Category Archives: Legal

The Sea Lawyers Are at it, Again

A 2016 article was recently posted by a friend who opposes personal ownership of firearms.

What America’s gun fanatics won’t tell you” <- link will take you to opinion article.

The title alone implies anyone that wants the ability to protect themselves and or their family with a firearm, must be a fanatic.

The right to speak freely, the right to protect your life or property, the right to not self-incriminate, the right of habeas corpus, were understood by those who authored this key document, as fundamental to keeping a democracy from being turned into tyranny of the masses or by a select powerful few. Human behavior is the same now as it was then, and they did their best to protect “inalienable rights.” See this article for further explanation of the alternate use of the words. Are our rights ‘inalienable’ or ‘unalienable’?

The author of the article misses two key things written in the second amendment, and the other not mentioned whatsoever; Hamilton was shot and died at the hands of Aaron Burr. Both men freely entered a pistol dual to “protect their honor”. Whatever misgivings Alexander Hamilton may have had about an individual’s right to bear arms didn’t change the course of his life or his demise.

As a bit more of a history lesson about Alexander Hamilton, he was a prominent centralized authority proponent. Among his many ideas, he proposed this at the Constitutional Convention; to have an elected President and elected Senators who would serve for life, contingent upon “good behavior” and subject to removal for corruption or abuse.

He secretly communicated with at that time, “enemies of the state” in order to further the push toward a more monarchistic form of government. Don’t believe me, then please allow the words of a contemporary to explain.

James Madison, known as the author of the Constitution, vehemently opposed at every opportunity Alexander Hamilton’s efforts to create a despotic central government. Madison once remarked that Hamilton had a hidden agenda “of the glories of a United States woven together by a system of tax collectors,” who would be ruthless in both their collection and punishment efforts. Madison authored the 2nd amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, specifically as an answer to Hamilton’s urge to create a national army which would enforce tax laws and subject the state citizens to the tyrannical rule of the central government. Hamilton dreamed of a large military to enforce the will of federal tax collectors, district attorneys, and judges on the populace, and to enforce unpopular laws.

So, let’s pick through that which was ignored in order for the author, Brett Arends, to create a false interpretation of the Second amendment.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Note the comma, for those that don’t understand this basic usage, it’s use is to separate coordinated independent clauses. Perhaps that’s a misunderstood definition on language.

More modern legal arguments over the definition of those few words are, collective rights of government vs. individual rights. I refer you to a link that describes this in more detail –> Live Science

“The first ten amendments of the Constitution are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. It was formalized for the protection of natural rights of liberty and property.” “This bill is an important constituent of American Law as well as the government, and symbolizes the freedom and culture of the United States of America.” The Constitution was written to be a more concise and centralized view of government authority. It replaced the Articles of Confederation. At it’s core, it states these rights are not granted by government, but are inalienable rights of all citizens. This means the government was formed to protect the individual from tyranny of the state as well as foreign powers.

I’ll end this post with Alexander Hamilton’s own words, because he too understood the balance necessary to prevent tyranny.
“ .. if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.”

Hamilton delineates his vision not only of a free people bearing arms for the common defense, but also for the protection of liberty. It was intended by the framers of our Constitution that a free people be armed. Therefore it follows, those who wish the people disarmed also wish them enslaved by their own government.

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Burr–Hamilton duel, from a painting by J. Mund

History has repeatedly shown, the rights & liberties of people are not preserved or protected solely by the pen, but through the power of the sword.

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The Veteran

USA_armed_forcesAnyone who served or is currently serving in the military realizes they’re doing a job that most won’t do. It’s a 24/7, 365 day committment.

They come from diverse backgrounds. They are volunteers who do the things that allow everyone else the freedom to say and become what they want.

At the time of their induction, they have given an oath which says they’re willing to lay down their life if necessary to preserve yours.

How many people do you know that will protect you from every threat imaginable in order for you to keep living the life you choose?

They don’t make policy. They’re often used to carry out policy which can be good or bad. It’s everyone’s responsibility to be informed well enough to make good decisions at the ballot box, and to select people who choose wisely how the military is used.

Freedom is full circle choice. To act as if it’s someone else’s job, is to think in ignorance. We all preserve it by learning to be responsible for our own actions. The military is a reflection of our own lives carried out on a massive scale.

If you or I are only interested in ourselves, our wants, to the exclusion of all others,  this will become the work, the policy of our nation. The military will act on that policy and our relationship with the rest of the world community will have the same impact abroad as we have at home.

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If you want peace in the world, find a way to live it locally so it will be that way globally.

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More Cultural Observations – Kavanaugh Story Part 2

The Brett Kavanaugh story up to this point is illustrative of our methods of observation and arriving at conclusions on complex conflicting information. It also indicates how diverse and accepting we are of new information as well as our ability to separate fact from hearsay or emotion.

Let me preface what I’m about to say with this brief statement on whether Brett Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent of assaulting a 15-year-old girl at the age of 17.

I don’t know. Despite your absolute certainty, you don’t know either.  Maybe you can’t admit you don’t know, or your emotions have you by the throat. You see there’s this problem you or I should be having up to this point, lack of evidence.

Yes, I know some people, as of this writing are convinced he’s guilty because he’s a privileged white male who drank while under age. Other people claim it’s a put up job by left-wing politicos, and he’s innocent.

Hopefully, that’s about to change.  

WASHINGTON (AP) September 28, 2018 — Reversing course, President Donald Trump bowed to Democrats’ demands Friday for a deeper FBI investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after Republican Sen. Jeff Flake balked at voting for confirmation without it — a sudden turn that left Senate approval newly uncertain amid allegations of sexual assault.

Why is this so important?

  • Despite our laws based on “innocence until proven guilty”, he doesn’t gain support through a lack of evidence for this type of appointment
  • His nomination and support look to be based on the sole support of the GOP
  • Neither him or his family would have peace if the GOP pushes his nomination
  • Civil unrest likely with possible use of force in extreme situations
  • This would play into the hands of those who want anarchy
  • Mark Judge, the high school friend of Brett Kavanaugh, “will answer any and all questions posed to him” by the FBI about the sexual assault allegations

Shouldn’t we just believe Christine Blasey Ford, she said she was 100% sure? Why would she lie? She also gave a brief explanation on how traumatic / emotional incidents are embedded into the brain.

Christine Blasey Ford, accused US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1982. They both claim they are convinced their recollections of the past are correct.

Could they both be actually telling what they know, truthfully? Is one lying and actually unaware they are?

Elizabeth Loftus, a cognitive psychologist and professor at the University of California, Irvine, says it’s possible that both are entirely sincere.

Loftus has spent decades researching human memory, and how those memories can change based on suggestion and other factors — notably in the legal context. She offered the following thoughts to AFP on the Kavanaugh hearings:

Q: Is it possible that both witnesses are sincere?

A: “Absolutely. Certainly she came across as very credible and sympathetic, with most people wanting to believe her, and she seems to definitely believe what she is saying.

“He came across very angry and belligerent, and that is to be expected by someone who is convinced that he is being falsely accused.”

“If he did do this, and he has no memory of it because it was so long ago, because maybe he was drinking more than usual and he forgot about that, he could honestly believe his denials.”

Q: How commonly can a person incorrectly remember details of a real event?

A: “That would be very common. When you have an experience, especially a very upsetting experience… you often remember the core of the event — you know it was an airplane crash and not a huge fire, and you can remember certain core details, but often many of the peripheral details will suffer.

“And then memory changes over the course of retelling with different audiences – with the exposure to new information, other details can change.

“Changing the details of an actual memory is a relatively easy thing to do. And it can happen spontaneously.”

Q: Does it make a difference if someone says they are 100 percent sure?
– ‘Very, very certain, and wrong’ –

A: DNA evidence, discovery of surveillance camera video, have either altered people’s memories or suddenly made them more or less confident in their testimony.

“So you see in these cases how someone who is now very certain, was once not so certain. In those cases, we need to ask what made them become so certain.”

— A cogent response to the AFP story from which I used quotes —

I was a juror in an aggravated robbery case years ago. The defendant was accused of having robbed a convenience store several months before, and the only witness was the store clerk who swore adamantly under oath that he was the perpetrator. After all, he had stood right in front of her with a gun in her face. Despite misgivings due to several large holes in the prosecution’s case, I was persuaded by the other jurors to return a guilty verdict. I ignored “innocent until proven guilty” and “beyond a reasonable doubt” due to the clerk’s absolute certainty that this was the robber. The defendant went to jail. Many months later the newspaper ran a story about the case. It seems someone else turned himself in for the crime, so the man I had helped convict was released. It is very sobering to realize how easily an eyewitness can be mistaken, and how easy it is to believe that an eyewitness is telling the “truth.” I have never forgotten this incident and it came back to me while watching Ms. Ford swear that she was 100% certain Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her.

What We Must Do

We shouldn’t make judgments based only on someone’s recollection. We base it on the entire history of a person for their character, character witnesses, and evidence. Failing to do so places everyone in jeopardy. History shows the horrors of a society that allows itself to fall prey without methods of evidence and fairness in judgement with appropriate penalties.

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1789 French Declaration of Universal Human Rights

Let’s not assume for a moment this investigation and findings aren’t as important as any felony court trial. There are lives of all those involved who have futures that hang in the balance.