20 January 2007

High Crimes And Misdemeanors

Good things always come in threes.

One, if you are employed as a weather guesser, one of your colleagues would like to ensure that you don't stray from the plantation. The Weather Channel's Heidi Cullen, Climate Expert, would like to see all weather guessers that don't toe the "Climate Change Is Caused By Evil Mankind" party line de-certified by the American Meteorological Society. That would be, I guess, most of you. Hat tip to Neal Boortz for the story and links. Like the man says, follow the money.

Two, for those of you still living in LaLaLand (otherwise known as California), spare the rod or face jail time and hefty fines. A bill introduced to the California legislature by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, would outlaw spanking as a means of punishment to children 3 and below. In my view, if the government is going to strip parents of their authority, how long will it be before they are relieved of their responsibility as well?

Ms Lieber states that the purpose of the bill is not for "mommy government" to tell parents what they can and can't do, but rather to codify the rights of toddlers. I had exactly two rights when I was a toddler, the right to sit down and the right to shut up. Or as my mother so succinctly put it, "children should be seen and not heard."

Three, from links supplied by James, Arizona lawmaker Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, has introduced legislation into that state to outlaw any civilian groups, such as the Minutemen, that dare to band together to detect illegal activity. The law, HB2286, would add "domestic terrorism" to it's list of activities prohibited under smuggling and organized crime laws. Domestic terrorism, according to the new bill, would be defined thusly:

"A. An individual or group of individuals commits domestic terrorism if the individual or group of individuals are not affiliated with a local, state or federal law enforcement entity and associate with another individual or group of individuals as an organization, group, corporation or company for the purpose of patrolling to detect alleged illegal activity or to individually patrol for the purpose of detecting alleged illegal activity and if the individual or group of individuals is armed with a firearm or other weapon."

(B. and C. omitted, they weren't important for this discussion anyway.)

"D. A violation of this section is a class 5 felony."

So not only the Minutemen, but also, perhaps, Neighborhood Watch? And woe be unto you, Arizona ranchers on the border, if you and the boys decide to go out and catch the rustlers that are stealing your stock! Such an attempt to secure your own property could be deemed a class 5 felony.

Take note that the bill specifies "armed with a firearm or other weapon." That 5 D cell MagLite that you are carrying as part of your neighborhood watch makes a dandy weapon. The bill also specifies "individual or group of individuals" and further states that said individual may be part of a group of like-minded individuals or may "individually patrol for the purpose of detecting alleged illegal activity", so in a pinch you may be subject if you are patrolling your own house with a firearm to investigate the sound of smashing glass in the middle of the night.

Maybe not, but then again the original law is being used to charge those who pay coyotes as well as the coyotes themselves. "None of us every dreamed it would be used in a co-conspirator fashion," Sinema said. And defense attorneys will try anything. What's especially galling is that Sinema acknowledges that the law is being used in unexpected ways, and wants to add more to it!

A coyote in this context is someone who is paid to sneak illegals across the border.

A Concurrent Resolution co-sponsored by Sinema, HCR 2011, would make Arizona a sanctuary state, or in the language of the bill, a "safety zone", "where all persons are treated equally, with respect and dignity, regardless of immigration status."

The same resolution resolves "That the Members of the Legislature express their desire that the United States government, on adoption of sensible and comprehensive immigration reforms, begin effective enforcement of federal immigration laws at the federal level so that Arizona is not forced to shoulder the costs of enforcing federal immigration laws."

Excuse me, but doesn't one negate the other? Current "federal immigration laws" would render the "safety zone" a violation of Federal immigration law, wouldn't it? Make up your mind here, do you want a "safety zone", or do you want the United States Government to enforce "federal immigration laws"?

I for one would like to see the current law actually enforced. That would indicate that the laws are actually laws, and not merely suggestions. But I'm funny like that.

Not enough criminals? Use the law to make more. No matter that the real criminals, the ones doing actual harm, are deucedly difficult to catch and prosecute, we will go after the normally law-abiding since they are easier to find and prosecute.

I'm hoping that California and Arizona defeat their respective lunacy laws, but if it's being introduced how long before it catches on?

No comments: