Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Department of Justice

Embarrassing Moments Democrats Prefer to Forget

Just when I think I’m gaining on the bookmobile I’ve been chasing for years (thinking that I’m finally catching up on my history, in other words), along comes someone like John Hawkins who reminds me of how little I know and

Keep Reading…

The Fiscal Cliff: What Really Needs to Be Done

Piggy Bank

(Photo credit: Images_of_Money)

Now that the national elections are history, attention in Washington is firmly focused on the “fiscal cliff”: the day of reckoning created by the congress during the budget ceiling debate in the summer of 2011. When the Super Committee failed in its mandate to create a plan to address the deficits and the national debt, the result was the misnamed Budget Control Act of 2011 which, in current parlance, kicked the can to December 31, 2012. All that act did was to raise the debt limit immediately by $400 billion, thus averting a government shutdown, while allowing further increases in the debt limit without another congressional confrontation with the White House. The tradeoff was the promise of spending cuts in the future.

That future is now.

If nothing is done, and the economy runs off the so-called fiscal cliff, the impact will be a combination of $7 trillion worth of tax increases and spending cuts over the next decade.

There will be automatic spending cuts of $120 billion annually in both defense and non-defense spending, there will be increases in income and capital gains tax rates, the reestablishment of the so-called “death tax” (the estate tax), 27 million households will now be subject to the “wealth tax” under the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), while those enjoying the payroll tax “holiday” will see their Social Security withholding taxes return to the 6.2% rate from the current temporary 4.2% rate. There would be the confluence of another flurry of other tax increases and spending cuts as well, including 27% cuts to Medicare providers and at least four other tax increases imbedded in Obamacare.

According to the Heritage Foundation, the fiscal cliff will cost families making $70,000 a year more than

Keep Reading…

BATFE Empowered to Override the Constitution

Seal of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, T...

Seal of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after it moved to the Department of Justice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Justice Department under Obama is no friend of the Second Amendment. It has just issued, on its own authority, a new rule allowing the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) to help themselves to your guns without a warrant. As Nita Chei, a writer at the Washington Times, explains:

The Obama administration is making it easier for bureaucrats to take away guns without offering the accused any realistic due  process. In a final rule published last week, the Justice  Department granted the Bureau  of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)  authority to “seize and administratively forfeit property involved in  controlled-substance abuses.” That means government can grab firearms and other  property from someone who has never been convicted or even charged with any  crime.

What this does is dispense altogether with the need for a search warrant as required under the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Under the rule, the items to be seized are

Keep Reading…

Planning for Military Action Against the Tea Party

U.S. Army soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Divisi...

U.S. Army soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division wearing ACH helmets in the M81 Woodland pattern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kevin Benson, a retired U.S. Army colonel with a strong background in military tactics and a degree from the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) and Jennifer Weber, an associate professor of history at the University of Kansas, have just developed a scenario whereby U.S. military forces quashed a “tea party” insurrection in South Carolina in the year 2016.

The article, appearing in Small Wars Journal and subtitled “Scenario 2016,” purported to question the military’s readiness to put down such an insurrection if it were to occur. By creating the “story” of such an insurrection, the authors were able to suggest how military forces would handle certain legal restrictions, limitations, and the media. Their conclusion was that, given the state of technology and the likelihood of such action generating public outcry and additional civilian resistance, the operation to put down the insurrection would be challenging but, in the end, successful.

The warning to those inclined to use force against the federal government was clear: 

Keep Reading…

Bureaucrats 1, Gibson Guitar 0

Gibson Guitar: Comments on Department of Justice Settlement

CEO Henry Juszkiewicz commented, “We felt compelled to settle as the costs of proving our case at trial would have cost millions of dollars and taken a very long time to resolve. This allows us to get back to the business of making guitars. An important part of the settlement is that we are getting back the materials seized in a second armed raid on our factories and we have formal acknowledgement that we can continue to source rosewood and ebony fingerboards from India, as we have done for many decades.”

Gibson Guitar Factory

Gibson Guitar Factory (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I read this with a mixture of outrage and disgust. I’ve read a little about the armed thugs that attacked Gibson a couple of years ago. The black shirts descended upon Gibson as if they were planning World War 3. But no, at issue was some paperwork.

Here’s more from Gibson’s CEO:

We feel that Gibson was inappropriately targeted, and a matter that could have been addressed with a simple contact by a caring human being representing the Government.

Instead, the Government used violent and hostile means with the full force of the U.S. Government and several armed law enforcement agencies costing the taxpayer millions of dollars and putting a job-creating U.S. manufacturer at risk and at a competitive disadvantage.

This shows the increasing trend on the part of the Government to criminalize rules and regulations and treat U.S. businesses in the same way drug dealers are treated. This is wrong and it is unfair. I am committed to working hard to correct the inequity that the law allows and ensure there is fairness, due process, and the law is used for its intended purpose of stopping bad guys and stopping the very real deforestation of our planet.

This is how justice is administered in the good ol’ USSA!

America is a Totalitarian Country

John Stossel: America, the Law-Crazed

Then there’s the so-called war on drugs—a war on people, actually. Lots of politicians admit that they used drugs in their youth—even presidents. Barack Obama wrote in his memoir, “Dreams From My Father“: “Pot had helped…; maybe a little blow (cocaine) when you could afford it.”

And, yet in office, these same politicians preside over an injustice system that jails a million Americans for doing what they did. Don’t they see the hypocrisy? Give me a break.

English: Joseph Stalin after 1943 in military ...

Joseph Stalin after 1943 in military uniform with shoulder marks of the Marshal of the Soviet Union. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The president used cocaine? I didn’t know that! He admitted it in his memoirs (allegedly written by his good communist friend Bill Ayers). But the president continues to prosecute the war on drugs—it’s a “war on people” as Stossel correctly points out—indicating a measure of hypocrisy that staggers even me.

Stossel’s point is elsewhere: we are drowning in a sea of regulations. See the book “Three Felonies a Day” by Harvey Silverglate, where, according to one of the book’s reviewers,

He shows how the Department of Justice has led a steady march to expand their reach into the lives of ordinary Americans. The result? [A] panoply of laws giving them the right to prosecute just about anyone for anything at will.

Stossel compares American to China and Russia:

China locks up 121 out of every 100,000 people; Russia 511. In America? 730!

Stossel quotes Lavrentiy Beria, head of Joseph Stalin’s secret police in the old communist Soviet Union: “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.” Beria:

could always find some law the targeted person had broken. That’s easy to do when there are tons of vague laws on the books. Stalin “legally” executed nearly a million people that way.

Stossel’s point is well taken, and I agree: we’re living in a totalitarian country. One measure is the degree of hypocrisy exercised by our leaders by breaking laws themselves that they are enforcing on others.

The DoJ Wants to Track Your Smartphone Without a Warrant

Artist's impression of a GPS-IIRM satellite in...

In its relentless never-ending quest for more power to track and follow American citizens through their smartphones, the Department of Justice (DoJ) requested last week that Congress give them easier access to location data stored by cellphone service providers.

Jason Weinstein, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s criminal division, argued that requiring a search warrant to gain such access would “cripple” his department’s efforts to investigate crime and criminals. Said Weinstein,

There is really no fairness and no justice when the law applies differently to different people depending on which courthouse you’re sitting in.

For that reason alone, we think Congress should clarify the legal standard.

In other words, because the laws protecting privacy vary somewhat depending upon where an individual citizen lives, Congress should come along and override them all and provide a federal, looser standard, all in the name of security.

The increasing sophistication of cellphone and communications technology in general allows service providers to track virtually every movement of an individual, day or night, at home or work, in a bar or on a golf course. Malte Spitz, a German politician and privacy advocate, obtained his own

Keep Reading…

Big Losses for Taxpayers as Another Green Company Turns Rotten

High Voltage Power lit by dawn light, with a r...

Beacon Power, the beneficiary of the endless flow of taxpayer guarantees emanating from the Department of Energy, went into bankruptcy in just over two years, leaving lawyers from the Justice Department crying foul.

On the surface the idea of developing flywheel energy storage capacity for utilities that would kick in during peak load periods and then recharge during slack times appeared to have merit. In fact, Beacon Power had invested more than $200 million in the technology since 1997, mostly from banks and private investors. But when Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), it became a rich source of funding with loan guarantees backed by the U.S. government and Beacon was one of the first to apply for some. In July of that year, Beacon received $43 million in guarantees to help fund construction of a 20 megawatt flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York.

It took just 28 months for Beacon to burn through its government-guaranteed loans and declare bankruptcy. Said Beacon’s CEO William Capp in October of 2011: “The current economic and political climate, the financing terms mandated by DOE [the Department of Energy], and Beacon’s recent delisting notice from Nasdaq [resulting from its share price dropping from $25 a share in late 2007 to under a dollar in 2011] have together severely restricted Beacon’s access to

Keep Reading…

Allen Stanford’s Ponzi Scheme a Study on Regulatory Capture

Allen Stanford, former chairman of the Stanford Financial Group of Companies, was convicted on Tuesday on 13 counts of fraud, conspiracy, obstructing justice, violating U.S. securities laws—for operating a Ponzi scheme. Sentencing is scheduled for June, which could result in Stanford remaining behind bars for at least another 20 years.

The scheme, valued at $7 billion at its zenith, has only $300 million in various accounts. Another jury has just ruled these accounts may be seized for potential customer restitution.

The Ponzi scheme was elegantly simple. Stanford’s offshore bank in the British overseas territoryof Montserrat was closed down for “irregularities” in the mid-1980s so he moved it to Antig

English: Sailing in Antigua Deutsch: Segeln au...

ua where he ingratiated himself, using investors’ money, with the local government by lending it millions of dollars and building government administration offices and a hospital. Meanwhile his investors were fooled into thinking they were buying ultra-safe Certificates of Deposit paying above-market rates of interest. His influence went way beyond the local government, however, with regular, sometimes daily, flights of U.S. Senators and Congressmen coming to Antigua to partake of Stanford’s generosity and enjoy his lavish parties. As Mikeda Mikel, the owner of a private jet company in Antigua explained: “They were partying on yachts in an exclusive resort, and when you have US politicians supporting a man like Mr. Stanford on an island as small as Antigua…if you had any doubts before [about his honesty] they go out the window. America has sanctioned him [therefore] he’s good to go.”

By investing in regulatory “protection,” Stanford was able to live for years on his investors’ capital without being disturbed by annoying questions into how he could pay such generous dividends to his clients. As Gaston Browne, chairman of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP), which was in power during Sanford’s heyday, said: 

Keep Reading…

Courts and Dept of Justice Agree: Videotaping Police is OK

March 3, 1991: Rodney King being beaten by LAP...

Ken Paulsen, president and CEO of the First Amendment Centerwrote in USA Today that “just as police officers use technology to watch citizens, including patrol car cameras, traffic light cameras and radar to track speeding, the public [also] has a right to monitor the work of officers on the public payroll.”

Perhaps the most memorable and life-altering event in the history of citizens recording police behavior was that moment on the evening of March 3, 1991, when George Halliday, using his Sony video recorder, taped the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles. By the time the dust had settled, two of the four officers charged in the beating were found guilty, 53 people were dead, 2,383 people were injured, more than 7,000 fires had been set, 3,100 business establishments had been damaged or destroyed, $1 billion in losses had been sustained, and police behavior was permanently altered.

As Joel Rubin noted in his article commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King incident in the Los Angeles Times

Keep Reading…

Arrogant ATF Makes Up Rules As It Goes Along

ATF inspector at a federally licensed gun dealer

Robert E. Sanders, a former ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) official for 24 years and now a board member of the National Rifle Association, complained that the ATF’s practice of issuing “private letter rulings” on what constitutes a “weapon” are not only confusing but often arbitrary and even contradictory.

The main reason is that the regulations under which the ATF operates aren’t defined and therefore are subject to interpretation and modification:

It is hard to tell what ATF wants you do to without submitting your product and asking for a letter ruling. You can’t tell what the agency has said in the past to others, because those letter rulings are generally secret. How could somebody know how to comply with the law?

Len Savage, the owner of Historic Arms in Georgia, found out the hard way about the ATF’s capriciousness, and it cost him $500,000. Savage is a firearms designer and manufacturer and was told by the ATF in July 2005 that he could convert machine guns legally owned by collectors into belt-fed weapons. After investing in the tools and machinery to make the conversions, he received another letter from the ATF in April 2006 saying that “upon reconsideration” it was rescinding its previous approval. Savage said the ATF “follows no rhyme or reason” calling it “enforcement by ambush.”

The ATF said it was just following the rules in its National Firearms Act Handbook, to wit: “classifications are subject to change if later determined to be erroneous or impacted by subsequent changes in the law or regulations.” Since those regulations are written by the ATF, their explanation is

Keep Reading…

Physician Sentenced to 20 Years for Medicare Fraud

The Department of Justice building in Washingt...

Image via Wikipedia

The case brought by the Department of Justice against Dr. Rene de los Rios of Miami, Florida, succeeded not only in sending the physician to jail for 20 years for systematically defrauding Medicare, but also in exposing the dark underside of the entire Medicare system itself. The sentence meted out by U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard was the second most severe sentence handed out to any doctor in South Florida, known as the “epicenter” of Medicare fraud. The dubious honor of the most severe sentence is held by

Keep Reading…

Speculators and High Oil Prices Explained

Super Contrails as the 767 flies through cloud...

Super Contrails as the 767 flies through cloud… (Photo credit: AvgeekJoe)

Last Thursday, speaking in Reno, Nevada, President Obama announced that the Department of Justice was going to examine the role of “traders and speculators in the gasoline and oil markets,” and how they contribute to high gas prices.

The Attorney General [is] putting together a team whose job it is to root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices, and that includes the role of traders and speculators. We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of American consumers for their own short-term gain.

What do speculators do? Here is a cogent explanation by Victor Niederhoffer, a well-known speculator and author of The Education of a Speculator:

Keep Reading…

Wiretapping Your Emails

privacy

Image by alancleaver_2000 via Flickr

As communications technology has raced ahead of government attempts to tame it, in the name of law enforcement, the Obama administration, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the National Security Agency and other government agencies have been meeting for months to come up with regulations that would allow broadening government powers to intercept, read, and analyze Internet messages, and then prosecute perceived violations of law. Arguments by proponents of further incursions into citizens’ privacy initially sound reasonable: new technology, and private citizens’ use of the Internet for private communications, have exceeded government’s ability to keep up, and consequently its ability to monitor, track and follow people is “going dark,” unless something is done.

Keep Reading…

The Impeachment of Judge Porteous

The Seal of the United States Federal Bureau o...

Image via Wikipedia

The impeachment of Judge G. Thomas Porteous of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana appeared initially to be an “open and shut” case of bad behavior, with the House of Representatives voting unanimously on four articles of impeachment.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Task Force on Judicial Impeachmentseemed to think so: “Our investigation found that Judge Porteous participated in a pattern of corrupt conduct for years. Litigants have the right to expect a judge hearing their case will be fair and impartial, and avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Regrettably, no one can have that expectation in Judge Porteous’ courtroom.”

Keep Reading…

Cell Phones, Big Brother and the 4th Amendment

Cell Phone

Image by JonJon2k8 via Flickr

The Obama Justice Department is appealing a lower court decision that requires it to provide “probable cause” before it can track cellphone users. The DOJ wants instead to operate under a lower standard for tracking cellphone users, based on a reasonable belief that such information is “relevant to a…criminal investigation.”

Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan wrote: “Where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, intrusion on that right by the Government for investigatory purposes requires that the Government obtain a warrant by demonstrating to the Court that it has probable cause, i.e., that it make a showing of a fair probability of evidence of criminal activity.”

Police have been tapping into the locations of cellphones thousands of times a year.

Keep Reading…

Frank Luntz Filters Gun Owners

Frank Luntz

In Monday’s editorial, the New York Times reported the results of a Frank Luntz poll indicating that NRA members are much softer on key issues than the National Rifle Association itself.

Unfortunately, the editorial was rife with filters in the form of hot labels and emotionally-laden words and phrases that immediately impugned the validity of the results of the study.

Keep Reading…

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann