As the season of winter approaches, with its freezing of the lakes and subsequent opening of the season of ice fishing, I thought it best to post this cautionary video.
TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 475….
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Second Amendment Showdown
The Supreme Court has a historic opportunity to affirm the individual right to keep and bear arms.
BY MIKE COX
Friday, November 23, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST
The Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case that will affect millions of Americans and could also have an impact on the 2008 elections. That case, Parker v. D.C., should settle the decades-old argument whether the right "to keep and bear arms" of the Constitution's Second Amendment is an individual right--that all Americans enjoy--or only a collective right that states may regulate freely. Legal, historical and even empirical reasons all command a decision that recognizes the Second Amendment guarantee as an individual right.
The amendment reads: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." If "the right of the people" to keep and bear arms was merely an incident of, or subordinate to, a governmental (i.e., a collective) purpose--that of ensuring an efficient or "well regulated" militia--it would be logical to conclude, as does the District of Columbia--that government can outlaw the individual ownership of guns. But this collective interpretation is incorrect.
To analyze what "the right of the people" means, look elsewhere within the Bill of Rights for guidance. The First Amendment speaks of "the right of the people peaceably to assemble . . ." No one seriously argues that the right to assemble or associate with your fellow citizens is predicated on the number of citizens or the assent of a government. It is an individual right.
The Fourth Amendment says, "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated . . ." The "people" here does not refer to a collectivity, either.
The rights guaranteed in the Bill of Right are individual. The Third and Fifth Amendments protect individual property owners; the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments protect potential individual criminal defendants from unreasonable searches, involuntary incrimination, appearing in court without an attorney, excessive bail, and cruel and unusual punishments.
The Ninth Amendment protects individual rights not otherwise enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The 10th Amendment states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." Here, "the people" are separate from "the states"; thus, the Second Amendment must be about more than simply a "state" militia when it uses the term "the people." .....
Law Requires Officials Destroy Whiskey That Cannot Be Sold Legally
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Here's a sobering thought: Hundreds of bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskey, some of it almost 100 years old, may be unceremoniously poured down a drain because authorities suspect it was being sold by someone without a license.
Officials seized 2,400 bottles late last month during warehouse raids in Nashville and Lynchburg, the southern Tennessee town where the whiskey is distilled.
"Punish the person, not the whiskey," said an outraged Kyle MacDonald, 28, a Jack Daniel's drinker from British Columbia who promotes the whiskey on his blog. "Jack never did anything wrong, and the whiskey itself is innocent."
Investigators are also looking into whether some of the bottles had been stolen from the distillery. No one has been arrested.
Authorities are still determining how much of the liquor will be disposed of, and how much can be sold at auction.
Tennessee law requires officials to destroy whiskey that cannot be sold legally in the state, such as bottles designed for sale overseas and those with broken seals.
"We'd pour it out," said Danielle Elks, executive director of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
“If it's forfeited to the ABC, we will divide the alcohol into sellable and unsellable alcohol. The alcohol that's available for sale will be auctioned off to the licensees in the state, and the funds will go to the state,” she said.
The estimated value of the liquor is $1 million, possibly driven up by the value of the antique bottles, which range from 3-liter bottles to half-pints.
One seized bottle dates to 1914, with its seal unbroken. Elks said it is worth $10,000 on the collectors market. Investigators are looking into whether the liquor was being sold for the value of the bottles rather than the whiskey.
"Someone was making a great deal of profit," she said.
Tennessee whiskeys age in charred white oak barrels, but the maturing process that gives them character mostly stops when it is bottled. A bottled whiskey can deteriorate over a long period of time, especially if it is opened or exposed to sunlight and heat.
Christopher Carlsson, a spirits connoisseur and collector in Rochester, N.Y., said old vintages of whiskey in their original containers are highly prized.
"A lot of these bottles are priceless," he said. "It's like having a rare painting. It's heavily collected."
For now, the whiskey is being stored in a Nashville vault.
Elks acknowledged that pouring out the whiskey would not be a happy hour for her.
"It'd kill me," she said.
Officials with Jack Daniel’s agree.
“Certainly we would be all in favor of the bottles being auctioned off in some way in which the proceeds could go to charity. We've had some discussions with ABC in Tennessee about that particularly, with the oldest bottle that dates back to 1914,” said Jack Daniel’s spokesman Phil Lynch.
But not everyone’s motives are so noble. Some just wish that enormous stash of Tennessee sipping whiskey could be put to good use.
. . .
Attorneys are currently researching Tennessee law to see if the bottles that aren't sold at auction could somehow be preserved for historical purposes.
By ANNA JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer Sun Nov 4, 2:09 PM ET
LUXOR, Egypt - King Tut's buck-toothed face was unveiled Sunday for the first time in public — more than 3,000 years after the youngest and most famous pharaoh to rule ancient Egypt was shrouded in linen and buried in his golden underground tomb.
Archeologists carefully lifted the fragile mummy out of a quartz sarcophagus decorated with stone-carved protective goddesses, momentarily pulling aside a beige covering to reveal a leathery black body.
The linen was then replaced over Tut's narrow body so only his face and tiny feet were exposed, and the 19-year-old king, whose life and death has captivated people for nearly a century, was moved to a simple glass climate-controlled case to keep it from turning to dust.
Saudi Arabia could have helped the United States prevent al Qaeda's 2001 attacks on New York and Washington if American officials had consulted Saudi authorities in a "credible" way, the kingdom's former ambassador said in a documentary aired Thursday.So our dear "allies" the Saudis were actively following the plotters with precision.
Prince Bandar said that Saudi intelligence was "actively following" most of the 9/11 plotters "with precision."
. . .
Speaking to the Arabic satellite network Al-Arabiya on Thursday, Bandar -- now Abdullah's national security adviser -- said Saudi intelligence was "actively following" most of the September 11, 2001, plotters "with precision."
"If U.S. security authorities had engaged their Saudi counterparts in a serious and credible manner, in my opinion, we would have avoided what happened," he said.