Category Archives: Law

Brazen Shoplifting and Traumatized Staff Impacting Company Profits

So Dems don’t want to prosecute shoplifting.. Hmm. mrossol

The Epoch Times, 11/24/2021

November 24, 2021 Updated: November 24, 2021
biggersmaller

Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said Tuesday that theft is a growing problem in the company’s stores, and the aggressive behavior displayed by shoplifters is “traumatizing” staff members, which has led to retention issues in the otherwise tight labor market.

Barry told Wall Street analysts on a conference call to discuss earnings that criminals often carry in weapons like guns or crowbars and threaten employees and customers. Consumer electronics have reported an increase in organized crime, according to the CEO.

The company has begun locking up products and hiring more security when possible. The safety of individuals will be prioritized over products, said the CEO. Locking up creates a delay in the customer experience as an employee is required to open up an enclosure each time for the customer.

“This is traumatizing for our associates and is unacceptable,” Barry said on the call. “We are doing everything we can to try to create [an] as-safe-as-possible environment.”

A common tactic is a loosely-formed gang of criminals who burst into the store and make off with an entire shelf’s worth of high-value goods, which they then resell. Barry said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the crime surge has begun to hit the company’s bottom line and its ability to retain staff.

 

Best Buy has reported fourth-quarterly earnings below expectations although shares have gained nearly 40 percent this year despite the supply chain crisis and resulting shortages.

It’s not just Best Buy that has been affected. Other retailers like CVS Health, Neiman Marcus, Kroger, and Walgreens are also facing similar issues, with Walgreens recently closing down five stores in San Francisco because of aggressive shoplifting.

Barry mentioned that San Francisco and other parts of California were “hot spots” for criminal activity but there were problematic areas in other parts of the country as well.

Organized Shoplifting

The Best Buy CEO’s comments come days after a dramatic criminal attack on a Nordstrom store in Walnut Creek, California. On Saturday, a gang of 80 thugs pulled up to the store, blockaded the entry, and ransacked the luxury store. Employees were assaulted in the raid, which was over within a minute.

Then there was another incident with a Nordstrom store in The Grove retail and entertainment complex in Los Angeles where a group of thieves smashed windows, triggering a police pursuit. Three people have been taken into custody.

The thefts are reportedly part of organized crime networks that recruit mostly young men for $500 to $1,000 to steal high-value store merchandise. The goods are then shipped to other parts of the country or resold online. The number of crimes has seen an increase during the holiday season, according to law enforcement officials.

“Crew bosses organize them, they’ll give him the crowbars, and in some cases even rent them cars, or provide them with escape routes or a list of products to actually go out and steal. It looks very chaotic but it’s actually very well organized,” Ben Dugan, president of the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail, said to ABC News.

Retail security guards are not equipped to handle such aggressive criminal behavior. They’re not trained to subdue suspects or pursue them, but instead, to simply “observe and report,” according to mall security expert David Levenberg.

“The value of the merchandise is not worth somebody being injured or killed,” he told ABC News.

Levenberg added that cities with progressive prosecutors like Los Angeles and San Francisco are the hardest hit. “The consequences are minimal and the profits are substantial,” said Levenberg.

Many do not consider the recent spate of thefts in places like San Francisco as “shoplifting” because the term denotes an effort to conceal the crime.

One of the reasons behind this increase in criminal behavior is that, according to California state law, stealing merchandise worth $950 or less is just a misdemeanor, which means police won’t bother to go after the criminals. In cases when they do, and capture the perpetrator, prosecutors will let it go.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a new law in which he made shoplifting, even below $950, a crime but only when an organized syndicate is behind it and they plan to resell the stolen goods.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/

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Kyle Rittenhouse and the Left’s Terrifying Assault on Due Process

Well written article which captures much of what I have been saying and fearing for America. If freedom-loving citizens do not become more engaged to protect our Constitution and rights, we will deserve what we get. mrossol

WSJ, By Gerard Baker, 

The unhinged reaction from the left to Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal last week is easily dismissed as a glimpse into the rancid minds and rabid hearts of the ideological brigands of modern progressivism.
 

But it may offer clarity about the real threat posed by the Democratic Party and its fellow travelers to the values and institutions that have made America the most successful democratic republic in history.

 
 

With varying degrees of apoplexy, from President Biden on down, the party’s leaders and its allies emphasized their dismay with or rage at the decision by 12 of Mr. Rittenhouse’s peers, after due deliberation, unanimously to find him not guilty of first-degree murder and lesser charges in the killings of two men and wounding of a third during the August 2020 riots in Kenosha, Wis.

Mr. Biden, proving himself once again the consummate moral weakling, first declared his respect for the jury’s verdict, then pronounced himself—no doubt after consultation with his handlers—“angry and concerned.”

While the follow-up statement paid lip service to the idea that a jury’s decision should be respected, the more striking message was that remarkable emotional response to its unanimous decision.

The president’s politically motivated disregard for the rights of accused defendants is well documented by now. He had already included the young man among a video montage of “white supremacists” during his memorably “healing” campaign for the presidency. He also told the nation he was “praying for the right verdict” as the jury deliberated in April before convicting Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Running commentary on the guilt of criminal defendants is despicable when offered by barroom braggarts, but when it comes from the most powerful man on the planet it amounts to reckless endangerment of the rights of his fellow citizens.

But that’s the point.

In the minds of the ranting radicals of the Squad or MSNBC, dimly repeated by the president, these so-called rights—presumption of innocence, due process, trial by jury, proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, etc., are not the bedrock legal protections against overweening authority the Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence has deemed them to be. In the minds of the regnant left when they find the defendant unsympathetic, they are inconveniences, fetishized excrescences of judicial process that obstruct and subvert the larger and more important objective of social justice. In this increasingly popular account on the left, they are the armor with which the capitalist white supremacists protect their hegemony. As such they can be dismissed.

And so people like House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic congressman, his own intellectual vacuity helpfully filled in by Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, can demand that Mr. Rittenhouse face further prosecution under spurious civil-rights precepts designed to undo the principle of double jeopardy.

So too do the president and his party demonstrate disdain for other niceties of the law: extending the Covid eviction moratorium Mr. Biden knew was unconstitutional, imposing a blanket vaccine mandate on employers in the face of widespread advice that it wouldn’t pass legal muster.

It’s hard to resist the conclusion that the intention behind the denunciation by some of the left of the Rittenhouse verdict reflected an even darker instinct. Though the president himself called for restraint, some of the loud condemnations sounded like incitement of more of the kind of behavior that characterized the Kenosha riots in the first place. Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri tweeted: “The judge. The jury. The defendant. It’s white supremacy in action”—just as California’s Maxine Waters had promised unrest if the Chauvin verdict went the wrong way.

This is what the pernicious doctrines of the modern progressive identity left look like in practice. The “critical theory” they subscribe to says real justice cannot be delivered by a court, presided over by a judge whose outcome is determined by a dispassionate jury, since the entire structure is itself the product of racism, oppression and discrimination.

What they want is revolutionary justice. The legal system’s verdict will be supplanted by the people’s judgment so that someone like Mr. Rittenhouse will pay for his crime of defending himself and the property of others against the people’s paramilitary.

These same people professed outrage when a Republican-supporting mob attempted to subvert a constitutional process. Genuine democrats condemn both sorts of lawlessness.

Juries sometimes reach the wrong verdict. But no one who watched critical phases of the Kenosha trial can honestly assert that the evidence proved the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Far from representing some malign flaw in the legal process, it showed the system working at its best.

If the left’s reaction to this case doesn’t scare you, I am afraid you don’t understand what it represents, or how rapidly and how far the poison of this subversive and illiberal dogma has already spread through a political movement and ideology we once called liberal.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/kyle-rittenhouse-and-the-lefts-terrifying-assault-on-due-process-trial-verdict-not-guilty-11637597046?mod=opinion_lead_pos8

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Understanding Jacobson v. Massachusetts – Health Freedom Defense Fund

Understanding Jacobson v. Massachusetts

Extremely well written and well documented with references. Thank you!! HFDF. mrossol

November 14, 2021 / Freedom, Legal Interpretation

By HFDF General Counsel George Wentz, Davillier Law Group and Leslie Manookian, President of HFDF

The seminal case on mandatory vaccinations is Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905). In Jacobson, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Reverend Jacobson of Cambridge under a Massachusetts statute requiring “inhabitants of a city or town to be vaccinated only when, in the opinion of the Board of Health, that was necessary for the public health or the public safety”. 197 U.S. at 27.[i] The Court stated that:

According to settled principles, the police power of a State must be held to embrace, at least, such reasonable regulations established directly by legislative enactment as will protect the public health and the public safety. It is equally true that the State may invest local bodies called into existence for purposes of local administration with authority in some appropriate way to safeguard the public health and the public safety. The mode or manner in which those results are to be accomplished is within the discretion of the State, subject, of course, so far as Federal power is concerned, only to the condition that no rule prescribed by a State, nor any regulation adopted by a local governmental agency acting under the sanction of state legislation, shall contravene the Constitution of the United States or infringe any right granted or secured by that instrument. A local enactment or regulation, even if based on the acknowledged police powers of a State, must always yield in case of conflict with the exercise by the General Government of any power it possesses under the Constitution, or with any right which that instrument gives or secures. 197 U.S. at 25 (citations omitted).

Reverend Jacobson argued that “his liberty is invaded when the State subjects him to fine or imprisonment for neglecting or refusing to submit to vaccination; that a compulsory vaccination law is unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive, and, therefore, hostile to the inherent right of every freeman to care for his own body and health in such way as to him seems best, and that the execution of such a law against one who objects to vaccination, no matter for what reason, is nothing short of an assault upon his person.” The Court rejected this argument based upon inherent individual liberty, stating that:

[T]he liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good. On any other basis, organized society could not exist with safety to its members. Society based on the rule that each one is a law unto himself would soon be confronted with disorder and anarchy. Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.

Jacobson thus framed the question on the basis of two fundamental and thorny issues in U.S. Constitutional law: Federalism (where do we draw the line between the power of a state and the power of the federal government) and the Social Compact (where do we draw the line between the rights of the individual and the rights of the community). The Court ruled that the Massachusetts statute was not contrary to any federal authority, and that Jacobson’s rights had to yield to the rights of the community. But it did so on the facts of the case before it.

  • The Court noted that the legislature had allowed local boards of health to determine whether a vaccine was required. The edict was not state-wide, but was instituted at the local level based on facts as determined by members of the board of health living in the local community.
  • The case involved the extremely deadly disease of smallpox, a disease with a fatality rate of 30-40%. The Court reasoned that “in every well-ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.” 197 U.S. at 30 (emphasis added).
  • Despite the acknowledged threat of smallpox, however, the Court specifically reserved the right to intervene on the side of individual rights in a future case if the facts warranted it.   

Smallpox being prevalent and increasing at Cambridge, the court would usurp the functions of another branch of government if it adjudged, as a matter of law, that the mode adopted under the sanction of the State, to protect the people at large was arbitrary and not justified by the necessities of the case. We say necessities of the case because it might be that an acknowledged power of a local community to protect itself against an epidemic threatening the safety of all, might be exercised in particular circumstances and in reference to particular persons in such an arbitrary, unreasonable manner, or might go so far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public, as to authorize or compel the courts to interfere for the protection of such persons. 197 U.S. at 28 (emphasis added).

  • The Court went on to acknowledge that “[t]here is, of course, a sphere within which the individual may assert the supremacy of his own will and rightfully dispute the authority of any human government, especially of any free government existing under a written constitution, to interfere with the exercise of that will.” 197 U.S. at 29.

The Court was careful in its language. Therefore, it is important to understand what Jacobson does not stand for.

First, contrary to recent public statements by Professor Alan Dershowitz, the case does not stand for the proposition that “the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm.” To the contrary, what the case demonstrates is that a person refusing to accept a vaccine may be convicted and pay a penalty. Jacobson was never vaccinated, which was why he was convicted.

Second, the case does not stand for the proposition that any statewide edict mandating vaccinations is valid. It instead stands for the proposition that a conviction for violating a locally promulgated ordinance mandating vaccinations under “pressure of great dangers” and under “reasonable regulations” may be upheld. Absent the pressure of great dangers or where regulations may be unreasonable, the Court specifically reserved the right to step in and strike down the law. Thus, the Court balanced the interests of the state in reasonably protecting its citizens from great danger against the individual liberty interest asserted by Jacobson, and under the circumstances presented, sided with the perceived interests of the common good against the liberty interest of the individual.

Third, Jacobson has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the federal government has the power to mandate a national forced vaccination program. Indeed, the case upheld an ordinance issued on the most local of levels, that of a local Board of Health. The validity of a national forced vaccination program is another question altogether, and would be a case of first impression by the Court.

What Jacobson said,[ii] based on the scientific, moral, and ethical understanding of vaccinations and forced medicine extant in 1905, is that the police powers of state governments include the power to delegate to municipal governments the right to mandate vaccinations where, under a balancing test, the pressure of great dangers overrides individual liberty interests, and the regulation is reasonable.

Jacobson preceded the Court’s adoption of a substantive due process analysis under the 14th Amendment. Those cases have added judicial gloss to the Jacobson opinion that is relevant to challenging a mandatory vaccination for COVID-19 but which we will not address herein.

It goes without saying that much has changed since Jacobson in 1905. There was poor, if any, understanding of the harm caused by vaccinations as this decades before the National Childhood Injury Act of 1986[iii] was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, recognizing that vaccines injure and kill some recipients and thereby adding much needed color to any discussion of mandated vaccinations.

Jacobson also predated the horrors of medical experimentation conducted under the Nazis of which the world only became aware after WWII during the Nuremberg Trials which led to the adoption of the Nuremberg Code. Among other requirements, the Nuremberg Code[iv] demands,

“The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.”

International Treaties agreed since Nuremberg have only reinforced the ethical principle which underlies the practice of ethical medicine, namely voluntary informed consent. The Declaration of Helsinki by the World Medical Association in 1964 provides that human subjects “must be volunteers and informed participants in the research project.” In 2005, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights[v] further raising the bar for the practice of ethical medicine by stating that, “Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information.”

While Jacobson is very clear that state action in relation to medical mandates must surpass a very high bar, the intervening century plus since Jacobson has changed not only the ethical landscape pertaining to the practice of medicine but also our scientific understanding of the risk and harms posed by vaccines. It is clear that Jacobson is due for an update based on the progress made by humanity since 1905.


[i] The statute at issue read: “Boards of health, if in their opinion it is necessary for public health or safety, shall require and enforce the vaccination and revaccination of all the inhabitants of their towns, and shall provide them with the means of free vaccination. Whoever refuses or neglects to comply with such requirement shall forfeit five dollars.”

[ii] In Zucht v. King, 260 U.S. 174, 176 (1922) (holding that vaccination laws do not discriminate against schoolchildren to the exclusion of others similarly situated, i.e., children not enrolled in school) the Court stated:

Long before this suit was instituted, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11, had settled that it is within the police power of a State to provide for compulsory vaccination. That case and others had also settled that a State may, consistently with the Federal Constitution, delegate to a municipality authority to determine under what conditions health regulations shall become operative.

Zucht v. King, 260 U.S. 174, 176. See also, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944) (holding that the right to practice religion does not include the liberty to jeopardize the wellbeing of minors by violating child labor laws). Most recently, in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, 590 U.S. ___ (2020) the Court relied upon Jacobson to deny an application for injunctive relief with regard to COVID-19 restrictions on in person worship services, stating:

Our Constitution principally entrusts “[t]he safety and the health of the people” to the politically accountable officials of the States “to guard and protect.” Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U. S. 11, 38 (1905). When those officials “undertake[ ] to act in areas fraught with medical and scientific uncertainties,” their latitude “must be especially broad.” Marshall v. United States, 414 U. S. 417, 427 (1974). Where those broad limits are not exceeded, they should not be subject to second-guessing by an “unelected federal judiciary,” which lacks the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people. See Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority, 469 U. S. 528, 545 (1985).  

[iii] https://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/1986-Vaccine-Injury-Law.aspx

[iv] http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/nuremberg/

[v] http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=31058&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

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New Hampshire Governor Sununu Brings Close to 80 State Troopers to Public Meeting with 150 Constituents – 9 Citizens Selectively Arrested (VIDEO)

Watch the video. Unbelievable what a State can do to citizens who appear to be silently present and may hold signs. mrossol

I do not write the following lightly. Especially in today’s political climate. But when faced with the burden of disturbingly apparent flagrant and excessive abuses of power at the highest levels of state government, we all have a moral obligation to question government officials.

October 13, 2021 marks a sad day in the history of NH. Nine Americans were arrested for no apparent reason at a public Executive Council (EC) meeting that was run by the Governor. I was there. I was deeply disturbed, and I reported on it here and here.

As people all around me were being removed and arrested by State Troopers for no apparent reason, I thought to myself, “this is what it must have been like in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s when they began to take people away.” It is why I have not, and will not, remain silent because history warns,

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke 

That is why the Governor must justify why nine Americans were arrested at his EC meeting. He also needs to explain why he ordered an army of State Troopers to be present, and why he is turning NH into a Police State?

There was an excessive number of 32 State Troopers that were visible during the EC meeting.  It was a disturbing and unnecessary show of force that borders on paranoia, and something that would be expected in Nazi Germany or Communist China – but NOT NH.

Listen to this eye witness, who was the first to be arrested without cause. He describes an additional FORTY TO FIFTY State Troopers who were hidden behind the back curtain just a few feet away. His statement amplifies concerns about the governor.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/11/new-hampshire-governor-sununu-brings-close-80-state-troopers-public-meeting-150-constituents-9-citizens-selectively-arrested-video/?ff_source=JangoMail&ff_medium=Email&ff_campaign=These injustices must end (345133105)

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