Tuesday, August 28, 2012

When Governments Attack

Go read George Will’s column, Federal Leviathan, and you’ll see just one example of how out-of-control our lumbering, frightful, feral government can get.

Will Writes...
...our unhinged government, with an obsession like that of Melville’s Ahab, has crippled Nancy Black’s scientific career, cost her more than $100,000 in legal fees — so far — and might sentence her to 20 years in prison. This Kafkaesque burlesque of law enforcement began when someone whistled.
In 1980, federal statutes specified 3,000 criminal offenses; by 2007, 4,450. They continue to multiply. Often, as in Black’s case, they are untethered from the common-law tradition of mens rea, which holds that a crime must involve a criminal intent — a guilty mind. Legions of government lawyers inundate targets like Black with discovery demands, producing financial burdens that compel the innocent to surrender in order to survive.
Gulag America

Forget fevered rantings about FEMA camps and UN takeovers, we're all subject to arrest at any time.
The protracted and pointless tormenting of Black illustrates the thesis of Harvey Silverglate’s invaluable 2009 book, “Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.” Silverglate, a civil liberties lawyer in Boston, chillingly demonstrates how the mad proliferation of federal criminal laws — which often are too vague to give fair notice of what behavior is proscribed or prescribed — means that “our normal daily activities expose us to potential prosecution at the whim of a government official.”
Such laws, which enable government zealots to accuse almost anyone of committing three felonies in a day, do not just enable government misconduct, they incite prosecutors to intimidate decent people who never had culpable intentions. And to inflict punishments without crimes.
Jon Corzine can steal billions from others and walk free because he's politically well-connected, but government will destroy scientist Nancy Black because somebody on her boat whistled at a whale.  Just wait and see what Big Brother does to us when he's got 30,000 drones in the sky.


Z said...

"harassing WHALES?" Is this a joke?
I like whales as much as the next guy, but.....REALLY? A FELONY?

Imagine what would have happened to Nancy Black had she been sipping a 32 oz Coke at the same time.....or not wearing a helmet!

I have to admit I'm impressed that a civil liberties lawyer is upset about this; they're usually the liberal loons siding with the whale!

Always On Watch said...

Good grief! Straight out of Kafka!

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Just wait and see what Big Brother does to us when he's got 30,000 drones in the sky."

Or mandates vaginal probes;

Or state-forced pregnancies, which the GOP has adopted in its platform;

Or demands to see your papers if you "look" suspicious.

Or if Big Brother decides that you cannot marry the person you love and passes an amendment to the US Constitution.

Just wait and see if certain politicians from a certain political party get their way...

Sherman Broder said...

Thank you for posting this.

What's especially frightening about it is that so few of us even know such oppression exists.

Rational Nation USA said...

We could well be talking about the new neo fascist rEpublican pArty and its apparent growing influence on Neandrathal American thinkers...

Ducky's here said...

I've been stopped and questioned three times by various government entities while photographing in the last two months.

In two cases the employee didn't know policy, I told him and kept on shooting. Another situation seemed a little dicey and I quit.

They are quite full of themselves, quite ignorant and it isn't going to stop since ultimately it's a means to suppress dissent.

Two Kids Dad said...

This should remind us all about an important lesson from history we need to remember.
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out
The Main Stream Media, along with the radical-left and the uneducated entitlement crowd elected Obama in the first place. He was never vetted and the people had no facts about this mans past so they could make a reasonable choice
Obama's actually benefitted by being black. The people, especially the lefties who are the so called “champions of the cause ” of little people and minorities were champing at the bit to elect a black man, no matter who it was. And by hook and crook they got one. If he was a white liberal with the failed policies that he has compiled, the democratic party would have ditched him a long time ago and gone with Hillary Clinton for this election.
But no matter how hard you try to reason with a liberal, they have already been convinced by the MSM that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are evil devils, and that Obama wears a halo who can do no wrong. Just as they were in the election of 2008. Sure John McCain was the wrong man, but Barack Obama was even worse. Think William Ayers, and Rev. Jeremiah Wright and that should have done it.

Silverfiddle said...

Shaw: Glad to see you're waking up to the dangers of Big Government. It won't stop until they've probed us all.

Ducky: What's really disturbing about this is that state and municipal governments are taking their cue from Big Federal Brother.

Does anyone think this drone proliferation is caused by various governments all over the country suddenly deciding they need them?

The manufacturers of the drones have lobbied DC, which turns around and hands out grant money so state and local government can buy this technology. We're paying our government to spy on us.

Speedy G said...

Well duckman, you can be thankful that they don't yet come up to you with a submachine gun and demand your camera, like they did to me in Buenos Aires in '76. But give them a while...

Speedy G said...

Why would they want my camera, you may ask? Was the country government by right wing fascists?

from Wiki:

In 1970, the Marxist People's Revolutionary Army (ERP) was founded. By the early 1970s, high-ranking military and police officers were kidnapped and assassinated in ultra-leftist actions almost weekly.[15]

The extreme left was also involved in the bombing and destruction of a number of buildings in the 1970s. These mainly belonged to military[16] and police hierarchies.[17] But a number of civilian and non-governmental buildings were targeted as well, such as the Sheraton Hotel in Buenos Aires, which was bombed in 1972, to the horror of nearly 700 guests.[18] and a crowded theater in downtown Buenos Aires in 1975.[19]

In 1978, a powerful bomb meant to kill an Argentine admiral ripped through a nine-story apartment building, killing three civilians and trapping others beneath the debris.[20] According to the International Congress for Victims of Terrorism, there were 16,000 victims of left-wing terrorism (killings, woundings and abductions) in Argentina,[21] including civilians and military personnel. Argentine intelligence officers claim that the ERP guerrillas alone were responsible for the deaths of at least 700 people in addition to scores of attacks on police and military units as well as kidnappings and robberies.

Nope. The mad-for-power know-it-all cognizenti Left were screwing up the pooch, once again.

Bunkerville said...

Much of this is so surreal, I cannot believe what I am posting. Unless one is deep in the weeds, no one can understand or believe what we are posting. No wonder they think we wear tin foil. It is too unimaginable.

conservativesonfire said...

Thaks to you and George Will for not allowing this to stay under the radar. We keep crying that we are becoming a police state. Wrong! We are a police state.

Ducky's here said...

I do find it a concern that the bull**** meter goes up so seldom and Bow Tie Daddy Will is a culprit.

Now, we have professional scientists inquiring with NOOA about a certain practice and NOOA coming back that the practice would have been fine but the tapes were doctored. Okay, this is not quite passing the smell test.

Then we find out she has another run in.

Then we get sent to some primitive "send me money" site.

What's the truth here? We don't know and knowing Bow Tie Daddy's biases the informed citizen would look for corroboration.
It certainly could be accurate but we don't know and as a people we have been trained like Pavlov's dogs so we need to break the habit.

Thersites said...

Speaking of Pavlov's dog, duckman... when does the legendary unbiased Capt. Whale-lover of the good ship Sea Shepherd get back into port and hose all the stinky-cheese out of your argument?

Inquiring minds NEED to know?

Ducky's here said...

Steve, tie a can on it.

Rational Nation USA said...

Silver, it is now apparent that the sewage from a particularity vile smelling sewage break continues to fill your room with abandon. Therefore, in the interest of preserving my hard won battle to maintain my health I simply must take leave of the stench created by a certain delusional rotting fish.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky: but we don't know and as a people we have been trained like Pavlov's dogs so we need to break the habit.

Have you checked your own Pavlovian defense of Big Daddy Government.

But I agree with on on telling Little Stevie to STFU.

Silverfiddle said...

Little Stevie: Keep in on topic, or your comments, like the last one, will to into the abyss.

Got an agenda? Take it to your own blog, not here.

And before you accuse me of censoring liberals, ask Ducky or Jersey if they've ever had comments deleted. I may have one or two, but it was because of vile and vituperative language directed at another interlocutor.

Better yet, ask Shaw, as woman with whom I agree with on just about nothing. Since she is always decorous and never vulgar, she has never had a comment deleted here.

So stay on topic or begone.

KP said...

@Ducky << I've been stopped and questioned three times by various government entities while photographing in the last two months. >>

I wondered why you were being stopped. Then I looked at your avatar. You are a shady looking doode :-)

On a serious note, that is an interesting observation. For someone like yourself who has been photographing for most of his life you must notice quite a change in attitude, both from passersby and law enforcement.

Rational Nation USA said...

As surely as the sun sets the sewage continues to rise and bring its vile stench.

Always On Watch said...

I've been stopped and questioned three times by various government entities while photographing in the last two months.

Really? Any reason given?

Silverfiddle said...

I don't doubt Ducky at all on this one.

It's all part of that "If you see something say something" crap.

Report suspicious behavior, protect the vaterland and all that...

It pisses me off worse that Bush, a Republican, started it.

Silverfiddle said...

I asked you to stay on topic, little Stevie.

We're not talking about Jews today.

If you want to talk about Jew haters go start your own blog and have a ball.

I have known Les for years, and he doesn't hate anyone, and believe me, some Left Blogistanis have given him lots of reasons to.

So knock it off or you're gone.

Ducky's here said...

One place I enjoy, AOW, is (believe it or not) the Deer Island waste treatment plant.

The plant itself offers some real abstract opportunities.
There's a walk around the plant at the edge of the water that is especially good when the big container ships are coming in.
Good Boston skyline shots.
Lots of people enjoying the walk. Boarders, skaters, elderly, dog walkers.

I've talked to others who have been stopped and asked for ID. I assume we are checked against a database of bad boys.

There's a shot that I put up on FLICKR recently of a subway kiosk. Tough shot, real low light. All praise to Lightroom.
Transit cop stopped me for ID. That is policy, you can photograph but you must show ID if asked.

I was stopped shooting some public sculpture near the JFK federal building.

A little further back I was taking a shot directly up the glass side of the John Hancock building. Public sidewalk. I was changing to a wide angle from telephoto and a security guard comes up and asks me what I'm doing.
"I'm changing lenses".
"You have to leave or be arrested".

It's everywhere. All kinds of suspicion.

KP, I'm less suspicious with my shades off.

Thersites said...

Stevie, I've been deleted by SF more times than anyone here... and like ducky said, "tie a can on it."

As for the duck, Peter Parker wannabe, get yourself a LEGIT REASON to be taking pictures... becuase the cops ain't buying it

As Thoreau once advised ("Walden")

I long ago lost a hound, a bay horse, and a turtle-dove, and am still on their trail. Many are the travelers I have spoken concerning them, describing their tracks and what calls they answered to. I have met one or two who have heard the hound, and the tramp of the horse, and even seen the dove disappear behind a cloud, and they seemed as anxious to recover them as if they had lost them themselves.

It's 4 am in the middle of nowhere... What are you doing here, Mr. Duck?

A - Taking pictures for my pleasure, of course!

Silverfiddle said...

If you think about it, the whole asking for ID thing is ridiculous. All they will catch are criminals/terrorists too stupid to carry fake credentials.

Ducky's here said...

Didn't get hassled for this one, Farmer

I've decided to print it and frame it.
It's really grown on e.

Ducky's here said...

Well that's what gets me, Silver.

A real bad guy is going to want to keep a low profile and is either going to have good fake ID or avoid situations where it's asked for.

Meanwhile, if you get yourself on the bad boy data base ... they can make your life difficult for no valid reason, indeed.

Silverfiddle said...

That is why I don't like "No Fly" lists and such that include US citizens and people living here in the US.

If someone is suspect, detain them and try them, otherwise leave them the hell alone.

An alien living here that is on a bad boy list should not happen. If the person is a perceived danger, deport him and don't let him back in.

The real problem here is that our government has no control of its borders and legitimate jurisdiction.

When a fat, incompetent government can't fight real threats because its too hard, it eventually turn on its citizens.

That's what's happening now.

I lament this development in my short story Live or Die Trying

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Ducky's here said...
Didn't get hassled for this one, Farmer

I've decided to print it and frame it.
It's really grown on e."

Arch Street Church. Used to go there for Mass on Holy Days when I worked in Boston way back when.

It's about a 10 minute walk from where I am now.

-FJ said...

I think you're missing the point, mr. ducky. They ask, not to "prevent" a crime, but to start a "lead" if by chance two weeks later a bomb goes off.

And your name gets "real hot" on the watch list if "mr. ducky" starts clustering with "actual terrorist incidents".

Else, enjoy your photo project... and quit trying to scare the "normals". ;)

Ducky's here said...

No, you've missed the point, Farmer.

Just like the NYPD "demographics" unit that infiltrated, broke the law and came up with NOTHING but managed to alienate the Muslim population, these folks that love to hassle us are not well trained, can be easily conned and do little but contribute to the growing bureaucracy.

Ducky's here said...

Yeah Shaw, it's St. Anthony's in back of the old Filene's building.

Never heard it called the Arch St. church.

There's something bleak about the shot however.

Speedy G said...

Little disagreement here, ducky... but if a bomb ever went off near Fanhuel Hall and a Republican were President, you'd be the first one to squack "incompetence".

viburnum said...


I meant to ask you this the last time we touched on this subject. Are the large tanks on the southern point of Deer Island a liquefied natural gas storage facility? I seem to recall an uproar years and years ago about building something like that so close to the city. That would explain an increased interest in photographers.

Speedy G said...

besides, what other "blue collar" jobs can Masschusetts offer a working stiff? Jobs for high school graduates aren.t exactly dropping off apple trees in the Bay State.

FreeThinke said...

I have to laugh, because so MANY MANY times I've heard Alex Jones denigrated, hooted at and dismissed as a lunatic, when in actual FACT the man has really been onto something BIG for a long time.

I do not visit Prison Planet or Rense regularly -- in fact hardly at all, but whenever some has emailed me an item from those places it has abut it a terrifying aura of CREDIBILiTY.

The prophecies of E.M Forster, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell have come TRUE, and the net of absolute, crushing, ultimately brutal tyrannical power has been getting tighter and tighter all our lives.

Those of us who see it are hooted at by smug, know-it-alls as "lunatics", and told to go put on our "tin foil hats."

I am glad to see, SilverFiddle, you are at last WAKING UP to the THREAT that surrounds us and is drawing closer every day.

In seeking "safety" and "security" we have eve-so-gradually ceded our liberty to despotic OLIGARCHS.

Those people have neatly arranged to have us fight each other in artificial contest between left and right.

It isn't the left wing OR the right wing that must be fought. It's the whole God-damned BIRD which has turned into a monstrous BIRD of PREY poised to attack each and everyone of us.

Those drones are more deadly than the pterodactyls ever were.

"Beware the human heart, it is desperately wicked."

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Are the large tanks on the southern point of Deer Island a liquefied natural gas storage facility?
I do not believe so. I believe they are methane storage.

Methane is produced during the process, stored and used to power the plant.

It's nearly completely self contained and even the Germans have asked to study it.

Natural gas explosion? I live just a few miles from some pretty large tanks. They say that if I'm home when they go I won't know it.

Teresa said...

Federal government regulations run amok...

Ed Bonderenka said...

The opening to Burroughs' The Naked Lunch spoke about the proliferation of laws that guaranteed the citizenry was in constant fear, knowing they were breaking laws they had no knowledge of.

beamish said...

As long as the Attorney General of the United States remains free from prosecution for contempt of Congress and under no threat of arrest by ANY dipshit with a badge, I absolutely refuse to afford any person claiming to be a law enforcement officer respect due a dung beetle.

Silverfiddle said...

FT: I have warm feelings for you, and then you go and backhand compliment me...

I am glad to see, SilverFiddle, you are at last WAKING UP to the THREAT that surrounds us and is drawing closer every day.

And Alex Jones is a lunatic, or a huckster, take your choice.

Ducky's here said...


FreeThinke said...


What you have said in this post is corroborates the message the people you still want to dismiss have been trying for years to get across.

We LIVE in de facto OLIGARCHY -- under the reign of DESPOTS who could -- and WOULD -- CRUSH anyone who got in their way with impunity.

The democratic process is a FARCE.

You've SAID that in this post, and yet you PERSIST in calling those who think like Alex Jones -- and Lew Rockwell -- and Steve Sailer of VDARE -- and others of their kind "lunatics" or "hucksters."

How could you reconcile your inconsistency? You SEE the THREAT. You REPORT on it, then DENY those who've been reporting it LONG before you caught on.

~ FT

Silverfiddle said...

FT: Even crazy people can be right.

And then there are those who take a grain of truth and sensationalize it.

Alex Jones is a huckster. Go look at his hysteria over "meat glue," and the other things he got completely wrong.

I don't know who Steve Sailer is.

I do not like Lew Rockwell. He did a wonderful thing in running the Mises Institute, but he should have stopped there.

LewRockwell.com is a busted sewer pipe.

Ducky's here said...

VDARE is a white supremacist site, Silver.

-FJ said...

...and Marxists.org is a intellectual vanguard supremacist site.