Friday, February 26, 2010

A Bit of Government "Comedy/Irony?"

Your semi fearless blogster had an amusing encounter this morning on the way to the gym and reasons for levity of  late being sparse he has decided to share it with both of his faithful followers.

Only last week the "first lady" Mrs. Michelle Obama/Soetoro appeared on one or more of the insipid morning boob tube venues to decry childhood "obesity". It is as yet unclear which of the 22 members of her White House staff  broached the idea of such a crusade (perhaps in view of recent trends the term should be jihad). This concept of nanny statism follows closely on the heels of trial balloons being floated over government controls of junk and fast food.

Where was I? Oh, yes; the narrow road near our residence necessitated us coming to a stop in front of a neighbor's residence in order to allow the boarding of a school bus by a rather portly pupil who attends the public elementary level indoctrination center located approximately 900 feet away. As the school bus paused with appropriate flashing red lights and obligatorily deployed octagonal stop sign as well as bumper barrier, the pupil of some 10 years of age huffed and puffed up the slightly inclined driveway and lumbered aboard the bus. Two more stops were required of the bus on its 900 foot journey in order to board pupils who live directly across the street from the school.

It appears that the school district prohibits pupils from arriving and departing its facilities by any means other than motor vehicles even though each and every roadway adjacent to any of the institutions displays flashing yellow lights indicating reduced speed limits often monitored by  revenuers minions of the law replete with electronic detection devices even on "snow days" when the schools are vacant.

Goodness, how times have changed since the old days when we young'uns were forced to trek "2 miles up hill (both ways) in blizzard conditions" to the little red school house. It must be the price we pay for our rulers keeping us safe, healthy and protecting the environment.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Right" vs "Privilege"

In less than three weeks the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of McDonald v City of Chicago.  The court will decide if the Second Amendment which states: "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." applies to the various states and local governments. In 2008 the court held that the plain language of the Second Amendment applies to the District of Columbia which like Chicago had ordinances effectively prohibiting the possession of firearms in its jurisdiction. The odds are that the Chicago law will be struck down as unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The decision will doubtless impact many restrictive gun laws in multiple states. A case in point is the (idiotic?) law in California (section 12031 (a) (1) of the penal code)  which prohibits the carrying without a concealed carry permit of a loaded firearm in any incorporated city or designated area in the unincorporated area of any county. The law as interpreted by California courts allows the carrying of a concealable firearm in those prohibited areas if it is "unloaded". Of course All schools and public buildings are "gun free" zones.

One can imagine the confusing situation faced by a non permitted citizen who wishes to exercise his second Amendment "right" under these Byzantine laws, especially when sheriffs and police chiefs routinely refuse the issuance of concealed carry permits to all but a favored class of applicants.

Recently a group of California residents protesting this situation has begun to openly carry their hand guns in various venues such as Starbucks coffee shops in the Bay area. The response of some police personnel to these protests is about what one could expect of members of a class whose monopoly of certain "rights" is threatened as is illustrated by the following exchange discussing a legal instance of open carry on the face book threads of one officer Tauson:
"Haha, we had one guy last week try to do it!"...""He got proned out and reminded where he was at and that turds will jack him for his gun in a heartbeat!..."Sounds like you had someone practicing their 2nd amendment rights last night!" Tuason wrote. "Should've pulled the AR out and prone them all out! And if one of them makes a furtive movement ... 2 weeks off!!!"
The two weeks off (with pay of course) refers to the internal shooting investigation period.

I have a question for those who allege that law abiding citizens have certain "rights" guaranteed by the Constitution: does one need a permit to exercise a right? If you, dear reader, believe that a permit is only required for a privilege you would be in error.

The Supreme Court will hand down its ruling before the June adjournment. We are breathlessly awaiting the determination of at least 5 of our black robed demigods. Any bets on the voting alignment?


Friday, February 12, 2010

Bang for the Buck

click to enlarge images

How to avoid looking like a referee at a tennis match while giving a speech.

ht: Theo Spark

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Transportation (Non) Security

In one of his previous lives (the law enforcement one) your humble blogster participated in several "covert" operations. That is the main reason that he finds the saga of the underwear bomber of Christmas day especially intriguing.

As "luck" would have it and much to the chagrin of our political masters, a material witness to the events concerning flight 253 happened to be an individual trained in both logic and evidence evaluation. Unless this witness can be either discredited or intimidated into silence, the entire bureaucratic farce designated "transportation security" and erected by the government will stand revealed for the sham that in fact it is.

The witness, an attorney by the name of Kurt Haskell who was a passenger aboard flight 253 avails himself of his legal training in opening his "case" by posing seven questions :

1. Who is the Man in Orange?

2. Did Mutallab know the Sharp Dressed Man?

3. Was it intended that the bomb explode?

4. Did the U.S. Government know that Mutallab had a bomb when it allowed him to board Flight 253?

5. Why is the U.S. Government seeking a plea deal for Mutallab?

6. Why did a fellow passenger call me to discuss changing my story?

7. Why are the important questions being ignored by the mainstream media?

I hope that you, dear reader, will follow Mr. Haskell's discussion of these seven questions at the link provided above and supply your reactions in the comments at the end of this post.

Public perception of the workings of covert government operations have been severely distorted by the entertainment media. In other words: what one views on the entertaining episodes of "24" is so far from reality as to enter the realm of the absurd. In the real world and almost universally, those charged with supervising these operations have little to no hands on experience working "under cover". The skills required of successful operatives are not necessarily congruent with supervisory abilities. The "bosses" have been promoted/appointed/elected into their supervisory positions on the basis of a variation of the Peter Principal  which rewards those skilled in sycophancy and bureaucratic political maneuvering. The "supervisors" almost invariably experience difficulty in managing the often complicated operations. These difficulties arise chiefly from an inability to resist tendencies toward micro management. Political corruption is also an occasional factor. First hand examples of this theory will doubtless supply subject matter for future posts.

In classic Platonic fashion, Mr. Haskell discusses the implications of the possible answers  to his seven questions and invites us to; (using an overworked cliche) "connect the dots". Suddenly, Ms Napolitano's apparently nonsensical statement that "the system worked" acquires the ring of perverse if partial truth.

In any event, the concept that ultimate transportation security can be achieved if only we surrender more liberty is revealed for the nonsensical fairy tale it has always been.