Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Want to follow Colorado's great pot experiment?

If you want more detail about Colorado's experiment with legalizing recreational pot smoking, check out this site.  It's a lot more complex than you might think.  For instance, employers can prohibit their employees from using both both on and off the job. 

Law enforcment deaths by guns lowest in many years

As is the case with homicide in general, more guns in society, more licensed concealed carriers, recognition of individual Second Amendment rights, etc.  have NOT resulted in more homicides of law enforcement.  This is not data from the NRA, it is from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

More on Arapahoe High Murder

The student who entered Arapahoe H.S. openly carrying a shotgun entered through a double door that should have been locked.  Instead, it was propped open for easier access for students and staff.   Tragedy often brings irrational responses.  The Sheriff said because the murder was intent on killing "he would have found a way to enter that school."  Arguably if a serious security system was in place the killer might not have been able to enter and might have been intercepted by armed personnel OUTSIDE the school.  The DA said there wasn't anything "that could have been done differently."  Really?  How about a proactive, target-hardening security system?  Where do they find these people?  Perhaps he was talking about he response of law enforcement and personnel. How about some kind of surveillance system, warning system, and more armed personnel (including trained licenses educational personnel) in the school.  Quick action by a janitor and armed school resource office prevented more casualties.  Some have argued that gun control laws kept the shooter from buying an "assault rifle" with a large capacity magazine.  This may be true, but misses the point.  No matter how the intruder is armed, if he or she can't get in the building it doesn't matter what they are carrying to kill inside the building.  Weaponry could be relevant to the results of a confrontation OUTSIDE the school.  However, trained personnel should be armed with weaponry adequate to match whatever the intruder has.  If the system gives these personnel a warning, their chances of a successful, low casualty intervention increases.    Hindsight is always 20/20, but there is no excuse for not being pro-active and using surveillance and communication expertise.   As I have stated before, think "target hardening."  For those who say all these efforts will hurt the learning atmosphere I say:  Would you rather have them dead in warm, relaxed, friendly atmosphere of denial, or alive in a security-conscious one?  Get real!  It can happen any place any time. We have got to face the reality of the existence of  violent people who will kill senselessly.  More importantly, let's not forget about Claire Davis, the innocent victim, and the tragedy of a young life ended senselessly.  Let's not forget about the pain of her friends and family.  RIP.  Don't forget about the pain for the family and friends of the suicidal killer.  Two young people died senselessly.  Keep them all in your prayers.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Federal judge upholds NSA security program

In a decision contrary to one reached by another federal judge not long ago, this federal court upheld the NSA program that collect huge batches of telephone records.  Congress and/or the Supreme Court need to step and get this monster under control.

TIH: Massacre at Wounded Knee: Disarming the Lakota: 1890

According to Wikipedia,The incident started when troops" went into the camp to disarm the Lakota"  More specifically:

"At daybreak on December 29, 1890, Col. Forsyth ordered the surrender of weapons and the immediate removal and transportation of the Indians from the "zone of military operations" to awaiting trains. "A search of the camp confiscated 38 rifles and more rifles were taken as the soldiers searched the Indians. None of the old men were found to be armed. "On the morning of December 29, the troops went into the camp to disarm the Lakota. One version of events claims that during the process of disarming the Lakota, a deaf tribesman named Black Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle, claiming he had paid a lot for it.[6] A scuffle over Black Coyote's rifle escalated and a shot was fired which resulted in the 7th Cavalry's opening fire indiscriminately from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of their own fellow soldiers. Those few Lakota warriors who still had weapons began shooting back at the attacking soldiers, who quickly suppressed the Lakota fire. The surviving Lakota fled, but U.S. cavalrymen pursued and killed many who were unarmed."

Later, "Former Pine Ridge Indian agent Valentine T. McGillycuddy was asked his opinion of the 'hostilities' surrounding the Ghost Dance movement by General Leonard W. Colby commander of the Nebraska National Guard (portion of letter dated Jan. 15, 1891):[14]
"As for the "Ghost Dance" too much attention has been paid to it. It was only the symptom or surface indication of a deep rooted, long existing difficulty; as well treat the eruption of small pox as the disease and ignore the constitutional disease."
"As regards disarming the Sioux, however desirable it may appear, I consider it neither advisable, nor practicable. I fear it will result as the theoretical enforcement of prohibition in Kansas, Iowa and Dakota; you will succeed in disarming and keeping disarmed the friendly Indians because you can, and you will not succeed with the mob element because you cannot."

Setting aside the massarcre, is there some insight to be gained regarding today's obsessive gun controllers and gun control efforts aimed at law-abiding citizens?  What's your take?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Colorado's new pot laws

Colorado made headlines by partially legalizing pot recently.  If you are curious about how the laws will work,  see this website for information on the law as it will operate in Denver.  My libertarian and federalism sides applaud the move.  It's the laboratory of federalism on display.  The feds have caved. The "cautious" side of my philosophy says it will ultimately turn out to be a mistake.  Illegal pot use among youth and driving and accidents while stoned will probably go up.  Accidents in general will probably go up. The state will tax it and drive up the price to a point where the black market will flourish.  The law prohibits public pot smoking but police will give up or not even bother to enforce it.    It will become a chaotic pot free-for-all.    Is this a massive experiment with public health?  Overall, I favor the move. I follow this "Kesslerism;" When in  doubt, freedom should win out."  Good luck Colorado!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

FIRE's Top 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech

FIRE released its newest list of the top 10 worst colleges/universities for free speech.  Not surprisingly, Harvard made the list.  Although technically not educational institutions, Obamas Departments of Justice and Education made the list because of their support of a "national speech code."  According to FIRE:
"While not a college or university, back in May the Departments of Education and Justice mandated an unconstitutional speech code for all colleges receiving federal funding in what was arguably the biggest free-speech-on-campus story of the year. The speech code came as a result of an end to the agencies’ year-long joint investigation into the University of Montana’s (UM’s) practices and policies regarding sexual misconduct. The investigation was certainly warranted—UM had failed to respond to reports of sexual assault by football players—but the agreement the federal agencies reached with the university presented a serious threat to freedom of expression. Specifically, the agreement defined sexual harassment in a shockingly broad way, prohibiting “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” including speech. Making matters worse, the agreement was labeled a “blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country,” meaning that if schools didn’t adopt the new definition, they risked losing their federal funding. As free speech advocates know, overly broad harassment codes have long been the tool used on campus to censor all sorts of unpopular speech. Only after FIRE organized a group of civil liberties advocates, like the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others, to sound the alarm over the summer did the agencies back away from the “blueprint.” But the fight isn’t over. The agencies backed away from the blueprint only in a letter to FIRE and have yet to notify colleges across the country of their position. Until they do, the blueprint still remains a threat to free speech on virtually every campus in the country."

Welcome to Obama's world of civil liberties and national security.  I strongly urge everyone who loves liberty to check out FIRE.

Unfortunately, academe shelters too many civil liberties hypocrites who refuse to grant equal rights to critics and their ideological enemies. 

Anit-bigamy statute partly unconstitutional (the "Sister Wives" case)

In a long  opinion  (Brown v. Buhman),  U.S. District  Court judge Clark Waddoups ruled that Utah's criminal anti-bigamy statute is partially unconstitutional.  The suit involves people from the controversial "Sister Wives" reality show and book. This is just a logical extension of the U.S. Supreme Court's rationale in Lawrence v. Texas.     See the excellent analysis by Ruthann Robinson.  I agree with the result.  As long as there is no  coercion, abuse or fraud, competent adults are involved, and the interests of children are protected, my libertarian side says bigamy should be lawful.

School violence threat hotline, etc.

In a post below I suggested proactive strategies to prevent school violence.  This link is a follow-up.  Colorado has a non-government threat hotline and  Michigan passed legislation to create one.  Another issue discussed is the suicidal motivation of many shooters and suicide prevention.  Colorado also has a "Youth Mental Health First Aid" program. There's a lot that can be done.  Why isn't more being done? Worthwhile read if you want more on this topic.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Utah federal judge strikes down state's ban on same-sex marrage.

"A federal judge struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that brings a growing shift toward allowing gay marriage to a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it."  Folks, the handwriting is on the wall.  Prohibitions on gay marriage are dinosaurs.  Gay marriage is here to stay, socially and legally.

The NSA monster

On Monday,  D.C. federal District Judge Richard J. Leon stated that the NSA's treatment of phone records is "Orwellian" and inconsistent with the Fourth Amendment.  In spite of all the highly questionable things about  the NSA that have come to light, the President's promise to review the situation, the empty government reassurances, etc., etc., etc., the Obama administration continues to show its true, anti-civil liberties, colors by arguing that 2 current  spying/snooping cases against the government should be  stopped because they will damage national security. OUTRAGEOUS!  If there was any doubt, it is now clear that the Obama administration is creating a national security state.  It's time for the Supreme Court and Congress to step in and corral this monster.  Say what you will about Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden,  Wikileaks, Julian Assange etc., but without them how long would it have taken to discover the existence of this monster?

Common sense and school shootings

School shootings have tended to dominate the news in recent years. Here’s one man’s view based on some of the incidents and the research.  First, over the long haul, school shootings, like violent crime in general, has been going down (in spite of more guns and more licensed gun carriers).  More young people die in swimming pools than in schools.  Roughly 50 times as many young people are murdered AWAY from school than are murdered in school.  This is not to downplay the tragedy of school shootings, but to provide some perspective.  Secondly it’s time to get serious about target-hardening and becoming proactive.  These young people tend to send out hints of their plan.  A planned school shooting in Trinidad, CO was arguably thwarted by a tip to a school resource officer.  Everyone has got to pitch in and start sharing information.   Given young folks’ obsession with social media, that should be an obvious place to start watching.  In the Arapahoe High School shooting the killer approached the school with his shotgun in open sight.  How/why did he get into the school? The presence of an armed deputy who intervened relatively quickly arguably  saved lives. Security cameras, door locking systems, metal detectors and armed police or trained security guards and/or armed, trained staff seem like a good investment.  Hasn’t anyone heard of the concept of “target-hardening?”    The la-la-landers will whine that such actions will harm the “learning atmosphere.” It seems to me that a feeling of security would help that atmosphere.  Young people are flexible and will adjust.   How long does it take to restore that atmosphere AFTER a shooting?  After a while, no one at the school will notice the changes anymore. The wackos and pathological gun haters and fearers will continue to argue against  armed, trained protective  people in school. Get over it and get real about solutions!  It would seem that security needs to be priority one.  Perhaps schools need more counselling and more cracking down on bullying to help the potential shooters before they let loose.  Perhaps parents need more awareness and need to check on their kids more.  Schools and others have got to get proactive.  Parent are required by law to send their children to school.  School boards and administrators have a responsibility to these students.  When obvious safety mechanisms are not in place, boards and administrators should be held accountable.  Let’s top wasting time arguing about gun control, guns and get some things done that might actually work.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Nelson Mandela

As most everyone knows by now, one of the giant figures of the 20th century, Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday.  He was a towering figure in the fight for legal equality and justice in his homeland and a great inspiration to others.  He was not perfect, and has been criticized, rightly or wrongly for leaning Left too far and for advocating violence.  However, for me, a figure does not have to be perfect to be honored.   He had tremendous patience, perseverance, organizational skills and charisma.  Fortunately, these were used primarily for ends anyone who values liberty and justice can appreciate.  Perhaps even more impressive were his efforts to bring white South Africans into the mix rather than taking a reverse apartheid approach.  I have added him to my Hall of Fame. 

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Insurance company settles police excessive force case. Effect of such practices?

Many hope that money damages under federal civil rights statutes (e.g. 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983) will deter officers and agencies from future violations.  The presence of insurance clouds that picture.  In a case from Florence, CO, the company on it's own decided to settle for a $32,500 payment to a woman who alleged that a city police officer used excessive force when he used a stun-gun on her while she was handcuffed in a patrol car.  The insurer felt that a trial alone would cost more than the settlement figure.  Does this discretion by the insurer hurt the deterrent effect and/or encourage frivolous claims?  If course, the insurance company can always raise its rates and take the risk that they will be dropped.  This is a complex, but important issue.  I don't claim to know what the answer is. How about you?

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Murder of family in 2010 remains unsolved

The mass murder of 4 members of the McStay family who disappeared in 2010 and whose bodies were discovered in 2013 remains an unsolved mystery.  California authorities have little evidence to go on.

Congress enacting fewer laws

Congress has enacted only 52 laws by the end of this Nov. This is the lowest number since at least 1947 when such data collection was started.  Congressional polarization and wrangling are blamed for this lack of "productivity."  Depending upon your personal approach, this is either a good or bad thing.  If you long for the creation of a federal nanny state this is a bad idea.  If you are skeptical of government action, the lack of productivity may  be a good thing.  Certainly much Congressional output is or contains special interest laws which benefit neither the general public or the nation as a whole (e.g. farm subsidies Much of it threatens civil liberties (e.g., portions of national security laws), much of it is wasteful patronage in which taxpayers money is used to buy votes of certain segments of the population.  Of course some is essential, constitutional and beneficial to people in general and the nation as a whole.To  a large extent it depends on whose ox is being gored.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Politics makes strange bedfellows; Critics of economic inequality.

The Left and Catholic Church are often on the opposite sides in many issues (e.g., abortion, birth control, freedom of religion, opportunities for women).  However, both are critics of the economic inequality in capitalist societies such as the U.S.  Economic inequality has become the newest obsession of the left. Pres. Obama recently complained about it.  I guess after the Obamacare debacle he felt a need to try to rally his far-left supporters.

  Yes, it can be harmful, and capitalism has its costs.  I dislike much about capitalism, (putting profits above all other values, indifference to humanistic values, sacrificing lives for profit, short-term outlook, etc.) but overall it is the most productive and conducive to a free society.  Opponents of inequality of income ignore the issues of causation, incentives, the dangers of the entitlement mentality, connections between economic and other freedoms, etc.  For instance, single parenthood, teen births and illegitimacy are prime causes of poverty among women in low income communities.  Rather than attack the economic system and redistribute income, why not work on the causes such as dropping out of school, high illegitimacy rates, lousy schools, etc.  Rates of poverty are associated with teenage parenthood and illegitimacy.  See this report on birth rates, etc.  Don't get me wrong, I am not flatly opposed to progressive income and inheritance taxes, "social programs,"student loans and grants, minimum wage laws, Head Start, "welfare" programs etc., if done properly.  I am not flatly opposed to programs to lessen poverty if done properly.  I am opposed to government-imposed equality of results.  I favor equal opportunity as long as no one is denied equal protection of the law. I am opposed to direct transfers of income from the "affluent" to the lower income persons to lessen income inequality. 
Finally, in the Leftist literature I have noticed much carping about how corporate executives make millions, but little or nothing about professional athletes of entertainers who likewise make millions.  It is apparently only a problem if "capitalists" have obscenely high incomes.

Obamacare back to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will consider whether employers who religiously oppose it can be required by Obamacare to cover forms of medicines and devices (contraceptives) that can  terminate pregnancy.  The company is run by a Mennonite family.  Federal appeals courts are split on the issue which involves a number of sub-issues, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Free exercise of religion, rights of corporation, etc.

School Officials charged in Steubenville rape case

Four public school officials in Steubenville, Ohio, (including a school superintendent  and 2 coaches) were charged with tampering, obstruction, etc. in the investigation of an alleged sexual assault on a 16 year old girl by 2 high school football players.  Unfortunately, these coverups are probably more frequent that we know. Apparently, sports are more important than justice for some people.  The "boys will be boys" excuse doesn't fly anymore.
Recall the Penn State football child sex-abuse case?

Demolition Contractor Charged with Murder

In a highly unusual case, a demolition contractor in Philadelphia, Pa. was charged with murder.  A botched demolition resulted in the death of 6 persons in a neighboring Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Officer convicted of shooting unarmed teen

Criminal prosecutions and convictions of police officers for using excessive force are extremely rare.  This case from Okla. is a recent exception.

Friday, November 15, 2013

More left-wing authoritarianism--warranltess gun inspections

Nothing brings left-wing authoritarians out of the closet quicker than "guns." and the Second Amendment.  Latest example of Fourth Amendment insanity aimed at gun owners.  Unfortunately, for this country, we also have lots of right-wing authoritarians, e.g. when it comes to certain aspects of the First Amendment, privacy  rights, etc. To elaborate on older quotes:  Eternal vigilance against both the Left and Right is the price of liberty; The road to authoritarian government is paved with good intentions;  Power corrupts--more power means more corruption.

Majority say Obama not trustworthy

New poll shows that a majority of Americans do not believe the President is honest and trustworthy.  His lies about Obamacare not causing cancellations finally caught up with him.  However, this is just the straw that broke the camel's back. For instance, Months ago he told the people that the NSA spying and other programs were under control and that there was nothing to worry about.  Wikileaks, Snowden, complaints from foreign leaders and other sources showed this not to be the case.  He promised to close Guantanamo, make government more transparent, etc., etc., etc.  Is the Obamessiah a false prophet? Will Obamania finally collapse?  Or, has the attained cult of personality status such that supporters will ignore the facts?  Time will tell.

Friday, November 08, 2013

More police and court corruption in Chicago?

Latest allegations only tend to confirm Chicago's reputation as one of America's most corrupt cities.  I don't know why black voters continue to support city governments that continue to profile them?

San Diego PD starts facial recognition program

San Diego PD started a facial recognition program that should help law enforcement greatly.  Another example of battlefield technology making it into law enforcement.  I see no Fourth Amendment or constitutional right to privacy  problem with this.  Although I strongly support civil liberties, I do not take a knee-jerk approach.  Every once in a while the police and government do respect our rights.

Fla. refuses to repeal 'stand your ground."

The Fla. legislature has refused to repeal its stand your ground self-defense law.  Although it played no part in the George Zimmerman case, the left went apoplectic against this law.  The right to use lawful arms for lawful self-defense is the essence of the Second Amendment and a natural law right.

Another MSNBC media scandal?

The state of the mainstream media in this country is disgraceful.  It comes from both the left-leaning and right-leaning media.  MSNBC is one of the worst examples. Is this a factor in the terrible quality of people who are getting elected? (see prior post).
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Obama credibilty takes another hit: bakctracks on Obamacare problem

Has our President revealed his true nature as a Chicago/Illinois politician?  Another backtrack.

Disgraceful Toronto Mayor

Looks like the U.S. isn't the only place with abominable leadership.  Disgraced Toronto mayor refuses to resign.  Trying to play politics to stay in office and get re-elected. Reminds me of the recent may of San Diego.  Another example is U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Please checkout "My Philosophy"

I have updated "My Philosophy." It will show readers where I am coming from.  Please look it over and comment.  I am not locked into anything and am willing to think outside my box.  I think we could probably get some good discussions going.  We all need to work the philosophical sides of our brains more often and examine our basic assumptions.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Both sides at fault in Obamacare debate

The debate over Obamacare has brought out a lot "spin" from both the Left and the Right.  Both sides should be ashamed of this unethical behavior.  When are the American people going to hold their elected officials accountable for lies, distortions, etc.?  See these and other excellent articles at factcheck.org

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Supreme Court to hear federal gun control law case

The U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing the case of U.S. v. Castleman during its upcoming term which starts next month.  The issue in the case is
whether  Castleman's "Tennessee conviction for misdemeanor domestic assault by intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury to the mother of his child qualifies as a conviction for a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9)." Castleman was convicted of possessing a firearm while being a person who had been convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence."  Unfortunately, it does not appear that this is a Second Amendment case.  The Court desperately needs to clarify the scope of the Second Amendment right.  Many lower courts have refused to read Second Amendment rights beyond possession in the home.  The Court needs to make clear that, as per the language of the Second Amendment ("keep and BEAR") protects at least some forms of carrying ("bearing") and extends beyond the home.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

More guns, less crime

The recently release FBI Uniform Crime Reports show that violent crime and gun homicide rates continue to go down despite a series of intense gun-buying sprees.  Bottom line: guns don't cause crime, they don't encourage crime.  The article states:

"With gun ownership in American at an all-time high, violent crime, according to the FBI's most recent national crime report, is at its lowest level in more than four decades. The rate of homicides in which murderers use guns has decreased almost 50%, from a high of 6.62 per 100,000 to 3.27 in 2012.
But why are mass shootings rising, you ask? A recent Wall Street Journal report helps explain one of the primary reasons: “One theory is the proliferation of public areas where guns are outlawed. 'Since 1950, almost every single public shooting in the United States in which more than three people have been killed has taken place in what are commonly known as "gun-free zones,”' reports the Washington Examiner. Recent shootings at schools and movie theaters illustrate this point. The Navy Yard shooting is another example. A policy implemented 20 years ago effectively banned people other than security guards from carrying guns on military bases. The shooters go where it's less likely that someone will fire back.“

Criminals won't obey gun laws and they are not protected by the Second Amendment.  Arguably many crime victims are indirectly the victims of gun control. Law abiding people generally obey gun control laws.    They are not armed, others around them are not armed. They are "soft targets."

Zimmerman's wife not sure if it was self-defense; milking the talk shows

The George Zimmerman case is one that the Left just keeps milking.  As I told some friends a few w weeks ago after the divorce announcement and confrontation news, that it was only a matter of time till she gets on some talk show and drops hints that it may not have been self-defense. This has now happened.   What you have to realize here is that many people have figured out that the way to make $ on talk shows and interviews is to say what the interviewer/network want to say.  And, it always feeds weak egos to get on TV and be treated like a celebrity.  Trayvon Martin's family and friends milked  the opportunity and Mrs. Zimmerman perhaps decided that it was here turn for the limelight and perhaps revenge.   Fox wants to interview people who say what the conservative viewers want to hear. ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC want to interview people who say what their conservative viewers want to hear. The interviewees are smart enough to figure out what they need to say/hint/imply. It 's good for the interviewees, but bad for balance coverage and often bad for the truth. Also bad because non-newsworthy items drown out the truly newsworthy.  When are the American people going to realize that the media are trying to manipulate them?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cop Kicks down 2nd amend sign.

Cop caught on video kicking down Second Amendment sign.  Although many politically  connected cops and chiefs are pro-control and anti-Second Amendment, most of the ones I talk to are not.  Many surveys of police officers confirm this. Many chiefs owe their jobs to Democratic politicians (who are frequently anti-gun) and have to say the right thing. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ethical Decisoin-Making Tools

I complained about a lack of ethics a few posts ago.  Now I'm trying to do something about the problem.  See this excellent list of ethical decision making tools from Ethics Alarms.

H.S. textbooks misstate Second Amendment rights

High School textbooks in at least two states (S.C. and TX), misstate the Supreme Court- approved Second Amendment rule. The  books state that the Amendment only protects the rights of those who are members of the militia.  This is contrary to what the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.  Is this incompetence or is it ideologically motivated?  I still see lots of posts and letters from people who have probably never read either decision, limiting the right to militia members.  Ignorance is bliss for some. Our Bill of Rights is arguable the most important legal document in the land.  It's easy to defeat rights if people don't know they exist.  If you don't like the current interpretation of the Second Amendment, don't lie about it, propose an amendment.

Government Missed Red Flags re Naval Yard Shooter

How did the Navy Yard gunman pass at least two background checks? Why wasn't he prosecuted for prior criminal acts? Why wasn't his clearance pulled.?  Why wasn't security seriously beefed up at every military facility after the Fort Hood mass murders?  Why weren't there armed guards all-over the Navy Yard?  Why didn't some of the staff there carry sidearms? (I know the Obama administration doesn't like guns and self-defense, but this is inexcusable)The ball was dropped by governments and innocent people paid the price.  Anyone who thinks government has enough care, smarts or resources to protect them 24/7 everywhere, and thus people don't need guns for defensive purposes, is living in a dream world.

Great Webiste: Ethics Alarms; Lying politicians

There seems to belittle discussion and concern with ethics these days. Lying is commonplace with politicians and no one seems to care.  Of course, it has been going on for decades.  However, contrary to Obama supporters, this fact does not excuse current derelictions.  The Ethics Alarms website (at link) is a great step in the right direction.  Please check it out.  Also be sure to checkout the generally non-partisan factcheck.org website for lots of additional examples. It seems like a lack of ethics is a required qualification for being a public official (no matter what the stripes).  When is the public going to get fed up and throw these folks out?

Bipartisan deception in the Syria debate, Obama floundering.

According to FactCheck.org.,  both sides have used deception in the Syria debate. The highest profile ones are all Dems:  Obama, Pelosi and Kerry.
I could be wrong, but perhaps the biggest deception is the belief that you can trust the Soviets and Assad.  They will stall the chemical disarmament as long as possible while they work in getting around it. (e.g. ship weapons to Iran)  Obama has been conned.  When he has a slam dunk (Dem. control of both Houses of Congress) he wins, without it, he flounders (e.g. gun control, immigration reform).  He just doesn't know how to deal with tough cookies like Putin and Assad.

Nancy Pelosi and the Obamessiah

In spite of completely botching the Syria problem, many continue to see Obama as faultless and a victim of the Right.  For them, the Obamessiah  can do no wrong. Nancy Pelosi is a high profile example.  This is a disturbing trend.  Does it lead to a very dangerous cult of personality among many on the Left? Although I independently came up with the term, a google search a second ago suggests it was probably first use by author Mark Edward Taylor. 

Gallup Poll shows deline in support for gun control, public links mental illness and gun violence

Interesting results from Gallup.  Perhaps the public is increasingly rising above the constant anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment and pro-control propaganda of the Obama administration and left-dominated media.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

California College Forbids Passing Out Constitutions...On Constitution Day

"In a stunning illustration of the attitude taken towards free speech by too many colleges across the United States, Modesto Junior College in California told a student that he could not pass out copies of the United States Constitution outside the student center on September 17, 2013—Constitution Day. Captured on video, college police and administrators demanded that Robert Van Tuinen stop passing out Constitution pamphlets and told him that he would only be allowed to pass them out in the college’s tiny free speech zone, and only after scheduling it several days or weeks ahead of time. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has written to Modesto, demanding that the college rescind this policy immediately."    “Worse, FIRE’s research shows that Modesto Junior College is hardly alone in its fear of free speech. In fact, one in six of America’s 400 largest and most prestigious colleges have ‘free speech zones’ limiting where speech can take place. This video brings to life the deeply depressing reality of the climate for free speech on campus.”Source FIRE  Welcome to left-wing higher ed in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Cops Convictions in Danziger Bridge (Katrina, New Orleans) murders overturned

Months ago this blog covered the Danziger Bridge murders (shortly after hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.  5 officers were convicted but their convictions were overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. (The link also has good background on the cases.) Looks like the cops aren't the only ones who aren't playing by the rules.  Both police and prosecutorial misconduct are rampant in this country.  However , the problems never seem to get fixed.  Why do you think this is?

3 Important Upcoming Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has already decided on some of the cases it will tentatively hear when its term starts early next month. Three important ones, involving the First and Fourth Amendments are discussed here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Small arms: Good or bad? Obama can't make up his mind

At the same time he supports domestic gun control and the proposed UN treaty of small arms, the Obama administration provides small arms to Syrian rebels.  One of the purposes of the UN treaty is to keep small arms out of the hands of dangerous groups.  The administration is doing precisely what the treaty purports to outlaw.  Of course, in the final analysis, treaties and statutes notwithstanding, the only important thing is whose ox is being gored.  Secondly, how many of these small arms will end up in the hands of U.S. opponents and "terrorists"?  If Assad falls, how will these arms be used?  These folks are not going to turn in these arms if and when Assad is defeated.  Not only is the administration hypocritical, it is foolish to let these additional arms loose in a nation drowning in violent chaos.  As many on both the Left and Right have noted, Obama's moves re the Syrian crisis have been one disaster, or potential disaster after another. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

More on the "Obama problem" (aka the Syria problem)

Things appear to be changing fast on the Obama administration’s approach to Syria.  Around 2 years ago, Obama said Assad must go, and we  began shipping small arms to the opposition. After the chemical attack,  first it was a missile attack and then manned bombers were mentioned.   What will happen if Syria doesn’t comply with the prospective new chemical weapons disarmament?

New reports strongly suggest that there is fighting between various opposition factions in Syria.  Somehow the administration is going to control whoever takes over if Assad goes?  Somehow the administration will control the brutal violence involved in what has now also become a sectarian conflict in addition to a political one?  How will they do this. “Boots on the ground?”  Of course, the objective now seems to be chemical disarmament.  Have the objectives changed?

Even the folks at Time magazine, in their latest issue, note that the President has been botching this whole thing from the beginning.  First, we attack.  Then we’ll wait for Congressional approval.  Then we’ll use diplomacy.  Why wasn’t diplomacy the first option?  Go the  U.N. or NATO, get approval and then force Assad to negotiate?  It should have been a wake-up call when our closest ally, and most frequent military partner, Britain, refused to buy in.

 Progress has apparently been made in the negotiations.  The U.S and Russia will somehow oversee Syria’s chemical weapon disarmament.  Can we really trust the Soviets and Syrians? Will the Soviets sell out one of their most important Middle East Allies?  Will the delay just give the Syrians more time to hide a good portion of the chemical weapons?   How long will this be drawn out?  What will be the next option adopted by the Administration if this falls through?

Let’s look briefly at the President’s recently televised speech on the situation.   He finally identified the national interest that supposedly justifies military force.   We must punish Assad for the use of chemical weapons in order to deter him and others from using chemical weapons against American forces in the future.  This is very speculative, and hardly justifies military force against a sovereign nation.  Saddam Hussein didn’t use his chemical weapons (if he had them) against American troops.  I doubt most opponents would risk using chemical weapons against U.S. military forces.   I know of no instance of their use against American forces in either Afghanistan or Iraq.   This alleged “national interest” justifying military intervention doesn’t fly.  If this interest is so obvious, why haven’t the British, the U.N. and perhaps NATO jumped on the bandwagon. Their troops are also vulnerable to chemical weapons.  Perhaps they have no interest, because they have no “boots on the ground” contingencies?

The President’s speech wreaked of propaganda.  Propagandists play on emotion to overcome the lack of rationality. He repeatedly used emotion-arousing arguments.  He made repeated  reference to the innocent people and children who were killed.  Our emotions tell us that Assad must pay retribution for this.  When reason provides a weak justification, try emotion.  But revenge this is not a national interest justifying military intervention.   Emotion is not a good basis for a very serious action.  Further, Assad needs to be punished. Will any of the plans inflict personal harm on Assad?  How many innocent people who took no part in the chemical attack, and might actually have opposed it if asked, will be killed by missile or bomb attacks?   Assad is an international criminal.  We will have to topple his regime to get him and then we should send him before and international or Syrian court.  How much American involvement will be necessary to topple Assad?  Given the split in the Syrian opposition, they will need a lot of help to topple Assad.

American credibility is only temporarily at issue.  We will have a new President in 2016 who will hopefully provide rational policies, leadership and credibility.  However, Obama’s credibility is the real issue,  Thus far, he has totally blown it.  He  lurches from option to option desperately seeking some way out.

Finally, for many liberals, protecting Obama and providing spin and damage control are priorities. Will that foolishness lead us into military invovlement?  Will we use military force to save Obama's reputation?  For many misguided military  people and conservatives (and some liberals), the primary source/expression of patriotism is the military and supporting military action.  Unfortunately, too many people get their egos salved when their nation whips some two-bit dictator or “kicks ass.”  This misguided approach costs too much American blood and treasure.  Too many innocent people become collateral damage.  The source/expression of our patriotism should be our "exceptionalism:"  we are the freest people on the face of the earth, we trust our law-abiding citizens with defensive weapons, we have the oldest, most successful democracy in human history.  We saved the world from German and Japanese oppression in the 40's.  Being a bully for no good reason is not something to be proud of.


Sec'y of State Lying re his prior stand on Iraqi intervention?

According to the usually reliable FactCheck.org" "Secretary of State John Kerry says both he and Chuck Hagel, now the secretary of defense, “opposed the president’s decision to go into Iraq” as senators. But both voted to give President Bush the authority to use military force in Iraq."  Just the kind of guy we need in charge at State. And you might be thinking Putin and Assad can't be trusted. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Colo Voters oust 2 anti-gun legislators

"Colorado voters ousted two state lawmakers Tuesday in first-ever recall elections that came in reaction to the Democrats' support for tougher gun laws in the aftermath of last year's mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown, Conn.
Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo lost their jobs as lawmakers in an election seen as a national measure of popular support for gun legislation. They were replaced by two gun-rights Republicans."

It's so heartening to see people taking action and standing up for their Second Amendment  rights. Eternal vigilance and voting are the price of liberty.  All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. (Attributed to Edmund Burke)

Friday, September 13, 2013

George Zimmerman demonization continues, Reality Show needed?

As suggested in a prior posts, most of the recent news about George Zimmerman is not really newsworthy and represents the Left's demonization of him.  I suspect that soon some network will come up with a George Zimmerman reality show.  Who knows, perhaps he will become the dumbed-down media's next phenom. 

Book Review: Jeffrey Toobin's "The Oath."

I am a long-time Supreme Court watcher and analyst and have taught courses on the Court and constitutional issues (e.g. Fourth Amendment, Second Amendment).  I eagerly took up this book.
The book “The Oath,” by Jeffery Toobin, is subtitled “the Obama White House and the  Supreme Court.” 

As the subtitle suggests, this book is primarily about the struggle between  our most liberal President ever, and the conservative faction on the Court, and the struggle between the liberal and conservative factions on the Court.  One faction is the four conservatives on the Court (Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Roberts) who are sometimes joined by Justice Kennedy, who is the Court’s most frequent swing vote.  The liberal faction is Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor and Breyer.  Toobin provides an inside look at both the White House and the Court.  This review will cover only selected points.

Obama has appointed two Justices, both female (Sotomayor and Kagan), and, for the first time the Court has three females, all of whom vote in a liberal direction.  Like all recent  Presidents, Obama sought appointees who share his ideology.  His appointees have not disappointed him.

In terms of qualifications and background, Kagan’s is a very questionable choice.  Kagan had not practiced law  in two decades before being appointed Obama’s Solicitor General.  She had never had a case before the Court.   She had never been a judge anywhere.  She, unlike most recent Justices, had never clerked for a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Prior to becoming Solicitor General, she had never argued a case in any courtroom.  Her main claim to fame was that she was the first female Dean of Harvard Law School.  Obama wanted her on the Court and his only option was to name her Solicitor General so that she would have at least some minimal qualifications.  Even this appointment was a reach.  Solicitor General frequently had long records of litigation and were active in constitutional litigation (e.g.  Johnson’s appointee Thurgood Marshall).  As has become the case recently with most nominees, Kagan danced around the questions, dodged frequently and was a vague as possible in her confirmation hearing.  In spite of her minimalist qualifications, the Democratic majority in the Senate assured her confirmation.

The book discusses the most controversial cases that came before it, including D.C. v Heller (Second Amendment gives right to individuals), McDonald v. Chicago (Second Amendment applies against the states) Citizens United (First Amendment invalidates portions of “campaign reform” legislation) NFIB v. Sebelius (upholding Obamacare).  Toobin takes the liberal position in all these cases.  Rather than celebrating the strengthening of Constitutional vales and the Bill of Rights in these decisions, Toobin bad-mouths them.   Liberal hypocrisy appears to be at work.    When the liberals lose we generally see accusations of ignoring precedent, ignoring the Constitution, blatant policy- making, etc.   When the liberals win, we generally get praise for the decision.

It is clear to Toobin who are the “bad guys,” on the Court, the four conservatives and Kennedy.  Additional bad guys are the NRA, powerful corporations and the Tea Party.  Obama ‘s policies and the Constitution are often portrayed as the victims of the conservatives on the Court.   Anyone looking for a balanced, sophisticated treatment of the decisions and the Justices will be sadly disappointed.  However, the book is informative about the Court, some of its history, Justices, important cases, etc.  It provides interesting insight into the members of the Court and their interactions.  With these caveats, I’d recommend this book for light reading.


Saturday, September 07, 2013

Mission Creep Already starting for Syria? Retaliation?

The New York Times and Time magazine (both Obama "supporters) and others are  claiming that the Pentagon is working on an expanded list of targets for Syria.  various reports mention Chemical weapons, and related troops and materiel,  and other crucial assets that have been moved are the apparent targets.  Targeting chemical weapons may result in their release into the Syrian environment.  Civilians may be the predominant victims. There is also talk of using aircraft in addition to missiles.  Mission creep setting in already.  Iran and Al Qaeda are already threatening retaliation. A U.S. attack will only heighten hate for America in the region.  This thing could quickly get out hand and turn into a regional crisis.  The Russians are sending naval units to the area. These developments should send up additional red flags to Congress and the American people.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Big First Amendment Victory for University Professors (and taxpayers and students)

“In a victory for free speech on campus, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling  (Demers v. Austin)  yesterday addressing a question raised but not answered by the Supreme Court of the United States in Garcetti v. Ceballos (2006): whether the First Amendment protects public college faculty members’ speech “related to scholarship or teaching,” despite the Court’s holding in Garcetti that public employees may be disciplined for “speech made pursuant to the employee’s official duties.” Writing for a unanimous Ninth Circuit panel in yesterday’s opinion (PDF), Judge William Fletcher stated unequivocally that “Garcetti does not—indeed, consistent with the First Amendment, cannot—apply to teaching and academic writing that are performed ‘pursuant to the official duties’ of a teacher and professor.”
if you care about First Amendment rights, esp. on college campuses, please visit the FIRE  website at the link. They are an extremely valuable organization for those love liberty!

TIH: 9/6

Today in History: Friday, September  06, 2013
AP Highlight in History:
On Sept. 6, 1901, President William B. McKinley was shot and mortally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y. (McKinley died eight days later; Czolgosz was executed the following month.)
Source:  Dallas Morning News
[For better or worse, too often for the worse, "justice" was dispensed a lot quicker back then.  On the other hand, I've never seen anyone allege that Czolgosz didn't murder the Prez]


Media Absurdity Continues: Reported that Zimmerman Gets Speeding Ticket!

The media inability to discern what is truly newsworthy  is even worse than I previously suggested on this blog.  George Zimmerman gets a speeding ticket.  OMG! (Will we start getting updates on his "bad hair" days?) This is nationally newsworthy?  This is totally absurd!  Don't the national media have anything better to report on?  The left-leaning, inane fight against the demons goes on.  This is even less newsworthy than his wife's seeking a divorce.  Where do the media find these people making such incredibly incompetent and ideologically-driven decisions?  When is the public going to stand up and demand real news and balanced coverage from both the left- and right-leaning media?

Lessons from Afghanistan?

What started out as a justifiable intervention in Afghanistan has now become America's longest war (going on 12 years).  It has also become the most unpopular.  In Afghanistan, there was never even a humpty-dumpty to put back together again.  All the idealistic talk about nurturing democracy there was a delusion. Although we are out of Iraq, are the Iraqi people better off for our involvement?  Is democracy flourishing in our long-term ally Egypt?    The bad taste created by the Afghani and other debacles has made the public skeptical about intervention in Syria?  One suspects that give the horrendous brutality, threats of Iranian retaliation if the U.S. strikes, growing regional involvement (e.g. Lebanon's Hezbollah), transformation into a Sunni-Shiite war, etc., etc., etc,, that Syria can never be put back together again, by anyone, no matter what.  Recently increasing sectarian violence in Iraq, also sends disturbing messages.  In addition, recent news suggests more brutality by the Syrian rebels than previously revealed.  The rebels and their backers have tried to keep a lid on this news, but it is more than just Assad's propaganda. Syria is becoming a basket case that cannot be fixed by outside intervention.  Obama has thus far failed to get additional support at the G-20 meetings. Our closest ally, Britain has already opted out. It is far too late for missile strikes or even no-fly zones.  Congress and Obama should just suck it up.  Obama should admit he has blown it, and the politicians need to listen to the American public--except for humanitarian aid, no direct American involvement in Syria.

NSA cracks encyrption (digital scrambling) codes

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, it had been revealed that the British and American governments have cracked encryption codes that were thought to prevent government snooping. Supercomputers have enabled the NSA and British GCHQ to pull this off.  Documents leaked by former analysis Edward Snowden revealed this breakthrough.  It's becoming easy to become paranoid. Are our televisions watching us?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

New Sentencing in Montana Rape case (30 days for rape of 14 year old)

Looks like this wacko judge is having second thoughts.

TIH: 9/04

Today in History: Wednesday, September  04, 2013

On Sept. 4, 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.
Sen. John McCain accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in St. Paul, Minn.
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in a sex scandal, forcing the Democrat out of office.  [Is there a connecton between a city having  liberal democratic mayors and an eventual financial collapse?]
Source Dallas Morning News [by Blogger]


Feds give states breathing room on legal marijuana

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a new policy that will allow states to adopt permissive marijuana policies if they do so "in a responsible manner."  Under these new guidelines, "the Justice Department will not challenge state laws and prosecutors may not bring cases against individual users unless they violate eight federal priorities, including marijuana distribution to minors or as a cover for drug trafficking operations."

 This is a great boost for the marijuana legalization movement and there will be pushes in many other states to legalize medical and/or recreational use of marijuana.  Ballot initiatives are already planned in a number of states.   From federalism and libertarian perspectives, this is a good move. Stay tuned.

Left leaning Media Distort Gun Debate

I've been saying all along that the left-dominated or left-leaning media have distorted the debate about guns, crime control and the Second Amendment.  Here's a concurring opinion.

Obama continues to flounder, delay will only help Assad

Obama compounded his litany of errors by delaying attack and attempting to secure Congressional approval. Looks like a good domestic political move, but otherwise it is a disaster.  It appears that  the Dems and conservative repubs might just give him the go-ahead.  The attack will be largely symbolic in effect.  Assad and his military leadership may be vicious and bloodthirsty, but they are not stupid.  As this article, and many others suggest, given the extra time to prepare for a potential attack, the Syrian government is hiding and shifting hardware, equipment and troops.  Much of it is being moved to inhabited civilian areas.  Further, Syria has oodles of chemical weapons storage sites.  How many of these may be hit with the release of deadly gas?  In the end, the attacks may kill more civilians and destroy more civilian property than important military assets.  Not everything can be moved, but the leadership will have time to hide themselves and their key communication assets.  If the attack comes, it will do little to damage the government's military capacity and may inflict tremendous civilian casualties.  It may provide a symbolic lift for the rebels, but, as suggested in a prior post, this attack will, on balance, only make things worse for civilians, regional stability and international relations.  It will provide new propaganda fodder for Muslim extremists and make it clear that the administration doesn't have a clue.  Given our national debt problems, further involvement and the slipper slope is  the last thing we need.  Thee major bills from Afghanistan have yet to be paid.

 I think we can expect the libertarians and tea party to vote against  Obama's request.  Most of the recent polls I have seen show that most of the public is against the attack.  Obama painted himself and us into the corner with his remarks about red lines and how Assad must go.  I hope Congress is not foolish enough to bail him out with a vote for the attack.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

More crime lab problems; labs paid per conviction

Scandals galore at state crime labs.  Recent study finds that some labs are paid per conviction.  How stupid can you get? 

Mayor Bloomberg great for NRA and gun sales

NYC Mayor Bloomberg's obsessive hate of guns and the Second Amendment has largely backfired. This is consistent with his general approach of making government a super-Nanny.  With his $ and connections, he is one of the most dangerous politicians in the nation when it comes to freedom.  Fortunately, many of his Nanny government schemes have not made it (e.g. ban on large sweet drinks) 

Congress Should say NO to Obama re Syria. Time to find a new approach.

There seems to be widespread consensus that, overall, Obama has handled the Syrian “problem” badly.  (I would argue that Syria is not the problem, Obama’s handling of the situation and the American obsession with trying to be the world’s policeman, problem solver and implanter of democracy is the problem.)  Even Time agreees.  Isn't it  ironic how the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (what a joke) and a candidate who was touted as the "Peace President" is rattling the sabers.  Dindn't welearn anything from Vietnam, Iraq or Mogadishu?  Congress should soundly refuse to approve to Obama's request American military intervention, and strongly state its opposition to any direct American military involvement there without Congressional approval. Syria is a chaotic, unstable, disaster.  This humpty-dumpty will not be put back together again for decades, if ever.  In part it has developed into a Sunni v. Shiite war that we cannot fix.

Humanitarian motives are good, but often things backfire and in the volatile and religiously polarized Middle East we cannot control the outcome.  I hate to sound cruel, but massive casualties in a civil war in a country thousands of miles away, is not a justifiable national interest for  intervention in Syria.  Have we made things better in Iraq?  Have we built a stable democracy in Afghanistan.  Since we got out of Vietnam, the country united and peace prevailed.  The humanitarian thing to do is to stay out.

This is not going to be a relative cake-walk like Libya.  Syria has powerful allies (e.g. Russia and Iran).  How will Russia and Iran respond.    Lebanon, via Hezbollah, has already been drawn into the conflict.  This could easily spiral into a major multi-national conflict.  There was lots of open ground in Libya.  Syria is much more heavily urbanized.  The Syrias have a first class Soviet-made air defense system.  Syria has huge stockpiles of chemical weapons that need to be factored in. 

Some argue that our failure to act could result in the Russians gaining control or undue influence.  They can’t control it any better than we could.  Didn’t they learn anything from their Afghani debacle?  If action must be taken, let it be the U.N. or other nations in the region.   

 The British Parliament has spoken out agianst British intervention.  There is no enthusiasm by the French or any of our European allies for intervention.  The UN has shown no interest in involvement. Have these folks finally figured it out?

In this context the problem of Presidential powers v. Congressional powers is a difficult and complex one.  The War Powers Act is now working. Let's use this Congressional veto as the start of trying to build a new Executive-Legislative working arrangement.  One that will keep Presidents with itchy trigger fingers from dragging us into problems that we cannot solve, involvement that will probably market things worse, and that involve no true central national interests and only squander American lives and treasure. The status quo is not working.  Let's use this situation as a starter for a new approach.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Media lack committment to newsworthiness

One thing that continually amazes me about the national media (from whom we have some right to expect ethical and professional behavior) is how we are bombarded, on the national level, with items that are not newsworthy.  Both the left- (ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, HLN) and right-leaning  (FOX) are guilty.  As many have noted, entertainment and news have become dangerously intertwined.  That's one of the reasons why we have so much soap opera crap passing for news.  Another reason is ideological bias.  Anything that is consistent with that ideology and makes the opposition and those who have been demonized (e.g. George Zimmerman, NRA) look bad, will be published/broadcast no matter how much it lacks in newsworthiness.  Further, the media and much of the public seem to be obsessed with celebrities.  Is it really newsworthy what Barbara Streisand, Oprah Winfrey or Ted Nugent thinks about some issue? (See "newsworthiness,"  "News propaganda" and "News values" on Wikipedia)  A recent example brings this home.  Is it nationally newsworthy that George Zimmerman may be having marital problems? Given how the left has demonized Zimmerman, we are probably in for a lot more of this crap about Zimmerman. When are the American people going to realize that the media is dumbing them down and manipulating them through propaganda.  When are the American people going to demand real news presented in a balanced fashion?   When are people going to start thinking for themselves rather than just parroting their favorite ideologically corrupted news source?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nullifying federal gun laws--a constitutional delusion and dangerous distraction.

A few states have passed laws which purport to nullify new federal gun control laws that allegedly violate the Second Amendment. I appreciate these officials standing up for the Amendment, but these laws are symbolic only.  Nullification is a  constitutional delusion.  It is contrary to the Supremacy clause in Art VI of the Constitution, and has never been (and never will be) endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court.   The way to defend the Second Amendment is to vote for federal officials who respect the right and bring lawsuits.  President's nominate Supreme Court Justices and the Senate must approve them.  The Second Amendment individual right hangs by one vote in the U.S. Supreme Court.  This is where the real battle will be fought  Anyone who relies on nullification statutes will  lose, and it being distracted from the real fight.

New Texas gun laws effective Sept. 1.

Although Texas government, like most, has many faults, being anti-Second Amendment is not one of them.  This article lists new gun laws, most of which take effect Sept. 1.  I do not like the law reducing the number of training hours.  CHL holders need more on self-defense law, interacting with law enforcement, etc.    Concealed carry in campus buildings did NOT pass.

Fort Hood mass murder gets death penalty

Major Hasan sentenced to death. "Because of the high profile and heavy toll of the Nov. 5, 2009, attack — more than 40 people were killed or wounded — Major Hasan is likely to become the first American soldier in more than half a century to be executed in the military’s death chamber at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The execution would require presidential approval."  Many have argued that the death penalty will turn him into a martyr for extremists.

30 day sentence and judge's comments in rape case spark outrage.

Where do they find these judges?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Home invasion thwarted by armed, elderly homeowner

This is armed, lawful, defensive behavior is what the Second Amendment was designed to allow.  Don't expect to see this on the liberal-dominated media.  Only the misuse of guns gets attention there. 

Another example of prosecutorial misconduct

Prosecutorial misconduct is involved in many convictions of innocent people.  Of course it also happens in the cases of persons who are probably guilty.    However, it too rarely comes to light.  Here, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit calls out the local U.S. Attorney's office.  " The opinion goes on to discuss the dangers to the credibility of the court system when the government bets that its repeated discovery violations will either not be discovered, or as here, not result in a reversal."

Another NYPD outrage

NYPD has secretly labeled all mosques as "terrorist organizations."  That "allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing.  Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance."  Welcome to Mayor Bloomberg's world.  This guy is not only a threat to the Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment, but freedom of religion and privacy are also in danger. 

TIH: Aug 28

On Aug. 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech during a massive  civil rights rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.  This is one of the greatest speeches in American history. Although I don't agree with him on everything, Dr. King is in my "Hall of Fame" (on this blog)

1955 Emmett Till, an African-American teenager from Chicago, was abducted from his uncle's home in Money, Miss., by two white men after he was accused of whistling at a white woman. He was found murdered three days later.
1968 Police and anti-war demonstrators clashed in the streets of Chicago as the Democratic National Convention nominated Hubert H. Humphrey for president.
Audio Link Sen. Abraham Ribicoff: "Gestapo tactics"
Audio Link Chicago Mayor Richard Daley defends police

Source: Dallas Morning News.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Lawful gun carrier harassment?

Although the officers got qualified immunity on most of the lawsuit, (Rabin v. Flynn, et. al) their actions seem excessive and, given that it happened in one of the strongest anti-gun states (Ill.) perhaps were harassment of a lawful gun carrier.   Read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions. 

Joe Biden on Gun Control

Joe is really out of touch with reality.  He is the "no-brainer." Joe is one of millions who are looking for simple answers to very complex questions.

TIH: 1927, Sacco and Vanzetti

1927 Italian-immigrant anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a robbery in 1920.  Today, the consensus appears to be that they did not get a fair trial and were victims of a national hysteria.

Teens kill jogger "for fun."

Bored teens kill for fun of it.  And some people think guns are the problem.


I have recently retired from my position as a Professor of Criminal Justice.  I warned you that I was low tech.  I will edit/correct material on this home page as soon as I figure out how to do it.  Thanks for your patience. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wikileaker Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years.

Some people think Bradley Manning is a criminal and/or traitor.  Others think he is a hero.  35 year sentence for him will be too short for some and too long for others.  I'm not sure.  I look at this as an act of civil disobedience and an illegal act.  Those who practice civil disobedience must be ready to pay the price--no matter how high as long as it's a legal sentence.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

This guy is part of the problem: Americans who fear the Bill of Rights

Sad example of how little many Americans value their constitutional rights.  Obviously a bigger fan of Mayor Bloomberg than he is of the Constitution.  This guy shares the Right's dislike of the Fourth Amendment with the Left's dislike of the Second Amendment.  As if often the case, anti-gun also  means anti-Fourth Amendment as the amendment poses a significant barrier to attempts to enforce gun control laws.

Example of lawful self-defense with firearm

Successful, lawful instances of Americans using firearms to successfully and lawfully defend themselves rarely get mentioned by ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, New York times, etc., yet they occur thousands of times a year.  Here's an example from Iowa involving an escaped convict who invaded a home.  This is an example of why we have a Second Amendment.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

N.C. to Pay over $12 Million to two wrongly imprisoned men

Misconduct by the NC State Bureau of Investigation proving costly to their victims and state.  These are not the first big payouts for NC SBI misconduct.

Whitey Bulger convicted

Former Boston Irish organized crime boss and long-time fugitive, James, "Whitey" Bulger was convicted of multiple offenses (murder, racketeering, etc.)  He had been the target of an intensive manhunt for years.

TIH: Aug 14, 1997, Timothy McVeigh sentenced to death

1997  An  unrepentant Timothy McVeigh was sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing.