Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cop Tasers Little Boy

A New Mexico policeman Tasered a 10-year-old child on a playground because the boy refused to clean his patrol car, the boy claims in court.

Guardian ad litem Rachel Higgins sued the New Mexico Department of Public Safety and Motor Transportation Police Officer Chris Webb on behalf of the child, in Santa Fe County Court.

Higgins claims Webb used his Taser on the boy, R.D., during a May 4 “career day” visit to Tularosa New Mexico Intermediate School.

“Defendant Webb asked the boy, R.D., in a group of boys, who would like to clean his patrol unit,” the complaint states. “A number of boys said that they would. R.D., joking, said that he did not want to clean the patrol unit.

“Defendant Webb responded by pointing his Taser at R.D. and saying, ‘Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.’”

Webb then shot “two barbs into R.D.’s chest,” the complaint states.

“Both barbs penetrated the boy’s shirt, causing the device to deliver 50,000 volts into the boy’s body.

“Defendant Webb pulled the barbs out [of] the boy’s chest, causing scarring where the barbs had entered the boy’s skin that look like cigarette burns on the boy’s chest.

[Read More…]

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oakland County, Michigan Defends U.S. Constitution Against NDAA

It has been said that the key to politics is persistence. In the fight against one of the most draconian laws in history, that persistence has definitely paid off.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) typically funds our national defense, including the military. It has been passed by Congress and signed by the President for 48 years now.

While most previous versions have had little to no effect on America’s liberty or freedom, the 2012 NDAA destroys our Bill of Rights.

When the 2012 NDAA was being debated in the U.S. Senate, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said “Shut up! You don’t get a lawyer,” when speaking about those detained under those provisions.

Senator Graham’s statement perfectly summarizes the 2012 NDAA, which has been criticized by such a nonpartisan coalition as the Oathkeepers, ACLU, Patriot Coalition, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), and Cracked Magazine, and allows the President to order anyone, including a U.S. citizen, to be secretly arrested, never to see their family again, and be held indefinitely without due process of law (did I mention assassinated?)

Oakland County, Michigan, home to over 1.5 Million people and sitting in the heart of Southeast Michigan, has been described by groups from the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties as one of the best run county governments in the nation.

The Oakland County Commissioners proved they have earned that reputation on Thursday.

[Read More…]

The Avalanche Of New Obamacare Rules Will Come In January, 2013

When Congress wrote 2,700 pages of legislation to create ObamaCare, that was only the starting point in the government’s re-engineering of our health sector. Tens of thousands of pages of regulation – or more – are needed to provide detailed guidance dictating exactly how its maze of new programs must operate.

But deadlines are looming for ObamaCare for programs that are required to begin in 2014. And the administration is significantly behind schedule, with insiders speculating the White House is waiting until after the election to issue an avalanche of rules, many of which are sure to be controversial.

Government re-engineering of the private marketplace is a complex task. So far, more than 13,000 pages of federal ObamaCare regulations have been issued, but employers, states, and health companies say they need much more.

One recent rule took 18 pages to define a “full time employee.” That’s needed because a company employing 50 or more full-time workers must provide health insurance or pay a fine. But part-time employees working fewer than 30 hours a week are exempt. How the government defines a full-time employee has huge financial implications for a company. The rule describes the difference between “variable hour employees” and “ongoing employees,” for example, and how to determine what time period to measure with definitions of “standard measurement periods” and “look-back measurements.”

Employers are hiring battalions of lawyers to help them decipher the bureaucratese, and some companies already have announced they plan to cut the hours of many of their workers so they fit within the part-time threshold, arguing even the $2,000 to $3,000 per-employee fines would more than wipe out their profit margins.

[Read More…]

Fear No Hurricane: Obama Quietly Approved Federal Subsidies to Houses in Floodplains in July

Four months before Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, President Obama quietly signed legislation expanding the federal program that offers taxpayer-subsidized flood insurance to ocean-front homeowners.

The law extended the National Flood Insurance Program for five years while also opening the program for the first time to multi-family properties like beachfront condominiums. The flood insurance provisions were part of a bill known as the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act that passed the House 373 to 52 on June 29 and the Senate by 74 to 19 the same day. President Obama signed it into law on July 6 with remarks that dwelled on the transportation spending and student loan-related language in the Act, but made no mention at all of the flood insurance.

The Left tends to look at hurricanes as examples of how government works well—the National Weather Service warns people, police and firefighters help with evacuations and rescue, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency helps clean up. Free-market types, by contrast, argue that hurricane casualties are partly the result of unintended consequences of government actions: without federal flood insurance, many fewer people would take the risk of living in low-lying areas vulnerable to storm surges.

Television reporter John Stossel, who once had an oceanfront house washed away by a storm, has called the flood insurance program an “outrage” and “dumb.”

“The subsidized insurance goes to affluent homeowners on both coasts — from Malibu Beach, where movie stars live, to Kennebunkport where the Bush family has a vacation home, to Hyannisport, where the Kennedy family has a summer home, to the Hamptons, where I bought my house,” he wrote.

[Read More…]

Cops Raid Free Poker Tournament, Because in Florida Gambling Does Not Require Betting

For years the Nutz Poker League, along with several competitors, has been running free tournaments at bars and restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. It makes money by taking a cut of what players spend on food and drinks. The players accumulate points based on their spending as well as their poker performance and can ultimately win prizes such as vacations, cruises, laptops, cameras, and “various unique poker gifts.” Twice a year the winner of the league’s “grand championship” receives “a trip to Las Vegas and a Buy In to The World Series of Poker.” Since there is no fee to play and no money is wagered on the games, Nutz owner Richard Danford believed he was complying with Florida’s gambling laws. Evidently the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco disagreed. It expressed this disagreement by sending its agents, assisted by black-masked local police officers “in full riot gear” with “weapons drawn,” to raid a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament at Louie’s Grill and Sports Bar in Largo the Saturday before last. The Tampa Bay Times reports that Danford and five of his employees “were arrested, accused of working for a gambling house,” while “the restaurant owner was charged with keeping a gambling house.” Those are third-degree felonies, punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

Pinellas-Pasco Assistant State Attorney Joshua Riba told the Times that Florida’s definition of gambling, rather counterintuitively, does not require betting. “The statute itself does not require anybody to ante in,” Riba says. “If they are playing cards, and they have an opportunity to win something of value, then they are technically violating this particular gambling statute.” In fact, the offense of keeping a gambling house is defined as, among other things, letting people use a place “to play for money or other valuable thing at any game whatever, whether heretofore prohibited or not.” On its face, this so-called crime is not limited to games of chance; a Scrabble tournament with a cash prize or a trivia contest that gives a bar tab to the winning team seemingly would qualify. The Times notes that Florida has an exception for private “penny-ante games,” but it does not apply to public tournaments—even, according to state regulators, if the amount of money wagered is zero.

[Read More…]