Monday, April 23, 2012

Thought Crimes

This is something that I think we can all get together on.  Problem is that it raises a very troublesome question: how bad would your President have to be to switch sides?  Call me evil but, man, I sorta amuses me to think of all those lefties shaking like a leaf when they pull the lever for Romney.  Contrariwise, think of those loony righties flipping Bush the Bird and voting for one of those Democrat horrors.  Anyway ... here is a link to the story.  I will cut a paste a bit to lay out the problem.

LATE last year, a jury in Boston convicted Tarek Mehanna, a 29-year-old pharmacist born in Pittsburgh, of material support for terrorism, conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to kill in a foreign country, after a 35-day trial in which I testified as an expert witness for the defense.

To many folks less enlightened than old MJ here, this would be the whole damn story... Consider the check list ...
  • Rag head? - Check
  • Beard? - Yup
  • Looks shifty like? - Damn right
  • Involved in the drug trade? - Yessiree
  • Accused by the government of terrorism and other crimes? - Nuff said, string him up
Is that the whole story though?  Seems that Tarek (is that a Vulcan name?) is a bit of a shit.  Read on ...
Mr. Mehanna was convicted and sentenced based on two broad sets of facts. First, in 2004, Mr. Mehanna traveled with a friend to Yemen for a week, in search, the government said, of a jihadi training camp from which they would then proceed to Iraq to fight American nationals. The trip was a complete bust, and Mr. Mehanna returned home.
Some of his friends continued to look for ways to join foreign conflicts. One even fought in Somalia. But Mr. Mehanna stayed home, completed a doctorate in pharmacology and practiced and taught in the Boston area. But the Yemen trip and the actions of his friends were only one part of the government’s case.
For the government, Mr. Mehanna’s delivery of “material support” consisted not in his failed effort to join jihadi groups he never found, nor in financial contributions he never made to friends trying to join such groups, but in advocating the jihadi cause from his home in Sudbury.
At about this time my Spidey sense started tingling.   All this stuff is troubling but what did this rotund little fucker actually DO?  Now we come to it:
MR. MEHANNA’S crimes were speech crimes, even thought crimes. The kinds of speech that the government successfully criminalized were not about coordinating acts of terror or giving directions on how to carry out violent acts. The speech for which Mr. Mehanna was convicted involved the religious and political advocacy of certain causes beyond American shores.
WTF is that about????   This, my friends IS speech and what is protected by the Holy Writ of our Constitution..  The same damn thing that protects me here, and you out there reading this!!  So what did he do that brought the vast weight of the Government of the United States down on him?
The government’s indictment of Mr. Mehanna lists the following acts, among others, as furthering a criminal conspiracy: “watched jihadi videos,” “discussed efforts to create like-minded youth,” “discussed” the “religious justification” for certain violent acts like suicide bombings, “created and/or translated, accepted credit for authoring and distributed text, videos and other media to inspire others to engage in violent jihad,” “sought out online Internet links to tribute videos,” and spoke of “admiration and love for Usama bin Laden.” It is important to appreciate that those acts were not used by the government to demonstrate the intent or mental state behind some other crime in the way racist speech is used to prove that a violent act was a hate crime. They were the crime, because the conspiracy was to support Al Qaeda by advocating for it through speech.
Just one fucking minute here.  Are you saying, Professor Andrew F. March, that this guy committed Thought Crimes????  This can't happen in the USA, can it?
On April 12, Mr. Mehanna was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison.
OK, a travesty.  I have enough faith in the system to believe that this mess will be thrown out on appeal.  But there is a bigger question here and one that should concern all of us, even you damn lefties.  Maybe particularly you. How did the lawyers for the United States Government, most of whom attended at least some college, feel empowered enough to drag a citizen of the US into a process that is, in itself, financially and physically punishing, knowing full well that they are treading on the most holy of holies, the First Amendment?  And don't you dare tell me that that is for a jury to decide.  That is crap.  Juries tend to believe the Government so that you have two strikes against you the moment you enter the courtroom.  

I'll tell you what I think, and my opinion counts: I have given more for this country than any goddamn latte sipping, Harvard educated lawyer.  I think that the word is out "Look tough, justice (and the Constitution) be damned".   We are seeing this everywhere.  From the use of special warrants to the unrestricted use of RICO to asset forfeiture and beyond.  And why?  So that our politicians can look tough too.  Pasty faced little bastards like Bush and less pasty faced little bastards like Obama, all trying to show how by looking tough they somehow are protecting us and should, therefore, be reelected.   

I think that the watchword must be "Throw the Rascals Out"  all of them, left right and center.  Clean slate, clean house.  These folks are missing something and that something is that they are our servants and that laws are not there to make them look good so that they have continued employment.  If enormities like the Mehanna case occur on a President's watch, it belongs to that President.  If a Congressman reads about it in the Times, it belongs to him or her.  In today's media environment no one can plead ignorance.

Let's keep our eye on this one.

Later Amigos.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

The New York Times and Gun Control: I

You know, I read the Times regularly and it never fails to amaze me how the owners of the Times get away with half truths, manipulation of the truth and outright lies.  What follows, below, is a response to a question by Andrew Rosenthal.  You can see the original here.  Mr. Rosenthal is Editorial Page editor.  As always, the response sounds reasonable but perhaps it isn't.  I will add some observations.

Q. Has The New York Times decided as a company policy to oppose the right of the people to keep and bear arms without infringement as stated in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, or is this opposition a decision that was adopted unilaterally by the editorial staff/board/ leadership?Have you decided that the 'Bill of Rights' are not meant by the founders to define certain "rights of the people" endowed by their creator, whomever or whatever that creator might be?— Daniel Dorfman
A. As far as I know, The Times has no corporate policy on the Second Amendment. The editorial board’s position is really nothing like you describe it.
It is precisely as he describes it.  Saying "No" and then going on as you have been and hoping no one notices is a trick of  authoritarians through the ages.
We believe that the Second Amendment conveys a communal, or societal, right to bear arms in the interest — as the Framers put it — of a “well-regulated milita.” Please note the use here of the word “regulated.”
The preceding sentence shows the lie.   A communal right is not a right of the individual.  In effect what Mr. Rosenthal is saying is that entities defined by the community have a right to own firearms.  The Police, the armed services and so on.  Well duh.  The implication is that only government entities should be armed, or, rather, have the right to be armed.  That make you a bit uncomfortable?  It has alwways seemed to me that the group that should be most distressed by such an assertion are Jews yet it appears that as a group the Jewish community here espouses such a view.  Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.  Jesus Christ.  What the hell are they thinking.  "It can't happen here"?  Amazing.  Anyway ...
We believe that Americans should be allowed to purchase and own weapons, but that reasonable restrictions on those weapons may be imposed by the federal, state and local governments in the interest of public safety. That, by the way, was the position of the Supreme Court last year in a ruling that struck down parts of the District of Columbia’s gun-control laws.
"Reasonable restrictions".  The leftie gun grabbers will never define exactly what they mean.  Until it is a law that is.  Here is a scoop for Mr. Rosenthal and his champagne sipping, Union busting buddies at the Times: GUNS ARE REGULATED!!!  There are 25,000 +/- laws on the books across this great land of ours.  Guns are the most regulated things in our country.  Andrew, may I call you Andrew?  Andrew, you are a smart guy and you know this already.  You are just hoping that your lefty readership is as ignorant as a herd of hogs rooting in a celler, aren't you?  What you want is the elimination of private gun ownership, why not come out and say it?  
Even though that decision also said the constitution conveys an individual right to own guns (with which we do not agree), it said that governments may impose reasonable restrictions on that ownership.
"Reasonable restrictions" again.  Any hint as to what they are?  Bueller? 
Here is our editorial on that decision.
We feel strongly that it is well within the rights of cities, states and the federal government to restrict the ownership and storage of handguns, which are huge threats to the lives of city dwellers everywhere. Ask most police departments. They agree.
"Storage".  How do they do that?  What rights to privacy would one have to give up to assure that a gun owner meets the requirements of Government?   God damn it to hell.  I remember when I could make common cause with lefties like Andrew, when folks on the left were really afraid of greater and greater government intrusion in the private lives of citizens.  Guess it is different when one has a just cause.  Where have I heard that siren song before?  
In urban areas, handguns are used almost solely to shoot other human beings.
Bullshit.  Sorry Andrew, bullshit.  Any proof?  Just emotional argument.  
Those who keep them for collections or target shooting would not be inconvenienced by laws requiring registration of such weapons, or laws that restrict who may buy them, or laws that require them to be stored in homes in safe and secure ways.
Bullshit.  Since when do government regulations not yield inconvenience?   And since when do government regulations not yield ever growing bureaucracies who create more regulations to justify their existence?  And once those regulations aare in place, what recourse does a citizen have?  None.  Sorry Andrew.  This is a non starter.
There should be laws requiring background checks and waiting periods for purchases of all firearms. This is not remotely an impediment to owning or using rifles and shotguns for legitimate purposes. Hunters have to get licenses to hunt. Why not register the weapon?
Apples and oranges.  Background checks are the law now.  Oh my!!!  Did Andrew leave that part out?  It is called NICS and is administered by the FBI and you can read about it here.  Remember those 25,000 +/- laws?  This is one of them.  Let me also say that this system was opposed tooth and nail by gun grabbers.  Why?  Because their agenda is not to make things easy for gun owners, it is to disarm the population of the US. I do hope that you are beginning to see a pattern here.  As far as things being an "impediment".  That remains to be seen since we have not yet befined what "reasonable" is.  BTW, if I already own a firearm a waiting period is irrelevant, isn't it?  Want to bet that Andrew and the Times would disagree with that?  Don't take the bet amigos, these guys will never simplify, they will only make more obnoxious, when it comes to guns that is.  When it comes to anybody getting into a voting booth it is amazing what a "difficulty" can be defined as.  God, this just pisses me off.
People with records of violence or serious mental illness should not be allowed to buy guns.
They cannot.  A number of those 25,000 +/- laws bear directly on this.  I am beginning to think Andrew is a liar.  At the very least, he has not done his homework.
Children should not be allowed to buy guns.
 They cannot, legally.  A number of those 25,000 +/- laws bear directly on this.  I am beginning to think Andrew is a liar.
Gun show operators should not be permitted to circumvent background check requirements for selling guns.
 They cannot.  A number of those 25,000 +/- laws bear directly on this.  I am beginning to think Andrew is a liar.
Automatic weapons and assault-type weapons should be regulated.
 They cannot.  A number of those 25,000 +/- laws bear directly on this.  I am beginning to think Andrew is a liar.  God, this guy is a piece of work.  And what is an "assault-type" weapon?  It turns out that it is any weapon that violates the aesthetic sensibilities of folks like Andrew.  Amazing that they can get otherwise sensible people to parrot crap like this.  And, Andrew, are you suggesting that automatic weapons are not regulated?  That is so ignorant that it must be a lie.
The police department in New York should be allowed to trace weapons that were used in crimes here — including far too often the murder of police officers — to those who sold them to criminals in other states.
Perhaps that is overstepping and the FBI is the appropriate agency to accomplish this.  Or is that too simple?   Should the NYPD have the right of arrest too?  Come on Andrew, this is getting silly.
The federal government should not pass laws that protect unscrupulous gun makers and gun dealers from having to answer for the consequences of their actions in selling weapons to those who traffic in them illegally.
You mean like tort law?  Demonstrate that the current bloated legal environment cannot accomplish this and you can have your damn law.
We do not take an absolutist position on guns. The absolutist, extreme position is to claim that the complex wording of the Second Amendment, written in the 18th century, means that there can be no restrictions on gun ownership in the 21st century.
"We do not take an absolutist position on guns"   WTF do you take us for, Andrew?  Idiots?   Your position is simple:

  • Only government should freely possess firearms
  • Citizens who wish to possess firearms must pass an increasing number of hurdles and be subject to ever more restrictive laws as to what they may own, how they must be kept and how they can be used
  • A program of continuing pressure should be established with the end objective of making it not financially feasible to be in the gun trade in the US
All these things directed at the elimination of private gun ownership.

Boy, I trust the NY Times.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Brief Note on NBC Media Racism

By now I suspect most of you have come across the story of NBC altering the transcript of the phone conversation between the guy who killed the kid in Florida to make it appear that he was racist.

ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good, [begin ellipsis] or he's on drugs or something. It's raining, and he's just walking around, looking about.
911 DISPATCHER: Okay, is this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic? [end ellipsis]
ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.
          Newsbuster Article

So NBC edited the actual interchange to say:
ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good, he looks black.
Now, this is not a "mistake" as the New York Times would have it:
The people with direct knowledge of the firing characterized the misleading edit as a mistake, not a purposeful act. 
Media Decoder column in the Times here
Not a mistake at all, my friends.  A mistake would be dropping a quote mark or misspelling "Zimmerman".  This was a considered, malevolent and shameless act of racism.  This is a perfect example of the "Racism of lowered expectations".  It shows that the White guys at NBC do not believe that the Black guy's story will come out in our legal system, it shows that the sad story of what happened that night must be "helped" by a crew of White guys who know best how to spin the story of black oppression.  

From the Times piece:
Inside NBC, there was shock that the segment had been broadcast. Citing an anonymous network executive, Reuters reported that “the ‘Today’ show’s editorial control policies — which include a script editor, senior producer oversight and in most cases legal and standards department reviews of material to be broadcast — missed the selective editing of the call."
There was no "shock" at NBC, there was fury that their racism was exposed.  Come on folks, read what the review process is at NBC.  Do you think for a minute that they didn't know?  If you do I got a war in Iraq to sell you. Jesus Christ, are you that stupid?   

Thankfully, the liberal media dinosaurs are being clobbered by mammalian neo-journalists who use the net as their foolscap.  Remember the libel from Dan Rather about Bush's service record?  A lie, a big lie right before the election.  Who found it?  Net geeks, that's who.  The vast resources of CBS were trumped by a diet coke swilling fucker who you wouldn't let within 500 feet of your daughter.  But that fat bastard showed that he was a better journalist than Dan Rather that day.  

This is a new age, my friends.  Cops can't bust heads with impunity and great big media organizations cannot lie with impunity either.  

I hope that Zimmerman files a slander suit against NBC.  I hope that he wins.  The bastards betrayed a trust and they should swing.

Later amigos.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Keith "Crybaby" Olbermann

There are a couple of things that get under my skin.  Ticks, chiggers, suppurating sores and Keith Olbermann.

I was really hoping that this whiny excuse for a man was well and truly out of it when he went to that  dumb vanity outlet run by Gore, Current, but, no.  Freddy Kruger like the world of Media is exposed to yet more Olbermann drama.

I don't want to give this sniveling candy ass any more time than he has already clawed from the precious store allocated to each of us by the gods of Oak, Ash and Thorn except to observe that to have the sort of big media manhood that he thinks he should have (and amusingly swings around, to the danger of no one) YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN AUDIENCE!!!!

Jesus Christ perusing a NAD book but this guy really deserves an ass kicking.  He is like the media equivalent of Paris Hilton: famous for being famous with only a modicum of talent and that talent apparent only on a grainy example that you have to squint at in order to make anything out.
I invited Keith's five viewers over the other day to get their opinion.  Even they were about fed up with this crybaby.  So, Keith, hasta la vista and don't let the door hit your fat ass on the way out.

Sorry folks, I had no intention of writing about this jerk, but I saw this column in the Times (NY) and thought to myself "Sandman, Carr has it half right, you better jump in".  Fact, Carr, is that this has nothing to do with pro sports because the number of people who would go to an event to see Olbermann wouldn't fill a damn pisser under the bleachers.  Different.  Just because Olbermann is a whiny liberal dies not give him talent and it sure as hell does not give him an audience.  Actually, the reverse probably.  

Even my liberal friends (yeah, I have a few, I'll tell you about them sometime) would like to kick his ass.  Just for being so damn annoying.

Till next time amigos.