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Nuclear Unicorn

Nuclear Unicorn's Journal
Nuclear Unicorn's Journal
April 17, 2015

Would you want the Dem candidate for president to be pro-gun control if it costs them the election?

A) Yes. It's that important to stand on principle even if the election is lost

B) Obfuscate, then come out for gun control once elected

C) No. I suppose we have more public outreach to do before risking the presidency

D) Gun control is totally a winning issue!

E) I'm pro-RKBA so this is an easy choice for me

F) Other

April 9, 2015

Report: Clinton changed stance on trade deal after donations to foundation

Report: Clinton changed stance on trade deal after donations to foundation

The Clinton Foundation reportedly accepted millions of dollars from a Colombian oil company head before then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided to support a trade deal with Colombia despite worries of human rights violations.

The report in the International Business Times comes as Clinton readies an expected run for president. She’s been dogged by questions about whether foreign donations to her foundations could have influenced her official decisions.

The report centers on donations from Frank Giustra and the oil company that he founded, Pacific Rubiales. In a Wall Street Journal story from 2008, Giustra is described as a “friend and traveling companion” of former President Clinton who donated more than $130 million to Clinton’s philanthropies. He’s also a Clinton Foundation board member and has participated in projects and benefits for the foundation.

When workers at Pacific Rubiales decided to strike in 2011, the Columbian military reportedly used force to stop the strikes and compel them to return to work, IBT reports, citing the Washington office of Latin America, a human rights group. Those accusations of human rights violations were part of the criticism of the United States-Colombia Free Trade Promotion Agreement, which was passed by Congress later that year. Pacific Rubiales has repeatedly denied charges that it infringed on workers’ rights.

April 9, 2015

If you could pick your opponent: Who would you want to see on the GOP 2016 ticket?

Assuming you want the GOP to field their most vulnerable, easily-beaten candidate.

EXTRA CREDIT: Who would be the last/worst-case GOP candidate if they were to win?

April 7, 2015

How far would you go to tear down a cardboard fort?

Assume there is a city ordinance duly passed against unsightly displays in pubic view but the homeowner has built a fort for his children and the neighborhood kids. Notice has been served that the fort has to be taken down but the homeowner refuses, stating the ordinance is stupid and the kids are having fun.

He receives a citation but since he considers the citation to be based on flawed reasoning of a flawed ordinance he refuses to pay it. He is then served with a summons to appear in court but now his mindset is the flaws have reached an absurd level so he again refuses to answer to the authorities. A bench warrant is issued for his arrest. He does not surrender himself. Law enforcement officers are dispatched to his residence. He will not comply with their instructions.

What should happen next?

A) Never mind, the juice ain't worth the squeeze

B) Find some other mechanism to impose a penalty, something less muscular

C) Screw this guy. If he wants to thumb his nose at the system we'll show him

D) Other

March 29, 2015

So, who is to blame?

This OP feels a little too soon after the fact but this is gnawing at me.

The pilot that just murdered 149 people by deliberately crashing his plane had a history of mental illness and was deemed not fit for duty. In GD I have seen several threads cautioning us (lecturing us, really) not to blame the patient. I agree the patient doesn't want to be mentally ill and has done nothing to provoke their condition. So, in that regard, they are blameless and we should strive as society out of both basic decency and self-interest to provide them the treatment they need.

However, if the pilot had taken a gun and gone after his victims in a suicidal rampage who would be blamed?

-- The coed student not wanting to walk back to her dorm defenseless after staying out late studying

-- The store owner not wanting to surrender his meager earnings to common crooks

-- The wife escaping with her children from an abusive ex

-- The competition shooter

-- The hunters who feeds their families while ensuring game herds don't over-graze the land

-- The people spending time with friends and family at a generations-old hobby

-- The families protecting their homes from random criminals

And they are being blamed even though Loughner, Lanza, Hasan, Holmes, Alexis, Rogers, Cho and others were known to the authorities as being dangerous. Let that sink in. None of the above-named people emerged ex nihilo. All of them exhibited behaviors that brought them in contact with law enforcement, healthcare providers, superiors, etc. that made people warn there was a propensity for future acts of violence. We were warned. Why, then, are we blaming 80 million people for the acts of these individuals?

(By the way, how is it even logistically feasible to blame 80 million people -- a number so vast it can only be expressed as a generalized abstraction -- while those who commit the underlying heinous acts are so few they can be named as individuals?)

I suppose we could blame the authorities who appear derelict in their duties and try to hold them accountable -- but then who would be left to enforce gun control laws (assuming they would not be derelict in those duties, as well).

March 29, 2015

The drink called the "Mind Eraser" pretty much works as advertised.

And all morning, every time my husband looks at me, he starts sporting this insipid grin.

I'm scared to check social media.

March 29, 2015

Absurd Fourth Circuit ruling embodies everything thatís wrong with drug raids

The 4th Circuit just overturned the award in a civil suit where a man was shot and killed by police conducting a no-knock warrant.

Absurd Fourth Circuit ruling embodies everything that’s wrong with drug raids


But it’s worth considering what it means for this to be settled law. In the 20 or so years leading up to the American Revolution, the British crown began stationing troops in the streets of Boston to enforce England’s tax and import laws. The British troops and enforcement officers were armed with writs of assistance, or general warrants that gave them broad powers to search colonists’ homes. They didn’t need to establish probable cause, or even specificity as to a person or residence. The abuse that came with those warrants made Boston a hub of revolutionary fervor, and memories of that abuse are why the Founders created a Fourth Amendment after the war.

But while today’s search warrants require both specificity and some evidence of wrongdoing, in many ways the colonists had more protections than we do today. For example, the British soldiers could serve warrants only during the day. And they were always required to knock, announce themselves, announce their purpose and give the resident time and opportunity to come to the door to let them in peacefully. This was all in observance of the Castle Doctrine, or the idea that the home should be a place of peace and sanctuary, and that it should be violated only in the most extreme circumstances. Even then, the Castle Doctrine had a long and rich history in English common law, a tradition that carried over in the United States until the Supreme Court began chipping away at it in drug cases, beginning in about the 1960s.

Today, of course, authorities can break into homes without knocking. They can conduct raids at night. In theory, we’re today protected by the requirement that authorities show probable cause before serving a warrant, but given the deference judges give to police and prosecutors in much of the country and the boilerplate language you’ll often find on warrant affidavits, you could make a good argument that in many jurisdictions the probable cause protection is little more than a formality. In any case, if the Fourth Amendment is due to the Founders’ offense at British soldiers forcibly entering homes in daylight hours after knocking and announcing to search for contraband, it seems safe to say that the Founders would be appalled by the fact that today, dozens of times each day, heavily armed government officials break into homes, often at night, without first knocking and announcing, in order to conduct searches for contraband.

Drug raids weren’t always conducted this way. In fact, as I point out in my book, the no-knock raid wasn’t even something that organically grew out of policing. Police did sometimes enter homes without knocking. But it happened only if, while serving a search warrant, they observed some exigent circumstance that compelled them to do so — for example, if they heard someone getting beaten or hurt inside or observed through a window a resident loading a gun. But the idea of a pre-planned no-knock raid is a relatively new phenomenon. It was brought to us by drug-warring politicians, first through Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in New York, then via a Senate aide named Don Santarelli, who was recruited to the Richard Nixon presidential campaign in 1968, specifically for the purpose of coming up with tough-on-crime-sounding positions Nixon could stake out to appeal to (white) middle-class voters.


March 24, 2015

U.S. top court rejects challenge to Wisconsin voter ID law

U.S. top court rejects challenge to Wisconsin voter ID law

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to Wisconsin's Republican-backed law requiring voters to present photo identification to cast a ballot, a measure Democrats contend is aimed at keeping their supporters from voting.

The justices declined to hear an appeal filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the law. The ACLU said it then filed an emergency motion with a federal appeals court to try to keep the law from taking effect immediately.

Republican Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said the law cannot be implemented for the state's April 7 election because absentee ballots are already in the hands of voters but would be in place for future elections. "This decision is final," Schimel said.

Voter identification laws have been passed in a number of Republican-governed states over Democratic objections. Republicans say voter ID laws are needed to prevent voter fraud. Wisconsin's measure, blocked by the Supreme Court last year, was backed by Governor Scott Walker, a potential 2012 Republican presidential contender.


It's my understanding, admittedly limited, that the USSC declined to grant cert, meaning that even among the court's liberal wing the appellants could not muster 4 justices willing to hear the case.

That being said, I'm not sure how much fruit the ACLU's request for a stay can produce.
March 23, 2015

No, states are NOT obligated to enforce federal law.

Any state that has decriminalized/legalized MJ is already engaged in the practice.

The case law is already established. In Printz vs US (thank-you to former9thward for naming the case) the USSC ruled that having states enforce federal law left the law to be administered by LEOs whom the president had no authority over. Put another way, if the president cannot hire/fire the officers enforcing a law -- which a president cannot do in state and local agencies -- then the president cannot properly take care to enforce laws passed by Congress per the Constitution.

Furthermore, the federal government via the Obama administration has already told states they are not allowed to enforce federal immigration law.

And, no, states cannot have federal funding withheld. Once Congress passed a budget saying what money goes where that is the law.

Withholding federal funds is also unconstitutional. Just as the feds cannot withhold Medicaid funding for states refusing to establish insurance veal pens -- er, sorry -- exchanges so too would it be unconstitutional to funds for Program X because Law Y was not being enforced.

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