“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Islamic Schutzstaffel, SS

" I'll get a bigger shawl if you get your eyebrows waxed."

On patrol with Iran's fashion police

It all starts with one simple sentence, spoken almost in a whisper, but which has a thunderous effect.
A female police officer deployed in Tehran's latest moral crackdown tells a woman that her manto (overcoat) is too short and infringes Iranian Islamic dress rules.

"Azizam (my dear), good afternoon, if possible could we have a friendly chat, please allow us to have a small chat," the officer, a graduate of Tehran's police academy, tells the young woman.

"My dear there is a problem with your manto. Please do not wear this kind of manto. Please wear a longer manto from now on."

Some are just let go there, but others are escorted to waiting minibuses with dark black tinted window panes and labelled "Guidance Patrol."

A girl in a short white manto whose long hair was tumbling out the front of her headscarf is taken by the police to one of the minibuses on Vanak Square in central Tehran -- an unexpected and unhappy end to her shopping trip.

Another arrested woman is already inside the bus. She begins to cry. "I promise, I promise!"

And the minibus doors slam shut.

Tehran's police have said they are operating a three stage process in implementing the new wave of a crackdown on dress deemed to be unIslamic, which started with some intensity on Monday afternoon.

First, women are given a verbal warning on the street. If the problem is not resolved there, they are taken to the police station for "guidance" and to sign a vow not to repeat the offence. Should this be unsuccessful, their case is handed to the judiciary.

"Sure my manto is short, but there are many others whose clothes are more seductive than mine and they walking by without any punishment," one of the arrested girls in the minibus complained bitterly.

The arrested women will now go to a "centre for combating vice".

Their parents will be phoned and they will bring a longer coat and fuller headscarf for their daughters. If the young women sign the pledge they will then be released.

"We want our words to have an effect on people," a female Iranian police officer, who by law was not allowed to give her name, told AFP before being dispatched to take part in the crackdown.

"Our method is through guidance and via words. We do not face an instance that prompts us to be physical. We do not have any bats or sprays, in the toughest instances we may grab her hand and 'guide' her to the minibus," she said.

"I am doing this it as it is my duty and my job is supported by the religious teachings," another women clad in the black chador uniform of Tehran's female police added.

A girl confronted by the female police for having overly short trousers and transparent stockings apologizes.

"I am wearing stockings but, sorry, they are too light. Sorry I will change them, definitely I will change them. Now can I go?"

Not everything goes so smoothly.

One young passer-by rounds on the police for devoting such resources to moral crackdowns rather than other social problems as the minibus -- now filled with "badly veiled" women -- speeds away to the police station.

"Shame on you, look what you've done! The people's problem is not this, go fix your traffic situation, people are stuck in traffic for hours, go fix other real problems," she shrieks.

There was already considerable controversy inside Iran when the first stage of the "plan to increase security in society" was launched in April.

Many conservatives have applauded the drive, but moderates have publicly questioned whether Iran would be better off tackling poverty and crime rather than slack dressing.

Just before the new crackdown started, popular television host Farzad Hasani grilled Tehran's police chief Ahmad Reza Radan about the drive on his talk show, accusing the police of "not differentiating between people and thugs."

An old woman in a black chador in Vanak Qquare echoed the sentiment.

"Our youth have no peace of mind. They are afraid to go out, they are afraid that if they go out they will be taken to the police. Aren't they saying that there is freedom?"


  1. Here we often have trouble getting people to wear any clothes at all, particularily around the beaches, in summertime. The Amish have a dress code, but I don't know if they really have minders, maybe just re-minders. There are some folks who, quite frankly, ought to have a certain amount of clothing on, just out of courtesy to others. Seems to me that courtesy, and keeping the other people in mind, provide a quideline. A couple years ago some of the university gals held a topless car wash to make some point. While they attracted a lot of attention, and drive bys, the city council, after due deliberation, and many headlines, and some good humor, voted to not allow the gals to go around totally topless, as they might well have been forced to do if the equal rights amendment had passed some years back. They passed their ordinance on 'community standards', or some such language. So I quess there are minders in Moscow, too, the City Police, but you never hear to see anything of it. Besides, it's usually to cold around here. Frost bitten nipples.

  2. I liked the video of the well-dressed Babe Kicking the Shit out of the Burqa Hag much better!
    (anybody got a link?)
    A very strange place, Iran.

  3. Have ya seen this guys?

    Flight 93 Memorial just might be in the shape of a cresent moon!

    You can "contact" the site through this article and give your opinion. That is, if you want to honor brave Americans instead of the Cult of Islam!

  4. we did a link on the burqa hag somewhere.

  5. We did this on the noble Islamic man taking offense about other men seeing his woman. Noble Muslim Man. A bunch of c**ksuckers one and all.

    There goes our library card again.

  6. That snippet from "acute politics" is just plain wrong, doug.

    According to General Lynch.

    To claim that the Police in Anbar are the best, most loyal to the Iraqi Government, police in the country stands in direct contradiction to General Lynch's report.

    It does dovetail perfectly with the new White House spin cycle, though.

    The Police of Anbar are loyal to their tribal leaders, not Mr Maliki. No one in Anbar disputes that, that I have read. Not a General, not Mr Yon, not Mr Trotten, no one but Senor AP.

    But he writes well, if inaccuraely.


  7. Tiger said...
    Have ya seen this guys?

    Flight 93 Memorial just might be in the shape of a cresent moon!

    You can "contact" the site through this article and give your opinion. That is, if you want to honor brave Americans instead of the Cult of Islam!

    Wed Jul 25, 08:43:00 AM EDT

    It would be cool to have a populist monkey-wrenching of this thing.

    1. Let the elitists and appeasers build their monument to their own slavery.

    2. Have three guys with bulldozers show up a week after it's finished.

    3. Bulldoze the crescent.

    4. Plant a Gadsden or Culpepper Minute Men Flag in the middle of the circle.

    5. Watch hilarity ensue.

  8. Turns out we're thinking of going to Canada--practice up for when Hillary gets elected I quess. Join Ash. You need a driver's license--a good one,no DUI, and a new copy of one's birth certificate. Can one take a pistol into Canada? A man was a clean sheet? What if one is transiting to Alaska?

  9. So, Doug, you have no problem with those stoopid itchy trigger finger gang bangers packin' heat in their pants? Illegals too? No problemo for you or do you think it might be wise to try to get the guns out of their possession? You having a gun does squat when those fools are shooting it out in the streets.

  10. Just wait until the Carbon Footprint patrol runs amok in a metropolitan area near you.

    Be it my lithium batteries or my 1/2 lb cheeseburger, I could be scolded, fined or assaulted by those deputized by our new transnational lords.

    Just a few events away. Another bad storm or two could be the tipping point. Otherwise, just wait a few years as a ruined crop of young minds leave the public schools and enter the voting booths or subversive political groups or w/e will dot or dominate our 21st Century American landscape.

    So what if those kids wise up eventually? The greens only need the indoctrination to last a few years before each person wises up; their revolutions do not require but a brief groundswell of support.

    Will the American citizenry be more or less complacent to the greens, especially given that they won't be hoisting us aloft by cranes?

  11. Ash, I like the colloquial angle, especially "packin' heat in their pants." Reads like Ginsburg...Keep at it.

    Doug, Ash and me share the big "problemo" of how difficult it is to get those guns out of those evil hands.

    There was a telling newscast the other night - circa 3AM - where the first news on the radio was of clerics, sheiks etc in Iraq urging their neighbors/communities/tribes to arm themselves as they wised up to the values of the sheepdog.

    The next story featured the excited results of progressive Chicago asking its frequently murdered denizens to turn in any guns they found. 1000s of guns were said to have been turned in and gloriously smelted.

    Which philosophy of security will win the 21st Century?

  12. I do believe you'd be committing a Canadian crime, bob.

    US Federal site warning that:

    Canada's tough new gun control law, which took effect Jan. 1, 2001, requires individuals to obtain licenses to posses or purchase either guns or ammunition. By Jan. 1, 2003, registration of all guns in Canada will be required. The Firearms Act regulations apply to the importing, exporting, possession, use, storage, display and transportation of all firearms, and are in effect across the country.

    As of January 1, 2001, the procedures for bringing firearms into Canada, or for borrowing firearms while in Canada, change as a result of mandatory license requirements for all firearms owners and users in Canada.

    Canadian firearms laws severely restrict the types of guns persons can legally posses. In addition, the laws apply equally to both Canadian citizens and to anyone bringing or shipping guns into Canada, or borrowing guns while in Canada.

    Under the Canadian Firearms Act, the three classes of firearms are:

    Non-restricted (most ordinary rifles and shotguns);
    Restricted (mainly handguns); and
    Prohibited (full automatics, converted automatics, handguns with a barrel length of 105 mm (approx. 4") or less, and .25 or .32 caliber handguns among others).
    Bringing Guns Into Canada

    Prohibited guns, or replicas of prohibited guns cannot be taken into Canada. No exceptions.

    To bring a Restricted gun into Canada, you must be 18-years of age or older and acquire an Authorization to Transport (ATT) from a provincial or territorial Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) before you arrive at the point of entry into Canada. You cannot get an ATT for purposes of hunting or self-protection.

  13. I would assume that ppab and ash will grant the "gangbangers" are criminals, as part of the debate.

    Any underaged banger found packing is in violation of the law, almost anywhere. A felon carrying is in violation of the law. Carrying a weapon while commintting a seperate crime is an aggravating circumstance under the law.
    Sending bullets flying down range on the city streets is a violation of the law.

    Any weopon found in such circumstance, as well as many others, can be confiscated by law enforcement and the miscreants detained.

    You guys propose another law, making the possession of a weapon another violation of the law. Those that are law abiding will disarm, but those that are already taking actions despite of the current laws, which enforced would disarm the evil doers and not violate the rights of the lawful to defend their hearth and home, as well as their lives.

    Living in a free society is not risk free, but self defense, in proportion to the threat, is natural right that cannot be morally legislated away, in the cause of some "greater good".

  14. Sounds like it is 'just too much trouble'. I noticed on one Canadian page a warning about not leaving anything valuable in the car, not even in the trunk. Made it sound like Paris or something. I thought Canadians were all oh so much more civilized than we American barbarians.

    Sounded like they have a real crime wave going, and don't have a clue what to do about, being defenseless as they are.

    A sign 'Patrolled by Smith and Wesson' on the back of the car might help, but those are probably illegal, too. Or understood to refer to a cooking oil--maybe a bio-fuel.

  15. What is there besides 'hunting and self defense'? Suicide? Plinking? Russian roulette? Ah, I know, armed robbery.

  16. I'm in favor of us all chipping in and buying Ash a copy of More guns, Less Crime by John Lott. A paperback copy.

  17. Re: Gangs

    Police Slay Top Indian Bandit

    If you read the article, you learn that India had been "dealing" with a gangbanger problems of their own, and that the survival of the gangs' ability to cause harm is somewhat legendary:

    The most infamous member of the Dacoit "profession" was probably India's Phoolan Devi. But the title of the most legendary dacoit is held by Daku Man Singh and Daku Nirbhay Gujjar who was killed recently. Between 1939 and 1955, Daku Man Singh had notched up 1,112 dacoities, 185 murders, countless ransom kidnappings. He was involved in 90 police encounters and had killed 32 policemen.

    In recent times, Veerappan became the most famous who was on the run for 20 years.

    The most recent of these dacoits was running amok for 3 decades. As the article explains, one of the lacking capabilities was political will - something analagous to our own broken bureaucracies' inability to enforce laws - laws that in theory would reduce the harm caused by gangs.

    The centuries old tide of dacoit banditry is shifting. In fact, the story of this change does feature a tale of 600 gangbangers turning in their guns and of disarmament of dacoits in general.

    However, the causal factors produce defeated dacoits are nothing so dramatic as penitent bandits laying down arms:

    -Cell phones that allow villages to contact police
    -Paved roads which allow police access quickly, described in the article as within "minutes"
    -A leader: Daljeet Singh Chaudhury

    Re: Chadhury:

    A top regional police commander, Chaudhury has become something of a celebrity here, and everyone from politicians to tenant farmers tell stories of his fearlessness, his honesty, and his relentless ambition to rid the Chambal of bandits. His forces, some of whom worked openly with the bandits just a few years ago, now track them with assault rifles and electronic surveillance gear.

    Chaudhury isn't shy about proclaiming his victories.

    "They have been shot, they have been arrested, they have surrendered," he said of the dacoits. His men, he says, have killed some 30 in a little over a year, wiping out nearly every major gang.

    "Things are peaceful and there is not much movement of gangs in the ravines, and not many kidnappings," he said. "I would say they are on the run."

    This new world — the roads, the phones, the bridges, the ambitious police commander, the angry villagers — has been devastating for the dacoits.

  18. Here's a better review. Sounds like Ash might have written the first one, himself.

  19. Looks like the old is new in India:

    But two years ago, the police began closing in, killing gang members in a series of ambushes. The teenage girl was left nearly alone. Finally she surrendered. "I was afraid," she said. "Everybody was dying."

    No conferences necessary!

  20. The majority of those "gang-bangers" are going to be having guns, regardless of whether I'm allowed to.

    Lawbreakers will break the law, imagine that.

  21. *From someone who both went to school with gangbangers, and had at least two former friends go to jail for armed robbery.*

  22. If you want to get guns out of the hands of "gang bangers" and other unsavory characters one will have to make it difficult for them to get (i.e. ban handguns or otherwise greatly restrict their availability) and two, bust them for possessing them (hopefully before they've had a chance to use them). The other option seems to be the status quo, which is easily obtainable hand guns for everyone and the carnage continues.

  23. Crows of crowds, or crowds of crows, or something, gather to watch Light Display over Bill Shakespeares home digs.

  24. Handguns and drugs, ash.
    How long has the "War of Drugs" been part of the Federal program?

    Illicit "Drugs" are illegal, it does not stop the inportation, their sale or their use.

    The same is true with guns, your proposal is to disarm the honest citizen and empower the psuedo terrorists.

    Those two suspects in CT, home invaders, rapists, arsonists amd murderers, strangled or burned the victims alive. They are not reported tp have used a firearm.

    If the mother had access to weapon she may have detered those evil doers, she'd have had a chamce. The Doctor had his head beaten in with a baseball bat, effective range 4 feet. A .38 Special double action revolver is an accurate weapon at 21 feet, over five times the baseball bats' range.

    Doc could have saved his family, with one or two well place rounds, that he did not, his bad.

  25. The manufacturers of hand guns are pretty easy to identify. Sure some black market manufacturers would sprout but it could be made much more difficult for one to obtain and carry about a handgun. Yes, some previously law abiding citizen's would be restricted from tooling about packing heat. Better that then the carnage we are see today.

  26. Leading causes of death according to the CDC (2004):

    Heart Disease = 652,486 dead
    Malignant neoplasms = 553,888 dead
    Cerebrovascular diseases = 150,074 dead
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases = 121,987 dead
    Accidents = 112,012 dead
    Diabetes = 73,138 dead
    Alzheimer's = 65,965 dead
    Flu and pneumonia = 59,664 dead
    Nephritis and nephrosis = 42,480 dead
    Septicimia = 33,373 dead
    Suicide = 32,439 dead
    Cirrhosis and related = 27,013 dead
    Hypertension = 23,076
    Parkinson's = 17,989 dead
    Homicide = 17,357 dead
    All other causes = 414,674 dead
    Total 2004 deaths = 2,397,615

    Firearm homicides (2004): = 11,250

    Homicide % total deaths = .7%
    Firearm homicide % of total deaths = .5%

    In other words, 99.5% of all the people who died in the US in 2004 died of something other than a firearm homicide.

    Florida State University conducted a study in 1994 that determined that firearms were used defensively against criminals 2.5 million times in a year, or once every 13 seconds.

    This translates to guns being used to prevent murder 222 times more than to commit murder in a 2004.

    There are over 200 million guns in the hands of 80 million to 150 million Americans.

    If each murder were committed by a different perp, that would mean that .01% on the high end to .008% on the low end of gun owners committed murder, or conversely, 99.99% to 99.992% of gun owners didn't kill anyone that year.

    Denying 99.99% of the law-abiding, gun-owning, sheepdog-minded public (or 26% to 50% of the total population when you count the sheeple)of their inalienable rights of self-defense and life to control .01% of the gun owning population (or .004% of the total population when you count the sheeple.) seems counterintuitive to me.

    Then again, maybe I am missing something.

  27. ahhh, stats. I came across these:

    Handgun Ban Backgrounder
    America's gun problem is a handgun problem. Handguns exact an inordinate toll on American lives. The vast majority of gun death and injury–in homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings–is carried out with easily concealable pistols and revolvers. The public health model as well as the traditional approaches employed in protecting consumer health and safety lead to one inevitable conclusion: handguns should be banned.


    There are an estimated 192 million firearms in civilian hands.1 Yet, fewer and fewer Americans own more and more guns.

    Surprisingly, only 25 percent of adults own a firearm. Of these, three out of four own more than one gun.2

    About 10 percent of the adult population owns 77 percent of the total stock of firearms.3


    There are about 65 million handguns in the United States. Handguns make up 34 percent of all types of firearms.4

    Of all firearm-related crime, 86 percent involved handguns.5

    Only one in six Americans own handguns.6

    Unlike manufacturers of other consumer products, the industry that makes handguns is unregulated for health and safety.

    Overall Firearm-Related Deaths

    Since 1962, more than one million Americans have died in firearm homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings. Handguns were used in more than 650,000 of these fatal shootings.7

    In 1997—the most recent year available—there were 89 firearm deaths per day, or a firearm death every 16 minutes.8

    In homes with guns, a member of the household is almost three times as likely to be the victim of a homicide compared to gun-free homes.9

    Handguns and Homicide

    On the average, if someone gets shot and killed, four out of five times it will be with a handgun. In 1997, for example, handguns were used in 79.4 percent of all firearm homicides.10

    From 1990 to 1997, handguns were used in a majority (55.6 percent) of all homicides; that is, they were used in murder more than all other weapons combined.11

    From 1990 to 1997, there were 293,781 firearm deaths—homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings.12

    From 1990 to 1997 in the United States there were more than—

    * 160,000 homicides

    * 110,000 firearm homicides

    * 89,000 handgun homicides13

    Handgun homicides hit record highs in the early 1990s, peaking in 1993. That year there were 13,258 such killings—out of a total of 16,120 firearm homicides.14

    As part of an overall drop in crime, in 1997 handgun homicides fell to 8,503.15


    The largest category of firearms fatality is suicide, not homicide. In 1997, 54 percent of all gun deaths were suicides, and 42 percent were homicides.16

    About six out of 10 suicides are committed with firearms.17

    For firearm suicides, it is estimated that handguns are used twice as often (69 percent) as rifles and shotguns.18

    For all suicides, it is estimated that more than four out of 10 were committed with handguns.19

    From 1990 to 1997—

    * there were more than 147,000 suicides committed with a firearm

    * an estimated 90,000 involved a handgun20

    People living in a household with a gun are almost five times more likely to die by suicide than people living in a gun-free home.21

    Self Defense

    For every time a gun in the home is used in a self-defense homicide, a gun will be used in—

    * 1.3 unintentional deaths

    * 4.6 criminal homicides

    * 37 suicides22

    In 1997 there were 15,690 homicides.

    * Of these, 8,503 were committed with handguns.

    * Among handgun homicides, only 193 (2.3 percent) were classified as justifiable homicides by civilians.23

    For every time in 1997 that a civilian used a handgun to kill in self-defense, 43 people lost their lives in handgun homicides alone.24


    For every firearm death, there are nearly three gun injuries requiring emergency medical treatment.25

    By conservative estimates, gunshot injuries cost about $4 billion a year in medical expenses.26

    Public Attitudes

    Polls over the past 20 years have consistently shown that one out of three Americans support a ban on handgun possession (except by law enforcement officers).27

    Several polls taken in 1999 show this level of support reaching as high as 44 percent to 50 percent.28

    The Second Amendment

    No gun control law has ever been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on Second Amendment grounds. Such laws include federal bans on machine guns and semiautomatic assault weapons as well as local community bans on the sale and possession of handguns.

    Every federal Court of Appeals that has considered the meaning of the Second Amendment has held that it protects the right of states to maintain a militia, not an individual right to own a gun.

    * In 1981 the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals stated that "possession of a handgun by individuals is not part of the right to keep and bear arms."

    * In 1976 the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals noted "the erroneous supposition that the Second Amendment is concerned with the rights of individuals rather than those of the states."29

  28. Folks like Ash Fear other rights may soon be found.

  29. If the Constitution tells me Roe, why doesn't it tell me I can own guns?

    Also, a public health argument against guns needs to answer the following:

    -What criteria do we use to determine the harm of guns?

    -What criteria do we use to determine the help of guns?

    -What about the differences between gun harm/gun help compell us to treat them differently from, say, vaccines, drugs or medical treatments that are guaranteed to kill a % of patients?

    What ratio of harm/help is acceptable AND HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?

    It is the latter question above which I do not think the VPC or its ilk want anyone asking.

  30. Cars kill people, lots of them. On my trip I didn't see any gun violence, though I read about some. But I saw, and read about a massive number of fatality accidents. It's apples and oranges, I know, but if the goal is a safe society, we better all start taking the bus, or AmTrak, which is what I'm doing next time back east, if there is a next time. AmTrak, then rent a small car at the destination. All Aboard!

  31. Ash,

    Interesting stats. Please note that I pulled mine (except for the FSU self-defense study) from the Centers for Disease Control. Not a pro-gun organization by any means.

    I am quite familiar with the VPC, its agenda, and its "facts". I can probably go to the NRA, GOA and JPFO Web sites and get some "facts" from them that will make my argument more compelling, but then we are in "tastes great, less filling" territory.

    However, your citation of the "collective right" interpretation of the Second Amendment requires a response.

    The "collective right" is an invention of 20th century legal theorists. During the reign of America's Strong Man in the 1930s, this was but one of many federal precedents overturned since the ratification of the Constitution in 1789.

    First, let's hear from some of the Founding Fathers:

    "The advantage of being armed . . . the Americans possess over the people of all other nations . . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several Kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 46.)

    "The great object is that every man be armed . . . Everyone who is able may have a gun." (Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution.)

    "Every terrible instrument of the soldier is the birthright of an American. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." - Tench Coxe, Continental Congress, Pennsylvania Gazette 1788

    With the Militia Act of 1792 Congress defined "militia of the United States" to include almost every free adult male in the United States. These persons were obligated by law to possess a firearm and a minimum supply of ammunition and military equipment. This statute, incidentally, remained in effect into the early years of the present century as a legal requirement of gun ownership for most of the population of the United States.

    In 1822, the Kentucky Court of Appeals struck down a concealed weapon law because it violated a citizen's right to bear arms.

    In Nunn v State in 1837, the Georgia Supreme Court overturned a handgun ban as unconstitutional because the federal Bill of Rights protected all natural rights.

    The Dred Scott case used the individual rights argument as a cudgel against slaves, that if they were recognized as citizens, they'd have the right to keep and bear arms.

    In United States v. Cruikshank, the Supreme Court ruled that the Rights protected in the First and Second Amendments were not granted by the Constitution, but natural rights born to all people and therefore the Fourteenth Amendment had no jurisdiction over them.

    In re Brickey, 8 Ida. 597, at 598-99, 70 p. 609
    "The second amendment to the federal constitution is in the following language: 'A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.' The language of section 11, article I of the constitution of Idaho, is as follows: 'The people have the right to bear arms for their security and defense, but the legislature shall regulate the exercise of this right by law.' Under these constitutional provisions, the legislature has no power to prohibit a citizen from bearing arms in any portion of the state of Idaho, whether within or without the corporate limits of cities, towns, and villages."

    State v. Rosenthal, 75 VT. 295, 55 A. 610, at 611.
    "The people of the state have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state. *** The result is that Ordinance No. 10, so far as it relates to the carrying of a pistol, is inconsistent with and repugnant to the Constitution and the laws of the state, and it is therefore to that extent, void."

    State v. Kerner, 181 N.C. 574, 107 S.E. 222, at 224.
    "We are of the opinion, however, that 'pistol' ex vi termini is properly included within the word 'arms,' and that the right to bear such arms cannot be infringed. The historical use of pistols as 'arms' of offense and defense is beyond controversy."

    "The maintenance of the right to bear arms is a most essential one to every free people and should not be whittled down by technical constructions."

    People v. Zerillo, 219 Mich. 635, 189 N.W. 927, at 928.
    "The provision in the Constitution granting the right to all persons to bear arms is a limitation upon the right of the Legislature to enact any law to the contrary. The exercise of a right guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be made subject to the will of the sheriff."

    People v. Liss, 406 Ill. 419, 94 N.E. 2d 320, at 323.
    "The second amendment to the constitution of the United States provides the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. This of course does not prevent the enactment of a law against carrying concealed weapons, but it does indicate it should be kept in mind, in the construction of a statue of such character, that it is aimed at persons of criminal instincts, and for the prevention of crime, and not against use in the protection of person or property."

    State v. Nickerson, 126 Mt. 157, 247 P. 2d 188, at 192.
    "The law of this jurisdiction accords to the defendant the right to keep and bear arms and to use same in defense of his own home, his person and property."

    City of Lakewood v. Pillow, 180 Colo. 20, 501 P. 2d 744, at 745.
    "As an example, we note that this ordinance would prohibit gunsmiths, pawnbrokers and sporting goods stores from carrying on a substantial part of their business. Also, the ordinance appears to prohibit individuals from transporting guns to and from such places of business. Furthermore, it makes it unlawful for a person to possess a firearm in a vehicle or in a place of business for the purpose of self-defense. Several of these activities are constitutionally protected. Colo. Const. art. II, sec 13."

    Schubert v. DeBard, 398 N.E. 2d 1339, at 1341 (Ind. App. 1980) (motion to transfer denied 8-28-1980).
    "We think it clear that our constitution provides our citizenry the right to bear arms for their self- defense."

    State v. Kessler, 289 Or. 359, 614 P. 2d 94, at 95, at 98.
    "We are not unmindful that there is current controversy over the wisdom of a right to bear arms, and that the original motivations for such a provision might not seem compelling if debated as a new issue. Our task, however, in construing a constitutional provision is to respect the principles given the status of constitutional guarantees and limitations by the drafters; it is not to abandon these principles when this fits the needs of the moment."

    "Therefore, the term 'arms' as used by the drafters of the constitutions probably was intended to include those weapons used by settlers for both personal and military defense. The term 'arms' was not limited to firearms, but included several handcarried weapons commonly used for defense. The term 'arms' would not have included cannon or other heavy ordnance not kept by militiamen or private citizens."
    The 1903 Militia Act transformed the organized state militias into federally managed, trained and armed forces that conformed to Regular Army standards by 1908, i.e. the National Guard.

    The reserve militia or unorganized militia, also created by the Militia Act of 1903, which presently consist of every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age who are not members of the National Guard or Naval Militia.

    The National Defense Act of 1916 transformed the National Guard from state defense forces to a reserve component of the US Army.

    In the US v. Miller case of 1939, Jack Miller, a bootlegger, was arrested by revenuers for the possession of a shotgun with a barrel shorter than 18 inches, in violation of the 1934 National Firearms Act.

    The Supreme Court overruled the initial Circuit Court ruling in Miller's favor. The logic of the court was that the gun in question - a sawed-off shotgun - had no use in the militia. This was the prosecution's theory presented to the Supreme Court without Miller or his defense present. The case was adjudicated without having both sides present evidence.

    The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court to do more work on what arms would be acceptable for militia use. However, Jack Miller died and so did the case with him.

    Now here's the deal. In 1939, there was no militia. There was the National Guard, a part of the US Army, and the reserve militia - me and the guys and gals on this site with guns.

    The "collective right" theory has it that the National Guard is the militia, which it legally is not.

    The "collective right" theory would have it that the Second Amendment guarantees the US Army's reserve component to keep and bear arms and "the People" to keep and bear zilcho.

    The "collective right" theory is the prime example of the Stalinist tendencies of the American Left to call sixty years of recent history "historical precedent" while 150 years of precedent are not worth noting.

    The recent ruling of Parker v. District of Columbia may finally be the case that could settle the Second Amendment once and for all.

    Even legal scholars known for their left-leaning views, like Alan Dershowitz, are acknowledging that the Second Amendment is an individual right supported by sound legal scholarship and precedent.

    The Subcommittee on the Constitution said it very well back in 1982:

    "The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner."

  32. I was in the Idaho militia most all my life, and never knew it. It's in the Idaho Constitution. A life time of outstanding service, if I do say so myself, not one demerit, then they booted me out at age 50 I think it was, and never let me know. No ballpoint pen, no little flag for my desk, no nothing.

  33. "I've fired a machine gun. I was in Iraq and they gave me machine guns to fire at a target. I've fired an Uzi and I fired a couple of other weapons. ... It's hard doing that and keeping it on target," Romney said.

    "Those are difficult weapons to handle and our men and women have to handle them day to day out there."

    He said participants in the Manchester GOP fundraiser would develop a better appreciation for the troops after the $35 fundraiser.

    Automatic Weapons

  34. SANDY, Ore.---The CEO of Oregon's largest utility detonated explosives on the Marmot Dam on Tuesday, the beginning of the end of a 47 foot concrete hydroelectic dam that has blocked the Sandy River for nealy a century....When the Marmot Dam is totally dismantled later this summer, the Sandy will again be a free flowing river--from its origin high on Mount Hood to its mouth on the Columbia River.

    "The bottom line is that it's good for the fish, and saves our customers money." The Dam had become uneconomical to operate due to maintainence and new environmental regulations.

    A smaller dam on the Little Sandy River is to be removed also.

    The Sandy was a legendary salmon and steelhead river, and should make a full recovery.

  35. But things are Heating Up In Vegas What a price to pay, for a little gambling, and some hookers.

  36. That's neat news about the Sandy, Bob.

  37. brother b-day,

    I did a quick google and came up with some stats. I didn't know the source any better then your previous one. We can parse the numbers till were blue in the face but I think we'd both agree that a few folks are getting shot up.

    The constitutional issues are interesting, mostly in an academic/legalist way - parsing the founding fathers intentions as if what they wrote were handed down with the 10 commandments. My understanding is the founding fathers were most concerned with keeping us free from imperial designs of the King across the pond - no standing army, freely formed militias ect. Times change.

    I find it interesting that the same motives propel DR and Bobal as well as the punk teen shoving struttin' the hood with a piece in his pants - the warm fuzzy feeling of power and the ability to defend oneself. I hate it when the twerps act on those feelings and start shooting. I could care less if gang bangers take each other out (reminds me of a emerg doctor from Denver I rode up a chair lift once who had a good laugh about a guy he treated who, after shootin' at some folk, jumped in his car to flee and tossed his gun in the back seat. The gun went off and shoot him in the back) BUT the problem becomes apparent when those idiots start shooting at each other and people get caught in the crossfire. An 11 year old girl bit it last weekend here in Toronto when two punks started shooting at each other at a birthday party...fools!!

    What are we to do with these fools? Protect their right to conceal carry? Look to Baghdad for the logical extension of it all - gun control trying to limit a single AK47 for each household 'but what do we do if a member of the family need leave the house???? AK's for everyone!!!"

  38. Ash thinks self defense is immoral and improper in the modern world, all because the world is a shitty unfair place beyond any of our explanations.

    Hey, I just live here, man.

  39. Please, smelt my guns, Lord! I wouldn't know what to bloody do with them!

  40. I'd hardly know what to do with a gun. I know my way around a shotgun, but not a pistol. But it was of some comfort, out there in Wyoming, or Montana, beyond cell phone tower reach, with the sun going down.

    I think the best way to travel, if by car, is convoy, with two cars. Then you have backup if something breaks, and a way to get to communications. We've done it that way before, though it doubles the expenses, and I suppose, doubles the chances of an accident, too. But something to keep in mind, if it's a long trip, in the wilds.

  41. 'If something breaks..' I gotta say, I didn't see many cars busted down by the side of the road. One, or maybe two at the most. They just make them better, these days.

  42. The current issue of The New Yorker magazine (July 23 edition) features a fascinating article by the world famous neurologist Oliver Sacks "A Bolt From the Blue: The Mysteries of Musicophilia." In it, Sacks details the NDE of a respected surgeon, Dr. Tony Cicoria, who was hit by lightening in 1994 and had an NDE that included an out-of-body experience. After recovering, Dr. Cicoria returned to his medical practice and everything seemed back to normal. Suddenly, six weeks after the incident, he had an insatiable desire to listen to piano music, followed by an overwhelming passion to play and compose music, a skill he did not have before. He describes that his own compositions "would come and take me over. It had a very powerful presence." Eventually this led to his playing Chopin and his own classical compositions in public, having had virtually no musical training before he was forty-two. Music has remained his true, all consuming passion in life. The article ends with a sentence paraphrasing Dr. Cicoria, "His was a lucky strike, and the music, however it has come, was a blessing, a grace – not to be questioned." This is a fascinating account of an NDE aftereffect of a type not often reported.

    The author of the article, Dr. Oliver Sacks, has written many books and articles about interesting neurological cases for the general public, including the book Awakenings upon which the movie of the same name starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams was based. In this article, Sacks cannot break away from the purely medical model to explain NDEs but he does leave the door open to alternative explanations. For example, referring to NDEs, he writes "Experiences like this are not easily dismissed by those who have been through them…." Or "One cannot suppose, any more than one can with out-of-body experiences, that such events are pure fancy; similar features are emphasized in every account." The bulk of the article attempts to offer neurological explanations for NDEs while admitting that science today cannot offer full explanations.

    Unfortunately, The New Yorker article is not available online. If you do not subscribe to the magazine or are unable to purchase it at a newsstand we recommend you go to your local library to read it. It is an interesting read, although Sack's medical approach may be unsatisfying especially to those of you who are experiencers.
    I know a guy that was his by lightning twice--didn't do a thing for him, one way or the other. Nite.

  43. I knew a guy that was hit by lightning twice...

    but it was separate occasions, so maybe the old rule still holds, lightning doesn't hit the same spot twice(least in a row).