Friday, April 20, 2012

Congress Toying with Freedom of the Press

People’s Rights Amendment, et al

On, Terence P. Jeffrey writes in his article, "Pelosi: Amend the First Amendment," about Congress's latest Constitutional manipulations.

This is insane. Congress is considering amending the First Amendment to counter corporations' ability to use "personhood" to protect their political speech from government regulation as “individuals.”

And an amendment of the First Amendment can go beyond reigning in corporate “rights.” Because newspapers, broadcasters, book publishers, online news sources, and publishers are often organized as corporations, an amendment could also restrict their abilities to distribute political ideas or advocate for political causes.

Unfortunately (for the Federal state), political speech is not just protected as an “individual” right. There's something called "freedom of the press."

All of this sounds like a carrot and a stick. The government gave corporations “personhood,” and now (125 years later) it wants its due – more control.  If Congress wants to stick it to corporations, then Congress should go after the 14th Amendment – and stop dabbling in free speech manipulation.

And it sounds like its time for corporations to unincorporated. The state giveth and taketh back more.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Corporations are People, Too.

Throwing Up Your Hands And Giving In To Crony Capitalism, Because the Current state System Protects Privacy Rights Through Corporate "Person" Rights
The Cato Institutes Daily Podcast on April 12 featured Jim Harper: Privacy Rights and 'Corporate Personhood'.
Harper's conclusion is that providing "person" rights to corporations protects our privacy rights. 
But isn't "corporate personhood" a legal construct - not an inherent right? You might say that you lose your privacy rights for anything held by a corporation, if the corporation is not a "person." But isn't that because we have developed our legal system to treat them that way? We could more easily say that everyone's privacy rights extend to the information that they own, no matter where it is stored. Making that change would be a fight against 125 years of Constitutional, statutory, and case law. But individual rights are more valid, and absolutely a million times more inherent, than corporate rights.

So, you can tell someone that they will lose privacy rights, if corporations are not "people," but that doesn't mean that there is not another solution that is based on real individual rights.

The flipside: Should I incorporate my car, because State seizure laws allow the taking of property without a proper legal proceeding, because the property doesn't have rights?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Federal Departments Stockpiling Ammo Like a Survivalist: 1.0

Hypothesis #1: A Civilian firearm and ammunition purchasing bubble has started in anticipation of a possible Obama reelection. Federal departments are purchasing and arranging contracts for large quantities of ammunition, so that they don't have to compete with civilians in a tight market.

Hypothesis #2: The Federal bureaucracy anticipates rioting, an insurrection, or other large scale conflict within our borders.

Hypothesis #3: Procurement schedules limit the actual amount of ammo on hand the federal departments will have. The large volume of these contracts and orders are just to secure a supply and prices over time.

Through a Facebook link, I learned that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office (ICE) have placed an order of 1/2-billion .40 S&W rounds. Sounds alarming.
RT America's YouTube channel claims that they report "the other side" of stories. Well, that's good, but I wish their anchor and reporter knew a little about ammunition. They acted like hollowpoint ammo was unusual, and that it couldn't be used for target practice, because it is very expensive. Well, I use hollowpoint ammo in my guns for target practice, because I want to know that it works. Also, hollowpoint ammo has been the standard for law enforcement and self defense for decades. It's debatable if it is appropriate for all applications, but on average it's the go to ammo.

Regardless, RT America reported that the the DHS/ICE order was for 450 million .40 S&W rounds over five years. reports that the order is "Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ)" with a maximum of 450 million rounds, with an initial 12 months and optional additional four years. With that info, we have some numbers to speculate about:

Speculations About First 12 Months of Orders
DHS has approximately 216,000 employees. If a fifth of the contract is fulfilled in the first year, the DHS would have 90 million rounds in the first year, and 417 rounds for each employee. That's enough for each employee to qualify twice a year (2x40 rounds), and to practice 5 times (5x50), and to have 87 rounds to carry around (a little more than 5 standard magazines carrying 15-17 rounds each).

Of course, DHS does not have 216,000 "law enforcement" types. Actually, in the entire Federal government, there are only 105,000 employees "authorized to make arrests and carry firearms in the 50 states and the District of Columbia," according to's article Federal law enforcement in the United States. But then you can lump in the Coast Guard's 50,000 active duty and reserve personnel, for a final figure of 155,000, since the Coast Guard is part of DHS. And DHS could supply all of those law enforcement and military employees with 580 rounds in the first year.

That scenario would require DHS to share ammo with other Federal departments. But maybe that's part of the DHS's ammo plan. Either way, 580 rounds per year for each law enforcement employee is still not alarming. 2 qualification a year (2x40), 87 rounds to carry around, and only about 8 quick practice sessions.

But then I found on The Rant forum a reply by Blue Trumpet showing that here are 151,427 armed agents (including the Coast Guard) under DHS. That's a larger percentage of law enforcement agents in DHS than I expected. If that is true, then you are still only talking about 594 rounds in the first year per employee.

US Forest Service Ammo Order NOT Alarming
There's a buzz about the US Forest Service, too. According to the Federal Business Opportunities website, the US Forest Service just finalized an order on September of 2011 for 326,000 rounds (including 120,000 .40 S&W rounds). That looks like a drop in the bucket, compared to even the first year of the DHS order. US Forest Service has only about 590 law enforcement types. But their order would only give their law enforcement employees about 200 rounds of .40 S&W each, and it would all have to be delivered in the first year.

For the time being, I am no longer alarmed by the massive purchase of ammo by DHS. It doesn't appear that they are stockpile or preparing for a massive conflagration with the American people. It appears to be the normal usage of ammo by a law enforcement entity - large, largely unnecessary entity - but that's a debate for another post.

Hypothesis #1 - Disproved
Hypothesis #2 - Disproved
Hypothesis #3 - Sort of Validated

What do you think? 

Next In Series: Federal Departments Stockpiling Ammo Like A Survivalist: 1.1 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Taming the 4-Million Headed Hydra and Its 5̶0̶ 56 Little Friends

Who Controls Government the State?

The state that regulates itself most is best. To reformulate:
The best government is that which governs least.
Motto by John L. O'Sullivan for The United States Magazine and Democratic Review
Sounds good, but can we trust the state to police itself? We expect society to do that, if there isn't a state. But the state has "legal" power over us. Maybe: The state that is regulated most is best.

Another Good Reason for Sunset Provisions

An Executive Authority That Allows The Prez to Control Industry in Time of Peace - or "Emergency"

President Obama issued an executive order on March 16 of this year. It's called National Defense Resource Preparedness. It allows the president to control production of resources that the country needs for defense in peacetime and times of emergency. It utilizes an old Act of Congress called the Defense Production Act of 1950. And according to Hot Air, the authority goes back some 70 years (though not continuous prior to 1950) - and in recent years it was updated by Clinton and Bush - twice. So, Hot Air is not alarmed.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

H.R. 4269, Interstate Legal Transportation of Firearms

First Time for Everything

I finally wrote  a politician about a issue I support. I used the NRA Institute for Legislative Action's Write Your Reps tool to send my U.S. Congress representative my request for her to support House Bill H.R. 4269. The text of the bill can be found using a search tool on the House of Representatives website by clicking on the "Bills & Reports" tab under "Legislative Activity" using the term "H.R.4269" (no spaces).

Friday, April 6, 2012

Top Shot's Little Sister, Top Guns

Top Guns' (and Top Shot's) Inaccuracies

I really like the series Top Shot, which airs on History 2, and is also available on Hulu. But I've noticed inaccuracies in definitions of firearm terms, repeatedly. It's understandable, since it's a TV show, running on a production schedule. I'm not under any production schedule, and I make numerous factual errors, which I probably catch and correct before anyone reads a post. But then I was watching Top Guns: Pistol Power, a spin off of Top Shot.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ruger P95 Modifications III: Research

I've settled on three things that I want to improve on my Ruger P95: (1) make it less slippery, (2) fix an edge that cuts into my trigger finger, and (3) change the three dot sights to something that won't cause a stroke. Meanwhile, I'll still be working on a 1000-round grip reduction and enhancement job.

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