Third Party & Independents Archives

Much Ado About Nothing

Predator drone helps convict North Dakota farmer in first case of its kind

What began as a wild west-style cattle-stealing case may have ushered in a brave new world of law enforcement officials using drones to gather evidence to put Americans behind bars.

This may be a clear case of propaganda used to support the use of drones.

This case is really about 6 cows that wandered onto the defendants property. He wouldn't give them back so the police got a search warrant to search his home. I guess they thought he was keeping the cows in a spare bedroom or something. Anyway, this guy resisted arrest and the neighbors wanted to make sure the guy couldn't own a gun any more so they called it "terrorizing a police officer" and made it a felony. Poor police officer. Then the sherrif took up an offer from the border patrol to use the drone to watch over the guy's sons. They finally arrested the sons for "terrorizing a police officer" but the judge "deferring imposition of a lesser charge for one year". Hmmm.. Takin' it easy on the terrorists, eh judge?

The judge said this case should never have happened. All the guy had to do was give the cows back. But, he was a jerk about it and it went on for months.

Lakota, N.D., farmer sentenced to 6 months in terrorizing case

In comes the propaganda. Predator drone helps convict North Dakota farmer in first case of its kind. The drone didn't have anything to do with this. In fact the judge said so:

In the end, the use of the drone to surveil the Brossart brothers was rendered irrelevant to the cases by Judge Medd in August 2012.

So, this story by FoxNews is Much Ado About Nothing. It was just a simple farmer being a jerk. FoxNews should be ashamed of itself for allowing this kind of propaganda to be on it's pages. This is a perfect example of how the media is going to promote the use of drones on American soil to spy on U.S. citizens.

Posted by Weary_Willie at January 29, 2014 11:35 PM
Comment #375955
The judge said this case should never have happened. All the guy had to do was give the cows back. But, he was a jerk about it and it went on for months.

The judge could say that about any conviction; if everyone would just follow the law then there woudn’t be any crime.

As to the use of the drone you must not remember the discussions when the movie “Blue Thunder” came out. There are some that believe that technologies originally adopted for the safety and welfare of citizens will instead be used by persons in power for political or criminal gain. That’s why the drone use is a story here and it has nothing to do with a crazy guy doing something crazy. And that’s why the judge would say the drone has nothing to do with his case.

So do I believe that this use of a drone is an escalation towards? I’d say the drone was probably kids play to some of the stuff our government is doing with technology. Probably best to just not be the crazy farmer these days.

Posted by: George in SC at January 30, 2014 9:12 AM
Comment #375963

Yea, the best way to stay out of jail is to not do anything wrong. Yet, with so many laws on the books now there’s no way you can possibly keep up with them. They say everyone breaks one law or another. It’s just a matter of someone taking the time to enforce them.

If you make all the people felons, who is going to vote?

I think we should stop making laws. All they are doing is channeling people into certain behavour that the people in power deem appropriate. That prohibits creative people from creating the next best mousetrap, and like I said, disenfranchising otherwise honest people.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 30, 2014 4:31 PM
Comment #375969

Some talk going around that there is a lot of corruption, scamming, fraud surrounding the superbowl. Talk is that some players are scratching up a helmet to make it look used and selling it as memorabilia, etc. Washing jersey’s to make them look used, etc.

Crooks will go to any limit to be successful in their work. Gov’t and human rights advocates are determined to minimize sentences, punishment, etc. The death penalty is pretty much a law in name only.

Eric Holder and followers must be real upset what with some fed justices recommending the death penalty for the Boston Bomber.

Drones will probably turn out some toxic waste dumps, timber rustlers, stolen property of all sorts, etc.

Posted by: roy ellis at January 30, 2014 9:29 PM
Comment #376004

Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent

The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior. The volume of federal crimes in recent decades has increased well beyond the statute books and into the morass of the Code of Federal Regulations, handing federal prosecutors an additional trove of vague and exceedingly complex and technical prohibitions to stick on their hapless targets. The dangers spelled out in Three Felonies a Day do not apply solely to “white collar criminals,” state and local politicians, and professionals. No social class or profession is safe from this troubling form of social control by the executive branch, and nothing less than the integrity of our constitutional democracy hangs in the balance.
Posted by: Rhinehold at January 31, 2014 6:11 PM
Comment #376006

Some examples:

If you have gotten junk mail that was addressed to someone else and then thrown it out, you are guilty of a felony punishable to up to 5 years in prison.

Have you taken a sick day at work when you weren’t sick? You were guilty of a felony to scheme to defraud the company of its intangible right to your Honest Services.

If you catch illegal drugs in your child’s room and instead of calling the police you destroy the drugs, you are guilty of a felony of destroying evidence.

If you make a statement to a federal agent (police, park ranger, etc) that turns out to not be true, whether you knew it to be true or not, even if you are not being questioned or detained, you have committed a felony.

A 2008 report from the Heritage Foundation estimates that at the federal level alone, Congress has been adding about 55 new crimes to the federal criminal code each year since the 1980s. There are now about 4,500 separate federal crimes. And that doesn’t include federal regulations, which are increasingly being enforced with criminal, not administrative, penalties. It also doesn’t include the increasing leeway with which prosecutors can enforce broadly written federal conspiracy, racketeering, and money laundering laws. And this is before we even get to the states’ criminal codes.

Harvey Silverglate estimates that in 2009, the average American commits about three federal felonies per day. And yet, we aren’t a nation of degenerates. On the contrary, most social indicators have been moving in a positive direction for a generation. Silverglate argues we’re committing these crimes unwittingly. The federal criminal code has become so vast and open to interpretation, Silverglate argues, that a U.S. Attorney can find a way to charge just about anyone with violating federal law. In fact, it’s nearly impossible for some business owners to comply with one federal regulation without violating another one. We’re no longer governed by laws, we’re governed by the whims of lawyers.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 31, 2014 6:26 PM
Comment #376011

I’m wondering what the 1% and the corpocracy think about our coming down hard on the issues; junk email, cattle rustling and so on - -

We need a 3rd party w/a/dif/pol/att, IMO.


Posted by: roy ellis at January 31, 2014 8:38 PM
Comment #376013

People being in jail is good for that industry, selling SWAT gear to police departments, getting taxpayer money to run jails, keeping the unemployment rates down, getting rid of your political opponents, etc.

What is good for the Police State is knowing that you can arrest anyone anywhere for SOMETHING if you need to silence their opposition. Fearing the police is essential.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 31, 2014 8:58 PM
Comment #376016

Prosicuters will charge someone with 3 different charges, all for the same offense in the hopes that one will stick.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 31, 2014 9:23 PM
Comment #376030

Blue Bloods is a show on CBS about a family of police officers spanning 3 generations. In the latest episode of Blue Bloods, titled “Manhattan Queens”, a tangent involved a perpetrator speeding through the streets at reckless speeds, taunting the police department, in an effort to embarrass the police commissioner and to harass the police commissioner’s female aid.

Baker, the female aid, was given the opportunity to “head up” the case by the commissioner because he was aware of the conflict between Baker and who she believed was the perpetrator. Using the various cameras placed on traffic thoroughfares Baker acquired the license plate numbers of the speeding vehicle. She then deployed a drone that was able to follow the speeding vehicle until it came to a stop and the occupants exited the vehicle. The drone was able to video the occupants and an identification was made. The driver and the passenger, the harassing officer, were arrested.

I believe this to be a proper use of a drone in an urban environment. The perpetrator was putting innocent people in danger. Had a squad car intercepted this vehicle and given chase in an effort to apprehend this criminal innocent lives would still be in danger, as well as the pursuing officers. The drone was used instead of the squad car keeping the perpetrator under surveillance until it was able to identify the occupants.

The use of a drone to survey the sons of the cattle farmer had no probable cause. The drone was used to survey in an effort to see if a crime would be committed. It was not used while a crime was being committed. There is a difference. There must be a distinction between the efforts of a drone to apprehend a criminal while in the process of committing a crime and a violation of someone’s fourth amendment rights in an effort to, perhaps, witness a crime without probable cause.

The FoxNews story of the drone’s use was clearly propaganda. It was used to promote the use of drones as a crime deterrent, but the circumstances of the drone’s use violated the son’s fourth amendment rights. The Blue Blood episode was also propaganda used to promote the use of drones, but in a way that was in accordance with standard operating procedure by police officers. The use of that drone achieved the same results a speeding squad car would have achieved while also keeping people out of harms way.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 1, 2014 3:17 PM
Comment #376040

Couldn’t the same have been done with the use of a police helicopter? With the added benefit of the person flying the helicopter is actually there and can see around, behind, to the side, etc much better to avoid hitting anything, running into anything or causing damage…

I have little problem with using drones in such specific limited instances, but the problem is that once police get a tool, they will overuse it and abuse it. Just look at the SWAT teams in most major cities now, the use of tasers killing people all across the country, etc.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 2, 2014 12:55 AM
Comment #376042

Our biggest problem is a society that feels helpless in the face of law enforcement. They feel it is useless to insist the officer uphold and obey the constitution.

I once spoke with a person who returned from a fishing trip. They were on the lake in a boat. When they got to shore a game warden was there. The game warden told them to open their coolers so he could look to see if they had fish they weren’t supposed to have. This is a violation of their forth amendment but they opened the cooler. After the fact, when they were relaying this information to me, I told them they didn’t have to open the cooler. They insisted they did.

People do not know their rights. They do not believe they actually have a right to be secure in their person.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 2, 2014 2:43 AM
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