In case there are any residual doubts of how bad the tea partiers have been treated, here are the Top 5 ways the left and the media have abused a grassroots movement. The coverage has been so hateful and so biased, it was almost impossible to narrow the list.
5) Protesters are Anti-Government
The media and the left portray tea parties as “anti-government” because it undermines a patriotic grassroots movement. Tea partiers aren’t anti-government, they are anti-big government. That’s just not the story journalists tell. The “anti-government” theme is strong, cropping up in more than two dozen stories in The Washington Post and New York Times combined. Very few of them mentioned the word “big” in reference to government.
Instead, it’s NPR’s Liz Halloran claiming tea parties have been boosted by “restive Republicans who have found refuge in the year-old anti-tax, anti-government uprising.” Frank Rich of The New York Times compared tea partiers with Andrew Joseph Stack, the man who flew a plane into an IRS building. “Stack was a lone madman, and it would be both glib and inaccurate to call him a card-carrying Tea Partier or a ‘Tea Party terrorist.’ But he did leave behind a manifesto whose frothing anti-government, anti-tax rage overlaps with some of those marching under the Tea Party banner.”
Then there’s former CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen, who became the story when she reported from the Chicago Tea Party on April 15 last year. Roesgen rudely interrupted one of the protesters and slammed the event for being “anti-government.” After she bullied her interview subject, Roesgen concluded that “you get the general tenor of this” tea party. “Anti-government, anti-CNN since this is highly promoted by the right-wing conservative network Fox and since I can't really hear much more and I think this is not really family viewing.”
CNN is more family friendly now. Roesgen no longer works at the network.
4) Tea Partiers Are Stupid
Calling conservatives stupid is typical left-wing strategy. The left labeled Reagan stupid or senile. George W. Bush was consistently portrayed as stupid by detractors in the left and the media. It only makes sense that tea partiers get the same treatment.
In the case of the tea parties, some of the biggest offenders were also some of the biggest mouths on the left. Last August, former Air America host MSNBC regular Janeane Garofalo let the venom fly during an appearance at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 21. Garofalo called tea partiers “functionally retarded adults.”
Bill Maher deployed the same strategy in February of this year during HBO's “Real Time” calling tea partiers “cultists. “The teabaggers, they're not a movement. They're a cult, and I'm going to prove it. You know someone has fallen into a cult if you see these signs: One. Cults have their own vocabulary. Now, I don't speak sh**kicker, but I know that in their world, freedom means guns, diplomacy means weakness, elitist means reader, and socialist means black.” In Maher’s world, stupid means anyone who is conservative.
3) Protesters are Nazis
Nazis are the ultimate villains both for the horror they brought to the world through conquest and their use of industrialized genocide. But while the left went crazy when Lyndon LaRouche fans carried Obama/Hitler posters to protests, they were quick to use the slander for their own devices.
Take MSNBC’s relatively obscure host Dylan Ratigan. In February, the host of “The Dylan Ratigan Show” began the program by doing what his network always does – attacking conservatives. “The Tea Party has a bit of an integrity problem, as everybody from birthers, to open racists, to outright Nazis are actually on the team. And no one involved, including its leadership, seems to mind that fact.”
Ratigan learned from the best, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who called the tea parties “Astroturf” before she went on to link them to Nazis. “They're carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare.” Later she backed off her complete attack and tried to latch onto tea party popularity claiming, “but, you know, we share some of the views of the Tea Partiers.” Sure…
2) Homophobic Slurs
To most ordinary Americans in early 2009, the term “teabagging” meant using a tea bag to make actual tea. Then entire world learned the term had an overt, oral sex connotation, thanks to the media and left-wing pundits.
Nowhere was the use of the term more pronounced than MSNBC. The day before the big tea party event last April, MSNBC's David Shuster made numerous sexual puns during a “Countdown” appearance. “It's going to be teabagging day for the right-wing and they're going nuts for it. Thousands of them whipped out the festivities early this past weekend, and while the parties are officially toothless, the teabaggers are full-throated about their goals,” he told viewers. He later used his Twitter account to attack “teabaggers” and their “teabag leader.”
Shuster lost out to fellow MSNBC host Rachel Maddow for most adolescent behavior. Maddow’s and then Air America radio contributor Ana Marie Cox used the word “teabag” at least 51 times in a in a 13-minute long segment of bad “teabag” puns.
It wasn’t just MSNBC. Journalists at numerous outlets used the derisive term. But CNN anchor Anderson Cooper went even farther during the April 15 “Anderson Cooper 360” program. CNN’s senior political analyst David Gergen said Republicans were “searching for their voice” after two electoral losses, Cooper followed up by saying, “It’s hard to talk when you’re tea-bagging.” The irony of this attack is that it allows lefties and the media to feel smart and act juvenile at the same time.
1) Calling them “racist”
Playing the race card has become the left’s favorite move. It trumps everything else and is virtually impossible to defend against. Naturally, with an African-American president, crying “racism” has become a routine occurrence. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is just one of the milder examples of someone who injects race into everything except commercials.
Whether it’s Colbert King of The Washington Post or loose cannon former comedienne Garofalo, racism is the left’s preference in attempts to undermine the tea parties.
Former funny lady Garofalo bashed the attendees at last year’s tax day tea parties by using several different attacks. The “Countdown” guest called party-goers “a bunch of teabagging rednecks,” adding “this is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.”
At least she didn’t invoke the KKK, or talk about tea partiers wearing sheets. But she didn’t have to because Rep. James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., did it for her. Clyburn showed up in a column by The Post’s Colbert King that claimed “Today's Tea Party adherents are George Wallace legacies.” “It reminds me of that period in our history right after Reconstruction,” Clyburn said, “when South Carolina had a black governor and the political gains were lost because of vigilantism, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.”
He wasn’t alone. In February, “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann focused on suggestions there should be civics literacy testing for registered voters made at the recent Tea Party convention, which Olbermann referred to as the “Tea Klux Klan.”
Maddow had her own Klan spin. “And as you could hear, the tea party convention crowd erupted in cheers at the suggestion, although, to be fair, it was sort of hard to tell exactly what the sounds coming from the crowd meant. They were sort of a little bit muffled by, you know, the white hoods,” she mocked.
Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.
31 March 2010
29 March 2010
The Sierra Times
Why don't the politicians want us to own weapons? What are the politicians afraid of? That we're all going to kill each other? I don't think so. The politicians are afraid of an armed populace. And they're supposed to be. The tension created by an armed populace is a method of keeping the politicians honest. Some people theorize that in an age of nuclear weapons and technological warfare, an armed citizenry poses no threat to the force of the military. This is an erroneous conclusion. The purpose of any military takeover would be to takeover what makes America America. The infrastructure and at least some of the people must survive. And the military, with as much high tech weaponry as it has, could not win a street fight with millions of armed Americans. That's pretty powerful stuff.
The sick proponents of gun control want each of us to turn our lives over to an all-knowing government that will protect us and provide for all of our needs. But what is the cost of relinquishing the control of our lives over to that government. We have to bow to its demands. We have to allow whatever demoralizing and social mandates it offers. We will have succumbed to that disgusting intellectual elite that wants to rule us all. These are the people of the world that know what's best for us. These are the Feinsteins, the Clintons, the Boxers and the Kofi Annans. These are the Rockefellers and the Ted Turners. These are the smug professors at the elite schools. These are the feminists, the technologists and the sociologists. Each of these groups thinks they know more about what we want in life that we do ourselves. THEY know what's best for us. Are we really sheep?
If you are a woman or a minority I find it impossible to fathom how you could be for gun control. The only thing that equalizes a fight between a man and a woman is a firearm. You can learn all of the defensive techniques you want but if an assailant has their own gun, you lose. Even if the assailant does not have a gun, most women can't successfully fight a 200-pound man in reasonably good shape. You put your life in the hands of chance, the chance that someone will hear you screaming (if you can) or that a police officer just happens to be passing by.
Face the facts: Police cannot protect everyone. If they could arrive at the scene of each crime in 30 seconds, maybe they could. And courts have determined many times that police are not liable in cases where they have unable to provide protection to citizens. Suppose you are an older black woman or black man living in a bad part of town. How can you protect yourself against an attack? The only (somewhat) sure way is to brandish a gun. Otherwise, you're at the mercy of a sick person that has no mercy. The thought that you, the minority or the woman, would give up your right to protect yourself is one of the most disconcerting things I have ever conceived.
Recently I was reporting on a story in a particularly bad part of town. Many of you have probably seen places like this, at least on TV- burned out cars, closed stores, trash everywhere, and bars on the windows. A woman had been strangled in her apartment. I arrived on a sunny day with police cars and the media everywhere to be seen. I watched the residents of the federal project watching the police. Many stood near their doors with their kids. I thought to myself - what if you could arm these people, at least the law abiding ones? What would happen the next time someone is attacked and a whole community responds brandishing guns? Would the hoods and thugs look for a "safer" place to hit? That is power!
This country was founded on violence. I would never wish the conflict of any of our wars on this country but it is important that each and every law-abiding citizen owns a weapon and is trained in its use. It is important that each of you teach your children a rudimentary knowledge of firearms. For those of you who don't own weapons, ask a gun owning friend to teach you. Give yourself a chance to get used to the idea of a firearm.
Like anything empowering in our lives, the power of a weapon and the responsibility of owning one are something to get used to. But a gun is something to be respected but not something to be afraid of (unless you're on the wrong side of one). Let's remember that most of our forefathers owned guns, many for hunting. Guns were a part of most rural families. I remember going to my grandmother's house for Thanksgiving each year. My uncle had a case of guns in the den area where we all congregated. The case was never locked. But believe me, I would never have touched it and none of us youngins ever did.
The closest many Americans have come to a firearm is on a passing police officer. For most people, guns are only a part of the violence they see on television each day. If you grew up and have spent your entire life in a big city, as a growing number of Americans unfortunately have, this is the most likely scenario. How are you ever to have an understanding of firearms if you have never been around them? You can't. All you know is what the media is feeding you — that kids are shooting up schools, citizens of the middle east are killing each other, drug dealers are shooting up the ghettos and an occasional police officer is shot. This is a distorted picture of the life we live that is being perpetuated by forces that want to ultimately control our destiny. Read the facts about gun rights and gun control. Run a search on the topic. Investigate the sites. Educate yourself. Learn beyond the established media. Then make your call.
I will buy guns. I will encourage my friends to buy guns and learn to use them responsibly. And let's not forget about loading up on the ammo.
I will never, never let the politicians take away my right for self-determination. I will never let them take away my right to defend my family, my friends, and myself. I now know that I am one of millions that feel this way. We're not just military, ex-military or hunters. We are simply Americans; Americans like the family down the street or the guy who owns the hardware store or the woman who's a teller at the local bank. We must let our voices be proudly heard throughout America again and again and again. We must never stop defending our rights. Never.
The phrase "power to the people' conjures up thoughts of hippies protesting the Vietnam War or Black Panthers holding a fist to the sky. I hope the phrase can now be repurposed as our call for Second Amendment Rights.
"The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."
— Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minnesota)
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
— John Stewart Mills
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
— Mahatma Ghandi
"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? ... If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"
— Patrick Henry
This piece of typical Libtard wisdom regarding self defense is from the Toledo Blade.
Twice in just the past few days, seemingly bad guys were shot while allegedly attempting to rob Toledo stores. Although we're glad the robberies were thwarted and thankful no innocents were injured, we're not sure that store owners and employees defending themselves with deadly force is an absolute good.
How the SCOTUS defines the "commerce clause" will depend on if the Libtards installed all the judicial activists they needed to uphold federal tyranny.
Gary M. Galles
Minutes after President Obama signed the health care bill, constitutional challenges were filed.
Their key is the Commerce Clause, which, judicially redefined, is the sole constitutional rationale justifying many federal regulatory powers (which is why in law schools it is often called "the everything clause").
Under the Articles of Confederation, states were imposing duties on other states' goods. The Commerce Clause was designed to take that abusive power from the states by giving Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce; "regulate" meant "to make regular or normal" or "to remove impediments," but not to authorize federal control following the far different current meaning of "telling others what to do."
Federalist 11 indicates the Commerce Clause's intent as a limitation on states rather than federal carte blanche, "prohibitory regulations, extending... throughout the states," without which "this intercourse would be fettered, interrupted and narrowed by a multiplicity of causes."
Federalist 42 describes the main purpose as "the relief of the States which import and export through other States, from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter." Rather than authorizing federal dictation of anything remotely related to commerce, it provides "restraints imposed on the authority of the States," citing Switzerland, where "each Canton is obliged to allow to merchandises a passage through its jurisdiction... without an augmentation of the tolls," as its main illustration.
The Commerce Clause's narrow intended scope was cemented in Federalist 45: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and prosperities of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State." It was this stringent constraint on federal power that made the Commerce Clause one "few oppose, and from which no apprehensions are entertained."
Following our Founders' intent, until 1887, the Commerce Clause was used only to overturn state restrictions on interstate commerce. But then the courts began reinterpreting its ban of state-imposed restrictions into an open invitation to federal dictates, particularly in Wickard v. Filburn, in 1942.
Justice Robert H. Jackson's opinion eliminated virtually all Commerce Clause bounds on federal powers: "[E]ven if appellee's activities be local and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce." In other words, the federal power to regulate interstate commerce extended to banning (far from "removing impediments" to trade) production (not commerce) occurring in a single state (not among states). Anything judged to have a substantial effect, including any "practices affecting prices" - that is, any business practice - became fair game for federal regulation. We see the results in the alphabet soup of regulatory agencies now engulfing us.
However, since 1995, the Supreme Court has rediscovered the Commerce Clause's restrictions on federal authority. It found neither gun possession near schools nor violence against women sufficiently related to commerce to authorize federal legislation.
If the Supreme Court follows the Constitution as written, federal health "reform" will be rejected. If Wickard's almost unlimited discretion is maintained as a valid precedent, it will be accepted. If more recent precedents are followed, it will depend on what the justices deem sufficiently connected to commerce. In particular, does Congress have the power to force people to buy health insurance - to override non-commerce (choosing not to buy) in the name of regulating commerce?
Health care reform offers hope that an important constitutional restriction will be taken seriously again. It also offers risk that it will be further gutted. That alternative is chilling for those without total faith in the federal government. As Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote in the 1995 Lopez ruling: "If we were to accept the government's arguments, we are hard-pressed to posit any activity by an individual that Congress is without power to regulate."
Gary M. Galles is professor of economics at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.
How the SCOTUS defines the "commerce clause" will depend on if the Libtards installed all the judicial activists they needed to uphold federal tyranny.
28 March 2010
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Gun rights supporters unabashedly toted weapons at a rally outside Kentucky's Capitol on Saturday in a show of political muscle aimed at sending a message to policymakers to protect the Second Amendment.
Speakers stressed the importance of guns for self-defense, drawing cheers from about 300 people at the rally where American flags were plentiful.
Many in the crowd had weapons holstered at their sides or strapped to their backs while attending the Kentucky Second Amendment March. The event is part of a national, grass-roots campaign culminating with a planned rally next month in Washington.
Rex Bartley, state coordinator for the march, said bearing arms is a "God-given right," and said gun rights supporters are a "silent majority" who need to speak out.
Bartley said gun ownership is the "one right that protects all others," and said it's invaluable for self-protection.
"A well-trained man or woman with a firearm in their hand, when they encounter a criminal, it makes a difference between going home to your family ... or going to the morgue," he said.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul said he would never waiver in his support of the Second Amendment, pledging that if elected he would oppose any federal regulation of firearms.
Paul called guns a "great defense," telling the crowd that "had we had one armed teacher or student at Virginia Tech, we might not have had a massacre." He was referring to the 2007 shooting rampage that left 33 people dead, including the student gunman.
Nikki Goeser, whose husband was fatally gunned down at a Tennessee restaurant in 2009, told the crowd that police have a difficult job and cannot be everywhere. "No one can take care of you like you can," Goeser said.
She urged people to be equipped to defend themselves if ever confronted by an assailant.
"If you don't have a handgun carry permit, get one," said Goeser, of Nashville, Tenn. "If you don't have a firearm for self-defense, get one."
In the crowd, Rob Lotz III of Georgetown said he worries about efforts to chip away at the Second Amendment. He said the rally sent a strong message to politicians to preserve gun rights.
Eric Nichols of Berea said he values the Second Amendment, even though he's never owned or fired a gun. The closest he's come is firing a paintball gun.
"Every person should have the right to defend themselves," he said. "We don't have one police officer for every citizen in this country."
In Kentucky, the gun rights lobby has been a powerful force in a state where hunting is a cherished tradition.
Recently, Kentucky House leaders balked at a proposed rule change that would have barred visitors from carrying guns in the Capitol. Some House lawmakers pressed for such a ban after a man wore a holstered gun into the House chamber and sat through an afternoon session.
The march in Washington this year should be interesting!
27 March 2010
25 March 2010
March 17, 2012
The primary goal of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is to allow the carry of concealed handguns by licensed adults on college campuses. One of our main ways to gain public awareness is through our signature “Empty Holster Protest” event in which students wear empty holsters all week to show that laws and policies against lawful carry of firearms leaves them defenseless, with nothing but “Empty Holsters” to defend themselves should their life or safety be threatened.
In the past, thousands of students at more than 600 campuses have participated in the events. The past protests have generated an enormous amount of media coverage and attention for our cause. However, some colleges weren’t content to restrict the right to keep and bear arms; they also sought to limit the freedom of speech by prohibiting our members from participating. Among them was Tarrant County College (TCC) in Texas.
In the Spring of 2008 TCC prevented SCCC campus leader and future national board member Brett Poulos from wearing a holster anywhere on campus. They further restricted any other activity such as speeches or handing out fliers, to a 12 foot concrete platform, their so-called “free speech zone”. While TCC received a great deal of controversy from the decision, including winning some dubious “worst of free speech” awards, they were unrelenting.
In the Spring of 2009, SCCC’s new campus leader Clayton Smith attempted to participate in the Empty Holster protest at TCC. When Smith sent an informative letter to campus administration to let them know about the upcoming protest, he was warned that empty holsters would not be permitted anywhere on campus. If he wanted to pass out fliers or discuss the campus ban on firearms, he would have to restrict such actions to a similar “free speech zone.”
Clayton contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and began exploring his options. When TCC repeated their refusal to allow the Empty Holster Protest in the fall of 2009, Clayton and fellow SCCC member John Schwertz filed suit against the college with the assistance of the Texas ACLU. A temporary restraining order was then issued that allowed Clayton and John to participate in the fall protest.
On March 15, after months of trial hearings and legal paperwork, a final ruling came down. Federal judge Terry Means permanently banned TCC from preventing any empty holster protests throughout campus, stating in part that
“[T]he disruptive activities provision, as applied to student SCCC members to prevent them from wearing empty holsters on campus or in the classroom, violates such students’ First Amendment right to free speech. … Tarrant County College District, its officials, employees, and agents, be and they are hereby PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from prohibiting Clayton Smith, John Schwertz Jr., and any other Tarrant County College District student from wearing empty holsters in TCC’s classrooms, on the TCC campuses’ streets and sidewalks, and in the TCC campuses’ outdoor common areas, such as lawns and plazas.”
The ruling also struck down parts of the TCC student handbook dealing with sponsorship of campus protests
24 March 2010
Now Some Enemy Bullshit:
Robocop's Comment: Peet's WHO?!? California WHAT?!?
We have sent letters too.
It is also everyone's right to carry if they make that CHOICE!
Which Starbucks chose wisely not to do, this is also their CHOICE!
Intimidating only to criminals. Keep it going.
The NRA is not alone on this fight, yet they can take you all alone. You are so screwed you stupid Libtards!
Drop a line to STARBUCKS to voice our support to their position to let us carry in their stores.
Friday, March 19, 2010
The notion that lemmings deliberately hasten their demise by rushing into the sea may be a myth, but the anti-Second Amendment group and its spokesmen really are scurrying through a series of blunders that may hasten their steady march to irrelevancy.
In 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the group's two theories about the Second Amendment were rejected by the Supreme Court, one of them by five justices and the other by all nine. In 2009, they tried, with no success, to frighten America about tourists carrying guns for protection in national parks.
This year, they've insulted their most powerful ally, President Obama, for not setting aside the economy, the war, and his social agenda to push for gun control legislation Congress does not support. They've given the states their worst "Brady grades" ever, even though violent crime continues to decrease. And, they've badgered the Starbucks coffee company for allowing customers to legally carry firearms in its stores.
This week, though, Brady lawyer Dennis Henigan—the world's most prolific advocate of the legal theories the Supreme Court sent to the shredder two years ago—further diminished the group's credibility by claiming "The evidence is overwhelming that the 'shall-issue' concealed carry laws have been a disaster for public safety. . . . [T]he scholarly research shows that the laws generally have been 'associated with uniform increases in crime.'"
If he had just pushed himself away from the computer after his first four words, he would have been much better off. There's "evidence," all right, and it's certainly "overwhelming." Today, there are 36 states with "shall issue" laws—an all-time high. Sixty-three percent of Americans live in "shall issue" states, five million Americans have carry permits, and two states don't even require a permit to carry concealed.
"Uniform increases in crime"? The nation's violent crime rate is at a 35-year low.
Since adopting "shall issue" laws, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia have had decreases in violent crime ranging from 26 to 53 percent.
Henigan also claimed to have 33,000 signatures on his anti-Starbucks online petition, which can be signed by anyone with a computer anywhere in the world. But in a country of five million carry permit holders, up to 80 million gun owners, and 300 million people, Brady's petition and $1.70 will get you …
Now Some Enemy Bullshit:
Over the past few months, more and more gun owners have been gathering at restaurants and coffee shops like Starbucks with guns strapped to their hips, intimidating fellow patrons.
So far, Peet's Coffee & Tea and California Pizza Kitchen have heeded customer concerns and barred the open carrying of guns.
Robocop's Comment: Peet's WHO?!? California WHAT?!?
We have sent a letter to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz asking him to do the same. But Starbucks is refusing to prohibit the open carrying of firearms in its stores.
We have sent letters too.
It's everyone's right to sit in a restaurant or coffee shop with their families without intimidation or fear of guns, either concealed or openly carried.
It is also everyone's right to carry if they make that CHOICE!
Under the law, Starbucks has the right to adopt a gun-free policy, with an exception for uniformed police officers. Such a policy can easily be implemented in most cases by putting up signs at store entrances.
Which Starbucks chose wisely not to do, this is also their CHOICE!
The practice of packing heat in places like Starbucks is intimidating and could be potentially dangerous to our families and communities – and it must be stopped.
Intimidating only to criminals. Keep it going.
We have teamed up with CREDO Action to send petitions to Starbucks to keep guns out of its stores.
The NRA is not alone on this fight, yet they can take you all alone. You are so screwed you stupid Libtards!
Drop a line to STARBUCKS to voice our support to their position to let us carry in their stores.
The government takeover of health care will go down in history as the worst piece of legislation to emerge from a Congress held in general disdain by the American people. The only bipartisanship on the health bill was in the opposition.
Usually autopsies are reserved for after the patient has died, but in this case it is useful to get ahead of the matter. The malformed health legislation is not the only reason Democrats are facing political extinction in November, but it is one of the most dramatic. The legislative process in this country has never been so unseemly. Arm twisting, backroom deals, special privileges and potentially criminal "government jobs for votes" agreements became a normal way of doing business. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fixated on the mantra that the Democrats' health plan is "historic," but so was the Black Plague.
President Obama went to Capitol Hill on Saturday to give a final pep talk to Democrats, where he absurdly called his socialist health care measure "one of the biggest deficit reduction measures in history." This contradicts the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who says his staff currently has no idea what the impact of the plan is "due to the complexity of the legislation." Democrats have been hoodwinked into believing they won't pay a political price for their actions, but they will soon discover they miscalculated.
The new system will suffer a tsunami of bad publicity when states sue the federal government over unfunded mandates, when the IRS begins enforcing the aspects of the bill that voters never knew existed, when small businesses start firing employees because they cannot afford the higher costs of the new system, when new and unforeseen costs blow out the already record federal budget deficit, and when seniors begin to feel the impact of Medicare cuts. All of this is what Mr. Obama euphemistically calls "bending the curve" but which seniors will find out is better termed "denial of care." Whether the formal "death panels" will convene before the November elections is still to be determined.
Many members of Congress probably don't know exactly what is in the bill. The 2,300 pages of "fixes" to the Senate bill presented last week were only a draft, and no member can be certain what has been slipped in. A frantic Democratic Party memo sent out Thursday instructed members -- twice, in italics -- not to "get into a discussion of details of the [Congressional Budget Office] scores and the textual narrative" with the bill's opponents. But the devil was in those details. Mrs. Pelosi's offhand statement that members would learn what was in the bill after it was passed should have been a warning.
The majority party was even having problems over the weekend determining if they could vote to amend a law before it was signed by the president. It is a sad day for America when senior members of Congress either dont understand the Constitution or no longer think it applies.
Democrats in Congress refuse to believe the contempt with which the American people hold them. Gallup shows congressional approval ratings in the teens and headed downward. Gallup also found that "more Americans believe the new legislation will make things worse rather than better for the U.S. as a whole, as well as for them personally."
Democrats are in much worse shape than in 1994 when they lost power, and the opposition is far more energized. Once voters have a chance to tell the most irresponsible government in American history that enough is enough, the Democrats' brief reign will expire, and be deemed death by suicide.
23 March 2010
Charlie Mitchener, the Las Vegas business owner who was handcuffed and disarmed after presenting a concealed weapons permit along with his drivers license to a police officer responding to a burglary call at his place of business Jan. 3 has provided me with his Jan. 19 follow-up letter to the Internal Affairs section of the Metro Police Department.
Mitchener writes that he considered letting the matter drop, but "decided that my silence may put someone else at risk."
"Shortly before 5 a.m. Jan 3, the alarms in my office sounded and notified TSI, our security provider, that a break-in had occurred," Charlie Mitchener writes. "They ... dispatched a security guard."
"My wife, Peggy, and I arrived at the office about 5:15 a.m.; the security officer had arrived just before us. The security officer informed us that he had called Metro and they told him not to enter the building."
"The security officer said 'I don't want to tell you what to do, but I'm familiar with situations where the bad guys will come busting out and your vehicle may provide them cover, so I suggest you move it away from the building."
The Mitcheners moved their vehicle.
"Approximately 5:30 a.m. the Metro officer arrived. My wife and I ... were still in the vehicle which was marked with the name of my company identically to how it is marked on the entrance door. The officer exited her vehicle, the four of us walked to the broken window; the security officer identified himself, and introduced me to Officer Rogers. She informed us that she had called for backup to clear the office. The officer asked, in the meantime, for my identification. (Please note she never asked for my wife's identification or an introduction.)"
Mitchener handed over his driver's license and a concealed carry permit.
"Officer Rogers immediately asked if I had a weapon on me, to which I replied yes. She asked me to turn around, spread my legs and place my hands behind my back, to which I complied. As she attempted to handcuff me, she said that she was doing this because she wanted everyone to be safe."
"At this time, we are standing approximately 30 feet (away), with our backs to the place where the office was broken into," from which the security guard had warned them "bad guys could burst out firing weapons."
"My thought at the time, beyond what a surreal event this was, was what a foolish place to handcuff me. I wondered, and still wonder, how on earth is everyone safe. My conclusion is that officer Rogers ... did not give a damn about my life; she was willing to sacrifice me," Mr. Mitchener's Jan. 19 letter to Metro continues.
"Twice, officer Rogers asked me to bend at the knees ... (my arms were already extended downward, and my legs were spread), because she could not reach high enough to put the handcuffs on. Peggy noted that officer Rogers was having real difficulty working the handcuffs and fumbled about. Thank God for Officer Rogers' sake I was a law-abiding citizen, because otherwise the handcuffing would not have occurred.
Needed Some Help
"After the handcuffing experience, it was time for the trained officer to disarm me. I feel Officer Rogers begin to grab my weapon by the handle grip. I am wearing an excellent inside-the-waistband holster secured to an operator's belt. Incidentally, in addition to an IWB holster, I am wearing ... a medium to heavyweight, longer than normal sweatshirt concealing my weapon. I am 100% confident that had I not volunteered my CCW, my weapon would never have been exposed."
"As I feel officer Rogers on the handle of my weapon, I tell her not to remove the weapon in that manner because it is 'ready to go.' In other words, there is a round chambered. I told her to remove the holster with the weapon in it so that the trigger was not exposed; I was concerned that the officer did not know what she was doing.
"Thankfully the officer listened to me; unfortunately she then had difficulty figuring out how to remove the holster. I was wearing a Comp-Tac, M-Tac IWB holster, which has kydex clips that clip onto a belt."
"Seeing that the officer was struggling to remove the holster and weapon, my wife, Peggy, volunteered to help. Remember, Officer Rogers had never asked who Peggy was, what she was doing there or if she had a weapon."
"So here we are, the four of us: the officer (who) decided that I was 'too tall' and needed to be handcuffed and disarmed; the security guard, who was openly carrying a weapon (and) was apparently of the correct height to be carrying a weapon, and the helpful lady who is touching the holster and gun in an effort to show officer Rogers how to remove it. It is one of those situations that, if it were not so serious, we would fall on our face laughing.
"The weapon, with the assistance of Peggy ... is removed and taken by the officer Rogers to her patrol car. She returns and removes the handcuffs."
"Peggy and I get in our vehicle waiting on the arrival of backup so that the office can be cleared. I am so pissed at this point I want nothing to do with this inept Officer Rogers. When the backup officer arrives, they walk to the entry door and Officer Rogers looks to my vehicle like a lost puppy not knowing how to gain entrance. I want nothing to do with her so Peggy gets out, goes to the glass door, and is allowed by officer Rogers to stand in front of her to unlock the door. Again, great care displayed by Officer Rogers to make certain that a citizen is used as a shield against any bad guy that may remain in the office.
"The two officers clear the office and the backup officer leaves. A CSI officer arrives and very professionally begins looking for fingerprints, etc.
"Officer Rogers sees Peggy and gives her my driver's license and CCW card. I would think that the correct protocol would be to hand me directly my license and CCW. But at this point, why should we think that anything would be done correctly or professionally? Officer Rogers also informs me that she has secretly placed my weapon in the second drawer on the left side of the receptionist desk."
"Back to when I was looking in the dim light for my CCW card: Well, I found one all right, just not the correct one. When my drivers license and CCW card were returned to me, I found that I had mistakenly provided my Florida CCW card (I have CCW cards from Nevada, Utah and Florida). ... This was not addressed by officer Rogers. ..."
It would be hard to come up with a better test case to demonstrate the absurdity of any one-size-fits-all police doctrine that "Everybody out there is presumed to be a 'bad guy' till proven otherwise"-or of the inappropriateness of placing on patrol duty women so small that they feel endangered by law-abiding citizens whose only offense is to be 'tall' (heck, a young woman so small she couldn't even manage to handcuff and disarm a cooperating citizen, unaided.)
When Officer Rogers arrived, Mitchener, aged 61, was exiting a vehicle with the name of his business on the side-a name matching the business name on the front of the building in question. The armed security guard then introduced Mitchener to the officer as the proprietor. (Why wasn't the armed security guard "ID'd," handcuffed, and disarmed? Couldn't a "bad guy" steal a security guard uniform?)
Mitchener then presented his photo ID, including a concealed weapons permit, to put the officer at ease. In response she promptly handcuffed and disarmed him, leaving him in that condition in front of a building that might still have contained armed felons.
A "Training" Issue
Many readers have asked the obvious questions:
Given that this is the way a law-abiding citizen can now expect to be treated in this clear-cut a situation, after "doing everything right," should we "call in" such crimes to police, at all? It's not as though there's much chance they're going to get us our stuff back.
And if you do find yourself dealing with a police officer, might it not be wiser not to mention you have a permit or a weapon, as many readers have suggested? Officer Rogers never patted down or handcuffed or demanded the ID of Mitchener's wife or of the security guard.
Sheriff Doug Gillespie called me back on Jan. 27.
"It's not standard procedure, Vin. A young officer went out on that particular call, we've taken a look at it and her captain has spoken to her and they're dealing with it from a training standpoint," the sheriff said. "But our officers also have discretion."
For it to be thought that our policy is that every time we encounter someone with a CCW we disarm you and handcuff you, there's many people that that doesn't happen to.
"We're dealing with the issue internally. I had concerns when I read your (Jan. 10) article, Vin. My direction was take a look at it. Let's see what took place. Your questions are valid; I'm not going to say that they're not."
"As far as a written reprimand, no, but they're dealing with it through a training component."
"There's not a change, Vin. The police officers are their friends; the police officers are there to protect them. When situations like this occur, this is what I need as a sheriff, for people to bring forward their concerns. There's no policy here that's that what we do, that if you tell Officer Doug Gillespie that you have a CCW that I immediately put you in handcuffs and disarm you. You can't policy-ize everything so everybody does everything exactly the same."
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the daily Las Vegas Review-Journal, and author of Send in the Waco Killers and the novel The Black Arrow See www.vinsuprynowicz.com/.
19 March 2010
Turkey season opened in South Carolina this week, and like years past James Earl Kennamer, bagged a bird the first day. “Hunting is part of my life,” he said, as he waited for a flock early Monday in Estill. “It’s my touch to nature.” But these days when Kennamer straps on his cammo pants and loads his double-barreled Zoli 12 gauge, he can’t help but think of all of hunting’s regulations and limits, and he fears for the future.
“I'm worried about having legislation passed by different entities that want to stop hunting,” Kennamer said as he walked through the swampy woods of the 950 acre Woodstock Plantation, about 40 miles north of Savannah Georgia. “I’m worried they will one day get rid of hunting altogether.”
The lifelong hunter now supports a ballot initiative in South Carolina to change the state constitution and give hunters a permanent “right to hunt.” Kennamer says “It will keep local entities from passing legislation that would stop us from having a place to go hunt.”
That’s exactly what animal rights groups say is the problem with the initiative. “We think there are so many better ways to enjoy nature than killing a piece of it, “ said Ryan Huling a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the main opposition to the initiative in South Carolina. “PETA as an organization exists to remind people that there’s really no difference in abusing cats and dogs to abusing deer and fish. These animals all feel pain in exactly the same way.”
It’s that kind of sentiment from PETA and other similar groups that have recently sent hunters to collect signatures all across the country.
In the last 15 years, “right to hunt” measures have passed in 9 states including Alabama, Minnesota, North Dakota, Virginia, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Montana, Georgia, and Oklahoma (Vermont declared hunting a right in 1777).
PETA has opposed every single one. “If we're going to have the right to hunt and fish,” said Huling. “why not have the right to shop and golf? We're talking about making things that are legal, extra legal for no apparent reason.”
Huling predicts these initiatives will only lead to frivolous lawsuits in the future. “If hunters are going to open the flood gates like this, you're going to see them demanding longer hunting seasons, larger bag counts, lower age limits. There's really no end to this.”
Kennamer calls that “ridiculous,” stating hunters have a vested in interest in small bag counts and age limits. “We want hunting to be around forever, that’s all.”
17 March 2010
15 March 2010
by John Hawkins
One of the reasons liberals tend to do such an incredibly poor job of governing is that they fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the American people. Given that liberals also fundamentally misunderstand Christianity, the Constitution, economics, and human nature, I guess it's no big surprise that they don't get the American people either. Come to think of it, I guess it's pretty much par for the course. I mean, let's face it, without conservatives around to help keep them in check, liberals would utterly destroy everything that is good about America and most of them would be baffled about what they were doing wrong right up until the end. But enough about the Left's general lack of common sense -- let's talk about how they misjudge the American people.
They believe the American people want liberal policies. When you're a conservative, it's almost impossible to filter out liberal views. Your kids are exposed to liberalism at school, Hollywood forces liberal ideas down your throat when you watch TV, the local paper leans left -- you just can't get away from it. On the other hand, if you're a liberal, you really don't have to hear what conservatives think. This can lead to the sort of groupthink that once inspired film critic Pauline Kael to exclaim,
"I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where (Nixon voters) are I don't know. They're outside my ken."
Now, some liberals know better -- which is why every Democratic President runs as a centrist even though they immediately intend to veer way off to the left the moment they're elected.
However, the belief that liberalism is genuinely popular with the American people is still pervasive. For example, on a daily basis, you can hear the netroots claiming that Obama's approval rating is slipping because he's not getting enough of his legislation passed. This ignores the fact that Obama's legislative agenda is having trouble getting passed because it's about as popular as strychnine milkshakes in our center-right country.
Liberals believe that many Americans don't know what's in their own best interests. Liberals tend to falsely believe that they're better, smarter, and more caring than the average person. This often leads them to make rather glib and far reaching assumptions about the "best" way for OTHER people to live.
Why would anyone need a SUV or a gun? You don't REALLY need those things. Also, liberals know what your salary should be, how your children should be taught, and what words you should be allowed to use without hurting anyone else's feelings. Oh, you want to pick your own lightbulb? Nonsense: You might do it wrong! Let liberals tell you which one you need.
There's just something about liberalism that turns most of its practitioners, no matter how dumb or incompetent they may be, into finger wagging professors who want to lecture the rest of the country about how to live their lives. See the man running the show at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a real world example of how that works.
Liberals believe that the American people want to be treated like children. Sure, there are always going to be losers who want the government to do everything for them, but bottom feeders who want to be taken care of by the government have never represented the majority of the American people. If they ever do, liberals will undoubtedly be happy about it, but the rest of us won't because it'll mean the end of America as a great nation.
However, for the moment at least, a large percentage of Americans not only don't want the government's help, we would be pleased if the government didn't even know we existed. In essence, we want the government to defend the country, maintain the roads, enforce the law and leave us alone as much as possible. This, by necessity, puts us at loggerheads with liberals who are obsessed with controlling as much of people's lives as possible.
Liberals believe that most conservatives are evil. The problem with pegging people who merely disagree with you as greedy, evil, malevolent racists is that it tends to lead to kneejerk disagreement with everything they believe. That's why people go to such great lengths to compare their political opposites to Nazis -- because the thinking goes, the Nazis are bad and if they're like Nazis, no matter what they're saying, then it must be bad. Incidentally, the Nazis were socialists, animal rights activists, advocates of bigger government, supporters of the social welfare state, and supporters of unions -- just like liberals -- but that's neither here nor there.
The problem with believing that conservatism is evil, besides the fact that it's not true, is that it leads even well-intentioned liberals to disregard conservative ideas. That's especially relevant because if you look through American history, you'll find ideologies are much more malleable than people might think. For example, at times in our history, liberalism has looked favorably upon tax cuts, Christianity, and patriotism as opposed to fighting against all those things while pretending to do otherwise. Put another way, if liberals were to examine conservative ideas with an open mind, they might learn something.
Liberals believe they can lie to the American people without consequence. Saying that politicians lie is like noting that rats like cheese. Without question, politicians from both parties are guilty of lying.
However, in the political realm, liberals lie much, much more often than conservatives. Why? There are two reasons for it. Conservatives tend to believe liberals are stupid, but liberals tend to think conservatives are evil. Is it wrong to lie about someone who's dumb? Yes. Ok, now would it be wrong to lie to stop Hitler? Ehr -- probably not. Because so many liberals view conservatives as evil, in their culture it's considered acceptable for them to lie about the Right. Very, very seldom will you ever hear a liberal criticize another liberal for lying about a conservative even though it's an every day thing in the liberal media.
Also, because the Left controls the mainstream media, they can often get away with lies no conservative ever could. Put another way, conservatives tend to be more honest because they have to be while liberals are used to having the mainstream media cover up, ignore, and explain away their lies.
The problem with that is that over time, the MSM has become less powerful and the new media has filled the gap. For example, when a cranky Harry Reid claimed at the health care summit that no one has talked about reconciliation, a video was quickly put out proving him wrong. Now that same video is in circulation, in the new media, proving that Harry Reid is a shameless liar with no personal integrity. The mainstream media is no longer the only gatekeeper for the news and it's allowing Americans to see through the lies of the Left faster than ever. That's why Barack Obama, who sometimes has trouble keeping his story straight from day-to-day, has dropped so far, so fast.
Copyright © 2010 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.
13 March 2010
An interesting article from Bible Baptist Church.
The Bible and Guns
There is a saying-"God, Guns, and Guts Made America Great." Some think it strange that you can use the word "God" and "guns" in the same sentence in a positive sense. Yet, I believe history confirms that statement to be absolutely true.
With the rise of violence and crime involving gun related incidents, there is a movement to register guns and gun owners (e.g. The Brady Bill; waiting periods; etc.). Many would like to see guns banned altogether. How does God feel about Christians owning weapons? Does God disapprove of gun ownership?
Consider the following quote: "This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!" Adolph Hitler said that in 1935 as the Nazi's gained control of Germany. WW2 started four years later!
Gun control? Gun control is using two hands while shooting! Any other gun control will eventually lead to gun confiscation!
In 1 Samuel 13:19-22 we see what happens when the people of God have no weapons to either defend their families or their land. They are vulnerable to attack (Judges 5:8). A disarmed people will soon become an enslaved people. This truth was the basis of the Second Amendment of our Constitution.
Interestingly enough, when Germany was bombing England in the early days of WW2 and threatening to invade them, the citizens of England were faced with a dilemma-their government had disarmed them during the 1930's and they had nothing but clubs, hoes, and pitchforks with which to fight! It was the United States that sent them shiploads of guns and ammo that enabled them to arm their citizens and make Hitler think twice about his invasion plans!
It is a fact that Switzerland requires every able-bodied citizen, as a potential member of their army, to own and keep assault weapons at home and be able to use them proficiently. The entire citizenry is armed to the teeth, yet statistically they are among the most law-abiding people on earth.
DAVID'S POLICY-After King Saul was killed in battle by a Philistine archer, David initiated a policy to arm and train the populace (2 Sam. 1:18). David was a man after God's own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). It appears that God approved of David's defense policy (cf. Num. 31:3; 1 Sam. 25:13). What about the sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" (Ex. 20:13). First, Jesus interpreted this to mean murder (Mt. 19:16-18).
1. 21:12-16-God authorizes capital punishment
2. 22:2-God authorizes self-defense.
3. 23:20-33-God approves of the fighting of wars.
JESUS AND WEAPONS-God never said it was wrong to own a weapon. Jesus advocated arming yourself (Luke 22:35-36, 38). But, didn't Jesus later tell Peter to put up his sword? Yes, but that was because Peter was trying to prevent Jesus' arrest and eventual crucifixion. Jesus came for this purpose. And, Jesus never told Peter to get rid of his sword altogether.
DOES OWNING A GUN MEAN YOU ARE NOT TRUSTING GOD? Some may object saying, "Shouldn't we trust God to protect us?" Of course. However, we should also do whatever is necessary to be prepared against attack (see Neh. 4:7-9, 15-22). The same reasoning could be said concerning our provisions. "Shouldn't we trust God to provide for us?" Yes, but that does not mean we don't have to work to earn the money to bring home the bacon!
GUNS ARE NOT EVIL. As the oft-repeated phrase goes: "Guns don't kill people-people kill people." Murder is in the heart, and the choice of weapon is an incidental matter when a man decides to murder another. When Cain murdered Abel, God did not condemn the murder weapon (rock; stick; knife), but the man who committed the crime.
Recently, Paul Harvey was discussing the tragic shooting in Littleton, Colo. Here's what he had to say: "If only the parents had kept their children away from those guns, we wouldn't have had such a tragedy. Yeah, it must have been those guns. It couldn't have been because half of our children are being raised in broken homes. It couldn't have been because we place our children in day care centers where they learn their socialization skills among their peers, while employees who have no vested interest in the children look on and make sure no blood gets spilled. It couldn't have been because we allow our children to watch, on average, seven hours of television a day filled with the glorification of sex and violence that isn't fit for adult consumption. It couldn't have been because our nation is the world leader in developing a culture of death in which 20 to 30 million babies have been killed by abortion. It couldn't have been because we give out two-year prison sentences to people who kill their own young. It couldn't have been because our school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes who have evolved out of some primal soup by teaching evolution as fact and by handing out condoms as if they were candy. It couldn't be because we teach our children that there are no laws of morality that transcend us, that everything is relative and that actions don't have consequences. Nah, it must have been the guns."
The problem is in the human heart (Mt. 15:19-"For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, MURDERS, adulteries, fornications, thefts…").
Taking guns out of the homes is not the answer to a violent society. Taking sin out of the hearts is!
11 March 2010
The Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed the hearing for a controversial Court of Appeals nominee after the panel received a letter from a home-state prosecutor blasting him as a judicial loose cannon and Republicans raised concerns about his alleged bias in favor of sex offenders.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed the hearing for a controversial Court of Appeals nominee after the panel received a letter from a home-state prosecutor blasting the candidate as a judicial loose cannon and after Republicans raised concerns about bias in favor of sex offenders.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny gained notoriety in 2005 for his role in trying to fight the execution of convicted serial killer and rapist Michael Ross, also known as The Roadside Strangler, whom Chatigny had described as a victim of his own "sexual sadism."
His conduct in that case, which included threatening to go after Ross' attorney's law license, as well as his ruling in 2001 against sex offender registries created under Megan's Law, has caused a commotion among Republicans on the judiciary panel.
"I've never seen conduct like this," said a Republican source. "I'm shocked that the White House vetted this guy ... and still put him up for a judgeship."
The nomination is relatively fresh. President Obama submitted his name Feb. 24 for a seat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, calling him a "first-rate" legal expert and "faithful" public servant.
With the hearing originally set for Wednesday, Republicans led by their ranking member, Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said they wanted more time.
"Senator Sessions and the Judiciary Republicans have asked for a delay in light of the nominee's extremely lengthy record and the fact that he was brought up so unusually quickly," Sessions spokesman Stephen Miller said.
Behind the scenes, Republicans are taking a hard look at Chatigny's role in the Ross proceedings which they say could be disqualifying -- particularly on the Court of Appeals, the last line of review before the Supreme Court.
"You're letting him be the final review for a lot of people, and he's shown this alarming bias in sex crime cases," a GOP committee aide said.
Chatigny's office declined a request for comment. The White House could not be reached.
Chatigny stunned those involved in the serial killer case in early 2005 by pressuring Ross' attorney on a conference call to challenge his scheduled execution even though Ross had said he did not want to fight.
The judge had raised concerns about whether Ross was mentally unfit and whether prison isolation had led to despair -- at the time of the conference call, federal appeals courts had overturned two prior orders from him postponing the execution.
According to a transcript of that Jan. 28 call, the judge threatened to go after the law license of Ross' attorney, T.R. Paulding.
"So I warn you, Mr. Paulding, between now and whatever happens Sunday night, you better be prepared to live with yourself for the rest of your life," Chatigny said. "And you better be prepared to deal with me if in the wake of this an investigation is conducted and it turns out that what Lopez says and what this former program director says is true, because I'll have your law license."
Ramon Lopez was an inmate who had written a letter to Chatigny saying Ross had been brainwashed by mental health professionals.
Ross was convicted of killing four women but had confessed to killing eight, raping most of them. He was sentenced to death in 1987 and had been on death row nearly two decades when Chatigny engaged in the last-minute battle with others on the case.
On the conference call, the judge repeatedly stuck up for Ross, saying he suffered from "this affliction, this terrible disease" and suggesting Ross "may be the least culpable, the least, of the people on death row."
"Looking at the record in a light most favorable to Mr. Ross, he never should have been convicted," Chatigny said. "Or if convicted, he never should have been sentenced to death because his sexual sadism, which was found by every single person who looked at him, is clearly a mitigating factor."
In the end, the execution was temporarily delayed and ultimately carried out. But in the aftermath, seven prosecutors from Connecticut filed a complaint against the judge with the Judicial Council of the Second Circuit. Among the complaints were that the judge had threatened Paulding and that he had not disclosed that in 1992 he filed an application to file a legal brief in support of Ross' appeal -- though the judge never ended up filing that brief. He was later cleared of misconduct.
This year, in a letter dated March 5 to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Sessions, one of those prosecutors wrote that Chatigny's actions in the run-up to the execution "call into question his suitability" for the Court of Appeals seat.
"Judge Chatigny completely abandoned the role of neutral and detached magistrate and instead became an advocate for the position held by the parties who were seeking to stop the execution of Michael Ross," wrote Michael O'Hare, an assistant state's attorney in Connecticut. He described the Jan. 28 conference call as a "tirade" in which the judge was "threatening and intimidating" others.
After receiving the letter, as well as a request from committee Republicans to postpone, Leahy canceled the Wednesday hearing. According to Leahy's office, the hearing was postponed because of the GOP request and will be held at some point, though it's not clear when.
A Democratic committee aide said Leahy was "happy to accommodate" the Republicans' request. The aide did not discuss whether Democrats share the Republicans' concerns.
"The information related to that case has been in the public domain for quite some time, so it's not like something that's been kept from public view. ... This is why we have nomination hearings," the aide said.
A few years before the standoff over the execution, Chatigny had also issued a ruling that Connecticut's sex offender registry was not constitutional. Though the federal appeals court upheld the ruling, it was later unanimously reversed by the Supreme Court.
The judge does have his supporters. Connecticut Sens. Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman issued a joint statement late last month saying Chatigny had "consistently demonstrated his impressive legal abilities and a profound commitment to the rule of law."
They called him an "outstanding addition" to the Court of Appeals and pledged to work toward his "swift confirmation" through the Senate.
10 March 2010
05 March 2010
Written by Massad Ayoob
Carrying a gun is a serious commitment. Ten real-world factors to make a part of your life!
Carrying a lethal weapon in public confers a grave power that carries with it great responsibilities. Those who lawfully engage in the practice realize that. Those who are considering “carrying” need to know what those experienced people know.
If You Carry, Always Carry
The criminal is the actor, and the armed citizen is the reactor. The typical violent criminal arms himself only when he intends to do something with it. He picks the time and place of the assault, and initiates the attack. Therefore, he doesn’t need to worry about self-defense.
The armed citizen, the intended victim, does not know when or where that attack will come. Therefore, he or she must be constantly prepared and constantly vigilant. The “pistol-packer” learns to pick a comfortable holster and an appropriately sized handgun, and “dress around the firearm.” After a few days, or a few weeks, it becomes second nature to wear it.
When the defender does not know when the attack will come, the only reasonable expectation of safety lies in being always armed.
Don’t Carry If You Aren’t Prepared To Use It
There is a great irony that attaches to the defensive firearm. When you analyze a great many defensive gun usages (DGUs) you discover that the great majority of the time, the protection weapon does its job with no blood being shed. Usually, the offender who is confronted with the prospect of being shot in self-defense either breaks off and runs or surrenders at gunpoint.
Its most important asset turns out to be its power to deter. The irony comes from the fact that its power to deter is drawn directly from its power to kill.
Understand that criminals do not fear guns. They are, after all, an armed subculture themselves. What they fear is the resolutely armed man or woman who points that gun at them. Criminals are predators, and their stock in trade is their ability to read people and recognize victims. They are very, very good at reading “body language” and determining another’s intent to fight, or lack thereof. In short, you’re not likely to bluff them.
If you carry a gun, you must be absolutely certain that you can use deadly force. The person who is hesitant or unwilling to do so will, in the moment of truth, communicate that vacillation to the hardened criminal they are attempting to hold at gunpoint. In such a case, it is quite likely that the offender will jump them, disarm them, and use the hesitant defenders’ own weapons against them.
If, however, that same criminal realizes that he is facing a resolute person who will, in fact, shoot him if he takes one more transgressive step, he is most unlikely to take that step.
The irony: The person who is prepared to kill if he or she must, is the person who is least likely to have to do so.
Don’t Let The Gun Make You Reckless
Circa 1970, armed citizen Richard Davis invented the Second Chance vest, concealable body armor that for the first time could be worn constantly on duty, under the uniform, by any police officer. Some alarmists speculated that “being made bulletproof” would cause cops to become reckless. Those fears turned out to be totally unfounded. As any officer who has worn armor can attest, the vest is a constant reminder of danger and, if anything, makes its wearer more cautious.
It is much the same with concealed firearms in the hands of responsible private citizens. People unfamiliar with the practice fear that “the trigger will pull the finger,” and armed citizens will go looking for a chance to exercise their deadly power. This, too, is a largely unfounded belief.
The collective experience of ordinary, law-abiding people who carry guns is that they don’t feel a sudden urge to go into Central Park at three o’clock in the morning and troll for muggers. They learn that being armed, they are held to what the law calls “a higher standard of care” and are expected to avoid situations like traffic arguments that could escalate and, with a deadly weapon present, turn into killing situations.
Like an officer’s body armor, the armed citizen’s gun is a reminder of danger, a symbol of the need for caution. The late, great big game hunter and gun writer Finn Aagard once wrote, “Yet my pistol is more than just security. Like an Orthodox Jewish yarmulke or a Christian cross, it is a symbol of who I am, what I believe, and the moral standards by which I live.”
Get The License!
You’ll hear some absolutists say, “No government has the right to permit me to carry a gun! I don’t need no stinking permit! The Second Amendment is my license to carry!”
That is the sound of someone asking to go to jail. Like it or not, the laws of the land require, in 46 of the 50 states, a license to carry. In two states, there is no legal provision for the ordinary citizen to carry at all. Realize that things are not as we wish they were; things are as they are. If things were as we wish they would be, we wouldn’t need to carry guns at all.
If you are diligent about studying carry license reciprocity, and about seeking non-resident carry permits in states that don’t have reciprocity, you can become legal to carry in some forty or more states. It can get expensive, and it can get tiresome. However, allowing yourself to be made into a felon and being ramrodded through the courts is much more expensive and far more tiresome.
Bottom line: if you carry, make sure you carry legally.
Know What You’re Doing
You wouldn’t drive an automobile without knowing the rules of the road. Do not keep or carry lethal weapons for defense without knowing the rules of engagement. It is a myth to believe that you can shoot anyone in your home. When Florida rescinded the requirement to retreat before using deadly force if attacked in public, the anti-gun Brady Center introduced a publicity campaign claiming that the new law allowed Floridians to shoot anyone who frightened them. This, of course, was blatantly untrue, but a great many people believed it to be so because “they heard it on TV” or “they saw it in the paper.” Such dangerous misconceptions can cause the tragic death of people who don’t deserve to be shot, and can get good people sent to prison.
It is the practitioner’s responsibility to “learn the rules of the road” when they take the path toward armed self-defense. There are many firearms training schools, and at least one, the author’s Lethal Force Institute, specializes in teaching the rules of engagement. Information is available under the LFI section at www.ayoob.com. It is wise to take local classes that emphasize the rules of “deadly force decision-making.”
Similarly, a person who opens fire with a gun they don’t know how to shoot is a danger to all. If you need the firearm for its intended purpose, you will be under extreme stress. Learn to shoot under pressure. Quick draw from concealment, safe holstering, proper tactics, and much more are on the curriculum if you are serious about defending yourself and your loved ones to the best of your ability.
Concealed Means Concealed
A very few people carrying guns for the first time feel an irresistible urge to let others see that “they’ve got the power.” First-time carriers and rookie cops, usually young in both cases, may fall into this trap. It is a practice to avoid for several reasons.
In most of this society, the only people the general public sees carrying guns in public are uniformed “protector figures,” such as police officers and security guards. When they see someone not identifiable as such, who is carrying a lethal weapon, they tend to panic. This makes no friends among the voting public for the gun owners’ rights movement—you do not make people into friends and sympathizers, by frightening them—and can lead to a panicky observer getting the wrong idea and reporting you to the police as a “man with a gun.” This can lead to all sorts of unpleasant confrontations.
Moreover, a harasser who has picked you as his victim and knows you carry a gun can create a situation where there are no other witnesses present, and then make the false claim that you threatened him with the weapon. This is a very serious felony called Aggravated Assault. It is his word against yours. The fact that you are indeed carrying the gun he describes you pointing at him can make his lie more believable than your truth, to the ears of judge and jury.
MCRGO, Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners, is directly responsible for getting reform concealed carry legislation enacted in their state, and has been in the forefront of fighting for the rights of armed citizens in that state. MCRGO’s Steve Dulan, in the organization’s Weekly E’News of 6/23/08, had some cogent points to make on the topic of private citizens carrying handguns visibly in public:
“Open carry of firearms, subject to MCL 750.234d, it is legal to carry a visible pistol in public. MCRGO has not adopted an official position on this subject,” wrote Dulan, who continued, “I agree with Ted Nugent and many others that it is a bad idea in almost every situation. Tactically, you are giving up the element of surprise should you face a deadly force situation. Furthermore, you run the risk of being called in to 9-1-1 as a ‘man with a gun.’ I have been on police ride-alongs when this call comes over the radio. It creates a very dangerous situation for all concerned. I do not carry openly. I have a CPL (Concealed Pistol License) and take care to choose a gun and holster that, along with appropriate clothing, allow me to keep my gun concealed unless/until I need it to save a life.”
As cogent and valid as Steve Dulan’s arguments are, it still makes sense to have legal open carry available as an emergency option. If the wind accidentally blows your coat open and reveals the gun, an open carry provision assures you have committed no crime. If someone who has not yet felt the need to get a concealed carry license suddenly begins getting death threats, open carry provides an emergency avenue of self-protection until the paperwork can be processed to acquire the license to carry the weapon discreetly out of sight.
Maximize Your Firearms Familiarity
The more you work with the firearm, the more reflexively skilled you will become in its emergency use and its safe handling. If your home defense shotgun is a Remington 870, then when you go claybird shooting or hunting, use an 870 pump gun with a barrel and choke appropriate for each task. If you are a target shooter who uses the 1911 pistol platform at bull’s-eye matches and have become deeply familiar with it, it makes sense to acquire a concealable 1911 to use as your carry gun, so that the ingrained skill will directly transfer. If a double-action .44 Magnum is your hunting revolver, and another double-action revolver is your home defense gun, it makes sense to choose a carry-size revolver as your concealment handgun when you’re out and about.
Consider training classes or competition shoots where your chosen defensive firearm is appropriate to the course of fire. This skill-building will translate to self-defense ability if your carry gun ever has to be used to protect innocent life and limb. If training ammunition is too expensive, consider a .22 conversion unit for your semiautomatic pistol or a .22 caliber revolver the same size as your defensive .38 or .357. The more trigger time you have with a similar gun, the more confidence and competence you’ll have with the gun you carry, if you can’t afford to practice as much as you’d like with the carry gun itself.
Understand The Fine Points
Every state has different laws insofar as where you can and can’t carry a gun. It’s your responsibility to know all the details. In one state, it may be against the law to carry a weapon in a posted “no-gun zone.” In another, that sign may have no weight of law at all behind it. In a third, you may be asked to leave if your gun is spotted, and if you do not depart, you will be subject to arrest for Trespass After Warning.
In the state of New Hampshire, it is perfectly legal to carry your gun into a bar while you sit down and have a drink. If you do the same in Florida, it’s an arrestable offense, though you’re allowed to have a cocktail in a restaurant with a liquor license, so long as you’re seated in a part of the establishment that earns less than 50% of its income from selling alcoholic beverages by the drink. In North Carolina, you can’t even walk into a restaurant that has a liquor license, with a gun on. And, perhaps strangest of all, in the state of Virginia at this writing, it is illegal to enter a tavern with a concealed handgun, but perfectly legal to belly up to the bar and sip a whiskey while carrying a loaded handgun “open carry” fashion in an exposed holster!
A superb current compendium of gun laws in the 50 states can be found at www.handgunlaw.us. Review it frequently for possible changes.
Carry An Adequate Firearm
If you carry a single-shot, .22 Short caliber derringer, you will be considered armed with a deadly weapon in the eyes of the law. You will not, however, be adequately prepared to stop a predictable attack by multiple armed assailants. Most experts recommend a five-shot revolver as the absolute minimum in firepower, and the .380/9mm/.38SPL range as the minimum potency level in terms of handgun caliber.
It is a good idea to carry spare ammunition. Many people in their first gunfight have quickly found themselves soon clicking an empty gun. A firearm without spare ammunition is a temporary gun. Moreover, many malfunctions in semiautomatic pistols require a fresh (spare) magazine to rectify. Some fear that carrying spare ammo will make them look paranoid. They need to realize that those who don’t like guns and dislike the people who carry them, will consider carrying the gun without spare ammunition to still be paranoid. It’s an easy argument to win in court. Cops carry spare ammunition. So should you.
Carrying a second gun has saved the lives of many good people. When the primary weapon is hit by a criminal’s bullet and rendered unshootable…when it is knocked from the defender’s hand, or snatched away by a criminal…when the first gun runs out of ammo and there is no time to reload…the list of reasons is endless. It suffices to remember the words of street-savvy Phil Engeldrum: “If you need to carry a gun, you probably need to carry two of them.”
At the very least, once you’ve found a carry gun that works for your needs, it’s a good idea to acquire another that’s identical or at least very similar. If you have to use the first gun for self-defense, it will go into evidence for some time, and you want something you can immediately put on to protect yourself from vengeful cronies of the criminal you were forced to shoot. If the primary gun has to go in for repair, you don’t want to be helpless or carrying something less satisfactory while you’re waiting to get it back.
Use Common Sense
The gun carries with it the power of life and death. That power belongs only in the hands of responsible people who care about consequences, who are respectful of life and limb and human safety. Carrying a gun is a practice that is becoming increasingly common among ordinary American citizens. Common sense must always accompany it.
04 March 2010
Starbucks Corp. and some other chain stores in the U.S. are finding themselves caught in the middle of a firearms debate, as gun-control advocates go up against a burgeoning campaign by gun owners to carry holstered pistols in public places.
The "open carry" movement, in which gun owners carry unconcealed handguns as they go about their everyday business, is loosely organized around the country but has been gaining traction in recent months. Gun-control advocates have been pushing to quash the movement, including by petitioning the Starbucks coffee chain to ban guns on its premises.
Anti-gun activists gathered at the original Starbucks in Seattle to push retailers like the coffee chain to ban customers from openly carrying guns, WSJ's Nick Wingfield reports.
Businesses have the final say on their property. But the ones that don't opt to ban guns—such as Starbucks—have become parade grounds of sorts for open-carry advocates.
Starbucks on Wednesday, while bemoaning being thrust into the debate, defended its long-standing policy of complying with state open-carry weapons laws, in part by stating that its baristas, or "partners," could be harmed if the stores were to ban guns. The chain said that in the 43 states where open carry is legal, it has about 4,970 company-operated stores.
The company added: "The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores."
In 29 states, it's legal to openly carry a loaded handgun, without any form of government permission. Another 13 allow an unconcealed loaded handgun with a carry permit, according to opencarry.org, which is a loosely organized Web forum for the movement.
In California, where it's legal to carry a gun openly without a license in most places as long as it's unloaded, growing numbers of armed people have been turning up at Starbucks, restaurants, and retailers, with handguns holstered to their belts to protest what they contend are unfair limits on permits to carry a concealed weapon.
The open-carry movement began spreading in 2004 after some pro-gun advocates in Virginia began researching state laws and discovered that many states don't have laws to prevent unconcealed carry of handguns.
"The concealed carry movement has been successful but open carry is coming up," in popularity, said Mike Stollenwerk, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and co-founder of the opencarry.org site.
"I feel other people have the right to carry firearms into a business if it's okay with the business," said William Moore, a carpenter from Lynwood, Wash., and an open-carry advocate who says he doesn't carry firearms into Starbucks coffee shops.
Supporters are spreading in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and other areas. Some are making lists of "OC-friendly" locales, and encouraging boycotts of businesses with no-weapons signs. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Home Depot Inc., Best Buy Co. and Barnes & Noble Inc., are designated as "open-carry" friendly in some online forums or say they abide by existing laws. "Our practice is to comply with local and state laws," said Best Buy spokeswoman Sue Busch Nehring.
Open-carry proponents are also taking advantage of some momentum in state legislatures to expand gun rights, although most new and pending measures don't specifically address unconcealed handguns.
Should people be allowed to carry guns into places like Starbucks? The company says it'll abide by local laws, but customers in San Francisco tell Rex Crum they really don't relish handguns with their lattes.
Open carry hasn't been part of the official focus of the pro-gun lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, which has 4 million members.
In the past 20 years, the NRA has focused on expanding the ability of U.S. gun owners to carry a handgun in a concealed manner.
Today, 38 states have a "shall issue" permit process. Two states don't require a license to conceal carry. Eight states have "may issue" concealed carry laws, meaning permits will be given with the discretion of a local politician or police officer.
"We support the self-defense rights of law-abiding Americans in accordance with local, state and federal laws," says Andrew Arulanandam, an NRA spokesman, who declined further comment on open-carry activity.
Some chains have banned guns from their restaurants, even in open-carry states, because of the impact it could have on non-gun-carrying customers.
"We are concerned that the open display of firearms would be particularly disturbing to children and their parents," said a spokesperson for the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant chain.
A Peet's Coffee & Tea spokesperson said that while the firm "respects and values all individuals' rights...our policy is not to allow customers carrying firearms in our stores or on our outdoor seating premises unless they are uniformed or identified law enforcement officers."
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which partnered with Credo Action, an activist group that uses mobile phones to effect social change, says it has collected more than 28,000 signatures on a petition to get Starbucks to change its policy.
Pro-gun advocates have taken to openly carrying guns to Starbucks as a way of testing corporations's stances on state weapons laws, William Spain reports.
Allowing customers who are armed with unconcealed guns on the premises "can't be good for business—it galvanizes people, and some of them won't patronize Starbucks after this," said Joshua Horwitz, executive director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, a gun-control organization in Washington, D.C.
Indeed, not all baristas agree that the Starbucks policy protects them. "I think the policy shows complete disregard for the safety and sentiments of their workers. The only thing worse than a yuppie upset with how their frappuccino turned out is a yuppie with a gun who's unhappy with how their frappuccino turned out," says Erik Forman, a Starbucks barista and union member in Minneapolis.
The IWW Starbucks Workers Union on Wednesday issued a statement, saying "We appreciate the vigorous debate taking place by principled individuals on both sides of this issue. However, to date we are not aware of any efforts by Starbucks to widely engage its workers who are directly affected by open-carry gun laws. We believe an appropriate solution cannot be reached without doing so."
What Do the Supremes Think of Chicago's Gun Ban?
Does a ban on guns constitute a "reasonable regulation"? Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago sure thinks so. "We have the right for health and safety to pass reasonable laws dealing with the protection and health of the people of the city of Chicago," Daley said. Despite the push by Chicago to make McDonald v. City of Chicago about crime, a majority on the Supreme Court today appeared to want nothing to do that argument. Justice Anthony Kennedy described the right to self-defense as being as "fundamental" as the right to freedom of speech. The question the court faces is how many of Chicago’s regulations beyond the ban should survive.
Two years ago, the Supreme Court said a ban wasn't a "reasonable regulation" when it came to regulations that the federal government can impose-- that there is an individual right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to individuals allowing them to own handguns for self defense. They also ruled that people's guns cannot be required to be locked up and unloaded, since that would make it difficult for people to use them for self-defense.
The question that the Supreme Court addressed today in oral arguments is whether the same reasoning can be applied to state and city regulations. The Bill of Rights was originally passed to make clear that there were limits on what the federal government could do. It was only after the Civil War that Republicans in Congress passed the 14th Amendment to apply those same restrictions to states to protect citizens' freedom. Even more important, much of the Congressional debate focused on stopping Southern states from banning newly freed blacks from owning guns.
While much of the Bill of Rights has been "incorporated" to apply to the states through the 14th Amendment, so far the Supreme Court has not explicitly applied this to the Second Amendment. It's hard to believe the Court believes that part or all of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments apply to the states (the parts of the Bill of Rights that have so far reached the Supreme Court on this issue), but not the Second Amendment. It is this constitutional issue that is before the Supreme Court today, not whether gun control would be an expedient way to cut down on crime. Nevertheless, it is hard for anybody, including Supreme Court Justices, to ignore safety questions. Obviously, it is this latter issue that Mayor Daley and the City of Chicago hopes the court will focus on. And indeed, today James Feldman, an attorney defending the Chicago handgun ban, repeatedly tried to argue that Chicago’s law was needed to cut down on murder and suicide.
Gun control is often framed as a trade-off between freedom and safety, but as I discuss in my book, more guns don't cause more crime. Research shows that freedom and safety go together. If there are any doubts about this, we can simply look at the District of Columbia and its huge -- 25 percent! -- drop in its murder rate the year after the Supreme Court struck down its gun control laws. Much of that drop was undoubtedly due to the court striking down the gunlock requirement on rifle and shotguns, since Washington continued making it difficult for people to register handguns.
But Chicago does not need to look beyond its own immediate neighborhood for evidence. The figure at the top of this piece from the forthcoming third edition of my book "More Guns, Less Crime" shows how Chicago’s murder rates changed relative to the rates in the adjacent counties. In the five years before the ban, Chicago’s murder rate fell by 28 percent relative to those counties. (County level crime data only goes back to 1977.) In the five years after the ban, Chicago’s murder rate doubled relative to those other counties. The patterns are also similar when Chicago's or Washington's murder rates are compared to other large cities or the U.S. as a whole, where gun laws are much less strict.
We all want to take guns away from criminals. But all too often, gun control laws mainly serve to disarm law-abiding citizens instead. Police play an extremely important protecting people, indeed probably they are THE single most important factor, when it comes to individual safety. But, as the police know all too well, they almost always arrive at the crime scene after the crime has been committed. If the government can’t protect its citizens, a majority of the Supreme Court appears to believe that people should be allowed to defend themselves.
John R. Lott, Jr. is a FoxNews.com contributor. He is an economist and author of "More Guns, Less Crime" (University of Chicago Press). The book’s third edition will be published in May."