A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Rights Dealing with Amendments Lower or Higher Than Two’ tag

Protesting at Presidential Events Soon to be Illegal

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Remember all the gun we’ve had protesting at places where Obama made appearances? Those were the days and sadly those days are fast approaching a permanent end:

The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn’t already on the books. The wording in the bill, however, extends to allow the government to go after much more than tourists that transverse the wrought iron White House fence.

Before I start on my little adventure of looking at the bill let me first give some major kudos to Russia Today. Not only did they give the bill number but they also tried to link to the bill itself (unfortunately they linked to temporary results from the Thomas Library of Congress, but they at least tried). Now let’s take a look at the bill’s text:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011’.

SEC. 2. RESTRICTED BUILDING OR GROUNDS.

Section 1752 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

‘Sec. 1752. Restricted building or grounds

‘(a) Whoever–

‘(1) knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so;

‘(2) knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;

‘(3) knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds; or

‘(4) knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds;

or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

‘(b) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is–

‘(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if–

‘(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or

‘(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118(e)(3); and

‘(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.

‘(c) In this section–

‘(1) the term ‘restricted buildings or grounds’ means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area–

‘(A) of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds;

‘(B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or

‘(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and

‘(2) the term ‘other person protected by the Secret Service’ means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.’.

Beautiful huh? This bill is the exact thing I’ve been warning people about whenever a protest in Washington DC takes place. As I’ve said the king doesn’t like it when the peasants gather at the castle and this bill is a result of unruly peasants daring to take their message to the White House. Now going to the White House or any other location where somebody protected by the Secret Service is and “knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions” can face up to a year in prison. Our favorite Arizona protester with a gun would not face up to ten years in prison for his exercise of free speech.

I would echo the statement made in the Russia Today article and say that the First Amendment is dead but it died a long time ago. The Bush initiated “free speech zones” were bad but this is even more ridiculous, and it’s already passed the House and Senate so it merely requires a signature from Emperor Obama (who will absolutely love this bill since it will shield him from people with differing opinions to his own).

Constitution Free Zones

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We’re all aware of so-called gun free zones, places in the United States where it is verboten for law abiding people to carry firearms. Most readers of this blog are likely aware of the so-called Constitution free zones, the areas of the country within 100 miles of the border that the government have claimed fall outside of Constitutional protections. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has put together a rather frightening map that displays the areas of America where the Constitution apparently doesn’t apply:

Using data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the ACLU has determined that nearly 2/3 of the entire US population (197.4 million people) live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.

The government is assuming extraordinary powers to stop and search individuals within this zone. This is not just about the border: This ” Constitution-Free Zone” includes most of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.

Ever wonder why they only made it 100 miles? Because that covers a majority of the population and as far as the state is concerned that’s good enough for now. Personally I don’t buy the bullshit idea of a Constitution free zone, nowhere in the document does it state that it ceases to apply within 100 miles of the borders and I’m pretty sure the founders would have put something that important somewhere in writing.

America: land of the free so long as you live 100 miles or more inland.

The Fifth Amendment has Been Buried

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Last month I reported about a judge who ordered a woman to decrypt here laptop and in doing so violated her Fifth Amendment right. The decision was appealed but the state is usually very consistent in violating rights so the order to decrypt the laptop was upheld:

Colorado federal authorities seized the encrypted Toshiba laptop from defendant Ramona Fricosu in 2010 with valid court warrants while investigating alleged mortgage fraud, and demanded she decrypt it by typing in her password. In January, U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ordered the woman, who faces decades in prison if convicted, to decrypt the laptop by the end of February.

Her attorney appealed, hoping to win a reprieve based on the assertion that being forced to decrypt her laptop amounts to a breach of the woman’s Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, sided with the government’s contention that an appeal was not ripe — that she must be convicted or acquitted before the circuit court would entertain an appeal. Appellate courts usually frown on hearing appeals until after there’s been a verdict.

The appellate court wrote (.pdf) Wednesday that it lacks “jurisdiction to consider the resulting proceeding under any exception to our usual finality rules.”

In other words the woman is in a catch-22 situation, the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals doesn’t want to make any ruling until after the case has concluded and the woman doesn’t want to decrypt her laptop meaning the case won’t conclude. If there is incriminating evidence on the laptop the woman should not be forced to decrypt the drive because doing so is self-incrimination. Unfortunately, according to the state, that’s irrelevant and she must possible incriminate herself in order to seek protection against self-incrimination.

The Fifth Amendment dies in the first ruling but it was buried by this most recent decision.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 27th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

It’s 1984 in Britain

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The Stasi are going to be working overtime in formerly Great Britain now that they’ll have records of every phone call, e-mail, and text message sent in the country:

Details of every phone call and text message, email traffic and websites visited online are to be stored in a series of vast databases under new Government anti-terror plans.

Landline and mobile phone companies and broadband providers will be ordered to store the data for a year and make it available to the security services under the scheme.

If you live in that forsaken realm of the damned it would be wise to personally run your own e-mail server that only accepts SSL-secured connections. While the Stasi are claiming they won’t store the contents of intercepted messages that matters not because once they know messages exist they can obtain records of them through glorious court orders (or if they have the equivalent to the United States National Security Letters they don’t even have to putz around with that). Remember that deleted e-mails may no longer be accessible to you but they’re likely accessible on some backup somewhere.

I would say denizens of Britain should attempt to flee to free America but we’re no longer free either. The best hope of not being spied on by your government is to live in a region controlled by a government that is too poor to implement a police state.

Nullification Alive and Well in Virginia

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I’ve talked about jury nullification several times on this blog but I don’t believe I’m talked about the ability of states of nullify federal laws. Through state legislation federal laws can be rendered unenforceable, or nullified. This has been done numerous times throughout American history with my favorite example of Wisconsin’s nullification of the Fugitive Slaves Act. Various states also nullified the REAL ID Act by passing legislation prohibiting the act from being implemented in those states.

The passed of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was not a happy moment in American history as it granted the United States government the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial. While Ron Paul introduced legislation to repeal the erroneous provision Virginia has decided to simply nullify the provision:

On Tuesday, February 14th, the Virginia House of Delegates voted in favor of House Bill 1160 (HB1160). The final vote was 96-4.

The legislative goal of HB1160 is to codify in Virginia law noncompliance with what many are referring to as the “kidnapping provisions” of section 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). The official summary of 1160:

“A BILL to prevent any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

I hope other states will follow Virginia’s fine example.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 17th, 2012 at 10:30 am

Naked Body Scanner Submission to Become Mandatory in Australia

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I hate the naked body scanners for many reasons but the fact that they are likely to cause cancer and invade your privacy are enough to bitch about for one post. At least here in the United States you have the option of getting cancer or sexually assaulted by an agent of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Australians will no longer have any options:

PASSENGERS at airports across Australia will be forced to undergo full-body scans or be banned from flying under new laws to be introduced into Federal Parliament this week.

Remember when entering the scanner you are to place the heels of your feel together and raise your right arm at a forty-five degree angle. Now be a good little slave and don’t tell the shrink where the bad man touched you, tattletales always find themselves in a secret prison camp in Cuba.

The Illegitimacy of Mob Rule

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I disagree with a great deal of what the Occupy movements have been advocating but my biggest objective, by far, is their espousing of mob rule. Of course they don’t call it mob rule, nor does anybody else who supports the idea, instead preferring the friendlier term democracy. The problem is democracy by nature is nothing more than mob rule:

Democracy, of the unlimited kind lauded today,[3] is a form of socialism, in the sense that it arrogates ultimate power over all decisions to the government. Implicit in the notion of people’s present love affair with mob rule is the assumption that government, through the collective “will of the people,” should have the prerogatives of ownership of all resources in society, should it choose to exercise these. The democrat brooks no limitation on the legitimate powers of government and hence gives total ownership over all of society to this institution.

While people often call the United States a democracy it is not. Unlike a democracy the founding fathers of the United States attempted to limite government power over the people through the Constitution (it was a valiant effort old chaps, I’m sorry it didn’t succeed). In a democracy every decision can be chosen by the majority in society whereas the United States, as envisioned by its founders, specifically prevents certain decisions from being made. The Bill of Rights is an example of this attempt. Unfortunately the founding fathers left the Constitution open for changes via amendments meaning nothing in the Bill of Rights was really set in stone but at least there was a high barrier of entry to start mucking about. Either way you get the idea, the United States wasn’t meant to be a democracy where any decision could be made by the mob.

Yet those who advocate democracy are saying that they desire the majority be given rule over the minority. Sometimes advocates of democracy try to conceal that fact by using fancy terms such as consensus. With consensus, advocates claim, no decision is final until everybody involved has agreed to it. In all honestly many people eventually break down and agree to things simply because they’re sick of debating and wish to move on with their night (a phenomenon I’ve witnessed numerous times at OccupyMN). Oftentimes people will simple say, “Fuck it, I’ll vote for it to get things moving along but I’ll try to get it repealed later.” These same people don’t stop to think about the fact that repealing it later will be almost impossible (a fact demonstrated by our government that never seems to repeal any law).

My biggest gripe with democracy though is the fact that rights become conditional:

It is true even when a democratic government chooses policies that are relatively liberal and purportedly support the ownership of private property. For such property ownership is regarded as conditional. Supporters of the system of democracy assert their right to forcibly interfere in the lives of others whenever they have sufficient support from the mob to do so, or are otherwise capable of capturing political power.

Do you own a business? Good for you! Unfortunately the majority of people have decided that a park would be a far better use of the land your business is occupying so we’ve voted to demolish your livelihood. Too bad, so sad, get the fuck out. Are you enjoying your protection against government goons breaking into your home and searching through your belongings without so much as a warrant? We’re sorry to inform you that the majority have agreed that persons making more than $1 million a year are no longer protected from warrantless searches. Why? Because we need to ensure that you’re paying your “fair share” to society!

Uncertainty is bad for everybody. Who is going to start a business if they are uncertain of what regulations will be coming down the road? Why invest the money to build a home if you’re not sure the mob will vote to seize it at a later date? Nobody is going to strive for success if that success can later be taken away by those who did not enjoy similar success in their lives.

Many people will often claim that democracy can work so long as the right people get elected. Who are the right people? Ask 10 people and you’ll get 10 different recommendations:

If you are inclined to believe that democracy will function justly when “the right people” are elected, then bear in mind that each political party is elected precisely because its candidates are regarded as the best people available by the majority at the time.

Right now Barack Obama is the president because of two mob decisions. First a mob of Democrat Party members agreed that Obama was the candidate they wanted to run for president. A second mob later decided that Obama was the person they wanted to be president of the country. The same goes for Bush. There is no way to elect the right people into office because everybody believes different people are the right ones. Whereas I believe Ron Paul is the only decent candidate for president others want Romney or Obama (but I repeat myself).

If I’m against democracy that must means I’m an advocate of a dictatorship right? Wrong, that’s a false dichotomy:

Those who support democracy tend to conflate the issue of the method of selection of rulers with the preliminary question of whether political power is legitimate in the first place. Hence, it needs to be clearly understood that objection to democratic rule does not mean that one prefers dictatorship — it means than one does not consent to have others initiate force against them, regardless of the method of selection of those with the power to do this.

I am my own sovereign. If somebody believes they can become a sovereign over me they can kindly go fuck themselves. Each person is born a free individual and has power over their own life. Just because a gang of assholes get together and call themselves a government doesn’t mean I have to recognize their authority.

What alternative exists though? How can one man defend himself against a mob? If the mob has decided on a decision isn’t your only option to comply? The answer to those questions is to be thankful that you exist today and not centuries past.

Since the idea of dragging capitalists out to the town square and running them all through guillotines is a popular idea among collectivists I’ll provide my standard rebuttal to it. Even if you get 100 people to vote and agree that I should be executed for advocating capitalism I don’t have to agree. Sure there may be 100 of you but me and my .308 can make one hell of a protest against your little mob. In the end you may win, I may die, but your victory won’t come without cost, I won’t go alone.

With the way things are going in the world I’m glad I live in this century. Before the invention of repeating firearms there was little a single individual could do against a mob. Today one man with a semi-automatic firearm can refuse to comply with a mob and have a halfway decent chance of surviving. Imagine a democratically elected vengeance seeking brigade lynch mob decide you were to hang. What could you do? Quite a bit if you have a quality firearm by your side and the skill and ammunition to use it. In the end the firearm is the free man’s defense against democracy.

Some will claim that my attitude goes against the principles this country was founded on. Those people are wrong. The founding fathers of this country did establish a government but always believed the individual to be sovereign. A quote by Noah Webster brings the founding father’s ideals to light:

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.

Webster strongly believe the people not only had a right to keep and bear arms but that this right was essential to ensure the government wasn’t allowed to encroach on individual sovereignty. Let us not forget Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote:

What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to 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. It is its natural manure.

Not only did Jefferson believe in the right of the people to defend themselves against their government but he also advocating periodic rebellions to ensure the government was reminded that the people reign supreme. While I’m not a fan of violent rebellion in any regard I am an advocate of self-defense and that self-defense includes people being assailed by their government.

These are just two quotes in a virtual library of materials penned by the founding fathers regarding the sovereignty of individuals. We have to remember that the founding fathers had just previously overthrown a tyrannical government and were still riding high on the idea of individual liberty. They didn’t believe in democracy, where the mob reigns supreme, but in the sovereignty of individuals. In their minds it was the right of every individual to defend him or herself against infractions on individual sovereignty. By declaring my distain for democracy I’m not opposing the ideals this country was founded up but actually promoting them.

Those who cow to the majority are some of the most despicable people of all. They think that so long as the majority believe something to be just that it is, that so long as decisions are made democratically they are good. These same people often complain about the state of the world today but only suggest that the people who are responsible for this dystopian state, the government, be given more power so that “the people” may reign supreme. By “the people” they really mean everybody who agrees with themselves wholeheartedly.

Do not fall into the fallacy of democracy, stand up and assert your sovereignty. Let no other person or persons rule over you. Just because a large group of people made a decision doesn’t mean it’s right. Do not allow yourself to fall into the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum.

I Guess the Secret Service has Nothing Better to Do

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The Secret Service must be bored as shit if they can waste time interrogating a buch of guys who went to the range and used an Obama t-shirt as a target:

A photograph showing a group of men with guns posing with a bullet-riddled T-shirt containing an image of Barack Obama’s face is to be investigated by the Secret Service, a spokesman confirmed to NBC News.

The New York Times reported that the picture showed seven young men, four with weapons, one of whom was holding a T-shirt with the president’s face on it, above the word “HOPE.” The T-shirt was covered in holes and gashes.

The Times said the photograph was posted on the Facebook page of a Peoria, Ariz., police officer, Sgt. Pat Shearer, on Jan. 20.

“We are aware of it. Anytime information is brought to our attention that a group or individual expresses an unusual interest in one of our protectees, we conduct the appropriate follow-up,” Secret Service spokesman Max Milien told NBC News.

“We respect the right of free speech and expression but we certainly have the right and obligation to speak to individuals to determine what their intent is,” he added. “We treat anything (any potential threat) seriously. We can’t dismiss anything.”

While I find shooting a target representing a specific human being a bit distasteful there certainly is nothing illegal about it nor should it raise much in the way of suspicion. Let’s be honest with ourselves, people take their frustrations out on targets depicting people they dislike all the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to the range and somebody was shooting a target emblazoned with a picture of Osama bin Laden. I’ve person shot up a copy of Twilight but in no way would I ever want to bring actual harm against the book’s author (I actually hold a lot of respect for anybody who knows their audience so well that they can crank up completely drivel and make a fortune doing it, I wish I could).

The Secret Service says they have the right to speak with these individuals and to that I disagree. Members of the Secret Service are paid using money stolen from me in the form of tax dollars so I feel I should at least get a little bang for my buck. If there is a credible threat to one of our politicians then do your thing and stop it, but this is obviously not a threat.

What’s more likely is that the Secret Service wants to make open criticism of the president a frightening ordeal. They’re basically saying, “If you express dissatisfaction with the president we’re going to be knocking on your door.”

Rick Perry and Guns

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Rick Perry was scrounging for some brownie points from the gun community at the end of ABC’s debate by brining up the fact he likes to unwind by hitting the shooting range:

“Just relaxing a bit @ Red’s Range before we leave for New Hampshire!” @governorperry tweeted Friday along with a photo of himself wearing a green sweatshirt and a baseball cap with a firearm in hand.

On the campaign trail, Perry, a staunch defender of second amendment rights, has not been shy about talking about his “long love affair” with guns.

“It was a long love affair with a boy and his gun that turned into a man and his gun, and it turned into a man and his son and his daughter and their guns,” Perry told reporters before a pheasant hunting trip with Iowa Rep. Steve King in October. “It’s, I think, one of the great American traditions is taking your family hunting.

Now numerous people in the gun community are jumping on the Rick Perry 2012 bandwagon. Let’s all take a second to step back and remember what Rick Perry is, a tyrant. Rick Perry is the same candidate who advocated an invasion of Mexico as a strategy in the War on Drugs and issued an executive order forcing girls to be injected with the HPV vaccine, which could possibly cause paralysis (sadly it’s such a new drug we don’t know enough about possible side-effects but hey drug company campaign contributions cay make such pesky details vanish).

Politicians pander to communities in order to get votes. They do this because pandering works and many single issue voters exist in the world. Yet even if Rick Perry is an advocate of the Second Amendment facts are none of us will be able to afford new guns or ammunition if the economy entirely collapses and Perry has no fucking clue about economics. On top of that if he’s willing to send troops into Mexico to enforce a United States prohibition you can guarantee he’s in favor of seeing troops into other countries we have no business being in. Don’t like the fact Perry goes to the shooting range and supports the Second Amendment fool you into supporting him, on every other ground he’s horrible.

On the other hand there is another pro-gun candidate (I’d argue far more pro-gun than Perry) who actually understands economics and supports every civil liberty running for presidential candidate named Ron Paul. I’m just saying why support a tyrant when you can have a true supporter of liberty?

Written by Christopher Burg

January 11th, 2012 at 10:00 am

The Censorship War Against Terror

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I’m getting very sick of this fear mongering performed by our government. United States authorities decided two papers published about bird flu were in need of revision, and when the government says revision they mean censorship:

US authorities have asked the authors of two controversial bird flu studies to redact key details after a government advisory panel suggested the data could be used by terrorists.

The papers show how a bird flu variant can pass easily between ferrets.

Holy shit, the terrorists may learn that bird flu can be used against ferrets! Not ferrets! We love those mischievous cute little critters! Quick demand the report be censored!

Let’s look at this under a more serious light. The United States government must believe Al Qaeda has a team of crack biologists who specialized in virology. That’s the only possible way that they could be in the least bit worried about this information spreading. Were I to read the report my brain would probably collapse in on itself due to complete stupidity regarding viruses. You can just read a research paper and gain a complete understanding of the material unless you also have the requisite prior knowledge on which the paper is based. Does the United States government believe real life is like Fallout where you can pick up a book, use it, and gain an instant +2% to a related stat? If Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or any other such entity had leading virologists I would think we’d have been attacked by some kind of super plague by now. Unfortunately for Al Qaeda and fortunately for us extremely intelligent researchers usually aren’t violent psychopaths.

You can just ignore everything I’ve said though because the government has a solution:

Editors at the journals Science and Nature say they will not agree to the redactions until they are assured the data will be accessible to researchers.

A spokesman for US health authorities said such a system was being prepared.

I’m sure anybody who passes a government background check, meets the government mandated qualifications to be a researcher, and pays an exorbitant licensing fee will have access to this new database system. On the other hand top level researchers in other countries (especially terrorist countries like not American) can just go fuck themselves along with the amateurs. We can completely ignore the fact that some of the world’s greatest scientific breakthroughs were done by amateur researchers who would likely not meed the government’s requirement of the title.

What this censorship will do is make finding a cure or vaccine much more difficult because only those blessed by the divinity of government will be allowed to participate in such research. In other words the potential number of researchers trying to find a cure or create a vaccine will be greatly reduced.