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Photo taken from deck of Warren's home.

“Appointed For Life…”

I heard it on the news in the wake of Associate Justice Ginsburg’s public comments on Donald Trump that “Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life…” Like much promulgated by the mainstream news media, it is not true.

The Constitution says: “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour…” which is to say that Justices can be removed for bad behavior.

Ginsburg issued a statement saying she ‘regrets‘ comments she made about candidate Donald Trump, saying they were ‘ill-advised,’ adding, ‘Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office.’

Bad Justice! <whack> Bad, BAD! <whack-whack>

No Fly, No Buy

The Usual Suspects have been clamoring to prevent persons on the No Fly list to the list from buying guns. Seems like “common sense,” we’re told.

But does it make sense to deprive someone of a Constitutionally-protected right without due process?

The late Senator Ted Kennedy once found his name on the No Fly list and it took him, a sitting U.S. Senator, three weeks to correct the error and get his name removed. How names get onto the No Fly list is a mystery. How to get a name removed from the list is a deeper mystery. The No Fly list has often had errors and mix ups are common: “I’m not that Peter Smith!”

Now, you might think that No Fly, No Buy would just add the No Fly list to the NCIC (National Criminal Instant Check) system. NCIC is what is queried when someone tries to buy a gun. If your name is in the NCIC system then you are a Prohibited Possessor and not permitted to own or possess a gun much less buy more guns.

But this is not what the No-Fly, No-Buy bill would have done. Apparently, under No-Fly, No-Buy, there would be two types of denied gun purchases: the usual those who cannot buy or own a gun and those who cannot buy a gun but can still own them. And, as in the case of actual Prohibited Possessors being denied a firearm purchase, there would have been no penalty for trying to buy one.

It was right and proper to defeat this ridiculous bit of legislation, if only over concerns for due process. Speaking of which…

The legislation over which the left staged a sit-in** contains this: “No district court of the United States or court of appeals of the United States shall have jurisdiction to consider the lawfulness or constitutionality of this section…” A more obvious indicator of their disdain for the Constitution I cannot imagine.

Not only can you not face your accuser, if you sue to find out what got you onto the list in the first place, there’s this: “(d)(4) No discovery shall be permitted, unless the court shall determine extraordinary circumstances requires discovery in the interests of justice.” And how often would a federal court determine that “extraordinary circumstances” exist? I’m guessing the chances fall somewhere between Hell Freezes Over and Never. So if they (the Attorney General, actually, and whatever bureaucracy he establishes) made their determination based on erroneous information, you have no way to correct it.

The law is so blatantly unconstitutional, they tried to prevent anyone from even challenging its constitutionality. IMO, anyone supporting this legislation ought to be run out of office — recalled or voted out at the earliest opportunity.

No-Fly, No-Buy is horrid legislation. But it is passed off as “common sense” by people (Democrats, news media) who know not what i does or just don’t give a shit about due process and the Constitution. And so we continue our plodding toward a total police state.

On a related subject, I have trouble accepting the whole concept of a no-fly list. If these people are dangerous, really dangerous, oughtn’t they be incarcerated? And, if incarceration is too tough on mere “suspected terrorists” then why not allow them to fly but subject them to the entire body-scan – cavity search protocol before letting them board? Are we saying that TSA cannot ferret out dangerous devices and explosives? (Actually, they demonstrably are not able to, based on tests conducted at various airports throughout the country. But that’s another whole topic.)

Divide the cabin into first class, coach and suspected terrorists. Outfit the latter section with those Hannibal Lecter restraint devices and let “suspected terrorists” ride confined to their destination. “Now pre-boarding suspected terrorists…

Or simply bind them to their seats in coach. Leg and hand irons perhaps? Too “insulting” or discriminatory? But denying a Constitutionally protected right is okay… Go figure.

Seriously, are they admitting that even if we know who these “suspected terrorists” are, there’s no defense against them, short of forbidding them to fly? Like they cannot drive, take the train or hitch-hike to the next Orlando or San Bernardino.

Is there any demonstrable benefit to a no-fly list?

No-Fly, No-Buy is the “common sense” of idiots.

**
All those “as long as it takes” sitters-in certainly gave up quickly enough. I was looking forward to seeing Porta-Pottis on the House floor.

 

Setting aside how much sense this measure makes, let’s consider the No Fly list itself.

Guns Are Special

If someone beats a victim to death, we don’t blame the cudgel or the perpetrator’s boot. If he knifes someone, we do not blame the knife. But shoot someone with a gun and the call goes out for more gun control.

The anti-rights folks have a very special antipathy for firearms. So much so that they form groups to lobby against them. (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Women Against Gun Violence, Parents Against Gun Violence, Bishops Against Gun Violence, etc.) It is telling that they do not aim to address the causes of the violence, they only seek to restrict access to the means. They ignore the causes and go straight to the snake-oil cure — more gun control. They apparently do not understand the causes of violence generally and maybe they just don’t care about violence, only “gunviolence.”

They are typically ill-informed. I just read an article claiming it has been “illegal” for civilians in the USA to own a fully-automatic weapon since 1986. It isn’t. They typically exhibit ignorance (or deceptiveness) by conflating semi-auto and full-auto weapons. That’s been on-going for decades. Their most common deception, from back in the heyday of the 1994 “assault weapons” ban, is to call semiautomatic rifles “assault weapons”.

The more honest anti-gunners invented a new term: “semi-automatic assault weapon” because, well, a semi-automatic weapon cannot honestly be called an assault weapon. True assault weapons have a full-auto mode or a three-round burst mode. Semi-automatic weapons do not (though true assault weapons do have a semi-automatic mode).

If you wish to call semi-automatic rifles “assault weapons,” you may as well go all in and just claim they are “machine guns”. After all, they are like machine guns — except for the lack of a full auto mode.

The NRA and others refer to AR-15 pattern weapons as “modern sporting rifles” and that makes perfect sense (certainly more sense than “assault weapons”) because the AR-15 is the most widely used weapon in recreational shooting sports and competitions. It is rarely used in crime.

The Boston Globe reported that 411 people had been killed by “assault rifles” since the “assault weapons” ban was lifted in 2004. NOAA says that over the last 20 years, an average of 51 people were killed each year by lightning strikes.

Is it a problem that the occasional nut-job or jihadist decides to kill as many people as he can? Yes, obviously. But it does not justify the huge amount of effort put into fretting over “gun control.” You’re 1.5 times more likely to be killed by lightning than an “assault weapon.”

And it certainly is not justification for infringing even further the Right to Keep and Bear Arms “protected” by the Constitution.

Ask yourself this: Why did no one at the Pulse in Orlando shoot back? Why was the perpetrator able to shoot over 100 people with impunity?

Answer that honestly and you will have both pinpointed the problem and the cure.

Zero Tolerance

This fellow had to surrender his tie tack to security.

Such cannot possibly be any less than an *actual* phobia.

Growing Nostalgic

Hey, what ever happened to Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi? I kinda miss them. The Middle East wasn’t exactly peaceful, but it was more peaceful than today more stable.

I’m crossing my fingers that Assad holds onto Syria.