Monday Open

\"The Difference betweeen Obama and Osama

(hat-tip DJS)

and a nice music vid …..Paco De Lucia, John Mclaughlin y Al Di Meola – Mediterranean Sundance. Enjoy!

State of Florida Executed Convicted Child Rapist/Murderer

The family of Junny Rios-Martinez may finally be getting justice. Mark Dean Schwab has been scheduled for execution by the state of Florida 16 years after he raped and murdered the 11-year-old boy.

This was not Mark Dean Schwab’s first instance of child rape. He had been released from a Florida prison just one month before raping and killing Junny for the rape of a 13-year-old boy. He had served only three years of an eight year sentence.

There is no doubt whatsoever that he committed the crime. He had become friendly with the family and the boy while (falsely) posing as a writer for a surfing magazine, gaining Junny’s trust and lulling any parental suspicions. He called his aunt and confessed to the crime. When captured by the police, he led them to where Junny’s body had been discarded.

The family may again see justice denied for the horrific death of their child. There are appeals to a federal court on the grounds that the execution may be painful.

I sincerely hope that his execution is painful. Unfortunately, it will not be as painful as what Junny experienced.

More information:

UPDATE: State of Florida plans 6 p.m. execution barring last minute stays.

UPDATE: No last minute stays. Execution commenced at 6 p.m. and is complete.

Happy 200K Open Thread

Since October 06 on WordPress, with visits from our Contributors excluded from the counter, 200K is a nice number for our small but dedicated blogsite.

Thank you readers.

On another note, I was watching a TV movie that had the following song in the closing credits, and I thought to myself, “Dang. That’s sounds like a great theme song for the Obama Cult.”

So I did a quick search and discovered that someone else had the same idea. It’s pretty good, too.

Arts and Crafts at MeeMaw’s House


Jacob squealed with joy as Mommy and Daddy walked through the door. “Mommy! Look at my Pirate Sheep!” He happily ran to the table where a sheep skull was painted glossy blue and purple. He held it up proudly. “Look! I dug it up and MeeMaw let me paint it!”

Poor Daddy looked aghast. “Well, uh, that’s certainly interesting”, he said. Daddy is a city boy and former Navy. He looked afraid to touch it.

I grinned over at Jacob’s Daddy. “Arts and crafts at MeeMaw’s house are a little different than at day care,” I explained.

“I can see that!” he replied fervently.

“It’s okay, mom always bleaches bones before she let us play with them”, explained Mommy, the voice of experience. “Did you soak it or spray it?”

“Sprayed it with diluted bleach after scrubbing it down and rinsing it out.”

Jacob had caught sight of what he hoped was a dinosaur bone protruding from the muck in a dried out pond this morning while SwampMan and I were rerouting a fence. “MeeMaw! Come dig it out!” I got a stick and tried to pry it out, but the suction was too much and the stick broke.

“Sorry, Jacob. I’m going to have to get a shovel and dig it out later after I help Papa with the fence.”

About 15 minutes later, I heard a triumphant “I got it!” and there was Jacob holding his archeological prize, a sheep skull filled with mud. “It’s a pirate sheep!” After watching “Pirates of the Caribbean”, Jacob has decided that pirates are skeletons, hence the jolly Roger. He displays better logical leaps than some adults I know. A sheep skull would therefore be a pirate sheep.

“Uh, put that down, and wash it off with the hose, okay?” I instructed. After a thorough hosing and examination by MeeMaw to make sure that no tissue was left, I told him that I needed to spray it with something that would kill the germs that were on there. “I found it! I can take it home? I can keep it in my room?”

“Um, sure. Do you want to paint it?” I asked, thinking that perhaps it would be slightly more acceptable to the parents if the bones were sealed, so to speak.

“YES! I want to paint it blue!”

“No problem. Let’s put the pirate sheep up to dry outside, and we’ll go look at paint.”

He picked out a glossy blue enamel and some purple leather dye. Jacob also picked out hot pink, gold, silver, bright red, and sea green. Oooh, nice choices. I picked out a yellow leather dye as well, since I had in mind that while the pirate sheep was drying from the first coat of enamel, he could paint a nice lil’ 3′ chunk of driftwood and take it home, too. I could get my yard cleared one chunk at a time.

He started painting the outside portion of the sheep skull a bright glossy blue as carefully as a 4-year-old boy could paint. “Don’t get any paint on the teeth, okay? Leave them white, okay?” he instructed as I carefully smoothed out any big globs he had left. The inside portions of the eyes and palate and nasal passages and sinuses were dyed bright purple. Hmmmm. I surveyed the skull. There were a few places that needed touching up but all in all, it looked pretty good. “That looks cool, MeeMaw!”

The piece of gray driftwood had some purple and yellow leather dye daubed on in some places. In others, he applied hot pink, teal green, bright red, and lots of gold and silver sparkly paint. I went over it with a dry brush, blending the paint blotches together. The effect was really nice, particularly since the silver and gold paint overlaid and muted the bright colors and they all flowed together. Hunh. Maybe I should get Jake to paint all my driftwood, and we’ll sell it instead of putting it in the burn pile. I have seen far worse looking things for sale in the art shops at prices that sometimes elicits a forceful “you have got to be (expletive) me” out loud.

Mommy was admiring the blue and purple Pirate Sheep when Jacob showed her another feature. “See! Its tooth is loose! I’m going to pull it out in my room when we get home!”

Mommy said “No, that’s nasty. Whatever would you want to do that for?”

I explained to Mommy that the tooth fairy had been mentioned. The tooth fairy that will only visit Jacob’s house, not MeeMaw’s house.

“The tooth fairy does NOT leave money for Pirate Sheep teeth!” Mommy exclaimed, the spoilsport. I expect the legalities of the contract between the tooth fairy and the person that is in possession of a tooth that has been correctly placed under his pillow per custom will be discussed again tonight.

They left about an hour ago. His sheep skull was tucked securely into his backpack, wrapped in his blanket. I’m expecting a phone call from Mommy regarding whatever gave him the idea that the tooth fairy might be interested in Pirate Sheep teeth any time now. Heh.

Another week in the can

Several interesting comments on the Chuck Norris thread (Chuck Norris doesn’t drill for oil, he sticks his finger in the ground and the spinning of the earth on its axis drills the hole) left me wondering whether or not to jump in. I’m still there, pondering.

I’ve followed developments on the alternative energy front for the last couple of years, and posted on quite of few of the more promising ideas.

Until there are cost-effective alternatives, then oil remains the driver. And, as long as substantial domestic supplies remain undeveloped, then importing crude is a necessity. The lead time on new production is 5 to 6 years, so why wait around?

Reducing consumption through conservation and increased efficiency, as well as the natural reduction in consumption that occurs as the pain of higher prices causes behavioral changes, are taking place as we speak, and will continue. The difference between us and our political opponents on the left involves a single word: Liberty. We on the political right insist on preserving the liberty to decide for ourselves just how we, as individuals and as families will deal with the challenges that face us. We don’t care a whit for the cap and trade redistribution hokum that emanates from the “debate is over” crowd, nor do we respond to guilt-inducing labels such as “selfish.” Why should we? We selfishly protect the liberty to choose for ourselves, willingly accepting for better or worse, the consequences of of our own decisions.

I could go on, but then again, why bother? There isn’t a persuadable argument to make. Experience is the only teacher that will change an otherwise unpersuadable mind– e.g. the liberal who gets mugged, yada, yada. And sometimes, even experience fails to enlighten. How else to explain the resurgence of socialism: as if 100 years of failure means nothing.

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread.

WFFOT: Your thread in times of high gas prices, high food prices, market tumult, and exhausted liberals (they must be exhausted; toting those big brains around all the time).

+++++

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Heller Affirmed!

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
Syllabus
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL. v. HELLER
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
No. 07–290. Argued March 18, 2008—Decided June 26, 2008

District of Columbia law bans handgun possession by making it a crime to carry an unregistered firearm and prohibiting the registration of handguns; provides separately that no person may carry an unlicensed handgun, but authorizes the police chief to issue 1-year licenses; and requires residents to keep lawfully owned firearms unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device.

Respondent Heller, a D. C. special policeman, applied to register a handgun he wished to keep at home, but the District refused. He filed this suit seeking, on Second Amendment grounds, to enjoin the city from enforcing the bar on handgun registration, the licensing requirement insofar as it prohibits carrying an unlicensed firearm in the home, and the trigger-lock requirement insofar as it prohibits the use of functional firearms in the home. The District Court dismissed the suit, but the D. C. Circuit reversed, holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess firearms and that the city’s total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that firearms in the home be kept nonfunctional even when necessary for self-defense, violated that right.

Held:

1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.

(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.

(b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved. Pp. 22–28.

(c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous armsbearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28–30.

(d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. Pp. 30–32.

(e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. Pp. 32–47.

(f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264–265, refutes the individual rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.

2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendmentor state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.

3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56–64.
478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,
C. J., and KENNEDY, THOMAS, and ALITO, JJ., joined. STEVENS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER, JJ.,
joined. BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which STEVENS,
SOUTER, and GINSBURG, JJ., joined.

Read the opinions (pdf file) here:

Looks like I don’t have to uphold my oath to defend the constitution THIS week. It is frightening to see how close the Supreme Court decision was to banning the right of self-defense in the dissenting view:

In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas.

Spoken like a true liberal who has never had to live in a crime-ridden urban area! So, how are they supposed to protect their families from the thugs that break in intent on rape, robbery, and perhaps murder? Give them a stern talking to? Tell them they’re going to call the police and the thugs will really be in big trouble then? Inform them that they’ll go on a sex offender list? Set bear traps at the entrances (oh, wait, that’s illegal, too).

The dissenting opinion read to me like a textbook blend of elitism and nanny statism. After all, why is it that dwellers in the crime-ridden urban areas cannot be trusted to have a handgun inside their house? Is it because they are intellectually less well suited to make the decision to protect themselves than somebody in the suburbs? Sounds rather condescending to me. “There, there, poverty stricken person. Don’t you bother worrying about self-protection, big brother will be there to vigorously prosecute your violator/murderer; that is, if he’s ever caught.”

The argument “but what about the safety of the children?” is specious. What about parental responsibility?

This should have been a unanimous decision. That four justices voted to abrogate the constitution is very troubling.

Alien Army?

A SHAKEN soldier told last night how he saw THIRTEEN UFOs spinning in the skies above his military barracks.

Corporal Mark Proctor was among three squaddies who spotted the objects while out on night patrol.

He filmed them on his mobile phone and reported the close encounter to Army top brass.

Mystery ... UFO seen on soldier Mark Proctor's video

Mystery … UFO seen on soldier Mark Proctor’s video

Ministry of Defence experts were studying his report and video yesterday — after ordering Mark and his pals NOT to say anything else about the incident.

The sightings were confirmed by police officers in a helicopter, as well as by two separate civilian reports.  A video is available at the original news story.

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