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Archive for the ‘Murder’ Category

The most powerful word in the country today is… “Offensive”.

The words of a Facebook acquaintance hung there on the group page, taunting my mind away from a more basic Sunday morning meditation.   It worked, and my mind started milling the words, prompting my immediate rejoinder “If that were true, it would work for everyone, non?”

But the more I thought about it, the more I came to consider the “wrongness” that lead to the statement being made in the first place.  I realized that it isn’t about the rank hypocrisy that sees nothing wrong with an entitlement for some people to invoke “offense” as a means to stop discussion, debate, questions, behavior or beliefs they do not like, but is incapable of even considering that other parties might be offended by the discussion, debate, questions, behavior or beliefs of the those invoking “offense”, let alone capable of invoking “offense” themselves.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think being able to end all discussion, debate, questions, behavior, or beliefs by claiming to be “offended” is unhealthy for a free society, offensive to liberty, and childish in the extreme.   As long as it is impossible to have an honest conversation, because it will almost certainly “offend” someone, it will be impossible to address any issue of import.  It doesn’t take long before this will lead to financial impairment, social impairment, and impairment of national security. (See President Obama, Second Term)

But the really, really odious part if this is that I often hear “Offense” uttered like an incantation from many of the same people who speak of “reason” being superior to faith, and a basis for them to assume an intellectual superiority that they clearly haven’t earned, while they often put faith in “facts” that have expiration dates due to constantly changing nature of scientific paradigms.  The illogic of presuming that rights which are guaranteed by law are subject to override if only they can apply their completely subjective responses to the exercise of those rights would be laughable if it wasn’t pursued with such zeal and dedication.  Orwell himself couldn’t have conceived of the sheer scope of the vanity and delusion that have combined to impose a bizzaro-world rhetoric to such a degree that sincerity and directness are relegated to criminal status.

The saddest aspect to this current state of affairs is that too many of us allowed ourselves to be cowed by this practice, as if offending someone, or at least those granted a de facto privileged status by the arbiters of acceptability, is a combination of the worst sin and the worst crime that a person can commit.  The fact is that this extraordinary power and cancer on society wouldn’t be powerful at all if we didn’t let it.  But this requires a boldness to push back, that too few have the backbone to exhibit.  Start responding by saying “SO???”  Ask them to explain why they are suffering from the alleged “offense”.  Put the onus on them to prove why it should matter to you, and to everyone else, rather than giving what has morphed into a generic and reflexive complaint the presumption of legitimacy without the burden of proving it.  It is your duty as a citizen and a member of society to engage people who don’t want you to engage in an honest discourse.  It is your birthright to be able to do so without the threat of sanction by government, or those who want to destroy the very way you live, and censor your very thoughts.

STAND.  BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

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I know, I know…since the dawn of the Obama Era, irony has become as ubiquitous as the sunrise, and through its cumulative effect, toxic to the Republic, which I’m sure is all part of the plan.  Nonetheless, after a week like this one, I can only conclude that our self-appointed betters and “thought leaders (now there’s an irony for you)” have decided that they have succeeded in creating a climate of apathy and ignorance so strong that no statement, and no circumstance is too outrageous to tumble from their lips.  The sad thing is, I think that they might be right, as this week seems to prove…

First on this week is the “Reverend” Al Sharpton.  Yes, the “drug informant” Al Sharpton, who brought us this spectacularly polished turd:

“I think that the message is, no matter what the world may do to unfairly, no matter how your crucified, nailed to the cross at home, or in your personal relationships, or on the job that you can rise if you don’t lose yourself during the hard times and the challenges.["]

Put aside the garbage where he’s trying to link the meaning of Easter to Barack Obama.

This is really, really bad theology.  Easter is about sin, a price that mankind would never be able to pay for redemption, and the willing sacrifice of God’s son to pay that price for ALL OF US, and to conquer death.  That doesn’t happen without Christ, no matter how much those who worship government try to convince us that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  An awful lot of rhetorical sulphur he’s preaching.  I think he might want to study up on what the book says about that kind of behavior.

Next up are the usual suspects with regard to Chelsea Clinton’s announcement  at the “Girls No Ceilings Conversation” event in New York City:

“One more thing to say very quickly,” the 34-year-old addressed the crowd. “Mark and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year. I certainly feel all the better whether it’s a girl or a boy that they’ll grow up in a world with so many strong female leaders…”

Now, given the positive reaction from the crowd, one can only assume that they believe that she will be going to a store and purchasing a baby when she thinks that the time is right, because otherwise, she would be referring to a lump of cells that she has a sacrosanct right to terminate at anytime because it isn’t a “child” or “baby”…at least that’s what wymyn’s groups and blood money grubbers like Planned Parenthood keep telling us.

Hillary couldn’t help but to also chime in:

“I’m expecting a grand child which I’m very excited about. We’re very excited about what’s happening in our family but we’re also very excited about what we’re doing.”

Congratulations, kid.  Grams needs a political prop, so you get to be born!

And our final entry on this week’s hit parade.  Fresh off of questions regarding his son’s motivations for wanting the land that Clive Bundy ranches on in Nevada, and scrutiny of the connections between himself and the head of the Bureau of Land Management (and after previously being in the news for diverting campaign funds to his grand-daughter), Harry had this to say about the Federal Government’s aborted attempt to “shock and awe” the prickly rancher in to submission to his Federal betters:

 “Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over,” Reid said.

Given Harry’s misappropriation of campaign money and his apparent intimate knowledge of private citizen’s Federal tax returns, such as Mitt Romney, the Koch Brothers, and Clive Bundy, I guess that means that we’ll soon be treated to the sight of Harry “I-Never-Met-A-Budget-I’d-Pass” Reid being marched out of the Senate in handcuffs.

Yeah, I know.  The law is only for little people, and those who happen to not be Democrats.   Yea for “fundamental change”.

 

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I was going to write about this too, but my friend Sam Janney, one of the brilliant PolitiChicks, already took him to task.

I don’t know why so many American women want to be Julia, and don’t see Klanned Murderhood for the intersection of Government and Medical malfeasance that it is.

Go now, and read it.

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“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” —Albert Einstein

“The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” —Winston Churchill

“What you perceive, your observations, feelings, interpretations, are all your truth.  Your truth is important.  Yet it is not The Truth.” —Linda Elinor

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of the truth.” —Albert Einstein.

The events of the last two weeks have again allowed a harsh and difficult to believe truth to come into cuttingly sharp focus for anyone willing to see it: Our government isn’t serious about defeating terrorism.

I can hear you, gentle reader, stammering a “B-b-b-but it felt pretty serious when the TSA was fondling my undercarriage before the flight to Albuquerque last week!” or “They shut down an entire city in a search for one man last week!”  Both are true, but both show the distinction that goes unnoticed most of the time.  The government will combat terrorism, it just isn’t serious about defeating it.  It has no problem creating a brand new agency (and then allowing it to unionize), in part to probe the willingness of Americans to endure indignities, and warrantless searches of their person in the name of safety, but in truth, the execution of this plan has been to take a finely tuned supercar, and giving it to a little old lady who has no idea how to use a clutch.   It isn’t the little old lady’s fault; the person buying the car did it deliberately, knowing that if the American public saw that supercar parked out in front, they would buy into the idea that they were getting the best.

With the revelations that the FBI was made to remove Islam from its training materials, and the longstanding knowledge people of a certain religious persuasion aren’t searched in the same manner as the rest of the flying public, coupled with the leaking of memos showing that the DHS is perfectly ok with profiling Americans who rightfully mistrust government, while refusing to profile those who have the same common trait as those who commit acts of terrorism all over the world, the “secret” that seems to evade so many points to itself.

While our press struggles, trying to determine the motivation for Speedbump and Flashbang, and other acts of terrorism (government dare not speak its name),  while our government spins and tries to find the “right” explanation for not acting on the warnings it received, and the warning signs that it no longer permits itself to see, the credibility of both is in flames.

Until the government and the media are ready to see Islam as the same caliber of threat that both deeply desire the Tea Party and other “right-wing fanatics” to be, this madness will continue.  American children will continue to die because of political correctness, and freedom for law-abiding Americans will be reduced…atrophied so that the largest threat can thrive, unmolested by a scrutiny that has been purposely misdirected in the service of those who dislike freedom and distrust liberty.

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“How You Like Me Now?”

I confess, I was having a hard time getting too worked up over the leaked DOJ White Paper describing the legality of the Administration policy for assassinating American citizens abroad who are supposedly actively working against our interests. But then I was asked by a serious person I take seriously to write about it “from a lawyer’s perspective”.

So I read it, and I find myself in what seems to me to be an odd place with regard to it: opposing another lawyer who I respect a lot…Mark Levin. Earlier this week, I was listening to Mr. Levin when I was driving home from work, and he was talking about how he thinks that the media that is actually talking about it (as the usual suspects have been expectedly silent on the matter) is wrong, and that as a Constitutional scholar, he has no problem with it. As I listened with a measure of surprise to him talking about it, I wondered what it was that was in the white paper that left him so unconcerned about it (because I hadn’t yet read it). My takeaway was that the conservative media’s opinion on it tries to take war off the battlefield and put it in the courtroom, which is what we expect the left to do, with the abortive attempt to give Kalid Sheik Mohammed a civilian trial, and to have civilian proceedings for GITMO detainees as well, and because these al-Qa’ida leaders, US Citizens or not, are trying to kill us.

I remain unconvinced, largely because in this case, Mr. Levin is wrong. (And with this statement, my chance to ever have him sign my copies of Men In Black, and Liberty and Tyranny go straight down the toilet.) And someone needs to say so, even if he is unlikely to take notice, or care.

Why is the estimable Mr. Levin wrong?  I’m glad you asked.

First, the KSM trial, and a lot of GITMO detainees are NOT citizens.  I know it has been Demcong policy for decades to devalue the worth of citizenship, spearheaded by their constant attempts to give away many of the benefits to those who have not earned it, or made any attempt to lawfully attain it, and bolstered by their constant cultural attempts to balkanize us with “identity politics” and the inevitable hyphens that accompany it, and their moral relativism, which stubbornly maintains that there is nothing exceptional about being American, and there is nothing that makes our culture better than anyone else’s, despite the sometimes frantic attempts people from other nations will make to come here, and live and breathe FREE.  But if the essence of American conservatism is an appreciation of the freedoms we have guaranteed to us, then it also means that citizenship means something. 

This isn’t a new idea, and it isn’t even a uniquely American idea.  In the Bible, the Apostle Paul was a Roman citizen.  His ministry was offensive to Rome, and in some cases, breached the Pax Romana…an offense worthy of death for those who weren’t citizens.  But in Paul’s case, it meant that he had rights that not every person who lived in the Roman Empire had.  Among those were the right of a citizen to not be summarily executed on the authority of a government functionary.  And today, nations recognize that citizenship affords rights and privileges, and these are not casually given away to those who do not have that status.  Heck, even Mexico treats its citizens much differently than non-citizens.  Don’t believe me?  Try to sneak into their country along their southern border.  Accepting the idea that any citizen can be targeted for assassination on the say so of the President, or “an informed, high-level official of the U.S. government”, even within the framework of the test set forth in the White Paper is unacceptable because it further cheapens the concept of citizenship.

Mr. Levin is also wrong with his argument that to oppose the practice and adhere to the idea of due process is trying to drag war into the courtroom the same way that leftists would like.  Resistance to an assassination protocol for American citizens is distinguishable from an abortive and ill-conceived attempt to try KSM in Manhattan if for no other reason than KSM is NOT an American citizen, and as such does not have the same due process rights as a citizen.  While there are instances where a representative of the government may end up killing a citizen without due process, those situations are NOT necessarily ones where death of that citizen is the reason why that action is taken.  Suicide by cop doesn’t happen because the cop has marked the citizen for death.  It happens because that citizen (or not, in some cases)  does something to deliberately put someone else in danger, and the police have to act in order to protect the public, or themselves.  A U.S. citizen who is on a battlefield shooting at our forces could likewise expect that they are going to be killed, but again, the difference is that there was not a mission planned and dedicated to the sole purpose of ending that citizen’s life.

The White Paper itself sets forth the following test for determining if it’s ok for our federal government to snuff a U.S. citizen in a foreign country:

“In the view of these interests and practical considerations, the United States would be able to use lethal force against a U.S. citizen, who is located outside the United States and is an operational leader continually planning attacks against U.S. persons and interests, in at least the following circumstances:

(1) where an informed, high-level official of the U.S. government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States;

(2) where a capture operation would be infeasible—and where those conducting the operation continue to monitor whether a capture operation becomes feasible; and

(3) where such an operation would be conducted with applicable law of war principles.”

Of course, this standard raises all manner of questions that should be asked.  “Who is “an informed, high-level official”?  A Cabinet Officer?  A member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?  A czar?  The Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service?  The Senate Majority Leader?  The standard as it is set forth in the White Paper is incredibly nebulous.  The Imminent Threat standard as set forth in the White Paper raises questions as well.  On page 7, the White Paper makes clear that this requirement “does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”  While this was followed by a somewhat unconvincing argument that such a burden would reduce American defensive options, the explanation really goes off the rails at the end.

(what constitutes an imminent threat “will develop to meet new circumstances and new threats….It must be right that states are able to act in self-defense in circumstances where there is evidence of further imminent attacks by terrorist groups, even if there is no specific evidence of where such an attack will take place or of the precise nature of the attack.).”

Got that?  We use the word “imminent” without defining it, claim self-defense without having to prove what we’re defending against, because we think that people who don’t like us are going to do something bad, somewhere, at some time.  Sure.  That’s certainly enough to allow government to deprive a citizen of their right without due process.

The next question is “Who is it who is monitoring who decides if capture is feasible?”  This is a fair question, if only because this administration has proven to not necessarily be inclined to give much credence to the military’s recommendation on various operation that it has been tasked to accomplish.  I’m not sure that there is much incentive for the “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government” to consider an option that isn’t as easy as using a Predator drone and smoking the citizen.

Finally, if this is “to be conducted with applicable law of war principles”, aren’t we back to bringing the war into the courtroom, just as Mr. Levin wants to avoid?  Hasn’t one of the main arguments against the war in Afghanistan been the rules of engagement that have hampered and even endangered our soldiers?

The White Paper also goes to great lengths to point out that the policy applies to “senior operational leaders of al-Qa’ida or an associated force”.  Who decides who is a senior operational leader?  Who decides what is an associated force?  And why is this process not subject to some kind of oversight?

While the White Paper lays out a legal foundation establishing the legality of this practice sufficient enough to give cover to a Wise Latina Woman or Laney Kagan, I cannot support it, not only for the reasons stated above, but also for the reasons not stated by Mr. Levin, or the authors of the White Paper.

I discussed this for a while with a friend who believes that this policy is just fine, because guys like Al-Zwahiri have “committed treason” against this country, and acted in a fashion that is inconsistent with citizenship by plotting to kill Americans.  My problem with this is that Treason is actually the only crime set forth in the Constitution, and the standard of proof is specifically set forth in the Constitution, in Article 3, Section 3:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

While treason is punishable by death, unless you are killed in the act of committing it, the state may only impose this penalty if you are convicted of it.   While this standard was drafted before the due process requirements of the 5th and 14th Amendments, it comports with them.  And, unless you are a naturalized citizen, a conviction for treason will NOT result in the loss of your citizenship, as only naturalized citizens may be involuntarily stripped of their citizenship.  The only way for a natural-born citizen to lose their citizenship is by renunciation according to 8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(5).

Finally, my last objection is my lack of trust in government.  Government has proven to us time and again that there is no power that it won’t abuse at some point.  And we currently have an executive branch that doesn’t respect the Constitution as it is, whether it is determining for itself whether or not Congress is in recess for the purpose of making appointments, or by brazenly declaring that the President decides who is “entitled” to Second Amendment rights.  I would have trouble trusting a different administration with such a nebulous authority to abrogate basic Constitutional rights, let alone one that believes that the President can determine who is entitled to exercise Constitutional rights.  Citizenship means more than that, or we have allowed them to render it worth little or nothing at all.

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*The one that leftists keep seeing after the words “…shall not be infringed.” in the Second Amendment. The one that apparently prefaces a litany of provisos, limitations, restrictions, and “common sense regulations” that are nothing of the sort.

These apparently include a government right to ban firearms that look scarier than other firearms, including the dreaded “black” firearms, magazines (clips are what you put in your hair) that are hold 10 rounds or more at a time, and the need to ask permission of the entity that the right was intended to defend against.

It’s long past time for elected officials to produce their copies of these important document, or come to terms with the fact that the asterisk, and its accompanying litany DOES NOT EXIST.

And for those who want to conjure justifications in support of overreach by an entity that has enough trouble dealing with matters that are actually under its jurisdiction, here is some food for thought:

I do not have to express a NEED to exercise a RIGHT, and yes, the burden is on you to make the case otherwise. That would include a showing that NEED was actually a serious consideration in the debates that gave us the Second Amendment. Good Luck with that.

For those who want to suggest that limitations are appropriate and permissible because “the Founders didn’t envision machine guns”, I have two responses:
(1) If you accept this as valid, and I don’t, then they also didn’t envision all of the other technological advances that touch other Amendments in the Bill of Rights either, like radio, television or computers. Perhaps we need to license these uses as well, if only to avoid “abuses of the First Amendment”, which as everyone knows, can destroy a person’s lifetime of work establishing their integrity with a single broadcast, or completely taint their ability to obtain a fair trial by their peers…just ask the Duke LaCrosse Team, or George Zimmerman. While we’re at it, maybe thermal imaging technology needs to be off-limits to law enforcement because its use without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment? And maybe other electronic surveillance should be restricted as well. Surely the Founders, who were suspicious of government power, would have objected to being monitored when in public, as it presumes guilt in the public at large, and touches on issues of freedom of association and self-incrimination?

(2) The facts don’t bear this out. The Founders and Framers lived in an age when scientific advances were a part of daily life. The history of that time had already shown advances in firearms. Where their grandfathers might have owned blunderbusses, muskets were ubiquitous at the time of the revolution, and refinements were being made to those during their lifetimes, as this correspondence from Thomas Jefferson demonstrates. What is more, these men wanted to encourage scientific and technological advances. That’s why Congress was specifically granted the authority “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;” in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. These were not stupid men. They were not legislators who would rush though a bill trampling on the rights of their constituents, and do so in such a hurry that they would forget to include exceptions necessary to allow law enforcement to do its work. They were careful. They were deliberate. The reams of paper recording their debates on these issues show this to be true, and it is insulting to their genius to glibly, and in a perfunctory manner, to presume that they simply failed to take into account the advancing nature of science when they authored the Bill of Rights. If they had intended a limitation, one would have been put there. And that is the correct legal interpretation of a statute as well.

To those who want to argue that it is an archaic document, written for a different time, logic is not your friend either. It was written in the aftermath of a conflict where we had thrown off the yoke of a government that did as it pleased, to the detriment of those living under it here, and without a concern for how its actions were perceived or received, and when government’s inclination was to levy numerous taxes to finance its exercise of power that reached even into our homes. Depending on where you lived, daily life held a number of dangers, which could be, and frequently were defended against by individuals with firearms, because law enforcement was limited in its ability to respond in a timely fashion, or because it was non-existent. And it was a time when many still harbored a deep mistrust for the new government which had displaced the old, if only because they were wise and educated enough, or experienced enough to understand that governments have a way of consolidating power, and cloaking subsequent tyrannies in the garments of benevolence. Many people would rightly maintain that the circumstances haven’t changed, only the players. But even if those of you who still believe the “archaic” law argument, even in the face of overwhelming evidence from other countries who have stripped their law-abiding citizens of their firearms rights, you are in luck. The Framers left you a mechanism by which to change it. It’s called “AMENDMENT”, and it is the ONLY legitimate means by which you may ACTUALLY insert the asterisk and all of the baggage that you currently pretend is there. This cannot lawfully be achieved through Federal Legislation, because the words “…shall not be infringed.” contain no exception for federal legislation. This cannot be lawfully achieved through state or local legislation, because incorporation through the 14th Amendment has made the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well. (And for those leftists who suddenly discover both the 9th and 10th Amendments in their copies of the Constitution, I would remind you that these are for the rights NOT addressed in the Constitution…including those already addressed in the Bill of Rights.)

Amendment is also the only legitimate process because the Constitution is the only legitimate “social contract” that governs our society. And whether you like it or not, there are a number of people who have grown up under it, and ordered their lives around its guarantees. If this social contract is to be changed, ALL who are affected by it have the right to input that the Amendment process guarantees. Such a change is not to be attempted by a legislative body alone, especially when that legislature’s control over such matters was specifically and deliberately curtailed.

For those of you who want to wave around the bloody bodies of some children to support the usurpation of power, you need to educate yourselves about what happened, including coming to grips with the facts that the “common sense reforms” you seek would have done NOTHING to prevent the tragedies you’re weeping over.

Finally, legislation by emotion is an error. When you are so dead set on restricting other people’s liberty that you have measures proposed by legislators who don’t even have a basic understanding of what it is they would outlaw, it is a problem. It further denigrates the legitimacy of those who would legislate such measures, and the whole of their actions. It is akin to having an appendectomy performed by an auto mechanic, or a journalist. If you propose to regulate something, you had better understand what you’re talking about, or you risk being ignored, and bypassed…kind of like what the President does to Congress now.

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Gun Control doesn’t fix the problem, which is PEOPLE. What it does do is make masacres like this more likely, especially in “gun free zones”, which if you think about it, are the ultimate expression of gun control. Laws that say “you can’t have a gun here”. Obviously, that only disarms people who are inclined to follow the law.

And before anyone starts hyperventilating, I’m NOT advocating that kids carry guns to school. What I am suggesting is that we allow those who we entrust with keeping our kids safe while they are in the school’s custody the ability to actually DO SO, because when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

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