Georgetown Law School’s Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law Louis M. Seidman cannot even be bothered to wear a coat and tie when participating in a debate on a major issue of national public policy, i.e. defending the supposed constitutionality of the Obamacare health insurance mandate.
I smiled recently with bitter amusement upon reading of Stanford University’s preposterous appointment of an “atheist chaplain” when I came upon the detail that made the story perfect: the new padre in charge of unbelief is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School.
It seemed to me to speak volumes about establishment university administrations’ systematic pattern of what really amounts to nothing less than long-term embezzlement via the application of institutional resources and funding for purposes diametrically opposed to those which the institutions in question were created to pursue. It sounds like a joke when you observe that one of our most elite divinity schools graduates doctors of divinity specializing in atheism, but the pattern of institutionalized academical heresy and treason obviously extends far beyond mere theology.
Over the weekend, the New York Times published an editorial, written in complete earnest by a tenured professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown, one of the country’s top-tier law schools, titled “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution.” Its author, Professor Seidman, who has been teaching, i.e. obviously traducing and malpracticing, Constitutional Law for nearly four decades, brazenly argued in favor of ignoring the Constitution altogether.
As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?
Obviously what this country needs to do is the precise opposite of seeking spiritual counseling from atheists and constitutional legal analysis from opponents of constitutional government. We need to take back our most important and prestigious institutions from the flakes, creeps, and radical fanatics who have infiltrated and occupied them. Our best-credentialed elite ought not to be enthusiastic adversaries of the historical country, culture, and civilization which created the institutions awarding their credentials and vesting them with influence and authority.
Fox News predicts that things are going to get very interesting for the Justice Department and BATF next week, when Congressional hearings put the spotlight on some amazingly botched efforts at gun control.
Officials at the Department of Justice are in “panic mode,” according to multiple sources, as word spreads that congressional testimony next week will paint a bleak and humiliating picture of Operation Fast and Furious, the botched undercover operation that left a trail of blood from Mexico to Washington, D.C.
The operation was supposed to stem the flow of weapons from the U.S. to Mexico by allowing so-called straw buyers to purchase guns legally in the U.S. and later sell them in Mexico, usually to drug cartels.
Instead, ATF documents show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms knowingly and deliberately flooded Mexico with assault rifles. Their intent was to expose the entire smuggling organization, from top to bottom, but the operation spun out of control and supervisors refused pleas from field agents to stop it.
Only after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry died did ATF Agent John Dodson blow the whistle and expose the scandal.
“What people don’t understand is how long we will be dealing with this,” Dodson told Fox News back in March. “Those guns are gone. You can’t just give the order and get them back. There is no telling how many crimes will be committed before we retrieve them.”
But now the casualties are coming in.
Mexican officials estimate 150 of their people have been shot by Fast and Furious guns. Police have recovered roughly 700 guns at crime scenes, 250 in the U.S. and the rest in Mexico, including five AK-47s found at a cartel warehouse in Juarez last month.
A high-powered sniper rifle was used to shoot down a Mexican military helicopter. Two other Romanian-made AK-47s were found in a shoot-out that left 11 dead in the state of Jalisco three weeks ago.
The guns were traced to the Lone Wolf Gun Store in Glendale, Ariz., and were sold only after the store employees were told to do so by the ATF.
It is illegal to buy a gun for anyone but yourself. However, ATF’s own documents show it allowed just 15 men to buy 1,725 guns, and 1,318 of those were after the purchasers officially became targets of investigation.
If I could have my personal choice of one federal agency to defund or entirely abolish, I know which one it would be. I subscribe to the viewpoint that “Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms” ought to be the contents of the sign in the window of my local convenience store, not the name of a federal agency.
The Times Picayune reports that officialdom has arbitrarily created a new freedom-of-the-press-does-not-apply zone systematically excluding the public and the media from most of the Gulf waterfront impacted by the oil spill.
The Coast Guard has put new restrictions in place across the Gulf Coast that prevent the public – including news photographers and reporters covering the BP oil spill – from coming within 65 feet of any response vessels or booms on the water or on beaches.
According to a news release from the Unified Command, violation of the “safety zone” rules can result in a civil penalty of up to $40,000, and could be classified as a Class D felony. Because booms are often placed more than 40 feet on the outside of islands or marsh grasses, the 65-foot rule could make it difficult to photograph and document the impacts of oil on land and wildlife, media representatives said.
But federal officials said the buffer zone is essential to the clean-up effort.
“The safety zone has been put in place to protect members of the response effort, the installation and maintenance of oil containment boom, the operation of response equipment and protection of the environment by limiting access to and through deployed protective boom,” the news release said.
The Coast Guard on Tuesday had initially established an even stricter “safety zone” of more than 300 feet, but reduced the distance to 20 meters – 65 feet – on Wednesday. In order to get within the 65-foot limit, media must call the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans, Edwin Stanton, to get permission.
Photographer James Michael Duncan marvels at the way that it has suddenly become potentially a crime to photograph the oil spill.
Volunteers can’t work on the beach, [ostensibly] for liability reasons. Only contracted employees can go work. Of course, those contracts expressly forbid talking with media. Every boat captain that signs on with the clean up is also expressly forbidden from talking to media or taking photographers out, even when those photographers can stay out of the way of people working. Chilling effects, all.
The Coast Guard says that you must call the Coast Guard captain of the port of New Orleans to get permission. If you buy the safety argument, that sounds sort of reasonable. Except for the fact that there’s no stated rules for who can get permission. The Times-Picayune article reports that AP photographer Gerald Herbert—one of the few mainstream press photographers that has been putting out incredible shots—has asked to discuss the new policy with officials. Guess what? He hasn’t received a response. ...
I successfully [took several] photos without endangering any response workers, interfering with booms, or endangering wildlife. In fact, there wasn’t a response worker within miles of my location. Should I be a felon for making these images?
I ask again: Why is the government helping control the message here? Who’s interest is being served? It’s certainly not the public’s interest.
The 911 emergency call system is central to the modern American’s relationship to government and society. Centralized planning has eliminated RFD addresses, denied mail delivery to named houses, and re-numbered streets widely to assure conformity to the 911 system’s best convenience.
When faced with an attacker or an emergency, the official viewpoint commonly asserts that you should call 911. Defending yourself or taking independent action in an emergency has been known to get people arrested. These kinds of things are supposed to be left to experts and persons in authority.
17-year-old Adrainne Ledesma of Lincoln Park, Michigan found her father, recovering from recent brain surgery, collapsed and having a seizure on the kitchen floor. She dialed 911.
Emotionally wrought, and clearly not the best brought up young lady, she grew frustrated when 911 failed to answer, and when her second call was finally, after an interval, picked up, exclaimed, “What the f**?”
The 911 dispatcher, one Sergeant Robert McFarland, was far more concerned with making sure the caller spoke to him politely than inquiring into the reason for her call. When the young lady yelled for a f****** ambulance, McFarland simply hung up on her.
Three more calls took a similar form, and when young Adrianne finally gave up and ran in person to a nearby police station seeking assistance, she found that McFarland had already alerted them, and she was arrested for “disorderly conduct.”
As we rely more on more upon centralized systems for our fundamental needs, we are going to find that the operation of remote and impersonal systems has a tendency to prioritize the convenience, and even the amour propre, of ordinary, and sometimes pompous and self-infatuated, human beings more concerned with their own perquisites and authority than with our problems.
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.
“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.
“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.
“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.
“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society.”
Jerome Tuccile reports how the arcane complexities of state firearm regulations can be selectively enforced by local officials to punish a critic.
Prolific writer Peter Manso, author of, among other books, biographies of Norman Mailer and Marlon Brando, has been indicted on a dozen firearms charges by a Massachusetts grand jury and faces years in prison.
Did he brandish a gun in public? Threaten a neighbor with a drive-by shooting?
No, the guns were all stored, quite securely, in his locked and alarmed home. In fact, police discovered the weapons only when they responded to a burglar alarm while the writer was away. Either the guns were in plain view—evidence that Manso expected no legal trouble for their possession—or else, as Manso’s attorney alleges, “Truro police searched Manso’s house illegally while responding to the alarm.” ...
The main problem seems to be that Manso’s Firearms Identification Card expired after the passage of new legislation in 1998—previously, FIDs lasted a lifetime; now they expire every six years. The new law has caused endless problems in the Bay State, since authorities have not been very effective about informing gun owners of the change. ...
Manso claims that he’s been maliciously targeted by the police because of his controversial work on a new book that casts a skeptical look at the work of local authorities in investigating the murder of a writer named Christa Worthington.