what i have learned of news through osmosis

You know, for being a supposed “constitutional scholar / teacher / professor / lawyer / whatever-the-hell-else-he-claimed”, Our Glorious President does not have a damned clue about what his job entails, or what limitations are imposed on it by the Constitution: 

"In this year of action, the President will seek out as many opportunities as possible to work with Congress in a bipartisan way. But when American jobs and livelihoods depend on getting something done, he will not wait for Congress," Pfeiffer said.

[…]

"President Obama has a pen and he has a phone, and he will use them to take executive action and enlist every American… in the project to restore opportunity for all," Pfeiffer said.

And lest you think this is just the off-the-reservation, exhorting-the-crowd campaign-donation-begging (… oh wait) from one solitary White House paper-pusher, this is becoming a theme:

Obama has pledged to act, saying, “We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need.”

"The president sees this as a year of action, to work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary," White House press secretary Jay Carney told ABC News Sunday.

Allow me to speak plainly, Barry; you have neither the power nor the authority to “bypass Congress”.  Period.  If Congress has to be involved in a process – say passing a piece of legislation – you cannot simply… will… them out of the chain of events.  Unfortunately, the American people chose to elect you President, but note that word: “President”, not “Dictator”.  It would be tremendously helpful if you knew the difference and stuck to the job description of the former, not the latter. 

Here, let me help you out: go here, and scroll down to “Article II”

In similar news, we get this all-too-memorable news report

Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole wrote in a memo sent Thursday to federal prosecutors that it will not be a priority to block landmark marijuana-legalization laws in the two states. The federal government also will not make it a priority to close down recreational marijuana stores, so long as the stores abide by state regulations, according to the memo.

In other words, the second-in-command of the federal agency responsible for enforcing the laws of the United States government just arbitrarily and single-handedly stated that it would not enforce the laws of the United States government.  In a just world, the Attorney General would have fired this man about five minutes later, issued a formal retraction, and done his damned job or resigned, but given that Eric Holder is still occupying that particular position, this is obviously not a just world. 

I will, however, disagree with Dr. Milton Wolf

Selective enforcement of the law is the first sign of tyranny. A government empowered to determine arbitrarily who may operate outside the rule of law invariably embraces favoritism as friends, allies and those with the best-funded lobbyists are rewarded. Favoritism inevitably leads to corruption, and corruption invites extortion. Ultimately, the rule of law ceases to exist in any recognizable form, and what is left is tyranny.

Selective enforcement is not the first sign of tyranny; it is just one of many symptoms of creeping tyranny.  I stand by what I said last year; given that Our Glorious President has not been rightly slapped down by Congress for overstepping his powers, given that the deputy Attorney General was not fired, and given that we have a disturbing history of re-electing the same morons in Congress over and over and over again who enable this gos-se, we are getting exactly the government we want. 

And when the President, deputy Attorney General, and, by extension, the Attorney General have all stated that they are going to ignore existing federal laws, how can you be surprised at news articles like this:  Connecticut recently registered 50,000 “assault weapons” and 40,000 “large capacity magazines”.  Ignore, for a second, the complete and utter stupidity of the arbitrarily-defined concept of “assault weapons”, ignore that the magazines being banned are, in fact and truth, normal-capacity magazines in the overwhelming number of cases, and ignore that registration of firearms never ends well for their owners; instead, just pay attention to the numbers.  By all definitions I am aware of (including Connecticut’s), an “assault weapon” involves a removable magazine.  Do the morons in Hartford really believe that 10,000 “assault weapon” owners somehow do not have magazines for their firearms?  And that the remaining 40,000 “assault weapon” owners only have one, single, solitary magazine for them?  And this is all without considering the “large capacity magazines” that are made for handguns… 

Are Connecticut politicians that stupid?  Well, they are politicians, I suppose. 

ThoreauDisobeyApparently the last speculative accounting of “high capacity magazines” and “assault weapons” in the state of Connecticut numbered them in the “tens of millions” and somewhere around 400,000, respectively.  To describe what is going on in the now-atrociously-mis-nicknamed “Constitution State” as “massive” civil disobedience would be something of a massive understatement. 

So what is the politicians’ solution to their employers informing them exactly what those employers think of the politicians’ idiotic laws?  Why, the state is going to offer an “amnesty” period for people to continue registering their firearms.  *headdesk*  While there may be one or two folks who got their paperwork in an hour late at the post office, I can guarantee you that the overwhelming majority of people who did not register then are not going to register now. 

We have a President – a representative sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” – saying, unequivocally, that he will ignore that document whenever he finds its restrictions inconvenient.  We have the deputy Attorney General – a man charged with upholding federal laws – telling his subordinates that they should instead ignore those federal laws.  And those are just the most-recent, big-ticket examples. 

Is it any great wonder that, with examples like those, the American people have decided that now is as good a time as any to start disobeying unjust laws?  Here is to hoping that more people find their own way to freedom

… *sigh*  There is a reason… actually, a lot reasons why I do not read news sites or newspapers or even watch the news on TV.  These three stories are simply things I stumbled across as my parents told me about news they had read recently and while I caught up on my comics reading.  And, no, I will not be watching Our Glorious President pontificate tomorrow on how allowing him to transition his Presidency to a Dictatorship-in-Everything-But-Name is better for everyone and especially him.  While that is in fact one of the very few things a President is supposed to do, quite frankly I have more important things to do… like getting my Torchlight 2 Outlander up to level 50. 

(“Disobey” graphic borrowed from Jack Daws.) 

ingsoc would be proud

The rule of law is dead in the District of Columbia.

Of course, this is nothing new, given that the federal government calls that not-quite-state home, but this time around I am referring to the laws specifically governing that postage stamp of a municipality.

Exhibit 1:

Exhibit 2:

District of Columbia Official Code 2001 Edition, Division I, Title 7, Subtitle J, Chapter 25, Unit A, Subchapter VI, § 7-2506.01, section (b):

No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

Exhibit 3:

Letter from Irvin B. Nathan, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, to Lee Levine, Esq., dated 11JAN13:

Having carefully reviewed all of the facts and circumstances of this matter, as it does in every case involving firearms-related offenses or any other potential violation of D.C. law within our criminal jurisdiction, OAG has determined to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to decline to bring criminal charges against Mr. Gregory, who has no criminal record, or any other NBC employee based on the events associated with the December 23,2012 broadcast. OAG has made this determination, despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust.

Exhibit 4:

United States Marshal James Brinkley:

Despite the evidence Mr. Brinkley had been legally transporting the gun, his attorney Richard Gardiner said the D.C. Office of the Attorney General “wouldn’t drop it.” This is the same office now showing apparent reluctance to charge Mr. Gregory.

As someone with a bit more legal experience than me noted, "laws for thee but not me" are the very definition of "tyranny".

However, to go a slightly different direction than wfgodbold, the DC Attorney General claims they will not prosecute David Gregory for flagrantly breaking DC’s laws because…

…the intent of the temporary possession and short display of the magazine was to promote the First Amendment purpose of informing an ongoing public debate about firearms policy in the United States, especially while this subject was foremost in the minds of the public following the previously mentioned events in Connecticut and the President’s speech to the nation about them.

Shiny. Then with that context well and truly established for the District of Columbia, I dare say it is time for a "Normal Capacity Magazine Demonstration" in the nation’s capital – after all, demonstrations are the very definition of "the First Amendment purpose of informing an ongoing public debate", and if the demonstration took the effort to attempt to educate DC residents and lawmakers as to the simple fact that limiting the ammunition feeding devices of firearms will make no difference to criminals, well, we are addressing "firearms policy in the United States" as well. Of course, if you want to have some real fun, mix it up a little – try and feature every possible demographic, gender, ethnicity, and apparent income level combination in the crowd, just to see who gets arrested and who does not… or hand out Bluegun AR-15 magazines spray-painted black.

Something tells me a large number of those demonstrators would face a significantly more… interesting… experience than the kid-glove treatment a DC socialite enjoyed.

But, then, some animals are just more equal than others, are they not?

quote of the day – david e. young

A lot of anti-rights lawyers like to make a lot of noise over how much education they may or may not have received, and how many cases they have managed to stay awake for, and how smart they are, and so on so forth, but it is always interesting to note how little their superiors and betters care about their opinions – how many times have their comments been cited by any kind of higher court as a basis for that court’s decision?

On the other hand, David E. Young does not go on seemingly endless ego-stroking tirades about his perceived mastery of the law and all contained within it, but his works were "cited over one hundred times in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals US v Emerson decision and six times in the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Washington DC v Heller decision". Seems to me that Mr. Young might know a thing or two about the Second Amendment.

Thankfully, he i also more than willing, if not downright eager, to share his knowledge with anyone willing to read it, and recently did so by way of his article, The American Revolutionary Era Origin of the Second Amendment’s Clauses, published in the Journal on Firearms and Public Policy. The entire article is well worth your time to read, especially since it lays out all of the building blocks necessary to reach this conclusion:

All eight Revolutionary Era Second Amendment predecessors, as well as the three Ratification Era two-clause proposals copied from them, were leading parts of complete Mason Triads. This context indicates the intention of both Second Amendment clauses was to assure the armed civil population’s control over government raised military force for the purpose of preventing oppression and tyranny. The First Congress, by protecting the right of the people to keep and bear arms, assured the people of being in a position to self-embody as an effective militia. Indeed, this was the very foundation of the Federalists’ polity as often expressed in their arms related mantra during the ratification struggle. A free state was ensured by such an armed populace because the people were inherently able to prevent the forceful implementation of acts that violated their rights and the Constitution. In the unlikely event such situations of force should ever arise, the people by merely defending themselves would be enforcing the supreme law of the land, and those attempting to use force against the people would be in direct violation of that supreme law, which the people had authorized.

Mr. Young explains the peculiar grammatical structure of the Second Amendment, explains the period meanings of the concepts of "well-regulated" and "militia", expounds upon the rationale given by the Founding Fathers for maintaining and preserving an armed populace, brings to bear the similarities of state constitutions, and completely guts the narrow-minded notion that the Second Amendment is somehow "outdated" or "obsolete"; but one common thread remains throughout his entire article – the Second Amendment is about self-defense.

Primarily, the Founding Fathers were concerned with the concept of law-abiding citizens – from whom our government is allowed to draw its power and legitimacy – being able to protect themselves from any abuses of power or overreaches of their particular mandates by those we elect to represent us in that government. This only makes sense, considering the nation-creating war our Founding Fathers just emerged from was sparked by exactly those kinds of governmental injustices. However, if the minds behind the Bill of Rights wanted to preserve our ability to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government (which they obviously did), do you really believe they would prefer us defenseless against mere people who would seek to deprive us of our rights just the same?

I think not. But, then, unlike anti-rights cultists, I tend to construct my thoughts off facts and reality, rather than baseless beliefs and specious assumptions.

(Courtesy of Mr. Young’s weblog.)

… that word; i do not think it means… ah, screw it

It may take me a few moments to compose myself in order to adequately respond to this news, rather than just flail meaninglessly on the keyboard:

The Obama administration announced Thursday that it would suspend deportation proceedings against many illegal immigrants who pose no threat to national security or public safety.

[…]

White House and immigration officials said they would exercise “prosecutorial discretion” to focus enforcement efforts on cases involving criminals and people who have flagrantly violated immigration laws.

*blink*

*blinkblink*

*headdesk*

Allow me to make myself perfectly clear: anyone who entered this country ILLEGALLY is, BY DEFINITION, a “criminal” and someone who has “flagrantly violated immigration laws”.

That would be what “illegal” means, you moronic excuses for rational human beings. Really, nothing more needs to be said.

(Courtesy of Say Uncle.)

csgv hates us for our rights

Today presented another leaden opportunity to peer into the dark, twisted, demented depths of the mind driving the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Ownership Twitter account (in all likelihood, that anti-rights organization’s “Director of Communications”, Ladd Everitt), and, hey, when you get the chance to procure some free blogfodder, it is on you if you do not jump at it. 

Consider the below conversation: 

CSGV:  Did you know that the Quran-burning pastor is permitted to carry a loaded gun in 35 states?! #p2 #Highered… http://fb.me/11QGyNqeb

TrailerDays:  MT @CSGV: Freedom of speech should be abolished if it offends people. That’s what the Founding Fathers meant for us. http://bit.ly/jpV6Tl

CSGV:  @TrailerDays Freedom of speech has nothing to do with a religious extremist carrying a loaded gun in public in 35 states. #Highered #p2

linoge_wotc:  @CSGV Free speech was put there to expressly protect religious "extremists" from #authoritarian #bigots like you. #1a #2a

CSGV:  @linoge_wotc Free speech has nothing to do with a religious extremist carrying a loaded gun in public. Nor did Madison ever suggest it did.

[…]

CSGV:  @linoge_wotc Madison never conflated free speech with the carrying of weapons in public. He was a Federalist, not a Radical Anti-Federalist.

linoge_wotc:  @CSGV I never said he did. YOU are making that conflation. Madison DID believe that religious beliefs were no reason to abridge rights.

linoge_wotc:  @CSGV Your entire premise of infringing on one right due to the lawful exercise of another is Constitutionally and logically erroneous.

linoge_wotc:  @CSGV Rev Jones broke no law & you want to arbitrarily deny his rights. Madison would kick your ass HARD for using his name to support that

CSGV:  @linoge_wotc Wanting to carry a loaded gun in public is not a "religious belief." #Highered #TX #Texas #p2 #politics #congress

linoge_wotc:  @CSGV Never said it was. Is your argument so weak that you can only fight straw men? #readingcomprehensionfail

To save you the trouble of tracking down that intentionally un-linked hyperlink, the short story is that Reverend Terry Jones burned a Koran, the CSGV finds that “offensive”, then he had a negligent discharge, the CSGV finds that to be endangering others (though the discharge only perforated the floor of his car and the parking lot beneath it), and based off those two opinions, the CSGV takes exception to Reverend Jones’ Florida Concealed Weapon/Firearm License and apparently believes it should be revoked. 

Yes, you read that right.  Reverent Jones is not a criminal.  Reverend Jones has not been convicted of anything.  Reverend Jones has not been charged with anything.  Reverend Jones lawfully exercised his First-Amendment-protected rights. 

However, Reverend Jones exercised his First-Amendment-protected rights in a fashion that Ladd Everitt considers “offensive”, and for that nowhere-near-crime, the CSGV is advocating that Reverend Jones’ Second-Amendment-protected rights be denied to him. 

*blink* 

Words – or, at least, words I am willing to write here – cannot adequately describe how disgustingly, perversely, and atrociously unconstitutional such a position is, not to mention intrinsically offensive, morally reprehensible, and downright dictatorial.  In fact, it is precisely because of authoritarian, discriminatory, intolerant tyranny like that which convinced the original Founding Fathers and Revolutionaries to abandon their ties to England and strike out on their own – after all, Catholics were denied various rights in once-Great Britain on the basis of their religious beliefs. 

Apparently Ladd Everitt and the CSGV would have us devolve our country to the point where we are once again forced to believe a certain way, lest we be denied our individual, human rights.  I say to hell with that.  So long as I do not harm anyone else (and Reverend Jones, while arguably an idiot, has not harmed anyone else), what faith I practice and how I express it has absolutely no bearing on what rights I may enjoy.  Period.  Anyone who claims otherwise is not arguing from a Constitutionally-valid, much less rational, position.  But I would never describe Ladd as “rational”… 

(WFGodbold, Thirdpower, and Miguel all have their takes on this latest atrocity by the CSGV…  I swear, is Ladd attempting to single-handedly discredit that organization in its entirety?)

who is mises

Something tells me I received this email as an automatic response to my previous post, but be that as it may, I am always looking for more easy blogfodder, and this fits that bill if nothing else:

Hello,

We at the Society of Libertarian Entrepreneurs have come to the conclusion that the best thing we can do to further the cause of liberty and resist the tyranny of the state is to – be a hero. This means working hard everyday at being healthy, strong, attractive, honest and rich, with a powerful network of friends.

It is the personal success of libertarians that will put real power behind our ideas.

We are taking up this fight with vigor! Even If we do not succeed, at least we will be healthy, rich and well connected.

I invite and encourage you to watch our manifesto video and share it with your audience!

http://WhoisMises.com

Thank you for reading this email. If you have any comments or
questions feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,
Tom Garrett
President
Society of Libertarian Entrepreneurs
http://WhoisMises.com/los_angeles

That posted, do note that I neither support nor disapprove of this particular organization, primarily because their webpage is a little light on actual information – their video would serve well as the beginning to a motivational speaker’s seminar, but aside from that, I am left with far more questions than answers. Still, any organization that is encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit in others is at least worthy of mention, especially when I need text to fill up your screen…

quote of the day – ladd everitt*

Sometimes, anti-rights organizations and individuals say things so very idiotic that you almost have to wonder if they intentionally said it, or if it was just a reflexive response born out of their immersion in constant, low-level stupidity… Other times, you give them all the chances in the world to avoid saying something completely moronic, and then they go and do it anywise.

Today is one of the latter.

Below is a Twitter conversation (Twiversation?) I was unfortunate enough to have with the “Coalition to Stop Gun Violence” account, supposedly manned by Ladd Everitt, the “Director of Communications” for that misnamed, bigoted organization. I kept it as coherent and legible as I could, but given how amorphous that particular form of communication is, one can only reach certain levels of clarity – the important take-away is the second-to-last line.

CSGV: @TrailerDays @45Superman Traitors who preach armed political violence against our government certainly will not support CSGV. #p2 #politics

wotc_linoge: @CSGV You keep using that word, but it is painfully obvious you have no idea what it means. Also, poison the well much? #logicalfallacy

CSGV: @wotc_linoge Perhaps you’d prefer the term G. Washington used for the Whiskey rebels: “insurgents.” #p2 #politics #americanhistory

TrailerDays: @CSGV @45Superman @wotc_linoge: So the CSGV still can’t produce any evidence so continues w/ their fantasies. Can they? No.

CSGV: @TrailerDays @45Superman @wotc_linoge You say here your militia will “defend against tyranny” and praise Athens. http://tinyurl.com/6xtlwb9

wotc_linoge: @CSGV The Battle of Athens has NOTHING to do with the Whiskey Rebellion, you ignorant dolt. #americanhistory indeed.

45superman: @CSGV @TrailerDays @wotc_linoge The militia’s actions in Athens, Tennessee WERE “defend[ing] against tyranny.” What’s not to praise?

CSGV: @45superman @TrailerDays @wotc_linoge Thanks for making our case. You endorse the use of political violence when YOU perceive “tyranny.” #p2

wotc_linoge: @CSGV Thanks for indicating that you do NOT consider it tyrannical to arbitrarily deny veterans the right to vote. #americanhistory #tyranny

CSGV: @wotc_linoge We consider it corruption that was handled peacefully and by rule of law – w/o violence – in other TN towns at the time. #p2

wotc_linoge: @CSGV Again, thank you for confirming that you do NOT consider it to be tyranny to deny people their votes. Do you think before you tweet?

CSGV: @wotc_linoge Hopefully, you’ll think before you shoot our elected officials based on your “tyranny” radar. #p2 #politics #congress

wotc_linoge: @CSGV And now come the specious accusations. Is a government denying a law-abiding citizen the right to vote tyranny or not? #usgovernment

CSGV: @wotc_linoge It was a glaring example of political corruption, and as noted, was reformed peacefully w/o violence in other TN towns. #p2

wotc_linoge: @CSGV That was not the question. Is a government denying someone the right to vote tyranny, yes or no? #obfuscation #beataroundthebush

CSGV: @wotc_linoge On a national scale, yes. Due to political corruption in a few TN towns while the federal gov’t is still functioning? No.

wotc_linoge: So the @CSGV ‘s official position is that it is not tyranny if local governments forcibly deny votes to veterans (or anyone else). Thanks!

Emphasis added where appropriate.

Unfortunately, shortly after this exchange, the conversation rapidly devolved to the point of Ladd Everitt casting specious, and remarkably insulting, allegations at myself, Thirdpower, and 45Superman, up to and including full-blown libellous charges of “treason” and other such nonsense. Obviously, at this point, the folks at CSGV realized they had lost the conversation, and were casting about for anything that they could remotely consider to be a “win” in their twisted little minds.

And speaking of “specious allegations”, you just have to love that offhand, flippant insinuation that I am “chomping at the bit”, so to speak, to shoot elected officials. This is, obviously, quite false, and was just the beginning of Ladd’s desperate attempts to derail the conversation into personal attacks.

However, all of that is irrelevant to the real point of this post, which is this: the “Coalition to Stop Gun Violence” considers “tyranny” to be a matter of scale, not of the rights being infringed, but of the number of people involved.

To begin with, tyranny is defined as: “arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority; the government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler; a state ruled by a tyrant or absolute ruler; oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler”.

Likewise, for those unfamiliar with the history of the Battle of Athens, go ahead and freshen on up, but the short story is this: McMinn County, TN, was plagued with just about every level of political corruption, intrigue, and crime that you could imagine, up to and including vote rigging, gerrymandering, nepotism, blatant abuses of power, and so forth. A group of World War II veterans returned to the county, and vowed to challenge the Cantrell family’s grip on the area by fielding their own candidates and working for a fraud-free election. Obviously the Cantrells objected to this notion, and on the primary election day, they fielded over 200 armed “deputies” to keep the people in line, keep control on the ballot boxes, keep black men from voting, and so forth; the situation, of course, spiraled out of control, and Sheriff Mansfield (a lackey of the Cantrell family) took the ballot box to the local jail for “counting”. Laying siege against the jail all night, the veterans eventually convinced the guards to surrender (dynamite has an interesting affect on people), the ballot box was recovered, and the resulting votes were executed fraud-free, with veterans winning in five out of 12 precincts. The veterans reorganized a temporary police force (the old one was in the Cantrells’ pocket, and understandably left town), cleaned up the county government, fixed the jail, and instituted a $5000 yearly pay limit on elected representatives.

And that was it. No one was killed, a few folks on both sides were wounded, the government stabilized and moved on, and when Federal Representative John Jennings Jr. heard of the battle, his comment was, “…at long last, decency and honesty, liberty and law have returned to the fine county of McMinn…”

But, according to the CSGV, armed government agents kidnapping, abusing, assaulting, and shooting folks in order to ensure a rigged election stayed rigged is not “tyranny” so long as it takes place “in a few TN towns”.

And these bigots want to tell us which Constitutionally-protected rights we can exercise, and how? I think not. Tyranny is tyranny no matter if it takes place at the national level or the municipal, and as free, law-abiding, adult American citizens, we not only have the right, we have the duty to ensure that our republic continues to operate, at all levels, in the individual- and rights-respecting fashion in which it was originally intended.

* – This title was chosen based on Ladd Everitt’s role as “Director for Communications” for the improperly-named “Coalition to Stop Gun Violence”, and based on the assumption that he has the keys to that organization’s Twitter account. If that is in error, and I am informed of the error, I will certainly change it.

(Courtesy of Thirdpower, without whom I never would have experienced this mindnumbing idiocy.)