Worse Than McCarthyism: Connecticut Gun Scare Black List

Whatever you may have thought of Senator Joe McCarthy, the famous McCarthy black lists of communists and fellow travelers started out with public support due to the “Red Scare”.  The Hollywood black list is a good example.  Somebody–probably J. Edgar Hoover–fed names to a movie industry trade magazine that published a list of movie industry talent that the magazine’s editor decided were either Communist Party USA members or sympathizers.

The House Un-American Activities Committee then took that list and bootstrapped it into an investigation.  You have to ask yourself which came first–did Congress feed the names to the Hollywood Reporter so it could then “investigate,” or did the Hollywood Reporter create the list on its own?  Either way, it was a nice neat way for HUAC to come up with a list that nobody vetted and that nobody who was included could ever get off of.


HUAC Lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Senator Joseph McCarthy

America was scared by infiltration of the country by Communist agents and sympathizers.   (Imagine if the Russia Today channel (RT.com) would have been operating.)

So now America is scared by a much greater threat–Islamic terrorism.  And what is the answer?  Use the much-maligned “no fly” list to rule on whether to permit gun ownership by those who have been placed on the list.

How do you get on the “no fly” list?  How do you know if you are on it?  How do you get off of it if you are?

The list is created by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center and is fraught with false positives and human error.  The ACLU has been a leading opponent of the no fly list and has brought several lawsuits against the U.S. government on the theory that the lists violate Constitutional rights of due process and the “right to travel”–but has so far been curiously silent in the face of their pal Obama’s proposed use of the “no fly” list to extinguish another Constitutional right–gun ownership.

A leading case (and pretty much only case) on the no-fly list is Rahinah Ibrahim, an ACLU case that resulted in a “summary” of the judge’s ruling being published.  The case brought by the ACLU was heard before Judge William Alsup in San Francisco (Alsup was the same judge in the Oracle case against Google where he showed himself to be a stand up guy in not bowing to Google’s political power).  The Huffington Post says:

“Rahinah Ibrahim, 48, a mother of four with a doctorate from Stanford University, was waiting to board a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii en route to Malaysia in 2005 but was told she was on the no-fly list. She was eventually cleared to fly to Malaysia, but her visa was revoked soon afterward and she could not return to Stanford. She was never told why she was put on the list, and in 2006 she sued the government to find out.

Government lawyers argued that Ibrahim, as a Malaysian citizen, had no standing in U.S. courts and that no-fly list information must be kept secret for security reasons. The government also asked U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California to seal his ruling.

Instead, Alsup ruled that Ibrahim did have the right to sue and ordered the government to tell Ibrahim whether she is still on the list. The judge agreed to keep the full ruling sealed until April 15, pending a review of the government’s request for secrecy, but he did issue a summary of the ruling.”

Judge Alsup said:

“In order for the district court to grant relief on a claim that a plaintiff has been wrongly listed in a government terrorist watchlist, that listing must first result in concrete, reviewable adverse government action against the plaintiff, such as refusal of permission to board a plane. This means that a judicial remedy must, by necessity, be a post-deprivation remedy. Once a plaintiff shows concrete, reviewable adverse government action has occurred, and, as here, shows that the action resulted from an error by the government, then the plaintiff is entitled by due process to a post-deprivation remedy that requires the government to cleanse and/or correct its lists and records of the mistaken information and to certify under oath that such correction(s) have been made. The government’s administrative remedies fall short of such relief and do not supply sufficient due process. In light of the confusion caused by the government’s mistake, such cleansing-certification relief is ordered in this case. Also, the government is ordered to disclose to plaintiff her current status on (or off) the no-fly list (without prejudice to future adjustments based on new information). In this connection, the government concedes that plaintiff is not a threat to our national security.”

So get that straight–the only way you get off of the no fly list is through a “post deprivation remedy” of suing the federal government.  Check it out: the ACLU case was filed in 2006–2006–and it’s still not over.

There are probably a couple dozen cases that the ACLU has brought for essentially the same reasons:  The government puts you on the list, doesn’t tell you you’re on the list, won’t tell you why you’re on the list, but won’t let you travel and has only a convoluted process for getting off the list even if you should never have been on the list in the first place.

Now–Obama wants to use that list, a process that is error-prone and secretive–to deny not only the right to travel under the privileges and immunities clause and due process under the 5th and 14th Amendments, but now to take away our Second Amendment rights as well.

This is real, people.  According to Fox News:

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed using an executive order Thursday to ban gun sales to those who are on federal no-fly watch lists.

Malloy said state officials are working with the federal government to get access to the lists.

“If you cannot fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to purchase a firearm while on that watch list as well,” Malloy told reporters at the state Capitol. “This is basic common sense. The American people get it.”

Get that–executive powers.  Wonder where he got that idea from?  And you don’t suppose that Obama is now going to say that since Connecticut’s governor did it, the POTUS now feels compelled to do it through executive power at the federal level?

Here’s the formula:  POTUS doesn’t like X, a right the is protected by the Constitution.  POTUS creates a list, like the death list he uses for execution by droning.  If you’re on the list, then you must be dangerous, too dangerous to enjoy Constitutional protection of X, so POTUS now uses executive powers to deprive you of X.

This formula is not theoretical–it’s happening right now.

That, my friends, is one step away from martial law.  We don’t have too many examples of martial law in Western countries in response to terror, but remember the “October Crisis” in Montreal back in the 1970s when the KGB-backed Quebec Liberation Front captured two government officials and killed one of them before being escorted to palm trees and rum in Cuba?  The big liberal Pierre Trudeau declared martial law in Montreal, posted troops on the street corners–and did a house to house search for weapons which were confiscated.  (That’s the father of the current Canadian Prime Minister.)

So where is the ACLU?  Silent.  Remember, Obama calls the no-fly list a “loophole”.  It’s a loophole alright, just not the kind Obama wants you to think of.  It’s a loophole for the feds to drive a Mack truck through the Second Amendment.




Thank you @presjpolk: Fight Crony Capitalism and Oppose the Local Radio Fairness Act

As every musician and artist knows, you don’t get paid for radio airplay in the US.  What, you say?  How can that be?

It’s true, the songwriters get paid but the artists do not.  This has been true from the very beginning of radio in the first few years of the 20th century when a strong radio lobby was able to beat up on what was then a very small recorded music market, and exempt themselves from paying royalties for the playback of recorded music.

Every day that goes by these days it seems like another artist dies without ever seeing that compensation.  Lesley Gore was the most recent one, but last year we saw Joe Cocker, Ian McLagan, Jack Bruce, many others.  These artists had the double deduction of recording before 1972, which is the year that the feds began protecting sound recordings with copyright except–you guessed it–for any compensation with the songs are performed on radio.

The National Association of Broadcasters is the super-powerful lobby for the broadcast industry that is pushing legislation in the Washington cesspool called “the Local Radio Fairness Act” a nonbinding House Resolution that it’s easy for unsuspecting Congressmen to sign up to, but it all comes down to the same thing–big radio and the special interests carving out a special exemption for themselves.

One of the best critiques of this crony capitalism I’ve ever seen comes from the always thoughtful Neil Stevens in Red State in his post “Oppose the Local Radio Fairness Act“.

The future of the GOP is in anti-cronyist shifts in policy that favor free markets, not specific companies or industries. This is one important way we can demonstrate to the American people that small government is for the little guy, and big government is for the big, well-connected guy.

One way to do this is to defeat the Local Radio Freedom Act, which is a massive giveaway to big, well-connected media companies, at the expense of their competitors as well as individual musical performers.

This all comes down to respecting copyright. Sometimes I get accused of opposing copyright. I don’t. I support it. And yet it’s the DC establishment, not me, that has created a massive copyright carve-out for one specific industry: radio stations.

Make sure you read this post, it’s critical to understanding how the National Association of Broadcasters and the special interests are trying to use the RINO leverage once again to quietly carve out a benefit for themselves.

Bring Out Your Shills: Google’s Shill Mill Attacking Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood for Having the Audacity to Investigate Google

The Trichordist

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is conducting what looks to be a criminal investigation into Google’s business practices including whether Google complied with a 2011 “non prosecution agreement” with the U.S. Department of Justice that required Google to pay $500,000,000 of the stockholders money to keep their senior management team from being prosecuted for violating the Controlled Substances Act.

Yes, that’s right. A $500,000,000 fine.  Of course you read about that in news far and wide, right?  Not really.  The only mainstream media outlets that covered it were pretty much the Wall Street Journal and Wired.  More about that later.

Google has sued Attorney General Hood to try to keep him from investigating potential crimes at Google, and David was interviewed about that case yesterday in the Washington Internet Daily, so we thought we’d give you some background.

Google’s Plea Bargain with the United States


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That’s Profit not Prophet: How Liberal YouTube Promotes Jihad

When the Obama White House can’t get it’s act together on calling Islamic Jihad by its real name, it should come as no surprise that Google wants to make a buck off of the Charlie Hebdo assassins.  Google, Facebook and the rest of these tech oligarchs hide behind laws they created because they want the traffic, the data and most of all the advertising revenue from all forms of human activity, including Man’s inhumanity to Man.

Here’s an example:

This is a YouTube video with English subtitles of a recruiting speech by Abu Muhammed Al-adnani entitled “Oh Crusader”.  Who is Abu Muhammed Al-Adnani?  Let’s ask Wikipedia, Google’s favorite information source.

Shaykh Abu Mohammad al-Adnani al-Shami is the official spokesman and a senior leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and its primary conduit for communicating official messages. He is also the emir of ISIL in Syria.

The State Department has designated him a terrorist:

The Department of State has designated Abu Mohammed al-Adnani as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. The consequences of this designation include a prohibition against U.S. persons engaging in transactions with al-Adnani, and the freezing of all property and interests of al-Adnani that are in the United States, or come within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons. Abu Mohammed al-Adnani was also included in the annex of the recently adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2170, which condemns the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusrah Front, both designated by the Department of State as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, as well as all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with al-Qa’ida. Along with al-Adnani’s U.S. designation, he will be added to the UN 1267/1989 al-Qa’ida Sanctions list, requiring all member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against al-Adnani.

The YouTube video is straight from the horse’s mouth.

There are literally tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of videos posted on YouTube from jihadi groups.  YouTube monetizes these videos in two ways that I can tell.  First is in search results.  Here’s a couple ads returned in response to my search for “Abu Muhammad Al-adnani” (remember–the State Department designated Specially Designated Global Terrorist):

aladnani2 Arab Women

This is a two-fer.  Not only is Google monetizing a search term for a known terrorist, they’re serving up an ad for what is likely to be a human trafficking site “Date Arab Women”, trafficking being something else that Google’s RINO Susan Molinari says that Google doesn’t support.

Yep, looks like Google knows the old sex and violence is a winner.

But wait, there’s more.  Here’s a refresh on the search term that serves up a different ad:

youtube aladnani osmo ad

This is the same search for the known terrorist, but this time Google serves an ad for something called “Osmo”.  I’d never heard of Osmo, so I looked it up.

osmo website

Osmo is a children’s toy company with an interesting and highly worthwhile product designed to combat Internet addiction.

What does Osmo have to do with a terrorist on the State Department Specially Designated Global Terrorist?  Nothing at all, I’m sure.  Did Osmo have any knowledge when they bought into the YouTube video monopoly that their ad would be served in response to a search for a Specially Designated Global Terrorist?  No.

And here’s the more interesting part–should Osmo have to pay for an ad served against search results that associate their brand with scumbags and bad guys who want to destroy our country?  Who actually murder children by cutting them in half?

So we wonder why it is that the Obama White House can’t seem to call a terrorist a terrorist?  Think about this angle–after the Charlie Hebdo assassinations many European governments are questioning whether social media platforms should be permitted to be the propaganda outlets for Specially Designated Global Terrorists like our boy Abu.  France in particular, but also the UK and Germany.

And it comes right here at home (Fox News):

The Investigative Project on Terrorism reviewed videos posted on the YouTube channels of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev.

Both brothers had YouTube channels in the United States and in Russia. Emerson’s group reviewed about half of the 22 videos posted on the U.S. channel. The videos were viewed by a small number of people. One video received 5,000 views, another just 1,000 views.

Based on the content of the videos, which feature Bin Laden, calls to kill Americans, Jews, Christians and exhortations to establish a world-wide caliphate, it is clear that these message are not directed just at Chechens. “They are directed primarily against all non-Muslims and are very similar to the Al Qaeda videos we’ve seen in years past.” 

The two brothers clearly want “to express a message that they totally sympathize with the jihadist cause. These were jihadists, they were not just Chechen separatists.”

When we read this kind of report as well as the stories about social media use by terrorists, why do we not question how these people manage to get access to YouTube in the first place?  And even if you willing to trade off giving them access to YouTube based on first amendment concerns–which I get and respect, kind of–should Google be able to profit from the prophet?

World governments are going to crack down on this stuff any minute.  Will the Obama Administration be leading from behind again on this issue, too?  When it affects their biggest campaign donors and the company that has filled so many jobs in the White House?  From the company that gets so many huge government contracts?   The company that gets a below market lease on Moffet Field to keep the Google private jet fleet in easy reach?

@Billboard is Demonstrably Short on Pandora Payola: Just Read FCC Website

The Trichordist

On last Thursday, Billboard wrote again about the  Pandora/Merlin direct deal.  For those of you who don’t know about the deal it basically says:   Merlin accepts lower royalty payments if Pandora plays Merlin songs more often.   We covered this a couple weeks ago after NPR’s Laura Sydell interviewed me about the deal.

Billboard says last week:

[T]he charge that the Merlin deal amounts to payola might be convoluted logic. Payola occurs when labels pay radio to play their music, not the other way around, as what happens in the digital realm. Even if the Merlin deal results in a slight economic benefit to Pandora, payola laws would need to be turned upside down and inside out to apply to this particular situation. Of course, stranger things have happened in the U.S. legal system. 

Unfortunately, that’s not what the FCC website says and I think Ed Christman knows better which…

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US Considers Putting North Korea Back on Terror List: Bad News For Google

Anybody musician, film maker, author or journalist knows that all governments have failed us in one fundamental way:  they have failed to protect our property from theft.  The Internet for us has been a complete economic disaster of monumental proportions.  We look at what has happened to Sony with a mixture of empathy and amusement.

Empathy because it’s fundamentally the same thing that has been happening to us for 15 years and we know it’s a depressing experience.  Amusement because it’s fundamentally the same thing that has been happening to us for 15 years and we know it’s a depressing experience–but this time it’s happening to big enough Obama contributors that someone will pay attention.

What I find so remarkable about the Sony hack is everyone is acting surprised.  Obviously this has been coming for a long, long time.  While the government may be good at monitoring citizens and protecting its own computers, they do a piss poor job of protecting the private property of the citizenry, including Sony.

Don’t let them get away with being shocked, shocked that the Internet is being used by foreign state actors to steal the property of Americans.  This has been going on since the beginning–Allofmp3.com was protected by the Kremlin and everyone knew it and nobody said anything.

And the American corporation that benefits the most from the theft of the property of other Americans is Google and you really don’t have to look any further than YouTube where Google is in total control.  So naturally Google would be getting cozy with North Korea.

Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt visited North Korea last year.  This is the first step toward Google getting into business in North Korea.  Google is very tight with the ChiComs and Putin, so why leave out Kim Jong-un?

If you look at the information that was leaked in the Sony hack, did you notice that there’s not one embarrassing leak regarding Google?  Is it really plausible that Sony Pictures had no direct communication with Google for years and years?

There’s lots of confidential information stolen by hackers that helps Google including the leak of a competitor to Google Glass (and a lot cooler looking):

Business Insider says:

Snapchat secretly acquired a company working on a Google Glass type of product in March, according to documents that leaked as a part of the Sony hacking.

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is also a Snapchat board member, and his inbox has been exposed by hackers. In it, we see deal terms that suggest Snapchat paid $15 million for Vergence Labs, which makes frames for glasses. The terms say Snapchat paid $11 million in cash and $4 million in stock.

So if Obama puts North Korea back on the terror list because it used the Internet to destroy private property in the U.S., maybe he’ll put China, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Russia on there, too.  There’s certainly plenty of evidence.

Either way, it’s bad news for Google as it won’t be able to lay down that Google Fiber for another generation.  But that’s OK, they’ll get there eventually.

The Connection Between Peshawar Massacre and the Guantanamo Bay Golf Course and Resort

Obama just sent another big Feliz Navidad to both Cuba and the Taliban by executive fiat–Obama orders the Pentagon to release another four terrorists to join the mob that murdered children in Peshawar.  Obama crosses another order from the Soros exit memo–reward the enemies of average Americans and swell their ranks, lift their morale and move one step closer to shutting down Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba in Fidel Castro’s lifetime.

This from Reuters:

The continued detention of Afghans at Guantanamo – eight remain there – has long been deeply unpopular across the ideological spectrum in Afghanistan.

The release comes at a time when most U.S. troops are due to leave Afghanistan by year-end even as Taliban insurgents are intensifying their bloody campaign to re-establish their hardline Islamist regime that was toppled in a U.S.-backed military intervention in 2001.

All four men – identified as Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani and Mohammed Zahir – were originally detained on suspicion of being members of the Taliban or affiliated armed groups.

But a second senior U.S. official said: “Most if not all of these accusations have been discarded and each of these individuals at worst could be described as low-level, if even that.”

The Afghan government gave the United States “security assurances” for the treatment of the former prisoners and was expected to reunite them with their families, the official said.

And this from Fox News:

Before Obama can close Guantanamo, he faces the challenge of working out what to do with any detainees who aren’t cleared for transfer — either because the United States wants to prosecute them or continuing holding them because they are considered too dangerous to release. Congress has passed legislation blocking detainees from coming to the U.S. for detention or trial.

Some Guantanamo opponents are questioning whether the United States has the authority to continue detaining prisoners captured in the Afghan conflict after the end of combat operations at year’s end.

“We will certainly expect to see legal challenges to continued detention at the end of hostilities, which is just in a couple weeks,” said J. Wells Dixon, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. Dixon has assisted on the case of Khan, whom he says detained “on the flimsiest of allegations” that were “never fully investigated.”

Now we know what Eric Holder will do when he leaves the Justice Department–join the Guantanamo Bay Bar Association.

But Obama needs to get a move on if he’s going to give Fidel the big Feliz Navidad of turning over Gitmo to the Cubans before Fidel kicks the bucket.  That will make all the Howard Zinn-ites like Obama happier than pardoning Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dorn.

If You Hate Work, You Will Love Obamacare

Bizarre statement from Jay Carnie this week: Job lock stops Americans from following their dream, now we can all have our medical care subsidized by the government (meaning “the collective” or as techno utopians would say, “the community”) if we don’t like our jobs.

Problem is that some pundits–including conservatives like Weekly Standard–have taken this up to say “if you want to be an artist” or “if you want to be a musician” you can quit your job and you’ll be covered by Obamacare.

This is really not funny if you are a musician trying to stay alive while the government erodes private property rights and lets pretty much anyone who wants to steal copies of our music and lets political cronies like Google sell advertising and dance on our graves.  It also belittles people who choose music or the arts as a career.

Which doesn’t mean that it’s absolute insanity to argue this “job lock” as yet another way to undermine the economy and the tenant of hard work that is at the core of the City on a Hill.  This is trying to get us on a reduced work like southern Europe and it’s all worked out so well there.

But you don’t need to ridicule musicians and artists who struggle harder than ever to make that point unless you’re also willing to enforce the law and protect artist rights like you would anyone else.

The Buddy System, Redistribution and IP in Libertarianistan

Got to reading President Reagan’s announcement of his candidacy from 1975!  Wonderful words, and unreal how much 1975 sounds like 2013!

In my opinion, the root of these problems lies right here–in Washington, D.C.

Our nation’s capital has become the seat of a “buddy  system” that functions for its own benefit–increasingly insensitive to the needs of the American worker who supports it with his taxes.

Today it is difficult to find leaders who are independent of the forces that have brought us our problems–the Congress , the bureaucracy, the lobbyists, big business and big labor.

If Reagan were running today, I bet he would add “Big Tech” to that list, in particular Google.  No better example of the 2014 “buddy system” than in Obama cozying up to Google and giving them government contracts, tax breaks, and aiding and abetting Google’s assault on private property.

No matter how much Google wants to make it sound like they care about conservatives like me, they sure don’t vote that way.  Who do you think swung the election for Obama with micro-targeted ad campaigns?  Online ads for Dog Lovers Against Romney, etc etc.

Google is also behind trying to create a Libertarianistan, where Google rules your life like fake compassionate statist technocrats.  They just try to sucker us into working as slave labor for their data mining value extracting economic soda straw.

You are starting to see Google-backed “libertarians” appear at conferences and do posts for 3rd tier sites that attack “Hollywood” for sticking up for private property rights in intellectual property.  See we are all supposed to hate “Hollywood” because of Google’s buddy Barbra Streisand.  But that’s the sucker punch.

You have to wonder about some of these guys.  You see them around now at conferences.  Their the ones with no apparent means of support, but they all feed the party line and claim to represent “young people” the “new generation”.  And they are all feeding the line: If Republicans want to win, they need to tap into the new generation’s desire to get more free stuff–by stealing music and movies that Google sells the advertising on.

All they are doing is setting up false idols in Libertarianistan and cementing crony capitalism between Google and Obama.  Like Reagan’s old “buddy system.”

Bob Parson’s Tribute to USMC: Remembering Vets

It’s way too easy now for Americans to completely miss the fact that we have troops that are “looking at the elephant” on the front lines, not to mention our Special Ops warriors who keep us safe.  Today is a good day to remember all of those troops who don’t get a tour of the Situation Room in the White House because they’re not Will Smith or Jay-Z.

When you see troops in the airport or at dinner thank them for their service, please.’

Musicians love Bob Parsons because he stuck with us on SOPA for a long time.  He’s a good guy and he stood up when we needed him.  He’s not afraid to tell a thief that they stole.

And standing up to Google when you are in the tech business takes Marine-size balls.