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Land of The Free?

Walls of the City  reminds us (by way of Sharp As A Marble) that while we continue to speak of ourselves as the Land of the Free, we certainly are no longer:

30 years ago, you’d just assume that anything that wasn’t obviously contrary to morality was legal. That is, you’d have a built-in default setting of assuming liberty. And that assumption of liberty would then propel you to take actions.

But now, you have to assume that many things that aren’t contrary to morality are illegal anyway. And so you now have — quel coincidence! — a built-in default setting of assuming prohibition. And that assumption that many of the things you’d like to do are illegal and criminal thereby reduces your desire to take any action at all.

Can you name all of the crimes in your state that are felonies? Can you name all of the crimes in your state that are misdemeanors? Have you ever uttered the words, “Is that legal?” without actually being able to intuitively guess whether it is or not?

Welcome to the club. And the problem.

You should go and read the whole thing.  It’s well worth your time, and even has some Latin words in it! 🙂

The Country for whom I would have probably died (in Vietnam – had I not been a disabled 4-F) no longer exists.  She does on paper (The Constitution), but that was long ago, and like Benghazi, is no longer relevant.

Did you know The United States has more prisoners per capita than any other Nation?  How many of these folks zigged when they should have zagged?  Or were caught with weed.  Or carrying a gun for protection?

Lets stop electing people to legislatures to pass more incomprehensible laws.  Lets elect them to remove laws.  And hold those accountable who messed everything up.  THEY are the people who should be afraid. And incarcerated!

It’s Official – the Idiots Strike Again!

Micro-stamping passes in the broke and broken People’s Republic Democracy of California!

California Attorney General Kamala Harris will implement a  gun-control law that requires every new semiautomatic handgun contain "micro-stamping" technology that  would allow police to trace a weapon from cartridges found at a  crime scene. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

A proud California State Attorney General

Of course, anyone familiar with this kind of ‘technology’ and gun control legislation knows that it’s expensive, extremely flawed, and can be defeated.

But that never stopped the rights-control freaks, previously.

C.D. Michel, the NRA’s West Coast regional attorney, had a much grimmer prediction.

“This is not going to help solve crimes,” he said. “It’s easily defeated, easily wears out and can be used to lead police down false alleys” if the serial numbers are altered.

Worse yet, Michel said, manufacturers will be unwilling to add this expensive feature to guns sold in a single state, and will instead keep manufacturing weapons for the other states, where demand already far exceeds supply. The effect, he said, would be a ban on new semiautomatic handguns in California, which the NRA will challenge in court.

And, I predict (parodying the President’s statement regarding his energy policy) that the sales of revolvers in California will necessarily skyrocket!

h/t SF Chronicle

“Then they came for the reporters, and someone noticed!”

SO…

It took the Federal Government taking Associated Press telephone records to FINALLY get the attention of the Fifth Estate that THIS Administration is up to no good.  Guess they know where their bread is buttered.

  • Not Benghazi or the ensuing cover up.
  • Not selling radical Islamic fundamentalist government folks in Egypt our fighter jets, and giving them the monies to overthrow the previous dictator in the first place.  While ignoring government-sponsored wholesale murder of Christians there!  And abuse of women (Sorry, not supposed to mention that, because they’re allowed to have their own culture, you know.)
  • Not Fast & Furious aka Gunwalker and deaths of their own agents directly attributed to government-sponsored ‘walked’ guns.
  • Not the continuing and ongoing assault on The Bill of Rights, especially the First, Second and Fourth Amendments.
  • Not labeling the Fort Hood mass-murderer as ‘workplace violence’.  After all, witnesses have testified he was yelling Allahu Akhbar while killing his fellow soldiers.  Must be an OSHA violation.
  • Not giving tacit approval to the OWS movement and the New Black Panthers to do as they wish, including mayhem, destruction of property and voter intimidation, while branding the Tea Party folks racist, on scant evidence.
  • Not the IRS targeting conservative groups for ‘special attention’, whilst ignoring ‘community organizations’  and unions friendly to the President, like ACORN and SEIU.
  • Not demanding we citizens have a National I.D. Card and health insurance, while claiming illegal aliens undocumented workers being asked to produce voter identification is racist. 

I could go on, but, I would overdose on my antacids.  And that would probably bring me to the attention of the FDA…

And I wouldn’t want THAT.

No NRA Cancer Insurance (or soup) for me…

I received a large envelope from the NRA in the mail yesterday.  On the outside it said Health Care Reform 2013.

I was intrigued.  After all, I’m on disability and Medicare, and any help with things medical and insurance would be welcome.  I cannot afford any ‘doughnut hole’ coverage.

So, I began to peruse the envelope’s contents.  Basically, it appears to be coverage for cancer, and will pay up to $300,000 CASH directly to the policy holder (eligible NRA members) in case of such a diagnosis.  They even include a plastic membership card!

AND, the fees are quite reasonable.  Even I can afford them!  ($6.77/month at my age)

But, alas…

The not-so-fine print states I cannot apply if I’ve been diagnosed and/or received treatment for CANCER, Leukemia or Hodgkin’s Disease within the past 10 years.  They do allow skin cancer (which I also have had)!

And I had lymphoma, which was treated with chemotherapy, within that time frame.

No cancer coverage or soup for me!  I do still have Medicare, though (?)soup

So much for Amendment the Third…

(not really – but I had you going there, didn’t I?)

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Sadly, there does seem to be an escape clause in the Amendment.  (but in a manner prescribed by law)

And there was even one relevant case –  Engblom v. Carey, 677 F.2d 957 (2d. Cir. 1982)

In 1979, prison officials in New York organized a strike; they were evicted from their prison facility residences, which were reassigned to members of the National Guard who had temporarily taken their place as prison guards. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled: (1) that the termowner in the Third Amendment includes tenants (paralleling similar cases regarding the Fourth Amendment, governing search and seizure), (2) National Guard troops count as soldiers for the purposes of the Third Amendment, and (3) that the Third Amendment is incorporated (that is, that it applies to the states) by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment.[4]

In an earlier case, United States v. Valenzuela, 95 F. Supp. 363 (S.D. Cal. 1951), the defendant asked that a federal rent-control law be struck down because it was “the incubator and hatchery of swarms of bureaucrats to be quartered as storm troopers upon the people in violation of Amendment III of the United States Constitution.” The court declined his request. Later, in Jones v. United States Secretary of Defense, 346 F. Supp. 97 (D. Minn. 1972), Army reservists cited the Third Amendment as justification for sitting out a parade. Similarly far-fetched arguments in a variety of contexts have also been denied in a number of court cases.[4] Thus, Engblom v. Carey remains the only significant Third Amendment case law.  (Wikipedia)

You should go and visit the Wikipedia page, and perhaps do some other research on your own.  Every Amendment in The Bill of Rights has been, and continues to be under constant attack by those who think they ‘know better’.

We need to stand firm not just on the Second, but the entire Bill of Rights.  Tyranny is insidious.

“A desire to resist oppression is implanted in the nature of man.” – Thomas Jefferson

We need to maintain vigilance.

Adventures in Burgers, Dogs and Beah(s)

I hesitated to post this, as most gun bloggers who post about food post about fine food:  seafood, chili, gourmand cuisine.  Think Brigid, and many others.

I like to cook, and am not half bad at it – traditional American fare:  lasagna, deep-dish pizza, steak, hamburgers, hot dogs.  Baking.  Some sugar-free stuff.  But, with my various infirmities, standing and cooking usually isn’t a pleasant experience.  (I need to eat more salads, anyway).

So, I’ve taken to finding foods I like near my new digs.  Mexican food, bar & grills, pizza.  Usually accompanied by alcohol (or diet soda 🙂 ).  Much depends on how close it is to ‘payday’.

We used to frequent a pizza place near my old house.  Our favorite waitress appeared to be a recovering tweaker from Boston – always pronounced beer as beah, so we adopted that.  For fun.  (Yes. sarcasm and mockery are our stock in trade!)

Of late we (my roommate and I) have found a couple new places.  One had excellent burgers and fries – at steak prices, and 52 craft beers available.  We took immediately to Mr. Pineapple Ale, then found out the mr pcraft beer was $7.00/pint!

As much as we liked the food, we went on the hunt to find Mr. Pineapple, and found it at another place we have been known to frequent.  For $4.50/pint!  Have three beers and you’re saving money!  (see what I did there?)

The problem is, the food at the cheaper beer place, while good, is not as good (or as costly) as the expensive beer place.  They do have 1/4 pound BACON-WRAPPED hot dogs, though!

A friend recently gifted me with a fine single-malt Scotch.  Perhaps I should just stay home with that.Scotch & chocolate

I’m certain my doctor would agree.

Probably without the dark chocolate, though…

FTC – San Tan Brewery gives me nothing.  Now go away!

“Gun Violence” in America

Stormbringer points us to a Pew Research Center study, which shows that…well you can read…

Recent Pew Research of Gun Violence in America found gun violence has dropped at an incredible level between 1993-2010, however, in spite of these FACTS, 56% of American’s believe gun violence is higher than 20 years ago.

The primary findings of the research center on these salient points:

1. Homicide rates are down 49% using a time-series analysis between the years of 1993 and 2010.

2. Victimization rates for violent crimes with a firearm are down 73% during that same time period.

3. Despite incredible decline of gun-related violence, 56% of those surveyed (which was a scientific representative sample) 56% of American’s believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago.

GEE, how did THAT happen?

Mass Shootings Capture Public Interest

Public mass shootings are rare crimes that account for less than one percent of gun homicides. They are a matter of great public interest and concern. The mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., and Tucson, Ariz., were among the public’s top news stories in recent years.

And, of course, the number of States with licensed concealed firearms carry or Constitutional Carry have increased.  And the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban went away.  Then how could this perception be?

Can you say there’s an agenda in the mainstream media (sorry Biff).  Sure you can.  Visit his link and read the rest.  If you dare0

The issue is NOT gun violence – the issues are crime and terrorism.  And Constitutional rights.

h/t Sean Linneane

“Gee (child’s name), do your friend’s parents own a car?”

Dr. John Lott may be familiar to some of you.  He’s an economist and political commentator, most famous for debunking gun control as effective crime control, through the use of statistics.  He recently posted some stats on his blog, after the NYT did another hit piece regarding a woman’s concerns about her child visiting a home of gun owners.

The statistics speak for themselves:

What is the risk of a six year old dying from an accidental gun shot?

Lisa Maxbauer recently wrote a piece in the New York Times worrying about her six-year old visiting homes of gun owners.  Here are some numbers from the CDC for both six year olds and those under age 10.

For other ways of accidental deaths, the numbers are as follows:
Given the statistical analysis, Ms. Maxbauer should be much more worried about her child drowning or being in a motor-vehicle accident.
“Gee (child’s name), do your friend’s parents own a car?

Hell On Earth

Blacks, Guns & Crime
Juan Williams, a black commentator, wrote an interesting article recently entitled “ Race and the Gun Debate.” (Wall St. Journal, Mar 27, 2013) Among the statistics he cites are that 54% of all murders involve black victims, virtually all of whom were killed by black murderers, and yet blacks comprise only 13% of the population.
 
These are familiar numbers, but, as Williams points out, although more than half the “gun problem” can be laid at the feet of blacks, the gun debate never seems to mention this. If it were mentioned, the obvious thought that might occur is maybe it’s blacks that need to be regulated and not guns.
Three years ago I wrote the following in the prologue to my book They Came For Our Guns, They came For Our Freedom (William Lafferty):

“ The single most important factor that has caused the political left to demand an end to private firearms ownership is that the underclass has, over the last fifty years, expanded exponentially, bringing with it an exponential increase in crime. Many of these criminals come from the single-parent families encouraged by the welfare system, a dysfunctional government give-away favored by the far left. The absence of fathers has led large numbers of children to seek gangs as a substitute for parenting not available at home. Not content with having created an entire class of welfare-bred criminals, the political left now seeks to protect this underclass by rendering ordinary citizens defenseless against crime perpetrated by these criminals.”

In sum, both blacks and whites are part of this criminal underclass, but, as Juan Williams points out, blacks, a 13% minority, are doing 54% of the killing and dying. That needs to be said.
Why is this happening? According to Juan Williams, the out of wedlock birth rate for blacks is now 72%. This leads to more than 70% of black mothers being on welfare raising more than 70% of black children without fathers.
That’s part of the problem. Another part, Williams says, is:

“ a dysfunctional gangster-rap culture that glorifies promiscuity, drug dealers and the power of the gun.” 

So now we have black culture of violence financed by the welfare system producing what are – by any measure – distorted values. One might think this needs to be addressed.
This is verbatim from Hell On Earth blog.  I reprinted it here, because we all need to see it.
Yes – people are responsible for their own character.  And how they act and react.  But their society weighs heavily on how they might do that.
If that society glorifies gangster-rap culture, coupled with promiscuity and drug dealers, it needs to change.  The power of the gun, notwithstanding.
And White folks standing on the sidelines watching, pretending they aren’t there don’t help that change to come about.
“We only kill each other” – Bugsy Siegel
That didn’t apply to the Mafia, and it doesn’t apply to Black America, either.
We’re all in this together.
Please support The Congress of Racial Equality.  Or take other community action.  And stop trying to disarm the law-abiding.
PS – I am usually the polar opposite of Juan Williams’s opinions, but on this he is spot-on.

So much for Amendment the First…

OpenMarket.org advises us of yet another behind the scenes move by the current administration to control more stuff.

This time it’s blogging…

First Amendment Menace: Obama Administration to Expand Americans with Disabilities Act over Websites?

by HANS BADER

Can websites be forced to change to accommodate the disabled — by using “simpler language” to appeal to the “intellectually disabled,” or by making them accessible to the blind and deaf at considerable expense?

The key passage:

But now, the Obama administration appears to be planning to use the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to force many web sites to either accommodate the disabled, or shut down. Given the enormous cost of complying, many small web sites might well just go dark and shut down. The administration wants to treat web sites as “places of public accommodation“ subject to the ADA, even though they are not physical places. Courts used to reject this argument when it was made just by disabled plaintiffs, but now that the Justice Department is making it, too, some judges are beginning to buy it, opening the door to trial lawyers surfing the web and sending out extortionate demand letters to every small business whose web site is not accessible to the blind (or perhaps too hard to understand for the mentally-challenged).

What?  Seriously?

Can you say government wholesale censorship?  Sure you can.  And I can, too, but perhaps not for long.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…