Friday, July 31, 2009

Jury Tampering

You're (Probably) a Federal Criminal

This article was featured on David Codrea's excellent "War on Guns" blog recently. While David had his normal excellent and witty thoughts on this piece, and I hope if you haven't you'll go take a look, something else in the article caught my eye.

According to the government, when Krister was in jail in Alaska due to the first unjust charges, he had "abandoned" his fuel-cell materials in Idaho. Unfortunately for Krister, federal lawmakers had included in the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act a provision making it a crime to abandon "hazardous waste." According to the trial judge, the law didn't require prosecutors to prove that Krister had intended to abandon the materials (he hadn't) or that they were waste at all -- in reality, they were quite valuable and properly stored away for future use.

With such a broad law, the second jury didn't have much of a choice, and it convicted him. He spent almost two years locked up with real criminals in a federal prison. After he testifies today, he will have to return to his halfway house in Idaho and serve another week before he is released.

The second jury didn't have much of a choice? Really?!? Folks, there's this little thing called "Jury Nullification". The entire point of being judged by a jury of your peers is not so some Judge, or hell the U.S. Government can railroad you into prison! The point of a trial by jury is so that your peers can sit in judgment of the law!!

If you've ever sat on a jury, you may have heard the Judge ask if you'll follow their instructions to the letter. They might have said that you must decide the case based only upon the evidence given and the law it stands on. This is entirely incorrect.

The jury has the power in our system to declare that in the particular situation they sit in judgment of, the law does not apply. They can decide this based on extenuating circumstances, or even because they DISAGREE with the law itself.

That second jury had the opportunity to tell the Government that when that poor man was initially arrested and railroaded into prison, he had NO CHOICE as to the disposition of the materials he uses in his research and business. This situation would be similar to a Police Officer handcuffing me to a pole in a mall, ordering me to leave the premises, and then arresting me for trespassing because I didn't leave.

Of course not every trial and every situation needs this treatment by the jury. There are obviously any number of crimes out there for which the perpetrator, if guilty, needs a good long stay in the pokey. However, before you get your next jury duty notice, please go to the Fully Informed Jury Association's web site and get familiar with the material there.

Know your rights as a jury member. Don't let some poor sap who has fallen afoul of any number of the thousands of unjust laws floating around out there go to prison simply because of circumstances beyond their control!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Personal Accountability

Or the lack thereof.

From comes this:
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Conference Secretary Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also acknowledged that critics will "pour it on" during the coming August recess and they plan to respond in kind.

Reid said reporters created a fictitious deadline of a successful vote by the August recess, and downplayed the fact that the chamber won’t meet that mark.

“That is a deadline that you created,” Reid told a group of about 75 reporters. “It’s not like we don’t have a product. Significant progress has been made … The mere fact that this wasn't done by last Friday or by five o’clock doesn't mean we’re not going to get a quality product."
Emphasis mine

Really Mr. Reid? Obama and y'all didn't have anything to do with that so called "fictional" deadline?

Important statement at 7:15 if you don't want to listen to this bullshit for 9 minutes.

Your DemocRATs control the House, Senate, and White House Mr. Reid. Obama, Pelosi and yourself have been making public statements for weeks saying tripe to the effect of "it WILL pass". And yet it hasn't. Not yet. Your failure to live up to the deadline that you and your statist jackass friends set for yourselves is your failure and yours alone. At least be man enough to stand up and admit you blew it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

From Our "Rapidly Heating Earth" Comes This!

"This is probably just a perception, but I just have the feeling that the glaciers are melting, the snow capping the mountains is less than it was 12 years ago when I saw it last time," [Canadian Astronaut] Thrisk was quoted as saying. "That saddens me a little bit."

Reminds me of Al Gore, I think he invented space flight.

Meanwhile, in "real science" land:
3,000 Low Temp Records Set This July!

Of course, the above article comes complete with a bunch of giant disclaimers and "well, these outliers certainly don't represent any evidence of "Climate Change" (remember, now that people are starting to notice the Earth isn't actually warming, they're changing the lexicon to something even harder to quantify and disprove). Get past all that and take a look at what the numbers really are. I'm already hearing people coining the phrase "year without a summer". And this wouldn't be the first time that happened.

I still think man has great hubris to think that, short of seriously massive events such as large scale nuclear weapons usage, they can have any great and meaningful effect on the overall climatology of this planet. After all, we're competing with the sun, and large volcanic events, which themselves can singularly affect global temperatures by one and two degrees C. Remember, in geological history Alaska has been a tropical paradise, and glaciers have covered large portions of the planet.

What a mess.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Further Rumblings of the 10th...

I've said before that I firmly believe that the only way we're going to stem the tie of Statism in the Federal Government is by...well...Statism. Of the local kind of course.

Rick Perry has been making some fairly bold statements recently, including on the right of Texans to manufacture guns for use within its own borders without the BATFU having anything to say about it. That action, along with a 10th Amendment resolution (that likely had no teeth, yes, I know) unfortunately died in a filibuster at the end of the Texas session this year (along with a number of other bills I wasn't a fan of, so I'll call it par for the course). We are, however, still left with a potential wrecking shot from the cannon of ObamaCare.

Gov. Perry was interviewed by the Star Telegram today. Among other things, he said:
"I think you’ll hear states and governors standing up and saying 'no’ to this type of encroachment on the states with their healthcare," Perry said. "So my hope is that we never have to have that stand-up. But I’m certainly willing and ready for the fight if this administration continues to try to force their very expansive government philosophy down our collective throats." - Governor Rick Perry, TX

One of the problems with a strong Federalized system where the Rule of Law has been suspended is that a majority of looters can happily trample right over your Liberty, gleefully tearing the money out of your wallet, taking the roof from over your head, and the food out of your family's mouth on their way through. By keeping these types of programs managed locally, you can gain two immediate advantages:

  1. It is far easier for the citizens of a State to affect how they are governed. Politicians are within driving distance, and deal with a smaller number of constituents, allowing them to be more responsive.

  2. If you don't like the way your state is going, in a properly balanced system as envisioned by the Founders, you can always go to another state that is more in line with your beliefs.

All that aside, this is really a business opportunity. If one or more States were to secede and create an environment of Freedom and Opportunity such as envisioned by the Founders, I have a feeling we'd see an even more massive influx of businesses to this state. A lower tax environment, less oppressive regulations, and an already reasonable cost of living would make this a fine place to take up where The Republic of Texas left off so many years ago. Should the rest of the States United pass ObamaCare, Texas could become a haven for Doctors to continue providing the top notch care that currently brings people from all over the world to the US for treatment.

Allowing those Doctors to thrive by limiting their exposure due to tort abuses perpetrated in the current system, and therefore greatly lowering their costs could create a high-end health care haven that would bring millions in revenue to the state. Many higher-end Docs have already indicated they would move their practices to the Caribbean to flee the oppressive and draconian solution that is ObamaCare. Why not give them someplace closer and more stable to go instead?

This has the extra advantage of being reachable by a larger number of people who, while unable to go to the Caribbean for care due to costs, could easily load up the car and come down to Texas for top-notch treatment. The ability to actually get paid a reasonable wage would attract the talented Doctors and medical staff trapped in the USSA, and the ability to charge a rate that was dictated by the market rather than by a bunch of looter bureaucrats in Washington D.C. would attract medical research and development companies and their amazing new medical innovations - further increasing Texas' prestige as THE place to go for treatment.

I have come to the belief, as have many others in (or related to) the Threeper community, that the cause of Liberty and Freedom is lost to the entity known as the United States. Every year, rules are changed to allow more and more looters, those who don't pay taxes and therefore have no skin in the game (and no compunction against voting for people that will raise taxes), more and more agencies are created to enforce increasingly draconian regulations, and our "masters" become ever more violent in their attempt to cling to the "Authority" that those who should be our servants claim to hold over us. Illegal Immigrants will surely be given amnesty in the next year, resulting in an even further tip of the balances towards those who would loot rather than produce. The "minimum wage" will be raised ever higher, making it harder and harder for smaller businesses to pay their low-skill workers.

The only final recourse, short of "shooting the bastards" (is that Vanderboegh there?) is for one or more States to go their own way. This, unfortunately, will likely result in having to shoot the bastards anyways - we all saw how this type of activity went down in 1861.

Either way, secession or not, winter is coming. The darkness may fall when the final attempts to manipulate the economy fail epically, the "poor and oppressed masses" (read: looters) decide that it's not enough to slowly bleed the productive folks dry and decide to go after the golden egg with their own hands, or a foreign nation finally gets tired of buying our debt with an ever dwindling chance of ever getting their money back and demands payment in blood. Either way, something will break, it'll break big, and likely sooner rather than later.

Prepare and act accordingly.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fed to Congress - We have no idea where that $500bil went...

Denninger's Market Ticker blog has an excellent excerpt from Bernanke's testimony today.

I'm heartened (just a tiny bit), to see that at least some of our Con's in gress are starting to ask the correct questions:

Listen and read here:Where Did the Money Go?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ted Nugent Does it Again

For those of you that haven't been over to the LawDog Files, I'd like to direct you to a YouTube clip he posted earlier today. Yes, it's Ted on the 2nd again.

Take a trip over to LawDog's and see what's happening. He is an excellent storyteller and an upstanding Texan.

The LawDog Files

The Importance of Standard Capacity Magazines (and more than one of them)...

Akron police investigate teen mob attack on family

Out of nowhere, the six were attacked by dozens of teenage boys, who shouted ''This is our world'' and ''This is a black world'' as they confronted Marshall and his family.

The Marshalls, who are white, say the crowd of teens who attacked them and two friends June 27 on Girard Street numbered close to 50. The teens were all black.

''This was almost like being a terrorist act,'' Marshall said. ''And we allow this to go on in our neighborhoods?''

They said it started when one teen, without any words or warning, blindsided and assaulted Marshall's friend as he stood outside with the others.

When Marshall, 39, jumped in, he found himself being attacked by the growing group of teens.

There is a term for this, it's called "disparity of force". Very likely, most of the perpetrators of this attack weren't armed (then again, you never know), but they were being ruled by a mob mentality - anything goes, and boy isn't it fun to go with the crowd?

Ultimately, the sheer number of these people meant that there was very likely an affirmative defense for the application of lethal force had someone decided to break up the melee by shooting at these scum. While I will freely admit that shooting into a crowd of youths is truly not something anyone wants to do, the gentleman who ended up in the hospital with a concussion is very lucky he didn't get worse from the kicking and stomping. Kicking someone who is down is well known to cause serious bodily injury, and if there are "dozens" of people taking turns kicking, serious bodily injury is a foregone conclusion.

Take a moment to think this situation through and determine what your actions might be to prevent the death of a loved one who had done nothing wrong and was now being assaulted by a crowd of cowards. Realize that ten shots very likely won't be enough. Do you have "standard capacity" magazines?

What is most unfortunate about this situation is the following:
The Marshalls say they fear retaliation at home or when they go outside. They are considering arming themselves, but they're concerned about the possible problems that come with guns.

For now, they are hoping police can bring them suspects. They believe they can identify several of the attackers.

''This makes you think about your freedom,'' Marshall said. ''In all reality, where is your freedom when you have this going on?''

Mr. Marshall, your freedom lies in your ability to protect yourself and your loved ones. The Police won't be there if these thugs come back, you're going to be right back into the same situation - you and yours vs. all comers. The only "problems" that come with guns are those you bring upon yourself.

I sincerely hope that someone knowledgeable in armed self defense can sit down with Mr. Marshall and help him and his family make an educated decision to ensure he is able to take action to prevent this kind of thing from happening to his family again.

I also hope that the youths that perpetrated this attack see the error of their ways before they choose the wrong person to beat up. I'd much rather they live a full and rich life in harmony with society than end up bleeding out in a gutter after attempting their little game on someone who doesn't tolerate that kind of crap.

Current Quote

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." – Thomas Jefferson