News, Comment, and Opinion

* * *
A thoughtful compilation and analysis of some important, but underreported and under-researched news stories, with particular focus on keeping the People informed about all Enemies, Foreign and Domestic.




  • Federal Government Jails Border Patrolers for Doin...
  • Be Careful What You Write. Libel Suits Are No Lau...
  • Congress Finally Takes Interest on Theft of Nation...
  • Bank of America Has Bad Check Recipient Arrested; ...
  • Bank of America deceives Customer, Has Him... (the...
  • Bank of America Lies to Customer, Has Him... (the ...
  • School Shootings: It's Time to Arm Our Teachers (...
  • The Chinese Military Has Used Lasers to Attack US ...
  • Homeland Security Agents Obstruct School Bus Loadi...
  • Senate and President Bush Approve Controversial Cy...


  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007

  • Subject Matter:
  • Alternative Energy
  • Asset Forfeiture
  • Astronomy
  • California
  • China
  • Congress
  • Connecticut
  • Constitution
  • Corruption
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Eminent Domain
  • Energy
  • Environmental Concerns
  • Europe
  • European Union
  • Florida
  • France
  • Germany
  • Georgia
  • History
  • Identity Theft
  • Illegal Immigration
  • International Law
  • International Relations
  • Islam
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Law
  • Liberty
  • Massachusetts
  • Media Bias
  • Medicine
  • Mexico
  • Militant Islam
  • Militaristic Aggression
  • New Jersey
  • North Korea
  • Police State
  • Privacy
  • Rhode Island
  • Russia
  • Science
  • Second Amendment
  • Slavery
  • Social Security
  • Space Exploration
  • Supreme Court
  • Surveillance Society
  • Taiwan
  • Taxation
  • Technology
  • The ACLU
  • The FairTax
  • The FBI
  • The IRS
  • The President
  • Tyranny
  • United Kingdom
  • United Nations
  • Virginia
  • World Tax


  • Realm of Sovereigns
  • A Republic, if you can keep it
  • American Jury Institute/Fully Informed Jury Association
  • American Sons of Liberty
  • Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog
  • Anglerealm
  • Atlas Blogged
  • Badtux the Snarky Penguin
  • Big Brother Loves You -- Obey Big Brother
  • Black Box Voting
  • Castle Coalition
  • Conservative Punk
  • Constitutional Concepts Foundation
  • Constitution Death Pool
  • Copshots
  • Copwatch
  • David N. Mayer
  • Downsize D.C.
  • Future Musings and Desultory Glances
  • Gateway Pundit
  • GeoBandy
  • Gun Owners of America
  • Historium
  • historyteacher
  • How to Contact Congress or the White House
  • individ
  • Institute for Justice
  • Jack Yoest: War Archives
  • Jake Porter
  • Know Your Land Rights
  • Leaving Babylon
  • Libercontrarian
  • Libertarian Outlook
  • Liberty's Outpost
  • Libertythink
  • Live Free or Die
    -----The 'Civil Flag' -- Forgotten Flag, or Flag of Fraud and Fiction?
  • Mark Gilmore
  • Mike's America
  • Modern Tribalist
  • MoveOff
  • Mythusmage Opines (Old Link)
  • News, the Universe, and Everything
  • Obey
  • Oh, That Liberal Media!
  • Ordering a Pizza Under a National Computerized ID Database
  • Propaganda Matrix
  • ScrappleFace: News Fairly Unbalanced. We Report. You Decipher.
  • Steve's America
  • Tapscott's Copy Desk
  • Technorati (A useful blog search engine)
  • The Asylum
  • The City Troll
  • The FairTax
    -----Status of the 'Fair Tax Act of 2005' (H.R. 25; S 25)
  • The Fountain of Truth
  • The Free State Project
  • The Gun Toting Liberal
  • The Sentinel of Alachua County, Florida
  • Tomato 7
  • Tom’s Fireside Chat
  • TRIMonline
  • Truth in Justice
  • Victims-of-Law

  • Games:
  • Customary Checkers
  • The Basic Rules of Checkers (ACF Approved)
  • Abalone

  • Weights & Measures:
  • Nearly Everything You Need to Know About Weights and Measures
  • The Dozenal Society of Great Britain
  • Footrule

  • Miscellany:
  • Don McAlvany's International Collectors Associates (ICA)
  • The Relative Value of the Dollar (Use this CPI calculator to determine how the value of the current dollar stands up against past dollar values)
  • Writing Help (proofreading, copyediting, and research)
  • Common Errors in English
  • Useful Definitions of Political Terms

  • Charity:
  • AmeriCares
  • International Mission Board
  • Feed the Children
  • World Vision: Building a Better World for Children
  • - - -

    Powered by Blogger

    Anyone is free to comment on this site. Therefore, outgoing links posted by third parties may contain objectional material, but do not reflect the views of this site's owner. When linking to an outside page, links should not direct the reader to nude pictures, erotic stories, or other forms of pornography. Nor should links appear to sites using excessive profanity. Use common sense. If you would be ashamed for your church-going grandmother to see it, you shouldn't link to it. In addition to not linking to any inappropriate material, commenters should watch their language, else their posts will be deleted. Likewise, libelous statements will not be tolerated.

    [Most Recent Quotes from]

    [Most Recent Quotes from]

    [Most Recent USD from]

    Monday, November 06, 2006

    Election 2006

    What am I supposed to say? Vote Republican because they're not quite as interested as the Democrats in stealing from you? I am so disgusted in my ballot choices, that I almost left it blank. No candidates stand for true freedom. Both parties seek to increase the police powers of the state -- democrats don't think of what they do as increasing the police power, and I think that's what makes them slightly more dangerous. Democratic voters do not think that it is stealing when they take money from me at gun point to fund the National Endowment of the Arts. I'd like to know what they would call it. They don't like Republicans because they want to lock people up for doing certain things. I don't like Democrats because they think people should be locked up for thinking certain things (leftists think that denying global warming should be like a war crime). I don't think I should have to fund the National Endowment for the Arts. I buy art that I like, and I don't like most of the crap that the NEA funds with my money, that I do not have a choice in giving them. To be fair, it is Republicans who have had to approve of this theft since 1994, but at least they oppose it in rhetoric (which makes them hypocrites).

    The only guiding principal I have is the FairTax. I vote for those who support it. The only way we can begin to reign the government in is if we take away its power to buy votes by stealing from the harder workers to pay for benefits for the lazier among us (excuse me for calling a spade a spade).

    And that's all I have to say. I need to get back to work now.


    Blogger BadTux said...

    Please point to me one Democrat who proposes that those who deny global warming should be locked away. One. Anywhere. Hello?

    Fact is, you won't find such a person. You'll find Democrats who say that deniers of global warming should not be in positions of power because science says global warming is happening (name me one reputable climate scientist who sez different -- you won't find any, you'll just find hacks in the pay of big oil or big coal). These Democrats will tell you that if someone wants to ignore science, fine, but that makes them too dumb to lead a country. But saying that morons shouldn't be leading the country is hardly the same as saying that morons ought to be locked away. Sounds to me like you're just making stuff up to diss Democrats. Lord knows the Democrats have enough problems without you having to make things up about them.

    I voted straight Democrat for one reason: the Republicans have clearly lost touch with reality. Their continued insistence that you can tax cut your way out of a deficit at the same time that you're waging a very expensive war and increase federal spending on new programs such as the Medicare drug program... let's see, you make less money and spend more money, what happens? Duh, you end up BORROWING money. That's how it works for me, anyhow. But Republicans nowdays seem to be like the Democrats of my younger days, who think there's just some kinda money tree somewhere and gosh darn it, money will just MAGICALLY appear...

    And the less said about the Republican overseas wars to "make the world safe for democracy" (cribbing from DEMOCRATIC President Woodrow Wilson, sigh, and we all know how well that turned out -- Wilson bred Hitler), or the Republican PATRIOT Act that has Patrick Henry of "Give me Liberty or Give Me Death" spinning in his grave so hard that I can hear it all the way out here on the other coast, or ... well, anyhow. I can make a long list.

    I want divided government back. I think it worked pretty darn well during the Clinton years, when government got less intrusive (for the most part) because only those things that both Republicans and Democrats could agree on got passed into law. But if you like the current big-spending big-government Republicans, go ahead and vote for them. We get the government we deserve, in the end.

    11/06/2006 9:33 PM  

    Blogger The Sovereign Editor said...

    I want divided government back

    I would prefer a Democrat president and a Republican Congress. Congress is where the laws are made and history has shown us that when there is a Democrat in office, the Congressional Republicans close ranks and start to actually practice what they preach to the voters who voted for them.

    The global warming thing is a bad example (I just don't have time to research my posts anymore)... but since you want a name, David Roberts of Grist magazine is infamous for making such a statement (I actually though this magazine might have some credibility since Al Gore and Bill Moyers were associating with it... but after a closer look, I'm not so sure).

    A better example would be hate crimes laws. For example, Mark Cohen, a Democrat lawmaker in Pennsylvania championed a law that was used to arrest Christians who were speaking against homosexuality in a public forum. But then again, it was signed by the Republican governor, so what have we learned? Politicians are snakes. And snakes bite. On the whole, when I talk to people, the ones who support such laws are more likely Democrats and the ones who oppose are more likely Republicans.

    Thanks for stopping by. As always, your perspective is helpful.

    11/07/2006 12:00 AM  

    Blogger BadTux said...

    David who? Are you sure he's a Democrat, and not one of those funny "Green Party" types, you know the ones, they drive the teensy little cars and don't shave or bathe regularly because that "wastes precious mother earth's bodily fluids"?

    As for hate crimes laws, I'm of a mixed mind there. David Neiwert over at Orcinus has made a case that hate crimes laws are justified because the purpose of a hate crime is not the crime itself, but, rather, the effect of the crime upon the whole population. That is, if you kill someone for being gay, it's doesn't just affect the dead guy, it affects all gay people who now have to be frightened that they may be killed for being gay, and thus merits a harsher punishment than a plain old murder that just affects the dead dude.

    It's not as if we don't have other crimes where the courts are tasked with detirmining motivation. For example, justified homicide, negligent manslaughter, manslaughter, and capital murder all have a perpetrator and a dead body, but are treated differently by the courts based upon the motivation of the perp. If the perp was trying to avoid himself being killed i.e. was motivated by self defense, it is justified homicide. If the perp was showing off his gun and accidentally dropped it and it went off and killed the dead dude, it's negligent manslaughter. If the perp got into an argument with his wife and, in the course of the argument, became upset and pulled the gun out of the knife drawer and killed her, without setting out in the first place to kill her, that's manslaughter. If he gets the gun and deliberately and in cold blood (i.e. not in the heat of the moment) calls her into the kitchen and kills her dead, that's murder one. It all hinges on the motivation of the killer, not on whether there's a dead body or not.

    So there's plenty of precedent for considering motivation in detirmining whether a crime shall be punished and how harshly it will be punished. And there's some justification that, since hate crimes affect more than just the dead person (they affect all members of the group that was killed), they should be punished more harshly. What brings me to a halt, though, and makes me part course with Neiwert, is that most of what seems to be prosecuted as hate crimes has nothing to do with efforts to intimidate an entire population.

    Most hate crime laws were put into place to handle the case of a couple of KKK good ole' boys picking a black boy who wasn't deferential enough, hauling him off to the nearest oak tree, and hanging him by the neck until dead in order to send a message to the rest of the black population "don't you dare talk back to a white man, we'll kill you." The "sending a message" part is integral to that, and probably should be punished as a seperate crime (call it "murder with intent to intimidate", might also apply to the gangster types who whack a government informer in order to intimidate other potential government informers). But most of what I see being prosecuted as a hate crime isn't some good ole' boy in the KKK trying to send a message to an entire population. It's some guy happening to express hate of a group while engaging in the crime. Which, it seems to me, is not a crime under our Constitution, since our Constitution allows expressing hatred in public just fine (heck, you got an entire right-wing radio industry that does nothing but express hatred, on the publically-owned airwaves no less!).

    In short, I disagree with Neiwert here, though it's more a disagreement of how the hate crime laws are written and applied than in the theory that killing with intent to intimidate should be treated more harshly than just plain killing.

    So what is your thought? Should a killing that is intended to intimidate, such as, say, a KKK member stringing up a black person or a gangster killing the lady who called the cops on the streetcorner drug dealing, be treated more harshly than just plain killing? Or should we just ignore the fact that the point of the killing was to intimidate an entire population? Is your problem the current implementation of the hate crime laws, or is your problem the whole notion of punishing attempts to intimidate?


    11/10/2006 12:48 AM  

    Blogger The Sovereign Editor said...

    The attempt to conclude that hate crimes laws enhancing the punishment for murderers are like other levels of punishment for different types of criminal homicide does not work. When considering how to classify a criminal homicide, the law is not specifically concerned with the reason why except in one instance -- when deciding whether or not murder has been committed. Once a homicide has been classified as criminal, the type of motive is not important, it only matters that there was one. For example, to prove someone committed murder in the first degree, the state must show that the defendant performed, with specific prior intent, an act with the knowledge that the death of the person or persons at whom the act is targeted would, or reasonably could occur. It doesn't matter why, only that the defendant did (or didn’t) do that thing. If the defendant planned and carried out the killing of someone for a financial reason, the punishment would be the same as it would if the defendant planned and carried out the killing of someone to intimidate a third party. Both acts would be murder in the first degree.

    Killing someone in the heat of an argument is murder in the second degree. It is considered less bad than murder in the first degree only because the intent was not formed prior to the confrontation, not because the intent is somehow less bad. Malice aforethought can spring forth from the same internal justifications used to strike out with malice during an argument.

    Manslaughter is less bad than murder because there was never an intent to kill, or to create a hazardous situation. Intent is important in this case, but only in a general sense -- to determine whether the homicide is a murder.

    The way motive is used in distinguishing different types of homicides is very general (whether there was an intent to kill/create a hazardous situation, and when the intent was formed). It is nonsense to say that this somehow creates a precedent for creating a new homicide classification for a very specific motive.

    I am opposed to hate crimes laws in general. I do not believe the state should ever have the authority to criminalize modes of thinking, no matter how repugnant. Once it has that power, it will use it, and don't think it will limit its definitions of hate to what you think of as hate. Only harmful acts should be crimes. I have seen the future of hate crimes laws and it is England where high school students may be taken into police custody for mere suspicion of intolerance. So excuse me if I would like to avoid giving our government the foundations for that kind of power. As far as intimidation goes, we already have a criminal term for people who engage in such acts -- domestic terrorists [18 USC 2331(5)], and such persons are punished as murderers [18 USC 2332(a)].

    11/15/2006 4:45 AM  

    Blogger BadTux said...

    "Only harmful acts should be crimes."

    So intimidation is not a harmful act? If I come up to you and tell you, "If you dare speak your mind in public again, I will kill you", is that a crime or not? After all, I did not act. I only spoke.

    What if, instead of saying this to you personally, I posed in front of the corpse of another blogger that I had just killed and said, "All of you bloggers who don't properly adore our Great Leader George W. Bush, we of the Great Conservative Patriot Movement will hunt you down and kill you".... should I be prosecuted only for the murder? Or should I be prosecuted for the threat also and thus potentially receive additional punishment?

    My personal belief is that making threats -- intimidation -- is an act, and thus is punishable. This has nothing to do with "thought crimes", and everything to do with actions. If a KKK member kills someone, then turns around and says "and if any of you niggers get uppity, we'll kill you too" or merely even implies it (say, by leaving a sign on the corpse that says "Uppity nigger"), it is not his thoughts that are punished, it is his expression of those thoughts with intent to threaten or intimidate.

    And as you note, intent does matter. If there is intent to kill and you kill someone, that act is treated more harshly than if there is not intent to kill and you kill someone. If there is intent to intimidate, why should that not be an additional factor detirmining punishment?

    Now, where I break ranks with Neiwert and friends is in somehow ascribing motivation to intent to intimidate. In my opinion, the race, gender, etc. of the people that you're trying to intimidate should be irrelevant. If a drug dealer kills a sweet old black granny for ratting him out to the cops with intent to intimidate other potential "narcs", that should be treated no different than if he killed a sweet old white granny with intent to intimidate, and for that matter should be treated no different than a KKK member stringing up a black man with intent to intimidate blacks. Today's "hate crimes" laws simply fail the color-blindness test -- they only punish certain instances of acting with intent to intimidate and not others, and furthermore punish some actions where it is clear that there was no intention to intimidate. But to say that intent to intimidate is a "thought crime" and thus should not be punished... I disagree with that entirely.


    11/16/2006 3:16 PM  

    Blogger The Sovereign Editor said...

    So intimidation is not a harmful act? If I come up to you and tell you, "If you dare speak your mind in public again, I will kill you", is that a crime or not? After all, I did not act. I only spoke.

    Such a statement could be described as "[a] menace of destruction or injury to the lives or property of those against whom it is made." It is a crime. It is called a threat -- and unless I'm mistaken, it's a felony. Actions taken to intimidate populations are already recognized as crimes and I do not have a problem with the way the law deals with them (as terrorist acts).

    Under the current law, the person who does the murder will be prosecuted for murder. When that happens, the threat is removed. If the murder is committed to intimidate a population in keeping with the goals of a particular organization, the other members will be prosecuted as co-conspirators. In that case, the threat is also removed. If for some reason the prosecution feels that an extra sentence is needed, they can charge them with acts of domestic terrorism and see that the sentences are served consecutively. The law already works and it doesn't make sense to say that we need extra punishments to make us safer.

    Hate crimes do not deal with intimidation generally, they deal only with the prejudice of the perpetrator. According to Public Law 103-322, "'hate crime' means a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person." Hate crimes laws have nothing to do with intimidation and everything to do with punishing people for how they think. As I have previously stated, we already have laws punishing people for acts intended to intimidate a population, these hate crimes laws are something different and even harmful to the fabric of what makes America great.

    Once it becomes commonplace for the government to dictate proper and improper modes of thought, don't for a moment think it will only affect the KKK.

    Let me be very clear. I am not saying that I think that punishing an attempt to intimidate is a thought crime. And I never said anything of the kind. That entire comment (except where I pointed out that there are laws covering the kind of intimidation you describe) was a response to the idea that a person's reason for committing murder does (or should) figure into the classification/punishment of the crime.

    11/17/2006 2:50 AM  

    Post a Comment

    Return Home

    * * *

    "If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

    --Samuel Adams

    Sovereign Commentary · · Copyright © 2004-2007