Pre-Supreme Court Nominee Open Thread

As the people at Instapundit are putting it these days: do you want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump:

The British Medical Association (BMA) has told people to stop calling pregnant people expectant mothers because it could offend transgender people. Instead, call those females “pregnant people.”

For some bizarre, inexplicable reason, the MSM is starting to pay attention to military casualties after an 8 year hiatus.

In case you ever need the info: how far away do you need to be to survive a nuclear blast? My father knew a great deal about this – bottom line: far, far away. I actually had his nuclear blast calculator for a long while: handed it off to a niece who is studying physics.

Not all American Muslims are against Trump.

Last night, Progressives were spreading the Fake News that Trump was going to rescind some protections for gay Americans – turns out, he wasn’t. Which is no surprise, at all, as Trump is probably one of the most gay-friendly people we’ve ever elected…remember, unlike Obama, Trump went into office in favor of same-sex marriage.

Like the American left, the French left is figuring that what the people want is even more leftism. We’ll see how that works out – both for French leftists and ours.

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27 thoughts on “Pre-Supreme Court Nominee Open Thread

  1. Amazona January 31, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    The British Medical Association (BMA) has told people to stop calling pregnant people expectant mothers because it could offend transgender people. Instead, call those females “pregnant people.”

    So when a man decides he is identified as the wrong gender, he still does not want to be considered a woman, just a person? I thought the whole concept of “transgender” was to move from one gender to another, and then be considered part of the chosen gender. Is the BMA now taking the position that transgendered people are rejecting not only the gender with which they were born but any other gender as well?

    So if a man decides to remove the dangly parts and get breasts, and wear frilly clothes and grow out his hair, he still doesn’t want to be considered a woman? But I thought he wanted to use the women’s restroom. And locker room.

    The Brits were once the bastion of common sense and decorum. The Left has beat that out of them and made them leaders in silliness.

    • M. Noonan January 31, 2017 / 9:41 pm

      I like how they say that as most people who give birth are women…far as I can tell, each and every birth was via a woman…but, I’m just old-fashioned and out of it these days…

  2. Amazona January 31, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    Really happy to see Judge Gorsuch nominated for the Supreme Court. It’s a fine choice and I think he will be an apt successor to Justice Scalia.

    • M. Noonan January 31, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      Democrats already got the knives out for him…but I think if they make a huge fight over this, they’ll lose. Badly. Only if there’s something in his background which is nefarious can they win this fight…and from what I’ve read, the guy has got sterling character.

      • Amazona January 31, 2017 / 11:16 pm

        And when he was last nominated he was unanimously approved. He’s a good guy. And he’s young. I am really excited about the prospect of Trump putting a couple more guys under 50 on the Court before he is through. I doubt that all three of the remaining Libs will make it through the next four years, and as much as I like Thomas it wouldn’t bother me to have him retire—he’s got to be close to 80—so a younger man or woman could take over.

        I would still like Cruz to be on the Court. His strength is arguing the Constitution and swaying people in one-on-one discussions, and I think he would be a powerful influence.

      • M. Noonan February 1, 2017 / 1:26 am

        Cruz would be a phenomenal pick – but also Justice Willet of the Texas Supreme Court would be a wonderful thing. Ginsburg, Breyer and Kennedy are all questionable on making it through four more years, let along eight more…and even though Kennedy is to the right, he’s also always willing to go left when some crucial issues come to the Court. Replacing any of them with someone of the caliber of Gorsuch would be a massive improvement…and two of them remakes the Court in a Conservative manner for the next 30 years.

      • M. Noonan February 1, 2017 / 1:28 am

        Basically, Trump might have the option of making the Court something we don’t have to bother with too much any longer…remember, if there’s a solid 6 Justices for strict interpretation, the liberals will stop using the federal courts to enact their policies. Our side, of course, would file cases seeking to reverse past decisions…and we’d probably win some, lose some on that…but just not having to worry about liberals ramming through unpopular and unconstitutional policies via the Court would be a great help to our side.

      • Amazona January 31, 2017 / 11:22 pm

        I looked it up: Breyer is 78, Ginsburg is 82 and Kennedy is 80. I was wrong about Thomas—he is only 68, and Roberts is 62. The youngsters are also the weakest links on the Court, Sotomayor (62) and Kagan (56).

        Put a few more really qualified people on the Court and these two lightweights will really stand out as perfect examples of the incompetence of Obama.

    • jdge1 February 1, 2017 / 1:26 am

      One potential concern I have with Gorsuch is; I read he sided with the majority in a case where as I understand it, a police noticed a store employee with a concealed gun in a state where a carry-conceal permit is required. Rather than ask the employee to provide evidence of his permit, the officer confiscated the gun, subdued the guy and THEN proceeded to ask if he had a permit. Turns out, not only did the guy not have a gun permit, but he was either wanted on some other charges or a previously convicted felony or both, I don’t remember which. The case was in regards to whether the officer was within his rights to confiscate and detain first, then ask for proof, or not. Gorsuch ruled with the majority in the 10th circuit court of appeals which said, the officer had the right to do as he did. Now, I have a strong feeling, not all of the relevant facts of the case were provided in the article, but in part of the majority’s ruling, what they wrote included the statement “armed and dangerous” suggesting anyone with a gun is allowed to be considered dangerous by law enforcement and can act first, ask questions later. To me, there is little difference from this to an officer pulling over someone driving a car that has displayed no outward signs of breaking the law, pulling them out of the car, securing them and only THEN asking if they have a legal drivers license. It shouldn’t matter if after the fact the officer found out the driver didn’t have a valid license as he had no reason to pull the driver over in the first place. Secondly, gun ownership is secured by the constitution and labeling law abiding citizens as “dangerous” simply because they have possession of the gun is just as absurd as labeling that same person as dangerous because they drive a car.

      Other than that I heard several good things about Gorsuch. I sense if he receives senate approval, we’ll see a wide variety of cases in which his vote is pivotal, and more often than not in line with the constitution.

      • M. Noonan February 1, 2017 / 1:31 am

        I’d like to see more details on that, as well – but one case I did hear about was where he dissented and figured that if there’s a “no trespassing” sign on the lawn, it means the police needed permission or a warrant to go on the property in a non-emergency situation. I agree with Gorsuch’s dissent…the whole “a man’s home is his castle”, thing. Outside of emergencies, I think that a police officer must get permission or a warrant before even stepping on the private property.

      • Retired Spook February 1, 2017 / 10:05 am

        The case you’re referring to was United States v. Rodriguez.

        On the other hand, there is reason to give some pause with Judge Gorsuch’s record. Judge Gorsuch joined in one opinion, United States v. Rodriguez, 739 F.3d 481 (11th Cir. 2013), which causes us to have some concern about his understanding of the relationship between the government and an armed citizenry. To be fair, Judge Gorsuch did not write the Rodriguez opinion — his colleague, Judge Bobby Baldock was the author. Nevertheless, Judge Gorsuch joined the opinion. He could have filed a principled dissenting opinion, or even a concurring opinion agreeing only in the judgment.

        The facts of the case are these. A New Mexico policeman observed Mr. Rodriguez, a convenience store clerk, carrying a concealed handgun. Carrying a concealed loaded handgun is illegal in New Mexico without a permit, but legal if one has a license to do so. The officer, however, upon seeing a Rodriguez’s handgun, detained him, then — acting first and asking questions later — forcibly disarmed Rodriguez. After finding out that Rodriguez did not, in fact, have a license to carry and, indeed, was a convicted felon, the officer placed him under arrest.

        Of course, hard cases make bad law. But the precedent from the Rodriguez opinion will affect police-citizen relations in New Mexico, and possibly elsewhere in the Tenth Circuit, for many years to come. Not bothering to figure out the legality of Rodriguez’s firearm before detaining and disarming him, the officer’s initial actions would have been the same even if Mr. Rodriguez had been a lawful gun owner.

        According to the 10th Circuit’s opinion, the police are justified in forcibly disarming every armed citizen, based on nothing more than the presence of a concealed firearm. This allows the police to treat every law-abiding gun owner like a criminal — which, in many cases we have seen, includes rough treatment such as grabbing him, twisting his arm behind his back, slamming him down on the ground, and handcuffing him. Far too many police officers do not like anyone to be armed other than themselves, and have taken it upon themselves to intimidate those who dare to exercise Second Amendment rights. Under the Rodriguez decision, only after being forcibly disarmed and detained would a citizen be entitled to demonstrate that he was lawfully exercising his Second Amendment rights.

        Of everything I’ve read about Judge Gorsuch, that is the only case that gives me cause for concern. I would hope that in his confirmation hearing he’s asked about it at length. I agree with JDGE1, if, indeed, a LEO has any reason to suspect that someone he/she witnesses carrying a handgun might be doing so illegally, it shouldn’t be all that hard to determine if the person has a valid permit to carry without being forcibly disarmed and arrested first.

      • Retired Spook February 1, 2017 / 10:34 am

        When you drill down into the facts of the case the officer’s actions don’t seem unreasonable.

        We succinctly state the relevant facts. Around 6:00 p.m. on July 27, 2011, Albuquerque Police Officer Frank Munoz responded to a dispatch informing him that two employees of the “Pit Stop” convenience store and gas station, located at 6102 Central Avenue SW in a reportedly “high crime” area, were showing each other handguns. Tr. vol. 3, at 8, 44. Fellow Officer Steven Miller also responded to the dispatch. Officer Munoz described the store as being “pretty small on the inside.” Id. at 13. Upon entering the store, Officer Munoz, accompanied by Officer Miller, observed Defendant Daniel Rodriguez a “couple feet away” stocking shelves. Id. at 14. As Defendant bent over, Officer Munoz noticed a silver handgun tucked in [739 F.3d 484]the back waistband of his pants. Defendant’s shirt concealed the handgun when he stood upright. Officer Munoz told Defendant, “Let me see your hands, and let’s step outside.” Id. at 51. At the suppression hearing, Officer Munoz testified:

        [Defendant] asked us what for, What did I do? And since we were in a pretty cramped area when we walked in, I didn’t want myself and Officer Miller or [Defendant], all of us, to be in that cramped area in case anything occurred, so I told him, Let’s step outside, and that I needed to ask him a question. He was a little upset and wanted to know what he had done. I told him to step outside. He then went past myself and Officer Miller to the door. As he pushed the door open once again his shirt came up, and I saw the gun, and it was at that time I pulled the gun out of the back of his waistband.

        Id. at 16. When asked why he removed the gun from Defendant’s waistband, Officer Munoz stated, “Just for officer safety, until we could figure out what was going on and why he had a firearm.” Id.

        Outside the store, Officer Munoz promptly asked Defendant why he was concealing a handgun. Defendant responded that “somebody had shot at him at that same location at the gas station.” Id. at 25. Officer Munoz asked Defendant whether he had a permit to carry the handgun. Defendant said he did not. Officer Munoz instructed Defendant to turn around and place his hands in the frisk position on a nearby truck. Visible tattoos on Defendant’s legs prompted Officer Munoz, a former prison guard, to ask Defendant if he had been arrested. Defendant stated he recently had been released from prison. Following an unremarkable “pat search” of Defendant, Officer Munoz permitted him to sit on the curb and smoke a cigarette. Id. at 19. Meanwhile, Officer Miller ran a check of the handgun removed from Defendant’s waistband—a Smith and Wesson model 66-4, .357 magnum revolver loaded with five rounds of Winchester brand .357 ammunition. The check reported the handgun was stolen. Officer Munoz handcuffed Defendant and placed him under arrest. Further investigation confirmed Defendant was a convicted felon.(emphasis – mine)

        So, the officer determined that the defendant had no permit, was a convicted felon and the gun was stolen, all BEFORE he placed him under arrest. A little different than what NEWS reports have stated. I’d still like to hear Judge Gorsuch’s rational for siding with the majority opinion.

      • Amazona February 1, 2017 / 11:23 am

        So in fact, according to the police report, Rodriguez was not “forcibly disarmed” but simply got himself on the officer’s radar by refusing to go outside to talk and challenging the officer to justify his request, and then had the gun slipped out of his waistband as he walked past the officer.

        LEO are trained to alert to certain behaviors, and as a police officer and former prison guard this officer seemed correct in suspecting something was wrong. So the gun was removed—not forcibly, and evidently without contact with Rodriguez—only after Rodriguez acted defensive and questioned a request from the officer, and then, after learning that Rodriguez was not legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon, Rodriguez was “detained” if that word applies to the pat-down.

        I believe there are many behaviors that would justify a police officer disarming a person before determining whether or not that person has a permit to carry a gun—–furtive actions, appearing to reach for the weapon, apparent preparation to flee, refusing a legitimate order, even visible prison tattoos that would indicate the person is a felon and therefore not qualified to get a CC permit.

        Ask anyone who legally carries a gun, on his person or in his car, and you will be told that the first thing a person does when approached by law enforcement is to notify the officer that he is armed. “There is a loaded pistol in my console”—-“There is a loaded pistol in a holster on my right hip”—etc. Failure to do so is enough to alert an officer to a potential problem.

        The officer, however, upon seeing a Rodriguez’s handgun, detained him, then — acting first and asking questions later — forcibly disarmed Rodriguez… appears to be more of the “fake news” we have been getting for so long.

        I hope this false account does come up in Judge Gorsuch’s hearing, because I would like to have it dismantled and examined for the biased agenda-based reporting it seems to be.

      • M. Noonan February 1, 2017 / 12:36 pm

        I don’t know it personally, but if I ever had a concealed weapon and an officer came up to me, about the first thing I’d do is advise the officer of the weapon’s presence.

      • jdge1 February 1, 2017 / 1:05 pm

        I suspected not all of the facts of the case were a part of the article, and after reading more I can see some justification of why the officer acted the way he did. However, it still does not sit well with me how the courts ruled on this.

        “According to the 10th Circuit’s opinion, the police are justified in forcibly disarming every armed citizen, based on nothing more than the presence of a concealed firearm.”

        This goes directly against the Constitution on many levels including, the right to bear arms and the right against unreasonable search and seizure. Hopefully a more detailed response to this and similar court rulings by Gorsuch would be welome.

        As to being stopped or approached by an officer while carrying concealed, it would wholly depend on the situation and location. For example, if I was stopped for during a “normal” police roadblock, visually checking for an up to date registration / inspection sticker (I know not all states require an annual vehicle inspection but our wonderful NY (cough, cough) does), and things of that nature, I would not disclose my gun.

      • Amazona February 1, 2017 / 6:00 pm

        “According to the 10th Circuit’s opinion, the police are justified in forcibly disarming every armed citizen, based on nothing more than the presence of a concealed firearm.”

        Is that the wording in the actual ruling, or is that the interpretation put on it by the publication you are quoting? Because that doesn’t sound remotely like an actual ruling, but a whole lot like hysterical hyperbole by someone offended by whatever the ruling is. What is your source for this statement?

        …..labeling law abiding citizens as “dangerous” simply because they have possession of the gun is just as absurd as labeling that same person as dangerous because they drive a car…. I saw nothing in the account to indicate that this was ever the motive for the event, or a reasonable conclusion to draw from it. Being identified by a concerned citizen as someone handling a gun in a public place (convenience store) and then acting defensive and challenging when asked to move to a less confined space to talk with an officer is a lot different than merely having possession of a gun, and failing to notify the officer that he is armed only adds to a general sense of distrust. An open and straightforward demeanor and willingness to cooperate with law enforcement on a simple request to talk outside would probably not have set off the “possibly dangerous” alarm in the officer in question.

        As for informing a law enforcement officer that I am armed, it is the only prudent thing to do. Traffic stops are the most dangerous events to police, other than responding to domestic disturbances, and every cop is on high alert when approaching a stopped vehicle for any reason. If I were to sit there without informing an officer that I am armed, and then my weapon becomes visible when I open my glovebox or console to get my registration card, or I lean a certain way and my gun becomes visible on my belt, that officer has every reason to think I was withholding that information from him or her. If I were an LEO my first thought would be “why didn’t she want me to know she has a gun?” and no answer is going to make me look good. That is not a good way to start a dialogue. But starting off with “There is a loaded pistol in my console and I have a permit” shows good intention and respect for the risks that officer runs every time he or she approaches a vehicle.

        I have never been stopped with a weapon in my car, but I know people who have, and their actions have been the same, and the actions strongly suggested by the former policeman who conducted my concealed carry permit class. It starts off with what I do when I am stopped (only once in the last ten years or so) which is to keep my hands visible, on the steering wheel, until the officer asks me for paperwork and can witness what I am doing. Then it goes on to state, if applicable, that there is a weapon, in general what kind of weapon, if it is loaded, where it is in the vehicle, and whether or not the person has a carry permit.

      • Amazona February 1, 2017 / 7:59 pm

        I looked up that quote myself and found it, verbatim, in two places—-American Thinker and http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/lawrence-pratt/justice-neil-gorsuch-some-cause-concern.

        So I looked up the actual ruling on the Rodriguez case, and found nothing to support the personal opinion of the original author of that claim. Then I read the actual ruling in the Terry case, as one small segment of that ruling was the cherry-picked and out of context quote “…”[c]oncealed weapons create an immediate and severe danger to the public….” In the context of the Terry case, this was true.

        I thought both rulings were carefully thought out and well presented. What bothers me is the blatant restating of the Rodriguez case, completely changing the facts to create a whole new and false narrative. The new narrative is reckless and inflammatory, especially with the partial quote from the Terry ruling. To put it bluntly, the CNS News/American Thinker piece is a lie. More accurately, a collection of lies.

        Rodriguez was NOT “forcibly disarmed” but had his firearm quickly and deftly removed from the waistband of his pants as he walked past the policeman—-and this only after he exhibited what any seasoned law enforcement officer would identify as evasive, defensive and uncooperative behavior when asked to comply with a simple request. These are behaviors routinely identified as leading to probable cause. Rodriguez then verbally responded to a verbal question, confirming that he had no permit to carry the weapon, which identified him as a lawbreaker illegally carrying the gun. There is no testimony that until this point the officer had physical contact with Rodrigues other than possibly brushing against him to remove the gun from his waistband. Only then was Rodriguez “detained” to the extent of being frisked, and at that time he admitted to being a felon, adding to the criminality of carrying a firearm.

        Read this carefully: According to the 10th Circuit’s opinion, the police are justified in forcibly disarming every armed citizen, based on nothing more than the presence of a concealed firearm. This allows the police to treat every law-abiding gun owner like a criminal — which, in many cases we have seen, includes rough treatment such as grabbing him, twisting his arm behind his back, slamming him down on the ground, and handcuffing him. Far too many police officers do not like anyone to be armed other than themselves, and have taken it upon themselves to intimidate those who dare to exercise Second Amendment rights. Under the Rodriguez decision, only after being forcibly disarmed and detained would a citizen be entitled to demonstrate that he was lawfully exercising his Second Amendment rights..

        The bias is blatant. Every single word of this diatribe has to be highlighted, because every word is blatantly untrue and exhibits a bias against law enforcement officers. Seriously?

        This allows the police to treat every law-abiding gun owner like a criminal

        ….. which, in many cases we have seen, includes rough treatment such as grabbing him, twisting his arm behind his back, slamming him down on the ground, and handcuffing him.

        Far too many police officers do not like anyone to be armed other than themselves

        …..and have taken it upon themselves to intimidate those who dare to exercise Second Amendment rights.

        Under the Rodriguez decision, only after being forcibly disarmed and detained would a citizen be entitled to demonstrate that he was lawfully exercising his Second Amendment rights

        One inflammatory lie after another, piled on top of each other in a frenzy of distorting the truth.

        When I see a lie, much less a collection of lies, the question I ask is “WHY?” Who will benefit by having this lie/these lies believed?

      • jdge1 February 2, 2017 / 1:23 am

        AMAZONA, thank you for your diligence in researching this further. As I mentioned, it seemed there was more to the story than the article I read and considered the potential for distorting or outright lying about the facts. I was less concerned about the specifics of the encounter with the police than I was with the court ruling and its long term ramifications, for which I’m still not 100% sure about.

        When I took my gun safety course for obtain my permit, the instructor strongly suggested we NOT disclose the fact we have a gun to law enforcement in certain situations. For example, we have the right to travel with a gun within our state. We can also travel from / to our state from / to another state where it’s legal for us to posses our gun, even if that means traveling thru states that do not accept or recognize our gun permit within that state. The example our instructor gave us was particular to states that were known to be unfriendly to civilian gun possession, like Maryland. Our instructor said he was aware of more than one instance where a person with a gun was stopped, disclosed that fact, and was harassed by the Leo, had their gun(s) confiscated and were held for an extended period, in one case for almost 6 hours. He said, far too many Leo’s are poorly trained about the laws pertaining to gun ownership while they are in route thru a state where the gun owner does not possess a gun permit. Now, if stopped and asked if I had any weapons in my vehicle, I would not lie or even hesitate to disclose it, but I would not automatically, preemptively disclosing that I have a gun in my possession, especially in states like VA and MD. That seems to be the typical response I get from many of the members of my gun club as well. It was also suggested we carry a book or a printout of the specific laws allowing us to travel from/to our destinations, so we could inform the LEO, should the need arise. The book I obtained has the specific laws related to gun ownership and requirements, state by state, along with federal laws and regulations that allow me to travel as mentioned above.

        I understand the many dangers Leo’s faces when pulling over a vehicle, especially at night and follow several steps to help mitigate an officer’s concerns, such as: 1.) Pulling over immediately when a cop pulls behind you and turns on their lights, 2.) Pulling off the road as far as reasonably possibly so when the officer exits his/her car s/he is in a safer position, 3.) Lower the driver window, 4.) Turn off my car, place my keys on the dash (not so much now that my car has a smart key) and at night, turn on the interior lights, 5.) Place both hands on the steering wheel and wait until the officer approaches the vehicle and instructs you to do else wise.

        I remember 2 times I was stopped with a potential high tension situation for the officer, both which occurred at night and I did not have a gun with me at the time. The first was when, unbeknown to me, my back license plate fell off. As I exited the highway 2 sheriff patrol cars pulled me over, blocking me in from the front and back. The second was when I was traveling home on the NY state thruway from out of town. I stopped at a gas station, entered my credit card then pumped enough gas to get home. Apparently the credit card did not register properly and the attendant called the police who flew down the highway to catch up to me. In both cases I followed the protocol listed above which allowed both of us to clear any issues without added concerns. Without question you do not want to get into a verbal altercation with police or take any action they deem confrontational or dangerous.

        That reminds me of a girl I knew who mouth off at a boarder patrol agent at a crossing booth. The agent ordered the girl to pull off to the side and exit the vehicle. The vehicle was then totally dismantled. Afterwards the agent signaled she was free to leave, but without restoring her car to its prior condition. Apparently they have the right to do this, so…

      • Amazona February 2, 2017 / 12:15 pm

        JDGE1, your comments point out some differences in how various things are viewed and handled, East vs West. It had not occurred to me that even law enforcement would have such different attitudes about gun ownership in different parts of the country. Out here in Colorado, I think if I were to tell an officer I was carrying, he would ask what I carry and we’d compare opinions on firearms and talk about shooting ranges.

        Your comments are very helpful, as I do plan to use my certificate to get a carry permit, and if I ever get better at this retirement thing I’d like to do some road trips.

        Your comment on the border encounter reminded me of the time I was stuck away from my mountain ranch due an extended period of bad weather and decided it was a good time to run up to BC to look at some horses. Because there aren’t a lot of E/W highways in Canada, my map study told me I should go to Spokane, drive west on a good road not far south of the border, and then cross at a tiny border crossing into the part of BC where I wanted to go. I thought nothing of it. I am an independent type, and was having an adventure. So I stayed in a tiny town in Washington, I think it had something like three motel cabins, and early the next morning headed north.

        And this absolutely freaked out the border crossing guys. They simply could not figure out a legitimate reason for a woman, alone, driving a big white Excursion, to choose this remote and tiny border crossing, and they went on high alert. Because I was just bopping along enjoying the adventure, I didn’t stop to think it through and didn’t offer any explanations, and they never asked me any of the questions that would have explained my decision. If they had, I would have pulled out my printed emails from horse breeders in towns in the area just north of the border crossing. So they detained me, they asked me tons of questions, and got more and more unhappy with me.

        (If we search your vehicle, might we find a knife? You might—I am a rancher and usually carry one and there might be a Leatherman in the console. Are you a diabetic? ??????????? Might we encounter any needles? You might—-I am a rancher and often carry vet supplies, and I didn’t clean out my car before I left so there might be something in there, but if there is it is in a sealed sterile package. Being honest just flummoxed them.)

        So I gave them permission to search my car, which they did not enjoy as I and two employees had just taken it on two different trips, one to Northern California and one to Southern California, to look at horses we might want in our breeding program, and the car had not been cleaned out after these trips. An Excursion is a very big vehicle, and there is lots of room for fast food wrappers, garments that had fallen out of suitcases, etc. during two ten-day periods of occupancy by three people and then my own trip. Work vehicles at 10,000 feet tend to develop a certain locker room quality by the time the weather is warm enough to open the doors and clean them out.

        But I was polite, cheerful and helpful. I was on an adventure, and having fun, and basically just too damned clueless to figure out what was going on. The poor lads, who had brightened at the prospect of stopping a drug mule or arms smuggler, were very disappointed with me. It never occurred to me that they could actually take my truck apart. In the situation you described, was the driver going north and getting sideways with Canadian border guards, or dealing with Americans?

      • jdge1 February 3, 2017 / 3:23 am

        AMAZONA, your story – how funny. The girl I knew was returning to the states (NY) from Canada, and it was the US boarder agents who dismantled her car. I don’t even remember why she mouthed off, but her father was not very happy with her when he had to deal with it.

        My Uncle owned a camp in Canada that he and my cousins enjoyed fishing at. My uncle owned a large banquet house / restaurant where we lived and was always business like in the way he dressed. He was also a marine during WWII and always displayed strong posture whether standing or sitting. One weekend when I was 16 or 17, he took me and one of his maintenance works to camp to do some repairs. You could imagine how it looked for the boarder patrol agent with my uncle driving his large, black, shiny, impeccably clean Cadillac, wearing a long sleeve dress shirt and pants, with 2 other people in the car in work clothes. We were made to pull over for a trunk inspection but let go after that. My uncle said that was the only time he was ever stopped crossing the boarder.

        I’ve never traveled to Canada with a hand gun or rifle, even though the camp area was know to have black bears. I watched a show once showing a number of people in Mexican jails because weren’t aware of their laws pertaining to foreigners with guns. One particular case stands out in my mind was a military person was on leave traveling to Mexico. Just prior to entering Mexico he saw a sign noting it was illegal for foreigners to possess a gun. Upon reading the sign he remembered he had his military service gun in the vehicle and made a point to stop at the crossing point to disclose this. He incorrectly believed the Mexican authorities at the boarder would hold his gun and return it on his trip back. Unfortunately, they view this as a violation, punishable by mandatory, multi year jail sentences, with no recourse from US intervention. And the show impressed watchers that many Mexican jails make US jails look like boys clubs.

        One thing I’ve recently learned is, many states that are restrictive with gun ownership (like NY) intentionally make it difficult to know the answer a variety of commonly sought questions. This becomes evident when you find there’s no standard place to acquire this info, leaving the gun owner or potential gun owner in the dark as to how to proceed. With lack of knowledge about the different gun laws, this by default excludes people from moving forward with getting a gun or traveling with it or any other aspect of gun possession or use. All the more reason I hope Trump will be able to force states to use uniform laws regarding guns, just like they do with driving licenses.

  3. Cluster February 1, 2017 / 8:39 am

    Gorsuch seems to be an excellent replacement for Scalia and if the GOP needs to go nuclear to get him confirmed – THEN DO IT

    This from Matt Walsh:

    …..the outrage shouldn’t amount to anything. Democrats can’t stop this confirmation, provided Republicans kill the filibuster. Which of course they should do without the slightest hesitation. Democrats killed the filibuster for judicial appointments when they were in charge. Now let’s shove that medicine back down their throats, for the good of the country.

    DeBlasio was just on MSNBC saying that the temporary immigration/refugee EO is simply a first step towards a Muslim ban and registry. If Democrats continue to care more about foreign immigrants and refugees than they do American families who they have locked into failing schools with no jobs and little hope for the future, then they will lose even more seats in 2018.

  4. Retired Spook February 1, 2017 / 11:02 am

    OT, but the Oath Keeper who wrote the after action report a few days ago on the infiltration of the various radical groups protesting/rioting during and before the inauguration has a final comment at the end of that thread which is VERY encouraging:

    Working with DisruptJ20 was the worst thing the anti-fascist and occupy groups could have done. Because of the bravado of the DisruptJ20 leadership in the media, nearly every one of the participants in the DC riots, wherever they came from, has now been cataloged by the Feds. Most of them were carrying cell phones.

    Just like following the initial arrests in Portland, several of the defendants charged with felony rioting during the Presidential Inauguration are now cooperating with prosecutors. It’s pretty clear that additional warrants are going to be forthcoming; many are from outside the DC area.

    They have convinced themselves that they are anonymous, but they are not. There really isn’t much about these groups in New York City and Philadelphia that the special crimes units are not already on top of. NYC had undercover officers in there well before these groups appeared on our radar. Philadelphia also has relatively tight surveillance. Because of the multi-state coordination leading up to the inauguration, the FBI has a new mission.

  5. Cluster February 1, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    I have always like Jonah Goldberg’s opinion on issues but I thought his NeverTrump stance was a little over the top and this recent obsession with Bannon is also a head scratcher:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/jonahgoldberg/2017/02/01/trump-is-taking-the-bannon-way-and-it-will-end-in-disaster-n2279326

    Note to Jonah, you have been wrong quite a bit lately so maybe take a breath and allow this administration to find it’s footing while they transition into governing the country. Just a thought.

    • Amazona February 1, 2017 / 6:05 pm

      I can understand concern over Bannon. We have a president who has impressed a lot of people as being something of a loose cannon, and having someone like Bannon on board only adds to that perception. Trump is doing a lot to change that perception of him, but Bannon is a jerk, and I don’t see him as bringing anything positive to the table, especially in an environment where it is so important to project seriousness and competence and thoughtfulness.

      • M. Noonan February 1, 2017 / 8:30 pm

        Never have paid much attention to him – Presidential hatchet-men/women never have interested me greatly. But now I understand he was a Naval officer who was Surface Warfare Officer qualified. This is no small achievement and it means he understands sea power on a deep level. He was also a Tin Can sailor, like me, so I admit to getting an immediate bias in his favor…he even served on a Spruance-class, as I did. He’s a bit of a mess, personally – been divorced three times. Apparently, he is gravely concerned about the Chinese threat. We’ll see how he does.

      • Cluster February 2, 2017 / 8:18 am

        Bannon has some serious credentials – a masters from Georgetown and an MBA with honors from Harvard in addition to his Naval experience. He is also largely credited with crafting the populist message that won the Presidency appealing to blue collar dems and conservatives alike so I think after a year of ascribing the worst intentions to him, NeverTrumpers should back off and give him just a little credit and some room to breathe. If he screws up, then let him have it, but until then ……..

      • Amazona February 2, 2017 / 12:17 pm

        I’ve already done a 180 on Trump, so I can keep an open mind on Bannon—if he earns my respect, as Trump has done.

        As for educational cred, I am less impressed with fancy schools after seeing two 8-year presidential terms where we were lectured about the utter superiority of Ivy League degrees.

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