Thursday, July 28, 2011

We will not see actual cuts in spending

Jerry Pournelle writes a very telling post entitled There Won't Be Cuts, courtesy of Kevin at the Smallest Minority over in the side bar.

I am taking a road trip, so won't be around for a few days. But this is what I fear we will end up with. Smoke and mirrors, but no real cuts. Or, and this is a trick I especially like, put the "cuts" in the out years, where Reid and Boehner can not be held accountable for them since no Congress can legally bind a future Congress. The Republicans will say that they need more people in Congress to get something done. Don't fall for it again. This is the same trick they pulled on us in 1994. We gave them more, but they betrayed us at every turn.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Debt Ceiling Silliness

Or, what is the other hand doing while we are being distracted.

An article on the "Super Congress" idea floated by John Boehner (RINO, OH) at American Thinker by Robert Eugene Simmons, Jr entitled Boehner's 12 Member Commission Political Game gives John Boehner the maximum benefit of the doubt with his insane idea. Unconstitutional doesn't begin to say it.  But it will do.  Boehner is proposing to disenfranchise each and every one of us from budget decisions.  The underlying assumption is that tax money belongs to the Government.  In fact, tax money belongs to each of us, and we each have to have a say in how it is used.  Otherwise, why do we need Congress.  Save the money and go with the "Super Congress."

In one narrative, Mr. Boehner is trying to avoid the opprobrium that will no doubt be heaped on him come election time if he does not succeed in both raising the debt ceiling (allowing his Social Security constituents to be paid) and securing spending cuts (as demanded by his TEA party constituents.) In other words, he it attempting with his idea of a "Super Congress" to avoid blame that will inevitably cost him his cushy Congressional job.

Or, there is another possibility. Who does Mr. Boehner actually work for?

Yesterday, as I was driving to work in morning rush hour traffic, I heard a talk show host make a remarkable statement. I will have to paraphrase because I didn't want to risk taking my eyes off the road, or pulling over. Even here in Raleigh, rush hour drivers are crazed. In any case, this individual said that after much study of the debt ceiling issue, we needed to raise the debt ceiling because of contractual obligations the Government had incurred during the last six months, which would be defaulted if we did not raise it.


Now, as I understand the process, money is typically appropriated by one committee,known as a Appropriation committee. There are many such committees.  All of the Appropriations committees' various appropriations combined make up the budget. This is passed to the Senate, which may tweak them. If so, the two sides negotiate, both pass the same bill, then send it to the President for signature. But, before the President can actually obligate that money, (for instance, let a contract) the funds also have to be Authorized by an Authorization committee. The Authorization committee should be fully aware of where we stand relative to the debt ceiling. It doesn't matter how much has actually been obligated by the Executive, because he can not spend money that has not been authorized. So, where did this process break down? Did the Authorization Committee allow the Executive to spend funds beyond the debt ceiling, or did someone in the Executive branch obligate money that was not authorized? Mr. Boehner surely knows this, so who is he trying to protect?  If you answer that question, you will answer who he is working for, because he is not working for us.  I have said for a while now that Boehner should tell the President to go pound sand, politely of course.  He should not be afraid of letting the debt ceiling stay where it is.  If the President decides to not pay Social Security, then it is on his head.  If the President decides to default, that too is on his head.  We take in enough in taxes to allow us to pay our debts, and pay essentials.  What not raising the debt ceiling does is force a debate on what is and is not essential.  We have needed that for a long time.

If I am wrong about this, I wish someone would tell me how.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Liberty Sphere: Yes, Progressives Really Want to Control You

And they will if you let them.

Our friend, the Welshman, Anthony Martin, who also writes the Conservative Commentary for the Examiner, has an excellent piece up today entitled Yes, Progressives Really Want to Control You. Click to read the whole thing. A sample:

The reason citizens must have the freedom to keep and bear arms is that a large and dangerous sector of society does not obey any law that says you must not commit murder, or that you must respect another person's property, or that you must conduct yourself in a manner in which others are not harmed. Progressives sitting in their sanitized, insulated ivory towers claim to be ignorant of such people. But informed, free citizens know the danger and must have the means to defend themselves not only against threats to their lives and property but against oppressive governments as well. This is at the heart of the American experience dating all the way back to the Declaration of Independence. And yes, deadly force was used to defend freedom when it was attacked by totalitarians.

This piece, and I encourage you to go read it, illustrates fundamental difference in philosophy between Progressives, on the one hand, and Conservatives on the other. I believe a people must be able to govern themselves. Writing more, and more restrictive laws does nothing but make criminals out of otherwise law abiding people. If you write the law with that idea in mind, people will respond by making more adult decisions. If you write the law as if you believe people can not govern themselves, you will infantilize them and they will prove you correct as well.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Terrorists and Rebels Among Us

There are terrorists, insurrectionists, and people advocating the overthrow of the Constitutional Republic among us. But they are not those calling themselves Constitutionalists, who advocate for restoring the Constitution. So who are these people, and where are they?

I have been pondering the issue of illegal and illegitimate government, that is government unbounded by the laws established by our legislative branch, as well as activist judges who twist the laws and Constitution to say things the writers and the Founders never intended to say, for a number of years now. In the latter category, I would put the collectivist theory of the Second Amendment. We can read the writings of the founders, the Federalist papers on the topic, as well as we can read the Constitution itself, and it is pretty clear to all with an open mind that it was intended as an individual right. Even Alan Dershowitz, that progressive Constitutional scholar, has come to the conclusion that it is an individual right. Historians can look at a number of documents and ascertain that clearly it was intended as an individual right. Indeed, the collectivist theory did not arise until the 20th century, along with the rise of progressivism. Yet despite the relatively recent reinterpretation of the Constitution by progressives, it took thousands of man hours by scholars as diverse as Steven Holbrook, Dave Kopel, Alan Korwin, and Dave Hardy; it took the organizing effects of groups like the Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and belatedly and unenthusiastically, the NRA; it took 40 years of effort by individuals fighting a seemingly quixotic battle, and it took having a Supreme Court that would listen and a spunky lawyer like Alan Gura to bring the case, all to prove what we already knew. Namely that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. Here's something else we know: that States that require a Concealed Carry permit and that restrict that permit in terms of where and when you may carry are also infringing that individual right.

I started off with the Second Amendment because I wanted to show that this sort of thing has been going on for at least 100 years, and it is not just the scheme of the current holder of the Office of President, though that person has greatly accelerated the process. It is also not the scheme of Democrats or Republicans either. Both parties elected officials are guilty of loving power more than their country. The "Gunwalker Scandal" is only the latest, and in some ways the most egregious, in a long line of government actions that either break the laws set out for everyone else, or violate the Constitution that every elected official, and indeed every so called civil servant is sworn to uphold.

A quick review of the "Only Ones" files over at the War on Guns website will illustrate that many police officers have come to view themselves not as paid servants of the people they serve, but as masters whose job is to control us. In many cases, we find that the police have acted in ways that if a private citizen were to act, the private citizen would be arrested, yet they are found to be acting within "police protocols." We find in the Olofson case that the ATF acts with, shall we say, fluid standards and that the judges seem to assume that the prosecution is acting in good faith despite clear evidence to the contrary.  The TSA runs grope-a-thons and takes naked pictures of citizens, acts that if a private citizen were to do them on the street, would have him or her arrested and put on the sexual offender registry, and we meekly submit. Has everyone forgotten our history? the Founding generation would be shooting already.

Then there is the slow erosion of property rights, starting with the money you make by the sweat of your brow. Through inflation, the money you earn has slowly eroded to the point that a dollar today is worth only pennies compared to the dollar a person earned in 1900. There are rulings like the Kelo decision that made every one's home a potential target of some developer who wants it to build a higher tax base for the government. Then there are the countless environmental laws and regulations that restrict what you may do and build on your land, yet no compensation has ever been offered. The Supreme Court has even found that carbon dioxide, a ubiquitous gas that every living animal breathes out, and that every living plant uses for food must be regulated by the EPA, a decision that makes no sense scientifically, and which the government has no constitutional authority with which to deal. Rather, it is a move designed to put more power in the hands of the government.

In yesterday's American Thinker there appeared an article entitled Of Rebels and Rebellions, by Jeremy Egerer, that makes the case that it is not we, the Constitutionalists who are "insurrectionists" but they, the Progressives, who are trying to change the government.

It has been claimed, by prominent media outlets and even the American government, that right-wing movements comprise insurrectionary parties and that many conservatives are inherently opposed to the existence of our current government. But by following the writings of a man who greatly influenced the founding of our country, one could reasonably conclude that insurrection in America has already been underway for quite some time -- and that the conservative movement is not its main proponent.
Early on in this Administration, the DOJ tried to intimidate Constitutionalists into silence by publishing documents telling law enforcement that Constitutionalists were now terrorists. It didn't work, but for those not paying attention, media reports created a certain taint to anyone who talks about such issues.

But suppose that an official of the government were to act against the common good of his society by disregarding the established laws and infringing upon the man's unalienable rights. Such an act would remove that citizen from the protection of the commonwealth and place him again in a state of war. For any organization which seeks to take property or life without legal precedent should commonly be recognized as an outlaw party no different from any pirate or robber (sect 202).
Note carefully the events currently happening in Quartzite, AZ, where the police chief, with the backing of the town council, has taken over the town and is terrorizing everyone in it. So far, neither the Sheriff of the County, nor the State AG have taken action. Why have the townsmen not formed a militia and arrested these tyrants?
Locke argued that a man's position of authority gives him no more license than anyone else to act outside the law, just as anyone who has a greater chance of harming someone should be held by his neighbors under equal, if not greater, scrutiny. To do otherwise -- to grant authorities greater power to act outside their legal boundaries and to break laws -- would place citizens in greater danger than they were in before they formed their society in the first place. For a man defending himself against an entire nation of individuals and small gangs would stand a far greater chance than he would standing against an authority who maintained a total monopoly on violence.

It is plain to all who read the Constitution that our governmental powers have been transgressing their boundaries for quite some time now, and that they have overridden the original intent our forefathers engineered for both themselves and their children. Of course, some of these advances into the private citizen's rights have been made incrementally, and with the consent of an increasingly lazy, litigious, and immoral citizenry...
Some general principles that ought to be taught to every lawyer, in every law school, if it isn't already, is that the law can not be upheld by breaking the law. If to uphold the law, one must break it, then something is terribly wrong with the law. No man is above the law, no matter his station, status, or authority. The President may not order the death of other Americans without due process. The Congress may not use tax funding to subsidize one individual at the expense of another. Nor can they force individuals to purchase health insurance, or broccoli for that matter. High sounding phrases, and noble intentions do not change the fact that in both cases they are stealing from you and me and providing the money to someone else. Federal agencies may not knowingly and deliberately allow guns to walk across the border, much less sell them directly to drug cartels.    To do so is the break the law in order to enforce it.  Our Founders would have seen this for what it is.

Jeremy Egerer closes with:
If the latter be America's leaders, and large portions of the American public be their supporters, then that is America's lot. Such a result is no fault of anyone other than a cowardly, ignorant, unrighteous populace. But those who oppose such traitors cannot be declared either outlaws or the true threat to our great American society. Rather, it is plain to all reasonable men that the opposition of illegitimate governmental pursuits amounts to nothing less than patriotism and self-defense. Indeed, under these circumstances, our very leadership, should it counter that patriotism, acts as a rebel force. So if Americans will not take their stand today for the protection of their God-given rights, it would not be unwise to declare victory for the rebels already.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Court Rules TSA Naked Scans Constitutional

Of course they did. Did you expect anything different? From we learn that Federal Court Rules that TSA Naked Scans are Constitutional because you can opt out of the naked scans and get a pleasant pat down instead. That the pat down is just as much of an affront to our dignity, and just as much of a violation of our 4th Amendment rights is overlooked.  It will be one intrusive method or the other, but either way, we are going to violate you, and there is nothing you can do about it.

I am reminded of the mugger who corners his victim, then offers "I can either shoot you, or stab you.  Which way do you want it?"  Such kindness. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Prosecution under RICO

Bob Owens has the latest summary of the Gunwalker scandal over at Pajamas Media entitled More Gunwalker Emails Suggest Gun Control Conspiracy. It is a good read, and an excellent summary. Unfortunately, it does not give credit where it is due, namely David Codrea (The War on Guns) and Mike Vanderboegh (Sipsey Street Irregulars). I remain in awe of Mike's ability to get sensitive information out of ATF.

Bob Owens:
Chait was asking Newell to use tracing data to support an initiative supported by the administration to require the reporting of multiple rifle sales.

If that sounds familiar, it should; this week, President Obama pushed an executive order — an end-run around Congress – stating the feds will now require the reporting of multiple rifle sales within a five-day period. That the office of the presidency lacks the constitutional authority to enact such a rule seems irrelevant to this administration, which is certain to see this edict challenged in court if the ATF attempts to enforce it.
The emphasis is mine. This President, and his administration, have no respect for the laws of this nation, no respect for the Congress, and since they were elected by the people, no respect for the people of the United States.  To our "Most Wise Anointed One", we are just a bunch of rabble who need to go back and play with our toys, while the "Professional Politicians" solve our problems for us.  What nonsense.

Owen again:
Every component of federal law enforcement within the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security — and most likely with the knowledge of the Department of State — undertook a massive operation designed to facilitate the flow of thousands of weapons into the hands of some of the most vicious criminal organizations on Earth. These operations likely took place with the full knowledge of cabinet level officials, and possibly the White House. The weapons “walked” were used to gun down innocent men, women, and children, not to mention the brave police officers and soldiers in each nation trying to wage peace.

It demands a criminal investigation and the possible RICO prosecution of dozens of federal law enforcement officers, supervisors, senior management, political appointees, and possibly elected officials.

Our federal law enforcement apparatus became a criminal conspiracy. This was an assault on the democratic rule of law and the very essence of our republic.
Some of these people may actually believe that the presence of guns is the problem, and not the fact that Mexico is a kleptocracy that doesn't recognize the Mexican peoples' natural rights. Maybe. But they have succumbed to the totalitarian temptation very quickly. They are manufacturing "evidence" and writing illegal laws that will enable them to control, not the guns, but the law abiding people on this side of the border.  That is always the way, isn't it:  in order to stop some criminal bastard, miraculously they put the burden on the law abiding citizens, and not on the criminals who in any case just ignores the laws.  And they do it over and over and over.  At some point, one has to note that such "incompetence" always seems to make your and my life more difficult while seeming to make the criminal's life easier.  Do you see a pattern?  It is not about guns, it is about control.  Our government does not trust the average citizen to use guns responsibly.  That is the problem.

Update:  From the Klamath Falls Herald and News comes this letter to the editor. It is pretty direct and to the point:
This is an astonishing development when the very agency that will be charged with the administration of the new regulation was responsible for permitting the felonious sale and transportation of firearms to Mexico.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Mask Coming Off the Thugocracy

The American Thinker has an article up today by Robert Eugene Simmons, Jr entitled The Soft Dictatorship that expresses what I have been arguing for some time. First, that there is no basis to allow Congress to delegate its power to enact laws to a third party, much less to the branch of government that has the responsibility to enforce those laws.  Thus, the regulations imposed by, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that affect what any party outside the agency does, are Unconstitutional, and thus illegal "laws."  Unfortunately, the courts have for so long gone along with this fiction, that we are unlikely to put the genie back in the bottle.

Now, along comes Obama, and the creation not just of illegal "regulations" but illegal "Executive Orders."  This is no different in either scope or kind, from a classic dictatorship.  Obama wants something done.  Obama goes to Congress, but Congress balks.  No problem, Obama just writes and Executive Order and it is done.  Simmons characterizes this as "scary."  "Scary is not nearly strong enough.  Scary is when you go to an especially well made horror movie in which you don't know until the climatic scene who done it.   No, this goes beyond "scary."  No one of the 300 million people living in this country is safe or secure in their homes, their papers and possessions, their liberty, or their life.  As we have seen with the revelations of Operation Fast and Furious, there is no law either U. S. law, or treaty, or international, that Obama will not violate, if it suits him.  As with Libya, if someone calls him on it, he changes names but continues along, and nobody stops him.

We are about to meet hard history.  Are you prepared?

Update:  On the same topic, Alan Korwin has an article up at Ammoland. Hat tip to

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It is Official: Congress Irrelevant

It is now official: Congress has become irrelevant. The BATFE has just announced that buyers of 2 or more long guns in 4 Southwestern States will have to register their purchases. I was notified Tuesday by the NRA at Obama Administration Approves Illegal Multiple Sales Reporting Requirements. I have to admit to taking some time to digest my thoughts and put them into a post because I was so angry. You see, the fact is, the Obama Administration has no authority under law to do this.

Now the term "has no authority" sounds so tame. What it means is that the government can not do it. But as the executive, they can do it if they are willing to ignore Congress. Neither Congress, nor the Courts have the ability to enforce their statutes or rulings. This has been the danger many of us perceived all along if Obama was elected President. My Leftist "friends" always thought I was racists for opposing this guy, or that I was merely hyper partisan. No, I perceived that Mr. Obama would be a lawless, rogue executive, and so he has proven to be.
The BATFE has no legal authority to demand these reports, and the flood of new paperwork (BATFE estimates 18,000 reports per year) will waste scarce law enforcement resources that should be spent on legitimate investigations.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole said in the DOJ statement that this new reporting measure “will improve the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to detect and disrupt the illegal weapons trafficking networks responsible for diverting firearms from lawful commerce to criminals and criminal organizations.”

As anyone who watches the news is aware, the BATFE has recently come under intense scrutiny due to its involvement in, and handling of, the ill-conceived and ill-fated “Fast and Furious” operation. "Fast and Furious" was a part of the five-year-old "Project Gunrunner" program and encouraged Arizona gun stores to sell thousands of guns to suspicious buyers, despite objections from dealers and BATFE field agents alike.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) called the new policy "the height of hypocrisy," and said the Obama administration is restricting the gun rights of border state citizens "when the administration knowingly and intentionally allowed guns to be trafficked into Mexico.” Smith went on to say, “Limiting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens is not going to solve the problem."

Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on and passed, by a vote of 277 to 149, an amendment to H.R. 1 offered by Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Dan Boren (D-Okla.) that prohibits the use of federal funds for the reporting scheme.
That last, the Rehberg Amendment was stripped out of the final bill by Senate Democrats. And it is Democrats again who are showing that they are more than willing to infringe on that which shall not be infringed.

Here's the thing.  When the government violates the clear meaning of its own Constitution to create new "laws," those "laws" are not legitimate, and you and I have no reason to follow them, other than the consequences getting caught.  No one respects the law when the laws are made or broken at the apparent whim of Dear Leader. It may be the Chicago way, but it is not the American way. In the case of Second Amendment rights, it is interesting to me that governments that deny those rights, such as New York City, Chicago, and Mexico are always whining that governments that recognize more of those rights, such as Virginia and Florida are creating crimes by exporting guns.  Except for Fast and Furious, though, guns are not the problem. Any time you deny the peoples' natural rights, you are going to be creating crimes. People are going to try to earn a living legitimately if possible, illegitimately if it is not. People are going to try to defend themselves, legitimately if they can, illegitimately if they can't.

Speaking of Fast and Furious, Katie Pavlich had a piece yesterday in entitled Operation Fast and Furious Designed to Promote Gun Control.

"Internal ATF emails seem to suggest that ATF agents were counseled to highlight a link between criminals and certain semi-automatic weapons in order to bolster a case for a rule like the one the DOJ announced yesterday [Monday]."
The "one the DOJ announced yesterday" was the rule on multiple sales of long guns I was posting about above. Instead, it is the smoking gun proving that the entire operation Fast and Furious was nothing more than a plot designed to provide evidence supporting the Obama administration's preconceived gun control agenda. It was not about catching drug cartel heads, because they already knew who and where they were. It was not about catching straw purchasers, because if they had that in mind, they would have arrested them as soon as they walked out the door with the goods. It was about manufacturing "evidence." The government violated the laws, that you and I must obey on pain of prison. Untold Mexican nationals were killed. At least two Federal agents, and Lord knows how many U. S. civilians will eventually be killed because of it, just to manufacture evidence for a non existent problem.

The laws are supposed to apply to everybody, irrespective of station and status. If the Administration has chosen to break some laws, and they are not held to account (as in go to jail) then all bets are off.  Nobody has to obey any law they choose not to.  Meanwhile, if Congress wishes to regain relevancy, Democrats must put ideological considerations aside, and will join with Republicans to stop this President's lawlessness now. 

Update: Appropos of about which I was talking is David Codrea's Nation Gun Rights column entitled Will Gunwalker Violations Bust Criminal Investigations Wide Open. David's column includes an e-mail from someone who sounds like he has experience, and knows whereof he speaks. Go read what he has to say.

Update 2: The American Thinker has an excellent article on the Gunwalker scandal, and the Mark Chait e-mail which provides us with a "smoking gun" at The Real Under the Radar Target of Operation Fast and Furious by Roya Johnson. A good read.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Handgun Stopping Power

Stopping power studies have always interested me, though in truth I had long ago concluded that in general bigger slower bullets tended to have a slight advantage. But, as can be seen, all pistol cartridges are pretty anemic. With that having been said, for most self defense situations, I do not feel under gunned with either a 9mm, a .38 Spl, or a .45 ACP. So, it was with special interest that I read An Alternative Look at Handgun Stopping Power by Greg Ellifritz over at Buckeye Firearms Association. Hat tip to Keep and Bear Arms.

People have argued about which is the "best bullet" and the best round to use ever since I have been interested in guns; going on 35 years now. Back then it was .38 Spl, vs. .357 Magnum vs. .45 ACP. In the gun rags of the time, the .45 ACP often took on near mythical properties for its supposed ability to stop a bad guy with one shot. Since Mr. Gore's interwebz had not been invented yet, that was pretty much all anyone outside law enforcement had to evaluate which gun to purchase. Too, there was a certain logic involved. A theoretically bigger wound track means theoretically greater blood loss at a theoretically faster pace. What kept me away from the venerable John Browning design, and cast the vote for the .357 Mag was reputation that the M1911 had at the time to jam at the worst possible moment. If I was getting a gun for defense, I surely wanted it to fire when needed, and not choose that particular moment to become a short club. Revolvers, by contrast, pretty much fired when the trigger was pulled, even if they had been stuck in a drawer for twenty years.

Flash forward to 35 years later.  Ballistic gelatin is now more widely available.  The internet provides one with a forum to publish lots of data and have it evaluated by a wide variety of folks (which was the intent, incidentally) and the current war of words is over 9mm vs. .40 S&W vs. .45 ACP.  The 1911 platform has been improved with better materials, and better manufacturing techniques such that it is seen as a reliable weapon for many police departments and elite military units.  The puny 9 mm round has been improved to the point that ballistically it performs as well as the .38 Spl.  But the question remains, which round is the best?

Now comes Greg Ellifritz to pop the arguments of all those who thought their favored round was the best.  Ellifritz data, taken from 1800 actual gun shot cases, shows that among the most commonly used defensive rounds, there is virtually no statistical difference.  .380 ACP to .45 ACP, they are all the same in terms of number of shots to stop an attacker.  What does make a difference is shot placement.  Unfortunately, shot placement can only be achieved through lots of dull, boring practice.  So, here's some free advice on purchasing your next handgun.  Buy one that points naturally for you, and that you shoot well.  I have a friend that loves his little .380 ACPs, and I have friends who like their 9 mm and .40 S&W.  They all work well, and I wouldn't want to be shot with any of them.  Then go out and shoot the *#%$@ out of it in different circumstances, from different stances and different holsters.  Don't worry too much about getting the latest super duper defensive cartridge.  Studies show that the old reliable Federal HST round is still working great for law enforcement.  In 9 mm, I like to use Remington Jacketed Hollow Points that come in 100 round value packs.  They are cheap enough to use for the range, and can then be loaded up for carry on the trip home.

I took a break and went into the living room, where I found the Missus. I was telling her about the article and the interesting, to me, results.  With her usual matter of fact dismissal she said, as I was explaining the .38 Spl vs. .45 ACP debates of old, "Well, shot placement is more important than what gun you use."  That of course was the conclusion I had come to, but she had short circuited my "brilliant" discussion.  But there is more to it, I said.  If you believe yourself capable of cold bloodedly placing a shot at just the right point in the heat of battle, with your adrenalin pumping, your perceptions distorted, and possibly while severely injured, then shot placement is everything.  But I don't believe most people know this about themselves, and I suspect most believe when they are in grave circumstances, there could be a few wild shots, or shots to parts of the body that may not stop the attack.  So it is not unreasonable to search for an extra advantage; to seek an edge.  Couple that with the well known tendency of people to take the easy path of purchasing their self defence rather that of taking the harder path of training, and you have the makings of a debate.  But as Ellifritz has shown, within the range of defensive handgun rounds available, there is no advantage.  I need to get some more training.

The King's Royal Deer

The idea behind the King's Royal Deer is that the King of England claimed all the deer in the land for himself, and hung anyone caught poaching those deer. But now we find that there is a form of the King's Deer here in America. In a free country, I as the owner of land, should be able to kill any deer I find on my property, including the three I caught munching on my tomatos, whenever I want. But I can not, you see, because the State in essence claims ownership of the deer, and I must beg for a licence to kill deer.

The analogy to the King's Royal Deer has application to many property rights issues, including to Obamacare and the King's Royal Deer by Jon N. Hall at the American Thinker today. In the 6th Circuit Court ruling recently, a now almost 70 year old case, Wickard vs. Filburn is cited more than 20 times to uphold the Constitutionality of ObamaCare. Here I must reiterate that under the doctrine of stare decis a bad ruling begets even worse rulings until some future ruling becomes wholly detached from the Constitution itself. It is like an historian who uses secondary sources to make his case. He may have gotten it mostly right, but got something just a little off. Now a future historian comes along, and uses the secondary source to claim that the primary source said something that in fact he never said. So it is with using stare decis to "interpret" the Constitution. It has, of course, been done deliberately over time by activist judges who didn't want to wait for the slow, grinding pace of convincing enough Americans to have the Constitution amended to take some of their own rights.

What?...Wait...There is a way to amend the Constitution? Who knew about this?

Well, all those activist judges, and lawyers, and politicians knew about it.  But as I said, the elite priesthood of the law couldn't wait long enough to convince a majority of Americans to go along with giving up their rights.  So, a little tweak here, and little tweak there.  Put some turgid, boring language around it, and voila, you have a new meaning for the Constitution that its framers never intended, and you have them saying something that they never said.

Sadly, we must watch the confirmation hearings of Federal judges just as much as we must stay on top of everything else.  We must insist that when interpreting the Constitution, judges and justices must return to the original document, the minutes of the Constitutional Convention, and especially the Federalist Papers.  Had they paid heed to the Federalist Papers, which I am sure they read at some point, they would have seen that the commerce clause and the general welfare clause (not the good 'n plenty clause as one congressman stated) should be read very circumspectly, as Madison warned, not expanded, as Wickard does.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dominate. Intimidate. Control.

Back on June 21, 2011, I had a post up about the TSA coming unannounced to a bus station and begin their security theatre schtick here. John Whitehead has more to say about it at the Rutherford Institute website entitled VIPR Searches and the American Citizen: Dominate. Intimidate. Control. Sipsey Street and War on Guns have also featured this author's piece, and I recommend you read them as well over in the side bar. The danger, as Whitehead sees it, is that we are being conditioned to accept a police state by a slow, but steady diet of violations of our persons and papers in open violation of our Constitution rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
The transition to a police state will not come about with a dramatic coup d’etat, with battering rams and marauding militia. As we have experienced first-hand in recent years, it will creep in softly, one violation at a time, until suddenly you find yourself being subjected to random patdowns and security sweeps during your morning commute to work or quick trip to the shopping mall.

Perhaps you have yet to experience the particular thrill, and I use that word loosely, of being manhandled by government agents, having your personal possessions pawed through, and your activities and associations scrutinized. If so, not to worry. It’s only a matter of time before more and more Americans will experience such a military task force knocking at their door. Only, chances are that it won’t be a knock, and they might not even be at home when government agents decide to “investigate” them. Indeed, as increasing numbers of Americans are discovering, these so-called “soft target” security inspections are taking place whenever and wherever the government deems appropriate, at random times and places, and without needing the justification of a particular threat. Worse, not only is this happening with the blessing of the Obama administration but at its urging.

What I’m describing--something that was once limited to authoritarian regimes--is only possible thanks to an unofficial rewriting of the Fourth Amendment by the courts that essentially does away with any distinctions over what is “reasonable” when it comes to searches and seizures by government agents. The rationale, of course, is that anything is “reasonable” in the war on terrorism. What the powers-that-be understand--and Americans remain oblivious to--is the fact that by constantly pushing the envelope and testing the limits of what Americans will tolerate, the government is thus able to ratchet up the level of intrusiveness that Americans consider reasonable.
Further down, Whitehead explains that:
VIPR is the first major step in the government’s effort to secure so-called “soft” targets such as malls, stadiums, bridges, etc. In fact, some security experts predict that checkpoints and screening stations will eventually be established at all soft targets, such as department stores, restaurants, and schools. Given the virtually limitless number of potential soft targets vulnerable to terrorist attack, subjection to intrusive pat-downs and full-body imaging will become an integral component of everyday life in the United States. As Jim Harper of the Cato Institute observed, “The natural illogic of VIPR stings is that terrorism can strike anywhere, so VIPR teams should search anywhere.”
The flaws in this jackbooted thug's wet dream should be obvious, but in case they are not, let me explain. First, as with police officers, the TSA can not be everywhere at all times, even if that was desirable. And it is not.  Imagine that you are taking the family out for a treat to an Applebees, only to discover that TSA has set up a security theatre operation there. Most people would just drive on by, and go to Ruby Tuesday or Friday's instead. Would Applebee's be somewhat upset at the lost profits? Yeah, I think they might just be. Same goes for Wal Marts, or Shopping Malls, and most other such venues where people have a choice to go or not.  Most terrorist would be even more alert to avoid such places.  So, while the TSA is harassing Americans who have never contemplated shooting up their friends and neighbors, terrorists will be able to easily evade detection.

Second, the venues mentioned are not within the Federal Governments mandate, but in the State's mandate. It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court saw fit to uphold drunk driving checkpoints (see here.) It was yet another balancing test of the desirability of catching drunk drivers versus the inconvenience to the general public. But the 4th Amendment doesn't have any balancing test; it gives a general command not search people without a warrant or probable cause.  In any case, I am sure that will be used at some point to argue that security theatre operations are also legal when the "goal" is to stop terrorists.  I am not a lawyer, nor a Constitutional scholar, but so far I am still allowed an opinion, and in my opinion, this case was wrongly decided.  It would be better to have someone out there driving under the influence, than to have everyone's rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures absent any probable cause be destroyed.  Of course, a full scale security theatre operation inconveniences the citizen more than a checkpoint, but then if time is the defining point, how much time is acceptable, and how much time is clearly beyond the pale?

Third is the cost.  We are at the moment debating whether to raise the debt ceiling to cover the deficits the government has been running.  Now here comes John Pistole wanting $110 million, up from an exorbitant $30 million in 2009.

It is up to us, the citizens of the States, to resist this police state action at every turn.  Short of shooting the bastards, you can do your best to humiliate them in return.  Loudly crack jokes about the "testicle squeezing agency" if you see a TSA agent in uniform away from his place of work.  Crack jokes about the latest outrage.  Call them perverts for sexually assaulting little girls or boys.  If you have one living in your neighborhood, place a sign in his front lawn with something like "A Jackbooted Thug lives here."   Make them hate their job, and feel ashamed of what they are ordered to do.  When you go through the airports, don't tell others it wasn't as bad as you thought.  It was bad.  If a stranger on the street came up to you and wanted to run his hands over your body, you would be deeply offended, and if he did it, you would have him or her arrested.  It is really no different when someone puts on a state costume and does it.  You have a right to be offended.  Be offended.

Be offended.

These security theatre operations are designed to numb the citizens to police state actions.  They are designed not to provide actual security, something they could never actually accomplish, but to change the relationship between you, the citizen, and the State.  They are designed to eventually dominate, intimidate, and control you.  In the eyes of the elites, YOU are the terrorist.  Indeed, this administration doesn't even see an enemy abroad.  It sees YOU as the enemy.   

Update: Ron Paul has introduced a bill to turn airport security over to private screeners here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Restaurant Carry In North Carolina Thwarted Again

The LA Times had a piece on July 1, 2011 entitled Ohio Governor John Kasich Signs Bill that Allows Concealed Guns in Bars The article is a bit snarky, referring to having a concealed carry permit as a "luxury," and noting that the Ohio Senate has a habit of "kowtowing to the handgun lobby." The handgun lobby? Well, that's a new one.

The Buckeye Firearms Association should be congratulated. They have been working the issue for a number of years.  While it is true that the existence of a permitting process for any form of carry is an infringement of that which shall not be infringed, until the day comes that our masters recognize this fact, the loosening of these restrictions is a great benefit to people who choose to exercise their rights through the legal process.

Here in North Carolina, the restaurant carry bill was thwarted, again.  Legislators were scared by dubious polls showing people didn't want it, and numerous editorials claiming shootings over an overdone hamburger.  Meanwhile, one year later, all the "blood in the street" hysterics raised when Virginia passed restaurant carry have not come true.  There has not been a single instance at a Virginia restaurant.  That should have been good enough for legislators in North Carolina, if those legislatures were true advocates of freedom, and not just giving it lip service.

One editorial I read, that summed up another argument asserted that alcohol and guns don't mix.  While drinking alcohol, and handling guns at the same time indeed does not often end well, the simple argument that alcohol and guns don't mix implies physics defying magic.  The implication is that in the presence of an unopened bottle of an alcoholic beverage, the gun with jump out of its holster, into the hand of the person carrying it, and proceed to pull its own trigger.  Now, I can believe that a bunch of lawyers can imagine such things, but in the real world, that simply doesn't happen.  Note that the law already makes it illegal to drink while carrying a gun.  Note also that it is perfectly possible to go into a grocery store, buy a six pack of beer, and go out and drink that beer, while still carrying.  The words written by legislators will not stop someone who has intent to disobey the law.  For that matter, if someone decides to carry a gun without benefit of a permit, and chooses to carry it concealed into a restaurant that serves alcohol, unless he chooses to use it, will anyone know?

The fact that people are probably at this moment carrying concealed handguns into bars and restaurants, and other places where the State says not to points up the inanity of the law as currently written.  Except in the case of court houses and police facilities, no one is likely to know anyway.  The State is not burdening unlawful carriers with these restrictions, but lawful ones.  And that tells us something about the State itself.  Unable to prevent the issue of permits to those who applied, the gun grabbers in the legislature decided to put so many hurdles and burdens on lawful concealed carry, that few would choose to exercise the right, seeing as it was worthless.  I suspect it has had that effect.  So what does it say about a State that doesn't trust its own citizens to carry guns, but does trust these people, or these people?  Frankly, they seem to be more afraid of you and me, than of the criminals and terrorists.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Murder of the Innocents

Is it appropriate, with the holiday weekend, to bring this up? I think I will anyway. Fay Voshell has a piece in the American Thinker today entitled A Right to Kill which brings up the moral issue of having an absolute right to abort babies on the say so of the mother alone. Please go read the entire piece, though it will sicken you.

A quote:
A great lesson is to be gained from the revolting examples given above; namely that there is a strict adherence to a pro-abortion ideology which demands the absolute "moral" principles of abortion on demand must be adhered to, no matter what. Rush Limbaugh has been much vilified for describing abortion as a sacrament of the deeply religious cult of the Left, but he is not far from the mark. The fact of the matter is that no horrors, no matter how often they are uncovered and documented, appear to be too great for the pro-abortion crowd to give up their core belief that a woman is entitled to abort her baby at any stage of pregnancy.
After citing the cruel, and inhuman way in which the murdered fetuses are treated by abortion doctors, as garbage to be cleaned up and put in trash bags, Voshell goes on to cite the "unintended" consequences to the living:

-That females would be aborted in greater numbers than males,

-That cases of incest would be swept under the rug by getting rid of the evidence,

-That the father-to-be would be kicked out of the decision loop because only the mothers would have a say.

Interestingly, Voshell makes a case that even the execution of capital murderers may be immoral, something that I am open to, but have not seen a convincing argument for yet. But many of the same people who argue for abortion on demand at the same time argue for elimination of the death penalty. How can this logically be?

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Racist Roots of Gun Control

Are gun control laws racist? The answer is yes, and deliberately so. Here in North Carolina, gun control was initially passed in the Jim Crow era and was applied to blacks, but not to whites (unless the Sheriff didn't like you.) I am happy to see that blacks are picking up on the fact, as is the case with Charing Ball writing in the Atlanta Post on June 29, 2011 in an article entitled Is Garry McCarthy Right When He Claims that Gun Laws are Racist. It's tough history, but it more blacks need to hear it.  The more blacks know about the history of gun control, and the intentions of those who passed it, the less likely they will be to accept gun control as legitimate.

It has been disconcerting to me that groups ostensibly speaking for the black community have often had as one of their platform positions a gun control agenda. Indeed, not only blacks, but others who supposedly stand for minorities and those less able to defend themselves or who may be targets such as feminist groups, homosexual activitists and Jewish groups are often on board with more gun control. Why?  Why are groups like Second Amendment Sisters, Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership, or the Pink Pistols somehow considered not  Ultimately, guns should not be a partisan issue, or an issue at all.  Do we have an issue with chain saws?

The other problem with gun control is that it doesn't control guns.  Terrorists, and criminals will get guns in any case.  They will steal them, or buy them on the black market which amounts to the same thing.  Bonnie and Clyde raided a National Guard armory to obtain their Browning Automatic Rifles.  They didn't buy them through legal means.  So, adding to the burdens of gun ownership by those who obey laws does nothing to burden criminals and terrorists.

Personally, I think that the more concealed carrying by responsible citizens of any type, the safer we all will be.  Terrorists, and rampage shooters tend to attack soft targets, where people are not as likely to be armed.  Schools, churches and synogogs, shopping malls, have all been targets.  Strangely, military bases have also been targets, but again military bases are places where everyone is disarmed.  Do you think the planes used on 9/11 would have been hijacked if the terrorists thought that 50% of the people on board might be armed?  I don't.

Of course, I can imagine now the people who don't trust their fellow citizens to handle guns responsibly wringing their hands in horror.  "What if," they will say, "someone shot someone by mistake? Or, what if someone got into an argument over their luggage or their seat assignment?  The aisles would be running with blood."  It is the same as the argument that there would be blood in streets as people got into gun fights over parking spaces.  It has not happened.  I have personally been aced out of parking spaces on several occasions, and was not even tempted to draw my weapon.  Do you think you would?  Really?  You believe yourself to be of such a low character?  And you vote?