San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Monday, May 19, 2014

Aurora Cops Abolish The 4th Amendment

About a year and a half ago a guy walked into a bank in Aurora (Colorado) and robbed it.  Living in the high tech age of gadgetry that we do, a quick thinking bank teller placed a GPS device in the bag of money just prior to handing it over to the bandit.  The male robber, Christian Paetsch, exited the bank and jumped into his get-away car.  As he sped off down the street the Aurora police arrived on the scene.  Using their GPS scanning devices they quickly determined that he was somewhere near the intersection of Iliff and Buckley roads in Aurora.  I lived less than a mile from that intersection for seven years.  It is a very busy intersection.  So what did the cops do?  Here is a report of what happened as recorded in an article in the Denver Post yesterday:
"(Police) surrounded 19 cars stopped at a light and detained 29 occupants in their vehicles in an attempt to find the robbery suspect...(Police) brandished ballistic shields and pointed assault rifles direct at innocent citizens, including children under 10 years old.  Officers with police dogs were at the ready.  No one was free to leave.  Those who were detained were handcuffed and made to wait for two hours while the scene was cleared."  Get the picture?  This intersection in Aurora was basically turned into the equivalent of the Boston bombing lock down while the cops went about their business of catching the "bad guys."  Everyone was expected to submit to this egregious violation of their 4th Amendment rights to be free from search and seizure in the absence of a warrant issued by a judge after the proof of probable cause.  By the way, the search yielded no results.  The bad guy, who was eventually caught, was not at the scene of the warrant-less searches. 
I would not be writing about this bit of old news today except for the fact that some profit seeking lawyer has decided to stir things up.  Whether the people who were detained were originally upset at this violation of their right to be left alone or not, I don't know.  What I do know is that they have now jumped on the band wagon in filing suit against the City of Aurora.  I suspect that most of the 14 plaintiffs thought that what the cops did was reasonable.  We have been trained to immediately forfeit our right to be protected from random searches anytime the term "bad guy" is invoked, whether it be a bank robber or an alleged terrorist.  Random sobriety tests and roadside pullovers by the cops have desensitized almost all of us to the point where we believe the cops can do anything they want and we are always to immediately obey their every command.   I suspect most of the 14 plaintiffs kind of enjoyed being in the center of the media attention.  Some of them probably ended up getting the afternoon off from work.  But a lawyer named David Lane, who at least has a financial incentive to care about the 4th Amendment, managed to get 14 of them together to file a lawsuit against the city.  Good for him.
So do you have the picture in your mind of what happened that day?  You are sitting in your car, maybe your kid is in the government approved and mandated child safety seat in the back, when you are surrounded by cops toting machine guns and wearing body armor.  You are ordered to get out of your car.  You are handcuffed and forced to sit on the curb for the next two hours while the cops search your car.  All you were doing was making the quick trip to McDonald's for an ice cream cone.  This happens to everyone who just happened to be sitting at the intersection at the time the cops arrived.  If you talk you are ordered to remain silent.  If you do not remain silent you are deemed to be disobeying the direct order of a police officer.  If you are smart you will keep your mouth shut.  If you are not smart you are likely to be shot because your actions will be considered "threatening" by the armed thug who has detained you.  Fortunately nobody was shot that day. 
There is no question that the 4th Amendment rights of every single person who was detained were grossly violated that day.  There is no question that the cops grossly overstepped their legal authority to investigate the bank robbery when they detained citizens at random and with no probable cause to believe they might have been involved in the robbery other than the fact they were driving on the road near the bank.  There is no doubt that the right thing to do in this case would be to fire the Aurora police chief, fire every single cop involved in the illegal searches and reward the victims of the illegal searches reasonable cash compensation for their injuries.  So what did happen?
Dan Oats was the chief of police in Aurora at the time. His "investigation" into what happened revealed no police malfeasance.  Surprise!  Surprise!  Nobody was suspended.  Nobody was fired.  In fact, in exchange for the heroic actions taken by the police chief, he was offered a bigger and better job as the chief of police in Miami, Fl.  He is taking the job.  His last day is May 30th.  When cornered by a reporter from the Denver Post and asked about the recently filed lawsuit this brave hero in blue had this to say, "My officers took a very dangerous person off the street and he is in jail today.  And nobody got hurt." 
So there it is.  The cops can detain anyone at any time provide "nobody gets hurt", whatever that means.  Were the citizens who were treated like criminals, handcuffed and held at gun point for two hours, not hurt?  Apparently not.  Apparently the chief of police believes someone is hurt only when blood is drawn.  How a public official could make such a blatantly unconstitutional statement and be given a free pass for doing so mystifies me.  We'll see how the lawsuit turns out.  I don't have much hope that any judge or jury will be sympathetic to the 4th Amendment.  There are just too many bad guys out there who need to be caught to pay attention to the quaint little notion that we have the right to not be detained and searched by armed thugs at any time and in any place.  Don't be surprised when you are walking down the street and a jack booted thug approaches you and demands to see your "papers."  The path we are on is taking us right down that road.
In an unrelated but curiously connected story, I saw a news report last night about a "training exercise" conducted at a crowded Denver area mall yesterday.  It was a Sunday afternoon and the mall was crawling with shoppers.  Suddenly hundreds of military-clad and machine gun armed  government agents descended upon the mall.  They were pretending to be responding to a terrorist incident.  There were a couple of signs in the mall parking lot informing the shoppers who noticed them that the government was performing safety exercises there that afternoon.   Pity the person who did not notice the signage and who believed he was in the middle of a war zone when the soldiers charged the mall.
Why do I bring this up?  Because it illustrates a very important point.  The news report did not indicate that any of the shoppers were disturbed by what happened.  In addition, none of the store owners in the mall appeared to be bothered by this display of government force.  In fact, it seemed like everyone was just peachy with the fact that armed government agents had just stormed a public building pretending to be engaging in an act of war.  Apparently they were all glad to see it because it made them "feel safe" and assured them that their government was on the job and looking to their welfare.  Let me assure you, that is not what was going on.
The "exercise" was conducted for one purpose and one purpose only.  It was conducted to further desensitize SDA citizens to the presence of heavily armed government agents in all public places.  The "threat" the exercise was designed to counter was not the threat of some wild-eyed Muslim terrorist running madly through a suburban Denver area mall with dynamite strapped to his belt, just waiting to detonate it at the moment of maximum impact.  No, the threat that the exercise was designed to suppress was the threat of the citizens of this land becoming fed up with violations to their 1st and 4th Amendments and the resulting action of taking to the streets that could happen when enough people decide it is high time to "peaceably assemble and address the government with our grievances."  Make no mistake, those soldiers who mock-attacked the mall yesterday were not concerned with the safety of the citizens who were shopping there.  They were concerned, as all government agents always are, exclusively with their own safety. Given the wanton disregard for the entire Bill of Rights in this sad land these days, perhaps they have good cause to be concerned for their own safety.  Are the sheeple about to rise up and throw off their oppressors?  I don't know.  Time will tell.

SDA Citizens Are Incapable Of Rational Thinking

I am sitting here looking at a public opinion poll found in the "Stat of the Week" graphic of the Sunday Wall Street Journal.  It is warming my heart, and not in a good way.  It is renewing my strong faith in the belief that there are not one hundred citizens in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika who are capable of having a single rational thought, much less putting together a simple rational argument.  Just thinking about how every person I meet in this crazed country is acting exclusively on his emotions makes me want to puke up the Cheerios I just had for breakfast.  Here comes the heartburn....and the Cheerios.
The poll asked citizens about their degree of "confidence" in various institutions in the SDA.  The people who responded that they had a "great deal" or "quite a bit" of confidence in each named institution were added together and that created a number for that institution.  For example, if one hundred people were asked about their confidence level in the Dancing With The Stars television program and 37 said they had a great deal of confidence in the show and another 23 said they had quite a bit of confidence in the show, then that brainless bit of popular entertainment would be assigned a confidence number of 60. 
The poll asked people about their confidence level in fifteen different institutions.  Those institutions included:  the military, the high tech industry, the internet (whatever that means), the Supreme Court, government schools (called "public schools" in the poll), the auto industry, religious organizations, the telecommunications industry, the national news media, social media websites, the federal government, the IRS, the financial industry, the health insurance business and large corporations in general.  The results of the poll show a staggeringly irrational populace living in this land.  Allow me to give you some examples.
Which of the institutions listed above do you believe received the highest confidence rating?  It is not hard to figure out.  Just look at the list again.  What does everyone love more than anything else about this imperial monarchy we call the SDA?   Correct....the military.  69% of respondents have a high degree of confidence in the military.  I wonder what it means to be "confident" about the military?  As I read the poll I got the impression that confidence = integrity.  I think that is a fair synonym to use.  But I could be wrong.  Maybe confidence = ability.  That seems less likely to me because the IRS has great ability in collecting taxes yet scored very low in the confidence poll.  So I will stick with the idea that confidence most closely means that the institution in question is believed to be filled with people of great integrity.
Why do seven out of ten Amerikans believe that the military is an institution with great integrity, therefore placing great confidence in its members and their military skills?  Is it because, as one Somali war-lord once put it, "The Americas are very good at killing"?  Are we bursting at the seams in pride over our military because it is good at killing millions of people in hundreds of countries all over the world?  I am driven to draw that conclusion because, according to the opinion poll,  there are no other rational reasons why the military should be held in such high esteem.  The "federal government", which is solely responsible for sending the military into over 100 countries around the world to kill some of the citizens who live there, garners only a 16 on the confidence scale.  How can it be that the people who are responsible for sending the military out into the world have a confidence level of 16 while, at the same time, the soldiers who are doing their bidding by killing "terrorists" (aka: anyone who has the audacity to not bow down to the SDA) have a confidence rating of 69?  The only rational conclusion I can come to is that people are highly impressed by the ability of our military to kill the citizens of other lands.
Can you guess which institution is lowest rated?   You have probably already figured out that I listed the various institutions in order of their degree of confidence.  That means "large corporations" have the lowest confidence rating of the fifteen institutions listed.  I find that result both strange and entirely predictable.  Remember, this is the "socialist" democracy of Amerika.  We are committed socialists and the socialist's number one enemy is the profit seeking corporation.  Despite the fact that profit seeking corporations are responsible for bringing all of the goods and services SDA citizens love so much to their doorsteps, they turn around and bite the very hand that feeds them.  I would expect nothing less. Socialists are not known for their logical consistency.
Particularly amusing about the low rating for profit seeking corporations is the fact that the "high tech industry" is ranked #2 with a confidence rating of 53 (along with the "military", the only two institutions to get a score above 50).  The last time I checked the high tech industry was made up by a lot of large corporations.  How do we explain this anomaly?  The answer is simple.  Apple is high tech.  Apple is a large corporation.  Apple gives millions of people the I-products that they love more than they love their fellow human beings.  Hence, "high tech" rises to the second place.  The ignorant and emotional masses know enough to know that they love their I-gadgets but they also know they need to take a very public stance against profit seeking corporations.  The fact that those two positions are logically contradictory is irrelevant.  In fact, I doubt that most people even notice or care about the logical contradiction inherent in their responses. 
Right above "large corporations" is the "health insurance business."  Again I find this most interesting.  Obamacare supposedly solved all of the alleged problems with those evil, profit seeking health insurance companies.  By effectively nationalizing all health insurance carriers, thereby making them offer essentially the same coverages for the same prices, there should be great satisfaction in the minds of Obamacare advocates with this institution.  I am told by my rulers and the talking heads that represent them that the majority of the citizens in this land love Obamacare and yet I see that they have only a 13 confidence rating.  Either the majority of the citizens in this country do not love Obamacare or something else is going on here that I don't understand.
Not surprisingly, the "financial industry" is third from the bottom.  It also received a 13 confidence rating.  I am assuming there were decimal points left off the graphic that explain how the bottom three were ranked relative to each other.  So tens of millions of Amerikan citizens are driving cars they love, living in homes they love and buying big screen televisions they love and all of this was made possible by bank financing.  Then, like the true dogs these people are, they turn around and bite the hand that is feeding them.  So much for logical consistency.  It sure seems to me that there is a whole lot of sinful envy going on here.  How else are we to explain the animosity directed towards the banks? 
The "federal government" rates a 16 confidence ranking.  In other words, 84% of the respondents have little to no confidence in the federal government whatsoever.  Wow! That sure surprises me.  I would have thought the ratings would have been reversed.  If so few people have confidence in the federal government why is the federal government the first place almost everybody turns when they want or need something?  When there is a flood, everyone turns to the feds. When there is a hurricane, everyone turns to the feds.  When there is a bridge that collapses, everyone turns to the feds.  When someone wants a subsidized loan to go to college, he turns to the feds.  When someone wants a subsidized mortgage to buy a home, he turns to the feds.   It seems strange to me that people would repeatedly turn to an institution to ask for assistance (translation:  to ask for other people's money) when they have no confidence in that institution.  Could this be a case where people recognize that the federal government is a fantastically efficient wealth transfer machine and, therefore, immediately look to it the moment they want to be on the receiving end of one of those transfers, but when they are asked to rate their degree of confidence in it they give it a very low score because they realize they might be next to have their pockets efficiently picked?
Religious organizations come in right in the middle of the survey with a pathetically weak score of 24.  I would guess that since most people are non-Christians and harbor a strong hatred for all things biblical, the low score simply reflects that animosity toward biblical truth.  Indeed, the more integrity a church has in living faithfully to the Bible, the more it is going to be hated by the world.  Jesus told us quite clearly that the world hated Him first and if we are to follow in His footsteps we are to be hated as well.  I think that 24 rating is the only rating in the poll that makes sense and tells me the truth about the world.  The great majority of the citizens in the SDA have no confidence in God whatsoever.  Why does that not surprise me?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Majority Determines What Is Moral

There are many strange things about democracy but the most strange is the fact that it is an immoral system.  In fact, everything about democracy is wrong, it has no redeeming characteristics whatsoever.  The fundamental moral principle under which democracy operates is the ridiculous belief that whatever the majority believes is moral and whatever the majority does is right.  It is all excused by the use of the content-less "we".  We need to do this about that.  Or we need to care about this group, which always means someone is about to have his money stolen and given to someone else.  Or we live in a civilized society that takes care of its poor, sick and elderly.  We need to educate our children.  You all know the schtick.  We can be used to justify anything.  We need to get our property back from those Jewish bankers.  Or we need to banish all smokers to hell where they belong.
In economic matters the majority has so structured the financial affairs of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika that the highest earning 49% of us are now being forced to pay the entire federal government bill for services.  Those in the lower 51% are getting a completely free ride.  They pay no federal income taxes at all.  And then, to top it off, the lower 51% has managed to structure the debate about this state of affairs in terms that declare the upper 49% to be evil for complaining about it.  Whenever a member of the top 49% of the income dares to question the system he is immediately accused of being unwilling to pay his "fair share" and that slogan is repeatedly shouted until he sits down and shuts up.  That is the nature of democracy.  No matter what the minority says or does, it will always lose.  Furthermore, the majority can do anything it wants to the minority and its behavior will always be moral. 
Today I am not interested in the legalized theft that goes on in the SDA on a daily basis.  I am more concerned with the fact that in a democratic system such as we have in the SDA, morality is defined as whatever the majority says it is.  I am accustomed to having debates about the doctrine of morality.  The source of one's moral authority is always a very important issue in those debates.  Some people, like pragmatists, believe that the "good" is whatever delivers the greatest good to the greatest number of people.  When asked what the "good" is they will eventually boil it down to some absolute principle.  Deontological ethicists believe that morality comes from an absolute standard of some sort.  They usually disagree over the nature of that absolute standard.  Some attribute it to natural law.  Others attribute it to common law.  Still others, like myself, attribute it to biblical law.  But the one thing all the parties to the debate have generally agreed upon is that what is moral today will be moral tomorrow.  Even the pragmatists have some moral principles that are absolute.  It is inconceivable that morality can be subject to as much daily fluctuation as the weather.  But that is where we are today under the operating principle that the majority of the voters determine what is moral behavior and what is not.  Allow me to illustrate what I mean.
An Associated Press article written by Denise Lavoie reports that there has been a significant shift in public attitudes towards homosexuality in general and homosexual marriage in particular.  She writes that, "seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage.  Judges in seven other states have struck down bans on same-sex marriage...in one of those states, Arkansas, more than 400 same-sex weddings have taken place in the past week...What is undeniable, though, is a change in public attitudes.  Recent polls show that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage; in 2004 only about 30 percent favored it."  Well there you have it.  Ten years ago heterophobic marital unions were immoral because 70% did not approve of them.  Today heterophobic marital unions are moral because more than 50% approve of them.  The moral of the story is quite clear.  If you are doing something that is immoral, launch a public opinion campaign designed to change the opinion of enough voting citizens of the land to where 51% of them agree with you that your actions are not immoral and, presto, you have gone from immoral louse to moral paragon.
The article had a graphic which showed me that in 2004 60% of the citizens of the SDA believed heterophobic unions were immoral.  Only 31% believed they were moral.  Today only 39% believe they are immoral and 54% believe they are moral.  In just ten short years the act of homosexual sex has gone from being an immoral action, prohibited by law in many states, to an action to be celebrated in the pubic square.  Heterophobes have gone from being dangerous threats to society to being role models we are encouraged to emulate.  Those who "come out" are praised for their courage.  Those who can be the first to "come out" from a particular profession are given nationwide media coverage. The first heterophobic movie star or the first heterophobic football player garner tremendous amounts of positive publicity for their alleged heroism.  The media gathers around them, each photographer hoping to be the first to take the picture of one kissing his homosexual lover.  I can't wait until the first heterophobe who happens to be a janitor "comes out" and is promptly given a parade down main street Denver.  I wonder who will clean up the mess when it is over?
The belief that whatever the majority believes is moral is extremely dangerous.  It has been responsible for the deaths of millions of human beings over the years. The majority of the people in Sodom and Gomorrah believed that homosexual sex was a good thing to do.  We all know how that turned out.  A majority of the Israelites who fled Egypt in the Exodus believed that Moses was a tyrant and needed to be replaced. A big chunk of the earth opened up and swallowed them alive.  The majority of the citizens of Judah under the kingdom of Zedekiah believed it was a good idea to stay in Jerusalem and fight the Babylonians.  They all died when the Babylonians razed Jerusalem.  The majority of the people in Jerusalem for Passover around 30 AD believed that Jesus was an apostate who deserved death.  They got what they wanted but it wasn't moral.  They also got what they deserved after they died.
Today most people believe that government schools financed by stealing a little bit of money from every person who owns a home in a particular geopolitical zone is a good idea.  It is still theft.  Today most people believe that forcing employers to pay a higher wage to their employees than what the market will bear is a good idea.  It is still theft.  Today most people believe that forcing employers to pay for birth control pills and devices on behalf of their female employees is just good public policy.  It is still theft and tyranny.  Today most people believe that making 49% of the taxpayers foot the entire bill for the federal government is a good idea.  It isn't.  It is theft.  Today most people believe that allowing the federal government spying apparatus know everything about our personal and financial lives is a good thing because it protects us from terrorists, whoever they are.  They are wrong.  It does not protect us.  It is nothing more than spying and an invasion of our privacy.  And now today most people believe homosexual sex is morally proper.
Is the war in Afghanistan right or wrong?  I don't know....conduct a public opinion poll and find out.  Should I be allowed to have sex with a member of the same sex?  I don't know...see what the majority believes.  Should I be allowed to have sex with a minor?  Right now the majority does not approve of that behavior but with the right publicity campaign that opinion can be changed.  A decade from today pedophilia might very well be moral.  Can I have sex with an goat?  Go tabulate the results of the most recent poll about bestiality.  The sad fact of the matter is that in the SDA today, the majority of the voters approve of theft, murder, adultery, lying, homosexuality, blasphemy and idolatry.  The majority of the folks living in this country have no problem with covetousness.  Look at what we have come to.  Under the moral guidance of the majority we have now overturned every one of the Ten Commandments.  Congratulations, we might be the most immoral society in the history of mankind.