Posts tagged “Michael Bloomberg

Clarke v. Baldwin? An Election for the Ages

After thumping his opponent in the Democrat Party primary Tuesday, there is a lot of speculation about the political future of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.  Some talking heads think the sheriff will enter the race for Milwaukee mayor.  Others believe that after this term, Clarke will simply ride his horse into the sunset and take a talk-radio gig.

From SF’s perspective, Clarke needs to think bigger.  The sheriff might want to consider backing Bob Donovan’s candidacy to knock-off Tom Barrett and, instead, finish his term, accept a talk-radio spot, and then challenge Tammy Baldwin, who critics have dubbed Wisconsin’s “do-nothing” U.S. Senator.

Clarke v. Baldwin would be a classic match-up.  The ultra-liberal Baldwin resides, of course, in the ultra-liberal city of Madison.  Clarke lives in Milwaukee, where residents of the metro area roll-up their sleeves and are not afraid to get their hands dirty.  Baldwin lends de facto support to those who belly-ache about racial disparities in the criminal justice system.  Sheriff Clarke makes no excuses for criminals, regardless of their skin color.  Baldwin supports President Obama’s gun control initiatives; Clarke supports thug control.

Tammy Baldwin is not up for reelection until 2018, a non-Presidential year election typically dominated by right-of-center voters.   And liberals probably gave Sheriff Clarke’s state-wide name recognition a huge boost by throwing a kitchen sink’s worth of political resources at him, including a $150,000 from New York City’s former Orwellian, nanny-state  mayor, Michael “Big Brother” Bloomberg.

Traveling the state prior to last Tuesday’s primary, I was surprised to see how many supporters Clarke had in rural areas of Wisconsin.   By raising the sheriff’s profile, the Democrat Party can thank Tom Barrett, Chris Abele, WEAC, and Michael Bloomberg, for a surge in Clarke’s  out-state appeal.

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

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com  and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014


Wisconsin Lawmakers’ Attempt to Rein in Surveillance State

Whether one thinks of him as a traitor or a whistleblower, Edward Snowden’s leaks of information pertaining to NSA spying illustrate one thing: our government and its leaders will lie to the American people whenever they deem it necessary.

Typically, these so-called “noble lies,” a term coined by the philosopher Plato, are premised on protecting our national security interests.  In reality, no matter what the underlying purpose, untruthfulness on the part of public officials undermines the rule of law at every level of government.

In August, President Obama, during an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, proclaimed, “We don’t have a domestic spying program.”

Even though he is isolated in the White House, even a casual observer must wonder what planet the President is living on.  Has he driven down a major thoroughfare in his limo and observed surveillance cameras capturing the movements of Americans?  What about the millions of closed circuit television cameras (the square white ones) found virtually every mile or two on high traveled portions of interstate highways?  Has the President conveniently forgotten that his own administration is providing grants to local law enforcement for automated license plate readers that capture, geo-tag, and store data on the locations of our vehicles absent a reasonable suspicion? What about the NSA’s Utah Data Center, a facility that creates electronic dossiers on millions of Americans?

During my tenure at the Milwaukee Police Department, a long-time detective frequently echoed the mantra that “abuses lead to restrictions.”  If this now retired detective’s warning rings true, then the wide spread abuses and overreaching of our government, at all levels, is about to be met with a slew of regulations.

Fortunately, the state legislature in Wisconsin is finally grabbing the proverbial bull by the horns.  Two proposed bills seek to curtail the ability of the government to spy on its citizens.

The first initiative would restrict the ability of so-called Intelligence Fusion Centers from using GPS cellular telephone technology to monitor the movements of citizens without court authorization.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/bill-would-require-warrants-for-law-enforcement-tracking-of-cellphones-b99158195z1-234978781.html

As things currently stand, operatives at the Southeastern Wisconsin Threat Assessment Center, located on the second floor of Milwaukee’s Police Administration Building, can keep close tabs on any cellular telephone user who leaves their “location services” on.   The software used is very Orwellian.  Even though local tax dollars are used to fund the MPD’s fusion center, federal officials and city leaders believe much of the data captured and stored is exempt from Wisconsin’s open records law.

Another bill takes aim at information accumulated from Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs).  These devices are either mounted on squad cars or at fixed locations.  Once a license plate is capture it is time stamped and geo-tagged.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/proposed-wisconsin-bill-would-set-rules-for-license-plate-readers-b99155494z1-234324371.html

The proposed bill would limit the amount of time that law enforcement can maintain the license plate information after its capture.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Milwaukee Police Department has photographed over 9.6 million license plates since 2008.

Of course, Wisconsin’s law enforcement community is not particularly pleased with these restrictions, which limit its authority to spy on citizens absent a reasonable suspicion on any wrong doing.  Statist politicians, such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and big government police chiefs, like Milwaukee’s Edward Flynn, appear to view electronic surveillance and other measures that stretch the Constitution to its limits and beyond as a god send.

For example, Flynn, like Bloomberg, is a supporter of the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which require officers to have a reasonable suspicion to stop a person but seems to forgo the reasonable articulable suspicion necessary for a lawful pat down.

http://inpublicsafety.com/2013/08/the-ongoing-battle-of-stop-and-frisk-nypd-faces-epic-battle-today-while-detroit-police-chief-pledges-to-continue-practice/

Yet if surveillance initiatives are a god send then why does the government feel the need to conceal their activities from open records laws or, as was the case with the NSA, outright lie about them? Could it be that these leaders are fearful of what its citizens may learn: that America has become the land of the watched and home of the “Brave New World” that Aldous Huxley foretold in 1932?

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

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


Michael Bloomberg’s Very Revealing Constitutional Faux Pas

Less than two months after a populist U.S. Senate filibuster forced the executive branch of the federal government to concede that using drones to kill American citizens on U.S. soil is bad policy, New York City Mayor Michael “Big Brother” Bloomberg’s relentless assault on freedom and liberty continues unabated.

“We have to understand that in the world going forward, we’re going to have more cameras and that kind of stuff,” said Bloomberg during an April 22 news conference. “That’s good in some senses, but it’s different than what we are used to. And the people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry, but we live in a complex world where you’re going to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution I think have to change.”

Make no mistake about, when elitists propose a reinterpretation of the Constitution their intent is to place this sacred document through the shredder of statist legalese.  If Bloomberg et al were honest in their intentions, a process already exists to change or amend the United States Constitution.  However, since the implementation of a Chinese-style police state is about as popular as AIDS, the Machiavellian-types—constantly on the lookout for new ways to get their hands in our wallets and their boots on our necks—emphasize the Constitution as a living document.

The living document mantra stems, primarily, from the incorporation of technological advances into the legal body fabric.

For example, one question I sometimes pose to students is, “What does the Constitution say about motor vehicle searches?” The answer is rather easy. The Constitution says absolutely nothing about motor vehicles since none existed in 1788, the year the document was ratified.  Ninety-one years later, Karl Benz received the first patent for a reliable two-stroke combustion engine. As a result, laws and legal concepts pertaining to motor vehicles on public roadways required interpretation from the judicial branch to clarify issues like the reasonable search and seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment.

Nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it state that a rich, eccentric politician can stand in front of the media and myopically deem our Constitutional protections from overzealous governmental reach a product of “the olden days,” as if our freedoms and liberties went the way of the electric typewriter.

And what bold idea is New York City’s nanny-state mayor now advocating?  An expansion of government surveillance, even though the $500 billion our nation has already spent in this area has failed miserably in several instances, including the attacks on Boston. As I mentioned in a prior post, surveillance cameras will not prevent terrorist attacks. Individuals intent on dying are undeterred by technology that captures and stores their images.

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2013/04/20/a-few-thoughts-about-boston/

No doubt, political correctness is the reason politicians continue to travel down the same road of wide-spread Orwellian surveillance, even though a prudent course of action—one that would prevent actual terror attacks while preserving our freedoms—is tracking, monitoring and investigating, those with an actual motive.

Had Milwaukee’s police chief, Ed Flynn, advocated suppressing the criminal activities of the Latin Kings by placing surveillance cameras on traffic control signals in a predominately African-American neighborhood on the city’s north side, many would say that the police chief is either very uninformed or his department has an ulterior agenda. Why, then, do so many Americans, as well as a majority of the mainstream media, fail to challenge the surveillance initiatives advocated by Bloomberg and the federal government that target millions of Americans while ignoring the obvious?

After all, it is not rocket science to connect the dots. What do the shoe bomber, the Time Square bomber, the Ft. Hood shooter, and the Boston bombers, all have in common?  President Obama, I know it’s difficult to say it—Islamic Jihad.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


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


The Sorry State of New York’s Nannies

Since the horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, certain politicians, police chiefs, and talking heads have, like chameleons after an election, began to show their true colors on where they stand on the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

The debate over self-defense, government tyranny, and individual liberty, has spotlighted two of New York’s prominent big government, nanny-state politicians, namely Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael “Big Brother” Bloomberg.

Bloomberg, whose administration has transformed the Big Apple into a virtual police state, is clamoring for gun control (really gun confiscation), soda rationing, and, believe it or not, restrictions on pain medications for patients in “the city hospitals we control.”

A wealthy blowhard with armed security, Bloomberg obviously believes that the government—as opposed to those of us who get up every morning, go to work, pay our bills, and live our lives the way we sit fit—knows best.   

On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that that Bloomberg’s police department’s policy of simply stopping and frisking minorities outside of private residential buildings was unconstitutional.

“While it may be difficult to say where, precisely, to draw the line between constitutional and unconstitutional police encounters, such a line exists,” wrote federal judge Shira A. Scheindlin, “and the N.Y.P.D. has systematically crossed it when making trespass stops outside TAP buildings in the Bronx.”

Ask any instructor of criminal law: the legal standard to conduct a stop-and-frisk is a reasonable and articulable suspicion that a person is armed. The last time I checked, New York City had not succeeded from the union, which means the Fourth Amendment is still applicable in Bloomberg’s fiefdom.

Bloomberg has also worked in partnership with the private sector to create a surveillance state that makes the dreadful tale of Orwell’s 1984 pale in comparison. In August, the mayor announced that the NYPD and Microsoft had partnered to create the “Domain Awareness System”—a network that will fuse data from facial recognition software, public and private surveillance cameras, automated license plate readers, radiation detectors, and chemical sensors, to create stored dossiers on individuals absent a reasonable suspicion of wrong doing.

“If a person has had radiation treatment for cancer and walks by a stationary censor or a copper with a detector,” one person in the know recently told me, “the NYPD will poke its nose into that person’s private life and their name will end up a database”—HIPAA be damned.

Not to be out done on the crackdown on individual liberty is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“I don’t think a legitimate huntsman is going to say I need an assault weapon to go hunting,” Cuomo told Fred Dicker of radio 1300 AM in Albany.

And, if the governor were to aptly apply the actual definition of an “assault weapon,” he would be correct, as an “assault rifle” is one that fires more than one round with a single pull of the trigger—currently a felony under federal law unless the person in possession of such a weapon is licensed, a certified law enforcement officer, or engaged in authorized military exercises.

Moreover, Gov. Cuomo, who fancies himself as a 2016 contender for president, is advocating the seizure of firearms from law-abiding citizens.

“Confiscation could be an option,” Cuomo told Albany radio station WGDJ. “Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun, but permit it.”

In the America that is New York State, individuals will apparently soon need a permit to exercise their Constituional rights–a sad state of affairs in a state that is slowly morphing into an Orwellian abyss. 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I fear the possibility of a tyranny rising in the country in the next 50 to 100 years. Let me tell you something, Piers. The fact that my grandparents and great-grandparents in Europe didn’t fear that is why they’re now ashes in Europe. This kind of leftist revisionist history where there’s no fear of democracy going userpatious or tyrannical, is just that. It’s fictitious.”

BEN SHAPIRO—during a heated exchange with CNN’s Piers Morgan that the Second Amendment is a check on government tyranny.

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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


NYC’s Mayor and the Big Apple Police State

To view this article, checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You coming to Amazon.com in December 2012.

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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

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012