Showing posts with label What Constitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label What Constitution. Show all posts

Apr 20, 2015

George Will and the Great Raisin Raid

Over four long years, Marv and Laura grew abut 500 tons of raisins out in California. By government reckoning, that's about $700,000 dollars worth. And that's how much the government wants . The Hornes object on grounds that they bought the land and the vines, planted, cultivated,  fertilized,watered, harvested and dried those little tasteies.

"Well, sure," says mommiedotguv, "but they didn't sell them right.  They violated a (trumpet fanfare here) Marketing Order!"

Enter George Will, an old Cold Warrior and  Buckley/Reaganite journalist. I find it odd that a guy can go months and months without seeing him cited or quoted in this libertarian corner of the internet.

It could be that most everyone considers him just too 20th Century to be worth reading anymore. It's more likely that the moderns and post-moderns find his words too hard. U no the ppl hu think lol & omg & wtf are adequate terms for any necessary exposition and all possible conditions of human emotion.

I mean, WTF!? George uses the word "recondite*" in this column about government stealing the Horne grapes.  More damning, he often expresses himself in the pre-tweet fashion, writing in complete sentences and paragraphs, each bearing some relationship to its predecessor.

His news peg for this weekend article was oral argument scheduled for the Supreme Court Wednesday. The Horne lawyers will try to persuade the justices that stealing the raisins is unconstitutional, no matter what Franklin Roosevelt  and his brain trust decided in 1937. Will thinks it is.

His larger point is more important.  The level of government meddling and theft and general pestering is huge. But since it is so recondite, hardly anyone understands it. So bad that you are being taxed in one way or another to maintain an official spearmint oil reserve. Not to mention "almonds, apricots, avocados, cherries, cranberries, dates, grapes, hazelnuts, kiwifruit, onions, pears, pistachios, plums, spearmint oil, walnuts and other stuff."

And if you tell me you were well aware that it is in the national interest to maintain an orderly market  in figs I'll call you a liar and add that your philosophy (a ) smells worse than a Syrian camel and   (b) is dangerous. This dangerous:

Government sprawl and meddlesomeness mock the idea that government is transparent. There are not enough cells in the human brain to enable Americans to know more than a wee fraction of what their government is up to. If they did know, they would know something useful — how much of what government does is a compound of the simply silly and the slightly sinister. The silly: Try to imagine the peril from which we are protected because the government maintains a spearmint oil reserve. The sinister: The government is bullying and stealing property to maintain programs that make Americans pay higher commodity prices than a free market would set.


I need to thank Mr. Will for adding impetus to my campaign to be your president. It reminds me to articulate a vital  plank in my agricultural reform platform.

Anyone using the term "marketing order" without obvious snide intent will be taken out and shot.


*It means abstruse.

Apr 28, 2014

April comes like an idiot, babbling ...

It has been a tough month on the racial front. Bundy allows as how Jews are this and that. The inarticulate old guy who owns a basketball team announces blacks are that and this. Television goes bananas, and "social media" wets down its share of the spectrum.

It seems to me we're about halfway to symmetry on the bigotry front so far in this episode. If someone would hunt up a network news crew and hurl a few ignorant slurs at Hispanics and another sling some generalized abuse at us white guys, I would be content. It would be just another saga of racially fused and made-for-teevee outrage, but at least even-handed in real time and therefore -- somehow -- less objectionable. If he had known how to write Karl Popper might have expressed it as, "When everyone is is a lunatic, then no one is."

Mark Twain: "Man is a sorry piece of work."


One ray of hope occurred in the silly mess of April. Government was again reminded that a number of Americans get irritated when it deploys platoons of slightly upgraded  mall ninjas, equipped like Seal Team Six, in case it decides to shoot down an American citizen and his family over an alleged civil infraction.

There was a little pleasure there, too, when the button-down BLM administrators noticed that some of the citizens, not necessarily limited to the certifiables among them, were in a mood to react in kind to a federal "shoot" order. It was literary pleasure. I don't think I've ever witnessed government's professional "communicators"  whip up the standard "only to preserve public safety" news releases so quickly. You admire professionalism under pressure no matter what the source.

It up to us to gently remind our brothers and sisters that a deeper motivation was to head off rude historical allusions to Ruby Ridge and the dead mother there, Waco and the dead kids there.


H/T to Edna St.Vincent Millay for the subject line

Jan 25, 2013

Feinstein in black and white

Here is the text of Barbara's bill banning some guns that look like assault weapons:

it isn't as long as it first appears. Most of its bulk is a list of guns which the government will permit you to own. (Think about that for a minute or two.)

For instance, if you want a replica of a .50-70 Sharps, why, that's just fine with Babs.


Edit: Blogger won't accept this as a hot link. Cut and paste works.

Jan 16, 2013

The Rocky Obama Picture Show

The AP previews His Ineptness's imminent dog and pony extravaganza to erase guns, the primary object of which is to demonstrate that he rilly, rilly,cares:

Obama was to announce the measures Wednesday at a White House event that will bring together law enforcement officials, lawmakers and children who wrote the president about gun violence following last month's shooting of 20 young students and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

I know. Politicians do this sort of thespian crap all the time. But can Providence forgive -- and perhaps even assist -- those of us who quaintly believe that the job of high-policy maker is to engage our intellect rather than our emotions?

The children will be cuter than Hell, and that's what the electric teevee will focus on.

And if that ain't James Madison's own sweet truth I'll kiss Mayor Bloomburg's  arse at the Bushmaster factory gate and let you invite Rachael Maddow to do the commentary. 

Confiscating your guns and other shooty stuff

What I'm watching for today:

Since I don't think His Ineptness  is politically stupid, I doubt he'll take the supreme political risk of demanding confiscation of all of your guns which might look like assault weapons to, for instance, Governor Cuomo.

If I'm wrong, I suspect it he'll lipstick the pig, making it a "soft "confiscation. A mandatory buyback or some such scheme to get the stuff out of citizens' hands and into the vaults of the Only Ones.*

Magazines are another matter, and he might well look at the fresh New York state  confiscation scheme -- complete with lipstick. Empire staters have a year to sell their high-caps to an officially approved buyer. In 366 days they (a) become subject to government seizure and (b) turn the owners into criminals.

In any case, I think type and degree of what ever confiscation proposals he might make will be a pretty decent guide to how the debate will progress. It would take a very different congress to approve gun confiscation. To a lesser extent, the same is true of magazine seizures.

If the president opts for the most draconian rape of rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment, we'll have most of the evidence we need that he's rather careless about Newtown and other violent horrors -- that he's just play-acting in search of political cover and liberal-base pandering.


*Please stop fretting about the buyback cost. It can easily be handled if the Bank of China develops a payday loan office. Alternatively, Attorney General Holder might actually make it profitable, capitalizing on his experience in filling the arsenals of  Mexican drug warlords.

Jan 15, 2013

New York: New gun law text

It is here, and, Cowboy, it swings a wide loop. The state senate passed it yesterday, and by the time you read this it may have cleared the Albany house.

I read it from the enacting clause to the final word,* but I confess a degree of eye-glaze and some confusion. Much of the language modifies other laws which are referred to only by statute number. It is quite unnecessarily wordy. I understood as much as I did only because of career experience in extracting actual meaning from political gobbledygook.

The standout quality is its impact on subjects other than firearms control. It affects the mental health system, family law, education laws, and a variety of other criminal and tort procedures. A cursory reading suggests that this is a useful guide to what the United States will be when the extreme Left and the neocon Right finally achieve their post-constitutional America . This is true even if you eliminate the bill's actual gun-control  provisions.

For just one -- there are several others -- example: There is a one-day procedure for declaring an upset  spouse a "protected party" and imposing a variety of restrictions on his or her mate.There are complicated administrative and judicial reliefs written into the law, but for most real-life purposes, for many or most people, they are permanent.  And this occurs before any finding of legal guilt.


The actual firearms restrictions tend strongly toward the the Pelosi/Feinstein solution to violence. Another coat of pancake makeup.

Thumb-hole stocks become illegal on semi-automatic long guns. So do barrel shrouds.  So do "pistol grips" if they are "conspicuous."

Seven rounds becomes the legal capacity limit for nearly all detachable magazines. (Someone is going to make money with new seven-rounders for millions of Colt Woodsmans, Ruger Standards et. seq., Browning Nomads,  Hi-Standard HDs. And so forth.)

Higher capacity magazines already possessed are legal to own, but not use, for one year, after which they must be sold for out-of-state use. The alternative is confiscation and a criminal charge. (New York doesn't mind the horror of murder  via the eighth round in a magazine provided, of course, that the victim is shot in a place other than New York. Federalism at work.)

There much more, and at the risk of inviting you devote a lot of time to a tedious chore, I suggest you read the bill. It is almost certainly the sort of frightening nonsense which our president lusts for.


*How many of the lawmakers did before voting, I wonder  (C.f. Nancy Pelosi's "pass it to know what is in it" theory of making law.)

Oct 1, 2012

Still A Long Way Home, eh, Supertramp?

I exhale part of the long-held breath because the author of The World's Greatest Travel Blog is supposed to be on dry land again today. Still in the heart of the Evil Empire, she and her man are at least out of the clutches of the Volga River pirates. According to the schedule, they're  just a few hours away from their Aeroflot ride from Red Squaresville to New York .

I always like it when they return to the the remaining, residual protections of the United States Constitution. Too, I suppose any father is somewhat happier when his offspring leave a nation where there is brisk free-market commerce in leftover nuclear devices.

Jul 11, 2012

F**king deafie?

A deaf man says he was clearing  airport security at Louisville when TSA agents (1) robbed him of his candy (2) laughed at him for being deaf and (3) called him a "fucking deafie." He reported it on his blog, then, according to Reason magazine, got to thinking about the TSA's well-known lust for revenge on anyone who questions the way it executes its holy mission and took the post down.

I will suffer all the Godwin jeers anyone cares to hurl in order to pose a question.

In 1938 or so a German Brown Shirt got quite a bang out of taunting Jewish humans as "fucking Juden." In 2012 American TSA agents get off by ridiculing deaf humans as "fucking deafies."   What distinguishes the  the American from the Nazi?

Reserving the right to edit my views if I'm wrong in taking the report at face value, I hereby withdraw a semi-apology I once wrote for endorsing those who think Thomas Jefferson is spinning in his grave, justifiably screaming, "What's taking you so long?"

Jun 28, 2012

...a fine time to leave me, Lucille

I call my giveadamner "Lucille."  In the dark of night she left me, heedless of the demands of this "Momentous Day."

Will the Supreme Court maim Obamacare and guffaw as the bodies pile up outside emergency rooms across this great nation?

The prevailing AmSoc notion is that my health is your responsibility. It is bipartisan. We're quibbling only about whose turn it is to buy this round of lime-flavored hemlock.

Jun 8, 2012

Being a devout Philistine, I wouldn't reach across the table for a bite of fat duck liver sausage. If someone forced a gob of pay dee foy grass on me, I'd get a doggie bag and save it for catfish bait.

Furthermore -- and even if you could double for the young Marilyn Monroe --  if you put that crap in your mouth and suddenly wished to kiss me, I would delay the pleasure until you wiped out a quart of Lavoris.

So, why do I have this notion that the Constitution of the United States would be well served if someone flew to Berkeley, choked down a piece of diseased duck organ, and waited calmly, a Louisville Slugger in hand, for the first phucking phood cop to approach the table?


h/t -- J

May 30, 2012

Shots Fired!

I'm in my gun-tinkering room. I've reshaped the lips of the Colt Huntsman magazine. I check my work by unloading five fast ones into a big billet of oak. Three minutes and 55 seconds later I'm cuffed up and a cop is reading me my rights.*

I've been ratted out by a geek in Mountain View.

It's the latest  Telescreen precursor, called "ShotSpotter, an aural triangulation system  made mighty by the magic of communications satellites, the GPS,  and warp-speed computing.  If it isn't universal yet, it 's not for lack of desire by cops, prosecutors, and the company that owns the system,

Trusted members of the Outer Party visit your neighborhood and nail sensors to utility poles, buildings, and so forth. The gizmos hear a shot and instantly inform the watchers who, again with speed-of-light communications, tell the local cops. The company propaganda boasts location accuracy of within a few yards. It's a real crime-stopper.

So was the Tell-All Tube in the shabby room over the antique shop where Winston boffed Julia.


The Times superficially reports the usual privacy vs. security debate, which is revealing in itself because, wonder of wonders, the same system can also record conversations.

Sam Sutter, the district attorney in Bristol County, Mass., called ShotSpotter “an extremely valuable tool” that had helped his office bring charges in four nonfatal shootings.

“In my view legally,” he said, “what is said and picked up by the ShotSpotter recording does not have the expectation of privacy because it’s said out in public, and so I think that will turn out to be admissible evidence.”

The company jumps on that PR problem:

James G. Beldock, a vice president at ShotSpotter, said that the system was not intended to record anything except gunshots and that cases like New Bedford’s were extremely rare. “There are people who perceive that these sensors are triggered by conversations, but that is just patently not true,” he said. “They don’t turn on unless they hear a gunshot.”

Very reassuring, James. We are relieved that your bug is so limited that there is no way on earth to tune it to pick up conversation without an announcing gun shot.  I hope someone alerts me when your technology advances to that point so I can be careful  to say nothing seditious in the public space which I usually refer to as my front yard.

May 28, 2012

About a year ago the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that your response to a crooked cop barging into your home should be to roll over and play dead. 

This idea that police can go where they want, when they want, for good reason or ill -- or none at all -- could be tested in Iowa.


In Des Moines, Cynthia King and Tavius King cohabited. No other relationship is noted. Cynthia and Tavius fell out, and she booted him from the apartment. Tavius called the cops, proved he once lived there,  and wanted them to help him get his clothes.  Cynthia came out, announced that this no-good ex-cohabiter was not coming back into her home, and slammed the door, giving one of the police officers an owie.

 The door hit Officer Greg Trimble’s hand and foot as he tried to keep it open and avoid it from hitting him, police said.

A little later she unlocked the door and was cuffed up, charged with interfering with official acts and assaulting a cop.

Sounds to me like the wrong person went to jail, but maybe that's just my notorious Fourth Amendment crankery. Sounds to me like Officer Greg got excited, assaulted the door and, by extension, Cynthia who was in intimate contact with it. Sounds to me like...

--The cops had no warrant to invade Cynthia's home.

--No "hot pursuit" exception to the Fourth Amendment existed because no crime had been committed, or even alleged.

--Some cop public relations REMF has a lot of trouble with kinetic concepts. Most of us will have trouble with the idea that Greg was trying to hold the door open without making contact with it.


It's a ham-and-egg case, and perhaps Cynthia will pay the two dollars. If so, too bad. It would be nice to see this one hashed out in an atmosphere of Constitutional concern

May 2, 2012

Hey Jack, you seen my boots?

Let's say this college student got caught in a dragnet. Let's say he was hauled to a California Lubyanka. Let's say he was told he would be released and driven home. Let's say he was then tossed into a tiny holding cell and left there for five days, without food, water, or a toilet.  The reason? "We just forgot."

And let's add, just for good measure, that the jailers accidentally left a dose or two of meth in that cell.

Now, what would you call authorities like that? Incompetent? Criminally insane? Thugs? Guards-in-training for the next Dachau?

Wrong, Bunkie. You should call them dedicated employees of your federal government, specifically of the Drug Enforcement Administration.


Apr 26, 2012

The TSA: A fun place to work

Francesco Canesco is probably no more of a terroristic threat to you, me, and the Republic than any other congressperson. And even if he is, his sins are not of the sort that can be uncovered by twiddling his willy. The TSA does not get this.

Rep. Canesco says a TSA agent at the San Antonio airport became too friendly with his privates, so he pushed the groping hand aside and accused him of assault. The federal cop said, "No. You assaulted me." Supervisors calmed the whole thing down.

A week later the incident was repeated, and we can forgive even an elected official for complaining that he's been placed on the TSA list of those who must be palpated often and deeply because:

The TSA has a history of bearing grudges against commuters who issue complaints against the agency. A mother who was detained in a glass cell by TSA agents in Phoenix in 2010 said the incident was retribution for a previous complaint regarding confiscation of her breast milk.

In full fairness, we shouldn't overlook the possibility that pervs of the homosexual persuasion are over-represented in the San Antonio TSA corps and that they simply find  Congressman Canesco very hot. That's the price of fame and beauty, Congressman.

Anyway, it's all something to think about for the next time you put your 12-year-old grandson on a flight to San Antonio.

Apr 12, 2012

Minnesota vice, Volume 2

A schedule conflict will keep me away from another big extra-Constitutional money grab by Minnesota's Finest. The perps here are the fish and game cops whose arms lockers overflow with hundreds of guns, along with bows and fishing gear.

They got them by accusing guys of breaking laws and confiscating their property prior to any criminal conviction. Citizens found not guilty can probably get their property returned if they're willing to spend the time and money necessary to jump through enough hoops.

I have no doubt they set aside the hot merchandise they'll find useful in their duties. The rest are sold to the highest bidder. I don't know which state government slush fund the money fattens, but it's probably a safe bet that the original MDNR confiscators get a nice cut to keep the line officers motivated.

If you care to be a party to this kind of thing on April 28, here's the dope. 

And even if you won't aid and abet the civil forfeiture thugs, wouldn't that be a nice time and place for a good ol' libertarian rally? Some short and cogent speeches about the real RICO menace, the one fomented by governments who think a certain line from the Constitution, Amendment Five, is a quaint relic.

(No person shall) ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


My state's  motto is,  "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain."  We do the same damned thing.

Minnesota vice

Marko has a pretty definitive report on Moorhead, Minnesota, cops trying to rob a sore-footed waitress struggling to feed her five kids.

You'll recall the lady was given $12,000 by a mysterious customer who called it a tip and refused her effort to return it. She reported it to the cops who took her money and told her she could have it back in three months if no one claimed it. Three months passed and it  suddenly became "drug" money which they would keep in their cop-toy fund. They offered her a $1,000 bribe to shut up, roll over, and play dead. She hired a lawyer instead, and the cops had an epiphany. Maybe it wasn't drug money after all, even though it drew sniffy interest from their Constitutional consultant Fido.  They returned her  money to her.

Which is probably the end of the story. But it should not be.

Somewhere in the Moorhead police bureaucracy is at least one command-level cop who decided he could get away with robbing this woman and gave it his best shot.  The criminal offense that leaps to mind is attempted grand larceny, though I suppose it's a bad idea to hold our breath until we see Officer Swindly indicted.

Feb 16, 2012

To Serve and Protect

When the SWAT team got to Mathew Corrigan's home in Washington, D.C., at 4 a.m., one of the boss cops asked Corrigan for permission to search his apartment. Corrigan declined. The officer remonstrated that his busy schedule made it inconvenient for him to secure a warrant merely to accommodate himself to the Fourth Amendment, or, in Officer Friendly's words:

"I don't have time to play this Constitutional bullshit."

The previous evening Mr. Corrigan, an Army reservist, felt depressed and called a "hot line"  hawking itself as a source of help for military people under stress. (it turned out to be the National Suicide Prevention Hot Line operating under an alias.)

The counsellor asked if he had firearms. Mr. Corrigan answered, "yes."  Some time later, the conversation ended and Mr. Corrigan went to bed. Meanwhile, the helpful hot liner alerted Washington cops who decided this threat to public order required a team of about 25 to 30  stormers in appropriate ninja gear.

With the Constitutional bullshit dismissed in the interest of administrative efficiency, officers entered the apartment, trashed it (very literally), took his  dog, killed  his tropical fish,  seized his three firearms, and hustled Mr. Corrigan himself off to a hospital as a possible suicide risk. Two days later the doctors released him as non-suicidal -- released him to the police who jugged him for about two weeks.

He went home and found that, among other things, those who serve and protect had denied him the small courtesy of re-locking his apartment. He found that the local EOD detachment had practiced its craft by slitting open and scattering virtually every package in his refrigerator, cupboard, and closets.

He is suing has for $500,000 plus costs -- drastic under reach, if you ask me. I suggest about ten times that, to be assessed personally against every cop involved, not to the taxpayers.

For the "John Doe NO. 1" officer,  the conscientious objector to Constitutional bull shit, I suggest:

-- That he be stripped of badge and gun, indicted, horse-whipped,  have "asshole" tatooed on his forehead, and be assigned as Mr. Corrigan's personal slave for the remainder of his natural life. (This will require amendment of the Constitution, particularly a narrow suspension of the bill of attainder bar. So be it. Let the Article Five festivities begin.)


Two hat tips are necessary here. To Between Two Rivers -- who nominated TMR a  Liebster Blog (with words  kind enough to make me blush)   -- and to Robert's Gun Shop.

Feb 8, 2012

Toward a badder Constitution

I would take a stab at  Ruth Bader-Ginsberg's lust to simply scrap the Constitutuon and replace it with one like, for  instance, Mexico's. But ASM826 -- Random Acts of Patriotism --  has pretty well nailed it.  Recommended reading.

Nov 1, 2011

A wee bit more on search and seizure

A couple of readers seemed interested enough to want to see the full text of the Iowa Supreme Court decision restricting willy-nilly cop searches when you're busted for a faulty license plate light.

The decision text.

There's also a political element working.

The decision was 5-1, Waterman dissenting. The seventh justice, Mansfield, sat it out because he was on the appellate court which upheld the illegal search of the defendant's truck.

Both Waterman and Mansfield are new justices, appointed this year because of a strange development.

In 2009 the high court offended social conservatives by ruling, unanimously, that the Iowa Constitution forbade a ban on gay marriages.  For this the Vander Platts Window Peeps* decided to oust every justice up for retention.They succeeded, and three justices were ejected, two of them  replaced by the authoritarians Waterman and Mansfield.

So, if you dislike judges prone to give the cops everything they want,** your preliminary "no" voting list should include Their Honors Waterman and Mansfield. Of course your decision won't be that easy if you agree that a vital government function is restricting the spouse pool for the GLBT set.

(The third new judge, Bruce Zager, agreed with the majority that jackbooted intrusions need severe limits.)


**Vander Platts was once most notable for losing his elections. Then, for a time this year, he  enjoyed a good deal of national media attention as the Iowa Caucuses kingmaker because he purports to lead the anti-sin brigades around here. Not so much, lately.  His Queen Bachmann and King Perry have raved themselves into ridicule. His tentative King Cain seems to have indulged in a little grabass with office girls, which Vander Platts woulld see as  anti-scriptural. And his other  King-pro-tem, Santorum,  just can't seem to turn his wife's muffins into political support.

**...because officer safety is paramount, not to mention battling the scourge of reefer madness.

Oct 21, 2011

Silence Citizen!

1 -- -- I probably wouldn't  like this woman. For one thing, I'm suspicious of people who write  dramatic "diaries" obviously meant for publication. Nevertheless:

2. -- I would hate existing in a nation where people like Amy do not exist or where, worse,  the thugs of The Power have succeeded  in cowing them into obedient silence and cheerful submission.

3. -- Assuming Amy reported accurately in her personal journal, she was detained, harassed, mistreated, and arrested ("disorderly conduct") for the crime of reciting The Fourth Amendment as the TSA in Albuquerque prepared  to backhand her groin.

Tam and Popehat (H/T to each) write cogent takes on the outrage. But one more angle, if you please:

By the time the following dialogue took place, airport cops had handcuffed the woman (before arresting her and without Mirandizing her) and taken her driving license and other possessions. Officer Friendly and his fellows were just going by the book.

Amy: "I wasn't under arrest. You had no right to take anything from me. What if you(r) book doesn't follow the Constitution, the highest law in the land?"
Cop:  "It's not that big a deal.* It's for everyone's safety. We don't want to take the risk. You don't have to fly you know. You give up your rights when you fly."** 
 A quick review: This woman did not refuse to submit to a privates-probe by  the on-duty federal groper. She did not propose to physically resist any part of intimate search by a stranger. All she did was recite the Constitutional basis for her opinion that -- while she might have to be felt up -- she damned sure didn't have to approve of it.


* -- If the cop really believed that, we're in even more trouble than we thought because he didn't come up with the Constitutional analysis on his own. He was regurgitating settled policy as handed down by the Inner Party.  When O'Brien is authorized to distinguish between trivial rights and important ones,  the Constitution becomes a quaint relic of the world before Oceania.  

** -- So, as we walk along the street, we are citizens. But a mysterious occurrence takes over when we are aloft, making us, instead, subjects. Not by law, but by decree. See Inner Party, supra.