increased in number or in overall death toll, at least not over the past several decades.
The moral panic and sense of urgency surrounding mass murder have been fueled by various claims that mass murders, and mass shootings in particular, are reaching epidemic proportions. For example, the Mother Jones news organization, having assembled a database of public mass shootings from 1982 through 2012, has reported a recent surge in incidents and fatalities, including a spike and record number of casualties in the year 2012 (Follman, Pan, & Aronsen, 2013).


Author Biographies
James Alan Fox is the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy at
Northeastern University. He has published 18 books, including Extreme Killing: Understanding
Serial and Mass Murder (Sage 2012), co-authored with Jack Levin.

Monica J. DeLateur is a doctoral student in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at
Northeastern University. Her current research explores sentencing outcomes and decisions to
prosecute, particularly in human trafficking cases.




Methinks the prohibitionists will studiously ignore this as one of the authors is
a professor of criminology and can't be easily written off as a hack.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jan 15, 2014, 02:32 PM (5 replies)
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