29 Mar 2015

French Street Art That Will Make You Look Twice (27 pics)

27 year old French artist, Charles Leval aka Levalet, uses the streets of Paris as the backdrop for his creations and these graffiti creations are really awesome.



























28 Mar 2015

FCC Chair: Net Neutrality Is “Right Choice” Because Big ISPs Want “Unfettered Power”

The net neutrality rule hasn’t yet taken effect, but it’s been under heavy political fire for the past few weeks. Lawmakers hauled FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and other FCC commissioners in before a series of Congressional committees to justify (or, for dissenting commissioners, to vilify) the open internet rule. Those hearings, in large part, were heated and adversarial. But in a speech at Ohio State’s law school today, Wheeler took the chance to say everything that committee members cut him off from.
Why is net neutrality so important? Because otherwise, Wheeler said, “private gatekeepers,” like Comcast and Verizon, “will have unfettered power to control commerce and free expression.”
He reiterated his support for the new rule that the FCC voted to adopt late last month, saying, “I believe that the result will be overwhelmingly positive for consumers and innovators,” before delving into the “avalanche of arguments” that have been brandished against it.
“We have been told that our rules are too clear and too uncertain; that we are too much fixated on the past and too much focused on the future; that we will protect the profits of incumbent broadband providers and that we will threaten them,” Wheeler said. “What should we make of these contradictions, this fog of advocacy?”
Wheeler answered his own question: “We should conclude that the biggest broadband providers in the land have one objective: to operate free from control by their customers and free from oversight from government.”
Major ISPs have basically said as much, in their various filings, comments, and public statements through the last year.
“The true choice is between protecting the gatekeepers, or protecting consumers and insurgents,” Wheeler continued. “To understand the problem, it is necessary to understand the power of the biggest ISPs. Consider this simple fact: About three-fourths of American households have zero or one choice for highspeed, wired broadband to their homes. No choice or one choice,” he said, “does not make an attractive marketplace from a consumer’s perspective.”
After this understatement, Wheeler went on to remind the audience that the large incumbent ISPs, monopolies that they are, have both the ability and the incentive — the tools to act and the financially rewarding outcomes — to disadvantage both companies and consumers when it comes to transmitting content. And that, of course, is where a strong net neutrality rule comes in. If screwing with content and connections is made illegal, they probably won’t do it.
As for those lawsuits against the new rule (and the others likely to follow), Wheeler was confident.
“One final prediction,” he concluded: “the FCC’s new rules will be upheld by the courts. The DC Circuit sent the previous Open Internet Order back to us and basically said, ‘You’re trying to impose common carrier-like regulation without stepping up and saying, ‘these are common carriers.” We have addressed that issue, which is the underlying issue in all of the debates we’ve had so far. That gives me great confidence going forward that we will prevail. When that happens, the big winners will be America’s consumers and innovators and our economy as a whole.”

Russia & US agree to build new space station after ISS

In a landmark decision, Russian space agency Roscosmos and its US counterpart NASA have agreed to build a new space station after the current International Space Station (ISS) expires. The operation of the ISS was prolonged until 2024.
“We have agreed that Roscosmos and NASA will be working together on the program of a future space station," Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov said during a news conference on Saturday.
The talks were held at Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The two agencies will be unifying their standards and systems of manned space programs, according to Komarov. “This is very important to future missions and stations.”
The ISS life cycle was to expire in 2020. “Under the ISS program the door will be open to otherparticipants,” Komarov told reporters.
The next goal for the two agencies is a joint mission to Mars, NASA chief Charles Bolden told journalists.
Roscosmos and NASA are working with each other and other partners on a global roadmap of space exploration, Bolden said. “Our area of cooperation will be Mars. We are discussing how best to use the resources, the finance, we are setting time frames and distributing efforts in order to avoid duplication.”
NASA is currently committed to commercializing space activities. “We are consciously moving away from government financing of low-orbit missions,” Bolden said, adding that sometimes NASA “has been criticized” for that.

73% of Australians believe that constitution should change to recognise Indigenous people, and remove clauses that discriminate on the basis of race

The vast majority of Australians believe that the constitution should be changed to recognise Indigenous people, and remove clauses that discriminate on the basis of race, a study by the Australian National University found.
The telephone survey of more than 1,200 people aimed to record public opinion on injustice and social disadvantage faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders.
It found that 82% of Australians supported the removal of clauses in the constitution that discriminate on race.
And 73%, or nearly three out of four Australians believe that Indigenous Australians deserve special reference in the preamble of the founding document.
Tanya Hosch, the campaign director of Recognise, which advocates on the recognition of Indigenous Australians, said that “the strong levels of support from Australians reflect what we have heard in our own extensive community engagement across the country in the past few years.
“Australians want to fix this lack of recognition and want to fix the race discrimination in our highest legal document.”
The prime minister, Tony Abbott, has indicated that he would hold a referendum on the issue in 2017, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders being counted in the census.
“It’s important to get this right. Yes, we want to do it. But we want to get it right and it’s more important to get it right than to rush it,” Abbott told reporters on Friday.
“We’ve got the joint parliamentary committee, chaired by Ken Wyatt, deputy chaired by Nova Peris and that committee will be reporting in the next couple of months and that will give us a strong foundation on which to build.”
Constitutional recognition has strong bipartisan support.
Fewer than one in five Australians thought that Indigenous people were responsible for the problems faced by their own communities, the study found. Half of the respondents thought that problems faced by Indigenous people were a result of the attitudes of other citizens or government policies.

21 Wrenching Ernest Hemingway Quotes On Life And War

Ernest Hemingway saw life as a losing battle. Though life would beat you and shred you and knock your teeth in, Hemingway thought he could save his dignity by living dangerously, but bravely. When he was 19, he wrote in a letter to his family, “And how much better to die in all the happy period of undisillusioned youth, to go out in a blaze of light, than to have your body worn out and old and illusions shattered.”
He valued courage perhaps above all else. Whether fishing for marlin off the coast of Cuba, hunting lions in Kenya, or attempting to do something no one had done before in the medium of fiction, Hemingway tried to live up to his own high standard. He endured on the earth for nearly 62 years before the impulse toward suicide overcame him, as it had overcome his father. Before he died, he created a canon of fine, fictional work that included the novels The Sun Also RisesA Farewell to ArmsTo Have and Have NotFor Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea.
The quotes below, drawn from interviews, essays and his books, bear the essence of the philosophy that motivated his life and his exceptional fiction.
1. From The Old Man and the Sea:
Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.
2. Advice to a young writer:
When people talk listen completely. Most people never listen.
3. “The fun of talk is to explore.”
image: http://all-that-is-interesting.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/hemingway-quotes-fun-talk.jpg
image: http://all-that-is-interesting.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/hemingway-quotes-fun-talk.jpg
Hemingway Quotes Fun Talk
4. “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
5. “An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”

Read more at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/ernest-hemingway-quotes#uDGWG3pGgkcWAI3g.99
 Ernest Hemingway saw life as a losing battle. Though life would beat you and shred you and knock your teeth in, Hemingway thought he could save his dignity by living dangerously, but bravely. When he was 19, he wrote in a letter to his family, “And how much better to die in all the happy period of undisillusioned youth, to go out in a blaze of light, than to have your body worn out and old and illusions shattered.”
He valued courage perhaps above all else. Whether fishing for marlin off the coast of Cuba, hunting lions in Kenya, or attempting to do something no one had done before in the medium of fiction, Hemingway tried to live up to his own high standard. He endured on the earth for nearly 62 years before the impulse toward suicide overcame him, as it had overcome his father. Before he died, he created a canon of fine, fictional work that included the novels The Sun Also RisesA Farewell to ArmsTo Have and Have NotFor Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea.
The quotes below, drawn from interviews, essays and his books, bear the essence of the philosophy that motivated his life and his exceptional fiction.
1. From The Old Man and the Sea:
Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.
2. Advice to a young writer:
When people talk listen completely. Most people never listen.
3. “The fun of talk is to explore.”
  
4. “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
5. “An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”

6. “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”
7. From Green Hills of Africa:
All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn… American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.
8. In a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald:
Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt use it—don’t cheat with it. Be as faithful to it as a scientist—but don’t think anything is of importance because it happens to you or anyone who belongs to you. About this time I wouldn’t blame you if you gave me a burst. Jesus, it’s marvellous to tell other people how to write, live, die, etc.
9. In another letter to Fitzgerald:
The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life — and one is as good as the other.
10. From another letter to FSF:
That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best — make it all up — but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way.
11. From A Moveable Feast:
Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.
12. From his essay “Notes on the Next War”:
They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.

 13. From A Farewell to Arms:
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry. 
14. “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” 
15. From his book on Spanish bullfighting, Death in the Afternoon:
The individual, the great artist when he comes, uses everything that has been discovered or known about his art up to that point, being able to accept or reject in a time so short it seems that the knowledge was born with him, rather than that he takes instantly what it takes the ordinary man a lifetime to know, and then the great artist goes beyond what has been done or known and makes something of his own.
16. From the same book:
There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man’s life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.
17. From The Old Man and the Sea
Every day above earth is a good day. 
18. In a letter to the writer Malcolm Cowley:
You see it’s awfully hard to talk or write about your own stuff because if it is any good you yourself know about how good it is — but if you say so yourself you feel like a shit.
19. From his essay “A Letter from Cuba”:
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.
20. From his preface to a collection of his short stories:
In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well oiled in the closet, but unused.
21. From For Whom the Bell Tolls:
The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.

These People Turned Log Piling Into An Art Form

For those of you that live in cold climates, the log pile is well known and often taken for granted. A place where logs are chopped and stored, dried out and then used to keep the fire churning throughout the chilly winter months. Log piles are usually neat and orderly, each piece of sliced wood stacked atop the other.

What does your log pile look like? Likely it is just a plain pile of logs, chopped and ready to fuel your fire when the time comes. But for some people, log pilling is a true art form that allows them to express their creative nature. Turns out your standard old log pile can be turned into something pretty incredible.

By slicing wood into different shapes, and sizes, and by combining different shades of wood, artists are able to capture a picture using wood as their canvas and paints.

Check out these incredible log piles that offer more than just the promise of warmth, but the magical feeling that comes with looking at any stunning work of art.



Man Made Of Wood Pile

Don’t even think about stealing from this guy’s pile–he’s ready and waiting for anyone that thinks they can get away with free firewood!
A Hoot Log Pile

Owls appear to be a popular bird made out of wood piles. Judging by the two different owls pictured below, there are many different ways to create the look of an owl with only a few different types of wood. Can you imagine how much time and planning must go into these adorable birds so that they look just right!?
A Tree Pile

These chopped logs pay tribute to the large, standing tree they once made up. The leaves, branches, and trunk are made of wood, yet carefully pieced together so that each part of the tree looks completely different.
Scaly Logs

A crocodile, intricate pattern, or tree? This pile of wood is up for interpretation… no matter what it reminds you of, it sure looks cool. Just don’t take the logs out of the center, or else you risk the whole picture falling to wooden pieces.
Fireplace Pile

These logs resemble the fireplace they will someday fuel… if you use your imagination they may also resemble a pizza oven or a little house.

All-In-One Log Pile

How fast can your log pile travel? Apparently this guy can drive his pile all over town. He can also live in his multipurpose pile of logs.
The Wood Has Eyes

Get your hoot on, here are some more owls made out of wood pilings. The details in the eyes of the owl on the right amaze, and sort of frighten me. The colors used to form the owl on the left look nothing like the plain shade of wood you might assume with a pile of logs.
Eagle Logs

There are so many details in this log pile. At first you might only notice the smiling bird with his wings outstretched, but look carefully and more details can be identified. On the far right side of the log pile, an axe sits wedged into a pile of wood, the handle crafted with talent, care, and extreme attention to detail.

27 Mar 2015

Texas Bill Would Make It Illegal for You to Film a Cop Beating You


Section 38.15 of the Texas Penal Code makes it an offense to interrupt, disrupt, impede, or otherwise interfere with "public duties," including those being exercised by a police officer. That's the law pretty much everywhere, of course, but the question that has arisen in recent years is whether you are "interfering" (etc.) with a police officer just because you are recording what he or she is doing.
Actually, that's not a serious question, it's just something bad cops say because they don't want to be recorded. The argument boils down to, "I had to stop what I was doing and come over and kick your ass because you were recording me, and you therefore interrupted my exercise of a public duty." It's a hilariously bad argument that way too many officers have gotten away with.
The Texas statute doesn't say anything specific about recording, although it does say a person can't be prosecuted if the interfering acts "consisted of speech only." That would probably also cover "expressive conduct" (i.e., the middle finger) which also counts as speech under the First Amendment, but what about recording? Yes, say courts who don't hate freedom, that's protected too because it is "fundamental and virtually self-evident" that the reason for the recording is so you have proof when you tell somebody what happened. It is therefore unconstitutional to punish someone for doing that, whether via criminal prosecution or the more expedited procedure of just shooting them.
Okay, now along comes Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) with H.B. 2918. This bill would amend section 38.15 to expressly include within the definition of "interference" the conduct of "filming, recording, photographing, or documenting the officer within 25 feet of the officer," or doing so "within 100 feet of the officer" if you are also carrying a concealed handgun.
Of course, the officer is always going to be "within 25 feet of the officer," but let's assume he meant to say that the person doing the filming must stay more than 25 feet away. (The 100-foot distinction makes no sense to me either, but let's set that aside.) Villalba says the provision is only meant to provide a buffer zone—or as he insists on putting it, a "halo"—around police officers so they can do their jobs without interference. But the law already precludes actualinterference, so this provision adds nothing in that sense. And by legally defining any recording within 25 feet as "interference," it plainly authorizes police to arrest anyone who's doing that, whether they are actuallyinterfering or not.
It would, taken literally, make it illegal for you to record an officer beating you, because obviously you are going to be well within his halo while he is doing that.
The bill would create a new defense, but not for being beaten. The defense would be for anyone who, at the time of the "offense," was working with law enforcement (that's so they can still appear on "COPS," I guess), or was acting as a member of the "news media." Why, yes, since you ask, there is a definition of "news media": a licensed radio or TV station, certain newspapers published at least weekly, and regularly published magazines that are "of interest to the general public...." So bloggers, 60 Minutesreporters (I think), or any magazine not considered sufficiently "interesting" are not protected.

Beating Animals Breaks Law. Now Trying to Expose It Does, Too

An undercover video taped in 2012 showed Idaho dairy workers beating cows, prompting criminal convictions. State lawmakers responded -- by banning undercover videos.
Activists citing the right to free speech want the Idaho law struck down, and a federal judge may rule on the case next month. The challenge is part of the pushback against rules in at least seven states, known to their opponents as “ag-gag laws,” that prohibit documenting conditions on animal farms. At the same time, lawmakers proposed new bills limiting documentation of farm conditions in five more states this year.
Organizations such as Mercy for Animals, which posted the Idaho video of what they identified as a farm that supplies Burger King Corp., said undercover investigations are the only way to expose abuses, in the tradition of Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel, “The Jungle.” The industry has a different view. According to the Animal Agriculture Alliance, such videos misrepresent agricultural practices. They’re staged by interlopers who get farm jobs under false pretenses, then use an excuse to disappear weeks or months before the videos surface. Worse, they draw attention to vulnerabilities in the food supply that could be exploited by terrorists.
“You have the farmers, producers, industry who are trying to protect themselves,” said David Favre, a law professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing who studies animal issues. “On the other side you have First Amendment people and animal people who are saying, ‘No, we get to talk about the conditions of the animals, and it’s inappropriate for you to interfere with our collection process.’”

Shocked, Too

Luis Bettencourt, the owner of the farm shown in the video, said the footage shocked him, too. It shows workers hitting cows with sticks, dragging a cow behind a tractor and kicking cows in the face. Bettencourt told local television news that he fired the staff involved, installed cameras and tightened background checks. The workers were eventually punished by the courts with fines and probation for animal cruelty. Bettencourt didn’t answer phone messages seeking comment.
The animal-rights video was irresponsible to single out Burger King and it misrepresents the company’s commitment to animal welfare, the fast-food chain said in an e-mailed statement. The company said it doesn’t have a position on state laws prohibiting undercover videos.

Food Safety

The Idaho law was drafted by a lawyer for the state’s dairy association. It made it a crime to interfere with agricultural production by gaining employment under false pretenses and making audio or video recordings without permission. The law took effect immediately after Republican Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed it on Feb. 28, 2014.
“Terrorism has been used for centuries to destroy the ability to produce food and the confidence in food’s safety,” Jim Patrick, a Republican state senator who sponsored the bill, said of the legislation at the time. “This is how you combat your enemies.”
Twenty-four states, including California, Colorado and South Dakota, have rejected similar proposals after activists objected, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The American Farm Bureau Federation has supported bills, and Monsanto Co., the world’s biggest seed company, said it backed a successful 2012 effort in Iowa.

Sued Idaho

The Animal Legal Defense Fund and other organizations sued the state of Idaho in federal court in March 2014, claiming the law impinged on freedom of speech. The language was so broad, they argued, that it could criminalize making recordings in restaurants or home kitchens.
“Frankly, we see the expedient nature in which their suit was filed as a compliment to the security this new law grants Idaho agricultural producers,” the Idaho Dairymen’s Association said in a letter on its website. Bob Naerebout, the group’s director, said the law strikes a good balance between protecting free speech and private property.
The association asked to intervene in the lawsuit, but the judge, B. Lynn Winmill, appointed by President Bill Clinton, concluded that the state could adequately represent the industry’s interests. She may rule on the case at a hearing scheduled for next month.

First Charged

If the animal activists prevail, Matthew Liebman, one of the ALDF’s lead attorneys, said he expects the state to appeal. After that, they may ask for review from the U.S. Supreme Court, he said.
“No matter how descriptive my words are you’ll never fully understand what life is like for these animals until you see a video,” said Amy Meyer, a 27-year-old activist in Salt Lake City. In 2013, she became the first person in the country charged under an “ag-gag” law after videotaping a slaughterhouse from the side of the road. The charge was later dropped. She and the ALDF are pursuing another constitutional challenge in a Utah federal court.
There are many other places where videotaping is prohibited for good reasons, such as concerts, museums and movie theaters, said Kay Johnson Smith, president of the Animal Agriculture Alliance in Arlington, Virginia.

Unauthorized Videos

“The reason these laws have been proposed is the use of unauthorized videos and photographs by animal-rights activists and animal-extremist organizations that exist to stop the use of animals for food have found this is a very effective publicity tool and fundraising tool for them to advance their agenda,” Smith said.
The videos lack context because of how they’re edited, and activists have refused to release raw footage, she said. Some practices that veterinarians consider beneficial might appear cruel to people unfamiliar with the industry, she said. For example, animals are housed indoors to protect them from the elements and are restrained in order to receive vaccines.
“People don’t understand where their food is coming from and how animals are being raised,” she said.
In the Idaho case, a dairy worker complained to his supervisors and alerted authorities while he was still employed, before Mercy for Animals posted the video, according to Vandhana Bala, the group’s general counsel. The organization has turned over raw footage to authorities but hasn’t released it publicly because there would be too many hours of video, she said.

 Read More:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-25/beating-animals-breaks-law-trying-to-expose-it-does-too

Pro-Aborts Not Content Just to Kill Babies – Now They’re Doing THIS!

Violence is the hallmark of the abortion industry. Those who kill babies in the womb have perfected the art of intra-uterine murder in many ways. But now it seems pro-abortion supporters have taken their violence to a new level.  
Police in Austin, Texas, arrested a woman March 23 who threw a gasoline bomb at pro-life activists gathered for daily prayer outside an Austin Planned Parenthood facility.
A group from the Central Texas Coalition for Life reportedly stood praying outside the clinic when a car drove by and a passenger threw a flaming object early yesterday evening. The device turned out to be a gasoline-filled bottle with a rag fuse, a type of homemade bomb known as a “Molotov cocktail.”

“Yesterday evening toward the end of the daily prayer vigil, a passerby threw a flaming object at the prayer volunteers. Fortunately no one was injured and the flames were put out quickly,” the Central Texas Coalition for Life tells Life News. “This is not the first time people have thrown objects at pro-lifers but clearly this instance was a more direct threat, and we always want to exercise caution.”

According to a report by KXAN Austin, the Planned Parenthood clinic involved is on East Ben White Boulevard near South Congress. Planned Parenthood told KXAN none of their staff and patients were injured or affected by the incident.
It seems hard to believe, but right here in America those who were exercising their 1st Amendment rights to protest and peaceably assembly have been “fire-bombed” by someone who opposes their beliefs. 
LifeSite News reported a member of the prayer group stomped on the burning rag to stop the possibility of an explosion. Another member took a photo of the vehicle’s license plate number while someone else called to report the incident to police. Authorities caught the woman and took her into custody later that night.

Police have identified and arrested Melanie Toney as the attacker.
Ruth Allwein, a pro-life protester, told local Austin, Texas, TV station KVUE the details of the attack.

“It looked like some sort of bottle, and it had an ignited wick in it, so my first instinct was backing away,” she says.

The news station reports, “Toney admitted to throwing a bottle out the window with some paper in it and said it ‘might’ have been smoldering when she threw it.”

Read More:http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/woman.attempts.to.kill.pro.life.supporters.praying.outside.abortion.clinic/48619.htm 

Ohio cop forged paperwork to obtain full-auto rifle gets community service, probation, instead of decades behind bars.

Initially charged with crimes that could have brought him up to 65 years in federal prison, former Ohio sheriff’s Maj. Eric Spicer, found guilty in December of illegal possession of a machine gun, will get 5 years probation.
Late of the Greene County Sheriff’s office, Spicer, 45, was charged last April with using falsified documents to illegally obtain a machine gun from a New York firearms dealer. In all, the U.S. Attorney’s office brought seven charges against the former law enforcement officer, of which a jury in U.S. District Court in December agreed that two should stick.
Federal prosecutors in the case last month sought a 41 to 51 month sentence while the U.S. Probation Office in turn recommended two years behind bars.
In the end, Spicer is receiving considerably less.
U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett handed down a sentence Monday of 100 hours community service, a $1,800 fine, and five years’ probation, the Dayton Daily News reported. In addition, due to his conviction, the former lawman will be classified as a prohibited possessor, stripping his rights to have firearms.
Barrett noted that Spicer’s version of the events in the case were plausible.
“I’m not happy about the conviction for Eric, but Judge Barrett has seen what this really is about and his comments up there are telling,” said one of Spicer’s attorneys, John D. Smith. “This is Eric falling through the (administrative or bureaucratic) cracks and me scratching my head why somebody like the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and the U.S. Attorney really care about somebody that falls through the cracks.”
Spicer allegedly forged his boss’s name on ATF forms to acquire the Heckler & Koch select-fire 5.56mm rifle for $1,684.80 in November 2009, using personal funds. Under the 1986 Hughes Amendment, personal possession of full-auto firearms made after that year is largely forbidden with exceptions made for dealers and law enforcement agencies.
However, some 22 days after his termination by the agency, and while no longer employed as a law enforcement officer, federal agents searched his home and seized the illegal machine gun leading to a trial in U.S. District Court last December on charges that could have earned him up to 65 years in prison as well as $1.75 million in fines.