February 11, 2018

Another Look at Senate Filibuster

The US Senate's well known excuse for inaction, the cloture rule ostensibly borne out of the "originalist" filibuster, hasn't served the purpose small government advocates have expected. Nor, it seems, is it as sacrosanct as Constitutionalists have been told.

Analyses as diverse as Brookings and Newsmax agree that the filibuster was enacted as an unintended consequence of Aaron Burr's dubious advice that the Senate abolish the "previous question" rule, which allowed a simple majority to end debate. This was the Senate's originalist intent.

But what of its virtue as a mediating influence, moderating the excesses of partisanship by requiring legislation to be "centrist" enough to earn support from both parties? Well, it didn't prevent passage of the hyper-partisan Affordable Care Act. Yet it does manage, somehow, to help prevent that act's revision or repeal. Despite those contradictory effects, I resisted any change to the 2014 opinion I shared with my blog brother and, tellingly, with Majority Leader McConnell. But last week's passage of a new two-year budget plan has me completely rethinking this. What if the rule supposed to limit the tyranny of the majority only replaces that with the tyranny of a minority? Professor of philosophy Rob Koons in Newsmax:

As a result, 41 Senators can block any bill literally without lifting a finger.

Cui bono? The Majority Leader, that's who. Senator McConnell.

They are able to defend themselves against rebellion from the ranks, because it is mathematically impossible to reach the 60-vote margin without the discipline provided by the Leader and his Whip.

And if that's not bad enough for you, it gets worse. The 60-vote cloture actually encourages bad leglislation rather than prevent it, because a pragmatic alternative to "centrist" legislation is what you might call "co-dependently extremist" legislation.

The 60-vote rule protects all incumbents from accountability to the voters, since they can also claim, plausibly but falsely, that they were unable to deliver the reforms the people want because of the obstruction of the other party. the cloture rule insulates both parties from accountability to the electorate by alleviating both parties of the responsibility for governing.

Senator Rand Paul memorably Tweeted about the consequences of this last week:

When the Democrats are in power, Republicans appear to be the conservative party. But when Republicans are in power it seems there is no conservative party.

A similar refrain we've all heard, many times, is "Republicans and Democrats, what's the difference? They're all the same."

President Trump has described a solution to the problem: "Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!" The problem is, TEA Party voters feel betrayed by compromises like this, and because "there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans anymore" we continue to have a narrowly divided Senate ad infinitum.

Personally, I'm prepared to endorse a more realistic solution - one that has also been endorsed by President Trump - the one proposed by Professor Koons: "Trump and Pence must lead a rebellion by back-benchers to overturn the cloture rule." The Democrats should be supportive, as they've long advocated for this change to a "more democratic" Senate. As for keeping Democrats from abusing power should they take the majority? That is the job of the voters, quite frankly. And the fact they haven't had to do it since at least 1975 has played a large part in the massive leftward tilt of the modern Democratic party. Let them be held accountable for their bad ideas at every election, as they were in 2016. The biggest obstacle will come from Leader McConnell himself. Yet another politician who should be more accountable to his voters.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:58 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

I have softened, but not changed my mind. The best argument against remains "Leader Chuck Schumer (TidePodFancier - MY) will pitch it in a New York Minute."

That is compelling. But I remain wary.

My Main Man, John Calvin, nailed it: "It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones."

So did Michael Barone with: "All procedural arguments are insincere, including this one."

It could be called a bit rich that ThreeSourcers are decrying "the tyranny of the minority." I consider us the vanguard against majoritarianism. The idea is to make it hard to govern: that's being a feature and not a bug.

The larger issue is that spending is on a solid growth path and legislation is required to cut it -- that is where the mistakes were made. To remove what has been an important brake on popular legislation is fraught with peril.

Posted by: jk at February 12, 2018 5:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:





And, mostly. Legislation is required to cut mandatory spending, but discretionary spending must be renewed regularly with - legislation. Legislation like what we witnessed last week in the 2-year budget. Legislation that must have an "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" component unless there are a solid 60 votes to go one way or the other.

My case is that making that 51 (or 50+1) would make it easier for Republicans to shrink government (if they ever did honestly wish to do so) and make it easier for voters to see the true colors of their own senator. It has the effect of giving more power to the voters. You know, Hoi Polloi.

My personal affinity for the 60-vote rule came from a misimpression that it limited Senators' power. In fact, it gives them more of it as explained in the post.

Posted by: johngalt at February 13, 2018 10:22 AM
But jk thinks:

I hear all my anarchist buddies screaming in my ear that "you can't stop people with parchment." So many of the swell features of the Constitution have been neutered.

I hear much Sturm and Drang about the new budget deal. They certainly all have a point, but it is not about who has 51 or 60 votes -- we have, like, three! And they're divided between the House and Senate (okay, there might be low double digits in the House).

But is it "Republicans abandoning their ideals?" Their voters (in plurality) are not clamoring for cuts, The new GOP ideal is "Trumpism." And he has never ever once said he was going to cut spending.

So I am going easy on the poor Republican legislators this week. Fiscal austerity is not the brand anymore. Like free trade, it does not have a home in either party and would be worse if Democrats took over.

But the people who are shocked haven't been paying much attention #amirite?

Posted by: jk at February 13, 2018 2:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

No I don't think so. Our media overlords dutifully trumpet Trump's calls to increase spending - on a wall, on defense, on infrastructure (what am I leaving out?) - but just as dutifully omit any mention of growth, cuts and reforms to lower deficits and the debt.

Trump has called for spending cuts. And not just this year. And while your prejudice of the Trump Revolution may be laser focused on immigration (again, think about why that is at the top of your mind) there are other, some would say greater, issues that give enduring life to the "Deplorable" revolution. Instead of thinking of a border wall, when you think of Donald J. Trump, think "Tea Party President of the United States."

Posted by: johngalt at February 14, 2018 10:29 AM

April 16, 2016


Dudley Brown and his Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, not highly regarded by Three Sourcers, made news again last week, albeit under the radar of the "Great Rocky Mountain Delegate Heist for #NeverTrump." What went unmentioned in reports of Darryl Glenn's upset thumping of Tim Neville was that Neville was strongly promoted by Brown's RMGO group. Another Colorado lightning rod, former congressman Tom Tancredo, says the defeat marks the "end of an era" in Colorado politics.

But Brown has chosen to fight against the Convention of States. And in doing so, he has tipped his hand as to where he really stands on our rights. In fighting against the Convention of States Project, a campaign he wages in hysterical emails full of misinformation and straw men arguments, he has raked in millions in donations, especially to NAGR: $12.5 million in 2014 (the most recent information available), and $16.5 million in 2013.

Worse, Brown has threatened to primary any legislator who supports a resolution applying for a Convention for Proposing Amendments. But it is precisely this kind of arrogance, this deal-making, this pressuring in order to advance his own agenda for his organization – in other words, this cronyism – that the voters are overwhelmingly rejecting this cycle. He asked for this with his actions, and he got it.

Those legislators and candidates in Brown's camp would do well to note the toxicity that extended to Neville and how the voters made their distaste for Brown and RMGO plain by rejecting his candidate. If they wish to remain in office, they should consider distancing themselves from him and his insider politics.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2015

George Washington's Regret

"Our presidents are beginning to act like kings" because "there is always a crown beyond the horizon."

More from Charles C.W. Cooke was (re)printed today, and I find it has a familiar ring.

Once upon a time, Obama insisted that he was "not a king" or an "emperor" or a "dictator," and confirmed that his "job as the head of the executive branch ultimately is to carry out the law." Now he justifies his behavior with talk of necessity and vows that if "Congress won't act," he will.

John Adams characterized the office that Obama holds as enjoying "the whole executive power, after divesting it of those badges of domination called prerogatives." In this assessment he was reflecting what might be regarded as the Founders' central conceit: that when the laws that govern men's fortunes are subject to the whims of the powerful rather than to the consent of the governed, there can be no liberty. Are we at liberty?

No, we aren't. At least not as much as the founders hoped.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:21 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Agreed - we aren't at liberty, at least not in a way that the Founders would approve.

More to the point (or perhaps, in support of the point you're making): it would be interesting to compare the "long train of abuses and usurpations" that led the Founders to "throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security" to the long train of abuses and usurpations we are enduring now at the hands of our elected and appointed betters. Are we approaching the point at which Sam Adams and his fellows rebelled, or have we reached it and already passed it?

My sense is the latter. What does that portend?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 28, 2015 8:04 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, we're certainly cheesed off 'round these parts. I break with a lot of intellectual kin though by saying were anomalous.

I hope everyone had enjoyable holidays and family and friends. And if $15 is deposited in my secret Bitcoin account by Thursday, I will not post the video I saw of brother jg dancing with a friend's six-year-old.

But, was there revolution in the air where you were? Separation of powers is an abstract and little-understood concept in the groups I joined and the last thing on anybody's mind. If there was any political persiflage, it was "Isn't that Trump fellow a crazy man?"

You can decry it as bread and circuses or blame "American Idol" (as I do for most things). But I contend that the bread is fresh, the acrobatics are pretty good, and the clowns are just creepy enough to keep the bulk of Americans content if not satisfied. Usurpations will be borne. Perhaps most frightening is this President's showing just how far the polity can be stretched.

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2015 9:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And Germans were fat dumb and happy too, leading up to Kristallnacht.

We may be past the point of abuses and usurpations that inspired the revolution, but it is - to some extent, at least - by our own hand. So the threshold will be higher.

The interesting question is what nature of usurpations would capture the attention of "American Idolatrators?" To date it has been preventing certain marriages or well intentioned efforts to reduce prenatal murder. Outside of that, I wonder if the government can do whatever it wants with impunity?

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2015 12:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

One must admit that even this president's Top Ten Constitutional Violations of 2015 can make all but the wonkiest eyes glaze over.

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2015 2:59 PM

December 23, 2015

Major Win for Free Speech

But yesterday, a majority of the Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit ruled in the Slants case that not only was the USPTO wrong in rejecting the band's trademark, but that the portion of the law preventing the registration of offensive marks is unconstitutional.

"Many of the marks rejected as disparaging convey hurtful speech that harms members of oft-stigmatized communities," writes the nine-judge majority. "But the First Amendment protects even hurtful speech."

The court held that the government's refusal to register disparaging trademarks is a curtailing of free commercial expression.

"The government regulation at issue amounts to viewpoint discrimination," reads the ruling.

Take that, Political Correctness!

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:18 PM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2015

Barack Obama - EEVIL Carbon Polluter!

A government imposed cut of CO2 emissions by 30 percent just isn't good enough for some people. What about the other 70 percent!

"Instead, our president proposes ineffectual actions, demonstrably short of what is needed, and persists in approving fossil fuel projects that will slam shut the narrowing window of opportunity to ensure a hospitable climate system. I aim to testify on behalf of young people. Their future hangs in the balance," he said.

"He" is former NASA chief climate scientist, James Hansen - a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit by children against the government claiming that "the nation’s fossil fuel policies violate their constitutional rights."

It is sometimes said that a population always gets the government it deserves. In this case, however, it seems that government is getting the mal-educated youth that it deserves.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2015

U Chicago's Syllabus for the Constitution

Dr. Larry Arndt swears this is a powerfully useful sight.


From the advisory:

this collection may be engaged at any number of points. The oversharp distinction between theoretical reflection and practical activity was alien to the leading members of the Founders' generation. They usually thought and acted as though theory and practice should inform each other rather than remain in separate compartments. The arrangement of this collection is meant to foster that kind of free movement and interchange.

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:13 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Wow. One could enter there and not come back for a while.

Posted by: jk at February 11, 2015 11:07 AM

July 16, 2014

What the Hell is Administrative Law, and Where Did it Come From?

That is the question which is, by every account, answered brilliantly in a new book by Professor Philip Hamburger of the Columbia Law School: Is Administrative Law Unlawful?

Amazon reviewer Ross Huebner wrote last month:

Professor Hamburger outlines the fact that administrative law (outside of very limited circumstances) is not only unconstitutional, but it is anti-constitutional as well. I recommend this book as a worthy legal history of administrative law and state simply that it should be in every serious scholar's library for both historical and legal purposes.

In a radio interview this morning the author explained that administrative law, essentially the rules and regulations of Administrative Branch agencies, crept into our government after its founding as a holdover from the pre-Constitutional era and do not have any justification under the Constitution. To the contrary, Article I Section 1 begins: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States..." therefore any legislative powers exercised outside of Congress are illegal.

And not just legislative, but judicial powers are wrongly exercised under color of "administrative law." Who may lay his finger on the Constitutional passage that enumerates that? Article III Section 1 begins: "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." No mention of EPA or FDA that I could find.

A timely tome it doth seem to be.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:11 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Dothn't it.

Posted by: jk at July 16, 2014 6:46 PM

February 26, 2014

Fair and Balanced

Dispassionate. Objectively. That is how the following interview is conducted, and how the reader should view it. It is the first non-libelous thing I can remember ever hearing or reading about Margaret Sanger. Perhaps it's the circles I travel in. More likely, it's her association with Planned Parenthood which, like so many well intended organizations, seems to have been taken over by extremist zealots with a single-minded agenda.

From the Reason article: Margaret Sanger was Anti-Abortion?!?!

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:10 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh, I dunnnoooooooo, man..................

My takeaway was "How terrible that the good name of Eugenics has been trashed by these bumpkin pro-lifers!" It means "Good Genes" (Ever been to Old Navy?)

Holmes in Buck v. Bell harmed the good name of eugenics enough for me. I throw Sanger in with him and the whole progressive camp of the time that Jonah Goldberg quite rightly smears as being "proximate to" fascism. I'm going to need a little more than this to rescue her good name.

Posted by: jk at February 26, 2014 6:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Some legitimate food for thought, though. "Anti-abortion" was what got me to click but the eugenics stuff took me by surprise. Thinking about it though, it's like almost everything else: Individual choice good - government coercion bad.

Posted by: johngalt at February 27, 2014 9:34 AM
But jk thinks:

I was a "sunshine patriot" and missed my chance to see Jonah Goldberg last week. But I am a big fan of his "Liberal Fascism" and "Tyranny of Cliches." His research strikes me as meticulous and he paints a very dark portrait of Sanger.

Nobody's perfect, and I'm open to the idea of rehabilitation, but I did not find Bagge compelling. Eugenics was okay in the 1920's -- well, yeah, Buck v. Bell was 1927.

Gillespie asks him about charges of racism and eugenics, and Bagge attacks the strawman that "she did not invent abortion."

Posted by: jk at February 27, 2014 10:41 AM
But johngalt thinks:

My take was that her driving motivation was self-directed birth control and that everything else linked back to that. Choosing not to conceive could be beneficial vis a vis genetics, abortions could be reduced by reducing conceptions, etc. But she was villified at the time by the anti-birth control forces and, today, by those opposed to what Planned Parenthood Incorporated has evolved into.

One might say she succeeded in her primary goal, or does anyone in the modern west still maintain that birth control is either of: morally wrong, or should be outlawed? It was illegal in her day.

Posted by: johngalt at February 27, 2014 11:42 AM

February 20, 2014

Century-old Injustice Made Right

At least, that's how Van Jones and Ward Churchill would describe it.

In 1905, Congress acted to reduce the size of Wind River by opening it up to homesteading by non-Indians, a decision affirmed in subsequent court rulings. It was determined that towns settled by homesteaders such as Riverton were not part of the reservation. To the EPA, both history and law are irrelevant.

Wyoming isn't sitting still for this.

"My deep concern," [Wyoming Governor Matt] Mead wrote in a statement issued last month, "is about an administrative agency of the federal government altering a state's boundary and going against over 100 years of history and law.

"This should be a concern to all citizens because, if the EPA can unilaterally take land away from a state, where will it stop?"

We too are concerned that an administration that has repeatedly ignored the courts, the Congress and the Constitution when the rule of law becomes too inconvenient in its pursuit of its fundamental transformation of America has now decided state sovereignty is an inconvenient relic.

Churchill can almost be heard, "Take that, bitches."

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:02 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

If you asked me why I posted this I would say because of its utility as another example of this President "doing whatever I want." My sense is that "lame duck" doesn't mean the same thing to him as his predecessors. This sort of dictatorial action is apt to become more frequent. Sort of a "SCOTUS job security program" you might say.

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2014 4:17 PM

October 7, 2013

Steyn: That Which Shall Not Be Discussed

John Stossel took a peek into Nancy Pelosi's "bare" cupboard last night to see if she was correct in saying there is nothing left to cut. Brilliantly, he placed Social Security, Medicare and military spending on top of the cupboard since "those are so big they don't even fit in the cupboard." Mark Steyn takes on the same issue today saying, Too Much of the Federal Government Can't Be Shut Down.

"Mandatory spending" (Social Security, Medicare et al.) is authorized in perpetuity -- or, at any rate, until total societal collapse. If you throw in the interest payments on the debt, that means two-thirds of the federal budget is beyond the control of Congress' so-called federal budget process.

That's why you're reading government "shutdown" stories about the PandaCam at the Washington Zoo and the First Lady's ghost-Tweeters being furloughed.

He segues from there to what passes for a spending prioritization process in the capitol of our national, nee federal, government.

Pace Sen. Reid, Republican proposals to allocate spending through targeted, mere multi-billion-dollar appropriations is not only not "irresponsible" but, in fact, a vast improvement over the "continuing resolution": To modify Lord Acton, power corrupts, but continuing power corrupts continually.

America has no budget process. That's why it's the brokest nation in history. So a budgeting process that can't control the budget in a legislature that can't legislate leads to a government shutdown that shuts down open areas of grassland and the unmanned boat launch on the Bighorn River in Montana.

I've been Tweeting and Facebooking that we're witnessing day whatever-it-is of "Essential Government." In reality, what's still steaming ahead full is well beyond what is essential.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:51 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

How's about we put all the mandatory items in Al Gore's lockbox?

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 8, 2013 12:21 AM

May 7, 2013

Otequay of the Ayday

"[United States Attorney General Eric] Holder's understanding of the United States Constitution is incorrect." -- Kansas Secretary of state Kris W. Kobach

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:03 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

If you don't mind it in an intemperate wrapper, ChicksOnTheRight.com has both letters in their post: Kansas To Eric Holder: "Jump Up And Bite Us, And Then Try Reading The Constitution, Whydontcha?"

Posted by: jk at May 7, 2013 3:36 PM
But jk thinks:

....and, um, that would be the same link my blog brother provided... carry on, itchy typing fingers...

Posted by: jk at May 7, 2013 3:51 PM

April 25, 2013

"Assault Rifle" Intimidation

Br'er JK mentioned "a new Martial State." This was the Boston P.D. searching for the "little brother bomber" suspect. Some are suggesting a 4th Amendment infringement. I'm still looking.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:01 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2013

Senator Cruz Strikes Again

I pumped my fist when he said, "And yet at the same time I would note that she chose not to answer the question that I asked."

Robert Laurie explains the "child porn" canard here:

It's a false premise, since the very act of creating underage porn represents a felony. This is not true of manufacturing or owning a gun. Firearms can be used for perfectly legal, ethical, reasons. No crime takes place until someone uses the weapon for a specific criminal purpose. There is no non-criminal purpose behind the manufacture or ownership of child porn, thus its illegality.
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:39 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Soon I expect him to declare that the IRS is a de facto violation the 13th Amendment. Tell me how it ain't!

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2013 3:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Surely, the 2200 books on our exemption list are enough -- who wants to read more than that?

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2013 4:28 PM

March 12, 2013

Colorado is America's Canary

Dear America,

If you care to see what happens when a single political party controls the executive and both houses of the legislative arms of government, just look at what is taking place in Colorado. Editorialist Anthony Martin suggests Colorado Democrats appear determined to start a civil war.

A state that was once friendly to gun rights has now become a hotbed of leftwing political activism that directly challenges citizen rights -- unless that citizen wishes to smoke pot legally.

This scenario only further enrages gun rights activists who view such things as the height of hypocrisy -- touting citizen rights to smoke pot while at the same time attacking citizen rights when it comes to guns.

If you want to read about the "civil war" part you'll have to click through. I'll not be accused of incitement.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:31 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"If you care to see what happens when a single political party controls the executive and both houses of the legislative arms of government..."

Dude. Been there, done that, lived to tell the tale. http://is.gd/ASoCyG

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 12, 2013 5:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

See how easily we fail to notice when the pot is warmed gradually? We just glibly refer to the "Californication" of our state without looking to see how much further Kalifornia is trying to go at the same time. I'll share this around in Colorado circles.

My caution was meant for those in swing districts who might choose to replace their Republican congressman with a Democrat in 2014 because some Republican somewhere "frightens" them.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2013 5:56 PM
But AndyN thinks:

If you care to see what happens when a single political party controls the executive and both houses of the legislative arms of government...
Were you worried that if you didn't appear balanced you'd offend someone? I believe that there are currently 24 states in which the GOP controls both the legislative and executive branches. Is there any evidence that those state governments are attempting to trample on the rights of their citizens?

The GOP has many problems, but this particular problem is specifically a Democratic party problem.

Posted by: AndyN at March 12, 2013 6:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good question! I love good questions.

I wasn't concerned about offending anyone, as yesterday's "On Legislation and Human Rights" post should illustrate, but I was seeking to illustrate a general principle rather than a partisan lament. Now I will try to defend it.

I am less affected by the anti-liberty of Republicans than that of Democrats but I do recognize it when I see it and, as a proponent of consistency in ones principles, oppose it. For example, Arkansas just overrode the veto of its Democrat governor to implement what some call the nation's most restrictive abortion ban. If one accepts the premise that a state prohibition on abortion tramples a right of the mother, namely to control her own bodily functions, then this is an example of Republicans doing exactly what I condemn Colorado Democrats for: A partisan infringment of individual liberties.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2013 7:08 PM

February 23, 2012

Constitutional Sheriffs

Among the "gifts" afforded us by the advent of the Obama Administration has been talk of state nullification of federal authority over American citizens. Now there are similar musings at the next closer level of government to the individual - counties.

I could highlight some between-the-lines disdain in author Nancy Lofholm's write up but instead I choose to commend the Denver Post for running the story at all, much less on its February 12, 2012 front page under the headline: Emerging movement encourages sheriffs to act as shield against federal tyranny

The headline tells enough of the story for my purposes here so I won't excerpt. Please click through if you want the details. Unsurprisingly, news of the Arizona Convention that prompted the story has generated controversy. A Denver blogger wrote about it as "Sheriffs for Treason." But is it? Does our nation not operate under the "consent of the governed?"

I wanted to post this as a companion to JK's Craig Colorado vs. Renewable Energy Mandates post last week. The mental image of Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz and his deputies meeting briefcase-wielding EPA bureaucrats at the front gate of the Craig power plant is a reassuring prospect. And today's story about the Gibson guitar raid is another case where one starts to wonder, Who is the sheriff in that county and what was he doing that day?

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:22 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

WHOA. The article you link to includes this:

"Colorado had the largest representation at this convention, along with California and Utah."

California? Can it be?

Well, just as Boulder is not Colorado Springs, California outside of the big metropolitan areas - the big eastern and northeastern counties especially - might fit right in with this. I've visited their website, and am very interested in what I see.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 23, 2012 5:48 PM

August 14, 2011

First Amendment "Right" to Cell Service

"The idea that we're going to keep people from talking about what they might or might not do, based on the idea that they might all agree to violate the law, is positively Orwellian," he said.

So ends a story on Bay Area Rapid Transit's (BART) decision to temporarily suspend cell repeater service in underground train stations to help thwart a planned flashmob protesting a shooting by Transit Police.

The decision was made after agency officials saw details about the protest on an organizer's website.

OK, what's wrong with that? Lynette Sweet of BART's Board of Directors explains:

"It was almost like an afterthought," Sweet told The Associated Press. "This is a land of free speech and for us to think we can do that shows we've grown well beyond the business of what we're supposed to be doing and that's providing transportation. Not censorship."

Does Ms. Sweet not realize that the phone equipment is owned and operated by BART as a convenience to riders and is beyond the auspices of "transportation?" Does she not see the parallel between disabling a local communications node and setting traffic signals to blink 4-way red? Would she prefer that the fully predictable mob form and become unruly and then see the tear gas and rubber bullets? (Well, maybe not in SF but you get my point.) No, Sweet and her ilk see this as analgous to the Arab Spring.

"BART officials are showing themselves to be of a mind with the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak," the Electronic Frontier Foundation said on its website. Echoing that comparison, vigorous weekend discussion on Twitter was labeled with the hashtag "muBARTek."

People, please. How long until you compare them to Hitler? And what would the same people have said if this "political protest" led to injuries or damage? Anti-authority rallies are loads of fun until someone gets an eye put out.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)