Men Are Still Out There “And Won’t Stand For This Nonsense Forever”

Men Are Still Out There “And Won’t Stand For This Nonsense Forever”

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

President Of The Selfies

Unlike the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren doesn’t radiate contempt, loathing, and horror at the task of mingling with the hoi polloi. Rather, she has become famous for staging lengthy sessions after campaign speeches to pose for selfies with her fans. The selfie-seekers, you will notice, are all women. It’s heartwarming as all get out. This is at the center of Senator Warren’s strategy for winning the next election: to cadge all of the women’s vote and become the President of all the women of the United States.

It’s a shrewd strategy, to turn the election into a gender-bonding contest, but elections have turned on equally fatuous premises, probably more often than not. Paradoxically, the lumbering President Trump, with his bay window belly, mystifying bouffant, fourth-grade vocabulary, and grab-them-by-the-pussy approach to romance, scored 53 percent of women’s votes last time around. Perhaps that was more a reflection of his opponent’s titanic loathsomeness than of Mr. Trump’s charms. But it only underscores Ms. Warren’s gambit: all she has to do is swing a generous majority of American women over to her side.

She is, in many ways, an exemplar of her sex.  She’s made the best of her corn-fed Oklahoma looks. At 69, she capers energetically around the hustings in spanx and Nina McLemore jewel-toned, popped-collar jackets as though she were America’s yoga instructor, an appealing addition to her previous career as a distinguished Harvard law professor. She scores well on the feelings and sharing index, qualities that most men can only caricature. (Claiming to be a Cherokee was a forgivable way of sharing — sharing useful identities for career advancement.) And she has a palpable edge of anger about all the swindles and injustices in American life today, especially those spawned on Wall Street by the financial patriarchy — hey, who can argue with that one? If she has a husband (she has, Harvard law prof Bruce H. Mann) he might as well be hiding under a rock.

Ms. Warren’s big sell at this point in the campaign is Medicare for all, nationalized single-payer health care. The appeal is obvious: for one thing, other civilized countries manage to provide it for their citizens. And despite the counter-claims that “people like their health insurance,” the world has probably never seen such a pitiless, odious racket as the current system in the USA. Ask the schnooks forced to take their kids to the emergency room who end up stuck with bills for $6000 for a few stitches. Ms. Warren proposes something that would turn medicine into something more like the motor vehicle bureau with doctors — if you could find any doctors who would willingly sign on, which I doubt. And, of course, because it evokes such strong feelings of maternal sympathy, Ms. Warren also avidly raised her hand to support free health care for illegal immigrants, too, as a companion piece to the Democrats’ open borders policy.

Ms. Warren might win the nomination and even the election just on that portfolio of qualities, especially if the economy goes in the tank under the Golden Golem of Greatness, where it is apparently headed as I write, if you look at dismal car sales and the stats on plummeting world trade. There’s more than a year before the election for that scene to worsen. In the event, though, President Warren would be stuck on-the-job in a second Great Depression much worse than the one of the 1930s.

I doubt she could FDR her way through it. America back then still had plenty of everything except cash money. Lots of oil, ores, factories, and well-regimented workers. Now we’re officially $22 trillion in debt. The remaining oil costs so much to get out of the ground it’s bankrupting the oil companies. The ores are gone. The factories stand in ruin. And the workforce has degenerated into various mobs demanding something for nothing. The coming disposition of things will be less a depression than a long emergency of permanent contraction, and even Ms. Warren’s zesty grandmotherly charms may not avail to preserve the civil order under those conditions.

The picture I draw is admittedly severe, but what troubles me as much is the prospect of a civil war between the sexes. Things are already bad enough, as witnessed this week by the latest campaign by The New York Times to take down Judge Kavanaugh in the sensationally mendacious reporting by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly. The educated class of American women is earning a reputation for dishonesty and wickedness every bit as bad as the patriarchy they inveigh against. And believe it or not, men are still out there, even some heroic ones, and they won’t stand for this nonsense forever.


Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/20/2019 – 15:50

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2QBsa8j Tyler Durden

Appeals Court Rejects Qualified Immunity Claim by Dallas Transit Cop Who Arrested a Photographer for Taking Pictures

In a victory for the right to record public events, a federal appeals court today rejected a qualified immunity claim by a Dallas transit cop who arrested a freelance photographer for criminal trespass in 2016 because he was taking pictures at a train station. Based on the evidence presented by the photographer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that “no reasonable officer under these circumstances would conclude that she had authority to eject a person complying with DART [Dallas Area Rapid Transit] policies from public property—and then arrest that person for criminal trespass when he failed to depart.”

Listening to his police scanner on the evening of February 9, 2016, photographer Avi Adelman heard a report of an overdose involving the synthetic marijuana substitute known as K2 at DART’s Rosa Parks Plaza station. He headed there, thinking the incident might be newsworthy. When Adelman arrived at the station, he saw Dallas Fire/Rescue paramedics attending to a man lying on the ground and began to photograph the scene. DART Officer Stephanie Branch approached him and ordered him to stop taking pictures.


Avi Adelman’s mug shot

Adelman noted that he had a right to photograph public events as long as he did not interfere with police or other emergency responders. Branch repeatedly demanded that he leave the area, and when he refused she grabbed him and handcuffed him. Adelman spent a night in jail, but the criminal trespass charge was dropped a few days later after DART concluded that Branch lacked probable cause for the arrest.

Adelman’s arrest violated a “Photography Policy” that DART adopted in June 2014. “Persons may take photographic or video images…of DART Property, including but not limited to stations, buses, trains, or other vehicles, for their personal use,” the policy says. “Persons taking photographic or video images must not interfere with transportation or public safety activity while taking images. DART Police Officers may initiate an inquiry or investigation when photography or videotaping activity is suspicious in nature or inconsistent with this policy.”

Branch, who was on medical leave from May 2014 through January 2016, claimed she missed that memo. But everyone else at the scene seemed to understand that Adelman was not doing anything illegal. A DART audio recorder captured this revealing exchange between two paramedics and Elmar Lee Cannon, one of Branch’s fellow DART officers:

First Paramedic: He was just taking pictures, right?

Cannon: Yeah. That’s why I don’t know why she’s giving him a hard time.

First Paramedic: Why is she going crazy?

Cannon: I don’t know. That’s going to be on her. He can take all the pictures he wants. That’s why I’m not getting involved in that…

First Paramedic: He knows he wasn’t doing nothing wrong, so…

Cannon: I don’t know why she’s giving him a hard time….I don’t know why she… There was no need for that.

Second Paramedic: Yeah. I don’t know where that idea came from…because there is freedom of the press.

An investigation by the DART Police Office of Professional Standards found that Branch made 23 “false or inaccurate statements” about the circumstances of Adelman’s arrest, including her claim that he was standing too close to the paramedics, who supposedly wanted him to step back. She was suspended for three days as a result of the investigation.

After Adelman sued Branch and DART in September 2016, a federal judge concluded that she was entitled to qualified immunity against his claim that she had violated his First Amendment rights. But regarding his Fourth Amendment claim, based on the lack of probable cause for the arrest, the judge concluded that “the evidence demonstrates at least a fact issue regarding the element of reasonableness.”

The Fifth Circuit agreed that Adelman should be allowed to pursue his Fourth Amendment claim. “Taking the facts in the light most favorable to Adelman,” the court said, “he complied with the Photography Policy,” so “Branch lacked authority to order him to depart. As a result, she also lacked probable cause to believe that Adelman was [trespassing]….No reasonable officer would conclude that she has probable cause to arrest someone for criminal trespass after that person refuses to follow her instructions to leave when she lacks the authority to exclude the person from the property. Accordingly, Branch’s assumption of probable cause was objectively unreasonable.”

In a footnote, the 5th Circuit rejected Branch’s claim that she didn’t know any better. “Branch’s mistake was not reasonable,” the court said. “She didn’t misinterpret an unclear policy or law; she simply failed to learn about DART’s updated policy. And ‘an officer can gain no Fourth Amendment advantage through a sloppy study of the laws [s]he is duty-bound to enforce.'”

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Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice.

Two businessmen suspected of but not charged with illegal gambling say that Fresno, Calif. police seized $225k in cash and rare coins while executing a search warrant—and that the loot never made it to the evidence room. Does this kind of allegation give rise to a Section 1983 claim? Curiously, the Ninth Circuit recently said no. IJ and seven other nonprofits have thus signed on to an amicus brief urging the court to reconsider en banc. IJ’s Nick Sibilla has more over at Forbes.com.

  • After the NYPD arrested Luis Hernandez for public lewdness, a Department of Homeland Security officer (named, truly, “Outlaw”) issued an immigration detainer against him. Whoops! Mr. Hernandez is a U.S. citizen born in Brooklyn. DHS was looking for Honduran citizen Luis Enrique Hernandez-Martinez. False imprisonment or a reasonable mistake? Second Circuit: Hernandez is the 11th most common surname in the United States. A reasonable officer would have taken a closer look at the discrepancy between the names.
  • New Jersey family court refuses to reduce Surender Malhan’s child support obligations even though he now has primary custody of his children and his ex is making more money than he is. Will Surender surrender? Never! He sues in federal court. District Court: His claims are all barred by a variety of abstention doctrines. Third Circuit: What is it, the ’90s? We don’t do that anymore.
  • African American man is charged with felony murder. At trial, his jury venire consists of 60 people, only two of whom are black. Ultimately, he is convicted of murdering a white man by an all-white jury. Seeking habeas review, he presents statistical data suggesting that although 10.7% of the community is black, only 4.9% of the jury pool is black. A Sixth Amendment violation? Third Circuit: We don’t know if these numbers are reliable, so you lose. Concurrence: Even if these numbers are reliable, you lose. Dissent: The majority and concurrence have raised the bar for reliability and disparity so high that everyone will always lose.
  • National bank sues former executive for alleged embezzlement. Executive responds with a letter-writing campaign to the bank’s institutional shareholders, which he hopes will lead to a favorable settlement. The judge then orders a halt to the mailings. But wait just a minute, writes Bibas, J., for the Third Circuit: If the judge wants to get into the serious business of restricting litigants’ speech, more analysis is required. Gag order vacated. [Bonus: Jump to CA3blog to learn why Judge Bibas’ opinions reflect the best typography in the circuit.]
  • Lackawanna County, Pa. transit officials thrice reject atheist group’s request to run bus ads displaying the word “Atheists” (along with the group’s name and website). Officials: We don’t allow ads that are religious or atheistic. Which, affirms two-thirds of a Third Circuit panel—in open “disagreement” with the D.C. Circuit—violates the First Amendment. (We discussed D.C. Metro’s ad ban on the podcast.)
  • Jackson, Mich. police officer blunders into private apartment, promptly shoots the family dog. No qualified immunity, affirms the Sixth Circuit. Viewing the evidence in the dog owners’ favor, the dog wasn’t being unusually aggressive. So a reasonable officer would have known not to shoot him. (Requiescat in pace, Kane Lee Chaney.)
  • How many times can an eye surgeon accidentally operate on the wrong eye before his surgical privileges are revoked? Three is the magic number at the Murfreesboro, Tenn. Veterans Affairs hospital. Sixth Circuit: And the revocation does not violate the due process of law.
  • Allegation: Pretrial detainee is taken to Kane County, Ill. hospital after suicide attempt. He steals a gun from his guard, who hides and fails to warn anyone. The detainee takes nurses hostage. SWAT kills him three hours later. Can two patients (who were distressed but not physically harmed) sue the guard? The guard may be a “feckless coward,” says Judge Easterbrook of the Seventh Circuit, but no. (The nurses’ claims against a variety of defendants settle for $7.9 mil.)
  • Landowner wants to drain water from wetlands on his South Dakota property so he can farm them instead. But wouldn’t you know it—those “waterfowl production areas” implicate two different government agencies, and they think different things about which areas he can drain. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sends him one map, and the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service sends him a different one. He follows the second map and is promptly prosecuted for not following the first. Eighth Circuit (over a dissent): His conviction can’t stand. The jury wasn’t told the offense requires at least negligence, and, given the conflicting maps, he might not have acted negligently.
  • Allegation: While executing search of home pursuant to warrant, female IRS agent insists on accompanying woman to bathroom, views her naked body. (Her husband, the subject of the investigation and warrant, was able to use the restroom in peace.) In 2018, the Ninth Circuit held that the woman could sue the agent under Section 1983. But wait, doesn’t that apply only to state officers? And wasn’t the officer here federal? The Ninth Circuit in 2019: Oops, yes, but the agent can still be sued under Bivens, so it’s fine.
  • Wyoming motorist driving 74 mph on unpaved road (posted speed limit: 35 mph) loses control, dies. Insurance company: He died while committing a crime, speeding. So we need not pay out his accidental death benefits. (They do pay $247k in life insurance benefits.) Tenth Circuit: Sounds right. Dissent: Speeding is a traffic violation and not a crime under either state law or the insurance plan’s informal guide.
  • State game wardens cite man for fishing without a license at Adair County, Okla. pond. The wardens then learn he has an arrest warrant. The man flees. A warden tackles him into the pond and shoots him dead after a brief struggle. Tenth Circuit: Qualified immunity.
  • Allegation: Florida is unnecessarily institutionalizing medically fragile kids. Can the feds sue the state under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act? District Court: No. Titles I and III expressly give the feds a cause of action, but Title II says it’s creating only a private cause of action. Eleventh Circuit (over a dissent): Reversed. There’s enough cross-referencing going on among the various titles.
  • Habitat for Humanity declines to sell home to quadriplegic man because the $9k/year he receives in disability benefits does not meet the nonprofit’s minimum income requirement of $10k/yr. Eleventh Circuit: Which might violate fair housing laws. Habitat must explain why it doesn’t count money the man receives from his family in addition to his disability benefits.
  • And in en banc news, the Seventh Circuit will reconsider its decision nullifying a jury verdict that ordered Polk County, Wisc. to pay $4 mil to inmates who were sexually assaulted by a corrections officer. (IJ urged this course of action in an amicus brief.) The D.C. Circuit, however, will not reconsider its decision to revive the due process claim of a Yemeni citizen held at Gitmo for 17 years with no charges on the basis of undisclosed classified evidence. (Judges Henderson and Rao dissent.)

Are you a law student? Are you on the West Coast? Do you want to learn how to turn an idea into a full-blown SCOTUS case or what the real difference between public interest law and private practice is? Then join the Institute for Justice at our inaugural Legal Intensive—the premier one-day public interest law program. IJ attorneys and staff are bringing the content of our renowned student programming right to your door. This first event will be held in Los Angeles on November 9, and we’d love to see you there! Click here to learn more and apply!

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Gold-Rigging Scandal Hits The LBMA: JPMorgan’s Gold Manipulator Nowak Kicked Off LBMA Board

Gold-Rigging Scandal Hits The LBMA: JPMorgan’s Gold Manipulator Nowak Kicked Off LBMA Board

Submitted by Ronan Manly, BullionStar.com

Just when you think it couldn’t get any more embarrassing for JP Morgan’s precious metals business and its embattled head, Michael Nowak, it just did today as the powerful London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) moved to oust Nowak, who has become too toxic, from the LBMA’s board of directors.

According to the Financial Times:

“The London Bullion Market Association has removed Michael Nowak, JPMorgan’s head of precious metals trading, from its board after he was indicted by the US Department of Justice for a “massive, multiyear scheme” to manipulate the precious metals markets. 

“In light of the ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice, the LBMA, under the terms of its Articles of Association, has removed Mr Nowak from its board,” the LBMA said. 

The DoJ indictment is an embarrassment for the LBMA, which represents London’s precious metals market, and launched a code of conduct for its members in 2017.

Mr Nowak’s name was no longer listed on the LBMA’s website as of Friday.” 

Toxic Board Member – Widespread Spoofing

As background, JP Morgan managing director and head of precious metals trading Nowak become too toxic to retain his seat on the LBMA Board from at least last Monday, when DoJ charged and unsealed an indictment against Nowak, JP Morgan precious metals trader Gregg Smith, and former JP Morgan precious metals trader Christopher Jordan for:

alleged participation in a racketeering conspiracy and other federal crimes in connection with the manipulation of the markets for precious metals futures contracts, which spanned over eight years and involved thousands of unlawful trading sequences.

In the words of the DoJ indictment, the three and and their co-conspirators allegedly engaged in:

a massive, multiyear scheme to manipulate the market for precious metals futures contracts and defraud market participants”

“widespread spoofing, market manipulation and fraud while working on the precious metals desk” at JP Morgan “through the placement of orders they intended to cancel before execution (Deceptive Orders) in an effort to create liquidity and drive prices toward orders they wanted to execute on the opposite side of the market. 

In thousands of sequences, the defendants and their co-conspirators allegedly placed Deceptive Orders for gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. (NYMEX) and Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX), which are commodities exchanges operated by CME Group Inc.”

In its charges, the DoJ used the severe Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act), charging each of Nowak, Jordan and Smith with one count of conspiracy under the RICO Act.

The background and details to the DoJ charges were explained in a BullionStar article on Tuesday titled “LBMA Board Member & JP Morgan Managing Director Charged with Rigging Precious Metals“, which also broken the news that Nowak was a board member of the powerful London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), an Association which is dominated by bullion banks such as JP Morgan, and an Association which is in the self-proclaimed words of the LBMA is the “the world’s authority on precious metals”.



Bio of Michael Nowak on the board member page of the LBMA website – until September 20, 2019. Wayback machine original version here.  

Promoting a Fair, Effective and Transparent market

All through this week, Nowak’s continued role as a board member of the LBMA seemed strange in light of the DoJ charges, and stranger still that the LBMA claims that its Global Precious Metals Code that the Code:

“promotes a fair effective and transparent market. It provides market participants with Principles and Guidance to uphold high standards of business conduct. All of this creates confidence in the market for all participants”

More specifically, the LBMA’s Global Precious Metals Code states that:

“Market Participants should not engage in trading strategies or quote prices with the intent of hindering market functioning or compromising market integrity.”

“Such strategies also include collusive and/or manipulative practices, including but not limited to those in which a trader enters a bid or offer with the intent to cancel before execution (sometimes referred to as “spoofing”, “flashing” or “layering”) and other practices that create a false sense of market price, depth or liquidity.”

On Tuesday, we therefore wondered:

how does the LBMA explain that one of its Board of Directors has been charged in US Federal Courts of these very practices, using the RICO Act, an act that was created to take down mafia mobsters?”

while also asking:

“Will the LBMA remove Nowak from its Board of Directors? Will the LBMA reprimand or expel JP Morgan from its membership list?  

LBMA in discussions with JP Morgan

As the week progressed and the world’s financial media continued to cover the story, there was still no word out of the LBMA as to how it would react, if at all to the Michael Nowak story. This then promoted the Financial Times on Friday morning to ask the LBMA what it intended to do about the indictment of Nowak, one of its board members, to which the LBMA responded that it was merely in ‘discussions’ with JP Morgan.

According to the FT’s early story: 

The London Bullion Market Association is in “discussions” with JP Morgan after its board member was indicted by the US Department of Justice for a “massive, multiyear scheme” to manipulate the precious metals markets.

The LBMA said that it had not made any decision to remove Michael Nowak, JP Morgan’s head of precious metals, from its board. “We are still in discussions with JP Morgan,” Aelred Connelly, a spokesmas for the LBMA, said. 

The DoJ indictment is an embarrassment for the LBMA, which represents London’s precious metals market, and launched a code of conduct for its members in 2017. JP Morgan, along with HSBC, dominates gold trading in London, and is one of the most powerful members of the LBMA. 

“People are shocked that an LBMA board member is at the centre of the DoJs case, and in disbelief that Nowak is still, according to the LBMA website, listed as a LBMA board member,” Ronan Manly, a precious metals analyst at BullionStar in Singapore, said.

 “The LBMA board sits above the entire LBMA governance structure, so even though the DoJ case is allegation at this stage, it taints the LBMA.”



David Meister, former Head of Enforcement at the CFTC, now lawyer for JP Morgan’s  Michael Nowak 

Nowak’s Bio removed from LBMA website

What exactly went down in the ‘discussions’ between LBMA and JP Morgan today is not clear, but within a few hours after the Financial Times’ initial story, the LBMA released a statement to the FT saying that:

“In light of the ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice, the LBMA, under the terms of its Articles of Association, has removed Mr Nowak from its board.” 

At the same time the LBMA quietly removed Michael Nowak’s bio from its board of directors page. The previous version of the LBMA Board members page, including Nowak, can be seen here. The new updated version where all references to Nowak have been removed, can be seen here.  

Now that the LBMA has made its move, can the London Metal Exchange (LME) be far behind? For the same Michael Nowak, who is head of both base metals and precious metals trading at JP Morgan, is also on the LME ‘User Committee’ as can be seen on the LME website here, and in case the page changes, a Wayback Machine archive from today can be seen here.  

Conclusion

All that remains for now is for Michael Nowak’s defense lawyer, David Meister of law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, the same Meister who was former Director of Enforcement for the CFTC from November 2010 to October 2013 under then chairman Gary Gensler, to show how he is going to get Nowak off the hook on this one.

While he’s at it, Meister needs to also explain how there is not a conflict of interest in representing Nowak, when the CFTC closed down an investigation into the manipulation of the silver markets in October 2013, an investigation that had been running since September 2018, saying that there was:

not a viable basis to bring an enforcement action with respect to any firm or its employees related to our investigation of silver markets.

And finally, does David Meister sleep soundly at night representing an alleged criminal enterprise of market manipulation at Jp Morgan, knwoing that in July 2013, Meister stated in another CFTC enforcement case that:

“While forms of algorithmic trading are of course lawful, using a computer program that is written to spoof the market is illegal and will not be tolerated.  We will use the Dodd Frank anti-disruptive practices provision against schemes like this one to protect market participants and promote market integrity, particularly in the growing world of electronic trading platforms.”


Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/20/2019 – 15:32

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/30aVIhb Tyler Durden

Appeals Court Rejects Qualified Immunity Claim by Dallas Transit Cop Who Arrested a Photographer for Taking Pictures

In a victory for the right to record public events, a federal appeals court today rejected a qualified immunity claim by a Dallas transit cop who arrested a freelance photographer for criminal trespass in 2016 because he was taking pictures at a train station. Based on the evidence presented by the photographer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that “no reasonable officer under these circumstances would conclude that she had authority to eject a person complying with DART [Dallas Area Rapid Transit] policies from public property—and then arrest that person for criminal trespass when he failed to depart.”

Listening to his police scanner on the evening of February 9, 2016, photographer Avi Adelman heard a report of an overdose involving the synthetic marijuana substitute known as K2 at DART’s Rosa Parks Plaza station. He headed there, thinking the incident might be newsworthy. When Adelman arrived at the station, he saw Dallas Fire/Rescue paramedics attending to a man lying on the ground and began to photograph the scene. DART Officer Stephanie Branch approached him and ordered him to stop taking pictures.


Avi Adelman’s mug shot

Adelman noted that he had a right to photograph public events as long as he did not interfere with police or other emergency responders. Branch repeatedly demanded that he leave the area, and when he refused she grabbed him and handcuffed him. Adelman spent a night in jail, but the criminal trespass charge was dropped a few days later after DART concluded that Branch lacked probable cause for the arrest.

Adelman’s arrest violated a “Photography Policy” that DART adopted in June 2014. “Persons may take photographic or video images…of DART Property, including but not limited to stations, buses, trains, or other vehicles, for their personal use,” the policy says. “Persons taking photographic or video images must not interfere with transportation or public safety activity while taking images. DART Police Officers may initiate an inquiry or investigation when photography or videotaping activity is suspicious in nature or inconsistent with this policy.”

Branch, who was on medical leave from May 2014 through January 2016, claimed she missed that memo. But everyone else at the scene seemed to understand that Adelman was not doing anything illegal. A DART audio recorder captured this revealing exchange between two paramedics and Elmar Lee Cannon, one of Branch’s fellow DART officers:

First Paramedic: He was just taking pictures, right?

Cannon: Yeah. That’s why I don’t know why she’s giving him a hard time.

First Paramedic: Why is she going crazy?

Cannon: I don’t know. That’s going to be on her. He can take all the pictures he wants. That’s why I’m not getting involved in that…

First Paramedic: He knows he wasn’t doing nothing wrong, so…

Cannon: I don’t know why she’s giving him a hard time….I don’t know why she… There was no need for that.

Second Paramedic: Yeah. I don’t know where that idea came from…because there is freedom of the press.

An investigation by the DART Police Office of Professional Standards found that Branch made 23 “false or inaccurate statements” about the circumstances of Adelman’s arrest, including her claim that he was standing too close to the paramedics, who supposedly wanted him to step back. She was suspended for three days as a result of the investigation.

After Adelman sued Branch and DART in September 2016, a federal judge concluded that she was entitled to qualified immunity against his claim that she had violated his First Amendment rights. But regarding his Fourth Amendment claim, based on the lack of probable cause for the arrest, the judge concluded that “the evidence demonstrates at least a fact issue regarding the element of reasonableness.”

The Fifth Circuit agreed that Adelman should be allowed to pursue his Fourth Amendment claim. “Taking the facts in the light most favorable to Adelman,” the court said, “he complied with the Photography Policy,” so “Branch lacked authority to order him to depart. As a result, she also lacked probable cause to believe that Adelman was [trespassing]….No reasonable officer would conclude that she has probable cause to arrest someone for criminal trespass after that person refuses to follow her instructions to leave when she lacks the authority to exclude the person from the property. Accordingly, Branch’s assumption of probable cause was objectively unreasonable.”

In a footnote, the 5th Circuit rejected Branch’s claim that she didn’t know any better. “Branch’s mistake was not reasonable,” the court said. “She didn’t misinterpret an unclear policy or law; she simply failed to learn about DART’s updated policy. And ‘an officer can gain no Fourth Amendment advantage through a sloppy study of the laws [s]he is duty-bound to enforce.'”

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Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice.

Two businessmen suspected of but not charged with illegal gambling say that Fresno, Calif. police seized $225k in cash and rare coins while executing a search warrant—and that the loot never made it to the evidence room. Does this kind of allegation give rise to a Section 1983 claim? Curiously, the Ninth Circuit recently said no. IJ and seven other nonprofits have thus signed on to an amicus brief urging the court to reconsider en banc. IJ’s Nick Sibilla has more over at Forbes.com.

  • After the NYPD arrested Luis Hernandez for public lewdness, a Department of Homeland Security officer (named, truly, “Outlaw”) issued an immigration detainer against him. Whoops! Mr. Hernandez is a U.S. citizen born in Brooklyn. DHS was looking for Honduran citizen Luis Enrique Hernandez-Martinez. False imprisonment or a reasonable mistake? Second Circuit: Hernandez is the 11th most common surname in the United States. A reasonable officer would have taken a closer look at the discrepancy between the names.
  • New Jersey family court refuses to reduce Surender Malhan’s child support obligations even though he now has primary custody of his children and his ex is making more money than he is. Will Surender surrender? Never! He sues in federal court. District Court: His claims are all barred by a variety of abstention doctrines. Third Circuit: What is it, the ’90s? We don’t do that anymore.
  • African American man is charged with felony murder. At trial, his jury venire consists of 60 people, only two of whom are black. Ultimately, he is convicted of murdering a white man by an all-white jury. Seeking habeas review, he presents statistical data suggesting that although 10.7% of the community is black, only 4.9% of the jury pool is black. A Sixth Amendment violation? Third Circuit: We don’t know if these numbers are reliable, so you lose. Concurrence: Even if these numbers are reliable, you lose. Dissent: The majority and concurrence have raised the bar for reliability and disparity so high that everyone will always lose.
  • National bank sues former executive for alleged embezzlement. Executive responds with a letter-writing campaign to the bank’s institutional shareholders, which he hopes will lead to a favorable settlement. The judge then orders a halt to the mailings. But wait just a minute, writes Bibas, J., for the Third Circuit: If the judge wants to get into the serious business of restricting litigants’ speech, more analysis is required. Gag order vacated. [Bonus: Jump to CA3blog to learn why Judge Bibas’ opinions reflect the best typography in the circuit.]
  • Lackawanna County, Pa. transit officials thrice reject atheist group’s request to run bus ads displaying the word “Atheists” (along with the group’s name and website). Officials: We don’t allow ads that are religious or atheistic. Which, affirms two-thirds of a Third Circuit panel—in open “disagreement” with the D.C. Circuit—violates the First Amendment. (We discussed D.C. Metro’s ad ban on the podcast.)
  • Jackson, Mich. police officer blunders into private apartment, promptly shoots the family dog. No qualified immunity, affirms the Sixth Circuit. Viewing the evidence in the dog owners’ favor, the dog wasn’t being unusually aggressive. So a reasonable officer would have known not to shoot him. (Requiescat in pace, Kane Lee Chaney.)
  • How many times can an eye surgeon accidentally operate on the wrong eye before his surgical privileges are revoked? Three is the magic number at the Murfreesboro, Tenn. Veterans Affairs hospital. Sixth Circuit: And the revocation does not violate the due process of law.
  • Allegation: Pretrial detainee is taken to Kane County, Ill. hospital after suicide attempt. He steals a gun from his guard, who hides and fails to warn anyone. The detainee takes nurses hostage. SWAT kills him three hours later. Can two patients (who were distressed but not physically harmed) sue the guard? The guard may be a “feckless coward,” says Judge Easterbrook of the Seventh Circuit, but no. (The nurses’ claims against a variety of defendants settle for $7.9 mil.)
  • Landowner wants to drain water from wetlands on his South Dakota property so he can farm them instead. But wouldn’t you know it—those “waterfowl production areas” implicate two different government agencies, and they think different things about which areas he can drain. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sends him one map, and the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service sends him a different one. He follows the second map and is promptly prosecuted for not following the first. Eighth Circuit (over a dissent): His conviction can’t stand. The jury wasn’t told the offense requires at least negligence, and, given the conflicting maps, he might not have acted negligently.
  • Allegation: While executing search of home pursuant to warrant, female IRS agent insists on accompanying woman to bathroom, views her naked body. (Her husband, the subject of the investigation and warrant, was able to use the restroom in peace.) In 2018, the Ninth Circuit held that the woman could sue the agent under Section 1983. But wait, doesn’t that apply only to state officers? And wasn’t the officer here federal? The Ninth Circuit in 2019: Oops, yes, but the agent can still be sued under Bivens, so it’s fine.
  • Wyoming motorist driving 74 mph on unpaved road (posted speed limit: 35 mph) loses control, dies. Insurance company: He died while committing a crime, speeding. So we need not pay out his accidental death benefits. (They do pay $247k in life insurance benefits.) Tenth Circuit: Sounds right. Dissent: Speeding is a traffic violation and not a crime under either state law or the insurance plan’s informal guide.
  • State game wardens cite man for fishing without a license at Adair County, Okla. pond. The wardens then learn he has an arrest warrant. The man flees. A warden tackles him into the pond and shoots him dead after a brief struggle. Tenth Circuit: Qualified immunity.
  • Allegation: Florida is unnecessarily institutionalizing medically fragile kids. Can the feds sue the state under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act? District Court: No. Titles I and III expressly give the feds a cause of action, but Title II says it’s creating only a private cause of action. Eleventh Circuit (over a dissent): Reversed. There’s enough cross-referencing going on among the various titles.
  • Habitat for Humanity declines to sell home to quadriplegic man because the $9k/year he receives in disability benefits does not meet the nonprofit’s minimum income requirement of $10k/yr. Eleventh Circuit: Which might violate fair housing laws. Habitat must explain why it doesn’t count money the man receives from his family in addition to his disability benefits.
  • And in en banc news, the Seventh Circuit will reconsider its decision nullifying a jury verdict that ordered Polk County, Wisc. to pay $4 mil to inmates who were sexually assaulted by a corrections officer. (IJ urged this course of action in an amicus brief.) The D.C. Circuit, however, will not reconsider its decision to revive the due process claim of a Yemeni citizen held at Gitmo for 17 years with no charges on the basis of undisclosed classified evidence. (Judges Henderson and Rao dissent.)

Are you a law student? Are you on the West Coast? Do you want to learn how to turn an idea into a full-blown SCOTUS case or what the real difference between public interest law and private practice is? Then join the Institute for Justice at our inaugural Legal Intensive—the premier one-day public interest law program. IJ attorneys and staff are bringing the content of our renowned student programming right to your door. This first event will be held in Los Angeles on November 9, and we’d love to see you there! Click here to learn more and apply!

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Trump Exempts Plastic Straws From His Sucky Tariffs

Plastic straws have received a lot of hate in recent years. They’ve been smeared, regulated, even banned. But they will at least be saved from the ravages of President Donald Trump’s trade war.

In regulatory filings on Friday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued hundreds of exemptions to tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods imposed last year, including a carve-out for the humble plastic straw.

Straws were initially subjected to tariffs back in August 2018, when the Trump Administration hit $16 billion in Chinese goods with a 25 percent levy in response to supposedly unfair trade practices.

At the same time, the administration gave U.S. importers the opportunity to ask for exemptions from the tariffs. In petitioning the government for a carveout for a product, companies would have to address whether it was only available from China, whether it is strategically important to China, and whether the imposition of tariffs on the good was causing “severe economic hardship.”

Apparently, straws fit the bill. The little suckers can be imported duty-free for the next year.

In granting some hardship exemptions to its tariffs, the Trump administration is tacitly acknowledging that these import duties are having real economic consequences for U.S. companies.

The carveout for straws fits with the Trump administration’s pro-straw outlook. The president has criticized plastic straw bans. His reelection campaign sells Trump-branded straws as an alternative to “liberal paper straws.”

The Trump straws are made in the U.S. and therefore would not have been subjected to the administration’s tariffs. At $15 for a 10-pack, they are significantly more expensive than their Chinese-sourced alternatives.

In addition to being a minor corrective for its terrible trade policies, the Trump administration’s tariff exemption might be good environmental policy.

It’s possible that Chinese straw producers have responded to U.S. tariffs by trying to offload more their products on the domestic market. Given that waste collection systems are less developed in China, more domestic straw use would likely have led to more littered straws, and therefore more straws getting into rivers and the ocean.

Now tariff-free straws can be shipped to the U.S., where they’re much more likely to be safely tossed in a trash can and carted to a landfill.

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Trump Exempts Plastic Straws From His Sucky Tariffs

Plastic straws have received a lot of hate in recent years. They’ve been smeared, regulated, even banned. But they will at least be saved from the ravages of President Donald Trump’s trade war.

In regulatory filings on Friday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued hundreds of exemptions to tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods imposed last year, including a carve-out for the humble plastic straw.

Straws were initially subjected to tariffs back in August 2018, when the Trump Administration hit $16 billion in Chinese goods with a 25 percent levy in response to supposedly unfair trade practices.

At the same time, the administration gave U.S. importers the opportunity to ask for exemptions from the tariffs. In petitioning the government for a carveout for a product, companies would have to address whether it was only available from China, whether it is strategically important to China, and whether the imposition of tariffs on the good was causing “severe economic hardship.”

Apparently, straws fit the bill. The little suckers can be imported duty-free for the next year.

In granting some hardship exemptions to its tariffs, the Trump administration is tacitly acknowledging that these import duties are having real economic consequences for U.S. companies.

The carveout for straws fits with the Trump administration’s pro-straw outlook. The president has criticized plastic straw bans. His reelection campaign sells Trump-branded straws as an alternative to “liberal paper straws.”

The Trump straws are made in the U.S. and therefore would not have been subjected to the administration’s tariffs. At $15 for a 10-pack, they are significantly more expensive than their Chinese-sourced alternatives.

In addition to being a minor corrective for its terrible trade policies, the Trump administration’s tariff exemption might be good environmental policy.

It’s possible that Chinese straw producers have responded to U.S. tariffs by trying to offload more their products on the domestic market. Given that waste collection systems are less developed in China, more domestic straw use would likely have led to more littered straws, and therefore more straws getting into rivers and the ocean.

Now tariff-free straws can be shipped to the U.S., where they’re much more likely to be safely tossed in a trash can and carted to a landfill.

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Houthis Vow To Halt Attacks On Saudi Soil As Iran Warns Can Respond From “Sea To Ocean”

Houthis Vow To Halt Attacks On Saudi Soil As Iran Warns Can Respond From “Sea To Ocean”

Yemen’s Houthis have announced at the end of a dramatic week following the early Saturday aerial attacks on two Saudi Aramco facilities which knocked out up to half of the kingdom’s daily oil production their intent to cease targeting Saudi territories

Pro-Houthi Al Masirah TV announced the news Friday, citing president of the rebels’ ruling council Mahdi al-Mashat, who said the group “will halt all attacks on Saudi territories with ballistic missiles and drones,” as translated by Bloomberg.



Remains of missiles and drones allegedly used to attack the Aramco oil facilities, via Reuters.

However, the statement said it was conditioned on the Saudi coalition halting its own devastating airstrikes over Yemen as well, which have been a constant since Yemen’s civil war brought Saudi military intervention in 2015. Houthi forces have “the right to respond to any aggression” the statement added. 

Both Washington and Riyadh have long accused the Houthis of being the long arm of Tehran, given the Shia forces are ideologically aligned with the Islamic Republic. 

Meanwhile on Friday Iran itself vowed to keep up its own ‘counter-pressure campaign’ against US threats “from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and to the Indian Ocean.”

If the Americans think of any plots, the Iranian nation will respond from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and to the Indian Ocean,” a senior military adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, said.

And separately a former chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Rahim-Safavi, echoed the threat: “The U.S. president (Donald Trump) will face the same fate as the six presidents before him who failed to impose their political will on the Iranian nation, and Trump will join history with the same yearning,” according to Reuters.  

Both sides have expressed a desire to avoid war, yet this week Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif promised “all-out war” would result in any US or Saudi attack on Iran. 

But the Houthis’ apparent attempt to offer an olive branch Friday in the form of announcing a halt to all attacks on Saudi soil could be a sign the nearly half-decade long war is possibly in the beginning phases of winding down.

Perhaps Tehran brought its own pressure to bear on its alleged proxies following the devastating Aramco attacks, which clearly did its work in sending a forceful message.


Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/20/2019 – 15:15

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2Oe3Tly Tyler Durden

Josh Hawley Says Libertarians Who Defend Tech Are Enamored with Power. He Should Look in the Mirror.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) had an eventful Thursday, meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for a “frank conversation.”

“[I] challenged him to do two things to show FB is serious about bias, privacy & competition,” wrote Hawley on Twitter. “1) Sell WhatsApp & Instagram 2) Submit to independent, third-party audit on censorship. He said no to both.”

Well, that escalated quickly.

It is discouraging that an ostensible conservative would make it his personal crusade to destroy the Big Tech boogeyman by ceaselessly threatening government intervention. But this is the path Hawley has chosen. Oddly, he thinks libertarians should be applauding him for it.

“I don’t understand why those who call themselves libertarians are so enamored with this incredible concentration of power in the hands of a few,” he told The Hill‘s Saagar Enjeti in a recent interview. “I thought the whole libertarian tradition was about standing up to power. It was about checking concentrated power on behalf of the people.”

Hawley clearly knows enough about libertarianism to cynically distort the language of freedom in service of his authoritarian populist designs. As he is likely aware, the libertarian tradition is about standing up to the most dangerous concentration of power: the one that results from government intervention and is maintained by the threat of government force. Libertarianism is against the efforts of central planners in Washington, D.C., who think they know better than individuals what kind of products they should buy and what kind of media they should consume. In effect, libertarianism means opposing Josh Hawley.

If anyone still doubts that the senator from Missouri wants to bend the tech companies to his will and dictate to the rest of us the terms under which we will use their services, the interview with Enjeti should remove all suspicion. Hawley spoke positively about banning or limiting specific features of tech products that he has arbitrarily determined are harmful for children. Echoing the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Democratic Socialists of America, he criticized Uber and Amazon for not paying their workers enough. He accused tech companies of “exploiting” customers who voluntarily use their products.

“The whole business model is built on exploitation of consumers, of families, of individuals, of children in many cases,” he said.

Again, Hawley is using libertarian language for anti-libertarian ends. He praises marketplace competition—something libertarians favor—but speaks as if it should be Google’s job to produce a crappier product for consumers so that some other search engine gets a chance at stardom.

“We need competition in that market,” he said. “We’re seeing a really troubling pattern that these monopoly size entities, Google, Facebook, Amazon, are using their tremendous market power to favor their own businesses, favor their own products, and to disfavor competitors. Who loses in that is the American people, as well as our privacy, as well as our children.”

The crusaders of the nanny state have long used that phrase—”our children”—to limit all sorts of freedoms for people of all ages. The Trump administration in D.C. and Democratic governors in Michigan and New York are currently trying to prevent adults from buying e-cigarettes out of a misguided notion that there is some vaping epidemic on teenagers. Vaping is probably significantly safer than traditional tobacco products, but never mind: The government must drive addicts back to their traditional cigarettes, or to black market vaping products. Why? For the children, naturally.

Similarly, Hawley thinks the safety of children requires the government to limit everyone else’s ability to use the internet on their own terms. Here’s what he had to say about social media:

Look at the track record Silicon Valley has given us. I refer to in particular social media, the pathologies associated with social media in the last decade or so: the data that comes to us about the correlation between social media usage and teenage suicide and teenage depression and teenage loneliness. We need more information, it’s still early days, but what we’re seeing so far is very very worrisome. The business model is to get us to spend as much time online as possible, take as much information from us as they can without telling us, and then sell it without our consent or otherwise profit from it. That whole business model is built on exploitation of consumers, of families, of individuals, of children in many cases.

But the science of screen addiction is far from settled. A recent study, for instance, found that teens who spent more time on their phones were no worse off than other kids. Some of them were happier, in fact. This finding makes sense when one considers what teens are actually doing on their phones: staying in touch with friends. It’s no wonder this actually contributes to their happiness.

Hawley framed his anti-tech screed as a plea for parents to have more options.

“Parents ought to be in control of raising their children, not Big Tech,” he said. “Parents ought to have tools of support. If I am comfortable with my kids online, that’s your choice, but it shouldn’t be Big Tech’s choice. Power of choice should be in the hands of the family.”

But if parents want more of these kinds of choices, the companies will provide them. Hawley doesn’t need to force Facebook to provide features if these features are actually popular with consumers. What Hawley is really saying is that he knows better than the kids, better than their parents, and better than Mark Zuckerberg what people want and should have. It is not libertarians who are enamored with centralized power—it’s Hawley himself.

 

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