I have stated on more than one occasion that the purpose of government throughout history (with apologies to Thomas Jefferson) has not been the protection of individual rights, but the protection and expansion of the privileges and power of the privileged and powerful.  In fact the definition of the word privilege is:

a special benefit, exemption from a duty, or immunity from penalty, given to a particular person, a group or a class of people

The latin roots of the word mean “private law.”

So you can imagine my (lack of) shock when I read about California Public Employees’ Magical Immunity to Traffic Tickets (h/t: Instapundit):

“They’ve exempted themselves from the rules they’re enforcing,” said Chad Dornsife, director of the Best Highway Safety Practices Institute. “They know it, is what’s really sick about this. This isn’t some surprise that when the camera comes out they don’t have to worry about it.”…

“It’s a courtesy, law enforcement to law enforcement,” San Francisco Police Sgt. Tom Lee said. “We let it go.”

Want to avoid traffic tickets?  Get a special license plate only issued to .gov employees.  Don’t like Obamacare? Beg your lawmaker for a waiver. If you’re a lawmaker, give yourself an exemption“Exempt(ing) themselves from the rules they’re enforcing” is SOP for the powerful and privileged.  I don’t understand why anyone would be surprised.  Why should the law apply to them?  They have private law.

I Wonder if PayPal Will Pull the Plug on THIS Raffle

Remember back in 2009 when I donated a brand-spanking new Para USA GI Expert to the Gun Blogger Rendezvous for a raffle to help raise money for Soldiers’ Angel’s Project Valour IT?  The ticket sales were through the Soldiers’ Angels website, and they used PayPal for online payment.  Until Paypal shut down all contributions to their site until they yanked the icky gun raffle.  Now the organization InterFace is holding a similar raffle: 

InterFACE is a volunteer group of plastic and other reconstructive surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, pediatricians, and psychosocial workers, as well as other devoted volunteers, who give their time and expertise to offer reconstructive surgery to children in Mexico.  We currently travel to 5 different sites for periods of 2 to 5 days, visiting some sites twice a year.  The number of surgeries performed ranges from 10 to 75 per trip.  Our primary focus is cleft lip an palate repair, but we also perform correction of hand and ear deformities, burn reconstruction, and other congenital and acquired deformities.

In each of our locations where we work, we are sponsored by the Secretary of Health for that state and work with the local plastic surgeon or pediatric surgeon.  Our team members vary each trip, as we have a devoted talent bank of over 200 volunteers who travel with us at various times.

The prize is a custom-built 1911, and the cost for a chance at it is a mere $20.

Why a raffle?

InterFACE recently lost one of their key sponsors, and their program is in danger of being cut drastically.  We offered to donate magazine space to a raffle of a custom 1911 to help out, and renowned custom pistolsmith Terry Tussy of Tussey Custom quickly jumped on board, volunteering to build a gun.  Springfield Armory graciously supplied a stainless steel 1911, several makers supplied parts, and Terry supplied many parts from his own inventory.

All proceeds of this amazing raffle opportunity will go to directly support the doctors and nurses who travel on their own time to perform the healing surgery on these children.  Tickets will only be sold for a limited time (through March 30, 2012) so act quickly to benefit this great cause — and for the opportunity to win this stunning 1911!

Here’s the kicker:

You can enter by going to’ll accept PayPal, and most charge cards.  You may also send a check, and make sure to include a phone number and e-mail address if you have one.

(My emphasis.)  Well, we know that PayPal hates firearms more than they care for wounded soldiers.  I wonder if they hate them more than Mexican children?

The Tools and Mechanisms of Oppression

Ayn Rand wrote in her frighteningly prophetic 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged many warnings, among which was this:

There is no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals. When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking the law. Create a nation of lawbreakers and then you can cash in on the guilt. Now that’s the system!

The Geek with a .45 wrote, back 2004 and unfortunately no longer available at his site, this warning:

We, who studied the shape and form of the machines of freedom and oppression, have looked around us, and are utterly dumbfounded by what we see.

We see first that the machinery of freedom and Liberty is badly broken. Parts that are supposed to govern and limit each other no longer do so with any reliability.

We examine the creaking and groaning structure, and note that critical timbers have been moved from one place to another, that some parts are entirely missing, and others are no longer recognizable under the wadded layers of spit and duct tape. Other, entirely new subsystems, foreign to the original design, have been added on, bolted at awkward angles.

We know the tools and mechanisms of oppression when we see them. We’ve studied them in depth, and their existence on our shores, in our times, offends us deeply. We can see the stirrings of malevolence, and we take stock of the damage they’ve caused over so much time.

Others pass by without a second look, with no alarm or hue and cry, as if they are blind, as if they don’t understand what they see before their very eyes. We want to shake them, to grasp their heads and turn their faces, shouting, “LOOK! Do you see what this thing is? Do you see how it might be put to use? Do you know what can happen if this thing becomes fully assembled and activated?”

Assembly and activation proceeds apace.

Three recent books come to mind, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent by Harvey Silverglate, Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything by Gene Healy, and The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice by Paul Craig Roberts. There are others.

Just a few days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that

For decades, the task of counting the total number of federal criminal laws has bedeviled lawyers, academics and government officials.

“You will have died and resurrected three times,” and still be trying to figure out the answer, said Ronald Gainer, a retired Justice Department official.

They’ve given up even trying to count them.

As I said in Malice vs. Stupidity

At some point it becomes immaterial whether the laws were due to incompetence or maliciousness. That point is when their implementation is indistinguishable from maliciousness. I submit that we’ve passed that point, and the only thing preventing even more massive public blowback is our general ignorance and our well-established general respect for the Rule of Law. As I’ve said, the .gov has done a good job of practicing such persecution on a retail level, rather than wholesale, but it’s getting to the point where the abuse is going wholesale and the stories are getting out to the mass audience.

And I’ve said elsewhere I think a lot of people are getting fed up with ever-increasing government intrusion into our lives. Government interferes lightly on a wholesale basis, but it does its really offensive intrusions strictly retail. So long as the majority gets its bread and circuses, it will remain content.

Until it happens to you. Then you get pissed right quick, and wonder why nobody hears your side of the story.

I’ve reported here at TSM on just a tiny fraction of these prosecutions; George Norris and his orchid import business,  the persecution of Albert Kwan and the prosecution of Joseph Pelleteri are just some examples.  Other bloggers have as well.  Sebastian noted how an 11 year-old escaped the mailed fist of the law in Massachussetts with a mere suspension from school when he could have been prosecuted under felony law, for example. There are many, many, many more such examples. If you have your own, please feel free to leave them in the comments. Links would be appreciated.

But today’s post is inspired by a YouTube video I watched over at Jaded Haven. I’d not heard of the case, but I was not surprised.  Go watch.

Still, you don’t have to be surprised to have an RCOB event.

A recent Rassmussen poll indicates:

(J)ust 17% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government today has the consent of the governed. Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe the government does not have that consent. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.

Is there any wonder why?

You’ve Gotta Have Standards!

So our public education system has resulted in a population in which 1 in 7 adults are functionally illiterate, and “only 12 percent of high-school seniors, who are getting ready to vote for the first time, have a proficient knowledge of history.”

What about math? I think this picture says the proverbial 1,000 words:

Well, it’s good to know in these dark days of mass ignorance that our institutions of higher learning have their standards! Or, at least are considering having standards.

The local junior college, Pima Community College has a standard: students must be at least sixteen years old. But now they’re considering imposing some new ones:

The question boils down to how smart you should have to be to attend Pima Community College.

Currently there is no requirement. You only need to be age 16.

But Pima’s governing board is considering changing that to require new students to have a high school diploma or GED. Students also would have to pass a reading, writing and math assessment test with the skills of a sixth or seventh grader.

Pima Chancellor Roy Flores says, “We need to find different pathways for those students that are testing in at second, third, fourth and fifth grade levels.”

Sweet. Bleeding. Jeebus.  No, it’s not a question of how smart you are, it’s a question of how educated you are. Ignorance is correctable, but as comedian Ron White has said, “You can’t fix stupid. There’s not a pill you can take; there’s not a class you can go to. Stupid is forever.”

Bear in mind, this is a college. Yes, you can go learn to weld at PCC (and if you don’t test out at above sixth grade, be prepared to suffer a lot of burns for the rest of your life), but you can also go get a 2-year associate’s degree. When I moved to Arizona I went to PCC for the first two years and got caught up on my freshman and sophomore courses before transferring to the University of Arizona (at in-state tuition rates, which I couldn’t get at the U of A until I’d lived here a year.)

Read the last line in the above excerpt again: “We need to find different pathways for those students that are testing in at second, third, fourth and fifth grade levels.” These are, at minimum, sixteen year-olds. The vast majority of them are over 18.

And as Say Uncle put it this morning, “their vote counts just as much as yours.”

You want to know how we ended up with the government we have? This is how. In 1983 the report A Nation at Risk on the state of public education in America pulled no punches when it stated:

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.  As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves.

Our government-provided schools have produced generation upon generation of government-approved product. It’s a positive-feedback loop, and it has achieved full screeching saturation.

Tar, Feathers, Rail – Some Assembly Absolutely Justified

So a recent Rasmussen poll reports that 46% of “likely U.S. voters” believe that “most members of Congress” are corrupt.  That’s up 7% from June, by the way.

And I thought that only 1 in 7 adults was functionally illiterate.

Well, it would seem that their belief is well founded (quelle surprise). Watch the video:


I’d like to see the data. And the list of names.

The Entitlement Mentality

I found this today courtesy of a Facebook friend.  You HAVE to watch it all the way to the end (seven minutes worth).  I wish I could say “Unbelievable,” but I’d be lying.

var VideoID = “15915”; var Width = 425; var Height = 344;

Our tax dollars at work.

Hey!  I know!  Let’s raise taxes on the wealthy!  They don’t pay their fair share!

Would you hire this guy?