Saturday, April 11, 2009

Citizens United v. FEC

A very big case has been argued in front of the Supreme Court:
In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Deputy Solicitor General of the United States of America asserted that the U.S. Constitution would allow the government to ban commercially published books that contain the phrase “Vote for Candidate X” close to an election!

...Again and again, your government emphatically asserted the Constitution permits it to ban the commercial publication and marketing of a book and to throw that publisher in jail for up to five years if the book includes a single phrase that expressly advocates for the election or defeat of a federal candidate. This is precisely the kind of government encroachment that the First Amendment is suppose to protect us against. What comes next? Banning activists from holding signs at protests in front of the White House that mention a President who is up for re-election? Unbelievably, the government lawyer claimed that they could ban that too if the sign was funded by a corporation.
I guess that's why they are also in favor of banning the private ownership of guns.

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President Pantywaist?

"New surrender monkey on the block?"

Sounds like prosecutable hate speech in Canada to me.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Specieists Among the Historic Preservationists

Who knew?

Chicago's landmark law has been questioned by a state appellate court. Proponents of stasis at other people's expense are aghast:
“The fact is, Chicago could not exist without its landmark ordinance,” said Jonathan Fine, the executive director of Preservation Chicago, a nonprofit group. “It’s the line that holds us back from the Neanderthals.
Neanderthals, I guess, are here defined as anyone who wants control over their own property, rather than other people's.

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Taking a break...

...from removing, or, rather, trying to remove, a defunct and now extremely recalcitrant garbage disposer, I came across this nice little essay on building soil, by Gerri Hershey, in the New York Times.

GARBAGOLOGICAL UPDATE: The stubborn one finally surrendered to a vigorously yet judiciously applied hacksaw. Hence I hie myself off to the Home Depot for another.

Who says violence never solved anything?

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Nancy Pelosi on Guns: 'WE WANT REGISTRATION'



BELLEVUE, WA – Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on April 7 acknowledged that gun registration is on her agenda, days after Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters in Mexico that the Second Amendment would not “stand in the way” of administration plans to crack down on alleged gun trafficking to Mexico.

“These are alarming remarks from Speaker Pelosi and Attorney General Holder,” said Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb. “It appears that the Obama administration and Capitol Hill anti-gunners have dropped all pretences about their plans for gun owners’ rights, and it looks like the gloves are coming off.”

Pelosi’s revelation came during an interview on ABC’s Good Morning, America. While insisting that Congress “never denied” the gun rights of American Citizens, Pelosi told Roberts, “We want them registered. We don’t want them crossing state linesÂ…” Gottlieb noted that citizens’ rights do not stop at state lines.

“But that doesn’t really matter,” he observed. “History has shown that around the world, registration has always led to confiscation.”

In Mexico, according to the Wall Street Journal, Holder was asked if the administration might encounter constitutional issues as it tries to crack down on alleged gun trafficking. His response: “I don’t think our Second Amendment will stand in the way of efforts we have begun and will expand upon.”

“These comments belie administration promises and Democrat rhetoric that party leaders respect the rights of law-abiding Americans to own the firearm of their choice,” Gottlieb said. “They imposed registration of semi-autos in Pelosi’s California and it led to a ban, but it certainly didn’t disarm criminals, like the convicted felon who killed four Oakland police officers last month. We know from Holder that the Obama administration wants to renew the nationwide ban on such firearms, but that won’t prevent crime, either.

“The administration and Congressional anti-gunners have declared war on gun rights,” Gottlieb said. “The press seems deliberately blind to the statements from Pelosi and Holder, who blame our gun rights for their incompetence in dealing with crime. More than 90 million gun owners haven’t hurt anybody, and they are tired of being treated like criminals.”

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You get more of what you pay for: Piracy off Somalia

The crew of an American ship captured by pirates of the coast of Somalia seems to have retaken control, though current reports suggest the captain is still a prisoner.

Way down in this account is the tidbit:
More than 130 pirate attacks were reported in 2008, including almost 50 successful hijacks.

Pirates typically hold the ships and crews until large ransoms are paid by the shipping companies - last year the firms handed over about £80m (£54m)[sic].
Whichever figure is correct, paying that kind of money isn't going to discourage pirates a lot.

If the statists among us want to end piracy, make it a federal felony for any insurance company or ship owner to pay ransoms for piracy. Then throw throw the corporate officers in prison for a year or two. Their actions endanger others by encouraging piracy.

And three cheers for the crew which retook the ship. They deserve bonuses. Big ones.

I won't be surprised if the whole lot of them are fired instead.

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The Clueless Seven: America Worsters

Seven members of the Congressional Black Caucus visited Cuba and came away inspired by their visit, including face time with Tio Fidel:
The black U.S. lawmakers' concerns weren't for the 300-plus Cuban prisoners of conscience listed by Amnesty International or the hundreds of dissidents working from their homes under the watch of a totalitarian regime. Or the lack of civil rights in a country with a majority black and mixed-race population ruled by an overwhelmingly white gerontocracy.

Their angst was for the ''Five Heroes,'' as Cuba's controlled media calls the Cuban government spies captured in Miami, including one sentenced for conspiracy to murder the four Brothers to the Rescue pilots killed by Cuban fighter planes in 1996.
Myriam Marquez has the story in the Miami Herald.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

The W.R. Grace Deficit Trials of 2017

Shame we can't move them to next week.

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Return of TARP Funds: NO WAY, Serf.

Looks like once in the TARP trap, there is no easy escape.Old news, but may be worth a ponder about motives.

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Binghampton Shooting Update II

More news, this time from John Kekis of the AP, is clearing things up a bit.
police didn't enter the American Civic Association until nearly 45 minutes after the first 911 calls came in at 10:30 a.m. Friday. They began removing the wounded about 15 minutes after that.
According to the article, no one was shot after police pulled up, and none of the wounded who died would have survived if rescued earlier. Let's hope that isn't just CYA.
When police arrived at the scene, the gunfire had stopped, so they believed there was no "active gunman" in the center and decided to wait for the SWAT team to arrive, Zikuski said.

The SWAT team entered the building until 11:13 a.m., 43 minutes after the first call to police.
SWAT: Slow, Wait, And Talk. What good does SWAT do if it takes them 43 minutes to respond? I hope that they at least actively promote people's right to carry handguns, 'cause these guys are worthless in an emergency.
"I'm not sure why they wouldn't have gone in there if the shooting was already done," said Kent Moyer, president of California-based World Protection Group, which offers protection services for corporate, commercial, industrial, entertainment, residential and retail clients. "What is happening all across the board in law enforcement is they've switched the tactic. They're not relying on waiting until the SWAT team gets there."

Moyer said many law-enforcement agencies conduct rapid-response training where the uniformed patrol officers are taught that "once they have sufficient backup, that they go in prior to the SWAT team getting there."
That's in line with what I've read elsewhere.

Read the whole article tho.

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