Archive for Justice

How Can We Miss You When You Won’t Get the F**k Outta Here?

With all due respect, of course, to the retiring (though he’s anything but) Attorney General of the United States:

In an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid in a replica of the bus Rosa Parks rode, Attorney General Eric Holder discussed the lack of respect shown by his political opponents and if a white attorney general would receive the same treatment as him.

“I can’t look into the hearts and minds of people who have been, perhaps, my harshest critics,” Holder said. “I think a large part of the criticism is political in nature. Whether there is a racial component or not, you know, I don’t know.”

“Do you feel you’ve been especially disrespected as attorney general?” Reid asked Holder.

“I think it’s unfortunately part of Washington in 2014,” Holder said. “I would hope that my successor would not have to endure some of the thing is did. I say endure only because I think I’ve shown respect where, perhaps, I haven’t been given any.”

Holder said there have been times when he “wanted to just snap back” and “be a lot more aggressive.”

“There are times when I’ve wanted to just snap back,” Attorney General Holder said. “There are occasions when I have. But there have been frequently more times when I’ve wanted to, you know, be a lot more aggressive in the responses that I’ve made.”

Ask John Ashcroft how it felt to be Attorney General, when almost no Democrats supported his initial appointment. Ask Alberto Gonzalez, who also got no love from the Dems, despite being the first Latino AG—indeed the highest Latino in US government to that date (just as Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice had been the first black and female Secys of State respectively). Talk about your war on women, blacks, and Hispanics!

Let’s take a look at a little bit of Eric Holder not snapping back.

“A nation of cowards”:

Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.

Ever wonder why, Eric (the Red)?

Fast and Furious:

“I want to be clear: Any instance of so-called ‘gun walking’ is unacceptable,” Holder said of weapons smuggling, later adding: “This operation was flawed in its concept, and flawed in its execution.”

No [bleep], Sherlock.

Myopia:

“You constantly hear about voter fraud … but you don’t see huge amounts of vote fraud out there,’’ Holder said.

J-u-u-u-st enough, I would say:

Attorney General Eric Holder finally got fed up Tuesday with claims that the Justice Department went easy in a voting rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party because they are African American.

“When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia—which was inappropriate, certainly that…to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people,” said Holder, who is black.

“To compare that kind of courage, that kind of action, and to say that the Black Panther incident wrong thought it might be somehow is greater in magnitude or is of greater concern to us, historically, I think just flies in the face of history and the facts.”

How about due process:

“The reality is that we will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama Bin Laden – he will never appear in an American courtroom,” the nation’s chief enforcement officer told a stunned House hearing.

No argument from me. But isn’t that the same kind of talk that got Bush labeled a “cowboy”?

More due process:

President Barack Obama predicted that professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be convicted and executed as Attorney General Eric Holder proclaimed: “Failure is not an option.”

Even if a terror trial suspect were acquitted, Holder said, he would not be released in the United States.

In one of a series of TV interviews during his trip to Asia, Obama said those offended by the legal privileges given to Mohammed by virtue of getting a civilian trial rather than a military tribunal won’t find it “offensive at all when he’s convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him.”

Obama quickly added that he did not mean to suggest he was prejudging the outcome of Mohammed’s trial. “I’m not going to be in that courtroom,” he said. “That’s the job of the prosecutors, the judge and the jury.”

In interviews broadcast on NBC and CNN Wednesday, the president also said that experienced prosecutors in the case who specialize in terrorism have offered assurances that “we’ll convict this person with the evidence they’ve got, going through our system.”

Holder sought to explain his prosecutorial strategy Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where lawmakers questioned him along largely partisan lines over his decision last week to send Mohammed and four alleged henchmen from a detention center at Guantanamo Bay to New York to face a civilian federal trial in New York.

Asked what might happen if the suspects are acquitted, Holder replied: “Failure is not an option. These are cases that have to be won. I don’t expect that we will have a contrary result.”

That’s the President of the United States and the Attorney General prejudging (literally) a civilian trial. Saddam Hussein couldn’t have done better. Homosexuals in Iran are more likely to get off. (Wipe that smirk off your face, you know what I mean.)

So, farewell, then, Eric Holder. Good riddance to bad rubbish. When you finally leave, that is.

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See You in Court

You’ll be hearing from my lawyers:

President Barack Obama’s new plan to ease the threat of deportation for 4.7 million undocumented immigrants violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge found on Tuesday, handing down the first legal ruling against the plan.

The ruling has no immediate impact, with the government saying there was no reason for Judge Arthur Schwab of the Western District of Pennsylvania to address the issue in the case, which concerns 42-year-old Honduran immigrant Elionardo Juarez-Escobar.

Schwab is the first judge to rule on the legality of the plan Obama announced on Nov. 20. The executive action by the Democratic president is opposed by Republicans and is already subject to other legal challenges.

Schwab ruled that the executive action violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of separation of powers and the separate “take care clause,” which requires the president to faithfully execute laws passed by Congress.

So what if it’s non-binding? At least someone has the nuts to pronounce on the issue. Over to you, John Boehner (speaking of nuts, or lack thereof).

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We’ll See You in Court

We’re going to need a bigger courthouse. Is Montana available?

Twenty-four states have signed onto the legal challenge against President Barack Obama over his executive action on immigration, incoming Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.

Abbott, the Texas attorney general who will assume his new role in January, is leading the coalition.

“The president’s proposed executive decree violates the U.S. Constitution and federal law, circumvents the will of the American people and is an affront to the families and individuals who follow our laws to legally immigrate to the United States,” he said in a written statement.

The Texas-led coalition of states in the legal challenge consist of: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Almost half the union is suing President Obama for violating the Constitution. Somebody has to.

PS: Of course, Obama thinks he has 33 states on his side.

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Who Killed Eric Garner? Why, An’ What’s the Reason For?

As this article takes pains to declare: “it is the height of irresponsibility and depravity for a man to end up dead for selling loose cigarettes.”

Amen.

And yet he did.

How?

The background:

In 2010, the New York State Legislature passed a law raising taxes on cigarettes purchased in New York City to $5.85 per pack of 20 cigarettes.

Fast-forward four years: A U.S. senator is blaming the politician that created that law for the chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, by a white police officer in New York City in July 2014.

“I do blame the politician,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, explained on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” “We put our police in a dangerous situation with bad laws.”

Crazy talk? Let’s dig deeper:

The law that led to this confrontation was pressed forward by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Garner had been arrested some eight times for selling “loosies.” As Lawrence McQuillan reported in The Washington Times:

In January 2014, tough new penalties for selling untaxed cigarettes took effect in New York City. In July, emboldened by the new law, the city’s highest-ranking uniformed cop, Philip Banks, issued an order to crack down on loosie sales days before Garner died.

So in terms of police cracking down on Garner, the real responsibility lies with Bloomberg and NYPD Chief Bill Bratton. Idiot laws lead to meaningless deaths.

I did some sleuthing. New York State’s (and New York City’s) cigarette taxes are the highest in the country. Drive to New Jersey with an empty trunk and you can load up on ciggies taxed at $2.70 a pack. Drive a little farther and you can get them in Pennsylvania for $1.60. Make a road trip to Virginia, King Tobacco, and it’s a mere 30¢ a pack—almost twenty times less than the tax rate in New York City. (By the way, the Feds stick their own $1.01 tax on every pack.)

No wonder Eric Garner did a brisk business selling loosies.

Especially in a poorer neighborhood in Staten Island:

Progressives claim to care for the poor, yet the 18.1 percent of Americans who still smoke are disproportionately poor.

A 2012 study for the New York State Department of Health found that smokers in households making less than $30,000 a year spent on average 23.6 percent — nearly one dollar in four — of household income on cigarettes. New York’s cigarette taxes are regressive, hurting poor people most.

Eric Garner may have been the “dealer”, but the drug kingpin was the federal, state, and local government determined to get their cut. Collected by the “goons” sent to “explain the situation” to him. Illegal aliens are legal without even the wave of a pen; marijuana possession is rarely a crime anymore; but selling individual cigarettes (so expensive because their cost is doubled by taxes) is a crime punishable by death. If not by intent, by inevitability.

Inevitable not least due to Garner’s health:

At issue in this case is the so-called “chokehold” used by Pantaleo. Chokeholds have been banned by the NYPD entirely since 1993; chokeholds are typically defined as holds that prevent people from breathing. Thanks to the video showing Garner stating that he cannot breathe, many pundits have wrongly suggested that Pantaleo was “choking” Garner by depriving him of air from his windpipe. Bratton himself suggested that Pantaleo used a “chokehold,” which is defined by the NYPD as “any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.”
That does not appear to have been the case. Garner did not die of asphyxiation, as the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association noted at the time. The preliminary autopsy showed no damage to Garner’s windpipe or neck bones.

So what was Pantaleo doing? He was applying a submission hold, which is not barred by the NYPD, and is designed to deprive the brain of oxygen by stopping blood flow through the arteries. So say the experts on submission holds.

It appears that the so-called chokehold was instrumental in triggering Garner’s pre-existing health problems and causing his death, but Garner was not choked to death, as the media seems to maintain. According to Garner’s friends, he “had several health issues: diabetes, sleep apnea, and asthma so severe that he had to quit his job as a horticulturist for the city’s parks department. He wheezed when he talked and could not walk a block without resting, they said.”

His being able to shout “I can’t breathe!” several times is proof that he could breathe, however impaired his breathing was. I’ve experimented with a little grappling in my martial arts training (very little because I don’t like it). The very first thing you are taught is how to surrender, which is by tapping, not speaking. Many submission holds restrict airflow: you can think “I give up”, but if you can’t say it, you’re screwed. Garner could speak.

But that’s not the same as breathing. Asthma, a weak heart, diabetes—that’s what killed him, triggered by the stress of an arrest that should have been handled better. I heard a doctor call into Dennis Miller’s radio show and say that Garner’s size was not indicative of a behemoth, but of someone morbidly obese, who should have been handled even more carefully. He thought the cops should have known that.

I wish they had. I wish they had talked him down instead of taken him down, even though his “this ends today” rhetoric perhaps left them no chance. But I also wish the police had been instructed to apply the same laxity of law enforcement toward “black market” distribution of a legal product as they are instructed to ignore illegal marijuana and illegal aliens. And I wish the city didn’t so strenuously apply its usurious tax rates on its poorest citizens.

Sure, they should quit smoking. But ask President Obama, whose nicorette gum habit so insulted the Chinese on a state visit, how easy that is.

Bob Dylan once wrote a song, “Who Killed Davey Moore?” about a boxer who died in a bout. In Dylan’s telling, the ref, the opponent, the manager, the gambler, the sports writer, and the crowd all profess their innocence. Who killed Eric Garner? There’s a long list.

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Free Hosni!

Where does Hosni Mubarak go to get his reputation back?

In what many Egyptians called the trial of the century, a Cairo judge dismissed charges against former President Hosni Mubarak for the deaths of hundreds of protesters.

The court has also found Mubarak not guilty of corruption Saturday.

Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for almost 30 years, was accused of “inciting, arranging and assisting to kill peaceful protesters” during the country’s popular uprising in 2011. The 86-year-old had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Saturday’s rulings capped Mubarak’s second trial for the same charges. He was already convicted of helping kill protesters and was sentenced to life in prison in 2012, but was later granted a new trial.

Mubarak wasn’t the only defendant in the courtroom. His former Interior Minister Habib El-Adly and six aides were also trial for the deaths of 239 protesters in 2011. All seven of them were acquitted.

Get up, lazybones! You got a country to run. Well, maybe not:

Though Mubarak was not convicted on any charges Saturday, he still won’t go free anytime soon.

In May, a Cairo court sentenced Mubarak to three years in prison for embezzlement. His sons Gamal and Alaa were sentenced to four years each on the same charge.

All three were convicted of embezzling $18 million that was allocated for the renovation of presidential palaces. The Mubaraks have insisted they are not guilty.

Don’t bet against the Mubaraks. They have a history of beating the rap—and protestors, Muslim Brothers, African refugees, etc.

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Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is

Liberal law professor ain’t that liberal:

Speaker of the House John Boehner has hired Jonathan Turley, a renowned liberal law professor, as his lead counsel in the House’s lawsuit against the Obama administration’s delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate.

Turley is a law professor at the George Washington University, frequent legal commentator and self-avowed liberal. He may be the perfect pick for House Republicans — Turley is not only a liberal, but is friendly toward Obamacare itself, according to his writings. But he’s vociferously pushed back against President Obama’s generous use of executive action in the past and has hit the administration for its implementation of the health-care law and he said he jumped at the chance to represent House Republicans.

“It is a great honor to represent the institution in this historic lawsuit and to work with the talented staff of the House General Counsel’s Office,” Turley wrote at his blog Monday. “To quote the movie Jerry Maguire, the House ‘had me at hello’ in seeking a ruling to reinforce the line of authority between the branches.”

“The question presented by this lawsuit is whether we will live in a system of shared and equal powers, as required by our Constitution, or whether we will continue to see the rise of a dominant Executive with sweeping unilateral powers,” Turley continued. “That is a question worthy of review and resolution in our federal courts.”

As we quoted Turley yesterday:

“What the President is suggesting is tearing at the very fabric of the constitution. We have a separation of powers that gives us balance and that doesn’t protect the branches. It’s not there to protect the executive branch or the legislative branch, it’s there to protect liberty. It’s there to keep any branch from assuming so much control that they become a threat to liberty.

That post was titled “The Fascist President”. Anyone still care to argue that?

While Turley may be a good fit for House Republicans, they’ve had trouble retaining counsel in the past. Two Washington, D.C. law firms backed out of representing the House thus far — first attorney David Rivkin of BakerHostetler and then Bill Burkc of Quinn Emanuel Urquhuart & Sullivan.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog, is seeking information from the White House on whether administration officials pressured the firms into dropping the case. A Boehner spokesman told Politico last month that political pressure form “wealthy, Democratic-leaning clients” was a factor in the firms backing out.

That sound you hear is the sound of a democratically elected republic slipping through our grasp.

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CORRECTION

Yesterday, we implied that Fast & Furious (2010) was the Obama regime’s first “smidgen of corruption”.

Shame on us:

The very first controversy of the Eric Holder-led Justice Department (“DOJ”) involved the dismissal of the voter-intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party (“NBPP”). The matter provided a template for most of the DOJ controversies that followed: denial, stonewalling, obfuscation, deceit, and racialism.

The U.S.Commission on Civil Rights conducted a year-long investigation into the matter shortly after the dismissal. Despite being compelled by statute to cooperate fully with commission investigations, DOJ

refused to answer 18 separate interrogatories,

refused to respond to 22 separate requests for production of documents,

barred two key DOJ attorneys from testifying (both of the attorneys defied DOJ and testified at considerable risk to their careers),

refused to provide witness statements for twelve key witnesses,

invoked specious privileges in order to withhold critical information,

failed to provide a privilege log,

and failed to provide requested e-mails between Civil Rights Division personnel and other DOJ officials regarding the dismissal of the NBPP lawsuit (some of the e-mails later were revealed pursuant to court order in a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch)

Despite the vigorous stonewalling, DOJ publicly claimed that it was cooperating fully with the investigation. The claim was blatantly false, but was cheerfully reported by the media. What most of the mainstream media failed to report, however, was that the bipartisan commission’s investigation adduced testimony that

A high-ranking DOJ political appointee gave instructions that the Voting Section was not going to bring cases “against black defendants or for the benefit of white victims.”

A high-ranking DOJ political appointee explicitly told the entire Voting Section “that this administration would not be enforcing Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act.” (The purpose of section 8 of the NVRA is to ensure that persons ineligible to vote are not permitted to vote.)

DOJ refuses to enforce Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act on behalf of white victims.

There exists within DOJ pervasive hostility to the race-neutral enforcement of civil-rights laws.

Furthermore, a high-ranking DOJ political appointee testified under oath that no political leadership was involved in the decision to dismiss the NBPP lawsuit. The testimony was shown to be false only after the Judicial Watch lawsuit pried loose e-mails showing clear political involvement.

The commission’s 262-page report to congress contains much more evidence that, under Holder, DOJ did not enforce the nation’s civil-rights laws in a color-blind manner. Something to consider while reading the next obtuse editorial extolling Mr. Holder’s record on civil rights.

Strong words, Eric (the Red). What have you to say for yourself?

“When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia—which was inappropriate, certainly that…to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people,” said Holder, who is black.

Your people, Americans, were met with real, obvious, and documented voter intimidation. And you let it go.

In the absence of any explanation, we are left to surmise. Were the Panthers your “shock troops”, your “boots on the ground”?

He’s not too fond of “typical white people” either. Or atypical ones.

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Another Bitch-Slap From Lady Justice

Justice is blind, they say. Which is just as well, since the Most Transparent Administration Evah!™ is getting more opaque all the time:

A federal judge has issued a stinging rebuke to the Obama administration’s recent attempt to shield documents from disclosure in a case that could yield important clues about the Treasury Department’s relationship with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Government lawyers had argued they could redact key information before releasing records to the public by saying the documents related to the “deliberative process.” But in a ruling last month, U.S. Federal Claims Court Judge Margaret M. Sweeney rejected that, saying the government was illegally cutting corners.

“Defendant asserts that the court should merely take its word that the documents — some of which defendant itself has not reviewed — are privileged. This is contrary to law.”

That’s legalese for “don’t bring that [bleep] into my courtroom.”

[G]overnment watchdogs cheered the ruling, saying it represented an important pushback against a tool in the administration’s increasingly use of the exemption to try to keep embarrassing information secret.

“Theft is not privileged,” Tim Pagliara, head of shareholders group Investors Unite, said in a statement after the ruling.

That’s legalese for “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” Here’s another, in the original Latin, Praeses Obama gramen anus: Obama’s ass is grass.

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How It’s Done

Hamass shows Israel that if you want the job of killing Gazans done right, you’ve got to do it yourself:

Hamas’ public executions of at least 25 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have sparked debate in the West Bank. Those executed, including at least two women, are accused of providing information which allowed Israel to carry out targeted killings of several senior Hamas officials.

Hamas officials continued to defend the mass killings through the Palestine Information Center, a Hamas-affiliated website, reporting that “the collaborators sold out their religion, sold out their people and their country for a cheap price in order to benefit the enemy which resulted in tens of Palestinians killed, homes demolished and led to the failure of some operations of the resistance.”

But the Arab occupiers of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza are at least conflicted over summary executions:

In the West Bank, there were mixed reactions to the killings. Tayib Abdelrahim, the Secretary General of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s office told the Ma’an news agency that the executions were carried out without due process.

“The executions were done in cold blood and according to ‘Hamas law,’ meaning that whoever is not with Hamas is against it,” he added.

Palestinian analyst Abdelmajeed Sweilem offered a rationale, calling the executions a “spontaneous reaction” to the Israeli assassinations.

“What Hamas did is just plain wrong. I don’t think a democratic person with ethics would agree with such a practice,” he told The Media Line. “Hamas had no legal right to take matters into its own hands. The death penalty requires the signature of the Palestinian President, as stated in the Palestinian Basic Law.”

Ah, yes, “Palestinian Basic Law”. Three words have never been more at conflict in any language.

Lest there be any doubt about executions in Islam (after James Foley and Daniel Pearl, how could there be?):

But some religious authorities in the West Bank defended the executions, and said the accused could have received a fair trial.

“In Islam, a fair trial could be finished within one or two hours,” Sheikh Abu Ali, an expert on Islamic law told The Media Line. “If the information enables the enemy to target specific Palestinians, leading to their execution by Israel, the death penalty could be permissible. In this case, dozens of Palestinian civilians were killed in the Israeli air strikes that targeted the Hamas leaders.

“In Islam, when any Muslim man or woman who informs the enemy of the location of Mujahedeen (resistance fighters) or senior leaders that the enemy wants to kill or bomb, he or she becomes a partner to the crime of killing and according to Islamic law, must be given the death penalty.”

Take that, US justice system—not years, hours! How’s that for a speedy trial? Here’s your hood, what’s your hurry?

Political analyst Abdelmajeed Sweilem says the Hamas executions will reflect negatively on the Palestinians and the unity government. [No!]

Al Masri, who has long been an advocate of the two-state solution, agreed that the unity government is critical to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“The most important thing is to keep the reconciliation going, to get our independence and remove the occupation. I have been working on it for seven years. Thank God it’s working.”

Just keep telling yourself that, Al.

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People Killing People

Apropos of my earlier post on the doctor who shot and disabled a mentally disturbed man who had already killed one person… I visited the NRA website (for the first time in my life) to see what they had to say.

They hadn’t yet opined, but there was much else of interest.

Obama won’t prosecute gun crimes:

While President Obama decries gun violence and presses for more laws to restrict ownership, his Justice Department has prosecuted 25 percent fewer cases referred by the main law enforcement agency charged with reducing firearms violence across the country, a computer analysis of U.S. prosecution data shows.

Federal prosecutors brought a total of 5,082 gun violation cases in 2013 recommended by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, compared with 6,791 during the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency in 2008, according to data obtained from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys.

The 2013 totals represent a 42 percent decline from the record number of 8,752 prosecutions of ATF cases brought by the Justice Department in 2004 under Mr. Bush, according to the data.

What inferences are we to draw? That prosecution of gun crimes is a Republican issue? Surely gun crimes themselves haven’t declines, at least not by 42%.

“We have this irony. The Obama administration, which is asking for more in the way of gun regulations — in terms of increased background checks for private sales and at gun shows — is actually prosecuting less of the gun laws already on the books,” said Robert Cottrol, a gun control historian at George Washington University. “For a lot of people, there’s more ideological cache harassing Bubba at the gun show than getting a handle on gun crime.”

“Bubba” buys his guns legally; “LaShawn” does not. “Bubba” hasn’t shot anybody; “LaShawn” has capped gang rivals. “Bubba” lives in rural Arkansas, “LaShawn” on the South Side of Chicago. Yet “Bubba” is the one feeling the heat.

Here’s another story they link to:

The tragic surge in murders that struck Chicago over the July Fourth weekend has brought forward gun control advocates who want to hype the political battle between Michael Bloomberg and the National Rifle Association (NRA) yet again. The situation in Chicago is a tremendous tragedy, and gun control supporters are acting upon Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s famous advice to never let a tragedy go to waste. They are citing the violence in Chicago to offer misguided solutions that will only impact law-abiding citizens. But as a former deputy sheriff and member of Congress, I can attest that their proposed “solution” is anything but.

Given my experience in law enforcement, I understand that the problem in Chicago, and other major cities with high crime rates, is not the absence of laws, but the lack of enforcement of the ones that already exist. According to Syracuse University’s TRACanalysis, Chicago ranks as one of the lowest cities for the number of federal prosecutions of firearm abusers. Criminals are well aware that current laws are not being enforced, and they can thus operate with impunity.

The irony is that Chicago is one of the last holdouts of strict gun control laws despite the clear rulings of the Supreme Court. It could not be more obvious that these laws are not working. Criminals acquire firearms through illegal means, and no city ordinance can or law will be able to stop them. In fact, in recent years Chicago has had to pay millions of dollars in attorney fees to the NRA for stubbornly defending their unconstitutional restrictions in court. And yet they do nothing to stop the violence. Chicago’s onerous gun restrictions actually exacerbate the problem by preventing law-abiding citizens from exercising the right to self-defense.

That’s two articles cited by the NRA that call for prosecution of gun crimes. Remember that next time someone on the Left demonizes the group. And remember too how many victims of gun crimes are black. Eric Holder’s decision not to prosecute violent criminals leads directly to more dead young black men in Chicago and elsewhere. Slobodan Milosevic didn’t get away with such ethnic cleansing.

PS: Since I started this post last night, the NRA did address the shooting in question:

A Pennsylvania police chief says that a doctor undoubtedly saved lives after he shot a gunman who opened fire Thursday in an incident that left a hospital case worker dead.

The gunman, Richard Plotts, of Upper Darby, opened fire at Mercy Elizabeth Hospital, just outside of Philadelphia, shortly after entering an office with the case worker, the Associated Press reports.

Witnesses said that when they opened the office door after hearing shouting, they saw Plotts with a gun. The witnesses closed the office door and called 911. Minutes later, they heard gun shots.

Plotts had shot and killed a 53 year-old female case worker. He sustained several critical gun shot wounds himself from the gun of a hospital psychiatrist. The psychiatrist suffered a graze wound to his head. Plotts was taken into custody.

“Without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives,” said Yeadon police chief Donald Molineux, according to the Associated Press.

“Without that firearm, [the shooter] could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition,” Molineux said.

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Does He Also Have the Right to Bear Arms?

If Ahmed Abu Khatallah also wanted an abortion or a sex change operation, it would be US Government policy to pay for either one: (His 2nd and 10th Amendment rights are a different story.)

While the suspected mastermind of the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi is now on U.S. soil, the political fallout related to his prosecution may just be beginning.

The criminal complaint against Ahmed Abu Khatallah was filed nearly a year ago, and he was nabbed two weeks ago in eastern Libya. He appeared in a federal court in Washington on Saturday – much to some Republicans’ chagrin.

“I have serious concerns that conducting a rushed interrogation onboard a ship and then turning Abu Khatallah over to our civilian courts risks losing critical intelligence that could lead us to other terrorists or prevent future attacks,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, said in a statement Saturday. “I’ve asked the Defense and Justice Departments for an update on his status-including whether he has been told he has the right to remain silent.”

“If they bring him to the United States, they’re going to Mirandize this guy and it would be a mistake for the ages to read this guy his Miranda rights,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Earlier this month, Rep. Peter King of New York expressed other concerns to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer – chiefly, that U.S. authorities aren’t doing enough to maximize the amount of information they get from Abu Khatallah.

“Before he’s turned over to civilian authorities, the FBI and all of our intelligence agencies, CIA and others, should interrogate him as long as they have to,” said King, a member of the Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. “I’m not that concerned about a criminal conviction. We’re going to get that ultimately. It’s important we get as much intelligence out of him as possible. Both what happened, who planned it, how it happened.”

Shame on you, Peter! How dare you prejudge a person’s innocence or guilt! Congressman King sounds like President Obama and Attorney General Holder announcing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed guilty before he had had his (since reconsidered) civilian trial. If our criminal justice system has even a whiff of validity (a shaky conceit, sometimes), it is the bedrock belief in a person’s innocence until proven guilty.

I do not believe Ahmed Abu Khatallah is innocent (though how would I know?), and the manner of his “arrest” would mean that neither would many of my countrymen. How, then, could he receive a fair trial? It’s nonsensical. He must, therefore, be tried (or just dealt with) by different means. Obama has killed American citizens (Anwar al-Awlaki most prominently) without benefit of trial. Why would he get squeamish about Mirandizing a Libyan terrorist? Execute him, leave his head on a pike, and be done with it.

I do bring good news, however:

For Democrats in tight races, Abu Khatallah’s capture only further sheds light on a controversy that has damaged the Obama administration’s reputation for handling national security matters.

Second, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – who is toying with the idea of running for president in 2016 – could once again face tough questions about her role in handling U.S. security in the region when the attacks occurred.

A government that couldn’t convict O.J. Simpson thinks it can convict this scumbag. I already know I’d hold out for acquittal—not because I think he’s innocent, but because I have too much respect for our system of justice to pollute it by show trial. If he has rights (and he does not) he has all rights.

Military tribunal, summary execution, poisoned mashed potatoes. They all have more judicial integrity than what this lot proposes.

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Congress Shall Make No Law…

But boy, does it ever.

I support gay marriage, but with one nagging doubt. Once we decide we have the right to change the definition of marriage, do we have the right to stop? What are our criteria for defining what is not marriage? Wherever we draw the line, aren’t we just giving in to another set of prejudices and biases?

That’s not enough to change my mind about two men or two women marrying with full legal rights, but my prejudices and biases are piqued. Indeed, we have heard of challenges to marriages from polygamists, incest advocates, and others who want to speed the “evolving paradigm” of marriage. Who are we to bar the courthouse door?

It’s not enough to allow gay marriage; it must be celebrated under penalty of law:

Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission on Friday ordered a baker to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding his religious objections to the practice did not trump the state’s anti-discrimination statutes.

The unanimous ruling from the seven-member commission upheld an administrative law judge’s finding in December that Jack Phillips violated civil rights law when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012. The couple sued.

“I can believe anything I want, but if I’m going to do business here, I’d ought to not discriminate against people,” Commissioner Raju Jaram said.

Phillips, a devout Christian who owns the Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, said the decision violates his First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of his religion. “I will stand by my convictions until somebody shuts me down,” he told reporters after the ruling.

He added his bakery has been so overwhelmed by supporters eager to buy cookies and brownies that he does not currently make wedding cakes.

Perhaps that’s the best solution. Rather than allow a business owner to refuse service to someone (a practice with a very bad history), the business just changes its practices. Phillips never discriminated against customers for being gay—even baking cakes for them—he just refused the business of baking their wedding cakes. As with a lot of thorny social problems, I see both sides. His solution to stop baking wedding cakes altogether seems the best solution. His business is booming, and the gay couple who felt discriminated against feel vindicated. Both claim victory.

Or perhaps not. What was the exact damage down to the gay couple looking to purchase a wedding cake? How many other bakers do you suppose would have refused? I’d say none. In fact, I find it almost astonishing that they had the bad luck to choose the one devout Christian baker who would decline to accept their business. No, that’s not right. He would happily accept their business—for muffins, rolls, scones, even cakes—just not a wedding cake. To do so would violate his religious belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. How did these three find each other?

I am certain that Adam and Steve (I can’t be bothered to check their real names) would have found joy at just about every other bakery they went to. There was no systemic discrimination against them (as there was with black people at lunch counters and water fountains in the 50s), just one man with a religious conscience. But that could not be tolerated. Tolerance is a one-way street, and that street leads inevitably to acceptance, and thence to celebration. Woe betide you if you try to go against the prevailing direction.

And why stop at marriage?

Medicare will now be covering sex change surgeries–meaning it won’t be long before private insurance is required to do likewise.

But that won’t be the end of it. Over at Human Exceptionalism I nominate Body Integrity Identity Disorder–sometimes called “amputee wannabe”–as the next affliction for which surgery will one day be required to be a covered service. In this time of identity-is-all politics, what principled reason can there be to say no?

I have no good answer. Do you?

PS: The title of the post is misleading. It’s not the legislative branch (or not just) that’s leading the charge against the traditional definition of marriage, but the judicial branch. Marriage is defined in state laws across the country, but court after court now insists those laws are discriminatory. Again, I agree. But now what?

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