About Crucis

I'm a retired telecom engineer, life NRA member, Amateur Radio Operator and Air Force vet. I created this blog at the urging of some folks who think I have an occasional thought. A liberal friend once described me as "being just to the right of Atilla the Hun." I thanked her for that description and told her I'd do my best to maintain her expectations.

SCOTUS Decisions: 2015, Part I


The Supreme Court of the United States

The US Supreme Court releases its decisions for the year during June. There are a number of highly important decisions we all are waiting for, such as restraining the EPA and banning subsidies for Obamacare. We often forget that some other less well-known cases are important, too. SCOTUS released three decisions yesterday. All were favorable from a conservative perspective.

The first of these, Kingsley v. Hendrickson, dealt with the standard an inmate must meet to prevail on a section 1983 action for excessive force while in pretrial detention. For the non-lawyers, 42 U.S.C. section 1983 (paraphrased) allows citizens to bring lawsuits against agents of the government when those agents deprive them of their constitutional rights (including the right to be free of the excessive use of force). The case concerned a man named Kingsley who was awaiting trial in county jail, and who was forcibly removed from his cell with some considerable force (including the use of tasers). Mr. Kingsley brought suit, alleging that his Constitutional rights had been violated. — Red State.

The Court affirmed that a person held in pre-trial confinement was still presumed to be innocent and therefore was entitled to be as free from excessive force as anyone simply walking in public.

A person who is in pretrial custody is still entitled to the same presumption of innocence that you and I are, and is still entitled to the same constitutional protections against excessive use of force. The government often tends to treat people who are in pretrial detention as being presumptively guilty nonetheless, and this decision will hopefully help reinforce the point that it isn’t so. This decision may not seem like anything that matters to you now, but if you ever find yourself awaiting trial on bogus or politically motivated charges (a reality that occurs more often than we would care to admit), it will be a major protection. — Red State.

The second decision, City of Los Angeles v. Patel, was a win for our 4th Amendment rights. The City of Los Angeles passed an ordinance requiring hotels and motels to keep copies of their registry records for 90 days and to hand them over for police inspection at any time without any judicial recourse. Failure to do automatically generated a fine against the hotel/motel owner.

Mr. Patel sought to facially challenge this ordinance on Fourth Amendment grounds – something that was previously difficult if not impossible to do (many ordinances and statutes had been subject to facial challenge under, say, the First Amendment, but not the Fourth).

The Court held that a) facial challenges under the Fourth Amendment were permissible (and not disfavored) and b) that an ordinance that did not permit independent judicial review of a search of this type was facially unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. This decision reaffirmed a basic bulwark of our constitutional protections from police overreach – that when police demand the right to conduct a search and seizure of your property, you are always entitled to a before-the-fact judicial review of their actions, in the absence of special exigent circumstances which it is their burden to prove at court. — Red State.

This decision could also be grounds for suits against some of the more egregious asset forfeiture laws and the abuses caused by them.

The third decision was a direct blow against the Department of Agriculture and the federal government as a whole. The Government may not seize property real OR personal, without due process and compensation.

The third, Horne v. Department of Agriculture, concerns one of the most shocking and longstanding abuses of the free market that the government has ever engaged in – the government’s “marketing orders” program that it uses to artificially set the market for many agricultural products. Under this abominable program, if you wish to sell many agricultural products in the United States (in this case, raisins), the government can (and does) require you to set aside a portion of your crop and just give it to the government for them to sell it, donate it, or destroy it as they see fit. For raisin growers, the government regularly confiscates nearly half the products they grow, for absolutely nothing, just for the right to sell raisins in the United States. Keeping in mind that the Department of Agriculture, with little or no Congressional oversight, determines how much of your crop they get to steal, how they dispose of your crops, and whether you get anything back at all.

The Hornes were raisin growers who refused to participate in this program, reasoning that, at the very least, if the government wanted to take their raisins, this would constitute a “taking” under the Constitution, which under Fifth Amendment precedent would at least require the government to pay them “just compensation” for their personal property. The Federal Government argued that this constitutional provision only applied to real property (i.e., land) and not personal property (e.g., raisins). Thankfully, the SCOTUS ruled for the raisin farmers, reasoning that “the Government has a categorical duty to pay just compensation when it takes your car, just as when it takes your home.” — Red State.

This last decision may well end the long abused USDA practice of “marketing orders.” It is no longer a constitutional method of generating revenue for the federal government without compensation to the owners of the seized property. SCOTUS declared that ‘person’ property is just a protected under the 4th Amendment as is real, i.e., land, property. It may seem to be small victories, but we should celebrate every victory against the statists and a tyrannical government and their dictatorial edicts.

The next release of SCOTUS decisions is expected on Thursday of this week if the Court follows its usual practice.


News to watch! Boehner, watch your back! Uhhh, on second thought, Johnny-boy, just ignore them. You’re safe.  Heh, heh, heh…

Karl Rove: Liberal Mole

I have never been a Karl Rove fan, even when he was on Dubya’s election campaign. He’s always impressed me as being a weasel. My opinion was confirmed, not this week, but this week it was obvious to all who watched or read his latest interview on FOX News; Karl Rove is not, and has never been, a conservative nor a republican. He’s a liberal mole whose purpose is to disrupt any efforts for conservatives to be elected.

Karl Rove claims to a be a great election and political adviser. Truth be told, he’s never won an election for any client. His advice has been consistently leftward and has insured his clients lose their elections. In short, he’s a fraud.

His latest exposé was his statement that the 2nd Amendment was the cause of all the gun violence. He implied, although some reports say he didn’t actually say it, that the 2nd Amendment should be abolished.

Karl Rove: Only Way To Stop The Violence Is To Repeal Second Amendment

But Rove’s statement didn’t go unobserved. The American Thinker had this article this morning.

Karl Rove vs. the 2nd Amendment

By Daniel John Sobieski, June 22, 2015

Guns don’t kill people, the Constitution kills people, at least according to Karl Rove, Republican strategist and architect of George W. Bush’s election and reelection as president. Rove, speaking on Fox News Sunday, and in the wake of the South Carolina church massacre, embraced the liberal mantra that there are too many guns on the street and went a step further and a step too far, saying the way to avoid more such tragedies is to repeal the Second Amendment and its guarantee of our right to keep and bear arms:

Now maybe there’s some magic law that will keep us from having more of these. I mean basically the only way to guarantee that we will dramatically reduce acts of violence involving guns is to basically remove guns from society, and until somebody gets enough “oomph” to repeal the Second Amendment, that’s not going to happen.

Say what?  Rove displays an ignorance of our history and our Constitution and how we won our freedoms thanks to private citizens bearing arms. The Second Amendment, it has been said, was written to protect the other nine in the Bill of Rights, and was an acknowledgement of the threat from tyrants and other domestic enemies such as the criminals and the crazies that would otherwise roam unchallenged among us. As Thomas Jefferson said in a letter to James Madison, dated December 20, 1787:

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.”

In addition to the threat posed by tyrannical governments, Thomas Jefferson was among the first to embrace the concept that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun:

“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

The article continues at the website. It states that all of the mass shootings going back years and perhaps decades, have one thing in common—they all occurred in gun-free-zones—a fact that Rove and leftists ignore. That fact doesn’t support their agenda to disarm America. They know that can’t seize power in the country if each person is armed.

The Great Blue Beast

…is back at the vet’s. After its last visit, it started limping. First on just its rear legs, then it refused to move on all for legs. Finally, after a severe beating, it ran like it was supposed to, on all fours. It still complains, however, so back to the vet it went.

See you all next week.

When the GOP tries to…

…out liberal the democrats, can any good come from it?

Many insiders believe SCOTUS is going to declare Obamacare subsidies to be unconstitutional. ‘Pubbies everywhere should celebrate! Let Obamacare implode and when the screams get the loudest push through a total repeal and allow insurance companies to provide healthcare insurance like they did before Obamacare. Those companies who dropped out of the healthcare market will return when there’s money to be made once again. The greatest healthcare system in the world, available to everyone regardless of their ability to pay, will return, albeit over a couple of years.

What is the GOP establishment doing? They are planning to pass legislation to reinstate subsidies!

House Republicans craft Obamacare subsidies alternative ahead of Supreme Court ruling

– The Washington Times – Wednesday, June 17, 2015

“I think it’s a good plan. It’s a good start,” Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., Louisiana Republican, said after huddling with the GOP caucus behind closed doors. (Associated Press)

House Republicans settled on the outlines of a plan Wednesday to wean the country off of Obamacare’s subsidies in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling this month that could throw the massive health program into chaos.

Described as a “work in progress,” the plan would continue to pay full subsidies under the Affordable Care Act to all beneficiaries regardless of where they live, but starting next year states could begin to opt out of Obamacare, taking the money as a block grant to help their residents obtain insurance however local officials see fit. (Read the entire column here.)

Conservative groups, like the Heritage Foundation, are agast!

Don’t Fix Obamacare

Many Republicans are watching ongoing developments in the King v. Burwell Obamacare case with trepidation. In the abstract, most recognize the opportunity such a case represents to roll back Obamacare and force a debate about real, pro-market insurance reform.

But as the decision looms, many now have second thoughts, convinced that the country will blame them for disruption in the ruling’s wake and that eventually, the only politically tolerable option will be to cave and restore the Obamacare subsidies eliminated by the Supreme Court.

That assumption is wrong, and Republicans will do more harm than good for their cause if they act on it.

According to a new poll conducted by the American Perceptions Initiative at The Heritage Foundation, the fear that Republicans, not Democrats, will take the blame for any disruption caused by the ruling appears to be unfounded. Only 36 percent of Americans will blame congressional Republicans, with 58 percent of the blame split between President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Also wrong is the presumption that most Americans will look past their general opposition to Obamacare and push for Congress to extend the subsidies to prevent disruption. A staggering supermajority—69 percent—told pollsters they agreed that “Passing new legislation to continue the Obamacare subsidies doesn’t fix the problem – it just prolongs it.”

Moreover, restoring the subsidies appears likely to shift more rather than less blame to Republicans for the situation. According to Heritage’s survey, 67 percent of Americans agree that if Republicans extend the law’s subsidies for the short term, “they will bear the blame when the time comes to take those subsidies away.” (more here.)

By reinstating the subsidies, the GOP will then own every piece of Obamacare. It was the GOP who kept it in force. It was the GOP who provided funding for Obamacare in last year’s Cromnibus bill instead of allowing Obamacare to starve for funds. Now if they provide funding for subsidies, Obamacare will not be a democrat albatross, it will a republican one—exactly what the GOP establishment claims to fear!

Last week the House voted to kill, with a number of democrats, the TPA portion of Obama’s trade bill. Obama’s bill was split into two parts, TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) the fast-track trade authority, and the TPP (TransPacific Pact).

The TPP was filled with kickbacks, union payoffs and a multitude of items unrelated to trade. TPA, on the other hand, gave Obama a rubber stamp to do whatever he wanted to do. Congress would NOT be able to make any amendments to future trade bills, just an Up/Down vote. With the well-demonstrated lack of backbone among the GOP leadership in both Houses of Congress, any trade bill brought before them would likely be approved.

When you see the GOP supporting Obama against the democrats, you know something is very, very wrong in the GOP DC establishment. Now, McConnell and Boehner are about to try again.

GOP leaders vow to resurrect Obama trade deal

– The Washington Times – Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Republican leaders will try to resurrect the trade deal Democrats sank less than a week ago, planning a revote Thursday and insisting they will corral enough votes to approve fast-track negotiating powers that President Obama needs to complete a legacy-building Pacific Rim agreement.

Mr. Obama met Wednesday afternoon with Democratic lawmakers who support free trade to make sure they will vote for the plan, and House Republican leaders began the process of forcing a revote on powers known as Trade Promotion Authority, which is favored in their party, and Trade Adjustment Assistance, which is generally a Democratic priority.

Democrats last week voted against Trade Adjustment Assistance as a way of poisoning the package, so Republican leaders have decided to split the bill and pass Trade Promotion Authority first, then leave it to Mr. Obama to rally enough Democrats to pass Trade Adjustment Assistance.

“We are committed to ensuring both TPA and TAA get votes in the House and Senate and are sent to the president for signature,” said a joint statement by House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, rejecting claims that the issue was dead.

The republican party appears to have made an alliance with democrats and the GOP establishment is acting in concert with democrats to fulfill democrat agendas and policies. That begs the question, “Are there two political parties in Washington or only one?” More and more it appears to be just one.

Being a Republican (note the capital R) is more than just winning elections, it is a political philosophy. It does no one any good to win elections if the result is the same as if democrats had won.

I used to think a 3rd party would allow democrats to control Congress for at least two election cycles before being effective and in that time, democrats could gut our liberties and the Constitution blocking any 3rd party from power. Watching the actions of McConnell, Ryan, Boehner, et. al., I’m beginning to believe that has already happened.



Donald Trump, GOP candidate for President

Donald Trump, “The Donald,” declared his candidacy for President of the United States yesterday. To the dismay of many pundits and the GOP establishment. His announcement struck a cord across the county. Trump was blunt, arrogant, condescending, unhesitant in his criticism of Obama and democrats in general. He, in contrast to the GOP establishment whose darling is Jeb Bush, declared he would build a fence across our southern border and send the bill to Mexico.

The public ate it up.

The RNC is appalled. How could this bumpkin, this showman, this reality TV star, dare run against the anointed of the GOP establkishment? Easily. The leaders both parties refuse to understand a simple fact. The establishment of both parties, is equally hated across the country. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, along with their ‘leadership’ teams are seen as being no different from Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and their ‘leadership’ teams.

Trump, like all the other ‘Pub candidates, appeared on Hannity’s radio show yesterday afternoon. Well, all except for Jeb who wanted his announcement to ‘seep’ twenty-four hours before he would deign appear with Hannity.

Trump was very careful of the timing of his announcement. He ended his speech just before Noon, Eastern time—just in time for the start of the Rush Limbaugh show and guess what? Trump was the leading topic. Free advertisement for Trump!

Trump may be arrogant, a showman, and a buffoon. He is no conservative with his donations to many democrat pols and his support for abortion. Given all that, he’s not stupid. He knows what topics are of interest in the country and he plucks those  interests, those sentiments, those harp strings with expertise.

Do I think Trump can win in the primaries? No.

Do I think he could win the GOP nomination? No.

I do believe, however, and it’s evident if you just watch the news reports, even those from FOX, that he’s sucked the wind from all the other GOP candidates. Trump, like Ross Perot and Ron Paul before him, is a spoiler. He’s not driven by a need to serve. He like Perot and Paul, is driven by a need to feed his ego. The media, and FOX as well, has presented Trump and his ego with an exceptional banquet.

This morning, Erick Erickson, of Red State, made this observation.

“Donald Trump is the disrespectful candidate for people who disrespect the process. He’ll be rude. He’ll be loud. He’ll be confrontational. And he won’t get the nomination. But along the way, he will speak to the fears and hopes of a lot of people who no longer connect with Washington or trust the government to get it right.” — Erick Erickson.


Open warfare has erupted between John Boehner and conservatives in the House. Included in Boehner’s ‘enemy list’ now are three Representatives from his own leadership team.

After Democrats helped imperil President Obama’s trade agenda, conservatives are insisting they can help rescue the trade effort—if House Republican leadership will let them.

Conservative lawmakers today railed against House Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team for working closely with Democrats on a failed strategy to usher Trade Promotion Authority through Congress.

“What’s most interesting to me is this is the second or third time they’ve [House leadership] negotiated with Democrats and the Democrats go back on their word and they still don’t come to the conservatives to talk,” said Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, speaking at a monthly House conservative lunch before reporters on Capitol Hill.

“Either they [House leadership] are not listening or they are completely unaware about what’s happening in their surroundings and they are only talking to special interest groups that go to fundraisers with them,” Labrador continued. — The Daily Signal

The rebellion is growing. Boehner had three members of his ‘leadership’ team removed from their positions after they voted, against Boehner instructions, “No,” on TPP this week. Representatives Cynthia Lummis (WY), Steve Pearce (NM) and Trent Franks (AZ) joined other conservatives to defeat Obama’s Transpacific Partnership (TPP) bill.

34 Republicans voted against the rule setting up floor debate for the trade package known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership last week and now three will have to pay a price.

Reps. Cynthia Lummis (WY), Steve Pearce (NM) and Trent Franks (AZ) were booted from their party leadership positions for breaking with the Grand Ole’ Party and voting against a part of the package the that gives the President the ability to negotiate trade deals known as fast track according to the National Journal. It was left to Rep. Steve Scalise (LA), House Majority Whip, to make the demotions.

…the move appears to come at the direction of House Speaker John Boehner who reportedly told rebellious GOP House members that he was fed up with their “nonsense,” a remark that evidently “sparked applause” in the room full of Republican lawmakers.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Boehner made clear that he was disappointed by Republican members who did not vote with the party on the controversial trade legislation authority, “you know, we’re a team. And we’ve worked hard to get the majority; we’ve worked hard to stay in the majority,” said Boehner. He continued, “and I expect our team to act like a team, and frankly, I made it pretty clear I wasn’t very happy.” — Salon.

All treaties must be presented to Congress for approval. Congress has a responsibility to provide the President with ‘advice and consent.’ In the case of TPP, Congress provided a lot of advice, mostly negative, and no consent.

Like Obama in the Senate, Boehner has been ‘trumped’ by members of his own party.

No post today

Alas, I’ve errands to run this morning. I’m taking the Great Blue Beast to the vet.


What is relabeling? It means to change your outward appearance to more accurately reflect your organizations goals and purpose. That has lead to today’s leading story. The question you must ask yourselves, “Is this true? Or, is it about to be true?”

Headline from somewhere on the Internet…

Democrat Party to Relabel Itself

June 31st, 2015

Old DNC Symbol

The DNC announced today that is was discontinuing the use of its century old icon, the Donkey, as its political symbol. After a complaint from PETA claiming the symbol was unfair to depict the party as a “beast of burden,” and after the party agreed that the symbol was inappropriate since many of its members haven’t held jobs nor worked for generations, the DNC announced it was adopting a new symbol more in line with its half century history and political goals.




Alternate DNC LOGO for official vehicles

The DNC said the new symbol was adopted from the organization that has been closely aligned with the DNC since the 1960s, supporting the party and financing some leading democrat leaders. The DNC said it was finally time to openly display their aims and goals with their new symbol. The DNC included an alternate symbol in their announcement suitable for banners and bumper stickers, especially for official party vehicles.

Party leaders, activists across the the country and academia applauded the announcement.

Yes, I’m feeling snarky this morning.


Is the US and NATO acting to blunt Putin’s aggression? He thinks so. NATO troops and armored forces entered Poland for a well publicized military exercise. It is to be a show of force against Putin’s aggression in Crimea and the Ukraine.

Putin is not amused and threatened retaliation. The Cold War has returned at a time when Obama is desperate to have a legacy, any legacy, now that his major accomplishment, Obamacare, may be crippled if the Supreme Court blocks federal subsidies for Obamacare recipients. One pundit said, “You can end communism in Russia, but you can’t remove the KGB from the Russian.” The Russian in this case is Putin. He has reverted to his previous KGB mentality.

The NATO exercise is not impressing the world’s military organizations. NATO has relied too long on the US for their security. NATO and the EU has sacrificed their militaries to feed their socialist states. Now, when the Cold War has resumed and with the US military resources still tied to the Mideast, NATO is barely able to field any forces to repel Putin if he invades the rest of the Ukraine…and perhaps the former EastBloc countries.

Even if the US was not sill involved in the Mideast, the US has reduced it’s military to a century-old level. The US Navy has fewer ships than it did prior to World War I. Much of the US war stocks, built up in Europe during the earlier cold war, has been expended during Gulf Wars I and II. With the military reductions imposed by Obama and the democrats, those war stocks have not been replenished. In some cases during military actions in Iraq and elsewhere, the US Navy ran out of cruise and land attack missiles.

Those miliary stocks have been slowly replaced. If at all. Some of the tooling needed to build more missiles was destroyed by DoD orders when the contracts expired. Now, when more missiles are needed, those tools are gone and it will be expensive to remake them.

But Putin isn’t the only aggressor on the horizon, The PRC, Communist China to everyone but the socialists around the world, is building a military base in the territory claimed by several other nations.

China builds new island military bases in South China Sea

Posted: May 20, 2015 8:06 PM CDT Updated: May 27, 2015 8:06 PM CDT
The new islands have been called unsinkable aircraft carriers. (Source: CNN)

The new islands have been called unsinkable aircraft carriers. (Source: CNN)

The new islands have been called unsinkable aircraft carriers. (Source: CNN)

SOUTH CHINA SEA (CNN) – It’s a tense confrontation between China’s military and an American spy plane monitoring disturbing developments in disputed waters hundreds of miles off the Chinese coast.

China’s activity in the South China Sea has peaked the interest of the U.S. military.

“Foreign military aircraft. This is the Chinese Navy. You are approaching our military alert zone.”

High above the South China Sea, the radio crackles with a stern warning.

“You go!”

The source of dispute appears on the horizon, seemingly out of nowhere.

Islands, manmade by China, located hundreds of miles from its coastline.

CNN got exclusive access to classified U.S. surveillance flights over the islands.

The first time journalists have been allowed on the operational mission by the state of the art P-8 Poseidon, America’s most advance surveillance and sub-hunting aircraft.

Three islands are the target of the mission. It’s the three islands that have been the focus of China’s building in the South China Sea over recent years.

China’s alarming creation of entirely new territory in the South China Sea is one part of a broader military push that some fear is to push U.S. dominance in the region.

Sailing its first aircraft carrier, equipping its nuclear missions with multiple warheads, developing missiles to destroy aircraft carriers, and now building military bases far from its shores.

For the U.S., the islands are a step too far. And the flight is a part of a new and old American military response that may soon include sailing U.S. warships close by as well.

In just two years, China has expanded the islands by 2,000 acres. The equivalent of 1,500 football fields and counting, an engineering marvel in waters as deep as 300 feet.

An American commander talks about what he sees.

“It appears to be a buildup of military infrastructure and not to mention we were just challenged probably 30 minutes ago and the challenge came from the Chinese Navy. And I’m highly confident that it came from a shore on this facility,” said Capt. Mike Parker, commander in the U.S. Navy.

What used to be the fiery cross reef now has early warning radar and an airport tower and a runway long enough to handle every aircraft in the Chinese military.

Some are calling it China’s unsinkable aircraft carrier.

The videos of the island taken from the P-8 advanced surveillance cameras never before declassified.

In a sign of just how valuable that China views them, the new islands are already well protected.

“There’s obviously a lot of surface traffic down there… uhh… Chinese warships and Chinese coast guard ships,” said Lt. Commander Matt Newman, mission commander in the U.S. Navy.

And there is proof. The Chinese navy ordering the P-8 out of the airspace not one, not twice, but eight times on the mission.

“This is the Chinese Navy. This is the Chinese Navy. Please go away quickly.”

And like the surveillance video, the audio of these warnings never before shared with the public.

What is interesting is there are also civilian aircrafts, there was a Delta flight on that same frequency. And when it heard that challenge it piped into the frequency to say what’s going on?

The Chinese Navy then reassuring them but as the flight crew says that can be a very nerve wracking experience for civilian aircraft in the area.

And the more China builds the more frequently and aggressively it warns away U.S. aircraft.

The crucial issue facing American voters in the coming national election is who to choose to lead us in the coming troubled times? Some of the candidates are isolationists, although they refuse to acknowledge the label. If a military confrontation occurs in the Ukraine or in the South China Sea, will our next President refuse to act, claiming it is not our business, or will he defend our allies and national security?

As much as some libertarians deny the fact, we cannot sit isolated from the world. We are dependent on allies and, if we are to have allies, they must be able to depend on us. The US and India has entered into talks discussing areas of mutual interest…the South China Sea, being one. India has a common border with China and has had military border disputes with China before.

When we choose a new President, we must chose one who is unafraid to remain involved in the world because the world will not be afraid to be involved in us.