Beyond the Cusp

March 18, 2017

Freedom is a Wonderful Thing to Have and a Horrible Waste When Lost

 

Let us start our discussion today with some information directly from another article titled The Pelosi Principle by Terry Jeffrey written for Townhall. The article was about the Republican replacement for Obamacare which while not being everything many of us would want, was still a better deal for much of America. This quote though tells a lot about what has gone terribly wrong with American society and paints a dim view that this can ever change as both sides of the aisle agree that the old way must die and government prevail. The article states, “Both Republicans and Democrats have rejected the principle of subsidiarity that once governed American health care: Individuals who could not pay for their own care were covered by private, particularly religious, charities and local governments.” Despite everything else, at the base of the opposition to Obamacare was the opposition to the Nanny State and its insistence on being all things to all people. Forced government insurance was just the latest outrage where government demanded they be given the responsibility for our care and as usual their ideas left much to be desired.

 

This problem has been a long time coming and is not about to wane any time in the future without a near revolution by the American public. Not a real, grab the gun off the mantle, revolution but one where the American people take the power back from the government by selecting a whole new type of political representation, regular, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (or watch at end of article) representation. This would have to be an all-encompassing movement which will only arise when things reach an intolerable level and when failure means the end of the democratic process because the government has even assumed making the choices as to who will lead and who is subjugated. One can only hope that such a time is not quite yet upon us, though with some of what has occurred there have been claims and fears from both sides that the other is attempting to take control of the governing processes and end any true freedom of choice. History has proven that one side’s claims are merely an excuse for them to enact just such fascist governance and the other side’s claims are actually valid fears. But this article is to tell the story of how we reached this point.

 

This all started with something everybody would know from history if such was still taught in the public and private school systems. Not all schools are delinquent of such but far too many are which has made ask the average person in the street history and civics questions something which makes for great laughs while others of us just shake our heads and fear for the future. We know that a people who do not know from whence they arrived at this day will have no idea where they will be going as the tomorrows pass. The beginning of our story is the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, especially the Bill of Rights. One should read the Declaration of Independence as it is a litany of things in a governance which should be feared and the people should ever be watchful against their reoccurrence. There is a political theory which describes the cycle of governance from bondage to freedom and back to bondage called the Tytler Cycle of Power in Governance (see below). There have been many debates in universities back in our day and hopefully these debates continue as they raise awareness and strengthen societal awareness in the upcoming generation. The debate in my day over where in the circle we stood was over which it might be; Selfishness, Complacency, Apathy or Dependence. Nobody ever claimed Abundance and a few would claim we were on the verge of Bondage and the others were completely beyond consideration. One can only wonder where the debate would go today.

 

Tytler Cycle of Power in Governance

Tytler Cycle of Power in Governance

 

We got to wherever in the cycle we actually stand from a time when faith was high and courage was felt by a strong and steady leadership and their following and from that they struck forth and gained liberty. The American Revolution was led in many communities by their religious leaders who were men of sword and musket as well as the Bible. These men made up the Black Robe Regiments and were why the British often burned churches and would hang clergy on sight if they were at all suspect of preaching about freedom from bondage and King. The Revolutionary War was fought by people of faith and courage who gained freedom and a new nation. There were few large cities and nothing even approaching a modern city with London being amongst the largest in that day and Boston, New York and Philadelphia being amongst the largest cities but still the denizens were largely self-reliant. This was the way of life in early America and this was how it remained until sometime into the mid-1800’s. The problems began in the largest of cities which would be found on the eastern seaboard, west coast and along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Within the largest cities people began to depend on certain public services. There was the water systems replacing the need to draw one’s own water, sewage replacing digging your own outbuilding, trash pick-up, and public transportation which was often bartered out to a private service whose owner often became quite wealthy as did the private purveyor of any other service which the cities licensed.

 

The services provided through public/private contract or by the government directly such as police forces, judicial systems, street maintenance, street lighting, gas lines, fire departments and as time went more and more provided by the cities. Then there were the specialty services which cared for services which many of the people either found distasteful or were simply incapable of doing for themselves. Some of these services had always required a professional but many had also been performed by the average person before the advent of large cities with a professional core of providers whose prices were controlled by demand and number of people providing such services. Examples include the obvious such as shoeing horses, blacksmithing, locksmith and others and then ones we have forgotten in our modern world such as chimneysweeps, milkman, ice deliveries and other such services. Some still exist in smaller towns or rural areas or as specialty service in cities. What these specialty and general services started was the first stages of dependence which as long as it is kept to essential services is fine, but it did not remain this way. There used to be a safety net which provided for those people who were down on their luck or simply had fallen from the normal routines of the society and were dependent on the good graces of others for their sustenance and other needs. These people were served by religious groups, the churches, synagogues and other religious congregations and charitable organizations. This was the way of things for over a century until the onset of the initial takeover by the government which began with unemployment insurance which was not any form of insurance as much as it was a tax and spend means for government to reduce the power of people and increase the power of the government. This was followed by Social Security and soon thereafter adoption services were slowly subsumed by the government.

 

This continued with the government granting college scholarships first through grants for veterans through the G I Bill and then loans and Pell Grants. The largest expansion of the government came under Lyndon Baines Johnson and his Great Society which enlarged or created such programs as Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, National Endowments for Arts and Humanities, Public Broadcasting, Cultural Centers, Homeless Shelters and a plethora of other programs all based on a simple principle, the government was going to save people from being preached to just to receive help as the religious institutions were forcing people to suffer. They were saving the world from religion. In time the governments also provided the cities with transportation funds to assist public transportation in an attempt to replace the personal vehicle, environmental assistance and codes, consumer protection because people were incapable of not buying substandard goods, public housing so those on welfare could live without shame in any neighborhood where section eight housing was declared which was anywhere except the most exclusive neighborhoods, labor regulations and it continued into every realm of life even eventually to include the water permitted to be flushed by a toilet.

 

The government did not stop there and they are currently working on the next and near final stage of their plans to completely control all of society, the replacement of the children from parenting by amateurs. That is the theory behind the plan proposed by Hillary Clinton with her claim that “it takes a village to raise a child.” She made an entire book from the idea, It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us in which she gave examples of such as African villages and spent most of the book encouraging new programs and government controls over ever more of people’s lives. Some of the programs and ideas coming out from her writings include Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, Community Policing, the Brady Bill, Amber Alerts, immunizations, State Children’s Health Insurance Program, financial regulation, expanded Child Tax Credits, Minimum Wage increases, and the one making so much of the news of late, Universal health care. Government appears targeting even more of our lives and taking from us every choice as to how we live our lives, what we teach our children, what we are allowed to drive, where we are allowed to drive and how we can raise our children. Some schools have told their students that their parents do not have the power to deny them use of a telephone, forbid them access to a computer, refuse them their rights to watch what they want on television or other means of punishment including spanking, grounding or forcing them to eat foods they dislike and told students as early as first grade that they can report any violations of these rights by their parents to the school and then the school will report their parents to the government and the problem will be taken care of and they will have their rights respected. That is true, the child has inalienable rights which a parent may not infringe and amongst these rights is anything they desire. Of course once the parent has been duly punished for ignoring these rules, the child will just love the foster home and the parenting they will receive there.

 

One can only wonder where this will end and many will tell you it will not end, or at least not end well. There is actually no limit any longer as to how far into your life government can impose. Already the wild stories that the government can turn on the camera attached to your computers, the camera attached to your phone (always keep them camera facing the table), turn on the microphone to your computers or phones, and have microphones and cameras spread all over your town or city and can also monitor any cameras which are electronically monitored despite what you have been told by the security company, every keystroke made on your computer and a log of every web location you have visited, and darn near anything else with soon coming to any electronic device bought new will also be able to report the amounts of electricity used as well as your electric, water, gas or other meters reporting your use and any notable changes such as a guest visiting (additional use especially during times you are not usually home) but all this only if you reside in the United States or are under suspicions by the NSA, CIA, FBI or any other intelligence agency including allies of the United States as the intelligence services of the Western World are capable of collecting every electronic piece of information on virtually every person within the United States, its protectorates, any ten nations the United States chooses with the exceptions of India and China (really way too many people) all with some abilities to spare. The problem is calling up the data on any one person unless specified in advance is a bit tiresome but then there are numerous government employees whose tiresome job it is to extract exactly just such data on demand, lucky them, or on their own whim if they can cover their tracks. The claims by President Trump that his phones were being listened to are true but then so were probably mine and yours and your best friend, worst enemy, and the past five-thousand people you have passed on the street because everybody has had their information gathered because it is far more simple to gather all the information than to choose whose you actually need. With the NSA’s new data center in Nevada outside Reno (pictured below) that is a simple deed and they can store all of it to be retrieved as required at any time. It simply requires the personnel to do so and that they also have.

 

National Security Agency NSA Utah Data Center

National Security Agency NSA Utah Data Center

That is where freedom now stands in the United States and much of the world today and that is the real problem we all face. But do not worry; most of us are of little concern so as long as we behave as expected we are safe. We hope that reading Beyond the Cusp is not a triggering exercise for which your data would be pulled up, but why worry as too many things likely will do the trick anyways.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

 

 

 

March 14, 2017

America and Judaism Share One Great Concept

 

Most nations and religions trace themselves to some great person who was responsible for their greatness and in some form or another deify that individual. For nations the examples are legion. Rome traced to the two children raised by a she wolf, Romulus and Remus, China was unified by a leader who was born of a dragon which brought him to China where he unified the separate kingdoms forging a great power, England has King Arthur and the Camelot myth and so on it goes. Christianity gave us Jesus, Islam gave us Mohammed, Buddhism gave us Buddha, Taoism came from Tao and so forth with each religion traced to a person who is raised above other men and in some way deified or immortalized. What follows will likely not sit us well with many readers but is presented for thought and not as any claim that the two seminal foundings were directly related beyond their emphasis on the sanctity of the human spirit and its enabling by the Creator, by Hashem.

 

But with the United States there was no one individual though George Washington is regarded as the father of the nation nobody would claim that he founded or singularly established the country. His greatest feat was giving up power when he could have continued as President until his death thus establishing the temporary power of the office instead of making it into a form of elected monarchy. The American idea was the world of the Founding Fathers, a group where though many people may choose one they prefer, none is more vital to the forging of the United States than the others. Sure we credit Thomas Jefferson with writing the Declaration of Independence but this only came about because John Adams deferred and chose him because he was a talented writer and an amiable person where, as John Adams is credited with stating in persuading Thomas Jefferson claiming when Jefferson claimed Adams was the stronger writer and better at expressing himself claimed that was why he could not be its author because he was far too disliked and anything he wrote would be torn apart by many of the others. James Madison is credited with crafting the initial wording of the constitution but again it became the work of all the signatories in some means or another. The United States is not traceable to a single person but instead to singular ideals expressed in that Declaration of Independence and a form of governance delineated in that Constitution and those are the two pillars upon which America rests.

 

Judaism is similar in that there were great people but no individual can be credited with establishing the religion. Granted when Hashem altered Avram’s name making it Avraham and Sari became Sarah, this would be the seminal point where the Covenant would be made and circumcision the sign of the contract which was to be undertaken by every male; yet the religion itself is transferred through one’s mother and not the father. To be a Jew one is required to have come from a Jewish mother. But Avraham received the Covenant with Hashem; he did not codify Judaism and did not write the Torah. Torah was transcribed by Moses which was why he is referred to as the lawgiver. But Moses transcribed Torah and led the Israelites from Egypt which is told in Torah in Exodus and retold in Deuteronomy. Moses went to great lengths to refute any deification including assuring that he would have no burial location which would be known so as to refute any worship giving all due credit to Hashem. Joshua was the leader of the Israelites when they conquered the Promised Land. Hashem kind of left out that after leaving Egypt the Israelites were going to have to conquer the Promised Lands but that was the way of forming a nation and claiming your place among nations in those early days of humankind. There also were numerous Judges and Prophets who ruled the Israelites but none were greater than the others in reflection and thus none were ever made to be more than wise and knowledgeable men. King Saul was the first Israelite king and was deficient in many ways but did preserve the nation passing it to King David more by default than any other means as the battle which claimed Saul’s son and heir to the throne also threw Saul into such grief that he took his own life, not the most glorious of endings. From King David the throne passed to King Solomon. King Solomon was regarded as one of the wisest of men but also had great failings chief amongst them were the inadequacy of his children who brought great harm upon the Israelites or Hebrews.

 

Torah the Founding Document of Judaism with Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights Founding Documents of the United States of America

Torah the Founding Document of Judaism
with Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights
Founding Documents of the United States of America

 

What is less known by many is that the Jews were the remnants of the Israelites. The kingdom ruled by Kings Saul, David, Solomon and so forth broke into two kingdoms with the northern Kingdom called Israel and the southern Kingdom named for its larger tribe, Judah, named Judea. Israel consisted of ten tribes and their priests and was conquered by the Assyrians and never actually heard from until modern times. These became known as the ten lost tribe of the Jews but were really the ten lost tribes of Israel. Jews are the remainder of the tribes of Benjamin and Judea and the Priestly classes, tribes, of the Levites and Kohanim. These two tribes basically merged into the entity of Judea and the people were the Judeans, obviously. With time people grew lazy and did not care to actually say Judeans so it eventually shortened to simply Jews. Judea traced back to Judah and Benjamin to Benjamin, two of the sons of Jacob. One need remember that when Judaism relates to Avraham it is almost always referenced as Avraham, Isaak and Jacob as these were the Patriarchs buried in Hevron in the cave bought by Avraham in which to bury Sarah. Still the story of the Jews hinges greatly on Jacob’s twelve sons but one was responsible for the survival of the entire family, Joseph. This was one of the more unusual stories amongst many unusual stories. Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers but because of this act he was in the right place at the right time to become a favored one of Pharaoh and was placed as Chancellor over Egypt second only in power to Pharaoh himself. He managed resources of food saving Egypt from a great famine and saved his family as well. This led to the eventual enslaving of his family which was then brought forth by Hashem through the vessels which were Moses with Aaron. As is said, the rest is history except in this case it is more accurate to say the rest is the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament and then history as that story has had a rebirth which was foretold in the Bible with the formation in a single day of the nation of modern Israel in its ancient homelands, though that is still being contested the eventual forming of Israel will include its ancient lands even if that takes a thousand years.

 

Judaism and the United States owe their formations to many individuals with none more vital than the rest and neither would exist if not for all of these great people all of whom were guided by principles and forces beyond their comprehension. Did these people know they were a part of something far greater than themselves, of course they did. But each group had the guidance of great people when required the most and both claim that Hashem is an integral part of their formation as a nation. Neither deifies any individual and instead when they use the term Creator their reference is to the Creator of all things as told in Genesis and both Judaism and the United States of America claim to owe their creation to that very same Creator and both claim the view that mankind was imbued and “endowed by that Creator with unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These principles are found throughout the laws and preaching in Judaism and were carried forth in Christianity and found their place in the Declaration of Independence where they were once again ensconced in the human mind and established repeatedly but most forcefully in Torah and thus made available for Thomas Jefferson to include in his declaration.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

February 24, 2016

FBI Makes Hating Apple Hard to Do

 

Apple is going to take their case to a higher source and they may need to appeal to an even higher intervention as the court has joined the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) ordering Apple to provide what they refer to as a ‘key’ which the FBI could use to defeat the security encryption system which allows users to encrypt their data keeping it private only available to somebody who knows the security code. The encryption has the added feature that it makes the time before another code can be entered longer and longer as incorrect codes are entered and erases all the information after a number of wrong guesses have been entered. Let me admit right up front that I have avoided Apple products in favor of LG whose phone and pad I use while our proof-reader does love her antique i-phone which does not have the encryption option as the hardware only was installed starting with the newer units, we won’t say which as we ought not anger the proof-reader. Still, we both agree with Apple that they should not be forced to give the FBI a generalized code or any method which could be utilized on any other i-phone but there will be almost as many arguments as there are people and that is something right down our alley, taking a side and then defending it.

 

The first thing we need to take a look at is who the judge is in this case. Sheri Pym was originally a United States District Court for the Central District of California who was then appointed to sit as a United States Magistrate Judge on April 15, 2011. The duties of Magistrate Judges include conducting preliminary proceedings in criminal cases, the trial and disposition of misdemeanor cases, conducting discovery and various other pretrial hearings in civil cases, the trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants, and other matters as may be assigned. Magistrate Judges are appointed for a term of eight years, and can be reappointed to additional terms. This is a Judgeship as part of the United States District Judge which appears to have been a position where the court system itself recommends who they believe is capable and meets a set of criteria to become this particular level of District Court Judge. Judge Pym prior to her appointment served as an Assistant United States Attorney and Chief of the Riverside branch office of the United States Attorney’s Office, doing mostly criminal prosecution work. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she was an associate at Milberg Weiss LLP in San Diego, where she represented plaintiffs in class actions involving consumer fraud, wage and hour violations, securities fraud, and tobacco litigation, and also worked in the firm’s appellate department. From what we have been able to ascertain this position is one where the appointment is more of a promotion than it is an appointment the President would necessarily take the time to review anything more than the recommendation of the office promotion recommendations and sign off and the United States Senate would receive this as likely a group of such appointments and routinely sign off, yes that requires their voting on the appointment, more than they would labor and debate possibly calling Judge Pym to appear in Washington D. C. for hearings as they would an appointment to the Federal Court of appeals. If anybody has additional information preferably with links and sustaining documentations we would very much appreciate such information made in the comments below and we thank our readership for any such assistance they can provide.

 

Now to the case itself and what we could discern as the reasoning. Where it is understandable that the FBI would really love to have access to every last bit of information they can get their hands on in any and every case, especially those where they have a target and need to find a case to present; it is also understandable that they really would like to get into the cell phone with the minimal hassle and time invested of anyone suspected of being attached to a criminal enterprise which in this instance includes terrorist activity. The FBI also has previously run into instances where i-phones have been encrypted and they likely lost vital information and time attempting to get past the Apple encryption system and also after making several attempts to get past the encryption lock had the phone wire and destroy any information the i-phone may have had within including the all-important phone logs including phone numbers which might break other cases or cement their current investigation. In this instance the iPhone 5c was a work phone used by Syed Farook, who along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, murdered fourteen people in San Bernardino, California last December. This is a solid reason for desiring to get past the encryption without erasing the very data the FBI seeks in this case, which considering the terrorists were killed, means seeking deeper contacts and potential ties with terror cells or other links which the FBI may already be investigating. There is not known information contained in the i-phone so this is not the ticking time-bomb situation though our bet is this was part of the FBI argument that they might in the future have just such a situation and going through having Apple gain entry into the i-phone might take longer than they would have.

 

 

This July 27, 2014 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows Tashfeen Malik, and Syed Farook as they passed through O'Hare International Airport in Chicago

This July 27, 2014 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection
shows Tashfeen Malik, and Syed Farook as they passed through
O’Hare International Airport in Chicago

 

 

This leads to a simple question, what was the critical piece of law, writ, judgement, precedent or other critical information on which this case is relying for its reasoning and/or precedent. According to the information we found, the particular was the All Writs Act, a law stretching back over two centuries. All Writs Act of 1789 (United States Code › Title 28 › Part V › Chapter 111 › § 1651) reads:

(a) The Supreme Court and all courts established by Act of Congress may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.
(b) An alternative writ or rule nisi may be issued by a justice or judge of a court which has jurisdiction.

When reading the notes and supplemental information we believe we found the specific application utilized by Judge Sheri Pym to back her decision and granting her the power to require Apple to comply. It reads as follows:

“The Supreme Court and the district courts shall have power to issue writs of scire facias. The Supreme Court, the circuit courts of appeals, and the district courts shall have power to issue all writs not specifically provided for by statute, which may be necessary for the exercise of their respective jurisdictions, and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.”

 

This reads, if we are not mistaken, such that a judge can pretty much make up their own precedent by simply not being capable of finding any ruling or law pertaining to the case before them. Something tells us that this reasoning is not going to stand upon further review and that this case will be appealed by either side until the Supreme Court has decided or refused allowing the decision of the lower court to stand, in this case the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (oft referred to as the Ninth Circus due to loopy decisions overturned subsequently by the Supreme Court, particularly in recent history). The fact that this law stretches back almost to if not actually to antiquity when it comes to United States law and is likely enacted to give cover to judges to use sparingly, and since it was referred to regularly as the “judge invoked a little-know law,” we feel comfortable thinking that this one is on the chopping-block when it reaches the Supreme Court in Washington D. C. which is where numerous old laws either came to die or received a supercharging and left Washington D. C. with a whole new set of super powers. We can only hope this little known law receives the death penalty and is quickly executed. Allowing a judge, any judge, to make things up on the fly is far too dangerous a power. Just because there is no law applicable to a situation should never be the reason empowering a judge to invent powers to a law, or are these super powers, just to make their decision they would like to make applicable in a case. Do not get me wrong, Apple is one company among a list of companies which I would support almost any reasonable, key word here, reasonable, judgment with which to knock them down a peg, but even I cannot fathom allowing this power to be resurrected and allowed to stand in a society as litigious as the United States or we will have United States District Judges all over the nation adding turbochargers and then superchargers to what they see as underpowered laws which need heavier application which they just want so bad they can taste it. We can taste that too; and it is called tyranny, a tyranny, warned about by the Greek philosopher Alontesquieu who cautioned, “There is no tyranny, than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” This should be written on a nicely framed gavel holder which includes and amply sized gavel even for the most insecure or overbearing judge may require or feel the need with this inscription placed under a strong and shatter-proof glass on every judge’s dais so they may read it every time they raise that gavel.

 

 

Greek philosopher Alontesquieu who cautioned; “There is no tyranny, than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

Greek philosopher Alontesquieu who cautioned;
“There is no tyranny, than that which is perpetrated
under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

 

 

What this case will eventually fall under is the letter of the law and not how far out of shape such law can be twisted, folded, bent, widened or supercharged and it will likely be found as falling in antithesis to Amendment IV of the Bill of Rights. Amendment IV reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

So, where do cellphone data fall on this lovely right deemed so important to the safety and protection from government run wild with a hunger for absolute power came for protection? That requires deciphering what information a cellphone may contain and where such items might belong by seeking their earlier non-digital age counterpart. Our cellphones keep our phone numbers, e-mail addresses, potentially actual addresses and other pertinent and deemed quickly recoverable information on each entry we place in the cellphone. The complexity and depth of information may vary, but generally this replaces our personal phonebooks which most definitely are protected as being both papers and effects thus requiring a warrant for any law enforcement officer, even an FBI agent, to acquire before accessing such information. The argument that both Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook are currently deceased (never underestimate the ever increasing power of medical science) and thus do not have the right to such protection and as they obviously had perpetrated a heinous crime of murdering fourteen innocent victims, there should be no great hurry requiring any urgent access. This is even more obvious as the FBI has had possession of their cellphones likely for close to two months, so instant access is not required here. The FBI could take the cellphone(s) in question down the road to Apple and have them access all the data in the cellphone(s) and leave them fully open and with the encryption access decommissioned permitting easy access to all the information within the cellphone(s) available to the investigators as they proceed with their case investigations. The ‘key’ the FBI is requesting could be utilized on any i-phone which is encrypted to gain access nearly instantly and thus be able to take anyone’s i-phone 5 or better running iOS 8 or later version software and gain full and complete access to the information on such a device, i-phone or i-pad. Giving the FBI such a tool would subsequently be demanded by every Federal Agency in order to supplement their investigative arms in accessing i-phones or i-pads including the personal devices of their employees. Once again they would not need to have any pressing need for the information requiring such easy access but they would still desire having such power.

 

Imagine how quickly they could run down that entry on-line which a supervisor found insulting or out of line and desired to know from whose i-phone such a post was sent. The reasoning excuses would be endless. Then State Police, city police, county police, homeowners associations, who knows where such would stop, the leader of a quilting society, who knows. This judgment will have far reaching implementations galore if it is allowed to stand. Apple should even be granted protection from having to divulge this key until the final appeal date has been passed or the Supreme Court has ruled or lower court decision allowed to stand simply to protect this proprietary information from being compromised. I am sure it would irreparably damage i-phone should this ‘key’ become available to hackers as this would quite possibly give them access to records which may include a person’s passcodes for their every account on-line or at the ATM or wherever they kept user name and password information, vital information. So, we have established the fact that this is a phonebook on steroids, but still a phonebook. What else do we keep stored on our phones, especially i-phones or i-pads? Well, there are the photographs, though they are now called images. Well, our yearbooks, photo albums and the like are definitely papers and effects. We keep our schedule and any alarm settings such as your not so friendly wake-up your phone provides every day, in the case of i-phones every day needed or not, with a wake-up alarm of your choosing, mine is a lullaby. These too are amongst your effects. If your home security system is linked to your i-phone or i-pad that counts as giving them access to your house, another little pesky item so very protected by Amendment IV.

 

All the items kept on our phones, tablets and any other mobile electronic devices and the access they provide to items requiring a passcode or possible entry to our homes and vehicles (oops, vehicles are not protected and by a decision ruling that because they are mobile and could be used to conceal items pertinent to the case at hand and as they could be used to take evidence beyond jurisdiction of the law enforcement at hand, they can be broken into even without our permission, but they would not require our phone or tablet to pry open the trunk of our vehicle) safety boxes with electronic locks, safes, refrigerator (some of us have wives assisting with our diets, who me?, no, I’m just cuddly plump) and whatever else requires a passcode or electronic key which our phone or tablet provide. All of these items are things which require an individual warrant to gain entry and so should our electronic devices. There are reasons that would actually go into areas under Amendment V which does not allow for law enforcement to force us to incriminate ourselves. This comes in to play as say the police have a warrant to search your home for a stolen watch, a Rolex just to make it grand theft Rolex (maybe there is a game in there somewhere and maybe a movie series with a future Rolex which is also a time machine) and they have a warrant to search for that item and they find your slightly less than legal cable set up stealing your neighbor’s signal. Technically they cannot arrest you and use that evidence as it was not included in the warrant, though you would be wise to ‘repair’ that little hook-up and fast because there may be another warrant or an angry cable enforcement officer (like they have such things) visiting you and your neighbor real soon. The law is not made to trap the average person for minor transgressions, which falls under peer pressure to keep one within acceptable bounds. We could call that the oral code as versus the written code which is the police’s domain. Anything on your i-phone or i-pad is protected under Amendment IV and thus entries usually requires a warrant which requires probable cause and a whole host of other information and are about as difficult to attain as an ice cream sundae. For a warrant you fill out the form and submit it to a judge whose position is to review and approve or deny the law enforcement a warrant while an ice cream sundae requires one to visit an establishment, order one (fill out the required forms) and wait for it with a requirement that you will pay for the ice cream sundae before leaving or there may be a warrant in your not too distant future.

 

In conclusion, the FBI is requesting a general tool to gain data in a particular investigation where they have another option of having the lock removed on the particular item which they desire to inspect its contents. The item is locked not unsimilar to a safe in ones purse or pocket (pretty neat or at least we thought so). This electronic lock can be bypassed by the company which makes the items in question. The contents of the locked item all come under the qualities and qualifications legally as being persons, papers and effects as defined by Amendment IV giving them Constitutional protection. Where a specific entry is possible and Apple would and has provided such assistance in the past but this has proven for too laborious for the FBI to pick up the phone and make an appointment, often so far in the future as to resemble, ‘How long would it take you to get here or would you prefer our technician to come to your location in case you have any other difficulties, officer sir’ kind of laborious efforts. So, instead of going through almost five easy peasy chocolate smoothie steps, the FBI is asking that the courts demand for Apple to give them the ‘key’ which could then be used on any i-phone or i-pad using iOS 8 or later version software and gain full and complete access to the information on such a device. Sure, and here are the electronic ‘keys’ to the ICBM missile silos, are there any other items we could grant you today officer, Sir? So, the judges in the case, Judge Sheri Pym, researched the books, had her clerks research and find some two-hundred-twenty-seven year old statue and blow a century and a half off the records as it has not been used in a while, finding the All Writs Act on which to base her decision. The All Writs Act says, in synopsis, that if a judge cannot find an actual law but finds instead some Federal Code or Law which has yet to be defined as they wish to twist and otherwise mutilate, spindle, bend and otherwise slice and dice and rearrange the letters to finally produce something which they can use, then go for it, you go judge. Judge Sheri Pym made just such a leap of legalistic gymnastics to order Apple to sacrifice one of their selling points by handing over to the FBI a key which can be used to circumvent the passcode effects of both erasing all information thus protected after a set number of incorrect entries and remove the ever lengthening delay before one can enter their next guess so that the FBI can use a password entry device which inputs passcodes at a blindingly mind-numbing speed thus being capable of, if left at its fastest speed and all other limiting or defeating software or hardware limitations probably defeat any code or password of up to twelve characters in under two minutes. As they are describing their request, all they want is to be able to use this code breaking machine on any i-phone or i-pad using iOS 8 or better as it would be so helpful in this case they are currently working on. Never mind that they could have had Apple open the device for them without any muss or fuss but no, they want the power, the power to defeat everybody’s Apple product on the planet as they are the all and powerful Oz, sorry, only the FBI so we are dealing with the little man behind the curtains already and he wants the power for Oz, where Oz is the great and powerful Federal Government and it had 535 little men and women standing behind the curtains called the Capital Dome on picture taking day. Let us hope that this decision gets flamed at the next level and that hold all the way to the top even if that top is the Supreme Court and may we live to read about that case. Remember, it should end up under Amendment IV with a possible assist from Amendment V and Apple should win. Drat!

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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