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We had a great time at #ArchivesSleepover on Saturday. Our guests came from states up and down the East Coast and as far away as Michigan as well from the DC area.

The theme was “History, Heroes, and Treasure” and our archival explorers met an underwater archeologist from the National Park Service who is exploring the shipwreck of the “America” as well as representatives from the Navy History and Heritage Center.

They learned about mapping underwater shipwrecks and tried on tools used by underwater archeologists, as well as artifacts found in shipwrecks. They even had the chance to dress up as underwater archeologists!

They also had a chance to question famous explorers Meriwether Lewis and Matthew Henson as well as an archeologist during “Archives Reports.”

After a good night’s sleep on the marble floor of the Rotunda, they woke up to pancakes flipped and served by David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and hot chocolate served by American Heritage Chocolate.

Want to join the fun? Sign up here to be the first to hear about the next #ArchivesSleepover: http://www.archivesfoundation.org/sleepover/

In a move they say is meant to make the world a safer place, the League of Women Voters (LOWV) has begun visiting gun shops throughout the state of Florida in hopes of finding violations of a Florida statute requiring retail gun sellers to post signs “at each purchase counter,” which reads like so:

IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE OR LEAVE A FIREARM IN ANY PLACE WITHIN THE REACH OR EASY ACCESS OF A MINOR UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE OR TO KNOWINGLY SELL OR OTHERWISE TRANSFER OWNERSHIP OR POSSESSION OF A FIREARM TO A MINOR OR A PERSON OF UNSOUND MIND.

LOWV, an avowedly anti-gun organization despite claims to the contrary, is surely looking to gain publicity and support through this move. I hope they are instead outed as being anti-gun, and thus lose the support of freedom-loving Americans.

Patti Brigham chairs the LOWV’s Gun Safety Committee and has lobbied against sound suppressors for hunting and so-called “assault weapons.” Brigham claimed that fewer than 50% of the shops they’d checked had the required signs. Failure to post the sign is a second-degree misdemeanor.

Sign or not, gun owners and gun sellers know the law, and signs will not make Florida safer. If LOWV is truly interested in making children safer, they should support education initiative such as the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program.

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Happy 227th #ConstitutionDay!

September 17 is designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. Learn more about the U.S. Constitution through programs, and resources from the National Archives:

Have you ever been to the usnatarchives to see the Constitution in person?  

Bonus question - have you ever slept over in the same room as the Constitution?

You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights.
—  Sgt. Richardson of the Jacksonville, FL Sheriff’s Office, as caught on video speaking to a man filming prisoner transport outside a county courthouse. When confronted by police, the man invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid explaining why he wanted to film there. This was the police response.

Police: you have a constitutional right to assemble, as long as you properly filled out this 18 page form which will be approved in 2 weeks, that gives you permission to “protest”. During your “protest” you are required to move down a predetermined route without stopping, and the time and place and length of your constitutional assembly right will be dictated to you by heavily militarized police who will enforce a curfew and intimidate you with military surplus equipment, tear gas, and government sanctioned violence.

Police: you have the constitutional right to freedom of speech. However, news reporters, video, cell phones, twitter, internet, and speaking above a whisper is forbidden.

Police: you have the constitutional right to a trial by 12 of your peers, unless you frustrate or upset our tender feelings. then your trial will be by 12 rounds fired out of a state owned firearm. afterwords, we will release information alleging you to be a criminal; we didnt have this information at that time of your incident, but it will justify the actions of our emotionally delicate officer.

Police: as a law-abiding citizen, you have the constitutional right to bear arms; however, because we view every single person as a criminal, we know for a fact that only criminals want guns. therefore, exercising your constitutional rights makes you a criminal suspect, which you are then required to prove your innocence from with background checks and regulations other regulations which we, the police, are exempt from. because we view all citizens as criminals who have yet to act on your criminal nature, and it is imperative that we are more heavily armed than you and therefore we are allowed to purchase military surplus body armor and weapons, and to use those in acts of violence against whomever we deem, because trust us… you broke the law somehow, according to our officers discretion, in that stressful circumstance which the officer also initiated. 

Police:  as a law abiding citizen we expect you to allow your home or place of residence to be looted. if you use your firearms to protect your life or property, you will be arrested, or more likely, shot by police, because we dont want you to do the job you voted for us to do, even when we’re too busy tear gassing protesters and arresting journalists.

Police: you have the constitutional right to privacy, and we acknowledge that we need a warrant to search your property or possessions; however, we just dont care. fuck you. this is a no-knock warrant, and your under arrest, even though this is the wrong address. that white powder in the kitchen doesnt look like it belongs, and when the NSA tapped your cell phone last week they heard you talking about stuff and things.

police: we do what ever we want to do. 

51% of Dems, 25% of Reps, think that 'Hate Speech' should be illegal

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Who are we, America? What have we become? According to a new poll, the majority of Democrats and a quarter of Republicans think the  government should ban “hate speech.”

From Hot Air:

Note: Hate speech, not hate crimes. YouGov asked people about hate crimes for its poll too and found bipartisan support for the federal law that provides steeper penalties for crimes motivated by hatred of the victim’s race, religion, gender, or national origin. Sixty-four percent of Dems gave thumbs-up to that versus 54 percent of Republicans. A plurality of Republicans also support expanding that law to target hate crimes committed against gays: 44 percent say yes versus 30 percent who say no.

Hate-crimes laws matter in the sentencing phase. If you’re guilty of the underlying offense, then you can be punished more severely depending upon what your motive was. A hate-speech law is different in that it treats hate as the offense itself. All you have to do is verbalize your thoughtcrime against a protected group and you’re facing prison. Our intellectual superiors in Europe cherish their hate-speech laws but the First Amendment makes them anathema in the U.S.

Read the Rest

This should frighten every American. This is the stuff of authoritarian regimes, not free nations.

But for those of you who might not fully understand why this would be an absolutely horrendous move, here are a few reasons:

1) It’s clearly unconstitutional.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

It doesn’t get more plain than that.

2) Offensive speech is the only speech that needs to be protected. This is a simple, yet sometimes elusive concept. If what I say offends no one, then my speech is not in danger of being taken away. It’s by this deductive logic that we know that the entire point of the 1st amendment is to protect speech some might find offensive.

3) Who gets to decide what is “hateful”? You? Me? Politicians? Groups with the most money and most powerful lobbyists? If you think that you don’t ever say anything offensive so it doesn’t matter, think again.

4) It will be used as a weapon to punish, or in this case, silence opposition. Governments have done this for as long as they’ve been around—even in the Land of the Free (See Nixon, IRS targeting, etc.). Furthermore, these laws are already in place in several other countries and, so far, have almost exclusively been used to prevent Christians from speaking against homosexuality.

5) Speech, even hateful speech, doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. And a law like this would lead to the imprisonment of people who haven’t violated the Constitutional rights of anyone. It’s not the government’s job to punish those who have never violated anyone’s rights. There would be people in prison who never killed anyone, never stole from anyone, never coerced anyone, never kidnapped anyone, never endangered anyone, never did anything to ever hurt anyone. That’s not America.

Free speech is one of the things that sets America apart from other countries. We should cherish it tremendously.

#Boondocks always gets it right. By @queennigra “#wepost @stepnicely5” via @PhotoRepost_app #MoreLoveLessViolence #WakeUp #WakeUpAmerica #Stand #WakeUpBlackAmerica #Louisiana #BatonRouge #Constitution #USA #Evolve #Agape #Call2Action #Purpose #EachOneTeachOne #ripMikeBrown #Opferguson #Dontshoot (at Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

Just what are the borders of Israel?

How many times have you heard people evoking Israel’s right to defend its borders? How many times have you heard Israelis say that the Oslo 1967 borders are not defensible?

Borders, borders, borders.

As much as Israel and its lobby love to talk about borders, you’d think that there would be a clear definition of what these borders are. This might surprise a lot of you, but Israel has no official borders. Let me explain.

Every state needs to declare its borders. This is usually written in the constitution. Thing is, Israel has no constitution (which is why if anybody says Israel is a constitutional democracy, it’s a sign to stop listening to them). There is no definition of its borders, in fact, the only time there was any solid definition of Israel’s borders was back in 1948, because the UN could not recognize Israel as a state without it having defined clear borders. According to this document, Israel has declared its borders according to the 1947 partition plan. [X]

Israel confirms these borders once again in 1948 in a response to the UNSC , even though at the time it controlled much more than that, but assured the UNSC that it was temporary. [X]

These are the only declaration of borders Israel has ever made.

Meaning, that everything outside of the proposed Jewish state in 1947 is not technically part of Israel, as Israel has never declared it officially as part of its borders. All of its territory gains are due to de facto changes on the ground.

It goes even deeper. Israel has avoided drafting a written constitution because it would necessitate that they clearly define their borders (and citizens, but that’s a different story).

Naeim Giladi writes:

We were told not to try to speak to Ben Gurion, but when I saw him, I asked why, since Israel is a democracy with a parliament, does it not have a constitution? Ben Gurion said, “Look, boy”-I was 24 at the time-“if we have a constitution, we have to write in it the border of our country. And this is not our border, my dear.” I asked, “Then where is the border?” He said, “Wherever the Sahal will come, this is the border.” Sahal is the Israeli army.

Ben Gurion told the world that Israel accepted the partition and the Arabs rejected it. Then Israel took half of the land that was promised to the Arab state. And still he was saying it was not enough. Israel needed more land. How can a country make peace with its neighbors if it wants to take their land? How can a country demand to be secure if it won’t say what borders it will be satisfied with? For such a country, peace would be an inconvenience.”

5 year old forced to sign a 'suicide and homicide contract' for crayon gun

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Can someone stop the planet? I’d like to get off of it.

According to reports, a 5-year-old girl was made to sign a “suicide and homicide contract” after she pointed a crayon at her friend and said “pew pew.”

When will these kids Purple Penguins learn?

From the Independent:

A five-year-old girl in Alabama was made to sign a school contract saying she would not kill herself or anybody else after she pointed a crayon at another pupil, it has been reported.

The girl’s mother claims staff at E R Dickson Elementary School, in Mobile, Alabama, gave her daughter a questionnaire on suicidal thoughts following an incident in class.

Rebecca, who asked reporters not to use her last name, told WPMI Local 15 News that the school said her daughter drew an object which “resembled a gun”.

She said: "According to them she pointed a crayon at another student and said, ‘pew pew.’"

She said her daughter was asked by the school whether she was depressed and given a Mobile County Public School Safety Contract to sign, which stated she would not kill herself or anybody else.

Read the Rest

A contract? Really? She’s. FIVE.

I have no words. Seriously, the English language is not adequate enough to accurately describe the stupidity of this. I’m not even going to try. Suffice it to say that it’s just another example of why we need school choice so urgently.

What is the clarinet?

Normal Person: A musical instrument

Other People: The thing that Squidward thinks he’s good at playing

American Band Student[s]: A vile ‘instrument’ that violates the eighth amendment when played.

Since today is the US Constitution’s 227th anniversary, Scamp thought he would propose his own set of laws. I’m not sure he understands what the Constitution is, but he was pretty proud of himself.

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