This is insane: A Texas man is facing the death penalty for defending his home with deadly force

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In the great state of Texas, it is legal, almost mandatory, to defend your home with deadly force from armed intruders. If someone attempts to climb into your window in the deep, pre-dawn darkness at 5:30 am, you would be justified in shooting them, right? In almost all conceivable cases, yes. Especially in Texas.

But what if the intruder turns out to be a member of a SWAT team attempting a no-knock drug raid on a search warrant? We’re about to find out, but it could mean the death penalty.

Marvin Louis Guy of Killeen, Texas and a female companion opened fire on several men entering their home through windows and doors, killing one and injuring another. The intruders turned out to be members of a SWAT team composed of Killeen police and state organized crime investigative officers who were serving a warrant based on tips from an informant that there was drug trafficking going on in the residence.

Given that it was a “no-knock” raid, the residents did not know that it was law enforcement officers entering their home. No-knock raids are often conducted on search warrants for drug trafficking suspicion to prevent hardened criminals from attacking the cops when they are announced. It didn’t quite turn out that way this time.

Obama marks Constitution Day by referring to our constitutional rights as “privileges”

Today, September 17, is Constitution Day. Spearheaded by the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), Congress passed a resolution in 2004 as rider to an omnibus spending bill setting aside this particular day to celebrate the ratification of the Constitution, the document that provides the framework of the federal government and the rights protected under the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution has experienced somewhat of a resurgence in the last several years, perhaps because of the polarization of political opinions in the United States as well as attempts by presidents from both parties attempts consume more power for the executive branch. The revelations about the National Security Agency, efforts to censor speech, expand gun control laws are just the tip of the iceberg of attempts to trample the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

In his presidential proclamation marking Constitution Day, President Barack Obama offered some insight into how he views the Bill of Rights. “Our Constitution reflects the values we cherish as a people and the ideals we strive for as a society,” Obama said in the release. “It secures the privileges we enjoy as citizens, but also demands participation, responsibility, and service to our country and to one another.”

Given that this White House is known for its expansive view of executive power, the fact that President Obama views these fundamental liberties to be “privileges” isn’t too terribly surprising. After all, President Obama treats the legislative branch — which is supposed to be a co-equal branch of the federal government — as an afterthought as it arbitrarily changes statues and even refuses to enforce laws.

New STELA Bill, Still Not Clean

Recent news reports indicate that the Senate Commerce Committee has dropped the à la carte and Internet provisions in its STELA reauthorization bill (called STAVRA). But the bill is still not ‘clean’.

It appears that the bill still contains a provision codifying the FCC’s decision to prohibit independent TV stations from jointly negotiating retransmission consent agreements. Like the FCC rule, this prohibition would apply in all TV markets, including markets that lack effective competition among pay-TV providers. Under the bill, TV stations in these markets would be required to negotiate separately with a pay-TV operator who Congress has determined possesses monopoly market power. Pay-TV operators with monopoly market power don’t need government help in their negotiations with broadcast TV stations.

The disconnect between the statutory definition of effective competition among pay-TV operators and the bill’s provision prohibiting joint retransmission consent negotiations in all markets is why many urged Congress to adopt a clean STELA reauthorization. Addressing the convoluted framework for video regulation on a piecemeal basis increases the potential for unintended consequences and inhibits the opportunity for robust debate. The holistic approach envisioned by the #CommActUpdate is more likely to result in comprehensive deregulation and produce a level playing field in the video market.

Those Obamacare enrollment numbers are about to dwindle: 360,000 customers threatened with loss of subsidies

Health insurance companies have already reported alarming attrition in the numbers of purported enrollments since the first open enrollment period ended in April. Their problems may get worse in the next two weeks. The Obama administration is ready to pull the plug on subsidies to as many as 360,000 Obamacare enrollees because they haven’t verified their income:

The Obama administration announced Monday it will cut off tax subsidies to about 360,000 people if they do not offer proof of their income in the next two weeks.

Officials will send final notices this week to individuals who signed up for ObamaCare with income levels that didn’t match government records. The announcement marks the administration’s first move to tackle the politically charged issue of income verification, which has remained a key GOP argument against the healthcare reform law.

Those who don’t confirm their income levels could lose their tax credit and face higher premiums and higher deductibles.

Back in late June, the Department of Health and Human Services revealed that there were some 2.6 million data inconsistencies in Obamacare enrollments. This figured included more than 960,000 inconsistencies involving income through the federal exchange. Some of the inconsistencies may have been resolved or there could have been duplicates that were weeded out to get to the lower, more current figure.

President Obama: You’re Ruining the American Brand

President Obama

President Obama, I know you have a hard job.

It’s a rough time to be president of course. The Muslim World is stuck in an ongoing identity crisis, shedding itself of its tin-pot dictators leftover from its misguided experiment with socialism in the 20th century. We were supposed to be helping them through this process, thinking they’d appreciate our help and begin the transition to democratic governments like the former Eastern Bloc states did. Isn’t that why we invaded Iraq to begin with?

But we found Muslims don’t seem to want what we think of as “democracy.” War and disorder erupted and we got dragged in. In the resulting vacuum, Wahhabism and other Islamic radicalism have spread like a cancer through the barrels of Russian Kalashnikov’s and American RPG’s. The extremists don’t really care where the weapons come from. But they know the guns will keep coming because they have us figured out.

They know that what motivates people motivates policy. So they taunt us with beheadings and threats and challenge us to fight them in the dirt, knowing it will invoke the kind of hatred from Americans that they thrive on. It will bring American soldiers back, lead to more violence from American guns, and unify disparate factions under their flag. They know we can’t say no because we have an image to maintain.

Oversight Judge to Blogger: You Were Right about Supreme Court Justice, but We’re Not Going to Do Anything about It

In a stunning move, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct has declined to discipline Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade for violating the state Code of Judicial Conduct when he was Chief Justice, and has dismissed a complaint brought against him by a United Liberty contributor.

Judge Chris Craft, Board Chair of the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct, acknowledged in a letter dated September 5, 2014 that your humble scribe “raised an area of concern” in the ethics complaint I filed against Justice Gary Wade on July 9 for a breach of the court’s rules governing political activity as he campaigned for retention to the state Supreme Court this summer. Judge Craft also says that the Board has addressed the complaint “by other means,” and will not be reprimanding or censuring Justice Wade, and has therefore dismissed the complaint.

Food Freedom Fest and the War on Our Food

This past weekend, a small mountain town in Southwest Virginia was the site of a meeting of radicals. They looked like mild-mannered citizens, some even literally and obviously just off the farm, but behind the friendly handshakes and smiles you could see the light of fighters in a war most people don’t even realize exists: the right to grow and eat what you want, free of burdensome government regulation and intrusion.

The ideological heart of this gathering is one Joel Salatin, a man pushing 60 who looks a decade or more younger, who knows first hand what it looks like when the government decides it wants to shut you down and drive you out of business for encroaching on their self-styled food provision empire. His manifesto is summed pretty handily thus:

Food freedom is even more basic than gun, religious, or speech freedom,” says. “In fact, I would argue that the reason the founders of our country did not write it into the bill of rights was because it was so basic they couldn’t conceive of any society abrogating it.  It would have been like guaranteeing citizens the right to watch the sun rise or sit on their porch.  The way it relates to other small government initiatives is that once we actually have food freedom, it destroys the assumptions that led to its demise.

Obama, once the anti-war candidate, now fully embraces the Bush doctrine of preemptive unilateral war

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Democrats swept into control of both houses of Congress in the 2006 elections on a wave of discontent with the Iraq war and then-President Bush’s foreign adventurism. President Obama campaigned over the next two years as the explicitly anti-war candidate. He was the only Democrat running who had opposed the war in Iraq, though he wasn’t in Congress to have to vote for it at the time. Now President Obama is explicitly embracing the Bush doctrine of preemptive war to pretend he has authority to unilaterally attack the ISIS forces in Iraq.

On Wednesday evening, Obama made a primetime address to the nation to explain the strategy against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, which he said he didn’t have last week. In the address and an interview on Meet the Press the Sunday before, he said he already has the authority to pursue that strategy, which John Yoo, a former Bush administration official who literally wrote the memo on Bush’s war powers, says is exactly the same as Bush’s.

The victims’ families deserve transparency: Barack Obama should declassify the 28 pages of the joint inquiry into 9/11

It’s hard to believe it has been 13 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks, a day in which nearly 2,977 people lost their lives at the hands of 19 radical Islamic militants doing the work of al-Qaeda and its founder, Osama bin Laden.

Americans know the story of what happened and the massive intelligence failures that led up to the attack. But there is some information in a 2002 congressional report that the Bush administration and, now, the Obama administration don’t want the public to see.

At issue are 28 pages in the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (Volume I, Volume II), a report conducted by the House and Senate intelligence committees. The then-chairmen of the two committees, Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) and Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL) , both of whom have since retired from public service, oversaw the inquiry and the report.

The Bush administration classified 28 pages of the report, citing national security concerns. Three House members, however, are working with families of the victims of the September 11 attacks to declassify these page, which, they say, details the Bush administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and ties elements within the Middle Eastern country’s government to the Islamic radicals who carried out the attack, as The New Yorker explains:

Corporate Welfare: Can Republicans Kick the Habit?

I periodically try to explain that there’s a big difference between being pro-market and pro-business.

Simply stated, policy makers shouldn’t try to penalize businesses with taxes, mandates, and regulations.

But neither should politicians seek to subsidize businesses. That’s why I’m against bailouts, subsidies, and other distortions that provide special favors for politically connected companies.

I have nothing against companies earning money, to be sure, but I want them to earn their profits in the marketplace rather than lining their pockets by using the coercive power of government to rig the rules of the game.

 


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