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discntnt_irny_srcsm

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Philly
Home country: USA
Current location: NJ
Member since: Thu Apr 21, 2011, 10:48 AM
Number of posts: 7,328

About Me

I like movies. Action and comedy are the best. Mysteries with a twist are great.

Journal Archives

The surveillance quagmire

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) leads the U.S. Government in cryptology that encompasses both Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Information Assurance (IA) products and services, and enables Computer Network Operations (CNO) in order to gain a decision advantage for the Nation and our allies under all circumstances.


The PRISM program is the latest of many surveillance programs to come to light as problematic. As technology advances (as it has from snail mail to telegraph to radio to telephone...) there will be advances in surveillance and these will be met by probably undue trust by private citizens. Incidents of what have later been determined as unconstitutional breaches of privacy are not hard to find.

The other programs like MAINWAY, Fairview, STELLARWIND and others back to ECHELON have used computers to correlate information gathered by various means. Wullenweber antenna arrays are spread over the globe and information from Snowden has revealed that telecoms provide info directly to the government.

The growing technology that makes easier the task of correlation of metadata such as call records and some details of text/email content with other data possibly including visual surveillance (maybe involving the NRO) begs for oversight with published understandable standards.

Not to go deep into conspiracy land here but there is a history of government surveillance programs by agencies with black budgets that weren't even acknowledged as existing.

Are new laws clarifying the 4th Amendment needed?

If so, what restrictions are reasonable?
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Tue Aug 20, 2013, 12:47 PM (4 replies)

Words in the defense of...

...maintaining a militia is the common thread to all of these quotes:

"Though defensive violence will always be 'a sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." - Augustine of Hippo

"Self-defense is Nature's eldest law." - John Dryden

"Arms are the only true badge of liberty. The possession of arms is the distinction of a free man from a slave." - Andrew Fletcher

"The people have a right to keep and bear arms." - Patrick Henry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." - Richard Henry Lee

"If you've got to resist, you're chances of being hurt are less the more lethal your weapon. If that were my wife, would I want her to have a .38 Special in her hand? Yeah." - Dr. Arthur Kellerman

"A free people ought to be armed." - George Washington


...or do I have that wrong? Is there something else here I've missed?

Who said this: "Only an armed people can be the real bulwark of popular liberty."???
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Sun Aug 18, 2013, 05:02 PM (10 replies)

From the inception of this country...

...the basic rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness have little meaning if those pursuits may be lost or destroyed by the selfish, capricious and arbitrary decisions of criminals. Some folks after a lifetime of work may, due to bad luck or low wages, may have not so much worth of possessions but who am I to decide that while it might be okay to shoot someone over a truck and $15,000 in tools that it isn't acceptable to shoot someone over grandma's pearls.

"Without doubt one is allowed to resist against the unjust aggressor to one's life, one’s goods or one's physical integrity; sometimes, even 'til the aggressor's death... In fact, this act is aimed at preserving one's life or one's goods and to make the aggressor powerless. Thus, it is a good act, which is the right of the victim." - Thomas Aquinas
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:33 PM (1 replies)

Raufoss, Lapua, BMG...

This is a repost of a reply I made a while back to a knowledgeable poster who wrote critically about the MSM characterization "High powered assault rifle." For those who've read this before and/or who have this information, my apologies.

These are terms whose significance is lost on most of the public. It has been my experience that any general details of ballistics are held as some mix of boring and complex. Specific details of works authored by experts such as Dr. Roberts for example: < http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2008Intl/Roberts.pdf > among others, are viewed the same way with somewhat gruesome overtones. The idea that scientific means exist to design and evaluate the incapacitating effects of a weapon system is disgusting and contrary to the beliefs of many in the anti-gun camp.

IMHO:
- "High powered assault rifle" has origins similar to "double secret probation". A high powered rifle is a "bad" thing. An assault rifle is a "bad" thing. Form a conjunction of those terms and the object described has to be a "worse" thing.
- Often, the worst inaccuracies are perpetrated when those credentialed, charismatic and popular writers and speakers publicize their emotion based opinions.

It is an odd mixture of my own feelings to view these anti-gun pundits with anger, sympathy and pity; anger for trying to teach others based on their emotional prejudices, sympathy for their ideological goals and pity for the knowledge of their rather certain self-frustration of their cause.
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Sat Oct 27, 2012, 01:57 PM (2 replies)

comprehending a belief system

Religion and politics are two topics that don't mix well in discussion but they do share some common ground. In religion, when a believer dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine, he is called a heretic. The thing about heresy is that whether political or religious, is that it originates from a fundamental defect/misunderstanding of the nature and source of the belief system.

Horwitz, who wrote this article has either deliberately ignored or consciously denied two serious contradictions. The one, mentioned elsewhere in this thread, that 2A is also part of the Constitution can be explained by the common collectivist view. However, the fact is that this country predates the Constitution and was founded by the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution founded the current federal government not the country.

The Declaration gives the reason for our country's existence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
(emphasis is mine)

In their wisdom the Founders recognized the need for the Constitution to change. They provided for that in Article Five. During the Constitutional Convention representatives for many states brought up the need for a Bill of Rights and required that a Bill of Rights be added to Constitution. This was the first use of the Article Five provisions and probably most important change to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights does a number of things but the one relevant to this topic is in the 2A. This amendment provides a second method for changing the government and had the Founders not thought that right so important, it would not have been among those clearly protected.

Adding to this misunderstanding we have this gem from Mr Horwitz:

"...the Framers knew it (liberty) could only be safeguarded if a robust government was in place to arbitrate private disputes and guarantee that each citizen has an equal voice..."


This sums up my thoughts on Huffington's heretic: The Founders knew that the principle danger to liberty was from the government. No other message comes through so loud and clear. British oppression prompted the founding of the US. What the hell could be so wrong with someone that they couldn't see that?
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Wed Sep 19, 2012, 05:07 PM (1 replies)

Bravo!

"Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." - W. Churchill

Self-preservation and self-defense are requites in a productive life. A commitment to non-violence to the point of death is a black hole in society. While the death of an individual or group may make a social statement, it usually doesn't highlight a best solution to anything but deaths of those killed.

Non-aggression is very reasonable goal. Failing in your own self-defense is functionally equivalent to helping plan your own murder.
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Wed Sep 12, 2012, 02:48 PM (1 replies)

Mental health poll

In the wake of the Dark Knight Rises shootings, one of the topics under scrutiny is the public impact of individual's mental health or lack thereof in firearm crimes.

I note on page 12 of the MAIG report Fatal Gaps that the state of Colorado is among those states close to the national average in terms the cases of mental health records per 100,000 of population submitted to the FBI as part of the information accessible for NICS checks.

http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/maig_mimeo_revb.pdf

Good job Colorado, but it's a shame Holmes did make the prohibited list.

I read in the news today:

Legal experts expect Holmes to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors — who may pursue the death sentence — would have to prove he is sane enough to stand trial. Unlike other states where the defense needs to prove insanity, prosecutors in Colorado have to show that a defendant is sane — all without the ability of having their own experts examine Holmes.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-08-31/james-holmes-psychiatrist-aurora-shooting/57474726/1

Now the topic of the poll: In cases such as this, where should the burden of proof rest, with the defense to prove insanity, with the prosecution to prove sanity or to be determined in a separate proceeding outside of the trial?

Please share some thoughts.
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Fri Aug 31, 2012, 05:35 PM (4 replies)

Just the basics

Arms: could mean anything from pocket knives to nukes. The current status is that we've accepted the compromise for personal arms that they be of size, configuration and function such that they can be operated by one person, carried by one person and efficaciously be used in the defense of one or more people.

Rights: are attributes of humanity. An individual has two eyes and one nose those are also attributes common among humans. An individual also has a right to life. The right to life implies a right to self defense. Rights are not sourced from government or other collectives. Rights are not subject to legislative approval, votes from the citizenry, or the approval of my neighbors. Each and every individual has the RIGHT to due process before any of his rights are compromised. That includes terror suspects, illegal aliens, Gitmo detainees and "gun-nut" neighbors of which you may be afraid.

--Rights, The Bill of Rights: protects and enumerates certain rights of the people and powers of the states from government interference. The Constitution defines the federal government; the Bill of Rights outlines some of the government's borders.

--Rights, SCOTUS: has decided in McDonald v. Chicago that the application of protection of the RKBA as an individual right, as decided in DC v. Heller, is extended to state and local governments. It should be noted that among the many amici curiae briefs filed with the court is one from Congress asking the court to find in favor of the petitioners and against Chicago. That brief filed by 2 Senators and 2 US Representatives, 1 of each Republican and Democrat, was signed by 58% of the Congress, overall, more than any other in history.

Laws: are meant to govern the people and control the government. Our government and laws do not nor should they be intended as controls for individuals. Court records and common sense show that neither a law, a gun to the head nor knife to the throat will for sure determine an individual's behavior. Society uses the rule of law to justify the court's due process. Individual behavior (and any crimes arising therefrom) is principally due to individual decision. Believing otherwise rather leads one to question the validity of a sentence determined by the court.

Militias: as detailed in the Constitution are NOT the National Guard.

With the above in mind, any informed reading of the Constitution will, among other facts, lead to the conclusion that it's purpose is to form and constrain the authority of the federal government and define its relationship with the several states. The goals of the federal and state governments are mostly enumerated in the Constitution's Preamble.

Looking at a law as a means of control is counter to the ideals of liberty and justice. When an individual decides to and carries out the killing of another innocent individual. He is detained, charged, tried and sentenced for the offense. If he is coerced by the threat of death or serious injury in the killing, that fact may be offered in his defense. If he has killed in self-defense, he is not guilty of murder. If he has killed by mistake, through no negligence, he is not guilty of murder. To believe that somehow the law would CONTROL the people, would form the basis for an argument that, in the case of a crime, somehow the law was deficient. How could an individual be sentenced for the crime if the law is faulty and partly to blame?

Any thoughts?
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:37 PM (12 replies)

Words from the wise...

"Allow yourself to think only those thoughts that match your principles and can bear the bright light of day. Day by day, your choices, your thoughts, your actions fashion the person you become. Your integrity determines your destiny." - Heraclitus

Have a great weekend to all.
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:23 PM (0 replies)

Would publishing the personal information...

...of those with CC permits make the permits themselves an oxymoron?

Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Mon Apr 2, 2012, 01:18 PM (178 replies)
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