The War on
Drugs Civil Rights
Doorknob swabs challenged
A man's home is his castle. To three Utahns, that means their sanctuary extends all the way to their doorknobs.
But they claim police are trespassing by wiping door handles with a cloth that collects traces of illegal drugs.
The men, in separate cases, are challenging the use of test results that allegedly revealed microscopic drug particles on their front doors - information officers used to bolster their requests for search warrants.
To the trio, the high-tech approach is a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches.
What the cops did here is go up to the front doors of these houses, run a swab over the doorknob, and run the swab through a mass spectrometer to look for traces of "suspicious substances." The police didn't have a warrant-they were trying to get enough evidence to get a warrant to go inside the house. And the cops and the prosecutors claim that since the doorknob is outside the house, it's public.
The defense attorney is claiming an "expectation of privacy for the front door, which I think is kind of silly. It is the outside of the house, and can be seen, so it isn't really private. But that doesn't mean that the jack booted thugs can go tromping around on a fishing expedition and run swabs over it. My property starts at the edge of the sidewalk. That means that in order to swab my door, an agent of the state would have to trespass on my property. Once he crosses the property line, said agent better have warrant in hand. Personally, I think this would be a much more persuasive line of argument.
The good news is that in the only existing precedent, a 1999 case from the U.S. Virgin Islands, the judge threw the swab analysis out. And in one of the three Utah cases, the swab results have been thrown out. Judge Ted Stewart wrote that,
"The swab of the outside of the doorknob reveals something about the details of the interior of the home that is unknowable without physical intrusion."
I don't totally agree with this-Judge Stewart seems to be saying that the swab represents an intrusion into the home itself, while I feel that, absent evidence of lawbreaking that is visible to the naked eye from a public vantage point, the police need to have a warrant to cross my property line. My land, not just the buildings on that land, should be safe from intrusion by the State.
sometimes I wonder if the only reason the government doesn't want to legalize drugs is that the drug war gives them an easy way to expand their power at the expense of our rights.
Bush Memo Big Media Conspiracy Theory
Jeremy at Pacetown ponders the Why behind the memos leaked by CBS. He comes up with 5 possibilities. Reason #4, the CBS is being intentionally deceitful, may very well be closest to being correct, but not for the reasons he's thinking.
Most of the blogosphere believes the documents are forgeries, and not very good ones at that, and the
Fifth Column Establishment Media is slowly jioing that opinion. So why would CBS, who actually apparently got the documents from the Kerry campaign, who supposedly received them from an unnamed source, rush forward with a story that is so easily shot full of holes?
I think this commenter at Belmont Club (link via Instapundit): it's a media "denial of service" attack, and it seems to be working. The blogosphere is completely absorbed with the story, gleefully bashing the credibility of CBS, 60 Minutes, and The Dan with an army of Cluebats(TM). Pretty much the only other story receiving any attention, at least on the blogs I read, is the impending death of the Clinton Gun Ban. And now Big Media seems to be joining the feeding frenzy.
The evidence is support of this theory is circustantial, but there's goodly amount of it, and it can be amde to line up right. The history of the campaign has shown that John Kerry does best when he flies under the radar-a Stealth Candidate. The Kerry campaign and the DNC have to know this. It's been over a month since John Kerry answered direct questions from the national media. And accoring the this American Spectator article, which I linke to earlier, it was the Kerry campaign that gave the documents to CBS, whose publication of them spawned the current frenzy. The longer the attention is on anything other than him, the better he does. Every day attention is focused on forged memos is a day that nobody asks about the Winter Soldier hearings, or The New Soldier, or 20 years of not doing much more than showing up (occassionally) in the Senate, and then voting against any bill that funded national defense when he did show up.
Now I've got a whole bunch of questions, but I don't have the time or resources to research any answers. Did the Kerry campaign, if indeed the documents passed through their hands, know they might be forged? If so, did they pass them on to CBS with the intent of causing the current Kerry-obscuring frenzy? Or did they not know, or have doubts, and figure that CBS would actually do some research? Did CBS do research (they now say they did), what were their methods if they did, and what were the results (they say they stand by the authenticity)? If CBS had reason to believe the documents were fake, did they go ahead with the story anyway, and did they a) figure nobody would notice? or b) count on the New Media frenzy to keep the heat off Kerry? Either possibility begs the question: Is CBS' news division, led by The Dan, willing to completely sacrifice their credibility to help John Kerry?
Ken Shram Is Still an Asshat
September 9, 2004
By Ken Schram
SEATTLE - Face it, if the NRA had its way, people would be able to own machine guns.
Damn skippy. Show me where in the Constitution it says I can't have one. In fact, the intent of the Framers when the Second Amendment was written was pretty clear. "Swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American." ---Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, were written by men who had just fought a war to free this nation from the oppressive rule of the most powerful nation on Earth. Through the Second Amendment, they sought to preserve for future generations the abiltity to resist any future tyranny that might arise. Only armed citizens-citizens armed with weapons that are equal to or better than those possessed by the forces of the government-can successfully resist tyranny.
And the more fanatical NRA members would be yammering about how the 2nd Amendment allows it.
The Second Amendment doesn't "allow" citizens to do anything. It stops the government from infringing on citizens' rights.
At the moment however, all the NRA can do is kill an assault weapons ban that a vast majority of Americans think is necessary and worthwhile.
They set realistic goals, in an orderly sequence. Just wait til we get four more years worth of judges on the bench who know how to read the intent of the Framers. Then you'll see some good stuff when some of these gun laws are declared unconstitutional.
In fact, most congressional Republicans and Democrats also believe the weapons ban should be extended, but they're political weasels.
I'll agree that they're weasels. But they're weasels for putting their own personal power ahead of their oath to uphold the Constitution.
They've allowed the NRA to intimidate them into ignoring what the nation needs, in favor of what the NRA wants.
Imagine that: Congress actually listening to a group representing the interests of the estimated 80 million Americans who own guns. By the way, that means 80 million Americans who are eligible to vote, too. Why don't you complain about Congress kowtowing to the AARP, a group that continually demands more money from taxpayers, money which they have no right to demand, and which Congress is not granted the power by the Constitution to give them?
Contrary to popular belief, I support the 2nd Amendment.
No, you support what you think the Second Amendment means. Which is obviously not in sync with the intent of the men who wrote it.
What I don't support is the NRA's iron-fisted labeling of every reasonable effort to curb gun violence as a diabolical plot to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.
Apparently "Shall not be infringed" is too complicated for you then.
By any and all measures, the ban on semi-automatic assault rifles -- along with magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition -- has had a positive impact in the 10 years since it was passed.
Except those measures used by the National Institute of Justice:
We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation's recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence,
and the Centers for Disease Control:
A sweeping federal review of the nation's gun control laws - including mandatory waiting periods and bans on certain weapons - found no proof such measures reduce firearm violence.
But the NRA doesn't care.
The NRA's fantasy is that extending this particular ban would lead to bans on other guns -- "The Boogeyman will getcha" argument.
Fantasy? See: People's Republics of Kalifornia, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Also Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
The NRA has gone from influencing government, to controlling it.
Some say they can live with that.
The NRA has the ability to deliver a large enough group of votes-votes by actual citizens in general elections-that Congress pays attention to them. You don't object when Congress prostrates themselves for the likes of the AARP, NAACP, AFL/CIO, or any other interest group. What makes the NRA so especially evil?
But how many others will die because of it?
Historically, more people have died when they were disarmed by the government than die when they maintain their right to arms. If you need a modern example, just look at Darfur.
Want to share your thoughts with Ken Schram? You can e-mail him at email@example.com
It's Funny How Paranoid They Are
From the American Spectator:
According to one ABC News employee, some reporters believe that the Kerry campaign as well as the DNC were parties in duping CBS, but a smaller segment believe that both the DNC and the Kerry campaign were duped by Karl Rove, who would have engineered the flap to embarrass the opposition.
Emphasis in original. It's amazing how Machiavellian they think Rove is.
Other interesting tidbit I learned: I hadn't known that the Dems were middlemen in the whole document thing, giving them to CBS after they got them from whomever they got them from. Wow.
All Is Well Again
The Hight Road is back up.
More Clinton Conspiracy Theory
I posted my thoughts; this time it's Dick Morris:
Kerry has reached out to a set of advisers who do not, really, even support his candidacy. James Carville and Paul Begala have their primary loyalty to the Clintons who, first and last, want Hillary to run for president in 2008. Generally speaking, it is a good idea in politics to hire only advisers who want you to win.
Carville and Begala, if they act in their own self-interest, as they always do, are rooting for Bush. What better place to do so than from within the Kerry headquarters?
Among Democratic loyalists, they are the kings of maximizing the turnout. But for swing voters, their partisan and populist appeals fall flat. Knowing this, one wonders if Clinton has not sent his operatives forth knowing full well that their best and most earnest advice will be bad and will make Kerry’s defeat, and Hillary’s ultimate candidacy, more likely.
The only problem is, I don't see the Clintons wanting Kerry to go down in flames like Mondale did, which is currently the direction he's heading.
From My Hometown Paper
Pssst...Mr Editor...your bias is showing!
A sorry victory for the NRA
The gun industry has become so adept at making and selling "post-ban" military-style firearms that merely renewing the 1994 federal assault weapons ban would be pointless.
Don't you mean that making legal scary looking firearms is so simple that the ban was pointless in the first place?
Even so, it's pathetic that Congress, afraid to cross the National Rifle Association, will let the current ban expire next week. Pleas from national law enforcement leaders and major-city police chiefs to renew and strengthen the ban went unheeded.
Yes, isn't it awful that Congress pays attention to a mass membership civil rights organization? One that looks out for the interests of an estimated 80 million American voters? And why should Congress listen to the interest of a few thousand political appointees over the interest of 80 million voters? Especially since studies by both the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control found that no reduction in crime or shootings could be attributed to the bans? Even the former head of the Violence Policy Center, a well known anti-gun lobbying group, admits that letting the ban expire will have no effect.
This means that weapons expressly designed to be rapid-fire killing machines will continue to be enthusiastically marketed in America. Target shooters and hunters don't need guns that can fire 30 rounds in a matter of seconds, without reloading.
The obligatory "hunters and target shooters" reference, highlighting the editors' lack of knowledge of the purpose of the Second Amendment. I might not need a gun that can fire 30 rounds quickly without reloading to bag Bambi, but I just might need it when terrorists try to take over a school in America, or when DiFi's minions come to try to take my guns from me.
Another win for the NRA is a defeat for common sense and public safety in America.
Change to read "A small victory for civil rights over hysterical fear-mongering."
No More After This, I Promise...
I'll stop beating this particular dead horse, just two more thwacks...
Publicola summarizes the pistol grip issue. Bottom line: the gun Kerry received has, by the historical definition, a pistol grip.
And, from Stop the Bleating via The Volokh Conspiracy:
It is (with a few exceptions, none of which appear to apply in Kerry's case) unlawful for a non-licensee to transfer (sell, give, whatever) a firearm to another non-licensee who he "knows or has reasonable cause to believe" is not a resident of the state in which the transferor resides. And it is (with a few exceptions, none of which appear to apply in Kerry's case) unlawful for the transferee to possess said firearm, at least in his state of residence.
Readers in West Virginia and Massachussetts are encouraged to call the local ATF offices. Illegal gun transfers must be stopped.
ClintonCare vs Clinton's Care
The most compelling thing about former President Clinton's recent surgery is how well it illustrates the difference between single-payer systems (such as the U.S. would have had if HillaryCare had become law) and the U.S. system. From the NY Post:
The speed with which President Clinton received quadruple bypass surgery provides an important lesson in health-care reform that voters should keep in mind this election season.
Last Thursday, the former president went to Northern Westchester Hospital, near his home in Chappaqua, complaining of chest pain and shortness of breath. As The New York Times reported, "Initial tests showed nothing extraordinary," but doctors asked the former president to return the next morning.
Friday morning, cardiologists performed an angiogram. One reported seeing "multi-vessel coronary artery disease, normal heart function and no heart attack." However, the extent of the blockage in his coronary arteries was severe enough that doctors sent him to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said that when doctors at Columbia-Presbyterian saw the extent of the blockage, "They did advise him to have bypass surgery, and to do it as soon as he could." Columbia-Presbyterian admitted the former president Friday and performed a successful quadruple bypass Monday.
The timeframe is important.
President and Sen. Clinton's greatest health-care legacy is their attempt to pass the Health Security Act in 1994...had America had followed his lead 10 years ago, President Clinton might not have been able to get his diagnosis and surgery appointment so quickly. Instead of waiting overnight for an appointment with a cardiologist, he might have had to wait the 3.4 weeks Canadians do. Instead of waiting three days for quadruple bypass surgery, he might have had to wait more than two weeks.
Of course, this won't change Hillary's mind on the subject.
Badnarik on RKBA
Libertarian Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik has published a piece in Liberty for All laying out his position on the Second Amendment.
First, it is impossible for the Second Amendment to confer a "community right," because communities HAVE no rights. Individuals are real. Communities are abstract concepts. You can have individuals without communities, but you cannot have communities without individuals. Ergo, individuals must come first, and only the individuals that make up a community can have rights.
The Bush administration has likewise held that the Second guarantees an individual right, as did the Fifth Circuit in Emerson, although they didn't word it as strongly. The "communities have no rights" argument can also be used when it comes to things like affirmative action which have their basis on alleged "group rights."
On to a strong conclusion:
I have no doubt that members of the anti-gun crowd would be happy to offer statistical data which appears to contradict the numbers I have just mentioned. Even if they could, their alternate statistics are not enough authority to strip me of my inalienable right to keep and bear arms. My rights are non-negotiable. I don't care if someone else doesn't like it. I don't care if they toss and turn at night, anxiously worried about what I might do with my firearm. My rights are not predicated on whether or not you LIKE what I'm doing.
In other words, just because criminals abuse their right to bear arms does not give the government the power to take that right from me.
More thoughts on SB 1431
Or, why I can't bring myself to vote for any Democrat, even Zell Miller.
SB 1431, and it's companion bill, HR 2038, would not only reauthorize and make permanent the AWB, it would add even more firearms to the list of 'banned' weapons, including, as is noted here, here, and here, just about every semi-auto shotgun ever made. Let's look at the bill's co-sponsors:
Sen Corzine, Jon [NJ] - 7/17/2003 Sen Reed, John F. [RI] - 9/4/2003
Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] - 9/4/2003 Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 9/25/2003
Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] - 10/1/2003 Sen Sarbanes, Paul S. [MD] - 10/1/2003
Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] - 11/21/2003 Sen Schumer, Charles [NY] - 12/9/2003
Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] - 1/28/2004 Sen Durbin, Richard J. [IL] - 2/9/2004
Sen Kennedy, Edward M. [MA] - 2/9/2004 Sen Levin, Carl [MI] - 2/9/2004
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] - 2/23/2004 Sen Dodd, Christopher [CT] - 2/23/2004
Every Senator on that list is a Democrat, and most of them are either party leaders in the Senate or just plain party leaders, like Clinton. Notable by his absence is Senator Tom Daschle, facing a tough re-election fight against John Thune in gun-friendly red state South Dakota. I'm not sure, but I think Daschle voted in favor of DiFi's AWB extension amendment to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
My point is that the Democrat party, and its leaders in particular, all support extending if not expanding the AWB. And any vote for a Democrat candidate is a vote toward giving them the majority in whichever chamber of Congress they're running for. Having the majority in the Senate means someone like Ted Kennedy ends up in the chairman's spot on the Judiciary committee. That's a thought I just can't stand.
OK, It Appears Drudge Was Right
Drudge is reporting that Kerry co-sponsored a bill (SB 1431, which would both expand and make permanent the current AWB) which would have banned the shotgun he received yesterday as a gift.
Delicious as that would have been, it's not true. I'm not a shotie expert, but the gun looks like a standard semi-auto clay pigeon/duck blaster with a 5 round tube.
SB 1431, Section 2:
`(H) A semiautomatic shotgun that has--
`(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
`(ii) a pistol grip;
`(iii) the ability to accept a detachable magazine; or
`(iv) a fixed magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds.
`(I) A shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
`(L) A semiautomatic rifle or shotgun originally designed for military or law enforcement use, or a firearm based on the design of such a firearm, that is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, as determined by the Attorney General. In making the determination, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a firearm procured for use by the United States military or any Federal law enforcement agency is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, and a firearm shall not be determined to be particularly suitable for sporting purposes solely because the firearm is suitable for use in a sporting event.'.
Now, again, I'm not a shottie expert, but to the best of my recollection, most semi-auto shotguns were designed for hunters. Use by military and LEO types is much more recent.
Since the shotgun Kerry is holding is not an evil assault weapon, according to SB 1431, it likewise would not fun afoul of restrictions on the transfer of such weapons proposed in the bill.
Now, the one interesting bit is that Kerry and the folks who gave him the gun may have violated the section of the 1968 GCA prohibiting out of state transfer/acquisition of firearms.
I'm waiting for the ATF to arrest Senator Kerry.
UPDATE: SayUncle and Gunner at No Quarters both have more commentary. Gunner asks the key question: "Would you want the government to define what one [pistol grip] is for us?"
UPDATE 2: InstaPundit has picked up the story, and Drudge has updated, posting "pistol grip" as defined in the bill, SB1431 Sec 2 (b) (42) PISTOL GRIP- The term `pistol grip' means a grip, a thumbhole stock, or any other characteristic that can function as a grip. And by this nebulous definition, the gun pictured does have a pistol grip.
UPDATE 3 According to this ATF FAQ, Kerry's receipt of the shotgun was not legal.
(B2) From whom may an unlicensed person acquire a firearm under the GCA? [Back]
A person may only buy a firearm within the person's own state, except that he or she may buy a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee's premises in any state, provided the sale complies with state laws applicable in the state of sale and the state where the purchaser resides. [18 U. S. C 922( a)( 3) and (5), 922( b)( 3), 27 CFR 178.29]
Nothing in any of the FAQs mentions any exception for gifts. Via The Corner.
Feces Flinging Monkey has more pictures of the aftermath of Beslan. Francis Porretto also has more, in The Butcher's Bill.
Then there's this, from the Sunday Mirror in London:
THE full horror of the Russian school atrocity began to emerge yesterday as traumatised children told horrific tales of stabbed babies and brutal rapes.
It has also emerged that scores of the 323 who died - including many children - had been shot in the back.
While despairing soldiers and rescue workers moved among the growing pile of body bags, it was revealed that an 18-month-old baby had been repeatedly stabbed by a black-clad terrorist who had run out of ammunition.
Other survivors told how screaming teenage girls were dragged into rooms adjoining the gymnasium where they were being held and raped by their Chechen captors who chillingly made a video film of their appalling exploits
Killing children wasn't enough-they shot them in the back. 72 virgins in paradise after 'martyrdom' wasn't enough. They had to rape schoolgirls, and videotape themselves doing it, to show how great their Allah is.
The Islamists are against everything civilized, everything civilized man, whatever religion, has evolved over the last several millenia. The Islamists may be only a small minority of the Islamic world, but the rest of that world does nothing to stop them. Apparently, adherence to Islam gives only the required courage to kill women, children, and innocent civilians, but not the moral courage needed to stop others from doing so. Christendom may have produced monsters such as Adolf Hitler, but it also produced Oskar Schindler and Raul Wallenberg who worked to save Hitler's victims, and men like Churchill and FDR, and the men of the Allied Armies who fought and died to end Hitler's evil. Where are the Wallenbergs, the Churchills, G.I. Joes and Tommies in the Islamic world?
If the so-called moderates of the so-called Religion of Peace refuse to help solve the problem of the sociopaths in their midst, then they themselves are part and parcel to the problem. And they must suffer the same fate as the Islamofascist sociaopaths. Kill them all. Crush them and grind them into the dirt so that they can never hurt us again.
Where Did It Go?
I haven't been able to get on The High Road since Sunday. Anybody out there know what's up?
How Divided Is America?
Kevin at Smallest Minority has an excellent post on the massive division in America, along with links to several others who are tackling the same subject. REad them all. But make sure you've got some time and a comfortable chair first. It takes a while.
W Has Leftists Flustered
A reported for the Scotsman is in California, writing stories on politics in America. His first stop is in San Francisco, where he finds Stephen Schwartz. Bush is apparently so evil that Schwartz can't figure out just what kind of evil Bush is.
[Schwartz]"Because George Bush is the anti-Christ. He’s in cahoots with big business, he’s started a war on a damned lie, and we’re going to crucify him."
[Schwartz again]"There are these, these," he struggles to find the word, "Christians. Mad, mad Christians. And they vote for Bush because they’re just like him."
So, President Bush is just like the "Mad, mad Christians." Which would mean he is a Christian. And yet at the same time, the anti-Christ. It truly amazes me the incredible rabid frenzy the Left manages to work itself into over the President.
Actually, Mr. Schwartz is a rare Leftist who actually has a coherent reason to vote against Bush, something other than irrational Bush-hatred. "Mr Schwartz works for Amtrak, a railway company he believes Mr Bush intends to privatise."
So, he's afraid President Bush and Congress are going to legislate him out of a job. (Oh, he's union, too.) Actually, I hope Congress does cut Amtrak loose to sink or swim on it's own. If there's an actual demand for passenger rail, and money to be made, I'm sure Union Pacific and it's brethren can handle it. But back to my point-even among those who actually have intelligent reasons to oppose President Bush, the irrational hatred is such that they can't think straight.
Must be nice to be able to make your oppponents foam at the mouth simply by existing.
With all the bad news in the last few days-Hurricane Frances, the Islamofascist terrorist massacre in Russia, etc, I think something a bit more upbeat is needed. So, without further ado, I present my Non-Curio & Relic Firearms Wish List. There's a couple of items on the list that are no longer in production, but they can all be purchased and are legal in my home state of Washington (no full autos).
Krebs Kustom KTR-03S Pretty much the ultimate expression of the Kalashnikov design.
Saiga-12/20 shotguns His & Hers set of evil black autoloading shotguns; can be converted at a later date for even more fun evilness.
Ruger 10/22 Because everyone needs one of these
Ruger P512 See above; Synthetic frame version of Ruger's classic .22LR pistol
Olympic Arms PCR-10 10mm AR carbine-great for home defense. Should be available with M-4 stock 14 Sep. Can get a standard AR or CAR upper for more fun later.
Romanian AK clone SAR-1 preferred, but WASR-10s will do. Another His & Hers set of evil black toys.
Browning BAR Lightweight Stalker in .243 Win Because the wife wants to go deer hunting too.
Bulgarian Makarov $150 for a solid reliable carry pistol. Who doesn't want one?
FN Hi-Power Because John Moses Browning designed it. Just can't decide between the 9mm Euroweenie or .40S&W.
Smith & Wesson 1076 Out of production, but 10mm and built like a tank. Selected by the FBI until they decided the 10mm was too much for some girlie-man G-men.
Smith & Wesson 610 6.5" barrel The only revolver on the list, also out of production. Just because it's 10mm.
Super VEPR .308 Because it simply looks too cool to leave off the list.
Armalite AR-180B Because everyone needs a little variety in their poodleshooters.
Marlin 1895G in .45-70 Because I don't have any other leverguns, and the .45-70 is just too dang manly not to have one. Plus, I can shoot elk, moose, and bear in the brush.
If Kimber, SA, or Colt would make a Commander size 10mm, that'd make my list, as would a 10mm CZ (an actual CZ, not Tangfolio). I may just have to add a .45ACP CZ just because anyway.