Punt

As it happens from time to time, there are a number of interesting items in today’s news sites but nothing that really strikes a cord. I could post a cartoon such as the one below

Activelydisengaged_01222013The cartoon above reminds us of the 55 million deaths since the Roe v. Wade decision 40 years ago. Roe v. Wade is completely consistent with the left’s view on life: kill those not yet born, kill those too old, enslave those in between.

We shouldn’t be surprised. The left has been perfectly consistent for the last century and more. The difference today is that they are more blatant than in previous decades.

gorral_01221013The “resolution” for the debt ceiling is coming up in a few days. Of course, the ‘Pub establishment and their spineless sycophants in Congress will cave. Some will attempt to extract some conditions…like requiring the Senate to actually pass a budget as they are required to do by law. One theme being passed around is “No Budget, No Pay.” Not that that means much since most congresscritters have sufficient outside income. Like Harry Reid who is being investigated for fraud. Perhaps blocking budget bills isn’t Harry’s highest concern at the moment.

chip_bok_01202013This time ol’ Harry may have pressure to actually do something…maybe. Eighty-one percent in a recent Rasmussen poll believes Congress should receive no pay until the Budget is balanced. But when has Congress ever been concerned what their constituents believe?

Just another day in Possum Trot on the Potomac.

Responsibilities

While trying to think of a theme for today, I remembered an encounter I had some years ago with an anti-gun liberal. I had worked with this woman for a couple of years. I usually had little association with her outside of some planning meetings. This time, our group met outside the office for lunch at a nearby diner well-known for its quality of grease.

Somehow the conversation got around to guns. Several of us in that group were shooters. This particular woman, of course, was not and made her opinions on guns known to the group, “No one should own guns! Guns only kill! The police will protect you!”

It was that last statement that made everyone laugh which made her angrier. We then attempted to educate her that the police have NO obligation to protect her, me, any individual and there were U. S. Supreme Court decisions to support that statement. This woman refused to listen, of course.

It is time again to remind people of these facts. The police, the Sheriff, any government agency, has no responsibility to protect any individual. Here are some pertinent court decisions to prove that point.

Warren v. District of Columbia is one of the leading cases of this type. Two women were upstairs in a townhouse when they heard their roommate, a third woman, being attacked downstairs by intruders. They phoned the police several times and were assured that officers were on the way. After about 30 minutes, when their roommate’s screams had stopped, they assumed the police had finally arrived. When the two women went downstairs they saw that in fact the police never came, but the intruders were still there. As the Warren court graphically states in the opinion: “For the next fourteen hours the women were held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon each other, and made to submit to the sexual demands of their attackers.”

The three women sued the District of Columbia for failing to protect them, but D.C.’s highest court exonerated the District and its police, saying that it is a “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.” [4] There are many similar cases with results to the same effect. [5]

Ah, but you say, that is the District of Columbia. It’s not a state but a federal enclave. It’s different for states.

Sorry, but you’re wrong. Here’s another case that originated in Colorado. It had the same result as did Warren v. DC.

 

7/15/05 SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES No. 04-278 TOWN OF CASTLE ROCK, COLORADO, PETITIONER v. JESSICA GONZALES, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT BEST FRIEND OF HER DECEASED MINOR CHILDREN, REBECCA GONZALES, KATHERYN GONZALES, AND LESLIE GONZALES .

 

On June 27, in the case of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the Supreme Court found that Jessica Gonzales did not have a constitutional right to individual police protection even in the presence of a restraining order. Mrs. Gonzales’ husband with a track record of violence, stabbing Mrs. Gonzales to death, Mrs. Gonzales’ family could not get the Supreme Court to change their unanimous decision for one’s individual protection.

Justice Scalia wrote the opinion of this decision. He said:

The horrible facts of this case are contained in the complaint that respondent Jessica Gonzales filed in Federal District Court. (Because the case comes to us on appeal from a dismissal of the complaint, we assume its allegations are true. See Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 508, n. 1 (2002).) Respondent alleges that petitioner, the town of Castle Rock, Colorado, violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution when its police officers, acting pursuant to official policy or custom, failed to respond properly to her repeated reports that her estranged husband was violating the terms of a restraining order.1

 We conclude, therefore, that respondent did not, for purposes of the Due Process Clause, have a property interest in police enforcement of the restraining order against her husband. It is accordingly unnecessary to address the Court of Appeals’ determination (366 F.3d, at 1110—1117) that the town’s custom or policy prevented the police from giving her due process when they deprived her of that alleged interest. See American Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40, 61 (1999).14

Read more on this decision here.

This Colorado decision is somewhat unique because of the implied versus actual protected provided by the restraining order. The implied protection was valueless if the enforcing agency did not respond which the Castle Rock police failed to do in this case. In other words, the actual value of the restraining order was nullified by the inability or willful inaction of the police to enforce the order. In other words, a piece of paper, the restraining order in this case, provided no protection against an aggressor with a knife.

There has been another case, DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services that pertains to minors in custodial care. In this case the Department of Social Services failed to respond to complaints of parental abuse against a dependent minor child. The beatings were reported to the Department of Social Services who refused to intervene. The issue came to a head when the father continued beating the child finally causing severe brain damage and retardation.

The Court’s decision can be summarized in this short segment.

A State’s failure to protect an individual against private violence generally does not constitute a violation of the Due Process Clause, because the Clause imposes no duty on the State to provide members of the general public with adequate protective services. — Cornell School of Law

The critical component of all these decisions is that the state, whether it be Federal, local municipality, or a state government has no obligation to protect any individual. In fact, government has no obligation to come to the aid of any individual for any reason. Since this has been proven true in the Courts all the way to the US Supreme Court, who does have that responsibility to protect the individual? No one…except that particular individual who must protect himself.

If the government has no obligation to protect individuals from harm by others, then that same government cannot prevent any individual from acquiring the means for the individual to protect themselves from any person or agency.

That is the real purpose for the Second Amendment.

 

 

Refocus

Was there anything positive happening this week? Many would say no but I’m seeing a glimmer that could be fruitful for our future. If nothing else, Obama has helped refocus the “Red State” base with his attack on the 2nd Amendment.

First was the farce of Biden’s committee and the resulting attack on the NRA. That should not have surprised us. Nothing else could have occurred. Then NY Governor Cuomo seized an opportunity to ram through legislation so quickly that most of the NY Legislators never had a chance to read the bill. The result? It effectively banned the “high-capacity” rifle and pistol magazines used by the state’s police and law enforcement agencies.

Then when Obama proposed more gun bans, what happened? Opposition. Not from the ‘Pub establishment but from the nation’s grassroots—county Sheriffs.

I don’t know the number of Sheriffs who wrote to the White House expressing opposition and their implied refusal to allow enforcement of any attempts to seize citizens’ arms. Cass County (MO) Sheriff Dwight Diehl promised, “I have made public statements that if the Second Amendment were to be compromised to the point that our individual rights to own or possess a firearm were taken away, I would deputize every law abiding gun owner in my county.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry has joined the opposition with this statement.

Perry’s response [to Obama’s gun-control proposals] echoed portions of National Rifle Association executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre’s argument –– he partly blamed the horrific mass shootings on a culture that partakes in violent entertainment. 

“There is evil prowling in the world –– it shows up in our movies, video games and online fascinations, and finds its way into vulnerable hearts and minds,” Perry wrote. 

Perry’s strongly worded response [to Obama’s gun control proposals] comes just a day after Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott launched an ad campaign inviting New Yorkers to move to Texas to avoid gun regulations enacted there earlier this week.  

The ads, which target users in the New York and Albany area, link to a Facebook application that tout, among other things, the state’s lack of income tax –– “we’ll fight like hell to protect your rights” and “you’ll also get to keep more of what you earn and use some of that extra money to buy more ammo,” it says. — WFAA

Even Harry Reid, listening to his gun-owning constituents for a change, told Obama he didn’t have enough democrat support (meaning Reid?) to get passage of any new gun-control legislation through the Senate. Another positive effect was to increase the membership of the NRA by 250,000 in a sudden surge of support for the NRA.

If these pro-gun trends continue, we should see a re-supply of high capacity magazines whose stock is currently exhausted, and increased availability of AR and other semiautomatic rifles, such as the AK variants on the market. Those magazine and rifle on-hand stocks were exhausted in a rush of panic buying.

But that should not be all. We should take this attempt to break the Constitution as a wake up call. We need more manufacturers of high capacity magazines, more magazine components…tubes, springs, base-plates and followers. We also need more ammunition manufacturers and manufacturers of ammunition components such as primers, brass, bullets and powder. Finally, we need more small weapons manufacturers. We need to disperse the manufacture, supply, distribution of weapons and ammunition to insure continued supply and availability in the event of future unconstitutional acts.

Not only must we resist any future anti-constitutional acts, we must also insure we have and continue to have the means to resist. We must insure we’re never again in a position where the Feds have the means to limit or control our access to weapons and ammunition. This attempt by Obama and the liberals should be a real wake-up call if we’re wise enough to heed it.

Lost…

It will be 40 years  next month since I got out of the Air Force. So many little items have been lost over the years—my insignia, ribbons, uniforms. I think my old field jacket lasted longest until I “outgrew” it.

My boots were the first to be lost. I was one of a lucky few who were issued jump boots instead of the usual lace-up 12″ boots. I remember looking for them when a deep snow fell a few years after leaving the Air Force. We had moved at least once, maybe twice at that point. The boots were well broken in. Perhaps I should have worn them more often. If so, maybe they would never have been lost. I have no idea whatever happened to them.

AirForceUniform-1970-1The Air Force numbered their uniforms. When I first entered, the 1505 tan uniform was universal for summer wear. The blue uniform was darker, shade 1545. We were called bus drivers due to the similarity with the Greyhound bus uniform.

(I’m not in either of the photos in this post. They are just examples of the uniforms.)

There were optional items and alternatives available through the local BX and the local sales store; a light-weight 1545 dark blue short jacket, or a dark-blue 1545 long sleeved shirt that could be substituted for the usual long blue winter tunic.

USAF_Uniform-2A few years later, the 1505 tan summer uniform was replaced by light-weight/tropical weight dark blue worsted trousers and light blue short-sleeved shirt. No one grieved at the loss of the cotton 1505s. They were a pain. Both the shirt and trousers had to be heavily starched and wrinkled within a few minutes of being worn. It wasn’t uncommon at some bases to require a change of uniforms several times a day because the 1505s would not remain fresh. The new blue summer uniform was a mixture of wool and synthetic material and much easier to keep fresh-looking. It wore well although being a bit warmer than the 1505s.

I’m not sure how many iterations of uniform changes have occurred in forty years. Several without a doubt. I owned some “tailored” fatigue uniforms including some unauthorized short sleeved fatigues. Mine were solid green. The camo versions were for South-east Asia locations only. Now the digital camo is in vogue even for the Navy! (Why is camo needed aboard ship!?)

So many changes.

It’s been a long time. I’m going to look to see if I can find my dog tags once again.

The Wednesday Report

There are a number of items appearing on the [internet] wire this morning. First came this piece—feudalism and a heredity aristocracy has returned to America. Hereditary succession has been in place in many areas already—just look at the Kennedy and Bush families. That hereditary line of succession can be found in other families across the country.

It should be no surprise that hereditary succession occurs in other areas…like unions.

For union leadership jobs, it pays well to have family ties

By Luke Rosiak – The Washington Times, Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Labor unions are dedicated to ensuring every worker an equal voice, but it helps to have the right last name.

For the Laborers Local 1015 in Canton, Ohio, that name is Mayle. Fourteen staffers and officers oversee $1.7 million in assets for 685 members, but five of them, including the treasurer, auditor and business manager, belong to the Mayle clan.

At Kentucky’s Laborers 1445, five of 17 officials are named Oney. They are business manager Johnny W., who makes $80,000; Johnny N., who makes $61,000; auditor Roger, treasurer Mitchell, and secretary Rhonda.

“Johnny N. is the field rep, he’s my son. When it comes to hiring him, I make my recommendations and the executive board does what they want to do,” the business manager said. His brother Roger is auditor, and Mitchell Oney, until two years ago, sat on the executive board as treasurer. Rhonda Oney, who “sleeps with my brother,” Mr. Oney joked, answers phones.

Teamsters 710 of Mokena, Ill., pays its treasurer, Patrick W. Flynn, $435,000 a year, but that wasn’t enough. Both his son and daughter have taken jobs at the union. President Michael Sweeney brought on his sister Maureen at a $60,000 salary, while trustee James Dawes, who received a $215,000 bonus, brought on his daughter for $45,000, tax records show.

These cozy relationships are even worse among labor’s elites in the marble palaces of Washington’s national headquarters.

“It’s becoming impossible to find anyone at the Laborers’ International Union who has ever actually worked the trade beyond a summer or two while they attended the Harvard Labor College,” said a longtime national official within the Laborers’ International Union of North America who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation.

“How can you represent working men and women when you’ve never had to really work a day in your life as a construction laborer? These sons and grandsons of laborers have never suffered through a long layoff, or seared in the heat of the day, or frozen in the cold of a winter outside on a job site.”

A complex network of pension and other funds spans the family’s tentacles through every branch of the union and provides ample opportunity to boost salaries far beyond what is evident in the payrolls of the union’s main offices.

Michael A. Sabitoni Jr., for example, is president of the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council, and is also chairman of the Rhode Island Laborers’ Pension Fund, the Rhode Island Laborers’ Health and Welfare Fund and the Rhode Island Laborers’ Annuity Fund.

He is also trustee of the New England Laborers’ Training Trust Fund, the New England Laborers’ Labor-Management Cooperation Trust and the New England Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund.

The column continues further but the point is made. A small group of hereditary “lords” control the unions and also have a somewhat incestuous relationship with other unions, pension funds and foundations. The rank-and-file union members, excluded from the aristocracy, are the new peasantry.  Union lords are just like a mafia family without an ethnic requirement.

***

Do you remember Ken Salazar? He’s the “former” Interior Secretary who ignored not one but two Federal Court orders to open the Gulf for oil and gas drilling. For his blind loyalty to Obama, he’s being booted out of the Cabinet.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar resigning from Obama administration

January 16, 2013 | 6:40 am | Modified: January 16, 2013 at 7:15 am

It looks like President Obama’s cabinet reshuffling is not finished.

According to the Denver Post, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will step down from his position and return to Colorado.

Salazar  joins outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, and Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is reportedly “widely expected to step down” but has not announced his plans.

President Obama’s Secretary of Commerce, John Bryson, resigned from his position after reportedly suffering a seizure and hitting two cars while driving in California. Rebecca Blank has been the acting secretary since Bryson stepped down.

On that last, the so-called seizure was accompanied with a strong odor of alcohol. For the other fools cabinet members, is it a case of rats leaving a sinking ship or it is like useful fools, they’ve exhausted their value? That question doesn’t matter really. We know who Obama wants for some of their replacements and his choices are worse than the fools who are leaving.

***

A popular Pastor from a large Atlanta church was “disinvited” to give the benediction at Obama’s Inauguration.

CROUSE: Obama committee’s slap in the face of religious liberty

Pastor’s withdrawal sets disturbing precedent for second term

Mugshot

Rev. Louis Giglio/ Associated Press, By Janice Shaw Crouse

Last week, the Rev. Louie Giglio, pastor of Atlanta’s Passion City Church, was pressured to withdraw from giving the benediction at President Obama’s second inaugural ceremony. A liberal watchdog group uncovered a two-decades-old sermon in which Mr. Giglio preached a biblically-based message that homosexuality, like other sins, required repentance — and that, as with other sins, the power of Jesus Christ offered both healing and restoration, grace and mercy to the repentant. As theologian Al Mohler expressed so well on his blog, Mr. Giglio’s ministry is based on “undiluted biblical truth,” and his preaching on homosexuality has been “the consensus of the Church for more than 2,000 years, and is the firm belief held by the vast majority of Christians around the world today.”

By disinviting the clergyman announced as the choice for giving the second inaugural benediction, the inaugural committee established a beachhead of moral rebellion that prohibits the presence of representatives of Christian doctrine in the public square of America. This doctrine has been held by churches, ministers and priests across centuries and cultures. The controversy is not over the expression of those doctrines, but over the mere participation of clergy who hold to those long-established tenets of the faith — beliefs that are grounded in Scripture and in all established religions.

This really shouldn’t be a surprise to us bible-toting, gun-owning, rebels who will not sign on to Obama’s agenda. We’re his enemy.

Another step closer

250px-Gadsden_flag.svgThe big news today is Obama’s threat to use Executive Orders to create more gun [control] regulations.

The executive actions could include giving the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authority to conduct national research on guns, more aggressive enforcement of existing gun laws and pushing for wider sharing of existing gun databases among federal and state agencies, members of Congress in the meeting said. — The Politico

It’s alarming that one of the changes is to merge state and federal databases (like NICS?) into a consolidated one (registry) of firearms and owners. Exactly the type of registration that the NICS database is forbidden to do by law. At one time, Missouri Sheriff’s had source documents, the old Pistol Purchase Permits. Those documents could, at that time, be used to create such a database of pistol owners. Those pistol permits were abolished when CCW was passed a number of years ago and no longer exists.

What such an Executive Order would do is to attempt to ignore existing federal law and create a national firearms registry through the back door. NICS is “supposed” to purge their data of who is buying a firearm. As I understand it, the call to NICS is just to determine if the buyer—not what he/she is buying, has a criminal record and therefore not allowed by law to buy a firearm.

There has been instances where information has been leaked that the FBI failed to follow the law and purge that buyers list from the database.

The FBI’s NICS E-Check system is capable of accurately tracking and reporting on usage as each case is assigned a unique control number and is associated with a specific user identification number.45 In a conference call between the OIG Inspection Team, NLC staff, and the FBI’s NICS Section, a manager at the NICS Section told the OIG that the NICS data are complete and accurate because, “It’s the system that did the checks and nothing has been purged.” — OIG Report on BATFE use of NICS.

There was a suit that extended the retention of buyer data to six months contrary to the intent and actual language of the law. The court decision was not based on law nor precedent but on an administrative need by the government.

The question then evolves to this. Can Obama force the creation of a national database of gunowners and weapons without violating existing federal law? The government may, in its bowels, have information on weapons from manufacturers, distributors and FFLs. But, without access to individual 4473 forms, NICS is the only existing federal database that has any buyer data. If the BATFE attempts to seize 4473 records from FFL, that is also illegal and we would soon learn of any such attempt.

So what is this announcement of 19 new Executive Orders to “tighten” gun control all about? A real attempt to violate federal law, to infringe on the Constitution right to own and bear arms in violation of the 2nd Amendment? Or, is it just another push, another nudge limiting our basic liberties, hoping the ‘Pubs won’t push back. A plan of incremental tyranny?

Someone asked me last Thanksgiving where our country stood at this time. My response, “The same as the nation was in January, 1860.” My estimate of the date way have been premature. Lincoln was elected in November, 1860. His announcement of sweeping reforms that affected the South pushed South Carolina into secession in December 1860.

Obama was re-elected in November 2012. He has now announced sweeping “reforms” affecting our liberty, economic stability, infringing on our 2nd Amendment rights, and failing to support and defend the Constitution. Examining the parallels between then and now, is our nation at the December, 1860 threshold? Sean Hannity thinks we may.

What would you…really do?

Banning semi-automatic weapons is all the vogue in today’s liberal media. It’s been tried in various forms around the world.  The most famous and touted example is Australia. That government, in a fit of insanity after a shooting in Tasmania, banned semi-automatic weapons.  Many dutifully turned in their weapons.  Many, including criminals, did not. A study revealed that the weapons ban had no effect on the homicide rate.

California tried to ban “assault” weapons.  First they mandated registration with confiscation for those who didn’t register. When the compliance was low, they threatened to seize the weapons of those who did comply with the law. Fortunately, it was all talk. I’ve not heard of any actual confiscations. But, there aren’t any new sales of so-called “assualt” weapons in California except individually, private sales which are also illegal for “assault” weapons in California.

Was the ban effective in California? No. There are still semi-automatic rifle in the possession of many, many Californians. The ban did reduce the spread of those rifles, legally. However, the black market thrives.

But, what about registration?  Canada has it.

Well, yes, Canada had it Not anymore.

It started in 1995. It ended in 2012. It lasted 17 years, cost multiples of millions of dollars, was corrupt in its administration, weakened by fraud and mismanagement and in the end, it did nothing.

There were numerous promises to expand it, others to eliminate it. The history was littered with non-compliance. Fees were levied initially to register weapons. The program had a history of false reporting, corruption, misuse and misdirection of fees and funds. A registration amnesty was granted to allow registration without fees. That had low compliance as well. The cost-overruns continually made headlines in Canada and the purpose of the program—reducing criminal and homicide rates could not be met. You can find the history of Canada’s registration program through 2011 here.

On October 25, 2011, the government introduced Bill C-19, legislation to scrap the Canadian Firearms Registry.[3] The bill would repeal the requirement to register non-restricted firearms (long-guns) and mandate the destruction of all records pertaining to the registration of long-guns currently contained in the Canadian Firearms Registry and under the control of the chief firearms officers.[3] The bill passed second reading in the House of Commons (156 to 123).[36] On February 15, 2012 Bill C-19 was passed in the House of Commons (159 to 130) with support from the Conservatives and two NDP MPs. On April 4, 2012 Bill C-19 passed third reading in the Senate by a vote of 50-27 and received royal assent from the Governor General on April 5.[37]

Upon passage of Bill C-19, the Province of Quebec moved for a motion to prevent the destruction of the records. A temporary injunction was granted on April 5, 2012 which will leave enough time for proper legal arguments to be heard.[5]Wiki

Canada ended their registration program on November 5, 2012. The experiment failed. After millions wasted on the development of the registry, it never really worked. Despite of the claims from the RMCP, there was not a single instance that the registry ever prevented a single crime nor helped to resolve a single crime or criminal act. It was a complete failure. One estimate said that 2/3rds of Canadian gun-owners, especially in western Canada, never registered their weapons.

If a semi-automatic weapons ban is ordered here in the U.S., what would happen? Most likely massive non-compliance like that in Australia and in Canada.

What about a ban on “large capacity” magazines? It’s shockingly easy to make large capacity magazines. With a source for magazine springs, any sheet metal fabrication shop could make the bodies. It’s easy to make the magazine base-plate and to mold magazine followers.

I doubt few would obey an order to turn in their ARs, AKs, other semi-auto rifles, pistols and shotguns. It would be very difficult, next to impossible, if firearm dealers mislaid, lost, or destroyed their sales records.

It is the BATFE form 4473 that links a particular weapon to an individual. Those records are retained by the FFL, the firearms dealer. The 4473s are “supposed” to be turned in to the BATFE if the dealer goes out of business.

There has been attempts by the BATFE to copy the books of some FFLs in Alaska illegally. The dealers refused to comply. If a ban occurs, would FFLs comply with a law that has effectively put them out of business?  Maybe. Maybe not.

The reality is that the federal government doesn’t really know who has what. Except for a few states, there is no registration in the US. A weapons ban would be ineffective. All it would do would be to create a massive class of new “criminals.”

A probable outcome would be the creation of a black market of weapons; expensive ones at that. Locally, enforcement of a confiscation or registration law would be ignored resulting in a “you don’t bother me, I’ll not bother you” attitude. Wyoming has drafted a law preventing the enforcement of any such federal law.

The feds, however, will try to enforce the law, probably using their usual no-knock entry in the middle of the night, with some CCW holder. It won’t take long until someone is killed. What happens then?

What would you do? Comply? Turn in your weapons? Or, ignore any such law and become a criminal in the eyes of the Feds? The liberals already consider you as such.