Saturday, March 31, 2007

Step into my time machine

Last month I posted about a neat book that Lucy brought home (linked via title bar); one that had reproductions of letters and pamphlets in little pouches and pockets, items that could be removed and handled as if transported in time in all their antiquity. The key to the time machine must still work and Lucy brought home yet another “museum in a book”, this one by Mark Essig, “Inventing America – The Life of Benjamin Franklin”.

Anyone who reads my articles knows that National Treasure is on my list of movies that I can watch over and over, the chance to touch history vicariously through the invention of others. Here’s a chance to hold a copy of a Silence Dogood Letter as it appeared in the New England Courant, to wonder which line and which letter holds the next clue to finding the treasure left by the Knights Templars. Would handling an aged copy of Poor Richard’s Almanack complete with water stains or technical drawings for one of Franklin’s many scientific endeavors make your heart race?
Reading about history involves only one of the five senses or having it read to you would add yet another; how much more interesting our link with the past becomes when we involve touch; just step into my time machine and find out.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Evan Sayet Said It

I was catching up on my blog visits last night and ran across a cluster of thirteen short video clips that David over at Third World County posted ( linked via title bar ). I liked one with a cat playing the piano; but then again I’d watch an old Shirley Temple movie over the Matrix.

The one I’m impressed with, the one that might explain more about the Liberal mindset was recorded at the Heritage Foundation. I never heard of Evan Sayet until last night; but he has something worth listening to, “How Modern Liberals Think”. Be prepared to spend 48 minutes; not exactly a short video clip; then go visit Third World County and watch the cat playing the piano.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

God Given Rights - The Heart of the Matter

I posted an article last week regarding the 2nd Amendment as it pertains to gun ownership rights given by God who is the Author of our rights (linked via title bar). One of the interesting things about blogging is having to answer any and all comers in the comment section; sometimes requiring a little soul searching to justify a position taken. I’ve been enjoying such a “tennis match” of opinions for quite some time with Probligo who resides in New Zealand and has a different set of values, at least as far as gun ownership goes. Here is a link to Probligo’s article, “The Joy of …2”

I’ve thought about some of the aspects that are tied with my head strong conviction that government has no business attempting to restrain individuals when such restraints step into the area of God given rights. I’m of a firm belief that there is a huge difference between God given rights and powers granted to government by the governed. That one sentence may summarize what America is in comparison to all the other countries in the world, our founding fathers acknowledged that God given rights must supersede those powers granted to government by the governed. The Declaration of Independence set the tone and the foundation for our nation’s creation and separation from that which had been; the Constitution and Bill of Rights were put in place as reminders of that most important differentiation.

The nerves that run down my right arm and control my pinky and ring fingers are numb and so I’m struggling to type, not being able to feel the keyboard and having to retype as I go along, thank goodness for this being a word processor instead of an old fashioned typewriter or having to jot this with pen and paper; still it’s more than a little annoying not to have a smooth transfer of thoughts. I tried unsuccessfully to find a letter that I wrote many years ago, one that I sent through the chain of command in the Houston Police Department to address an internal issue regarding my belief that the Department had overstepped its authority regarding my off duty time and how I elected to use that time.

A directive had come down from the Chief’s office requiring officers to apply for extra job permits; even for non-police related extra employment which had nothing to do with representing the City, the Department or police work in any way. In other words, the Department wanted to supervise me 24 hours of every day 365 days a year. I had agreed to be an employee working a set number of hours for an agreed upon wage; I had not signed over my God given rights to pursue any otherwise legal endeavor during those hours for which the Department was not paying me. There already existed a very straight forward set of rules and guidelines for officers who wished to secure extra employment in the capacity of police officer; rules governing how many hours could be worked and included were all the rules and regulations which would apply to that officer the same as if he/she were to be working a regular duty shift.

My issue with the Department was that I didn’t have to tell anyone what I did with my off time as long as I wasn’t violating any of the already existing rules of conduct, that it shouldn’t matter if I stayed up all night watching movies, going bowling or making keys for a side income as long as I didn’t represent myself as an employee of the Department working in the capacity of police officer. I was being forced to submit to an authority other than God, in matters which had no relationship with my terms of employment. I eventually lost my bid to have that directive overturned and filled out the required form so that I could obtain a non-police related extra job permit. The reason that I lost was, as the Department’s legal staff cited, because I had not suffered any “harm” by having to ask permission since that permission was granted. Had I refused to request permission the Department could claim insubordination and I would have faced termination and so I really had no choice other than to submit to their intimidation and their demands.

What, if anything, has that got to do with the 2nd Amendment and the God given right to gun ownership? I’ll get to that in a bit; but only after rehashing a similar rift that I have with the State of Texas requiring me to submit to licensing in order that I might continue to pursue a livelihood in the locksmith profession.

I wrote and posted on, “Mandatory Continuing Education in Texas”, and also linked that with my original displeasure, “Business Licenses – Jump for Joy”. Both articles point to the fact that government has implemented laws which violate the principle that individuals obtain their rights from God while government obtains their power from the governed. In both cases the government has implemented secondary bureaucratic organizations which have the power to subject a law abiding citizen to their whims and also have the power to prevent that citizen from conducting an otherwise lawful endeavor. These bureaucratic obstacles were established through legislation; however, they are independent operatives, unrestrained and rather than being responsible to those whom they govern it is nearly the opposite. These tyrants wield considerable power and intimidation in order to obtain compliance; they are fee oriented and confiscatory in nature and they have taken over the once independent locksmith industry. They have ruled how I must advertise, what I must have on my service truck, my letterhead, my business cards and all in the name of protecting “free enterprise”. Pardon me while I put my head in a basket and hurl.

Do you see the pattern which I’ve attempted to expose? In each instance a God given right has been forced to yield to government’s abuse of power, powers which were supposed to be restricted in order to protect the individual have been perverted under the false notion that the government is protecting individuals. Isn’t that something, I mean, the individual’s rights come from God and the individual is responsible to govern himself/herself when dealing with others. We don’t get our rights from government; government is what we need protection from in keeping those individual rights in their proper perspective.

It is not the government’s job to protect us in our individual homes; that is unless you are talking about the broadest sense of the word protection, as in war and keeping the enemy away from our shores. It isn’t the police department’s job to protect each and every individual from the bad guys; sorry to be the one to tell you the facts of life. The police department can catch the bad guys later and present a case in a court of law which would hopefully put the bad guys away in prison; however, those few minutes of impending danger when the bad guys are in direct confrontation with the good law abiding citizen, those moments fall into individual responsibility. If you want to be the one who comes out on top you better figure out a way to defend yourself and your loved ones. Once it’s all over the police will come by, make a report, collect evidence and go after the bad guys.

In taking responsibility for your own life and those around you; it’s not within the government’s powers, those granted to them by the governed, to limit the individual citizen’s ability to defend themselves; to include gun ownership in the home and in public. The false notion has been presented and taken for granted that citizens need to get permission to defend themselves from the bad guys has somehow surpassed logic. I continue to hold to my conviction that we should lump bureaucratic agencies of the government in with the bad guys, those who would take from us our God given rights to property and our lives. The hidden danger of sanctioning any bureaucratic cancer in an otherwise free society will cause the foundations upon which our freedoms exist to crumble away leaving only a memory of our once prized God given rights.

I have entered this article in the next Carnival of Principled Government. I wish to thank Dana over at Principled Discovery for hosting and supplying considerable effort to bring this carnival together.

Friday, March 23, 2007

How to Worry Everyone All at Once

I went to my chiropractor this week after hurting pretty good and they thought I might have a herniated disk as they pushed and pulled my body trying to give me some relief. I had been awakened in the middle of the night with some fairly intense pain and never did get back to sleep. Each time I tried to lay down there was a terrible pain in my right arm all the way down to the fingers. No worries, Wednesday is my regular chiropractor's appointment.

Today I saw a homeopathic doctor, one that Lucy thinks the world of, and he told me I probably had at least one heart attack and maybe more during the week. I’d always heard that one of the symptoms was pain in the left arm; but he told me that a good percentage of folks have pain down the right arm, so much for that warning sign. I mentioned that my pinky and ring finger were numb and that I was sore all the way up to my arm pit. He kept nodding as he pointed to the center of my spine and explained that it wasn’t my back that was hurting, it was my heart and that that’s where the nerves are.

I was treated by some fancy new stuff that looked like it came from a Star Trek show that he used to help fix various problems. I still have to stay in bed for the next three days to let the damaged tissue mend; but it beats the heck out of having to stay in a hospital and put up with the mainstream doc in the box idiots that my HMO has on the payroll.

My parents and my kids are screaming at me for not trusting in the “real doctors” and for going to some kind of “quack”. I actually have more trust in an old fashioned homeopathic healer than I do with the pill pushing knife wielding MD’s. I better not die; at least not any time soon, or boy, will I be in big trouble.

I called to have a couple of priesthood holders from the Church stop by and give me a blessing; but as far as the non believing world goes, I may as well called the local witch doctors to shake a few bones in a cup, spit in the fire and toss a dead cat over the fence. I better get back in bed and get some rest. Lucy said I wouldn’t enjoy blogging with a broken leg; smiling at me with all her worries hidden behind that smile.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Sense of Community

When I was very young I noticed little things that I saw my parents and my grandparents do, things which instilled a sense of community responsibility. I watched my grandfather bend down and pick up a cigarette butt that had been carelessly discarded in the courtyard of their apartment complex. He grumbled about folks who toss cigarette butts on the ground and then he looked at me and taught me the lesson I was supposed to get out of it, “It’s up to the responsible people of the world to do our part.” He then walked with me a few extra steps before depositing it in a trash receptacle, something that even a small child knows how to do.

I mention this because Jennifer, my daughter, noticed that when the trailer trash renters from next door moved out they left their dog to starve in the back yard. The neighbors had never taken care of the property, after all they were renting and had no reason to paint, mend the fence that was falling down or any of the other responsible duties involved in home ownership; they simply left. I suppose they figured that the dog would eventually figure out how to wander off through the broken fence.

Jennifer took the dog in, gave it several baths to make it clean enough for her back yard, fed it and took it to the veterinarian for shots and worming. This is the same dog that Jennifer would complain about barking at all hours; mostly because the dog was being neglected, now it’s her dog. They named it Monte and I’m wondering if they get another will they name it Patton; just a thought.

I was on the phone with my mother; she’d learned about this from Jenn. Mom was overflowing with praise for Jenn taking on the responsibility and this “sense of community”. Mom reminded me of the time she noticed broken glass scattered throughout the playground where we all would dig in the sand, slide and swing. She’d asked some of the other neighbors to join her, a chance to make the playground safe for all the kids and found that they were reluctant, as if that sort of task was somehow beneath their dignity and left to others. Mom ended up doing it by herself; after all it did need to be done. Nobody had to force her or place her under duress; it came down to somebody with a responsible nature stepping up to the line.

I’ll toss in my sense of pride for having a family with members from all generations, individuals who understand that it’s not enough to pick up after yourself; sometimes we have to pick up after our neighbors too. I think my grandfather would have been pleased with Jennifer and that line from John F. Kennedy, “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” For all I know, JFK might have borrowed from my grandfather’s sense of community.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Morality Battle Lines Being Drawn

Last week I wrote an article, Immorality Emboldened (linked via title bar), in which I stood behind General Pace’s statement regarding his opinion that homosexual acts and adultery are immoral and should be used to determine who can serve in the military. Sunday, on the front page of the Houston Chronicle’s Outlook section, the battle lines from the immoral were drawn more clearly as they ran an op-ed piece, “What does it mean to be moral?” The declarative summary was issued by Nathaniel Frank, and as the credit reads, “Frank is senior research fellow at the Michael D. Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.”

I suppose with such credentials, those with a differing opinion should pack up and turn tail, after all, Frank is a senior research fellow, academically superior in every way. “Nuts!”, I think that’s what the soldiers defending their position at Bastogne told the German high command when defeat was eminent.

Frank explained his definition of morality:

“The modern meaning of "moral" is broader than this, referring to standards of goodness and rightness in character and conduct. To put it simply, something that is moral is beneficial to society, and something that's immoral causes society harm.”

Frank then continued:

“Although people often conflate religion and morality, the two are not the same. Religion is about faith; morality is about goodness. Yet both are often invoked to express strongly held beliefs. Without offering an explanation of what is actually wrong with homosexuality, Pace, like those who invoke the Bible to oppose gay rights, is merely parroting dogma he inherited, not making a reasoned argument.”

I suppose if I were to swallow that hook line and sinker I’d have to give up and surrender; however, let’s take a look at what Frank wants us to buy into. The word “conflate” means to merge and the idea of morality, that which represents the “goodness” he so vaguely offers, springs directly from religion; religion being the acknowledgement that humans are supposed to follow God’s laws in order to become His children, those without morality spring from a different source. Faith is the action which causes those who believe to act on those beliefs in order to obtain blessings which are promised and yet not seen until that faith has been exercised.

Frank then goes about attempting to rationalize improper actions throughout the rest of his meanderings, all the while trying to do his best to separate religion from the equation; relying instead on Zogby Polls and Gallup surveys to show overwhelming statistical data that support such perverted behavior, behavior which is expressly mentioned in the scriptures as sinful. He then finishes with a cute little witticism, a play on words, “More people are harmed in this world, I would submit, by the refusal to look and to see than by the wish to ask and to tell.”

If you hang around folks who never thought about or don’t really care about their relationship with their Father in Heaven, never considered the all important link which established the United States of America as a Christian nation; that is correct and I’ll say it again, established the United States of America as a Christian nation, then you will sadly find that their ignorance of these simple truths will keep them from progressing.

The father of lies, Satan, would have us believe that there are no eternal consequences for our actions, for our choices, that our eyes have been opened, that we will be like God, knowing good and evil. Many claim that homosexual activity is perfectly acceptable, that abortion is as natural as having sex, that neither of these “harms society”. Any time God’s laws are violated, they are violated by individuals first and that the individual has to pay the price. Society is harmed anytime an individual is harmed, even worse, when that individual attempts to mitigate his poor choice by having others join in direct rebellion to God’s intended plan for each individual to follow His laws.

“…The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”

I’ll go a step further and say that more people are harmed because they have never bothered to read the scriptures, much less understand the laws God has established for our benefit, to save us from ourselves and our carnal nature. Their refusal to look and to see is equaled only by their lack of desire to gain the correct information from the source, God, the author of our morality. Sorry Frank, “that dog of yours just won’t hunt” as long as there are well informed Christians able to see through your smoke screen of deception.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

So, What’s Your Point?

The Houston Chronicle ran a headline story posted by Roma Khanna, “No HPD officer ever disciplined for Taser use.” ( linked via title bar )

“In fact, no officer has ever been reprimanded for discharging the 50,000-volt Taser at a suspect, even though many of the suspects were never charged with a crime, according to the Chronicle's review of more than 1,000 Taser incidents since December 2004.”

I read the article and came away wondering, “So, what’s your point?”, noting that the purpose of the Taser was to control a situation in which some other force would have been used, force which would have caused longer lasting injuries or even death.

Performing the duties required of a police officer often require snap decisions in order to complete an arrest, decisions that will be reviewed by supervisors at many levels. If at any point it is found that any rule or regulation has been violated disciplinary proceedings are started; even when the rule or regulation violated had nothing whatever to do with the incident being investigated. Statistically speaking, “the more than 1,000 Taser incidents since December 2004”, would indicate that the officers used remarkable judgment each and every time; that’s 100% compliance, not only with the guidelines set forth for the use of Tasers, but also would include every other rule and regulation that would have influence during those incidents. Again I ask, “So, what’s your point?”

I’m thinking of sponsoring a piece of legislation, one that would require that Taser like devices be installed in the keyboards of every computer. These stun guns would always be armed and ready to discharge 50,000 volts of mind numbing electricity whenever the operator persisted in making a mountain out of a molehill; especially bloggers and journalists with nothing better to do than take pot shots at folks doing a really good job.

I had one of these installed on my computer as a means of testing the functionality of such an instant editorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…sorry about that, mmmmyyy fingers are still a little jjjjjjjjjjjjuuuuuuuuuummppppppppppyyyyy from the shock.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Right to Bear Arms a God Given Right?

I’ve read many articles in the past week regarding the recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruling which stipulated that the right to bear arms was an individual right which existed before the Constitution or the Bill of Rights (link to Foxnews article via title bar )

I read an article by Proligo, “The Joy of…”, where he questioned the sanity of a citizenry determined to arm themselves in such a way as to invite mayhem. One of the comments added to the discussion holds a clue in understanding some of the complex issues, “I have abandoned all debate upon the God-given right of Americans to possess the means of murdering their fellow citizens.” He finished off his thoughts with something that should give us all pause, “I am at a complete loss to understand why God should give the right to carry weapons, but then to put God and I in the same sentence is an oxymoron at best.”

Ghandi, explained that the Jews should not have resisted being destroyed by the NAZI regime, that Europe should have fallen prostrate to the ground and let Hitler’s troops roll across them rather than lift up arms to defend themselves. While this runs contrary to human nature, there are examples in the scriptures which tend to reinforce the notion.

In the Book of Mormon we read, “Now there was not one soul among all the people who had been converted unto the Lord that would take up arms against their brethren; nay, they would not even make any preparations for war; yea, and also their king commanded them that they should not.” Alma 24:6

“Now when the people saw that they were coming against them they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth, and began to call on the name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword.” Alma 24:21

Read the whole chapter to grasp the entire message, that those who would not pick up their swords had, at one time, been guilty of murdering their fellow beings and that they did not want to take a chance on their previous sins being restored unto them. Never the less, their decision to stand firm in their resolve never to take up arms serves as a lesson that covenants made with the Lord should not be taken lightly.

If this were the only example in the scriptures we would be left with little if any room to boast that we have a God given right to bear arms; however, there are lessons which also explain that we are to defend our families, even unto bloodshed, from our enemies.

“And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God; for the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers, that: Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies.
And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion.” Alma 43:46,47

It would seem a little childish to boast about the right to kill; and that would be so if boasting and killing were the reasons for defending the right to bear arms. The Lord expects each of us to live the highest order possible while at the same time He has not tied our hands behind us leaving us helpless in front of our enemies. We do not boast, we only acknowledge the need for preserving righteousness in the face of evil.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matt 5:9

Peacemakers are not those who apologize to the enemy; but those who have sufficient power to force their enemies to withdraw their threat. I’m sure that those who lie down and die before their enemies enjoy the promises of eternity as found in Alma 24; however, I am just as certain that those who provide a safe environment for the righteous by holding onto their weapons and standing up to those who would do the works of evil are also the children of God.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Immorality Emboldened

If you were wondering what is wrong with our country, looking for symptoms of the disease that has taken over a once healthy body; maybe this AP story out of Washington will shed some light. We’re supposed to be a “progressive society” full of tolerance; that is unless being tolerant means listening to those who disagree with certain aspects of that progressive society, shame on us for calling evil for what it is, evil.

“A gay advocacy group Tuesday demanded an apology from the Pentagon's top general for calling homosexuality immoral.”


“"General Pace's comments are outrageous, insensitive and disrespectful to the 65,000 lesbian and gay troops now serving in our armed forces," the advocacy group Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said in a statement on its Web site.”

Thank you General Pace for having the backbone to state what needed to be said. The odds are you will be removed from your position of leadership as a warning to other rank and file members of the military. General Pace’s comments, while coming across as outrageous, insensitive and disrespectful, are completely in line with a reasonable expectation that those who serve our country exhibit the highest level of personal integrity and character; to include sexual conduct. ( Story linked via title bar )

Now, for the morally lacking in our society, those who have been emboldened through years of political correctness, those who are living under the delusion that a perverted life style such as homosexuality is acceptable, that it is just and honorable, that there is no reason to be ashamed or to expect others to shun such actions; guess again, you’re wrong.

Our country has been fed a steady diet of permissiveness towards anything which can be imagined under the false premise that freedom of expression has no limits, that the moral code as found in the scriptures has no effect now that our Supreme Court has established a separation of church and state. There are many in our society who would have us believe that the only person who can decide what is right and wrong is the individual, that solipsism has replaced social morality; again, wrong!

We really have sunk to the gutter when we as a society go about parading with banners proclaiming our dissatisfaction when someone with real character and integrity stands up and explains these important facts of life. You and your ilk would have him scourged; maybe even stoned for saying what the Prophets have said for thousands of years. You would be better off following those laws as set down in scripture rather than trying to change them to fit your state of perversion.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Recognizing Miracles When They Happen

This afternoon in our Sunday School course of study the topic was Miracles. The discussion started off by asking members of the class which miracles recorded in the scriptures come to mind first; acknowledging that the greatest miracle of all was the resurrection of our Lord. Several hands went up to remind us of the time Lazarus was brought back from the dead, the new wine from canisters of water, the fishes and the loaves and so on.

My own favorite is found in John, chapter 9 ( ) where Jesus heals a man, blind from birth. There are many lessons found in this one parable; that miracles are tools for teaching, that faith is required for miracles, that they stand as a witness against those who refuse to acknowledge God’s Hand in all righteousness and to identify Jesus as the Son of God.

We talked about modern day miracles, those occasions when something out of the ordinary could be identified such as the miracle of the sea gulls when the crickets were devouring the crops in the early Salt Lake Valley threatening to leave them without stores for the winter and other fascinating stories. Some of the class members freely shared individual stories in which their faith and prayers were answered to help heal a family member or loved one. The fact is, miracles occur all around us; it’s up to us to recognize the Lord’s Hand in our affairs and to extend our gratitude openly for those blessings.

I held my piece, not wanting to blurt out something which I would not have time to properly explain. I’d written down my thoughts regarding one incident which happened many years ago while acting in the capacity of police officer and posted it to my blog in June of 2005. I wrote it mostly as a “police war story”( link provided in title bar ); however, it clearly indicates my acknowledgement of divine intervention and I believe the word “miracle” applies.

I acknowledge the miracle of the heavens, that the planets have their set times and even my limited knowledge of the mathematics required to explain these celestial events doesn’t preclude the fact that their respective orbits were engineered rather than randomly achieved; to believe in such a ridiculous “coincidence” goes far past the realm of probability. I’m grateful for sunsets and sunrises full of every color imaginable, the wonders of all creation from the smallest microbe and to include each and every living being to be found. All of these testify of a God who loves and cares for each of us and to the miracles which have been provided for those with only the faith of a mustard seed.

The Last Mimzy

In the past I’ve commented to various blogs written about literature that I enjoy good Sci-fi; that included in my list of favorites was a book of short stories by Lewis Padgett, “A Gnome There Was”. Today I ran across a movie trailer that gave me a glimpse of a movie which was based on one of those stories, “Mimsy Were The Borogoves”, a fantasy in which a toy box from the future makes its way into the hands of some children in present day. The title of this new movie, “The Last Mimzy”, was too close not to be related as I looked it up on Google. ( Spelling changes are not an accident )

I have no idea how close to the original story line the movie will adhere; all the same I’m looking forward with eager anticipation ( link in title bar ) in the hope that modern day special effects might make this wonderfully imaginative story come to life.

I have removed the embeded link which I found to be annoying at the least. Instead I am placing a link that takes you to their website and movie trailer.

Friday, March 09, 2007

You Have No Rights

Did you know that at least one federal judge believes that United States Citizens living in Washington D.C. are NOT protected by the Constitution or the Bill of Rights? That’s about the only conclusion I could come up with after reading a ruling just handed down which over turned a lower court’s finding that had banned ownership of firearms within the city limits of Washington D.C. (linked via title bar)

“In the ruling, the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected city officials' arguments that the Second Amendment right to bear arms only applied to state militias.”

“In a 2-1 decision, the judges held that the activities protected by the
Second Amendment "are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued intermittent enrollment in the militia."”


“Judge Laurence Silberman wrote for the majority on Friday. "There are too many instances of 'bear arms' indicating private use to conclude that the drafters intended only a military sense.”

“Judge Karen Henderson dissented, writing that the Second Amendment does not apply to the district because it is not a state.” (emphasis added)

Judge Henderson must not have read the 10th Amendment:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” (emphasis added)

What about that part, “or to the people”? Individual citizens cannot be denied rights which are protected by the Constitution or the Bill of Rights; it doesn’t say that rights can be denied anywhere; even if you live in Washington D.C.

I suppose that Judge Henderson would say those living in Washington D.C. don’t have any of the other rights either; freedom to assemble, right to freedom of speech or even freedom of the press. I’ll bet the folks at the Washington Post would be interested in that.

I can hardly wait to see how the original D.C. gun ownership case winds it way through the Supreme Court, assuming the appeals process takes it there. Maybe we can get another Kelo type ruling from the elitist MIB, something along the lines, “let local governments determine which rights you have; right to life, right to property and to hell with the Constitution!”

Edited March 9, 2007 4:30pm

I was looking over some other recently posted articles, folks who I visit regularly and ran across “DC Circuit Court gets it Absolutely Right” over at Anarchangel on this same topic. I’ll link with that one at this time knowing full well that this topic will bounce all over the blogshere in not time at all.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What are friends for?

It’s difficult to explain how dumb some folks are; reading an AP story out of Eau Claure, Wisconsin. ( link provided in title bar )

“Attempts to do a movie stunt landed one man in the hospital with burned genitals and another facing criminal charges. The men were trying to do a stunt from one of the "
Jackass" movies, in which a character lights his genitals on fire.”

“Jared W. Anderson, 20, suffered serious burns to his hands and genitals, according to the criminal complaint. Randell D. Peterson, 43, who sprayed lighter fluid on Anderson and lit him on fire, was charged with
felony battery and first-degree reckless endangerment Tuesday in Eau Claire County Court.”

“Witnesses told police that Anderson, who was drunk, volunteered to do the stunt Sunday after watching the movie, the complaint said."

Where to begin…okay, start with the folks who made a movie that would be popular to the Dumb and Dumber crowd, a movie which has made enough money to “justify” making it. Then the next step would be the general population that would spend any amount of time or money watching that film; are we getting a picture of our voting base?

Jared W. Anderson, I imagine his parents are so pleased that he didn’t mention them by name while being interviewed. Luck is a strange lady, Frank Sinatra made a record and lots of money on that premise; Anderson will survive and go on to produce offspring, damaged genitalia and matching brain cell activity. I wonder what the “W” stands for, knowing that his mother would have used his complete name while pointing out that only an idiot would do something so dumb.

I’ve gotten down to Randell D. Peterson; the “friend” who helped “set this off”. Why was he charged with a criminal act? I mean, once more for effect, I mean, my best Arlo Guthrie I mean… If we put all the stupid folks in jail who’d be on the ballot to send to Washington?

This was bound to remind me of some fool from when I was a police officer; of course, “I only heard about this one”. The statute of limitations has long since passed and since I’ve already retired they can’t fire me for violating one of the standard operating procedures.

Some officer who’d seen far too many of life’s bottom dwellers got a call to a “disturbance in progress”; that’s anything from some guy in a parking lot washing his truck at two in the morning all the way to a full blown riot where the Sharks meet the Jets under a freeway overpass with knives, chains and clubs. He looked over at the empty passenger seat of his patrol vehicle and said to himself, “Hey, I’m a fully trained officer of the law with a really spiffy looking blue uniform; I can handle it.”

“Upon arrival”, he noticed Dumb and Dumber, the names changed to protect the imbeciles, tried to look inconspicuous in the parking lot. Dumb had a very large hunting knife protruding out of his thigh with his blue jeans saturated in blood. Dumber was attempting to console his friend and recover his favorite hunting knife.

“It’s okay, Officer. We was jest foolin’ around with the knife and I accidentally got stuck in the laige (leg)”. For you folks not familiar with the beauty of an East Texas drawl, well, try to imagine being a couple of six packs on top of a Seventh grade education.

His “Lai-ge”, doin’ my best to explain how you make Leg into a two syllable word with a heavy beer odor, “His leg”, sorry, I’ve had to stop while writing this as a stupor or thought came over me. “His leg will be okay, won’t it, Officer? Kin I have my knife back, it was a present from my daddy?”

“We was just funnin’, honest Officer, he never meant no harm.”

That officer, the one I heard about, was stuck between a rock and a hard place. There were a couple of options open to him. He could have Dumber taken to the hospital against his wishes, he could haul Dumb to the slammer and charge him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon even though they “was jest foolin’ around”, “not trying to hurt nobody”. Dumber’s leg wasn’t gushing blood and he didn’t want his best buddy going to jail. They had pretty much sobered up with all the extra excitement; but giving them the knife back was out of the question.

“Ya’all git back in your apartment and I’ll fergit the whole thing”, at least that’s what I’m told that officer said as he tossed the knife into his brief case sitting there in the passenger side of the patrol car where it would have been much better to have had a partner but the City was confident that they could get by on short staff; much as they are today. I heard everything turned out okay, nobody’s leg got infected or had to be amputated, there were no hard feelings between those two good buddies who continued to drink up a storm out there in the parking lot for years, nobody at the police station got into a dither when no arrests were made, no lengthy investigation was made with pages of reports and photographs and no knife ever made it to the evidence room.

Police work used to be left up to police officers, the discretion to let some things fall by the wayside while at other times going the full distance with courts and lawyers. The old rule used to be that if it worked out right it must have been done right; the new rule, you better have an attorney on retainer, either that or an angel on you shoulder.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I’ll Have the Blue Plate Special

Ethne wrote about her feelings, sometimes a very difficult challenge, as she remembered her grandmother through various items, each with a specific memory full of amplified emotions. (link via title bar)

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away... there lived a very young boy unaware of how things worked. He’d never contemplated the thought that grandparents would not always be there for him to visit, the concept of death had never been explained to him. A conversation developed in which the topic of death must have come up; leaving all the trappings of mortality behind since trinkets would be of no use on the other side.

I remember, as if it were a blink, even though it was over fifty years ago, pointing to a decorative plate that was one of the few items prominently displayed in Granny’s apartment. I considered it to be the most beautiful single item that could ever be, my limited exposure to a world full of tangible items, soft blue detail of an old mansion against a pure white background resting on her maple hutch.

“When you die can I have your plate?” I couldn’t have been 5 or 6 years old and yet I knew that I’d spoken out of turn, all the same I wanted to put my bid in before anyone else. Granny looked at me with the most amazing glance, holding back a belly laugh for such a preposterous request as she gave me a hug and promised the plate would always be mine. Granny saw past what some might have considered “seeking after riches” and replaced that improbable thought with my desire to have a piece of her, a memory of her essence to have about me regardless of time.

Granny lived a long life, having had the opportunity to meet all of my children as they came along. I had a special relationship with that lady right up until the end of her life. I would fly out for a weekend, lunch and dinner, then fly back in time to be at work; something which she thought to be an extravagance.

She marveled at the technological advances she’d witnessed; scolding me when I’d call her on my cell phone while driving down the road. I’d always pretend that I was so engrossed with our telephone conversation that I might be on the wrong side of the double yellow stripe; honking at an imaginary oncoming vehicle for effect. Granny had an exclamation mark that was part of her laugh, as if she had been entertained by a con artist at the Midway Carnival and enjoyed every minute, that kind of “Oh, my gaud, please be more careful” while at the same time, enjoying the idea that I’d spent some time with “an old lady like me”. I don’t think Granny ever fully understood how great it was just to be with her, either in person or through the magic of telecommunication.

I picked up Granny’s old blue plate after reading Ethne’s heart warming remembrance, I’ve had it these many years. It’s a piece of Wedgwood with an explanation on the back; something about the DAR and the name of the building from back in 1820. There’s not a word that would indicate how important having a piece of Granny is to me. A pleasant thought went past my mind as I held that piece of china, enough to cause a few tears to form and escape the corners and trickle down my cheeks. I suppose it would have been valuable to me if it had been a plastic soda cup from the Astrodome, had it been a part of Granny’s life and something which we both enjoyed together.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Two and two equals 10 million

Just a quick glance at the Foxnews site this morning showed that police had nabbed a man suspected in the dismemberment of his missing wife. I took a moment to look at the accompanying photograph and had to wonder; just exactly was I looking at? There was some rather unusual anatomy being portrayed.

I needed to read on to learn that the picture went along with a discovery of an ancient dinosaur unearthed which may have been related to Triceratops which roamed the earth some 10 million years ago. I was all for taking a whack at the old bat myself had that been the former missing wife. How many beers did it take before he went home with that one?

I took the liberty of cropping the photograph, much as my mind had when I first glanced at the page, intentionally leaving off the small print under the photograph which would have explained which story line it went with.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Heritage Foundation Poll

I got my questionnaire in the mail this past week and put it to the side until I could give it a good looking over. I noticed, at least according to the top most line on the form, that they acknowledge there’s a difference between Conservatives and Republicans, since the survey form expressly is directed for their use only. It would have been a little more honest if they would exchange the last page with the first, the part where they want a donation.

The Heritage Foundation wanted to know some basic information regarding Immigration, mostly aimed toward illegal immigration coming in from our fence free border with Mexico. Put the fence up from the Pacific Coast all the way to the Gulf of Mexico; build it in such a way as to be visible from the space shuttle, our version of the Great Wall of China. Then, work on downsizing the illegal population, to include all those children born here on US soil in order to “claim” citizenship. After sending off, make that while sending off the illegal immigrants, efforts should also be made to restrict and reduce the number of legal immigrants based on the information supplied by Roy Beck and the pure statistical data showing that we cannot save the whole world even if we wanted to.

They wanted to know how I felt about the War on Terror. This might be read by someone expecting civility and measured speech and so I will only refer to, rather than quote directly from the movie Tin Cup. Towards the end of the show our unlikely hero is within striking distance of the last green and a piece of the overall lead. He must decide whether to play it safe or attempt a difficult shot and go for the win. He rips the “big dog” and drops several shots into the water hazard, against the advice of his knowledgeable caddie and is down to his very last golf ball. If that last ball goes into the water he’s disqualified from the tournament and his caddie hands him the ball, whispers a mild sort of amusement, “Make the shot and quit messing around”; as if he’d plunked all those other balls into the lake just for fun. I took the liberty of altering that mildly amusing admonishment to keep this PG rated.

Our leaders in Washington have been messing around, dropping opportunities by the way side left and right. These blunders should be shared by both sides of the isle along with the administration. We need to be actively seeking out and destroying the enemy, not standing around looking for an exit strategy which wouldn’t look so much like we ran with our tails tucked between our legs. “Make the shot and quit messing around!”, my crude side would have preferred the original dialogue; maybe I should repent of that.

They wanted to know how I felt about Security at Home. They didn’t ask about that nasty old fence thing that would keep folks from entering via Mexico; guess that has nothing to do with security, just a racial prejudice thing. One question had to do with airports and ethnic profiling, should we or shouldn’t we? Should we continue to bend over and let enemies of our country into our country? Should we deport those who are our enemies or would that possible hurt their feelings? Should we be spying on folks in their mosques for terrorist activities. Hey, you left off spying on our colleges and universities for terrorist recruitment and sympathizers. I included a reference to the same quote used on the War on Terror, “Make the shot and quit messing around!” I’m still feeling relatively civilized and have refrained from inserting the exact quote.

How do I feel about Government Spending? Does the phrase, “He spends money like a drunken sailor” mean anything to you? I will remind you that there is a difference between Conservatives and Republicans. The shame of it should be that the Republicans at one time had something in common with Conservatives; huh, maybe that’s what cost the Republicans so many seats in Congress and the Senate, they forgot to act like conservatives.

The list of Other Critical Issues included a choice between being a whacko environmentalist in opposition to energy resource management or growth through capitalism. They still don’t get it; our socialistic minded meddlers would rather have our country be energy dependent to countries that can pull our chain than permit those who wish to invest in our own oil ( alternative energy) the opportunity to bring that oil (alternative energy) to the market place without having to jump rope, balance on fences or submit to body cavity searches created by our own system.

What do I think about the federal government being involved in education; as much as I do about them teaching me about religion, they have no business in either.

So, do I support a constitutional amendment which would ban same sex marriage; a better question would be should a constitutional amendment be written in such a way as to define marriage as between a husband, that being a male human, and a wife, that being a female human? Yes.

What do I think about the legislation that covers finance reform? It’s an abomination, have the folks at the Supreme Court looked that word up; sorry, I forgot, in my dictionary next to the word abomination there is a picture of 9 black robed folks thumbing their noses at the constitution. That reminds me, I saw absolutely nothing in the questionnaire regarding Eminent Domain; I suppose that isn’t important. I looked a little further and under arrogance is a picture of McCain and Feingold; must be one of the newer editions, eh?

What about President Bush’s performance in the past year. I had to rate him as having done a poor job. I recognize the fact that he has most of the Democratic Party doing everything in their power to undermine any good thing he attempts, that he has no friends in the major media and that the support he gets from the Republican base has as much back bone as a jelly fish. That having been said, President Bush has permitted and even encouraged easy access through our borders without considering how much damage has been done and is being done to our country. This, even above the war on terrorism is reason to consider his service as anything other than sadly lacking.

The war on terror has not progressed to include other true “evil empires” in the Middle East which are Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Until we totally bring about the collapse of their terror supporting governments there can never be any real progress in the war on terror. I have left North Korea out of the equation since we are incapable of doing much about them anyway. The President has had his hands tied, but he could have taken the bully pulpit to the people and used it to give a more representative accounting of the dangers involved instead of letting the media slant and portray the United States as the evil one.

What about Congress and their performance. Well, if you were in the Soviet Republic then you’ve been doing a good job. We have been warned that creeping socialism will bring America to its knees; that the West will fall without a shot being fired. You congressmen and senators have done your best to destroy the American Experiment through pork barrel spending and social programs which require redistribution of wealth on a scale so enormous as to be nearly immeasurable.

You say the medical service system isn’t working so well so let’s have a run at socializing it, call it Medicare or whatever; copy the rest of the world’s failures in that department. You say capitalism isn’t working so good, let’s copy the socialist systems even though they have proven to be utter failures all around the world. You permit our monetary system to be diluted at such a rate as to make our money nearly worthless and call it inflation; I call it something else and it won’t please you either. You have created roadblocks for the free market while making sure that the capitalist system grinds slowly to a halt through hoops and other red tape. You take great pride in calling for “equality for all” when what you offer is equal misery for all in a socialist state so far from that imagined by our founding fathers as to be an embarrassment.

Last on you list, Leadership; which of the following people do you think represent your beliefs and principles the best? I checked Rush Limbaugh, Vice President Dick Cheney and had to write in Ron Paul. Rush Limbaugh may be an arrogant egotist but he has more right answers in a three hour talk show than all of congress does after a full session. Vice President Cheney isn’t afraid to speak his mind and tell his enemies where they can go. Ron Paul has shown that he can’t be bought and paid for. He’s one of the few men of integrity who deserve to be elected to office year after year.

No, I’m not sending you authorization to remove money from any of my accounts in order to further the cause. From what I’ve seen in Washington what we need is a can of gasoline and a book of matches. I think we are in serious trouble and you guys are just “messing around”; and you thought I had lost my cool and was going to let go with that all too familiar vulgarity…go watch the movie and have a laugh on me.