Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Human Nature: The Horror Of It All

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Iowa City:

The University of Iowa president has apologized for a remark she made to the student newspaper about sex assaults on campus.

In an interview published Feb. 18 in The Daily Iowan, President Sally Mason said she was dismayed by the reports of sexual assaults. She said “the goal would be to end that, to never have another sexual assault. That’s probably not a realistic goal just given human nature, and that’s unfortunate. …”

Criticism erupted over the phrase that includes “human nature.”

The Iowa City Press-Citizen says Mason apologized during a President’s Forum on Tuesday.

Mason said she’s been told by several people in the campus community that her remark was hurtful. She said she was “very, very sorry for any pain that my words might have caused.”

Or in other words, man is a tabula rasa and all of his malfeasance and failure to conform is about our failure to socialize him and provide him opportunities for engagement in the political discourse and meaningful labor.  I know that from my college coursework, and I just forgot for a moment.  Please forgive me, please forgive me, please forgive me.

And make sure that you don’t drop out of your master’s programs in social work.  It really does matter.  You’ll learn that in your college courses.

The Imperial President

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

The Washington Free Beacon:

Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, testified that the expansion of executive power is happening so fast that America is at a “constitutional tipping point.”

“My view [is] that the president, has in fact, exceeded his authority in a way that is creating a destabilizing influence in a three branch system,” he said. “I want to emphasize, of course, this problem didn’t begin with President Obama, I was critical of his predecessor President Bush as well, but the rate at which executive power has been concentrated in our system is accelerating. And frankly, I am very alarmed by the implications of that aggregation of power.”

[ ... ]

Elizabeth Price Foley, a law professor at Florida International University College of Law, agreed, warning that Congress is in danger of becoming “superfluous.”

“Situations like this, these benevolent suspensions as they get more and more frequent and more and more aggressive, they’re eroding our citizens’ respect for the rule of law,” she said. “We are a country of law and not men. It’s going to render Congress superfluous.”

Foley said Congress is not able to tackle meaningful legislation out of fear that Obama would “simply benevolently suspend portions of the law he doesn’t like.”

“If you want to stay relevant as an institution, I would suggest that you not stand idly by and let the president take your power away,” she said.

“What also alarms me, however, is that the two other branches appear not just simply passive, but inert in the face of this concentration of authority,” Turley said.

So what do they want to do about it?  “Given the growing number of examples where this President has clearly failed to faithfully execute all laws, I believe it is time for Congress to put in place a procedure for a fast-track, independent review of those executive actions.”

So after listening to folks tell them they and the judicial branch have become irrelevant, they (the legislative branch) have decided to study it, write a procedure, and ask the other irrelevant branch of government to do something about it, thus fast-tracking their race to complete powerlessness worthy of mockery.

What a bunch of pathetic losers.

Chris Christie Bodyguard: I’m Above The Law

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

NY Daily News:

“Do you know who my boss is?”

A bodyguard for Gov. Chris Christie is facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania for shoplifting gun supplies — despite trying to evade punishment by dropping the name of his scandal-plagued boss.

William Carvounis, a New Jersey state trooper assigned to Christie’s security detail, reportedly stole $268 in merchandise from a Hamburg, Pa., hunting gear store earlier this month, including handgun grips, a pistol magazine and a hat.

But when the 35-year-old Carvounis was arrested by police, he repeatedly mentioned that he worked for Christie and asked for a break on the charges, police sources said.

On Jan. 8, Carvounis was perusing the aisles of a Cabela’s, an outdoor equipment store that sells hunting and camping gear, when he began stashing away several items in his cargo pants pockets. He also reportedly placed a $29.99 binocular strap in a box for a product that only cost $19.99, according to a criminal complaint filed by the responding police officer.

Carvounis, of North Brunswick, N.J., then went to check out, where he only paid for the items in his cart but not for those he had hidden in his pockets, which totaled $267.38.

When police arrived, Carvounis reportedly began attempting to slip his way out of punishment by explaining that he worked for Christie’s security detail.

“It was, more or less, ‘Look, I’ve got a good job, I’m on the governor’s security detail, I don’t want to lose my job,’ along those lines,” Tilden, Pa., Township Police Chief William McEllroy said, adding that Carvounis’ plea resembled “one cop asking another cop for a break multiple times.”

So this is yet another cop who thinks he is above the law.  We’ve seen thousands of them.  Here is the question of the day?  Would Christie have in any way assisted him had he known about this arrest?

Why Are We Shocked At Reports Of Chris Christie, The Bully?

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie responded Wednesday afternoon to email exchanges made public earlier in the day linking a top aide to the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal that has been under investigation.

“What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge. One thing is clear: this type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions,” the governor said in a statement.

Uh oh.  Somebody better begin looking for a new job.  They’re getting thrown under the bus.  But why is America shocked over this?  We have known this for weeks, and some of us have known it longer (remember “Get the hell off the beach” said to people whom he didn’t have any legal right to force out?).

In 2010, John F. McKeon, a New Jersey assemblyman, made what he thought was a mild comment on a radio program: Some of the public employees that Gov. Chris Christie was then vilifying had been some of the governor’s biggest supporters.

He was surprised to receive a handwritten note from Mr. Christie, telling him that he had heard the comments, and that he didn’t like them.

“I thought it was a joke,” Mr. McKeon recalled. “What governor would take the time to write a personal note over a relatively innocuous comment?”

But the gesture would come to seem genteel compared with the fate suffered by others in disagreements with Mr. Christie: a former governor who was stripped of police security at public events; a Rutgers professor who lost state financing for cherished programs; a state senator whose candidate for a judgeship suddenly stalled; another senator who was disinvited from an event with the governor in his own district.

In almost every case, Mr. Christie waved off any suggestion that he had meted out retribution …

Just like he has done in this case.  And just to remind everyone, Chris Christie made his fame in New Jersey pushing gun control.  He is a gun grabber from way back.  And gun grabbers are bullies.  You know that, right?

Cuccinelli Campaign Was RNC’s Step Child

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago


“The establishment types didn’t like the Cuccinelli campaign, didn’t back the Cuccinelli campaign — for whatever their reasons were. Whether it was his hot social-conservative rhetoric from the past, whether it was the way the campaign was structured presently, I don’t know,” Steele says. ”I know I tried to raise some money for him and ran into all kinds of resistance from folks and excuses.”

“People were clearly behind the Christie effort. In a lot of respects, Cuccinelli was the step child. He was the one that people made excuses not to support . . . I think there was a conscious decision to sacrifice Virginia,” he adds.

Like I said, this will come back to haunt the GOP.  I will grant that there are a lot of low information voters who spend their time watching night time comedies and worthless television programming.  But there is a slice of voters who know this and understand that the old line GOP establishment is trying ever so hard to cast the future GOP in its own image.  And remember based on the margin of loss for Romney during the last election, the margins are smaller than they’ve ever been – they’re razor thin.  The great un-mined middle exists no more and America becomes increasingly bifurcated.  All it takes is loss of a small margin to lose an election.

Watch as the informed voters turn their back on the GOP establishment.  If the Cuccinelli campaign was a “step child,” the GOP establishment is a “dead man walking.”

Does Nullification Matter?

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 3 weeks ago


Infuriated by what they see as the long arm of Washington reaching into their business, states are increasingly telling the feds: Keep out!

Bills that would negate a variety of federal laws have popped up this year in the vast majority of states — with the amount of anti-federal legislation sharply on the rise during the Obama administration, according to experts.

The nullification trend in recent years has largely focused on three areas: gun control, health care and national standards for driver’s licenses. It has touched off fierce fights within the states and between the states and the feds, as well as raising questions and court battles over whether any of the activity is legal.

In at least 37 states, legislation has been introduced that in some way would gut federal gun regulations, according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The bills were signed into law this spring in two states, Kansas and Alaska, and in two others lawmakers hope to override gubernatorial vetoes. Twenty states since 2010 have passed laws that either opt out of or challenge mandatory parts of Obamacare, the National Conference of State Legislatures says. And half the states have approved measures aimed knocking back the Real ID Act of 2005, which dictates Washington’s requirements for issuing driver’s licenses.

There is more:

With the help of a few Democrats, Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature appears to be positioned to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a high-profile bill that seeks to nullify federal gun-control laws in the state and make criminals out of federal agents who attempt to enforce them.

Several of Nixon’s fellow Democrats confirmed to The Associated Press that they would vote to override his veto when lawmakers convene in September, even while agreeing with the governor that the bill couldn’t survive a court challenge. Many of them noted that in some parts of Missouri, a “no” vote on gun legislation could be career ending.

“We love our guns and we love hunting. It’s not worth the fight for me to vote against it,” said Rep. T.J. McKenna, D-Festus. But, he added, “the bill is completely unconstitutional, so the courts are going to have to throw it out.”

Ands that’s the issue, isn’t it?  This lawmaker reverts to what so many do when faced with an upcoming fight.  He refers to what the federal courts might decide.  Here’s a hint for the legislator.  A totalitarian federal court will always decide that totalitarianism is acceptable, federalism is dead, and the states must simply do what they have been told to do.  Referring to the federal courts is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse.

The states would have been far better off had they never began this trend if they aren’t serious about it.  The first volleys have been sent and there is a battle on the horizon.  For nullification laws to make any difference whatsoever, the states must be willing to ignore the federal courts.  They must be willing to impeach judges, imprison federal agents who enforce federal laws, and enforce punitive action against any agent of the federal government who crosses state lines to hassle citizens of the state for any reason pertaining to rules and regulations that the federal government wants to enforce.

And here’s a word about Obamacare.  It’s already being implemented – don’t believe the hype about delays.  Doctors are already spending all night doing charting for the patients they have seen all day, completing Obamacare paperwork.  And nonparticipation in the Obamacare exchanges doesn’t mean that the financial burden for it won’t fall to a state.  The penalties, charges, and other revenue-collecting aspects of Obamacare obtain regardless of opting out of Obamacare – notwithstanding something like imprisonment of IRS agents who attempt to collect such penalties.

Nullification laws have the teeth that states give them, neither one bit more nor one bit less.  But since the first volley has been sent, the states must decide.  The battle ensues as we speak.  If they run and hide, the states were never more than just a little yap-yap dog, all bark and no bite.  This isn’t so theoretrical after all.  One mustn’t turn it into an ethereal, theoretical conversation about what the federal courts might do.  Conversations along these lines indicates that the battle has been already lost.  They may as well bow down and lick Eric Holder’s jackboots.

Note To Jasmine Rand: Lady, You’re No Engineer!

BY Herschel Smith
9 months ago

Just a brief note to Jasmine Rand, attorney for the Travvon Martin family, whom I just saw on Greta Van Susteren saying something like the following: “I am more than an attorney and I have commitments to more than just the law.  I am a social engineer …”

Listen lady.  I am a registered professional engineer, and I work with other registered professional engineers.  We have to know things like Calculus, physics, and mechanics of materials.  Unless you want to go to school and take the classes and the tests and the state boards, you’re no engineer.

You may fancy yourself some sort of frustrated social planner or something, but referring to yourself as an engineer or actually performing engineering in most states gets you a cease and desist order from the state boards of registration for engineers and land surveyors.  But then, this wouldn’t happen with you because you don’t do engineering.

I think you’re self important and a little too big for your britches, as they say.

Gun Control: Sleeping With The Enemy

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 1 week ago

Senator Tom Coburn cooperated with Senator Manchin (and Schumer) for a while on “expanded” (universal) background checks before he pulled out of the negotiations for whatever reason.  He was simply indignant when Senator Reid later pushed him around.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Thursday blasted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as a “failure” and said the Democratic leader broke his promise to allow him an amendment on last month’s gun control bill.

“Harry Reid is a nice guy. I like him. But I think he has been a failure as a majority leader for the Senate in terms of keeping the history of the Senate and the progress of the Senate in line with what it was intended to be by our founders,” Coburn said.

The Oklahoma Republican was appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to explain why he had attempted to attach an amendment to a water resources and infrastructure bill that would have allowed gun owners to carry firearms into recreational areas.

“They were very good to allow me an amendment, and the reason they did is because Harry [Reid] denied me an amendment on the gun bill on one that would have passed and solved the problem, which he promised to give me,” Coburn said.

“He has been dishonest with me, not truthful, not kept his word,” Coburn continued. “He’s played games, you know? We’ve done our own damage to that in response to it. So what we have is people pointing fingers at each other.”

Coburn’s amendment to the water and infrastructure bill would have allowed states to decide whether visitors to areas controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — including many of the nation’s campsites and trails — would be allowed to carry weapons. The amendment failed Wednesday in a 56-43 vote, four short of the 60 necessary to proceed.

More specifically, Coburn’s proposal would have opened up lands heretofore prohibited from weapons as well as begun to make DHS accountable for it’s ammunition orders.

The Senate has rejected an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act that would have repealed a ban on carrying guns on land managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The amendment, by Sen. Tom Coburn, was defeated 56-43, falling four votes shy of the 60 needed to defeat a Democratic-led filibuster. Coburn withdrew a second amendment that would require annual reports from federal agencies on ammunition and gun purchases and firearm thefts.

Democrats said it could “threaten critical facilities like dams and flood control projects.”  So in addition to .22 LR shots potentially adversely affecting the nation’s energy grid, we now have rifle or handgun shots that can take out a dam.  The power of small projectiles is storied and amazing, to be sure.

The real lesson in all of this isn’t the amendment, which was sure to fail, or the moronic Democrat response to it, but that Coburn offered it.  He is feeling heat from his cooperation with the totalitarians on gun control, and he’s trying to shore up his pro-gun credentials.

It won’t work.  Gun owners never forgive, and never forget.  Like wicked men chasing after whores, the politicians in Washington chase after the next feel-good measure rather than act on principle.  But when you sleep with the enemy you contract their diseases.  Coburn is damaged goods.

As for guns on federal land (specifically, guns in national parks), my FOIA request proves that the predicted apocalypse of gun crime after weapons were made legal didn’t obtain.  To the surprise of the Brady campaign, gun owners are responsible people.

Toomey And Manchin Sign Suicide Pact On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

CBS News:

A pair of bipartisan senators on Wednesday announced they’ve reached an agreement over a bill to expand background checks for gun sales, marking a significant first step as Congress attempts to tackle the thorny issue of gun control. While the Senate is now one step closer to actually voting on the legislation, the bill’s fate remains far from certain, its authors acknowledged.

“I think this is a fluid situation, and it’s hard to predict,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., one of the drafters of the background check bill, said of the legislation’s chances. He added, however, that the legislation represents common ground and that he’s “hopeful” it can pass.

“Criminals and the dangerously mentally ill shouldn’t have guns,” Toomey said. “I don’t know anyone who disagrees with that premise.”

You’re a liar.  That criminals and the dangerously mentally ill shouldn’t have guns isn’t your premise.  Your premise is that what you propose for universal background checks would have any effect on criminals and the dangerously mentally ill having guns.  I think you know that this is a false premise and doesn’t comport with the facts and data.  In fact, let me remind you just why the left really wants universal background checks.

The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.

Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it.  The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them.

Thus ends two non-remarkable careers in politics.  I hope you enjoy your new buddies, Pat.

UPDATE: David Codrea asks:

Why Toomey felt compelled to take this stance, particularly noting the slim margin he was elected to office by and the likelihood that angry gun owners will remember at the polls if he decides to seek office again, remain unclear. While the bill is far short of what President Obama wants to sign into law, if it passes, it will be used as the plateau from which the next series of demands will be issued.

I don’t know why Toomey felt compelled to take this stance.  Why does any tyrant feel compelled to be one?  Original sin due to the “federal headship” of Adam.  If you don’t like that answer, you don’t hurt my feelings.  Queue one up of your own.  Either way, I hope Toomey chokes.

PETA Wants Drone To Monitor Hunters

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

US News:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is actively shopping for a drone that would “stalk hunters,” the organization said Monday.

The group says it will “soon have some impressive new weapons at its disposal to combat those who gun down deer and doves” and that it is “shopping for one or more drone aircraft with which to monitor those who are out in the woods with death on their minds.”

The group says it will not weaponize the drones, but will use them to film potentially illegal hunting activity and turn it over to law enforcement.

[ ... ]

The group may want to carefully monitor its drone—last year, an animal rights group drone was shot down while it was attempting to monitor pigeon hunters in South Carolina.

Pigeon hunters in South Carolina.  Did PETA think it would end well?  South Carolina?  Really?  And the PETA representative on the video thinks it amazing that “a blogger” would advocate shooting down this drone.

Let me say it here and now, for everyone to see.  I not only advocate shooting down this and similar drones, I advocate that we find out when the drones will be used and we deploy hunting parties specifically for them.

Can we get a PETA representative here to debate it?

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