Vengeancia (updated January 2015) “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
PUBLIC OFFENSE: “a term that is used to describe the conduct that is in violation of existing laws and is punishable by laws.” Black’s Law, 2nd Ed.
“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” Noam Chomsky
Harry Browne The important point is that the Constitution doesn’t apply to Americans, it doesn’t apply to citizens, it doesn’t even apply to “people.” It applies to the federal government. The body of the Constitution tells the federal government what it is allowed to do, and in some places it explains how to do it (election procedures and such). The Bill of Rights tells the federal government what it is not allowed to do . . .
- Make no law abridging freedom of speech, press, religion, or assembly,
- Do not infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.
- Don’t quarter soldiers in peacetime.
- Don’t conduct unreasonable searches and seizures.
- Don’t commit double jeopardy or force people to testify against themselves.
- Don’t deny an accused a speedy trial.
- Don’t deny an accused a trial by jury.
- Do not impose excessive bail.
- Just because certain rights of the people aren’t mentioned in this Constitution doesn’t mean you’re allowed to usurp them.
- Don’t exercise any power not authorized in this Constitution.
“Pugh and others in custody under informations sought a probable cause determination in a class action suit against Dade County officials. Under the challenged Florida procedures, a person arrested without a warrant and charged by information could be jailed or subjected to other restraints pending trial without any opportunity for a probable cause determination. The Court held that the 4th Amendment requires a judicial determination of probable cause as a prerequisite to extended restraint of liberty following warrantless arrests. Florida’s procedures are unconstitutional because a prosecutor’s assessment of probable cause, standing alone, does not meet the requirements of the 4th Amendment and is insufficient to justify restraint of liberty pending trial. Whatever procedure a State may adopt, it must provide a fair and reliable determination of probable cause as a condition for any significant pretrial restraint of liberty, and this determination must be made by a judicial officer either before or promptly after arrest.
“Additionally, the probable cause determination may be made by a judicial officer without an adversary hearing and by the use of informal procedures. Further, because of its limited function and its non- adversary character, the probable cause determination is not a “critical stage” in the prosecution that would require appointed counsel.”
Gersten v. Pugh
- tender (adj.)
- “soft, easily injured,” early 13c., from Old French tendre “soft, delicate; young” (11c.), from Latin tenerem (nominative tener) “soft, delicate; of tender age, youthful,” from a derivative of PIE root *ten- “stretch” (see tenet), on the notion of “stretched,” hence “thin,” hence “weak” or “young.” Compare Sanskrit tarunah “young, tender,” Greek teren “tender, delicate,” Armenian t’arm “young, fresh, green.”Meaning “kind, affectionate, loving” first recorded early 14c. Meaning “having the delicacy of youth, immature” is attested in English from early 14c. Related: Tenderly; tenderness. Tender-hearted first recorded 1530s.
- tender (v.)
- “to offer formally,” 1540s, from Middle French tendre “to offer, hold forth” (11c.), from Latin tendere “to stretch, extend” (see tenet). The retention of the ending of the French infinitive is unusual (see render (v.) for another example). The noun meaning “formal offer for acceptance” is from 1540s; specific sense of “money that may be legally offered as payment” is from 1740; hence legal tender “currency.”
- tender (n.)
- “person who tends another,” late 15c., probably an agent noun formed from Middle English tenden “attend to” (see tend (v.2)); later extended to locomotive engineers (1825) and barmen (1883). The meaning “small boat used to attend larger ones” first recorded 1670s.
- dress (v.)
- early 14c., “make straight; direct, guide, control, prepare for cooking,” from Old French dresser, drecier “raise (oneself), address, prepare, lift, raise, hoist, set up, arrange, set (a table), serve (food), straighten, put right, direct,” from Vulgar Latin *directiare, from Latin directus “direct, straight” (see direct (v.)).Sense of “decorate, adorn” is late 14c., as is that of “put on clothing.” Original sense survives in military meaning “align columns of troops.” Dress up “attire elaborately” is from 1670s; dressing down “wearing clothes less formal than expected” is from 1960. To dress (someone) down (1769) is ironical. Related: Dressed; dressing.
- dress (n.)
- c.1600, originally any clothing, especially that appropriate to rank or to some ceremony; sense of “woman’s garment” is first recorded 1630s, with overtones of “made not merely to clothe but to adorn.” Dress rehearsal first recorded 1828.
- redress (v.)
- mid-14c., “to correct, reform;” late 14c., “restore, put right” (a wrong, error, offense); “repair; relieve; improve; amend,” from Old French redrecier “reform, restore, rebuild” (Modern French redresser), from re- “again” (see re-) + drecier “to straighten, arrange” (see dress (v.)). Formerly used in many more senses than currently. Related: Redressed; redressing.
The Unpardonable Sin: Why?
“In response to a question concerning why the so-called “unpardonable sin” of blaspheming the Holy Spirit could not be forgiven? By Dean VanDruff.
“Mat 12:31-32 (NIV) “And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.””Mark 3:29-30 (NIV) “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”
“The unpardonable sin is to ascribe a clear endorsement by the Spirit of God to Satan, to reject what is obviously true because we just don’t want to believe it for religious or emotional reasons (or any other reason, I suppose). As to why this unique sin is unpardonable, I will venture my meditations.”Jesus said even sins against Him would be forgiven, but not against the Holy Spirit (in this flagrant sense). So it is a question worth asking. Why should it, must it, be so? Why has God told us plainly that there is severe risk in rejecting the Holy Spirit’s sanction? Isn’t rejecting Jesus pretty much the same as rejecting the Holy Spirit? Well, when He was here, perhaps; and even now on occasion. But not all who hear of Jesus, or even study Him, have the Holy Spirit saying “YES!” within them every time. (Jn 6:44) When they do, and they choose to say, “Aw, it’s of the devil”, then they have sinned against the Holy Spirit. If such rejection of the Holy Spirit is persisted in and chosen as a decision, this graduates from doubt into a blaspheming of the Spirit of Truth. Without God taking the time to open ears or eyes or hearts, as Jesus said, “You can’t perceive” (Mk 4:12). For those who can in the moment of clarity, and reject the revelation of the Spirit, there are grave consequences. For there is a moment for all of us (I believe) in life, where the Spirit reveals the truth of Jesus Christ. That moment, and what we do with it, has a lot to do with our eternal destiny.
“For me, I remember this moment rather clearly. I fancied myself an anti-Christian, loving to eat Christians for lunch with trick questions and the like. I did not, and perhaps could not, honestly take the faith seriously. I remember one day I saw the light, or perhaps in my case more like a pin-prick of light. I would describe it like seeing a star in the night sky where if you keep staring at it you will never lose it, but if you move your eyes you will likely never find it again. This tiny bit of light for me was the first time it had dawned on me that Christianity might be true. Through all my stupid arguments, hatred, and attacks; it hit me that it just might be true. I kept staring at that little bit of light and knew I was being given a chance, perhaps my only chance (who knows?) to believe. I knew that this was a moment of ultimate decision, but still also knew that I could just turn my head from that little bit of light and I probably would never even remember the moment had passed. The fearful thing was that I knew this was a moment of epiphany, and that if I did not turn away that I might actually become one of the crazy Christians I so despised. My emotions were saying, “How would this look to all your friends? You have a reputation to uphold. You would look like the biggest idiot if you change your mind and became one of THEM.” But I kept looking. I knew I was at a crossroads; and for me it was no dramatic miracle or angel appearing, but the slightest hint in my mind that Jesus might be God after all. This pin-prick of light was only a glance away from being thrown in the trash-bin of my memory, but I knew that if I kept looking at that light, it would grow brighter and bigger and, like the light at the end of a tunnel, it would eventually subsume me and I would move completely into it and into the warmth of the day and the sun. But then, just a pin prick, which if I glanced away, I might never find again, or even care about. Well, I kept staring, and it was just as I feared. <smiles> The light drew closer, and from a suspicion came a surety, and I became a nutty Christian and moved into the light. But what a moment of beginning, eh?
“Now for my answer as to why rejection of the light given in the moment of “proposal” by God is unpardonable; and why in general it is not a good idea to blaspheme, or even grieve, the Holy Spirit. Another–and much less ostensibly spiritual–story will introduce my concluding point.
“My ski-boat was losing power. So I took it to the shop for repair. The last problem had run up to $1000 including full engine removal and transmission repair <ouch>, so I was already feeling an acute pain in my wallet. In this case, a tune up actually made the problem much worse. The next expensive thing tried also did not fix the problem, and it was no fun taking people out on the lake and idling around; as the engine would barely run. I told the mechanic I was going to come work with him and camp in his shop till we figured out what was wrong. So here we are, the two of us in his shop on a Saturday, up in the boat with the hood open, with the LOUD (boats use water as a muffler, and a hose doesn’t really cut it) engine blasting. Now I heard a nasty little clicking noise coming from the crankcase and my heart sank into my wallet, as I figured anything that deep in the engine was going to cost a fortune to fix. He says, “Do you hear that?” and I could not afford to hear it (pun intended), so I said “What noise” and sure enough it sort of faded away, and our minds drifted into other rabbit trails. I had heard it, but denied it because I did not want it to be true. We worked for a few more hours, hot, greasy, noisy, and could find nothing wrong. We checked the timing, fuel system, etc., again and again. Then, he said “I hear that clicking again, coming from deep inside the engine.” I wanted to slug him, thinking “That couldn’t be it”, or rather, “That had better not be it”. Dollar signs flashed madly in my eyes. I did not want to hear it, or believe it, but he was insistent. “Listen, there it is again” as he put his head down. “I know what it is, and you are lucky.” He shut down the engine, and put in a new set of ignition cables. “That’ll fix it. You had a slight break in one of your cables. The clicking we heard was a spark arcing across the breach, which drains the power. It must have got bent too far when we installed it a few weeks ago.” So, it just sounded like it was deep within, because we were hearing a spark as a click. Now comes the bill, some $400 for all the time and hours wasted. That is a hefty price for something so simple, that I had thwarted the fixing of early on. If I had just been honest to the truth when I first heard the noise, I could of saved us both time and me a lot of money. But I figured I could not afford to perceive what was obvious, and denied what I knew was true. I reflected on this later, in terms of rejecting the conviction and ministrations of the Spirit, for I felt then (and now) that God was gently showing me the risks of rejecting the truth–however small the truth–for ulterior reasons. It never gets easier if we do so, and we call disproportionate painful consequences into our lives. In the ultimate sense, we risk ultimate judgment if we reject or deny the truth.
“Here is my concluding illustration, after all this warm up.
“Imagine a foolish person who does not like what he sees with his eyes and just keeps them clamped shut to avoid the view. While this would keep him from seeing the ugly truth around him that he desired to avoid, it would cramp the eyes after a while. When the eyelids eventually popped open, there would be whatever he did not want to see. Now imagine he finds some acid in the garage or by the pool, and takes an eye dropper and puts a drop into his eyes. Instead of the darkness of shut eyes, or the ugly scenes of reality, now there are dazzling colors and art-like patterns of a fascinating sort, even with the eyelids open; and little pain as the eyes have few nerves. So our foolish man puts in a few more drops and finds that now he can still see enough to basically make out shapes, but has “fixed” forever the problem of cramped eyelids vs. unwelcome, sharp, clear reality. He now walks along in a daze, having blinded himself forever into a happy bliss.This is my parable on the unpardonable sin. It is one thing to shut your eyes to the truth, and we all have done it. I did it especially when I was an unbeliever. Yet it is another thing to put acid in your eyes. If you just shut your eyes (deception) they might open again. If you put acid in your eyes (the unpardonable sin) then you have forever wrecked your ability to perceive the truth. And for what, to get through a painful or uncomfortable moment? One is a temporary sin which can be “got over”, the other a serious, permanent, and ultimate matter and choice. To reject the moment of clarity, the proposal of Jesus through the Holy Spirit, to reject the light of truth, is like putting acid in the eyes of the soul such that there is no more capability from that point onwards to ever see again. Even Jesus’ death on the cross cannot repair such damage, for this is an elemental, core choice of a soul to mutilate itself and its ability to perceive the truth. The “perceiver” within is acid’ed out; the spiritual bridge is burned; the last chance is missed; the capability to ever see again is sacrificed for a moment of emotional or religious comfort; the Spirit of truth is slandered as being a demon… the unpardonable sin is committed.”Lord, please help us not be like that, even in the little revelations we come across day to day. Transform us to take You as You are, to respond rightly to You. May the fear of You be the first step in the path of wisdom, for without You we can do nothing. Heal us, open up our eyes, and make us receptive to who You are whether our idolatrous notions about You like it or not. For You are the Living God, and we only see You now as through a glass, darkly. I pray that rather than resisting Your Spirit of revelation, we count all of our opinions and reaction as so much dung, and learn to rejoice in Your truth rather than grind our teeth at it; so that we might soar when You appear rather than be found clinching our fists in That Day. Save us, O God, in the highest way; from our instincts out. Amen.”
Read the rest of the article.
By the way, here’s a Glossary of Tax Terms.
Courts Must Find Probable Cause Before Issuing Arrest Warrants
“Arrest warrants issued by the Toledo Municipal Court for a man suspected of stripping materials from a house were invalid because no determination of probable cause was made, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today.
“However, police officers obtained the warrants following a procedure that had been validated by the Sixth District Court of Appeals. Because of that precedent, the officers involved in the case of Brandon Hoffman acted in good faith, and the evidence obtained under the warrants for Hoffman’s arrest will not be excluded, the Supreme Court concluded.
“Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, in the court’s majority opinion, pressed the Toledo Municipal Court to change its process for issuing arrest warrants. For at least 17 years, the municipal court has been violating the U.S. and Ohio constitutions by granting warrants without deciding whether probable cause was shown, she wrote.
“In November 2011, a Toledo police detective filed requests with the municipal court for warrants to arrest Hoffman for theft, criminal damaging, and house stripping. The court’s deputy clerk automatically issued the warrants when they were presented.
“A few weeks later, the police began investigating the death of Scott Holzhauer. Neighbors reported that a man named Brandon had visited Holzhauer, hoping to purchase weapons. Additional information led police to believe the man was Brandon Hoffman.
“At the address listed on the earlier warrants, police found Hoffman and arrested him. They discovered a semi-automatic pistol, later determined to belong to Holzhauer, and Holzhauer’s cell phone. Hoffman was charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery. He argued that his arrest was illegal and filed a motion to suppress the evidence collected as a result of his arrest.
“The trial court found that the detective had not presented any information to the court’s deputy clerk that established probable cause for the warrants on the theft, criminal damaging, and house stripping charges. Although the court stated that internal guidelines for handling complaints and warrants violated the state and federal constitutions, it concluded it was bound by a 2000 Sixth District decision (State v. Overton). In that case, the appeals court ruled that a nearly identical warrant met the requirements of the rules for criminal cases and was constitutional. As a result, the trial court denied the request to suppress the evidence against Hoffman.
“Hoffman pled no contest to the charges and was found guilty of both offenses. The court sentenced him to concurrent sentences of life without parole and 11 years.
“On appeal, the Sixth District last year overruled its decision in Overton and concluded that the arrest warrants were invalid because the clerk first did not determine whether probable cause existed. However, because the police in good faith believed the warrants were valid based on Overton, the court decided the evidence would not be excluded. Hoffman appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.
“The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that no warrants shall be issued unless there is probable cause. A parallel provision is found in Article I, Section 14 of the Ohio Constitution. Ohio’s criminal rules mandate that a judge, magistrate, clerk of court, or court officer designated by the judge must issue arrest warrants.
‘[T]he purpose of a complaint or affidavit is to set forth sufficient information to enable the decisionmaker to personally determine from the facts whether it is likely that an offense has been committed by the named individual,” Justice Lanzinger wrote. “A mere conclusory statement that the person whose arrest is sought has committed a crime is insufficient to justify a finding of probable cause. … A neutral and detached magistrate or other person authorized under Crim.R. 4(A)(1) must make a probable-cause determination before an arrest warrant can be issued.’
“In Hoffman’s case, the complaints filed by the detective stated only that Hoffman violated the elements of each offense, but did not explain how police came to believe that he committed the alleged crimes. In addition, both the deputy clerk and a former supervisor who wrote guidelines for the court’s clerks testified that they did not know what probable cause was. And the clerks’ guidelines provide no instructions for making probable-cause findings.
“Therefore, the warrants were issued with no probable-cause determination and were invalid, Justice Lanzinger explained. But a violation of the Fourth Amendment does not automatically require courts to exclude evidence gathered based on invalid warrants, she added. A good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule was adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1984 and by the Ohio Supreme Court in 1986.
‘Today we hold that when the police conduct a search in objectively reasonable, good-faith reliance upon binding appellate precedent, the exclusionary rule does not apply,’ Justice Lanzinger wrote.
“While the dissent claims it is inconceivable that Toledo’s police officers did not realize the court was not making probable-cause findings before issuing warrants, Justice Lanzinger pointed to a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that police conduct in strict compliance with binding judicial precedent – such as the Sixth District’s ruling in Overton – meets the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule.
“With respect to the Toledo Municipal Court, ‘[i]t is incumbent upon the [court] to amend the process for issuing arrest warrants and to conform with the requirements of the Constitution, Crim.R. 4, and case precedent before issuing a warrant,’ Justice Lanzinger stressed. ‘In addition, police officers, peace officers, sheriffs, and all those in law enforcement can no longer rely in good faith on any warrant issued by the Toledo Municipal Court without a neutral and detached magistrate making an independent determination of probable cause. Today’s decision should be a catalyst for that court to seek new, constitutionally conforming warrants and will provide notice that any warrants that are similarly constitutionally defective can no longer be relied on or acted upon.’
“The court’s majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Terrence O’Donnell, Judith L. French, Sharon L. Kennedy, and William M. O’Neill. Justice O’Donnell wrote a separate concurring opinion, which Justice Kennedy joined. Justice Paul E. Pfeifer dissented.”
Read the rest of the article.