Saturday, May 30, 2015

Jury Sends Message to Cops, Go Find REAL CRIMINALS, Acquits Man on Felony Pot Charges


Clark County, NV — In an emotional courtroom display Friday, Steven Ficano, 65, embraced his attorney and his wife after the jury read their verdict of “not guilty.”
In 2012, Ficano’s house was raided by heroes protecting the citizens of Nevada from the horrors of marijuana plants. For the next three years, Ficano anxiously lived his life thinking that he could live out the rest of his golden years in a cage for the “crime” of treating his pain with a plant.
However, the three years that passed since his arrest were undoubtedly a benefit for Ficano in this case. The leaps and bounds that have taken place in regards to America’s acceptance of marijuana legalization had a lot to do with the jury’s verdict.
Since he was arrested, Nevada has legalized pot dispensaries.
“We’re not used to treating it as a medicine,” Ficano’s attorney, Dustin Marcello said. “Well, those days are over.”
The irony here is that if Ficano had gotten prescriptions for opioids and wasted away on these highly addictive pain-blockers, the state would have been just fine with it. However, since he chose to use a natural remedy without the horrid side-effects of nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence, tolerance, respiratory depression and death, he was persecuted.

Ficano was found by police to be growing plants at his house for his personal consumption to treat a back injury. The state’s case against him consisted of saying he had too much pot, and they suspected him of selling it.
According to the Nevada Review-Journal:

In closing arguments, prosecutor Lindsey Moors lifted three cardboard boxes packed with marijuana that police confiscated from Ficano. She dropped each box, one-by-one, in front of the jury box.
Moors argued that several signs pointed to Ficano’s intent to sell pot. He had 68 plants, 24 pounds of finished marijuana, a digital scale, more than $51,000 in cash, 26 guns and “not a single pot baked-good located in his home.”
However, the jury was able to see past the attempt to demonize a man who had caused no harm to anyone. Not that having guns and large quantities of marijuana is immoral in any way, but the prosecution’s attempt to sway the jurors into believing Ficano was a criminal for having these things, failed miserably.

Read more @

'Covering Guns': Columbia University's 'workshop' for journalists far from objective

Columbia University would never sponsor an event funded by the National Rifle Association. What’s more, the idea would seem especially outlandish if most of the speakers at the event were NRA supporters.
Yet, gun control advocate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his gun control group Everytown are now funding a two-day workshop in Phoenix on Friday and Saturday sponsored by Columbia University’s Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The event will bring together journalists from around the country to learn about “covering guns and gun violence.”
Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center, claims that there is “no party line” and calls the workshop “very balanced.”
But gun control advocates make up 15 of the panel’s 17 experts.  Aren’t journalism schools supposed to teach journalists to present both sides of a story? Why doesn't Columbia feature other speakers who argue that people should be able to defend themselves with guns?

 olumbia’s Dart Center treats Bloomberg and his various anti-gun groups as simply providing objective news.
Only two law enforcement officers will be making presentations: Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik of Pima County, Arizona, and Tucson police chief Roberto A. Villaseñor.  Both are proponents of stricter gun control.  Dupnik, a liberal Democrat, has long attacked Arizona’s concealed handgun laws for being too lax and let people carry in too many places. Villaseñor has been a strong outspoken supporter of President Obama’s gun control proposals.
These law enforcement officers represent a minority view.  A 2013 nationwide survey of PoliceOne’s 450,000 members found that 91% of law enforcement support concealed carry laws.  Eighty percent believe that a concealed carry permit holder could have reduced casualties from such recent tragedies as Newtown and Aurora.  Ninety-two percent think that Obama’s proposed assault weapon ban would either increase or have no effect on violent crime.
Columbia University could easily have found law enforcement officials with an alternative viewpoint.
All five academic researchers also happen to be proponents of more gun control.  Roseanna Ander argues that Obama’s proposals are “really important and promising.”  Philip Cook maintains that the previous assault weapons ban just didn’t go far enough.  Jim MacMillan claims the solution is simple: “Fewer guns would equal fewer deaths.”  Garen Wintemute considers Obama’s proposed assault weapons ban to be a “great idea” and states that “Gun policy in the US . . . reflects the priorities of a radical fringe of gun owners.”  And Jill Messing advocates stricter gun control as a means of reducing domestic violence.
But the academic research points in exactly the opposite direction.  Published academic research by criminologists and economists consistently finds that assault weapons bans have not reduced crime.
Last fall, the Crime Prevention Research Center, where I serve as president, conducted a survey of economists who have published refereed empirical journal articles on firearms, with 88% of those from North America saying that guns are used more often in self-defense than in crime and 91% saying that gun-free zones attract criminals.  But Columbia managed not to enlist a single researcher who is skeptical of gun control.
Just two speakers actually support gun ownership, but conservative commentator S.E. Cupp has no particular expertise on the issue.  And conservative lawyer David Kopel will speak only about the history of the Second Amendment.
Unfortunately, Columbia’s Dart center treats Bloomberg and his various anti-gun groups as simply providing objective news.  Their posts announcing the workshop uncritically repeat claims made by Bloomberg.  Among these falsehoods is a gross exaggeration of the number of people who are murdered with guns. “Nearly 12,000 murdered with guns each year,” parrots Columbia. In fact, the FBI reports that the number of murder victims has stayed below 9,000 since 2010.
Similarly, the claim that the U.S. has a firearm murder “rate 20 times higher than other developed countries” is absurd with several developed countries having much higher firearm murder rates that the U.S. (Brazil, Mexico, and Russia).
Columbia also relies on Bloomberg for the claim that “nearly 100 school shootings have occurred since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary only two years ago.”  Even liberal-leaning PolitiFact described this claim as “mostly false,” as Bloomberg’s number is five times larger than the actual number.  CNN and Fox have also disputed the Bloomberg claim.
Michael Bloomberg is spending over $50 million a year on his anti-gun message and it is overwhelming the gun debate.  On television ads alone in 2013, he outspent the NRA and all other self-defense groups combined by 6.3 times. And, he’s just announced a new news agency which will start up in June that will focus on anti-gun stories.
For a man worth $36 billion, Bloomberg can afford to cover all the bases to get his message out. But you would think that Columbia would have the gumption to at least use basic journalistic practices of fact checking and teaching journalists to see both sides of an issue when they offer a workshop.

John R. Lott, Jr. is a columnist for He is an economist and was formerly chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission. Lott is also a leading expert on guns and op-eds on that issue are done in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Research Center. He is the author of eight books including "More Guns, Less Crime." His latest book is "Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench" Bascom Hill Publishing Group (September 17, 2013). Follow him on Twitter@johnrlottjr.

Friday, May 29, 2015

ABC News Reporter Arrested After Police Said His Camera Put “Their Lives in Danger


Baton Rouge, LA – WBRZ-TV reporter Brett Buffington was arrested on Thursday morning for attempting to take photos of a crime scene, and then later “mouthing off” to officer on the scene.
Buffington was charged with interfering with an officer and intimidating a public official. The police claim that Buffington “interfered” with a burglary investigation around 2:30 in the early morning on Thursday.
However, according to the police department’s version of events, Buffington was simply doing his job as a journalist and attempting to investigate a crime just as the police allegedly were.
The police report stated that Buffington disobeyed police officers when they asked him to leave the area, but instead took photos. The officers said that the flash from the camera diverted their attention and put “their lives in danger.”
After that Buffington was detained for a period of time, and given a summons to appear in court on a criminal offense and was again told to leave. Buffington did leave this time, however, as he was walking away, he said to the officers, “Hope you enjoy the rest of your career.”
This seemed to damage the officer’s ego so bad that he arrested the journalist.

Read more @

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Illinois hunting: Deer reg changes proposed


Here is the word going out to deer hunters:
To: Illinois Deer Hunters,
Hunters should be aware that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is planning some rule changes prior to the upcoming 2015-2016 deer hunting seasons.
All changes must proceed through the Administrative Rules process which requires a 45-day public comment period, revision, and review by the Illinois General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. If changes are approved, they will be in place prior to the opening of archery deer hunting season on Oct. 1, 2015.
“After listening to constituent groups, and talking with our Office of Law Enforcement, I have decided to push to make these changes this year, and not wait for another hunting season to pass,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal. “To do that, we encourage your input and patience as we work through the administrative rules process. Please take the survey at the link below and let us know what you think about overall bag limits for archery deer hunters. You will be able to comment on all these proposed changes during the 45-day comment period. We will let you know as soon as the proposed rules are filed.”
Proposed changes include:
1. Youth Deer Season permit: IDNR is amending the rule to allow unsuccessful youth deer season hunters to use unfilled permits during the first weekend of the regular firearm season.
2. Bag limit: Below, please find a link to a survey that asks deer hunters their opinion on establishing a bag limit on archery deer hunters. This survey is open to all deer hunters.
3. Non-resident OTC: IDNR intends to eliminate the sale of non-resident Over-the-Counter antlerless-only archery deer permits. Non-residents need to be aware of the intent to make this change and plan accordingly for the upcoming season.
More information, including links to proposed rules and instructions on how to comment, will be forthcoming.
You can find the hunter survey on bag limits here: The survey is open now, and will close on Monday, June 9, 2015.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Obama admin asserts dominion over creeks, streams, wetlands, ditches — even big puddles

President Obama’s administration on Wednesday claimed dominion over all of America’s streams, creeks, rills, ditches, brooks, rivulets, burns, tributaries, criks, wetlands — perhaps even puddles — in a sweeping move to assert unilateral federal authority.
The Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, says it has the authority to control all waterways within the United States — and will exercise that authority.

“We’re finalizing a clean water rule to protect the streams and the wetlands that one in three Americans rely on for drinking water. And we’re doing that without creating any new permitting requirements and maintaining all previous exemptions and exclusions,” EPA head Gina McCarthy told reporters Wednesday.
The moves comes as part of the Clean Water Act and federal officials say they are simply trying to help businesses comply with regulations.
“This rule is about clarification, and in fact, we’re adding exclusions for features like artificial lakes and ponds, water-filled depressions from constructions and grass swales,” McCarthy said. “This rule will make it easier to identify protected waters and will make those protections consistent with the law as well as the latest peer-reviewed science. This rule is based on science.”

The Supreme Court has twice questioned the breadth of powers decreed under the Clean Water Act, prompting Wednesday’s actions.
McCarthy claimed the new powers would “not interfere with private property rights or address land use.”
“It does not regulate any ditches unless they function as tributaries. It does not apply to groundwater or shallow subsurface water, copper tile drains or change policy on irrigation or water transfer.”
Not surprisingly, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, THE top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, loves the plan.
“The Obama administration listened to all perspectives and developed a final rule that will help guarantee safe drinking water supplies for American families and businesses and restore much-needed certainty, consistency, and effectiveness to the Clean Water Act,” she said in a statement.
 House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said:
EPA’s attempt to redefine ‘navigable waterways’ to include every drainage ditch, backyard pond, and puddle is a radical regulatory overreach that threatens to take away the rights of property owners and will lead to costly litigation and lost jobs. The House is committed to fighting back against this radical policy, which is why we passed bipartisan legislation earlier this month to stop the EPA in their tracks from moving forward with this misguided proposal. It’s time for President Obama’s EPA to abandon these radical proposals, all in the name of protecting wetlands and waterways, that instead will only lead to more American jobs being shipped overseas at the expense of the American economy.”


 “Indian Chief “Two Eagles was asked by a white U.S. government official, “You have observed the white mand for 90 years.  You’ve seen his wars and his technological advances.  You’ve seen his progess, and the damage he’s done.”

The Chief nodded in agreement.

The official continued, “Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?”

The Chief stared at the government official then replied,

“When white man find land, Indians running it, not taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water.  Women do all the work, medicine man free, Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing all night having sex.”

Then the Chief leaned back and smiled, “Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Residents Concerned After Screams Of Starving Inmates were Captured on Video

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – Residents that live nearby the Lancaster County Prison have been disturbed by screams coming from the institution in recent weeks. Large numbers of prisoners have been screaming through the windows about how they are hungry and how they are being starved. Some residents have even recorded these occurrences, and a local news crew got it on camera as well.
News crew WGAL sat outside of the prison walls one evening to hear prisoners screaming “We’re hungry!” and “We’re locked down 23 hours a day. They treat us like animals!”
In response to the situation, the prison has made very few comments, saying only that the inmates who are caught screaming out the windows will have their windows shut, and that the inmates are over-reacting and are not actually starving.
However, Jean Bickmire, president of Have a Heart for Persons in the Criminal Justice System says that closing the windows during the summer time could be dangerous for the inmates, “because it’s getting hot, and there isn’t any ventilation.”
According to recent reports, these inmates are being held on lockdown 23 hours per day, without adequate food and water, in a hot and poorly ventilated prison.
On Monday, Commissioner Scott Martin said the prisoners were upset because of smaller meat portions and no cheese on their sandwiches.
“I don’t know why they have expectations of cake and steak in prison. If you don’t like the diet, don’t come to prison,” Martin said.
Martin apparently doesn’t realize that many people are in prison for victimless crimes. Their freedom was taken for them simply trying to self-medicate with a plant.
A comment on the WGAL facebook page by John Sean Walton, sarcastically summed up the unjust nature of this situation.

Been in that prison many times for smoking marijuana. It’s a good thing they taught me a lesson by pulling me from jobs, educational training, ect. I was far too much of a threat with my cannabis use. Thank gawd they locked me up and made me think about my actions instead of being a working and productive citizen. My probation officers were so smart, they knew what was better for my health than me or my doctors. Thank goodness they insisted I use opiate pain meds instead of cannabis after my accident. Thank- you LCP and all the LEO’s and POs for knowing what was best for me and punishing me with a lifetime of fines and treatment for my “problem.” I’m far better off in and out of jail for cannabis than paying taxes.

Bickmire said that her organization will be looking into the conditions at Lancaster County Prison.
Below is the video taken by local residents:

Insane Clown Posse Fans Labeled as “Hate Group” Classified as Criminal Organization by FBI

Montgomery, Ala. – In a move that can only be described as absurd, and which highlights the extreme fear-mongering present in American society, last Friday, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced that extreme fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse, known as ‘Juggalos’, would be added as a recognized hate group in 17 states.
A Juggalo (male) or Juggalette (female) is the label given to fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse, commonly referred to as ICP.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has classified Juggalo’s as a hate group among 17 states including the entire Midwest (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio), along with California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oregon, according to The New York Times.
If you think this sounds like news straight out of the Onion, you’re not alone. But sadly this is not satire.
In fact, as ridiculous as it sounds, the Juggalos were classified by the FBI in 2011 as a criminal organization. ICP sued the FBI regarding the classification but lost the lawsuit. It must be noted that no organized crime specialists we spoke with, relayed to the Free Thought Project the potential threat of Juggalo violence as being a priority in their city.
That is not what the SPLC would have you believe though, as they claim that Juggalos display a gang like mentality similar to the Latin Kings, Bloods, KKK or Hells Angels.
In a laughable display, the Southern Poverty Law Center has published a list of potential indicators of being a Juggalo/Juggalette and has asked citizens to be on the lookout for anyone displaying these characteristics.

Read the rest @

*UPDATE: It has come to our attention that this story, which was based off of what was believed to be a report by The New York Times, was actually a satire piece. The original report was not from the real New York Times, but a lookalike website meant to scam people into believing it was the real thing. We apologize for our error.

I don't know which is worse-the editors for Free Thought Project falling for this shit,or the Insane Clown Posse's "juggalos" and "juggalettes"and anyone else considering  these morons a "hate group"
A guy I used as a laborer sometimes was one of the "juggalos"-had to teach him to read a freakin' tape measure-there's nothing upstairs in any of these idiots-Mark Potok and SPLC are the only ones who could possibly consider these guys a "hate group"-even they didn't bother with this small group of morons-all of which actually believe this FBI/SPLC lists them as a "hate group" horsepucky.

Monday, May 25, 2015

County sheriff has used stingray over 300 times with no warrant San Bernardino Sheriff's Department doesn't tell judges it's using spy device.

The sheriff in San Bernardino County—east of Los Angeles County—has deployed a stingray hundreds of times without a warrant, and under questionable judicial authority.
In response to a public records request, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department (SBSD) sent Ars, among other outlets, a rare example of a template for a "pen register and trap and trace order" application. (In the letter, county lawyers claimed this was a warrant application template, when it clearly is not.) The SBSD is the law enforcement agency for the entire county, the 12th-most populous county in the United States, and the fifth-most populous in California.
Stingrays, or cell-site simulators, can be used to determine location by spoofing a cell tower, but they can also be used to intercept calls and text messages. Once deployed, the devices intercept data from a target phone as well as information from other phones within the vicinity. For years, federal and local law enforcement have tried to keep their existence a secret while simultaneously upgrading their capabilities. Over the last year, as the devices have become scrutinized, new information about the secretive devices has been revealed.
This template application, surprisingly, cites no legal authority on which to base its activities. The SBSD did not respond to Ars’ request for comment.
"This is astonishing because it suggests the absence of legal authorization (because if there were clear legal authorization you can bet the government would be citing it)," Fred Cate, a law professor at Indiana University, told Ars by e-mail.
"Alternatively, it might suggest that the government just doesn’t care about legal authorization. Either interpretation is profoundly troubling," he said.
The documents sent to Ars by the SBSD's county attorneys also show that since acquiring a stingray in late 2012, the agency has used it 303 times between January 1, 2014 and May 7, 2015.
Further, the SBSD, like other departments nationwide, maintains a questionable non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the FBI that indicates that the agency will work with local prosecuting authority to dismiss cases rather than reveal information in court about stingrays. (This has happened in at least some known jurisdictions elsewhere in the country.)
Just last week, the FBI released a statement regarding the use of stingrays, which claims the opposite of what its NDA with local law enforcement actually says. The SBSD also declined to produce policies, guidelines, training materials, nor the specific cases where stingrays were used.
The FBI and the Harris Corporation, the manufacturer of the device, have repeatedly declined to respond to Ars' specific questions.

That old standby, a “pen/trap order”

Detectives typically go to a local judge before they want to deploy the device and file an application for a "pen register and trap and trace order." Those orders are often sealed, even well after the case has concluded, so there is usually little public scrutiny. But, as is the case in most jurisdictions nationwide, this application to the court is not very explicit about what exactly what law enforcement wants to do, nor how exactly it will be carried out. This is precisely the reason why Washington state just signed into law a new warrant requirement for stingray use, which also imposes stringent disclosure and data minimization standards. A similar bill in California is pending in the state legislature.
The template states:
DetectiveName, a Detective for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. hereby applies to the Court for an Order (1) authorizing the use of a PEN register on the telephone lines currently designated by the numbers; Telephone Number (The “Telephone Line”); (2) authorizing the use of a trap-and-trace device on the Telephone Line: and (3) requiring the disclosure of subscriber name and address, whether listed or unlisted. for numbers called by the Telephone Line or numbers calling the Telephone Line. or found during investigation of this case upon oral or written demand of agents of the San Bernardino County Sheriff‘s Department. In support of this application, he states the following:
1) I am a detective for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Departmant and am requesting an Order authorizing the installation and use of a PEN register and a trap-and-trace device. and the disclosure of subscriber information.
2) I certify that the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department is conducting a criminal investigation of Crime in connection with possible violations of Crime Definition. It is believed that the below named persons and other unknowns are using the Telephone Lines in furtherance of the subject offenses and that the information likely to be obtained from the PEN register and the trap-and-trace devices is relevant to the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the above named agency.
AFFIDAVIT "Insert Probable Cause"
In the pre-cellphone era, a "pen register and trap and trace order" allowed law enforcement to obtain someone's calling metadata in near real-time from the telephone company. Now, that same data can also be gathered directly by the cops themselves through the use of a stingray.
Nathan Wessler, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told Ars that this type of language is very unusual.
"The template is likely to mislead judges who receive applications based on it because it gives no indication that the Sheriff’s Department intends to use a stingray," he wrote by e-mail.
"We have seen similarly misleading applications submitted to judges by police departments across the country," he continued. "Judges have no hope of ensuring that use of stingrays complies with the Fourth Amendment if they are kept in the dark about law enforcement’s intent to use a stingray. When police hide the ball from judges, our justice system cannot ensure justice."
Other lawyers concurred.
"On the fact the pen/trap order makes no reference to a stingray or IMSI catcher at all is really troubling because this order reads like any standard pen/trap application which would be given to a cell phone provider," Hanni Fakhoury, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and a former federal public defender, told Ars by e-mail.

Read the rest @

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Another excellent piece of woodworking by Bill

this is preliminary images before sanding or any hand work done to it.
 Base is made from Cherry, and the top is made from Hickory. Again, I am just amazed of the density and raw beauty that hickory has. This will be a two toned stained desk or mantle piece.

Need something from wood, email Bill at

The Fight for Freedom Part 1+2

Part 1

Part 2

Friday, May 22, 2015

Wisconsin Hunters Could Be Forced To Wear Pink In The Woods


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Real men — and women — could wear pink in Wisconsin's woods if a group of lawmakers get their way.
The Legislature's sportsmen's caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators who focus on outdoor issues formed last January, is preparing to unveil a bill next week that would legalize blaze pink for deer hunters. The group has scheduled a news conference Tuesday at the state Capitol to announce the measure.
Republican state Sen. Terry Moulton, one of the caucuses' co-chairmen, wrote in a column published in the Dunn County News that the blaze pink bill is designed to encourage women to become hunters and keep them involved in the sport.
A Moulton aide referred questions about the bill to Rep. Nick Milroy, another co-chairman, but Milroy's aide said he was vacationing and couldn't be reached. Nine female legislators are part of the group, including Democratic state Sen. Janet Bewley. She said she doesn't hunt but her husband does and she believes the bill is a great idea.
"Anything that gets people more excited about getting out in the woods and enjoying hunting is a good thing," she said.
Under current state law, no one can hunt anything except waterfowl during a gun deer season unless at least half of each article of clothing worn above the waist, such as jacket or a hat, is colored blaze orange. Violators face a $10 forfeiture.
According to state Department of Natural Resources data, female hunters made up about 10 percent of the state's gun deer hunters in 2014, 2013 and 2012. They made up about a quarter of hunters between ages 10 and 12 in 2014, however, and comprised 35 percent of new gun deer license buyers last fall.
Jeff Schinkten, president of Whitetails Unlimited, a national nonprofit organization that works to improve deer hunting and deer environments, said he'd never heard of legalizing blaze pink. He said he likes the idea of trying to encourage more women to become hunters but he's worried the color isn't as visible as blaze orange and could lead to shooting accidents.
"I like the idea that we're catering to the women to get them into the sport ... but I'm more about safety than fashion," said Schinkten. "My buddies aren't going to wear any blaze pink, I can tell you that."
Moulton wrote in his column that the caucus met with Majid Sarmadi, a textiles expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He said Sarmadi conducted experiments on blaze pink and blaze orange visibility and concluded that blaze pink clothing is equally visible or more visible to the human eye than blaze orange.
Moulton did not explain Sarmadi's metholodogy in the column. Bewley said Smardi presented the caucus with an analysis he performed that showed the visual wavelengths of blaze pink and blaze orange are similar.
"We are so sure it's safe," Bewley said.
Sarmadi did not immediately return voicemail or email messages. DNR spokesman Bill Cosh declined to comment.

From here...

Wake the Flock Up! How to Talk to Your Friends Who Still Can’t See the Rising of Police State USA


Anyone who is awake to government corruption knows how frustrating it can be sitting at a social gathering while listening to everyone talk about football or Miley Cyrus’ latest twerking ploy.
Of course there is nothing wrong with pro-sports and music stars, they are a product of society and exist because people find joy in them. What is wrong, however, is that many people are consumed by these things. Society becomes distracted from real issues that actually affect their lives and conversations which can lead to positive change become taboo, while the largely controlled and focus group driven pop-culture becomes the norm.
Conversations in bars, restaurants, malls and locker rooms across the continent are all eerily similar. They vary only by their geographical location which delegates the sports teams involved in the discussion.
This denial of relevant conversations has become the norm and even designated by its own idiom, “Never talk about religion or politics.” What this idiom represents is humans refusing to explore our spirituality or question the status quo; mostly out of fear of ridicule or going against the norm.
The closest people get to contemplating the intricacies of political social order is bashing the current president. There are no challenging thoughts presented to suggest what life could be like outside of the status quo. Questioning the established order makes you an oddball, a weirdo, and an outsider.
But it doesn’t have to be like this.
Many people who are “awake” are also incredibly passionate. However, this passion can sometimes manifest into a fault.
Of course, having a passion for change is completely normal once you see the murderous, thieving mass of sociopaths who’ve seized control of nearly every aspect of your personal life. You want to go out on the rooftops and scream! This feeling is natural, it’s a reactionary display of “fight or flight.” And, in some scenarios it’s an effective way to incite change. But in most situations, it is not.
The reason society talks about pop-culture and sports all the time is because these issues are benign and comfortable. Our paradigms and world views are not challenged, and it makes us feel safe. When we see a different worldview for the first time, it frightens us. If you inform others about these hair-raising realities, and you yell at them or become angry, not only will you be shunned, but your message will be perceived as you presented it, vitriolic.
Not everyone can be the Alex Jones-esque madman, screaming into a microphone trying to shake people out of their slumber. If everyone tried to employ these same tactics of yelling at people to give them information, the liberty movement would have died out a long time ago.
Cordiality, reciprocity, sincerity, these are the tools of influence, not yelling and screaming. Only the state can use yelling and intimidation to influence others, and this is called indoctrination. It is why boot camp exists, The drill instructor method is highly effective at changing minds, but instead of freeing and opening that mind, it closes it.
Only the state can use yelling and intimidation to influence others, and this is called indoctrination. It is why boot camp exists, and why it takes weeks. The drill instructor method is highly effective at changing minds, but instead of freeing and opening a mind, it closes it.

Read the rest @

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Return of the Public-Land Privatizers

Via Field & Stream

Not more than a million years ago, in the spring of 2001, I wrote my first story for Field & Stream about the movement to privatize America’s public lands, chiseling the words onto an old granite slab by the light of a buffalo fat candle.
The land grabbers seemed to have the world by the tail then. Gale Norton, a veteran of the anti-environmental law firm Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), had been appointed the Secretary of the Interior. (James Watt, Reagan’s controversial and short-lived Interior Secretary, best remembered for his dislike of the Beach Boys, had been Norton’s boss at MSLF.) Norton’s colleague, Terry Anderson, had published his 1999 study “How and Why to Privatize Federal Lands.” Anderson had also been an advisor to George W. Bush on public lands issues, which was a bit like hiring a fox to consult on chicken coop management challenges.
For those who had their hopes pinned on public land profiteering, 2001 was a heady, optimistic time, and much was accomplished--if not actual privatization, then at least the near-wholesale conversion of some of the West’s public lands into single-use energy fields, with exemptions from the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, and from regulations meant to protect wildlife.
The privatizers had been fairly quiet during the Clinton years, after raising a ruckus during the 1980s. The Sagebrush Rebellion burned hot and then fizzled out during the Reagan years when the leading rebels, faced with possible success in their goal of privatizing public lands in Nevada, suddenly realized that they were not the ones who would be buying or being given the lands; in fact, many of them were about to exchange self-employment based on one of the world’s cheapest grazing rates for a quick ticket to a scary job market, and a much smaller landscape on which to air their grievances against the “feds.”
The anti-public lands movement has never been about giving average American citizens more land or more access or more timber or gold or grass. From day one--as soon as the first lands were set aside—the movement has been about getting as much of the commonwealth as possible into the hands of the best connected and the most well heeled. But the land grabbers have learned a lot since the Sagebrush Rebellion and Anderson’s how-to paper on privatizing public land. It’s a high-stakes chess game now, where nobody says what they really mean, a game ruled by sleight-of-hand tactics backed with more money (some of it probably yours)
than ever before.
The latest tactic is a smooth bit of word-jujitsu: “We would never sell your lands to the Chinese or to these software billionaires that fund our campaigns,” they assure anyone who will listen. “We just know for a fact that the states can manage these lands better than that big awful federal gubmint that we all hate so much. Now, isn’t that right?” It’s a good move, one that resonates with a lot of people who don’t have a lot of time to really think about it. So let’s take a few minutes and see how that would play out. We’ll leave out the fact that such a transfer would require a majority vote by Congress to divest the American people of their holdings once and for all (which those rascals did, just a month or so ago) and would open up a Pandora’s Box that would fundamentally change our nation. Let’s pretend that the grabbers are sincere, and really do want the land to remain in the hands of the states. What would change? Luckily for us, the National Wildlife Federation took on the task of analyzing that very question, basing the answers on current state land management. Here is a link to the report, which is illuminating.
Among the findings:
• In many Western states, state lands are not considered public lands at all.
• In Colorado, 82% of existing state lands are completely off limits to hunting, fishing and camping.
• In Idaho, recreation is allowed, with a permit, as long as it does not interfere with revenue generating activities.
• In New Mexico, camping on state lands is allowed only with written permission from whoever is leasing them.
• Firewood cutting is prohibited in state lands in New Mexico and Montana.
• Access to state lands in Montana, Arizona and New Mexico requires the purchase of a permit.
• Montana requires a special-use permit for trapping, or to camp for more than two nights.
Western states have been selling their lands since they were awarded them at statehood. New Mexico has sold off 4 million of its original 13 million acres. Nevada, awarded 2.7 million acres at statehood, has 3000 acres left. Montana has sold 800,000 acres of state lands so far. Idaho has sold 1.2 million acres. Colorado has sold 1.7 million acres. Arizona has sold off 1.7 million acres.
The report also compares the current management of federal public lands with the management that can be expected if the lands were under state control. And when you read it, you will see that the difference is very similar to the difference between being a citizen and being a subject (with a nod to Machiavelli, who allegedly uttered the truism that the armed man is a citizen and an unarmed man is a subject).
Right now, we Americans own one of the most valuable assets on the planet. We are free to argue about their management, while we luxuriate in freedoms that most people on the planet can only dream of. In my 2001 Field & Stream story,  I wrote this, about the conflict over public lands management: “As when toys are taken away from children who won’t stop fighting over them, there are plans afoot to solve the conflict over the public lands by simply getting rid of them.”
The debate today sounds just like it did back then, only much louder, and more the sound of a flood building upstream in a canyon. But the more things change--we’ve added 34 million people to the U.S. population since I wrote that story--the more they stay the same. Right?
Wrong. When citizens forget what it is they fight for, things do change. They change big time, and for the worse. Transfer of America’s public lands to state control will be awful for hunting and fishing and access, not to mention the end of federal water and grazing rights for Western farmers and ranchers. It will be the short prelude to privatization. And that, my fellow American outdoorsmen and women, is the ultimate goal of some very unpleasant characters in our world today. That much has not changed since the very first day President Benjamin Harrison set aside the first forest reserve in 1892.

Police chiefs group offers drone-use policy

h/t Wirecutter

Model law enforcement drone guidelines: No weapons, limit deployment, keep them in operator's sight

— Police agencies across the nation are increasingly using drones to improve public safety, but need clear operations policies and limits to win public trust, experts said at a law enforcement conference in San Diego.
To that end, a model policy on use of drones – or “small unmanned aircraft systems” – was rolled out Wednesday by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
The policy, which could be adopted or revised by any law agency, sets out specific procedures for deploying a drone, lists restrictions on its use, details how data would be retained or deleted and how operators should be trained.
“Do not start a (drone) program without a policy ... Engage the public,” advised Alan Frazier, a Grand Forks (N.Dak.) County part-time sheriff’s deputy and member of the association’s aviation committee.
He spoke to an audience of about 30 law enforcement officials from around the country and other countries attending the three-day conference focusing on technology from body cameras to digital evidence and social media.

Maine: Legislative Document 801 Voted Down in Committee


Yesterday, May 19, the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife voted down anti-bear hunting legislation, Legislative Document 801 (Bates-Westbrook).  As previously reported, “An Act To Ensure Safe and Humane Bear Hunting Practices” would have created a Class D crime for hunting bear with the use of dogs for the first offense.
Thanks to your calls and emails, the bill was overwhelmingly defeated by a vote of 12-1-1.  We thank you for your efforts to preserve bear hunting in Maine.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In a Police State, People are Punished for Criticizing the Police


Scott Boyler, a resident of Evans, New York, is a low-level registered sex offender who was convicted of attempting to receive child pornography. He was recently arrested and jailed for several days not for something he had received, but rather something he had posted online – comments critical of the local police in a website entitled “Lackawanna Police Corruption.”
One of Boyler’s recent posts described an illegal cell phone search conducted by an officer he identified as “Joseph `Pig Face’ Leo.” Leo filed a complaint against Boyler, who was arrested for “aggravated harassment.” That charge was quickly dismissed, as the officer most likely knew it would be. But it did lead to Boyler being incarcerated for several days as summary punishment for “contempt of cop,” which was the objective. Boyler has filed a $1.25 million lawsuit.
“If the courts criminalize this kind of speech, there goes the First Amendment,” predicts Buffalo attorney (and LRC contributor) James Ostrowski, who is representing Boyler. “It’s pure political speech that led to his arrest…. This goes back to colonial days when people got arrested for criticizing the king.”
America long ago ceased to be ruled by a monarchy, and succumbed to a more invasive and violent strain of statism in which police officers are seen as “God’s agents on earth,” to borrow Max Weber’s unironic expression. Examples are accumulating of online criticism of the police being punished as a species of blasphemy.
Meridian, Idaho resident Matt Townsend faces trial a spurious “witness intimidation” charge — and a potential five-year-prison term — for a Facebook post criticizing an officer who arrested him without cause. Roseville, California resident Dominic Ray Aguilar was charged with making a “terrorist threat” following a post suggesting that a police officer who had killed an unarmed man should likewise face a violent death.
The late Bob Foster, a businessman from Sunriver, Oregon, was hit with a stalking protection order by police officers as retaliation for his peaceful activism (most of which involved speaking out at meetings of the local home owners association). Santaquin, Utah resident Shawn Peterson lost his job as a short-order cook following a social media campaign organized by police unions targeting his restaurant in retaliation for a Facebook post in which Peterson criticized the police.
Only in a police state are people punished for criticizing the police.

The ongoing criminalization of poverty

A series of reports over the last few weeks have shed more light on the increasingly predatory enforcement of misdemeanors across the country, and how this trend disproportionately hurts the poor. The first report comes from an area familiar to readers of The Watch — St. Louis County, Missouri. It was published by the Police Executive Research Forum. Among the key findings:
  • Policing is extremely fragmented: St. Louis County contains a patchwork of police departments, many of which have jurisdiction over very small areas. About one-third of the municipalities in the County that have a police department occupy less than one square mile. This has led to confusion and distrust among residents, who often feel targeted and harassed by police officers and the municipal court system.
  • Many police departments have inappropriate goals: In many municipalities, policing priorities are driven not by the public safety needs of the community, but rather by the goal of generating large portions of the operating revenue for the local government. This is a grossly inappropriate mission for the police, often carried out at the direction of local elected officials.
  • The “muni shuffle” is unprofessional: Police standards, training, pay, and professionalism vary dramatically throughout the region. Of particular concern is the so-called “muni shuffle,” in which police officers who are fired or allowed to resign because of disciplinary or performance issues in one department are quickly hired by another department, because it can be less expensive to hire an experienced (albeit compromised) officer than to recruit and train a new officer.
These criticisms have now been reiterated in several forums, by several different organizations. Perhaps most damning, all of this attention on petty offenses has distracted the area’s police departments from fighting crime. Despite the saturation of police departments, the report found elevated crime rates in the area, and that violent and property crime cost about $1,187 per resident. In other words, the people who live in St. Louis County aren’t being protected by the police, the police are preying on them. And they’re doing at the instruction of these local governments.
Up next, a well-reported three-part series on policing and the poor by the CBS affiliated in Miami. The report focuses on a city “crime suppression team” that’s supposed to improve the quality of life in poor areas. This excerpt is from part three.
During its five-month investigation into the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Crime Suppression Team, CBS4 News reviewed every arrest the officers from the South District Station made in 2014.
The results: CBS4 News found a unit whose actions resulted in the arrests of hundreds of individuals – mostly young black males – for petty offenses. Even more troubling, the arrests failed to result in a reduction in crime in the South District. In fact, crime went up in most of the major categories, according to records obtained by CBS4 News.
CBS4 News also found that most of the cases made by the Crime Suppression Team fell apart once they made it to court. Overall, the Crime Suppression Team had a conviction rate of just eleven percent.
And of the 245 individuals arrested for marijuana – only two ended up being convicted. In addition to those two convictions, 80 individuals – or one third of those arrested – accepted what is known as a “withhold of adjudication.”
“Withhold of adjudication is something that exists only in Florida and it’s kind of a legal fiction,” said Miami-Dade County Public Defender Carlos Martinez. “It’s a conviction, a judge has made a finding of guilt, but we are going to say you are not really a convicted person, but in fact you are.  Immigration does not look at the difference between a withhold or no withhold, they look at it as a conviction. And most employers that I’ve talked to about these issues, and they see withhold, to them it looks like a conviction. They don’t see the difference.”
Most of the people appearing in court don’t realize this because they are not represented by an attorney, Martinez said. “Seventy percent of the people in Dade County go to court without an attorney.”
In Florida, if prosecutors are not requesting jail time for a crime, the person charged doesn’t have the right to have a public defender appointed to represent them.
So once again we have police in predominantly poor, predominantly black communities making “broken windows” and “quality of life” arrests for petty offenses. This is saddling large percentages of these communities with burdensome fines and debilitating arrest records, it’s poisoning the relationship between the police agencies and the communities they’re supposed to be serving and it’s all doing little to nothing to make these communities any safer. This particular anecdote is just chilling:

Read the rest @

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Out of Africa? Texans offer sanctuary to endangered rhinos


SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - In the Texas grassland, home to white-tailed deer and rattlesnakes, outdoorsman Charly Seale sees a vast sanctuary of open spaces that could be used to protect the wild African rhino from its biggest enemy - poachers in search of the animals' valuable horns.
Seale is part of an ambitious project organized by animal welfare groups in the United States and African countries to bring hundreds of orphaned baby southern white rhinos to the south Texas grasslands, whose climate and geography are similar to their native South African veld.
That is if governments will let them and the Texans can afford a transportation bill that could run tens of millions of dollars, all paid for by private donations.
"This is not for the faint of heart or for the faint of checkbook," said Seale, head of the Texas-based Exotic Wildlife Association's Second Ark Foundation, pointing out no public money will be sought for the effort, which is still in its early stages.
Rhino poaching hit a record in South Africa last year, home to almost all the rhinos in Africa, with 1,215 killed in 2014, according to South Africa's Environment Ministry.
International crime syndicates are after rhino horns, which are used in traditional Asian medicine and sell at prices higher than gold to the newly affluent in places such as Vietnam, where a belief, with no scientific basis, exists that they can cure cancer.

Latest field reports from ODNR Division of Wildlife Officers highlight need to obey hunting regulations

Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
State Wildlife Officer Chad Grote recently attended a hunter education class in Marion County. While at the class he went outside to retrieve prizes for students who answered questions correctly. He noticed a vehicle that was suspected of driving off-road at Delaware Wildlife Area. After checking photographs Officer Grote confirmed it was the same vehicle. After further investigation it was determined the person was illegally driving off-road at Delaware Wildlife Area. He was issued a summons and was found guilty in Delaware Municipal court. He paid $160 in fines and court costs.
State Wildlife Officers Michael Budd and Adam Smith received a TIP complaint of a possible deer shot with an illegal rifle. The two officers interviewed the property owner where the incident occurred. Through further investigation it was determined the landowner committed multiple violations. He killed a doe in January 2014 with a rifle, which the nephew checked as a bow kill, and the landowner also killed another deer two years ago with a rifle and did not check it in. The landowner was asked if he had killed a buck during the 2014-2015 season with his rifle, which he denied. Evidence revealed the doe he checked during the bow season was actually a buck. The rifle used in shooting the deer and the improperly checked buck were seized as evidence. The landowner was issued a summons for taking a deer out of season with a rifle, and a summons for providing false information when game checking a deer. The nephew was issued a summons for providing false information when game checking a deer, and a summons for permanently game checking a deer killed by another person.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
State Wildlife Officer Nathan Kaufmann received a call from concerned citizens about a wild turkey that was hanging around their offices in Wyandot County. The citizens were worried something might be wrong with the turkey. It had been in the area for two days and was harassing people as they walked by. Officer Kaufmann was able to locate the turkey, but was unable to capture it alone. State Wildlife Officer Jason Parr, assigned to Crawford County, arrived to assist. The officers proceeded to try to capture the turkey with a net and crate. They followed the turkey down a sidewalk and behind some houses, but lost sight of it soon after. Officer Parr noticed that the turkey had left a blood trail, and they tracked it into a nearby garage. After receiving permission to enter the garage from the owner, Officer Kaufmann was finally able to capture the turkey. Officer Parr had the crate ready and the turkey was transferred inside. The officers discovered that the turkey had previously sustained an injury, and it was transported to a nearby wildlife rehabilitator for evaluation.
During the 2014 deer-gun season, State Wildlife Officers Cody Klima and Anthony Lemle were patrolling Wood County when they noticed a group of hunters finishing up a deer drive. The officers contacted the hunters near the road to check for licenses and permits. As they checked the first few hunters, the officers noticed that the last two hunters began walking away from their location. Officer Klima caught up with the two hunters. One of the men handed Officer Klima a youth hunting license. The hunter did not have a deer permit with him. During the course of the investigation, the officers discovered that the man was using his younger brother’s license and permits to avoid paying nonresident fees. The younger brother’s permits were also used to check in a buck earlier that week. The two men were charged with five wildlife violations and paid a combined $983 in fines and court costs. Meat from two deer and a set of antlers were also forfeited to the state. The nonresident also received a one-year hunting license revocation.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
On Thanksgiving Day in 2014, State Wildlife Officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, and Wildlife Investigator Matt Fisher had contacted numerous waterfowl hunters. While inspecting bag limits Investigator Fisher discovered a horned grebe hidden in one of the boats. The hunter shot the bird and was unable to identify it. He was issued a summons for taking a nongame bird, convicted in Ashtabula Municipal Court, and paid a $285 fine.
While patrolling during the 2014 deer-gun season, State Wildlife Officer Brennan Earick, assigned to Ashland County, observed an individual carrying a shotgun dressed in camouflage clothing and a red vest. Officer Earick turned his patrol vehicle around but was unable to locate the man. He patrolled the area on foot and soon located the hunter. The man was asked why he was not wearing the required hunter orange clothing. Further investigation revealed the man knew hunter orange clothing was required, and he moved farther into the woodlot when he saw the patrol vehicle. Shortly thereafter Officer Earick located three additional hunters also wearing red vests. The four men were charged with the violation, convicted in court, and each ordered to pay $135 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
During the 2014-2015 hunting season, the antlerless deer permit was only valid in specific counties. State Wildlife Officer Eric Bear is assigned to Washington County, where the antlerless deer permit was not valid. Officer Bear conducted several investigations into the abuse of the antlerless permits in the county. One of these investigations centered on three individuals from Florida who had all used the permit. Officer Bear investigated and discovered one individual harvested two deer, even though he only checked in one. Further investigation revealed that one of the other subjects checked in the deer for him. All used the antlerless permit in a closed county and were issued a summons. All three subjects pleaded guilty, and they paid $1,000 in fines and court costs.
In April 2015, State Wildlife Officer Bob Nelson was on patrol at Ross Lake Wildlife Area and located a group of three individuals on a fishing pier. One of the individuals was fishing while the other two sat around a fire burning illegally on the fishing access area. Officer Nelson observed all three men smoking what appeared to be marijuana from a pipe. He also observed two of the men drinking alcohol. When the group left the area, trash was left behind and the fire was not completely extinguished. Officer Nelson conducted a traffic stop and determined who built the illegal fire on the wildlife area, as well as who was in possession of the marijuana and pipe. Three summonses were issued for littering, one for building a fire on a wildlife area, one for possession of marijuana, and one for possession of drug paraphernalia. Additionally, one of the men had a previous arrest warrant for an open container violation he received in 2014, also at Ross Lake. The man was transported to the Ross County jail and the other two men were released.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
Several state wildlife officers conducted a stream litter enforcement project along the Mad River in Clark County. The focus of this project was to ensure compliance of state litter laws with an emphasis on canoers and those using individual floating devices such as tubes and kayaks. State Wildlife Officer Byron Rice, assigned to Clark County, was working with Wildlife Field Supervisor Matt Hoehn when they received a call from officers up the river that a person sank a beer can while floating along in a kayak. Officers Rice and Hoehn stopped him when he reached their location. The man had no identification with him and was reluctant to identify himself to the officers or to discuss the violation. Further investigation revealed he littered. The man was later found guilty of the violation in Clark County Municipal Court and was ordered to pay a $160 fine. In addition, three other individuals were given litter violations, and others were warned for minor violations.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hunting in California: Four Animals Designated Nongame, Endangered, Threatened, and Protected Species

The environazis and animal rights whackos have fully taken over Commiefornia...

California has a vibrant and diverse range of ecosystems with game animals available for hunting. There are a number of species that are excluding from hunting activities, whether one is engaging in archery, rifle, muzzleloader, or trapping. These nongame species are listed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, at the state or federal level, as threatened, endangered, or fully protected. All hunters should familiarize themselves with the full list of protected animals that potentially inhabit the areas in which they intend to hunt.

Keep in mind that no wild animal, not even a predator, would stalk or actively threaten a hunter unless they're defending their young or feel threatened. In the event that a member of one of these protected species is encountered while hunting, the information about the sighting can be shared with the California Department of Fish and Game through the California Natural Diversity Database. Here are a few of the major critters that hunters might encounter.
Read the rest @

"Keep in mind that no wild animal, not even a predator, would stalk or actively threaten a hunter unless they're defending their young or feel threatened." 

Bullshit-data from radio collared wolves and grizzlies shows that both species actively follow hunters-it's either to eat the remains of a big game kill,or eat a hunter if he or she doesn't kill any game.
Apex predators like wolves and mountain lions were extirpated for a reason-humans can not live near any sizeable population of the critters without being attacked.
The wolf "reintroduction" clusterfuck in the greater Yellowstone area has caused the demise of what was- before wolves were reintroduced-the greatest elk herd on the planet- and decimated several other elk herds.
Mountain lions should not be a protected species in Commiefornia-they regularly attack joggers,hikers,bicycle riders,children,cats and dogs.
The animal "rights" whackos have fully infiltrated politics and California fish and game,enacting rules and regs based on emotion-not science and facts.
Once a politician's kid gets attacked it will be open season on mountain lions.

Across US, knife laws can differ by state, city, even town

WASHINGTON (AP) — A few miles off in any direction, and the debate about the knife involved in Freddie Gray's arrest by Baltimore police may have been completely different.

The state of Maryland has one set of laws governing knives. The city of Baltimore has its own rules. Caught in the middle are people like Gray, who probably have no idea whether carrying a legally purchased knife can lead to criminal charges.
A conflict between laws about knives is not unique to Maryland. Nationwide, knife laws vary in neighboring towns, counties, cities and states. This mishmash makes it difficult for citizens to comply.
"How's a person supposed to know what the law is, and how are they supposed to know that there's a difference in the law" between jurisdictions, said Jan Billeb, executive director of the American Knife & Tool Institute, which advocates for greater knife rights in the United States.
Between 2012 and 2014, Baltimore averaged four homicides and 183 aggravated assaults "with edged weapons," which would include knives, compared with 23 homicides and 109 aggravated assaults with firearms, according to data posted by the city on its website.
During encounters with police, civil rights activists say, black men tend to fall victim to confusion over knife laws. In fact, Gray is among a handful of African-Americans to die in Baltimore in recent years after a police encounter that involved a knife or an edged weapon.
Others are:
—Sheron Carter Jackson, 21, who wielded a folding knife during a March 2012 domestic disturbance and was shot by the police officer who responded to a 911 call.
—Rudolph Bell, 63, a homeless veteran who, police said, attacked them with a knife or bottle, cutting one officer, when they entered a vacant building in August 2012. A lawsuit complaining about the police treatment of Bell, who neighbors said had mental health issues, was thrown out of court.
—George Wells III, 25, who was fatally shot six times in March 2012 during an altercation with a police officer while armed with an edged weapon. Wells' family filed a wrongful death lawsuit last year, saying he was shot in the back from 20 feet away. That case is supposed to go to trial in September.
Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said knife possession charges often amount to "packing the case" against a suspect.
"We see it all the time," Arnwine said. "I've had all kinds of people being accused of having a dangerous weapon, and you go, 'What weapon?' And you look at what was classified as the weapon and you have to laugh."
Former federal prosecutor and defense attorney Bill Thomas in Atlanta said it's common for police to stop people first and then attempt to develop probable cause for crimes. Thomas said Gray probably was in the wrong place at the wrong time. "He ran. Cops chased him and when they caught him he had to take a charge on the knife. Happens every day," Thomas said.
Six Baltimore officers have been charged in the death of Gray, 25, who died of a spinal cord injury roughly a week after he was handcuffed and put in the back of a police van. What was described as "a spring assisted, one hand-operated knife" was found on Gray during a search. Authorities have not revealed a detailed description of the knife publicly.
Baltimore's top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, has said the knife in Gray's case is considered legal. Under Maryland law, penknives without "switchblades" are not considered weapons. But Maryland law does not specifically define what a switchblade is, leaving courts to make that interpretation. In Baltimore, it is illegal to "sell, carry, or possess any knife with an automatic spring or other device for opening and/or closing the blade."
Baltimore police have argued that Gray's knife was illegal inside city limits. One of the officers' lawyers says the knife may have been illegal under state law as well.
Doug Ritter, founder and chair of Knife Rights Inc., said most knife experts would disagree that Gray's knife was illegal, even under Baltimore law, but there's no single definition. "It's ridiculous that someone traveling through a metropolitan area can go through a dozen city lines crossing a metropolitan lines and have to deal with a half a dozen law regarding the knife in his pocket," Ritter said.
Knife right groups are fighting for state pre-emption knife laws, which would stop towns, cities and counties from enacting knife laws different from what has been approved by the state. Currently, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah have state knife pre-emption laws. Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming also have laws that prevent local jurisdictions from going beyond state knife laws, Billeb said.
Knife Rights has been fighting in court with New York City over its knife laws, saying police have arrested people for carrying common folding knives by claiming they are illegal switchblade or gravity knives, whose blade will fall into an open position if a button or switch is pressed.
In 2013, firearms were used in 69 percent of homicides nationally, while knives or other cutting instruments were used only 12.2 percent of homicide deaths, according to a national crime report from the Justice Department and FBI.

List of state knife laws provided by the American Knife & Tool Institute:

Army weighs if ex-Green Beret hero should be dismissed

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An Army officer stripped of a medal for heroism under fire and his right to call himself a Green Beret is fighting for his military career after accusations he tracked down and killed a suspected bomb-maker in Afghanistan.
Though a criminal investigation failed to find remains of his alleged victim and didn't result in charges against Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, he's been targeted for possible dismissal from the Army and the consequent loss of veteran's benefits with a less-than-honorable discharge.
A Fort Bragg hearing before three, higher-ranked Special Forces officers could meet later this month to weigh arguments from Golsteyn's attorney why he should remain on active duty.
"My hope is that Golsteyn will receive a fair and impartial hearing. Based on the Army's actions and decisions thus far, I regret to say this won't be the case," one of the soldier's defenders, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., wrote Wednesday to Army Secretary John McHugh. Army brass have kept Hunter updated on the case.
Others believe the Army is obligated to act because the Geneva Conventions governing warfare forbid arbitrary killings by troops, said Jeffrey K. Walker, a St. John's University criminal law professor.
"That's a minimum protection anybody gets at any time, no matter how you categorize them or how you categorize the conflict. That is the basic floor below which nobody can drop as far as protections go," said Walker, a retired Air Force officer and former military lawyer. "Arbitrary deprivation of life is at the top of the list of things you cannot do."
Golsteyn's roller-coaster military career from battlefield hero to whispers of a war crime is rooted in the deadly month of February 2010, when American-led allied forces seized the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
Insurgent snipers unleashed fire on Forward Operating Base McQueary. A patrol of about 80 troops headed out across muddy poppy fields to find the gunmen. Over a four-hour firefight, Golsteyn repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire as he helped evacuate a wounded Afghan soldier and directed repeated airstrikes onto the enemy, according to the Army's narrative of why he was awarded a Silver Star medal.
Then, about two months before being promoted from captain to major in November 2011, he had an interview with the CIA. He talked about something he'd done during the 2010 deployment before the battle near Marjah.
Golsteyn "claimed to have captured and shot and buried a suspected IED bomb maker. He further went to comment that he went back out with two others to cremate the body and dispose of the remains," according to a memo summarizing the Golsteyn case. "Capt. Golsteyn stated that he knew it was illegal but was not remorseful as he had solid intelligence and his actions protected the safety of his fellow teammates."
The Army's Criminal Investigative Division, acting on the CIA's tip, could find no one who corroborated Golsteyn's claim to have hunted the bomb-maker after an attack that killed two Marines. Nor could they find any cremated remains of the Afghan. Despite that, investigators said "Golsteyn committed the offenses of murder and conspiracy based on the interview provided by the CIA," according to the Sept. 29 memo first published by the web site The Intercept. Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker, a spokesman for McHugh, confirmed the memo is authentic.
But the American legal system requires witnesses, a body or some evidence that a crime occurred, Walker said, so Golsteyn's statement isn't enough to prosecute him.
"You've got to have something in addition to somebody's confession to convict him of a crime," Walker said. "That's a safeguard against official misconduct and abuse. If all you need is a confession, well let's just beat a confession out of the guy and we're all done."
Last fall, McHugh revoked Golsteyn's Silver Star presented three years earlier. The Army head also rejected a recommendation to upgrade Golsteyn's honor to the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest military decoration a soldier can receive for extraordinary heroism.
In February, the Army initiated the process to kick Golsteyn out of the active-duty military. He was taken out of action and assigned to a headquarters unit.

Read the rest @

The U.S. military can kill wedding parties and innocent civilians with drone strikes-and call it “collateral damage”,yet they want to prosecute this guy for taking out a confirmed IED maker-WTF?
This is nothing more than political correctness run amok in a military in which the officers capable of leading troops have been purged,and replaced with those who support the leftist agenda-complete with rampant homosexuality,women holding high ranking positions they should never be in,one of them forcing men in units to march in high heels,all to support “gender equality” or some such bullshit-the leftist ideology has no place in the military-the goal of military units is to win the battles that lead to winning the war-NOT to foster political correctness,not to support the LGBT parade of genetic defects-not to support any agenda-other than winning the fight.