Because We’re Not Being Spied on Enough

The Justice Department has acknowledged constructing a database to track the movements of millions of vehicles across the U.S. in real time.

And

A Justice Department spokesman told Fox News that the tracking program is compliant with federal [law]… claiming it “includes protocols that limit who can access the database and all of the license plate information is deleted after 90 days.”

Expansion of Ukraine Occupation

The Russian-backed (with 9,000 of their own) rebels in Ukraine and Ukraine signed a cease fire agreement in September, including an agreement to withdraw their respective artillery units from that cease fire line.

Having done that,

a rebel rocket attack early Saturday morning (24 Jan) killed 29 people [at least 30 according to Reuters] in the port city of Mariupol[]

which Russia has been trying to seize for some months pursuant to their effort to open a land route to Russian-occupied Crimea. The day before,

Gun Control

Here’s some, via The Daily Caller.

A Tulsa convenience store clerk took on four masked men during an attempted robbery earlier this week, shooting and killing two and helping bring an end to a serial robbery ring.

I wonder how that would have worked out had the clerk not been armed.

Trust

First we have the NSA collecting personal telephone call data. Now we find out about this shadowy program, which was uncovered only because DEA had to give up its existence pursuant to a criminal case involving a man accused of planning the export of technology to Iran:

The Drug Enforcement Administration has formally acknowledged that it maintained a sweeping database of phone calls made from the United States to multiple foreign countries.

And

…the program relied on administrative subpoenas to collect records of calls….

The Assault Continues

King, NC, used to have a war memorial on its property—funded by private donations—that consisted of a statue of a soldier kneeling before a cross. Americans United for Separation of Church and State considered the memorial inappropriate, and they sued the city.

Last week, in abject surrender, the city not only settled by agreeing to remove the memorial, they agreed—agreed, mind you, no court outcome dictated this—to pay AUSCS $500,000 for AUSCS’ trouble and to pay the plaintiff represented by this atheist organization $1 for his trouble.

Both sides in this matter wish to avoid further costs,

Punishment of Terrorists

There is a strong view that terrorists should be executed for their acts. In the main, I don’t disagree. Capital crimes desperately want capital punishment: prompt execution.

However.

Many of these terrorists are doing their deeds in order to become martyrs and to live in Allah’s heaven. For these, execution is a reward, not a punishment; for such as these, execution is a goal devoutly to be wished, not a deterrent.

Coordinated Lone Wolves?

The terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo raises a question in my mind and in many other minds. This was an isolated attack, á la a number of other isolated attacks. However, this attack also was associated in time with the murder of a woman cop on the south side of Paris and the murders of four citizens in a Jewish bakery in eastern Paris: these ancillary(?) attacks went in while French police and security units were occupied with the hunt for and capture of the Charlie Hebdo butchers.

It’s Not Confirmed

However.

Aides to Secretary of State John Kerry rejected speculation that America’s top diplomat had been cut out of the loop when the Obama administration negotiated last month’s historic policy shift on Cuba.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki offered this:

This was a process the Secretary was comfortable with[.]

Umm, that’s not a denial, Ma’am.

Fox News also quoted Psaki as saying that “the White House kept Kerry informed at every stage of the secret negotiations.” That’s also not a denial that Kerry was kept out of the negotiations, only an assertion that he was allowed to follow along at home.

Cutting Federal Spending

Retired Federal judge and ex-US Senator (D, NY) James Buckley has an idea on this.

dismantle[] the more than 1,100 grants-in-aid programs that spend one-sixth of the federal budget on matters that are the exclusive business of state and local governments.

Those programs, which provide funding for Medicaid as well as everything from road and bridge construction to rural housing, job training and fighting childhood obesity—now touch virtually every activity in which state and local governments are engaged. Their direct cost has grown, according to the federal budget, to an estimated $640.8 billion in 2015 from $24.1 billion in 1970.

At Last, Shovel Ready Jobs

And President Barack Obama only had to break the law (and the Constitution) to find them.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency is looking to hire 1,000 new employees to process applications pertaining to President Barack Obama’s new executive action on immigration, the New York Times is reporting.

Never mind that existing immigration law makes his Executive “Action” mandating protection from deportation of illegal entrants into the US illegal. Never mind that his Constitutional mandate, and his oath of office to take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, make his Executive “Action” illegal.