Lookin' for a Home
|Letters to the Editor
Your Jan. 2003 issue, page 2, discusses a recent ruling of the US Court of Appeals, 9th circuit, on the true meaning of the 2nd amendment of the US Constitution.
Unfortunately, the article starts out, "On the California Appeals Court ruling on the 2nd amendment". It should say "On the 9th circuit ruling". California, like all states, has its own state court system. California has superior courts, state courts of appeal, and a state supreme court. So when someone talks about a "California Appeals Court", one thinks they are talking about the Court of Appeals in the California court system.
So this e-mail is just a quibble about terminology. The 9th circuit (which had the recent 2nd amendment case) is a federal court, not a California court. The 9th circuit takes in many western states and meets in many large western cities. It should never be referred to as a "California" court.
The United States Supreme Court once ruled Federal income tax unconstitutional. Income tax was first imposed during the Civil War as a temporary revenue-raising measure.
If it was unconstitutional then, why isn't it still unconstitutional?? Always remember, when the government (any government) uses the word "temporary" it means "permanent." After the next phony terrorist attack, Bush will "temporarily" suspend the Constitution, until order is restored. The feds will redefine the word "terrorist" which will include anyone that speaks the truth about the government. Those concentration camps that the government has been secretly building out west will soon be filled with you and me. After all, we will have no Constitution to protect us, it will have been "temporarily" suspended.
The following article was forwarded by Don G.
Francisco Rivera, 40, and Alfonso Calderón, 34, each spent an ENTIRE YEAR in prison because police found 30 pounds of marijuana inside their SUV at a checkpoint. Mexican authorities described the marijuana as being old and deteriorating. This is because it was put there by the previous owner whose SUV was seized by the U.S. Customs Service for marijuana smuggling. U.S. customs then sold the SUV to the two men at an auction without, apparently, first checking the SUV for hidden drugs.
Bill Of Rights Void Where Prohibited By Law
They were jailed because, the judge said, they failed to prove their innocence. Is this how it now works in the United States? They were released from prison by a federal appeals court in Mexicali. Neither man had ever been in trouble with the law before.
If you buy used cars, you should be concerned, very concerned, that this could happen to you or someone you know. If you rent hotel rooms, you should be very concerned that they'll find someone else's drugs in the room and they will send you away. If you go anywhere where people have been, you could be in trouble. Does anyone else have a problem with this?
They are now suing U.S. Customs for negligence and are happy to be back with their wives and daughters.
San Diego Union Tribune 11-Jan-03, via aberrant news
The following message from Real News forwarded the accompanying article.
Mean-Spirited Discipline Our guest columnist is Fred Reed, the politically incorrect analyst who writes the satirical "Fred On Everything" columns for the Washington Times. Fred tells the unvarnished truth about nearly everything in his funny and abrasive style. This report is about how feelings of inadequacy, insecurity and fear can instigate meanness and a desire for control.
Hostility As a Basis For Law, And Vindictiveness For All, By Fred Reed, columnist for The Washington Times
In the Greeley Tribune (Jan. 8) of northern Colorado I see that Mitch Muller, a boy of 13, has been expelled from school for a year. Yep. Gone.
You might surmise that he committed some grave crime, that he assaulted a teacher perhaps or was discovered to be selling bulk-lot cocaine. No. He played with a small laser pointer the sort that projects a red dot onto maps during lectures. It was, said the depressing drones who run the school, a "gun facsimile".
Let us think about it. To begin, there is no substance to the charge. A laser pointer does not look like a gun, no more so than a ball-point pen or a lipstick tube. It isn't a weapon, doesn't look like a weapon, and is not intimidating, being less dangerous than, say, a fist.
Further, note that we are not confronted by a somewhat overzealous application of a reasonable rule. If young Muller had disrupted class and
|gotten tossed for a week, that would have been
excessive but not absurd. (Excessive because unnecessary: When
you have a male principal who has not been administratively neutered, he
says, "Bobby, stop that. Now." That's all he says.)
The child was suspended for a year, not for misbehavior but for possession of a legal and harmless object that was determined ex post facto to be gunlike. You see. Crimes carry harsh penalties, but you cannot tell what things are crimes until after you have committed them. That is, the authorities can find you guilty at will, whenever they wish to punish you.
This isn't discipline. It's sadism sexless, boring, mean-spirited bureaucratic sadism. The school's officials are seeking to hurt the child because they enjoy doing it.
This Stalinism of the inadequate isn't a fluke. Across the country, time and again, little boys (always boys) are suspended for pointing chicken fingers and saying "bang", for drawing soldiers or the Trade Centers in flames. The schools are in the hands of sodden prisses who love revenge, revenge on others for their own mediocrity.
"Passive aggression", if memory serves, means an attempt to hurt others while pretending that one's aim is pious. Passive aggression, and its cousin, misdirected aggression, dominate American culture. Again and again, bullying is packaged as high principle.
The giveaway of a mean-spirited law is that it doesn't do what it pretends to do, yet makes people unhappy. Consider the agitations of the rabble opposed to guns. These vessels of rightness transparently are not concerned to prevent crime with firearms. You hear nothing from them favoring mandatory heavy sentences for using a gun in a crime. Nor do they criticize the drug dealer in the ghetto who kills his enemies. Their efforts are aimed at law-abiding men who own guns.
It is personal hostility disguised as concern with crime. Similar spuriousness underlies the degrading searches at airports. The government's policy isn't rational. If we armed pilots, watched Moslems, and conducted searches, I might believe that security was the motive. But we don't. Taking nail clippers is ridiculous, like suspending a kid for having a laser pointer. The searches seem designed to humiliate. I have been searched by, among others, Israelis and Japanese. Neither had people undressing in public, and neither was staffed by hostile minorities getting even.
There is in all of this, in so very much of American life today, a vindictive meanness enwrapped in moral pose in hate-crime laws, in careers deliberately destroyed over imaginary sexual harassment, people destroyed over any trace of racial incorrectness, fathers prevented from seeing their children by vengeful exes and worse courts. Why?
I'll guess that the cause is a confluence of two social currents. First, the United States is an angry, divided, unhappy country, twisted by unresolved conflicts that it refuses to face. Racial tension is ugly, powerful, and a forbidden topic. Women are grindingly angry at men. Men, angry at the divorce laws, avoid marriage. Universal divorce causes deep strains that we don't talk about. Children raised as half-abandoned mall rats turn into angry young adults.
The recently acquired American habit of distributing choices by race and sex rather than merit rubs people raw. The decay of the schools into centers of indoctrination angers many. The inability to escape the filth that flows from Hollyork grates. Perhaps more so does the inability in a centrally run, not particularly free society to influence one's surroundings, raise one's children in one's values, or escape ever-deepening regulation. Repressed anger seeks outlets.
The United States is further, I think, a frightened country, or at least an insecure one. People are afraid of terrorists and crime, but more importantly, are vaguely afraid of a life that isn't satisfactory yet seems uncontrollable by them. There is a widespread sense that the country is sliding fast toward something undesirable yet hidden in the murk. Insecurity breeds both meanness and a desire for control.
The feminization of society plays its part. On average, men prefer freedom to security; women prefer security to freedom. Women, having climbed into a male world in which they don't seem comfortable, seek laws, laws, laws to control every cause of angst. Men, hemmed in, feel trapped. Much of the tightening control seeks security helmet laws for kids on bicycles, fear of smoke, seat-belt laws, ever-falling definitions of drunk driving, warning labels stating the universally known, the neurotic fear of laser pointers, the hostility of a female-run school system to competition and rough games beloved by boys.
©Fred Reed 2002
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Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
What do you think about the way the Congress manages to sneak things through by putting riders on a bill?
Congressional WatchdogDear Congressional Watchdog
We got a guy here named Bill, but don't nobody ride him. We just ride horses.
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