Archive for June 5th, 2012

Obama Again Shows He’s No Friend to Women and Children as He Continues Support of “Sex Selection” Abortion and Infanticide

June 5, 2012

Obama and His Democrats Won’t Outlaw Sex-Selection Abortions, but Even Communist China Doesn’t Allow Them

From by Dr. Tim Stanley, May 31, 2012

A bill put before the House to outlaw abortion based upon gender (generally targeted at females) has been defeated. Thanks to Democratic opposition, it failed to muster the necessary two thirds of the vote to pass. To put this bill into context, sex-selection abortion is so awful that it’s illegal even in China. Hillary Clinton and many leading feminists have condemned sex-selection abortion, too. But House Democrats evidently disagree with this moral consensus. So, too, does President Obama.

Late on Wednesday, Obama’s press secretary put out a statement that opposed the bill: “The Administration opposes gender discrimination in all forms, but the end result of this legislation would be to subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations behind a very personal and private decision.  The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way.”

So the administration is against gender discrimination except when it’s a private medical matter. Would it feel the same about a concerted effort to terminate babies on the basis of race (something that was in an early form of this bill)? Presumably such a proposition is at least up for debate because the administration tolerates abortion on the grounds of disability. The logical fallacies about this position are as steaming as they are piled high. But they received support from House Democrats. Representative Barbara Lee said that this bill was an attempt to “restrict or deny” access to abortion and would lead, inevitably, to “backstreet abortions.” Again, to put the bill in context, sex-selection abortions are illegal in Britain. And we don’t have backstreet abortions.

Obama and the Democrats have taken a big gamble with this latest salvo in the culture war. They may have made a mistake. According to a 2006 Zogby poll, an astonishing 86 percent of Americans oppose sex-selection abortion. That figure probably hasn’t changed considering that, nationally, opinions about abortion have trending towards the negative. Gallup reports that now 50 percent call themselves prolife and only 41 percent say they are prochoice – a total inversion of the findings from 1996 that put the figures at 33 percent and 56 percent respectively.

Internationally, sex-selection abortion is generally regarded as a great evil, too. At the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, a platform was adopted that established “eradicating violence against the girl child” as global priority. It pledged to “enact and enforce legislation protecting girls from all forms of violence, including female infanticide and prenatal sex selection.” Following that call, bans have been enacted in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, India and Vietnam. To repeat, even China – yes, China – has officially outlawed the practice.

Even within the liberal establishment there was some support for a ban. Way back in 1990, Dianne Feinstein said that she was horrified by the thought of sex-selection abortion and would perhaps back legislation. More recently, Hillary Clinton attacked the practice in an interview with the New York Times, saying, “Obviously, there’s work to be done in both India and China, because the infanticide rate of girl babies is still overwhelmingly high, and unfortunately with technology, parents are able to use sonograms to determine the sex of a baby, and to abort girl children simply because they’d rather have a boy.”

So here’s the playing field in this latest culture war match: the American people, international opinion and Hillary Clinton on one side; Barack Obama and House Democrats on the other. No wonder the presidential election is getting closer by the day.

Dr Tim Stanley is a historian of the United States. His biography of Pat Buchanan is out now. His personal website is and you can follow him on Twitter @timothy_stanley.

Obama Supports Infanticide

From, October24, 2008

It is THE HARD TRUTH that U.S. Senator Barack Hussein Obama has proven himself to be a supporter of infanticide – the practice of killing newborn infants.

The Senator’s voting record in the Illinois State Senate bears this out according to the Catholic News Agency (CNA).

On July 4, 2008, in an article on the CNA’s web site, Deal Hudson charges Obama with supporting infanticide due to his opposition to the Born Alive Infant’s Protection Act (BAIPA) which was introduced in the Illinois Legislature in 2001 after Nurse Jill Stanek testified that newborn babies who were born alive after abortion attempts at Christ Hospital were left to die without attention from medical personnel. The BAIPA,opposed by Obama, would have required that any baby that was expelled from his or her mother and showed any signs of life was to be regarded as a legal person whether or not the baby was born during an attempted abortion.

Stanek testified before the Illinois Senate’s Judiciary Committee, on which then Illinois State Senator Barack Hussein Obama sat. Obama voted against allowing the bill to go to the full Senate for a vote, but it passed out of the Committee and when the full Senate voted on the bill Obama voted “present”, not taking a stand one way or the other. The Bible, in Revelation 3:15-16 quotes Jesus as saying: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot, I would thou wert cold or hot. so then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold not hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

In 2002, the BAIPA was again introduced in the Illinois Legislature where Obama not only again voted no, but led the opposition to the bill and was the only Senator to actually speak out against it’s passage and the bill again failed to pass.

In 2003, the Senate Health & Human Services Committee was Chaired by Obama when the BAIPA was brought for a hearing. Chairman Obama refused to allow the bill to be brought up for a vote thus denying the BAIPA to reach the Senate floor for a vote.

It wasn’t until 2005, after Obama had moved on to the US Senate, that the Illinois Legislature passed the BAIPA.

The BAIPA that was adopted by the Illinois Legislature is identical to the Federal  BAIPA that was approved in 2002 with no opposition, from even the most liberal left-wingers. Yet Obama voted no on the bill on multiple  occasions. Yes, that ‘s right, even Ted Kennedy supported the BAIPA, but Obama did not.

Perhaps Obama should become more familiar with St. Matthew 18:6 wherein Jesus is quoted as saying “…whoso  shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Obama Continues Support of Infanticide

From, January 27, 2009

President Obama’s nominee for deputy Secretary of State contends American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions, a position that contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution.

James B. Steinberg’s written testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was highlighted by Sen. Jim DeMint, a pro-life Republican serving South Carolina.

In a written response to DeMint’s questions, Steinberg said the Mexico City policy — the newly overturned policy that forbade taxpayer subsidization of abortions overseas — “is an unnecessary restriction that, if applied to organizations based in this country, would be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech.”

Not so, said DeMint, pointing out Steinberg’s stance is in direct opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court.

DeMint cited the 1991 Rust vs. Sullivan decision in which the court ruled, “The government has no constitutional duty to subsidize an activity merely because it is constitutionally protected, and may validly choose to allocate public funds for medical services relating to childbirth but not to abortion.”

DeMint had asked: “For more than 30 years the Hyde amendments, which prohibit federal funding for abortion services, have been supported by Republican and Democrat administrations and Congresses. Unfortunately, while this is the domestic policy of the United States, President Obama has vowed to reverse our foreign policy by repealing the Mexico City policy and use the federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortion services overseas. Do you support President Obama’s efforts to lift the Mexico City restrictions? Do you believe our foreign policy should contradict long held domestic policies?”

Steinberg’s complete response was, “President Obama has supported repeal of the Mexico City policy, as has Secretary Clinton. Longstanding law, authored by Senator Jesse Helms, expressly prohibits the use of U.S. funds [for] abortion. The Mexico City policy is an unnecessary restriction that, if applied to organizations based in this country, would be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech.”

Just days ago, Obama imposed an executive order repealing the Mexico City policy that during President Bush’s tenure protected Americans from being required to fund groups that promote and pay for abortions around the globe.

The plan was originated by President Reagan in 1984. It prohibited non-governmental organizations that receive federal funds from providing or promoting abortions in other nations. President Clinton rescinded the rule Jan. 22, 1993, calling it “excessively broad” and “unwarranted.”

But when President Bush took office in January 2001, he immediately issued an executive order re-instituting the pro-life policy.

“It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortion or actively promote abortion,” Bush said.

International Planned Parenthood Federation and other abortion groups refused to conform to the ban. They continued to provide and promote abortions and, consequently, were denied access to funding from U.S. taxpayers.

A Jan. 16 letter from 77 members of Congress posted by Life News had urged Obama to continue the ban.

“[T]his policy is important because it establishes a bright line between family planning activities and abortion, therefore ensuring that United States family planning funds are not co-opted by groups who promote abortion as a method of family planning,” the letter stated. “Such activities would send a wrong message overseas that the United States promotes abortion.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told the Washington Post, “President Obama issued executive orders banning the torture of terrorists but … signed an order that exports the torture of unborn children around the world.”

Perkins noted that Obama vowed at the debate with Republican candidate Sen. John McCain last fall at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church to find “common ground” on the issue of abortion and that he, as president, would work to “reduce the number of abortions.”

“His action today flies in the face of that vow and probably sets a record as the most quickly broken campaign promise ever,” Perkins said.

The Rust vs. Sullivan decision says rules and regulations regarding abortion funding were consistent with the Constitution.

“Indeed, the legislative history demonstrates that Congress intended that Title X funds be kept separate and distinct from abortion-related activities,” the opinion said.

“The regulations do not violate the First Amendment free speech rights of private Title X fund recipients, their staffs, or their patients by impermissibly imposing viewpoint-discriminatory conditions on Government subsidies. There is no question but that [the] prohibition is constitutional, since the government may make a value judgment favoring childbirth over abortion, and implement that judgment by the allocation of public funds,” the opinion continued.

“Similarly, in implementing the statutory prohibition by forbidding counseling, referral, and the provision of information regarding abortion as a method of family planning, the regulations simply ensure that appropriated funds are not used for activities, including speech, that are outside the federal program’s scope.”

As a state lawmaker in Illinois, Obama opposed mandated physician help for babies who survive abortions.

The president has promised to sign the “Freedom of Choice Act,” a sweeping bill that would abolish pro-life rules and regulations across the nation.

The organization, launched to oppose the plan, already has collected 500,000 signatures in opposition.

According to Pastor Rick Scorborough of Vision America, more than 500 state, federal and local laws would be destroyed by the action.

“There are not enough words to convey the seriousness of this piece of legislation. Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand and hope this will go away. It won’t. If we don’t do something about it, the basic fundamental right to be born will be taken from millions of unborn children, ironically, in the name of ‘freedom,’” Scarborough wrote.

Among the laws that would be overturned are the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, the Hyde Amendment restricting taxpayer funding of abortions inside the U.S., informed consent laws, waiting period laws, parental consent and notification laws, requirements that abortion businesses follow health regulations, a ban on non-physicians doing abortions and bans on abortions of babies who can survive outside the womb.


What Zimmerman, Martin Medical Reports Tell Us and Media Didn’t

June 5, 2012

From By John R. Lott, May 16, 2012

The new medical reports on the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case tell us a lot. And it is not just for what they find, but also what they don’t find.

First, the reports provide striking evidence that Zimmerman did not start the fight with Martin, and that Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense. Martin’s injuries were two-fold: broken skin on his knuckles and the fatal gunshot wound.

Zimmerman’s injuries involved: a fractured nose, a pair of black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury.

It takes considerable force to break the skin on multiple knuckles. The large range of injuries on Zimmerman indicates that the Martin’s attack was prolonged. But here is what is missing: where are the injuries to Zimmerman’s hands? Where are the bruises on Martin’s face or other parts of his body? The evidence paints a picture where Martin was the only person landing blows.

The broken skin on Martin’s knuckles and Zimmerman’s wounds obviously provide some justification for self-defense. But if Zimmerman is to have justifiably used self-defense, he can’t have provoked Martin’s attack.

The affidavit filed by the prosecutor against Zimmerman was extremely weak and had many glaring omissions. It does not answer the most crucial question: Who attacked whom? All it states is: “Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued.” “Confronted” does not mean “provoked” or “assaulted.” It may mean that Zimmerman merely followed Martin and asked him what he was doing in the neighborhood.

Surely Zimmerman had the right to investigate a strange person in his neighborhood. But, in any case, Zimmerman simply asking Martin why he was in the neighborhood doesn’t give Martin the right to start striking him or pounding his head into the concrete sidewalk.

Simple words do not justify hitting someone.

Anyway, it appears that Zimmerman didn’t even question Martin. The 911 tape of Zimmerman reporting a strange person in the area indicates that Zimmerman didn’t even try to ask Martin a question.

When the police operator told Zimmerman “we don’t need you to do that [following Martin],” Zimmerman appears to have stopped following Martin and agreed to go to where the police would be arriving.

The medical evidence implies that Zimmerman did not physically attack Martin and thus there was no justification for Martin to start hitting Zimmerman.

With the case unraveling, it makes the prosecutor’s behavior look even more outrageous. The prosecutor wasn’t required to go to the grand jury for the indictment, but the fact that she didn’t in such a high-profile case is troubling. Everyone knows how easy it is for a prosecutor to get a grand jury to indict, because only the prosecutor presents evidence and the standard of proof is very low.

A grand-jury indictment would have provided political cover; that charges were brought without one means that the prosecutor was worried that even a grand jury would not give her the indictment.

The Obama administration has been fanning the flames, and it isn’t just President Obama’s attempt to personalize the tragedy.

News reports surfaced Tuesday that the US Justice Department was pushing hard to charge Zimmerman, who is part black himself, with a hate crime because Martin was black. Such a charge can carry a life prison term or even the death penalty.

Yet, Zimmerman and his wife mentored two black children for free.

A recent Reuters report that interviewed Zimmerman’s neighbors found that both black and Hispanics viewed Zimmerman as someone who cared deeply about his neighbors and volunteered to head the community watch to help them.

The claim that Zimmerman referred to blacks as “f***ing coons” has long since been dropped.

Using this case for political purposes has already come at a real cost. In Gainesville, Florida; Oak Park, Illinois; Mobile, Alabama; Toledo, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and possibly Norfolk, Va., blacks have attacked whites in what they think is revenge for Zimmerman attacking Martin because he was black, and those are just the cases where the perpetrators would make some comment such as “This is for Trayvon.”

The media has been partially responsible for this aftermath with its sensational reporting. Recent coverage has helped to balance things out, but responsible reporting requires still more.

Bottom line: the medical reports about George Zimmerman are revealing a lot more information than the media have so far let on.

John R. Lott, Jr. is a contributor. He is an economist and co-author of “Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future.”

Maryland State Troopers To Be Trained On US Constitution After Illegally Arresting Protesters

June 5, 2012

Pro-life demonstrators, including teenage girls, were strip searched, shackled by officers who said they could “rot” in cells

Steve Watson,, March 9, 2012

State police in Maryland have been ordered to undergo training on the First and Fourth Amendments following a 2008 incident during which 18 pro-life protesters were arrested, shackled and strip searched.

The incident occured when members of the group Defend Life peacefully demonstrated on public property in Hartford County in August, 2008, as part of their “Face the Truth” campaign.

Around a dozen State officers arrived on the scene and told the protesters that they did not have a permit and would be arrested unless they packed up and left.

When asked what specific ordinance said the demonstrators needed a permit to protest, one officer responded “I’m not getting into it at five o’clock at night… I’m a State police officer, I know the law – THAT’S IT.”

Attorneys with the anti-arbortion groups the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the Thomas More Society of Chicago, and the American Catholic Lawyers Association revealed that after their arrest, the protesters, including women and young girls, one as young as 14, were put into leg shackles and strip searched twice, while being denied the right to make phone calls, and make contact with lawyers. The protesters were kept in jail overnight.

Reports indicate that the first strip search took place in the police station parking lot in full view of male officers. The second strip search was conducted at the Harford County Detention Center.

Life Site News reports that The Maryland Board of Public Works voted Wednesday to settle the lawsuit that has been ongoing ever since. As part of the settlement in the case, the state of Maryland will also pay $385,000 to the protesters to cover legal fees.

When the county confirmed that there is no requirement for a “permit” as the protesters had been told, they were instead charged with loitering, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order. All the charges were dropped after one week.

Attorney Tom Brejcha revealed that the real reason for the arrests stemmed from a classic case of “heckler’s veto,” a violation of the First Amendment.

“we netted a harvest of police phone and radio call transcripts, which showed the reason for the arrests were complaints from the public, members of whom were upset about the content of the [pro-life protesters’] signs.” said Brejcha.

Brejcha also revealed that following the arrests, one police officer stated over the radio that as far as she was concerned the protesters could “sit in a cell for an hour… or three or four and rot.”

“There was a lot of hard feelings and animus against the pro-life position on the part of many of these arresting officers, including at the supervisory level.” Brejcha said.

Brejcha added that the case had taken four years to settle as it was “vigorously defended by the municipalities and the state police.”

The town of Bel Air and Hartford county agreed to settlements with the protesters last year.

The ADF has issued a statement noting “Under the terms of the settlement, Maryland State Police cannot issue countywide dispersal orders against peaceful pro-life speakers, cannot illegally arrest pro-life speakers who are exercising their constitutionally protected free speech and assembly rights, must provide acceptable reasons for asking any speakers to move, must provide speakers with the opportunity to move before threatening anyone with arrest, cannot censor constitutionally protected messages and images on signs, and must participate in training on rights protected by the First and Fourth amendments to the U.S. Constitution,”.

The Thomas More Society issued a press release that stated “While we applaud the settlement, we remain appalled by the illegal behavior of the Maryland State Police. We sincerely believe that with a better understanding of the First Amendment and a newfound respect for citizen protests, the Maryland State Police will strive hereafter to protect all the rights bestowed on individuals by the U.S. Constitution,”

US Senate Transportation Bill Mandates Black Box, More Rules

June 5, 2012

Senate-passed transportation legislation would mandate electronic data recorders and other design changes to US automobiles

From, May 8, 2012

US House and Senate negotiators are currently working out differences in the opposing transportation reauthorization bills passed by the respective chambers. In an alert sent to members yesterday, the National Motorists Association (NMA) raised an alarm over a Senate-endorsed provision mandating the installation of black box recording devices in all automobiles beginning with the 2015 model year.

Electronic data recorderUnder text of S. 1813, also known as MAP-21, the information stored on an event data recorder could be retrieved under a court order “in the furtherance of a legal proceeding,” by employees of the Department of Transportation in the event of an accident, and by anyone “for the purpose of determining the need for, or facilitating, emergency medical response.” Two years after enactment, transportation officials would initiate a rulemaking to expand the amount of data collected and require “an interoperable data access port to facilitate universal accessibility and analysis.”

Should the provision make its way into law,black box data would technically be the property of the vehicle owner, except in the cases where a judge or transportation official seeks access. The NMA believes these loopholes render the purported privacy protection meaningless.

“Without controls, black boxes have the potential to increase surveillance of motorists, enhance automated law enforcement and enable real-time collection of user fees and taxes,” NMA President Gary Biller wrote. “Left unchecked, abuse of black box data is inevitable. Maintaining control of your driving data is critical in combating further infringement on motorists’ privacy rights.”

Biller echoed the recommendation of the chairman of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) working group on black box issues, Thomas M. Kowalick. NMA and Kowalick want event data recorder access ports to be locked so that the vehicle owner retains physical control over the information in his vehicle.

In addition to mandating black boxes, the 1642-page Senate-passed bill mandates a number of significant design changes to automobiles. Within a year, transportation officials must create a brake override system to prevent the “unintended acceleration” incidents that the agency’s own investigations have concluded were caused by driver error, not manufacturing defects. Federal officials will also dictate pedal placement in an automobile and how the “start” button in an automobile may function. New standards would regulate electronic systems in automobiles. Another rule would cover warning buzzers for when seatbelts are not used in the vehicle’s back seats.

A separate rulemaking would create a special warning if a driver turns off the automobile, but a passenger remains in the rear seat. According to the bill, such systems must “provide an alert to prevent hyperthermia and hypothermia that can result in death or severe injuries.”

Paper Treated Differently Than Smartphones in Automobile Searches

June 5, 2012

Courts, lawmakers wrestle with differing standards on whether warrant needed to search cell phone during a traffic stop

From, November 1, 2011

Motorists searched during a traffic stop may find their iPhone data electronically grabbed by police in ways that would not be possible or acceptable with written material. Some police departments, including the Michigan State Police, are equipped with a mobile forensics device able to extract images, videos, text messages and emails from smartphones. In some cases, the device is able to bypass password protection. Several states have been reluctant to curtail law enforcement access to this information.

In January the California Supreme Court ruled in California v. Diaz that a police officer did not need a warrant to read the text messages on a cell phone grabbed during a search incident to arrest. A Court of Appeal ruling in September (view opinion) found a Blackberry in an automobile was nothing more than a “container” subject to warrantless examination. Golden State lawmakers recoiled at the precedent being set and moved quickly to introduce legislation requiring police to obtain judicial approval before searching a phone. The state Senate approved the measure in June by a vote of 28-9 and the state Assembly unanimously passed it in August. Governor Jerry Brown (D), however, used his veto power last month to prevent the measure from becoming law.

“I am returning Senate Bill 914 without my signature,” Brown wrote in his message to the Senate. “The courts are better suited to resolve the complex and case-specific issues relating to constitutional search-and-seizures protections.”

Nationwide, the courts do not agree on how such cases should be handled. On Tuesday, New York’s Supreme Court, Appellate Division ruled that police had no right to read a driver’s paper notebook during a search. The case began when a Suffolk County Police officer pulled over Cristobal Perez for driving while talking on his cell phone and weaving in his lane. Perez had been operating on a suspended license, so his car was impounded. Police did not wait to ask a judge for a warrant before reading the papers found in the vehicle. The state’s second-highest court saw no reason why law enforcement could not wait for a judge.

“Here, the police officer’s initial entry of the defendant’s impounded car to leaf through notebooks located in the back seat was an unjustified unconstitutional search, and the notebooks and any information gleaned therein by the officer must be suppressed,” the unanimous court ruled. “Further, the plain view doctrine does not apply, because the incriminating character of the notebooks was not immediately apparent.”

Lawmakers in the Empire State have not addressed the issue of electronic searches. A copy of the New York decision is available in an 85k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File New York v. Perez (New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 10/25/2011)

Connecticut Advances RFID License Plate Legislation

June 5, 2012

Connecticut Senate Transportation Committee backs bill to explore implanting electronic tracking chips on license plates

From, March 19, 2012

A lobbyist for the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) industry has convinced Connecticut legislators to consider implanting spy chips on the state’s license plates. Last Wednesday, the state Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to pass a bill asking the Department of Motor Vehicles to create a report on the implementation of RFID for motor vehicle registration by January 1.

Implanting the chips on license plates would enable real-time monitoring of all vehicles by positioning tracking stations at key points throughout the state. The main interest behind the bill is to generate automated ticket for drivers whose vehicle registration, emissions or insurance certification may have lapsed for a day or two. RFID makes photo enforcement systems far more accurate. Instead of having optical character recognition software identify vehicles from a picture of a license plate — often guessing when images are unclear — the chips would broadcast vehicle identity to nearby stations under all weather conditions.

Former astronaut Paul Scully-Power brought the idea to the attention of lawmakers. Scully-Power stands to profit significantly should the technology be adapted at the state level, as he is the former CEO of Mikoh Corporation and SensorConnect Inc, both of which sell RFID solutions. Scully-Power’s written testimony to highlighted how legislators would fare equally well by adopting the technology.

“There are two main reasons for the Department of Transportation to adopt this type of program,” Scully-Power wrote in his testimony. “One, to validate that every vehicle conforms to state regulations. Two, to provide considerable income to the state by identifying vehicles that are violating the existing laws of Connecticut…. The state would collect $29,619,500 per year or $79,858,500 in the same three-year period compared to the $594,000 it was able to collect.”

The financial estimates were based on the number of uninsured drivers the system could hit with $100 tickets. The system also would increase the profitability of red light cameras, which the legislature is currently considering authorizing.

“An RFID program would be phased in gradually and then expanded to accomplish other policing tasks without having to change equipment,” Scully-Power wrote. “The second phase would be to implement speeding violations.”

A copy of the legislation is available in a 210k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File Senate Bill 288 (Connecticut General Assembly, 3/14/2012)

US Representative Seeks to Pull Spy Chips from Drivers Licenses

June 5, 2012

Congressman and Michigan legislature upset over federal requirement for radio frequency ID chips in enhanced drivers licenses

From, February 21, 2012

At least one congressman and an entire state legislature want to put an end to the federal government’s drive toward embedding spy chips in the driver’s licenses of every American. US Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) earlier this month wrote Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano urging her to undo her 2009 regulatory mandate that states implant radio frequency identification (RFID) chips in in new “enhanced” licenses.

“I am deeply concerned about the privacy implications of mandatory RFIDs in driver’s licenses,” Amash wrote. “The chips would give public and private entities an unprecedented ability to track Americans. RFIDs can be read using widely available technology, including technology contained in mobile phones, which increases the risk of identity theft. Furthermore, if RFIDs were to become ubiquitous, there is little doubt that private entities would deploy new technology to capture the chips’ data.”

Amash has the support of the entire Michigan state legislature. State House Transportation Committee Chairman Paul Opsommer (R-DeWitt) introduced a resolution in 2009 calling on Congress, the president and DHS to undo the RFID mandates. It also questioned the wisdom of sharing of drivers’ personal information with Canada and Mexico, as required under the White House Travel Initiative. The “enhanced driver’s license” with tracking technology is meant to ease travel across these borders by automobile. Though enhanced licenses are currently voluntary, the only other option for individuals wishing to drive to Canada is obtaining a passport, which also contains an RFID chip. Opsommer’s measure passed the state House and Senate unanimously.

“For the federal government to now say that you have to have a RFID chip in your driver license in order to prove you are a United States citizen is an outrage,” Opsommer said in a statement. “These licenses essentially assign a new national ID number to citizens that can then be read through wallets, purses, and walls by anyone who is willing to spend $50 at Radio Shack. The first time you show your license at one of the big box stores they’ll be able to associate you with that number. That sounds like something out of China, not the United States.”

The enhanced license program goes further than the controversial DHS Real ID requirements. To obtain an enhanced license, one must provide: (1) a Social Security card or W2; (2) a certified birth certificate with a raised seal or a valid passport; (3) an out-of-state driver’s license or government ID card; and (4) proof of state residency.

Michigan Police Searching Cell Phones During Traffic Stops

June 5, 2012

From, April 19, 2011

Information Sought on Michigan program that allows cops to download information from smart phones belonging to stopped motorists.

CelleBriteThe Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program.

ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of how the devices were used. The state police responded by saying they would provide the information only in return for a payment of $544,680. The ACLU found the charge outrageous.

“Law enforcement officers are known, on occasion, to encourage citizens to cooperate if they have nothing to hide,” ACLU staff attorney Mark P. Fancher wrote. “No less should be expected of law enforcement, and the Michigan State Police should be willing to assuage concerns that these powerful extraction devices are being used illegally by honoring our requests for cooperation and disclosure.”

A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.

“Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags,” a CelleBrite brochure explains regarding the device’s capabilities. “The Physical Analyzer allows visualization of both existing and deleted locations on Google Earth. In addition, location information from GPS devices and image geotags can be mapped on Google Maps.”

The ACLU is concerned that these powerful capabilities are being quietly used to bypass Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.

“With certain exceptions that do not apply here, a search cannot occur without a warrant in which a judicial officer determines that there is probable cause to believe that the search will yield evidence of criminal activity,” Fancher wrote. “A device that allows immediate, surreptitious intrusion into private data creates enormous risks that troopers will ignore these requirements to the detriment of the constitutional rights of persons whose cell phones are searched.”

The national ACLU is currently suing the Department of Homeland Security for its policy of warrantless electronic searches of laptops and cell phones belonging to people entering the country who are not suspected of committing any crime.

Judge Alex Kozinski: The Fourth Amendment is Gone

June 5, 2012

Damon W. Root,, February 24, 2010

Last week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an en banc rehearing of the case United States v. Lemus, which dealt with a warrantless police search of a suspect’s home after he was arrested outside of it. As a result of the 9th Circuit’s denial, the search will stand, which has left Chief Judge Alex Kozinski none too happy. In dissent, Kozinksi basically accused his colleagues of abandoning the Fourth Amendment:

This is an extraordinary case: Our court approves, without blinking, a police sweep of a person’s home without a warrant, without probable cause, without reasonable suspicion and without exigency—in other words, with nothing at all to support the entry except the curiosity police always have about what they might find if they go rummaging around a suspect’s home. Once inside, the police managed to turn up a gun “in plain view”—stuck between two cushions of the living room couch—and we reward them by upholding the search.

Did I mention that this was an entry into somebody’s home, the place where the protections of the Fourth Amendment are supposedly at their zenith?…

The opinion misapplies Supreme Court precedent, conflicts with our own case law and is contrary to the great weight of authority in the other circuits. It is also the only case I know of, in any jurisdiction covered by the Fourth Amendment, where invasion of the home has been approved based on no showing whatsoever. Nada. Gar nichts. Rien du tout. Bupkes.

Whatever may have been left of the Fourth Amendment after [United States v. Black] is now gone. The evisceration of this crucial constitutional protector of the sanctity and privacy of what Americans consider their castles is pretty much complete. Welcome to the fish bowl.

“Ends Justify the Means” As Officers Illegally Handcuff 40 Innocent Bystanders

June 5, 2012

Kurt Nimmo,, June 5, 2012

Police detained and handcuffed forty innocent bystanders after a bank robbery in Aurora, Colorado, on June 4. Nearly two dozen cars were stopped near a Wells Fargo Bank and the occupants held without probable cause as police searched for a suspect.

Police Chief Daniel Oates demonstrated his ignorance of the Fourth Amendment when he told CBS in Denver “the ends justify the means” after the illegal round-up snared a suspect. He described the mass detainment and handcuffing as lawful and necessary.

“The law is clear that investigative detentions are lawful for a reasonable period of time,” Oates said. “Reasonableness is determined by the facts and circumstances at issue, and the facts and circumstances were the suspect was in one of 19 cars.”

Oates then apologized to the innocent bystanders who were terrorized.

Probable cause under the Fourth Amendment is in effect when a person is detained or arrested and is not free to leave. Police can only detain a person when facts are sufficient to warrant an arrest or seizure of an individual.

In Gerstein v. Pugh, the court found that judicial determination of probable cause is required following an arrest. Evidence of crime and that an individual was involved in a crime is required.

A person arrested without probable cause may sue the government and the police.

None of the illegally detained in the Colorado case complained, according to Oates, although people with a better understanding of the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment called the police and objected to the gross violation of liberty.

The incident reveals that many police do not have a rudimentary understanding of the Constitution they are sworn to uphold.