Associate Supreme Court Justice Scalia has passed away.
Having said this (from The Wall Street Journal)…
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died Saturday at the age of 79, will be remembered as one of the court’s most influential, trenchant and controversial voices. Below are a few outtakes from some of the more influential and notable opinions from his storied, 30-year career on the court.
•D.C. v. Heller (2008) By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court struck down Washington, D.C.’s blanket ban on handguns, ruling for the first time that the Second Amendment confers a right to bear arms in one’s home. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion.
There are many reasons that a citizen may prefer a handgun for home defense: It is easier to store in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency; it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker; it is easier to use for those without the upper-body strength to lift and aim a long gun; it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police. Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.
• Kyllo v. U.S. (2001) The court ruled that the government couldn’t use thermal imaging technology to detect a suspected marijuana-growing operation without a warrant. Justice Scalia wrote that the use of sense-enhancing technology not in public use to gain information within the home constituted a search under the Fourth Amendment.
We have said that the Fourth Amendment draws “a firm line at the entrance to the house…That line, we think, must be not only firm but also bright which requires clear specification of those methods of surveillance that require a warrant. While it is certainly possible to conclude from the videotape of the thermal imaging that occurred in this case that no “significant” compromise of the homeowner’s privacy has occurred, we must take the long view, from the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment forward.
• Printz v. U.S. (1997) The court held, 5-4, that a federal law requiring local law enforcement to conduct background checks on gun purchases was unconstitutional. Justice Scalia wrote that the federal government may not compel the states to enact or administer federal programs.
Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policymaking is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.
• Vernonia School District v. Acton (1995) The court ruled 6-3 that public schools could randomly drug test student athletes. Justice Scalia wrote that the privacy interests compromised by giving urine samples under the district’s policy were negligible.
Just as when the government conducts a search in its capacity as employer (a warrantless search of an absent employee’s desk to obtain an urgently needed file, for example), the relevant question is whether that intrusion upon privacy is one that a reasonable employer might engage in, see O’Connor v. Ortega, 480 U. S. 709 (1987); so also when the government acts as guardian and tutor the relevant question is whether the search is one that a reasonable guardian and tutor might undertake. Given the findings of need made by the District Court, we conclude that in the present case it is.
• RAV v. City of St. Paul (1992) Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion in which the court struck down St. Paul, Minn.’s crime banning “hate-crime,” for violating the First Amendment’s free-speech guarantee.In so doing, the court tossed aside charges against a group of teenagers that burned a cross in the yard of an African-American family.
The dispositive question in this case, therefore, is whether content discrimination is reasonably necessary to achieve St. Paul’s [p396] compelling interests; it plainly is not. An ordinance not limited to the favored topics, for example, would have precisely the same beneficial effect. In fact, the only interest distinctively served by the content limitation is that of displaying the city council’s special hostility towards the particular biases thus singled out. [n8] That is precisely what the First Amendment forbids. The politicians of St. Paul are entitled to express that hostility — but not through the means of imposing unique limitations upon speakers who (however benightedly) disagree.
* * * *
Let there be no mistake about our belief that burning a cross in someone’s front yard is reprehensible. But St. Paul has sufficient means at its disposal to prevent such behavior without adding the First Amendment to the fire.
The Internet is rife with both praise and derision for this Justice. I shan’t post the hateful texts here. There is Great Fear amongst the conservative and libertarian elements of society that without his swing vote, and Constitutionally-measured opinions, that ‘we’ (civil libertarians, gun owners/carriers, and American Society at large) are doomed. Doomed to the progressive, post-Constitution era of further governmental intrusion on rights, and final loss of the America in which we were raised.
His body wasn’t even cold, when The President announced he would find a suitable replacement, and (some) Republicans suggested The Senate block ANY appointment for the next eleven months (until the next President could be sworn in)!
In other words, politics as usual.
God Save The United States Of America (while I’m still allowed to post this!)
I’ve posted numerous times in this blog regarding governmental malfeasance, lying, fraud and other misconduct.
Usually titled ‘I’m Shocked’, coupled with a photo of Claude Raines (as Captain Renault in the film Casablanca). Youngsters, ask your parents – or watch a classic movie once-in-a-while!
Now, we come to THIS report (from Jeffrey in The Feral Irishman):
So the IRS funneled a kickback to a law firm that backed democratic candidates. Microsoft and Congress demanded an investigation and the courts told the IRS to preserve all relevant information. The IRS turns around and deliberately erases a hard drive central to the court ordered data protection. Will anyone see jail time? Will anyone be fired? Will anyone be fined? What’s the penalty for government bureaucrats when they break the law?Another fine example of “one law for THEE and another law for ME”. Read the story HERE.A big Hat/Tip to Alan in Cullman!
Government corruption has become rampant:
- Senior SEC employees spent up to 8 hours a day surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on financial crimes
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission workers watch porn instead of cracking down on unsafe conditions at nuclear plants
- An EPA employee who downloaded 7,000 porn files, then spent 2-6 hours each workday watching porn. He’s been doing it for years … but the EPA never fired him. Another EPA employee harassed 16 women co-workers … and then was promoted to a higher-paying job with more responsibility, where he harassed more women.
- NSA spies pass around homemade sexual videos and pictures they’ve collected from spying on the American people
- NSA employees have also been caught using their mass surveillance powers to spy on love interests, such as girlfriends, obsessions or former wives … and to eavesdrop on American soldiers’ intimate conversations with their wives back home. And see this(“routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted” … “‘Hey, check this out … there’s good phone sex’”)
More @ Zero Hedge
There was a time many of us (well I) trusted ‘the authorities’ to generally do that which was ‘right’. Sure, mistakes were made, but people took oaths and policies were in place, yatta…yatta…yatta.
Not so much, anymore.
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely” – Lord Acton
A day set aside to remember those who fought in service to this country. many of whom still remain with us, many still fighting demons, bureaucracies and political enemies. And those who are not.
The Living Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Seamen and Marines. Some remaining in service; some who left it, but all who have not forsworn their oaths.
As we take time to remember those who have passed in service on Memorial Day, please take a moment today to remember The Living.
Call, visit, and if possible shake the hands of those with us, and say, “Thank you for your service!”
Rob, Lonnie, Glenn, Glenn, Mark, John, Stan, Jim, Jodie, Ardith, John, and Gloria.
“People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – George Orwell
♫…nowhere to hide…♫
Who posed (in part) this idea…
To me, the US – and most of the supposedly free West – increasingly looks like a truck being systematically filled with Semtex.
But it’s easy to counter cries of alarm with the fact that the truck is stable – because it’s true: you can hurl more boxes into the back without any real danger. Absent the right detonator, it is no more dangerous than a truckload of mayonnaise.
But add the right detonator and you’re just one click away from complete devastation.
We can see how fragile the U.S. is now by considering just four tendencies.
The Four Tendencies
There used to be a time (in my mind, anyway) that this constitutional republic strove to be the best. The best physically, academically, militarily. The best as a shining example to the rest of the World of individual liberty, rights and responsibilities.
A truly Norman Rockwell Nation.
We fed the rest of the World. EVERYONE relied on AND TRUSTED, the Dollar! People didn’t ‘just take a pill’ for every perceived ailment. And, while differing dogmatically, we strove to treat others as we ourselves wished to be treated.
The times, they are a changin’.
…or, rather, a dis-member! :-)
(from Joel, in part)
In a year when Donald Trump is the GOP frontrunner, you have to dig deep to find political news that’s considered weird. But leave it to the intrepid Libertarians to fill that void…
Adrian Wyllie, chairman of Florida’s Libertarian Party, resigned his post Thursday to protest the party’s U.S. Senate candidate, accusing the rival of supporting eugenics and for being expelled from a cult group for “sadistically dismembering a goat in a ritualistic sacrifice.”
The dispute between the two has brewed for months, but finally came to a head after Wyllie was unable to persuade the Libertarian Party of Florida’s executive committee to publicly disavow Invictus, an adopted name that means something like “Invincible Sun Emperor.”
In other news, spokesmyn(sp) for the National Libertarian Party say they simply don’t understand why nobody takes Libertarians seriously.
And people ask me why I’ve never joined (aka filled-out-forms and sent money to) the National Libertarian Party?
For whom have I voted? My standard answer is, “The Australian Secret Ballot is one of our most cherished possessions!”
And I’m certain even MORE ridiculousness is evident in the skeleton closets of the two major parties!
Full disclosure – I have stumped for some of their candidates (especially back in the 70’s), but I have never dismembered a goat (even to make tacos)!
Long time readers of my drivel know that one of my go-to sources for life hacks is The Art of Manliness.
When it comes to stuff my father didn’t teach me (because he didn’t make the time, or didn’t know – he wasn’t malicious in his errors) TAoM covers many of the bases.
Everything from how to shave to how to escape quicksand (and more) are covered!
Sometimes, the subject matter in basic, i.e. how to balance a checkbook. Other times it’s more philosophical…
Surely a delicate and difficult issue for most of us.
There are people in my own history whom I have offended, and to whom I’ve made amends. Some have returned as friends, others have not.
The important thing is to not remain in toxic relationships, lest they damage your own psyche!
(aka The War Between The Blacks and The Whites, Part III)
As a grimly relevant adjunct to my previous post about crime, cops and communities, the voices calling for racially-based violence (especially against police) got louder last weekend (a couple weeks ago).
Members of the #FYF911 or #F**YoFlag and #BlackLivesMatter movements called for the lynching and hanging of white people and cops. They encouraged others on a radio show Tuesday night to “turn the tide” and kill white people and cops to send a message about the killing of black people in America.
One of the F**YoFlag organizers is called “Sunshine.” She has a radio blog show hosted from Texas called, “Sunshine’s F***ing Opinion Radio Show.”
During the show, callers clearly call for “lynching” and “killing” of white people.
More@ Bayou Renaissance
h/t Brock Townsend
Most of us on the gunnie blogosphere are familiar with Frank James.
Excerpted from his obituary:
Frank published thousands of articles over seven countries during his career as a writer. He published five books and was awarded the Anschutz Outstanding Writer of The Year Award in 1994. He was an expert outdoorsman with a passion for adventure and travel. He also owned and operated farms in the White County area for over 45 years. Frank created the White County Shooting Sports 4H Program and hosted Davidson’s Gallery of Guns on the Sportsman Channel as well as appearing on Gun Stories that airs on The Outdoor Channel.
He was an active shooting competitor, having shot in The Masters International Tournaments and USPSA (IPSC) competitions. He and his wife were longtime members of Palestine Christian Church and he also served on the Wolcott Library Board for several years.
But, most of all, Frank wanted to be remembered as a farmer.
Because he helped feed people.
R.I.P. Frank. Most of us in the gunblogging world aspire to be like you, personally and professionally.
You will be missed.
h/t Tamara, (I’m sorry for your loss.)
I like to think I stand on them, and admire those who do also.
Unless, of course, their principles are diametrically opposed to mine!
One would think that working as a county clerk, and gay marriage was upheld by The Supreme Court, and licensing gays violated my principles, that it would behoove me to look for employment elsewhere(?)
The same thing applies to pharmacists who dislike dispensing a ‘morning after’ pill to their customers.
Or going to work at the Walmart sporting goods department, and being told you must sell guns and ammunition. And you are anti-gun.
This just in – an Islamic flight attendant is objecting to be required to serve her passengers alcohol! (as if she didn’t know this going in!)
If working there and doing your assigned job violates your principles – QUIT!
There’s an old saw, emblazoned on many a sampler and kitschy poster, stating “When you work for a man, WORK for him!”
Perhaps the women in the news are hoping to become another cause celebre, and make it to the Supreme Court?
In another lifetime.
I’m certainly not pristine in holding to my principles. I AM human. I worked for a polygraph company (not as a polygrapher) and federal legislation was pending to severely restrict private polygraph pre-employment companies. (It passed). But the boss had us calling in on company time (we were getting paid to do this) in an effort to sway the Congress to not pass the bill.
And, having had some (not all) negative experiences with polygraphs, I privately supported the legislation.
But, I also needed a paycheck, so…
I chose getting a paycheck over standing on my principles.
I was laid-off six months later, regardless, I’m sure in part to the decreased company revenue.
I probably should have quit.