Bloomberg’s dystopia: you may only defend yourselves with sticks and rakes

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**Posted by Phineas

Still suffering from the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, the people of Staten Island, denied their Second Amendment rights, are reduced to neolithic means to defend themselves:

As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported Wednesday, when darkness sets in on Wavecrest Street in New Dorp, people say squatters make their move – crashing empty homes wrecked by the hurricane.

“They just go in there late at night when nobody is supposed to be looking, and they just flop in the house and sleep in there, wherever,” resident Steven Sumner said.

Residents said the squatters are most attracted to homes that have electricity.

But Sumner said it is not just the squatters, but the looters, too. They have tried to break into his Sandy-ravaged home next to the trailer where he has been living temporarily.

But he said he has managed to fight back, with many different weapons, including a cane, a baseball bat, two rakes, and a stick.

And if you think they’re effective, think again.

This is just the kind of situation the Founders had in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment, recognizing (not granting!) an individual’s right to arm himself for defense of life and property. It is the difference between the free citizen and the victimized subject. And the laws of New York City, the joys of which its liberal fascist mayor wants to impose on the rest of us, have turned the first into the second.

via JWF, who has a trenchant observation on Obama, Bloomberg, and guys like Mr. Summer.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

This is why California can’t have nice things: taxing email

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**Posted by Phineas

"Shakedown"

“Shakedown”

Not yet, but a Berkeley (natch) city councilor thinks it’s a grand idea:

Gordon Wozniak, a Berkeley city councilman, proposed taxing email messages during a recent city council meeting in an effort to reduce the spread of “spam,” or unwanted emails.

Wozniak also said an email tax could raise money to keep the U.S. Postal Service functioning.

“There should be something like a bit tax … [it] could be a cent per gigabit and they would make, probably, billions of dollars a year,” he said.

First question for Mr. Wozniak: are you taxing the senders or the recipients? If the former, how do you plan to get Nigerian scammers and Chinese porn spammers to comply? If the latter, then how…. Wait, I know: “It’s for the good of the community.”

Can you imagine how fast businesses would leave California if email messages (or data transfer) were to be taxed? Hint: hard to believe, but even faster than they are, now. And what about people who rely on email for their small or micro-businesses, or their hobbies? The Internet has been a fabulous engine for wealth creation, so naturally progressive Luddites want to kill it through taxation.

And what is it with the leftist obsession with preserving dying institutions? The Postal Service is collapsing, in large part due to the efficiency and convenience of email. It can’t compete, so let it go and let other, better services take its place. Just like their obsession with railroads, “progressives” boldly look to the past, when the future is staring them in the face. And because the future frightens them, their reaction is to tax it to prevent it.

Meanwhile, a suggestion to Councilman Wozniak: If spam email so annoys you, stop whining and get a service or software with a good spam filter.

And keep your grasping paws off my wallet.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)