Thursday, June 16, 2016

"NRA-ILA | NRA Statement on Terror Watchlists"

So Trump tweets that he'll meet with the NRA about not letting people on "a watchlist" buy a gun. 

Naturally, folks started losing their minds, because "The NRA's selling us out again!"

NRA-ILA | NRA Statement on Terror Watchlists: The executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, Chris W. Cox, released the following statement regarding terror watchlists:
We are happy to meet with Donald Trump.  The NRA's position on
this issue has not changed.  The NRA believes that terrorists should not
be allowed to purchase or possess firearms, period.  Anyone on a terror
watchlist who tries to buy a gun should be thoroughly investigated by
the FBI and the sale delayed while the investigation is ongoing.  If an
investigation uncovers evidence of terrorist activity or involvement,
the government should be allowed to immediately go to court, block the
sale, and arrest the terrorist.  At the same time, due process
protections should be put in place that allow law-abiding Americans who
are wrongly put on a watchlist to be removed.  That has been the
position of Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.) and a majority of the U.S.
Senate.  Sadly, President Obama and his allies would prefer to play
politics with this issue.
See, the problem is with the nature of a "watchlist."

One recalls that numerous people found themselves on the "No Fly" list who did not belong there.*

And just how does one wind up on a watchlist?

Good question.

And how does one get off a watchlist if one does not belong there?

Good question.

In Tamara's post "Who watches the watch list?" we find this article: The Problem With Banning Guns From People On The Terrorist Watch List | ThinkProgress.
Before September 11, 2001, the no-fly list, which names people who are banned from boarding flights in or out of the U.S., contained 16 people. A leak revealed that that number had grown to 47,000 as of 2013. Most of those names were added after President Obama took office. The broader terrorist watch list maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center has an even more expansive scope; the estimated number of people on the list has ranged from 700,000 to more than 1.5 million, figures which include Americans and foreigners.
One and a half million. 1,500,000.

Somewhere along the line, it developed that the douchebag Orlando murderer -- I refuse to name him -- had been on a "watchlist" while the FBI investigated him for whatever they were investigating him for, and then they dropped the investigation because they found no evidence of actual, you know, crimes having been committed, and poof!, he was off the watchlist.

The FBI pointed out that doing things like denying the douchebag from being able to buy a gun might tip him off that he was on a watchlist, which might result in compromising the investigation.

This,of course, ignores the fact that we are talking about denying people their constitutional rights because they are suspected of maybe having done something naughty.

Or  not.

I find it curious (there's a nice, neutral word!) that so many of the people who pitch a fit over the thought of having to provide ID to proof of eligibility to vote want to deny people the right to keep and bear arms over claimed statements of opinion.

So... What other Constitutional Rights should be compromised if one is on one of the mysterious watchlists? Since Facebook seems to figure so prominently in the radiclaization of J. Random Douchebag, maybe we should Internet access, and other aspects of First Amendment activity as well?

And, hey, they're accused of being terrorists, or at least terrorist sympathizers and enablers, so maybe we should throw out that pesky Fifth Amendment, as well! Which, come to think of it, that damned Fourth Amendment restricting search and seizure, etc., etc., sure gets in the way!

The Sixth is already on life support, so why bother?

So...

Frankly, I think the NRA's statement is lukewarm, at best, but it's something. 

ETA: Here is what Ted cruz has to say:


* Granted Teddy Kennedy belonged on the "no drive" list...

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Happy Birthday...

...Schlock Mercenary.

Which, if you've never read it -- and why not? -- is a webcomic Comic Space Opera by Howard Tayler.

Which actually launched 16 hears ago yesterday.  As Howard says
Commentary: Today's strip is the 5,845th daily installment of Schlock Mercenary. The strip has been running for 835 weeks, Monday through Sunday, which means that today it has been online for sixteen years and one day.
When Schlock Mercenary first aired on June 12th of 2000 the #1 song on the Pop charts was Santana's "Maria, Maria" and the #10 song was Britney Spears' "Oops!.. I Did It Again." Tony Blair was the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Bill Clinton was the President of the United States, and Americans had yet to be introduced to the term "dimpled chad."
There was no Facebook, no Twitter, and LiveJournal was just 14 months old. MySpace hadn't been born yet, nor had two of the kids living at Chez Tayler with Sandra and Howard. Beginning with today's Schlock Mercenary strip, Americans born after Schlock Mercenary launched will start being able to drive...
 He left out "SFC D.W. Drang was still in Korea, waiting for his retirement leave to start", but one cannot expect artists to keep track of these things.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Saturday, June 4, 2016

In Memorium, Raymond Edward Carter


I think Barron said he got the playlist that made up the prelude and the recessional. I was surprised to enter the Sanctuary and hear Benny Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing", but if the idea is to celebrate a life...


Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day III



I was thinking this morning about Mrs. Drang's father and his brothers, all of whom served in the Navy in WWII, and all of them on subs for at least a part of the time.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day II


Damn it

So, I just finished up my previous Memorial Day post about "My Buddy", clicked on Tamara's link, and saw that My Buddy Ray has died.

God damn it.

"My Buddy"

Once again, Memorial Day is not about those of us who made it home, it's about those who "Gave Their All."

It's never said so in the song, but the assumption from the day it was released is that it was for a friend who never made it back from "Over There."

Lyrics are found here.

I'd never heard this version before. It may be a bit of a change from what most expect from Jerry Jeff Walker, and I think my buddy George would have liked it. There was really no reason for us to hit it off as well as we did, other than a mutual interest in guns and hunting. And Science Fiction. And a shared distrust of authority, which I suppose seems odd to those who never served, in a couple of NCO's.

But we did, and I always had a couch to sleep on if I needed to get away from the barracks, even if I needed to drive 800 miles to do it. (Long weekends. Great things, but don't tell the Army I drove that far in a night...)

Like me, George served overseas several times, but never saw combat except for on TV.

Somewhere I read that a high percentage of military, police, and fire/rescue retirees die about a year after retirement. That was the case for George; one night he stood up and then hit the floor.

Pat, his wife, told me later that when she was filing for survivor  benefits the person from the VA took one look at his retirement physical and upgraded him retroactively to 100% disabled. She also told me that he kept getting a job, and then waking out when they told him he had to join a union. He figured if he joined a union that would mean two bosses, which was at least one too many.

Eventually I lost contact with Pat and her kids. She went her way, and put her life back together. This being before cell phones, the Internet, and social media, keeping in touch meant expensive long distance bills or actually writing a letter and mailing it, and the Army was keeping me pretty busy then; even when I moved back to within a hundred miles of where they were, I met the future Mrs. Drang and was otherwise occupied.

Speaking of upgrading George's disability, this is the other sing I usually play on Memorial and Veteran's Days:

Hey don't ya remember...?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Upcoming Law of Self Defense Seminars

Andrew Branca sent an email today in which he posted the following scheduled Law of Self Defense Seminars:

Upcoming Law of Self Defense Seminars

As I've mentioned, I am preparing a major re-location from Massachusetts to Colorado within the next couple of months, and have blocked out most of the summer to allow for our move.  The pace really picks up again late summer and into the fall. As usual, all seminars are state-specific, with some covering just the state in which they are being held while others also cover adjoining states.

August 7:  Raleigh NC
August 13: OR & WA:  Portland OR
August 20: TN & KY: Nashville TN
September 10: Talladega AL
October 1: PA & NJ:  Philadelphia PA
October 15: Arizona NM
October 16: TX & NM: El Paso TX

We'll have plenty more seminars scheduled all over the country. Just click here to learn about seminars coming in YOUR state!
 As I said back in February of this year,
...I will wrap it up by saying that the experience was well worth the money, and it is highly recommended; if you cannot attend the appropriate session for your state, and are at all concerned about the legal aspects of self-defense, then you should at least read Andrew's book, and see about bringing him to your neck of the woods.