Awesome Judge in running for judge of the year, perhaps decade.

You have read about the Hon. Judge Richard Leon here http://news.yahoo.com/judge-issued-nsa-ruling-often-bucks-executive-181916276–politics.html.

He is the judge who said essentially the NSA has no clothes.  That their spying program violates the very foundation of our country’s values.  Yeah, he’s that guy.

You should understand that’s it’s hard for a judge to get to that level and take any kind of stand for justice.  By the time you arrive there you have been taught that up is down, left is right and following precedent is the order of the day, even if precedent is stupid and misguided.

After decades of judges handing down opinions based on their knowledge, and that knowledge coming from people who were hand picked to be out of touch with the rest of us, it is easy to see how we have come so far and have gotten lost so deeply.

If you look at the pathway to becoming a federal judge, it is hard to imagine anyone with any common sense making it there at all.  Let’s take a stroll down the judge selection process.

It’s literally starts in kindergarten.  Little Johnny or Tammy is noticed as being bright.  Being bright consists of two things, he or she can spell PURPLE, and they seem to listen when the teacher talks … which is totally important to the teacher.

With these gifts, the child is told that they are special all the way through elementary school.  When they get to high school they take Advanced Placement classes, because someone that bright should take those kinds of classes.

Spoiler Alert:  Possible diversion ahead.  If in high school Johnny or Tammy manage to pull their nose out of a book for a moment or two and get a friend or two they might have a girl or boyfriend (those should be of the opposite sex), but in that relationship they must not get in any of the makeup/breakup shenanigans that we normal people like to call stalking, domestic battery, etc.  Nor should they share any drugs with other students … because that could snatch them off of the federal judge track, unless of course their parents hire a lawyer and fix that.

After being praised in high school for not beating up their boy/girl friend in public and not doing drugs, it’s off to college to show em’ what you got.  It helps if you ace college, because you will need that little pick me up for law school.  And what I mean by that is that there will need to be some reason for you to be selected for editor of the law journal, and after law school for you to be selected as clerk for an appellate judge.

In the alternative you could also go work as a assistant attorney general.  Either way you have to build the resume so that you can get noticed and appointed by the President.  Note:  you are selected by the President, but you are unselected by the Senate for any dirt they can dig up on you, so you have to keep those DUIs and Domestic Battery records to a minimum.

So as you can appreciate, you finally get to be judge by avoiding life in general.  Sure you can have a wacky hobby like origami or playing the accordion, which further demonstrates how out of touch you are.

Because you have essentially made it there by avoiding things, you can imagine that your not much of a boat rocker.  So when a guy comes along and tells the government which way is up he is pretty rare, given the way we select them.

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the courthouse in Woodstock, IL.

The ATF can use the mentally ill to do whatever the hell it wants, I guess. Do you care?

Back in October I was rather incensed at the idea that police would befriend and use a friendless, autistic kid to buy pot.  Of course, the autistic kid was arrested at his school in dramatic fashion.  He had to be arrested- you’re not allowed to let undercover cops talk you into buying pot… even if you are developmentally disadvantaged (and if you’re doing it because you think you’ve finally made a friend).

Naturally, I was ecstatic to read that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is doing something similar.  In a story published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week, we learned the story of Aaron Key:

Aaron Key wasn’t sure he wanted a tattoo on his neck. Especially one of a giant squid smoking a joint.
But the guys running Squid’s Smoke Shop in Portland, Ore., convinced him: It would be a perfect way to promote their store.
They would even pay him and a friend $150 a piece if they agreed to turn their bodies into walking billboards.
Key, who is mentally disabled, was swayed.
He and his friend, Marquis Glover, liked Squid’s. It was their hangout. The 19-year-olds spent many afternoons there playing Xbox and chatting with the owner, “Squid,” and the store clerks.
So they took the money and got the ink etched on their necks, tentacles creeping down to their collar bones.
It would be months before the young men learned the whole thing was a setup. The guys running Squid’s were actually undercover ATF agents conducting a sting to get guns away from criminals and drugs off the street.
The tattoos had been sponsored by the U.S. government; advertisements for a fake storefront.
The teens found out as they were arrested and booked into jail.
(Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/atf-uses-rogue-tactics-in-storefront-stings-across-the-nation-b99158607z1-234920791.html#ixzz2n0174Lk4
Follow us: @JournalSentinel on Twitter)

The ATF’s use of the mentally disadvantaged in its operations is especially troublesome.  Not just because the meek are the ones we should be looking out for. Mostly because the ATF very well may have been screwing up similar operations around the country.

Back in January the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms completely mishandled an attempt to clean up the streets of Milwaukee.  Our friends at the ATF set up a clothing/shoe/jewelry/smoke shop staffed with ATF agents in a attempt to infiltrate the city’s criminal underside.  The plan was to buy drugs and guns from felons to get all the guns and drugs that felons are selling to others off the street.  It was a great plan. It couldn’t possibly go wrong.

Until it did.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel broke the story of just what a failure it was.  It all started to unravel when some of the felons- presumably the types of guys the ATF was trying to bust- broke into the store and stole all of the ATF’s merchandise.  From there, it just got worse:

[I]t resulted in a string of mistakes and failures, including an ATF military-style machine gun landing on the streets of Milwaukee and the agency having $35,000 in merchandise stolen from its store…
***
When the 10-month operation was shut down after the burglary, agents and Milwaukee police officers who participated in the sting cleared out the store but left behind a sensitive document that listed names, vehicles and phone numbers of undercover agents.
***
And the agency remains locked in a battle with the building’s owner, who says he is owed about $15,000 because of utility bills, holes in the walls, broken doors and damage from an overflowing toilet.

It’s not like it was a total failure, though. They did get some guns off the street.  That is, if you count the “street” as the display cases at Gander Mountain:

Other cases reveal that the agency’s operation was paying such high prices that some defendants bought guns from stores such as Gander Mountain and sold them to the agents for a quick profit

But, hey, it’s not like they didn’t arrest people:

The sting resulted in charges being filed against about 30 people, most for low-level drug sales and gun possession counts. But agents had the wrong person in at least three cases. In one, they charged a man who was in prison – as a result of an earlier ATF case – at the time agents said he was selling drugs to them.

A funny thing happened after the Journal Sentinel broke this story.  It kept looking into ATF operations.  That is how we’ve learned of the agency’s use of Mr. Key for its benefit.  That’s only the start, too:

■ Agents in several cities opened undercover gun and drug buying operations in safe zones near churches and schools, allowed juveniles to come in and play video games and teens to smoke marijuana, and provided alcohol to underage youths. In Portland, attorneys for three teens who were charged said a female agent dressed provocatively, flirted with the boys and encouraged them to bring drugs and weapons to the store to sell.
As they did in Milwaukee, agents in other cities offered sky-high prices for guns, leading suspects to buy firearms at stores and turn around and sell them to undercover agents for a quick profit. In other stings, agents ran fake pawnshops and readily bought stolen items, such as electronics and bikes — no questions asked — spurring burglaries and theft. In Atlanta, agents bought guns that had been stolen just hours earlier, several ripped off from police cars.
■ Agents damaged buildings they rented for their operations, tearing out walls and rewiring electricity — then stuck landlords with the repair bills. A property owner in Portland said agents removed a parking lot spotlight,damaging her new $30,000 roof and causing leaks, before they shut down the operation and disappeared without a way for her to contact them.
■ Agents pressed suspects for specific firearms that could fetch tougher penalties in court. They allowed felons to walk out of the stores armed with guns. In Wichita, agents suggested a felon take a shotgun, saw it off and bring it back — and provided instructions on how to do it. The sawed-off gun allowed them to charge the man with a more serious crime.
■ In Pensacola, the ATF hired a felon to run its pawnshop. The move widened the pool of potential targets, boosting arrest numbers.Even those trying to sell guns legally could be charged if they knowingly sold to a felon. The ATF’s pawnshop partner was later convicted of pointing a loaded gun at someone outside a bar. Instead of a stiff sentence typically handed down to repeat offenders in federal court, he got six months in jail — and a pat on the back from the prosecutor.

I can’t help but wonder how this sort of stuff keeps happening.  It would seem that taxpayer money might be better spent on… just about anything.  Either the general public doesn’t know or doesn’t care.  I’m guessing it’s the latter.

I challenge the NSA to a best-of-seven in NHL 2013

There is nowhere terrorists can’t hide these days.  From right out in the open in Pakistan, to a college dorm in Boston.  It’s crazy.  Thankfully, the NSA knows this.  So, the NSA is looking everywhere. EVERYWHERE.  No stone shall go un-turned in the name of keeping you safe.

Even if it’s in the Kindom of Hyrule, apparently:

The NSA is spying on people playing World of Warcraft. Don’t you feel safer?  If only they’d have been spying on people playing video games prior to 9/11/01, I’m sure they could have prevented that tragedy.  I hear that terrorists love a good game of Donkey Kong.

Does the NSA really have so much time and money that World of Warcraft makes the list of worthwhile things to spy on?  Apparently they do.

You NSA guys want to play me in NHL 2013? I’m not very good, but apparently you know that already.

 

Cops need to be armed with peanut butter and frisbees.

You know by now that both Law Dude and I have a soft spot for dogs.  Ray’s dog picture is occasionally one of the highest viewed posts on this sorry, pathetic excuse for a web page.  My post about dog searches (which features a video of my puppy, “Bacon”) still gets a steady stream of traffic.

So this recent story about the police killing a dog after responding to a complaint for barking strikes a nerve:

I know you just watched that and you’re thinking to yourself, “Yeah… but Matt, they had to kill the dog. It was coming right for them!”  Yes. I’m sure it was.

But, lets put the sarcasm aside for a moment and pretend the dog did, in fact, come at them with the intent to chew their faces off.  The fact is that that was the end of the incident, not the beginning. The story makes it sound like the police tried to catch the dog for hours. Hours.  That, of course, is after the old man tried to get it in the house but the police surrounded it.

I’m not surprised a dog surrounded by strange men with guns got defensive rather than turned to go inside– that is, if it was even being defensive and not playful.

You can chase my dog for hours and not catch her. She’s fast. Once she knows you’re chasing, she thinks it’s a game.  Then you’re never going to catch her.

Want to get her to come close? Ignore her.  Walk away.  Stop chasing.  If she’s being playful she’ll usually swoop within grabbing distance.  You can also try such advanced techniques as throwing a frisbee, or stuffing a bone with peanut butter.  Either one can be used to get her to come really close.

In the hours the cops chased after this dog, do you think they ever tried that?  In the hours that dog was running loose before it presumably attacked them, I’d be interested in knowing exactly what they did. I’m betting the Dog Whisperer doesn’t need hours to catch a loose dog.

As a cranky taxpayer you don’t care, right? Somebody’s dog was being a pain in the ass and the cops killed it. No big deal, right?

Maybe.  If catching dogs is part of police officer’s responsibility then maybe they should be trained on how to do it without turning the neighborhood into a live target range.  If they’re not going to be trained how to do it correctly, then maybe they shouldn’t respond to such trivial matters as barking dogs.

The reality is that this dog is dead for the same reason that Robert Edward Saylor and the crabby old man with the cane are dead– because taxpayers want the cops to do a million things but don’t want to train them how to do a million things correctly.  While police techniques have advanced with the modern age, the theory behind police training is still stuck in the 50’s- and that’s that control and force are the safest, quickest ways to handle just about any situation.

I’m waiting for the day when the police academies have less force and control, and more patience, peanut butter and frisbees.  It’s just a shame that, when it happens, it will be too late for Robert Edward Saylor, and this little pooch.

The only Consitutional Officer in the Courtroom: The Criminal Defense Attorney

Continue reading “The only Consitutional Officer in the Courtroom: The Criminal Defense Attorney”

Roadside Body Cavity Search

A friend suggested that I post about this video:

 

 

This frame shows exactly what you think it shows.

 

Of course, after watching the video I really wanted to say, “I told you so,” but if I did that I would always be saying “I told you so.” When you start with the premise: Relax, Law Dude, the police are just trying to do their job, where you are going to end up is a ‘roadside body cavity search.’

There is a reason that we shouldn’t give “ultimate power” to judges or the police.  We should have rules that make them think twice about doing something outside of the norm (and I am assuming that most of you, but not all, would find a female officer placing her fingers in some driver’s vagina to be “something outside of the norm).

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the courthouse in Woodstock, IL.

 

P.S. Does the fact we gave this a name:  “Roadside Body Cavity Search” make this seem more normal to you?