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The Bill of No Rights

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Situational Ethics

The Blogosphere has a story about a couple of filthy hippies caught with marijuana paraphernalia.  Except they are not filthy hippies.  They are ages 65 and 67, and have numerous ailments.

What a crock to waste the efforts and funds of law enforcement on such people.

I have an occasional beer.  I sometimes partake in a fine single-malt Scotch – thanks to the Internet Scotch Fairy™.  There are weeks I won’t have any alcohol at all.  I sometimes use alcohol medicinally, in addition to my pain meds, to alleviate pain.  Which brings me to my point.

I was raised with the idea that illegal drugs are, in fact, illegal.  I HAVE NEVER SMOKED OR EATEN MARIJUANA, nor do I have any desire to.

I have consumed alcohol for the pleasure and the numbing effects.

How is this different from those who take marijuana medicinally or for pleasure, whether legal or illegal?

I know folks who used it in high school and college, who stopped when they grew up,  and that was it.  I haven’t known anyone who gatewayed to cocaine or heroin.  Or crack.  Or meth.

My prejudice against marijuana is generational, not based in facts.

But, in spite of PROHIBITION (or perhaps because if it) we as a Nation begrudgingly accept alcohol as the Nation’s drug of choice.  And, at least in some conventional circles, are fighting to keep marijuana criminalized.

What’s up with that?

Is it thousands of special police units and federal agents would be sidelined, and the majority of non-violent offenders could be released from custody (and prison guards laid-off)?

I don’t want the car next to me at a traffic light to have a driver using marijuana, alcohol or mood-altering prescription drugs.  And I don’t want my neighbors to be meth, heroin, cocaine or alcohol addicts.  And I certainly don’t want any children using any of this stuff.

But we’ve already opened Pandora’s Box, and the so-called War On Drugs is a sham, and a waste.

Hell, a number of States have lowered the penalties for personal amounts, and a few have made it medically accessible.

Frankly, I don’t care if people have a real medical need, or just like to get high.  Just keep ‘em away from me at intersections and we’re cool.

Let’s move toward legality, licensing and enforcing laws against unsafe drivers, instead.

And leave the old hippies at home alone.

It’s for the children.  (Liberty, Rights, The Constitution, and all that).

Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls…

bellBayou Renaissance Man posted regarding the recent interactions between the constabulary and suspect(s), the protests that followed, and the police political assassinations that followed THOSE actions.

And, as usual, he did so with aplomb.  You should go to the link above and read him.  (And, if you are not regularly reading him, why not?)

And he brought up a recent court decision and the Peelian Principals.  (Sir Robert Peel being the founder of Modern Law Enforcement.)  They are:

  1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
  4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
  5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
  9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

And here’s Peter’s money quote:

I can already hear the scoffing from police officers that those principles are utterly outdated when dealing with a society that regards the rule of law as nothing more than a polite fiction.  I can’t blame them;  our politicians and leaders in other spheres often appear to honor our laws more in the breach than in the observance.  Needless to say, our citizens all too often take their cue from their leaders (or is it the other way around?)  Nevertheless, any officer of the law who enters upon his career regarding the people he’s called to “protect and serve” as the enemy rather than his peers and fellow citizens is riding for a fall.  Sooner or later, someone’s going to provide one for him. (end)

It does appear as though we as a Society have transcended into pre-civil war status.  That is, that those charged with ‘protecting and serving’ the public are ‘protecting and serving’ each other, to the exclusion of the public (not entirely) and engaging in rampant abuses of power and authority not seen in many years.  In The United States, anyway.

Including wholesale surveillance of cellular telephone and email communications.  Restrictions placed on travel (elimination of 4th Amendment protections at border crossings, airports, ‘sobriety checkpoints’ and even some railroad and bus stations)!  And lets not forget misused or misapplied warrant services.  Does the name Jose Guerena come to mind?  Rendition and torture, in violation of both civil and military law.

And punishing of those who wish to bring such facts to light via the Internet or even cell phone cameras.

And now the remaining folks in blue who actually do their jobs and refrain from abuse are being subjected to political assassination, in the name of social justice?

Isn’t this what some Internet bloggers have been suggesting for the past few years?  Just because it’s painted in race doesn’t make it any less real.

Can we as a Society fix this before it’s too late?  Before cities, towns and States are overrun with folks tired of the governmental abuses?

Ask not for whom the bell tolls.

It peels for thee, Republic.

Sneaky Congressional BASTARDS!

But, I repeat myself.

Executive branch granted virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American

When I learned that the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2015 was being rushed to the floor for a vote—with little debate and only a voice vote expected (i.e., simply declared “passed” with almost nobody in the room)—I asked my legislative staff to quickly review the bill for unusual language. What they discovered is one of the most egregious sections of law I’ve encountered during my time as a representative: It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American.

On Wednesday afternoon, I went to the House floor to demand a roll call vote on the bill so that everyone’s vote would have to be recorded. I also sent the letter below to every representative.

With more time to spread the word, we would have stopped this bill, which passed 325-100. Thanks to the 99 other representatives—44 Republicans and 55 Democrats—who voted to protect our rights and uphold the Constitution. And thanks to my incredibly talented staff.

Oops, they did it again!

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”

Is the above even passingly familiar to ANYONE?

h/t Brock Townsend

 

No Free Press In National Parks!

 

Nice Photo

Nice Photo

Nice photo. That’ll be $1,000, please.

This week’s most profoundly wrongheaded display of nonviolent press infringement comes from an unlikely source: The U.S. Forest Service. New rules being finalized in November state that across this country’s gloriously beautiful, endlessly photogenic, 193 million acres of designated wilderness area administered by the USFS, members of the press who happen upon it will need permits to photograph or shoot video.

And yes, it does sound like one of the dumbest things you’ve ever read.

“It’s pretty clearly unconstitutional,” said Gregg Leslie, legal defense director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Alexandria, Va. “They would have to show an important need to justify these limits, and they just can’t.”

Wait! It gets better.

FIRST, we cannot take photographs of public buildings or structures (because we might be terrorists planning something).  Now THIS!
When did we become Germany?  (Everything that is not licensed, is FORBIDDEN!)
h/t Free North Carolina

Gun Crow

no gunsNew Jovian Thunderbolt passes along an allegory on one Constitutional Issue versus another.

jim crowThat is Voter’s Rights versus Gun Rights!

Both Constitutional and of equal status, right?  Wrong!

Stop saying that Washington DC now allows conceal carry.  People posted that all over.  It’s May Issue.  And like most May Issue states it means “nobody without the juice.”  It’s not allowing CCW.

Saying DC allows conceal carry is like saying a black man in Alabama in 1885 had the right to vote.  Look at the 15th Amendment!  It says so!  Highest law of the land says a black man can vote.  But that’s not the reality on the ground back then, is it?

No, Gun Crow laws are still in effect in DC, Maryland, New Jersey, New York… others.

How would you feel if Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada, assuming you don’t live there, were just ignoring the 19th Amendment and didn’t let women vote?  Maybe let them pretend they are voting at the polls, but then just not counting those female votes?  Would you feel a little less free in North Carolina or Maine, or Wisconsin?  Doesn’t really impact women near you, so…  What’s the big diff?  Just tell women in California to move someplace better.  Right?  How does that make you feel?  It’s not like it’s in another country.  It’s still YOUR country out west, there.  If you join the military you are fight for those hypothetical and blatant disenfranchising states, too.

People tell me to move out of THIS state because of the gun banning regime.  No, I’ll stay here.  The state will change.  Same with Jersey.  Same with DC, and New York…

In fact, YOU should move here.

Mea culpa.  I, too, probably jumped on the same bandwagon, extolling the freedom now being exercised in D.C.  OOPS. - Guffaw

Settled? HARDLY!

Firehand reports…

Remember Jose Guerena? Murdered by Idiots In Ninja Suits And Badges?

Said Idiots spending the next quite a while trying every excuse possible for their screwups?
Vanessa Guerena’s $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against the four police agencies was recently settled for $3.4 million. Even with that extraordinary settlement, the police of Pima County, Marana, Oro Valley, and Sahuarita have been loath to admit fault.
Of course they have; taking lessons from the EffingBI, they NEVER want to just say “We screwed up, let’s make this right and learn from it”, oh no.I understand the widow being willing to take a settlement, but I have to say: I would have LOVED it if they’d taken this to a jury, and put every one of the incompetents involved under oath and in a witness seat.  God knows what all would’ve come out.
Yeah, FH, I couldn’t have said it better.  Certainly Jose was worth more than the amount awarded, and it would have been nice had guilt been admitted.
But, that will NEVER happen, as long as we keep substituting JBTs for peace officers.

This Grumpy Old Fart Comment Should Go VIRAL!

(I’m doing MY part! – Guffaw)

(Now, just a reminder, I’m NOT a republican, nor a democrat, but I did find some truths in this rant (by Grumpy Old Fart, courtesy of Kevin @ TSM) – Guffaw)

I’ve said it here and elsewhere, but I’ll say it again:

Democrats are the party of hatred, envy and bigotry. It’s the basis of everything they do, and they use it at every opportunity.

If you disagree with them on race, it’s because you’re white (even if you’re Thomas Sowell, Mia Love or Marco Rubio). If you disagree with them about women’s rights, it’s because you’re a man (even if you’re Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter or Megyn Kelly). If you disagree with them about gay rights, it’s because you’re straight (even if you’re Liz Cheney, Jimmy LaSalvia or Chris Barron). They’re not interested in empowering minorities, they’re only interested in punishing white people. They’re not interested in empowering women, they’re only interested in punishing men. They’re not interested in empowering gays, they’re only interested in punishing straight people. They’re not interested in helping people become successful, they’re only interested in punishing the wealthy. They don’t want justice, in fact they work hard to subvert it… because they pander to those who want revenge.

Of course, they’ll always claim the opposite. But it isn’t the Republicans who wanted a Supreme Court Justice who thought she could do better than others because she wasn’t white. It isn’t the Republicans who called a black politician a “house nigger.” It isn’t the Republicans who coined the term “white hispanic.” It’s not the Republicans who TO THIS DAY call Justice Thomas an “Uncle Tom.” It’s not the Republicans who delight in “Teabagger” as a derogatory term.

It isn’t the Republicans who are proud to be associated with openly racist organizations like the NAACP and La Raza. It wasn’t the Republicans who proudly put a sexual predator in the White House in the 90s. It wasn’t the Republicans who were proud of voting for our current President because he’s not white. It’s not the Republicans who have fought tooth and nail to make it easy to get on welfare, but hard to succeed in business.

Democrats have spent the last several years calling Republicans “terrorists,” “suicide bombers” and “hostage takers.” But virtually every supporter of Hamas in America is a Democrat.

I’m an agnostic, and yes, I find it annoying when Christians act as if I’m some poor deluded soul who must be saved from his own stupidity. But at least Christians treat me as if I am a human being, and by their lights they are trying to help me. They’ll try to change my mind, but they don’t try to have me arrested or outcast when I don’t. The anti-Christian left thinks I should be punished for daring to disagree with them, IF they concede that I should be allowed to exist AT ALL.

“Diversity” my hairy butt. I want my doctor, my lawyer, my local police and firefighters, to be the best, and I don’t care what color they are, whether their underwear has a fly, or who they kiss when they go home in the evening.

My largest bone of contention with this rant is two-fold.  First, they say Democrats, when I would say PROGRESSIVES – not necessarily the same thing.  Second, they don’t rant at the Republicans, for all their misdeeds – The Patriot Act and it’s evil children, for example.

I’m a libertarian (small L), and I say vote ‘em ALL OUT!  Of course, the only problem with that, of course, is with whom do we replace?

“May We GROPE Through?”

(in part from PawPaw’s House)

It seems that a bunch of golfers were frisked when Obama showed up at a club to play a round of golf.

Regulars at the Vineyard Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard were gobsmacked when President Obama unexpectedly strolled onto a nearby green and they were immediately frisked. “There was no warning he was coming,” sniffed a guest.

If the President showed up at my club and the members were frisked, I’d be pissed, but I don’t know all the niceties of presidential visits.  So, I waited for Instapundit to weigh in.  We realize, of course, that Insty is a professor of law in Knoxville.

How come nobody ever tells them to buzz off, and that if the President wants to play golf he can damn well respect the rights of others? The response to the ominous “So, you’re not cooperating?” should be “No, are you assaulting me?”
If the President wants to go out in public, fine. If he can’t do it without assaulting the rights of citizens, then he should stay home. But hey, most of these folks probably voted for him. So: Enjoy!

Citizens of a republic shouldn’t be subjected to frisking or wanding just because the boss shows up.

There was a time when most folks had access to firearms, and one could walk into the White House unimpeded.  And nothing happened.  Now, not only is visitation severely controlled and restricted, but encountering the Chief Executive on the golf course means impromptu cessation of civil rights.

What if he went jogging?  Have an advance team feeling-up all the folks in advance of his running by?  (And yes, I know Clinton went jogging – and even he didn’t molest the spectators!)

Just let me know if The President will be in my vicinity.  I would leave, anyway, even if I weren’t legally armed.

And Remember – I’m Pro-Police!

At least the way I was taught in Police Science classes 1973-75.

But, times have changed.

Just Shoot: The Mindset Responsible for Turning Search Warrants into Death Warrants, and SWAT Teams into Death Squads

Via Nancy

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1590799755/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=31574620397&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=6161072994913682694&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_1b48wmzl4q_b#

How many children, old people, and law-abiding citizens have to be injured, terrorized or killed before we call a halt to the growing rash of police violence that is wracking the country? How many family pets have to be gunned down in cold blood by marauding SWAT teams before we declare such tactics off limits? And how many communities have to be transformed into military outposts, complete with heavily armed police, military tanks, and “safety” checkpoints before we draw that line in the sand that says “not in our town”?

More @ LRC
h/t Brock Townsend
FTC – I get nothing for this – NOTHING!

Through The Looking Glass, Part Deux

(with further apologies to Charles Dodgson)

Judge approves forfeiture of car, despite not guilty verdict

A Minnesota man who had his car seized in connection with an arrest for burglary will not get his car back despite being found not guilty. From KFGO-AM

Despite the jury’s verdict, a judge has decided that the car will be forfeited to the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. Adam Bush was arrested last August.

Investigators contended that he pulled a large safe to a kayak that he’d taken from a resident of Lake Elsie and floated the safe to his car. Tire marks matched the tread pattern and other evidence linked Bush to the crime. State’s Attorney Ron McBeth says there were no witnesses to the burglary and the case was highly circumstantial.

Is that it?

We now live in a nation where property is forfeit despite due process finding for the defendant?  Of course, the IRS can attach funds before any proceedings start, so I guess this is not anything new, anyway…

h/t Campaign for Liberty

 

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

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"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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