Or should we?
Here in the United States, we pretend to have ‘Freedom of Speech’. The First Amendment and all that.
Of course, even that has it’s limitations. Child pornography for example. Yelling fire in a crowded theater. Criticizing a President, who happens to be Black.
Other countries, even those vanquished by us in war whom we rebuilt – not so much.
Germany, who placed restrictions on religion (Scientology). And, until recently, politics (National Socialism).
I don’t know if this is backlash to the influx of Muslim refugees, who obviously include some terrorists, or the resurgence of anti-Semitic thoughts and actions rising throughout Europe (and the World) during the past 20 years.
Or perhaps the ubiquitous yin-yang battle between Jews and Arabs…
But something new has been added. or perhaps re-added.
It’s one of the most talked about publications of the year. It’s not a new book. And it’s not even a well-written book. But Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler, which hits German bookshops for the first time in 70 years on Friday, is certainly attracting attention.
Hitler’s anti-Semitic tirade is seen as the forerunner to the Holocaust. But that is also why historians want it republished.
Hitler wrote it mostly while in prison in the mid-1920s, and academics say it helps explain the Nazis’ crazed ideology when they came to power less than a decade later.
As such, they say, it’s a crucial academic text. Not pleasant reading, but essential to understanding the Holocaust and Hitler’s brutal rule.
Surprisingly, some Jewish groups have also supported this edition.
This is an annotated, critical version, with thousands of academic notes.
And without this republication, the only hard copies available in Germany would be the pre-1945 Nazi editions, still found in second-hand bookshops or online. Those are certainly not critical.
The idea is that republishing Mein Kampf will help undermine it.
Until now, the copyright has been in the hands of the Bavarian government. But because 70 years have now passed since the the death of the author – in this case, Adolf Hitler – that copyright has expired.
Germany could ban it. After all, the swastika and other Nazi symbols are outlawed here, under incitement-to-violence laws.
Germans see that not as an infringement of free speech, but as a way of guaranteeing it, by not allowing fascist groups to intimidate minorities.
But the problem with banning Mein Kampf is that this could simply increase its power. (taken in part from BBC-World-Europe)
Is censorship bad, prima facie?
Or does Europe need to look it’s demons in the face, full-on?
And by extension, we as well?
Federal Judge Susan Dlott wrote the book on racial profiling in 2002.
Last week, she ripped it into one million tiny pieces when three black people broke into her $8 million Cincinnati home and started beating her and her 79-year old husband.
“There’s three black men with guns at our house,” Dlott told a 911 operator after she escaped the home invasion and ran to her neighbor’s house one mile away.
And just in case the operator did not hear her the first time, Dlott said it again: “My husband and the dogs are still there. There are three black men with guns and masks at the house.”
That’s Racial Profiling 101: Identifying the criminals by race, as if that had something to do with it.
Profiling. Another of those politically correct terms like social justice.
I believe there’s a reasonableness factor. If you (as an agent of law enforcement) are stopping folks going about their daily business because of their perceived ethnicity only – that’s profiling!
If you’re doing it because their daily business is criminal act – like burglary, armed robbery, drug dealing or smuggling, how they appear racially really doesn’t enter into it.
Unless you need to break radio traffic to broadcast a physical description of the suspect in flight.
Guys walking furtively in groups in a remote part of the desert within a few miles of the Mexican border who don’t appear to be hiking, legally hunting or just camping, and are Latino in appearance. probably aren’t being stopped and questioned just because they appear Latino.
(Question – And why aren’t we actively patrolling the Canadian border, looking for Canucks who appear American and are taking pricier American jobs? Inquiring minds want to know!)
A controversial and popular Sheriff going to Hispanic communities and essentially rounding up folks wholesale, well that’s profiling and lazy policing!
Another area where political correctness will kill us – or probably kill law enforcement trying to do their jobs.
I used to know a State law enforcement guy who worked in an inter-agency gang taskforce. He knew his rational thinking had been skewed when every Latino he saw screamed armed robber to him, and every Black was a burglar.
So he walked away from that job.
(As posted on Cato.org)
Today Is Bill of Rights Day
Today is Bill of Rights Day. So it’s an appropriate time to consider the state of our constitutional safeguards.
Let’s consider each amendment in turn.
The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.” Government officials, however, have insisted that they can gag recipients of “national security letters” and censor broadcast ads in the name of campaign finance reformand arrest people for simply distributing pamphlets on a sidewalk.
The Second Amendment says the people have the right “to keep and bear arms.” Government officials, however, make it difficult to keep a gun in the home and make it a crime for a citizen to carry a gun for self-protection.
The Third Amendment says soldiers may not be quartered in our homes without the consent of the owners. This safeguard is one of the few that is in fine shape – so we can pause here for a laugh.
The Fourth Amendment says the people have the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures. Government officials, however, insist that they can conductcommando-style raids on our homes and treat airline travelers like prison inmates by conducting virtual strip searches.
The Fifth Amendment says that private property shall not be taken “for public use without just compensation.” Government officials, however, insist that they can use eminent domain to take away our property and give it to other private parties who covet it.
The Sixth Amendment says that in criminal prosecutions, the person accused is guaranteed a right to trial by jury. Government officials, however, insist that they can punish people who want to have a trial—“throwing the book” at those who refuse to plead guilty—which explains why 95 percent of the criminal cases never go to trial.
The Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial in civil cases where the controversy “shall exceed twenty dollars.” Government officials, however, insist that they can impose draconian fines on people without jury trials.
The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishments. Government officials, however, insist that a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense is not cruel.
The Ninth Amendment says that the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights should not be construed to deny or disparage others “retained by the people.” Government officials, however, insist that they will decide for themselves what rights, if any, will beretained by the people.
The Tenth Amendment says that the powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states, or to the people. Government officials, however, insist that they will decide for themselves what powers they possess, and have extended federal control over health care, crime, education, and other matters the Constitution reserves to the states and the people.
It’s a disturbing snapshot, to be sure, but not one the Framers of the Constitution would have found altogether surprising. They would sometimes refer to written constitutions as mere “parchment barriers,” or what we call “paper tigers.” They nevertheless concluded that having a written constitution was better than having nothing at all.
The key point is this: A free society does not just “happen.” It has to be deliberately created and deliberately maintained. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. To remind our fellow citizens of their responsibility in that regard, the Cato Institute has distributed more than six million copies of our pocket Constitution. At this time of year, it’ll make a great stocking stuffer.
Let’s enjoy the holidays (and remember many of the positive trends that are underway) but let’s also resolve to be more vigilant about defending our Constitution. To learn more about Cato’s work in defense of the Constitution, go here. To support the work of Cato, go here.
Why, you might ask, did I not post it here?
Well, the President fails to mention any of the First Ten Amendments specifically, but does mention The Civil Rights movement, LGBT rights, equality and ‘fairness’.
No mention of no-knock warrants, secret prisons, ‘enhanced’ interrogations or wholesale privacy erosions.
You can go an read it for yourself, if you like.
How to celebrate the day? I’d suggest reading the entire Bill of Rights aloud, then going shooting! :-)
Freedom of Speech and all that…
Bet Che’ t-shirts aren’t banned…because it’s for the children!
I love how Lenin’s useful idiots clamor for freedom of speech, and protection from other’s speech simultaneously. Not realizing that if the agenda they so love comes into power they will no longer have that freedom!
h/t Brock Townsend
as stolen from Wirecutter:
Between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually.
In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989.
Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year.
Now, according to the FBI, the total amount of goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses. This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals.
Now, assuming these statistics are close to accurate (and we all know about assuming), this is a sobering statistic!
Does ANYONE remember their American History? Life, Liberty, Property? Bueller? Bueller?
I’d two encounters regarding drones the other night.
One was an episode of Madame Secretary, wherein the female Secretary of State co-opts her own brother to obtain information to locate and assassinate an American-born Isis member.
Via a drone strike in a foreign land.
(I’ve an ongoing discussion regarding this TV show – a friend thinks it’s a stalking horse to put Hillary Clinton in the White House. I disagree. The protagonist is a former CIA officer, married to a religious ethics professor at The War College, who is a part-time NSA guy. Hardly The Clintons!)
The second encounter was a TV commercial showing a drone package delivery (Amazon? – I don’t remember, we have The Hopper and fast-forward through most of the commercials! :-) )
Now, I don’t know if this was a planned placement of drones on commercial television to get us used to the idea of them flitting about, or serendipity, or what?
I do remember this administration’s last attorney general not ruling out the idea of drone strikes against American citizens on our own soil(!)
Two drones and The Hopper in one evening? Perhaps it’s just coincidental? Showing us how far technology has advanced?
Regular readers know I come from a law enforcement family, and am supportive of ‘the police’ in general. No one who stands with The Blue Line should be subjected to abuse, criminal violence or murder.
After all, they are the men (and women) on the street representing the government and it’s laws (theoretically, anyway…).
I stand against violations of the Bill of Rights, and the ongoing militarization of police. We need Reed and Malloy, not jackbooted, masked thugs!
I’m not a fan of propaganda, either…
With the “war on cops” narrative on the rise again, you might be wondering: When it comes to lethal violence against police officers, how does 2015 stack up against other years? Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute took a look at the annual number of cops who died of non-accidental gunshots, as measured by the Officer Down Memorial Page. This year isn’t over yet, obviously, but if the trend thus far continues, 2015’s rate will be higher than 2013’s. It will also be lower than every other year since 1870:
(from the Ref Desk almanac…)
1947 President Truman signs Executive Order 9835 requiring all federal employees to have allegiance to the United States
I’m reasonably certain President Truman did so,
This guy, not so much…
Is EO 9825 still in force?
If so, Valerie Jarrett, Van Jones and many others have some ‘splainin’ to do!
THIS IS THE AMERICAN PARADOX.
How do we, as a Free, Constitutional Republic, with measures taken to preserve Free Speech and Dissent, ensure those charged with the custody of said Republic, continue to maintain her as such?
“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” – a lady bystander
“A Republic, if you can keep it.” – Benjamin Franklin
First a NEGATIVE, in part…
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
From time to time I read about proposals for a national law requiring reciprocity of concealed carry permits between the states. The most recent example is the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, introduced by Senator John Cornyn, R-TX.
Sadly, I have some bad news about this proposal, and about a national CCW reciprocity law in general: It would be unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment. (Fill Yer Hands)
Second, a POSITIVE response, in the comments…
Or perhaps I should have worded it the former Republic’s government policy…
It was recently announced that the BATFE was moving to ban certain ammunition familiar to users of the AR-15 rifle, specifically:
In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.
It isn’t even the third week of February, and the BATFE has already taken three major executive actions on gun control. First, it was a major change to what activities constitute regulated “manufacturing” of firearms. Next, BATFE reversed a less than year old position on firing a shouldered “pistol.” Now, BATFE has released a “Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c)”, which would eliminate M855’s exemption to the armor piercing ammunition prohibition and make future exemptions nearly impossible.
Now, aside from petty power and control, why would they bother to do this? Because they see a future where armored troops are engaging the
citizenry serfs for power and control? Perhaps.
But I think it’s that time ‘honored’ reason – because they can. And have.
Which brings us to the larger question. Should anything be BANNED in a Free Republic? Or should the marketplace be the controlling factor?
Possessing, manufacturing or distributing child pornography is essentially banned. This doesn’t stop possession, manufacture or distribution. How about drugs? Substandard (or poisonous/dangerous) products from overseas? Or those domestically produced? Remember cyclamates and hexaclorophene?
Perhaps it’s a bit callous of me, but I think the marketplace should be the deciding factor. If you don’t want cyclamates, poisons or substandard foreign crap, don’t buy it! Child pornography harms children in the production prima facie, so banning that is acceptable and appropriate. Drugs? If you are an adult, it should be up to you. But, driving under the influence or committing crimes to support your habit is another thing altogether. Then you are bringing others into the mix. Without their permission.
If you inadvertently purchase something harmful, sue the bastards! But, you have a responsibility – you should be an informed consumer.
Now, to the proposed ammunition ban. The ‘sporting purposes’ argument. Obviously, the Second Amendment is not about hunting.
Their regulation and argument is invalid.
h/t Alphecca, NRA