Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

“A Living 14th Amendment”

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Aunt B takes to task those who favor denying birthright citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. She contends that it is hypocritical to argue for strict constructionism on the one hand while ignoring what the 14th Amendment says on the other:

Many of you are clinging desperately to the notion that the 2nd Amendment means what it says. Well, if Representative Lynn and her colleagues succeed in making the 14th Amendment mean something other than what it clearly says–”All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”–what kind of precident do you think that sets for the next time one of us Lefty crackpots tries to argue that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t mean what it says?

What kind of precident is Lynn trying to set? And are you prepared to say that rights enumerated in the Constitution don’t apply should some Legislator gets a bug up her butt to undermine them?

I have mixed feelings on the whole birthright citizenship debate; I don’t want to punish babies for the misdeeds of their parents, but I also don’t want to encourage illegals to have children just so it will be harder to deport them. It is a more complex issue than partisans on either side want to admit.

I doubt that that the Framers had this in mind when they wrote the 14th Amendment, but it says what it says: the children of illegals ARE entitled to U.S. citizenship. If Rep. Lynn or anyone else want to change this, they should push for a new constitutional amendment that would explicitly deny birthright citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. Until such an amendment is ratified, they do not have a legal leg to stand on.


Anti-War Exploitation?

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Some Greeneville parents don’t want their son’s name used by anti-war activists:

The parents of an East Tennessee soldier killed in Iraq are suing an Arizona online merchant for including their son’s name on anti-war shirts that list names of troops killed in the war.

The lawsuit filed by Robin and Michael Read of Greeneville accuses Dan Frazier of Flagstaff of inflicting emotional harm by including Spc. Brandon Michael Read’s name on his shirts’ casualty lists. They say their son’s name was used without permission and that Frazier ignored a demand to remove his name.

I’m not a lawyer, but it does seem like a pretty shabby thing to ignore these mourning parents’ wishes.

He’d Buy a Hundred Pounds of Yeast and Some Copper Line…

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Legendary mountain moonshiner Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton has been arrested:

ATF Agent Gregory E. Moore wrote in a federal complaint unsealed Friday that an undercover agent has in less than two months bought from Sutton some 300 gallons of the untaxed liquor and was poised to buy another 500 gallons in a single transaction. Authorities instead opted to raid Sutton’s three properties, including a barn and an old school bus he allegedly used to store his ’shine, Moore wrote.

In those Thursday raids, authorities seized more than 850 gallons of moonshine and three stills with capacities of 1,000 gallons each. They also discovered “hundreds of gallons” of mash and other moonshine-making ingredients, according to a release by U.S. Attorney Russ Dedrick.

If court records and Internet accounts are correct, Sutton is an old-school moonshine man willing to do just about anything to outsmart the revenuers and protect his meal ticket. He has a list of prior convictions, including one for assaulting someone with a gun with the intent to kill, and a nasty reputation. The ATF alleged in the complaint that he went armed during his transactions with the undercover agent.

Although Sutton’s reputation as a moonshiner was well-known, he hasn’t racked up charges for making the booze since the 1970s. That changed when a still exploded at his home on Upper Road last April.

“Several local fire departments responded,” Moore wrote. “The fire was extinguished and (Sutton) was interviewed. During the interview, Sutton admitted his knowledge of the presence of approximately 650 gallons of untaxed alcohol, commonly referred to as moonshine, and further admitted to knowingly and willingly manufacturing the moonshine with the operable moonshine still that was on his property.”

Why is the ATF wasting time harassing this harmless old man?* So he makes moonshine. Why should anyone care? It’s in his blood. It’s what he does. His daddy and granddaddy probably did also. And his ancestors for centuries before, all the way back to Scotland. It was a way of life for Appalachian folks for many years. Heck, I’m sure some of my ancestors did it. The government isn’t prosecuting him because they care about safety, but because he isn’t paying taxes on it.

Moonshining a dangerous, unsavory work–but no one is forced to do it. Moonshine is fading away now, with the liberalization of liquor laws and such. Sutton is part of a dying breed. The government wants to bury his ilk for good. I say leave him be.

*No, I don’t doubt that he could be dangerous, but only to those who threaten his way of life. Leave him alone and I suspect he’ll leave you alone.

Cross posted at Tennesseefree

Sick Sick Sick

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Apparently Thad Matthews, a Memphis blogger (who, in the interest of basic human decency, gets no link from me), visited the funeral home where the body of one of the victims of the recent murder there was housed (without the knowledge of the funeral home staff), snapped some photos, and posted them on his blog. WBIR and Michael Silence have further details (but do not post the photos).

I have no idea how Matthews is explaining his actions, and I have no real desire to find out as there is absolutely no scenario under which it would be justified. I would imagine that he committed a crime in the process, and I hope he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

UPDATE: He apparently did commit a crime. From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

In photographing the body, Matthews may have violated Tennessee criminal code.

A 1989 law makes physically mistreating “a corpse in a manner offensive to the sensibilities of an ordinary person” a Class E felony.

A 2005 law prohibits medical examiners and their employees from distributing autopsy and post-autopsy photographs. The law, however, doesn’t apply specifically to private citizens.

He’s getting what he wanted right now–free publicity. But soon, I hope his blog is shut down and he’s behind bars.

Supremes to Rule on Second Amendment

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

The U.S. Supreme Court is going to hear a second amendment case:

The government of Washington, D.C., is asking the court to uphold its 31-year ban on handgun ownership in the face of a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the ban as incompatible with the Second Amendment. Tuesday’s announcement was widely expected, especially after both the District and the man who challenged the handgun ban asked for the high court review.

The main issue before the justices is whether the Second Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual’s right to own guns or instead merely sets forth the collective right of states to maintain militias. The former interpretation would permit fewer restrictions on gun ownership.

It is very clear what the founders intended, although advocates of a “living constitution” don’t care much about that. I’m glad the case is being heard as it is a good opportunity for the court to finally affirm the right of individuals to bear arms. Hopefully the Roberts court will do the right thing.

The ruling could also revive gun control as a political issue, although the Democrats have more or less given up on it in recent years. If it does, it would be an advantage to the GOP.

Great News

Monday, September 24th, 2007

I am very, very happy to hear this, and I hope this guy gets what is coming to him.

Here We Go Again

Monday, September 17th, 2007

I am quite happy that it appears that justice may finally catch up with OJ Simpson. I hope he goes to prison for good and I don’t mind giving every one of his accomplices immunity in exchange for testimony against him, if that’s what it takes to get it done. I am not looking forward to the inevitable media circus, however.

UPDATE: I’ve been thinking about how OJ Simpson puts on full display everything that is wrong with our culture – celebrity worship, a flawed justice system, racial disharmony, class issues, shallowness, the excesses of athletics… it’s all there.

Gill: Sensationalize Murders of White People Too

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

Steve Gill thinks that the failure of the media to sensationalize the murder of two white students in Knoxville is evidence of racism. Or something:

Well, the Associated Press, Fox News, USA Today and CBS have already picked up the story about these white racist nutcases. That’s already more coverage than the black racist sickos in Knoxville received.

Now granted I haven’t watched the news very much lately, but I have not seen very much media coverage of the murders atrocity in West Virginia. Certainly not nearly as much as the numerous missing women have received (ironically, and by ironically I do mean intentionally, Gill doesn’t note the race of almost every one of these women) or the coverage of OJ Simpson.

Media criticism aside, it is true that there is a racial template the media tend to follow. I have noted as much. To me the answer would appear to be that the media should not sensationalize any murders. But to call of the media to sensationalize brutal murders in the name of some sort of racial equivalency, as Gill seems to do, just strikes me as despicable, and I can’t imagine the families of any of the victims appreciating his efforts. Can’t we just take a break from politics in situations like these?

UPDATE: Sean Braisted and Brittney Gilbert point out that the victim from West Virginia actually survived, thus it was not a murder as I originally stated. My apologies.

UPDATE II: This post is taking part in the Beltway Traffic Jam.

Padilla Guilty

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Jose Padilla has been convicted of terrorism. While the process under which he was convicted might be questionable, the end result is a positive. But do the ends justify the means?

Gill’s Idiotic Analogies

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Steve Gill is all animated, as he often is, about former Border Patrol agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, now spending a decade in the slammer. He compares their conviction to another famous case:

The truth will out [sic], just like it did in the Duke Lacrosse case. Once again, it is the PROSECUTOR who belongs in jail!

All hyperbole aside, and regardless of whether Compean and Ramos belong in prison, this comparison is not valid. In the Duke Lacrosse case, a rogue prosecutor accused innocent players of a crime of which there was not nearly enough evidence for a conviction. In the case of Compean and Ramos, there obviously was enough evidence for a conviction. Both were, after all, convicted by a jury of their peers.

These two agents have been made into heroes. I tend to agree that their sentences are overly harsh, but to say that they deserve no punishment is to completely ignore the rule of law. Compean and Ramos clearly committed several crimes, as Andrew McCarthy (writing in National Review, hardly a pro-illegal immigration magazine) points out:

Here’s the dirty little secret the agents’ partisans never tell in their relentless media rounds. You want to be mad about a miscreant like Aldrete-Davila getting away with importing scads of marijuana into Estados Unidos? Then be mad at … the “heroes.”

The rogue duo had two easy opportunities to arrest Aldrete-Davila: First, when he attempted to surrender and Compean decided it would be better to smash him with the butt of a shotgun than to put cuffs on him, as it was his duty to do; and then, when the “heroes,” having felled the unarmed, fleeing suspect with a bullet fired into his buttocks, decided to leave him there so they could tend to the more important business of covering up the shooting.

Since it’s hard to decipher the facts amid the noise, it’s worth remembering that a jury of twelve impartial Texans convicted the agents of almost all the charges, beyond a reasonable doubt, after a two-and-a-half week trial. Many complain, with some force, about the aggressive charges brought by the government against Compean and Ramos, but you don’t have to like this case to understand that — barring some demonstration of irrationality (and there has been none) — the factual findings necessary to that verdict merit respect. They are certainly more reliable than hype from those with an ax to grind.

Indeed. What happened to Steve Gill’s highly principled belief in upholding the rule of law?

UPDATE: This post is taking part in the Beltway Traffic Jam.