Saturday, May 29, 2010

Scary Libertarians?

In which Amy Alkon encounters the Fear of Freedom Worm.
I made some offhand remark about being libertarian at a party, and I might as well have donned a pointy white hood with eye slits. The guy I was talking to, with whom I'd had a perfectly pleasant conversation until that moment, started attacking me...demanding of me, did I (horrors!) believe roads should be private? I could see he had a distorted view of libertarianism, and the conversation degenerated from there.
Read the rest here

The comments are particularly instructive. The umpteenth questionable assumption of anti-libertarian arguments goes something like: I can conceive of a bad outcome therefore there will be a bad outcome.

For example, the anti-gun nuts predicted widespread mayhem, blood it the streets and television style shootouts if people are allow to carry guns.

Didn't happen.

Imagine if you removed all the traffic lights? Everybody knows that the evil nature of fallen man would insure that people will drive like maniacs, causing accidents and the highway death toll to "skyrocket"!

Except that didn't happen either:

Rip Then Out!
Traffic lights are inefficient: they make us wait at red even when no one is using the green. Time and again they interrupt our progress, often needlessly. Rooted in a misreading of human psychology, they override common sense. Busy cities already rely on universal cooperation; we don't have lights for pedestrians on pavements, yet even when they are packed with shoppers, everybody gets along. Traffic controls outlaw discretion, generate stress and provoke aggression. What happens when controls are absent? Left to its own devices at junctions where the lights are out of action, traffic disperses without incident or delay. Free of vexatious rules, we approach junctions slowly and filter. A London cabbie says: "You've just got to be a bit more careful, that's all."
Is this the end of the road for traffic lights?
Residents of the northern Dutch town of Drachten have already been used as guinea-pigs in an experiment which has seen nearly all the traffic lights stripped from their streets.

Only three of the 15 sets in the town of 50,000 remain and they will be gone within a couple of years.

The project is the brainchild of Mr Monderman, and the town has seen some remarkable results. There used to be a road death every three years but there have been none since the traffic light removal started seven years ago.
Fact is, if the anti-freedom whiners would do their homework they could find numerous example of toll roads working. Texas comes to mind immediately. Illinois offers a counter example but it is really is an illustration of what happens when the government runs the toll roads.

Yes, I know that the Texas roads are so-called "public-private" ventures and not truly free market. They are example of a government protected monopolies. Nevertheless, even that tiny bit of free-market attitude has improved the utility of the roads to the users. They serve an example to the utilitarians that profit motive can produce a better quality good than taxation. Get over it: Whenever freedom is tried it works. Statist assumptions crumble when confronted with reality.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Chicago Gun Ban Fails!

One of the goals unintended consequences of gun control is to make it easier for the criminals to kill gun owners. That failed to work as intended in Chicago recently.
As an 80-year-old Army veteran, his wife and great-grandson slept in their Humboldt Park home just before dawn Wednesday, a would-be burglar busted a basement window, crawled over discarded bikes and paint buckets, and made his way up winding stairs to an enclosed porch.

The intruder -- who police said wore stockings over his hands to keep from leaving prints -- wiggled the brass doorknob of the locked door that led to the first-floor apartment, but it didn't open, the family said. He then turned to the oversized glass window of the 80-year-old's bedroom, pulled out his gun and shot, police and family said.

But just as the man got off a second round, the homeowner, who had a handgun of his own, fired a single shot, killing the intruder, a police source said.

"He missed, (but) my daddy didn't," said the 80-year-old's son, Butch Gant, who lives upstairs in the two-flat in the 600 block of North Sawyer Avenue.
Read the rest here

As often happens when the honest citizen is armed, the bad guy was shot and one less thug is free to ply his trade.

Mayor Daley claims he doens't knew if the man will be charged. When
[a]sked about the possibility of charges, the mayor ended a news conference he had called about summer curfew in the city.

"I don't know. Thank you very much," Daley said and stepped away from the microphone.
I'll just bet Hizzoner doesn't know what to do. This is lose/lose. If he lets this slide, his gun ban becomes an even bigger joke that it already is. If he prosecutes then he'll be making it plain that self defense by the honest is de facto illegal in the Duchy of Chicago. In either case, this incident is just more evidence that Daley cannot sustain the illusion he controls the streets and that terrifies him.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beck: The Hinge Generations

Billy Beck thinks there is no America left. He may be right. If he is I hope that somewhere enough of what he has written over the years survives so that whichever future historian gets to write the definitive story of The Decline and Fall of America, will have a chronicle from someone who understands what happened, why it happened and can write about in clear, unambiguous prose.

The America that almost was deserves much better but may have to have to settle for nothing more than an honest assessment of why we Americans failed it.

The Hinge Generations

The Left worked through academentia, through its media salons, through its sniffs and conceits, through its exhausted disdain for Americans themselves, through deep liars like Chomsky and cracker-barrel Marxists like Zinn."
It's pretty simple for a whole paragraph: just one sentence and not especially complex, although one must know the players, an awareness present in far, far too few Americans now. Not much to it, really, except for fact and truth, which is all one ever really needs.

No; what I find compelling in it is the past tense. Last night, I was driving up the road and thinking about some fairly large-scale writing. I conceived a section-lead that went like this:
The long train of human history had been filled with endless revolutions, evolutions and chance transmissions of arbitrary power. People had grown habitual to the ridiculous and endlessly horrible idea that some could presume the power -- not the right -- of life and death over countless others, and this idea had rolled across centuries without principled question, gathering priceless and unique individuals as the grease under its wheels. In all the annals, however, an America had never fallen."
This is my working concept, now: that it's over, and that all that's left are the particular details of collapse. That will be a rich story in itself, for sure, but we are living a truly unparalleled tragedy. It is unparalleled in that this was the first country in history founded on rational ideals of individualism (even accounting for the original sin of black slavery), and it is a tragedy in that it has been destroyed from within.

It is interesting to note that there are those alive today who are living a uniquely notable experience because they are now still alive to see the end of America, but old enough to have lived its peak. The past century or so has seen the seeding and cultivation of ideas only now coming to terrible yield. However, the enormous impetus of America's original conception, coming together as it did with the Industrial Age, managed to carry various aspects of this country's culture (material, intellectual, aesthetic, etc.) to heights which were the apple of the world's eye through most of the twentieth century, and for good reasons. Even to this day, one can easily find anywhere in the world some benighted peasant who still longs for The Great Feast of Ostentatious Consumption that America represents to most people who haven't been studied by critical sociology. Of course, that poor bastard never got to blast gas through a Chevy 454 SS at three gallons (or more) for a dollar, never had the quality of information delivered to his door that we once had, and his country never celebrated life on the scale that ours did before everybody really started hating themselves and then -- of course -- everything else, and their arts showed it.

There was a time, within the lives of people alive today, when American life was a celebration. God's curse of rot upon all those who took it in heart and mind to cast some as outlaws by way of race, but we were producing our way out of that. By the time rock & roll came along, all that rot was on its way to the grave, even if the best days of Dr. King's life had to be burned down in that cause. Naturally, the blight of racism will never be completely gone because you can't do a damned thing about stoopidness. However, there were also generations in this country seeing each other across racial lines and the laws were being beaten into shape. No more Bull Connors cracking attack dogs on black people in the street in broad photographic daylight: now, everybody can get their door kicked-in in the middle of the night when the SWAT-Fifes don't have their poop in a group.

There are many alive today who satisfy themselves as "Americans" even as they remain ignorant of things that were being lost before they were born -- "free spirits" who were tattooed with federal numbers on traditional paperwork and who have never worked a day in their lives without accounting their very existence in dollars to the law. Their grandfathers could build houses if and where they wanted to once they had accrued the moral authority (that's "money", kids) to do it: these people can barely un-flatpack a bookshelf, but at least they wouldn't have to beg zoning permits for that.

Even as it slides, though...
("Won't be nothin'
Nothin' you can measure anymore"

-- Leonard Cohen, "The Future")
...they will notice the cold bite of the state. These are special generations -- the earliest of them just passing now and the last of them alive in albums with long hair and bell-bottoms -- who can see it all freezing right in front of their eyes. Their children are groomed to the cold from birth now. All the time, they know less and less about the sheer gaiety of life that once was this country, and what it took to produce that. They take for metaphysically-granted political (and their consequent cultural) structures emergent right in front of them that were once the stuff of "fevered McCarthyism". The worst part of that is the complicity of their parents, who should know better because they actually lived a great deal of what's been lost, now.

This is my working concept: there is no America anymore.

This is because it's not really about geography, although there just can't be an America anywhere else; not after all the history-blazing mind, body, heart and soul that countless heroes have stamped upon this land. It's not about some stumbling homunculus of a land, however, propped upright on stilts of pious nonsense. There is an idea to it -- a mind to drive the machine, which is what it takes to keep the whole species in out of the cold and happy and thriving. It is one of the great, great things monumental to history that nobody grasped technology the ways that Americans did, and for all the whining and crying from brainless snots through much of the last half of the twentieth century, it must be said that they lived beyond the reach of kings only few generations before them because of the ways that tools multiply the power of the human mind and body.

And only free people do this. That's why we were what we were, and why we won't be soon enough for these people to live that, too

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More Guns, Less Crime


Monday, May 24th, 2010

BELLEVUE, WA – For the third year in a row, violent crime has declined in the United States while increasing numbers of American citizens own firearms and are licensed to carry, a trend that belies predictions of anti-gunners that more guns will result in more crime, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

Preliminary data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report shows that the violent crime rate went down 5.5 percent in 2009, compared to statistics from 2008. This covers all four categories of violent crime: murder, robbery, aggravated assault and forcible rape. Violent crime went down 4 percent in metropolitan counties and 3 percent elsewhere, according to the FBI.

At the same time, the agency’s National Instant Check System reports continued increases in the number of background check requests and the National Shooting Sports Foundation has reported increased federal firearms excise tax allocations to state wildlife agencies, an indication that more guns and ammunition are being purchased.

“This translates to one irrefutable fact,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “There are more guns in private hands than ever before, yet crime rates have declined. In plain English, this means that gun prohibitionists have been consistently wrong. Higher rates of gun ownership have not resulted in more bloodshed, as the gun ban lobby has repeatedly forecast with its ‘sky-is-falling’ rhetoric.

“According to the FBI,” he continued, “the murder rate fell last year 7.2 percent in larger cities. Robbery declined more than 8 percent and forcible rape was down 3.1 percent. It might just be that criminals are less likely to attack someone out of fear their intended victim is armed. Robbers might be discouraged by the growing potential that the clerk behind the counter is willing to fight back. Maybe would-be rapists are deterred by the possibility that they might get shot.

“For many years,” Gottlieb observed, “anti-gunners made all kinds of wild predictions that higher rates of gun ownership and the expansion of shall-issue carry permits would leave neighborhoods awash in blood. The data proves otherwise. America should turn its back on the gun prohibition lobby and their insidious policy of victim disarmament.”

H/T to Big Gay Al

The Pulchritude Files -- Lucy Liu

In keeping with my resolve this be more than an RKBA, anti-tyranny blog, here is the Hot Asian Chick with Freckles.

IMDB Entry

Comment on Mayor Daley

Living in Babylon left a comment to my post questioning mayor Daley's sanity,
If I threatened to sodomize Ol' Boss Daley with a gun a judge would sign a no-knock faster than you can say "Assassination threat to a political figure headlining the Chicago Sun-Times"

But somehow he gets away with being batshit crazy anyway, and they keep...fucking...electing...him.
I think is he right that, if the roles were reversed and the reporter had offered to shove something up Daley's butt, there is little doubt the tax eaters that protect Hizzoner would be all over the reporter like white on rice. There is clearly a double standard for violence in all America politics today but it is especially vivid in the comedy that is Chicago.

As for staying elected, I've been told by a friend who lives in Illinois that living voters in Chicago stay home on election day for their own safety. So many dead people vote in Chicago that the polls resemble a George Romero movie.

I think he was making a joke.

I think...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is Chicago's Mayor Daley a Sociopath?

In the Chicago Tribune for May 21, 2010 John Kass reports that, at a press conference called by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley,
[a] reporter asked the obvious question: Given the numbers of shootings in the city, isn't the handgun ban ineffective?

The question was more than fair. In Chicago, the only people who are confident in their 2ND Amendment rights to bear arms are the criminals, the cops and the politicians.

Law-abiding citizens can't own handguns. They don't have an army of bodyguards, as does Daley. Political hacks have guns. They get out the vote for his machine.

And the retired neighbor who's never been arrested in his life? Oh, no. If he has a gun, it would be anarchy in the streets, according to Daley.

Confronted with a logical question, here's what the mayor did: He picked up a rifle from the prop table of guns, raised it and began to babble.

"It's been very effective," said Daley of the handgun ban. "If I put this up your butt, you'll find out how effective it is. Let me put a round up your, you know."
Hizzoner's press aides put out a statement claiming the mayor used "less than ideal" language.

So what? A normal person would at least feel some regret at making such a stupid threat. On the other hand, a sociopath, lacking any standard of common human decency, would not. Given that Daley has not expressed any regret for his words (a statement from a media flack doesn't count) I have to count his silence as evidence that he is not a stable, trustworthy person. Certainly not the kind of person who should wield power in a major city.

This single incident does not prove Daley is a sociopath. It could just be a colossal ego that doesn't allow honest questioning. However, given the kind of threat made and the lack of any rational explanation for what is blatant irrational behavior, the possibility must be considered.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stupid Argument from the Washington Post

In an editorial tited, Congressional efforts to repeal D.C. gun laws imperil homeland security the editor asks,
Imagine parents who have lost a family member to gun violence having to allow a renter to possess firearms. No state imposes such restrictions on private landowners, so why is this a good idea in a city where motorcades of high government officials and foreign dignitaries are an almost-daily routine?
Imagine parents who lost a son to Islamic fighters in the Middle East having to rent to Muslims. Why is is a good ideas to allow Muslims into a city "...where motorcades of high government officials and foreign dignitaries are an almost-daily routine?"

Monday, May 17, 2010

Is the "Showtime Effect" Killing Children?

Latest from William Grigg
The Death of Aiyana Jones: "Showtime Syndrome" Claims a Child

Read it and ponder that over 100 SWAT raids happen everyday in America. One quibble I have with is report is that:
the SRT paramilitaries chose a Fallujah-style "dynamic entry," hurling a flash-bang grenade through a closed window and storming through the front door with guns drawn.
It's only anecdotal but I've been told by some ex-servicemen who were in Fallujah that the tactics being employed by SWAT teams like the one in the Detroit raid would not be be tolerated by the military.

Other than that I think Grigg is dead on with his assessment.

Not Just Another RKBA Blog

This blog was not intended to be RKBA all the time even though, lately, it seems that way. In that spirit here are a some simple bash scripts for email administrators who need to check mail the queue

See summaries for all mail for today
DATE=$(date|awk '{printf"%s %s\n",$2,$3}')
mailq|grep -A 2 "$DATE"

See subject lines for today's mail (root requried)
DATE=$(date|awk '{printf"%s %s\n",$2,$3}')
LIST=$(mailq|grep "$DATE"|sed -s 's/\([0-9A-F]*\).*/\1/')
for QUID in $LIST; do
  echo -n "$QUID: "
  postcat -q $QUID|grep -m 1 'Subject:'

View subject line in MAILER-DAEMON messages (root required)
LIST=$(mailq|grep MAILER|sed -e 's/^\([0-9A-F]*\) .*/\1/')
for QUID in $LIST; do
  echo -n "$QUID: "
  postcat -q $QUID|grep -m 1 "Subject:"

On my outgong gateway, almost everything in the queue from MAILER-DAEMON is a "Out of Office" notification not going back to a spammer. To delete these (root required and be careful with this one
mailq| grep MAILER|sed -e "s/^\([0-9A-F]*\) .*/\1/"|postsuper -d -

Elena Kagan Wants Me Dead

The Wall Street Journal online has published a PDF of a presidential directive draft on banning importation of semiautomatic firearms that Elena Kagan co-authored with Charles F.C.Ruff in 1997. In it her she and Ruff advocated "...enforcing the statutory restrictions on importation of firearms that do not meet the sporting purposes test" to restrict the importation of "assault-type" rifles (note the loaded language) that has been sporterized by removing "...certain military features without changing their essential operational mechanism."

The so-called "sporting purpose" test originated with the Nazi Weapons Act of March 18, 1938. The law was used to disarm "undesirables" like Jews and homosexuals. Finding out which Jews had firearms was unfortunately not difficult because the Firearm Law of 1928, passed by the Weimar Republic, required extensive police records on gun owners.

On November 8, 1938 the New York Times reported that the Berlin police were disarming the Jews.
The Berlin Police President, Count Wolf Heinrich von Helldorf, announced that as a result of a police activity in the last few weeks the entire Jewish population of Berlin had been "disarmed" with the confiscation of 2,569 hand weapons, 1,702 firearms and 20,000 rounds of ammunition. Any Jews still found in possession of weapons without valid licenses are threatened with the severest punishment.

Registration, The Nazi Paradigm
by Stephen P. Halbrook.

Once disarmed the Jews were powerless to resist the events of the of Nov 9 to 10 ,1938 now known as "Kristallnacht". Jewish stores were destroyed, synagogues set on fire and Jewish homes were searched for firearms and valuables. Adult Jewish males were arrested and, in the event of resistance, were shot immediately.

No one disarms you unless he (or she) wants to be able to do something you might try to stop if you still had that power. So, Elena Kagan, who do you want to put in the boxcars? I no longer have any illusions that I can expect fairness or justice from the international socialist state. I think you and your Master want me dead.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Possible ID of Dog Killing Cops

Posted at Restore the Constitution is a PDF file which appears to be a copy of the Incident Report without the usual blacking out of the officers' names. If you have any further information please contact the author, alarmrideratl or Radly Balko at The Agitator.

In an unrelated SWAT raid in Detroit, a seven year old girl was killed by a police bullet.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Medical Marijuana and Molotov Cocktails

In Billings, Montana two medial marijuana businesses were vandalized and one was firebombed.

Full article here.

In response, the city council, true to the ceaseless quest of all politicians to justify their generally useless existence, decided to put six month moratorium on medical marijuana businesses.

AP article here

Let me get this straight...

Some thugs vandalize and firebomb a business and the reaction of the politicians is to put a moratorium on that particular business. In a sane world, politicians would be denouncing the thuggery in no uncertain terms. Instead they roll over like whipped puppies, pee on their belly and give the criminals a victory. what's next? If some Allah Akbar twit vandalizes and firebombs a Baptist church will the Billings city council put a moratorium on preaching?

Someone notify Paul Helmke. Getting rid of gun stores -- in Montana anyways -- may be easier than he thinks! Just spray paint some windows, toss in a Molotov cocktail and the politicians will put a moratorium for gun businesses on the next meeting agenda.

I rather like the summary over at Living in Babylon:
In a nutshell, some folks were so pissed off about cancer patients legally smoking dope they decided that the logical solution was a molotov cocktail through the door.
He makes some other good points so read the whole thing. (warning! rated TV-MA)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Police as a Paramilitary Force.

Another followup from Radley Balko on the Dog killing Cops.

Read the whole thing but pay attention to this paragraph:
I’ve heard similar accounts from other members of the military. A couple of years ago after I’d given a speech on this issue, a retired military officer and former instructor at West Point specifically asked me to stop using the term "militarization," because he thought comparing SWAT teams to the military reflected poorly on the military.
I heard the same from some veterans. They tell me that many of the tactics used by SWAT teams would be a quick ticket to a Courts Martial. Even in Viet Nam -- despite what you may have seen in the movies -- a certain level of civilized behavior was expected from the ordinary ground pounder.

I cannot but wonder if it the difference in the mission. Ostensibly the US military is in Iraq to fight terrorists without alienating the rest of the population. Here in the States the cops just don't seem to care how much damage they do to their own reputation with the locals.

The difference is that between a soldier and a thug.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Untended Consequences of the Sex Offender Registry

Amy Alkon blogs about how easy it is to get on the Sex offender registry. Read the article.

Perhaps the worst side effect to this obsession is that decent men are hesitant to act correctly toward children.

About ten or so years ago a friend and I were at the Renaissance Faire here in Southern California. We noticed a girl of about four or five standing alone with an expression on her face that practically screamed, "where's my mommy?". Both of us being (more or less) normal human males we approached the girl and asked a couple of simple questions to verify she genuinely was lost.

I picked up the girl and carried her to the nearby ale stand where, after a brief misunderstanding of her status, I convinced someone to call security and report the situation. Turned out the parents had already noticed her absence and were at the First Aid booth when the call came in. They high tailed it to the ale stand, picked up their little girl, offered their thanks and some lame excuse as to how they were separated. All was apparently as well as it was before.

Then, the possibility that I might be accused of some horrible crime never even occurred to me. However after reading about incidents like the above, I can't but wonder that, if I knew then what I know now, would I have acted as I did. I like to think so but there is now a doubt where self preservation conflicts with virtue.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shaming the Dog Killers

The video of the dog killing cops has sparked an outpouring of requests that names and addresses of the officers involved be posted so they cam be shamed for their behavior. I include myself in this here and here.

Now comes this thought provoking piece from Jennifer II who claim to be a former "peace officer":
Shaming these pathetic excuses for human beings, as despicable as they are for participating in this sort of behavior, will not change a thing. As the Cato Insititute points out quite visually, this happens every day (tip of the hat to Western Rifle Shooters for the link :)   ). The problem is much deeper than a few bad apples in one department, it’s a systemic problem created by the federal government.
Read the whole thing then ask yourself how this situation can be reversed.

H/T to WSRA.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Calling the Sons of Liberty...

In response to this post at Radly Balko's blog (Link to video on You Tube) which I blogged about here there is this challenge at Restore the Constitution:
Now, what needs to be done at this point is the naming and shaming of the SWAT officers involved. Priority is on the shooters, but, like I said, all the SWAT officers on this raid are complicit. The question now is, how many others in the department are complicit? Will someone in the Columbia, MO PD do the right thing– come forward and give the names to the public? Or will they all withhold the names and protect ther[sic] "brothers?" Anyone who would protect these pet-killing cowards and claim them as their own is part of the problem. If someone has information as to the identities, addresses, vehicles, etc of these thugs, they can either be a part of the problem or be a part of the solution. [Emphasis in original]
Read the whole thing here.

Maybe a few of the members of the Columbia, MO police department are Oath Keepers. Sooner or later they will have to "nut up or shut up" and this is as good a place to start as any.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Even in Canada

The only thing unusual thing about this story is it happened in Canada. Events described below are so common in the United States that they would be nothing but local news if not for the Internet. Now it looks like the diseases natural to big government are seeping northward to infect the Canadians too.

We got wrong man: chief

May 07, 2010
Susan Clairmont and Nicole O'Reilly
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 7, 2010)

Hamilton's police chief admits they got the wrong apartment and the wrong man when officers burst into the home of an unsuspecting refugee from Myanmar who was left terrified and bloodied.

Heavily armed officers were looking for an alleged cocaine dealer who lives in a different unit in the same apartment building as 58-year-old Po La Hay and his two adult children.

Hay was home around 9 p.m. Tuesday readying things for work the next day at a garden centre when he claims police broke down his door and aimed guns at his head.

"I didn't even have a chance to say any words," he said through interpreter Lerwah Lobo.

Terrified, Hay collapsed to the ground. Officers handcuffed him and asked if he was the man listed on their warrant, he said. When he said, "No, my name is Po La," Hay claims officers smashed his face on the floor and began kicking him. He was scared to move, believing they might be robbers despite the uniforms.

Telling the story, Hay smiles politely and shakes a little. He has stitches above his left eye, a bruised and bloodied nose and red marks along his back and side. He said one rib is broken and he will have to return to doctors for more tests. He looks less than 100 pounds.

"Our officers attended an address to apprehend a party wanted for trafficking narcotics," said Chief Glenn De Caire. "The person we wanted was in the apartment next door. All the right investigative steps were taken and in the end, it was wrong ... We accept responsibility."

De Caire said he met yesterday with members of Hay's family and apologized. He also offered the services of counsellors and to meet again with the whole family.

Hay said he is too scared to meet with police and his only concern is lost wages for time off work.

When asked about Hay's injuries, De Caire told The Spectator he would not comment, saying only that a complaint has been filed with the Ontario Independent Police Review Director (OPIRD) -- an arms-length agency created seven months ago by the Attorney General. It is staffed entirely by civilians and is meant to keep police accountable for their actions.

But in a later statement, De Caire acknowledged that "during the process of securing the residence, a resident of the home was injured. Officers on the scene called for an ambulance and the resident was taken to hospital."

OPIRD "has carriage of the complaint now," said De Caire. Neither the chief nor OPIRD would say who laid the complaint. The next step is for OPIRD to determine if the complaint has merit, and if so, an investigation will begin that could result in a public hearing and discipline.

Hay's 23-year-old son, Say Blut, was in bed and was handcuffed after police knocked on his door. Another man, 21-year-old Panar Noo, was in the bathroom and alleges police handcuffed him, kicked him and dragged him downstairs.

While Hay says he was being kicked and punched, another team of officers arrived and one yelled "stop, stop." The officers did. They didn't apologize, he said. But a couple tried to wash some of the blood from his face.

The alleged cocaine dealer police were supposed to arrest that night was a 35-year-old whose name is not remotely similar to Po La Hay, according to a copy of the search warrant obtained by The Spectator. The apartment unit listed on the warrant is Hay's.

Police confirm that the intended target was later arrested. He faces two charges of trafficking.

A Hamilton detective constable got a "telewarrant" (done after hours and by phone) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday from a justice of the peace in Newmarket. The warrant permitted officers to seize "cocaine, scales, money, cellphone, debt list, packaging and documents."

For Hay and members of the Karen community, the botched arrest threatens their trust of police. The Karen people are a persecuted ethnic group in Myanmar (formerly Burma).

Hay and his family, like most Karen people, was forced into a refugee camp by authorities. This treatment has resulted in common mistrust of police.

While in the camp, Hay's wife died of malaria in 1994. He managed to flee to Thailand with his son and daughter, Ba Blut, now 19. The family became successful refugee claimants to Canada in 2006.

There are about 300 Karen refugees in Hamilton. Most have been here for about three years.

Madina Wasuge, executive director of the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, called the botched arrest disturbing. "People flee situations that are dangerous and when they come to Canada, the first thing they are expecting is to be safe," she said, adding the actions nullify all the work her organization and others have done.

Fellow Karen and Hay's friend La Pa said her community feels isolated and scared since this incident.

"When we came to Canada, the first people we met were the police and they said you are safe," she said.

Now this incident is giving her flashbacks to her home country.

The raid on Hay's home came at the end of a two-week project by the vice and drug unit intended to target street level drug traffickers. Yesterday, just hours before Hay's family met with the chief, police issued a media release praising the "aggressive enforcement initiative" which also involved members of the BEAR (Break, Enter, Auto theft and Robbery) Unit, Guns and Weapons Enforcement Unit, the Intelligence Unit, the Emergency Response Unit and Uniform Patrol.

De Caire touted the good work of his officers "overall" and the "number of drugs taken off the streets that will not make it into the hands of children."

Most of the activity took place in the downtown core, with 49 arrests made, 100 charges laid and $1.2 million in drugs seized including cocaine, crack, marijuana, oxycodone and the largest seizure ever of crystal methamphetamine.
So "...we accept responsibility" do we? When spoken by an agent of the State that simply means no one will be held accountable.

Lord Acton was wrong: It is not the power that corrupts, it is the immunity from any meaningful consequence for the abuse of power that corrupts men. However, since power and immunity have, historically, been intimately linked, the real problem is not the abuse of power but the condition where some men have power which can be abused.

H/T to The Unwanted Blog

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gun Registration Used Against the Good Guy.

In Omaha the police are not your friend if you are a conscientious citizen who is willing to intervene to stop an armed robbery.  I can remember when the police would practically beg citizens to get involved in fighting crime. Now, when a citizens does get involved, the Omaha PD does its level best to harass and endanger him.

I've long believed one of the goals of gun control to make it easier for the thugs to kill gun owners. The actions of the Omaha PD are just one more bit of evidence that is true.

From the The Nebraska Firearms Owners Association via CCRKBA
OMAHA, NE – The Nebraska Firearms Owners Association (NFOA) today called on the city of Omaha to end its practice of registering firearms, in the wake of a case involving a private citizen who fatally shot an armed robber, and who continues to be denied the ability to register a new firearm by the Omaha Police Department, which took his defensive sidearm used in the shooting into evidence.

NFOA President Andreas Allen said that the hero in this incident, Harry (James) McCullough, now faces gang reprisal because the armed robber man he fatally shot was a documented gang member. Mr. McCullough has “great concern for his personal safety.”

“He is living on the road, sleeping at a different house every night and not working,” Allen said.

“We arranged for Mr. McCullough to get a new replacement handgun from a federally licensed firearms dealer,” he continued. “Mr. McCullough completed the paperwork on his new handgun and took a receipt down to OPD to register the handgun before taking possession of it, to make sure he was in complete compliance with city ordinances. OPD denied his registration because of a past citation for carrying a concealed weapon. After the City Prosecutor publicly stated he did not have grounds to charge Mr. McCullough, he again contacted the police to register his new firearm and was turned away.”

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, called this situation “unconscionable.” NFOA is a Citizens Committee affiliate.

“Mister McCullough has been cleared of any wrongdoing in this case,” Gottlieb observed, “yet the police are retaining his firearm, and will not allow him to register a replacement gun. He intervened in a dangerous situation, at great personal risk, and now he is being put at continued risk by a police department policy that is both arbitrary and capricious.”

Mr. McCullough has a right to protect himself, and his rights are being denied right now, Allen said.

When NFOA asked the Chief of Police to assist with this issue, he responded: “This is Omaha, and we ask you to respect the challenges of our city.”

“The city’s handgun registration ordinance has been nothing more than a tool used against average citizens to prevent gun ownership,” Allen said. “The Omaha Police Department has blatantly ignored state law over the past year, even as we tried to work with the police and prosecutor’s office to correct this violation. After conversations with both offices they refused to adjust their policies. They continue to make excuses even after a deputy chief was chastised by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, and even after the State Attorney General released an opinion that they are in violation of the law.

“This is very disappointing,” he said. “I thought it was the job of the police department to enforce the laws, not ignore them.”

Allen said there are many other cases of individuals being denied registration unfairly. The Omaha Police claim registration is a tool to track guns, he added, but he asserted that that this tool is used more often to prevent gun ownership than to track down stolen guns.

“I think it is time the City of Omaha take a step back and reevaluate this whole handgun registration issue. It is time the city council eliminate this ordinance,” he said.
H/T to David Codrea

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cops Raid Home

First they kill the dog. Then they kill the smaller dog.

They find a stash of marijuana large enough for a misdemeanor charge.

Then they charge the parents with child endangerment because -- well -- they let strange men with guns come into the house and start killing.

Watch the video and read the commentary. These guys are not cops. They're pimply-faced gamers, recruited from mama's basement with the promise of getting to play Going Postal for real.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Senate "Terrorism" Hearings

It is a small wonder that the Powers That Be didn't publicize this meeting. The remarkably unbalanced witness list alone serves a warning. The JPFO summary here gives an indication of just how had it can be. Read it.

If, in your lexicon, "common sense" is a synonym for "colossal stupidity" then this is a common sense measure. However, if you believe that meekly stacking your belongings and stepping into the boxcar is a good way to get disappeared then you might recognize this as an attempt by the Administration to disarm its opponents.

Additionally, the Liberty Coalition testifies it is grossly unconstitutional. Not that matters to the current Administration any more than it did to the one before.

As always, there is useful commentary from David Codrea and a followup.

I predict that, should this make its way into law, it will not be used to go after real terrorists. It will be used to suppress dissent in the United States. The terror list has been wielded as a weapon against legitimate petition for redress before. For example in 2009, The Maryland State police admitted they classified non violent activists as terrorists:
The Maryland State Police have admitted classifying 53 nonviolent activists as terrorists, including opponents of the war and the death penalty, and tracking them in state and federal "terrorism" databases. Cops infiltrated organizing meetings and rallies, and spied on political email lists, similar to the government infiltration of the RNC.

The groups targeted, including the Maryland Campaign to End the Death Penalty and the Baltimore Pledge of Resistance, aren't suspected of harming anyone, aren't suspected of bombing anyone, and aren't even suspected of vandalizing property.

They're "fringe people," says Thomas E. Hutchins, the former state police superintendent who authorized the operation. "I don't believe the First Amendment is any guarantee to those who wish to disrupt the government," he said.
Terrorist Watch List: Homeland Security Defines Millions Of Americans As Domestic Derrorists[sic] (retrieved on May 5, 2010)

Fugit irreparabile tempus, singula dum capti circumvectamur amore

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lying About Jefferson

I received an email this morning defending the necessity of a National Day of Prayer which contained the following quotation:
Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the time for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and right can never be safer than in their hands, where the Constitution has deposited it. Thomas Jefferson, 1808
Since my High School and College days, Thomas Jefferson has been a bit of a hero to me. Consequently I read several compilations of his writing and learned a lot more about his life than was necessary to get through the required history classes. I was immediately suspicious of the above quotation. Turns out it is taken out of context and is used to imply the opposite of what Jefferson was actually expressing when he penned it.

Here is the full text of the the letter to the Reverend Samuel Miller dated Jan 23, 1808 with the out of context quote highlighted:
Sir, — I have duly received your favor of the 18th and am thankful to you for having written it, because it is more agreeable to prevent than to refuse what I do not think myself authorized to comply with. I consider the government of the U S. as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment, or free exercise, of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the U.S. Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the general government. It must then rest with the states, as far as it can be in any human authority. But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe a day of fasting & prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the U.S. an authority over religious exercises which the Constitution has directly precluded them from. It must be meant too that this recommendation is to carry some authority, and to be sanctioned by some penalty on those who disregard it; not indeed of fine and imprisonment, but of some degree of proscription perhaps in public opinion. And does the change in the nature of the penalty make the recommendation the less a law of conduct for those to whom it is directed? I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct it's exercises, it's discipline, or it's doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting & prayer are religious exercises. The enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, & the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the constitution has deposited it.

I am aware that the practice of my predecessors may be quoted. But I have ever believed that the example of state executives led to the assumption of that authority by the general government, without due examination, which would have discovered that what might be a right in a state government, was a violation of that right when assumed by another. Be this as it may, every one must act according to the dictates of his own reason, & mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the U S. and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents.

I again express my satisfaction that you have been so good as to give me an opportunity of explaining myself in a private letter, in which I could give my reasons more in detail than might have been done in a public answer: and I pray you to accept the assurances of my high esteem & respect.
In the letter Jefferson explains his refusal to declare a National Day of Prayer. He summed up his objection by stating that "...every one must act according to the dictates of his own reason, & mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the U S. and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents."

Words that Jefferson's successor would have done well to heed. Maybe that is why the right wing socialists (AKA conservatives) down in Texas are trying to remove Jefferson from the history books.

I leave aside for the moment the questionable wisdom of beseeching one of the fairies at the bottom of the garden for special treatment.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Difference That Makes no Difference

Once again L. Neil Smith tackles explaining how the Democratic and Republican Parties are no different under the skin. I've met quite a few people who have little problem understanding that the Democratic Party has long been co-opted by the ethics of socialism. However, that same person may think the Republican Party is somehow the enemy of socialism merely because it is the enemy of the Democrats. Like the biblical parable, he can see the splinter in the eye of his enemy but miss the beam in his own. After all the academic hair-splitting is done, the Democratic and Republican parties are nothing more than the left and right wings of the Socialist Vulture Party.
Conservatives—Republicans—are socialists.

True, they may desire to hold you down atop the stone altar and cut your still-beating heart out with an obsidian knife for a set of entirely different reasons—national security, Judaeo-Christian traditions, "common" decency—than the liberals or "progressives" or Democrats do, but to you, the important part is cutting your heart out with an obsidian knife, not whatever excuse they may offer for doing it.
Read the rest at To Reduce Them Under Absolute Despotism.

A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Scaring the Straights?

From Sipsey street Irregulars
Received this comment that seemed worthy of further discussion.
Ed Rasimus has left a new comment on your post "What passes for critical thinking at the Wall Street Journal":

At issue isn't the protesting against the administration, but the prudence and wisdom of flaunting the firearms at Starbuck's and park gatherings. We shouldn't question the right to do it and we should always be aggressive in defense of the Second Amendment, but we have to recognize that there is the aspect noted in the WSJ which is that it gives the hoplophobes something to illustrate their meme about redneck, dangerous, militia types who are a social hazard.

We act against our interest when we do that.

Do we really? Is it really in our interest to worry about whether we scare the straights or not?

Your thoughts, Irregulars.
The GLBT's, I've been told, debated the wisdom of scaring the straights with open displays. They knew that their behavior might upset the hetero majority and harm the "movement". Maybe it did but the harm was small while the benefits were large. If nothing else, it made it plain that many of the GLBT's were tired of living on the fringes of society.

Now the gunnies are having a parallel argument and in the long run I think it will have a similar outcome. As a group, gun owners are tired of being pushed around and marginalized. They are not going to back up any more -- not one goddamn inch! -- and the best way to defend a right is to push back against the infringements. Open Carry rallies where the gunnies demonstrate that willingness to push back have been shining examples of decorum and civility: No one has been shot. No negligent discharges. Hell! They even clean up after themselves.

While I generally suspect any appeals to "historical inevitability", I think gun owners "coming out of the closet" is an idea whose time has come and critics of Open Carry like Ed Rasimus and Nancy DeWolf Smith are going to have to get used to it.