When Do We Hold Government Accountable
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
Logging in or registering will improve your experience here
Main Navigation
Sarah's Resources You Should See
Full-Text Search & Archives
Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions. For investment, legal or other professional advice specific to your situation contact a licensed professional in your jurisdiction.

NO MATERIAL HERE CONSTITUTES "INVESTMENT ADVICE" NOR IS IT A RECOMMENDATION TO BUY OR SELL ANY FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO STOCKS, OPTIONS, BONDS OR FUTURES.

The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.


Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be sent unmodified to lawmakers via print or electronic means or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media, to republish full articles, or for any commercial use (which includes any site where advertising is displayed.)

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.

Considering sending spam? Read this first.

2011-01-10 07:59 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption Ignore this thread
When Do We Hold Government Accountable

For their fuckups?

All we've got so far is Congresspeople threatening to introduce more laws that won't be enforced, just like the laws that weren't enforced this time.

One example

One of the fiercest gun-control advocates in Congress, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), pounced on the shooting massacre in Tucson Sunday, promising to introduce legislation as soon as Monday.

How about a bill to lock up that Sheriff out there in Arizona - or an indictment for criminal negligence under existing law?

You think I'm kidding? 

I'm not. 

It now appears that the suspect in this shooting posted death threats against law enforcement agencies a month ago.  He was also kicked out of school for "bizarre" behavior some time back.

It's a felony to threaten a law enforcement officer with death.  Actually, it's a felony to threaten anyone with death.

So why wasn't he charged?

If he had been, there would have been no gun.  He would have had to turn it over, if he already owned it, and he would have been blacklisted in the NICS since he had a pending indictment.

Indeed, Hal Turner is sitting in jail right now for something that arguably wasn't a threat - but a jury was convinced it was, and that was enough.

Again - how come we're not talking about this Sheriff who didn't investigate and bring charges?  If he had, this nut would not have shot anyone!

Many said that people with a history of mental instability, like the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, should not be able to buy a gun

Well that's true.  Go talk to the Sheriff.  They had every reason to detain this guy, investigate and charge him with threatening the life of police officers.  That was more than enough to remove his ability to own firearms legally.

and no one should be able to buy stockpiles of ammunition used by the 22-year-old assailant.

Stockpiles?  What stockpiles?  Oh, you mean a whole 30 rounds or so?  How long does that last at a target range?  How many rounds does an average person consume at a target range, by the way?  Have you ever been to one?

Incidentally, we don't know what sort of ammunition that the shooter used.  We can presume it was FMJ, or target ammo.  It's cheaper, among other things, and doesn't fragment, which is consistent with the Congresswoman's injuries.  Good thing too - defensive ammunition would have done more damage, and probably killed her.

Again, we need to look at how this is going to work, to protect people, certainly citizens, and we have to look at what I can pass, she said. I dont want to give the NRA excuse the pun the ammunition to come at me either.

What you should pass is open and concealed carry on a federally-preempted basis for everyone.  Then we can at least shoot back at the nuts, since the Sheriffs apparently will not do their damn jobs!

Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Brady, a Democrat from Philadelphia, told CNN that he also plans to take legislative action. He will introduce a bill that would make it a crime for anyone to use language or symbols that could be seen as threatening or violent against a federal official, including a member of Congress.

More titles of nobility nonsense?

Again - it is already a felony to threaten anyone with death.  The alleged shooter posted said threats online a month ago, and this was apparently known to local law enforcement

So why wasn't he picked up and charged?

As for the "could be seen as", I expect you'll start with President Obama, who said, and I quote:

If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun, Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. Ive seen Eagles fans.

Would that constitute an impeachable offense Mr. Brady?  Incidentally, that's not a singular event.  President Obama called political opponents "enemies" and stated that Democrats should "punish them."  Here's a quick compendium of a few more, all spoken by our President during the last campaign (oops - there's another militaristic word):

Argue with neighbors, Get in their face!, -If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard,- I dont want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry. -Punish your enemies -We talk to these folks so I k...now whose ass to ...kick.- Im itching for a fight. Hand-to-hand combat.

And incidentally, why is it that members of Congress - or any other federal or state official - should have superior protection under the law compared to anyone else?

You know, you just took an oath of office and now you intend to violate it.  That, all alone, is enough to justify your removal from Congress.

What do I speak of?  Right here:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Now the question will turn on whether the 5th Amendment bars The Federal Government from enacting such a law (since the 14th turns explicitly on the States.)  In 1954, The Supreme Court said yes in the context of segregation of the public schools in Washington DC (not a State.)  It's an open question and a good one, but it certainly can be held (and was, in that decision) that the 5th Amendment's Due Process requirements are violated when The Federal Government attempts to draw these differentiations.

Not that it should matter, since under the law of most States a threat to commit murder or great bodily harm is already a crime.  In most states a threat to commit murder is a felony.

Wouldn't it be nice if existing laws were actually enforced and our law enforcement agencies were held to account when they screwed the pooch instead of Congresscritters running around screaming about how we need new laws which we also won't enforce?

If the so-called Sheriff out in Tucson had enforced the already-existing law nobody would have been shot on Saturday.

We have sat through three years of refusal to enforce the law, but it certainly didn't start in 2007.  It's been an endemic problem - we pass laws, we refuse to hold those who won't enforce them to account, and then we complain when bad things happen - that would not have happened if we had enforced the law. 

Sheriffs, FBI Agents and others in so-called "law enforcement" get a continual pass on these threats to the public, just like The Fed, OCC, OTS and others.  Doesn't matter who you are - if you have a job to do in enforcement of a law or regulation and you don't do it, or even in some cases if you conspire with those who break said law or regulation, you not only keep your job in many cases you get promoted!

Specifically, threats of "tanks in the streets" communicated to lawmakers by government officials, banksters admitting to funneling drug money around for Mexican gangs, admitting to transferring funds while intentionally obscuring their source and/or destination to internationally-designated terrorist nations (Iran, in particular), over 150,000 admitted bogus documents filed in foreclosure actions and now, a Sheriff who rants about "divisive rhetoric" in Arizona while he watches illegal aliens waltz all over Arizona during a time when the state is being sued by the Federal Government for enforcing an actual law.

Meanwhile, our alleged gunman was ejected from his college and told he could not return without a psychological clearance and allegedly posted death threats online against police officers!

Between those two there was more than enough to investigate and, assuming the allegations are true, charge him - which would have forced him to turn over any existing weapons and prevented him from passing a NICS check to buy any new ones.

Funny how we're not talking about the law enforcement failures in this case - just as we didn't when our friendly underwear bomber that led to the strip-search scanners in airports was walked around security in Amsterdam by someone who we still don't have identified for us, nor has that been explained.  Number of people held to account for walking him around security and letting him on a plane without proper credentials?  Zero.

Ruby Ridge anyone?  A 1995 Senate Report found the rules of engagement unconstitutionalNumber of FBI agents held to account through criminal prosecution for the unlawful killing of Vicki Weaver?  Zero - a state indictment was removed to federal court and quashed on sovereign immunity grounds despite US Code saying otherwise (My interpretation: if we're government goons we'll kill 'ya any time we want and it's not murder as the law doesn't apply to us).  Of note the government did pay a $100,000 settlement to Randy and $1 million each to his three daughters, and settled a further lawsuit rather than let it go to trial.

These aren't isolated incidents and they're not new.  This is a pattern and process of corruption and it has been going on for a hell of a long time.  If a civilian was involved we'd rightfully call it racketeering.  But Government doesn't care about what went wrong, about who's accountable and about actually holding those government actors to account at the federal, state or local level - ever.

Instead, we hear about why with 20,000 gun laws already on the books, we need more.  We hear about laws to make threatening "certain special someones" life illegal when it's already illegal to make death threats.  We have banks that were involved in corruption in the municipal debt markets, money laundering for drug gangs and the apparent filing of over 150,000 perjured affidavits, each and every one of them a felony, nobody lays charges and then we wring our hands when people get hurt.

The response from our "lawmakers" is and has been consistent - pass more useless laws that restrict freedom and violate The Constitution instead of coming down like an anvil on the head of those putative agencies and the individuals in them that fail to do their jobs.

When will we, the citizens of this nation, demand better?