The best candidate gets the job? How novel! How un-American!

The Indianapolis Star reports that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indianapolis Fire Department “no longer must use racial preference in hiring and promotion, prompting public safety officials to announce Friday they will more strictly adhere to a merit-based system that they say will ensure fairness.”

“People have the right to expect that in the Police Department and Fire Department, people will be evaluated in their job, that those evaluations will matter and that the best people will be promoted to positions of supervision,” said Public Safety Director Scott Newman, who oversees IMPD and IFD.

I have no idea why the U.S. Department of Justice concerns itself with racial diversity quotas, rather than, say, doing its job. I mean not at all to suggest the every, or even most, attorney generals, all but two of whom have been white males, have done great, or even good, jobs, but our nation’s two forays into “diversity” at the highest level in Justice brought us Reno and Gonzalez, who were corrupt, villainous officials. Just sayin’.

Wake up America: Another reason not to vote for Barack Obama

From the 31 July 2008 Washington Times:

Legislation that would make it more difficult for workers to hold a private ballot vote in unionization drives, which critics say would lead to harassment and intimidation, has spurred a pitched battle between powerful labor unions supportive of Sen. Barack Obama and big business in the presidential campaign.

Seen by the AFL-CIO as a way to boost union rolls by hundreds of thousands of new members, the hotly-contested bill has become this year’s No. 1 election issue for organized labor. Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has promised union bosses that the Employee Free Choice Act will become law in 2009 if he wins the presidency in November. [My emphasis, of Orwellian double-speak at its finest. – NPO]

“We’re ready to play offense for organized labor. It’s time we had a president who didn’t choke saying the word ‘union.’ A president who strengthens our unions by letting them do what they do best: organize our workers,” Mr. Obama told the AFL-CIO in Philadelphia on April 2.

“I will make it the law of the land when I’m president of the United States,” Mr. Obama told the labor federation.

Is it any wonder that the attractiveness of organized labor has declined as precipitously as it has when its leaders seek to deny could-be union members the right to vote to organize, or not to, in secret?* Really, only Obama’s support of this draconian policy boggles my mind more than the proposal’s very existence. Notice that Obama makes no claim, as quoted supra, of supporting the working man; rather, he saves his heroism for the unions. He wants “to play offense for organized labor“, rather than for organized laborers**. Accuse me of parsing to the most painfully minute degree; I stand by the importance of the difference here. Barack Obama has more interest, it would seem, in maintaining the financial support of the unions than in protecting the rights of the American working class. Change, indeed.

It is, perhaps, worthy of note that Obama has promised to enact the Freedom of Choice Act, guaranteeing further the “right” to “choose” to abort an unborn child and to enact the Employee Free Choice Act, which, in fact, severely limits the choice the American worker has. Baffling. Even George McGovern, stalwart union supporter, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says no to this egregious legislation, as Paul M. Weyrich notes

From McGovern’s opinion piece:

I worry that there has been too little discussion about EFCA’s true ramifications, and I think much of the congressional support is based on a desire to give our friends among union leaders what they want. But part of being a good steward of democracy means telling our friends “no” when they press for a course that in the long run may weaken labor and disrupt a tried and trusted method for conducting honest elections. [My emphasis, for awesome truth-telling. – NPO]

Reasonable Republican words on the Act, from Congressman John Kline, MN:

It is beyond me how one can possibly claim that a system whereby everyone — your employer, your union organizer, and your co-workers — knows exactly how you vote on the issue of unionization gives an employee free choice. . . . It seems pretty clear to me that the only way to ensure that a worker is free to choose is to ensure that there’s a private ballot, so that no one knows how you voted. I cannot fathom how we were about to sit there today and debate a proposal to take away a worker’s democratic right to vote in a secret-ballot election and call it “Employee Free Choice”.

For what it’s worth, as the article in the Times notes, McCain opposes this act.***

Update: Clive Crook has a good piece on EFCA, unions, and the Democrats. The comment box conversation is worth your time, too.

*For the love of God, I realize that this has come up long after the unions began to lose their luster, so, please, avoid trying to disprove my argument on such grounds. This policy, rather, I believe, is just the newest manifestation of the corruption that plagues organized labor, which perpetuates itself by positing continuously the chimera of a level of economic security that the working man can achieve onlythrough union membership.

**The reader ought not to construe this piece as indicative, at all, of my opinions on voluntary organization.

***The reader ought, of course, not to construe this piece as indicative of my support for or endorsement of Senator McCain.

****I should also note — insist, vehemently, even — that the fact that Wal-Mart and I fall on the same side of this in no way should be construed as being indicative of my support of, approval for, or interest in siding with this most evil bastard mutation of “free-market economics”.

Liberty makes for strange bed-fellows: DONATE TO-DAY!

“Lust for freedom can lead to some pretty strange bedfellows.” Check it out, here. Thanks to the Schwenk for alerting me to this. I made my meagre contribution. You should, too! Because, damn it, liberty is ours to preserve; government as we know it sure as hell ain’t going to.

Guns, D.C. (crime), Police power, and the Constitution

As the Washington Post reports, the D.C. Council approved, last night, emergency legislation to end the city’s hand-gun ban, bringing the city (allegedly) into compliance with the Supreme Court’s Heller decision.

City leaders say the legislation goes as far as it can on gun regulations while respecting the high court’s ruling. Weapons must be unloaded, disassembled or trigger-locked, except when there is a “threat of immediate harm to a person” in the home.

I confess that, my passionate support of the right to bear arms not-with-standing, I can’t remember the last time I fired (or even held) my BB gun, let alone a rifle or shot-gun; I’ve never handled, much less fired, a hand-gun of any sort. This being the case, I can’t say that I know how quickly and easily, particularly under duress, some-one can load, assemble, or un-lock the trigger of his hand-gun. I suspect, though, that these are not the most quickly accomplished of tasks, especially when a “threat of immediate harm to a person” in the home exists. That is, I fear that the wording of the Council’s legislation essentially makes impotent the threatened gun owner who has complied there-with. Legally, he may not have his gun ready to be fired; he can only prepare it so once some-one poses an immediate threat to him, which, likely, makes, as I said, readying the gun all the more difficult.

Furthermore, this un-reasonable legislation seems, to me, to be quite un-enforceable. I mean this not in the sense that speed limits often are un-enforceable, simply because devoting sufficient man-power to this task would force police departments to neglect other, perhaps more imperative matters; rather, I suggest that, maybe, enforcement of this law is possible only if the Fourth Amendment, already savaged by FISA, is rendered wholly void. I should like to think that merely owning a legally registered hand-gun in the city suffices not to justify “probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation”. Then again, this is D.C., where . . .

Opponents of the gun ban say the new legislation and the city’s continued prohibition of semiautomatic weapons are not in accordance with the high court’s decision. Fenty (D) and council members, presenting a unified front on the gun ban, say they are prepared for lawsuits.

I’m neither so foolish nor insularly passionate about gun rights to contend that guns present no harm; in fact, I recognize that they present an immanent possible threat. How-ever, I also know that they can serve as protection against both tyranny and criminals. That a city so plagued by crime and illicit gun violence, despite the thirty-two-year-long ban on hand-guns, seemingly, had no choice but to resort, much to the perturbation of the ACLU, to military-style check-points in the Trinidad neighbor-hood, which experienced seven homicides, six-teen robberies and twenty assaults with dangerous weapons between the first of April and early June, would, I should think, suggest that, just maybe, the leaders of this city, who have, upon other occasions, exempli gratia, with respect to school vouchers and breaking the control of the teachers’ union, shown willing-ness to act intelligently, rather than ideologically (foolishly), ought to try allowing the good people of the District to exercise their Second Amendment right for the sake of their own lives. In-stead, they smugly concede to being ready for law-suits. Glad to know that Senator Obama includes such judicious politicians as Mayor Fenty amongst his supporters!

Even would the mayor and council relent, approving more (in my humble opinion) Constitutionally valid legislation with respect to hand-guns, the ineluctable Euclidian police power, to wit, zoning, almost stands athwart John Washingtonian’s quest legally to protect him-self and his clan, as my friend Rob Goodspeed, a recent graduate of my Community Planning program, notes here.

Just because the D.C. handgun ban has been overturned doesn’t mean you will ever be able to buy one in Washington. The reason? Zoning. This from the Wall Street Journal:

Washington has no federally licensed gun stores, so nowhere in the city can residents buy a handgun legally. Under federal law, buying one in neighboring Maryland or Virginia isn’t an option either. If gun dealers sell a firearm to a nonresident, they have to ship it to a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s home state, which then conducts the relevant background checks. “Without a dealer, there’s no place to ship the gun to,” said Mike Campbell, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

It is unlikely that Washington will get any new dealers, either. Federal licensing requirements mandate that would-be dealers meet local guidelines and zoning ordinances. Representatives of each of the district’s eight council wards said they would vigorously oppose a gun shop in their area. They also said discussions had already begun over which regulations they might use to keep one from opening.

Rob continues

The only problem? As of now, D.C. Zoning Code says nothing about gun shops. Another issue to throw into the mix over in the D.C. zoning update …

I admit, right off the bat, that I am no Constitutional law scholar. How-ever, it seems to me that, ultimately, some-thing has to occur to allow gun shops to operate within the District’s boundaries. As much as the Supreme Court has ravished the Constitution in the name of police power (specifically, the Fifth Amendment, in Berman v. Parker and Kelo v. City of New London), the protections (in the Fifth Amendment case, against takings) still exist de jure, if only in a viciously restricted manner, if not de facto. By the same token, in light of Heller, I can-not imagine that any zoning enacted to prevent the operation of a gun shop, which, in effect, is the exercise of police power to prohibit the exercise of the Second Amendment right to bear arms, would with-stand a law-suit. How any other, non-zoning, ordinance might effectively preclude the opening of a gun store in Washington with-out suffering a similarly appropriate fate, I know not. I can only hope that, some-day, John Washingtonian can exercise the right properly to protect him-self, his family, and his property, against tyrant or thug, as guaranteed by the Constitution and affirmed by the Supreme Court, D.C. nanny-staters be damned.

Does any-one else grow tired of Yglesias’ un-fair characterizations of conservatives?

Smug, over-generalizing hack. And he probably smirks whilst propagating this clap-trap, too!

Remember when the rule of law was a hot topic among conservatives? Obviously, 9/11 changed everything so in the name of national security we should ignore laws against torture and laws against warrantless wiretapping, but what many fail to realize is that 9/11 made environmental regulations obsolete as well

If you’re a conservative, you like torture. If you’re against torture, you’re not a conservative.

I like the rule of law, probably more so than does Barack “Let’s Gut the Fourth Amendment” Obama. Stick that one in your pie hole, Yglesias. Moreover, despite calling my-self one, I mustn’t be a conservative: I can’t handle the torture that is Yglesias’ hot air.

Obama, oh boy! NAFTA, FISA, USA PATRIOT Act, and the politics of consensus

Viewed in a certain way, you can argue that everything Obama has done is consistent with his general views and his habit of avoiding confrontation, but this is not very flattering for Obama and it is even less flattering for his conservative admirers. As a supporter of the PATRIOT Act, Obama has never exactly been a champion on civil liberties, so when he said that he would filibuster the FISA bill it was may have been nothing more than pandering and a refusal to court confrontation during the primaries. Once he became the nominee, he wanted to avoid confrontation with the telecoms and the executive, which was easy enough since he has been a fair-weather civil libertarian all along, because to be anything else would be to court resistance and opposition from entrenched power in the government and the media.

                                                           –The nonpareil Daniel Larison

The few of you who read this, loyally or occasionally, have, doubtless, noticed that I spend far more time criticizing Senator Obama than Senator McCain. Know that I support him no more than I support his presumptive opponent; however, I feel that people more than willingly recognize his faults, where-as the cult of Obama has so obfuscated the truth about where the senator from Illinois stands and how willingly he plays the games of the political world into which he has entered as an “out-sider”. This being the case, any effort taken to dis-credit the hack from Hyde Park is well worth the effort.

Arm your-self: The government is coming to get you.

Courtesy of Will at The Reactionary Epicurean, this terrifying piece in on the Washington Times’ web-log.

According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers.

This bracelet would:

• take the place of an airline boarding pass

• contain personal information about the traveler

• be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage

• shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes

The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to as, would be worn by every traveler “until they disembark the flight at their destination.” Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and that it would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if he/she got out of line?

Maybe we need a Twenty-eighth Amendment, one requiring that all Americans arm them-selves to the teeth in preparation for the impending theft of all liberty in the name of security.