No Fly List Equals No 2nd Amendment

In his most recent tirade, Chairman Obama of the not so free United States called for… wait for it… more gun control in the wake of San Bernardino shootings. Yes, this guy just keeps getting more creative, innovative, predictable by the day!

His most current idea is anyone that is on the “no fly list” should be stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights. The LA Times editorial board even thought this idea was terrible. Not exactly known for the libertarian centered views even these guys can spot a terrible idea when they see it.

However this is just the latest terrible idea relating to the never ending always expanding “war on terror”. Every time some lunatic anywhere in the world does a horrible act of terror politicians in America start talking about another Constitutional right that needs to be removed or watered down to “keep us safe”.

The (un)Patriot Act has almost completely gutted the 4th Amendment with secret courts that rubber stamp broad and sweeping open warrants that essentially allow the government to go on a fishing expedition whenever they want. This of course is secret from the person being investigated and has strict gag orders in place anywhere it is used, i.e. your bank, library, or anywhere else they wish to look.

The wonderful tool of Civil Asset Forfeiture allows the Federalies to swoop in and steal your property without ANY criminal conviction. The IRS can steal money from your home, business, bank accounts, etc. simply for suspecting you of a crime under this wonderful government boondoggle. Their favorite recent toy in the box is something called “structuring” where they say ANY series of deposits NOT $10,000 or above is an attempt by you to avoid reporting laws and hence you are doing something illegal.

Police can pull you over, search your vehicle and help themselves to your cash, jewelry and other valuables under the rule “it might have been used in a criminal endeavor” theory of law. Again, no criminal conviction or even charges required. In cases of Civil Asset Forfeiture you will almost never be charged with a crime and must hire expensive attorneys to get your property back. So even if you end up “winning” by getting your own property returned by the time you pay attorney and court fees you still lost.

Americans decided to fight back against some of this abuse and many people use strong data encryption for their phones, email to keep government snoops out of their business. Then along comes the FBI saying, wait for it… we need back doors in this software for, yes, you guessed it the never ending “war on terror”

The sad thing all of these have in common is an attempt to subvert your Constitutional rights at every turn. Once your Constitutional rights are gone don’t expect the government to just give them back. People need to be aware you are getting a bad deal if you think they will make you “safer” in exchange for just one more infringement.

Obama’s recent one on 2nd Amendment rights is just the latest and certainly not the last “discussions” we will have about this or that liberty all in the name of giving law enforcement the “tools” they need to protect us.

In case you haven’t noticed all the words and phrases they use in describing these infringements are poll tested, spin tested words to mislead you. Hopefully people are smarter than that, but given the amount of infringements to date and the never ending stream of new ideas for more I am not hopeful.

Wake up people, the hour grows very late for you to stop this abuse by government.

Silk Road Prediction Coming True

A while back I wrote a post offering some thoughts on why the government gave Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road the harshest sentence possible. In that post I basically pointed out that the government was terrified that it was so easy to set up such a network. It didn’t require a huge criminal enterprise, lots of cash or vast resources. It basically required a guy with some programming skills and a laptop.

I pointed out that if this catches on even the government won’t have the resources to track down and punish all the people out there. Imagine dot com boom of the 1990s, but instead of creating new businesses for NASDAQ they will be creating new and better versions of the original Silk Road. I argued that is what truly terrified the government and encouraged the judge to impose the harshest sentence possible. Tyrants throughout time have been using this tactic. Catch the perpetrator and impose a horrific punishment for all to see. The idea being that anyone else even thinking of doing the same thing will get this punishment and scare them away. It rarely works and it won’t work this time.

In fact, it is already failing. 2 years after Silk Road was shut down new and quickly improving versions of the same thing are popping up. Again, as predicted before some will get caught and not all of the individuals are as smart as others. This is the nature of a free market. Some fail and some succeed, but each successive effort becomes a little better than the last. We see it again with this endeavor.

The government’s one card they had to play was striking mortal fear of punishment into the hearts of would be upstarts has failed as I knew it would. New markets are forming and flourishing. Some will be caught and the group following them will get even better. I would not be surprised if programmers from around the globe start creating specialized software to help fuel these endeavors. It is like a tsunami and it won’t be stopped. The tighter the government squeezes the more people will slip through their fingers, seems I have heard that before…

FBI Wants Requirements for Tech Firms to Create Weak Encryption

FBI Director, James Comey has requested that Congress create mandates on tech companies to essentially create a backdoor or weakened encryption of its products to make it easier for law enforcement to read our communications and data.

Here is an EXCELLENT video from the Cato Institute discussing what a terrible idea this is…

First, I encourage you to watch the video. It is only 7 minutes long and they make some excellent points on the issue. I will add some points from my perspective.

As a tech guy that does related activities daily the concept of creating a “back door” or “master key” that only the company can have access to and happily hand over to law enforcement or spy agencies upon request is really ill informed of exactly how encryption even works. ANY vulnerabilities, intentional or not can be exploited by others just as easily as it can be handed over by said companies to the FBI upon request.

Mr. Comey’s remarks about how he is not a tech person and thinks there are a lot of “smart people” in the tech sector that should be able to find a way to “work this out” is one of the most ignorant comments uttered in this debate.

It is ignorant comments like these that have created the millions of pages of regulations faced by American businesses today. Morons in Congress at the behest of special interest groups, like the FBI, in this case make some vague demand to make their job easier and Congress simply passes a mandate! Presto, just like that the problem is solved, yeah! Another problem solved by Congress, what’s next?

Only its not. First, what if encryption software is open source and someone from another country takes this and removes the vulnerabilities and then starts using it for terrorist communications? This would not be an American company or even an American citizen. They would not be subject to the mandate in our country and I guarantee wouldn’t follow it.

What keeps entrepreneurs in other countries from deciding to fill the gap in the market for “back door” free encryption and they sell it overseas from a non U.S. base of operations? The bad guys can still get their hands on it.

Creating deliberately weak encryption technology to make law enforcement’s job easier and simply mandating that this happen is one of the dumbest ideas ever uttered by a politician. Here is a basic truth, sometimes your job is hard.

We should not always be trying to find ways to make law enforcement’s job easier at the cost of our civil liberties and protection of our private communications.

Technologically there is no way to do this without creating vulnerabilities that skilled bad guys all over the world, i.e. China, Russia, etc can exploit to our disadvantage. Your mandate will be ignored by others around the world who will simply create the in demand software that you have barred U.S. companies from creating. Such a move might remove one of our key attributes as a innovative nation in the tech sector at risk.

The terrorist and other bad guys will simply know that there is a back door to the U.S. created stuff and will quickly adapt and go use stronger stuff created by someone else and will continue to do bad stuff. What are you going to do, mandate that all terrorists must use weakened U.S. software?

What you are seeing unfold here is morons that don’t know anything about technology telling those that do to build an inferior product and simply saying things like “there are a lot of smart people that should be able to figure this out” clearly shows you are not one of them. The FBI’s solution won’t solve the problem at hand, but will create many others.

Obama to Rule Internet by Fiat!

Here we go again, Obama taking the HUGE hammer of government and crushing the last bastion of freedom left in the U.S., the Internet. The Internet has remained free for the most part until now. Because of this freedom, just like everywhere else it is tried, entrepreneurship and innovation has created an unprecedented level of wealth, services, and efficiencies. As usual anything that is working well is something Obama wishes to get his little paws into and screw up and so here we go again with “Net Neutrality”.

Like most big government based “solutions” looking for a problem to solve it sounds all nice and fair. We are told those evil big corporations should “not be picking winners and losers” in terms of determining who gets a bigger pipeline to content.

Sadly this didn’t seem to apply when Obama was padding his cronies in the green energy sector and picking winners and losers there. Where a “winner” was a “business” that would get a big donation from you the tax payer via Obama’s big government giveaway program and then turn around and give a big donation of some of that same money to Obama’s campaign. After all this the company usually went out of business because it was a stupid idea and poorly managed to start. Anyone remember Solyndra? Talk about money laundering!

However in reality this regulation has so much more than “fairness” built into it. Like Obamacare, you remember, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. How about that promise of more affordable healthcare? How is that working for you?

This law will regulate far more than just who gets broadband access. If you let the grubby little tyrants in they will eventually be levying taxes, regulating commerce that goes over the web, limiting free speech, controlling cryptography on “its” Internet. It will regulate prices and so much more.

This has got to stop. This little dictator has to go! As a small business I have been involved in the Internet for over 20 years and yes, you little thug, I did build it! I want you to stay away from the Internet. You have already regulated and strangled so much of our freedom in just about every other area of life you need to leave this alone.

Here is a semi-related article from the architect of Obamacare about how they had to mislead and fool the American people and depend on “voter stupidity” into accepting Obamacare and now they plan to do the same thing with this piece of crap law.

It truly will be Obamacare for the Internet! Here are just some of the great things currently available that I can see being outlawed once the little thin skinned dictator gets his hands on regulating the Internet…

  • Ending or highly regulating Bitcoin because transactions occur over the Internet.

  • Levying taxes on all eCommerce

  • Eliminating the use of cryptography for email and other file transfers or at the very least building in government only back doors, you know, just for totally legitimate law enforcement, not to spy or anything bad like that.

  • Controlling wages and prices for services that occur over the Internet.

  • Controlling or deciding what is “acceptable” free speech over the Internet and being able to ban “hate speech” which of course they get to decide what the definition of “hate” is, i.e. read political opinions they don’t agree with.

Plus don’t forget the giant expansion of government workers, massive budgets that grow every single year and brand new previously non-existent departments to manage all of this regulation! Remember like any other government monstrosity once that crap is created it NEVER goes away!

The American people need to stand up and fight this little tyrant and tell the thin skinned dictator to leave the Internet alone! Free was how it was started. Free is how it should remain.

Only freedom and minimal regulation will allow the next 20 plus years to create the same level of wealth, innovation and efficiency as the last 20 years. Get lost you little tyrant! Find some rock to crawl under until 2016 when we can finally be rid of your stupid ideas and piss poor “leadership”!

ISIS is the latest PR stunt for the “War on Terror”

Does anyone remember that nasty horrible terrorist group, Al Qaeda? Sure, some people have a foggy recollection of that group, but most are sure it died when Navy SEALS put some much needed lead into Osama Bin Laden. Unfortunately that left the Neocons and big government guys trying to peddle their “security for freedom” wares again with a problem. If people truly perceive that terrorism is shrinking in the world they won’t have the stomach to go back into Iraq or swallow another “anti-terror” legislation pill.

We already have given up so much freedom that we will never see again. We live in a surveillance state where the government watches everything we do all in the name of “protecting” us from those bad terrorists. What these peddlers of anti-freedom needed was a new sexy sounding threat to scare the American people back into Iraq and willingly accepting even more freedom robbing legislation. Enter ISIS. Doesn’t the name just sound ominous? This is just what the spin doctors ordered. They sound really bad and with every news agency in the country pushing stories out daily and the Internet exploding with stories of them beheading Christians and journalists and others they have created the new “bad guys” ta da!

As Ron Paul states in this article the Neocons are screaming for blood again, the Fed is salivating at the prospect of being able to turn the printing presses back on to full speed to fund another war against another horrible sounding, but this time faceless, terrorist organization. No doubt some additional freedom robbing legislation is sitting in a drawer somewhere in D.C. ready to pull out at just the right time to shove it down our throats again when the right news story breaks.

If Americans buy this again, they are truly fools. This is nothing but another PR campaign to sell us another “solution” in search of a problem for a country we should have never been in, will never bring peace to, and will ultimately be back under another new dictator again very soon. I am not convinced people in the Middle East actually want peace or can live together in peace. However even if I am wrong, the bottom line is, it is their problem and they need to figure it out. We can’t force a solution on them. Nor should we try.

We also can’t be jumping at our shadow every time a new and improved terrorist group is peddled to us by the freedom hating war mongers in Congress. Enough is a enough. Stop believing what these people keep trying to sell. Think for yourself and take your own security into your own hands. Stop thinking these idiots are going to sell you a solution that will work. It won’t. If you truly want personal protection you need to make it for yourself.

Own a gun
Learn how to use it
Get some training
Be aware of your surroundings
Set up your house with some common sense security measures
Have some supplies stored up
Build a family response plan to an emergency
Know your neighbors and community

In other words be THE solution; don’t allow someone else to be your security blanket. What they offer will only give you a false sense of security while quietly erasing more of our precious freedom and wasting more money chasing shadows. I don’t depend on anyone else for my personal security and you shouldn’t either. Step up and do it yourself and put a stop to the “terror is everywhere” hustlers in Congress.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein Objects to CIA Spying on Congress

The Wall Street Journal just reported a remarkable story about a possible CIA spy operation performed on Congress. Of course the CIA is denying that they did anything like this, but I think if real facts can ever be dug up on this a different story will emerge.

However whether the CIA did or did not spy on Congress is not what is so remarkable about this story. Not by a long shot. What I find remarkable is Feinstein’s reaction to this possible scandal. She is quite upset and claims that if this was done it violates The Constitution’s Separation of Powers. Here is her exact quote…

“I have grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation-of-powers principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution”

That is what is so remarkable about this story. I love when tyrants like Diane Feinstein who wouldn’t know what The Constitution was if it was shoved in her face, unless the violations are against her or Congress!

This is the same women who is completely befuddled by the simple language in The Constitution especially The Bill of Rights and more specifically the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Amendments have proven particularly vexing to her reading skills, but let HER RIGHTS be violated and she is suddenly up in arms and quoting The Constitution like it was the greatest document ever created.

This is the most hypocritical thing I have seen in at least a week today coming out of Congress. The NSA has been violating the privacy and rights of Americans for YEARS and this women hasn’t whispered a peep about that, but let those violations occur against her and the other tyrants in Congress and suddenly she has a new found appreciation for The Constitution or at least a part of it as it applies to her.

The real story here is if she shows ANY consistency here and pursues this battle when it comes to OUR rights against their spying. I would not hold my breath waiting for that.

Is Obama a Civil Libertarian?

According to the WSJ Obama has received 46 recommendations from a task force about ways to overhaul the NSA so they aren’t violating every civil liberty we have… just most of them.  If he implements all 46 most Libertarians will congratulate him on a very small, but reasonable start in the right direction.

The Neocons and other freedom hating harpy’s out there will immediately start screaming about how the terrorists will kill all of us if these are implemented and that we will have no security, blah, blah.  Here is a little secret, we don’t have any security now, but in addition we also don’t have much privacy or freedom to go along with it.

Now here is the interesting question to all of you liberals who screamed about how GWB was robbing you of your freedoms; is your great savior of hope and change going to reverse course and give you back freedoms that the evil Bush took away?  I wouldn’t hold your breath.  My bet, he tweaks it around the edges, doesn’t make any real or substantive changes and declares himself great, wonderful, awesome, supreme, god-like…again.

And of course most you liberals will continue to swoon and think he is great and the fact he is still robbing you of your civil liberties won’t matter to you because after all he is your guy so it is OK if he steals your liberties and privacy.

Terrorism vs. War on Terrorism – Which is Worse?

Before 9/11/2001 the vast majority of Americans had never been exposed to any type of terrorism and the concept was vague and not too terribly threatening to most people.  Most believed it was something that happened in distant lands with a lot of sand in them.

Then 9/11 happened and 3,000 Americans died as a direct result.  Suddenly terrorism was real and it was at our back door.  Naturally our fearless government rushed in to provide a solution to the panicked stricken people.

The next question of course is the cure worse than the disease?  In other words are the solutions we put in place worse than the threat of actual terrorist striking the U.S. again?

I argue, yes, they are.  George W. Bush put in the (un)Patroit Act and set up the Department of Homeland Security.  Fast forward 12 years later and we live in a desert when it comes to personal privacy.  Our email, Internet activity, phone calls, mail and a whole host of other avenues are constantly spied upon by the NSA, DEA, IRS, and several other alphabet soup agencies.

We have increasingly more militarized police forces and drones that spy on us from the skies.  The government can come in and spy on your library books you checked out for goodness sakes.  We now have cameras all over cities and on every highway to spy on us walking or driving anywhere.  Have you ever asked where all the data of that video goes or where it is stored or for how long?

Our 4th Amendment has been shredded; police rarely need to even bother getting a warrant any longer.  They just say the magic word “terrorism” and warrants are handed out like candy on Halloween.  The various levels of government can listen in using your own cell phone as a “bug” if they want.  They can use the same phone to track all of your travel, where you have been and who you have met with.

Our Habeaus Corpus has been suspended and Americans can now be locked up without access to a lawyer, courts, evidence, or anything resembling justice.  Many people already know all these things, but how many have considered them in light of the alternative?

We should feel Safe with a capital “S” with all of these “anti-terrorist” measures in place, but yet, we still almost had an explosion in Times Square a few years ago, that only due to a malfunction of the bomb did it not actually go off.  The Boston bombers were able to pull off a terror attack as well.

The bottom line is we are NOT safer today than we were 12 years ago, but we have given up a TON of freedom and we will never get that back.  So ask yourself again, what is worse the threat of terrorism, which is still a clear and present danger or the war on terrorism?

Modern Day American Statsi Incident

Well, here is yet another of the many police state violations against people who just want to be left alone.  The warrants state that the cops were looking for the old bad guy marijuana again.  That single drug has probably been used for more Constitutional violations than all the others put together.

Of course they didn’t find any as seems to be the case a lot.  This particular raid seems to be based on some “anonymous” source.  Don’t you love all that secrecy these guys get to operate under?

However these people are damn lucky the Stasi didn’t just plant some drugs at the scene and then “find” them for evidence.  Planting evidence is standard operating procedure for most modern day Stasi operations.

See the problem here is that the Stasi come in with their militarized, trigger happy, poorly trained SWAT teams and throw all the residents to the ground, shove guns in their face, handcuff them and once they have “secured” the scene, which is code for making sure none of the intended victims can see them plant err.., I mean, “find” evidence as they search the premises.

They didn’t seem to find any on these premises, which usually means some thug higher up the chain of command didn’t want these people bad enough to stoop to the old planting/tampering with evidence trick.

The Stasi did take a ton of stuff from the group and I doubt they will ever get any of it back, which is another thing the Stasi love doing… civil asset forfeiture, which is where they seize money, guns, computers, and other stuff of value and just keep it.  They don’t have to charge you with any crimes or anything.  They can just say they suspect you of doing something and keep your stuff.  Good luck fighting them to get it back.

The Stasi have of course not apologized and probably never will.  See they can just do these types of Constitutional violations in the name of “The War on Drugs” or “The War of Terror” or some other “war” of some type and violate every Constitutional protection under the sun.  They then cower behind their massive and unyielding bureaucracies and staff lawyers to make it impossible for freedom loving people to fight back.

I know I feel much safer knowing these guys are out there defending me… NOT!

Welcome to life in modern day Amerika.

As if garbage wasn’t dirty enough already

Just when you thought garbage couldn’t get any dirtier.  It appears that privacy violators and trackers in London have armed their recycle bins with “pods” that will read cell phones that come close enough to them and gather data about you.

Of course like all privacy invaders we are told it is all anonymous and barely collects anything, almost nothing, not even really worth mentioning, just forget about it, go back to sleep…

I wonder how long it will be before these little gems start showing up in the U.S. and are everywhere to boot!

Full story here