Paranoia Part II: Facecrime
If this does not scare the crap out of you. I really don't know what will.
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The book commences with a feast organized by Ahasuerus (Xerxes), initially for his court and dignitaries and afterwards for all inhabitants of Shushan. Ahasuerus orders his wife Vashti to display her beauty before the guests. She refuses. Ahasuerus removes her as queen. Ahasuerus then orders all "beautiful young girls to be presented to him, so he can choose a new queen to replace Vashti. One of these is Esther, who had no parents and is being fostered by her cousin Mordechai. She finds favor in the king's eyes, and is made his new wife. Esther does not reveal that she is Jewish. Shortly afterwards, Mordechai discovers a plot by courtiers Bigthan and Teresh to assassinate Ahasuerus. They are apprehended and executed, and Mordechai's service to the king is recorded.
Ahasuerus appoints Haman as his prime minister. Mordechai, who sits at the palace gates, falls into Haman's disfavor as he refuses to bow down to him. Having found out that Mordechai is Jewish, Haman plans to kill not just Mordechai but all the Jews in the empire. He obtains Ahasuerus' permission to execute this plan, against payment of ten thousand talents of silver, and he casts lots to choose the date on which to do this—the thirteenth of the month of Adar. When Mordechai finds out about the plans he orders fasting. Mordechai informs Esther what has happened and tells her to intercede with the King. She is afraid to break the law and go to the King unsummoned. This action would incur the death penalty. Mordechai tells her that she must. She requests that all Jews fast and pray for three days together with her, and on the third day she goes to Ahasuerus, who stretches out his sceptre to her which shows that she is not to be punished. She invites him to a feast in the company of Haman. During the feast, she asks them to attend a further feast the next evening. Meanwhile, Haman is again offended by Mordechai and builds a gallows for him. That night, Ahasuerus suffers from insomnia, and when the court's records are read to him to help him sleep, he learns of the services rendered by Mordechai in the previous plot against his life. Ahasuerus is told that Mordechai has not received any recognition for saving the king's life. Just then, Haman appears, and King Ahasuerus asks Haman what should be done for the man that he wishes to honor. Thinking that the man that the king wishes to honor is himself, Haman says that the man should be dressed in the king's royal robes and led around on the king's royal horse, while a herald calls: "See how the king honours a man he wishes to reward!" To his horror, the king instructs Haman to do so to Mordechai.
Later that evening, Ahasuerus and Haman attend Esther's second banquet, at which she reveals that she is Jewish and that Haman is planning to exterminate her people, including her. Overcome by rage, Ahasuerus leaves the room; meanwhile Haman stays behind and begs Esther for his life, falling upon her in desperation. The king comes back in at this moment and thinks Haman is assaulting the queen; this makes him angrier than before and he orders Haman impaled on the stake that had been prepared for Mordechai. The previous decree against the Jews cannot be annulled, but the king allows the Jews to defend themselves during attacks. As a result, on 13 Adar, five hundred attackers and Haman's ten sons are killed in Shushan, followed by a Jewish slaughter of seventy-five thousand Persians, although they took no plunder. Mordechai assumes a prominent position in Ahasuerus' court, and institutes an annual commemoration of the delivery of the Jewish people from annihilation.
· Clarify the standard for “willful” violations—allowing penalties for intentional, purposeful violations of the law, but not for simple paperwork mistakes.
· Improve the process for imposing penalties, notably by allowing FFLs to appeal BATFE penalties to a neutral administrative law judge, rather than to an employee of BATFE itself.
· Allow a licensee a period of time to liquidate inventory when he goes out of business. During this period, all firearms sold would be subject to a background check by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
· Allow a grace period for people taking over an existing firearms business to correct problems in the business’s records—so if a person inherited a family gun store (for example), the new owner couldn’t be punished for the previous owner’s recordkeeping violations.
· Reform the procedures for consideration of federal firearms license applications. Under S. 941, denial of an application would require notification to the applicant, complete with reasons for the denial. Additionally, an applicant would be allowed to provide supplemental information and to have a hearing on the application.
· Require BATFE to establish clear investigative guidelines.
· Clarify the licensing requirement for gunsmiths, distinguishing between repair and other gunsmith work and manufacture of a firearm. This would stop BATFE from arguing that minor gunsmithing or refinishing activities require a manufacturers’ license.
· Eliminate a provision of the Youth Handgun Safety Act that requires those under 18 to have written permission to use a handgun for lawful purposes (such as competitive shooting or safety training)—even when the parent or guardian is present.
· Permanently ban creation of a centralized electronic index of out of business dealers’ records—a threat to gun owners’ privacy that Congress has barred through appropriations riders for more than a decade.
· Allow importation and transfer of new machine guns by firearm and ammunition manufacturers for use in developing or testing firearms and ammunition, and training customers. In particular, ammunition manufacturers fulfilling government contracts need to ensure that their ammunition works reliably. S. 941 and H.R. 2296 would also provide for the transfer and possession of new machine guns by professional film and theatrical organizations.
· Repeal the Brady Act’s “interim” waiting period provisions, which expired in 1998.
· Give BATFE sole responsibility for receiving reports of multiple handgun sales. (Currently, dealers also have to report multiple sales to state or local agencies, a requirement that has shown little or no law enforcement value.) State and local agencies could receive these reports upon request to BATFE, but would have to comply strictly with current requirements to destroy these records after 20 days, unless the person buying the guns turns out to be prohibited from receiving firearms.
· Restore a policy that allowed importation of barrels, frames and receivers for non-importable firearms, when they can be used as repair or replacement parts.You can read more about these bills here.
What the city lacks in charm, scenery and sites of historical interest, it makes up in hours spent behind the wheel.
• Fact: There are a record number of Americans dependent upon government anti-poverty programs thanks to the Obama Democrats
• Fact: Expanded access to welfare and food stamps greatly increases the number of children born to unwed mothers
• Fact: Single-parent families correlate to higher crime rates
• Conclusion: with the unprecedented increase in welfare, food stamps and unemployment, we will also see an unparalleled increase in violent crime within the next dozen or so years.