The Nightmare that is Qualified Immunity

JusticeSo bureaucrats can violate your constitutional rights, and you have no recourse. UConn not liable for unconstitutional punishment of athlete because she flipped the bird on national TV.

The judge said they violated the first amendment and granted them immunity anyway.

Harris noted that the rationale for the creation of qualified immunity was to protect public officials from “the constant fear of liability for ‘reasonable but mistaken judgements about open legal questions.’”

Asked how qualified immunity could be more “reasonable,” Harris told The Fix she understands that public officials need “breathing room.” Yet the current standard lets public officials off the hook for almost any reason, while at the same time “private employees do not have such protections!”

Free Speech? Not if the Left Has Anything to Say

A systematic campaign of cyberstalking was undertaken by a team of eBay executives. Now ex-eBay-executives. Former eBay Employees Sent Cockroaches, Bloody Pig Mask to Mass. Couple In Harassment Campaign.

Their crime? They DARED to criticize eBay in a newsletter.

In a news conference, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said Monday the former employees sent menacing packages to the couple’s home — including a bloody pig mask — to deter them from writing critically about the San Jose, California-based company.

Lelling said eBay executives were “enraged” by the coverage of the company on the couple’s website. One allegedly said he wanted to “crush this lady,” referring to the woman in the couple that ran the site.

Because the Left is convinced that you don’t have the right to say things that they disagree with, and they have the right to do anything they want to stop you from speaking your mind.

The employees allegedly involved in the scheme were James Baugh, eBay’s former Senior Director of Safety and Security; Stephanie Popp, a senior manager of global intelligence; Stephanie Stockwell, an intelligence analyst; Veronica Zea, a contractor; Brian Gilbert, a senior manager of special operations; and David Harville, former director of global resiliency.

All have been fired by eBay.

All six are being charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with an investigation.

“Free speech? We can’t have that! Especially if they are going to criticize US!” </sarcasm>

Free Speech? Not if Left Has Anything to Say

Dr. John Lott on how the Left is doing everything it can to silence people with differing views. Why the New York Times Capitulated.

On Sunday, [a week ago] New York Times opinion editor James Bennet resigned after daring to publish a column by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, who argued for using the military to help quell the riots that arose from George Floyd’s murder.

The publication of a conservative opinion was too much for many staff members and political activists. It simply deviated too far from the liberal orthodoxy.

No one must be allowed to read anything not approved by the SJWs, because they don’t want to try to win in the arena of ideas, they just want to beat you into submission.

He adds a few anecdotes about his own silencing by the Left.

Burning Books Is Just Around the Bend

Of course in this enlightened age, they are going to ask you to burn your own books. At least at first. The Morning Briefing: We’ve Reached the Book Burning Phase of 2020 Riot Wokeness.

It starts off with a nice reference to Fahrenheit 451, the classic reference to book burning. And then a review of the editing of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. But it won’t stop there.

Just when you think that there couldn’t be anything more annoying than watching idiots kneel all about the place comes a post on titled “Your Bookshelf May Be Part of the Problem.”

Yep. What you are reading, and what you have read is a problem. Of course in the day of Kindle, Amazon can just delete everything they find offensive.

A recurring theme in history is that the thought fascists like to tightly control what the people it seeks to oppress read. Propaganda doesn’t work well if the masses can read whatever they want.

Hence the effort to silence anyone who doesn’t spout The Party’s line on anything and everything.(Hat tip to The Right Way.)

People Are Beginning to Push Back

Push back on Governors and other politicians who want to trample their civil rights, that is. As several people have noted, the ACLU has been strangely quiet on a lot of these cases.

First up, Kentucky. Lawsuit alleges Gov. Beshear infringed on protesters’ First Amendment rights.

A federal lawsuit filed on behalf of four protesters alleges that Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear violated First Amendment rights over restrictions to keep protesters at a distance during daily COVID-19 briefings.

North Carolina: ‘We’re concerned that our First Amendment rights are being trampled underfoot’ | Winston-Salem pastor files lawsuit against Governor Cooper.

The lawsuit alleges the Governor’s executive orders preventing gatherings of more than ten people violate the Constitution.

In media news… ‘Protected by the First Amendment’: Media consortiums back Fox News amid coronavirus coverage lawsuit.

It seems a bunch of Karens have decided that Fox News opinion personalities are not entitled to First Amendment protection of their opinions. Not when broadcast on cable television. And while the ACLU can’t be reached for comment, two groups that support journalists, The Internet & Television Association and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, have stepped up to defend Fox.

As usual, the Babylon Bee has perhaps the best take on the issue. ‘I Can’t Believe Christians Think It’s Safe To Go Back To Church,’ Says Woman In Line At Walmart.

I found these stories, and many more, when I went looking for more info on the Mississippi Church burning.

Those Damn Freedom-loving Americans

They spoil everything. WaPo writer: We can’t beat the virus because Americans stubbornly love their freedom too much.

The author argues, we may never succeed in the same fashion because such programs would require not only a willingness to surrender considerable privacy rights and freedoms, but also a general attitude of trust towards the government which doesn’t exist in the United States today.

If only we would surrender our freedom and privacy to the .gov, then life would be better, according to the Stalinist-dreamer at the WaPo, anyway.

The Left Showing Its Love of Stalinism

Freedom? What does that have to do with the modern Left? Democrats Have Abandoned Civil Liberties.

Warrantless surveillance, multiple illegal leaks of classified information, a false statements charge constructed on the razor’s edge of Miranda, and the use of never-produced, secret counterintelligence evidence in a domestic criminal proceeding – this is the “rule of law” we’re being asked to cheer.

Because nothing is more important than defending the Democrats. Not defending the Constitution. Not defending Liberty. Just “The Party.”

Anyway, go read the whole thing. (Hat tip to Small Dead Animals.)

We Are Bankrupting Ourselves for Security

You can’t guarantee perfect safety, but Americans want to “feel safe.” Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional Safety.

Physical safety = nothing the scolds view as dangerous. Emotional safety = you can’t say anything that might upset me. It all adds up to insanity.

Why are Americans so obsessed with safety? What is the endgame of those who would bubble wrap the world, both physically and emotionally? Perhaps most importantly, what can we do to turn back the tide and reclaim our culture of self-reliance, mental toughness, and giving one another the benefit of the doubt so that we don’t “bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security,” as President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about?

As so many things, it is about education. And the lack of it.

Education from kindergarten up to the universities is increasingly about teaching doctrines and ideology, rather than critical thinking and problem solving skills. All of this is a dangerous admixture that combines the full weight of the academic, cultural and business elites in this country. And its consequences are far reaching.

Go read it. Grab a coffee first. (Hat tip to Wirecutter.)

The First Amendment in Washington State

The attacks on the First Amendment and religious freedoms coming from blue states are insane. WA gubernatorial candidate Joshua Freed’s legal victory for religious liberty is bigger than media is reporting.

Joshua Freed is running for Governor of Washington.

No, he didn’t win an election that didn’t happen yet. He defeated the Governor’s executive order that prevented Washingtonians from worshiping as they saw fit. Coronavirus lockdowns, especially in left-leaning states, have become rife with attacks on Constitutional rights. The most common one being attacked is the 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion. Despite a 146-page brief filed by the Governor’s office defending their draconian edicts, Freed won. Now, Washingtonians have some of their religious liberties back. We need to get more.

The Democrats seem determined to destroy what’s left of the Bill of Rights.

First Amendment Back in Force in Kentucky

Because tyranny was never going to stand up to legal scrutiny. Not if the judges have any backbone. Federal judge rules that Kentucky churches can hold in-person services starting Sunday.

A federal judge ruled Friday that Tabernacle Baptist Church in Nicholasville, Kentucky, — and churches all around the commonwealth — may hold in-person services Sunday despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Tabernacle won a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of Gov. Andy Beshear’s order barring in-person church services to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

I missed this when it was published last week.

Freedom Is Taking Hold

At least a little bit.

First we have some sheriffs breaking with the governors of their state. Two Arizona County Sheriffs Vow to Not Enforce Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order, Say It Would Be a Violation of Their Oath.

[Mohave County Sheriff Doug] Schuster explained that he feels that enforcing the order is a violation of the Constitution.

“If I were to consider enforcing that, I would be in violation of my oath,” he told the paper. “That is something I cannot do.”

Next up we have a veteran schooling some California cops on the subject of freedom and the constitution.

He reminded them that they don’t get a pass on following illegal orders. And a bunch of other stuff.

It’s an 11 minute video, so grab a coffee.

California Police STAND DOWN After Marine Vet Challenges Their Integrity

The Truth Is Racist

If the Left doesn’t like that truth, that is. Sweden: Muslim migrant-linked gang violence increases despite coronavirus.

This should come as no surprise. Bombings by Muslim migrants have long turned many areas of Sweden into a war zone. Sweden saw some 230 bombings in 2019 alone. The majority of shooting suspects were from Africa and the Middle East, and some Swedish politicians have also blamed the large flows of immigrants who arrived in Sweden during the 2015 migration crisis.

230 bombings in 1 year in a country that has a land area (there is a lot of water in Sweden) a bit larger than Montana. But you can’t talk about that, for fear of being charged with “inciting race hatred.” The put a cop under investigation for that charge, because he dared to quote some statistics about serious crimes in that country. Isn’t it a good thing that guns are so controlled in that part of Europe! (Hat tip to Pirate’s Cove.)

In That Place Where Great Britain Used to Be

There is no free speech in the UK, and that most definitely includes Scotland. Former UK Ambassador Craig Murray Indicted.

His crime? He critizised the government, and so he must be sent to jail. A jury? A trail? Don’t be stupid. This is a police state we are talking about.

“The state believes it has finally discovered a way to put me in prison without the inconvenient hurdle of a jury of my peers. Contempt of Court is just decided by a judge. It is extraordinary that you can go to jail for a substantial two years with no jury protection and no test of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’; and on the whim of a judge defending what he may view as the dignity of his own office. This really is the epitome of bad law. To use it against freedom of speech is disgusting. …

“I am charged specifically with saying that the Alex Salmond case was a fit-up [in America we would call it a frame-up for crime] and a conspiracy in which the Crown Office was implicated. So I thought I would say it again now: ‘The Alex Salmond case was a fit-up and a conspiracy in which the Crown Office was implicated, foiled by the jury. If Scotland is the kind of country where you go to jail for saying that, let me get my toothbrush.'”

You questioned their authority. You didn’t do exactly what you were told to do. You believe something that is not government approved. and you said something that is not government approved. Of course the police state is going to put you in prison. What do you think they do? (In the old Soviet Union, they might have sent you to a mental institution. Hardly different.)

But the Politicians Are In Charge. Or Something

And you (both the public and the cops) will do what they tell you to do. Or else. Cops Should Enforce the Law, Not the Whims of Politicians.

With the accumulation of these stories, the populace grows ever more restive at the restraints placed upon them. If the law and civil authority are to be respected, the laws must be respectable, at least to a majority of those on whom they are imposed.

It begins with the story of politicians, and political organizations like the FBI, getting involved in real a real-world incident, and how that didn’t go well. And it moves on to the examples of insanity like ticketing people for attending a drive-in church-service because the politicians hate Christianity.

Hat tip to Second City Cop – Enforce the Law, Not Politics, in which he notes…

This would be the new guy, along with the multiple “merit” old guard (the most incompetent bunch of supervisors yet assembled) running around and issuing orders/directives/missions that run contrary to common sense, the Consent Decree and the Constitution.

We have unconfirmed rumors that already, a few law firms are sending out requests for their minions to troll social media accounts for video of dispersals and confrontations with police in anticipation of a rather large lawsuit concerning Civil Rights.

It has been much more than 50 years, since “I was just following orders” absolved anyone for responsibility for actions they took.

You Do NOT Have the Right to Protest

Not in California. Forget about the 1st Amendment, you do NOT have the right to Peaceably Assemble. You have the right to do exactly what they tell you to do. Encinitas, Ca., Protesters Threatened With Legal Action For Daring To Protest.

It seems the peasants were protesting overreach by the .gov, which didn’t make the overreaching-bureaucrats happy.

If you are doing any of these things within the parameters of social distancing, what’s the problem? Oh, right, power mad little dictator wannabees (who’ve forgotten there are these things called “elections”). So, the people protested, as allowed by the federal and state constitutions.

Of course the way to get out of trouble is to claim to be an illegal alien, because they have special rights in San Diego County.

Yes, San Diego County is a sanctuary jurisdiction. But, hey, why not put these ladies in jail for following the Constitution, while releasing all sorts of criminals, including a killer?

More protests are planned, and you can bet lawsuits will emerge if the county dares to fine or prosecute. Heck, they should file a suit just on the threats by the sheriff alone

NJ Governor vs The Bill of Rights

He’s The Governor™ – He can nullify the Bill of Rights WHENEVER HE PLEASES!

In case you missed the details, members of a Jewish congregation were arrested for attending a religious service.

Police in New Jersey arrested 15 attendees at an Orthodox Jewish rabbi’s funeral.

As I said earlier… Welcome to the Police State.

Liberal Assault on Christianity Comes Up Short

At least in Kentucky. Liberal Mayor: You’re Not Allowed To Attend Drive-In Church Service. Judge: Nope, Gives Mayor Tongue-Lashing.

On Fire Christian Church sued Mayor Greg Fischer and the city on Friday, arguing the mayor’s order banning drive-up service was in violation of their First Amendment rights, particularly since the churchgoers would be practicing safe “social distancing” recommendations.

According to Courier Journal, U.S. District Judge Justin Walker wrote in a temporary restraining order: “On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter.”

Judge Walker “banned the city from ‘enforcing; attempting to enforce; threatening to enforce; or otherwise requiring compliance with any prohibition on drive-in church services at On Fire,’” the report noted.

And the governor has cops recording the license plates of anyone who DARED to attend Easter Mass. How dare you disregard their authority.

Does This Mark the Start of a New Authoritarian Age?

According to Hoyt: Seven Days In March And she gets bonus points for referencing one of my favorite Cold War movies.

Anyway, the weird thing happening to me right now, through the Chinese-virus-panic, is that I’m sitting here in slack-jawed horror thinking that everything changed, that we’ve lost our last chance at restoring our republic and Western civilization with it, that the US and the world are on the brink of a new authoritarian age. And no one else seems to see it.

I think she just hasn’t thought it through. We’ve always been on the brink of an authoritarian age. An EMP. A nuclear war. A killer virus. A socialist in the White House. The normal state for humanity is to live under an authoritarian state. Greek and Roman democracies lasted for an eye blink. Followed by Alexander and the Caesars, respectively, and then a 1000 years of the dark ages. More or less. As for the part of the world that is not Europe. Well, the largest portion hasn’t ever had democracy. Not if you add China and Russia together.

And her reference, in the title to her post, the Cold War movie Seven Days in May, points that out better than just about any piece of the culture ever has.

Western Civilization has been doomed since the Left gained absolute control over the schools. There is no good and evil. There is no right or wrong. There are only feelings. See my previous post on how the Millennial generation (and the one after it) cares only about their feeling and their wants. They have no empathy, no consideration. Some might call them barbarians. I just think they are broken.

Totalitarians HATE Encryption

And it seems there are bunch to be found in Congress. EARN IT Act threatens end-to-end encryption.

While we’re all distracted by stockpiling latex gloves and toilet paper, there’s a bill tiptoeing through the US Congress that could inflict the backdoor virus that law enforcement agencies have been trying to inflict on encryption for years.

At least, that’s the interpretation of digital rights advocates who say that the proposed EARN IT Act could harm free speech and data security.

Sophos is in that camp. For years, Naked Security and Sophos have said #nobackdoors, agreeing with the Information Technology Industry Council that “Weakening security with the aim of advancing security simply does not make sense.”

We don’t need no 1st Amendment. OR privacy.

And while this will be couched in all manor of “It’s for the children” smoke, it is really about ending encryption.