Free Markets, Free People


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The tantrum in the House

Sigh.  I guess the old maxim “you get the government your deserve” certainly rings true today.  House Democrats are staging a sit in because the Speaker of the House won’t call a bill to the floor that violates the Constitution and denies due process to people who are placed on its secret no-fly and terrorism lists.

They’d like you to believe it is a “gun control” bill.  In fact, it is a “due process denial” bill, and we ought to refer to it that way.  Their claim is expanding government’s authority to defy the guarantees of the Constitution will help curb gun violence.

Really?  How?  Will it stop someone who ends up on the list and still wants to buy a gun from getting one?  Certainly not as just about any criminal can tell you (and as study I linked a few posts back revealed).  Again, that “Human Nature 101” thing seems to stump these deep thinkers.

And the irony is that one of those leading the charge for violating the Constitution and denying due process – civil rights icon John Lewis (okay, it’s a bit of double irony) – was once placed on a no-fly list without due process.

So what has been the result of not getting their way and denying you due process protection?  They’ve been reduced to throwing a collective tantrum and harkening back to the good old days when they were protesting Vietnam or whatever.  They even come up with a clever chant – “No Bill. No Break”.  You see they’re supposed to take a legislative break and now, apparently, the desire to deny you your rights is so strong they feel called to pretend they are Social Justice Warriors and act accordingly.

Where’s “Black Lives Matter” when you need them.  Now here is a perfect protest for them to hijack and they’re nowhere in sight.


The Alarmists try RICO, the “deniers” counter with SLAPP

I’m sure you’ve been following this bizarre story about the left’s attempt, through various blue Attorney’s General, to use the RICO statute to persecute prosecute so-called “climate deniers”.  One of the targets was the Competitive Enterprise Institute.  CEI wasn’t going to take it lying down and punched back:

A libertarian nonprofit group is seeking damages from the U.S. Virgin Islands’ chief law enforcement officer, alleging a politically motivated legal campaign designed to stifle the group’s policy advocacy activities.

Attorneys representing the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a motion in a Washington, D.C. court on Monday alleging that Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker violated a D.C. law designed to prevent frivolous legal actions targeting policy groups’ rights to free speech and government redress.

The motion is the latest chapter in a developing legal battle between conservative and industry groups that oppose Democratic attorneys general in 17 states who are pursuing racketeering charges against oil giant Exxon Mobil.

Walker subpoenaed CEI last month as part of the anti-Exxon campaign. He demanded a decade’s worth of internal documents and communications about the group’s work on energy and environmental policy.

CEI told Walker to stuff it and shot back:

Andrew Grossman, a BakerHostetler attorney representing CEI, called the subpoena “offensive,” “unlawful,” and “un-American” in an April reply. He vowed to fight the subpoena, which was filed in D.C., where CEI is headquartered.

An attorney representing a group of AGs, including Walker, in their Exxon probe replied on Friday, telling CEI that it is abandoning its subpoena but reserving the right to restart the effort at any point in the future.In response, Grossman and his BakerHostetler colleague David Rivkin filed a motion to vacate the subpoena entirely. They are also asking the court to reimburse CEI for its legal fees and levy additional penalties on Walker’s office as a means of discouraging abuses of the D.C. legal system.

Walker’s “bad faith purpose in wielding this Court’s power to subpoena … warrants sanctions,” the attorneys wrote in a Monday motion. “Sanctions are necessary here ‘to punish abuses of the judicial process and to deter future abuses,’” they wrote, quoting a prior case involving D.C.’s anti-SLAPP statute.

The acronym SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” and refers to efforts to shut down an opposing party’s speech or political advocacy through frivolous lawsuits.

This is what has to be done to stop this foolishness.  All it costs the AG is your tax money.  So, in reality, it cost them nothing.  But the people or organizations they target actually end up having to reach deeply into their own pockets to defend themselves from these frivolous lawsuits.

Here’s hoping CEI is able to whack this nonsense in the head quickly.  As their attorney said, it’s “offensive”, “unlawful” and “un-American.”  It is also an obnoxious and obvious abuse of power.  Time to reel this bunch ideological hitmen back in and do quickly.  And it wouldn’t hurt at all if the lawsuit found some of the AG’s personally responsible and made them pay fines out of their own fund for the abuse of their office (not that it will happen … I understand that, but I guy can wish).  Short of that, running them out of office will suffice.


First shot in a successful Constitutional war against ObamaCare?

We can only hope so … but then, one should remember that John Roberts sold his soul and his intellectual reputation to make payment for it into a tax.  So we shall see.  But some heartening news today if you’re someone who believes those in government should be held to the Constitution’s restrictions on government.

In a major ruling, Judge Rosemary Collyer, an appointee of President George W. Bush, said the administration does not have the power to spend money on “cost sharing reduction payments” to insurers without an appropriation from Congress.

Collyer’s decision doesn’t immediately go into effect, however, so that the administration can appeal it.

“This is an historic win for the Constitution and the American people,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement. “The court ruled that the administration overreached by spending taxpayer money without approval from the people’s representatives.”
At issue are billions of dollars paid to insurance companies participating in ObamaCare so they can reduce customers’ out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles for low-income people.

The House GOP argued that the administration was unconstitutionally spending money on these payments without Congress’s approval.

Of course that’s an almost daily occurrence for the past few decades.  The lines have blurred and no one is held accountable. Oversight? What a joke.

How far this will go and whether the decision will be upheld is a mystery at this point, but not much of one … see again the first sentence.

The administration, of course, had an answer:

But the administration said it did not need an appropriation from Congress because the funds were already guaranteed by the healthcare reform law in the same section as its better-known tax credits that help people pay for coverage.

Yup, the executive needs no permission to spend your money anymore, just as he or she no longer needs permission to wage war.  Blurred lines becoming even blurrier.  Separation of powers?  Get real.

Imperial presidency?  For quite a while.  The Judge, though, wasn’t buying the explanation:

Collyer ruled that the section only appropriated funds for tax credits and said the cost sharing reductions require a separate congressional appropriation, which the administration does not currently have.

“Such an appropriation cannot be inferred,” Collyer wrote. “None of Secretaries’ extra-textual arguments — whether based on economics, ‘unintended’ results, or legislative history — is persuasive. The Court will enter judgment in favor of the House of Representatives and enjoin the use of unappropriated monies to fund reimbursements due to insurers under Section 1402.”

Good for her. It won’t dismantle the dreadful system, but it does take another chink out of its funding. It’s a start.  But whether the start will later faulter and fail to be upheld is still to be seen.  In today’s world, unfortunately, the likelihood of that sort of a failure is much more prevalent than had this ruling come down 40 or 50 years ago when most people still believed in a much more limited government constrained by the Constitution.

Brave new world … one that promises to be much like the old and oppressive world if some have their way.


Dangerous ground or much ado about nothing?

The FBI, in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, has gone to court and gotten a judge to order Apple to write software to decrypt the iPhones the two terrorists used.  The FBI has been unable to decrypt them on their own.

Apple has refused to comply.

After reading much of the back and forth between government and Apple, I’m with Apple.  As the Electronic Freedom Frontier said:

The government is asking Apple to create a master key so that it can open a single phone,” it said Tuesday evening. “And once that master key is created, we’re certain that our government will ask for it again and again, for other phones, and turn this power against any software or device that has the audacity to offer strong security.”

It’s about violating your privacy by being ordered to hand the government the key with implied permission to use it. Think Pandora’s Box.  Forget security, you may as well not encrypt a phone if a master key is available out there.  We’d love to believe the government when it says it will only use that software once, but anyone with a modicum of intelligence (and experience with governments) knows how likely that is.  And, well, we also know how well our government does cyber security, don’t we Ms. Clinton?

Er, anyway – the government is using a 18th century law, the All Writs Act, to claim that it can demand such software from Apple.

The law lets judges “issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.”

A little word salad that has the government claiming it has every right to make this demand do just about anything it chooses (if it can get a judge to say so).

Marc J. Zwillinger, a lawyer for Apple, wrote in a letter for a related case in October that the All Writs Act could not be interpreted to “force a company to take possession of a device outside of its possession or control and perform services on that device, particularly where the company does not perform such services as part of its business and there may be alternative means of obtaining the requested information available to the government.”

The government says it does not have those alternative means.

Mr. Cook’s statement called the government’s demands “chilling.”

“If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.”

This is another indicator of how corrosive the “War on Terror” has been to our liberties.  It’s like slow drip acid, with every drop another assault on what we once took for granted as protections against an invasive government.  And our government has been more and more invasive as concerns our privacy since this “war” began.

Sometimes, looking at what the government attempts to do in the name of security, you’d think the terrorists had won, wouldn’t you?


Bogus Bernie burned by WaPo (Democrats with bylines)

Don’t expect this sort of treatment should Queen Hillary ever get the nomination.  Expect every one of the GOP candidates to be treated like this if they’re even somewhat viable.  The Washington Post takes Bernie to the whipping post:

Mr. Sanders’s story continues with fantastical claims about how he would make the European social model work in the United States. He admits that he would have to raise taxes on the middle class in order to pay for his universal, Medicare-for-all health-care plan, and he promises massive savings on health-care costs that would translate into generous benefits for ordinary people, putting them well ahead, on net. But he does not adequately explain where those massive savings would come from. Getting rid of corporate advertising and overhead would only yield so much. Savings would also have to come from slashing payments to doctors and hospitals and denying benefits that people want.

He would be a braver truth-teller if he explained how he would go about rationing health care like European countries do. His program would be more grounded in reality if he addressed the fact of chronic slow growth in Europe and explained how he would update the 20th-century model of social democracy to accomplish its goals more efficiently. Instead, he promises large benefits and few drawbacks.

And that’s just a sample.  They pretty much trash the low information, economically illiterate’s dream candidate.  Bernie’s the “free stuff” guy, yet even he has to admit that someone has to pay for his “free stuff”.  Of course those who support him stop listening right after “free”.

But that’s really not the point.  Hillary is sinking in the polls.  The presumptive favorite is in a tight race in the first two primary states.  Bernie, despite the fact that he’s clueless, is almost even with the chosen one of the big time Washington media establishment.  You know, the one’s with Democrats with bylines?  Way to close for comfort.  And Clinton isn’t helping.  In fact, it seems she’s beginning to crack a little bit.  Additionally, she’s wearing thin with the voters who are just as tired of the circus she was a ringmaster in as they are of the Bush dynasty.  And all these reminders of her past residence in the big house is beginning to make inroads and erode her support. Then there’s that email thingie.

So up steps the editorial board of the WaPo to take a few well aimed pot shots at her closest competitor.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily disagree with anything they say about Bernie.  I just question the timing and intent.

That said, I loved this chaser they included near the end:

Mr. Sanders tops off his narrative with a deus ex machina: He assures Democrats concerned about the political obstacles in the way of his agenda that he will lead a “political revolution” that will help him clear the capital of corruption and influence-peddling. This self-regarding analysis implies a national consensus favoring his agenda when there is none and ignores the many legitimate checks and balances in the political system that he cannot wish away.

 Sounds a lot like someone who has occupied the White House for the last 7 plus years.  Someone that the editorial board of the Washington Post was wild about, regardless of the fact that he’s acted precisely in the way they now deplore.
Funny that …

The political strategy of a crocodile tear

Mr. Obama shed a tear yesterday as he told us why he was going to bypass Congress and enact gun control (at least a small part of it) by executive order.  Speaking of “gun violence” instead of violence in general, he said:

“We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom,” Obama said.

That’s simply poppycock. We don’t have to like it but freedom, as has been said any thousands of times, is not free.  Nor is it pretty or neat.  Nor are there those who don’t suffer because of it. It always has a cost – a price. But the alternative, what most Democrats seem to want, is the state deciding everything you can or cannot do, everything you can or cannot own.  That alternative is unacceptable to those who value freedom and are willing to suffer the cost.

No one is in favor of “carnage”.  But it isn’t the guns which cause the violence, sir.  Figure it out please.  When you tell me that abortion instruments are what kill about a million unborn human beings in the US each year, perhaps I’ll at least consider your thinking to be somewhat consistent.  And of course, that means cars and pools and rope, well you name it, also need to be controlled even more because the “carnage” they cause rivals anything to do with that involving guns.

Gee, given the numbers, perhaps he ought to be going after Planned Parenthood instead of demonizing the NRA.

Oh, and this was rich:

“No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law, I know a little bit about this. I get it,” he said. “But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.”

Apparently he thinks he knows the Constitution, but if true, he’d know it doesn’t allow aristocracy, and certainly it doesn’t allow kings.  Laws are passed through Congress and if the President doesn’t have the heft or gravitas or whatever he needs to see it done, then it doesn’t get done. Obama doesn’t have any of that. And the people have been quite clear that they don’t consider guns or gun control to be much of an issue.  In fact, it barely registers, no pun intended. So instead he  does “work arounds” with executive orders.  Tell us again about how you know the Constitution, please?

But let’s get to the nuts and bolts of what went on yesterday, shall we?  It is about, get ready for it, ideology:

Despite professing an unflinching commitment to curbing gun violence, Obama and Biden have been thwarted by Congress and what Obama calls a lack of national will to change the way Americans think about guns.

Got it.  It’s about changing the way you think about guns.  Its about making them the equivalent of a cigarette.  You remember when cigarettes were popular?   And what happened?  Well, think about it.  It wasn’t about people making poor choices and suffering for them that was the “cause” of their diseases. It wasn’t about their refusal to heed the strident warnings about smoking.  It became “the cigarette”.  That was the “cause”. And it was the cigarette that was killing people, not the people’s choices.  The object became the problem.  People were excused for making poor decisions even though the information that cigarettes caused horrific health problems had been out for years … decades.

The same sort of argument is being made about guns and “the strategy of a tear” was just the latest emotional appeal to a people who’ve been pretty darn logical about guns so far and aren’t buying into the argument as readily as they did with cigarettes.  In fact, they’re not buying into it at all and are, instead, buying more and more guns.  If you can’t get them to swing your way, cry on national TV.  That’ll show ’em how sincere you are.   And, of course, it seems to have fooled a good number of people out there already.

But to the point – this is frustration for Obama because you and most Americans won’t think the way he wants you to.  So?  So screw you, he’ll stamp his feet, hold his breath and make you do it by taking unilateral action.  But he knows the Constitution, by George.

This is just another in a long line of tantrums by this man.  When he can’t get his way, he simply looks for a means to impose his will.  He has no concept of what a President is or what one is supposed to do and he’s certainly no Constitutional scholar.  This is just the latest example.

So why is the cigarette model not working for the left?  For the most part it is because there really is no redeeming value to a cigarette.  But there is tremendous positive value to a gun.  You can’t defend yourself or your family with a cigarette.  You can’t feel more secure in your person with a cigarette.  You can’t protect your life or your property with a cigarette.  So despite the demonization of the object the left has committed itself too, the positive aspects of gun ownership simply won’t be buried, even with a tear.

The bottom line however should be clear – the left will do whatever it thinks necessary to strip Americans of their right to own firearms.  You will see every sort of argument tendered and numbers that, without context, seem horrific.  Such as “30,000” gun deaths – 62% of which are suicides.  Anyone who believes removing guns will prevent suicide just isn’t very serious about discussing suicide.  Japan, which has strict gun control laws, has more suicides than the US.  The problem isn’t the means.  It is the mental state of the person.  35% are homicides, most gang related.  No matter the laws passed, criminals are not going to obey them.  This seems to be a point the left can’t comprehend.  And finally accidents claim most of the remainder (about 606 in 2010).  “Mass shootings”?  A small minority of the final total.  And, in fact, gun violence and gun homicides are and have been trending down for quite some time.

However, like “climate change”, the alarmist hysteria continues despite the fact that the data doesn’t support it.

So now, it is all about an emotion.  A tear.

My freedom isn’t for sale for a tear, crocodile or otherwise, Mr. Obama.



Would you invited a known killer who hated you into your house?

Yeah, me neither.  Yet, we have a group of people out there who are more than willing to take the chance of “inviting” known killers who hate us into the country.

As usual, the media and some pundits have turned a very gray area into stark black and white arguments.  You’re apparently for allowing open immigration to anyone or you’re a racist and a bigot if you opt to be selective.

What I’m talking about is the majority of the nation which is reasonably concerned that those who would kill us are seeking entry into the country without being screened and, if necessary, rejected.  This is characterized as “unAmerican”.  So, then, was Ellis Island where we rejected would be immigrants if they were sick or had criminal backgrounds, etc.

Andy McCarthy had this to say:

Let’s bear in mind that permitting immigration is a discretionary national act. There is no right to immigrate to the United States, and the United States has no obligation to accept immigrants from any country, including Muslim-majority countries. We could lawfully cut off all immigration, period, if we wanted to. Plus, it has always been a basic tenet of legal immigration to promote fidelity to the Constitution and assimilation into American society — principles to which classical sharia is antithetical. . . .

All important points, but the final point is most likely the most important.  McCarthy again:

Our constitutional principle of religious liberty is derived from the Western concept that the spiritual realm should be separate from civic and political life. The concept flows from the New Testament injunction to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.

Crucially, the interpretation of Islam that is mainstream in most Muslim-majority countries does not accept a division between mosque and state. . . .

The lack of separation between spiritual and civic life is not the only problem with Islam. Sharia is counter-constitutional in its most basic elements — beginning with the elementary belief that people do not have a right to govern themselves freely. Islam, instead, requires adherence to sharia and rejection of all law that contradicts it. So we start with fundamental incompatibility, before we ever get to other aspects of sharia: its systematic discrimination against non-Muslims and women; its denial of religious liberty, free speech, economic freedom, privacy rights, due process, and protection from cruel and unusual punishments; and its endorsement of violent jihad in furtherance of protecting and expanding the territory it governs.

And that’s where we must draw the line.  If an immigrant wants to become an American, recognize the separation of church and state and embrace the constitutional principles which govern this country, I say “welcome”.  If not, I say, “don’t let the doorknob hit you in the ass as you leave”.

Of course, the left’s legacy of “multiculturalism” says we must respect different cultures and learn to live with them.  I say, no we don’t.  Why?  Because some cultures are destructive and some cultures are inferiors.  I know, not politically correct, but certainly reality based (something the left once tried to convince us was a description of their ideological grounding).

You would no more invite a killer that hated you and wanted to take over your house into your home than any other sane person.  There’s no reason why we shouldn’t apply the same principle to this country (and for those of you who don’t read carefully, that means we don’t keep out all Muslims, only those (of any religion or ethnic group) who refuse to recognize our Constitutional principles and won’t assimilate).

We don’t “owe” them anything.



About San Bernardino

One – the immediate politicization of any tragedy involving guns, facts or no facts:

Just when we think that politics can’t sink any lower, President Obama once again proves us wrong by politicizing the tragedy in San Bernardino before the facts were even known. What we do know is that the American people are heartbroken by these horrific crimes — and despite what the president would have us believe — America’s law-abiding gun owners are heartbroken by these horrific crimes as well. At the same time, we are sick and tired of this president suggesting the men and women of the National Rifle Association are somehow to blame.

Why, you ask? Well because this supposed “leader” of ours is all about politics and agendas. He’s already decided what is “best” for the rest of us whether or not the actual fact match the narrative or not.

Two, which is related to One.  The hypocrisy and cowardice of the left.  Radical Islam has struck more than once here in the US the and cowards won’t acknowledge it or face it.  But they will vilify and defame those who won’t strike back and blame them for the problem such as Christians, the NRA, and the Right in general.  God help you if you believe in the 2nd Amendment.

Screen-Shot-2015-12-03-at-2.20.24-PMYes I know Jon Gabriel and yes I know he’s being totally sarcastic.  I also know he makes the point perfectly.  By the way, did you see where Bloomberg and MSNBC tweeted that the shooting was only “blocks away from a Planned Parenthood” facility.  See “One” above.  Think narrative construction.

Three – we now have the Attorney General of the United States promising to take action against US citizens if she considers their rhetoric to be anti-Muslim and “edges” towards violence:

Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Thursday warned that the Justice Department could take aggressive action against people whose anti-Muslim rhetoric “edges towards violence” and told the Muslim community that “we stand with you in this.”

Speaking at Muslim Advocate’s 10th anniversary dinner, Lynch said since the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, she is increasingly concerned with the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric … that fear is my greatest fear.”

Who will be the arbiter?  And, why selective treatment?  See “Two” above.  They won’t face the real enemy and they want to chill speech pretending it is anti-Muslim rhetoric that is the problem, not Radical Islamists.

These three things are consistent in every shooting that involved radical muslims.  One, the attempt to initially frame it so that the right is the problem.  Then to frame it as if it was just another “mass shooting” – you know, “workplace violence.”  The cause: guns, not followers of a 7th century death cult.  Two, deny, deny, deny and try to shift the blame.  Don’t face the reality of the problem.  “ISIS is contained”. Instead of facing the problem and addressing it, Mr. Obama’s answer is to contemplate stricter gun laws by executive order that will do nothing to stop what happened in CA.  But the left believes that the criminals and killers out there will be done … even though in California had every law Obama want’s nationally in place and supposedly functioning and the Islamic Radicals still had the banned weapons.  Third, the erosion of freedom.  Now we have the AG saying she’ll decide what “edges” toward violent rhetoric and will apparently act unilaterally to arrest the “perpetrator”.  However rhetoric “edging” toward violence against any other non-protected group?




Colleges: First Amendment outdated?

That, at least, is the result of a survey recently completed:

To put some numbers behind that perception, The William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale recently commissioned a survey from McLaughlin & Associates about attitudes towards free speech on campus. Some 800 students at a variety of colleges across the country were surveyed. The results, though not surprising, are nevertheless alarming. By a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent, students favor their school having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty. Sixty-three percent favor requiring professors to employ “trigger warnings” to alert students to material that might be discomfiting. One-third of the students polled could not identify the First Amendment as the part of the Constitution that dealt with free speech. Thirty-five percent said that the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech,” while 30 percent of self-identified liberal students say the First Amendment is outdated.

This is simply the latest proof that colleges and universities in this nation are turning from bastions of free speech and academic freedom to institutions that are enabling and enforcing “speech codes” that student activists demand. The result is the death of “robust intellectual debate” on campus. Now administrations feel moved to “protect” those who are uncomfortable with uncomfortable ideas. And they demand penalties and the quashing of those ideas. The very notion that our great institutions of higher learning have bought into this anti-intellectualism should be an anathema to them. But instead they support these sorts of movements.

Just recently Williams College began an “Uncomfortable Learning” speaker series to provide “intellectual diversity” on campus. Ironically, it then disinvited conservative writer Suzanne Venker when, according to the college, her proposed visit was “stirring a lot of angry reactions among students on campus.” Obviously her ideas went beyond “uncomfortable learning”, however Willams College now defines that phrase. But one thing is clear, Williams College is about as committed to “intellectual diversity” as Hillary Clinton is to the truth.

Given all this, is anyone even remotely surprised to see supposed intellectuals who are the products of this sort of education system calling for the jailing of “climate deniers” and the banning of their speech? Free speech is dying in this country and it is doing so in the very institutions that should be its staunchest defender.


Property and privacy rights? Or drone rights?

Interesting story:

A Kentucky man shot down an $1,800 drone hovering over his sunbathing daughter and was then arrested and charged with first degree criminal mischief and first-degree wanton endangerment.

“My daughter comes in and says, ‘Dad, there’s a drone out here flying,’ ” William H. Merideth, 47, told a local Fox News affiliate reported Tuesday. The Bullitt County father shot at the drone, which crashed in a field near his yard Sunday night.

The owner of the drone claims he was only trying to take pictures of a friend’s house, the station reported.

“I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property,’ ” Mr. Merideth said, noting that the drone briefly disappeared when his daughter waved it off. “Within a minute or so, here it came. It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky. I didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air.”

Most people would say, “good for him”.  He felt his privacy and property rights were being violated by some possible peeping Tom and he took action to protect both.  As he says, he “didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air.”

He had a good, sound reason to take action:

“He didn’t just fly over,” he said. “If he had been moving and just kept moving, that would have been one thing — but when he come directly over our heads, and just hovered there, I felt like I had the right.”

“You know, when you’re in your own property, within a six-foot privacy fence, you have the expectation of privacy,” he said. “We don’t know if he was looking at the girls. We don’t know if he was looking for something to steal. To me, it was the same as trespassing.”

Exactly.  The unknown, coupled with the concerns plus the fact that the drone was purposely and repeatedly being flown where it had no permission to fly, prompted Merideth to action.  And he removed the possible threat.

End of story?

Hardly.  The 4 people who were engaged in flying and hovering the drone over his property showed up to confront him.  Then the police showed up.  Who got arrested?  Well the property owner, of course.

As Scott Shackford of Hit & Run points out:

You’d think it would be obvious that it’s not a good idea to pilot an expensive piece of surveillance equipment just casually over other people’s properties, not just out of respect for other people’s privacy, but because you could lose the thing.

You’d think.  But instead it is the man who was guarding both is privacy and his property rights who ends up going to jail.  Apparently his expectation of privacy and his property rights concerning trespass weren’t enough to save him from catching a ride in the police van.

Tell me again about our “Constitutional rights” to both privacy and property?  Apparently drone’s trump them.


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