Texas Teen Faces 8 Years in Jail for an Insensitive Joke on Facebook

A very disturbing pattern is becoming evident all across the nation.  For a country that has 5% of the world’s population yet 25% of the entire planet’s prisoners, we sure do seem to eager to bump that figure up even higher. My guess is the trend has a lot to do with the private prison system in the country, which means higher levels of incarceration equals higher profits.  I think it also has to do with a troubling move toward criminalizing speech and an attack on the First Amendment generally.  This particular case occurred in Austin, Texas and nineteen year old Justin Carter now faces eight years in jail for an insensitive joke on Facebook. Thanks to the site Texas Prison Bid’ness, we can gain some perspective on the private prison industry in the Lone Star State:

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Now, here’s the story from KHOU in Houston:

Justin Carter was 18 back in February when an online video game “League of Legends” took an ugly turn on Facebook. 

Jack Carter says his son Justin and a friend got into an argument with someone on Facebook about the game and the teenager wrote a comment he now regrets. 

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Guest Post: A Connecticut Family’s Battle Against The State

This past Thursday, I became aware of a very troubling bill being proposed in the state of Connecticut, which prompted me to write the post: Are “Mandatory Mental Health Assessments” for Children Coming to Connecticut?  Upon reading it, a money manager in Connecticut who I have gotten to know over the years wrote me an email.  I was so impressed by his passion and writing skills I asked him to compose a “Guest Post” for the site; something I rarely do.  What follows are the impassioned words of a father, husband and concerned citizen.  Enjoy.

Soon after my wife and I got married in 2008, a pregnancy prompted family members to ask us about our plans for educating our kids.  The official response was one of uncertainty, but between the two of us we knew that we preferred homeschooling.   

I suspect all parents have a line in the sand when it comes to public schools.  The line gets crossed when the safety level, education quality, peer influences, or espoused morals and values of the local government school deteriorate to so base a level, that as parents you realize that sending your kids there would be tantamount to dereliction of duty, gross negligence, wholesale surrender, etc. 

The line might be located in different places for different parents depending on their own values and the conviction with which their values are held, but all parents have a line.  Both parents work?  Can’t afford private school?   Not qualified for homeschooling?  It doesn’t matter, if the school down the road crossed the line you’d pull your kid out and you’d find a way to make it work.  If you haven’t pulled your kid out yet, it just mean that the local school hasn’t crossed the line. 

We live in CT and I am homeschooling my three boys because upon surveying the options, we decided to opt-out out of 10,000 “mandatory” things that get done to kids at government schools in exchange for a “free” education.  Do it ourselves, we thought.  If we threw a fraction of the money at lessons and tutors that other families throw at tuition, we’d have a fighting chance of doing an even better job than the private school alternative.  And best of all, we would enjoy the liberty of doing it our way, watching our kids walk in the way of goodness and excellence, without being exasperated as we beat back all the menacing influences that foist themselves upon kids at government schools.  In short, we would opt-out.  Not for the sake of rebelling, but for the sake of still standing a chance at getting a taste of the pursuit of happiness that our present vestiges of liberty still permit. 

No more.  If CT gets their way, and Bill 374 becomes law, my family’s private pursuit of happiness will be allowed only if it wins the approval or disapproval of the State’s mental health inspection teams. 

The justification of Bill 374 is innocent enough; pass this bill to allow the State to perform mental health evaluations on adolescents, so that the State can prevent another Sandy Hook tragedy by intervening in the lives of troubled adolescents before it’s too late.  In reality, this bill lays the groundwork for much more. 

First, note that Bill 374 does not exempt home-schooled children; in fact, it singles them out and specifically requires them too to get periodic evaluations and inspections.  Parental consent is not determined to be relevant. 

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Are “Mandatory Mental Health Assessments” for Children Coming to Connecticut?

In case you haven’t heard, Bill 374 has been proposed in Connecticut’s General Assembly seemingly in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Just another brilliant response to a random act of violence; you know, because the state’s gun control laws worked so well.  Notice how everything is starting to become “mandatory” these days.  I wonder how a young Albert Einstein or Henry David Thoreau would have tested under a “mandatory mental health assessment.”  This is one of the most dangerous and ridiculous ideas I have seen in a while.  This is the definition of a “slippery slope.”  From Reason:

A national homeschooling organization is sounding the alarm against a bill proposed in the Connecticut legislature which would require both public school and homeschooled children to undergo a behavioral health assessment at various stages of child development.

Bill 374, proposed in the General Assembly by sponsors Senator Toni Harp and Representative Toni Walker, is likely in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, which took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults this past December.

Don’t forget to send a thank note to Toni and Toni.

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

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Advice from the Department of Homeland Security: If Attacked by a Shooter, Grab Some Scissors

I first heard about this from a New York Post article on the topic.  Then I watched the video for myself.  It’ll make you want to defund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immediately.  While the whole “grab scissors” to defend oneself during a mass shooting is pretty amusing, the more disturbing part is that 90% of the video just consists of people on their knees in cubicles cowering in fear or running panicked with their hands in the air.  All the while police in black uniforms and “assault weapons” race in to save the day!  The video is a great representation of how the DHS views the citizenry.  Feeble, helpless, pathetic little children.  You’ve gotta watch it for yourself!


In Liberty,
Mike

Mr. President, Please Come to Chicago.

Another powerful article pointing out the obvious hypocrisy of Barack Obama on the gun issue.  The vast majority of gun violence in the country occurs in areas where the citizens are already disarmed and only criminals have guns.  The entire concept of trying to stop crazy people or criminals from doing awful things with guns by passing some law that such people will not adhere to anyway is asinine.  The question Americans must ask is; if we outlawed guns would we become more like Japan or Mexico?  I’d say Mexico, where only the cartels and gangs have them and they terrorize their fellow men and women on a daily basis.

Of course he will not be “coming to Chicago,” it’s so much easier to manipulate people’s emotions on television while reading letters from 3rd graders.  From Real Clear Politics:

In Washington on Wednesday, as you rolled out a slate of gun control measures quickly cobbled together in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, you said, “If there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there is even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”

If you believe those words, Mr. President, here is a heartfelt suggestion: Come back to your adopted hometown and personally host a summit that grapples seriously with the causes of — and crafts meaningful solutions to — gang violence in America’s big cities.

It’s really not much of an exaggeration to say that parts of Chicago resemble a war zone. The numbers are grim. Unofficially, there were 513 homicides in Chicago in 2012, nearly 100 more than New York City, which recorded 414 killings but which has a population three times larger. Chicago’s body count is 200 more than the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan last year. The carnage has continued unabated into the New Year.

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3D-Printing Meets the 2nd Amendment

“This isn’t 1994. The Internet happened since the last assault weapons ban. This is a fledgling tech, but look what we’re able to do. We printed that magazine out.”

- Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed

This article about the 3D-printing of gun magazines absolutely blew my mind and confirms what I had already suspected.  There is no way gun confiscation or even restrictions will ever work in the United States.  As I have been saying from the beginning, we need to confront the root causes of violence in the country (gun or otherwise) not resort to ridiculous knee-jerk reactions that won’t do any good anyway.  I expressed my thoughts on the gun debate in the following articles:  How to Spot a Hypocrite in the Gun Debate and Other Reflections on Newtown and It’s Time to Ban Suicide.

From Forbes:

Over the past weekend, Defense Distributed successfully 3D-printed and tested an ammunition magazine for an AR semi-automatic rifle, loading and firing 86 rounds from the 30-round clip.

That homemade chunk of curved plastic holds special significance: Between 1994 and 2004, so-called “high capacity magazines” capable of holding more than 10 bullets were banned from sale. And a new gun control bill proposed by California Senator Diane Feinstein would ban those larger ammo clips again. President Obama has also voiced support for the magazine restrictions.

But Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson says he hopes the group’s recent work demonstrates the futility of that proposed ban in the age of cheap 3D printing.

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Google Trends: “Democide” Goes Parabolic

No matter what you think of Alex Jones and his performance with Piers Morgan on CNN last night, the most important point is that he was invited on the show to begin with.  This is just further proof that the dinosaur mainstream media channels are dying and are being forced to invite alternative media personalities on their shows to increase ratings.  The alternative media is becoming the media.

Meanwhile, Alex told viewers while on air to google “democide” and you can see the results below. According to Wikipedia: “Democide is a term revived and redefined by the political scientist R. J. Rummel as the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder. In the 20th century, democide passed war as the leading cause of non-natural death (according to Rummel).”

In Liberty,
Mike

A Marine’s Incredible Letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein

This is an incredible letter from Joshua Boston, Corporal United States Marine Corps, to gun grabber extraordinaire and political oligarch Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Senator Dianne Feinstein,

I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.  I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.

We, the people, deserve better than you.

Respectfully Submitted,
Joshua Boston
Cpl, United States Marine Corps
2004-2012

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Piers Morgan is Now Calling for Gun Confiscation

British citizen and CNN personality Piers Morgan has now stepped up his attacks on the 2nd Amendment by calling for actual confiscation of certain types of guns.  In a lengthy Op Ed in the UK’s Daily Mail he writes:

Obama should follow up by launching a Government buy-back for all existing assault weapons in circulation (as worked successfully in Los Angeles last week). I would go further, confiscating the rest and enforcing tough prison sentences on those who still insist on keeping one.

Either you ban these assault weapons completely, and really mean it, or you don’t.

Then he goes on to cherry pick some data from a recent Gallup poll when he writes:

I genuinely think Sandy Hook will act as a tipping point. A Gallup poll released on Thursday showed that 58 per cent of Americans now support new gun-control laws, up from 43 per cent in 2011. That’s a big jump.

Interestingly, if you read the actual report from Gallup, which was conducted after the Sandy Hook shooting, you will discover that:

Nevertheless, Americans’ views on the sale of assault rifles are unchanged. The slight majority, 51%, remain opposed to making it illegal to manufacture, sell, or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles.

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