"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2016

How Do You Kill 11 Million People?

General Wesley Clark (ret), former Presidential candidate and Hillary Clinton supporter, recommends concentration camps be brought back in America today.  Some may not realize that such camps did exist here in America in the 1940s, where the American military that civilians now see at Quiznos during lunch, actually fixed bayonets and went door to door and rounded up 70,000 innocent American citizens and loaded them onto trains to take to camps.  There are others today who also think these concentration camps might not have been such a bad idea.

But our Supreme Court of the United States would surely not allow that, right?  Sadly, our entire third branch of government did allow American concentration camps in the 1940s, and never once ruled that they violated the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.  Even the ACLU itself, similar to its aversion to the Second Amendment, was not particularly outraged about these constitutional violations.  In the several cases brought to the high court about these camps and the bald faced violation of due process, our high court got it wrong every single time.  Not because the Fifth Amendment's stricture on liberty and property being taken without due process is difficult or debatable, but because that federal government body was corrupt.  Just as it is today.  Our third branch of government even now is just as unprincipled as it was then.

Justice Scalia warned us before his death that we would be kidding ourselves to think concentration camps wouldn't happen again here in America.  As an aside, there is some saying about history and repeating it.  I can't remember exactly how the saying goes, but it's probably not important.  At any rate, that kind of stuff couldn't happen again today.  Why not?  Because that would make me uncomfortable to believe that it could, and so I choose to pretend that it can't.  The only problem with my mental reservation and purpose of evasion is that reality seems to always get in the way.  I can hear the train whistles blowing and apparently my hearing is a great deal better than the vast majority of my German-like American neighbors.

The ACLU issued a press release in 2011 warning about a law that Congress quietly passed over the holidays in a bipartisan fashion, that gave the President the unlawful power to have our federal military yet again arrest Americans without charge or trial and put them in prison forever without a jury of peers finding them guilty of anything.  President Obama threatened to veto the law but when it came across his desk he signed it, although he issued a non-binding signing statement saying that he personally wouldn't use this power to have the federal military arrest Americans.  The ACLU called his signing the bill into law a "blight on his legacy."

But never fear, this new unlawful power was challenged in our judiciary.  A district court judge got it right and said this was a violation of the Fifth Amendment.  But that judge was overturned by the fascist Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear the case leaving the military indefinite imprisonment of Americans the unlawful law of the land.  The Supreme Court is much too busy hearing cases between Samsung and Apple to be bothered with little things like the very essence of freedom in our nation.

And the dirty little secret is that our Supreme Court just loves it some unchecked unconstitutional executive power over innocent Americans.

We've already got the domestic army suspicionless checkpoints on the interior of our nation and our country imprisons more of its citizens than any other developed nation to include China.  Whether concentration camps happen in America yet again or not, the point of the video above is still solid.  A cowardly, complacent population that doesn't speak truth and expects to be lied to by government and does not make honesty a requirement for their vote will get the government it deserves.

The American people today beg for the yoke.  They obsess in their desire for government force against others, ignoring that such force will also be used against them.  They value herd conformity and silence and not ruffling feathers or offending others by talking about important matters or by judging evil with righteous indignation.  They shrug off and ignore their neighbors being killed by military drone or by local police officer.  They sing at the top of their voices when they hear the train whistles.

Such a populace cannot live in a free country.  And it does not.  And so it goes.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Upholding our Constitutional Rights Too Unorthodox for Supreme Court of the United States

As expected, the Supreme Court of the United States today refused to hear my suit against two Border Patrol agents who were caught on camera violating the Fourth Amendment, delaying me for more than half an hour, and harassing me at my place of employment despite having not a single shred of suspicion of any crime.  Due to the military base I was stationed at, I drove through that checkpoint each weekend on my way to my apartment in San Antonio and I got a dose of "minimal intrusion" repeatedly, simply for declining to tell them my intended destination--which had nothing to do with immigration status.  Because, you know, immigration status is all they are interested in at these scope-limited brief checkpoints, wink, wink.

During one encounter the agents lied that their dog had hit on my vehicle, coincidentally after I refused to tell the agents where I was driving to.  Since I didn’t have any cameras I knew that it would be their word versus mine, and so I exited the vehicle and got told to take my hands out of my pockets while I watched the proceedings.  They tore my car up and threw my belongings out onto the pavement, to include my laptop.  After ransacking my vehicle for about ten minutes they didn't find any drugs, amazingly enough.  I say amazingly enough because it's not uncommon for such goons to plant them just to show unorthodox Americans who's boss for demanding the law be followed.  America's crowning achievement, the largest prison population in the world, didn't develop without the hard work of such agents, you know.  As an aside, our Supreme Court recently held up the constitutionality of these drug dogs despite the fact that they so often falsely "alert" on purpose.  Anyway, the agents then told me I could pick up my belongings off the pavement and be on my way.  That was on Veterans Day weekend.

So I wrote a letter to the Border Patrol and got a response that essentially told me to go pound sand because the Border Patrol has a “dangerous” job.  Which must be true.  I mean it must be since the Border Patrol puts these checkpoints well inside the country rather than on the border, where agents who could have volunteered to fight our enemies overseas instead stand around and screw with innocent Americans.  It's very dangerous stuff.  It's just too bad these checkpoints don't do much at all when it comes to actually apprehending illegal aliens.  But that's the price we pay to keep our agents safe in their heroic jobs where they occupy Americans rather than serve and protect them.  We can't have agents on the border where the scary illegal immigrants might be found, that's just too dangerous.  At any rate, after I got the "go fuck yourself" response from the Border Patrol, I installed cameras in my car.  Once I caught the inevitable and recurring harassment on video, I filed my lawsuit.

I'll admit that at the time I didn't think it possible that I could lose the suit through the entire third branch of government.  The law was, and still is, absolutely one hundred percent on my side and all of the facts are laid plain in the video.  But I didn't lose on the law -- I lost because the courts all refused to hear my case.  It was dismissed prior to discovery.  In the beginning, I couldn't fathom that I could go through the entire judiciary and not get my day in court.  But that is what happened.  A corrupt and unremarkable district court judge in Texas, who had made a career working hand-in-hand for the Border Patrol as a border town prosecutor, dismissed my suit at the very beginning in a ruling that showed that she should have bypassed the law and instead taken up a career in creative writing.

When I appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the judges (except the one that was sleeping) and even the dishonest government lawyer laughed at Alia Moses during oral argument, chuckling at her idiotic conjuring of reasonable suspicion for some unidentified criminal activity.  After the oral argument I thought the suit would overcome and our Fourth Amendment would be vindicated.  But, of course, I was wrong.  The split three judge panel affirmed the district court decision and declined to determine whether or not a constitutional violation had even occurred.  Their reasoning was that a constitutional violation may or may not have happened, but it wasn't clear that the violation was, you know, a real violation that actually matters because during my checkpoint encounter the facts were so "different" than any of the existing case law.  Sure, they reasoned, previous cases from the Fifth Circuit and Supreme Court may have had some common elements of little import, facts like a) a checkpoint, b) a lack of suspicion, c) a driver and a car and d) questions and answers and e) producing identification and f) court mandated brevity and and limited scope, and irrelevant things like that.  But no previous case law that we had cited shared relevant facts.  Stuff that really matters.  Facts like, um, the moon's position in the sky and the agents' Fantasy Football picks.  So the facts were just too different, not on all fours as fascist judges themselves are to please unchecked executive power that makes the judiciary its all-too-willing bitch, and therefore the court's previous rulings just did not apply to my situation.  How could they, right?  It's amazing just how novel a checkpoint can be.

Still, after the oral argument and witnessing Judge Elrod demolish the lying government lawyer, I thought we were going to win.  But then I heard word on the street that Judge Leslie H. Southwick (a male despite the name and the "elegant" tone of his voice and apparently the person Don Johnson's character in Django Unchained was based on) would ultimately do whatever Judge Thomas M. Reavley told him to do.  And Judge Reavley, despite sleeping through the entire oral argument, was certainly not on our side.  He had dissented in Portillo-Aguirre -- which was the latest of several Fifth Circuit opinions making it absolutely clear that agents had violated the Fourth Amendment in my case.  That Fifth Circuit ruling, which Reavley dissented in because it recognized limits on Border Patrol agent powers and recognized Fourth Amendment restraints, itself referenced yet another Fifth circuit case a year earlier that also made it clear these stops had to last only as long as was required to reasonably determine immigration status.  It stated:

"In United States v. Machuca-Barerra, we addressed those limitations in detail and noted that 'The scope of an immigration stop is limited to...determining the citizenship status of persons passing through the checkpoint...'  It bears repeating that the permissible duration of an immigration stop is the time reasonably necessary to determine the citizenship status of the persons stopped."

Reavley was not going to accept the correct majority decision in that ruling though, not then, not ever -- that is quite clearly established.  And Southwick would no doubt do as he was instructed by Reavely.  So true to form, despite his moments of sorta-intelligent-remarks-in-a-sea-of-confused-babbling during oral argument, Judge Southwick became dumb struck and completely unaware of his own court's "in detail" case law when it came time to rule in my case.  He said they had not been shown any case law supporting my claimed right to be free from an unreasonable seizure that lasts longer than reasonably necessary to determine immigration status.  I imagine Judge Southwick was made to understand Judge Reavley's expectations on the matter, perhaps after Reavley entered sweet Leslie's supple chambers, and so he followed dutifully as expected.  Had Southwick been made aware of his own court's several rulings (by perhaps reading the legal briefs or asking Judge Elrod who had no problem finding the relevant law) then he would have had to ask the question, "How much time does it reasonably take to determine the immigration status of a guy who shows a military ID and a driver's license, who answers all questions, and who volunteers two passports when there is no suspicion at all that he's in the country illegally?"  And that answer, my friends, would not be thirty-four minutes.  So, of course, claiming ignorance of the law was the only option.  Judge Southwick and Judge Reavley ignored the law.

Not only did Leslie and Reavley decide not to find any clearly established right, they also chose not to determine whether an unclearly established right had been violated....you know, to make the "not clearly established" situation more clear for the future (while also letting their precious liked-minded fascists-in-green off the hook).  Further, just for style points, they refused to respond to Judge Elrod's outstanding adult-in-the-room dissent.  Which makes sense.  What those two wanted was a verdict for unchecked government power without having to justify it with the law that they were ignoring.  The last thing they would want to do was engage with Elrod's dissent because it was full of, you know, law and facts and stuff.  Silence and abdication was the course Reavley and Leslie chose at every step.  They ignored the law, and they refused to create new case law to clear up the lack of clarity in the case law that they dishonestly claimed existed.  They ignored our law because Judges Reavley and Southwick are two utterly corrupt fascists in dresses.

I have killed many foreign enemies overseas who were far better men than Judges Reavley and Southwick.  I mean that with the utmost sincerity.  Those foreign enemies I dispatched were fighting for their homelands, while the turncoat cowards Reavley and Southwick attack America from the inside like tapeworms inside the bowels of our once healthy nation that is now malnourished, dying, and beyond the ability of medical science.  Parasitic domestic enemies of America like Judges Leslie Southwick and Thomas Reavley worm around in the corpse that they killed from the interior, and are a far more difficult threat to defeat than Al Qaeda or the Iraqi Republican Guard.  Southwick and Reavley hide inside us, and while the symptoms of our dying country are unmistakably deadly and obvious, the source of the attack is nestled deep and comfortably within.  While they may seem like they are a part of ourselves, they are most certainly not, and they are very difficult to remove.  They do great damage to America.

There isn't enough tar or feathers in this world to sufficiently coat those two worthless deserters.

While the Fifth Circuit bears the vast majority of blame for its police state fascism, there is still the role of the Supreme Court of the United States that hours ago announced its refusal to hear my appeal in a line just under its grant of cert to a case between Apple and Samsung.  Again, this denial wasn't surprising.  Our third branch of federal government is adept at tyranny through inaction.  Cute little phrases like "standing" and "circuit split" and "clearly established" and "qualified immunity" and a variety of other semantic mental reservations and purposes of evasion are used to justify the oppression of innocent Americans in our nation's courts and to bolster unchecked federal police state powers.  Just ask Anwar Awlaki's father who couldn't even get the judiciary to hear his staggeringly important Fifth Amendment case when the federal government sought to, and then actually did, assassinate his American son without charge or trial.  And then days later used a drone to kill his sixteen year old American grandson.  Nowhere near a war zone.  No imminent threat.  Oh, but our third branch of federal government didn't say it was okay for another branch of federal government to assassinate Americans...no, no, surely not.  They simply decided not to hear the case and to say nothing at all.  That's how they do.  It's one of those technicalities you wouldn't understand peasant because you haven't been to law school like our brain workers have.

While it is true that the high court can't hear every case, it still should have heard this one.  This latest court delivered fascism is certainly not the most important assault on our rights against powerful and unchecked federal government, but the issue is still important and the Supreme Court is responsible for creating the issue.  The Supreme Court birthed these checkpoints.  Suspionless checkpoints are anathema to a free nation.  Even the Supreme Court itself admitted as much when it ruled to allow these checkpoints in 1976, noting that they were an exception to the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable seizures because all Americans are seized by armed agents en mass and then interrogated despite not even being suspected of having done anything unlawful.  Oh, but we were told not to worry though, because the Supreme Court justices assured us these stops would be limited to immigration status only, they would be brief and they would present just a minimal intrusion into our lives.  A quite limited intrusion, really.  No seriously, the high court told us, anything beyond that brief detention would require our consent or probable cause.  In the delivery room, the high court told us:

"The principal protection of Fourth Amendment rights at checkpoints lies in appropriate limitations on the scope of the stop."

This is why the Supreme Court's failure to hear my case is inexcusable.  The Supreme Court created these checkpoints and then softly whispered lies about the principal protection of the Fourth Amendment being their limited scope which precludes agents from spending thirty-four minutes detaining a cooperative motorist who answers all questions and provides four forms of identification including two passports while they call his employer to complain that he wouldn't get out of his vehicle during the minimal intrusion on his rights.  The Supreme Court had a responsibility to make good on its assurances it gave the American people in the clusterfuck that it created.

But my case demonstrated that the Supreme Court is not actually interested in a delicate balance of our rights against the oh-so-pressing interest of illegal immigration (which these checkpoints are worthless in combating, a complete joke), and shows that our Supreme Court was merely lying to the American people like a rapist whispering sweet assurances to get a young girl into a van where the reality of its bad intentions can be made plain.  The eight Supreme Court justices had a responsibility to the American people and they utterly failed as they so often do.  All the coffee shop justifications provided at fancy dinner parties attended by legal priests, political operatives, and Ivory Tower monks cannot excuse this tyrannical failure.  It is a systemic failure despite the myth of the judiciary's magical sequestration from the rest of the machinery of power.  The decision from the high court was born not of mistake, but from corruption and collusion.

My now buried suit shows that the truth doesn't matter in the legal system.  To be sure, being able to document the truth of events is useful, but mostly to demonstrate the police state that we live in to the small minority of our countrymen who are concerned with their liberty.  Some might think that proof of events would be enough to leverage our expensive publicly funded judiciary and get them to do their jobs.  But thinking the truth will matter presupposes that our federal government, to include our politicians-in-robes, will care about and value the truth and our rule of law.  All too often that presupposition proves inaccurate.  The third branch values rule, you can be sure, just not the rule of law.  Power is the only currency in that branch of government, just as it is in the other two branches.  Our third branch is not used to bind the mischief of government, it is used as a weapon against the People.

As a military officer I was fortunate to be able to fund the very expensive litigation with only minimal changes in my post military plans as a result.  Many Americans do not have that financial luxury, and many without resources labor under the illusion that an organization like the ACLU will come to their aid when their rights are violated.  That is not the case.  In fact, the ACLU refused to write an amicus brief in support of my litigation despite me having a top notch lawyer willing to write the brief for them.  It would have cost the ACLU nothing, but they refused to even lend their politically connected and ever-so-cozy-with-government name to my suit.

But I had some modest financial resources.  Beyond finances, I was fortunate to be able to secure several incredibly talented lawyers to work on my appeal -- lawyers I would not have been able to afford without their generous donation of time -- lawyers who worked many hours behind the scenes as a favor.  I had some of the very best lawyers in the nation working on my appeal, without taking any credit (probably a good thing given the result) and my appellate arguments were accordingly top notch.  Like the myth that the truth matters, it is also a myth to think demonstrating the truth through clear language matters.  In our third branch of government, when an American seeks accountability against lawless federal government, the law and the truth become mere annoyances to federal judges intent on finding for unchecked federal government power.  After all, they are nominated to the bench by federal politicians after proving their value.  One need only ask themselves what federal politicians value to understand the process behind the curtain.

Despite my disgust, the reader might be surprised to learn that this turn of events has not disillusioned me.  The entire third branch of government failing in its responsibility is not a source of personal disillusion.  No, I threw off such illusions many years ago through a process of education that has been bolstered by experience.  I have long understood the fascism that has taken over our nation as my blog posts over the years demonstrate.  I understand this reality more than most, so this latest failure of the Supreme Court is hardly earth shattering.  As a military officer who once refused an order to use lethality against a person in violation of the Fifth Amendment years ago, I understand clearly our nation's dire situation.  When it comes to viewing worthless public servants who lie during their oaths before God and who terrorize their innocent neighbors who pay them, I have had a front row seat.

When then top-Pentagon lawyer, Jeh Johnson, personally traveled to my unit a week after I was removed from it for refusing to break the law, he gave a briefing to my oath-breaking peers in uniform--no doubt to reassure them for just doing what they were told, despite several knowing what they were doing was unlawful.  Having witnessed the Leslie-Southwick-like lack of character they demonstrated, I am sure the message from Johnson was well received.  I couldn't go to the briefing since I had been removed and my security clearances had just been suspended on grounds that I was not "loyal."  Loyal to what, you might ask.  For the answer, simply ask our North Korean exchange Judges, Reavley and Southwick, or our Supreme Court and they should be able to answer that question concerning loyalty, oink, oink.  But they won't.  Appearances must be upheld.

Be that as it may, after the briefing I was unable to attend with my peers, Johnson then hit the law school circuit to talk to future lawyers and to assure them that it was somehow lawful to assassinate Americans without charge or trial.  I've always enjoyed his assertions, like his claim that Dr. Martin Luther King would have approved of our wars in the middle east.  So, it wasn't surprising at all when Johnson later became the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  DHS, of course, runs the Border Patrol which is plagued with rampant corruption and a lack of accountability, at least according to a recent report the Washington Post discusses in a headline calling Border Patrol corruption a national security threat.  At any rate, while this latest un-American failure of our nation's top lawyers disappoints me, it is hardly disillusioning given the undeniable fascism that stands in the place where America was once found.

I don't need to turn on the "news" networks today to listen to the rhetoric being spoken or to watch footage of political rallies to understand the tyranny we find ourselves under.  America is so far beyond resurrection that it will never again exist.  Instead, we will continue to live in this new fascist reality of standing-army-manned internal checkpoints where militarized thugs occupy and terrorize innocent Americans with impunity, of Americans being murdered by their military, of children murdered by cops who always fear for their lives in statements after the fact, of whistle blowers exiled, of personal data vacuumed up by a surveillance state and we will continue to live in a nation where unprincipled politicians-in-robes give such tyrannical and lawless actions legitimacy in the eyes of the ignorant and the unprincipled.  And of course our young men and women will continue to be sent overseas to die and be mutilated to defend our freedom.  You know, our "freedom."  And the average American will continue not to care one way or another, so long as Sports Center is on the tube and the latest terrorist attack has them wetting themselves.

Within about three months I will be finally separated from public service and the burden of my oath of office will be over.  I am the only faithful public servant that I personally know in my profession, who has been tested and who has made good on the oath of office.  I am eager to be done with this burden.  Outside of services rendered in exchange for a paycheck and a promise, which is enough, I cannot say the American people on the whole deserve what I have provided them or the American blood shed overseas in their names.  But a minority of actual Americans, my countrymen, do deserve my service and sacrifice, and paycheck and obligation aside, I will continue to labor for them with everything I can muster over the next three months and change.  And then my service to a country that no longer exists will conclude.  I will shift my energies greatly.  I've done my duty and I've earned that right.

I will concentrate on my happiness and on my loved ones, rather than laboring for an America that is long dead and buried and unmourned by the vast majority of citizens.  I will seek to avoid our fascist reality as much as is humanly possible, but should I encounter yet another of the King's unprincipled men attempting to use publicly funded force against me in violation of our supreme law, I will recognize that tyrant is backed by an entire branch of fascist government lawyers uninterested in protecting our rights.  Having "used the system" as fascist talking heads love to require of their betters who point out the disgustingly un-American sins of federal government, should I again be placed in such a situation, I will adjust the defense of my rights accordingly.

I am deeply saddened when I think of those I watched die overseas to defend this nation, knowing that it is so attacked and molested by worthless tapeworms and rapists in robes who are unwilling to make good on their oaths, even while taking paychecks from average Americans who aren't there for fancy toasts at their fancy dinner parties.

Checks and balances?  Yeah right.  More like pigs and parasites.  Shame on our third branch of government.


The national ACLU flew me to Washington DC to give testimony before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Congressional Border Caucus on my experience.  I will be co-writing an op-ed soon with a Dreamer who also gave testimony (he is "illegal" and yet has lived in the United States since he was five years old).  It was good talking about my experiences including with one member of the Judiciary Committee.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Federalist Society Tribute to Justice Scalia

An outstanding tribute to an extraordinary jurist.  His professionalism as a public servant -- restraining himself to the Constitution itself rather than his own personal beliefs or desires -- resonates deeply with me, both as a public servant myself who risked personal convenience to lawfully restrain my own official action, and also as a private citizen injured by multiple public servants who lacked the character and professionalism to do the same.

Justice Scalia's approach to our law is the bedrock of public service, the rule of law and our very system of government.  It is critical if we are to avoid corruption and tyranny, or more accurately, if we are to loosen tyranny's existing grasp on our nation.  His textual approach is not merely an interesting viewpoint to be argued or debated in sprightly coffee shop conversation.  Rather, his approach is absolutely essential to our Republic and our democracy.

Sadly, I find Justice Scalia's professional approach sorely lacking in public servants across our federal government today be they politician, military officer, judge or law enforcement.  America suffers and is weakened accordingly.  For me, Justice Scalia was a light in this American darkness.  He will be greatly missed and already is.  This is an excellent video tribute.

Law Enforcement Unchecked by Evan Bernick

There is an excellent article recently written by Evan Bernick of the Institute for Justice and published on The Federalist Society blog.  Bernick's op-ed has been reproduced below:

It is an issue that affects millions of American motorists: Can border patrol agents detain you simply because they believe you are being difficult?  Last year, a federal court concluded that it was “reasonable” for border patrol agents performing citizenship checks to detain Richard Rynearson at an immigration checkpoint for 23 minutes after he offered the agents both his military and personal passports, without any suspicion of criminal activity. In rejecting Rynearson’s Fourth Amendment claims, the court brushed aside compelling evidence—captured on video—that the agents deliberately prolonged Rynearson’s detention because he dared to question the propriety of some of their questions and instructions.
Now, Rynearson is petitioning the Supreme Court to vindicate his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The Court should grant Rynearson’s petition and make plain that the Fourth Amendment’s protections do not evaporate when Americans get within 100 miles of the border and fail to genuflect before the officials whom they encounter there.

Here’s the full story. In March of 2010, Rynearson, a major in the US Air Force, was stopped by border patrol agents at a fixed interior immigration checkpoint (67 miles from the border) in Uvalde County, Texas. When asked whether he owned his vehicle, Rynearson answered that he did. He was then told to move to a secondary inspection area. He repeatedly asked, but was not told, why he was being detained. When requested, he held his driver’s license and military identification up to the driver’s side window where they could be read from outside the vehicle.
The agents waited until approximately eleven minutes into the detention to inform Rynearson that his military ID and driver’s license “don’t mean anything,” in terms of establishing his citizenship to their satisfaction. Rynearson immediately offered to show the agents his official and personal U.S. passports, but the agents ignored the offer. An agent later took the passports, but Rynearson was nonetheless made to wait while officials placed phone calls to Rynearson’s assigned military base. Not until 23 minutes after he initially offered his passports to the agents was he told that he was free to go.

As a general rule, the Fourth Amendment prohibits searches and seizures absent individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. When the Supreme Court carved out an exception to this rule for “routine and limited inquiry into residence status” at immigration checkpoints, the Court emphasized that routine checkpoint stops involve “a brief question or two and possibly the production of a document evidencing a right to be in the Unites States.” Last term, the Supreme Court held in Rodriguez v. U.S. that motorists pulled over for routine traffic stops cannot, be detained longer than the “time reasonably required to complete (the stop's) mission” absent reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Consistency demands that all detentions short of arrest be similarly limited.

But when Rynearson sued the agents for violating his Fourth Amendment rights by extending his detention for no good reason, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his claim. The Fifth Circuit determined that the agents had “at worst, made reasonable but mistaken judgments” in “respond[ing] to [Rynearson’s] unorthodox tactics.”

This was a glaring abdication of judicial responsibility. As Judge Jennifer Elrod made plain in a fact-sensitive dissenting opinion, it is perfectly clear from the totality of the circumstances that Rynearson was detained in retaliation for asserting his Fourth Amendment rights. Rynearson’s detention time lasted 23 minutes after he had produced all required documents—despite the fact that records checks generally take only a few minutes.

The Fifth Circuit’s decision rests on the unstated premise that motorists ought to respond with immediate, unquestioning obedience to law enforcement, and that if they do not, any delay is their fault. But government officials may not interfere with someone’s constitutionally protected liberty simply because they deem that person to be a bother. Ensuring that officials’ respect for citizens’ rights does not become “unorthodox” requires judicial engagement—impartial, evidence-based judicial efforts to determine whether government officials are truly pursuing constitutionally proper ends. Rynearson, who has honored his oath to support and defend the Constitution through his military service, deserves to see our fundamental law enforced by our nation’s highest court.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Dante Ostiguy & Speech You Agree With

There is an elite club of people who do not like the free exchange of ideas or adult discussion.  They leverage Facebook's victim based business model to have users censored from discussion when they receive criticism or encounter a view they do not like.  The latest to join this club is a guy by the name of Dante Ostiguy.  Well, I'm assuming it was he who joined the club.  Facebook doesn't actually allow its banned users to know who their accusers are, so one has to assume.  Fortunately, at least for now, it does allow the censored to see the terrible remark reported, so that they may dwell in the guilt of their actions and torment themselves through the period of their banning, after the Hurt Feelings Report is filed.  The offending remark:

Dante is an interesting cat.  He posts about free speech during private ventures, as he did prior to getting your humbled blogger banned, so the concept of speech a person finds disagreeable is something Dante has thought about.  His Facebook page is filled with such deep thinking about serious topics, so it really is no wonder why Facebook would want to do everything in its power to protect it from any criticism.  If Facebook were something more noble like a used car auto lot, rather than what it actually is which is some strange union of spamming and privacy denying surveillance, then Dante's page would be all clean and waxed and shining and parked right out front.  Dante's page is the pride of Facebook, and it must be protected at all costs.

Other members of Facebook's elite group of Protected Feelings include Tony Carr and of course the little tyrant of Purdy, WA.  Together, they stand ready to ensure that no idea or criticism that makes them Sad Panda escapes corporate censorship.

And Mark Zuckerberg is able to pull himself away from destroying the privacy of his customers to ensure that Facebook remains, in its own terms, a "safe place."  But of course it's anything but a safe place when users can choose to punish and silence others they disagree with, rather than simply defriend them and exit a voluntary conversation.  Facebook is anything but a safe place for speech or discourse or the exchange of ideas.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Six Years to the Day Later - From Checkpoint to High Court

On March 18, 2010 agents from the Border Patrol violated the Fourth Amendment and harassed your humble blogger along the side of a public highway well inside the country, and then directed their harassment to my place of employment.  After a great deal of time and money, a district court and a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals joined the agents and also refused to do their publicly funded jobs diligently.

On March 18, 2016 - next week, six years to the day later - eight justices of the Supreme Court of the United States will decide whether or not to hear my civil suit appealed to them.  A cert petition before our nation's highest court only has a one to three percent chance of being heard and the judiciary, ie the federal government, has conditioned me over the years on what to expect when federal government is challenged for breaking the law.  With liberty and justice for some...

Still, we fight not because we think we will win, but because we swore to do so.  We swore we would support and defend the Constitution against all enemies with true faith and allegiance and without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.  Not everybody understands that, even many in uniform.  For many, duty is a foreign concept as is America herself.  Oh well.  Onward.

Those interested in reading the complete cert petition that is currently before the Supreme Court, to include amicus brief support and responses, can do so by visiting the SCOTUSblog.

Those interested in the media coverage of this suit over the years, the video of the thirty-four minute suspicionless detention at the heart of this legal battle, and the legal rulings at the district and appeals court levels, can find that information here.

"The principal protection of Fourth Amendment rights at checkpoints lies in appropriate limitations on the scope of the stop. See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S.; United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S... And our holding today is limited to the type of stops described in this opinion. "[A]ny further detention . . . must be based on consent or probable cause." United States v. Brignoni-Ponce."

- Martinez-Fuerte, Supreme Court of the United States, 1976

"We have already noted that the permissible duration of the stop is limited to the time reasonably necessary to complete a brief investigation of the matter within the scope of the stop.  The scope of an immigration stop is limited to...determining the citizenship status of persons passing through the checkpoint."

- Machuca-Barerra, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2001

"In United States v. Machuca-Barerra, we addressed those limitations in detail and noted that 'The scope of an immigration stop is limited to...determining the citizenship status of persons passing through the checkpoint...'  It bears repeating that the permissible duration of an immigration stop is the time reasonably necessary to determine the citizenship status of the persons stopped."

- Portillo-Aquirre, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2002

"We have not discovered nor been shown any authority supporting Rynearson’s claim that the constitutional rights he chose to stand on [the right to be detained only as long as is reasonably necessary to briefly investigate citizenship status] were clearly established."

- Rynearson, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2015

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Last Filing - Now It's Up to Supreme Court Justices

Yesterday I filed my response to the government's comments on my cert petition before the Supreme Court, over a thirty-four minute detention at a suspicionless interior checkpoint; during which I answered every question asked of me and provided an abundance of identification documents to prove that I was an American citizen legally allowed to be driving inside my own country.  Or as Judge Jennifer Elrod tells the government lawyer in the oral argument above at the 20:13 mark:

He immediately produced his identification.  At minute eleven after he realized that that identification wasn't satisfactory, offered to produce two passports.  That offer was not taken up, and then there was silence.  So I don't understand what he did that contributed to the lengthy time that [the Border Patrol agents] just sat there. 

I have argued that this lengthy time was a violation of the Fourth Amendment.  Despite the clear understanding of the law and facts by Judge Elrod, the two judge majority of the Fifth Circuit panel (both military veterans I'm ashamed to say) ruled that motorists can be stopped inside their country without suspicion of a crime, for as long as agents wish to hold them and without diligently pursuing the limited scope of the stop.

All the legal mumbo jumbo aside, the Fifth Circuit simply ruled that government can violate the rights of any American it does not like.  Put another way, it ruled that Americans have no rights, but rather only privileges, to be extended by armed government agents at their whim, should a person humble and scrape and please them sufficiently.  While that summary won't be found in any Harvard Law School legal journal, it is exactly what the Fifth Circuit ruled in its ever-so-clever hardly "unorthodox" attempt-to-cert-proof way.  Hence my appeal to the Supreme Court.  My response to the government in my cert petition before the high court can be viewed here.

So, the mountain of paperwork has been fully formed.  Now it's up to the eight justices of the Supreme Court to decide whether to hear my case or not.  This is an issue that affects hundreds of millions of Americans each year.  The court's decision should be announced by the end of the month.

Cases brought before the high court have around a one to three percent chance of being heard and decided.