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New York, New York – It’s A Heckava Town!

(from Wirecutter)

To Serve…..

(NEWSER) – A civilian review panel tasked with investigating complaints against New York City cops has spotted a trend: NYPD officers knocking cellphones and other video recording devices out of the hands of concerned citizens. In a three-year analysis of complaints against city officers starting in 2014, the Civilian Complaint Review Board discovered 257 complaints that contained 346 allegations of officer interference with civilian recordings of police actions, LawNewz reports, citing a CCRB report. In addition to knocking devices out of civilians’ hands, those acts of interference included verbal directions to stop recording, obstructing sightlines, and threatening to arrest or detain civilians for recording police actions. All told, 46% of the complaints alleged physical interference.
MORE

Let’s see…

It’s New York, so I cannot carry a weapon.

And the police can do as they please and interfere with lawful recording in public of questionable events.

Hardly the NYC police department as portrayed in Tom Selleck’s TV series Blue Bloods!

(Of course, Selleck is NOT the real police commissioner of NYC, either!)

Reminiscent of watching Air Force One, and seeing a President fight terrorists.  Then leaving the theater feeling great, then remembering that the real President (at the time) was Bill Clinton!

Incoming @ 0400

I usually fall asleep between 1120 and midnight.  And arise between 0600 and 0700.

(NO, this is not an invitation to call!  I’ve my morning shower-dress-meditation ritual)

Rarely am I disturbed. (Insert joke here)  Except, of course, the battle sometime between 0130 and 0400 between my bladder and I.  Who IS Master of my bladder?  (It’s apparent, not me!)  😛

ANYWAY, my roomie and I share a ‘Jack and Jill’ bathroom.  And, with her sleep schedule, sometimes I hear her in the loo.  Sometimes I hear her TV.

This is not usually any big deal.

BUT, last night, after my traditional loss of the battle of wills with my bladder, I returned to bed, anticipating a return to sleep in a minute-or-so.  When BOOM!  Followed by yet another BOOM!  And another!

It was a bit after 0400.

I thought ‘great – I awakened my roomie’ and she turned on her television.  And was watching The Battle of Britain, or The Guns of Navarone! 

Too loudly.

But I was in error.

Usually, when she does that (a rarity) she hears the error of her way and turns it down in a few minutes.  The noises continued, unabated for at least twenty!

And, I knew it wasn’t yet Independence Day!

So, I bailed out of bed, listening to the ongoing explosions, crossed the no-man’s land of the bathroom, and rapped on her door.

Yes?  She replied.

I opened the door slightly and asked, “Is it you making all this noise, or is it the neighbors?”

She answered, “It’s the neighbors.  And I’ve already called the police on them!”

😛

About ten minutes later, the booming stopped.

Video gaming?!  The neighbor is a young woman who seems to have a revolving door of male roommates.  Perhaps this was one of them?

ANYWAY, back to sleep I went (at around 0500) and rolled out a bit after 6.

Somewhat tired.

I hope to get an afternoon nap later today.

Sigh.

Supreme Court Declines To Take Carry Case

(from NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS VOLUME 24, NUMBER 26, in part)

Supreme Court Declines to Take Carry Case, but Gorsuch Casts a Solidly Pro-Gun Vote

Gun owners received disappointing news on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that effectively let stand California’s “may-issue” permitting regime. The upshot of this decision is that law-abiding Californians in many areas of the state will be effectively denied the right to “bear” arms in public for self-defense.
But there was a silver lining to this development as Justice Neil M. Gorsuch – President Trump’s pick to replace the late, great Antonin Scalia – came out strongly in favor of the Second Amendment by joining a dissent from the court’s decision penned by Second Amendment stalwart Justice Clarence Thomas. Gorsuch’s participation in the dissent confirmed that he, unlike so many of his colleagues in the federal judiciary, is indeed prepared to take the Second Amendment seriously.
The underlying case was Peruta v. San Diego. The plaintiffs had complained of being arbitrarily denied concealed carry permits, the only way for law-abiding persons in California to exercise the right to carry loaded, operable firearms in public for self-defense. Each plaintiff met all the qualifications for a permit but one: they could not show an extraordinary need for self-protection that distinguished them from the general population, as required by licensing officials in their counties of residence.
The case therefore presented the court with an opportunity to clearly state whether or not the Second Amendment extends its protections beyond the home. Indeed, the three-judge panel that originally heard the case in the Ninth Circuit recognized that its defining issue was “whether a responsible, law-abiding citizen has a right under the Second Amendment to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”
The panel answered that question affirmatively, stating: “the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.” The panel also noted that it was California’s own decision to make concealed carry permits the only lawful path to do so. It therefore held the plaintiffs could prevail with “a narrow challenge to the San Diego County regulations on concealed carry, rather than a broad challenge to the state-wide ban on open carry ….”
After the panel’s opinion was published, the full Ninth Circuit voted for a larger en banc panel to rehear the case. The en banc decision, however, avoided the real issue presented by the case and held that “the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.” It therefore summarily disposed of the plaintiffs’ claims without confronting the question of whether the Second Amendment applies beyond the home at all.
The Supreme Court majority, as is typical, did not issue an opinion explaining why it refused to review the en banc decision. Its refusal to do so does not, however, represent an endorsement of the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning or holding. As commentators have mentioned, federal appellate and state courts of last resort have come out different ways on the scope of the Second Amendment’s protection for carrying outside the home, and these disparate outcomes are not affected by the Supreme Court’s decision this week. The court may simply have decided, for example, that it did not want the differences between the panel and en banc approaches to the case to cloud the issue presented for its own resolution.
Whatever the majority’s thinking, the opinions of Justices Thomas and Gorsuch came through with vivid clarity in a sharply worded dissent from the decision to pass over the case. “At issue in this case,” Thomas wrote, “is whether [the Second Amendment] protects the right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.” They called the en banc court’s resolution of this issue “indefensible” and “untenable” and asserted it was “not justified by the terms of the complaint, which called into question the State’s regulatory scheme as a whole.” They also opined that that “[h]ad the en banc Ninth Circuit answered the question actually at issue in this case, it likely would have been compelled to reach the opposite result.”
Thomas and Gorsuch additionally chided their judicial colleagues for treating the Second Amendment as a “disfavored right.” Thomas explained:
The Court has not heard argument in a Second Amendment case in over seven years—since March 2, 2010, in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742. Since that time, we have heard argument in, for example, roughly 35 cases where the question presented turned on the meaning of the First Amendment and 25 cases that turned on the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. This discrepancy is inexcusable, especially given how much less developed our jurisprudence is with respect to the Second Amendment as compared to the First and Fourth Amendments.
The dissent also contrasted the plight of the average citizen who must largely provide for his or her own security with that of government elites “who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force.” The Framers, Thomas wrote, “reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”

About The Raising Of The Minimum Wage…

Here’s what that bastion of liberal thought, Harvard University, has to say about it:

(from the Daily Wire)

Harvard Study: Minimum Wage Hikes Killing Businesses

Erik Mcgregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty ImagesA rally in New York City for hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Feb 13, 2017.

A new Harvard Business School study found that minimum wage hikes lead to closures of small businesses. “We find suggestive evidence that an increase in the minimum wage leads to an overall increase in the rate of exit,” the researchers conclude.

The study, titled Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit, looks at “the impact of the minimum wage on restaurant closures using data from the San Francisco Bay Area” from 2008-2016.

Researchers Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca chose the Bay Area due to their frequent minimum wage hikes in recent years. “In the San Francisco Bay Area alone, there have been twenty-one local minimum wage changes over the past decade,” they write.

The Lucas found that lower-quality restaurants (indicated by Yelp scores) were disproportionately affected by wage hikes, increasing their likelihood of closure relative to higher-quality, established restaurants.

“The evidence suggests that higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants. However, lower quality restaurants, which are already closer to the margin of exit, are disproportionately impacted by increases to the minimum wage,” says the study. “Our point estimates suggest that a one dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating), but has no discernible impact for a 5-star restaurant (on a 1 to 5 star scale).”

While “firm exit” was the focus of the study, the researchers also noted that there are often other consequences from wage hikes, such as worker layoffs, increased pricing and hour-cuts for existing workers:

While some studies find no detrimental effects on employment (Card and Krueger 1994, 1998; Dube, Lester & Reich, 2010), others show that higher minimum wage reduces employment, especially among low-skilled workers (see Neumark & Wascher, 2007 for a review). However, even studies that identify negative impacts find fairly modest effects overall, suggesting that firms adjust to higher labor costs in other ways. For example, several studies have documented price increases as a response to the minimum wage hikes (Aaronson, 2001; Aaronson, French, & MacDonald, 2008; Allegretto & Reich, 2016). Horton (2017) find that firms reduce employment at the intensive margin rather than on the extensive margin, choosing to cut employees hours rather than counts.

Such findings were backed up by Garret/Galland Research’s Stephen McBride, who highlighted in March the “minimum wage massacre.”

“Currently, rising labor costs are causing margins in the sector to plummet. Those with the ability to automate like McDonalds are doing so… and those who don’t are closing their doors. In September 2016, one-quarter of restaurant closures in the California Bay Area cited rising labor costs as one of the reasons for closing,” McBride wrote in Forbes. 

“While wage increases put more money in the pocket of some, others are bearing the costs by having their hours reduced and being made part-time,” he added.

As noted by Red Alert Politics, the Bay Area is headed for a $15 minimum wage in July of 2018, though they’ve already seen over 60 restaurants close since September.

While it would behoove the Bernie Bros picketing for $15 an hour to take a look at this study, it’s entirely unlikely that such evidence would deter their entitled attitudes.

I posted regarding this phenomena before, but I obviously don’t have the gravitas of Harvard (nor, apparently the other sources I borrowed stole from!)

It’s basic economics – businesses expect X dollar profit to be profitable – having the gov’t mandate paying their employees more money lessens profit.  Something has to give.

We’re seeing many more kiosks on restaurant tables and counters these days.

They cost less.

Q.E.D.

“Come With Me If You Want To Live!”

Harvard ‘Shock’ Study: Each $1 Minimum Wage Hike Causes 4-10% Increase In Restaurant Failures

When I was making minimum wage, I changed jobs when I saw I couldn’t make rent and eat on that income.  This was in the 70s, when I began making $1.60 an hour, and moved up to $2.10…

 

Finally, Someone Who Enforces The Rules 

(I’m generally a rule follower – unless, of course, they are silly, or put me in danger.  I DO like order, and dislike those who endanger those close to me – whether or not it’s through self-centeredness or malice. – Guffaw)

We’re staying at an undisclosed location, while the powers-that-be are repairing the shower leak in the townhouse.   Or at least beginning the process.  (The ceiling beneath the leak has been excised, and is being dried.  We await the plumbers and subsequent reconstruction.  No contractors present today!)

All guests herein are required to sign a form that this is a non-smoking campus.

Penalties attached.

My roommate is extremely asthmatic, and is sensitive to tobacco smoke.

So, this is a positive development.

On Day One here, she smelled smoke in the hall directly outside our room. On Day Two, it happened again, more intensely.  We notified the front desk.

The second day, it did negatively affect her breathing. It was definitely stronger.

And pissed us off.  We contacted the front desk.

Subsequently, we heard a loud discussion outside our room. Upon opening the door, we observed the general manager in confrontation with the tenants directly across the hall.

They were ‘young people’ (under 40).

At length, the manager called us and advised they had been charged an additional $250.  As both a penalty, and to clean the room.

And they were evicted from the hotel! 

I understand the mechanism of addiction.  And also understand one must make amends for one’s mistakes.  This is a step in the right direction.

PS – I’m NOT against smoking.  It’s a quasi-legal activity, using a legal substance.  And, I don’t like smokers being treated as third-class citizens.

But, follow the rules to which you agreed, people!

FBI Court Filing Reveals Grand Jury Targeted Hillary Clinton


(from Judicial Watch…)


Just when you think we’ve learned most of what there is to learn about Hillary Clinton’s emails a new mole pops up out of the hole.

This week Judicial Watch released State Department documents including a declaration from FBI Special Agent E.W. Priestap, the supervisor of the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email activities, stating that the former secretary of state was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts.

The declaration was produced in response to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit seeking to force Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to take steps to “recover emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton” and other U.S. Department of State employees (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Rex Tillerson (No. 1:15-cv-00785)).  We originally filed the lawsuit against then-Secretary of State John Kerry.  The Trump State Department filing includes details of the agency’s continuing and shameful refusal to refer the Clinton email issue to the Justice Department, as the law requires.

In the filing, Priestap declares under penalty of perjury that the FBI “obtained Grand Jury subpoenas related to the Blackberry e-mail accounts, which produced no responsive materials, as the requested data was outside the retention time utilized by those providers.”

On April 30, 2015, Judicial Watch sued Kerry after the State Department failed to take action on a letter sent to Kerry “notifying him of the unlawful removal of the Clinton emails and requesting that he initiate enforcement action pursuant to the [Federal Records Act],” including working through the Attorney General to recover the emails.

After initially being dismissed by the district court, Judicial Watch’s lawsuit was revived on appeal by a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on December 27, 2016.

While at the State Department, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducted official government business using an unsecured email server and email accounts. Her top aides and advisors also used non-“state.gov” email accounts to conduct official business. Clinton left office February 1, 2013.

The FBI convened a grand jury to investigate Hillary Clinton in 2016. Why is this information being released only now?

It is disturbing that the State Department, Justice Department, and FBI are still trying to protect Hillary Clinton.  President Trump needs to clean house at all these agencies.

 

 

Illegals Thwart Immigration Laws With Help From Lawyers, Judges, Educators

– The Washington Times – Monday, April 24, 2017

A massive anti-deportation infrastructure has emerged to try to protect illegal immigrants from President Trump’s crackdown, with advocacy groups coaching potential deportees on how to massage encounters with police, and lawyers and judges working to shield them from charges that would make them priorities for deportation.

A video released Monday by a coalition of advocates instructs illegal immigrants not to open the door to federal agents, what proof to demand if they are being arrested and what to say if accosted outside their homes.

Meanwhile, attorneys are working to lower charges from some illegal immigrant criminals, hoping to blunt their crimes so they don’t show up as high-priority deportation targets.

The latest instance was in California, where an immigrant from India was accused of abusing his wife. The Santa Clara prosecutor told The Daily Beast that he reduced a felony assault charge to a felony accessory after the fact charge in order to spare the man a sentence that would have made him a deportation risk.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions lashed out at the prosecutor last week, calling his action a perversion of the criminal justice system.

Click to Read More

h/t NewsLink

(A video released Monday by a coalition of advocates instructs illegal immigrants not to open the door to federal agents, what proof to demand if they are being arrested and what to say if accosted outside their homes.)

Wouldn’t it be nice if all persons here legally, alien and citizen alike, had such advice and protection?

What does this cost?  Who is paying for it?  Qui bono? (Who benefits?)

 

Beware The Ides Of March? 

(March 15 for the Julius Caesar/Shakespeare impaired!)

I subscribe to a smattering of emails from allegedly like-minded individuals.

Sometimes I am in agreement with their themes.

Other times, not so much.

One guy, who operates a small libertarianesque, survivalist business has been promoting a book ‘not yet in bookstores’, purporting to describe the next financial collapse, and confiscation of bank accounts(!) by the government!! 

(Other nations wherein this has begun, or is beginning! – ZeroHedge)

Allegedly, this is to begin MARCH 15!  (The Ides of March, for all you Julius Caesar fans.)

Coincidence? Astrology? A soothsayer’s truth?

I’ve no idea. I cannot afford the book, and probably wouldn’t buy it, anyway.

Most of my income is direct deposit disability.  I suspect if BIGGOV wanted to take it, they would so do.

With impunity!

WHY?  Because they can!

(So, you thought you’d withdraw your cash and hide it in your mattress?  Not so fast there, Bucko!)

Fuel To The Already Dead Fire

(from Wirecutter)

Obama’s brother produces THE birth certificate

An Obama has joined the birther movement.
Malik Obama, Barack Obama’s half-brother, tweeted image of what appears to be Barack’s birth certificate.
Except it’s not from Hawaii, but rather Kenya.
MORE

From the Day Late Dollar Short, or the What Took You So Long Department!

Seriously – How many birth certificates ARE THERE?  And how did he get a Connecticut Social Security number?  And why are his school records sealed?

And, why would one’s half brother do such a thing?  Now?

Inquiring minds want to know!

(Just because sometimes, I like adding fuel to the fire! – Guffaw)

A Fender Bender?

…or scratches?

So my roomie J and I travel together ‘across town’ yesterday from the suburbs to Central Phoenix, to the hospital where she is scheduled for rotator cuff surgery on March 21.  This is her preop visit, blood work and X-rays.  And, of course, paperwork.

And after an hour or so of that nonsense, we traveled farther West to (Jack Wheeler’s) Original Hamburger Works for a late lunch.  (We add the prefix Jack Wheeler, proudly.  He was the office manager of Tom Ezell’s Investigations and Polygraph.  We did pre-employment polys for Hamburger Works (when it was legal to do so).  And, if we said we were going out for lunch to Hamburger Works, he always emphatically corrected us, adding the ORIGINAL to the name, in that great, bass voice he was known for!

Sadly, Jack passed in 1985.  Pre-employment polygraphs stopped in 1986, except for police, etc.

After a yummy lunner (a late lunch), we headed back home.

J had a prescription she wanted to drop off at her Walgreens, so I headed there before home.  I was driving (as she had alcohol, I had not), and driving her Honda Element remains slightly foreign to me. (no pun intended)  But all was well.

Until I made the turn into the Walgreens’ parking lot, circling the building to the drive-through pharmacy window (the building used to be a bank).

As I made the turn, some fool in a pickup truck backed out.  As I was driving behind him!  I sped up (as best I could in a small lot) and performed an evasive maneuver.

But, he clipped us!

I pulled forward out of the path of parking lot traffic, and he pulled back into his space.  I exited to inspect the damage.  Best I could tell was a couple of scratches on the plastic part just below the fuel opening.  No serious damage, but noticeable.

I turned to greet the other driver and exchange information.  HE had hit US on private property.

And he had backed out again and left!

(I’m reminded that over 10% of Arizona’s motorists are uninsured!)

I had not taken a cell phone picture or recorded his license plate number, because it appeared he was stopping.

And we have more pressing financial issues currently than the $500 deductible for scratches.

Sigh.

(FTC – Neither Original Hamburger Works, Honda or Walgreens gave us anything!  Tom Ezell’s no longer exists, as far as I know – Tom passed a couple years ago.)

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…