Quantum Spin

Well, due to some spammer having found this obscure blog, I have been forced to refuse Anonymous posts. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause for legitimate posters, but since I am unable to send feedback to the offending servers causing them to explode and burst into flames - well, I do what I can. Thank you to all my sincere commentators and may the spammers rot in digital agony.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Miller vs. Heller

No, not the latest UFC heavyweight bout.

But, an exploration of an interesting twist in the law...

In January 1939, the US District Court for the Western District of Arkansas heard argument in US vs. Miller concerning a sawed-off shotgun found in the defendant's truck when a raid for a still failed to find anything. Defense argued that Section 11 of the National Firearms Act violated the Second Amendment. U.S. District Court Judge Heartsill Ragon agreed.

The USAG appealed to the supreme Court and in March 1939 the Court heard the case. They reversed the lower court's decision saying that there was no evidence presented that a sawed-off shotgun had any value as a militia weapon and so did not fall under the protections of the Second Amendment. Essentially saying only military-style weapons are protected.

Now, fast forward almost 65 years to Feb of 2003.

A lawsuit is brought against the District of Columbia contesting the District's draconian gun laws. The District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the suit.

The case was appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals and they reversed the decision saying the Second Amendment protected an individual right.

Petition was made to advance the case to the supreme Court and they agreed in November of '07 (looks like things went a lot faster seven decades ago).

In June of '08, the Court decided and reversed the Circuit Court's finding. That the "District's ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense."

The supreme Court also decided, "The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity."

So, to give the Cliff's Notes version, Miller says the Second Amendment protects military-style weapons and, so, a sawed-off shotgun is not a protected firearm.

But, now we have Heller that has decided that the Second Amendment protects only non-military use firearms (actually, a silly decision - what non-military firearm is of any use to a militia?).

Heller has reversed the prohibition in Miller and given Second Amendment protections to the sawed-off shotgun.

I wonder how long before this sinks in...

Labels: , , , , ,

Duh - It's Private Property

There is no "right" to free speech in online forums. They are not public venues; the are private. Privately paid for and privately maintained.

'Public' online spaces don't carry speech, rights

Jul 6, 2:17 PM (ET)

NEW YORK (AP) - Rant all you want in a public park. A police officer
generally won't eject you for your remarks alone, however unpopular or

Say it on the Internet, and you'll find that free speech and other
constitutional rights are anything but guaranteed.

For example, in this forum, I can delete, modify or allow anything I please and no one has any recourse - except to not participate. I can not be forced to allow content I do not want.

Others believe companies shouldn't police content at all, and if they do,
they should at least make clearer the rules and the mechanisms for appeal.

"Vagueness does not inspire the confidence of people and leaves room for
gaming the system by outside groups," said Lauren Weinstein, a veteran computer
scientist and Internet activist.

When the rules are clear and the grievance procedures are clear, then people
know what they are working with and they at least have a starting point in
urging changes in those rules."

Companies can police their webspace to any extent they wish and their rules can be as painfully bureaucratic or insipidly vague as they like. They can be, if so desired, totally non-existent. They pay for the space, they can do with it as they please.

The cause of freedom is not served by forcing one group to bow to the rules of another.

Labels: , , , ,

Absolutely No Yellowcake In Iraq.

Hey, wait a minute - what's that 550 tons of yellowcake?

AP Exclusive: US removes uranium from Iraq

Jul 6, 4:45 AM (ET)

The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program - a huge stockpile
of concentrated natural uranium - reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a
secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship
voyage crossing two oceans.

The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" - the seed material for
higher-grade nuclear enrichment - was a significant step toward closing the
books on Saddam's nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi
authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers
crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.

Gee, I wonder if this could have been for WMDs?


Probably used it for potting soil...

Labels: , , , , ,