An illegal slap on the wrist

A Florida judger refuses to let federal prosecutors avoid prosecuting a pedophile:

A U.S. District judge on Thursday ruled that federal prosecutors illegally signed a plea agreement with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and hid it from his more than two dozen underage victims.

“Epstein used paid employees to find and bring minor girls to him.,’’ wrote U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra of Palm Beach County. “Epstein worked in concert with others to obtain minors not only for his own sexual gratification, but also for the sexual gratification of others.’’

Epstein, now 66, reached a nonprosecution deal in 2008 with then-Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta’s office to secretly end a federal sex abuse investigation involving at least 40 teenage girls that could have landed him behind bars for life. He instead pleaded guilty to state charges, spent 13 months in jail, paid settlements to victims and is a registered sex offender.

Acosta, now President Donald Trump’s labor secretary, has defended the deal as appropriate but has not commented since the recent round of stories. He was asked about the case during his Senate confirmation hearings for the Cabinet post. “At the end of the day, based on the evidence, professionals within a prosecutor’s office decided that a plea that guarantees someone goes to jail, that guarantees he register generally and guarantees other outcomes, is a good thing,” he said.

Earlier February, the Justice Department opened an investigation into federal prosecutors’ handling of the plea deal.

The USA is increasingly a government of men, not laws. But not, it seems, entirely. At least, not yet.What Acosta did was wrong and he must have known it to be wrong, or he would not have hidden the deal from the victims.


Discovery

This weekend, we discovered that Indiegogo actually broke their own refund policy when they refunded all the AH:Q backers.

When are contributions not eligible for a refund?

Contributions cannot be refunded by Indiegogo, if any of the following are true:

  • The contribution funds have already been transferred to the campaign owner
  • The campaign has ended [emphasis mine -VD]
  • The perk associated with the contribution has been fulfilled (contribution is marked as fulfilled on Indiegogo by the campaigner)
  • Indiegogo determines that there has been an abuse of our Terms of Use, or the refund policy.

The AH:Q campaign ended on September 26, 2018. On October 11, Indiegogo froze Arkhaven’s account and announced it was initiating a review process. Less than an hour later, but two weeks after the end of the campaign, Indiegogo sent ineligible refunds to all the AH:Q backers in violation of its own refund policy. It wasn’t until the next day, October 12, that Arkhaven was informed that Indiegogo “will be processing refunds for your campaign.”

UPDATE: It just keeps getting better. From the same Refund Policy page.

Please note, we are unable to cancel your campaign or issue mass refunds for any campaign that has raised funds.

C-can you feel that? Can you hear that? That sounds like… rubble. And it’s… it’s bouncing!


“Unusual activity”

Believe it or not, that’s Indiegogo’s lame excuse for failing to deliver as promised on a contract. We’ve also figured out what tactics they are hiding behind; they put the information in the account instead of emailing you, then delete your access to the account so you have nothing with which to hold them accountable. Too bad for them that I’m in the habit of taking detailed notes and screenshots when I don’t trust people, so we can already prove exactly what they did and where to confirm it.

 Needless to say, it looks like we’ll be moving forward on this one. We already have several alternatives, so if you’re a backer, please just be patient and hold your fire. It will probably be a week or two before we open up the campaign version 2.0.

Unless you’re VFM, in which case you know what information we want.


Stopping anti-semitism in its tracks

An Israeli court convicts the worst anti-semite seen in decades.

A Tel Aviv district court convicted an Israeli Jewish man for making a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers in the United States. The court did not name the man on Thursday since he was a teen when he committed the crimes. But he’s been previously identified as Michael Ron David Kadar, a hacker who holds dual Israeli and American citizenship.

The man’s arrest followed a trans-Atlantic investigation with the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies. Dozens of anonymous threats last year had stoked fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Police said Kadar, from southern Israel, used advanced technologies to mask the origin of his calls and communications to synagogues, community buildings and public venues.

US-resident Jews can now breathe a sigh of relief that this monstrous anti-semite is behind bars and can no longer terrorize them.


Trump travel ban upheld

As if there should have been ANY doubt that it was constitutional:

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in favor of President Donald Trump in Trump v. Hawaii, the controversial case regarding Trump’s September order to restrict travel to the U.S. for citizens of several majority Muslim countries.

In the 5-4 opinion penned by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court found that Trump’s immigration restriction fell “squarely” within the president’s authority. The court rejected claims that the ban was motivated by religious hostility.

“The [order] is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices,” Roberts wrote. “The text says nothing about religion.”

The case has been central to the Trump administration’s immigration policy, presenting a key test of the president’s campaign promise to restrict immigration and secure America’s borders.

The fact that it was 5-4 instead of 9-0 is the problem. And even if the ban was motivated by religious hostility, so what? The executive branch is, by definition, not the Congress that shall make no law.


A nice surprise

The Supreme Court denies warrant-free phone tracking:

The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of digital privacy.

In a 5-4 decision on Friday the justices said that police need warrants to gather phone location data as evidence for trials. That reversed and remanded a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Carpenter v. United States is the first case about phone location data that the Supreme Court has ruled on. That makes it a landmark decision regarding how law enforcement agencies can use technology as they build cases. The court heard arguments in the case on Nov. 29.

The dispute dates back to a 2011 robbery in Detroit, after which police gathered months of phone location data from Timothy Carpenter’s phone provider. They pulled together 12,898 different locations from Carpenter, over 127 days.

Interesting that it was the liberals on the court actually ruled in favor of warrants. These days, they only seem to want to increase government power.

ROBERTS,  C.  J.,  delivered  the  opinion  of  the  Court,  in  which  GINS-BURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined.  KENNEDY, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS and ALITO, JJ., joined.  THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion.  ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS, J., joined.  GORSUCH, J., filed a dissenting opinion. 

I was particularly unimpressed by Alito’s dissent. Location tracking records simply cannot be confused with ordinary documentation.


Too little, too late

The Supreme Court finally forces online sellers to collect and pay sales tax:

States will be able to force shoppers to pay sales tax when they make online purchases under a Supreme Court decision Thursday that will leave shoppers with lighter wallets but is a big win for states.

More than 40 states had asked the high court to overrule two, decades-old Supreme Court decisions that they said cost them billions of dollars in lost revenue annually. The decisions made it more difficult for states to collect sales tax on certain online purchases.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court agreed to overturn those decisions in a 5-4 ruling. The cases the court overturned said that if a business was shipping a customer’s purchase to a state where the business didn’t have a physical presence such as a warehouse or office, the business didn’t have to collect the state’s sales tax. Customers were generally responsible for paying the sales tax to the state themselves if they weren’t charged it, but most didn’t realize they owed it and few paid.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the previous decisions were flawed.

“Each year the physical presence rule becomes further removed from economic reality and results in significant revenue losses to the States. These critiques underscore that the physical presence rule, both as first formulated and as applied today, is an incorrect interpretation of the Commerce Clause,” he wrote in an opinion joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch.

This is the right decision, but over a decade too late. The effect of those earlier decisions was to favor big nation-wide retailers over traditional distribution channels and local retailers. Unfortunately, most of the damage has already been done.


Hungary shows the way

This is what a truly nationalist government that puts the interests of the people first looks like:

Hungary’s parliament on Wednesday approved a package of bills that criminalises some help given to illegal immigrants, defying the European Union and human rights groups and narrowing the scope for action by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been a vocal critic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migrant policy and has led eastern European opposition to EU quotas that aimed to distribute asylum seekers around the bloc.

Orban’s right-wing Fidesz party tightened its grip on parliament in an April election fought on a fiercely anti-immigration platform that demonised U.S. billionaire George Soros and liberal NGOs he backs. Orban accuses Soros of encouraging mass immigration to undermine Europe, a charge Soros denies.

Under the new law, officially called “STOP Soros”, individuals or groups who help migrants not entitled to protection to submit requests for asylum or who help illegal migrants gain status to stay in Hungary will be liable to prison terms.

“The Hungarian people rightfully expects the government to use all means necessary to combat illegal immigration and the activities that aid it,” Interior Minister Sandor Pinter wrote in a justification attached to the draft legislation.

“The STOP Soros package of bills serves that goal, making the organisation of illegal immigration a criminal offence. We want to use the bills to stop Hungary from becoming a country of immigrants,” he said.

Parliament, where Fidesz has a two-thirds majority, also passed on Wednesday a constitutional amendment to state that an “alien population” cannot be settled in Hungary – a swipe at Brussels over its quota plan.

Americans should not be content with the mealy-mouthed civic nationalism that passes for the actual interests of the genuine people. Because a nation of immigrants is not a nation at all.


No cake for you!

You don’t have to bake the cake anymore:

The Supreme Court on Monday handed a narrow victory to a Christian baker from Colorado who refused for religious reasons to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

The justices, in a 7-2 decision, faulted the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s handling of the claims brought against Jack Phillips, saying it had showed a hostility to religion. In doing so, the commission violated his religious rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

But the court did not issue a definitive ruling on the circumstances under which people can seek exemptions from anti-discrimination laws based on their religious views.

Of course they didn’t. That might actually be useful. But at least one minor injustice has been overturned. But on what planet is a 7-2 decision “a narrow victory”?


Nationalists detained

The globalists in the UK are cracking down on European and American nationalists:

Austrian activist Martin Sellner of Génération Identitaire and his girlfriend, American author and YouTuber Brittany Pettibone, have been detained by airport police in England for nearly three days.

Nobody from the US State Department or embassy contacted Pettibone’s family.

Sellner was on his way to give a speech that authorities say would cause “tension among local communities and possibly incite hatred.”

Brittany Pettibone & Martin Sellner are being held in a detention centre in London. They have been there for 2 days and don’t know when they will be allowed to leave. The immigration officer told Brittany she was being detained for ‘planning to meet Tommy Robinson, an extremist”.
— Caolan Robertson (@CaolanRob) March 10, 2018

“Yesterday, Martin Sellner and Brittany Pettibone were detained by the UK Government and effectively declared political dissidents. The government has decided that Martin’s talk about free speech is too dangerous to be heard. Don’t worry, some of our activists will be reading his speech at Speakers’ Corner at noon tomorrow in his stead. We can’t allow either the far left or the government to silence us,” a statement from the British GI chapter read.

Sellner frequently speaks out about the dangers of European nations taking in migrants. He was supposed to be addressing the issue at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park on Sunday.

Journalist and researcher Nick Monroe spoke to Pettibone on Saturday afternoon when she called him from the detention center. She told him that she is expecting that they will be released on Sunday — 72 hours after their initial detention. She has not been permitted to speak to Sellner.

Remember, this is the very same UK government who expect the public to be outraged – outraged – when China and Russia detain journalists of whom they don’t approve. And it is the same UK government that has allowed millions of Muslims and other third world natives to freely enter and settle in England, despite the way that has definitely caused considerable tension among local communities and incited hatred.

This is why it is a waste of time to talk about free speech. There is no free speech in the UK, in Europe, or the USA anymore. So stop pretending there is.