Sunday, November 25, 2007

TelCon Cell Phone GPS Tracking Routine

From The Washington Post, November 23, 2007
Secret Warrants Granted Without Probable Cause
"Most people don't realize it, but they're carrying a tracking device in their pocket," said Kevin Bankston of the privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Cellphones can reveal very precise information about your location, and yet legal protections are very much up in the air."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Something to Hide

President Bush, right, greets new Attorney General Michael Mukasey, center, at the conclusion of a ceremonial swearing-in, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007,at the Justice Department in Washington. Chief Justice John Roberts is at center. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

From an op ed piece in The New York Times by Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, U.S. attorney general from 1965 to 1966, and Frederick A. O. Schwarz Jr. senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.


When the Justice Department, usually acting through its Office of Legal Counsel, issues legal opinions binding on the executive branch, there is never justification for keeping them secret. Opinions that narrowly define what constitutes torture; or open the door to sending prisoners for questioning to Egypt and Syria, which regularly use torture; or rule the president has some “inherent power” to ignore laws are all of concern to Congress and the public whether one agrees or disagrees with the legal analysis.

Yet all these opinions have been kept secret, along with many other, related post-9/11 opinions that purport to decide what America’s law is.

Secrecy always increases the risk of foolish mistakes. If the withheld opinions are sound, why fear letting them see the light of day? Is there ever a justification in a government of law for keeping what one believes to be the law secret?

Some may say releasing the opinions will lead to more embarrassment. To this, there are two answers. First, what is most important is that we get it right and remain true to our country’s values. Second, the best way to restore our reputation is to confront our mistakes openly and then resolve not to repeat them.

Foolish mistakes as subverting the values of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by targeting internet writers via criminal warrantless surveillance and law enforcement- particularly upon a time line suggesting the culprits as President George W. Bush and his masters at the Vatican.

U.S. National Capital Planning Commission's aborted South Capitol Mall

Washington Cardinal Archbishop Theodore Mc Carrick (2000-2006)

St. Vincent de Paul Church- the sole building along South Capitol Street saved by the South Capitol Mall's cancellation

Mark Tuohey of the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, who sat on the Board of Trustees of Catholic University with McCarrick, and upon that of Gonzaga HS and Washington Jesuit Academy

The 2002 stadium study indicating St Vincent de Paul Church as the sole surviving building on the east side of this stretch of South Capitol StreetMajor League Baseball: the entity that insisted upon cramming this stadium along South Capitol Street, by making the specific location a condition of allowing the establishment of the Washington Nationals franchise

2008 is the last year he can throw the 1st ball as U.S. President
More on this custom of the U.S. President throwing the 1st ball:

"W" Stadium

Blogger Douglas A. Willinger Ambushed, Arrested (while carrying his Verizon cell phone)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Whatever Happened to Extrigent Circumstances?

An exigent circumstance, in the American law of criminal procedure, allows law enforcement to enter a structure without a warrant, or if they have a "knock and announce" warrant, without knocking and waiting for refusal under certain circumstances. It must be a situation where people are in imminent danger, evidence faces imminent destruction or a suspect will escape.

Generally, an emergency, a pressing necessity, or a set of circumstances requiring immediate attention or swift action. In the criminal procedure context, exigent circumstances means:

An emergency situation requiring swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect, or destruction of evidence. There is no ready litmus test for determining whether such circumstances exist, and in each case the extraordinary situation must be measured by the facts known by officials.
If it’s truly an emergency situation – the type cited to justify warrant less surveillance - then what’s the need for legalizing such broadly? Any such true emergency can always be justified openly: a thought that the Bush Administration would not agree. From the book The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration by Jack Goldsmith, former Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel:

“The President can also ignore the law, and act extralegally,” I said.

Gonzales and Addington looked at me as if I was crazy. I was not urging the President to break the law, I emphasized. I was simply letting his legal advisors that there were honorable precedents, going back to the founding of the nation, of defying legal restrictions in time of crisis. “A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the highest virtues of a good citizen, but it is not the highest” Thomas Jefferson wrote to a friend in 1810. “The laws of necessity, of self preservation, when in danger, are of higher obligation. To loose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written laws, would be to loose the law itself, with life liberty property and all of those who are enjoying then with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.”

Jefferson was writing in a tradition of prerogative power that went back to the influential English philosopher John Locke, who believed that a leader’s first duty was to protect the country, not follow the law. But there was an important caveat to the prerogative, which I conveyed to Gonzales and Addington. In order to prevent abuse, the leader who disregards the laws should do so publicly, throwing himself on the mercy of congress and the people so that they could decide whether the emergency was severe enough to warrant extralegal action. “The line between cases may be difficult” Jefferson noted, “but the good officer is bound to draw it at his own peril, and throw himself on the justice of his country and the rectitude of his motives.” Public avowal of extralegal actions, and after-the-fact political scrutiny, limited and legitimized the legitimized the dangerous presidential prerogative.

Gonzales, Addington, and their respective clients were not remotely interested in this view. They believed their actions lawful, and even if they didn’t, they could not confess error publicly, as the logical of the prerogative power required, because doing so would tip off the enemy about our counterterrorist efforts…

And with “terrorists” comprising what, 0.0001% of the population what’s the need for the capacity of a 250,000 employee US Department of Homeland Security- one monitor per 1,200 people of the general population?

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Wobble Effect- of Politics:

What’s Really Driving this Surrendering Liberty to Fear

The Wobble Effect refers to how astronomers search for the planets they can't see directly, by observing the “wobble” upon the stars they orbit . By observing the seen – the star – they can "see" the unseen – the planets – by observing the latter’s effect upon the former. As such wobble is caused by gravity, and gravity is caused by rotating mass, a star's "wobble" indicates the presence of such planets.

This is definitely applicable to how our political system is run.

It is most obvious when politicians alter their stances to be synchronized with the wishes of the most powerful though not necessarily visible

I must wonder about looking at news as:

- A U.S. Congress of supposed pro civil liberties Democrats and pro small government Republicans, that voted in the PATRIOT Act, granting the federal government massive surveillance powers over the general public in all ways electronic including financial records, without oversight, within weeks of 911 with little or no debate.

- Such Democrats who shall vote in favor of a USAG that runs around questions about torture, namely Chuck Schumar and Diane Feinstein.

- Such Republicans who vote in favor of a USAG that runs around questions about torture, whether those sanctioning torture, such as Guiliani, Thompson and ROMnEy, or those claiming to oppose torture, such as McCain.

- Democrats and Republicans ignoring even a majority of people favoring some degree of Marijuana legalization, and voting to continue the 'drug war'

Senator Fein$tein Massive Conflict of Interest

Senator Feinstein's husband made $50 million in "defense" contracts over a 4 year period.

So much for the DemocRATs for safeguarding the U.S. Constitution.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Schumar - Feinstein Give Pass to Mukasey

Key DemocRATs, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., cross party lines to pledge support for Bush Attorney General nominee [waterboard-waffling Michael Mukasey], clearing way for confirmation: Mukasey Edges Closer to Attorney General Confirmation 02 Nov 2007 ABC News' Ed O'Keefe: Two key Democrats crossed party lines and pledged their support to President [sic] Bush's embattled Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey, all but ensuring the retired judge's confirmation as the nation's top law enforcement official.

John Holmes wrote: 5h 32m ago

Very disappointed with Senator Schumer! The waterboarding issue is at the very heart of what Mr. Mukasey will do when he gets into power. Yes, he is not Alberto Gonzalez, at least for now. And that makes it even more pressing an issue for the DEMS to identify who Mr. Mukasey really is, and where his allegaince lies--to the country or to the President? A single question could take care of that. Now. Mr. Schumer and Ms. Feinstein have denied the whole country the ability to determine where Mr. Mukasey's allegiance lies.