Holder: Your Government Can Kill You

He said the legal right to kill U.S. citizens overseas without benefit of a trial was based in Congress’ authorization to use all necessary and appropriate force against the perpetrators of 9/11 or those who helped them and the president’s power “to protect the nation from any imminent threat of violent attack.”

That authority is “not limited to the battlefields in Afghanistan,” Holder said, adding that “We are at war with a stateless enemy, prone to shifting operations from country to country.”

via Chicago Tribune.

This is just about the craziest thing I have read in weeks.

Never before has a presidential administration been so completely inconsiderate of the Constitution.  A United States Citizen’s rights do not simply vanish because they leave the country.  In fact, our courts have held that you are still subject to U.S. laws even when out of the country. When the criminal laws apply so do the protective laws.

The Constitution provides:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

I don’t care what Congress passes; if you want to change the Constitution then you have amend it.  There’s a procedure for that.

Until that procedure is followed, the 6th Amendment still applies.

Obama and Holder and just plain wrong, very very wrong on this issue.

Gun Owners Need Not Provide ‘Good Reason’

Good news for those who believe in the Second Amendment:

Maryland residents do not have to provide a “good and substantial reason” to legally own a handgun, a federal judge ruled Monday, striking down as unconstitutional the state’s requirements for getting a permit.  …

“A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” Legg wrote. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”  …

“People have the right to carry a gun for self-defense and don’t have to prove that there’s a special reason for them to seek the permit,” said his attorney Alan Gura, who has challenged handgun bans in the District of Columbia and Chicago as an attorney with the Second Amendment Foundation. “We’re not against the idea of a permit process, but the licensing system has to acknowledge that there’s a right to bear arms.”  …

“In addition to self-defense, the (Second Amendment) right was also understood to allow for militia membership and hunting. To secure these rights, the Second Amendment’s protections must extend beyond the home: neither hunting nor militia training is a household activity, and ‘self-defense has to take place wherever (a) person happens to be,'” Legg wrote.

via Fox News.

I believe the judge not only reached the correct verdict but did so with the correct logic.  At the end of the day, our right to defend ourselves is given to us not by government but by our creator. i.e. by nature for you atheist folks.

Before the McDonald case reached the USSC it was heard by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.  In that opinion J. Easterbrook wrote:

Self-defense is a common-law gloss on criminal statutes, a defense that many states have modified by requiring people to retreat when possible, and to use non-lethal force when retreat is not possible.  An obligation to avoid lethal force in self-defense might imply an obligation to use pepper spray rather than handguns.  A modification of the self-defense defense may or may not be in the best interest of public safety—whether guns deter or facilitate crime is an empirical question—but it is difficult to argue that legislative evaluation of which weapons are appropriate for use in self-defense has been out of the people’s hands since 1868. The way to evaluate the relation between guns and crime is in scholarly journals and the political process, rather than invocation of ambiguous texts that long precede the contemporary debate.

Easterbrook wrongly binds our right to self-defense to criminal statutes.  By this logic the right to self-defense simply did not exist at all until the criminal statutes were but into place.  This is of course absurd.

Our founding fathers knew this:

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolves the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, …

(You should be ashamed if you don’t know the source.)

The powers of the earth together with the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle each and every living thing to defend itself, its progeny, and its kind by whatever means available from any threat.  If you doubt this, go put yourself between a mother lion and her cubs.

Kudos to J. Everett Legg for at least bringing the self-defense argument front a center when it comes to the Second Amendment.

G-8 Summit Moved to Camp David

Big News!!

The Group of Eight meeting will be moved to Camp David, according to the White House, but the gathering of NATO allies and the International Security Assistance Force will go on in Chicago as planned in mid-May.

Camp David will more closely approximate the remote settings in which the G8 leaders prefer to gather. Summits in large cities typically see clamorous protests, while those in the countryside are calmer and more sedate.

via Chicago Tribune.

Of course this has absolutely nothing to do this this:

The Occupy movement is likely to escalate months before the Sept. 3-6 event. A slew of extremist organizations, some tied to Obama, are preparing protests to coincide with major NATO and G-8 summits slated for Chicago in May.

Foreshadowing possible violent confrontations, some of the same radical trainers behind the infamous 1999 Seattle riots against the World Trade Organization have been mobilizing new protest efforts geared toward world summits.  …

One endorsing group, which calls itself the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, is also a main organizer of the protests being scheduled for Chicago’s NATO and G-8 summits in May.

via Klein Online.

And then there’s this:

“To facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G-8 partners, the President is inviting his fellow G-8 leaders to Camp David on May 18-19 for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues,” the White House announced this afternoon. “The President will then welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown of Chicago for the NATO Summit on May 20-21.”

Maybe I’m reading English here, but that sounds like the president concluded it would be harder to have a “free-flowing discussion” in Chicago—yet still wanted to throw Rahm Emanuel a bone. NATO summits don’t generally excite people as much as meetings of the most powerful money guys in the world.   …

Not even a carefully crafted statement from the City Hall press machine could conceal his disappointment: “We wish President Obama and the other leaders well at the G8 meeting at Camp David and look forward to hosting the NATO Summit in Chicago. Hosting the NATO Summit is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Chicago to the world and the world to Chicago.”

So far, aldermen haven’t been briefed. “Do you think this administration tells us anything?” says Second Ward alderman Robert Fioretti, who for months has been wary of Emanuel’s behind-the-scenes summit planning.

via  Bleader @ Chicago Reader.

It’s safe to say there is a LOT more to this story than we’re being told.  Of course we’ll never find out.  But it can be a lot of fun to think about.

And lastly… only time will tell if this move will reduce the protests.

Obama Offers Legal Backing for Targeted Killings

The Obama administration on Monday plans to outline how U.S. laws empower the government to kill Americans overseas who engage in terrorism against their home country, a source familiar with the matter said, months after a drone strike killed a U.S.-born cleric who plotted attacks from Yemen.  …

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to address the issue and the underpinning legal principles for using lethal force during remarks at Northwestern University School of Law on Monday afternoon in Chicago, the source said Sunday on condition of anonymity.

via Chicago Tribune.

What?!  This is just crazy.  The only way to handle this is the stop this insanity and issue a new policy that simply states, “The United States government does not — will not — knowingly kill any American citizen without a conviction of a capital crime at a trial by jury.”

Look at this another way, would the U.S. allow a foreign government to kill a foreign citizen on U.S. soil?  Of course not.  The notion is absurd.

There are so many legal problems with this that books will be written on the topic.

Protesters Crash Chicago’s 175th Birthday

Chicago celebrated its 175th birthday Sunday to the tune of protest rants.

A small group shouted during part of the ceremony about Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to close six mental health clinics in the city.

As the mayor stood beside a colorful birthday cake and the Chicago Children’s Choir, protesters yelled that the closings make it harder for people to get help and ultimately cost lives.

Emanuel quickly left the room looking mildly insulted and without responding to anyone in the group. A voice directed partygoers to the next room. “Please join us in the next room for birthday cake,” the voice said.

via NBC Chicago.

So Rahm cannot keep protesters out of a small birthday celebration.  How’s he ever going to keep protesters in line during the G-8/NATO summits?

Just say’n.

Teenagers Pour Gasoline on Boy Walking Home From School

Is this really what we’ve come to?

A 13-year-old boy who police say was doused with gasoline and lit on fire last week while walking home from school is recovering from first-degree burns to his face and head.  The boy was just two blocks from his home in Kansas City Tuesday when two teenagers began to follow him and then attacked him, his mother, Melissa Coon, said.

Police have described the suspects as black 16-year-olds, while the victim is white.

via NY Daily News.

My initial thought was pretty simple.  Something along the lines of, ‘how horrible.’

My second thought was a little more complex, like: ‘I guess this used to happen the other way around in the 50’s and 60’s but that still don’t make it right.  I thought we’re trying to move past all that.’

My third thought was a little more controversial:  Can you imagine if two 16 year-old white boys poured gas on a 13 year-old black boy and lit him on fire?  What would the reaction be?  Would there be a march?  A riot?  A protest?  Would there be demands for an investigation into whether his parents were Nazis or otherwise racists?  Would Jesse Jackson show up and lecture everyone on how to behave?

I don’t know; don’t have the answers.  But whatever we’re doing isn’t working.

Killer Received Unemployment While In Jail

Authorities say a convicted killer who gained notoriety for having a murder scene tattooed on his chest received unemployment benefits while he was in jail.

Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said Saturday that Anthony Garcia, nicknamed “Chopper,” received more than $30,000 in fraudulent unemployment while in Los Angeles County jail from 2008 to 2010.

via Fox News.

Our government let’s these sorts of things slip through the cracks everywhere.  This story is from California; where at least someone was looking into the situation.  What do you think it’s like in Illinois where no one is looking?  My guess is much, much worse.

You’d Be A Fool To Hold Anything But Cash Now

David Stockman was Reagan’s budget director and quit because he thought there was too much deficit spending.  Then he went to Blackstone and really learned the pro’s and con’s of using debt to make things happen.

Q: How do investors protect themselves? What about the stock market?

A: I wouldn’t touch the stock market with a 100-foot pole. It’s a dangerous place. It’s not safe for men, women or children.

Q: Do you own any shares?

A: No.

Q: But the stock market is trading cheap by some measures. It’s valued at 12.5 times expected earnings this year. The typical multiple is 15 times.

A: The typical multiple is based on a historic period when the economy could grow at a standard rate. The idea that you can capitalize this market at a rate that was safe to capitalize it in 1990 or 1970 or 1955 is a large mistake. It’s a Wall Street sales pitch.

Q: Are you in short-term Treasurys?

A: I’m just in short-term, yeah. Call it cash. I have some gold. I’m not going to take any risk.

via Business Insider.

The whole article is worth reading.  Amazing stuff.

Another little tid-bit I can’t help sharing:

Q: But the unemployment rate is falling and companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 are making more money than ever.

A: That’s very short-term. Look at the data that really counts. The 131.7 million (jobs in November) was first achieved in February 2000. That number has gone nowhere for 12 years.

Another measure is the rate of investment in new plant and equipment. There is no sustained net investment in our economy. The rate of growth since 2000 (in what the Commerce Department calls non-residential fixed investment) has been 0.8 percent — hardly measurable. (Non-residential fixed investment is the money put into office buildings, factories, software and other equipment.)

We’re stalled, stuck.

You’ve been warned.

Dog Walker in Custody After Stabbing

This is the third or fourth stabbing in the last two weeks.

A 61-year-old man is in custody after police said he stabbed another man this morning after the two had an argument that began when the victim tried to swat the dog away in the Longwood Manor neighborhood.  …

An argument escalated and resulted in the stabbing of the younger man, said O’Brien.

The man was stabbed in the back and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in serious condition, officials said.

via Chicago Tribune.

No word yet on whether or not Rahm is going to request a statewide registry on knife owners.

Gun Control Measures Advance

Yes, this is a few days old:

Two controversial gun control proposals advanced to the full House Wednesday.

On a partisan vote, the Democratic-controlled House Executive Committee approved a measure requiring handgun owners to register their weapons with the state.

The panel also signed off on legislation that would create a special 2 percent tax on ammunition, which would finance trauma facilities that treat gunshot victims.

Both measures headed to the floor after failing to win support from Republican committee members. They said it remains unproven that such laws will reduce crime. And, they added, downstate gun owners would be unfairly burdened with the changes.

via The Quad City Times.

This is of course ridiculous.  I have already written on how gun control registries are expensive and don’t live up to their claims.  But I guess the gun control Nazis don’t care about such things.

Thanks to the folks over at Second City Cop, I did not a little research and found out that in the U.S. (my previous writing was on the Canadian registry) criminals actually cannot be prosecuted for not registering their weapons.  Really?  Yes, really!

The USSC (United States Supreme Court) ruled in Haynes v. United States that:

Miles Edward Haynes was a convicted felon who was charged with failing to register a firearm under the Act. Haynes argued that, because he was a convicted felon and thus prohibited from owning a firearm, requiring him to register was essentially requiring him to make an open admission to the government that he was in violation of the law, which was thus a violation of his right not to incriminate himself.

In 7-1 decision, the Court ruled in favor of Haynes.

You see, in Illinois if you are felon you cannot get a FOID card which is necessary to possess — even touch a single bullet — a firearm or ammunition in the state.  So if you don’t have a FOID you cannot register your handgun.  However, because registering your handgun would force you to demonstrate that you do not have a FOID means that you would be incriminating yourself by trying to register.  Therefore, registration would violate your 5th Amendment right against self incrimination.

So, this registry has absolutely NOTHING to do with getting guns out of the hands of criminals — the don’t have to register them!!

It’s all about creating a list of law abiding citizens (including police officers) who happen to own handguns.