Thursday, May 31, 2012

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, but an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.--Amendment VI, The Constitution of the United States.

This guarantees to United States citizens their God-given rights of liberty (you know, part of that lovely triad of "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness") by preventing them from being arrested and held indefinitely.  It's rarely infringed upon for our citizens--most notably, in cases where people call child illfare's anonymous child abuse hotline ("to be confronted with the witnesses against him") instead of the local police who are supposed to be the first in the door to determine if an investigation is needed--but it also happens when a war on (some) drugs "sting" gets too arrest happy with people who are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

While this amendment isn't abused often against those whose rights it's in place to protect, it is abused by being applied to those who are not United States citizens. 

No one who is not a United States citizen is entitled to any protection by the U.S. Constitution, nor by any of its amendments.  Sure, it's nice that most of the time, anyone on U.S. soil can speak their opinions freely, or attend the church they want to.  However, that's a visitor's privilege.  Act up on our soil, and they really should lose that privilege: detain them and put them on the first flight heading back to wherever they came from, at the very least.  It is their God-given right to speak and to believe as they wish, yes, but without being citizens of the United States, they shouldn't have that right protected by our government.  

Especially not in cases where the individual claiming Constitutional protection attacked this nation.  Not one terrorist deserves protection under the fourth, fifth, sixth, or eighth amendment--unless born or naturalized as a United States citizen.  And those are few and far between.*  Either lock them up somewhere with no amenities (unlike Guantanamo Bay), shoot them in the head and be done with it, or put them on a plane back to whatever pestilent shithole spawned them.**

*For now.  As far as we know.

**Were I in charge, I'd tell the pilot and crew to bail out, then take it out of the sky in a lovely fireball...with a missile coated in pig fat.

Yeah...think I will be self-publishing.

Found an article discussing ten reasons why it's a good idea.  The author linked three blogs that are written by authors that have found major success self-publishing ebooks--and major nightmares working with traditional publishers.  They've dealt with the tiny cuts of the cover price they get (8-15%, by some estimates--out of which the agents get paid), the publishing houses screwing them over by changing their titles, giving their books crappy covers, printing but not publishing their books, and going ape-shit because they dared to e-publish their own work instead of dealing with the crap-sandwich the traditional publishers like to hand out.

I don't even think so.  I already hate people as a group (individuals are fine, but groups lose whatever intelligence the individuals may have).  I don't need more reasons.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, or be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.--Amendment V, The Constitution of the United States

This amendment has been through the wringer.  Badly.

First up: compelling someone to be a witness against herself.  Yes, the judge may well have given the police a warrant to search Fricosu's computer for the incriminating evidence that the prosecuting attorneys were sure was there.  Yes, that gave the police and the prosecuting attorney the right to look at the files and read through the woman's life.  However, when they opened up the laptop and found it encrypted, what they should have done was find an expert that could decrypt it.  Forcing Fricosu to turn over her password was forcing her to give evidence against herself. 

Next: depriving people of property on a bare suspicion.  I'd recently heard about a case, in this instance, in Wisconsin, where a police department told the family to bring in cash for bail, had a drug dog sniff it, and stole the entire amount from the family in a "legal" move called asset forfeiture.  It took me a minute to find that particular story, because I searched the terms "cops" "bail money" and "confiscated", and came up with several other stories--this one is notable because the victim of legalized theft is getting his money back.

Asset forfeiture is a dirty move in which anything suspected of being connected to drugs--cash, jewelry, land, cars, or anything--can be confiscated.  In a quick internet search, I found several million results discussing this move.  And most of the time, even when someone is able to prove their innocence, their property is not returned, nor are they reimbursed.  Often, the asset seized is large amounts of cash, despite studies that have shown that the majority of cash in circulation is contaminated by enough cocaine to cause a drug dog to alert. 

Last: private property wrongly seized under eminent domain.  Kelo v. New London.  Need I say more?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Who's the s.o.b. with the baseball bat?

You know, the one that laid into me across my lower back the night before last, while I was asleep?  I'm gonna kill 'em.

Seriously, though, you don't quite realize just how much you use your lower back in everyday life.  Especially with toddlers.

Not been in much of a blogging mood, either.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.--Amendment IV, The Constitution of the United States

This hasn't really been violated...yet.  In my opinion, the no-knock raids so popular with police department SWAT teams comes close, but since they always have warrants (even if no one is allowed to see them ahead of time due to the nature of the raid), it doesn't quite cross the line. 

Except in cases of getting the wrong address when kicking in the door and killing the homeowners'/apartment renters' dog, but that's a simple case of human error--and everybody makes mistakes, right?  It's not the fault of the SWAT teams kicking in the door that they can't read a fucking map.  Nor is it their fault when a law-abiding homeowner, mistaking their tactics for a home-invasion robbery, gets filled with lead

Each and every one of us has a God-given right to be safe in our own homes.  Each and every one of us has a Constitutionally-guaranteed right to know that our homes and belongings are safe from officious busy-bodies whose sole job it is to see crime.

Each and every one of us has that right attacked every time some dipshit judge signs a no-knock warrant permitting the police to use Gestapo tactics against those they are sworn to serve and protect, criminals and law abiding alike.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Don't forget our fallen

We owe far more than we can pay.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.  --Amendment I, The Constitution of the United States of America.

Hear that?  "shall make no law...prohibiting the free exercise..." of religion.  That means the latest kerfluffle trying to force the Catholic church to provide contraceptives through insurance to all employees/students is...illegal.  Unconstitutional.  Would not stand up before a Supreme Court that actually did its job. 

"...shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...;" means the latest attempt to regulate the internet in the name of stopping internet music/movie/etc. piracy (most of which doesn't happen in the U.S., and wouldn't be prosecutable under our laws, anyway) is...again, illegal.  Unconstitutional.  Would not stand up before a Supreme Court that actually did its job.

"...shall make no law...abridging...the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances" means that the whole listing of groups that protest government actions without one arrest for any crime as "terrorist groups" and targeting them with legal harassment is...yes, illegal.  Unconstitutional.  Would not stand up before a Supreme Court that actually did its job.

However, that all depends upon three things: a population that is well enough educated in their rights to know what they are, a population that cares enough about their rights to know that they have to fight for the same rights for others whether they agree with them or not (pro-lifers, I'm looking at you.  Pro-abortion proponents...Yeah, you, too.), and last, a judiciary that understands that they don't fucking MAKE the laws, nor yet enforce them, but determine whether or not a law does not infringe on rights granted by the Creator and guaranteed by the Constitution, and whether or not a law was broken, and to what degree.

And if we fail on the last, we must depend on the first two...backed by the Second Amendment.

An education in the intricacies of bureaucratic stupidity

I will be the first to say that education is an important part of becoming a functional adult...but I will also be the first to admit it's not as important as this Texas school district thinks.  Especially not in cases like 17 year old honor student Diane Tran, who was working two jobs to support herself, and older (!) brother, and a younger sister, after her parents abandoned her and her younger sister. 

She's gotten an education, all right.  It's not the one she needs to have. 

Were I her, I'd deprive the public school system of the funding that's attached to her, as well as take her test scores out of the district average, by dropping out and getting her GED.  I'd say she's more of a responsible adult than any of her district's employees, officials, truant officers, or the judge that sentenced her to jail for truancy when she couldn't make it to her morning classes after working from just after school one day until just before school on the next. 

Found this morning.

They're bragging. 

I'm not sure they're wrong.