Friday, February 24, 2012

Such A Jolly Time Limiting Your Rights

So who limits government's claimed power to limit your rights...?

The NH House Criminal Justice Committee has so far this session heard testimony on 4 marijuana-related bills: HB1526, "decriminalizing possession of less than one ounce of marijuana;" and HB1527, "exempting cultivation of marijuana from manufacturing under the controlled drug act" (at 25:50 in the accompanying video), HB1615, "relative to industrial hemp" (41:35); and HB1705-FN-A, "allowing purchase and use of marijuana by adults, regulating the purchase and use of marijuana, and imposing taxes on the wholesale and retail sale of marijuana (55:00). Video from those hearings can be found, respectively, here, here, and here.

This past Tuesday, 2/21/2012, and this day, 2/23, the committee "exec'd" those bills (and dozens of others -- is society really still that chaotic that we need dozens of new criminal "justice" laws every... single... year...?), meaning they voted in "executive session" on what shall be their recommendation to the full House.The primary options are "OTP," or "Ought to Pass;" "OTP/A," or "Ought to Pass with Amendment;" "ITL," or the curiously artful "Inexpedient to Legislate;" or "re-refer for interim study."

Hey, here's some "inconvenient truth" they could start with. Or here. Or here. But remember, this is the same CJ Committee whose marijuana hearings I began recording four years ago. Yet the word "cannabis" had to be defined for them as recently as last month (in the hearing videos referenced above -- can't recall which one just now: look for educator Bob Constantine). So it would seem rational that even they ought to acknowledge that they're not gonna learn anything new with further study, wouldn't it?

The transparent, disdainful disrespect for basic guaranteed liberty and for purposefully limited government consistently exhibited by this committee never ceases to amaze, confound and sicken your humble chronicler. Why do obsequious police-state authoritarians like Rep. Berube or Rep. Pantelakos have more control over your body than you do? Are you comfortable with that? Just something to think about...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The ONLY Legitimate Victim is The State. Right?

The NH House Criminal Justice Committee this day, 2/21/2012, "exec'd" a couple dozen bills (falling a dozen short of their goal). These "executive sessions" are where committees vote on what shall be their recommendation to the full House on the respective bills they're assigned, after holding pubic hearings.

Here, CJ "tackles," with pillow-fight seriousness, HB1531, "relative to prosecution for victimless crimes" -- that's "no victim, no crime" (unfortunately, the concept of "crime" requiring an actual "victim" still eludes your "representatives") -- and HB1651, "requiring the division of state police to equip special weapons and tactics (SWAT) units or teams with tactical cameras" -- or, "the force-monopoly state being cleared by its own internal investigations is, well, not sufficient."

Video of the respective public hearings (available to you, faithful reader, because public servants are "at all times accountable," of course) can be found here and here. But I'll save you the suspense. The only relevant option is "ITL," or "Inexpedient to Legislate" (how's that for a politically driven euphemism?). Well, knock me over with a pillow feather...

Why can your servants exempt themselves from your oversight, while simultaneously criminalizing offending them? Just something to think about...

Hey here's an interesting development: Taser unveils new wearable police cameras, starting with BART

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Question for All Legislators

Whom do you serve? Whom do you represent? The Forgotten Mission.

The incessant, oppressive parade of law enforcement and "justice" department officials testifying, ever in full regalia and ostensibly with the self-important imprimatur of their agency, against the expressly stated wishes of their bosses the People (what percentage of the People, say, is now against the never-authorized "War on People Who Use [Some] Drugs"™, just for one example? and yet...), in committee hearings of the legislatures, both state and federal, and the obsequious, sycophantic, cloying, unquestioning, uncritical deference and respect invariably paid them and their desires for control (and their so-often tired "Reefer Madness"- style arguments) -- "professional courtesy" among tyrants, among thieves of liberty, among servants who have forgotten their place and their purpose, examples of which are far too rife in the videos under this banner -- must begin to be directly challenged if the People are ever to regain any semblance of mastery over their servants, all branches, or over their intended liberty, to have been protected by said branches.

Long a substantial peeve of your humble chronicler, here, William Kostric fires the first pithy volley on the field of battle. It's time that this pointed inquiry became equally as incessant any time the uniforms and state-bestowed titles show up in committee. Make their ears ring with it. Every... Single... Hearing.

Do you represent the Executive Branch, or do you represent the People?
"The principles of a free constitution are irrevocably lost when the legislative power is dominated by the executive."
-Edward Gibbon-
(1737-1794) English historian and Member of Parliament
1776

Friday, February 10, 2012

'No Victim, No Crime' Bemuses NH Authoritarians

It would seem a simple concept: That which does no harm to another shouldn't be the purview of a servant government -- established expressly to secure our natural rights -- to criminalize. Not in a free society, anyway. Not even under this Constitutional Republic, really. If there's no aggrieved party, then it's none of the state's damned business.

So here we have HB1531, "relative to prosecution for victimless crimes" -- or, the "No Victim, No Crime" bill -- before the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, 2/9/2012. A bill restating the intended relationship between master and servant, and establishing that the lack of an actual victim is a positive legal defense against laws that thus overstep government's expressly limited delegated authority to interfere in peaceful lives. An explicit "jury nullification" opportunity. No victim? No crime. Here's MSM's take.

But somehow, that government fails to see the logic. So tell me: Who should win that argument, the government or the People who authorized it, whose consent is required? Will arrogant government finally read its charter and agree to replace its chains and get back in its box?

You know what's comin', don't ya? For the jaw-dropper, head for the 5-minute mark, where bill sponsor Rep. George Lambert is stepping the Committee through NH Constitution (a document they've all sworn to uphold) Part First, Articles 18, 2, 3 and 15 (as well as Part Second, Article 5) -- you know, only the entire basis for the committee's claimed authority:
18. [Penalties to be Proportioned to Offenses; True Design of Punishment.] All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offense. No wise legislature will affix the same punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery , and the like, which they do to those of murder and treason. Where the same undistinguishing severity is exerted against all offenses, the people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offenses. For the same reason a multitude of sanguinary laws is both impolitic and unjust. The true design of all punishments being to reform, not to exterminate mankind.
2. [Natural Rights.] All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights - among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed, color, sex or national origin.
3. [Society, its Organization and Purposes.] When men enter into a state of society, they surrender up some of their natural rights to that society, in order to ensure the protection of others; and, without such an equivalent, the surrender is void.
15. [Right of Accused.] No subject shall be held to answer for any crime, or offense, until the same is fully and plainly, substantially and formally, described to him; or be compelled to accuse or furnish evidence against himself. Every subject shall have a right to produce all proofs that may be favorable to himself; to meet the witnesses against him face to face, and to be fully heard in his defense, by himself, and counsel. ...
The point he's in the midst of making being that to require you to surrender up your right to, say, peacefully put whatever (or whoever) you want into your own body (without harming anyone, without creating a "victim") -- the purpose, the necessity of such surrender being "to ensure the protection of other" rights (on this particular point, Rep. Lambert and I disagree) -- the state must provide you with "an equivalent" in protective services -- protection of other rights -- for the loss of that right. If the state, your servant, provides you no such equivalent benefit, then you don't have to consent to the surrender. "The surrender is void." It's right there in the state government's founding charter.

And in as much as a victimless "crime," by definition, harms no one, and therefore no one's rights need "protecting," there is no equivalent of "the protection of other" rights to be provided by the state to citizens in exchange for surrendering, for example, their natural right to consume whatever they damn well please.

One might be excused for presuming this to be mere basic review within the halls of the institution charged with understanding and upholding the document. But sadly, one would presume in error, nevertheless.

Still listening?
This bill does not say "a Constitutional lesson." It says "victimless crimes." You're reciting the Constitution to us. I wanna know what you're gonna do in the bill.
Yeah, you heard that right: Rep. Pantelakos of the "justice" committee is confused as to the pertinent relationship between the Constitution(s) authorizing the very existence of her committee and defining its purpose and lawful boundaries, and the administration of justice; between the People and the government they established to protect their rights. Committee Chair Rep. Swinford shares her confusion:
How much more do you have?
In my best 'indignant royal highness,' "You are trying our patience, young man, and we are not amused...!" Apparently the NH Constitution is considered only tangentially relevant to the NH government that it authorizes.

And if you suffer through long enough, you'll hear the committee chair, after she closes the hearing, pontificate on the impropriety of new(er) residents participating in the NH political process. Nasty, troublesome people incessantly demanding the rule of law an' such, cramping government's "creativity." Can't they all just submit...? What was that classic from our own "King George?" "A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier...so long as I'm the dictator...heh...hehe.heh"

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The State on Drugs

Opening testimony on HB1251, "permitting off-premises licensees to sell liquor," before the NH House Commerce Committee, 2/7/2012. The intent of the bill is to open up the NH state liquor stores to competition by "allowing" stores that currently sell beer and wine to pay an additional tribute to the state in order to also offer their customers spirits. In other words, opening up nominally free-market competition against the state -- a state that would still maintain a monopoly as the sole (self-)authorized wholesaler, oh just by the way.

I shall not torment you, gentle reader, with the remainder of the hearing. Suffice it to say that the majority of it -- over a half-hour's worth, in an environment where testimony is highly recommended to be limited to no more than 3~5 minutes -- was dominated by the gaseous monopolist liquor commissioners droning -- in 4-part harmony, no less -- the praises of government monopolies. Why you're inherently better off when government makes your decisions for you. The Executive Branch lobbying, as is their wont, the Legislative Branch in opposition to the People. They do it all for you, y'know. Besides, they don't like nasty competition. Just ask 'em...

Government Accountability Meets Further Resistance

Police-state authoritarians and their enablers prefer operating in the dark, free of external oversight. Even in volatile, potentially deadly, even occasionally unnecessarily (hey, maybe there's a clue in there) intentionally precipitated situations.

Case in point: the entirely predictable law enforcement opposition to HB1651-FN, "requiring the division of state police to equip special weapons and tactics (SWAT) units or teams with tactical cameras," before the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, 2/7/2012. Why is it, exactly, that when government opposes my wishes, I'm the one who's expected to submit?

Just a couple things to consider. First, no, police are not "para-military" units. Not now, not ever. Not in a free country.

Second, if, as asserted, SWAT team members aren't sufficiently competent to learn how to turn on a camera -- and this presupposes that this process wouldn't be automated or automatic or externally controlled, anyway -- how can we possibly expect them to be competent with an arguably much more complex -- not to mention, y'know, deadly -- weapon system? Is the assertion that they are, in actuality, idiot savants...?

Third, eye-witness testimony is getting an increasingly bad scientific reputation. And deservedly so. It doesn't get better when emanating from behind the thin blue line.

Fourth, if pausing 2 or 3 seconds -- and this presupposes that in a very stressful situation, cops are obsessing over a tiny camera (and another example of which could well be pointing at them from across the street, or even closer, regardless) -- could cost them their life, all decked out in body armor as they are, then couldn't not pausing 2 or 3 seconds cost a vulnerable innocent her life? Which of them is in that circumstance willingly?

Let me state this unequivocally. I do not trust "my" government. I demand accountability. This is not negotiable. Not even a little bit.

Some Facts on Industrial Hemp to Share with your Servants

Jenn Hall and Greg Pawlowski testify before the NH House Criminal Justice Committee on HB1615, "relative to industrial hemp," 2/7/2012.

Rep Fields sure does sound intrigued at the idea of starting a hemp processing plant, doesn't he? Since, y'know, what business are private start-up costs to government...?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

'Farming' and 'Fabricating' and 'Decrim', Oh My!


[Art.] 18. [Penalties to be Proportioned to Offenses; True Design of Punishment.] All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offense. No wise legislature will affix the same punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery , and the like, which they do to those of murder and treason. Where the same undistinguishing severity is exerted against all offenses, the people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offenses. For the same reason a multitude of sanguinary laws is both impolitic and unjust. The true design of all punishments being to reform, not to exterminate mankind.
June 2, 1784
Here, faithful viewer, are the remainder of an oppressive day battling our servants, and the next 2 of the previously-reported phalanx of marijuana bills submitted this session to the NH legislature: HB1526, "decriminalizing possession of less than one ounce of marijuana," and HB1527, "exempting cultivation of marijuana from manufacturing under the controlled drug act" -- the "'Farming' Isn't 'Fabricating', Duh!" bill -- before the NH House Criminal "Justice" Committee, 2/2/2012.

HB1526


HB1527

What's the Sound of a Boot Stamping on Your Face Forever?

[Art.] 19. [Searches and Seizures Regulated.] Every subject hath a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. Therefore, all warrants to search suspected places, or arrest a person for examination or trial in prosecutions for criminal matters, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order, in a warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure; and no warrant ought to be issued; but in cases and with the formalities, prescribed by law.
June 2, 1784

What an unremittingly oppressive day at the NH Legislative Office Building, spent entirely in the company of the House Criminal "Justice" Committee, primarily for 3 bills bound to make any nanny/police-state authoritarian worth his (or her) jackboots -- and they all do eventually seem to find their way to government "service," now don't they? -- recoil to bare their fangs and hiss menacingly, contempt fairly dripping from their jowls. But your humble chronicler does it all for you, gentle reader. And I swear to you I died not just a little inside this day. Proceed with caution.

An veritably endless procession of the usual suspects portending the end of civilization should the People regain the slightest semblance of their Constitutionally guaranteed liberty. Government disregard for the clear rule of law must prevail. Government's own preferred twisted interpretation of the clearly imposed limits on its authority must be, um... authoritative.

The next 2 in this session's previously-reported phalanx of marijuana bills are soon to come. But we'll start here with HB1452, "prohibiting the establishment of sobriety checkpoints," before the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, 2/2/2012.

The AG's Office, the Liquor Commission, the State Police, local police, Fish & Game. Everybody wants in on protecting established "due process" and 4th Amendment eviscerations. BUT WE HAVE STATISTICS...!!! Hardly unexpected, I suppose, but gawd how depressing.

To the assembled autocrats:
Expedience is not justification for violation of "due process" and the 4th Amendment.
Statistics are not justification for violation of "due process" and the 4th Amendment.
Cost is not justification for violation of "due process" and the 4th Amendment.
"Success" is not justification for violation of "due process" and the 4th Amendment.
None of these things are justification for violation of morality and justice.

Look. Probable cause is required to impose a typical traffic stop. A reasonable, articulable suspicion that a crime has been or is about to be committed. Yet at a "sobriety checkpoint," this causal relationship is turned on its head: the stop is necessary to discover a probable cause. See the problem?

Perhaps not predictably, but certainly unsurprisingly, a reliable inside source informed your humble chronicler that the Committee got a visit from House leadership not too much later that very afternoon with instructions to officially recommend to the full body that the bill be killed (an 'ITL,' or 'Inexpedient to Legislate' recommendation, which is typically upheld -- cuz, y'know, the committee did all that hard work, an' all...).

If you object to being detained without probable cause at fishing-expedition traps -- don't believe you're being detained? crack the window and ask the nice public servant if you're free to go -- then I strongly recommend you contact your "representatives" and explain it to them.

Just remember, these people believe they're somehow entitled to control our lives. FSM help us...