Boston under Siege

The Boston Marathon was bombed. The ones who set the bombs are either dead or in custody.  That’s good. But the method used to find them?  That’s another issue.

From numerous reports, most of them still waiting for verification, Government, by this, I mean the state, local and the Federal government, suspended the Constitution in Boston. I don’t remember any declaration of martial law in Boston, but that is what, in effect, happened. The 1st and 4th Amendments were violated repeatedly. In some cases, even the media was treated like criminals (should I cheer?) being forced to the ground at gunpoint.

For those of you with access to Facebook, you can view nearly 150 photos taken by individuals in Boston and Watertown. They are horrifying.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.471951542877595.1073741826.373523032720447&type=1

How would you like to look out your window and see this pointed at you?

Boston under Siege

Boston under Siege

This is what you can expect when the dems and liberals control government. When the search for Dorner was on in California, there was no lock-down until they had him located and then it was only for a few surrounding blocks. Boston was massive, massive over-reaction.

And, Bostonians submissively accepted this.

Dinosaur Media Watch

Over the last few years I’ve posted numerous times about the death of media dinosaurs—here, here, and here. The Boston Globe is one such. It was up for sale some years ago and there were no takers. It’s owned by the parent company of the New York Times who is also on shaky ground. The NYT is putting the Boston Globe up for sale, again.

New York Times puts Boston Globe up for sale again

By Jennifer Saba, NEW YORK | Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:06pm EST

(Reuters) – The New York Times Co is putting The Boston Globe on the auction block for a second time as it seeks to focuses solely on growing its flagship newspaper.

The company said in a statement that it had hired Evercore Partners to advise on the sale, which also includes the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

The sale is expected to come at a big loss. Ken Doctor, an analyst with Outsell Research, estimated that the Globe could fetch about $150 million. The New York Times paid $1.1 billion for the newspaper in 1993.

The New York Times is putting all its effort into being a global information source and “the Globe is a distraction,” Doctor said.

Morningstar analyst Joscelyn MacKay said in recent years revenue at the Boston Globe had declined much more than at the New York Times.

The New York Times first put the paper up for sale in 2009 as it struggled with losses. But it halted the sale process and decided to hang onto the paper after winning concessions from Globe’s unions and implementing cost cuts.

Most print media organizations in the US, and in Europe,  have umbilical cord ties to unions. The unions block modernization that would reduce production expense while demanding higher wages and benefits. The unions have been sucking the economic blood from their partners until, one by one, major metro newspapers are dying.

Given the fact that newspapers have devolved into liberal propaganda tools, their passing is a good thing. The internet—and bloggers, are replacing them. And that, too, is a good thing.

***

Illinois tyrants are trying to kill free speech in the state. Illinois state Senator Ira Silverstein wants to prohibit the use of “anonymous” comments on websites. Now on one hand, I can sympathize. Ninety percent or more anonymous postings are spam of one form or another. Another six or seven percent are vitriol by opponents of the post or of the author and use “anonymous” to hide their identities. I’ve had a few of those on my website as well. The remaining percentages are those who don’t have an internet identity they wish to publicize.

It is the last two catagories above that involve free speech.  As much as I hate the rants spewed by liberals directed to my site by the Democrat Underground or the Daily Koz, they do have a right to say their message—just as I, as a website owner, have to right to remove their posts when they exceed the bounds of propriety.

Silverstein wants the state to enforce those prohibitions. Why? The site owner may approve of the statements and if/when those same statements offend Silverstein or his liberal buds, he has no recourse to force the removal of those statements.

His bill would grant him that authority regardless whether the website owners agree or disagree with Silverstein’s demands. It’s nothing more than another liberal attempt to stifle free speech.

Illinois state senator pushes anti-anonymity bill

3:42 AM 02/21/2013

A recently introduced bill in the Illinois state Senate would require anonymous website comment posters to reveal their identities if they want to keep their comments online.

The bill, called the Internet Posting Removal Act, is sponsored by Illinois state Sen. Ira Silverstein. It states that a “web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless the anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.”

The bill, which does not ask for or clarify requirements from entities requesting the comment removal, would take effect 90 days after becoming law.

Pseudonymous and anonymous comments have long been a critical part of U.S. public discourse, though, and the bill may be on shaky legal ground.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) noted on its website that the “right to anonymous speech is also protected well beyond the printed page.”

“Thus in 2002 the Supreme Court struck down a law requiring proselytizers to register their true names with the mayor’s office before going door-to-door,” wrote EFF, noting that the Supreme Court protects Internet commentary as it does pamphleteering.

The bill is part of a larger trend of lawmakers seeking to censor anonymous online speech.

Of course we must realize this is Illinois.  New York tried to pass a similar bill last year by establishment ‘Pubs. They failed.

***

This last item needs no added comments. It speaks for itself. New Yorkers, the British are coming. Where is your militia?

Report: Prosecutors to pursue felony charges against ex-soldier for possessing high-capacity magazine

New York prosecutors will pursue felony criminal charges against retired special forces soldier Nathan Haddad, who was arrested in LeRay, New York in January for allegedly possessing five 30-round AR-15 magazines, according to conservative law blog Legal Insurrection.

Prosecutors had reportedly offered Haddad a plea bargain that would spare him jail time if he admitted to five misdemeanors, according to Legal Insurrection. But Haddad’s attorney told the blog that Haddad, who currently works at the Department of Defense, will not accept the deal.

It is unclear how Haddad was arrested or discovered with the magazines.

Haddad was deployed four times during his ten-year Army career, and was once injured during special forces training in South Korea. He was discharged in October 2010.

A website established to pay Haddad’s legal expenses has collected more than $35,000.

Friday Follies for April 20, 2012

The Friday Follies is a semi-regular feature at the Court—especially when I don’t have a singular topic, or…when I’m a bit rushed.  I skated yesterday with Mrs. Crucis’ post. Yeah, instead of working, I…, well let’s say I didn’t do anything productive. I futzed all day until it was time to leave for my eldest Grandson’s twelfth birthday.

Today’s topics: Free Speech, Freddie Mae/Freddie Mac, and the Constitution.

***

Ted Nugent’s remarks at the NRA Annual Meeting last weekend has the liberals all in a tizzy.  Outrageous, they proclaim while ignoring remarks from liberal politicians.

After Nugent’s remarks hit the wires, the liberals and their dem surrogates screamed!  He threatened us!  What BS.  The Secret Service called Nugent in for a few questions and found nothing objectionable.  It was just another liberal ploy to limit OUR free speech.

But what is almost as bad, maybe worse, are the remarks of some NRA members.  They feel that Nugent’s remarks are going to offend liberals or independent fence-sitters. Sebastian and Dave Workman asked the question whether NRA members thought Nugent’s remarks was helpful or harmful.  They received comments from both sides, but in my opinion the tilt was decisively favorable to Nugent.

To my opinion, those who had negative views on Nugent are the NRA’s equivalent of RINOs in the Republican party.

***

The Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell has an interesting question today, “What would happen if Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac went away?”

So what would happen if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were phased out? Would the absence of their ability to offer lower interest loans and smaller down payments impact the cost of homes in America? Anaraki’s analysis shows that it would not. In fact, interest rates and changes in down payment requirements have little influence on housing prices. Instead, fundamentals–such as household assets, personal income, the S&P Index, and the effective tax rate–play substantial roles in shaping home prices. As such, she advises, it’s time for Washington to get out of the business altogether:

The federal government should avoid offering any subsidy in the form of lower interest rates or lower down payments because it adversely affects both the housing market and the economy over the long term. Although such a policy may boost the demand side in the short term, it risks inflating another housing bubble in the medium or long term.


Eliminating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in fact, will help more Americans afford homeownership. Since these institutions increase demand — thereby increasing home prices — it becomes increasingly difficult for lower-income Americans to afford to purchase homes without subsidized interest rates. If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are eliminated, interest rates may slightly go up initially, but Anaraki finds that “higher interest rates will lead to lower median home prices, which in turn will increase the ability of low-income groups to purchase a house.” What’s more, competition among housing lenders would increase, leading to lower interest rates in the medium to long term.

The answer would be—nothing too harmful.  Yes, it would be more difficult to buy a home. But those who do would be more able to actually pay for the home instead of having the FedGov subsidize the loan.  When the FedGov gets involved, the buyers lose any incentive to…actively be a homeowner. Instead, the home morphs into just another piece of federal housing.

***

On the Morning Bell’s side-bar is this item. An on-line analysis of the Constitution—line by line.

How well do you think you know the Constitution? If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about it, now is your chance. Heritage just launched ConstitutionOnline — a comprehensive and authoritative analysis of every single clause in the Constitution. 

Government and the Constitution isn’t taught in most (all?) secondary schools anymore.  When I met Dave Workman at the Second Amendment Foundation booth at the NRA Annual Meeting last week, he was talking to a gentleman about the proposed UN treaty to limit personal ownership of firearms.

This adult man, in his forties I’d guess by his appearance, didn’t know that the Senate was responsible for ratifying international treaties.  Nor did he know that it required a 2/3rds vote of the Senate—a level of difficulty purposely inserted in the Constitution to insure that treaties weren’t approved frivolously. This individual thought Obama could approve the treaty by fiat. Dave Workman and I were both surprised by the ignorance of this apparently well educated man.

It’s time we urged…no, require our educators to return to teaching government and the Constitution.  When I graduated from High School, in Illinois in the 1960s, I was required by the State of Illinois to pass a test on the Illinois and the US Constitutions as a requirement for receiving a diploma.  We now have graduation requirements for public service. Why can we not have a similar requirement to learn and understand our state and federal constitutions?  It seems to me that such a requirement would be more beneficial to the student that working the soup line at the local homeless shelter.                                 

The good guys win another one!

Once again I’m violating my one post per day rule.

In the desert of California is a five foot cross. It’s been there for a very long time and is a designated War Memorial. However, for nine years, a lawsuit has been progressing through the courts to have it removed because of a non-constitutional requirement of “separation of church and state.” The suit reached the US Supreme Court and the verdict was released today. The lawsuit to removed the cross failed. Not surprisingly, Justice Stevens dissented—again. As I’ve said before, there is not a leftist, statist, Marxist issue Justice Stevens doesn’t like.

From Allahpundit at Hot Air…

Supreme Court: The Mojave desert cross can stay

posted at 12:29 pm on April 28, 2010 by Allahpundit

There’s no Establishment Clause exception for de minimis violations, but if there was, this would be a prime candidate. The cross is five feet tall; it’s located in a desert; it’s been there for decades with no complaints until recently; and it’s designed as a war memorial. In fact, the land on which it sits doesn’t even belong to the federal government anymore. Congress transferred it to the VFW years ago precisely in order to avoid a church-and-state challenge. The risk that anyone’s going to stumble upon it and feel the heavy hand of government nudging them towards Christ is, in other words, remote. And yet this court battle has been raging for fully nine years, ending this morning in a 5-4 decision at the tippy top of the judicial food chain featuring six different written opinions. Not only that, the ruling doesn’t even provide any broad guidance: The issue that decided the case was whether a lower court’s injunction preventing the cross from being displayed on federal land could be nullified by having Congress transfer the land to a private owner. Answer: Yes. Which, I suppose, raises the question of what would happen if the government started building churches and then selling them off to private owners, but since that’s not going to happen in any sphere of reality outside of a Dawkins polemic, let’s not dwell on it.

Here’s the opinion. An interesting detail noted by Stevens in dissent: Ownership of the land isn’t the only Establishment Clause issue here.

The 2002 injunction barred the Government from “permitting the display of the Latin cross in the area of Sunrise Rock in the Mojave National Preserve.” App. 39. The land-transfer statute mandated transfer of the land to an organization that has announced its intention to maintain the cross on Sunrise Rock. That action surely “permit[s]” the display of the cross. See 11 Oxford English Dictionary578 (2d ed. 1989) (defining “permit” as “[t]o admit or allow the doing or occurrence of; to give leave or opportunityfor”). True, the Government would no longer exert direct control over the cross. But the transfer itself would be an act permitting its display…

In my view, the transfer ordered by §8121 would not end government endorsement of the cross for two independently sufficient reasons. First, after the transfer it would continue to appear to any reasonable observer that the Government has endorsed the cross, notwithstanding that the name has changed on the title to a small patch of underlying land. This is particularly true because the Government has designated the cross as a national memorial, and that endorsement continues regardless of whether the cross sits on public or private land. Second, the transfer continues the existing government endorsement of the cross because the purpose of the transfer is to preserve its display. Congress’ intent to preserve the display of the cross maintains the Government’s endorsement of the cross…

Congressional action, taken after due deliberation, that honors our fallen soldiers merits our highest respect. As far as I can tell, however, it is unprecedented in the Nation’s history to designate a bare, unadorned cross as the national war memorial for a particular group of veterans.Neither the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, nor the World War II Memorial commemorates our veterans’ sacrifice in sectarian or predominantly religious ways. Each of these impressive structures pays equal respect to all members of the Armed Forces who perished in the service of our Country in those conflicts. In this case, by contrast, a sectarian symbol is the memorial. And because Congress has established no other national monument to the veterans of the Great War, this solitary cross in the middle of the desert is the national World War I memorial. The sequence of legislative decisions made to designate and preserve a solitary Latin cross at an isolated location in the desert as a memorial for those who fought and died in World War I not only failed to cure the Establishment Clause violation but also, in my view, resulted in a dramatically inadequate and inappropriate tribute.

It’s a good thing he’s retiring because that “this is the national World War I memorial” argument would be grounds if he wasn’t. I take his point — honoring Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist troops, etc, with a cross is rather insufficiently nuanced — but if the worry is observers feeling influenced by the display, how does Stevens justify the religious symbols on the headstones at Arlington? There’s theoretically no government endorsement problem there since servicemen get to select their own insignias, but (a) it is federal land and (b) seeing so many crosses associated with such valor, even with stars of David and crescents mixed in, is more powerful than some puny cross in the desert. To be clear: I have zero problem with it. Just wondering how JPS squares that circle.

I applaud the US Supreme Court. They’ve shot down another piece of liberal idiocy. Good on’em!

The good guys win another one!

Once again I’m violating my one post per day rule.

In the desert of California is a five foot cross. It’s been there for a very long time and is a designated War Memorial. However, for nine years, a lawsuit has been progressing through the courts to have it removed because of a non-constitutional requirement of “separation of church and state.” The suit reached the US Supreme Court and the verdict was released today. The lawsuit to removed the cross failed. Not surprisingly, Justice Stevens dissented—again. As I’ve said before, there is not a leftist, statist, Marxist issue Justice Stevens doesn’t like.

From Allahpundit at Hot Air…

Supreme Court: The Mojave desert cross can stay

posted at 12:29 pm on April 28, 2010 by Allahpundit

There’s no Establishment Clause exception for de minimis violations, but if there was, this would be a prime candidate. The cross is five feet tall; it’s located in a desert; it’s been there for decades with no complaints until recently; and it’s designed as a war memorial. In fact, the land on which it sits doesn’t even belong to the federal government anymore. Congress transferred it to the VFW years ago precisely in order to avoid a church-and-state challenge. The risk that anyone’s going to stumble upon it and feel the heavy hand of government nudging them towards Christ is, in other words, remote. And yet this court battle has been raging for fully nine years, ending this morning in a 5-4 decision at the tippy top of the judicial food chain featuring six different written opinions. Not only that, the ruling doesn’t even provide any broad guidance: The issue that decided the case was whether a lower court’s injunction preventing the cross from being displayed on federal land could be nullified by having Congress transfer the land to a private owner. Answer: Yes. Which, I suppose, raises the question of what would happen if the government started building churches and then selling them off to private owners, but since that’s not going to happen in any sphere of reality outside of a Dawkins polemic, let’s not dwell on it.

Here’s the opinion. An interesting detail noted by Stevens in dissent: Ownership of the land isn’t the only Establishment Clause issue here.

The 2002 injunction barred the Government from “permitting the display of the Latin cross in the area of Sunrise Rock in the Mojave National Preserve.” App. 39. The land-transfer statute mandated transfer of the land to an organization that has announced its intention to maintain the cross on Sunrise Rock. That action surely “permit[s]” the display of the cross. See 11 Oxford English Dictionary578 (2d ed. 1989) (defining “permit” as “[t]o admit or allow the doing or occurrence of; to give leave or opportunityfor”). True, the Government would no longer exert direct control over the cross. But the transfer itself would be an act permitting its display…

In my view, the transfer ordered by §8121 would not end government endorsement of the cross for two independently sufficient reasons. First, after the transfer it would continue to appear to any reasonable observer that the Government has endorsed the cross, notwithstanding that the name has changed on the title to a small patch of underlying land. This is particularly true because the Government has designated the cross as a national memorial, and that endorsement continues regardless of whether the cross sits on public or private land. Second, the transfer continues the existing government endorsement of the cross because the purpose of the transfer is to preserve its display. Congress’ intent to preserve the display of the cross maintains the Government’s endorsement of the cross…

Congressional action, taken after due deliberation, that honors our fallen soldiers merits our highest respect. As far as I can tell, however, it is unprecedented in the Nation’s history to designate a bare, unadorned cross as the national war memorial for a particular group of veterans.Neither the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, nor the World War II Memorial commemorates our veterans’ sacrifice in sectarian or predominantly religious ways. Each of these impressive structures pays equal respect to all members of the Armed Forces who perished in the service of our Country in those conflicts. In this case, by contrast, a sectarian symbol is the memorial. And because Congress has established no other national monument to the veterans of the Great War, this solitary cross in the middle of the desert is the national World War I memorial. The sequence of legislative decisions made to designate and preserve a solitary Latin cross at an isolated location in the desert as a memorial for those who fought and died in World War I not only failed to cure the Establishment Clause violation but also, in my view, resulted in a dramatically inadequate and inappropriate tribute.

It’s a good thing he’s retiring because that “this is the national World War I memorial” argument would be grounds if he wasn’t. I take his point — honoring Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist troops, etc, with a cross is rather insufficiently nuanced — but if the worry is observers feeling influenced by the display, how does Stevens justify the religious symbols on the headstones at Arlington? There’s theoretically no government endorsement problem there since servicemen get to select their own insignias, but (a) it is federal land and (b) seeing so many crosses associated with such valor, even with stars of David and crescents mixed in, is more powerful than some puny cross in the desert. To be clear: I have zero problem with it. Just wondering how JPS squares that circle.

I applaud the US Supreme Court. They’ve shot down another piece of liberal idiocy. Good on’em!