Category: Law

A constitutional amendment to prevent political dynasties

Like most of you, I’m sick and tired of the Bushes and Clintons. It’s long past time to rein in families like theirs before our political system turns completely hereditary.

To that end, the U.S. Constitution will have to be amended. Here’s my proposal:

AMENDMENT ___

SECTION 1: No person shall be eligible to hold the offices of President or Vice President if that person’s spouse, former spouse, natural parent, adoptive parent, step-parent, sibling, half-sibling, or adopted sibling has previously held either office.

SECTION 2: No person who has ever held the office of President shall be eligible to hold any subsequent public office at the federal level.

SECTION 3: Except for an Associate Justice being appointed to the office of Chief Justice, no person appointed to the Supreme Court shall be eligible to hold any subsequent public office at the federal level.

This should hopefully prevent members of the Obama, Bush, or Clinton families from constantly inflicting themselves upon us.

Ben Carson goofs on guns. Again.

In a wide-ranging radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, presumptive Republican presidential candidate addressed several aspects of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. When the shooting of Mike Brown came up, Carson stuck his foot in his mouth on the subject of guns for at least the third time this year (boldface emphasis below is mine):

HH: Now you say “I don’t think that the police officer did anything wrong.” So you have reviewed and have come to the conclusion that the officer in fact should not have been charged with anything?

BC: Yeah, he had every right to protect his life. But I do think that there are probably other techniques that could have been used.

HH: All right, now if there were other techniques that could have been used, doesn’t that suggest he did something wrong?

BC: No, that suggests that he perhaps has not had the maximum training.

HH: Okay.

BC: You know, for instance, in a lot of places, police officers aren’t even allowed to go into the more dangerous areas by themselves. They’re always paired. Or you know, people use tasers, people learn how to shoot people in the legs to stop them from charging, things of that nature. And I seriously doubt that he’d been given that information.

This is just plain ignorant. No law enforcement agency anywhere in America, whether it’s a federal, state, or local agency, trains its officers to aim for a target’s legs. All of them train their officers to aim for the target’s torso.

Dr. Carson is woefully ignorant about deadly force encounters, about the laws of self defense, and about the mechanics of marksmanship, but educating himself would be relatively simple for a man as intelligent as he is. He can start at BearingArms.com and branch out from there.

“Aiming for the legs or arms” is a foolish myth that belongs only in Hollywood.

—-

For a previous unforced “foot bullet” from Dr. Carson on the subject of guns, see his interview with Dana Loesch, in which he tries to walk back a previous ignorant statement in an interview with Glenn Beck.

Do you see a pattern here yet?

Here’s a way to get rid of all that federal land

The federal government currently owns almost 30% of all land within the United States of America. That’s obscene.

Federal Lands

Look at how bad the situation is in the western states:

Who owns the West?

The only sure way to fix it is via an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Here’s one that should do the trick:

AMENDMENT __

SECTION 1: With the exception of unincorporated Territories, Indian lands, and the District of Columbia, the United States shall not own any more than ten percent of the total land area of the United States, nor shall it own more than twenty percent of the total land area within any State or Territory. The United States shall designate lands that it owns beyond these limits as Excess Federal Lands.

SECTION 2: The United States shall begin selling all Excess Federal Lands by public auction no later than one year after the ratification date of this Amendment, and the United States shall divest itself of all Excess Federal Lands no later than ten years after the ratification date of this Amendment. The United States shall make a good faith effort to auction all Excess Federal Lands, and all such auctions shall be open to all individual citizens of the United States exclusively. The laws and regulations of the States and the Territories shall govern the conduct of auctions of Excess Federal Lands within their borders. During this auction period the United States shall not divest itself of Excess Federal Lands by any method other than by public auction. All Excess Federal Lands that remain unsold ten years after the ratification date of this Amendment shall become the property of their respective States or Territories.

SECTION 3: Any acquisition by the United States of new lands that would otherwise violate Section 1 of this Amendment shall first be offset by divesting an equal or greater amount of lands in accordance with the auction procedures in Section 2. If such auctions fail to sell enough land to comply with Section 1, the United States shall divest the remaining excess lands by transferring ownership to their respective States or Territories.

Have I left anything out?

Will the federal government default?

If the President (and his Senate) fail to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling on October 17th, will the federal government go into default? Only if Barack Obama wants it to, because it’s entirely in his hands.

Can the government fund essential obligations?

Monthly revenue can easily cover the amount America must spend to service its debt. On top of that, monthly revenue can keep Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid fully funded — even at the bloated and obscenely wasteful levels at which those programs currently operate. In fact, America can even maintain all of its defense spending at current levels too.

What will happen on the 17th if no deal is reached? The federal government will be legally required to stop borrowing more money and adding to the debt.

Look at it this way. If you earn $5000 in salary every month, but you max out your credit cards by spending $6000 every month, the bank will eventually refuse to bump up your credit limit any further. When that happens, you can respond in several ways. You can cut your spending by $1000 and stay forever at the limit. You can cut spending by more than $1000 and start paying off your debt. Or you can refuse to cut your spending by at least $1000, and you’ll be unable to make payments on your debt. In other words, you can choose to go into default. If the only thing keeping you from cutting your spending is your fondness for steak, single malt scotch, Italian shoes, fast cars, and weekends in Vegas … the blame for your default is 100% yours.

Sound familiar?

If the Obama Administration announces that they’ll stop making interest payments on the national debt on October 17th, then they’ve voluntarily chosen that course of action. Nothing will force them into it.

There’s plenty of revenue coming in every month to keep America from defaulting on the debt. We do not have a revenue problem. We. Have. A. Spending. Problem.

Mark Levin Q & A on “The Liberty Amendments”

One week ago at the Reagan Library, Mark Levin explained why the only remaining nonviolent way to save the Constitution from the statists in Washington is an Article V convention.



You’ll find a link to a free copy of the first chapter of his book “The Liberty Amendments” here.

Rep. Bob Gibbs won’t defund Obamacare

I sent my Congressman, Bob Gibbs (R-OH) an e-mail urging him to join Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and millions of other Americans in their effort to defund Obamacare when the next Continuing Resolution comes up.

Here was his e-mailed reply (the highlights are mine). The vast bulk of his response is the same old “Obamacare is bad and I oppose it” language every Republican says but on which they rarely follow through. The substance is in the lines I highlighted.

August 21, 2013

Dear Alo,

Thank you for contacting my office regarding defunding Obamacare. As your representative in Congress, I appreciate your input on this important issue.

As you know, the federal government is currently operating on a continuing resolution through September 30, 2013. Unless the 12 remaining appropriations bills or another continuing resolution (CR) is completed most government functions will cease to operate on October 1st. This has lead to calls from some Senators and Congressman to not take up a CR and allow the shutdown of the federal government to prevent the implementation of Obamacare.

Although it is common misconception there is no dedicated funding stream for Obamacare in a CR. CRs only address discretionary appropriations, not mandatory spending, which makes up the bulk of Obamacare spending. In fact a recent Congressional Research Service report determined a government shutdown would not stop Obamacare due to the large amount of discretion the Administration would have.

I want to be perfectly clear, I oppose Obamacare and I have supported every vote to defund, repeal and stop it. Furthermore, I have co-sponsored over thirty pieces of legislation to repeal the most devastating pieces including the Independent Payment Advisory Board and 1099 provision.

Once fully implemented, Obamacare will cost more than $2 trillion (more than double what was originally estimated), raise taxes by $1.1 trillion, cut Medicare by $716 billion, and add over $700 billion to the deficit. Every day we get closer to its implementation it’s becoming painstakingly clear to Americans how bad this law really is.

Recently, the architect of the bill, Senator Baucus, referred to the law as a train wreck and Health and Human Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius stated she did not anticipate how complicated implementing the president’s healthcare law would be. In light of news the IRS was deliberately targeting certain Americans can we really trust them to be in charge of our healthcare?

Even more telling was the Obama Administration quietly announcing they would delay enforcement of a major provision in Obamacare over the July 4th holiday. By delaying the employer mandate provision, which requires companies with over full time 50 employees to provide healthcare, the President has admitted his healthcare bill is unaffordable and crippling to small businesses. Unfortunately, we will be in the exact same position next year because this does nothing to fix the underlying problems with the law.

Obamacare is not controlling costs as promised. In fact, despite the President’s statement premiums would decrease by $2,500, the average family premium has grown over $3,000 and climbing since 2008. Over 30 studies have concluded the law will make health care premiums more unaffordable in 2014. The Ohio Department of Insurance estimates the average individual-market health insurance premium in 2014 will come in around $420, representing an increase of 88 percent from 2013.

Another promise the President made was if you like your insurance you can keep it. In reality, seven million Americans will lose their job-based health insurance and 30 percent of employers will definitely or likely drop coverage for their workers in 2014. That number increases as employers become more aware of the law.

Then Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised that Obamacare would create four million jobs, including 400,000 almost immediately. Yet according to a study by the National Federation of Independent Business, Obamacare could eliminate 1.6 million jobs by 2014 (66 percent of these loses could come from small businesses). These losses are due to the 21 new or higher taxes and regulations contained in Obamacare that will further harm our economy. Even worse the study doesn’t factor in employees whose hours are being reduced in order to comply with these new regulations.

Currently, over 20,000 pages regulations have already been issued or about eight times the length of the original bill. The grim reality is there are hundreds of more regulations to come and no one knows what they will be. Our job creators are citing these unknowns as reasons for planned layoffs and why they cannot expand their business and hire new employees. A recent Gallup Poll of small businesses found 41 percent have frozen any new hires and 19 percent have reduced their workforce due to Obamacare.

While we must lower healthcare costs, Obamacare is not the answer. The President’s flawed healthcare plan does nothing to address rising healthcare costs while adding trillions of dollars in new government spending we cannot afford. Ohioans have overwhelmingly made it very clear that this government takeover of the health care system is not what they had in mind. That is why I voted 40 times to repeal or defund all or part of this harmful legislation since I have been in Congress.

I will continue to fight to repeal this job-killing law and find common ground for competition-driven reforms backed by a majority of Americans that will actually lower healthcare costs and make it more affordable for those who choose to purchase insurance coverage. However, with a federal government shutdown our military members would not receive their pay and certain beneficiaries would experience delays in the processing and payment of their social security benefits. That is just not an acceptable option.

Again, thank you for contacting my office. Please continue to keep me informed on the issues that are important to you. For more information on my work in Congress, or to sign up to receive my e-newsletter, please visit my website at: http://gibbs.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Bob Gibbs
Member of Congress

Unacceptable.

I’ll post a rebuttal of each highlighted claim, but since he’s on the record now, the voters of Ohio’s 7th District deserve to know where he stands.

A Simple Question For Progressives (#21)

Since we allegedly still live in a nation of laws and not of men, and since the U.S. Constitution is supposedly the supreme law of the land, I ask you to first read these small portions of that document, after which I’ll pose my question.

U.S. Constitution
Article I, Section 8

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

U.S. Constitution
Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

U.S. Constitution
Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Given the above supreme law of the land that sets out the enumerated powers of Congress, on what basis does Congress have the authority to do anything beyond what’s listed in Article I Section 8?

Don’t tell me that some new law is justified because it’s a good idea, because it’s fair, because it’s in my interest to want it, because some past overreach went unchallenged, because this will save money, because this will create jobs, because I’m a heartless hateful warmongering homophobic puppy-killing raaaaacist, because America wants Hopenchange© … just tell me how Congress can possibly have the constitutional authority to do it. If it’s not listed in Article I Section 8, where does Congress get the power to do it?

Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments

The Liberty Amendments

The quick and dirty summary

You’ll need to read the whole book to properly understand the problems America faces, but here’s the situation in a nutshell. We live in a post-constitutional republic with a federal government that no longer obeys — but sometimes pays lip service to — the US Constitution. Merely electing new politicians to replace the old ones isn’t enough to fix the problem anymore. The system as it stands is rigged against your individual liberty, and unless we fix the system, we’re doomed to live under soft tyranny (defined four years ago here).

Constitutional scholar, lawyer, and radio host Mark Levin urges Americans to use the last resort provided in the Constitution to save the country from tyranny:

Levin aims to change the rules of the game… or, more properly, reset them, to restore the brilliant system put in place by America’s Founders. With the situation explained and his goals set forth in a few introductory pages, he executes the rest of his book with the planning and precision of a SEAL team taking an objective. Each of his proposed “Liberty Amendments” is laid out in a brief chapter that explains its importance, sources it to the writings of the Founding Fathers, and anticipates the more reasonable objections that would likely be raised. Little time is wasted on the unreasonable objections, for Levin does not intend to address an audience of the stupid, greedy, or hysterical. He also knows his statist adversaries are not interested in rationally discussing the death of the Leviathan they nourished for generations.


“What’s he proposing?”

Levin proposes that we use the second of two methods for enacting amendments to the US Constitution, and he offers 11 amendments that would fix the rigged system we’re currently stuck with. If you want to read them by themselves without any background, click here to jump to the end of this post.

For a much more detailed look at why this convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the constitution makes excellent sense, go read the first chapter of The Liberty Amendments, which Levin released for free at the beginning of the month. It’s brief, and everything’s footnoted and explained in detail, including references to historical debates between the Founders. The quotes reveal how and why they drafted Article V of the Constitution, which sets forth the amendment processes.

Here’s the whole carefully-worded text of Article V (emphasis mine):

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Article V, US Constitution

“It’s a Constitutional Convention? Run!”

What we’re talking about here is not a constitutional convention, because there’s no such process set forth in the US Constitution. A constitutional convention is what a people do when they draft a new constitution from scratch. What Levin urges is something different. Look at that red highlighted text again. This would be a a convention for proposing amendments to the constitution, not a convention for tossing the whole thing out and starting over. Let us not hear any wild-eyed warnings against a “Con-Con,” then.

This is simply the second of two constitutional methods for proposing amendments, where the federal government does nothing but clerical work — verifying that 2/3 of the legislatures of the 50 States have called for a convention, and choosing between two ratification methods. True, we’ve never used this method before, but so what? Until now, we’ve enacted 27 amendments, all using the first method where they’re proposed by the US Congress and sent to the States for ratification. Now Congress has completely lost its moorings and no longer responds to our concerns, and it will never propose amendments to limit itself, the President, the federal courts, or the federal bureaucracy. So be it. The Founders wisely left us another constitutional remedy for this problem, one that allows us to rein in our government without violence. That’s all this is.

“But what if the federal government objects?”

Look at the green highlighted text. If the legislatures of 34 out of 50 States apply to the US Congress to call a convention, Congress must do so. There’s no discretion or wiggle room because the operative word is “shall.” It does not say that Congress “may” call a convention … or “should” or “can” or “might if it feels kinda generous.” There’s only a very limited and insignificant role for Congress in this situation — counting to 34, then picking one of two previously-established ratification methods. They can’t monkey around with the content of the amendments, nor can they stop them.

Also notice that neither the President, the Supreme Court, the federal bureaucracy, the lower federal courts, the 50 governors, nor the State courts have any role here. They’re all just spectators. This process barely involves the US Congress, and the legislatures of the 50 States truly run this show. Once 34 States call for a convention to propose amendments, Congress must call a convention, and all 50 States get to send delegates … even the States that didn’t want the convention to begin with.

“What’s to stop a runaway convention?”

If you’re worried about a runaway convention, where the delegates come up with a dozen good amendments and 800 wacky ones, there’s a safeguard. Reread the yellow highlighted text. The proposed amendments must be submitted to the 50 State legislatures or to 50 State conventions (whichever method Congress picks), and not a single amendment gets enacted unless 3/4 of the States ratify it. This is an inherently federalist process. Even if only 34 States call for a convention, they’ll have to get 38 States to ratify an amendment before it’s enacted. That’s a high bar to clear, so it severely limits the odds of wacky or unpopular proposals becoming law.

If you’re still worried that 310 million Americans are prone to enact a bunch of insane amendments to the US Constitution, I don’t know what to tell you. Why haven’t they already done so? Why haven’t they already tossed the Constitution formally, if that’s what they truly want? You’re either out of touch with reality (because you’re mistaken about your countrymen) or you’ve got no hope to begin with (because you can’t stop 310 million people from tossing the Constitution tomorrow at 6:00 if they want to).

Recent experience suggests that the activists on both sides are the one who will get involved, and the lazy majority will eat their Cheetos and watch reality TV. And here’s where things get promising.

“C’mon. How can this possibly work?”

While utopian statists have a death grip on the federal government, we constitutional conservatives and libertarians outnumber them at the grassroots level. Our ranks crush theirs. This process stacks the deck in our favor because it completely bypasses the masterminds in Washington, DC. Without that giant bludgeon, the statists have nothing. You and I have a snowball’s chance in Hell of meeting — much less persuading during an in-depth conversation — our US Representative or either of our US Senators. But our State Representative and our State Senator? That’s an entirely different ball game. It’s relatively easy to get their attention. None of them lives far from you. Odds are that none of them is very rich or very powerful. Neither does any of them have a bloated staff of underlings dedicated to protecting them from your influence. Very few people go to them for anything these days, largely because all the action’s in Washington where the federal Leviathan has sucked up all the money and power and oxygen.

You have proportionately huge influence over your state legislators. Use it.

“OK, but what do I do?”

Call your State Representative’s office and ask for a meeting. Call your State Senator and tell them you want to have a chat face to face. See what happens. A significant chunk of State legislators already want to see more authority returned to the States where it belongs, and that makes them your allies. Call yours and set up a meeting with each.

If they won’t see you, find five people who share your goals and call back again. They’ll schedule the meeting.

If saving the Republic and your individual liberties is worth $31.62 to you, grab two copies of The Liberty Amendments and write your name, e-mail, phone number, and brainshavings.com/liberty on the inside cover of each book. Give one to your State Rep and the other to your State Senator, and tell them you’d like them to read it. Tell them you’ll be in touch in a month to discuss how to get the ball rolling.

When you have your second meeting, suggest that they co-sponsor a simple resolution that says something like …

Rescinding all previous such applications, the Legislature of the State of _______ hereby applies to the United States Congress to call a Convention for Proposing Amendments to the United States Constitution.

That’s it. Get that started in your State House and in your State Senate, then get cosponsors. Get a majority in one body, then in the other. Once you get the same language passed though each body, you’re done.

One State down, 33 to go … and the other 33 aren’t your responsibility.

“So once the convention is called, what kinds of amendments would we need?”

Here are the eleven amendments Mark Levin came up with. I think they’d go a very long way toward fixing the rigged system we’re currently stuck with, and they would reverse this slide into tyranny.


Nine out of the eleven really warm my heart. I have a different amendment in mind that would balance the budget and limit spending and taxation, but I’m just one guy. I could easily live with Levin’s two spending and taxing amendments instead. Hell, who’s to say you haven’t got better ideas?

Just consider this: if you’re one of the first people to get this ball rolling in your State, who do you suppose might get a call from your State Rep or State Senator when it’s time for them to choose delegates for the convention? Imagine being involved in making history, and in a good way! So go buy two copies, read one, make your two phone calls, and go hand the books to your legislators.

We can save the Republic, but someone has to start the ball rolling. If not you … then who?

Ohio state senators introduce “assault weapons” ban

Five of Ohio’s 33 state senators want to ban so-called “assault weapons.” Here’s the definition they propose in Senate Bill 18:

Sec. 2923.171. (A) No person shall knowingly possess or acquire any assault weapon.

(D) As used in this section, “assault weapon” means an automatic firearm that has not been rendered permanently inoperable, a semi-automatic firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine with the capacity to accept ten or more cartridges, and a semi-automatic firearm with a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept ten or more cartridges.

This definition includes most pistols and rifles, and some shotguns. Notice that they don’t seek to ban “high-capacity” magazines, but rather any guns that accept them. If you’re a gun grabber and want to get rid of Firearm X, you need only build a ten-round mag that fits it (hire a machinist, baby!), and ta-daaa! It’ll be illegal to possess or acquire that gun in Ohio.

Also note that there’s no grandfather clause for current owners of so-called “assault weapons,” nor for collectors of vintage firearms.

Read the bill and you’ll also see a broad provision for a new “firearm and ammunition transactions database” too.

Sec. 109.5731. The attorney general shall prepare for the establishment and operation of a firearm and ammunition transactions database that will be maintained by the bureau of criminal identification and investigation. The attorney general shall establish the database in conformity with the requirements of any act that is enacted by the general assembly.

I wonder why the state government might be interested in who buys, sells, and owns guns and ammunition? First comes registration, then comes confiscation.

The state senators responsible for this disaster are Shirley Smith (D – Cleveland), Nina Turner (D – Cleveland), Mike Skindell (D – Lakewood), Eric Kearney (D – Cincinnati), Edna Brown (D – Toledo), and Charleta Tavares (D – Columbus). Get on the phones, people. Stop this before it gains momentum.

7:00 AM Update: More from the Buckeye Firearms Association.

7:15 AM Update: This is a Madsen-Rasmussen M1896 Self-Loading Rifle. It’s 117 years old.

Madsen-Rasmussen

Under S.B. 18, this rare antique would be defined as an illegal “assault weapon” in Ohio.

Women in close combat units? This will not end well.

So it looks like outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has decided to gut our military readiness on his way out the door, by unilaterally allowing women to serve in units that engage in close combat. Apparently the leftist platitude that Grrrrl Power™ can do anything will now meet the pointy corners and sharp edges of reality in an arena where people get killed even if they do everything right.

Mark my words: either the Obama White House and the Department of Defense will claim success by lowering the standards for women, or they’ll do it by lowering them for everyone and claiming everything is now “fair.”If woman and men are not different in any meaningful way, why are there no NFL linewomen? If such a creature could be created, don’t you think that the cold, calculating capitalists running those franchises would jump at the opportunity to employ her? Think of the merchandising opportunities and priceless P.R. to be had. The glaring and obvious absence of women from the NFL — not to mention the NBA, NHL, and MLB — should tell you something about human biology, and in professional sports death on the job is about as common as a unicorn fart.

The physical strength and endurance standards required for close combat participants to survive and accomplish their missions have been well-known for generations. Women can do some things better than men, and a few of those things are physical. Women are often more flexible than men, can fit into tighter spaces, and tend to have better fine motor skills. Unfortunately such abilities do you no good when the task at hand is muscling 155mm artillery shells into the breech of a howitzer. Or replacing a section of tread on an M1A1 tank that just threw a track. Or throwing a frag far enough to reach the enemy and not hit your buddies when it detonates. Or using a fireman’s carry to bring a wounded and screaming 230 pound soldier wearing 50 pounds of gear out of the line of fire. Or humping a full ruck and a weapon through the Hindu Kush for a week on patrol. Or climbing a collapsible boarding ladder up the side of a hijacked supertanker. Or … well, you see my point.

In close combat, you don’t get to call a training time out when things get difficult. You don’t get to stop the patrol to change out a soaked maxi pad. You don’t get special consideration from the enemy when your monthly cramps and hormonal mood swings hit. You don’t leave your unit and head back to the continental US just because you find you have a kid on the way. You live in filth, blood, grime, heat, cold, rain, and snow, all while the enemy gets regular and unscheduled opportunities to try to kill you. You don’t let drama, emotion, sex, dating, or any of a million other distractions interfere with your core mission of killing the enemy, breaking his stuff, sapping him of the will to fight, and persuading his supporters that they have better things to do than oppose you.

GI Jane

At least, if you hope to limit friendly casualties and be an effective military, you don’t. If your goal is to provide career opportunities for people with two X chromosomes, then you do what we’re starting to do now.

During my nine years of military service, I watched many a military female capitalize on her sex to skate by. It was tacitly encouraged (just look at the different scoring scales for physical fitness tests in the military, for starters). Rare is the active duty male commissioned officer who will voice his confirmation of my own first hand observations, lest the Screeching Harpies of Diversity and Tolerance™ eviscerate his career. Pour encourager les autres.

women in combatAre there women who actually can meet the physical standards? Presumably. I suppose there may be ~0.05% of the military-age female population who can. Of those, I suspect the majority do not want to be in a close combat unit. And even if a tiny cohort of women are both willing and able to meet the physical standards of close combat, we still must ask if the negative effects of their presence in such units — and the cost involved in making accommodations for their biological needs — are worth the expected benefits.

The overriding question to address whenever we consider a change to our policies on close combat units is: “Is it more likely than not that this change will help the unit kill the enemy, break his stuff, crush his will to fight, and sap his supporters’ commitment?” If the answer is anything other than an unqualified YES, then the proposed change should be scrapped. Period.

Other than a very few extreme genetic outliers, women cannot meet the current physical standards required of infantry/armor/artillery/SOF troops. Mark my words: either the Obama White House and the Department of Defense will claim success by lowering the standards for women, or they’ll do it by lowering them for everyone and claiming everything is now “fair.” If they hold women to the same standards that men must meet today, all the way through January 20, 2017, I will donate an additional $5,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project. My $5,000 is safer than Barack Obama’s college transcripts, and you know it.

This will not end well, and it will get American troops killed who would otherwise have lived.

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10:25 PM Update: More commentary below, from guys who’ve been in it up to their eyeballs (and even one gal).

Let the games begin!

A Lovely Parting Gift

Panetta throws open doors to combat for women

Women Cleared For Combat

The Harsh Reality of Women in Infantry Combat

Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal by Captain Katie Petronio, USMC

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10:40 PM Update: Let’s take a look at NASA’s comparison of female vs. male muscular strength.

NASA graphic

Note: Female strength as a percentage of male strength for different conditions. The vertical line within each shaded bar indicates the mean percentage difference. The end points of the shaded bars indicate the range.
Reference: 16, p. VII-50; NASA-STD-3000 204

But hey, let’s not let uncomfortable reality get in the way of boosting female self-esteem to even more stratospheric heights.

—-

1/24/12 5:30 PM Update: Heather MacDonald reminds everyone of the obvious.

Feminists routinely deny Eros — except when it suits them to exploit their sexual power. Only someone deliberately blind to human reality could maintain that putting men and women in close quarters 24 hours a day will not produce a proliferation of sex, thus introducing all the irrational passions (and resulting favoritism) of physical attraction into an organization that should be exclusively devoted to the mission of combat preparedness. Reported “sexual assaults” will skyrocket, and of course it will only be the men who are at fault. Any consensual behavior leading up to the “assault” — getting in bed with your fellow grunt drunk and taking off your clothes, for example — will be ignored, since in the realm of sexual responsibility, women remain perpetual victims, at the mercy of all-powerful men. Expect a windfall to the gender-sensitivity-training industry, which will be called in both before and after the entry of women into combat units to eradicate endemic male sexism.

It’ll be just dandy for unit cohesion, don’t you think?

The rape exception makes no sense

Many pro-lifers believe abortion should be permitted if the mother seeking one became pregnant because she was raped. This position makes no sense.

If the unborn is a human being, then the rape exception says it’s acceptable to kill a human being if her father raped her mother, or if her existence causes her mother emotional distress, or both. Following this logic, a mother of a three year old girl conceived in rape may kill her daughter for the same reasons.

If the unborn is not a human being, then no special exception for rape is required. Mothers may freely abort for any reason or no reason.

To resolve the controversy over abortion in the case of rape, simply answer one question: “What is the unborn?”

The rape exception to abortion

Whichever way you answer that question, there is no moral difference between the two fetuses in the photo above. They’re either both human beings, or they’re both not.

Rape is evil. Period. Murder is evil. Period. Murdering an innocent third party using rape as an excuse is evil. Period.

When you shut down your ability to reason your way through a problem, and rely instead on your emotional responses, you risk making a horribly wrong choice.

The rape exception for abortion

Clear away your emotions for one brief moment and think. If the unborn is not a human being, then the rape exception is unnecessary. But if the unborn is a human being, then the rape exception is unjustified.

So go answer the most important question.

10:15 Update: Even a pro-choice atheist gets it. C’mon, you people are embarrassing the pro-life cause.

10/30 Update:

The rape exception to abortion

Does gun control reduce violent crime?

If it could be shown by statistical studies that violent crime rates in counties with Policy X were lower than violent crime rates in counties without Policy X, and further that counties switching to Policy X saw a drop in their violent crime rate, and all of those statistics were carefully controlled to isolate the effect of Policy X alone, then what would you conclude?

Now what if Policy X turned out to be “shall issue” concealed firearm permits?

For further understanding of what, exactly, we have the right to keep and bear, read my paper on the Second Amendment’s definition of “arms.”

12:10 PM Update: For those who are unfamiliar with the legal term “shall issue,” read the Buckeye Firearms Association’s excellent summary in layman’s terms.

Did the Supreme Court limit the Commerce Clause?

As you read this post, keep these words in the front of your mind: “the opinion of the Court.”

In Part III-A of his published opinion on the Obamacare case, Chief Justice Roberts explained that he would forbid Congress from relying on the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution to pass legislation to force you to buy something. Plenty of conservatives — and even a few leftists — seem to think that his opinion on the Commerce Clause is also the formal opinion of the Supreme Court. Not so.

Here’s the very first paragraph of the published ruling, taken from page 7 of the PDF file.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II, and III–C, an opinion with respect to Part IV, in which JUSTICE BREYER and JUSTICE KAGAN join, and an opinion with respect to Parts III–A, III–B, and III–D.

See that highlighted text? Part III-A is where Roberts fleshes out his theories about the limits of the Commerce Clause, but that doesn’t change a damn thing. Part III-A is obiter dictum (often shortened to dictum or dicta), a fancy Latin term that means “this is a part of the written opinion where the judge yammers on about something or other, but it isn’t part of the court’s formal ruling, so it isn’t controlling precedent and you can ignore it.”

Go read the opinion, and look at the beginning of Part III-A and compare it to the beginning of Part III-C.

Roberts opinion, Part III-A Roberts opinion, Part III-C

You have to pay attention to details when you read a Supreme Court opinion. The Obamacare case did not rein in Congress’ use of the Commerce Clause. Chief Justice Roberts wrote his opinion about it, but not enough justices joined him to make it the official, binding opinion of the Court. They did join him in Part III-C, where he upheld the individual mandate by magically rewriting the law as a tax. Part III-C is indeed the opinion of the Court.

Want an even simpler explanation of what Chief Justice Roberts tried to achieve?

Commerce Clause or Taxing Power?

Always look for the opinion of the Court. Let Mark Levin explain it for you.

Congress is the problem

Ever wondered why Congress doesn’t work? Think about this: when America was founded, the average Congressman represented 30,000 constituents. Today, it’s roughly 700,000. To make the U.S. House as responsive to all 300+ million of us as it used to be, it would need to grow from its current size of 425 Representatives.

It would need to have roughly 10,000 members.

We have a problem, folks.

Pack the Supreme Court

Want to reign in the activist tendencies of the statists* on the U.S. Supreme Court? Take a look at current federal law to see the answer:

The Supreme Court of the United States shall consist of a Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum.

Elect conservative Republicans — and tractable RINOs — to the House and Senate, evict Barack Obama from the White House, and change this law. Increase the size of the Court to 11 or 13 justices, then fill the vacancies with constitutionalists (those who interpret a law by looking to the commonly-understood meaning of a law’s text).

Problem solved.


* the four leftists plus the squishes, Kennedy and Roberts

Why won’t Sherrod Brown take credit for passing Obamacare?

Today should be a happy day for Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown, the Democrat whose vote pushed Obamacare over the finish line in March of 2010. After all, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it today. There was a time way back in October 2010 ancient history when Sherrod Brown urged his fellow Democrats to run for election with the passage of Obamacare as their main campaign theme.

But a funny thing has happened in the 20 months since: Sherrod Brown doesn’t talk about Obamacare anymore. Notice anything missing from these two screen shots (taken an hour ago) of his Twitter activity?

Sherrod Brown on Obamacare

Sherrod Brown on Obamacare

If you peruse the press releases on his campaign web site, you’ll find no mentions of Obamacare. On his Senate site, you’ll see a prime example of spreading the blame:

“Supreme Court Justices appointed by presidents of both parties today made an independent legal judgment to uphold the health law. I hope today’s ruling will put an end to the partisan bickering so that we can continue our focus on jobs and improving the economy” Brown said.

Translation: “Don’t blame me and my party for this abomination. Let’s talk about something else. Please.” If you manage to confront him in person and ask him about his instrumental support for Obamacare — without which it would not have passed — his response will be the following:

Look! Shiny object!

C’mon, Senator, man up for once. Own it. Obamacare is your baby.

Obamacare prediction

Here’s my prediction for tomorrow’s ruling on Obamacare by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Based on reports of über-leftist Justice Ginsburg penning the dissent, and based on the way the conservative wing of the Court (plus perennial swing voter Justice Anthony Kennedy) grilled Obama’s Solicitor General during oral argument over the severability issue earlier this year, I’m guardedly optimistic.

The individual mandate will be tossed as unconstitutional. Then, because there’s no severability clause in the bill, the Court will toss the rest of the bill along with the mandate. That will kick the whole issue back to Congress for a do-over, on what’s as close to a procedural technicality as possible. This Court doesn’t want to sift through thousands of pages of legislative sausage to craft a politically palatable compromise. That’s not possible to achieve, and they’re loathe to get blatantly involved in partisan politics to begin with. The ruling will be a long-winded version of “you guys did this wrong so you have to start over from scratch.”

At any rate, that’s what I’m praying for.

6/27/2012 Update: Whoa.