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friendly_iconoclast

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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 11,133

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They may be correct, but definitely *not* for this reason:

FWIW, I believe Massachusetts has every right to ban stun guns, but not because of
one of the reasons given...

http://ashland.wickedlocal.com/article/20150302/NEWS/150309328

SJC rules against woman in Ashland stun gun case



By Anamika Roy
Daily News Staff
Posted Mar. 2, 2015 at 6:48 PM

BOSTON - What started as a call to the Ashland Police for a possible shoplifting case may end up in the hands of the highest court in the country.

On Monday, the state Supreme Judicial Court ruled in a unanimous decision that the state’s ban on the possession of stun guns does not violate the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That ruling upheld a conviction in which a woman was arrested outside an Ashland supermarket four years ago and charged with having a stun gun - which she claimed was for self defense - in her purse...

...In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guaranteed the right to possess a handgun for self-defense in the home. However, the SJC says in its opinion that ruling does not cover stun guns.

The court goes on to say that Caetano’s case falls outside the “core” of the Second Amendment in that Caetano was not using the stun gun to defend herself in her home. It calls stun guns a "dangerous and unusual weapon" that was not "in common use at the time of enactment” of the Second Amendment.


Anyone else see the problem here? Bueller?
(Please try to keep the special pleading to a minimum)


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Mar 4, 2015, 02:39 PM (9 replies)

Audio of Bloomberg's remarks at the Aspen Institute about minorities and guns




After you've listened to this, I'd urge you to recall the recent words of a prominent DUer:

"When you support right wing causes, it makes you a right winger too.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1172161762#post9

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Feb 25, 2015, 06:59 PM (26 replies)

Yet another gun control advocate caught in a lie, this time on camera

More pious fraud, via YouTube:



For those that can't view the video, here's the description:

During testimony in front of the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee on Feb 12, 2015, Kelly Burke -- president of the Texas chapter of anti-civil rights group Moms Demand Action -- claimed that Texas CHL crime stats are "completely locked down" and not available to the public. That is a bold-faced lie, as the stats are available from the Texas DPS website:

https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/reports/convrates.htm

She then proceeded to label claims that CHL holders are responsible and law-abiding as "anecdotal and conjecture". That is another lie, as the publicly available DPS stats show that Texas CHL holders are even less likely to commit crimes than Texas peace officers (let alone the general population).


From the very website that puts the lie to Burke's words:

https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/reports/convrates.htm


Conviction Rates

The following reports represent the number of Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders with convictions versus the entire Texas population with convictions. The criminal history conviction data is not considered “final” until a year after the conviction. Each report is generated for the current year minus two years (for example, the 2006 Conviction Rates Report was run in mid-2008 to allow for “final” conviction status on the 2006 Criminal History records). Each report contains descriptive text regarding the data content


It must be said in Burke's defense that she's no less honest than MDA's head and chief financier...



Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Feb 19, 2015, 06:38 PM (4 replies)

FBI really doesn’t want anyone to know about “stingray” use by local cops

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/02/fbi-really-doesnt-want-anyone-to-know-about-stingray-use-by-local-cops/

FBI really doesn’t want anyone to know about “stingray” use by local cops
Memo: Cops must tell FBI about all public records requests on fake cell towers.

by Cyrus Farivar - Feb 10, 2015 7:46am EST


If you’ve ever filed a public records request with your local police department to learn more about how cell-site simulators are used in your community—chances are good that the FBI knows about it. And the FBI will attempt to “prevent disclosure” of such information.

Not only can these devices, commonly known as "stingrays," be used to determine a phone’s location, but they can also intercept calls and text messages. During the act of locating a phone, stingrays also sweep up information about nearby phones. Last fall, Ars reported on how a handful of cities across America are currently upgrading to new hardware that can target 4G LTE phones.

The newest revelation about the FBI comes from a June 2012 letter written by the law enforcement agency to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It was first acquired and published by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in December 2014—similar language likely exists between the FBI and other local authorities that use stingrays.

As the letter states:

In the event that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension receives a request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 552) or an equivalent state or local law, the civil or criminal discovery process, or other judicial, legislative, or administrative process, to disclose information concerning the Harris Corporation the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will immediately notify the FBI of any such request telephonically and in writing in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to seek to prevent disclosure through appropriate channels.




http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/284945781.html


BCA agreed to FBI terms on secret cellphone tracking

Article by: Abby Simons
Star Tribune
December 5, 2014 - 11:02 PM

Minnesota’s top law enforcement agency agreed to terms set by the FBI to resist any attempts by the public to gain information about controversial cellphone-tracking technology, according to documents obtained by the Star Tribune.

The revelation comes after a lengthy attempt to obtain contracts and nondisclosure agreements for the FBI’s cellphone tracking devices, known as StingRay II and KingFish. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has long resisted disclosure requests from the public, news media and even the Minnesota Legislature, saying that doing so would violate trade secrets and expose investigative techniques that could be exploited by criminals. The most recent documents were released to the Star Tribune only after the Information Policy Analysis Division, which interprets the state’s open records law, determined they could not be withheld in their entirety...

...In a heavily redacted 2012 contract signed by then-Assistant BCA Superintendent David Bjerga, the agency agreed to “immediately notify the FBI” of any request for information concerning the device’s manufacturer, Florida-based Harris Corp., under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), or under judicial, administrative or legislative requests.

Any court orders directing the BCA to reveal information about Harris Corp. “will immediately be provided to the FBI in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to intervene to protect the equipment/technology and information from disclosure and potential compromise,” the contract reads.


The aforementioned letter (in .pdf format) can be found at:

http://stmedia.startribune.com/documents/BCA+Cellular+Exploitation+Equipment.pdf
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Feb 18, 2015, 12:45 AM (9 replies)

FBI really doesn’t want anyone to know about “stingray” use by local cops

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/02/fbi-really-doesnt-want-anyone-to-know-about-stingray-use-by-local-cops/

FBI really doesn’t want anyone to know about “stingray” use by local cops
Memo: Cops must tell FBI about all public records requests on fake cell towers.

by Cyrus Farivar - Feb 10, 2015 7:46am EST


If you’ve ever filed a public records request with your local police department to learn more about how cell-site simulators are used in your community—chances are good that the FBI knows about it. And the FBI will attempt to “prevent disclosure” of such information.

Not only can these devices, commonly known as "stingrays," be used to determine a phone’s location, but they can also intercept calls and text messages. During the act of locating a phone, stingrays also sweep up information about nearby phones. Last fall, Ars reported on how a handful of cities across America are currently upgrading to new hardware that can target 4G LTE phones.

The newest revelation about the FBI comes from a June 2012 letter written by the law enforcement agency to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It was first acquired and published by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in December 2014—similar language likely exists between the FBI and other local authorities that use stingrays.

As the letter states:

In the event that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension receives a request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 552) or an equivalent state or local law, the civil or criminal discovery process, or other judicial, legislative, or administrative process, to disclose information concerning the Harris Corporation the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will immediately notify the FBI of any such request telephonically and in writing in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to seek to prevent disclosure through appropriate channels.




http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/284945781.html


BCA agreed to FBI terms on secret cellphone tracking

Article by: Abby Simons
Star Tribune
December 5, 2014 - 11:02 PM

Minnesota’s top law enforcement agency agreed to terms set by the FBI to resist any attempts by the public to gain information about controversial cellphone-tracking technology, according to documents obtained by the Star Tribune.

The revelation comes after a lengthy attempt to obtain contracts and nondisclosure agreements for the FBI’s cellphone tracking devices, known as StingRay II and KingFish. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has long resisted disclosure requests from the public, news media and even the Minnesota Legislature, saying that doing so would violate trade secrets and expose investigative techniques that could be exploited by criminals. The most recent documents were released to the Star Tribune only after the Information Policy Analysis Division, which interprets the state’s open records law, determined they could not be withheld in their entirety...

...In a heavily redacted 2012 contract signed by then-Assistant BCA Superintendent David Bjerga, the agency agreed to “immediately notify the FBI” of any request for information concerning the device’s manufacturer, Florida-based Harris Corp., under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), or under judicial, administrative or legislative requests.

Any court orders directing the BCA to reveal information about Harris Corp. “will immediately be provided to the FBI in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to intervene to protect the equipment/technology and information from disclosure and potential compromise,” the contract reads.


The aforementioned letter (in .pdf format) can be found at:

http://stmedia.startribune.com/documents/BCA+Cellular+Exploitation+Equipment.pdf
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Feb 18, 2015, 12:43 AM (1 replies)

Anyone remember the old line about Richard Nixon?

"Would you buy a used car from this man?"

This was posted on the other group yesterday:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12628167

The correct answer to this lie is: "We don't want to take away your guns, or ban and confiscate them.


From the same source:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12627013#post1

I too have contributed to most of the gun control organizations. For anyone who is interested in finding out more about Everytown For Gun Safety, you can click this link:

http://everytown.org/who-we-are/


http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1262&pid=7018

Definitely a step toward moving the already growing call for more gun control measures in this nation forward. Great work by Everytown for Gun Safety.

http://everytown.org/who-we-are/


Unfortunately for them, this was posted (and quickly deleted) last June- but not before
a screenshot was taken of it:



What would be more telling? That they believe what they say, or that they don't?




Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Feb 16, 2015, 11:08 PM (7 replies)

I tend to be skeptical of OPs from this particular poster, and for good reason

Hicks may very well have had a CCW permit-then again, this might be another example of:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=118&topic_id=285630

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=5456

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=118x270147

Time will tell...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Feb 15, 2015, 02:33 PM (0 replies)

NASA, Boeing, SpaceX Outline Objectives to Station Flights

(Note: Copyright provisions do not apply as this is a U.S. Government product)

http://www.nasa.gov/content/nasa-boeing-spacex-outline-objectives-to-station-flights/#.VMeJZ1omV5m


By Steven Siceloff,
NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

American spacecraft systems testing followed by increasingly complex flight tests and ultimately astronauts flying orbital flights will pave the way to operational missions during the next few years to the International Space Station. Those were the plans laid out Monday by NASA's Commercial Crew Program officials and partners as they focus on developing safe, reliable and cost-effective spacecraft and systems that will take astronauts to the station from American launch complexes.

According to Boeing, the company’s schedule calls for a pad abort test in February 2017, followed by an uncrewed flight test in April 2017, then a flight with a Boeing test pilot and a NASA astronaut in July 2017.

SpaceX said they anticipate a pad abort test in about a month, then an in-flight abort test later this year as part of its previous development phase. An uncrewed flight test is planned for late 2016 and a crewed flight test in early 2017.

Speaking for the first time together since the awarding of the final development and certification contracts, officials from NASA's Commercial Crew Program, Boeing and SpaceX revealed some of the details of their plans to cross the chasm from spacecraft and launch system design to flight tests, certification and operational missions to the station.

"It’s an incredible testament to American ingenuity and know-how, and an extraordinary validation of the vision we laid out just a few years ago as we prepared for the long-planned retirement of the space shuttle," said Charlie Bolden, NASA administrator, during the briefing at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. "This work is part of a vital strategy to equip our nation with the technologies for the future and inspire a new generation of explorers to take the next giant leap for America."

Boeing and SpaceX were selected in September 2014 to finalize their respective CST-100 and Crew Dragon spacecraft along with the rockets that will lift them into orbit and all of the ground and mission operations networks essential for safe flights. Both companies have worked with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program throughout multiple development phases, continuing to advance their designs before being chosen to complete their systems, reach certification and then fly astronauts to the station.

The goal of NASA's effort is to provide an American launch vehicle and spacecraft capable of safely carrying astronauts to the station. Unlike other NASA spacecraft, though, this new generation of human-rated vehicles will be designed, built, operated and owned by the companies themselves, not NASA. NASA will buy space transportation services from the companies for astronauts and powered cargo. It will be an arrangement like the one the agency uses already with the Commercial Resupply Services initiative that uses privately developed and operated rockets and spacecraft to deliver critical cargo to the station.

"There are launch pads out there already being upgraded and there is hardware already being delivered," said Kathy Lueders, manager of the Kennedy Space Center-based Commercial Crew Program. "Both companies have already accomplished their first milestones."

The new spacecraft will allow the station's crew to expand to seven astronauts and cosmonauts, which means twice as much time for research aboard the one-of-a-kind scientific platform – 80 hours a week instead of the current 40. Also, the handoff of flight to low-Earth orbit will permit NASA to pursue the challenges of deep space exploration and the journey to Mars with the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft.

Boeing and SpaceX each proposed a set of objectives and milestones that suits their development, testing and flight plans. NASA's role is to evaluate progress and make sure it meets stringent safety requirements, including a safe launch abort system built in to provide astronauts a means of escaping a potentially catastrophic situation. The agency placed a premium on giving providers the freedom to come up with innovations in design, manufacturing and testing.

Ultimately, NASA expects to have two separate spacecraft and launch systems it can turn to for flights of crew to the station and low-Earth orbit. The companies also can provide space transportation services to private citizens, companies and institutions in what could become a new industry for the American aerospace sector. The STS-135 mission, the final flight of the space shuttle, delivered an American flag to the station as a prize for the first Commercial Crew astronauts to visit the orbiting laboratory. A second flag will be taken to the station and brought back as a symbol of success as well.

"When we have both of these flags on the ground with their crews safely returned, we'll all be winners," Lueders said.

Boeing and SpaceX anticipate using facilities at Kennedy and the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for aspects of processing and launch.

Boeing's CST-100 program will be based at Kennedy with the spacecraft being assembled inside one of the hangars formerly used to process space shuttles. Riding atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, the CST-100 will launch from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 41. A tower designed for the needs of astronauts and support staff is already under construction at SLC-41.

The work comes at a time when NASA is marking significant progress in a number of areas. For instance, the space station has housed crew members for 14 straight years and a NASA astronaut and Russian cosmonaut are getting ready for a yearlong residency there. There also is a NASA spacecraft already in development to carry astronauts on deep space missions along with a massive new rocket for it in manufacturing. Not to mention the New Horizons probe closing in on Pluto.

"Never before in the history of human spaceflight has there been so much going on all at once," said John Elbon, vice president and general manager of Boeing's Space Exploration division. "NASA's exploring places we didn't even know existed 100 years ago."

SpaceX leased Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy and will build a facility at the base of the pad that will be used for processing its Falcon 9 rockets and Crew Dragon spacecraft for launch. The company launches cargo-carrying Dragons and other uncrewed spacecraft from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral.

"We understand the incredible responsibility we've been given to carry crew," said Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX.

Speaking in front of the agency's astronaut corps, the panelists offered an appealing vision of space travel including long-term spaceflight research and deep space missions.

"It's a great time to be a part of the American space program, which is on its way to Mars," said astronaut Mike Finke, who commanded the International Space Station and flew aboard the space shuttle. "There's not another group on this planet, or off this planet, that wants the success of the Commercial Crew Program more than we do."

The flights to the station are vital to NASA's goals, Bolden reiterated, and as the agency sets its eyes firmly on the Red Planet.

"It takes a lot of stuff to get off this planet and a whole lot more to get to Mars," Bolden said. "But that is the ultimate destination."


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Jan 27, 2015, 11:13 PM (9 replies)

x-post from LBN: "Millions of cars tracked across US in 'massive' real-time DEA spy program"

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/27/millions-of-cars-tracked-across-us-in-massive-real-time-spying-program

American Civil Liberties Union warns scanning of license plates by Drug Enforcement Agency is building a repository of all drivers’ movements

The United States government is tracking the movement of vehicles around the country in a clandestine intelligence-gathering programme that has been condemned as a further official exercise to build a database on people’s lives.

The Drug Enforcement Administration was monitoring license plates on a “massive” scale, giving rise to “major civil liberties concerns”, the American Civil Liberties Union said on Monday night, citing DEA documents obtained under freedom of information.

“This story highlights yet another way government security agencies are seeking to quietly amplify their powers using new technologies,” Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with ACLU, told the Guardian.


The ACLU's own take on this:

https://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty-criminal-law-reform/foia-documents-reveal-massive-dea-program-record-ame





FOIA Documents Reveal Massive DEA Program to Record American’s Whereabouts With License Plate Readers
01/26/2015

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 7:15pm

The Drug Enforcement Administration has initiated a massive national license plate reader program with major civil liberties concerns but disclosed very few details, according to new DEA documents obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act.

The DEA is currently operating a National License Plate Recognition initiative that connects DEA license plate readers with those of other law enforcement agencies around the country. A Washington Post headline proclaimed in February 2014 that the Department of Homeland Security had cancelled its “national license-plate tracking plan,” but all that was ended was one Immigrations and Customs Enforcement solicitation for proposals. In fact, a government-run national license plate tracking program already exists, housed within the DEA. (That’s in addition to the corporate license plate tracking database run by Vigilant Solutions, holding billions of records about our movements.) Since its inception in 2008, the DEA has provided limited information to the public on the program’s goals, capabilities and policies. Information has trickled out over the years, in testimony here or there. But far too little is still known about this program.

In 2012, the ACLU filed public records requests in 38 states and Washington, D.C. seeking information about the use of automatic license plate readers. Our July 2013 report, You Are Being Tracked, summarized our findings with regard to state and local law enforcement agencies, finding that the technology was being rapidly adopted, all too often with little attention paid to the privacy risks of this powerful technology. But in addition to filing public records requests with state agencies, the ACLU also filed FOIA requests with federal agencies, including the DEA.

The new DEA records that we received are heavily redacted and incomplete, but they provide the most complete documentation of the DEA’s database to date. For example, the DEA has previously testified that its license plate reader program began at the southwest border crossings, and that the agency planned to gradually increase its reach; we now know more about to where it has grown. The DEA had previously suggested that “other sources” would be able to feed data into the database; we now know about some of the types of agencies collaborating with the DEA.


Looks like TPTB are using "Brazil" as a manual for statecraft...




Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Jan 27, 2015, 07:03 PM (1 replies)

Millions of cars tracked across US in 'massive' real-time DEA spy program

Source: Guardian (U.K.)

Millions of cars tracked across US in 'massive' real-time DEA spy program


The United States government is tracking the movement of vehicles around the country in a clandestine intelligence-gathering programme that has been condemned as a further official exercise to build a database on people’s lives.

The Drug Enforcement Administration was monitoring license plates on a “massive” scale, giving rise to “major civil liberties concerns”, the American Civil Liberties Union said on Monday night, citing DEA documents obtained under freedom of information.

“This story highlights yet another way government security agencies are seeking to quietly amplify their powers using new technologies,” Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with ACLU, told the Guardian.

“On this as on so many surveillance issues, we can take action, put in place some common sense limits or sit back and let our society be transformed into a place we won’t recognize – or probably much like.”


Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/27/millions-of-cars-tracked-across-us-in-massive-real-time-spying-program



The ACLU's own take is here:

https://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty-criminal-law-reform/foia-documents-reveal-massive-dea-program-record-ame


American Civil Liberties Union
FOIA Documents Reveal Massive DEA Program to Record American’s Whereabouts With License Plate Readers
January 26, 2015

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 7:15pm

The Drug Enforcement Administration has initiated a massive national license plate reader program with major civil liberties concerns but disclosed very few details, according to new DEA documents obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act.

The DEA is currently operating a National License Plate Recognition initiative that connects DEA license plate readers with those of other law enforcement agencies around the country. A Washington Post headline proclaimed in February 2014 that the Department of Homeland Security had cancelled its “national license-plate tracking plan,” but all that was ended was one Immigrations and Customs Enforcement solicitation for proposals. In fact, a government-run national license plate tracking program already exists, housed within the DEA. (That’s in addition to the corporate license plate tracking database run by Vigilant Solutions, holding billions of records about our movements.) Since its inception in 2008, the DEA has provided limited information to the public on the program’s goals, capabilities and policies. Information has trickled out over the years, in testimony here or there. But far too little is still known about this program.

In 2012, the ACLU filed public records requests in 38 states and Washington, D.C. seeking information about the use of automatic license plate readers. Our July 2013 report, You Are Being Tracked, summarized our findings with regard to state and local law enforcement agencies, finding that the technology was being rapidly adopted, all too often with little attention paid to the privacy risks of this powerful technology. But in addition to filing public records requests with state agencies, the ACLU also filed FOIA requests with federal agencies, including the DEA.

The new DEA records that we received are heavily redacted and incomplete, but they provide the most complete documentation of the DEA’s database to date. For example, the DEA has previously testified that its license plate reader program began at the southwest border crossings, and that the agency planned to gradually increase its reach; we now know more about to where it has grown. The DEA had previously suggested that “other sources” would be able to feed data into the database; we now know about some of the types of agencies collaborating with the DEA.


Just remember, citizens:



Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Jan 27, 2015, 06:51 PM (8 replies)
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