Posts tagged “Gov. Scott Walker

The Military Draft, Big Brother, and Government Abuse

At a time when the U.S. is, according to President Obama, “winding down two wars,” why did Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suddenly feel the need to clear the way for women to serve in combat?

Reports suggest the change might open as many as 230,000 combat billets to women.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/women-in-combat_n_2535954.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D260883

Is the DOD’s move another step in the direction of gender equality or should a skeptical public read between the lines on the lookout for a hidden agenda?

Although Secretary Panetta’s move will undoubtedly be applauded by groups championing the rights of women, legal experts predict that the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment will likely require women, when attaining the age of 18, to register for the selective service (that’s the military draft for those too young to recall such a thing).

Federal law currently requires all American male citizens to register for the selective service at age 18, even if they have prior military experience. If they fail to do so, they are ineligible for a host of benefits, including guaranteed student loans.

But, why now—at a time when American military contingents in Iraq and Afghanistan are noticeably shrinking—would the DOD feel the need to expand the ranks of those eligible for combat readiness?

In November 2012, the Jerusalem Post published a report premised on a scenario created by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) simulating the geopolitical response to a unilateral Israeli military strike against Iran.

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=290357

Many military analysts believe that an Israeli attack to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities would likely have a six day window before the allies of Islamic republic—primarily Russia and China—would threaten to send in forces and expand the conflict.  While the United States would use it’s military and diplomatic resources to defend Israel, if the conflict is not contained, it might engulf the entire Middle East and ignite another world war.

Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan pushed American military reserve units to the brink of burnout, the U.S. military would likely need at least 500,000 bodies to fill-in its ranks during a protracted military conflict involving another world power.

Many of these military combat billets, such as those aboard naval ships and others in the Air Force, could quickly and easily be filled by women, freeing-up males for infantry duty in the Army and Marine Corps.

No matter what the political class claims in public, an war in the Middle East would likely trigger the implementation of the selective service draft for both men and women, which is probably why the Pentagon is lifting its ban on the role of women in combat. The pool of potential combat enlistees, as well as those now eligible for the draft, just instantly doubled.

More on the Big Brother Technological Front

Earlier this month, SF chastised New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for their support of Orwellian policies that have slowly turned the Empire State and the Big Apple into a virtual electronic iron curtain.

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2013/01/12/the-sorry-state-of-new-yorks-nannies/

Now the NYPD is testing a new device that allows its officers to detect concealed weapons on a person simply walking down the street. This instrument tests for “terahertz radiation,” which translates into heat being measured from the body. A reduction in the level of body heat when blocked by an item, such as a concealed handgun, will result in the object being outlined on the instrument’s monitor.

Having chided the NYPD in an earlier post for its random stop-and-frisk policy—one that a federal judge recently ruled violates the Fourth Amendment—this new device will likely prevent otherwise innocent parties—at least those suspected of carrying weapons—from being stopped and searched.  Yet the question remains: is it a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches when a government agent—absent a reasonable suspicion of wrong doing—randomly points an object in one’s direction in order to see through their clothing?

Why Trusting the Government to Protect Your Privacy is Bad Policy

In Wisconsin, Gov. Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen are on a crusade to expand the use of DNA collection.  Wisconsin law currently permits law enforcement to collect DNA samples from those convicted of felonies. The governor and the attorney general now want the legislature to approve a measure that would require those arrested for a felony or convicted of any misdemeanor, no matter how minor, to submit a DNA sample.

“As attorney general, I am committed to protecting the privacy of offenders’ genetic information,” Van Hollen wrote in an Op-Ed published in various state newspapers. “My proposal does not change any restrictions that limit the release or use of the collected specimens or DNA profiles for any purpose other than legitimate criminal justice purposes. Further, this proposal also contains provisions that require the CLB to destroy DNA specimens and purge the related profile in the DNA data bank of those offenders whose DNA has been collected at arrest and who were not charged with the crime, or, if charged, were not convicted of a crime.”

In reality, however, the attorney general is being a little disingenuous, as his proposal, if enacted by the legislature, would immediately dispatch collected DNA samples to CODIS—the federal government’s national DNA databank. While the state may purge a particular profile from its DNA database, it will take an act of congress to purge the same DNA sample from CODIS.

Moreover, a recent report from Florida paints a troubling picture of abuse that the government promised it would prohibit. A report from the Orlando Sentinel spotlights the unlawful access of information obtained from the State of Florida’s Driving and Vehicle Information Database (DAVID) by law enforcement officers.

One police officer in Florida unlawfully used DAVID to check on the information of a bank teller he had flirted with by conducting a search of her first name, place of employment, and race (the DAVID system is apparently very expansive). In another instance, over 20 searches for information pertaining to Casey Anthony occurred unrelated to a sanctioned investigation.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-law-enforcement-access-databases-20130119,0,7247843.story?page=2

In today’s politically charged environment, one can only imagine how government agents—those with tentacles to either political party—might misuse information contained in a DNA profile to blackball a citizen who dares challenge a member of the political class.

Such was the case with Joe the Plumber, who simply asked a question of candidate Obama during a 2008 campaign stop in Ohio.  Within hours, a Democrat Party hack, who was also the director of a governmental agency, accessed a State of Ohio database, unlawfully obtained Joe’s personal information, and leaked the details.

But instead of firing the operative who unlawfully violated Joe the Plumber’s privacy, Gov. Ted Strickland (D-Ohio) gave the perpetrator, Helen Jones-Kelley, the Ohio Director of the Department of Job and Family Services, a slap-on-the-wrist suspension.

http://www.toledonewsnow.com/story/9406901/editorial-fire-her-for-leaking-joe-the-plumbers-records

Personal information in the hands of the government is only a few key strokes away from the eyes of the nearest political operative, which is why putting one’s faith in a politician’s promise to protect personal privacy is akin to trusting a thief with a credit card—the difference being that the thief might actually get prosecuted.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, is available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Vol-ebook/dp/B00AGZTALE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354972268&sr=8-1&keywords=spingola+files

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, please visit:

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


Ads on Crime and the Recall

Over the course of the past week, a handful of people have inquired about the validity of some of the political ads bombarding the airwaves in the final days of Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall election.

An ad run by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s campaign committee attempts to tar Gov. Scott Walker with the guilt by association brush linked to an ongoing Joe Doe probe in Milwaukee County.  Barrett’s ad claims that an aide to Walker will soon be “indicted”

In Wisconsin, persons accused of criminal misconduct are not “indicted,” they are charged in a criminal complaint. Moreover, John Doe investigations are secretive inquires conducted in a closed courtroom.  The participants are sworn to keep information provided to either the court or to investigators confidential.  So either Barrett’s campaign is working hand-in-hand with an operative that is violating a judge’s secrecy order or the ad is fabricating information. If the former is true, the ad  itself calls for an investigation.

Gov. Walker’s campaign is running a spot accusing Mayor Barrett of purposely misrepresenting Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) crime statistics.

But unlike other departments within City of Milwaukee government, the police department is a semi-autonomous organization.  In other words, at least on paper, the mayor does not directly oversee the activities of the chief-of-police. That is the job of the Fire and Police Commission (FPC)—a civilian oversight board appointed by the mayor. Since the FPC’s members are close enough to the mayor to receive appointments, when the mayor whispers in their ears, they are likely to support Barrett’s policies. Nonetheless, Mayor Barrett’s office likely had little if any involvement in the collection and reporting of MPD crime statistics. 

In the past, however, Mike Crivello, the President of the Milwaukee Police Association (MPA), appeared in front of the Fire and Police Commission and questioned the MPD’s crime stats. Having read through minutes of the FPC’s meetings, it appears the board did little, if anything, to independently verify or debunk Crivello’s complaint.  For example, the FPC might have requested an audit by the city comptroller.

SF’s advice to recall election voters: look for the candidate that runs on and stands by his record. After all, these campaign ads illustrate that politicians say an awful lot of things, but, at the end of the day, it is what they do that affects our daily lives.

Just Released: Cozen Protocol Shortcut Guide for Readers

In the fast-paced age we live-in, finding the needed time to delve into a 328-page novel is sometimes impossible. Now, there is some good news for time conscious readers.

Last Friday, R & G Readers released the shortcut version of The Cozen Protocol—the crime novel that uses the city of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department as its backdrop, while blending—what some MPD veterans believe—elements of real incidents with fiction.

For more information, visit:

http://www.amazon.com/kindle/dp/B00888DZYY/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_eos_detail

The shortcut version provides a chapter-by-chapter summary of The Cozen Protocol, provides a list of characters, and explains the novel’s vernacular.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit: 

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012


Has the Cap of Law Enforcement Professionalism Come Off?

“Politics is war without guns,” former Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong once said.  “War is politics with guns.”

Mao’s pointed but extremist view of the political arena is an illustration of why politics—even in the United States—is often referred to as a ‘blood sport.’

As such, observers of the political theater better known as Battleground Wisconsin should not be all surprised by heavy-handed tactics and dirty tricks. 

Yet Ian Murphy, a kook-blogger from Buffalo, New York, recently reached a new, Nixonian-type low last week when he telephoned the office of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. During a secretly recorded telephone conversation, Murphy falsely assumed the identity of industrialist David Koch and then attempted to bait the governor with over-the-top rhetoric.  The strategy behind the the call proved unsuccessful, although the lack of due diligence by the governor’s staff in vetting the imposter is glaring.

Of course, politicians with vicious dogs in this fight, as well as those carrying water for their partisan bosses, are interpreting Walker’s remarks to benefit their side’s agenda.

In comments made to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Madison Police Chief Noble Wray took issue with Gov. Walker’s response to Murphy’s baited question about placing “troublemakers” in the crowd of protestors. 

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/116828353.html

But what is the definition of an actual “troublemaker”?

Is it an elected member of Congress telling others that, in reference to events in Wisconsin, “Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary”? 

http://nhjournal.com/2011/02/23/dem-rep-to-unions-time-to-get-‘bloody’/#

Is it trespassing and then, for all practical purposes, taking over the private property of another?

http://theundergroundconservative.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/thugs-take-over-rpw-offices/

Is it acting like a group of spoiled, out-of-control teenagers who couldn’t get their way on the floor of the State Assembly?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f0VProvuAo

 Or, worse yet, is it committing felony? 

In this instance, Chief Wray is not only selective in whom he publicly chides as instigators — he has it all backwards.  It is not Walker’s vague comments that are troubling, but rather Ian Murphy’s use of David Koch’s “personal identifying information” that points to evidence of a serious crime. 

According to Wisconsin state statute 943.201(2):  Whoever, for any of the following purposes, intentionally uses, attempts to use, or possesses with intent to use any personal identifying information or personal identification document of an individual, including a deceased individual, without the authorization or consent of the individual and by representing that he or she is the individual, that he or she is acting with the authorization or consent of the individual, or that the information or document belongs to him or her is guilty of a Class H felony: 

(a) To obtain credit, money, goods, services, employment, orANY other thing of value or benefit;

(b) To avoid civil or criminal process or penalty;

(c) To harm the reputation, property, person, or estate of the Individual.

Wisconsin state statute 943.201(1)(b)(1) describes “personal identifying information” as “an individual’s name.”

Now if Murphy made this call out-of-state, a prosecution for violating state law maybe problematic; however, persons involved in the commission of crimes that occur in Wisconsin face the possibility of charges if they conspired to commit the crime in another state.  Wisconsin state statute 939.31 describes a conspiracy as follows:

“Whoever, with intent that a crime be committed, agrees or combines with another for the purpose of committing that crime may, if one or more of the parties to the conspiracy does an act to effect its object, be fined or imprisoned or both not to exceed the maximum provided for the completed crime; except that for a conspiracy to commit a crime for which the penalty is life imprisonment, the actor is guilty of a Class B felony.”

Ethically, Chief Wray’s department needs to put politics aside and investigate if an actual felony may have occurred during Murphy’s conversation with Gov. Walker; otherwise, Wisconsin’s attorney general, J.B. Van Hollen, has the authority to step in and do so.

During heated political discourse, labor unrest, or civil strife, law enforcement agencies become—like it or not—the uniform arbitrators of fairness.  One section of The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics reads, “I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions.”

Could it be that Chief Noble Wray has checked his cap of professionalism at the door and is simply walking in lock step with his city’s mayor, Dave Cieslweicz?

http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/116946593.html)

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Steve Spingola is an author and former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2011