Recent Posts From Tom Knighton
The United States Constitution. Many consider it one of the greatest documents ever devised by man. The idea that men could govern themselves was radical. The United States was the first nation to ever try it. It’s just to bad that the Founders managed to also illustrate the folly of central planning.
What’s that? What in the heck did the Founders have to do with central planning? An excellent question.
You see, the Founding Fathers tasked with creating the Constitution were a small, select group of people. They wanted what was best for the new nation, and so they wrote out a guide. These were people driven by a noble ideology, that of a free nation, and yet they screwed up oh-so-royally.
“They didn’t screw up! We’re the ones screwing up the Constitution,” some might say. Well, you’re partially right. Unfortunately, where you’re wrong is that that the Founders did make mistakes. You see, there are a lot of areas where they were less than clear, or inserted things that weren’t really necessary. There are few actual definitions of what they wanted or envisioned.
Here are some examples. None of these even touch on the horror that was slavery, codified in a document intended to create a free nation (irony much?)
To promote the general welfare
That phrase is used to justify all kinds of crap. Every time someone claims an entitlement is unconstitutional, someone else will trot out this gem. Now, if you’re reading this blog, I’m going to assume you understand that this was not what it was intended to support. Instead, the government was to exist to protect an environment where people could take care of themselves. Unfortunately, that’s not what they said.
Now that ObamaCare has been upheld, I look around and see a lot of reactions in the political spheres. The left is gloating. The right is rallying behind Romney. Libertarians such as myself are looking around and seeing exactly what the hell is wrong with this country.
First, to the conservatives. You’re idiots. Rallying behind Romney? He practically gift wrapped ObamaCare for the Democrats. He can say whatever the heck he wants to now about how he doesn’t support it, but the fact is that he does support individual mandates. He does support the law. In fact, he’s not actually saying he disagrees with the policy. He’s saying he thinks it should be at the state level. Really?
Conservatives should be ashamed of themselves. Why? Their whole schtick of “vote for anyone but a democrat” landed us with people who would appoint John Roberts to be Chief Justice. Nice freaking job there pals. Thanks for nothing. Our nation is screwed, but we got a Republican in the White House that day so it’s all peachy-keen.
To the progressives. Shut the hell up. Seriously. Yes, you won one. Nice freaking job. Now, the next time you lose, remember how you’re acting right now. When Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the DNC posts a tweet saying, “It’s constitutional. Bitches,” then you have zero justification in acting all hurt when salt gets rubbed in your wounds. NONE!
Of course, also remember this victory when the GOP passes some law that uses just this to justify its existence. Remeber it was your ideology that let it happen. Trust me on this, it will happen. And yet, I suspect you will all conveniently forget this moment and act indignant. Well, cry me a freaking river. I’m past caring anymore.
A friend’s daughter is competing in a pagent here in Georgia (Teen Miss, or Miss Georgia, I have no idea which). Seeing photos of the preliminary winners, I was thinking about all the media I’ve seen and it reminded me how confusing our culture seems to be.
You see, listening to news reports, we seem to have two problems. One is that people, particularly young girls, are bombarded with images that create a poor body image and leads to eating disorders. The other is that we have an epidemic of obesity in this nation.
Maybe it’s just me, but when I think of both existing at the same time, I get a little confused. You see, telling our children that being fat is bad and they get an eating disorder, it’s our fault. If they get fat because we didn’t tell them that being fat is bad, it’s our fault as well. What is a parent to do?
Now, I don’t see anorexia as a good thing. Sure, it needs to be combatted. Personally, I’ve never found stick figure women attractive, so I never understood the “heroin model” fad that took over runways a few years ago (are they still there? Damned if I know) and am really fine with that not being the example we hold up to our daughters of what to be.
On the same token, I’m kind of tired of being told that my child needs to be comfortable with their own body image when that body is one that I’m also being told is part of an “epidemic” in this country. Here’s the problem folks, my son is fine being a little chubby. He honestly isn’t that worked up about it. How is that a problem? Because he’s not really motivated to do a damn thing about it.
By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Operation Fast and Furious, which actually is not an effort to catch illegal drag racers. Instead, it’s an operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) where it’s been alleged that BATFE agents let tons of firearms flow south of the border by people they knew to be buying for the Mexican drug cartels. One of these guns was reportedly used to kill US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
The gun rights community, predictably, is up in arms (pun unintended) about it. Some are going so far as to claim it is all part of an effort to push forward increased gun regulations here. Yesterday, President Obama claimed executive priviledge regarding documents that Congress and subpenoaed. They had ordered them eight months ago.
Now, first let me address the conspiracy theory regarding using Fast and Furious being a way to push forward regulations here. I might have had something to do with that one. Months ago, on a blog that is no longer up on the net, I wrote that if I were inclined towards conspiracy theories, I would believe such a thing. After all, the use of American guns by drug cartels was cited by both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as reasons why we needed tougher gun regulations in the US. This was while Fast and Furious was going on and sending a proverbial buttload of guns down to Mexico…guns that BATFE knew about and did nothing to prevent.
Of course, a report from CBS News from December, 2011 looks like I might have been on to something:
Many gun rights advocates will open their discussion about gun rights by pointing out that they don’t believe convicted felons should have guns, a position I have some issues with. Most will also say that those who are found to have guns in their possession should go to jail. The question is, what about those who are imprisoned for being felons with guns but weren’t really felons?
USA Today had the story yesterday.
A USA TODAY investigation, based on court records and interviews with government officials and attorneys, found more than 60 men who went to prison for violating federal gun possession laws, even though courts have since determined that it was not a federal crime for them to have a gun.
Many of them don’t even know they’re innocent.
The legal issues underlying their situation are complicated, and are unique to North Carolina. But the bottom line is that each of them went to prison for breaking a law that makes it a federal crime for convicted felons to possess a gun. The problem is that none of them had criminal records serious enough to make them felons under federal law.
Still, the Justice Department has not attempted to identify the men, has made no effort to notify them, and, in a few cases in which the men have come forward on their own, has argued in court that they should not be released.
How would you feel if property you owned was taken away from you by the federal government because of something your tenant did? You’d probably be pretty pissed. Now, imagine that they were doing something legal in that state? How would you feel then?
According to Rueters, that’s a predicament many landlords in California may be faced with as Uncle Sam continues it’s assault on medical marijuana dispensaries in that state.
The authorities are pressuring landlords to shut down the shops or face possible loss of the real estate through the unconventional and low-key use of a civil statute designed primarily to seize the assets of drug-trafficking organizations.
While some states, including California, have legalized medical marijuana businesses, the federal government does not recognize their authority to do so and has targeted the shops for violations of the 40-year-old Controlled Substances Act.
The goal of the Justice Department’s effort, part of a crackdown announced last October, is to fight the medical marijuana industry, estimated at $1.7 billion annually, without confronting it head-on with costly and potentially embarrassing criminal prosecutions, industry sources and legal experts said.
This indirect strategy is reminiscent of the department’s attempts, which have met with only limited success, to sever the medical pot industry’s access to banking services. Many businesses have found ways around those restrictions, experts said.
“Filing asset-forfeiture lawsuits against these commercial properties is a very clever way to handle an otherwise horribly difficult and controversial situation,” said Greg Baldwin, a partner at the Miami law firm Holland & Knight and a former federal prosecutor.
In libertarian circles, including this very site, the subject of “compromise” has been a common one over the last little while. Senator Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney, rather than Ron Paul, served as a catalyst for thrusting the word into the limelight of our small, but unquiet, world.
For many, the word “compromise” is an evil word. Dropping profanity while whipping out one’s genitals is more socially acceptable than to speak of “compromise.” The problem is, those who abhor the word are the very ones who will lament the lack of change.
When one takes a look at how things happen, they will see that change rarely happens over night. It takes time. One day, something is perfectly legal and accepted. Then, over time, attitudes shift and it’s no longer accepted. Finally the day comes that an action is declared illegal. The decision is often met with great fanfare as the crusaders applaud their victory against the forces of evil.
Unfortunately, that victory is usual a victory of tyranny over liberty. For every libertarian I know, the goal is to move that window of accepted and legal back to where it once was, and then push it even farther. However, what many libertarians fail to accept is that instant change is not going to happen.
Instead, embracing compromise shouldn’t make someone a pariah, but show a certain level of wisdom…providing that the compromise moves us closer towards liberty.
On any issue, there is a window. It sits on a line between liberty and tyranny. If a compromise moves us closer towards liberty, then it clearly should be embraced. If it puts us in a position to move closer towards liberty, then it should at least be considered.
I remember watching Superman II and hearing the line “Kneel before Zod”. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s kind of the vibe I got from David Brooks in his uber creepy column earlier this week. By now, there are about a thousand different posts regarding Brooks’ column, but we here at United Liberty are just too awesome to not put our own thoughts on it.
Now, to be fair, much of the point of Brooks’ column is lamenting what he perceives as a lack of powerful monuments to our “Dear Leaders”. However, along the way, he also does the best job of boot-licking politicians I’ve seen that wasn’t intended as satire.
These days many Americans seem incapable of thinking about these paradoxes. Those “Question Authority” bumper stickers no longer symbolize an attempt to distinguish just and unjust authority. They symbolize an attitude of opposing authority.
The old adversary culture of the intellectuals has turned into a mass adversarial cynicism. The common assumption is that elites are always hiding something. Public servants are in it for themselves. Those people at the top are nowhere near as smart or as wonderful as pure and all-knowing Me.
You end up with movements like Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Parties that try to dispense with authority altogether. They reject hierarchies and leaders because they don’t believe in the concepts. The whole world should be like the Internet — a disbursed semianarchy in which authority is suspect and each individual is king.
Seattle is having a very rough time right now. They have experienced more murders so far this year than they did all last year. Police are looking for answers, and Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz has something - not someone - to blame.
Seattle police officials Tuesday said the outbreak of violence through Memorial Day weekend and since the beginning of the year has more to do with guns than with gangs.
Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz and Assistant Chief for Operations Paul McDonagh said that, while gang activity has played a role in the jump in homicides this year — 15 to date compared with 21 in all of 2011 — the common denominator is the use of firearms.
“A person who has a gun is more likely to use a gun,” Metz said after the weekly council briefing.
Frankly, there are things I would like to say to Metz that don’t really belong on this kind of website. For the record, this was published yesterday with no mention of the six more that were killed at the Racer Cafe.
I was informed this morning that one of the dead who’s identity hasn’t been officially released was Kimberly Layfield. That name means nothing to most of you, but it sure as hell means a lot to me. Kim was a very special friend. We went to high school together and were pretty tight in those days, over 20 years ago. I lost touch with her after I joined the Navy, but thanks to the internet, I caught up with her several years ago. It was like old times. There is something like a .001% chance it’s not her though, and I still pray it’s not, but I’m not holding my breath.
A U.S. Appeals Court just gave DOMA and its supporters a serious setback:
(CNN) — A key part of the law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage was struck down as unconstitutional by a U.S. appeals court Thursday.
The Defense of Marriage Act — known as DOMA — defines marriage for federal purposes as unions exclusively between a man and woman.
At issue is whether the federal government can deny tax, health and pension benefits to same-sex couples in states where they can legally marry.
“If we are right in thinking that disparate impact on minority interests and federalism concerns both require somewhat more in this case than almost automatic deference to Congress’ will, this statute fails that test,” said the three judge panel.
The 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, based in Boston, did not rule on the federal law’s other key provision: that states that do not allow same-sex marriages cannot be forced to recognize such unions performed in other states.
Personally, I don’t see why it’s any one’s business who marries who. Gay friends who want to marry aren’t going to impact me or my marriage…unless my wife and I argue over the wedding presents.
Of course, all this depends on whether Uncle Sam wants to take things to the next level. Only time will really tell what ther result of The case is Massachusetts v. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (10-2204) will really be.