—“The first fire set by the Hammonds, which Steven Hammond said was intended to eliminate invasive species on their property, ended up consuming 139 acres of federal land. The second fire, which was aimed at protecting the Hammonds’ winter feed from a wildfire sparked by lightning, burned about an acre of public land. Although the Hammonds did not seek the required government permission for either burn, the damage to federal land seems to have been unintentional. In 2012 they were nevertheless convicted under 18 USC 844(f)(1), which prescribes a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for anyone who “maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive,” any federal property.
Viewing that penalty as clearly unjust given the facts of the case, U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan instead imposed a three-month sentence on Dwight Hammond, who was convicted of one count, and two concurrent one-year sentences on Steven Hammond, who was convicted of two counts. Those terms were within the ranges recommended by federal sentencing guidelines that would have applied but for the statutory minimum, which Hogan rejected as inconsistent with the Eighth Amendment. Last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, responding to a government appeal, disagreed with Hogan, saying he had no choice but to impose five-year sentences on both men, since “a minimum sentence mandated by statute is not a suggestion that courts have discretion to disregard.” That is why the Hammonds, who had already completed their original sentences, were ordered back to federal prison, the development that led to Saturday’s protest.”—
Patrick Barron: Notice the so-called logic: Refugees from Syria “threaten” Jordan, so the US sends warplanes. What are the F-16s going to do, strafe the “threatening” refugees? Then the US “must” create a no-fly zone that extends up to twenty-five miles into Syria in order to protect our F-16s. Plus we’ll keep Patriot Missiles there, just in case the Syrians object to a foreign power controlling its airspace and decide to remove the threat. We are manufacturing another US war, probably not with the Syrians but with their Russian patrons. Are you ready for this?
Of course, there is no Congressional declaration of war, because that would force the government to confront the difficult issue of explaining how we are threatened and by whom. All Middle Eastern governments are threatened by their own people, and there is nothing that we can or should do about it.
I hate these soulless propagandists like Ari Fleischer trying to spin this into normalcy.
Martial Law in Boston Did Not Catch the Suspect
Look at these chilling photos of a major American city under total martial law. The local police force and investigative units have switched over to military assault vehicles on the streets, robo-cop science-fiction soldiers plugged in to all manner of spooky devices looking like the Borg and screaming orders like “if you want to live, turn off your cell phones.”
We read the shocking full story in the Washington Post today. Perhaps some of us are too naive, but this still seems unreal in the United States:
“By order of the state, a public transit system that serves more than 1.3 million riders a day was padlocked. Amtrak trains were suspended between Boston and New York. Businesses, offices and some of the world’s greatest universities were shut. Taxis were ordered off the streets for part of the day. Residents were instructed to stay inside.”
As does this:
“An indication of the complex investigation ahead came Friday night, when an Obama administration official told NBC News that Tsarnaev would not be given a Miranda warning when he is physically able to be interrogated after receiving medical treatment.
“Instead, the official said, the government will invoke a legal rule known as the ‘public safety exception,’ which will enable investigators to question Tsarnaev without first advising him of his right to remain silent and to be afforded legal counsel.”
But this is what strikes one the most, pondering all of the above: the police state did not catch the suspect. The borg did not catch the suspect. Martial law did not catch the suspect. People forced to stay in their homes did not catch the suspect. Warrantless searches did not catch the suspect. (Read more)
The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t believe it needs a search warrant to read your e-mail.
Newly disclosed documents prepared by IRS lawyers say that Americans enjoy “generally no privacy” in their e-mail, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and similar online communications — meaning that they can be perused without obtaining a search warrant signed by a judge.
That places the IRS at odds with a growing sentiment among many judges and legislators who believe that Americans’ e-mail messages should be protected from warrantless search and seizure. They say e-mail should be protected by the same Fourth Amendment privacy standards that require search warrants for hard drives in someone’s home, or a physical letter in a filing cabinet. (Read more)
The anti-Rand Pauls, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, took to the Senate floor this morning to defend killing American citizens at presidential discretion. Graham is doing so live on C-SPAN2 right now, saying that everything you do is a danger to America no matter who or where you are, as long as the U.S. government has decided you have “joined al-Queda,” whatever the hell that means. (Read more)
Sen. Rand Paul took to the floor of the U.S. Senate just before noon Wednesday and vowed to stay there “at length” in order to filibuster John O. Brennan, whom President Obama has nominated to be the next CIA director.
The Kentucky Republican said he will hold up the nomination until he gets more information about the U.S. drone execution program, which has become a major sore point for many lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“I will speak today until the president responds and says, ‘No, we won’t kill Americans in cafes. No, we won’t kill you at home at night,’” Mr. Paul said early on in the filibuster, that began at 11:47 and showed no signs of slowing more than four hours later.
Five hours into the filibuster, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came to the floor to try to end it. He asked if Mr. Paul would agree to limit himself to another half-hour of remarks, and then the chamber would vote on the Brennan nomination — which likely has majority support.
Mr. Paul said he would be glad to end his filibuster immediately, but only if the administration would promise not to make Americans in the U.S. the subject of targeted killings.
Mr. Reid said he wasn’t in a position to speak for the administration and stalked off the floor.
“We’re through for the night,” he said, releasing senators who had stuck around thinking they might still vote on the Brennan nomination.
Speaking from his corner desk Mr. Paul, in red tie and gray suit and with a glass of ice water — within reach but rarely touched — spoke about political history and the origins of key constitutional precepts.
Headline from the left:
The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery
Earlier this week President Obama met with law enforcement from around the nation to talk about stricter gun control laws.
The hope is that with the backing of law enforcement, Congress will push through new laws the President has been calling for.
But what about law enforcement not behind the President’s plan? There is a growing movement of county sheriffs saying they will not enforce any federal law that violates the Second Amendment. (Read more)