Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eighth graders hold mock trial: Jefferson Davis found not guilty

Belmar, NJ  5/23/11  Matt Hunt, 14, of Wall, acting as a defense attorney, questions Carlo Fiducia, 14, of Long Branch, acting the role of Jefferson Davis, during the annual St. Rose 8th grade mock trial, where students tried and deliberated the Jefferson Davis case in the Belmar courtroom Monday May 23.  Staff photo Tanya Breen
Belmar, NJ 5/23/11 Matt Hunt, 14, of Wall, acting as a defense attorney, questions Carlo Fiducia, 14, of Long Branch, acting the role of Jefferson Davis, during the annual St. Rose 8th grade mock trial, where students tried and deliberated the Jefferson Davis case in the Belmar courtroom Monday May 23. Staff photo Tanya Breen
BELMAR — Resounding applause came when St. Rose Elementary eighth graders found Jefferson Davis not guilty of treason in the school’s annual mock trial event Monday at the Belmar municipal courthouse on Main Street.

Three member prosecution and defense attorneys argued whether or not the Confederate States of America president’s actions violated constitutional law.

“You will have to rely on your personal expertise, good judgment and common sense in all these matters,” social studies teacher Sean McDonald, who portrayed the judge, told the 16-member jury headed by Kevin Poppert, 14, of Belmar.

In her opening statements,

Jeff Cooper quote

"Not long ago it was easy to tell who the bad guys were. They carried Kalashnikovs. Now it is much more complicated, but one thing is sure - any man who covers his face and packs a gun is a legitimate target for any decent citizen."

Jeff Cooper, June 1993

Uh... yeah... I see what you mean Jeff!

Why Academia Is Out Of Step With Most Americans

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A rather well known Civil War historian once took me to task here and on another blog for suggesting that many academics were "Ivory Tower elitists" who are largely out of step with the realities of American life and that leftist ideology was rampant on campus. I won't name him now. No need to embarrass him any more than he's already embarrassed himself--at least for the time being. Unfortunately for those academics still in denial, much of what goes on within the Ivory Towers of academia, along with other educational institutions, can no longer be covered in darkness and hidden from the rest of the world. The internet, Youtube, blogging, phone cameras, and all the other media options now available make it impossible to hide the truth. Nonetheless, some of these folks still act like it's 1970 and believe that "what happens in class, stays in class." Sorry, but those days are over. Case in point is a 2007 study by two credentialed scholars. The study is quite fascinating but simply confirms what most objective observers already knew. The late Dr. Gary A. Tobin and Aryeh K. Weinberg introduce their research with these words (all emphasis is mine):

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-23-11

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Slow news day today, here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Monday, May, 2011:

HSLDA Indiana Alert

Right to Reasonably Resist Unlawful Police Entry Struck Down

On Thursday, May 12, the Indiana Supreme Court held in Barnes v. State that an individual has no right to reasonably resist by force the unlawful entry into his home by a police officer. Under this opinion, the court overturned an ancient common law right to resist unlawful entry as well as Indiana case law upholding this right as recently as 1985. The court went on to say that resisting “an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.”

While many states struck down the English common law right to use reasonable force to resist unlawful arrest by police about 60 years ago, this case goes beyond the use of force against an unlawful arrest. By its opinion, the Indiana Supreme Court has eliminated the defense of reasonably resisting the unlawful entry of a police officer into a person’s home.

While this should not have any immediate impact on the right of privacy within the homes of families in Indiana, it is all the more important for members to contact us should they have contact from authorities about their home or educational program.

The Fourth Amendment still protects your right to the privacy of your home. You are not required by Barnes v. State to consent to the entry of your home; you just can’t forcibly resist authorities’ attempts to enter. HSLDA has never suggested the forcible resistance of an unlawful attempt by the police to enter your home. Should a police officer unlawfully force his or her way into home, you would have recourse through the courts.

We will continue to monitor this case and the potential impact on Indiana families in the near future.

Victory: National Park Agrees to Rutherford Demand to Respect Free Speech Rights After Ranger Ejects Visitor Over Ron Paul Decal

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Victory: National Park Agrees to Rutherford Demand to Respect Free Speech Rights After Ranger Ejects Visitor Over Ron Paul Decal

BLACKSBURG, S.C. — Responding to The Rutherford Institute's demand that the First Amendment rights of visitors to the national parks be respected, the Superintendent of Kings Mountain National Military Park has promised to ensure that there will be no repeat of the incident involving Jack Faw, who was ordered by a park ranger to leave the park because of a decal on his car promoting a political organization associated with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). "I want to assure you and Mr. Faw that we take his constitutional right of freedom of expression seriously, and have taken steps to ensure this experience is not repeated," wrote Superintendent Erin Broadbent. Broadbent also shared that she planned a refresher training session for park personnel on the proper implementation of park policies and regulations affecting individual rights of expression.

Whitehead's letter to Kings Mountain National Military Park is available here.

"This is a victory for the First Amendment," said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. "Hopefully, the National Park Service will set a standard for other government agencies that routinely undermine our constitutional rights."

Jack Faw is a frequent visitor to Kings Mountain National Military Park in Blacksburg, S.C., which marks the site where three of his ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. Faw visited the park on May 6, 2011, en route to his home in Virginia. Soon after arriving and in the midst of his tour through the exhibits, Faw was approached by a park ranger who asked Faw to come into the ranger's office. The ranger informed Faw that he must remove his car from the parking lot because it displayed a political decal that is not allowed in National Parks. Faw had a translucent decal on his car's rear window promoting "Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty," an organization dedicated to reestablishing and furthering the principles embodied in the United States Constitution.

Although Faw protested that he had a right to display the decal and asserted it was not causing any disturbance, the ranger insisted that the car be removed, and Mr. Faw felt compelled to comply with the order. He then reported the incident to The Rutherford Institute, which sent a letter to Superintendent Broadbent on his behalf. Insisting that National Park employees be properly educated about basic constitutional precepts, attorney Whitehead's letter to the superintendent reminded her that visitors to National Parks do not forfeit their First Amendment rights to speech and expression. Indeed, noted Whitehead, Faw's political messages on his vehicle appear to be wholly consistent with and allowable under the National Park Service's regulations concerning expressive activities within National Parks. Furthermore, not only is the display of a political message on a vehicle unquestionably protected by the First Amendment, but a federal appeals court recently ruled that citizens' free speech rights apply within the confines of National Parks.

Security Expert’s SF Record Questioned

Skip Hall

Jess "Skip" Hall, founder of a Birmingham, Ala.-based security and training company called "Hollow Point," doesn't mince words about wanna-bes who pretend to be more than they are. He uses the language of a former Green Beret and Vietnam combat veteran.

"There are many fakes and so-called experts in everything today," he says in the opening page to his blog, "starting [with] the individual in the White House."

On his website, Hall lists a number of qualifications and experiences beneath his photo, including "5th SF SOG A Team Leader, Vietnam." Another page includes an image of an "unofficial" 5th SOG patch from Vietnam -- a skull wearing a Green Beret -- and beneath it reads: "Skip Hall's Unit Patch."

But there's a problem with Hall's apparent outrage over phonies: He might be one too.


I had a small part in busting the fake, Indian, artist and combat Vietnam veteran Churchill.

Hinton said he was not the only one investigating Hall's background. The Alabama man had also come under the scrutiny of Chuck and Mary Schantag of P.O.W. Network.

"Someone asks, we file for records, we pass those back and what happens happens," the Schantags said in an email to Military.com.

They said the reports of possible phonies go up and down, depending on the season.

"50 phony SEALs a day for awhile," they said. "Slowed a bit, but Memorial Day is just around the corner and reports will skyrocket again."

GOA Alert

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We’re Making Progress on Exempting 4473’S From Blanket Government Demands Under 9/11 Bill

Yesterday, we wrote to you about Senator Rand Paul’s amendment to exempt 4473’s and other gun records from the blanket information demands which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) can make under 9/11 legislation. An extension of three provisions of that legislation is currently pending on the Senate floor.

Without the exemption, it is possible that BATFE could go to a secret court, and, in a one-party (ex parte) proceeding, obtain an order to produce every 4473 in the country, ostensibly because a “terrorism investigation” requires it.

This is unacceptable. It is a violation of gun owner protections enacted in 1986 as part of the McClure-Volkmer Firearms Owners Protection Act. Not surprisingly, BATFE is already trying to violate McClure-Volkmer in its new proposed rules to require reporting of multiple semi-auto sales -– and to compile a gun registry from those reports.

Senate insiders report that Sen. Paul’s “gun issue” is the single remaining hang-up on the reauthorization. Not surprisingly, anti-gun Democrats running for reelection do not want to vote on this.

But YOU cannot allow them to escape accountability.

ACTION: Call your Senators. Tell them that you insist on a vote on the Rand Paul gun amendment to the 9/11 bill currently pending on the Senate floor.

Click here to send your Senators a prewritten email

No Debt Ceiling Increase: Balance the Budget Now!


The statutory national debt limit, raised in late 2010 to $14.2 trillion, was exceeded in mid-May this year. There are only two choices to remedy this problem: (1) raise the debt limit; or (2) drastically and severely cut back on spending.

Liberals such as the Fed’s chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, are predicting utter economic chaos if the debt ceiling is not raised. But history shows that in 1985, 1995 and in 2002 Congress delayed raising the debt ceiling for months without an Armageddon-style economic meltdown. When the statutory debt limit is reached, the government isn’t required to pay off the entire debt at once -- it simply isn’t allowed to increase its borrowing. To avoid a default the Treasury Department uses accounting methods in order to to prioritize interest and debt payments to keep things running relatively smoothly with only a few short-term cash flow problems to deal with. However, these "accounting methods" only serve to put off the problem for a few months.

Nonetheless, the goal here isn’t to keep raising the debt limit and paying the interest on a growing gargantuan debt that already costs every man, woman, and child in the country $45,898.36. The goal is to eliminate federal deficits and to begin paying down the national debt with fiscally disciplined and responsible budgets that drastically reduce federal spending.

Although a recent CBS poll showed that 63 percent of Americans oppose an increase in the national debt limit, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has assured us that Congress will raise the debt limit. Still, Tea Party-aligned Republicans insist that they haven't made a deal with the Obama administration to increase the debt limit.

Even though pundits tell us that the Republicans will "cave" and deliver sufficient votes to raise the debt limit, it's not over until the vote occurs. Geithner has announced that he is using creative accounting methods that will prevent any bad effects from exceeding the debt limit until August 2, but that Congress really must vote to approve an increase in the debt celing by then. So, this leaves June and July for political posturing and maneuvering. In fact, House Republican leaders are planning a vote in the House next week on a "clean" debt limit increase of $2.4 trillion. This is termed a "clean" debt limit increase because the bill that has been introduced by Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) does not provide the spending cuts demanded by most Republicans and some Democrats. This bill, which is fully expected to fail, would provide Republicans the opportunity to vote "no" on a clean debt limit increase, and provide political cover for enough Republicans to vote "yes" later to ensure passage of a debt limit increase with promises to reduce spending by x dollars and/or balance the budget in y years.

Although it appears unlikely to happen, it is still possible for Congress to vote against any increase in the national debt limit and to begin immediately to cut federal spending sufficiently to balance the budget and eliminate any further federal deficits. This would be very difficult politically and cause all kinds of problems for people whose programs would be reduced or eliminated. However, not immediately balancing the budget would also cause all kinds of problems for people who are harmed by a rapidly devaluing currency.

To get an idea of the magnitude of the deficit problem, consider that in fiscal year 2010 the federal government took in $2.162 trillion from taxes and other income and spent $3.456 trillion on entitlements, discretionary spending, interest on the national debt, etc. The deficit for 2010 amounted to $1.294 trillion. If Congress had balanced the budget in 2010, it would have had to reduce federal spending by about 37 percent across all programs. That's a lot of pain, but continuing to have trillion dollar deficits will also inflict a lot of pain in the form of the devaluation of the dollar (decreasing the value of our salaries, wages, investments, retirement income, insurance, etc) and the loss of national independence associated with continued borrowing from foreign nations (only if they'll even agree to loan us more, of course).

The Republican Study Committee, a group of 175 self-described fiscal conservatives in the House, has proposed a plan to cut federal spending by $380 billion in fiscal 2012. While they describe this as cutting the deficit in half, in the context of our current series of $1 trillion plus deficits, the math doesn't come out right. Nonetheless, this would be a step in the right direction. However, why not just balance the budget immediately and cut the deficit to zero?

Contact your Senators and Representative and let them know that the only acceptable and honorable thing to do for the country is to vote against any increase in the national debt ceiling, then immediately begin slashing federal spending to reduce our federal deficit to zero in fiscal 2012. They should use the Constitution as a guide and reduce or outright eliminate unconstitutional programs.

No Debt Ceiling Increase: Balance the Budget Now!


Your friends at The John Birch Society


The O’Bamas have run out of groups to pander to in America, now they must pander across the pond. And ohhhh, what a good panderin’ it’s been, laddy! Even had time to polish off a wee pint of ale! And a few dozen tamales for Michelle! Or was that pandering to Hispanics last week? Maybe it was Michelle’s big tamale-eating ass that bottomed out that limo today! But aye matey (is that Irish or pirate talk?), Barry O’Bama was sooooo happy to get back to his Irish homeland! The ancestral land of the Obama kin-yens.

Accompanying the wee backboned president was First Panderer Michelle. Unknown until now, Michelle camouflaged in green makeup is rumored to steal Christmas…err…Winter Festival…presents from yon children. It took the Irish wind to expose the gift thief! Here’s Michelle in Ireland sans makeup:

With the green makeup, see if you recognize Michelle:

Aye laddies, ye olde Angry White Dude was a bit shocked me-self to see the real Michelle surface in the homeland of her hoosband! She’s the Wench! Or is it the Grinch? Or is it both! Now that O’Bama has reconnected with his Irish roots, will he now be sendin’ billions to the IRA? Oh Barry boy, the pints are callin’…..At least over in the old country, Barry O’bama shant be troubled by those colonists killed in Joplin, Missouri by tornadoes!

OPEN VENTURES: Entrepreneurial Superempowerment

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Verbatim post

Corporations haven't changed much organizationally since the middle ages. They're dinosaurs. It's time to turn them into history, where they belong.

As part of the new venture I'm working on, we're developing a set of new rules that allow a new form of corporation to work much more like the Internet. We think these changes will make these new organizations superior to our current corporate competition -- both from the perspective of the person working with (not, not for) us and from the ability of these ventures to compete with the status quo.

At this point, the organization we're building is the equivalent of the first mammal. Very, very small relative to competition (the dinos that ruled the earth for hundreds of millions of years) but incredibly adaptive. The rules of adaptation we're developing will help us stay alive, and eventually (we hope) defeat the competition. We hope you'll decide to evolve along with us.

Here's the first rule we think is important: if at all possible, use entrepreneurial superempowerment.

Essentially, this rule is torn from my book on global guerrilla warfare. The same amplification that makes it possible for small groups of terrorists/guerrillas to do incredible damage/challenge nation-states can be used to build a successful organization. In short, this rule means that you should provide the people working with your organization all of the tools they need to be economically successful. In particular, these tools need to be networked tools. Tools that amplify every action taken by 1,000 fold.

Further, on a motivational level, these people should be allowed to innovate. To become entrepreneurs that are constantly striving to maximize their potential. Allow them the flexibility to try new ideas, change up the processes used, and pioneer new areas for expansion. The objective is to fill your entire organization with superempowered entrepreneurs.

Vae victis

Death Squad Damage Control in Tucson

Victims of an American death squad:
Ex-Marine murder victim Jose Guerena with his wife and sons.
...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.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution (emphasis added)

The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land…. No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.

Sections 3 and 8 of the “Declaration of Rights” from the Arizona State Constitution’s “Declaration of Rights”

People seeking to defend the manifestly indefensible often sabotage themselves by disclosing critical details that undermine their argument. Mike Storie, the police union lawyer representing the SWAT operators who murdered Jose Guerena in his home on May 5, did this during his May 19 press conference in an attempt to assign all of the blame for Jose’s death on the victim and his terrorized wife.

As reported by the Arizona Star, Storie insisted that if the Guerena family had permitted the armed intruders into their home, those inside “probably … wouldn’t have been arrested." This is because the "warrant was not directed at any particular person, and Guerena’s home was not mentioned, but it was targeting whoever might be inside the residence...."

That is to say that this was not a legitimate search warrant, under the requirements imposed by the Fourth Amendment (and expressly incorporated in Arizona law through the state constitution). The instrument used as supposed justification for the armed assault was akin to the "writs of assistance" used by British soldiers during the years leading up to the American colonial rebellion.

As Judge Andrew Napolitano summarizes, writs of assistance were "self-written search warrants" that "enabled [British] soldiers and government agents to enter any private building or dwelling and search for whatever they had authorized themselves to search for." In this way, occupation forces could invade any home or business they chose, confiscate any item they suspected might be contraband, and haul away in irons anybody who attracted their malevolent attention.

The only material difference I can identify between that tyrannical practice and SWAT raids of the kind that resulted in the murder of Jose Guerena is the fact that British Redcoats were considerably more restrained in their behavior.