Archive for May, 2007

Extraordinary Tyranny

Posted in Amerika on May 25, 2007 by Darkman

From WorldNetDaily:

President Bush has signed a directive granting extraordinary powers to the office of the president in the event of a declared national emergency, apparently without congressional approval or oversight.[…]

The directive establishes under the office of the president a new national continuity coordinator whose job is to make plans for “National Essential Functions” of all federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments, as well as private sector organizations to continue functioning under the president’s directives in the event of a national emergency.

“Catastrophic emergency” is loosely defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.”

So where’s the outrage? The party-liners have made not a sound about this. Imagine the hue and cry if one of the Clintons had done this.

Someone pass me the soma.

Credit: The War On Guns.

–Darkman

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The Answerless Answer

Posted in The Most Fundamental Right on May 13, 2007 by Darkman

Newspeak from the NRA, courtesy of The War on Guns:

Of course, in the aftermath of such tragedies, Americans ask “why” and seek solutions to prevent future tragedies from occurring. If we are truly to find solutions to preventing school shootings, a wide range of remedies must be on the table for consideration, including whether or not there should be a lawful, armed presence on our nation’s campuses. However, at the top of the discussion list, should be trying to figure out what has gone so wrong in these instances that an individual(s) feels the need to take the lives of young students in what should be a safe environment. One thing that is certain, however, is that passing additional gun control laws should not be part of the discussion, as again, you can’t make what these criminals do with guns at schools any more illegal than it already is.

By which Ms. Anglewicz actually means:  We only care about your so-called “rights” as long as we can make money off them.  If we actually took a stand and solved some problems, you marks might quit sending us money.

As long as the NRA continues to endorse these murderer empowerment zones, they are among the Enemies of Liberty.

Take the blinders off, people.  On this item, the NRA hierarchy is in agreement with the Brady Campaign.  That should make people realize that something has gone seriously, terribly wrong.

–Darkman

Insane Society

Posted in The Most Fundamental Right on May 12, 2007 by Darkman

I agree with Ira Goldberg on one thing: society as a whole is insane. A society that can condone the murder of defenseless unborn children while simultaneously weeping while throwing flowers on the memorial of a mass murderer is certainly insane. A society that tries to take away your fundamental right of self defense, while simultaneously claiming that such self defense is an infringement of the aggressor’s rights is insane. But Goldberg is just stupid.

As a constitutional scholar of some experience, I am perfectly content to adhere to the strict construction and original intention the right wing worships, to permit under the Second Amendment such guns to be privately held as have the same, but not greater, capacity as those available in 1789. Hunters could hunt, homeowners could defend and massacres would end.

No, Ira. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It has everything to do with owning the best possible arms available, so that when the time comes, we can take a tyrannical government down and start over again.

By the way, Ira. This works more than one way. How about we take away your ability to use the internet or have your newsrag printed with modern, high-speed presses? (That–you know–is to journalists what “high-powered rifles” are to gun owners).

You have a fundamental right to print this drivel by the best possible means–and that right is protected (but not created) by the Constitution. Are you ready to start trying to distribute your worthless opinions with 18th-century technology? Simple question, yes or no.

If your answer is yes, then fair enough–although my response to you would still be molon labe.  If your answer is no, then what makes you think the First Amendment is any more or less valid than the Second?

Credit:  Xavier Thoughts.

–Darkman

Cry Witch

Posted in The Most Fundamental Right on May 11, 2007 by Darkman

Scheffler had a different opinion of how the university should react. Using the email handle “Tough Guy Scheffler,” Troy fired off his response: Counseling wouldn’t make students feel safer, he argued. They needed protection. And the best way to provide it would be for the university to lift its recently implemented prohibition against concealed weapons. “Ironically, according to a few VA Tech forums, there are plenty of students complaining that this wouldn’t have happened if the school wouldn’t have banned their permits a few months ago,” Scheffler wrote. “I just don’t understand why leftists don’t understand that criminals don’t care about laws; that is why they’re criminals. Maybe this school will reconsider its repression of law-abiding citizens’ rights.”

[…]

But after the Virginia Tech massacre, school administrators across the country were ramping up security. Flip to any cable news channel and you’d hear experts talking about warning signs that had been missed. Cho had a history of threatening behavior and stalking. And a psychological evaluation had deemed him a threat to himself.

So Hamline officials took swift action. On April 23, Scheffler received a letter informing him he’d been placed on interim suspension. To be considered for readmittance, he’d have to pay for a psychological evaluation and undergo any treatment deemed necessary, then meet with the dean of students, who would ultimately decide whether Scheffler was fit to return to the university.

The consequences were severe. Scheffler wasn’t allowed to participate in a final group project in his course on Human Resources Management, which will have a big impact on his final grade. Even if he’s reinstated, the suspension will go on his permanent record, which could hurt the aspiring law student.

“‘Oh, he’s the crazy guy that they called the cops on.’ How am I supposed to explain that to the Bar Association?” Scheffler asks.

He has also suffered embarrassment. Scheffler obeyed the campus ban and didn’t go to class, but his classmate, Kenny Bucholz, told him a police officer was stationed outside the classroom. “He had a gun and everything,” Bucholz says. Dean Julian Schuster appeared at the beginning of class to explain the presence of the cop, citing discipline problems with a student. Although Schuster never mentioned Scheffler by name, it didn’t take a scholar to see whose desk was empty.

So an outspoken grad student tries to make his viewpoint clear to school administrators, and for his pains, must submit himself to psychiatric examination for which he must pay himself. Guilty until proven innocent, anyone?

Cry witch. It’s easier than thinking, it’s popular, and it’s fun!

–Darkman

Questions and Scenarios

Posted in The Most Fundamental Right on May 3, 2007 by Darkman

A scenario.

So you like to listen to Rush Limbaugh. Or Randi Rhodes—it doesn’t matter. But your favorite politically-motivated loudmouth’s show is on only during your work shift. Listening to the radio while working doesn’t have any adverse effect on your job performance. You get a small portable radio and a set of headphones so you can listen while you work. Since you use headphones, your listening habits have no effect on any other employees. No one can even tell what you’re listening to.

Nevertheless, one day your headphones are slightly too loud, or you try listening without them. Your employer doesn’t agree with the opinions espoused by your favorite commentator. So a company memo comes out that all radios are forbidden inside the workplace. They cause distraction and reduce job performance. You know this is false, and that it’s only your employer being a jerk because he/she/it can. But, the building belongs to the employer, so what he/she/it says goes.

So you start going out to your car during breaks and lunch. It stinks, but you can at least catch a little of the show that way. One day you’re sitting in your car eating lunch, listening to your favorite commentator. Your boss happens to walk by and recognizes the voice of Rush Limbaugh or Randi Rhodes coming from your car.

A new company memo circulates. Listening to your own radio inside your own car during breaks and lunch is now prohibited. Your car is parked on company property, therefore you either obey the rules or find a new job.

It isn’t that easy, and everyone knows it. You’ve held this job for several years, you’ve worked your way up through merit and cost-of-living raises. If you quit now, any other job you found would pay much less than your current rate—if you could even find any other job quickly. You would give up accumulated vacation time and quite likely many other benefits.

So…should your boss even be allowed to prohibit you from listening to your own radio in your own car during breaks, simply because it happens to be parked on so-called “company property?”

Would you fight this? Ignore it and take your chances? Or just use modern technology to record the show at home so you can listen to it later—if you have the time.

It’s a ridiculous hypothetical possibility anyway, isn’t it? No employer would ever try to prohibit their employees from listening to their own radio in their own car. Forget I even suggested it.

A new scenario.

You consider yourself a Christian. You decide to use your break and lunch time to read your Bible. You do not proselytize or evangelize during your breaks. You simply sit quietly in the break room and read your Bible for a few minutes. It has no adverse effect on your job. It does not disrupt the workplace.

Your employer disagrees with your religious viewpoint. Out comes a company memo that no religious materials are allowed inside the building. You’re on the clock and inside the workplace, so what your employer says is the rule. You reluctantly obey.

So you start going outside to sit in your car and read your Bible during breaks and lunch. Such behavior has no adverse effect on your job performance, and no other employees even notice your activity. You simply sit quietly and read your Bible when you are authorized to be on a break or at lunch.

One day your employer is walking through the parking lot and passes your car. He/she/it sees your Bible lying on your dashboard.

A new company memo comes out. Religious materials are now prohibited inside your own car as long as it’s parked on so-called “company property.” In addition, random searches will be instituted to ensure that no one breaks this rule. If your car is found to contain any religious reading material, you can be terminated.

So you’ve been notified of your new company policy. Do you obey it? Do you try to find a place in your car where it won’t be easily found during a cursory search? Or do you resign yourself to reading your Bible only when you’re not on “company time?”

Should your employer even be allowed to place such restrictions on you? Does the mere fact of your personal vehicle being temporarily parked on “company property” grant your employer the ability to temporarily abrogate your freedom of religion?

It’s a ridiculous hypothetical possibility anyway, isn’t it? What kind of employer would try to stop their employees from reading their Bible, or their Qu’ran, or catching up on their Book of Shadows during breaks and lunch, while sitting in their own car bothering no one? It’s silly of me even to suggest such a thing.

One last scenario.

The state you live in has a “shall issue” concealed handgun law. You pay the fees. You attend the class. You submit to multiple background checks and turn in two sets of fingerprints. You jump through all the hoops and your home state finally says it’s okay for you to walk around with a handgun concealed on your person. Just make sure no one ever sees it.

You agonize over which handgun will be best for you. You pore over catalogs, magazines and websites trying to determine the best balance between how easy it will be to conceal a given firearm and how potent its caliber is reputed to be.

You buy a gun. You also buy an expensive holster. A new belt. Everything to make sure your handgun stays both secure and concealed when you are carrying it.

Your employer has already made clear that company policy allows no firearms on the premises. It’s his/her/its property, and you have no intention of disobeying this rule. Your shiny new license and your shiny new gun are too precious to risk over such a simple rule.

You buy a car safe. It provides a relatively secure place to store your handgun while you are inside your workplace. Someone breaking into your car during your work shift is very unlikely, and even if they did, they would have to spend too much time finding your car safe, and then even much more time breaking it open or removing it, and you decide your gun is safe while it is not on your person. So you are still defenseless while you are inside the building, but attempted murder has never happened there before, and you know where the exits are. You decide it’s a reasonable compromise.

You make one small mistake. Your employer is walking through the parking lot and passes your car. He happens to notice the latest issue of Concealed Carry Magazine, or Guns & Ammo, or Guns Magazine lying on your dashboard.

A new memo comes out reminding everyone of company policy. In addition, firearms are not allowed to be secured inside your private vehicle as long as it happens to be parked on “company property.” Furthermore, random searches will be instituted to ensure that no one is keeping a firearm in their car when parked on “company property.”

Unlike our first two scenarios, there is no way to catch up on personal defense later. If a disgruntled employee arrives and begins killing people, you can’t wait until you get home to defend yourself. Your employer has just rendered you impotent against a dedicated killer.

No one knew you carried a gun. Your carrying a gun did not reduce anyone’s job performance or disrupt the workplace. It simply gave you the possibility of evening the odds if you—or even your fellow employees—are violently attacked.

Your employer has now effectively terminated your ability to defend yourself, not only at the workplace, but when you stop at a darkened convenience store for gas in the morning, or when you stop at Wal-Mart on the way home to pick up a few groceries, or wherever else you happen to go or be before or after work.

Should your employer even have the ability to render you defenseless? You know that good jobs are hard to find and quitting your job would make it difficult, if not impossible, to provide for your family.

Do you stand by your principles, take a different lower-paying job that has no such proscription, and make it hard on your family while “the market sorts it out?” Can you even find a job that has no such proscription?

So let’s ask again: should your employer even have the ability to render you defenseless no matter where you are? Should he/she/it be allowed to turn you into a weekend carrier? After all, you work all week long, so the only time you can carry is on weekends. And most weekends you don’t even leave home.

Except to go to church. But that’s another story.

Few of us can imagine a circumstance in which an employer would try to stop his/her/its employees from listening to their own radio in their own car, or stop employees from reading their choice of religious material in their own car, during times when employees are authorized to be on a break or at lunch.

Yet we have come not only to expect, but accept an employer who stops employees from providing for their own means of protection both on and off “company property.” Both on and off, because if you can’t secure it in your car during your work shift, you can’t take it with you anywhere.

Why is that?

–Darkman