Quote of the Day – Sarah Hoyt Edition

From a post at Instapundit:

Two things, before my calm gets damaged further.
a) most businesses are not insured against civil unrest. Most will get nothing.
b) when you say “are your possessions worth a human life?”  Most people’s possessions are their lives. They spent days of their lives and strength and health to acquire them.
As for their being “worth” a human life…  Humans who think it’s okay to hurt people and take their stuff are only going to cost more lives in the long run. The right to be secure in your possessions is part of what made America great. Who will work, invest, innovate, if at any minute the government can decide their work is non-essential and brownshirts at the service of the democrats can burn it all down?
You allow this to continue, you have Mogadishu, not the US.

When Dealing with New Jersey Maryland, the Gun Owner Acts at His Peril

I have discussed this before, but in 1996 the New Jersey Superior Court declared a man a felon for possession of an “assault weapon” – a Marlin Model 60, tube-fed .22 rimfire rifle he had won as a prize in a “police combat match” in the late 1980’s.  He took his prize, put it into his gun safe with the tags still dangling from the trigger guard, and apparently never took it out again….

Until 1993 when apparently someone dropped a dime on him after New Jersey passed its draconian “assault weapons” ban that made a .22 rifle with a 17-round magazine capacity a prohibited weapon.  Mr. Pelleteri, a firearms instructor, fought the case all the way to the New Jersey Superior Court which found against him, stating this chilling phrase:

When dealing with guns, the citizen acts at his peril.
The GeekWithA.45 calls New Jersey a “dark and fascist state,” and I think with ample reason.  (Begin Edit) But New Jersey apparently isn’t content to oppress its residents ain’t got a patch on Maryland.  If you’re a visitor there, you’re at severe risk as well:

Gun owner unarmed, unwelcome in Maryland

John Filippidis, silver-haired family man, business owner, employer and taxpayer, is also licensed to carry a concealed firearm.

He’d rather he didn’t feel the need, “but things aren’t like they used to be. The break-ins, the burglaries, all the crime. And I carry cash a lot of the time. I’m constantly going to the bank.

“I wanted to be able to defend my family, my household and the ground I’m standing on. But I’m not looking for any trouble.”

Filippidis keeps his gun — a palm-sized Kel-Tec .38 semiautomatic (layers of editorial fact-checkers – Ed.), barely larger than a smartphone in a protective case — in one of two places, always: in the right-hand pocket of his jeans, or in the safe at home.

“There are kids in the house,” Filippidis says, “and I don’t think they’d ever bother with it, but I don’t want to take any chances.”

He’s not looking for any trouble, after all.

Trouble, in fact, was the last thing on his mind a few weeks back as the Filippidises packed for Christmas and a family wedding in Woodridge, N.J., so he left the pistol locked in the safe. The state of Florida might have codified his Second Amendment rights, but he knew he’d be passing through states where recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions affirming the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms have been met by hostile legislatures and local officials.

“I know the laws and I know the rules,” Filippidis says. There are, after all, ways gun owners can travel legally with firearms through hostile states. “But I just think it’s a better idea to leave it home.”

So there the Filippidises were on New Year’s Eve eve, southbound on Interstate 95 — John; wife Kally (his Gulf High sweetheart); the 17-year-old twins Nasia and Yianni; and 13-year-old Gina in their 2012 Ford Expedition — just barely out of the Fort McHenry Tunnel into Maryland, blissfully unarmed and minding their own business when they noticed they were being bird-dogged by an unmarked patrol car. It flanked them a while, then pulled ahead of them, then fell in behind them.

“Ten minutes he’s behind us,” John says. “We weren’t speeding. In fact, lots of other cars were whizzing past.”

“You know you have a police car behind you, you don’t speed, right?” Kally adds.

Says John, “We keep wondering, is he going to do something?”

Finally the patrol car’s emergency lights come on, and it’s almost a relief. Whatever was going on, they’d be able to get it over with now. The officer — from the Transportation Authority Police, as it turns out, Maryland’s version of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority — strolls up, does the license and registration bit, and returns to his car.

According to Kally and John (but not MTAP, which, pending investigation, could not comment), what happened next went like this:

Ten minutes later he’s back, and he wants John out of the Expedition. Retreating to the space between the SUV and the unmarked car, the officer orders John to hook his thumbs behind his back and spread his feet. “You own a gun,” the officer says. “Where is it?”

“At home in my safe,” John answers.

“Don’t move,” says the officer.

Read the whole thing. Check your blood pressure afterwards. I think a little B-positive spurted from my eyes.

“Dark and fascist” might be a little generous there, Geek, (but I bet you’re glad you didn’t relocate to Maryland).

(Screwed up the post – I plead fatigue.  It’s been a rough week.)

I Will Not Register

Wirecutter has the storyRCOB.

And I will never voluntarily set foot in California again.

UPDATE:  Reader Stephen R notes that in the comments at Wirecutter’s place, people are questioning the validity of the story since no one can find the supposed change in the law.  I found the original NPR story which does mention the $24M budget increase for gun confiscation, but does not mention a law change, and the apparent source, InfoWars.com which states:

In 2011, a gun confiscation sweep across 43 counties over a six week period resulted in over 1,200 firearms seized from 723 people.

Later on, the state can easily expand the list of “prohibited persons” to include even people who are behind on their state taxes or did not pay their toll fees on time.

Which, of course, someone took to mean that they had.

Still, have you seen what can earn you a felony conviction these days?

Race and Self-Defense

Massad Ayoob relates a miscarriage of justice. (Watch the whole thing, but this link starts at the story I wish to relate.)  I had not heard of this, or if I had I never posted about it.  That gets fixed now.  Listen to Mass explain the situation, then go read this.  I’ve found nothing more current.  If anyone else has more information, please let me know and I’ll post it.

Another case where Qualified Immunity should be rescinded.


h/t to /var/log/otto

The Philosophy CANNOT BE WRONG!

Do it again, only HARDER!

Do you remember that thing about how the banks wouldn’t lend to blacks and Hispanics because they were racists? And do you remember how they passed the Community Reinvestment Act so that banks were forced to reduce down payments practically to zero and lend to a lot of people they knew were bad credit risks? And do you remember how Wall Street bundled all these risky subprime mortgages and sold them to investors around the world so that when it became clear that those people weren’t going to be able to pay their mortgages banks everywhere were left holding the bag and all five of the Wall Street investment houses either went under or had to be bailed out by the federal government?

And do you remember how, when it was all over, liberals said it was actually the banks’ fault for “deceiving” all those people into thinking they could afford to buy homes and that the banks should be punished for it and some of those people be allowed to keep their homes anyway? And do you remember how all this cost the government close to a trillion dollars and put the whole economy in a hole that we really haven’t begun to dig ourselves out of yet?

Well, get ready because the whole thing is about to happen again.

h/t var/log/otto, who asks:

How can this be anything but deliberate sabotage of our economy?

I don’t doubt this is accurate. Tar and feathers are too good for them.



Some assembly required.

Every word out of their mouth was, ‘We don’t care.’

RCoB™ time:

Woman Sues City of Tulsa For Cutting Down Her Edible Garden

A Tulsa woman is suing the city’s code enforcement officers after she said they cut down her garden with no cause.

Denise Morrison said she has more than 100 plant varieties in her front and back yards and all of them are edible and have a purpose.

She knows which ones will treat arthritis, which will make your food spicy, which ones keep mosquitoes away and treat bug bites, but she said none of that matter to city inspectors.

Last August, Morrison’s front and back yards were filled with flowers in bloom, lemon, stevia, garlic chives, grapes, strawberries, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, an apple tree, walnut tree, pecan trees and much more.

She got a letter from the city saying there had been a complaint about her yard.

She said she took pictures to meet with city inspectors, but they wouldn’t listen, so she invited them to her home so they could point out the problem areas.

“Everything, everything needs to go,” Morrison said they told her.

When she heard they wanted to cut it all down, she called police. The officer issued her a citation so it could be worked out in court.

She said she went to court on August 15, and the judge told them to come back in October. But the very next day, men were cutting down most of her plants.

They even cut down some of her trees -– ones that bore fruit and nuts -– and went up next to her house and basically removed everything in her front flower bed.

“I came back three days later, sat in my driveway, cried and left,” Morrison said.

Morrison said she had a problem at her last property with code enforcement, so this time, she read the ordinance, which says plants can’t be over 12-inches tall unless they’re used for human consumption. She made sure everything she grew could be eaten, which she told the inspectors.

“Every word out of their mouth was, ‘we don’t care,'” Morrison said.

Morrison said she used many of the plants that were destroyed to treat her diabetes, high-blood pressure and arthritis.

“Not only are the plants my livelihood, they’re my food and I was unemployed at the time and had no food left, no medicine left, and I didn’t have insurance,” Morrison said. “They took away my life and livelihood.”

Morrison finally went to court last week for the citation she got last August at another property. The garden portion of the citation was dismissed and she pleaded no contest to having an inoperable truck in her driveway.

She filed a civil rights lawsuit this week, accusing the inspectors of overstepping their authority.

The City of Tulsa said it hasn’t received the lawsuit yet, so it couldn’t comment.

She’s lucky they didn’t send her a bill for the “gardening work.” Luckier still the FDA isn’t coming after her for self-medicating with unapproved medicines.

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.