They Really Do Need a Stinking Warrant – Good News for the Fourth Amendment


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Today comes a reversal of a sad trend I’ve been following, here, since at least June of 2016. I’ve rarely been happier about being wrong – I had predicted an affirmance.

Yet, I was right about the overall trend against freedom:

The worn-out line of the sheep goes: “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” Two problems there: 1) you don’t know what they consider “wrong”, and; 2) how about when the government is wrong? What then? Move to a freer country? There are at least ten out there – one right next door to the U.S. Sit in your house and do absolutely nothing? That can be considered an indication of criminal intent or an invitation for a “welfare check-in” by the police.

The odds are you do not have anything to worry about. Obey the government in general, don’t make any waves, and they will probably leave you alone. Probably was not what the Founders had in mind with the Bill of Rights though. They desired protection from ALL government overreach.

Today, the Supreme Court put this issue to rest in a 5-4 decision upholding the right against unreasonable searches. Thank you, Justice Roberts and the Liberals.

2. The Government did not obtain a warrant supported by probable
cause before acquiring Carpenter’s cell-site records. It acquired
those records pursuant to a court order under the Stored Communications
Act, which required the Government to show “reasonable
grounds” for believing that the records were “relevant and material to
an ongoing investigation.” 18 U. S. C. §2703(d). That showing falls
well short of the probable cause required for a warrant. Consequently,
an order issued under §2703(d) is not a permissible mechanism for
accessing historical cell-site records. Not all orders compelling the
production of documents will require a showing of probable cause. A warrant is required only in the rare case where the suspect has a legitimate
privacy interest in records held by a third party. And even
though the Government will generally need a warrant to access
CSLI, case-specific exceptions—e.g., exigent circumstances—may
support a warrantless search. Pp. 18–22.

819 F. 3d 880, reversed and remanded.

Carpenter v. The Empire, No. 16–402, 585 U. S. ____, at Slip. 3-4 (June 22, 2018).


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Good news to start the hot weekend.

More good news: TPC is now available in print!




From TPC, Today: Who Separates Kids?


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My latest at TPC: on the illegals, the kids, etc.:

This is an ongoing trend of which you are surely aware. America (and the West) is currently undergoing the largest mass migration of humans in recorded history. Since 1965, when US immigration and naturalization law was … tweaked… scores of millions of newcomers have come forth, changing the face of our country. Europe has seen a similar phenomenon.


Trump is correct about the Dems, at least as it concerns their affinity for bad policy. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act, S. 3036, as currently (poorly) drafted would literally exempt almost all parents (illegals, immigrants, or citizens) in the country from federal criminal prosecution. Given what’s become of federal law and law enforcement, that may not be such a bad idea; I doubt it’s what the author originally intended, however.


Much of this mess can be traced back to another Democrat’s bad law. Emanuel Celler’s hideous Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 shifted America’s immigration and demography from the traditional to the radical and the globalist. Celler, Ted Kennedy, and other proponents at the time lied when they assured the nation that nothing would change.


And, when did liberals start caring about immigrant children and keeping them together with families in the United States? You might recall the following picture and the young child, Elian Gonzalez, featured therein – the one crying and with the submachine gun aimed at him – courtesy of Bill Clinton and Janet Reno:


Recall Feinstein’s defense of Elian? Me neither.



More on the New Age of After Literacy


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Building on what I mentioned the other day, Linh Dinh has some more depressing news for readers and writers.

I was just interviewed by two Temple journalism students, Amelia Burns and Erin Moran, and though they appeared very bright and enterprising, with Erin already landing a job that pays all her bills, I feel for these young ladies, for this is a horrible time to make and sell words, of any kind, and the situation will only get worse. We’re well into postliteracy.

With widespread screen addiction, hardly anyone buys books or newspapers anymore. My local newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer (Inky), no longer has a book review section. Its retired editor, Frank Wilson, was never replaced. Frank had three of my books reviewed, Night, Again, Fake House and Blood and Soap, but the last was in 2004.

We’re both right, kind of, about books sales. I say the sales are up. They are, or were the last time I checked, by the numbers. He’s right in that the quality of WHAT is sold has utterly collapsed. I think most buy the books now to have something to rest those screens on. Newspapers are dying.

Welcome to postliteracy, America.


Yep. Is this “legal” under Article 13???


Garfield at 40 and Happy Summer



Missed this the other day. The world’s favorite cartoon cat turned 40 on Tuesday.

And, Jim Davis says he’s “still trying to get it right.” So, if you’re having problems with a project, consider that the best selling comic creator in the world is having the same issues, four decades in.

The 40th Birthday Strip!


Jim Davis, 6/19/2018.

Also the first official day of Summer, 2018. Have some lasagna.

Severe Obesity a Severe Problem


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This isn’t good. Not overweight. Not obese. Severely Obese – a growing trend:

Severe obesity rates have been on the rise nationwide since the turn of the century, disproportionately affecting children and adults in rural communities, two U.S. studies suggest.

Researchers examined data on height and weight collected from 2001 to 2016 for adults 20 and older and for youth ages 2 to 19. Severe obesity rates were higher in rural areas for youth as well as for men and women, while overall rates of obesity were higher only for rural women, researchers report in JAMA.

In rural communities, severe obesity rates more than tripled for men and more than doubled for women during the study period, while climbing 29 percent among young people. Obesity rates in rural areas, meanwhile, rose about 9 percent among children and teens and about 36 percent for adults.

A 36% increase in less than a generation. Maybe lay off the processed foods?




The Art of the Postmodern Word Salad


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The trend in the US and much of the world is towards lower IQs. The US is also witnessing a steep decline in the quality of education. Something like half the population is functionally illiterate. Thus, it is somewhat surprising that, over the past few years, more and more folks are reading or at least buying books.

What are they reading? A giant percentage of book sales fall among adult coloring books (yeah) and romance novels. The latter category does require the minimal mental synthesis of words. But, what do those words mean? If you’ve browsed the stacks in a coffee shop toy store bookstore lately, then you’ve probably noticed the mass emergence of “postmodern literature.” Simply put, this involves the use of big words, without context, to wow the simple-minded and smugly reassure the nuevo elite trash. Much is said, nothing is communicated. Perfect for the Twitter Age.

Here’s a Website that showcases computer-generated literary gobbledegook.

2. Consensuses of defining characteristic

The main theme of von Ludwig’s[2] essay on socialist
realism is the dialectic, and eventually the absurdity, of postcapitalist
class. In a sense, Sontag promotes the use of Debordist situation to modify and
challenge language. Many theories concerning a self-fulfilling totality may be

“Class is part of the futility of consciousness,” says Lacan; however,
according to Cameron[3] , it is not so much class that is
part of the futility of consciousness, but rather the genre of class. It could
be said that Sontag’s analysis of socialist realism holds that the raison
d’etre of the writer is significant form, but only if art is distinct from
truth; if that is not the case, Debord’s model of cultural situationism is one
of “patriarchial narrative”, and thus responsible for elitist perceptions of
society. If presemioticist construction holds, we have to choose between
Debordist image and capitalist objectivism.

It even adds footnotes. Use it to impress your boss. You’ll feel smarter, smugger instantly.

America’s Crisis of Confidence

The last resort of a summer slowdown – the reblog…


The story is entitled “Americans’ Confidence in Institutions Edges Up” but there’s still not much trust. And, I think, what little is there is mostly misplaced. Read the article. Here are my answers to the different trust subjects, my percentages, contrasted with those of the general public, with brief explanation.

Overall trust in “the big” is up only a little. It still lags well behind that from before the financial crisis. It’s even down versus a generation ago:


Perrin and the people (with explanations):

Institution                         People %             Perrin %

Newspapers                               27                                2

Lies, lies, and more lies. They do…

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Revenge and Recommendations


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Got a business? Ever get a (maybe undeserved) bad review? The owner of a diner in St. Pete got a little revenge – albeit after he closed it down:


I remember a bar where the owner used to try insulting everyone that walked in the door. Made him semi-famous and very popular. Maybe a little fire with fire is the way to combat the bad reviews. One notes from the TBT story that everyone loves a good review.

I have one:

Meredith Piper’s Art Studio

If you’re in Greenville, SC, drop by and see the Pipers – down by the river, kind of in between the hotels and the trolls under the bridge (which, in retrospect, might have been ducks…). Fantastic art and! with even the smallest purchase, you get a glass of Chardonnay from the proprietor. At least I did; it really helped me through a hot afternoon of shopping and duck dodging.

Five Stars!


I also recommend Smoke on the Water – just down Main from artist’s row. The brisket with potato ball thing.

Those are your free gifts de jour. Happy Father’s Day!

U of C: Forget that Saturday Afternoon Test!


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I assume they’ll develop and implement their own rigorous testing in lieu of mandatory SATs and ACTs.

For years, a debate has simmered at the nation’s universities and colleges over how much weight should be given to standardized tests as officials consider students for admission — and whether they should be required at all.

A growing number, including DePaul University, have opted to stop requiring the SAT and ACT in their admissions process, saying the tests place an unfair cost and burden on low-income and minority students, and ultimately hinder efforts to broaden diversity on campus. But the trend has escaped the nation’s most selective universities.

Until now. The University of Chicago announced Thursday that it would no longer require applicants for the undergraduate college to submit standardized test scores.

While it will still allow applicants to submit their SAT or ACT scores, university officials said they would let prospective undergraduates send transcripts on their own and submit video introductions and nontraditional materials to supplement their applications.

Or that. Transcripts from a government high school graduating 90% of seniors, of whom 25% can read (no fraud there!), and a cat video! Our future academic success is guaranteed!

This will have consequences.