Breathing is Reason Enough

Once again, DC’s leaders are told that they too must do more than provide a nod to the US Constitutions’s much maligned Second Amendment.

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a key provision of the District’s new gun law is probably unconstitutional, ordering D.C. police to stop requiring individuals to show “good reason” to obtain a permit to carry a firearm on the streets of the nation’s capital.
[…]
“The enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table,” Leon wrote in a 46-page opinion, quoting a 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision in 2008 in another District case that established a constitutional right to keep firearms inside one’s home.

Not that this will stop those who believe that freedom is other people doing what they instruct them to, but it’s a bright spot nonetheless.

More Throttle to Venezuela’s Socialist Demise

Things look like they might be coming to a head sooner rather than later:

“What you have seen is little compared to what we will do to defend the people and their rights,” Maduro said on Tuesday night shortly after being granted the power to rule by decree, allowing him to create laws on his own, without consulting congress.

Maduro says the special powers will enable him to regain control of the country’s collapsing economy – which the president blames on “economic warfare” being waged by his opponents to destabilise his rule before December’s municipal elections.

Read it all, and understand that it could happen here–unless we are able to reclaim our country’s birthright of freedom and the rule of law.

Constitution Still Matters to Some

Federal judge notes that the US Constitution requires that Congress appropriate funds (exercise the power of the purse). Judge further notes that the payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act were not authorized by such a congressional appropriation. The Executive branch response is par for the current course:

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the administration remained confident it will prevail in the end.

“This suit represents the first time in our nation’s history that Congress has been permitted to sue the executive branch over a disagreement about how to interpret a statute,” he told reporters. “It’s unfortunate that Republicans have resorted to a taxpayer-funded lawsuit to re-fight a political fight that they keep losing.”

Such concern for the funds of the taxpayers, Mr. Earnest. Where is the concern over the astronomical cost of the (not so) Affordable Care Act on those same taxpayers?

Regulation Worse than Friction

I’ll concede the we need some regulation. Breathing according to a set pattern is helpful to the body. Meals of standard proportions promote good health. A certain number of hours of sleep per 24-hr period is also beneficial. And so forth.

But the number of regulations which we’ve seen added to our lives is, well, difficult to fathom. Unfortunately, this all started happening in a big way before I was born, so there was little I could do to stop things:

In the United States, which drove most of the “golden quarter’s” progress, 1970 marks what scholars of administrative law (like me) call the “regulatory explosion.” Although government expanded a lot during the New Deal under FDR, it wasn’t until 1970, under Richard Nixon, that we saw an explosion of new-type regulations that directly burdened people and progress: The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, the founding of Occupation Safety and Health Administration, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, etc. — all things that would have made the most hard-boiled New Dealer blanch.

More of those “good intentions.” I’m not sure those words mean what you think they mean.

Embracing the Positively Different

What if we were to consider the possibility that each of us is an individual, strengths and weaknesses abounding–and make the most of it? Think of the wealth that could be redirected from pharmaceuticals to, I don’t know, figuring out of it’s worth our while to set up a slingshot to the moon. One individual is glad he was taken at face value:

As a New York City public-school kid who grew up with obvious, but at the time undiagnosed, attention issues, I attribute my success to the fact that I was always too fast, too off the beaten track, too squirmy.

I wasn’t put on medication to “make me like everyone else,” and I consider myself ridiculously fortunate to have had teachers at LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts who recognized my creativity and encouraged me to run with it, instead of convincing my parents to shove a pill down my throat to calm me down.

[…]

I’m also diagnosed ADHD for over 15 years, and it’s because of my ADHD, not in spite of it, that I’m as successful as I am today.

When I got into the real world, I discovered that my creativity and unbounded energy didn’t fit into a traditional corporate environment, so I went out on my own as an entrepreneur — and it was the best decision I ever made.

According to a recent study, students with ADHD are 2.7 times more likely to have dropped out of school before high school graduation. Yet the No. 1 way to lower dropout rates is to introduce students to something they’re passionate about — whether it’s sports, music or any subject. The answer isn’t “Throw them on meds and hope for the best.”

Of course, it takes far more time and effort on the part of educators to do this–and many aren’t willing to make the investment. One wonders how many of this generations’ possible brilliants have already had their facets ground off by attempts to make them tractable through pharmaceuticals?

For the Children

Today, in these United States, childhood suffering takes many forms: not having constantly new $120 athletic shoes when feet are growing a size every 4 months, mowing the lawn on Saturday, sitting in the truck with the windows down instead of having the engine running with the A/C going full blast, and the list goes on.

These are is the good (that is, useful) kinds of suffering. The kinds that bring knowledge and wisdom to those who pay attention. But, but, you say “Aren’t we supposed to be happy instead of suffering? After all, this is America!”

Apparently, there are many who agree with you:

On the East Coast, affluent parents of bright children explain that they absolutely must live in the best possible school district, and send their kid to the most prestigious possible college. In “flyover country,” parents explain that they have to have a nice new car for the kids, because safety. Also a bevy of very expensive activities, from travel sports to marching band, because otherwise their lives will be blighted. Auto accidents are declining, and bright, motivated kids are probably going to do OK no matter where they go to school. Yet parents can convince themselves to spend near-infinite amounts seeking marginal improvements.

Good intentions, anyone? Sigh.

Crazy in California

Court says that carrying a gun which is hidden from sight is considered “open carry.” (No word on whether it’s now a violation of open container laws in the same state to transport sealed alchoholic beverage containers.)

This particular case seems a bit less than cut and dried, given the stated precedents, but the truth comes right at the end

Deputy District Attorney Scott Collins, who represented the prosecution, said California courts have recognized that the goal of all firearms laws was “simply to enhance public safety.”

Talk about outta sight …. Remember, it’s not the result that matters, just the good intentions.

Crushed in Carolina

That people disagree should come as no surprise. That the side with, literally, most of the power would use a false argument (backed by massive threat) to force compliance is a sign that of, by, and for is mostly history.

One reliable way to quash dissent and force moral codes on others is to liken your cause to that of the civil rights fight. Every liberal issue is situated somewhere on the great historical arc of “equality” and “justice.” If a person stands against even one of these causes—which were once great but are increasingly trivial—they have, according to the cultural imperialists of the Obama administration, aligned themselves with the Klan. Literally.