In a landmark decision for privacy rights, the Supreme Court on Friday ruled that in most cases, police need a search warrant to obtain cell phone tower information to track the movements of a suspect. This doesn’t affect other business records such as bank records or phone company records of calls made from a landline, which still don’t require warrants. And police don’t need to obtain a warrant for cell phone tracking data if it’s an emergency.
But in a 5-4 ruling with Chief Justice Roberts joining the four liberals, the Court ruled that allowing search-free warrants to track people’s whereabouts via their cell phone usage was a violation of the Fourth Amendment right to be secure from unreasonable searches without probable cause and its inherent expectation of privacy. The dissenting Justices warned that the ruling would hamper law enforcement and create mass confusion about what does or doesn’t require a warrant.
This particular issue probably wouldn’t seem so important if it weren’t for the tremendous invasion of privacy that has snowballed with the concurrent rise of Internet user tracking and smart phones in every pocket. The sensitivity over this issue is an inevitable backlash against the fear that someone is or can be tracking all of us everywhere we go, both in the virtual world and in the real world.
Ironically, Facebook and Google were among the tech giants that filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, urging the SCOTUS to make it harder for police to obtain people’s private data without their knowledge or consent and track them. After all, that’s their job.
Remember when I said that the US withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council was “a good start”? Well, here’s one of many reasons why.
The UN just issued a scathing report on poverty in the United States. Let that sink in for a minute: an organization whose members include some of the world's poorest nations filled with grinding poverty, starvation and oppression is blasting the US for being too hard on the poor. Never mind that we’re the nation to which all their poor, tired, huddled masses flee (we even have a statue to prove it.)
The UN report claims there are 40 million poor people in America, including over 18 million in extreme poverty, that our policies toward them are “cruel and inhuman,” and naturally, it blames this on the “hatred” and “contempt” for the poor of our Simon Legree-In-Chief, Donald Trump, and his tax cut for the rich.
But hold on, there are a few little problems with the report. First, it relies on Census Bureau income data about the poor, which is notoriously incomplete. Its estimates fail to include huge percentages of the billions spent on various government aid programs, including $25 billion worth of food assistance alone. It also fails to consider the difference in philosophies between the left, which defines helping the poor as giving them more government handouts, and the right, which thinks it’s more compassionate to have a healthy economy creating good jobs for all, as ours now is.
The UN also apparently failed to look at any previous reports compiled from Census data that found that the typical person below the official poverty line in the US has two color TVs, cable or a satellite dish, a DVD player, computer, air conditioning, microwave, washer and dryer, refrigerator, cell phone, and if there were kids in the house, an X-Box or other video game system. Poor Americans also have more living space than the average European, and as scholar James Q. Wilson put it, they have better lives than all but the richest people did 100 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I know that being poor is no picnic (I’ve been there), but if you have to be, it’s better to be poor in America than anywhere else. You get support when you are poor, and you actually have a chance of someday not being poor anymore.
Oh, and there’s one more problem with the UN’s report, and this is becoming a recurring theme of the news this month:
The report is based on Census data collected in 2016. You remember...when Obama was President. Oh, now it makes sense! Yeah, that really was a time when things were incredibly hard for the poor and unemployed in America!
You know, if we really want to help the poor, New York City desperately needs some affordable public housing. How many Section 8 apartments do you think we could fit into the UN Building?
Amid all the hyperventilating fury against President Trump over the separation of illegal immigrant family members (even those separated when Obama was President – you see, Trump is so evil that his evilness can cross the time barrier), this is one of the best pieces I’ve seen so far. If you are one of those rare individuals who likes to understand complicated issues via historical facts rather than hysterical tweets, then this is a must-read.
While the media have spent the week using fake news and misleading photos to gin up violence and outrage over immigration policy, President Trump spent Friday attempting to return the focus to where it belongs, and to show why we need to enforce immigration laws and why Americans elected him to do just that. The mainstream media ignored it or cut away from it, while openly liberal outlets such as the Huffington Post hilariously accused him of exploiting victims to advance a political agenda (Alinsky 101: Accuse your opponent of doing what you’re doing.)
But this is far too important to allow it to be censored, drowned out or ignored:
On that subject: Hey, HuffPo, Is it okay to call these “immigrants” animals?
Time magazine issued a “correction” after smearing President Trump with a PhotoShopped cover designed to make him look like a monster who wants to rip children from the arms of their parents at the border, only to discover that the child in the photo hadn’t been separated from her mother at all. Time used the photo after it went viral, inflaming passions of the research-deficient – but it was soon revealed that the child was actually crying because her mom had set her down for a minute, it was late, and she was tired and thirsty (turns out that like liberals, two-year-olds will cry for virtually any reason). The two were never separated and are still together in a family detainee center in Texas. Here’s Time’s statement:
“The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she taken from the scene. The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.”
Yet in the grand liberal journalistic tradition of Dan “Fake but Accurate” Rather, Time admitted the cover was misleading and based on a totally false narrative, yet still stood by it (aka, a "Samantha Bee Apology"), while other liberal media outlets that apparently can’t afford fact-checkers either, such as CNN and the Washington Post, hailed the misleading cover as “powerful” and “resonant.” Time’s rationale is that, well, it is true that the “The child was detained, along with her mother, after allegedly crossing the border, illegally.”
So since her crying had nothing to do with being separated from her mother, which never happened, we should all still be OUTRAGED that she and her mother were detained after being caught trying to cross the border illegally (and for the second time: she was already deported before in 2013)? I’m having a hard time working up outrage over that news. It’s what’s supposed to happen under federal law to everyone who’s caught trying to enter the country illegally, especially repeat offenders.
Not that there aren’t things to get outraged about in this story. For instance, the slander of our border guards as heartless bullies and goons. Here’s the real story of how the mother and daughter were apprehended:
“We were patrolling the border. It was after 10 o’clock at night,” Border agent Carlos Ruiz told CBS News. “We asked her to set the kid down in front of her, not away from her, she was right in front of her… So we can properly search the mother. So the kid immediately started crying as she set her down. I personally went up to the mother and asked her ‘Are you doing OK? Is the kid OK?’ and she said, ‘Yes. She’s tired and thirsty. It’s 11 o’clock at night.”
What a monster!
It’s also worth a bit of outrage to learn that the girl was indeed separated from a parent without permission, only it was her father, who awoke to discover that his wife had taken off with their daughter, leaving him and their other kids behind, and put the child's life in jeopardy by dragging her 1800 miles across Central America and Mexico and paying a coyote $6000 (which I assume she had because her husband actually has a good job back in Honduras) to sneak her across the border illegally.
Finally, I think we can toss in a bit of outrage at the total disregard for journalistic standards of our media in covering this, at the threats and violence from the left in reacting to the propaganda “journalism” and by the way liberal mouthpieces such as the oxymoronically-named ThinkProgress are now accusing the White House of “exploiting” that little girl by pointing out the truth. I guess it’s only okay to exploit children by lying about them.
If Time were sincere about “correcting” its cover to make it reflect the truth, it would run the PhotoShopped version that James Woods shared on Twitter:
As long as we’re bringing up the way Obama handled illegal immigration, here’s a reminder that the media are savaging Trump for saying the same thing Obama said in 2014. I’m not sure whether the difference is just that it was Obama or that they assumed he didn’t actually mean it.
More well-deserved reaction to the violent rants of “despicable, hateful, spoiled and entitled punk” and “domestic terrorist” Peter Fonda, this time in an open letter from the National Border Patrol Council. Its members and their families have also been the targets of violence-fomenting rants from the ‘60s burnout. Reminder: he still has a Twitter account and Sony Pictures still plans to release the new movie he’s in. Why and why?
During a trip to Ireland, former FBI Director James Comey said he’s thinking of declaring himself Canadian because he’s so ashamed of President Trump’s immigration law enforcement. Well, I think we all know how appalled James Comey is at the idea of strict, impartial law enforcement. But I warn our Irish friends, be careful. He might just be calling himself Canadian in hopes you’ll fight his future extradition back to the US.
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A welcome reminder that decency still exists in this world and it’s never too late to make amends: a man sent an apology and $50 to repay a theft he committed when he was a “stupid” teenager – 75 years ago!
Tonight, join me for a brand new, cannot-miss episode of “Huckabee” on TBN, when I’ll have a newsmaking interview with President Donald Trump. NFL star Rashad Jennings will tell us how he’s inspiring young people nationwide to be their best selves, physically and intellectually. Plus another report from the road by hilarious comedian Chondra Pierce, astounding magic from sleight-of-hand master Eric Jones (he even fooled Penn & Teller), music from the great band Rockland Road, and more. It’s all coming your way tonight at 8 EST, 7 CST, with repeats at 10 EST and Sunday at the same times. You can also find clips and complete past shows, plus a channel finder to watch TBN in your location, all at https://www.tbn.org/programs/huckabee
The South Carolina Congressional race that took an unexpected twist when Trump-backed Katie Arrington defeated incumbent Mark Sanford in the GOP Primary has taken a shocking and tragic turn. Last night, a vehicle going the wrong way struck a car in which Ms Arrington was riding. She suffered serious injuries, her friend who was driving was also injured, and the other driver was killed. Ms Arrington will require multiple surgeries and at least two weeks of hospitalization. More details of her condition are at the link.
President Trump asked for prayers for all the victims and their families, and I know you’ll join me in sending them. To his credit, her Democratic opponent, Joe Cunningham, announced that he’s suspending his campaign until further notice. I know this is an election year in a highly partisan atmosphere, but this is a sobering reminder that some things transcend political differences.