Lawless America

I was watching the dramatisation of the Nuremberg Tribunal (the one with Alec Baldwin) last night, and it made me think.

First, with the immigration status, and such, how far is Germany again from the maelstrom that existed under Weimar? And what will happen this time? We know history doesn’t repeat, exactly, but it does rhyme. Something to think about, for us all.

But my stronger feeling was that America may be circling that same drain, for all the reasons that Bob Livingston writes of here. It doesn’t mean that it has to happen, or that it has to happen this way, but it means that we have a serious problem with this, and we’d best be thinking about a solution.

America is a nation of thousands if not millions of laws, yet it is a lawless nation.

A lawless nation is no nation at all. It is merely a Third-world backwater where those in power who lord over the people and abuse them for their own gain, for the gain of the bureaucrat class, and for the benefit of the banksters and the crony corporations who fund the charade elections every two or four years.

So those thousands or millions of laws written “for our benefit” – at least that’s what we’re told each time another edict from the District of Criminals becomes “law” – are employed against us while those in power are given a pass on them. Beyond that, those in power make the laws arbitrary by enforcing them or not enforcing them on a whim.

Last week, Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council told  a House Judiciary Committee that the Barack Obama Department of Homeland Security had instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings. The stand down order includes a requirement that the whereabouts of illegals not be tracked, the Washington Examiner reported.

Judd said the new policy was implemented because only about 40 percent of illegal aliens apprehended and given a Notice to Appear (NTA) before an immigration judge actually show up. The process became so farcical that Border Patrol agents began calling them Notices to Disappear.

So in order to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that 60 percent of all illegals apprehended fail to appear before an immigration judge as required, the DHS and the Attorneys from the Department of Just(us) decided that any illegals apprehended who had no felony convictions and who claim to have been in the U.S. since January 2014 are to be released without an NTA.

Judd further testified:

Not only do we release these individuals that by law are subject to removal proceedings, we do it without any means of tracking their whereabouts. Agents believe this exploitable policy was set in place because DHS was embarrassed at the sheer number of those who choose not to follow the law by showing up for their court appearances. In essence, we pull these persons out of the shadows and into the light just to release them right back to those same shadows from whence they came.

Let me give you an example from my sector in Montana. Several months ago we arrested an illegal alien with a felony domestic violence arrest from another state. He was released because his trial had not occurred and therefore had not been convicted. Mind you he had not been acquitted either but we had to let him go all the same.

Under the law he should have been set up for removal proceedings, but under the policy he was let go. And he was let go even though he first proved that he cared so little about our laws that he entered the United States illegally, and once here, he proved further disdain by getting arrested for a serious violent act against another. What did we teach him and everyone else he undoubtedly told about his experience? We taught him our laws mean very little, but policies mean everything.

via Lawless America – Personal Liberty®.

Answers? I’m not sure I have any, but until we define the problems that doesn’t matter, so let’s get to defining!

Mr. President, You Have One Job

U.S. Presidential flag, 1960-present (not usua...

U.S. Presidential flag, 1960-present (not usually called a “standard” in official U.S. government terminology). It is defined in Executive Order 10860. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In essence, the President of the United States has one job: to protect the Republic from all enemies, foreign and domestic. So a year and a half before we hire a new guy or girl, how are we doing?

I’d say not good. There are many things wrong, the government seems to have lost its way to the point that it cannot tell the good guys from the bad ones, the productive from the moocher, the anarchist from the fascist, in essence, good from evil.

Yes, I did say good from evil. But understand this, it’s not supposed to be the President’s job to help you get a degree, let alone a useful one, nor to make sure you don’t starve because you haven’t found a job. Those things are your job, not is. If you fail, it is your problem, along with those who were foolish enough to depend on you. You don’t want to be a burger flipper that’s commendable, learn a marketable skill, and you won’t be. It would help if the government would get out of the way enough for productive people to be productive.

It would also help if the government would get out of the way enough for the health care industry to provide health care, instead of filling out forms for Leviathan.

But in a sense, none of this is the President’s primary tasking. That is, as it always has been to protect the Republic from foreign enemies. And in that the administration has failed, utterly.

As the linked article says, to be safe one needs some combination of raw power, respect, admiration, and fear. No one of them will really work. And that’s where the US is failing. Raw power is the one we have, but since we are unwilling to use it, it no longer matters. Thousands of tanks in a tank park at Fort Hood are an interesting (to some, anyway) artifact, not a symbol of power. Those same tanks rampaging down ‘Thunder Road’ in Iraq are an unmistakable sign that one is extremely unwise to poke at the Eagle, overmuch.

Notice anybody refraining from that poking lately? Yeah, me either. Here’s why.

The United States is no longer a serious country.

Now, by this I do not mean that America is no longer a super-power. By any gross indicator of strength, the United States is as powerful as it’s ever been, perhaps more powerful than at any time in its history. It has a massive, highly productive economy, a military second to none, and an alliance that dwarfs all possible competitors. On paper, it’s still the only super-power on this planet (or on any other that we know of, so far).

But the status of a great nation is built on more than raw power. It includes intangible qualities like respect, admiration, and, yes, fear. We don’t need all three of them; no major power does. But we need at least one of them at any given moment, and right now, we’re bottoming out in each of these measures. President Obama may insist that America is now “the most respected country on Earth”—a claim even the normally more forgiving folks at PolitiFact rate as only “half-true”—but the Russians, Iranians, and Chinese clearly disagree, and for good reason.

The Chinese hack of the Office of Personnel Management is the most recent, and most obvious, example of how our status is going down the drain. This is a disaster of unimaginable proportions. The intelligence damage, including security-clearance information, will last for decades. (I, of course, am one of the millions of federal workers waiting to find out if my files are now in Beijing.) Almost as shocking as the size of this breach, however, is the fact that no one seems to care very much, including the Chinese, who have shown no concern at all.

An Act of War, Ignored

In any normal world, a super-power would not tolerate this kind of an attack. Perhaps more accurately, a true super-power would never have to endure such an attack in the first place, because other nations would be loath to engage in such a direct act of open hostility. States do lousy things to each other all day long, but the wholesale and brazen theft of personnel records is a different kind of espionage. The scale is so vast that it is a direct challenge to the United States of America.

Countries, as a rule, do not do whatever they can do, they do what they think they can get away with.

Contunue reading: America, The Unserious Super-Power. Emphasis mine.

Seems to me when saudi Arabia and Israel find that they have more in c0mmon with each other than they do with theUnited states, something has goe deeply wrong.

We are pretty much stuck with this until 20 January 2017, but we would be perhaps wise to start thinking ait now. And keep it uppermost in our minds as we think about a new prsident.

Memorial Day 2014

suvcw1Headquarters Grand Army of the Republic

General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If our eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

II. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

By order of JOHN A. LOGAN, Commander-in-Chief

N.P. CHIPMAN, Adjutant General

Official:

WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

And so began one of America’s most solemn holidays. It nearly always featured the reading of the names of veterans departed during and after the war. It is very close in meaning to the British (and Commonwealth’s) Remembrance Day, for it too commemorates a lost generation. In 1860 the population of the United States (free and slave) was 31,443,321, out of that population in the next five years there would be over 600,000 casualties or one out of every 52 people, and they were mostly young men.
They were nearly all volunteers, both sides had a draft but, in both cases it was ineffective and easily evaded. These were men who said what they meant and meant what they said, and proved it with their devotion to their cause, we’ve talked about them before and we shall again but, today let’s listen to some of their legacy, the music of America.
And so as you go about your day this Memorial Day, spare a thought and prayer for Johnny Reb and Billy Yank, those Americans who fought so hard for freedom, that they destroyed slavery as a by product. They are also the only armies I know of that after a battle, or in camp would cheer themselves hoarse for each other.
There is one other tune that came out of that war, in fact it was written on one of the battlefields. It has become the most famous American tune of all, as its haunting strains have become known all over the world, as we say goodbye to the day and to our old comrades
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
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Meanwhile, Back in America . . . Peggy Noonan

ED-AR787_noonan_D_20140130184209In many ways, it seemed like Peggy Noonan, after Reagan’s Presidency, went to the bubble of Manhattan and never looked out again. She used to know us well, as the speech at Ponte du Hoc showed. Who will ever forget that imagery of American Rangers, climbing the cliffs to free a continent. It spoke to us all, even more because of the heroism and truth of the words, and the sight of those very same Rangers, right there in the front row. She, like Reagan, was one of us. Over the intervening years it seemed she wasn’t any more, but in the reign of Obama, she seems to be coming to visit us more again. Increasingly she turns her formidable writing talents to saying what we feel, and getting it right. Her column last Friday in the WSJ (Warning: paywall, but permeable) was another example of it. So let’s look at it a bit.

The State of the Union was a spectacle of delusion and self-congratulation in which a Congress nobody likes rose to cheer a president nobody really likes. It marked the continued degeneration of a great and useful tradition. Viewership was down, to the lowest level since 2000. This year’s innovation was the Parade of Hacks. It used to be the networks only showed the president walking down the aisle after his presence was dramatically announced. Now every cabinet-level officeholder marches in, shaking hands and high-fiving with breathless congressmen. And why not? No matter how bland and banal they may look, they do have the power to destroy your life—to declare the house you just built as in violation of EPA wetland regulations, to pull your kid’s school placement, to define your medical coverage out of existence. So by all means attention must be paid and faces seen.

I watched at home and thought: They hate it. They being the people, whom we’re now supposed to refer to as the folks. But you look at the polls at how people view Washington—one, in October, had almost 9 in 10 disapproving—and you watch a Kabuki-like event like this and you know the distance, the psychic, emotional and experiential distance, between Washington and America, between the people and their federal government, is not only real but, actually, carries dangers. History will make more of the distance than we do. Someday in the future we will see it most vividly when a truly bad thing happens and the people suddenly need to trust what Washington says, and will not, to everyone’s loss.

In the country, the president’s popularity is underwater. In the District of Columbia itself, as Gallup notes, it’s at 81%.

[…]

Supposedly people feel great rage about this, and I imagine many do. But the other night I wondered if what they’re feeling isn’t something else.

***
As the president made his jaunty claims and the senators and congressmen responded semirapturously I kept thinking of four words: Meanwhile, back in America . . .

Meanwhile, back in America, the Little Sisters of the Poor were preparing their legal briefs. The Roman Catholic order of nuns first came to America in 1868 and were welcomed in every city they entered. They now run about 30 homes for the needy across the country. They have, quite cruelly, been told they must comply with the ObamaCare mandate that all insurance coverage include contraceptives, sterilization procedures, morning-after pills. If they don’t—and of course they can’t, being Catholic, and nuns—they will face ruinous fines.

[…]

Everyone who says that would never have happened in the past is correct. It never, ever would have under normal American political leadership, Republican or Democratic. No one would’ve defied religious liberty like this.

The president has taken to saying he isn’t ideological but this mandate—his mandate—is purely ideological.

It also is a violation of traditional civic courtesy, sympathy and spaciousness. The state doesn’t tell serious religious groups to do it their way or they’ll be ruined. You don’t make the Little Sisters bow down to you.

This is the great political failure of progressivism: They always go too far. They always try to rub your face in it.

Meanwhile, back in America, disadvantaged parents in Louisiana—people who could never afford to live in places like McLean, Va., or Chevy Chase, Md.—continue to wait to see what will happen with the state’s successful school voucher program. It lets poor kids get out of failed public schools and go to private schools on state scholarships. What a great thing. But the Obama Justice Department filed suit in August: The voucher system might violate civil rights law by worsening racial imbalance in the public schools.

[…]

Meanwhile, back in America, conservatives targeted and harassed by the Internal Revenue Service still await answers on their years-long requests for tax-exempt status. When news of the IRS targeting broke last spring, agency officials lied about it, and one took the Fifth. The president said he was outraged, had no idea, read about it in the papers, boy was he going to get to the bottom of it. An investigation was announced but somehow never quite materialized.

[…]

In the past five years many Americans have come to understand that an agency that maintained a pretty impressive record for a very long time has been turned, at least in part, into a political operation.

***
All these things—the pushing around of nuns, the limiting of freedoms that were helping kids get a start in life, the targeting of conservative groups—all these things have the effect of breaking bonds of trust between government and the people. They make citizens see Washington as an alien and hostile power.

Washington sees the disaffection. They read the polls, they know.

They call it rage. But it feels more like grief. Like the loss of something you never thought you’d lose, your sense of your country and your place in it, your rights in it.

(emphasis mine)

In her very first (guest) post here, Jessica reminded us of one of her favorite poems G.K. Chesterton’s Ballad of the White Horse, and I still say our situation isn’t quite as desperate as King Alfred’s was, although it may get worse yet. Here’s Jess:

I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher

The lines are repeated in a different context toward the end as Alfred gathers the Saxons for what will prove the last and successful battle

“And this is the word of Mary,
The word of the world’s desire
`No more of comfort shall ye get,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.’ 

Now it proves the flint against which the iron of resolve is sharpened, and the Saxons rally and they win, even though all had seemed lost. Alfred was not the most charismatic or dramatic of leaders, but he won, and this is why:

And this was the might of Alfred,
At the ending of the way;
That of such smiters, wise or wild,
He was least distant from the child,
Piling the stones all day.

Alfred has faith and he had patience, and he had resilience; he lacked the capacity to despair. In short, he possessed all the Christian virtues. He listened to Our Lady and he understood her advice, and so, at the height of the battle:

The King looked up, and what he saw
Was a great light like death,
For Our Lady stood on the standards rent,
As lonely and as innocent
As when between white walls she went
And the lilies of Nazareth.

And so, through many a sorrow and woe, the steadfast faith of Alfred proved victorious where the charismatic personalities of men with less character failed.

Here there is a lesson for us all – if we will read it.

 

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The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : Million Vet March Oct 13

US Navy 040521-N-9909C-009 Established by the ...

US Navy 040521-N-9909C-009 Established by the American Battle Monuments Commission, the memorial honors all military veterans of World War II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

From Ace and Blackfive, and the Daley Gator, and others:

 

Our veterans have had about enough, if you can get to Washington Sunday 13 OCT, do so and support them

 

Gonna be a busy day in the District of Corruption

 

For any military veteran (or supporter of military veterans) who will (or can) be in Washington, DC this Sunday, October 13th, I encourage you to join in the Million Vet March.

It will take place at 9 AM, beginnnig at the World War II Veterans Memorial, as a protest by veterans and others against the Obama administration’s reprehensible, petulant closing of open-air memorials to those who have given “their last full measure of devotion” to our great nation.

As one web site notes, “The Administration has closed down war memorials that are normally open 24/7 and that do not have any staff to guard them under normal circumstances.”

Several organizations, including Special Operations Speaks and Brats for Veterans, as well as individuals with ties to veterans and veterans-related groups, have organized the non-partisan event.

 

The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : Million Vet March Oct 13.

 

 

The (Not so) Thin Blue Line

So, have seen the video from DC yesterday?

Reports say the driver crashed the barricade at the beginning and then led police on a pursuit toward the capitol. Well, OK. But it looks to me as if she didn’t crash that barricade very hard, given that I see little damage to the car. Not as much, in fact as hitting a deer at 20 mi/hr would cause, and the airbags didn’t go off either, which would put the speed at <5 mph.

miriam

Here’s the driver. She was the lady on the right of the picture. She was a 34 year old dental hygienist, with a history of mental issues. The one-year-old child in her backseat was unharmed. That’s all I know. I doubt we’ll ever know much more.

But to tell you the truth, I see little in that video that couldn’t be someone who took a wrong turn in DC, which is a maze of security barricades any more and bumped one of them. And perhaps panicked when no less than half a dozen police officers pointed guns at her. The pursuit didn’t look all that proficient either, by the way. Not that I’m any expert, mind you, it’s not my field. But it did look to me that if one of those officers had sauntered over and talked to her, they might have been able to defuse it, but I could easily be wrong.

At the end of the chase they ran her off the road, and as she was exiting the vehicle (I presume against orders) they shot her dead. As far as I can tell from the reports she wasn’t armed, for whatever that’s worth. I’m inclined to think they could have waited a second or two before firing the volley but, it seems American police don’t do that any more. They seem to be quicker on the trigger than Wyatt Earp on one of his nasty days.

And another thing

Just how many thousands of police are on duty any given day in Washington, I mean, I know there are a bunch of different police departments and all but, that short video showed at least two dozen cruisers. Every time a story like this happens it looks like enough police to shut down the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. Seems to me Washington has some crime that some of these officers could be working on when the aren’t chasing dental hygienists across town.

Nor does it really say anything good to me about our government that this incident shut down the entire capital city for at least an hour, including the Congress, which got to “shelter-in-place” . While I don’t think Congress should be out fighting crime in the street, it seems a bit extreme to shut the whole place down for what was pretty quickly shown to be a fairly minor incident. But that’s just what I think.

On the other hand

This is completely nuts, from Fox News

A police officer who dropped off his daughter at her Phoenix elementary school was asked by the school’s principal not to wear his uniform to the school because other parents were concerned that he was carrying a gun, MyFoxPhoenix.com reported.

Scott Urkov is a police officer for the Coolidge Police Department. The department told him not to comment to media inquiries, but immediately after he received the no-uniform request, he posted on Facebook.

“Nothing like your kids school calling and asking if I could not come to pick up my daughter in uniform cause parents were concerned when their kids came home telling them there was a man at school with a gun, “ he posted. “Are you freaking kidding me?”

A district spokeswoman told the station that “some parents” voiced concern about seeing a fully armed police officer on the school’s campus. The spokeswoman apologized that Urkov perhaps took the discussion the wrong way.

“It was not the intent of the principal to offend him,” the spokeswoman said.

It may or may not have been the intent of the principal to offend him but, he did, and he offended me as well.

Some day we are going to have to figure out that police officers are people, not automatons, they have a very tough job, and mostly (overwhelmingly, really) they do a very good job. Like anything else, we talk about it when they do something wrong, or stupid, and somebody gets hurt. And often, like all of us, they are simply doing what they have been trained to do, if it not the right thing, it’s not their fault but the fault of their leaders, and us.

And speaking of defective training

Yep, it’s that time again, when cops start holstering and unholstering Glocks, and bad things happen.

Let’s see, 1 century of training police to keep their finger on the trigger (on DA/SA revolvers and pistols), plus 1 “trigger-safety” or Save Action™ (meaning, “no safety”) pistol, plus 1 retention holster that expects the user to keep his or her finger in or near the trigger, plus,  one cop who failed to pay attention in safety briefings = about 1200 feet per second you can’t call back.

Coatesville, PA (Valley Township PD): Do I wrestle the suspect, or draw?

The police officer decided the answer was “both,” and learned to her pain and suffering why that is not the “school solution”. The original headline of the story said “Police officer shot,” and now it has been updated to reflect that she shot herself.

Continue reading  Cops and Cauterization

Just another day in law enforcement: Some good, some bad, and some who knows.

 

 

 

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