Archive for the ‘Tyranny’ Category

Via AEI, a study from the Arab Center for Research and Policy studies:

ISIS poll syria 1511

…a disturbing subset of 13% of Syrian refugees say their view of ISIS is “positive” or “positive to some extent.”

Yeah, I’d say that’s disturbing.  That’s 1 out of 8 admitting they have a positive view of ISIS.  I’d wonder what the actual numbers are, because the poll may well be tainted by skepticism of the pollster.  Saying “yes, I like ISIS” to a pollster you don’t know could be an easy way to get your house hit by a drone strike, so I suspect the numbers are probably lower than reality.

On the other hand, an important nuance of this is that there may also be some in the “positive to some extent” category who hate Assad more than they do ISIS, or who loathe Sykes-Picot and the effects of it enough that they don’t mind ISIS breaking down borders.  They could also be the kind of people who think that ISIS is justified in their terrorist attacks, like US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Either way, 1 out of 8 admitting to positive views of the Islamic State should be a warning to any nation opposed to the Islamic State that it’s unwise to bring in swarms of Syrian refugees.

That’s yet another example of why so many people in the US are opposed to importing Syrian “refugees”.

The Democrats have taken this opportunity to use it to push their favorite agenda – disarming the American people.

Via HotAir:

It looks like Senate Democrats are going to try to attach a new gun law onto the Republican bill trying to do more oversight on Syrian refugee entry into the U.S. Washington Examinerreports Democrats may try to slip that in the refugee bill next week.

The Senate could take up the House-passed refugee bill as early as the week of Nov. 30. At that point, Democrats will likely try to attach the gun control provision as an amendment, although it will be up to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to decide whether he’ll allow it.

Of course.  They never stop.

The Democrat idea is that anyone on the no-fly list or terror watch list should be disallowed from owning a gun.  Which sounds great, until you consider that it’s depriving someone of their Constitutional rights with no recourse, no trial, no conviction, and no knowledge of what’s happened or why.

The idea sounds reasonable enough until you dig into the details and realize that the proposed Democratic legislation is a shocking assault on the constitutional right to due process. What makes the proposal even worse is that the Democrats’ assault on due process isn’t necessary to accomplish what they say is their only goal: preventing “dangerous terrorists” from legally purchasing or possessing a firearm.

You don’t get told you’re on the list and if you’re a person of normal means you can’t get off the list.

Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy was put on the no-fly list in 2004 and it took him a month to get off the list – and that’s as one of the most connected, influential people in the US at the time.

U.S. Sen. Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy said yesterday that he was stopped and questioned at airports on the East Coast five times in March because his name appeared on the government’s secret “no-fly” list. …

“That a clerical error could lend one of the most powerful people in Washington to the list — it makes one wonder just how many others who are not terrorists are on the list,” said Reginald T. Shuford, senior ACLU counsel. “Someone of Senator Kennedy’s stature can simply call a friend to have his name removed but a regular American citizen does not have that ability. He had to call three times himself.”

A Kennedy aide said the senator nearly missed a couple of flights because of the delays. After the first few incidents, his staff called the Transportation Security Administration, which maintains the no-fly list. But even after those discussions about getting his name removed, the senator was stopped again, according to Kennedy spokesman David Smith. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge finally called to apologize about the mix-up, and the delays stopped in early April, Smith said.

“If his name got on the list in error, is that happening to other citizens and are they experiencing such difficulty in resolving the problem?” Smith said.

Good luck to the average citizen if they find the secret system has secretly chosen them for targeting:

Under the Democrats’ proposal, the government doesn’t have to tell you why your name is on the list. The proposed law allows the government to keep that information secret. And if you decide to take the government to court over it, the Democrats’ bill creates a brand new legal standard that tilts the scales of justice against you.

Unlike a standard criminal trial, in which a jury must decide beyond a reasonable doubt whether you have violated a criminal law, under this proposed law the government must only show a preponderance of evidence–evidence which will almost certainly be redacted–in order to strip you of your Second Amendment right to defend yourself and your family from terrorists…

This is an issue where the Democrats can scream that anyone opposed to their “common sense gun control” scheme is supporting terrorism, when really we’re just opposed to the idea of a totally unaccountable secret government system that disarms the citizenry with no recourse… which is exactly what they’re asking for.

And of course, as is pointed out at the Federalist, the government could already stop terrorists from buying firearms legally:

All the attorney general has to do to prevent “dangerous terrorists” from legally purchasing firearms is to indict them. That’s it. Charge these terrorists with terrorism, and their legal right to purchase firearms goes up in smoke. That’s because existing federal law states that anyone who’s been indicted for any crime that carries a prison sentence of more than one year–and felony indictment for conspiracy to commit terrorist certainly satisfies that standard–automatically becomes ineligible to purchase or possess a firearm.

But this isn’t about going after terrorists (as one example, otherwise the Tsarnaev brothers would’ve been kicked out of the country after Russia warned us about them being terrorists), this is about going after you.

Climate scientists have discovered a new stage in the scientific method.

1. Make observation
2. Ask a question
3. Develop hypothesis
4. Conduct experiment to test hypothesis
5. Observe results
6. Conclusions
7. Go back to step 5 and adjust data until you get the answers you want
8. Use government authority to prosecute anyone who questions your conclusions and demands

Scientists from several universities and research centers even asked Obama to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to prosecute groups that “have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

If the conclusions were so self-evident, it wouldn’t be necessary to go after dissenters.  There are anti-vaccination advocates throughout Hollywood and the “crunchy” parent circles, something which easily and simply does cause real, immediate harm by rendering the population more susceptible to diseases (one quick example).  No one goes after them… but of course the point isn’t science for the global warmers, the point is internationalist redistribution of wealth and resources – watermelon environmentalism.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.S. government says it will begin using the term “sexual rights” in discussions of human rights and global development.

Not really sure I have much on that one.  I’m sure it will turn into more lectures to Kenyans about how they should run their country.

“On one level, it’s symbolic. It also sends a signal to the global community that sexual and reproductive health and rights are a part of the global development agenda,” Serra Sippel, the center’s president, told The Associated Press. She said it follows “huge strides” made under the Obama administration on LGBT issues.

Yup, now instead of LGBT people in Iraq and Syria hanging out in the closet, they’re being thrown off of roofs.  Real improvement.

Speaking at a meeting of the U.N. women’s agency Tuesday, Richard Erdman, a deputy U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said the United States would use the term “sexual rights” for those that are not legally binding.

“Sexual rights are not human rights, and they are not enshrined in international human rights law; our use of this term does not reflect a view that they are part of customary international law,” he said. “It is, however, a critical expression of our support for the rights and dignity of all individuals regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

Nevertheless, Sippel described the U.S. decision as “the United States catching up with the rest of the world.”

Not legally binding, not considered human rights, but it’s an expression of support that will agitate a lot of the rest of the world – a lot of the world that the US is not “catching up with” – because most of the world is not very LGBT friendly.  Yay for the SJW finger-wagging.  It will grate on allies and will not make a whit of difference to enemies.

If the objective was to protect the lives of LGBT people in other nations because it were legally binding – say, pushing for nations to not execute gays just because they’re gay – that’d be something else.  Or maybe even a demand to just start with not executing women suspected of adultery, or executing rape victims as adulteresses – those would all be initiatives easy to support  It would be a movement of support for human life.  This is just a slow cultural leftist push designed to devalue traditional structures in other nations, to the point that maybe those pushing for it don’t know what the activists are really having them push for.

Rights don’t come from a UN declaration, either, but that’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the statist mind.

And finally, via ZeroHedge – irony…

orwell irony

It’s interesting to watch the left try to figure this out.  Over at Daily Beast, there’s a somewhat bizarre piece about the prosecutor and the legality of Freddie Gray’s knife.

The weapon police described is definitely illegal—so why did Marilyn Mosby say it wasn’t? The answer hinges on a single spring.

So the man goes to jail or goes free, lives or dies, according to whether or not his knife has a spring in it?

Larry Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, believes Gray’s knife could make or break Mosby’s case.

“I think it makes a lot of difference if the arrest was legal,” Kobilinsky said. “If they took him into custody and had reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed, then they acted reasonably in restraining him and taking him to jail.”

Furthermore, by saying the arrest was illegal, Mosby has made the case to the public that cops should have never begun what ended with Gray’s death. Cops surely had no right to kill Freddie Gray, but they may have had the right to arrest him. All of that—and what happens next in Baltimore—may now hinge on a single spring.

Freddie Gray had a substantial criminal history, and running when you see the police is something that may draw police attention, but he was arrested and ultimately ended up dead – whether due to trying to injure himself in the back of the police van in order to serve time in a hospital rather than jail, or malfeasance or murder on the cops part – because of a cutting tool that’s been around for thousands of years.

It’s a knife.  Who cares how it opens?

(Also a minor note in the Daily Beast piece – cops do not have a “right” to arrest.  They have an authority to arrest.  A right is intrinsic, God-given or nature-given, and inherent to free men, an authority is derived from the state’s power.)

From KnifeRights:

While it is theoretically possible that without the presence of a knife in his pocket, Gray might have been arrested on some other trumped-up charge, it is clear that the presence of a knife was used as the actual basis for the arrest, and the practice has unfortunately become a common one.

Thousands of law-abiding citizens are regularly harassed and arrested for nothing more than carrying this basic tool, and that is unacceptable. Knife Rights is committed to forging a Sharper Future by passing knife law preemption and removing all restrictions on the lawful carry of knives. Those who misuse any tool (knife or otherwise) in the commission of a crime should be severely punished, but law-abiding citizens who possess knives should be left alone.

If Freddie Gray was out on his streetcorner dealing drugs (and discussion of repeal of drug prohibition is another question), then why wasn’t he arrested for that?  If he was out conspiring with other known criminals to conduct some crime, why wasn’t he arrested for conspiracy for that attempted crime?

When the arrest is “he had an illegal knife”… I’d be curious to know why that knife was illegal?  Also, with the thousands of incomprehensible laws on the books making mens rea for any crime a real stretch, did he know that knife was illegal?

And how is a ban on a sharp piece of metal Constitutional?  And how is a conviction for carrying a sharp piece of metal ever upheld as Constitutional?

Knife laws are often even worse than gun laws, because people just know to avoid certain states when it comes to guns.  People don’t know that some municipality decided to ban carrying of a pocketknife because some pants-wetting progressive statist in the 1950s saw “West Side Story” and decided they needed a way to arrest those ethnic hoodlums.

The left does want to see everyone defenseless, and would agree with draconian Sword Hunts in order to render people defenseless, but for those people who don’t believe in being dominated by an all-powerful state, why would you want anyone chased down, arrested, sent to prison or possibly killed because they have a sharp piece of metal in their pocket that opens with a spring?

Why is Freddie Gray dead over something that’s legal in so many other states?

And why is the left so infuriated over an arrest for knife control laws they support and the resulting death in police custody in a leftist state that has the kinds of leftist knife (and gun) control laws they want to inflict on everyone?  They got the government they wanted to make.  They got the knife from his cold dead hands.

As an addendum, there are a handful of people who are coming around to seeing that the roots and the effects of knife control laws are racist (just like gun control laws).  Despite the story being from inherently biased Bloomberg:

“I don’t see knives posing that big of a danger to the public,” Representative Harold Dutton Jr., who sponsored the bill, said in an interview. “Now that we’re going to let everybody have a gun, I think we ought to set knives free.”

Dutton, a black Democrat from Houston, sees knife laws as a threat to civil rights.

“It is another one of those things that helps establish probable cause for a policeman to stop you,” he said.

Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old Baltimore man whose April death in police custody ignited riots, was arrested after police said they noticed a knife inside his pants.

Guns or knives in this case are just the same – they’re tools and also individual arms for any uses that don’t infringe on someone else’s life, rights, property or person.  Frankly it’s insane that the state’s enforcers could send you to prison for decades for the “crime” of owning them, or that you could end up dead in police custody arrested for a knife that might have had a spring in it, and even more insane that there are people who still support and advocate eliminating the rights of the citizenry to own those tools at all.

The argument is frequently heard that “if those weapons exist in people’s hands they will hurt someone”, which is both absurd and as ridiculous as the “if it saves one child’s life” plea for more tyranny.  Regardless of anything else involved in the case and his past history, Freddie Gray is dead because some hand-wringing leftist demanded he be sacrificed for their world where only the police and the state have weapons – the very institutions that killed Freddie Gray.

Lives only matter to the progressive left when it’s convenient – doesn’t matter the gender, age, creed, background or color they are.

From the Washington Examiner:

Legal and illegal immigrants will hit a record high of 51 million in just eight years and eventually account for an astounding 82 percent of all population growth in America, according to new U.S. Census figures.

If it weren’t for the illegal aliens there, that might not be such a big deal.  If it weren’t for the “legal” immigrants who are just illegal aliens with unconstitutional executive actions applied to them, it also might not be such a big deal.  People coming to the US because they want to be Americans and embrace American principles is a good thing… but millions upon millions of them are simply not – and millions upon millions of them are being targeted as political fodder.

They’re being imported as future lifetime Democrat voters.

President Obama’s amnesty by edict has always been about adding new Democrats to the voter rolls, and recent action by the Department of Homeland Security provides further proof. Sources at the Department of Homeland Security report to PJ Media that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is reallocating significant resources away from a computer system — the “Electronic Immigration System” — to sending letters to all 9,000,000 green card holders urging them to naturalize prior to the 2016 election.

This effort is part of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.”

Naturalization plus mobilization is the explicit aim of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.” Multiple sources at DHS confirm that political appointees are prioritizing naturalization ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Empirical voting patterns among immigrants from minority communities demonstrate that these new voters will overwhelmingly vote for Democrat candidates.  If the empirical rates of support for Democrats continued among these newly naturalized minority voters, Democrats could enjoy an electoral net benefit of millions of new voters in the 2016 presidential election.

Other DHS sources report that racial interest groups such as La Raza (translated to “The Race”) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association have been playing a central and influential role in rewriting the administration’s immigration policies — both the public policies as well as internal and largely unseen guidelines.

These aren’t people coming in because they want to be your friends and neighbors.  They’re being recruited as the left seeks to displace Americans in favor of aliens who will blindly support leftist policies.

It is part of their plan.

And lastly:

Once the soil has been prepared, the seedlings will arrive. And the seedlings, according to those planning the changes for your city or town, need to be nurtured and cultivated into healthy communities of their own. They will eventually be fully “integrated,” meaning they are firmly established and able to grow within their host community, eventually overtaking the host.

The plans to transform America through immigration, as spelled out in the new White House report, involves almost every government agency working in tandem with community organizers from immigrant-rights groups like National Council for La Raza and the National Partnership for New Americans. The White House task force is headed by Cecilia Munoz, former top executive with La Raza and now Obama’s top domestic policy adviser.

Top executive with the racist organization “The Race” is now his top policy adviser.  Read it again a few times until it sinks in if you need to.

The report is chock full of programs, goals, plans and strategies to build welcoming “receiving communities” and give immigrants all they need to prosper economically, linguistically and politically.

The document is permeated with Orwellian euphemisms, starting with the title, “Strengthening Communities by Welcoming all Residents,” and continuing with its declaration of the “economic benefits of immigrant and refugee integration.”

Critics argue the plan will do the exact opposite, weakening stable communities by delivering a steady dose of low-skilled immigrants who will place a burden on schools and social services. The new arrivals are likely to be seen working as hotel maids, toiling in meat-packing plants, as cashiers at big-box stores, dishwashers or other low-wage jobs that require food stamps, subsidized housing and other forms of government assistance.

Judicial Watch, the Washington, D.C.-based government watchdog organization, predicted Wednesday that cities and counties will be “strong-armed into participating in this immigrant welcoming effort.”

This is also why there are major fights in the courts about illegal aliens, and why deportations of illegals are halted by the Obama administration.  If you can just get them to stay long enough, you can force integration of communities that simply don’t belong – and then you can argue “we can’t deport them” – and thus fundamental transformation of the voting populace is complete.

Democrats become the power, Republicans never again win any election but regional ones, and mindless illiterate illegals who don’t speak the language will be taken by bus from polling station to polling station until the Democrats win.

Cloward and Piven implodes the nation, Democrats win in perpetuity, redistribution commences, the left applauds itself as it destroys the evil that is America, yay for socialism.

Shaneen Allen, for those who missed her story last year, is a single mom from Pennsylvania who’d been robbed twice and went out to get a concealed carry permit, then made the mistake of going to New Jersey.  She made the further mistake of being pulled over and volunteering that she had her carry pistol with her (which in about 30 other states would’ve been met with a shrug) and thus was arrested and charged with having a gun and ammunition, because the 2nd Amendment is null and void in New Jersey.

shaneen allen pa nj

Now, 8 months later, Chris Christie has given her a pardon.

During that 8 months, she spent 40 days in jail unable to make bail, had to ask for all kinds of help with her kids, lost her job, and was facing felony charges not just for having a gun but for each round of ammunition.  It took 8 months of nationwide support to get a woman who’s practically the poster girl for concealed carry “free”… and meanwhile she had 8 months of her life lost and destroyed due to New Jersey’s tyrannical rule.

There is no right to keep and bear arms in New Jersey.

Chris Christie waited 8 months until her case could be used as a way to skewer him nationally if he decided to make a presidential run.  He has no concern for a good citizen who’s exercising their Constitutional rights, jumping through hoops to do so, and doing so in order to protect self and family, and nor do many of the people of his state.

Just for a reminder on where Chris Christie stands on guns… remember he campaigned on taking away citizens’ rights.


Just think of 8 months of waiting to see if you’ll go to prison as a felon for something that’s legal a few miles away, and legal across almost all of the US.

This was a political pardon.  Good for her that Christie decided to run for president.  Bad for us that he’s deciding to run.  The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed… doesn’t exactly jive with “you will go to prison in NJ for a felony first your gun that’s legal in your state and then for additional felonies for every round of ammunition and yet another felony because bearing arms is wholly illegal in NJ”.

Christie may be useful when he’s facing off against public sector unions, but that’s sort of like saying Stalin was useful when he fought against instead of with the Axis powers for a couple years.

More Jersey Injustice

Posted: February 17, 2015 by ShortTimer in Government, Guns, Second Amendment, Tyranny

Among other places, via HotAir, from NRA News:

Shades of Shaneen Allen’s tribulations in Jersey.

This kind of thing is just a reminder that Chris Christie is not a viable candidate for anything outside of New Jersey.

Two More Gas Tax Opinions

Posted: January 28, 2015 by ShortTimer in Energy, Tax, taxes, Tyranny

The first via The Federalist:

You can understand it only if you understand that in some minds there is a constant imperative for the expansion of government. The only question they ask is whether they can get away with it. When gas prices are low, they think they can, so that is what they advocate.

That summarizes the whole argument for.

The second is Charles Krauthammer’s opinion piece advocating a gas tax, titled “Raise the Gas Tax.  A Lot.

For 32 years I’ve been advocating a major tax on petroleum. I’ve got as much chance this time around as did Don Quixote with windmills. But I shall tilt my lance once more.

The only time you can even think of proposing a gas tax increase is when oil prices are at rock bottom.

32 years of advocating for a tax that no driver wants.  He’s got a much better chance that Don Quixote, because things like the gas tax end up with “bipartisan support” of big government activists on both the left and the right.

The hike should not be 10 cents but $1. And the proceeds should not be spent by, or even entrusted to, the government. They should be immediately and entirely returned to the consumer by means of a cut in the Social Security tax.

And that’s where Krauthammer’s entire idea fails.  “We’ll raise one tax so we can drop another” will never, ever, ever happen.  The first tax will be raised, the second will never go away.

The rest of his math is based on “savings” to an “average driver” that probably makes sense to someone from the east coast or DC who only has to drive a few minutes to work if at all (in Krauthammer’s particular case, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t drive anymore at all).  It’s a massive burden on people who live in geographically larger states.

It’s win-win. Employment taxes are a drag on job creation. Reducing them not only promotes growth but advances fairness, FICA being a regressive tax that hits the middle and working classes far more than the rich.

So “fairness” is to tax the provinces while the capital feasts?  Also, when has the tax system ever been about “fairness”?  If that were the case, we should get rid of all “sin” excise taxes right now, because those are made to modify behavior based on government using force to manipulate the economy.

A $1 gas tax increase would constrain oil consumption in two ways. In the short run, by curbing driving. In the long run, by altering car-buying habits. A return to gas-guzzling land yachts occurs every time gasoline prices plunge. A high gas tax encourages demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Constrained U.S. consumption — combined with already huge increases in U.S. production — would continue to apply enormous downward pressure on oil prices.

A tax is the best way to improve fuel efficiency. Today we do it through rigid regulations, the so-called CAFE standards imposed on carmakers. They are forced to manufacture acres of unsellable cars in order to meet an arbitrary, bureaucratic “fleet” gas-consumption average.

This is nuts. If you simply set a higher price point for gasoline, buyers will do the sorting on their own, choosing fuel efficiency just as they do when the world price is high. The beauty of the tax — as a substitute for a high world price — is that the incentive for fuel efficiency remains…

His FICA argument is nonsense because no tax cut will be passed.

His “altering car-buying habits” argument only works if you accept the basic premise – that people need to be forced to not buy “gas-guzzling land yachts”.

Also, there’s already a tax on buying anything that doesn’t meet an arbitrary, bureaucratic “gas guzzler” gas consumption decision:

Not that welfare recipients would be buying a Shelby.

Krauthammer’s argument is that we need to raise taxes to punish the consumer even more for personal decisions that Krauthammer’s decided are bad decisions.  Yay big government.

And finally, lower consumption reduces pollution and greenhouse gases. The reduction of traditional pollutants, though relatively minor, is an undeniable gain. And even for global warming skeptics, there’s no reason not to welcome a benign measure that induces prudential reductions in CO2 emissions.

Except it’s not a benign measure.  The power to tax is the power to destroy.  This is a tool to force people into what DC wants you to drive, not what you want to drive.  Their reasons hinge on the idea that you need to be coerced into their worldview.

If given the choice between a work truck that gets 12 mpg and one that gets 30 mpg, where all other features are the same, a business or an individual will take the one that gets higher mpg because it already benefits them.  Doesn’t matter if it’s $4/gallon or $2/gallon.  If given the choice between a performace car that gets 15 mpg and one that gets 35 mpg, other factors being the same, they’ll take the one that gets 35.  It still benefits them.

Some DC thug hitting them with yet another tax to tell them what to buy is only a good idea if you’re in favor of the DC thug hitting them with another tax.

Sorry, Chuck, the reason why people oppose it is because they understand it.