No First or Second Amendment at UVa-Wise, or Writers Who Own Guns Must Be Crazy

Steve Barber was a student at the University of Virginia – Wise. I say “was” because he has been expelled for a paper he wrote for a creative writing class. In his paper, the protagonist thinks about violence against his professor. Apparently there are certain things you just can’t write about.

However, if you are also a licensed gun owner with a carry-and-conceal permit, and you have guns in your car – then you are mentally ill and can be involunarily committed for evaluation. Only crazy people own guns and enroll in creative writing – at least in Virginia.

There is no doubt that officials at UVa-Wise acted in an unjust manner, way outside their authority. They even have a rule that says no guns can be in cars on campus. Unfortunately for them, that’s an attempt to supercede a state law that says the opposite. Based on the involuntary committment, they then got the Commonwealth Attorney to convince a judge to revoke Barber’s gun permit. That’s right. His gun permit was revoked for possessing a gun – not even on his person, which he was entitle to do – but in his car. It doesn’t matter that the evaluation showed that he wasn’t crazy or a threat.

And it doesn’t matter that the actions of the university have a dramatic negative impact on Barber. He will now have to immediately begin to repay his student loans. If he can’t pay them, then they go after him with their Mafia-style tactics. So he has to abandon his plans for a college degree and the only thing he can do is immediately re-join the military. So auch for his plans of going back into the service of his country as a officer.

Don’t expect that he will get any support from the press. No, they have found a great opportunity to trash him – all in the name of “better safe than sorry”. Can’t have another Virginia Tech. But as law professor Eugene Volokh notes, “expulsion would still strike me an excessive remedy; nor would protecting the university from the possibility that he would turn into a Virginia-Tech-style mass killer justify this: If he really does plan to commit mass murder, he could do that as an expelled student pretty much as easily as an enrolled student (since the school doubtless doesn’t have guards at each possible entrance to keep him off campus).”

Yes, a little paranoia goes a long way.

Steve Barber has his own blog now. H/T to Abhishek Saha at Muse Free where I first saw this story.

No Passion for the Passion

We started watching the first part of the BBC’s The Passion.  They start off with playing fast and loose with the historical record.  Jesus doesn’t send anyone to get the donkey for Him to ride into Jerusales.  Jesus buys it from travellers along the road.

Then he send some disciples ahead to drum up a crowd. They walk through the streets telling everyone to go over to the east gate. Then Jesus enters Jerusalem, and instead of the people spreading clothes and tree branches, a few of them waved a few palms. Well, it was really more like shaking.

We got bored. The woman turned the channel back to repeat of CSI we had already seen.

The Cost of Serfdom

The culture of totalitarianism and paranoia in Whitehall (the generic term for the executive branch of government, regardless of the actual address of any department in question) has exposed itself. They have managed to make bigger fools of themselves than the Civil Serf blogger ever did.

The Civil Serf has been identified as a middle manager in the Department for Work and Pension. Because of her anonymity, it wasn’t easy to track down the person who exposed the ineptitude of bureaucrats in London and incompetence of Government ministers. However, the Government decided to dedicate a team of computer experts to the sole task of finding her. That was their sole responsibility. A more traditional media source at DWP called it an extraordinary outlay of resources.

In case you need a translation, “extraordinary outlay of resources” in NewLabourspeak means “lots of taxpayer money” in Realspeak, i.e., words that actually mean something.

So let me put it this way: the Government just spent a lot my money to find out who is telling the public how badly the Government is spending my money. Seems to me the Civil Serf was providing much more value for money than anyone else at DWP or in Whitehall generally, or perhaps in 10 Downing Street.

She’s been suspended from her job, stripped of her laptop, and had her security clearance revoked, but was the Civil Serf doing anything wrong by Whitehall’s own rules? As the Mail on Sunday noted: “Although civil servants must abide by a code of conduct, it is unclear what, if any, rules have been broken by the blogger.” Yes, that’s right. In the tradition of British bureaucracy, it’s shoot first and ask questions later. They are acting just like the Civil Serf said they act, only now it is in the public eye.

Terrorism in the East End

I may get regular verbal abuse and heckling in my own classroom for being a Christian, but at least I’m not a vicar getting attacked on the grounds of my own church. There is a constant campaign of vandalism against St George-in-the-East in Wapping. The attitude is typified by shouts of “This should not be a church, this should be a mosque.”

In addition to being yet another example of teen yobbish behaviour – an epidemic throughout this country – it is also a low-grade example of Islamic terrorism. Besides being just downright nasty, these pustules of society are using their faith as an excuse for causing harm and destruction. They have also been fed on a diet of ideas (whether a home or at the mosque or both) that they should be able to settle in an area and Islamify it, driving out the Church.