(from Joe @ The View From North Central Idaho)
An attack on abortion rights, for example, produces a far greater outcry and resistance than the successful attack on habeas corpus and due process. President Obama was able to declare his power to execute citizens by executive branch decision alone without due process and conviction in court, and it produced barely audible protest.
*Historically, a government that can, without due process, throw a citizen into a dungeon or summarily execute him is considered to be a tyranny, not a democracy. By any historical definition, the United States today is a tyranny.
Paul Craig Roberts
Does The United States Still Exist?
An address delivered to the Libertarian Party of Florida on March 23, 2016 in Destin, Florida
Remember: Why Boomershoot? Insurance against tyranny.—Joe]
Re: *Historically (above)
SOMEONE had to say it! – Guffaw
…are forever doomed to have George Santayana quoted to them!
From my friend Borepatch:
From Victor Davis Hanson:
And I’ll conclude with a spoiler from his finish because I think it’s so profound. Describing the fall of Rome to a band of thugs after a much smaller Roman Republic had defeated much larger and more dangerous threats:
“Fast forward to the 5th century AD, is this the Roman Republic, 1/4 of Italy? No. It now encompasses 70 million people, from Mesopotamia in the East to the Atlantic ocean in the West, to above Hadrian’s Wall in the North to the Sahara Desert in the South, one million square miles. And they’re attacked, not by a formidable power, the inheritor of classical military science like Hannibal, but a thug like Atilla with some Huns and Visigoths and Vandals. By any measure, the threat was nothing compared to the threat that Romans faced when it was much, much smaller. But why in the world could they not defend themselves….?
The answer is…in 216 BC a Roman knew what it was to be a Roman. And they were under no illusions that they had to be perfect to be good. All they believed was they had an illustrious tradition that was better than alternative and could be better even more…In 450 AD I don’t think the average person who lived under the Roman Empire…knew what it was to be a Roman citizen, he did not believe that it was any better than the alternative. And when that happens in history, history is cruel, it gives nobody a pass. If you cease to believe that your country’s exceptional and has a noble tradition, and it is good without without being perfect, and it’s better than the alternative – If you cease to believe that! – there’s no reason for you to continue, and history says you won’t. And you don’t.”
Can we learn and change course? Or are we doomed to travel that road once more?
It’s a long but excellent talk at the link, full of insight.
Upon reading this, my memory went back to Dr. Smith teaching Western Civ 101, in front of 300+ horny Freshmen and Sophomores, in 1970. (Yep, a long time ago.)
He said The Fall of The Roman Empire was not facilitated by the attacks of the Barbarians from the North, but rather initiated by the Roman people themselves. It seemed they no longer cared about order, morality and law, but fell to (in his words)
“Moral decadence and pleasures of the flesh!”
Followed by the cheers, yelps and claps of the hormonal underclassmen.
And here we are, two or three generations into that same mindset. “What’s in it for me?”
I saw a blip on FB a week-or-so-ago (which I unfortunately was unable to refind on The Internet) wherein students at a rally for Senator Bernie Sanders were shown the following quote, and asked to comment on it:
“Ask not what your Country can do for you; ask what you can do for your Country.”
And commentary ranged from it must have been a quote from Donald Trump, to Adolf Hitler!
Those who fail to learn from history…
The barbarians are at the gate, and also already inside – just waiting…
Despite using annoying “gun violence” language, this CNN article brings the good news that mental health professionals aren’t likely to sit still for Obama administration attempts to label every mentally ill person as too dangerous to own a firearm. With statistics, even!
I know there is a meme out there wherein the gummint is actively pursuing all avenues to make firearms ownership difficult, complex, and ne’er impossible.
I believe this to be true.
However (see above).
Associate Supreme Court Justice Scalia has passed away.
Having said this (from The Wall Street Journal)…
Justice Antonin Scalia
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!)
(Nick Otto/For The Washington Post)
FRESNO, Calif. — While officers raced to a recent 911 call about a man threatening his ex-girlfriend, a police operator in headquarters consulted software that scored the suspect’s potential for violence the way a bank might run a credit report.The program scoured billions of data points, including arrest reports, property records, commercial databases, deep Web searches and the man’s social- media postings. It calculated his threat level as the highest of three color-coded scores: a bright red warning.The man had a firearm conviction and gang associations, so out of caution police called a negotiator. The suspect surrendered, and police said the intelligence helped them make the right call — it turned out he had a gun. (…)
Another twist on ‘the machine’ from TV’s Person of Interest. Not video or audio surveillance, but data-mining to determine if a
subject suspect person-of-interest is a potential danger.I wonder if it finds blog posts and comments and scores them with regard to potential danger, based on a peaceful expression of concern for governmental abuses?Guess I’m worthy of a bright red warning…h/t Liberty Headlines
Yep, I bit the bullet and installed it.
I also followed Borepatch‘s advice, with regard to change the security settings.
Thus far (Day Three) it seems to work alright. I previously was using Windows 7 Home, which I LOVED! Of course, not unlike my ancient (three-year-old) Android cellular telephone, I was advised it would no longer be supported (as of some date).
So, I updated that, as well. (I paid it off. WTH!)
And, regardless my changing the security settings, I’m certain Microsoft will continue to follow my perusal of the Internet, and diligently pass along what it finds to governmental and corporate entities.
It’s already disconcerting that my new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 seems not only to know where I am in space, but remembers where I have been previously, and makes recommendations regarding where to go next!
(Note to self – Windows 10 resembles Android! Who knew?)
The Singularity isn’t far off, and I expect Cortana to ask me, “What are you doing, Guffaw?” any day now.
The times – they are a changin’.
The other day I was playing with settings in WordPress, thinking about making some stylistic changes to the GiA blog.
And I hit a wrong key. Or something…
FIRST, I saw my blog, with pictures of carrots instead of cacti! Then, I noticed many of the staples of my blog page missing.
And I had to get to a doctor’s appointment!
SO, I posted a hurried apology and left.
And late that night, I was able to get GiA reconfigured back to her former glory – well, about 85% of it.
WHAT A PITA!
As to the next part – do I bother to tweak it back to the original, or do I just go ahead and move on to my ‘improvements’?
Who knows? I’ll figure it out.
We get what we pay for! :-P
As of Friday a new California law took effect that will allow the police to seize private, legally-owned weapons for up to three weeks without charges or allowing the citizen to contest the seizure. With one state down is your state next?
Are we surprised?
Between the IRS seizing assets making you prove you don’t owe, and they are rightfully yours, and the wealth of asset forfeitures, NO, I am NOT surprised.
Worried and angry? YES!
Soon coming to a State near you?
Billy Shakespeare said that.
I’d a recent experience, wherein I left a blog post comment @ one of my blogfriend’s™ blogs. A few minutes later, it occurred to me that I’d addressed him by someone else’s name!
And there was no method in his blogging software by which I could make a correction.
(I did go back and make a second comment, apologizing.)
This reminded me of a year-or-so ago, when a kind soul sent me a few dollars on my sidebar Paypal link. (hint, hint). It was late, I was preparing to retire, and had taken my evening meds. (HALF of the medication I am prescribed has possible side effects of memory loss!)
And I thanked him profusely, using a wrong name!
Then, I sent him another email, apologizing. Hopefully, I got it right the second time(?) I’ve not heard from him ever again.
At least, in the few significant personal relationships I’ve had in my lifetime with the opposite sex, I’ve not uttered another woman’s name whilst in flagrante delicto!
I don’t think? I wasn’t on this kind of medication, then…
I don’t know…
(and no inappropriate joke is intended here!)
The Obama Department of Education has ordered the Palatine school district to allow a male transgender student into the girls locker room and showers.
The DOE threatened to cut off funding if the transgender student was not given locker room privileges.
Enjoy the new rules, girls.
The Daily Caller reported:
Gee, I wonder how much more confusing THIS is going to get? I, for one, feel if one is sexually-identity ‘confused’, one should seek counseling. OTOH, if there truly is a genetic issue (chromosomally-based, suggesting a surgical solution) that is another matter. My understanding is the percentage of these folks is very small.
How many pubescent teens would like to see the other sex naked? I’m guessing most of them.
The DOE threatened to cut off funding if the transgender student was not given locker room privileges.
Sound familiar? Like threatening to cut off highway funds if the speed limits aren’t lowered, or certain traffic laws aren’t changed to conform an arbitrary federal standard?
Sounds like blackmail to me.
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. (Wikipedia)
Unless the Feds have an agenda they are pushing…
h/t Brock Townsend