Articles from July 2011



John Lampmann: Serious candidate? No.

I have halfway been following the race for the Republican nomination in the 99th, especially after Albert Pollard announced that he would not be running for reelection, leaving the presumptive winner to be whoever manages to win the Republican nomination.

One of the candidates that is running is John Lampmann, a resident of Portobago subdivision in northern Caroline County. I always thought the guy was a squish, now I am thinking he’s just an idiot.

I find it bizarre that a man that talks about how he will “[s]hore up protection for our property rights and property values and” “[r]e-create the foundation for more and better jobs that pay a living wage in the Northern Neck”, has been one of the foremost opponents of the special exception permit request by Vulcan and Black Marsh Farms.

Lampmann is an enemy of private property rights and wants to deny the citizens of Caroline 14 full-time jobs and $100,000 annually in tax revenue.

Lampmann: Already Bought and Paid For

Even more bizarre to me is that Lampmann goes on and on ad nauseam about how he is going to fight the “urban special interests”.

Right, the guy that has spent the last six years as a corporate lobbyist is going to fight special interests? To make matters worse, Lampmann is not even honest about what he does for a living referring to his job as a “Washington Representative”. Yes, seriously:

Upon leaving public service, John joined Johnson, Madigan, Peck Bolland & Steward as a Washington Representative for two years.  John now runs his own consulting company where he continues to serve the public interest by helping private organizations make government work for the public good.

To Lampmann, “serv[ing] the public interest” is getting corporate welfare and subsidies for private companies and organizations.

Who have been some of Lampmann’s lobbying clients?

  • AARP, one of the biggest supporters of Obamacare.
  • “Compete America”, a collection of different corporate interests that support issuing more H1-B visas for immigrants. So while Lampmann is talking about how the Northern Neck has no jobs, he has been representing a client that thinks that jobs should go, not to Americans, but immigrants.
  • WilmerHale, a law firm that defended, pro bono, the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold “campaign finance law” before the Supreme Court of the United States which ruled the law to be an unconstitutional violation of the people’s right to freedom of speech.

But here’s my favorite: According to Lampmann’s biography he was the chief of state for Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary for 18 years.

In 2006, after leaving his job as chief of staff, Lampmann was a lobbyist for the “National Music Publishers Association”, a trade association that attempts to get legislation passed seeking tougher penalties for copyright violations. The same year that Lampmann was a lobbyist for the association, his former boss introduced a bill that would have:

The 24-page bill is a far-reaching medley of different proposals cobbled together. One would, for instance, create a new federal crime of just trying to commit copyright infringement. Such willful attempts at piracy, even if they fail, could be punished by up to 10 years in prison.

It also represents a political setback for critics of expanding copyright law, who have been backing federal legislation that veers in the opposite direction and permits bypassing copy protection for “fair use” purposes. That bill–introduced in 2002 by Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat–has been bottled up in a subcommittee ever since.

[…]

But one of the more controversial sections may be the changes to the DMCA. Under current law, Section 1201 of the law generally prohibits distributing or trafficking in any software or hardware that can be used to bypass copy-protection devices. (That section already has been used against a Princeton computer science professor, Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov and a toner cartridge remanufacturer.)Smith’s measure would expand those civil and criminal restrictions. Instead of merely targeting distribution, the new language says nobody may “make, import, export, obtain control of, or possess” such anticircumvention tools if they may be redistributed to someone else.

[…]

The proposed law scheduled to be introduced by Rep. Smith also does the following:

  • Permits wiretaps in investigations of copyright crimes, trade secret theft and economic espionage. It would establish a new copyright unit inside the FBI and budgets $20 million on topics including creating “advanced tools of forensic science to investigate” copyright crimes.
  • Amends existing law to permit criminal enforcement of copyright violations even if the work was not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • Boosts criminal penalties for copyright infringement originally created by the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 from five years to 10 years (and 10 years to 20 years for subsequent offenses). The NET Act targets noncommercial piracy including posting copyrighted photos, videos or news articles on a Web site if the value exceeds $1,000.
  • Creates civil asset forfeiture penalties for anything used in copyright piracy. Computers or other equipment seized must be “destroyed” or otherwise disposed of, for instance at a government auction. Criminal asset forfeiture will be done following the rules established by federal drug laws.
  • Says copyright holders can impound “records documenting the manufacture, sale or receipt of items involved in” infringements.

Draw your own conclusions there.

And speaking of Lampmann’s former boss, Lamar Smith, he thinks that “the liberal media bias” is a gravest threat facing this country, even worst than a recession and a terrorist attack:

Do we want our next Delegate to be a Beltway insider and a corporate lobbyist?

Hermain Cain: Constitutional Scholar (Part II).

Only in his world is building a place of worship “an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion”.

Abraham Lincoln on the Know-Nothings:

I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.

The GOP continues to show its contempt for the Constitution and other thoughts on the criminal justice system.

The GOP in 2010 ran on a massive campaign about how the country need to return tp constitutional government. ObamaCare—according to the GOP—was unconstitutional, along with 99% of whatever else the federal government does. They demanded that bills introduced into Congress contain a provision that stated its constitutional authorization. And so on and so on ad nauseam.

What has happened since then? The GOP has done nothing to stop the military invention in Libya, yet another war for the United States, and this one started without any kind of Congressional authorization and in violation of applicable federal law (the “War Powers Act”).

And when they’re not doing that, you have folks like Virginia Representative Rob Wittman (R-1st) introducing a federal fisheries bill that cites Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution as the bill’s authorization. I have looked and looked and I do not see a provision in Art. I, § 8 that grants Congress the power to pass a federal fisheries bill, but hey, what do I know?

But let us get to the point of this post, the recent execution of Mexican national Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., who was arrested and confessed to the rape and murder of a teenager girl. Despite being a foreign national, he was not informed of his rights to contact a consular as required by Article 36 of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which states:

(b) if he so requests, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall be forwarded by the said authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform the person concerned without delay of his rights under this subparagraph;

What does this have to do with the Constitution? The Vienna Convention was a treaty which was sign by the President and ratified by the United States Senate. And what does the United States Constitution say about treaties?

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. (Art. VI, cl. 2)

But instead of condemnation of the violation of a person’s due process rights and his resulting execution, what did I awake to find on Twitter and blogs yesterday morning? A chorus of comments that can be best summed as “So what if his due process rights were violated? He was guilty anyway.”

So what’s the point of trials then? How about we just get Nancy Grace to do briefs on court cases and then you can call in for guilty and not guilty? Fox can put the show in prime-time after American Idol. They can do a special two-hour program when it comes time to execute someone.

And while I support the death-penalty, this case provides a perfect example of its politicization. Rick Perry is definitely running for President at this point and does anyone remember what Bill Clinton did as Governor of Arkansas while running for President in 1992?

After falling behind in the New Hampshire primary in 1992, and after being caught lying about the affair with Gennifer Flowers to which he later confessed under oath, Clinton left the campaign trail and flew home to Arkansas to give the maximum publicity to his decision to sign a death warrant for Ricky Ray Rector. Rector was a black inmate on death row who had shot himself in the head after committing a double murder and, instead of dying as a result, had achieved the same effect as a lobotomy would have done. He never understood the charge against him or the sentence. After being served his last meal, he left the pecan pie on the side of the tray, as he told the guards who came to take him to the execution chamber, “for later.” Several police and prison-officer witnesses expressed extreme queasiness at this execution of a gravely impaired man, and the prison chaplain, Dennis Pigman, later resigned from the prison service. The whole dismal and cruel and pathetic story was told by Marshall Frady in a long essay in The New Yorker in 1993 and is also recounted in a chapter titled “Chameleon in Black and White” by your humble servant in his book No One Left To Lie To.

And since I brought up Nancy Grace a couple paragraphs ago, was I the only person that was about to have an aneurysm after seeing the reaction to the Casey Anthony verdict? People on Twitter were issuing fatwas against defense attorneys for crying out loud.

It’s amazing that in this day in age, after our founding fathers fought and died to ensure that their rights, amongst others, to a speedy and public trial by jury and a right to have counsel, and people openly have the gall to complain about someone having a defense attorney?

What the heck is wrong with this country?

Have I mentioned recently that The Free Lance-Star is a contemptible, despicable rag?

The local newspaper of record, The Free Lance-Star, continues its campaign to attack and impugn the late Virginia State Police Trooper Adam Bowen. When the paper isn’t allowing people to post completely disgusting comments about his death in the line of duty, they’re writing hack stories like this.

Would anyone find it surprising that a police officer, who drove more 117,000 miles in rural county was involved in three accidents? Or as that hack Cathy Dyson and her editors put it, “crash[es]”. Yeah, they referred to an accident where a State Trooper hit a deer as  a “crash”. So much for using neutral language, right?

The other accidents? A minor fender-bender why making a U-turn and the third was getting into an accident while responding to a request for assistance from the King George County Sheriff’s Office about a report of a man with a gun. As some might be aware, the trooper was responding to an urgent request for backup from a State Police narcotics agent when he was killed in the line of duty.

And while Ms. Dyson is writing this story, did she bother to get any data about from the State Police about what is the average number of accidents for troopers? Did she contact the Sheriff’s Office to ask them what is typical for their deputies in the county? No, of course not, she went—for some reason I have yet to figure out—to an organization that complains about police agencies’ pursuit policy, which does not apply to any of the accidents that Trooper Bowen was involved in. In fact, it doesn’t even appear that she went to the State Police for any kind of comment. But, honesty, what should we expect from that paper at this point?

Here’s to hoping that the next time that Cathy Dyson calls a the police, they take their timing getting to her, because, you know, urgent calls for assistance aren’t that important.

At least that’s her position on the matter.


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