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Do You Know Who I Am?

June 24th, 2013 - 11:32 pm

Alan Dershowitz weighed in on the David Gregory vs Glenn Greenwald dispute. “Greenwald’s a total phony. He is anti-American, he loves tyrannical regimes, and he did this because he hates America. This had nothing to do with publicizing information.”

Gregory, you will recall, suggested that Greenwald may have “abetted” Snowden’s actions: ”to the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mister Greenwald, be charged with a crime?” to which Greenwald replied, “I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies.”  The implication was that Greenwald could do what he did because he was a journalist. Gregory, it will be further recalled, illustrated an anti-gun law by violating it on the air.

You see Gregory is also a journalist.  So he gets a get out of jail card just the same as Greenwald. That’s cool! But what is a journalist? Gloria Allred, who was also on the show with Dershowitz, offered these thoughts.

“I wouldn’t necessarily call Mr. Greenwald a journalist – I would think of a journalist as someone who is neutral. I see Mr. Greenwald as more of an advocate, defending his source, almost acting as a lawyer.”

Who you are seems to matter more and more than what you do.

Authority is a great thing to have because it means special rules apply to you. It is so handy that the number of people exercising authority understandably tends to grow. Recently, the Airline Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) questioned the power of the Customs and Border Protection to search aircraft well within the borders of the US, “noting that CBP’s authority to conduct searches of aircraft that have crossed an international border is well understood, questioned the agency’s authority to operate in places like Iowa City.”

“In all of our research to date, we cannot identify what authority is granted Customs and Border Protection to monitor general aviation activity within the borders of the United States and we question the authority under which CBP is conducting this monitoring, stop and search activity,” Mead wrote …

pilots have been stopped and detained more than once by CBP agents operating well inland of the borders, targeting for invasive searches aircraft that never came close to crossing a border. AOPA is aware of some searches that could have compromised airworthiness, with uncertified personnel removing inspection plates, for example.

The proliferation of police powers in turn creates the need to equalize, akin to credential inflation. Once upon a time you could be President of the United States with a high school diploma. Today one needs a college degree at least. Probably the same thing applies to bureaucracies. Once upon a time you just needed to be bureaucrat. Today the thing to be is a bureaucrat with a badge.  Bruce Schneier calls this phenomenon “privilege escalation”. He cites the example of transit cops whose main ambition was to drop the “transit” part of their job description.

In the computer security world, privilege escalation means using some legitimately granted authority to secure extra authority that was not intended. This is a real-world counterpart. Even though transit police departments are meant to police their vehicles only, the title — and the ostensible authority that comes along with it — is useful elsewhere.

He also cites the case of an auto repair shop that created its own police force to keep up with Jonses, using the transit cop route.

Yosef Maiwandi formed the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority — a tiny, privately run nonprofit organization that provides bus rides to disabled people and senior citizens. It operates out of an auto repair shop. Then, because the law seems to allow transit companies to form their own police departments, he formed the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority Police Department. As a thank you, he made Stefan Eriksson a deputy police commissioner of the San Gabriel Transit Authority Police’s anti-terrorism division, and gave him business cards.

I may only look like a van driver ...

I may only look like a van driver …

An LA Times article says there are reports of criminals starting their own police departments.

Most local police agencies are certified by California’s Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training. But Alan Deal, a spokesman for the agency, said the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority Police Department has not been certified.

Without meeting state standards, a police officer has few powers beyond that of a security guard, who can carry weapons and make citizen’s arrests.

Deal said that his agency has discovered that several railroad agencies around California have created police departments — even though the companies have no rail lines in California to patrol. The police certification agency is seeking to decertify those agencies because it sees no reason for them to exist in California.

The issue of private transit firms creating police agencies has in recent years been a concern in Illinois, where several individuals with criminal histories created railroads as a means of forming a police agency.

The problem with being the just border police is it’s too confining. It’s only natural to aim for more. Left unchecked privilege escalation can be used to grab resources that were formerly in the commons. The David Gregory/Glenn Greenwald example is illustrates the point. It used to be that First Amendment covered everybody. But now that anyone can post on the Internet, and further given that some of these have wider audiences than journalists, they need a little privilege escalation to even things up. One way is to argue that journalists are exempted to degree greater than citizens from the effects of the law. In effect, they’ve granted themselves comparatively more privileges than the regular civilian. Unchallenged that will become more or less conventional wisdom.

Pretty soon being just an ordinary citizen won’t be worth a plugged nickel, what with Immigration Amnesty and all. There’s a business opportunity in creating categories of citizenship, like the credit card companies do. Silver, Gold, Platinum. Maybe one day you’ll need a badge to cross the street and we can all be cops.

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Top Rated Comments   
Someone said that "you don't get a warrant when you're at war". Fair enough. But is it impertinent to ask, "what war are we talking about?" Is it the War on Terror that President Obama wants to declare over? Or maybe the War that George Bush invented? Or was the Libyan war that wasn't a war? Or perhaps it's the Syrian war that isn't even a war yet. Or is the War of Necessity in Afghanistan? You know the one that is going to be concluded by giving Afghanistan back to the Taliban?

What war are we talking about? This is getting to be a real goat rope. Wasn't it all about "law enforcement"? If it's about law enforcement then how come you don't need a warrant because we're in a war? Ok, so we're in a war. Then how about debating in Congress. Nope can't do that.

Fine. Then didn't Greenwald vote for Obama? Heck didn't didn't Gregory? Didn't Dershowitz? Wasn't Snowden a big fan of the President's? Didn't Snowden support BHO because he was going to end the evil practices of GWB?

Ok, so how come they're calling each other traitors? Who's on first?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (19)
All Comments   (19)
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“I wouldn’t necessarily call Mr. Greenwald a journalist – I would think of a journalist as someone who is neutral."

Gloria Allred has just argued for the abolishing of the entire MSM...the non-neutrality of the MSM being a provable assertion.

On a related matter; if a whistleblower uses a blogger, such as our esteemed host, to 'out' official malfeasance (to simplify, no nat. sec. involved) does the blogger enjoy journalistic immunity?

After doing a quick search, opinion seems to be divided, with those on the left insisting of course that journalistic 'credentials and certification' are needed to claim immunity. Clearly, keeping the journalist guild's power sacrosanct is a concern.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama: impotent abroad, omnipotent at home.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Edward Snowden is staying in the Transit Lounge of the Moscow airport.

He can alternate between "Burger King, TGI Friday’s and panoply of coffee shops". This seems to be my day for the bizarre, as Michael Totten writes about his visit to Hezbollah's "Disneyland" -- a theme park where you can buy caps with Nasrallah's picture on it and walk through entertaining barbed wire and pillbox exhibits.

But blert made my day by pointing out the link (to remote controlled car accidents). Hey, we're in the 21st century.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
O/T... but interesting...from Brietbart... 'Andy'

"...Former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke told The Huffington Post on Monday that the fatal crash of journalist Michael Hastings’ Mercedes C250 coupe last week is “consistent with a car cyber attack.”

“There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers” — including the United States — know how to remotely seize control of a car,” Clarke said.

Here's the head of DARPA Dr. Kathleen Fisher, a program manager for DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technologies. Fisher admitted that the Pentagon has researched remotely controlling cars through hacking on board computers.

And one more for shizz and gigglez, In 2011, Car and Driver magazine published an article substantiating the Pentagon research. “Currently, there’s nothing to stop anyone with malicious intent and some ­computer-programming skills from taking command of your vehicle. After gaining access, a hacker could control everything from which song plays on the radio to whether the brakes work,” writes Keith Barry, citing research conducted by the Center for Automotive Embedded Systems Security, a partnership between the University of California San Diego and the University of Washington."

^^^^ All of the above inre the astounding high speed wreck of Hastings.

BTW, since 9-11 the government has phased in new class 8 trucks that ARE remotely overridden -- if necessary. This is to prevent crazed fanatics from driving into the California State Capitol Building... and the like.

What started as a system for big rigs has almost certainly been extended to high performance cars -- the kind that can be used to ram toll booths sited in and around major urban areas. Booths that have ALREADY been car-rammed by fanatics/ dopers.

I would be shocked if Daimler-Benz DIDN'T have electronic speed control overrides built into its machines.

Forever and ever, LEO have complained about trying to stop very high speed flight by automobiles. This is the wave of the future -- and is the kind of thing that is being engineered -- under the radar -- pretty much everywhere.

Lastly, drunks RARELY drive ultra fast. Sloppy, yes; at great speed, no.

It takes uppers/ cocaine/ meth to get drivers up to speed. It is notable that eye witnesses don't report Hastings as swerving. That's amazing. At speed, a drunk will be all over the road, normally flipping his machine without even hitting anything.

Very strange.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The only question is whether you are plebian, equestrian, or patrician.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All of this type of activity follows from 'selective adherence to law.' When men get to decide which laws to enforce, or not enforce, it becomes necessary to get 'your own men' who decide these things in your favor. Why do we even have a CBP since they only selectively enforce laws? Why do we have an ICE when the Federal government has in effect abdicated their sovereignty? Any form of amnesty for illegal aliens is simply an admission that we are either too feckless, too cowardly or simply not interested in enforcing our own laws. Think of that for a moment, the LAWMAKERS in our government are unwilling to enforce THEIR OWN LAWS! So why do we even need a federal government? Oh yeah, to redistribute wealth. That is all they do with any real competence anymore. ( No don't include the military. The military works within its own guidelines, UCMJ and traditions. In fact they would be even better without federal interference)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
First, AOPA is the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. I am a member.

And recently I read of a case where a man cranked up his airplane and flew from Calfornia to a small town Oklahoma, whereupon he was set upon by all manner of Homeland Security and Border Patrol agents, including a surveillance jet that circled overhead for the entire encounter.

Ask what this was about they would not say, but explained that his flight had been flagged as having a certain identifier: "a flight going from West to East." I understand these same people are still looking for Amelia Earhart for that same reason.

In another case a man was out flying his glider in SC and someone decided he was too close to a nuclear power plant. You are not supposed to circle near such power plants but gliders circle to gain altitude. The power plant lacked a suitable radio to contact him, even if he had known they wnated to have a chat.

Upon landing he was set upon by the forces of the local sheriff, who complained that he had not landed in reponse to a radio message he had never received - nor had been required to. There is a happy ending to this one - it appears that the sherriff deputies will not be put in jail.

Even worse, these people often proceed to conduct an FAA-style ramp check of aircraft and pilot documents - only they are not FAA and are not only powerless in that area but entirely clueless as well.

From the Santa Barbara Architectural Review Board to your friendly neighborhood cop, the forces of tyranny are loose in the land - and even worse, they are not only loose but friggin' incompetent as well.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps the sheriff and his deputy had read this and the Fourth Amendment...

"Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241
Conspiracy Against Rights

This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same).

It further makes it unlawful for two or more persons to go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another with the intent to prevent or hinder his/her free exercise or enjoyment of any rights so secured.

Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both; and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years, or for life, or may be sentenced to death."

Let's see, "Ten Years" in the Federal Pen! And there is that nice underutilized one in Thomson, Illinois. Just the place for Lois Lerner et al!!!!!

All we need is a real (not affirmative action) Attorney General of the United States with a zeal to root out government corruption.


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
OT, but, having flown sail planes (in SC, no less) I can add that a power plant can be a good place to gain altitude; if you can find the heat plume from the cooling towers you can get a nice ride, especially in winter.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
True, that occurred to me as well. But he was not doing that. And there is no notation on the sectional chart nor a NOTAM telling you to avoid the power plant.

There is a general rule that pilots should not linger in the vicinity of such power plants - as well as other facilities, such as stadiums with games underway. But as to how that is "enforced" - I guess you can get his N-number and complain to the FAA.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think 0bama and his wrecking crew have "elevated" their privileges close or above the point of impeachment.

Most of the comments have express my opinion so I'll make mine short. If I were Snowden I would be very concerned about 30 "journalists" on the same airplane. Any one of the 30 could have been an agent for the CIA or a hit man. Discrete travel would be Snowden's top concern.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So now Obama wants to misuse the EPA to limit carbon dioxide emissions.



One of the guys the WaPo called "men with machines".

Didn't get enough watching Cap & Trade crash and burn?

There's more where that came form, A**HOLE!

Just you wait for the sevond phase of the BP civi;l trial to begin!!



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You need to revisit the evolution of digital automatic control systems.

First there was on-off control,
Then proportional on-off control, P.
Then they added integral control, PI.
Then they add differential control, PID.
Then they added AutoTune.

As you go through the process of refining your control algorithms, you observe the lack of control due to net positive feedbacks. Positive feedback has its place, but you want the residual coefficient to be slightly negative.

Give a bureaucrat an inch and he'll take a mile. Throw a bureaucrat in jail and he'll cower in fear.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Purely as a theoretical matter, if the autotune has a built in bias such that the bureaucrat cannot ever be thrown in jail no matter how much positive feedback is present; how do you re-establish the desired range of control?

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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