Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just how stupid are legislators?

Pretty stupid, it turns out.  Washington D.C. has laws making ski masks illegal - apparently that prevents crime. Well, to be clear, their law says it's illegal to wear a ski mask while committing a crime. So if you're doing something illegal, it's also illegal to obscure your face. Oh, you rotten law-breakers.
Buying a ski mask isn’t illegal, but could restricting their sale help prevent crime?

The notion is stirring debate among some Northwest Washington residents after reports of robberies committed by men wearing ski masks. The frequency of the robberies also has caught attention of police, who say one neighborhood crew is frequently purchasing masks at a local sports store for the express purpose of committing robberies.
“They clearly are a problem. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see it being mentioned in all the reports,” said Faith Wheeler, an Advisory Neighborhood Commission member from the Takoma neighborhood in Northwest.
And while police from the Metropolitan Police Department’s 4th District said they think the Rittenhouse Crew — many of whose members are known to police officers — is responsible for some of the robberies, the ski masks are a huge stumbling block if victims are to be unable to identify their assailants.
On a Metropolitan Police Department-run listserv, Ms. Wheeler was one of several people who broached the subject of trying to discourage the sale of ski masks in the neighborhood, or asked legislators whether there are other ways to ban their sale.
“I don’t know how you can get at it legislatively,” said Ms. Wheeler, acknowledging she meant to open the door to discussion rather than suggest her own cure-alls. “I don’t know that persuasion itself would work unless you have a personal relationship with a store owner.”
D.C. law already ban individuals — ages 16 and up — from wearing masks in public under certain circumstances, such as while committing a crime or with “the intent to intimidate, threaten, abuse or harass any other person.” But prosecution under the law appears infrequent. The Office of the Attorney General, which handles juvenile and misdemeanor cases in the District, was aware of only two cases in which juveniles faced charges under the law, spokesman Ted Gest said.
Feinstein's "gun control" law bans all semi-automatic firearms.  In the UK they are talking about banning long bladed kitchen knives, since their firearm restrictions have failed to usher in the peaceful utopia their socialist central planners dreamed about.  This is how ridiculous it is, folks. Banning ski masks.  What's next?  Maybe they will ban surgical masks.  Or perhaps they will ban citizens from wearing panty hose on their heads. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Freedom is not free

The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting.  Its purpose is to enshrine and protect the right and ability of the Americans to defend themselves from tyrannical government, but that is not all - it describes more than just a right. In DaddyBear's blunt, yet eloquent terms:
My gun rights aren’t for hunting deer or shooting skeet. They’re for hunting dictators and shooting tyrants.
DaddyBear is exactly right - the Second Amendment clearly describes the role that the average citizen plays in maintaining his own freedom and that of his neighbors.  It describes this role straightforwardly and without equivocation:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state; the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Let's break it down and define it piece by piece:
A well regulated militia - The people, armed, disciplined, and trained
being necessary - are needed
to the security of a free state; - to prevent tyranny in their own government;
the right of the people to keep - the people have the right to own
and bear arms - and carry weapons
shall not be infringed. - and this right is inviolate.
And putting it back together, the amendment reads:
The people, armed, disciplined, and trained are needed to prevent tyranny in their own government; the people have the right to own and carry weapons and this right is inviolate.
The Second Amendment clearly describes not only a right, but a sacred duty of the people - to stand tall and defend liberty from the enemy within.  While armies are raised in response to threats to the nation, the people must always be vigilant and active in the defense of their liberty from attacks by their own government.  That is the true meaning of the Second Amendment, that is its purpose.
The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an "equalizer." Egalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed — but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny.
Abbey's Road (1979)
You are the last line of defense.  You must stand, when all others fall or become corrupted.  Freedom is not free.  When the oligarchs are calling for the confiscation of your neighbor's weapons, remember your duty - to defend your liberty.  Liberty lives or dies on our action or indifference.  Freedom is not free.  If you think your government would never become an instrument of tyranny, think again.  Remember that they did just that during Katrina, they herded people into the Superdome and would not let them leave.  They confiscated firearms, leaving people defenseless in the face of looters and thugs.  They shot unarmed men in the back.  Freedom is not free.

No, my friend, freedom is not free.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wisconsin Sheriff urges residents to take up arms

Sheriff David Clarke in Milwaukee has taken a very proactive stance.  He's urging residents to learn how to use firearms to protect themselves.  He sent out this announcement because he realized in the face of budget cuts, furloughs and hiring freezes (and layoffs), Law Enforcement can't possibly respond quickly enough to prevent harm to his residents. 

In fact this has always been the case, even in cities with very large police forces - they simply can't get to your home fast enough to prevent an act of violence.  In Los Angeles, the average response times vary from 6 or 8 minutes or longer.  In that time your home can be burglarized, your family assaulted, even murdered. 

Call the Sheriff and give him your support!  It's incredibly courageous for a Law Enforcement Officer to take this stand, to tell the truth and risk the dangers to his career that are attached to encouraging people to take up arms.  The sheriff will most certainly be fighting a lot of other officials on this, and may even have to fight for his job. So please call or email to let him know we support his action.

You can reach his office here: Sheriff's Office Non-Emergency Line - 414-278-4766

Click here to listen to Sheriff Clarke's personal safety public service announcement (mp3).

Text of message:
I’m Sheriff David Clarke, and I want to talk to you about something personal…your safety. It’s no longer a spectator sport; I need you in the game, but are you ready? With officers laid-off and furloughed, simply calling 9-1-1 and waiting is no longer your best option. You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back; but are you prepared? Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there. You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?  
From the article on Fox:
A sheriff who released a radio ad urging Milwaukee-area residents to learn to handle firearms so they can defend themselves while waiting for police said Friday that law enforcement cutbacks have changed the way police can respond to crime.In the 30-second commercial, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. says personal safety is no longer a spectator sport.

"I need you in the game," he says.

"With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option," he adds. "You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. ... Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there."
The ad has generated sharp criticism from other area officials and anti-violence advocates. The president of the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs' Association, Roy Felber, said it sounds like a call to vigilantism.

Monday, January 21, 2013

In defense of the Second Amendment

This is a powerful speech by a former Chinese citizen, and protestor during the Tiennamen Square Massacre, in defense of the Second Amendment.  Please watch the whole thing.

If you cannot watch the embedded video, click this link.

Here is the same video from another camera:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Let there be bacon! The 2nd Amendment, reimagined

Paraphrasing a gem by otalps in this forum post:
Breakfast being the most important meal of the day, the right of the people to keep and eat bacon shall not be infringed.
This could not possibly be construed to mean you can only eat bacon for breakfast, nor that if you wanted to eat it, you'd have to drive down to the local government butcher and get his permission, nor that only certain people should be able to eat it, nor that they only be allowed to eat certain quantities or types of bacon at one sitting.

Of course, gun grabbers don't really believe the shit they are shoveling.  Gun control is not about the guns, it's about the control.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Feinstein's amendment to the 2013 NDAA

The Feinstein amendment to the 2013 NDAA, as written and passed, expressly codifies the authority of the Congress to authorize indefinite detainment without charge or trial.  No more dithering, no more obfuscating, it's now going to be expressly written into the law - they can nab you and put you in a hole and forget about you.  Just like last time, the Congress shows they don't care about you, your life or your liberty, they're just squabbling over who gets to wear the boot that stamps on your face forever. (Orwell, 1984)
An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.

The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!

Remember that map of the names and addresses of lawful gun owners some idiot journalist and editor conspired to publish in an effort to intimidate the good citizens of New York?

Well it worked.  Inmates are intimidating prison guards.
Law enforcement officials from a New York region where a local paper published a map identifying gun owners say prisoners are using the information to intimidate guards.

Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco, who spoke at a news conference flanked by other county officials, said the Journal News' decision to post an online map of names and addresses of handgun owners Dec. 23 has put law enforcement officers in danger.

"They have inmates coming up to them and telling them exactly where they live. That's not acceptable to me," Falco said, according to Newsday.

Robert Riley, an officer with the White Plains Police Department and president of its Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, agreed.

"You have guys who work in New York City who live up here. Now their names and addresses are out there, too," he said adding that there are 8,000 active and retired NYPD officers currently living in Rockland County.

Way to go Journal News.  Lest we forget, let's link to the map of journal news reporters' names and addresses.  Vindictive?  Nah.

I am getting so many hits from the Captain's viewers I feel like I should have said more.

This thoughtless act really helps to separate two distinct kinds of people, and it is described quite nicely by Bastiat's classic broken window fallacy.  That is the concept of seen effects vs. unseen effects, or even more generally whether or not one looks for the consequences of their actions beyond that which is obvious. 

The journalist and his editor quite obviously intended to intimidate gun owners, or to shame them, but their intent was an attack, whatever their underlying purpose.  The consequence they "saw" was this "shame" they imagined we would feel.  They, perhaps, if they are truly evil, saw the danger we would be put in. They may have wanted that danger, they may have, as the legislator from New Hampshire has said, wanted to restrict enough of our freedoms as to make their town inhospitible to us, and thereby make us leave.

What they didn't see - where they didn't bother to look, is the unitended consequences.  First, the backlash which resulted in the names of their journalists and editors, and their addresses being placed on a similar map. (They responded by hiring armed guards!  hah!)   And second this story of police and sheriffs being put at risk.

The reality is that when faced with decisions, one must understand both the obvious and not obvious consequences of those decisions, otherwise the actions introduce risk of loss and harm that the system will be completely unprepared for.

Update 2:

It never ends.  Our freedoms and our very lives are at risk here.
The names and addresses of about 170,000 handgun permit holders in Connecticut, now kept confidential by law, could be made public under a proposed bill that pits gun owners against would-be reformers in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 Newtown school massacre.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Stephen D. Dargan, D-West Haven, co-chairman of the legislature's public safety committee, would make public the names and addresses of permit holders under Connecticut's Freedom of Information Act — and would reverse lawmakers' decision to protect that personal information from disclosure nearly two decades ago.

Update 3:

A second home listed on the gun owners' addresses map has been burglarized.  This time the burglar made off with two handguns.  Shouldn't the justice department be pressing charges against the editor and the "reporter"?   Well of course they should, but let's not forget that this is the justice department that refused to prosecute Eric Holder for covering up the failed successful gun smuggling operation that put weapons into the hands of the drug dealers that killed our border patrol agent.  How can we trust them to do anything right?  I know, I know, rhetorical question.

Call your representatives, people.  Call them every day.  Tell them that you do NOT support further restrictions on lawful gun owners, and you DEMAND protection of your personal information held by the government. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dr. Bernake: or How I stopped worrying and learned to love hyperinflation

I saw a comment on Captain Capitalism's blog - it was so good, I took it as the title of the post.

Some economists are suggesting that Geithner mint several $1 Trillion platinum coins in order to bypass the debt ceiling debate.  I noted in a brief discussion with the Captain that it would take more than 20,000 metric tons of platinum to cover the value of a single trillion dollar coin, (you can do the math or trust me).  Unfortunately for us that is about four times the total platinum that has been recovered on this planet.  Somehow they still wonder what the effect on inflation will be.

That's easy to find out, though.  Just ask anyone in Zimbabwe.

Today I discovered that a group of not-so-bright people have gotten together and petitioned the White House to subvert the Constitution. Well this may be one petition Obama actually takes seriously.  You guys remember SNL's A Special Message From the President?
Wouldn't you like to own a $4,000 suit, and smoke a $75 cigar, drive a $600,000 car? I know I would!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Internet Protection Act of 2013


To prohibit the federal government and all agencies and employeeds of the federal government, including any element of the intelligence community, from any act which limits or prevents, directly or indirectly, the internet access of any group, organization, or movement, composed of US citizens, or individual citizen of the United States or her territories or protectorates, or of the operation of the internet itself, in the name of national security or any other stated reason.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ‘Internet Protection Act of 2013’.


(a) No law shall be passed, and no existing law shall be enforced, which limits or prevents, directly or indirectly, the internet access of any group, organization, or movement, composed of US citizens, or of an individual citizen of the United States or her territories or protectorates, or of the operation of any website, or of the internet itself, in the name of national security or any other stated reason, except as described in (c).

(b) No agency or employee of the federal government, including all elected or appointed officials and any element of the intelligence community, shall commit any act which limits or prevents, directly or indirectly, the internet access of any group, organization, or movement, composed of US citizens, or of an individual citizen of the United States or her territories or protectorates, or of the operation of any website, or of the internet itself, in the name of national security or any other stated reason, except as described in (c).

(c) Exception- This prohibition does not apply to singular websites given legal cease and desist orders in matters of copyright enforcement, subject to all conditions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, when ordered by a federal judge.

(d) Definition- In this section, the term ‘intelligence community’ has the meaning given the term in section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401a(4)).