Shock: Jesse Ventura Wins Defamation Lawsuit

jesse ventura

This is just horrendous news.

Jesse Ventura, the former wrestler, Minnesota governor and truther, won his defamation lawsuit against the estate of late “American Sniper” author and former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

Although verdicts in such cases are customarily unanimous, both sides agreed to a split verdict. The verdict of 8 to 2 was reached after more than a week of deliberations. Jurors awarded Mr. Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for what was termed the author’s unjust enrichment.

Mr. Ventura, 63, had sued the estate of Chris Kyle, the former member of the SEALs, saying that his book, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” included passages about Mr. Ventura that were false and defamatory. Mr. Ventura, an outspoken and colorful figure, stunned the nation by winning election as governor of Minnesota against two well-known candidates from the traditional parties. He was governor from 1999 to 2003.

Two weeks ago, I reported on the testimony of witness after witness who said that they heard at least part of Ventura’s ranting and saw parts of the fight. It looked to me like the trial was not going well for him.

One saw him take a punch. Another said he saw him on the sidewalk outside a bar. Another saw him leave with blood on his lips.

***

Rosemary deShazo, a friend of Chris Kyle’s who attended the wake, testified that she heard Ventura make a disparaging remark about U.S. Navy SEALs similar to the one Kyle described in “American Sniper.”

“He said, ‘They probably deserved it, they die all the time,’ ” she testified.

Under cross-examination DeShazo conceded that she was paraphrasing Ventura. But when asked by Kyle attorney Leita Walker how confident she was about the quote, she responded, “quite confident, very confident.”

DeShazo is a sister of Laura deShazo, who testified Monday that she saw Ventura punched in the bar.

Rosemary deShazo said she did not see a punch, but recalled Ventura’s remarks because of the context. “Unusual things that are emotional stick in your memory. I remember he offended me, offended people I was with.”

I started to worry when the jury took more than a few hours to come to a verdict. Obviously, I wasn’t in the courtroom, but defamation cases are notoriously hard to prove in a court of law:

 First of all, you have to prove without a doubt that what was said or written about you is not true. Once you have proved that the statement is in fact false, you have to prove that the other person said the false statement with the intent of causing you some form of harm.

Apparently the jury found the witnesses for Ventura to be more compelling than Kyle’s witnesses, but I still have no idea how this high bar could have been met when there was such conflicting testimony. How on earth did the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Kyle told the story with the intent of doing harm to Ventura?

In his deposition, Mr. Kyle said Mr. Ventura had indeed made such comments, and that Mr. Kyle had ended the conversation by punching Mr. Ventura as he described in the book. Several witnesses for Mr. Kyle said that they had overheard the former governor’s negative comments or had seen him on the ground following an altercation, while witnesses for Mr. Ventura said they saw no such confrontation that night.

The NYTs reports that “Mr. Ventura has said that his lawsuit is not about money.” He just wanted an apology and to clear his name.

Not that he has any plans to return the $1.8 million dollars he won against Chris Kyle’s widow and children.

The Kyle family is considering appealing the decision according to Kyle estate attorney John Borger.

During a news conference, he said Kyle’s widow “was very surprised and obviously upset,” when he called to tell her the news.

SEE ALSO:

Twitchy: ‘Lone Survivor’ Marcus Luttrell’s Facebook thread mocks Ventura [pics]

Thomas More Law Center Sues DoD For Shutting Down Catholic Services On Navy Base

church kings bay naval base

The church at Kings Bay Naval Base in happier times.

The Thomas More Law Center has filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in reaction to what they call “an astonishing attack on the religious freedom” of Catholics at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia who have been denied access to religious services on the base and whose priest has been locked out of his chapel.

Because of the priest shortage on military bases, contract priests are employed by the government to ensure that a priest is available when an active duty Catholic Chaplain is not present.

Due to the government shutdown, many GS and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide have been banned from working –  even volunteering  – despite provisions in the Pay Our Military Act that for provides the funding of employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale and well-being of the military. Reportedly, Protestant services continue to take place and only Catholic services have been shutdown.

Via The Thomas More Law Center:

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Father Ray Leonard, a Catholic priest contracted to serve as base chaplain and Fred Naylor, one of Father Leonard’s parishioners and a retired veteran with over 22 years of service. Fr. Leonard is a civilian Catholic Pastor contracted by the Department of Defense (DoD) to serve as a military chaplain at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia.

Fr. Leonard who served Tibetan populations in China for 10 years, informed the court in an affidavit; “In China, I was disallowed from performing public religious services due to the lack of religious freedom in China. I never imagined that when I returned home to the United States, that I would be forbidden from practicing my religious beliefs as I am called to do, and would be forbidden from helping and serving my faith community.”

On October 4, 2013, Fr. Leonard was ordered to stop performing all of his duties as the base’s Catholic Chaplain, even on a voluntary basis. He was also told that he could be arrested if he violated that order. The approximately 300 Catholic families, including Fred Naylor’s, served by Fr. Leonard at Kings Bay have been unable to attend Mass on base since the beginning of the shutdown.

Additionally, Fr. Leonard was locked out of his on-base office and the chapel. Fr. Leonard was also denied access to the Holy Eucharist and other articles of his Catholic faith. The order has caused the cancellation of daily and weekend mass, confession, marriage preparation classes and baptisms as well as prevented Fr. Leonard from providing the spiritual guidance he was called by his faith to provide.

The submarine base is remotely located.  It consists of roughly 16,000 acres, with 4,000 acres comprised of protected wetlands.  There are approximately 10,000 total people on the base.

A Catholic Church is located off base in the town of St. Mary’s.  However, many of the parishioners both live and work on base and do not own a car and cannot otherwise access transportation.  Therefore a sixteen (16) mile journey to and from the off-base church is simply not possible.  Moreover, many of the sailors have an extremely limited amount of time off.  With their time highly regimented, they are not given a long enough break time for this exceptionally long walk and the Mass service.

Defendants in the lawsuit are the Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Department of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Department of the Navy, Ray Mabus.

Andrew Montalvo, a Talkshow Producer for KFYO out of  Lubbock, Texas says this attaclk on religious liberties is “pure spite” coming from the White House.

The chapel is small, regularly unmanned, and when not being used for religion is used also for special events, as the religious symbols are easily removed.

In addition to the argument that it costs nothing to keep open, several times I assisted in setting up and tearing down special events at the chapel, not under order, but voluntarily.

There is absolutely no reason why the chapel would be closed other than the White House going out of its way to hurt the religious and trample on their liberties.

This is why Obama appointed the dim-witted Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary – he was expected to be a “Yes Man” to the Regime’s far- left  agenda and he is delivering.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.

In other news, via Publius Forum, Obama Administration Says Anti-Muslim ‘Hate Speech’ Can be Punished.

Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, said that inflammatory material against Islam might be a violation of federal civil rights laws. Such a violation could bring the federal government down on those opposing Islam here in the US.

As reported by The Tullahoma News, Killian and the FBI’s Kenneth Moore hosted a “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” to “help” the community learn how anti-Islam speech could land an American before authorities.

“This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian told the paper. “This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”

Freedom In the Crosshairs

It’s bad enough when someone is shot.

Make the victim a political figure, and the chatterati and the self-righteous get bent completely out of shape, and start to consider how depriving some people of their rights is a good thing.

I think it is horrible that a pathetic loser nutjob decided to reach out and touch fame by going to a Tuscon Safeway where Representative Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords was meeting with constituents.

I think it is reprehensible that a partisan eagerness to assign blame started before she entered surgery.

The Palin-Derangment Syndrome sufferers couldn’t wait to lay this at her doorstep, recalling her Facebook page on which she had “picked her targets” in the last campaign, of which Representative Giffords was one.  The denouncements rang out loud and numerous, connecting the two.  And then reminders that Sarah Palin, a Republican wasn’t the only one to use such a practice, but then, some reminders that the Democratic Leadership Committee had used the practice in 2004, and that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, under the leadership of Chris Van Holland had posted a similar map earlier in the same year as Palin’s map.  And the denunciatory tweets slowed.

Then, we found out about the shooter’s channel on youtube, on which he posted rambling, incoherent texts about “conscious dreaming” general hatred of the government, and lists among his favorite books Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto.  Now the usual suspects started to get quiet.  Maybe it was because it was hard to denounce the eeeeevvvvviillll Reich Wingers for their hate-filled vitriolic speech when you’re busy scrubbing your website and pushing things down the memory hole that are so obviously hypocritical that even your regular readers would have a hard time not seeing how foolish you look.  And the wave of snarky tweets slowed, and the raised hands pointing fingers were slowly and quietly lowered.

But the slow rumble continued.  Discussion of “motives” and “filters” and “vitriolic speech” continued.

And when Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik finally held his presser later in the day, it was a public relations consultant’s nightmare.  He was rambling, repetitive, and dismissive of those who shared the podium with him, but despite it being an ongoing investigation, one in which he claims the shooter did not act alone, the Sheriff chose not to miss an opportunity to wave the bloody shirt, and vilify those who say things he doesn’t like:

In case you missed it, here is the money shot:

“But again I’d just like to say that when you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain people’s mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I believe has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

Never let a friend’s tragedy go to waste.  Politicize everything.

Not surprisingly, the Sheriff is…wait for it…a Democrat.   And not just any Democrat, he is one who announced that he would not enforce a law duly passed by his state’s legislature.  When those charged with enforcing the law announce that they will not, the result is lawlessness.  I’m not surprised he’s upset about anger toward the government.  His determination that his judgement superseded that of the legislature is exactly the kind of usurpation that many Americans are fed up with.  But his tactless and ill-timed rant only joins a larger chorus repeated by the chatterati and the sanctimonious hand-wringing self-appointed cognoscenti about how speech that opposes certain government policies and those who advance them is “hate speech“, and the speakers must be held accountable for what those who hear them might do.

The problem is that these people don’t stop in illustrating what they don’t like.  They frequently skip past a meaningful analysis, and happily skip into the fields of their ownhate, which they frequently turn around and heap in great piles at the feet of the objects of their own scorn and derision.  And in succumbing to their impulses to point fingers and delude themselves about their own innate goodness, they forget very important things.

Speech is an expression of thought.  It can be saintly and inspiring.  It can be venomous and painful.  It can comfort.  It can edify.  It can cause laughter.  It can educate.  It can repulse.  But unfortunately, our society continues to grow in the belief that among our many blessed freedoms is a freedom not to be offended, and like most pernicious lies that make some of us feel better, we not only believe in this freedom not to be offended, we believe that it trumps other freedoms.

This freedom to not be offended has been the starting point for state-sanctioned discrimination against those who exercise their freedom to perform actions consistent with their Christian faith.   But the progressives, who want to believe that they really can make everyone else conform to what they believe is “better behavior” have not been happy with this application of a non-existent right.  And that’s why attacking speech they don’t like is so important.  They have to paint it as “hate speech”, usually in hateful terms of their own.  They have to portray it as pejoratively as possible, and do their own fear mongering about the potential ill-effects, creating the mental image of grisly murders of government officials at the hands of stooge-like listeners to talk radio and viewers of FOX news, because if some weak-willed person was programmed by these “hate merchants” and did just that, then it would only highlight the need step forward, and shut down these voices of dissent, if only for the preservation of the republic.  This is of course, antithetical to the very concept of personal responsibility, another concept that they dislike, and attack on many fronts with specious arguments, and meddling certainty and entitlement.  But in working so hard to create at “nightmare scenario” that hasn’t yet happened, they overlook something very fundamental:

We were intended to have the right to criticize government.  We were intended to have the right express discontent, anger, and yes, even rage at those who ran afoul of us while serving in our names.  This right is fundamental to a free society, because a society that would criminalize speech would criminalize thought in the same act.  And criminalizing thought that opposes the current government, its officials, or its policy is to kill the genius of America, because all freedoms would be forfeit to whomever was strong enough, or powerful enough to determine what thoughts and what words are criminal.  Progressives cannot make better men through the enacting of laws that determine what speech, and by inevitable extension, what thoughts are correct, no more than such laws will make people more “civil”.  You might force these things to be the only expression allowed, but to do so will be to foment resentment, and only lead to a boiling ugliness seeking an outlet.

People’s thoughts are the only things that they will ever be able to truly call their own.  You may not like them when they are expressed in words, but they aren’t yours to restrain, chain, squelch, or suppress.  If they have merit, then they will find an audience that values them.  If they do not, then their value to society will be low, and they will be treated accordingly.

Tragedies often move people to action.  Remember that you are dealing with people who never let a crisis go to waste and who are sensitive to all hate but their own.  There is no reason to surrender freedom for security when it comes to speech, especially since one will not lead to the other.  There are valid reasons why people are “anti-government’, or more accurately “anti-the-current-government” these days, and your birthright and the sanctity of your thoughts are not subject to their tender sensitivities.

 

 UPDATE:  Another voice of reason from an unexpected quarter…if they keep this up, then there might be hope for the American Left yet…Richard Roper helps with some sorely needed perspective:

http://www.suntimes.com/3229156-417/palin-christina-hope-responsible-rhetoric.html

UPDATE the SECOND:  Congress Critter Proposes Law Curtailing Freedom of Speech He Doesn’t Like:

http://threesurethingsoflife.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/and-so-it-begins/

Previously:

The Tucson Shooting and The Political Aftermath

Meet The Parents

The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought. – Emma Goldman

Having already been raised by parents, I am increasingly resentful of a government that continues to substitute its judgment for my own, justifies its temerity in doing so by deigning to tell me it is for my own good, and then charging me exorbitantly for it.  And it happens at all levels of government, from the overreaching leviathan in the District of Columbia, to the irresponsible spendthrifts in Olympia, to the bold petty tyrants here in my own county.

What’s that?  I’m being ridiculous?  I don’t think so.  Let’s start with this example from the Tacoma News Tribune:

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department this morning released a press statement saying that El Gaucho Tacoma has agreed to a permanent injunction that bans smoking in its facility.

Agreed to?  More like got tired spending the money to try to be able to enforce their property rights.
 

“We see this as an important step for the health of Washington State residents, most of whom don’t smoke, and who overwhelmingly voted to approve Washington’s Smoking in Public Places Act,” stated Anthony Chen, department director. 

I see this as an abuse of power, of the kind that bureaucrats in county public health systems, and other local agencies and bureaus love to engage in…for our own good, of course.

 
Earlier this year the department sued to close the smoking lounge, which had recently opened after renovations that owner Paul Mackay said he believed satisfied restrictions in the state’s 2005 non-smoking law.

A smoking lounge.  Not a lounge where they simply permitted smoking.  A lounge designed specifically for smoking.  [While this squib doesn't have all the details, the lounge was completely separate from the rest of the restaurant, had state-of-the-art ventilation systems, and even a separate entrance.]  This wasn’t about a restaurant that some whiney non-smokers could not frequent because of owners who couldn’t manage to offer a non-smoking alternative, because the restaurant is non-smoking, and as I said, separate from the smoking lounge. 

“When the owners failed to comply with several requests, and a letter of compliance from the Health Department, they were served with an injunction to stop allowing smoking in the lounge. On April 23, 2010 a Pierce County Superior Court issued a preliminary injunction against El Gaucho Tacoma and the VIP Lounge,” the department said.

To translate from the power-grubbing bureaucratese “This uppity property owner had the nerve to try to allow patrons to engage in a legal activity in a way that would not disturb those who frequented his establishment, but did not smoke, but he didn’t come, hat in hand, to ask our permission first, and that had to be dealt with.”

I would have liked to see Mackay do an end run and open a private club in the location occupied by the smoking lounge…the kind where anyone can be issued a membership card at the door for a nominal fee.  A private club is not a public place, and therefore the county health department nannycrats can get bent.  But knowing how one little birdie can make a phone call to another little birdie, and the next thing you know, converting the liquor license from a restaurant to a private club can end up being fraught with all sorts of …difficulties, especially with things like the approvals from the local authorities.  I imagine that this was the better business decision for Mr. Mackay.

As for the over-reaching in Olympia, I have the following agenda items in Governor Gregoire’s State of the State address from this past January:

“For all of us who are called to public service, now is the time for leadership. Now is the most important time to serve,” Gregoire said. “For as difficult and challenging as the decisions that lie ahead of us will be, now is the time to be decisive, and now is the time for compassion. It’s the time to make a real difference for people. It’s the time to truly shape the future of Washington state.”

———————————————————————————

*High-quality health care: Gregoire asked the Legislature to consider restoring funding for the state’s Basic Health Plan, hospice services and maternity care for at-risk mothers.

———————————————————————————

“The December budget I presented was balanced, and it certainly sets new, and admittedly untenable, policy directions,” Gregoire said. “But the balanced budget also would force us to abandon the values that define this state — fairness and compassion. It would be unjust, unwise and unfair to abandon our friends and neighbors when they need us most.”

Now, leadership is not continuing to fund entitlements when you are having trouble doing the things that you’re actually supposed to be doing.  Since this speech, our budget hole in this state has increased more than $5 Billion.  The response was to issue a whole lot of new taxes in a down economy, so Nanny Government could continue to make decisions for and offer entitlements to its dependents, rather than focusing on the things that really are its job:  law enforcement, funding schools, fixing the roads, and other basic government functions.  And when she starts whining about not meeting “basic Washington values” because I’m not reducing the quality of health care I provide for my family because they aren’t compelling me to pay for it for someone else, it takes all that I have not to start shouting “THERE IS NO FAIRNESS IN TAKING WHAT I WORK FOR IN ORDER TO PROVIDE FOR MYSELF AND MY FAMILY SO YOU CAN GIVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE!  MAKING PEOPLE DEPENDENT UPON GOVERNMENT IS NOT “COMPASSIONATE”!  QUIT CONFUSING YOUR ABILITY TO BUY VOTES WITH MY MONEY WITH BEING “COMPASSIONATE’!!!”

When some of the new taxes the legislature tried to impose to continue being generous with my earnings ended up on the initiative ballots in November, and going down in flames, it was like Christmas came early.  The problem is, the politicians in this state continually have a problem understanding that when the voters say “No!” to their taxes, we really mean it.  Just ask anyone in Pierce, King, or Snohomish county about their thirty dollar license tabs for their car.  My last one only cost me $120, because I get to “give” generously to subsidize public transit that no one rides.  However, I am very pleased that there are bus drivers who make in excess of $100,000.00 a year when I have the equivalent of a masters and a doctorate in a real discipline, and make less.  To borrow a line from our Dear President, these employees of ours should be thanking me.  Especially when they can expect raises this year, even though I haven’t seen one in a few years now.  It is rumored that the governor will recall the legislature to a special session, which, if it like the prior special sessions, means that the Democrats will leave Republicans out of the meetings, decide that they cannot possibly make any cuts to entitlements, and instead, will pass legislation that will raise taxes instead.  I think you can probably make book on it.

And then there is the Federal Government’s assumption of authority it does not have, by which it substitutes its judgment for your own.  Case in point?  FCC Commissioner Michael Copps:

“I think American media has a bad case of substance abuse right now. We are not producing the body of news and information that democracy needs to conduct its civic dialogue. We aren’t producing as much news as we did 5 years, 10 years, 15 years ago. We have to reverse that trend or I think we are going to be pretty close to be denying our citizens the essential news and information that they need to have in order to make intelligent decisions about the future direction of their country.”

Not to press a point too finely, but who the Hell appointed him to judge the quality of the news being reported?  No, really.  Last I looked, the federal government didn’t have a “Ministry of Information” to decide what is, and what is not news, or even good reporting.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s our job, and I don’t recall any ceremonies where the American people formally surrendered this right to some stinkfaced bureaucrat who doesn’t like what he hears on CNN or FOX.  In fact, since the retirement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine back when we still had more than a handful of sensible people in the government, I thought that the whole point was to let the people decide with their viewership, their listening, and what news outlets they chose to spend their money on.  That is why the Old Grey Lady is in the tank; once people had a chance to decide for themselves, the outlets that only told the stories they wanted you to read/hear/see, and in the manner that they wanted you to ingest simply could no longer compete.  The approved lies, mischaracterizations, and spin were no longer palatable.  And yet this kaikocracy is intent on squelching any message it doesn’t approve of.  That is why The Chicago Messiah™ and his flunkies, toadies, and watercarriers are constantly contributing to the ambient noise level with their insistence that FOX is “bad for the republic”.

“Nowadays, when stations are so often owned by mega companies and absentee owners hundreds or even thousands of miles away — frequently by private equity firms totally unschooled in public interest media — we no longer ask licensees to take the public pulse. Diversity of programming suffers, minorities are ignored, and local self-expression becomes the exception.”

Diversity?  The opinion of a few numb-skulled Supreme Court Justices aside, the federal government, or any government  for that matter, has absolutely no interest, compelling or otherwise, in diversity.  Diversity did not enrich the lives of the people of the Balkans.  It did not make their lives better.  It did not provide a rich society, and preserve basic human dignities and rights of its citizens.  Instead, it brought strife, war, death, misery, and chaos.

“Diversity” as it is currently embraced by too many in government, is destructive to society.  It substitutes identity for merit.  It purposely divides, and keeps divided the people of a nation.   It doesn’t reward and encourage exceptionalism for its own sake (and the blessings to society as a whole that come from such a strategy).  It discourages a national identity, character, and vision, and fosters tribalism and territorial battles in culture, the allocation of resources, and in the defining of goals.  Its final end will be devolution in to discord and violence, rather than achievement and excellence.

Last I looked, local self-expression wasn’t really an issue.  Public television has local outlets, many of which carry locally produced and broadcast programs.  Radio stations report local news, and many carry locally produced programs.  Cable television has public access shows.  And the internet makes anyone with something to say and the ability to find any of several free blog hosts, a one-person publisher.

Let’s not kid ourselves.  Increasingly, we are met in all walks of life by government in all its varied forms that refuses to remain within the strict confines we have set forth for it.  Its appetite for control is rapacious, and unquenchable.  We yield every day, in venues where the government simply has no business being in our business.  Mandates to ban incandescent lightbulbs.  Telling business owners that they cannot cater exclusively to smoking patrons.  Refusing to stop buying votes from its dependents with our money, and ignoring us when we tell them that they cannot have more of what we earn.  Forcing societal schemes upon us that will not, and by their very nature, cannot benefit society.  Fiats that turn social values on their heads by unelected jurists and bureaucrats, when the people have very clearly refused such measures sought to be undertaken by elected officials, and the craven collaboration between the cowardly elected officials and the unelected functionaries who in the absence of any mechanism of accountability to “We the People”, eagerly dictate to us that which we have already refused…for our own good, of course.

What I’d like to know is if I, at age 39, 21 years free of the authority of my parents, and having earned a high school diploma, a B.A., a J.D., and an LL.M., and having been a parent myself for over 11 years still haven’t earned the right, and am not smart enough to make my own decisions, what makes those busybody bureaucrats, many of them the same age or younger, and some less educated, empowered and intelligent enough to make them for me?

ENOUGH.

It’s time to push back.  Hard. 

Going After A Real Criminal Must Have Been Too Difficult

There are real penalties for running contrary to the Left’s agenda…especially when you have the temerity to not share their priorities and you dare to move freely in their territories.  This cautionary tale comes courtesy of the Philadelphia Daily News.

Unlike a Somali youth who did his damnest to carry out the cold-blooded murder of innocent people, and was only stopped due to FBI involvement, Brian Aitken is serving a 7 year sentence for transporting two handguns, ammunition, and magazines he legally owned.

Brian, a law-abiding citizen who was in the process of moving from Colorado to New Jersey after a divorce, expressed some disappointment with his life after his ex-wife cancelled a scheduled visitation with his son.  Mom, a social worker, was concerned that he might do something stupid, and called the police.

 Sue Aitken, a trained social worker, decided to play it safe and called police, but she hung up before the 9-1-1 dispatcher could answer. Police traced the call and showed up anyway, and found two handguns in the trunk of Brian’s car.

Thanks, Mom!  Clearly another case of government involvement improving the lives of average, everyday citizens.

But unlike that Somali youth in Oregon, Aitken had the misfortune to have offended the gun-fearing-wussies (GFWs) of New Jersey, and there would be no mercy for this heinous crime of transporting firearms and ammunition legally owned.

When Mount Laurel police arrived at the Aitkens’ home on Jan. 2, 2009, they called Brian – who was driving to Hoboken – and asked him to return to his parents’ home because they were worried. When he arrived, the cops checked his Honda Civic and, inside the trunk, in a box stuffed into a duffel bag with clothes, they found two handguns, both locked and unloaded as New Jersey law requires.  [emphasis added]

Aitken had passed an FBI background check to buy them in Colorado when he lived there, his father said, and had contacted New Jersey State Police and discussed the proper way to transport them. [Again, emphasis added]

Transported in the manner that the law required, just as he was informed when he asked NJ authorities.  But wait!  There’s more!

In the Garden State, Aitken was required to have a purchaser’s permit from New Jersey to own the guns and a carry permit to have them in his car.

He also was charged with having “large capacity” magazines and hollow-point bullets, which one state gun-control advocate found troubling.

“What little I can glean about the transportation issue leaves me puzzled, but a person with common sense would not be moving illegal products from one place to another by car,” said Bryan Miller, executive director of CeaseFire NJ, an organization devoted to reducing gun violence.

Imagine that, a gun-fearing-wussy who fears guns for a living can’t imagine how it might be that a person might not consider that ammunition legal in one state might not be legal in another, and that the owner might not think to check on that when moving.  Huh.

And it couldn’t be that there might be an exception for someone moving, could there?

New Jersey allows exemptions for gun owners to transport weapons for hunting or if they are moving from one residence to another. During the trial, Aitken’s mother testified that her son was moving things out, and his friend in Hoboken testified he was moving things in. A Mount Laurel officer, according to Larry Aitken, testified that he saw boxes of dishes and clothes in the Honda Civic on the day of the arrest.

Mom said he was moving, car full of stuff that people might have in their home, but would be unusual to carry around in your car for no reason, friend said he was in process of moving in.  Damn.  That is a hard one to figure out.  At least for the judge and the prosecutor.

The exemption statute, according to the prosecutor’s office, specifies that legal guns can be transported “while moving.” Despite testimony about his moving to Hoboken, a spokesman for the prosecutor said the evidence suggested that Aitken had moved months earlier, from Colorado to Mount Laurel. “Again, there was no evidence that he was then presently moving,” spokesman Joel Bewley said.

After Nappen raised the moving-exemption issue, he said, the jury asked Judge Morley for the exemption statute several times and he refused to hand it over to them. Morley, in a phone interview, echoed the sentiments of the prosecutor’s office.

“My recollection of the case is that I ruled he had not presented evidence sufficient to justify giving the jury the charge on the affirmative offense that he was in the process of moving,” Morley said.

Yes, because dishes and clothes in the car, and the testimony of your Mom and your new roommate isn’t sufficient evidence.  And that whole “presumption of innocence” and conviction on evidence “beyond a shadow of a doubt” thing?  It doesn’t apply to those who would assert rights the nanny staters do not wish you to have.

Of course, the Judge’s mental acuity really isn’t all that, either, as you note at the end of the news story.

The Latest Casualty In The Culture Wars: The Gingerbread Man

For pete’s sake. The purveyors of political correctness never cease to amaze me. Enlightened thinkers in the UK  have decided to change the name of the  holiday cookie favorite on school menus  from “Gingerbread Man” to “Gingerbread Person”.

The Daily Mail has the story:

In the nursery rhyme, the Gingerbread Man fled from the clutches of an old woman and her husband.

But now he has been cornered by an even more unforgiving foe – political correctness.

Council bureaucrats have stripped gingerbread men of their gender and renamed them gingerbread ‘persons’ on menus for 400 primary schools.

Parents in Lancashire were astonished when they discovered the change.

‘It is absolutely ridiculous,’ one mother said. ‘Someone has obviously taken the effort to change this and it is almost offensive.

‘I am all for anti-discrimination but this is a pudding. The gingerbread man is a character from a rhyme in a book, for goodness sake.’

Laura Midgley, of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, added: ‘It is totally ridiculous political correctness, nobody wants to talk about gingerbread people. They are what they are.

What’s sad is that if this is happening in the UK, it won’t be long before some idiot tries push the same stupid idea in the US. It only takes the complaint of one moonbat out of a hundred people to get the culture to bend in their favor.
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Why is that?
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Why not tell little Hillary, if she doesn’t like the masculine  “gingerbread boy” moniker, to go jump in a lake?
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It’s a damn cookie based on a nursery rhyme.
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Why do we have to respect everyone’s feelings even when they’re stupid, petty and  irrational?
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You can decorate your cookie any way you want, Hillary…. even call the female ones, “Gingerbread Girls”, or “Gingerbread Women” if you want. We do every Christmas. I  have a Gingerbread Woman cookie cutter to go along with my Gingerbread Man.
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But generally speaking, we say, “Gingerbread Man”, because that’s just. the. way. it. is.
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And if you want to fight me on that, I’ll call you a cultural Marxist right to your face.
UPDATE:
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What’s this?
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Oh…………..now that I’ve taken the time to read the entire article….

The outcry has since forced officials into an embarrassing U-turn.

They now claim renaming the biscuits was a mistake and that their gender will be reinstated as soon as possible.

NEVER-MIND!

Linked by Conservative Hideout, thanks!

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JCCC Student Discovers Campus “Discomfort Doctrine” Only Applies To Conservatives

Kansas Meadowlark is covering this disturbing story which illustrates the dishonest left-wing agenda behind campus speech codes:

Johnson County Community College former adult student Kathy Brown took her “Discomfort Doctrine” complaint to the Board of Trustees.

She told them at a meeting last week she did not get equal process because she is a conservative.

Brown’s complaint alleges suppression of speech and suppression of the right to free assembly through the college’s “discomfort doctrine.” She has been working through the college’s complaint process for 15 months.

Brown, an attorney and a nurse, enrolled in the LPN to RPN bridge program for nurses.

Last month Brown described her early JCCC experiences as an adult student:

… I was only here a few weeks before I had an astonishing experience. I was in a human anatomy and physiology class under Professor John Clark. I was having a private conversation with another student after the class was finished. As we filed out of the lab the professor overheard our conversation, and upon overhearing it, leaned over the desk, stuck his finger in my face, and said, ‘Stop. You cannot ask those questions here. You cannot have this discussion here.’

Both myself and the young man with whom I was speaking were astonished. And we inquired as to why. When we did so, the professor stated it looks as if the person you’re talking to is becoming ‘uncomfortable’. …

Brown told about a private meeting with Dean of Sciences, Csilla Duneczky, who informed her of the college’s “discomfort doctrine,” which attempted to regulate speech so no one was ever “uncomfortable.” But Brown said this doctrine applied to her, not to everyone.

Brown said the discomfort doctrine “only applied to certain groups of people” and “they will tear you up” if you disagree with the diversity list, or the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

According to Brown, “the only people that ever got shut down were — you guessed it — conservatives, Catholics, people who didn’t agree with gay marriage. People who identified themselves as traditionalists.”

“I joined the diversity list. I was incomparably stupid. I had no knowledge — had not stepped on a college campus in 15 years. I had no clue that was ‘code’ for you’d better be sure you’re not a conservative, you’re not a Catholic, you don’t belong to what [Diversity Fellow] Kami Day called a “conforming religion. … you better be sure you don’t voice that you don’t agree with gay marriage.” …

“I voiced my dissent. I was savaged in every particular. Leading the charge was Carmaletta Williams, the head of the ODEI …”

“I referred the complaint to Dennis Day, who did everything in the last year to obstruct it, including violating your policy, which calls for two officers to investigate it. … He obstructed the complaint. …”

Read the rest and watch video of Brown’s complaint against JCCC at Kansas Meadowlark.

UPDATE:

RedState is also covering this story.

You can listen in tonight at 6 p.m. on 980 AM radio, as Darla Jaye interviews  Kathy Brown.  Click here to listen live at KMBZ’s Web site.

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