PowerLine – Our -under-incarceration- problem, Orlando edition

PowerLine – Our -under-incarceration- problem, Orlando edition

PowerLine Daily digest - Old Guard Audio.com

PowerLine Daily digest – Old Guard Audio.com

Daily Digest

This Is How All Bureaucrats Should Be Answered

Posted: 13 Jun 2016 02:23 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Making the round right now an exchange that I certainly hope is authentic, between the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and ranchers Larry and Amanda Anderson. It seems the Oregon bureaucrats want permission to survey the Andersons’ ranch land for purposes of tracking species decline. Here’s the letter from the state, which I think you can make out:

Letter 1 copy

And here is the Andersons’ splendid reply (full text below if you can’t read this or it won’t enlarge with a click on your screen):

Letter 2 copy

The text:

Dear Mr. Niemela:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding accessing our property to survey for the yellow-legged frog. We may be able to help you out with this matter.

We have divided our 2.26 acres into 75 equal survey units with a draw tag for each unit. Application fees are only $8.00 per unit after you purchase the “Frog Survey License” ($120.00 resident / $180.00 Non-Resident). You will also need to obtain a “Frog Habitat” parking permit ($10.00 per vehicle). You will also need an “Invasive Species” stamp ($15.00 for the first vehicle and $5.00 for each add’l vehicle) You will also want to register at the Check Station to have your vehicle inspected for non-native plant life prior to entering our property. There is also a Day Use fee, $5.00 per vehicle.

If you are successful in the Draw you will be notified two weeks in advance so you can make necessary plans and purchase your “Creek Habitat” stamp. ($18.00 Resident / $140.00 Non-Resident). Survey units open between 8am and 3pm but you cannot commence survey until 9am and must cease all survey activity by 1pm.

Survey Gear can only include a net with a 2″ diameter made of 100% organic cotton netting with no longer than an 18″ handle, non-weighted and no deeper than 6′ from net frame to the bottom of the net. Handles can only be made of BPA-free plastics or wooden handles. After 1pm, you can use a net with a 3″ diameter if you purchase the “Frog Net Endorsement” ($75.00 Resident / $250 Non-Resident). Any frogs captured that are released will need to be released with an approved release device back into the environment unharmed.

As of June 1, we are offering draw tags for our “Premium Survey” units and application is again only $8.00 per application. However, all fees can be waived if you can verify “Native Indian Tribal rights and status.

You will also need to provide evidence of successful completion of “Frog Surveys and You” comprehensive course on frog identification, safe handling practices, and self-defense strategies for frog attacks. This course is offered online through an accredited program for a nominal fee of $750.00.

Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you. Otherwise, we decline your access to our property but appreciate your inquiry.

Larry & Amanda Anderson.

Now that’s how we all ought to respond to the government.


Our under-incarceration problem, Orlando edition

Posted: 13 Jun 2016 02:03 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)Time and time again, in the aftermath of a horrific crime, we learn that the criminal previously had been incarcerated for crimes serious enough that he should have been in prison at the time of the latest offense. I call this our under-incarceration problem.

In the case of Omar Mateen, killer of four dozen at an Orlando club, I haven’t seen anything that shows he should have been in jail. However, this report from Fox News suggests that the man who helped inspire him to butcher gays should be.

Marcus Dwayne Robertson is a radical imam who preaches hate in the Orlando area. A former U.S. Marine, he served as a bodyguard to the Blind Sheik who was behind the 1993 World Trade Center Attack.

Eventually, Robertson resurfaced in Orlando. According to a law enforcement official familiar with Robertson, the imam has a history of recruiting terrorists and inciting violence in the area.

The official says that Mateen was enrolled in Robertson’s online Fundamental Islamic Knowledge Seminary. Robertson reportedly has “openly and enthusiastically preached against homosexuality.”

According to Fox News, Robertson, spent four years in prison in Florida on illegal weapons and tax fraud charges before being released by a Florida judge one year ago. During his time in prison, Robertson was considered so dangerous that he was kept in shackles and assigned his own guards.

Whenever Robertson was transported to court, a seven-car caravan of armed federal marshals escorted him. He was initially moved into solitary confinement because prison authorities concluded he was radicalizing up to 36 of his fellow prisoners.

The illegal weapons and tax fraud charges in themselves may not have justified more than four years of jail time. But prosecutors say that wiretaps from 2011 show that Robertson instructed one of his students, Jonathan Paul Jimenez, to file false tax returns to obtain a tax refund to pay for travel to Mauritania for terror training.

Jimenez studied with Robertson for a year in preparation for his travel to Mauritania, where he furthered his training in killing, suicide bombing, and identifying and murdering U.S. military personnel. He pleaded guilty in 2012 to lying to authorities and conspiring to defraud the IRS and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

Prosecutors sought to tack on 10 years to Robertson’s sentence, based on enhanced terrorism charges under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. However, U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell, a Bill Clinton appointee, was unmoved. He freed Robertson in June 2015 with time served.

Without more knowledge of the facts, it is impossible to say with confidence that the judge erred in releasing Robertson. Unfortunately, many of the court documents, including Robertson’s own testimony from his most recent criminal case, remain under federal seal.

But if wiretaps showed that Robertson instructed his student to file false tax returns to obtain a tax refund to pay for travel to Mauritania for terror training, and if that student worked with Robertson for a year in preparation for that trip, then Judge Presnell’s decision to refuse the government’s request for an enhanced sentence seems suspect.

Robertson was questioned by authorities following Mateen’s massacre, but there is no indication he will be charged in connection with those crimes. Most likely, he will remain able to spew venom, including at gays and lesbians, to inspire violence, and to assist terrorists.

Society had its chance to keep Robertson in prison and isolated, but a federal judge let him walk.

Energy Geek Week

Posted: 13 Jun 2016 11:59 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)One of my all-time favorite Steve Martin scenes is “the new phone book is here!” from The Jerk:


Well, this is how I feel every year with the release of the BP Statistical Survey of World Energy! It’s an energy geek’s best friend. I’m known to run around the neighborhood, channeling Steve Martin: “The new BP Statistical Survey of World Energy is here! The new BP Statistical Survey of World Energy is here! Things are going to start happening for me now!” (Yes, indeed I have an exciting life.)

The most recent edition was released on Wednesday of last week, and while I haven’t had time to pour through the copious data tables (my favorite part), I see that Robert Rapier, writing in Forbes, has already flagged the key headline from the data. For all of the chatter and happy talk about renewable energy, last year saw fossil fuel consumption increase to an all-time record high. So much for “getting off fossil fuels.” Moreover, growth in hydrocarbon consumption was more than twice as much as the growth in renewable energy.

While global coal consumption did decline by 1% in 2015, the world set new consumption records for petroleum and natural gas. The net impact was a total increase in the world’s fossil fuel consumption of about 0.6%. That may not seem like much, but the net increase in fossil fuel consumption — the equivalent of 127 million metric tons of petroleum — was 2.6 times the overall increase in the consumption of renewables (48 million metric tons of oil equivalent).

Not hard to guess what’s happening to global CO2 emissions:

As a result, despite the record increase in renewable consumption, global carbon dioxide emissions once again set a new all-time record high. Carbon dioxide emissions in 2015 were 36 million metric tons higher than in 2014, and marked the 6th straight year a new record high has been set. But perhaps the silver lining is that 2015 marked the 2nd straight year that the increase was smaller than the year before. Carbon dioxide emissions in 2013 were 505 million tons higher than in 2012, but then 2014 and 2015 respectively saw increases of 224 million metric tons and 36 million metric tons.

Now excuse me while I geek out for a while.

Down with “Hamilton”

Posted: 13 Jun 2016 09:59 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Hamilton 2 copyBack in April, I noted that the liberal culturati were unhappy over the success of the Broadway smash Hamilton, precisely because its multiracial cast and hip-hop format don’t conform to or reinforce the identity politics frame of the Left. Broadway is making a capitalist dead white guy look cool! Horrors!

With Hamilton dominating the Tony Awards show last night, the New York Times returned to the theme as if to say “You didn’t get it the first time so let us hit you again.” An op-ed article by Jason Frank and Isaac Kramnick of Cornell University complain about Hamilton in ways that unwittingly reveal some great examples of the lack of self-awareness among today’s Left. Like this:

Mr. Miranda’s depiction of Hamilton as resourceful immigrant and talented self-made man captures an important aspect of his character. But the musical avoids an equally pronounced feature of Hamilton’s beliefs: his deeply ingrained elitism, his disdain for the lower classes and his fear of democratic politics. . .  Hamilton mistrusted the political capacities of the common people and insisted on deference to elites.

Heh. Today it is liberals who have a “deeply ingrained elitism, disdain for the lower classes, and fear of democratic politics.”

But wait! There’s more!

Hamilton, with his contemptuous attitude toward the lower classes, was perfectly comfortable with the inegalitarian and antidemocratic implications of his economic vision.

Again, just like today’s liberals, who want to rule ever more through executive action and unaccountable bureaucracy. Not to mention a Democratic Party that has more or less openly decided to turn its back on the working class in favor of coastal elites.

Somehow I doubt Frank and Kramnick will become the successors to Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Taya Kyle pins Jesse Ventura on appeal

Posted: 13 Jun 2016 08:32 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)AmericanSniper I wrote about Jesse Ventura’s defamation/unjust enrichment lawsuit against the estate of Chris Kyle in American Sniper on trial” and in American Sniper on trial: The verdict” and in American Sniper on trial: The appeal.” The case arises from a couple of pages now excised from the book about Kyle’s close encounter with Ventura at a bar in southern California.

Ventura alleged that the story Kyle recounted was false and defamatory and that the success of the book was attributable in part to the story Kyle told in those pages. A jury with two holdouts found in favor of Ventura. District Judge Richard Kyle (no relation to the family of Chris Kyle) entered judgment against the estate in the amount of nearly $2,000,000 on the two claims. The Kyle estate appealed the judgment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

A panel of three judges has now ruled in favor of the Kyle estate on appeal, vacating the unjust enrichment award and sending the defamation claim back for a new trial. The Eighth Circuit’s opinion is unanimous in overturning the unjust enrichment award and split 2-1 only in sending the defamation claim back for retrial. The unjust enrichment claim is now gone and will not be seen again.

The Eighth Circuit’s opinion is posted online by the court here. I encourage interested readers to check it out.

Ventura appeared outside the courthouse last fall following the oral argument of the appeal before the Eighth Circuit in St. Paul. The Star Tribune’s Abby Simmons and Randy Furst covered the argument and provided a brief account of Ventura’s remarks here. The Star Tribune also posted a video with excerpts of Ventura speaking outside the courthouse at the top of the Simmons and Furst story.

Ventura has become a visibly unsavory character of bad judgment. These qualities were on display in the video of his comments posted by the Star Tribune. Ventura mockingly disparaged the late Chris Kyle as “Superman.” Unfortunately, Kyle isn’t around any longer to defend himself. One is left to reflect what a poor excuse for a man Ventura is, and not just by contrast with Kyle.

As he has done in his lawsuit and elsewhere, outside the courthouse Ventura attributed the decline in his fortunes over the years to what Kyle wrote about him in American Sniper. If one were to take Ventura’s comments at face value, one might infer that Ventura is a man in need of an intervention of some kind. One wonders if he has any friends left. He needs to summon the fortitude to look at himself in the mirror.

I agree with the court’s opinion on appeal that those critical rulings by the trial judge with respect to unjust enrichment and evidence of insurance were mistaken. I thought that Judge Riley’s comments at oral argument of the appeal suggested that Ventura’s side of the case has trouble ahead. The court’s opinion kills the unjust enrichment claim and ensures that the defamation claim will be retried without the question of insurance to color the outcome.

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