Oregon fines man $500 because he used math to criticize red light cameras without having an engineering license
Oregon Man Claims State Muzzles Red Light Camera Critique
April 26, 2017
An Oregon man’s public criticism of the mathematical formula used by red light cameras got him in trouble — not with the police but with the state engineering board.
So he’s suing, claiming a violation of free speech.
After his wife got a ticket based on a red light camera in Beaverton, Oregon, Mats Järlström, a Swedish-born electronics engineer, studied the calculations used to determine the length of the yellow light cycle. He concluded it was too short, because it failed to account for the longer time a driver needed to turn a corner, rather than go straight through the intersection.
Convinced the cameras were using an out-of-date formula, he took his message to practically anyone who would listen — local TV stations, a conference of traffic engineers, and even the state board of engineer examiners.
That’s what got him in trouble.
The board fined him $500 and said he was violating a state law by speaking about engineering issues without a license.
“By providing the public with his traffic engineering calculations,” the board said, “Järlström engaged in the practice of engineering.” And since he didn’t have a license issued by the state, he was violating the law, it said.
Now he’s suing in federal court, accusing the state of violating his First Amendment right to speak about a public issue.
“Criticizing the government’s engineering isn’t a crime. It’s a constitutional right,” said Samuel Gedge of the Institute for Justice, a conservative public interest law firm representing Järlström. “You don’t need to be a licensed engineer to talk about traffic lights.”
As many states do, Oregon prohibits a person from practicing engineering without a license. But the state’s board of engineering examiners equates publicly talking about engineering issues with practicing engineering.
“I was fined simply for speaking out and was told that I can’t truthfully call myself an engineer. People should be free to debate any topic, including technical topics like math and traffic lights,” Järlström said.
A spokesman for the state engineering board had no comment on the lawsuit, and the state has not yet responded in court.
Järlström paid the $500 fine. But he isn’t suing to get his money back.
Another Institute for Justice lawyer on his legal team, Wesley Hottot, said the state is essentially requiring a permission slip to debate government policy. “This board and licensing boards across the country think the First Amendment doesn’t apply to them. They couldn’t be more wrong.”
To all the Obama supporters who are shocked at his acceptance of a $400,000 Wall St. speaking fee: I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!
First of all, let’s start out with this obligatory clip from Casablanca:
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to address all of the Obama supporters who are shocked at his acceptance of a $400,000 Wall St. speaking fee:
I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!
Specifically, I wrote:
Although Obama claimed to support the Occupy Wall St. movement, the truth is that as of 2011, he had raised more money from Wall St. than any other candidate during the previous 20 years. In early 2012, Obama held a fundraiser where Wall St. investment bankers and hedge fund managers each paid $35,800 to attend. In October 2011, Obama hired Broderick Johnson, a longtime Wall Street lobbyist, to be his new senior campaign adviser. Johnson had worked as a lobbyist for JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Fannie Mae, Comcast, Microsoft, and the oil industry.
So there it is.
I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!
I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!
I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!
I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!
This Washington Post headline states:
“Suspect in Berlin market attack was radicalized in an Italian jail.”
This USA today article is titled:
“London attack: More arrests as detectives probe how killer was radicalized.”
This Wall St. Journal article is called:
“Minnesota Mall Attacker Likely Was Radicalized, Officials Say.”
This New York Post article has the headline:
“Mosque members warned feds that accused killer was radicalized.”
This article form the Local is called:
“Isis suspect was radicalized in Germany, brother claims.”
This article from the Guardian is named:
“FBI and Obama confirm Omar Mateen was radicalized on the internet.”
This Breitbart headline says:
“Spanish Authorities: Arrested Mexican Jihadi Was Radicalized near Texas Border.”
This CNN article is called:
“Why bin Laden was radicalized.”
Using the words “was radicalized” when referring to Islamic terrorists is inaccurate for two reasons.
First, it falsely implies that they are victims. It’s as if while they were walking down the street minding their own business, they ended up breathing in a bacteria or virus and getting an infectious illness.
Secondly, it falsely implies that they don’t have free will. It’s as if they have no choice when they murder innocent people.
Those who work in the media should choose more accurate ways of reporting on Islamic terrorists.
I wrote the dialogue for this. The video’s description contains links to verify every claim:
This person says the Vortex Bladeless cannot produce the claimed power, and is just a scam to raise money
Officer under investigation for beating accused jaywalker
April 13, 2017
A Sacramento Police officer is under criminal investigation for a “disturbing” incident, captured on two videos, in which he threw an accused jaywalker to the ground and punched him repeatedly.
The two-year veteran of the force, who has yet to be identified, has been placed on administrative leave with pay while his actions are under review.
“I thought I was going to be the next Trayvon Martin to be honest,” Nandi Cain Jr., the accused jaywalker, said later in an interview with CNN affiliate KTXL.
Police released dashcam video of the confrontation, which occurred Monday after the officer exited his patrol car and approached Cain on a residential street in California’s state capital.
In the video, the officer accuses Cain of jaywalking and orders him to stop. After Cain protests, “I looked both ways,” and keeps walking, the officer says, “If you do not stop right now, I will take you to the ground.”
The two men then enter the street. Cain can be heard saying he is unarmed. He removes his jacket and tells the officer to take off his gun “and fight me like a real man.”
“I took off my jacket to let him know I don’t have anything (like a weapon),” Cain said later in the KTXL interview.
A cellphone video, captured by neighbor Naomi Montaie, shows the officer then shoving Cain, slamming him to the ground and climbing on top of him, beating him repeatedly in the head.
Cain was taken to jail and charged with resisting arrest. He also had an outstanding warrant for another misdemeanor charge, police said.
The episode sparked outrage on social media after Montaie posted her video to Facebook.
But after police reviewed the dashcam video and Montaie’s video, Monday’s charges against Cain were dropped.
“The actions of the involved Sacramento Police Officer are disturbing and (do) not appear to be reasonable based upon the circumstances,” the police department said in a statement. “The … actions that were observed are not indicative of the dedicated women and men who work for the Department.”
I have a question for liberals: if you think that euthanasia for medical patients is “painless,” then why do you say that lethal injections for convicted murderers is “painful”?
For as long as I can remember, liberals have supported legalization of euthanasia for consenting adult medical patients. As a libertarian, I agree with liberals on this issue.
Also for as long as I can remember, liberals have been opposed to the death penalty. As a libertarian, I also agree with liberals on this issue.
However, unlike liberals, I believe that euthanasia for medical patients and lethal injections for convicted murderers, have an equal amount of pain. Either both of these things are painful, or both of these things are painless. Since I have never experienced either one, I am not going to comment on whether these things are painful or painless.
Instead, I want to address the hypocrisy that liberals have on these two issues.
So here is my question for liberals: if you think that euthanasia for medical patients is “painless,” then why do you say that lethal injections for convicted murderers is “painful”?
In 2013, Chris Matthews Said Hitler Never Used Chemical Weapons
April 13, 2017
Sean Spicer has spent the past two days apologizing for saying that Adolf Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons.
Unfortunately for MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, that led to people remembering he’d said said the exact same thing back in 2013.
In an August 27, 2013 appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Matthews seemed displeased with Obama’s “red-line” policy in Syria and offhandedly mentioned that Hitler “didn’t use chemical weapons.”
“We didn’t use [chemical weapons] in World War II, Hitler didn’t use them,” Matthews said at the time. “But we don’t use chemical weapons. That’s no deal.”
Matthews then pondered what could stop a country like Syria from using nuclear weapons if mutually assured destruction wasn’t enough of a deterrent.
“If that doesn’t work, what does work?” he questioned.
To Matthews’ credit, he defended Sean Spicer after his Tuesday gaffe, explaining that the White House press secretary clearly “was talking about” the fact that Hitler “didn’t resort to [chemical weapons] in the battlefield.”
FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page
April 11, 2017
The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said.
The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.
This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents. Such contacts are now at the center of an investigation into whether the campaign coordinated with the Russian government to swing the election in Trump’s favor.
Page has not been accused of any crimes, and it is unclear whether the Justice Department might later seek charges against him or others in connection with Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The counterintelligence investigation into Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections began in July, officials have said. Most such investigations don’t result in criminal charges.
The officials spoke about the court order on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of a counterintelligence probe.
During an interview with the Washington Post editorial page staff in March 2016, Trump identified Page, who had previously been an investment banker in Moscow, as a foreign policy adviser to his campaign. Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks later described Page’s role as “informal.”
Page has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in his dealings with the Trump campaign or Russia.
“This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance,” Page said in an interview Tuesday. “I have nothing to hide.” He compared surveillance of him to the eavesdropping that the FBI and Justice Department conducted against civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
I just found out that last month in Howell, Michigan, at a Pepsi bottling plant, 7,200 gallons of concentrated Mountain Dew syrup was spilled. The relevant people successfully prevented this “toxic” substance from entering the public sewer system.
But let’s say that the spill had not occurred, and the “toxic” syrup had been used for its intended purpose.
Then wouldn’t this “toxic” syrup have eventually ended up in the public sewer system anyway?
Sen. Rand Paul: Syria, Trump and another unconstitutional rush to war
By Sen. Rand Paul
April 7, 2017
Every American condemns the atrocities in Syria, and we cannot help but be shaken by the images of innocent women and children dying. It is also true that often in foreign policy, things are not as simple as they appear, and actions often have consequences well beyond the obvious.
It is for this very reason that the Founders wanted a deliberate, thoughtful foreign policy, and when military action was needed, they wanted it debated and authorized by Congress.
Make no mistake, no matter who is president or what their party is, it is my firm belief that the president needs congressional authorization for military action, as required by the Constitution. I call on this president to come to Congress for a proper debate over our role in Syria, just as I did in 2013 when President Obama contemplated acting in Syria.
I believe that nothing about this situation has changed. Military action is not in our national security interest and should not be authorized. Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer, and Syria will be no different.
There is no doubt Assad is a brutal dictator. But if we seek to remove him, we must ask what comes next. Assad is fighting radical Islamic rebels, including large parts of ISIS. Who would take over Syria if Assad is deposed? Experience in Libya tells us chaos could reign, and radical Islamists could control large parts of the country.
Make no mistake, bombing Assad means the United States is fighting on the same side as ISIS and other radical Islamists in Syria. This is a dangerous and morally wrong policy.
But no matter your view of the merits of engaging in Syria, every member of Congress should stand up today and reclaim our Constitutional authority over war.
The Constitution clearly states that it is Congress that has the power to declare war, not the president. Even the War Powers Resolution, shoved forward by hawks as justification, clearly states criteria under which the president may act – a declaration of war, a specific statutory authorization, or a national emergency created by an attack on the United States.
That’s it. Absent those criteria, the president has no authority to act without congressional authorization. Congress must stand up and assert its authority here and now.
No president is above the law or the Constitution. I said so when it was Barack Obama, and I will say so when it is Donald Trump.
Our Founding Fathers had this right, and we should heed their wisdom about allowing the president to have war powers. They were concerned the president could rule like a king.
Madison wrote that the Constitution supposes what history demonstrates – that the executive is the branch most interested in war and most prone to it. The Constitution, therefore, with studied care, vested that power in the legislature.
Before any act of war, we should have a serious and thoughtful debate over the ramifications.
In Syria – what is our goal? What happens if we depose Assad? Will the Islamist rebels, as they have threatened, turn their weapons and attention elsewhere, including Israel next door?
I will hold accountable and oppose the actions of any president who takes military action without proper legal authority and congressional consent.
Witness: Truck driver in Texas crash that killed 13 was texting
March 31, 2017
HOUSTON – The driver of a pickup truck that collided with a church minibus in rural Texas, killing 13 people, apologized after the crash and acknowledged he had been texting while driving, a witness said Friday.
Jody Kuchler told The Associated Press he was driving behind the truck and had seen it moving erratically prior to the Wednesday collision on a two-lane road about 75 miles west (120 km) of San Antonio, near the town of Concan. Kuchler said the truck had crossed the center line several times while he followed it.
Kuchler said he called the sheriff’s offices for both Uvalde and Real counties while he followed the truck and told them “they needed to get him off the road before he hit somebody.”
Kuchler said he witnessed the crash and afterward, he checked on both the bus and the truck and was able to speak with the driver, who has been identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety as 20-year-old Jack Dillon Young, of Leakey, Texas.
“He said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I was texting.’ I said, “Son, do you know what you just did? He said, ‘I’m sorry I’m sorry,’” Kuchler quoted the pickup driver as saying.
Department of Public Safety Sgt. Conrad Hein declined to comment on Friday on the cause of the crash or if texting might have played a role. But officials have said the truck driver appeared to have crossed the center line.
Young remains hospitalized following the crash.
Twelve people died at the scene, authorities said. Another bus passenger died at a San Antonio hospital.
The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators on Thursday to start looking into the crash.
The First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas, said its members were returning from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment in Leakey, about 9 miles from the crash site.
It is not yet clear if the bus passengers were wearing seatbelts or even if the minibus was fitted with suitable restraints.
The wreck occurred along a curve in the road where the speed limit is 65 mph, according to police officials.
I recently listened to all eight of ABBA’s albums for the first time. Here are my 31 favorite songs.
I recently listened to all eight of ABBA’s albums for the first time. Here are my 31 favorite songs. I am listing these in chronological order: