20040228

Unimportant and immaterial

If you find that the difference between voluntarily donating a cable lock, and being compelled by Federal law to give one away with every handgun purchase, is "unimporant and immaterial" you do not appreciate the danger posed by the people you are dealing with.

It is comparable to the difference between donating your time to a church, and being compelled to sweep the floors there.

Next the Feds may require you to donate forty hours of safety training, for example, then require you to collect the records of completion of that training, then certify the safety instructors, and so forth.

20040227

Repeat after me: "reasonable articulable suspicion"

Somebody makes the circuit among several Massachusetts Wendy's restaurants, takes notes on identifying characteristics of the hard-working taxpayers behind the counters, then calls the manager at each one. He impersonates a cop, instructing the managers to select one employee against the descriptions he has taken, and strip-search that employee under the suspicion of theft. A Bart Simpson-level prank, two or three evolutionary steps above demanding that Prince Albert be let out of his can.

But the managers actually did it. "Later, however, each manager became suspicious, and reported the call and the incident to local police." To their credit, we presume.

Here's the straw: "The managers who were duped are law-abiding citizens. They thought they were responding to direct orders by the police."

When did a 'direct order by the police' carry any obligation to do anything other than stop long enough for the cop to figure you out? It's bad enough that Dudley Hiibel needed to know the Magic Words ("Am I being detained, Officer?" "Am I free to go?" "What or who are you looking for, Officer?" "I do not consent to any search.") and got the snot kicked out of him because he didn't. He at least had a sense, an unarticulable notion of what a cop's boundaries are, and thought he was well within his own. These restaurant managers hadn't a clue. To say they were 'duped' is far too generous.

So we assert that, henceforth, no American shall consider himself or herself educated without having read and studied The Outlaw's Bible, which explains those boundaries in detail. It doesn't matter whether you're an outlaw yourself---if you homeschool your kids, for example, you'll want to teach them and yourself how to talk to cops or social workers if your state's Department of Education decides to sport wood for homeschoolers.

One Dudley Hiibel is too many.

20040226

Remember Amendment XVIII?

Rosie O'Donnell is mistaken that a proposed Constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriage, or denying full faith and credit of one State's homosexual marriages by other States, would be the first Constitutional amendment to restrict individuals' rights rather than guarantee or expand them.

It was already done, it already failed, and it was already repealed.

It's called Prohibition.

Strange New Respect Award

With apologies to American Spectator, we borrow the term they use for public figures who present an unexpected, possibly even radical, turn of opinion.
"'I'VE NEVER HEARD HOWARD STERN. BUT WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GETS INVOLVED IN THIS, I GET A LITTLE FRIGHTENED. . . . I AM IN THE FREE SPEECH BUSINESS. ITS ONE THING FOR A COMPANY TO DETERMINE IF THEY ARE GOING TO BE PARTY TO IT. ITS ANOTHER THING FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO DO IT."

That's Rush Limbaugh, via Drudge.
His opinion on this matter did not surprise me. How he couched it didn't surprise me either. But it surely will surprise a lot of people who think he's a neocon first and a broadcast personality second.

20040224