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TAR. FEATHERS. Government Cameras Hidden on Private Property? Welcome to Open Fields.

Seated at his kitchen table, finishing off the remains of a Saturday breakfast, Hunter Hollingsworth’s world was rocked by footsteps on his front porch and pounding at the door, punctuated by an aggressive order: “Open up or we’ll kick the door down.”

Surrounded on all sides of his house, and the driveway blocked, Hollingsworth was the target of approximately 10 federal and state wildlife officials packing pistols, shotguns and rifles. And what was Hollingsworth’s crime? Drugs, armed robbery, assault, money laundering? Not quite.

Months prior, in 2018, the Tennessee landowner removed a game camera secretly strapped to a tree on his private land by wildlife officials in order to monitor his activity without apparent sanction or probable cause. Repeat: Hollingsworth’s residence was searched by U.S. government and state officials, dressed to the nines in assault gear, seeking to regain possession of a trail camera—the precise camera they had surreptitiously placed on his private acreage after sneaking onto his property at night, loading the camera with active SD and SIM cards, and zip-tying the device roughly 10’ high up a tree—all without a warrant.

This is a physical trespass, and any claim that the “open fields” doctrine should apply here is absurd.

TAR. FEATHERS. PITCHFORKS. New Files Highlight Brennan’s Role Promoting Clinton’s Russia Collusion Narrative.

Related: ‘Russia hoax’ was lie created by Hillary Clinton and one of the dirtiest political tricks ever.

It was a seditious conspiracy to overturn a democratic election. People should be jailed, if not outright executed, which I don’t believe the law permits.

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIORITIES: Sex parties allowed but dancing at weddings banned under Queensland’s COVID-19 restrictions. I really think that bringing back tar and feathers would be socially constructive.

OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE BASED ON SYSTEMIC HATRED OF BOYS AND BOYHOOD: Joanne Jacobs: Zero tolerance for boys’ toys.

In Colorado Springs, Colorado, a teacher glimpsed a neon-green Nerf gun, labeled “ZOMBIE HUNTER,” as Isaiah Elliott, 12, moved it from one side of the couch to the other. She told the principal that it probably was a toy, but she wasn’t sure. Nobody called the parents. Instead the principal sent sheriff’s deputies to the home for a “welfare check” and suspended the student for five days for violating school policy on bringing a gun look-alike to school.

Tar. Feathers.

HOWIE CARR ON MIKE FLYNN: FBI railroading Americans, but we knew that here in Boston.

Who would have ever believed that James Comey and Andrew McCabe might be arrested before Donald J. Trump?

As the president said Thursday of this greatest scandal in American political history: “I wish I knew then what I know now.”

Every day, in every way, this catastrophe of corruption by the FBI’s “human scum,” as the president so rightly describes them, metastasizes into something ever more appalling.

Did these effete, crooked cops ever stop railroading their fellow American citizens and obstructing justice?

And yet the Democrats and the media, but I repeat myself, just keep saying, nothing to see here folks, move along.

They’ve gone from covering the news to covering up the news.

According to one account Thursday, the “news” networks spent 2,284 minutes over the years promoting the Russian collusion hoax from start to finish.

But here’s the amount of airtime they’ve devoted to these latest revelations about the FBI’s pervasive top-to-bottom corruption in promoting the hoax:

CNN, ABC and CBS: a combined zero mentions. MSNBC: one mention, at 5:14 a.m., NBC: one mention, at 3:41 a.m.

The New York Times, which handed itself a Pulitzer Prize for years of “reporting” Russian collusion that didn’t exist, now argues that President Trump wants prosecutions of the crooked FBI agents so he can “weaponize” their criminal behavior for the campaign.

So it was totally OK for the feds to try to frame Trump and everyone around him, but to want someone brought to justice for it is just politics — weaponizing and seizing and pouncing on those wonderful Democrats in the FBI and the CIA?

Thursday, the Associated Press was still couching these latest revelations about the FBI’s frame-ups as something that Michael Flynn was “claiming” and “contending.”

One of the pro-Deep State blogs “claimed” and “contended” that the newly-revealed handwritten notes about Flynn were no big deal, because the briefers at the J. Edgar Hoover Building often brainstorm on how to best destroy anyone who gets in their way.

Which everyone in Boston, at least, has known for decades. But isn’t that the problem, that this has been going on forever?

Tar, feathers, and a noose should be the remedy for deliberate abuse of official power.

IF I WEREN’T DEATHLY ALLERGIC TO FEATHERS…  Coronavirus concerns: People are panic-buying baby chickens, reports claim.

However, as I’ve said a number of times you don’t have to be a weather man to see which way the wind is blowing.

TAR, FEATHERS: HOA Threatens to Foreclose on Residents Conducting Business from Home During Lockdown

BUT… BUT… BUT WE’VE ALREADY SPENT SO MUCH ON ROPE, TAR, FEATHERS AND A RAIL!!!!  Pelosi waiting for Judiciary Committee hearings before committing to impeachment.  (And the commitment should be involuntary and to a mental facility for Pelosi and the gang. Look, if ever I saw a crying need for anti-psychotics.)

TAR, FEATHERS. School district warns parents their kids could be put in foster care unless lunch debt paid. People are amazingly docile — or, if you prefer, law-abiding — given that threats like this almost never get the threatener killed or beaten to within an inch of their life.

UGH: Petting Zoos May Be Chock Full of Superbugs.

Researchers in Israel, including veterinarians, collected samples of poop, skin, fur, and feathers from over 200 animals across 42 species who lived in one of eight petting zoos in the country. They then tested the samples for bacteria resistant to more than one class of antibiotics.

The team was interested in spotting two groups of highly multidrug-resistant bacteria known as extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) Enterobacteriaceae and AmpC-producing Enterobacteriaceae (AmpC-E). These bacteria are some of the most feared superbugs around, largely because they carry mutations that make them resistant to a wide variety of antibiotics. Some of these mutations can also easily be passed to other species of bacteria, through mobile bits of DNA called plasmids.

Even scarier is that many resistant bacteria first evolve in animals and then go on to infect people. These sorts of outbreaks typically originate in livestock, but they’re occasionally caused by cuddlier animals, too. And it’s the infection risk posed by these animals that the researchers, led by Shiri Navon-Venezia, a microbiologist at Ariel University, were hoping to get a grasp on.

Years ago I had a friend who kept a couple of terrariums with scorpions and tarantulas, which we referred to as “R.J.’s No-Petting Zoo.” But apparently not even the goats are all that safe.

TAR. FEATHERS. D.C. Bureaucrats Are Trying to Make Parents Get a License to Let Children Play Together.

TAR. FEATHERS. Unable to Ban Guns, Lawmakers Want to Weaponize the ATF Against Gun Dealers.

NEO-OTTOMANS: Turkey to intervene in Sinjar if Iraq doesn’t.

Turkey will launch an operation into Iraq’s northern Sinjar region if Iraqi forces do not fully carry out an operation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed, while an Iraqi military spokesperson said their army was deployed in the region controlled by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“Our hope is that Iraq will complete the operation there thoroughly. If there is a problem achieving this goal, we will conduct our bilateral meetings and be the ones who will do what is necessary in Sinjar,” Erdoğan said on March 26, speaking ahead of his trip to Bulgaria’s Varna for a summit with European Union leaders.

The PKK took control over Sinjar in 2015 after defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who took the region from the Yazidi minority community in 2014.

Sources in northern Iraq said on March 23 that the PKK would withdraw from the Sinjar area.

That attitude might ruffle a few feathers in Tehran, where the mullahs believe that bossing around Iraq is strictly their prerogative.

Related: Turkey’s ‘holy war’ in Syria puts a more religious nationalism on display.

TAR. FEATHERS. How an Arizona couple’s innocent bath-time photos of their kids set off a 10-year legal saga.

The Demarees said they were harmless shots of the children goofing around, no different than what you’d expect to find in any family scrapbook. But police and social workers launched a full-blown sex abuse investigation, raiding the couple’s home and putting the girls in protective custody for a month while they interviewed dozens of family members and friends about whether the Demarees were child sex offenders.

When authorities declined to bring charges — judges who reviewed the pictures found they were, in fact, harmless family photos — the couple sued two Child Protective Services employees, among others, alleging constitutional violations.

On Tuesday, after a series of defeats in the case, a federal appeals court affirmed what the Demarees have argued all along: that their children were taken from them for no good reason.

Seriously, government employees who behave this way should be whipped through the streets naked, then forced to spend a full day in the stocks. Taking someone’s children without solid reason is an outrageous violation.

HONESTLY, TAR AND FEATHERS IS THE LEAST THAT SHOULD HAPPEN TO THESE PEOPLE: Minor Violations Lead to Massive Prosecution Fees in Two California Desert Towns.

We’ve seen cities across the country abuse their own citizens—particularly its poorest residents and visitors—with vicious enforcement of petty laws designed to create a revenue stream via a cascade of fines and fees.

But I don’t think we’ve seen an enforcement mechanism as nasty and cruel as the one the Desert Sun has uncovered out in California’s Inland Empire. The cities of Indio and Coachella partnered up with a private law firm, Silver & Wright, to prosecute citizens in criminal court for violations of city ordinances that call for nothing more than small fines—things like having a mess in your yard or selling food without a business license.

Those cited for these violations fix the problems and pay the fines, a typical code enforcement story. The kicker comes a few weeks or months later when citizens get a bill in the mail for thousands of dollars from the law firm that prosecuted them. They are forcing citizens to pay for the private lawyers used to take them to court in the first place. So a fine for a couple of hundred dollars suddenly becomes a bill for $3,000 or $20,000 or even more.

In Coachella, a man was fined $900 for expanding his living room without getting a permit. He paid his fine. Then more than a year later he got a bill in the mail from Silver & Wright for $26,000. They told him that he had to pay the cost of prosecuting him, and if he didn’t, they could put a lien on his house and the city could sell it against his will. When he appealed the bill they charged him even more for the cost of defending against the appeal. The bill went from $26,000 to $31,000.

Brett Kelman of the Desert Sun found 18 cases in Indio and Coachella where people received inordinately high legal bills for small-time violations. A woman fined for hanging Halloween decorations across a city street received legal bill for $2,700. When she challenged it, the bill jumped to $4,200.

Kelman notes that these thousands of dollars in fees came from a single court hearing that lasted minutes.

Somebody should file bar complaints on these people.

CALIFORNIA SCHEMING: Minor Violations Lead to Massive Prosecution Fees in Two California Desert Towns.

I don’t think we’ve seen an enforcement mechanism as nasty and cruel as the one the Desert Sun has uncovered out in California’s Inland Empire. The cities of Indio and Coachella partnered up with a private law firm, Silver & Wright, to prosecute citizens in criminal court for violations of city ordinances that call for nothing more than small fines—things like having a mess in your yard or selling food without a business license.

Those cited for these violations fix the problems and pay the fines, a typical code enforcement story. The kicker comes a few weeks or months later when citizens get a bill in the mail for thousands of dollars from the law firm that prosecuted them. They are forcing citizens to pay for the private lawyers used to take them to court in the first place. So a fine for a couple of hundred dollars suddenly becomes a bill for $3,000 or $20,000 or even more.

In Coachella, a man was fined $900 for expanding his living room without getting a permit. He paid his fine. Then more than a year later he got a bill in the mail from Silver & Wright for $26,000. They told him that he had to pay the cost of prosecuting him, and if he didn’t, they could put a lien on his house and the city could sell it against his will. When he appealed the bill they charged him even more for the cost of defending against the appeal. The bill went from $26,000 to $31,000.

Brett Kelman of the Desert Sun found 18 cases in Indio and Coachella where people received inordinately high legal bills for small-time violations. A woman fined for hanging Halloween decorations across a city street received legal bill for $2,700. When she challenged it, the bill jumped to $4,200.

Kelman notes that these thousands of dollars in fees came from a single court hearing that lasted minutes.

As Glenn would say, “tar, feathers.” And as Kate of Small Dead Animals titles her recurring posts on California craziness, “O, Sweet Saint Of San Andreas, Hear My Prayer.”

GOOD LORD: FBI Reviews Allegations Of Puerto Rican Officials Withholding Hurricane Relief.

“People call us and tell us some misappropriation of some goods and supplies by supposedly politicians, not necessarily mayors, but people that work for the mayors in certain towns,” FBI Special Agent Carlos Osorio told The Daily Caller Wednesday.

Osorio explained, “They’re supposedly withholding these goods and these supplies and instead of handing them out to people who really need them, [there are claims] that [local officials] are assigning them to their buddies first–people that have voted for them or people that contributed to their campaigns or what not.”

He added, “So what we’re doing is looking into these allegations. That I can tell you is happening. Again, I cannot say that we have any ongoing investigation. We’re just corroborating these allegations.”

I would hope there’s nothing to these allegations, but if there is: Tar, feathers.

DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH: ‘White girls are filthy’: Wives of Asian men jailed for raping vulnerable British girls reveal why they blame the victims. “Since reports of a gang of Pakistani-British sexual predators in Rotherham first emerged in 2011, there has been a string of horrific cases: in Rochdale, Peterborough, Bristol, Aylesbury and at least 20 other towns across the country. Even now white girls, many from troubled homes, are being violated by men who profess to be good Muslims. Such are the explosive racial and religious implications that, to our shame, many refuse to face the problem. Look at what happened to Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham, who was sacked from the shadow front bench for saying just this. Or take the case of Amina Lone, a Muslim councillor from Birmingham, who rightly defended Champion but was then told she cannot stand for re-election.”

Tar. Feathers. Plus:

And from all the evidence, it is clear the men in question still blame the victims and feel no remorse. They are sexual psychotics.

Yet, painful as it is to say, it became clear, too, that the men are not alone in blaming the victims. I asked the women how they would feel if their children had been drugged and raped. They agreed it would break their hearts. But, Mariam said: ‘It can’t happen to our children because they are not in the streets. We look after them.’

Only Nusrat and Nila were prepared to condemn the abuse without reservation. The others, it seemed, privately blamed the girls and even their parents. It became clear they had a very confused sense of morality.

Nusrat fought back, saying: ‘You know our girls are raped by uncles, fathers, brothers and imams. My neighbour’s daughter had a baby when she was 12. It was her uncle. They blamed her. Sent her to Pakistan. We don’t see the truth.’

But later, at a separate meeting, I encountered Suju, the wife of another jailed groomer. She was afraid of him but she, too, thinks white girls are: ‘Filthy. How they dress. They have no shame, no fear of Allah.’

Cultural enrichment.

OH FER CRYIN’ OUT LOUD: Hours After Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County Tickets Residents For Code Violations.

Celso Perez was helping his neighbors remove some fallen trees blocking their street when a county code enforcer rolled up and issued him a safety notice for having a downed fence. “I laughed,” Perez tells WSVN-TV. “I thought he was kidding. ‘You are kidding right? We just had a hurricane six hours ago.'”

It wasn’t a joke. The official told Perez that the downed fence—which encloses a pool—was a safety hazard, and that if it wasn’t fixed by the time he returned, Perez would be hit with a fine. The official then hung the safety citation on the portion of Perez’s fence that remained standing, leaving him and his neighbors to finish clearing the debris from their street.

According to WSVN, the county has handed out 680 safety notices for downed pool barriers, and another 177 electrical hazard safety notices. Reason reached out to the county to confirm those numbers, but has not received a reply.

From what can be gleaned from the WSVN story and from county code enforcement procedures, these safety notices appear to be just warnings, meaning no fines have been handed out as of yet. Reason tried to confirm this with the county as well, but was again rebuffed.

Still, these warnings carry with them a duty to correct the violation within a specific window of time. That might not even be possible for some residents, given how many businesses are still out of operation.

Tar, feathers.

TAR. FEATHERS: Cop Cleans Out Wallet Of Unlicensed Hot Dog Vendor Just Because He Can. This isn’t “civil forfeiture.” It’s outright robbery under color of law.

This is what the UC Berkeley police do instead of stopping Antifa from breaking heads and silencing speakers.

UPDATE: From the comments: “I choose a psychological explanation: Having lost control of the peace, stability, and order of the campus in all the ways that matter, the campus police choose petty assertions of control that allow them to feel that they do still have power. They look for the people who are easiest to dominate, and then dominate them in obviously excessive and asinine ways, because it’s a way for them to not notice the way they’ve been dominated. A bunch of campus-adjacent randos are going to pay a steep cost for the way the UCPD has gone into a crouch in the presence of antifa.”

BUT, BUT, BUT I LIKED HIM FEATHERED.  TELL ME AT LEAST THAT HE CHIRPED?  T-Rex didn’t have feathers, scientists confirm.

PAY-TO-PLAY: Business license required for teens to cut grass in Gardendale, Alabama.

Teenagers have been threatened by officials and other lawn services to show their city issued license before cutting a person’s lawn for extra summer cash.

Cutting grass is often one of the first jobs many have in the summer. But a business license in Gardendale costs $110. And for a job, just for a couple of months, that can be a bit extreme.

“I have never heard of a child cutting grass had to have a business license,” said Elton Campbell.
Campbell’s granddaughter cuts grass around the neighborhood.

“She charges one lady $20, and another lady $30, and another girl $40 besides what we pay her,” said Campbell.

For her, this was the perfect summer gig!

“Just helping out and raising money for admissions and trips,” said Alainna Parris.

But now, it’s becoming a hassle.

“One of the men that cuts several yards made a remark to one of our neighbors, ‘that if he saw her cutting grass again that he was going to call Gardendale because she didn’t have a business license,” said Campbell.

Tar, feathers.

(Hat tip, Michelle Rey.)

THE FOSSILIZED FEATHERS WERE A CLUE: Scientists may have discovered how dinosaurs evolved into birds.

TAR, FEATHERS: Sheriff’s Raid to Find Blogger Who Criticized Him Was Unconstitutional, Court Rules.

TAR, FEATHERS: Lawmaker wants Cajun Navy, other volunteers to get training, pay fee.

UPDATE: “A lot of misinformation” about this.

IT’S NICE TO SEE GOOD SENSE ASSERT ITSELF: “The University of Iowa has scrapped plans to create a Bias Assessment and Response Team after determining that such bodies often become what one administrator called ‘scolding bodies’ that can create as many problems as they are intended to solve.”

Related: It’s Fatuous To Outlaw An Emotion, Especially Hate: “If they are determined to go down this route I would much rather they outlawed simpering or self-righteousness — but that would mean banging up half the capital, including the mayor himself. . . . I suppose the police go along with this sort of garbage partly because they have to, but also because these non-crimes are very fashionable and politically correct and are rather less messy to clear up than other sorts of crimes. The rozzers get themselves establishment brownie points without having to do anything too onerous or too dangerous. But trolling is a crime in which nobody is really hurt or even seriously discommoded — unlike, say, being stabbed in the throat, having your car nicked or being burgled. Suffer either of the latter two crimes and you will be exceedingly lucky if a copper turns up at all. Whereas tweet that ‘we should kick out the immigrants, pronto’ and it won’t just be the filth who swarm round, but social services too, if you have children. It is a strange position we have got ourselves into.”

If we don’t see more reassertions of good sense, we’ll need tar and feathers.

CRIMINALIZING OPPOSITION IS #1 IN THE PLAYBOOK: Government says Wearing “Don’t Tread on Me” insignia might be unlawful racial harassment. Tar and feathers is a traditional response.

TAR. FEATHERS. Progressive Policing of Speech Moves Off Campus.

TAR. FEATHERS. 9th Circuit: It’s a federal crime to visit a website after being told not to visit it.

TAR. FEATHERS. The Federal Speech Police Are At It Again.

In a 2013, the Office for Civil Rights in Education—a federal agency formally charged with protecting students from unlawful harassment, but which appears to have effectively gone rogue under new, far-left leadership over the last five years—declared that universities needed to investigate and possibly punish students for making comments that other students find “unwelcome,” even if those comments were protected by the First Amendment.

The OCR’s “blueprint” sparked outrage among civil liberties groups, and among some lawmakers, including Senator John McCain, who charged that the organization was exceeding its statutory authority by compelling universities to regulate speech on their campuses. The backlash was sufficiently intense that, after several months, the OCR backed off. But now, inexplicably, the organization has apparently reimposed the speech restrictions it abandoned under pressure three years ago. . . .

This brazen and unexpected move by the OCR comes only a few months after skeptical Senators held hearings scrutinizing the organization’s unilateral changes to campus disciplinary policies, and less than a month after the American Association of University Professors released an extensive report arguing that the growing campus sex bureaucracy is infringing on academic freedom.

The OCR bureaucrats seem to be girding for a fight, and it seems unlikely that they will retreat this time without being forced to do so. The prospects for a shift in OCR policy are grim under a Hillary Clinton administration, which will be eager to win over a lukewarm campus Left. And litigation against the OCR—currently in its early stages—will likely take years before reaching a final conclusion. It’s time for lawmakers to take this problem seriously, and consider passing legislation clarifying the limits of the OCR’s power, and affirming that Title IX does not supersede the First Amendment.

Maybe some students interested in free speech should take over the OCR offices.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Punish State A.G.’s Who Treat Disagreement As A Crime.

UPDATE: From the comments:

These AG should be met with howling crowds whenever they show their faces. The people and businesses that give them political contributions should get the same treatment. They and their supporters should be publicly shamed at every opportunity. These are the tactics that the left uses and they should receive them in return tenfold.

Plus: “Howling crowds should bring their friends ‘Tar’ and ‘Feathers’.” Yeah, we’re moving right down the Pauline Maier spectrum.

IT’S AS IF THEY SEE THE CITIZENRY AS PREY: The brute force of government spending on autopilot.

California is filled with people who are one traffic ticket away from losing their means of independent transportation. They get a ticket for a busted tail light or a small-change moving violation. On paper, the fine is $100, but with surcharges, it’s more like $490. People who cannot pay often do not show up in court — which drives up the cost. According to the Judicial Council of California, about 612,000 Californians have suspended driver’s licenses because they didn’t pay fines. In 2013, more people — 510,811 — had their licenses suspended for not paying fines than the 150,366 who lost their licenses for drunken driving.

“For a lot of people, the car is the only asset they own in this whole damn world,” noted Mike Herald of the Western Center on Law and Poverty. “When you take their car, you’re taking the thing that helps them make money.”

Herald is an author of a report about how traffic courts drive inequality that helped prompt Gov. Jerry Brown to institute an 18-month amnesty program to deliver Californians from a “hellhole of desperation.” Under the program, Californians can get their outstanding fines reduced by 50 percent — or 80 percent, if they make less than 125 percent of the federal poverty level. The amnesty program does not apply to parking tickets, reckless driving or drunk driving.

This is one of those issues that unites activists on the left and the right.

It should unite them to tar and feathers, but whatever.

THE HILL: Comey’s FBI Makes Waves:

The aggressive posture of the FBI under Director James Comey is becoming a political problem for the White House.

The FBI’s demand that Apple help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino killers has outraged Silicon Valley, a significant source of political support for President Obama and Democrats.

Comey, meanwhile, has stirred tensions by linking rising violent crime rates to the Black Lives Matter movement’s focus on police violence and by warning about “gaps” in the screening process for Syrian refugees.

Then there’s the biggest issue of all: the FBI’s investigation into the private email server used by Hillary Clinton, Obama’s former secretary of State and the leading contender to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

A decision by the FBI to charge Clinton or her top aides for mishandling classified information would be a shock to the political system.

In these cases and more, Comey — a Republican who donated in 2012 to Mitt Romney — has proved he is “not attached to the strings of the White House,” said Ron Hosko, the former head of the FBI’s criminal investigative division and a critic of Obama’s law enforcement strategies.

Publicly, administration officials have not betrayed any worry about the Clinton probe. They have also downplayed any differences of opinion on Apple.

But former officials say the FBI’s moves are clearly ruffling feathers within the administration.

Good.

HE SHOULD HAVE CLAIMED HE WAS MUSLIM AND ALL CHARGES WOULD HAVE BEEN DROPPED AND THE COMPLAINT COVERED UP: Commuter who walked past actress at Waterloo station cleared of ‘bizarre’ sex assault claim: Mark Pearson may not even have made physical contact with woman in her 60s on busy concourse – but CPS approved sex assault charge.

A commuter has been cleared of sexually assaulting a well-known actress after a jury rejected claims the crime could have taken place in a brief half-second contact in a busy railway station.

Mark Pearson, a 51-year-old artist and picture framer, was accused of brushing against the actress, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in a mass of train passengers at London’s Waterloo station.

CCTV footage showed Mr Pearson, who was a complete stranger to the alleged victim, did not break his stride as he walked past the woman, who was heading to a rehearsal.

The defendant, who said he had endured a year-long “Kafkaesque nightmare” as a result of the complaint, blamed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for forcing him to endure “mental torture” as a result of the charge.

A jury at Blackfriars Crown Court took 90 minutes to clear Mr Pearson of the charge of “sexual assault by penetration”, the Mail on Sunday newspaper said. . . .

There were no witnesses, no forensic evidence and the actress failed to pick out Mr Pearson in an identity parade of video images following the alleged incident in December 2014.

The actress was wearing a coat and jacket and a thin dress over “training pants” following a yoga class, the jury heard.

Mr Pearson, who was traced by police from his Oyster travel card records, told the newspaper: “‘One of the many frightening aspects is that this could have happened to anyone.

“For me, half a second turned into a year of hell. I feel I have undergone a form of mental torture sanctioned by the state.

The proper response to this is tar and feathers.

IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN, WE HAVE TO RUIN THEIR LIVES: Male Teen Takes Nude Photo of Himself, Charged with Making Child Porn. Tar. Feathers.

CHOKING ON ZERO TOLERANCE: Little Girl Suspended for 30 Days Because She Lent Her Inhaler to a Gasping Classmate:

The school district is probably right that [student Indiyah Rush] shouldn’t have shared her inhaler, but who can blame her for wanting to help? That said, there’s an easy solution available to the school: just tell Rush not to do it again. That’s it. Not every mistake requires a punishment. Sometimes, it’s sufficient to correct inappropriate behavior without ruining a child’s entire school year.

Unfortunately, Schrade’s default course of action is to treat acts of kindness as attempted drug smuggling.

As Glenn would say, Tar. Feathers.

For a flashback to how long “zero tolerance” policies have been doing lots of damage to students with asthma who carry inhalers, check out this 2002 article by the late Cathy Seipp, titled, appropriately enough, “Asthma Attack.”

LAWS ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: US Attorney declines prosecution of former VA execs.

Federal prosecutors have decided not to press criminal charges against two former executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs who were accused of manipulating the agency’s hiring system for their own gain.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said Thursday it has declined a referral from the VA inspector general for criminal prosecution of Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves.

The inspector general said in a report this fall that Rubens and Graves forced lower-ranking regional managers to accept job transfers against their will. Rubens and Graves then stepped into the vacant positions themselves, keeping their pay while reducing their responsibilities.

Rubens had been earning $181,497 as director of the Philadelphia regional office for the Veterans Benefits Administration, while Graves earned $173,949 as leader of the St. Paul, Minnesota, regional office. Before taking the regional jobs, Rubens was a deputy undersecretary at the VA’s Washington headquarters, while Graves was director of VBA’s 14-state North Atlantic Region.

Rubens and Graves were accused of obtaining more than $400,000 in questionable moving expenses through a relocation program for VA executives, the inspector general’s report said.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said it has “referred the matter to the VA for any administrative action that is deemed appropriate.”

Rubens and Graves were demoted in November, but their demotions were rescinded this month after a paperwork mix-up.

Tar. Feathers.

MORE FROM DAN MITCHELL on the war against cash.

I wrote yesterday that governments want to eliminate cash in order to make it easier to squeeze more money from taxpayers.

But that’s not the only reason why politicians are interested in banning paper money and coins.

They also are worried that paper money inhibits the government’s ability to “stimulate” the economy with artificially low interest rates. Simply stated, they’ve already pushed interest rates close to zero and haven’t gotten the desired effect of more growth, so the thinking in official circles is that if you could implement negative interest rates, people could be pushed to be good little Keynesians because any money they have in their accounts would be losing value.

I’m not joking.

Tar. Feathers.

WHAT’S HER POLICY ON TAR AND FEATHERS? Brooklyn school principal Eujin Jaela Kim bans Santa, Thanksgiving and Pledge of Allegiance.

Related: Indiana school turns the tables on hardcore atheist jackasses.

TAR. FEATHERS. Michigan Man Charged With Felony For Passing Out Leaflets On Juror Rights In Front Of Courthouse. This is so clearly legal — and stories like this come out often enough — that it suggests the people who make these arrests just don’t care about the law.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, SHAMELESS HYPOCRISY EDITION: University wants due process for itself, but not its male students.

The University of Virginia and Virginia Democrats lobbied the Education Department to provide the school due process, something not afforded to its own students.

Specifically, the university wanted due process and fair treatment from the Education Department as it investigated the school for violations of the anti-gender discrimination law known as Title IX. But when the school conducts Title IX investigations of students accused of sexual assault, such due process is nowhere to be found.

It’s a clear case of “due process for me, but not for thee.”

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, urged the department to be fair to the school, fearing that the university would be denied “very basic requirements of due process.” He also worried about an “unfair or unjust process,” according to documents obtained by the Washington Post.

Two other state Democrats, Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, also pleaded with the department and asked that it give McAuliffe’s concerns “careful consideration.” As these top Democrats were making their case, the university itself requested fairness.

It’s easy to see why the politicians and school officials thought the investigation would not be conducted fairly. At one point, the department’s Office for Civil Rights, which oversees Title IX investigations, drafted a resolution agreement for university officials to sign. This agreement is a commitment from the school to overhaul its policies and procedures relating to sexual assault, sexual harassment and other Title IX-related accusations.

The thing is, according to U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan, the agreement was sent for signing before the school even knew the results of the investigation. How was the school supposed to update its policies if it didn’t even know what it was doing wrong?

While OCR appeared to be playing a game of “gotcha,” it is rich that Sullivan, U.Va. administrators and Democratic politicians were harping about due process and fairness. . . .

And then there’s Sullivan. This is the woman who throughout the Rolling Stone gang-rape debacle treated the accused fraternity as guilty, even after she acknowledged that the story was false. She punished the fraternity even when she knew all along that the accusation in Rolling Stone was false. See, Sullivan had access to the report from the accuser in that story. She knew it was a lie all along, yet when the story came out, she rushed to punish the fraternity. She maintained that facade even as the story crumbled.

Tar. Feathers.

THE JUDICIARY HAS NOT BEEN COVERING ITSELF WITH GLORY IN THE LIBERTY-PROTECTING DEPARTMENT: The Fourth Amendment shuffle.

My proposal: If your civil rights are violated by a government official, you should be able to sue. if a jury agrees, the cop should be subjected to humiliating corporal punishment: Flogging, the stocks, tar and feathers, etc. This would have a much greater deterrent effect than monetary damages, especially under our current — judge-created and unconstitutional — regime of governmental immunity.

WHAT CIVILIZATIONAL DECLINE LOOKS LIKE: High school teen who defended a blind classmate who was being beaten by a bully is SUSPENDED and kicked off football team. “The high school junior was hailed as a hero for intervening after he saw the ‘visually impaired’ student being repeatedly hit round the head during lunch break at Huntington Beach High School, California on Wednesday. Footage, filmed by a bystander, shows the teen knocking the bully to the ground with a single punch to stop the attack. . . .No arrest is expected for the intervening teen who has been praised by his peers and online for standing up for his classmate. But his school took a different approach and are believed to have kicked the have-a-go-hero off the football team after he breached their ‘zero-tolerance’ policy on violence.”

What’s their policy on tar and feathers?

I’D LIKE TO SEE SOME PRANKSTER AMEND THIS BILL SO THAT IT ALSO APPLIES TO MICHIGAN LEGISLATORS: Michigan lawmakers to introduce ‘yes-means-yes’ consent bills.

Michigan has had a rough month so far when it comes to campus sexual assault.

Earlier this month, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights determined that Michigan State University had violated the federal anti-discrimination law Title IX in part because the school didn’t open an investigation into an alleged sexual assault, even though the accuser didn’t want one.

And just last week, the University of Michigan agreed to throw out its sex assault finding against Drew Sterrett, who had sued the university alleging his due process rights had been violated and that he had not committed the assault.

But despite what should be a wakeup call to rethink the way the state treats accused students, Michigan lawmakers have decided to introduce a bill that would result in more lawsuits like Sterrett’s, and maybe more investigations from OCR. “Yes-means-yes” — or “affirmative consent” — bills broaden the definition of sexual assault while narrowly or vaguely defining consent.

It labels drunk sex as rape, in some cases even if the woman (men are not absolved from drinking, but women are) had only one drink. In fact, under these laws, the only kind of sex that isn’t rape is question-and-answer-style sex, where each person in the encounter must ask and answer constant questions about consent. “May I touch you here?” “Yes, may I touch you here?” and so forth. Of course, an accuser never has to prove that she also asked such questions, or that the questions weren’t asked, or that consent wasn’t given.

No, the burden of proof is on the accused student, after the fact.

These bills are unAmerican, and in a just America their sponsors would fear tar and feathers.

IT’S PARTISAN WITCH HUNTS ALL THE WAY DOWN IN WISCONSIN: More Wisconsin emails reveal John Doe investigators targeted conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices.

Our liberal friends in Wisconsin are unhappy. They think someone is leaking emails that make the state’s partisan campaign regulators look bad. We’ll plead guilty to having sources, but the emails are news and they sure are revealing.

Today’s installment from court documents concerns how a special prosecutor and regulators at the Government Accountability Board (GAB) targeted the state’s conservative Supreme Court justices. The partisan goal was to force some justices to recuse themselves from hearing a constitutional challenge to their probe of GovernorScott Walker and his political allies. . . .

The GAB and prosecutors tried to rig [Wisconsin] Supreme Court review of a constitutional challenge to their probe. They used information they had collected through kitchen-sink subpoenas to search for information well outside their already voluminous writ. Then they targeted conservative justices while giving liberals a pass. The good news is that in July Wisconsin’s Supreme Court shut down their investigation as unconstitutional.

Kevin Kennedy, who runs the GAB, responded to our last editorial by saying his staff merely “feel passionately about ensuring that all parties comply with campaign finance laws” and partisan emails can be explained because “staff of the G.A.B. are human.” Human enough to abuse their power to punish their political opponents.

Drip, drip, drip. There’s much more partisan nastiness going on in Wisconsin than has thus far been revealed. Mr. Kennedy, his accomplices on the GAB staff, and the prosecutors involved in this cabal should lose their jobs for their blatant, partisan abuse of government power.

Tar. Feathers. Sicilian Bull.

TEXAS 14-YEAR-OLD TAKES HOMEMADE CLOCK TO SCHOOL, gets treated as terrorist. Police, school district refuse to apologize. And note this: “When he showed it to his teacher, explaining it was a clock, she said she thought it looked like a bomb. A few hours later, Ahmed found himself being questioned in a room with four cops, and then later in handcuffs on the way to a juvenile detention center.” So you thought it was a bomb — uh huh –and then you waited “a few hours” to do anything about it, but still treated it as terrorism. If you really think something’s a bomb, you don’t wait hours. If it can wait a few hours, you don’t need to go crazy.

Ken White’s take: “American lives are controlled by the thuggishly mediocre. The best measure of their control is this: when called out on their mediocre thuggery, they can comfortably double down.” I’m coming to believe that the only hope for addressing this phenomenon involves tar, feathers, and horsewhips.

Reminds me of this story. Note that when specifically warned about real terrorists, the Tsarnaev brothers, the law enforcement community twiddled its thumbs.

Also, sending your kids, especially boys, to public school is parental malpractice. You’ve been warned.

UPDATE: People are making a big deal about the kid’s name being Ahmed, but Razib Khan points out that school-administrator thuggishness knows no racial bounds.

THE PURPLE DECADES: Video: Jail time over the color of a playground set? As spotted by Ed Morrissey of Hot Air, who writes:

Occasionally, when I feel a bit overwhelmed by maintenance issues in my house, I think, “Wouldn’t it be nice to move into a condo and not have to shovel the walk, deal with landscaping or a leaky roof?” When those moments come, stories such as this from Kansas City’s KCTV News remind me that I prefer my politics national rather than hyperlocal. The Raintree Lake Property Owners Association has demanded that a homeowner take down a playground set erected for their two young daughters two years ago because the soft purple and white color scheme isn’t harmonious enough with the neighborhood — and their attorneys are threatening them with jail time if they don’t comply (via Fox News):

As Glenn would say: Tar. Feathers. Repeat the dosage until message received.

HOUSTON-AREA MOM ARRESTED FOR ‘ABANDONMENT’ OF KIDS 30 FEET AWAY:

Browder sat her children down inside the food court near a McDonald’s and went to her interview, she said. The interview wasn’t for a job at the mall, but the food court was a meeting ground for each party.Browder said she wasn’t more than 30 feet away from her children at any point and they were always in her line of sight. After Browder returned to her children, a police officer was on scene and arrested her.

The charge was “child abandonment.” How can you abandon your children when they remain in sight?

Unless there’s some other element to this story that isn’t initially being reported, as Glenn likes to say: Tar. Feathers.

VIDEO: Watch It Happen: IRS Robs Convenience Store. “In June 2014, the government seized Ken Quran’s entire bank account—more than $150,000. This was money that Ken worked for years to earn, and that he was counting on for his retirement. Ken had no prior warning before the government seized the account. The government told him they were taking the money because he withdrew cash from the bank in amounts under $10,000.” Tar. Feathers.

WELL, IT’S ALL JUST ABOUT HILLARY BATTLESPACE PREP ANYWAY: ‘Affirmative Consent’ Will Make Rape Laws Worse.

The “tough on crime” posture is going out of style, even on the right, except when the crime in question is rape. Advocates complain that it is too hard to lock up predators. And so, according to Judith Shulevitz, the American Law Institute, an influential, invitation-only body that publishes model codes and other suggestions for legal reforms, has been considering how we could make the law harsher.

Here is a hypothetical that some concerned members of the group have raised:

Person A and Person B are on a date and walking down the street. Person A, feeling romantically and sexually attracted, timidly reaches out to hold B’s hand and feels a thrill as their hands touch. Person B does nothing, but six months later files a criminal complaint. Person A is guilty of ‘Criminal Sexual Contact’ under proposed Section 213.6(3)(a).

Okay, we can all agree that this is nutty. But as Shulevitz goes on to point out, this is what happens when you combine two principles designed to make it easier to prosecute sexual assault: affirmative consent and “enlarged definition of criminal sexual contact that would include the touching of any body part, clothed or unclothed, with sexual gratification in mind.” The result is that “if Person B neither invites nor rebukes a sexual advance, then anything that happens afterward is illegal.”

Defenders of the thinking behind this proposal might say no prosecutor is going to bring such a silly case, but that’s the opposite of comforting. Who would pass a law intended to be unenforced in almost every case? It’s eerily totalitarian: a sort of blanket mandate convenient for targeting undesirables and threatening suspects.

And that’s the other thing. It’s about empowering the administrative class at the expense of everyone else. Tar and feathers is an appropriate remedy for this kind of “empowerment.”

WISCONSIN’S SHAME: David French’s latest on the human side of the John Doe investigation into conservatives: “He could have been shot. Over politics.”

It was still dark outside when “Jonah” (not his real name) heard the pounding on his front door. As luck would have it, he was awake — or mostly awake. He’d gotten up at 4:00 a.m. on October 3, 2013, to see his parents off to the airport. They were leaving on a quick trip to raise money for the children’s charity his father runs. Jonah was 16 at the time, old enough to stay home alone for a short time, but not old enough to deal with what awaited him on the other side of the door. . . .

Jonah’s father may have been the target of the raid on his home, but according to the family, investigators went well beyond the scope of the warrant to seize business records in his mother’s possession, including confidential donor and financial information for two conservative Wisconsin nonprofits, which were paralyzed for weeks as a result. Yet despite the overly expansive search, to this day, no one in Jonah’s family has been charged with a crime.

The damage to the family’s reputation was immense. Soon after the raid, and despite court orders mandating confidentiality (orders that prevented the family from publicly defending themselves), their names leaked to the press. Jonah’s father — working to help the most disadvantaged kids — found himself struggling to defend a professional reputation under siege. In both his day job as a political consultant and his nonprofit work, even the slightest rumor of illegality can cause clients and donors to shy away. As he puts it, when you’re hired as a consultant, “No matter how good you are, you can’t become the issue.” A consultant whose home was just raided by law enforcement is, most definitely, an “issue” for any politician or political movement.

I strongly suspect there is much more to be revealed about the vast scope of Chisholm’s John Doe investigation. It will make the Salem witch hunts look restrained.

As for Chisholm and his cohorts: Tar, feathers, Sicilian bull–or at least a substantial civil rights lawsuit victory.

THE MAN WHO CREATED THE PINK PLASTIC FLAMINGO — the Official City Bird of Madison, Wisconsin — Donald Featherstone has died. Featherstone was an important figure in Leominster, Massachusetts, where he worked for Union Products for 43 years and, with his wife Nancy, dressed in matching (often flamingo-patterned) clothes for 35 years, but he was important, too, in Madison, where citizens will never forget that day in 1979 when the Pail & Shovel Party installed 1,008 plastic flamingos on the hill in the center of the University of Wisconsin campus to celebrate the victory in the student government election of candidates who said they’d convert the budget to pennies and dump them Library Mall to be scooped up by students using pails and shovels. As one of the winning candidates said: “The student government at that time consisted of the self-appointed descendants of the superstar leftists of the sixties…. It was very closed, very humorless and extraordinarily serious.” That’s what the flamingos mean to us here: Resisting humorless politics since 1979.

JOY PULLMANN: The Civil Disobedience Charles Murray Wants Has Already Arrived.

The federal do-gooders who framed No Child Left Behind back in 2001 never envisioned that parents would take exception to their mandate that every child in grades three through eight (and once in high school) face annual math and reading tests. So the law is entirely silent on what happens if, as is happening now for the first time, thousands of parents across the country pull their kids in protest.

It’s hard to convey just how extraordinary this is. So here are a few snippets from just the past week’s news. In Germantown, Wisconsin, 62 percent of public-school students are sitting out tests. The district has been a hotbed of Common Core opposition, with a local school board among one of the handful nationwide to reject Common Core and decide to run with its own, higher-quality, curriculum. In Maine, “Cape Elizabeth saw 32 percent of its eighth-graders, 18 percent of its seventh-graders and 64 percent of its high school juniors opt out. There are many examples of high opt out rates across the state, but a reliable statewide tally isn’t yet available.” A bill to secure parents’ right to excuse their kids from mandatory tests recently passed the Delaware House 36 to 3 after a blaze of opt-outs left local schools scrambling. “A wide-ranging bill that would eliminate [national Common Core] tests in Ohio and limit state achievement tests to three hours per year passed the House 92-1 on Wednesday,” reported the Columbus Dispatch.

This is nowhere near a set of isolated incidents. In Washington state, every single junior at Nathan Hale High School (natch) refused state tests this spring. Somewhere around 200,000 children refused tests this spring in New York and, contrary to race-baiting from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, substantial numbers of these defiant parents were not white rich people. FairTest, a lefty organization not keen on rigorous data, nevertheless keeps compiling an impressive number of similar news stories each week.

What does this mean? Does it matter? While the opt-out numbers are unprecedented in American history, they still represent a very small proportion of U.S. schoolkids. I think they do matter, and that they signal many Americans are ready for Murray’s civil disobedience project. Here’s why.

So should I buy tar, feathers, and pitchfork futures? Sounds hopeful!

Meanwhile, I had barely paid attention to this story, but it seems relevant: Oath Keepers standing down from Sugar Pine Mine, awaiting appeal decision. “Armed members of the Oath Keepers in Josephine county are standing down from the Sugar Pine Mine in Galice tonight. Last night the Interior Board of Land Appeals announced that they will grant the mine owner’s request to place BLM enforcement on hold. The stay will last until a decision is made whether or not the BLM holds surface rights to the mine, or decides whether those rights were grandfathered-in to the mine’s owners. The Oath Keepers tell NBC 5 News they’re happy the BLM is taking the right steps and they’re in the process of moving their security people away from the mine and down to the staging area.”

The Feds, apparently, really don’t want another Bundy Ranch confrontation, which is understandable since they lost that one.

EPA’S BACK DOOR:  Only the green movement has the key.  Kimberley Strassel’s latest column documents the uber-cozy relationship between Obama’s EPA and environmentalists in the case over Pebble Mine in Alaska:

As Pebble summed it up in a letter to the agency’s inspector general this week: “EPA gave anti-mine activists an opportunity to review, comment, and shape the strategy EPA would pursue to block development of the mine. Then, having decided that it would proceed to block the mine using a [pre-emptive veto], EPA sought to cloak its actions by recruiting the very same anti mine activists to ‘petition’ EPA to initiate those [veto] proceedings. . . .

Pebble was bulldozed in a secret, ideologically driven collusion between greens and government. That is a scandal worthy of resignations.

Tar. Feathers. Sicilian Bull.   

REPUBLICANS COMPLICIT IN OBAMACARE FRAUD?:  Brendan Bordelon at NRO has a great story documenting the complicity of 5 Senate Republicans in covering up a fraudulent application by Congress to D.C.’s Obamacare exchange.  The application stated that Congress had only 45 employees, and listed fake employee names.

The relevant language of the Affordable Care Act is found in section 1312(d)(3)(D) of the Act, which states:

(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE.—

(i) REQUIREMENT.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a

Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are—

(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or

(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

The language pretty clearly indicates that Members of Congress and their staff can “only” obtain health insurance that is created by the Act or offered on an ACA exchange.  However one slices it, this means that Congress and its staff cannot continue to obtain the rich FEHBP health insurance subsidies that it has historically enjoyed.  But of course, President Obama came to the “rescue” and, by executive fiat, decided Congress would continue to get the subsidies anyway.  The “solution” announced by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), was to allow Congress to obtain subsidized insurance on the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), which is open only to employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees– and Congress clearly has more.

Senate Small Business Committee Chair David Vitter has fought the congressional exemption for years, and he recently sought to subpoena the original copy of the application Congress made to the DC exchange, as it would reveal who in Congress was responsible for its fraudulent misrepresentations.  Vitter ran into a problem, however:  To issue the subpoena, he needed either the sign-off the the Small Business Committee ranking member, Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), or a majority of his own, Republican-dominated Committee.

Oddly, 5 Republicans on Vitter’s Committee (plus all Democrats)– Senators Rand Paul, Mike Enzi, James Risch, Kelly Ayotte and Deb Fischer–voted against issuance of the subpoena.

So why are Republicans passing up an opportunity to rectify an Obamacare amendment-by-executive-fiat?  Self-interest, of course.

Tar and feathers are too good for these unprincipled weasels.  I say bring back the Sicilian Bull.

ILYA SOMIN: How The Legal System Often Ignores The Rights Of Parents. Not enough tar and feathers?

TAR AND FEATHERS MIGHT HELP, BUT SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE: ‘Free-range’ flap in Maryland fans flames of national debate on parenting. As with sexuality, we’re regulating parenting according to the obsessions of neurotic upper-middle-class white women. And that’s not working out very well.

ILYA SOMIN: How the Constitution protects “free range” parents.

The Supreme Court has always indicated that parental rights are not absolute. The state can intervene to protect children against serious threats to their health and safety, and to ensure that all children get at least a basic education. But, as Troxel makes clear, the state can’t infringe on parental control over child-raising unless they have real evidence showing that there is a genuinely significant threat to the childrens’ safety and well-being. Otherwise, as Justice O’Connor’s opinion makes clear, the authorities must respect the “presumption that fit parents act in the best interests of their children.”

Forcibly detaining elementary school-aged kids for walking by themselves in a safe, middle-class neighborhood doesn’t even come close to meeting the necessary standard. Statistically, such walking is extremely safe, and probably less dangerous than police officers’ actions in forcibly detaining the children and driving them to a CPS office. According to the Center for Disease Control, car accidents are a leading cause of death among small children; riding in a car as a passenger is far more dangerous for kids than walking in most neighborhoods. Far from “protecting” the two children, the police and the CPS probably put them at greater risk than they were exposed to before (though the risk was still very low in an absolute sense). The Meitivs’ parenting practices are also much safer than numerous typical childhood activities, such as participating in contact sports like basketball and hockey, or going downhill skiing. If the CPS can force parents to stop letting their children walk home from the park, it can similarly target every other comparably risky activity, including numerous sports, and even driving the children in a car.

The bottom line is that the CPS’ actions here seem to be the result of exactly the kind of “mere disagreement” with parental choices that the Supreme Court specifically barred as a basis for overriding parents’ constitutional right to direct their children’s upbringing.

Tar. Feathers.

ALTERNATIVELY, WE COULD MONITOR HOW LONG IT TAKES FOR THEM TO GET THE TAR AND FEATHERS OFF: EPA wants to monitor how long hotel guests spend in the shower.

TAR. FEATHERS. Parents held responsible for ‘unsubstantiated’ neglect. “‘Free-range’ parents have been found ‘responsible’ for ‘unsubstantiated’ child neglect because they let their kids — ages 10 and 6 — walk home from a park near their Maryland home, reports the Washington Post. Montgomery County Child Protective Services investigated Danielle and Alexander Meitiv’s parenting for two months before reaching that Orwellian verdict.”

I would rather live in a world where bureaucrats who behaved this way faced tarring and feathering on a regular basis, than a world in which they feel free to perpetrate such outrages without consequence.

SOCIAL SANCTIONS, RANGING FROM SHUNNING TO TAR-AND-FEATHERS, ARE AN APPROPRIATE RESPONSE TO THIS SORT OF BEHAVIOR: All over America, people have put small “give one, take one” book exchanges in front of their homes. Then they were told to tear them down. “Alas, a subset of Americans are determined to regulate every last aspect of community life. Due to selection bias, they are overrepresented among local politicians and bureaucrats. And so they have power, despite their small-mindedness, inflexibility, and lack of common sense so extreme that they’ve taken to cracking down on Little Free Libraries, of all things.”

If doing so becomes painful and unrewarding, they will stop.

TAR. FEATHERS. Parents investigated for neglect after letting kids walk home alone.

TAR. FEATHERS. In Joyless Nanny State Called America, Government Prohibits Sledding.

FASTER, PLEASE: The Bipartisan Plan To End IRS Stealing.

For years, the Internal Revenue Service has been stealing taxpayer assets from small businesses — not for breaking tax law, but for making legitimate bank deposits under $10,000. It’s one form of the increasingly well-known practice called “civil asset forfeiture.”

The IRS has the power to seize small cash deposits under $10,000. These deposits seem suspicious because cash deposits over $10,000 trigger a bank report to authorities. Terrorists, drug dealers, and money launderers all make cash deposits under $10,000 to avoid triggering the bank report. The illicit practice is called “structuring.”

The problem is that many small businesses accept cash payments and make large deposits that happen to fall under $10,000.

Sadly, this attempt to crack down on terrorist funding is used by the IRS to abuse small businesses. In October, the New York Times reported on the story of Carole Hinders, a small business owner who had over $30,000 seized by the IRS. The IRS does not even need to charge someone with a crime to seize assets under an alleged structuring scheme.

Thankfully, a bipartisan bill has been introduced in Congress that would end the practice.

On December 10, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Ranking Member Sander Levin, D-Mich., introduced the Taxpayer Protections Against Abusive Seizures Act.

Well, it’s worth trying before going all the way to tar and feathers.

YEAH, I SEE ‘EM IN MY YARD, AND I LIVE IN THE BURBS: Wild turkeys have made a comeback and are ruffling some suburban feathers. We get deer everywhere, too. Haven’t started shooting ’em yet. Of course, if the supply of prey animals gets big enough, the predators will follow. Just ask David Baron.

LIFE IN THE OBAMA ERA: Department Of Justice Spy Planes Listening To Americans’ Cellphones. Tar. Feathers.

LIKE THEY TRIED TO DO ABOUT ROTHERHAM? Britain Poised To Silence “Extremist” Speech. This is what happens when you have a political class that’s not up to the job. Which is why ours would like to do the same thing. And the proper remedy for this is tar and feathers — virtual at first, but literal if that doesn’t do the job.

AFTER THE ELECTION, THEY’LL HAVE MORE FLEXIBILITY: Congress Wants To Push Dangerous Cybersecurity Bill After The Election, Says US Economy Depends On It.

You know what defeats “flexibility?” Tar and feathers.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Meet The New Serfs: You. Accountability is only for the little people.

In a sane world, the New Haven authorities would have shown up at Adams’s house with a check, flowers, and an apology, and a certificate exempting him from taxes for the rest of his life. In this world, people in his situation get treated by the government like they are the ones who have screwed up. And of course they’d say they had no record of the episode — getting information about your situation from any government agency, especially from one that is persecuting you, requires an agonizing effort. Keeping people in the dark is part of how they maintain their power. For fun sometime, call the comical New York State tax department and note the intentionally garbled phone numbers on the recording about how to get in touch with a tax agent’s superior to complain or ask a question.

The strange flip-side — the second half of Samuel Francis’s “anarcho-tyranny” — is that the brunt of government abuse falls on the law-abiding. Illinois, for example, makes it difficult for an ordinary citizen to legally carry a gun for self defense — up until a couple of years ago, doing so was categorically prohibited. But Illinois police seize thousands of illegal guns from criminals each year, and the state prosecutes practically none of those weapons cases. The law-abiding — by definition law-abiding — citizens applying for concealed-carry permits get treated like criminals, and the actual criminals do not. If you follow the law and inform Illinois authorities that you have a gun in the home, you invite all sorts of intrusion and oversight. If you don’t, nobody’s really looking. Meanwhile, the streets of Chicago are full of blood, going on 1,600 shootings this year and it’s not even Halloween. Nobody is held responsible for that carnage, but if you put an eleventh round in your legally owned rifle in Oak Park, you’re looking at jail time.

A return to tar and feathers looks more appealing all the time.

CRY HAVOC, AND LET SLIP THE LAWYERS OF WAR:

David Woods, the HuffPo’s military correspondent, cites it as a “good-faith effort” to uphold “American values.” But nobody is suggesting that this is necessary because American troops routinely violate the norms of civilized warfare. Instead, this seems to be an effort to sanitize something that is inherently messy (“War is heck”). This is a classic peacenik proposition: the whole world can be tamed, and not only that, so too can the means by which it is tamed.

The overlawyering of our armed forces is not new—it has been growing steadily since the post-Vietnam era. It’s part of a general trend to officialize and bureaucratize American life. Ask any doctor how much time she spends filling out paperwork.

The proliferation of legalese and formalism in American institutions generally is one of the forces undermining our national spirit and slowing our economic growth. But it’s particularly nasty and dangerous when it comes to the business of war. Our politicians keep heaping new burdens on the armed forces, sending them on muddled missions with impossible orders, forcing them to jump through various hoops for the sake of political correctness, and hampering them at every turn with threats of prosecution by bloodless bureaucrats who’ve never known or seen war.

Accountability is important, but increasingly in our society accountability is for the little people. The powerful and the well connected hire lawyers; the ordinary person gets monitored by them. We don’t have policy malpractice lawyers investigating the geniuses who invaded Libya and abandoned Iraq, but the poor kids trying to carry out the crazy orders that come down from on high will get dinged if they put a foot wrong. No doubt there are some lawyers checking to see that those 3,000 Americans sent into the Ebola hot zone don’t break any rules—but there aren’t any lawyers and there isn’t any law to make sure that the people who sent them there knew or really even cared what they were doing.

Yeah, for that we need to bring back tar and feathers.

FCC COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI: The government wants to study ‘social pollution’ on Twitter.

Named “Truthy,” after a term coined by TV host Stephen Colbert, the project claims to use a “sophisticated combination of text and data mining, social network analysis, and complex network models” to distinguish between memes that arise in an “organic manner” and those that are manipulated into being.

But there’s much more to the story. Focusing in particular on political speech, Truthy keeps track of which Twitter accounts are using hashtags such as #teaparty and #dems. It estimates users’ “partisanship.” It invites feedback on whether specific Twitter users, such as the Drudge Report, are “truthy” or “spamming.” And it evaluates whether accounts are expressing “positive” or “negative” sentiments toward other users or memes.

The Truthy team says this research could be used to “mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate.”

Hmm. A government-funded initiative is going to “assist in the preservation of open debate” by monitoring social media for “subversive propaganda” and combating what it considers to be “the diffusion of false and misleading ideas”? The concept seems to have come straight out of a George Orwell novel.

The NSF has already poured nearly $1 million into Truthy. To what end? Why is the federal government spending so much money on the study of your Twitter habits?

Some possible hints as to Truthy’s real motives emerge in a 2012 paper by the project’s leaders, in which they wrote ominously of a “highly-active, densely-interconnected constituency of right-leaning users using [Twitter] to further their political views.”

Tar. Feathers.

PEGGY NOONAN: The New Bureaucratic Brazenness:

We’re all used to a certain amount of doublespeak and bureaucratese in government hearings. That’s as old as forever. But in the past year of listening to testimony from government officials, there is something different about the boredom and indifference with which government testifiers skirt, dodge and withhold the truth. They don’t seem furtive or defensive; they are not in the least afraid. They speak always with a certain carefulness—they are lawyered up—but they have no evident fear of looking evasive. They really don’t care what you think of them. They’re running the show and if you don’t like it, too bad.

And all this is a new bureaucratic style on the national level. During Watergate those hauled in and grilled by Congress were nervous. In Iran-Contra, Olllie North was in turn stoic, defiant and unafraid to make an appeal to the public. But commissioners and department heads now—they really think they’re in charge. They don’t bother to fake anxiety about public opinion. They care only about personal legal exposure. They do not fear public wrath. . . . There was a persistent sense the professionals had agreed to be chary with information that might alarm America’s peasants and make them violent.

Which is precisely why we should bring back tar and feathers, given that more modern political institutions appear to have failed.

YOUR CHILDREN DO NOT BELONG TO THE STATE: Florida mom lets her kids try booze in controlled setting, gets arrested and charged with child neglect. And have you noticed that the “Child Protection” people always have time for cases like this, but are seldom to be found when there’s actual abuse? Tar. Feathers.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment for a Novelist.

A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Md. middle school has been placed on leave and—in the words of a local news report—”taken in for an emergency medical evaluation” for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher at the Mace’s Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, according to news reports from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The novel, by the way, is set 900 years in the future. . . .

Imagine that—a novelist who didn’t store bombs and guns at the school at which he taught. How improbable! Especially considering that he uses an “alias,” which is apparently the law-enforcement term for “nom de plume.” (Here is the Amazon page for The Insurrectionist, by the way. Please note that the book was published in 2011, before McLaw was hired.)

According to an equally credulous and breathless report in the Star-Democrat, which is published in Easton, Md., the combined efforts of multiple law-enforcement agencies have made area children safe from fiction. Sheriff Phillips told the newspaper that, in addition to a K-9 sweep of the school (!), investigators also raided McLaw’s home. “The residence of the teacher in Wicomico County was searched by personnel,” Phillips said, with no weapons found. “A further check of Maryland State Police databases also proved to be negative as to any weapons registered to him. McLaw was suspended by the Dorchester County Board of Education pending an investigation and is no longer in the area. He is currently at a location known to law enforcement and does not currently have the ability to travel anywhere.”

These are the people you trust to educate your children, and keep your streets safe — and they’re complete, blithering idiots armed with the power of the state. Tar and feathers isn’t enough.

And, really, isn’t it parental malpractice to put your kids in the hands of people who can’t tell truth from fiction?

GANGSTER GOVERNMENT IN ILLINOIS: The skulduggery of ousting Illinois candidates. “The Sun-Times has reported that armed investigators who work for Palos Township GOP Committeeman Sean Morrison’s security firm visited the homes of people who had signed or circulated Libertarian petitions. The newspaper cited two examples of security company employees, with holstered weapons visible, allegedly telling the people that the petitions were fraudulent — a lie — and urging them to retract their signatures. . . . Earlier this year, state House candidate Antonio “Tony” Favela told us how a pair of men linked to the Democratic Party started visiting people who had signed his petitions to get on the March primary ballot. Favela was challenging one of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s incumbent lawmakers, state Rep. Kathleen Willis. Numerous Favela supporters said the men banged on their doors, claiming they were inspectors with the state election board. The men told people who had signed Favela’s petitions that the petitions were fraudulent — they were not — and convinced some signers to nullify their signatures. Favela managed to stay on the ballot, but only after aggressively fighting to preserve his petitions.”

Tar. Feathers.

FACES OF EVIL: Rotherham: the council leaders who presided over child abuse scandal.

The author of the Rotherham child abuse report said that by 2005 ‘nobody could say “I didn’t know”‘ about child sexual exploitation in the town. But who was in charge?

And note that while they ignored child rape on a scale of hundreds or thousands, there was one sin they couldn’t ignore: “The woman who presided over the last five years of failure as the boss of children’s services at Rotherham Council is the same executive who removed three children from their foster parents because they were Ukip voters.”

Tar and feathers would be merciful and mild.

Related: Douglas Carswell’s defection to Ukip is a seismic shock to the British political system.

IF I WERE A BILLIONAIRE, I’D BECOME A SORT OF LOW-GRADE BOND VILLAIN, HIRING EX-SPECIAL FORCES GUYS FOR LIGHTNING-QUICK TAR-AND-FEATHERS MISSIONS: Student Could Get 8 Years for Sharing Paper Online.

TAR. FEATHERS. Busted for Off-Leash Dog, Man Ordered Not to Leave Southern California. “They deal with gangbangers, drug dealers, murderers. And here I am, for a dog leash.”

YOU CAN’T PROTECT THE FLOW OF GRAFT WITHOUT BREAKING A FEW EGGS, OR SOMETHING: NY’s War on Uber Sweeps Up Innocent Drivers. “New York City may be so intent on stomping out new taxi services that innocent city dwellers are getting caught in the crossfire. According to DNAinfo, over the past year employees of New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission have been seizing cars that they believed were being used as part of an illegal taxi service. Here’s just one example DNAinfo highlights, in which a New Yorker named Kareeal Akins was pulled over and his car taken on suspicion of offering cab rides. . . . The fact that this crackdown is spilling over to deprive ordinary citizens of their cars is typical behavior for a bureaucracy that cares more about protecting established interests like cab companies than serving the people.” Tar. Feathers.

TAR AND FEATHERS IS AN APPROPRIATE REMEDY. HORSEWHIPPING THEM NAKED THROUGH THE STREETS FIRST SHOULD BE RESERVED FOR THE MOST SERIOUS OFFENDERS. Mommy Police With Real Handcuffs.

A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

I’m not interested in defending mothers who are under stress or are low-wage workers without a lot of great child-care options. I mean, fine, but these defenses should be unnecessary because what the heck are we doing arresting parents for things that were perfectly normal 30 years ago?

At the age of 9, I walked to school with a group of other 9-year-olds. Or by myself. Across the very busy streets of the Upper West Side, at a time when New York City really was very dangerous. Past housing projects. Around construction sites. My sister rode the subway to school at that age. My best friend got on the crosstown bus by herself in the first grade. Attrition rate among my classmates and myself: 0.

Leaving an infant in a car is extremely dangerous, and parents should take great care not to do so, including buying something like this. Leaving an 11-year-old alone in the car is no more dangerous than letting her go to the ladies’ room by herself. Infants die in cars because they can’t regulate their own body temperature very well, open the doors or windows, or get out of the car. If your 11-year-old doesn’t know how to open your car doors or has to be strapped in, then by all means, take them into the store with you. But if you are the parent of a normal, healthy child, then there’s no reason that he or she cannot be left by themselves for a few minutes.

To be clear: We have entrusted power to people who are intellectually and morally unfit. They should no longer be permitted to wield it.

Back in the 1990s I was on Tennessee’s Juvenile Justice Reform Commission. I remember the folks from DCS giving excuses as to why they weren’t providing kids in their custody with a legally-mandated education. They were shorthanded, they had transportation problems, the kids didn’t want to go. . . . All the same reasons, I noted, given by the parents from whom they had taken the kids for not sending them to school.

I liked being on that Commission because, as a tenured professor, I could state the obvious truths that the apparatchiks could not — though afterward they’d often thank me for doing it. But what these people need is something worse than a tongue-lashing.

JUSTICE: North Carolina police accused of making up phony 911 calls to search homes. Tar. Feathers.

TAR. FEATHERS. Mom Jailed Because She Let Her 9-Year-Old Daughter Play in the Park Unsupervised.

THE PERILS OF ONLINE OVERREACH: How a mayor’s quest to unmask a foul-mouthed Twitter user blew up in his face. “Could your town’s mayor spark a police investigation into your activities that ends with town cops rifling through your mobile phone, your laptop, and the full contents of your Gmail account—all over an alleged misdemeanor based on something you wrote on social media? Not in America, you say? But you’d be wrong. Here, based on e-mail records provided by the city of Peoria to Ars Technica, is what that sort of investigation looks like.”

Tar. Feathers.

TAR, FEATHERS: EPA accused of tolerating rampant employee misconduct, obstructing probes.

THIS CALLS FOR EXTREME PUSHBACK: Criminalizing Speech In the UK.

He’s being charged explicitly for the content of that Churchill passage, and the penalty could be two years in jail. This is remarkable, and not just because Islam is not a race, as its ever more numerous pasty Anglo-Saxon “reverts” will gladly tell you. For one thing, the police have effectively just criminalized Liberty GB’s political platform. There are words for regimes that use state power to criminalize their opponents and they’re not “mother of parliaments” or “land of hope and glory”.

Tar. Feathers.

KNOW YOUR PLACE, PEASANTS! Deputies search wrong home, then the real fun begins:

Huron County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy Cardwell issued a secret gag order March 21 to seal the search warrant. The gag order is also secret, Cardwell’s court clerk said after the Register asked for a copy of the order.

And the criminal complaint that was filed with the Huron County Sheriff’s Office also is secret.

The Register learned the search warrant was gagged after Huron County Sheriff’s Capt. Ted Patrick failed to deliver on assurances he made Thursday, when he said he would follow up on the Register’s requests for the initial complaints that led to the search warrant.

Incident reports and search warrants are generally public record that cannot be withheld from release.

“You send me a records request via email and I’ll be happy to get what you need,” Patrick said Thursday.

Patrick did not respond to the email the Register then sent and, when a reporter went to the sheriff’s office Friday, the incident reports weren’t available.

Patrick, who for the past three years has routinely failed to follow the public records requirements of the Ohio Revised Code, was also unavailable.

Tar. Feathers.

THE MAJESTY OF THE LAW: What’s in a name? For the wrong Cody Williams, 35 days in jail. If you made a mistake of similar magnitude, you’d probably be looking at jail time yourself. And note the involvement of perennial legal disaster lady, Angela Corey:

The Clay County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office punished a deputy Tuesday for the wrongful arrest of 18-year-old Cody Lee Williams, who didn’t even share the same middle name as a man accused of having sex with a young girl.

“Other than the name, there’s no other similarities,” Kris Nowicki, Cody Lee Williams’ attorney, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. “Cody Williams had never met this girl and didn’t know anything about her.”

According to the Florida Times-Union, which first reported on the story, a girl younger than 12 told investigators that she had sex with an older boy named Cody Williams on Halloween in 2012.

Williams was arrested on Aug. 30 and languished in jail until Oct. 4, the day his mother pleaded with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office to release her son, according to investigators’ records, which the Sheriff’s Office provided to The Times.

“Not only did they not do a photo lineup, but further … they put him directly into adult court, filing an affidavit that not only is it this guy, but he did something” so serious that he should be charged as an adult, Nowicki said. (Williams, the wrongly arrested, would have been 17 at the time of the crime.)

State Attorney Angela Corey’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Tar. Feathers.

CAN I GET THE TAR-AND-FEATHERS CONCESSION? Europe: Peasants Restless, Nobility Concerned.

THE MAJESTY OF THE LAW: Officer who forced dozens of anal cavity searches for fun gets only 2 years in prison. “This gentleman violently inserted his finger into dozens of victims’ anuses. Sometimes his friends held guns to the victims’ heads to force them to comply. Why was he sentenced to just two years in prison? Because he was an officer with the Milwaukee police department!” Tar and feathers are an appropriate remedy, if the justice system can’t police itself.

TAR. FEATHERS. Local courts reviving ‘debtors’ prison’ for overdue fines, fees.

TAR AND FEATHERS IS A FORM OF PUSHBACK: Push Back Against Border Checkpoints Located 100s of Miles from Borders! “Let us now praise Terry Bressi of the University of Arizona, who is publicizing the existence of in-country border checkpoints that are hundreds of miles from the nation’s edges. Bressi films his encounters – more than 300! – and posts the vids at his YouTube channel. Watch the vid above but expect to get pissed at the enormous waste of time, resources, and American idealism. Did any of our parents or grandparents or great-grandparents or whoever really come to the United States for this?”

No, they came to get away from it. But then a lot of them voted for big government once they got here.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: Give Us Cash or Lose Your Kids and Face Felony Charges: Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?! “Imagine getting pulled over while on a family vacation and having small-town cops accuse you and your family of being drug couriers. Then imagine hearing that you have two options: Fork over your cash and continue on your vacation or face felony charges for money laundering and child endangerment, in which case you go to jail and your kids get handed over to foster care. That’s what happened to Ron Henderson and Jennifer Boatright while traveling through Tenaha, Texas, a town that regards piracy as just another way to raise revenue.” Tar. Feathers.

TAR, FEATHERS: Teen Facing Sex Offender Prosecution for Streaking Prank Kills Himself.

TAR AND FEATHERS ISN’T ENOUGH FOR THIS CASE: State Takes Baby for First 75 Days of the Baby’s Life, Because of Mother’s Use of Poppy Seed Dressing. Perhaps being horsewhipped naked through the streets, then tarred and feathered. Though I’m not sure even that is severe enough. Maybe branding “I am an idiot” on the forehead? Or tattooing it, anyway.

Seriously, the people involved in this should face the kind of life-devastating consequences that will deter such behavior in the future. That they probably will not is just one more small step toward a world where such behavior will in fact be responded to with extralegal violence.

#WARONPHOTOGRAPHY: No Charges for Detroit Cop who Snatched Phone from Reporter, Stole SIM Card, so it Could “Not be Used as a Weapon.” Tar. Feathers.

VINDICTIVE JUSTICE: Consumer Product Safety Enforcement Doesn’t Usually Go After Individuals, But It Does if You Make Fun of the Government.

They think they’re above criticism. They’re not. They’re not above tar and feathers, either.

THE 21ST CENTURY DUST BOWL: “I can fight the bugs, I can fight the lack of rain, but when the guy comes with a clipboard what are you going to do?” There’s always tar and feathers, pour encourager les autres, the traditional remedy of farmers oppressed by an overweening state. But I suppose we haven’t quite come to that yet. Have we?

NRA T-SHIRT CASE UPDATE: Prosecution attempts to silence Jared Marcum with gag order; reporter covering story threatened with arrest. “Prosecutors were hoping to bar Jared, his father and his lawyer from sharing their story with the press, under the guise that their request would serve Jared’s better interest, something Jared’s father Allen Lardieri sees as ironic.” Tar. Feathers.

INSTITUTIONALIZED CHILD ABUSE: Suspension won’t be removed for five-year-old grilled over cap gun who then peed his pants. “School officials in Calvert County, Maryland have denied a request to expunge the suspension of the kindergartener who brought a plastic cap gun on a school bus last month and then wet his pants during a subsequent interrogation.”

Tar. Feathers.