Recent Posts From Tom Knighton
Oklahoma’s Sen. Tom Coburn has put forth an amendment on the new NDAA (not to be confused with last year’s NDAA that we have written about a lot here at United LIberty). The proposal deals with veterans gun rights, and it’s definitely churned the waters a bit in the senate:
Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, wants veterans who have been deemed “mentally incompetent” to have their cases adjudicated by a judge — rather than the Department of Veterans Affairs, as happens currently — and argued that veterans who simply cannot support themselves financially are needlessly given the label and, as such, cannot buy or possess firearms.
“We’re not asking for anything big,” Mr. Coburn said Thursday evening on the Senate floor. “We’re just saying that if you’re going to take away the Second Amendment rights … they ought to have it adjudicated, rather than mandated by someone who’s unqualified to state that they should lose their rights.”
George Orwell painted a very scary picture in his novel, 1984. The book was meant as a warning, a dire picture that he wanted people to avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, it looks more and more like some people want to use it as a handbook for how to create their own idea of a perfect state.
The latest is from some law enforcement groups that are asking the United States Senate for a law that will require cellular service providers to store logs of your SMS text messages for two years. You know, just in case they want need those for future criminal cases:
As the popularity of text messages has exploded in recent years, so has their use in criminal investigations and civil lawsuits. They have been introduced as evidence in armed robbery, cocaine distribution, and wire fraud prosecutions. In one 2009 case in Michigan, wireless provider SkyTel turned over the contents of 626,638 SMS messages, a figure described by a federal judge as “staggering.”
Chuck DeWitt, a spokesman for the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, which represents the 63 largest U.S. police forces including New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago, said “all such records should be retained for two years.” Some providers, like Verizon, retain the contents of SMS messages for a brief period of time, while others like T-Mobile do not store them at all.
Obama scares the pants off of a lot of folks. Yeah, I’m one of them. Now, a lot of those terrified are conspiracy theorists who are convinced that Obama seeks nothing less than a complete dictatorship. I’m not one of those.
Unfortunately though, I’m afraid that Obama’s so-called “leadership” will send us down that rabbit hole anyways. Part of that is that, while I believe he has noble intentions, his policies are wrongheaded. Another part is the idea that so many of my fellow Americans have regarding Obama as some kind of messiah.
Actor Jamie Foxx, and his comments calling Obama “our lord and savior” have already made the rounds. However, this video shows just how prevelant similar line of thoughts actually are:
Now, there is a line of these kids saying they should take responsibility for their own future, which is good, but it kind of goes against everything else they’re screaming about. They each relay their hopes for what they want to be “when they grow up”, starting with, “Because of Obama…”
The BDU pages, black t-shirts, coupled with the ideologically driving chants can be pretty chilling. Especially for what appear to be impressionable high school students.
Now, I want to point out that I have seen no evidence that Obama, the White House, or the Federal government had anything to do with this routine. This is a lone actor, as best I can tell, but it’s also creepy as hell.
Presidents are men. Some are good men, some aren’t. None are dieties, and it bothers me that some seem to think they are. Yes, this happens with both parties, but at least Republicans waiting to diefy Reagan until after he was out of office.
There’s been a lot of ink (digital or otherwise) by conservatives and libertarians about the lack of critical thinking on the part of much of the press regarding President Obama and his policies. I’ve been accused of just being paranoid (which may be true), but it looks like there is some validity to the argument.
In conversations with POLITICO, some of the left’s most influential voices in media said that, with the concerns of re-election over, they intend to be more critical of the president’s performance and more aggressive in urging him to pursue a progressive agenda as the clock ticks on his last four years in office.
“Liberals in the media are going to be tougher on Obama and more respectful at the same time,” Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker’s chief political commentator and a former speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, told POLITICO. “He was the champion of our side, he vanquished the foe….. [but] now liberals don’t have to worry about hurting his chances for re-election, so they can be tougher in urging him to do what he should be doing.”
“In a tight election, people were sensitive to anything that would jeopardize the president’s re-election,” said Melber. “There’s no question that a second term changes the center of gravity for any administration: There is no reasonable argument that criticism will result in the defeat of Barack Obama.”
Bob Costas has always been one of my favorite sports casters. Last night, he overstepped what a sportscaster should do and got into the realm of politics, particular in guns and gun control.
Courtesy of The Daily Caller:
“Please, those who need tragedies to continually re-calibrate their sense of proportion about sports will seem to have little hope about achieving perspective,” he continued. “You want some actual perspective on this? Well, a bit of it comes from a Kansas City-based writer — Jason Whitlock — with whom I don’t always agree, but who today said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article.”
Costas quoted Whitlock’s suggestion that a gun ban would have prevented the tragedy.
“‘Our current gun culture,’ Whitlock wrote, ‘ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy. And more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here,’ wrote Jason Whitlock, ‘is what I believe — if Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Cassandra Perkins would both be alive today.’”
First, Whitlock and Costas are both either uneducated on the facts about guns, or they’re just both idiots.
The fact is, while what happened in Kansas City is clearly a tragedy, a greater tragedy would be the death of even a portion of the 2.5 million people who use guns legally to defend their own life each and every year.
Mitt Romney has lost. In a purely academic fashion, I can’t help but think about what the Republican Party will get out of last night’s results. After all, there is bound to be some kind of “after action” examination of the Romney campaign, at least by pundits.
Much of the results of those examinations will be that Romney wasn’t “conservative enough.” They figure that the problem wasn’t that he was a horrible candidate, but that he wasn’t far enough to the right.
This ignores the fact that more and more people are supporting issues like gay marriage and ending the War on Drugs. This isn’t indicative of an evangelical conservative stance as many Republicans tend to think most Americans really have. Instead, it seems to indicate a more libertarian stance on social issues. Will the conservative pundits understand that? It’s doubtful, but we will see.
Economics are another issue that played a major role in the election. It’s also one that some conservatives think they should modify their position on if they want to win in 2016. Romney talked a sort-of free market game, and it looks like it cost him because free markets scare a lot of people. Now, he wasn’t as free market as he liked to think he was, but what he put out seemed to scare enough voters in battle ground states that those people opted not to vote for him.
Personally, I can’t help but believe that foreign policy cost him. Obama’s supporters weren’t likely to change their vote on that issue apparently, but the undecided voters may have swung his way had there been more difference than “drone strikes and kill ‘em all” that we’ve seen for the last four years.
On Friday, Jennifer Knight published a piece entitled “A Libertarian Case for Romney.” The essence of the post is that the Romney/Ryan ticket are a move in a better direction than President Obama, and as such they should get our vote as a way to try and put the brakes on the path our nation is headed down.
Unfortunately, I can’t help but disagree.
Oh, sure, Romney and Ryan are talking a better game than Obama, but the bar isn’t really set that high. For me, at least, voting for Romney requires a few things that he frankly hasn’t provided.
First, I would have to trust him at his word to actually do what he says he would do. Honestly, I haven’t seen a lot from his record that really convinces me that he’s geniunely interested in “putting the brakes” on anything.
For months now, libertarians are being told that we simply must vote for the GOP nominee (now known to be Mitt Romney) or risk four more years of Obama. Honestly, I’ve been tickled by the arguments.
You see, if the GOP gave a damn about the libertarians out there, why didn’t they nominate someone who we might actually like? Ron Paul, for example, or even Gary Johnson when he was still in the GOP race?
The GOP and its supporters, and their relationship with libertarians, is amazingly similar to a relationship between a an abusive husband and his battered spouse. First, there are the refrains of how they’ve learned their lesson and it will never happen again (like electing someone who swole the national debt and expanded government like George W. Bush). For a while afterwards, things are fine. Then, suddenly, it starts back.
President Obama just had to do it. After all, the freedom loving people of Libya wanted out from under the boot of Muammar Gaddafi, and we should use our military force for such noble purposes, right? So, we risked US personnel to support the rebels in Libya. They won, and I wasn’t really sad to see Gaddafi dead. But was it worth it?
Initially, some thought it would be by buying us some much needed “good will” in the Middle East. By supporting anti-dictatorship rebels, there was supposedly a chance that we would be able to start mending a few fences with non-terrorist Muslims.
Yeah, that worked out great, didn’t it? The United States Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three of the embassy staff were killed Tuesday. Stevens was reportedly a key player in the effort to oust Gaddafi.
I don’t think anyone wanted to rebels to lose. As I said earlier, I wasn’t a fan of Gaddafi and was glad to see him taken down. I also happen to believe in self governance and love seeing people take their nations back from psychotic dictators that make Bond villians seem sane and rational.
However, American military personnel were put at risk. It was yet another example of American adventurism, and just like our other most recent examples, it’s netted us jack.
When will the powers that be understand that all of this nets us nothing? While we were fortunate to not lose Americans during the Libyian operations, the risk is there for any combat operations, and what has it gotten us? Clearly, nothing.
Who can talk to people? If you said anyone, you’re right. Now, who can get paid to talk to people? Well, that is apparently a bit trickier. You see, the city of New Orleans thinks that folks who want to serve as a tour guide in the Big Easy should be licensed. Yeah, that makes sense.
Luckily, a group of these tour guides are taking issue with these regulations and fighting it out in court with the help of the Institute for Justice:
In New Orleans, it is a crime to charge people for a talking tour without first getting permission from the government.
City officials require every tour guide to pass a history exam, undergo a drug test and an FBI criminal background check every two years merely for speaking. People who give tours without a license face fines up to $300 per occurrence and five months in jail.
A $300 fine and five months in jail? Really? What’s the worst that bad tour guide can do? Tell someone that Bourbon Street is actually four blocks the wrong direction? Honestly?
Yes, I know that a tour guide can ruin someone’s experience in a community if they don’t know what they’re talking about. However, why is the city government even involved? An independent tourism commission could do the exact same thing, and then advise hotels that it’s in their best interests to guide tourists to use certified tour guides for the optimal experience of New Orleans. Then it’s buyer beware.
Jeremy Kolassa seems to be a little upset. Honestly, I don’t blame him. I think most of us here at United Liberty took issue with the Trutherism that is constantly espoused by Lew Rockwell and his ilk, and even more annoyingly — at least to me — is that if you don’t buy into the Trutherism nonsense, you’re somehow mentally defective. As bad as that is, there’s something that annoys me even more, and that is that these people feel like they are the final arbiters of who is or isn’t a “true” libertarian.
I’ve always said that libertarianism is a movement that, in the best case scenario, would eventually fracture because the big picture goals would be attained and all that would be left would be the details of how little government is to little.
Unfortunately, that was probably a little niave of me. After all, it seems that some people just don’t play well with others.
The Lew Rockwell crowd, as Jeremy pointed out so well, hurts the entire movement with their own ideas of what makes someone a “real” libertarian. I’ve written before about libertarianism and libertarian purity, and I really don’t think much has changed in the grand scheme of things.