A Florida man has been sentenced to prison — again — for threatening to kill the president of the United States — again. Stephen Espalin says he only made the threat to get free medical care, though, and it wasn’t the first time he tried it either.
Espalin, 57, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after he threatened the life of then-President George W. Bush back in 2001. He apparently didn’t learn his lesson, however, and told investigators just a few years later that he would kill Pres. Barack Obama with a homemade bomb.
While being treated for heart attack-like symptoms at a Boca Raton, FL hospital in December 2010, Espalin, according to the Sun Sentinel, told Secret Service agents that he had shipped a bomb to the White House only hours earlier.
Christian Science Monitor
Now that the Pentagon is lifting its ban on women in combat, does this mean that women could potentially be drafted, too?
And as a practical matter: When women turn 18, will they now need to register, as men do, so that they can be conscripted in the event of a World War III, or any military emergency where the US government decides it needs troops quickly?
It’s a thorny question, raising what may be a difficult prospect societally. But the legal implications are obvious, analysts argue.
“The answer to that question is clearly yes,” says Anne Coughlin, a law professor at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville. “The legal argument is clear: If it comes to that kind of wrenching emergency where we have to press young people into service, there is no legal justification for saying that men alone need to shoulder that burden.”
By Kirkpatrick Sale
Equality is a pernicious and dangerous political policy, but that’s exactly what Obama declared in full voice in his second inaugural speech as the cause and preoccupation of his government for the next four years.
He explicitly promised equality for women, gays, illegal immigrants, the middle class, “the growing many [who] barely make it,” the poor, and, by suggestion, blacks – or what the Associated Press’s lead story called “the wider struggle for equality for all.” He began by declaring, in a decidedly Lincolnistic fashion, that “what makes us American is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
Two-out-of-three Americans recognize that their constitutional right to own a gun was intended to ensure their freedom.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of American Adults think the purpose of the Second Amendment is to make sure that people are able to protect themselves from tyranny. Only 17% disagree, while another 18% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
By Darian Worden
Supporting gun control laws means giving government more credit than it deserves. Government is an institution run and staffed by people with their own interests and personalities. Are they really any smarter, more competent, or less likely to escalate violence than the average person?
If anything, institutional interests and incentives combine with the difficulty of holding government actors accountable to make them more dangerous. The laws they enforce make them an even bigger threat to public safety. Government workers with assault weapons break into people’s homes if they are suspected of having unapproved medicine, haven’t paid off the banker, or happen to live at the wrong address. If those government workers feel threatened during their adrenaline rush they are liable to shoot the terrified residents and their pets — and get away with it. I wouldn’t feel any safer knowing that these were the only people who could legally buy 30-round magazines.
By Ali Papademetriou
The United States Central Intelligence Agency is expanding its recruits further than ever before. According to NPR as, “part of the CIA’s efforts to diversify its workforce, the spy agency is reaching out to a group that once was unable to get security clearance — lesbians and gay men.”
Codex Sarepticus on the life and death of a modern-day Prometheus.
Several days ago, Lawrence Lessig, a friend and legal adviser for Aaron Swartz released this statement regarding Aaron’s death (source):
(Some will say this is not the time. I disagree. This is the time when every mixed emotion needs to find voice.)
Since his arrest in January, 2011, I have known more about the events that began this spiral than I have wanted to know. Aaron consulted me as a friend and lawyer. He shared with me what went down and why, and I worked with him to get help. When my obligations to Harvard created a conflict that made it impossible for me to continue as a lawyer, I continued as a friend. Not a good enough friend, no doubt, but nothing was going to draw that friendship into doubt.
The billions of snippets of sadness and bewilderment spinning across the Net confirm who this amazing boy was to all of us. But as I’ve read these aches, there’s one strain I wish we could resist:
Please don’t pathologize this story.
By Kevin Carson
From its very beginning, gun control — the attempt to regulate the possession of means of self-defense by the ordinary populace — has been closely associated with class rule and the class state.
In early modern England, regulation of firearm ownership was closely intertwined with the struggle by the landed classes and capitalist agriculture to restrict the laboring classes’ access to independent subsistence from the land. This included enclosure of common woodland, fen and waste — in which landless and land-poor peasants had previously hunted small game — for sheep pasturage or arable land. It also included exclusion of the common people from forests via the Game Laws and restriction of hunting to the gentry.
By Paul Joseph Watson
Appearing on Fox News last night in the aftermath of President Obama’s gun control speech, Senator Rand Paul vowed to introduce legislation next week that would torpedo Obama’s attempt to eviscerate the second amendment via a raft of executive orders.
Promising to follow the example of the founders in blocking the President from having the ability to legislate, the Kentucky Senator said he would introduce a bill next week that would “nullify anything the president does that smacks of legislation. And there are several of the executive orders that appear as if he’s writing new law. That cannot happen,” added Paul, noting that the courts struck down an attempt by Bill Clinton to do the same thing.
By Thomas Sowell
There is no question that liberals do an impressive job of expressing concern for blacks. But do the intentions expressed in their words match the actual consequences of their deeds?
San Francisco is a classic example of a city unexcelled in its liberalism. But the black population of San Francisco today is less than half of what it was back in 1970, even though the city’s total population has grown.
By Steve Watson
Following Oregon Sheriff Tim Mueller’s lead, three more Sheriffs in parts of Oregon announced Wednesday in letters to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden that they would refuse to enforce any federal gun laws that are unconstitutional.
Crook County Sheriff Jim Hensley told local reporters “I’m going to follow my oath that I took as Sheriff to support the constitution.”
“I believe strongly in the Second Amendment,” Hensley added, urging “If the federal government comes into Crook County and wants to take firearms and things away from (citizens), I’m going to tell them it’s not going that way.”
By John Derbyshire
Some years ago, before I attained wisdom, I got a bit closer than I should have to some problems a friend was having with his wife. After one sensational dust-up that left my pal literally crying in his beer, I urged him to tell me what the casus belli was. Not a very articulate guy, he struggled to explain: “This row we had…it wasn’t really about what it was about. Know what I mean?”
I think we all know. Rather a lot of human conflict, with all its yelling and breaking, its blood and tears, isn’t about what it’s about.
The current brouhaha over gun control strikes me that way. Listening to the opinionators, I started to think I could do a near-simultaneous translation—a translation, I mean, from the surface chatter about constitutional rights, kid safety, self-defense, and 30-round magazines not “clips,” for crying out loud) to the underlying ideas in the speakers’ heads. Something like:
Blue guy: “Why does anyone need a 30-round magazine? What use is that, except to commit mayhem?”
“We are eternally re-fighting the Civil War.”
by Kathy Shaidle
I blame the Burning Schoolhouse.
Canadians are perversely proud that our most popular backyard firework is unavailable in the United States. More like a science-fair volcano than a proper pyrotechnic, the homely Burning Schoolhouse merely spews a two-foot flame that lasts half a minute if you’re lucky.
But every May Two-Four for generations, Canadian kids have cherished those measly 30 sacred seconds, indulging in socially sanctioned fantasies of third-degree carnage.
You won’t hear this from Michael Moore, but modern school shootings are a Canadian invention, too, and I don’t just mean 1989’s “Montreal Massacre.” Despite the absence of a so-called “gun culture,” we spawned the first Adam Lanzas back in the mid-1970s, getting a twenty-plus-year head start on Columbine.
Don’t be fooled by those low body counts circa 1975. Look at the number of wounded, too. In both instances—unlike most American school shootings in the 1970s—those Canucks were would-be spree killers, targeting more than just a hated teacher or classmate.
I’m only kidding about blaming a tacky once-a-year firecracker display, but in the wake of Sandy Hook, would-be reformers are deadly serious. From the gun grabbers to those who want to lock up loonies, they’re all foolishly looking for a solution through the wrong end of the telescope.
It’s obvious that the way to end school shootings is to forget about the “shootings” part and focus on the first word instead.
We need to abolish schools.
The reports are absolutely true. Facebook suspended the Natural News account earlier today after we posted an historical quote from Mohandas Gandhi. The quote reads:
“Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” – Mohandas Gandhi, an Autobiography, page 446.
by Vince Rinehart
In case you haven’t heard, a social movement among Native people has begun in Canada, protesting against the Conservative Government’s budget bill which would cut More…
From Lingit Latseen
by Vince Rinehart
Armed members of the American Indian Movement during the 1973 siege at Wounded Knee.
Gun control is not for Native people. It is for people who can’t or won’t take on the sacred duty to protect their families, their people, their lands and their way of life. When I was 13 I attended a gathering of the tribe’s warriors with my grandfather. All able bodied men reported to the center of the village with their weapons to be inspected by the War Chief to assess the ability of the tribe to protect itself. No Native person should support expansion of power for the US to take away, ban or regulate the sale or possession of firearms by Native people. They don’t want us to be able to protect ourselves anymore. They say that they will take care of that. But we know better. Tribes have long memories.
Tennessee has emerged this week as a center of the “the answer is more guns in schools” sentiment following the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting.
A member of the Republican-controlled legislature plans during its upcoming session to introduce a bill that would allow the state to pay for secretly armed teachers in classrooms so, the sponsor told TPM, potential shooters don’t know who has a gun and who doesn’t.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) has said the idea will be part of his discussions about how to prevent a shooting like the one in Newtown from happening in the Volunteer State.