So… Thomas Jefferson Would Be a Domestic Terrorist, Then?

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. …
And what country can preserve its liberties, if it’s rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Blognomicon brought this one to my attention. It seems our Civil Masters just aren’t comfortable with, you know, freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas. The House of Representatives just passed H.R. 1955, the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007.” (Doesn’t that name just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?) It passed 404 to 6, and now goes to the Senate. Well, actually the Senate has their own version, S. 1959. (I’m happy to say that AZ Rep. Jeff Flake voted “No.”)

Funny thing is, nobody who voted for it seems to want to talk about it.

The summary of the bill says:

Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 – Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to add provisions concerning the prevention of homegrown terrorism (terrorism by individuals born, raised, or based and operating primarily in the United States).

Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to: (1) establish a grant program to prevent radicalization (use of an extremist belief system for facilitating ideologically-based violence) and homegrown terrorism in the United States; (2) establish or designate a university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States; and (3) conduct a survey of methodologies implemented by foreign nations to prevent radicalization and homegrown terrorism.

Prohibits the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to prevent ideologically-based violence and homegrown terrorism from violating the constitutional and civil rights, and civil liberties, of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

Right. We’ll just be “watched.” After all, the bill contains language to ensure that our Constitutional and civil rights will be respected and protected.

And fears that the PATRIOT Act would be abused were unfounded, right? (The Heritage Foundation told us in 2004 “There is no abuse of the Patriot Act. None.” That’s not what a 2007 Justice Department Report (PDF) concluded.

But I guess it’s not “abuse.” It’s “mission creep,” or “errors.”

Note, I’m not saying that parts of the PATRIOT Act weren’t necessary, but it was a bill that was essentially rammed through Congress with little to no review or discussion (kinda like McCain wanted to do with “comprehensive immigration reform” and the DREAM Act, no?).

My problem with legislation that essentially views the public as a threat goes back to a quote from Battlestar Galactica (you know, sometimes those Hollywood writers get it right):

The police protect the People. The military protects the State.

When the military becomes the police, the People become the enemies of the State.

The same is true, I think, when the Federal government looks at the People that way.

I’m not sure about you, but I really don’t think that we need a new Federal program to help try to find “possible domestic terrorists.”

‘Cause you can bet your ass every single gunblogger would be on that list, and I already have absolutely NO problem believing that far too many people on the .gov payroll are like the a**wipe described here.

Quote of the Day.

Just as Hillary had a neurotic and “forgetful” moment regarding the antics of her husband; what we are witnessing is a supremely neurotic moment on the part of the left, who willy-nilly have jumped the Clinton ship and climbed aboard the Obama “vessel of hope”. They are astounded that the antics of the Clintons (which for years they have rationalized and excused) are being used against them. Their idealization the Clintons had worn thin and, just in the nick of time, along comes a younger, prettier face that can help them shore up those tired, old “progressive” ideas, and delude them into believing they actually are supporting something fresh and innovative.

I hate to tell them, but Obama is just another socialist hack. For sure, he’s fresh and young and articulate. But his ideas are no fresher than Hillary’s and quite a bit more rigid and uncompromising. Hillary and Bill never believed in anything but themselves. Obama comes across as selfless as Mother Theresa, promising to lead us to his utopian wonderland. – Dr. Sanity, A Not So Inexplicable Anger

(Emphasis mine.)

It’s a Beautiful Video, But…

Also via Van Der Leun, a truly gorgeous video someone put a lot of effort into.

Unfortunately, the first third of the video pretty much cancels out the “message” of the piece for me.

I think my biggest problem with religion, the Abrahamic faiths in particular but for pretty much all of them, is the concept that a Supreme Being created all of this – hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars, cast about the sky in myriad profusion along with nebulae, quasars, etc. just so he could pick one completely ordinary spiral galaxy, one unremarkable star, and one perfectly pedestrian planet and put an intelligent species on it, then make not one, not two, but multiple contracts with those essentially puny beings.

It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It seems to me to be the ultimate waste of resources.

Especially if the physical laws of this universe prohibit us from visiting those billions of other stars and galaxies.


Bill Whittle posts (very) sporadically, but when he does, there’s no one like him. I wish to hell he was in charge of the Bush administration’s media division. If you don’t read Eject!3, what the hell are you doing reading this blog? I know Bill posted his latest several days ago, but, shamefully, I just got around to reading it. As usual, the entire thing is absolutely worth your time, but here’s the excerpt that says something I’ve believed for quite some time:

(A)s for the Surge, I am struck by one thought, and that is this: It seems clear now that we needed more troops in theater from Day One. But I think the spectacular success of the Surge is due less to the number of boots on the ground than it is to something far more important.

Looking back on the rise of the insurgency, it seems as if the average Iraqi did not know what to make of America. I suspect that many would have been far more supportive a long time ago, if it were not for the image of a helicopter atop a building in 1975 and a line of desperate people running for their lives. To work with Americans may have been what many wanted to do much, much sooner.


When Michael Moore makes a hugely successful film praising Saddam’s paradise and calling these people who bomb women and children in marketplaces “freedom fighters,” and when an election turns and places into Congressional power a political party dedicated to reproducing that helicopter tableau as soon as possible… what would you do? Because if you guess wrong and the Americans leave, you will be taken out into the street in front of your family and have your head sawed off.

I think the Surge has had spectacular success not because of the additional troops so much as for the fact that when the media and the Democrats demanded we cut and run… we did not cut and run. We doubled down. When the calls for defeat and dishonor were at their loudest – sad to say a not unwarranted street rep we had made for ourselves – somehow, somehow we simply just hung on and gave them not a retreat but a charge.

Jesus Christ, but that must have gotten someone’s attention. Yes, the Surge is working. But I believe it is not a surge of boots that is doing the work so much as it is a surge of hope.


I think, too, that the average Iraqi would have been far more supportive had we not abandoned them after the 1991 Gulf War to Saddam’s tender mercies.

And, I’m sorry to say, the entire pack of Democrat hopefuls for the Oval Office next year are promising Iraqis that lone helicopter on the roof again…

…with the apparent blessing of about half the population of this nation, damn us all to hell.

Oh, Hell. Revised Quote of the Day.

I spoke too soon. This comment has todays QotD, hands-down:

She never blubbed publicly when it was proven that Bilbo did the cigar bit with Monica Lewinsky, but she turns on the waterworks when she contemplates not getting the Big Chair and then doing the cigar bit on all of us.

I need mental floss to get that image out of my head, but oh is it accurate!

Quote of the Day.

James Lileks, from today’s Bleat:

Clive Owen, who is so tough his breakfast cereal has marshmallows shaped like Chuck Norris.

Runner-up, same post:

In the end, I think of the person I’d like to see behind the big desk the night the President addresses the nation after the nutwads pull off something big. It’s certainly not Ron Paul. He’d probably bitch us out for starting it all by enraging the Barbary Pirates.

The whole thing is worth reading.

I… Um,… Err,… WTF?!?!?!

Read this.

As SayUncle said, I’m speechless.

UPDATE: Here’s a news piece on it, via Tam.

UPDATE II: I’m archiving the story here for the future:

County seizes son for medical care

Father says his family’s rights were violated

By Pete Fowler
January 8, 2008

NEW CASTLE – The Garfield County All Hazards Response Team broke down Tom Shiflett’s door Friday night and, following a court order, took his son for medical treatment.

The doctor’s recommendation: Take Tylenol and apply ice to the bruises. The boy was back home a few hours later.

Authorities said they had reason to believe Shiflett mistreated his 11-year-old son, Jon, by failing to provide him proper medical care for a head injury. But Shiflett says his privacy and his rights were invaded, and that he has the right and the skill to treat his son himself. Shiflett, 62, said he served as a medic in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive.

“Who in the world puts a stipulation on how adequate a person is to care for an injury?” Shiflett asked.

Speaking about the incident from his home in the Apple Tree Park on Monday, Shiflett was very upset. Perhaps most offensive, Shiflett said, was that law enforcement didn’t announce there was a warrant before breaking into his home south of New Castle.

“I would have let them in,” he said. “It was traumatic to my children, and it’s unnecessary.”

His spouse, Tina, and his six of 10 kids who are still at home were shocked at the manner of entry. Tina said law enforcement, wearing masks, broke down their door with a battering ram and pointed guns in her children’s faces.

“They didn’t need to bash into my home and slam my kids to the floor,” Tina said, adding later, “I think they get a kick out of this.”

She said law enforcement threatened criminal charges should the family even try to follow Jon or find out where he was taken. Jon was returned hours later, around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

“In all there was not one shred of evidence found that we had done anything wrong or that Jon had not been properly cared for at home,” Tina said.

According to a copy of Jon’s patient aftercare instructions, a physician recommended Jon drink fluids, take Tylenol, use ice and keep his cuts from his injury clean. Jon still had a nasty-looking black eye and visible bruising on his face Monday after having been hurt in a fall on Thursday.

Jon injured himself by grabbing onto the handle of a moving car his sister was driving and falling. Shiflett and his family said Shiflett ran down the street, checked Jon for injuries and brought him back into their home, where they prayed, applied ice to his head and monitored his condition.

Someone – possibly a neighbor – called paramedics. Shiflett said paramedics looked at Jon after coming through an open front door uninvited. Shiflett told them he didn’t want them to treat Jon and asked them to leave.

Friday morning, caseworkers from the Garfield County Department of Social Services arrived. Shiflett allowed them to look at Jon briefly but refused to allow them to take his son for treatment or medical evaluation.

Ross Talbott, who owns the Apple Tree Mobile Home Park and rents to Shiflett, said, “I thought it was an incredibly stupid power move by people who went in there misinformed and ill-informed. I think they violated their personal rights, their constitutional rights and their rights to family.”

Talbott also writes a freelance column for the Post Independent.

“I’ve been (Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario’s) longtime supporter, but I tell you what, to send a SWAT team down there was just absolutely over the hill,” he said. “Inappropriate is not nearly strong enough a word. It was gross irresponsibility and stupidity. … Is this Russia? I don’t know what we’re coming to when they think your kid needs medical help and they send a SWAT team.”

Community relations sheriff’s deputy Tanny McGinnis said two deputies were first sent to notify Shiflett of a court order for his son’s medical treatment and that Shiflett did not comply.

Phone messages to Vallario were not returned Monday afternoon.

A search warrant and order for medical treatment says there was good reason to believe Jon needed treatment. It states that two social services caseworkers tried to explain to Tom Shiflett they believed the boy needed medical treatment after observing injuries including a “huge hematoma” and a sluggish pupil. They offered to pay for treatment, and said they would have to obtain a court order for treatment if they couldn’t get Shiflett’s consent, the warrant says.

“Shiflett shouted at this worker and advised this worker that if he obtained a court order, he better ‘bring an army,'” the warrant states.

A first responder with West Care Ambulance wrote in an affidavit that she and others in an ambulance crew also believed the boy needed medical treatment.

The responder wrote that paramedics left the residence for fear of their safety after Tom Shiflett refused to let them treat his son and became “verbally abusive” to the ambulance crew.

But Talbott said he was there when paramedics responded, and that Shiflett was not yelling or acting abusive. He only asked them to leave, Talbott said, and paramedics were in fact acting belligerent. Shiflett says authorities had no right to enter his home uninvited and without announcing they had a warrant.

“When American law allows federal and state agencies to come in a home and confiscate family, there is something wrong with our system,” Shiflett said. “If I can find a law firm or lawyer that can take this pro bono, because I have no money, I’m going to sue everyone on that warrant.”

Garfield County Director of Social Services Lynn Rennick said social services is legally required to intervene when it receives a report about possible mistreatment of children, and that sometimes court orders are necessary. She wouldn’t discuss any specific case.

Asked what he thought of being taken for medical treatment after the break-in, Jon said, “I think it’s ridiculous. There’s no reason for it.”

Unbelievable. Right there is South Park’s Cartman yelling RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH!!

Or Strother Martin from Cool Hand Luke – “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.