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Obamacare has home visiting programs

If these home visits are voluntary, it's not a big deal...

The public is beginning to realize what’s in Obamacare and to read the actual HHS documents for themselves. One new program Obamacare created, for instance, was the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), to develop home visiting programs. Since 2010, it has spent $1.5 billion in grants to develop home visit programs.

... but since when is anything in Obamacare voluntary?

2013-08-30 15:16:33.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Air Force training materials refer to individual liberties as extremist

According to training materials acquired by Judicial Watch under FOIA, the Air Force is training soldiers to view things such as individual liberties, states rights, and the American Revolution as recruiting tools for extremists.

The training materials used by the Air Force were created to help students “recognize extremists ideologies.” The materials identified conservative values, such as individual liberties and states’ rights, as recruiting rhetoric used by “extremists.”

Under a section labeled “Extremist Ideologies” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”

Yeah, those extremists who founded our current government. That the people occupying that government see our nation's founders as enemies is very, very telling.

2013-08-30 15:16:07.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Obama Administration annouces plan to refuse reimportation of firearms

The details are here, towards the bottom. For more information on the NFA firearm changes, see my post here.

When the United States provides military firearms to its allies, either as direct commercial sales or through the foreign military sales or military assistance programs, those firearms may not be imported back into the United States without U.S. government approval. Since 2005, the U.S. Government has authorized requests to reimport more than 250,000 of these firearms.

Today, the Administration is announcing a new policy of denying requests to bring military-grade firearms back into the United States to private entities, with only a few exceptions such as for museums. This new policy will help keep military-grade firearms off our streets.


This is not exactly a new policy. The Obama Administration has previously denied reimport permission to firearms from South Korea. That is, these are US military surplus rifles, semi-automatic, perfectly legal for civilians to own without any special NFA hoops to jump through, and functionally no different than thousands of similar rifles already in the United States in civilian hands.

This move appears to be little more than a desperate attempt to look like the administration is doing something on guns.

2013-08-29 10:34:18.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Proposed change to NFA rules

Of Arms and the Law has the details. David Codrea points out the downside in a column for the Examiner.

The BATFE can change regulations without going through the legislature, so long as those regulations fit within the enabling legislation. I'm not enough of an expert to say whether there are problems here on that front; John Lott says that he thinks there are. I will say that from all reports I have heard, the LEO signoff procedure being changed here is a pain in the neck and depends a lot on the local police. Trading it for a BATFE procedure may not be all bad, if the new procedure is shall-issue if you meet the background check requirements. But I don't trust the Obama administration to do anything positive on this issue.

Here's what the official announcement says about it:
Current law places special restrictions on many of the most dangerous weapons, such as machine guns and short-barreled shotguns. These weapons must be registered, and in order to lawfully possess them, a prospective buyer must undergo a fingerprint-based background check.

However, felons, domestic abusers, and others prohibited from having guns can easily evade the required background check and gain access to machine guns or other particularly dangerous weapons by registering the weapon to a trust or corporation. At present, when the weapon is registered to a trust or corporation, no background check is run. ATF reports that last year alone, it received more than 39,000 requests for transfers of these restricted firearms to trusts or corporations.

Today, ATF is issuing a new proposed regulation to close this loophole. The proposed rule requires individuals associated with trusts or corporations that acquire these types of weapons to undergo background checks, just as these individuals would if the weapons were registered to them individually. By closing this loophole, the regulation will ensure that machine guns and other particularly dangerous weapons do not end up in the wrong hands.

Well, all I can say about this particular explanation for Obama's policy is that domestic abusers, felons, and other prohibited persons obtaining NFA weapons by creating legal trusts is not a real, actual problem. Sure, Obama can sell it as increasing the reach of background checks, but if there were actual criminals racing to go through this process to obtain and use legal machine guns and silencers, it would be all over the news.

Since it's NOT all over the news, Obama is doing something that looks like executive action on gun control that is actually not going to have any effect on crime whatsoever.

UPDATE: Turns out that the actual proposed rule would not delete CLEO sign-off, just reduce it a little. That makes it clear that this is not a step forward, as expected under this administration. They propose something that sounds like a compromise and then yank it away in the fine print.

2013-08-29 10:33:10.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

EPA tested effects of diesel exhaust on children

JunkScience.com has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with EPA for all records pertaining to EPA-funded research involving the exposure of CHILDREN to DIESEL EXHAUST, which occurred at the University of Southern California in the mid-2000s.

Details at JunkScience.

2013-08-28 10:34:39.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

RECALL ALERT: Smith and Wesson Shield handguns

If you own one of these, check it out before you use it:
This Safety Alert applies to all M&P Shield pistols manufactured before August 19, 2013. We believe this condition is largely limited to recently manufactured M&P Shield pistols. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are asking all consumers of all M&P Shields manufactured before August 19, 2013 to immediately inspect their pistols for this condition.

2013-08-28 10:34:29.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Gun control rally draws 15 people

Speaking to a sparse crowd — perhaps 15 local supporters — Heslin said one of the simplest things that could be done “to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands” is for Congress to pass legislation that would expand background checks for all firearm transactions, including private sales.

There are 15 people in front of a HUGE, professionally-printed poster.

Question: How did 15 people pay for that poster?

Answer: They didn't. Bloomberg did (I presume, anyway).

I can find more gun owners in the parking lot of my local shooting range every weekend. Probably on most weekdays, too -- and I know of at least three ranges within reasonable driving distance. Only 8 of them made it to this protest, which shouldn't surprise anyone since they have been trying to keep these things secret.

And no wonder -- even their supporters at their rallies have doubts. Contact with knowledgeable, polite gun owners could be devastating:

“It’s a hard question to answer,” he said. “Jamie’s shooter bought his gun illegally in a 7-Eleven parking lot out of the trunk of somebody’s car.”

A background check law won't stop that.

2013-08-27 11:40:09.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Radley Balko responds to criticism

Radley Balko responds to criticism of his new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop.
One of the central themes of my book is that that too many cops today have been conditioned to see the people they serve not as citizens with rights, but as an enemy. My argument is that this battlefield mindset is the product of a generation of politicians telling police that they're at war with things -- drugs, terrorism, crime, etc. -- and have then equipped them with the uniforms, tactics, weapons, and other accoutrements of war.


He picks out one response, in particular, that demonstrates exactly the problem he's trying to address. It's scary to realize that police -- not even SWAT teams, normal patrol officers -- are viewing their job as akin to operating in a war zone. That's not healthy for our Republic.

2013-08-27 11:39:28.0 by TriggerFinger. 6 comments

John Morse Recall Ad

The NRA has ads up about one of the recall campaigns in Colorado.

2013-08-27 11:38:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Titles of Nobility

The Instapundit writes at length about modern titles of nobility. Special privileges for legislatures and government employees should be strictly forbidden under this clause. Government officials are just citizens like anyone else; they should have to follow the same rules.

2013-08-27 11:38:32.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Coburn: Don't threaten to impeach your personal friend Obama

If you are threatening to impeach him, he's not your friend.

According to Tulsa World, at a convention in Muskogee, Okla., Coburn said Wednesday that the president was “getting perilously close” to the Constitutional standard for impeachment. He also called the Obama administration lawless and incompetent, the news site reported, although he acknowledged the president as a “personal friend.”

As far as I am concerned, Obama has committed a number of impeachable offenses already. The trick is getting proof (not just speculation) that they were done under his orders or with his tacit approval, and solving the political nut that is the Democrat Senate.

If the House votes to impeach Obama it is meaningless unless the Senate agrees and votes to remove him from office. The Senate will almost certainly never do so absent damning revelations that cannot be ignored. Even if the Republicans capture a Senate majority in 2014 -- something that seems likely, but not inevitable -- impeachment is a two-thirds super-majority vote that will require Democrats to cross the aisle and vote to impeach one of their presidents. Even if the Republicans obtain a 60-vote majority (filibuster-proof) in the Senate in 2014, something that is impossible for all practical purposes, they would need 6 more Democrat votes in favor of removing a Democrat president from office.

We'll see pigs hang-gliding over frozen lakes in hell before that happens.

2013-08-26 12:10:29.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Cam Edwards talks to the Independence Institute

Cam Edwards, of NRA News, gives a talk about gun control to the Independence Institute. It's worth the half-hour if you're interested in the gun issue.

2013-08-26 12:08:39.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

We are assured that no willful violations occurred

... but now we find out that of course willful violations occurred.
Some National Security Agency analysts deliberately ignored restrictions on their authority to spy on Americans multiple times in the past decade, contradicting Obama administration officials’ and lawmakers’ statements that no willful violations occurred.

They say one case per year over 10 years. But we've seem that they make thousands of "mistakes" per year, and we've seen that their official instructions are designed to make auditing difficult if not impossible.

It's also important to distinguish between people "not breaking the law" and "not doing anything wrong." The law authorizes surveillance that violates any reasonable reading of the 4th Amendment (and no, the FISA court is not reasonable). That does not mean that NSA employees never did anything wrong.

John Lott adds that if the NSA employees spied on their romantic interests often enough to give the practice a name ("LOVEINT"), it was happening pretty often, and not in a way that they felt pressured to keep it a secret.

2013-08-26 12:07:51.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Alphecca gets it wrong twice in a row

Not that that's anything to be ashamed of. He was commenting on recent court activity, and that can get a little bit complicated.

(Read More...)

2013-08-23 19:17:19.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Does Obamacare fund forced home inspection programs?

I'm serious about that question mark. I've looked at the cited evidence and it's clear there's $12,000,000 in funding for some sort of home visitation program, but not clear whether visits are voluntary or not. The evidence for that is just someone who wrote a book.

Whether the "visits" are voluntary or forced, this is yet another "thing" that we had to pass Obamacare before we could find out about.

2013-08-23 00:30:31.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

No reasonable expectation of privacy

Reason reports on a troubling statement from Google. More troubling because Google is quoting it from a legal decision in order to use it as an excuse for allowing our government to spy on us.

2013-08-23 00:25:38.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

They are lying faster, so they must be planning something

So, the 501c(4) "non-partisan" "non-political" group Organizing for Action, which sounds suspiciously similar to Obama's ex-campaign organization Organizing for America, and which supports Obama's agenda on guns, the environment, and immigration, held a rally in front of a Representative recently:

About 50 people rallied outside U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent's office in South Whitehall Wednesday to urge the congressman to co-sponsor a bill that would strengthen background checks for gun purchases.

The article has a photo of the group, lined up single file holding hands. There are 24 people in the photo, not "about 50".

Walker read a list of names of towns and schools that have become a kind of national shorthand for gun violence -- Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech. He was momentarily interrupted by Roger Timm, a retired Lutheran pastor from Emmaus, who said his daughter was at the university during the country's deadliest mass shooting on April 16, 2007 and survived.

They used to read the names of victims of gun violence, but I guess getting caught including terrorists and mass murderers in the list of victims was embarrassing.

Walker, who leads the group's gun violence prevention team, said the House bill is similar to the Senate bill co-sponsored by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa).

That would be the bill that failed to pass the Democratic-majority Senate, and that Manchin -- one of the named authors -- recently called a stupid idea.

2013-08-23 00:24:28.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

The inside scoop on the outsiders

Orin Kerr reviews the members of Obama's new surveillance review board. Unsurprisingly, they are not exactly independent.

2013-08-23 00:24:08.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Sheriff refuses to charge a case of unlicensed carry, forced to resign

Hit and Run reports on a sheriff in Florida who was arrested for declining to charge someone for carrying a concealed firearm in his vehicle (without a license). What's interesting isn't so much the original case, which seems entirely trivial, but the fact that this case got a sheriff arrested when he refused to resign. Compare with what it takes to get even an ordinary police officer arrested or even just fired for violence against an innocent citizen?

2013-08-22 20:49:17.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Persons, papers, and effects

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Randy Barnett links to a new paper on digital evidence and the "papers" referred to in the 4th amendment.

2013-08-22 20:48:36.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Holder to sue Texas over voter id law

Doesn't surprise me. This was inevitable, both from general principles and from seeing the level of harassment applied to True the Vote (which sought to clean voting rolls in Houston). The dirty secret of the Democrat party is that they rely on voter fraud to be their margin of victory in many, many cases. If you subtract the illegal votes, a race won by the Democrat often switches outcomes.

Voter ID doesn't stop the problem completely, but it's necessary in order to do anything else to stop it. And while I'm sure there are occasional Republican cases, it doesn't seem to be a systematic thing on that side of the aisle.

The Democrats will claim this is voter suppression. It's not. It's making sure that the people voting actually have a right to vote, and only vote once.

2013-08-22 20:47:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

IRS denied tax-exempt status to liberal groups... but was still targeting the Tea Party

or at least that's what Democrats are screaming about... but did it delay the decision for years across at least two elections? Did it leave them in limbo unable to act? did it interrogate them about their donor lists or the contents of their prayers?

Remember, we've had a look at the relative numbers. Over a hundred tea party groups; less than a dozen progressive groups. The progressive groups were not sent to Washington for further review delays and harassment; the tea party groups were.

One of the liberal groups being cited here is ACORN, or more properly, groups that ACORN was trying to re-form in order to escape a ban on federal grants due to an expose' about their willingness to assist with voter fraud, welfare fraud, and other illegal activities. ACORN was actually barred from receiving federal funding by Congress due to this. Screening for ACORN groups is an obvious step, not political suppression. The other group specifically mentioned, "Emerge", was also a known bad actor whose tax-exempt status was in the process of being revoked.

There is a legal standard here, even if it's relatively vague. The IRS needs to enforce that rule impartially and consistently. If the legal standard is vague and the IRS can pick and choose who they enforce the rules on, that becomes a vehicle for partisan abuse. It doesn't have to be all one side and none on the other, and the IRS keeping an eye out for known bad actors does not equate to harassment of newly formed tea party groups.

2013-08-22 08:35:53.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Joy Reid thinks access to guns killed Christopher Lane

Are they really this ignorant, or is it deliberate propaganda?

Reid argued that it’s not “race, poverty, gangs, or even video games and movies” that tie these shooting [sic; she refers to Trayvon, Aurora, Newtown] together. It’s access to guns. “These are obviously two very different stories on many levels,” she said. “The location is different, the race of the suspects is different, the types of guns used. But can we get away from the fact that the common denominator are young people with access to guns?"

Zimmerman was not a "young people with access to guns" problem. He was close to 30 years old, legally owned and carried his firearm, and used it in lawful self-defense. Trayvon, however, did have access to guns (as demonstrated by pictures on his cell phone) despite being too young (17) to legally buy a gun.

The murderer in Aurora was crazy, was being treated, and his doctor tried to warn the police about him but was ignored.

The murderer in Newtown killed his mother to gain access to her guns.

They did not have legal access to guns. Criminals will always be able to steal guns, or buy them on the black market -- even if only the military and police can legally possess firearms.

The Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page tackled this question first, saying it’s only gotten easier in recent years for young people of all races to get their hands on guns. “Obviously the insanity involved in these two cases shows that background checks and tougher access are what we need,” he said.

Background Checks will not solve anything. Trayvon did not pass a background check to get the guns he was pictured holding. James Holmes, the Aurora murderer, would not have passed the existing background check system if this police had listened to his psychiatrist. The Newtown killer did not buy the guns he used himself; there are no background checks on killing your mother and stealing her guns. And as for the three people suspected of killing Chris Lane:
Three Oklahoma teenagers, aged 15, 16 and 17, have been arrested and face the death penalty for the random killing of 22-year-old Chris Lane, an Australian attending East Central University on a baseball scholarship.

None of them could legally buy the handgun they used in the murder, because they are too young, probably gang members, and likely have criminal records already.

Shooting victim and Salon writer Brian Beutler agreed, explaining why he prefers stricter gun laws to police tactics like stop-and-frisk that he said unfairly targets innocent people. “It would be nice to at least not regard these shootings primarily at least by the race of the gunman,” he said, “because then you get into the situation where some people are trying to tally up, you know, the number of shootings perpetrated by black youth versus white youth. That just doesn’t feel like a very healthy way for society to be pitting individuals against each other.”

Yes, it would be nice if we could have an open, honest discussion about crime in this country untainted by false racial narratives.

It's like the Zimmerman trial only exists sometimes. It's fine to talk about race when the [false] narrative is white on black racism. When the question is possible black on white racism, we can't talk about it.

2013-08-21 22:53:13.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

NSA admits to collecting 56,000 American emails per year

This is what they are admitting to, and based on the simple numbers involved, "only" 56,000 emails means that we're talking emails actually looked at by a human being:

The nations’ top intelligence official is declassifying three secret U.S. court opinions showing how the National Security Agency scooped up as many as 56,000 emails annually over three years and other communications by Americans with no connection to terrorism, how it revealed the error to the court and changed how it gathered Internet communications.

Orin Kerr says it's all about the filters. I disagree. The problem is not whether the NSA can filter out American traffic or not. The problem is that the NSA has apparatus in place to acquire the traffic at all. Acquiring all the traffic -- even if subsequently filtered to exclude American traffic -- is the same concept as a general warrant that only happens to be applied to specific person(s) or location(s).

The Constitution does not authorize blanket surveillance. Warrants must be individualized and specific. Filtering after the fact does not satisfy this requirement.

2013-08-21 18:08:47.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

They already wore out Climate Change?

They already wore out Climate Change, a very conveniently temperature-trend-neutral term?

The doomed planet movement has been losing momentum. Inconvenient scientific findings have confirmed the lack of any significant warming of dear old Earth over the past 16 years. It’s hard to scare people into action when nothing bad is happening. That’s why the White House has changed its vocabulary again — first “global warming” was changed to “climate change” — and now the correct name of the scam is “carbon pollution.” It’s a way to paint carbon dioxide as if it were black soot billowing out of industrial smokestacks. Carbon dioxide is actually what humans exhale, and it’s food for plants.

And they want to replace it with carbon pollution?

Science fiction authors used to call humans "carbon-based life forms" for a reason. That reason has nothing to do with what we use for fuel. Humans are made of carbon. It is literally the foundation of all life on earth.

2013-08-21 14:07:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments
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