08 October 2008

Barak and the 2nd Amendment

I have a fairly rigid position on the Second Amendment. It has nothing to do with anything but this:

The Constitution of the United States of America says:
"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."

Shall Not Be Infringed.

This is a codification of the pre-existing right that all free men had and have to defend themselves, their families, their property, their community, and their society at large. It also serves as a check on governmental ambition, the natural inclination of political 'elites' to adopt a paternalist attitude and enact schemes they see fit, regardless of the will of the body politic.

This explains why many Democrats disapprove of the Second Amendment.

Barak Hussein Obama would like you, the conservative or moderate individual who owns a firearm (or three) to believe that he supports your right to own and bear your firearm. Or at least, that's what his current story is.

Check out his campaign website's "Sportsmen for Obama."

“He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting.”

Ummm. . . Wow. I don't give a flying fuck about hunting or target shooting, and that has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. Nice twist.

Let's hop in the way-back machine, and let's talk about the Joyce Foundation.

The junior senator from Illinois does NOT want you to know how far his current statements and his historical actions diverge.

Obama spent eight years on the board of the Joyce Foundation, which paid him more than $70,000. During that time he and the rest of the board met quarterly to award grants. $2.7 million dollars went to groups dedicated to opposing the Second Amendment, including Ban Handguns Now and the Violence Policy Center.

"As the most aggressive group in the gun control movement, the VPC has a record of policy successes on the federal, state, and local levels—including first revealing the threat posed by gun shows, drastically reducing the number of gun dealers, banning the possession of guns by domestic violence offenders, and exposing gun industry marketing to women and even children."

Push the Fast Forward to 1996. Barack Obama is running for State Senator. His campaign is given a survey by a liberal political action group. Here are his answers. They are all enlightening about what Mr. Obama believes when under minimal media scrutiny and running for an office where his constituents will be largely rich liberal just like him. But the relevant questions are:

Do you support state legislation to:
a. ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns? Yes.
b. ban assault weapons? Yes.
c. mandatory waiting periods and background checks? Yes.

There is some discussion on this survey -- Mr. Obama has since claimed that it was filled out by a staffer. There is also some evidence he is prevaricating.

“I always believed those to be his views,” she said, adding some members of the board argued that Obama’s 1996 answers were “what he really believes in, and he’s tailoring it now to make himself more palatable as a nationwide candidate.” -- Aviva Patt, IVI-IPO treasurer.

Once he was elected:

He voted to permit retired police officers to concealed carry:
"I didn't find that [vote] surprising. I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry. This was a narrow exception in an exceptional circumstance where a retired police officer might find himself vulnerable as a consequence of the work he has previously done--and had been trained extensively in the proper use of firearms."

2004 Debate:
"Let's be honest. Mr. Keyes does not believe in common gun control measures like the assault weapons bill. Mr. Keyes does not believe in any limits from what I can tell with respect to the possession of guns, including assault weapons that have only one purpose, to kill people. I think it is a scandal that this president did not authorize a renewal of the assault weapons ban."

SB 2165:
He also opposed letting people use a self-defense argument if charged with violating local handgun bans by using weapons in their homes. The bill was a reaction to a Chicago-area man who, after shooting an intruder, was charged with a handgun violation.

Principles that Obama supports on gun issues:
Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
-- 1998 IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998

Audacity of Hope:
"I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manfuacturer's lobby."

In the US Senate:
Voted Against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-219 on Jul 29, 2005

He voted to ban nearly all rifle ammunition:
A bill that on the surface seems harmless, but only if you don't understand firearms.
``(iii) a projectile that may be used in a handgun and that the Attorney General determines, under section 926(d), to be capable of penetrating body armor; or

A projectile that MAY be used in a handgun. There's no inherent objection to chambering pistols for what is normally rifle ammunition--provided that the handgun is big enough or the rifle round is small enough. There's a significant market for 5.56mm handguns, and that round will definitely penetrate Level I body armor. It's a back door to be used to bludgeon ammunition makers into shutting up shop. Thank God it didn't pass.

In His Own Words:

Nice Tapdance

For more, check out:
Buckeye Firearms Association

07 October 2008

Not Quite Theoretical

You know, there's some foofraw going back and forth about a fellow named Bill Ayers and his relationship with Barak Obama.

To understand why this makes some people a mite twitchy, there's a fairly illuminating piece written by a fellow whom Bill Ayers tried to kill for the crime of being born the son of a judge

The same Bill Ayers, who gave an interview some seven years ago headlined, "No Regrets"

Let's poke around his website:

"There is no one better positioned than the late Edward Said to offer advice on the conduct of intellectual life."

There's enough gems in the politics tab that I really don't have to show my work when I dismiss Ayers as another communist who hasn't figured out that shit just doesn't work in the Real World.

Or how about a quote from an old (well, back in January) essay,

The dominant narrative in contemporary school reform is once again focused on exclusion and disadvantage, race and class, black and white. ‘Across the US,’ the National Governor’s Association declared in 2005, ‘a gap in academic achievement persists between minority and disadvantaged students and their white counterparts.’ This is the commonly referenced and popularly understood ‘racial achievement gap,’ and it drives education policy at every level. Interestingly, whether heartfelt or self-satisfied, the narrative never mentions the monster in the room: white supremacy….Gloria Ladson-Billings upends all of this with an elegant reversal: there is no achievement gap, she argues, but actually a glancing reflection of something deeper and more profound—America has a profound education debt. The educational inequities that began with the annihilation of native peoples and the enslavement of Africans, the conquest of the continent and the importation of both free labor and serfs, transformed into apartheid education, something anemic, inferior, inadequate, and oppressive. Over decades and centuries the debt has accumulated and is passed from generation to generation, and it continues to grow and pile up.”

. . .

The mind boggles.

Barak Obama started his political career as a handpicked successor to State Senator Alice Palmer, who was moving on to a run at Congress. He was first introduced by her at the home of Bill Ayers. This is 1995. Mr. Ayers contributed a fairly insignificant $200 to the campaign.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ayers was busily harassing inner-city schools with a "Chicago Annenberg Challenge" organization.

At least one teacher characterized it as, "At best, they are irrelevant wanderers. At worst, they are teacher bashers and ideologues pushing a political line while collecting political patronage."

For a quick post-mortem on the effectiveness of this organization,

"The CAC also funded the creation the Consortium of Chicago School Research (CCSR),
in parallel with the two operational arms, the Board and the Collaborative. This arm was
to conduct research on the impact of the CAC’s funding on student outcomes. In 2003 the
final technical report of the CCSR on the CAC was published.

"The “bottom line” according to the report was that the CAC did not achieve its goal of
improvement in student academic achievement and nonacademic outcomes. While
student test scores improved in the so-called Annenberg Schools that received some of
the $160 million disbursed in the six years from 1995 to 2001,

“This was similar to improvement across the system…. There were no statistically
significant differences in student achievement between Annenberg schools and
demographically similar non-Annenberg schools. This indicates that there was no
Annenberg effect on achievement.”

"The study cited four factors that helped explain the failure. These included:
1. Shortcomings in the design and implementation of the Challenge;
2. Lack of capacity among the External Partners to promote school development;
3. Lack of ability and commitment among schools to engage in the work of the
Challenge; and
4. Lack of external support and “countervailing system forces” that detracted from
or conflicted with schools’ efforts to develop through the Challenge.

"The report identified the political conflict between the Local School Council promotion
efforts of the CAC – such as the $2 million Leadership Development Initiative - as a
possible factor hindering a positive impact on student achievement."

As everyone and their second cousin knows by now, Barak Obama sat on the board of the CAC with Bill Ayers. Details are sketchy about some things -due in no small part to stonewalling of unsympathetic individuals attempting to access records, A number of bloggers have attempted to detail it in more detail, but there are a lot of questions simply unanswerable at this time. What is for sure is that Barak Obama is outright lying when he characterizes Bill Ayers as "a guy who lives in my neighborhood" and nothing more.