Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More CYA from House Democrats on BATF's Opn. Fast and Furious

Who would have thought that Democrats in the House would have studied BATF's outrageous Operation Fast and Furious and concluded that the DOJ and White House were clean? It's sort of like the court jesters investigating the king. This kind of transparent and desperate move by House Dems suggests that they are getting seriously concerned about the fallout.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pres. Newt v. U.S. Supreme Court?

Disturbing piece. Is Newt starting to sound like Hugo Chavez?

Good use of force link with videos

This is a good use of force link that shows the good, the bad, and the ugly of police use of force. Unlike some websites, the police are not always portrayed as being in the wrong.Remember, that the stuff that ends of on the internet is not a random sample.

Law-abiding Mexicans taking up illegal guns.

Caught in the squeeze between the cartels and gangs and strict Mexican gun laws, some Mexicans are exercising their natural law right to have reasonable weapons for self-defense. As usual, criminals ignore gun laws and those who try to are victimized. In the end, the need for security trumps authoritarian government edicts. Thanks to Bennett Jones for the link.

This is the link to the link provided below by jr. Thanks again, jr. I hope more of you contributors will provide links.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Obama's State of the Union Address

Reading on and between the lines and disregarding the empty rhetoric, it appears that Pres. Obama has thrown down the gauntlet on at least two issues:
1. class warfare is now a campaign promise. (The politics of envy will now become a campaign strategy). You think politics is polarized now? If Obama wins in November, more and more investors, money managers, venture capitalists, etc. are going to be holding onto their money and perhaps looking overseas, thus slowing the recovery. Don't get me wrong, the Internal Revenue Code is in desperate need of reform, but that can be done without the inflammatory rhetoric of class warfare.
2. the best way to fix the economy is government programs and spending. Although the free market system got a rhetorical nod, Obama wants to go to a command and control economy just like the socialist countries of Europe. We all know where they have ended up, but that's where Obama wants to take us. I hope you are registered to vote.

36 members of Obama's staff not paying their "fair share."

Lots of ethically-challenged, legally challenged and hypociritcal folks in power in D.C. (as usual).

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Final Danziger Bridge Trial Begins

The last trial related to the unjustified killings of unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans (in the immediate aftermath of Hurrican Katrina) has begun. I hope someone in power there learned something from this inexcusable incident and does something to create real, lasting change.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another look at U.S. v. Jones

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Jones (GPS tracking device may not be as clear as first thought.

U.S. Supreme Court turns down more 2nd Amend. cases

The U.S. Supreme Court continues to turn down Second Amendment cases for review. The Court has a responsibility to provide guidance for citizens, police, legislators, judges, etc. yet is failing miserably. In the meantime, many lower courts have turned out opinions which are inconsistent with the rationale of Heller and McDonald (e.g., Second Amendment protects those who "bear" arms--i.e, carry arms, but many Courts say the Amendment doesn't apply outside the home). Nero fiddles while Rome burns!

Show your support for 2nd Amend rights. Support Starbuck!

Pass this on to all. We need to flood them with pro-carry customers.

Just when you thought that the anti-gun zealots had gone into hibernation. Now they want to boycott Starbucks for (horrors) allowing YOU to legally carry a gun in their stores.

We strongly urge you to support Starbucks by stopping by on Valentines Day - and make sure to tell them that you came in to support their pro-self-defense policy. And pass this on.

John Caile
Starbucks' "Pro-Gun" Policy Prompts Gun Victims' Advocate Group to Launch Nationwide Boycott on Valentine's Day 2012
Sacramento Bee, January 23, 2012

CHICAGO, Jan. 23, 2012 -- /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A nationwide boycott of Starbucks stores and its products will be launched on Valentine's Day 2012. Its goal is to eliminate the risk of guns in public places and ultimately to bring sane gun laws to the U.S.

This boycott is being called by the National Gun Victim's Action Council (NGAC), a network of 14 million gun victims, the faith community including the: Episcopal Peace Fellowship, United Church of Christ, Fellowship of Reconciliation (46 peace fellowships and 43 affiliate fellowships), secular groups working to reduce gun violence and many of the organizations that support passing sane gun laws.

WHY STARBUCKS? Currently, Starbucks allows guns and assault weapons to be openly carried in its stores (in 43 states) and concealed and carried in its stores (in 49 states). Starbucks' compliance with the National Rifle Association's Pro-Gun Agenda was exposed in 2010 when members of the "open carry" movement began meeting in popular chains, such as California Pizza Kitchen, Peets, IKEA, Disney and Starbucks openly carrying their handguns and assault rifles.

To protect their customers and employees, all of the retail chains—except for Starbucks— banned guns from being carried in their stores. [But NOT in Sears, Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, Wells Fargo, US Bank, and hundreds of other large retailers and service providers as well as millions of smaller businesses.]

"Starbucks allowing guns to be carried in thousands of their stores significantly increases everyone's risk of being a victim of gun violence," says Elliot Fineman, CEO of the NGAC. "Open and conceal and carry are among the reasons there are 12,000 gun homicides each year in the U.S. If we had England's gun laws we would expect 375 gun homicides each year—97% less than we have. England's gun laws are based on protecting public safety, ours on maximizing sales for the gun industry."

Starbucks has the legal right to ban guns but despite having been petitioned by thousands, asked at a shareholder meeting, and a direct appeal made to their Board, Starbucks clings to this policy that puts millions of Americans at risk every day and encourages the spread of guns being carried in public.

IMPACT OF STARBUCKS BOYCOTT: Fineman says, "Starbucks steadfast support of the NRA's lethal pro-gun agenda damages its 'socially conscious company' brand. Further," adds Fineman, "Monte Carlo Simulation risk analysis indicates that 90% of the time, our boycott will reduce Starbucks stock price by an amount no rational company would allow."
According to NGAC, the boycott will end when Starbucks rejects the NRA's Pro-Gun agenda by banning all guns from their stores and committing to be an Aggressive Corporate Advocate for sane gun laws.

Victory for Fourth Amendment.

The U.S.Supreme Court rules that installing a GPS tracking device on the exterior of a vehicle while the vehicle is parked in a public place is a search. Based on prior caselaw, this case could easily have gone the other way.
United States v. Jones, 586 U.S. _____ (January 23, 2012). Now, if we can just keep Big Brother out of other areas of our lives. (Corrected, see later post above)

Monday, January 23, 2012

More stone-walling on BATF's Operation Fast and Furious?

Looks like CYA is in full operation when it comes to BATF's notorious Operation Fast and Furious. Thanks to Bennett Jones for the link

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Second Amendment Takes Another Hit!

18-20 year-olds lost a challenge to Texas' concealed carry law which requires reaching age 21. The judge concluded that the right doesn't extend beyond the home by conveniently ignoring the word "bear" in the Second Amendment (which means "carry"). It's obvious that the colonists at the battle of Lexington and Concord felt their rights were a little broader. Texas does not allow open-carry of handguns (except in very limited circumstances, such hunting, one's own home, etc.) The way I see it, the right to "keep" requires that a state allow some form or carrying, even if requiring a license and at least some minimum background check. I have mixed feelings on the age issues. If these young folks can enlist in the military and make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, it seems hypocritical to say that we can't trust them to get a license to carry (which requires a lot of other conditions, e.g, no felonies.) It seems like we're saying that your good enough to be cannon fodder but not good enough to exercise Second Amendment rights. Any African-American who foolshly thought the battle was over when they won in Brown v. Bd. of Education (1954) will understand what Second Amendment advocates are going through now. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, not any group's authoritarian bigotry.

Special anniversary for Newt Gingrich

Jan 21, 1997 – Newt Gingrich becomes the first leader of the United States House of Representatives to be internally disciplined for ethical misconduct. Another ethically challenged politician seeking the Presidency. At least with Newt you know about it up front rather than finding out later. Me? Personally, I'm not desperate enough to support him. I hope S.C. isn't either. What do YOU think about Newt?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

D.C. thumbs its nose at the Supreme Court and Second Amendment.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The U.S. Supreme Court has the final say on the meaning of the Constitution. All public officials take an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Chicago thumbed it's nose at the U.S. Supreme Court's 2nd Amendment decision in McDonald. D.C has done likewise with regard to Heller with it's new gun control scheme.

Friday, January 13, 2012

NRA a terrorist organization?

This writer labels the NRA a terrorist organization. I wonder how long it will take Hillary and Obama to list is formally. I guess the Second Amendment was an anti-federalist plot to ruin the country. The Second Amendment is a "technicality." I wonder how many other things in the Bill of Rights are only "technicalities." Make no mistake, opposition to the Second Amendment is strident, shrill and dedicated. Proposals to repeal the Amendment surface regularly. More left-wing authoritarianism.

S.Ct. Blocks prisoner suits against private prison employees

The employees worked under contract for the federal government. The prisoners' only remedy will be state law, which may or may not provide much in the way of relief. If state law provides absolutely no relief, the prisoners may sue in federal court.

U.S. Economic Freedom in Decline

Because of debt problems, economic freedom in the U.S. and much of Europe declined recently. Economic freedom is important in a free society. If the government controls your income, it can control you directly or indirectly. You also have less leeway to invest in projects that can reduce unemployment and create economic opportunities. Economic prosperity and a free society are implicated. An economy in dire economic straits may fall victim to a man on a white horse who promises relief, but delivers authoritarianism as the cost. (e.g. Hitler) See the report from the conservative Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Supreme Court victory for First Amendment religious freedom

A welcome victory for First Amendment religious freedom. Even the liberals, who often let left-wing political correctness override the Constitution, and are not usually friends of religious freedom, went along. The link is to the full opinion. Just read the syllabus if you don't have time to read the whole thing. Thanks to John Hughes for first alerting me to this decision.

State politicans vote-buying catching up with them

Not only is the federal government spending way beyond their/our means, many states, incl. California are paying the price for unreasonably high employee salaries and pensions(and other pork-barrel projects). Another result of reckless vote-buying.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Latest development in the Fast and Furious Fiasco?

Latest development in the continuing saga of Operation Fast and Furious. Note the source of this information is not the type of person who is entitled to a presumption of credibility. Thanks to Bennett Jones for the link.

D.C. ordered to pay $1.1 to Attorneys for losing gun cases.

D.C. ordered to pay $1.1 million to attorneys who won the case against its obviously unconstitutional ban on home handgun ownership. First, D.C. government took away their rights. Now it will take away $1.1 million from it's residents. Sounds like a lose-lose situation.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

First Amendment Freedom of Relgion trumps left-wing political correctness

Some good news on the First Amendment freedom of religion front. Of course, this is just one side of the coin. We must also be diligent in opposing obvious violations of the Establishment clause. Sorting out the interaction of these two clauses is not easy and the Supreme Court has not done much to make things any clearer

Nov. election and the future of the Second Amendment

The election of the nation’s first black President in Nov. 2008 was the big story of 2008. Anti-gun and anti-Second Amendment advocates celebrated. Second Amendment and gun rights supporters were not pleased and had opposed Obama. However, in June 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court had already released its decision in D.C. v. Heller, holding that the Second Amendment protects the rights of individuals not connected to any militia. The Supreme Court decision, however, did not reassure many gun owners who ratcheted up gun purchases following Obama’s election. The President-elect’s connection to anti-gun groups and causes was of concern. His bitter-gate incident also caused controversy.
“Obama was caught in an uncharacteristic moment of loose language. Referring to working-class voters in old industrial towns decimated by job losses, the presidential hopeful said: "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/14/barackobama.uselections2008
(Supporters of First Amendment freedom of religion were also troubled by the remarks). The NRA and others realized that Heller was a 5-4 decision and that Obama would be nominating any Supreme Court replacements for at least four years. In the same elections the Democrats increased their control over the House and Senate. Research has shown that, in general, Democrats are more hostile to gun rights than Republicans.

In June 2010, the Supreme Court made the Second Amendment applicable to the states in McDonald v. Chicago. Again, it was a 5-4 decision. Many were not reassured. Obama's appointee (Sotomayor) voted against making the Amendment applicable against the states. One new anti-gun Justice on the Supreme and McDonald (like Heller) could be history. Chicago, D.C., California and others still went forward and enacted legislation that is likely unconstitutional. (see, for e.g. Ezell v. Chicago where the concurring judges wrote that Chicago had “thumbed it’s nose at the Supreme Court.) See http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/files/9c0nwf4m.pdf

Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former Chief of Staff is now mayor of Chicago. After it became obvious that the first post-McDonald Chicago ordinance would be found unconstitutional, City Council and Mayor Emanuel tried another, less strict, but obviously gun-in-the-home, ordinance that will also probably be found unconstitutional.

Many were reminded of state and local opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

BATF’s Operation Fast and Furious scandal (hundreds of illegally purchased firearms allowed to get into Mexico) appears to have been motivated by the Obama administration’s desire to create evidence of gun leakage from the U.S. into cartel-decimated Mexico to gather support for further gun control legislation. Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57338546-10391695/documents-atf-used-fast-and-furious-to-make-the-case-for-gun-regulations/

"On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial "large magazines." Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, "to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda," she said.
"I just want you to know that we are working on it," Brady recalled the president telling them. "We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar."Source: http://nation.foxnews.com/guns/2011/05/25/obama-were-working-gun-control-under-radar#ixzz1ibVi2TxZ

Not surprisingly, in light of the events outlined above and others, the NRA and other Second Amendment and gun rights groups have come out again strongly in opposition to Obama in the upcoming Presidential election. Although there are lots of issues emerging, such as ObamaCare (nationwide mandatory health insurance), Presidential power, (e.g., ignoring the War Powers Act,) allegations that Obama wants to institute European-style socialism, the future of gun control and the Second Amendment may be on the line. It takes only one new anti-gun Justice on the Supreme Court to overrule both Heller and McDonald. If you believe Heller and McDonald were correctly decided, civil liberties are a very high priority to you,(incl. freedom of religion) and you realize that civil liberties are weaker in the socialist democracies of Europe, you should be able to figure out how to vote

N.Y. Times anti-gun propaganda exposed.

N.Y.Times anti-concealed carry propaganda exposed. In spite of victories in the U.S. Supreme Court, Second Amendment rights continue to be slandered by Left-leaning media. The underlying false message is that Second Amendment rights are too dangerous for society. Authoritarians on the left continue their drum beat!

Police fatalities up 13%

Although the overall homicide rate has been going down, the police homicide and death rate has gone up the last two years. As we honor our returning and heroic GI's, let's not forget about our police officers. Anyone care to venture a hypothesis on this increase?

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Supreme Court adds 2 high profile cases to its docket for this term.

The U.S. Supreme Court has added two controversial cases to its docket for this time.
One is Arizona's anti-illegal alien law and the other is the Texas redistricting case. Expect decisions late Spring or early Summer.

Monday, January 02, 2012

10 most corrupt federal politicians?

Judicial Watch has released its latest list. Can't say I disagree with anyone being on their list. However, as a caveat, this is a self-described conservative group. Who would you add or subtract? Thanks to Bennett Jones for the link

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Second Amendment Update

The NRA has filed a lawsuit challenging federal law which prohibits anyone under 21 from purchasing handguns. The NRA argues that 18-21 year-olds should be permitted to purchase handguns. It's a close case for me.

In a very disappointing move, the Supreme Court refused to hear appeals of cases where lower courts held that the Second Amendment does not protect carrying outside the home. It would seem to me that the use of the terminology "keep and bear" of the Second Amendment would protect at least some forms of carrying outside the home. One keeps a gun in the home, one bears/carries a gun outside the home. It appears likely that we will not have a Second Amendment decision this term from the Supreme Court. If there are no Second Amendment decisions this term of Court, it will be, a disappointing failure of the Court to clarify one of the most important rights in the Bill of Rights. Failure to hear an appeals (grant certiorari) is not an endorsement of the lower court's opinion.

This link, to the NRA-ILA is a fairly good place to keep up with the latest developments in the Second Amendment caselaw.

A Big Year Coming Up!

Happy New Year to all. I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year. This one will be especially big for the future direction of the country for two reasons. First, some time early this summer the Supreme Court should issue its opinions in the ObamaCare case. Look for a 5-4 decision with Kennedy as the swing vote. If the law is upheld, it will be a significant increase in federal power. Second is the Presidential election in November. The country, will have the rare opportunity to indicate the direction in which it wants to move. A vote for Obama is a vote to move markedly in the direction of European-style socialism. A vote for whomever is the Repub. nominee will indicate a rejection of such a move. If Obama wins the S.Ct. decision and the election, it will be the most radical shift in American politics since Roosevelt''s New Deal.