Archive for the ‘Wall of Fame Assholes’ Category
Shoot or don’t shoot scenarios are always fun to ponder over. Here I will present two separate scenarios for you to consider. Your goal is to decide whether or not a scenario qualifies as a self-defense situation. After presenting the scenarios I will present Obama’s answers.
For the first scenario we will pretend you live in a small neighborhood where two of your neighbors are feuding. What started the feud happened so long ago nobody besides the two neighbors can remember the exact circumstance. Finally, after putting up with their shit for a long time, you decide to do something about it. You decide to form an alliance with the neighbor that lives closer to you. After your attempts to arm your closest neighbor fail to resolve the ongoing feud you decide to take matters into your own hands. One night you kick in the further neighbor’s door and shoot one of the family members in the face. At this point another family member returns fire. If you being shooting at that family member are you performing an act of self-defense?
For the second scenario we will continue to assume that you live in a small neighborhood but this time you don’t have to suffer feuding neighbors. After living in the neighborhood for a short while you get into an altercation with one of your neighbors. The cause of the altercation isn’t important but it was trivial. One night you catch the neighbor you’re fighting with setting your house on fire. Fortunately you caught the act in time to run inside, grab a fire extinguisher, and put the fire out before it spread too far. Would it be a valid case of self-defense if you then grabbed your gun, walked over to a different neighbor’s house, and shot members of his family?
According to Mr. Obama both of those scenarios are valid cases of self-defense:
Mr Obama also defended the use of drones to kill four US citizens.
“We are at war with an organisation that right now would kill as many Americans as they could if we did not stop them first,” he said in Thursday’s address at the National Defense University in Washington DC.
“So this is a just war – a war waged proportionally, in last resort, and in self-defence.”
After causing grief for many nations through proxy wars with Russia and clandestine operations to topple existing governments the United States is now claiming self-defense as the justification for bombing children in the Middle East. The United States has allied itself with one side of various conflicts, armed those sides, and outright killed members of the other side when their allies failed to take out their opposition. In response to 9/11 the United States decided to invade Iraq as a retaliatory strike against al-Qaeda, who were chiefly operating inside of Afghanistan.
War is peace and initiating aggression is self-defense.
While the hearts of many self-proclaimed progressives are in the right place they tend to go about their stated goal of helping those in need in the wrong way. Asking the state to help those without resources is an exercise in futility because the state is an agent of expropriation and is only interested in providing assistance to individuals who actually have something to steal.
The state’s war against the homeless is pretty overt at this point. It seems that any organization that attempts to provide food, clothing, or shelter to those without means are shutdown by whatever municipality they are operating in. Manchester, New Hampshire is the latest battlefield in this twisted war:
MANCHESTER — City officials have told a church group that it will no longer be allowed use Veterans Park to serve a free hot breakfast to the homeless.
The decision has left Do you know Him? Ministries without an outdoor location in the downtown area to serve the breakfast.
The group had been using Veterans Park each weekend since January 2012 until December when, due to the cold, it took the operation indoors at the Salvation Army.
When it sought to again serve the breakfast at the park, the group was told by the Parks Department that its permit would not be renewed.
Why wasn’t their permit renewed? In most of these cases the state claims health and safety reasons to block organizations from helping those in need but this time the justification was a bit more honest:
“There was some concern from area businesses who didn’t feel like it was the best fit, using park space to feed people,” Chief of Parks Peter Capano said. “We sat down to try and find another location to do the ministry and had a rough time of it.”
Obviously we can’t have a bunch of homeless people reminding patrons that some people have it better than others. If we allowed that some of those people may decide to help and that would mean resources would be going to those without means instead of the state and its cronies. Instead the problem must be swept under the rug.
In the end the lesson is the same: the state cannot be used to help those in need. If you really want to help people who have little or nothing then you’ll have to develop voluntary methods of doing so.
Remember when the Minnesota legislature and Mark Dayton said Minnesota’s tax victims wouldn’t be on the hook to pay for the new Vikings Stadium because proceeds from electronic pull tabs would cover the costs? As it turns out gambling revenues weren’t as high as the estimates had people believing so Minnesotans are going to be paying the bill:
Gov. Mark Dayton wants to rely on new revenues from cigarette and corporate income tax to help pay the state’s share of a new Vikings stadium.
Myron Frans, commissioner of revenue, explained Dayton’s plan to the Tax Conference Committee Thursday.
It would include two funding sources: approximately $24.5 million in one-time revenues from tax on the current cigarette inventory once the tax is increased. Dayton is proposing an increase from the current tax of $1.23 per pack to $2.52 per pack.
It’ll state with cigarette and corporate income tax but I guarantee that the state will be pilfering from everybody in a short while. Meanwhile Zigy Wilf, the owner of the Vikings, will continue enjoying his life as a billionaire thanks, in part, to the fact we’re all paying for his Colosseum.
I always thought the point of bread and circuses was to distract the serfs from their miserable existence not remind them of it.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a recommendation (i.e. do it or your state won’t receive federal highway funds) that states reduce the legal blood alcohol limit for driving from .08 to .05:
States should cut their threshold for drunken driving by nearly half – from .08 blood alcohol level to 0.5 – matching a standard that has substantially reduced highway deaths in other countries, a U.S. safety board recommends. That’s about one drink for a woman weighing less than 120 lbs., two for a 160 lb. man.
If somebody is willing to operate an automobile above the current .08 level what makes the goons at the NTSB think those people won’t do the same thing if the legal level is reduced to .05? In all likelihood they don’t believe that. Why would they recommend a reduction in the legal rate then? Easy, traffic tickets are big business and the lower the legal blood alcohol level is the more tickets can be issued. Setting the legal limit to .05 would put many people at risk of receiving a citation even after a single drink.
This latest “recommendation” isn’t about safety, it’s about expropriation.
Although this news is likely to excite my “tough on crime” friends I find it rather disgusting, especially for a nation that calls itself the freest on Earth:
“Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today,” writes the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik. “Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America – more than 6 million – than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.”
Is this hyperbole? Here are the facts. The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That’s not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and Britain – with a rate among the highest – has 153….
That’s right, the United States, the supposed bastion of freedom on this planet, has more people in its prison system than the Soviet Union did under Stalin. Anybody who has paid attention to the prison-industrial complex in the United States is unlikely to be surprised by this news. We’re talking about an industry where children have been sold to prisons so those prisons could enjoy the benefits of young slave labor. It is rather sickening that people still claim the United States is some kind of bastion of freedom considering we have more people in cages than any other nation, including some of the most tyrannical regimes.
After reneging on his original promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison (Gitmo) Mr. Obama promised that he would really close Gitmo this time. Of course he has no intention of closing Gitmo because if he did then the facility would be closed:
The relevant law is the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). This statute confirms the president’s power to wage war against al-Qaida and its associates, which was initially given to him in the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed shortly after 9/11. The NDAA also authorizes the president to detain enemy combatants, and bans him from transferring Guantanamo detainees to American soil.
The NDAA does not, however, ban the president from releasing detainees. Section 1028 authorizes him to release them to foreign countries that will accept them—the problem is that most countries won’t, and others, like Yemen, where about 90 of the 166 detainees are from, can’t guarantee that they will maintain control over detainees, as required by the law.
There is another section of the NDAA, however, which has been overlooked. In section 1021(a), Congress “affirms” the authority of the U.S. armed forces under the AUMF to detain members of al-Qaida and affiliated groups “pending disposition under the law of war.” Section 1021(c)(1) further provides that “disposition under the law of war” includes “Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by” the AUMF. Thus, when hostilities end, the detainees may be released.
The president has the power to end the hostilities with al-Qaida—simply by declaring their end. This is not a controversial sort of power. Numerous presidents have ended hostilities without any legislative action from Congress—this happened with the Vietnam War, the Korean War, World War II, and World War I. The Supreme Court has confirmed that the president has this authority.
Since nothing is preventing Mr. Obama from closing Gitmo he must want it open, which means his promise to close the facility is empty. Somehow Obama’s supporters still believe he is against war. In reality Obama is just like Bush, a warmonger who gets off on the fact that he can personally order the assassination of anybody he wants. In fact Obama so enjoys order assassinations that he actually had to redefine “enemy combatant” and create new classes of enemies because he was running out of people to have butchered.
Obama has made a big stink about getting the United States out of Afghanistan by 2014. When he first announced his plan I wondered how he was going to weasel out of it. When he said the United States was leaving Iraq he really meant that American soldiers were going to be replaced with mercenaries. It sounds like Obama is planning the same thing for Afghanistan except he’ll be replacing American soldiers with more flying murder machines:
The US military is due to pull most combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. But after that, an armed American presence could remain over Afghan skies, depending on what agreement for continuing operations is reached between the US and Afghanistan. Air Force Major General H.D. Polumbo, Jr, told reporters at the Pentagon today that drones, including armed unmanned aerial vehicles operated by the US, will likely continue to be used to support the Afghan army’s operations through 2014 and probably on into 2015.
I’m sure the Afghan government will become very agreeable when Obama explains that they either accept drones flying in their sky or face being added to the kill list themselves.
Libertarian sites are expressing shock from the supposed savior’s change in attitude regarding domestic drone usage. Last month Rand Paul performed a 13 hour filibuster against domestic drone usage but yesterday he had an apparent change of heart:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he would have supported police using drones in last week’s hunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombing.
“If there is a killer on the loose in a neighborhood, I’m not against drones being used to search them,” Paul told Fox Business Network.
Paul said that the question of an “imminent threat” was the pivotal one when considering drone policy.
“Here’s the distinction — I have never argued against any technology being used against having an imminent threat an act of crime going on,” Paul said. “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a Drone kills him or a policeman kills him, but it’s different if they want to come fly over your hot tub, or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities.”
I said an apparent change of heart because the sentiment expressed above isn’t actually a change in heart. Last year Mr. Paul introduced legislation that he claimed protected Americans from being killed by drones. I noted that there was a major hole in the legislation that effectively rendered it useless:
Sounds good so far, right? Let’s have a look at the exceptions mentioned in the above paragraph:
(1) PATROL OF BORDERS- The use of a drone to patrol national borders to prevent or deter illegal entry of any persons or illegal substances.
So drones will continue to be used to monitor the 100 miles “Constitution free zone” that 2/3 of the United States population lives within? It appears as though Rand Paul’s bill only protects 1/3 of the population from these unwarranted drone uses. That appearance is deceiving though as there are more exceptions:
(2) EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES- The use of a drone by a law enforcement party when exigent circumstances exist. For the purposes of this paragraph, exigent circumstances exist when the law enforcement party possesses reasonable suspicion that under particular circumstances, swift action to prevent imminent danger to life is necessary.
There it is, the one exception that makes this entire bill meaningless. Law enforcement don’t need a warrant to use a drone if they have “reasonable suspicion” that circumstances are such that imminent danger to life exists. “Reasonable suspicion” is another way of saying “because law enforcement wants to.” It’s a catchall phrase that has been used by law enforcement agents to avoid that pesky Forth Amendment.
If his legislation was any indicator Rand Paul has always been fine with using drones to kill Americans so long as the state’ arbitrary “terrorist” label is applied to the target beforehand. Everybody can stop being surprised now. Rand Paul isn’t being inconsistent, he’s always been find with killing Americans with drones.
Many people, especially neoconservatives, believe that it’s the state’s duty to wage a holy crusade against drugs not produced by major pharmaceutical companies. In this holy crusade anything goes including theft and breaking and entering. As you would expect when the police decide to break into a home the consequences are often dire:
Brenda Van Zweitan, 51, was shot and killed during a 2010 drug raid on her home by the Broward, Florida Sheriff’s Department. According to police, Van Zweitan was holding a handgun when they approached her in the home, and then refused to drop it when ordered to do so. Van Zweitan’s boyfriend was arrested without resistance.
In the weeks before the raid, however, Van Zweitan had been robbed, and the man she believed committed the robbery had threatened her on the Internet. Her friends and family also pointed to the fact that she had no prior criminal record, and that the police entered the home in a particularly aggressive and terrifying manor — by smashing through a sliding glass door — to suggest that she likely wasn’t aware that the armed intruders in her home were police. Van Zweitan was also a PTA member, a grandmother, and a local political and environmental activist.
There is no reason Mrs. Zweitan had to die. The police could have knocked on her door, presented a warrant, and went from there. Instead they dressed up in their tactical high speed, low drag mall ninja gear, busted through a sliding glass door, and waived their guns around like gangsters. Anybody inside the house would have been justified in assuming the people breaking into their home were generic street thugs and the need for self-defense was immediate. The police, of course, saw the homeowner holding a gun, a result that should have been expected when kicking in a sliding glass door, and opened fire.
In situations like this people often point out that police officers have to deal with violent thugs every day and therefore are apt to shoot when they see somebody present a weapon. That excuse may be acceptable if the police are acting like something other than common thugs but when they’re breaking into somebody’s home they should expect to see a firearm presented, realize that the firearm is being presented because the person believes non-state thugs are breaking in, and hold their fire until being fire upon. If they don’t want to get shot at they can knock on the door and present a warrant instead of going from zero to commando in .05 seconds.
News outlets are announcing that the suspects in the Boston bombing are Muslims from Chechnya. As if on cue there are now calls going out to kill all Muslims and/or Chechens. In fact many people are bringing up the Chechnya’s violent history and using Besland school crisis as evidence that Chechens are evil people. People are also pointing out the usual fear mongering about Muslims.
While these accusations concern me in general, they really concern them when they’re being made by members of the gun rights community. If any group of people understood the problems inherent in collective punishment I would think it would be a group that becomes the subject of collective punishment whenever a shooting occurs. Apparently not. I don’t even have enough fingers to count the number of instances I’ve seen where a member of the gun rights community has either made mention of slaughtering the Muslims, Chechens, or everybody living in the Middle East.
I don’t even have words to properly express my disgust. For fuck’s sake people, we should understand that two individuals from a country that has 1,268,989 people doesn’t even make for a correlation, let along a case. The only people who are responsible for the bombing in Boston are the people who detonated the bombs.