Behind The Woodshed Blogcaster – February 19, 2017.

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Rebranding In Quiet Wars

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Competent Incompetence

Due Process Obligations

  • Trump’s New Travel Ban Revealed: Phase-In Period; Green-Card Holders Spared

    Deciding not the see the 9th Circuit court of appeals “in [Supreme] court” after all, last week the White House announced it would unveil a revised immigration order banning travel t the US over the next few days. On Saturday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly previewed what it would look like, when he told a Munich Security Conference gathering that the travel ban will no longer stop green card holders or travelers already on planes from entering the United States, in hopes of avoiding another round of legal challenges.


Scholarly Obstructions

  • How I turned a traffic ticket into the constitutional trial of the century

    The traffic-camera ticket: like a parking ticket, it looks lawful enough. When they receive one, most people simply write the check. It seems like the sensible and law-abiding thing to do.

    But this is not a parking ticket. In legal terms, it is not a proceeding in rem—against your car. It is a legal action against you personally. And before you pay the fine, you might want to hear my story.

    My story is not legal advice. I offer it only to show how our ruling elites have corrupted the rule of law and to suggest why this matters for the American experiment in self-governance.

    The Ticket

    My story begins with a confession: I got a traffic-camera ticket. An affidavit signed by a Montgomery City police officer, it averred that I had committed a particular traffic violation on a certain date, at a certain time and location. It showed a photograph of one of our family vehicles. It charged me with a “civil violation” of “criminal law.”

    I wasn’t driving the car. In fact, at the time I was in a faculty meeting at the law school where I teach. Thus, I decided to challenge this injustice on the principle of the thing.

    Municipal Court

    On the appointed day, I tromped over to municipal court and sat down among those accused of armed robbery, drug dealing, and other misdeeds. After an hour, a bailiff emerged to herd into a corner of the courtroom those of us who had appeared for the slightly more respectable offense of owning a speeding vehicle. We waited some more, first for the clerk, and then to be called individually to meet the clerk. Those of us who requested a hearing (evoking an exasperated, poor-idiot-thinks-he’s-Perry-Mason expression) then waited for a magistrate to show up. Then we each waited our turn to appear before the magistrate.

    After a summary hearing, the magistrate ruled against me. So I appealed to the county-level Circuit Court.

    Actually, I tried to appeal. The clerk’s office made me wait in the lobby. When they finally saw me, they insisted that I provide a criminal appeal bond. But I wasn’t convicted of a crime, I protested. No matter. No appeal bond; no appeal.

    No, we don’t accept checks. Come back with the amount of your ticket in cash. I found an ATM and returned, only to be left waiting in the lobby again. When I was readmitted, I saw a different employee who insisted on twice the amount of the ticket in cash. I left and returned again.

    More waiting.

    The City Attorney

    Next, I called the City Attorney to see if she really wanted to go through with this. She did.

    One does not expect municipal officials to be paragons of lawfulness. But it is a bit jarring to encounter a City Attorney who evinces no interest in, much less knowledge of, her constitutional duties.

    I asked her whether this was a criminal action or a civil action. She replied, “It’s hard to explain it in those terms.” I asked whether she intended to proceed under criminal procedural rules or in civil procedure. We would proceed under the “rules of criminal procedure,” she answered because this is a criminal case. I asked when I could expect to be charged, indicted, or have a probable cause determination. She replied that none of those events would occur because this is “a civil action.” So I could expect to be served with a complaint? No, no. As she had already explained, we would proceed under the criminal rules.

    (For the record, the Montgomery City Attorney never studied law with me.)

    She asserted that I had violated the “rules of the road” and explained, “you were caught on camera speeding.” I asked her for any evidence. She replied that she did not need evidence. I was deemed liable because an automobile that I own “was caught speeding.” But the complaint is against me, I noted, not my car. But I am liable, she insisted, because I loaned my vehicle to “someone who speeds.”

    I asked where in the laws it prohibits me from loaning my vehicle, and how I am to know in advance that any particular person is going to speed using my car. Agitated by my “semantics,” she advised me to raise any due process issues with the trial court.

    This was going to be fun.

    The Trial

    Before the trial, I moved to dismiss the case. I wanted the judge to pay attention, so I tried to make the motion interesting. Okay, maybe “interesting” isn’t the best word. It was over the top. I alluded to Hobbes and Locke. I quoted the Declaration of Independence. I suggested the success of the American experiment was at stake. I resorted to superlatives. You know: all the stuff I teach my law students never to do.

    We proceeded to trial. The city produced one witness, the police officer who had signed the affidavit. On direct examination, he explained how the traffic camera system works. A corporation in another state called American Traffic Solutions operates the camera system, chooses the photographs on which to predicate enforcement, recommends the Montgomery police department initiate an action against a vehicle’s owner, and is paid for its work.

    On cross-examination, I established that:

    – He was not present at the time of the alleged violation.

    – He has no photographic evidence of the driver.

    – There were no witnesses.

    – He does not know where Adam MacLeod was at the time of the alleged violation.

    And so on. I then asked the question one is taught never to ask on cross—the last one. “So, you signed an affidavit under the pains and penalties of perjury alleging probable cause to believe that Adam MacLeod committed a violation of traffic laws without any evidence that was so?”

    Without hesitating he answered, “Yes.” This surprised both of us. It also surprised the judge, who looked up from his desk for the first time. A police officer had just testified under oath that he perjured himself in service to a city government and a mysterious, far-away corporation whose officers probably earn many times his salary.

    The city then rested its case. I renewed my motion to dismiss, which the judge immediately granted.

    Vindication! Well, sort of. When I tried to recover my doubled appeal bond, I was told that the clerk was not authorized to give me my money. Naturally, the law contains no procedure for return of the bond and imposes on the court no duty to return it. I was advised to write a motion. Weeks later, when the court still had not ruled on my motion, I was told I could file a motion asking for a ruling on my earlier motion. Bowing to absurdity, I did so. Still nothing has happened now several months later.



  • Pipeline exec compares Dakota protesters to terrorists

    A top executive at the company building the controversial Dakota Access pipeline on Wednesday compared pipeline opponents to terrorists.

    Joey Mahmoud, executive vice president of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, said protesters have “assaulted numerous pipeline personnel,” destroyed millions of dollars’ worth of construction equipment and even fired a pistol at law enforcement during months of demonstrations against the 1,200-mile pipeline, which will carry North Dakota oil to an Illinois terminal.

    Mahmoud said in written testimony to Congress that the protest movement “induced individuals to break into and shut down pump stations on four operational pipelines. Had these actions been undertaken by foreign nationals, they could only be described as acts of terrorism.”

    Mahmoud omitted the comment about terrorism as he read his testimony aloud to a House energy subcommittee Wednesday. The comment was included in written remarks submitted to the panel.

    The chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux, one of two tribes suing to stop the project, called Mahmoud’s comments unfair to project opponents.

    “The majority of them are there in prayer,” Chairman Harold Frazier told reporters after The Associated Press reported Mahmoud’s remarks. “From what I’ve seen (law enforcement officers) are the terrorists.”

  • “Rebranding Liberty As Evil” As Globalists Prepare to Blame Populists for Everything

    Editor’s Comment: Taking Brandon’s point into account, what is happening now appears to be a mass hoax in that crowds from the “liberty” movement, the “truth” movement, the “conservative” movement, the “populist” movement and several other labels are being goaded into supporting an overreaching executive branch, a fresh rally for war in the middle east, and a brutal police state crackdown at home – a crackdown that appears to be developing in the effort to deport many illegal immigrants, ban migrants from middle east countries and beat back protesting and rioting liberal crowds.
    There are so many fronts to this game, that many people have lost their identity and completely abandoned their principles in effort to cheer on ‘their candidate,’ whether that is Trump in the White House, Bernie or Hillary outside the White House or anyone else in between. As Brandon Smith has pointed out in many of his previous articles, there have been many short term gains against the globalists, and they can never true to defeat the liberty movement (in particular) if-and-only-if liberty-minded individuals maintain their principles – of freedom as an ideal, of protection for the Bill of Rights, of economic freedom for individuals and small businesses, etc.
    If people only hold onto liberty and other high-minded ideals when they advocate candidates, movements or issues, we could hardly go wrong. On the other hand, if people look the other way to back a particular individual, their entire stance/movement/policies can be debunked and set aside, if it can be shown that people who originally advocated liberty/freedom have instead endorsed or participated in evil, in unconstitutional acts and, ultimately, defeated themselves.
    For those who advocate personal freedom to the extreme point of self-reliance, off grid living, and readiness for any/all emergencies, those people can never be defeated as long as they live up to their principles. Somewhere in there is the hope for the future; the rest is dragging us back down into chaos and agonizing poverty and dependence.
    The Globalist Long Game – Redefine Liberty Activism As Evil “Populism”.



BlockChained To The Master

  • The First Government To Secure Land Titles On The Bitcoin Blockchain Expands Project

    In a vote of confidence for a fledgling technology, the Republic of Georgia committed in a signing ceremony in Tbilisi on Tuesday to use the bitcoin network to validate property-related government transactions.

    In April last year, the government and bitcoin hardware and software firm Bitfury Grouplaunched a project to register land titles via a private blockchain, which is a tamper-proof ledger, and then to make those transactions verifiable using bitcoin’s blockchain, which is public.

    It is the first time a national government has used the bitcoin blockchain to secure and validate official actions, signifying a vote of confidence for a technology still somewhat tainted by an early association with illicit activity.

    The Bitfury and Republic of Georgia initiative is just one of several collaborations aimed at creating blockchain-based land-titling services. (Such software is also being created in Sweden, Honduras and Cook County in Chicago with startups ChromaWay, Factom and Velox, respectively.) Peruvian economist Hernando DeSoto, who has also been involved in the project, has estimated that worldwide, the value of “dead capital” — in which people do not have legal title to their houses, cars and other assets — at $20 trillion.


Method Behind The Madness

  • This Pot-Entrepreneur Is Fighting Prohibition, and Winning

    On a busy DC street corner, on a cold afternoon, a Mercedes-Benz sits parked outside of a storefront window. There are other cars parked on the street, but this vehicle stands out  – mainly because it’s covered with pictures of marijuana plants and has Kush Gods written in huge lettering across its side.

    Two police officers stand nearby, watching the car with stone-faced expressions and crossed arms, but there is nothing they can do.  Selling marijuana is, of course, still very much illegal in Washington, DC, but this mobile dispensary isn’t actually selling any marijuana. It is, however, giving it away in exchange for a donation. And thanks to a loophole in the law, the Kush Gods have been getting away with this for almost two years.

    Prohibition’s days may be numbered, but devoted bureaucrats are still doing everything they can to cling to their outdated policies before they are eviscerated entirely.

    This is, perhaps, best illustrated in the nation’s capital, where marijuana prohibition is in a unique state of limbo.

    A “Pot-repreneur” is Born

    Nicholas “Kush God” Cunningham might be the most brilliant businessman in Washington, DC. He saw a gap in the market and seized the opportunity to make a profit even though he’s had to fight the State every step of the way.

    Cunningham familiarized himself with the new laws and figured out a way to make his mobile dispensary operational in spite of the government’s restrictions.

    He ultimately came to the conclusion that selling marijuana and staying in business was going to be tricky, if not impossible, but giving it might be the perfect solution. So long as he required a “donation” in exchange for each herbal gift, he would still be able to make a profit.

    In addition to being a “potrepreneur,” Cunningham is also an aspiring rapper, so naturally, his “cause” became his music. Anyone donating to Kush Gods is technically helping Cunningham launch his music career, which often touches on political themes.

    Beating the System

    Much like a food truck or pop-up venture, potential “donors” can either send a text or check social media in order to learn the daily hours and locations of the Kush Gods.

Truth Will Be Truthier

  • DEA Drops Inaccurate Cannabis Claims From Website

    In a remarkable about-face, the US Drug Enforcement Administration on Monday removed inaccurate information about the purported dangers of cannabis from the agency’s website.

    The change came after the nonprofit advocacy group Americans for Safe Access filed a legal petition calling for the DEA to remove the incorrect claims. Filed on Dec. 5, the petition argues that the misleading statements—among which that cannabis can cause psychosis, lung cancer, and permanent cognitive damage—violate the federal Information Quality Act, designed to ensure integrity of information published by federal agencies.

    Steph Sherer, ASA’s executive director, cheered the agency’s removal of the claims.

    “The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock” she said in a statement. “The federal government now admits that cannabis is not a gateway drug, and doesn’t cause long-term brain damage, or psychosis.”


  • Pot has some medical benefits, U.S. Academies say, but obstacles to research loom

    There is “conclusive or substantial evidence” that marijuana or related compounds can effectively treat chronic pain, nausea caused by chemotherapy treatment for cancer, and spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, according to a report published today by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report urges more research on both the benefits and risks of marijuana, but notes that researchers who want to study the drug face significant obstacles.
    The 395-page report is the work of an expert committee that considered more than 10,000 research abstracts in their review of the scientific literature on cannabis. “It’s very comprehensive and balanced,” says Igor Grant, who directs the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego. Grant was not on the committee that produced the report, but he provided feedback as an independent reviewer.
    Marijuana is now legal for medical use in 28 states and the District of Columbia, but the federal government still considers possession or use to be a crime; the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently declined to remove it from their Schedule I list of dangerous drugs with no acknowledged medical benefits. “This report really does refute [DEA’s] position,” Grant says. “It’s absolutely not correct to say there’s no evidence for medical benefit, at least for certain conditions.”
    The evidence for benefits was strongest for treating chronic pain, reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, multiple sclerosis patients have reported that it reduces spasticity—muscle tightness and movement difficulties—although when the measurements are taken by a doctor the evidence of reduced spasticity was weaker. All three of these ailments have been the target of extensive clinical trials, and some nations have approved marijuana-based compounds to treat all of them. So far only two synthetic cannabis drugs, both for treating nausea, have been approved in the United States.
    The committee found “moderate evidence” that cannabis helps people with certain sleep disturbances and “limited evidence” for a range of other benefits, including increasing appetite and decreasing weight loss in people with HIV/AIDS and relieving symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.
    It wasn’t all good news. The committee reports “substantial evidence” linking early marijuana use with substance abuse later in life and suggesting that cannabis increases the likelihood of respiratory problems, motor vehicle accidents, and low birth weight in infants born to pot-smoking mothers.

  • Boom: thousands of medical studies found to be useless

    Boom: thousands of medical studies found to be useless
    Memo to “medical bloggers” living in mommy’s basement

    I’m talking about little defenders of consensus science, bloggers who love and adore every official pronouncement that comes down the pipeline from medical journals and illustrious doctors.

    Dear Bloggers: Thousands of published studies you cite and praise are wrong, useless, irrelevant, deceptive—and the medical journals know it, and they’re doing nothing useful about it.

    The issue? Cell lines. These cells are crucial for lab research on the toxicity of medical drugs, and the production of proteins. Knowing exactly which cell lines are being studied is absolutely necessary.

    And therein lies the gigantic problem. has the bombshell story (“Thousands of studies used the wrong cells, and journals are doing nothing,” July 21, 2016):

    “Recent estimates suggest that between 20 percent and 36 percent of cell lines scientists use are contaminated or misidentified — passing off as human tissue cells that in fact come from pigs, rats, or mice, or in which the desired human cell is tainted with unknown others. But despite knowing about the issue for at least 35 years, the vast majority of journals have yet to put any kind of disclaimer on the thousands of studies affected.”


On Demand Identity Or Denial

  • Retail store demands everyone submit to cop run facial recognition before gaining entry

    A retail store in St. Louis called Motomart is demanding customers submit to having their faces scanned before they’re allowed entry!

    Think about what that means, police are identifying every single customer using DHS’s national REAL ID program .

    According to a Fox2Now article, once it gets dark, employees put up signs that say: “Facial Recognition Software in Use – Please Look at Above Camera for Entry.”

    Make no mistake, when stores start demanding to scan our faces to gain entry, we’ve entered into a privacy nightmare.

    Why aren’t people boycotting Motomart? Do we really want police tracking our every movement?

    DHS/Police run facial biometric company.


  • I’ll never bring my phone on an international flight again. Neither should you

    A few months ago I wrote about how you can encrypt your entire life in less than an hour. Well, all the security in the world can’t save you if someone has physical possession of your phone or laptop, and can intimidate you into giving up your password.

    And a few weeks ago, that’s precisely what happened to a US citizen returning home from abroad.

    On January 30th, Sidd Bikkannavar, a US-born scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory flew back to Houston, Texas from Santiago, Chile.

    On his way through through the airport, Customs and Border Patrol agents pulled him aside. They searched him, then detained him in a room with a bunch of other people sleeping in cots. They eventually returned and said they’d release him if he told them the password to unlock his phone.

    What’s the worst thing that could happen if the Customs and Border Patrol succeed in getting ahold of your unlocked phone? Well…

    • Think of all of the people you’ve ever called or emailed, and all the people you’re connected with on Facebook and LinkedIn. What are the chances that one of them has committed a serious crime, or will do so in the future?
    • Have you ever taken a photo at a protest, bought a controversial book on Amazon, or vented about an encounter with a police officer to a loved one? That information is now part of your permanent record, and could be dragged out as evidence against you if you ever end up in court.
    • There’s a movement within government to make all data from all departments available to all staff at a local, state, and federal level. The more places your data ends up, the larger a hacker’s “attack surface” is — that is, the more vulnerable your data is. A security breach in a single police station in the middle of nowhere could result in your data ending up in the hands of hackers — and potentially used against you from the shadows — for the rest of your life.

    Wait a second. What about my fourth and fifth amendment rights? Isn’t this illegal?

    The fourth amendment protects you against unreasonable search and seizure. The fifth amendment protects you against self-incrimination.

    If a police officer were to stop you on the street of America and ask you to unlock your phone and give it to them, these amendments would give you strong legal ground for refusing to do so.

    But unfortunately, the US border isn’t technically the US, and you don’t have either of these rights at the border.

    It’s totally legal for a US Customs and Border Patrol officer to ask you to unlock your phone and hand it over to them. And they can detain you indefinitely if you don’t. Even if you’re a American citizen.

    The border is technically outside of US jurisdiction, in a sort of legal no-man’s-land. You have very few rights there. Barring the use of “excessive force,” agents can do whatever they want to you.

    So my advice is to just do whatever they tell you, to and get through customs and on into the US as quickly as you can.


  • AI-Powered Body Cams Give Cops The Power To Google Everything They See

    The police body camera industry is the latest to jump on the artificial intelligence bandwagon, bringing new powers and privacy concerns to a controversial technology bolstered by the need to hold police accountable after numerous high-profile killings of unarmed black citizens. Now, that tech is about to get smarter.Last week, Taser, the stun gun company that has recently become an industry leader in body-mounted cameras, announced the creation of its own in-house artificial intelligence division. The new unit will utilize the company’s acquisition of two AI-focused firms: Dextro, a New York-based computer vision startup, and Misfit, another computer vision company previously owned by the watch manufacturer Fossil. Taser says the newly formed division will develop AI-powered tech specifically aimed at law enforcement, using automation and machine learning algorithms to let cops search for people and objects in video footage captured by on-body camera systems.

    Moreover, the move suggests that body-worn cameras, which are already being used by police departments in many major cities, could soon become powerful surveillance tools capable of identifying different objects, events, and people encountered by officers on the street — both retroactively and in real time.

Power Room Microwaver

  • Wireless power transmission safely charges devices anywhere within a room

    A new method developed by Disney Research for wirelessly transmitting power throughout a room enables users to charge electronic devices as seamlessly as they now connect to WiFi hotspots, eliminating the need for electrical cords or charging cradles.

    The researchers demonstrated their method, called quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR), inside a specially built 16-by-16-foot room at their lab. They safely generated near-field standing magnetic waves that filled the interior of the room, making it possible to power several cellphones, fans and lights simultaneously.

    “This new innovative method will make it possible for electrical power to become as ubiquitous as WiFi,” said Alanson Sample, associate lab director & principal research scientist at Disney Research. “This in turn could enable new applications for robots and other small mobile devices by eliminating the need to replace batteries and wires for charging.”

    A research report on QSCR by the Disney Research team of Matthew J. Chabalko, Mohsen Shahmohammadi and Alanson P. Sample was published on Feb. 15, 2017 in the online journal PLOS ONE.

    “In this work, we’ve demonstrated room-scale wireless power, but there’s no reason we couldn’t scale this down to the size of a toy chest or up to the size of a warehouse,” said Sample, who leads the lab’s Wireless Systems Group.

    According to Sample, is a long-standing technological dream. Celebrated inventor Nikola Tesla famously demonstrated a wireless lighting system in the 1890s and proposed a system for transmitting power long distances to homes and factories, though it never came to fruition. Today, most wireless power transmission occurs over very short distances, typically involving charging stands or pads.

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Required Reading

Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars

  • The people know that they have created this farce and financed it with their own taxes (consent), but they would rather knuckle under than be the hypocrite. Factor VI – Cattle Those who will not use their brains are no better off than those who have no brains, and so this mindless school of jelly-fish, father, mother, son, and daughter, become useful beasts of burden or trainers of the same.
  • Mr. Rothschild’s Energy Discovery
    What Mr. Rothschild [2] had discovered was the basic principle of power, influence, and control over people as applied to economics. That principle is “when you assume the appearance of power, people soon give it to you.”

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