So much for the Revolution

I know the American courts are as insane as they are totalitarian, but this disrespect for both the law and historical precedent is truly astonishing:

Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer’s entry.

“We believe … a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,” David said. “We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest.”

Translation: America is demonstrably less free than medieval England. I tend to doubt that this was what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they revolted against the King’s rule.

A semblance of sanity

IP addresses are not people. And in related news, routers will not be permitted to vote in the 2012 election:

A possible landmark ruling in one of the mass-BitTorrent lawsuits in the US may spell the end of the ‘pay-up-or-else-schemes’ that have targeted over 100,000 Internet users in the last year. District Court Judge Harold Baker has denied a copyright holder the right to subpoena the ISPs of alleged copyright infringers, because an IP-address does not equal a person.

I’ve never understood the idea that an Internet connection can reasonably be pinned to a single individual. Even if there is only one computer connected to the local area network, who is to say that a different individual was not on the machine? But, given the 40-year war on common sense being waged by the U.S. judicial system, I suppose any semblance of sanity is to be celebrated.

Marriage and the state

Conservatives once welcomed the state getting involved with marriage, despite the fact that it had very little previous involvement with the institution. The result? Instead of strengthening marriage, in less than 150 years, we will have seen marriage devolve from a religious sacrament between a man and a woman to a state contract of indefinite term that can be created by anyone between anyone:

The ACLU of Nevada is challenging Nevada law on who may perform marriages. Currently, the law allows clergy, judges, “commissioners of civil marriages,” and the deputy commissioner to perform marriages. This, it seems is not enough to satisfy the five individuals (shouldn’t that be an even number?) suing Clark County and the state. They would prefer the state allowed any person, regardless of religious affiliation, to be given the authority to solemnize a marriage. More exactly, they believe they have a constitutional right to this policy.

It is long past time for religious individuals to begin pushing for the separation of marriage and state-marriage. I haven’t thought about this long enough to have a solution in mind, but the need is clearly there. And it should be an object lesson to conservatives: Trust not in the State!

Inventing executive powers

The Obama administration exposes its fascist side:

The Obama administration’s Justice Department has asserted that the FBI can obtain telephone records of international calls made from the U.S. without any formal legal process or court oversight, according to a document obtained by McClatchy. That assertion was revealed — perhaps inadvertently — by the department in its response to a McClatchy request for a copy of a secret Justice Department memo.

It’s amazing how even the simple act of obtaining a warrant is too much work for the executive branch to bother with anymore. Can there be any doubt that they expect to eventually discover the power to try and sentence “criminals” without any any formal legal process or court oversight?

One also notes that this appears to be a rather belated discovery of this executive power, considering that international telephone calls weren’t just invented yesterday.

Dynamic government, mutating law

It’s ultimately a fool’s game to put any trust in a government program because the law, especially when created and enforced by an interventionist government, is necessarily dynamic. That means that you can’t count on the rules which presently influence your decisions remaining static since the rulemakers will change them any time they believe it will benefit them to do so:

People’s retirement savings are a convenient source of revenue for governments that don’t want to reduce spending or make privatizations. As most pension schemes in Europe are organised by the state, European ministers of finance have a facilitated access to the savings accumulated there, and it is only logical that they try to get a hold of this money for their own ends. In recent weeks I have noted five such attempts: Three situations concern private personal savings; two others refer to national funds.

The most striking example is Hungary, where last month the government made the citizens an offer they could not refuse. They could either remit their individual retirement savings to the state, or lose the right to the basic state pension (but still have an obligation to pay contributions for it). In this extortionate way, the government wants to gain control over $14bn of individual retirement savings.

The Bulgarian government has come up with a similar idea. $300m of private early retirement savings was supposed to be transferred to the state pension scheme. The government gave way after trade unions protested and finally only about 20% of the original plans were implemented.

A slightly less drastic situation is developing in Poland. The government wants to transfer of 1/3 of future contributions from individual retirement accounts to the state-run social security system. Since this system does not back its liabilities with stocks or even bonds, the money taken away from the savers will go directly to the state treasury and savers will lose about $2.3bn a year. The Polish government is more generous than the Hungarian one, but only because it wants to seize just 1/3 of the future savings and also allows the citizens to keep the money accumulated so far.

The fourth example is Ireland. In 2001, the National Pension Reserve Fund was brought into existence for the purpose of supporting pensions of the Irish people in the years 2025-2050. The scheme was also supposed to provide for the pensions of some public sector employees (mainly university staff). However, in March 2009, the Irish government earmarked €4bn from this fund for rescuing banks. In November 2010, the remaining savings of €2.5bn was seized to support the bailout of the rest of the country.

The final example is France. In November, the French parliament decided to earmark €33bn from the national reserve pension fund FRR to reduce the short-term pension scheme deficit. In this way, the retirement savings intended for the years 2020-2040 will be used earlier, that is in the years 2011-2024, and the government will spend the saved up resources on other purposes.

How many more places does this have to happen before Americans begin to realize that the same thing is absolutely going to happen with their local, state, and federal pensions, as well as their entitlement programs. The fact that government officials often refer to pensions and entitlements as “sacred obligations” doesn’t mean that they won’t eliminate the payouts or grab the funds, in fact, the need to place a legally meaningless adjective in front of the noun underlines the fact that they do not consider the legal obligations to bind them in any way.

Dogs are not people

Tucker Carlson goes flying wildly off the rails:

“I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances,” Carlson said. “But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should’ve been executed for that. He wasn’t, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs?”

Killing dogs is not called “homicide” for a reason. It’s not murder anymore than killing a cow for its beef is murder. Now, I love dogs considerably more than most people do – Spacebunny laughs at how I carry the Viszla puppy around the house with me and he watched the entire Vikings game on my lap – but I didn’t even think Vick merited the legal punishment he received.

(That being said, Vick probably needed the slap to the head that the bankruptcy and jail sentence provided him.)

Now, I would no sooner want to be around a person who mistreats a dog than one who is prone to defecating in public. But if Vick deserves execution for killing his own dogs, then the people at the Humane Society are clearly worse than the Nazis and Soviets combined. And should the police investigate every suspicious canine death? Tucker clearly needs to take control his emotions on the subject; he is normally sharper than this.

Living on sufferance

And at the will of your own government. Nat Hentoff rightly decries the federal government’s assertion of its Constitutional license to freely and legally murder American citizens:

On Dec. 7, the case before U.S. District Court Judge John Bates in Washington was described by him as presenting “stark and perplexing questions.” Can the president, the judge continued, “order the assassination of a U.S. citizen without first affording him any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organization?”

What did Judge Bates decide? He dismissed the case!

Thereby he greatly pleased the defendants: “Barack Obama, in his official capacity as President of the United States; Robert Gates, in his official capacity as Secretary of Defense; and Leon Panetta, in his official capacity as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Now, MPAI is no secret. But I am increasingly convinced that so long as the mainstream media uniformly pushed the idea that it was necessary for national security or good for the economy, it would be possible to sell the American people on anything from gassing Jews to gang-raping schoolchildren.

And for a judge to declare that it is a purely political matter – not a Constitutional one – for the Executive branch to unilaterally decide to execute an American citizen without so much as an arrest, let alone a trial, means that the Constitution, especially the Fifth Amendment which declares that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, is de facto defunct. And liberals, how can sodomy, homogamy and abortion possibly be considered Constitutional rights when not being murdered by the federal government without due process of law isn’t?

I guess they had better hope Americans never elect a president who really dislikes gays or women who murder unborn children. Or anything else, for that matter. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law… with due regard for the man giving orders to the guy controlling the Hellfire-armed Predator circling over your house.